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Friday, May 19, 2006


I'm going to put my Madson thoughts here since they'll get lost in the old thread.

I think the decision to keep Floyd in the rotation instead of Madson was terrible. Look at it from Madson's perspective.

Madson vs. Floyd:
AAA Performance - Advantage Madson
ML Performance (Pre-2006) - Advantage Madson
Spring Training 2006 - Advantage Madson
2006 (Pre-Hamels) - Slight Advantage Madson
HYPE - Big Advantage Floyd

It seems that Madson is both a better pitcher statistically and stuff-wise. He is likely going to be lost for a while. Hopefully Wolf can come back and Floyd can get sent back to Scranton.

ANyway, let's go Phils! This is going to be a tough, but fun, series.

I have tickets for the game tonight Lieber vs. Clement. We sure could use another performance like Lieber's last one! GO PHILS!!!

We need a sweep (it will help my secondary team too - NYY.) Giving away 2 games to the Brew Crew was terrible.

3 sellout crowds better get the Fight'n Phils motivated, even though 1/3 will be bandwagoneers pulling for Beantown.

No chance there are 15,000 Boston fans at these games. Requiring you to purchase Six pack plans helped to limit this to Philadelphia based fans, although there is the aftermarket (scalpers). I preduct it will be a very vocal 5,000 to 7,000 Boston crowd. It will just seem like more. The weekend Mets series in August will have the most non Philly fans this year, even more than the Yanks games.

I've feared this series ever since I looked at the schedule over the winter.


I wonder what kind of antics Beckett has in store for tomorrow...

Man I wish I had tix. The atmosphere will be electric.

I was hoping I'd see A.S.Gonzalez released today, but no luck.

Phils gotta suck it up, I have faith that they can do it. I just hope Elmer doesn't get outmaneuvered by Francona.

Abreu looks like he's heating up, he's due!!

Go Phils!!!

i wouldn't say there won't be 1/3 red sox fans at the games. they did the 6 pack thing last year and there were mad sox "fans" there. people just drive down and scalp. the phil's also released a ton of sox tix to season tix holders who, i'm sure, bought just to sell. it was so bad last year. i had a miserable time.

Mike effing Lowell. Still can't stand the Marlins.

I mentioned in another post that I wasn't sold on Lieber having his act together. Damn.

ASG starts a 2-out rally.
Could it be a sign?

Ah, this three game lead feels nice. Can I remind you that the Mets have yet to lose three games in a row this year? Oh wait, the Phils have lost four in a row? Wow, tough break.

Hey Keith, BITE ME!!

Keith Hernandez beats up women

Hey Keith, stop snorting the chalk lines. Your team, just like ours, is going to lose to the Braves like it does every year, so there's no sense in gloating about anything.

The funny thing about Lieber is that he's supposed to be a ground-ball pitcher, yet he gives up more homeruns than Don Carman with 100-foot foul lines.

Didn't take long to lose the mojo, did it? Well, no one complained about Manuel tonight so I guess this one must have been Chris Wheeler's fault.

Way to have some confidence in the team, Rick. BTW- Did you just see the Braves blow one?

My confidence in this team is about as solid as a balsa wood outhouse in a tornado. Wanting them to win and believing in them unfortunately aren't the same thing. It's likely they'll be this streaky all year, so I'll do my best to try to keep a level perspective. But it's hard, man. The Phillies mess with your head.

Lieber's fault tonight if we're pointing fingers. "Streaky" is a good term for this team. I'm just afraid they're going to streak for the worse more often than for the better.

The Phillies need some kind of change, some kind of trade, some kind of firing, some kind of spark! I was at that game last night, and granted I was not in the dugout, but other than Utley and Victorino, that team came across as having no desire to win. They came up small once again. They made Clement look like Clemens! How many more times must we watch Bobby Abreu look at a called third strike when he is hoping for a walk (lately in clutch situations), or see him pull into second when he should be on third on a misplaced ball in the outfield with two outs (if he would have busted out of the gate, he easily would have been on third)?

