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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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I wanna cry.....

While I certainly hope that this means Taguchi has turned the corner and have a productive second half, I'm not holding my breath any more than I am for Myers.

Hope for everything. Expect nothing.

Phils' RISP numbers were due for some reversion, especially against the Mets.

Tomorrow is all about Myers. Maine needs to be hammered. He's been terrible of late and barely league average (to use an oft-used phrase) since the AS break last year.

As a Mets fan, I must tip my hat to the Phillies for their fight. Well done.

Nice win--I admit, I gave up on this team in the 8th. They haven't shown the ability to comeback like this in quite a while. I turn it on to check on the score just as Taguchi was up to bat in the 9th with bases loaded. That'll teach me.

I'm not getting ahead of myself by thinking we have anything in the bag here. These teams play each other hard and both have serious holes in their makeup (ours starting pitching, theirs bullpen) with neither seemingly being able to close the gap. It's going to be a tough 2 games; just hope the Phils can ride the offensive momentum and Myers/Moyer can limit the damage.

It was nice to be on the other side of a game like this for a change. Let's go Phils!

Lots of finger pointing happening at Metsblog, and rightfully so.

Great picture, Jason. Like an anti-wanted poster. Well done.

To look at the other side for a second, if you're a Mets fan, who do you pin this on? Reyes and his blunder that cost one, maybe two outs? Manuel for botching the pitching situation epically? Or just the bullpen for binding up in the clutch (again)?

It blame Randlo...errr... no Manuel. You got to learn your lesson from taking out Santana in almost the same situation 2 weeks ago.

All of the above, Iceman?

I liked Rollins' comments after the game (that were clipped on ESPN BBTN): it's only one game.

"You got to learn your lesson from taking out Santana in almost the same situation 2 weeks ago."

I agree, although he had about 10 more pitches in tonight's game while he was under 100 in the 4th of July game. That one was inexcusable.

Iceman: So many people to blame if you're a Met fan. Chavez baserunning errors (I think Steve Smith gave lessons to the Mets' 3B Coach), Reyes blunder, bullpen implosion. I can't blame Manuel for pulling Santana. A BP has to be able to get through that inning, especially against the bottom of a lineup.

MetsBlog is blaming Manuel for yanking Santana, but the guy can't throw a CG every time out.

105 pitches is a reasonable time to yank a pitcher. With a 3-run lead, that game is totally on the bullpen, and the defense.

Not to bring up he who should not be named, but I think our newest SP has lots to build on tonight -- a nice way of putting it. Both HR were relatively avoidable: he had an open base for Delgado (and seemed to have already struck him out) and a pitcher behind Castro.

But as I said earlier, the Phils are ~.640 when their pitcher goes 6 or more IP this year.

As Mitchypoo said on PGL, Blanton still needs to learn tendencies of all the NL hitters, too. I'm certain he's watched tape, but as he was just acquired this week, he's still got a lot to learn about them.

Sounds like a project for Grand Pappy.

Boo?..........F' You!!!!!!!!!

Baseball Tonight saying the Mets left too many men on base and should have scored more runs. That may be so, but 5 runs for your ace should be enough to win a game. A 3-run lead in the 9th should be sufficient for a bullpen to close out. Ultimately, I say this loss is still on the Mets' BP.

It was encouraging to see Paps talk to Blanton before the bottom of the 5th (I think it was the 5th), then have him come out and get a 1-2-3 inning on GBs. I think Blanton has a lot of room to grow. This was not an Eaton-esque performance in that you look at it through the lens of "By God, he was lucky to just give up ___ runs." This was a start that was definitely something to build on, but I'm not getting my hopes up quite yet.

