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Friday, August 31, 2007

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Any Beerleaguers going to any games this weekend? I'll be going tomorrow or Sunday :)

Thursday August 30th, 2007 will be a day that will forever be indelibly etched within our memories.

The memories of older phans of the 1964 Phillies. The Jim Bunning, NL Rookie of the Year Dick Allen team, who led the National League by 6 1/2 games with just 12 left to play in the season, and whose historic collapse losing 10 straight scarred every one of us for life.

The memories of phans who followed the Hall of Famer Teams of 1974-80. The World Series Tug McGraw "you gotta believe" team of '80, and the "'83 Wheeze Kids" team.

The memories of scorched younger phans, who are victims of the Monty/Giles era. The worst non-caring ownership in modern day history of the Phillies. These phans remember the great hard charging "scrap iron" 1993 Phillies (only one of three teams to go from last place to 1st, and the World Series the next year). They would overcome a 5-1 defect in Game 6 to take a 6-5 lead, before "Wild Man" Mitch Williams served up the losing 3-run HR to Joe Carter in the bottom of the 9th. As Pac-Man sez Game Over.

The Memories of new fans, whose Rollins SS, to Utley 2B, to Howard 1B may arguably be the best ever Phillies of All-Time at their positions.

Yesterday's Win in excitement and heroics, heartstrings, (and hopefully significance), will only be matched by in Phillies history by Game 5 of the 1980 NLCS with the Houston Astros.

Trailing the Astros and Nolan Ryan 5-2 in the 8th Inning of Game 5, the Phillies exploded for 5 runs to take a lead 7-5.

Seemingly won, like yesterday's the game, it was not over yet. The Astros battled back, tying the game at 7-7, sending it into extra innings.

Garry Maddox (the greatest 6th batter in Phillies History) would then give the Phils the 8-7 lead with a RBI single in the 10th, and Dick Ruthven pitching in relief, nailed down the save. The Phillies winning their first NL Pennant in 30 years, before going on to win their only World Series.

These two games, yesterday's game, and Game 5 of the 1980 NLCS with the Houston Astros, together are, the two greatest games played by the Phightin's in my lifetime.

Here is hoping that the sweep of the Mets will wash away the petty bitterness, and heal the scars, as we love our team, Win or Lose, as we all dream deep into October...

Any of you can tell me where i can hear good phillies radio?

Starting Lineup
Season | Against Opposing Pitcher
Name AVG HR RBI SB
1. J Rollins, SS .293 24 75 27
2. C Utley, 2B .338 18 85 7
3. P Burrell, LF .270 24 77 0
4. R Howard, 1B .274 36 110 1
5. A Rowand, CF .310 22 75 6
6. G Dobbs, 3B .279 8 44 2
7. J Werth, RF .315 6 28 4
8. C Ruiz, C .260 4 44 4
9. K Kendrick, P .167 0 2


Starting Lineup
Season | Against Opposing Pitcher
Name AVG HR RBI SB
1. H Ramirez, SS .331 23 65 42
2. D Uggla, 2B .250 27 77 2
3. M Cabrera, 3B .315 30 92 1
4. M Jacobs, 1B .265 12 36 1
5. J Willingham, LF .271 21 85 8
6. J Hermida, RF .285 14 46 2
7. M Olivo, C .238 13 49 2
8. A Amezaga, CF .262 2 27 12
9. S Mitre, P .086 0 0 0

hey bay area fan, i guess our disagreement from last night on whether or not Hamels should start Sunday in Florida or be pushed back to Atlanta is now moot.

Maybe this will give Eaton a chance to pitch against a lesser opponent, do well/build confidence and give Hamels a chance to pitch against the Bravos.

Frankly, Eaton earned another start with his last outing, IMO. Why not let it be against a relatively weak opponent in a pitchers park and give Hamels more time to work out his issues.

Sure, I'd rather have Hamels on the mound, but we can't risk a bigger disaster with our most-prized pitchign commodity.

Howard is 4-6 with 2 HR in his career against Mitre. Rollins is the only other player on the Phils with a homer off of Mitre. Tad Iguchi has had success in limited exposure (3-for-5).

