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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Comments

Jason, that graphic is both funny and sad. You deserve a break and can take all the pitches you want (the Phils probably should have done more of that). Thanks again for the community you have fostered here and for the great writing all season long.

jason, great writing, great season. your epilogue above is better than anything written by the inquirer faithful, who seem to have montgomery tattoos on each asscheek.

I think we all feel that way Jason; burned out.

A not so great ending to a great season. Hard to believe the playoff run is already over.

Could be worse. We could be the Mets.

I'm not sure being the Mets is any worse right now... what did winning the division really do for us?? phils didnt even put up a fight, might as well have not even made it...

Jason- thanks for being there all season long. its been a great season.

now, on to the game- can anyone explain to me why brett wasn't in against baker?

Jason- thanks for being there all season long. its been a great season.

now, on to the game- can anyone explain to me why brett wasn't in against baker?

What an incredible roller coaster of a season - capped by a comeback that rivaled '64 in reverse, highlighted by a resurgent bullpen, a C. Manuel who seemed to have taken the Hippocratic oath and clutch hitting from almost everyone (with the exception of Nunez and Laforest) - followed by a dull as dishwater playoff series that was a return to the Phil's at their worst - Mesa-ed, Manuel-ed and an entire lineup that hit Nunez-like.
I grew up in Philly, but as my mother who grew up in Brooklyn during the Dodger days says, "wait till next year"
Thanks to Jason for this great site, where a lurker like me - living in Manhattan - has been able to follow the angst and the excitement of this crazy season that ended with such a disappointing thud.
It may be painful to admit, but the Rockies are pretty cool - and I'd like to see them kick some more @ss this October.

the thing that bothers me most is that it means no more phillies for a while. its never been about winning the world series for me. its always been more about keeping the season alive. win so i can watch them tomorrow.

Jason, I didn't know you'd started a new thread, so I'll repost my comments from the end of the previous one. But prior to that, I commend you for the due credit given to the Rockies. I can't entirely agree, however, that the series provided not a single memorable moment. They were quickly overshadowed, but Jimmy Rollins' first two at-bats of the Game 2 were awe-inspiring from my vantage point. And Jamie Moyer's performance in Game 3 is one other positive that should also be remembered.

To all those who made comparisons with the 1976 team, the 3-game first-round flattening makes the argument a bit more convincing. However, that was a 101-win team and this one a marginal 89-win team. They could be back next year, or they could just as easily revert to 84-86 wins and second/third place. It's hard for me to believe that great things are still in store for this team; there's too many gaps to be filled in, which we already know will not all be filled in. Still, there's only five teams in the damned division. They'll get another chance. Hang in there.

There was a crucial point tonight at which the Phillies had a small window to at least take control of the game. After Victorino homered, Ruiz followed with a single, and Dobbs' grounder put him at second base with 2 outs. Tad Iguchi stepped in and worked the count to 3-1, with Jimmy Rollins on deck. I wasn't able to watch, so I don't know what exactly Iguchi got to hit there, but he was in a terrific hitting situation and he popped the ball up. That was the last, best chance.

The Rockies won with two rookie pitchers - and not just rookies, but guys with less than a combined half-season. Makes you wonder what took so long for them to be called up. The Phils couldn't figure them out in September and couldn't figure them out in October. They obviously deserved far more regard than was paid to them at the outset of the series. It's true that the Phillies got themselves out a good deal, but the series was won by the Rockies because they had more effective pitchers and obviously stronger scouting.

Ryan Howard was definitively exposed in this series as a poor hitter who cannot make adjustments in crucial situations. The Rockies did a number on him. It would perhaps be a little easier to swallow if he hadn't developed the extremely distasteful habit of grimacing and bitching to the umpires for calling strikes on him. Ryan - *you're* the one who keeps getting yourself out, because you can't figure out what the pitcher is trying to do. Don't turn around and try to displace the blame.

It would of course be unfair to totally single out Howard, because not one Phillie batsman really did his job in this truncated series. Perhaps it wasn't that they were "content" with winning just the division, but they do leave the impression that they were not the least bit prepared to take the next step. The good news is, if they make it back this group will remember what happened here and they will be ready.

It wasn't even a week ago that we had begun to wildly celebrate the improbable NL East triumph. That memory does not deserve to be snuffed out by the unhappy results which followed. This Phillies team was just as maddening and frustrating as all the recent Phillies teams we've seen, but this year they found a way to get it done - and probably with the weakest overall squad they've had to work with since 2002.

I will be enjoying the remainder of the playoffs, including the NLCS. I don't really understand how the Rockies/Diamondbacks matchup isn't immensely appealing to fans who appreciate good baseball. Those teams are probably the most fundamentally sound in the NL. Young, homegrown teams getting their first crack at the big time.

Finally, after coming home depressed, Sad Panda made me really laugh out loud twice as I read through the thread - imagine, the last live game thread in 2007 - with his comment blaming Lenny Dykstra for the power outage and then reminding us that "on the bright side, John Denver died in a plane crash."

That helped :)

I've been reading this blog all season, but haven't posted until now. Just wanted to give quick thanks to the organizer (Jason?). This site is very well done. The comments have been great. It's been a great season, regardless of how it ended. I'm also pulling for the Rockies, they look like winners to me. Pitchers and Catchers report in 137 days, I can't wait.

