April 10th, 2012
Another day, another game where a starting pitcher shuts down the Philadelphia Phillies’s offense. This time, it was Miami Marlins’ RHP Anibal Sanchez doing the honors.
Sanchez shut down the Phillies for 6.1 innings on Monday, spoiling the Phillies’ home opener and sending 45,000+ fans home disappointed. The Phillies managed just six hits and scored two runs in the 6-2 loss.
Lack of offensive punch is nothing new for the Phillies this season. In four games, the Phillies have scored a grand total of seven runs and have managed just four extra-base hits (three doubles and a HR). Of course four games is a pretty small sample size, but I think this is a sign of things to come for the Phillies. I think they are poised to become the San Francisco Giants of the east.
Without a healthy Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the Phillies don’t have a single player in their lineup who would scare an opposing pitcher. Against the Marlins on Monday, the Phillies had Jimmy Rollins batting third and Hunter Pence batting fourth. I like Hunter Pence, but he is more of a complimentary piece on a championship team. He would probably bat seventh on a team like the Texas Rangers.
On Saturday, the Phillies had Laynce Nix batting fifth. Really? Laynce Nix batting fifth on a team that is supposed to be the best in the National League?
Using Baseball Musing’s Lineup Analysis Tool and using their stats from the past two seasons, a lineup that features Rollins, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, Pence, Ty Wigginton, John Mayberry Jr., Carlos Ruiz, Freddy Galvis (using minor league stats), and the pitcher spot will average a little over four runs a game. To put that in perspective, a team like the Cincinnati Reds are a five and a half run a game team.
Until Howard and Utley come back, Philly fans should expect a lot of 3-2 and 2-1 games over the next couple of months.
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