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Friday, August 22, 2008

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Come on guys, lets keep the faith. As Tugger would say, "Believe". Let's win this one this year in memory of Tugger and Johnny Marz!!

Who ever thought Rowand would mean so much to this team?

Maybe that's why at the WSox fans cried when he left their team, too.

If they do fail to make the playoffs, you have to think some coaches jobs would be in jeopardy, considering the level of talent on this team and quality pitching we have received this season.

^should read "all the WSox fans cried"

Lets Start with Milt Thompson

Just thought that I would throw an interesting observation. Is it just me, or does it seem like the Phils and Mets just flipped their seasons?

1) The Phils started out the season with a lights-out pitching staff while the Mets staff struggled.

2) The Mets had an all-star 1B that was lost at the plate (Delgado), and now the Phils do.

3) The Mets were under performing against teams that they should have dominated while not scoring any runs.

4) The Mets' fans were booing the team and it was making national news. Now, the Phillies fan base is doing the same thing. (Although, I would say that it isn't as bad as Shea)

5) Metsblog was calling for the team to dump star players and rebuild (Beltran, Delgado) and now Phillies fans are doing the same thing (Rollins, Howard).

This just tells me that this thing could end up being decided the last week of a season. After last year, that can't be good for my blood pressure.

It's astounding how small these guys have come up.
Over the last 10 games, Rollins, Utley, Howard and Burrell have gone 21-for-147 (.143) with 14 RBI. Last night, Howard went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and he has five hits in his last 50 at-bats, with an astounding 21 strikeouts. In August, the dismal batting averages for these guys are: Burrell .161; Howard .175; Rollins .222; and Utley .224.

Heres an idea since our "stars" can't hit if the ball was on a tee these days. Why not send a messege and sit them. I wouldn't mind that for 1 or 2 games now before we get to September. Lineup Being as follows. I know it is VERY VERY INSANE but this is my limit of frustration right now. Rollins 3 for 33, Howard 3 for 35,Utley 4 for 28 around, I mean come on

Vic (CF)
Werth(RF)
Bruntlett(SS)
Coste(1B)
Jenkins(LF)
Dobbs(2ND)
Ruiz(C)
Feliz(3RD)
Pitcher

This article has been on a few blogs now, but it's worth a read if you haven't seen it already--a really good one about our own Cole Hamels.

http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2008/08/21/we-need-a-hero

clout doesn't think that the hard-hit ball right at the outfielder is a tricky play

preach on, my man

(i know it was an error)

Non A-hole Mets Fan: I've been thinking that for a while now, but moreso that this year's Phils are last year's Mets without the major lead.

Of course, everyone thought the Mets would be good this year, so it's no surprise that they are where they are--although their BP is a nightly adventure.

I still think it will go down to the end, but only because I think there's a lot of parity in the NL. I watched the Rays/Angels game the other night, thinking there's no way in h*ll my Fightins' beat either of those teams. They are just on another level.

AS I stated yesterday this is the Mets chance to gain their lead because our next 10-12 games are the toughtest we are going to have the rest of the year with the final 25 going up against Wash and Atlanta MOSTLY and if we win 20 of the 25 with them that is good. So this is the storm here we have to ride it out, go .500 and not panic.

doubleh- Since I watch every Mets game and every Phils game on my Extra Innings package I agree that there is a little similarity between last year's team and this year's phightin' team. And for that I send my condolences.

How long of a leash does Charlie have? He did lead them to a divison title (with a little help from the Marlins, NAtionals, and Tom "the bastard" Glavine). If they play this way for the remainder of the season, is he gone?

"considering the level of talent on this team"


hh, your comment made me wonder:

What is the 'level of talent' on this team?

Let's take a look at it.

Rollins had a career year last season, but right now he's not that far off his career norms.

Utley was on his way to a career year last season, but look at his career norms. Are we guilty of overrating him?

Howard had a monster year (and probably a career year) in 2006. But look at his minor league numbers. Did 2006 cause us to overrate him as well?

Burrell? IMO he's right around his career norms anyway, and having a 'predictable' cold spell.

Vic is just about the only guy on the team who is around his carrer averages but is hitting well right now.


My point is it took career years from Rollins and Utley (partial) for the Phillies to win the division last season.

Is that what it's goint to take going forward?

This sure doesn't look like a playoff lineup right now.

No doubt the offense is the problem, although Utley has had multiple hits to left field during the last two games, beating the shift.

