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Friday, August 29, 2008


So, Werth goes back to a platoon? How do they make room for Stairs, Castro back down?

Castro would be my guess. A Werth platoon or give Burrell a breather to start off.

Welcome, Matt Stairs. Can you pitch the 8th?

Myno- heh.

Some of you have memories like elephants.

From Wikipedia: "Growing up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Matt Stairs showed athletic ability at an early age, playing Beaver League baseball a year before his age eligibility and excelling in hockey."

I did not know about the Beaver League.

Hockey is wussier than being a punter for Nebraska, but clearly Stairs has "grit."

From The loss was only the Phillies' third in the last 12 games, but in all three, a reliever has recorded the decision.

What is the answer to the 8th inning?

Durbin's August: 14.2 IP, 7 ER, 1.761 WHIP, .315/.406/.389
Romero's August: 8.1 IP, 2 ER, .987 WHIP, .172/.294/.172
Madson's August: 14 IP, 6 ER, 1.214 WHIP, .269/.309/.404

"Hockey is wussier than being a punter for Nebraska"


I think Darin Erstad would like to have a word with you. Alone.

But he is a .444 career hitter in Citizens Bank Park, with six home runs in only 27 at-bats.

The world wide leader with some quality info for once.

Don't know if anyone mentioned this but I remember talk of Ryan Howard getting a day off last week and people mentioned that he's played every game this year (granted with pinch hit at bats).
Then I saw this in the Penn State Daily Collegian this morning: Ryan Howard has the longest current consecutive games played streak in the majors at 248.
Just wondering if it surprised anyone else as much as it did me.

Replaces our main man So T. on post season roster ??(optimistically)

Well, that Ryan Howard bit was making the rounds a month or so ago, and we all know he hasn't take a break since.

I vote for Romero for the eighth. At least we've seen him get out of some eighth innings before.

Well, Stairs is better than Andy Tracy or whatever minor league journeyman they would have called up.

Not too excited about this team getting even slower with less defense and older though.

Still better than nothing and at least they made some kind of a move. Werth definitely has to be the full time starter in my view though and Stairs can get at bats here and there, mainly as a pinch hitter.

"Hockey is wussier than being a punter for Nebraska"

Strangest, most obviously inaccurate comment ever.

Day Game at Wrigley today- maybe hittin' season makes a return appearance- Pat the bat in particular could use a return of the hot bat syndrome.

can Stairs pitch the 8th inning or atleast use his vet status to tell the skipper that the ace on the mound who is dealing is better than anyone in the pen?

If the bullpen is spent (as appears to be the case), the addtional lefty off of the bench doesn't matter.

If the Phillies lose the remaining 3 @ Wrigley, it's over, especially against the backdrop of losing ground @ Shea next weekend (I think the best they can do there is take 1 of 3)

It seems like some sort of weird twist of fate that up until just a couple of months ago, both Harden and Blanton had spent virtually their entire professional careers with Oakland. Then (when Billy was holding his fire sale) they were traded within weeks of each other -- each to a playoff contending team. And today, both pitchers (whom I expect are VERY familiar with how the other pitches) face each other on the mound.

For me, a big A's seems almost surreal.

Can't wait for todays game.

What was Hamels' gun speed in the 7th last night? He didn't look spent to me, no matter what Cholly says.

Marc H: I definitely don't think things are that bleak even if they drop the next 3. We have Washington to get some momentum back while the Mets have the Brewers (lets pray for a rainout in Pittsburgh this weekend so the Mets will have to face Sabathia). It's obvious that anything can happen against the Mets next weekend at Shea. Plus, we finish vs. Washington and Atlanta while the Mets will have to finish against the Cubs and Florida. Lets just hope the Cubs haven't clinched it by then so they won't be resting everyone. Speaking of Florida, hopefully they can do some damage this weekend.

Stealing this game today would make up for the last two. We can't afford to go on any losing streaks this late in the year.

phargo -
"I did not know about the Beaver League."

I really, really, wanted to make a gender joke there; but modest prevents me.

so i was doing a bit of research on matt stairs and i'm actually kind of surprised with some of the info i found on him.

I found this one bit to be pretty interesting:

Noted baseball analysts Bill James and Joe Posnanski have theorized that Stairs is probably a far more talented hitter than his career stats suggest. Stairs didn't have 500 plate appearances until age 29, at which point he recorded 100 RBI seasons and an adjusted OPS of over 130 two years in a row- and never saw 500 at-bats again. James contends, "You put him in the right park, right position early in his career ... he's going to hit a LOT of bombs." Possibly, Posnanski contends, enough to be worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.


