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Saturday, April 07, 2007

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Woudln't it be nice if Pat Burrell played every game like he was in Florida playing against the Marlins? He did well not only at the plate in his protection of Ryan Howard but also in the field, making an impressive diving/rolling catch to rob Dan Uggla of a base-hit. I like what I saw from Burrell last night -- imagine how many people he'd shake off his back if he could produce that way (both offensively and defensively) over the entire season.

Hey I hate to be a pessimist but did you notice the pitches Burrell was thrown last night? Florida kept coming in on him so that he could open up and explode on the ball with that big swing. I'm really happy he's hitting right now and I hope it keeps up, but I have a nagging feeling that pitchers will just continue to stay away from him as they have done in previous years and he will still be unproductive.

"....booing is fun".

JaredK, are you saying it's fun to watch the team play badly or someone play badly. That's what it takes for you to have "fun" booing.

I don't get personal when I criticize other posters on this blog, but IMO it's a little sick to take pleasure in something like that.

Do you kick puppies too?

They were inside, but on his homer, it was a curveball, and it took a certain degree of discipline to stay back on it, which is what impresses me.

Thing is though, Tom G, there's still a little bit of cause for concern - Burrell didn't "stay back" on the ball as he hit it over the scoreboard in left. He was out in front of it (which is the cause for concern) but he just happened to swing so hard it went out. He was out in front of a lot of stuff last year, especially with RISP. This trend continued on that home-run ball. Only difference is that ball went out whereas most of those were by him for a swinging third last year or were caught by a fielder. I liked what I saw when Burrell was up with two men on earlier in the game though, a nice easy swing that got the job done and scored a run for the Phils (I believe it was Utley). Burrell doesn't need to hit the ball out of the park to be productive, and I hope he has a great season and hits/plays defense throughout the season as well as he did last night -- knock on wood.

Any idea what channel our game will be on Extra Innings? With the free preview on, I thought I'd watch it, but I can't seem to figure out which channel it'll be on due to the Center Ice games.

Gott give credit where credit is due and Burrell did a great job knocking in those runs.

I like the Rosario move and the possible Hermanson move if only because they provide more quality arms for a desperate pen without giving up much. Am I the only one who thinks they should start Hamels on short rest instead of Segovia tomorrow? They already are down 3 in the loss column! As well, if Eaton pitches as bad his next time out, they need to switch the rotation to be:
1 Myers
2 Hamels
3 Garcia
4 Moyer
5 Lieber
and use Eaton as long relief. There is no reason to trade Lieber for less than he's worth if we are going to have 4 studs and a shaky 5th day without him.

Unfortunately, the game isn't on extra innings tonight - so us out-of-towners will have to Beerleaguer...

Bloodstripes and Tom G, I agree - Pat Burrell through four games looks good. He is leading the team with a 1.204 OPS (2nd and 3rd best are Rollins and Ruiz) - yet, I bet he'll still get booed when he returns to the Bank next week. It is a ridiculous state of affairs that our home fans are so blindly opposed to our players even when they are excelling. Luckily, I have been able to see the team play on the road far more often than at home over the last ten years and the Phils fans who show up outside of Philly, are genuine fans who follow and support the team and represent the city well in spite of the negative comments that every other city's fans bring up against us - enough already about booing Santa! I have always dreamed of moving back home and getting season tickets, but I worry that the poison in the stadium's water fountains might be contagious.

Too risky to start Hamels on short rest, besides, I'd rather have Hamels take his regular turn to open against the Mets on Monday.
Eaton penciled in to start on Wednesday. Manuel could skip Eaton, and bring back Moyer and Myers on Wed. and Thur. on 4 days rest. Eaton, on a short leash, could be held back until Fri against the 'Stros, with Lieber waiting at the first sign of a meltdown.

Hamels, Eaton, Moyer or Hamels, Moyer, Myers to face the Mets?
Think Cholly will go with the latter? Probably not.

i tried to stay away from posting this early in the season but that post from Verdeforce almost made me want to drive over to the Walt Whitman & jump. My god, you want to change the rotation 4 games into the season and start pitching guys on SHORT rest...get real buddy...you need to realize there are 162 games & Cole is kid they pampered for years when in the minors due to his nagging injuries thus you do not mess with him and pitch him on short rest this early in the season.

Also many of you may disagree but I was the one saying before spring training when rating some of the prospects that Segovia had all the makings of a guy like Carlos Silva a few years back that would come out of nowhere and make this team. I also said Bisenius would make this team and that Lieber might be best served in relief duty since his stuff flattens out after a few innings. All that being said, we need to know if Segovia is major league ready and if he's a guy that could possibly be used later in the season when the inevitable injuries start happening to either the starters and/or relievers. Either way this not the time to start a panic attack and pitch guys on short rest....hopefully they can get back to .500 by the middle of next week. BTW haven't seen Coste opps Davthome make a post lately.

jayson just wanted to say that while i wasn't posting the last few months i have been reading on a daily basis and have to say that your site is far and way the best when it comes to allowing us to voice our opinions and venting our frustrations relating to the phils during this terrible winter for philly sports teams.

