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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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At least they had the sense not to try playing last night. It will be interesting to see how the teams plan out the last three and a half innings.

So if the p****e was tentative scheduled for tomorrow. Can we just all p****e down broad street to the game? :)

Is there anyway for us to time travel to Wednesday night?

Echoing a lot of what has already been said (at least as I understand it), what looks like a possible screwing of the Phils may end up breaking in their favor. I still think the Rays' 2nd run is largely on Bud, but that run also should not matter much at all: the Phils had several opportunities early on to seize the moment and failed. When play was halted, the score should have been something like 4-2 or 5-2, instead of 2-2. Bud the Clown can't be blamed for that. However, assuming UC plays his hand well, the matchups can work in the Phils favor, especially with them having four turns at bat versus TB's three. Plus, who knows? Maybe PtB somehow finds his stroke again with the extra time to prepare and can pound one off Price.

At this point, if the Phils can't either outscore TB in the last 1/3 of game 5 or take a game in TB, they don't deserve to be WS champs.

Guys, as far as I remember, Obama bought a chunck of TV time on Fox right before the game on Wed night. So I would suspect the game may start even later than 8:30?

It seems VERY unlikley that they would travel on Wed night. Keeping my fingers crossed for a Cole-rific game 7 if it gets there.

You know what they say, baseball players and weathermen are the only two professions where you can do well 30% of the time and be considered "great" at your job!

The weather was uncooperative, but the underlying story here is the mishandling of the situation by MLB. Baseball should be played outdoors, even in October, period. Fans and players live with rain delays and even suspensions of play. On the other hand, the way the commish handled this... ::shakes head::

The real question is - will there be a travel day? If so, should the unthinkable happen and we lose Wednesday, Cole could start game 7 on full rest. Yes, 5 days comes mighty fast:
Monday: Cole pitches Game 5.0
Tuesday: Rain out - rest 1
Wednesday: Game 5.75 - rest 2
Thursday: Travel? - rest 3
Friday: Game 6 - rest 4
Saturday: Game 7 (I'll affectionately call Game 5 V2. Everything but location is the same.

It's plausible from both sides. Tampa Bay can't play W/H as scheduled, so might as well completely change it, and Fri/Sat is much better from a possible ratings standpoint.

Probably too logical...

Oh, and the reason there's no game tonight is because House is scheduled to air, and nobody messes with Dr. House.

I find it hard to believe that they didn't know a storm of that magnitude was approaching. It was all about money/TV/money/TV.

I can see the headlines on Thursday:

"Delayed But Not Denied"

Jason: There will be no travel day

If Brett Myers didn't have a 9.00 ERA in the first inning, wouldn't he be the obvious pitcher to start the 7th? I bring this up because if Hamels was scheduled to pitch a game 6 on Wednesday, is there any doubt he'd be the guy to resume game 5?

how about this:

convince brett he's a closer again for 1 game. go myers 7th, romero/madson 8th, lidge 9th tomorrow.

then, if necessary (which it shouldn't be) go moyer for the start in game 6 with blanton ready at the first sign of moyer faltering.

if THAT doens't get the job done, go with king cole for the game 7 victory on 3 days rest friday night.

"There may be no greater tactical test in Phillies baseball history than how Cholly handles these next few days."

Gulp.

clout: I think you're wrong on that. Bob Dupay specifically stated that they'll have to decide on whether to have an off day. Had the game been completed tonight, there would have been no off day. Now that they're moving games in Tampa anyway... they could very well add a travel day.

Phils have big edge in the remainder of Game 5 with 4 innings to 3 for Rays. Logic dictates that Phils go Madson-Romero-Lidge.

The matchups have been pretty relaible so far with only 1 game breaking form (Game 4). Matchups for Games 6 and 7 favor the Rays so winning game 5 is crucial.

It's also obvious that Balfour will take the mound and warm up (as will a lefty in the pen). Balfour will not be pulled until a pinch-hitter for Hamels is announced. Jenkins is the logical choice and he'll be lifted for Taguchi when Maddon goes to the lefty.

Do the Rays spend another night at the Hotel DuPont?

