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Monday, October 20, 2008

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clout - I was channeling 'the gut'and I just have a feeling that's what Cholly's going to do.

phlipper: Because they didn't affect the outcome of the Dodgers series, we shouldn't care whether a lineup decision is bad?

In Game 5, Pedro Feliz left 8 men on base. Just because it didn't affect the outcome doesn't mean it couldn't have. There were just two ground balls to third base... neither of them difficult plays.

We can bury our heads in the sand and hope it doesn't affect the outcome of any World Series game... but that wouldn't be very smart.

If you factor in defense and position, then Vic and Burrell are about equal in terms of their value.

VORP has them at 33.6 and 33.4, respectively.

I do not, however endorse any "core" theory. What everyone does will matter.

Against RHP: Dobbs at 3rd, Stairs at DH.

Against LHP: Coste at DH, everything else the same.

No matter how much Charlie loves Bruntlett's "defense", So's "experience" and Feliz's "Gold" glove, this is the logical, rational and statistically supported thing to do.

A slight compromise I would be OK with: Feliz at 3rd against RHP but no Bruntlett ABs in the WS. Ever.

Can anyone name three highlights/contributions by Bruntlet this year?

Many of us would like to see Dobbs @ 3rd, Stairs @ DH against LHP. We all know however that Charlie will do what he thinks got him here, and that is playing Feliz @ 3rd when Hamels (game 1) or Moyer is pitching

Scratch that, meant RHP.

Unfortunately, I don't agree that the odds of seeing Bruntlett in LF & Burrell as DH are zero. In fact, I think it's pretty plausible (say 25% odds) that we could see that configuration in Game 1.

it is worth noting that Bruntlett started exactly one game this season in the outfield, and it was not an interleague game.

I think it would be a tremendously stupid idea to play Bruntlett in LF, but I also think--or maybe just hope--that the odds of it happening are not actually that great.

Bruntlett:

1. Saved a Mets game in April with a diving stop at shortstop, when he was playing for J-Roll

2. Game tying double in the big August comeback against the Muts.

3. Not sure, but there's gotta be one.

That said, I don't want to see him in a big spot the next couple weeks.

Bruntlett highlights:

Eric Bruntlett continued to seize his waning days as a regular, driving in the game-tying run with a double and scoring the game-winning run on a single by Chase Utley as the Phillies rallied in the eighth to beat Arizona, 5-4.

Down to the last out, Bruntlett hit a ball to the gap in right-center, and Werth bee-lined home from first base, tiptoeing across the plate as the throw from the outfield slipped past catcher Brian Schneider to tie the game.


For one game-saving play, at least and at last, Bruntlett seemed a suitable replacement for the MVP. Hours after Rollins was placed on the 15-day disabled list, Bruntlett made a diving stop on Carlos Beltran's hard grounder up the middle with two outs in the ninth and runners on first and second. Bruntlett threw out Beltran at first, likely preventing the tying run from scoring.

kdon: Is VORP the best measure of one player against another in terms of his value to the team? I'd say no, not at all. It's not even a great measure of his value versus all the other players at his position.

For what it's worth, I'm willing to embrace the "Why Can't Us?" rallying cry, but there will be two phrases with more meaning to me at the conclusion of this season:

1) I may finally purchase my "Some Dudes - 08" jersey.
2) Campaign Cheer, though short-lived and with debatable actual impact, still sticks with me.

Just a followup to my thoughts on Bruntlett in LF. I don't endorse this idea, I just think that is what Cholly's going to do. He is going to look at his choices for right-handed bats (Brunts, Coste, SoTag) and choose Bruntlett because he needs Coste as his backup catcher and SoTag isn't much with the bat or the glove anymore. It makes the most Cholly-sense.

I am unfamiliar with the DH rule, but could Coste DH and then switch to catch if necessary? I know you would lose the DH, but it's an emergency thing either way, right?

That Inquirer article by Peter Mucha is full of inaccuracies. He said the Yankees won the Series in 1980 (d'oh!) and the Red Sox won in 1984 (double d'oh!). What a waste of keystrokes!

So it looks like I may end up in NYC for Games 1 and 2. Anyone know of any good Philly-biased bars in the city? Or at least non-Mets bars who won't toss out a Philly fan?