Verdeforce, it may make sense to you and me to toss Eaton in the bullpen when Lieber comes back, but the reality is, they simply can't just give up on the guy they just signed to a three-year free agent contract after one or two starts. And there's no way Manuel will do it, whether it's the right move or now. Now, if it's June and Eaton's ERA is 6 or 7, then maybe. But not now.

Glad to see Ruiz in the starting lineup again tonight.

Let's see. Four games, and we've already decided:

1)Gordon is finished

and

2)Matt Smith should be demoted.

DavThom, champion of the small sample size snap decision, takes first place in this Hall of Absurdity by posting:

"Gordon and Madson have already demonstrated that they clearly are not the answer to the Phillies short relief needs this season."

Perhaps Tom Gordon actually is finished. But if he is, DavThom's "assessment" of that after a grand total of 2 innings pitched isn't wisdom, it's guesswork.

Let me be clear: Counting on an aging, injured pitcher to step straight into a high-pressure role isn't the best strategy, and after the first two games we saw why rehabbing players, even great ones, so often get a minor-league game or two before joining the team. But the unintelligent use of Gordon isn't the same thing as deciding that, based on such usage, he should be relegated to the scrap heap. Could we wait, say, three or four more games before passing such judgment? Especially since there's no Plan B?

By the way, DavThom, your blithe reference to Gillick failing to address this need in the off-season begs the question: Where were you when this topic was being discussed all this offseason? Had you been here perhaps you could have elucidated the multifarious options Gillick had for doing this. See, the thing is, we discussed it for months, and basically came to the realization that the free agent options were wildly overpriced and the trade options would have required more than Rowand and/or Lieber to acquire. But since you missed those discussions, please, enlighten us now.

Second prize goes to Verdeforce, who's willing to pitch Hamels on short rest in the second week of the season because we're already 3 games behind the Mets.

Just switching over from NYM/Atl. Wickman almost coughs up the lead. Nice to see the Mets return to earth with shoddy fielding and a less than effective bullpen.

RE: wildly overpriced free agents.
D. Baez part in surrendering a 4-run 8th inning lead to the Yanks: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 ER.

How common is it that our games aren't shown on Extra Innings? For the last several years I've had a job were I traveled frequently and now that I don't, so I'm strongly considering it. Especially as last night I could watch 4 games, none of them including the Phils. Instead I tried to follow the game on Beerleaguer and ESPN on the old blackberry, which lead to the "why don't I give Extra Innings a shot."

One of Sarge's keys to the game for the Phillies is "make Willis throw strikes". He is definitely doing that, overpowering all hitters, changing speeds at opportune times to get ahead in the count early, and staying ahead in the count.

How common is it that our games aren't shown on Extra Innings? For the last several years I've had a job were I traveled frequently and now that I don't, so I'm strongly considering it. Especially as last night I could watch 4 games, none of them including the Phils. Instead I tried to follow the game on Beerleaguer and ESPN on the old blackberry, which lead to the "why don't I give Extra Innings a shot."

So to answer my question, I guess I am the only one! Any way, I was just looking ahead to having a second day off coming up, so even if Cole had to pitch on four days this week, it would go back to regular rest next start.

I don't think they should skip Eaton yet, I know I said next start and was being dramatic on the loss column comment, but I was actually just speculating at who our five best starters for this season will probably end up being. Lieber will pitching with a lot to prove, and I am probably in the minority as well thinking that Eaton is a good guy to have once we get to next year and don't have Lieber as an option anymore. For whatever it is worth, I don't think Gordon is done or Smith should be gotten rid of!

Don't freak out now Brett Myers. That was a nice 401 ft shot.

Thats the way Phils.

Choo Chooch!

Inside the park HR Jimmy!!!

Take that Jose Reyes!
Who needs triples, it's an Inside the Park Home Run!
WOOOOOO!

And Shane with a 2B!

So much for Dontrelle's dominant start... the Phils are starting to let him have it now.

Oh yeah!!! J-Roll my man. Great AB, awsesome running.

Unfortunately, no Phillies broadcasts are a part of Extra Innings, so if the road games aren't on cable or they are playing the Padres, you won't see them. That still result in about 130-140 games on extra innings - all with enemy broadcasters however - I can't tell you how many times I had to sit through Rowand's nose shot each time they got to a new city last year!

Let's hear it for J-Roll - inside the park homer!

The second these guys leave Philadelphia, they come alive. Unbelievable.

