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Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Jason, are you a Brandywine Bullet? Did you play HS ball there?

I played against Wade Miller in high school. I had one AB, and struck out on four pitches; but I did foul one off with some authority. In my defense, I was a 5'6" 140 lb. sophomore and he was a senior but the odds of me catching up to a 90+ fastball then or later weren't very good. My team won which was the important thing.

Anyway, from all I've heard Wade is a good guy and I root for him too (except tonight). He's always pitched well when he's been healthy and I hope someday he can recover the form he had in '01 and '02.

I am a Bullet. I played tennis and golf, both poorly.

I hope your high school didn't bow to political correctness and change the mascot name to Wizards or anything...actually I can understand the temptation. I graduated back in the Pleistocene Era from Wissahickon HS, Montgomery County. We were the Trojans. You can guess what visiting crowds tossed at us....

My claim to fame is popping out to the 2nd baseman against the #1 pick of the nation Matt White. He never turned out to be anything but a huge disappointment, many in a long line for the D-Rays.

I'm feeling win's gonna happen!

I'm feeling it tonight too. Maybe it's the weather, but it feels like the playoffs have effectively begun already for the Phils.

Sean made a very good post last night about how pitching determines if the Phils win or lose. The offense is averaging 5.3 runs per game. Thus pitchers who allowed fewer than 5.3 runs per 9 IP keep the team in a position to win on most days.

Who were those pitchers?
Myers, Lieber, Lidle, Hamels, Geary, Fultz, White, Gordon, Moyer, Condrey, Castro & Smith.

Which pitchers failed to do that?
Madson, Floyd, Wolf, Rhodes, Mathieson, Sanches, Brito, Santana and Bernero.

I don't mind all the pitches to Ramirez. It is worth it, if we get the out.

- Greg

Hey DQ, isn't that the guy now pitching for the Phillies?

ugh! not blaming Burrell here, the way that curve is breaking, the phils will need an ironing board to hit it.

Nice work, Burrell. Strikes out looking to leave 3 and end the 1st.

Now there is some Phillies baseball..3 LOB in the first. Think they can hit 11 today?

Coste is apparently now Moyer's personal catcher as well. What a joke.

Manuel needs to be a little more creative with these lineups. Same patterns, same failures game after game. And Victorino looks like he can barely swing the bat. No time to try to be a hero if you can't hit.

A successful bunt!

RSB: Really, now, "what a joke???" Don't you think there is more to it, ie. Lieberthal having secret back/rib cage issues, with Moyer/Manuel having problems with Ruiz's play-calling in a crucial stretch drive game?

yes, how horrible it is that we have to use a catcher batting .313

C'mon, Davthom, don't take it personally. I like Coste and all, just think it's pretty ridiculous that Manuel feels Lieberthal has no ability to catch two-fifth of the starting rotation. If Lieberthal is sore, no one has said as much. After the game he had Sunday, it makes no sense to have him on the bench the next two games.

RSB: It is a matter of record that Manuel/Philies management have definitely kept secret post-All-Star break Lieberthal back problems which have prevented Lieberthal from being in the lineup, until *after* Liebrthal was later available to play. Exhibit A: In St. Louis, I believe it was August 1-3, Coste caught three games in a row -- later it was announced that Lieberthal had been having serious back spasm problems at the time and couldn't play. As you know, if a roster move is not necessary, as now with the post-September 1st 40-man roster, the Phillies, and other teams as well, often are less than forthright about injuries which they are not required to announce, under the circumstances.

That doesn't give anyone license to assume Liberthal is too hurt to play. And if he can play, he should be in there one of these first two games. It's not like they have a lot of hot bats in the lineup right now.

The way Miller is pitching he'll have his ERA under 3.00 before this one's over.

Alby- no that is not the guy who pitched for Scranton this year. As a matter of fact, I don't even know if the guys is still in baseball. I'm going to go check it out.

We need to make Miller pay for throwing so many balls...more balls than strikes in the 4th but narry a run.

fricken pathetic!

By the way, the Matt White I was talking about is out of baseball. #1 pick that never made it to the Majors.

The Phils look horribly "tight"...just appear as though they will choke.

