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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Comments

jason - i would say what a difference a day makes (which would be true) but in this case, what a difference an hour makes.
one minute we're depressed ready to drink our sorrows away, the next we mount an incredible comeback coupled with an unbelievable mets collapse!
go phils!!!

About that time I was almost in tears. The aeason looked lost. Like people said in the post below, this is why the baseball stretch run is the best thing in sports.

Great managing tonight by Charlie Manuel. His moves worked.

Said it every day since July, but Adam Eaton really really needs to pitch well tomorrow. One, cause we need to win, but two, our bullpen is shot. Gordon and Myers cant possibily pitch tomorrow.

Plenty of unsung heroes in that bullpen. That's eight straight appearances Gordon has not given up a run, and make it 13 for Romero. Actually just 1 run in Romero's last 18.

I hate that we are having to depend on Eaton, but here we are.

So far this year against Washington Eaton has a 5.84 ERA, and has given up 12 hits and 8 runs in 12 innings.

I say bullsh*t that Gordon and Myers can't pitch tomorrow...it's do or die time. They have several months to rest.

In a big ballpark, I think Eaton has a shot to throw a decent game. His undoing last time out was the long ball. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a decent outing.

Any chance of any sort of reinforcements in the bullpen? I'm not even asking for anyone clutch, but our bullpen must be shot despite the expansion- 27 2/3s innings is a ton no matter how you slice it. Could use someone from the minors to eat innings, as everyone except ennis (abandoned) and alfonseca (suspended) must be close to spent at this point. By the way- shout out to the Real Deal!

With the exception of those annoying Pads, great night for the Phils.

The Mets are showing their warts down the stretch... tired pitching and shaky defense. Let's hope Eaton does better tomorrow than Lohse did tonight. Go Phils!

Wagner was apparently suffering from back spasms, btw.

I'm so terribly sorry to hear it.

Yes, it broke my heart to hear Wagner wasn't available to pitch tonight.

Man, the majority of the posts at Metsblog make the absolute worst posts here read like Shakespeare. Yikes.

Thank God for Beerleaguer!

I dont think Eaton will pitch well tomorrow. There is no indiction he will. Every time there is a glimmer of hope for the Phils he finds a way to trash it. Big park, small park, whatever, he gives up hits. I have no confidence he will win tomorrow, there is no reason I should. I think the Phils can win despite him, but I see that as the only way. They won the last time he started inspite of him, not because of him.

There is nothing more than I would want more tomorrow than to be wrong...

I think Eaton will go 6 innings and give up 1 run. How do I know this? I don't, I'm just being hopeful.

It is funning how the Mets fans swing from "All is lost," to "Ha ha, Phillies suck" to "All is lost" within 48 hours. Sort of like some Phillies fans after yesterday's loss.

Am I the only one noticing at Atlanta is creeping back into relevancy?

Panda, funny you should say that. I was talking to a friend on Atlanta today talking about the playoffs, and when he mentioned the Braves, I said, "I'm not worried about them, they're done." After looking at the standings today, I might be wrong about that.

The Phils have to beat Atlanta to make the playoffs, so they've always been relevant to us.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. It's already tomorrow, fellas. And that means one thing:

Shawn Hill.

And that means in 14 innings pitched, Hill has a 1.29 ERA against the Phillies. He's given up 5 hits and 3 walks. Rowand and Helms have had a little bit of success off of him, but that's it. J-Roll is 0 for 7 this year.

Nats batters are hitting .261 off of Eaton in his two starts, and .200 in the start in RFK. In that one start, he went six and gave up 4. Not bad, but considering the lineup will have to go through 100 pitches of Shawn Hill, I am not confident in the bats tomorrow at all.

In fact, with Pedro going for them against our good buddy Scott Olsen, the Phils will probably hand right back the game they fought so hard to get on Thursday. In the last two years, he has given up 4 earned runs in 28 innings, a 1.28 ERA.

Gulp.

Anyone else see that clip of the Phillies clubhouse watching the Mets -Marlins finish. Pretty great. Nice shot of Nunez icing his shoulder...

