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Sunday, August 26, 2007


From ESPN: The Phillies are 2-33 in games in which they score three runs or fewer.

Does anyone know where to find this data for all ML teams? Is this the worst record in baseball in that regard?

Thanks, Alby. Shockingly bad. I've moved that up into the header.

To repeat last post from last thread:

Alby: Sometimes I think RSB longs for the mid-90s Phillies. He thought dumping Abreu for nothing was a good trade, he wanted to dump Burrell for nothing and now he wants to trade Howard. Maybe he wants 5 losing years of "rebuilding" but I don't think that's necessary.

What is necessary is spending the money to support what is one of the best cores of young talent in baseball: Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hamels and Myers. Burrell, Vic, Madson, Kendrick and Ruiz are decent supporting cast. Bourn, Dobbs & Coste have shown they belong as role players.

Beyond that are donkeys, retreads, dead wood, prospects who won't ever make it, has-beens and minor leaguers. We all know who they are. That rot needs to be ripped out this off-season and enough money spent to replace them with ready-now major leaguers.

Let Happ and the tiny handful of other quality prospects have to beat out real talent to make the team. Then when the injuries happen, there will be some legitimate fallback options and we won't have to face the disgusting sight of Jose Mesa, Brian Sanches, Rod Barajas and Abraham Nunez any more.

Today, we can, and should, win.
Faling that, we should let Mesa or Gordon come in the game late, just to pitch to Bradley. The pitch should be a fastball, and should miss inside - or rather HIT inside. (Mr. Mac knows what we're talkin bout here.) The pitch should sort of be a DFA.

(Really. I'm not really a violent guy.)

By the way (and I know this is "Fantasy League" thinking), how do we think we'd do with a staff of:

Hamels (when he's back)

with Moyer filling in til Cole's back and then staying on to mop up and tutor the kids

and BP:
and Knotts to fill in til Madsen's back.

Not sure who else I'd add until Hamels returns. Not Castro - he needs more AA or AAA starts to work on control.

Not sure who else I'd add until Hamels returns. Not Castro - he needs more AA or AAA starts to work on control.

Maybe Anderson Garcia?

I came here after having just read the Bob Ford column. Usually, I really like Ford (and very much appreciated his black, gallows cynicism when he was the Sixers beat reporter years ago). What he says about Gillick's f*ing him over is, of course, undoubtedly true; far too many times Manuel is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to deciding whether to leave in a tired starter or choose between a menu of bad bullpen choices (especially since Madson went down -- an injury I am increasingly convinced deserves consideration for Most Underrated Injury of the year). I'm also not in the clubhouse and don't know how much credit Chollie deserves for "holding things together." But Ford has, of course, also either missed or been willfully ignoring the startlingly bad in-game decisions that compound the bad hand Manuel has been dealt.

And you don't have to be a hyena to understand that, just someone who pays careful attention inning by inning, game by game.

Zolecki provides the details of Myers as a closer:

[Myers is 2-3 with a 3.03 ERA (11 earned runs in 32 2/3 innings) and 12 saves in 13 opportunities in 30 relief appearances this season. From the time he picked up his first save May 3 to officially annoint him the closer, Myers has pitched in nine non-save situations. In those games, he has an 8.68 ERA (nine earned runs in 9 1/3 innings). Four times he has entered in a tie game. He has a 12.27 ERA (five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings) in those situations.

That means in his 13 save opportunities, Myers has a 0.61 ERA (one earned run in 14 2/3 innings).]

I would ask Bob Ford, don't you think the core group of Phillies would play hard for just about any manager? Seriously...

Manuel and his staff need to be removed sooner than later. In fact, it already has been too late...

So is Ennis here just for today? Who goes when Utley comes back? Did Mesa pitch his last game for the Phils? Maybe Condrey gets shipped out? For now I'd keep Condrey as the long man and send Jose packing.

The "one size fits all" in game thinking is not MoY stuff. i.e. Early in the year, we needed a little bit less Burrell starting. With Burrell on fire and Chase out we need Burrell all game long. But it's reliably (stoopidly) uniform: Burrell starts for seven then a sub. Take out the starter between 6 and 7.

