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Friday, June 27, 2008

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From the last thread: After thinking about it extensively, I think the Phillies should promote Carrasco to the MLB roster as soon as possible...say next pathetic start by either Myers or Eaton. The stuff is there and its worth taking a shot at catching lightning for half a season with a young guy. It doesnt work out they don't really lose anything. He's got a live arm which is more than you can say for most of the Phillies staff.

Let the criticism begin.

And no clout, he has not been barely hanging on in AA this year.

Carlos Carrasco:

2008 (AA): 94.0 IP, 89 K (8.52 K/9), 35 BB (3.35 BB/9), 2.54 K/BB along with a 3.64 ERA

NEPhan: I noticed you conveniently left out his hits per innings. His H per 9 is 9.04, his BB per 9 is 3.42. That's 12.5 base runners per 9 in AA and an ERA of 3.91. Yes that's better than his nearly 6 BB per 9 and his 4.86 ERA last season but it doesn't remotely suggest he's ready for The Show.

It's a moot point anyway because this F.O. isn't dumb enough to bring him up before September. Happ is the smart choice.

I don't mind them bringing up someone to replace Eaton or Myers. If they like Carrasco, so be it. But I tend to recall that he is the type of guy that doesn't fare particularly well when he moves up a level of play. So I would prefer Happ over Carrasco.

Bullpen should be healthy, our starters for as average as they have been have been almost consistently getting into the 6th and 7th. I can't remember the last time the Phils were in a situation where they "needed" the starter to go deep into the game because of bullpen overuse.

Now that we're getting to the mid-season, we're going to have to rely on the bullpen more. Everyone besides Hamels should be getting pulled in the 6th unless the game is in such a situation where it makes sense to see if they can get another inning out of them. Is anyone concerned about Lidge? When was the last time he pitched? I'm forgetting what he looks like.

By comparison to Carrasco's 3.42 walks per 9 and 3.91 ERA, when KK was recalled from Reading last season his walks per 9 were 1.99 and his ERA was 3.21.

Kendrick was ready, as I (and Jason) posted last year before he was recalled. Happ is ready now too. Carrasco is not.

I would like to see Carrasco as well. No sound judgement involved in my reasoning. I'm just curious to see how he would do.

Happ's numbers look amost exactly like Carrasco's, and it's hardly a given that the AAA level is superior to AA. It's certainly not at all a cut and dry case that Happ is "ready" and Carrasco is "not ready". The opportunities alone for one or the other would be the only thing to bear that out.

For all the talk of this need for a second left-handed reliever, can anyone recall any game or situation where the Phillies have been burned by not having one? I can't. By contrast, I can think of several occasions where they've been at a disadvantage by being short left-handed off the bench.

I thought this was worth sharing from the end of last thread...

- If nobody on the Iron Pigs or the Reading Phillies isn't a better option than So Taguchi, I will wear a Von Hayes jersey and run the base paths during the 7'th inning stretch at the next home game until the CBP Security pulls me off the field and beats me.

Responding to the last thread, (perhaps carried over onto this one?) 2 week slump aside I do not worry about the Phils' ability to hit. I do worry about their pitching.

Like MG said, Gordon's recent status and performance is very troubling, much more so than Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and even everyone's favorite Pedro Feliz. I've said before that Gordon's surprise start to the year has been the key to our great bullpen performance. If he goes down, we have no one to replace him and will see a chain reaction down the line.

Similarly, it's getting a bit late for Myers to turn things around. Between Myers, Kendrick, Moyer and Eaton, we are guaranteed at least 2, sometimes 3 bad starts each time through the rotation.

But what if it's not a slump? The pitching has been carrying them thus far, and had the offense resembled at all like the high powered offense it was built to be, they would have at least gone .500 over these past few weeks.

At some point, pitching may break down, but I have to think that the offensive output with its inconsistencies is more than just a "slump" at this point.

As an aside, friggin' Delgado just hit a salami. Man, the Yankees have an awful BP.

