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Friday, May 11, 2007

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Phils have stranded a league-leading 290 runners so far (an average 8.5 a game) ... now that is a truly horrifying number thrown out in the Jim Salisbury article today.

Yeah, but that's just a raw number, we need to be asking if that's a really high percentage. Because, you know, we lead baseball in OBP so we have more runners than everyone, so that 290 figure might be a little artificially high. Maybe someone could research it.

Anyway, I'd have to say the problem is the pitching, we have one of the highest team ERA's in baseball, two of our starters have pitched poorly (three actually if you count Myers's starts), only two guys in the bullpen have pitched well, etc. Now, our offense could take more advantage of its opportunities, certainly. I'd say the problem is that the guys who are supposed to be driving in runs are mostly taking walks, whereas the guys who are hitting/hitting home runs are higher in the lineup. Unfortunately, Burrell is too slow, I suppose, to move up in the lineup. Just on the numbers though it'd be a fine idea, his OBP's in the .440s, right?

Open Invitation- My blog, We Should Be GM's, is having a tailgate party at tomorrow's game. We're starting at around 10 am in Parking Lot Q. If you're interested on stopping by and discussing Phils, drinking a brew, and playing some wiffle ball, then just click on my name below for more details.

Thanks!

It's gut check time. This homestand means about as much as any May homestand can mean for a team. I think coming out of this, we'll have a better idea as to where this team's heart and future lie. I like to think that they can shows signs of being able to make a run (at the WC, if nothing else). Part of me wonders if it could be the precursor to some significant fire-sale type moves, as well.

Let's just say if I'm Pat Gillick, I'm waiting for a few games in to determine whether or not I show my face too publicly.

Tray and Bay Area Phan both asked, so I did my best ... I can't find a page that sorts by LOB, so I did the following to get a ballpark figure on the three best NL teams in OBP (Phils, followed by Mets, Braves): Hits plus Walks plus HBP minus Runs, Caught Stealing and GIDP. (My apologies - this doesn't include bases gained by error, etc., or include flying into a DP, so not precise.) Anyway, according to this formula, is the following:

OBP LOB RS Games
Phils .358 286 168 34
Mets .356 263 174 33
Braves .348 261 169 34

So, using this rough formula, the Phils are stranding about 0.67 more runners per game than the Mets and Braves. Taking into account the runs scored per game among the three (4.94 for ATL, 4.97 for PHI and 5.27 for NYM) this is GLARING.

sorry the columns got skewed

Not to say this the root of all the team's problems - bad pitching certainly is a top concern - but just wanted to note how exasperated I am with this team's situational hitting.

The teams with the highest LOB are almost always the same teams with highest OB, so that number should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Like I said on the earlier thread, hitting is more fun to talk about, but that's not why the team is 15-19. It's the pitching, stupid.

Lineups

No Howard again and Barajas catching.

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

Cubs
1. A Soriano, LF
2. R Theriot, SS
3. D Lee, 1B
4. A Ramirez, 3B
5. M Barrett, C
6. M Murton, RF
7. M DeRosa, 2B
8. A Pagan, CF
9. R Hill, P

For reasons Clout states, it's not really about the men LOB. But, as a team, they are still near the bottom of the league with RISP. As "A Citizen's Blog" likes to point out, their poor situational hitting doesn't prevent them from scoring lots of runs. But that's really not the point. A team with their total offensive output ought to score MORE runs.

Having said all that, it's still about the pitching and bullpen.

I know it's all about the pitching. No need to call me stupid, Clout. The analysis I did shows that despite the Mets/Phils being quite even in OBP, there is a glaring difference between the two in LOB. That's not a huge extrapolation in data there. Tray and Bay-Area-Phan both asked me - in this thread and others - if I could look that data up because they were curious about how the Phils would stack up against the other top OBP teams in LOB. We all agree pitching is the problem. Entering the season with no established set-up men for a aging closer was a gross failure by Gillick.

Why did the Phillies move Hamels up a day?