I said it before, but Blanton was terrible. But for two bad baserunning decisions by Chavez, matched by two great outfield assists, he would have easily given up seven runs. Having seen him pitch now I am really worried that we gave up prospects for a guy who is worse than Happ. I hope its a matter of "adjusting" to the new team and league, but his stuff looked pretty unimpressive.

reyes looked like he was gonna cry after that play at second

Reyes is the perfect example of a guy who just seems to make stupid plays at the worst time for his team. I love it. As good as the guy is (and he's an incredibly good baseball player), he makes a good amount of his errors and baserunning mistakes in big situations, and that just kills the Mets. Its awesome.

Anyone see Rollins take this subtle shot at Reyes about the muffed DP after the game:

"His mistake was not giving the ball up," said Rollins, a fellow shortstop. "He already made the highlights by making the barehanded grab."

Said it before tonight and I'll say it again, especially after what happened tonight: I would not be surprised to see the long-awaited brawl happen tomorrow night.

Jack - I agree on the brawl, especially after the three HPB tonight by the Phils pitchers.

Problem is, every game these two teams play end up being close, so the prospect of beaning just for the sake of beaning probably isn't going to happen. But I'd love to see it, especially since I like our chances in fights at most of the positions.

Howard >> Delgado
Utley >> Easley
Rollins =/= Reyes
Wright >> Feliz (though Feliz would put up a challenge)
PTB >>>>>>>>>>> Mets rent-a-LF (hopefully Tatis)
Beltran =/= Vic (Vic is too scrappy to not put up a fight, despite the size difference)
Werth/Jenkins >> Chavez
Schneider =/= Ruiz (that would be interesting)
Blanton >>>>> entire Mets starting staff.

Carnage at Shea...I would love it.

timr - You can play the counterfactual game both ways. If Blanton gets the check swing call *or* Utley makes the play in the third *or* he walks Delgado with the base open, he gives up only 1 run that inning. If he's smart he doesn't give Castro anything to hit either because the pitcher is up next, and that HR doesn't happen.

I don't mean to be such a defender of the guy, but I think he can improve. I'll just keep saying it: he's a guy that will pitch 6+ innings everytime out, which is very valuable on this team. 41-23 when their starter goes 6 IP or more *regardless* of how many ER he gives up. 5 of those 23 losses are Hamels starts where he went 7 or more IP and gave up 3 runs or less. Eaton only pitched more than 5 IP in 1 of his previous 5 starts and 10/19 all year. Blanton has pitched 6 or more in 16/20.

His *first pinch-hit of the season*.

Golly.

You're right sophist, but either way this was not a QS. I hope he'll do better--and of course he's an upgrade over Eaton--but we gave up alot to get this guy and he really needs to do much better than 5 runs over 6 innings. Otherwise, Happ was just as much of an upgrade who would have cost them nothing.

Brawl will never happen. The Mets and Phils don't fight. Phils got in a brawl with the nutjob Marlins last year, but that was when Lieber and Willis started throwing behind each other's heads (and as I recall, it wasn't much of a fight).

Ah, but the Phils of 1993 would have had 3 or 4 brawls with the Mets already, especially after the game earlier this year when the Mets hit Utley 3 times in one game.

I'm willing to give Blanton a few more starts to see what he can do. Again, this wasn't an Eaton start in that it was just an implosion from the start. There are things for him to build on. He will not be an Ace, but he definitely has some tools to work with. There were a few mistakes there that can be corrected.

In three starts, if we see no improvement, I'm willing to call it a waste and am going to send a valentine of apology to Happ.

doubleh: you think there's zero chance at a fight? I think Utley has stirred the pot a bit...unintentionally with the "Boo? F*ck you" and intentionally by calling Oliver Perez "Odalis." There is animosity there. You could see how pissed Johan was for getting hit...I really think if we see a blowout in one of these games, a scuffle might happen.

Completely agree: they gave up too much and 6 IP, 5 R isn't good enough. I'm mostly advocating giving the guy time. I didn't think the Phils needed a bottom of the rotation guy as much as a #2. We'll see what he does against ATL, STL, PIT, LAD, and SD.

RSB: Remember you said you could take a loss if the Phillies just showed some life today? Like I said before, I'll take the stolen win.

