Tag Archives: Phillies

Opening Day 2014

I love MLB Opening Day. My love for Opening Day makes me despise some of the things that detract from it. I wish it started with an afternoon game in Cincinnati. I think the international opening series that preceded it is sad. I don’t like Opening Night (which occurs the night before Opening Day). And  I think interleague play is terrible–and even worse on Opening Day. But I love baseball.

The Phillies won their opener in Texas today. I continued my Opening Day tradition of High Life and hot dogs.

The 14-10 win featured offensive fireworks. The Phillies line-up had been shut out in three consecutive Spring Training games to end the exhibition season.  Any reasonable Phillies fan feels some concern about the offense this year. To see the team click and score runs was a delight. In addition to scoring a bunch of runs, the Phillies did many small things well today. They ran the bases with intelligence. They threw to the right bases. They fielded balls cleanly. It was good to see.

Cliff Lee’s start was the most alarming part of the day. His command did not seem sharp. Hopefully it’s a fluke and better things are to come. The fact that he picked up a win for his efforts shows just how meaningless the win statistic is.

Last season involved dreaming about getting back to .500 and looking at the games back column of the standings too often. It’s good to be at the top, even if it’s a brief stay.

As a closing note, I thought Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs did a good job as commentators today. I’m sure they’ll get better. I really like the consistency in the booth during a game, it is better than the commentator shuffle the Phillies have had on television broadcasts the past several years.

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Los Angeles: Following the Phillies Part II

After seeing the Phillies wrap-up their series in San Diego on Wednesday I traveled north to Los Angeles on Thursday to see them open a series with the Dodgers. Dodger Stadium is the third oldest ballpark in MLB. I saw the two oldest (Fenway Park and Wrigley Field) last summer, so I was excited to add Dodger Stadium to the list.

I arrived in Los Angeles in the early afternoon and parked by the Los Angeles Police Academy near the ballpark. From there it was a short walk to the Chavez Ravine Arboretum, the oldest arboretum in southern California. It was founded in 1893. I wandered through the arboretum for a few hours. The sun was intense.

A large Tipuana tipu in the Chavez Ravine Arboretum.

A large Tipuana tipu (tipu tree) in the Chavez Ravine Arboretum.

When I walked back to my car I passed one of the closed stadium parking lot gates. I climbed up one of the light poles to take a picture of the lot and the stadium from above the gate (you can see the very top of the fence in the lower right foreground).

Dodger Stadium across the sea of asphalt.

Dodger Stadium across the sea of asphalt.

I wandered down to the Police Academy and talked to a security guard there for a while. He told me which streets I could park on in the neighborhoods by the stadium and safely walk back to my car wearing a Phillies jersey after the game. He also told me that his major life regret was not studying botany. We talked plants.

By this time the gates were about to open, so I walked back to the stadium parking lot gate. I was the only Phillies fan. There were many Dodgers fans. The experience reminded me of attending Temple vs. Penn State games at Beaver Stadium. I saw two baseball fans decked out in UCLA gear, discussing the abomination of in-stadium advertising and decrying the volume of ballpark music. I had to join their conversation. It turns out they were covert Giants fans, but they loved baseball enough to go to games anywhere. It also helped that the National Champion UCLA baseball team was being honored before the game. We talked until the gates opened and then during the trek across the parking lot.

The ticket booths at Dodger Stadium are set apart from the main stadium, like a little row of huts. I purchased a ticket for the Lodge Level, section 168, row O, seat 7. It was Sandy Koufax bobblehead night. I sold my bobblehead inside the stadium because I didn’t want to carry it around with me all night. I used the proceeds to buy a Dodger Dog and a beverage. Batting practice was underway when I saw the field for the first time.

Dodger Stadium in the sunlight.

Dodger Stadium in the sunlight.

Charlie Manuel, Rich Dubee, and Wally Joyner watch Ryan Howard take batting practice.

Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee watch Ryan Howard take batting practice while Wally Joyner stands nearby.

I was surprised by the low ceiling in the lodge level concourse. The stadium is huge for baseball (seating 56,000), but it feels small in the concourse.

The lodge level concourse.

The lodge level concourse.

View of the field from a seat near the concourse.

View of the field from a seat near the concourse.

Visiting Dodger Stadium and failing to get a Dodger Dog would have been unthinkable. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that they were available grilled or steamed at different stands. The stand I visited had the steamed version–but I would have tried both had I been aware of the possibility. The hot dog was good, though my preference when eating a hot dog is for the bun and the dog to be of equal length (Dodger Dogs are 10″ long, while the bun is ~6″ long).

A Dodger Dog stand.

A Dodger Dog stand.

My seat was one of the worst seats I’ve ever had at a ballpark. I asked the ticket seller for a good view–I think she just threw a dart at the seating diagram. The sun was vicious for the first few innings. But that wasn’t the worst of it. . .

The sun was bright.

The sun was bright.

The real problem with the seat was that the foul pole obstructed my view of home plate. By the end of the game my eyes and head hurt from having two focus fields competing for three hours.

My view of the foul pole (and the game behind it).

My view of the foul pole (and the game behind it).

I noticed that Dodger fans lived up to the main stereotypes I have heard. Fans were arriving during the 7th inning. Fans started leaving during the 8th inning (during a one run game). Movie stars were in attendance (hey, Fred Willard!). Valley girls, lots and lots of valley girls.

The announced attendance was 51,037. That is the largest crowd I’ve ever been part of at a baseball game. I suspect the actual maximum number of people in the seats at one time was close to 45,000 due to late arrivals and early exits.

The Dodgers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the 1st inning. The Phillies fought back to tie the game in the 5th. In the 7th they took the lead, then turned to the bullpen to hold it. So far this season that has not gone well. Sure enough, the bullpen surrendered the lead and the game. Yasiel Puig added to his legend by hitting a single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th to knock in the tying and winning runs. The fans cheered everything Puig did all night (and I don’t blame them).

Yasiel Puig in right field.

Yasiel Puig in right field.

Things got a bit rowdy as the night progressed. Several fans were escorted out of the stands by security guards. I did not see any physical altercations between Dodger and Phillies fans.

The ballpark during the late innings.

Dodger Stadium on a summer night.

The final score was 6-4. I got to see Domonic Brown and Chase Utley hit home runs. I saw Yasiel Puig make some laser beam throws and deliver a game winning hit. I saw Delmon Young go 4 for 4 (he got a hit the previous night in his final at bat, so I saw him go 5 for 5 over the two night stretch–he would start the following game 2 for 2, giving him 7 consecutive hits).

My drive from the stadium back to San Luis Obispo was my best LA driving experience so far. The late night trip was smooth with few brake lights. I got home at 2am.

It was fun to follow the Phillies on the West Coast.

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San Diego: Following the Phillies Part I

On Wednesday the Phillies played the Padres in the final game of a three game series. I made the drive down to San Diego to see the game. It was my first trip to San Diego. Traffic in southern California is atrocious. I am not a true Californian; if you ask me what route I took my reply is: “I took 101 south to 5 south.” If I were a true Californian I would say: “I took the 101 south to the 5 south.” I just can’t add the the before highway numbers.

I arrived in San Diego in the early afternoon, so I went to Balboa Park to kill some time (the park slogan: A landscape of arts and culture). At Balboa Park I saw a huge succulent garden, a rose garden, a Spanish art village, and a veterans memorial. I also talked to some street evangelists and ate a cheesesteak. It would be easy to spend several days in Balboa Park. The park hosts the San Diego Zoo, many museums, theatres, gardens, and lots of interesting places to explore. You also spend a day people watching.

