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Monday, September 11, 2006

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My memory is hazy on this, but this race feels more like 1983, a year with four teams real close in September, with the Phillies always trailing in third or fourth place, then in the last few weeks of the season, the Phils got hot and won their division.

If today's Phillies could emulate their 1983 ancestors, who went 18-4 from 9-11-83 through the end of the season, they would win the WC in a laugher. This years version only has 19 games to go, so they should go 16-3, giving them 88 wins. I don't think they would need to win that many to win the WC. The 1983 team won 90 games that year, so at this point in the season, their record was not much different than today's Phillies' record. They were 72-68-1 (Yes, they had a tie!)

Clout may be right about me, this is sure thinking with one's heart and not one's head.

Neither the Marlins nor the Phils stepped up to get an edge on the wildcard. Only the Giants brought themselves closer. Utley, Howard, Victorino, and Conine have really stepped it up. Coste and Ruiz have done the job with the later half of the weekend the exception.
The starters have been very good, no worries there.
On the relievers Smith, Geary, Madson, and Castro have been good. Gordon is just coming back from the injury and its too early to tell how he is doing. Give him a few more games and we'll have a good idea if he is still hurting as I suspect.

This team should have won on Sunday. They also should have won 3 games last week also. But as you have stated their "effort was truly second-rate, with countless opportunities squandered". Hopefully this week will show a team that wants to win.

I don't question the effort so much as the testicular fortitude, if you will. The bottom line: "Playoff-caliber teams get the job done; the Phillies do not." 3-3 (probably the best-case scenario) against ATL and HOU will keep them afloat in the race, but it will not advance their cause. Whatever expectations I had at the beginning of the month have been quashed. They have proven to me that they don't have what it takes - call it talent, call it heart, call it whatever - these Phillies don't have it in them. And if using that criteria isn't enough, there's the factor of a punchless lineup past Howard's spot - which will further neutralize Howard's presence - and that potluck bullpen. It ain't happenin', folks.

Gillick's moves to get Conine and Moyer have really helped this team. Especially surprised that Conine has been swining the bat rather well.

Still, this team just doesn't have the horses to take it. Too many holes in the lineup and this bullpen is in tatters. The most ironic thing is that the starting pitching has been this team's biggest strength the past month. Just too little, just late.

ditto for me RSB. I can't believe it's going to happen now. We should really be thanking the Giants though, since without their effort this weekend against San Diego, we could really be in for a pointless rest of the month.

The phils now can't just win series, they have to sweep series, something the phillies have not been able to do, even post-Abreu.

The starting pitching makes me hopeful for next year. The bullpen is more easily fixed than the starting 5. You have to believe that had they started the year with this starting 5 instead of 3 months of the Madson/Floyd experiment, they'd be in a much better position right now.

i do like the potential rotation next year. i would love to see wolf back, 2nd year after tommy john is supposed to be miraculous.

i would not be surprised to see myers traded, he may be our best expendable chip, and coming up with a replacement for him isnt the toughest task in the world.

Madson may be markettable, too. He may be the ultimate turn-around candidate on the team.

we need a 3b, badly, and need to find one.

I expect Rowand to be back next year on his $3.5M player option. He's been hurt too much to command a decent price on the FA market next year.

This year... We are still in it. SD will cool off, someone else will heat up. Plus, we get to beat up on the braves a bit, and the cubbies for good measure.

What is this? Am I at the "Pack it in until next year" website? We lose some close games and the fans pack it in?

I am especially saddened by the ever optimistic RSB's quote of "It ain't happenin', folks." The move to Oregon must've really depressed RSB. I have heard that the ever raint and cloudy climate of the Pacific Northwest causes depression. Do we need to put RSB on suicide watch? I think clout has finally beaten RSB's spirit to the point that he now has gone over to the dark side.

I meant to type: I have heard that the ever rainy and cloudy climate of the Pacific Northwest causes depression.

Fred, this is a site dedicated toward a Philadelphia sports franchise. The "pack it in" mentality isn't just inevitable, it's supposedly endearing. Just ask Red Sox fans.

I do see a silver lining though and it is this - I've given up on this team at least 4 or 5 times this season and every time, they've somehow done just enough to get back into the thick of things enough to bring me back. If this recent slide and "pack it in" mentality is any indication, we could be in for some big things with these next couple of series!!!!