Yes, the Braves need to lose this weekend to the Brewers, since we need the Brewers to play hard that last series against SD and so they dont still have a chance when they get to Philly on Tues. I dont see how the Brewers wouldnt mail it in for any game against SD after they were elminated after leading the division almost all year - it would be so deflating.

just got back from washington. it was great. there was a definate philadelphia presence there. huge watching the phils come back as the marlins blew their lead. then as we were leaving the fish tied it and on the way back we listened to the tenth on the radio.
go phils.

Aw, you guys are so cute. You think there's still a chance!

Every year, suckers.

(Yeah, ok, it's fun. But come on. They're from Philadelphia.)

"Said it every day since July, but Adam Eaton really really needs to pitch well tomorrow."

"I think Eaton will go 6 innings and give up 1 run. How do I know this? I don't, I'm just being hopeful."

It is amazing how a pennant race can make you rationalize the most unlikely possibilities. There is no way Eaton gives them a great outing but he needs to 6 innings and give their offensive a shot. If he pitches like poorly and makes his usual weak excuse, I want Cholly to rip him.

The Braves are all but mathematically eliminated. They would almost have to run the table and everybody ahead of them would have to lose almost all of their games. Even the Phillies have a tough assignment mathematically and the Braves are 3 games behind them. But, the fact that the Braves are playing well makes things all the more interesting.

Unlikely possibilities, you mean like Rod Barajas getting the big hit in a Phils game? Anything can happen!

Clarify: Pedro has a 1.28 ERA in The Aqua Tomb, or Dolphin Stadium, or whatever else you want to call it, since 2004.

Can't believe the Astros limited their GM choice between Wade and Amaro. The Astros naming Wade as their GM hurts the Phils for two reasons:

1. Amaro remains with Phils - I am stunned that Amaro was seriously considered for a GM job. The worst part is that he remains the likely candidate to replace Gillick after next year.

If Amaro does become the Phils' GM, he will become the most unpopular management figure in Philly sports since Braman owned the Eagles.

2. Ed Wade is likely to corner the market available relievers this offseason. His grand strategy to readily improve the Astros will be to sign at least 2 or 3 veteran arms (half joking here).

jeez MG with the ultimate Debbie Downer of the night awards.
if i didn't know any better i'd think you were a cockroach met fan dude.
try and have a little faith and just enjoy this team. where's the fun in wondering how Cholly is gonna bury Eaton after his start tomorrow night?

and now for some more mets hatred.
where do the mets get off throwing around "you gotta believe" this year? first of all when you are up there isn't a ton of believing involved. faith is easy to have when you are in the driver's seat. second, don't they know that Tug McGraw is a Phillie? sure he played for the mets first but he was a Phillie. don't they know what he said at our victory parade. i can garauntee that if an ex-phil said "philadelphia can take this championship and stick it" he would be public enemy number one here for life. lastly, when tug was in his last days he was in Philadelphia. he was part of our vet good bye. he was not hanging around the mets. so don't touch him low life mets fans.

Ben -- Where did you see that clip? On CSN?

i also saw that clip Ben was referring to. it really gave me goosebumps to see a group of players who are (or seemed at least) as passionate as we are about this race. when Uggla hit the double to knock in Hanley tonight, guys like Rowand, Burrell, and Vic slamming their hands down on the table and running around giving everyone else on the team high fives. everyone was applauding and whooping, and it got me excited at least, knowing that this team is invested in this thing 100% and that they're never, ever gonna quit

and yes, sophist, it was on CSN. it appeared on sportsnight about 5 minutes after PGL was over i would say...

I saw it on SC. I dont live near Philly. They may not make it, but you can tell they care and arent going to give up.

Mike H. -- Tomorrow is certainly the mismatch day, which is one reason, if there needed to be one, the win today was necessary. Let's see if the bats can get to him, if Eaton can mildly surprise us, or the Phils can work some more late-inning magic.

The mismatch doesn't just come with starting pitching, Gordon and Myers have been used 3 days straight... looks like we need double digit runs tomorrow

Agreed, Sophist. I could take my trends and probabilities and also assume the Mets will make three errors tomorrow. I'm really reading into his stats and Hill is the kind of pitcher that the bats just don't do well against.

