The Scats try to bounce back from their biggest heart-breaker of the season. I don't have much to say, but I am starting to wonder who are the 32% still saying this team is on the right track?
Oh, and yes this should be it for Hanrahan. Blame Bowden for deciding he was worthy of getting the closer job with no real plan B. The question of course is "who else?" Really it doesn't matter. We don't have an ace, so Manny should just play match-ups. He's managing the bullpen as if Julian Tavarez is his highest leverage coser, probably putting more stock in "experience" than he should, but I would guess he gets the next save opportunity. Mock's been discussed as Rizzo's closer-of-the-future, so he could get some test runs. There isn't really a good solution here. Hey--what's Rocky Biddle up to?
Here's my look at the Phillies' game two starter and prediction. You can check out my preview of the series here for breakdowns on their hitters and bullpen.
On the Mound
Cole Hamels: The Verducci Effect refers to the pattern of underperformance and/or injury when a pitcher under 25 sees an innings jump of more than 30 from year to year. Cole Hamels (in the course of winning a championship, of course) in his age 24 season went from 189 innings to 262.1. There were plenty of times in August and September that Manuel could have gone easier on his young ace, but there wasn't really any chance of keeping Hamels's innings jump in the "safe" zone.
In the spring, he reported elbow soreness and had an MRI done. The results showed swelling and nothing more, and he says he feels great. Still, in three starts he's got a 6.97 fielding independent ERA, 9.69 "real" ERA, and he's giving up long balls at nearly triple his career rate. It's not terribly shocking that his velocity isn't quite there yet since he didn't have a full spring, but it's definitely not too soon for Phillies fans to worry that Charlie Manuel broke Steve Carlton.
Still, flags fly forever.
Season record: 13-6