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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Comments

I know his numbers, outside the meltdowns, are above average for Eaton. There are stats out there that measure luck, etc. I've seen just about every Eaton start this season, and he has escaped disaster many, many times. Only a matter of time before it caught up with him. In my opinion, he's worse than his numbers suggest.

FO: He's a $24 M mistake. You don't have to admit it, just DL him and put anyone in his place.

I'll be at the game on the scoreboard porch... i'll catch 1 of burrells many homers today.

One more thing: hearing yesterday on the broadcast that Eaton consistently wins in darts and cards just about sent me over the edge. Why can't the guy win at baseball?

Figures. In darts, you need to be straight and down the middle.

Does anyone remember what Adam Eaton's ERA+ was about 2 weeks ago? I recall someone posting it, and it didn't seem that bad by ERA+ standards. However, I suspect that his number has changed significantly over the last two games. All in all, I think that is a good showing of why ERA+ is can be deceiving. Although Eaton's ERA+ said that he wasn't pitching so bad two weeks ago, he really was but was getting lucky. I haven't seen a game where Eaton looked significantly better or worse than any of his other starts. What I see is a bad pitcher who occasionally doesn't give up HR's due to wind or 420 foot foul balls that miss the foul pole by 2 feet. Eaton's luck just finally ran out. He has always been the same bad pitcher regardless of what his ERA+ said he was.

Burrell, Howard, and Utley have decent numbers against Webb. Webb has been somewhat inconsistent lately as well. Hamels career numbers against the D-Backs are good, so we'll see what happens.

BTW: A.J. Burnett pitches against the Yankees today. He was not scheduled to pitch until after the All-Star break. Anyone that doubts Burnett's ability to help this rotation should tune in to part of that game to get a sense of just how much better a pitcher he is than some of the dunces in the Phils rotation.

And if he gets rocked, we'll see how well he fits in.

im trying to stay positive, i want to say that we need our mvps and allstars, past and present, to carry this team into the allstar break on top of the east. im looking at you too, pat. we need the machine today.

...but all i can think about is the managements lack of urgency in the eaton situation. he is a dud, he wasnt on the playoff roster last year for a reason. he stinks, and they know it and have known for a while. he was a mistake from last year and should have been dealt with in the offseason. keeping him in the rotation is an insult to the millions of fans who buy tickets, jerseys, hats, 50 dollar pretzels, etc.
if i had a ticket stub from yesterday id mail it to the FO, with a note attached asking for my money back.

clout: are you encouraged by Myers' AA performance?

Just noticed on MLBTR that Burnett has the Phillies on his No-Trade list. I like him better than Bedard, but I wonder if he would waive the clause to come here. Either way, Bedard or Burnett seem to be more about Name than Numbers. Neither has done much this year, and I would almost rather see Happ and Carrasco fill the spots.

BedBeard: I'd bet against Burnett getting rocked. 7 of his last 10 starts have been against teams that he has inexplicably struggled against (Orioles, Angels, Reds, Brewers). He has been pretty dominant against the Yankees. (3.18 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .199 BAA, 38 K, 45 IP).

Burnett's stats are weird. It seems like he dominates teams with good lineups, and struggles against mediocre teams. I wonder if it is a lack of motivation/focus or something.

Just noticed on MLBTR that Burnett has the Phillies on his No-Trade list. I like him better than Bedard, but I wonder if he would waive the clause to come here. Either way, Bedard or Burnett seem to be more about Name than Numbers. Neither has done much this year, and I would almost rather see Happ and Carrasco fill the spots.

Joe: He might waive his no trade to get out of Toronto, especially if the Phils are the only team that really shows any interest. It's not like he would be committed to playing in Philly long term. I imagine that if the Phillies were willing, Burnett would waive the clause. Also, it is not like CBP could hurt his stats that much to begin with.

Parker: what's happened to Eaton is pretty much what you say will happen to Kendrick: that all those baserunners have to catch up with him eventually. I'd like to say there are fundamental differences between the two, but I don't feel like discussing Kendrick anymore, either.