Rod the Bod is starting that's the worst news i heard all day......

Imagine if we had Coste and never signed Barajas, we could have used his salary to sign a very good reliever or even sign two decent relievers if you split his salary in half

ajc: I'm sorry. I wasn't calling you stupid. It's a reference to the 1992 Bill Clinton slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!" Obscure reference, I know. I like your posts.

Thought that might be the case, but still, to quote Carl Spackler, "It's kinda harsh."

Sorry to change subject but did anyone know that Lenny Dykstra writes about the stock market. Came across this just now.
http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/markets/activetraderupdate/10356361.html?cm_ven=YAHOO&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

Has anyone heard why Ryan Howard is not in the lineup tonight?

Pat The Bat! There you go Gillick!

Attaboy, Pat!

Sorry I wasn't around for the last thread, but I couldn't let Gillick's statements pass. Does this not remind anyone of Ed Wade stewing during the season when the team he assembled was 'underachieving'? Hm, might some of that possibly be the fault of the man who put the roster together in the first place? What the hell did you expect Wes Helms to do, set the world on fire? You're going to blame him for not following through on your longshot hunch? The last thing I want to hear from this guy is excuses. Accountability is in order here. "Borowski failed his physical, wah wah! We don't have Adam LaRoche to trade for a reliever, wah wah!" No, Pat. It's lame. If you you want to blame people, blame the people in charge of player development. No one will argue with you, then. But you're going to complain about an 'inconsistent bullpen' with a straight face? Don't look for sympathy here, pal. And by the way, Patty G., saying that Boowski flunked his physical isn't the end of the story, is it? Another team thought he was worth a shot and he's saved 11 out of 12 games. And you couldn't have bothered to take a chance on a guy like that? Did you have a need, or didn't you? And is the guy healthy, or isn't he? This whiny excuse-making is a lot lamer than Borowski's shoulder possibly could have been. Gillick assesses his tenure here as 'average'. I'd say that's charitable.

* formerly known as RickSchuBlues. Initials are easier to spell.

Though I suppose Gordon passed his physical two years back.

Yeah. Gordon was less of a health risk coming into this season than Borowski. Tell us another one, Pat. Oh, and how how did Garcia fare with his physical? What, you mean he didn't have one? *That's* funny.

Oh, Garcia passed his physical.. if you know what I mean.

* formerly known as joe l since DH outed me.

There are plenty of grounds for criticizing Gillick, but failing to sign a 36-year old reliever who failed a physical is not one of them. Even if his ERA were 0.00 this year (instead of 7.42), it wouldn't matter. The reason their bullpen is in the mess it's in now is because they gave an expensive, multi-year contract to an old, injury-prone reliever. They're not going to get themselves out of the mess by giving another expensive, multi-year contract to another old, injury-prone reliever.

PAT THE MOTHER EFFIN BAT! All aboard the bandwagon!

again?
is he taking steroids?

If he is, he better learn to share with the rest of the team.

Can I take back my post about batting him 8th?

Don't worry phan, Pat forgives.

Could the Phillies use Borowski in their bullpen or not? I love it - don't bother answering the question honestly, just keep pointing out his age and his ERA. That's clearly all that matters. It's much easier to do that than admitting you might have a problem watching Francisco Rosario come into tie games in the 8th inning. Sure, it doesn't matter at all - no bearing whatsoever on the state of the pitching staff. We know this for certain because Borowski had one bad inning in a game four weeks ago.

Did Gillick wake Burrell up, or did he just guess right on two meatballs right down the middle from a left-hander? Either way, it's good to see.

I think there were a few other choices out there besides just Rosario and Borowski.

Would their bullpen be better with Rosario? I suppose so -- at least until he gets injured. But deals are made in the present tense, not with the benefit of hindsight. If you've got a 36-year old guy who just failed a physical, you don't commit millions of dollars to him on a 2-year contract.

