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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Comments

RSB - been away from my desk. Bad meeting schedule.

I'm not impressed by 12- 0 losses. I think that important to note, by clout's "relief pitcher evaluation tool" (i.e. runs allowed) the worst job done last night was the one not recorded on paper. Clay Condrey allowed 3 runs. As per usual, however, (and conveniently for his own record) none of them were "his."

Ennis showed that, despite the other night, he is a AA pitcher called up to fill in.

I'm hoping the hitters are not feeling defeated.

As for the future, I say we give Dobbs the 3B job, sign Werth, expect Rowand to go somewhere else (meaning a Burrell, Bourn, Victorino outfield, with Werth as capable fill-in for all), and spend every bit of money on pitching.

Get Linebrink and Affeldt, consider even Hawkins (who's learned to groundballs in Denver). Carlos Silva - since they like him anyway.

Trade Roberson to Florida for whomever from their bullpen they'll give us. Send Golson to whomever will give us a fairly reliable groundball pitcher (Fausto Carmona?). If Florida gives us a (very good) deal on Willis, give it a flyer. (He's probably Freddy Garcia, though, so I wouldn't waste a Gio Gonzalez-type on him).

It's the pitching.

In fact that's my poster for the getting the attention of the "double BMs" (ownership):

Put caricatures of Giles and Montgomery in dunce caps with the following text:

"Hey Bill and Dave!
It's the pitching, stoopid!!"

Honest question,

If Hamels is okay to pitch, why not try and get four starts out of him and start him sooner than Tuesday?

Adding again from last post:

5-9 hitters: 6-50, O RBI's

1-4: 13 hits, all of the RBI's

While the 1-4 hitters have not been great this series, it is inevitable that they will have off nights, sometimes consecutively. What was consistent in the recent winning streaks was production of the 5-9 spots. This series has seen none of that production. Absolutely none. Would it have made a difference? Who knows. Maybe those horrible pitchers get chased early and their bullpen gets exposed earlier in the game. It is all speculation on that front. What is not speculation is the complete lack of production from the "Black Hole." These guys aren't supposed to be the show stoppers, but they are at least supposed to show up for rehearsal.

How many times has Cole Hamels' timetable been pushed back?

It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Durbin loses today, the Phillies are 3.5 back and Hamels is shut down because the team is allegedly out of the race. In fact that's what I expect to happen.

0 runs. Against crappy pitching. Call me crazy, but I've never seen anyone win a game without scoring a run. If i see one more 0 out, bases loaded situation where the meat of the order fails to produce a damn run....

I know the pitching stinks, so i have grown accustomed to not expecting anything from it. But for this offense - healthy - to produce like it did the past two games is inexcusable. It is crunch time, and once again, the "stars" on this team once again disappoint. At home.

Sorry - had to vent.

Greg Golson for Fausto Carmona.....yeah and monkeys might fly out of my butt (if anyone doesnt know that line its from waynes world which was on last night)

TK- I'm all for having Cole throw a few innings of an actual game as opposed to a simulated game this weekend in Shea- throw Hamels and Eaton three innings each on Sunday? Of course, if we lose tomorrow and Friday, that changes. Doubt the Phils are considering this option, however.

1 - 0 2.81 11 0 0 0 3 16.0 14 5 5 2 0 1 14 0 .237 0 59 0
Wouldn't those stats look great in the bullpen.Wonder where you would find a guy like that. Only 1 walk and 15 ks with a 2.81 era. Look under the covers at Reading under the name of MATEO.And we get Mesa, Alfie,etc.

the NL West teams are going to beat up on each other (with help from the Brew-Crew). Phils have to take care of things on their own end. If they don't take at least 2 of the next 4, they'll really just have to beat up on the Nats, Cards, and Braves.

Andy, I think Dobbs at 3B is a recipe for sub-mediocrity. He's fairly brutal in the field (unreliable arm), can't hit a lefthander and would make an already lefty-heavy lineup even more unbalanced. There's no better way to expose a backup's flaws than putting him in a starting role; indeed, the more they have relied on Dobbs, the more mediocre he's looked.