Looks like Victorino has lost his starting job. Actually werth has deserved to be starting

CJ:
Mitre's a groundball pitcher. I'm very pleased that Howard has two dingers off him. That's a good sign.

I don't think Vic has lost his starting job per se, Manuel(gillick?) said Vic's still cramping up and they don't want to put him out there for 9 innings. He'd done well in the PH role. Of course, Manuel may just trying to be diplomatic here, but these guys aren't exactly diplomats.

Speaking of Gooch... someone pointed out something important about last night's game:

Charlie Manuel pinch hit for Abraham Nunez without having a single player left on his bench with major league experience at third base.

It was a gutsy move designed to win a game. Had we merely tied, it would have been interesting to see who came out to play third. Manuel was more concerned with the win, however, and he made the right move in that inning. The only question is whether previous moves could have prevented that dilemma.

Couple games ago Victorino went to Left in place of Burrell and hes been pinch hitting and even has a stolen base. I just think werth deserves to be starting at this time.

Bedrock's Beard is right...

The Phils are saying Vic is more effective of the bench right now until he's fully healthy.

And even if he could start every game, riding the hot hand of Werth does not mean Vic has lost his starting job full-time.

Manuel says he will play the players who deserve to play. It's fair to say Werth has earned his time until he proves the magic streak is over.

Coste was still on the bench he may have been the 3rd baseman if it went to Overtime (or even Iguchi)

Werth must play. He's hot right now. He must go with the hot bat. Eventually Victorino gets the job back, but right now i would keep going with Werth. Put Victorino 2 times a week in the starting lineup.

Fljerry:

Of course it would have been Gooch or Coste... but the point is that neither have ever played third base at the major league level.

Manuel hinted Coste would have played 3rd had there been a 10th. Even it Iguchi didnt come through and the game would have gone to the 10th, it was the right move. No need to lose 10-9 with Iguchi saved for later while letting Nunez bat.

Kendrick's best starts this year have occurred with Coste catching him -- and Kendrick's best successes in AA Reading came with Coste catching him there.

Coste was behind the plate for the beginning three games of the Phillies' current five-game sinning streak -- and after a couple of bad at bats -- with seemingly no acknowledgement of the role that Coste had catching the wins Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of this wek -- Coste seems to be in the Gillick/Manuel doghouse -- or at least being relegated to being a one-a-week catching backup. Ruiz being tabbed to catch the day-game-after-the-night-game yesterday afternoon was very telling about Coste's current status with management.

Let's see how Kendrick does with Ruiz calling the game tonight, after a string of successful starts with Coste behind the plate.

And before I hear from those who were dissing Coste while extolling Ruiz's throwing exhibition this week -- before Ruiz's throwing error which cost a run yesterday -- it should be remembered that Ruiz has had chronic tendonitis problems in his throwing shoulder, as recently as this past Spring -- and Cholly's overuse of Ruiz now has the potential for being as injurious as the overuse of Myers was earlier this season.

As J. Weitzel correctly noted on one of yesterday's threads, a big reason for Ruiz being re-energized of late has been the fact that little Carlos had been sharing the catching time with Coste -- until now.

two thoughts on Gooch, Coste
On the one hand, Coste has played more 3B than Gooch (who has not played any at ML level). OTOH, to put in Coste would have left no one to fill in at CA if Ruiz went down. Makes one wonder what Cholly had planned.

Daython
That Error on Ruiz was a bad call. Nunez did not get back to bag fast enough and even the NY announcers were quoting the same, that Nunez should of gotten error

davthom:

Wow... you may actually be clinically insane.

Chris Coste failed miserably at the plate the last few games in key situations. Carlos starts yesterday and hits the ball really, really well. And anyone reasonable person who looked at the stolen base replay sees Nunez was late getting to the bag (even the Mets announcers said so).

Sometimes your whining about Coste makes no sense. Save for times when you have a valid case.

CJ -- So what if Coste had never played third base at the major league level -- in a pinch, Coste -- who was the International League's All Star third baseman while with AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre in 2005 -- would have been a legitimate option at the hot corner in yesterday's game -- under the attendant circumstances.

Given the way Cholly's decisions worked out yesterday, with a starter who went less than four innings -- you can't really second-guess the guy -- in what was the team's best win of the season.