Continued from last thread on whether it would have been better for the Phillies if the game had been stopped at the start of the 4th inning:

Jerry: Except we're not talking about 6 innings, 2 runs. We're talking about 3 innings, 2 runs. We know with hindsight that Hamels allowed 2 runs in the 4th through 6th innings. Had the game been suspended at the start of the 4th -- as it should have been -- those 2 runs would never have happened. Because of the decision not to suspend the game, you got 3 more innings out of Hamels but, because of the conditions, they were 3 BAD innings

Which scenario would you prefer? We resume the game with a 2-2 tie in the 6th inning & our bullpen entering the game. Or we resume the game in the top of the 4th with a 2-0 lead & Happ or Condrey entering the game? I would certainly prefer the latter scenario. Not to mention that, under the latter scenario, we wouldn't have to ponder whether Hamels would be available to pitch a Game 7. He clearly would be.

I don't think we need Myers. We've got a full rested bullpen... the best in baseball... a bullpen that's allowed like 1 run on 2 hits in 13 innings to the Rays.

Use the bullpen to finish Game 5, hopefully in a win. If it goes wrong... it's Myers in Game 6 and Hamels in Game 7.

the obama thing is 8-8:30
game 5 resumes at 8:31

Also continued...
BAP: You could be right. My view is based on the thought that if the game had not been official (4 1/2), it would not have been suspended but cancelled, thus "wasting" Hamels whole outing. I am assuming that this "suspension" that Selig came up with was only because it was past the normal criterion for an official game.

CJ: Wanna bet?

"There will be no greater tactical test in Phillies baseball history than how Cholly handles these next few days."

God help us all.

I can't for the world to see Charlie's lineup mismanagement at next year's all star game.

clout: Just to be clear... you're making a prediction, not making a statement based on available information. MLB has made no determination about an off day.

It wouldn't surprise me either way, so I wouldn't bet on it. But it's hardly a decided matter. I'd simply be surprised if they scheduled a potential Game 7 on Halloween.

Don't overthink it. Up 3-1 in the series, plan on rolling with the bullpen as normal for Game 5. Don't piss away Myers to do the job of one of the best pens in the game.

The pressure is on the offense to create something with the 3 extra outs.

So to try and inject a little levity into the conversation, a few buddies of mine placed a bet on how many DirecTV commercials featuring Chevy Chase saying "this is crazy! this is crazy! this is crazy!"

The over/under was 8.5

When the game was suspended, there had only been 6 of those commercials.

Gentlemen, I come to you: what's the call? Does the under win? Does the over win due to pro-rating the remaining number of commercials that would have appeared?

Whats the call?

BAP: I'm struggling to understand how you could possibly think a 1 run lead with Happ & Condrey and 5 more chances for the Rays is BETTER than a tie game with 4 more chances for the Phils and only 3 for the Rays and Madson-Romero-Lidge.

You're usually pretty astute but you're not even close on this one.

Another likely headline if the phils win:

"Delayed Gratification"

For all those who want Myers to pitch the rest of Game 5, who starts Game 6?

Baxter, I know the obama thing is 8-830. But do you think that Fox will just skip that garbage pregame show and go right to the game? I think there will be some jeanne zalasko and kevin kennedy wedged between obama and first pitch.

diggitydave: Sorry, the under wins. In fact, in Vegas, they paid off all the Phillies win bets because in a suspended game, they revert to the score at the end of the last full inning, and the Phils lead 2-1. So with Vegas as a guide, the under wins.

Clout: Moyer would have ample rest, but there is still no reason not to hand tomorrow over to the bullpen. None. Your move, Cholly.

"The Day The World Stood Still" : The movie.

Diggity: with the late innings approaching, you'd have to think there would be at least two additional commercial breaks per inning. That 8.5 would have been shattered with room to spare. Which would mean Chevy Chase would have said "this is crazy" roughly 30 times in one night. (And he would have been right every time.)

I could think of a great parody skit with the umpires asking Bud Selig, "well, are you gonna GO for it?" and Selig clapping his hands saying this was crazy, this was crazy, this was crazy, and then diving from the press box into a mob of angry, soaked Phillies fans.

