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Thursday, July 26, 2007

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We are just 2 back of the WC, however. Must be the quickest you've posted a game recap. Surely Manuel's got your blood boiling more than ever here.

Yes - somehow forgot to check the Pads score. Two back.

i had a ticket to this game, but decided not to go because of work and the drive and all. i'm kind of glad i didn't. the bullpen has blown a lead in every single game i've attended this year. granted, that doesn't exactly narrow it down as to which games i've been to, but you get the idea. i would not have enjoyed myself.

charlie's half-assed under management of the bullpen is apparently a memory. his half-assed overmanagement, however, is alive and well. another gift from the nationals. rollin's fly ball should have been game-set-match.

on the wildcard, can you believe the cubs are ahead of us now? where did that team come from?

i'll say it again. Forget about the Pads. The WC is gonna be between the Cubs (or maybe the Brewers), the Braves, the Phils and.... the Rockies. The Pads have no hitting and Young has gone down and Peavy is hurting. Braves will get better and the Cubs will as well. However, the Phils trio of Utley, Howard and J-Roll might manage to get us to win the WC.

Oh and here is my Wacky prediction... Freddy Garcia will return and gome up big the last 4 weeks of the season.

I was going to be one unhappy Phils fan if they didn't pull that one off. Watching 14 innings of baseball in person is exhausting.

But man, it was worth it.

Sometime's Tivo/DVR is the greatest Technical invention of our time-tonight proved it. What a horror show from Cholly!
After watching this game-If I ever hear anyone defend Charlie Manuel I will stop the conversation immediately.
Here's a good one from Manuel at the press conference in regards to the Rowand bunt. exact words
"Rowand had the bunt sign on the first pitch, actually I was trying to take it off & um ya I couldn't get some attention"
Are you Kidding me?? He actually laughed while saying this.
Please fire Cholly & Steve Smith right now. What a joke. Montgomery wake up.
Time to earn your $ tomorrow Eaton-pitch until your arm falls off.
Jason made a great point-Zugurski should be demoted. He has a bright future but Dubee has destroyed his ability to throw strikes +Romero has proven he can do the job.
The fact that Charlie didn't bring Gordon in for the 9th is a disgrace. Gordon even broke out the hook in his short appearance.
Gillick/Steve Smith/Charlie please stop destroying this team. The scary part is the talent from Wade years is saving all your jobs.
2 out of the wildcard w/ Myers coming back.

This game was a synopsis of the the Phils' season so far:

1. Phils' offense chasing a mediocre starter early (check)
2. Phils' bullpen meltdown (check)
3. Phils' offense managing to find a way to scrap back (check)
4. Cholly making some real head-scratching decisions that either cost the Phils the game outright or make it much more difficult to win (check)

The only missing element was some crappy starting pitching but that was unlikely with Hamels on the mound.

Jose Contreras vs Detroit tonight-really hope Gillick doesn't go near him.
4 1/3 9 ER
Geary should also be promoted for Mesa or Zagurski

Nats calling up a pitcher to go against us on Thursday. John Lannan. He's got a good ERA this year, but his K/BB ratio is very poor and he's been helped by an extremely low BABIP. He got knocked around all of last year in A ball. His only real plus that I can see is that he keeps the ball in the park. Even though he throws lefty, the Phils should knock him around pretty good. Which of course means that it'll be 0-0 going into extras tomorrow.

MG-great point "This game was a synopsis of the the Phils' season so far"
If had a buddy who was on an island the past 4 months & he asked me to sum up the Phills season-i would just play him this game.
Cholly made his grand re-entrance as Village idiot tonight.

I just watched the J-Roll 9th inning HR on SportsCenter 3 times on DVR. Steve Smith contributed absolutely nothing to the run!
He clearly gives Rollins the stop sigh w/ his right hand even though he see's the ball short-up past the Shortstop lopez.

I have never seen a ball game more evident of a teams talent beating it's own self destruction in my life.

Here in the UK I have the pleasure of not being able to watch evening games live so wake up in the morning to log on for the scores. Then its on to Beerleaguer for the 'real' game. Last nights postings were brilliant, almost a play by play recap of the game especially from the 9th onwards.

