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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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The comments about pitching and Manny were spot on. When Condrey's first two pitches to Manny were balls with a base open, I turned to my wife and said, "They're going to walk Manny." After Condrey struck Manny out, my wife asked, "Where's the walk?" I said that Manny was "walking" back to the dugout. We both laughed. That's the kind of game it was.

great pic of Bowa. pretty much sums up how the dodgers i'm sure are feeling.

I still can't believe that Manny struckout against Condrey...that sums it up for me.

I suppose I should spend a little more time celebrating the sweep, but I can't. I'm looking over the schedule and probable pitchers for this next week and have a really bad feeling. I'm not sure if I'm setting my sights low, high or just settling by hoping for two splits by Sunday night.

In games where the Phils bat Burrell between Utley and Howard this year the Phils are 4 - 1, with an average of 6.2 runs scored. Coincidence? Or the accumulated wisdom of Beerleaguer? Maybe Chollie has begun to lurk.

It's really nice to see the Phillies play with something resembling a "plan" and actually stick to it. That's something I'd like to see more of.

Just a great series for the Phillies all around. The offense showed some life Friday and Saturday. Sunday night they got it done when they needed to, and last night they did a great job of punching across insurance runs at the end. Also with Feliz Sunday, and Werth last night they are starting to look like the team at the end of last year where guys were stepping up nightly.

Also, that is a very good line-up the pitching helped keep under wraps all weekend. Hamels and Myers did what you want your #1 & 2 starters to do. Kendrick and Blanton both gave gritty, good enough to get the win performances. The bullpen bent a little but didn't break.

Also, on a more encouraging note. I don't know if others have noticed but it seems like Ryan Howard has started standing more upright again when he bats as opposed to looking like he is squatting against a tree. Hopefully he has watched some tape and realized he needed to do something about his stance and it sticks.

The new batting lineup is really paying dividends. It took Cholly about 100 games to figure it out, but he finally did.

Getting high OBP guys like Utley and Burrell in the 2,3 holes, is helping the offense. That will only make Howard better down the stretch (theoretically). Howard usually mashes in September.

Vic in the 5 hole, brings a switch-hitter with speed in the middle of the order. Plus, he has been rock solid since the all-star break.

And, getting Dobbs more AB's at 3B, has been a much needed addition to the lineup.

The Phils haven't had a prolonged 2 week span of good play all year. They may be in the midst of their first "streak" right now.

The offense is finally getting some key hits and moving runners (while taking extra bases as well). The starting pitching continues to be solid. The 3 main relievers are fairly solid most nights. And, Lidge is lights out in the 9th.

That's a winning formula. And, with the Mets pitching issues, that's a formula that very well could put this division away down the stretch.

clout - Nice site. Very funny stuff.

MG's summed up this series nicely. That's why I gave him the floor this morning.

denny - The first time I saw Victorino batting fifth, I thought "Stoopid." Then I saw how it worked. It's a nice place for him, since he can drive in runs and can also serve as a second lead-off hitter on those oh so rare occasions when Howard ends the inning with a K. (And Werth as 6 acts as the 2 to Vic's 1.) I like it.

I wonder if the line-up is Jimy Williams' idea.

We're back to 13 games over, which was and is our high mark for the season. 33-33 since we first hit it.

They must build on this. Sweep the Mutts and at least split w/ the Cubs. Let's focus on the now, not the past.

clout: "This is pretty amusing:
http://www.phillyturkey.com/sports/"


lol eaton demoted to little league.
"You'd think he'd get Little Leaguers out–but, then again, you'd think he'd get minor leaguers out, too," he frowned. "Plus, do you even realize how small an 8-year-old is? Their strike zones are tiny."

I think they got to 43-29 after that Braves sweep...

redbeard: That article on Eaton was hilarious. I can't believe how bad he's been since being demoted to the minors.

Oh, wait--yes, I can. He's the anti-Myers.