The snow/rain may move out around 6 pm tomorrow allowing the grounds crew to work magic on the field and play the game if lucky. This isn't the Super Bowl being played on the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field, this is the World Series for the love of Pete Incaviglia! Hopefully this storm rolls out of town and quits dumping misery upon everyone so we can get this party fired back up. 1 run and 9 outs is all that is needed. Lets go Phils!

I wish we had some way to stop the Rays from running all over us. Upton basically has a free pass to third every single time he gets on base. Drives me crazy, and it's been 2 huge runs so far this series. Thankfully the first one didn't come back to bite us, but this second one scares me far more for some reason.

Jerry: True, but if you pitch Moyer then Blanton is your Game 7 pitcher. I'd rather go Myers-Moyer than Moyer-Blanton.

Wild suspended game scenario:

Phils pinch hit Jenkins
Rays bring in Miller
Phils replace Jenkins with Bruntlett
Miller pitches to Bruntlett and Rollins (one gets on)
Rays bring in Bradford for Werth
Rays bring in Howell for Utley

Phils start Madson
One Ray gets on base and they pinch hit for Howell

Price comes in to start the 7th having burned through Balfour, Miller, Bradford and Howell

:-D

Of course. Moyer/Blanton for games 6/7 would only make sense if Charlie inexplicably sends Myers out to start the 7th tomorrow.

I was at the game last night (and will go again tomorrow night). I was afraid the crowd was going to get ugly. I think the heavy rain dampened any tempers.

As for all the dumb decisions made by Selig, MLB, Fox, etc.... it is what it is. So let's go and win this in 3.5 innings (actually 3 innings if the Phils take the lead).

One thing - I'm sure lots of fans didn't keep their ticket stubs (thankfully my OC behavior came in handy and I have mine). What happens to those seats? Do they stay empty (and I can "upgrade")? Or do they re-sell them at the park? This could make things REALLY ugly. Plus, what would a final game at CBP look like with 10,000+ empty seats?

Wonder how the pen will handle the difference in preparation. They don't usually know they're going into the game until 10 minutes before hand.

CJ:
I agree with what you have up there, but I don't know if Joe Maddon will be so eager to take Balfour out of the game if Jenkins/Stairs/Dobbs pinch-hits to begin the game.

Balfour was unhittable for the majority of the season - he probably was the best reliever in baseball outside of Lidge, K-rod, maybe Joe Nathan and Papelbon.

If Maddon takes him out of the game, the only other righties he has in his pen are Bradford, Wheeler, and Edwin Jackson. Bradford doesn't pitch to more than one or two hitters usually, and the other two have struggled mightily this series.

I hope he takes out Balfour and puts in Miller. A Philles bullpen of Lidge, Madson, Durbin, Romero, Eyre is MUCH better-off than a Rays bullpen of Price, Howell, Bradford, Jackson, and Wheeler.

I think you make Jenkins or Stairs pinch hit for Hamels, then the Rays will bring in Price. Then you pinch hit with Bruntlett since he hit a homerun off Price in Game 2 (and you double switch by putting the pitcher in for Burrell's spot and Bruntlett would be in LF). In terms of pitching, you make Eyre start the inning against the switch-hitting Navarro (he's better left-handed so use Eyre) and then bring in Madson to finish the 7th and pitch the 8th.

Diggity, On second thought, I think you're right that if they use Jenkins to pinch hit for Hamels that the Rays won't take out Balfour and will pitch to Jenkins since he stinks. Do you make Dobbs pinch hit, Rays bring in the lefty, and then use Coste or Bruntlett instead of Dobbs?? Cause then you'd be "wasting" Dobbs. It's a tough call.

Philsfan: I don't "waste" Dobbs, Stairs or Coste. I'm willing to "waste" Jenkins or Taguchi. I'm neutral on Bruntlett.

Nice article from Stark on the debacle from last night:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2008/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3668201

And I agree with his conclusion 100%.

CJ: That's what I meant. I'd waste Jenkins in a heartbeat. My point is that do you announce Jenkins as the pinch hitter and hope he gets a hit if they leave in Balfour, or announce Dobbs? Because I don't want Jenkins pinch-hitting, but if they announce dobbs, rays are putting in the lefty and dobbs is wasted.

