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Thursday, September 27, 2007

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I saw the ESPN clips of the Giants-Pads game. Barry Bonds is horrible. The 'roids freak can't field, can't run, just a shame. I'm sure that Peavy loved having Barry come over and give him a hug. The stank may stick and Selig will have to put an asterisk on Peavy's 19th win.

The Dodgers/Grady Little should be ashamed of themselves for fielding that lineup. What a joke. Almost as big a joke as the San Francisco Giants.

Is it me or has every team the Phillies have faced the last few weeks thrown everything but the kitchen sink at them to beat them. Then in the West, in Dodger Stadium no less, they field a minor league squad.

as it is with every other aspect of life, the west is soft and doesn't get it. while the nats understand that they need to play the phils and mets the right way, and the braves have oo much pride to roll over, the nl west doesn't even try to put out competetive line-ups. at least larussa will manage tonight like it is game 7 of the world series.

[Is it me or has every team the Phillies have faced the last few weeks thrown everything but the kitchen sink at them to beat them. Then in the West, in Dodger Stadium no less, they field a minor league squad.]

It's certainly not just you. The Marlins and Nats are showing class, despite the fact that they have no shot to really save face by winning a bunch of game and making .500 like the Dodgers do. The Giants, well, I'm glad I don't have to think about them anymore.

I too think Manuel's management last night was some of his best. His worst move was putting LaForest in the batter's box, his best was taking gordon out so that our man JC could take on Chipper.

I also loved seeing Vic last night, both at the plate but even moreso in the field, which may imply that his leg is getting better.

One day at a time. Let's see it, Kyle!

win tonight and things get really fun. lohse joins the bullpen saturday by my count and kendrick is there for sunday. i like that alot. i love when starters are up in the bullpen.

If the Phillies win tonight, that would be huge. This is probably the toughest pitching matchup from here on out. If the Phillies can either tie (or even take the lead) by the end of play Friday, they'll be in the driver's seat, in my opinion. Maine is going for New York on Saturday, and he's running on fumes. The same is true of Glavine, who faces Dontrelle on Sunday.

My friend and I both really questioned that Victorino move in the 8th. The way Lohse was pitching, why not keep him in?

I'm really glad we were wrong. Correct, sophist, this was some of Charlie's best managing. Taking out Gordon for Romero against Chipper - that's the stuff of good bullpen management.

Hoenstly, one of our best wins of the year. Looked great.

regarding the pride of the Nats/Marlins - in an item in the Wash. Post over the weekend, Manny Acta actually told reporters that he's consciously not giving too much PT to some of his rookies (specifically 23 y.o. OF Justin Maxwell and 21 y.o. LHP Ross Detwiler IIRC) because he wants to play these games against NY/Philadelphia like they mean something.

Did anyone hear why Hill was scratched last night for the Nats? I hope they are not holding him back for the Phils.

Amen to the comments about the west and the opposite way the Nats/Marlins are playing. The Cardinals, Braves, and Nats have too much class to roll over and play dead. They fight to the end, then play spoilers, as they should. More power and respect to them and their managers. Bring it on, if we can't take the heat, time to get out of the kitchen. Just wish the west coast teams weren't dogging it, as they seem to be. That's weak.

Pertaining to Hill

A day before he has surgery on his right elbow -- the first of two operations he will undergo in a two-week span -- Washington Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill said he doesn't consider the injuries a sign that he will be unhealthy throughout his career. But he also understands

I posted this before, but Acta actually stated publicly that he was playing not to finish last in the East. It was a direct challenge to the credibility of the Marlins/Nats. Since he did that, both teams have been playing their butts off. I give Acta a lot of credit for making something out of their season when there really was not much to play for. It certainly has helped the Phils out in the sense that they are playing tough against the Mets, and though they played the Phils equally tough they were able to beat them.

Go Fish, and Acta, feel free to tank it starting friday.

I'm a little concerned that the offense has come back to earth. PatB & ARow seem to be struggling....Werth is struggling against righties....those guys have to hit. If Vic is healthy as he says, does he get a start tonight? Pathetic Dodgers laying down. Lucky the Giants won 1 of 3 games. Do we want the DB's to win or lose today?

