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Friday, June 29, 2007

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To clarify my earlier comments, I was pointing out Barajas' OBP because people were getting on him for his inability to get on base when in fact it's just about the only thing he's done well this season.

Don't get me wrong, I think Barajas has been terrible this season. His defense has been absolutely atrocious. I'd rather see Coste play and I don't think he's better than Ruiz in any aspect of the game. However, he has a remarkable 19BB:19K ration this season (only 2 walks were intentional).

Basically, there are a lot of things to hound Barajas for, but at the plate he's been better than you could have expected.

Note to Gillick: FOR CHRISSAKE, KEEP COSTE IN PHILLY THE REST OF THE SEASON!

Another scoreless outing from "Shut'em down" Mesa last game. Oddly, I find myself rooting for Mesa this time around due to both the crappy nature of the Phils' bullpen and his geriatric status.

Jason.

You probably already know this, but the game is 7:05 rather than 7:35.

First pitch strike!

Keep posting, SirAlden, I may not agree with you, but you are interesting to read.

Better to be disappoint by a cheap acquisition the a sure-to-disappoint expensive reliever. Should have kept Fultz.

Jeremy - Barajas is hitting .210 with 9 RBI. That's 'better than expected'?!

After the outcome of the first game, the Mets kind of have the Phillies back on their heels. This is a pretty important game. If Hamels can't win it, the rest of this series does not bose well at all.

...bode.

From earlier thread:
curt: Which do you think is more predictive: Current stats (after 80 or fewer games) or career stats? Explain your answer. Thanks.

P.S. Does anyone else think that Coste's HR was a big F.U. to Gillick?

RSB: I agree. If Hamels dominates tonight it will take a lot of pressure off Happ tomorrow.

Barajas has an OPS of .765. His OPS the previous three years:

2006: .708
2005: .771
2004: .728

So, yes, better than expected. When you normalize his OPS across parks (he used to play in Texas), this is his best year, ever (see here).

Jeremy. 9 runs batted in. *Nine*. They didn't get the guy to draw walks. Don't talk to me about his 'OPS'. He's been brutal this season, by any standard, including even his own.

Remember the days when Ryan Howard would hit outside pitches to left field?

RSB: That's been a HUGE bugaboo of mine. Mid-season last year, the Phillies said they wanted Howard to pull the ball more because they though he'd hit more HRs. End result? He never hits the other way any more and he strikes out more.

Unfortunately, Ryan is quickly becoming Dave Kingman--either HRs or Ks. Going back to his last AB in St. Louis(a whiff), and counting his K in the first inning tonight, he has a mind-boggling 14 Ks in his last 17 ABs. Hard to believe, Harry!!!

This post is way late, but I was so disgusted by the last game that I haven't returned to Beerleaguer until now.

First, SirAlden, no, I DON'T take joy in watching players on the team fail. In fact, it irritates me quite a bit & leads me to post angry tirades like this one. But I don't see the Phillies through the rose-colored glasses that you are wearing &, when players on the team screw up, I will say so. And, yes, that applies to good players too. Chase Utley is an All Star but he's not immune from criticism if he swings 3-0 when the Phillies need base runners.

Calling this team a bunch of "losers" may be harsh, but if this isn't a losing collection of players, I don't know what is. How can a team be skilled enough to be in the thick of the playoff race 5 out of the last 6 years, yet miss the playoffs by 6 or fewer games in each of those years? How can a team begin every year by talking about the importance of getting off to a fast start, only to fall flat on their face every year? And how many times this year have we seen them stage a furious comeback like this afternoon only to come up one run short?

I stipulate that if they had decent pitching, they'd win more games & maybe even get over the playoff hump. But the fact is, even with the pitching they've had over the years, this team would have gotten over the playoff hump by now if they had some heart & weren't comprised of a bunch of chokers (Jimmy & Chase excepted).

I have to think Howard and only Howard is the reason why he's struggling. He looks only for fastballs on the inner half, and if he doesn't get them, he just will not adjust.

Speaking of not adjusting. The Phillies are going to let Maine do this to them again, aren't they. Amazing. Even though it's worth noting that he has been a better pitcher than Hamels this year.

BAP, you're right about the history, but you can't apply the 'choker' label each and every time they lose. Was it a 'furious' comeback or was it a few isolated homers, and one key 2-out hit? Then they ran three of their weaker hitters out there against Wagner in the ninth. If they loaded the bases with one out and didn't score, that's choking. But jeez, you can give the other team a little credit sometime. The Mets won that game more than the Phillies lost it.

Hamels has been spending too much time around the likes of Lieber, Garcia & Eaton. He's starting to pitch like them.