RSB, it was me, not DavThom, who speculated about the longterm implications of the LaForest waiver claim. I stand by my interpretation. If all you want is a lefthanded bat, you can find a lot of them better than LaForest. But it's pretty clear Barajas won't be retained, which means you need a third-string catcher, and few teams carry their third-string catcher on the major-league roster. Therefore you want someone who can clear waivers after spring training. I'm not sure that guy'll be LaForest, but he fits the bill. They'll probably invite some other retread to compete with him for the same job. That means Coste will either be the No. 2 catcher or he'll be gone. I'm sure Gillick would prefer the latter, and I think DavThom is right -- Coste would catch on somewhere.

Funny, Jason, "Enjoy the game."

At the end of the day, that is what it's about. Although I've enjoyed maybe three games since 1993. Really. Three.

1. Thome launching a home run in the first game ever, technically, at the Bank -- in the rain against the Red Sox. There was construction dust still on the seats.

2. Thome winning a game against the Marlins during the last week of the Vet's existence.

3. Utley winning the game two weeks ago off Wagner.

As for 2 and 3, I was at both with my pops, which just makes victory sweeter.

I suppose I enjoyed others, but in reality, this stringing fans along, injuries be damned, is getting more than tiring.

Alby- No doubt about Coste finding a team, if he goes. Look at Fasano. Last I heard he was in the minors, but he's in the bigs for at least a little every year, with various teams. He may be better defensively/work with pitchers better than Coste, and definitely has more experience. But he simply cannot compare with Coste offensively. Any team considering Fasano (and it seems that sooner or later every team does) will consider Coste as well.

jz, Home run by Thome in the first exhibition game was against Cleveland.

Just checked on Fasano- good news and bad news. Good news- Toronto called him up again. Bad news- His wife is pregnant, and there is a problem with the baby, they are going to have to operate.
From all reports, Sal has a good reputation in the league, and I fondly remember his time here. Hope all goes well for his family.

I don't know what Barajas' status is as far as the injury, but I would like to see him get a start tonight. As far as I know, he has not caught since coming off the DL. I don't know how healthy he is, and I question if he is fully healthy based on that. However, Barajas cannot possibly get up there and swing the bat any worse than Ruiz or Coste in this series. I think Jason is right about Ruiz, in that he looks a lot better when he gets some rest. I would rather him be rested for the NY series, and be able to catch at least two games, maybe all three, with Coste catching the other game if he can only go for two. I have to think that Coste could benefit from the rest as well. He is, after all 34 years old. 34 year old knees just don't hold up very well playing catcher. Coste has looked very good at times this year, and rather horrible at other times. Tonight would be a good time to see, what, if anything "Rod the Bod (Or lack therof)" has to contribute to this team. If nothing else, he will give the guys who actually can hit, some rest before a huge road series.

BL commentary has drifted to offseason moves, a sure sign the Phillies to WC bus has four flat tires (named Hamels, Kendrick, Garcia and Lieber), a couple of threadbare woefully underinflated tires (named Eaton Crap & Durbin), an old stiff wobbly tire (named Moyers), some misplaced luggage (named Myers), bad engine replacement parts (named Mesa, Alfonseca & Rosario), bad worn out parts that need replacing (named Geary, Gordon & Barajas) and bad drivers, mechanics and owners (named Cholly, Gillick, Dubee, Junior, Monty and Giles). The bus sits broken down at the side of the road watching other busses from further behind them pass them up, splashing mud on their rusted exterior. Lucky for me, I got off the bus in Atlanta.

Send out an APB on Julio Mateo. Marzano said on WIP that pitchers need to suck it up this time of year and pitch on 4 days' rest. That means a 4-man rotation. Eaton must not see the mound again. It's an automatic loss when he pitches, and his presence on the mound MUST deflate the team.

BM: Oops.

Did you see that Terry Ryan is now available? What's stopping us?

