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Friday, July 25, 2008

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I guess J-Roll was on time today. But will he hustle?

Charlie had a team meeting, says they gotta put the shine back on the chandelier, or something like that.

This is not an impressive ATL lineup.

Feliz was reportedly a late scratch with back spasms.

Feliz out with back spasms, sez the still non-Kalas Phils broadcast.

I know it's one inning and a 1-2-3 at that, but KK's ball is moving well.

That's a huge start for the Phils.

Atta boy J-Stroll. 2 pitches.

Vic should lead off until further notice.

Vic, obviously, actively hurting the team.

Vic doing some old time Jimmy Rollins' tricks.

Bruntlett should be at 2B today.

Chase Utley .118 with RISP since June and dropping.

Boo Utley and Howard!

Curt: If there was a lefthanded pitcher, maybe. You've got to play Utley against a righthanded pitcher.

This is why the Phils have been scoring one run less per game since June 10th or so than they were before. That's one run right there.

I have a feeling Chase will get a big hit in this game. I like the anger and emotion he displayed. Of course, I'd rather a ground ball to the right side.

.118? It seems worse. During that Met win, it was a good thing Utley didn't make it to the plate until the comeback was a fact.

How many times have the Phillies had a man on third and less than two outs and come up empty?

Nice offense fellas. Swing early and swing often.

And, some of you still want a pitcher? Uhh, unless that pitcher can hit like Zambrano, what's the point?

Lenny Dykstra was on WFAN today and mentiooned that only once in his career did Keith Hernandez leave him on 3rd base w/ less than two outs. ONCE.

... and, Hernandez apologized to dykstra afterwards, saying somrhing like "it'll NEVER happen again"

Francoeur handed that last series to us. I don't even remember how many GIDP and LOB he had, but he alone (along with Vic) were the deciders.

denny b - The offense is in a slump, but there's no way this team wins anything with a rotation of Hamels-Moyer-Kendrick-Blanton-Myers.

I don't mind seeing Kendrick walk a LH to get to a RH. He'll rarely pitch more than 6 innings, but he'll limit the damage.

Rollins needs a solid kick in the arse. Utley just needs some more time off...he's been going downhill for the past 2 months.

Utley started his current slump around June 14th. His OPS was 1.181 from mid May to June 14th. Since then it's under .700.

Manchine makes it to the clubhouse on time, even with bad wheels.

"The offense is in a slump, but there's no way this team wins anything with a rotation of Hamels-Moyer-Kendrick-Blanton-Myers."

A slump? They haven't hit in over a month. That's more than a slump.

This team won something with lesser pitching than that (with guys like Alfonseca, Mesa and Zagurski pitching at this time last year).

The pitching is good enough. You get quality starts, from the top 3 guys most nights out and Blanton can fit right in. Myers is a lost cause, I think, at this point. But, as it with most #5 starters, its just a crap shoot with that spot in the rotation. 3 runs a game from your pitchers at CBP, should be good enough to win most nights out (if you have a real big league offense).

The hitting is not good enough, especially against decent pitchers. And, especially against left-handed starters.

Lots of criticism of Utley and Rollins but what about Howard? He looked absolutely useless yesterday against Perez and did nothing in the Mets.

What's with these navy Braves jerseys? Talk about lame.

denny - by win something, I was referring to a playoff series. I am in agreement with you re: the division title, though. The East winner will play either the Brewers or Cubs. Our rotation doesn't set up so well against their staffs.

I'm honestly pissed at the entire team pretty much...other than Lidge, Moyer and Hamels. The rest suck right now.

MG - That's just how Howard looks against LHP. He wasn't disappointing as much as he was doing what we've come to expect of him. We didn't blame Werth so much for failing to get that hit in the 8th either.

Almost through the line up one rotation of the lineup and Dobbs is the only person who got a hit...imagine that.

Wow nice English from me. You'd think I'd hit the bar already.

**Almost through a rotation of the lineup and Dobbs is the only person who got a hit...imagine that.

Much better.

Sophist - Howard can't be that bad against LHP. If Perez had plunked Howard in the 8th, I am 99% sure Howard would have had a Golden Sombrero yesterday with 4 Ks.

This weekend I'd rather have Dobbs/Werth/Vic at the plate in a key spot rather than any of our big $$ boys, with the sole exception of Burrell.

Wow! A 7 pitch inning! That's what I like to see.

Howard's been the worst on the team vs LHP this year. Yep, even worse than Ruiz.

MG - I was just being a pessimist.

Here's Howard's line against LHP this year though: .180/.240/.342. 71 SO in 175 PA.

MG: I have a new standard for criticising players at this point. Previously I had been extremely frustrated that Ruiz could not hit MLB pitching, or that Geoff Jenkins was playing like he might be washed up. Honestly, I have a really hard time getting ticked off at them at this point. At least, from all appearances, those guys go all out.

Whatever can be said of Howard, he hasn't been benched for conduct detrimental to the team. Leading the league in RBI's and HR, is usually something I don't get hacked off about.

