Powered by big nights from Pat Burrell and Michael Bourn, the Phillies pounded the Pirates 8-1 in a rain-shortened, seven-inning victory. Weather permitting, J.D. Durbin and Shane Youman square off tonight.
Eye-opening night for Bourn: Although Jamie Moyer pitched in a solid game, and Burrell kept up his hot hitting, last night's head-turner, for me, was the clinic Bourn put on in the lead-off spot. Bourn went four-for-four with a stolen base and scored twice. This was only his second start as a lead-off man.
On a team with two pretty darn good base stealers in Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, Bourn has emerged as the team's most dangerous pound-for-pound speed threat. His 17 stolen bases is tied with Rollins despite taking 377 less plate appearances, although it should be pointed out that many of his thefts came from pinch-run-for-Burrell situations. He's successful over 94 percent of the time; he was caught for the first time just the other night.
Have you looked at his rookie numbers lately? Here they are: .303/.384/.404. He's creating 7.9 runs-per-game according to Hardball Times. That's based on a 116 plate-appearance count - a low sample - but it's still third best on the team.
You can't deny this kid is instant damage if he gets on base, and he's doing it at an impressive clip. He's also been a capable situational hitter, moving runners along nicely and getting the job done.
Bourn is the most common name mentioned in trade discussions for obvious reasons. He's attractive to so many young clubs, like Florida, where they haven't had a center fielder/lead-off man since Juan Pierre.
Are the Phillies better off keeping him? Should they trade someone else instead? Hell, should Bourn become a starter instead of, say, Victorino?