Since I am totally nonplussed by the Durbin vs. Francis tonight I wanted to share an interesting part of Heyman's article on CNNSI (who I like reading better than Verducci usually):

"One major factor is the overall robust health of the game. Even small-market teams are gaining value at stunning rates. Losing teams suddenly have the wherewithal to spend. Teams with losing records in 2006 signed the two biggest free-agent contracts (the Cubs got Alfonso Soriano for $136 million, the Giants got Barry Zito for $126 million), while the Yankees' biggest free-agent signing was for only $22 million (Mike Mussina). Furthermore, the game is so flush with cash that not one team felt the need to dump high-priced stars at the trade deadline.

Revenue sharing really has narrowed the gap between rich and small, and the revenue-sharing pot is estimated to be about $350 million, with the Yankees and Red Sox together contributing almost exactly half that amount. The Yankees are going to be the first team to contribute $100 million in revenue sharing, and they'll add another $23 million in luxury tax on top of that, making them one of the game's great benefactors. The threat of an even higher luxury tax is what stopped the Yankees from signing Carlos Beltran as a free agent three years ago, which might well have put them in the superteam category. The rival Red Sox's revenue sharing figure is $70 million this year, with $6 million more in luxury tax.

Meanwhile, the small-market recipients are cashing in big, with the five worst revenue producers drawing between $25 million and $38 million in revenue-sharing gifts, and another four taking in $20 million-plus. Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Florida, Minnesota, Oakland and Cincinnati are believed to make up the lowest quartile. None of those teams remains in contention, but none is embarrassing itself, either.

Actually, the revenue-sharing money has done way more than keep small-market teams afloat. In many cases, it's given them the ability to keep their better players, and even sign a prime free agent here or there (the Royals' $55-million deal for Gil Meche is an example). With stars often staying with their small-market teams now, free-agent classes have grown weaker and weaker, thus robbing the Yankees of their prime area of dominance."

The only point that Heyman missed is that it is disgusting that teams like Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Florida refuse to spend money yet receive huge subsidies from NY and Boston. Hell, these teams are probably already posting a profit before even selling a single ticket.

Fans complain about the inequities between the big and small payroll teams, but the real issue is that scum bag owners like the group in Pittsburgh who plead poverty yet get huge cash subsidies every year and enjoy playing in a publically-funded stadium.

If Selig had any balls, he would impose a minimum floor of payroll spending during the next round of collective bargaining. It is a damn shame that a great franchise like the Pirates is subjected to a bunch of owners who cry wolf yet are raking in the cash.

RSB - Hamels' recent bullpen session supposedly went well and he might even start as early as Tuesday. It was right to question Hamels but I think some posters on here went way overboard.

Phils and Padres have it easier than the Rockies and Dodgers from here on out. LA and Colorado face each other 7 times. LA plays the Diamondbacks 6 more times, although they have a winnings record against the DBacks this year, and COL plays the Padres and DBacks three more times each. The Phils only have 4 tough games left - today and the Mets. I know morale is low on Beerleaguer, and confidence is low at RFK, but at least the Phils have it pretty easy in their final 13.

San Diego's road is relatively easy as well. Their final 4 against the Brewers, who they swept earlier this year, and three against Colorado. They have 6 against the Giants, who they are 9-3 against this year. If anyone comes out of the final 17/18 games here with 89 wins, it's the Padres. With 10 games against the Giants and Pirates combined, they could be over half way to the 11 wins they need for 89 right there.

If the Giants and Pirates show up against the Padres, 89 wins aren't necessary for the wildcard. LA or Colorado would have to go on a tear to get 13 more wins. 87 wins certainly seem necessary. It looks like the Padres could struggle to the end and get 87 wins.