Fasano is a joke too. Throw him anything on the outside part of the plate and you can send him back to the dugout. That being said, he still is doing more than Nunez and Gonzalez. Nunez is the next Cormier. One good year and he gets money thrown at him, then he goes back to sucking. Do they ever take into consideration how badly he sucked with the Pirates? Oh joy, we get to have him next year too...

At least Lieber is gone after this year (like all the homers he is serving up). Or if he has another year left, I hope Gillick gets him out of here. Talk about constant excuses! He said something to the effect of the homer pitches were meant to be inside and got too much of the plate. Well hit someone if you have to! That will get them off the plate. Heaven forbid you knock someone down. I hope Gillick does something, and does it soon!

Any kind of pitching for Burrell, or better yet, Abreu and I would pull the trigger! I like what I see from Victorino and would be willing to give him a chance on a daily basis. You know he would show more hustle and catch more balls than Abreu. You would have a nice leadoff man too. I don't know how Manuel can keep giving Jimmy the most at-bats in a game as the leadoff hitter. Victorino has done nothing to show me he can't handle an outfield job on an everyday basis. That along with Rowand coming back could once again spark this team.

Just my disgruntled two cents from last night...

Victorino is like the Phillies version of David Eckstein, all-out hustle...and I LOVE it!

and about Nunez, he really wasn't all the great last year for the Cardnials, certainly not deserving of a 2 year pact. This is one of the Phillies problems, giving more than a 1 year deal to mediocre/marginal players. Tomas Perez got a 2 year deal...which the Phillies are eating, Bell 4 years, Nunez 2, Cormier 3...I'm suprised they don't get Sammy Sosa out of retirement and give him a lifelong contract until he's unable to play!

Stupid Phillies!

" Well, no one complained about Manuel tonight so I guess this one must have been Chris Wheeler's fault."

I don't think so. As an analyst, Wheeler doesn't have much impact on whether the team wins or loses. It would be hard for the players to hear his instructions because he is so far up in the booth and even if they heard him, I don't think they would listen.

Brilliant comments about Abreu. The guy was 2 for 3 with a walk and the only one who looked like he had a clue last night.

By the way, ever hear the addage that you never make the 1st or 3rd out at 3rd base. Let me get this straight, your upset because he only had a double?

Best OB%, best batting average with runners in score position, BEST PLAYER!

The only disadvantage Bobby has is that he can't hit in front of Bobby. Do you think it's a coincidence that mister clutchly started hitting when they moved him into the 2 hole. People are not afraid of Burrell, so Bobby doesen't see pitches.

Enough of this nonsense about Bobby not hustling, not being clutch. Anyone who watches the guy play knows it simply not true. Stop listening to Eskin and you might have a chance of understanding the game.

I will admit that the gold glove may not have deserved, but offensively the guy's a machine.

kdon, just a little sarcasm about Wheeler, another guy who gets little love from Phillies fans (or at least Phillies bloggers).

"How many more times must we watch Bobby Abreu look at a called third strike when he is hoping for a walk (lately in clutch situations)?"

That's what's known, SOPP, as looking beyond the box score. Some people are impressed with a 2 for 3. Others look at that other AB and rightfully say: why don't you swing the friggin' bat instead of leaving it up to the next guy?

I'm not an Abreu hater by any stretch, but this is very valid criticism. In big at-bats he has a tendency to look for a walk. Fans are correct in perceiving that he isn't an impact player. He's not and he never will be.

Yeah, I do agree that Bobby gets dumped on excessively in this town, but that pitch was way to close to stand there and watch, especially in that situation.

BTW, Pedro's making it look easy early on, the Mets score 2 unearned in the first.

Phils need to come up big tonite.

I got your joke, RSB...sometimes I do think people blame Wheels for this team losing.

On Abreu, I think he and Burrell both recieve a lot of unfair criticism for their approaches to hitting (and lack of clutchiness). Neither Abreu nor Burrell look for a walk - they look for good pitches to hit. This leads them to take pitches for 3rd strikes sometimes (which, I agreee, is extremely frustrating).

OTOH, agressive players like Utley are lauded because they go up there hacking. A great example was on Thursday against Turnbow where both Abreu and Utley failed, but in completely different ways. Abreu of course we remember. He took a 3rd stike on a pitch that seemed to be a ball and that he could have done little with. OK, so his approach failed.

