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Thursday, September 20, 2007

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i'm going to start the new thread off with a rather devilish declaration...

i think the Astros did well to hire Ed Wade.

now, what do you all think of that?!

Our only hope is that NY is in the midst of a 1964-style collapse. And that the Phils won't panic if they get a whiff of first place.

that Matt Morris trade sure helping the Phils

Sorta strange to see a lineup this early, but i saw this posted on the yahoo scoreboard while following the Pads-Bucs

J. Rollins ss
S. Victorino rf
C. Utley 2b
R. Howard 1b
P. Burrell lf
A. Rowand cf
G. Dobbs 3b
C. Ruiz c
K. Lohse p

I like the adjustment - May have had PtB and Rowand swapped but can't argue.

Here is what I have the Nats

Again, things can change between now and 7pm

F. Lopez ss
R. Belliard 2b
R. Zimmerman 3b
W. Pena lf
R. Church cf
A. Kearns rf
R. Fick 1b
B. Schneider c
J. Bergmann p

Wow, what a bummer for Ruben, Jr.

Amaro hearts Wade.

I listened to the Ed Wade announcement Press Conference live on KTRH, AM 740, here in Houston. Drayton McLane spoke first for a short intro of Tal Smith. Tal described the search process and the logic behind hiring Ed Wade. Most of the logic consisted of three things: 1. they listed Chase, Cole, Ryan, Burrell and Rollins as the talent evaluation acumen of Ed Wade and the success of the Phillies; 2.) was Ed's long experience; and 3.)was Ed's ties to Houston and Tal Smith. They said that Ed was a hard worker and had no ego, that he was a team player. Ed was given a 3 year deal. When Tal was finished, Ed Wade came to the mike. Ed talked for a few minutes and then KTRH broke in and told us what we were listening to. They announced that they were returning to Sean Hannity and if we wanted to continue to listen to the press conference, we could go to the station's web site. What a lack of respect to Ed.

Another note about this announcement: KTRH is one of a number of Houston stations all sharing the same ownership. Just before they broke into the press conference, they mentioned that their sister station, 790 AM, the Sports Animal, was taking callers to discuss the selection of Ed Wade and that the bulk of the callers were negative in their opinion of their new GM choice. Pretty cool!

Quick hijack - don't know if this was posted yet, but I just this off another message board and the Uniwatch blog is linking to it also. Apparently some of the 2008 logo and uniform designs have been leaked, and the Phillies apparently will be unveiling an alternate home jersey that looks similar to their 1940's style jersey (blue hats, no bloodstripes)

Here's the link to the post on the other message board, scroll down about half way on p.1

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2631077

To continue the Myers discussion from the last thread: I'm not saying Myers can't be a good closer. I'm saying he's not one now, and that based on the current evidence, it would be a damn fool thing to do to count on him becoming one next year. We know what he can do as a starter -- a solid No. 2. As a reliever he MIGHT become a good closer. Or he might not. What does the team do if they don't pursue another closer option, and he doesn't improve next year?

Nobody fitting Myers' description has ever been thrown into the closer's role so quickly, without so little time in a supporting relief role. You seem to think that's automatically a good thing, that he MUST improve from here. Why? CJ, you compared him to three closers who are FAR from elite. David Weathers is a career set-up guy. Joe Borowski is getting it done with mirrors. Those are your comparison points? They're a far cry from Papelbon and Hoffman, among the names Denny is tossing around. You supporters have nothing solid to go on, just faith. Forgive me if I'm unimpressed.