I think cjp's post has it right:

"the Phils had several opportunities early on to seize the moment and failed. When play was halted, the score should have been something like 4-2 or 5-2, instead of 2-2. "

"At this point, if the Phils can't either outscore TB in the last 1/3 of game 5 or take a game in TB, they don't deserve to be WS champs."

Although it very much feels like we watched the weather/MLB front office version of a ball through Buckner's legs, the Phillies need to put it behind them. The Rays have new life, but the Phillies need to realize that they can work a few innings on the field and walk out world champs.

Philsfan
Go back to last thread and read the Truth Injection's evaluation of Rays' pitching options. He pretty much demonstrates that Price would not be brought in to face a LH PH at the outset (mainly because the Rays' pitcher is the fourth batter up).

It occurs to me that another difference, beyond having 12 outs compared to 9, is the place they are in the order. The Rays begin their 3 inning game with the bottom of their order; and if they mount any kind of threat, finish it there. The Phils have one dicey AB and then the top of their order. If they get one baserunner, Utley gets to bat twice.

Joe Maddon does everything so not-by-the-book that I bet he already has his mind made up one way or the other as to what his course of action will be.
He left Garza in to face Utley/Howard, he's left lefties in to face Burrell, Feliz, etc., he's left righties in to face Stairs, Jimmy.

Frankly, who the hell knows what Joe is going to do? Nothing would surprise me; whether it's leaving in Balfour if Cholly brings in Dobbs, or bringing in a lefty regardless of what Cholly does.

diggity - He might just start Price with the idea that he'll pitch the first six innings. He won't do it without putting Balfour out there as a decoy though.

I'd PH Stairs. It's his kinda job.

Nothing happened that the Phils can't overcome. This is a game they can win.
Is there any reason not to go with Romero-Madson-Lidge? The Rays need to be shut down, and I don't think you want to worry about extra innings.

There's no question Manuel will lean on Durbin/Eyre/Romero/Madson/Lidge to get this game done. There's no question they can finish the final 9 outs.

Stairs, also, has a higher OPS against LHP than either Jenkins OR Taguchi. (Against RHP, too, of course.)

Matt Stairs leads off for the Phillies tomorrow night. Probably against Trever Miller. He'll probably pop-out (to some guy in the 14th row of the right field bleachers).

Andy, will you be sitting in the 14th row of the bleachers?

This really sucks! I've been recording these games on DVD. It's bad enough that I taped two hours of Fox's 'Til Death sitcom. I am not going to record the Obama infomercial, but I'll have to sit through the end of the Obama-rama to know when to push record. I am not happy about this.

Spitz asked the greatest question when he asked: "Do you think that Fox will just skip that garbage pregame show and go right to the game? I think there will be some Jeanne Zalasko and Kevin Kennedy wedged between Obama and first pitch."

Over this playoff time, I've come to hate Kevin Kennedy because of what he says. I'm still thinking that Jeanne Zalasko looks a little weird. I think she's really a bald alien from Zeta Reticulum with a bad hair wig glued to her head. I wonder how she'll look when she's 80? It's scary!

From Phillies.com FAQ article:

What if the game had been halted prior to 4 1/2 complete innings?

By rule, it would have started over.

"If the game hadn't gone five innings, it would have been wiped out and started from scratch," DuPuy said.

Would this have been a preferred alternative to suspending it? Starting it all over, but with Myers on the hill then? I like our chances in these 3 1/2 innings, so I say no...

LF - The Aliens on Zeta Reticulum never go bald; you're thinking of the ones from Beta Reticulum. Big difference.

DougS - As a baseball fan AND a Phillies fan, I'd feel much more satisfied seeing my team win a legit, 9 inning game. As solely a Phillies fan, our odds in this 3.5 inning mini-game are much better.

I actually really like Stairs being the pinch hitter with Balfour on the mound. Apparently, Stairs is 0-4 lifetime against Balfour, but a righty, flamethrower seems to be the type of pitcher Stairs is best suited to face (see: Broxton in Game 4).

Legit, in that situation, meaning "played from start to finish on one day without pouring rain". A win tomorrow would still be more than legitimate enough for me, although I'm sure someone in the country will complain. Probably Joe Buck.

