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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

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Any update on the return of Victorino? If they have to play some small ball in that big park, it would be great to see him back ASAP.

From http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3524966:

Philadelphia Phillies RF Shane Victorino will go on a Major League rehab assignment with Reading during the R-Phils three-game series with Erie Tuesday, August 14 through Thursday August 16. All games are at 7:05 PM.

Victorino is expected to serve as the R-Phils DH on Tuesday and play the outfield in both Wednesday's and Thursday's games.

it's gonna be a big game tonight...to get that first win of the series is always huge in my mind and could go a long way in making sure the phils don't lay off the gas

Sorry to go off-topic so high in the thread, but I'm reading Jay Stark's piece on Johan Santana, whom several Beerleaguers think the Phillies should bid for if (more likely when) he becomes a free agent.

Stark: "One large-market executive predicts he would be a $20-million-a-year man on the open market. But another large-market executive says he wouldn't be shocked if that estimate is low. Way low. As in $25 million a year. For anywhere from five to seven years."

I think that should put any hopes of signing Johan Santana to rest.

The Nats have hung tough in some tight situations the past few weeks. Should be a good series that comes down to a rubber match.

The Nationals always play the Phils tough, but I think it's time we smack them squarely across the face and show them we're boss. It would be nice to make a statement with a first game blowout for the good guys.

i know it will never happen, but i would like them to give Lannan some inside pitches or a behind the back pitch for Utley.

Phil Rizzuto passed away, today.

Yea, Carson, let's smack the gNats across the face and show them that the Phillies rule!

With you on that ira. I took a little heat for mentioning it in yesterdays thread. I don't think we need to bring Dave "the Hammer" Schultz back from Flyer past, just one that is a little "up and in" to let 'em know we're the boss. A message, albeit a 90 mph one, if you will. Todd Pratt would've called for that one and then cleaned up any mess. Maybe we could get Barajas to do the trick and then send him to the 15 day DL. Just a thought. No violence. Excuse me while I say a novena...


Rizzuto tried out with the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants when he was 16, but because of his size was dismissed by Dodgers manager Casey Stengel, who told him to "Go get a shoeshine box." He went on to become one of Stengel's most dependable players.

Who knew Stengal preceded Billy Bats?

I'd say a sweep is nearly impossible and we'll be lucky to come out of there with 2 wins.

I think tonight should be the toughest game. Lohse is still an unknown commodity, and he had a bad outing against the Nats earlier this year (seven runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings). In addition, we have sort of struggled against Hill in the past although his ERA is over 5 against us. Luckily, we have our two best pitchers starting the next two. I'm starting to prepare myself not to be disappointed if things are bad tonight.

wow, Tray, that's pretty pessimistic. even for a Phils' fan...

My biggest concern with Game 1 of this series is how Manuel will use his bullpen and how quick his leash will be with Lohse tonight. It's not that Manuel usually pulls Lohse faster or more often than other pitchers, but we can't have Manuel pulling him after the top 5th if he's only given up 3 or 4 runs and he's only thrown 85 pitches. Nothing will piss me off more than Manuel blowing the bullpen tonight by using 4 guys over 3 innings. That's just begging for one loss and asking for 2.

does anybody know what sent Hill to the DL? hopefully he has some control problems in his return...

why would it "never happen"? did you folks not see Hamels' start in Chicago? again, the idea that Phils pitchers are for some reason afraid of going inside has no basis in reality.

although since Lannan is not starting in this series, you're probably right that he's not going to see an inside pitch.

I mean, I expect 1-2 wins, but we'll be fortunate if we get the two. Also, some Joe Morgan wisdom on the Phillies this morning:

John (Washington, DC): Joe, I was wondering if you were impressed with the Phillies this weekend, and if you think that they have the best offense in the National League?

Joe Morgan: If you look at the numbers they are scoring more runs per game, but you also have to think about the fact that the games will be played in their ball park, which is a small park. I would not say they have the best offense in the NL but they do have a core of very smart and patient players. But I think the numbers have a lot to do with the small ballpark. They are a good offensive team, but they are not head and shoulders above anyone else. I think when healthy the Mets are the best offense in the NL, with Reyes, Beltran, Castillo, Delgado, Wright and Alou are a little more consistent when they are all healthy.