In the late afternoon I checked into the hotel I booked in downtown San Diego. My walk to the ballpark was less than a mile. I arrived just as the gates were opening. Petco Park is a beautiful ballpark. I really like the landscaping and layout of the area behind center field. People were sitting on the raised green watching batting practice when I walked in.

Standing on the raised green behind center field.

Standing on the raised green behind center field.

Using my zoom lens to see Domonic Brown taking batting practice.

Domonic Brown taking batting practice.

I love that there is a little field for kids to play on within the ballpark. This is a great idea.

The little field for kids that is beyond center field.

The little field for kids that is beyond center field.

I like statues of former players at ballparks. Mr. Padre resides in the center field park.

The Tony Gwynn statue beyond center field.

The Tony Gwynn statue beyond center field.

During construction of the park an old brick building that had housed the Western Metal Supply Company was scheduled for demolition. The building had historic landmark status however, so instead of being demolished it was incorporated into the ballpark. It adds a lot of character to the park design.

The Western Metal Fascade in left field.

The Western Metal Supply Co. building in left field.

A little closer.

A little closer.

I enjoyed seeing all the plants around the park. The hanging ivy in the concourse is particularly impressive.

Hanging ivy in the concourse.

Hanging ivy in the concourse.

I sat in the Toyota Terrace Pavillion in the first row of section 218. Well before game time the Geico Gecko threw a ceremonial first pitch to the Swinging Friar.

The Geico gekko and Friar teamed up for a ceremonial first pitch.

The Geico gecko and the Swinging Friar teamed up for a ceremonial first pitch.

It was a beautiful night at the ballpark (then again, almost every night during baseball season in San Diego is beautiful). Sitting beside me were two elderly women who had season tickets and were serious Padres fans. “We’re like the fans from Major League” the women sitting to my immediate left said. The remaining seats around us were empty.

And so we talked baseball for 4 hours.

The game went back and forth. The Phillies had a lead, the Padres tied the game, the Padres took the lead, the Phillies tied the game, and we went to extra innings. During the game fans in right field posted Ks for strikeouts and Qs for quick outs. I had never seen Qs posted at a baseball game before. A sign above the posted Qs explained: “QUICK OUT 3 Pitches or Less.” I’d never heard of this as a stat (and I would say 3 pitches or fewer).

The right field Q posting.

The right field Q posting.

In the 13th inning the Phillies scored two runs on a double error to take the lead. Jonathan Papelbon closed the game.

It's a good sign when your closer an catcher end ther game with a fist bump.

It’s a good sign when your closer an catcher end the game with a fist bump.

It was an entertaining game. By the time the Phillies won the game there appeared to be more Phillies fans in the park than Padres fans. Chants of “Let’s Go Phillies!” were loud in the 13th inning.

The final.

Game summary.

The fans in San Diego were very friendly. They were quick to offer suggestions of places to eat and things to see. The only negative thing I encountered was a jerk heckling the Phillies during batting practice (he was chiding Domonic Brown for not giving balls to the kids watching batting practice and ended up giving him the finger in front of the kids and calling Brown a terrible role model–oh the irony).

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Hoping to Witness Records in Reading

Three days ago Darin Ruf tied Ryan Howard’s Reading Phillies single season home run record at 37. Justin Friend, the R-Phil closer, also had 23 saves–one shy of the single season franchise record shared by Wayne Gomes and Toby Borland. Thus, the past two evenings I have been in First Energy Stadium in Reading, PA to watch the final two home games of the regular season.

On Wednesday night the Reading team awards ceremony was held before the game. Both Ruf and Friend took home hardware, with Ruf being named team MVP. In the game Ruf went 2 for 2 with a double, a single, and two walks. There was a lot of suspense and drama throughout the night. The R-Phils lost, eliminating any chance for Friend to pick up a save.

On Thursday night Ruf was presented with the Eastern League MVP award before the game, as well as the Rookie of the Year award. He gave a nice speech thanking his family, friends, teammates, coaches, and the fans.

