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Monday, August 07, 2006

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Arizona picked up Livan Hernandez. Now instead of having to face him in a possible WC run, the Phils will face some AAA starter. I can't help but to think it's a good move for the Phils.

Mike H: It's also intersting to note the Nats picked up a couple of quality minor leaguers in that trade. Imagine that!

Quality minor leaguers to go along with the rest of the Nats. They will feel right at home...

Rowand really piling up the strikeouts as of late.

Okay, can someone in the front office PLEASE sign Howard to a long-term contract -- NOW ???

Another homer for the big man. Incredible...

OK, is anyone listening to the banter between Wheels and Graham, regarding the Ryan Howard bobble doll the Carreys had in the Atlanta broadcast booth? The kept talking about it, why it was there etc. THEN, they show it on the air.
Anyone beisdes me notice that someone took the bat, which Howard should have been holding out toward the pitcher, and put the bat in Howard's OTHER hand, to give the appearance of Howard holding the bat like a, ahem, male body part? That's why they had it, it was a joke!
Anyone else notice this! st

rbi for rowand on a bloop single. the phils are getting contributions from everyone tonight

All passed balls are bad . . . but that one by Lieby was *VERY BAD*, being a perfectly catchable ball, with the PB coming at positively the worst time (in terms of ccellerating the downward momentum spiral) possible! Terrible. Bring in Coste!

This is a memo for Mike, Brett and Dubee. Myers has a pretty filthy breaking ball. You might want to consider using it once in a while. Don't get me wrong, the variety fastball Myers we see tonight - which is the pitcher we saw the second half of last season - is nice and all, but is it possible to "raise the bar" just a little bit?

Feeling more positive now Drama Queen.

Nice job by the Phillies' oft-disparaged bench tonight. Pinch hits by Roberson (with a stolen base) and Sandoval, and a walk by Dellucci, who scored.

A 400-foot broken bat (one piece of it flying into the Phillies dugout) home run by Andru Jones? Let's get the final out.

At last. Well done Phils!

I'm even going to stick up for Abe (In the Woods) Nuñez tonight. He took an 0 for 3, but worked two walks and came around to score both times. Nice victory overall. Still have to get to .500 to honestly talk about the WC race, and to get there before 61 losses.

Mike H: You're right, of course, but zach will yell at you for being too negative. LOL!

Philly has a new Dynamic Duo since the All-Star break - take a look at these sick numbersm (not including today's game):

Howard: 82 ABs .341 10 HR 24 RBIs OPS 1.263
Utley: 97 ABs .392 5 HR 18 RBIs OPS 1.104

I can't remember two hitters in the Phils' lineup just destroying pitching like this. These two guys (along with Dellucci and Rollins) have carried the Phils the past 3 weeks.

Now only if they can't find some pitching. . .

Madson has finally found a home again in the bullpen. Hence he shall never return to the land of ill-fated starters.

Somehow we're only 2.5 games out from Cincy. No idea how. Did the Phils trade Franklin hoping he'd implode and actually help them win the wild card?

Very trying season; games come on at 1 PM and suffer through yet another season of Jimmy Rollins leading off. Thought maybe he just doesn't get on base well on the road so I checked out his stats. At least he's consistent...ly sucky at getting on base. They need to tape his arms to his side. Bet he gets on base more than he does now. And get the walks up!

I actually kept myself awake last night reviewing all the 'can't miss pitching prospects' over the past 20 years; Carmen, Combs, Grimsley, etc. Is Robin Roberts the last good home grown pitcher we've had?

I dunno, MG, I don't think Madson in the 'pen is such a good thing. He may be good one game, but all over the place in the next. The last thing you want in a reliever is the kind of inconsistency and unreliability that's become his hallmark over the past calendar season.

Good to see the bats come alive again tonight. They're going to need output like this to win games down the stretch, if they're going to win them at all.

The folks on ESPN seem to regard Houston as the WC favorite because of their starters...if that's so, what will the result be when the Phillies play them this time around? I'm thinking another 0-6 may not help the cause. On the other hand, the Reds don't look strong at all to me. They're now only a half-game up and their chances are fading by the day.

When you look at whats happening in the minors, some Phillie pitchers are really kickin' it. We have alot of depth in the pitching department and the future looks bright.

Also, in 5 series (including todays game)The Phils are 10 - 5. Going well lately. May as well be positive.

:]

BloodStripes you are talking about the Phils' minor leagues right? Sure you are not mistaken about another franchise?