Rollins now with 3 HRs in 5 games. I would have paid 5 bucks to hear Harry call that inside-the-parker. Good stuff!

Harry kicked it into second gear when the ball got past de Aza. It was a sweet call. I'm somehow watching it on MLB.tv.

Nice piece of coaching by Steve Smith at third base.

When you lose 30 pounds in the offseason, I guess the run from 1st to home is doable. Will be surprised to see if he makes it to the seventh inning.

Can't walk the pitcher. Totally agree and now Cabrera makes him pay for it.

Some say Ruiz over a full season may be capable of putting up above average hitting numbers. I also think he can hit for a decent average with some power and above-average speed for a catcher.

Defensively, as evidenced today, he likes to throw to first base to attempt a pickoff, ala Yadier Molina.

This is two starts in a row now where the main weakness that Myers is showing is how he pitches the inning after being out on the basepaths - with tongue in cheek - I wish he would just stand there with the bat on his shoulder from now on!

my goodness they are killing Myers...wonder if his running from 1st on the insider the park hr has something to do with it...

The problem here is that Myers has no fastball tonight, and didn't from the first pitch.

Myers doesn't seem to have much of a curve tonight either, his splitfinger is looking good though

Finally out of the inning - 4 to 3 bad guys lead!

I think Myers' curve is all right... he's used it a couple times to get a second strike swinging. I agree with RSB that he has no fastball; at least he's not locating it well.

Why do our pitchers have such a penchant for walking opposing pitchers?

Nice to see Rowand's bat come to life a little.

Hey, if you have DirecTV and the extra innings package - they show live action of games they don't even have on the Strike Zone channel (733), - I just got to watch half of Helms' at bat with Burrell on first (he's been camped out there all season). They are flipping around to more former Phillies than current ones however - they just showed Rolen and now Millwood....

I know this is about an inning and a half late, but doesn't Ryan Howard look bad at the plate right now? Dontrelle threw him three straight sliders low and away and Ryan is so geared up to get his swing back that he chased three in a row. It may be time to sit him in a chair and make him watch his at bats from last year to remind him that he needs to be patient. The swing will come back with work in the cage but chasing everything just to put the bat on the ball is going to kill any rhythm you might be able to get.

Now they have put on the Marlins coverage of the game - they are blaming De Aza more than crediting Rollins for the homer - I didn't see it, what do you all think?

YC - If you just base it on how they've hit so far, you'd have to move Howard behind Burrell in the lineup.

Goddamnit Wheeler - he just said that on a hit and run you don't go on the pitch but when the batter swings...uh last time I played (it's only been a few years) hit and run means you steal on the pitch and look toward home as you are going to first to see whether the ball is hit. I might just watch MLB.tv with the sound off when he's on.

Know what pisses me off? "Fans" who boo pickoff moves. Did you not just see the runner take off for second base, when the ball was fouled off? Do you not understand the friggin' game *at all*? If you want constant action, go watch an indoor lacrosse game, or a rerun of Miami Vice. Idiots.

lacrosse...its not a sport when your main piece of equipment is a butterfly net.

Conscience - of course it was De Aza's fault. Almost every time there's an inside the park homer, it's because an outfielder dove and missed it.

I said this morning that Howard ought to sit. Let's see if Charlie starts him tomorrow against another lefty. He's the easiest out in the lineup right now.

Your Conscience, not to be defending Wheeler, but that's not what he said. He was just mentioning how you wait a little longer and the jump you get is not as important. He didn't say you wait for the batter to hit it.

Krub16-

Haha, I get what you are saying, and no, I dont think booing is a pleasure activity. When I said booing is fun, I meant its a good release of frustration for a team playing so poorly, or a player wildly underperforming. I would much rather cheer a team or player doing well, than boo them for playing poorly. I just meant that when Philly teams play terriby, and they sure do that often enough, its a good release of frustration to boo.

Verdeforce, it was definitely a playable ball that Rollins hit and De Aza seemed to get a bad jump on it. But the part that was especially bad was that when he got up to chase the ball (now heading to the wall), he was running lacksadaisically (tired?) and Willingham passed him from left field to get the ball and relay it back.

Nice CS by Ruiz.

Lacrosse is definitely a sport. I was at Duke's first lacrosse game since the rape case (I go there) and our guys were absolutely beating up on the other players with their sticks. I'm not sure that it's not even more brutal than football. And a ton of skill and strength and speed is involved as well.

RSB How do you call the reigning MVP the easiest out in an NL lineup? Let's be real here.

There should be is no hesitation - it's an attempt to steal the base. What's the point of running if you aren't going to get there. If you hesitate and the batter misses you still have to get the bag.

I'm not going to get into this argument about lacrosse being a sport...I know it is...but tell a lacrosse player that his stick is really just a butterfly net and they get all pissed off...stupid lacrosse players.

