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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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GPG - the rain let up between 3:45-4:30a.

i'm looking outside my window right now and there are snowflakes the size of silver half-dollars zipping by at a 45 degree angle.

But there is a new "House".
I guess it doesn't matter if the game is canceled for tonight.

if it goes 6 and 7, no travel day

I was having nightmares last night that MLB would decide that given the unpredictable weather, the game should be resolved in the more stable climes of a domed stadium, with one handily available in Florida for just such an event. It was the most realistic and scary dream I've had in some time.

So it's possible that a game that started on Monday might not end until Thursday.

Conlin's column cites an Accu Weather meteorologist saying the game should have been PPD at 6:30. I refuse to believe that Bud and his minions at Fox didn't know this.
Never should have played. On the other hand, never should have an RISP as pathetic as that of this series.

The following might be the funniest words ever written on Beerleaguer:

Andy: "I would not waste Bruntlett that way [by using him too early]." It's true. You can't waste Bruntlett too early in the game. We might need his prodigious bat later on.

Don't take it wrong, Andy. My amusement is not directed at you. It's directed at the pathetic state of our right-handed bench options, which make Eric Bruntlett someone worth "saving" for a critical moment of the game.

Some help here... I don't get this?! Per MLB rule 4.12:

"A suspended game shall be resumed at the exact point of suspension of the original game. The completion of a suspended game is a continuation of the original game. The lineup and batting order of both teams shall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting order at the moment of suspension, subject to the rules governing substitution. Any player may be replaced by a player who had not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed before the suspension may be returned to the lineup. A player who was not with the club when the game was suspended may be used as a substitute, even if he has taken the place of a player no longer with the club who would not have been eligible because he had been removed from the lineup before the game was suspended."

So, the way I interpret it, is, either team could activate a pitcher to replace Hamels (presumably replaced) or Kazmir (definitely replaced) and use them in the resumed game? The way the rule is written, it looks like you can burn your bench, suspend the game, then activate non-playoff roster players to use in the game once it resumes? That makes no sense. It's not that either team has a stud player they left off the playoff roster just sitting around waiting, but still, that's a stupid rule.

If the game is suspended, you should have to finish it with the exact personnel that started it in the first place.

Postponed beyond Tuesday...

Yeah, GPG, I was kind of kiddingly saying "no."

I am, as well, not optimistic about the Gnome hitting another dinger off Price. (But hey, I'd LOVE to see it.)

Peach: I believe what that means is that if the game is resumed a couple months after the fact, in the regular season, a guy who you traded for or called up in between who was not previously on the roster when the first game started is now eligible to play in that game. I don't think that has any relevance to the World Series, because you can't make any roster changes, except for injuries. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that's what the rule is saying.

Nice to see that sense has at least prevailed on this day. The weather is just brutal.

CJ - I like your idea to use Jenkins as bait to perhaps get Balfour out of the game, but I think they'd be inclined to use Taguchi instead as the replacement PH. The only problem with batting Bruntlett for Jenkins is that it would probably force Manuel to keep him in the game, or else risk losing him as the all-important LF replacement. And the problem with just saying, well, fine, just leave him in the game - is that Burrell, even a horribly slumping Burrell, does not typically get removed from tie games.

Peach - The rule is written for suspensions during the season - like if the game was suspended in May but resumed in September after call-ups. I think that relative to roster substitutions that portion of rule 4.12 is trumped by the standard rules about post-season roster substitutions. In other words, the post-season rosters are set. We play with whom we brought. (Even if the next game is in, say, December.)

(Hey, if we delay this game until Saturday, Cole can stay in, right?)

@Jack

You are correct--case in point the resumed game between the White Sox and the Orioles that started in April and was resumed in September. Both teams had to substitute players that had been traded/released for new roster additions.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280428104

Jack, sorry. I was typing as you were posting. But it does serve as corroboration (chk. sp.).

I haven't seen Price pitch that much, but I'm trying to figure out the hype about this guy. Should anyone fear a pitcher that has been in the bigs for a month?

thank god for the additional postponement.

GPG - Someday he will be the real, real deal. Right now he's a rookie LHP who throws in the mid-90s. He looked scary fast with decent breaking stuff.

Kazmir, Shields, Price and Garza will form a malevolent rotation over the next few years. If the Rays get a closer, they could be a dynasty.

Can someone please lift me up? I feel like a took a shot in the nuts last night and it won't go away

I want to ignore conspiracy theories and mostly misplaced anger at Selig to get back to some baseball talk.

