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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

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Not crazy about this matchup tonight. Lefties with moderate to strong power like Kelly Johnson, McCann, Chipper, and Teixera are the type of hitters that destroy Kendrick.

Just saw on a Braves board that Tex is out tonight, which you hope will help Kendrick, but as a Philadelphia fan I always fear the injury replacement game-of-his-life effect (I'm sure the Eagles fans on here remember James Mungro).

I'm having one helluva afternoon. First I go to pick up my son (Collier CHASE) from the babysitter to find that my wife thought it to be amusing to dress him in a Braves onesie today (her favorite team). Then during my afternoon run I get bit on the back of the leg by a big-ass black lab and it left a nice black & blue tennis ball size mark. Is this a bad omen for the series starting tonight?

Maybe the home cookin' will awaken the thunder in the bats and maybe KK can be at his best throwing ground balls. I hate the Braves. They scare me more than the Muts. Let's get 'em while they're down!

Cox is a smart old coot. If he can figure a way to do it, we'll see these 3 lefties for the next 5 series as well.

Carson, is it worth it to be black and blue and embarassed by your son's outfit in return for a Phillies victory? (Boy, I must be drinking the Kool Aid heavy today.) I fully expect a victory tonight...and if not a sweep, at least winning the series against the Braves.

I'd take a bruised testicle if and embarassment of my son wearing a Yankees onesie if it meant a Phils sweep over the Bravos.

Carson, you named your baby after Sweet Lou?

Carson, you married a Braves fan???

Where does one even go to find a Braves fan? It certainly isn't Turner Field.

Here is hoping the Phils can hit a lefty with marginal stuff like Reyes. Phils really need a spark though from the top of thie lineup (JRoll and Victorino) though if they want to take at least 2 of 3 from the Braves.

Phils are 2 games over .500 vs. lefty starters this year and 1 game over .500 vs. righty starters this year. I think I read that somewhere (8-6 vs. lefty starters).

Anyone see the changes on the Mets roster? They were in love with Nelson Figuroa for a couple weeks, now he's been DFA'd along with Jorge Sosa (who's been a Metsblog pinata for awhile). Angel Pagan is on the DL. Claudio Vargas was called up to start tomorrow. Matt Wise joins their bullpen. And Fernando Tatis joins their bench. I know, I know... Fernando Tatis?!?

One thing I didn't understand was all the love the Braves got in the preseason from a bunch of writers.

I still don't understand it mainly for one reason - there two best players are still Chipper and Smoltz and both guys are huge injury concerns. Smoltz's status a starter looks very much in doubt and Chipper is almost guaranteed to have a trip to the DL sooner than later.

That is wy the Braves strike me as a "finicky" team. Win 85 games this year? Sure but I just didn't see them having enough to win 91-92 games necessary to take the NL East and still don't.

CJ - Yeah but the Phils hitting stats against lefties are pretty much worse across the board.

I don't think the Phils are going to get another outing tonight from Kendrick where he only gives up 3 runs in 6+. For Phils to win this one, their offense is going to have to show some life and put 6 or 7 on the board.

Reality caught up with Figueroa. I am just waiting for it to do the same with the Marlins. One reason I don't think anyone is really concerned right now with where the Phils stand is that the Braves and Mets are both just treading water too.

MG, I'll agree with you there. I think best case scenario is that the Braves record in 1 run games further erodes in a 10-9 type of a game. I don't see KK getting a quality start tonight.

Phils line-up against lefties? Worthless.
Kendrick against the Braves? Even more worthless.

Trade'em all for magic beans.

P.S. I am willing to bet that the Lab, after just a taste, was regretting the idea almost immediately.

Atlanta's been a streaky team this year, and a terrible road team. I think they're better than they've played, and better than the Mets. But the stat about them being 1-10 in one-run games was also revealing. It means that if the game is close heading into the late innings (and few games the Phillies play don't shape up this way), the Phils will have a serious edge. It's up to Kendrick to keep them in the game until then.

Vargas and Wise seem like improvements on Figueroa and Sosa, only question is who's the long man now. With that rotation, they're often forced to use one.

I actually thought Figuero did a pretty good job for the Mets

Werth in CF, Victorino in RF tonight

I feel a win tonight too. I also think Howard will do well even against the lefty's . He always hits the Braves well. We NEED two out of three to keep the Braves down and stay in line with the Mets and Marlins.

