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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

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I wonder why the Phils called up catcher Tim Gradoville from Reading. They have Coste, Ruiz, and Lieby. Don't want too many players around just sitting on their duffs causing distration during this highly critical period of the season.

I hope Wolf gives the Phils some quality innings tonight...he needs to start pitching better.

I understand Lieby is a bit banged up, so I guess having an extra catcher around doesn't hurt. I'm just not a big fan of calling up the entire 40 man roster in September if you're in contention...just my opinion.

Wolf with the deep counts again. And then a first-pitch fastball grooved. Has he lost his feel for pitching a little? He doesn't seem to be able to put pitches where he wants them...and seems like he's having a hard time with Ruiz. He's got to pitch ahead, and he isn't so far.

Why do things always seem to look so bad for us?

Well, they are bad tonight. Pettitte usually overmatches the Phillies. Wolfie's really going have to be on his game the rest of the way.

Did someone remind Wolf that he's not a strikeout pitcher? 7 pitches, 3 outs in the 2nd - seems like his best inning this year.

Let's remember that pitchers usually don't regain their command until the 2nd year back from TJ surgery. Wolf's performance so far -- this season, not tonight -- has been encouraging. He's hitting numbers on the radar gun I haven't seen him hit in years. He's never been overpowering, but when his fastball was 88-89 -- which he wasn't the last two years before his injury -- he was a pretty good pitcher. If he can maintain the 90 I keep seeing while regaining his control (as well as the bite on his curve), he could be better than he was prior to the injury.

Is it too early to hit for Abe?

Kinda wish Wolfie was hitting ahead of Abe here

True, he does have a live fastball tonight.

Can we have Nunez bunt with the bases loaded?

That hurts. There probably won't be many chances of Pettitte tonight. I would definitely have liked to see Jose Hernandez in there off a tough lefty.

Priority No. 1 this offseason ... get a REAL third baseman

Abe must have compromising pictures (in a safe deposit box in the Caymans) of Manuel committing unnatural acts with a goat. No other explanation for playing him almost every day in a playoff chase.

ROTLMAO John.......always wondered how Nuni held his spot.

Or Gillick with a weasel...

Time for Chase to hit a bomb.

I'd love for Victorino to get more aggressive on the bases in these situations.

RSB: Agreed. No reason he should not have tried for 2nd.

Andy Pettitte has been one of the very best bear-down, big-game pitchers for years. What he's doing tonight isn't a surprise.

Wow, what a mistake...Phils must take advantage. Must.

Should Burrell fail to do anything in this situation, I'll admit to being a little disappointed.

Joe Thurston couldn't have done any worse.

The book on Burrell is so obvious that I could strike him out.

Dissapointed - Yes.
Suprised - No.

For that matter, neither could you or I.

The runs to opportunities ratio is pretty low so far...

I wouldn't call that taking advantage. If they can't do any better than that in clutch situations - and by and large they have not been for a week now - it doesn't bode well for the rest of the month.

At least with Pettitte on the mound there were some good AB that inning.

Man, Geary's arm must be about ready to fall off.

I hate to say this, but a good playoff team takes advantage when you have the sacks drunk with less that 2 out.

They were lucky to get 1 the second time.

Wolfie is competing here, for sure.

I also do not understand why CM didn't start Jose Hernandez over Abe tonight.

Poor game tactics.

Don't know why Cholly lifted Wolfie there - he struck out Taveras twice, had only thrown 94 pitches and 12 in the previous inning - could've had him face Taveras and then Biggio maybe, who's 0-2 with a walk ... save the bullpen a little work.

Wow-I know Geary has some ugly L/R splits, but that pitching change is a surprise.

More poor gamesmanship by CM--my main bitch with the guy.

Wolf did a nice job after all. manuel seems to think he hits a wall after five or six innings, so he won't send him out there beyond that unless they have a big lead.

Anyone else think it might have been perhaps unwise to remove Geary after two straight K's? He looked like he was throwing well. It's not like Berkman is some automatic out right-handed.

Berkamn's definitely their most dangerous hitter, but I wouldn't have made that move.

Burrell is so consistently bad against good pitchers during the regular season, you wonder if his bat would be much use in a playoff game, facing good pitchers and a 100 percent focused opponent.

In fairness, Conine needs to come up with those kinds of hits, too. The Phillies aren't absorbing his 2007 contract for nothing.

Well, I stand corrected, CM is a genius!

Then again, Smith got him out...that's why baseball's fun.

Well, whatever. It worked out.