I am a big Coste fan and I have always said that I rather have Coste in there. coste did not have 2 good games in a row hitting but I believe he called a good game and to my thinking hes much better hitter than Ruiz

davthom:

I am in NO WAY second guessing the move to bring up Gooch. I supported it before he did it and supported after. It was the absolute right move.

It did, however, put us at risk of having an inexperienced player manning the hot corner in a game that we needed to win.

I suggested well ahead of time that there were mistakes made leading up to that move that could have prevented ending up in that dilemma.

Remember, using your backup catcher for anything is a last resort because if your catcher goes down... you're out of luck.

(Of course, doesn't Werth have some experience behind the plate?)

Anyone note that the Phils purchased the contract of Kane Davis and sent Gas Can back down? Great move in my book. I did not want to see Geary in a single one of these upcoming games unless it was mop up duty.

Just checked... Werth has no major league experience behind the plate... but it's my understanding that he's an "emergency catcher."

davthom73d, CJ: I'm not sure, but I do think Coste played a reasonable amount of 3B in Spring Training 06

CJ: if they moved Weerth behind the plate, who'd play OF? Durbin?

German fan: not sure Kane Davis is an improvement. But who knows this year?

Oops, should have checked the last thread... Anyway, hopefully we wouldn't have needed Cole to get a win against this flailing Marlins team. Still holding out hope he can fit himself into the Braves and Mets series, but as JW says we now get next to nothing as far as useful information on injuries.

I'm not saying Manuel made all good moves yesterday, even some worked out good but leaving Alfonseca in there for that long of a time was not something I would state was a good move. Did he bring RJ in there for just 2 men - first out and second walk. RJ does walk men but hes been very successful against lefties and righties. Definitely would not taken him out at that time. (if he says he pitched in last 3 games why bring him in anyway)

I don't really think it was the best win, just the most exciting. It would have been a much better win if we never lost the lead in the first place. As for Kendrick, I seem to recall some perfectly good starts with Ruiz catching him. I'd have to see some numbers.

Andy: I still like the idea of going with the hot hand, or at least hotter hand. We found gold once doing so with Kendrick, we'll never know without trying. Regardless, I think you would be hard-pressed to find much lingering support for Geary.

Werth played mostly catcher from rookie league to AA ball; it wasn't until 2002 at AAA that he was converted to the OF (and still played 23 games behind the plate that year).

After the most emotional game of an emotional series, it'll be very interesting to see whether or not we come out flat tonight.

Fljerry:

I think Coste is a better overall hitter than Ruiz. But... Coste struggled against the Mets (his avg. is at its lowest point in a month and lower than it's been this season except after the Jul 26th game), and Carlos had a strong game yesterday.

I'm not sure there's any pressing reason to get Coste back in the lineup.

Checking Kendrick's gamelog:

July 29th, 7 inn, 6 hits, 1 run, Ruiz catching
Aug. 3rd, 7 inn, 8 hits, 2 run, Coste catching
Aug. 9th, 7 inn, 6 hits, 2 run, Ruiz catching
Aug. 15th, 5.2 inn, 7 hits, 4 runs, Coste catching
Aug. 21st, 6.2 inn, 7 hits, 4 runs, Ruiz catching
Aug. 26th, 6 inn, 6 hits, 1 run, Coste catching

The Phils have switched catchers from start to start over the last 6 for Kendrick and he's shown no better success with Coste than with Ruiz.

You have no case, davthom.

RE: Chris Coste

Why not trade him? I'm sure that there are some teams out there who would be quite willing to give Coste either a starting position or, at least, a decent platoon situation. I mean, Rod Barajas can do what Coste is doing right now.

I really like Coste... and feel that if he is in a regular role he'd perform quite well. But if we're not utilizing him then we should at least GET something for him.

Deutsche Phan: I'm with ya, actually. Not a fan of the GasCanMan. Davis has simply had hmmmm an "interesting" career.