Phillies - 640 runs
Rockies - 601 runs
Braves - 586 runs
Marlins - 565 runs
Brewers - 564 runs
Mets - 550 runs

Mets - best offense in the NL according to Joe Morgan.

I want to see Ryan Zimmerman get a fastball in the ribs. They through at our best player, we should throw at theirs.

Tray, keep in mind the qualifier about them all being healthy. That makes it pretty much unproveable, since they've all been healthy for about 4 games this season. Also, like most ex-players, he'll base his opinions not necessarily on what players like Alou and Delgado can do now, but what they've been able to do in the past. Veteran players always strike me as incapable of telling when a colleague has gone irrevocably over the hill.

FWIW, Lohse's early-season crappy outing against the Nats came in Cincinnati, where he gave up 2 HR; RFK should be a lot more forgiving.

I just hope we don't run into the same Shawn Hill who held the Phillies to 4 hits and 2 runs in 8 innings back on April 26. Someone asked what his injury was -- it's been reported that both his left (non-throwing) shoulder and right elbow; the elbow, obviously, kept him out of action for three months. MRIs keep showing no structural damage, but he keeps feeling pain. I'm guessing we won't see the same guy who shut us down in April.

"I want to see Ryan Zimmerman get a fastball in the ribs. They through at our best player, we should throw at theirs."

Sounds like a job for the Real Deal!

The Real Deal will miss and groove a fast ball right down the middle.

Joe Morgan probably thinks he's playing for the Mets these days. That guy is getting loopy.

Thanks for the Morgan idiocy, Tray.

Just about all of the ESPN talking heads not named Wilbon or Kornheiser are really starting to grate on me.

That network is nearly unwatchable now.


So the padres wanted Kei Igawa from the Yankees but that trade looks to not be happening. Why don't we trade Eaton to them? If they want Kei, who has been crappy this year and expensive, what's to say they wouldn't want Eaton, equally crappy and expensive. Just a thought.

I like how Morgan makes an 'on-paper' argument. 'On-paper' the Yanks automatically win the World Series every year, so what's the point of making that argument. So the question is implicitly (however subtle), "Do you think they have best offense [taking into account that I'm asking about performance over the past few months, AKA reality, not an imaginary what could have been] in the National League?"

He could have just as easily have said, "Yeah, considering all the injuries to teams around the leagues, like the Mets for example, the Phils have been performing better than all the others. However, as we wind down the season and move into September, I think a fully charged NY lineup will give them a run for their money."

Joe Morgan is NOW!

I mean, what about the Phillies offense when healthy? Haven't we lost our two best hitters to injury at times this season? Beltran was out for a while but he wasn't having such a good season anyway.

ESPN definitely has a NY bias. You just have to learn to live and let live.

Nats have been pretty respectable at home but the Phils have Hamels going this series and should take 2 of 3. Posters seem to have overlooked that the Nats still have a pathetic offense and have had a difficult time scoring runs at home.

Unless the Nats can string together a few walks or base hits, they aren't going to score generally because they have almost no power and not much speed. Pretty much a station-to-station team. Plus, defensively the Nats are an above to below-average team.

If the Nats are ahead though going into the 8th, it is going to be really tough for the Phils to comeback against this team with Rauch/King to mix & match in the 8th and Cordero in the 9th.

Phils Lead the NL in Runs Scored Away as well with 318.

The Next 3? All NL East Teams:
Atlanta 310
Mets 292
Florida 287
Think that is skewed because of CBP. IT is.

End Result, The Phillies have the Best offense in the NL.

Is there a league mandate on pitching mound height? What would happen if the Phils rose the pitching mound a few inches?

ESPN is entirely unwatchable now, they have a monopoly on annoying guys that aren't smart (steve philips, joe morgan (senility), even kruk (but at least he's humble)). The only thing that annoys me more are Dayn Perry's column's. For some reason he hates the phils and loves the mets, which isn't in and of itself that bad, it's just that he's almost never right when he writes.

