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Sunday, September 14, 2008


I suppose I could take sides in the clout/PhillR dispute about what is the easiest route into the play-offs, but considering that last year I (along with very many other BLs) waffled several times as the final weeks unfolded, I will sit this one out. I will note, however, that last year clout continued to maintain unswervingly that the best way for the Phils to enter the playoffs was to win the division. (For what that's worth.)

Which, as far as I'm concerned says: do not discount the possibility of a Met collapse. It has been done before.

Jimmy Williams enters dugout with line-up card and pen...

Williams - So, Skip, split the lefties?

Manuel - Nope.

Williams - Stairs instead of Burrell?

Manuel - Nope.

Williams {reflects thoughtfully with look of consternation} How 'bout we start Myers in the first game, then?

Manuel - Nope.

Williams - So, the gut's telling you not to make any of these changes?

Manuel - Nope.

Williams - Then why, Skip?

Manuel - Cause the rest of the Beerleaguers want me to do those things. And we know that they're never remotely right.

Williams - Did you say "remotely?" Do you mean that you are c-c-cl..."

Williams goes speechless while Manuel gets a strange (but somewhat arrogant) smile on his face.

Manuel - Why do you think there are so few posts by him during games?

The answer to the question which is the most likely route to the playoffs on date X? isn't resolved by what actually happens. What actually happens is simply one event -- it may be probable or improbable.

Sophist - Kind of like the cat isn't dead until you look into the box?

OMG, Andy -- that is like a scene from the Twilight Zone when the character puts all the pieces together... time stops while his brain contemplates its continued existence in such a irrational universe. c-c-clou....

Bad news. Mets are down a run in the first inning. It makes it less likely that the game will be blown by their bullpen.

So depressing.

sophist: Exactly right. And phillR keeps distorting what I said. What I said was this: The Phillies will NOT win the WC. If they make the playoffs, it will be as division winners. That's what I said 2 weeks ago. phillR and flipper the yapdog can change that into "best chance" or whatever they wish, but they're, as always, wrong.

I'll support clout on the path-to-the-playoffs stance being easier through the division. I think the crux of the argument is not that the Phillies can't catch the Brewers but that the Astros are in the picture as well and really hot (and who knows about the Cards if they beat up on the Cubs, who have looked poor lately...).

Great start, Blanton.

Get Eaton up!!!

this just in, blanton stinks.

thanks again, pat


C'mon redbeard, he got Hardy to know, in between the bombs.

so far, shane dives for a ball you obviously shouldnt dive for, jimmy makes a terrible throw, chase juggles a ball, blanton is being blanton...

not a good start at all.

This just in.. Josh Outman pitched 5 innings of 1 run ball yesterday.

How many bad Phillies pitchers can you name who's last names end with "t-o-n?"

I would trade Blanton back to the A's for Outman straight up at this point...

Blanton is just pitching like he has all a AAA pitcher.

And, we traded Cardenas AND Outman for this guy? Awful.

We have AA and AAA pitchers, who would have been better than this guy has been. And, would have come a whole lot cheaper too.

Not liking the way this game is starting out. I'm prepared to give my opinion that the best chance the Phils have of entering the play-offs in 2008 is to travel to the bizarro universe where they acquire a set-up man in the off-season, pick up Sabathia at the deadline instead of Blanton and bat a righty in between Utley and Howard all season.

Yup. Much better chance in that universe than in the current 2008 NL East.

Conestoga grad Bush feeling right at home at CBP...

Sorely needed.

atta boy howard. 3-6-3

If Blanton keeps the pitch count low maybe he can stink for six or seven innings today.

If we make the playoffs then I'm ok with the Blanton trade. If we don't then it's as idiotic as I said it was at the time.

But Andy, weren't we tied with the wild card winner at the end of the regular season? So if the Mets hadn't collapsed, we still could've made the playoffs. And in order for us to win the division, we needed an epic collapse on the part of the Mets. So I still say, if you run that season over a thousand times, we make the playoffs more often as a wild card than as a division champ. Now, as for this season, we're closer to the Brewers. The Brewers have been sinking of late. That said, the wild card race is very much a three-team race and the division is just us and the Mets - so I'd have to say we have a better chance at the division.

some lame flailing at bush' curves so far. nice ab by vic tho

Tray - I still like our chances in the bizarro universe.

Nice job Dobbs. Damn it.

updated ELO-adjusted playoff odds


Mets - 81
Phils - 19


Brewers - 51
Phils - 20
Astros - 18
Mets - 7
Cubs - 3

ruiz with nice contact. too bad.

Damn. Ball didn't drop. May be one of those games.

