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Saturday, May 31, 2008

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Our OUtfield Quartet of Burrell, Victorino, Werth & Jenkins have combined for a .277 avg, 28 homers and 89 rbi. I'd say our OF platoon is working very well. THe one guy with the worst average (Werth) was touted a few weeks ago as the teams early MVP.

I like the combination and think it compares favorably to any other starting 3 of's in the NL. In fact it brings back memories of '93 when Chamberlain, Thompson, Dykstra, Eisenreich and Inky all had career years.

Chris Snelling finally started his rehab last night. That's not major, but it sure would be nice to have him as healthy insurance again...no offense TJ Bohn.

Cole Hamels needs to bounce back from his worst start of the season tonight and further the gap between 2nd and 1st place.

Nolasco, career 6.60 era versus Phils, we win tonight.

The pitching and position prospects all got a shot last night in Reading.

Carrasco had a rough outing last night. He gave up 5 runs and 10 hits in 6.2 innings. Its amazing how many of our few top prospects are all at reading at the same time. Outman came in and finished off the 7th inning. Closer Pat Overholt took the loss and got hit around in 8th & 9th innings. Bisenius who seems to have regressed after coming out of nowhere last spring finished off the 9th. Bisenius has some of the oddest stats i've ever seen from a mid level pitching prospect. His average against is great but he struggles with his control. At 25 and at AA, one would think that he will probably never make this team.

On the position player side, the results were much better than the pitchers. J. Donald had two more hits and his hovering at .300. Golson hit a homer in three AB's and drew a walk but did strike out 2 times and raised his average to .322. Clean up hitter, Lou Marson had another 2-4 night and raised his avg to .348. Brad Harman appears to have struggled to find himself this season but did have an RBI last night.

Watching J-Roll and Uts tonight.
Also watchin the fences.

Unlike others, Nolasco is a mediocre RHP that the Phils have already seen.

As much as I'd like to appease the baseball gods with a false prediction, I find myself in complete agreement with Mr. Carson.

The wounded Zebra looks confusedly at the Lion which has overtaken it. ("How can that be? I was so far ahead.") The Lion opens its mouth to tear at the neck. This is gonna be Uggl, I mean "ugly."

Cole goes 8 innings tonight, gives up 1 run.

for this great line up the marlins claim to have, wes helms is batting clean up?

Such disrespect of the baesball gods posted above hopefully will go unnoticed; the more likely scenario this game is Hamels giving up 9 HR and Howard going 0-4 with 4 Ks.

WOW!! now that's a DP

That was a strike?

Manchine with a nice 2-out ribbie.

Cole Hamels does it all folks.

This has nothing to do with anything. Every year for the Super Bowl I make a huge pot of chili. I eat some, freeze the rest. (I normally cook it over a couple days.) Eating a bowl tonight for dinner. It is so awesome. Bead of sweat on my forehead, cold beer in hand, Phils on the screen. I'll probably $hit my entire colon out tomorrow. But I wanted to share the recipe. Go Phils

http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-NN5jdrg2aa4VFdyPb3.V?p=22

Little unlucky there for Jimmy.

Hamels doesn't look so sharp tonight.

Thanks for induction into the Hall. Rest assured my induction speech will include plenty of *asterisks*. And if I start sounding like Ozzie Smith, I hereby grant permission to throw produce of your choice towards the podium.

Braves lose again. Ha!

@george -- that chili and beer sounded tempting, minus that whole colon explosion bit.

Braves do lose, which is most important; but that team coming into town in a few days doesn't look so bad. Cross that bridge when we get to it.

Victorino doesn't look so bad either.

Sophist - So unlike the Braves to lose a one run game.

The Vic bashers have certainly faded away the last couple weeks.

RSB,
Yeah, maybe hold the colon - CHASE... doh. Biggest issue is that it's expensive to make. I think all the ingredients wind up running me $100 or so.

joe l - Speaking of colon explosions, I wonder how Chollie's gut is doing tonight...

Happ's getting absolutely pasted tonight at AAA: 13 hits & 8 earned runs in 5 innings. It's his third bad start in the last four. He is making me look like an idiot for all the posts that I've written, expressing the view that he is the answer to all the Phillies' problems.

Here's love for you - my girlfriend got 4 July 4th Phils-Mets tix for me, her, my buddy and his wife as a birthday gift. About 15 rows off the field between home and first. Great seats. I can't wait.

Harry sounds a little too excited on these deep fly balls, although I thought Utley's was gone off the bat too

Great play by Ruiz to keep that ball in the infield.