hey i've been reading lots of the talk the last day or so about the upcoming series with the nationals.
there seems to be lots of people who are very nervous about this series, with the majority of people citing reasons such as the nationals surge over the past couple months, and the phillies' historic struggles against the nationals.
of course, the above two reasons are somewhat true, but i think people are putting too much stock in this "the nationals are actually really good" trend. ok seriously. THEY'RE THE FREAKIN NATIONALS! they're not the mets. they're not even the marlins. they are a team with little starting pitching, a totally anemic offense. they have been in 4th or 5th place every year over the last 10 i think.
there is absolutely NO reason why the phillies can't go down to RFK and sweep them. of course, it will be tough against Hill who they have struggled against a couple times this year, but i think if you're examining the phils and nationals together, you need to understand that:
1) whatever has happened in years past against them is irrelevant, as the phillies are a totally different team this year (they've changed for the better) than before. the only stat i care about is that the phils are 7-5 against the nats this year
2) they are so much more loaded talent-wise than the nats are. everyone has to take a step back, relax, and say, the phillies should absolutely take a minimum of 3 games this series

i really think they will take 3/4 this series. the pads can't keep up their current pace, and who knows with the mets? we can definitely still do this.

"They're a far cry from Papelbon and Hoffman, among the names Denny is tossing around."

All I mentioned with Papelbon and Hoffman is that they have not been bullet-proof either. Papelbon, especially, has been terrible lately. No closer is perfect and they all have leaks, from time-to-time. That was the point. Myers is above average now and will be in the future too. Can he be a top 10 guy? No question about it. He has consistant stuff. Some guys like Valverde and Lidge (to name 2) have been way up and way down. I don't think Myers will ever be that way.

Too bad the Phillies wasted yet another great effort by Jamie Moyer last night. Of course, the Phils have been good at scoring lately (and all year), so a down night against a good pitching effort will happen. Jamie has been such a great mainstay of this otherwise non-existant starting rotation despite a few outings. I sure hope they keep him another year for his mostly positive consistency. I have no idea why the bullpen is used for one batter, or one inning at a time. If a reliever is used and looks good just keep him in, never mind the stats or the matchup. An overused bullpen excuse is rediculous considering the way it is managed and can't agree the way it is used. Athletes need to work daily, just like rest of us in order to perform.

I suspect Charlie is beloved by his players and that counts for a lot, but really has a poor perception for managing pitching. Pitching and defense is the name of the game even in the age of homer ballparks, and can't be overlooked. (Geez, just look at Moyer and Nunez last night that kept that the Phils in the game).

There's still a chance Amaro could land in Pittsburgh. I'd like to see him gone.

About tonights lineup...

Good to see Victorino back in the lineup. Its almost like he has been forgotten. The gameplan must be to run against Bergmann, so getting him back in there, in the 2 hole, is smart. They certainly haven't hit Bergmann, so they may need to be aggressive against him to score.

Again, no Coste? Ruiz has been alright and has thrown well lately, but Coste only has 12 AB's in the Phils last 12 games. I did some checking...Coste has started 25 games this year. He has gotten at least 1 hit in 22 of those starts. But, he barely plays now. Hopefully Ruiz does something, besides swing at the first pitch in his first AB tonight. He seems to do that in every game. This team may need some offense tonight, and maybe it would have made sense to start the better offensive player behind the plate.

Diggitydave, 7-5 is a far cry percentage-wise from 4-0, no? And how many of those 7 wins were in RFK? I'm expecting three wins but that may just be optimism; past history, the way the Nats are currently playing, and the fact that their home record and our road record are identical (39-38) would probably suggest a split.

As for Myers, he isn't such a good closer now and I think keeping him there next year would be a terrible idea.

The wrong Laroche is hitting home runs, dang it.

yea 7-5 is a far cry from 4-0. that's why i thought realistically that the phils would take 3/4. essentially i think people put much too much stock in how the phillies have ended their last few seasons, struggling to beat the nationals in the last month in each case, and therefore have already almost conceded this series in favor of the nationals.
unlike the last few seasons, i think the phillies have shown something that was sorely lacking in recent years: heart. you have guys like utley, j roll, rowand, and even burrell igniting this team with a no-quit attitude. even guys like werth and dobbs have been indispensable additions to this team because of their production on field as well as their contagious attitude that has infected the rest of the players on this team.
this team is desperate and knows what they have to do now. i just can't see them losing more than 1 game at RFK

"Myers is above average now and will be in the future too. Can he be a top 10 guy? No question about it."

