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Sunday, May 14, 2006


They are going to need good pitching today!
Your starting nine:

Pat the Bat

With Abreu out for a second straight game, I think we can put the trade talk to rest for a while.

That's the Phillies Sunday afternoon special. Over the years, it's surprising how many games they've won with day-game lineups like this. The nine-game winning streak started Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh with A-Gone and Nunez in the lineup ... you never know. I actually enjoy watching the games with weirdo lineups.

And geez, if Nunez was in the game instead of Utley, they'd have a lineup all hitting from the right side. When is the last time that happened?

I used to hate the Sunday lineups because when I lived in Philly I didn;t have cable and could only watch the Channell 25 (later 57) games. Francona used to sit Rolen every Sunday it seemed and Schilling never started - it seemed to be a steady diet of Alex Arias and Matt Beech.
I do agree that weird lineups are fun however and I'm looking forward to seeing Roberson.

The way JR keeps swinging at high pitches and popping everything up, maybe they should try Victorino in the leadoff spot.
I also heard something to the effect that Lieberthal might be out longer than originally estimated. His knee is not coming around. If so, so far Ruiz does NOT look like the answer.

"C Mike Lieberthal was close to coming off the disabled list and caught a bullpen session on Saturday, according to general manager Pat Gillick. Lieberthal was not hurt catching but felt pain in his left knee when running forward. The Phillies sent Lieberthal to Philadelphia for an MRI." ...but who knows what's really going on.

What is up with right-center at the GAB? These guys are crushing the ball and getting nothing. Franklin is lucky. What is he doing throwing 3-2 breaking pitches to Jason LaRue? He gets ahead 1-2 by throwing fastballs and then starts throwing to first and nibbling at the plate.

Delluci, now 6-18 as a PH.

Starting to look like Ruiz can't hit major league pitching. Don't blame Charlie for wanting to get a look at the kid, but at some point he'll have to sit for Fasano.

What % of MLB leftfielders would've been able to get to that hit by Phillips? I'd say 75%. Burrell still must not be at full speed.

Thank God for Gatorade! Saw Howard in a jacket nursing some of the fluid while on the bench.

Howand 2 hr's against south paws...flippin' awesome!

Come on Flash!

Great win. Offense didn't show up, but the starting pitching and bullpen looked superb!

Thank you Ryan Howard!

Talk about a stolen victory on the getaway day. Incredible effort by the pitchers over the weekend - 5 runs total in three games for a team crushing the ball in the early going.

Let's hope the Brew Crew (with the Cecil Cooper Sunday unis) can squeeze out one more victory before they have to face the hottest team in the NL. (4-4 in the eighth)

Hopefully Lidle can bounce back from that horrible pitching/defensive outing against the Mets.
Phillies are fun to watch right now. Usually in a game like today I am totally dead set on them losing, but I just knew they were going to win. Something is in the air...I like feeling optimistic again!

Lieber has the flu, pitches a couple innings of perfect game.

Howard has the flu, two jacks.

The Phillies Phlu is catching!

"Phillies Phlu" very corny, but I like it. Hell, I like everything when the Phillies are on a roll like this!

hey KDon Matt Beech had about 40 starts with the fightins in his career and the games were on 29 not 25....go ahead block my @$$ biatch

I hate morons posting on this blog. This is a great blog for Phillies fans to share ideas, complaints, and joy. If you don't have anything real to say, stay the hell off!

hey anyone notice the team is winning in ways the '93 team used to. Hells yeah there was no pressure on them cause nobody thought they'd do anything just like this team

anyone notice like 2/3rds of the team is home grown products from the farm system. Arbuckle deserves some credit for this team

Hi i'm Carson the Gay Guy from the Fab 5!

Not sure what your post ellipsis comment meant, but you're right, I've lived in Boston too long, Fox is 25 here. Also, it is a certifiable fact that all 53 of Matt Beech's starts for the Phillies came on Sundays.

I'd be pretty pissed at your comment, but I have a feeling I know you.

Glad someone is having fun at my expense. I'm quite hetero though...but that fact that you think I'm fabulous is nice of you.

Anyway, let's get back to commenting on baseball, enough with this mindless adolescence banter.

Or...after that last string of comments, maybe not. I thought all the Mets a'sholes had left!

Clout: How much are they paying major league scouts these days? Every time you chime in it's to cut one of our prospects down. Victorino ... how's he doin'?

Fasano stinks. Even Fasano knows he stinks. He's overmatched and has no upside. Every extra start he makes wastes an opportunity for Ruiz to learn.

