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Monday, August 20, 2007


I can't find a thing on Victorino... will he be back in Reading tonight?

I think he is rehabbing at Lakewood.

I want to echo a comment from the earlier thread: The Phillies destiny is in their own hands. On this next homestand, they play the Dodgers and Padres, 2 wild card rivals, and the Mets, the team to beat in the East. This is where we find out what this team is made of.

Sorry to say, even with all the injuries and everything, I think we just found out what they are made of. It's not for lack of heart, they just aren't good enough (pitching). I hope they come up big and prove me wrong. Anyone who wants to call be a wagon jumper, go right ahead.

Yeah, what clout said.

Yesterday was painful but the next 10 days are what is important.

Today might be an off-day, but it's the most important day of all. Utley is supposed to get his hand checked out today, and if it goes well, he might be back next week.

control13: The Phils are still 19-11 over their last 30 games and are 7-3-1 in the 11 series since the All Star break. I'm glad you can take a couple games against the Pirates and make a definitive declaration about "what this team is made of."

I guess I like larger sample sizes.

This game was a disappointment, there's no doubt about it. I suppose the only good thing is that some of our better bullpen arms decided to get together and suck on the same day.

Clout's right, the next ten games will help determine if this team has much to play for in September. We're still shorthanded without Utley, Victorino and Bourn... so we'll really need Howard to step up. It's nice to see Burrell swinging better (.375 avg., 2 HR, 1.225 OPS over the last four games).

I'm just tired of this same script every year since '03, where they lose a series late in the season to a team they're *supposed* to beat. The nationals, the pirates, the reds, the mets (in '05). It's getting old already. They haven't won a series at Pittsburgh since '01, a stretch where the Buccos have constantly been one of the worst teams in the league. Why is this year going to be any different than 03, 05, or 06? I am the voice of doom and gloom this monday morning. We'll see what happens in the next 10.

Lets me state the obvious- losing the weekend series against the lowly Pirates sucked and could prove to be costly. However, there are still plenty of games left to be played against important opponents that if the Phils win they will still make it to the playoffs. Am I confident this will happen? Hell, no, they just got crashed by Shittsburgh, but the truth remains they're only 1 back of the Wild Car despite a horrible weekend.

*stupid typos- should be "crushed" instead of "crashed" and "Wild Card" rather than "Wild Car" although if you put my typos together it's rather amusing..."crashing the wild car". Dang, I better buckle today!

Being Phillies fans, I think you all know what is going to happen over the next ten games. The Phils will probably go 7-3 or 6-4, and we'll all start to get excited. Then we'll go 3-4 against the Nationals in the last two weeks of the season and miss the wild card by one game. Don't tell me I'm the only one who has seen this movie numerous times in the last few years.

Another thing we've learned this weekend is actually something we've known for years, but still get to see enforced regularly. This team only scores via the home run. Runners in scoring position either get home on a homer or they don't come home at all. Home runs and bad pitching make for exciting baseball for casual fans, but for those of us who follow this teams every game, it would be nice to see some decent pitching and an occasional single with a guy on 2nd base every now and then.

At the risk of sounding positive: The laws of probability state that it would be nearly impossible for Howard to perform worse than he did this most recent road trip: 3-24 with 2 walks and 12 K's.... I look forward to Howard's revival. Look out LA!

Johnny Goodtimes - yeah, *this* team only scores by the home run. But this team doesn't have Victorino, Utley, Bourn or anyone with speed in the lineup, except for Rollins.

How bout that Branyan Russel ?

Johnny Goodtimes: "This team only scores via the home run."

Wow... you sure do know your stats. The Phils have scored 670 runs and have 155 home runs. That means we've hit 155 grand slams and were award an additional 50 runs due to our amazing home run prowess.

Of course home runs are a big part of our offense, but we also lead the NL in doubles and are 2nd in triples.

But let's not allow stats to get in the way of a good rant!

I had the Pirates announcers for my video feed yesterday. Interesting to note how they picked up on Lohse pitching around Kata and not simply challenging him. I guess Cholly and his staff were hiding from the rain as this was going down.

Also highlighted was Cholly's stupid move (again) of taking out Burrell and Branyan way too early. This was a must win game and another lost opportunity. Manuel once agin demonstrated he is not capable of managing in the major leagues.

CJ- Can you find out how many runs those 155 HRs generated? It would be interesting to find out what percentage of our total runs are in fact the result of being driven in by a HR.

Our Host notes that the switch-hitting Kata is batting .132 against lefties -- i.e. he is hitting .132 right-handed (the Inky notes his career numbers are a slightly better .233).

But Our Genius In the Dugout, as quoted by Zolecki, says, ""I think Kata is a better righthanded hitter."

There's your Manager-of-the-Year candidate!

