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Thursday, July 19, 2007

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Good luck Cole.

Bad break to have our #1 going against Young. Almost rather see someone else going tonight and save Hamels for another game. Oh well.

The Padres' woeful offense and Petco Park is going to have a "Bizarro" effect on the Phils' pitching staff. I bet the pitching staff looks a lot better this series but it is going for the Phils to score a lot of runs against Young, Peavy, and the Padres' bullpen.

To continue the previous thread, where MG wrote, "I can't see much good that would come from giving up prospects to get a marginal pitcher like Kyle Lohse."

It depends on the prospects, of course, but I'm not too worried about giving up Happ, for example, or guys of that ilk. In the long run, I don't think Happ will even be as good as Lohse, and he certainly won't bring anything to the table this year.

I recall all the tooth-gnashing when we lost Buchholz in the Wagner trade and a couple of Latino prospects in other deals. None of them have turned out to be much. The only untouchable -- well, untouchable for someone of Lohse's caliber -- is Carrasco.

Alby, I was certainly not among the teeth-gnashers when we traded Buchholz. He was an absolutely marginal prospect, with mediocre minor league numbers.

Ed Wade has been criticized on this blog -- mostly, but not entirely, by SirAlden -- for trading away a lot of prospects. But, the fact is, the guys he traded away were either minor league roster filler or marginal major league prospects. I would disagree with you on your assessment that Happ falls into the same category. Until this year, Happ's minor league numbers were stellar & he was a top prospect, who projected to be a much better starter than Taylor Buchholz OR Kyle Lohse. No way would I trade him for the thorougly mediocre Kyle Lohse.

Alby: Exactly right. Prospects are ALWAYS overrated. Most of them never turn out as good as you thought.

I think the debate from the last thread about whether the Phils should make a move or quit on the season is a good one and both sides have solid arguments. I come down on the "go for it" side because the Mets and Braves don't impress me all that much this year. I don't think anyone thinks the Phils can win the Wild Card. I sure don't. But I DO think they can win the division with another pitcher, a healthy Gordon & Myers and some luck.

Last year around this time the Cardinals traded for Jeff Weaver, arguably the worst pitcher in baseball then (3-10, 6.29 ERA). He wound up making 15 starts to fill a HUGE hole in the rotation, winning 5 of them and keeping them close enough for the bullpen to win another 4. He pitched even better in the post-season, winning 3 games and posting a sub-3.00 ERA. No one could've predicted that. Just as no one can predict what Kyle Lohse might do in a similar situation.

Next season, the Mets are certain to fix their rotation and those good young Braves and Marlins will be another year closer to their peak years. You never know when the Phillies will have a chance like this again. CJ is right. By giving up last year, Gillick probably cost the team a playoff spot. Let's not make the same mistake twice. We may not get a third chance.

Clout - Well-reasoned and interesting post as normal. I agree that the Phils have a better shot at the NL East than at the wildcard.

Still, even with Lohse or Kennedy replacing Durbin, I don't think the Phils have enough starting pitching. If Moyer or Eaton were even pitching just adequately, this offense would give them a chance. Plus, you are counting on Kendrick remaining a solid starter and that is asking alot of a rookie pitcher.

All adds up too many "what ifs." Maybe I am just too pessimistic. The real strategic move would be to play for '09. The core of this team will still be there and in their prime (Utley and Rollins will be 30, Howard 29). Unfortunately, there is no way Phils' management is willing to endure the heat/poor PR backlash by publicly following through on this.

Sorry clout, but losing two out of three to the Nats in the last week is a more likely root cause of missing the playoffs...

Speaking of west coasters, I find myself firmly in the philosophical camp of MG and BAP. The Phillies don't have a prayer, and for a site which has a reputation for 'negativity', I'm frankly baffled that so many are willing to pretend this team has a legitimate shot to win anything, much less believe those chances can somehow be increased by adding below-average pitchers.

