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Monday, June 18, 2007

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It's way past time to send PtBB down & bring Coste back. Dobbs picks up most of the time in LF, and Coste plays alot of 1B against all the lefties we are going to be seeing.

Who can tell me how many losses we've had because of a poor bullpen. One for sure last night, but how many more, and what would be the record of the phils with a league average bullpen.

Wow, Curt. I agree 100 percent and didn't even think about this, ever. I'm sure Pat will find the Ottawa nightlife to be up to his standards.

Sending PtB down is one f the worst ideas i've heard here. PtB can *not* be sent down without clearing waivers. He would be picked up on waivers, and the new team is only obligated to pay legue minimum with the releasing team keeps paying the rest of his salary.

aksum: I've been keeping informal track and between allowing opponents leads to get wider and cauisng a Phils comeback to fall short or causing the loss outright, like yesterday, by blowing a lead, the bullpen has cost the team 13 losses.

I love Monday morning Chicken Little-isms, but "waive Pat Burrell" has to take the prize for desperation.

I said before the Tigers/Indians stretch started that 3 wins would be great and 2 wouldn't be a disaster, and I don't see any reason to go back on that now. we played one of the better AL teams with heavily unfavorable pitching matchups and came away with one win. maybe the results are a little disappointing, and they do reiterate for the thousandth time how badly we need Gillick to trade for bullpen help, but all things considered this weekend wasn't that bad.

Clout, care to share with us the number of games that other team's bullpens have "lost."

Talk about a meaningless stat: you give no formal criteria, and no context.

Basically, you pin the loss on the pen if they give up runs. Well, that happens to *every* team. A great bullpen is going to give up a run every 3 innings.

The team currently has the 3rd worst bullpen ERA in the NL. That should be sufficient. No one is arguing that the pen hasn't been bad; you don't need to invent stats.

Joe: in essence, the team is doing that already. For the life of me, I can't figure out what they are paying him to do, exactly.

And I love that most folks on here continue to call him Pat the Bat. I guess it's because Pat "The Pop-Up, Meekly, to Second Base with the Bases Loaded" Burrell or Pat "The HEY! Look! Another Walk And/Or Called Third Strike" Burrell is too hard to type.

I'm kidding but not really.

"reiterate for the thousandth time how badly we need Gillick to trade for bullpen help"

You are correct. How many times are we going to have to our guts ripped out by a bad bullpen?

But Gillick also needs to re-sign Rowand. If he trades him for only a reliver, that's another bad trade. My guess is he won't do anything. He's not called "Stand Pat" for nothing. He has a long and storied history as a GM and is well-respected in the game. But IMHO he flat-out sucks bases on the job he's done (oor hasn't done) here.

On another note, did anyone see Savery pitch last night? He's looks preety good to me.

I agree that Gillick so far has been close to a disaster, but what could he have traded for bullpen help? Lieber was worth zilch, and holding on to Rowand looks good in retrospect. If you want to use total hindsight, I could see arguing for trading Gonzalez and Floyd for bullpen help instead of Garcia, but at the time, the rotation was as big a question mark as the pen; it was targeting Garcia particularly (and not the rotation generally) that was Gillick's biggest mistake.

I fault Gillick much more for scouting junk like Rosario while we had a solid pitcher in Germano, or the Garcia/Eaton/Barajas/Helms "subtractions."

After Spier signed, the bullpen market was junk, and expensive junk at that. Sure, we could have signed the saviour (he of the 6.33 ERA and 1.52 WHIP), or a guy who has 8 IP, or given six million to Dannys Baez and his 6.52 ERA, but I don't see how any of these players helps the team.

The bullpen is bad by any stat and looked to be a complete mess when Myers went down, but yesterday was only the second time since May 24 that the bullpen has given up a late lead. So, they have not been the horror show that everyone expected. It was still a 4-2 homestand, so I am feeling OK.

On Savory: I also liked what I saw. Low 90s on his fastball with good change. Also, I caught a bit of the ASU game on Saturday and Matthew Spencer, their 3rd round pick, hit a tremendous HR to right.

Time for this site to get a backup plan for vacation times? Hopefully a bit smarter than whoever picked Rod Barajas?

I was impressed by Savery too. that NC team can hit.

if I were Gillick, the first thing I would do is take a serious look at the Rowand situation. if we have a good chance at resigning him, then hold onto him. if not, then trade him now, when his value is very high, for a good reliever. I'm not talking about some marginal guy, like the laughable Mike MacDougal swap rumored in the offseason (even if MacDougal wasn't pitching horrendously). I'm thinking more along the lines of Otsuka or Gagne or Linebrink (if those guys are actually available).

if you trade Rowand, you move Victorino to center, cross your fingers and hope that Dobbs/Werth can continue playing less than terrible, and give Bourn some real playing time to see what he can do. yes, you would lose the chance to get a compensatory draft pick for Rowand, but for an A-level reliever, I think you make that trade anyway.

losing Rowand does put us in a bind for the future, given how devoid of outfielders we are at every level. but if he has no intention of sticking around, make a power move now for this season, when we have a real shot at making the playoffs (and as we all saw with St. Louis last year, a little luck and a postseason hot streak can pay off).