Maybe the solution is to make a move for an upgrade to Myers' spot in the rotation, and move Myers to replace Gordon in the bullpen. I guess there is no guarantee that the bullpen would cure what ails Myers, but crazier things have worked.

Carrasco or Happ? I can't see either of them fairing worst than Myers as a starter. I would of liked to have seen Happ weeks ago when we had a stronger hold on the division. Send Myres to the bullpen, he has that mindset. Besides, it seems as though he starts off so poorly because he is nursing his arm for multiple innings of work. Let him come right out of the pen throwing fire. We need some type of roster shake up sooner than later.

doubleh:

These guys (Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrell) are too good for this to be more than a slump. A bad slump, but a slump nonetheless.

Well, Clout, he probably left those numbers out because you brought up the K/BB as his main issue, and that's what he was responding to.

We agree though that calling up Happ before Carrasco is the prudent move. However, at some point next season I would like to see Carrasco compete for a place in the rotation that hopefully he will keep for a long time. He is getting better seemingly every start at Double A and hopefully by the end of this year he won't have much left to prove in the minors.

How about we aim higher than Happ? Also, I side with those who think Carassco needs a full year in AA. Let him try to make the team in spring training next year.

Of course, if we can't get a Sabathia type pitcher, then sure why not throw Happ in there, and Carrasco after him if Happ doesn't perform.

Although I obviously advocated moving Myers back to the rotation in the offseason, as the 2005 and 2006 version of Myers as a starter was better than any free agent we could have signed, it hasn't worked out very well. If this continues, I believe that any discussion of getting a new starting pitcher has to revolve around the concept of shifting Myers back to the pen in the 8th inning set-up role and replacing him in the rotation. I doubt it will happen, and I'm not sure how Myers would respond to being moved back again to the bullpen and not to the closer's role (although Clout will tell you he's a better closer than Brad Lidge and should replace him), but I think its the best move for the team. If we are able to land an above average starting pitcher to replace him.

I find it funny how much people are clamoring for Happ or Sabathia or someone to come into the rotation. The starting pitching has actually been, on the whole, better than I expected it to be. Eaton has been fine as a #5 starter, a guy who will never pitch a playoff game for you, and Moyer and Kendrick have both given you as much as you could have asked for probably. Myers has been the only disappointment.

RSB: Happ has more experience and, despite what you think, is facing older tougher hitters in AAA. Happ, by the way, is striking out more hitters per 9 and allowing fewer hits than Carrasco.

OPS+

Name        2008   Career 
Howard      96     142
Jenkins     72     114

Fugly.

clout: yes, but barely. The ratios are nearly identical, certainly not discrepant enough to call any attention to. And minor-league experience doesn't exactly impress me as some advantageous asset for a call-up to have. It just means he's taken a longer time to develop.

Jack:
Eaton, Kendrick and Moyer have been consistently +/- mediocre. When the offense is clicking, mediocre will do, but, as we see, mediocre won't win you games when the offense is only scoring 2,3,4 runs. To be a World Series team, they need a serious upgrade in the rotation, and if Gordon has hit the wall, in the bullpen as well.

Here's something to make eveyone feel good. From SI.com: "The Indians have begun scouting competing teams' systems to see who's best prepared to deal for Sabathia. Among the most interested teams, it is believed the Brewers, Rays and Dodgers may be best-equipped to trade prospects, while the Phillies, Cubs and Astros ("they have nothing,'' one GM said) may be least-equipped."

Morty, I agree with you, but this team has been built on and around offense. The ballpark has been built for offense. To be a World Series team, you not only need to upgrade the rotation and BP, but also ensure that the hitters don't go completely stone cold in the postseason as they did last October...and they are doing currently...which to me indicates less of a teamwide slump and more of a problem with the construction of said offense. Too many strikeout hitters and not enough batters who can hit for average or have high OBP.

RSB: Another difference between Happ and clout is that, except for one bad year (when he was injured), Happ has been effective at every level of the minors. Carrasco, on the other hand, has been inconsistent and has always had a transition period when moved up to the next level. That suggests to me that Happ is more likely to pitch well in the majors right now.

