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Friday, September 22, 2006


I'm certainly not underestimating the Marlins, as they have been a thorn in the side of the Phillies for years now. 10 games left and to take this Wild Card they probably have to win 7-8 games, difficult.

Losing Victorino right now would suck, plain and simple, but my main concern is Chase. You've got 10 games left, you're in your prime and you might not be this close again for one or two seasons. Time to find your second wind.

DQ, I think 8 wins is a lock. 7 might get it done, and 6 could mean a playoff. The Dodgers are only 9-11 in their last 20.

Anyone else going to the game tonight? I'm going tonight and I'm hoping to go tomorrow and Monday, too.

How many 7 - 3 stretches have the Phillies had this year? It's hard for me to feel good about the phils winning 70% of their games when 60% of those games are against the Marlins...

Greg, think positive. How many do you think the Dodgers have had? The Phillies have been the better team lately, and that's all that matters. Both also finish on the road and the Phils have a much better road record, second most wins in the NL actually. Sure, I'm worried about the Marlins - they've sunk the Phils before. But don't you think the Dodgers' division rivals will be looking to do the same to them?

one thing i'll have my eye on, as i'm sure you will too, jason, is how gordon does in these 10 games in tight spots. they can't be getting 7 quality innings out of their finally decent rotation only to watch their all-star closer give up a bomb or two. he's been hot and cold this year, but has blown a handful of pressure cookers, including that Mets game early in the season.

To me the bullpen is just scary in general (coincidentally, our big strength at the end of last season). I feel like these last ten games will be all about the starters and the hitting... the bullpen is just a gamble.

i got 2 extra tickets for tomorrow. Section 127 row 24 if anyone is interested let me know.

58. NICE!

4-0 Phils.

I was just saying to myself that he was due.

Perfect timing!

Why would Nunez take that pitch with Hamels on deck??

How about some situational hitting??

to turn the lineup over.

Because King Cole is nearly as good a hitter as Abe?

Trying hard to suspend my belief in the Phils, but Hamels, Howard & Utley are having something to say about it. There's no way you can't enjoy a full house and a playoff chase on the first day of fall.

I don't think you turn the lineup over with 2 men on though. You drive in those runs.

conine: professional hitter

Big hit from Conine, who's had a few this month. The Phils had been sitting on 4 runs for a long time, nice to keep the pressure on.

why replace burrell there? he would be due up in the ninth. As much as he's sucked, I think it was a little early to take him out. He's still a power bat.

Not to start this debate again but I can't help wondering, again - why Coste and not Lieberthal? Lieby's hitting about .600 this month and Coste's bat is dragging noticably. They were off yesterday and Lieberthal won't start on Sunday after the night game. Get with it, Charlie, and put your best hitters in the lineup.

call me crazy, but sould the phils bat Burrell 3rd? His problem is that he overthinks at the plate, putting him b4 Howard will forece him to see better pitches.

Just signed onto gameday - It says Hamels has 10 Strikeouts - How has he looked to you folks tonight?

Coste is hitting. Lieberthal is hitting. Both are obviously in sync with their pitchers. I guess you can't please everybody.

Eileen....Cole is so money he doesnt even know it.

Honestly if we make the playoffs I like our starting rotation. We've got Hamels, Myers, Moyer, and in a 5-game series we could bring in Lieber and Wolf for spot work. It's not bad at all.

Hamels has been his usual smooth self, and I'll tell you what, he's leaving this game prematurely. Up by four, following two more strikeouts and a weak grounder, I'd give Hamels the benefit of the doubt over the bullpen here.

Thanks Dude!

I kinda agree, except you have to hpe the pen can hold a 4 run lead and you dont want to overwork Cole since he has never pitched this many innings in a season

Lieberthal's hitting a hell of a lot better than Coste. He should be playing more than every third game.

agreed jason, I'll take one run allowed over 2 rbis anyday. (except the day the phils can't score)

RSB: I'm with you idea why you take Hamels out in that spot, especially with the pitcher coming up next inning!!

unless, RSB, the fact he's hitting so well is because he's playing every 3rd game.