The other problem last night was defensive mistakes. Werth missed the cutoff. If Rollins had been able to cut Werth's throw, the runner going to second was dead out for the second out. That would have saved a run.

Utley's throwing error was caused by a good slide. Feliz could easily has stepped on third and thrown out the runner at first, an easier double play that would have prevented the second run.

Credit Utley for hitting to the opposite field, and poor fundamentals for the loss.

We are letting Cholly off of the hook for his questionable managing decisions last night, too.

He let Moyer in too long, as usual, and then subbed Bruntlett for Dobbs for defense, so that when the order came around you had no-hit Gnomie at the plate. Shane could have been on third with anyone who could put the ball in play and driven in with Ruiz' grounder.

It's absolutely disgraceful. There's no way they should have lost to this AA team. They are a HORRIBLE team. As I read this article and the other comments posted - it is not hard to read between the lines and feel the utter disgust, frustration, and anger towards this team. I understand the importance of Rowand last year - but all it would take is for one - and I mean ONE of these guys to stand up and be a man about this. Get some stones already. Be a leader. At this point in the season - every time something like the error that allowed a run to score last night - gives me the feeling that it's going to be the game winning mistake. Can anyone remember when we had a complete game from all of the parts of this team (i.e. offense, defense and pitching). I can't. Maybe the players should come to the understanding that they are not going to come out of this - and that they really are this caliber. This way if they overachieve - they shouldn't have expected it in the first place. As an Phillies fan - I'd say it was time to consider moving on to the E-a-g-l-e-s schedule. Even that move is useless because I see the same type of mentality from their owners and front office. It's all about acquiring mediocre players and fielding sub-standard teams on the field - while raking in on the money that we - as fans - keep shelling out. To them, it's ok to be a .500 ball club and barely miss the playoffs - because the STANDS are FULL. Anybody want to lay down odds on the Phillies being 5 games or MORE out of first after the next 3 series?

Agreed, this team needs to Adapt, Improvise and Overcome in these tough times. That means Burrell should have bunted utley and howard to 2nd and 3rd. Same with Bruntlett to Vic in the 9th.Steal some bases and make less errors.

This team doesn't deserve to win the division anyway. No heart.

I haven't done a power ranking in a while, but if I did, you might see one position player (Burrell) make the cut. Hamels, Moyer, Lidge, Burrell, then Victorino maybe, or even Durbin. And the way Myers is going, maybe Myers.

reposting so everyone knows how dire the situation is:

If the Mets only play .500 ball the rest of the way, Phils would have to go 21-14 to beat them by a game.

Mets are 71-57. If they go 17-17 they'll finish 88-74.

Phils are 68-59. If they go 21-14 they'll finish 89-73

a) Mets will be better than . 500
b) Phils won't go 21-14


I found out at the end of last year and the beginning of this one what happens when you let a manager keep his job based on his past. It ain't good, trust me.

Philb: You may be right but what you don't understand is we have our hard schedule now while the Mets play their hard schedule in Sept. In the end both teams are going to win around 89 games. We may be 5 games out as of Sept. 2 but then the mets go to Milwaukee and have brutal road trips back to back with no rest days. So it will be close.

Dodgers 4, Mets 2, @ Cubs 4. Does anyone have any confidence that this team can go 7-3 over this stretch against quality pitching. 3-7 is more realistic. This 10-game stretch could be it for the 08 Phils.

philb: Ready to move on to the Eagles already? Why? If history tells us anything, nothing is over until it's over, especially in the NL.

And BTW, even with Kevin Curtis, I still think the 2008 Eagles team was a .500 team. Now they're going to be worse.

You're better off watching the Phils.

I'm getting a little tired of people pointing to Aaron Rowand's absence as the problem. Rowand signed a ridiculous deal that the Phillies wisely ignored and the Giants will soon regret. His stats are identical to Victorino's but Victorino is younger and cheaper.

The problem is at the plate, not in the clubhouse. Rollins and Utley are supposed to be consummate professionals. They shouldn't have to rely on vocal leadership from another veteran to produce. Howard is the Dave Kingman of the 21st century. He's been in a slump for the past 11/2 seasons -- or maybe the first 11/2 seasons of his career were incredible flukes.

The supporting cast is only marginally better than past groups. Once again, the Phillies have a sucking chestwound of a catcher in Carlos Ruiz. Feliz is only marginally better than past third basemen. And -- surprise, surprise -- a platoon of Werth and Jenkins only works on paper.