Phils get a big bounce back win tonight with Hamels. Here are some trends for you. The Phillies are 20-7 in their last 27 games following a loss and are 19-7 in Hamels' last 26 starts.

Rumor is Eric Gagne has 12 teams he can be traded to, the Phillies are not one of them. He can change his mind, but it would cost more money.

We may loose our chance at Girardi. It was a pipe dream anyway. Damn Phils had to play mediocre ball instead of atrociosiouly. He could have been ours already.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2907704

Difficult series against the Tribe, especially with having to face 3 straight lefties. Lee and Standford aren't all that great though, so it's important to pounce on the Indians early in the series, because Sabathia on Wednesday is a huge task.

About waiving Burrell. If claimed off waivers, the claiming team assumes the rest of his contract. However, if Burrell clears waivers, then any team can sign him for a prorated league minimum with the Phils picking up the remainder of the contract. Sort of like what we're doing with Jose Mesa now, Tigers are paying most of his contract with us only on the hook for league minimum. Problem is, no MLB team would claim Burrell because his contract is outrageous for so little production.

Gagne already said he doesn't want to come here he also said he doesn't want to go to Detroit or Cleveland either. I think I would much rather have Otsuka but I don't see Texas trading both Gagne and Otsuka.

I've read the reports that Gagne has us on his no-trade list. in any case, I don't think that changes my point.

Billy Mac - Thanks for the interesting stats. Phils absolutely had to win tonight's game with Hamels going. The other two pitching matchups aren't favorable and I am afraid the Phils will get swept if they lose tonight.

yep, tonight with Hamels is a must looking at the rest of the series.

Jason,
kdon's post smashing clout should be removed in the spirit of goodwill and peace among phillies phans.

Yoel Yoel Yoel Yoel born is the king the hitters will shell....

kdon: A bullpen doesn't lose the game every time it gives up runs. It loses the game when it gives up runs that wind up making the difference in the win or loss. I am not keeping track of that stat for other teams but if you think other above-.500 teams have bullpens that have cost them 13 games this season, you're as wrong about that as you were about this bullpen.

I want to add some constructive criticism in today's thread....

FIRE CHARLES FUQUA MANUEL!!!

....thank you.

Goodwill and peace? Among Phillies fans? Insert snort/chuckle/guffaw here...

Heh heh, he said Fuqua.

My favorite part of the day so far is reading that a hapless team on the east coast with an awful bullpen that hasn't won anything in awhile and is mired in not doing very well fired their manager and is rumored to hire the 2006 NL Manager of the Year.

Meanwhile, back in Philly...

JZ, you should be thanking whatever deity or deities you worship that you're not an Orioles fan. compared to that team, Phils management look like geniuses.

Autopilot, eh? This is going to be a scary place for the next week...

I agree that it's no terrible thing to lose 4 of 6 to DET/CLE, two of the best teams in baseball this year. I would caution that Hamels is way past due to get lit up one of these times. He isn't automatic. The Indians have an explosive offense. He's been a miracle worker this year, going 7/8 innings every time out. But you can't come to expect it as a given.

Two things I read in the game summaries today that made yesterday's seventh-inning massacre even worse: 1) turns out Alfonseca wasn't even available; therefore, Manuel was calling on the motley crew of Geary/Zagurski/Hernandez/Mesa/Sanchez to patch together five outs and use ever-reliable Ryan Madson as the *closer*. All the ore unbelievable that he therefore wouldn't give Eaton more rope. 2) Manuel's quote: "[Eaton] didn't match up with Sheffield," Manuel said. "I liked Geary on Sheffield. I thought he was new to Sheffield." Say what?! Eaton gave up 2 homers to Sheffield in *2001*. Who gives a sh*t? And he liked the matchup of Geary/Sheffield? Why, exactly? Did he think Geary could somehow overpower Sheffield? Wouldn't you give the advantage to a guy who's faced Shef before and gotten him out ten times and maybe had an idea of how to pitch him?

Does he even bother to think, or are his moves all knee-jerk according to some stupid stat sheet? It'd almost be more defensible if he played hunches.