It's way too risky, and I am just thinking out loud, but if we had a really incredible bat handler (Ichiro, or Richie Ashburn come to mind), you could have the batter foul off pitch after pitch.

Mike - That would be quite nice. Phils haven't been working the counts all that regularly, however.

I suppose that last time that Hill pitched was the Branyan game? He pitched 6 scoreless, but Lohse & co. only allowed 2 runs. Not sure we'll have that luxury tomorrow.

Damn Eaton.

How many comebacks and rallies has Dobbs played a key role in this year? It's probably just selective memory, but I feel like he's consistently ignited this team in key situations with walks and singles to lead off innings. I love seeing him up there leading off the 6th or 7th inning, even though his stats don't really bear it out.

And regarding Alfonseca's suspension that's under appeal: if the suspension is upheld, and he has to serve the suspension at the start of next season, and assuming the Phillies don't resign him, does the Phillies organization get punished at all for his plunking of Helton? He serves the suspension while playing for his new team, and the Phillies get off scot free? That's a pretty lucky break.

Alfonseca is serving his suspension now. He will be available again on Sunday...and by then, they'll probably be needing him pretty badly.

diggity - Not down but expecting Eaton to pitch well tomorrow is like expecting to see Santa Claus. However, it is not asking too much for a supposed "veteran" to give this team 6 innings and keep them in the game so this offense has a chance. Something like 6 IP and 4 ER would be fine tomorrow from Eaton.

diggity - BTY, I have zero faith in Eaton and I am more than willing to bet that Cholly and most of the Eaton's teammates would agree with me.

I hope that they don't press offensively because they think they need to score 7 or 8 runs to win tomorrow even though that might be the case.

MG -

You gotta go with the pitchers you have, and not the pitchers that you bla bla bla....

There is no way that Cholly will denounce Eaton, regardless of performance. It's not his style.

As hard as it sounds, the best thing to do is throw your support behind Eaton 100%, and pray for a good outcome.

Stranger things have happened. Look at Jeff Weaver with the 'cards last year. Sometimes a stiff gets hot at the right time.

Go Phils.

Look for Amaro to land in Pittsburgh. He is tight with the new Prez there, Frank Coonelly.

You mention Alfonseca and his suspension, well, Rafael Soriano got 4 games for Atlanta for hitting Uggla the other night. He's appealing but likely would end up serving that during part of the Phillies' series.

Sometimes you have to lose today so you can win tomorrow. The matchups Saturday and Sunday strongly favor the Phillies. The bullpen is utterly exhausted. Tonight it's all on Eaton and the second-tier relievers. Maybe we can steal a win and maybe the offense can finally time Shawn Hill's lefthanded breaking stuff. But I'll happily trade an L tonight for a rested bullpen backing up our two best starters tomorrow and Sunday.

I'm sorry, that should say Shawn Hill's RIGHT-handed breaking stuff.

Yeah, that clip of the Phillies watching the Mets was also on ESPN (Sportscenter) this morning. Great clip.

Eaton: He has not pitched well, but I always have a sense that Eaton is just one pitch, one out away from that decent game. He didn't come through last time, but he seemed to show a lot of fire. He was pumped against the Mets, and hopefully he will be showing some of that today. He just needs to execute and not try to get too fine with his pitches. He seems to pick around the plate when he gets ahead, and consequenly walks a lot of guys. I would like to see him go inside more on hitters and stio trying to get them to swing at something tailing out away from them off the plate. I think if nothing else, if you miss with that inside pitch, the guy is still jammed. He definately tries to do what I just said, but it seems like he abandones that strategy too early when he gets a couple of unfavorable calls throwing inside. Hopefully, C.B. Buckner is not behind the plate, or if he is, lets hope he has "Call everything for the Phillies" glasses on tonight.

Great article on Yahoo this morning - Queens-sized choke:

Randolph believed that everything would work out. He never saw how the Mets' lack of urgency has damned them to a race. The Philadelphia Phillies have suffered through injuries, too, and far worse ones at that. Their rotation consists of a kid with a balky elbow (Cole Hamels), a lefty closer to Social Security than his rookie year (Jamie Moyer) and a guy who spent the season's first two months in Double-A (Kyle Kendrick).