I have to say that this year with all the drama off the field with this team--it's taken a lot of fun out of the game for me. It's been quite a drag, actually. I like a lot of players on this team, but they just don't seem to like playing ball much this year.

bobbyd: mets woon't go .500 playing their schedule in Sept.

My Predition

Mets go 15-19 to finish
Phils go 19-15 win by 2 games.

Mets last 2 series 4 against cubbies and 3 against Atlanta I believe

Phillies last 2 series against atlanta and wash for 3 each.

What don't you guys understand for the 3rd time now. The next 10-13 games are OUR hardest even if we go 6-7 thats ok. The mets September is BRUTAL.

I don't know what I would do if I were the next GM of this team. Assuming nothing changes offensively, how can you possibly count on Rollins, Utley, and Howard next year? I would think one of them would have to be traded just to shake things up. Would it be rediculous to let Howard go and go after Texiera? Take Howard and Burrell's contracts away and you can afford Texiera.

tommyd: I don't know if the Cubs will be playing for anything at that point.

Zolecki summed it all up for me:

"Is a slump a slump if it lasts 10 weeks?
Or is it time to accept that this is just who the Phillies are?"

Additionally, you could ask "is it time to accept that this is just who Ryan Howard is?" I've never heard of a season-long slump before. Not to this extent.

Playing 'tight' or not, the talent is on this team (Rowand didn't single handedly make this the highest scoring offense in baseball last year).

Other than defense, what's the difference between Howard and Teixeira? Don't they both have extreme splits?

"I've never heard of a season-long slump before. Not to this extent."

Pat Burrell, 2003 ring a bell?

True Story: I was in SF earlier this year. My fiancee and I were walking along the pier across from Alcatraz Island. Low and behold, I spotted a piece of what I thought was debris in the water about halfway out. I pulled out my camera and looked through the telephoto lense to get a glimpse of what exactly it was...no lie, it was Aaron Rowand walking over to the prison without a boat. Just strolling on top of the waves without a care in the world. Absolutely amazing site to see.

Sophist: Thanks for the clarification on Madson last night. He's no superstar, but the guy has been effective for the better part of his career, yet people seem really quick to jump on him(even JW, who thought he was a non-tender candidate in the offseason). And for a bullpen that had to employ Jose Mesa and Antonio Alfonseca last year, a guy like Madson is very valuable. And last night was just really crappy luck.

Teix is a switch hitter for one...

Vs. LHP: .293
Vs. RHP: .294

That's for 08.

For 05-07:

vs. LHP: .316
vs. RHP: .288

BobbyO, the big questions for all Phillies fans is: who is going to be the GM making those decisions for next season?


I don't agree that the season is over, and we have a tendency on this board to overreact to a bad loss, but right now this team is in a collective funk.

Sure, chalk it up to bad luck if you want to, but good teams make their own luck.

Luck had nothing to do with Bruntlett not being able to put the ball is play last night. Tha AB was pathetic, Pathetic.

Luck had nothing to do with Utley making a bad throw, or with Ryan Howard being slow to react to it.

Charlie Manuel obviously hasn't heard of the BL Reverse Jinx. His proclamation that it was "hitting season" turns out to have been wishful thinking.

The only "hitting season" that I can see coming are Phillies fans collectively hitting the bottle to drown away their sorrows.


Hey Jason...time to repost that Reading Beer ad.

NEPP: I agree that I think people are making too much of the Rowand thing, as if he accounted for this teams' total play last year. What I don't understand is why there's no one capable of filling the leadership role now that he's gone. These are grown men playing a kid's game for a living, and making good money in the process.

I guess I just answered my own question.

BobbyD: They will be trying to beat the mets because I am sure they would rather play the NL West teams backs/dodgers over the mets/phillies so any games the NL East losses to them would be beneficial

Delgado's liner was hit really well, so well that Wright(who assumed it would fall for a hit) would've been doubled off second had Infante caught it, which he defintitely should have. Bad luck, but it also could've been bad luck for the Mets that that liner went right at an OF. Also bad luck the tying run scored on a 2 out Braves error. But the difference between the games is Howard couldn't get a bat to the ball with two men on in the 8th.

I'll continue to cheer, but there are plenty of damn good reasons why the Phils fans are pissy all the time. Hit the f'n ball!!!!

