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Sunday, April 22, 2007



Howard starting, hitting 4th. Dobbs starting in LF. Burrell gets day off.

1. J Rollins, SS
2. S Victorino, RF
3. C Utley, 2B
4. R Howard, 1B
5. W Helms, 3B
6. G Dobbs, LF
7. A Rowand, CF
8. C Ruiz, C
9. F Garcia, P

1. R Freel, CF
2. S Hatteberg, 1B
3. B Phillips, 2B
4. J Hamilton, RF
5. A Dunn, LF
6. J Valentin, C
7. E Encarnacion, 3B
8. A Gonzalez, SS
9. M Belisle, P

I was kind of hoping they continue trying batting J-Roll further back in the order, it was nice new experiment.

Yeah I was hoping JRoll would hit farther back in the lineup too.Phire Charlie!


I'd rather see Bourn get a start than Dobbs. I think we'll all agree that Dobbs is getting too many opportunities while not succeeding. He's a 25th man, at best, in the majors.

I'd rather see Dobbs get a start than Bourn. I think we all can agree that Bourn can't seem to hit major-league pitching at this point in his career and when we're this far back in the standings, it's no time to be giving people on the job training.

Bourn is garbage. He can't hit a major league pitching. His only use right now is a late inning defensive replacement.

Has Bourn gotten one start this year? Dobbs, meanwhile, has had a handful. Manuel and Gillick came out and proclaimed we'd all be 'surprised' by how much playing time Bourn would get, that he'd be no mere defensive replacement. Remember that? It wasn't too long ago. But plans have a way of changing fast when the wheels come off, I guess.

Bourn is not likely to have success as a bench player. It's pretty obvious by now. It hardly makes him 'garbage' who can't hit ML pitching. He could be helping this team if he were being used they way the brass claimed he was going to be used. In my opinion, he needs at least semi-regular play, and if the Phils can't offer it, he shouldn't be on the 25-man roster.

I was thinking the same thing about Barajas.. who would have thought we'd be dreaming of the days with old Mike Lieberthal behind the plate.

Is Barajas the cream of Pat Gillick's pathetic crop?

He could be helping us by getting even more automatic outs than he already does, RSB? Or we need to waste lots of at-bats on him until he learns how to hit? Until a couple days ago Burrell was probably our second best hitter - no sense in benching him. Now if he starts to slump, maybe you'll see Bourn.

As for Belisle, I see this is his 100th appearance but just his 11th career start, does anyone know how he is as a starter?

werth is the cream of gillicks crop.

hey clout - how long until you upgrade vic from 4th outfielder to a starter?

hey -this frist inning, the phils look like a competent team...

I don't want to get over excited, but it seems the Phils are finally starting to play baseball.

Also, I know this is a tired subject, but I've finally gotten a chance to hear Sarge. He totally reminds me of Gerald Ford on the Simpsons -

Helms delivering a nice 2-out run there. They definitely look looser to me, for the moment. Howard had a nice swing, also, which is great to see coming off the injury.

Burrell does need a day off and Tray has a point about why the Phils should start Dobbs over Bourn today.

Still, Dobbs has gotten off to a really slow start too. At least Bourn gives you very good defense in LF with a flyball pitcher with Garcia on the mound.

Funny thing is that the Phils traded away Conine for nothing this spring training and he would be their best offensive threat off the bench right now.

Is harry drunk today!!!

Tray - sometimes you really don't seem to fully understand baseball. Some players don't adjust well to bench roles. Did you happen to see what Bourn did when he got an extended look during the spring? And please don't give me any crap that it was just spring. Bourn can play. It takes a certain kind of hitter who can have one AB every other game and succeed. Just because Bourn doesn't seem to have that in him doesn't mean he would necessarily fail if he got a few starts.

Bourn needs AB's to continue to develop into a competent ML hitter. You already know that Dobbs is at best the 25th man on a ML roster. Burrell was going to get the day off, so why not give him 9 innings and 4 or 5 AB's instead of 2 innings and maybe one AB.

christ, garcia takes an hour and a half to deliver from the stretch....

harry da k is definitely going senile.

