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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

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One thing struck me last night about the time I stopped hyperventilating over Howard's blast. Why were the Braves pitching to him in the first place. The man is en fuego. I know the conventional wisdom says don't put the potential winning run on first base. And yes I know it was a lefty/lefty thing. But wouldn't you have still rather taken your shot at the arctic PtB.
It occurs to me that dropping Burrell down a notch or two as some have suggested here makes a lot of sense right now. Especially against the Braves in light of Bobby Cox' stated Pavlovian fear of Victorino. If he regards Vic as highly as he says he does, the Flyin Hawaiian might afford Howard a little protection. At least for now against the Braves anyhow. As someone correctly pointed out earlier, Ryan is currently looking remarkably like he did in September of 06. At that time everybody basically waved the white flag and stopped pitching to him. He was lucky to see a single hittable pitch a game. Remarkably, as often as not he parked it. And of course he was walking a couple times a game. He really showed incredible discipline for such a young guy. It seems that at the best possible time he has recaptured that discipline. He is the most dangerous hitter in the game right now and I think it's only fair to assume that opposing managers are about to take the bat out of his hands. It is imperrative that Charlie puts somebody behind him that other teams have to respect. At the very least, Howard should spend a lot of time on base from here on in.

@donc -- i think Ned Yost has the answer to that... oh wait...

donc, it confused me too. Maybe it was some sort of reverse Beerleaguer jinx double whammy type of thinking. You know, Howard has been SO hot, he's due for someone to strike him out. And PatB has struck out several times already this game and is mired in a horrendous slump. He's overdue to park one.

Jason, sounds like a great day at the ballpark. I remember hours of shagging balls during BP as a kid and teenager and it was always hot and boring. After many, many years away from actually playing the game, when I was a coach of my son's team I jumped at the chance to shag balls during BP, warm someone up, etc. I hadn't remembered how much fun some of those mundane baseball jobs were.

Brilliant! I wish I could get through to my fiance how much baseball players go through physically during a 162-game season. "But they just stand there!" she says.

You hit played third and hit a double? Did Abraham Nunez call you and ask for tips?

Mr. Wetzel,

I just wanted to write in and tell you that i really enjoyed that post; very very funny and insightful. The convo with Kruk is hilarious.

That said, Lets Go Mets!

Sincerely,

Joe Bacci

Wonderful post as usual JW. And thank you for saving it for the final weeks of this insane season. It's hard enough now to make it to 7 pm with only work to distract me. Your posts and the daily banter on this site are about the only thing that make the 162 game season manageable. Constantly filling Beerleaguer with new and insightful posts must be awfully draining at times, much like the boredom of that 189th BP session. I know I'm not alone in saying that those countless hours you spend in the cage for us are much appreciated.

A big "Amen" to inky's post above.

Salud, Jason & Beerleaguer.

Yes I'm not the only Mets fan who will post when our team is in a rut. Its a miracle.

Loved the post, Jason, especially the dialogue with Kruk. I sure hope you didn't get between him and his cookie. That could be lethal.

Kruk is awesome I just don't enjoy baseball tonight much anymore without harold reynolds

Thanks, everyone. It's a pleasure to serve you.

I guess Kruk gave up the nutrasystem? awesome article, I'm extremely jealous.

Concerning tonight, Jurrjens in his last 10ish starts hasn't been nearly as good as he was early in the season. Hopefully our O can stay hot.

More concerning tonight: JA Happ is our starting pitcher. Better start warming up the long relief now!

Maybe, for once, the Phils throwing out a rookie pitcher will work in their favor...instead of them being the team that gets stilted by a rookie pitcher.

Except yesterday's rookie pitcher, of course.

Jason, good stuff. I met Krukker a few years ago and he was funny as hell.

Let's get some Happ predictions going. I feel 6-inning, 5-hit, 3 ER, 3 BBs, and 5 Ks. He gets a ND and our bullpen wins it.

JW - If you showed a slick glove at 3B, Cholly might just consider starting you at 3B during the middle of a playoff stretch run in Sept if you were on the Phils' roster. It has been the only requirement needed now for 2 years in a row.

@MG -- I think we need to see JW's Righty-Lefty splits, first.

per clout

We can't call up JW until we know what his BB/K rate is.