And yet the more the Mets play -- the more they kick around the ball, the more they blow leads, the more they hobble toward history -- the more it looks like Jimmy Rollins might have been right.

Rollins, remember, came out before spring training and called the Phillies "the team to beat." His words reverberated in the Mets' clubhouse, and when Philadelphia came out of the gates 3-10, Rollins had them presented with a fork and knife, ready for consumption.

He refused to eat them. Wouldn't even have a taste. Once the Phillies got hot, Rollins started to believe, and the Phillies followed him here, to the cusp, where they're standing with all the strength of the monolith in "2001."

Based on that game last night, the Mets are not extremely thrilled to be playing the Marlins 5 more times (Or is it six). The Fish can hit, and can be rather pesky when you don't need them to be. Just ask Adam Eaton/Phillies bullpen.

Parker, I have had the same feeling about Eaton. He was projected as a 15-10 type guy when he came - probably too optimistically. He's been so bad recently, but he's been around the block, seems to care about the team, and recognizes he is a huge part of why the team is struggling for a playoff spot now instead of coasting in.

I am hoping that seeing how hard and successfully the other guys are working will inspire him to forget the past bad outings, focus 100% and try to pick up the team in these last couple of weeks.

Whistling in the dark? Probably, but he has been capable of giving them 6 good innings in the past, and he's way, way, way overdue for a couple of decent outings. After all, we'd all given up on Pat as a lost soul a few months ago.

With Eaton it's all about command. Some innings he can put the ball where he wants. That's why he has a good strikeout total. Other innings he serves fat juicy meatballs over the heart of the plate. I don't know if it's mechanics, release point, mental or what. But he'll have it for 3 or 4 innings in a row, be cruising, and then lose it, alternating balls well off the plate with those meatballs down the middle. Very, very frustrating to watch.

Interesting bit this morning on mlbtraderumors about the Bucs most likely letting Shawn Chacon go after this season (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/09/bucs-to-let-cha.html). Seems to me that he'd be a nice upgrade to our pen for '08.

They've also got an interesting retrospective of Ed Wades' moves during his time as the Phils' GM.

Adam Eaton, I have about no confidence in the 8 million dollar man...Alls I am asking him is to go 6 innings and to keep the Phillies in the game, i dont' think that is to much to ask for...the odds of this happening though are pretty much slim to none...He usually goes about 4 2/3rds and allows 5-6 runs, aka HE STINKS

Can we finally give Gillick his due credit for bringing Dobbs and Werth into the fold?

Much has been made of his (lack of) bullpen moves, but these two guys have been real steals.

Parker - we can find out about Bucknor - whoever was the 3B ump last night is behind the plate tonight.

Bridoc10: no.
Gillick got Werth as a cheap excuse when he failed to trade/find a replacement for PtB. (Remember how so many people wanted to trade Pat and get someone else.) Werth has exceeded, I believe, Gillick's expectation. Likewise, he picked up Dobbs as cheap insurance in case his Helms/Nunez platoon didn't work out. (It didn't.)

The key word, however, is "cheap." Both were Value Village type moves. They were toss-ins to his real agenda, which was securing pitching. By all accounts, even his own, he was supposed to acquire enough pitching, particularly relief pitching, to get the job done this year. He got us Freddy Garcia, and used Gio Gonzalez to do it.

By now, Gio might have been in the starting rotation is the Phils had retained him. (Though we probably would've had Floyd up instead of kendrick, which would have been tragic.) Just because he did a good job on the toss-ins (or got lucky) does not mean he did his job. He failed, miserably, in the one actual thing he was supposed to do. He needs to be DFA'd.

I'll give Gillick credit for Dobbs & Werth. He also gets credit for Helms, who was supposed to get the majority of time at 3rd and has been a complete and total bust, as well as Barajas. Pat Gillick gets no higher than a C- or D+ for his moves before and during this season.

Is this year different?

I was at a bar in the Village last night and I thought a nice lass was checking me out. Then I noticed the small TV above me with eight different games split-screened.