Does that mean I'm giving up on the season? I don't care what it means. Just because I'm a fan and that I *want* them to win doesn't mean I can't see the clear fact that it isn't going to happen. I wrote before the season - when they had six starters - that this was a 84-78 team which probably would not make the playoffs. They're fun to watch because they're never out of a game and have some exciting players, so I'll continue to watch and root, but my expectations will not budge. For one thing, they still don't seem to know how to win games close and late (check the record in one-run games - that isn't just the bullpen's fault), and it goes without saying that the even the 'best offense in baseball' does not have a chance to overcome the worst pitching in baseball. Montgomery Wade has sent this franchise back to the Stone Age - or more accurately, to the Baker Bowl era - with this monstrous joke of a ballpark. The Padres are a team built for their ballpark, and the Phillies - as with the Cubs for decades - likewise are a team built for its shooting gallery home field. What a surprise to see one having more success that the other since both parks opened in '04.

Alby - I am not against trading prospects. If anything, teams constantly overvalue their own resources. The problem with trading for a guy like Lohse is three-fold:

1. It is going to take more than just a guy like Happ to get Lohse. You probably need to give Happ and at least one or two more players. Would you deal Happ, Bourn, and maybe Ruiz for Happ? Or Happ, Bourn, and another prospect for Lohse?

2. Lohse is a FA at the end of this year. Phils are going to need at least 1 more starter next year. I would be much more inclined to trade for Lohse or Kennedy if they even had another year on their contract.

3. Given the Phils are only going to have about $25 million to fill in some big holes (because of the $95 million self-imposed salary cap), the Phils are going to need some low-cost options to round out the roster next year. The true value of guys like Bourn and Ruiz is they can be serviceable MLB players at a low salary for a few years. These guys have become increasingly valuable with the salary explosions on the FA market.

Happ also had a nice game today.

The other thing that we haven't talked about is what the Mets will do at the trading deadline. I highly doubt the Mets will just stand still.

Maybe the Mets go after a starting pitcher but I just don't see that one premier guy on the market that puts the Mets over the top.

Instead, I bet the Mets will upgrade their OF by trading for a leftfielder (Mets need an upgrade over Milledge) and probably a bat off the bench. Mets could also use an arm out of the pen since Mota has been a disaster this year and Heilman and Schoeneweis have been medicore for much of the season.

Has Rollins been taking batting tips from Pat Burrell?

That's the Elephant in the room MG-The Mets will make an impact deal at the deadline. While the Phils diddle with Mike Myers or Vizcaino, the Mets will try to get the best available player. I just hope they get stupid and trade Milledge(who may not be all that great though) for Contreras or something like that. I bet the get a pitcher and Jermaine Dye.

Sorry mike h., but if they still had that .900 OPS in their lineup instead of Jeff Conine they would've won one of those Nats games.

Hamels is pumped to be home...bringing it at 94-95 mph.

I'm not going to play the "they would've won" anything. Who knows what the dynamic would be if they kept all those guys. The popular belief is they all would've done well, they would've won the division or Wild card and the rest is history. That's revisionist bunk. They had to win games against the NATS and didn't.

MG: I'll be stunned if the Mets trade for a hitter. They need pitching.

Seems like a waste to be putting our only money pitcher up against Young.

VOR: And it's quite possible they didn't win those games because they were short a good hitter, no?

Maybe Howard's best AB of the year.

Muts up 6-0, top of the first in LA. Only one out in the inning.

Double no-hitter tonight?

Clout - Mabye but it is the offense that is killing the Mets, not the pitching. Their outfield in particular has been killing them.

Beltran has done nothing the past 2 months (of course with the exception of that Phils' series), Green has reverted to his below average form, and Milledge doesn't look ready to compete on an everyday basis. Mets sorely need some guy with some punch from their outfield.

Uh oh...Jimmy's upper cutting again.

Will someone please tell Rollins that he isn't Ryan Howard?

MG: I guess I refuse to believe that Jose Sosa and Oliver Perez are quality playoff pitchers. And, as noted earlier, the bullpen is not real deep either. That, combined with Beltran's off year, is why I think they can be caught.

