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Thursday, April 26, 2007

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Jason, we should get some answers if things have really turned around starting next Monday in Atlanta.

Smith optioned to Ottawa, FABIO TO PHILLY!

Its ironic that we (I included) were down on Rowland,Burrel,Alfonseca and Lieber and as of now they are doing extremely well. Maybe we can get on Howard more so he can get his stroke back. (just kidding) Nothing can help Nunez though. We were on Bourn the other day and he has gotten 2 hits since.

and that would put Werth and Madson on the bubble.

Madson isn't on the bubble, for two reasons. one, he has no options and would have to be waived. he would not pass through waivers. two, he hasn't given up a run in his last four appearances (5 2/3 innings), and since April 12 has a one ER, 8 H, 0 BB, and 2 SO in 7 2/3 IP, and his ERA has dropped more than 4.5 points (he did allow 2 of 3 inherited runners to score, but a bases-loaded 1-out situation is pretty tough).

he's not lights-out, but at the moment he's pitching like a perfectly acceptable 6th/7th inning guy.

Can't believe the front office moved that fast on Smith. Bring out the Dictator...

We're goin' sweeping today.

you're right, i forgot that madson was out of options, and yes, his performance has been much better snce Brett went to the pen.

But Werth. Ugh.

"Therapy" is a very interesting term to describe the Phils. No team in the majors has been more schizophrenic than the Phils to start the season.

Winning 5 games is not special but it is in context to where this team was after their 8-1 loss to the Mets last Tuesday. This team quit in that game and I am shocked at the Phils have a decent chance to finish the month at .500.

Instead of "Goose Bumps" as their marketing campaign slogan, I suggest "Motion Sickness" because this team looks like it will duplicate the wild ups and downs of last season.

I'd like to see "pedal to the metal" approach to today's game. Keep it going, boys.

It's clear this team is finding its identity. I'd like that identity to include beating teams into submission.

I hope for another strong game from Cole, and would love to see Ryan notch a couple/three hits.

Uncle Cholly and the Great Frisco Freak out!

Not surprised on the quick move to send Smith down to Ottawa. Smith was almost desperate to throw a strike last night and practically aiming. It is going to be a while before he is up in Philly again. Maybe not even until Sept. 1 when the roster expands.

Let's hope the Dictator does a better job than Smith as our LOOGY. Let's also hope that Smith finds himself in Ottawa and can make his way back to the big team with some good stuff. I hope the best for both of these players.

Looking forward to Cole retaking the strikeout leadership in the NL today along with another win.

quick jason, knock on wood: you just compared Cole to Mark Prior.

Thee Model Dictator returns, women are swooning, Cubans are fleeing, and the Phils are going to keep winning!

So much for my prediction that Brito rather than Castro would get the call...

Truth be told, it would be nice to have two lefthanders in the 'pen when it's time to face the Braves and Mets, but I guess that can't happen when nobody out there (I'm looking at you, Madson) has any options remaining.

I can't get the comment box to appear in the next thread about Fabio. I was looking at the photo and Fabio's face looks thinner than my bad memory remembered, so I went to Google Images and requested Fabio Castro. The second thing to pop up is Dr. Fabio Castro's Plastic Surgery site out of Florida. We can now also refer to the Model Dictator as the Plastic Surgeon! He can pitch surgically to cut up the opposing batters and make them look silly!

Alright! Bay of Pigs back in the 'pen! Woooot!

By the way, Castro's out pitch should be called "The Bay of Pigs Invasion."

Didn't Roger "Rocket" Clemens nickname his out pitch the lame "Mr. Splitee"?

Boy of Pigs Invasion sounds much more menacing.

Unfortunately, his spring training out pitch was generally called "Ball Four." Let's hope that's behind him.

Carson, you might be thinking of Randy Johnson, who called his slider "Mr. Snappy," I think.

Brito got hurt, pulled his groin i think, thats why he didnt get the call

Not close enough to Philly, so has my prediction that Cholly's run-in with "a local radio media personality" will be spun into firing this team up to win games, come true yet? He's either a moron or a genius, depending on whether its a win-streak or losing-streak. Got to love the media.