Couple of Thoughts:

That win last night looked flawless from the pitching standpoint. Probably the most complete game we have seen from this pitching staff in the past 3 weeks. Aside from a Lohse's mistake to Teixiera and Gordon's leadoff walk in the 8th, our pitching staff looked like a pitching staff. Who'd of thunk it? Now our middle relief (if that's what you call them) is rested and hopefully will be able to contribute some quality outs/outings.

Manuel made a great move to pull Gordon against Chipper. Gordon gave up that home run tuesday to Chipper, and it was also smart to turn Chipper around. Brilliant move. We throw Cholly to the wolves when he makes a bad move (and he certainly makes them) so lets give him credit when he does something right.

Finally, the Phightins are actually two games behind the Dbacks for the best record in the National League. There are in fact 5 teams who have a chance to end up with the best record, and 2 of them will definitely not be going to the playoffs. In fact, the Braves would be tied for the Division Lead if they were in the Central right now. God that division just sucks. Crap like that makes me want to go back to a two-division league, but with 2 wild-cards.

Here's to hoping Kendrick pitches great and Eaton Crap doesn't live up to his nickname. Go Phils!

The Mets have to be in complete dissarray to get swept at home like that. I give the Nats all the credit for playing hard, hope we can handle them this weekend.

To those who say start Fabio, Ennis, Durbin - anyone but Eaton, I understand your reasoning, but have to disagree. Fabio doesn't throw srikes and has been out of action forever. For Ennis and Durbin, same story really. Eaton still gives them the best shot to stay close and win, and honestly, can be counted on as much as Jamie Moyer at this point in the season.

What's this BS about the Dodgers fielding "a minor-league lineup"? They had exactly two non-regulars playing, three if you count catcher, in the first game since they were eliminated from contention. They outhit the Rockies 8-5. Grow up.

If Eaton gives you the 5 innings and 3 runs that he did against Washington...perhaps can stretch it to 6...then you probably are getting as much as you can ask for. Need big performances by Kendrick and Cole in the next two.

I don't think the Dodgers' problem is the line-up or even playing hard. Apparently there are some real problems in that clubhouse. Rookies vs. vets and it has gotten pretty ugly. So bad that the front office is considering dealing younger guys for veteran help because they don't like the rookies' attitudes. That's not good for business.

"Eaton still gives them the best shot to stay close and win, and honestly, can be counted on as much as Jamie Moyer at this point in the season."

Now, I wouldn't go that far.

Moyer has 3 quality starts in his last 6. He has won some big games down the stretch.

Eaton hasn't had a quality start since July 3.

At the first sign of trouble, Eaton will be gone Saturday, and Lohse will be in. Only problem that creates is that you still need someone to possibly pitch in a 1 game playoff on Monday.

@Bentz: do you have a link for that?

"What's this BS about the Dodgers fielding "a minor-league lineup"?"

Hu, Young, LaRoche, Moeller and Valdez are not the usual starters. That is over half of their lineup.

Of course, they mailed it in about 2 weeks ago, so it probably wouldn't matter who was in there.

Hey guys, I thought you might enjoy this video about the Phillies Grounds Crew. Make sure you watch the whole thing as some Phillies make an appearance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpZZWbkZ43M

We have a couple other Philly sports videos, including a Phillies Bating piece (ok and a few mets stories) so be sure to check them out! Go Phillies!!

The reason the Dodgers lost was because of bad luck, not because they fielded a sub-par lineup. As Alby said, they outhit the rockies. They outwalked them too, 11-6 advantage in getting on base. Note that half of the LOB came from two regulars - Pierre and Ethier.

This feels like playoffs!

So GM-Carson, how's getting drunk every night working out for you?

We went out, had some wobbly pops on Tuesday. They lost. I stayed in Wednesday and didn't drink, they won. So now I can't drink again until the season is over. :(

Take a look at the NL schedule tonight. Aside from that Astros/Reds stinker, it's going to be a riveting night of baseball and scoreboard watching at the Bank tonight. Between that and bumping Eaton, I'm glad I picked tonight's game for my final regular season ticket. Should be a blast. I've already decided I'm sticking it out through the rain if need be.

