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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

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Long-time reader, first-time poster. I believe Lieber puts forth a quality effort tonight. He laid an egg last time out, but is in a contract year and has been pitching well more than not since joining the rotation.

No great words of wisdom from me today .. just wanted to introduce myself .. say hello .. this is a great forum ..

I think we win tonight's game .. if we do, that makes 3-3 vs. Det and Cle .. not too shabby boys, not too shabby at all.

Two thoughts (I'll keep facts and stats out after I effed them up numerous times yesterday):
- Howard seems to be pulling the ball more this season. All of his home runs are titanic shots, but he's now less of a line drive hitter than he seemed to be the previous two years. The swing seems longer because he's trying to drive the ball more, instead of letting things happen naturally.
- Saw in the paper that the Phillies are reporting that Tom Gordon is further ahead in his rehab than Brett Myers. Wasn't the word early last week that Myers would be back by Monday the 18th? What happened?

Any chance of rain in Cleveland?

We'd already be 3-2 vs. these guys if Eaton't effort on Sunday hadn't been wasted ... doh!

Crazy Jon,

I noticed that too, and with the way the Phils release info, makes me very nervous. I was sort of working off the assumption that Gordon wouldn't be back or would be back later in the summer.

Sabathia is quite the lefty, so that's a big task for the Phils tonight. Lieber better bring an extra dozen of some jelly-filled.

To the people who keep saying "we're only 2 games back of the division without our best 2 relievers"...stop and think about what you're saying. Are you happy being barely above .500 looking up in the standings at both the Mets and Braves? By the way the Mets and Braves have been banged up. Atlanta doesn't really look to get stronger as the season progresses, but the Mets will be getting Alou and Pedro back, plus Delgado is going to get hot sometime too. Posters on here like Clout and myself are upset the bullpen has been allowed to blow so many games because of Gillick's inability to bring in quality this offseason. I'm not happy being "only 2 games out", because with even simply an average bullpen we'd be leading the NL East right now.

To further my last comment, basically what I'm saying is, don't settle for mediocrity. Just like our 3rd base situation. Many people are willing to conceed the starting position to No-Hit Nunez. The man, despite his improved average cannot, and never has been able to hit productively. At best he gives you a decent average, although that's not even the case, and he surely doesn't supply very good on base skills or any power what-so-ever. Just because the rest of our options suck, doesn't mean we have to be happy with Nunez. I'm not asking for an All-Star at every position, but I'm not going to settle for Nunez's or Helm's for that matter, production...and you shouldn't either!

Carson, I hear what you're saying, but it does fall on the side of miraculous that this team is as close to first place as it is. If Myers comes back fresh and Gordon can help out...it could be an interesting second half. But I wouldn't bet on the Phillies to come through. Would you?

Then what are we supposed to do, pretend we still have Schmidty at 3rd?

Meant that more of a rhetorical. I agree we shouldn't accept mediocrity, but it's good to know we're in striking distance. Long term, I think the Mets will take the division, but we've gotta keep our eyes on the wild card.

it does make me happy to see the Phillies 2 games out, because I think if Myers and Gordon return, all of a sudden their bullpen is league average.

On the point of Delgado needing to get hot sometime - no he doesn't. Players often times get old all of a sudden. In fact it happens a lot, and 35 aint a bad age for it to happen. Let's not forget the Mets had a lot of questions going into the season and they are proving that they aren't a perfect team. Their rotation has pitched over its head all season long, and so if you assume that some of their slumping guys are going to come around, it would also be logical to assume that the starters pitching lights out (aka El Duque) who historically aren't capable of pitching to that level will come down a bit.

It bugs me that people get looked down upon for getting psyched about their baseball team. Im not naive because I believe the Phils can get to the playoffs, because thats what makes it fun. If I didn't get swept up in the belief that they can make it, I wouldn't be having as good of a time as I do following baseball. And that's what sports are for. If I want to be morose about something, I can flip to the A section of the paper and read whats going on in the real world - where delusion and naivite actually cause bad things to happen.