How *is* "unnamed local radio personality" handling the win-streak, anyway? No doubt he's taking credit for it.

alby -

well, it seems that mr. smith leared the "all four" pitch from him, then.

smith won't be back for a while. the erratic throw to 2nd is a major case of nerves.

Smith reminded me of Gavin Floyd the way he looked this season.

The Phils visit San Francisco next weekend, after the Atlanta series. You can understand not wanting to visit Mr. Bonds' Neighborhood with only Matt Smith as a lefty relief option. Too bad we couldn't borrow Fultz back just for that series...

I still think that eventually the Phils will need both lefties in their bullpen. But I'm not sure who'd go in order to make room for the second one; no way Rosario would clear waivers. It would be a nice irony if the team suddenly found themselves with *too many* usable relief pitchers.

How bad was Matt Smith..11 BB's, 1 K in 4 innings. Steve Blass, famous for losing the strike zone, had 93 BB's, 29 K's in 93 innings (73-74) And one of the all time wild guys, minor leaguer Steve Dalkowski, had 375 BB's, but 353K's in 180 innings (57-58). He gave up 75 hits in those 180 innings.

I'm just concerned with having quality major league pitchers who can throw strikes, regardless of whether they're righty or lefty. Smith was pretty useless against everyone. I have doubts Castro will be much better, then again, Smith was shockingly futile. We'll see ...

Smith reminds me of that kid on your little league team right after tee ball that would walk 6 batters in a row and then the umpire would extend the strike zone from head to toes so the team could finaly get out of the inning. Sad thing is I really think the umpire last night gave him some gift strikes.

Over/under on Hamels K's tonight is 7 1/2.

Did you make that up Tony or is that an actual line? (I mean if betting were legal and of course it isn't, just curious)

Hamels will have a 10+ K game today...total domination!

Castro can't do much worse than Smith did.

We should have signed Ricardo Rincon to a minor league deal.

Cardinal sin of a reliever is walking guys and Smith grossly violated that by walking 10 in 3+ innings.

Tony: Against the Nats, I'll take the over.

Hopefully Smith pitches well in Ottawa and get some confidence back. He'll be back; inevitably someone will go on the DL.

Put me down for the over also. He may not allow a hit either.

I'll go 9 K for Cole in the over under. I dont know what the weather is like so, my prediction is not solid.

mm: fortunately (knock on wood): Hamels is not such a power pitcher like Prior. Additionally, if I'm not mistaken, Priors best pitch was a hard breaking curveball. From my understanding, throwing the curve is much rougher on the arm. It doesnt seem like pitchers that have a changeup as their dominant pitch end up getting hurt as much (At least with the arm). Look at Hoffman, he is still going strong (Except last night) over 40. Glavine is another good example of this, he has not had a long history of injury problems with his arm. It seems that power pitchers are much more prone to arm injuries than guys that get outs on changeups and the like. I think Clout or Kdon pointed this out a few weeks ago, and I agree with them.

Hey! I just got an idea. Rememeber "The Wolf Pack" Section with Wolfman Masks, and then the "The Padilla Flotila" Section with slightly drunken Philly Phans wearing Colorful Mexican Blankets and overly large Sombreros holding paper cut out boats at the Vet?

How about "The Fabulous Fabios!" sitting in one section next to "The Castro Cubans!" with the first section wearing Long Blonde Wigs, Silk Hawaiian Print Shirts Open Down to One Button Below The Navel, and each Holding Up a Harliquin Romance Paperback with a Fabio Type on the Cover; and the second section wearing Castro Green Army Caps, Plastic Groucho Marx Fake Black Plastic Eyeglasses - Big Plastic Noses - and Black Plastic Mustaches, and Long Black Fake Beards.

When our lights out lefty pitching hero comes into the game the Fabios begin CHANTING "TASTES GREAT!!! beers held high, followed by the Castros CHANTING "LESS FILLING!!!"

yt, I made it up.