The nice lass walked over toward me and my friend. "She came over here so you can talk to her," he said.

"I think she's watching the Phillies game," I replied.

She was.

So I warned her not to cheer too loudly because she might jinx them. But then they won. We high-fived.

About a half-hour later in a different bar, I watched two Mets fans go from jubilant to deflated in 30 hot seconds.

Boy did that make me happy.

Bridoc10: oh, I forgot; he also got us Adam Eaton and paid him $24mil. Oh, he also secured Rod barajas, which basically placed Coste at AAA for the first part of the year. Oh, too, while he picked up Romero, once the season was underway, he also acquired Mesa and Alfonseca, while passing on people like Wickmann, Knight, David Wells, (who else? I know I'm forgetting someone....) anyway. Gillick's grades, even with Dobbs, Werth and Romero, are about 3/10. Not good. He's supposed to do better than that.

@everyone: when was the last time we saw Ennis? Is he available for 3 - 5 innings of relief?

JZ - don't leave us hanging. What happened to the lass?

( ;-) )

Parker - Bucknor's not even on this crew. Tonight it out to be Gary Darling behind the plate.

I was at RFK last night, having recently moved to Fairfax. It was a great Phillies crowd. I'll be back on Saturday night. Let's go Phils!

Yeah JZ, I hope you moved on that last night. Such euphoria can't last with Eaton pitching tonight..

in re: Gillick.

Gio pitched 157 innings at AA this year, got 185 Ks and had a WHIP of 1.15. But we got Freddy "The Man, Baby!" Garcia.

The Phillies had runners on first and second with no outs when Charlie Manuel sent Pete Laforest to the plate to face Luis Ayala, but Nationals manager Manny Acta countered by bringing in lefthander Arnie Muñoz. Manuel responded by having Werth face Muñoz instead.

How sweet, and rare, when the other teams manager tops Cholly's error with his own. Acta lost the game right there.

What's with this LaForest character showing up at the plate every time we need a big hit? He should be about the last man off the bench, lefty or not.

Gio pitched 157 innings at AA this year, got 185 Ks and had a WHIP of 1.15. But we got Freddy "The Man, Baby!" Garcia.

And the ChiSox are saying Gavin might be starting to come around.

That's going to go down as one of the worst all-time trades, ever. EVER.

@loctastic: maybe.
I'm not convinced on Floyd, however. he gave up 15 HRs this year in, like, 60 innings.

But in three years, all the White Sox fans will be saying "Where did this Gio guy come from?" (And cheering their asses off.)

OK, I get it. Andy hates Gillick. I didn't say anything about his crap moves...just staying positive and giving him credit for his good ones.

But let's be real, at the time of the deal, I'm pretty sure a vast majority - if not all - of us thought it was a great move getting Garcia. And we basically got Iguchi for a steal from the ChiSox.

@curt...
so i hoped to discover some reason for LaForest, like maybe he's a good PH or matches well with RHP.

Nope.

He hits lefties better than righties, and even when he has hit, it's as a starter not a PH. His PH numbers are awful.

Basically, what I discovered is that, apart from the perceived advantage of a leveraged situation, there is absolutely no reason to have LaForest on the roster other than needing a fourth catcher.

Anybody have a link to the vid of the Phils celebrating the Marlins win? I didn't catch CSN last night or Sportscenter this morning unfortunately.

@Bridoc10:
I don't "hate" Gillick.
I "loathe" the job Gillick has done. I'm sure Gillick is a nice guy with lots of redeeming characteristics. He's just not been a very good GM for the Phils this year.

After last year, it was all about the pitching. He failed to get it done. It is still all about the pitching. I do not trust him to get it done in the future. If you want, give him a C for his ability to acquire role players to fill out an already established line-up.

But until he gets real pitching, he is failing in what he assigned himself as his primary duty. He is the one who assembled this pitching staff - no one else. Every time we blow a 4, 5, 6 run lead, every time we run out of pitchers to pitch, THAT is Gillick.

maybe with Wade at the helm, we can trade Kane Davis and John Ennis for Oswalt.

But Gillick ISN'T the one who screwed up the farm system. How does one acquire decent pitching without prospects?

