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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

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Last night's lineup with a step in the right direction. Let's hope Manuel realizes the potential that lineup has over the ones previously used. And as you stated, Manuel has to realize sooner rather than later that Bell just is not a full time player anymore. Hopefully Charlie will not be satisfied with Bell's production and the Phillies current "winning streak" and settle for Bell being the lone starter.

Floyd really needs to get going tonight. He is so inconsistent that he is almost consistent in his inconsistency.

hilarious blurb from SI.com in their power rankings....

"First baseman Ryan Howard smacked a home run at Citizens Bank Park in Philly on Sunday that was dubiously reported to have gone a whopping 496 feet. Later, in an official release, the Phillies insisted that they actually have a 12-5 record (not 7-10), that Charlie Manuel is a hard-nosed disciplinarian and that Philly fans are really just misunderstood."

It's an extrapolated 496 feet. One of my smarter readers [and certainly not yours truly] ran the numbers here.

Seems to me Utley's too good a run-producer to be hitting second, but I don't think it'll be a bad thing, either. I feel Rowand or Nunez (any day now) both would be better suited in the 2 hole, but I understand Manuel trying to get Howard a little protection in the lineup by putting Rowand after him. When it boils down, I see that being the only reason for the lineup changes.

personally, I think it makes much more sense to hit your run-producers high in the order rather than low in the order, regardless of how much they fit the mold of a Number Two Hitter. those extra PAs have enormous value over the course of a season, compared to sticking a weak hitter there just for the sake of conventional wisdom.

I really hope that Manuel sticks with this lineup for a few days and see how it plays out. Hopefully gets Utley going and gives Howard much better pitches to hit

It seems that Howard has seem an overwhelming number of inside off-speed pitches since the Braves series. I would rarely give him a fastball if Bell/Lieberthal are hitting behind him.

what's most impressive (to me) about Howard this year is his average. of course, he's unlikely to hit .355 all year, but he's been very good at putting the ball in play for a power hitter. which is a very good sign for the future, IMO.

not to split hairs or forcast the future, but i think utl;ey will be back in the 3 or 5 home somewhere down the road because of his power and RBIs. as well, sooner or later abreu or burrell won't be here and depnding on the replacements are, i'm thinking utley is not destined to be a career 2-slotter. but, hey, for now its better. the lineup is top heavy, but isn't it supposed to be? i also think lieberthal should hit 7th. impatient as he is, he gets no protection at 8 and is a better hitter than nunez/bell/gonzales/whoever. maybe he wouldn't swing at the first good pitch all the time if he thought he was going to get another one. just a thought.

If plate appearances matters more than lineup placement, then why don't Albert Pujols or Gary Sheffield hit leadoff? I'm not saying Chase won't work well in that slot - I like him better there than cleanup - but how a lineup fits and works together is an essential component of an effective offense. The good thing about having Howard bat as low as 6 or 7 was that it helped balance the lineup better; the bad thing was that it offered inadequate protection behind him, rendering him less effective than he ought to be. The lineup as it is now is unbalanced, stacked with its strengths all at the top in a row, its weaker, RH hitting components all in a row at the bottom (I'm hesitant to lump Rowand in with Bell and Lieberthal, but it doesn't seem he'll stand out in the lineup as much down as far as he is). It's tough to figure the ideal lineup as long as Bell's in it, because if Howard is lower than he isn't as lethal, and if he's higher he still has to hit behind Burrell in order to break up the sequence of LH hitters (Utley, Abreu). Nothing's perfect, but having Rowand's RH bat in between 1 and 3, or even 2 and 4, does serve its purpose. The idea is to make this team less vulnerable to LH pitching, and I'm still not sure the present configuration accomplishes that. Here is what I suppose I would do if I were writing out the lineup:

Rollins
Rowand
Abreu
Howard
Burrell
Utley
Lieberthal
Nunez
pitcher

Of course, that takes away PAs for Utley, which I recognize isn't good. So I don't know. Hell.

I like everything about this new lineup except this: It brings back, in full force, the "Black Hole" in Bell and Lieby. That said, the real solution ot this is chnage something about the black hole, and not vice-versa. Build the lineup around the strengths, and then ifx the weaknesses. As someone said here, lets hope Manuel begins to platoon Nunez at this point. It may help the Black Hole.
The fact that Bell struck out, to me doesn't mean he ended a "streak" as they pointed out last night. It just means he found yet another way to get hmself out :-)

I'm glad David Bell finally struck, so now the announcers can stop talking about the "streak" and realize that a K is better than his untimely grounding into double plays. Bell sucks!

There's no reason Bell should hit anywhere but 8th, except maybe 9th if you had Randy Wolf starting the game. He's the worst hitter, you want him up there the least amount of times. If they use Nunez/Gonzalez at 3B, still bat Lieby 7th, he has some power and he's having a decent offensive season so far. Someone said yesterday Lieberthal should hit 8th to keep pressure off him, but how much pressure is there on the 7 hitter?

RickSchu - Pujols and Sheffield both hit third. big difference between that and 6th. significant too that neither hits fourth, the traditional place for an RBI guy.

Hey, how come no one has mentioned Abreu's nice catch up against the fence last in the game?!
For all the crap we give him, kuddos should be given. st

Didn't mention it because I didn't see it. Like I said, when Lidle is on the mound, I catch up on chores.

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