Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home4/derok6/public_html/chop-n-change/plugins/system/cdnforjoomla/helper.php on line 27
phillies-9-braves-3-2 | August | 2006 Articles

2006 Archives

Phillies 9, Braves 3

on .

As Mark McGwire might say, I'm not going to talk much about the game. I want to look at the positives and the future. It seems like a lot of fans have soured on Chuck James after a couple of rough outings, thinking that he'll only end up a bottom of the rotation pitcher. People, he's a rookie, it happens. He's still probably as effective a starting pitcher we have not named Smoltz. Today, James went 6 innings, allowed 1 run on a solo homer, 5 hits, 0 walks, and struck out 6. I really like him a lot. His ERA is 4.69, which is mediocre, but it's skewed by that horrible start against the Mets. The 4.69 ERA is still the 2nd best ERA of our starters. Take out the Mets start and his ERA is 3.59. Let's remind you of his career numbers, not including his 1 inning rehab start at Rome: Age 21, Danville, Rookie League: 1.25 ERA, 50.1 innings, 26 hits, 1 homer, 19 walks, 68 Ks Age 22, Rome, Low A: 2.25 ERA, 132 innings, 92 hits, 6 homers, 48 walks, 156 Ks Age 23, Myrtle Beach, High A: 1.08 ERA, 41.2 innings, 20 hits, 1 homer, 8 walks, 56 Ks Mississippi, Double A: 2.09 ERA, 86 innings, 62 hits, 4 homers, 18 walks, 104 Ks Richmond, Triple A: 3.48 ERA, 33.2 innings, 21 hits, 4 homers, 10 walks, 30 Ks Atlanta: 1.59 ERA, 5.2 innings, 4 hits, 0 homers, 3 walks, 5 Ks Age 24, Richmond, Triple A: 2.67 ERA, 33.2 innings, 30 hits, 3 homers, 6 walks, 25 Ks Atlanta: 4.69 ERA, 56.2 innings, 50 hits, 13 homers, 19 walks, 38 Ks Now, you might say he should have been dominating the lower minors at his age, but he had basically the same type numbers at Double A when he wasn't too old for the league. But an argument for him is that he doesn't have a lot of mileage on his arm, as he hasn't thrown more than 167 innings in a season and has only thrown more than 100 innings twice, which hopefully means that he won't have a Hudson-like collapse at age 30. I think with experience the number of homers he's allowed will go down, and I like the fact that he goes right after hitters and throws strikes. Very soon, the rotation will have James, 22 year old Kyle Davies, and 23 year old Anthony Lerew. Davies needs to improve his command and Lerew apparently has mechanical issues (though evidently fixed), but some experience I think will help both of them. Offensively today, Andruw Jones hit his 28th homer, and Willy Aybar and Edgar Renteria each went 2-4. The Braves had a 3-1 lead going into the 7th but the bullpen gave up 8 runs that inning. If the team gets better pitching next year and keeps most of this year's offensive production, there's no reason why it can't win the division. Renteria probably won't hit like .320 again and McCann won't hit .350, but Edgar should still be a good shortstop and McCann's power can still increase. If the team can get production from left field it can be offset, and if Francoeur's batting average goes up and he draws some more walks that will help too. Tomorrow, the Braves are off. Friday, they'll face the Brewers with a red-hot Smoltz facing Chris Capuano.

You Might Like...