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Thursday, August 31, 2006

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Weitz- what do you mean "with a win"...put that win in the W column my friend...we're going for a sweep tonight...bug zap them gNats!

I guess the (ahem) excitement over the Nats has lessened..RFK looks like Olympic Stadium tonight.

Ryan Howard all time phillies HR record!

Does Howard ever miss a mistake pitch? Will he ever cease to amaze?

Way to go, all-time Phils record!! History!

Wow. After Thome came close a few years back, I had my doubts that Schmitty's record would ever be broken.

Hats off to Howard!

How do pitchers like Pedro Astacio keep floating around the majors? He hasn't been a quality starter in over 5 years.

That was out and out HUGE. They essentially pitch around Ryan, and Burrell comes through with a little backup. Nice to see.

Bad fielding by Kearns. Someone forgot to tell him he doesn't play in the River City Bandbox any more. He has a canyon to patrol. It was a nice hit by Burrell - I'd like to think he took advantage.

Holy crap, Lieberthal didn't GIDP. The rest must do him some good.

It would be downright depressing to me if I had to put up with Pedro Astacio on my team. Doesn't Washington have anyone in the minors worth a late-season trial? Astacio just serves no purpose.

Burrell may not be adequate protection for Howard, but it's good to see him contributing, playing a key role despite his relative absence of power in the second half. His recent parade of doubles to right-center has been nice to watch.

I think Burrell is "adequate" protection...he may have 100 RBI despite missing a lot of games this year, and it's impossible to deny that a lot of his recent hits have been in clutch situations.

Also, the Nats outfield of Soriano/Anderson/Kearns may be the worst outfield defense I've seen in a long time.1

There's a big drop off from 49 HRs, .298, to 24 HRs and .258. But don't take my word for it. Ask the managers who keep intentionally walking and pitching around Howard.

Yes, Burrell has been getting his share of hits behind those walks, which has been a crucial ingredient in the Phils' continued success. But I still wouldn't blame any manager who feels he can get away with walking Howard.

Not to get off track, but did anyone see the Burger King/Drew Rosenhaus commercial between innings?
Hilarious!

Wow, I missed the HR when it happened, but just saw the replay. Ryan Howard is truly special. He is doing all of this in his second year as a starter. I said it the other night and will say it again, but the sky is the limit for this guy. I can't wait to see what all he will achieve. He started with the ROY Award last year and could end up as the MVP this year. Awesome!!

Mo one is questioning that there is a dropoff from Howard to Burrell, but that's largely a function of how amazing Howard has been, not how bad Burrell has been. Teams walk Puljols all the time, even though Rolen is a very good hitter.

The only question is what Burrell (or Delucci) does when they walk Howard...so far, so good.

Yeh, and people stil walk Ortiz and take their chances with Manny.

God damn it, some gNat should take a pitch in the middle of the back next inning.

And I say: Bring Rick White in to do it!

GREAT job by Madson. He does look much more together in the bullpen, I must say.

I agree Joe, it's high time somebody on the Nationals got nailed. They're a little too liberal with their high and tight pitching. I realize it'd bring up the tying run, but the series is over tonight. Make a point.

Madson lookin' sharp! It'd be a huge boost for the Phils if he can return to '04 form.

If Madson has the 6th and 7th innings tonight, and Rhodes has (presumably) the 9th, who gets the 8th?

It can't be overstated how much Madson has meant to the Phillies for three seasons. They lean on him very hard. Remember back to 2004, how many times he stopped the bleeding? Now, he's being used in all types of relief situations, including closer. That's amazing for a guy who spent half the season as a starter.

Everybody check your props for Abe Nunez at the Beerleaguer door.

RSB, do you mean that Abraham "Over The Mendoza Line Once Again" Nunez?

Good 8th inning from Nunez. A line drive and great defense.

Utley looks tight. He's carrying the look of a player who knows he's out of gas. Or ... I wonder if the pressure of being "the man" is getting to him. They've got a lot of new bodies in the clubhouse, lots of veterans: Conine, Moyer ...

Why must you constantly rip on Pat Da Bat. Look at his career stats and he is what he is a .260 hitter with on avg 30 hrs and 95rbi's...its not bad...just not stats that you can build your team around these days which i guess you all expected the phils to do when he was the #1 pick. For all the faults Pat has he certainly does not deserve all the constant ripping he gets. He has confided in me over the past few weeks and I understand that he was under alot of pressure right before the trade deadline

Utley looks like he needs one of those back-to-back Burrell-type benchings. I bet it'd work. But they'll never do it.

