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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

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"Summing up the points raised in the previous thread, the biggest debate is whether Abraham Nunez or Wes Helms should start at third tomorrow."

Since this was at the end of the last post, I'll repeat it here:

Helms vs. Francis:

10 AB, 6 H, 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, O K (2.144 OPS!)

According to B-Ref, Nunez has never faced Francis.

I guess I'm in the camp of starting Nunez over Helms. I could be made to change my mind though. Helms hasn't impressed with either his glove or bat. At least Nunez has flashed leather in ways that have made me see his value as one of the heads of our three-headed monster at third.

Well, kdon is making a good opening statement for changing my mind.

Jumping off your pitching points...

The Phils bullpen has 632 career saves and 68 career postseason appearances. Unfortunately, 450 saves and 37 postseason appearances come from Mesa and Alfonseca, leaing 182 saves and 31 postseason appearances (Gordon and Romero) for the rest.

The Rockies bullpen (as best I can figure it: Fuentes, Affeldt, Hawkins, Corpas, Buchholz, Herges, Julio) has 330 career saves and 13 career postseason appearances (Hawkins and Herges).

I have ended my defense of Helms (and his lack of defense) for fear of being labeled a relative of Helms.

I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

Have phaith J, the Spurs and Colts were on the covers during their playoff run and won championships...I realize we are far from being either of those in terms of baseball. The Eagles luck..not so much, losing in the SB, Conference Championship, and Divisional round the years they made the cover during the playoffs. Here's to reversing the "curse" of Philadelphia!

Personally, I think the curse only applies to pre-season covers. Once you're in the season, all bets are off.

CJ, next thing you know you'll be accusing all fans of Nunez of actually being the same person posting under different names.

I don't know if this has been posted yet or not but here is the results of head to head regular season w/the ROX - of these 13 games only two have been in the daytime - First game in 2006 and Easton's unlikely win in 2007:

2006

At COL N W 10- 8 4-6 Madson (1-0)
At COL N L 6-10 King (1-1) Lieber (0-3)
At COL N W 1- 0 Myers (1-0) Cook (1-2)


Vs COL W 6- 5 Lidle (2-2) Fogg (2-1)
Vs COL L 6- 7 Ramirez (1-0) Floyd (1-2)
Vs COL W 9-5 Madson (2-1) Jennings (1-1)

2007

AT COL L 6-7 Corpas (3-2)Durbin (0-2) Blown Save: Alfonseca
AT COL L 6-3 Lopez (5-2)Moyer (7-7)
AT COL W 8-4 Eaton (8-5)Cook (5-6)

VS COL W 6-5 Myers (4-6)Bucholtz (6-5)
VS COL L 8-2 Morales (1-2)Easton (9-9)
VS COL L 12-0 Redmond (1-4)Kendrick (8-4)
VS COL W 12-4 Geary (1-1)Francis (15-8)

More important than the SI curse, I think, is what the folks in Vegas think.

After checking sportsbetting.com (for amusement purposes only of course), it looks like the Phils are slight favorites to win the NL (9-5), and the third choice to win the WS (5-1), behind the Red Sox and Yankees.

Phillies - Yankees is the matchup I keep hearing.

I'm sorry - I would definitely have included Geoff Geary unless he really is injured which is the first I heard that. I have much more confidence in him than Alfonseca and Geary didn't do that badly towards the end when used before going to the Big 3 in the pen. Hey, when Madsen is ready, can he go on the active roster at anytime or does he have to wait until the end of a series?

Hahaha. Immediately after the Mets lost and Phillies won, on ESPN on Baseball Tonight, John Kruk took a nasty shot at NY:

"There's going to be a lot more Yankees fans tomorrow morning."

He was right!

