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Monday, May 07, 2007

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Jason, I have an uncanny ability to post a comment mere moments before you open a new thread or create a new posting. So I'm going to repost my comment here:

Did anyone else see the article in the Inquirer where Howard has mentioned that he wasn't 100% and that the left thigh strain he suffered in March was still affecting him?

I know I said this before and there was a lot of questioning of my intellect because I thought he was pressing but maybe it would be a good time for him to sit down. Yes, it would kill us to have him out of the lineup for 15 days if he goes to the DL or even if he just sits for a few games but the prospect of him struggling for another month doesn't sound any better. When i read this:

Would a couple of weeks on the disabled list help?

"Maybe it would," Howard said.

---it confirmed it for me. He's not mentally prepared to hit right now. You can't tell me that he is. Why would you even begin to entertain that idea (especially in Philly)? When a hitter steps into the box they need to go in with complete confidence in their swing, in their preparation and in their ability to put good wood on the ball. Howard has not showed that this year. With his average hanging around the Medoza line I'll say it again...it's time for him to sit. Not forever but whether he needs rest, healthy legs (sounds vaguely like an excuse to me), video review, a kick in the ass or a hug he can't be allowed to go up their and have mediocre at bats 90% of the time and hit a bomb occasionally. That's useless for the team.

Cholly won't take Howard out of the lineup because the future is now for Cholly. It's been obvious for a long time that Howard is lost up there, and he's not looking any better now than he was a month ago.

But then again, its not like there's a long line of guys ready to step in there and start driving in a few runs. Burrell can't do it anymore. It appears that Helms can't do it. Rowand's due to revert to the mean.

The future may be now for Cholly but he can't help it if his #4 hitter is hurt, if Howard goes to the DL it may at least buy him some more time - right now his reputation as a hitting instructor is being brutalized with every slider Howard chases out of the zone.

I have to agree with your (or should I say my?) conscience. The fact that Howard would even publically consider the DL tells me he belongs there. If he can come back in two weeks and be even 75% okay I think that is a huge improvement and can really help this team over the long haul.

30 walks & 1 HR for Burrell...swing Pat...SWING!

It's time to accept PtB for what he is -- a real slow guy who has a knack for working walks. There must be somewhere in the lineup for a guy like that. Mmmm...how about - nope. Well there's...nope....

In addition to Howard's injury, I suspect two other problems.

1. Joe Morgan commented that some top hitters experienced initial difficulty with intentional walks, specifically naming Bonds and Sheffield, I believe during the 1999 season. I feel that Howard's swings became very wild after #58. 60 home runs is still a magical number regardless of the new record. Howard hit #58 with two weeks left. He got very few pitches to hit after that, and it seemed to me he began pressing and swinging at pitches he previously took. I'd be interested if others feel the same way.

2. There have been suggestions that Howard was too nice in accepting the many appearance requests he received during the off season, and that he stopped his off-season training. If he has an "off" 2007 season and improves in 2008, I'm sure we'll hear more about this.

Burrell is struggling the past two weeks but I had no idea Eaton was having such a terrible season so far season (429 out of 432 in VORP ranking).

Basically you can argue that Eaton has been the worst starting pitching in MLB this year. You can't say the same argument about Burrell being the worst LF.

As a fan I was estatic by the Garcia trade but was suspicious as it appeared too good to be true.

Well the second coming of Millwood is here - maybe even a worse edition.

So far 19.1 innings pitched along with 384 pitches (ave of about 20.1 throws an inning) and 6.05 ERA and Gavin Floyd could have been an acceptabale less-costly alternative at this point as we all know.

I am hoping Garcia gets stronger the more he pitches and gets acclimated to the new team but he has to be better than this, right???

Eaton is not worth the potential damage to my keyboard in discussing his start so far.

We know GARCIA and EATON are capable of much better results but then again we thought that of Madson and Floyd at the beginning of next year.

Obviously Howard, Eaton, Garcia, Gordon, Barajas and Helms' underachievements (some health, some performance) this season have overshadowed some rather unexpected excellence performances from Rowand, Ruiz, Moyer, Myers, Geary, Victorino and J Roll.

Unfortunately as they say in Philadelphia the bad outweights the good.

Despite the recent struggles of PtB (PtW?), at least he is getting on base. Howard's struggles result in far too many K's.

The Sunday Night Baseball boys seem to think he's coming out of it...but haven't we been hearing this for a few weeks now?

Just in. Freddy Garcia will start this evening. This is good news -- I think.

Beat me to it, Billy Mac. Zolecki is reporting that on his blog.