I find it amusing that Kyle Kendrick will probably work more pitches from Jurrjens than J-Roll probably will.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Sophist- I got ya'. We are on a similar page there.


Here are the ugly stats for everyone to ponder:

Since that infamous 20 run game in St. Louis, the Phils have played roughly 30 games. In those 30 or so games, they have gotten 19 quality starts from their starters (at least 6 IP with 3 ER or less).

Of those 19 quality starts, they have lost 10 of those games.

Just a couple more hits or productive outs, in critical spots, in any of those 10 games, and this team is about 10 games over .500 That's all it would have taken. Just one play, where you make contact and get that runner in from 3rd, with less than 2 outs. Just one play, where you move that runner to 3rd, with less than 2 outs. Just a little more patience. Just a little more contact, in certain situations.

Wasting all those quality starts, may be what haunts this team in September.

"there's no way this team wins anything with a rotation of Hamels-Moyer-Kendrick-Blanton-Myers."

That's probably a true statement. Unfortunately, the Phillies chose this course when they put their roster together, and they rededicated themselves to it when they traded for Blanton. And the course they chose is the same one they've chosen for the last decade. It's a course that simply accepts mediocrity from its starting pitchers, but tries to win games by out-scoring the other teams. That recipe is a difficult one to succeed with -- as shown by the fact that we have just 1 division title in the last decade, and that one only because of a historic Mets collapse.

Nonetheless, this is the recipe the Phillies have chosen. Unfortunately, they have an offense that isn't nearly good enough to succeed with this model. Let's be realistic. The Phillies are done "improving" their starting rotation, and mediocrity is actually the best case scenario. The only way the Phillies will overcome that mediocrity is to have a dynamic offense. Would anyone out there use the word "dynamic" to describe this offense?

Hence, Denny is right. A bat is what this team needs. And I mean a significant bat.

Why are Ruiz and Werth now the only players with any discipline at the plate?

Ole See Strike Swing Jimmy.

2 pitches. That's ok, there is still plenty of game left to make some good at bats.

It's pathetic that I predicted that. Rollins sucks.

Wow Sophist I had no idea it was that bad. That is horrendous.

Throw out Kendrick's AB and that was a 3-pitch inning from the top of our order.

Patheticism

I looked and was surprised to see the Phils are leading the NL in HRs this month (thanks largely to Howard) and that there team AVG (.260) is around the middle of the pack.

What is killing them is the OBP is 11th in the NL and the Phils just aren't taking enough BBs. Doesn't help that guys like Feliz and Jenkins have OBP under .300 and Ruiz is close to .300.

With Cholly being such a hitting master, don't you think these guys would learn to take pitches? It seems like all they do is swing at the damn ball. This is why starters go so deep into games against us. They don't have to throw anything.

And now a homerun for Atlanta. Wouldn't surprise me if the Phillies can't find a way to put a run on the board and lose 1-0.

Xavier Nady left the Pirates game in the second inning with no obvious signs of injury. Let the speculation begin

MG - I would guess that Charlie is right on with the situational hitting comment, as well. It's one run/game less they are averaging, and just under half of their losses in this horrid stretch have been by 2 runs or less.

Wagner: When the Rat made those comments about some players not caring about winning, you think he was talking about Mr. Too Cool for School (Bus), J-Stroll?

Jenkins continues to bust his but every time out.

okay did Jenkins just satisfy the Rowand deficiency/overachieving quota?

Phils lack of hitting with RISP this month will come around just like it did after the first weeks in April. What isn't as likely to improve is the relatively mediocre batting AVG on this team and the subpar OBP. Not with guys like Feliz, Jenkins, and Ruiz continuing to see a ton of ABs.

Rollins gets a little too "nifty" out there sometimes.

Nady and Marte to the Yankees.

MG - This offense can survive a couple of out machines if Utley, Rollins, Howard, etc. just hit to their numbers with RISP.

More and more, Jenkins reminds me a guy who would have suited up for the Phils on those bad late 80s teams - a guy who once posted some decent statistics but is largely washed up now as he enters his mid-30s.

baxter, that's just the way he stroll's. He knows he can break later on balls because he's got his own wheels.

Utley still can't remember how to hit.

Yankee's really? Marte I see, but Nady? Well I guess I see it. You need to platoon Nady anyway to keep him healthy and fresh.

Face it guys: we just don't have the money to compete with the Mets.

Just pretend you live in a small, mid-western city like Kansas City everytime you watch the Phils.

Sophist - Disagree. No as little as some of these guys who are getting on base. I knew Feliz was a pure hacker who wouldn't contribute much at the plate besides an empty .250 AVG with some pop. If anything, he has actually played a bit better than expected.

Issue has been the second-tier of other guys like Jenkins, Ruiz, and Bruntlett (who has had a large number of ABs and done nothing) have been brutal too. A lineup can have one or two holes but this lineup has had more than that.

Didn't Utley go from one Ofer for a week to the current one without even passing Go?

During yesterday's game, I wrote that Howard is the game's best platoon player. My post was sort of tongue in cheek, but then again, these are Howard's CAREER numbers against left-handers: .221/.304/.446.

