The Phillies lost two of three to the Diamondbacks this week, partially because they were unlucky to draw starting pitchers Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson. The scheduling gods were kind to us, lining up D-Backs starters Barry Enright and Armando Galarraga for our viewing pleasure last weekend. The Mets will avoid Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game series in Philly:
Friday, April 29th, 7:05 PM: RHP Mike Pelfrey vs. RHP Vance Worley
Saturday, April 30th, 1:10 PM: LHP Jon Niese vs. RHP Roy Halladay
Sunday, May 1st, 8:00 PM: RHP Chris Young vs. LHP Cliff Lee
Joe Blanton was slated for game one but he went on the disabled list yesterday with a right elbow injury. Worley is his replacement.
The Phils' pitching coach is Rich Dubee. He has held the position since the 2005 season. Dubee pitched in the Royals minor league system in the late 1970s and early 1980s but never made it to "The Show". Now some words on the pitchers from this wholly incorrigible team:
#49 / Pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies
Sep 25, 1987
Word association: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration
Interesting fact: Worley owns a copy of Shane Victorino's book How To Be A Bush League Jerkwad but is yet to read it.
What's the story? This is Worley's first big league appearance of the season. In 22.2 innings for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, he posted a 4.17 K/BB ratio and 2.78 ERA. His fastball sits in the low 90s and he also throws a slider, curveball and changeup. None of his secondary offerings are exemplary. There's not much upside here -- his ceiling is low. However, he has demonstrated above average control in the minors and might be a serviceable back of the rotation pitcher. Worley was effective in 13.2 innings with the Phils in 2010, striking out 12 and walking just 4.
Against the Mets: Worley threw a scoreless inning against the Mets last September 26th. He struck out Nick Evans and no one has heard from Evans since.
#34 / Pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies
May 14, 1977
|2011 - Roy Halladay||3-1||5||5||1||0||0||0||37.1||32||10||10||1||6||39||2.41||1.02|
Word association: "I'm your huckleberry"
Interesting fact: Halladay raises hogs in the offseason and is known to mud wrastle with them to keep his strength up.
What's the story? Halladay won the Cy Young Award in 2010 and apparently wants two in a row. His 1.87 FIP is second best in the league (Matt Garza's is 1.25) and his 1.6 fWAR is tops. He has apparently been throwing more cutters this season, leading to increased strikeouts in the early going. His impressive repertoire also includes a curveball and changeup. Also, if you are a Mets fan who enjoyed Halladay's no-hitter in the playoffs last year due to baseball purism, you can go screw.
Against the Mets: Big Roy tossed seven scoreless innings against the Mets back on April 7th in an 11-0 Phillies romp. For his career, he has a 3.43 ERA against the Mets in 63 innings.
#33 / Pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies
Aug 30, 1978
|2011 - Cliff Lee||2-2||5||5||1||1||0||0||32.1||30||16||15||4||4||39||4.18||1.05|
Word association: Cliff Clavin
Interesting fact: Lee is constantly surrounded by a cloud of dirt, much like Pigpen from "Peanuts". It mysteriously appeared mere seconds after he signed with the Phils this past offseason.
What's the story? Clifton Phifer Lee is once again posting a saber-porn-worthy K/BB ratio -- it's 9.75. His command of the strike zone is outrageous. However, he has been knocked around in two of his five starts. He lasted just 3.1 innings against the Braves on April 8th, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits. And he was tagged for eight hits in six innings against the Brewers on April 20th. Lee emulates Halladay, throwing a fastball, cutter, curveball and changeup.
Against the Mets: Lee faced the Mets once in 2009, striking out five in seven innings as the Phils beat the Mets 6-2. I was at the game and it sucked. There were almost no redeeming qualities. Except for that part when Chase Utley made two errors on the same play, leading to an Angel Pagan little league home run. Because only the Mets commit embarrassing gaffes, right?
Overall outlook: Pelfrey at Citizens Bank coming off the flu = yikes. Slugfest is the prediction for tonight's game. The Philth throw the two best pitchers on the planet Friday and Saturday. Stealing a win in either game would make the weekend.