Six points of observation from the Phillies vs. Mets series
With Friday's 9-1 Mets victory and Saturday's 10-0 Phillies victory, the best word to describe the first two games of this weekend series between the division rivals would probably be "lopsided." Despite the respective blowouts in the first two games, much can be gathered from an observational standpoint as far as the two teams are concerned. Philly2Philly thought we'd share these interesting points.
1. Kyle Kendrick will NEVER get anybody out consistently- A home run there, a two-run homer there, it happened so fast. Before you knew it, the Phillies were in a deep hole. Something that happens all too often when Kendrick starts. Kendrick has been given many chances by the Phillies to turn things around. How many more will he get? Joe Blanton is a solid third or fourth starter in your rotation. And right now, he never looked so good.
2. Mike Pelfrey has potential, but you can still rattle his cage- Kind of like another young starter in this division we know pretty well. Yeah I know, this Phillies offense can fall asleep for about a week. However, when the team wiped away Pelfrey's 27-scoreless inning streak with a six spot in the fourth, they proved again that NOBODY is better at debunking the myth of "unhittable" pitchers (see 2008 NLDS- Game Two).
3. Danys Baez debunks the myth of having a better season two years after Tommy John surgery- So much for this guy throwing absolute gas and mowing down hitters like Bob Feller this spring. If Kendrick poured the lighter fluid Friday night, then Baez lit the match. For your seventh-eighth inning guy to open the floodgates like Baez consistently has done this season is a disgrace. There have been rumblings about why the Phils didn't bring back Chan Ho Park, and the reasons must be pretty damn serious. I'd really like to know why he is not on this team right now (and it's not money because the Phils offered him more than the Yankees).
4. Brad Lidge giving up a home run to the first batter he faced in 2010- Kendrick and Baez allowed eight of the Phillies nine runs Friday night. The other was a Lidge gopher ball to Rod Barajas. I really, really, really, hope this is not an omen, because the Phillies are screwed beyond belief if it is.
5. The sole purpose of Rod Barajas playing baseball is to torment the Phillies- Phillies fans will always remember Rod Barajas during his time here as the guy who avoided contact in a home plate "collision" in Florida, then told reporters we'd look back and laugh some day about it. By the way, while this was happening, Brett Myers was being evaluated by team doctors because he suffered an arm injury while still pitching in a game that should have ended when Barajas "applied that tag." Since his departure from the team, he has a .500 average with four home runs at Citizens Bank Park while playing for the Blue Jays and Mets. Moreover, Barajas currently has more homers than Ryan Howard. Hard to believe, Harry.
6. Roy Halladay should be mentioned in the same breath as Chuck Norris- Roy Halladay's Saturday masterpiece was just what the Phillies needed. It seems every time Halladay pitches, he is trying to stop a losing streak. He is a total beast. He has reinvented the two hour and twenty minute game. We could go on and on with the Norris-Halladay jokes, but we're pressed for time. What isn't funny is the fact that it's literally a crying shame the rest of the staff at this time is downright abysmal, and shows zero signs of improving. Meanwhile in St. Louis, the three headed monster of Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainright, and a rejuvenated Brad Penny have looked downright nasty.
Bottom line and early season thoughts:
J.A. Happ and Blanton aren't exactly the second coming of Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. However, they are sorely missed in this rotation, and they have proven they are consistently capable of getting people out in the majors. Happ suffering a setback the other day is a cause for concern.
The Phillies are second to last in the majors in lack of quality starts. If Cole Hamels can EVER get it together, the fifth starter issue isn't as big of an issue.
With the Halladay and Cliff Lee trades, the farm system is pretty much depleted. This means that their options will be extremely limited in getting bullpen or starter help come July. It's looking like Pedro Martinez or maybe even John Smoltz will be the best options out there for the team. With Smoltz pursuing other sports however, that may be highly unlikely.
Nobody knows if the Padres are the real deal at this time, but the Cardinals sure are- and they will be here this week for four crucial games. It's only May, but St. Louis could dethrone the Phils as the early season favorite in the National League if they do some serious damage during their stay in Philadelphia.
Contact Joe Vallee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thumbnail: Associated Press