Jason

Just wanted to add my thanks for Beerleaguer. Here in the UK I mostly don't get to read about the games until long after they are over. The AP / Inquirer / Daily News reports are good but as I have mentioned a few times over the year this blog really fills in the gaps for me.

So I must also thank the intelligent posters that round out the Phillie expereince for me. We all know who you are!

I turned the game off before the bottom of the eighth. I don't call this giving up; I call it being a Phillies fan.

I disagree about Howard being exposed. What I saw last night was a man who wanted to win -- making defensive plays, getting the *one* hit the Phillies had for too much of the game.

Aaron Rowand disappointed me big time in this series. He's a guy who won a World Series and was here because of that experience. After his second flailing, three-pitch at-bat, I was actually thinking Manuel, who would never do this, should throw Bourn in the game as a pinch hitter. For Rowand. To lead-off and give some spark.

Victorino and his lone Phillies run deserves to be in center next year.

Jaime Moyer is my hero. That guy came to play for the last week. And watching him and Ruiz communicate throughout the game was one bright spot. That's sad when the one bright spot a fan has is enjoying an in-inning mound conversation between a pitcher and catcher.

Jason, I have another vivid memory besides Hamels' sweatshirt: PtB landing like a Duck Hunt-duck in left going after that fly ball. Oof.

I wondered aloud several times this week why we all couldn't enjoy last Sunday more. We had last Sunday, then a rally Monday, then optimism Tuesday and then, well, nothing.

Here's to the NL East champs, though. They overcame a sh*tload of adversity and gave the city some ol' fashioned sports fun this year during the regular season.

And here's hoping the young guns on this team got a taste of wanting more so fans won't have to wait more than a decade to be optimistic again.

just woke up. i had this terrible dream that i was tortured through a 162 game schedule, was happy for all of two days, then spent my part of $5 million or so dollars on tickets and concessions (which will be horded by the phillies organization) to watch a team that had so much heart limp their way out of the playoffs... that goodness it was just a dream... is it march yet?

and thanks, jason, for giving me the opportunity to voice my frustrations and be consoled by fellow fans. i have really enjoyed this website all year. i'm sure it is a lot of work and headaches, but i, and lots of others, really appreciate it. thank you...

To Jason and all the Beerleaguer posters, thank you for making this a great site for all Phillies Fans, It was a great season that came to a end too early but what a ride it was , still a Great season, besides comin up against a better team it just looked like this team was out of gas. I couldn't agree more with RSB about Howards constant complaining to the umps, thats just the kind stuff you hate seeing opposing players do, anyway still great memories of J-rolls great all-around M.V.P. play, PtB resurgence in the 2nd half, Howards Homers and k.kendrick's rookie season and who can forget about forget the the Mets series and Chase's game winning hit. This team showed so much Grit and Heart to get into Oct, I can't wait for the 2008 Phillies, and being in the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Baseball.....Wait till Next Year, Thank you Philadelphia Phillies!!

Only had 1 cup of coffee when i proof read my post, or maybe still a hangover from the series!

Thanks for all of your work, Jason. First class, all the way.

That being said, if this team somehow manages to win the division again next year (I'm not sure how likely that is), I don't want anyone celebrating like they just won the Series. I don't want any rallies at City Hall, introducing the players as if they'd just came back from the moon. I don't want Harry Kalas singing High Hopes. I don't even want them pouring champagne in the locker room. I want them completely and utterly focused on one thing: the pennant. If they win that, they can celebrate all they want. Until then, keep it muted please.

RSB: I need to figure out a way to include Jimmy and Moyer into the original post. It unfair to exclude them because they did show up this series.

thanks to Jason, all the other Beerleaguers, and the Phils for a great season. I'm still trying to come to grips with what's happened, but right now at least it's good to know that we can say "wait til next year" without being bitterly sarcastic.

Jason, I should have thanked you last night, but I was too busy with some Mut trash. Thanks for a great season. It was a lot of fun. It's too bad the Phils lost, but they will be back next year with some tweeking of the pitching staff along possibly upgrading 3B. I look forward to all the Hot Stove talk! Enjoy your break.

Thanks to all the other posters as well!

JZ, I'm totally with you on Howard. Nobody on the team except for Rollins in game 2 and, to a lesser extent Victorino, swung the bats well. What I did see was Howard making some great defensive plays. I don't care about Howard griping about the calls, some of them were horrid. It shows competitive fire. He and the team played their buts off last night. If anything this sweep does not hurt as much because of the way they went all out last night.

Exposed?!: Calling Howard exposed is incomparably inaccurate. In the same way that you can say that A-Rod or Barry Bonds were exposed in their playoff careers, you can say that Howard has been exposed. For those of you who watch baseball and do not just pay attention to the at bats of certain players, Bonds struggled mightily in the playoffs except for one year (I believe the year that the Giants made the WS). A-Rod has never performed in the playoffs. Bonds hit well over 700 HR, and A-Rod is set to break all of his records. You are talking about two of the best baseball players in the history of the game, and based on the logic with Howard, teams figured them out. There is no way to properly describe that comment except to say that it is completely ridiculous. Nobody figured out Bonds and nobody has figured out A-Rod. Nobody figured out Howard either. The Phillies played in 3 games in the postseason (Yes three games). To say that the Rockies figured Howard out based on his performance in three games runs so afoul of reality as to be worthy of no recognition. Anybody can struggle for 3 games, anybody, even the best in the history of the game (Often they do it for more than three games: See Bonds/A-Rod).

