By: Chris Larson
Up until yesterday evening, the Philadelphia Phillies were amid a 4-game winning streak and were rolling. The red hot Arizona Diamondbacks, who currently lead the NL with a 16-6 record, came rolling into town and stopped the Phillies momentum, but that does not take anything away from how successful the team has been thus far.
In fact, some could argue that the Phillies have surprised many of us to this point given that they sit 1 and 1/2 games back from first in the NL East with a 14-8 record, the fact that they have a 7-3 record over their last 10 games, and their +29 run differential, which ranks fifth in all of baseball. All of those things are terrific and what a job Gabe Kapler has done at redeeming himself since that awful first series to kick off the season against the Atlanta Braves.
By Eric Jacinto
This is the Screw-Ball View formerly known as Bases Loaded, I decided to change the name to The Screw-Ball View simply because it was a more unique title name. I will be writing anything Phillies.
So on this Easter Sunday, the Philadelphia Phiilies are off after losing the season opening series to the Atlanta Braves where we saw some very odd decisions made by the new skipper, Gabe Kapler. It all started, on Thursday in the season opener where he didn't even start second baseman prospect, Scott Kingery who just signed an extension last week, you would thought he would of started the first game of the season. He's probably your best player and of the players they're build around. I really thought that benching him was one of several mistakes during the weekend. That wasn't even his biggest mistake of the game, in the sixth inning he decided to take out Aaron Nola one of their Aces out after only throwing 68 pitches, having a 5-0 lead and given up ZERO RUNS! That move alone set the tone for the whole entire series, not just that game. He want on to use five relief pitchers out of the bullpen and the bullpen gave up the lead. The Braves ended up hitting a walk-off home-run in the bottom of the ninth off Hector Neris. In the second game of the season, even through the Phillies won 5-4 in extra innings (11 innings), Kapler used eight relief pitchers after using five the night before and a total of 15 pitchers (including the two starters) in the first two games of the season that's pretty insane.
Last night, he used five different relief pitchers including a position-player in Pedro Florimon who is a utility bench player not a pitcher. I get that it was blow out and every now and then you are gonna need to use a position-player but this wouldn't have happen if he didn't use 13 relievers in the first two games. The most annoying part is what Kapler said in his post-game news conference. He basically said that they started preparing Pedro to pitch in spring training. Seriously, they were preparing a position-player to pitch what kinda of nonsense is that. That's not the only odd thing he said, he also mention that that last night won't be the only time they will use a position-player as a pitcher in a game to "Protect" the relief pitchers. Another thing that happen last night was when he took out Vince Velasquez the Phillies didn't have anybody warming up in the bullpen.