Hamels is no ace and I'm not sure he'll ever be one.

I'm glad to see RSB refer to Victorino as "three of their weaker hitters." I love the guy, but he is what he is.

P.S. Here is one thing I hate about 21st century baseball: The Mets are wearing different uniform tops tonight than they wore this afternoon.

Tray: If Hamels stays healthy, he will be an ace. Pitchers take much longer to reach their full potential than hitters. Five years is about average.

Clout, it wouldn't be as bad if the jerseys weren't so damn ugly.

RSB, I'm not just talking about last game in isolation. I'm talking about a recurring pattern. The reason I found last game so frustrating was because, had they come back to win, it would have given them a huge burst of momentum. And literally every time the Phillies have a chance to grab a huge burst of momentum, they fail to do it. And i do mean literally, every time.

I was referring more to Helms and Barajas, though Vic didn't have much of a chance against Wagner, either. Burrell's a weaker hitter overall, for example, but you'd rather have seen him up there against Wagner.

Tray, aren't you being just a wee bit hasty? Let's see how the rest of the game plays out, much less the season. Hamels has been the undisputed no. 1 pitcher of this team since the first week of the season.

75 pitches already... 4 walks... no inside presence on hitters... can't use both sides of the plate. I think Cole got a little too keyed up for tonight. The umpires ruined it by issuing that ridiculous warning.

Hamel's has a better than 4:1 K/BB ratio and more K than inning pitched. It's easy to forget he's only 23. He's still getting better.

I disagree about Hamels, Tray. He is only in his second year & is already a pretty good pitcher. Barring injuries, he should be an ace for a long time. Right now, however, he's more like an ace by default. He's a very talented, but inconsistent, pitcher who has the occasional great game but, overall, is about a 75th percentile starter.

BAP: I do know what you're talking about. But did they choke in that series in NY? Did they choke last night against the Reds? How about in the Sunday game against the Cardinals? I haven't seen a whole lot of choking this month, and I wouldn't qualify the first game today as an example, either. Just because they come back doesn't mean the other team is therefore supposed to lie down and let them win.

He's certainly our best pitcher by far but the guy gives up almost as many home runs as he does walks and has an ERA near four, higher than that of every starter we'll face in this series. And as we all know he's basically a two-pitch and mostly a one-pitch pitcher. Of course he could improve, but at the moment I don't even think he's one of the top ten pitchers in the NL.

I wouldn't say Hamels is an "ace" but he is by far and away the best starting pitcher on this team and he has improved his control/walk rate since last year without seeing a decline in K.

The bigger problem in this game is that Maine has owned the Phils the past year and it looks like it will continue tonight.

No team chokes every game. If they did, it wouldn't really be choking; they would just be a lousy team. My definition of choking is a good team that can never win the really important games.

Whether you want to call it choking, or some other term that is more diplomatic, the Phillies do have an uncanny knack for failing to seize momentum when the opportunity arises. They sweep the Mets, then turn around & lose 2 of 3 to the Royals. They come back from 5 runs down, but end up 1 run short. They come back from 10 games out of the WC, only to blow a series in late September and finish 2 games out.

Anyway, I've now gotten this little temper tantrum out of my system & am ready to move on to more rational discussion of the Phillies' many problems.

Why is Harry still on TV, it's the fourth inning...

BAP - I'm far more in agreement than not.

Still a shock when a line drive to RF isn't met with the following results: a) stop, turn and duck; b) jump awkwardly, clang off glove, body planted against scoreboard.

Bourne is on today, nice.

RSB - I think it's wonderful. Unfortunately, he did not kick Wheeler out. He should go ply his trade of praising every little frigging thing about the Mets at a friendlier confine, like Shea Stadium.

G-d damn umpires!!!

I can't believe that fat slob couldn't beat that groundball out.

PhillyBum, if you were watching, he DID beat that ground ball out. I could see it on the 2 inch screen on my computer in real time and the replay.

Looks like the stadium people did a great job cleaning up the stadium after the game 1.

He didn't beat it out enough for the umpire, the tub-o-cheese

Yes, because the umpire is always right.

Hamels has got to come out in the 5th and not give up a run.

They gotta cut Hamels' hair. He looks like a country cretin.

110 pitches in 5 innings. I assume that's it for Hamels. He didn't have it at all tonight.

Looks like we may be trading deadline sellers, after all. When the Mets get done sweeping us, you can pretty much kiss the season good bye.

Can't anyone on this team figure out that they have to take Maine's pitches to the oposite field...he's practically a right-handed Glavine.

