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April 9, 2007
  
Upcoming Series: Philadelphia Phillies Pitchers
by: Alex Nelson on Apr 9, 2007 12:59 AM | Filed under: Articles

The Mets (4-2) find themselves in the unexpected, yet familiar spot of looking up at the Braves following a disappointing weekend series at Turner Field. After an 11-1 pounding during the opener, the Mets bats were, for the most part, silenced by Brave pitching. That’s acceptable when you face off against John Smoltz, less so against Kyle Davies. The bats will have to do better as the team faces their first series against another division rival in the Philadelphia Phillies (1-5) when the team comes home for the first time this year. Luckily for the Mets, the Phils aren’t nearly as hot as the Braves—they were swept by Atlanta in their opening series and managed just one win against the Florida Marlins over the weekend. The Phils are sending Cole Hamels (0-0, 0.00), Adam Eaton (0-1, 13.50), and Jamie Moyer (1-0, 2.70) to the mound against John Maine (1-0, 0.00), Oliver Perez (1-0, 1.29), and Tom Glavine (1-1, 2.38), respectively.

Game 1: Cole Hamels

What’s the Story? Believe it or not, Cole Hamels is the most important part of the Phillies’ rotation. His ascension from rookie to a top-of-rotation starting pitcher will have more to do with the Phillies’ success this season than many of their more publicized acquisitions. Last season Hamels pitched wonderfully, going 9-8 with a 4.08 ERA and 145 strikeouts against just 48 walks over 132 innings. That is when he pitched at all; a faulty shoulder sidelined him midseason. A tall lefty, Hamels has a fastball that sits in the low-90’s with good movement and a changeup that is simply devastating, possessing superior downward movement. A solid curveball gives him a very capable third weapon.

Last Year: Hamels got one start against the Mets last year, throwing eight shutout frames and striking out nine while allowing just four hits. The only Met hitter who seemed to have his number was Lastings Milledge, who singled and doubled off the left-hander. It’s unlikely he’ll get the start with Shawn Green playing as well as he is right now.

What to Expect: Hamels was brilliant in his season debut last Wednesday, shutting out the Braves for seven innings before the bullpen blew the game for him in the eleventh inning. Expect Hamels to go right after hitters with his fastball, and finish them with his changeup. He rarely needed to do anything else against the Braves, who managed to get a count with three balls just twice all game. That changeup is a great weapon against batters from either side of the plate, so righties won’t have as much of an advantage as they would against most other lefties. It’s probably beneficial for hitters to swing at those fastballs early in the count, because they won’t do much against the change.

Game 2: Adam Eaton

What’s the Story? Eaton signed a surprising three-year, 24.5 million-dollar contract to pitch for the Phillies last offseason after an injury-plagued year in Texas. Eaton has pretty good stuff, including a moving fastball that he throws from 91-93 miles per hour, a sharp curveball, and a fair changeup and slider. He occasionally has control problems, though whether that’s due from being perpetually injured or just poor control is difficult to ascertain. This was evident in his first start last week, as he walked four batters over four-and-two-thirds innings and was constantly behind batters. He also has problems with the homerun, giving up eleven in 65 innings last year.

Last Year: Eaton hasn’t pitched against the Mets since 2004, but he is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three career starts against them.

What to Expect: Eaton’s a talented guy who is often not at 100% and when he is, he has trouble putting everything together to become the pitcher he’s capable of being. The Mets are the sort of team who could give him fits, patiently waiting for him to fall behind so he can throw a hitter’s pitch. If his command is sharp, he’ll be a tough guy to face, but otherwise the key is patience. He also shows a significant platoon split, so he’ll need to be careful around the big left-handed bats in the Mets’ lineup to be successful. A flyball pitcher, he’ll do better at Shea than he otherwise would at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Game 3: Jamie Moyer

What’s the Story? Moyer, the forty-four-year-old wonder, has proven that a pitcher doesn’t need “stuff” to succeed. You can get by with great control, a lot of guile, and changing speeds. In fact, looking just at what he throws doesn’t do him justice. His fastball is lucky to hit 83 on a gun, and it’s flat as can be. His curveball is merely adequate, and his change doesn’t have a lot of movement. But Moyer has a tremendous feel for pitching that has given him a shelf life that even surpasses that of most garden-variety lefties. He hits his spots and changes speeds with the best of them, forcing hitters to face him on his own terms.