LA -

1 against Padres at home (7-10)
6 against Arizona (7-5)
7 against Colorado (6-5)
3 against San Fran at home (8-7)

COL -

1 at PHI (4-2)
3 against the Marlins at home (2-1)
7 against the Dodgers (5-6)
3 at SD (7-8)
3 against Arizona at home (8-7)

San Diego -

1 at LA (10-7)
6 against the Giants (9-3)
4 at PIT (2-1)
4 at Brewers (3-0)
3 against the Rockies at home (8-7)

PHI

1 against COL at home (2-4)
3 at NYM (9-6)
3 at STL (4-2)
7 against WAS (7-4)
3 against ATL at home (7-8)

I'd be willing to bet that Pittsburgh will give these teams more of a battle than the Giants. The Pirates play hard and helped put a dent in Milwaukee this week after taking 2 of 3 from the Cubs over the weekend. The Giants will roll over and die. They are not a very prideful team and have been going through the motions at season's end the past few years when they are out of it. I think they lose all three "important" series they have left - 2 with SD and 1 with LA (I refuse to write LAD). One or both of Colorado and LA will fall out of it just because of their number of games with each other.

Wahingoton is not an easy matchup for the Phils. 7 games against them is NOT good.

BENTZ - LA or COL could get in if one gets extremely hot, takes 5 or more of the 7, and the Padres and Phils fall. But even if LA won today and took 5 from the Rockies, they'd need to take at least 4 of 6 from the Diamondbacks, which would be tough. If COL won today and took 5 from LA, they'd need at least 4 of their 6 from the 3 against SD and ARI. They'd be quite deserving if they could pull that off.

VOR - I don't mean to imply that they Phils will easily take 5 games against the Nats, only that they have it easier than the Dodgers or Rockies, who have 7 games against each other. Imagine if the Phils had 7 against the Rockies and the Dodgers had 7 against the Nats. I would be penciling in LA as the wildcard winner. The Phils need to step up no matter what, but not as much as they would if they played tougher teams.

Absolutely - I agree. If one dominates the other, then the loser is out and the winner has a shot. LA is 6-5 against COL this year. Might as well root for AZ at this point too, they have taken control of that division and can only help us. Of course the Phillies probably need to go 12-5 or so to even have a shot.

Actually the Giants have been tougher opponents against these teams than I thought - despite this week's debacle, they are only 7-8 against AZ, 8-10 against COL, and 7-8 against LA. That is surprising. The problem is they are 3-9 against SD.

Here's another feather in Arizona's hat, they have DOMINATED the NL East. 6-1 against Florida and Washington each, 5-1 against the Phils and 4-2 against Atlanta. Though they are only 3-4 against the Mets, that still adds up to 24-9. That's pretty easily the best record anyone in baseball has against any other division. Oddly the Phils are 32-27 in the NL East, which I suppose bodes well for the stretch run in theory. FYI - the Phils are 13-20 against the NL West.

Arizona could certainly help take LA out of the race. The Rockies could drop those games and still have a shot, though. I'm hoping for a complete Padres meltdown, Philadelphia Phillies style.

Repeated comments like "the phils need to step up now" seem like fantasy land. The Phil's time to step up was when they had a 10 game stand against LA, SD, and the Mets that followed 3 with the Pirates. Then they had another chance on the road against FL and ATL. Then they had their final last last chance here in this series with CO. Let's face it, they just don't have what it takes, let's stick a fork in them, they are done. There was just too much rotten pitching that dragged them down.

Let's look towards building a real starting staff and a pen for '08, and then maybe we'll have a realistic shot at the division or WC.

Their WC competitors have shown the Phils who's boss head to head.

I love Manuel's comments in the paper today, on the difference between this year's team in September and the previous two Septembers: "There's a difference between being nervous and being scared."

Are you for real? Channeling the ghost of Casey Stengel, perhaps? Call it what you will, master psychologist, but I'll call scoring 2 runs in 2 games against decidedly bad pitchers sh*tting the bed by any name. Not to mention the latest bases-loaded no-out knee-knocking job. Yeah, Charlie, that's sure one relaxed, confident team you're putting into action.

Speaking of Manuel, he appeared in my latest Phillies dream last night. This was one of the most bizarre yet. The Phillies were apparently playing in Tampa Bay, and J.C. Romero had just taken the mound when he abruptly laid down, curled up in the fetal position, and died. So then they called in Mike Zagurski, who took his warm-ups and then dropped dead of a heart attack. Manuel came to the mound, collapsed in a heap and started bawling his eyes out. And they finally canceled the game.