Shut the hell up. The Phillies never say die.

He got way more movement than Glavine

PhillyBum = Lame troll

SJ Mike, it took me a post or two to get that. Gotta love love 'em.

SJ Mike = Meathead

How long before Ryan's knees blow up?

How come the umpire didn't call that grounder safe?

Throw him out - he hit him.

Geary's ears drive me crazy. They gotta glue those bastards down.

Well I have more important things to do than watch the Phils get swept tonight. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised but I doubt it.

I give in. Bourn is awesome.

Wow. Great play. That inning could have been real ugly. I don't think Chase ever really had control of that ball at 2nd.

Gee - so glad Michael Bourn's been wasting away on the bench for eleven weeks.

Told the wife as we pulled in the driveway that the score was probably 3-1 Mets.

Maine pitching his usual game.

Hamel throwing a ton of pitches, 2 HRs, also pretty much as usual.

Bourn getting his chance, about time.

I guess the lineup Cholly stumbled across vs Cinn. was scoring too many runs - back to regular appearances by Helms, Barajas, PtBB. Dobbs would have made too much sense tonight, not to mentioned a pumped Coste.

Rubbish.

Frickin' Geary.

This game is SO BORING.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

With our BP I doubt it ever makes sense to hand out an IBB.

J.C. looks like he'll fit right in.

I think we're gonna get em in the 9th. I hope they bring Wagner in so we can make it hurt.

choke choke choke choke

maine owns the crap out of us...we have no patience at the plate

looks like we have a shot at getting swept now and the mets lineup is starting to wake up
I HATE NEW YORK

No choke. Just outmanned.

This has been a tough couple of months because work has cut off my ability to make visceral comments in response to what I read on this site. All I have to say is Brett Myers better be headed back to the rotation when he returns. The bullpen will be fine with Alfonseca, Gordon, Madson, and Romero as the LOOGY - the start of this series proves that Hamels, Moyer, Eaton, and pray for two days of rain will not cut it!

Anyway, JRoll just got a double - let's score some runs on BWag!

That's 1 to make it 5-2 - 3 more to go - thanks Wags!

Didn't Wagner pitch in the first game? Does it make sense to bring him into a 5-1 game tonight when he might be needed tomorrow?

He did and he left all of his good stuff out in the daytime air. Rowand is now up to bat as the tying run with only one away. Wagner can't find the strike zone.

Bad call on Rowand - he did not go around.

You're on crack, dude. Rowand went around.

Today's performances make me sick to my stomach.
I see no realistic way that the Philles perform any better than they have in previous years - 86 wins, which remains not good enough for the playoffs.
Good enough for them to get some 2nd place "playoff share", though.

My wife said, "maybe that's a sign" in response to Chris Wheeler's comment that the Mets hadn't beaten the Phils twice in one day since 1980, the year we won it all. We can only hope! Here's hopin' for a series split....

Tough day. We get 'em tomorrow. Wagner won't be available.

Well, it's up to Happ and Kendrick now. Go figure.

Mets' pitchers really stepped up in those games. It looks like everyone really underestimated their starters. If they get Martinez up and running and add someone like Contrares...it really would seem impossible that the Phillies could have a shot at them.

Clout said -- "Does anyone else here think that Coste's HR was a big F. U. to Pat Gillick?"

Absolutely it was -- A Coste pinch hit home run in his first game back from Gillick-imposed exile -- in the same game as Gillick's $3-million boy Barajas delivers another stinker at and behind the plate -- PRICELESS!

sat 10 rows behind home plate tonight:
1)Hamels needed to step up-Mission not accomplished.
2)I still have no idea if Hamels threw at Reyes(causing 1rst run)-What did the broadcast say?
3)Although I've been at CBP at least 20 times I still can't believe what a baandbox it is. Beltran's 2nd homerun was off the end of his bat. The sound of the bat screamed fly out.
4)McFaddens bartenders are hot

We all love Chris Coste.

A few other points I missed.Sorry i'm angry!
1)Pat gillick-F--U. Release Barajas at the break immediately. If you put Coste back in the minors we will egg your house(aka Mitch Williams in 1993). although we all love Mitch now.
2)This season is quicky becoming a disaster. Myers needs to become a starter. What scares me is we have no idea of his status.
3)Gillick-this whole season is your fault.It's pathetic that I no longer criticize Cholly.
4)Unfortunately I attended the game w/ 2 Mets fans-only made it worse.
5)Signing Wagner to that 4th year no longer sounds like a bad idea right?
5)Urbina for Placido Polanco still bothers me.