(Oh, and, isn't it somebody's job, -- maybe a certain bench coach --, to say, hey, Chollie, you know this guy is hitting .132 against lefties?)

By the way, any word on Madson's rehab? His return may prove to be nearly as important as Utley and Victorino's ...

In 1993 the Daily News had a headline "Corrales Has Wait Problem" when he left Carlton in a game too long and blew a lead that evetually lost the game. Yesterday was deja vu. Lohse should have been pulled for Alfie, the 7th inning, 1 batter specialist. Finish w/ Gordon and Myers and leave w/ a win.

This is the scenerio I can't get out of my mind -
I read a while back, (on B'leaguer of course), after much debate, that a manager is responsible for maybe 5 games a year. Well, I feel that number is debatable, but for arguments sake, let's say Cholly's poor decisions lead to losing 10 games a season (like yesterday). Another 5 games are won, accidentally of course, with a deft pinch hitting decision (Branyan last week). That is a 5 game swing. But with idiots like Steve Smith botching plays at 3B (too numerous to mention) and costing Phillies games also, my gut tells me that this coaching ineptitude is just too much for any team to overcome. Has anyone wondered why we get to this point every season and come up just short? Until the front office decides to actually give a damn about what is happening on the field, we are doomed to be contemplating "only if's" for another 125 years.

The Doctor: I'm sure that info is available, but I don't know off hand how to find it. I'll look.

If someone else wants to, here's the question:

How many of our 670 runs were driven in by home runs?

I already sense a recurring theme in this thread - awaiting Utley's status, "any word on Victorino?, any word on Madson?"

Why in the hell is Philly home to some of the best medical assistance in the country, yet the Phillies' med staff is about as forthcoming and informative as FEMA?

Mr. Mac - Perhaps the most flawed move (or non-move) by Gillick - the one which no one talks about when they bash Gillick - is not replacing Manuel. Surely he tried to de-fray the Manuel effect by hiring ultra-competent coaches, but we lost Art Howe at third and had to replace him quickly - leading to the Smith pick up. There are certainly player moves that can be questioned, but the coaching moves may have been the most costly.

Hey Willard - The Phils are taking a page out of their neighbor's across the street at the Linc's book. It's easier to get info out of a CIA agent than it is to get an accurate injury report from either team. Frustrating yes, but I would love to know why.

To VOR -
You are right on the money! I am sure someone, anyone, could have been more competent at some of those coaching positions. As mentioned earlier by Chstk, where were the coaches when Kata was batting? You absolutley have to make that move based on his batting vs lefties stat. Grab Cholly by the ears until he makes that move. Isn't that what a LOOGY is for? I like Cholly. I really do. Just as long as he is managing elsewhere. These are the type of frustrating losses that happen all too often. Hold on, while I scream...

Prediction: the Padres will lose 2 to the Mets, we'll take 2 against the Dodgers, possibly three even, and we'll be tied with the Padres going into our series with them. One lost series against a bad team is nothing to panic about. The team we're chasing just barely avoided getting swept by the Astros, and shortly before that, they lost 3 of 4 to the Cardinals.

The amazing (maybe "depressing" is the right word)thing about the Pirates 7 run rally was that it occurred with two out in the inning. This is Bullpen/Dubee's fault.

For Johnny GT:
The Phils really are better at getting that runner home from second than you're giving credit for; BUT...

your more salient point rings true. We ardent Phools know already that the Phightins are gonna rebound from the Pittsburgh massacre. They'll get hot and get close and be in the hunt, and then (we know because we have indeed seen this movie before - this is only the next remake) they'll blow a stupid series to a bad team and miss out by one game.

Still...we stick with them anyway. I think it says more about us than about them; n'est pas?

The Phillies' 155 homers break down like this:

Solo: 88
2-run: 48
3-run: 17
GS: 2

This makes for 243 runs scored via homer, about 36% of their 670 runs. If I have time later, I may see how this compares with the rest of the league.

For quick comparison, the NL as a whole has scored 3158 runs via homer, representing 34.6% of its 9118 runs.

So am I the only one constantly hitting Refresh on, waiting for the Utley exam results?

The Phillies have been far from a strictly homerun-reliant team, but they DO get into periods, such as this past road trip, where they struggle to manufacture runs and have a hard time scoring without the benefit of homers. It's happened more than a few times this year. A large part of it this time around is not having Utley in the middle of the lineup, and to a lesser extent, a speed guy like Victorino.

I actually thought Manuel wasn't risking too much by leaving Lohse in to face Kata. Lohse had pitched a terrific game, still hadn't given up a run, and there were two outs. And it was only Matt Kata, a switch-hitter. I'm fairly positive that Pirate fans must have been shocked that Kata delivered the way he did. The results of what Romero and Alfonseca did afterwards further vindicates Manuel's decision; all they did was come in and make things worse. I do think Manuel made his defensive changes far too early, but I'm not about to pin this loss on him.

