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« Game chat: Myers, Phillies finish out road trip | Main | Preview: Mixed emotions surround interleague play »

Monday, June 16, 2008

Comments

So if the Phils aquired a CC Sabathia tomorrow, without giving up a current pitcher, would Myers leave the rotation? Would he go to the bullpen? Be traded?

I think Sabathia is all but off the market now that the Yankees need a starter, if he's going anywhere its going to be to them. But, if we are able to get a starter (and don't give up Myers) I think he's eventually headed to the pen after a stint on the DL to clear his head (that could be a long stint).

at this point im ready to see what calling up a young arm can do. myers is giving little to no chance to win MOST of his starts. shut him down, put him in the bullpen, let him get conditioned for relief and focus on winning now with making a trade and/or bringing someone up.

if the phils want this division they cant have this kind of pitching in the rotation.

I am more than ready to ship Myers out of town! Hopefully teams like Milwaukee or Toronto are still interested. I know we will have to part with a prospect or two in any deal involving Myers, but make it so. Gamble on a young arm like Parra or get a legit starter in Burnett. Either way, move him now before his value drops anymore!

Unrelated, just wanted to say I like David Murphy, seems like he's been a good addition to the corps of beat writers. His blog entry today actually addresses the exact questions I had from the game yesterday - http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/Bruntlett.html.

What do you guys think of our new firstbaseman/secondbaseman Ryan Howard? The pitcher is the new firstbaseman. The Phillies are always ahead of the curve in inventing new things.

Ribbies, did he have anything to say about our new firstbaseman/secondbaseman?

The time is now to replace Myers with Happ. Happ cannot do any more damage than Myres. Let Brett sit on the "DL" for awhile and think it over. Then move him into a six man rotation try out.

Two things: One, to everyone complaining about the runners left on base, that's a byproduct of having a good offense. I would MUCH rather have a high number of runners LOB than a low number, because it means you're getting guys on base. Getting on base is an actual skill- hitting with RISP isn't a unique skill; hitting is. That means its much more likely that a team with a high OBP and a lot of stranded guys is MUCH more likely to have a sustained successful offense than a team with a lower OBP who is driving more of their runners in.

Once again I'm amazed at how many people are freaking out over losing 2 out of 3 in a couple series. Is it a good thing? Of course not, but did people really expect us to keep playing .750 baseball? We just need to settle in, survive this tough stretch of schedule, get to July with a little lead left, and then turn it on against the Nats and the NL West. I'm still pretty confident about this team.

That was one ugly way to lose a ballgame yesterday, but it happens when you play 162 of them. I agree with Jack, and it was still a successful roadtrip.

Myers and Eaton sure look like they are going to drag this rotation down, but hopefully the offense will take care of bidness. I can't imagine what we would do when potentially up against the DBacks, going: Webb, Haren, Unit (or Davis), TOUGH.

I look at it this way: We played just absolutely horrid baseball yesterday. Bad baserunning, costly errors, excruciating SP, and terrible hitting with RISP...and yet we almost won the game. The Phillies still rally, even when they come up short. They're going to have bad games, but I like that they still believe, even when they are playing terribly, that they can win all the time.

It would have been nice, yeah, to get home with a more successful road trip before we start interleague play; however, we still finished over .500. The Braves won the Angels series and the Mets won the Rangers series, which makes those two AL teams seem less tough to me now. I guess we'll know in 2 weeks what the Phils are really made of.

i have an idea... why don't the Phils start Chad Durbin for the first inning of each of Bretty Myers' and Adam Eaton's starts. they are just terrible in the first inning. maybe the adrenaline of the second or third inning of a game-in-progress will keep them focused... ha.

next to that i'd ask Cole's chiropractor to write a 'scrip of Ritalin for Myers... maybe that would make the gamplan easier to remember. pull it together already!

At what point to we admit that Brett Myers simply doesn't it have it this year? He's been very good at home but on the road he simply looks lost out there.

I've been all for giving him every chance to succeed but every time he pitches on the road you can pretty much pencil in the "L" for the day. We're 15 starts in (basically the halfway point of the season) and he has shown no improvement. What are the Phillies options?

What's with the Eaton bashing? He pitched another solid game on Saturday and he's been on a roll with 5 straigth quality starts.

It does seem, if nothing else, that with the way the schedule plays out between now and the all-star break that Manual can rework the rotation to skip Myers or at least switch Myers and Hamels to that Hamels gets an extra start. I think the skipping Myers scenario would involved Hamels pitching one game on 4 days rest.