Uh-oh, folks.

That was a terrible play by Roberson in right field, pulling up before getting to the wall, for what should have been a very catchable ball -- particularly for a guy who is supposedly in the ganme for his defense. Let's hope it doesn't matter -- but with runners on second and third with only one out . . . .

Roberson pulled up bc the hitter was buried in the count and a run would have scored and the runner on 2nd would have advanced if he caught it. Smart baseball from then kid.

Davthom, couldn't disagree more. That's a terrific split decision. If he catches it, a run scores and the tying run goes to third with one out. You're talking about an inexperienced hitter, who wound up striking out on the next pitch. It was the right play, an intelligent play.

Damn... Felipe Freaking Lopez... And Zimmerman coming up... Not good...

Well, I hope everyone learned the moral of the Arthur Rhodes story: Mediocre set-up man, can save a game or two against poor competition if you're desperate, but don't push your luck.

Argh.

So, if we score in the 10th, do we let Rhodes re-save it, or put in someone else?

Well at least Rhodes limited the damage by striking out Zimmerman. Anyway, Roberson, Lieberthal, and Nunez are coming up. We may have to do this in the 11th.

Well, did you really think he wasn't ever gonna blow one? I'm just happy he managed to get Zimmerman out with off-speed stuff.

In retrospect, the play worked out -- but I think you take the out there, even with the sac fly as a given. If the runner on second tried to advance, Roberson had a shot at him on a play at third. You then have third open.

Well -- doesn't matter now -- game tied with a failed ninth by Rhodes, who looks like he has release point problems when he tried to get his velocity 93 mph and higher..

Jesus. How many guys have been hit by a pitch in this series? 10?

Roberson would've had no shot at the runner. It's a given that the runner tags and goes to third. The hitter was Castro, a guy who was down in the count and not much of a threat in that situation.

Be a hero, Jimmy!

Hah...who needs heroes when you're playing the sloppy-ass Nationals...

Just your basic later-summer 3-for-5, 1 BB night for Jimmy.

I will gladly eat the words from my last statement. The hit batsman came back to bite the Nats with Nunez's hustle on a potential double play grounder. If Lieberthal wasn't hit, Nunez would have been easily thrown out at first. Also, how about that shot off Wagner by Conine! Nice to see him delivering for us for a change! Hopefully we can hold the lead now!

well Mr. Unpredictable blew another save...but back to what I was saying before I was so rudely interruption. Being that I am probably the only female and voice of reason on this board, you guys need to realize that it was hard for Pat to deal with the younger guys coming in and taking over the team in the beginning of the season. Pat was the #1 pick remember and it was supposed to be hhis team. Once the deadline passed, Pat realized that he is no longer expected to be the savior and only has to play ball and be a contibuting player

SHUT UP.

I guess the bullpen cannot do it every night... Fultz needs to bear down here!

Sorry, just not in the mood for that horsesh*t right now.

What's going on? Yahoo's page is acting up.

RSB: Third base on the SF tag-up is a "given" where the runner on second was the ultra slow Brian Schneider, who has but one solitary stolen base all season, while being on base with 81 hits, 32 walks & 106 total bases? I don't think Schneider even attempts to tag and go there. But whatever. Schneider, he of the gift passed ball in the ninth, which sadly might not have been enough of a gift tot he Phillies at this point.

Phis have their backs to the wall, MAW. 2 out, first and third, 2-0 on Church.

Phillies have won only three of eleven extra inning games this year . . . UGH!

Unbelievable...

They definitely pissed it away tonight...

This one's on Drama Queen for that first comment in this thread.

That's one I hope I forget real soon.

Manuel hooked Wolf an inning too early tonight, and it cost him.

RSB, agreed. Wolfie was at 95 pitches and could have easily gone another inning and probably given a better AB than Thurston who has yet to show any ability to hit major league pitching.

That game didn't rock so much, but congrats to the Nats on their victory.

Another point to make is that Dellucci shouldn't be playing defense in the late innings if his arm is that pathetic. Really. Burrell isn't so horrible out there that they have to keep taking him out in the seventh. He would've had a real shot to throw out runners in both the ninth and tenth, or maybe the Nationals don't even send the runners if he's out there. The Washington announcers thought something was wrong with Dellucci's arm. No: it's just unbelievably weak. I had no idea just how weak until tonight.

