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Thursday, August 18, 2005

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agree about the bullpen...soak those arms, cause another game in a couple hours

I too have been very impressed with the bullpen in recent weeks, especially because Cormier has been relegated to its far reaches. However, Madson, Urbina, and Wagner have carried a very heavy load. Cholly has to watch out for tiring out his horses. And use Eude Brito already.

I agree with the bullpen. The game is over by the 7th inning, which is a good thing. Don't forget that we also have Fultz, the pen's unsung hero this year, and Geary. Don't laugh! Look at what the Hardball Times has to say. Geary and Fultz are both lights out in FIP.

Geary is actually third on the team in FIP...interesting. I'm not sure if that makes me value FIP more or less...

Even though the Phillies won this game, and got away with the MadUrbWag relief combo( which they will do half the time), there were 2 questions/comments about this game.

1) When you are carrying 12 pitchers, and have a short bench, with only 4 usable players if you save the backup catcher, why use Endy Chavez as a PH just to sacrifice bunt? Why not use a pitcher as a PH in that situation? In a close game like this, you might need every one of those reserve players later.

2) Armas has a history of spotty control. His record up to this game shows it (5 BB/9 IP). The Phillies hitters should know that from the scouting report. In the first inning he walks 3 hitters in a row. That's not a fluke!

So what do the Phillies do?:

3rd inning, bases loaded, Armas has walked 5 to this point (including 1 intentional) in just 2.2 IP. Lieberthal swings at the 1st pitch. Out.

4th inning, runners at 2nd and 3rd, 1 out. Lofton swings at the 1st pitch. Out. Utley swings at the 1st pitch. Out.

5th inning, Burrell at 1st base after a walk. Howard swings at 1st pitch. Out. Lieberthal swings at 1st pitch. Out.

6th inning, runners at 1st and 2nd, 2 outs. Utley swings at 1st pitch. Out.

How much help do you want to give this guy? You know he cannot consistently throw strikes. Worse, he had thrown 50 pitches in the first 2 innings. By swinging at the 1st pitch you're saving him and the Nats bullpen in a DH. Armas got Lieberthal out 3 times with a total of 4 pitches. If anyone on the Phillies should know to be taking pitches with the bases loaded against a poor control pitcher, it's your catcher, especially when he can't hit!

And you wonder why the offense is in a bit of a funk?


George, I missed most of Game 1, and while I'm happy at the outcome, the offense does stink - and it's flying under the radar because the pitching is wearing the pants.

In addition to the bad situational hitting, where's the power at home? Utley's homer tonight was the Phils first since Friday.

And how about those pitches Armas was throwing to Burrell today? How far do you think Vlad would send those? 500 ft.?

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