Thanks to all you Beerleaguer posters for telling me how it really happened.

MG said it best: this one epitomized the Phillies, good and bad.

I deeply regret not being able to hunker down in the Beerleaguer trenches while this mess was going on between innings 6-14, but I was following the whole thing in disbelief on Gamecast. Looking at the replay of Rollins' hit in the 9th - what a fiasco! That ball has to be caught. The Nationals blew that play about a half-dozen times; it was like the baseball field was the inside of a pinball machine.

As well noted, the timing of Jason's tentative credit to Manuel, as well as the consensus that the Phillies were playing 'tighter' games, couldn't have been more inadvertantly hilarious. This whole game was one big reality check - but at the end of it, the Phils have won five in a row. It all makes very little sense, really.

As for our bedraggled hero Charlie "I need a" Manuel: you're right, Jason: this one took the cake. I can't ever remember two worse decisions coinciding in one game: first, the insertion of Zagurski, and then Mesa, over Gordon; and then the simply absurd Rowand bunt in the 10th. Both of these moves were beyond bad.

For all that's already been said about that bunt, here's the thing that killed me at the time - the Phillies *already had* a runner in scoring position*. I mean, this boggles the mind. Manuel doesn't trust a guy hitting over .330 to try to knock in a runner on second with no outs?!? As Charlie himself would say, *what the hell?*

And then, Zagurski. Anyone care to guess just why he trusts this double-A dunce as his no. 1 lefty out of the pen when he has a *far* more experienced and effective option in Romero? And then, as if that wasn't quite bad enough - Mesa over Gordon?? I could have sworn Manuel had just been talking about Gordon taking back the closer's job from Alfonseca on Monday. (I searched everywhere for the archive but couldn't turn up the quotes I'm positive I read about this). He said that Alfonseca would probably pitch the seventh and eighth innings. So what happened to that? Now he isn't even the *third* pitcher used in the ninth inning?

I have argued many times that even as dunderheaded as his moves can be, that Manuel doesn't really hurt the Phillies. But win or not, I won't soon forget what happened in this game - some of the most horrifically and indefensibly stupid managing I have ever witnessed.

In Steve King article today on the Inquirer:

Cholly says, "Flash is the one I really want to be more patient with," Manuel said of Gordon. "I think Brett is the one I can turn loose a lot quicker and throw him right into the fire when he returns."

I am absolutely frightened about how Cholly will use Myers when he gets back.

Does this mean he automatically starts using him multiple-inning outing right away or in games when the Phils are up 4 or 5 runs late in a game?

~ kellis~ "The scary part is the talent from Wade years is saving all your jobs."

Tonights Game

Wade Years
Burrell umm check
Rollins umm check check
Utley umm check check check!

Gillick Years
Rowand umm check check
Victorino umm check check
Dobbs/Helms umm check
Howard umm check check check!
Ruiz umm check
Hamels umm check check check!

Gillick 12 - Wade 6

Rowand, Victorino, Dobbs/Helms, Howard, Ruiz, Hamels were brought in by trade, promoted to the starting line-up by trade, or were brought up or advanced quickly by Gillick.

You occasionally bring up a lucid point Sir Alden. However, your most recent post is not one of them.

From Hayes article today in the Inquirer:

"Gordon came off the 15-day disabled last week after a 10 1/2-week stint with a bum right shoulder. The Phillies had used him twice and hoped to keep him out of tight spots, but they needed him to pitch the 11th. He was perfect."

Let me get this straight. Gordon had last pitched on Sat. and only threw 7 pitches. I totally understand that you want to avoid putting too much strain on Gordon's arm.

Fine but what use is having a guy in the pen who you can apparently only use every 3 or 4 days and for 10-15 pitches. Plus, if the Phils really want to limit Gordon's appearance why did they have him warming up in the 9th?

This is an example of lazy sports writing.

the pitfall in calling for Manuel's head over last night is that his heir apparent was sitting right next to him in the dugout throughout all those idiotic decisions, and presumably signed off on them all.

Phils evidently had a scout watching Matt Morris, and possibly Steve Kline, on Tuesday. Braves did too.