Well said "from the..."

don't forget, Delgado only hit .265 last year, and his walk rate's been dropping in recent seasons. I doubt he'll hit in the .220s all year, but .250ish - I could see that.

hard to believe that as bad as Burrell's been, Delgado's probably been worse. (I know Delgado has more HR, but 90 points of OBP is a lot of OBP.)

Lineups

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

Tribe
1. G Sizemore, CF
2. C Blake, 3B
3. V Martinez, C
4. T Hafner, DH
5. J Peralta, SS
6. J Michaels, LF
7. T Nixon, RF
8. R Garko, 1B
9. J Barfield, 2B
Pitcher - C Sabathia

Well said indeed, but the Phillies provide ample reason to be morose. It's fun to follow a team in contention, because part of you knows that there's technically a chance they can come out on top. But the other part of you which has been let down year after year after year tells you: no - you know better. Believe it when you see it, and not a second before. Nothing's different this year except that possibly the attention will be on the divisional race instead of the wild card. But hey, if you want to get psyched, be my guest. It's your funeral.

7. Werth
8. Helms
9. Barajas

Uggghhh.

Rather see a speedy lineup with Bourn and Nunez in there tonight.

This continues a discussion from the last thread.

Clout: Actually Hamels and Heath Bell are about equal in VORP. The stat measures how many runs prevented a pitcher is over the replacement level. It is cumulative, so a brief run of success or failure is slowly erased; I agree that Borowski's season totals are being skewed by his few bad appearances, and despite his low standing on the list, he still tops a bunch of the castoffs and quad-A players we've tried (Geary is among the worst pitchers in baseball by VORP).

Bell is the highest rated reliever in the NL. Before you scoff, keep in mind that set-up men actually pitch more innings in close games than closers do; "high-leverage" innings is the term I've seen. The idea is that if you're got a one-run lead in the 7th with the meat of the opposition order coming up, that's a more important spot in a game than closing out a game with a 3-run lead. San Diego's entire staff has been otherworldly this season; I'm wondering if the park effect has been properly accounted for. But if you look at the list of pitchers, you'd be hard put to identify too many who are out of place, as opposed to the range stats being experimented with for defensive position players. You can check it for free at BP, but you can't sort it unless you're a subscriber.

Manny T, welcome to the scrum.

I too would prefer to see Nunez at 3B and Bourn in LF. With Donut Boy on the mound, I think the Indians will be spraying bullets around out there. I'd even advocate putting Helms at 1B, because I think he's actually a better defender there than Howard is, and I think Sabathia will eat Howard alive tonight. No evidence on that, just a feeling. Last time I had one of those I lost about $60 at the track, so FWIW.

What are Rod the Clod's career numbers against Sabathia? Does giving him the start actually make any sense?

Sabathia may be left-handed, but right-handed batters are hitting only slighly higher against him than left-handers this season. Last year, left-handers actually hit .29 pts higher against him than right-handers did. And, over his career, left-handers are hitting .12 pts higher against him than right-handers.

Doesn't Cholly have access to the Internet? It isn't too hard to type in the words "CC Sabathia" & find all this info. at your fingertips. Had Cholly done so, we wouldn't have Greg Dobbs & his .893 OPS sitting on the bench while Burrell, Helms & Werth all start.

To follow up on my last post: how is it that I know about Sabathia's lefty-righty splits, while Cholly -- who used to be Sabathia's manager -- doesn't?

yikes. Our offense vs. CC does not look promising so far.

In other news, what are everyone's feelings on Bourn? He's our only legit trading chip, but is he worth giving up for a middle reliever? Personally I hope we keep him bc his speed and defense are obviously superstar quality, and I think his bat can be better than average. He's also consistently worked deep into counts, which is nice at the top of the order. I would say resign Rowand too, and platoon Bourn with Burrell next year to see what he's got.
But like I said, he's about all we got as far as big league ready trading chips.

Either the Phils offer Rowand an extension or they keep Bourn. They can't risk losing both and then being short another outfielder after this season.

