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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

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GOING TO THE GAME TONIGHT!!!

Of course my first game of the season is Eaton...

Sigh......

DEVASTATING! I was skeptical about being without Utley, even after we won four in a row. But now without our two fastest players, losing both in a SINGLE GAME, I don't know how much we can expect from this team in the next two weeks. We've got 3 more with Chicago, followed by Milwaukee, Florida, and Atlanta. The best we can expect is .500.

I will cheer for this team until the bitter end. If they were 50 games back, I'd still follow them. So I'm not jumping off the bandwagon here. But right now, with 4 injuries in 5 games, I think the playoffs is just a fantasy. I pray that I'm wrong.

So what does the lineup look like now? This could get very ugly for Cholly. No speed, no hitting, worse defense.

Good luck, Cholly.

I've received word that Dobbs will play 3rd and lead off, Roberson will play right field and hit 8th, and Coste will catch. Should have full lineup soon.

Here's my lineup:

Rollins
Iguchi
Burrell
Howard
Rowand
Dobbs
Coste
Roberson
Pitcher

I guess we'll see.

July 31 is always a bit of a whirlwind...the Phillies have at least temporarily lost four key players in the past week, and have gained a solid infielder, a subpar pitcher, a minor-league reliever and a minor-league OF (Roberson). And yet they aren't losing games or ground. Yet?

The Mets didn't really do much, either, and have been losing players to injury. Which leaves Atlanta as the obvious front-runner the rest of way - on paper. But no one more than Phillies fans should know those two words don't mean a hell of a lot.

Two players the Phils have called up could make this hurt a lot less: Geary and Roberson. Where Roberson is concerned, he has to know this is probably his last, best chance to show somebody he can play. You have to think he'll get a few starts and hopefully he can make them count.

On Mateo: this is Gillick in full-on 'savvy' mode, picking up an out-of-favor player on the cheap. It's really a shame that there wasn't any other option anywhere but to pull this kind of desperation move. Players like Mateo should have no business in an organization with any real class, but, well. We already knew the Phillies don't exactly emphasize character. Throw him in with Myers and Jose Mesa and the legacy of Ugueth Urbina, and the Phillies' relief corps should be referred to as the 'State Pen' rather than the bullpen.

Even with a depleted lineup, it's very difficult to understand why Dobbs should lead off.

Nobody likes to see excuses for this team, and I know as well as anyone the bullpen wasn't adequately improved, but should the Phillies fall short now, I don't know how anyone couldn't at least point to these mounting injuries. Utley, Victorino, Bourn, Myers, Lieber, Garcia, Gordon, Madson.

That's a damn lot, not including the minor ones.

Looking at some of the options you almost have to wonder if Eaton shouldn't be batting 8th...

Atleast they're not using Eaton's personal catcher tonight, right?

is it really a surprise that these guys are headed to the DL? I saw the game last night, and they both clearly needed some time to recuperate.

I'm still pretty confident that Gillick is going to swing a trade for a better-than-Roberson outfielder tonight or tomorrow. I don't expect an impact trade, but I'm sure he'll come up with this year's Conine.

I'm with you RSB - the only thing that is apparent if that is true is that Manuel will not move Burrell up in spite of his high on base percentage....

@JW don't forget Howard lost for 17 games and was probably hurt to start the season.

CJ - that's exactly the line-up I was thinking about. Cholly would never bat Eaton 8th, since that would be a serious diss for a guy who has just been called up.

They have done a commendable job considering all of the injuries - I just hope that is not an ultimate excuse to keep Manuel - unless of course they win the pennant.... then he can stay!

Really dumbstruck by what Atlanta did. That isn't typical behavior for that team. People have to be pretty excited down there. And I think it's probably got the Mets fans up in arms moreso than us. The Mets have been looking progressively weaker all season, more or less in contrast to the Phils.

Speaking of Howard's injury. It was similar to Texiera's right? Quad injury?

Tex's numbers in the last 17 games since coming off that Quad injury):
.281/.370/.422 with 1 home run and 8 RBI.

In comparison during that same stretch since coming out of the doghouse:
In the last 17 games played:
Burrell is .449/.580/.673 2 HR and 16RBI

And Howard his first 17 games back from a similar injury?
Howard batted .316/.429/.737 with 7HR 18RBI

So while they have improved the position some... if Tex is NOT back from his injury, how much help is it really??? Eskin called him a flat out STUD yesterday. He might do some damage in the CBP... but I don't know how much he will produce in Atlanta.