You think the "bandbox" is the right park for him?

so i guess it was dumbee who told manuel hamels was "spent" and couldnt go back out there for 3 more outs.
i hope manuel stops listening to him, asap.

MikeD: So, what they're saying it, we got Stairs 15 years too late?

Just kidding; I'm sure he's better than So T. I would still like another arm for the 'pen, but I'm afraid there's nothing left in the bargain bin.

Stairs = strictly value village crap at his cuurent age and not much better when he was younger. Typical Phils move.

Oh, and whoever said the season's over if we lose 3 of 4 or get swept--ever heard of the NL West? The Avoiders have lost their last 7 games and are still only 3.5 games out of first place.

On Stairs: The upsides: He is a very patient (Billy Beane-type) player. He will watch a few pitches and foul some off. I've seen him hit well situationally as well. (I lived in Oakland when he played for the A's.)

The downsides: Defensively he's like the second coming of Greg Luzinski. (If I were Joe Morgan *spits* I might say he'd clog up the bases, too; but right now the Phils can use all the base-clogging they can get.) He's also getting older. We all know that senility (unless you're Jamie Moyer or clout) (scratch that: unless you're Jamie Moyer) sets in at 39.

I believe the acquisition of Matt Stairs is a step in the right direction for the bench.

Sorry - I couldn't resist.

Plus, he's not a punter.

I'm not longer able to get behind Moneyball references

matt stairs to this team is like running out gas in your car and while walking to find a gas station you find a funnel on the ground. it only helps if you find some gas.

Stairs is a nice bat off the bench but he is a serious liability in the field at this stage of his career. With Werth playing well lately against righties, I'm guessing Stairs replaces Jenkins as #1 lefty bat off the bench.

"matt stairs to this team is like running out gas in your car and while walking to find a gas station you find a "

gray-haired, three-legged moose and you say, "Hey, what do I need a car for?"

I'm guessing Stairs' main function will be getting anounced as a pinch-hitter for Burrell against RH relief pitchers in late innings and then getting pulled before a pitch for So Taguchi when the other team inserts their LOOGY. That and spitting stuff on the dugout floor.

flipper: This is for you

Pat Burrell

2006 .258/.388/.502
2007 .256/.400/.502
2008 .258/.378/.533

Isn't that amazing?

8/28: 8th inning, 3 run lead, 5 runs allowed (Madson and Durbin)
8/27: 8th inning, 1 run lead, 4 runs allowed (Seanez and Lidge)
8/21: 8th inning, 1 run lead, 2 runs allowed (Durbin and Romero)
8/13: 8th inning, 2 run lead, 2 runs allowed (Durbin and Romero)
8/12: 8th inning, 1 run lead, 1 run allowed (Durbin)

Some scoffed at the idea that the 8th inning was harder... but these relievers continue to prove me right. Who knew how valuable Tom Gordon really was?

Burrell might have to come in as Stairs' late-inning defensive replacement.

CJ: You don't know what you've got until it's gone. Despite blowing up from time to time, Tom G. understood how to pitch in the setup role and actually knew how to "pitch," and not just throw.

What's everyone's opinion on who should be used for the setup role since no one is coming to the rescue from outside the organization?

who closes for the pigs?

I blame the recent bullpen meltdowns on all the Tom Gordon haters.

redbeard: Have the Pigs been in any save situations this year? The closer there (and at Reading) must be like Bigfoot.

You know, there for awhile, Ryan Madson was thinking he was really good. Now he's back in form. By the way, didn't he look neat with his bald head?

Maybe the fact that KK almost never makes it more than 5 IPs has slowly killed the bullpen? Combined with lots of early season work becausee of Eaton and Myers troubles and that could be it.

I sort of feel bad for Madson. It was his birthday yesterday, too. What a sh*tty way to spend your birthday. It'll be tough to forget that one.

I sort of think if Cole had continued to pitch, he would have given up fewer than 5 runs. Charlie needed to give the BP the night off after all the usage during the Mets series. I know they are treating him like he's fine china, but what's the point of saving him for the postseason if you don't make it to the postseason?

I still think Romero, even with his numbers vs righties, is the best 8th inning option...he did after all pitch the entire september just about last year in the 8th inning for the phils and giving up like 1 run.

