July 30, 2009 12:30 PM

Good Happ Present, Offense Absent, in Loss to Arizona

MLB: JUN 14 Red Sox at Phillies

J.A. Happ spent part of Wednesday worrying about, potentially, being traded to an organization that will not win the 2009 World Series. After the Phillies acquired starter Cliff Lee, for four minor league prospects, Happ was likely concerned for his spot in the rotation. But Happ didn't let the things he couldn't control affect his performance. He took what he could control, namely, the Arizona bats not wielded by Justin Upton, and made a strong argument for his continued inclusion the the Phillies' fave five. Unfortunately, despite Happ's excellence (six innings, three hits, two runs, two walks/five strikeouts), the Phillies' offense, which had been able to solve Cy Young candidate Dan Haren one night earlier, was unable to figure out AAA candidate Yusmeiro Petit, in a 4-0 loss.

Happ was a solitary success, in a night of Phillies failures. There were so many goats in Wednesday's defeat, that only bullet points can contain them:
  • The Phillies' offense combined for seven hits (five singles, two doubles), twelve strikeouts, nine LOB, and an 0 for 11 w/RISP.
  • Shane Victorino allowed a bloody nose, which was multiple innings in duration, and a painful knee contusion, to knock him out of the contest in only the eighth inning.
  • John Mayberry did not replace Victorino, as a PH, and in the field, with Jayson Werth moving from, RF to CF. Mayberry's days are numbered (the number is probably zero, at this point), but wasn't he a better option than Eric Bruntlett? (Wasn't Chan Ho Park a better PH-ing option than Bruntlett?) Mayberry only has a .554 OPS against RHP, but Bruntlett has a .211 OPS against RHP. Shouldn't Mayberry have been used to face Arizona northpaw Jon Rauch? Additionally, Eric Bruntlett is Eric Bruntlett!
  • Eric Bruntlett played, and was allowed to bat. These are not good things.
  • Jayson Werth struck out on a pitch that was about six inches underground, with two runners on, and no outs, in the seventh inning of a 2-0 game. The Phillies failed to score in the inning, despite having runners on second and third, with no outs.
  • Newly-acquired OF Ben Francisco did not arrive in time to be activated for Wednesday night's game. Ben, you're on the WFCs now. No excuses.
  • Scott Eyre relieved to start the seventh, and surrended a home run to the first batter he faced.
  • Tyler Walker relieved to start the eighth, and was fortunate to only allow one run. The run was charged to Walker's ERA, increasing it to 3.46, which still greatly overstates his level of effectiveness.
  • Steven Register did not pitch, because he is not even as good at baseball as Tyler Walker.

Tough loss for the Phils, but they still took two of three games in Arizona, which is not a bad result. The Phillies will have future opportunities to crush the Diamondbacks, beneath the weight of their imperious cleats. When the time comes, the impudence of Yusmeiro Petit will be remembered, and handled accordingly.

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