Jason: even if Eaton starts the Phils better have some of those other guys ready. He always gives something away early. I hope that the Deal is ready and is "on his meds."

Also: I fail to understand why Ennis (who started effectively in his one start) has been nailed to the pine for 2 1/2 weeks. Granted he is a AA pitcher, and he may have gotten lucky in his start and he has gotten beat up in long relief; but he is also unfamiliar to other teams, making him a better option than some of the other (5 and 6 fingered) pitchers on the staff.

Drinking during the games note - I had to give up on the Brooklyn Pennant Ales after the unsatisfying Tuesday loss, and without Yuengling to turn to up here in Boston, I had no choice but to blind-buy [Geoff] Geary Ales, brewed in Maine. While the real Geary may not come through in the clutch, the Autumn Ale did, and tonight, I'll be calling the righty out of the 'pen again, looking for win no. 2.

To be honest, I haven't been drinking much lately- focus is on my baby boy. If the Phils get into the playoffs I'm doin' a keg-stand though.

[My friend and I both really questioned that Victorino move in the 8th. The way Lohse was pitching, why not keep him in?]

There are good reasons both ways. Lohse pitch-count was low, and he was pitching well. Nonetheless, if you're planning on using him in relief this weekend, it's better to get him out in the 8th - that way you get 7 superb innings from him, minimal use of the pen, and the relief appearance. Lohse's start was exactly what this team needed both for the W last night, and for one this weeekend.

Not that I want to see him pitch again, but Eaton's last start was much more effective than Moyer's last start.
It's always fun to second guess the manager's decisions, and last night was no exception. If they took out Lohse and Vic came in and struck out, then Gordo came in and gave up a 3 run homer, we'd all be dissing Cholly. If they kept in Lohse and he failed in the next inning, we would second guess that, too. No one wants to see Vic play more than me, but I wanted Lohse to stay in the game. However, it all worked out for the best, but that's the fun of baseball.

I'm actually quite surprised to learn there was any second guessing of taking Lohse out in the seventh. To me, watching the game, there was no doubt it was the right move. I didn't even question it. Seven is longer than he's gone as a Phillie. Take it and be happy.

Drinking? Eating? Too nervous during the games to do either. This, indeed, feels like the playoffs. For those old enough to remember, it feels like the Phils-Dodgers series in 1977 and 1978 (ugh) or the Phils-Astros in 1980 (yea!!).

Phils need to win last four games. Only way they make the playoffs.

But Rowand and Werth have run out of gas. Werth has done little except for his HR in Washington and at the Bank Tuesday. Rowand is really struggling at bat and his throws from CF leave a lot to be desired. Give credit to both, though, they've given it their all.

And, should the Phillies win the next 3 or 4 and still NOT make the playoffs, let's not criticize or hang our collective heads. The other teams will have EARNED their spots in the playoffs. An 89 or 90 win season is nothing to cry about.

The D-backs loss last night was a big development. A bigger development yet would be if they could somehow lose again today, with Brandon Webb pitching. Bottom line is, at least for the WC, we have to beat out 2 of the 3 NL West teams. So if Arizona falls back to the pack, it increases the probabilities of our getting in (since it adds one more team that would have to keep winning to beat us out). And don't forget that Colorado & Arizona close with a 3-game set against each other in which, by definition, someone must lose at least twice. Of course, none of this means anything unless the Phillies run the table which, in my view, they must.

This may be elementary, but I find it helpful to actually lay out in writing what needs to happen for the Phillies to get into the playoffs. So Here is a quick summary of the situation:

If the Phillies run the table, the only scenario that would keep them out of at least a one-game playoff would be for the Mets and Padres to both go 4-0, AND the D-Backs to go 3-1. The odds of that scenario happening are mighty slim.

If the Phillies lose even one game, the only way they get into a one-game playoff is if: (1) the Mets lose twice; or (2) SD loses twice OR Arizona loses 3 times, while Colorado is losing at least once. The odds of either of these happening are slim & they become far slimmer if Arizona & San Diego win today.

webb is not pitching today, because of inclement weather.