But Utley also failed, and it's instructive to note how. Turnbow is a guy who had pitched the last 3 days and 6 of the previous 7 and was clearly gassed. So what does Utley do? He agressively swings and misses and two offspeed pitches nowhere near the plate before tapping out weakly on another ball out of the strike zone. His out was just as destructive as Abreu's, possibly worse because he let a tired pitcher get him out so easily.

I've yet to see any definitive statistical evidence that Abreu and Burrell are consistenly chokers over the years (yeah, I know what THT says about Burrell this year, but look at last year). While I agree that subjective analysis can be benneficial, the fact that a called 3rd strike is so much more vicerally dissapointing than hitting a weak ground ball on the first pitch leads people to overemphasize the former.

I think Utley is a phenomenal player but I would suggest watching how often he gets himself out on the first or second pitch in clutch situations.

I would contend that Utley's poor at-bats against Turnbow were fairly uncharacteristic. I mentioned after one of the games that I'd never seen Utley look so lost, and it wasn't just the results that were off, it was the approach. I normally consider Utley to be 'clutch' because he doesn't come off his game at all in those kinds of situations: he presents a perfect balance of aggressiveness and strike zone knowledge. He can get on base when you need a walk to start an inning or he can drive those runs in if they're already on. NEVER have I seen him get rung up in an important situation, by the way. It may have happened, but it doesn't happen often. But anyhow, he does not usually go up there hacking over-anxiously in tight spots. He got himself out against the Brewers.

There's of course plenty to be said for looking for a good pitch with runners on - but Abreu and Burrell take it to the opposite extreme. There's a phrase Harry Kalas always uses: "Too close to take." If you're rung up with runners on base, you've already had at least two other pitches to hit and done nothing with them. If you are willing to take a third one that even has a chance of getting called a strike, I call that being selective to a fault. To me, it's a way of trying to deflect the blame to the umpire when they fail instead of having it fall squarely on themselves when they swing and miss. That way the fans can deride the ump and not them. I'm not saying they're up there consciously thinking that, but this well may have something to do with it.

I didn't see the at-bat in question last night, but I did watch Abreu take a called third to end the game Thursday. It probably wasn't a strike, but it was close enough where you've got to be up there protecting the plate, not ready to fling your bat away and walk down to first. He was the tying run at that moment, so a walk is just passing the buck to the next guy. Both Abreu and Burrell are guilty of this approach, time and time again.

Is anyone watching me cough up three runs against the Yankees at Shea Stadium today? Please pay me more.

Do you guys in Philly want Billy Boy back now? He promises not to blow any more saves in key situations that could cost you a playoff slot. We've already taken up a collection for his train fare. He could be there tonight, but after his appearance at Shea today, he probably won't be ready to walk any more batters... er I mean close out any more games until tomorrow.

Keith, if my team in NY gave me more love and attention after all my blown leads, I would do quite well. See, that's what the problem was in Philadelphia. When you cover the games for SNY, or whatever it's called, you should talk about me more. Then, I will never blow another lead again and the Mets will be victorious, just like 1986.

Younger players like Utley and Howard get more slack because they're lower on the learning curve and should improve over time.
Although they look overmatched at times, I like their upside. They seem to "get it" and are willing to fight off pitches when they're behind in the count and use the whole field.

OTOH, players like Burrell don't seem to make the adjustments as well. It looks like Pat tries to pull every pitch over the left field wall.
Perhaps Abreu and Burrell have peaked and we've already seen the best of them.

Hey Billy, if you thought the fans and media treated you rough in this town, you ain't seen 'nuthin yet!
Now you just need to make it hotter by sayin' something stupid.

Billy, Billy, Billy... You know we love you. Now, gedouddaheah!

And here's another deal for you Phillies fans. I've noticed that some of you don't think much of Pat Burrell. So how about a straight up swap of left fielders? Cliff Floyd will bring his lusty .200 batting average to Citizens Bank Park and we'll take on the responsibility of booing Pat the Bat. That deal not good enough? How about if we throw in Inning-Endy Chavez?