Also how long is the average baseball highlight on ESPN now, at the most it's a top play and a silly play. ESPN HAS TAKEN THE GAMES OUT OF SPORTS!

I can't watch ESPN anymore, either. I think my IQ goes down every time I turn it on.

Why is it when after they show highlights of a Phils win on Sports Center, the announcer says "oh happy day"?

"Reyes, Beltran, Castillo, Delgado, Wright and Alou are a little more consistent when they are all healthy."

Filtering Morganspeak... please wait.

"Reyes, Beltran, Castillo, Delgado, Wright and Alou are inconsistent."

There we go.

Randy: I still don't think Eaton would be wanted by the Padres... but nonetheless, the Padres were willing to take a shot with Igawa, despite the slop he's been throwing up there, because if he were to be dealt the assuming team would not be responsible for his posting fee, so he's owed a very reasonable (considering the market) $4m/year.

Unless you're a Red Sox, Yankees or football fan, ESPN is pretty much worthless. Forget about the game of week or whatever they call it. During the game they miss complete innings talking to players or interviewing coaches, etc. (I missed the Phils game, but by your posts it seems that they missed a lot). Baseball Tonight is slowly declining to be unwatchable - and it doesn't come on most nights until 11:00-12:00 p.m. I hate it.

Bed Beard, I've wondered about the "oh happy day" thing myself.

Baseball Tonight's been awful since they kicked Harold Reynolds off for groping an intern.

On ESPN Steve Phillips predicts the Braves winning the East (best offense in NL) and Colorado taking the wild card (@nd best offense). He loves Smoltz and Hudson, but after that...? I guess a qualification for being an ESPN analyst is not knowing statistics.

I realize ESPN is an (inter?)national network, but it is headquartered in Connecticut, so I could understand the Sox / Yankees bias, annoying as it is. Geography aside, it's plainly evident that they pander to the big money markets.

Tray: I happen to think the Phillies offense is better than the Mets, but the Mets play in one of the worst hitting parks in the majors while the Phils play in the best. If you adjust for ballpark factor, the numbers become much closer.

They pander to big money markets. But more than that, they pander to sponsorship. EVERYTHING is sponsored...the Coors Light Ultimate Highlight, the Budweiser Hot Seat, etc. It's completely transparent and disgusting.

Call it the sports radio effect, if you wish - but they hire blowhards who spew controversy rather that insight.

Berman is a class act. So is Bob Ley. I'd love to ask those guys - there from the beginning - what they think of what happens on that network now.

rather THAN insight.

(I long for an edit post button.)

Steve "Why Haven't I Gotten Another GM Job Yet" Phillips' picks for the NL

BRAVES, BREWERS, PADRES, AND ROCKIES IN THE WC.

More ignorance from Bristol-land. This from Crasnickk:

"As the wild-card races heat up and baseball barrels toward another attendance record, home run symbols from the Citizens Bank Park liberty bell to the Shea Stadium apple are too often dormant these days. At least Bernie Brewer's posterior is getting a workout on the Miller Park outfield slide thanks to Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun."

Phillies HR at home (times Liberty Bell is rung): 112
Brewers HR at home (times Bernie goes sliding): 126

112 is too often dormant? That's really not much of an advantage. He couldn't go with the train whistle at Minute Maid Park instead? (Astros have hit 105 at home.)

A big ballpark is the great equalizer... for pitchers. Our hitting is better and we hit the gaps well, so even if balls aren't leaving the park, Phils should win. Our biggest problem now is our slower outfield, who will have a lot of ground to cover tonight.

Jason, good analysis of why the Phillies have had trouble winning at RFK. They don't manufacture runs nearly as well as they mash. It's still a series they have to win.

Also, in contrast to Zolecki's congratulatory article today, your caution about the likelihood for sustained success of some of the bullpeners hits closer to the mark.

Bed Beard/Billingsly - I've heard the "Oh Happy Day, Phils Win" bit by Scott Van Pelt stems from him being a lifelong Phillies/Eagles fan and knowing that the Phaithful live and die with their teams. He grew up in Maryland and is a U of MD alum.