What does everyone think of innings 4-6 when it's just Wheeler and Matthews commentating?

I honestly think that if the Phils are in contention after the break, Gillick moves to get a lefty arm for the bullpen. I think that if the Phils were to make the playoffs (Playoffs??, Playoffs??), then it would be wise to have at least 2 lefties in the pen.

Rosario: I've been very impressed with this guy so far. Aside from the 13 inning catastrophe, Rosario has been excellent thus far. I still cannot believe that we got this guy for cash. At this point, Alfonseca and Rosario make the Phils bullpen totally different than last year. Two power arms that were nonexistent last year (aside from Gordon). With Myers (think what you want about the move) in there this team is a lot differrent. I just hope Lieber can continue his good stuff.

Come June, they'll need to get an experienced lefty for the 'pen, if they're finished worrying about insurance for the back end.

So far the trade deadline needs are as follows:

1. Experienced lefty (and we used to have a damn good one.)

2. Bench player (preferably lefty OF) who can actually get the job done.

3. Possibly a long-innings eater. And that's not a necessity.

"What does everyone think of innings 4-6 when it's just Wheeler and Matthews commentating?"

I had it on mute for most of those innings yesterday.

On a related note, Smith was definitely one of the players namedropped constantly by Pat Gillick this offseason as part of the young and promising nucleus. I wonder if Gillick has changed his mind about getting a veteran left-hander.

Lineups

Standard lineup for Phils with Barajas catching and batting 8th.

Nats go with Wilson at ss and Restovich in LF against the southpaw Hamels.

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

Nats
1. J Wilson, SS
2. R Belliard, 2B
3. R Zimmerman, 3B
4. D Young, 1B .260
5. A Kearns, RF .275
6. R Church, CF .293
7. M Restovich, LF
8. B Schneider, C
9. S Hill, P

Malcolm: You're right on about needing a bench player/pinch hitter. I'd try to trade Barajas (then call up Coste) and Werth for a 4th outfielder who's worth a damn. Hopefully somewhere a catcher gets hurt so Barajas will be of value to someone.

Shawn Hill has given the Phils problems in the past. I recall him shutting the Phils down last year. I am expecting a low scoring game today.

I can't see getting much of equal value for Barajas and Werth. Yes, some teams may be in need of a backup backstop, but Werth ain't gonna get much.

I'd almost rather package Smith, who has more of a future, if the return is right.

great. as much as i recognize WHY barajas is starting this afternoon i just hate when hes in there PERIOD and i cant be stopped from complaining about it. but GO PHILS! sweep these natholes, take 2 of 3 this weekend and get jacked for the braves series!

Maybe they can send Barajas to Oakland, their backup catcher was optioned to the minors leaving Piazza as the only backup to Jason Kendall.

Don't think trading Barajas is an option yet, as he was a FA signee. That doesn't change the fact that the Phils still need more LH help in the 'pen and a bench player/PH.

Hate to say it, I may be driving the Burrell Bandwagon, but I don't see 7.5 K's from King Cole today. Usually, after an outing like the one he's coming off of, teams review a ton of tape to see how he's getting guys out and adjust accordingly. Nats are going to be sitting change-up today. Will probably be a souvenir ball or two in the left field stands. This one is going to come down to whether or not the Phils' bats stay hot.

Yeah, neither one of those guys is going to get other GMs to put the Phils on speed dial (which is pretty much why I'd try to dump them). But I think we gave up less for Conine last year which is the type of 4th OF/pinch hitter type guy I'd try to get.

I think the last game they were sitting change up and he was throwing fastballs by them, at least early in the count.

Barajas isn't going anywhere. Free agent signees can't be dealt without their permission prior to June 1st.

Who the heck would want Barjas AND Werth?

"unnamed radio personality" isn't taking credit for the Phils success. I'm not that big of a fan of his, but he wasn't in the wrong this time.

I'm not talking about today, I'm saying Barajas is a guy they should look to trade if they're contending in July. Or even if they're not contending. All he's doing is keeping Coste in Ottawa.