I am sure that his relaxed presence has been good for many of the players, and he has been dealt a tough hand. But some regularly made and questionable real-time decisions will keep many from considering Chollie to be MoY.

Of course, given what he's been given, I'm not sure any of us would have done much better.

A more in-depth look at who could go when Utley is activated:

Mesa - 7.59 ERA
Condrey - 5.97 ERA
Gordon - 6.00 ERA - maybe they DL him.
Ennis - here for just one day?
Branyan - 2 for 9 with the Phils.
Helms - traded for minor league filler?

The fact that Manuel never seems to learn from past mistakes should keep him from winning anything, let alone a new contract. He does the same damn thing every damn game and it continues to backfire. That is the definition of insanity. I don't want that kind of manager in town.

It ought to be clear by now that Mesa, Value Village poster child at one point, has run out his string. It's time for him to be (in the kind and gentle way) DFA'd into retirment. Condrey could be re-sent to AAA until the next injury or September - maybe a couple more times (c'mon we're going for a record here!). Gordon (sigh)...

I'm not knowledgeable enough about contracts, but I suppose if we DFA him - and no one is smart (and by smart I mean read hopelessley and desparately insane) enough to pick him up - that we end up eating his contract. Still, should we really even offer him a roster spot in Spring Training next year? DFA him, too.

Branyan's had his time, won his game, and had one AB that was not a True Outcome. Back to retirment.

Helms (sigh again). My guilty confession: I once thought Helms was a good aquisition. I think we need to keep him long enough for him to potentially show value, soe that someone might offer some real organizational filler (or maybe a merely HALF blind third base coach?).

And I'd consider Nunez, too. I'd rather have an untried Gooch be the official back-up to J-Roll than the unmentionable bad Nuninuni.

My vote is Mesa.

Oh we're voting?
I only get to pick one?


1. J Rollins, SS
2. T Iguchi, 2B
3. P Burrell, LF
4. R Howard, 1B
5. A Rowand, CF
6. G Dobbs, 3B
7. J Werth, RF
8. C Coste, C
9. K Kendrick, P

1. M Cameron, CF
2. G Blum, 2B
3. M Bradley, LF
4. A Gonzalez, 1B
5. K Greene, SS
6. T Sledge, RF
7. K Kouzmanoff, 3B
8. P LaForest, C
9. T Stauffer, P

Also on Manuel, he was the one who took half the year to find out what we have in Michael Bourn. He also continues to run Ruiz out there, when Coste has done nothing but hit the ball since he's been recalled. Don't get me wrong, I like Ruiz, but Coste should be playing more than he is.

Other than being one game back with one game left, this is about as close to must win as you can get. I dont know why I am thinking if they win today things will turn around, but its about all I have left at this point.

I wonder if Helms will ever start again. Not that I want him to.

Bob Ford's argument seems to be: Gillick has done a crappy job so Cholly is manager of the year for "holding together" the team (whatever that means). By that logic, Carlos Ruiz should be the NL MVP for holding together an atrocious pitching staff.

Seriously, what is the definition of "holding together" the team? Did Cholly hold the team together when they were getting off to yet another atrocious start, after spending all of spring training preparing to avoid precisely this? Did he hold them together when they took over the WC lead, then went into free-fall? How does having a record 4 games over .500 qualify as holding together the team? And exactly what is the control group in this study that found that Cholly does a good job holding together the team? As I recall, the Phillies posted nearly identical records under Bowa as they did under Cholly -- and that was before we had Ryan Howard, Chase Utley & Cole Hamels. And no one ever accused Bowa of doing a good job holding together the team.

Thanks for everyones comments. One thing I did not consider in the numbers are errors, wild pitches, passed balls, and balks. WPA barely takes this into consideration.

Remember that there are over 400 relief pitchers. Tenth out of 400+ plus is pretty elite company in virtually anything. That said, pitching is so GD unpredictable.

no utley in the lineup today. utley is 1-10 batting .100 in his rehab assignments so far. will he be back on monday ?