Myers won't get many more chances. The Phils would be completely justified in sending him down to AAA:

"Sorry Brett,
Take some time to return to form. Once you work these out these issues, we'll welcome your return. If you don't feel 100% healthy, take some time off, so perhaps you can contribute later this season."

Myers' problems are so apparent, they're hardly worth discussing. His pitches lack velocity, movement and control. He's straining to throw pitches that he would've thrown effortlessly 2 years ago. Brett's far too young to be counted out for good, but he won't turn it around in time for his next start. If Myers continues to pitch, his condition will only worsen.

I don't know if Happ's the answer, but I'd give him a chance. The Phils have about 3-4 young pitchers in their system who might be able to replace Myers in the rotation. While they're at it, the Phils should auditition candidates for that extra bullpen spot.

Perspective is a great thing.

We left for this road trip believing it would be the toughest one we had so far. On June 5th, here were the standings:

Phils .581 winning percentage
Marlins 2.5 GB
Braves 3.5 GB
Mets 4.5 GB

After our heart wrenching, gut punching, poorly played 5-4 road trip:

Phils .577 winning percentage
Marlins 3.0 GB
Braves 6.5 GB
Mets 6.5 GB

If that's an unsuccessful road trip, please, sir, I'd like some more.

I think the biggest problem with Brett is his love affair with the cut fastball. He got hammered with it last year and stopped throwing it as a reliever. He focused on his curve/fastball combo and it worked very well as he has an awesome curve. Another issue is his lack of velocity especially when he's using the cutter at 86 and the fastball at 88. With little change in velocity his cut fastball gets killed and the homeruns rain down on the stands.

I honestly don't think Happ is the answer but he's worth a shot so Gillick knows what to go for at the deadline. None of the other pitchers in the minors are ready for a call up. Mazone (a AAA journeyman) could probably handle an emergency start but he's not a legit prospect at 31. Its either Happ or look outside the organization.

Any word on Benson's recovery from his latest setback. If healthy, he would be a good replacement.

Jack - I completely agree with your first paragraph. Unfortunately the Phils have not been scoring more than 3 runs in more than a third of their games. In other words, their LOB is not just a product of a good offense. It's also a sign of inconsistency.

Here I am not referencing yesterday's game, but the two losses in Florida and the second game in StL. Not so many LOBs there. And not so many RS either. After Atlanta they scored better than 2 runs three times, and less than 3 runs three times. That pattern will not get it done over the course of the season.

Other positive signs as yesterday's disaster continues to soak in:

Ryan Howard had a pretty solid road trip, despite his Florida struggles, he went .275/.341/.525 with 14 RBI in 9 games. Since May 5th, he's gone .255/.339/.550 with 44 RBI in 39 games. And, lest I forget, one stolen base.

Pat Burrell has seemingly avoided his June swoon thus far (career .227 hitter with a career worst 78 OPS+). So far this month, he's gone .304/.458/.696 with 5 HR and 11 RBI in 14 games. He remains on pace for his first 40-HR season.

The Phils have won Jamie Moyer's last 6 starts over which he's 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA and he's averaged more than 6 innings per start.

The Phils have won Kyle Kendrick's last 5 starts and over his last 4, he's 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA and he's averaged more than 6 innings per start.

How about Randy Wolf? I don't buy the Petco argument. He may not be a "true #2", but he's a legit #3 and doesn't allow home runs. Wolf is also signed to a reasonable long-term deal, and wouldn't require nearly as many prospects as a Sabathia rental.

Randy Wolf > AJ Burnett
Burnett might have better "stuff", but Wolf is more consistent and pitches better in big games. Plus its nice guy vs clubhouse cancer.

btw- Just want to remind everyone that I was urging the Phils to sign Bart Colon instead of Kris Benson this off-season.

As much as I don't like this facet of my thinking, I cannot get away from the thinking that this is partly Charlie Manuel's fault. Be it leaving starters in too long, not leaving relievers in long enough, or choosing the wrong relievers for the wrong sitution, I'm getting sick of it. Also, for being a "hittin' manager" in "hittin' season" I'm not as comfortable as Jack with the high number of men LOB.