And, for the second year in a row, Eaton's ERA+ is below even his pathetic career average. He is an example of how a no talent athlete can survive a decade in the majors solely because of where he was selected in the drafting process, though it's been a while since I've heard the argument, "Eaton was a first round draft pick! He's got great stuff! He'll turn it all around!"

Whelkman: You can watch KK and Eaton pitch and easily determine that KK is a better pitcher. I don't think that there is any question about that, nor have I ever suggested as much.

Just heard the guys in WIP suggesting bringing in Clemens. Interesting.

My assumption is that he isn't currently under contract with any other teams; hence, it wouldn't require giving up any prospects - just money.

And, of course, we all know the Phils FO has a proven track record of not hesitating to spend money to get a championship.

Phils turned down a rumored trade for Josh Fogg a few years ago which would have included McLouth as a throw in two years ago. Boy was that a mistake. J-Mike would fit nicely on this bench.

Any trade to Rox for Fuentes has to include willy tavares and we cannot give up Carrasco in that deal.

clout: i don't think myers avoiding his fastball against a AA lineup is a good sign. Perhaps that he realized he was up against fastball hitters and adjusted accordingly is a sign that he's started to read hitters, but if he doesn't trust his fastball against a AA team how is he gonna be any better than he was at the major league level. Color me unimpressed that he was able to get a bunch of minor leaguers out with one of the best curves in the game. Perhaps i'm wrong, but isn't the big difference between a AA hitter and a major leaguer the ability to recognize and hit a breaking ball? If he really hit 95 that would be a good sign. I just really don't see how this start was any different than his start against the Angels, other than that it was against much inferior competition. Didn't Aybar take him deep that game? He has minor league power. Either way, I think you're right that he's best when using his breaking stuff, but if he's relying on it for half his pitches he better have impecable command or he's right back where he started. Given that, I don't see what's changed. With Myers' curve he could fall out of bed and strike out 11 minor leaguers, whether he's locating or not. Perhaps he's turned a corner, but i don't think the results of this start alone are indicative of that. I'll admit I'm wrong when he goes back to having consistent good starts at the major league level. Hell, I'd settle for better than Eaton and pray for better than Happ, but I'm expecting that even if we dump one Eaton will still be stuck with another. I truly hope I'm wrong and you're right, which you may well be. Throwing good ML curves to minor leaguers is like pitching to Jenkins with a 3-0 count and runners on, you know they're gonna swing and you know they ain't gonna be productive.

MLBTR also says the Phils have "minimal" interest in Burnett.

Completely agree with Eatons inability to throw first pitch strikes. Dubee should be all over this guy before every start, telling him that the only way your going to get outs is by getting ahead in the count, because to put it simply you don't have an out pitch to beat hitters. A great example would be Kendrick. His stuff certainly won't wow anyone, but being a smart pitcher and getting ahead in the count gives him the ability to keep his team in the game and win ball games. Eaton should be looking for a rental in Lebanaon Valley right about now.

Parker: Until his past 2 starts, Eaton's ERA+ this season was slightly better than his career ERA+ which was around 88 as I recall. I sometimes get the impression that Beerleaguers didn't know who Adam Eaton was or what to expect from him until he mysteriously appeared in a Phillies uniform one day. The day he was signed, a poster noted that his IP per start was among the worst in the NL over the previous 5 years and that not much should be expected.

I would definitely move Marson for Fuentes. After watching Travis D'Arnaud this week on Milb-TV I am convinced that soon he will be better than even Marson. His bat has pop. For example he backed up the Tri Cities outfielder to base of the center field wall and he showed off his arm when he put a perfect throw on the first base side of second base to nail a base runner who had a running jump off first. And he has more of a catcher's build than Marson.

lehk: I think what clout is saying (and I think he is right) is that Myers needs to "locate" his fastball. Regardless of whether it is a dominating pitch in and of itself is irrelevant if he can throw it consistently on the black. Myers has a pretty straight fastball. Whenever he relies on it too much, he gives up a bunch of HR. The key is, and has always been location with Brett. He has to be able to throw the fastball to set up his breaking stuff. If he can't locate it then he walks a bunch of batters and then has to serve something down the middle. Most of the time, that final pitch goes to someone defending his beer from an oncoming baseball, rather than to a Phillies defender.