I, too, find it annoying.

I don't know if it's possible to do this?....What message would it send the Nats, if Charlie started his worst BP picther in the 1st inning. I bet that they (the Nats, & the Umps) would be nervous!...Yes I know it's dumb, but I'd love to see it.

Crazy Bob...

"Then it's not just a clever name"

Crazy Bob -- this would be like batting a guy just called up from AA rehab, where he struggled 1-15, and hitting him leadoff... oh wait.

The Nationals are playing even better than their record over the last two weeks. They're 12-6 counting the win to avoid a sweep against the Phils. Last week, they may have went 3-4, but that's kind of skewed if you consider that they lost one of those games late in San Francisco and another, they got beat by Brandon Webb in a 1-0 shutout. The other loss against Arizona was one where the Nationals were in it until the eighth when their bullpen imploded.

The Nationals starting pitching has been tremendous. We're lucky we're not facing Lannan, not just because he might injure 3 more phillies, but also because he was on the losing end of that shutout against Webb. Let's hope Hill is returning too early and implodes. Redding has been pitching very well of late and Hanrahan is no slouch.

The Phillies need to be patient, work counts and get to the bullpen early. They may not score of lot of runs off the starting pitching, but if they can get to some of the long relievers in that Washington bullpen, instead of Rauch, King, or Cordero, we'll put up some runs.

Berman is a class act? Berman is a moron who ruins every game and event he's ever called. He should go back back back to wherever he came from.

If the Nats somehow finish .500, Acta deserves to be considered for manager of the year. There are a handful of talented players on that team but he has done the most with the least amount of talent this year. Plus, the NL East has been a pretty strong division this year and there really isn't a dormat team like the Pirates or Giants.

Off-Days?! Back in my day we played 140 games straight without days off and Bill Duggleby still managed to have 28 complete games.

Pedro Martinez is getting better. (Forgive me if I'm repeating info.) In his second rehab start, he allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in 4 innings. He allowed one home run and struck out four. No word in the ESPN article on what his fastball reached on the gun.

"...splashing around the pressure-free kids pool with the Marlins while the Phillies, Mets and Braves swim in the shark tank."

Absolutely brilliant writing, Jason.

This rod trip, in my mind, is the Phillies chance to show us if they are pretenders or contenders. The past few years, it's been their M.O. to have somewhat of a letdown. This is when it is really important for them to come up big, with wins over inferior teams. I agree that pitching is a strength for the Nats, but if your the Phillies, hitting is your team's forte. No excuses. They gotta win 2 of 3 to prove they belong in the race.

Tray,

I agree about Berman. He's had a good career,I guess, but he should've hung it up awhile ago. His nickname schtick is tired. I turned off the HR Derby b/c I couldn't stand to hear him introduce the players, using nicknames like Albert "Winnie" the Pujols. Terrible.

What about the David Wells trade rumors???

Imagine you're making your major league debut as a pitcher. Do you purposely throw at Chase Utley? Some of you people are freakin ridiculous to think he was throwing AT Utley. This isn't ice hockey, guys. Maybe you send one under somebodys chin but do you want it to escalate and have a key player get plunked or suspended. Wise up.

Also, Eaton's contract may be one of the worst ever. I'd rather pay 24M for Russ Ortiz. Eaton has to change his arm angle and get more downward movement on the ball. He can't seem to throw a strike at the knees.

Frosty Bill Duggleby reference = A+

Berman is classy? since when? we share an alma mater, so I can't bring myself to truly hate him, but as a baseball announcer he's an unmitigated disaster. (and that's not even bringing up the now-legendary "you're with me, leather" - and oops, I just did.)

David Wells trade rumors? please, God, no. general rule of thumb: if a guy can't pitch in Coors, he can't pitch ANYWHERE.

ae:

I assume you meant Petco? I believe history has shown Coors is a pretty difficult place for pitchers.

Baseball Prospectus currently has Phils' chances of making the postseason at 32%. Curiously, the Braves - who have one more loss than the Phils and face a harder remaining schedule - have a 41% chance.