Ruf with the Eastern League MVP and Rookie of the Year awards.

Binghamton had a hard throwing left handed starter, which made me feel optimistic about Ruf’s chances. In his first at bat he didn’t get anything good to hit. I began to fear he would be pitched around. Then in his second at bat two runners were on with two outs. Ruf got ahead in the count. And then he launched a ball far into the dark night.

The follow through as the ball soars into the night.

It took less than a second for me to realize he had just hit number 38. It was a question of whether or not it would clear the outfield bleachers, not if it would clear the fence. It landed in the very back of the left field bleachers. The crowd was louder than I have ever heard it in Reading. Standing ovation. Joy.

Little doubt–that ball is destined for the seats.

That joy translated to the field. The players seemed thrilled for Ruf.  They were all smiling and celebrating.

Lots of joy.

All the players came out onto the field. The game was briefly paused to award Ruf a bat that had been spray painted silver to mark the occasion. He’ll be getting a silver or pewter one after the season ends–the spray painted bat is just a body double.

The silver stand-in bat.

In his next at bat Ruf hit a ball to the wall that was caught. He got another standing ovation.

Reading had a 7-2 lead going into the 9th inning. Things got interesting when the Mets loaded the bases with one out. With the tying run on the on deck circle it became a save situation, and Justin Friend came into the game. He warmed up, then promptly induced a double play ground ball. Game over. Save record tied.

Justin Friend prepares to deliver the final pitch of the game.

I really enjoyed spending the last two nights at the ballpark. To make things even better, I sat next to old baseball fans both nights. I got to hear stories about Greg Luzinski, Mike Schmidt, and other players from the past.

Reading is always entertaining, and the staples were there. The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor.

The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor and his depressed ostrich (seriously, look into that bird’s eyes–life is not good).

The racing vegetables. I think the vegetable races at Reading are the most competitive novelty races I have seen at a ballpark. The interns are serious about winning.

Fast vegetables.

And of course, Neal the Singing Usher belting out Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the 7th inning stretch. He has been working at the ballpark since 1967!

Neal Bechtel, the famous Singing Usher at Reading.

Good times.

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Investigating Veracity: My Joe Blanton Statement

Sometimes I make statements, then later I begin to wonder how accurate that statement actually was. Have you ever done that? At times things I have said in the past come back to me, and I am compelled to investigate. This is one of those situations.

On the evening of June 18, 2010 I watched a baseball game. The Phillies and Minnesota Twins were playing the first game in a three game series. I went over to my friend Jared‘s place to watch the game (he’s a Twins fan). The Twins would win two out of three in the series, but in the first game things went well for the Phils.

As we watched the Phillies jump out to an 8-0 lead in the first two innings it was evident this game belonged to the home team. In the bottom of the 5th Ryan Howard homered to make the score 9-0.  Joe Blanton was pitching for the Phillies, and I remarked at the start of the 6th inning to Jared that the Twins should not give up hope, for Blanton’s pattern in 2010 was to implode in or after the 6th inning. Consistently. My statement went something along these lines: I’m not sure what the deal is, but Blanton seems to hit a wall in the 6th inning. I know he’s throwing a shutout right now, but I’d get the bullpen up preemptively.

Blanton gave up three hits and a run in the 6th. Not excuse me hits, these balls were scorched. The top of the 7th inning started out with a near home run by Delmon Young (it was hit so hard it ended up being a single), followed by a home run by feared slugger Nick Punto (that would be his only home run of the season). And then Charlie pulled Big Joe. The Phillies used four pitchers to close out the last three innings of the game, finally winning 9-5.

This year Joe Blanton will be the fifth starter for the Phils. The struggles of last year left a pall on Big Joe as a starter, but I must admit I’m a fan of his. One of my favorite baseball memories is the home run he hit in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series. He also got the win. Epic. Anyway, as this season approaches I’ve been thinking about my perception of Joe’s problems in late innings. I watch a lot of baseball, and my perception is based upon my recollection of his starts. I did not know the statistical breakdown of Joe’s career by inning or if 2010 was normal or an anomaly.