If you look at, say, Jayson Werth's overall stats, they look like the stats of an everyday player. Of course, his overall stats lie, because they come overwhelmingly at the expense of left-handers. The exact same is true with Howard, only his stats come overwhelmingly at the expense of right-handers. I was being tongue in cheek when I said it but, in point of fact, his splits are the very epitome of a platoon player's stats. That is his eventual major league fate, and I suspect the date when it happens isn't nearly as far off as people would imagine.

this is a joke


score some damn runs

Just face it guys, we don't have the talent or charisma to match up with the Mets. They've been unleashed.

Hey clown - posting under my name isn't funny. Mets' trolls are really the worst.

How can you say Bruntlett is an issue? He is this year's Nunez, and is clearly an upgrade in that role.

More MetsLovin' from the Phils' booth...was that the latest propaganda order issued to the Pressbox? "The Phillies aren't struggling, the Mets are just fantastic".

This entire streak of bad play reminds me of the Rockies series last season. They have too many guys that just disappear.

Two baserunner through four innings. Man on third, one out, and Utley and Howard come up small. This story is getting old.

TMac is a Mets fan.

MG - I think Bruntlett's done pretty well. It's hard to decide this question (about whether the team could survive the out machines, if Utley & co. his well situationally) without some serious work. I'll just say they seemed to have done well early on with that formula.

Can't believe the Phils couldn't(should I say wouldn't) match the Yanks offer for Nady/Marte.

Blancos are killing 'em

pirates.com has nady and marte traded, but isn't saying to whom or for what? a bit odd...

OMG, Sarge contradicted TMac's propaganda about how great Ruiz is.

Granted a bunch of Bruntlett's ABs came when JRoll was out but he has done little to nothing this year with his 150 ABs. A guy who doesn't hit .250 with no pop or a limited ability to get on base.

Basically, this bench (which was a huge strength last year for the most part) is a weakness right now depending on who starts. Taguchi and Bruntlett are worthless as PH options and most nights Cholly only has one decent PH option right now (Dobbs or Werth).

Why does everyone want Nady? He is a RH Geoff Jenkins. I really don't want to see one more guy that does nothing but swing for the fences, and K's at an exorbitant rate. Am I alone in this sentiment?

This team seems to have stopped body punching other teams inning after inning and now rely on just one big inning to try and win ballgames. No runs, 1 hit through the first four innings. Are you kidding me? Nobody fears this line up right now. Pitchers just throw up slop knowing the Phillies hitters will hack away at anything within one zip code of home plate. I am having trouble staying focused, how can the players do it?

nady and Marte to the yankees for Four prospects including Tabata. I am SHOCKED.

PArker: agree completely on nady.

marte, on the other hand, we could use.

From Ken Rosenthal: "The Yankees are on the verge of acquiring outfielder Xavier Nady and left-hander Damaso Marte from the Pirates, according to major-league sources.

The deal is pending a review of medical records, sources say. The Pirates will receive a package of four minor-league players, expected to be Class AAA right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, Class AA right-handers Phil Coke and George Kontos and Class AA outfielder Jose Tabata."

mb: Yankees

Considering that Nunez was arguably one of the worst players to part on a Phils' uniform in the 30-35 years, I guess Bruntlett represents an upgrade. No exactly a high bar of performance though.

Bruntlett has been quite good in his role: utility man. Gillick fleeced Wade on that deal.

Considering that Bruntlett was a "throw-in" in the Lidge deal...we did alright on it.

Is Bruntlett really a problem? I didn't notice. The only time I see him is as a defensive replacement, and as a replacement for disciplined players.

Howard blows another DP chance with his stellar glove. Hope it doesn't haunt them.

Actually an interesting trade for both teams. Yanks might potentially have paid a high price but they desperately needed another OF and another arm if the pen if they are going to make a run for the AL East title. Pirates were actually rational and got some pieces that may help them in the rebuilding process.

Well, at least the Braves can't get timely hitting either.

I'm a little bewildered how anyone could think that Xavier Nady wouldn't hugely help the Phillies' hapless offense. The guy is hitting .330 with a .919 OPS and he has had an OPS over .800 in 3 of the last 4 years.

The Yankees basically use the same mediocre-pitching/good-offense model as the Phillies. Only difference is that the Yankees understand that, to succeed with that model, you've got to acquire as many good bats as possible. You can't be filling out positions with the likes of Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz and Geoff Jenkins.

MG: Where does Nady play? Are they dealing Abreu? Platoon with Abreu? Damon? He's not playing CF surely.

3 pitchers...including Ohlendorf who is fairly good. I have no idea about the other 3 guys though. What's the word on Jose Tabata?

MG - I stated that the weak spot on this team being the bench earlier today has hurt them. Thanks to poor off-season acquisitions and questionable decisions, they went from one of the leagues best to one of the worst benches in the NL now. Many games last year there was a new hero of the game coming off the bench. This year, lots of goats.

Does Jenkins know that you don't have to swing at the first pitch?

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