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/photo;_ylt=ApVejwVor8sXP4nzs4G8mfCFCLcF?slug=141606f5ce1b40959404e86aa129beeb.mets_collapse_baseball_nys113&prov=ap

Philajeff, I think Madson can only be used starting in the LCS -if we get there- since he is not on the LDS roster.

what is the status of madsons return to the roster? 2nd series possibly?

i prefer to go with helms to start, if he struggles with abt or glove you can always go to nunez for his D, but if you pull nunez for a bat late inthe game you are stuck with helms/dobbs for the late innings at 3b

I agree that the jinx only applies to pre-season covers. Additionally, during last year's football season, SI starting rolling out covers that differed depending on where in the country you lived. Is it possible that is the case here? I suppose I live in the midwest, so I could check this out, see if the Cubs are on the cover here. I just don't find myself in magazine stores all that often.

nobody can be added to the LDS roster unless there's an injury to one of the players on the roster. this is a recent rule change (just this season), and I don't think the limits have been tested - i.e., nobody really knows how strict Selig et al. would be in what determines an injury.

however, they're allowed to swap out anyone out the playoff roster for another eligible player before the LCS. as for whether Geary or Madson would be eligible...Gillick sure seems to think that they are.

Sophist is right. SI does regionalize covers. In 2003, when LSU won the BCS Bowl and the AP Final Poll ranked USC No. 1 despite the fact that USC did not participate in the BCS Championship game, SI had a West Coast USC cover and a Southern LSU cover. I think I read where the rest of the country had Mike Tyson on the cover for that issue. I also believe that mailed issues can have covers that differ from the newstand issue covers.

It would be interesting to send out our Beerleaguer detectives around the country to see what their local newstand shows on the SI cover.

I believe its the national cover. SI.com a promo email sent from timeinc.com has J-Roll on the cover.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/magazine/cover/

J Roll is most likely on the cover for all of America. I went to school in South Carolina and McNabb was on its cover, "What a Rush!" after the "4th and 26" game before they played the Panthers in 2004. I now live in South Florida and Garcia was on the cover last January for the NFL playoff preview. I believe they only regionalize for Championship games like the BCS, Super Bowl. Will let you know if I see J Roll tomorrow on newsstands.

Ae, the interesting thing about that new swap-out rule is that the player who goes out, is unavailable for both the rest of that series *and* the next.

So, if say Geary were to replace an "injured" Mesa, Mesa would be ineligible for the NLCS.

In the case of Madson, it was reported on his CBS sportsline page on Sept. 27th that he could be available in "two weeks."

I have to think the NLCS is a possibility.

Actually, I think someone said Zolecki reported the same thing on the 27th, so it's likely that is the original source.

I've put together a poster in honor of the Phils winning the division. It's a collection of front pages from Monday's papers.

idisk.mac.com/kevincoleman/Public/Phillies.pdf

One word of warning: it's a 2.6mb PDF, if that bothers anybody. It's a print-ready PDF, capable of printing at 20x24 at high-resolution.

Series Prediction By Jonah Keri
You have to love both teams' offenses. The Rockies have a slight edge in the bullpen and with the leather. But Cole Hamels is a difference maker at the top of the Philly rotation, and there's enough uncertainty in the No. 2 through No. 4 spots on the Rockies' staff to make you wonder whether Corpas and Fuentes will get to pitch with many leads. The Rockies' incredible run has made me a fan for the past few weeks. But I think it ends here. Phillies in 3.

TOK, excellent job.

Can't agree with Jonah on that one. Not at all. Here's something that McCarver supposedly said on the broadcast Saturday:

"We had our friends at Stats, Inc. check and see whether more multi-run innings came with a lead off homer or a lead off walk. You would think that a lead off walk would lead to more big innings than a lead off home run. Not true. A lead off home run, this year, has lead to more multi-run innings than lead off walks. It's against conventional thinking."

Can't wait to hear more McCarver this postseason.

A friend of mine was talking to a mentalist on a TV show a few weeks ago and the guy predicted a Phillies-Yankees World Series. Not sure if he said who would win, though.

A friend of mine was talking to a mentalist on a TV show a few weeks ago and the guy predicted a Phillies-Yankees World Series. Not sure if he said who would win, though.

Hey all, I'm a long time reader but never posted. I have extra tickets for tomorrow's game if anyone is interested. I'd like to see them go to a die hard. Email me if you're interested (JLowe08@gmail.com)

Last Friday on WIP, Brandon Lang(Two for the Money) predicted Phils-Yanks as well.

I'm not making any predictions for this series. I'm taking it one game at a time, savoring every good and bad happening. I know that as long as the Phillies have another at bat, they will still be alive in any series.

I remember watching Old 12 Fingers earlier this season when he was having some success and I found him to have a good attitude. He wants to win real bad. I think that's why he's on the 25 man squad for the Rox series.

this has got to be one of the oddest 25 man rosters in the post season.

