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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

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Coste's play and lack thereof in Sept. may make the decision easier. Of course, his 2008 against LHP was still .296/.363/.519. I'd like to see him in the DH spot.

Ricky Bottalico, Mitchy-poo, Buster Olney, and somebody else on ESPN (I forget who) all said that Chris Coste would get the DH start in tonight's game.

I don't know if any of their rumors are substantiated, but I think it's a move that makes the most sense for tonight's game. I guess we're lucky we will only have to face Kazmir once in Tampa (and therefore only have to use a righty DH once).

I think if Charlie had anyone halfway decent, he'd use them over Coste. Taguchi and Bruntlett do not fit that criteria, so I gotta think The Author will be DHing tonight.

The real question is, how will Charlie manage to have BOTH catchers in the lineup hit 8th? Cause God knows they can't hit anywhere else.

FWIW, ESPN says Coste.

I'm more interestd in how Cole throws tongith than in who our 8 hitter will be. The obvious choice vs. righties is Stairs, who wi ll come up with at least one more big hit for us before all is sadi and done.

Coste doesn't bother me. He gets 2 hits and an RBI that's a good day.

If we win tonight we win the Series in 5.

Speaking of World Series, I went to philly.com looking for a nice Daily News front or back page and it doesn't mention the Phillies on either side?!? They have a photo of Matt Freakin' Ryan on the back page? On this day??

Not sure if it was mentioned yet, but Zolecki is reporting that the Phillies roster has been set & it's the same as the previous rounds.

GoPhilsGo - Where do you see that on ESPN?

I'm here sitting at work and I can't focus on anything I'm doing. My stomach is doing backflips. I really need these games to start because my employer is playing me to have internal arguements over who should DH.

Go Phils.

Myno, On Baseball Tonight. It was an "unconfirmed" report, but they seemed pretty certain. Tat doesn't mean, of course, that Cholly won't change his mind.

I just found my "Team To Beat" poster that Jason posted last year.

Well, Cholly's gut has gotten us this far, might as well keep riding it.

I'm more interested to see who bats in the 9 hole. I'm hoping it's not Coste who would be an albatross on the base paths if he gets on in front of the top of the lineup. I also don't think they'd drop Vic down since he has been hitting so well. I'd guess it would be Chooch, Petey, or whoever is in LF if Burrell DHs.
It also occurred to me that it's nice that Cholly has mixed the lineup around a bit this year. It will hopefully prepare the team mentally for situations like this where the lineup gets rearranged out of necessity.

Assuming then that Coste is the DH, my best guess for the batting order is...

Rollins S
Werth R
Utley L
Howard L
Burrell R
Victorino S
Coste R
Feliz R
Ruiz R

Coste, Bruntlett, or Taguchi? I roll the dice and hope the Coste can work the count and get a fastball or two he can handle tonight for a base hit. Starting Bruntlett or Taguchi as the DH would be one of Cholly's more foolish moves in a while.

Man, today should be a state holiday in PA, I can't focus on work, my mind is on tonight's game. Most excited I've been since I was 13 about the Phils (13 in '93).

Maybe the Daily News has a special section?

in the last thread, i predicted: "phils in 6 behind one last hurrah for the old man."

this was a typo, meant phils in 7. would be a storybook ending to have moyer out there on the hill throwing one last gem to end a long run of philly futility. anybody else want to venture a wild prediction, not just for the series but for an individual performance?

I bet there's a wrap around World Series preview in the DN.

I am completely unable to focus at work.

On the DH lineup.. is there a theory on that? Do you just put your 3 worst hitters 7,8,9 or do you try to slide a Victorino in there somewhere?

So just for Sh!ts and giggles what are the arguments for why the Phils are going to win this thing?

Looking at the numbers and the talent it all translates to Manuels boys being the underdog. Are the intangibles all we really have to hang our hats on?

I figure if the offense can muster ten runs in the first two games its game on for the City of Brotherly Love

I liked the idea of Coste if we had a third catcher, but maybe not now.

Here's why: You can't PH for Ruiz now without losing the DH.

If you look at the lineup above, there is only one hitter who would be PH for: Dobbs for Feliz.

Maybe late in the game, Stairs could PH for Ruiz in a crucial spot, but that would mean moving Coste to C and losing the DH.

