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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

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Need to just keep the ship steady, kid. The bats need to warm up again and we just need to get these Phils through Interleague play. Myers is coming back soon. I'm mildly optimistic. An 11 spot by the Indians will go a long way toward crushing that optimism, though.

Sometimes I wonder what "they" were thinking when they kept the Phillies and let the A's move west.

What is the deal with Myers and Gordon?

Haven't seen any updates on either of them for a few days. Anything new?

Mike Cunningham: Every stat you cited is meaningless with regard to what a relief pitcher is supposed to do: protect the lead or keep the deficit from growing. Because Borowski gave up 10 runs in 1 1/3 innings in 2 games, his ERA & WHIP stats are screwed. He's only thrown 27 innings.

Borowski has pitched in 29 games. He's protected the lead in 25 of them. How does that stack up to the entire Phillies bullpen? Hint: They've blown one-third of their save opps.

Why you continue to defend this bullpen in the face of overwhelming evidence, daily, of its shortcomings, is bizarre.

9 million dollars for Borowski for his terrible stats which would be even worse in Citizen's Bank Park would be a terrible mis-use of money. 9 million for a WHIP of 1.52 and an ERA of 6.33 would not fix our pen.

Hating Borowski does not mean you defend our bullpen at all. It means you hate Boroski and his recent record. Throwing money at people who do not deserve to earn such lofty sums shows wisdom not lack of desire to acquire top talent.

The cubboards are bare at the GET US SOME GOOD PLAYERS STORE. Look at who the Mets used all weekend against the Yankees.

We need Myers back in the rotation or the pen. Gordon or Garcia do not hold your breath but if they do come back, great, and we need to be ready to trade for good pitching and pay for it, which we now can, if any team near the trade deadline is ready to dump. It will not happen until then.

Clout: I agree that a reliever's ERA is not all that sigificant, but I'm not sure I agree that saves & save percentage are particularly meaningful either. After all, a reliever can pitch pretty terribly and still get credited with a save. And, at least with Borowski, the 20 out of 22 saves doesn't tell the full story because he also has 3 losses. 1 of those losses came in the same game as a blown save, so I won't double-count that one against him. But if you include the other 2 losses, he has blown 4 games, not 2.

Also, if you forget everything you know about statistics & just look at Borowski's game log for 2007, it is pretty clear he hasn't been effective. He may have 20 saves in 22 chances but he has been hit hard in the vast majority of his games. It looks to me like his 91% save percentage has been partly attributable to luck & partly attributable to the fact that he has often had the luxury of a 2 or 3 run lead.

It goes without saying that the Phillies have massive bullpen problems, but I don't think Borowski would have been the answer. And I don't fault the Phillies for taking a pass after they received negative medical feedback. I DO, however, fault them for not doing the same homework when it came to Freddy Garcia.

BAP & SirAlden: I repeat: What matters is results. You can dance on every stat under the sun, but the only thing that matters is did the team win or did the team lose? Borowski protected the lead in 25 of the 29 games he's pitched. How does that compare to the entire Phillies bullpen?

Also, BAP, Borowski has given up runs in only 3 of his saves, so your surmise about him working with comfortable leads and giving up runs is false.

And to repeat for the 19th time, I'm not saying Borowski is a great pitcher. I AM saying that he's better than anything the Phillies run out there except for Myers & Gordon and that he is one of at least 20 relievers who changed teams in the off-season who could've helped the team.

Saw my first Aaron Rowand comment of the season about not being approached about an extension. As much as I like him, I think he needs to be dealt so we get something in return other than a pick. The Phils should really start thinking about if the obvious holes not being fixed this season shold be replaced by making moves now. I'd hate to see this infield minues 3B be not being built around NOW. ahhh! I hate fighting with my wife after 2 losses (a Cole one) and the holes contiunally being exposed day after day.

Aaron comments?

Ship him back to Chitown with whatever and get us some Buerhle and whatever. Then extend Buerhle.

Given all the hits he has allowed, plus his terrible fly ball to ground ball ratio, I tend to think he'd have a lot more blown saves if he were pitching in CB Park. But Joe Borowski is really beside the point. There were plenty of other relievers out there who would have helped the Phillies.

if the phillies are going to make a run at the playoffs this year, he needs to be in a phillies uniform.

end of story.