Right on, RSB. Like you, I did not realize Delluci's arm was THAT bad. He looked like he was returning the ball to the infield after a routine fly ball. Not to mention his lack of grace when he slid into the left field wall; he is a butcher in the field - a Baseball Blooper highlight waiting to happen.
I think Gillick would be making a big mistake by attempting to resign him, let him walk back to the AL where he can hide his deficiecies.

OTOH, Victorino continues to impress as an everyday outfielder, both with the bat & glove. Is it my imagination, or has he cut down on his strike zone lately? Is it time to restart the "Victorino As Leadoff Hitter in '07" debate yet? He's not a classic leadoff hitter but if he proves he can bunt effectively he'll have a respectable OBP for the #1 slot.

Ugly, ugly loss to the Nats. Oh well, time to move on. Still, only 1 game out going into September. No complaints about that!

Phils get a break against Atlanta: a 4-game-series and no Smoltz! Meanwhile, its time to change sentiments and hope the Reds get a series win against SD. (Let's just not mention the "F" word, as in Franklin, Ryan).

GO PHILS!!!

Ugly loss. It's losses like these that mean they will have to continue to win every series. That does get hard after a while. And what is really up with Utley? Those last seven days numbers look like Nats numbers. Perhaps its just a pause before one big push at the end. They need him big time.

Mike- I'll take the blame for the loss with the first post of this thread. However, I'd also like to include Manuel in the blame because Rhodes and Fultz should have never been in that game. Rhodes is not meant to pitch 3 straight, and Fultz has been very ineffective of late. White and my boy Castro were sitting out there in the pen relatively rested...but what do I know, I'm only a fan.

Can someone tell me why in the world Rollins cutoff Victorino's throw to third in the 10th? The score was already tied at that point, so there was no point to cutting the ball to keep the runner at first base -- Anderson represented the winning run at second base. Why not let the ball go and see if you can get a call? It looked like the throw had a decent shot, too. Dumb play, in my opinion.

Several thoughts:
RSB: So you're ready to withdraw your declaration that Dellucci/Victorino are better than Abreu?
Queen: Do you honestly want Rick White closing games? I've been saying Rhodes sucks since the day they traded for him (you can go back and look.) But the guy who deserves a shot is Geary.
Roberson: I'm with RSB on this one. You don't concede the tying run with a weak hitter like Castro at bat.
Burrell: I'm with Cholly here. Burrell's range is dreadful because he's playing with a bad foot. He can hardly even run out a double without limping these days. So CM moves Looch over there to get better range, while giving up arm, a fair trade in my opinion. But the bottom line is that Looch is a DH. That's just reality.
Final thought: Tough loss, but Wolf's effort shows the rotation may end up being the strength of the team down the stretch. The bullpen is now paying for all those innings it threw early in the season when no starter could go more than 5. Rhodes has been a total bust and Fultz, after a career year, has reverted to his statistical norm. Let's give Castro and the other kids a chance to share the load.

drama queen brings up probably the most important point: arthur rhodes should NEVER pitch 3 straight nights. Cholly is on rcord as saying he doesdn't like to use him 2 straight. so, what was the thinking behind 3 straight? this was a taylor-made game against a bad team for breaking castro into the non-blowout mix, probably the 8th so geary/fultz could throw the 9th. bad bullpen management. the team doesn't have enough arms to use the same guys multiple nights like this. using rhodes in the hamels' game wasn't necessary either.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda. The Monday morning quarterbacks strike again.

I took the night off and watched the Saints lose to the Chiefs on the tube, flicking over to ESPN during commercials to get updates. After 8 innings it looked good, and after the top of the tenth it looked good. Where's Flash? We should have swept the lowly gNats. I hope we don't lose the WC by one game. This would be THAT game!

The night wasn't a total loss. I stayed up and watched the end of a great tennis match between Agassi and Bhagdatis. I was left admiring both cometitors, after initially not liking Bhagdatis.

Yeh, Ugly loss, but Rhodes should never ever go 3 in a row.

And, praise be to jeebus, Flash is coming back. The fact that we got through his absence with only one terribly blown game is amazing.

I still stand by saying that the Phillies should replace Manuel after this season. I know it will most likely not happen, but he does far too many questionable things in my mind.