Mets 85%
Brewers 57%
D'Backs 48%
Cubs 45%
Padres 45%
Braves 41%
Phils 32%
Rockies 29%
Dodgers 14%
Cardinals 3%

Although I can see the word association with "David Wells" and "Coors."

"This rod trip, in my mind, is the Phillies chance to show us if they are pretenders or contenders"

I agree that the phils need to avoid their annual let-down after getting us somewhat hyped up and believing, but I don't think this road trip will tell you THAT much.
I really think the test for the phightins will be the stretch AFTER this week where, for the rest of the season the Phils play only the Dodgers (in the wild card hunt), Padres (wild card leader), Rockies (wild card hunt), and all 4 NL east teams. clearly, every game matters if you look at the phils track record the last 2 seasons, and you'd love to win 4-5 games over the next 6, but all those games at the end of the month and in september are absolutely crucial.

Of course this is an important series for the Phils because every series is, but I don't want to overstate the importance.

We have seven games left against the Mets and six more left against the Braves. Hopefully, when we face those teams, we'll be as close to full strength as possible. That means getting Chase and Vic back into the lineup. Those are really be series. Those have the "must-win" implications.

If we stumble at RFK, this season is far from over. We've played a bit over our head for the last two weeks despite the injuries. Let's not get ahead of ourselves and decided tonight's game will determine our playoff future.

Jeltz: Freudian slip... ;)

CJ - great minds think alike my man

oh and somebody mentioned a few days ago being an exiled philly sports fan in Boston... i'm headed up there in a couple weeks for the upcoming academic year and wanted to know who's gonna be up there in september/october. it'd be great to get a good group up there to watch all the big games...

The 10-game homestand looming against the Dodgers, Rockies, and Mets at the end of this month is where things will shake loose a pitch. Victorino will be back but the Phils will still be without Utley, Madson, or Bourn.

If the Phils can remain unscathed through that stretch, then I will believe that this team has a legit shot at the playoffs.

"...splashing around the pressure-free kids pool with the Marlins while the Phillies, Mets and Braves swim in the shark tank."

I agree this was great writing from Grandmaster Jason. Sometimes there are gNats pestering those in the shark pool.

In So. California, ESPN attempts to compete. But the dominant sports news out here is still Fox. They perpetuate all of the stereotypes of the typical fan out here. My point is that it could be worse. But hey... Who's now?!

JW - Goodman beat me to the punch in commending you for the post subject writing, simply outstanding.

Baseball is a looong season and it must be challenging to keep us fickle posters happy and at bay.

Thanks for stepping up your game during these exciting days of Phillies baseball.

hititonthegroundjroll -- i'm up in waltham / metrowest.. I'll probably try to put together a meetup in Allston sometime in September. I'm down there every Tues and Thursday.

I feeling a big series for J-Roll. He continues to have a helluva season, and I'd love to see him reach 20 triples so he has 20+ doubles, homeruns, steals, and then triples too. His name should start croping up in MVP consideration.

awesome joe - sounds great. i go to tufts up in medford and i'm gonna have a car hopefully next semester so if we can get a group together for some phils/birds games thatd be great

GM-Carstradamus sees J-Roll having a big series. I hope he's right!

nothing causes me more anguish than chris berman's "back back back" homerun call. his over-abundant cheeks flutter on each "back", causing him to sound like an enormous duck.

Berman should stay in football, where his penchant for over-aggressive exagerration and kitschy commentary is welcome.

I am a Phils fan and U of MD alum too, just like Scott Van Pelt!

GM-Carson, praying you are right about J-Rol. Maybe hitting in RFK will get him to flatten out his swing a little bit and get into a groove like he did last yeat at this time.

One note: I find personal awards/records as exciting as much as the next guy, but I'd suggest a moratorium on MVP talk until we improve in the standings. At different times over the last month or so, Beerleaguers (me included) have talked up Howard, Chase and J-Rol as possible MVP candidates. Seems kinda silly that we have three such players and we're not even leading in the wild card because of the lousy managing and shitty pitching ... save Cole, our Cy Young candidate. Man, this team is frustrating.

