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Monday, May 01, 2006

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10-14 for third straight season!

Where is Nino Espinosa when you need him!

Can't stand the D-Train. He's a great guy, but when he takes the mound against the Phils, I can't stand him!!! He's all that, and he can sort'a hit, too. Oh yeah, just singled off Madson.

I'll tell you one thing Lieberthal's still good at: blocking balls in the dirt. I mean, really good. He just bailed Madson out with the bases loaded and I've seen him do it a number of times already this season.

Kruker had a good point on Baseball tonight re: lefthanded hitters. Why do lefthanded hitters bat against lefties all throughout the minors and the minute players get to the majors they sit against lefties? Doesnt that hinder their growth? Note: howard not playing tonight.

Fourth inning, 5-1 Florida: Madson and his two pitches look destined for a return to the bullpen. First curve he throws in the entire game hits the batter in the head.

i'm watching on gamecast. why did charlie get tossed? was victorino safe at 2nd?

Any reason why Howard AND Abreu are not playing? Trying to concede the game?

This guy Gonzalez amazes me. How can he miss that guy going around 3b and scoring?

What the hell is he even DOING on this team?

So typical of this team-get one run then give a bunch back on the next enemy AB!!

Victorino was safe, and the call took the Phils out of what could have been a much more productive inning. It looked like everyone was kind of pissed because Willis had already hit two batters and just missed hitting a third. Madson then hit the leadoff hitter of the next inning in the helmet - with a breaking ball. Four runs score and it's 5-1 with Willis looking sharp. Hey, if they can lose to a 6-18 team, why not a 6-16 team?

Jason, if Madson shows you this little command in his starts, why would you want him coming in as a reliever? I think that would screw him up and screw up the team even more. If they're willing to give Floyd a shot, they're going to have to give Madson his as well.

thanks rickshublues - i figured that's what it was. gamecast is great but on things like that it sucks. i wish i could get phillies games on thebigtalker.com but they get blacked out.

Rick: That's what the Phillies will do if he continues to struggle as a starter. I agree, he needs a chance to show what he can do, but what I've seen so far is a pitcher getting exposed for not having enough quality pitches. In addition, I don't like how he's been responding when things get tight. That's just about the entire starting staff, but with Madson, it seems like innings slip away awfully fast.

Signs of life! I swear I just saw Lieby get excited.

That was an interesting one. Way to capitalize! Finally. Lieby was very excited. Nice heads-up play by Rollins to squeeze that extra run. My negative side predicts a 3 spot in the bottom of the 7th.

Tie game in the bottom of the 7th, Madson vs. Willis. I'll take it.

I have to respectfully disagree with you about Madson's pitches. I see a curveball and a changeup that are well above average, and a decent enough fastball to use as an effective pitch if he has the other two working. It's not a question of stuff with Madson, it's a question of command and focus. I don't know if Dubee or Lieberthal are partially to blame, but he doesn't seem to use his pitches in an effective enough pattern. He has stuff good enough to dominate if he can locate it consistently. To me, he's more likely to find a good groove as a starter and not a reliever. Besides, I haven't heard any kind of speculation from any media source that Madson is headed back to the bullpen.

In the meantime, this is the most righteous game the Phillies have played all year. I know I'll get cited for 'mysticism' again, but what happened to Willis in the 7th had to be some sort of karma. He's zinging balls at the Phillies like they were magnets all night, but then he takes exception to an inside pitch when he's hitting, and turns around and nails Utley. Utley took the high road and there's no question itmotivated the entire team to come back on him.

...And look who just hit a homer to give them the lead!!

Hey Rick, how bout Pat the Bat?

WTF, Pat just hit a HR in the 8th inning! Guess he didn't realize it wasn't the 1st or 2nd innings.

Sorry, Rick. :)

That's heavy: 8th inning, go-ahead home run against a pitcher that hasn't given up a home run all season, to dead center in that park! Way to go, Pat!

Rick, Is that considered "clutch"?

Yeah! that's a big hit!

Screw the Marlins. This is fun.

Does Bill Dancy watch the same games we do?