Travis is also about 18 years old, correct? It'll be a few years before he's ready.

If the Phillies aren't in 1st at the break, it will be a psycholigical defeat. It does matter.

whelkman, lekh: Yes, I was pleased with Myers performance last night. No, it doesn't bother me that it came against a AA team. The key is him being able to get ALL his pitches over. In his last MLB start his strike/ball ratio was even and he'll get smashed when that happens.

Let me repeat my post from previous thread:
You WANT Myers to throw breaking stuff. His out pitch is his killer curve. He is not, never has been, a fastball pitcher. He uses the fastball to set up his breaking stuff. His out pitches are the curve and his cutter. He's got a slider too, but it isn't very good. You want him throwing the fastball in a good location to get ahead then coming back with curves and cutters. The reason he was going bad WASN'T his fastball. It was his location, which was terrible. He couldn't throw anything for quality strikes.

This is from last night's game account (emphasis mine):
"Unofficially, he threw 60 fastballs and 58 breaking balls, but just 33 fastballs after the second inning. His fastball stayed consistently in the 89-92 mph range, with a high of 95 in the first inning (which wound up a single).

Nine of his 10 punchouts came on his trademark breaking ball."

Parker: Perhaps I'm wrong, and I wouldn't know how to go about looking this up, nor would it be worth the time and effort, but I remember Myers relying on his fastball a lot more when he was pitching well in the rotation. If his fastball has lost its life than yeah, maybe he should avoid overexposing it, but then maybe he also is doomed to begin with. Are there a lot of pitchers like him that rely so heavily on breaking stuff, outside of the Moyer/Maddux mold. Because if he's in that category he's screwed, they are thinking pitchers, the best thinking pitchers and I think Myers has a better chance of chairing the women's studies department at Harvard than he does of thriving as a thinking-man's pitcher.

Parker: Well said.

"I think Myers has a better chance of chairing the women's studies department at Harvard than he does of thriving as a thinking-man's pitcher..."

Even though it's early, my nomination for comment of the day.

You would move MArson for Fuentes?? You don't belong posting.

Clout: I think that many people didn't realize that Eaton is about the best the Phillies can expect to sign in the FA market, and that even Eaton comes at inflated prices because of the ballpark. I don't think there is any secret as to why pitchers like Burnett have Philly in no-trade clauses.

Plus, I think that Whelkman was right in saying that one might believe that somewhere along the way, a 1st round pick might make that turn in their career. Moyer didn't really make it until he was well into his 30's. What I don't think most of us knew, and without having seen him pitch would have any reason to know, is that Eaton has losers mentality. Or at least he is far too intimidated to ever succeed in professional sports, regardless of his "stuff." If most Phillies fans are like me, they had no reason to watch a bunch of Padres or Rangers games when Eaton pitched for them, and had no idea that he was prone to such cowering in the face of adversity.

lekh: Myers relies on his fastball to set up his breaking stuff. His fastball isn't and never has been his out pitch. He winds up throwing more fastballs when his command is off. More fastballs usually equals a worse performance for him.

Swindle was sent down, which makes sense, since he couldn't have pitched today anyway. Bisenius was brought up.

Dull: D'Arnaud's strength coming out of HS was a superb defensive skill-set and throwing arm. There were huge questions about his bat. In his first season the bat was nothing special. In 23 games this season, the bat has been good. He is 19 years old and has promise, but it will be a few years before we know what he can be.

Clout: again, agreed that Myers' curve is his best pitch, clearly. But can a 'dumb' starter survive without a good fastball that he uses? Don't you think he's walking an awfully thin line throwing that many breaking balls? What if shows up and doesn't have his curve for the day? Is that not the problem he faced the first half of this season. If he can locate his curve and throws in 40-50% of the time then yes, he's gonna get guys out. But what happens when he can't do that? That's an awful lot that has to go right simply to ensure that he doesn't turn into a pumpkin, or perhaps an "Eaton" would be a more appropriate term. Do you really think he'll be so consistent with his breaking ball in the second half that he won't simply repeat his first half performance? I just don't see what's changed. When his curve is on, he's great (especially in AA), when it's not, he sucks.