Of course, I suppose Stairs could PH for Coste, but he is much more of an upgrade over Ruiz than Coste.

Maybe it's okay, but as we've seen, one of the big advantages of this team over the season is being able to deploy good PH in important spots. With the lineup with Coste, there are very few options to get the right matchups.

Yup, the DN has a wrap around and its a shame if the cover isn't online. It was a timeline of photos going from Robin Roberts to Tug to Sarge to Lenny to Shane. It was pretty cool.

Just read a chat with a Rays blogger on PhilliesNation.

Apparently Maddon can make some dumb moves, but won't in the WS because he didn't do so in one game, namely Game 7 of the ALCS.

And even though they blew a 7 run lead in one game of the ALCS they won't do it again because they didn't do it in the regular season.

I love sports fan logic!

bathtubhippo: As far as wild predictions go, how about So Taguchi walkoff to win the series in game four or five. That or a Brett Myers walkoff in the 15th inning with an empty bench.

Kruk: I think the Rays have a slight advantage between the lines. But not an overwhelming one. And I love the way the Phils have carried themselves throughout the postseason. I've never seen a local team so damned determined and loose at the same time.
And the Rays have lost 2 out of 3! It's all about tonight. Go up 1-0, nothing to lose tomorrow, come home in good shape.

We can win this series just as any random team can win 4 of 7 at any point from any random other team in any season.

Did anyone predict Myers being the hitting star in the NLDS?

Why did Mike Schmidt go from the least clutchy player ever in the 80 NLCS to clutchy MVP in the 80 Series?

You can trot out all the projections you want but the randomness of it all will make it what it is.

I honestly think these teams are evenly matched, but the Phils have a slightly better bullpen and that will be the edge that wins the WS.
Yes, So will get a big hit!

Great point EF. How the hell did the Bucs beat the Eagles in the '04 NFC Championship game? No one gave them a chance. It's payback time.

Please please please don't let it be Taguchi. I can't stand to see him waste one more postseason at-bat. I keep thinking back to the failed bunt attempt in Game 1 and the shallow fly he hit in Game 4, both in the NLCS. Both times he went to the plate, I had a gut feeling he'd fail. I have a gut feeling agian now about him playing at all in the World Series. I disagree with this playoff veteran stuff. He had 316 at-bats in the regular season in St. Louis in 2006, plus another 15 in the postseason. This year, he's had exactly 95, including the postseason. He had 4 at-bats in the NLCS and saw a total of 7 pitches, not a great ratio (although its true as a pinch hitter you're not supposed to take as many pitches).

Sure, the argument goes the other way, because Coste has only had 1 at bat this postseason. But he had 3 times as many at-bats as Taguchi this year (274 if you're wondering). Hitters need at-bats to get into grooves. Taguchi hasn't had nearly enough to be able to hit the way he did in 2006. He may be a good player, but he hasn't been given the chance all season. I don't think the World Series is the place to start giving him a shot.

I'm really not liking that 7-8-9 black hole in the making right now. It's unfortunate that the DH actually makes our lineup weaker. In NL play, the pitcher is an assumed out on both sides, so if you get something like Myers' crazy slugfest in Game 2 against the Dodgers you're lucky. Now you're expected to have a ninth man who's sole job is to swing a bat. While I think this will not be too much of an issue with a Dobbs/Stairs DH, I worry about our terrible RH DH options.

Let's just hope Cole throws another gem.

RE: Daily News

There is a wrap around World Series section today.

The think the So fanclub is really stretching it. He hasn't done much of anything for the Phillies (one clutch hit in that 8-7 comeback win vs the Mets) all season. I'd be just fine with him being a cheerleader for the rest of the lineup for the entire series.

I think the Phils win it in 6, with Myers getting the win in Game 6 after taking a loss in Game 2. I'm betting Cole wins both, Moyer gives us enough to keep us in where we pull out Game 3 late, and they lose Kentucky Joe's start, after getting down early.

Collegephan, there isn't a chance in hell that So will DH.

Oh goodness. 5pm on the west coast can't come early enough.

Was CC the last left starter that the Phillies faced?

I'm on the Taguchi bandwagon. I vote he'll get a 2-run double down the 1st base line. Why not?