Weitzel: Removing Lohse was definitely the "by the book" move. But in this case, it was a close call, since his pitch count was relatively low, he'd gotten through the last 2 innings on just 11 pitches, and the Phillies' bullpen is a total wild card. Though he hasn't pitched more than 7 innings with the Phillies, Lohse has actually pitched 2 complete games this year & has gone more than 8 innings 4 times. So it's not like they would have been asking him to do something he has never done.

Of course, I also don't like having the pitcher lead off an inning and, in any case, the whole issue is academic now & it turned out ok. But I definitely don't think the decision to pinch hit was a no-brainer. Which I guess, by definition, means that Cholly actually used his brain last night.

Elliott- please elaborate... why would Webb not pitch?

I think the Mets could lose twice or SD could lose twice. I'm not banking on either, but the Mets look like crap right now.

I doubt the DB's will get swept by CO either.

Could Arizona be saving Webb for the Colorado series? who is pitching in his stead tonight?

The game is underway. Stephen Drew hit a first-inning HR, so 1-0 Arizona. Micah Owings is pitching. 12:35 start in Pittsburgh.

Now that I think about it, figuring the various playoff scenarios is very much like doing one of those logic games on the LSAT. So study up on your Phillies' playoffs scenarios, guys. It will help you get ready for the big test.

Taking Lohse out was the absolute right move. It wasn't close. From the 7th inning on this season, opponents are hitting .310 off of him. Our bullpen is relatively well-rested, and our top three have been very effective the last month. You take Lohse out and let the bullpen do its job. That may sound weird considering the state of our bullpen, but Romero. Gordon and Myers have been getting it done when the starter hands them a lead in the 7th or later. Plus, this keeps Kyle fresh for whatever role we need him between now and the playoffs.

@CJ -- exactly... this allows Lohse to be available this weekend for 'Pen work.

micah owings is pitching rather than webb. they are worried about weather interrupting the game and essentially wasting webb's start.

also, the dbacks play colorado tomorrow, who is starting francis. this likely made the decision easier.

Speaking of Lohse start last night... how many starts do you think the Phils have since the All Star break in which the starter went at least 7 and gave up 2 or fewer runs?

The answer is 8. And here they are:

9/27: Lohse, 7 in, 6 h, 2 r, 0 w, 5 k, 1 HR
9/14: Moyer, 7 in, 4 h, 2 r, 2 w, 2 k, 1 HR
8/31: Kendrick, 7 in, 6 h, 2 r, 1 w, 4 k, 0 HR
7/30: Hamels, 8 in, 3 h, 1 r, 2 w, 8 k, 1 HR
7/29: Kendrick, 7 in, 6 h, 1 r, 1 w, 4 k, 1 HR
7/27: Moyer, 7 in, 6 h, 0 r, 0 w, 4 k, 0 HR
7/22: Durbin, 9 in, 5 h, 0 r, 3 w, 3 k, 0 HR
7/13: Kendrick, 7 in, 6 h, 1 r, 1 w, 4 k, 0 HR

It's interesting that Kendrick has done it three times bolstering the idea that he's been our best pitcher in the second half (considering Hamels' injury, especially). Moyer had two really strong starts suggesting the Jekyl and Hyde nature of his performances. Hamels, Durbin and Lohse have each had one strong start.

bap, good point about the west, I was about to post something similar.

Basically, at this point, there are 5 teams fighting for three spots.

ARI 88-70
NYM 1 GB
SDP 1 GB
PHI 2 GB
COL 2 GB

Another PIT win today would be nice, but I'm not counting on it.

CBP better be sold out tonight

Missed the action yesterday - was in NYC for platinum week.
Caught the Rollins interview in Houlihan's at Penn Station right after the Phils win - highlights made it look like complete domination for the Phils.
Phils should focus on trying to win the NL East - if they do so, the WC should fall into place.
My fear is that STL is coming into NY for one game and, should they start losing early, will mail it in to get to the airport quickly for their flight to their final series.
Phils also didn't help themselves by losing on Tuesday - makes tonight's game a virtual must-win from a psychological standpoint.
Hard to convert a must-win against Smoltz, though.