Because you also already know that Bourn would go 0-4. Now Dobbs has struggled too, but we know he can hit a little. Maybe once we get back to .500 and can afford to throw away outs for the purpose of player development we can give Bourn some starts.

Good to see Helms get a hit. Phils really need him to start hitting if this offense is going to click. Funny thing is that Nunez actually could have won some additional starting time but his performance has even been more putrid.

Joe: Once Vic completes a season as a starter and produces numbers that are in line with other major league rightfielders, I'll tip my hat and say I was wrong about him.

Bourn/Dobbs: Can we really declare that Bourn can't hit major league pitching? How many starts has he had? Um, that would be Zero. How many ABs has he had: 10. I've been saying for awhile that ideally he'd get a half season of Triple A, but making conclusions off zero starts and 10 ABs strikes me as premature.

clout -

vic isn't going to put up RF numbers, but he'd be ideal in CF. vic just don't got the power.

the ump behind the plate is inredibly inconsistent on his balls and strikes.

Chase is back. Lord, does that help.

Way to go chase!!!!!, maybe they should have had that team meeting two weeks ago!!!

now, if only howard could get pitched to more than once or twice a game.

Nice to see this team finally swing the bats a little...

Dobbs has had two pretty nice at bats. Garcia seems to be throwing around 90-92. Things are good. Lets hope that Garcia doesn't have an elbow injury.

Nice AB by Dobbs. Got the run home.

Take a damn pitch Ruiz! Please!

What a play by Helms! His bat and his arm are showing up today.

I agree Josh, I had to log on here to make sure I didn't just hallucinate that.

Garcia's control is a little shaky. I really hope there is nothing wrong with his elbow.

Josh u smoke something ....Helms k'd with the bases loaded & nobody out and the bare handed play was nice but certainly nothing amazing...its a play that most 3rd basemen are expected to make.

Nice pitching by Garcia in the 4th - showed his veteran presence on the mound. Reds get something together, 1st & 3rd, no outs, and Garcia totally ho-hums it and makes his pitches to minimize the damage. Impressive. Just wish he held runners a little better.

I'm starting to think you could dig up a geranium from outside of most AL parks and it could be a decent NL pitcher.

Helms also knocked in a run with two outs, something which this team hasn't been doing, and his bare-handed play prevented a run and is impressive for as defensively-questionable a third baseman that he is. These plays are nothing spectacular, but important in the flow of the game - especially for a struggling team like the Phils.

@The Dude

I agree his barehanded play should be routine for an average defensive Third Baseman. But would anyone sit her and defend him as one of those? When you have low expectations, it's much easier to get excited about a play like that.

i hate to mention this right now since it looks like if Garcia stays healthy he could be a very capable #3 pitcher but if you look at Gio Gonzalez & Floyd's numbers it looks like this trade could potentially be one sided especially if Garcia is a 1 year rental.

Gonzalez 3-0 1.17 ERA 15 IP 18k
Floyd 1-1 2.50 ERA 18 IP 17 K

"Once Vic completes a season as a starter and produces numbers that are in line with other major league rightfielders, I'll tip my hat and say I was wrong about him."

Very subtle, clout. RF? Gimme a break. Vic is a plus defender in CF with a great arm. The fact that the Phils have two CF and no true RF is GIllick's problem, not Vic's. You have to judge talent, not circumstance.

I agree with you RSB that Bourn should probably get the start today, but I've read enough of Tray's posts to know he knows something about baseball. You're right that we can't judge his ability based on a handful of late-inning ABs, but I'm also not sure why you are so confident that "Bourn can play." He has had one solid season at AAA, nothing more. They need to either send him to Ottawa or give him some spot starts.

i guess you guys are right but its still pretty pathetic that we have had such low expectations at 3rd base over the past few years. We expected Bell to hit .240 with no power and 25 erros every year. We expect Nunez to hit .220. And we will be extremely happy if Helms plays mediocre defense as long as he hits .270 with maybe 10-15 HRs.