I think, though, that the thing that bothers me the most is this organization's total acceptance of mediocrity. When three of our SP are mediocre, half of our outfielders are mediocre, half of our catching platoon are mediocre, and our manager is mediocre, sooner or later, I fear, the team is going to be dragged down into mediocrity. It's time to make a move, plain and simple.

NEPhilliesPhan: I agree: enough on the Eaton bashing. He has had quality starts w/ no run support. Lately, I feel good about a game when he is on the mound. Nothing like last year.
Myers was a poor starter last year and is not getting any better. A replacment move should be made now when we are ahead in the standings and playing well. Not when it is desparation time.

This is a good Philly team with no injuries, lets keep trying to make better while our division struggles.

baxter: What's not to buy about "the Petco argument?" It is easily the game's most pitcher-friendly park, and Wolf's home ERA is 2.45, compared to 5.31 on the road. And do you think it's mere coincidence that, after being mediocre or worse for the last 5 years, Wolf suddenly joins the Padres and starts posting his best numbers since 2002?

Wolf may or may not be an upgrade over Myers, but he certainly lacks Myers' upside and, if he's an upgrade, it's not enough of one to make any difference or to warrant giving up a legitimate prospect. Phillie fans need to get over this nostalgia for the Randy Wolf era. That was 5 years ago, and it wasn't that great while it lasted.

Myers needs to go. Period. He is awful.

Andy: How does that compare with other teams? You seem to suggest that the Phils offense has a problem because they "have not been scoring more than 3 runs in more than a third of their games." You see, context matters.

Scored only 3 runs:
Phils 25 of 71, 35%
Marlins 24 of 69, 35%
DBacks 25 of 70, 36%
Cardinals 26 of 71, 37%
Cubs 29 of 70, 41%

Are the Phillies really having a problem?

Just once this year have the Phils gone three games in a row without scoring at least 5 runs (the Marlins series). There hasn't been a single three game stretch all season long.

There isn't an "inconsistent" offense problem.

baxter: You can choose not to buy the Petco argument, but that doesn't it doesn't exist. Wolf is masterful at home, and bad on the road. Pitching in CBP is not pitching at Petco. Forget Wolf.

Adam: Wow, with all that mediocrity around, I wonder how the Phils are even above .500!?!?!?

Charlie Manuel's fault? I'll agree, its his fault that we're 1st in the division, with a 3 game lead.

sheesh.

something has to b edone with myers. 15-day vacation? skipped start? something to wake his as$ up.

i'll agree that Manuel has made some bad decisions, like leaving Flash in to face Uggla in the bottom of the ninth the other night in Florida (wtf?), but hindsight is always 20/20 and baseball managers will forever be skewered on that fact... all in all, ole' Uncle Cholly has done a crackerjack job so far this season. he seems to have finally cracked the code of NL-style baseball.

On Myers...a consistent bashing on BL should have the reverse jinx effect on him allowing him to be effective...his next start is at home too so he'll probably be strong and we'll all be happy for another week or so.

You're right- I hadn't even heard of Randy Wolf until he started pitching at to Petco Park.

Wolf has 10 quality starts, two more than Cole Hamels. They're all in spacious Petco Park, right? Wrong- 5 at home and 5 on the road. Wolf has actually allowed more HRs at home(4) than on the road(3). With the exception of two starts in Atlanta and Wrigley, in which he allowed 5 and 7 runs, Wolf has pitched well on the road.

Besides those two blowouts, and a 9-4 victory against the Diamondbacks, Randy Wolf has limited his opposition to 3 runs or fewer in every AWAY game.

His numbers don't lie:
5-3WL 3.83ERA .248BAA 1.23WHIP 7.97K/9

Time to get those masks out of storage and BRING BACK RANDY WOLF. Bring back the 'pack!

CJ: Good post. The Cubs have the best offense and record in the league, and yet they've had a more "inconsistent" offense than us? Interesting.

Putting blame on the offense is easy when you watch a game like yesterday, but, we did score 6 runs. And we have the 2nd best offense in the league and have had the top one the last 2 years. A little perspective people, please. Also, we're 11 games over .500 and hold a 3 game lead in the division. If you want to complain about anything, we'd be a few games higher up if Brett Myers would pitch like he's capable of. Otherwise, stop looking for things to complain about.

Also, A.J. Burnett is better than Randy Wolf, when both are healthy. Simple as that.