Myers' WHIP is scaring me a bit, though; hope next time he can limit the baserunners just a tad. He was like Houdini out there. Liked the result; just not the journey so much.

Umpiring didn't help in this series at all. There were inconsistent strike zones in these last 2 games, plus some other questionable calls by Blue (and napping on number of balls & strikes). Glad our pitchers were able to adjust.

They were 41-28 after the famous 20-2 game, but when they won their 43rd game they were up to 36 losses after lousy series vs StL, Boston and LA Angels...

The new Myers held it together after getting squeezed by the Ump a few times. That's the key to his success, a cool head.

Manny said after that game that Myers is "one of the best pitches in the league" and "that guy is nasty." Quite the complement considering the source.

@ Myers' whip

Yeah it was a bit high last night, but anecdotally I seem to remember a good game from myers is roughly 1k and 1h per inning...I feel that it wasusually that way the last time he was a starter. Most of the hits are singles.

Our announcers talked about how Moyer has been talking to Myers about maintaining his composure.

Of course, being Myers, he initially told Moyer that he had nothing to learn from him as their pitching styles are so dissimilar.

As Harry said, when Moyer wants to talk baseball with you, you listen.

Thanks for the link, clout.

I laughed so hard at the Eaton bit I nearly cried. The lady in the office next door came in to check on me...

Same sentiments here clout. Great article. The best part was Eaton's reactions...because on some level I could actually imagine him saying that. And in the world that Adam Eaton lives in, he'd probably go for it. Who here wouldn't pitch to little leaguers for a cool 8 mil?

Source on those Manny comments??

clout: people seem to prefer the eaton story, however taguchi's coochies was the highlight for me. pure comedy genius.

Sorry, Larry, you mis-read the situation AGAIN just like you did in Philly. The Dodgers just aren't that good.

I feel it is a real possibility that if the offense can stay on the right track with the pithching we have this season it makes this years club more of a threat to go deep in the postseason.One could easily argue the team has come out of the melaise that was last week in great shape to get this thing done.Unfortanately I can't watch games through the week but I'm looking forward to checking out the blogs after work. I hope this is the beggining of the run all phils fans have awaited. GO PHILS

I will admit that I thought Myers was gonna suck when he came up and I'm pretty sure I even advocated him for two cents on the dollar. As such, I would just like to say, "Thank god i am not the gm."

Also if you think jimmy is pressing to make right with the fans imagine how much pressure the mets have to redeem themselves from last years collapse look for a big error out of reyes sorry about any misspelling or errors in punctuation

These last 4 games showed what this team is made of. There isn't the slighest doubt that the Phillies are the NLE champions again. And the Hamels/Myers/Moyer team will be in every post season game.

Met fan here. If you guys think anything is going to be determined by the next 2 games, well I have a bridge to sell you. Even if the Phills sweep the Mets it will still only be a two game swing. And as you guys know, making up two games is nothing with so much time to go. Good luck. This race won't be determined until the last weekend of the season.

I don't mean to rain on any figurative parades here, but I wouldn't go out and put any deposits on playoff tickets just yet.

This past 4-game series was as much about the ineptitude of the Dodgers as it was about the success of the Phillies. LA couldn't do anything right. They helped the Phils out tremendously by getting themselves out in many situations (the sort of offensive futility we've seen from our very own ballclub just recently as a matter of fact).

Let's see how they do against good teams like the Mets and Cubs before planning for the postseason. I think by the end of this week we'll be in a better position to make proclamations.

Ahh, I was hoping beating LA's ace pitcher Billingsley as well as every other game in the series would relieve us of "The other team stunk more than us" posts. Maybe not.

I agree with the Mets fan though that these two games are not as important as the hype will be. Phils made up 2 games in 2 days just over the weekend, so either team could do it in a month as well.

However, if one of the teams wins all 5 games left, then maybe that's too hard to overcome.