Anyone else think that not getting in some of those runners earlier could come back to haunt us today. I dont think Garcia is going to go more than 6. Pen is rested but I dont like our chances of getting 9 outs and giving up less than 3 runs today.

ON Garcia, I have confidence in him against Cinci and teams like the Nats, but going up against teams like the Mets and Braves, I think he might get hit hard.

I'm thinking 190 IP of around 4-4.50 ERA. Although he may just be getting himself into shape. Too early to really tell anything.

True The dude, but a lot of credit has to go to the Reds defense, not just the Phils choking. Encarnacion and Dunn both made really nice plays on would-be 2B by Dobbs and Rowand.

They need to keep the pressure on.

The Dude,

Please dont tell me you are getting sucked into the Floyd minor league numbers. Floyd's minor league numbers are like the Sirens of greek mythology. They'll lure you in and then kill you. I would not read, too much, if anything from Floyd's numbers in minor leagues. He is too much of a headcase. Besides if he ever does make it to the Sox, it will probably cost Guillen his job b/c of his new and non-PC remarks directed at Floyd. If not for that then for having anything to do with Gavin Floyd making an appearance in the pro's.

What did Guillen say about Floyd?
And I'm with Parker, maybe Gio will end up a good pitcher, but if Floyd does it will be a miracle and you can't fault the Phillies for putting him in that trade.

Seth, he hasn't said anything yet, but it would be the inevitable consequence of having to manage while Floyd is pitching. I could not imagine if he had to deal with Floyd and Madson on a pitching staff. Whatever you want to say about Manual, for a guy with a couple of heart surgeries, you have to give him credit for making it through the Phillies rotation performances last year.

I don't know how we should have started Bourn, we may end up needing the run that Dobbs knocked in. Not only that, he saw 10 pitches in that at-bat and helped get Belisle out of the game so early. Personally I would like to see less of Bourn for now, at least in the Burrell replacement role. But what would I know, I don't fully understand baseball.

On another note, an amusingly dumb quote from Cole:

After Cole Hamels' dominant performance Saturday night, when he struck out 15 Reds batters, it seemed that he certainly established himself as the new staff ace now that Opening Day starter Brett Myers has moved to the bullpen.

Hamels doesn't feel that is his role on this staff, though.

"With the veteran leadership that we have, I don't really have to do that, because I'm still learning, and the veteran starters are still helping me out," Hamels said. "So, they're the ace that day -- every five days. When it's my turn, I'll be our ace, but the next day is someone else's turn."

So all of our pitchers are aces? What?

I drafted Floyd last year in my fantasy league as a sleeper to break out with the Phils. I wanted to kill him after about the first two weeks. The man is an utter head case that may just end up being a "AAAA" player like so many of our bench players.

Parker, that's what Cholly deserved for overlooking Floyd's career sucktitude in favor of a handful of okay ST performances. He had no business being on the roster to begin with.

Although the only other option was Franklin, so Gillick deserves a lot of th blame for that terrible Floyd/Madson April and May last year.

That actually sounds like a very levelheaded quote Tray. Maybe RSB was right...

They can't all be aces. It's like, today Cole is our ace, tomorrow it's Freddy, the day after that our ace is Adam Eaton. Then it's Jon Lieber! I'm surprised Smith didn't give up a home run to the Natural.

I'm sorry, but can someone please explain to me why Charlie let Freddy Hit and then Replaced him the next inning? I 'm a little confused?

because he wanted freddy to finsih the inning

I'm going to guess it had to do with the double/hbp sequence.

oh, nevermind. He faced two more batters and then got pulled. Missed that

I missed the 5th & 6th, came back to find the score the same, runners on 1st and 2nd and Matt Smith pitching. Seems like a pretty quick hook for Garcia. Was he losing it? 4-1 in the 6th, would seem your starter should still be out there.

If this goes to the ninth and the Phils are hanging onto the lead still... are we seeing flash today or myers?

i'm guesssing he hoped he could get through the 6th but you could tell by looking at the 5th inning that they were starting to him him hard. 12 outs and only a 3 run lead...i'm not too sure 4 runs will win this game today...our offense better score some more.

Mr Smith needs to find himself on a flight to Ottawa.