It's easy to let down against a weak team like the Fish. Let's hope that doesn't happen

I guess I am like many posters here who are stuck being Phillies Fans from afar—in my case Red Sox country in western Mass. I started browsing Beerleaguer comments a few weeks ago, but Joe F's recollection of game 5 of the Astros playoff series (I am obviously one of those older Phans he refers to—14 during the collapse of '64), inspires my first comment. I think that series still stands as one of the great post-season events ever—the last four games all went to extra innings. The MVP that series was my favorite ever Phil's second baseman, Manny Trillo, until Chase came along. Am I the only one who has a vivid picture of his effortlessly fielding even the toughest grounders, then carefully studying the ball as if counting the stitches until firing a cannon to first?

The last several years have been crushers for me and I keep protecting myself against thinking this time will be different, but this team really does seem different to me. They have a relentless pleasure in the game that I am almost allowing myself to hope will bring them to the playoffs…

CJ -- So, "(any) reasonable person who looked at the stolen base replay sees Nunez was late getting to the bag (even the Mets announcers said so)."

CJ --You apparently aren't aware of the fundamental baseball rule for a catcher in that situation -- namely that the catcher should never cut the ball loose, if the infielder who is supposed to catch the throw is not in a position to catch the ball --period. The catcher should never "throw to the spot", as quarterbacks do on "out patterns" in football.

Who got the error on the play? Not Nunez -- and for the compelling reason I stated in the preceding sentence.

Carlos Ruiz has an excellent arm -- and Ruiz is an extremely mobile catcher. But one of the knocks on Ruiz throughout his career is that at times, Ruiz tends to get reckless, making poor decisions with his throws. And that is exactly what happened yesterday.

And by the way, I was listening to the game on the Mets' radio feed yesterday afternoon on mlb.com -- and the actual explanation which the Mets' radio broadcasters gave was that Nunez and the baserunner got to the bag at about the same time. Either way, if Nunez was not in a position to catch the ball -- Ruiz shouldn't have thrown the ball -- and the official scorer obviously agreed.

The Theory:

To be honest with you, there's very little market for a 34-year old journeyman with relatively little major league experience.

@GreysPhan
My girlfriend of that era used to think he was taunting the baserunner.

davthom: If your case for Coste starting tonight over Ruiz is the throw to third last night, you have a remarkably thin case.

Well I will be watching the florida TVcast down here, and the announcers are pretty good (not big homers) Well tommy Hutton is giving phils lots of credit, hes color man for Marlins

You guys have to listen to this when you get the chance:

http://www.wfan.com/

Click on "8-31 Joe and Evan's Opening Monologue" on the left side. It's long, but it's REALLY entertaining.

OK, all water under the bridge. Game time!

Nice start, J-Roll

J-Roll... picking up where he left off. It's SO important not to come out flat after yesterday's big win.

Andy

He probably was, but he did sign an autograph once for my 10 year old niece and even offered her a cigar.

Going to watch the game at a bar. J-Roll is awesome by the way. He might be a good one down the road.

Greysfan:
she loved that he was "taunting" them. She laughed at it.
And he never (basically) made an error.

Time for some PtB magic.

Basically Kendrick has a 3.65 ERA with Coste catching and a 3.99 ERA with Barajas and Ruiz. Coste's caught him just four times. Not a statistically significant difference whatsoever, needless to say.

Good professional at bat for PtB.

PtB gets the RBI. Nice start

small ball. nice

Tray:

Exactly, and over Kendrick's last six starts (evenly split between Coste and Ruiz), he's got a better ERA with Ruiz.

Gotta love the small ball

Tray, I've always wondered by someone doesn't keep ERAs for catchers.

Andy:

Sounds like a great girlfriend—she must havehad other serious faults to be an "ex."

And good to see Rollins get a first inning run.

oooch. well we'll take one

I was also gonna say it was a good bat for PTB - he did not pull the ball and had to fight off a outside strike

I think somewhere out there someone does keep them. It even has a name, cERA.

Greysfan "faults". Yeah, like common sense.

Tray: someday I may want to look into that. But with this staff I'm not sure it matters.

Pat's eye has been amazing.

CJ -- Of course, had you actually read my posts above, you would have seen that my "case" for Coste starting tonight is hardly based upon Ruiz's run-costing throwing error -- an error which was primarily Ruiz's fault.