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Putting Werth in CF over Victorino makes no sense. I wouldn't often claim that my opinion makes more sense than the manager's, but I defy Manuel to defend his thinking there. He might as well stick Jenkins at third base while he's at it.

RSB:
We're not talking "sense."

We're talking Chollie's formidable gut.

There will probably be some play in RF that Werth would never have gotten to, but Vic does. That's how the gut bubbles.

Of course it doesn't matter since Chipper's gonna go 7 for 3 with 6 walks and Tex will his three homers sitting on the bench. Howard and Feliz, meanwhile, will combine for 13 Ks in 7 ABs.

In all seriousness, what ever happened to all those folks who thought Renteria would have a better year than Yunel Escobar. Not happening so far.

So... um... KK has to go 5 scoreless to hit that magic quality start, huh?

See! Shane hits better when he plays in RF. Charlie is right!!!!!

It's hard to believe that Happ couldn't help this team. You don't have to hate Adam Eaton to want Happ promoted. There are 3 other perfectly viable candidates for replacement in the Phillies' starting rotation.

Chipper well on his way to that 7 for 3. A pitcher like Kendrick is like extra BP for him.

Terrible way to set the tone for this series. It's time to start keeping nightly tabs on the minor league pitching results.

Digging a nice hole early. Going to need the offense to actually show up tonight.

Why don't we let Howard pitch and bat KK 4th? Could it be much worse?

Well, looks like I may not have to do too much flipping between this and the Flyers game...

The ump gives him new life by calling 2 consecutive strikes as balls . . . and Howard responds by staring at yet another pitch right down the middle of the plate.

3 straight lefty starters in this series and a manager (Cox) who will not hesistate to bring out a lefty to face Howard - I say 8 Ks this series vs the Braves.

By the end of this series someone will be suggesting that Howard should be traded for a bag of used balls.

When Kendrick doesn't throw strikes, his chances of having a successful outing are exactly 0 percent.

Hard to figure where the offense is going to come from. 3 and 5 (and 6) have gone cold, and 4 has been on ice since day 1.

What's up with Kendrick's command? He keeps missing up and away.

Yet another error for the Phils...ugh! How can we win with a defense this bad?

I'm trying not to be so negative, but this team certainly seems worse than their record suggests.

For the record, Collier is a family name, not after Lou Collier. Also, my wife is a Braves fan, but I'm slowly converting her.

Way to go Pedro. Nice 3-0 cut.

Nothing screams "Green light situation" like a 3-0 count with 2 outs and no one on base.

I'll take the baserunner down by 3.

How does he have a green light there?Unbelievable.

curt: My post was sarcasm.

Manuel coaching a helluva game so far- questionable decision to put Werth in CF and Vic in RF, and now the retarded green light special to hack-o-matic Feliz. I would never give the green light to Feliz or Ruiz, they swing at anything!

With a pretty solid defense behind him, you can live with Kendrick as long as he is throwing strikes. It is just brutal though to watch him nibble, get behind in batter after batter, and walk a number of guys.

That was a sweet cut.

Time for this offense to wake up. Need Burrell or Werth to come through here.

About the only positive sign we can take from the Phillies' recent performances is that Howard does seem like he's starting to find his form. I sure hope they don't strand Utley here because it looked to me like he would have been safe by a mile if Steve Smith had sent him.

Damn it. All you needed to do was put the ball in the air Burrell.

Alright Werth. Way to get the Phils back in the game.

Got to hand it to KK for hanging tough.

Have to give Kendrick some due. He hasn't had his best stuff tonight yet he has gutted it, made pitches when he has had to, and kept the Phils in the game.

If Kendrick can keep giving the Phils 6 and 3 or the "Cory Lidle Special" there really is no reason to complain. This offense should be able to win a majority of those starts.

Seems like KK has settled down a bit. Hopefully Charlie won't wait too long before pulling him.

Everyone talking about Howard's struggles but the man who makes this offesne go (and has for the past 3-4 years) is JRoll. When he doesn't hit (and score at least 1 run), this team's record is pretty abysmal.

Getting the running game going here. Been dormant all season.

Seems KK settled down once he figured out this umps' friggin' strike zone. At least he doesn't mentally fall apart like our #1 starter when things don't go his way...