There's also a significant age difference. Carrasco is only 21, so the Phillies can afford to be patient with him. Happ is 25. If he's got a major league future, the time to find out is now.

Jack: You are correct that you urged Myers to return to the rotation rather than sign or trade for another SP, but wrong in predicting that I would say Myers is a better closer than Lidge. He was a better closer than Lidge last season, which was obvious to all but you. This season Lidge has returned to his 2005 form and is clearly the better man.

Oh . . . did I really just write that? I meant Happ and Carrasco, not Happ and Clout. Unlike Carrasco, Clout has been effective at every level of the minors.

Clout:

Well if there is one thing I know about a gnat, its that its attention span never wavers when it senses blood. With that in mind, I don't need any attention span to perceive that the Phillies have a major need for another starting pitcher (Which is what I have been saying for a while).

If I have the attention span of a gnat, Carlos Ruiz is a hemophiliac. Perhaps you can explain to me what type of attention span is required to determine that he can't hit? Should I look at his bad career stats, his horrible swings this season, yesterday, today? Maybe it is his .194 BA against LH? No, what about his .286 SLG against RH? Or maybe his .700 career OPS? No, what about his career .200 BA against LH? Is that enough attention to determine that the guy cannot hit? Perhaps I should give him a couple of years and hope he has a Chris Coste like turnaround? I mean most catchers have a major upswings in their careers after they turn 30, right? No? Who knew? I wasn't paying attention.

BTW: You still haven't answered any of my questions. I guess a person with a normal attention span just takes an indefinite time to come up with an answer? No? What do you think Jack? I think I have seen this before. Much like your oft used statements concerning Matt Holliday's still not having touched home plate, I guess you just don't touch questions that might suggest that you are wrong, often.

BAP: Exactly right. The Phillies need to find out about Happ right now.

Parker: I'd be happy to answer your question if I knew what it was. My gnat comment had to do with your end-of-the-world declarations about the Phillies because they lost games against teams that are better than they are.

BAP: I had a lot of trouble in the NY-Penn League blog when I first got into pro blogging.

Clout: Break your hand in a bar fight like Hamels?

Clout just made me laugh out loud.

Who knew?

hh: no, he just kept hitting into the double post.

Clout:

I don't recall any end of the world comments from me. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not "The Dude."

Allow me to refresh your memory:

I said that as presently constituted this team is not World Series caliber (unless they get another pitcher, and get some type of bat, or at a minimum, replace Carlos Ruiz).

Your comments reflect a sense of complacency that the Phils will beat up on the dregs of the league. I suggested that that sentiment is like Andy Kaufmann defeating women and declaring himself the "Champion," but running away when Jerry Lawler showed up. I suggested that, although Kaufmann was a comedian, I don't find it funny when the Phils end up running with their tails between their legs when they face teams with good pitching.

I ask(ed) you if you thought the Phillies are a WS caliber team, and if not are you accepting of nothing more than the ability to beat down underlings?

You do know what happens to the big fish in the small pond when the river overflows? It gets eaten by a bigger fish. That is why the Phils need to start feasting on the trade market to get a pitcher. Sabbathia may be just about the amount of weight they need to gain to survive anything but a minor sprinkle (1st round).

I think they have already found out about Happ. And they don't think much of him. THis organization stands by its high draft choices no matter what and always talk them up yet in the past two seasons you barely hear any talk/speculation about Happ. That tells me that the organization is very down on him. I would guess that by default, he will get a shot at some point this season to spot start one of the current five starters.

Hey Phargo - Let's get back to the bikini talk...What's your sign? LOL

parker: "I ask(ed) you if you thought the Phillies are a WS caliber team, and if not are you accepting of nothing more than the ability to beat down underlings?"

I would say I'm not accepting of a perennial 88 win team, but that I have no choice in the matter. And I prefer that to a perennial 77 win team.