I'll take my chances with Fabio.

and damn, vic has a gun.

Tray, I don't think Cole was speaking as a baseball analyst. If Peter Gammons or Joe Sheehan said the team had five aces, then it would be stupid. It was a typical young player quote.."just doing my job" "part of the team" blah blah blah...

Great play by Vic/Ruiz! Geary threw a terrible pitch.

Victorino baby woo!

Nice throw from Victorino and a great block by Ruiz -- our outfield is playing very well today. Still, it should be 4-1 ... I think Ruiz and Smith shouldn't have let Dunn off the hook like they did.

But hey, could've been worse.

I have to finally give Ruiz some credit on this board. That was a nice block of the plate. I am really liking what I see of him and Barajas despite their offensive inabilities. They both provide something Lieberthal never did - heart & smarts behind the plate. I am surprised to find out that Ruiz is a converted infielder. Obviously someone down on the farm spent some time and taught him how to be a good catcher. Hopefully they do the same with Jamarillo.

RSB, I think Manuel's decision was defensible. Garcia is just getting back into shape. If you figure he has only 10-20 pitches left (he was at 89), then you are probably better off with the lefty in there. Hamilton, Dunn, and Valentin all are much better against righties.

Joe, SMith actually pitched ok, give the guy a break. He struck out Hamilton, got hosed on a 3-2 count against Dunn, and got Valentin to hit a humpback liner that should have been a double play (thank you Howard).

i love this Cunaligious guy..he has a great name

i just keep thinking of the "Colonel Angus" sketch on SNL.

That play by Encarnacion was uglier than anything Helms himself has done this year. Reds are not looking too sharp in this series - might be the first time all year the Phillies have outplayed a team.

This is an odd going for the kill sort of a move, shouldn't they wait until the Reds shell our next reliever and pinch-hit for him in the ninth spot?

THe Dude, reminds me of the classic SNL skit Colonel Angus with Christopher Walken.

Nice Chris! Glad I'm not the only one.

kdon -

Freddy has a rubber arm, and while he is just off the DL, I expect to see 125+ pitch counts from him often this season.

And, I'm not sure why I should give Matt SMith a break, he has been simply terrible this year. He's got an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 4.13 .

I'm sorry, but he's not ready for the show. Needs more seasoning.

holy crap the reds hit 9 hr against the phils in '98...i can't believe i dont remember that game.

I really think Smith has to go to AAA or make him the 2nd lefty (for non pressurized lefty/left situations) out of the pen. He has no control which i know is the problem with Castro. That being said, the minors are pretty weak in AA & AAA lefties...its a stretch to say but does anyone think Happ or Mazzone have a chance to get a shot. Brito is an afterthought and in my opinion does not deserve another chance up here.

who's closing today? Flush, or Myers?

in checking some of the minor league numbers I was impressed with some guy i had never heard of Juan Tejeda. He's listed as a 1b. His minor league stats look pretty good up until last year. He's only 25 but with his 4th organization. I have to wonder if there something else wrong with this guy. I also wonder if he could serve as a bench player with some power. If he can't play any other infield position then i know this is a ludicrious suggestion considering we already have plenty of other guys who can fill in at 1b right now on the team.

Memo to Werth:

Never EVER should you have a half swing on 3-1!

Thank you:


Joe, he has been brutal, just saying that today he actually pitched well.

brito is down with a groin injury

Dear Mr. Werth,

The Reds announcers just called that a "pardon me" swing. Please go down to AAA and think about what you've done.



I'm famous! Well, not really at all, but I am quoted in an article along with my homeboy Jayson Stark. The funny thing is, my quote is from on here (BeerLeaguer) rather than my own blog.


Game Thoughts:
Nice to see Howard in the lineup, means injury isn't all that serious. Garcia pitched decent today, we NEED him. Matt Smith still can't effectively find the plate, demote him, promote Model Dictator (aka Fabio Castro). Victorino is a Gold Glove worthy outfielder, love him in RF. We need more runs...don't want to see Gordon in this game.