Denny - seems pretty clear there ARE questions about it. Especially with a 5.40 ERA in 1-run or tied games.

denny b. - Ruiz was 2 for 3 last night with a BB. He was the only player with more than one hit. He got a hit in each of the previous two games against STL as well.

It occurs to me, and Sophist I think you should be aware of this (J/K), that where the Phillies go is going to be determined by the play of Burrell/Rowand/the bottom of the order.

The reason: Something about last night's game kept nagging at me all day long and I could not figure it out, until now. It felt exactly like last seasons innefective offense at the end of the season. And just like last season, teams are refusing to allow Ryan Howard to beat them. Throw in Nunez at third base, and you have all the ingredients of at least two innings of definately 0 chance of any offense.

From here on out I fully expect Howard to see nothing (At least without a huge mistake) that is hittable. The key is whether he starts pressing like he did last year and has done occasionally recently, or he just takes his walks and tries to score some runs. I understand his frustration in wanting to get the big hit to help this team from the cleanup spot, but he just has to take his mediciene in the last few games and get on base. That is where Burrell and Rowand/everyone else behind him come in. I see this move of Burrell as a move to directly counter such a manuever on Cholly's part. Putting Burrell and Rowand behind Howard creates major problems in that Burrell will walk a lot and often times Howard will end up in scoring position. This does not even account for Burrell actually hitting in the second half. Rowand provides double protection in that he is a legitimate, good hitter, that will drive in runs on a consistent basis. Dobb's behind Rownad gives them some flexibility and a clutch bat, and a counter for bullpen manuevers. Behind that you have Ruiz. When Ruiz is your first easy out option 1-8, it is extremely tough on a pitcher to go through the lineup.

Here is hoping Howard can stomach that bitter walk, and that Burrell and Rowand continue to produce. That is what it is going to take. Of course Utley can drive in Rollins/Vic, but there will be times where those two do not get on base. It will be rarer when Utley/Rollins/Vic all consistently do not get on base, but when it does happen, the Howard on base and production behind him idea becomes vitally important.

Pirates are giving themselves a shot here in the top of the 9th. Let's see if they can steal one back.

parker - I know it's unconventional, but why not bat Howard at 2 or 3 if his walks are going to go up these last two weeks? Give one more solid bat (Utley?) a shot to drive Howard in, and take pressure off one bat towards the end of the lineup. One objection would be that Howard would have fewer RBI opportunities as less men would be on base before him. Of course, assuming he gets walked all the time, that shouldn't be all that relevant as pitchers want give him genuine chances to drive anyone in. Let Jimmy and Shane get on base. See if they wask Howard to load the bases or put two on with Utley, Burrell, and Rowand coming up.

No doubt, that would be a bold move Sophist. But with Cholly, baby steps, baby steps.

Closer comparison for appearances when the team is tied or ahead by one run and the pitcher appears in the 9th inning or later.

Jose Valverde (league leading 46 saves): 19 for 26 (73%) overall, only one tied situation all year long and he gave up a run, none of those appearances were more than one inning.

Francisco Cordero (43 saves, 2nd in baseball): 21 for 23 (91%) overall, three tied situations, all successful, two of those appearances more than one inning.

Joe Borowski (3rd in saves): 18 for 26 (69%) overall, 9 tied situations, successful in 6, no appearances longer than an inning.

Trevor Hoffman (t4th): 21 for 26 (81%) overall, 11 tied situations, successful in 10, no appearances longer than an inning.

Takashi Saito (t4th): 19 for 23 (83%) overall, 4 tied appearances, successful in all, one of these appearances was more than an inning.

