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Sunday, September 28, 2008

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Credit is deserved all around for this title - especially the leadership of JRoll and Moyer, the closing abilities of our Cy Young candidate Lidge (Gillick's attainment of him is easily the best signing by a Phillies GM since the Pope acquired Pete Rose), and the great play of our MVP candidate, Ryan Howard (it was nice that Clint Hurdle got the karmic payback he deserves - finishing 13 or 14 games below .500 - after not selecting the most dangerous man in baseball for the All-Star team.)

All 8 regulars should be in the starting lineup, take their positions on the field, and then be replaced to a standing ovation.

I'm excited to watch Marson today. Haven't seen much of him besides the Olympics.

Let's just clear up these division stuff.

Days in First

Phils: 78 (and growing)
Marlins: 42
Mets: 39

Anyone know where an out-of-towner can view some of the post-game coverage from yesterday?

Sophist if you have MLB-tv you can watch yesterdays game and all the post game activity

I did it last night

Let's hope for a Glavinesque implosion from Ollie today.

What a game. What a day. Someone made this point before, but it really holds true now. Until the Phillies get someone else who can put up at least 40/120, they can't let Ryan Howard go. Under any circumstances.

Jerry, I don't see much of the post-game stuff on there. They have the game, and about 30 seconds of the celebration that came right after the GIDP.

Let's all try and remember that (myself included) when he sucks early next year.

Uup, found some video on there. Thanks, jerry.


It is pouring right now in Upper Darby. Is this game really going to be played?

I don't have internet at home, and could not wait to come on here and see that game thread when that DP went down (The 2nd greatest moment of my life as a Phillie fan, first being Mitchy Poo striking out Bill Pecota). This is why we watch sports. More to do, though. Look forward to hanging around here for it. All month....

Raise the bunting! Love the look of BL at playoff time.

Congratulations, Bush, er, I mean Beerleaguers!

Just got my Division hat. But unlike last year when i got it from the same place the day after, I was way more excited about it last yr. This year as I stood in line to purchase the hat, I looked at it and wanted it to say World Series Champions.

O-L-I-V-E-R.

I just wanted to let you guys know what a momentus occasion this is. It is a very big feat to beat out a team that is better than you for a division twice in a row, and the Phils shoud be commended for it. Seriously. Now, we know you will make the division look bad again, and the Mets will probably win more postseason games than you guys, assuming they get in, but still, congrats! You guys deserved it! And by deserved it, I mean you didn't really deserve it at all. 90 wins should have you six games back of the Mets, and once they excersise their demons and get in this year, things will be back to normal next year.

I saw highlights of the Phils celebrating in the clubhouse after the game, and I was like, "wow, that's how a team celebrates when they know they shouldn't have won."

nice - to watch today without high blood pressure

go fish!!

This, this right here, makes me sad. Not as sad as the post below this though. Well, if the Mets get to the postseason, lets hope for a Phillies/Mets NLCS(or a Mets-Dodgers one)!!!!!!!! If the Mets don't get in, then I don't know who I'll root for. I hate the Brewers and the Phillies.

Thanks again to the Mets winning on Saturday for second year in a row to allow us to clinch on our own.

And a nod to the Brewers for playing just good enough to keep us from clinching a 'playoff berth' first as well.

It's pouring harder today in the NYC area than it has the last three days.

Last time I checked the phils have a better rotation, better lineup, sure as hell better bullpen, better closeryea and 2 DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS BACK TO BACK. Yet the mets are a better team??? ok mets fans go back to choking.

World Series or Bust!

@ 'phils r bad'

thanks for the back handed "compliment" - the best team won the division 2 year going

& when it comes to promises for a division title - only jroll's came thru - carlos b's promise was as solid as bear stearns.

GOOOOOOOOO FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Haha. The Phillies have neither a better rotation or lineup. But, yes, they have a good bullpen. Once again, the Phils worst players are better than the Mets worst players. Congrats again!

NYM EQUALS CHOKE!!!

And I like how most of the comments on here after the clinching was about the Mets. That just shows how insecure this fanbase is about their team, and how they know the Mets are better. I would root for the Marlins, too. The Phailies wan't no part of the Mets.

THE PROOF IS IN THE STANDINGS!!!!!

