Stat-Us Update: Jamie Moyer, Power Pitcher

Stat-Us Update: Jamie Moyer, Power Pitcher

The Phillies lost again last night, their third in a row and their second in a row to the lowly interstate rival Pirates, who can take the season series with a win tonight. It was a depressing L, due somewhat predictably to an offensive production outage--one easily blamed on the fact that half the starting lineup was out (three injured guys plus a night-off Victorino), but one no easier to watch for the explanation. The Phils are now five games out of first and are likely looking forward to the All-Star Break as much as anyone. 

Guaranteed to be lost in the shuffle of last night's blahdom with the bats was yet another superlative start from one Jamie Moyer, who is quickly becoming one of the nice stories of an otherwise muck-mired first half of the 2010 season. Jamie let up two runs (one earned, though the other his own fault as a fielder) in six innings, and likely could have gone scoreless altogether if not for a couple of accidentally-effective swinging bunts in the fourth. But most impressively, Jamie set a season high for strikeouts with eight, just one start after fanning seven Blue Jays back at CBP. 

Noting that Jamie's generally non-overpowering stuff does not often lend itself to high K numbers, it got us to thinking--how long has it been since Jamie struck out seven or more guys in consecutive starts? 

If you had told me he hadn't done it before while he'd been with the Phils, I doubt I would have been terribly surprised--I can barely remember one game in his tenure in the Red and White where Jamie sent that many opposing players back to their dugout, let alone two in a row. But man, while I was thumbing through his game logs, I figured he must've done it in the year or two before that, or at least at some point during his halcyon days in Seattle. 
Mais non--one must travel a full seventeen years, all the way back to his days as a 30-year-old pup in the Baltimore Orioles' rotation, to find the last time Jamie reached the lucky seven in back-to-back outings. Facing the Seattle Mariners on August 18th, Moyer K'd eight in an 8-1 win, and six days later, he punched out seven against the then-California Angels, both in winning performances. Since then, Shaquille O'Neal has played his entire NBA career, six Leprechaun movies have been released, and Green Day has gone from singing about masturbating on their couch to producing their own Broadway musical. So if you don't think the Ageless Wonder is just getting started, I really don't know what to tell ya.
Thus endeth your weekly "Jamie Moyer is awesome and can probably beat up your dad" reminder. Expect several more before the season is up. 

Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

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Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

Justin Verlander mowed down the Phillies last night in a 3-1 Tigers victory, but the Phils have a chance to strike back this afternoon against a struggling pitcher who hasn't had much career success against them.

Anibal Sanchez will take the hill for the Tigers and oppose Aaron Nola in today's series finale (1:10 p.m. on CSN). To say Sanchez hasn't had a great start to his season would be an understatement. He's 3-5 with a 6.32 ERA and opponents are batting .270 against him.

In his career against the Phillies, Sanchez is just 4-8 with a 4.94 ERA. Granted, most of those numbers came in the early part of his career with the Florida Marlins, when he regularly faced powerful Phillies lineups. As one might expect, Ryan Howard, who is again in the lineup today as the designated hitter and batting fifth, has seen Sanchez plenty of times. His 42 at-bats against Sanchez are tied for third-most against the 32-year-old righty. Howard's done OK against Sanchez — 9 for 31 (.290 average) with two homers and four RBI. Maybe some familiarity will finally lead to a breakout game for Howard. But, if his massive slump is any indication, maybe not.

For as poor as Sanchez's start to the season has been, Aaron Nola's first six weeks of 2016 have been at the other end of the spectrum.

Today's Phillies starter is 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA. But he's been better than those numbers show.

His .900 WHIP is third in the NL, as is his 5.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 6.45 hits allowed per nine innings is fourth in the NL, as is his 1.65 walks per nine innings. His 64 strikeouts rank eighth in the NL. Imagine if he got more than the 2.89 runs of support he's been getting in his starts.

As for the rest of the Phillies' lineup today, the only changes see Andres Blanco getting the start for Cesar Hernandez, batting seventh and Cameron Rupp behind the plate, batting sixth.

Phillies
1. Odubel Herrera CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Maikel Franco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Ryan Howard DH
6. Cameron Rupp C
7. Andres Blanco 2B
8. Tyler Goeddell LF
9. Peter Bourjos 1B

Tigers
1. Cameron Maybin CF
2. J.D. Martinez RF
3. Miguel Cabrera DH
4. Victor Martinez 1B
5. Nick Castellanos 3B
6. Steven Moya LF
7. James McCann C
8. Mike Aviles 2B
9. Jose Iglesias SS

Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

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Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

The Phillies once again couldn't find much offense and fell to the Tigers in Detroit last night by a final of 3-1.

But at least the pitching showed something.

There was a fun moment between Jeremy Hellickson and Miguel Cabrera after Hellickson threw quite a nice pitch that fooled Miggy.

Here's how Jim Salisbury described the fun battle:

Hellickson served up a down-the-middle fastball to Miguel Cabrera in the first inning and Cabrera swatted it for an RBI double. He has four RBIs in the first two games against the Phillies.
 
In the third inning, Hellickson struck Cabrera out on a nasty changeup for the third out. The pitch was so good that Cabrera flashed Hellickson a thumbs-up before spiking his helmet to the ground.
 
Hellickson’s changeup has been very good lately.
 
“I really feel comfortable with it right now and I’m throwing it for a lot of strikes,” he said.

And here's the thumbs up:

Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

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Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

Eagles rookies, quarterbacks, and select veterans will report to training camp on Monday, July 25. 

The rest of the veterans will report on July 27, with the first full-team practice of training camp taking place on Thursday, July 28 at 3:30 p.m., the team announced Wednesday. 

The majority of training camp practices this summer under Doug Pederson will take place at the NovaCare Complex, beginning at 8:15 a.m., which is earlier than the team practiced during camp under former head coach Chip Kelly. The early practices hark back to training camps under Andy Reid at Lehigh, although now the team will have its walkthroughs in the afternoon. 

The Eagles will have two practices open to fans at Lincoln Financial Field: Sunday, July 31 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. Both open practices are free and don't require tickets. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The Eagles will have several off days throughout camp: Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 12. And camp ends on Aug. 16, with the preseason opener vs. the Tampa Bay Bucs in the middle, on Aug. 11.