Hate watching Chipper hurt the Phils but love watching his swing. If he can put together another solid 2-3 years, I wonder if he is going to merit more serious consideration for the HOF.

For those who are interested, Bastardo's line tonight:

7 IP, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 homerun allowed.

Finally, Howard comes through in a clutch AB.

Yeah, Howard--finally!

It's about time Burrell!!

Single 'em to death!

Howard's starting to look hitterish.

MG: I'd say Chipper's already a lock for the HOF, no?

Well, CJ, there's your quality start.

For a second, I thought KK was going to pull a Roger Clemens and chuck the bat piece at Reyes.

Kendrick has started out shaky in a number of starts, but you forget how well he stays in there. He's done the job again tonight. Should be advantage Phillies here, but we'll see.

Curt -

Love that Whitey-ism.

Chipper Jones is a hall of famer. Gots to be right?

Probably will be the only position player from those Braves teams right? With Maddux, Glavine and Probably Smoltz all HOF?

KK's tough-minded, no doubt. Too bad the kid can't share some of his moxie with a few of his overpaid colleagues.

I had a feeling Rollins would struggle when he came back and, unfortunately, my feeling has turned out to be right.

I'm not a fan of his, but if he retired tomorrow Chipper would get in the HOF.

He's also helped that he's never been linked to 'roids which not too many of the premier hitters of the last decade can say.

Cholly's on autopilot now -- 7/8/9 = Romero/Gordon/Lidge

Do you think Chollie's cookbook recipe of JC-6th TG-7th and BL-9th will work out?

I would like some insurance runs, please

I have to say it again - I've never seen a relief pitcher make so many perfect pitches when he absolutely has to than Romero.

@RSB: except for that 2-run HR he gave up in SF

doubleh: except that wasn't a situation where he had to make perfect pitches. He wasn't in a jam. It doesn't apply to what I'm talking about.

doubleh -

yeh, let's concentrate on the only two runs that he gave up all year. because we know that most relief pitchers finish with a 0.00 ERA.

Werth having a night.

Did we really have to waste Bruntlett as a PR? Don't we have a non-hitting OF called Jenkins?

Did anyone notice Howard's at bat in the 7th? He struck out on three pitches, but what was odd was that each pitch was filmed from the camera high behind the plate, rather than the normal view from center field. At first I thought there was some sort of camera malfunction, but when Burrell came up, they went right back to the normal view. Are they trying to hide something? Is there some reason they don't want us to see his swing?

Ah, Brunlett's going to play a little OF.

RSB: he has been good in jams, you are correct, but he has been throwing more fat pitches lately, which makes me nervous.

Joe: I'm not concentrating on anything--I like Romero a lot--I was just stating a fact. And he's actually given up another HR before that.

The camera angle was like that for Utley's AB, too. So much for that conspiracy theory.

Kendrick certainly wasn't great today but muddled through. I will Kendrick credit for this - in 5 of his last 6 starts (including tonight), he has gone at least 6 innings.

Last 6 starts for Kendrick including tonight:

4.62 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 37.0 IP, 8 BB, 19 K

Not great but certainly acceptable for a backend rotation guy.

Now if only Eaton could carry his weight.

RSB- Do you know why they do that?

How come I can hear more Let's Go Flyers chants than Phillies chants? I mean, I love the Flyers, too, but come on. Enough is enough.

WTF. Why is Bruntlett playing LF?

>Now if only Eaton Myers could carry his weight.

FTFY

Joe - True. Myers has arguably been the biggest pitching disappointment on this team to date. Moyer and Eaton haven't been mixed at best but that is about what I expected from both of them coming into the season.

Not as much drama as in a typical Gordon inning.

squatter - I think something just must have been off with the CF camera for a few minutes, I don't think there's anything more to it than that...

MG - obviously they want Bruntlett to get more playing time and haven't been happy with Taguchi's play.

You hit the nail on the head right there; they were showing Myers stats compared to Eaton's on DNL and Eaton's are only slightly worse than Myers'.

Nice that Lidge has a little cushion what with the top of the order coming up.

RSB - I don't understand why Cholly continues to insist on pulling Burrell in close games like this one. One thing if you had a real upgrade defensively but Bruntlett? Just foolish all around.

Whew, that sounded closer than it probably was on the radio.

MG - I don't disagree. One of Manuel's greatest faults as manager is that he's rigid with repeating patterns.

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