Wow. PtB actually did something to contribute!!!

"Is it getting chilly in here?" said Satan.

Based on what little I've seen, I like this kid Kendrick. He shrugged off a lot of adversity in that inning -- two balls should have been double plays, an outright error by Rollins, a lousy ball call on Hafner. I like him a LOT better than Mathieson last year. I still think Mathieson projects to a decent reliever, but this kid might surprise us all if what he's showing now is anything close to his true abilities.

Agreed. Trading off Rowand at this point for a relief arm doesn't sound like a great idea to me. He's playing too large a role in the offense and middle relievers, for the most part, are never a sure thing. If he walks after the season, so be it. If we're playing to win this year, he needs to be in center field.

I'm not sure if anybody suggested trading him for a reliever per se. I wouldn't do it unless the reliever was a "stud".

kendrick is getting squeezed

trading Rowand for good ready prospects ain't a bad idea. He's is playing probably as good as can be for him and he is going to get a big contract. He's is our best chip. I love the guy, but I also remember 2006 when he wasn't all that with the stick.

True. The reliever bit was just my assumption, based on talks over the winter. I guess he could fetch a decent starter, which we will certainly need next season. Still, I think we can compete this year and I'd rather see us hold onto him.

Howard seems to be getting back in tune again.

Homerun Ryan Howard! Outta here!

Yeah, but I bet all those mlb GMs also remember 2006 when Rowand wasn't all that good with the stick. Add to that the glut of CFs available, and we'll get a whole lot of mediocrity in return for Rowand. However, we could use some mediocrity right now - it would be an improvement.

The dour comments on the last thread about Howard were overly pessimistic, IMHO. He is dealing for the first time with pitchers who, for the most part, will not give him pitches to hit; many of his HR have been on location mistakes. The book is clearly to pitch him inside, particularly with breaking stuff. He still seems unable to hit good breaking balls in on his hands; he compounds this by waving at stuff away when he gets two quick strikes on him. Utley, whose development is a year or two ahead of Howard's, has learned how to deal with this pitching pattern; it's easier for him in part because his swing is so much more compact (I find it amusing when people bust on Werth for having such a long swing -- as if Howard's isn't). I expect a HR total in the mid-30s, and have from day 1. I still recall an early season post from someone who challenged people to name a 1B who would hit more HR over the next 10 years. The first name I mentioned was Prince Fielder, who might eat himself out of the league before the deadline but is still ahead on the 10-year-HR toteboard.

what is the fascination with trading rowand? he's the best hitting CF in the league this year. he's a leader in the clubhouse. he has playoff experience.

Then they should talk about resigning him. However, if they do, they'll still have 2 CFs in the OF and one guy who can't field or hit.

i just don't see trading rowand as an option with our lineup as is. we sort of have a big enough blackhole at the end of the lineup and a weak-hitting enough OF already, don't we?

2 questions:
1) How come the Phillies always seem to give up runs to the opposition the immediate half-inning after they score?
2) How come the opposing team's worst hitters always break their o-fers against the Phillies?

2 answers:
1) It's the Phillies
2) It's the Phillies

I like Kendrick. He hasn't had great luck tonight but is fighting through(the anti-Floyd thus far). And he gets a TON of groundball, which will be big at CBP.

Was that picture of Kendrick taken after a Halloween party? Yikes.

Howard's been his own worst enemy this year, but his poor approach at the plate seems like an offshoot of a larger organizational epidemic. Very few hitters come up through the Phillies' system with a good approach to situational hitting and working counts. Not only is the system devoid of talent, it seems devoid of quality coaching which at least implements fundamentals. It's staggering to consider all the aspects at which this organization flat out fails. People say Manuel costs this team any number of losses per year; I would say it's the amount of mistakes they make, the number of blown opportunities, coaching gaffes, and preventable defensive and baserunning lapses, which truly costs this team a shot at the post-season. But it does cut both ways. Low-quality leadership begets low-quality baseball. Some teams - Oakland and Atlanta come to mind - never seem to present much on paper but always end up performing better than they would seem to have a right to because the way they play the game can to some degree overcome what liabilities they possess. The Phillies are the opposite; their perennial sloppiness disallows them to cover any liabilities.