That game hurt every one of my major organs.

What was more fun, Jimmy's play or when Ruiz stole home? Has to be Jimmy's, since the game was on the line. Good times.

SirAlden continues to live in a fantasy world. Victorino, Howard, Ruiz and Hamels were all brought to the Phillies when Ed Wade was GM.

Once again, you embarrass yourself.

MG: Both Hayes and King work for the Daily News.

Looking at the wild card standings for a moment, I think the Brewers are going to be passed by the Cubs within the next week. I think Milwaukee matches up badly with both the Mets and Phils and I think each of those teams will do better against Milwaukee than they do Chicago. Eventually the Brewers may even slip away in the wild card along with San Diego's non-existent offense. Colorado's decent, but I'd see Arizona as more of the threat from the West. I think the Cubs win the Central and LA wins the West. Wild card comes down between the Phillies, Braves and Snakes...but the East isn't won yet!

Last night was prime example why I think Manuel is a horrible manager. He burns through his bench and bullpen like he's got unlimited supplies. He used 3 3rd basemen in the span of an inning and a half with one of them never batting (Nunez). He used JC Romero for only 2 batters. He yanked Gordon after 1 inning of 8 pitches. The man is not good with strategy.

By the way, Tony Bautista crippling double was his 1st extra base hit of the season, making it all the more pathetic.

ae: I sure hope they don't deal for Morris. He has very little left, just getting by on an 88 mph fastball and good curve, but he really needs to hit his spots to be effective. Kline is a classic LOOGY and would be an upgrade over Zagurski and Romero, but they really need a SP for when reality catches up to KK or Drubin or if Moyer continues to struggle.

On paper, this guy Lannan should be a pushover today, but I know nothing about his makeup. If he's a cool customer like KK he could be tough because he's a lefty who throws 92 mph sinkers and the Phils have had trouble with those guys in the past, particularly when it's a pitcher they've never seen before.

He has an OK changeup to go with his sinker, but really nothing else. I think the Nats will eventually make him a LOOGY. Since this is a day game, the balls should be flying out of the park and once the bullpens get into it there's no telling how high the score will run. But if Lannan isn't rattled by The Show, this could be a tougher challange than it looks. The Phils need to be patient at the plate.

BENTZ: I think you're absolutely right about the D'backs and wrong about the Brewers. We shall see.

clout, I haven't seen much of Morris, so I can't disagree. looking at his numbers I thought he might be a good fit - extreme groundball pitcher (1.55 G/F this year, 1.57 career), decent K/BB ratio. although his K rate has been steadily dropping for five years, which isn't good.

clout - Certainly could be. I think the next road trip will tell us more about those teams. The Phils had a pretty easy time with both of them at CBP in May. I just think the Sheets' injury will devastate the Brewers though Gallardo is throwing nicely. Milwaukee probably hits better though may be more prone to slumps. I think the Brewers are a year away - Chicago has more guys with experience in the playoffs - Lee, Soriano. I'm not sure what the Linebrink trade does for Milwaukee as he has struggled and Turnbow and Cordero have been good.

Of all the NL teams I've seen in person this year - PHI, NYM, CHC, MIL, HOU, PIT, CIN, SF, ARZ - I was really impressed by the Snakes. I don't think the Johnson injury will really hurt them - he was sharp at CBP, but hasn't been great overall. Good young team with less power but more consistency than the Brewers. We'll see!

PS - Great site by the way!

The Linebrink deal is one that works for both teams. He's going to walk at season end and the Pads have a ton of good pitching prospects on the way, so re-signing him was not a priority.

From the Brewers viewpoint, Linebrink was the premier setup man available and they don't have to rely on the unreliable Turnbow so much now, which probably makes him better. This trade could put them in the playoffs. The 3 kids they gave up, Will Inman, Steve Garrison and Joe Thatcher, are a good, not great, mix of prospects.

Inman, RHP, is only 20 and pitching in AA and having the same growing pains there as Carrasco. He throws 3 pitches and his stuff is good, not great, but his control is superb. I see him as a #3 or #4 starter by 2009.

