Week In Review: Bastardo, Victorino, Chooch's pinch slam – Phillies Nation

Week In Review: Bastardo, Victorino, Chooch's pinch slam

The Phillies are flying high this week after a big series win against division rivals the Atlanta Braves.  Both series this week were played within the division.  The Braves were the first real test for the Phillies who opened the season against Houston and then welcomed in the Mets for a three game series.

Philly took two out of three from both New York and Atlanta despite uncharacteristic outings from two of their top pitchers.  Cole Hamels wasn’t able to make it out of the third inning in his game against the Mets April 5th.  It was his shortest outing since 2006, his rookie year where he allowed nine runs (five earned) in two innings against the Cubs.

The Phils dropped to 3-1 with that loss.  A 4-0 mark would have been the first time the Phillies opened the season with four straight wins since 1915.  Oh well, always next year.

Cliff Lee suffered the other and only loss for the Phillies this week.  The Braves roughed up the lefty for six runs in 3.1 innings.  Charlie Manuel felt Lee‘s arm angle was off all night.  “He was up mostly all night. It was hard to get his breaking ball over.”

Mechanics are easy to fix so look for Lee to come back strong in his next start.

The bullpen was exceptionally brilliant this week.  Young Antonio Bastardo was asked to come in and throw two innings in Lee‘s loss.  Bastardo allowed Chipper Jones‘ 2,500th hit and then struck out the next six hitters swinging.  This kid has pitched great all season going 4.2 innings without allowing a run and striking out nine.  Could he be the closer-in-waiting?

Offensively the Phillies have picked up where they left off last season.  Do we miss Chase Utley?  Of course we do, but luckily for Charlie the rest of the team is picking up the slack.  The Phillies lead the National League in hitting (.344) and runs scored (56).  They lead the East with seven home runs.

Shane Victorino went off this week starting a five game hitting streak where each game he had at least two hits.  Against the Braves he went 9-13 with a home run out of the lead off spot.  Carlos Ruiz ‘pinched’ in with a pinch hit grand slam on Saturday and set a career high for RBIs in a game with five.

As a fan base you have to be excited for the way this team is hitting but it would be irresponsible to expect them to keep it up.  There is no way they can maintain this kind of output.  However though, all eight position players are hitting above .300 except for Raul Ibanez (.258).

I have not looked at other team’s numbers, but am confident that the Phillies may have the best bench right now.  Ross Gload, Michael Martinez, John Mayberry, Pete Orr and Brian Schneider are a combined 12-30 with three home runs already.  Manuel is very confident bringing these guys in late in games when they need a hit or baserunner.

Phillies are 7-2 atop the East with Florida two games back.  Up this week, the Phils and Phillies Nation will be traveling to Nationals Park to play Washington then back for a weekend series with the Marlins.

Go Phillies!

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  1. Jimmy K.

    April 10, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Our offense has picked up right where they left off last year??? Are you kidding? Our offense was garbage last year in comparison to past years. We had a good 30 games with 2 or fewer runs, and we couldn’t play small ball for hell…So far this year’s lineup has been ridiculously patient and strokin the ball. Its been great to see. Hopefully they can keep it up and the pitchers can all get to the top of their respective games and we’ll be flyin high in october.

    • Brian Sr. of CO

      April 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      Jimmy K. he said where the Offense left off, not what they did the entire season. The Phillies ended the regular season doing rather well offensively. They were pretty bad right before and right after the All-Star break, but did you forget how they ended the season? The team as a whole was insane finishing with something along the lines of a 49-17 record after the All-Star break.

  2. Ryan H.

    April 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    the phils are firing on all cylinders straight outta the gate. ya gotta love it. it’s gonna be one hell of a summer in south philly .

    I’ve been a fan of Bastardo (aka Tony the Bastard) ever since he debuted in San Diego two seasons ago and threw a CG shutout against them. guy has great stuff and it looks like he’s finally learning how to control it. He could definitely be a future closer. I can’t remember the last time the Phillies had a home grown closer. Ricky Bo is guess was the last one. always nice to see young talent come through the system and step up . by the end of the year Bastardo could become one of the most important guys in that pen. I could see him pitching in some huge spots in the playoffs.

  3. Vic

    April 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    The bench only has one homerun (Schneider’s). Did you mean three RBI? (they actually have four combined)

    • betasigmadeltashag

      April 11, 2011 at 8:06 am

      I think he is refering to the Technical Bench, since Ruiz Grand Slam was a bench HR cause he did not start that day, so technicly Ruiz was a bench player that day

  4. Pat Gallen

    April 10, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Hell of a week all around. Nothing really to complain about during a 7-2 start. Bullpen looks strong, offense great, starting pitching may actually be the weakest link early – who’d have thought it.

  5. Brooks

    April 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Keep it up?
    I know it wont continue like this but it sure is fun to watch.

    • Brian Sr. of CO

      April 10, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Brooks, you summed it up perfectly! It sure is fun to watch! Its been nice that they have played the Phillies games out here on my deployment!

  6. Steve-O-

    April 11, 2011 at 12:46 am

    My wife and I had to suffer with both MLB programs (TBS, Sports South) on Direct. I believe in the forth inning one of the announcers said, with the score 2-0 Phils, “When the Braves win this game they will win the series and gain momentum”. I don’t know how the good Atlanta fans can live with this homerism. Sad really.

  7. betasigmadeltashag

    April 11, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I find it funny that you mention Bastardo as a closer, since I posted the other day that I felt we are seeing the Phillies future closer in Bastardo.And the bull pen as a whole has been pretty good this week, even KK came in after Lee’s misrealbe start and shut down the Braves. Offensivly it seems like they are not K’ing as much as in the past, a few ground out RBIs and sac flies. Poly has had a pretty good start just like last year until his elbow got in the way of a fast ball. I was just wondering if Lee had pitched like that at home would he hear the Boos like Cole did in his first start. And what is up with the lack of participation on Phillies nation, do people only come on here to complain and since they can not be misreable they stay away

  8. RichieAllen

    April 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Beta….This forum has always been a good place to bitch,and, voice opinions when things are going wrong.
    But there is nothing bad so far to squaak about …..so lets just sit back and enjoy.

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