BB: Pat Gillick, that's who.

Good one Jeltz.

Personally: I don't care a whole lot about Barajas being on this team. He's got a 1 year deal(right?) and has little trade value anyway. Ruiz should be the go to guy. Werth is a waste of space.

Regarding the idea of naming Castro's out pitch the Bay of Pigs Invasion: Wasn't that invasion a failed mission? Perhaps he should call it the Cuban Missile... of course, that implies a "crisis" as well.

Maybe we should see if he has an out pitch.

Going back to last night's game thread, I want to register agreement with ae's take on Burrell: "yes, he obviously doesn't have his power stroke yet. but to his credit, instead of forcing it and struggling at the plate (like, maybe, Howard?) he's doing a fine job at getting hits and getting on base."

This is a good point. I don't see Burrell swinging for the fences despite the low power totals. I'm seeing better swings, better contact, and even a little better idea of the strike zone. If he keeps with the approach he's been taking, the homers will come.

Anyone see this little controversy about Gary Thorne claiming on the air that Curt Schilling's infamous 'bloody sock' from the '04 ALCS was actually *red paint*? Philadelphia Will Do has a fun account of this and the predictable outrage in its wake.

Not to jump on a bandwagon, but hey! Barajas leads off the third! Awesome!

So that ends that.

Could Manuel bat him 9th and let Hamels turn over the lineup in the 8th spot? Not that the lineup isn't turning over this inning anyway. Just saying.

If Barajas and Nunez were in the lineup on the same day, I'd bat the pitcher 7th.

what's going on with Hamels here? I'm just listening on the radio, but this doesn't sound good.

ae, he just left a couple of pitches up, he's not perfect. Even the best give up hits. And aside from those three pitches that were hit hard, they have hardly hit the ball out of the infield. 4 K's though 4. You must be listening to the Muts radio station.

As for Hill shutting down the Phillies, he has been pretty good the whole year. ERA under 3.

If Nunez and Barajas were in the lineup on the same day, I'd throw kdon, RickSchuBlues, Parker and Weitzel into the lineup just to see who'd get a hit first.

no Parker, I'm listening to the BIG TALKER. obviously guys aren't going to be perfect on every pitch, but I don't see how giving up three consecutive well-hit flyballs to the "heart" of the Nats order (yeah, after cruising up to that point) isn't a little alarming.

Cole is not locating as well today, but it is not like Gavin Floyd out there.

JZ, I'd bet on RSB, he is more focused, especially with RISP. J/k RSB.

This game is flying - 4 1/2 innings played in under an hour.

Zimmerman, Young and Kearns are all legit talents, you know, it's not like suddenly they became scrubs by donning a Nats uniform. Our offense, though, needs to get going and at this rate we'll never even get to their bullpen.

If there were RISP, RSB would walk. Clout would tell him it's as good as a hit, but RSB would still feel bad for not coming through with the ribbies. Then Nunez would K, leaving the bases loaded.

ae, what is the BIG TALKER. I was kidding about the Muts radio station, by the way. It just seemed that if they were making those three instances sound that bad then they didnt know what they were taling about. However, if they are bashing on Wes Helms baserunning, they would be right.

Jeltzie, sounds like a dream. I don't know why I would be pitched around, though, even to get to Nunez.

They were not really talking about the pitches so much as they seemed to be back to back to back, perhaps because the radio guys get so bogged down in the discussions.

Basically, they hadn't finished talking about burrel's throw before the homer, and didn't finish talking about the homer before the shot off the top of the wall.

Were they actually on successive pitches, or we're they just behind on their play by play?

RSB, I'd pitch around a sack of potatos to get to nunez.

Parker, WPHT (via MLB.com). listening to Rush Limbaugh and Michael Smerconish ads is way more depressing than anything the Phillies have to offer.

THey were consecutive pitches hit by Zimmerman, homer, hanging changeup (off the wall by Kearns). Good play by Helms, he didnt do much but at least he made the catch. Bases loaded now.

yt, what station is the BIG TALKER?

yt, exactly. without watching it, that whole sequence seemed to happen in the space of like thirty seconds.