Hindsight is 20/20, of course. It's easy in September to look back at who had solid seasons and who we SHOULD have acquired.

I'm not satisfied with the overall job he's done. But given what he was left by Wade, I think he did alright.

For a command pitcher, which I read as someone who doesn't walk anybody, Eaton has had 1 start this year without a walk. His shoulder probably still hurts him (though nobody in Phillies land will admit it) and he's probably still pressing on every pitch.

This should be his last start of the season.

I don't frankly care *why* Gillick brought in Romero, Dobbs and Werth... but this team wouldn't be anywhere near sniffing distance of the wild card or the division had he not.

Gillick saw players who could help us. That they exceeded your expectations doesn't mean he exceeded Gillick's (although, I'll agree they likely did).

Whether they exceeded anyone's expectations is irrelevant. They were great moves. You can't argue against them.

However, bad moves included: Garcia, Eaton, Barajas and Helms.

Haha, just tuned into WFAN! You gotta check it out. You can listen free on the web at wfan.com. They don't know what to think and are finally paying the Phils a little bit of respect (which is A LOT in NY terms).

Does Shuerholz (sp?) get a bad rap for bringing in Mike Gonzalez? He got hurt, too. (Like Garcia.)

No GM is infallible. I'm trying to shift the paradigm a little bit toward the positive.

All I'm saying is we should give Gillick credit for Dobbs and Werth. (And Romero. And Pulpo while Myers/Gordon were hurt. And for bringing up Kendrick.)

Eaton will pitch well tonight. 6 innings, 1 maybe 2 runs given up.

Mets fan here. Nice work on the comeback thus far...I am dying a slow death.

Find it quite funny that you guys ALL refer to the manager as Cholly....where did that come from?

Ever hear him talk, Joe?

There's your answer right there.

CJ - take a look at the seven players you mention. Which were major deals meant to have a major impact on the team, and which were less important deals, meant to "tweak" what was already here. (And remember, as far as Gillick's expectations, that Romero was signed to a minor league deal and assigned (believe it or not) to the GULF COAST LEAGUE.

I do not believe that Gillick expected J.C. to be the best pitcher on the Major League Roster for 2007.

Or Northfork, West Virginia, Joe.

Bridoc10:
I'm all for a balanced perspective. But really, what was the number one job Gillick assigned himself in the off-season? (And how well did he accomplish it?)

Andy, thanks for the Bucknor info. I don't usually care about who the umpire is, but that guy is about the worst I have seen. The only guy that I really have liked this year is Rob Demura (mostly because he was able to induce Clint Hurdle to go on a tirade with his team up 12-0, and I'm still confused about that).

Gillick: You can criticisize him all day, and I will too on occassion, but retrospectively blasting him for the Garcia move is not the angle. I don't recall anyone having a problem with the move when it happened. If I recall, the major issue last season was starting pitching. Gillick more than addressed that situation, to the point where, "we" and many "experts," were saying that they might have the best rotation in the National League. The unbelievable injuries that resulted later cannot be blamed on Gillick. I imagine that if Gillick knew that 4/5 of his rotation would spend significant time on the DL, he would have adressed things in a different fashion.

The bullpen is a different story, but one that is not entirely written. They have been horrible, but have shown flashes (No pun intended). In the present they are looking something like we thought they might be, servicable. The vast drop in Geary's production, while to some degree predictable, was not supposed to be such a cavernous plummet. That being said, he has been everthing and more the last couple of weeks. Gordon as well. There have been periods where ideas floated here such as: "If we could ever get these guys healthy, we would be alright." Well maybe that is happening. Gordon looks legit lately. I am no longer keeping nitrate pills close by when he enters the game. Romero has been nothing short of brilliant. Myers, while leaving something to be desired, has been servicable as a closer, and has looked brilliant on occassion. If this pen can get consistent production from Geary, and anything from a "League imposed" rested Alfonseca, they might be even a bit more than servicable. Throw in the fact that Kane Davis has pitched well lately, and you have a sort of a "Cinderella" bullpen, willing to scrub the castle floors for the team, but possible coming around when the opportunity presents itself. All they need to do is get hot, just ask the Cardinals last year. At this point, throw stats out the window, production on a daily basis is all that matters. Just ask Jeff Suppan. Call me crazy, but I see a fire in these guys. Something of an "us against the world" mentality. Maybe they can go out there with the mentality that they will not be the one's that cause this team to not make the playoffs, at least not this week. Personal accountability has a way of putting a fire under someones kiester every once and a while. The bullpen has been pitching like Chase Utley is weilding a fireprod for about a week (Notable exception of Monday night, but since then, lights out).