The real story here, and one that many people refuse to recognize, is that Ubaldo Jiminez is completely filthy. 95-99 MPH fastballs that are located well are nearly unhittable, period. Throw in the fact that he was locating (At least regularly enough to be effective) an 85 MPH slider, and a 75 MPH curveball, and you have a pitcher that would rival the best that any team can throw out there (BTW, in my opinion, Jiminez was as nasty last night as any pitcher I have seen this year, this side of Justin Verlander's no hitter). Franklin Morales possesses equally ridiculous pitches, although he seemed to let the pressure get too him a bit more than Jiminez. Francis also threw the game of his career in game one.

Bottom Line: Give credit where credit is due and stop being blindly critical of the Phillies in the face of overwhelmingly strong evidence that they came up against a very tough matchup. If you want to say that anybody was exposed, then I think that the appropriate persons would be Jiminez, Francis and Morales. They were exposed in that the rest of the league (Most Immediately Arizona), better be ready to grind it out and match them pitch for pitch. If they throw as well against the rest of the league as they did against the Phillies, they might win it all.

vonhayes: "what did winning the division really do for us?" It allows us to hoist another flag, albeit not the one we ultimately wanted, but that ritual is something that has been far too uncommon for this franchise in it's very long history.

As for what else it means - it means the league MVP was vindicated, last offseason he said we were the team to beat in the NL East, during this offseason, Pat Gillick needs to get more pitching acquisitions like Romero and Lohse, so that next season JRoll can say we are the team to beat in all of baseball and then will next year's version of the Phightins to accomplish that next hurdle.

Unlike you Jason, I want the team that beat us to suffer, their greatest victory should be beating the Phils and nothing more - Go Diamondbacks, get your second ring this millennium, to Hell with the Rockies!

Final P.S. of the season: Please fire Manuel and Dubee!

Peace out!

The age-old adage was proven: good pitching beats good hitting, especially when good hitters go into a collective slump. Farewell, Rowand. Spend the millions freed up by Lieber/Garcia to get some pitching. Cordero or Mariano to close, Myers back to the rotation, trade for or sign a Carlos Silva-type sinkerballer and add a lefty to the 'pen. A third baseman would be nice, too. The team needs pitching to match its hitting. Gillick, this is your last hot-stove season. Go out with a bang!

I want to thank the Phillies for the best season in years. I'm looking forward to next year. They have provide hours of fun.
I want to thank J. Weitzel for providing this site. I came upon it late in the year, but I'm looking forward to spring training next year.
I also want to thank my fellow posters. I think better after I read what you think.
Here's to next year!

Two moments standout out in the series:

Charlie lifting Kendrick for Lohse (why?) and Charlie letting Romero face the righty, Baker, when he had Myers warming up. Baker gets the hit and THEN he brings in Myers. Little late there, Charlie.

Chicken, I completely agree about Myers.

Romero has been great in the second half against RH, but over his career, he is more of a LOOGY. Considering it is all RH hitters after Hawpe, you *have* to have Myers ready.

But, really, the balls were not hit all that hard. It was bad managing, but not nearly on the level of Game 2.

Also, you have to ask why Romero came in in the first place. Gordon had been fine, and nobody was on base when Romero came though.

If the series were still going on, I would go into this in more detail, but critically investigating the moves of one Charles Fuqua Manuel is just too draining.

I am saddened, not by the sweep, but that this is it until spring training - the summer flies by and the winter creeps...It's has been a great run, Phils and Beerleaguer- Just wait till next year!

Season well done. National League East Champions.

It's a bitter pill to swallow. We rode the pony of an offense that doesn't quit. They failed in these three games.

I can't disagree with the people who point to Rowand with specific disappointment in this playoff. He was the one guy who'd been there, and he was the most embarrassingly over-anxious of an over-anxious bunch. They really needed him and Burrell to step up against the lefties, and outside of those aberrant back-to-back homers in Game 1, they did next to nothing.

That said, I don't know if that gives us free reign to turn sour on Rowand. Barring a run at someone like Lowell, they *need* his RH bat.

i do refuse to recognize that jimenez was unhittable. the guy WAS filthy when he was locating, but he walked 4 and should have walked more than that. he got bailed out a couple times by impatient, poor ABs. you have to be kidding to mention his performance yesterday in the same breath as verlander's no hitter. moreover, to say that morales was exposed in a positive light...the phillies were teeing off on him when he got pulled.

the rocks deserved to win this series--they outhit and outpitched the phillies. period. there is no denying that. but what annoys me is that the phillies did not make them work for it. they did everything they could to help the rocks succeed in this series.

it was a great season, but like many, this series has left a bitter taste in my mouth. players who came through big all year like chase and rowand came up immeasurably small. a week ago i hoped to see rowand back next year--now i'm not as keen on the idea. and cholly? typical cholly this series. the man got us to the playoffs in spite of his own tactical shortcomings, but i'm not sure he is the guy to take us another step. he's a great motivator, not a great gameday manager. i don't see his best attributes bearing fruit in a short elimination series. but i'd be happy to be proven wrong.

thanks again to weitzel for his time and providing the forum for us all.

Thanks Jason, appreciate the dedication you've shown to the phils and the site.

Have a nice offseason.