Whenever it'll be played, it'll be a 3.5 inning game w/ the home team getting 12 outs and the visitors 3. I like that scenario.

Looking at the pitching, Cholly has to start a RHP. The first three guys are Navarro - S, Baldelli - R, Bartlett - R. Except for the extra catcher, all of Maddon's PHs to use for the pitcher can bat LH (2 LHB, 3 SH). So it really doesn't matter.

I'm guessing Chollie's gonna think, seriously, about sending out Chad Durbin to start this thing unless the Phils grab a lead in the bottom of the 6th.

I was just listening to talk radio in Tampa and they are reporting that the decision has been made that if the game finishes tomorrow there WILL be a travel day and game 6 will be friday and 7 saturday. Makes sense ratings wise.

Durbin has stunk lately but may not be a bad option. After all, he is somewhat used to starting off games.

I'd personally rather see Madsen on the mound but I never get what I want.

If this series come down to Cholly's tactical decisions, then the Phils would likely be screwed. Luckily they are up 3-1 and Cholly's tactical decisions solely aren't going to be what decides this.

The issue is (and has been since the game was called) is that Game 5 is now a total crapshoot and whatever momentum the Phils had in Game 4 and into Game 5 with Hamels pitching well is gone. Both teams enough viable bullpen options to potentially shutdown the opposing team for 3-4 innings and I wouldn't be surprised if the Rays or Phils won Game 5 now.

Give Lidge the ball in the 7th inning and tell him to pull his best Goose Gossich impression for 3 innings...as long as they win it doesn matter if his arm falls off afterward.

~joking~

Baseball Prospectus is reporting that MLB actually put forward the idea that the remainder of Game 5 could be moved to Tampa and then Game 6 started immediately after, if needed.

Were they f*cking kidding?

As would be expected, the Phillies passed on that kind offer –- so did FOX, btw. I can't imagine having the cojones to even make the suggestion, to be honest.

I know I and others have gone on recored saying that all the conspiracy theories, etc. are BS, but nonsense like this at least gives one pause.

I am completely unsurprised at Selig for trying such a thing.

Random thought:

If you are a Phils fan, you want tomorrow's night Game 5 to be rained out additionally and not have Game 5 officially finished until Thurs., Oct. 30.

A possible Game 6 would be on Fri. Oct. 31st with Myers going BUT a possible Game 7 would not be until Sat., Nov 1st. This means the Phils could start Hamels on full rest for a possible Game 7 if needed. No offense to Moyer but if there is a Gamee 7 I would rather have a full-restly Hamels than Moyer.

So put on your rain-dancing moccasins and hope that the rain holds out tomorrow night too!

MG - A game 7 on Saturday has Hamels on full rest.

NEPP - I'm surprised he didn't suggest the rest of the game (and the series) be played in Milwaukee. Isn't that the default neutral city?

clout: Well, in my view the game should have been stopped before the 4th. That would have given us a 2-0 lead. I'll take a 2-0 lead with 5 innings to go & Happ in the game over a 2-2 game with the bullpen in the game & 3 1/2 innings to go. The scenario you posit -- a one-run lead -- is a closer call.

to Andy: LOL...I believe so, though I think the Astros might disagree. I guarantee if FOX had been for that idea the Phillies would have been forced to go along with it.

BAP, had they done that the game would have been a wash and they would have started all over.

Good news for people like me who are going to Game 5 AGAIN tomorrow...you don't have to pay for parking if you still have your tag.

the obama thing is 8-8:30
game 5 resumes at 8:31

Game 5 would resume roughly 20 minutes later after the pre game. See, Obama is bad for the Phillies AND the country.

Andy - Missed it and thanks. Here's hopoing for more rain.

I know this has probably been said already and I know there is no way fox would have given up showing friends re-runs at 7pm, but couldn't the game have started earlier?

It started raining here (30 minutes north of Baltimore) around 4pm.

I guess Doppler 10,000 moves at the speed of the Pony Express.

Wherever, whenever the Philthies will triumph. I have no doubt in my mind...

Speaking of Hamels, how does his abbreviated game 5 start affect any chance at post season awards, should he qualify? (Trying not to put any carts in front of any horses here.)