Denny B: You would not have been praising the Phillies hustle if they had lost.

We got lucky tonight, and I loved every minute of it. But I think this loss helps the Phillies more than it hurts the Mets. Aside from one crazy inning our offense is still in a funk.

So Myers gets 2 starts before the trade deadline? Doesn't seem enough to show either way whether or not he'll be the #2 this team needs.

Santana wasn't hit, it was a fast ball up and in but it didn't even touch his uniform.

My boy J.A. is the #2 this team needs

I am happy for the win, but this was a Mets loss more then a Phillies win. The win helps us in the standings, but in the big picture it leaves me with more to worry about then to be optimistic. How many times can we count on the Mets to screw up this bad? If our post season hopes are predicated on the Mets beating themselves, then I am not optimistic.

Santana came up big. He dominated us. Blanton failed. Their bullpen was once again a liability, but does that mean we are a playoff team? I have my doubts.

Brian: I'm happy all around. I don't think the game tonight was as much about heart, though, as it was about Santana for 8 and then a bad Met bullpen. Taguchi, though...now that was some heart. Rollins came up just as big, too. Those hits back-to-back were beautiful to witness.

Vic played a great game as well. 2 for 4 with a HR, 2 runs, and his speed saved at least one run in the 9th.

make that one *out* in the 9th.

Maybe we should sign the Batman for a day tomorrow in preparation for a fight.

And not Bruce Wayne, but former Phillie and Met Jose Offerman.

For those who forget... "Hit by a fastball, Offerman charged the mound with his bat and swung at least twice, striking the opposing pitcher and catcher."
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2975386

I am sorry So Taguchi for demanding your release on a number of occassions. This makes two good games in a row for So.

This one hurts and I kinda had a feeling the Phils were gonna win. Duaner is no closer. If I'm Jerry I stick w/ Johan or bring in Heilman. I know alot of you guys are saying Johan threw 105 pitches, so what, we are paying him 22 mil a year and he was cruising. This is a devasting loss.

I'm thrilled to get the win, but I have a hard time putting a happy face on Blanton's outing. If that wasn't Eaton-esque, I'm not sure what is. 5 runs in 5 innings is 5 runs in 5 innings, regardless of whether the runs come in the first inning or later on. And it could have been worse. There were a lot of hard-hit outs, and the 2 outfield assists saved at least 2 runs, probably more.

I realize it's pointless to keep harping on it, especially after a great win. But I've got to call them as I see them. I called this a horrible acquisition at the time it was made, and 5 runs in 5 innings is not going to cause me to change my mind. I understand why people want to try to put a rosy spin on tonight's performance. Like it or not, we're stuck with him, so there's a certain comfort in trying to convince ourselves that he's a significantly better pitcher than he showed tonight. Unfortuantely, there is absolutely nothing in his resume to justify that belief. The difference between Blanton and Eaton is negligible, if it exists at all.

This "adjusting to a new league" argument is also a crock. When a pitcher switches leagues, the advantage goes to the pitcher, not the opposing hitters. Again, I'm at a loss as to why people are surprised by Blanton's performance tonight. His road ERA has been over 5 for the last 3 years, and it's nearly 6.00 this year. And he has been pitching particularly terribly of late. This is the 4th time in his last 6 outings he has allowed 5 runs or more. It's a little ironic that, after having a mostly decent season, Eaton lost his starting job after having one terrible 5-game stretch. And to replace him, we then went out and traded for a guy who was in the middle of a 5-game stretch that was just as bad.

Iceman: I never say never, but if they didn't brawl last year after all those crazy games and insults, I guess I just can't see it happening now.

Yes, the Phillies stole one tonight, but I don't see how this is a Mets loss more than a Phillies win. The Mets bullpen fails against the Phils more often than not, even when the Mets ultimately win. When the Phils beat the Mets last year, it was almost always against their BP, not their starting pitchers. Quite frankly, I'll take a win any way I can get it.

If there is going to be a fight, Myers on the mound would be one to start it.