This series might come down to the tough decision Joe Maddon faces to re-start this game. Currently Grant Balfour is the pitcher of record. He has been one of their better bullpen weapons all year and misses bats at a pretty good clip. When he doesn't, and if he is on- it's hard to get on top of his fastball.

So let's say they go to Price right away. The Rays have the pitcher's spot up 4th in the order when we re-start. If they go right to Price and get a man on in the top of the 7th they have to pinch hit for him which means they burned through arguably their two best bullpen options to get one inning of work. On top of that, Price is a starter and could give you a bunch of innings if needed. So if this game would drag on for a while then you are relying on basically on a LOOGY (Miller), a lefty who maybe can give you a 1-2 innings depending on the match-ups (Howell), a righty who has been spotty lately in the post-season (Wheeler), and another righty who is very hittable (Jackson). None of those are completely ideal and you are playing with fire in some respects.

So Maddon has two choices:

1.) Go to Price right away and then pinch hit for him when his turn comes up. At most he gives you two innings, and then you'd have to pinch hit for him unless you are going to give the Phillies a free out in the top of the 8th. With this choice you burn through two of your main relievers right away.

2.) Double switch Price into the game which means taking out most likely Pena or Longoria which takes one of your better bats, and guys who were getting hot in this game finally, out. That is far from ideal as well.

I know on the surface the rain delay seemingly screwed the Phillies but it may be very beneficial depending on the next few moves Maddon makes. This is easily the biggest managerial decision Maddon has faced this season and it could cost his team the Series.

GPG - the other part of your question
(Should anyone fear a pitcher that has been in the bigs for a month?)
reminds me of the Phils' traditional ability to hit brand new, rookie, left-handed pitchers. Sophist could supply actual numbers, but I think they have a negative OPS against guys like that.

we I leave for Australia tonight. F*CK. If I can't see us win this on a laptop in Perth I'm going Brett Myers on my wife.

Bob Dupay, with MLB, says if the game is delayed to tomorrow (as it appears it now is), there may actually be a travel day on Thursday with games on Friday and Saturday. Had the game resumed tonight, they would have eliminated the travel day. I guess the issue is that they'll have to move the Tampa Bay games anyway... so they might as well give them the travel day back.

Andy, maybe he will be a superstar at some point. I just felt from the beginning that he was part of the Rays "story" as opposed to a proven major league pitcher.

Truth - Nice analysis.
PHing Jenkins may force the issue. But he might just use Howell there, bring in Jackson or Wheeler for Werth (as a ROOGY)and double switch in Price after Baldelli bats in the eighth.

ESPN Bottom Line confirms it. Game to resume Wednesday night at 8:37pm ET.

MLB will now decide what to do about an off-day should the Phils lose.

Even if you put aside this suspended game issue, Bud Selig is a terrible commissioner. I'd love to see him banned from baseball and Pete Rose reinstated!

Here's why MLB will add a travel day...

They'd be crazy to have Game 7 on Halloween night.

GPG - Yeah. At this point, he may just be meat for the grinder. But he is a better "OMG the Game is Going to Go 15 innings!" pitcher than J.A. Happ.

One of the Phillies could be the first MLB player to hit a November HR. Imagine: the Gnome as "Mr. November!"

Fox is so happy, now that House will be on.
Overall, last night could have been worse. They could've called the game after 4 or 5, and Hamels pitching would have been wasted. As it is, one run and nine outs gets it done and will. We'll be laughing about this soon. That's what I keep telling myself.

Truth: That's true. I hadn't thought about the ramifications of the pitcher being up 4th. With that scenario, I think they will try to avoid bringing in Price or Howell. Maddon could bring in the LOOGY, Miller, to force us to use a crappy right-handed pinch hitter. But then he would have to pull Miller after one batter because he definitely doesn't want a LOOGY facing Rollins & Werth. That might be more pitching changes than Maddon cares to make. A better option might be to leave in Balfour for the inning, even if it means having to face Jenkins. It's not like Jenkins is wearing out left-handed pitching this year.

Andy, I'll second that. I'd still like to see The Gnome face him again.

Jerry: So instead of wasting Hamels, it was better to have him pitch 3 more innings and pitch them badly?

With the game not resuming until tomorrow night, is there any chance Cole can remain in the game?

b-a-p:
It is a Maddon test, of course. Does Maddon know how sucky Jenkins has been? (And maybe Chollie, knowing he still has Dobbs, will ph Stairs. Do you send Balfour against Stairs?)

I still thinking this thing may work out for us after all...