I can't help but think that Castro must not be well-liked by Manual for some reason. I just don't understand why he continues to rot in the 'pen after showing he's more than capable. The only time he gets in, the games are already decided.

Forecast looks awful for Baseball in these parts.

You aren't kidding, Paul. I have tickets for the night game on Saturday and am already thinking about what game I would like to exchange it for.

Well I didn't get a chance to read all the posts but I can pretty much assume people are angry about the 9th & 10th inning last night. My only question is why the hell is Arthur Rhodes in there? Fultz? who's been overused. Fabio Castro would've been perfect, but no way Charlie would put him in there. He's rested & can only pitch mop-up.

While I'm still angry & I'm happy because Ryan Howard hit a bomb & he deserves it. I'll try & cope.

I've been tracking the Phils progress towards 85 wins since the sweep of the Cards in the beginning of August. Last night's loss means that can't reach the midway goal I came up with: 72 wins by Sept 3rd.

They would have had to win last night and sweep the Braves, so it wasn't going to happen anyway. We shall see were they stand after the series with the Braves.

As it stands now, they are already 1 game behind pace. (pace is 2 wins for every 3 games) Any losses in the Braves series puts them further behind pace. However, no more series against the Mets or any other winning team helps.

Watching Rhodes tonight was painful. For a guy who supposedly didn't have a major injury, it has taken Gordon an awful long time to come back.

Or another way to look at it with slightly different rounding. They needed to have 69 wins after last night's game, which has been impossible since the final Mets series.

Still they are close to an 85 win pace (a game or two off). 85 wins may be meaningless anyway. It may not take as many wins, or maybe it will be less. That's number I keep hearing though.

>it has taken Gordon an awful long time to come back.

As long as Gordon is in early season form for the push, I'm happy. Also, the bullpen did perform admirably, even with last nights implosion.

Clout- I agree Geary would have been my choice for closer, but at that point in the game was unavailable. Also, about the "Sunday Morning Quarterback" comment, I was saying it was a mistake before either Rhodes or Fultz threw one pitch...I know you weren't at my house to hear my explicative laced rant directed at the tv towards Manuel, but my wife was, and I know I'm not making this stuff up so bite me!

Gordon Pitched Single A last night in Clearwater. His line is pretty good, but it's only Single A ball....

Gordon 2.0 Inn - 1 Hit - 3 K's 0.00 ERA

Phils need that.

any guess as to whether they're gonna play this game tonight? or even the day game tomorrow?

will -

aint gonna happen today. yer on the internet, check wunderground.com .

who's going to cole v clemens on labor day?

Hamel -vs- Clemens is the perfect "chaning of the guard" matchup.

Never said the Phils' outfielders playing in place of Abreu were "better" than him. However, I don't even see the relevance here as Dellucci was playing left at the time. Victorino's been great in the field.

What I have said is that the Phillies are better off without him. I am hardly alone on this. The club has already shifted its identity and has turned its season around without Abreu; this should speak for itself. And if it doesn't, there's always the quotes I have seen from players themselves which allude to it. Your comments referring to how great Abreu has been doing and how well the Yankees have done with him miss the point, which is: the Yankees are a different team. On this team, in this situation, Abreu was much more visible and prominent a figure, and his stature and example as the reigning veteran presence - which bespoke a certain passive complacency - was not beneficial to those around him. It needed to shift elsewhere, and it has.

I also have tickets to tonight's game. Am I allowed to swap these tickets for tickets to any remainging home game this season and the first sixty home games of next season? Thanks for any help.

Hamel -vs- Clemens is the perfect "chaning of the guard" matchup.

On dollar dog day with the Phils in the thick of the WC race, on Labor Day no less. I'll be surprised if it's not sold out.

Unless this damn rain screws with the rotation, that is.

yeah the rain is killing us.

rsb - i couldn't agree wit you more. clout is just a bitter, angry, little man.

RSB: If the Phillies are a better team without Abreu, then his replacement which was a Dellucci/Victorino platoon before Rowand got hurt, must be better, no? Or are you saying Abreu's absence caused Rollins, Hamels and Howard get hot? By the way I haven't seen a single quote from a player saying the team was better off without Abreu, as you claim, but if you find one I'll be happy to view it. I did hear Hamels say that when PG threw in the towel, it caused everyone to relax. "The pressure lifted," he said. But that's not the same as saying the team is better without Abreu.

