We're Seeing Other People (At Least, That's What We Said We Are Doing): Next Series Pitchers Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

Well, we didn't pull off the sweep of the Reds, but can't complain too much about taking two of three, especially when the the third game was as close as it was after the disastrous way it started.  We may not have won, but we certainly didn't roll over and die.  Nonetheless, the winning streak ends at three.  Next up, the Phillies come to Toronto for the weekend, hopefully we can sweep them like we did down in Citizens Bank Park earlier this month.  On Friday night, the Jays send Ricky Romero to the mound to try and repeat his seven inning, nine strikeout, three run performance from the 16th.  The Phils counter with their ace, Cole Hamels, who kept the Jays in check reasonably well through six innings, yielding just two runs and striking out six.  On Saturday afternoon, Brad Mills makes his second start for the Jays and looks to improve on his dismal performance last time out, when he walked four and gave up two homeruns over 3 2/3 innings.  J.A. Happ (or J. Happ, or whatever he calls himself now) pitches for the Phillies.  The series closes when Brian Tallet looks like a spring chicken opposite Jamie Moyer on Sunday afternoon.  No real reason the Jays can't get back in business this weekend, particularly if Romero gets them off to a strong start and they can tag Hamels for a few on Friday night.  Hopefully the lefty-killers can get some nice at-bats this weekend.

26 June

Cole Hamels (4-3, 4.24, 1.362 WHIP)

We've already covered Cole Hamels here and not very long ago, so I will just update you on what he did 21 June against the Orioles.  The hard-luck losing Hamels pitched 8 innings and allowed nine baserunners (only two doubles and no walks) while striking out 10 and giving up two runs.  I don't mind if he limits our offence like this if it means that he's the hard-luck loser again, but I'd rather tag him a little harder and give RickRo a little more breathing room.

 

27 June

J. Happ (4-0, 3.47, 1.333 WHIP)

As long as I know, the 26 year-old Happ has decided that he prefers just going by J. Happ, but he used to be known as J. A. Happ.  Maybe it will end up being a good-luck charm, it certainly hasn't hurt his luck so far.  The 6'6" southpaw has been quite successful this season, in spite of less-than-impressive peripheral numbers.  Happ has served as a bit of a swingman in the earlygoing this season, having started six games and serving as a reliever in 12.  Over 57 innings, he's struck out 41 (6.5 K/9) but walked 28 (4.4 BB/9) and allowed 8 HR (1.27 HR/9).  That high walk-rate is responsible for his FIP of 5.09, obviously much higher than his ERA.  He's been helped not only by a very low BABIP of .250 (his already-low Line Drive rate of 16.5% should support one in the .280 or so range), but also an unreal strand-rate of 84%.  That strand-rate should come down considerably (hopefully on Saturday), and Happ's ERA will rise in response.  Happ made his first start this season on 23 May and since then his ERA has been a bit higher (4.08) and his K/BB rate has been considerably worse (24 K vs. 19 BB).

Because Happ did not enter the rotation until late May, his PQS log is quite short, but reads 5, 3, 4, 1, 0 and 3 for a mean of 2.7 and Dominance-/Disaster-Rates of 33% each.  He's hit a bit of a bump in the road recently (happily, the 5 was against the Yankees!), so hopefully he hasn't gotten out of that rut.

Happ has not had much experience at the major league level, but throughout he's been reasonably effective against lefties (.227 / .295 / .391; 2.27 K/BB) , but has had less success against righties (.248 / .345 / .415; 1.42 K/BB).  He gets himself into trouble with his high walk-rate, but he's generally been able to weasel out of it, thanks largely in part to a very low career BABIP of .262.  Throughout the minors, Happ was actually better at getting righties out, though that must be in part affected by his terrible luck on balls put in play by lefties (.342 BABIP), as his K/BB ratios were a bit better against lefties.

Happ is mainly a four-seam fastball pitcher.  His fastball clocks in somewhere between the high 80's and low 90's, but it has quite a bit of rise to it and some nice lateral movement as well.  He has less success with his change, which is nothing special.  He also throws a slider that we'll see him try to backdoor against righties as an out-pitch.

 

28 June

Jamie Moyer (5-6, 5.97, 1.52)

Moyer, like Hamels, was covered for the last series.  We hit him quite well last time (six runs in six innings), so hopefully we can do the same thing this time around.  In his last start he kept the Rays at bay over six innings, yielding just one run and striking out four (though he did walk three batters and give up three doubles).

Today's post title, by the way, comes courtesy of Belle and Sebastian.

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