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Monday, April 30, 2007

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Lineups

Nunez starting tonight at 3rd and Ruiz catching.

Phils
1. J Rollins, SS
2. S Victorino, RF
3. C Utley, 2B
4. R Howard, 1B
5. P Burrell, LF
6. A Rowand, CF
7. A Nunez, 3B
8. C Ruiz, C
9. J Lieber, P

Braves
1. K Johnson, 2B
2. E Renteria, SS
3. C Jones, 3B
4. A Jones, CF
5. B McCann, C
6. J Francoeur, RF
7. S Thorman, 1B
8. W Harris, LF
9. T Hudson, P

Go Phils! BTW I've decided to do a thesis on Borowski's first 11 innings of 2007. Thanks guys!

Why Nunez in the 7 hole again? We might see Rowand rack up some intentional walks.

Rumor has it that Nunez has been on the clear for the past couple weeks. Look for him to fire some grounders into the outfield tonight.

Howard just looked foolish against Hudson. Maybe he should wear a disguise so people won't think they've figured him out.

To answer you, Jeltzie, he's in there to hit routine double-play grounders.

Nunez hitting anywhere but eighth doesn't really make sense to me. If Utley and Howard can't get to Hudson, this is going to be a long night, or maybe a quick game.

RSB: Nunez hitting 9th makes sense to me.

Maybe Nunez should hit leadoff? Then there's no way possible he could hit into a DP.

I feel as if we used that one before (David Bell).

MLB.com decided to unleash a flash pitch motion thing today. It'll tell me what wind Lieber's throwing into, but it won't tell me why Nunez is in the 7 hole.

Are they batting Ruiz 8th because they want to make sure the line-up gets turned over? That is the only reason I can think of.

I just think Manuel likes to increase the probability of a .194 hitter getting more chances at the plate than a .297 hitter.

Ruiz may be twice the hitter, but Nunez has more experience.

Ruiz at #8 has got to be to prevent a black hole at 8-9, but heck, we got used to a black hole at 5-6-7-8-9 last year...

Love the way Lieber works -- he has his inning in in the time it takes Garcia to throw his 1st 2 pitches.

THis Willy Harris character looks like he might be related to J-Roll (At least facial features). I came back to my TV a second ago and I swear I thought I saw Jimmy Rollins wearing a Braves cap and standing in the outfield. THe only thing that could possible be worse would be to find out that the Phillies had traded Rollins to the Braves and we acquired the Yankees pitching staff. Ah, had to get a cheap shot in there while I still can, and why my prediction is still good. I dont think it is going to hold up to well with as many runs as the Yanks are capable of scoring.

Maybe demoting Lieber to the bullpen was the kick in the pants he needed. Another brilliant managerial move from Charlie.

Wild prediction: Hudson no-hits the Phils tonight.

If this gameday upgrade can be believed Hudson is getting the called strike off the corner of the plate, forcing our guys to chase stuff even further away. Does that sound like what is really happening? If so, the upgrade is quite nice.

If Lieber's first pitch to McCann ruptured his penis, then it's legit.

It did!

I don't think the upgrade can be trusted, it also makes it look like practically every pitch that's fouled off is off the plate too. It's not actually an upgrade, they've had it all season long, I think they just do it for games at some parks and at other parks they don't. Chan Ho has put the Mets in a 5-0 hole already, on a positive note.

Hell of a catch there by Rowand (And then almost misplayed one, while typing). The Braves announcers are talking about how low Utley can go to get a ball and still hit it hard. It is pretty impressive.

Howard: He really looks like he has no clue right now. I think he would swing at a ball at his face right now. It has been mentioned before, but I really wonder if he is pressing, trying to secure that $$$. If if this continues (God forbid), it will be interesting to see how this affects his value. I wonder if everyone who was clammoring for that huge contract will still say that Phils should gave given him Soriano money. Right now, $1 Mill. is expensive for a 3 HR, .200 hitter (Travis Lee could do that. John Kruk might be able to come out of retirement and do that).