The Phillies are a bad organization. Period. If they manage to slip into the playoffs, it's a fluke and it won't happen again for a good long time. But I don't believe they will. We as fans deserve a winner, but the Phillies as a franchise deserve to lose.

I'm not watching the game but it looks from the way it's played out that Kendrick has some poise for a rookie.
Dreading this next inning, though, because Charlie's going to have to make some kind of decision, and you can guarantee it will turn out wrong.

attytood -

if i were cholly, i'd go bronco, madson, alfie.

who knows, maybe he'll throw mesa out there.

i laugh everytime i see zag referred to as bronco. i like the guy but come on, he looks more like his nick should be chunk or hobbit or something.

Just don't pour on the "gas can," if you know what I mean.

But damn, at least we got Utley.

OK, well that makes it a little easier (maybe).

Mistake by Fultz leaving that fastball where Utley could hit it. RSB, you're right about the organization lacking in quality instruction -- IMO, that simply adds to the problems Cholly's decisions pose (or vice versa, I guess). In Howard's case, though, I think some of it has to be chalked up to the challenge of trying to live up to his MVP season. I don't know if all those swings and misses at those inside breaking balls represent a failure to recognize them, an inability to hit them, or pure over-anxiousness. But he's going to keep seeing a lot of them until he proves he can hit them. I don't think that has a lot to do with organizational instruction.

So Kendrick again does the job, 6 IP/3 R each time out. Let's see if Tomo can do that!

Hey, Will, whaddaya mean you're not watching the game? They don't let you leave Philadelphia, do they?

RSB, what has impressed me most about Kendrick is the way he has limited the damage each time he's gotten into trouble. That was a heckuva line tonight considering how many extra outs the defense made him get. If Howard's throw isn't so offline on that force out, they get a double play and he gives up only 2 runs in 6 innings. Yet he came back to get a strike out (with the ump's help, true, but then he's been inconsistent all night long).

hrm, i guess cholly is going to go madson, bronco, alfie.

i think that we got something special in zagurski.

I work mainly nights -- at a desk that is 50 feet from and faces away from all the TVs here. I can wander over for the 9th inning or a rally.
I can watch Businessperson's Specials at home -- except they almost always get clobbered in those.

Another quality start by Kendrick. Let's see how long the kid can keep it going. He could make a big difference.

Alby, true enough: Howard is still very much homer-conscious and that's the biggest reason why he's hitting in the .240s. He has taken a huge step backward as a hitter this year, though this period of adjustment is an inevitable part of his overall development following his meteoric ascent. The next step in his evolution - and it will happen - is for him to hone in on a hitting zone and not budge from it. Not in a Bob Abreu/Frank Thomas postage stamp-sense either; he's a big guy, obviously, so a lot of balls will always be reachable for him. But it does no one any good for him to go flailing at pitches as bad as he keeps going after.

Howard has been batting pretty close to .300/.290 since returning from the DL, so I would reserve judgment on his overall hitting until later in the season. He has. however, looked awful against lefties before this week. But I also always thought last year's .313 was a fluke -- didn't everybody?

There's something to be said for a guy who throws strikes, doesn't allow a lot of homeruns, & avoids the big inning. That's what Kendrick has done so far. I never thought of him as much of a prospect when he was in the minors, but I've been impressed so far. Best case scenario: he could be sort of a Derek Lowe type over the long haul. Worst case: he's another in the long line of flash-in-the-pan rookie pitchers that have come through the Phillies' system.

I'm not going to reserve judgment. The guy's had a lot of terrible at-bats, before and after the DL stint, and he doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes or poor patterns. I don't mean to sound hypercritical, I'm a Howard fan like everyone else. But he needs to sharpen up his game.

Please do not mention Kendrick and Derek Lowe in any sort of favorable comparison ever again.
Lowe is one of the best pitchers in the league (guy started last year's All Star game).
Kendrick is a mediocre prospect whom the league has not seen enough to quite figure out yet.

I think someone on this board has a crush on Derek Lowe. He's a solid pitcher, but I'm not THAT high on him and the comparison was a "Best case scenario". Ever hear of one of those? Lay off the coffee.

