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Friday, April 18, 2008

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So ... 13.2 scoreless innings by the Mets bullpen you say?

Sounds like they are due for another whipping by the Phils to me.

I attended that game. Torii Hunter and Corey Koskie hit homers.

You mean we came back and took the division from the Mets without a start from Cole after June? Wow.

Morty, good point. I'll add that to my "it's due" list for this game. I'll neglect, however that PtB "is due" for a serious regression to the mean. Gulp!

Much of the information used in today's posts are courtesy of the updates links, located on the top left.

Where's J-Roll?

I'm concerned about the offense tonight. NOT because of the "Due" factor. But mostly it often seems the "first" time we see a pitcher, we don't do well. (Often it's a young pitcher that doesn't have a ton of game film).

But Santana has been around for a while, so I"m hoping the advance scouts have adequately prepared the hitters...

Somehow I doubt it.

Being a pessimistic Philly fan, I have a bad feeling about tonight. I think Hamels will do well, but I can't see the Phils getting more than a run or two off of Santana. I think Burrell has a chance to hit a home run, but Howard will go 0-4 with 3 strikeouts.

I call 2-1 Mets. The Phils usually go cold after an outburst, and it doesn't help that the Mets have one of the best pitchers in the league, who also happens to be a lefty.

But then again, Santana could pull his hammy or something in warmups and the Phils could win 11-1.

Excited for the game but I seem to remember the Mets hitting Hamels well last year.
On ESPN-Tim Kurkjian said he spoke to a Florida Marlin after Santana's last start. The player said Santana didn't throw well & was suprised how straight his fastball was & he doesn't have the same arm action he rememebered.But of course his changeup is still great.
I'm curious if Santana is completely healthy. He was obviously hurt at the end of last year. When I heard his arm action has changed it raises suspicion. Mitch Williams seems to think the reason Adam eaton was so atrocious last year was because of his arm action & not being on top of the ball.I can't believe I just mentioned eaton & Santa in the same sentence. ouch.

Maybe Santana will be more like Santa tonight, kells, and throw some gifts.

Hope this one lives up to the hype, much like the Peavy/Francis game last night. Of course, I hope our bats have a little more success.

Any thoughts on the Longoria deal? MLB.com says it's $17 mil guaranteed over 6 years, plus three option years which could bring the total to $44 mil.

It's a very interesting deal. Basically they're over-paying for the next few years and potentially under-paying for his arbitration and FA years. I can see why Longoria went for it, getting unprecedented security out of the deal, and it's no big risk for the Rays at the same time. Great business model for a team of their payroll. Can you even imagine Rube or the Gillmeister pulling off something this creative?

A deal that big for a guy who's had one week in the majors? I can see after two, or maybe even one full season, but that's really jumping the gun. Obviously the Rays are trying to make a statement about their organization, but while it's probably a much better statement than signing Jose Canseco and Greg Vaughan, it's still a highly questionable move. What if the Royals, in similar circumstances, had offered that kind of deal to Alex Gordon last year? Odds are that Gordon will come around and be a very good player, but you can't truly know about a player until he's been around the league a few times. Next thing you know, they'll be signing draft picks to multi-year contracts before they spend a day in the minors.

Tonight: each pitcher gives up a pair of homers, Phillies win 5-4.

Lineup, via High Cheese:

1. RF So Taguchi

2. CF Jayson Werth

3. 2B Chase Utley

4. 1B Ryan Howard

5. LF Pat Burrell

6. 3B Pedro Feliz

7. C Carlos Ruiz

8. SS Eric Bruntlett

9. LHP Cole Hamels

I am a pessimistic Phils Phan, but I actually have a good feeling about tonight. Should be a well pitched game with two elite pitchers on the mound, that's April baseball at it's finest.

Sophist-

Being that the SD/COL game went 22 innings, I don't know if I'd want it to live up to the hype THAT much.

Man, looking at that lineup really deflated my hopes of winning tonight.

RSB:

I see the point about the guy only being in the majors for a week. But even in a worst case scenario, $18 million over six years isn't that big a risk for the Rays in today's market. Mediocre middle relievers make $3 million/year nowadays.

Jeez...Chooch instead of Coast-to-Coste? C'mon Charlie. Hopefully this was a Hamels preference thing and not a Manuel-ism.

Who knows? Maybe Chooch is "due" for two homers tonight.

So that means Chooch... which, as someone suggested, might be because Hamels prefers to throw to him. Just baseless speculation. Has Coste caught Hamels much?

I still would have preferred Coste here.

For the Phils' hitters there's two philosophical ways to handle Santana.
1) They can all try to be very patient, foul off what is close but unhittable, run deep counts when at all possible and try to let the natural course of pitch counts take him out early enough to hear those amazingly wonderful words: Now pitching for the Mets - Aaron Heilmann...

2) They can be ready to hack hard at the first fastball they see, knowing that if Santana gets ahead of them he'll probably be placing that killer change with deadly precision. In theis approach you hope to nail enough of the pitches in the first few innings to take him out and get to the BP that way.

Of course, they will all go up with their own tendencies - Werth, Burrell and Howard making him throw pitches; Bruntlett, Ruiz and Feliz hacking away. So, unless he makes some mistakes or they get a bit lucky, I'm expecting the Phils to score very little - maybe not at all before the eighth.