I do think this team could win a World series, but the odds are against that. The addition of a Sabtahia and a bullpen arm to replace Gordon at setup would go a long way toward reducing those odds. As for Ruiz and Feliz, I'd platoon 'em. On Jenkins you just have to keep running him out there. Werth can't hit righties and they have no alternatives.

"In case you haven't noticed, I'm not "The Dude.""

I think you mean "THe Dude."

Okay, since I have nothing better to do, I'm volunteering to do this pitching study. What pitchers? What teams?

For instance, the Phils (individually in their careers) hit Hudson like this .255/.335/.435. I imagine we don't want those numbers though.

Do you all want to see what the Phils did against some 110-115+ ERA+ pitchers just this season?

Well, I think the team has too much talent to waste. If you ask me, a team that has 4 guys that have 100 RBI potential, better results should be expected.

If all it would take is getting one starter (a good, power starter) and maybe a catcher than can hit (Something/anything), it should be done, without question.

There is no way that this team wins anything if one of your 3 top starters include any of the following: Kendrick, Eaton, or Myers (As he is currently pitching). If Myers can crank it up, then things change. Hamels, yet to be determined power starter, Myers (at something close to potential) or Moyer (with a clutch post-season) would have a chance. Potentially, they could have a good chance with good starts from only 2 starters, but that is almost assured not to happen if you go in with Eaton or Kendrick.

And, of course, we'll see what some other teams have done. I can take an above average NL team (the Cubs), some middling teams (Mets, Cardinals), and some bad offensive teams (Padres) and compare.

Give me some input, though, so time is spent well.

My apologies to "THe DUde." I hope THe DUde abides.

No one in the minors is ready to come up and do better than the current 5 starters. At this point we should be worried about finding someone who can hit.

Sophist, where are you getting these stats?

Has anyone seen what MLB did with Gameday? The went too far this time.

I can get them from anyplace. ESPN, THT, B-R.com, and BP.com has some funky stats. I could just find the top ERA+ guys from this year and, collectively, from the past 2-3 and take a look at their numbers this year (and maybe last year) against the Phils.

And I mean against the Phils as constituted the day the pitcher faced them.

I also get the distinct feeling that the organization doesn't think much of Happ, but that is beside the point. So is the fact that Carrasco is 21; Kendrick, for one, was 22 and in AA last year also. Part of the reason why KK got the nod over Happ is the same reason why you'd think Carrasco would: his stuff, his repertoire translated better into maujor-league success, and in particular success at CBP, than Happ's. Happ is a guy who needs to be fine with his pitches or he'll get smacked. Carrasco presumably has much to learn about pitching but he's a guy who doesn't rely on being fine and who's generally going to keep the ball down - or in any case, that's his game. The idea here isn't just to promote the guy who's older, to merely "give the guy a shot to see what he can do". You follow those guidelines if you're 15 games out. The idea is to give the ball to the guy who's more likely to help you more, the guy who's more likely to get hitters out at this level. I'm not a scout but I have to believe that guy is Carrasco and not Happ.

I don't see the being able to trade for the starter they want, unless they include Carrasco. I see them either trading Myers or reneging on their little promise to not switch him in-season from the rotation to the bullpen, and sticking him in Gordon's eighth inning role - and promoting Carrasco to take his place in the rotation.

Sophist: are you just looking at how they batted as a team on a particular day, or career?

I was going to do particular day(s) against certain pitchers.

From the last thread:

Just like to say that Mike C. and BAP have really boiled the "inconsistent hitting team" aspect down to the essential elements. It would be interesting to do the numbers of the Phillies vs. other teams when facing top starters. BAP says he thinks they would come up smaller. Maybe - but then the question would be his reasoning that the Phillies have more feast or famine hitters than other teams.

My assumption would be that most hitters track pretty evenly. Good hitters hit better, on average, against all pitchers than poorer hitters. I think it's unlikely that by coincidence, the Phillies happen to have multiple batters that tend to, on average, do better against bad pitchers and worse against good pitchers than any other group of hitters with similar overall averages. Was that even comprehensible?