Apparently Bronson Arroyo is available for the right price...according to Reds GM Walt Jocketty: http://www.nypost.com/seven/06152008/sports/yankees/yankees_monitor_c_c__sweepstakes_115507.htm

Its down towards the bottom of the page after all the stuff on CC. Depending on the price, I'm sure the Phillies would at least kick the tires on Arroyo to see how much Jock is looking for.

Arroyo is a homer allowing machine. We already have that in Myers. No thanks.

I simply throw out the available players when I see them...I do not make judgement calls on them...besides Wolfy who I do not want back here.

I think everyone needs to keep things in perspective. Yesterday was a tough loss to take with the shoddy defense, but we end the road trip still in first place; now is not the time to find the shortest route to the highest bridge...

As for Brett Myers, I think his approach yesterday was to get after hitters early in the game with his fastball. He came out of the gate and threw 6 straight heaters (4 to Schumaker and 2 to Miles). Although his fastball appeared to have good life in this outing (90-94mph), you can't throw a major league batter four straight fastballs and expect to have success. He later threw Ryan Ludwick five straight fastballs before he doubled. It also appeared he threw more curveballs yesterday and stayed away from the cut fastball, which is another sign I like. Overall, there were some aspects of Brett's outing that I liked... But, again the results were not there and he continues to not be able to locate his pitches well periodically, which leads to him getting hurt by the longball and giving up a big inning.

If we just signed K. Lohse we would be in better shape.

I think his location issues have to do with having to overthrow to get to his old velocity that he used to be able to throw with ease. 90-94 is great as long as he locates and has some movement...otherwise they just leave the park faster going the other way.

Here's a long shot to help: Freddy Garcia should be available by mid-July and he'd probably be cheap. From CNNSI's Jon Heyman: "Freddy Garcia threw 65 fastballs and changeups Thursday at "Hardball,'' an indoor facility near his Miami home, about 15 minutes south of where his old Phillies teammates were playing the Marlins. He was reported to have hit "85 mph,'' not too far from his velocity while helping the White Sox clinch the pennant in 2005. Garcia is aiming to showcase himself as a potential second-half savior for a contending team by early next month. He'll be a good catch for someone."

Maybe we could get some of the money we already paid him back...

Charlie Manuel's fault? 11 games over .500 and 3 games up in the division. Fifth best record in baseball- and people still blame Manuel?

Ridiculous.

The Phillies don't necessarily need a "shut down starter"; they need an upgrade over Brett Myers. The 2008 Randy Wolf is a huge upgrade over the 2008 Brett Myers. Wolf has 10 quality starts, Myers has 3.

If the Phils management chooses to make a 2nd move, to acquire an Ace, and upgrade two spots in the rotation, thats a separate issue. The immediate issue isn't Randy Wolf vs CC Sabathia or Eric Bedard,(though Wolf's numbers are better) its Wolf vs Myers.

Randy Wolf's low price tag makes him a much better value anyway. The Phils wouldn't have to sacrifice any top prospects to acquire Wolf, and you certainly couldn't say the same about those other possibilities. Unless the Phils are serious about resigning Sabathia, I wouldn't want the Phils to sacrifice players who could help them in 2009-.

Golson and Happ for Wolf?
I think thats all it would take. If the Phils wanted another SP, they'd still have Eaton, Myers and prospects to offer...I'm just thinking of a reasonably low cost, long-term solution to this problem.

First point: just because we're 3 games ahead, in a weak division, does not mean that all criticism of the team is off base.

Second point: statistics cited in the abstract don't mean anything, absent some league-wide perspective. But, at the same time, just because we're no worse than other top teams in a particular area does not mean that the topic isn't worthy of discussion.

This year's Phillies team is more power-orientented, and less consistent, than last year's offense -- and, going by Andy's stats, the difference is not insignificant. There are probably several reasons for that: Howard's poor play; Rollins' poor play; the loss of Aaron Rowand; the addition of the human out machine to our starting lineup. Apparently we're no more inconsistent than the Cubs, Cardinals, & D-backs, but I would suggest that, in the long run, those teams can probably afford a little more inconsistency on offense because they have better starting pitching than we do.

From a personnel standpoint, there probably isn't a lot that the Phillies can do right now to improve the team's day-to-day offensive performance. A more constructive use of their efforts would be to try to find another good starting pitcher, so we can win a few more of those games where our offense isn't hitting. Thanks to our improved bullpen, we are winning more of those games this year than in the past. But we could still do better and, in my view, we MUST do better to really have a strong shot at making noise in the playoffs.