Also, the coin flip between AZ and PHI is today just in case of a tiebreaker game.

From the article: Diamondbacks-Phillies game would be at a site to be decided by a coin flip Thursday. A Padres-Phillies game would be in San Diego. If the Mets are involved, no sites have been determined yet -- because the Mets were such an unlikely wild-card bet, MLB never held any coin flips for those possibilities, either. So they had a big afternoon of flipping scheduled, as well.

Mets pitching setup could be shaky:

Tonight: Pedro. Hasn't gotten into the 7th yet this year. He'd have to have a hell of a start to get there tonight. And that means an appearance of the Mets awesome bullpen. Nice to see them burn out their closer in that situation.

Tomorrow: Oliver Perez. His control makes Romero look like Maddux. Now he is coming off a strong outing against the Marlins, but before that, he had 23 walks and 23 hits in 29.2 IP during a five start stretch.

Saturday: John Maine. Has reached the 7th inning once in his last 11 starts over which he's posted a 6.43 ERA and opponents have hit .288 against him.

Sunday: Tom Glavine. Is he tiring? In his last 2 starts, he pitched 10 innings, and gave up 20 hits, 2 walks, and 4 HR. He's got a 9.00 ERA and the starts were vs. Florida and Washington.

Monday playoff game?: It won't be Pedro on short rest because he requires extra rest. And you can scratch Glavine, Maine or Perez since they're pitching Fri-Sun. That leaves three choices:

El Duque (injured and in the bullpen now)
Pelfrey (3-8, 5.57 ERA, has never pitched into the 7th inning)
Humber (one career start, roughed up by Nats, 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in 4 innings)

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, let us get to at least a playoff with the Mets.

I find it amusing when people say things like "The Phils should focus on winning the division" or "they really need to be set on the wild-card now". Do you guys honestly think it matters? They go out to win every game. How could they possibly play differently depending on which one they wanted to win? It doesn't make any sense. Now, we as fans can speculate and focus on different games to watch and who to root for, but ultimately it makes no difference. They just have to win baseball games.

Agree that Cholly had to PH for Lohse there. The surprise was that he didn't send Da Forest out.

What a blessing it is that the Marlins and Nationals have prideful rookie managers who are giving their all not to finish last in their first seasons. Four more nail-biters to go, in case you have any nails left. A win tonight against "Schmoltz" and the Phils' chances improve considerably.

denny: You might not recognize the names, but LaRoche started all week at 3B before last night -- during the stretch run, obviously. Hu started instead of Tony Abreu, hardly a big dropoff in performance. Russell Martin has more appearances at catcher than anyone else in the league. Plus a couple of regulars appeared as pinch hitters, and the relievers were Broxton and Saito. I see nothing wrong with giving the regulars a day off the day after their elimination from the race. Bitching about this is ridiculous.

"Scmoltz." I love it! Makes him sound much less intimidating.

I didn't see Eaton Crap in that list of Phillies starters that went at least 7 and gave up 2 or fewer runs since the All Star break. He needs to make that list when he pitches next. He is a major leaguer making big bucks. He does pitch innings where no runs are scored. If he can't get excited and focused this week, then there is no hope for the sorry bastard.

I find it funny that last year's NL Cy Young award winner Brandon Webb can't pitch because it might rain. What a big baby! (I wanted to use a slang term for a female genitalia to describe Webb.) I hate the D-Backs. I hope they go 0-4.

It's the preferred Berks County pronunciation.

Lake Fred - I think it's the right move.

If the rain has no impact on the game (referring to the game being delayed), you're still going against a starting pitcher who is 0-6 with an ERA over 9.

If it does rain, Webb might not be able to return after a long delay (or, depending on the forecast, perhaps the game doesn't start again).

LF - you might want to consider that the actual reason why the Diamondbacks would withhold Webb is to not have his start wasted due to a delay/suspension-induced abbreviation.