Looking at the Padres lineup illustrates how important pitching is if a team wants to be successful. The highest average in the lineup tonight for SD is Milton Bradley at .297, although he's been in the NL for less than a month so that's a small sample size. After Bradley, it's Brian Giles at .281.

Yet, they are still unquestionably one of the best teams in the NL because of Young, Peavy, Maddux, Linebrink, Hoffman, etc.

Chris Young's headshot looks like bizarro Mike Piazza.

Jeltzie: The ballpark dampens their offensive stats, just as ours exaggerates ours. If you took each team and switched ballparks you'd see some numbers changing.

Clout - Yeah but Sosa is their 5th starter and won't start anyways in the playoffs and I disagree about Perez.

Perez has been solid all year for the Mets and alot of credit has to go the Mets' pitching coach/staff. The Pirates tweaked his delivery after his rookie year and screwed up his mechanics. Minaya stole Perez from Littlefield (easy one of the 5 worst GMs in baseball over the past 10 years) for Nady. Might go down as one of Minaya's best moves.

You don't have to score a dozen runs every night, if you have a few pitchers. Actually, 1 might be enough tonight.

clout: You're definitely right about the parks playing a major role in the stats. But if both these teams make the playoffs, I'd feel way more confident with a playoff rotation of Peavy/Young/Maddux vs. Hamels/?/?.

And that's before you even weigh the obvious mismatch of the bullpens.

jeltzie: I sure don't disagree with that.

BTY - Chris Young used to be a Pirate but was left unprotected by Littlefield in the 2003 Rule V draft. We bitch here about Wade and Gillick but you could write a tome on the terrible moves that Littlefield has made since he became the Pirates GM in 2001. What a loser.

If Hamels ever figures out how to keep the ball down consistently he's going to be incredible. He only gets hurt when he leaves it up.

MG: One reason to trade for Lohse is that you won't have to give up a draft pick for him if you sign him -- and you might get one if he leaves. Look at it as a tryout for next year; looking over the list of FA pitchers, he strikes me as the best we're going to do.

As for what the Mets will do, who cares? Are you suggesting we throw in the towel because there's a team out there with better resources than ours? Aren't you used to that by now? Sorry, but I'm not quaking in my boots about Jermaine Dye and Jose Contreras.

As for Happ vs. Buchholz, they posted very similar numbers at Reading -- except that Buchholz was two years younger. Granted, Happ gets more strikeouts, but lefties who throw 88 mph have to be awfully fine to succeed in MLB. I'll take my chances. And no, I wouldn't throw in Bourn and Ruiz. I said it depends on the prospects; those aren't prospects, they're members of the major league team. Happ and one other pitcher, one of the guys in A ball, or Segovia? That I'd do in seconds.

PtBB must be feeling it...1st pitch swinging.

Great to see the Old Pat the Bat is back.
Bourne should be in tonight

Too bad for Cole, this one has "hard luck loser" written all over it.

Remember when you were a Barry Bonds fan? Too bad Griffey didn't stay healthy.

Kells, absolutely. What does Manuel think Burrell is going to do off a RHP with a sub-2.00 ERA? This is a park where speed and defense come into play much more than power. Foolish to keep Bourn on the bench.

This is ugly. Phils can't/won't adjust to pitcher and park. Lots of macho, pull-happy swings.

Alby - You have a point about getting a pick for Lohse if he leaves and seeing how he will pitch in CBP but I just think the asking price is going to be steeper than you think (Happ, x).

Yeah, it is kind of important what the Mets do since the Phils will probably have to take the NL East to make the playoffs.

Our best shot vs Young is to have Vic/Rollins & insert Bourne for some bunt hits(Steals off Young are automatic).
They small ball!
Unfortunately Rollins & Vic are swinging for the fences as usual.
Also:Ruiz-Great to see a first pitch swing as usual.