KofP: the DH cannot make the Phils lineup weaker. Your comparison has to be the Phils lineup with a DH versus a lineup with a pitcher.

Phils lineup W/DH > Phils lineup WO/DH

Someone made this point yesterday.. but not DHing Coste cuz we might lose the DH bc of the chance we pinch hit for Ruiz or he gets hurt is a foolish way of thinking. Worst case scenario we just have to use our PHers once or twice in an extra inning game, or Brett Myers. Not the end of the world, and not worth 3 or 4 guaranteed Bruntlett at-bats.

Oh, and if you can't be unreasonably optimistic 8 hrs before the start of game 1 on the WS, then your heart is made of stone.

Say it ain't SO !

Spitz, that's right about CC.

So...grand slam from Vic?

Backstreet Boys are confirmed to do the anthem for game 1. What the hell?

UD - I wasn't saying weaker than a lineup with a pitcher. I was trying to say the DH tips the 9th batting spot in the Rays favor.

But I think this club will find ways to win. Has all year. I'm personally waiting for Howard to smoke a ball off that speedy turf and watch the Rays infield stare in amazement.

"Backstreet Boys are confirmed to do the anthem for game 1. What the hell?"

That kills by optimism more than having So batting cleanup and Eaton the Game 1 starter

All I hear on the radio in NY is bits about how lame this years world series is looking. It gets me so fired up to hear that crap - god forbid its not NY or Boston in a championship.

If you care about baseball at all this is actually a great series if you focus on the teams and not just the Cities they represent.

When it comes to sports, living in NY is a living hell.

Does that mean Boyz II Men for Game 3?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJwoNSLRwg

Has anyone seen this clip of Matt Stairs? Its ridiculous.

Why Can't Us???

not news, PHIinBK. though i think it's not just a NY thing, i really don't think casual fans care when the WS isn't in their town. even when it is boston or NY, fox and espn might get excited, but average fans only care when their team is in.

I trust Charlie's gut. Because it's bigger than mine.

The Rays are trying to appeal to the Keys gay population with the Backstreet Boys national anthem. Earlier in the postseason they had David Archueletta.

"Most excited I've been since I was 13 about the Phils (13 in '93)."

I was excited by the Phillies when I was 13, too. Unfortunately, that was 1964. Two broken hearts that year, the Phils and my first real crush dumping me for another guy.

Most of us are trying to get through the day without screwing something up because our heads are elsewhere, and others are already chewing Rolaids or chugging the Maalox. Put away the antacids, Beerleaguers.

Somewhere in the bowels of Tropicana Field, young Prince Valiant is going thru his normal game day routine. He'll get stretched out, go over the Tampa lineup in his head for the 100th time, and have a few conversations with coaches and teammates. The Prince has been preparing for this moment since the day he realized he has "the gift" (you know, that same gift the rest of us knew we didn't have at around age 12).

He's ready, Phillies fans. He won't fail you because he won't fail himself. You'll see.

This just in:

PETA who for two years has voted the Philadelphia Phillies and Citizen's Bank Park the best food for vegan fans is again taking the Phillies to task. The new investigation comes on the heals of the Shane Victorino, SPAM, Hormel Foods, pig farm in Iowa incident during the NLCS.

PETA is investigating the sacrifice and torture of 30 or more ducks in a voodoo cult type fashion in an attempt to gain favor in a silly baseball game. A spokeman stated they have learned many if not all of the ducks were mutilated, some having skull symbols placed on them, others having earings stuck into their heads.

What was most disturbing to PETA was the jocularity that the Phillies displayed after the ritual killings. "The squeeking of the poor ducks brought me to tears", said one advocate, "it's not over yet."

-----

Indeed it's not and Phils in 6. Get a duck folks and enjoy the ride.

Oh, and you gotta start Coste vs. Kazmir

"but not DHing Coste cuz we might lose the DH bc of the chance we pinch hit for Ruiz or he gets hurt is a foolish way of thinking."