George: I would list catching as a priority five-times more important than hitting in terms of Ruiz. Yeah, he hasn't done much with the bat in his five games.

Five games ...

But record in those games: 4-1, including two gems by Myers and a shutout five innings in Hamels major-league debut. You take that, even with the .100 batting average.

No need to do anything at catcher. Let it be. Ruiz and Fasano, these are your catchers, and they're doing a nice job handling our pitchers. That's all you ask. Don't trade for Kelly Stinnett. Don't deal for Gary Bennett. Don't put Fasano on waivers. Don't option Ruiz. Leave it be. If Lieberthal comes back, and the Phils go with Fasano to catch Lieber and Floyd's starts, that's OK.

Weitzel, whole-heartedly agree with you. Ruiz catching has been great! His hitting will come with time (most likely), but right now he's doing well defensively and that's what we need. I'm still high on Ruiz!

A very minor point after a nice road sweep, but can anyone tell me why Alex Gonzalez is still on this team ?

The question with Ruiz is, can they afford to wait for his bat to come around? I agree Jason-no reason to use Fasano except as an emergency guy. It's a tough call, in the middle of a pennant race, but I'd rather play Ruiz every day (as much as he can stand) and hope like hell he starts to hit. You know Fasano can't catch, and he won't hit .300, anyway. So the risk is minimized, at least somewhat.

Hard to single out Ruiz as not being able to hit. Seems like only Victorino and Howard are swinging the bats well the last few days. What's Rollins' or Abreu's stats since Ruiz came up?

Will Ruiz's bat come around? Well, I know you can't compare triple-A performance to major league equivalence, but he was hitting almost .400 down there. That tells me he can hit a little, no matter what. I wouldn't be surpised at all if he doesn't start to hit more this week. There is NO point in playing Fasano - we see far too much of that big lug as it is.

How about the pitching this weekend? The Reds have been hot all season. Even as well as the Phillies had been playing, would anyone have guessed a sweep at their home park? It's just amazing what they're doing right now. And now just one game out of first place.

My comment was 'so far, Ruiz does not look like the answer', which concedes that he hasn't played that much as yet.
Hwr, he just appears to look overmatched out there at the plate. Now perhaps he's made handling the staff his priority to start and will work on his hitting later. If he's a good natural hitter that should surface.
I am certainly NOT advocating Sal Fasano as the everyday catcher. I would much rather see Ruiz than Fasano, but I think Ruiz will need to step up with the bat a little if the Phillies are going to seriously consider him as the everyday catcher in the future.

The injury to Rowand and Abreu (back spasms?) has shown the Phillies have some marketable outfielders in Victorino, Roberson and Delucci. I'm not saying they should trade them, but if the right offer came along for someone like Brian Schneider of the Nationals, you would have to consider it I think.

So Ruiz has a window to win over Gillick. That window extends until Lieberthal comes back, or if Lieby will be out indefinitely, until Gillick acquires a starting catcher.

I want Ruiz to succeed as much as you guys.

A couple quick things.

In the 5th inning the UPN cameras showed Cole on the bench for the 32nd time. And he slowly rubbed his left shoulder. I almost started to cry out of fear. He cannot get hurt. Everytime he so much as stretches I hold my breath.

I am curious to know what Alex Gonzales or Nunez contributes to the team.

Thanks, George. I tried making this point about Ruiz last week, but you've said it much more eloquently.

I want Ruiz to succeed. I don't want Fasano to be the everyday catcher. I want Liberthal to come back, Ruiz to be back up and Fasano to go.

But, if Liberthal is out for an extended period, we should try to get someone more established if it becomes apparent that Ruiz just isn't ready for that role yet.

I feel terrible even thinking about this, though, right now.

"I am curious to know what Alex Gonzales or Nunez contributes to the team."

rumor is bullpen catcher ramon henderson has been working feverishly with gonzalez since day one of spring training on his "cream pie" technique. at this point, they have put in too much work just to release him so some other club could put gonzalez's culinary skills to use. as soon as there is a walk-off homerun followed by a comcast interview, everyone will see why gonzalez is still on the team...

Schneider might be an interesting guy - if the Nats were to send ex-Yankee Soriano to NY, they could be in the market for another OF. I've always liked Schneider (seen a lot of him, living in DC) - good defense, and a better hitter than he's been so far this year.

problem there is that Schneider's on the 15-day DL as well with a hamstring injury. and I doubt the Nats would be looking to trade him unless they've got someone coming up through their system (since right now they're using Matthew LeCroy and Robert Fick, I doubt it).