RSB: I agree with that. I don't know what Carrasco throws, but hearing him described as a "Fireballer" or something analogous, is exactly what they need. Essentially they are looking to catch lightning in a bottle. Ubaldo Jiminez and Franklin Morales come to mind here. Even if Carrasco struggles with location, that would not be significantly different than what you might get from A.J. Burnett on a given start. I personally like my chances with a guy that can move the baseball than with a soft tosser/location guy, especially in the post season.

As we have seen on multiple occasions, soft tossers like Moyer and Kendrick can have their night ruined by the vagaries of an umpire's strike zone. With a pitcher that has great stuff, they may still get outs without locating.

For instance, Volquez is the NL leader in ERA+ (214).

Against the Phils: 12.1 IP, .73 ERA, 1 ER, 16 SO, 4 BB.

Against the Cubs: 12 IP, .75 ERA, 1 ER, 17 SO, 10 BB.

But that's just the ERA+ leader, so he's been good against everybody (except TOR of all people.)

Should I do these teams against all pitchers with an ERA+ over a certain level instead of against individual pitchers? That would probably be better.

DNL just mentioned that the Phills are hitting only .220 vs pitchers with a winning record-Very disturbing. With Rollings being a huge letdown this year-Victorino is one of the few players who can manufacture runs on this roster. The outfield would be a joke without him.

Kells: I agree, which is why I am worried that the Phils will include Vic in a trade, hence thinning the speed from the roster even more. He was the only one with any hits against Harden yesterday (even if one was a bloop).

Flipper:

Just think about it like this:

Imagine a lineup that has 9 A-Rod's. Now imagine a lineup that has 9 Jason Giambi's. This of course is an extreme example, but on average, the A-Rod laden team is going to hit even the best pitching at a higher rate than the Giambi team.

The question is whether the Phillies have more guys that swing (make contact) like Giambi, or more guys that swing like A-Rod. My assessment is that Utley may be the only guy on the Phillies team that compares closer to A-Rod.

OTOH: They have Howard, Jenkins, Werth, Feliz, Rollins, Vic, Dobbs, and Burrell that compare more to Giambi.

Then they have Coste who is somewhere between those two categories, and Ruiz who is in a category all to himself (or if not, somewhere extremely close to Abraham Nunez).

Kells - That stat isn't so great in a vacuum (though I'm guessing it's still relatively low.)

What, for instance, the the league average BA against the pitchers with winning records?

doubleh: Agree regarding a Vic trade. Vic is going to be a fantastic Defensive CF & is cheap-Gillick would have to include him w/ Carrasco & Cardenas to get any decent starter. The losing streak gave me flash backs to the Colorado series where we were clueless vs solid starting pitching. There's no need to overreact when starters such as Hardin shut us down but unlike the Red Sox the Phills have no game plan & hack at first pitches instead of raising the pitch count. I'm talking about Rollins, Jenkings(ugh) & Feliz. Step it up Myers!

I/OtP:

I'm not getting your analogy. Obviously, A-Rod hits for a higher average than Giambi. So, yeah, 9 A-Rods would do better against poor pitchers and good pitchers. My question is whether their difference in averages against poor pitchers would be any larger or smaller than against good pitchers. I'd guess not. I'd guess that in general, higher average hitters would compare to lower average hitters by similar margins no matter which category of pitchers they're facing.

If you take two players with similar overall averages, I'd guess that there averages against good pitchers would be similar, as would their averages against poorer pitchers. Does anyone have some stats that show that Howard, for example, (one of BAP's "feast or famine" hitters) does worse against good pitchers and better than bad pitchers than most other batters with the same overall average?

the last sentence should have read ....and better AGAINST bad pitchers than most....

This is going to be very hard to come up with any sort of significant sample size and control for enough factors to make any sort of claim.

I find amusing the idea of devoting a lot of time and energy just to find out that hitters struggle against good pitching and do well against good pitched.