Joe: Cholly is what the name Charlie sounds like when said with a Philly accent. At least that's what I assumed always hearing anyone named Charlie called Cholly.

Andy: Like I said, it doesn't matter why a player was brought in. It only matters how they help this team win. The reason you bring in players like Dobbs and Werth is so that you have a stronger bench and potential fill-ins if necessary. Werth was brought in to be the fourth outfielder. I think that was pretty clear to everyone. I don't care where Romero was assigned when he was signed. We had a desperate need for a bullpen arm and Gillick found him. That he failed so horribly to address the bullpen adequately all year long is a crime, but he gets a gold star for Romero.

Tonight is Eaton's last opportunity to keep himself in this rotation. Let's hope we can even discuss how best to use him out of the 'pen in the postseason.

One good thing is that around the 6th inning or so, the bats finally woke up. Hard to think that the 4th highest scoring offense in MLB history would score only a couple of runs throughout a couple of games. If nothing else, its a good sign that they're coming back around. They're going to need the offense tonight.

Jeez Andy, relax. Bridoc simply said Gillick deserves praise for Werth and Dobbs. Yes, he does. He deserves a lot of criticism too, but take a deep breat and appreciate Werth and Dobbs.

Would you rather Gillick have signed Jesus Christ Romero to a multi year MAJOR league deal? The fact that he was signed to a minor league deal and is doing well in the majors, is a good thing.

Parker..Excellent points. "At this point, throw stats out the window, production on a daily basis is all that matters"....I couldn't agree more. I think with 9 games to go, what should or shouldn't happen, or what guys normally do doesnt matter right now. Eaton could pitch well tonight (I think he will). Hell, even Nuni could get the game winning hit (ok, less likely, but still possible)

Here's the thing about Gillick and the Garcia trade. You can't bash him for it if he did all his homework and everything looked perfect with Garcia's elbow. You can ABSOLUTELY bash him if we simply traded for a name pitcher without realizing the serious injury risk that he was (declining velocity last year, shoulder soreness). We gave up one our best pitching prospects for him; you simply don't do that if there's a risk with Garcia already being injured. The question is how much homework they did on his shoulder, and whether Kenny Williams knew he was hurt and suckered Gillick into making the deal.

You can, however, bash him for the Eaton signing. Sorry, but no intelligent fan honestly thought Adam Eaton was worth 3 yrs and 24 million. If you did, well... I remember discussing it at the time and being baffled by it. As were most people in the baseball world.

Romero has been our best pitcher. Awesome job by Gillick getting him. I'll give credit where it's due. Finally Charlie seems to realize you can pitch Romero for more than one batter at a time.

FYI: Brett Myers is now 5 for 6 (83%) when entering the 9th inning or later with a 1 run lead. Here is how he ranks with some of the other league's closers:

David Weathers 92%
JJ Putz 91%
Francisco Cordero 90%
Todd Jones 88%
Billy Wagner 86%
Brett Myers 83%
Takashi Saito 79%
Jose Valverde 76%
Trevor Hoffman 73%
Francisco Rodriguez 73%
Joe Borowski 70%
Brad Lidge 69%
Bobby Jenks 69%
Chad Cordero 58%

CJ: That's pretty good, and, to reprise my argument from last night, I don't believe Myers is a bad relief pitcher. However, I also like to look at more than 6 appearances. And in ALL of his appearances, he's been average. Again, I'm not bashing Myers at all, I think he has proven over 4 years to be an above-average pitcher with the potential to be great. He's just not doing it from his current position.

it's amazing that Weathers tops that list

Jack: The list isn't designed to suggest that Myers is at the top of the closer heap. (And I know you aren't suggesting that's why I did the list). Yesterday, the question was how a closer handles the *tough* closer situations. Myers has done well in 1-run save situations. That extra inning blown save the other night with the infield hit, stolen base on the catcher bobble, and 32 hopper past short is the only 1-run blown save he's had in the 9th inning or later this year. (He was credited with a blown save early in the year in a 1-run situation before he became the closer.)