These next 6 games will tell us a lot about our Fightin's. 3-3 is acceptable I guess. 4-2 would be great

CJ you said: "Just once this year have the Phils gone three games in a row without scoring at least 5 runs (the Marlins series). There hasn't been a single three game stretch all season long."

i wonder if that is a function not of our offense, but of the opponents' pitching? i'm hesitant to suggest it, but perhaps the Phils do suffer from an "inconsistent offense" in that they can't consistently hit good pitching, i.e. a staff ace. my circumstantial evidence:
1- that would explain why we rarely go three games without an offensive outburst, because there just aren't three aces on any ML staff.
2- this team can tear to shreds an average ML pitcher, like those middle/back end starters that match up against Kendrick and Moyer in our rotation, thus explaining the copious run support those two have benefitted from.
3- it would also support the relatively low run support offered to Eaton (who at #5, often gets paired with their #1), Myers and Hamels as they run up against the staff aces more often.
and, 4- it would explain the offensive prowess of this team in the later-innings, as they match up against the soft underbelly of most rosters: the middle relief.

maybe i'm projecting my case of the Mondays on to the team and being unnecessarily dour. i actually hope that's what i'm doing cause i'd hate to be right... but i'm interested to hear what you think? can this team hit good pitching?

ps- apologies if i'm rehashing an old issue. you guys have much more baseball-watching experience than i do, so sometimes i'm a little slow to the analytical plate...

Your man crush on Wolf is astounding.

I'd rather throw Happ out there for a few starts to see what he's got, than trade 2 prospects for Wolf.

Is AJ Burnett hurt?...because his numbers are far worse than Wolf's this year. I agree that Burnett has better "stuff", but that certainly doesn't translate into real world performance.

Burnett 6-6 4.90 ERA .261 BAA 1.50WHIP
Wolf 5-3 3.83 ERA .248 BAA 1.23WHIP

also:
Burnett $13,200,000
Wolf $4,750,000

AJ Burnett has more potential than Randy Wolf, as do Adam Eaton, Brett Myers and Carlos Carrasco. The Phils just need more pitchers that can consistently keep them in the game, and Wolf would do that.

Wolf sucks anywhere but Petco...unless I can't read Home/Road splits anymore. I loved him when he was here but he's not the same pitcher anymore. Look elsewhere for a 5th starter.

cubehostage: Well, the reason certain pitchers are aces is because they're hard to hit. So, we would be like just about every other team out there if we can't hit good pitching. That's why it's good pitching.

Luckily, as you note, most teams don't have three aces. It is true that you face better pitchers in the playoffs, but you also go to war with the weapons you have. And our offense is as good as there is in the league. We should be focusing on how to get better pitching, because as the adage goes, and as you have spelled out, "good pitching beats good hitting"

baxter: I'm not sure where you're getting your stats. Wolf has 7 starts at home & 7 on the road. 6 of his 7 home starts were quality starts. On the road, only 4 of 7 have been quality starts -- and 2 of those were against the atrocious Giants, who play in a park that is almost as pitcher-friendly as Petco. Another was against the last place Mariners in Safeco, which, again, is a pitcher's paradise. (The 4th was against our Phillies).

I'm not really disputing that Wolf might be slightly better than what we've gotten from Brett Myers. But I disagree with the notion that the Phillies only need a marginal upgrade of their worst starter.

Right now, the Phillies stand a better than 50-50 chance of winning the East with Brett Myers in the rotation. What they need is not a slightly better pitcher for the 5th spot; what they need is someone who would make them a more formiddible opponent in post-season play. Randy Wolf ain't that guy.

Regarding Wolf: He spurned the Phils in the offseason to play in SD, would he even accept a trade here?

About Burnett: He has struggled some this year, but in 6 of his last 7 starts he has given up 3 ER or less and struck out 6+. He also has given up only 5 HRs so far in the seasons, and does not historically give up a lot of HRs, which as you know may be important in CBP.

Happ should be at least given a look. Even Mazzone has decent AAA numbers. Regardless of who you want to bring up, let Myers have a 15 day "mental" break.

After really really looking at his stats...I'd take Wolf as long as the price was very low (not Golson + a pitcher, that's ridiculous). Otherwise he's not an improvement that much.

I agree on giving Happ and other prospects a shot...
I'm pushing the Wolf idea so we DON'T sell the farm for a more talented pitcher.
I just see Wolf as another consistently steady starter, who fits right in with Kendrick and Moyer. The Phils always seemed to win when Wolf was pitching.