EFF: My post was not meant to infer that LA stunk more than us--I'm just saying not to get too high on the 4-game sweep because I saw an LA team that did not play well on either side of the ball. We beat some good pitchers and got some good pitching of our own, and that's something to build upon.

I just want to see some consistency for a good week or so out of this offense before I start proclaiming them NL East winners, that's all.

This Mets series won't make or break either teams' season, but there is a mental aspect to the game and if either team does sweep--well, at this point in the season, it's quite the mental boost and could swing momentum the way of the team that takes it.

I'm hoping for the Phillies, of course.

Steve: While of course you may be correct, if the Phillies do sweep this 2 game set then someone had better start to pump some lithium into the water coolers over at Metsblog because if that happens folks there won't be this depressed since the days that Doug Flynn and Frankie Taveras were an estimable double play tangent in Queens...

Going to the game tonight. Should be interesting as usual when the blue and orange hooligans come to the park...

Good Series overall and it balances out getting swept in LA.

I hope I hope I hope that Jimmy has come out of his funk with last night. That's the Jimmy that I know and love...the guy who goes the other way and gets 2B and 3B with his speed. The BB in the 8th impressed me even more...he's not just swinging at crap anymore.

Love the lineup and I really hope it wasn't a temporary thing just for the Dodgers.

The key difference in Myers has been gaining 2 MPH on his fastball again...it simply makes everything more effective when his fastball is 92 with movement instead of 89/90 with little movement.

I said it before, and I'll say it again, one of the most impressive feats in the game, for me, was when Brett Myers struck out Jeff Kent on 5 strikes and then was not afraid to pitch to contact on Manny in the 7th. Big spot in the game and Brett didn't implode like he would have in the past.

MPN: I loved that too...maybe that was Moyer's influence at work...

doubleh: everyone called the dodgers series a big test before hand. now that the phils swept, we're still waiting to see how they do against the good teams? sorry. we already know. but that doesn't mean they don't need to keep it up.

MPN: I agree on that about Myers and I was holding my breath practically through the entire at bat. Good to see he didn't revert to the Myers of the first half in that last pitch.

Hofmann liked it, too, and wrote about it in the DN: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/hofmann/The_Myers_Moment.html

What I said was not meant to be a proclaimation, merely a possibility that I'd like to see happen. And you are correct, things may be a lot clearer in a week.

Instead of upholding the myth about Dubee...can we just have Moyer make mound visits from now on. Its pretty clear he's the unofficial pitching coach...maybe he can be a player/coach next year.

BobbyD: Don't get me wrong--I saw a lot of positives in the sweep. The games were great. But we've seen this so many times this year already...I guess I'm withholding excitement until I see what they can do against the Mets, because I believe the head-to-head matchups will decide the division. Both teams have similar schedules down the stretch in terms of strength.

doubleh: Thanks, I had not seen Hoffman's piece, but obviously I strongly agree.

Gee, those comments from Bowa sound awfully familiar. Pretty strong statements from a third base coach who knows a thing or two about finding another job.

I flipped forward to the end of the thread, but has anyone heard about the Phils targeting Kotsay? The Red Sox appear to be interested as well.

I'm pumped up for tonight's game already. The last Phils-Mets game I went to was this time last year when Rowand tied the game in the 9th on a 30 foot swinging bunt to 3rd and then Howard hit a walk-off HR in the 10th.

Phillies taking a serious look at acquiring Mark Kotsay? Not too bad an idea....

Kotsay could give us nice OF depth...

more import to strengthen bench this would

MPN: LOL. Yes, there are alot of Met fans that will make it seem like the season is over if the Phils sweep. But there are others like myself put things into perspective. I mean it wouldn't quite be like blowing a seven game lead with 17 left.

cloyd: LOL, Yoda couldn't have said it any better. I agree Kotsay would look good on our bench, preferably taking Taguchi's spot.

Folks calling for Kotsay ought to look into his injury history. He has chronic back problems and will be 33 at the start of next season. In any event, who would he replace? Burrell? And please don't say Jenkins. He's signed thru next year and he will be playing whether you like it or not.

doubleh: Chances of the Phillies paying $8M for a bench guy: 0.