David Montgomery
You need to replace Charles with manager who understands what a pitcher is; preferably Joe Girardi. There is much much more to winning a NL Championship than having a tranquilized clubhouse.

Thanks Jason for a great way to enjoy the year. Like others have said, one of the worst parts of losing is the fact I now have to wait 5 months to watch the Phils again. Through it all they were lots of fun to follow.

Mr. Mac -- you said in the last thread, "I think Moyer should be back for at least another year. He pitched like the consumate pro once again."

Absolutely right -- with only a couple of exceptions all year, Moyer gave the Phillies quality starts and a legitimate chance to win every time out. With Moyer's style fo pitching and his conditioning -- he really got down the line on running out his two grouind balls last night -- I think that Moyer could still pitch for four more years, if he wanted to/

MG -- you couldn't have said it better when you said, "How can you fault Cholly tonight? This is just a pathetic display tonight by the Phils' offense."

With the exception of the first half of Game 2, the big guys in the Phillies lineup, the guys who are paid the large money -- Rollins, Utley, Burrell and Rowand -- miserably failed to hit in the clutch and simply did not find a way to get it done, period.


Well, to read Parker this Rockies team is one of the greatest ever. Jimenez is a Cy Young award winner, Morales is the best, blah, blah, blah. One nice thing, we get to see how wrong he is pretty soon. Yet again.

I was at the Springsteen concert last night so only caught the end of the game, but I'm surprised there wasn't at least a little second guessing of Werth on defense rather than Bourn. Bourn is 50% faster than Werth. Does he get to that bloop that dropped in front of Werth and led to the winning run?

It's amazing how much I've agreed with RSB this year. He's right, the comparisons to 1976 are absurd. This team isn't remotely as good as that team and the Rockies, despite what Parker says, aren't the Big Red Machine.

The lesson of this series is one we already know: Anything can happen in a short series and whoever the best team is, is irrelevant. Please see Al Weis, Marty Barrett, Gene Tenace, Kaz Matsui, Dusty Rhodes etc. etc. etc.

Regular season Phillies: Great hitting, bad pitching.
Post season Phillies: Great pitching, bad hitting.

Regular season Phillies: Utley and Rowand were superb All-Star level players.
Post season Phillies: Utley and Rowand suck.

Regular season Phillies: Moyer is a 5 IP elderly starter with an ERA of 5.00
Post season Phillies: Moyer is a dominant ace.

Regular season Phillies: Romero saves the Phillies' bacon time and again.
Post season Phillies: Romero flops in the biggest game of the year.

Regular season Phillies: Charlie Manuel makes bone-headed, obviously wrong in-game decisions.
Post season Phillies: Well, not everything was opposite.

thanks, clout, for agreeing that jimenez was not, in fact, the second coming last night. i was wondering where you were last night when parker was in full "company man" mode. maybe siralden is parker's alterego...

When the big bats fail, play "small ball". You need speed to play small ball, we had the speed to do this but not the manager to orchestrate it. Well it is time for the organization to get ready to shop in Aisle 13, you know the bargain aisle.

hippo: One thing I noticed in the first 2 games, and must've been the case last night, was some really poor plate discipline and strike zone judgment by our hitters. Not sure why that was.

it was the case. after 4 or 5 pitch walks, we had guys going up there hacking...and just not power hitters looking for a fastball, but guys like nunez (go figure). somewhat ironically given his plate discipline this year, carlos ruiz had some of the best ABs this series. unsurprisingly, this paid dividends, since he was arguably our best hitter this series.

Clout: Regarding two of your points. First, I wouldn't say Romero flopped. He was less than a foot from having outs on two of the three hits he gave up. He pitched well, and caught some bad breaks.

As for the poor plate discipline -- what I observed was the Rockies exploiting just how patient the Phils are. They attacked them early in the count with strikes, which the Phils often took, and left our better hitters either hacking away (Rowand, Utley) or caught looking (Howard).

bathtubhippo: Spot-on about Ruiz. He didn't have a strong series, I'd say, but he certainly didn't embarrass himself. Unfortunately, that's a compliment compared to the offensive output of others on this squad.

john: you thought the phillies had a lot of patient ABs this series? i agree that in some cases they did just what you're saying..take 2 strikes and then struggle down in the count. but they also repeatedly went up hacking at times when rockies pitchers were struggling with control. that was killer, IMO.

same circus every year on torre/yankees. yawn.

Really hard to talk much about 2008 since the team is going to look radically different. At this moment the starting staff is Hamels-Kendrick-Moyer-Eaton. I'd say we have to add 2 SPs.

The bullpen is even more in disarray: Mesa, Alfonseca and Romero are all free agents. Do you trust Gordon as setup man again? Myers is obviously the closer, but they are missing about 5 pieces here. Geary is no better than a mopup/middle guy as is Condrey and I don't think we need two. The minor leaguers proved to be failures and/or hurt. Here's hoping we don't open next season with the likes of Sanches, Smith, Castro etc.

All the big decisions involve pitching. On offense, the biggest decision is Rowand and that will be purely a budget consideration. If they open the purses enough to add the 6 or 7 pitchers they need plus Rowand, I'd do it. Something tells me that won't happen.

Thirdbase was the the worst in the NL this season so almost anything would be an upgrade here. Lowell would be nice, but I think he'll re-sign in Boston.

