Sunday, April 17, 2011

Living up to the hype? A comparison of the 4 aces after 3 starts

Well hello Phils phans! I apologize for not being my die hard philly phanatical self since my first post on April 2nd, but what better day to return then on the Phanatic's birthday! Happy birthday Philly Phanatic!

Living up to the HYPE
With April 17th's game coming to a close, the four aces have completed 3 turns each against teams including the Astros, the Mets, the Braves, and the Marlins. Some may argue three of those teams are not poised to win and will remain below .500 the entire season. Regardless, teams play 162 games for a reason. Presuming that each of our starters carry an even load throughout the year, our four aces are poised to pitch approximately 32 games each. Therefore, the first 3 game comparison would represent about 1/11 of their total contribution. Now please keep in mind, this is a long season, and I certainly will not be holding my breath for every start one of our aces take the mound. I simply thought it would be interesting to do a 3 game comparison. Although I could have showcased a number of stats, I focused on the basics.
Here we go...

* Roy Halladay 2 0 1.23 1 22.0 17 3 3 3 22
* Cliff Lee 2 1 4.19 1 19.1 17 9 9 2 26
* Roy Oswalt 2 0 2.50 0 18.0 14 6 5 4 14
* Cole Hamels 1 1 4.32 0 16.2 18 8 8 5 18

Clearly Roy Halladay continues to reign as the true staff ace. If the Phillies didn't wait til the 9th inning of game 1 against the Astros to put together their offense, Roy would be 3 and 0. Regardless, the stats speak about how under the radar Roy Oswalt has been. You've heard a great deal about Halladay and Lee in the national media, but Oswalt has done well out of the gate. For this reason alone, Roy's back pain becomes something to keep an eye on. Fortunately, according to comments made earlier today, he expects to be ready to go on Thursday as scheduled for his next start. However, Roy Oswalt's durability will be on the minds of the Phillies coaching staff, especially in these colder April nights. Maybe that means he pitches 5 or 6 innings instead of 7. Either way, Oswalt is just as important to this rotation as Halladay or Lee.

When analyzing the first 3 games, it's also important to touch on the 2008 World Series MVP, Mr. Hollywood, Cole Hamels. To his credit, he hasn't pitched poorly to this point. Yes, he had a really bad start against the Mets. But in his second start of the season, he dominated the Nationals, and today, he looked good through 6 innings. He hit a snag in the 7th, leading to two runs, and an inability to secure his second win of the season. Ironically, this is nothing new... My friend, Tamer G (this website's creator) and I often joke about Cole. The reason being, almost every start, he is guaranteed to have one bad inning. That inning we typically label the "Quintessential Cole" inning. Quintessence is defined as "the pure and concentrated essence of a substance," or "the most perfect embodiment of something." The irony is that the "Quintessential Cole" inning usually results from his psyche getting rattled. And it doesn't take much. Our use of the term is a play on words and pokes fun at Cole's lack of concentration resulting in his inability to embody a true ace. Earlier today, the quintessential Cole inning was clearly the 7th, but he was fortunate in that he didn't let it get out of control (which can happen from time to time with him). So from this point forward this season, consider yourself warned. And be sure to look for the"Quintessential Cole" inning during each of his starts.

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