I think Flipper is probably right, that good hitters generally have similar regression as pitching gets better. And if they don't, I can't imagine what in particular it says about them, or what you could do based on it. You guys want to sit Ryan Howard or Chase Utley against Rich Harden because they do somewhat worse against good pitchers than most players?

That should say "do well against bad pitching"

This Phils vs. Quality pitchers thing is harder than I thought. For starters, I can't even get a list of the league leaders in ERA+ past the top 10 (Volquez, Dempster, Lincecum, Sheets, Haren, Zambrano, Webb, Santana, Hudson, Hamels, FYI.)

Against these guys alone (who've probably dominated 8/10 teams they've faced anyway) here are some numbers: 56 IP, 19 R, 41 H, 17 BB*, 52 SO.

That's a little over 3 runs/9 IP.

*includes IBB and HBP.

The Phillies have 5 batters that start regularly and make contact under .800 and strike out once in every 7 at bats or worse. (Burrell, Jenkins, Howard, Werth, Dobbs).

This does not include Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz, although he makes contact at a high rate, his fly ball ratio is very low and his ground ball rate is very high. He also has a low line drive rate. His numbers are comparable to other slappy hitters such as Caesar Iztures (Except Iztures hits more line drives). His K rate is also very high for a guy that makes contact as much as Ruiz (Once every 7.8 PA). Basically, his numbers across the board are horrible.

Utley has good numbers all the way across the board, and Rollins stats suggest that he is very unlucky.

Pedro Feliz' stats actually look like he will improve eventually. He is making contact at a .900 rate and his BABIP is .264. However his line drive stats suggest that much of his contact consists of pop ups and weak ground balls.

Howard's contact rate is ridiculously low .627 (Lower than Russell Branyon .629). Jack Cust is at .638, but that rate of contact is almost exclusively reserved for pitchers and the elite whiffers.

Jack - I think the idea isn't to sit anybody. But to see how well this offense has done against better pitching compared to other teams. You know, if the Phils make the playoffs, they won't face Brandon Backe.

"Rollins stats suggest that he is very unlucky."

I have definitely noticed this so far. His BABIP has been ridiculously low for stretches this year. It's even noticable with the naked eye. He makes great contact.

Jack, i don't see it as much different than looking at strength of schedule.

The bottom line is that the Phillies have too many guys that don't hit the ball very much, and some guys that don't walk much. Basically, they are in the words of Denny Green: "What we thought they were!" Any team that misses the ball as much as the Phils are going to get extremely cold on occasion (And extremely hot on others). My guess is that this would get much worse against pitchers who miss bats with their throws on a consistent basis.

Only Utley and Rollins contact/FB/GB/LD rates suggest that they are good hitters consistently. Vic is borderline, but his numbers are closer to Feliz's than anyone else. However, Vic's saving grace is that he beats out more weakly hit ground balls and his walks/K rate is almost 1/1.

Of the guys that do not make much contact, only Burrell has a good BB/K rate. Howard's numbers are not good, and Dobbs (Really bad), Jenkins (Really bad), and Werth (Surprisingly to me) are pretty bad.

Translated, they need another bat; one that makes contact on a consistent basis, and is a good hitter. One is not inclusive of the other.

Here are the Cubs numbers against those pitchers. Oddly enough, because of luck and because 2 of the 10 are Cubs, the Cubs have only had to play against 5 of them, although 2 of them are in the Central so they've faced them twice each.

44 IP, 8 R, 24 H, 25 BB, 41 SO

That's 1.63 runs/9 IP.

The Phils look better against these guys alone. Not sure what it says for all above-average pitching. This sample is tiny, but I can't find a simple list of every pitcher with an ERA+ over, say, 110.

Howards contact numbers are very concerning to me. It actually has changed my opinion of him. I don't necessarily think he is a bad player, but when you throw out names like Branyon and Cust, that is bad. I think he is better than that, but I don't know why he is not showing it this season.