Besides, the guy's ERA is WORSE than Rosario's. Yes, it's largely due to one horrible game, but it's not like he has been all that stellar in his other games. Saves are a soft statistic if ever there was one.

Another ovation for PB. He's gonna blow it now

I love how - at least where rationalizing why Borowski wouldn't have made a difference - saves are an irrelevant statistic for a reliever, but ERA is overwhelming proof that a reliever is good or bad.

Borowski was signed to a one year, $4M contract with a club option for 2008. Would that have broken the bank? Oh, but they had to use that money for Alfonseca and Barajas. Never mind.

Victorino's arm is unbelievable. I can honestly say I don't mind in the least that he is our everyday right fielder.

The job of a reliever is to 1. not allow inherited runners to score or 2. to hold a lead or 3. not lose a tie game. ERA is irrelevant, saves are relevant only insofar as they measure times a lead was protected in late innings. So the question to ask is, How many inherited runners has Borowski allowed to score, how many leads has he blown, how many tie games has he lost? Then ask how many inherited runners has the Phillies bullpen allowed to score, how many leads has it blown and how many games has it lost?

ZT: I love Vic's defense too. But how does his bat stack up against the rest of the league's rightfielders?

I wouldn't say ERA is irrelevant but, in the case of a reliever, it can be very misleading, since: (1) one horrible game can send it soaring; and (2) a lot of times, they fail to do their job but the runs get credited to someone else.

Closers, however, typically enter the game at the start of the inning, so their ERAs are more likely to be misleadingly high than misleadingly low. I concede, that is the case with Borowski this year. But I still don't think it would have been smart to sign him, given the circumstances.

Clout your right that his power numbers don't compare to other right fielders, but he still has his batting average, stolen bases, and far above average defense. If Rowand leaves in the offseason we'll have a spectacular center fielder, then we can worry about getting power in right. Until then I'm enjoying the positives that Shane gives this team.

Clout you sound like you hope Vic has a horrible season so you can say "I told you so". The guy so far is doing well at bat and has 2 hrs which if he hits 15 at end of season is probably 12 more than you believe he would hit.

Wow. A game where everything sorta worked out the way its supposed too and everybody kinda did their jobs.

You know what this means--we're about to get some horrible news about Howard's injury.

I love the way Hamels pitches when he's got a lead. He's almost too good to be true. The homestand's off to a good start, and if Burrell keeps hitting, it could help get some offensive momentum going.

Howard still ailing: Ryan Howard had two MRIs on Friday, neither of which showed anything that the Phillies didn't already know.

His tib-fib strain, suffered on April 18 in Washington, is just that. No bones are broken, and his left quadriceps muscle is still strained.

He's listed as day-to-day.

ZT: I have no problem with Vic in CF.

fljerry: Nah, I hope Vic does great. I just think he's a below league-average corner outfielder. My recollection of the prediction bet I had with kdon is he had Vic at .300/.370/.430 and I had him at .260-70/.330/.410. I don't recall predicting HRs. Anyway, remind me at season's end and we'll compare his stats to the rest of the league's rightfielders.

Our Ace beat their Ace, we are still 2 games under our Pythagorus, our 2 Single A minor league clubs now have talent

http://phuturephillies.com/

we have extra picks in the draft

http://www.philliesdraft.com/DraftReports/DraftReportsYearByYear.html

so next year low A, high A, and AA will have talent,

our payroll is becoming flexable,

the Mets and and Atlanta Rotations have 2 starters, we have 4

and we have Rollins to Utley to Howard.

yeah, Hamels is unbelievable by the way.

Sir Alden's optimism is a little absurd. We still have a pretty mediocre pitching staff and awful bullpen.

1. T Glavine NYM 4 1 2.98
2. J Maine NYM 5 0 1.79
3. O Perez NYM 3 3 3.48
4. O Hernandez NYM 2 1 2.53
5. J Sosa NYM 2 0 2.77

Mets have 2 starters huh, predo comes back in july or august too. Dont underestimate the Mets after what happened last year. So far thier opitching is much better.