Man this Padres lineup is terrible. Kouzmanoff-Blum-pitcher might be the worst 7-8-9 in the league.

MG, of course it matters what the Mets do. But both the Mets and Braves have deeper farm teams than we do, and the Mets will always have more money to spend to boot. If you're going to use those as reasons for pessimism, it seems to me you're signing up for several years of it. My point is that I'm not impressed with anybody who's been talked about as being available. While you're at it you might point out that both teams have better GMs than ours, too.

My point again:

Not doing anything is giving up in my mind. This team should try to do something. However, I do NOT advocate trading Bourn or Victorino or Carrasco or Rowand (nor have I ever).

If there is someone on this list against trading Barajas for Vizcaino, let me hear your argument.

When it comes to trading for a starting pitcher, I'd MUCH rather trade for a guy like Kennedy or Lohse who will not have us on the hook for payroll next year. That makes them MORE attractive in my eyes. It's not like there's much of a chance of trading for an impact starter who will be hear next year without giving up someone we don't want to trade.

This really is a nice pitching duel, as expected.

Okay... I'm done with laying out my argument in that discussion...

Let's find some offense!!!!!!

Clout: Do some of the swings give you the impression they're having trouble picking up the ball on Young? Plus the strike zone is big tonight.

Cj: I'd trade Barajas for a fistful of magic beans. If we got someone in return who contibutes at all (this season or in the future) that would be one of the finest accomplishments of the Gillick era.

Perhaps the only good news so far is that Young has thrown 92 pitches thus far.

Maybe they can get to the bullpen?

Jeltzie: I would not insist the beans be magic.

Alby - Not pessimism but positioning yourself to succeed. Marlins will be hard pressed to really contend until their stadium/ownership changes and I just don't see it for the Braves next season. No longer outspend the Phils, lose A. Jones to FA this offseason, and two of their best players (Smoltz, C. Jones) are really up their in age.

Mets will probably be the Phils only real contender again next year in the NL East.

Alby: You win post of the night. Maybe of the year.

These ABs by Howard have been impressive, tonight.

C'mon, Rowand!

10 straight fastballs to Howard. What's that all about?

Wonderful to see teams pitching to Howard. Thanks Aaron.

Alby: Yes, particularly right handed hitters seem to have trouble tonight.

I don't know why they bothered pitching to Howard. Rowand may be hitting .330, but he's nowhere near as dangerous to a RHP, especially one who can make his pitches like Young.

True, MG, but next year the Phillies lose Rowand, have only two starters under contract, still have a hole at 3B and no power in the OF except Burrell. At this juncture, I'm not expecting them to be in better position at this time next year.

Jason, you certainly nailed it with that headline. And it's anything but up the coast -- the Mets now lead the Dodgers 9-6 in the fourth.

rsb - It probably has ssomething to do with Rowand's .360 average with RISP, & .405 average with RISP & 2 outs.

All in all, one of the most impressive salary drives you'll ever see.

It depends Alby. The offense might take a slight hit next year with Rowand's departure but the pitching can't possibly be worse.

72 pitches after six. Looks like Cole will pull a Steve Carlton special and end up the complete game loser.

MG - I don't know if you were being sarcastic or not but I think the Braves will be better next year. They should have Mike Hampton and Mike Gonzalez back and A. Jones isn't exactly carrying the team this year. Now if C. Jones were leaving, that would be a different story. Braves will contend for a while.

Hamels has thrown 72 pitches - even if someone reaches base I don't think it's a very bright idea to pinch-hit for him and bring in Mesa.

curt - I can't argue, but based on the previous ABs, it looked like Young had Rowand figured out pretty well, while Howard has been red-hot and seeing the ball well. I didn't expect Rowand to do anything there.

All of a sudden, I'm pretty tired of Dobbs.

Who's had more than enough of Greg Dobbs? Raise your hands.

okay, that's two.

Three.

dobbs=overexposed.

jose mesa better have decided on his own to get up there. there is NO reason to have someone warming up in this situation, let alone jose effing mesa.