3 catchers.

3 3rd basemen.

Mr. DFA Clay Condrey

Who's on the 40?

According to a stat on Friday night's TV broadcast, there are apparently two Clay Condreys. One of them, who has numerous appearances, has an ERA around 2.00. The other one, who has only appeared about 4 times, has an ERA around 33.00. Hopefully, the better one is on the postseason roster.

Maybe his other name is Joe Borowski

Anyone know when batting practice is tomorrow?

If I'm being a slacker and skipping out on my work, I might as well make a day of it!

For those who are interested, here is the link to the entire Jonah Keri article which contains some interesting analysis:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=keri/071002&sportCat=mlb

Only two ESPN experts believe this series will go fewer than 5 games... and they both pick the Rockies 3-1 (Caple and Gomez).

Two others pick the Rockies in 5 (Nelson? and Steve Phillips... which is good).

Six pick the Phillies in 5 (Stark, Olney, Kurkjian, Bryant?, Crasnick and Gammons).

Cool "Inside Edge" scouting report on Cole Hamels from ESPN.com. During selected games analyzed this year, Cole finished off a whopping 81% of hitters after getting 2 strikes on them. The major league average is 72%. Also, 46% of his completed innings went 1-2-3... well above the league average of 31%.

Zow, way to go J-Roll! Is that issue actually out yet?

Forget the SI 'curse'. They put Piniella and Soriano on the cover of their baseball preview issue, and that didn't hurt the Cubs any.

Phils in 5.

I have been digesting a bunch of info/game talk and here are some things I like and don't like about this series:

Likes
1. Phils' bench - Particularly in the NL playoffs, the bench can play a huge role. The only thing that Phils are lacking is a legit LH bat off the bench. Otherwise, they have throw a couple of different looks out there depending upon who starts at 3B and RF. Plus, I love having Bourn and/or Victorino off the bench late to run.

As for the Rockies' bench, without Taveras it is a pretty nondescript group of journeyman or unfulfilled raw talent. Not a single guy off this bench frightens me late.

2. Phils' starting pitching - It is crazy but I think the Phils have a much bigger starting pitching advantage over the Rockies than most people think. The only thing I don't like is that Hamels has to pitch in a day game at CBP in Game 1. Otherwise, the Phils' rotation should be pretty capable. Lohse is the wildcard but I am confident he will be able to keep the Phils in the game.

As many people have pointed about, Francis struggles against the Phils but the bigger issue is who do the Rockies possibly start besides him?

Fogg is a loser. He was a loser when he was on the Pirates and that hasn't changed. Plus, he is RHP. No fear there. Jimenez had good stuff but is very raw and really wild at times. Call me crazy but Morales is the one guy I don't like the Phils' matching up with since he is the kind of LHP the Phils struggle with at times.

Dislikes
1. Rockies' bullpen - The Rockies quietly have put together a very solid bullpen the past two years (unlike the Phils). I am not as worried about Hawkins. He suffers from "Octoberphobia." Affeldt's stuff is not as good as it was when he was younger in KC, he struggles with his control, and he is not as tough on lefties as you would think.

The guys that do frighten me are Fuentes and Corpas. I know that may get a few chuckles but Fuentes owns left-handed bats. I am not optimistic on a Howard vs. Fuentes match up late in a game. Plus, he doesn't walk guys . That means alot since the Rockies' play good D. As for Corpas, I have only see him a few times but I like him. In fact, I give him the advantage slightly over Myers this series.

I am not as psyched about the Phils' bullpen. God forbid that Joe Table or El Pulpo have to be used in a key spot. Even not that crazy about Flash or Myers. Flash found himself the last 2 weeks of the season but his stuff can disappear quietly. Just don't have a good feeling about him. Myers has great stuff but I am not sure how he will handle a pressure situation if something goes slightly off. Not getting a call or a bungled play could easily unhinge him.

2. Phils' defense - If the Phils do go with a lineup of Werth tomorrow in RF and Helms at 3B, there defense will be below average but particularly brutal down the lines. I am also worried about an outfield with Burrell in LF and Werth in RF in Colorado. Here is hoping that the Flyin' Hawaiian is in RF then. Maybe me but an error/bungled play always seems to loom larger in the playoffs.