Tray: I know you don't think this is true, but the Phillies did NOT win the Wild Card last year. They won the division. And I'm not sure I trust your psychic powers that they would've won the WC in the 3-way playoff with Colorado and San Diego. You, as usual, have no clue what would've happened in such a playoff.

the lords of babip not on phils side so far

This discussion about last year and if the Phillies will make the WC or win the division is stupid. I just hope they make the playoffs, I don't really care how.

However while Tray makes the point about he Mets collapse last year, don't forget the Rockies getting hot and winning something like 16 of 17 games. Both were situations were unlikely at the time.

At least the inning eater looks like he might actually eat some innings today.

On the bright side, Blanton is economical today. He'll lose the game, but save the bullpen.


Clout- The Mets are winning today. If we come back and win both games today, and the Mets still win, we'll be tied in the WC, but 3 back in the loss column for the division. Yet you still think we have a better chance of winning the division?

TMac just can't adjust to action in the field. He's rattling on about Goya foods when Utley hits a double.

chase looks like he just stuck out when he gets a double

keep in mind it was the phils who gave the mets the initial shove off the cliff

Pat needs to do something here.

Can't actually watch the today but from box score it looks like he has settled in a bit. Although putting Burrell and Vic back-to-back in the lineup is a big question mark. Both guys have been cold (Burrell - Arctic winter cold and Vic - crappy Nov. day in Reading cold).

I guess that counts? Blah

i suppose you could call that something

burrell the rally killer

Ugh. Wouldn't have been the worst thing to start Stairs in left today and put in Jenkins later if you needed a lefty bat/defensive upgrade.

At least they got one back but the should have gotten more. I guess Stairs is starting for Burrell in Game 2?

WTF, for god's sake.

"And I'm not sure I trust your psychic powers that they would've won the WC in the 3-way playoff with Colorado and San Diego."

I didn't say we would have won though. By the way, if this is a bragfest about who's the better prognosticator, I would remind you that you wanted to face the Rockies. Of course, maybe the Padres would've swept us even more decisively.

Blanton reverting to Eaton form.

Well, there goes that run. Brewers back-end of the rotation beating our back-end. Simple as that. Could be the difference in making the playoffs or not.

blanton is a joke, shouldnt be starting in a pennant/wild card race.

Cameron has really panned out for the Brewers. Shored up their hole in CF with really solid glove (I still think he is a better CF than Vic) and ok average/decent pop.

I spoke too soon. Blanton will suck, lose the game and still require three pitchers to finish out this calamity.

Pat Gillick reminds of Wiley Coyote - "Super-genius."

Jack: I made a prediction. I stand by it. If you'd like to make a prediction, fire away.

Cameron's HR total doesn't seem impressive (25) until you consider that he has done it this year in only 388 AB coming into today. Really a pretty big step up over his historical HR/AB rate.

Phils were kind of touting that CBP would do the same for Feliz. Might have had a chance if Feliz's back hadn't been hurt and severely curtailed his power stroke in the 2nd half.

Tray: You're right about Rocks/Padres. I just didn't think the Rocks could stay that hot that long. I was wrong. And if Delgado continues to hit 1.000+ OPS the rest of the way, I'll be wrong there too.

The problem with all these prognostications is that, if the Phillies don't sweep this double-header, they'll be, AT BEST, 2 games out of both races with 14 left. To get into a tie, either the Mets or both Houston & Milwaukee would have to collapse badly, or the Phillies would have to play the last 14 games at a level that they haven't shown themselves capable of playing at in the last 4 months. Unless the Phillies can come back & win this game, then win the night-cap, chances are very strong that neither clout nor PhillR will be able to say "I told you so."

Dodged a possible big inning there.

burrel sux. sorry girls & geeks, you shut down for a full third of a season esp when its a playoff race, you are weak

When they make the movie of this season, Porky Pig will play the part of Joe Blanton.

Feliz OPS vs. RHP: .655
Cameron OPS vs. RHP: .786

Feliz was never going to have a Cameron-type year for the Phillies and his back injury has nothing to do with it.

Andy - Yeah every year Gillick's tenure so far has been kind of mixed including this year (Plus side - Lidge, Durbin, Romero, Eyre; Neutral - Blanton, Feliz; Negative - Jenkins, Taguchi).

I would still say he largely nailed the pitching moves (unlike last year when it was a disaster) but didn't do much to shore up the positional players and the offense has taken a hit. People will say he didn't have money but he signed Jenkins & Feliz to decent contracts.

"Unless the Phillies can come back & win this game, then win the night-cap, chances are very strong that neither clout nor PhillR will be able to say "I told you so.""

See, b-a-p, that's what I like about you: You actually came up with a silver lining for losing this game!