Here's another idea I know will be unpopular: in light of BA's comments about Marson, would you consider trading him? What if Marson doesn't make 10 All-Star games as the Phillies catcher? Jaramillo is starting to hit very well at a higher level, but his trade value isn't close to Marson's, which must be astronomical right now. He could probably anchor a package for a #1 pitcher, allowing us keep Carrasco and other prospects.

Don't worry- I'd rather keep him too.


No...trading Marson would be a huge mistake.

I just figured the Padres wanted a young centerfielder and that Wolf would block Happ's path to the majors. I'd probably rather keep Werth than Golson...The Padres aren't just giving Wolf away- he's been holding up the fort, with Maddux, while the rest of their rotation was on the shelf.

You know the funny/scary thing about Myers performance yesterday? He actually LOWERED his BAA on the road from .353 to .345 with his performance.

Road: 0-6, 7.54 ERA, .345 BAA...Ouch!

Not that I think he'd come back here, but even if he would--don't you think facing Wolf's slow pitches would make it much easier for opposing hitters to time Moyer's stuff when teams faced them both in a series?

Wolfie has never expressed (at least publicly) any dislike of Philly. He simply likes S. California and is from there so going to LA and then SD made sense for him. If I had to choose between living in SD or Philly, I'd probably choose SD too...nothing personal against Philly though.

unlikely stat of the day: Brett Myers is 10th in the NL in strikeouts.

Right, but if he wanted to play here, he would've signed here, I could see him requesting to stay in SD if there is trade talk.

If I'm not mistaken, Wolf signed for exactly what the Phillies offered.

If you had two job offers, in San Diego and Philadelphia, each paying 4.5 million dollars, where would you rather live? Keep in mind, you grew up in Southern California and most of your family lives there.

If we are considering trading chips Marson should be off the table. The question should be what if any value Ruiz would bring?

Hard to believe that a team is leading their division in the middle of June and that team's opening day starter is on a 7-18 pace if they keep running him out there every 5th game for the rest of the season. If Pat has one one great move left in him before retires I hope he pulls the trigger on it soon!

I'm not buying the "inconistent" offense argument unless I see some real numbers. There is a way to measure statistically how much the Phils score above and below their average runs scored. That is the only real way to measure inconsistency without the bias of being a fan - as was pointed out above with the fact that the Phils are no more likely to score thee runs or less than other contenders. Comparing to last year also isn't that helpful, becuse the information it provides in only relative - last years team was exceptionally consistent.

On another issue, I think that it is extremely likely that the Phils will reach the playoffs with their current starting rotation. Therefore, the importance of acquiring more SP help is really determined by whether their shortened rotation is sufficient. How comfortable are folks with this starting 8 and Hamels, Kendrick, and Moyer as their playoff starters? Trading Myers for another pitcher that wouldn't break into that 3-man rotation wouldn't be worth it.

Not very comfortable...I don't like going into the playoffs where we'll be facing good pitching (the bane of this offense) with Kendrick and a 45 years young lefty as two of my top 3...as much as I appreciate both their hard work. We'd still be capable of winning the the 1st round but I'd like something more than an NLCS appearance this season.

As I recall, both Moyer and Kendrick did pretty well last year in high-pressure games. I don't know. If improving the shortened rotation would take a big chunk out of there everday lineup - I'm not sure it'd be worth the gamble. If they could improve the shortened rotation with any combination of their back end starters (which now includes Myers) and prospects, I say go for it.

Kendrick deserves a little more credit. He might be a legit #3, instead of the #4 or #5 most expected. You can get a lot of batters out with a 94mph sinker.

I'd like our chances of winning a 1st round playoff series with Hamels-Kendrick-Moyer, but winning a World Series right require an upgrade.

NEPP: As I pointed out to another poster, good pitching is certainly the bane of this offense. It's also the bane of every offense, ever. That's why it is good pitching. Saying we have an inconsistent offense because we struggled against Johan Santana, to give an example, is pointless, because over time, EVERY team is going to struggle against Johan Santana.

The point, which I think you were making, is that we need to improve our pitching in some regard. A team can NEVER have a good enough pitching staff.

G*D@&&#T I'M STILL P!$$ED OFF AT TOM GORDON.

JE$8$ H CHRI$T! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR A$$

OK

I feel better. (36 hours later)

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