Monday, April 25, 2011

Kornhole Goes East!

Kornhole’s Alley

Welcome to the inner area’s of my Kornhole!!! This week we will discuss our favorite past time and the team that represents that pastime. The Philadelphia Phillies!

As we close in on the first month of the season there’s been quite a few shockers thus far. Let’s start with the Florida Marlins. The Marlins find themselves hanging around in the NL East. They have a solid young nucleus to build around and those players are starting to come around.

The Marlins are led by their ace Josh Johnson. Josh has continued his 2010 dominance in the early going. As of this writing, Josh has 3 wins, 33 K’s and carrying an ERA of 1.06.

The rest of this staff has been decent. Friday night, Anibal Sanchez had a no-no going into the ninth against Colorado. Anibal dominated a very good hitting Rockies team.

Edward Mujica has an ERA of 3.52 which is the highest of the pen. That’s not too shabby. The young Marlins can hang around throughout the summer if the pen keeps pitching the way they do.

The Washington Nationals are an up and coming team. The Nat’s spent the extra cash they have on Jayson Werth. Werth may not put up Pujols numbers but his signing meant as much to the Nats as Jim Thome did to the Phillies.

The Nats find themselves hanging around .500 and I expect them to lose more than they win, like the Marlins they aren’t ready yet. As the team waits for Steven Strasburg to come back, they have another young pitcher who they can count on in Jordan Zimmerman. Jordan isn’t an ace but he can be a solid 2 or 3 and his ERA in the first month has shown that. Their ace thus far has been Livan Hernandez. His ERA will not remain under 3 as the season progresses and that will obviously hurt the team going forward.

I like their young nucleus. Ryan Zimmerman with some more protection around him can be more of a force to recon with. Jayson Werth will hit better than .209 but I don’t expect him to ever reach the numbers he had in Philadelphia.

The Atlanta Braves have struggled out of the gate. This isn’t surprising to me. I didn’t think they were a good team. There is still plenty of time to prove me wrong but I feel the Braves were a bit overrated and felt the loss of Bobby Cox would have an effect. So far, I am correct but we are only one month into the season.

The Braves are solid offensively. Brian McCann is a stud and a Phillies killer. Chipper Jones hasn’t turned into Larry yet. He decided to stick around another year and so far he’s been the RBI leader.

The Braves can turn this around with pitching. Tommy Hanson anchors this staff that has veterans Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson. I know Hudson is considered the ace but I think Hanson will have a breakout year. Will it be enough? I don’t think so. I think the Braves are a .500 team and will be exposed this season.

The worst team in the division and maybe the entire National League is the New York Mets. The Mets have never found a Double Header they could win. They have a four game winning streak as of this writing but that’s nothing more than a mirage and a series against the Diamondbacks.

Appearently, Douchebags travel in pairs
The Mets need to dump everything and build around David Wright. The culture surrounding that team may be worse than any team in baseball. Since 2007 when the Phillies made an improbable comeback, the Mets have been on an ugly decline.

The pitching staff is terrible. Johan will be back shortly and that should help things but things are pretty bad when the lowest ERA on the team belongs to a guy who boasts a 4.10!

So that’s my breakdown of the Division thus far. It’s April and things can and will change. The Red Sox won’t be in last place all year and Cole Hamels won’t have two hits again this season.

It’s baseball, it’s the end of April and I still love this sport and this team during this time of the year as I do and will in October when we are celebrating our third World Series.


The Phils have embarked on their first west coast trip of the season. The trip takes them to San Diego and Arizona before wrapping up the week/month at home this weekend against the Mets.

I see Lee following Doc’s performance and shutting down the D-backs to begin the week. I expect the same from Little Roy before Cole staggers a bit. I think the Phils take 2 of 3 from both the D-backs and the Mets. That’s 4-2 and I’ll take that all year long.


It’s an honest question. I think Doc is a robot. Doc thinks he’s a robot. Charlie thinks Doc’s a robot. Is he? Last season Doc threw more pitches than he had at any point in his career. Though Doc won the Cy Young and deservedly so, he looked tired at times down the stretch last season.

I am not saying that Doc can’t handle the work load. I am an old school guy and hate situational relief pitching and I really hate pitch counts. But, Doc didn’t look good against the Brewers last week and that’s coming off an outing where he threw over 120 pitches.

I think it had more to do with having a bad game than being tired, but it is a valid point. Sunday Doc threw 130 pitches. I am anticipating his start against the Mets to see how he reacts after throwing 130 pitches.


I know you’re thinking it. If not, I will bring it to your attention. Jose Contreras has been a shut down closer. I am not paranoid when he is in the game. I am not waiting for this guy to melt down because he gave up a base runner.

I love what Lidge did for this team in 2008, but its 2011 and I think until Contreras actually loses the job he should remain in the closers role.

I know this may hurt Brad’s feelings but he needs to do what’s best for this team. What’s best right now is a closer who gets the job done night after night.

If/when Contreras comes back down to earth then we can discuss moving him back to the 7th inning.

Lucky for Charlie, the team has a few weeks to plan this. It is a luxury to have two guys who can close games.

I wrote this before Jose was put on the 15 day DL. I will come back to this topic in a couple weeks when he returns to the team. I guess it’s safe to say Ryan Madson is our closer for the next few weeks.

I like Ryan in the 8th, but he is our closer in 2012 so it’s good to see him close some games now when it’s still early.


The Lineup will be shuffled often this season. I’d like Charlie to take a look at Chase in the 2 hole. I have expressed many times this year that I’d like to see Rollins bat fifth.

A solid lineup that keeps pitching matchups fair would be as follows.

  1. Victorino
  2. Utley
  3. Polly
  4. Howard
  5. Rollins
  6. Francisco
  7. Ibanez
  8. Chooch

Obviously, the team can toy with the 6 and 7 spot based on pitching matchups but I think with the addition of Utley in a few weeks this team will score again, but it’s important to keep Chase and Ryan separated.

Thanks for reading this week. Feel free to email me at


  1. Charlie may have to look at other options for left. I fear that Raul is shot. I would love Chase anywhere in the starting lineup. I also think Contreras was getting it done before he got hurt.

  2. The good doctors high pitch count is something to be noted. Last year the same thing happened in May when he threw 120 plus pitches against the Pirates then got lit up by the Red Socks his next start