I'm not foolish enough to believe that other teams are throwing baseballs laced with Kryptonite to Howard. However, I have to admit, I'm wondering when this is going to change. I am officially on the search for answers. At the bare minimum, I'm searching for the right questions to ask about the bizzaro world Howard.

Casey, you jinxed him.

Leave it to Aaron to get the knock. Now watch as Nunez screws this up.

Yeah, it'd be one thing in Nunez were "hitting" 7th behind Howard, but behind one of the hottest hitters in the game is just plain dumb.

Speaking of hypothetical doomsday situations, what if we had signed Soriano. Assuming it would have been financially possible, Howard and Soriano in the lineup in the first month would hardly qualify as "Murderer's Row." It would be more like "Philantropist's Row." If those guys, really fall off the face of the earth (Which I dont think is possible), that would have been a total disaster.

I really hope Howard gets it going. As for Soriano (Raphael and Alphonso), he can wallow in mediocrity for as long as he wants.

Bedrosian's Beard took yet another gratuitous cheap shot at Coste in the last thread --"Everyone's favorite 34-year-old catcher is hitting .216 in Ottawa. Maybe his batting average is in Canadian?"

Yep -- after dodging three snow storms and being forced to play in gameday weather in the 30's and lower 40's the first two weeks of the season, Coste -- in a mere 15 games so far -- has had a slow start.

Coste has been quoted in media accounts as saying that being shipped to the minors this season has hurt him far more than even last year's slap-in-the-face cut by Gillick in the CBP locker room the night Delucci was acquired the day before 2006 Opening Day. This year, Coste was told by Phillies' management that he "didn't fit into the team's scheme this year" -- whatever that meant.

My wife and I had occasion to travel to Ottawa recently, and after watching the Senators eliminate Pittsburgh in an NHL playoff game on April 19th, on April 20th, we sat in Row A behind home plate at Lynx Stadium and watched the Lynx play Charlotte.

Before the game, I had occasion to speak to Coste for the first time alongside the Lynx dugout, and without getting into details of that conversation, I can say, with first-hand knowledge, that Coste feels terribly wounded by the treatment he received at the hands of Phillies' management during the off-season.

It sure is easy for armchair baseball fans, easily flinging blog posts, to say that Coste should simply "buck up" and "fugetaboutit" -- but that's not so easy when you're 34 years old, and you've just been trashcanned to the minors after hitting .328 in 65 games with a .505 slugging percentage, 32 RBI's, and 7 HR's with the Phillies in '06 after 11 minor league years -- and your employer has "optioned" you to AAA, insuring that you won't be able to get another big league job -- all as your window of opportunity rapidly slips away.

Beard, I'm waiting for your inevitable sneering, sarcastic response -- but it won't change the facts I have just recited.


Don't question Charlie's intelligence or his manhood.

Wow, let's throw a pity party for Chris Coste. Are you kidding me? It's a wonder that anyone on the whole team manages to hit after "dodging three snow storms." You make it sound like he's a homeless man dodging the cold or something. I think the guy would put up better numbers than Barajas, but it's pretty ridiculous to keep reciting the numbers from his one fluke season in the bigs when they're better than anything he did in the minors. We can be concerned as fans because they spent money they didn't have to spend and probably lost, say, sixty-seventy points of batting average from the backup catcher spot, but only for that reason. The team has no obligation to treat its salaried employees with kindness.

How much is Coste makeing this year?

That was the first ball Victorino has hit hard in several games. Nice to get the run right back.

How about Lieber? I keep thinking he's due to get hit, but he just keeps getting sharper.

Question: -- "How much is Coste making this year?"

Answer -- A lot less than the $380,000 he should be making in the big leagues this year -- I've read one account that Coste is making $156,000 in Ottawa on the downside of a "two-way" contract.

woohoo! tied!

and, someone is buying a lot of steak dinners if vic keeps running like this.

NICE HIT by Howard!

Yeah, big hit Howard! Go the other way with it!