Hey, well at least we don't have Jon Daniels as our GM. Gillick may have signed Eaton, but at least he didn't TRADE for him, giving up a Cy Young candidate in the process.

i was just thinking the same thing about Dobbs.

so if Hamels gets out of this inning quickly, do you bring in Bourn to lead off the 8th and risk the bullpen or stick with Hamels. we probably have to PH

At least Young is done. Might be the toughest starting pitcher the Phils have faced this year.

Dukes - Hampton and Gonzalez. Please. Hampton hasn't been healthy in nearly 2 years and Gonzalez is coming off TJ surgery. Braves will be lucky to much of anything from either of these two guys next year.

Plus, C. Jones is still a great player when healthy but he is starting to break down. Hasn't played more than 120 games since '03.

MG - I agree with your assessment on Hampton and Gonzalez but I just don't see how the Phillies are in better shape than the Braves are. They are at least even.

On tonight's San Diego play-by-play radio feed, one of the Padres' broadcasters minutes ago just said that "Rod Barajas is not with the Phillies tonight -- he didn't make the trip to San Diego -- the backup tonight is Chris Coste, who made his major league debut in San Diegho last year." Are the Phillies about to pull the trigger on a deal involving Barajas?

In any event, MLB Gameday for tonight's game does have Barajas listed as being on the Phillies' "bench", so it is possible that the Padres' broadcaster was wrong. But it is also possible that MLB Gameday automatically lists players on the Phillies' "bench" who are on the team's 25-man roster, but who are not in the team's starting lineup,.

Very interesting comment on the Padres' radio broadcast nonetheless.

Am I in the minority to suggest we pinch hit for Hamels here?

I mean... Hamels is just about a sure out... and needing just one run to tie with 6 outs left... I'm not a big fan of sure outs.

At least I feel better about Moyer's next start. This Padres' lineup is full of hackers except for Giles.

i think barajas wife is pregnant and hes with her

Hampton is finished, and Gonzalez won't be around in 2008...at least not until August/September at the earliest.

Good call CJ.

Barajas left before the Dodgers series - his wife had a baby.

You have to pinch hit here... which is a shame bc Cole probably could've gone 10 innings tonight. I'd go with Coste and then pinch run Bourn if he gets on.

...or at least left after the first game of that series.

Wait...is Chollie really batting for Cole in this spot?

It's one run, and the Cole has been shutting them down!

DavThom - I believe Barajas just had a child; don't get too excited.

CJ - I think this is the right move, but having Bourn in the game in the first place was the better move.

Dang! Cole could have struck out there, too!

Dumb move, I say.

Young has a .082 ERA at home. It made little sense to use Hamels tonight. Nevertheless, he shouldn't be in line for a loss. S.D. had exactly 1 scoring opportunity, we had several. The difference between a winning team and an also ran.

Well... Bourn's AB means we could have just left Hamels in :-(

add me to the list of those who have seen enough of Dobbs

RSB: I agree... I'd rather have utilized Bourn's speed all game.

Well, I would've ceded that one out in return for a way better chance at recording three outs in the bottom of the inning. Either way though, the Padres don't lose much with a lead going into the eighth.

PH for Hamels was the right call. Hoffman has been almost automatic at home this year.

It's only a one run lead. One swing of the bat could tie this up...

Leaving Cole in was the smart move. This game could become 4-0 with Mesa on the hill.

...and then I get some sleep!

Vic better be running.

Pinch hitting Bourne in trhat situation was just plain stupid -- Bourne had no chance of puting the ball in play against Heath Bell, whose m.p.h. pitch speeds against Bourne were, respectively 96, 96, 97, 98 & 99.

One thing Coste does quite well is catch up to fastballs in the mid-90's --- and Bourne simply was never going to hit those pitches.

Bricdoc10 - Hoffman hasn't given up a HR this year at Petco in 21.0 innings. Have to make a move in the 8th against the Padres' setup guys.

SEND HIM

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