Last Year: Moyer made one start against the Mets at the end of August and was killed. He allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits over six innings. Carlos Delgado in particular has Moyer’s number: in 66 plate appearances against him, he has a career .456/.530/.946 line. Last year he went 2-3 with a double and a pair of RBI’s.

What to Expect: Expect Moyer to do what he always does. He’ll try his hardest to get ahead of hitters, changing speeds from slow to slower to slowest. While aggression is often a good thing with finesse pitchers who like to stay in the strike zone, with Moyer a hitter still needs to stay cautious, as he’ll throw the changeup on any count, at any time. He can still take advantage of the hitters who are too aggressive. It’s really quite suiting that he’ll be pitching against Tom Glavine, his closest analog in baseball.

Overall: It’s tough to see the Phillies taking this one. They’re playing awful baseball, losing five out of their first six games, and as much as the Mets have had the momentum sapped from them after two tough games in Atlanta, they’re still in better shape than the reeling Phils. If the Mets were facing the top of the Philadelphia rotation instead of the bottom, I would expect more of a fight, but as it is, I think the Mets will take two out of three. I’m still picking a bit of an upset, as I think the Mets will get to Hamels—just a feeling—but lose to Eaton in the second game. In the battle for the title of Grandfather Time, Glavine emerges victorious with some help from Delgado.


31 Responses to “Upcoming Series: Philadelphia Phillies Pitchers”

  1. Comment posted by Tim in LA on April 9, 2007 at 1:38 am (#286847)

    You should be doing these articles for the Post or something, Alex. These are more consistently interesting than anything I can remember reading in a newspaper. You should pitch it. Hardy har.

  2. Comment posted by eric In Philly on April 9, 2007 at 2:51 am (#286848)

    Nice article. We need to sweep this scum. Philly fans are PURE FILTH! Let’s go Mets!

  3. Comment posted by Andy H on April 9, 2007 at 3:00 am (#286849)

    We definetly need to rebound looking forward to seeing our young guys out there. Let’s go Maine and Perez!!!

  4. Comment posted by Erick on April 9, 2007 at 3:57 am (#286852)

    You should be doing these articles for the Post or something, Alex. These are more consistently interesting than anything I can remember reading in a newspaper. You should pitch it.

    Yes, you really ought to before someone else just takes it and you get no $. It really is a fabulous feature.

  5. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on April 9, 2007 at 5:12 am (#286857)

    I second all the above. Very informative, well researched, and well written. As long as we still get it on metsgeek!

  6. Comment posted by dancran on April 9, 2007 at 6:32 am (#286863)

    lets go mets

  7. Comment posted by sheadenizen on April 9, 2007 at 7:45 am (#286870)

    Please win today Metsies! Beat Hamels! Raise that banner and be proud! Show those Philthies why you’re the champs! Now, I will dress like I’m going to a football game and head to Shea Stadium!
    Let’s Go Mets!

  8. Comment posted by Lister on April 9, 2007 at 7:50 am (#286871)

    We WILL win today.

    Cole Hamels Mammels be damned.

    The Mets are going to be ANGRY.

  9. Comment posted by lucienlc on April 9, 2007 at 7:56 am (#286874)

    Let’s go Mets! Let’s go Mets! Opening day 2007! Yeah!

    Time to go freeze! :-) At least it’s sunny out — and Maine has shown he’s okay in cold weather. Let’s hope he’s got another dominant start in him today; going against Hamels, we’ll probably need it.

    Pulling out all my cold-weather Mets gear from last October…

  10. Comment posted by john on April 9, 2007 at 8:11 am (#286878)

    Lets Go Mets!!!

    Hopefully they sweep them and put the braves series behind them. The last two games were very winnable. Oh vell, I guess u cant go 162-0 so ill settle for 160-2 :)

  11. Comment posted by sheadenizen on April 9, 2007 at 8:23 am (#286882)

    I’m so nervous, you’d think that I was playing. See you lata Mista Lista!

  12. Comment posted by ed in westchester on April 9, 2007 at 9:21 am (#286902)

    Time to heat up Shea with the bats.
    Carlos’ need to get hitting.
    DW too.
    Green is looking OK at the plate. The glove, meh.