Few comments on today's game:

-Another excellent outing by Myers. He is clearly the Phils 1 starter right now.

-Glad that Geary came through in a tight game. Wonder if Manuel had Santana move some really heavy equipment that caused that right elbow tendonitis. Hopefully Santana continues to move heave equipmemt for the next 2 or 3 months.

-JRol struggled again today at the plate. As JRol goes, so does the Phils offense. Their record (without today), when JRol scores at least 1 run is 16-5. When JRol scores 2 runs or more the Phils are 6-1. If JRol doesn't score, the Phils are just 5-10.

-Gordon has easiest been the biggest surprise of the season so far. Just money in the bank so far.

The offense has struggled primarily because Rollins and Abreu haven't been a part of it. That will definitely need to change, because you can't count on getting the kind of amazing starting pitching like they were fortunate to get in each of the last four games.

There is another NL team that won 9 straight games at the same time as the Phillies. Both teams lost to end their streaks on the same day. Both teams have not lost since. The other team is the San Diego Padres, now leading their division.

I want to start a new subject: with the assumption that Cole Hamels remains in the rotation for the rest of the season, what do you think his #'s will be?

My prediction: 26 games started, 156 ip, 50 bb, 165 k, 3.85 era, 1.25 whip, with a 11-7 record. I tried not to get overly optimistic here, but I do think if everything clicks with him, his line could be much stronger.

And Lake Fred, SD has gotten all the attention from the national media (ESPN, Baseball Tonight, XM radio, etc). Any chance the media ignores the Phils until the final day of the season when the team has already made the playoffs?

Not trying to defend ESPN, but they are giving the Phillies their due right now, especially, where the Phillies have had the headline a few times. Need to remember Padres were in the playoffs last season, Phillies not since '93. The Phillies will get their due praise if this string of good baseball continues.

Carson, if Hamels stays healthy and gets run support I think his numbers might be better than you predicted. I'd guess more like 12-5 with an ERA around 2.50 and a WHIP in the 1-1.2 range. He is that good.

Health is the issue.

Does anyone else have the same concern? Or am I guzzling too much Cole Kool-Aid?

Trask, I agree with you that Hamels could put up better numbers than I predicted, but I'm trying to look at him being a rookie and playing on a team that in years past simply falls short. I hope he pitches more like your prediction and that the Phillies make the playoffs with Myers and Hamels starting games 1 & 2, but I'm not holding my breath...bit early yet.

I think any ERA under 3.5 is extremely optimistic for a rookie, no matter what his CV looks like. looking at past ROY pitchers, Dontrelle posted a 3.30 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in a much more pitcher-friendly park than CBP. Kerry Wood, 3.40 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.

IMO best case scenario is something like 11-13 wins, 8-10 losses, 3.5 to 4 ERA, 1.2 to 1.4 WHIP. it's virtually unheard of for a rookie starting pitcher to come in and completely dominate.

keep in mind that numbers along the lines of what I'm saying are very, very good and likely ROY-worthy.

I love getting this excited about a pitcher's start. I look forward to each and every Phillies game, but I hardly even anticipate a pitcher's day of the week...Hamels is that guy, and hopefully he does what he is capable of, which is greatness!

Good point on the ROY stats. I didn't realize Willis and Wood both had ERAs over 3.0 their rookie years.

And, yes, I think Hamels could win ROY if he stays healthy.

Hamels will need to beat out Prince Fielder and Ryan Zimmerman, both of whom should put up really nice numbers by year's end. He may have a ROY caliber year, but he's got considerable competition for the distinction.

Jay: I'm curious, what is your definition of prospect? Do you seriously think Victorino and Ruiz are prospects? It may be that we use the term differently. If you define prospect as "anyone who has the ability to reach the majors" then I can understand your point of view. To me a prospect is someone who projects as an everyday player or productive pitcher. Neither Victorino nor Ruiz fit that category. Victorino has done well lately including quite a few bloop hits. Let's see what his #s are at year end. I see him as a good field, good speed, weak-hit player. As for Ruiz, check out Fasano's stats from last season. Could Ruiz match them? Note his age as well.

On the SD vs. Phillies coverage on ESPN, I think neither team gets much of a boost from ESPN. In the NL, their top team is the Giants. In the AL its Boston and New York. The Phillies rarely get their due praise.

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