Braves trades were way out of character, but it makes sense when you consider that Smoltz, Hudson, Chipper & Cox all are getting up there.

tonights linup is

Dobbs
Iguchi
Rollins
Howard
Rowand
Burrell
Coste
Roberson
Eaton

As seen on Comcast

I wonder if Manuel has lost it. If you're going to avoid speed at the top, I'd pick the guy with the .417 OBP over the guy with the .332 OPB.

Free Burrell from the 6-hole!!!!

Bobby Kielty was released today by the A's.

"State pen" haha

Seriously though, Dobbs has got to be the 5th best choice for leadoff. At minimum, I would switch Rowand and Dobbs.

Oh, I was talking about Kielty before as if he was already released. Sign him up Pat!

why not let the gooch lead off?

Dobbs leading off? no words.

Kielty should be in Philly tonight. that's just a no-brainer.

what did mesa do to put him in the "state-pen"? Just curious...

I woulda gone with CJ's lineup but I don't know if there's a "right" lineup at this point. Unreal to lose Vic and Bourn in the same game, and just as this team seemed to be putting it together. I can't believe we've won 9 of 10 and moved within a game of playoff position, yet I've transitioned into complete, "whatever, just hope for the best" mode.

I think you need to return JRoll to the 1, put Pat the Bat ahead of Howard or put Rowand there and Pat at the 5.

New look Braves - already down 1-0 to Houston....

Speaking about the loss of Bourn and Victorino to the 15-day DL during his pre-game interview with Wheels moments ago, Cholly said, "We needed an outfielder, so we brought Roberson up, and we'll probably have somebody else in here tomorrow."

What do you suppose that means -- and who goes to make 25-man roster room for another outfielder? It better be Barajas.

on the radio, cholly just said that "they plan to add an outfielder tomorrow". I don't think that was an endorsement of werth, at all. take it for what you will.

what we need, is for the pitching to step up and carry the team.

now is when you will know if cholly can manage to get these guys giving that extra effort.

davthom -

vic isn't on the 15 day dl yet. there's the empty spot.

Don't worry about Dobbs leading off - Cubs & Brewers have lefties lined up from here to the horizon after tonight.

@RSB, I don't think there's anything you can do to excite Braves fans.

Is this the first time this year that the catcher hasn't hit 8th?

On the Phillies TV feed -- which, as a rarity, is being offered on DIRECTV tonight -- they just showed a graphic which said that Werth will not be activated until tomorrow -- so perhaps Cholly was speaking of Werth by saying "another guy" -- or is a trade involving Barajas for an outfielder who can clear waivers in the works? The latter being highly unlikely, IMO. And then, would Barajas clear waivers -- with the combination of Barajas' bad performance and high salary making that possible?

Howard in a funk. Need his bat to pick up some of the casualties.

I know it's only the first inning, but I'm worried about this one. I don't see them doing much against Marquis.

Marguis sure has a lot of late downward movement on his slider -- which seems to break late over home plate -- he could be really tough tonight.

Eaton looked incredibly awkward on that bad throw.

Be careful in the State Pen there Roberson

like the sound of a baloon deflating

Scott Lauber of The News Journal has Werth rejoining the team tomorrow. It leads you to believe that he's the outfielder who'll be there tomorrow.

meanwhile, Adam Eaton grooves a 2-strike fastball

Is there anyone more appropriate to have on the mound than Adam Eaton as our season unravels?

The answer is no, there is not.

Well, put this one in the loss column for the Phightin' Phils. Give Howard, Rowand, etc., the rest of the night off..this team was due for a bad loss.

Although if it was certain it would be Werth, I think Manuel would have said 'we're getting Werth back tomorrow', and not left it open for speculation. I get the feeling Werth is plan B.

looks like defense will be the first thing to go...that and we have Adam Fckn Eaton pitching

howard is in a funk? that's not what his stats say....

If the beginning of this game is any indication, Barajas does handle Eaton better than Coste, however I think they are trying this to see if they can get away with cutting Barajas tomorrow. I think they would be smarter sending Roberson back down - he's not a major league hitter, and the recent success has been with 3 catchers on the roster. Coste and Dobbs are your best pinch-hitters so they better both be safe, regardless of what they do.

biggest pet peeve in baseball...the pitcher gets an error then gives up runs and their deemed unearned...well if he friggin threw the ball the 1st chances are he could get out of the inning with no serious damage

Jeez, Will...I said I was worried, but you're flat-out giving up here because it's 2-0 in the first?

