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Thursday, May 04, 2006

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I find Lidle to be a very fun guy to watch pitch-he's totally unflappable out there. And maybe it's just the games I've seen, but his stuff looks a little better this year-throwing a little harder, and his breaking ball seems sharper. I haven't looked it up, but that K-rate's probably the best of his career. Don't be surprised if he has a big year.

Burrell's speed issue really showed up tonight--both on his RBI single which was a 2B for just about any non-catcher/pitcher on the team, and on that pop fly. Speed isn't an asset power hitters are always expected to have, but they're expected to at least be average speed, and right now Burrell is pretty much as bad as Lieberthal, which isn't pretty and which is a detriment in the middle of the lineup. Does anyone know whether his foot will heal with time and some speed will return? Could it return for next season, when he has the full offseason to rest it?

Another great win, though. I was afraid Lidle was losing it in the 6th, but he pitched Langerhans brilliantly.

I agree on Lidle. I used to laugh at his splitter...it looked like a changeup! This year he is using it as a strikeout pitch. It looks like he is getting way more downward action. I haven't heard anything about him changing his grip, but I would be shocked if he didn't make some sort of adjustment.

Lidle's career strikeout numbers are mostly in the upper 5s per nine innings - 5.65 K/9 for his career. can't imagine that he'll keep up that current rate (9.33/9), but it's certainly a positive development.

Lidle:
K/9
Career - 5.54
2006 - 10.00

Obviously small sample size, but this is a major jump. Also, he had pitched better than the ERA would indicate, The Hardball Times has him at a FIP ERA of 2.92.

I'm sure Lidle has had runs like this before, but the combination of stats and observation make me think we may see a different Cory Lidle then we have seen before.

OK, sorry for the triple post, but I'm getting excited about Lidle now.

Games with 5 or more K's
2005 - 8
2006 - 6

The more I look at Lidle's stats since he came to the Phils, the more he looks like a better version of Lieber. This is a guy who gets ground balls and doesn;t walk many batters. If he can maintain even a fraction of his increased K-rate, he immediately becomes a legitimate #2. OK, I'm probably premature on this, but what;s the matter with a little optimism?

Lidle has definitely flashed it. He's had some really good complete game shutouts--I remember he had back to back SHO late 2004. He just hasn't been able to maintain it, and for every really good start, he'd get bombed. This year, he's been more consistent, more poised, and as Jason said, he's been allowing 3 or 4 runs in 6 or 7 innings rather than getting bombed at any point.

And something HAS to have changed. I remember his offspeed stuff being good, but I always thought of him as being pure finesse. This year, he's shown some stuff that's been nasty.

Whoa. Lidle's been doing okay. He stands out in that regard, because most of the starters have been awful. But a 'big year'? I seriously don't think he's capable. The best we can hope for is 12-14 wins and an ERA on the better side of 4.50. Lidle's a smart pitcher, but his stuff is so middling that he has to be just right with each pitch he throws. It seemed like he got away with more than his share tonight, and I don't anticipate he'll always be that fortunate.

I do like some things about him, namely that he has guts, rarely implodes, and he helps himself bunting and hitting. But please, this isn't a guy who you want to be depending too heavily on.

Well, good to see other people are posting in the wee hours (at least on the east coast).

I know Lidle is not going to go all Pedro or Schilling on us and that his 11:1 K/BB ratio is going to come down, BUT, this guy has two excellent seasons under his belt and is trending in the right direction. I think an ERA from 3.75-4 is reasonable.

His stuff HAS been middling, but it's hard to deny that his splitter doesn't look better this year.

It's early, and as Adam said, he has shown flashes before (those two SO got him his current contract) but I think there is reason for optimism.

Something has definitely clicked for Lidle since he's joined the Phils. Let's hope he keeps it up and avoids the speed bump month which he has last year.

Well, when you call his stuff "middling"...he's not Koufax, but he's not the contemporary Tom Glavine either. He has enough stuff to have some margin for error. I see him winning 16 games or so with an ERA around 3.80.

That's the absolute best-case scenario and that kind of season from Cory Lidle would shock the world. I'm not saying it can't happen, but just about everything would have to go right for Lidle all year in order for him to have those numbers. Since he very seldom pitches into the seventh inning, I can't imagine that even in his very best season (assuming he hasn't already had it) he could win more 15. I've heard him described as a 'poor man's Greg Maddux', but Maddux has total control of where his pitches are going and Lidle is not as pinpoint as someone who throws the kind of junk he does needs to be at all times. He does the best he can with what he has. I just think there's only so far he can go with it. If he makes a mistake, it's going to get hit. The secret to his moderate success this season has been keeping the walks to a minimum; if he can continue to do that, he'll keep the Phillies in most games, which is really all they want out of him.

Poor man's Greg Maddux is going way too far, definitely. But while he's had some very poor seasons (his 5.75 ERA stinker for the Jays), a few years ago he was a very good starter for two A's teams that won 100+ games. He's always kept walks to a minimum (and home runs to a lesser extent), but as kdon says, when a pitcher has shown this much of an improvement in striking batters out and keeping the ball out of play, it usually means an adjustment was made, and I think it's one that we might see throughout the season.