I think we should go easier on Charlie, since he's helped the Phils lead the league in at least one statistical category, ejections: link

I agree whole-heartedly, RSB. His complete misuse of his pitching staff has once again cost this team a chance to win. I am not clairvoyant and therefore cannot state that they would have won the game, but he did not give them a chance to win. I too am of the opinon that Charlie relies too heavily on stat sheets. Being out-managed (again!) is what is going to cost this team a shot at the playoffs. His horendous style will be the difference between a wild card birth and being two games behind (again!).

RSB - Interesting point about Manuel's decision to yank Eaton. For one of the few times this season, Manuel actually micromanaged and made one too many moves. Especially head-scratching since he has let his starters have a lot of extra rope the entire season.

"I liked Geary on Sheffield. I thought he was new to Sheffield."

It is gems like this one by Cholly that really drive me berserk. Either he is incredibly foolish or just full of crap. Probably a little of both.

Why did Manuel just not come out and say Eaton pitched well but looked gassed so I went with Geary instead. It just didn't work out. Isn't honesty refreshing at times.

@Clout -- Where is the data to support your information?

The Phillies are 26-6 leading after 6 innings. That record goes to 29-7, with a tie or a lead after 6 innings.

If you are considering games where the bullpen was hit before the 6th inning is over... I don't have that stat. But at that point... those games are on the manager or the starter not the bullpen. To expect a bullpen to get more than 9 outs is fairly unreasonable.

The Phillies are 1-17 when they score 3 runs or less. Is that the fault of the bullpen, the starter, the manager or the OFFENSE??

When the starter doesn't work 6 innings, the Phillies are 4-17. That's about right. When you go into that deep into your bullpen so early, you are not going to win that game.

When the starter goes 6 innings or more, the Phillies are 32-16. But those 16 losses aren't necessarily the bullpen's responsibility. Often they are the result of the starter weakening late in the game.

Now, what is clear the Phillies ERA is near the bottom across teh board of the staff in "Late Innings" at 4.63 only 3 teams are worse (Yanks, Devil Rays, Detroit -- 5.99!!!!). When the pitchers are behind in the count, their ERA is 7.11, 27/30. Padres are first at 3.94. So that has a LOT to do with the pitching performance. But that can be starters or relievers across the board.

The Dodgers fired Eddie Murray the other day... It's time the Phillies do the same. I'm still surprised that Rich Dubee is on this team after last year.

As far Manuel... Agreed... I've never seen a manager with a LESS feel for his pitching staff. I blame Dubee primarily on this one. But Manuel has the incredible ability to leave a pitcher in one or two batters long, or pull them one or two batters short with little rhyme or reason.

As for the Geary explanation... I'm actually okay with his explanation. But the right/lefty dance that happened which forced him to go to Yoel was Charlie outthinking himself.

Every day, Charlie takes a water pistol to a gunfight. And does nothing but get himself wet.

I hope someone realizes soon that Manuel is a total idiot and fires him. How long must we endure him?

I guess Manuel tried to show everyone he could out-coach Leyland. DOH.

Mike Cunningham: I am talking about games in which 1. The bullpen allowed the team to get further behind and then the Phils scored runs that would've tied to taken the lead and 2. Games the bullpen blew outright by giving up the lead. There are 13 of them. It has nothing to do with the 6th inning. It has to do with the bullpen.

Mike Cunningham: Name one major league manager who would allow Eaton to face Gary Sheffield with 2 on in that situation.

Some facts: 1. Eaton had thrown 101 pitches; 2. Eaton ranks near the bottom in IP per start over the past 3 years of all starters with 200+ innings; 3. It was obvious from his pitches to the first 3 batters that he was losing his command.

clout, I'm not going to deny that the bullpen is a major problem. (I posted above in this thread that I agree that it is.)

however, I think your criteria is not entirely fair. let's say there's some imaginary game between the Tigers and Phillies. after a big inning, the Tigers go from leading 3-2 in the 6th to leading 8-2 in the 7th. obviously, the Tigers are not going to use their best relievers now that they have a more comfortable lead. as a result, it's much more likely that the Phillies close some of that gap in the later innings, and end up losing 8-4.

it would be very difficult to claim that the Phillies should have won this imaginary game, since they ended up with 4 runs and the Tigers at one point had 3. if there had been a one-run differential throughout the game, you can bet that the Tigers would have used whoever their best imaginary relievers were, not mop-up guys.

again, my point is not to disagree that the bullpen is a serious issue. but this criteria you're using seems flawed to me.

ae: It sounds like you don't understand what I wrote. The example you cite is not included in my total.

I am talking about games where the team WOULD HAVE WON except for runs allowed by the bullpen. An example is Friday's game. When the starter left after 5 innings, the score was 7-2 Phillies. The Phillies went on score 8 runs. If the bullpen does not allow the gap to widen, the Phillies win 8-7. There have been several games like that.

