"We're more than happy to get Chooch back."
If you don't believe Dubee, take a look at some of these numbers through the first 23 games:
•Starters' ERA: 4.10, 9th in the N.L.
•Relievers' ERA: 4.65, 12th in the N.L.
•Relievers' BAA: .264, 14th in the N.L.
•Starters' HRs allowed: 19, most in the N.L.
•Relievers' HRs allowed: 6, 9th most in the N.L.
•Starters' slugging percentage against: .398, 7th highest in the N.L.
•Relievers' walks: 29, tied for 4th most in the N.L.
•Relievers' WHIP: 1.48, highest in the N.L.
After Cole Hamels' ERA ballooned to 10.97 after his second start, he has posted a 2.57 ERA in his last three games, which lowered his season ERA to 5.40. He's throwing more strikes and locating his pitches better.
But moreso this year than in the last couple of years, Hamels has snapped his glove, walked around the mound slowly in the middle of an at-bat and given a couple of unfriendly glances at home plate umpires. There were moments when his mound presence reminded me of the 2009 Cole Hamels.
Dubee said there's nothing to that. I disagree.
Dubee did, though, admit there's a comfort level for his pitchers with Ruiz that is unmatched with Kratz or Quintero.
"They've been through more with Chooch," Dubee said. "There's more experience, more recall there. So of course there's probably more of a comfort zone. He knows how to calm guys down and when to slow the game down. They know he's prepared. But I think the other thing is he exudes confidence in them. He's vocal enough that he keeps them aware during the course of a game."
FILING FOR SUPPORT
The run support the Phillies are giving each of their three best pitchers, who are making a total of $64.5 million this year, is significantly below the league average of 4.1. Roy Halladay's sits at 4.0; Cliff Lee's is at 3.5; Cole Hamels' is a measly 2.8.
As a result, the Phillies aren't winning many of the games those guys are pitching, and that's a problem. The Phillies are 4-11 in the combined 15 starts they have made. They have yet to win a Hamels start.
"I'd have to say maybe four or five years ago that would've been frustrating, but I know what I can control and what I can't," Hamels said. "I'm able to go out and execute pitches, pitch deep into the ball game, obviously try to limit the damage to keep the team in an area of being able to jump on it and get a win. That's all I can do. It's a lot easier to move on and get prepared for the next game."
Overall, Phillies starting pitchers have received 3.4 runs of support, which is tied for 10th-lowest in the National League.
8.10: Average number of runners the Los Angeles Dodgers have left on base this year, which leads the National League. Through their first 21 games, they stranded 170.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Phillies have had 19 position players pitch for them, and it's happened just four times since 1986. … The Phillies haven't had two 20-game winners in the same season since Grover Alexander (33) and Eppa Tixey (22) did in 1916. … Phillies pitchers have thrown combined one-hitters 10 times. … The most pinch-hit home runs in a single season by a Phillie is five (Gene Freese in 1959 and Matt Stairs in 2009). Laynce Nix already has two this season. … Dmitri Young, who played in the majors from 1996-2008, and Delmon Young are brothers.
CATCHING UP WITH FORMER PHILLIE … Shane Victorino, who is the Red Sox right fielder. Victorino, who signed a free-agent deal with Boston over the winter, is hitting .292 with eight RBIs and three stolen bases.