Ouch. That hurt.

andy - i heard the bathroom is where Chollie, or to be more precise, the gut, does all its thinking.

Hamels was squeezed a bit on that throw, but there's no excuse for allowing XBH to Helms.

Hamels needs to stop giving up big innings. It kills him when he does this. Specially since he worked almost completely out of the jam and then gives up a double and a homerun. Just can't do that.

I blame our resident shaman for jinxing this game, its not Cole's fault. Any time Helms gets a double, it must be divine intervention.

Cole seems to be turning into Brett Myers. This is his second bad game in a row.

Good thing the Phils bats can pull him out of this.

First Rod Barajas. Then it was Wes Helms.

I fully expect the Reds to resurrect Cincy Native David Bell on Monday.

I'm never going to make a positive prediction about the Phils ever again. They all suck.

Line-up, worthless.
Hamels, worthless.

This was the game that was in the bag and they're dumping all over the place. Blehhhhh.

I'm watching the Marlins broadcast; Tommy Hutton loves Helms so much I'm starting to think he may have a real crush on him.

Hey George - just wanted to let you know that the phils are not shooting off fireworks that night (even though its the 4th). In fact they aren't shooting off fireworks for any of the games against the Mets. THey knew they would sell out that series without the fireworks gimmick. Just figured i'd let you know because i had to buy tickets for the following series against the Cards for the f'works

THe Dude - Wow. Gotta hate the Phils' Mgt.

Another lousy 3rd strike call

gotta hate the way Hamels has been pitching these past two starts. I think Steve Carlton can rest a little easier because Hamels, while good, is by no means ready to assume the role of "best pitcher in phils history" yet.

Cole "Batting Practice" Hamels.

What is wrong with him tonight?

well...i don't think we can blame tonight's game on balls and strikes.

Leave it to the Phillies to look great in the game you think they're going to lose, and then look pathetic in the game you think they're going to win.

please tell me that Hamels last two starts are not going to carry over into future bad starts. He's the one guy that needs to get is head back on straight and come out and give us consistent starts that other #1's do. Because this lineup and pen cannot carry a pitching staff of guys with ERA's all over 4.50 for long stretch.

Relax, Hamels just ate too much of George's chili earlier today.

Helluva time for Cole Hamels to pitch the worst baseball of his career. Past 2 starts- 9.2 ip, 15 h, 13 r...yikes!

I could be wrong but.....

Steve Carlton won his first 5 decisions and then lost his next 5. On June 1, 1972 he won number 6, while on his way to a 27-10 season.

If Hamels is the new "Lefty", then I can't get too upset.

"Happ's getting absolutely pasted tonight at AAA: 13 hits & 8 earned runs in 5 innings. It's his third bad start in the last four."


No, this is Happ's first bad start since mid April.

In his last 7 starts (including tonight's clunker):

7 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER
6 IP, 5 hit, 0 ER
7 IP, 4 hit, 1 ER
5 IP, 7 hit, 4 ER
6 IP, 7 hit, 4 ER
7 IP, 6 hit, 1 ER
5 IP, 13 hit, 8 ER

In those last 7 (since late April), he has had 4 games of 1 ER or less, and 1 fairly bad outing (the 5 IP, 4 ER game) and 1 really bad outing (tonight's). That's not too shabby.

Cole got lit up like a Christmas tree tonight too. Happens sometimes, to everybody at every level of baseball.

Instead of a visit to the mound by Rich Dubee, I think Cole's chiropractor should take a trip out there and give Hamels a readjustment when he's pitching like sh*t.

The Reds are coming in next. They have a kid named Jay Bruce, who appears to be the next Roy Hobbs. Anyone know anything about him?

denny: 5 innings, 4 earned runs allowed is not a "fairly bad outing." It's a bad outing. So is 6 innings, 4 earned runs allowed. That makes 3 bad outings in the last 4. And these are not the 1927 Yankees he is pitching against.

Jay Bruce has been nothing short of amazing so far, batting over .500, taking walks, hitting for extra bases, stealing bases, playing quality defense, and only 21 years old.

Wow, talk about losing it quickly...

Cole Hamels last 2 starts:
9.2 IP, 15 H, 13 ER, 4 K

Previous 2 starts:
16 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 17 K

Someone explain using Coste as the first pinch-hitter, especially against a RHP.

I'm sure there's a good reason.

I was actually wondering the same thing.