Sure, you want Gascan in the eighth, but dontcha PH here?

You mean to tell me, Charlie Manuel, our bullpen options are so bad you're forced to let Geary hit there? What about Matt Smith?

he was at 114 pitches and going against cabrera a guy who was 2 for 2 with a walk this game. you pull that pitcher. The only manager who doesn't is Grady Little.

I find it hard to believe you couldn't get the same production out of Lieberthal if he caught every other day. If you're a manager, play the hot hand - what a guy hit in the past week means more than what another guy hit in July. Adjust to trends and pay attention instead of setting your lineups out of habit or loyalty. I understand pitchers have a good rapport with Coste, but I can't believe they'd be just helpless and lost if Lieberthal was instead the catcher. It might seem like a moot point since the pitching's been so good, but one of these games the dead-ass offense is going to going to kill them.

RSB that makes sense with every other position. But a battery needs to have some sort of groove. You don't mix up who's pitching to whom this late in the season

oops, sorry for the stutter.

Okay, it seems like sour grapes because they're winning and the world is rosy. I just don't think they're putting their best team out there, and it bothers me.

Will, I guess that's the reason. Just feel like they're already sacrificing offense with the no. 8 spot, and even though Coste is still over .300, his bat has been lifeless for a couple of weeks now.

Is Gordon warming up? He should be up here.

that's some nice hustle out of Gordon.

Way to go Flash! I'll be at the game tomorrow afternoon...:-)

Nice win by the Phils. One down, nine to go. Awesome shot by Howard to make the Fish pay. Just as impressive as Utley throwing in a 3-hit game. We need to have Lieber step up tomorrow after his last start, especially with Moehler on the hill for Florida (who only lasted 4 innings his last start against the Phils). Nicely done tonight! Is there another team that can boast three young legit stars in Hamels, Howard, and Utley? It doesn't get much better than that nucleus!

Hamels & Gordon come through yet again. Can anyone remember a longer strech of airtight starting pitching from the Phillies? I almost can't believe what I'm watching. has a few interesting comments of the 2007 Phils. Also some wrong info as they have Brito contending for the 5th SP spot, when he is now a RP.

Good win tonight good to see Utley get 3 hits seems he is coming around and they need that

Until LA has a day off on Monday, it will be the Phils knowing exactly what we need to do to stay in it. Right now, they each have 9 games left, but tomorrow morning, the Dodgers will have 8 left. So the Phils will know exactly where they stand at the start of each game until Tuesday, at which point it reverses and LA benefits with the late game.

Down the stretch, we will be scoreboard watching late into the evenings. The last game for each is a day game, so if it goes that far, at least we won't loose any sleep. (Though maybe? we will loose sleep out of excitement of being in the playoffs)

RSB - you're comments on Lieby playing tonite were totally offbase...Yes Lieberthal has been hitting better lately but at this point in the season and considering how young Cole is he (COLE) is the main concern. He has been pitching to Coste for the past few weeks and been getting a good idea for each other...this late in the season is not the time to change that up for maybe a hit or two out of Liby in the 7 hole. Sorry buddy you normally have a lot of good posts but this one is wrong. BTW you can copy all your posts from tonite and get them ready for tomorrow because Lieby has caught Lieber like 5 times in 2 years so expect Ruiz tomorrow if Charley decides Coste needs more recovery time considering its a day game after nite game...go PIRATES!

You have a point Cuz. I'd rather see Lieby's bat in there but if it's a legitimate risk with the pitchers - it may not really be, but as you say, no time to take chances, or to mess with a good thing. I'll shut up about Coste.

I feel great about our chances after being there tonight. It was a true playoff atmosphere and the team didn't wilt under it. That place was absolutely electric from the start of the game to Howard's homer. Awesome.

looks like Chris "Cy" Young of the Padres has a no-hitter in the 7th...

