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Thursday, April 24, 2008


Note to Ol' Uncle Chuck: Hamels has not looked good in the 8th inning of his past two games. At the moment, he's a 7 inning pitcher.

Our bullpen has the best ERA in the NL this year. No reason for Cole to come out and pitch the 8th inning when he's already thrown 110 pitches.

At the very least, take Cole out after giving up the hard hit double to Ryan Braun. You can't let him face Fielder again - Fielder already saw him 3 times in the game and hit a homerun against him.

Terrible move (or I should say terrible no move by Cholly). You have to put Romero in in that situation.

If he takes him out and Romero gives up a bomb the talking heads are here saying it was stupid to take him out because he was cruising. It's a no-win situation. Hindsite is 20/20.

Bad play by Werth getting picked off 2nd with 0 outs in the 8th. That can't happen there. Where's he going? You never make the 1st or 3rd out at 3rd base so he should have been staying put. Of course Utley hit a single that would have scored him.

I disagree. You win some and you lose some. I definitely agreed at the time with keeping Cole out there. He made a mistake. Fielder was sitting on changeups the whole game, and Cole left one out in the middle of the plate. A tough loss, but at the sametime it was good to see Cole rebound after that first inning and dominate Milwaukee hitters. It was only a matter of time that Prince would come out of his funk and he decided to do it against the 2nd best lefthander in the league rather than Durbin or Romero. And he didn't look fatigued at all. Did you see that 7th inning?

And Howard needs a day off asap. Sit him Friday.

Pitch counts that high are pretty risky this early in the season. Outside of Lidge and maybe Romero, our bullpen pitchers are spare parts. Cole isn't.

That's a dangerous comment about Howard, it's sure to draw the ire of those who drank the Ryno koolaid. Imagine if Burrell or Feliz had these numbers, we'd be screaming for his head, literally. For Howard, we meekly say "Maybe it's time to sit him for a game". Like they say in the stock prospectus, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Give him the credit for what he did in the past, and look with a clear eye to what he does now.

Seriously, 110 pitches, he didn't need to come out in the 8th.

So how many wins would we have so far if Burrell and Utley weren't hitting like MVP candidates? 5? 6?

Cholly used JC for 2 against the Mets and he should have put him in for the 8th to see if he could close it out, with Flash waiting. It is too early for Cole (given his injury hostory to boot) to be throwing that many pitches. I think Jenkins butchered Braun's hit to makes things worse for Cole.

As much as I like Werth, Tony hit the nail on the head...awful base-running in the 8th. Terrible sitch hitting in the 9th.

I know Chooch had a big hit the other day, but I am getting tired of him at the plate...his bat looks to big for him.

Today, bat Burrell 4th and keep him in for 9 innings! Bat him 4th until the bum at 1st gets a clue. I do not want to see Khalil Greene's twin porn star brother in his spot again.

Let's take 3 of the next 4 boys.

If he was pitching a shutout and had been at his absolute best, I would have said keep him in. I know he had a good 7th, but we had rested bullpen arms ready to go.

The really inexcusable part is not taking him out after the leadoff double and bringing in Romero to face Fielder. Personally, I would have had Romero start the inning.

I believe that Cole had earned the right to stay in for the 8th--he asked Charlie to keep him in, and Charlie complied. Unfortunately, it didn't work out, and perhaps now he doesn't earn the automatic right to stay out there when he wants to keep going, but that's part of the game. Also, it should be noted, that Cole, being like Santana, cannot be grooving changeups to LH power hitters--they end up right in their wheelhouses and out of the park.

It was encouraging to hear that Werth felt responsible for the loss: both the bonehead move on second base and failing to make contact in the ninth.

Seems like we try to win everthing w/ the long ball. Why don't we lay down a bunt in that stutation with one out and one run to tie?

I agree that Romero was the better option, at that point, to face Fielder. But that's all would, coulda, shoulda.
The bottom line is Cole made two mistakes all night and unfortunately both landed 400 ft. away and resulted in the loss. The two pitches Fielder hit were terrible. In both situations, Cole has to make better pitches than that.

I don't think you can put this one on Cholly. Pitch counts are useful, but they aren't sacrosanct. Hamels had been dominant since the 2nd inning. He'd just struck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in the previous inning. If Cholly had gone to his bullpen & Romero or Gordon had been the one to give up the 2-run homer, I think it's pretty much guaranteed that people would have been ripping him for not leaving Hamels in.

As I said yesterday, sometimes you make the right move and it turns out wrong. It wasn't Cholly who lost this game. It was our offense who, except for three swings, yet again looked inept. Howard, Jenkins & Feliz are all killing us.

clout- I see your boy is now hitting 1/2 his wt. 181. The 4 hole suits the team just fine.

Not to pile on here, but let's put this game aside for a minute and look at the long term.

Your ace has a history of arm and shoulder problems, he's never pitched more than 183 innings in a season, and you send him out there after 110 pitches in the middle of April. I could even cut Cholly slack if this was September, but at this point in the year, if you can't trust your bullpen for 6 outs, then don't you have a serious problem?

I'm surprised Dubee and Manuel are letting Hamels pitch count get that high in April, but I have a hard time second guessing the decision to let your best lefty face Fielder with the game on teh line. Especially if he looked strong in the 7th . . . not sure Romero gets that guy out, either. That's why Manuel gets the big bucks. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Howard needs a change of scenery. Put him on the bench today or put him in the 5th spot in the order, or both. Don't sit him on Saturday, though. I have a feeling that he's going to tee off on Matt Morris(if the game isn't rained out).