And some nice hitting from Howard. 2-1! Really nice situational hitting here in this inning, making the most of an opportunity off a tough pitcher.

Holy crap an RBI hit for Ryan. ARMAGEDDON WE WIN WORLD SERIES!!!~~

Sorry Davthom but I can't feel bad for a gut who makes 5 times as much as me. Would I like him on the bench right now? Yes. But he is makeing allot of money while playing a game for a living.

Stupid Larry.

Really, Davthom. There's only so many people who are going to cry for a guy making that much money. You hurt the whole sympathy cause by even mentioning it. And Coste himself would do himself a favor by keeping his mouth shut and stop moaning to anyone in earshot. Yeah, he got a raw deal, but show a little grace. Do your job down/up there and someone will want you.

Larry Jones has as many illegitimate children as he does HR. Burrell has an absolute laser of an arm.

Liber will be lucky to get out of this one, somebody bring him a doughnut out there fast!

Zed is dead!

What happened to Rowand?

Ditto. Is he hurt?

Abreu struggling... but Delgado REALLY struggling for the Mets this year. Coming into tonight, .187/.265/.264!!! And he's 0-3 tonight. Last year, he was on fire in April.

Time to get Jonny Boy out of there. 5 walks now. Come on, Charlie. Why can't you see this?

Why is Lieber still in the game?

Who's warming in the pen?

Was Rowand hurt or ejected?

Too many questions!

What, pinch hitting for a .378 hitter doesn't make sense?

because he's only given up 1 ER?

Well, he got out of/away with it. A third straight excellent start by Lieber. I think the least we can do is downgrade his nickname to Protein Bar Boy.

Will anyone watching on tv explain why Charlie pinch-hit for Rowand? If only we could get Hudson out of the game I'd have some hope, the Braves bullpen doesn't look too good without Soriano and Wickman.

Somewhere between excellent and lucky...I think they had the leadoff hitter on 6 innings.

Rowand apparently has a stiff lower back.

I agree about Lieber. Good outing. 6 walks is too many, but he never seemed out of control.

Nothing against Myers, but I'd just feel a little more confident if this game were in the hands of Joe Borowski.

Boy, was that a fortunate call on the third strike to Harris. Phils have had their share of breaks tonight.

Tray, you cant be serious.

what happened to rowand?

radio says bad lower back.

So, is Cholly going to run Gordon out for the 9th, or wait til we get a lead?

I *am* serious. He may have an ERA in the nines, but that's just because of *one* bad outing. Nine saves in ten opportunities - however you slice and dice it, and even if he gave up a run in 99% of them, that's still what I call *getting the job done*. And to those who say that by the same logic trading for Mike Williams was a great move because he had 25 saves and an ERA in the millions, I say: don't be such *statheads*. He *got the job done too*.

Gordo comes in an faces Francour, who is batting about 1.000 against him. I cringe at the possibilities.

that's either a brilliant parody or maybe the stupidest post in Beerleaguer history.

Close game against the Braves. Sound familiar?

(Tray's post, not Parker's)

I just love it when their guy goes through our 3-4-5 in the 9th in 10 pitches.

Ok, tray, I don't agree. Man, Johnson just hit a good pitch.

Myers can't pitch more then one inning any more?

Alfonseca diving for a bunt...they say baseball is a ballet, but that image would not qualify.

Either tray is dripping scarcasm tonight or he has gotten into a batch of halucinagens.

Good Night

I hope this puts Antonio into perspective.

coming in late here....WHY THE HECK IS NUNEZ PLAYING AGAIN!!???!

Belt high fastball to one of the best hitters in the NL East. Brett Myers was taken out after the 8th again why?

err...why WAS nunez playing again...

I'm serious ae. When you're a closer all the other metrics go out the window. It's all about those saves. Besides, how do we know that when Borowski comes into the game with a two-run lead, he doesn't give up that first run *on purpose* to lull the opposing hitters into a false sense of security? And who cares? He still *gets the job done*, doesn't he? Okay, enough making fun of RSB for the day. In my research on Mike Williams, though, I found this gem on the two-time All-Star and Va Tech Hall of Famer, over on Wikipedia:

His style for closing out games was unorthodox, as it involved him getting himself into a jam, but then getting out of it.