    C’mon Maine, shut J-Roll up!

  13. Comment posted by Danny on April 9, 2007 at 9:26 am (#286905)

    David Wright hits 2 homers in this series and the Mets sweep. Reyes hits 2 more triples on his way to 30 triples this year.

    The Phillies leave here 1-8. That is my prediction. Man that would be awesome.

    This Kool-Aid is delicious.

  14. Comment posted by john on April 9, 2007 at 9:29 am (#286908)

    Heres something from metsblog i didnt realize…….wright is on an 18 game hitting streak……12 games from end of regular season and 6 to start this one.

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  16. Comment posted by Eric Simon on April 9, 2007 at 9:58 am (#286937)

    Heres something from metsblog i didnt realize…….wright is on an 18 game hitting streak……12 games from end of regular season and 6 to start this one.

    Yea, that’s taken directly from the MLB Pregame Notes.

  17. Comment posted by ed in westchester on April 9, 2007 at 10:26 am (#286969)

    Danny - pass some of that kool aid over here, OK?

    Smells yummy.

  18. Comment posted by HoJo34 on April 9, 2007 at 10:35 am (#286980)

    I just heard on the radio that my local cable company is offering a free preview of MLB extra innings now. I have Direct TV - does anyone know if Direct TV is doing this also? Just curious for today’s game.

  19. Comment posted by john on April 9, 2007 at 10:40 am (#286984)

    Direct TV just ended their free preview……it was from April 2nd to April 8th i believe.

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  21. Comment posted by MFS71 and Hugh Hefner on April 9, 2007 at 10:49 am (#286986)

    Prediction:
    DW hits a 3-run homer for both our birthdays TODAY!

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  23. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on April 9, 2007 at 10:49 am (#286987)

    Everyone have a great time at the game!!

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  25. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on April 9, 2007 at 10:52 am (#286990)

    and happy birthday to THIS GUY also! :)

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  27. Comment posted by met fan austria on April 9, 2007 at 10:54 am (#286991)

    happy birthday mfs71

  28. Comment posted by Jessica on April 9, 2007 at 11:03 am (#286994)

    Happy birthday, 71!

  29. Comment posted by Danny on April 9, 2007 at 11:06 am (#286996)

    Happy 36th birthday MFS71!! (in Met’s fan years!)

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  31. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on April 9, 2007 at 11:06 am (#286997)

    Thanks met fan austria and Jessica!

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  33. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on April 9, 2007 at 11:07 am (#286999)

    Happy 36th birthday MFS71!! (in Met’s fan years!)

    LOL, Danny!!
    I like the way you think! :)

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  35. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on April 9, 2007 at 11:16 am (#287002)

    from Jessica’s blog:

    I have a feeling that Scott Schoeneweis is the reliever whose appearances I will come to dread over the course of the season (and next season, and the season after - why did Omar give him a 3-year deal?)

    Thank you, I was thinking the same thing yesterday!
    I still would’ve given that 3-yr deal to Bradford instead.

  36. Comment posted by TLC on April 9, 2007 at 11:20 am (#287004)

    I still wouldn’t of given Bradford a 3-yr deal. A two yr deal, maybe but not a 3 yr one. We won’t know whose right or wrong until 2009

  37. Comment posted by TLC on April 9, 2007 at 11:41 am (#287014)

    Philadelphia Phillies

    SS Jimmy Rollins
    RF Shane Victorino
    2B Chase Utley
    1B Ryan Howard
    LF Pat Burrell
    C Carlos Ruiz
    CF Aaron Rowand
    3B Abraham Nunez
    LHP Cole Hamels

    New York Mets

    SS Jose Reyes
    C Paul Lo Duca
    CF Carlos Beltran
    1B Carlos Delgado
    3B David Wright
    LF Moises Alou
    RF Shawn Green
    2B Jose Valentin
    RHP John Maine

  38. Comment posted by PHL on April 9, 2007 at 12:10 pm (#287024)

    [Crickets.]

    TLC, where are MLB lineups posted online?

  39. Comment posted by rts2346 on April 10, 2007 at 9:00 pm (#289262)

    Alex: This is a great series, and I always look forward to reading your analyses. Well researched, well thought out, excellently written and balanced, but still with the flavor of a Mets fan - a great read. Thanks for providing it.

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