In 17 games at RFK, Ryan Howard has:

.318
6 HR
16 RBI
1.103 OPS

Here's hoping it continues the next three games.

(The only two other parks he has more HR: CBP, and Shea).

Not crazy about his football commentary either. I'm always very confused by his "Top 10 Plays." Each "play" always seems to turn into a series of 5 or 6 plays or even a recap of a whole game - by the time he's done it's more like the top ten million plays.

Please note that I never referred to Berman as a "terrific play-by-play guy" or even an effective anchor. I said he was a class act. I met him when I opened ESPN Zone in Times Square. He is a classy, by all accounts.

Never meant to be an ESPN cheerleader.

Oh my lord, Darren Daulton was just on Daily News Live explaining his new book. I'm horrifyed. Things he just said he can do:

-Taps into people
-Teleports
-Astrotravels?
-Has the ability to communicate with anything including any type animal
-On December 21, 2012, we will all reach the "fourth realm" he has reached.
- He is a messanger
- He was never an alcoholic.

The interview was unreal, he has completely lost it. The funniest thing is Dana Pennett O'Neil and Michael Barkann feeding him serious questions.

Well, when a 15-year-old boy asked him if he ever went to Deadspin (the site that "broke" the 'you're with me leather' story), Berman reportedly replied, "Why would I go and do that? That is such a stupid question. What are you, stupid? That is so stupid. Do you think I'm stupid? What a stupid question. What are you? Stupid?"

The contender or pretender comments were really meant for these reasons:
- The Phils need to show that they can pick it up on the road.
- Beating up on inferior teams is a sign of going in the right direction, especially after winning a big divisional series.
- Taking advantage of the schedule BEFORE the next big homestand vs LA, SD & NY, so that wins now might put them in a better position if they lose a series later.
- Keeping their foot on the pedal is imperative, while they begin the stretch drive.

He's classy like leather.

Did you over hear that exchange, Tray?

The Daulton thing was one of the most bizarre things i have witnessed on not just a sports channel but any channel, talking about the 4th dimension, communicating with animals, he was sounding a bit like a heavens gate member just psycho babble, maybe too many years of inhaling the fumes from the astroturf at the vet, you didn't hear a peep out of Less Bowen the whole time.... I just hope it ends up on YouTube!

Rollins
Iguchi
Burrell
Howard
Rowand
Dobbs
Werth
Ruiz
Lohse

thats who we have going tonight

bsg: Yeh, I found it interesting that Bowen didn't say one word. He either didn't care or he was really listening or maybe Dutch "tapped into" him.

Yes, living out of town I couldn't see Daulton. I'd love to see it. Somebody please tell if it ends up on Youtube!

Honestly, it makes me sad. He could have been a heck of a manager. He basically was the manager in '93 and the spark he provided for the Marlins in '97 was amazing. Too bad he didn't take the first base job when it was offered him after he lost out being the manager - maybe things would be different for him. But if he's happy, I guess that's good for him.

For the Nats:

Lopez
Belliard
Zimmerman
Young
Kearns
Church
Schneider
Logan
Hill

Yeh, Daulton said he first expierenced these feelings in the 97' season with the Marlins when a ball landed inside the foul line that he hit but claimed that he never felt swinging the bat. You are right Dukes, it is sad but if he is happy then I guess that's good enough.

I'm guessing we see a lot of Dobbs this weekend since we're facing a lot of righties.

(would like to see Coste start instead of ruiz.)

The Theory: Ruiz caught Lohse last start where he was moderately successful. Perhaps they don't want to switch things up on a new pitcher.

I had a good friend of mine who just flew next to Dutch on his way back to Philly from Miami (this buddy of mine is not a huge baseball fan, but recognized he was sitting next to someone well known when a few people asked for autographs, from Dutch, not my buddy, hehe). He was coming up to Philly for the alumni weekend and the Vukovich tribute. He told me that every flight attendant on the plane was clamoring to wait on DD, he was a super gracious and friendly guy and that he had 4 (four) gin and tonics before they landed in Philly. No wonder he seems happy.

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