Haven't seen the Rockies play that much but I do like their defense in general. Stats are very good. Also, they are particularly strong on the left-side with Atkins and Tulowksi (who is a better defensive SS from what I have seen than JRoll).

All said and done, the lineups are probably a wash for both teams and the Phils have the clear advantage in starting pitching. Rockies though are a better defensive team and have a better bullpen.

Game 1 is huge but all is not lost if the Phils don't win. The Rockies just don't have the starting pitching to run the Phils off the board. I say Phils take the series in 4.

Overlooked key:
Kaz Matsui - With Taveras still ailing, he is hitting leadoff. He has had a nice season but Matsui stinks. While, he has hit well at Coors, he is a .250 hitter with no punch on the road. Basically, a slightly upgraded version of Nunez with more speed.

Given how loaded the Rockies' lineup is after him, it is imperative that the Phils keep Matsui off base. That shouldn't be hard in CBP. If he does get on, make him earn it. No walks to a guy who can really be a real hacker up there.

It's interesting that Keri bases the Phils' predicted success on at least one solid outing from Hamels. I think many of us imagine that a stellar outing from him tomorrow afternoon, a game like his game against the Nats, could really set the tone. If Hamels takes the first, I'd be very, very confident we could take at least one of the next two.

Hey guys:

89 down, 11 to go.

Keep on Phightin' Baby!

Clout - you and I were talking about Geary's lack of velocity a couple weeks ago. Looks like we were on to something (unfortunately).

He is about 3-4 mph short on his fastball ... looks like we won't be seeing gas-can for 2 weeks at least if we are around that long.

The Phillies did not win a single game after June 9th in which J-Roll failed to get on base.

Wow.

Nice post, MG. Good info. I agree about Kaz, and I too would like to see Vic start more often than not, especially in Colorado.

Gas-Can velocity's has been done all season though for the most part.

I am still willing to bet that Geary has a "dead arm" for all of the innings he pitched the last two years.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him regain a few MPH this offseason again and be a bit more effective next season. He is one reliever I hope the Phils bring back for next year.

CJ - How many games was that?

CJ, I read that, too. Yet another reason that J-Roll is the MVP, no question.

MG - the Rocks really have sat Matsui against most (close to all) LHP's late in the season as he can't hit at all against the lefties - splits are awful.

Looks like he'll see 3 LHP's if the series goes 5 games (Hamel's twice, Moyer once) - so that is a help as he won't be setting the table for the Rocks.

I'm nervous with this match-up as I really wanted San Diego - but if we can't take the Rockies 3/5 with 3 at the bank - we weren't going to do anything anyway.

Prediction.

Phils vs. Rockies (Phils in 5)
Phils vs. Diamondbacks (Phils in 6)
Phils vs. Red Sox W.S.

Bring on Schilling and Tito!

That ball park scares me. Win 2 in Philly, and we're going to win. Split, and I'll have no fingers left.

JMARR - Good point. If the Rockies don't use Matsui to leadoff tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how they juggle their lineup. I am just hoping that Taveras' leg injury keeps him on wraps for the series.

Damn. I just read Keri's post and it is eerily similiar to what I was thinking before I wrote.

I would be thrilled with a sweep but that is asking a lot of the Phils' pitching staff.

Sophist: The Phils were 67-43 (.609) in 110 games after June 9th.

Hate to post this stat, but here it goes...

Francis in day games this year:

8-0 with a 2.48 ERA.


Hamels has been good during the daytime too, so maybe that evens it out.

Helms should start tomorrow. He is only going to play 6 innings or so anyway, so might as well get his bat in the lineup, while Francis is in there. He has hammered Francis.

Nunez only starts when Moyer starts. That's it. This is going to be an offensive series, so you play your offensive players as much as possible.

One other nugget....

Going to be cold in Denver this weekend. Forecast lows in the low 40's. The Phils don't have a lot of "cold weather" players on their team, so this could pose a problem.

MG: Tavaras is NOT on the Rockies postseason roster according to the Denver Post beat writers.

CJ - Even better.

As for the Montgomery BS article, normally I would have a bone to pick with it but not today. Focus is just on the playoffs.

denny b.: Francis' day games look fine, but he didn't pitch against the Phillies in those games. Against Philly, he's been hammered.