NEPP: I still think with proper coaching and mgmt (which he obviously isn't getting), Howard has the potential to be one of the best in the game. The man has so much power and his defense was better when he first came up, which shows he's capable of being better than what we've seen. I blame him for not being better prepared for games, but I also blame the coaching staff for not staying on top of him to continually develop his craft.

The Phils would never sign Tex to a 10 year deal or whatever he's looking for (or deal with Boras, his agent), so that's a pipe dream anyway.

Carson: Now you are seeing things through my eyes. Campaign Cheer was and still is for the birds. This team is awful. See my new lineup above for 2 games.

On Tex

From 2005-2007, his numbers:

v. L - .316/.391/.553/.944
v. R - .288/.379/.549/.928

he switch hits, too.

"Joyless group to watch" -this sums it up.
AWH has a good point, maybe this team isn't has good as they played the end of last year and begining of this year. A group of players just hitting thier career best at the same time. The chemistry sucks right now and they can't snap out of it.

Vin Scully said it best last weekend:"the Phills seem like they are standing around waiting to be caught." Like some vodoo curse has been cast. I don't know what can break this spell but doing nothing about it hasn't worked so well.

Make some freakin changes already!

Football season doesn't start for me until October. These next to weeks will decide if it starts sooner for me.

I'm not watching this team til they're within at least a game of first again. Call me a frontrunner. I don't care. But watching Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins hit right now makes me depressed. Sports is supposed to be fun. I can deal with my team just not being good enough, but this inexplicable teamwide offensive slump has completely sapped my baseball fan energy. I think Jason said it best a week or so again, anyone else just wish we could fast forward to the end of the season and see who backed their way into the playoffs?

I am a Mets fan, and I have to say I have read a lot of negative comments with people saying this team is done. With the Mets its not over until its over we saw it last year and with the garbage they are putting out there from the bullpen it might happen again this year.

to doubleh: I agree on Howard. My personal opinion is that he's simply having an off year due to any number of things. We don't know what's going on in his personal life or if he's battling an undisclosed injury etc. He hasn't lost any bat speed and he;s not old enough for it to be an age thing. Hell he should be in his peak right now. That's why I think he'll bounce back and have a huge year next season...especially if he has something to prove. To put it into perspective, JD Drew was plain awful all last season and no one in Boston could figure it out...he wasn't injured, he just was playing like crap. Turned out that his kid was deathly ill all the way til Sep when he had some surgery or something. Drew went on to have a huge Sep, huge playoffs, and great year this year when he had a free mind. The same thing could be going on for Ryno. The fact that he's getting pounded by the press, fans, etc and the expectation to step up and be a leader could be overwhelming him right now. Honestly, the best thing the Phillies could do this offseason is sign a veteran guy known for great leadership who can be the unofficial captain of the team as this clubhouse has shown it doesn't have that right now. Utley and Burrell lead by example, not vocally, Rollins may be Willy Mays Hayes out there with his flash, but he's also not stepping up the right way. Moyer seems to be the outspoken leader but no one listens to the Old Man.

Bottom Line: I really think Howard will be much better next year for a variety of reasons.

I am reminded painfully of comments John Kruk made at a Philly-area auto dealership several years ago: "It's nothing a good man can't fix." Well put, John. Unfortunately, the same applies today.

@TommyD: The schedules, honestly, are really no different. We have 4 versus Houston, you have 4 versus LA. You have the Brewers once more than we do. We both play the Cubs 4 times, and the rest is against the division.

I’d give the Phils the edge in difficulty, because 4 in Wrigley is tough. We at least have the Cubs at home, the last week of the season, where they will probably be resting up for October.

It’s going to be a great 5 weeks of games.

Come on guys, usually I am the negative one but. Lets get through these 3 series then go into september with 2 series against atlanta, 2 series against wash, 2 series against florida, 1 against milwaukee and 1 against the mets.

We were there for 127 games lets hang in there for 35 more and maye just maybe the mets will come back down to earth starting tonight against that tricky ed wade and the astros

BobbyD - You are ignoring the obvious fact though that the Phils play the Mets directly 5 times yet so they do control their own fate yet to some degree.

The problem is that the Phils are just like the kid who goes into the final with a failing grade and now needs to get a "A" or "A-" just to get a passing grade. Been that way almost every season since 2003 and just once (2007) did the Phils get that passing grade (making the playoffs).

If anything, the Mets' schedule is easier--they did, after all, play all of their Dodger games already without facing Blake, Ramirez or Maddux.