John: You just defined poor plate discipline. Thanks for agreeing with me.

"They attacked them early in the count with strikes, which the Phils often took, and left our better hitters either hacking away (Rowand, Utley) or caught looking (Howard)."

Oh, re: thirdbase, Nunez can be a free agent if the Phillies don't exercise their option. I cannot imagine any scenario in which they would bring him back.

Clout: By the way, however wrong I may be in the future with my predictions with the Rockies (Come to think of it, I made none). I'm still not on the same hemisphere when it comes to being wrong, as you were when you suggested that the Rockies were a better matchup than the Padres. Andy said it best: "It's a no lose situation playing the Rockies, either we beat them and clout was right, or we get to see just how wrong clout was if we lose." Well clout, any more bold statements about how good teams are?

And by the way, I said "IF" the Rockies pitch as well the rest of the season as they did against the Phillies, they "COULD" win it all. I never said that it was guaranteed. I also said that "IF" they pitch that good, the Diamondbacks and potentially whoever else they might play would have to match them pitch for pitch. In no way was I saying that it was probable, much less definite that the Rockies continue to pitch that well. Also, by making that statement, I left open the possibility that Arizona could in fact, go pitch for pitch with the Rockies. If you remember I have been saying how good the D-backs pitching is/was for about 2 months now. So I don't get this: "We'll get to see just how wrong Parker is" stuff comes from. Perhaps clout wants to divert attention from the worst predicted favorable matchup that has ever occured. I'm not sure.

Any chance we could or should try and put together a package for Santana? Would Carrasco, Happ, Costanzo, and Cardenas even be in the ballpark? Then we sign him to something stupid like 5 years 120mil. Playoff performance aside, our time to win is now, with Rollins, Utley, and Howard all in their primes. Might make sense to throw all our chips in. Or not.

Parker: My crystal ball does not tell me whether the Phillies would've beaten the Padres or not. I do know the Padres have better pitching than the Rockies.

Well, it's nice to know that you recognize the Rockies pitching isn't as remotely good as it looked against the Phillies.

Brian G: I like your thinking on that one. The Phils would have to know beforehand that they could sign Santana, but I'd have no hesitation in trading a couple crown jewel prospects for him.

Clout: Whatever, the Padres might have had the better pitching staff on paper at the beginning of the season, but by late September they were all crumbling like your gingerbread house predictions about how the Rockies were the better matchup. If you care to post some stats that prove that the Padres pitched better than the Rockies in mid-late September I would love to see them. The problem is, you won't find those stats anywhere.

Yesterday's trash talk aside, I wanna thank Jason and all of you guys for a great read this week. Simply put, one of the most professional blogs I've seen, and the quality of baseball discussion in the comments section is second to none (far better than the blue-n-orange degenerates to the north). Thanks, guys. Pitchers and catchers report in 17 weeks...best of luck this offseason.

God Bless you all till then.

Atkins

Atkins go eat some meat.

parker: Just to refresh your memory these are your words:

"You have a pitcher (Jimenez) that would rival the best that any team can throw out there (BTW, in my opinion, Jiminez was as nasty last night as any pitcher I have seen this year, this side of Justin Verlander's no hitter)."
"If you want to say that anybody was exposed, then I think that the appropriate persons would be Jiminez, Francis and Morales. They were exposed in that the rest of the league (Most Immediately Arizona), better be ready to grind it out and match them pitch."

Sounds pretty awesome to me!

Exactly and I stand by those comments. What can you say about your posts about the Rockies? I think I will go dig those up. We shall see what looks more correct.

Parker: The season lasts from April through September. It does not begin in the last two weeks of September. The Padres have better pitching.

Ok, clout so you are telling me that Chris Young and Gregg Maddux were the same pitchers in September that they were in April? Is that what you are saying?

Overall a good year for the Phillies and baseball in Philadelphia...saying that very disappointing to be swept in the playoffs...a sweep always creates a lot of doubt on a team's worthiness. There was poor hitting in the playoffs that couldn't be offset - we need to be able to switch into small ball mode when the hitting isn't there (it almost seemed as though we had as many homeruns as singles in the playoff series). Manuel should come back but his poor game two decisions really highlighted his need to improve on handling a pitching staff - too often in the regular season the hitting bailed them out when starters were pulled too soon. In a playoff series that is low scoring baseball becomes like a chess match so naturally moves are closely scrutinized. The Rockies played great and it seemed looser. However now I think they will begin to feel some pressure as they advance to play for the pennant. Their joy ride may be coming to an end. If they continue this joy ride, it will be one of the greatest closings in MLB history. Thanks to J. Weitzel for providing such a great Blog and for his analysis of games and the Phillies. I will always love the Phillies!

parker: Read this very carefully. You can even move your lips:

You have no freakin' clue what a Padres-Phillies series would've been like. And Matt Holliday still hasn't touched home plate.

Clout: is that because your stats tell you that over the entire season the Padres pitched better than the Rockies? Well I have news for you, Jiminez and Morales did not get called up in April, so whatever the stats from the beginning of the season tell you, the Rockies did not have the same staff by the end of the season. For that matter, neither did the Padres. The Rockies were considerably better while the Padres were considerably worse.