Chances of Kotsay signing as a bench guy: 0.

Kotsay is arb-eligible after this year though still due 1.5M for the remainder of 08. I wonder what midlevel guy he would cost. Phils would no doubt not offer arb after the season and just let him walk without compensation. Dierkes says he doesn't look like a type B anyway.

He better be cheap considering his contract.

clout: He's a rental. He's a free agent at the end of the season whom the Braves have no intent on offering salary arbitration to--and it is said they only want a mid-level prospect in return for him. He's only owed about $1.5 million at this point.

He would replace Jenkins in the short term. You could let him walk in the off-season. He does have a limited NTC, however. No one knows for sure if the Phillies are on that list of teams he would reject.

Evidently there are 8 teams listed under his NTC.

Phils' records against teams over .500:

Boston (1-2)
Toronto (1-2)
LA Angels (0-3)
NY Mets (4-9)
Florida (5-7)
Chicago (2-1)
Milwaukee (1-1)
St. Louis (5-4)
Arizona (4-3)

Leaving them with an overall record of 23-32 or .418 against teams over .500

Which makes the Phils 49-27 against teams under .500. In fact the Phils are under .500 head-to-head against only two teams in the NL...but they are the Mets and Marlins. Again, they are .500 against the Brewers thus far and finished .500 against LA and SF.

You'd think Kotsay would waive his NTC to sign with someone at least sniffing contention for the postseason. It can only help him once he reaches FA if he helps to propel that team at all.

Andy: "In games where the Phils bat Burrell between Utley and Howard this year the Phils are 4 - 1, with an average of 6.2 runs scored. Coincidence? Or the accumulated wisdom of Beerleaguer? Maybe Chollie has begun to lurk."

Actually... the Phils are 6-4 when Burrell hits between Utley and Howard this year with an average of 4.8 runs scored.

They are 5-3 when Utley, Burrell and Howard bat 2-3-4 with an average of 4.9 runs scored.

doubleh: I will be shocked, amazed and stunned if the Phillies pick up Kotsay, even as a rental for $1.5M. It's not the way they operate. To the extent that Jenkins loses time, it will be to Werth. And, since Taguchi is a righty, Kotsay doesn't work there either since he's a lefty. He'd be taking ABs from Dobbs.

Depending on how much the Braves want in exchange, I think Kotsay would be a fine addition as a rental. Considering how thin our OF core is. Without Jenkins we're looking at So Taguchi and Eric Bruntlett to give us production late in games.

Kotsay would be an enormous boost to the roster, and a considerable upgrade on Jenkins. The question is whether Atlanta would consent to trade to a divisional rival. I'm pretty sure that the last time the two teams traded was Millwood/Estrada, and only then because the Braves' hand was forced.

You don't not get Kotsay because So Taguchi is right-handed. Sheesh.

clout: I know it isn't the way the Phillies operate, but if it does leave you shocked, amazed and stunned...then in the end it'll be worth it just to see the look on your face. If the Phils do make this move, please please please post a pic of said shock.

Since the Sawx also covet him, I don't see it happening myself, but more depth on the bench wouldn't hurt. I haven't seen any RH bats that have cleared waivers that could help the Phils and by sending Marson and Donald to the AFL, the Phils have made it pretty clear that they aren't getting called up.

Against a tough righty, Kotsay (RF) and Dobbs (3B) would arguably both get starts.

Well...here's one reason to trade for Mark Kotsay

http://umpbump.com/press/hbw-in-search-of-the-elusive-jamie-kotsay/

RSB: You're not thinking straight. You think they'll PH Kotsay vs. a LHP, which is currently Taguchi's role?

doubleh: I didn't mean to dash your Kotsay fantasy, but just thought I'd add a dose of reality.

Clout - I largely agree. If you want a Taguchi replacement, Kotsay is not the guy. But you did forget about Andy Tracy -- Kotsay would take AB from him as well.

