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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

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Why doesn't Manuel start Coste while he's at it. I know its been a long roadtrip, but I'd prefer to cycle these guys in a game at a time rather than all together.

Today's starting 9:

J. Rollins SS
C. Utley 2B
B. Abreu RF
R. Howard 1B
D. Dellucci LF
S. Victorino CF
A. Nunez 3B
S. Fasano C
R. Madson P

Of those 16 close game losses, how many did the phils have a lead in that they couldn't hold? Games against the Mets at Shea and the Brewers in Milwaukee will be the ones we look back on at the end of the season as keeping the Phils just a few games short of the playoffs.

Those games against the Brewers are the most painful. I can't believe we lost 5 of 6 to Milwaukee. Argghh!!

Wow, does CM feel bad about last night's win or is he trying to make Madson look bad? I guess if you're going to go to the bullpen for a SP, you might as well bring in the bench players, as well.

At least some of these guys will get some game experience for after the inevitable "blockbuster" trade that may make 1 or 2 of them starters more often.

That selfish Bobby Abreu, stealing 3rd with one out, getting himself in scoring position. The nerve of this guy.

I went searching info on Dustin Nippert and found out that he's 6'8" tall....another Randy Johnson! I hope not! He could be their version of Cole Hamels.

Here's an April 9, 2006 report on Dustin Nippert found on ESPNs site: "The 6-7, 215-pounds Nippert is an imposing pitcher who will have a chance to crack the rotation sometime this season even though he has not pitched at Class AAA. The 24-year-old returned from elbow surgery last May and won the Class AA Southern League ERA crown at 2.38 in 18 starts before joining the Diamondbacks for three starts in September. Nippert easily throws in the low-90s and has a plus fastball, but he is inexperienced and lacks command."

Nippert's not Cole Hamels. The Phils already have roughed Nippert up for 3 runs and the 3rd innings not over yet.

Nippert's got a quality knuckle-curve. He's used it to K Howard and Victorino. But Howard got back at him to the tune of 438 feet. Now it's Victorino's turn.

taken aback by Ryan Madson's pitch count. Good going.

damn, ryan's doing everything right tonight. pitching and bunting. sweet bunt on the replay.

Someone check Jimmy's wrists for whiplash after that homerun. oooof!

joy, just when we're cruising, nunez and fasano pile the stress on madson.

Just found this website ... living in New York, it's great for me. Love the serious Phils talk.

Sweep in Arizona would be great. This is a damn streaky team we have on our hands.

Was that wild pitch by Madson really wild or another Fasano gaffe? I guess I can forgive him if his fault--double, single, and homerun now.

Bit of both. it bounced a bit, but then fasano took ages looking for it.

be curious to see whether madson comes back in the eighth. they have his pitch count at about 83, and he seems fairly calm on the mound. Will do his confidence no harm if he stays in.

O BBs for Madson through 7 innings. That's excellent.

I'm running a temperature this evening, and I'm a touch worried about what I may have. Sal Fasano 4-4 with a homerun? Madson in the eighth? If you hear about birdflu taking a (human) victim in scotland, you'll know who it was.

Oisin, how are you a Phillies fan in Scotland? Sorry if you already answered that on here. I used to live near Oxford; made it up there to see the Edinburgh Tattoo and Hadrian's Wall.

Ok, time for Flash to hold it down!

Panda - my ma is from philly, sailed to ireland '64 (yeah, really), I got told when I got into baseball as a teenager that I was a phillies-fan-no-questions-asked-get-on-with-it-read-that-1964 yearbook-and-feel-the-pain, I moved to edinburgh via london.

taking my temperature to bed for some kip. That's a nice sweep right there, and some great fielding this evening. I never knew howard could eat grass that fast to stop a groundball.

Beautiful! The sweep feels good, especially against the Diamondbacks. I think MVPs go to Utley and Hamels. Also Madson apparently pitched a gem.

I wish Floyd could pull it together against big league pitching. Whether he gets another shot hinges on Brito tomorrow I suppose.

Control is everything for Madson. I'm glad that at least for one game, he backed up what I've been saying, that he *does* have the stuff to be a starter so long as he has fair and consistent command. His outing today was as big a shot in the arm as anything else that happened in the series, besides Hamels coming back strong.

I can't believe no one has mentioned Sal Fasano's highlight game of the season. When they play the highlights of Sal Fasano on the Citizen's Bank videotron, this game will account for at least half of the highlights.

Like Indian Summer, enjoy the rare production from Fasano while it lasts.

Fasano was a triple short of the cycle. Would have been something if he had gotten it, considering he has a grand total of zero in his career.

Nice win, but I don't want to get too optimistic. But I'm heartened by some solid play. Let's go Phils!

I'm happy. I can go to bed relaxed and content. Go Phillies!