I'll stop being a post hog but the only thing that would really shock me is a sweep by either team in this series.

Tray: I don't know why they even should play this series, the Rockies are so awesome.

I don't get Kehri. He claims that the three most important things for playoff succes are 1) the ace, 2) the closer, and 3) defense.

He then say the Phils have tha advantage in 1, the Rockis in 3, and that the team are even in 2.

Sounds even, right? And then he picks the Phils to sweep?

And the whole thinking/non-thinking fan thing is horseshit. This is from the publication (B-Pro) that put Josh Phelps on its cover and claimed 2 years ago that Andy Marte was the best prospect in baseball.

BTW, if anyone wants a stats perspective that should frighten Phillies fans, check the main article on the left sidebar at:

www.baseballthinkfactory.org

Basically, the author of the study determined the 10 most important regular season statistics in determining the winner of playoff series.

Of these ten*, the Rockies are better than the Phillies in 8 categories, the Phils better in one.

*One stat was too close to be meaningful

denny b. - 8 games? Who were those against?

IIRC, and I was there, Matsui was out when the Rockies came to CBP this month. You may be able to get a sense for what they'll do with a look at that series. Of course, some of their solutions may have been off the PS roster, so it could be unenlightening.

The Phils don't have a lot of "cold weather" players but they do have Chris Coste--he's cold enough to make up for three Southern Californians.

Will the pitchers be in the shadows already for a 3:00 start?

Anyone else surprised that Morales is the game 2 starter for the Rockies? I suppose the advantage for them is that so far this year, he's got a 2.17 G/F ratio which bodes well at the Bank. However, he's also never pitched more than 6 innings in 8 career starts. We need to be patient against that guy. In three of his 8 starts, he walked 4 in 6 innings against the Padres, 3 in 5 innings against San Francisco and 5 in 4 innings against Pittsburgh. This guy doesn't seem to be able to hit 90 pitches. Make him throw pitches.

I guess they feel really good about the way he handled the Phils the first time around.

kdon: You're soooo right. The Phils have no shot against this juggernaut.

CJ: The key stat for Morales is 39 IP. Not enough to be meaningful. More telling are his minor league stats: 58 walks in 112 IP. He has an unhittable fastball and a good curve, but stuggles with control. You're right, patience is the key.

I tend to be in the corner with clout (and his sarcasm). The Rockies have had an amazing run in the past few weeks, but what were they before that? They were who we thought they were (a flawed team)!

We have to feel good about game 1, A) Because our lineup has hit Francis around twice this year, and B) The Rockies hitters haven't seen Cole. Are they really starting Morales (only a few starts) in Game 2? And Jimenez in Game 3? Are we assuming we're going to see Fogg in Game 4?

Their lineup is stacked to be sure, but their starting pitching is less than intimidating to say the least. If we don't hit these guys, then their line-up will be a moot point anyway. My prediction is Phillies in 4.

I went back and analyzed the last 34 playoff series and determined the 5 most important measurable factors to determine who will win. Here they are:

Average age of bullpen pitchers (oldest age was 30-4):
Phils: 34 years
Roxs: 30 years

Average height of infield (taller infield was 28-6)
Phils: 6'1"
Roxs: 6'0"

Strike outs thrown (more thrown was 31-3)
Phils: 1050
Roxs: 967

Hits by pitch endured (more times hit was 34-0)
Phils: 90
Roxs: 58

Sac flies hit (more hit was 32-2)
Phils: 52
Roxs: 44

I think it's pretty clear. Our old bullpen, tall infield, strike outs thrown, hits by pitch endured and sac flies hit has ensured our spot in the next round!!!!!

IceMan: It's a MUTE point! Oh... wait... we got it right this time ;-)

"denny b. - 8 games? Who were those against?"

I know his last 2 wins were daytime wins over SD and LA. 8-0 is still 8-0, no matter who it was against. And yes, the Phils have hammered him this year.

Hamels is 4-1 in the daytime, and the Rocks have never seen him, so it evens out.

Why Morales on Thursday? He pitched well in his start at CBP a few weeks ago.

And, they probably save Jiminez for Coors Field, with the cold weather (which could make hitting that 98 MPH fastball a bit tougher). Of course, can he get up to 98 MPH in cold weather?