RSB - Granted Madson has been up and down but his career numbers in the pen are pretty solid. Plus, he can go more than 1 inning if needed. I don't think Madson is a great option but he is certainly better than some of the other guys in the pen (White, Sanches, Rhodes).

MG. Here is a post I found on PhilsPhans.com. Hope you don't mind me putting it here. Thanks to Poz for writing it.

"Minor League Pitchers of the week:

South Atlantic League
Josh Outman, Lakewood
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 14.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 18 SO
Josh Outman gets the outs, man. The 21-year-old turned in a pair of near-identical masterpieces this week. On both Monday and Saturday, Outman allowed one hit over seven shutout innings while striking out nine. The left-hander's spectacular week improved his record to 10-6 on the year, while his 127 strikeouts rank second in the South Atlantic League.

Eastern League
Zach Segovia, Reading
2-0, 1.20 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 15.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 12 SO

Segovia picked up a pair of victories on the week en route to becoming the first 15-game winner in the Minor Leagues. On Monday, the 23-year-old allowed two runs -- one earned -- on six hits over seven innings as the Phillies defeated Portland, 6-2. Five days later, the Texas native surrendered two runs -- one earned -- on four hits over eight frames as Reading edged Harrisburg, 4-2."

We also have Gio Gonzales and Daniel Haigwood from the whites sox trade. They were regarded as very good prospects yeah? These guys might be a way off, but many are showing promise. Seems good to me.


Haigwood was traded for Fabio Castro, who's still a young prospect himself. Haigwood got hit pretty hard his first couple starts in the Texas minors, but I haven't checked his latest numbers. Meanwhile, you have to like what you've seen from Fabio.

BloodStripes- oh, I'm feeling a bit better after last night's victory. Sorry I wasn't on last night brotha. I wish you'd come check out my blog and sprinkle some of your optimism there too!

I check the Phils minor league box scores every day and must admit they have some decent talent in the pitching department...positional wise we're extremely thin if not see-through.

About Lieberthal- his offense is not what it used to be and that was his only major attribute. My problem with him has always been his inability to call a good game and handle his pitchers...not to mention horrible defense (screw that Gold Glove, they mean nothing anymore...i.e. see Abreu).

On the subject of defense, Nunez has been playing sparkling 3rd, but it really is painful to watch him bat. It's hard to believe he has 150+ ab and is still hovering well below .200...sickening!

Marcus Hayes in today's Daily News: "Despite the struggles of third baseman Abraham Nunez, hot-hitting Chris Coste will not get a look at third base, manager Charlie Manuel said. The defensive dropoff would be too great." I simply don't get that. Coste was not a DH for Scranton Wilkes-Barre last year. Primarily, Coste played third base for the Red Barons, even though catcher has admittedly always been his first position. I couldn't figure out how to access Coste's third base fielding figures from 2005 in the International League on MiLB.com this morning. Nevertheless, I listened on the net to the Red Barons radio call on about 50 or so 2005 games, and recall Coste having made many sparkling fielding plays at third base. Furthermore, I never heard anything negative about Coste's fielding on the S-WB play-by-play, and I never read anything negative about it in the Scranton Times Tribune-News or the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader on those newspapers' web sites. I think Cholly is "blowing smoke" on this one, to take some media and fan pressure off of the pressing Nunez, who just can't seem to get above .165. Having said that, I do admit that Nunez has played excellent defense of late.

I just read Todd Zoleki's piece in this morning's Inquirer: "Manuel does not seem inclined to try Coste at third base, where he has played in the past. The Phillies want to give Nunez a chance to play, and Nunez is considered a superior defensive third baseman to Coste. 'I haven't seen Coste play a lot of third,' Manuel said. 'But we just traded David Bell. This is supposed to be a chance to let Nunez play. If you say you're going to let somebody play, you're going to play this guy. It's important to win games, but if you want to give a guy a chance, you have to give him a chance.'" That's pretty weak, Cholly.

Gotta like Fabio's 10.1 innings with no runs scored only 3 hits. Give credit where it's due. Well done Castro. Hope he can rule like his name-sake. With an iron fist.

Send me an email with a link to your blog Drama Queen. Only too happy to spread the word.

Right! The link is already there. Dont worry, I got it. Duh!

Wow, I can't stand Manuel. We can all admit Nunez's defense has been stellar, but his offense is more frail than a hollywood starlet. I think Nunez has gotten his chance, and just has not produced offensively. Seriously, go look at the guys career and what convinces anybody that he's a quality offensive producer? He's bad...plain and simple.