THE METS LOOK UP AND SEE THE PHILLIES &

NO AMOUNT OF BANTERING BY MUTTS FANS CAN CHANGE THAT!!!

GOOOOOOOO FISHH!

RUMOR --> SANTANA PITCHIN ON 23 HOURS REST!!

THE METS HAVE THE BEST 1 MAN PITCHING STAFF IN THE NL...

BTW, huge LOL to all the Werth bashing on here before he hit a HR. Newsflash, he is not a good nor proven baseball player!! That just in! He is just a product of the flukiness that has befallen the NL East the last two years.

we are simply standing up to bass-ackwards comments from NYM fans who just can't comprehend the baseball standings (or choose not to) or can't go over their right to entitlement....

Also, just to point out pitching wins in the playoffs. Phillies pitching is better this yr than last yr's. It is going to be a very relaxing Sunday no matter what happens.

Don't know where you guys celebrated last night but Philadelphia was definitely rocking last night!

Also, how many frontrunning mets fans do you think will be there today? 55,000 at 1st pitch by last pitch 5,000?????

and what does that make tatis??

I'd actually kind of like to see the Phillies win today. It's not a huge priority, but the more games they can beat the Mets by, the more inner peace it brings me.

I'm also not a huge believer that you nee to rest your regulars when you've got 2 off days coming up. If anything, I've always felt that too many off days in a row can get a guy out of his rhythm. I would start the main guys and let them play about half the game. Let them try to pad their stats a little bit. Why not? The risk of an injury is slim. I do, however, want to see Marson in the lineup and I wouldn't mind seeing Golson even though I'm not a big fan of his prospects. I'd also like to see Jason Donald. Oh wait . . .

But honestly guys, who would we want the Brew Crew or the Dodgers? Personally I think the Brewers are our best option.

The sole Reason being 2 people Joe Torre and Manny. people want to prove they can win without their former clubs.

Some forgotten whinings and pinings:

Whining about Pat Gillick.

Pining for A. Rowland's "leadership."

Whining about the loss of various other ex-Phillies (Germano anyone?).

Pining for a long list of free agents (incl. every relief pitcher under the sun).

Whining about Victorino "hurting the team."

Pining for more Coste.

Whining about Howard's Ks.

Whining about Eaton and Jenkins...oh, wait a minute...

re: jaysonwerth comment

And here's the list of our cast-a-ways - they've been around a loong long while -
until minaya signed them all - they'd be out of baseball and cryin

(apologies to gilligan)

Luis Ayala - Nelson Figueroa - Brandon Knight -Trot Nixon - Angel Pagan - Luis Castillo - Ramon Martinez - Fernando Tatis

those who live in glass houses , etc...

go fish!

all fans b**tch and whine about their teams... otherwise blogs wouldnot exist nor the WFAN & WIP 's of the world.

Mets fans, who obsessed themselves with the Phillies all season, mocking us for talking about the team that we eliminated from the division race?

Go to hotfootblog, see the Phils magic number posted there (unupdated since the last Mets loss) unless they finally took it down.

If the Marlins had been the ones eliminated we'd probably talk about them today. And if they had more trolls.

I don't see how the Mets 3 man and Pedro rotation is better than the Phils, even if you throw Happ in there, if you consider park factors.

Remember how most said you can't win the division if you can't beat your rivals head to head? That was a good one.

My buddy's bachelor party was last night and after dinner a bunch of us were sitting in Angeloni's II in Atlantic City watching the ending. The bar went through every emotion in that last inning.

The one guy kept saying, "Lidge's first blown save."

Zimmerman hit that ball and everyone's heart sunk thinking it was a two run single. When Rollins dove at it and we saw the double play happening the bar erupted.

Two things I want to mention that make this sweet:

1.) I know many are wondering where the Mets trolls are. Who cares about them? They are a bunch of punks who don't have any guts to show up, or class when they do. Let them wallow sweating out today's games. What is better to me is the fact that all those clowns who were declaring the season over for us 15 times in the last month are gone. This is why you stick with a team.

2.) Everyone wanted to run him out of town around July last year. He does some head scratching, or downright dumb things. BUt you can't deny this: Charlie Manuel has led this team to two straight division titles. I think he deserves a ton of credit for that.