Wow, Phils get another break...its amazing what luck (or, in this case, inexperienced play by a team dstroyed by ownership) will do for you. Bell would have been out by a mile. With one out what is Dancy thinking. Oh well, he's a problem for another day. Go PHils!

This is of those games where everything inexplicably begins to go right after weeks of everything going wrong. Hopefully it will sustain, but even if not it's one to savor.

Watching the Marlins broadcast. Their announcers theorized that Bell was sent home because the Phils wanted to force the Marlins to make a play, as if they thought thought the fish wouldn't be able to get in an accurate throw. Funny. They must not be familiar with Dancy's body of work.

I heard that too...these guys are terrible. What announcer shouts YES! when their team hits a HR? The best part of the broadcast was the shot of Billy in the hot tub with the girls.

Anyone else get a sick feeling when Rhodes enters the game? Lots of walks, but lots of Ks somehow. His pattern so far is he gets ahead of most hitters, then nibble-nibble-nibble until the count is full. Lucky for the Phils, they got out of that bases-loaded jam.

he's another guy they could move in a heartbeat (rhodes)

"The best part of the broadcast was the shot of Billy in the hot tub with the girls."

That was nice.

Part of the satisfaction of beating Florida is humbling their obnoxious announcers (though you'd think a 6-16 record might have done the trick). They are the butt-worst.

flash gordon is amazing

Another 1-2-3 for Gordon.

Probably the best win of the season to come back on Willis down 5-1. This game was absolutely lost, but the team showed rare life and stole it back. Burrell delivered the big blow in the 8th and deserves player of the game honors for the second-straight night.

Gordon, Burrell: can't name a better Phillies pitcher or hitter this season.

You want statistics? In two games against the Marlins this year, Tom Gordon has faced six batters, gotten six outs, five strikeouts and two saves.

Hey, remember all that talk about the pen? Since they got back from Colorado they have been great (though I agree Rhodes is wallking a thin line).
I'd give my May co-MVPs to Abreu/Burrell and Gordon/Myers. After a win, why not spread the love?

Maybe Pat hit the dinger because he heard that Rick was talking smack about him! LOL

If that's so, I want some credit in the papers tomorrow.

Mr. Non-Clutch is at it again! Way to represent all that is bad about this team ...

Oh, enough already. I didn't really think he was really going to go through the season without getting a huge hit. I'm glad that he did. If he's able to build on it and provide more, I'll be more than happy to reconsider my opinion. But I'll stand by what I've said for now.

Has Cormier really not allowed a run yet this year? I just looked at the boxscore and he hasn't an ERA.
If the starters were better, the bullpen would be amazing.

I find it intersting that neither account of the game that I've read so far - Zolecki's and the one on Phillies.com - mentions anything about its large subplot, that being the tension created by all the hit or nearly hit batters. Early in the game, Willis hit three batters and threw two pitches behind Alex Gonzalez on separate at-bats; Madson hit two batters and his first pitch of the game was a curveball right at Hanley Ramirez's head. When Madson rode a fastball in on Willis in the sixth, it seemed clearly intentional, and when Willis hit Utley in the top of the seventh, it was almost unquestionably intentional. Utley's reaction, even though he didn't so much as look in Dontrelle's direction, I thought was telling: he took off darting down the first-base line very aggressively, as though it was all he could do not to rush the mound instead. From there, everyone on the team really showed a great resolve to knock him out of the game, and that they succeeded - that they found a way to get it done - was the first real example of character I've seen from this team in 2006.

OK, OK. Go easy on Rick. I happen to enjoy his take on the Phils and don't want him becoming a free agent.

Excellent game last night. It started out horribly, with Gonzalez's bonehead play allowing Uggla to score from 2nd on an infield hit, then Madson's yet again poor pitching, but the team fought back! It was very satisfying to see Burrell hit a homer in that spot. And I'll ease up on Rick because he gave props when they were do, I respect that.

As I'm reading this comment board, I'm very suprised to see no mention of Manuel's f-bomb laced tirade in the dugout during the game, before he had to leave. He was yelling at the players, so uncharacteristic of him. I'm not even going to start suggesting that fired them up, but did it? It's completely against Manuel's style to yell, and it looked very phony to me watching it on television, but hey, they won!

