John Mayberry, Jr. stinks. But he's tall. Most first basemen are tall. So put him out there against left-handers. Wait. What? His at-bat last night with the bases juiced and no outs was a disgrace. He stepped up and started hacking away until he popped out to first base. Big and strong, multi-tool player. Sure. All that stuff. He's hitting .219 with 9 k's. C'mon Charlie. Get Wiggy with it! Na, na...sorry....
Joe Blanton is 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA. The "innings eater" is averaging over 4 per appearance, which includes 2 starts and one out of the 'pen. He's not walking anyone (just one so far, which is terrific) but he's given up 16 hits and opposing batters are hitting .308 off Fat Joe. Any chance Kyle Kendrick could get a few starts? Every time I see him out there, he looks pretty solid. Now that I've said that, he'll surrender a
Hunter Pence, J-Roll, Shane Victorino, and Chooch all have double-digit hits and are batting over .300. It's a bit disturbing that they've combined for just 10 extra-base hits thus far. But they're all getting on, led by Pence's .394 OBP.
Freddie Galvis (GAL-vis) is filling in nicely for Chase. Despite a scant .229 batting average, he's only made one error at second base. He is a shortstop playing out of position. Fact is, he's never shown to be a great hitter. Serviceable is more like it. But he's 22 and doing what has been asked of him. At 22, I was getting high and, well, that's about it.
The team has five wins and Roy Halladay has three; Doc is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA. The rest of the staff looks extremely human, although Cole Hamels has struck out 19 in only 12 innings. Jonathan Papelbon is crazy-hype (go, 1997). With the exception of a home run he gave up in a game he in which shouldn't have pitched, he is doing what he was brought here to do. Three saves in three chances and that HR is the only run he's surrendered.
So, what does all this amount to? A 5-6 record in mid-April. It's neither 2008 nor 2011. (I'm a college graduate; I know what year it is.) This season is going to have some nail-biting stretches. There will be no running away with the NL East. The Phils, and---by extension---we fans, are in for an exciting year.
Three Bold Predictions:
- Cliff Lee gets traded for a bat. Solves a few issues. Adds offense and frees up cash for Hamels.
- The NL East will resemble a clusterfuck until mid-August. Then the chaffe will be separated from the grain and we'll be spared all the "Are the Phils done?" and "Are the (insert shitty other team name here) for real?" talk. Quick answer: No. They're all frauds.
- Dom Brown will be called up. Then he'll suck. Then they'll sell him for a bottle of Gatorade which may or mat not contain piss.