Kendrick has pitched very well all year at CBP, except for 1 game. Unfortunately, that game was against Colorado.

For the Phils this weekend, Lohse on Saturday pitched well in April this year in cold weather and pitched a solid game in Coors Field in his only career start there. Moyer is 8-3 with a 3.00 ERA in the last 3 years in April.

Just some things to ponder....

denny b.: Didn't Kendrick get hit in the leg in that loss against the Rockies?

Before tomorrow's game, I just wanted to throw something out there.

We're in the playoffs. Has that sunk in? We're IN the playoffs!!!!!

Things may go well tomorrow or they may not go well. There will likely be an opportunity for us to question the sanity of the first manager to take the Phils to the playoffs in 14 years. I don't mind how high the highs get... but maybe we can hold back a little on the lows if there are any.

Why do I say that?

Well, if you really want to know where the "lows" are... just head over to Metsblog and see what they got to talk about today.

We're in the playoffs. Let's enjoy it!

CJ - Yes.

CJ- Spot on!

CJ-Hilarious!

CJ - Amen brother.

We have to feel good about this game because the Phils are playing in it!
Phils in 5.

It's true, CJ. We're still reaching for the stars, but really, everything from this point forward is just gravy.

Playoffs! Phillies! Enjoy it until 3:30 tomorrow afternoon, when we can start our bitching and moaning again.

Tomorrow, I will be at The Shack in Santa Monica, CA. It is as Philly of a bar as you will find in southern California.

There's also rain in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday in Denver. We all know how that turned out for the Phils last time.

If this is going to be an offensive series, then I have two areas of concern. Sacrificing defense for bats will require a good deal of in-game management. Those of you who have called for Charlie's head for months now - and yes, you're still out there - have always had a solid point that double switches and defensive moves have never been a strength. We're bringing hookers and blow to a chess match, and that's a little frightening with so little margin for error.

Second point is that the one thing that correlates the strongest between regular season stats and playoff performance is the effectiveness of the closer. Someone asked a few days ago to split out the stats I came up with for rating closers for the month of September. I ranked each of the closer's performance in four categories, then assigned an ordinal value to their ranking. I then added the four values together and got the following:

Rivera - 9 points
Corpas - 12
Valverde - 15
Borowski - 19
Papelbon - 20
F. Rodriguez - 21
Myers - 22
Dempster - 25

So yes, not good on first glance. But just for grins, I took out the single worst game of Myers's closing career - the 9-8 debacle in Atlanta. In that game, not only did he get tagged with the loss, he also blew a save. He also gave up plenty of fly balls and walks for a closer in September. When I take that single game out of the stats, Myers score goes from 25 to 12.

There are two points. Myers has consistently done well in September subtracting out the one game when he decided to walk the entire Atlanta bench. Second, Corpas scored well, but his score is odd. He executed well - one blown save in September and no losses. He executed well in pressure situations with high leverage - the best out of the eight. These were not cheapie 3 run lead saves that he earned. He is a pure groundball pitcher, perfect for Coors field. He had a better GB/FB than Mariano Rivera in September. However, he struck out five and walked four in the month. Myers, by comparison, and subbing out the 9-8 game, has had eighteen K's and three walks. Corpas will kill a team on ground balls.

It will be a ball buster, nail biter, and a dog fight against crazed pooches. Survive this round, and the Fightin's look very dangerous against Arizona or the Cubs.

Run up the score: We'll really wait a half hour into the game to start bitching? ;-)

Hahaha, great post CJ. If we went by stats, we'd be sitting home and the Mets would be playing.

Rockies have been run ragged. Between that, their _God awful_ road preformance (Matched with an extremely good home-field preformance for the Phillies) I expect to see Philadelphia pull ahead in the series fast, and sink the Rockies in either 4 or 5.

The Rockies are a flawed team, but I had no idea that we weren't one too.

This series, no matter how many times:

- a Phils pitcher walks the leadoff batter
- Howard swings at a ball way out of the strike zone
- Ruiz swings at the first pitch
- Mesa pitches
- Barajas replaces LaForest as Cholly's favorite PH
- Burrell boots a ball in the outfield
- Rowand dives for a ball out of his range, thus turning a single into a triple
- Flush pitches
- Cholly pulls Burrell in the 6th inning up by 1
- Cholly lets the pitcher bat but then pulls him one out into the next inning
- No-hit Nunez grounds into a double-play
- Steve Smith has a runner thrown out at the plate
- Myers loses his cool and blows a game

I promise, PROMISE, I'm not going to get upset, because it's just amazing to be in the playoffs. Maybe a year or two into our forthcoming dynasty I'll expect championships, but for this year I'll just watch each game with a smile on my face.