I'm not sure Charlie is still playing this game to win Andy. That much was obvious by leaving Cole in there a couple batters past expiration date. Unless there's something wrong with Dobbs, he's the #1 choice to pinch hit versus a righty, but hey, they're going to lose anyway...

In case they want to take Ruiz out after getting hit by the pitch?

I assume they intend to leave Coste in the game after Ruiz was hit in the hand...?

Best I can come up with: Cholly wants someone who has a good chance of rbinging the run in, but knows that this Pinto guy is in the wings. He figures Coste has a better chance against Nolasco than Dobbs does against Pinto.

Just guessing.

That made no sense to me either -- and even less so when, just seconds earlier, your starting catcher just got done suffering a potential injury. My assumption is that, after Ruiz got hit, Cholly decided to pinch hit with Coste and then bring him into the game to replace Ruiz on defense.

Dammit, 1st place for 1 day. I really hate the Marlins, their own fans hate them too, that's why nobody shows up to the damn games. Oh well, Moyer will filet some fish tomorrow I suppose.

The replacement for Chooch thing is better than my explanation. Thanks.

Yup. That's it. Replacing Ruiz.

If the Phillies can win tomorrow, I won't lose too much sleep over tonight's game. But, barring a miracle comeback, this sure is a pathetic performance.

I probably shouldn't have included that caveat about "barring a miracle comeback." The reverse Beerleaguer karma only works with unqualified criticisms. It doesn't work when your criticisms have caveats to them.

Returning to my stupid, insipid, asinine animal kingdom analogy:
"The Zebra, turns, kicks the stoopid Lion in the face and runs off again, laughing it's ass-like head off all the way."

b-a-p: you're totally wrong anyway. It has been a pathetic performance.

THAT's at least nice.

6 in a row is a lot to ask for.

Mr. Awesome strikes again!

JD - I'm not upset about losing. I'm upset about 4 hits off a pitcher who has a 6.6 ERA` against the Phils and Cole Hamels pitching batting practice. That's the pathetic part. If they had lost last night, with Myers pitching, it wouldn't have felt as pathetic as this. Against a team like Florida, with the ace of the staff on the mound, they should win.

Of course, I guess this game is why you play'em.

How can he be frozen like that on an inside changeup? That was ugly. He needs to fight that pitch off.

Yeah, that's the part that's nauseating. They win 5 straight and look great doing it. Then, with their best pitcher going & a chance to really kick their nearest rivals when they're down . . . they look godawful. The Phillies never do anything easily.

Lindstrom can flat out brang it.

denny: 5 innings, 4 earned runs allowed is not a "fairly bad outing." It's a bad outing. So is 6 innings, 4 earned runs allowed


If those are considered "bad outings", a lot of major league pitchers have bad outings.

6 IP and 4 ER, is not a bad outing. He won that game too. A bad outing is what Cole had tonight. What Happ had tonight. Those are "bad outings".

6 IP and 4 ER will win you a ton of games with the major league Phils.

He's had 4 great outings, 2 average outings and 1 bad outing in his last 7 starts. Looks like the typical #4 or #5 major league starter to me.

And what is most important to me.....his control has been very good most of this year. As long as he is consistanly throwing strikes, he will be a solid starter at any level of baseball, including the majors.

denny: A lot of major leaguers DO have bad outings and, for that matter, there are a lot of bad major league pitchers.

Obviously our difference is semantical. To me, a game where you have an ERA of 6.00 is a bad outing. Anything worse than that is a horrible outing. There is much to like about Happ, but his recent performances do not exactly scream for a promotion.

Prediction, Madson gives up a run, Phillies rally back within 1 but lose 8-7.

Congrats to RSB for making the BL HOF. Quite an honor.

The Cole Hamels show has laid a big egg tonight.

Bad news for Misty May.

Here's something for you :

Ryan Madson, ERA 3.60
Cole Hamels, ERA 3.73

Of course, ERA isn't great, but...

You think Hamels is hurt? after his 120 pitch and 115 pitch scoreless outings, he looks like he is really laboring.

BTW - nervous about the Reds, they are really coming on strong. This kid Jay Bruce is amazing.

no more predictions from me.

Oh, well. They had to lose at some point, but no, you didn't expect it with Hamels on the mound.

Our "ace" is supposed to be our "stopper" to stop losing streaks, not winning streaks. I guess "hitting season" took a day off.

That's 2 very bad performances in a row for Cole. Could just be a slump but, with him, there's always the injury concern.

He's gonna have a rough time getting the 20 wins he wanted. And we all wanted.