Like Jason said, enjoy the day and let's gear up for the Brewers or Dodgers.

Gillick has said that the Phillies are taking 11 pitchers and 14 position players on the postseason roster. That means Hamels/Myers/Moyer/Blanton/Lidge/Madson/Romero/Durbin/Eyre/Condrey/Seanez/Ruiz/Coste/Howard/Utley/Rollins/Feliz/Dobbs/Bruntlett/Burrell/Victorino/Werth/Stairs/Jenkins and either Taguchi or Golson. My guess is that Cholly values Taguchi's postseason experience over Golson's speed, but we shall see.

2008 NL - Standings EAST W L PCT GB STRK L10
x-Philadelphia 91 70 .565 Won 2 7-3
NY Mets 89 72 .553 2 Won 1 5-5

x - clinched division;

ALL THE PROOF I NEED -- THE PHILLIES RULE!!!

Shame - happ won't be on the team... maybe in the 2nd round...

Lineup posted...

Taguchi, LF
Bruntlett, SS
Iguchi, 2B
Jenkins, RF
Coste, 1B
Cervenak, 3B
Golson, CF
Marson, C
Kendrick, P

I love this.

Lineup posted. It is a doozy!

Taguchi LF
Bruntlett SS
Iguchi 2B
Jenkins RF
Coste 1B
Cervenak 3B
Golson CF
Marson C
Kendrick P

Congrats guys. Well deserved.

I know some of you (probably most) want to see the Mets choke today, and that's understandable, but I think a Mets/Phills NLCS would be the most badass NLCS possible. You know it would be a total slugfest and great exposure for one of, if not the most underrated rivalry in baseball.

So, let's see. The Phils finish in first place and the Mets in second two years in a row and that makes the Mets the "better" team. I guess by that definition of "better" (which is usually based on results not statistics or emotions), the Washington Nationals are the "best."

Good point about Ruiz.

The much-maligned catcher made at least two, very nice plays in the ninth last night.

Funny, though. Very few posts about trading Howard or platooning him lately. Wonder why that is?

Truly a beautiful line-up. Chollie must have been reading Beerleaguer cause it reminds me a lot of line-ups I've seen here in the last 50 or so hours.

I think it's amazing how Metsblog spent all year describing the Mets and Phillies to, suddenly, not even mention the Phillies at at all after MC's morning entry before yesterday's game.

Nice lineup... has Coste ever played a position other than catcher in the minors before? A little surprised Ryan isn't starting but I'm guessing we'll see him pinch hit at some point :)

I love that lineup--it would only be more of a phone-in if Eaton got the start.

But what did Marson do to get shoved down to the 8 hole? You're telling me he's not the best hitter in that lineup (outside of maybe Coste)?

I forgot Cholly rule #17: Catchers hit 8th.

It also kinda reminds me of that line-up Lou used on Thursday that just about beat that "better" team.

Damn! I was hoping for Stairs at 1B.

that's a line up lou pinella would be proud of!! lol

phanatic: Coste has played virtually every position besides the middle infield (maybe not CF either) in the minors.

@Phlipper: The other funny thing is that people don't complain about the bit players when the stars are performing. All the complaining about Taguchi in July was ludicrous. The team rises or falls on the performance of the big guns.

any updates on Vic? i hope he gets patched up quick. we cannot lose his intensity and balls-out play during the playoffs.

I just realized that, by PRB's set of definitions, Washington Mutual is a "wonderful" investment opportunity, T-Mac is a "paradigm" of sports announcers, the Titanic's maiden voyage was a "gem" of a cruise, the South Pole is a "great" tropical paradise, and Flushing is the "optimal" place to watch post-season baseball.

phanaticinDC

Coste has played him some 3B. Not sure about 1B, though.

phanatic: During his last season or two in the minors, Coste's primary position was actually third base.

it's nothing special. coste has played 1B for the phils before, too.

Easily my favorite lineup of the year.

Andy: WAMU is actually a much, much better company than JP Morgan, the company that just bought them out. The only thing wrong with WAMU is that their worst loans are worse than JP Morgan's worst loans.