Jon, it's nice to use true facts instead of making them up. Lowe hasn't been an All-Star since 2002. Brad Penny started the All-Star Game last year. Lowe is an above average pitcher, but by no means "one of the best pitchers in the game."

How many World Series rings does Derek Lowe have?
How many do any of the Phillies starting pitchers have?
The defense rests.

why the eff is madson pitching 2 innings?

this is silly.

Madson to the death, eh?

Count on Cholly to eff another one away by leaving a bad pitcher in too long.
You knew this was going to happen as soon as they called the balk on Madson.

Manuel has no feel for pitchers. None. Zero. Zip. Etc.

your logic is impeccable, Jon. I don't know why everyone's so high on this Hamels fellow when he's never won a World Series.

Sure is a good thing the Phillies didn't overspend on one of those 40 available relief pitchers in the offseason, right SirAlden? Mike C?

shouldn't even gone that far. chase should have made the play or at the very least CB Fuckner could have called a strike on Nixon.

I agree with the idea of poor organizational instruction. The question is why has it continued for so long and who in the front office can turn it around?

I thought the new coaches employed this year were brought in to strengthen the fundamentals of the players at the major league level but there are still to many mental mistakes. These mistakes can rob you of 7-10 wins a year.

Oh my God

Mesa!????????????????????????????????

madson was up 1-2 to nixon, he isn't even the tying run, you HAVE to go after him, he then walks him and BOOM..blows up in his face, bullpen sucks

Jon: In fact, Kendrick is one of the better prospects in the Phillies system. You may be confusing him with the sucky prospects like Brian Sanches, Zack Segovia etc. KK is the real deal.

mesa? i was joking about him.

oh jeezuys. this is insane.

why on earth is mesa going here?

Which can out-boo Mesa, Philly or Cleveland?

I'm sorry, I missed something -- why is Madson going longer than one inning, when the last time he went longer than 1 he blew up in his second inning? Can't Cholly try to get thrown out of every game before he has to go to the bullpen?

The defense is an idiot.

ae: Hamels looked really good yesterday.

jon -

yes, obviously hamels is subpar, with that whole leading the nation league in wins and strikeouts thing.

Hoo boy. Can't wait to see what fun the ninth inning brings.

Now I see why you're called Crazy Jon. First of all, it was Brad Penny, not Derek Lowe, who started the 2006 All Star Game. Lowe wasn't even on the team. Second, one of the best pitchers in the league? Hardly. He's a solid No. 2 nor No. 3 starter, but there are probably 15 OR 20 starting pitchers in the National League who are better. Third, I said "Derek Lowe type" -- the same way people say that a certain basketball player is a "Larry Bird type." That doesn't mean I think he'll be as good as Derek Lowe; it merely means he's the same style of pitcher.

This is all just a bad dream, right? In real life, Mesa would not come in here.

Cholly won't press his luck and leave Mesa in to pitch the 9th, will he??? We definitely could use some insurance runs for Alfie.

Doesn't Hamels lead the majors in HRs allowed?

we better score some runs for el pupo

jon -

obviously giving up homeruns is more important that getting wins and strikeouts.

I'm just saying - don't expect Hamels and Kyle Kendrick to be the co-Messiahs for the Phillies pitching staff.
Steve Carlton went 27-10 on a last place team (1972).
You stat geeks can check my work to verify (as you always do).

Joe - BTW - Hamels gave up a ton of HRs yesterday, didn't get too many strikeouts, and subsequently lost.
He is no Steve Carlton.
Please don't make him out to be.
This goes for the rest of you as well.

Jon, tell me you're yanking our chains. You don't SERIOUSLY believe that Cole Hamels sucks & Derek Lowe is one of the league's best pitchers, do you? And you don't SERIOUSLY believe that having a single World Series ring necessarily makes you a better pitcher than a pitcher who has no ring?

Fess up. You confused Derek Lowe with Brad Penny &, rather than admit you made a mistake, you just decided to dig your heels in deeper.

Crazy Jon:

The Phillies starter who has a World Series ring is Freddy Garcia. Since he has a ring and Hamels leads the league in HRs allowed, the obvious move is to break the bank to bring back Garcia and try to trade Hamels for someone else who has a ring (say Jeff Weaver, maybe)? At least you're living up to your name.

