Aces High

So here we are again. How did the Phillies find themselves with such an overabundance of pitching and still remain so far from a solution to their troubles?

On August 9th the Phillies & Jamie Moyer suffered a 12-3 loss to the Florida Marlins. In five innings Moyer allowed 11 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), hit one batter, walked one and recorded one strikeout. Rodrigo Lopez and Brad Lidge combined to do the rest of the damage by allowing 6 and 3 runs, respectively. It may not have been so bad if those three runs scored on fewer hits or if Moyer hadn’t thrown 97 pitches in those five innings. After all, Cole Hamels had a 97-pitch complete game on June 4th and J.A. Happ threw a 100-pitch complete game on June 27th. Cliff Lee has thrown two complete games since joining the defending world champions with 106 pitches in each start. It might not have been the straw that broke the camel’s back had it not been the Phillies’ third loss in 4 games with Moyer on the mound. If Moyer had not already had the third highest ERA in all of baseball going into the game the club may not have moved him to the bullpen the day following the loss.

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The Rotation Conundrum

The trade deadline has come and gone. On July 31st at 4:01 p.m. there was no work order put in to start printing Roy Halladay t-shirts with a Phillies logo on the front. J.A. Happ took a step down off the chopping block and breathed a sigh of relief. Cliff Lee was mentally preparing for four at bats against Giants pitching. Rodrigo Lopez was lamenting a tough loss from the night before. Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer & Cole Hamels were all coming off of wins in their last starts anxious to see the reigning AL Cy Young award winner pitch for the reigning World Series champions. Brett Myers was throwing long-toss and gearing up for a weekend bullpen session. Pedro Martinez was gearing up for a rehab start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Wait… Is Philadelphia about to have seven starting pitchers at their disposal? When was the last time anyone was able to say the Phillies had too much pitching? And how are they going to narrow it down to five?

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