Monday, September 14, 2009

What I've Seen Lately

- Raise your hand if you thought Pedro Martinez could be this good for the Phillies. If your hand is in the air right now, you are a liar. Martinez threw 130 pitches, the most he's thrown in a game in over eight years, in the Phillies 1-0 win over the Mets at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night. Pedro is now 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA in seven starts with the Phils. With J.A. Happ on the shelf with an oblique strain, Martinez is legitimately working his way into the discussion on inclusion in the Phillies playoff rotation.

- Having said that, the back end of the Phillies' bullpen in a disaster right now. Brad Lidge has officially been removed from the role, Ryan Madson has an ERA near eight as a closer, and Brett Myers just returned from hip surgery. But to even get to them, J.C. Romero and Clay Condrey are still out, and Scott Eyre has a 'loose body' in his pitching elbow. Who's down in that pen that you would trust right now? I'm being serious here... the most trustworthy guy down there right now might be Tyler Walker.

- Ichiro is amazing. He plays in Seattle and doesn't speak English real well so we don't hear about him as much as we should, but he's amazing. Nine straight 200-hit seasons. If he wants to, he'll probably reach 3000 hits in the Major Leagues, despite not coming to the States until 2001 at age 27.

- Boston (and my friend Greg) want to know where this Brad Penny was until about two weeks ago. Sure, he's in a more pitcher friendly league, but it's not THAT pitcher friendly.

- Think Scott Kazmir getting traded has anything to do with the Rays losing 11 in a row (and counting)? I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

- C.C. Sabathia had some rocky patches for the Yankees this year, but he's got 17 wins now, with an outside shot at 20. Yawn. No one will care in the Bronx unless he delivers in the playoffs.

- With three weeks left, is the NL West really the best race we have? The Rockies chasing the Dodgers? Really? As of today, it's even closer than either Wild Card race. So much for parity, I guess.

- The Tigers are up five and a half games in the AL Central, are 10 games over .500... and have outscored opponents by 15 runs. Toronto is 26.5 games out of first place, 13 games under .500, and have outscored opponents by nine runs. Those that project records using runs scored vs. given up (Pythagorean W-L) must be wearing hats to keep their heads from exploding.

- The Pirates recently sealed their 17th consecutive losing season, taking sole possession of that dubious distinction from the Phillies of 1933-1948. But let's not let the Pirates grab ahold of the loser crwon quite that easily. The little known fact about that losing era of Phillies baseball is that if not for a 78-76 record in 1932, they would have gone an almost impossible 31 seasons without a winning record, spanning 1918-1948. If you ever have to wonder how a team reaches 10,000 losses, that stat is a big piece of the explanation. In those 31 years, the Phils were 1752-2941, good for a .373 winning percentage. In today's game, that would be an average record of 60-102... for 31 years. That's not just under .500 bad, that's 100 loss bad. That era also featured five sub-.200 winning percentage seasons. Wow. And you wonder why booing became tradition passed down through generations in Philadelphia.

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