RSB: What you don't get is that Lieberthal CAN'T catch any more frequently than he has been. That will be publicly acknowledged before long by Charlie, Gillick, Amaro, or somebody else in Phillies' management. Lieberthal's physical condition is the principal explanation for the Phillies designating three catchers on their playoff roster. The guy (Lieberthal) has a herniated disc in the lumbar region of his back (not mere "back spasms"), and was reported to be nursing his *"injured* knee" after playing last Sunday. And, about your "Coste's bat's been dragging" crack, leaving aside Coste's two hits in four at bats tonight, on Tuesday night in Coste's final at bat Coste hit a rocket to the wall off a 96 m.p.h. fastball. According to the Philies' radio [play-by-play, the only thing that kept the ball in the park was a stiff cross-wind with a downdraft. And finally, Coste's batting average after tonight's game is .318. Not too shabby! And I won't even start with the success that Moyer and Hamels have had with Coste behind the plate for their starts.

Davthom, the day you manage to say something objective about your hero Chris Coste is the day your comments will be worth considering. I can accept Will's, Jason's, and Cuz's explanation for Coste getting the majority of the starts, but not yours.

Few points:

-I couldn't have been more wrong about Conine. He really has been a true difference maker for the Phils. If the Phils do make the playoffs, his play during the past 3 weeks will be a big reason why.

-Couldn't help but thinking that Hamels mental attitude is a big part of his success tonight. Contrast to Floyd's mental demeanor and the uncertain state of his future career.

-Coste is not hitting but Ruiz & Lieberthal are. Even though Coste had 2 hits tonight, he has done nothing in Sept. (52 ABs, .214 AVG, 1 HR, 5 RBIs). At this point Chuckles need to play the hot hand. That means more Lieberthal and less Coste.

-The Flying Hawaiian is either really hurt/gassed or both. He looks completely over-matched in the 2-spot right now. Didn't have one good AB tonight.

-This bullpen is a disaster right now. Besides Geary they don't have another reliable option. If the Phils do make the playoffs, the bullpen is their Achilles Heel.

Concerning the bullpen, the wild card (so to speak) is always Madson - if he's effective, the bullpen gets by a whole lot better. If he's not, there's usually trouble. White, Geary, Fultz, and Matt Smith are usually reliable options, and Smith in particular has been something of a savior in his situational lefty role. He's done his job virtually every single time through this important stretch. So, with a starting staff that has been going deep into games combined with these four guys and Gordon, I wouldn't say the 'pen is as big a potential weakness for this team as certain aspects of the offense - the middle of the order being enormously susceptible to lefthanders, the diminished effectiveness of Victorino (please, sit him out a game or two!) in the two hole, the lack of protection for Howard - if the Phils get in the playoffs, he'll get maybe 10 ABs in a five-game series - and the ongoing lack of production from the bottom of the order. The Phillies will continue to struggle to score runs - at least those not generated by homers - as long as this season goes on.

Matt Smith has been a pleasant surprise, and I’m just as surprised how much Manuel has trusted him since the day he arrived in Philadelphia.

Victorino had one good at bat with the sac bunt to move Rollins to third. Besides that, he was pretty lousy. A hurt wrist doesn’t make you chase balls in the dirt. I realize his game is based on contact and flailing hits, but he needs to be a little more selective. Still wondering about Victorino as an everyday player.

Matt Smith has been a pleasant surprise so far but it is an entirely different situation in the playoffs. Smith might be the only useful component the Phils' got out of the Abreu trade.

As for Victorino, the sac bunt was ok but I wouldn't praise him for it. Victorino is too much of a hacker to be an everyday starter. Great backup though and I would love for Victorino to be the Phils' primary backup OF next season.

I disagree with you RSB about the pen. Fultz and White are incredibly average and Gordon's numbers since the All-Star are awful (I still think he is pitching hurt). Madson does have above average stuff but he is also inconsitent. Can't afford to have that trait in the playoffs as a reliever.

The Phils have a shot at being the 2nd best record in the NL. The cards, pads, dodgers all are within a game of the Phils.
If they keep winning the Dodgers or Padres will lose one somewhere down the road.

I love how the GasCan nickname has stuck for Geary...that's a beautiful thing my friends!

Nice win last night. Hamels, Utley, and Howard are just awesome!

