Philadelphia Phillies Pound Patience To Propel Staggering Start

April 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies’ 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday was a bit of an oddity for the National League’s hottest team.

It was the first time all season that the Phillies have no gotten at least 10 hits.

No matter. Their ace, Roy Halladay was on the mound, giving up one unearned run in a seven-hit, no walk, eight strikeout performance. Oh, yeah, and it was Halladay’s first complete game of the season.

The Phillies pounded out six hits, featuring Jimmy Rollins’s home run to start the game and a Carlos Ruiz ground-out RBI in the second inning.

Halladay worked out of jams in the sixth and seventh innings and cruised in the eighth and ninth innings.

After two starts, Halladay is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA.

That’s just sick.

The other five days?

The Phillies hit the piss out of the ball.

The Phillies pounded out 11 hits in a 9-6 win on Saturday and 16 hits on Friday in an 8-0 win over Houston.

Sunday’s win completed the sweep of the Astros, who are winless after Sunday’s loss.

As of Saturday, 19 of the Phillies runs have been produced with two outs.

They continue to leave a lot of men on base, but with this lineup, somebody’s gonna produce hits, get on base and score runs.

For example: Jimmy Rollins, throughout his career, has not had a great amount of walks or had a good on-base percentage for a lead off man.

In 2009, Rollins had a horrid first half of the season and had a .296 on-base percentage. This year, Rollins has a .516 on-base percentage.

He also is hitting .391 and scored at least one run in each of the Phillies three wins.

Even Ryan Howard is being more patient at the plate.

Yesterday in one at bat, he went down 0-2 and drew the count to 3-2 before flying out.

His mammoth home run to left center Saturday propelled the Phillies 9-6 win.

The Phillies’ averages are staggering: Rollins, .391; Placido Polanco, .481; Chase Utley, .348; Ryan Howard, .357; and Jayson Werth, .360.

It is a long season, full of ebbs and valleys, scoring droughts and losing streaks, and also injuries.

The Phillies picked up Ross Gload from Florida in the offseason to bolster the bench and Ben Francisco can fill in for long stretches in the outfield.

But a trend started last year and has continued this year: the Phillies are patient at the plate and run deep counts.

An 0-2 count, drawn to 2-2 swings the favor back to the batter, and for the Phillies, it has produced awesome results.

The competition has not been great: a two-of-three game series win against perennial cellar dwellers Washington and a sweep of the winless Astros.

Today’s home opener is against the Nationals.

Then the schedule gets tougher.

The scrappy Marlins come to town for a home weekend series, then the Phillies head on the road.

Next, the Phillies travel to Atlanta and their first look at the rookie sensation Jason Heyward; Arizona; then San Francisco, until returning home on April 30 against the New York Mets.

The Phillies need to sweep or take the series from the Nationals.

The series against the division foes the Marlins and Braves should be fun.

The Phillies’ 5-1 start is their best since 1993, when Macho Row started the season, 8-1.

Starting pitcher Joe Blanton should be back in the next week or two.

Halladay is solid and a good, if not great showing by Cole Hamels in the home opener will solidify the starting rotation.

J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick, and Jamie Moyer fill out the Phillies’ current starting pitching staff.

It should be a fun team.

Do yourself a favor.

The next three home runs or RBI doubles by Ryan Howard, take a look at the count.

I will bet that at least one of hits will come with a 3-2 count.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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