I wonder if Morgan Ensberg will be a player made available in the off-season? He seems to have fallen out of favor in Houston, as the guys were just talking about on-air.

1-2-3 inning to the 1-2-3 of the lineup. Good job so far from the pen

Burrell is just puny. Moreso with each passing game.

There's a first. Nunez would find a way to make an out if your Granny was pitching.

Hold on to those negatives, Abe.

This would be such an enormous game to win going into the road trip. Late innings, tie game at home, get it done.

Maybe they mentioned it on tv, but Florida's Anibal Sanchez is two outs away from a no-hitter. I definitely don't look forward to playing them.

Truly disappointing AB from Utley. He took a 3-1 fastball right down the middle. Why?

The phils will not make the playoffs with Utley in this funk.

This could be a very bad series with the Marlins.

He didn't look ready to hit, did he? Too many LOB tonight. You'd think David Bell was still here.

Bring on the Marlins. If the Phillies are a worthy playoff team, they stick it to the Fish this weekend. We should know by Monday which team is for real.

So is Utley "puny" too, RSB? Just 5-24 with 8 strikeouts so far this month, those sound like pretty puny numbers to me.

Looks like Sanchez got the no-no. Well, at least the Phillies don't have to face him.

The Phils are playing back on their heels at home. I doubt they'll be any match for a streaking Marlins team.

I sure as *hell* am not comfortable with Madson in here.

Tray, spare me. Burrell's been doing that crap all year.

Wow, you see that nasty hook from Madson there?

I heard Rowand will get his cast off soon. I wonder if he will rush back and see him on the playoff roster? If that happens Burrel maybe placed on the DL for playoffs. Especially the way his foot hurts and the way he is playing

Even Barry Bonds strikes out sometimes. Hopefully Howard will save us in the bottom of the inning and Gordon can close it out.

Well - he did the job. Can't complain about the pitching in this series. Everyone's coming through on that end.

Short memories? Lets not get to tough on Utley. Bad AB or not. He won us the last game.

Trever Miller is pretty impressive. Absolute perfect pitches.

Utley will eventually get out of this slump and he has been showing signs of it.

Victorino keeps hitting like he has and he will soon lead the team in BA.
If his stats were projected over a full season he would be near 100 runs scored and 80 RBI's

The Aaron Rowand injury hurt. He was starting to come around and it forced Burrell to play more.

If Rowand can come back, they ought to park Burrell's butt on the beck where it belongs. Victorino in right, Conine in left.

bench.

RSB: You're always a guaranteed laugh! Yep benching a 100 RBI guy is a smart move. Victorino is better than Abreu and Conine is better than Burrell. Honestly, you're a hoot. I hope no one takes you seriously.

RSB-Have you looked at Conine's numbers? He's only playing because Dellucci's fallen to earth.

I still believe in Pat. Especially considering the other options, most of whom are powerless types.

Rowand, Victorino, & Conine/Delluca OF is better than having Burrel there. Burrel is good for driving in runs and all but Rowand is better fielder with not much offensive drop off from Burrel. (Granted he is a different hitter)

Rowand doesn't hit and isn't the outfielder Victy is. Rowand shouldn't be activated.

Great job by Mdason on Berkman but truth be told I wouldn't have minded seeing Castro face Berkman. He's a totally different hitter from the right side.

Are you watching the games or is your head buried in stat sheet?

wow this internet feed must be way behind. Berkman only has 1 strike.

Who, me? So the guy's slumping. That doesn't mean he isn't a better option than people you know are inadequate.

Ooops I take that back. Damn have the guy looking bad 0-2 and hang a curve

Thanks for giving me a false sense of security clout. Nice One.

No manager in his right mind would play (40, and LONG past his peak) Conine over Burrell. Even CM isn't that foolish.

Madson didn't blow this for the Phils, in case anyone would dream of pointing the finger at him. This was a team effort. Extremely disappointing to lose this kind of game at home when they had it in their hands. It's very telling. The character of this team obviously hasn't changed enough, it's the same old garbage they pull every year.

Sorry Greg, Madson had him buried, thought he'd finish him off.

Should have turned Berkman around with Castro. Too late bringing him in now cholly.

In a sport like baseball, watching the games isn't as helpful as burying your head in the stat sheet. It's impossible to see the difference between a .250 and .300 hitter, it's a difference of a hit every week or so. It's not like basketball or football, where you can easily distinguish the superior players. Anyway, if Gordon's back, would it really be the end of the world to bring him in in a tied ballgame to face one of the best hitters in baseball? I don't understand why you always have to save your closer for a save situation and use a guy like Madson, who actually makes opposing hitters better than their averages.