I guess that answers your question, Alby...

Well that's at least one more run than we had any right to expect against this guy. Now it's on Lieber.

And that's twice recently Vic's made a guy throw him a whole innings worth of pitches.

And Lieber responds in the time-tested Phillie fashion...

I think I'd like to see Bourn get thrown in the fray next year. I really don't see the need to resign Rowand, especially given the pay raise he's already earned this year. Perhaps they can use that money for, oh I don't know, a bullpen and a third baseman.

Hey, the Indians have designated Roberto Hernandez for assignment. Is he old enough to be a Phillie again?

I dunno, would you rather have Roberto or Yoel?

Yoel

Hernandez has bounced around the league quite a bit, but he has never played for any of Gillick's teams. That means he's off-limits.

I want a 3rd option..who's behind door #3?

hopefully brett myers.

Lieber is determined to piss this lead away.

Refresh my memory, was someone saying that Howard was improved defensively this season?

Yeah, and to think he could be DHing tonight.

@RSB - I said it... then immediately retracted when the stats revealed that he actually regressed a bit. (You see one diving stop and you are fooled.)

Let it be noted that our "designated hitter" is currently "hitting" .157 against lefties.

Yes, Burrell has his late-'06 pop-up behind second base form fully recovered.

Davy Lopes would make a better DH in this game.

You know Burrell is going to hit one 600 feet now.

(Foul, of course.)

Well, I'll take comfort in the Braves' 7-0 deficit at home against Boston. That's nice. And hey, C.C.'s thrown a decent amount of pitches so far (79 through five innings), so maybe he'll be tired soon.

I can't say how valuable this blog is for those of us not in Philly (although I can hopefully watch the Rockies beat the Yanks again tonight).

Barely possible, but doubt it...he had his hit last night.

C.C. is tiring...bring on that Tribe BP.

Big Hit #6... way to pick up Chase...

Great job by Rowand to hit one the other way... Nixon looked like he was tap dancing with high heels on an ice rink

HooOoOOooboy, i can't *wait* to see what charlie is going to pull out of his bullpen's bag of tricks tonight.

Either Lieber goes 9 or it's Russian roulette time.

And to think Howard could be DHing...

that was donut-boys fault.

And to think Bourn could be playing LF...

"the phillies are doing everything they can to hand it to the indians"

fucking xm playing the cleveland broadcast.

ugh.

Yeah, but most 1B would have saved that play.

...and now we're losing.

it's official. god hates the phillies.

woohoo! we're gonna hafta trade for trachsel!

What's the injury delay?

lieber. ankle or knee.

get the lead, and give it right back!!

TYPICAL PHILLIES BASEBALL

i am going to have heart attack before i turn 30

How did the Lieber injury happen?

(I just got home.)

backing up home. stepped on it wrong.

Uh oh. Are Zag's glory days over?

Lieber looked like he pulled hamstring which will put him on dl

at this point, i'd have to go with a 4 man rotation until the break, strict 105 pitch counts.

well, i'm cool with this bullpen as is

BP Russian roulette deadly tonight again.

Don't think I'll be renewing the mlb.tv subscription next month. Every year, same old story.

But really, this one is on the atrocious defense. Bad teams find an infinite number of ways to lose.

U

G

L

Y

We ain't got no alibi, its UGLY!

How bad can Roberto Hernandez be?

Incredible!!! The Mets are stinking up the diamond and the Braves are getting embarrassed while we cough up another lead. Another starter is gone for probably 3 weeks to a month. Gillick is working the phones like a psycho now looking for pitching.

On the bright side, at least Atlanta and the Mets are losing, too!

Brutal. Simply brutal.

Who was it that said it wouldn't be the end of the world to come out of these two series with two wins?

I'd feel better if we just plunked every other hitter

Well, at least they can get Jason Michaels out.

myers to rotation after break?

4 man rotation until the break?

I'm not really sure about the rulebook here: would it be legal if, instead of having a bullpen, we just let the opposing team bat off a tee after the 5th inning?

