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Thursday, August 23, 2007

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It was expected that Vic was going to sit today. He's also going to sit on Sunday, and if all goes well Friday and Saturday, he would resume playing every day next week.

This is one of those key games that a playoff team has to find a way to win. It is going to require some timely pitching by Castro to keep them in the game, good defense (which the Phils showed last night except for the Dobbs' E), and the offense to be patient and force Billingsley early from the game by making him work the count.

If Castro can give the Phils even 5 innings and only give up 3 runs, the Phils will have a decent shot.

They need 2006 Howard today, the one who stays back on the ball, works the count and takes it the other way. They need strikes from Castro. My confidence is low, but I'm anxious to see the kid make pitches.

When (and it is "when," not "if") Howard comes around in the next week or so, we'll forget about all of this. The question will be whether or not its too late.

Remember when Giambi was hitting so poorly that he was asked to go to the minors to work it out (he refused and turned things around)? Yanks fans also booed Jeter to start last season. Howard is not a flash in the pan. He'll adjust and we'll take notice.

Well so far Castro has done what Kendrick and Durbin failed to do this series: prevent a game leading-off single from Furcal.

Castro has also just done another thing KK and JD failed to do, not give up any 1st inning runs and/or base-runners. Hope he can hang in there for 6 innings!

Castro's cumulative ERA for the season at the ML level is 9.64. (including his early season relief work along with the just-completed 1st inning). If he keeps up the good work, it should come down relatively quickly, based on his total innings being relatively few. (The ever-popular small sample size)

Good looking pitches from Billingsley in the first frame. Mean strikeout pitch to Burrell.

How many 3-6-3 double plays do we have this year?

denny, i can't imagine many. the "3" is a joke in the field.

fabio needs to throw strikes.

i havent seen a fastball from him yet on mlb's gameday.... which is odd...

He's thrown a few fastballs down - I'm watching MLB.TV.

Not Howard's fault on the potential 3-6-3. He had a bad angle and didn't have time to step to his left and make a balanced throw.

Does anyone have video on this game? Is he as all-over-the-place as he looks on gameday?

He's missing his spots badly...

Don't walk the pitcher!!!

bronx cheer!

so far so good, Dictator.....BARELY

my mlb tv went out...how did we get that last out?

Good thing Billingsly swung at that one. Castro's release point is different on every pitch.

He's already at 42 pitches (20 strikes). Unless he has a few quick innings, we'll be lucky to get 5 from him today. They said at the beginning he'll throw about 75-80 pitches.

If we get even 5 serviceable innings out of Castro, it will be a miracle.

Castro's ERA down to 7.94 already. At this rate - (if the BB's don't catch up to him first) he should be passing Eaton's ERA by the middle of the 4th inning. Doesn't say much for Eaton..

Hey, Howard took two bad pitches!

I'm thinking four innings. Dodgers have seen him once through and know he's not throwing strikes.

what has happened to our offense. ever since we went to Washington it has basically vanished.

Its just a matter of time before they get to Castro. Luckily, the Dodgers lineup today is not exactly a strong one.

You can't survive in the Majors (and especially at CBP) throwing that many balls.

Ouch

Ryan Howard has actually been far better with men in RISP or men on than with bases empty this season. He's been atrocious the past few weeks, but at the end of the day his numbers from the months previous were simply outstanding.

And if he loses weight, he will lose power. Depending on how much it might be an even trade off for what he gets back in defense.

Of course, what did anyone really expect? The guy has barely been able to get through 5 innings as a starter at AAA. And, he has never been able to get anything over the plate.

This will be Fabio's first and last start this year. It is late August, you know.

I smell trouble.

Nice call. How about smelling a double play next time?

Nice call right back at you.

I think we all felt trouble there.

I guess we just smell.

I don't think I've ever seen a pitcher throw 3 uglier scoreless innings.

How was that fourth pitch to Werth a ball? It looked almost down the middle. Not complaining though. Nice knock. But...here goes Ruiz swinging on the first pitch...

53 pitches and 4 walks through 3 IP!?!? I never thought I would say this, but give me Adam Eaton!

What was THAT???

Nice patience today.

A dumb at bat by Jimmy right there, first pitch swinging right after Castro runs out his bunt.

When the offense was cranking, they almost never were swinging at first pitches. Too many first pitch swings. They are not being patient and working deep counts, so the opposing starters aren't having to work too hard to get guys out.

Gameday said the last pitch to Castro was less than 40 mph and broke about 3 feet. Did that really happen?

Can't say 3 ugly innings - the first inning he looked good

Only in slow pitch softball.

I guess Rollins didn't notice Castro really hustled down the line... and could have used a breather.

I'm still trying to understand the thinking process of Phills Management that resulted in Castro being the starter today.
He's scorless through 3 but he has no control.

scoreless through 3 1/3; amazing

Jerry: True, but I was sort of viewing the 3 innings as a whole -- and perhaps exaggerating a bit to make a point.

Why are the Dodger batters even swinging at anything right now?

I think it's safe to say that even though Castro has yet to give up a run, he does not deserve another start. Everybody get on the Happ-wagon.

I'm going to be sill... Wheel's is kissing Steve Smith's a$$. Asked him how tough it is to coach third, especially when you have 40,000 coaches in the stands. Smith replied, he just watches the scoreboard when he is sending a guy. I assume he meant the score and how many were outs there are, but if I didn't know any better, I would think he meant he's watching Fan-a-Vision.

