The Phils (4-5, 4th), after leaving Citizens Bank Park with their first series win of 2013, will start a three-games series with the last place Marlins (1-8, 5th), the team with presently the worst record in the National League. The game will be played at Marlins Park and will start at 7:10 EDT.
The Phils will put on the mound their fifth-game starter John Lannan (0-0, 3.86), who is coming off a rather good start against the Royals on April 6, in his first start as a Phil, as he went seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while striking out five, holding off the Royals until the Phils were able to make a comeback in the ninth inning to win the game by the score of 4-3. He will be trying to win his first start as a Phil, while trying to lead the club to their first three-game winning streak. The Marlins will counter with Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 3.97), who is making his third start of the season, as he comes off a no-decision against the Mets on April 6, as he went five and a third innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Marlins’ 7-3 lost. He will once again be looking for his first win of the season, while the fish will be looking for their second win of 2013. The Phils will be trying to take advantage of the Marlins’ early season woes, while trying to move up in the NL East standings, while trying to keep from falling any further behind the first place Braves.
After nine games, the Phils have three regulars with a .300 or better batting average, third baseman Michael Young (.375 (12 for 32)), second baseman Chase Utley (.333 (11 for 33)) and shortstop Jimmy Rollins (.316 (12 for 38)), with Utley presently leading the team with nine RBIs and is tied for the team’s lead in home runs with two (tied with Dom Brown) and for the team’s lead in triple with one (along with Young), while Rollins is the team’s leader in doubles with five. Utley and Rollins are tied for second place in stolen bases with three each, both trailing Ben Revere, who presently has four. Rollins is tied for second in RBIs with five with both Ryan Howard and Brown, as they all trail Utley. Rollins, for now, is batting a lot better as the second batter in the Phils’ line-up, looking like the Rollins of 2007-2008, while Utley appears to have gone back to what he was doing before his foot problems of the last two seasons (2011-2012). The biggest disappointment, at the moment, is Howard, who is presently batting (.200 (7 for 35)), despite him showing that he might have finally gotten it during spring training (.322 (28 for 87)), but seems to have gone back to swinging at the junk pitches of breaking balls out of the strike zone and high fastballs, as he have collected only one extra-base hit, a home run, as he has struck out a team leading twelve times. As long as he continue to go after the junk, opposing pitchers will not throw him any good pitches to hit, unless Young start to force them to start pitching to Howard by continuing to hit.
Phils’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins have just won his fourth Gold Glove Award. Jimmy, who have won previous gold gloves in 2007-09, with his win is now ranked third in franchise history with the most gold gloves won by a Phil, trailing only Mike Schmidt (10) and Garry Maddos (8).
During the season, Rollins, who continued to be an outstanding defensive player, only batted .250, with a .427 Slugging Percentage and a very low .316 On-Base Percentage (.743 OPS), as he went 158 for 632, including 33 doubles, 5 triples and 23 home runs, knocking in 68 runs, while scoring 102 times, as he appeared in 156 games. He also had 30 stolen bases, being caught only 5 times during the season.
Carlos Ruiz missed winning a gold glove as he was beaten out by the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina.
Pat Burrell, who had played left field for the Phils from 2000-2008, and was a key member of the 2008 World Series Championship team, and the Phils have announced that he will officially retire as a Phil during the team’s weekend series with the Red Sox, May 18-20, after first signing a one-day contract. Burrell, the team’s no. 1 draft pick in 1998, would spend nine seasons with the ball club, playing in a total of 1306 games, with a batting average of .257 (1166 for 4535) with an OBP of .367 and an SLG of .485. As a Phil, among his 1166 hits were 253 doubles (14th), 14 triples and 251 home runs (4th) for a total of 518 extra-base hits (9th). He would also walk 785 times (5th). Burrell would knock in 827 RBIs (8th), while scoring 655 runs. Burrell’s main claim to fame as a Phil would be him hitting a double in the bottom of the seventh inning of game five of the 2008 World Series, which would lead to the game winning run. Burrell would then become a member of the 2009-10 Blue Jays, before joining the Giants later in 2010, becoming a member of their 2010 World Series Championship team, and then a member of their 2011 squad, before being released because of an aching right foot late in the season, and then announcing his retirement after the 2011 season. During his twelve years in the Major Leagues, Burrell would appear in a grand total of 1640 games, mostly as a left fielder and a DH (Rays), accumulating a career batting average of .253 (1393 for 5503), with an OBP of .361 and an SLG of .472 for an OPS of .834. He would have a total of 299 doubles, 16 triples and 292 home runs for a total of 607 extra-base hits, while he would walk a total of 932 times. Burrell would bring in a total of 976 runs, while crossing the plate 767 times.