Tim: I'm neither bitter nor angry. Why would you say that? I even have hope that one day you will post something worth reading, which makes me an extreme optimist.

Clout:

Why dont you just go be a yankees fan, as they have the illustrious Bobby Abreu, king of all baseball.

You really dont seem to *like* this current phillies team. Even though they are playing better (as in: they are winning more) without the blessed one.

I don't understand, you've been whingeing about this since the trade, and the phillies have been playing better /as a unit/ since then.

I dont see any dropoff in overall team offensive production, as a matter of fact it looks to be a net plus with regards to runs scored.

I dont understand your arguments anymore, it just seems to be the bizarre screeds of a bitter scorned bobby lover.

Clout, you manage to piss almost everyone off, except for your butt-buddies. Anyway, it's good to know you don't single me out to attack, you love to go at everyone that doesn't fit your exact perception of things.

FYI: Ryan Howard's 41 RBIs in August were the most by a player in any month since Frank Howard did it for the Nationals in 1962! According to HitTracker, Howard's BOMB was the 5th longest homer of the year (474 feet in Std. Distance according to Hit Tracker Online). Now if he can only throw the ball to first base better...

Queen: There's some sloppy reading on this board, including by you (the thing about Monday Morning Quarterbacks that you addressed to me, wasn't written by me, for example). From time to time, I correct it. There have been some particularly ridiculous statements posted about Abreu and I'm happy to balance them out. I don't think correcting errors of fact or pointing out an illogical conclusion is a personal attack.

Alrighty. Here's a quote from Jimmy Rollins:

"We have great players," he said. "We also lost some great players. And, you know, it seems funny to say that any bit of it is selfish. But in the way they played the game, they wouldn't expand outside their discipline. In sports, sometimes you have
to do something you wouldn't normally do in order to help the team win. Some of the players, they came here, they did their job, and it was in the box. It was never outside the box."

It does not follow that because Abreu is a better *player* that the Phillies are a better *team* with him. I refer again to last year's White Sox who traded their most statistically impressive offensive performers, Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez, and lost their other slugger, Frank Thomas, to injury. In the previous seasons, with all those players healthy and hitting, the Sox got nowhere. Without them - and it's clear that their style of play was not endorsed by Ozzie Guillen - the Sox won the World Series. Although I'm hardly predicting the Phillies will win the World Series, I think a parallel can be drawn here.

RSB, the White Sox won because their pitching got ridiculously hot. They always had a great offense, and I don't think their offense improved after they lost Maggs, Thomas, and Lee, it actually got worse, but the pitching carried them. Now the Phillies are leading baseball in runs scored since the all-star break, but would I attribute that to Abreu leaving, no. Howard's been incredible, Rollins is hitting very well, so was Delluci for some time, we were actually getting decent production at catcher, there was Chase, Victorino had a nice month, Hamels was pitching great, and so on. If I had to guess though, we're not going to have a great September, although the schedule should help.

RSB: What evidence do you have that Rollins was referring to Abreu rather than Bell, Lidle, Franklin, Cormier etc. etc.?

Somehow, I knew you were going to say that, Clout. Believe what you want to believe, my friend.

Clout, unless Abreu made some enemies in the locker room we didn't know about, of course no player is going to single him out and say "we're much better without that Bobby Abreu guy". You know that.

Of course, I'm not saying they are better. Frankly the whole argument is a little silly because it's impossible to know. When the statement is that the absence of Abreu has helped the team in terms of chemistry, there's no stat that will either prove or disprove that.

The point is they're in the playoff hunt and, although you may disagree clout, to the majority of us they feel different and are more exciting. Rather than argue incessantly about whether Batman would beat Captain America in a fight we might as well just enjoy the show.

zach: I'm simply waiting for the Abreu-haters to come up with a single shred of evidence to support their contention that his leaving caused the winning streak (which actually began before he left), caused the rotation to pitch better, caused Rollins and Howard to get hot.

Yeah, the only reason I can think of why the team got hot, besides random luck, is that once management gave up on the season the team got a lot more relaxed because they had nothing to play for. You really can't believe that the presence of one player, who's hardly some kind of clubhouse cancer, supressed Rollins and Howard's hot hitting, and once he left they all started playing much better. That's just absurd.

Clout- you're the type of person I would love to just beat the crap out of. Sometimes it's all so easy for you to pop off at the mouth without having to back it up.

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