Well stats don't say everything then, but I'd imagine they'd tell you a lot over the last few days. He's looked really uncomfortable at the plate in the Pirates series and in these two Cubs games. Like he's guessing.

My biggest pet peeve in baseball is pitching coaches who come out and yap for 30 seconds and the next pitch is a 3-run homer.

watching the season unravel? for christs sake, its THE FIRST INNING AND THEY ONLY SCORED TWO RUNS!

stop being such Drama Queens, leava that to Carson.

OK, it was hyperbole, and Eaton does have a history of settling down after a horrific couple of first batters -- that's what he did last week against the Nats, when he was OK until the bullpen "took over."

Not giving up, but not optimistic.

You'd think that, RSB, but this is Charlie. He has interesting ways of saying everything.

joe, I am not talking a prolonged slump, but he is 3 for his last 18 with 9 strike outs. 4 strikeouts in the last 10 innings.

Howard has been going after bad pitches again.

don't count them out. One word Karim Garcia!

Burrell has come to play. Now if Coste can get on we got Roberson who will likely hit a bomb.

Great hitting there by Pat Meares, er, I mean Burrell.

remember, no matter what, Littlefield isn't our GM. My guess is that he hires Manuel after the season.

Anything is possible with Chris Clutch in the lineup.

Unbelievable!!!

Burrell can lead off. Did you see that speed taking off from second?

Chris Clutch II...!

That pitch looked a foot outside on the gamecast.

eaton is not a good bunter, but he is a base stealer with 5 career stolen bases

let him swing away now with 2 strikes

Roberson leads the team in batting.

Charlie, Eaton can't bunt!
Charlie, Eaton can't bunt!
Charlie, Eaton can't bunt!

Eaton lucky he didn't break a few fingers there.

I take that back, I guess he is a major league hitter.

Roberson

But he's no Mitchy-poo. When he was two for two, he was hitting 2.000!

Or lose a few teeth.

Roberson looked gross at the plate.

mehh happy to get one run back...now lets see eaton calm down a little bit

if eaton is such a great athlete like they love to say, why can't he field, bunt or pitch for that matter

Gamecast seems off tonight. A lot of called strikes are showing up a foot or so off the plate.

what would guys radther see dobbs in at rf and helms at 3b? which is what i assumed would happen. or roberson?

jimbo, I much prefer the alignment they went with.

Jimbo -

You mean wE5 helms?

I prefer this defensive alignment, but I think there could be a better lineup with these guys.

Nice settle-down inning for Eaton.

true on the defensive scheme for sure. nice to see eaton calm down. lets go TAD!

WE5 Helms! Joe, that's beautiful.

The Pirates got Matt Morris - why not us?

Gotta like this Iguchi fella. He's an intelligent player.

Gooch, taking the base.

Don't you have to assume the Pirates intend to flip Morris somewhere else?

Rollins has been taking lessons from 2006 Burrell.

Gagne to BoSox?

As much as we bust on Charlie, and as frustrating as he is (seriously, Dobbs leading off?), if he can get us into September still seriously in the hunt, he's gonna be in the running for NL manager of the year.

morris is there to stay and mentor some of those young buc pitchers. besides we dont want morris he has given up 10 hits or more in 3 outings out of his past 6 starts...and the least he has given up was 7.

Good grief. Where do these random bursts of affection for ol Cholly come from? He goes 15 minutes without screwing up badly, and someone wants to nominate him for something.

cyrt -

he has been able to make lemonade out of lemons for most of this year.

there's really no market for Morris at all because he's 32, he's been mediocre this year, his K rate is getting dangerously low, and he's owed $9.5M next year plus a $1M option buyout in 2009.

I actually don't think he's all that bad, and for a contender he probably could have done a decent job as a 4/5 starter. but SF didn't want to pay any of his contract, so they just did a straight salary dump.

I'd rather see Manuel get manager of the year than Pinella. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the inevitable Sweet Lou lovefest now.

joe - That'd be great if he were running a roadside lemonade stand in W.V as he should be. Unfortunately he's pretending to be a ML manager.

Hey Curt,

Don't kill the messenger, brother. Do you really think I'm wrong? They were even talking about it last night on baseball tonight. The good feeling I'm getting is that maybe this is like 2004, when Francona kept pissing off Red Sox fans, but his strange hunches kept paying off.

hitting 2000 now?

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