I said RIGHT NOW, Ted. Does he look like an MVP tonight to you? He looks more like Don Carman up there.

Right now he is the easiest out. But he's still our best power threat. Besides, how will sitting get him out of his slump?

0-2 with 2 K, he can still salvage the day. True he didn't look good. Let's see him bat in a few seconds.

0 for 3

Alright that wasn't pretty either.

Lacrosse is a sport for rich kids who cant play real ball. Football.Baseball.Basketball. No offense to lacrosse players, the next one I meet who's parents dont have a net worth over 500K will be the first one.

Looks like we'll get a good look at the bullpen today.

Ouch. Myers is catching a little too much plate...

Can we get Myers out of the game yet?

"expect good pitching tonight..." doh lol

4.1 and 6 earned with a possible for one more. Great outing

It's Joe Bisenius, BTW.

Good test for himl see if he can hold the margin in a close game

they are tee-ing off on Myers...since this game is getting out of hand...can i please see someone from the Marlins pay with a high hard one up near their heads??? Oh well 1-4 aint as bad as 0-6 last year, right??? oh by the way, the Sarge is tough to listen to for 9 straight innings what a slap in the face to Larry Anderson.

Hell, Sarge and Wheeler are brutal for 9. Who is the idiot responsible for the braodcast teams?

I think Sarge will get alot better as the year goes on, or at least I really hope so.

LA was doing some play by play on the radio on Thursday, he sounds good.

Maybe it's time for the Phils to hold an open pitching tryout - throw a strike and get a contract, can't be any worse.

LA has a great rapport with Harry too. It's a shame they are not paired together for at least 3 innings on TV.

Wheels has pictures of someone wearing a dress, there is no other reason for him to have a job.

More like pictures with some sheep! The man is on TV for 9 innings! 9 effing innings!!

Enter Black Hole of lineup.

Ruiz will save us!

Well maybe not...

does anyone think a sacrifice would have worked there (with rowand)...you know, with burrell's wheels?

Matthews just said the ball was hit to Borchard in left. He is clearly in right! 9 innings, 9 effing innings!!

Rowand's defense is simply atrocious. He is too slow to play as shallow as he does.

Oh no, Madsen is in. Hope he doesnt get whiplash watching balls fly over his head...

I agree Greg. Rowand misses far more than he should. He has cost the Phils a couple of times already this season.

i figured i'd give Sarge a week before ripping him but i can't help myself..the guy is hard to listen to...his voice goes up and down in the beginning & ending of sentences. Its clearly evident the phils dropped Scott Graham so that Wheeler can be on for all 9 innings.

Ruiz is looking great! That is two caught stealing tonight. What an asset to have a catcher that can save you runs.

Trade Barajas! I was listening on the radio, was Myers bad (as in location, velocity) or was he just getting jacked?

As for Rowand, I agree with Jon and Greg. Guys like DeJesus in KC and Andrew Jones can get away with playing that short, he really cant. Rowand needs to take a few steps back to catch up to line drives

Does Graham have a baseball job anywhere?

Am I crazy, or does Howard need a day to sit? I don't care if he comes in late in the game, but it may be a good thing for him to have a day off against Olsen. He isn't even fouling off pitches as this game goes on.

I am with you Jon, I think a day off would do him alot of good. I know you can only break out of a slump by playing through it, but one day off against a lefty cant hurt at all.

If josh willingham hits for the cycle I'm pissed.

Thats better Dawg

Been away from computers, thought I'd check in, but we're down three and Mad Dog is pitching. Woe is us!

If we can keep get this within 2 runs, or no greater than 3, I like our chances against Jorge Julio.

We're spared - for now. Unless the Phils come back to tie or take the lead we should not see Willingham again.

Fun fact: if today Willingham became the first Marlin to ever hit for the cycle, the Phillies would have been the opponent for two division rivals' first cycles. Brad Wilkerson did it on opening day in Philly in 2005, becoming the first National to hit for the cycle.

Maybe I'm wrong, but good teams that are down by 3 runs in the 8th inning usually look at a few pitches from a reliever, especially one who there is no picture for on the ESPN gamecast. Where is the freaking plate discipline. Burrell may strike out a lot, but at least he sees some pitches and can occasionally take one he likes.

Why is Madson still in this game?

Charlie Manuel is an idiot. There is no way around it. I really cannot wait until he no longer has to make, or forget to make, decisions for this team.

If this team fails to win 2 of the next 4, they will have a new manager before they return to Philly on Friday.

Can Beerleaguer launch a recurring feature on Charlie's stupidest decisions called Manuel Transmissions?

Also: I think Gillick read Melville's The Confidence Man in the off-season.

I'd like to see Dobbs in the starting lineup tomorrow, and see if his extra base hitting can continue against the Marlins or if it is a short-lived fluke.

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