Bobby Jenks (t6th): 14 for 20 (70%) overall, 7 tied appearances, successful in five, two of those appearances was more than an inning.

J.J. Putz (t6th): 19 for 20 (95%) overall, 4 tied appearances, successful in all, 4 of those were more than an inning.

Todd Jones (t7th): 20 for 23 (83%) overall, 6 tied apperances, 5 successful, none more than an inning.

Francisco Rodriguez (9th): 13 for 18 (72%) overall, 8 tied appearances, 6 successful, 4 of those were more than an inning.

Chad Cordero (10th): 18 for 27 (67%) overall, 8 tied appearances, 7 successful, two of those were more than an inning.

Brett Myers: 7 for 12 (58%) overall, 7 tied apperances, 3 successful, 4 of those were more than an inning.

Those are the top 10 closers in terms of saves this season. I hope that means I won't get accused of cherry picking.

Five of them had success rates between 67% and 73%. The other five were 81% and higher. In comparison to Myers, it seems as those his bigger issue is with tied games. I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that with a season under his belt and an offseason to prepare that Brett can't approach at least the 70% level.

I try not to focus on what other teams are doing because you have to take care of your own business, but the Pirates and Giants just absolutely laid down for the Padres. The fact that Brett Tomko was 2-0 in those two series attests to that fact. Unfortunately, I don't expect the Nats to do the same.

Hmmm... not a player in the Nats lineup has an OPS over .800. The Phils have six players in their linup with an OPS over .800 and Vic is at .773.

Some real out of the box thinking with those alternate jerseys.

Nice work CJ

I'm not sure what to think when someone outside of Philadelphia prefers Ed Wade to Ruben Jr. Let's keep our fingers crossed for Pittsburgh.

ajc1: Better than working ;-)

I'm not here saying that Brett Myers will be the next Trevor Hoffman. I'm saying that I believe Myers has the stuff to be a strong closer... the strongest we've had here in awhile. And I think that given an off-season to work on it, that he can get there.

If there is a legitimate closer candidate in the free agent market that would allow us to move Myers back into the starter role, I'm all ears... I just don't see that happening.

Denny- I understand your point, which is that Myers is probably our best Closer option right now, although I still think he's more valuable to the team as a starter. That said, he's simply not one of the top group of relievers in baseball as you claim, nor is he "ABOVE average. His strikeout numbers are some of the best in baseball out of the pen." Here's a list of relievers with better K/9 numbers than Myers (all have over 15 IP):

Closer division:
Papelbon
Saito
Street
K-Rod
Wagner
Fr. Cordero
Lidge
JJ Putz
Al Reyes
Valverde

Non-Closer Division:
Edwar Ramirez
Joba Chamberlain
Carlos Marmol
Juan Cruz
George Sherrill
Broxton
Derrick Turnbow

And Brett Myers ERA+ (which is park-neutral) is lower than all of them except Edwar Ramirez at 97

Average for ERA+? 100

So I have to conclude that while Myers is our best bullpen pitcher, that's like, quoting the great movie "Waiting", being the smartest kid with down syndrome (no offense to anyone with/knows someone with). Commence attack on stats now

CJ - I think it'll be easier (and cheaper) to get one or two good closer candidates this offseason than it will be to get a solid No. 2 starter in the rotation. But then again, we didn't have much luck last year getting bullpen help ...

It's nice to have the 7 p.m. start again. 8 p.m. is the worst because bed time falls right at the late innings. Ask Alby.

I'd rather have 10 p.m. and just forget it than 8, invest the two hours for six innings, and miss the important stuff.

I re-posted that from the last thread. Allow me to explina it further, because I kind of come off like a jerk at the end there. I think that Myers is a good pitcher, not great. He has been solid for us this year, but he has not been above-average out of the pen. He has been above-average in the past out of a starter's role. I personally believe that the "closer" role is overrated; see some of those names CJ posted as being top 10 in saves (borowski, chad cordero). I think, given that Myers has NOT shown great success out of the pen, we should move him back to the rotation next year, and build our bullpen through use of the young arms that we have in our system, and whatever veterans we can put together (madson, romero, etc).