That's kind of a joke.

Anyone have Kotsay's splits for this year/last year available?

clout: No, the point is that they wouldn't shy away from Kotsay because they already have Taguchi. Taguchi currently serves no role at all. Jenkins served a role (although he failed to excel at it) and that role is now filled by a career minor leaguer. If Jenkins is going to be out for any period of time, then Kotsay would be much better on our bench than Tracy and would be more valuable to this team than Taguchi.

Payback. They took 4 from us in the Revine, we took 4 from them at The Bank.

Payback. That's baseball, people. I preach patience among you people who have none, and we certainly have had a season which compromises our patience.

But as Yogi said, "it ain't over until the fat lady sings." We have no better example than last year. Patience.

THIS AIN'T FOOTBALL.

Patience, please.

CJ: This is exactly the reason to get him and the only sensible one I've seen: "If Jenkins is going to be out for any period of time, then Kotsay would be much better on our bench than Tracy and would be more valuable to this team than Taguchi."

But there are too many mopving parts: How long will Jenkins be out? Would the Phils be willing to shell ou $1.5M? Can they get past his no-trade clause?

Kotsay 2008:
vs. RHP 305/358/457
vs. LHP 253/290/326

Kotsay 2007:
vs. RHP 238/307/338
vs. LHP 130/180/152

Kotsay Career:
vs. RHP 283/340/419
vs. LHP 280/328/405

And perhaps the most important question: Are they happy enough with Werth's performance vs. RHP? If the answer is yes, then there's no way they're paying $1.5M for a pinch hitter to upgrade from Andy Tracy.

clout: If Jenkins will be out until Sept. 1st, then that's long enough because rosters will expand. There will no longer need to be a choice between the two. I'm not sure the Phils would be willing to shell out that money... although they've taken on salary already this year, right? Finally, I'm not sure if the Phils are part of the NTC or not... nor am I sure the Braves would trade him to us.

Its interesting how times have changed. With Pedro Martinez on the mound against Jamie Moyer i am expecting a loss... Can pedro surprise me? I hope so. I also hope the phils bats slow down. Im predicting Metsblog to be on suicide alert tonight, and back to normal after tomorrow nights game, but who knows. We lost when you threw happ against santana and then won three straight. Damn baseball is a beautiful game. Frustrating as all hell, but beautiful!

CJ: The fact they are not bringing up the 2 minor league bats who actually might be of help - Donald and Marson - tells you all you need to know.

Since Aug. 8th, Werth has played virtually every game and has a .907 OPS. I'm not sure what his splits are over that time, however.

His OPS vs. RHP is up to .764 so far this season. Kotsay's is .815 this year.

clout: I'm not sure that's the same discussion. The Phils are not alone in wanting to delay a player's first taste of the majors. Neither Donald nor Marson have proven an ability to hit a lick off major league pitching. Kotsay has. Perhaps Donald and Marson would... but I'd much rather take my chances in a pennant race with someone who has been there.

CJ: Which comes back to my original question: In what role? To replace Andy Tracy? Not happening. To replace Jenkins? Werth already has. To replace Werth? Given his recent performance, I'd be shocked. There will have to be some kind of specific logic to make the FO spend $1.5M and give up even a mid-level prospect. They're not gonna do it if they think the guy is coming in for 35 ABs.

Here's a logic the FO WOULD use to make such a deal: We think we can sign him to replace Burrell next year and save a bundle so let's get him in here now and see how he fits.

clout: don't tell me I'm not thinking straight. The point of getting Kotsay isn't just to nail him to the bench, but to start him against some RHP. In which case they would be free to use Werth as a PH over Taguchi. And in five days, they'd be free to keep Taguchi and whoever the hell else on the roster anyhow.

RSB: So you think they'll spend $1.5M and a mid-level prospect so they can bench Werth. Nope, still not thinking straight.