It would be very nice to get into the Mets' bullpen early tonight since they used about a gazillion guys last night. Keeping them from rest could only benefit us over the weekend.

Hopefully Jimmy returns soon and we can consign Eric "Gnome-Hit" Bruntlett to the pine.

Taguchi and Werth 1 and 2 isn't so bad considering the alternatives.I guess Werth 1 and Utley 2 would be better. Taguchi hit well yesterday, though.

DOB - yeah, that wouldn't be good. I mostly meant the performances of Peavy and Francis.

If I'm Hamels, I prefer the run support that Coste gives me over the familiarity (or preference, or whatever) that I get from Chooch.

Chooch will now promptly have a good game because of the badmouthing...or continue to suck. We all know the Brunt-bashing hasn't worked in the reverse jinx way yet.

"those amazingly wonderful words: Now pitching for the Mets - Aaron Heilmann..."

So true.

Now, if Bell, Lieberthal and the pitcher were the "black hole," what do we call the 4 batter section of our batting order beginning with Feliz?

Ruiz has caught Hamels 25 times; Coste 16 times. but most of the games Coste caught were in 2006 - in 2007 it was 19 Ruiz to only 2 Coste.

FWIW, Hamels' opponent batting line is pretty similar but marginally better with Ruiz catching (.216/.276/.351 versus .233/.281/.398).

Love the Longoria deal. Gamble yeah but ultimately it is small potatoes and it locks up a guy long-term who might be the franchise. Almost as importantly, it gives the Rays some idea of where will be economically over the long-term.

Phils have arguably botched this approach with Hamels and Howard and now might pay for it with both of them if they have to keeping going on a year-to-year basis. If anything, they might pay even more of a premium if they continue to lose another arbitration case along the way.

My biggest gripe about Gillick's tenure is that he really has had no long-term plan whatsoever. He was just a name guy who tried to see what stuck over the course of 3 seasons.

Jason, are we going to get a nice flashy graphic for the game tonight? I was imagining something like this - http://blog.ugo.com/images/uploads/clashtitansblogindexraimi.jpg

Although the guy on the horse would be wearing a phillies hat (and a shirt). And the Kraken would be wearing a Mets cap and a LoDuca jersey (for old times sake).

Just an idea.

ae-

awesome information. where the hell do you get this stuff?

Hmmm... 19-2 in 2007? Certainly sounds like a comfort thing for Hamels. And, frankly, we'll need a good outing from Hamels tonight so if that's what he wants, that's what he gets.

Ribbies: isn't that Pat the Bat astride the Pegasus?

For some reason I just love reading this. Keep in mind when Rollins was first hurt they said 2-3 days at most. How many weasel words can you find here:

Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday that an MRI on Jimmy Rollins' sprained ankle "basically confirmed exactly what we were treating him for."
"He's got a sprained ankle, and he's healing and he's doing quite well," Amaro continued. "We have no plans to put him on the DL. Jimmy is progressing and doing better. We do believe that he should be ready to play, hopefully, Saturday or Sunday. That's what we're hopeful for. We're not sure if he's actually going to play those days, but we think he's progressing toward that."

I think Amaro made those same comments the day after Rollins got hurt

You know, I do not mind the lying to us so much as the damage that their gaff has done to the roster. While Jimmy can pinch-hit, even if he gets on there needs to be a pinch-runner. He needed to be DL'd. They blew it; and compounded the error by using him as a PH. We coulda at least had someone from Allentown or Reading up here to allow for a substitute in case Bruntlett gets, say, gnome-blotted by Delgado on a DP-attempt. Or something.

Okay, someone tell me what motivation the Phils have for lying to the fans about Jimmy Rollins?

As most people know, ankle injuries are tricky. In hindsight, it would have made sense to DL him. But, on the other hand, if Jimmy said it wasn't serious, and that he'd thought he was close to returning, what would you do?

It's not like we're dealing a break, or ligament damage. There is no timetable for a return. It's about how the player progresses.

You guys make it sound like the front office has some kind of nefarious reason to lie about Jimmy's injury.

CJ - I don't think it's nefarious. I think it's incompetence. If they had waited a day or two, fine. But when he wasn't gonna be good to go after three days, say, wouldn't it have made more sense to let him rest it and get up a replacement who can play? Especially when you're going with 12 pitchers. It leaves just 5 subs. Right now the only IF sub is Dobbs. Don't you think that's cutting it a bit thin?

CJ - Two simple reasons. Other franchises (e.g. A's) don't do the same thing. Granted their is always some margin of error but they don't string along the fans like the fans do. The Phils have lied to the fans 2 in the past year about big injuries. First was Garcia ("we rely upon other team's medical evaluations of a player because that is what all teams do") which was complete BS and the other thing was about Gordon's shoulder last spring because saying he was a hurt would have put a dent in ticket sales maybe. Generate negative media buzz and press stories.

Andy: But it's not the FO being incompetant, then... you're suggesting our doctors are incompetant, right?

MG: Those aren't reasons the FO would lie. Those are reasons you think they are lying. My question is what motivation would they have to string you along about Rollins?

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