Jack: ERA is about the worst stat possible for analyzing a closer's value. One bad appearance can destroy a closer's ERA.

Jack: Are you saying you don't think the Phils need a closer or that you have a suggestion for who can close in Myers' place?

Willis has hit two Mets so far...

HOWARD!

Huge. Let's get this going.

Willis for Fl hit the first 2 batters he is facing (Mets)

Two k's the pitcher looking good. 2 more pitches and yahtzee Phils up 2 zip.

fljerry: Actually Reyes struck out first... then Willis hit the next two hitters.

Jeez, show up 5 minutes late and look what you miss.

2-0 Mets

Damn you Dontrelle! Mets up 2-0

Sorry CJ did not realize that

Padres = Annoying.
Astros = Dumb.

Looks like the Cards had good reason to walk Howard 3/4 times yesterday.

Sophist: I think Howard's problem is not laying of pitches that he couldn't hit if he wanted to... not that he's being fooled. In many at bats, he's not getting a pitch to hit. He needs to walk more and not believe it's his job to always swing the bat. But when someone makes a mistake, he can drill it.

Aw, c'mon!

That wasn't a terrible pitch that Zimmerman hit. Way down. This could be an interesting night.

I think Lohse is gonna have a good game tonight.

wow, he just shut it down in the second inning

Bergmann wastes no time out there.

Giving runs back = classic Phils baseball.

my teeth are starting to hurt

Lohse is not looking so solid out there. Gotta keep the runs coming, no question.

head throbbing ...

We may be in a pretty hopeless situation after tonight's results.

They need to yank Lohse right now except that the bullpen is totally fried after St. Louis. Jeez,

well, it was fun for a half inning

now my throat hurts ... think I got the ebola virus

Since Beerleaguer frowns upon indiscriminate swearing, let me assert that this is not going particularly well.

At least it's early.

Looks like the party is finally over for the Choo Choo.

Good luck on the free agent market Kyle.

Hope Scotty Boras can find a few more brain-dead GM's out there for you.

Eaton will be the stopper tomorrow.

Looks like this may be the end. Glad I didn't buy tickets for next week.

Oh, great. Willie Mays Hayes is up.

Unreal.

Coming into tonite I thought we'd need over 10 runs ...sad thing is that we'll probably give up 30 if Lohse pitches 2 more innings. I was only off by 20 runs.

BTW - why is Schneider and Church able to kill us every time we play? True September Phillie Killers

Mets smell blook in the water - now up 3-0

blood in the water, sorry

I'm giving up - looks like the Phils have too.

"Ruiz was 2 for 3 last night with a BB. He was the only player with more than one hit. He got a hit in each of the previous two games against STL as well."

Coste was 2 for 2 with a double against Bergmann.


Again, Coste has vanished from the everyday lineup. 12 AB's in the last 12 games (for a guy who has hit over .300 all year long) is puzzling. Of course, a lot of things the Phils management do are puzzling. Ohh well, maybe he can start in a few of the meaningless games next weekend.

See you later, Crazy Jon. Most of your posts seemed to be pessimistic dribble anyway. You realize that it's a 4-run game and they still have 6 1/3 to play, right?

Sophist - They're done.
They made their charge, winning 6 of 7, and made up zero ground in the WC.
They laid an egg to start this game - a game they absolutely need to have.
The offense has come up surprisingly short the last 2+ days.
What indication do you have that they're going to score 7 against this team tonight?
Please enlighten me.

ajc1 -- The Mets don't smell anything. They'll win this division because the team was too cheap to acquire proper bullpen help.

Throw in the slow starts, injuries, and the manager's ability to make stunningly incompetent moves and you have your 2007 Phillies, who threw away an entirely winnable division.

