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Series Preview: 6/23-6/25 Philadelphia Phillies @ Tampa Bay Rays

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6/23: Jamie Moyer vs. David Price (7:08 SS)

6/24: Joe Blanton vs. Matt Garza (7:08 FSF)

6/25: Antonio Bastardo vs. Andy Sonnanstine (7:08 SS)

David Price's average fastball goes 13 miles per hour faster than Jamier Moyer's.

Joe Blanton has a 5.28 ERA despite a 75.1% strand rate. I...I don't know how that's possible.

Bastardo has an awesome name.

Q&A after the jump.

Has it even rained in Philadelphia since game five ended?

It hasn't STOPPED raining.

David Price versus Jamie Moyer, is this the biggest velocity mismatch you can recall? Also is it fair to say the gap is larger than Moyer’s strike zone?

I dunno, it might be.  It's not like Moyer's getting the benefit of many doubts this year.  He's been pretty bad.

Less bitterly, both rotations have taken a bit of shot. Whether it be injuries (Myers/Kazmir) or some ineffective outings. Have you noticed any fatigue-related issues, or is there something else to explain the Phils rotation struggles?

Pretty much the entire rotation threw more innings through the 2008 postseason than they ever had previously, and aside from Moyer, they're all pretty young, so there's likely to be a little bit of a hangover.  I'd imagine this is a drag on the Rays as well.  Cole Hamels has been somewhat inconsistent but generally effective, but the rest of the rotation has basically just struggled.  The HR/fly ball ratio is atrocious, hopefully their luck will balance out a bit.

The Phillies have a young middle infield by the name of Jason Donald in the minors. Any chance he gets moved for a starting pitcher? Maybe an Erik Bedard type?

Jason Donald is injured right now, it's not terribly serious but he's on the shelf, and he was struggling prior to the injury.  I hope they don't move him, because his value is pretty low right now.  That said, unless he can settle in at third base, he's blocked for the foreseeable future, which reduces the Phillies' leverage on the market.  The way the pitching market is shaping up, Donald wouldn't be enough to get an arm like Bedard, anyway, so I'd just as soon sit on Donald to see if he can improve his stock the rest of the season.

Favorite Pat Burrell memory?

Since I don't have first hand knowledge (wocka wocka!) of this one, I'm going to have to go with (sorry) the seventh inning double in Game Five of the World Series.  It was a microcosm of Burrell's Philadelphia career: initial excitement, followed by moderate disappointment despite genuine appreciation for a great accomplishment.  And then they yanked him for a pinch-runner, depriving him of the full measure of glory he deserved for his profound contribution to the group effort.  It was a bittersweet moment for those of us who were/are fans of The Bat.  I hope he can turn things around for you guys (starting next week).


Many thanks to Peter, and you can check out my portion of the Q&A session over at The Good Phight.