@Afish:

Absolutely. Post after post complaining about Jenkins or Taguchi makes about as much as it would for there to be post after post complaining about at cleanup hitter that drives in 148 RBI. At least that never happened, right?

According to baseball-reference.com, Coste played 204 games in the minors at 1B, 168 games at C, 156 at 3B, 13 in the OF, and 5 at 2B. (Date since 2000.)

Not that it matters, but I think it's amusing how Phils R Bad frames the argument. He keeps referring to the bullpens of the 2 teams as the "worst players on the team," and he reasons that the only difference between the 2 teams is that the Phillies' worst players are better than the Mets' worst players. Could it be that, on the Phillies, the bullpen players are NOT the worst players on the team? Could it be that the very problem with the Mets is that one of the key areas of the team is comprised of its 7 worst players?

But I'll stop picking on the guy because it has become readily apparent that he's about 10 years old, and it isn't nice to pick on kids.

b-a-p: I contemplated using Bear Stearns; I probably should have. Actually, by PRB's standards there are lots of "good" investments right now.

Is anybody having problems accessing the Brewers/Cubs gameday? It doesn't appear on the cubs or brewers website.

is the game on tv?

Squonk: Interesting.

I thought he'd had a little more time in the corner OF spots. It seems like some games might be missing though. That totals 546 games and on a 140-game minor league schedule that's less than 4 years worth of games. Maybe he had some injuries I don't know about.

phlipper - The complaints were about the achievements of those two relative to the money they receive for achieving them. Jenkins was supposed to get the bulk of the time in RF, but didn't because he under-performed, especially relative to his salary. Taguchi was hired for a cool $1MM at a point in time when we were in need of a decent set-up man. Hmmmm... Still are.

I think there are some very valid arguments for claiming that they both eat up valuable roster space and resources that could be better allocated to better (and I mean better not "better") players.

Sam: I'm at work, no TV...

Never mind. I found the brewers/cubs gameday. The link is only on the MLB.com home page.

what channel is the game on?, i cant find it

did mean to kinda doulbe post lol

BAP. The other thing that I find particularly amusing about PRB's posts is that he asserts over and over that the Mutts' lineup is such much better than the Phils'. Over nearly an entire season, the Mutts have scored eight more runs than the Phils.

The point being that the Phils' and Mutts' lineups and rotations are pretty equal in quality, and the Phils' have a superior bullpen. A fairly good explanation for why the Mutts finished second in the division, I'd say.

Steve Jeltz: I am surprised, too, because I was always told Coste broke into organized pro ball, as opposed to indy league ball, as a 3B.

Andy: Just to clarify: my comment about WAMU was sarcasm. I was merely applying PRB's logic. WAMU is the finest company in the world except that their worst loans are really bad.

And SJ: Coste did bounce between "organized" and indy league pro ball his entire minor league career. Indy leagues do not appear on BR.com.

but, phlipper, "better" means something different in Flushing than in the rest of the known universe. So "much better" must really be something different.

Like: cod liver oil tastes "much better" than {pick one: chocolate mousse, beef Wellington, ice cream, sauted Mussels with Chimay ale}

@Andy:

I don't disagree with your comment. My point, and I think Afish's is similar, is that when people get on the rag about players like Taguchi they seem to lose sight of the fact that these guys are, by definition, the worst players on the roster. No matter who they might be replaced with, even if the replacements might be something of an upgrade, they'd also be the worst players on the roster.

All things said, the season really does swing on how the Phils' best players play: Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels, and Lidge. By the end of the year, they all came through on the whole. Hence, a 90 win season and first place.

No Hanley for the Fish. They go with that Maybin+Amezaga lineup that we all loathed.

flipper - what did you think of Howard's performance vs LHP before mid/late August? Some of us pay attention and look for solutions to this team's problems. Howard's continued struggles against LHP -- all the while still batting clean-up -- was a major problem for this team for months. I'm sorry for having ideas. I'm glad that Howard decided to start playing better as the Phils didn't have any one to platoon him with (besides maybe Coste, but that was unworkable for many reasons.)

This is a blog. We brain-storm, think up ways to make the team better. Get over it.

Minor pregame poll? What game are most you you going to be following? Phils/Nats? Mets/Fish? Brews/Cubbies? All 3? None at all, just ROTFFL at all us mindless souls writing about positively nothing?