Great position by position breakdown if there was a brawl, Iceman

Ben - that doesn't even take into consideration the entire pitching staff match-ups, which would be incredibly unfair. Myers/Durbin/Blanton/Condrey would take them all on. Blanton would obviously have to take on an extra man for Moyer, who wouldn't want any part of that (but to that end, neither would Pedro).

And this also doesn't weigh in that Howard and Burrell alone would have them running for the dugout, especially PTB who has probably been waiting for a brawl with NY for years now.

The most frustrating thing about Blanton's performance was the two hr's came with two outs.

Great to see the offense string together some hits, a walk and and the timely misplay by Reyes into a big inning.

Taguchi is starting to get good at bats. You could see it before the all star break.
The question is, are they going to be able to use him enough for him to maintain some kind of good momentum.

Looks like they gave up on using him as a defensive replacement, (using Bruntlet in left field againts Florida).

I think Tagughi is a pretty good player who's towards the end of his career, but he may not be a good fit for the Phils.

I'm glad he came up w/a big hit!

The difference a day makes...yesterday, many Met fans saying it was a blessing in disguise that Wagner's ailing due to his past struggles vs the Phillies...

There is nothing better than waking up the morning after a baseball game in which the results are so ridiculously good for your team, that you have to wonder, at least for a second, if it really happened.

That Taguchi at bat was very good. He did everything to stay alive there (Even throwing his bat at a ball once just to make contact). I've been on Taguchi's case recently, and deservedly so, but the guy has been very clutch throughout his career. I remember Tony LaRussa's speech when they recieved the WS Trophy. He said: "And I'm very good friends with So Taguchi." The crowd erupted. Taguchi was a miracle worker for the Cards in that WS run. I like him up in clutch situations, even if his results thus far have been subpar. Maybe he got some new contacts or something. I'm not sold on Taguchi being anything special yet, but I think last night he proved something of his value to the team.

BAP: I don't want to come off as a Blanton "lover" (as often happens anytime someone defends a player, even from an objective perspective), but he was better than Eaton. About the only thing that looked like Eaton to me was the run total. Cole Hamels has given up 5- runs this season. I'm not saying Blanton=Cole by any stretch of the imagination, but comparing him to Adam Eaton is ridiculous. He didn't have his command last night, and it showed. The guy is normally all around the strike zone, but he was a little off, whereas Eaton is afraid to throw strikes. Blanton was just wild. He was probably a bit nervous as well, with it being his first game for a new team, pitching in the rival's hame ballpark against a multiple Cy Young winning pitcher. I say give him a few more starts before you cast the Adam Eaton blanket over him. Subjectively, it wasn't great, but nowhere near as bad as Adam Eaton. Eaton is weak, Blanton was just wild. Give him time.

BTW: The fact that the Mets didn't go with Wagner even when the game was slipping through their fingers is telling. He has to be hurt worse than the "day-to-day" status that they have been floating around. If there was ever a day where he was needed, yesterday was that day. I'm guessing he ends up on the DL. I think the Mets are just posturing with this "day-to-day" BS. If he could pitch, he would have last night. Just ask yourself what you would think if Cholly didn't put Lidge in during a similar situation, if Lidge was "day-to-day." I'd say he is hurt worse than they are letting on.

Good morning.

Jeez, that sure felt good.

Parker: That's right. Eaton has the look of someone used to being peed on, who realizes it's raining again. Blanton last night had the look of someone who hoped for better, who knows better. I thought I saw a little disbelief and a little frustration with his performance, not the resignation that Eaton often showed.

"41-23 when their starter goes 6 IP or more *regardless* of how many ER he gives up."

Sophist, regardless? What's our record in games where the starter goes 6 or more and gives up 4 or more runs? I suspect it's less than .640.

Parker - lol, I woke up this morning with little extra spring in my step. Mental checklist: no, didn't get lucky last night... no, I'm not still drink from last night... But, the Phillies stole a win from the Mets bullpen who coughed up 6 runs in the top of the ninth, excellent!