What's his OPS+? That's park adjusted, because we all know what a bandbox CBP is; the frackin balls just fly out.

Lineups are in... an inexplicably, Pedro Feliz gets another start against a RHP. So much for the platoon. Greg Dobbs has an .873 OPS in September. Pedro Feliz has a .614 OPS in September. Perhaps someone could mention this to Manuel.

Rollins
Utley
Werth
Howard
Burrell
Victorino
Feliz
Ruiz
Happ

same lineup as last night

yo

On the other side... Happ faces a lineup split down the middle:

R
L
S
L
R
L
R
L
R

I'm still dumbfounded that Feliz is starting instead of Dobbs. So much for the platoon!

Dobb's OPS in September is .873 and Feliz's is .614. Apparently that one extra play he makes a game is worth a whopping 160 OPS points.

CJ, Feliz is 3-3 with a jack. I am more woriied about Burrell since the Braves would be nuts to not pitch around RyHo.

Burrell is 2-6 off JJ.

Was looking through some BP chats just now, and found this:

Joe (Washington, DC): OK Steven, it's over. If you're Brian Cashman, what is your five-point-plan for the off-season?

Steven Goldman:
1. Take the Phillies job after the Steinbrenners keep me dangling as punishment for this season's results.
2. Find a comfortable home in the Philadelphia suburbs, maybe on the Jersey side of the Delaware.
3. Spend a lot of time thinking about whether to re-sign Pat Burrell.
4. Address the team's longstanding third base problems; try not to confuse Joe Crede with nostalgic feelings for Scott Brosius.
5. Take Joe Torre out for cheesesteaks when the Dodgers visit.

Check this out guys. http://metslifers.blogspot.com/2008/09/memo-to-ny-mets.html

From a METS fan, who is attempting to pump up his team. Look at what he says about the Phillies.
--
"If you are not sure how to play hard, with energy, with absolute conviction that you're going to will yourselves to win, than please, watch those Fightin' Phillies play. Maybe you will learn something from them. Because when the chips are down, and their backs are against the wall, those guys go for it and with a vengeance. They thrive off it. Those are the times when they shine, when they rise up from the carnage like gladiators and unleash a barrage of clutch hits and crucial saves. Down 7-4 in the 7th inning with 12 games left? Bam! No problem, they're coming right at ya and shoving it down your throats. Losing 7-0 in the 5th? That's nothing…they storm right back and steal the game, ripping your guts out in the process. Down by 3 in the 9th? Piece of cake. They patiently and methodically stage a rally and before you know it, your 3 run lead turns to a 3 run deficit, leaving you bewildered yet again and your fan base in another pile of puke."

phreed - this is where Dobbs could come in and bat 5th behind Ryno.

Mets seemingly are obsessed with "heart and character" and that their players don't have while the Phils' players. BS. Can we please stop this ridiculous notion that it is because of "heart and character?" that the Phils won the division last year and have again retaken a very slid lead.

Last year, it was because this team's offensive continued to hit as it had all seasonn while the Phils caught lightning in bottle with their 4 relievers for a month (Geary, Gordon, Romero, Myers) who were lights out. Meanwhile, the Mets offensive woes from about mid-season on largely continued and their bullpen melted down.

This year, the Phils are still continuing to get the above average/decent pitching they have largely gotten all season. The difference this year is that JRoll and Howard have basically really picked it up the last 3 weeks and this has helped to turn around a stagnant offense.

Maybe there is a kernel of truth that JRoll and Howard tend to "plays more when it matters" if you look at their splits in Sept but this notion of "heart, character, and grit" is largely nonsensical dribble hyped by sport writers looking for an human-drama angle and fans trying to attach some type of emotional interpretation to the results.

MG: What about "dynamics" and "clubhouse leadership"?

I acutally wrote the "Memo" so thanks for reading. MG: Are you actually saying that heart and character do not play a role in this? Certainly you would agree that some form of human emotion does factor in to comepetive sports. (see Willis Reed, see the G-Men's run to the Super Bowl sa-weet!) How about confidence? Your Phils have it, Mets do not - what's the result? My team tightens up in must win games (see Nats 1 Mets 0). Your team keeps fighting.

Now, having said this, there are still 10 gams left, and we are tied in the loss column.

Maybe we meet in the NLCS.

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