Really need to keep the mini-win streak going! This team needs to see .500 then above.

i'm sure manuel's tirade was emotionally sincere but it's a little too late to become a red-ass now. i think it was a contrived outburst, grandstanding for the fans/media/management in an effort to hold on to his job. he knows he's on the hot seat and he's valiantly trying to save himself. but beware, a fine manager turned Evil Empire 3B coach once said, "there's a lot of sensitive players on [this] team..."

Oh! I get it! Players that lack the killer instinct are "sensitive". Is Gavin Floyd sensitive?

Manuel's outburst was done publicly to "show" everyone how hard he is trying. I have no doubt that Manuel wants to win, he just doesn't know how to...simple as that. His tirade was well timed for the cameras to pick it up...way to be a tough ass Charlie, you'll go down as one of the best with Earl Weaver now...yeah right!

Carson: I'm not sure if it was meant for public consumption. He did it between innings and they only showed it on CSN for about 20 seconds coming in from a commercial, mainly because LA brought it up. It didn't seem that animated to me. I'm sure there was a lot of salty language, but he wasn't throwing the gatorade coolers or bats, etc. It was good to see him fired up. I don't think it was contrived from other things I've read about him over the years. That and the botched call on Victorino seemed to get things going.

Hamels starts at Richmond this afternoon.

Nice comeback win but it was more about Willis melting down than Phillies sticking it to the Marlins. Phils need to sweep this T-AAA team.

Another mediocre night by Madson against a poor lineup. He should get 3 or 4 more starts. If he doesn't have at least one strong outing, he goes into the pen. Take a look at Madson's splits. Just awful. His K/BB is 1.09 and batters are hitting .428 against him.

One area of strength recently has been the Phils bullpen. Another scoreless night with a 1-2-3 inning by Gordon. Too bad they will be worn out by June at this rate if the starters can't go beyond 5. Expect Manuel will try to use Franklin in 100+ games or until his arm falls off.

sure, they only showed it for 20 seconds during the game, but it got 10 mintues on post game live, 5 minutes on every airing of sportsrise this morning, daily news live will probably give it at least 15 minutes tonight, in addition to print coverage. but still, you are right MPN, calling it contrived is probably inaccurate. charlie may be desperate, but he's not that diabolical.

if manuel really wanted to get tough last night, he would have yanked alex gonzalez out of the game after his mental mistake at first base. combine that with his 3-1 DB grounder against the buccos, and he makes for a pretty good target to start disciplining.

i doubt the manuel outburst was purely contrived -- maybe the public staging of it was a little. but, it was during the game -- if he's upset, how's he going to convey it in private? pull everyone into the clubhouse? if you remember stories from the offseason, manuel used to tear the club a new one behind closed doors last year. he's not all shucks and smiles. i think the charicature of him being "uncle cholly" is overdone.

I am so siked about Hamels' start today....isnt that sad?

Carlos Ruiz, c, Phillies (Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre): Ranks fifth in the minors in batting; also throwing out 50 percent of runners. And he leads the International League in hitting and slugging %, 2nd in HR’s.

I was being too hard on Manuel. To imply his outburst was fake or phony was wrong of me, because that is judging the character of the man, rather than the manager. I just really can't stand Manuel and think his strategy sucks, but maybe, just maybe, he really did light a fire last night. I'm willing to admit I'm wrong if proven so.

Wow, I didn't even know about Manuel blowing up during the game (other than at Angel Hernandez) until this morning. Yet another advantage of watching the opposing team's telecasts...

And here I was thinking it was Willis himself who fired up the team. I will say that they sure didn't look all that different for the next three innings after the tirade.

I can't say whether such an outburst was 'contrived', but it is kind of curious why he'd wait until that particular moment, after a full month of the season had gone by. Why not in Pittsburgh, when the Phillies were being flattened by Ian Snell? Or at home against the likes of Billy Traber? If he has the ability to light a fire under his players and get testy with poor play, then why wait a whole month?

I think someone's starting to feel the pressure even more than the players do.

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