Again: The job is the bullpen is 1. To hold the lead; or 2. If losing, to keep the gap from growing. Obviously, the bullpen is going to fail some of the time in these 2 tasks. The Phillies bullpen is failing more often than most teams and too often to make the playoffs.

The bottom line is this: Tigers scored 5 runs in the 7th to take 6-3 lead. The runs charged to Eaton in that inning occurred because guys got on. The 'pen didn't hold. There is no guarantee that Eaton would have gotten Sheffield out nor that Sheffield would have hit one 450 ft. We don't know. The 'pen for the most part has pitched better lately. What's really bad is the way Manuel manages the'pen and the starters and so on. In the bottom of the 7th there's 2 on 2 out. He hits Helms for Dobbs whose in LF. Helms K's. He could've used Burrell or Werth and then put either in left and still had Helms and Burrell or Werth available. Instead, he puts Werth in left and then uses Burrell later and he K's. Now if Helms hits one out, Manuel looks great. Instead he looks like the idiot he is by wasting his bench which is a player short to begin with.

When the players perform, the manager's job is easier. When they don't, then we've got this idiot. All Manuel had to say about the removing of Eaton is he threw a lot of pitches and he wanted a fresh arm.

clout:

You have horrible criteria for blaming the bullpen for a loss.

In your example, in that Friday game, the Tigers may have used different pitchers or different strategies had they not amassed that 5 run lead on our starter. You can not pretend that the game plays out the same way with the Phils scoring 8 runs had our bullpen held them scoreless.

It's a terrible, terrible way to place blame.

The bullpen is bad, we know it... no reason to invent bad ways to blame them for even more.

@Clout - I think you missed what I wrote regarding the Eaton/Geary situation. All I said I understood, Charlie's explanation for bringing in Geary to face Sheff. The batter is often at a disadvantage when he has never seen a pitcher (or only once) rather than one he's has seen a bunch of times over time. we weren't disagreeing there.

However, I was AT the game on Sunday... and I do not think Eaton was losing his command at that point in the game. He had thrown 91 before coming INTO the inning. He got Pudge to fly out on an 0-1 count. He fell behind 2-0, then 2-1 before giving up a hit to Inge. I wouldn't call that losing the strike zone. Then had another 2-1 count (ball, foul, ball)before giving up the single to Guillen. And while each ball hit were hard hit balls. Well.. .the Tigers are a pretty good team. And will occasionally hit the balls hard.

Eaton's innings pitched in previously years means zero in this game situation.

My problem was not necessarily taking out early. I was not happy with the sequence that followed. Once Geary gave up the single to Sheff, He flipped to Zagurski. Then Zagurski got his "LOOGY" out. Now there are 2 outs, you are protecting a 1 run lead. You know Alfonseca is unavailable, Madson will have to close. SO you have to choose between keeping Zagurski in... or go to Hernandez or Sanches or GULP Mesa. He backed himself into a corner. There was no other choice than going with Herandez given the other 2 options.

Now I will admit that Hernandez hadn't given up a run in the previous 4 appearances. 3.2IP 1H 0ER 0BB. And on the year has only given up runs in 3 of his 12 appearances. However, the Phils lost 3 of those games. And has only had 1 real "tight" appearance, when he had a 1-2-3 inning against the mets on June 7. So maybe I'm looking at the game in hindsight. I just would have had more confidence in Eaton continuing (even though I understand Manuel's decision to remove him) I didn't like it... I just accept his reasoning or Zagurski continuing after you were playing situational baseball with Geary/Sheffield.

At the end of the day, Manuel's moves backfired and Leyland's move (of replacing his lefty with a righty after manuel went lefty/right with Dobbs.) Manuel doesn't look 2 or 3 moves down the line. By being commited to the LOOGY with Zagurski, going with Geary for Sheffield forced him to bring in Hernandez in a "TIGHT" situation. If Manuel could see past his shoelaces, he might not have made that decision.

That's what we will always face with Manuel. The Geary move (on the face) is probably the correct move if we were in a vacuum and no other decision after was affected.

If you're relievers in order of how they are pitching at the current moment are as follows:
1. Alfonseca (unavailable)
2. Madson
3. Geary
4. Zagurski
5. Hernandez
6. Mesa
7. Sanches

Does it make sense to waste your 3rd and 4th best relievers with one batter a piece? Does it make sense to pull Eaton when for the most part he was pitching well. Eaton's has given up MUCH more runs in games where the doesn't reach the 7th inning then when he piches through the 7th. Aren't those better options that shortening up your bullpen with 3 batters???

Mike: On the one hand you say Eaton wasn't losing his stuff, on the other you admit those two hits were scalded. The reason for that is he WAS losing his command, which is where he placed pitches. The location was off. Finally, you never answered my question: Name one major league manager who would have left Eaton in the game in that sitiuation.

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