Yes, phargo, that sure felt good.

About 45 days ago, when Metsblog was saturated with posters feeling sorry for themselves because of the Mets woes at the time, demading Willie Randolph be fired and the team's roster be blown up, I posted over there that it was a long season and that the Mets would turn things around and make a run.

They have, and last night was only one game.

About a dozen games ago the Phillies beat the Mets during a Santana start, and the Mets went on to win the next three, the beginning of a ten game win streak.

Neither team is going away, and don't forget the Fish or Bravos. This is, IMO, going to be a seesaw battle until the final week.

Get ready for the ebb and flow. The last 62 games should be a lot of fun.

@ Parker

I assumed Wagner was worse than we were told just because the trade deadline is so close. If they come out and say Wagner is seriously hurt, that drives up the price on any potential deal for a reliever.

I'm sure the other teams will have caught on now after seeing last night's debacle.

I give Blanton at least one more start before I call him Eaton-esque.

Hadn't pitched in a good while, let's see how he does on more regular schedule.

Great win last night!

Now which Brett Myers will show up tonite?

3 observations from last night:
-Blanton is an eater of things other than innings
-get to the Mutts pen and good things happen w/ or w/o the Rat
-the Phils are living dangerously

One important fact to remember about Blanton. He has not pitched for 14 days so I would have expected the rust that we saw last night. Rusty location and 3 walks. Give him another start or so and I would expect quality starts.

Anyone who would call the Blanton start "Eaton-esque" shows a surprising lack of knowledge about baseball, and a lack of visual skills.

I'm not saying Blanton was great last night but the difference is he didn't look completely overmatched, and bewildered out there. Eaton more often than not looks like a guy who is defeated on the mound. Blanton looked under control the whole time. He was just missing spots last night. The home run to Castro was a slider that just didn't slide. (In fact that has been the biggest flaw in his game this year according to scouting reports). The Delgado pitch was in a bad spot. It wasn't a bad pitch necessarily- it was a good pitch to the wrong hitter.

Besides, it's one start. There is no sense to kill the guy after his first start with the team. Also it's being picky to start complaining after a win.

That was a sweet win, great to see a comeback like that against the Muts. Eff em. Myers tonight worries me, lets hope the bats come to hit!!!

Truth Injection- I called Blanton's outing "Eaton-esque" because of the outcome. 6 innings, 5 runs, 7.50 era. I know it's only 1 outing, and I believe he'll peform better than Eaton down the stretch here, but no need to attack me yet again by saying "Anyone who would call the Blanton start "Eaton-esque" shows a surprising lack of knowledge about baseball, and a lack of visual skills."

Boy, I am full of Negadelphia this morning. The Phils have been in a "win one, lose two" mode. They often win the first game of a series, get us all pumped up, then they lose the next two. I see the pattern and it scares me.

On Blanton, the posters are excusing his first outing to "nervousness", "unfamiliarity with the batters", and "wildness." Normally, the "unfamiliarity" stuff is in the favor of the pitcher. New pitchers normally show success during their first go around in the league with the new teams. This guy, Blanton, scares me.

I see where Randy Wolf is going to the Astros. Good! I didn't want him back with the Phillies. He's going to suck in Houston, too.

This may have been mentioned during the game thread, but a couple threads ago Feliz and Blanton were jokingly compared and I believe Clout said that somthing like this:
If we expect the same performance, then Blanton will give us 6IP and 5 runs. Good stuff.

I was mixed on Blanton, but I feel he should have relied more on his fastball, which I was pretty impressed with since he hides the ball pretty well. He broke some bats and had the Mets put some bad swings together. I think the next start will be more telling as he did have a lot of time off. I just hope he stays away from the fly balls.

I thought Jimy Williams handled the 9th pretty well last night as it ended up working in our favor. I think Cholly would have used Bruntlett in the Taguchi spot.

These Mets - Phillies games are unbelievable. Just about everyone has crazy drama in them.