I hate to be a curmudgeon, but I wouldn't look for Utey to be of much immediate help. The guy is coming off of a broken wrist, which is a rather important body part when it comes to hitting a baseball. Given the nature of the injury, it is not surprising that he is 1 for 10 in Reading. In fact, I would guess it will probably be at least a few weeks before he's anything like the Chase Utley of old. During those few weeks of ramp-up time, the reality is that Utley will probably be a downgrade, not an upgrade, from Tad Iguchi.

Those are the stark facts.

It's just ten at-bats. I don't think we can really predict for certain what he'll do when he comes back. I do think, though, however great a month Utley may have it won't be enough to get us into the playoffs.

The Utley of old hit .330. If he hits .280 out of the three hole, it'll still be a minor upgrade over Burrell.

We still have not heard one peep about how Uts fits into the lineup and on defense with Iguchi here, have we?

Last night i had a nightmare that the white sox traded us Gaving Floyd back...

bap, It is a hand injury -- which is typically easier to come back from than a wrist injury for a batter. His timing will be off a bit, but Utley is a very talented hitter.

According to Radano, "Manuel says Utley will be out there tomorrow (Monday)."

Billy: My bad. You're right, it's a hand injury. Why was I thinking it was a wrist injury? I guess a hand injury doesn't present the same issues as a wrist injury, since there wouldn't be much loss of strength with a hand injury. But, unless Utley can pitch relief, I still don't see him coming back & single-handedly leading the Phillies into the playoffs.

Well, I'm off to my fantasy football draft, so I will miss today's game. The good news is that the Phillies play much better when I'm not around to watch. I'm sure there is a statistic out there to prove it.

Mike H.: Not so fast. Being the No. 10 closer does not automatically make Myers better than all the relievers in MLB who are NOT closers.

GE: Talk about cherry-picking your stats. Instead of talking about his ERA in save situations, while blowing off his piss-poor record in tie games, let's look at his record in truly close games, that is, games in which he enters when it's tied or the Phillies have a 1-run lead. Only two of his saves are 1-run-lead saves; his one blown save was a 1-run-lead situation, but the team came back to win it. In that regard, he has given up 6 ER in 7 IP (7.71 ERA), with saves in 2 of 3 opportunities.

This is an absurdly small sample size, and so of no real value. But it ought to be noted, as long as some are singing the praises of Myers' "closer mentality," that so far he hasn't shown much ability to pitch in high-pressure late-inning situations. In fact, quite the opposite.

To clarify, that 6 ER in 7 IP is the total for 1-run or tied games.

And, lest we forget, it also includes 3 losses, none of which was the blown save. That went down as a win for Myers.

Now which one of you went ahead and added this to PtB's Wikipedia entry: "Pat Burrell is the man. And the truth and the future." ?

dlhunter: did someone really do that? That is so funny.

Is Vic hurt? Why is Werth starting vs. a RHP?

Mm, that really is a nighmare (FLoyd back).

ESPN reports Hamels threw without pain yesterday. On schedule for return at normal time.

I preface this comment by saying that I by no means intend to endorse Manual as the manager of the future. The only thing is that, while I would possibly agree with some of the criticisms of in game moves, the Burrell out for defense move is not one of them. I have seen thousands of criticisms here about Burrell's putrid defense. All of those criticisms would be right on. Pat Burrell is slower than a one legged sloth. I love the bat, not what he does on the bags or in the outfield. When this team is up late in games, it makes no sense to leave such a defensive liability in left field. If Bradley hit a flyball just over Burrell (Which any replacement easily gets to) that went for a double and he ended up scoring, Manual would have been crucified. The bottom line is that move had nothing to do with the loss last night. To assume that Burrell definetly gets a hit in one more potential at bat is foolish. He's been hitting well, but by no means is he automatic. Bash manual for not using Alfonseca, fine, I hear you, but not something that only has consequences in the absolute best possible situation (Hit instead of, say a walk, which would have done no good there either).

Vic could hardly walk the other night, they rushed him back.