This Fabio character is very intriguing to me. I would like to see more of him through the rest of the season. I couldn't believe the trade was made, but this might actually work out. Castro could be a key cog in the bullpen next season...just another reason to tune in every game! (That is if Manuel would actually pitch him more often)

I don't mind Nunez playing, but I think they need to work in Coste at third at least a little. Even if you only get Coste in on substitutions in blow-outs or whatever. If the Phils make the playoffs, they cannot have a guy batting sub .200 starting at third every game. You have to at least, AT LEAST, get to a point where if Nunez is due up with the bases loaded deep in a game, Cholly can put Coste in to bat and leave him in at 3rd, without worrying too much.

Will, Cholly needs to start Coste to get runs and put in Nunez in the late innings to shore up the defense in close games. This of course assumes that Foghorn is right and that Coste is a defensive liability. I tend to believe that Coste would be fine all game long.

I was watching the Phillies on ESPN Sunday night when Fabio came in to pitch. I joked to my wife and daughter that Cuba's Fidel Castro had recovered from his illness; in fact, he was in such good shape that Castro was pitching for the Phillies! That got a good laugh, especially with Fabio's shortened listing of F. Castro.

Seriously, Fabio pitches nicely. I'd like to see him pitch more. To use Uncle Charlie's logic: "but if you want to give a guy a chance, you have to give him a chance." Duh?

Coste did take infield at 3B before yesterday's game for whatever that is worth. As the limbo man says, how low can you go. Nunez is down to .156 now.

As long as the offense continues to make up the difference, there's no reason to take Nunez's glove out of the starting lineup. Coste is producing in his role, Nunez is getting the job done in the field. We already have one clueless defender on the left side in Burrell. The pitchers need all the help they can get defensively. Plus, it sounds like Coste has won over at least one pitcher (Lieber).

I know the .156 BA jumps off the page, but Nunez is not killing the team the way others are.

I'm going to say this with no intent of ticking you off, but you often defended Bell's play at 3rd and now Nunez too? What's up with the loyalty to no hit 3rd basemen? I just want to understand your stance. I know defense is key, but .156 batting average is horrible.

Dudes cmon, it's time to rehash the whole Ryan Howard nickname debate. IT's friggin time!

Jason's point is well made. The phils since Nunez's regular starts have been putting up more runs. Saying they need to improve the offense is a little far-fetched at this point.

However, as I said before, they could benefit from having Coste in the wings to bat for Nunez in close games in the right situation. He could also bat for the pitcher and stay in at third, that way the phils don't lose their back-up catcher and aren't screwed if Lieberthal decides to get hurt again.

The Howitzer. That's what the media called him when he was in Reading.

RE: Nunez. He's hitting almost 50 points below the mendoza line. Its time to move on, sparkly defense or not.

Give Coste a shot, and if his D is that bad, we can always put nunez back in.

I have to disagree with the Grand Poobah of the Beerleaguer Blog, the Almighty Webmaster Jason. A BA of .165 is not acceptable. I would have to believe that somewhere in the Phillies system is a good fielding 3B who could hit maybe .210 in the bigs. Nunez just ain't cutting it. He needs to be riding the pines and taking extra BP.

There have been times, and will continue to be times where Nunez just flat-out falls short during offensive opportunities. Failing to move runners, sac fly, bunt, get the pitcher up...I just can't take his numbers...sorry! The Phils pretty much only have 7 spots in the order because they sacrifice the 8-hole for a no-hit 3rd baseman, and then the 9-hole to the predictably/excusable poor hitting pitchers.

I was gone this weekend, wasn't Myer's court date Aug 4th? What happened?

That's fine, guys. Point taken. It's not like I'm willing to give up my first born to defend this guy.

Myers never showed, as expected, to his court date.

About Nunez- I understand what your'e saying Weitz, I just can't believe he's still hitting, or better yet not-hitting, so horribly. This is a case where I see the Phils improving of late and would like to see them improve at 3rd too...could mean the difference in a game or two...or a wild card shot down the road.

Playing a guy in part for his defense is one thing, but not when the guy is hitting under .200. Playing Nunez is just a continuation of the organizational philosophy of not putting the best possible lineup on the field. The Phillies were without a doubt a better lineup last year with Utley playing 2nd and Polanco at 3rd, but Bell made $4 million a year so they "had" to play him. Now that Bell's gone they "have" to give Nunez a chance at third. Why? The guy has proven he's not a good enough hitter to be an everday player. The best possible lineup would be Coste at third with Lieberthal catching. That leaves only one major weakspot (Lieberthal) besides the pitcher and even he's been hitting better lately.