Garrison, LHP, is another 20-year-old who throws 3 pitches for strikes, but whose stuff is not quite as good as Inman. He might be a #5 someday.

Thatcher is an off-the-shelf LOOGY with an eyepopping BB/K ratio and enough stuff to keep lefties off-balance. He won't ever be more than that, but if 2 of these 3 guys make it, the Padres have done well.

I enjoy this team and it's guts right now, but, um, I still stand by calling for Charlie's head back in April.

Managers don't play the game, but they certainly can lose it by bunting their hottest clutch hitter when the game is on the line.

Props to Chase, Jimmy and, of course, Howard, for stepping up.

Nothing says playoffs like Clay Condrey at the plate in a game-winning, extra-inning situation.

Its guts. Its. Damnit.

How does Cholly still have a job? I haven't been this mad at a victory since...since...well, since the last time Cholly almost blew a game. Horrible managing. I can't add anything to what's already been said (Gordon, Rowand, Zagurski, Mesa, etc.) because the bottom line is still the same: we have the worst manager in Major League Baseball.

Was it me, or did Charlie mouth the words "Flash" as he made the pitching change (the one were Mesa ultimately came in) during the 9th inning? Regardless, Flash should have been in the game as soon as "Ole 6 Finger" blew up.

"Fat Mike" needs to be sent back to Ottawa. I agree that Geary should be up here in his place. The Phils really need to bring at least one more bullpen arm in (not to mention another starter) by deadline's end. I was not comfortable at all with Alfonseca and Mesa in there last night (I still can't believe that Charlie used Mesa for 1.2 innings last night!!).

I hate to say it, but I still think Manuel is going to be the one who costs the Phils any chance in the end. Maybe they will hit their once a decade year of good fortune, but I still wouldn't bet on any team guided by Charlie Manuel. What a complete fool. Really. They are damn lucky to still be only 5 out in the East and 2 back in the Wild Card.

Bit of a non-sequitur here: I had a dream last night that Ed Wade was named Dodgers' GM.

Anyway, in the end, I think this will be an important win. The boys were rightfully pumped; they surely know the decision-making was a joke, but they overcame it and didn't lose a game--as they easily could have.

On the trade front, I don't know what I can see going down. If someone would take Burrell and he would agree to trade, I bet the Phillies might be willing to eat some of his salary just to be rid of the albatross. But I don't see them taking on another team's rotten salary and I don't see them trading away what few prospects they have for a truly meaningful part.

In the end, I think they may make some small deal of journeymen, but nothing substantive. And I think they make the playoffs -- I am a dreamer, after all.

Geary has given up a lot of hits (relatively) in Ottawa (17 in 15 2/3), but if you assume that he's been focusing on his location, he's been doing a great job (16 SO to 0 BB).

From Hayes' story:

For example, after Jon Rauch walked Utley and Howard to start the 10th, Manuel called for Rowand, the No. 5 hitter, to bunt. Rowand showed bunt and took a strike. Manuel said he then called off the bunt. Rowand didn't get the sign. He popped out bunting.

"Things got haywire. Sloppy. The execution was poor," Manuel said. "We were fortunate to win."

What exactly does Steve Smith do? How does Rowand not get the sign? Christ.

Ah, it seems like only yesterday that the question: "Considering the sustained level of quality play, does the manager finally deserve some credit?" was posed on this site. Oh wait, it WAS yesterday. The answer should be obvious: no no no no no and no. The manager is, was and always will be an idiot. He's gotten by so far on the talent of his core players and the skill of his coaches. One can only wonder where this club would be today if Jim Leyland had been hired instead of the man brought in to hold Jim Thome's stick. You may recall that Leyland was practically on his knees begging to come here. The Tigers are resurgent, and will no doubt still be playing baseball come October. Again. Thome is gone, but his stick holder lives on. That's the Phillies in a nut.

Don't know why everyone thinks the Padres are dropping out of the race just because Chris Young is missing a start or two. They've still got, I believe, the best run differential of al the wild card and NL West teams. Linebrink wasn't a key piece in their bullpen anymore, both Meredith and Bell have been pitching better all year. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, will fall out of the race sooner or later.

