Yesterday was an all-around special afternoon for the Phillies franchise. Jimmy Rollins finally accomplished what he had set out to do with his new Philles contract. In his third at bat of the contest, J-Roll surpassed Mike Schmidt for the team's all time hits leader. It was an emotional moment, with the greatest third baseman in Phillies history emerging from the dugout to hand the greatest shortstop in Phillies his record-breaking bat. On a much lesser note, Domonic Brown went on to bring Rollins home on a three-run home run, and the team went on to win their fourth game of the six game home stand. This afternoon, they'll look to go 5-1 by winning their series against the Chicago Cubs. A.J. Burnett will close out things by taking the mound for the Phillies, while Travis Wood gets the nod for the Cubbies.
In Game One of the series against the Padres, A.J. Burnett seemed to finally set in and get some work done. He went just over seven innings and allowed two earned runs. He continues to give up walks, and for the seventh time this season, his FIP stood higher than his ERA in the game. Take that for what you may, but note that, of the seven different starting pitchers the Phillies have had this season, only two (Lee, Hamels) sit at a FIP of 2.80 or lower. In fact, the other five are all at 4.36 or higher. Burnett is the man that hold that 4.36 FIP, which is 12 points higher than his ERA.
Speaking of FIP, Cubs starter Travis Wood has had an interesting season according to the advanced statistic. In his first six starts of the season, Wood had a FIP raise out of the 3.50 area just once. Since those first six starts, the number has not dipped below 4.23 in his next seven games. Even with the suggestion that he has been a worse pitcher in his last half dozen or so starts, Wood has a seasonal FIP nearly a full point lower than his ERA. Which Wood will the Phillies see today? Remember that his first start of the season came in a loss to Philadelphia in Wrigley Field back in April.
- In 73.1 career innings against the Cubs, A.J. Burnett has given up 27 earned runs, good enough for a 3.31 ERA. He'd faced them mostly in the last three season with the Pirates and Phillies.
- Not only did Jimmy Rollins set the all-time hits record yesterday, but he extended his modest hitting streak. It was the ninth consecutive game he had a hit in. Ironically, in those nine games, he has not had a multi-hit performance.
- In their last 30 innings of work, the Phillies bullpen had given up 11 earned runs for a 3.30 ERA. They've also collected 34 strikeouts and 8 walks in the last 14 days.
- Ryan Howard sits out of today's contest.
- Ben Revere CF
- Jimmy Rollins SS
- Chase Utley 2B
- Marlon Byrd RF
- Carlos Ruiz C
- Domonic Brown LF
- John Mayberry Jr. 1B
- Ronny Cedeno 3B
- A.J. Burnett P
- Luis Valbuena 3B
- Justin Ruggiano LF
- Starlin Castro SS
- Anthony Rizzo 1B
- Ryan Sweeney CF
- Nate Schierholtz RF
- Darwin Barney 2B
- Eli Whiteside C
- Travis Wood P
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Weather: 76F - Partly Cloudy - 0% PoP
Game Time: 1:35 PM Eastern
Andrew Gillen, Managing Editor of Philliedelphia.com