Sorry - that was 'going to be ill'

Does anyone know who will be relieving Castro?

Putting his wildness aside for a moment, does anyone even understand why the Phillies are trying to convert this guy into a starter? It's hard for me to believe that someone who stands just 5'7" would be able to withstand the long-term rigors of being a major league starter.

My guess will be Gas Can Geary. I mean, why not? If there is one guy on the roster that he can follow, it would be Fabio.

The Phillies have to make the Dodgers pay for this. They're handing them gift.

Billinsgley only about 40 pitches so far.

Offense hasn't shown up again today.

Ahhh, it just wouldn't be a normal Phillies game without an AB by Howard, where he just swings at pitches off the plate.

How bad does Howard look today?

Those two pitches looked way inside!

If my shoulder weren't shot from summer softball, I'd vote myself to replace Castro today. Well, I have to get out of work, too, so, well, nevermind.

Maybe next time the Phillies have no pitchers ready to start a major league game, then. Oh. That's tomorrow? Sorry. I'm going to Boston.

Castro hasn't been pretty but if he can give the Phils 5 scoreless innings you can't ask for any more.

yeah, walking the pitcher! that never comes back to haunt ye!

its called "wildly effective" nobody know where the ball is going, so you can't dig in too much in the box.

whatever, you keep fabio in until he gives up a run/his arm falls off.

Only by the grace of the Good Lord has Castro gotten out of this so far.

Through 5 innings: 69 pitches, 31 strikes.

If somehow, he gets through the 5th without a run, get him out of there and be thankful the Dodgers are as terrible as they are hitting lefties.

Its blowing up right now. He won't make it out of this inning. In fact, the club house attendant should be packing up his locker and organizing a flight to Ottawa.

I'd have the bullpen warming up right now.

How the hell can Andersen not know that Geary was brought up for today

Nice defensive lineup down either line by the way. Dobbs, Burrell, Howard and Werth.

Jimmy Rollins needs to have a little talk with Howard about not taking your offensive struggles into the field. He's had some major mental lapses and poor defensive plays in this slump.

They said Pedro was too short to be a starter too (Castro is not Pedro in terms of ability)

How can ANYONE get to the majors with control this poor?

I'm following this on Gameday. Is it just me, or is he consistenlty missing with his fastball? He seems to have a little more control over his off speed stuff.

Incredible!

Offense...please wake up!

Lets Go....we can score a run or two, right guys?

Somehow the Dodgers only scored a run off Castro but the offense has it pick it up. Nobody has looked good today so far.

Can't knock the way Castro finished up with Kemp. Five ugly innings, one run. Take it and run.

Mike - good call on Geary being Castros relief - not that I want to see him pitch

bridoc -

because when he gets it over the plate, its near unhittable.

but, this is extreme. less than 1:1 strikes:balls is insane in ANY league. i wouldn't keep a little leaguer in if he did that.

I just now realized it was an afternoon game. I haven't the foggiest idea HOW Castro has only given up one run in 5 innings... but I'm not complaining.

All right, you got your 5 innings out of him. It was a major miracle to only give up 1 run. Get him the heck out of there. Use Alf for the 6th. Romero the 7th. Gordon 8th and Myers 9th.

Hope you can score a couple of runs and pray it doesn't go extra innings.

88 pitches for Fabio, 40 strikes. He should be still working on his control in AA or AAA and not CBP in a pennent race. Heck, you could get A ball pitchers to come up here and at least throw the ball over the plate. But, somehow, again, the Phils survived this.

Now, swing the freakin' bats.

Lets just turn over the lineup to get a pinch hitter in there.

Sometimes Dobbs just looks bush league.

ugh. watching castro was painful.

All too predictable from Ruiz.

I tell you 2 hits, 1 run, 4k, 8 GBouts vs. 3 FB outs. Is not a terrible outing, even with the lack of command of the strikezone. I'll take 6BB over 7 hits and 4Runs and 3BB which is what we got from Durbin last night.

Castro gets another outing from me.

Jesus...

Potential rally is over.

This team frustrates me in day games.

All too predictable from Ruiz.

Agreed. I would have bet money on that exact outcome.

Manuel must be reading this site. He totally took Denny's advice and put Alfy in there.

We struggle to score and a lifetime .330 hitter languishes on the bench. Has any reporter asked Cholly what the deal is with that?

Dave: Pedro is 4 inches taller than Castro.

The only thing uglier than Castro's outing is watching this team try to hit the ball over the last 2 weeks.

How tall is the average Japanese league pitcher?

Wake up offense!

Have to get to Billingsley here. Might be a bit tired and the top of the lineup is due. Now or never.

How can you guys get on Ruiz for hitting a ball well? If that ball is a couple feet to either side it's a hit. He hit the ball hard, it just happened to be right at a fielder - something he has little to no control over. It's not like he hit a weak ground ball or popped up or something.

GREAT AB by Victorino.

Let's start something!

Nice nine pitch walk! Here we go

Rally time.

I didn't know Pedro had grown since he came into the league, but players seem to do that (I always thought he was 5'9").

Still - I'm not an expert on pitching mechanics, and obviously shorter people release from a lower point (absolutely speaking) and have shorter levers, which depending on how the motion changes could lead to quicker fatigue or higher injury rates - but I guess someone who knows more about mechanics that I do would have to look into it for Fabio's case.

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