Weitz- excellent post. I agree with everything you stated. I've been harping on here and my own blog about similar things. Almost the entire team takes a share of the blame including managing staff. Yesterday's loss stunk, but at least we can credit Willis. Saturday is a complete different story. AS RSB put "lack of testicular fortitude" and they totally lacked it. No excuse to continue to strand runners...hit a fricken sac fly for crying out loud.

No team in the NL wildcard race seems willing or able to put together the type of streak to create some distance from the other teams. There are 19 games remaining and the Phils are 3 down in the loss column. This is difficult to make up this ground in 3 weeks, but certainly not impossible. As Will says, just winning every series may not be enough now. If you think it will take 85 wins to at least tie, they need to go 13-6. Like everyone else, I am concerned about winning the close games necessary to go 13-6 with their current bullpen.

Nice points JW on the catching woes and Nunez. Coste has really had some bad at bats recently against upper echelon pitching (3 Ks against Willis yesterday). Besides Nunez not hitting, his fielding was not spectacular in the Florida series as well. On Saturday night he misplayed 2 balls , although he wasn't charged with an error. I couldn't believe he was starting again on Sunday against the lefty Willis instead of Hernandez.

yeh, coste does seem to be baffled by the super-star pitchers, but the same can be said of just about everyone on the team.

looking at his overall performance in the florida series, he had one monster game, and two crap games. ruiz had one hit and no production in his one game.

it sure would be nice to be back to a coste/lieberthal tandem. although, mike is now in his favorite position: the DL.

and Nunez has got to go. I would feel a ton better if we could see Conine or Hernandez on a daily basis. We need to win games, not stroke poor performance egos.

Light crowd since this time yesterday. Must be Eagles season.

It's hard for me to point the finger at Coste and Ruiz; Ruiz is a rookie and no one had heard of Coste before two months ago. They are playing at or above expectations.

To me, no one is more responsible for the offensive woes (or more of a symbol of the shattered hopes of the Ed Wade era) than Pat Burrell. It seemed like every time the Phillies needed a big hit this weekend, there was Pat striking out, or Pat hitting a weak fly ball, or Pat just generally looking outmatched and uninspired.

This will be a weak offseason for power bats. Larger contracts of lesser talents have been traded in the past (although Mike Hampton is the only one that comes immediately to mind). Get rid of Burrell and my confidence in the team's ability to come through in big games goes way up.

I was extremely disappointed with all those missed opportunities on Saturday night! They look so good sometimes though.
Ok guys help me out what is the deal with Rick White calling the dugout after a Ryan Howard blast? Anybody know? I actually think it is great use of the bullpen phone just wondering what was going on.

i've wondered the same thing on here, apparently just a weird connection between them. Personally, I think it's great.

It's also an off day, JW. Which by the way the Phillies really look like they could use right now.

Unfortunately, Saturday's game showed all the reason the Phils are not yet a playoff team. When you blow that many opportunities with runners left on base, that is a real gut check. One that they failed.

Schmitty got it right when interviewed, he said that Howard won't get another key pitch to hit because of lack of protection behind him. What the hell happened to Burrell? He is a mere shell of his former self a couple of years ago. I can't believe that this can be a loss of talent that fast, he must have some kind of injury somewhere.

What if Elmer puts Utley behind Howard for protection, then who should be the 3 hole hitter? Would this even be a viable option?

Anyways, this long time Phils fan says to stick a fork in 'em, they're done. Not enough horses.

Why can't Howard hit 3 and Utley 4 ?

As far as White calling Howard, baseball players are very superstitious and you keep doing the same thing during a hot streak for fear that if you don't do it , it will be jinx it.

Weitz- football is alright, but baseball is where it's at. I'm into baseball year round...football comes in a distant second. Viva La Phillies!

Billy Mac good point, if they have to bat Howitzer 3rd and Utley 4th. Or Bourn 2nd, Vic 3rd, Howitzer 4th, Chase 5th. With Howard 3rd then you have a great chance of having a runner in the first inning of each game.

Came across this site today, not sure if it's old news or not:

http://www.baseballrace.com/

Fun to watch.

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