So, I think we're all over-looking the most important aspect of all of this.

Will they still stop serving beer after the 7th inning?

"Upton basically has a free pass to third every single time he gets on base. Drives me crazy, and it's been 2 huge runs so far this series. Thankfully the first one didn't come back to bite us, but this second one scares me far more for some reason."

Amen to that. It has looked sort of like a Little League game where the older, fast kid gets on first, and then just runs around the bases with the ball chasing him, finally scoring on a wild throw.

Not sure what they do. Cole stared him back and threw over to first about five times in a row. Upton even had his hands in his waistband a couple of times. Then the first time Cole threw home, he stole second by a HUGE margin.

I don't remember seeing someone who has been able to create that much of a mismatch on the bases at the major league level.

The republican convention delayed the start of the first football game of the season ;)

Happy to hear Hamels say this:

"I truly think that would have been the worst World Series win in the face of baseball," Hamels said. "And I would not pride myself on being a world champion on a called game."

bap: Had the game been stopped before reaching five innings, I believe they may have started over again instead of resuming a suspended game. Have you seen it suggested otherwise?

I think regardless of how this all plays out this has been a weak WS. The umpiring has been (admittedly by the umpires themselves) atrocious, and no matter what the outcome of the resumed game, some fanbase is going to be angry.

Fans in FL--the few true ones that exist anyway--are so incensed that we don't play in a dome and that the games have been delayed and suspended that they are beside themselves. Any momentum or life the Rays got last night might wither a bit with another day off...

OTOH, if the Phillies can't manage to scrape out another run or two or keep the Rays off of the board and lose the game and somehow lose the next two games...well, I don't even want to think about how this city will react. Whether or not you think it's fair, the average fan--not just the Phillies fan, it's all fans--is going to want to blame somebody.

Who do you think they're going to blame?

Bud Selig and Mother Nature-perfect together.

McCarver talked about the possibility of the game starting over, FWIW

Mitch on DNL and he's still hot about it. He's freaking hilarious.

Interesting that everybody seems to be assuming Game 5 will be over by the 9th. It's tied, folks. What if it goes longer than that, and they've already used up the closers?

Barry: Who says we're using the closer in a tie game?

mitch is 100 percent on point

Look on the bright side---at least they got 6 innings out of Hammels. It would have been far worse to have only gotten three and have to stretch the bullpen over 6 innings. This way, Condrey, Happ and hopefully Durbin are not in ther equation. Treat it like a nornmal tie game in the 6th (Madson, Romero and hopefully Lidge)

red: I like Mitch. He's often homerish in his opinions, which he readily admits, but he actually brings some new perspective to his analysis. He sheds light on how the game is actually played and the temperments of the players, how this all is affecting them, etc. Such as how the weather conditions basically reduced Hamels to a one-pitch pitcher so we shouldn't think the Rays hitters were really hitting all that much better; they were just able to wait on a good pitch because the fastball was the only one he could throw with any accuracy.

Can you imagine how Johnny Marz would be reacting to all of this?

So much wasted time on games off between series.
So much wasted time with delayed starts and long ad breaks for Fox -- get on with it.
MLB needs to get control back from TV - they are killing the game that's feeding them.
We are in the most rabid sports city and we are feeling dragged down by the delays.
I think the rest of the country has tuned out by now

Sportscenter interview of Selig. Not a single question about the timing of the suspension of the game. All the focus on playing 9 innings etc... Which any sane person can agree with and has already agreed with.

How about a direct question, Why wasn't the game suspended after the 5th inning?

Selig said during his press conference last night that he wouldn't let the WS end with a called game. But what if the Rays had taken a 3-2 lead in the sixth? GO PHILS!

BTW, though this is predictable, it kills me that Selig says he wouldn't do anything differently. How about stopping after 5. No regrets at all about that 1/2 inning? What an ass!

Is this might be just me,but I fear that the curse of Billy Penn is manifesting itself again.

There is a link to Cholly's press conference call on Phillies.com. It is worth a listen. Cholly was bobbing and weaving. He clearly was ordered not to criticize the decision, but he was pissed they played the top of the 6th.

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