I think Garcia pitches a decent game tonight.

My $.02.

"Fox's Tim McCarver, on the Seattle Mariners-New York Yankees game Saturday, anticipated Rogers Clemens' return to baseball — but doesn't buy the idea he is primarily motivated by winning another championship. If that were the case, McCarver says, Clemens would have participated in spring training to help a team through a full season."

I usually don't think that Tim McCarver has anything to add to any sort of intelligent discussion but I can't believe he is the only person around who is honest enough to admit that Clemens Motivation stops and starts with the 28 million.

mm, I dont think anybody mentioned it because I don't think anybody can say, with a straight face, that they didnt think it was all about the money. THe better question would be: Who didnt think Clemens was all about the money? He's not winning a championship with that Yankee's team anyway. ABreu's negative influence is finally pouring over into Yankee land. And they thought they stole Abreu. Muahahahahaha!

I haven't seen the answer to this today, maybe someone else did: are the Phils not having their pitchers who are starting the first game of a road series travel ahead of the team? I believe this question came up before the SF series with Moyer, but it also applies to Garcia- the wouldn't have been hit by a cart if he had been in Arizona in front of the team. It crossed my mind and I hadn't seen an answer.

Phila fan in DC: is that standard practice?

Not standard practice, Parker, but many teams do it when it involves long trips and potential jet lag.

I vaguely remember the Phils doing it before, I can't remember the specifics. Usually occurs on cross country or long road trips.

Alby~

You commented form the previous thread: "D. Patrone's complaint that "we won't get anything when he walks as a FA".

That's not what I said. I said he won't be traded and he'll walk as a FA. I've been around a long time. I KNOW there are compensatory picks for type A FA's. If you're going to to quote me, fine but do it correctly please. The picks are not worthless. My meaning was simply this: Gillick failed to get a RF'der over the winter (Nixon, Huff, Rios) so therefore he couldn't nove Vic to CF. Rowand has value right now -- to the Phils, no one else. They would be wise to try to extend him. The Chisox won't trade for him because they'll sign him when he goes. The same can be said for Lieber and to a much lesser extent Garcia. Lieber is a bargain salary-wise at 7.5 million. But due to his age, he has little value outside of the oraganization. Garcia on the other hand should be pitching for his next contract but at the moment he is not. If this continues his value will remain low and the Phils maybe can afford to re-sign him. One thing we all must remember, the Phils may offer arbitration to any one of their FA's when the time comes. But as far as a big trade coming or a big FA signing over the winter, don't bet on it. Not with this ownership group.

There seem to be varied reports of this incident of Garcia's. Some have said he was hit by a tractor, and some a cart. Where I come from there is no mistaking the two, but I guess it is possible. The former would be the more comical of the two, in a disheartening sort of way. If it was really a tractor, I think the Phillies may hold the dubious distinction of being the only team to have a player injured being hit by a tractor, in a baseball stadium. While I cant believe that this is the case, the idea has comical staying power, at least in my mind.

94 degrees is game temp at Chase Field. Garcia will be drenched by inning 1.

Garcia usually looks like he just packed away a six pack and did windsprints in 50 degree weather. He'll look like Richard Nixon doing Watergate press conferences tonight.

Parker, the practice seems to vary by team, but there are several teams that I have heard are currently practicing it. I had heard rumors that the Phils were, I could be mistaken, it could have been another team that I'm mistaking us for. AWH is correct, it isn't a standard, league-wide practice. I believe that at the very least it is common practice for the Phils to let the pitcher of a day game that occurs after a night game go home/to the hotel towards the end of the night game- Charlie has made reference to it before.

Going to see all three games here in Arizona - even though I left Philly 30 years ago for AZ, It feels like home to see the Phils...

Not to step on Billy Mac's shoes, but here are tonight's starting line-ups:

Rollins, SS
Victorino, RF
Utley, 2B
Burrell, LF
Rowand, CF
Helms, 1B
Nunez, 3B
Ruiz, C
Garcia, P

Young, CF
Jackson, 1B
Hudson, 2B
Byrnes, LF
Drew, SS
Quentin, RF
Montero, C
Callaspo, 3B
Davis, P

I'm surprised to see Burrell hitting in the clean-up spot. I guess Howard is sitting against the lefty Davis, especially if he is a little banged up. Also, I am disappointed to see Helms and Nuni in the same game again. Finally, how long can Manuel go on having Nunez hit in the seven hole, espcially with Ruiz behind him?? Unbelievable...