Our pitching staff looks mighty pedestrian against some really tough lineups. What does a team do that has zero prospects in its farm system and nothing to spare on the big league club other than an overacheiving center fielder and a bevy of light hitting 3rd basemen.

maybe the opposing team will allow us the sweet merciful justice of letting abe and helms hit off that tee too....

Same old story -- 5 everyday players and a few starters aint nearly enough to get anything done.

I've asked it before and I'll ask it again: is ryan howard the next pat burrell?

Howard can't hit a curve

That last pitch to howard was nasty. But the the ball in the dirt that he swung at for Strike 2... God Awful...

I don't know what's worse? Burrell taking pitches down broadway or Howard swing at bals that are no where near the strike zone.

Howard can't hit a curve

It's a definite possibility.

Speaking of PtBB, the countdown to Mendoza is on in earnest - just 9 little digits to go.

wow wow wow... Howard the next Burrell? Are you serious? It's one thing to give up on the Phillies 17 different times over the course of the season (we all do)... but to start comparing one of the best hitters in the league to Pat friggin Burrell bc of an injury has made him uncomfortable at the plate and he's struggling against lefies... I mean, c'mon. He's hit the crap out of the ball since he's been back. He's just not picking up lefthanders particularly well... Howard is the least of our worries.

Mike Cunningham: Any comment on the bullpen effort tonight?

I'm not saying this to be a hater. I'm just saying it because it's true: The Phils need to drop Burrell and eat his salary, like the Sixers did with Webber. He is a Triple A player, at best, and you cannot convince me that we don't have something in our system that isn't better than an automatic out who can't run.

Don't let Howard's swing distract from you from the management issues. Add a smidgen of quality. No more blind luck. Brian G is right. Howard is the least of our worries.

Tribe broadcaster: "This Phillie defense is awful."

Yeah, I was just pissed when Howard swung at that second pitch and missed by a good two feet. I'll settle down.

Wow, they just tried to do a pickoff move with no-one covering first. This is another Kansas City game. They are embarrassing themselves.

JTS on the morning thread said Howard was a better fielder this year. He may need to rethink that.

More Tribe broadcasters: "we have seen 2 teams back to back - Fla. & Phila - that defensively are atrocious."

curt: I think those announcers are being a little harsh. The Phils have subpar defense at 1B, 2B, LF and 3B when Nunez doesn't start (and just league average when he does) but the Phils are solid everywhere else. The Marlins are weak at 1B, 2B, LF, CF. Not good, but not atrocious either.

The Phils lead the majors in outfield assists. They are not atrocious defensively. They've just had a couple of bad games.

According to MLB.com, the Phillies are 10th-best in all of the majors in fielding percentage (.985). The Indians, by contrast, are ranked 15th.

The Phils are seventh-best in the NL.

I said this before and I'm going to say this again both Philly and Reading both stink!

I am begining to think that we need to be angry very angry with Dubee....

Time to replace him. Can't be any worse, conditioning, injuries, lack of teaching new pitches, advising when to keep people in, what roles, and how to use them.

FIRE HIM

clout -

take uts off the d liability list. it aint true anymore.

which leaves 3b, 1b and LF.

not terrible.

I was at the game again, went to all 3. The series sucked, but at least we didnt get killed in interleauge. I think most of us would have taken 8-7 when it is all said and done. We are still 2 out, but I wonder if we even have the horses to get it done. Lieber's injury came at the best possible time - when we have some off days upcoming and with the all-star break coming up. Looks like he will be DLed for sure.

Howard's defense tonight was just awful. He is tough to watch over there. Not the difference in the game, but he has got to improve over there. It was tough to take.

I think we may need some bullpen help. At least Geary pitched better tonight...Hernandez looks like he will retake the role Sanches currently occupies when/if Gordon or Myers comes back.

also good to see that we will be facing 3 righties in STL. That plus moyer, eaton, and hamels going means we really need to get at least 2 of them, considering the mets and braves play tougher teams

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