Hell of a curveball Wade Miller's got. Good pickup by the Cubs, I would bet he'll reward their patience.

The Phils are tight, sure enough. They're a different team at home. Hopefully, something will turn it around and fast - I can't even imagine losing this one as well, though with each passing inning it gets more likely.

And Coste has one of the two Phillies hits so far.

Someone needs to let them know these are the Cubs and not the '32 Yankees

Billy Mac and DQ: Well, a RBI for Delucci so far. Maybe more later?

That'll work! Bottom of the order with a nice, unexpected 2-out rally.

Huge NUNEZ two-run single -- You wanted a pinch hitter there, didn't you RSB.

Nah. Nunez is all the way up to .210 now!

wow you know we're getting giddy when we're actually not yelling at nuni for hitting .210

as i'm tying this...nice fricken play by nuni.

Not to mention Nunez has been taking all kinds of hits away from opposing hitters. If he doesn't make that diving stop to lead off the inning, it's 3-2.

RSB: Actually, I may have called it correctly about Lieberthal.
Rick Wilton's injury report is dated today (9-19-06)and still includes the following narrative which originated last week: This is the Hardball Times link:

"Mike Lieberthal (C, PHI)
The latest MRI done on his ailing back revealed a small herniated disc in the lumbar region. He was given two epidural injections near the damaged disc last Friday. He felt almost instant relief and now is able to walk without pain, though he still feels some tightness. Lieberthal is talking about returning soon to help the Phillies in their playoff hunt.
It's hard to imagine him getting back behind the plate so quickly after all the back problems he's had recently. If he does return before the end of the season, he won't be 100%."

Nunez has been putting up much better numbers the last few months - hitting .250 with a .345 OBP (seriously - 21 walks for just over 150 AB!) in August and September. still virtually no XBH (6), but he's been able to score 25 runs - in other words, he scores almost half the time he reaches base, same as Rollins. not bring in Ryan Madson. Anybody but Madson!

Well Sanches and Brito probably aren't a good idea either...but you get the point.

I agree, I'd rather see either Geary or White before Madson. Madson is just too unpredictable to be placed in a tight game like this.

i think that we'll see Geary, and then flash. Madson and White have gone 3 in a row.

actrually, the way moyer is pitching, he should stay out there.

what about Smith? He has yet to give up a run still, right?

RSB: This excerpt from Jim Salisbury's story in yesterday morning's (9-18-06) Inquirer: "Mike Lieberthal was sitting on a couch, icing his *wounded right knee* after the Phils swept the Houston Astros, when he revealed his inner feelings."

The Inquirer link:

RSB, given the above info, Lieberthal's extremely injury-prone history this season, and the Phillies past practice of not truthfully disclosing Lieberthal's injuries unless Lieberthal had to be put on the DL (twice), I do think that I do indeed have "license to assume Liberthal is too hurt to play."

Also, a herniated disc in the lumbar region of Lieberthal's back is not something that is going to go away with a couple of epidural injections. And a herniated disc is not the same as "back spasms", which was the apparently untruthful official version.

Now 95 m.p.h. from Aardsma as well. It seems like every Cubs reliever throws in the vicinity of 95 m.p.h.

Davthom, I saw two homers and a long double from Lieberthal on Sunday. I understand he can't play every day, but if he's still too hurt to play, it's hard to explain how he could manage that kind of production. No mention has come from any source that Lieberthal had aggravated anything by playing that day. My sense is he's not playing purely because Manuel is a creature of habit and won't have Moyer or Lieber work with anyone but Coste, a mandate which I think is questionable at best, particularly as Moyer has never had a chance to pitch to Lieberthal.

Dogers facing the Pirates, Padres playing the D-backs; good luck making up any ground the next few days.

Coste has caught some quality outings, RSB, and working on another one here with Moyer.

why on earth did cholly take moyer out?

RSB, if your underlying assumption (that Lieberthal is perfectly able to play tonight) is correct, I don't really disagree with your point -- that Lieberthal should have been given a start tonight after the big day he had against Houston on Sunday. However, from the information I posted above, we do know the following two things:(1) that *after* Sunday's game, Lieberthal was described to be "icing his *wounded right knee*", necessarily one of Lieberthal's two surgically-repaired knees; and (2) contrary to Phillies management's prior fib that Lieberthal was merely suffering from "back spasms", at least according to Hardball Times, to me a respected source, Lieberthal actually has a *herniated disc* in the lumbar region of his back. From there, I hardly think its too great a stretch to deduce from Coste's back-to-back starts that Lieberthal is too hurt to play tonight.