That doesn't mean an ace type season. I think it means a season where he's much more consistent, able to give many more quality or near-quality starts, and keeps his ERA in the 4 range.

One thing is for certain: he has outshone every Phillies starting pitcher except Myers this season (though I guess that isn't too hard...)

I totatlly agree with RickSchu about Lidle. Lidle is a known commodity and so far has given the Phils just about what they expected.

If Phils are going to make the playoffs they need a major rebound from Fatty, Myers to win between 16-18 games, and most importantly another starter (Floyd? Madson? ???) to emerge that wins 12-14 games. I am most doubtful about the last criterion.

Phils have been playing well but let's not get too excited. There schedule in May is incredibly difficult and they play alot of quality teams (Mets, Red Sox, Reds, Brewers) this month. Since the wildcard will probably come out of the NL Central, Phils need to get within striking distance of the Mets by the end of May.

"The best we can hope for is 12-14 wins and an ERA on the better side of 4.50."

while I think Lidle's potential upside is a little higher than that, that kind of line isn't really one that the Phils have the luxury of scoffing at.

cough *contract year* cough

I'm not so sure the Wildcard will come out of the central. The division looks good now but all those teams have major problems. I don't see Cincy keeping this up and the Cards are not the offensive team that they were in years past. Plus, the division is well balanced, so that (w/ the exception of the Pirates), the teams are going to beat up on one another.

In the East, I think the Phils and Mets will feast on Florida and Washington and (maybe) Atlanta. I actually would like to see the WC come out of the Central...that way the Phils and Mets could have a good, old-fashioned Pennant Race.

After my daughter was finished watching Smallville and the O.C., I was "allowed" to switch over to WTBS and see the final two outs of the Phillies-Braves game to see the Phillies reach .500. I'm happy with a 5 game win streak. I want to see it continue against the Giants. I don't like the Giants. I view Bonds as a cheater and a desecrater of the sacred records of baseball. I don't want to see him hit homeruns in Philly. Tell Uncle Charlie to give Franklin the weekend off. (He gives up a lot of homers!)

It's good that the Phillies are making bone-headed plays (Fasano's fakeout, Burrell's base running blunder) and still winning. Just think when they actually start playing solid fundamental baseball from start to finish in a ball game, this team might just win more often. Oops...I think I just got optimistic...my bad!

Burrell can hit, and he's helping the team, but all he's only a single or homerun guy anymore. He should have had a double last night on his single to the wall. I was talking to Corey on the phone while watching it, and we decided if Burrell had to tag up from a fly out to center fielder Juan Pierre, that Pierre could actually sprint the ball to the plate to get Burrell out rather than throw it...how sad?

Pierre should always run the ball in rather than throw it.

Even from here, it seems fairly predicatble that the wild card is going to be either Houston or St. Louis. (Cincinnati is a prime candidate to have the kind of season Baltimore did last year.)

Even after what I saw the last two games, I still say Atlanta wins the East. But the last two games also demonstrate something about the Phillies: even as I've taken them apart for playing small when it counts more, they tend to play better against better teams. Witness their winning records against division winners St. Louis, Atlanta, and San Diego last season (although maybe not Houston!). It's not that they can't really play with teams like the Mets and Red Sox...if they're in a groove like they are now, they can play with anyone. Similarly, they could play their farm teams and lose if they have that dead, head-stooped look to them which characterized most of April.

If Lieberthal sits out the whole Giants series, and given Manuel's roster management skills, who is going to see time at catcher first: (a) Victorino; (b) Gonzalez; or (c) Nunez?

Gonzalez is the emergency catcher, so of those three, it would be him. Of course, the guy leading the International League in hitting and OPS wouldn't be a bad addition, either.

New topic:


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/john_donovan/05/05/gordon.notes/index.html


They keep saying Gordon is 9-9 in save chances ... but didn't he come in a game for the save, give up a run, and then get the win? Isn't that considered a blown save?

You mean, he gave up a tying run?

If a pitcher comes in with his team leading by 3 or less, and his team wins the game after his inning, he gets credited with the save. He could theoretically give up 10 runs and still earn the save if his team bats in 8 in the bottom of his inning.

The only game Gordon gave up a run was in a tie game against St. Louis. Not a save situation.

"If a pitcher comes in with his team leading by 3 or less, and his team wins the game after his inning, he gets credited with the save. He could theoretically give up 10 runs and still earn the save if his team bats in 8 in the bottom of his inning."

I'm not sure what this means but it's wrong. A team can't win AFTER a closer's inning. A save can only go to the pitcher who throws the last pitch of a game. In the case you describe above, the pitcher would get a win, not a save.

Kdon, don't pick on me, I hadn't had my morning coffee yet. You're right of course, that scenario would mean a win and not a save.

By the way, no one seems to be commenting on the best part of the Phillies' recent win streak, and that is the Charlie Manuel quotes we get out of it.

"We finally got to .500," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We plan on staying there."

Yes, that game where he let up the run. I though he was in for a save, and let it up. But I guess not, as you point out the team was actually down a run. Thanks. st

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