So I checked.

Figure 1. A breakdown of Joe Blanton’s pitching performance by inning in 2010.
Split G IP ER ERA R BA OBP SLG OPS
1st inning 28 28.0 20 6.43 22 .317 .356 .480 .836
2nd inning 28 28.0 10 3.21 12 .238 .261 .390 .652
3rd inning 28 28.0 8 2.57 11 .245 .310 .321 .631
4th inning 28 28.0 7 2.25 8 .184 .200 .291 .491
5th inning 28 27.1 14 4.61 14 .305 .373 .495 .868
6th inning 25 23.1 18 6.94 17 .376 .404 .604 1.008
7th inning 15 11.2 15 11.57 10 .400 .433 .782 1.215
8th inning 3 1.1 2 13.50 3 .556 .556 .889 1.444
Innings 1-3 28 84.0 38 4.07 45 .269 .312 .401 .713
Innings 4-6 29 78.2 39 4.46 39 .288 .328 .463 .791
Innings 7-9 15 13.0 17 11.77 13 .422 .449 .797 1.246
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 3/26/2011.
I used red text on some of the telling numbers. They jump off the screen without being colored red, but I thought I’d make my point obvious. The numbers do not lie, things got messy for Joe in the 6th inning in 2010. So my observation was accurate.

My next question is whether this is normal for Joe (based upon my observations I was inclined to say this was not a pattern throughout his career).

Figure 2. A breakdown of Joe Blanton’s pitching performance by inning in his career (2004-2010).
I Split G IP ER ERA R BA OBP SLG OPS
1st inning 190 189.1 110 5.23 113 .277 .323 .433 .757
2nd inning 189 189.0 67 3.19 75 .269 .320 .421 .741
3rd inning 189 188.2 74 3.53 78 .239 .291 .350 .642
4th inning 188 187.1 71 3.41 77 .257 .304 .391 .695
5th inning 186 179.2 105 5.26 102 .300 .350 .473 .823
6th inning 158 150.1 93 5.57 85 .297 .359 .495 .854
7th inning 98 87.1 40 4.12 32 .252 .296 .383 .678
8th inning 38 26.2 14 4.72 9 .330 .358 .487 .845
9th inning 6 4.0 0 0.00 0 .250 .294 .313 .607
Innings 1-3 191 567.0 251 3.98 266 .262 .312 .402 .714
Innings 4-6 190 517.1 269 4.68 264 .284 .336 .450 .787
Innings 7-9 99 118.0 54 4.12 41 .271 .311 .406 .717
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 3/26/2011.

The short answer is that Joe has had some issues in the 5th and 6th inning throughout his career. In 2010 the struggles were magnified from the 6th inning on (the 2010 opponent OPS over 1.000 from the 6th inning on is telling). I feel completely vindicated in making my statement about Joe on June 18.

Comparisons across Blanton’s career are interesting. He has a consistent alternation of good and  bad years.

Figure 3. The year to year fluctuation of Joe Blanton.