It was to see the reappearance of Burrell's power stroke at least for one night. Also glad that the home crowd gave him a big cheer after that second HR. Too often the fans in Philly are just content to boo a guy they don't like even if he performs.

I'm glad Burrell gave Gillick and the fans a big one-fingered salute in the form of tonight's game. He isn't nearly the source of problems that our fascination with 30-year old backup 3Bs or our desire to not improve our pitching is.

Of course, its always easier to dump salary and pull off a bad trade when the fans don't like a player, look at Bobby.

MG, I think the fans want to like Burrell. We saw that clearly enough with their support through his miserable 2003 season. But they're really hot and cold with him. It doesn't do much to sway fans back to his side or again away from it.

Been on the road, caught up on the last five threads. I especially enjoyed mark goldentyer's comments. I hope he keeps posting. I didn't know we were all negative, just depressed.

I'm glad the Phils won tonight. Go King Cole!

Back to why the Phils lose, it's bad relief pitching, lack of timely hitting, stupid mgr., stupid GM, poor farm system and dumb owners. It's really quite simple.

I just saw it. I love the Reading Beer ad in the upper right hand corner, with its slogan "Drowning Phillies fans sorrows since 1886."

They don't sell it here in New Orleans, or in my weekday town of Houston, TX.

DH - Agree that it doesn't take much for the fans to sway on Burrell but seems to get his share of more undeserved boos than others on this team. Burrell seems to take some crap even on a night when he is ok (1-3 with a walk).

Want to make clear though that fans had every right to boo Burrell though tonight at his 1 AB. He has a brutal road trip and hadn't done anything in nearly 3 weeks.

Now that's a ballgame! Burrell stepped up in a big way and Cole Hamels continues to mature before our eyes. Remember Cole said he expected to win 20, because that's the type of stuff he has...he's on pace.

1 game is not a cure-all, but it sure was nice to see Burrell inflict some damage with the bat. He needs to focus in to a part of the strike zone he likes and be aggressive when any pitch comes near it.

I was at the game last night, and it made me sick to see Burrell come out for a curtain call. Sorry Pat, take your sub-.250 average and 3 Home Runs in 34 games and grab a seat on the bench pal. Gillick was 100% right to call out the middle of the order, and just because Burrell has one decent game is no reason for fans to give him a standing O. Why do we run a ballplayer like Abreu out of town, but continue to give pretty boy Pat so many chances? "Pat the Bat"? Come on guys...

Dave X: Excellent post!

Tray: Sir Alden is the most ridiculous poster here. As Conlin pointed out this week 60% of the minor league rosters consist of non-prospects cut by other teams. It will take a few years to reload talent. AWH's post on the earlier thread about taking a 1st round pick and letting a player go FA when you can't get fair value in a trade was on the money. Again, it's what smart teams do.

I'm old enough to remember Reading Beer. Do they still make it?

Finally, Pat the Bat is back like a breath of fresh air - at least for one night - and thankfully the fans showed some class with the standing ovation. Hopefully, he'll take the positives from that and his fragile psyche will allow him to start flourishing. I don't know about anyone else, but I knew he was going to hit a homer the second time he came up - maybe he can bat again=st Rich Hill every night.

The fans have been trying their hardest to run Pat out of town for over a year now - he would have been the one traded for magic beans if the Yankees would have taken him. By the way, Abreu was at around 3 homers with a similar on base percentage at this point last season!

Did you notice that Helms, Nunez and Barajas were each 0-4 and along with Hamels who was 0-2, we are sure hurting at bottom of order.

nunez and barajas had hitless nights? fancy that

Lineups

Dobbs get start today at 1st with Howard out. Nunez at 3rd and Ruiz catching.

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

Cubs
1. A Soriano, LF
2. C Floyd, RF
3. D Lee, 1B
4. A Ramirez, 3B
5. M Barrett, C
6. J Jones, CF
7. M DeRosa, 2B
8. C Izturis, SS
9. A Guzman, P

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