Brian,

The problem is not losing the DH if Ruiz is PH for, it's Manuel not PH for Ruiz in the first place. I would still do it, but my main argument is that if you are going to do it, it should be Marson over Taguchi,

re: Kazmir

The Phils cannot allow Kazmir to escape in the first two innings. Most likely, it'll come down to a runners in scoring position with two outs, and either Coste, Ruiz or Feliz at bat. At that point, Kazmir is going to try to throw high inside heat on them. Since his location is always tentative during the first couple of innings as he figures out the mound, he'll miss on one of his fastballs and leave it over the plate. Those three batters will need to come through and punish him for those mistakes. If it's a mistake changeup, I'd expect Feliz to bang some runs in. If it's a fastball, I expect Coste to pound it up the middle. Ruiz, I unfortunately don't have too much confidence against Kazmir, but he's exceeded expectations recently with his bat and could run into a mistake.

Kazmir might try to prevent doing his usual two-inning, 40 pitch walk-a-thon by attacking the plate early on with a slightly more controlled 92-92 mph fastball. I expect Rollins, Victorino, Utley and Werth, who are all good low pitch hitters to punish him from the top of the lineup.

The objectives tonight should be to chase Kazmir early and go deep into the bullpen so that the Phillies hitters can get as many looks off the TB bullpen which would be beneficial for the rest of the series. Of course, that's the game plan for every game, but in today's game 1, i think things line up particularly nicely with Kazmir on the mound.

hopefully, the Phillies will be thanking the Mets for trading Kazmir to the Rays after tonight after years of ridiculing them for the V.Zambrano trade. Oh the irony.

I love it, Harv.. Cole's massive ego won't let him fail, love it.

"Why Not So?" = the new "Why Not Us?"

I'm hoping for a Game 5 (if needed) anthem from Schoolly D.

I've gotten no work done today and I have no fingernails left. What's going to happen when the game starts?!

It's "Why Can't Us?" Get it right (or rather wrong) folks! :)

kdon: That's a wash because we won't need to pinch hit for the pitcher anymore. I don't think we'll be in a desperate situation needing to PH with Ruiz.

kdon: Also... we only pinch hit for Ruiz once in the 9 postseason games so far... and that was in the 7-2 loss to the Dodgers.

"Speaking of World Series, I went to philly.com looking for a nice Daily News front or back page and it doesn't mention the Phillies on either side?!? They have a photo of Matt Freakin' Ryan on the back page? On this day??"

Wrap or no wrap, the editors are asleep at the wheel. That's a horrible decision.

Key to tonight: making Kazmir throw strikes and being patient at the plate. Yes he strikes out a lot but he throws a ton of pitches, can be wild and with the exception of the last game he pitched, has been erractic with a climbing ERA the past few months.

If Charlie uses So Taguchi in the DH spot, I will root for the Rays. I swear to God.

Been really busy with work this week and haven't posted much. But work gets set aside tonight, right around, oh, let's say 5:00 or so.

Prediction time: Phillies in 6. Series MVP is . . . (drum roll) . . . Pedro Feliz.

no one is saying Taguchi will be DH, i'm just saying he'll (finally) get his clutch PH at some point at the series.

BAP - Feliz for MVP? talk about unreasonably optimism!

kdon: You would never pinch hit for Ruiz until the late innings anyhow. After doing so, the pitcher would come into the lineup but would be 9th in the batting order. If his spot ever came around again, there's a 99% likelihood the game would already have been handed off to the bullpen, in which case you'd use a pinch hitter anyhow. I would have kept Marson over Taguchi also, but the decision to keep Taguchi should have zero impact on in-game strategy.

unreasonable optimism, oops. me can't speak good.

The lineup I want
1. Rollins
2. Werth
3. Chase
4. Burrell
5. Howard
6. Victorino
7. Coste
8. Ruiz
9. Feliz


The lineup we will get
1. Rollins
2. Werth
3. Utley
4. Howard
5. Burrell
6. Victorino
7. Feliz
8. Ruiz
9. Coste

Ira: Other than not splitting up Utley and Howard, I'd be fine with the lineup you have. Feliz has some power against lefties, so he should be hitting above Ruiz, who basically either gets singles through the right side or does nothing. Also, I wouldn't mind having Coste's better OBP in the 9 spot, giving Jimmy and Werth hopefully a couple chances to hit with guys on base.

ESPN predictions:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2008/news/story?id=3656534&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1

Oh, and F*ck Jim Caple. Better yet, Garza and Caple can f each other.