I'm pretty sure Wade pitched at Alvernia too.

well, i gotta say;

gascan geary is the best damn guy we have in the bullpen, period.

lets get another a couple more and give flash the night off.

Correct. Wade pitched at Alvernia. However, he will tell you that he learned his craft playing Kutztown Legion ball.

I'd rank Geoff Geary in the top three of Phillies most valuable pitchers this season.

Joe- beautiful "Gas Can" Geary reference...come along and take a hit from the blog!

yeh, and he was a pain in the ass to pitch against in legion... (grumble, grumble)

Jimmy Rollins has shown an all different side of him this season...22 homeruns!


Victorino looks in pain...that wrist is making his already questionable swing worse...we need him healthy!

DQ - tomorrow would be a good day to give bourne a start in center, and vic a day off.

i still dont see this wild swing you guys are talking about....

where's everyone at tonight? were they watching HOUSE on Fox?...i hope not

oh i don't think it's wild, i just see a hitch in it...but it works for him, so whatever.

bourne starting tomorrow might be a good idea.

I'm watching on Gameday - pretty brutal with only a dialup connection - Mets beat the Marlins - HOORAY!


utley with 2 hits tonight...that can only be a good thing.

a big hit from howard would be nice...but they walk that's respect. that's why he's the nl mvp.

Weitzel; what is your top three? I'm guessing Hamels, Flash, and Geary?

Dusty Baker - World Class Jackass

Roberson behind the Howitzer? I'd walk him too!

I think he is one of the most overrated managers in the last 25 years and I'm real pleased his team will be in the cellar of the NL this year.

Flash time...c'mon!

Mike, what's your beef with Dusty?

By the way, hope this doesn't cause yet another avalanche of abuse, but Pujols is my NL MVP.

Close, joe. Hamels, Myers, Geary.

I didn't like him as a player, I didn't think much of his ability to execute in game strategy, and his views of the world, especially in terms of race, are on the short side of enlightened.

that was my other guess...

Hopefully, Moyer is brought back next year and helps get Myer's head screwed on straight.

I never got that impression,'s hard to argue with the success he had for years with San Fran, and he was a helluva player...not sure what you're referring to about the race thing, but I know he has had some racist threats made against him in Chicago.

I wish we could have had a healthy Flash all season. His stay on the DL hurt.

Flash looks like he's recovered. It'd be great to have him nail down everything in these last two weeks. He's working the curve real nice.

Blues Brothers!

DQ: I think that Flash out cost us 2 games.

player of the game: nunez, or moyer?

Moyer, no question. He has been a godsend.

Yes, I agree....Thank God for Jamie Moyer!
PHILS WIN, Marlins lose, Giants are losing currently - Hope SD loses later...:-)

i seriously hope that moyer is brought back next year. i cant see why he wouldnt be; its not like he throws hard enough to hurt his arm....

Moyer. 7 innings plus and he had them frustrated all night long.

RSB: I'll have to get back to you on Baker in more detail, but the '02 World Series and the Bartman Game clinched it for me.

Way to go Flash! Has Gordon been getting hit the last couple of games though...? I've missed some of them. He certainly did the job tonight.

RSB- I'll allow the "Pujols is my MVP" remark to skate by, as you are entitled to your opinion...albeit wrong.

*Just joking.

Screw the Padres...really the hell with them.

Do you think the Phils have to take the WC for Howard to get the MVP? RSB - why Pujols over Howard? (just curious :-)

Jamie Moyer should replace Rich Dubee immediately upon Moyer's retirement.

Unfortunately the Padres are already up 4-0 and when they score they usually win. You have to applaud the management on the pickup of Moyer though. It seems any average AL starter dominates NL hitting.

I think Howard's power stats are little prettier, but Pujols is more of an offensive force, a better defensive player, and far more of a clutch hitter than Howard. I know neither the Cards or the Phillies would be in the position they are in without these respective players, but to me Pujols is just more of a dominant player.