1) Advantage Phillies when we resume. We have 12 outs left and the Rays have just 9. Our bullpen and lineup are both superior to what the Rays have.

2) Even if we do lose, we have Myers in Game 6 and likely will end up having Hamels in Game 7 (I believe they add a travel day).

Had the game been suspended before it started, we would have pitched Hamels on Wednesday or Thursday, and had we lost, we wouldn't be able to pitch him again.

I don't buy this is a great thing for the Rays.

Bridoc - doubt it. But he may decide, if it comes to it, that three days rest for the seventh game of the WS is okay.

Andy: That is an option he could take but look at the consequences of that.

Maddon would then burn through 3 pitchers to get through an inning. Also, if one of the first 3 would get on there is little to no chance he would leave in Wheeler or Jackson to face Utley/Howard which would mean going to Price at that point most likely. You would think it wouldn't be Miller after the Utley/Howard combo tagged him the other night.

It's a big decision and could mean the Series

Bridoc10: No reason to. Hamels is up first in the inning. It's smarter to pinch hit and try to get the lead run and turn it over to our bullpen. Besides, with an off-day added, Hamels could pitch with full rest on Saturday.

I really like our chances with 12 more outs in Game 5, or with Hamels in a hopefully-unnecessary Game 7.

CJ - I completely agree. I hadn't thought about the outs thing. We have 33% more outs in which to score one more run. I like those odds.

BAP, Badly? I think that before the game we might have been fine with 6 innings and two runs from Hamels. Suspending the game two innings earlier (the 4th) would have meant Myers would be starting tomorrow because the game would have been called. One inning earlier (the 5th) would mean that Durbin or Eyre would be pitching the 6th tomorrow. This is, at least, better than both of those possibilities.

Truth & Andy: and to think that if they were using the DH, none of this stuff with the substitutions and options comes up. Prime example of how that rule takes away from the game.

Truth. Yup. I agree. It is definitely a conundrum for Maddon. But if he delays using Price by using the dreck, the Phils have to get them. In extras Price versus Happ or Condrey does not look pretty.

RSB - agree. And think about the most exciting moment from game 4. Wouldna happened.

The DH is one of the most lame rule changes in the history of baseball. The existence of Bud Selig is up there, too.

CJ: They'd be crazy to have either game on Halloween. I suppose we'll see how much influence Fox has when they announce how this series plays out. Of course, I hope it doesn't get to that point.

Truth: Nice point about potential options for Maddon. Personally, I think he'll leave Balfour in there on a day's rest. We'd then see Price, or one of the other lefties, should they get to Utley that inning. Then they'd either pinch hit for Balfour should he come up in the top of the 7th, or double-switch him the next inning with someone from the bottom of the lineup.

I think this makes the most sense. I imagine that Maddon will be more confident in Balfour against PH/Rollins/Werth than potentially burning both Balfour and Price too soon.

I also think that the most worrisome of the potential match-ups of those three hitters is Werth/Price than Dobbs/Balfour or Stairs/Balfour. Werth's excellent against lefties and probably the best deep threat. Stairs has power, but is more hit-or-miss.

But we'll see. Should make for an interesting evening.

So if MLB does the right thing and adds back a travel day on Thursday, then the whole debacle actually may have helped the Phillies, right?

The way I see it:

1. Phillies get an additional ups. They will also get to the top of their lineup twice at a minimum, which the Rays will (hopefully) get to the top of their lineup once

2. We have our best two pitchers going in game 6 and game 7.

If you had told me back in March that the Phillies would be in a tie clinch game in the WS, but have 3 more outs than the other team, and have at least rollins and werth coming up two more times, AND that if they didnt win, they could clinch with Myers the next night AND if they didnt win, they could clinch with Hamels the next night, I would have been happy out of my mind.

Lets hope for that extra travel day!

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.

New thread.

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.

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.

I am pleased to hear they are waiting until Wednesday.

Current conditions are actually warm and sunny in North Dakota. But we had snow over the weekend. Then we sent it your way. Sorry.

I feel quite optimistic. I don't think the delay will put either team at a particular advantage.

Pat really has been a bummer.

Oops, yo.

Just a shot in the dark here folks: I am thinking of traveling from Washington DC to Philly for the remainder of Game 5 on Wed. If anyone knows of someone with a legit ticket stub who would be willing to sell it because they can't make the game, I'd love to know. My email is: kgwillison at cox dot net. Thanks!

Check out this web site. I wonder if wealth redistribution affects ball players...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck

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