Martyr yourselves all you want, infiltrate my dreams if you must, but you bastards still aren't getting any sympathy from me!!

RSB- I am concerned about this-- have you seen a psychiatrist? Perhaps you need an exorcism.

Speaking of Manuel, he appeared in my latest Phillies dream last night. This was one of the most bizarre yet. The Phillies were apparently playing in Tampa Bay, and J.C. Romero had just taken the mound when he abruptly laid down, curled up in the fetal position, and died. So then they called in Mike Zagurski, who took his warm-ups and then dropped dead of a heart attack. Manuel came to the mound, collapsed in a heap and started bawling his eyes out. And they finally canceled the game.

Wow. I like how they didn't cancel the game after two people died, but did because of a grown man crying. I guess there really is no crying in baseball.

More Charlie-isms

There's a difference between throwing batting practice and pitching.

There's a difference between the bullpen and a temp agency.

There's a difference between a defensive substitution and a guy who looks bored on the bench.

There's a difference between a guy who limps when he runs and a starter.

Am I really alone here? This team will have us all clawing at padded walls at some point or another.

RSB - I punched out a while ago. You can't get crazy about a team with the living dead manning the bullpen.

Boss or no boss, if San Diego continues to march out a lineup of:

B Giles RF
G Blum (Or little Giles) 2B
M Cameron CF
A Gonzalez 1B
K Greene SS
K Kouzmanoff 3B
M Barrett C
T Sledge LF

I think there is still a chance.

That has to be the worst lineup in baseball, this side of D.C.

I have held the firm belief since March that the team would conform to its usual parameters of inconsistency, have enough talent to contend but not enough to play in October. Therefore nothing has presented the slightest surprise. Sometimes, in spite of my better judgment and reason, I will begin to believe that my doubt is perhaps misplaced. You'd have to be an android to not feel excited after that sweep of the Mets. But when there is an inevitable reversion to form, I can't claim to be startled or upset. I mean, it's still frustrating, but it's too predictable from too far off, and I'm too used to it to really take it to heart this time around.

It's true the Phils are squandering multiple chances, but there's no question there's still a chance to make the playoffs. The Padres could go .500 down the stretch with that crappy lineup, and LA or COL will have to dominate the other. control, you can give up if you like, but they aren't even close to being eliminated as of today. You don't have to defend or explain your pessimism concerning a team 2.5 out with 17 to play. My optimism is partly my nature and partly the $200+ I paid for tickets to the games out here in STL.

Parker ...

In '05, Houston's lineup wouldn't have scared anyone outside of Berkman & Biggio. Good players, but a light hitting lineup. You can get into the playoffs with an anemic lineup when you are throwing Oswalt, Petite, and Clemens at people. They even had a good 4th starter that year.

By contrast, as the Phillies have shown, it is almost impossible to get into the playoffs with a garbage pitching staff no matter how dynamic your offense is.

In '08, we can start out the staff with Hamels & Kendrick, then move Myers back from the pen. Then they would need to determine who the other two starters are. We'd also need a closer and other arms for the pen.
I'd keep Romero around and Madson if he's OK.

If it weren't so hard to get pitching, I'd cut bait with Myers, because I think he's too much of a head case to ever really take it to the next level, as a closer or a starter. I'd always worry about the guy melting down when it counts.

Yup, winning teams win with consistent starting pitching. Everything else is pretty much optional.

control - that's the point. San Diego's pitching is NOT what houston's was in 2005.
Think about these two 5-man rotations:
Jake Peavy
Chris Young (looks injured)
Greg Maddux
Justin Germano
Clay Hensley

Roy Oswalt
Andy Pettite
Roger Clemens
Brandon Backe (who got real hot for the playoffs)
Wandy Rodriguez

IMO the astros rotation was much stronger than the pads is, especially for pitchers 2-5 in both rotations above. If you consider Peavy and Oswalt a wash, which i believe they are, houston has a distinct advantage.