Chad Durbin was born to be a reliever.

Although by the numbers Blanton's start was "Eaton-esque", watching the game you could tell he was pitching much better than Eaton. He was aggressive and had a fastball with actual life. He just didn't have all his touch after being off 13 days, and didn't have a familiarity with the hitters. All in all, I thought his start was a bit more encouraging than discouraging.

Myers:

I really believe that Myers presence on this team is valuable outside of his pitching skills. Myers may not be a leader, but this team doesn't need him to be that. Hamels is the leader of the pitching staff just on pure greatness, and Moyer is like the old chief that everyone goes to for wisdom. On the offensive side, Utley is the brass tacks gamer, leading by example, whereas J-Roll is the guy that takes command and settles everyone down (see last night with Brad Lidge) when things get tense.

Myers, IMO, provides a youthful vigor to this team. He is the consummate joker, and keeps the dugout loose. I see him with his arms draped around Cholly, saying probably stupid things to the old manager, and it seems to give Cholly a chuckle or two. Myers has had many problems, but I would guess that he is very well liked in that clubhouse. I imagine that not having him around was strange for the guys over the last couple of weeks. For some of the younger guys, Myers is the one player that has been around during their entire career (along w/ J-Roll).

I really think that the demotion will be a wake up call to Brett. He has been called a lot of things before, but I don't think anyone has ever questioned his competitiveness. I think that Myers is the type of guy that will respond to being questioned in such an overt way as sending him to the minors. It will give him a taste of where he came from, and what it took to get to the position he is in. I expect good things from Brett, and I think he will be a key player for this team down the stretch.

I'm predicting a Brett Myers renaissance.

I see where Randy Wolf is going to the Astros. Good! I didn't want him back with the Phillies. He's going to suck in Houston, too.

yeah another dumb Ed Wade move. buyers when your 12 games out? and for a guy who will more than likely bolt back to the west coast after the season?

I only called Blanton's effort "Eaton-esque" in last night's thread based solely on the outcome. I did watch the game and agree that he did appear to be much better than Eaton, and therefore believe he's an upgrade over Eaton.

I'm not sure if Blanton was better than a typical Eaton outing last night. The two HR balls were terrible pitches and came at terrible times. It turned out to be the lone negative to take out of the game, but Blanton needs to pitch better than that.

Parker: I hope you're right. The thing about Myers is that we KNOW the stuff is there. He's been a very good pitcher at times in his career, even at times this season. As bad as he's been, and as much as he's let us down this year, there's always that chance that he can string together some of those dominant starts.

Come on back to us Harry the K. We missed your call for the ninth inning last night.
" I can't believe what I just saw!"

Memberships for the So Taghuchi Fan club ( Pat Gillick Chapter) are now available on Beerleaguer.

I am not in favor of the Antique Rhodes show returning to Philly, but Arthur did pitch 1 scoreless inning against the BoSox last night striking out the side lowering his era to 2.75 and whip to 1.22.

@ TK

The pitch to Delgado was a horrible pitch in the sense that it was out of the strike zone. It was inside and down at Delgado's shins. You can't really blame Blanton on that.... Delgado was just able to muscle it out.

Taguchi is a Met-killer...see 2006 playoff series btwn Mets and Cards...

WFAN will be fun today...

Wow, already fun... caller says Santana is a DIVA for not insisting he comes out in the 9th. That's funny.

I totally gave up on the Phillies organization until Duaner came in the game.
This season, Duaner has been to the Phils what Tom Gordon has been the to Mets.

btw- Blanton is terrible. I understand the need to spin his acquisition but I'm not convinced Eaton would've done worse last night. However, I agree that Eaton is a terrible comparison. Joe Blanton is more like Brett Myers with lesser stuff and better composure. Eaton also has better stuff than Blanton...easily...but Eaton gets tired sooner and loses focus whenever he doesn't get a call.