With 1B open wouldn't now be a good time to give Dobbs some swings?

Manuel's thought process is a total mystery. It's not like Helms is the hot hand or anything.

Just a question for the peanut gallery:

Is it safe for me to assume that if you were a 40+ year old player who wanted to avoid steroid testing, a good way to do it would be to retire after every season, then come back mid-season after flushing your system? They don't test retired players in the off-season right?

Dobbs is a lefty, starting him today against lefty Davis makes little sense. Wouldn't it be nice to see Coste starting at first today??

I think it's a safe assumption Roger is on the juice

Thats good point, I guess I'm just tired of Helms and Abe, but still hopeful that Bourne and Dobbs might be able to help.

Maybe after Davis gets chased for a righy RP, we'll see Cholly pull a double switch and get dobbs in.

Or maybe pigs will fly out of my butt.

Those of us watching on mlb.tv have to suffer through play-by-play guy Daron Sutton. He's got a whiny voice and is just annoying. Didn't like him with the Brewers and don't like him now with the D'Backs.

Got a question...instead of sitting The Black Ron Kittle against random lefthanders, why not bat him 5th?

Dude, Howard is banged up. He admitted in the last couple of days that his quad was still bothering him. I think Chollie is trying to kill two birds with one stone. He needs rest anyway, and a tough lefty is up.

If Roger Clemens is not on roids, nobody ever was.

From the Zolecki blog:

May 7, 2007
The Phillies just announced that Ryan Howard won't be in the starting lineup this week against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field because of a sore left quadriceps that has been bothering him since spring training.

Howard, manager Charlie Manuel and athletic trainer Scott Sheridan met today and decided that the injury is enough of a concern that he shouldn't play. Howard, who took batting and fielding practice before tonight's game, will be examined by team physician Michael Ciccotti on Friday in Philadelphia.

Howard is hitting .200 with five home runs and 19 RBIs this season.

"In a couple of days hopefully it'll feel better," Howard said. "If not ..."

The disabled list?

Helms is worthless. And now Nunez to save the inning, yeah right, I;m dreaming.

Honest Abe is 2-2.

So very interesting, isn't it?

C'mon Ruiz!!!

Wait, wait. No, there is no way this produces any runs. And they are walking Ruiz. Chief is not getting a hot.

Hit.

abe has come to play tonight, boys. nunez is the shiznite!!! if he keeps this wicked hot streak up, i'll be wearing his jersey next month.

Bathtub, I'm surprised you havent picked him up on your fantasy team. I got rid of A-Rod yesterday to pick him up. I figured Nunez is poised for an MVP (most volitile player) performance.

Abe is 8 for his last 19 with 2 doubles.

I wouldn't pay to see that.

Lost in all of this Nunez talk is this: Garcia is pitching well tonight.

Can this team give him a little offense?

i'm going to leave nunez as a free agent, you know, under the radar...until i face off against a really tough team in head to head...then BAM!!!! nunez gets the call and my opponent won't know what hit him. he's the secret weapon.

Wes Helms...

Looks like Matt Williams
Plays like Robin Williams

Abe's also 7-12 batting right handed this year.

He has the same BA as PtB, and a higher slugging percentage...

(that last part was a joke)

The D-backs put a pitifuly weak lineup out there...our staff ought to be feeling better about itself in a few days.

Dude, Robin Williams is tearing up my celebrity softball fantasy team. I don't know what you are talking about.

speaking of fantasy ball, my opponent *this* week has freakin' doug davis and he's pitching a shutout against abe "the masher" nunez and his fearless crew of sidekicks.

curt: Be careful what you wish for. Their bottom third is worthless tonight (mostly because Tracy is out) but the top 6 can bite you good.

Their version of Ibrhim Nunez just got a hit.

D Patrone, sorry for misquoting you; I misunderstood your point. I'm not a Rowand fan, but he is one of the few power sources at this point, so I wouldn't trade him yet. If things haven't improved by mid-June, though...

I confess I'm agog at how bad this team is. I wonder if Gillick hasn't been operating all along on the principle he voiced after the Abreu trade -- that this team won't contend until next year. What other reason could there be for holding onto Cholly despite the execrable performance of both him and the team? I'm afraid that unless Philly customers do what Baltimore customers have done -- stay away from the park in droves -- ownership will never develop the sense of urgency that seems to be the exclusive province of us fans.

In short, I'm close to simply bagging the baseball season. At least I wouldn't have to watch juiced-up a**holes like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens further besmirch the game.