However, as we've seen, they don't play the games on paper. Anything can happen. You can even get swept by the Nats down the stretch. And I mean that "you" as a general you--could be the Mets or Phils.

Basically Phils almost have to 4-1 or 5-0 against the Mets in their remaining 5 games to win this thing. Otherwise, they face a pretty uphill climb to make up the difference and will also likely need some help from the Mets to falter a bit.

You can get swept by the mighty Pirates and have it kill your season...wait that's what happens to the Phillies...

drew: Yes, our schedules are similiar team wise. But look at both formats. The mets have their days off during homestands then their remaining road trips for 6 each they go straight with no break, while the phils get rests in between. The mets Finsih with 18 straight while the phils play no more than 9 straight to finish.

Mets have been beating up on down trodden teams the last 10 days but they are taking care of business. Phils really should have taken 5 out of 6 against the two worst teams in baseball right now.

mvp is completely correct saying that the season is over. It would be crazy to make that assertion. Phils though have started to back themselves into a corner particularly because they need to play well against the Mets (and the simple reality is that the Mets have kicked the Phils' a$$ this year in head-to-head play).

Mets' schedule the rest of the way is not all that bad. They have 6 games against an awful Washington team, 6 more against Atlanta (who they just swept), and 6 more against Florida who's fading fast. They could easily go 12-6 (at least) in those games. They also have the Cubs at Shea for 4 (who'll be resting up for the playoffs). A few tough games vs. the Brews and Phils, but otherwise not that hard a road.

Houston's record is one game worse than LA's.

LA with Manny is 11-8, including r game sweep of Phils.

Houston in same timeframe is 14-6, including 3 game sweep of Mets.

r game sweep=4 game sweep

MG: I never said the season is over, I said quite the opposite actually.

ToastyJoe: Our schedule is the same bud. All I am saying is this thing is no where near over. This 2 game series next week is HUGE. And if I am not mistaken, it was 1 year ago Next Sunday that the magic started against those mets.

tommyd: i hope it doesn't come down to who has more off days toward the end of the season. while fatigue certainly may be a factor, it's everyone's factor now.

Not to mention that while the offense continues to be agonizing to watch, it has been just a bit less agonizing to watch in the last couple of games (albeit against very bad teams). Maybe, just maybe, they'll turn the corner and get hot very soon. If not, go Eagles.

Drew: Go look at the mets and philllies schedules side by side. Same teams except we have Brewers at home and cubs on the road and mets have opposite. Mets finish with 2 6 game road trips with no off days. Phils finish with 2 6 game road trips also but with days off inbetween. Mets finish with the Cubs for 4. I don't give a damn what anyone says Pinella is going to have those boys ready to beat down the mets and have a winning streak going into their playoffs.

The Phillies really need to make some kind of move to strengthen the team via a waiver trade but Gillick seems comatose. Hell, we "lost" out on Ross as a 3rd catcher. There are plenty of bats that could help this lineup that have cleared waivers...sad to watch if we don't make a move.

tommyd: i'm doing that right now. I have been since starting this conversation, and those things you just mentioned are exactly what I have been saying. I know the schedule.

But Pinella would be a fool to run his regulars out for every single inning after they clinch.

And, this is not the 1969 Mets-Cubs anymore. That rivalry has waned.

I agree the schedules are near-identical, I was responding to the person who said the Mets' schedule is much tougher. And the difference between this year and last year is the Mets have overcome a lot of adversity to get to where they are now. Last year they reached first place early on and got really complacent (obviously), and played with a sense of apathy and entitlement. That's changed since Wee Willie Imbecile got fired.

Manuel: You're pretty dense, even for a Mets fan. The ball was a routine liner, not a difficult play, and it is caught 999 out of 1000 times. Those are the facts, visible to anyone who saw the game.

1) Enough with the Delgado hit. The ball was hit hard and yes it was an error, but come on, the Mets were tied at home against the hapless braves. They weren't losing that game even if it had been caught.

2)MVPTOMMYD - The Mets going 15-19? Is that a joke?they are 30-15 since the beginning of July. They have beaten good teams. They are 9-4 against these Phils, they took 2 of 3 IN Anaheim earlier this year, etc. They are also taking caring of business unlike our Phillies against teams they should beat up on.

3) The Mets rotation domiantes ours right now, they may end up with 3 or 4 15 game winners.

15-19? I say more like 20-14, worst.