As predicted, the BP wasted little time in failing its first real test in 2 weeks.

Why was Alfonseca used yesterday when the Phils were up 6-0? Typical Phillies...

C'est la vie

Tough loss but didn't like the Phils chances tonight. This offense absolutely has to pound Redman tomorrow night. Anything less than 4 runs against him is unacceptable.

Did we just get Borowskied?

agree 100% MG. but you know what would help the offense? starting a ham sandwich at 3B instead of nunez.

Yeah, on a serious note, I think this just shows that Alfonseca's performance over the past five years is far more indicative of his true abilities than his performance over the past three weeks.

Another reason, that proves Charlie's ineptitude. I'm fine with Myers not pitching the 9th. He pitched yesterday. And didn't have an easy 9th. But Ancient-seca shouldn't be pitching in a close situation after pitching yesterday. There is no way, that Geoff Geary wasn't in there.

Geary is the most consistent releiver on this team. Ancient-seca is Roberto Hernandez and Jose Mesa.

I think we witnessed last season that Nunez had mastered grounding out. He did it three more times tonight and he did it from the seven hole. The man hardly ever gets the ball out of the infield, yet he remains on this team. Why? He killed a couple of rallies tonight. There has to be a better option out there somewhere. The question is would the Phils eat his remaining salary? Unfortuantely, probably not...

would they cut him and eat his salary? jon, dude, he's had 3 STARTS in a row.

Safe to say that the Braves and Mets own us this year -- they know it, the Phils know it. We can play with them 4 or 5 or 6 innings, but not 9. Afraid it's going to be like the Phils-Marlins a few years ago.

On an optimistic note, IF Lieber & Rowand keep it up, they should be good for a couple of real ML prospects.

BTH, it was sarcasm. I know they wouldn't do the right thing and say goodbye to Abe. Maybe he can play all nine positions in their 10,000 loss.

you need to score more than 2 runs to win games.

not a bad loss, just ran into a hot pitcher.

Nunez is an upgrade over helms defensively. And the reason he's in there tonight, was because Lieber was pitching. Manuel at least had the foresight about that. But his mistake was batting Ruiz in the 8 hole. Ruiz's bat has been hot as of late, and shouldn't be hitting 8th when Nunez is in the lineup.

Man, that was a fast game, and probably the most forgettable of the season. Did anyone expect them to win this? Turn the page on that one, but agreed with MG they must pound Redman tomorrow.

11-14 in April. It's not 10-14 like previous seasons, but that is only because the Phils had an extra game. Have they been playing better of late? Yes, but they have been playing lesser teams. They came up short again tonight against a better team. Manuel was out managed, like he usually is against the Braves and Mets. Maybe we can steal one with Hamels on the hill tomorrow.

Really, I see this loss as an argument for fixed bullpen roles over Charlie's "all these guys are interchangably mediocre so I'll just ride the hot hand" approach to bullpen management. The problem with that approach is, (a) just because someone's strung together several good appearances in no way means it's likely they'll have another, and (b), by the time you identify who the "hot hand" is, it probably won't be long before they begin to cool off. I would just look at past results over much longer periods, several seasons, not several games, conclude that Myers, Gordon, and Geary are the three best pitchers currently in our bullpen, in that order, and use them in the 9th, 8th, and 7th, with lesser roles for Alfonseca, Madson, and all the rest.

Abe Nunez starts 3 games in a row and we lose 2 of 3, coincidence?

There was no need to use Alfonseca yesterday. That may have contributed a little to his ineffectiveness tonight. More so are the fact that he now has been used 6 times in the last 10 games. Manuel seems to be falling into a rut like Tray mentioned. He did this with Geary last year. It's been since 2004 when Alfonseca appeared in more than 33 games. When does that start to take it's toll?

*is the fact

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