Also, the lineups aren't even close if you think about it. The pads have ZERO power outside of Gonzalez, and even contact-wise they're very unimpressive. The 'stros, meanwhile, had Berkman, Biggio, Ensberg (who had a career year with 36 homers that year!), and Jason Lane. All four of the aforementioned hitters are more threatening to a pitcher (save maybe for Lane) than ANYONE on the pads.

to sum up the above, i still don't think San Diego is a lock to shore up the WC. call me crazy but i still have faith in the phils, even though I think LA might eventually storm ahead and win the WC...

Sophist - After witnessing the beating this team took last night and their lethargic play the past 10 days, can you really say they have a chance at making the playoffs when they are 2.5 games back?

Maybe if Hamels was healthy and they were only a game back, but it is time to play "Taps" for the 2007 Phils season.

Which is why the Phils looked pretty formidable -- on paper -- in Feb. It wasn't too many weeks before those illusions were lost. Garcia-Eaton-Lieber-Myer...nada.

Control13:

You forgot to mention:

Bagwell, Tavares, and Ensberg (And in case you are thinking about the present too much here are his stats in 2005)

Ensberg:
2005 : 36Hr, 101 RBI, .945 OPS

Jason Lane also hit 26 HR for that 2005 team.

That is a far cry from the Padres lineup right now.

@ Alby: I think Dobbs at 3B is a recipe for sub-mediocrity. He's fairly brutal in the field (unreliable arm), can't hit a lefthander and would make an already lefty-heavy lineup even more unbalanced.

I agree with all the points except maybe the hitting a LH one. He's adjusted at every level to hit over .300 eventually - which I'm imagining (and I could be wrong, I don't know if there are minor league splits anywhere) indicates some ability to do okay in a leveraged situation.

My point is that I'm comfortable enough with him, or some other pre-existing platoon at third, since the offense (when hot totally disheartened)is not the problem. My goodness, even with non-producers like Helms, Barajas and Nunez tromping through on many occasionas, the O still leads the league.

All efforts should be focused on getting pitching. Any effort to get a 3B dilutes the resources needed for acquiring starters and relievers.

And yeah, Carmona for Golson is a stretch - but there are bound to be some teams out there who need an OF who might give above-average value as far as pitching.

true, diggity - like the Phils, the Padres are 4-6 in their last 10 (and, unlike the Phils, didn't blow a 5-run and a 6-run lead in that time).

LA would have to be impressive to win the WC. Same with Colorado. The Padres can do it with about a .500 record, and the Phils can get it done be beating teams they are supposed to beat.

Exactly Diggity. After Peavy is an old guy, an injured guy, and a couple of bums.

So.. anyone got a list of CF/3B/SP/BP free agent prospects for 2008?

I wouldn't know where to start to look for such a thing.

Fair enough Dave, you have a point. I guess the Padres could collapse or go .500. It's the Phils making a move that I find improbable. They look like the wind finally went out of their sails, they are starting to look resigned. We'll see....I wish they would have stopped pitching Eaton weeks ago and just brought up Happ or something. I don't know what they could have done about the pen.

loctastic:
MLBTradeRumors has a list of FAs on one of its side menus.

I will hold out hope until the end, but it is getting harder after the last two nights. If we are within 3 losses of SD then I still think it can be done. Anymore than that, I think the mountain is too high to climb.

Bagwell I don't believe played that year in Houston. I did neglect to mention Ensberg and Tavares. Still if you looked at their overall offense, I think they struggled to score runs.
The whole point being, without a solid starting staff and at least a decent pen, you can't win. Period.

But yeah, when you condsier they can probably only lose 5 more games at most to hunt down SD and Eaton and Durbin are going to make at least 4 more combined starts....the margin for error is quite thin.

Wow. pretty lackluster list of free agents. Any chance we can shoot that Carpenter kid up with HGH so he matures enough to start next year?

I guess Mike Lowell is the best 3B on that list. I guess I'd take him. I guess.

The list (if anyone else is interested):

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/03/2008_mlb_free_a.html

Houston in 2005 definately "struggled to score runs." They were 11th in runs, and 11/12/13 in most offensvie categories. Bagwell was a mediocre bench player with Berkman at 1B. But their pitching staff was 1st in hits, BBs and runs.