Parker: It is very depressing to think of Eaton (or Garcia) as typical of the kind of pitchers can expect to get.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was thinking that there's no point in the Phillies picking up a "b-list" pitcher or bullpen help because neither would enhance them much in the post-season, and they were very likely to reach the post season regardless.

I'm thinking differently now. I'm not nearly as confident about their chances of winning the division. At this point, they need to find someone who's better than Eaton to win the division. But I don't think management will do anything.

If they pick up another pitcher, then they'd really be forced to (a) do something about Eaton, and (b) do something about Myers should his performance not improve to the level where he's a better option than Happ as a fifth starter. If he doesn't start pitching better, they'd be forced to move him to the bullpen - which would be a disaster if he isn't pitching better - or keep him in the minors - which it's doubtful he'd agree to.

As I see it, the entire season rests on the likelihood of Myers at least reaching the level of being mediocre rather than flat out terrible. If he does, we make the playoff and lose in the first round. If he doesn't, we miss the post season and read Mets trolls' comments in September.

clout: I would add to your comments that, in the few games where Myers has really excelled this year, he has relied less on his fast ball and more on his other pitches.

That said, you aren't going to succeed against major league hitters by just throwing curve balls. He is going to have to throw fast balls and he is going to have to avoid putting those fast balls right over the center of the plate. To me, Myers has to be Option No. 1, before we go giving up prospects to get a broken down Erik Bedard or a struggling AJ Burnett. I'm not nearly as keen as everyone else on the idea of parting with Jason Donald, which I assume would be essential to any Burnett or Bedard trade. Of course, it would be just like Myers to dash all of our hopes by going out and getting plastered in his next AAA outing.

lekh: That pretty much sums it up. When Myers can't locate his fastball, he gets shelled. When he can't locate his curve, he gets shelled. I have no problem at all with him throwing mostly breaking balls. But if he can't locate them, then it doesn't matter whether he throws 80% breaking balls or 0%. He will get shelled. Both the fastball and the curve must be working for him to win.

Yes, Moyer was even worse than Eaton at this stage of his career. Were his salary more than $200,000 I doubt any team would have kept him around that long.

More importantly, the entirety of Beerleaguer would be calling Moyer a washed up loser the same as we do to Eaton/Myers. Will we be wrong and one or both turn into competitive pitchers in their autumn years? Odds are against it.

lekh:

Think about it this way:

Cole Hamels doesn't have a dominating fastball. If he relied on it too much he would get hammered. In fact, when he does, he gives up a bunch of HR's. His out pitches are his change and to a lesser extent, his curve. He can't just throw the change or the curve on every pitch because hitters will sit on it and jack it. He has to set up both those pitches with his decent fastball (which is about the same velocity as Myers). The major difference in Cole and Brett is that Cole throw more pitches for strikes than about all but maybe 3 other pitchers in MLB. Cole has impeccable command of his pitches. However, on nights where he can't locate his fastball he struggles. You won't see Cole or Brett throw 5 straight fastballs in the zone like Mariano Rivera (who has extreme movement on his cut fastball). If either one of them did that, it would be a HR fest.

BAP: "That said, you aren't going to succeed against major league hitters by just throwing curve balls. He is going to have to throw fast balls and he is going to have to avoid putting those fast balls right over the center of the plate."

That is exactly right. You can't set up the curve with the fastball if A: The fastball is right over the plate; or B: You can't throw the fastball for quality strikes. Myers uses the fastball to get ahead. If he goes 1-0 or 2-0 he's in trouble because batters can just ignore the curveball. If he goes 0-1, then batters have to think about the curve.

Well, at least Swindle can tell his grandchildren he pitched in the major leagues. I don't see him getting another chance. This isn't a case of a guy being brought up too early and being sent back to the minors to continue working on his development. Swindle's vitae said that he was ready for his shot right now. Another year of development isn't going to change the fact that his stuff just isn't major league caliber.

Let this serve as a lesson to all of those who think Brian Mazone is the answer to the Phillies' pitching problems, because he has good AAA numbers.

