The Pitcher: Bronson Arroyo
No one would have guessed Tim Adleman would have shut down the Phillies through eight innings last night. I have a buddy who personally knows him from growing up in New York and says all the time how nice of a guy he is. While I am sure he is nice, and it takes a ton of talent to be where he is, he is certainly not as good as the struggling Phillies made him look last night.
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He would not have been my choice for this series anyway. With two veterans on the docket, one who has faced only two of the currently active Phillies, I would have gone nowhere near Adleman. The Phillies have already beaten Scott Feldman on Opening Day this year.
Bronson Arroyo is currently in his fifteenth season. He missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to injuries but is working on making a full comeback to the game. The forty-year-old Arroyo is carrying a 6.75 ERA into Saturday’s matchup.
In his nine starts this season, he is 3-4 and is yet to make it into the seventh inning. The righty has held Baltimore, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco (twice) to three or fewer runs.
Arroyo has started 378 games in his career. Fourteen of those starts have been against the Phillies. In those starts, he has a 2.35 ERA in 77 innings. He has four wins to seven losses in those starts. He has allowed six of his fourteen homers against the Phils at CBP, where he owns a 3.20 ERA and a slash line of .311/.341/.653 against him. However, none of those numbers are against the current roster.
In order to continue the franchise’s success against him, this group of Phils will have to find themselves against Arroyo’s quirky delivery. He has also adapted to throw six pitches, led by his curveball.
Arroyo has always been known to pitch backward, but not that he is in his 40th year of life, he has to do so even more than he was before. And he really has to do that because his fastball barely touches ninety on his best days. Sadly, I can see that type of pitching giving the Phillies fits today.
And that is only because I can see any pitcher giving them fits at this point.