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Friday, June 20, 2008

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I'm not too optimistic about this series to be honest. Perhaps another poor series will prompt Gillick to make some needed moves.

Vlad the Impaler used to MURDER Phils pitching when he was an Expo. Hopefully he wont this week.

Yeah, the Phillies sure haven't missed Guerrero.

The first two matchups greatly favor LAA, and the Phillies should be favored for Sunday. Neither team is playing all that great going into the series, but as noted above, the Angels seem to step it up for bigger games. I see them taking 2 of 3. It'll be kind of a nice novelty to actually be able to see what they're about. The Angels are the most anonymous good team in baseball.

I guess I'm not sure I would say the Angels are "favored" in this series. The pitching matchups may seem favorable but that's about it.

Santana is coming off his worst start of the year. Saunders has been rather inconsistent recently (terrible start, great start, terrible start, great start in his last four). And Weaver has been dreadful in three of his last four starts.

I'm not suggesting Eaton and Myers are great pitchers... but this game isn't only about pitching. Besides, in one more game, the Phils have given up 3 fewer runs than the Angels.

And here's the big thing... the Angels have scored just 2 more runs than they've given up this year (308 runs scored) while the Phils have a margin of 90 (393 runs scored).

Finally, I'll present this stat:
Bullpen ERA
Angels 4.28
Phillies 2.55

Apart from K-Rod, the Angles bullpen doesn't have a whole lot to offer.

According to the XW-L, the Angels are playing 6 games over their head (the Phils are playing 4 wins under expectations).

From MLBTR-
Phillies Scouting Rumors
All of these "team X scouts team Y" type reports should be taken with a grain of salt, because scouting does not necessarily imply trade interest. But hey, this is MLB Trade Rumors.

Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News says the Phillies sent special assistant Charley Kerfeld to watch the Brewers play the Blue Jays. Hagen notes that Kerfeld may have observed Ben Sheets and A.J. Burnett.

Jayson Stark told us Thursday that the Brewers would have to be "way out of it" before making Sheets available. But Burnett might be fair game, and Stark said the Phillies have already kicked the tires on him. Stark said the Phils are also eyeing Bronson Arroyo and Jarrod Washburn. Jim Salisbury believes the best acquisition the Phillies could make is an effective Brett Myers.

I haven't seen him mentioned yet but I think Greg Maddux would come fairly cheap and would be a great addition to the team. Not to mention I think him tutoring Kendrick for the last two months of the year would do wonders for the youngester (see: Moyer studying film with Hamels)

Any team that drops 2 of 3 to the worst road team in the majors (Braves) is certainly beatable. KRod also blew a save against the Mets. I watched the games and saw tremendous offensive inconsistency from the Angels, probably more than what we witness with our own Phils.

I think the Phillies absolutely have the ability to take 2 of 3 here. Whether it happens is another story...

Maddux has a full NTC and would never accept a trade here.

Truth: I would love to have Maddux, but I thought he has a no-trade clause in his contract and likes San Diego. Please correct me if I'm wrong, and he may waive it to come to a legitimate contender like the Phils. And you're right, he probably would do great with Kendrick.

I'm more worried about Hamels on Sunday simply because it's a day game.

How much would you really give up to get either Sheets or Burnett, both of whom are extremely likely candidates to have trainers visit them on the mound in any given appearance? A roll of the dice with giving up prospects is one thing, but the Phillies would be rolling two sets if they gave anything potentially valuable up for those kinds of gimps.

Washburn?? Why? On the Angels, they're not very good. They have about a .500 pythag and their offense is one of the worst in the AL.

Did anyone else just catch David Murphy's one liner on Daily News Live?

lekh: About hoping he didn't have a kid somewhere? Hilarious. I like murphy, much better than I ever liked Hayes.

what was it?

Clout: For the record, the Astros don't control Bourn for "the next decade". Bourn logged his first ML service time in 2006, which means it's possible that the Astros might only control him for the next 3 years, most likely only for the next 4 (I don't think those 17 in 2006 games are enough to count as a full year). Unless they've signed him to a long-term deal I don't know about, you're talking about at most 5 years of Bourn as an Astro before he hits free agency, and possibly only 4. Still a good amount, but not exactly a decade.

Phils need to win this series.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com ranked Eric Bruntlett 9th in MLB in terms of versatility. Here's what he had to say, "Greg Dobbs has been a huge offensive presence off the bench for the Phillies. But it was Bruntlett who stepped in and filled the void when Jimmy Rollins went down for 28 games with an ankle injury in April and May. The Phillies posted a 16-12 record with Bruntlett as their everyday shortstop.

Two attributes make Bruntlett particularly valuable. The first is his ability to move from the middle infield to the outfield and play not just adequately, but proficiently. He gets excellent jumps and takes precise routes to the ball no matter where you put him.

Bruntlett also possesses the ability to play several positions in the same game with no noticeable dropoff. His versatility was never more apparent than in Houston's marathon Division Series-clinching victory over Atlanta in 2005, when manager Phil Garner spent 10 innings shuttling him between shortstop and center field."

doubleh: yeah. great to see someone push the boundaries a little on live tv.

From the district: David Murphy was asked about father-son relationships or something in the context of the two sarges talking about each other and he responded by saying that he hopes he doesn't have any kids running around somewhere, which was immeadiately followed by some amazing awkward tension.

OPS for each position accompanied by NL Rank (courtesy of Phillies Flow).
C - .729/7th
1B - .794/11th
2B - .990/1st
3B - .721/13th
SS - .767/7th
LF - .980/1st
CF - .808/4th
RF - .706/15th

This shows that Ryan Howard, Pedro Feliz, and the combo of Jayson Werth and Geoff Jenkins aren't doing very well.

Carson: According to mlb.com, Werth's OPS is .841 this year and Jenkins' is .838. How do they come up with the .706 number? I know Werth has played a lot of center, but are his numbers that low when he plays in right that they bring the total down that much? Just curious because I don't think Jenkins has played anything but right.

Jack: Bourn's walk year is 2012, but I think you got my point.

Mike: MLB.com must be wrong. Jenkins OPS this year is .710. Werth's OPS is .841, but his OPS as a RF is .643. Strange, I know.

CJ: You're right. His OPS this year is .710, I was quoting his career OPS by accident. Still bizarre that we're getting such low production out of right field, since those guys should be playing above that level.

According to ESPN's player page for Utley, it's worse than we though:

"Jun 19 : Utley extended his hitless streak to a career-high 20 games on Wednesday, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer."

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