Joe Blanton could get better, but he won't be successful if he keeps pitching the way he did last night. He seemed stiff, like he was holding back a bit...I don't know if thats just his style, but he'd probably get better velocity if he put his body behind his pitches. Although, Blanton looks really top-heavy, so maybe he has poor balance and body control.

You gotta admit- this guy's gonna be painful to watch.

Still thrilled about this win. Taguchi's hit was huge, but I find myself replaying the AB in my head. I was disgusted when he went down 0-2, but he really fought back. It was a great reminder of why we thought he was a solid pick-up in the first place. Just a great battle, and I love that he choked up and refused to go down with a K.

Great drama.

Baxter- that was an excellent summation of Blanton to what we already have, probably the best description I've read by him by a BeerLeaguer yet.

@ baxter

If Duaner = Gordon, what does that make Heilman and Wagner? I'm scared...

MFiP, it was a bad pitch to Delgado because that's exactly where Delgado crushes the ball. He's a low and in LH hitter.

The mistake Blanton (and Chollie...and Chooch) made was not pitching around Delgado, a .400 hitter in July, with a RH hitter coming.


With regard to Blanton not knowing the tendencies of hitters:

Is that really a valid argument when the catcher does know the hitters and is calling the game?

Mets fan,

Yea Delgado deserves credit too. He's becoming very easy to hate for me.

Interesting fact from NY Times: Not only did Santana not walk anyone in 8, he only ran one 3 ball count against 31 batters.

Carson- I didn't read any of the game thread. I was only responding to what I've read in here.

As someone else mentioned- the only way you can compare Blanton to Eaton is the numbers last night. Blanton looked in control but was missing spots. Eaton has not looked in control for quite some time.

Blanton will be better. The scouting reports I've seen- and the games I've watched on MLB Ticket- show a guy who has some decent life on his fastball but has struggled with his slider this year. IN past years that has been his out pitch. This year it hangs a lot as he is having trouble locating it. The pitch to Castro was just a mistake pitch that a guy will throw a few times in a game. It went out. The Delgado pitch was a good pitch to the wrong hitter.

I think it's foolish for anyone to consider the guy garbage off one start in uniform. He'll be better than that. Also I think some are romanticizing Eaton to a degree which is insane considering it's only been 10 days since he looked completely overmatched against the Diamondbacks.

Yes it was the bullpen's implosion that is the main culprit, but nobody brought this up: if not for the now forgotten 2-out rally in the first inning, Johan's pitch count is 85-90 something not 100 something after the 8th... and although that didn't convince Manuel to leave him in on July 4th, maybe it would have this time.


Mets fan in Delco (since 05 anyway)

Who is the beerleaguer pitching coach? We need to keep Parker on a pitch, um word count (just kidding).

The plays at the plate have not been discussed as much as they deserve.

You can say bad baserunning but to see two perfect throws (a cannon relay from JRoll, one from Werth) along with Ruiz properly blocking the plate and catching the throws were priceless.

Truth Injection. I wouldn't say people are romanticizing Eaton, a guy who's been the worst pitcher in baseball for some time and who in his last 5 starts has thrown 23.1 IP, 27 R, 2.38 WHIP. I think people have Happ in mind. Happ, it seems, could have given the Phils a performance like this for a much lower price.

"Sophist, regardless? What's our record in games where the starter goes 6 or more and gives up 4 or more runs? I suspect it's less than .640."

Yeah, without going through all the games, I don't know. Look, I agree, if Blanton goes 6 or more in every start as a Phil and gives up 4 in more in every one, I won't be all that happy. But, as Kendrick has shown, the Phils win more often than not when the starter does the bare minimum and keeps the game from getting out of hand. It was Blanton's 5th worst start (of 21) of the year by game score.

"I'm not saying Blanton was great last night but the difference is he didn't look completely overmatched, and bewildered out there."