I'm famous! Well, not really at all, but I am quoted in an article along with my homeboy Jayson Stark. The funny thing is, my quote is from on here (BeerLeaguer) rather than my own blog.


Game Thoughts:
Nice to see Howard in the lineup, means injury isn't all that serious. Garcia pitched decent today, we NEED him. Matt Smith still can't effectively find the plate, demote him, promote Model Dictator (aka Fabio Castro). Victorino is a Gold Glove worthy outfielder, love him in RF. We need more runs...don't want to see Gordon in this game.

Not to divert anyone from the Great Beerleaguer, but the Inky finally has Todd Zolecki doing a blog, and so far it's looking pretty good:

Among other things, he theorizes that Myers was moved to the 'pen because the Phis are concerned about Gordon. Again, though, I ask: why not make this move in spring training? Why not make it the second Gordon has to fly back to Philly for a physical? Now Myers has to learn the bullpen on the fly; so far, so good, but you want to see how a guy responds to back-to-back games, extended outings, approach to closing, etc. in a sort of trial period - precisely what spring training is for, no? Meanwhile, they wasted all this time with Lieber, which didn't make any damn sense for even the first split-second - yet even he was not officially moved to the bullpen until more than halfway through the exhibition season. It's just ridiculous, just a folly of drag-ass decision making. At least they have things maneuvered the way they probably should be. But I doubt Myers is going to just jump right into the closer's role and have this smooth transition.

Amen RSB.

Wait, what did I just say?

RSB - I don't think the Phils have outplayed the Reds this series as much as the Reds have just been sloppy and a little lethargic.

A little emotion, a little fist-pumping. I like it. And how about our man Antonio?

Don't want to tell you how to run a blog Carson, but that was sort of tasteless. Subltety is the key to humor buddy, subtlety.

It's kind of worrisome to think about how many players are overachieving for us and yet we're still 5-11. Jimmy, Rowand, Burrell, Alfonseca - then again, some big names have underachieved so I suppose they more than balance out.

Myers is warming up not Flash, thank god.

MG, you're right - the Reds, in short, look like the Phillies before yesterday. But then again the Phils aren't doing the things they usually do to beat themselves. It isn't playing out like a war of attrition, as in the previous series at Washington.

I remember when I was first teaching Ryan Howard to hit home runs.


i think that it may be madson time :-)

Did I just see that right? Was that... Ryan Howard hitting a home run?!

That's the old Howard!!!!!

There we go! Left-center bomb from Howard - he'd been getting better swings today, not pulling off, and there's the payoff.

Uh, Oh. Looks like the Phils just woke up. Look who is having a good day at Shea. Not the Mets, AHHHHHHHH!!!!! Ha, ha, ha!!!!!

If the Phils are going to move Myers to the pen, make him the closer outright. Gordon hasn't been horrendous but has shown that he doesn't have the stuff to close.

Basically just a fastball pitcher at this point. Gordon is better suited as a setup man/situational strikeout pitcher.

rsb -

i was in cincy this week for week and managed to see the reds vs. astros on thursday.

cincy is not a good team.

going home with a winning road trip is a HUGE victory for this team.

Looks like Myers was going to close today...good!

Howard goes yard though, fine by me, putting the game out of save opportunity.

This has been a damn fine game, the kind of game that gets a team on a roll.

They have played sharper and more focused in the last two games as they have in any others this year. Glad they had the meeting, but the unforgiving part of me asks, where was this focus on April 1?

Kudos to El Pulpo. Another 1-2-3 inning today. This guy has easily been the surprise of the season so far. Keeping my fingers crossed because this bullpen desperately needs him to keep it up.

MG -

Gas can Geary deserves some respect after his performance today. cleaned up matt smith's mess, and then a 1-2-3 inning.

"They have played sharper and more focused in the last two games as they have in any others this year."

I'm just not sure I get this. Hamels pitched great last night, but today, they left a lot of runners on early on, Howard dropped a double play ball, Rowand misplayed a single into a triple...

I think people too often confuse winning with focus. I don't think the team was any more focused today then before. It's like the term "chemsitry." Winning creates chemistry and focus, not the other way around.

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