@clout: I would love to show Pulpo and Mesa the door after horrendous seasons and even worse post-season appearances (well, at least in Mesa's case). However, I really would like to see JC come back. He was pretty much the savior of this team in the bullpen for the 2nd half of the season, he has so much passion and excitement, and I really think he enjoyed his time here in philly and would like to come back.
Regarding 3rd base, I would really like to see the phils go out acquire via trade or free agency a veteran 3rd baseman who can start for the next couple years. I love Dobbs but I think he is better suited as a big bat off the bench and a spot starter to play 1-2 times a week. Also, if Costanzo is the real deal, hopefully we can sign a veteran for a couple years and then let the local kid take over eventually.
About Rowand - as most phillies fans, I have really grown to love him during his tenure here. however, I can't see them bringing him back for next year. i actually don't blame them if they don't bring him back either, because with an outfield of Bourn, Victorino, and Burrell (with Werth as a 4th outfielder to spell Bourn), you don't really lose all that much offense, defense, or speed.

Lastly, as most of the posters have already done, I'd like to thank the phillies for this past season. I am normally incredibly intense and depressed after each phils loss, but right now I almost feel at peace. This season was the most incredible season I have ever seen, with the amount of ups and downs, comeback wins and bullpen blowups, and exuberant passion combined with managerial idiocy. It's been an incredible ride, and although I expected more once they made the playoffs, I can almost be satisfied with what we accomplished just to get to this point.

parker. jimenez looked very good last night, the phils were not going to get much off him. but they had opportunities and they squandered them. jimenez did not have great control. they should have scored 2-3 runs off him, not 1. but the phillies let him off the hook again and again.

what's more morales was trash in game 2, holding his performance up as a triumph is absurd. get real! but the greatest wasted opportunity of all was not getting a chance to face redman in game 4. sigh.

but, really, parker....you're alleging that people are blindly saying the phillies blew it and not crediting the rocks. all the while, you're throwing out all this ridiculous praise of the rockies and being blind to the phils' shortcomings in this series. come on.

clout has a good point about the Phillies choosing to insert Werth over Bourn in left field late in the game. My assumption is they were saving Bourn strictly for a pinch-running situation - but, yes, it very well could have made a difference on that first hit that opened the gates in the 8th.

Bathtub, if I remember correctly my statement was:

"JZ, I'm totally with you on Howard. *******[Nobody on the team except for Rollins in game 2 and, to a lesser extent Victorino, swung the bats well.]******* What I did see was Howard making some great defensive plays. I don't care about Howard griping about the calls, some of them were horrid. It shows competitive fire. He and the team played their buts off last night. If anything this sweep does not hurt as much because of the way they went all out last night."

How is that being blind to the Phillies shortcomings? See ***** material. And while the Phillies certainly did not play their best baseball, you cannot solely attribute the sweep to the Phillies below average play. Francis and Jiminez were lights out, there is really no questioning that. Credit should go where credit is due, and they should get credit for pitching well, while the Phillies should get credit for not playing their best baseball. I don't know how part of my statement gets totally ignored, while another part of it seems to be the only part that is important. How is this?

Bathtub: What about "Nobody on the team swung the bats well in the entire series except for J-Roll in game 2 and Victorino to a lesser extent in game 3" ignores the Phillies shortcomings in the series?

I praised the Phillies for their defense because they made no errors, save the Burrell missed ball which should have been an error. I also praised the Rockies for excellent pitching. I really don't know what you are talking about.

hippo: Those awesome, unhittable Rockie rookies:

Game 2, Morales 37 strikes/21 balls.
Game 3, Jimenez 55 strikes/40 balls.

Those ratios will get you a loss more often than a win.

parker: fair point. i'll concede that you aren't being blind the to phillies shortcomings.

but what clout just posted demonstrates what i have been saying all along--the phils let these guys off the hook. 4 walks and that kind of ball/strike ratio is not special. they weren't patient when they needed to be, and they could have cobbled together a couple more runs. jimenez performance was as good as the rockies could have hoped--it was *not* lights out.

as for your comment about morales being "exposed" in a positive way after his game 2 performance....ready to retract that one?

I'll retract my Morales statement when these stats change:

Sept: 25 IP, 2.88 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 20 K, 6 BB, 1 HR, 8 ER.

Clearly this guy was pitching good. I said he looked extremely nervous in game 2, but he still only gave up 3 runs.

Morales Sept.: .184 BAA (I forgot that one)

Hey all. Sorry about the sweep, and about the bickering here!

I'm let down but ok. I thought Jamie Moyer was heroic in his last two starts. Was last night his Last Night?

Bathtubhippo, I hope the Rally Guinea Pig is having some treats to cheer himself up.

Best to everyone, and thanks for the company.

Clout, ironic (to be charitable) that you would say one series doesn't mean anything.

You consistently used *one* game (the Pads/Rox playoff) to make the point that we shouldn't worry about Colorado. Go back and look at your posts from that night.

If you had taken the time to look at the numbers I posted before the series, they said one thing; pitching and defense wins in the playoffs and the Rockies had better pitching and defense.

The one decisive edge the Phils had (Hamels) didn't come through, and we never got a chance to see him again.

regarding jamie moyer, I thought he was signed for another year? if so, I would think he would come back for his hometown team for another shot at a championship...

dd, Moyer is signed, and you have to think he'll play one more year.