Re - retaliation - we talked about it in the Colorado series with Alfonseca, but if were watching the Brewers last night, it may have cost them the game. Milwaukee was annoyed and rightfully so at Fielder probably getting thrown at earlier in the game. So with 1 out and no one on, trailing 3-2 in the top of the 8th, Seth McClung drills Pujols and gets ejected. There was no question it was intentional. It led to a huge inning with the Cards putting up 4 runs and putting the game away. According to Crasnick's article on ESPN.com, it was clear that LaRussa in a way sucked Milwaukee into it and they fell for it and could have cost them the game. What a dumb move.

A few more words about tonight's game being the key. If they win, they know they've passed their toughest late-season test and ride a wave of confidence into the final series. If they lose, they play under a cloud of must-win desperation. A win and I like their chances. A loss and I do not.

Between Smoltz tonight and having to pitch Eaton or worse on Saturday, chances are good the Phillies will lose 1 more game. A 3-1 finish wouldn't be bad, though, giving them 89 wins. I think that gets at least a 1-game playoff.

To beat 89 wins, SD would have to take 3 of 4 from the Brewers. Ain't happening. The Mets would have to beat the Cards tonight then take 2 of 3 from the Fish. Odds are against it. The Rocks would have to win 4 of 5 from Dodgers & D'backs. That ain't happen' either.

Win tonight and I like our chances a lot.

So clout - do we have a chance for the wild card? You still guaranteeing we won't get it?

attn HOBOKENITES

anyone know which bar will have the game tonight?? I think Mulligans and 8th street tavern but not sure...ive got so much sh$t to do but have to see this game...cant rely on text updates it freaks me out

and a side note, metsblog is a great read following all these losses....there "ya gotta believe" mantra is so annoying..i know tug played for them too, but wasn't that coined in '80?? maybe im wrong....

I'm a little worried about the production from our RH bats (ARow, Werth, PatB) of late and how they will fare against Smoltz.

Is Victorino healthy now and if so, what about starting him and sitting Werth tonight? Or do we just keep going with what has got us here?

Clout why are you saying "if Mets win tonight and win 2of 3 from fish that it won't happen". I can see winning 2 of 3 from fish but are you stating then that they will not beat St Louis?

dan, tug started saying that during the 73 season with mets...when their decent club fluked its way to the ws.

Lots of Haterade being imbibed with regards to Lohse on earlier threads.
For the stat lovers - Phils are 9-2 in Lohse's 11 starts with the team.

Am I the only one wondering where Iguchi has been for weeks now? Anyone have an insight?

on the tug note. sure he said "ya gotta believe as" a met, but in 1980 he said "new york can take this championship and stick it!" that is what i will always remeber. screw the mets. also ya gotta believe is an under dog cry. the mets have held the lead. they aren't the under dog. those grubby fans can keep their hands off our tug.

thanks elliott....iguchi seems to be relegated to pinch hitting duties...we all guessed they might give him a try and third but that is obviously not in the cards...maybe they can work him out there in the off-season...although im guessing he would want to start for somebody at 2B

and yeah, give vic a start...he cant be THAT hurt...i cant see werth doin much off smoltz tonight...the guy is a consummate pro but he makes no bones about his disdain for CBP...maybe if someone hits a cheapie he will be flustered and we can pour it on

GO PHILS!

also gotta pass this along....its better than the texts i sent my buddies last night of "meet the mets, beat the mets, step right up and sweep the mets"

Meet the Mets: 2007 Edition

Beat the mets, beat the Mets,
Last place teams defeat the Mets.
Hanging sliders, minor-league speed,
Guaranteed to waste a seven run lead.

Because the Met bullpen keeps fading away,
October baseball won’t be at Shea.

Mota…Sosa…,
Every game is now in doubt.
Can anyone who’s on this staff,
Get three men out?

In the last 16 games, Iguchi has been called upon to pinch hit in 8 of them.

Pete LaForest has pinch hit in 11 of them... but he's a lefty and we're more likely to see right handed pitchers.

My problem with the Mets is my perception they have they went out and bought their team with cable money. I'm not sure how their payroll compares with the Phillies. They went on a spree with Pedro, Beltran, Delgado, Wagner, etc. It's nice if you can beat a team like that with largly home-grown talent. I could care less about their fans, or Philly taking a back seat to NY as a city.
And, oh yeah, Wagner is a rat.