All I know is that the Phils need to figure it all out soon and start winning, because the other teams are going to start gaining on them soon. With today's win over the Yanks, the Mets are bound to gain some confidence, and I still think the Braves are going to go on a hot streak with their positive run differential stats...

1. Jayson Werth RF
2. Chase Utley 2B
3. Jimmy Rollins SS
4. Pat Burrell LF
5. Ryan Howard DH
6. Pedro Feliz 3B
7. Shane Victorino CF
8. Chris Coste C
9. Eric Bruntlett 1B

Is there any reason that Brunlett gets to start at 1B over Dobbs during these AL games?

Feliz has a low BABIP compared to the average but it probably won't improve. BABIP is usually about LD% + .120, with the difference being luck. There is some autocorrelation with hitters with high LD% that will make it more like LD% + .100, but Feliz's BABIP is right where it should be.

Jimmy in the 3 hole isn't necessary with Burrell in the 4 hole. It's time to move Utley back to his deserving spot. They could toy with Rollins in the 2 hole though.

Jon: Gabbard is a lefty

I agree: Utley in the 3 hole where he belongs. Best hitter on the team goes in the 3 spot.

I would have preferred Rollins in the 2 hole (or switch him with Vic).

Thanks, doubleh. That would explain Bruntlett. For some reason I was thinking Gabbard was a righty.

I could care less if Tom Gordon pitches for this team ever again. He's done good, but also plenty of bad. At the beginning of the season I called him washed-up, and it's turning out I'm right. The dude is burnt, spent, out of ammo...he's old with a busted arm, failure is expected.

Speaking of failure, that's exactly what I expect from Myers against this Texas lineup and from out batters because I call things as I see them, and this team is a joke right now. They won't remain a joke forever, but right now they are.

OK, was Jaramillo been called up today? If not, why not?

Can't wait to see the battery of JJ & KK.

Yep, Feliz' career BABIP is .269. Same as it is through close to 80 games in 2008.

Carson: Please stay away from all sharp objects until further notice.

I performed the ritual again last night, down to the chicken for dinner tonight. It worked the other night.

I feel good about tonight's game, even with Hamilton in the lineup.

Inspiring start.

If the Phils get handled by Gabbard . . . I won't even know what to think.

Gabbard, what a horrible name to lose a game against. The only worse name I can think of is Gobble. It would be a tragedy to lose a game against a guy named Gobble.

Why does Gameday pan the 3D view whenever I mouseover that region of the window. It's really annoying because I'm not even clicking anything. (This is on a MacBook.)

That could be the least promising start all week.

This guys' stats are not good, but then again, this is a team that gets regularly handled by Tim Redding, so...and Gabbard is a lefty.

Well, that didn't take long.

Awesome.

I'm going to clock it with a stopwatch next time when Brett starts -- just how quickly can he serve up a meatball? He probably challenges the most skilled high-school cafeteria aide.

Myers is in form.

I would have thought that was Ricky F-in Henderson against Myers, unbelievable.

In Myers' defense, Kinsler is good--possibly and All Star caliber player--so it's not like he's serving it up to the pitcher or anything.

Yet...(*crosses fingers*)

On a postiive note, hopefully we won't have to see Ruiz flop around like a dying fish tonight.

You know, I don't even want Myers in the bullpen! I am so tired of his "poor me" demeanour. Send he and his ineffective slop straight to AAA!!

doubleh: I yearn for your positivity.

Man, the Rangers only have 2 guys in their entire lineup hitting under .250.

Iceman: It's called "wine".

And I am one of the least positive people I know; I'm just really trying to look for any reason to not panic with how this team is going lately.

Bad play by Myers - saved by the ump

Before anyone questions it, Myers did get his foot on the bag in time... I did a slow-mo DVR replay... still have no idea what Bruntlett and/or Myers were doing

Over under of the night:

• 2 HR by Milton Bradley tonight?

• 1 moon-walk by Milton Bradley tonight?

• 1 battery committed by Milton Bradley tonight?


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