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<th onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;” class=”tooltip sort_default_asc show_partial_when_sorting” align=”left”>Year</th>
<th onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;” class=”tooltip sort_default_asc hide_non_quals” tip=”&lt;strong&gt;9 * ER / IP&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;br&gt;For recent years, leaders need 1 IP&lt;br&gt;per team game played” align=”center”>ERA</th>
<th onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;” class=”tooltip” tip=”Games Played or Pitched” align=”center”>G</th>
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<th onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;” class=”tooltip hide_non_quals” tip=”&lt;strong&gt;ERA+&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;br&gt;100*[lgERA/ERA]&lt;br&gt;Adjusted to the player’s ballpark(s).” align=”center”>ERA+</th>
<th onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;” class=”tooltip sort_default_asc hide_non_quals” tip=”&lt;strong&gt;(BB + H)/IP&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;br&gt;For recent years, leaders need 1 IP&lt;br&gt;per team game played” align=”center”>WHIP</th>
<th onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”background-color: #ddd; border: 1px solid #aaa; padding: 2px;” class=”tooltip hide_non_quals” tip=”&lt;strong&gt;9 x SO / IP&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;br&gt;For recent years, leaders need 1 IP&lt;br&gt;per team game played” align=”center”>SO/9</th>
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</thead>
<tbody>
<tr data-row=”0″ class=”” id=””>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”left”>2004</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>5.63</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>3</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>8.0</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>84</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>1.000</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>6.8</td>
</tr>
<tr data-row=”1″ class=”” id=””>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”left”>2005</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>3.53</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>33</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>201.1</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>124</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>1.217</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>5.2</td>
</tr>
<tr data-row=”2″ class=”” id=””>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”left”>2006</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>4.82</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>32</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>194.1</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>92</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>1.539</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>5.0</td>
</tr>
<tr data-row=”3″ class=”” id=””>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”left”>2007</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>3.95</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>34</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>230.0</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>108</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>1.217</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>5.5</td>
</tr>
<tr data-row=”4″ class=”” id=””>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”left”>2008</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>4.69</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>33</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>197.2</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>90</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>1.401</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>5.1</td>
</tr>
<tr data-row=”7″ class=”” id=””>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”left”>2009</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>4.05</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>31</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>195.1</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>104</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>1.316</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>7.5</td>
</tr>
<tr data-row=”8″ class=”” id=””>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”left”>2010</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>4.82</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>29</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>175.2</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>84</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>1.417</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; ” align=”right”>6.9</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
<tfoot>
<tr id=”” data-row=”9″ class=””>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; background-color: #ddd; font-weight: bold; font-size: 0.9em;” colspan=”1″ align=”left”>7 Seasons</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; background-color: #ddd; font-weight: bold; font-size: 0.9em;” align=”right”>4.30</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; background-color: #ddd; font-weight: bold; font-size: 0.9em;” align=”right”>195</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; background-color: #ddd; font-weight: bold; font-size: 0.9em;” align=”right”>1202.1</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; background-color: #ddd; font-weight: bold; font-size: 0.9em;” align=”right”>99</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; background-color: #ddd; font-weight: bold; font-size: 0.9em;” align=”right”>1.343</td>
<td onclick=”” onmouseout=”” onmouseover=”” style=”border: 1px solid #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap; background-color: #ddd; font-weight: bold; font-size: 0.9em;” align=”right”>5.8</td>
</tr>
</tfoot>
</table><div class=”sr_share” style=”font-size: 0.83em;” id=””>Provided by <a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/sharing.shtml?utm_source=direct&amp;utm_medium=Share&amp;utm_campaign=ShareTool”>Baseball-Reference.com</a&gt;: <a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/blantjo01.shtml?sr&amp;utm_source=direct&amp;utm_medium=Share&amp;utm_campaign=ShareTool#pitching_simple”>View Original Table</a><br>Generated 3/26/2011.</div>
</div>
Year ERA G IP ERA+ WHIP SO/9
2004 5.63 3 8.0 84 1.000 6.8
2005 3.53 33 201.1 124 1.217 5.2
2006 4.82 32 194.1 92 1.539 5.0
2007 3.95 34 230.0 108 1.217 5.5
2008 4.69 33 197.2 90 1.401 5.1
2009 4.05 31 195.1 104 1.316 7.5
2010 4.82 29 175.2 84 1.417 6.9
7 Seasons 4.30 195 1202.1 99 1.343 5.8
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 3/26/2011.

For those of you not familiar with ERA+, a number over 100 means the pitcher was above league average while a number below 100 means the pitcher was below league average. I added red text to highlight the every other year pattern. So, good things in 2011?

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