Anyone with me on this one? (Or would you just like to add to the list of cringe-inducing Phils moments above?)

Sifl, it would be fun to have a check list with all of those cringe-inducing moments and check them off as we go along. If they are going to happen, hopefully they'll happen in the same game. I figure The Phils have to lose at least one game

If we win, I'll be absolutely excited and out of my body with celebration.

But if we don't, damnit boys, we're here. WE'RE HERE!

I'll write the reverse of the above.

- JRoll keeps on rolling. Gap hitting in Coors will be his new favorite thing to do and will rap about it in his next album.
- JRoll rolls with the defense.
- Burrell and Victorino have an assist each in the series.
- Utley will hit .400
- Iguchi has a critical pinch hit to knock one of their lefties around
- 2 HR for Howard (but 10 Ks)
- Burrell walks. A lot.
- Rowand advances Burrell plenty.
- Two errors in the series for the Phils defense
- Slim odds that Alf or Mesa even get in the game
- Myers has a K in each relief performance
- Myers gets a save in game one or two, at least

Actually, why don't we create the Phillies Drinking Game? You know, take all the things we expert will happen in each Phils game and correspond them with swigs of beer. That'd be a great way to get through a potential loss.

When I say expert, I mean expect.

Yo, I have said for the past 5 years all I wanted was to be able to come home from work and watch the Phils play in October. Regardless of the outcome, I just wanted that. Well, tomorrow's game starts at lunch time for me so there is no "coming home from work" because I will have barely even got there. So, I will not even be going to work. Furthermore, I was wrong I don't just want to see them there--I want them to win. I am already eating the TUMS and cursing Uncle Cholly. I am going to be pissed. I promise. I want the Series.

Mike H., have fun at The Shack! It would be fun to be there, but at least for awhile tomorrow, I have to pretend I'm working (but I'll be watching the game, of course)

I would start Helms tomorrow, good numbers against Francis. If he doesnt do anything, he should be buried on the bench for the rest of the NLDS

My apologies for those who will have to work. Welfare is great! No, just kidding. The beauty of the construction industry is that you can work a pretty full day from 6 am to noon.

sifl, I'm totally with you. This won't sit well with most of you, but the division crown is good enough for me, especially the way they won it. It happens so infrequently that it almost feels like winning the World Series. They can wait 'til I'm 80 to win the Series. Once it happens, what is there left to shoot for as a fan?

Although, I don't really think I'd mind. In fact, if they do get that far, I'm getting hooked up with tickets for all 3 WS games in Philly. Considering that, you'd think I wouldn't have such a lax attitude about it, but I do. My expectations have already been exceeded. Whatever else happens is gravy.

clout, did watching what St. Louis last October have any effect on you at all? They were heavily disfavored in all their series on paper, and they won the whole thing. To sit there and harrumph that the Phillies will win because they match up better position-by-position is ludicrous.

I'm going into work at 6 a.m. so I can get out by 2:30. Hopefully they won't need me at the afternoon news meeting.

My boss is a Yankees fan; those people just don't understand what it's like to FINALLY see your team in the playoffs. (The guy is also a Cowboys fan, of course.)

Sometimes it pays to be the boss... especially a news director. I have three TVs in my office and a lock on the door.

Go Phils!

I've been pushing to get a TV for my office, but alas, no dice. It actually makes no sense - copy editors have TVs by their desks, but I'm a department head in an office without any TVs in my direct vision.

I also said TV three times in that post. Also, they're showing the pilot episode of "Seinfeld." Kramer walks in as Jerry is trying to watch a Mets game after the fact.

"Well the Mets really blew it tonight," says Kramer.

Haha. Art imitating life. Almost 20 years before the fact.

Hamels' performance is huge tomorrow. My confidence isn't at its strongest at the moment, but the presence of Rowand (and his wild swinging ways, but playoff experience and energy) is calming.

Post-season baseball! How novel!

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EST. 2005

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