Just realized the Twins are tied with the BoSox for the wild card right now. If the Phils can't be there, a playoffs without the Yanks or the Sawx would be at least a small consolation.

Philadelphia is 2.5 back but their season is over?

There is still a lot of baseball to be played, including 5 games with the Mets.

18 games against WSH, ATL, FL
5 against the Mets
12 against MIL, CHC, LAD

The Mets just took the lead over the Phils bc of a LAD sweep and bc they took care of business against SD, FL, WSH, PIT, and ATL.

The chocking Phils were 14-7 (besides the LAD sweep) in that time (since June 25.) If the Phils win at least 12 of those easy 18 and 5 or 6 of the hard 12, the division winner will be decided by the head-to-head games against the Mets.

clout: "The ball was a routine liner, not a difficult play, and it is caught 999 out of 1000 times. Those are the facts, visible to anyone who saw the game"

You can make that argument, but those aren't "facts".

Here's the Mets schedule

18 against WSH, ATL, FL
5 against Phils
11 against MIL, HOU, CHC

The Mets are 0-2 against CHC, 0-3 against HOU, and 1-2 against MIL. They're actually 5-7 against ATL.

Obviously the Phils biggest concern is the remaining games in August, but I think as long as they stay within 3-3.5 games they have a path to the title.

I think Chicago will beat up on the Mets, but I will be shocked if they don't sweep or 3 of 4 against the astros.

Of course Chicago will also beat up on us.

Sophist: Thank you at least someone is seeing my point about the mets schedule.

PhillR - I expect them to play the Astros well also, but they started August by losing 3 straight to them, getting outscored 16-7. Of course, the Phils are playing HOU in that time.

In any case, partially what I was saying was that the Phils just need to stay at least where they are until the end of the month. If they're 2 or 3 back after the next 3 series, they're in very good shape.

its a weak point. the bottom line is the mets are playing the best baseball they have played since the middle of 2007. their rotation is on fire. they are also getting ryan church back today.

the phillies offense is concerning me big time.

Anything is possible, but i dont see us pulling it out.

Sophist: Also what I said and people said I was crazy

I mean, the Phils are playing the Dodgers in that time (and we all know how that went.)

Ryan Church back to the Mets is a real concern. He transforms that lineup.

NewFlash: Mets have no closer, no bullpen, and pay no attention to their schedule it is irrevelvant but they are going to win the divison by 5 games because RYAN CHURCH is back Holy Sh*T!

Roxin Get a clue!

"...it’s a joyless group to watch. The tension is palpable. You start to wonder whether Charlie Manuel’s alleged ability to get these guys to loosen up is overrated. I've decided that Manuel is a motivational non-factor."

Nail, meet hammerhead.

Although really, Manuel's motivational ability is something which I think has been in question all along. Presuming the Phillies go along as they have been and miss the playoffs, I don't think it's premature to again wonder how much longer he has - or ought - to spend in those slimming pinstripes.

And it's a fair presumption to make. People say it's been a ten-week slump/meltdown, but what's seldom remembered is that, with the exception of hot-hitting Burrell and Utley, the Phillies played exactly this way *before* they had that one brief hot stretch in late May/early June. The ennui we've been watching has been a season-long identity for this team. All you have to do is think back to some of Tim Redding's other starts against them earlier in the year to confirm that.

As a Mets fan I'm still wary for the other shoe to drop. We beat up on lesser teams last month to get into first place and then didn't hold onto it for too long. There are arguments for and against both the Mets and Phillies for winning the division.

The Mets offense has been overperforming while the Phils offense has been underperforming. Perhaps there's chance for a regression to the mean?

Bullpen edge goes hands down to the Phils and not just because of Lidge's perfect save percentage. At the center of almost every Phils win this year against the Mets was a failure of the Mets bullpen. Even in games the Mets won, the bullpen made it too interesting for comfort.

Perhaps the big difference will come down to the starting rotation, and not necessarily the front end. I figure Santana-Pelfrey-Perez is a wash to Hamels-Moyer-Myers. While Perez has given you guys fits this year, the same could be said for us against Moyer. And when looking at each teams top 3 in the rotation, the most recent evidence suggests that for both teams their top 3 gives them a chance to win in virtually every start.

