The curse of facing the D-backs strikes again:
Roy Oswalt Leaves Phillies For 'Personal Reasons'
I guess he took losing to Arizona harder than we thought...
Coming in, our three starters this series had a combined record of 2-7, compared to the Phillies, 7-2 - but it's the Diamondbacks who can complete the sweep this afternoon. Cliff Lee beaten? Check. Roy Oswalt beaten? Check. So, having disposed of the two Cy Young winners, with nine All-Star appearances between them, Hamels should be a piece of cake, right? Ah, but these are the Diamondbacks, who have shown an ability this year to beat the best and lose to the worst. We are currently 9-7 against teams above .500 - and 1-5 against those below it, having been swept by the Mets and lost two of three to the Cubs.
Thus, I make no statement more predictive than, "Your Arizona Diamondbacks: Because You Never Know..."
Hamels blanked the Padres for eight innings last time out, but see my previous intro - if you bothered to read it [and some clearly didn't...] - for my opinion on how tough that is. However, he has yet to allow a run outside of Philadelphia this season. Over 15 innings, he has allowed eight hits, four walks and struck out 16. He has also yet to allow a home-run anywhere, in 24.2 innings of work. We trust this statistical aberration will be taken care of this afternoon. Certainly, his last trip to Chase dealt with it, as he allowed four homers and six runs in six innings, on his way to the loss.
- Chris Young CF
- Kelly Johnson 2B
- Justin Upton RF
- Stephen Drew SS
- Ryan Roberts LF
- Xavier Nady 1B
- Melvin Mora 3B
- Henry Blanco C
- Joe Saunders LHP
Even though I know we're throwing the B-squad out there, in the form of Mora, Nady and Blanco, I have to look at the line-up and wonder how the hell we ever score any runs. I know Ryan Roberts is hitting well, but he has exactly five career starts in the heart (3-4-5) of any order. That weird thing is that, at least, makes sense, compared to the top of the line-up. Because, yeah, you want your #1 and #2 batters to have on-base percentages of .224 and .258 respectively. But Chris Young has been so red-hot latel... Oh, my mistake: he's 2-for-29 with zero walks. Which does make Johnson's line over the same time - 6-for-27 with two walks - look positively Ruthian.
The last time we swept the Phillies anywhere was back in 2007 - to find the last sweep in Arizona, you've got to go all the way back to the very first series of the 2000 season, when we closed things out with a 3-2 victory in 11 innings. Since then, we've come close, taking the first couple at Chase in 2001, 2002 and 2006, but have not been able to seal the deal. Having, to some extent, stolen these two games - the first on a monumental start from Ian Kennedy, the second by being ruthlessly efficient with base-runners - perhaps we can...oh, I dunno...simply play better than Philadelphia, and clear the worst fans in America out, to go vomit on someone else.
Stay classy, Phillie. Don't you know SB-1070 cracks are so 2010?