I know that I'm reacting here while his stock is on an uptick, but I am now in favor of giving Feliz almost every 3B start the rest of the way. Dobbs should only start against TOUGH righties when the Phils have a fly ball pitcher starting.

Dobbs is, and always has been, a full-out butcher at third.
In comparison with Dobbs, Feliz saved about 3 defensive outs last night, and probably averages 1.5 saves per game (VERY subjective proclamation).

I am always frustrated when a corner position player cannot turn himself into an adequate defender. (See Carlos Lee and Ryan Howard) It seems to be just a matter of effort and desire. (See Wade Boggs and Albert Pujols)

If Rosenthal reports that the Phils are kicking the tires on Kotsay, then they probably are. He's not making it up. If they made a run at Sabathia and Ramirez, why would it be so far fetched that they would try to get Kotsay???

Yeah, I think they might, clout, being as Gillick has done absolutely nothing to improve the bench all season, being as they just lost out on Ross, being as they're a half-game out and looking for every advantage they can get. I do understand why you'd be skeptical that they'd go for it, being the perennial chintzes they are, but I wouldn't be so quick to rule it out. I think the question lies more with whether the Braves would be a willing trading partner, or if Kotsay himself would approve it.

Bonehead: Your name is very appropriate. Please cite one instance in the pst month when a Dobbs error led to a loss. Your notion that Feliz gets 1.5 defensive outs per game that otherwise wouldn't occur is beyond idiotic.

Personally I'd rather have a proven major leaguer who can play a decent OF on the bench instead of Taguchi or Tracy. That's my thought...if that costs a million bucks for one month it migth just be worth it. He doesn't replace Werth or Jenkins he compliments them and provides bench depth. I am stunned that you are against replacing Taguchi or Tracy clout.

I'd rather see Donald up but it doesn't look like it'll happen.

RSB: You are more optimistic than I.

Feliz does have much better range than Dobbs at the hot corner...he gets to balls that Dobbs just looks at as they're going by him.

NEPP: Where did I say I'm against acquiring Kotsay? Read my posts. I'm explaining the many reasons why it is NOT going to happen. Do you think it is?

RSB: I agree - if the Braves and Kotsay were for it, then I think the Phils would/should grab a player like Kotsay. Does he make this team better? Yes. Thats the only questions anyone on here should ask. Currently, we have 2 lefties off the bench (Dobbs Tracy). Tracy shouldn't even be in the bigs and Dobbs isnt even on the bench half the time. So if you can get a player with no strings attached besides a million bucks who hits RHP, its a good move.

NEPP: And how often this season do you think that's happened? And does that make up for the huge gap in offense?

clout: I'd think you were Bill Conlin from the way you sound today if I didn't know you like stats and blogging so much. /sarcasm

I think the very fact that this discussion is going on is a sign that somewhere deep in our consciousness, we all believe the FO's MO has changed ever so slightly.
That alone to me is progress.
Baby steps, ladies and gentleman.

thephaithful: Would Donald and Marson make the team better? That's the only question anyone should ask, right?

doubleh: What makes you think Bill Conlin doesn't post on blogs?

I know Dobbs doesn't turn that DP last night like Feliz does. He probably doesn't even get 1 out of it.

Dobbs' #s off the bench are better than his starting lineup #s. As long as there are pitchers dumb enough to throw Feliz first pitch fastballs in the strike zone, he's your starting 3B

Actually traffic on this site has been slow lately so I, er, Jason, thought we should shake it up a bit today. Consider yourselves shook.

To clout:

Sorry I was skimming through the posts...must have misunderstood yours concerning Kotsay...

On Feliz...maybe once every other game. Over the course of the season it would matter but the current platoon seems to be working as Feliz is seeing the ball well right now and needs breaks for his back anyway.

I think Donald would help the team off the bench more than Tracy. I dont see Marson coming up this year...Jaramillo is more likely.

Ruiz is hitting well in the 2nd half anyway...its kinda a moot point now.

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