I don't understand what "to hell with the Padres" is all about. I respect the way they play the game. They've been a better team down the stretch than the Phillies - is that something to be held against them?

No we just want them to lose!!!

What's gotten into RSB? The Phils win, yet he starts defending the Pads and thinks Pujols should be MVP! RSB's still hungover from last night's loss.

Moyer is not just an average AL starter. He belongs to that echelon of pitcher whose stuff is gone but relies on years of acquired knowledge to baffle hitters. Correct, he doesn't throw hard, but Warren Spahn said, "hitting is timing, pitching is upsetting timing".
Bring him back next year. No, you can't throw as hard as him, but there are many who can who can't duplicate his results.
BTW, played against Andy Van Slyke and Mark Lemke in legion at different times. The best pitcher who never put on a professional uniform struck out Van Slyke 3 times with a weak pop up on the 4th. Won't mention his name but aside from a couple of legion games pitched only one high school game (no hitter as a freshman). Succumbed to the world of drugs and alcohol. His father was a semi pro player who had barnstormed with all the greats in the 30's and 40's. Shame, what a shame....

According to the AP recap of the game:

"Burrell... leads the majors in taking called third strikes"

Tell us something we don't know.

We might need to send the Pirates a fruit basket by the end of next week.

Man, do we need Pittsburgh (at LA, at San Diego, home against Houston, and home against Cincy) and Arizona (at San Diego, at LA, at San Fran, then home against SD) to come up huge for us over the next week and a half.

RSB- wow, I say "to hell with the Padres" and I get questioned! I said that because I want them to lose. That's how I am as a Phillies fan, I root against our opposition. Makes sense to me...maybe not you though.

"We are Family"...thanks Sister Sledge, because we're going to need our STATE buddies the Pirates the rest of the season. Luckily they've also played much better baseball since the All-Star break.

FWIW, I think Pujols should be the MVP as well...unless Howard goes on another tear over these last games, which I would not rule out.

I'm not at all offended by RSB saying Pujols is more deserving of MVP than Howard. My heart says Howard, but facts are facts: The Phillies play in one of the most extreme hitters parks in the majors and their offensive numbers should be taken with a large grain of salt. Pujols plays in a neutral park. And when you factor in defense and speed, frankly, in those two areas there's no contest.
That said, if Howard hits 61 and the Phils make the playoffs I'll be upset if he doesn't get it.

It's too soon to call any one game make or break, but frankly this matchup today makes it absolutely necessary the Phils win. They have their ace, Myers, going against a 30-year-old piece of human flotsam named Les Walrond, a Royals castoff with a lifetime ERA of 8.38. Playoff teams don't lose to garbage like that.

I look at Howard and Pujols as pretty much equal. With each having slight advantages over the other...but Howard is my MVP based on his "tear" keeping the Phils alive...just my opinion.

>The Phillies play in one of the most extreme
>hitters parks in the majors

except that howard has hit more dingers away from cbp, and the ones he hits usually would be out of yellowstone park (with apology to joe torre).

as for Myers being our "ace", i think that Hamels has taken that crown by now.

and since i'm going to the park tonight, i expect the phils to treat les like cy young...

You're absolutely right, clout. There's no reason they shouldn't take care of business tonight, even if this journeyman is a left-hander.

Quite honestly- if the Phils don't destroy the pitcher for the Cubs tonight...they have a HUGE problem.

There's about a 99% chance that I golfed against you in HS Jason. Surely, you beat the snot out of me, too. Antietam, class of '96.

I'll have to agree that even the team sees Hamels as the new "ace." The article on yesterday talked about how this team feels great everytime he's on the mound. That is HUGE for such a young team! If no curveballs (weather, etc.) things set up for King Cole to pitch the first game of the NLDS.

Baseball Prospectus currently has calculated a 36% chance of a Philadelphia postseason. For those that are not familiar this is based on a sophisticated prediction simulation run 1 million times (he says with his pinky raised to the corner of his mouth).

So far, we've outplayed the odds, becasue a few months back are chances were arond 8%.

Here is to continuing to defy the odds!

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EST. 2005

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