Can you imagine if this team signed one or two of the relievers from the list that clout frequently posts? We'd be leading the division. And if one of the starters didn't get hurt ... we'd have a pretty low magic number right about now.

There's still game left to play, that's all. And they didn't lay an egg to start the game. They score 2 runs in the first. There are 6 innings left, and it only takes one crooked number to make it a close game again.

Y'know, Durbin really hasn't been bad as a reliever for the Phils - 8 appearances out of the 'pen now for 15 1.3 innings, 5 ER on 13 H, 12 BB and 7 K. That's a 2.94 ERA.

What happened in the 2nd, dude?

[The offense has come up surprisingly short the last 2+ days.]

Is this a joke? You're right. The last two days they haven't scored a lot of runs. They'll probably only score 3 a game from here on out.

Fish leave sacks full in the 3rd

This sucks.

CJ: I know that ERA is a bad stat to use for relievers. I used ERA+ because it's the most useful tool for a pitcher in general, but I should've gone further. Using Wins Expected over Replacement Level (WXRL), the tool Baseball Prospectus uses to rank its relievers, Myers ranks 98th among relievers this year. Behind Romero, Madson, and Condrey. So yeah, I think he hasn't been very good this year. Again, this isn't saying I don't think Myers is a good pitcher, he's proven over the last 4 years that he is. My argument is that since he hasn't shown much of an aptitude for it this year, we should use him in the rotation, where he has proven to be valuable.

We would still need a closer, sure, but I think you can sign a decent pitcher and make him a good closer if you put him on a good team with good starting pitching. Bullpens are random; most teams don't have consistently good ones (San Diego being a clear exception; Towers seems to have a skill at finding relievers). Improving the starting pitching should be our priority, as well as trying out our young, talented arms in the system in the bullpen. Just my opinion.

You think they're going to score every inning?

A lot of Bruce G's tonight.

Phils' record in games where they score 3 runs or less is horrendous.
Thanks for making my point for me.

Of course it sucks that it looks like the Phillies will be done tonight. But knock it off with the "looks like they've given up" crap. Every team and manager in baseball calls the Phillies one of the hardest teams to play against. Utley, Howard, Rollins, etc. haven't missed the playoffs for 15 years. You have to separate the two.

John: What expensive bullpen help could we have gone out and signed and/or traded for that would've gotten us into the playoffs?

It's called sarcasm, genius. They scored 13 the night before you're little sample size. They're the best offense in the NL. Go ahead and quit, if that's what you want to do. I'm quitting this argument.

after tonight, my feelings toward Kyle Lohse: I hope that, like how no one would trade legit prospects at the trade deadline, teams will refuse to pay $8-9 mil a year for such a subpar pitcher. everyone bitched about the Gil Meche deal, and he's twice the pitcher Lohse is.

not giving up - just p*ssed off so far

they have scored 23 runs in 3 1/3 games in the past days. How is that not getting it done?

Howard now has 3 HR and 7 RBI in 4 games. Anyone else want to chime in that he is off? Give me a break.

Phils have to get off the mat and figure out a way to win this game.

Nats Mgt. has to be pissed at their team knowing they are driving away Phils fans who were going to come down and buy seats this weekend

Feel free to use the pen tonight Charlie - we got Eaton tomorrow, thats like a guaranteed solid 7 innings

Apparently, parker, scoring 2 runs to lead off the game is a sign of a quitting team as well. Giving up those runs in the 2nd is on Howard and Utley as well.

Need baserunners. Get on base, any way possible.

Howard Homers and surprise....nothing else to hit the rest of the night.

c'mon Dobbs ... quick - play the Natural soundtrack

Ed Wade being hired as the GM of the Astros is almost as laughable as when Rich Kotite was hired to coach the Jets.

phils have 46 come from behind wins this season! more than half their wins... go phillies!

does anyone else think the nationals announcers are horrendous? they're annoying me

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