I'd see the rotation as:

Hamels
Myers
Kendrick
Moyer
Eaton

Pen:
Gordon
Romero
Madson
Mateo
FA
Geary/Condrey
Young AAA dude

Unlike last offseason, I think you do need a vet, if only to keep Myers in the rotation. The major difference is confidence in Gordon's health. I was overly optomistic (and bought the Phillies lies) about Gordon's health, and his ineffectiveness caused a breakdown in the pen as a whole.


Kdon-
you really think the Phils would put Myers back in the rotation? i'm thinking they could target Schill in the offseason, thereby leading to a rotation and bullpen of:
Hamels
Schilling
Kendrick
Moyer
Eaton

Myers
Madson
Romero
Gordon
Mateo
Free Agent (preferably a lefty)
Geary/Condrey
Castro

If this comes to fruition, I'd love the pitching, specifically the bullpen.
You'd have Myers as the closer, Madson/Romero as set-up men, Gordon and Mateo in the 6th and 7th innings, and a new lefty free agent to be a LOOGY in the 6th/7th/8th innings if necessary...

Furthermore, with regards to lefty free agents, it's kinda slim pickins.

Scott Eyre, Eddie Gaurdado, Joe Kennedy seem somewhat appealing. Ray King and Ricardo Rincon are also on that list.

Or we could always settle for Rheal Cormier, Arthur Rhodes, or Aaron Fultz again??

here's the website that has a list of FA's:
http://www.mlb4u.com/freeagency.php?field=position

kdon: I'll be glad to respond to whatever point you were trying to make, but your post was incomprehensible.

diggitydave - on paper, that roster gets me pretty excited. it'll be interesting to see if they can put it, or something like it, together.

Like it or not, Myers is the closer next year. Gillick said so, Manuel said so and Myers says he wants to do it.

"you really think the Phils would put Myers back in the rotation?"

Yes, I do. Next year, Myers is paid $8.5M, the year after that, $12M.

He was signed to this deal as a starter. As both Gillick and Manuel made clear, moving Myers to the pen was a desperation move, because of concerns over Gordon's health, the team's tough start, and a few ineffective Myers performances.

I would love Schilling too, but your proposed rotation next year would have *4 (maybe) 5* serious questions marks: two very old pitchers, one terrible pitcher, one pitcher who was in AA at the beginning of this year who doesn't strike anyone out, and one pitcher who missed four starts this year bascially to a dead arm.

Myers has never had any injury problems as a starter, and is about as likely a lock to pitch over 200 innings with and ERA around 3.5-4 as there is in baseball.

Sorry clout, I'll spell it out nice and simple for you.

On Monday, you continually used evidence from *one* game to argue that the Pads were a scarier team than the Rox.

Today, you say *3 games* are not a sufficient sample to judge the better team.

This is hypocritical. Got it?

[It wasn't even a week ago that we had begun to wildly celebrate the improbable NL East triumph. That memory does not deserve to be snuffed out by the unhappy results which followed.]

I am in full agreement with these sentiments as well as with the belief that Jamie Moyer was heroic both last night and in last week's start.

At the moment, I am too hung-over to engage in off-season talk. It was one hell of a year. 2007 NL East Champions.

Clout, where did Manuel and Gillick say Myers is the closer for next year?

those stats changed some in game two, parker.

Oh, never mind, I found the Delco Times article from September 27th where Gillick seems pretty sure.

That's too bad.

kdon: My evidence that Padres were scarier were their stats for the season, not one game. The Padres had better pitching than the Rockies. I repeatedly said I thought the Phils had a better chance in a slugfest vs. the Rockies than in a pitching battle vs. the Padres. I still feel that way. Do you have a crystal ball that tells you the Phils would've beaten the Padres?

kdon: In interviews, both broadcast and in newspaper.

Clout, by way of review (And since you insisted on attempting belittle my comments), here are your comments in the two days preceding the Phillies vs. Rockies series. (Who was wrong again?)

"The overwhelming opinion on Beerleaguer is that the Padres would be the easier opponent, just as the overwhelming opinion was that Burrell was washed up, the Phillies had no chance for the playoffs, Freddy Garcia was a great signing, J.D. Durbin is a fine 3rd starter etc. etc. etc."

"I happen to think the Phillies hitters will rip a very mediocre Rockies pitching staff to shreds. Man for man I'll take the Phillies pitchers over the Rocks, and the bats too. The Padres offense is awful without Cameron & Bradley, but hitting doesn't win championships. Pitching does. And the Padres pitchers getting on a roll is far, far more likely than the Rockies pitchers getting on a roll."

(My comment on this) By the way: Here are the September stats on this:

SD: 251.1 IP, 4.12 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 209 K, 79 BB

Peavy: 39.1 IP, 3.20, 0.92 WHIP, 37 K, 10 BB, 4 HR, 14 ER

Young: 33 IP, 6.27 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 34 K, 18 BB, 4 HR, 23 ER

Maddux: 29.1 IP, 6.14 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 15 K, 4 BB, 3 HR, 20 ER

Colorado: 255 IP, 4.02 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 197 K, 104 BB

Francis: 37 IP, 4.78 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 32 K, 14 BB, 5 HR, 20 ER (Includes blowup game against Phillies)

Morales: 25 IP, 2.88 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 20 K, 6 BB, 1 HR, 8 R, 8 ER, .184 BAA

Jiminez: 30.2 IP, 4.70 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 23K, 18 BB, 6 HR, 16 ER, 19 R. (Note did not allow more than 3 ER except 1 start. That was against LA. Last start before Phillies 10 K, 1 ER)

"Tray: Yeah, I'd be quaking in my boots about Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales...woooo.....they throw so hard! And post-season pressure won't phase 'em at all, right? Why look at how many times through the league they've been. And then we'll have to face Josh Fogg!!! LOL"

"The Rockies defense isn't nearly as good as the Padres either."

