Phils Off to Rough Start on West Coast

August 14th, 2014 by AmyMac | Filed under Baseball, General, Phillies.
A.J. Burnett looks to split the series in Anaheim tonight.

A.J. Burnett looks to split the series in Anaheim tonight.

Jerome Williams, a right-handed pitcher claimed off of waivers from Texas, made his debut for Philadelphia last night in Anaheim.  The 32-year-old starter, whose pink glove is in honor of his late mother and her battle with breast cancer, tossed 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits.  His pitch count was only 72; however, it makes sense that Williams would appear tired after not having pitched for ten days.  (Sean O’Sullivan was designated for assignment in order to make room on the roster for Williams.)

With a 2-1 lead, one out, and a runner on first, Antonio Bastardo took the mound.  Surely, by now, we’ve all included “take a shot every time Bastardo walks his first batter” into our Phillies drinking games … and he delivered.  Bastardo walked Josh Hamilton on four pitches (not a typo), which prompted the downward spiral of the sixth.  After having pitched 0.1 inning and allowing five runs (again … not a typo), Ryne Sandberg called in Jake Diekman to stop the bleeding.  Mario Hollands pitched the seventh inning, and Cesar Jiminez handled the eighth without incident.  The damage, however, was already done: Bastardo earned the loss after a 7-2 final score.

What does this mean for Philadelphia’s pitching? For starters, Bastardo might need a one-way bus ticket to a little town called Out of My Sight Already.  As non-contenders, though, the Phillies could have certainly done far worse than Jerome Williams.  If he’s able to pitch a decently solid six or seven innings, with roughly 2/3 his pitches as strikes, I’ll be happy.  He’s not Cliff Lee, and you shouldn’t expect stellar performances.  At this rate, though, we’ll take what we can get.

Offensively speaking, there’s not much to say about last night.  Darin Ruf outhit DH Ryan Howard, and the Phils still have just three players (Byrd, Utley, and Revere) batting above .240.  You needn’t be good at math to realize that that’s a depressing statistic, and you needn’t know me personally to know that I hated typing it.  Philadelphia is bringing up the rear in a lackluster division – only Atlanta and Washington have records above .500 – and their record going into tonight’s game is a pitiful 53-67.  Q: What’s more depressing than being in the basement of the NL East? A: Being a full four games behind the Mets.  The Mets, folks.

Tonight, RHP A.J. Burnett (6-12, 4.29) will take the hill for Philadelphia, and RHP Jered Weaver (12-6, 3.68) will start for the LA Angels of Anaheim.  I’m hoping that Marlon Byrd (who has hit .286 in his fourteen at-bats against Weaver) will help produce offense as designated hitter in the five hole.  I will readily admit that I wasn’t thrilled by Byrd’s signing in the offseason; however, he currently has 67 RBIs and a .270 batting average. He also leads the Phillies with 22 homeruns this season – not too shabby for a guy who will be 37 at the end of this month.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best $8 million the Phillies spent this year.

First pitch tonight is at 10:05 pm EST.  The game will be broadcast on CSN, 1210 WPHT, and 94 WIP.

 

 

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