Blanton got lucky there. If he can pitch at least one more inning, hopefully 2, and the offense wakes up this game is still winnable.

Yep. Feliz actually had 12 HR in the first half. He only has one in the second. Of course, he had 346 PA in the first half alone - and let's not forget his .303 OBP.

Chooch DP?



Dobbs! Ag. Even when they drop in, things find a way not to turn the Phils way.

Whoops. Guess not on the Ruiz grounder.

But, hey, that Feliz has some "pop."

That was a good play by Hart. Can't blame Dobbs.


Just to let you guys know. I did not type that gibberish above. I think what happened is that my 3 year old randomly hit keys on my keyboard & then hit "Post."

Clout - I didn't think Feliz would hit 20 HRs this season but just a point

Before Injury - 12 HRs in 336 ABs (went on DL 7/24)
Post Injury - 1 HR in 53 ABs (first appearance back on 8/21)

Feliz wasn't a power machine before but it was pretty consistent with what he has done during his career. Since he has come back though, he just doesn't have the same pop in his bat.

Just give us ONE freakin' break in this game.

This game is frustrating.

Is this thing working? My posts are not showing up -- other than the one typed by my son when I wasn't in the room.


They have got to stop doing that stuff. When runners get into scoring position, good teams score them occasionally.

Just like the last two months, this looks like another game where the offense today the day/night off. If you go back and look, besides from a power perspective, this offense has been pretty bad in August/Sept (even in runs scored/per game they were 12th in the NL and I think they were 11th/12th coming into today's game).

qs from blanton. i will take it

The inning eater has done his job for a change.

People are moaning on Blanton but consider this:

1. He has pitched better than Lohse did down the stretch last year. Phils' just scored a ton of runs in his starts to cover up some poor performances.

2. Blanton has been a clear upgrade from Eaton. Really no arguing that.

3. All things considered, Blanton has given the Phils exactly what they needed today. Yeah, he gave up 2 HRs but it is a warm day in CBP against a team with some power through out the lineup.

Blanton has kept the BBs to a minimum and might even give the Phils 7 innings today. If the Phils can score 3 runs, that is the offense's fault.

Yeah, it looked pretty terrible the whole time but the whole reason they got Blanton was to give them 6 innings of 3-run ball. The idea is to win the games when he does that.

Offense has to start to show up now. Can't go into the bottom of the 9th inning need 3 or 4 runs. Plus, Torres has actually been pitching better as a closer than people realize. My bet is the if Phils need more than 1 runs going into the bottom of the 9th, its over.

Meaningless RBI's to tie the game!!

Where has this Ryan Howard been stashed all year?

when the big man comes to the park, he puts the team on his back

MG - Not that I disagree with your overall point, but many things have not gone the Phils way at the plate today. There has been a BABIP problem.


That's one way around BABIP problems. A HBP and a HR!

That may be the biggest hit of the Phillies' season. Howard is definitely making a late-season push for a huge arbitration demand.

Big Man delivers! Shades of Sept. '06 when he carried this team.

And Burrell is making a late-season push for a 2-year, $20M contract instead of the 4-year, $48M contract he might have gotten if the season had ended 6 weeks ago.

"Black hole" in this lineup right now is Vic/Burrell. I hope that we see Dobbs start at 3B in the night cap but Burrell riding some pine for either Stairs/Jenkins.


Also, be very, very glad you don't have to listen to the unbelievably bad Brewers announcers. More of the "our-guys-can-do-no-wrong" BS. Now they're complaining about CBP being too small after Howard's HR. You know, the same park that yielded a short HR to Milwaukee just a few innings ago.

give thanks to the bandbox

I think the hatred toward Blanton is more directed towards the front office who got him instead of a number 1 or 2 starter like Sabathia. If they were going to get a topline starter they could have just held onto their prospeccts and not weaken the already bad farm system to get another 4th starter. Luckily Myers has stepped up, so if Blanton can just keep pitching quality starts the trade won't really be that bad, unless Cardenas and Outman become all-stars or something.

Perhaps this has been addressed before, since it seems to me like a burning question: Why do the Cubs have Harden and the Phillies Blanton?

Durbinator - Yeah. Really won't be able to judge the full impact of the Blanton trade for a few years considering how Outman/Cardenas develop and what Blanton likely does in a Phils uniform next year.

One large zero already was the Garcia trade. Floyd looks like he has settled in a nice starter and will be a building block of ChiSox rotation for next 3-4 years at least.

For one, the Phils didn't have/weren't willing to give up players of the same caliber as Sean Gallagher, outfielder Matt Murton, infielder Eric Patterson and catcher Josh Donaldson.

Outstanding job by Blanton.

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