(My commnet on this) Interestingly, the Rockies have the #1 rated defense in baseball.

"Andy: To be serious for a moment, I think the Phils can beat either team. But I think the Padres would be tougher to beat. Much tougher."

(My comment on this): Guess that did not work out so well. I would hate to see what those Padres would have done to the Phillies. I cannot imagine how bad we would have felt about the pounding that the much "tougher" Padres would have given the Phillies. (All additional commentary added at time of this clout compilation).

By the way clout, I guess you did not take the time to check those stats on how the Padres and Rockies were pitching coming into the postseason as opposed to how they pitched in April/May/June/July.

"My evidence that Padres were scarier were their stats for the season, not one game."

Actually you used both. Your reliance in the season stats was fine; the Pads did have better pitching throughout the season, and I think you made a good point.

However, your little barbs like:

"For a super juggernaut team that everyone is so afraid of, the Rocks are sure having trouble at home with those weakling, easy-to-beat Padres aren't they?"

were silly, and did little to further the discussion.

I think you could make a good argument both that the Pads were a tougher team AND that you can't really learn anything from a 3 game series, but the petty comments on Monday and Tuesday weren't so helpful.

The Mets and Phillies had the exact same amount of playoff wins. The awful performance of the Phillies definitely takes away from the Met collapse. The Red Sox collapse is so well known because the Yankees actually won a championship.

I would feel alot worse if the Phillies actually won a playoff game but that is why they are the Phillies.

Also Clout, and by way of review for the same reason, here is my commentary concerning the Rockies or Padres debate:

(Parker's comment) Alright Tray, we cannot start the Padres "Khaki Scare" again, but their offense is average at best. Morales and Jimenez looked like world beaters against us in the Bank, so I would definitely rather see the Pads. I guess the pounding of Jeff Francis weighs in favor of the Rox, but I have a feeling that his performance was something of an aberration.

Bottom Line:
Strengths of Phillies compared to Strengths of opposing teams

Phillies:
1.) Hitting Right Handed Pitching

Padres:
1.) Right Handed Starting Pitching

Rockies:
1.) Hitting

Weaknesses:

Phillies:
1.) Consistent Pitching (Hamels/Kendrick excluded) bullpen and back of rotation

Padres:
1.) Hitting any pitching

Rockies:
1.) Bullpen/to some extent starting pitching (Although Morales/Jimenez have been strong lately)

I like the Phils chances against a predominantly Righty staff who has problems hitting a baseball on a consistent basis as opposed to a team that can hit anybody and has 2 strong lefty pitchers, one of whom had one bad start against the Phillies (Actually I don't know what his line was against the Phillies at Colorado).

Clout: I also believe that there was some snippy comment like: "Andy, I'm often wrong, just not nearly as much as you."

Andy: You better work on being wrong a lot really fast so that you can even out the score.

Parker: I really did think the Phillies could beat either the Padres or the Rockies. Obviously, I was wrong on the Rockies. For the Padres, we'll never know, but I thought they'd be tougher. Your selective use of stats is silly and of not much value. The Padres had better pitching this season than the Rockies. And your swooning over how Jimenez and Morales pitched against the Phillies is equally silly.

kdon: My point there was that the Rockies did not overwhelm the Padres. And Matt Holliday still hasn't touched home plate.

The Phillies need to base their off-season personnel choices on what happened in the first 162 games, not the last 3. Good hitters go into slumps and the Phillies picked a bad time to go into one. Whether it was the Rockies' pitching, the Phillies' choking, or some combination of both, is really neither here nor there. The fact is, there isn't a thing that the GM can do this off-season that will make the Phillies' lineup slump-proof, in the event they should make it back to the playoffs in 2008.

To the extent that any lesson can be derived from a 3-game series, the lesson is that it's critical to have a good bullpen. That lesson holds true in the regular season & even more so in a short series, when games are more likely to be low-scoring & your starters are often pitching on shortened rest. As atrociously as the Philllies hit in this series, they were actually in position to win all 3 games. In each game, the Rockies' pen came in & shut us down, while our pen came in & poured gasoline on the fire.

Although the FA crop is generally weak this year, relief pitching is the one area where there is actually some decent talent available. There will be no excuse if the Phillies don't come back in 2008 with a bullpen that goes about 5 or 6 men deep. Come March, I don't want to be reading about how confident they are that their 3 Rule 5 draftees are going to come in & bolster the bullpen.

Selective use of stats?

What because I only included the starts of Young, post-oblique injury and not when he looked like a Cy Young winner? Which do you think is a more accurate representation of how he would have pitched in the series. Or because I did not mention Maddux's stats back before he gave up about 12 hits per game for about a month, and could not get past the 4th inning? What is so selective about that?

Or Maybe it is the fact that Morales didn't pitch that well in the other 11 IP he had pre-September? Or the fact that Francis had his worst month in September? By the way I mentioned his Sept. stats and despite the fact that he looked bad, the Padres top 3 still looked worse than the Rockies top 3.

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