Time to give him the 8th.

romero should be the 8th inning guy, with Madson and Durbin filling in when absolutely necessary. What other option is there? The only guy that could even do it in the organization is Carrasco and he would have had to have been succesful in the ML bullpen for the last few months or so to even be trusted so much so there is no other option as Carrasco shouldn't even be on the roster.

NEPP: Phils have been near the league lead in starters innings pitched this year.

From David Murphy's column yesterday:

1) The Phillies bullpen has pitched 396 2/3 innings this season, the third fewest of any bullpen in the National League (Arizona, Milwaukee)

2) The average National League bullpen has thrown 419 innings.

However. . .

1) Chad Durbin has thrown 73 2/3 innings, the second most in the NL.

2) Ryan Madson has thrown 68 1/3, tied for sixth-most in the NL.

3) Madson and durbin have combined to throw the second-most innings of any pair of relievers in the league (Washington's Joel Hanrahan and Saul Rivera have combined to throw 147 2/3).

So, even though Phils BP has been used less than most, it's the same three guys who carry most of the load. Charlie's going to burn them out.

doubleh: That's a good point.

Madson's last outing is the kind that can send him into a funk, too. Hopefully he's grown up a little bit and learned how to shake off a bad day. He was serving up beach balls early in the count and just didn't have it.

NEPP: Yeah, it's all Kendrick's fault. Maybe they can trade him for CJ Henry.

Sadly, it's those same couple of guys that Cholly's burning out that have given this bullpen the good reputation it's gotten so far this year.

Condrey and Seanez aren't exactly the foundation that this 'pen built on.

I'd like to see Eyre get a little more time.

CJ: "NEPP: Phils have been near the league lead in starters innings pitched this year."

Stop confusing NEPP with facts.

You actually have to blame the offense a little bit on the overuse of guys like Madson and durbin.

Because the starters have done a very good job getting to the late innings. Because the offense has done a piss poor job of scoring runs, it's typically high leverage situations when the bullpen is being called. WHich forces Charlie to use Durbin and Madson more instead of your Seanez or Condreys.

The gordon injury of course hurt because it moved everyone up the list. Had gordon not gotten hurt, he would have anyway, because there have been so many close games.


"Some scoffed at the idea that the 8th inning was harder... but these relievers continue to prove me right."

Um, facts don't back up your assertion. The 8th inning is tied for 4th place in number of runs given up by inning. That's even after two horrible back-to-back 8th innings.
Go to BaseballReference Phillies splits pages to see for yourself.

Is it just me, or is clout angrier than ever? I've never seen him jump on people with such ferocity. Sure, lots of Phils fans can be irrational and even stupid (myself included), but compared to other blogs I've been to, this is a bastion of knowledge and respectability. If clout was a Metsblog reader, his head would probably explode.

OPS against in the 8th inning:

Madson .791
Durbin .770
Condrey .705
Romero .645

The numbers from Madson and Durbin are unacceptable. Condrey's numbers are misleading because he only pitches the 8th in blowouts. This suggests that Romero is best choice for setup, although guys with poor BB/9 ratios make risky setup men. But the FO never made a move to acquire insurance for Gordon, so there's little choice.

king myno: I don't read blogs like Metsblog. Would you go swimming in a cesspool? My remarks yesterday were directed to the idiotic Mets fans that flooded this blog.

Ugh. I guess would rather see Stairs PH than Taguchi or Bruntlett but that isn't saying alot. Yet again the Phils make a move because it fits into their budget. One thing I do like is that the Phils didn't add another hacker in the line of Feliz to the lineup. Stairs can be pretty patient at times and his a decent amount of BBs/long ABs.

Does anyone else remember Conine coming up small in a few key situations in later in Sept in '06? I sadly see a repeat for Stairs.

"I really, really, wanted to make a gender joke there; but modest prevents me."

Andy, I have to concede I am teeny bit dissapointed as I threw that one nice and soft and right over the plate and nobody swung at it. If only the Phils bullpen could be so lucky.

A little late I know, but Darin Erstad has to be a stud- he's a native North Dakotan!

DavThom deputized me to say that...

I may disagree with the conventional knowledge - it is no so much that the Phils miss Flush (who really who pitched well for about a month this year) as that they never really adequately filled that position to begin with.