Game's on the CW, 1:35 start today.

Of course, b-a-p, one might think of all of those companies as good (not "good")investments right now. If I had an extra $10MM right now, I' d dribble about half of it into the market over the next couple months figuring that the economy might recover and I'd make a mint.

The other half I'd put into gold bars under my mattress (and a cabin in the hills stocked with guns, MREs and lots of ammo).

Andy - be sure to stock your cabin with food.

Remember the bad old days, when large numbers of trolls came crawling down the turnpike to CBP? Remember the smug expressions and passive-aggressive behavior? There seems to be less and less of them making the trip lately. I wonder why???

Know what? Michael Jack was right!!! We ARE better -- and the Mutts know it.
If a team folds up once, it may be luck. When they drop dead in September two years in a row at the same time that their hated rival plays their best baseball, thats a trend. The Mutts are personified by their most talented player, David Wright: Too little, too late. Big mouth. No heart.

I'm not sure what I want to happen today. I think the Brewers provide an easier path to the second round, but having a Mets-Phillies NLCS could be awesome. I'll just root for a one game playoff tomorrow, that should be entertaining, especially if the Mets lose at home.

thanks b-mac, this is random but i like the playoff gear (shirts and hats) alot more than last year

Squonk64
Personally I'll be following the Phils, just to watch Sweet Lou and the GG-man.

HHH: The interesting thing I remember is, a few years back when Wright was breaking into the majors, the Mutts fans kept saying how Wright would be the next Mike Schmidt. I haven't heard that lately. Great player, but really, it's a toss between him and Ryan Zimmerman when it comes to talent.

I have a different question, not about the NL. In the AL Central, the CWS have played two fewer games than MIN. If they finish "tied," do the Sox have to make up those games? Does anyone know who they'd play and when?

I actually thought JA Happ would be starting today.

Andy: I admit, the geek I am, I have all three gamedays on individual tabs in my browser window.

@Andy: The White Sox have to make up a game with Detroit in Chicago tomorrow.

I think Chicago has played one less game and the makeup is tomorrow between them and Detroit

Yes, Andy. The ChiSox make up the games, as necessary, to see if they tie or win the division. They stop playing as soon as they are eliminated.

"flipper - what did you think of Howard's performance vs LHP before mid/late August?....It's on record, Sophist. I thought that his OPS was very low, but that he was driving in runners - and that is what you need in a cleanup hitter.

I've been saying the entire time I've been at BL that OPS is, obviously, a useful metric, but not the be all and end all, particularly because it's relevance is not uniformly applicable to different spots in the lineup.

When Howard is going bad against LHP, he really is pretty bad - except that even when he was going badly against LHP this year, he was still driving in runs at a pretty good rate - as I have documented by comparing his RBI to AB ratio against LHP as compared to other leading RBI producers. Not at the top - but not so bad, even against top RH RBI producers. Yes, that isn't controlled for the OBP of the hitters in front of him - but I would assume that all top RBI producers have players in front of them with good RBI.

But here's my main point, Sophist. All players, when they're going badly, suck. But when Howard is right, he can produce as well if not better than all but a handful of players in the history of the game. And that applies to his production against lefties as well.

Why did so many OPS junkies, who talk about sample size all the time, not assume that Howard would probably end up close to career stats against LHP? Which, for the most part, indicate that he's productive enough as a cleanup hitter to not be platooned, and certainly to not be traded.

As for brainstorming alternatives - the Phils didn't really have a good alternative to stick in there anyway. And suppose mid-way through the season they had started platooning Howard. Can you imagine the Phils taking the division without Howard's bat against LHP over the last month of the season? I can't.

David Wright is very, very good at baseball and much better than Zimmerman at this point.

Andy - Yeah, the Sox do have to make up that game if it is necessary, which it probably will be. ESPN has it scheduled for tomorrow at 2.05 EST.

Sophist:
MRE=Meal Ready to Eat

(Those long shelf life military meals that are designed to be opened any time between now and August 18, 3015.)

With $10 million you can do better than MREs or C-Ration's, Andy. Just go to Costco and get real food in bulk.

Mike - I was planning on putting the real cash into armaments and strippers.

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