Clout: Depressing, yes, but who is the best FA pitcher to sign with the Phils since opening CBP? Do you not think that has something to do with it? All of the decent talent in pitching has come from inside the organization or via trade.

I note, I can't remember how Wagner got to the Phils but I thought it was a trade.

clout: first of all, this has been a very cordial and pleasent debate, i have really enjoyed it and for that i thank you. Now that that's out of the way I guess my only question is, given that we agree that if he can't locate his FB or his curve he isn't capable of being effective, what has he done to show you that he is ready to excell at the major league level. Yes, he pitched well last night (and declared himself cured), but is that an indication that he has righted the ship? I'd like to see a few more starts like this (perhaps 2) before I'd declare him ready, though who am i to do that in the first place?

I wasn't so much against the idea of signing a sub-100 ERA+ pitcher given our 2006 pitching woes. I just find it hard to believe that if we balked at the 3yr-$25 million asking price then some other team would have eagerly snatched Eaton up. Were Eaton making little enough that releasing him would be a viable option for the front office or if the contract were just 1-2 years, I don't think there'd be as many complaints--because we got what we paid for.

With Swindle gone, it's worth noting his career line vs. RHP:

.462 AVG, .923 SLG, 1.456 OPS.

If ever there was a Lefties-only one-out guy, Swindle was it.

Did I really just read a comment about Travid D'Arnaud making Marson expendable? Dull, in all due respect, this comment is crazy. The guy hit .241 last year, with a .278 OBP, against 18-year old high schoolers. He is off to a fine start this year, but it's a sample size of just 66 ABs -- and he's playing against 19 year olds, almost none of whom will ever set foot in a major league dugout. You do not trade Lou Marson for a relief pitcher. Period.

Obviously that should read "RH hitters"

"I'd like to see a few more starts like this (perhaps 2) before I'd declare him ready.."

The problem is, the Phillies don't have/won't likely have any alternative options to bringing back up immediately after the break.

parker: i guess my response would be that Hamels still gets a good amount of strike outs, and swings and misses for that matter, with his fastball. It worries me that though Myers may strike out 10-12 AA hitters with his curve, he can't get them on his fastball. Again, as we've established, if his curve is on you'll get the 8 inning no hit bid type game or the 8 inning game against the angels (minus the late hr's which was a result of him being left in too long bc the team couldn't give him any support). He's had his decent games this year, but he usually follows it with a clunker. That to me is indicative of a pitcher relying on his breaking ball. He can't be consistent from start to start because if his command of his curve is gone, he's gotta throw his fastball more. He's had three minor league starts and only one has been truly good, not even dominant. Let's see what happens in his next start. Again, he's effective when his curve is and he's looking up to eaton when his curve isn't effective. This is especially true in AA. I've said it a million times, what has changed that makes anyone think he'll be any better when they recall him?

flipper: that's the problem, i worry that this whole demotion will have been effective moreso because it removed myers from the rotation for a couple of starts than because he'll have righted the ship. Please somebody tell me what he's changed that makes him better suited to retire major league hitters. I just don't know what's different. He's had games like last night this year against good linueps, he's just never followed it up with another. Is this not because he's entirely over-reliant on a pitch he can't consistently command from start to start? If so, why would he be any more prepared to return than he was before. One good start against clearly over-matched minor leaguers doesn't prove anything to me. He needs to show consistency from start to start. That is his problem. If he can do that, hallelullah! Flipper is right in saying that we may not have time to find out. That simply shows how desperate this situation has become. We need Myers. Bedard is no guarentee and Burnett is less so, and at the cost of good prospects the mere thought causes me to get dizzy. Does anyone really think we can get Bedard without surrendering Carrasco, who may perform as well as Bedard. It certainly ain't likely but I'd bet on Carrasco as the more effective pitcher for the next 3 years or so, the "prime" of bedard's career.

(posted on wrong thread)

I think the report on Myers is moderately encouraging. At least he's addressing his issue straight ahead. He needs to establish his fastball early and he's getting killed becuase he used to rely upon speed and movement more than location. The breaking ball, especially the big curve, was always his best pitch. Once he figures it out, he should be okay.