Yet again, the heavy utilization of Madson and Durbin shows that:

1. The Phils' bullpen has been strong but paper thing all year with no meaningful contributions from anyone in their farm system.
2. Cholly is just inept at handling a bullpen by just utilizing the same guys again and again. I don't have the time to go back and look but I am more than willing to bet that are at a number of occasions this year where Madson/Durbin were used in situations where the Phils were up big/down big (say 3 or more runs).

MG: Conine faded badly down the stretch in '06 going 11 for his last 45 (.244) and 4 for his last 26 (.154) when the playoffs were on the line.

I like Stairs WAY better than Conine at this point in his career. As you note, Stairs has good strike zone judgment, something this team desperately lacks. He would be worth a roll of the dice starting in RF against tough righties, especially in a park like Wrigley where you don't have to cover that much ground in right.

To back up the poor utilization of bullpen arms:

- Cholly was pitching Madson earlier this year in a bunch of situations where the Phils were up big or down.

In fact, 17 of his 62 appearances have come when the Phils were up or down at least 4 or more runs. This is type of work that should go to your backend guy like Condrey. Instead Cholly, foolishly used Madson this year in situations where the Phils were up or down big and it is probably going to cost them in Sept. as Madson might have a tired arm.

Sorry my post on KK was mainly tongue-in-cheek to clout...I got pulled away by work before I could continue posting.

I'm trying to stay positive, but WTF?! is going on the 8th inning. That kind of crap will lose you a playoff spot. Never, and I repeat never, should Ryan Madson be used in crucial situations like that. I don't give a crap about stats in this case, my eyes tell me he screws up far too many times in situations similar to that last night.

I like the Stairs trade, it's an upgrade to the bench and that's that.

NEPP: You're forgiven.

Stairs or Taguchi...hmm tough choice.

If anyone is wondering why Hamels didn't go out for the 8th Todd Zolecki of the Inquirer on WIP said that he asked out of the game.

Booooo Cole Boooo!

Must have been spent...that sucks. He is well over his highest IP in his career now though. If he finishes strong he could easily end up at 220-230 IP which would be 50 over last season...worrysome.

From Zolecki's article:
Hamels said he was done.

"Once you get to 105, 110 pitches, you're pushing the envelope, especially this late in the season," he said this morning at Wrigley Field. "Obviously, I'm leading the league in innings. My body definitely has taken a toll. If I was maybe around the 98 to 104 mark, I possibily could have gone out. But just after that last inning -- that was a 20-pitch inning, I believe -- it took a toll. I knew with my space coming up in the order, I'm 0 for 2, it's not like I'm really doing anything special. I trust the bullpen 100 percent. That's why we have the best bullpen in the National League with the best ERA. Unfortuantely, sometimes it doesn't happen. You can't put any blame on that. It's just kind of the circumstances."

So, again, physically he felt like he shouldn't have pitched the eighth?

"No," he said. "Physically, no. I don't think it would have benefited, just with that last tough inning in the seventh. I guess your energy the way it is, I know I have to put in quality inning after quality inning. If I know I'm not fresh enough to do that, why put myself in a (position) not to benefit the team and also have to look at it from the standpoint that I have another start in five days?"

Said Dubee: "He said he had enough, so what can you do? I'm not going to send a guy out there that says he's done. He said he was pretty spent. ... He was the third hitter (in the eighth). If there were two outs and nobody on, he would have gone out there. But again, he had seven quality innings and he had enough. He had enough."

Glad to see that someone is mindful of the workload and wear & tear on Coles arm - even if it is Cole himself.

Should Cole even been remotely conscious of his pitch count? If he's spent, that's one thing, but the fact that he knew his own pitch count kind of bothers me. It's not as if you get up around a certain number of pitches and your arm automatically shuts down or falls off.

I wish the Phils would lock this kid up already so he could continue to develop into the ace he can be instead of worrying about his big contract. Sheesh.

Lay off Hamels, can't blame him for this. It wasn't that he was too tired and that he wouldn't pitch, it's that he knew he wouldn't be effective. Cole's no pussy, he'll push himself, but he is self aware. Lay off the kid.

lekh - Exactly. Hamels did his job including battling through the 7th and he has pitched a ton of innings this year. To criticize him is ridiculous.

I'm sure Hamels wasn't coming off the field in the 7th saying..."well I'm at 106 pitches so I can't go..." He probably said that he was spent then went to the clubhouse to get his arm wrapped and went over his start...You don't think the team has every pitch charted for him to look over at that point...

He's been a horse all season...if he said he's spent, he's spent.

Yo, new game thread.

tv broadcast says castro goes in the deal.

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