Like I said yesterday- "If we lose the nightcap we're screwed". And screwed we are, as the Phils are now looking down the barrel of the gun to possibly get swept and fall 7 back.

Thoughts:
*Ryan Howard's k's didn't bother me when he was hitting homeruns mixed in with singles and doubles creating a +.300 avearge. Ryan Howard's k's now bug the crap out of me because it's either k or homerun, no in between the exact definition of an all-or-nothing slugger.

*Cole Hamels is good and he is the staff ace, but he won't be consistently dominate until he figures out how to keep the damn ball in the park. Sorry to break it to some of you, but a 3.87 era and 19 homeruns a MLB leading surrendered isn't Cy Young hopeful worthy or even All-Star starter worthy.

*Positive notes- Chase Utley remains awesome and Michael Bourn continues to impress me.

*Nice to see we have 2 lefties (Romero and Zagurski) in the 'pen now, hopefully Manuel can use them effectively (ah, who the hell am I foolin'?).

*Clout to answer your question- Yes, Coste's pinch-hit homerun was a symbolic F-U to Gillick, in fact I wrote that on my blog this morning before ever reading your comment.

kells: Your comment on the Beltran HR was the exact same thing I said to my son as we watched on TV. He hit the ball right off the end of the bat. That's an out even in Coors.

The only thing that gives me a shred of hope for the rest of this series is that the Mets counter with Jorge Sosa and Oliver Perez.
Better than what we're bringing, but not exempt from potential blow-ups.

Consider:

Garcia - bust
Helms - bust
Eaton - bust
Burrell - washed up
Lieber - washed up
Gordon - washed up
Geary, Madson - ineffective
Rest of BP - joke
Myer - misused, abused
Howard - making Dunn look like a contact hitter
Cholly - dumb as ever

All things considered, it's remarkable that this team has won half of its games.

come on curt, i think maybe geary and madson are a step below "ineffective" at this point.

Thankfully I have a wedding to go to today so I dont have to watch today's installment of this train wreck series

at the beach today...but still can't stand to watch today's disaster. It will be another 6-10 run game for the Mets. I would venture to say that after this weekend we will offically be back at YES .500!! YEAH!!!!

Yo nobody mentions but Hamels wife is still hot. I saw her at the game last nite and she's got a better set of head lights than Utley's Wife.

I'll take this guy on our bench, especially if Bourn & Dobbs will be and should become more regular:

Dodgers designated outfielder Marlon Anderson for assignment.

Anderson, who starred for the Dodgers down the stretch last season, was 6-for-26 this year, having spent six weeks on the DL following elbow surgery. He'll catch on as a bench player elsewhere. Maybe the Nationals will want him back.

testing 1 2 3

I heard an interview with Dave Montgomery on 950 AM yesterday after the first game. He sai, and I am not making this up, "We have been fortunate to win over 80 games for 5 straight years. IF WE PLAYED IN THE NHL OR THE NBA WE'D BE IN THE PLAYOFFS EVERY YEAR." Great Dave, if I could throw 100 mph I'd be in the majors. And if horses had horns they'd be unicorns. Are you kidding me? I think it was an incredibly stupid statement, the kind you'd expect from a team that is preparing for its 10,000 loss.

Reed, Marlon Anderson would be a hell of a good snag for anyone. But I doubt the Phils would be interested - they pretty much have a lefty hitter with pop who can play the IF and OF in Dobbs. Now, in the event that someone could convince the people who run this team that it's senseless to waste two entire roster spots on ineffective mop-up relievers (though I can't keep track anymore of who the hell is in the front end of the bullpen), Anderson would still be a marked improvement over the value of someone like Mike Zagurski. But never mind, it isn't going to happen...

I tried to be positive yesterday, and truth be told, I *felt* positive, but after what happened and now looking at what the Phillies are going with the next two days...a lot of optimism could be jettisoned out the window as the month of June ends. They have a better chance today than tomorrow. I have a terrible feeling about Kendrick vs. NY, and Perez vs. the Phillies.

Johnny G: I heard that same interview. Boneheaded indeed.

RSB: Sosa and Perez have been pitching over their heads all season. Eventually the law of averages catches up. What has to happen is the Phillies hitters have to have smart ABs and not let the pitcher dictate the game, as Maine did yesterday. I can't remember the last time I saw so many poor, non-thinking ABs.

"What has to happen is the Phillies hitters have to have smart ABs and not let the pitcher dictate the game."

Fat chance of that. The Phillies may have a good offense, but it's never a smart offense, and it can be had by pitchers who put the ball where they want. That said, Sosa and Perez have never been guys who always put the ball where they want. At least they miss Glavine in this series, for once.

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