Aaron Heilman is a good pitcher. Let us not get on the poor guy's case as he has gone from non-prospect to one of the top relievers in the game and a few bad outings should not spoil that.
Fun fact. The Phillies won as many Playoff games as the Mets in 2007. Also, the Phillies are the third best team in the division. Another fun fact. Kris Benson has a higher career ERA+ than Brett Myers. I will not deny that Myers has talent and at 27 has room to grown, but he certainly has not fulfilled his expectations so far. Also, in the bullpen last year, he posted an ERA+ of 107 which is really not all that good for a reliever. Aaron Heilman put up an ERA+ of 140 after posting 130 and 120 in the previous two seasons.
Once the fact that the Phillies have maybe two potentially league average starters at best and at least two below average starters after Hamels sets in, Philly will start to get worried. People easily forget Kyle Lohse was one of the reasons they snuck into the playoffs. Without someone stepping up again, it will be really hard for them to keep up with the Mets while they will be left to sift through the scrap heap once again for a solution.
This is about the time Philly fans start pounding their chests and say that their offense will carry the team. To that we must point out the obvious that the Phillies are not really a better offensive team. I know they are considered the offensive cream of the crop in the NL, but I look at their lineup and I'm left scratching my head. Their road OPS was a full .039 lower than their home OPS last season. In fact, the top three teams in road runs in 2007 were the Phillies, Mets, and Braves in that order and they were tightly packed.
Those three teams are shockingly equal on the road.
Check it: BA OBP SLG OPS
Phillies .268 .350 .442 .793
Mets .280 .346 .439 .785
Braves .282 .340 .452 .792
The Met rotation allowed 71 less runs than the Phillies did in '07. For me, you have clear case for the Mets to be labled as favorites over the Phillies and I do not see it as something that can even be debated coherently. After the first game of this series, some people would have you believe something different. However, I think we are all smart enough to realize one, two, three, four, five, etc... games are not enough to start drawing major conclusions and I think we all smart enough to realize while the Phillies offense if good, their home park allows them to put up gaudy numbers.
As strange as the season has started, the Mets are still in 2nd place. Me? I am not complaining and I am not worrying about the Phillies.
Nick (Long Island, NY): Any opinion on Mike Pelfrey's performance last night? Hopefully this could be the confidence boost he needs to trust his stuff and become more consistant.
Keith Law: The groundballs - 10 of 12 field outs, I think - are a great sign. And he did it against one of the best lineups in the league.
“I finally had a chance to start in Philly, and I gave them eight quality starts out of 12,” Figueroa said, a note of annoyance in his voice. “Then they sent me to the bullpen. And the questions start again.”
Then came Milwaukee, then Washington, then Pittsburgh. His major league performance was a little worse than average. No team gave him even a dozen starts.
“I know my rap has been that I’m a quadruple-A pitcher,” Figueroa said. “Well, I have had very limited opportunities to get the ball every fifth day and start.”
Focus your anger Nelson. Focus.
Labels: mets vs. phillies