In answer to Mr. J on the previous page: Jay Bruce is the best position prospect in baseball. He's a 21-year-old lefty with good power, has been young for his league at each level and dominated. His career minor league OPS is .921 and his OPS in 50 games at AAA this season was 1.023.

He's got a good glove too, but not much speed and while they have him in CF now, he'll evetually wind up as a corner OFer. His career K/BB ratio is 3/1 which is liveable for a power hitter, but to the extent he needs to work on something, strike zone judgment would be it.

His age and stats suggest he will be one of the dominant NL hitters over the next decade, assuming he stays healthy. His bat compares favorably to Jim Edmonds although he doesn't have Edmonds glove. Edmonds hit 30+ HRs 5 times in his career and has a career OPS+ of 131. I could see Bruce doing at least that well. I look forward to watching him.

Fun trivia: Bruce was the 12th player selected in the 2005 draft, just 4 picks ahead of C.J. Henry (and one pick behind the Pirates selection of Andrew McCutchen, who isn't bad but isn't remotely this good).

Leave it to clout to mention CJ Henry in every remotely related scenario, especially ones like this which are horribly appropriate. Thank God we don't have Bobby Abreu anymore, that bum who happened to end up as one of the top 10 Phillies in a bulk of offensive categories.

I like to look at players' career stats a lot, and today I came across the Angels firstbaseman Casey Kotchman who has only struckout 98 in 960 at bats...wow!

That first round (2005) was a pretty amazing one, talent wise. (Here's the B-Ref page:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?year_ID=2005&round=1&draft_type=junreg

It's notable that the Phils did not have a pick because we signed Jon Leiber to come (eat if not) throw donuts for us. In honoring the Phils' draft history, the Yanks made a Phils type choice in that slot, picking the aforementioned Carl Henry.

Hamels laid an egg again. Can't believe it. Oh, the humiliation of giving up a two run double to... Wes Helms!

Carson, Re: Kotchman. See also Conor Jackson, 148 Ks in 1158 ABs. Not bad for two guys who, although not HR hitters per se, have very good gap power.

However, if you want to see something that's REALLY sick, look up the strikeout rate for DiMaggio, who WAS a power hitter.

"You think Hamels is hurt? after his 120 pitch and 115 pitch scoreless outings, he looks like he is really laboring."

No, I think some numbnuts in the dugout or front office wanted to see Hamels "stretched out" to Big Hoss pitch counts, and we're now living through the fallout.

Disappointing the Phils got shut down by a marginal guy like Nolasco but they wouldn't they won tonight with the way Hamels pitched anyways. Expecting the offense to put 8 runs on the board is asking a lot.

All the Phils need to do this series was take 2 of 3 vs. the Fish. Like their chances today against Miller and if they win today they will be 5-1 to start their homestand.

Even a split against the Red would give them a 7-3 homestand and you can't complain about that. Frankly, the Phils need to play well on this homestand though because they are beginning a stretch the next two weeks that includes some tough series including the Braves, Cardinals, and the Red Sox.

Al - You just brought up a point I was considering but don't know if it holds water. Cholly shouldn't have taken Hamels out of the 1-0 victory over the Nats on May 20th but he probably could have saved Hamels about 10-15 pitches by taking him out of a meaningless 9th inning in the 5-0 victory against the Braves on May 15th.

Still, most managers will give the player the nod their to try and go for the complete game. If Hamels had thrown 135-140 pitches, then I would have had an issue but 120 pitches was within reason.

BTY - Not much of a track record to work on but Hamels' splits show that he has just pitched "ok" in May and struggled in June only to rebound with strong Post All-Star results.

Hopefully this is the case this year because the Phils really don't have someone in their rotation to step up that can really stop a losing streak.

Looking ahead a bit but the Phils almost need to finish this homestand 7-3 or better because of their schedule through mid-June.

I have a feeling the Phils will struggle to play better than .500 from the stretch of 18 games (from June 6-26). Includes some tough division opponents on the road (Braves and Fish), quality opponents (Red Sox and Cardinals), and the dreaded first-ever Interleague West road trip for the Phils.

If there a series of games the Phils are almost destined to play poorly, it is a Interleague West road trip.

MG: Miller is a great stuff/bad command guy. He throws a mid-90s fastball and a killer slider. He also doesn't allow many HRs. But if he doesn't locate the slider properly you can sit on his fastball. On the other hand, when he's putting his pitches where he wants he'll remind you of another Lefty with a fastball/slider combination. In other words, this guy can be dangerous.

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