I hate the thought of selling a promising potential SP or catcher on a lefty specialist. Seems way too shortsighted for the value. I would love Fuentes or Damaso Marte, but not at those prices. I haven't really seen Bedard but all the descriptions make him sound worse than Kris Benson in his "prime." Burnett is intriguing, but the price will probably be too dear. It's looking more and more likely that they won't make a big splash before 7/31, and that maybe they shouldn't, either. I wouldn't be disappointed if they went with another scrap heap reliever to work along with Romero and experimented with Myers, Carrasco and Happ to cover the rotation, with one of them filling in to cover Gordon - either by taking the 8th or as part of a committee of setup guys. Another bat on the bench wouldn't hurt, either. I think Eaton is soon to walk the plank, but maybe he can move to long relief.

All: Having watched Marson since Lakewood he will be a good every day catcher. For example he has four home runs one to center and three to right. He has yet to show he can turn on a ball and pull it out to left. On the other hand D'Arnaud has the chance to be something special. He will hit, hit with power and throw with the best of them behind the plate.

Carrasco having trouble finding the plate in the first inning of the Futures Game.

2 K's though. Thanks for some bad swings, D'Antona.

Carrasco's line in the Futures Game:

1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K

He was throwing hard but was wild, and got some help from the batters on the strikeouts.

lekh: Do you read the posts that people make in response to you? I've posted twice now his strike/ball ratio in his final MLB start compared to what he threw last night. Yet you continue to act as if you get no response. Same with the fastball/curve thing. You ignore the facts being pointed out by others. It's impossible to have a dialogue to someone who ignores the responses.

I was at the Reading game last night and we had tickets that were 6 rows behind home plate. What the report implies, but doesn't explicitly state is, Myers was locating the fastball. After the second inning when he did throw it he was painting corners with it. That was setting up the breaking ball.

More importantly though, and from reading the comments I think a point some don't understand about the move to Triple A, Myers delivery was worlds better than it had been. After his second start of the season I said to a buddy of mine at the bar, "His front should is flying open an awful lot." He was trying to amp up his fastball and it was throwing off the compact body langauge you need to control pitches. Last night he was staying closed for the most part and the control was worlds better.

If he can give a good start on Thursday I think he will be really good once he comes back up. Brett is a lot of things, both good and bad, but he is a prideful person. He will be looking to atone for how bad he was the first 3 months of the year.

Dull: "He will hit, hit with power."

You can tell that from 23 games at age 19? Man, you should be a scout.

Truth: Great post.

So you'd trade Marson for Fuentes because D'Arnaud (a 19 year-old catcher in SS Single A) has had a decent start? Its probably a good thing they don't consult you on moves.

I can never see enough of Kruk's All Star at bat v.s. Randy Johnson. That cracks me up every time I see it.

"If ever there was a Lefties-only one-out guy, Swindle was it."

Only, Swindle couldn't really even do that. It was sad to see what happened yesterday--I was really pulling for him.

Eaton had a 4.57 ERA as of June 14th. Don't know the ERA+ but I would assume it was just above 100 given a lot of the starts had been at home which would have given him a more favorable ERA+ despite the higher ERA.

Over the last month though Eaton's been 1-4, 9.64 ERA. As someone else said his luck ran out and the disaster he had been dodging finally caught up to him.

Eaton needs to be cut loose as I don't think he has any trade value left at this point to justify thinking about trading him and having someone eat that $12 mil that's left on his deal.

He's going to need to rehab his career with some time in the minors or in the Atlantic League at this point...he's pretty much a lost cause.

clout: Actually, he's not even basing his opinion on 23 games. He's basing it on one week of play that he saw on tv. And the evidence of D'Arnaud's power is that, during this week, he actually drove one ball all the way to the wall.

dull, even if I were to be thoroughly ridiculous and assume that your assessment of D'Arnaud is right on the money, the guy is still 3 years away from the major leagues under even the rosiest of scenarios. So who is going to be our catcher during those 3 years that the next Johnny Bench toils in the minors? I guess because it's trading season, we have had some pretty ridiculous statements on BL lately (i.e., Vic can't field; Carrasco is ready for the major leagues; we should trade Burrell & put Golson in left field). This one is right up there with the best.