San Diego currently mirrors many of those statistics, 11th in runs scored; 1st ist in runs and BBs allowed, second in hits allowed. SD this year IS Houston in 2005.

Houston in 2005 definately "struggled to score runs." They were 11th in runs, and 11/12/13 in most offensvie categories. Bagwell was a mediocre bench player with Berkman at 1B. But their pitching staff was 1st in hits, BBs and runs.

San Diego currently mirrors many of those statistics, 11th in runs scored; 1st ist in runs and BBs allowed, second in hits allowed. SD this year IS Houston in 2005.

and i agree with you on that control - pitching wins, fair and simple. just look at recent world series winners (and their starting rotations):
St. Louis (Carpenter, Mulder, Suppan (incredibly hot in the playoffs), Reyes (also got hot)
White Sox (Contreras, Vasquez, Buehrle, Freddy (back when he was healthy...)
Red Sox (Schill, Pedro, Wakefield, Lowe)
Marlins (Beckett, Willis, Penny, Clement)

I could go on and on - Anaheim, Arizona, etc. ALL had the starting pitching that it takes to get to the playoffs, as well as win in that situation. that's obviously where the phils pale in comparison to many other contenders, that's for sure.
As far as i'm concerned, however, no other team in the NL has starting pitching that is THAT impressive, so in all reality the WC is still there for the taking!!

The last two nights have been tough, but I don't think there's any reason to get too carried away. The Rockies are a solid team. Eaton started two nights ago, and Kendrick went down last night. The Phils bats are streaky. Before Tuesday, they scored 23 runs in three games. I know what the Phils have to do, and the schedule couldn't be much easier after the Mets series. They have an easier road than LA or COL, and I am going to enjoy watching it until the day they are mathematically eliminated.

Lake Nostradamus has analyzed RSB's dream. It's an easy one to decipher.

First RSB, dreams of two Phillies relief pitchers, one decent, one terrible. In his dream, the decent pitcher Romero dies, to be replaced by the horrible Z-man, who also dies. They do literally what the Phillies relief corps has done most of the season, causing leads to die. Then, Cholly comes out and cries. Crying is symbolism for making excuses for losses to the press. In RSB's dream, Cholly represents impotance. The situation is dire, and all Cholly can do is cry.

The symbolism is this: Romero represents the good players and Zagurski represents the bad. They both die, just as the good and the bad players played last night losing to the symbolic number 12 (12 Apostles, 12 months, 12 Zodiacal Signs, 12 fingers on Alfonseca's hands, etc.), while scoring a big zero. In a sense, Romero and Zagurski represent the whole team that is dying.

Cholly actually represents us, the fans. Cholly is powerless to do anything, so he breaks down a cries. Ending the game is symbolic for ending the WC chase. In RSB's mind (and mine, too!), the season is over.

I hope that clarifies everything for you.

"The situation is dire, and all Cholly can do is cry."

That's impressive, Lake Fred. I think you should become the Beerleaguer psychiatrist.

Gavin Floyd has made 3 straight quality starts.

"12 fingers on Alfonseca's hands"

I always wondered about the true significance of the dose dedos.

In other White Sox news, Ozzie Guillen's contract has been extended until the end of the world (2012). Anyone care to begin figuring that one out?

I just don't want to wake up one fine day and hear Cholly's been extended. That's the day we can stop dreaming about 2008, 2009 etc.

I think the Phils must spend on pitching, pitching, and more pitching.. Linebrink, Francisco Cordero, and Jeremy Affeldt are a good start. They could do worse than sign Pedro Feliz.. great glove, average hitter, average power. Bye-bye to Helms, Barajas, Alfonsucka, Joe Table, Geary, and anybody else residing in that pitiful pen. Myers starts again. and then (this was an actual rumor) consider trading Ryan Howard for Santana...

Gavin Floyd makes 3 quality starts, maybe Lake Fred's apacolyptic vision is coming to pass.