To the contrary, my central point was that Ruiz's recent success -- after Ruiz had shown definitive signs of wearing down earlier in the season -- I'll pull out Ruiz's batting and throwing stats in July if you would like -- has been at least particularly attributable to the fact that Ruiz had been sharing time with Coste. Remember -- Ruiz has a multi-year history of tendonitis in his throwing shoulder. But then again -- as Cholly showed with his overuse of Myers, which landed Myers on the DL earlier this year -- Cholly is well capable of being oblivious to the consequences of overuse of a player.

Andy—is this where I say if she had common sense she wouldn't have been a Phillies Phan? Course she did like Manny. Mine at the time like LC—thought he was cute.

Phils are 53-27 (or thereabout) when J-Roll scores a run.

Is this great or what--Marlins announcers are talking up the Phillies and seem to be as excited about them as we are. Can't shut up about the wins last series.

Pat has long has a pretty good eye... it is just that he stuck his butt out too many times taking a third strike to make any use of it.

He's finally staying in there and doing something with his good eye.

That's a little taste of the third best defense in the NL. Love it...

Tommy Hutton was quite popular in Philly. guess he still likes the team

Thats Tommy Hutton who played for the Phillies - guess he still is a philly fan

Marlins announcers just mentioned no Hamels on Sunday and they mentioned Phils weren't sure when he'd be back, if he comes back

is this true?

MVP JRoll

Yes, Reed - true. Philly.com.

If my Grandmother was still alive, she would watch the game and say "Jose Reyes? Feh."

Oh I thought your case for Coste starting was based on the "string of successful starts" Kendrick had with Coste. Sort of debatable, that description, when his second-to-last start with Coste was a loss at Washington in which he gave up 4 in 5.2 innings. But if you're going to call that a successful start, you could say he has a string of successful starts with Ruiz too. The only bad start he's had all year was against the Dodgers back in mid-July.

Nice AB, Werthy

Totally on fire. Let's keep rocking this guy, Chooch...

That rocked. Way to go, Chooch

Thank God Chooch was in there.

Damn. That hurt!

You've got to be kidding me.

Please be ok. You have to be joking.

Bust it open, J-Roll

If I had to pick a word for that at bat, I immediately thought of "professional" when the ball went underneath Uggla's glove. Very, very cool. How can you not like this team?

CJ -- As for your remark that, "there's very little market for a 34-year old journeyman with relatively little major league experience" -- while there are others on this board who undoubtedly would pile onto your opinion -- the fact is, you are incorrect, in Coste's instance.

In fact, the Texas Rangers were interested in Coste during Spring Training this year -- See the link:
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/baseball/rangers/stories/032307dnsporangbriefs.35dade2.html

As a catcher, Coste calls an excellent game, throws well, sets an excellent target, and pitchers like to throw to the guy -- the latter as John Kruk reported on ESPN.

As a third baseman, Coste has been an All Star at the AAA level, and as a first baseman, Coste was the regular first baseman for the Phillies' AAA clubs, while catching "prospects" Carlos Ruiz and Jason Jaramillo were given the lion's chare of the catching time.

Coste also has played the corner outfield positions, second base, and he has a AAA pitching ERA of , with a 1-1 record.

Put simply, Coste does have "value" -- particularly to another National League team, where Coste's ability to play multiple positions would be particularly important.

Add these considerations to Coste's career batting stats -- 101 games, 297 at bats,11 home runs, 51 RBI's, .364 OBP, .492 slugging percentage, and a .323 BA -- and clearly you have a player who has more than little "value" -- whether he is 34 years old or not.

Unfortunately, Coste's "value" has never really been established, because the Phillies used Coste's "option" status to freeze him away in the Phillies' minors -- without having to expose Coste to the waiver wire. Coste will have "option" status again next year, and this fact alone gives Coste additional "value".

how had was that hit-by-pitch??

Well, they sure don't look flat

How the hell does Kendrick get hit in the RIGHT arm? What a fluke... man I hope he's ok. That's really not what we need.

by "had" i mean "hard". oops.

Should be -- Coste has a AAA pitching ERA of 4.50.

Mitre is hurtin today

Condrey is warming up in the pen.

Another RBI by PtB!

Good that we're opening up a lead with the possibility of Condrey coming in.

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