I think Myers is a guy who, for makeup reasons, will never reach his full potential. When he was a starter he was never really the ace he could've been; now that he's a closer he loses it if he makes a bad pitch or someone makes an error or he's thrown into a tie game. He's also very good at getting hitters to make some really ugly swings when we're up 2 or 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th. The thing is, though, now that we know Hamels's 2006 wasn't a flash in the pan, we don't need Myers to be an ace. All we need, if we use him in the rotation, is for him to be a #2, and I think he's capable of being that. On the other hand, what's so great about having the tenth best closer in the game? I'd much rather have him not fulfill his potential in the rotation than in the bullpen.

Yes Andy, I've found more in the article. I sincerely doubt he used Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time" as his batting music last year.

Also in Burrell's wikipedia entry:

Though many fans had hoped to finally get solid numbers from Burrell, those who have no idea how to interpret sabermetric evaluations correctly and continue to focus on the ancillary statistic of batting average have been sadly disappointed.

Burrell also has a full no-trade clause, which means that Burrell must approve of the trade before being traded. The reason many fans love Burrell however is because of his unwillingness to cave into the pressures so negatively put on him by the raining boos of the fans. Despite being one of the most scrutinized athletes in Philadelphia, Burrell always takes the high road and applauds the fans for thier passion.

I need to spend less time watching the Phils and more time readint their wikiepdia pages; it seems much more rewarding.

Two strike outs for Kendrick? What's going on?

Rollins bunts for a hit. **faint**

Nicely done, Krazy K. And nicely done, J-Roll.

Bludgeon anyone?

About time we kick some ass!! Keep it coming!!

Burrell 15 game hit streak! Is it on Wikipedia yet?

I normally don't care about Howard's Ks, but that's a situation where he has to learn to try to put the ball in the air deep enough to advance the runners. Mike Schmidt was always near the league lead in strikeouts, but he learned to make contact in RBI situations.

Grrrrrrrr, Howard.

This ump is horribly inconsistent.

right Alby. Even a 4-3 would be another run

Windmill bros. never fail

If they only get one run out of this I'm gonna go watch football.

Watching and/or listening to baseball games from the UK it is often funny how one-eyed the broadcasters for each team often are. However I quite like these San Diego broadcasters. They seem pretty fair (so far)

Andy, please. If you want to do something self-destructive, fine. But watch football? Ugh.

lol Alby was kidding. I'd really go stick knitting needles up my rectum.

Sorry that was gross.

Holy crow. Harry Kalas just said this guy was the No. 4 pick in the 2003 draft. That must have been the height of the "we don't care about his stuff" movement.

Great at-bat by Werth. Well-deserved 2 RBI single.

woo-hoo saved by the Werth!

Andy: I was only kidding. Come November I'll watch the Iggles like everybody else. But this weather makes me sweat just thinking about it. I mowed the lawn this morning and lost about 2 gallons in perspiration. And that was on a riding mower.

RUTS - agreed, it looked liked he missed a couple of hangers to hit but can't argue with the outcome

When does Werth finally get his due. Excellent fill in job. May be the starter for the duration.

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I was kidding too. I need to stick around to see if Kendrick is pulled after 6, 6 1/3,or 6 2/3 innings by our MoY candidate.

Wow. Our first post in Engrish.

was that another quote from PtB's page?

Andy - Brilliant!

And, speaking of Engrish, Terrmel Sledge is now batting. You just gotta wonder where Mrs. Sledge got the inspiration for that extra 'R' in Terrmel.

Well, I guess Werth got his due. Lol, what the heck was that.

Looks like Kendrick is the new ace.

Jenny McCarthy -- is this a time traveling bot from 1999?

THey just referred to Rollin's spin as the "Kahlil Green spin move." I doubt that Green can do that any better than J-Roll.

Honestly, I don't have the stats memorized for Werth, but he seems to do a relatively good job in situations like that. I really don't get a horrible feeling when he comes up in a situation like that, unlike some other guys on this team.

And wow, what a pick by Rollins there on that Greene single. That would've been one of the best plays I've ever seen in that throw was in time and on target.

Yeah. Werth is a good acquisition. I like having him on the bench and filling in.