Don't know how many of you saw Phillies Postgame, but Marzano discussed minor changes made to Madson's mechanics.

Unless this start was a fluke, if Mad Dog keeps pitching like today, than Dubee deserves some credit.

Just thought I'd mention it; pitching coaches (like hitting coaches) bear much of the criticism when their staff stinks but get little credit when their pitchers are performing well.

Along the lines of what VoR said, I noticed both Hamels and Madson had 3-1 strike to ball ratios in the last two games. Which is pretty good, but could be coaching. This was true even though they weren't exactly missing a lot of bats or getting Ks. So, it could be coaching.

The other Adam- although Manuel's lineup worked yesterday, I often wonder why he inserts all the backups on the same day. Starting them here and there seems like more sense to me, but then again I'm not a former Japanese League player.

Mr. Negativity here with a pop of optimism. Unlike some of the wins in the 13 out of 14 stretch, this 4 game roll the Phillies are on is legit. They've played solid baseball throughout that game. Good pitching and hitting...and even some defense for Madson yesterday. I'm still puzzled about all the defensive lapses this team has committed thus far...they should be tops in the NL. Oh well, let's go get them (G)Nats!

Did anyone see the comebacker to the mound that Shawn Green hit to Madson?

Great play by Madson, but he doubled pumped. Taking his time. Smart play, Want to know why?

Shawn Green dogged it up the line. If that were Chase Utley running, there would have been a play.

Hustling matters.

Here's an interesting bit from Marcus Hayes article in today's Daily News. Seems like Madson had become mentally attuned to coming to short outings from the bullpen:

"It wasn't just proper pace, either. It was mind over matter. Madson admitted after his start in LA that he fatigued mentally after four innings, a recurring issue for him this season. It makes sense, since Madson worked out of the bullpen the past two seasons.

"Mental fatigue comes into it a lot," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Said Madson: "I'd throw three innings and go out there for the fourth and it would be like, 'God, it feels like I've thrown eight innings, nine innings already.' ''

Yesterday, Madson busied his anxious mind by compartmentalizing the game into three-inning segments.

"Little thoughts like that help me pitch deeper in the ballgame. They keep my mind off every little detail that makes it seem like a long game," Madson said. "I'm kind of weird that way."

To the other Adam: I really enjoyed reading Madson's thought process about the number of innings he pitches. Let's hope his "relief pitcher's brain" is evolving into a "starting pitcher's brain."

Fred, I agree. I thought that was an unusually insightful snippet. I think that might be more the key to Madson than all the talk about his physical mechanics.

Great sweep by Phils and outing by Madson, but I am still of the opinion Madson gets exposed as he goes longer into games and his delivery or something he does tips pitches. By keeping his pitch count down, I wonder if helped hide this deficiency.

Ok, I'll liven this board up today....

When do playoff tickets go on sale?

Just to throw some cold water on things - sweeping the D'Backs while the Jason Grimsley thing was blowing up may not be the accomplishment we'd like it to be. It is possible they were not at their best. Just something to think about.

Still nice wins, with the starting pitching stepping up.

Excellent point Larry.

One thing I hate about this HGH thing and steroids in general is that the media is making it out to be that so many players use the stuff, and convientenly leave out the other pro sports. Guarantee NFL dudes are doing it, so are NBA, and possibly NHL. Hell, for all we know the WNBA is doing, look at those "ladies".

I'm a little confused about this HGH stuff. I can remember hearing radio commercials selling the stuff on late night syndicated radio shows in the not too distant past. Did it used to be legal? Grimsley's 38 year old, shouldn't he be grandfathered like they did when the spitball was made illegal?

I think that's flat-out absurd to say the Diamondbacks lost three games because of Jason stinkin' Grimsley. Come on. You mean to tell me that every batter that stepped in the box had his mind on the big HGH scandal, and that the pitchers kept serving up meatballs to Fasano because they just couldn't focus their attention away from their beloved teammate of two months? Can we give the Phillies just a wee bit of credit once in a while?

The problem with the "Madson gets exposed the longer he goes into games" theory is that we now have two outstanding confounding examples: Wednesday's start against the DBacks and the long extra inning stint against the Mets a couple of weeks ago.

In view of that, I think Madson's explanation makes a lot of sense. When he went into that Mets game he knew he was the last pitcher and there was no relief coming. Plus the nature of extra-innings makes it easy to mentally ompartmentalize the game, a series of one-inning segments instead of three.

Anyway, whatever works for Ryan works for me.

I think Nat has written a good analysis about Madson's new mental outlook on pitching.

If this is indeed a big mental breakthrough for Madson, and the pitcher we saw last night is who we will see the rest of the season, then I'm excited about a starting pitching group of Myers, Hamels and Madson that should give us a good chance to win each time they pitch, then Lidle and Lieber/Wolf/Brito/Floyd won't be so pressured to carry the load.

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