The Mets just called up a Double A RHP to bolster their bullpen following last night's debacle.

Half of me says, "Why can't we call up a Double A arm to bolster our bullpen?"

The other half says, "What team in the heart of the playoff race trots out a Double A pitcher with no major league experience?"

I understand that it's better to be lucky than good. But I still believe that, when evaluating the job that's been done, you have to look at some key performance indicators like: What are your goals? How well have you met them?

At the end of last season I thought a goal should be acquiring a 3B. But Gillick stated his goal was to shore up the relief pitching. As it turns out, he is a better GM than me in that regard. He was right. the bullpen needed attention.

In *meeting* that goal, however, he failed. He acquired El Pulpo (as well as Bobby Livingston and Anderson Garcia). He tried the change the goal on the fly by saying that getting Eaton and Garcia (are we sure we were confident in his lost velocity? I'm not so sure I remember everyone being hugely confident; and I remember wondering if Gio was a very bad choice for a PTBNL) (But that sounds like hidsight so I'm not gonna make that claim.) - that by getting Eaton Garcia, the starting pitching would be so good that he no longer needed to meet his own off-season goal of shoring up the bullpen (or something like that: "you get the pitchers that are available" is closer to his statement).

But note, he chose to go into the year with a 40 something closer and a six-fingered question mark as the set-up. Myers was supposed to be part of that "strongest starting pitching" group. (We lost how many innings of decent pitching because we put Myers in the bullpen??) (Are we gonna put Hamels in the 'pen next year?) (We need a LOOGY after all.)

My point is *he* said he absolutely needed relief pitching. It was his one goal. He failed. The Phils have paid the price for that failure over and over and over and over. I cannot give him passing grades for the job he's done this year.

Even with Werth, Dobbs, Iguchi and Romero. The main part of his job gets at least an "incomplete" in April.

NOW - one last thing. I do not desire to hear about poor Freddy Garcia's injury and how unfortunate it was, cause REALLY, he would have been so excellent if he hadn't blown out his arm in 2005. IT **IS** the job of the GM to make sure the team is not trading away a very valuable prospect for damaged goods that we're now going to lose as a FA this winter. No break. Sorry. Grade "D-," now, and if Gio becomes a MLB starter "F".

I don't hate Gillick. But I hate that he traded Gio Gonzalez for someone who will never make a positive difference for the Phillies.

Bed's Beard:
you're right. I'm done.

(Wait one more: Gillick has sucked! O, Gio, Gio, where have you gone??? O, Gio!!)

Okay, now I'm done.
I loved the Werth pick-up, when it happened and now. I never saw Dobbs coming and it was a good deal. I still do not know how the Sox could DFA Romero, but am glad that Gillick caught it before the Mets did. Good job Patty.

There is that...
wait:
Gooch was good, too. U da Man, pat.

How's that?

Now if Eaton fools me and throws a shut-out tonight, I'll print a full retraction tommorrow.

Andy: Gillick's man job is to put together a winning team. It wasn't to "fix the bullpen." It was to put together a playoff caliber team.

That he failed to address the bullpen adequately is criminal. We all agree on that. However, Alfonseca was huge for a month or so. Romero has been more than we could have ever hoped for. Iguchi was a necessary pickup in the heart of a race. And Werth and Dobbs are essential parts of this team... without whom we would be lost.

Gillick failed in the offseason to fix the bullpen. No one is arguing against that. But to say his only goal was to fix the bullpen is just plain wrong. The goal is to put together a playoff caliber team. It's just that not fixing the bullpen made that goal harder to achieve.

(Actually, is any of Gillick's defenders really want to present a valid argument, they might discuss how much leeway he's been given by ownership in acquisition of free agents etc.)

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EST. 2005

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