Ball one J-Roll.

I think it's imperative that we move Myers back to the rotation next year. There is absolutely no way in hell we will be able to field a competetive rotation without him.

Next year with Myers
Open (if Moyer retires)
Eaton/Open (hoping Eaton isn't on the team/but that would be to good to be true)

Without Myers
Moyer (without Myers in the rotation we'd be lucky if he didn't retire)
Durbin (my best guess)

I can't see the Phillies acquiring a starter with any hint of useable talent in the offseason, whether by trade or free agency.

I think Myers could be a great closer, but our bullpen is gonna suck either way. I think it's easier to find someone who could more or less replicate Myers job in the bullpen than as a starter.

This has probably been discussed already, but any chance Phils can hold on to Lohse? He has been a more or less pleasant surprise.

Kaboom goes Howard!

Praise Jesus

attaboy ryan! and the opposite way!

How about that? Howard takes a few pitches, then hits one out (granted, I'm only "watching" on GameDay)!

Ahh, so this afternoon the Phils pent- p offense unloads on this schmuck. Where were they the past week and where will they be next?

no chance of signing lohse, he's set up to be the most overpaid pitcher this offseason, along with Carlos Silva

Opposite way, even better!

Is it bad that I was expecting him to strike out in an RBI situation with two outs?


Nice to see him stay on the pitch and drive it the other way. I shall now take this small sample size (heh) and say that he just may be coming out of the slump, even though he chased utter slop in that first at-bat.

Yeah, it took all of one minute for the negative comment to come in. Howard hits a three run jack and one minute later, negative comment. Unbelievable.

i don't know if they'd try to keep lohse. he's represented by scott boras, and there won't be many good starting pitchers on the market, so i would imagine the price would be in the $8-$10 mil. a year range (at least).

and it should be noted that his career numbers aren't great all. we'd hate to have another eaton that we're locked into.

Lucky Lohse. Never been a better time to be a mediocre starting pitcher.

I'm among those who hope Lohse gets a contract offer. As I've said since before the trade, there aren't many better options on the free agent market, and now that he's a Phillie, signing him wouldn't cost us a draft pick. He's been a surprise because he's exceeded his career stats in his few starts; what we'd really be getting is a more experienced Kendrick type (although not as much a ground-ball pitcher). Unfortunately, we need someone like that to fill out the rotation next year, but unlike Eaton, once younger home-growns step up, Lohse should have some trade value.

what do you guys think of kendrick's chance to be a decent pitcher long term? do you think he's just a flash in the pan who will be figured out?

I've been waiting for Howard to pull out of this slump just like everyone else, but he's shown signs of pulling out of it only to fall right back in. It's hard to believe that he'll get hot until we actually see him get hot.

Howard's homer was set up by staying patient with Stauffer and making sure he got his pitch. Good to see.

Man, does Burrell look confident right now. Real loose at the plate, attacking pitches he would have been taking two months ago, staying on the ball.

I wonder too if Burrell is finally something close to 100 percent healthy. He doesn't look like a total slug on the bases these days.

After that mid-season four game debacle against the Mets, when the Phils finally won the last one, someone (Zolecki?) said (paraphrasing), "a win the Phils needed, like a man in a desert needs water." Today would, certainly, fall in the same category.

Guys go through cold streaks, and Rowand hasn't exactly been a big bat behind him, so he hasn't been getting anything to hit. Give the guy a break, he leads the National League in RBI and he missed 15 games. Damned if you do, damned if you don't for Howard.

Lohse has some upside, too. I would certainly consider it, too.

Jason: Conlin wrote a couple of weeks ago that Burrell was finally fully healthy, but I don't know if that's based on actual conversation or just observation. As for his "speed," I notice he still has to bust hump on his line drive hits to right field because right fielders keep trying to throw him out at first.

It doesn't matter if he's gotten anything to hit, he's been swinging at it anyway.

re: Kendrick -- I think he's proven that he has the mental makeup and the pitching style to succeed in such a hitter's park. I just love his consistency. He's one of the reasons we're still afloat in the WC race.

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