I see that...4 hits tonight, all by guys who started the night at or below the Mendoza line....

ouch, Pat gave it ride, heck of a catch.

Nothing like a 410 foot out when you are struggling. That has to boost the confidence.

You have to tip your hat, though. They may not have had as many baserunners as us, but they're taking advantage of their opportunities....

Davis looks like Cy Young. Or, rather, the Phils are helping him look that way.

Freddy is pitching pretty well too. I hope they give him some run support.

This has to be the worst game of the season, entertainmentwise, so far this season. Eric Byrnes singles break up extended periods of monotony.

Rowand thought there was 1 out. I guess thats better than thinking there are three outs and there being 2. If your going to be stupid, be stupid in a positive way.

Nooonan, Nuni, Nuuuuni!

NUNEZ FOR PRESIDENT!

Now I know Invasion of the Body Snatchers is true. Someone, or thing, has taken over Nunez's body.

I think I would have let Freddy bunt here, he's still looking pretty strong.

Garcia pitched a decent game. He can handle the bat pretty good I would have kept him in to move the runner and pitch the bottom of the 7th though

Yes, and I think Donald Sutherland has taken over Werths body.

Why are we pinch hitting for Garcia? Garcia has thrown 72 pitches, and he can just bunt Ruiz over. Very stupid! I hate Manuel.

Gary Matthews voice really annoys me!!! Somebody tell that guy to clear his throat

No matter what happens he's still Werthless!!!!!!

I would have had the pitcher bunt here too. Freddy's only thrown 70 pitches. But let's hope it works out.

This Davis guy was a chump. We should have put up at least 3-4 runs on this guy by now

Good AB Werth. Maybe Cholly sensed Davis was gassed. If so, The decision is more understandable.

Terry Sarge is better then the two schmucks in Arizona. These guys are brutal.

Cholly is the stupidest manager around! If you want to go for the kill fine, but now they are going to bunt with J-Roll. Unbelievable...he is a horrible, horrible manager.

kdon, I'm starting to think Chollie still has the "big inning" American League mentality.

Speed kills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In any determination concerning Doug Davis' gas, I defer to Manuals instinctual expertise.

Rev: Mark Grace isn't horrible, but this other guy is ridiculous.

Not pretty but I'll take it.

And speed taketh away.

Shane caught leaning.

doh!

Well, that was lot of work to tie the game. Wouldn't it have been easier to let Garcia bunt him over. Two very questionable moves there.

What's most frustrating was that they were not consistent. The Werth PH indicates that you are going for the big inning, but then you bunt with one of your best hitters, a very conservative move. Clueless, no plan.

As good as Shane is, that'll happen.

Place your bets:

Castro
- Gives up 2 runs - 3:1
- Gives up 1 run - 5:1
- 1-2-3-4-5 inning - 11:2

Alfonseca
- Big home run - 3:2
- 1-2-3 inning - 7:1

Geary
- 1-2-3-4 inning - 3:1
- 1-2-3 inning - 4:1
- Gives up 1 run - 8:1

Hernandez
- Gives up 4 runs - 3:2

Benjie "Jose Rodriguez Salvatore Schurholtz" Molina just homered t give G-men a lead over the Muts.

AWH,

He doesn't at all! He bunts all the time. There is zero chance a team like Boston bunts in that situation.

And now AA is given important innings again, despite being a sub-par pitcher...when Garcia had plenty in the tank. Ugh.

Vic reminds me of a track star trying to learn how to play football in the NFL. It's like he never played baseball until he became a pro.

There's no lineup so bad that it can't score at will against our BP.

there's nothing sweeter than scoring runs and giving them back. it's a philadelphia tradition.

Ok, Grace just said Burrell had an average arm, Rev, you are right he is an idiot.

"There's no lineup so bad that it can't score at will against our BP."

This isn't just the bullpen. AA is a 4-4.50 ERA pitcher, which means he is going to give a run every other appearance. This is OK for a mop-up guy, but not for important innnings.

He shouldn't even be in there in a spot like this when your starter had only thrown 72 pitches.

Blowpen.

AA is a bad pitcher, no doubt about it, but this game is on Manuel.

Freddie should have stayed in the game!

amen brother

Aurilia just hit a 3-run atter; Giants up 6-1 over the Muts

What does Manuel need to see before he takes this 6 fingered bum out of the game

Aurilia just hit a 3-run tater; Giants up 6-1 over the Muts

Rocket to 3rd base.

Can we officially end the El Pulpo experience now that he has demonstarted in a Phillies uniform what every single statistical analysis of his career would indicate: ie., he sucks.

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