With the Rays bullpen strength being all lefty... I think there's a chance Charlie splits up Utley and Howard with Werth.

Rollins
Utley
Werth
Howard
Burrell
Victorino
Feliz
Coste
Ruiz

That's our best lineup tonight, IMO.

Caple says:
"In fact, about the only way I see the Phillies winning this series is if Tampa Bay's pitchers make an error in every single game.

Look, it's nice the Phillies won the National League pennant and that Warren Giles trophy will look good in their office. But now they're playing with the big boys."

P*dwhacker.

i don't see manuel changing his lineup now, though he probably should.

the only difference between ESPN 'experts' and us is that they get paid to babble nonsense. we babble for free! f*ck jim caple.

doubleh: Don't worry about Caple. He's all about hyperbole. Here is what is posted on Wikipedia about him -- "His writtings are inconsistent with the truth. They also lack logical reasoning. He has never had any correct post season preditions. [1]"

My favorite part of the day: when people get really pissed off about what random people write in columns that affect absolutely nothing. No offense people, but if I were an objective observer, I'd be picking the Rays as well. They're the better team, and the better story. Who cares what national writers say?

Those comments in the Wikipedia article were probably added just this morning by some irate Phillies fan.

Jack: I don't care what the national media says--I know they are all FOS--but it's just the way that Caple wrote that about "now they're playing with the big boys" stuff that's just a tad over the line about a team that made it to the WS and won their league title.

doubleh: Yeah, I hear what you're saying, but I kind of agree that the AL is clearly the superior league, and if you wanna call that the "big boy" league, well that's just a turn of the phrase chosen by a writer. Again, I just find it really funny when everyone gets pissed off about something that affects neither themselves nor anyone involved in the playing of the games.

BAP: LOL, probably. But if it on the internet, it must be true!

In the end it all comes down to a certain amount of randomness, as posted by East Fallowfield. The teams appear to be pretty well matched. I could frankly care less whether the rest of the country and media are interested or not. Or whether we get less credit from the pundits because we're playing a (supposed) "second tier" team like the Rays or a known heavyweight like Boston.

You only pass this way once every 15 years or so, so we need to enjoy every second of this postseason for what it is.

I've been wondering every day whether the Phils will benefit by Utley, Rollins, Vic and the pitching staff getting a little extra rest; or whether the Rays will take a page out of Boston's book when Boston met the supposed buzzsaw of the well rested Rockies in the series last year.

Will Cole Hamels, the best pitcher on either team, be the Cole he has been during the post season so far, or will he be a bit flat and get pounded early?

Will we see the Ryan Howard who can carry a team on his back like he did in much of September against the RH pitchers of the Rays?

Chase was amping his production up in the NLCS. Will he take it up yet another notch for the Series? Will he show a national audience definitively why he is the best second baseman in baseball and one of the best hitters in the game? Or will Longoria, the bigger item right now, be the big story of the series?

Which J-Roll will we see?

Will Myers be on his game, or will he get too charged up when he actually gets on the mound in a WS?

Will the time off help Jamie Moyer, and will he be hitting those corners and getting the calls he needs?

Will b_a_p be right and someone totally unexpected (Feliz?!) get scorching hot at the right time?

I've been going back and forth on all these and the many other imponderables until I can't begin to sort it out anymore. Time to play ball and answer the questions! Go Phils!

Jack: Because I can't control what goes on in the field, but writers can control what they write and an a**hole is an a**hole no matter what. And I can get mad at that. Giving a team just a little respect, even if they are a severe underdog playing in an "inferior" league, doesn't take that much effort.

i'm in provo utah on business and am dying to be back home with my fellow phils fans. being on the road, I'm getting very frustrated with all the rays worship and philly hating. this morning, frickin NPR had back to back commentators (some schlub plus f. deford) make back to back mentions of the santa snow ball incident.

enough already. yeh the rays are a nice story, but so are the phils. rollins, howard, utley, burrell, etc. - our phils players are throwback players. hardworking team players that give it their all every day every day.

In sum, less santa snow ball, more apple pie!!!

Ryan Howard should get rid of that pipe in the batters box and use his bat to swing at the pitchers pitches

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