Control: Indeed there was a reason to not mention Bagwell. He did not play much that season. I did not look at his stats initially when I looked at the lineup. Looking back on it, he was suffering from the shoulder injury that eventually ended his career. My apologies on that one. BTW, I still think the 2005 Stros Lineup was much better than the current Padres lineup. Their staff is nowhere near as good as the Astros rotation on 05.'

It is not impossible to win with average pitching (If the Phils actually qualifies for that), but definately difficult. Really I do not think that the Cardinals staff was that good when they won the Series, but their bullpen was definately better. How much better, I'm not sure. What is certain is that they got hot late in the year.

Hey great news! Helms is starting at 3B tonight!

Phils
SS Rollins
2B Utley
LF Burrell
1B Howard
CF Rowand
RF Werth
3B Helms
C Ruiz
P Real Deal

Rockies
CF Sullivan
SS Tulowitzki
LF Holliday
1B Helton
3B Atkins
RF Hawpe
C Ianennta
2B Quintanilla
P Francis

@ron
Pitching is it, indeed.
I would worry about the RH for JS thing though. Since signing Santana the next time around might be a problem and then we end up with a first round pick and one in the supplemental for someone who might be the Franchise.

Keeler, like the pitcher nomer.

Andy--- Santana would be the franchise--along w/ Utley.. Ryan would be a great fit for Minn as a DH. Signing Santana would NOT be as problematic as signing Howard in 1-2 yrs..because Santana is MORE valuable to THIS team (i.e. offense is not the problem).

RSB wrote: "Lake Fred. I think you should become the Beerleaguer psychiatrist."

That would be too big a job for me, as Lake Nostradamus does predict many contemplations of suicide in the Phillies fandom over the next month. That would be too much for me to handle! Ha! Ha!

Carry on without me tonight as I wind down I-10 from Houston to New Orleans.

well i'm off to synagogue again tonight to celebrate the new year. any wishes you guys want me to pass along to the Big Guy while i'm there??

p.s. when i come back, unlike last night when they were down 10-0, they better at least keep it within 5 or 6 runs

From Aol fanhouse:
"For the season, the Braves have won 40% (16-24) of their one-run games, matching the winning percentage of the Cardinals (12-18) and the Pirates (14-21). The worst luck in the league belongs to the Phillies, though. They've won just 35.3% (12-22) of their one-run games, which is somewhat surprising considering they're actually 2.5 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East. If anyone has reason to bemoan the intangibles, it's them -- if just a few of those games had turned out differently, they'd be in the driver's seat for the wild card instead of tied with three other teams for second place."
http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/09/13/the-braves-arent-very-clutch/

Wes Helms vs Jeff Francis: 5 for 7; 3 2B, HR, 3 RBI

Blind Squirrel or someone doing a little homework for Manuel?

thrillhouse26
I'm guessing someone probably new that - maybe Helms went up and something like "Duh...Skip? I...uhhh, hit dis guy, um, pertty good."

But in my mind I prefer the idea of the sight-impaied bushy rodent.

Nothing to do with baseball, but diggity dave went to synagogue last night for New Years. Anybody know how many they get?

And here comes the meat wagon.

Leadoff walk.. always a good sign with the Real Deal. I'm predicting 11-5 Rockies.

Awesome start. I wonder if he'll get any outs this time around.

Over under:

Durbin gets 5 outs?

It's just impossible with this kind of pitching. I'm already thinking about next year.

A 1-2-3 inning at some point tonight would be a moral victory.

I have had it. If the Phils are losing by more than 5 runs after 3, I'll try again tomorrow.

parker
I'll take the over.
Only because there's no real long reliever at this point.

If the Phils are losing by more than 5 after 3 we'll ask diggitydave to say Kadesh.

It'd be nice if we could turn a triple play one of these days...

See, it's better than Florida already!

Andy- Now that's positive thinking for ya.

I think Eaton and Durbin have the same father.

parker:
Gillick?

Eaton has taught Durbin that an inning doesn't really count unless you throw at least 30 pitches.

Their mom is Montgomery.

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EST. 2005

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