I'll be at the game today...rain better not be too ugly.

The Phils keep winning and this thing will work out in our favor. But by winning, I mean taking 7 of the next 9...tough to do.

Victorino has been robbed a lot lately. He has been called out on at least 4 or 5 bang-bang (to quote the great Harry Kalas) plays at first base. For arguments sake, lets say three of those calls went Vicotrino's way, he would be hitting 25 for 89 so far this month (a .281 average), rather than 22 for 89 (a .247 average). If you figure those calls would have went his way, his recent at-bats do not look as futile as recent box scores reflect. I think it is bad luck more so than his wrist bothering him. His swings have been looking better the past few games and he doesn't seem to be wincing when he swings any more. He is due to have a few bloop in, ala Chase Utley and J-Roll last night. I wouldn't be surprised to see Victorino finish the regaular season over .280.

Anyway, the Phils are still .5 back with the Dodgers and Padres both winning last night. We need to keep the pressure on with a win this afternoon. Lieber needs to step up and be the 7 million dollar man that he is. Both LA and SD don't play again until 10 EST tonight.

RSB: In your post above, in the face of posts by others (not me), you admitted you were wrong to contihnue your rant about Lieberthal getting playing time instead of Coste. In your prior posts, you had completely ignored the following published facts: (1) Lieberthal has a heriated disc, in the lumbar region of his spine. a serious condition for a major league catcher, which has completely immobilized him in recent weeks; and (2) Lieberthal "injured" one of his knees in last Sunday's game. You can attempt to attack my credibility, but you can't refute those facts. You whined about Liebthal not getting a start in the first two games of the Florida series this week, ignoring the obvious precarious physical condition which Lieberthal is in. Myers started Wednesday night, and Lieberthal played. Obviously, by starting Coste the first two games, Charlie was trying to insure that Lieberthal was available to catch Myers, the one pitcher who apparently does not like to pitch to Coste. And you need not disparage me with your "hero" remark. That kind of attempted cheap shot at someone else posting on this board diminishes your own credibility, and you know it.

Fair enough, Cuz.

Did everyone see J-Roll's comments about the "pathetic" booing of Burrell before he even bats for the first time? In one sense, I agree with him -- let's give him the chance to make us boo (and he gave us a few last night) before we do it.

But unfortunately, it speaks to one of my problems with a few players on this team -- their concern with booing and what the crowd has to say.

I attended last night's game and was in the second row of left, so I watched Pat a lot. I was first surprised by how excited he gets for routine outs -- fist pumps and other little celebrations.

He also, though, notices *everything* going on around him -- mostly outside the field of play. He jawed briefly before the game began with someone heckling him. He also hears a lot of the shouts. Granted, the people who did this *are* jerks, but they are one person in a large section, and should really be tuned out.

Conine got it pretty good from a stupid fan behind me after not throwing out the runner at second last night. He had the perfect reaction -- turned around, made a face, and got cheers from everyone else in the section. He then came up and hit a double -- that's a professional right there.

So while I agree with Jimmy, and wish Pat the best, I'm still bothered by how concerned these guys are with the fans. At times, it was neat -- there were a couple moments last night where everyone was standing and waving the towels, and you could see some of the guys (like Jimmy) taking a look around to take it all in. So maybe it's just that these guys aren't used to the pressure of playing in front of a sell-out crowd in crunch time.

I hope they get used to it quickly, though, as I'd hate to see something so silly get in their heads and screw up their game.


I think some of us just want Lieberthal to get a few more cuts since he seems to be playing somewhat stronger with rest.

I certainly remember all of his poor at-bats these past few years, and I don't want to see him back next year.

i tend to agree with rollins and howard, enough with the pat burrell booing at home games.

its ridiculous, and petty.

Man, do you guys not sleep? The sweet methamphetamine of the Race. Y'all are awesome. Geeked up to get to watch a game on TV today! Yesyesyes!!! (I live faaar from the DV.) I shall go appease the Gods now.

Everying is fine, the phils have God on our side, cheering for us in the stands.

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