Eaton should never have been signed. Eaton has never been good so there's no real reason to expect him to suddenly be a good pitcher. Its not as if he's rehabbing from an injury and he used to be a legit starter...he's never really been a legit starter and he's killing the club.

On Swindle: I feel for the guy and at least he had his shot at the Bigs if nothing else.

Lots of pitchers rely heavily on the curveball. Justin Duschesher (hereinafter known as D) is an example. His fastball is even less imposing than Myers' fastball. D's fastball tops out at about 85-87. I have seen him routinely throw it in there about 83. Basically he is throwing at roughly Moyer speed. However, his command of his fastball is amazing. He can put it wherever he wants when he is on. He throws a devastating curveball that he runs off of his fastball. That is about as simple as it gets.

Myers will either live or die based upon his ability to locate his fastball. There is no secret sauce or proper blend of curveball to fastball ratio that is necessary for success. He also doesn't need to throw as hard as he did when he was closing. All he has to do is locate the fastball for strikes, and hitters will whiff at that curve, consistently. The only difference in Brett Myers circa 2008 and Brett Myers circa 2006 is his inability to locate his fastball consistently. Nothing has changed at all except for maybe his mechanics, which would probably be due to him not working hard enough to get back into the starting rotation.

Come on Howard?? Gonna take 2 HR to make up for that.

Parker: I hope you're right and I hope Myers comes back strong...we need him.

a basket catch, are you kidding me? come on howard.

Nevermind, Cole takes out the trash on the next pitch.

"Nice catch Hayes...Don't ever do it again!"

Let's hope the grounders have eyes today. There should be a lot of them.

Looks like Webb has his stuff today.

Did Wheels just compare Webb to Kendrick in terms of their need to find another pitch?

Hate to vehemently disagree w/ J, but as far as I'm concerned this is as close to a 'must-win' as there has been all season. Losing the lead before the break would both be a mental demoralizer for the team and a big, BIG boost to either the Mets or Marlins who steal it from us. All I've been saying is "Get the break with the lead," and take a deep breath, and I still think that's incredibly important.

Let's hope Hamels mows them down today, because our hitters (once again) look like they have no clue against Webb.

Look at the schedule after the break -- Marlins and Mets. Those games will decide who has the lead, regardless of what happens today.

Good point, AFish.

They have to be patient with Webb. Unless he is just getting some ridiculous calls, then the hitters need to be a little more patient. He throws a lot of junk, and if his location is off he will walk some batters.

The Giants own Webb for some reason, and it seems like he is done in every time against them, not because of all the hits he gives up, but because he walks them a bunch.

Perhaps ownership is a strong phrasing for what the Giants have done to him. More accurately: In the past season and a half, the Giants have done well against him. In his career, he has owned the Giants.

Why do I think that Jenkins has no chance here?

Coste, what have you done for me lately? 0-for-21.

BTW: Burnett through four against the Yanks: 2 hits, 3 Ks. I'm sure that Eaton, Kendrick, Myers and Moyer would do the same 9 out of 10 times.

when was the last time coste had a hit?

Either the Texas is wearing D-back uniforms, or the Phils pitching hasn't been that good lately.

When will TMac figure out that he should stop his reports when there is a hit?

You know it's getting bad when Victorino and Feliz are becoming your two most dependable hitters.

afish, probly when harry starts talking over him.

we should be out of this inning. that run is on coste.

What a joke of an inning. The Phils need a break.

Did Coste think that because he hasn't been hitting, he doesn't have to field as well?

Like I said, a joke of an inning.

i think cole misses ruiz's fancy leg kick

J-roll on 2nd with no outs in the 1st and we can't get him in? Sickening, that should of been at least 1 run right there. Ugh

Announcer saying Brandon Webb's outing Webb had said there wasn't an easy out to be had, well the Phillies will give him tons of easy outs today, so that's good.

I should definitely go trade Hamels for Pelfrey in my fantasy league, thanks Jim for the insight.

Does McCarthy ever talk about the game that's actually taking place?

Feliz has been the big surprise of this homestand.

Coste has played Ruiz back into the starting catcher's job.

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EST. 2005

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