I wouldn't blame character, but I definitely wouldn't blame Madson either, RSB. He's been very unlucky these last few appearances. Inside out hit by Berkman, and Taveras' hit went past the drawn-in infield.

It all goes back to those missed opportunities with runners on base.

You can't second guess CM. Madson's been great. But Berkman is so tough hitting lefty, that's why I wondered what Castro might've done. And yes I know what he did the other night.

There you go again, RSB. Why does it have to be "character"? Why can't it be, they aren't good enough? How can you assume that they aren't trying hard enough? Houston has a worse record than the Phillies, does that mean that, till tonight, they were short on character too?

Is Gordon ready or not? Why have iffy Madson in there now? That's ****** managing, if Flash is ready to go.

"In a sport like baseball, watching the games isn't as helpful as burying your head in the stat sheet."

Well, doesn't that say an awful lot. God forbid you try to use my powers of observation. It's been a constant clash of stats versus senses from day one on this site (or at least since I've been using it). You can use stats as a crutch, but not so much when you try to offer insights you might have from actually watching the games and players. I wonder why they bother having managers in the first place if everything can be figured out through means of a computer.

What? Ability, or -- heaven forbid -- luck determining the winner of the game, rather than character, pluck and gumption? For shame, Mr. Salmon, for shame. Next thing you know you'll be claiming that given enough time, players will regress to their statistical mean. You, sir, are no man of character.

Bottom of the 9th, down three, we need baserunners. Let's run out Randall Simon first. Pfft. This game was a travesty all around.

P.S. If the Marlins make the playoffs you won't see me commenting here again. MY WRISTS WILL BE SLIT.

I'll give you an analogy, RSB. Sit in a store day after day, just watching them ring up the sales, and try to determine if the store's making money, just from your observations. Yes, you can tell if the store is busy, but I bet you won't know much about profits and losses without looking at the numbers. In the real world, you need data.

Look: winning teams find a way to get it done at home in the late innings, late in the season. Is it really because they aren't good enough? What are the numbers with RISP in this series, in this homestand? I tell you what I see, and what I think. I think they don't have what it takes mentally. If you don't see it that way, fine, but leave me to my own opinion because you can't prove it right or wrong either way.

We pinch hit for Ruiz, but let Nunez bat. Go figure...

RSB: Observation is indeed an important tool, but stats measure the result. If observation leads you to believe that Dellucci is a better player than Abreu and Victorino is better than Burrell, as you've said, then perhaps your powers of observation are not as keen as others.

Way to go Looch, takin' one for the team.

It's not luck, Alby. When that many hitters fail miserably in pressure situations, I call it an affliction in psyche. You can call it a fluke, a coincidence. That isn't how I see it. The Phillies do not have what it takes to win - perhaps not in terms of talent, but definitely not in terms of guts.

You gotta have some kind of feel for the game. Isn't that what his Whiteness used to say?

Stats come in useful, but are to just be used as another tool, not to be totally depended on.

I agree that this is a team thing, not to be blamed on one hanging curveball.

The way they hit with sacks drunk is abominable.

RSB-You're entitled to believe whatever you want, but consider this: Don't you think the Phillies are a .500 team for a reason? Look at the roster, as a whole. Is it remotely comparable to, say, the Yankees?

Clout, *right now*, damn near anyone is better than Burrell. Does he look like a 100-RBI man to you this month? And for the hundredth time, I NEVER SAID Dellucci is better than Abreu.

Sorry, RSB, when a rookie ump blows a call at second base, I call that luck. You can see character galore, you can see boogiemen under the bed for all I care. You take character, I'll take talent, and we'll see who wins.

Alby, what's a call at second base in the ninth got to do with failing in two crucial bases-loaded situations earlier in the game?

RSB: Hitters, like teams, go hot and cold. Hard to predict when it changes from hot to cold and vice versa. Uts was cold, now is turning hot. Should we've benched him? How about Mike Schmidt when he went cold?

Luck's part of the game, my boy.

The Phillies are running out of opportunities. My instincts tell me the team that will win the WC is already in the driver's seat. San Diego is playing very good all-around baseball, and Peavy is pitching at a high level again. Phillies and Marlins have 10 with each other and will probably play one another out of contention.

Execution is the name of the game. Teams that can execute win. Those that can't lose.

Simple as that.

Now they need to go to FL and have a fish fry!

I want to see the Fan Graphs chart on Nunez. Forget the arguments about the OF's-between Abe and Chollie, there went the ballgame.

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