Who compared him to Steve Carlton, other than you?

But, for the record, Steve Carlton didn't win 20 games until his 7th season in the league, when he was 27 years old. Hamels is in his 2nd year in the league & is only 24 -- and he could very well win 20 this year. I think it's more than fair to project that, if he stays healthy, he's going to be a star pitcher for a long time.

jon -

hamels LEADS THE LEAGUE IN WINS, AND STRIKEOUTS!

that is exactly like carlton.

what are you smoking? must be some good sh1t. you really need to share.

Oh yeah, Howard really sucks...jeez, he's winning this one singlehandedly/

Okay, I'm through knocking Howard for the evening. Notice he had a better approach in that AB, though.

way to go Rhino!! only thing worse than a Phils reliever is a cast-off ex-Phils reliever.

The Big Guy is back.

Opposite-field double? C'mon, Burrell could have done that.

I appreciate the fact that you all are putting words in my mouth.
The original discussion was centered around someone comparing Kyle Kendrick to Derek Lowe - which I correctly said was a stretch.
BTW - Derek Lowe's the guy with the World Series MVP award who was unhittable in a pressure situation (2004 playoffs), correct?
That wasn't Brad Penny.
I'm also not stating that Hamels sucks - I'm just not convinced that he is the second coming of Warren Spahn like the rest of you are.
When he proves that he can pitch effectively in PRESSURE situations (i.e. pennant chase and PLAYOFFS) - then I'll buy in.
Until then, he's a good prospect whom the league really hasn't seen enough of to figure out yet.
Here's reality though - he pitched in a pressure situation last week against the Mets.
He coughed up 3 runs in the blink of an eye and blew the lead.
Big time pitchers don't do that.
He may get there eventually - but he's not there yet.

Howard just needs a triple for the cycle.

So if the bullpen blows the lead and he comes up in the 10th and the right fielder has a fatal heart attack on a base hit, he's there!

By the way, Joe = Hamels leads the Majors in HR allowed.
State all the facts - not just the ones that make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Howard is pretty good, but he's no Derek Lowe.

another excellent argument.

except Manny Ramirez won the 2004 World Series MVP. but don't let that stop you, you're on a roll.

Roger Clemens is the poor man's Derek Lowe.

Glad to see the offensive pick it up tonight. What were really important though were those 3 runs in the top of the 1st.

They totally changed the tempo of this game. It allowed Kendrick to pitch a bit more aggressively and go after the Indians' hitters. Kendrick showed great composure tonight and didn't get frazzled after giving up a hit.

Also was impressed that he had a fair number of 3-ball counts but that he only walked 1 tonight. Giving up even a few walks against the Indians probably would have been disastrous.

What I was most impressed with Kendrick tonight was both his composure after he gave up a hit and not

I swear, Alfonseca looks like he's got a chest protector under that uni.

I can eff up the semantics - but I've made my point - when Hamels, Kendrick, and the rest of these guys prove that they can pitch and play effectively in PRESSURE situations - then I will buy in.
Until then, I'll enjoy this team for what it is - a mediocre, poorly managed ballclub with 2-3 exciting players who plays well when the pressure's off, but pukes all over itself once it gets into pressure situations.

but HR's allowed are a freak stat, inflated by CBP and people sitting on his change.

to sound like clout: Starting Pitcher's Job's is to win games. He leads the effing league!

what the heck is your problem? At this point, I think that Hamels is the defacto starter fo rthe all star team.

seriously, you've been factually wrong several times already, and are making clearly factualy incorrect points. what is your deal?

Glad we had "Shut'em down" Mesa tonight. For whatever reason, I am strangly rooting for a guy who is probably nearing 50.

As for Madson, he is just mentally weak. He has the talent to be a legit setup guy but just not the mental demeanor.

Hamels has easily been the Phils best starting pitcher but there is no way he is the NL starter in the All-Star. That is just foolish.

Peavy'll probably start the all-star game for the NL. But Hamels will definitely be on that team.

I don't think anybody on the board has any delusions about Kendrick. but making your second start in the majors on the road against a stacked team like Cleveland the day after your team's ace got smoked is pretty damn high-pressure.

does he still have a lot to prove? yes. has he so far gone beyond anything short of ridiculously optimistic predictions? yes.

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