Tray: I like our chances for the division better, something you gave up on 2 months ago.

Dan: I don't know how the whole song goes or I'd start singing.

Hunch: Pete LaForest is going to get a really big pinch-hit for the Phillies in one of these last games.

Considering that Iguchi is, among our bench players, our best situational hitter it seems odd that he is playing second fiddle to a wavier wire stiff like LaForest. Unless I am missing that fact that Iguchi really can't hit righties what is going on?

vs. Smoltz:

Rollins, .353, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1.095 OPS, 34 AB
Burrell, .080, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0.235 OPS, 25 AB
C.Utley, .350, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1.085 OPS, 20 AB
A.Nunez, .308, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0.708 OPS, 13 AB
Howard., .375, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0.819 OPS, 08 AB
Rowand., .333, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0.666 OPS, 09 AB
W.Helms, .143, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0.429 OPS, 07 AB

No one else has more than 3 ABs against Smoltz, although Coste has a homer in his only hit and Werth is 2 for 3.

Seems like an ideal night to sit down Burrell and use him in a pinch hit spot. Also interesting that Dobbs has never faced him. My lineup tonight:

SS Rollins
LF Victorino
2B Utley
1B Howard
CF Rowand
3B Dobbs
RF Werth
CA Coste
PI Kendrick

Off the bench, we'd have Burrell, Iguchi, LaForest, Helms, Bourn, Roberson, Ruiz and Barajas.

"My problem with the Mets is my perception they have they went out and bought their team with cable money. I'm not sure how their payroll compares with the Phillies. They went on a spree with Pedro, Beltran, Delgado, Wagner, etc."

According to Cot's, the opening day roster of the Mets had a total payroll of just over $115 million. Not sure if that takes into account the $5.8 million they're getting from Arizona for Shawn Green's contract or the (approx) $2.3 from the Marlins for Delgado.

The Phillies, on the other hand, had an opening day payroll of just over $89 million, but I'm not sure how (if at all) that takes into account the (approx) $7 million they're paying for Thome.

My guess is that the number is just the total of the contracts as of opening day, and in that case, the Mets would be paying around $107 million, while the Phillies are at $96 million.

CJ: Subbing Werth for Burrell vs. Smoltz might be the dumbest idea I've seen on here in days.

How about that Micah Owings? 4 for 4, with 3 RBI's and 3 doubles. He ought to hit about 5th in that lineup when he pitches.

About tonights lineup....

Most of us know about Burrell's career stats against Smoltz. They are about as bad as it gets. Since 2004, he is 1 for 17, with 7 K's against Smoltz. He can't hit him.

Rollins, Rowand and Utley have hurt him. Werth actually is 2 for 3 lifetime against him. Coste also is 1 for 3 with a HR against him in his career. Vic is 0 for 3 lifetime against him. But, after that bomb he hit off Hudson last night, he needs to be in there tonight (it was odd that Vic didn't start last night; he had terrific career numbers against Hudson).

I would sit Burrell tonight (we all know that Cholly won't do it; but you can't ignore those numbers. He hasn't touched Smoltz and hasn't hit lately). Start Werth in left, and Vic in right. I would also start Coste tonight. He took Smoltz deep once.

My lineup:

Rollins
Vic
Utley
Howard
Rowand
Dobbs
Werth
Coste
Kendrick

Again, jump on Smoltz and the Braves early tonight. Their postseason hopes are gone and a nice early lead could put the Braves to sleep. They have a lot of first pitch swingers and those type of guys, when the games become meaningless, are going to be even more impatient just to get it over with. I think we saw that in the late innings last night.

Iguchi's numbers vs. righties are virtually indistinguishable from his numbers vs. lefties this year although he slugs a little better vs. lefties. All-time, he actually has a higher average vs. righties.

Pete LaForest, in his career and this season, doesn't seem to offer much vs. righties or lefties. I'm not sure why he's relied upon so much.