Why walk Kearns to face Church, just a lefty/righty thing? Actually Church is just 4 for 23 against lefties this year, Kearns hitting .318 against them, I guess that makes sense... or not.

so who had the under today?

Man, Church got lucky there. That barely flew over third. Wasn't well struck. Hope Cole can hold it to 3 and bats get hot.

Need a DP in the worst way.

What are they waiting for here with Hamels? He's lost it today. Get the pen up already!

Yup Big talker on MLB.com

Jason: You're absolutely right about Gillick and Smith, but to be absolutely fair we should note that Smith last year and through the offseason was hailed as a great young star by nearly every poster on here. When I raised questions about his lack of experience and scouting reports that projected him as no better than average, I was mauled to pieces. Now everyone acts like they never had a kind word to say.

RSB, I wouldn't say Cole had lost it, better location on two or three pitches, a little luck here and there and the Nats have no runs on the board. Thats the way it works sometimes, but he definitely didnt have his best control today, if that is your point RSB. The thing is, Cole has bad control he gives up 4 runs. A guy like Lieber or Moyer and it is 8 or 9. Not bashing them, but Cole can get away with a lot more location mistakes than those guys.

Gas Can looks like it was recently refilled. (He needs this out bad).

I have no stats at my disposal to back this up, but doesn't Cole seem to struggle in day games?

Please reply.

Hamels and the Phils were due for one. And I think Hill is an emerging talent. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

oh please, not all of us were in love with a 27-year-old loogy as a "great young star." some of us were skeptical from the get-go. in fact, there were probably a good number here who didn't know the difference between matt j smith and matt w smith from last year. i think you're overstating it just a bit.

in other news, looks like geary's logging some plate time this year.

Parker, I wonder if the bases-loaded walk finally convinced you. Hamels lost his command entirely. He was getting behind in the count and getting hit hard. The 2-run single was a chip shot, but if you want to talk about "luck", just prior to that Dmitri Young had ripped a liner right at Helms. Manuel stayed with him a little too long, in my opinion.

I'm glad they pulled Hamels. He's been over 100 pitches every start I think and was up to 92 today, a cold day. The last thing we need is to wear him out early.

Bridoc:

Hamels: 2-4 6.00 ERA. (Day games) (Career)
7-4, 3.09 ERA (Night Games) (career)

Kearns doesn't look pretty out there, but that was a good catch.

gr: Go back and look at the threads.

Just when I'm back to being excited about watching/listening to a Phils game and they have momentum, they go and turn in a crappy effort like so far today. I know it's not over, but the outcome doesn't look good.

Hill looks like he belongs on the Braves, not the Nationals. Phillies just can't adjust and keep trying to pull.

clout: all of them? how about you be more specific, sicne you're charging you got mauled to pieces. in any case, since i don't really care, i'd just offer that i never bought in to him being anything other than a possibility. if gillick mentioend him as a "rising star" i suspect it was more PR due to the lopsidedness of the trade than his being the second coming of terry mulholland in his prime. every one who liked him seemed to base their projections on the fact that he should have gotten a called third strike against lance berkmann in september.

also, gameday was slow. it was bourne, not geary.

RSB, if you read my whole comment, I said that he didn't have his best control, but he wasn't horrible. Didnt look as good as other day but, not horrible.

Clout: I dont think anybody thought that Smith was great. I know I didn't, but he did pitch well last year, even if he didn't pitch a lot of innings. I dont think he is great, but I also dont think he is as bad as he showed at the beginning of this year. I think he will probably be back up soon, assuming he gets his control back, Castro is wild, and we dont deal for a lefty reliever.

I think most of us felt Smith was going to be able to competently fill the role of left-handed spot reliever. I don't think *anyone* thought of him as a rising star.

gr: I'm not saying every single occasional poster on Beerleaguer talked about him. Just what the consensus was. Despite the fact he only had 20 big league innings. anyway, sending him back was the right thing to do.

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