No thanks, we had quite enough of the Endy .200 last year.

What the hell *is* up with Cliff Floyd this year?

And why are we talking about the $%^#) Mets, anyway?

Can't field. Can't hit. Can't retire the opposing pitcher.

Looks like the April Phillies are back.

Until they learn how to play consistently over a full season - and they could sure take lessons on how to play like a winner from the Red Sox - they'll never be the October Phillies.

RSB, that was a nice response to my post and it's always good to see a well reasoned (and written) opinion - it's posts like that that make me come to this site. That being said, I still have to disagree.

When you say that you have NEVER seen Utley take a called third strike in an important spot, my initial reaction is...WHO CARES? The manner in which a hitter fails to drive in a run is irrelevant. The scorekeeper doesn;t care whether the man is stranded on second due to a patient approach or an agressive out is an out is an out! The point I was trynig to make in my post (which I don;t think you directly commented on) is that in a clutch situation the only thing that matters is if the run comes home, not HOW it happens.

As far as I can tell, Abreu and Burrell are as good at driving in runners on base in important situations as Utley. Every metric I;ve seen, whether it is BA w/ RISP or "Clutch" by THT, backs this up.

Believing that Utley is more clutch because of what you subjectively observe is the kind of mistake that would leave you to believe Jaret Wright is better than Jamie Moyer. If you only go by what you see and your emotional response, you're going to be misled.

5 in a row...I hate this!
By the way, everyone that said losing 3 to the Brewers at home wasn't a big deal because they're so good at home and are a good team...hello! They've lost 2 at home to the Twins. Phillies fooled us...they actually do suck!

If you look at my quote,

"How many more times must we watch Bobby Abreu look at a called third strike when he is hoping for a walk (lately in clutch situations), or see him pull into second when he should be on third on a misplaced ball in the outfield with two outs (if he would have busted out of the gate, he easily would have been on third)?

its more of a bash on his inconsistently lately (hence the word lately). His numbers have been noticably down (from Abreu-like numbers) since his homer-frenzy at the All-Star game last year. Has he had a great career? Of course, and for a majority of the time he has been clutch. It's his overall play anymore that outrages a number of fans. Like it or not, but he is a symbol of futility for Phillies fans. He is selfish. He refuses to do the little things to help this team win. Do you think he could lead off without getting his panties in a bunch? Do you think he go after a ball with more than half an effort? Do you think he could foul off marginal strike zone pitches to get the pitch he wants (instead of looking at a called third strike)?

And for SickofPhilliesPhans comment: "By the way, ever hear the addage that you never make the 1st or 3rd out at 3rd base. Let me get this straight, your upset because he only had a double?"

Well my response is, do you ever have triples with one or two outs in an inning? You do if you bust it out of the gate...

Thanks for having my back RSB. Hopefully the Phils can pull one out today against the BoSox.

I guess I should say do you ever have triples with no outs or two outs in an inning. You do if you bust it out of the gate...

I hope Abreu can turn into the Abreu of old and start to become more of an overall team player.

From Gonzalez retires and Coste called up. I wonder if this was pressure from Gillick? I hope this boosts Coste's ego and we see a repeat of spring training. Also, maybe use him as catcher instead of Ruiz/Fasano if he gets hot?

Hey hey! Bobby making a triple with no outs on a ball hit and misplayed by a BoSox outfielder! If he only did that the other night haha!

Another meaningless Burrell rbi right?

Bobby with a triple?

Maybe they'll even win today and prove me wrong...then they'll be making a lot of people on this board eat their words.

Gonzalez retiring is a classy move, and I wish him the best of luck with the rest of his life.

I hope Coste can find that stroke he had back in March, because he's seem to have lost it in Scranton. This is a feel good story, the dude deserves to get at least a cup of coffee in the Bigs. The Phillies could use some warm fuzzy feelings after falling on their faces recently.

I'm going to try and be positive for a change, way too much negativity lately.

It's great to see Ryan Howard hitting lefties, and with some pop too.

Wow, fricken Lowell, he kills the Phillies...he's like Jeff Conine

I also wish Gonzalez luck in his retirement. Tough team decision on his part.