"CJ: Subbing Werth for Burrell vs. Smoltz might be the dumbest idea I've seen on here in days"

Burrell can't hit him. Period.

control:

i just looked it up and for this year, 2007, the Mets have a payroll of just over $115 million. the Phils compare with a payroll of just over $89 million. that's the third highest payroll against the thirteenth...

and, as a Phils' fan living in NY, let me just say that this city couldn't hold a candle up to the grit and character of Philadelphia. it's just a bunch of transplants (ok, guilty) and lost souls...

denny b.: Why do you copy my posts!?!?!? ;-)

clout: Funny that the dumbest idea isn't just mind.

The fact is, Burrell has struck out in one out of every two ABs against Smoltz in his career. He's got 2 hits and 1 walk in 26 plate appearances. I'm not sure I start Burrell tonight. He's cooled off considerably and might be a better asset in a pinch hit situation tonight.

er... mind = mine

denny b: So Werth hits righties better than Burrell? The guy hasn't hit righties in his career. Three ABs vs. Smoltz doesn't change that. I like Burrell's chances to help the team offensively vs. a tough righty like Smoltz way more than Werth's.

does anyone know how to look up walks/plate appearance? just a hunch, but perhaps cholly thinks laforest has a better eye than Tad those walks are safer ways to turn the lineup over to Rollins, rather than having Tad swing away? just a thought.

No chance in h*ll that Cholly would sit PtB, or Rowand for that matter, although they obviously could use it. Lets hope he at least tries Vic in RF.

Actually wouldn't mind Barajas getting another chance for redemption either.

With hours to go to before we get to tonights game, some light comedy from MetsBlog.com for your edification:

Comment by Ken Dynamo
2007-09-27 09:59:35
maybe if lo duca would challenge the younger players more. clearly they dont want to win as badly as he do and that is the problem. why doesnt lo duca step up the leadership[ so some of his gritty attitude will rub off on the youngsters who are letting his chances of ever winning a WS slip thru their fingers.

Log in to Reply
Comment by The Stache
2007-09-27 10:09:28
Lo Duca only has to look 45 feet in front of him on most days to realize what the problem with this team is right now.

Also, How sad is it that at this point I would rather see Green up at bat than Delgado?

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Comment by HeBeGB
2007-09-27 10:13:00
“Lo Duca only has to look 45 feet in front of him”

I think you’ve figured it out! Met pitchers are standing too close to the plate! Get back up on the mound boys, you’re suppose to be 60′ 6″ away from home!

clout: My point is that it doesn't gut much worse than Burrell's numbers vs. Smoltz. If Werth goes hitless in his next 20 ABs vs. Smoltz, he'll still have a higher average than Burrell has.

Perhaps getting a little extra speed on the basepaths and in the field and giving Burrell a day off isn't a terrible idea.

I would not be upset with Manuel if he elected to start Burrell and benched Werth (assuming Vic is healthy enough to start).

CubeHostage: LaForest's OBP with the Phils this year is .250 in 12 plate appearances (2 walks). It's .405 in 42 plate appearances this season (7 walks). He seems to walk every 6 plate appearances.

What does that guy want? The only player I see regularly quoted on the Mets is Lo Duca - almost always making a whining, complaining, pissy statement about something. Or is he saying visibility isn't the same as leadership?

Looking at Burrell's career stats, out of all of the pichers against whom he has at least 20 plate appearances, Smoltz has been his second toughest to face.

The toughest? Pedro Martinez. Burrell is 0-20 against Pedro with 2 walks & 8 Ks.

Regardless, I think you have to start Burrell tonight.

Small sample size note of the day: Of Burrell's 26 career PAs against Smoltz, only two have even gotten to ball 3. One was in 2005 (when he struck out) and the other was this April, when he walked. Is this a sign that the 2007 version of Burrell (who has become a walk-taking machine) might have a better chance against Smoltz? Perhaps.

I saw something somewhere today where Vic said he is healthy enough to start now. Not sure how much weight to put on that, but I'd replace one of the RH bats tonight if he is. I'd be shocked if Cholly sat Burrell, it ain't gonna happen. So I'd start Vic in RF and sit Werth. Victorino then hits 6th or 7th.

I like this description of the Mets from Deadspin - "[The Mets] have the look and feel of a team that died three weeks ago and is just now starting to stink."

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