Chris Young is scheduled to start Sunday vs. the Astros.

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/scoreboard?date=20070729

unless Jim Leyland can pitch the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, I don't think he'd have much impact on this team.

Those who were not at the game last night probably missed just how bad the game was managed. Some tidbits.

In the 9th, Cholly had Zagursiki and Gordon or Mesa (Can't remember which righty) warming up before Alfonseca threw his first pitch. Alfonseca's velocity was down last night (most fastballs were 87 and he only touched 90 once), and the fact that he had others warming makes me think Cholly was told alfonseca did not have his stuff before he came in.

As soon as Alfonseca starts getting lit, the bull pen SITS DOWN!! Both Utley and Ruiz repeatedly came to the mound to buy time yet Cholly had no one warming up! (And don't say they were ready to go. When you are ready to go you stay up and throw a pitch every 30 seconds or so to stay loose. They were sitting down.) As a result, when Cholly came out to put in Zagurski he was rushed, threw two quick pitches, then ran in. He was out of sorts as a result.

At least three times I saw Williams trying to talk to Cholly and Cholly ignored him, once literally dismissing him with a waive of his hand. After Rowand's disasterous bunt attempt Williams said something to Cholly and Cholly glared at him. Cholly is not taking advice nor, apparently, does he want advice.

Several times in the ninth Utley came to the mound only to glance at the dugout with a look of "why am I here alone." He clearly had problems with the way Cholly was using the bullpen.

The only redeeming aspect of last night's game (other than Howard's shot) was the chant of "no bunt" the second time Rowand came up with first and second and no out. Of course, as Cholly told us his first year, we need to spend some time to learn the game.

regarding today's game, I really hope to see Coste get the start. I know Barajas is Eaton's personal catcher and he's the only one not to get in last night, but please look at Eaton's numbers as an indicator that a catching change needs to be made.

Also, who goes when Myers comes back?

Granted, the decision to use Zagurski over one of the more established veterans in the pen (and guys who are actually in a groove) in the 9th was one major gaffe.

As I was listening to the game, after the 1st double and walk was given up by AA, my initial thought was get him out of there. I really felt that Manuel waited too long to make a change there. did anyone else feel that way. Granted, the change he did make was the wrong one and proably the more grievous error .. but I lift him with 1st and 2nd one out .. while it was still 4-2.

It was obvious at that point that AA didn't have it.

My point being,
1. Charlie often makes the wrong moves and semems to be following some "pre-determined pecking order". Doesn't seem to have any instincts when it comes to in-game management. This is well documented here.

What I didn't see mentioned, apologize if I mised it :
2. The timing of the move was poor. It was plain as the nose on my face that AA needed to come out .. and it should have been done 1 batter sooner. Both relievers were warmed up ,, I don't want to hear he was stalling for time. By that time, I think BP coach had them both sit down, for God's sake .. so they were ready.

Thoughts?

MichaelZ - It took me about 5 seconds yesterday to reject the notion that Cholly deserved credit for anything. I got chastised for being too negative. Then we got that reality check last night.

Cholly really took it to a new level when he gave us Zag & not Flash. I still want to believe he was told that Flash couldn't go. Otherwise, he should have been fired on the spot for terminal stupidity. So I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear that Flash is injured again, or just to learn that he is unavailable for days to come.

Anyone have the CERAs for our catchers this year?

Ruiz: 4.83 ERA, .792 OOPS
Barajas: 4.83 ERA, .825 OOPS
Coste: 4.62 ERA, .855 OOPS

OOPS indeed.

Do you think the team's lousy record in 1-run games (last night's, of course, goes in the books as a 2-run game) might have just as much to do with lousy managing as lousy relief pitching? Was there seriously any good reason to run Alfonseca out there when Gordon was fresh? What calamities must occur before our "brain" trust stops thinking "if it's a save situation, we must put in our designated closer"?

Thanks ae

I am not worried about Arizona Randy Johnson is done fot the year. Webb has piched horrible. Let's win 5 more in a row let's face that's the forst time we wom a game like that so know we are 1-16 in those games!

Sorry about the mispellings

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