Well . . . at the risk of sound like PhillR, that's a rather subjective and unscientific analysis. It's funny how people always start talking about "the look in Eaton's eye" when he's going badly, but when he was pitching decently, we never heard anything about his looking "overmatched" and "bewildered." These defenses of Blanton are real reaches, by phans who are grasping at straws to come to terms with an indefensible trade. And the very fact that we are discussing whether or not Blanton is better than Eaton is just pathetic. Is that how low our expectations have sunk? While the Brewers were getting Sabathia and the A's were getting Harden, the Phillies were getting someone who is, at best, a slight upgrade from the worst starting pitcher in baseball over the last year and a half. And everyone is satisfied with that?

Jayson Stark had an interesting chat yesterday where he, predictably, picked the Phils to win the East out of the top three choices (he basically ignored the Braves and I think that's pretty fair at this point). One of the things he talked about was defense and execution. You can point at the two plays at the plate and Chase's great catch on the line drive. He also talked about the differences in bullpens. Chad Durbin continues to be a team MVP. And the Mets bullpen continues to blow against the Phils.

bap: Now you're overstating it. It's clear from the moment the trade happened that everyone isn't satisfied with Joe Blanton. No one is satisfied with his performance from last night.

However, he's our pitcher now and there's nothing we can do about. The question is whether he is an upgrade over Eaton. I think he is. How can you not be an upgrade over the worst starting pitcher in baseball? Will he repeat last night's performance or will he improve? Considering he hadn't pitched in 2 weeks, I'm willing to give him a little time to get back into a normal rhythm. I can't believe you actually want to declare this move a complete failure after one start.

The other thing is that I remember Blanton throwing harder than he did last night. As clout brought up last week, Blanton's strikeouts are way down this year. He's striking out 4.26 per 9 innings, as compared to 5.48 per 9 innings last year. In addition, there has been a sharp down-tick in his performances over the last month. This was the 5th game in the last 7 in which he failed to make a quality start, and a few of those starts have been Eaton-esque, by anyone's standards. It would not at all shock me if he keeps pitching poorly for a few more games, and then we find out he's injured. Of course, I'm sure the Phillies did their due dilligence to make sure that wasn't the case. They always have in the past.

Last night I pulled a bruceg after hearing castro homer on my way from softball to quizzo. I walked into the bar went to the quizzo master raised my hand to the screen and said, I'm done with them.

Of course... like breaking my lenten sacrifices I was cheering Vic's homer. I was getting pumped over Durbin. And the bar absolutely... ERUPTED during Taguchi's at bat.

Which might have been one of the best at bats by any Phillie this season. Read the PHilly Weekly Cover Story again now that we have good feelings about Taguchi. The smile on his face in the dugout was awesome. Maybe this will help him turn the corner a bit and get some confidence and some at bats. Video of the hit can be seen here.

"Of course, I'm sure the Phillies did their due dilligence to make sure that wasn't the case. They always have in the past."

For the Mets fans reading, I'll just clarify that this is 100% sarcasm. Deliciously understated sarcasm.

Anyway, I am kicking myself for working last night and being unable to watch the game on television. However, after work I got in my car, turned the game on to the radio (knowing we had been down 5-1 last I had heard) and it was in the middle of the top of the 9th. With disbelief I heard that not only were we leading, but we did a furious comeback in the 9th. Good stuff. Exciting!

CJ: Ok, "satisfied" is the wrong word. But I'm hearing a lot of lame excuses for a performance that was actually right in line with what everyone should have expected. My overall point was that, 2 weeks ago, the conversation on BL was, "We need a No. 2 pitcher." Now the conversation on BL is, "He's better than Eaton." Here's a simple rule of thumb I try to follow. When discussing a pitcher's merits, the statement "He's better than Eaton" does not belong in the conversation. It's like saying he's better than my 3-year old. It may be true, but so what?

The Phillies' FO loves to name-drop to make their fans believe they're out there pounding the pavement to bring in big names like Sabathia, Burnett, and Bedard. This is nothing more than a PR campaign so that fans will think they're really trying. The flip side of that PR campaign is that I am entitled to be really pissed off when they acquire a guy who is more of the same.

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