Hope they hang on here, I dunno with Franklin warming up though! Scary.

In my opinion, no such thing as 'junk' RBIs! They are all important. Leave Burrell alone, he's been playing on 1 leg practically for a while. How many others would have pussed out and sat on the DL?

Com on Abreu, get a hit here.

Now that's what I call a hit!! WAHOOOOOOO!!

Wheeler just said "Ka-boom-a-la" for the Abreu homerun...what the hell is that?

Anyway, glad to see the Phillies bouncing back today, they desperately need this win. The past 5 games have been painful. I know they can't win every game or every series, but losing 5 in a row isn't what the teams of October do regularly.

I wasn't knocking on Burrell, I was defending him, have been defending him, and will continue to do so. Rbi's are rbi's, 1st through last inning. Sarcasm is lost in translation I suppose.

That third inning was beautiful

Not to belabor the point, kdon (especally since everyone but you and I has long since moved on), but I do think it matters how outs are made in pressure situations. The result might be the same, but perceptions linger. To me, there's a big difference between a player who does all he can do to get the job done *himself* and those who will stand up there taking pitches all night and get called out on strikes. The difference is nothing less than a player I'd want on my team, and one I can live without.

Having said that, I'm glad to see Bobby have a big game, it's been awhile and they need him to come up big like that.

I thinking Dellucci is starting to fit into his pinch-hitting we've got that going for us, which is nice.

I'm so glad we have Rhodes, he's so great for this bullpen, he'll hold down any lead!

What the hell is wrong with him, he's been bad, very bad. Way too many base runners allowed this season for him. Not what you want from a setup man.

Wow, Rhodes is great! Let's leave him in there until he ties or loses this game for the Phillies.

Flash is in...good!

Been waiting a week for this win...that was a sucky week.

Bobby did GREAT today! Thank God that we finally got a seemed like forever..:-)

Jon, you do realize that Bobby has been driving the ball for the past couple games into the gaps pretty consistently, and oh yeah, he had a triple today.

Yeah, hopefully he is heating up. He hasn't been putting up numbers worthy of a 3rd man in the line-up, but he definitely did today. Hopefully he will keep it up, Chris.

Phils absolutely had to win today's game to end the bleeding. They really got outplayed this series by the Sox. Few thoughts:

-Saw Lieber pitch on Friday night at the game and he didn't show me anything to convince me he is a front-line starter. He has pitched relatively well at times this year but he just has too many critical lapses where the ball gets crushed. Lieber is the Phils 4th best starter right now after Myers, Hamels, and Lidle.

-Rollins has been awful the past two weeks. His isn't getting on base at all and his defense has been subpar. He isn't taking enough pitches in the leadoff spot. Plus, Rollins is getting behind the count way too much. Wish Manuel had the balls to move Rollins to the 7th or 8th spot until he turns it around. Why not bat Victorino in the leadoff spot until Rowland comes back?

-Bullpen really needs Madsen to turn it around. The bullpen hasn't been awful but they just don't have a reliable setup man before Gordon right now. Rhodes' control has been real spotty and there isn't another automatic setup in the pen. Geary, Fultz, and Franklin are more 6th/7th inning guys.

-Good riddance to Gonzalez. He was a mistake signing by Gillick. Guarantee Gillick told him he could either retire with some dignity or be released outright. Another good sign that Gillick is not willing to stick with mistakes for too long.

Don't be so sure Gillick was behind Gonzalez's decision to retire. It didn't sound that way at all based on his comments. Also don't be so sure the bench will be any improved. Coste was hitting well under .200 in triple-A. The bench is just sad-sack right now, although getting Rowand and Lieberthal back will help some.

Even if Coste only hits .200 it will be an improvement over Gonzalez.

You never know what Coste is capable of. This opportunity for him, is his dream. He make take it, and run with it, and be a productive bench player for the Phillies for the rest of the season (that's what I'm hoping at least).

Just read that opposing pitchers are batting a lofty .256 (23-90) off the Phillies. 8 teams in the Majors hold the entire lineup to a lower average...ouch!

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