In any case, people need to calm down. The Phillies are not going to roll off any long win streak and are probably not going to go in the tank, either; what we can fully expect is a continuation of this win-two-lose-one/ lose-two-win-three-lose-one sequence the rest of the way - meaning that their positions in the divisional and WC races will alternate daily between encouraging and discouraging, and meaning that until the final two weeks, it isn't going to make a hell of a lot of difference either way if they are leading, tied, or 4 games behind. The Phillies are furthermore not the kind of team that can dominate bad teams at will. They are going to lose series. They are going to win series. They are going to come up big. They are going to come up small.

And we have to be fully prepared for the ending this team usually gives us.


Sorry if blowing back to back four run leads to the 2nd worst team in baseball caused me to get a little frustrated. You're right. We don't over rely on the HR. We play great station to station baseball and are also experts at the little things like bunting, sacrificing, and running the bases. I stand corrected.

Honestly I will be surprised (pleasantly) if the Phils are still in this with 2 weeks to go.
Utley may come back soon... but he is going to be rusty. Howard is in a deeep funk and looks lost at the plate. Things are not looking good. This LA series could seal their fate and we can start thinking about next year... and what could have been this year. Here is to them proving me wrong these next 3 weeks!

Going Once, Going Twice:
2 tickets available for Thursday's Phils Dodgers game at 1:05. Section 137, row 5, seats 1 & 2 - $50 each (or best offer). Need to know by 4:00 today. Email me at

loctastic: does really update that frequently during the day with breaking news?

Though I don't know where you'd hear/find it first ...

This seemed pretty interesting, so I went ahead and compiled it. Runs scored via homer as proportion of total runs for the NL teams. Greater range than I had expected.

MIL 0.463
CIN 0.434
FLA 0.387
HOU 0.382
ARI 0.367
PHI 0.363
SDP 0.352
NYM 0.346
ATL 0.337
SFG 0.326
STL 0.320
COL 0.317
WSN 0.296
PIT 0.291
CHC 0.282
LAD 0.256

loctastic: does really update that frequently during the day with breaking news?

They'll usually throw up quick 1-2 paragraph articles when it comes to this kind of thing, then flesh it out more over the course of the next few hours. I don't know if it's the first place that gets this kind of info, but it'll usually come up before the end of the work day.

Speaking of next year...

A list, in no particular order of what ails the Phillies, and will they replace what they have and with whom?

- 3B
- LF
- SP
- BP

I do not want to see CF become a need also, so resigning Rowand is a must. I would like to see an OF of Bourne, Rowand & Victorino, with maybe a platoon situation involving Bourne, since he is unproven as an everyday guy. Is there any possibility of landing a third baseman during the offseason via trade or FA? What move would anybody like to see before next spring?

@Mr. Mac: You forgot Pat. He's here next year, no matter what.

I wouldn't resign Rowand. Too expensive, and he hasn't always hit like he has this year. I'd start Bourn and use the cash to get a top-line 3rd baseman. I don't have a list of third basemen, I don't know if that person exists next year.

So I guess my priorities are 3B, One great starter, and bullpen help.

at least we can all agree on the fact that we caught a break this time, based on the 6 pitchers we will see over the next week. up until the dodgers game yesterday, had brad penny pitching the game tomorrow night against Kendrick, however Penny pitched the game yesterday for LA. instead, we'll get Tomko (sucks), Lowe (whom we struggle against but has been up-and-down the whole year), and Billingsley (whom we hit pretty well).
Concerning the Pads, considering Peavy and Young pitch on non-consecutive days, at least one of them will pitch in every 3 game series. Unlike the Mets, we only have to face Young, (whom we couldn't touch) along with Maddux and Germano, both of whom we can hit. Couple that with the fact that Young is much less immortal when he pitches away from the cavernous Petco Park, and I'd say we have some favorable pitching matchups and reasons to remain optimistic, at least for now.

Sitting behind home plate yesterday, I wanted to throw up when the 'Rats went up7-4. It was embarassing enough to have to wear a Pirates poncho at $6 a pop.
On the 'pen, I think you can make an argument that Romero should have faced Kata, however bringing in Alfonseca would have been futile no matter what. He had no sink on his pitches. Tony's a guy that can't pitch too many outings in a week.

Mets acquired Jeff Conine from the Reds for 20-year-old shortstop Jose Castro and 22-year-old outfielder Sean Henry, who were playing for Class A Port St. Lucie. I hope he chokes for then in some crucial situation like he did for us last year. I still remember his shoddy fielding from last year.

Mark my words- Conine will kill us in a series against the Mets...he always kills the Phils.

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