It is the Maine-Martinez end against Blanton-Kendrick that might decide things. Pedro has pitched well his past few starts but they were against the weaker teams. Much like Glavine from last year, I have a feeling that good hitting teams can beat up on him with his diminished velocity. Maine is also a question mark since he throws too deep into the counts and can rarely go past the 6th inning these days. I haven't watched enough of Blanton or Kendrick's start to specifically address their weaknesses, but I've noticed from box scores that they are prone to the "five and dive" outings.

So neither team right now has a clearly decisive edge. I'm well aware that we put together a 10 game win streak and we're riding a 10-4 run right now, but all that's gotten us is a 2.5 game lead. I'm honestly expecting this weekend and next week's abbreviated series to change very little. I could easily see both teams splitting their respective weekend series and also splitting the 2 games in Philly. I really think this race will be won/lost in September.

The key series is the Dodgers, we need some redemption and swagger. Manny needs not to see a good pitch to hit.

And This One - I agree. I'm glad you remember that the Mets have had a similar stretch earlier this year (early July) and dropped from 1st before.

I do think, though, that much of the negativity on this board stems from a lack in confidence in the Phils' ability to play good teams. I would guess there are many people on this board who think the Mets can play ~.500 ball and still win the division.

Brian G: Did you see the play?

NEPP: Are you sure that wasn't Ryan Church you saw walking on water near Alcatraz?

TommyD: You can tell me that the Phillies have more off days than the Mets, but come on. These are professional baseball players. They train their bodies for the stretch run.

Even if the Mets have a losing record against the Braves, the fact of the matter is that they were 2-7 against them before the beginning of June, when the Mets were not playing how they have been lately, and when the Braves still had Smoltz and Hudson and Tiexiera. The games against the Cubs were at the end of April. The games against Milwaukee were early on as well. (The recent Houston series is a concern.) So, while basing your arguments on the past is fine, you conveniently choose to ignore the present, which would seem to be a better predictor of the Mets than their record in April and May.

You can like the schedule all you want for the Phils, but right now, they aren’t playing well, and, from what I’ve seen, it’s not something that two more days off in September are going to help.

Mike: Thats great. Even better it would Fernando Tatis they would think they saw walking across to the Statue of Liberty.

What is the Phillies fans consensus on Burrell coming back? I've had discussions with people from a few different allegiances and more than a few agreed that it wouldn't be a complete surprise to see the Mets throw a decent amount of cash his way if he doesn't re-sign. The Mets will need a power RH bat and while I know he can be painfully streaky, he's going to be one of the few available corner OF that fill that need.

Yo, new thread.

This 10 game stretch will be to the 2008 Phillies what Waterloo was to Napoloeon

Drew: Well we will see, but what your telling me that rest doesn't matter is straight up erroneous.

Bottom line again is Mets have no bullpen, No closer, No days rest, Overachieving Players.

Phillies have a bullpen, have a closer, have days rest in the final 3 weeks, underachieving miserabley and STILL only 2.5 out. I would also take pitching over hitting might I add, but This offfense is pitiful as of lately. But they will bust of it, it is just a matter of when.

The mets have to cool down and they aren't even THAT hot, won 10 out of last 15. The Phillies through all of this mess are 7-8. That is only 3 games between red hot mets and ice cold phils. Makes you think huh?

Maybe Cholly and the gang are just playing rope-a-dope, allowing the Mets to become overconfident. When Cholly says the time is right they're going to start putting up 10 hits every night, even against actual ML pitching, and several of them with RISP.

MVP: And the Phillies have an over achieving rotation and an over achieving bullpen. Your analysis goes both ways.

I am don't think we are finished, but I do think its dire.

Once in a lifetime: I think the phils will make him a decent offer before the year ends. The mets Could aford him but wouldnt do it because they have too much money wrapped up in other people to do so. Unless they deceided to "eat" a couple of contracts. As in a couple I mean 10-13 million dollars if not more.

The Mets have a new stadium. Money will be no object.

And this one: That hurts man. An awful lot of posters here are deathly afraid of Pat Burrell going to Flushing. We don't want to lose him but to lose him to the Mets would be like oral surgery without novacaine. And I thought your synopsis of both teams relative strengths and weaknesses was good. You make a case that the margins of error for both teams is razor thin. That makes the Mets 2.5 game lead the deciding factor. There is now way this race is over as some are saying. But for the Phils to battle back they have to start hitting. We've been waiting for that for 6 weeks or so. It's starting to feel like we're waiting for something that isn't going to happen. BTW I put my own brand of reverse curse on the Mets just last night. Very effective. Expect a Mets implosion very shortly.

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