This team is clearly not going to the postseason on the basis of their pitching so they need to put themselves in the position to score the most possible runs everyday. I'm not saying play Coste at third everyday because I think he should still be used at catcher as well. But there's no reason for Nunez to start 6 days a week when this would be a better team with him playing 2 or 3 days a week. But this baloney (keeping it clean) about "giving guys a chance" keeps holding back the organization because they keep giving the wrong guys a chance. Instead of worrying about who's making what and who's feelings will be hurt, they should worry about giving the team a chance to maximize it's potential.

Carlos Leon, Bobby Scales...both currently in Scranton are capable to playing 3rd. I'm not saying they're the solution, but if we're talking about giving players a chance, why not them? The only reason Nunez is being given Manuel's "chance" is because of his god-awful contract, not because he deserves it!

DQ- my point exactly. The Phils seem intent on proving what a monumental mistake they made with certain contracts.

JW- not trying to pile on, I was still typing when you posted the "point taken." Just had to get all that out.

funny Steve Jeltz note: if you type in Steve Jeltz on google the click on images, by buddy and I are forever linked to him because of our blog...just find it amusing.

Did anyone see Burrell flossing his teeth in the 8th last night? Maybe he should worry less about dental hygeine and more about CATCHING ROUTINE POP UPS!!!!!!!

I think Nunez has pictures of both Foghorn and Stand Pat with farm animals.

I find it hysterical that a wad-chewer like Burrell would be caught flossing on camera. That's like people who eat soybeans and carrot juice and run 10 miles a day, and smoke two packs of cigarettes. So glad you care about your health!

Dude, for the Howard nickname: how 'bout Big Six.

There must be some actual reason why the Phillies aren't inclined toward Coste at third, because Manuel's alternate reasoning, as duly noted by several already, is absurd. What is all this about giving Honest Abe a "chance"? Did that matter a bit when the perennial all-star David Bell was still here starting six days a week? Where was the organizational concern and backing for him then? Now all of a sudden, they're committed to him like he was a first-round bonus baby. Again, I've never seen Coste play third, but he must be severely lacking at that position to not have the team consider getting him more playing time there. There must be some logic in this somewhere. (?)

They don't let people into the Gold Club in Hotlanta with bad teeth, Tony... lol, just kidding, they closed that joint. But all of Buckhead awaits after "work" for Pat...

Good point, DQ, about contracts versus desire. This is why Lieby is still here. Would you rather have Coste/Nunez in the black hole or Lieberthal/Coste? I'd take the first - at least they still have something in the tank and can both hit and defend. I doubt we'd see Coste, Scales, etc. with the average defense.

The Phils' have been playing better defense of late and some credit needs to go to Nunez. Stil, if Nunez had gotten hot recently or hit around .250, it would be alot easier to justify starting him everyday.

Good pitching can have a breather against the top of this lineup when the bottom is Lieberthal (although he has hit well lately), Nunez, and pitcher. Even worse than last year's bottom of the lineup if that is possible.

Castro has had a nice run but most of it has been garbage time. It is alot easier to pitch when your team is up or down by 3-4 runs.

Mike H., Did I read you write. "can both hit and defend". Nunez is putting up numbers so bad, they are historical. I am curious how long they are going to let this continue. The Phils have 50 games or so remaining. You certainly cannot play someone at the major league level for another 150 to 200 ABs who is hitting under .160. There is no way he can be this bad of a hitter and certainly you would expect the numbers to improve. But if you watch the games, it is not like he is being robbed on well hit balls. Nearly all of his ABs result in weak ground balls or strikeouts. It is getting to be sad.

I prefer Deep Six to Big Six.

MG, Agree Castro is being used at garbage time, but he is still getting them out. Also, not that easy to pitch when you've been sitting in the pen for 3 weeks.

Obviously I meant "right" as in correctly not "write" above.

I think I'll start refering to Howard as "Deep Six" or just "Deep" as in hitting them deep.

Billy - I concede the point on Nunez's BA. Even when you break out the numbers on Nunez from his role as a pinch hitter to everyday starter, the numbers don't lie. He is, however, the best fielding 3B on the depth chart right now. I look at what San Diego did with Todd Walker and it's a disaster that cost them games (in a division race that is way too close.) Biggest problem with the Phils right now is pitching and defense. I'd chose saving a run on defense right now over getting that sixth or seventh run a night. But that's just me. You make a good point, Billy Mac.

I always liked Big 6 cause he hits big home runs in the clutch and with men on base, too. But deep is cool.

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