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Monday, May 15, 2006


I believe in the validity of trends, but then there is always an exception. I tend to lean towards Myers finally having it all figured out and ready to stake claim on the "ace" label, but history tells another story.

Hank Blalock follows a similar career trend of descending season's worth, but look at him thus far.

Jim Thome is a noted slow starter, but has been on fire this season.

So trends tell half the story, determination, focus, and hard-work is the other half.

Your comment about Madson picking up a cheap win in relief of Hamels a couple days ago reminded me of a post I've been meaning to make in my own blog. Rule 10.19(c)(4) in the official MLB rules have the following to say about crediting a pitcher with a win:

The winning relief pitcher shall be the one who is the pitcher of record when his team assumes the lead and maintains it to the finish of the game. EXCEPTION: Do not credit a victory to a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when a succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain the lead. In such cases, credit the succeeding relief pitcher with the victory.

Clearly then, in the case of Hamel's debut, Madson should not have been credited with the win. Instead, the official scorer (if he had been doing his job) should have awarded it to Ryan Franklin as the rule makes it clear that you cannot go back and give it Hamels, even though he deserved. I would really like to see this rule followed more often by official scorers.

This rule is rarely used...almost never. However, there was a case earlier in the season that an official scorer did use that rule. It wasn't a Phillies game, but I remember hearing about it on Baseball Tonight. This puts an awful lot of power in an official scorer's hand though. What makes one outing ineffective? Madson's was ineffective for sure, but what if he'd given up 2 runs with an error throw in there instead of two bombs?

I think you are ignoring the obvious in Myers home/away splits. IT's the BALLPARK.

I SWEAR I put something in about that. Must have chopped it. Of course - yeah - park factor plays a hand in it.

I think it's very simple: tie it into earned runs, and make that the deciding criteria. In Madson's case, he was completely to blame -- ergo, it's a no-brainer. If, hypothetically, both those runs were unearned, then the defense is clearly to blame and the credit for the victory goes to Madson -- even if it's still a cheap win for him.

The Phillies held a press conference today to showcase Rowand's grizzled face and update his status.

According to, the splint will be removed Thursday, at which time he will be cleared to take swings off a batting tee. Four days later, he expects to be cleared for full baseball activity, leaving four days until he comes off the 15-day disabled list.

On home/away splits, I should have also said that just about the entire team is pitching better on the road this year, as was the case last season. So, park factors are huge, and not just limited to Myers.

Yeah, not one of my stronger posts.

Even with the ballpark, Myers splits are drastic. Not even Citizen's Bank inflates runs by 33%.

OTOH, the Phillies play close to half their road games in pitchers parks like Shea, Dolphin Stadium, and RFK, so that matters a lot. If Myers splits stay this way for another year or two, then it might be worthshile to posit alternate explinations.

i myers worked at all during the offseason he might be better post allstar break. the guy shows up at clearwater as heavy as bobby.

RE: Lidle and Lieber and line drive %: There was a good article the other day on the fact that groundball pitchers give up more line drives, making them more vulnerable than flyball pitchers for BABIP.

I'm not sure, therefore, if the Phillies' poor defensive performance might not be expected due to the fact that most of the pitchers on the staff are GB pitchers.

Cole sort of looked like a flyball pitcher to me the other day. Does anyone have his splits in the minors?

That Rule 10.19 is one of those that I don't think scorers will ever acknowledge because it adds one more piece of potentially controversial subjectivity to their agenda. I think wins and losses will always be determined by the objective criteria which determines it now...which is bad news for people who get all hung up on statistics.

Remember the Game-Winning RBI stat from the '80s? If a ground-out put a team up 1-0 in the first inning, and the team never relinquished the lead, it was a GWRBI. If the final score was 10-9, and a different player drove in 7 of those runs in the later innings, that ground-out would still look like the biggest play in the box score. Yet another example of how statistics mislead. About the only reliable ones for pitchers are ERA, and "WHIP"; but even then, that's primarily just where starters are concerned.

Given that two of myers away wins so far have been in hitters parks, wouldn't that suggest that he's maybe turned the corner - that he's learning better how to pitch in hitters parks? Another number which may be grounds for optimism is his his G/F ratio which seems to have been better at home than away - 1.54 at home vs 1.21 (counting last night) away. I took these figures from his espn game log.

I'm glad to see Rule 10.19 brought up since I have been wondering about it since that Madson win. Back in the day when I worked as an official scorer (best job I ever had -- getting paid to watch baseball!) I was aware of that rule. But it has been years since I cracked open an official rule book so I thought maybe the rule had been changed since no one had mentioned it. As an official scorer, it's one of those situations you hope never arises, but if ever there was a time it should have been invoked that was it.

I think the ruling of a win to Madson could still be changed, but I suppose the Phillies would have to initiate the review and they probably don't want to do anything at this time that might mess further with Madson's head.

Granted Madson was bad, but I'm not sure the rule was meant to apply to 2 runs in one inning. That sort of thing happens all the time, and the exception is probably only meant to be rarely invoked, say if a guy comes in with 2 outs, then gives up 5 or 6 runs in one-third of an inning, but then his team scores 8 the next inning. Not that I'm suggesting there is any bright line rule on this.

New Topic: What about tonight's game against a very good lefty (Capauno)? Phils have been struggling against lesser lefties (Clausen and Williams)...will it continue tonight? I hope they bust out of the mini-slump their in! Howard looks like he has a clue now against lefties, no need to keep benching him. Howard has a better shot than Gonzalez at least.

I would expect a loss against a better than avg team with a very good lefty going. Remember, they can't win 'em all.

This is a tough spot for the Phils as they don't match up well against lefties and Capuano is one of the best in the NL. Howard needs to start tonight and Utley and Rollins need to start getting better swings off lefties. Lidle is not the type of pitcher who will shut an opponent down, so I don't see a 2-1 win here. Further the Phils really don't have any right handed pinch hitting off the bench besides the switch hitting Nunez. Alex Gonzalez the Phils only right handed pinch hitter, has been a total flop. Unfortunatly, I see the four game winning streak ending tonight.

It's a tough matchup. It's hard to win on the road no matter what. The Phils are coming off a three-game sweep, including a marathon final game with Cinci. They are not hitting left-handers well. It smells like a loss.

All in all, this month is proving a tough one, even though we're winning. I can't believe that after this we have the sox, the mets and then the brewers again. We're nowhere near out of the woods, winning streaks or no winning streaks.

really tough series ahead as mentioned above. i'm hoping the team that has been playing in may is the real phillies, because they'll be fine if that's so. if the beginning of may was just a fake-out, we'll see soon enough.

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