Another thing that no one has brought up is Turnbow in the 9th. That guy is an implosion waiting to happen. He will walk every batter if you give him the chance - Phils should know that too b/c he's done it to them before.

Obviously Charlie didn't tell his batters to be patient. If he did, they would have had bases loaded with no outs in the 9th...

Hugh: I have exactly the opposite feeling: that Matt Morris is going to suddenly return to 2001 form when he gets to face our lineup. The Phillies have a way of making slumping pitchers end their slumps.

I agree with jason on Howard. I'd give him one more start today (though I have no realistic expectation that anything good will come of it). Then I'd rest him against the lefty Duke, and give the start to the also left-handed Dobbs. Frankly, even though the Phillies are already woefully thin, I'd even consider giving him the whole weekend off. I've rarely seen a one-day break do anything to restore a slumping hitter's confidence. But a 2 or 3-day break has a chance of doing so.

B_A_P: "I have exactly the opposite feeling: that Matt Morris is going to suddenly return to 2001 form when he gets to face our lineup. The Phillies have a way of making slumping pitchers end their slumps."

As a lifelong phan, my true feeling is in line with your pessimism. As a guy holding tickets behind the 1st base dugout for Saturday's game, I'm trying to use the power of positive thinking. Morris has been throwing some seriously fat fastballs this year.

as reported by Todd Zolecki in the Philly Inq:

Today's lineup is: 1) Jayson Werth 2) Greg Dobbs 3) Chase Utley 4) Pat Burrell 5) Geoff Jenkins 6) Pedro Feliz 7) Eric Bruntlett 8) Carlos Ruiz 9) Jamie Moyer.

Howard is officially benched

Final thought on Howard. I haven't seen anyone mention it yet, but don't discount the possibility that he might be injured. This is exactly how he looked at the beginning of last year (only worse). The Phillies let that go on for way too long, before putting him on the 15-day DL. When he came back, he returned to form almost immediately. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the same thing is going on this year, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Phillies again wait way too long to recognize or acknowledge the problem.

Charlie needs to stand up to Hamels. He might have been dealing for innings 2-7 and might really have wanted to go for the complete game, but almost nobody gets special treatment. The only way you get out there for innings 8-9 is if you are at 80 or so pitches or your last name is Halladay.

Especially if your bullpen is #1 in the league at the moment.

can't believe no Coste today. And, if Fat Boy who is demanding AROD $ is not hurt, you play him today against the righty to see if he can snap out of it.

Any word on JRolls's ankle? ANy word on KBenson?

wouldn't mind seeing coste start at 1B tomorrow against the lefty. another RH bat would be nice, and, if i recall, he logged a few innings there in 2006 for us.

There is absolutely no justification of leaving a young pitcher in for the 8th after he's already thrown 110 pitches. Ignoring the fact that it's the 4th time through the order for these guys (obviously never a good idea), Hamels has never thrown 200 innings in a professional season, so do you really want to keep trying to throw him 8 innings? Hoping he makes 34 starts would mean if he goes 7 innings per would be 238 innings on the year which I don't think his arm would hold up for. This was just a horrid unjustifiable decision.

I don't know of many 23/24 yr olds that have thrown 200+ innings at any level. We can't baby him forever.

from roto:
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jimmy Rollins (ankle) is scheduled to take batting practice Thursday.

A rumor circulated Wednesday that Rollins had a break in his injured left ankle, but taking batting practice would obviously rule that out. Rollins isn't eligible to return from the disabled list for another 10 days.

"I don't know of many 23/24 yr olds that have thrown 200+ innings at any level. We can't baby him forever."

There is a difference between babying a pitcher and abusing a pitcher. 7 innings is a good game and I'm all for this being the year he reaches 205ish innings, but not 240.

It's one game. There isn't a big difference if he throws 110 pitches compared to 120 or 125 pitches. He's a pitcher and he felt fine.

I know Manuel likes to see the confidence in Hamels that he says he wants to stay in and pitch another inning, but really a young confident pitcher like Hamels would of said he could of pitched another 20 innings of shut out ball.

If the bullpen was terrible like the last couple of years then leaving Hamels in makes sense but its a long season and overworking him in April could kill us later on. It's a tough call b/c he was rolling up going into the 8th but its April and you've got to put it on your pen to bring it home.

Howard had some of the laziest swings at the plate in the later innings. He is guessing right now and not close at all. 2 strikes = he's swinging at the next pitch.

every hitter worked the count in the 9th against a wild Turnbow except Feliz. Big surprise.

I think that a lot of people are missing the point here. Cole is not a prototypical pitcher in the sense that he is only throwing 75-80% during the entire game. Most of his fast balls are around 90, but when he wants to, he can hit 93-94. Also he throws a lot of off-speed stuff. In the pitch sequence to Fielder, he hit 93 at least twice.

The problem was the pitch selection. As pointed out by the Kruker on BBTN, there is no way in hell he should have thrown a changeup to Fielder with Fielder trying, for the first 7 or 8 pitchers, to hit the ball the other way. Throwing that changeup sped his bat up and he was able to crush it.
Also, first base open was open.

Cole and Ruiz are young. Someone has to figure this stuff out and make sure the right pitch is thrown at the right time.

I'm shocked - shocked! - of no mention here of Zolecki's article today, which clearly indicated that Hamels wanted to pitch the eighth. I don't know how someone can read the article and still claim the loss is manuel's fault. But I can't say I'm surprised.

What does everyone think about changing the platoon from Werth/Jenkins to Victorino/Jenkins? Jenkins would always be in right though. Victorino and Werth could play center or right.

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