Will, that's how it would work: DH Coste would switch to catcher and the pitcher or a pinch-hitter would have to hit.

Everyone needs to get over these fantasies of "starting Dobbs at 3rd and Stairs at DH."

Seriously. Just stop it with the arguments when you know how Cholly's mind works, as we've seen it a hundred times before.

Game 1, Kazmir: Feliz at 3rd, Burrell/Taguchi in Left/DH (although I'm not sure which one will play the field and which will DH)

Game 2, Shields: Feliz at 3rd, Stairs or Dobbs will DH

Game 3, Garza: With Moyer pitching, Feliz is assured of another start

Game 4, Sonnanstine: Maybe, just MAYBE Dobbs gets a start in game 4 with Blanton on the mound

Game 5, Kazmir: Feliz at 3rd

And finally, one optimistic note on Taguchi: in games that he started this year, he hit .289/.347/.378. This is far greater in comparison than Bruntlett's anemic .220/.286/.312 starting splits, and since we all know the backup emergency catcher Coste won't start, it looks like it's going to be the Sensei, So Taguchi, starting in Left in game one for the NL Champions.

DH trivia: the last American League pitcher to hit in a regular-season game was Rays Game 6 starter Matt Garza (as a Twin)...

I just re-read my old post and now I see why there is confusion. I don't know my left from my right.

Correction - Dobbs will DH against RH Rays pitchers and Burrell plays LF. But, against Kazmir (LH), Burrell with DH with Bruntlett in LF.

bap: I believe UDHens mistyped and thinks that Dobbs will DH vs righthanders, and Bruntlett in left would happen against Kazmir. I wouldn't rule out Cholly going that way. At Tropicana field and with the Rays speed outfield defense is more important, but probably not enough to justify Bruntlett over Coste in the lineup.

Rosenthal just said that Hamels is the better pitcher between him/Kazmir, but Hamels compiled his gaudy stats when facing 2 teams in offensive funks in the Brewers and Dodgers.

Now the Brewers' case that may be true, but the Dodgers were not in an offensive funk heading into the NLCS. They destroyed the Cubs pitching and the only reason they went into an offensive funk is because they faced Mr. Colbert Hamels in Game 1.

doubleh: Word. In Hamels' starts the Dodgers scored 2 and 1 runs. In their other 6 games they averaged 6.2 runs.

Here's my question- would you rather have Bruntlett rather play 1st or LF? I personally would rather have him play 1st, the odds of howard affecting a game defensively are a whole lot higher than Burrell affecting the game.

B-Mac- Good point, but Manuel has already made it clear that he's not taking Howard off the field.

diggity: I'm not going to make a prediction about this series because the teams are so close statistically, but I will make this prediction: If you are correct about Charlie's lineups, the Rays will win the World Series.

yo kOp;

check out wogies in greenwich village. kinda small so get there early.

http://www.wogies.com/

ae: I certainly hope you're right about Bruntlett not starting. Maybe my memories are colored by my anti-Bruntlett bias, but it just seems to me that Cholly bends over backward to find playing time for him. He used to do the same with Abraham Nunez last year. I think Cholly has a soft spot for versatile utility players who can't hit their way out of a paper bag.

I can't wait until game 1 gets here so we can actually start arguing about Manuel's questionable DH decision instead of arguing about our own speculation about his DH decision.

bap: you're not alone. It feels the same way to me.

Why do people keep saying that Coste can't play DH because we need him as an emergency catcher? There is nothing to stop him from moving from DH to catcher; it would merely mean that the pitcher has to come back into the lineup. The risk of such a scenario is fantastically slim & the downside isn't even all that great, considering that, if it happens after about the 5th inning, we'd probably be pinch hitting for our pitcher anyhow.

Against a left-handed starter, in a 7-game series for all the marbles, why would you keep your best right-handed DH option on the bench because of the less than 1% chance that, in 1 or 2 ABs of 1 game, you might have to bat a pitcher instead of Carlos Ruiz (who doesn't hit much better than a pitcher anyhow)? That kind of logic is totally irrational. Besides, if you're really worried about the less than 1% chance of our pitcher having to come back into the lineup, the solution is simple & was suggested by someone on this board a few days ago: start Coste at first base and Howard at DH. That way, if you have to move Coste to catcher, you're not messing with the DH position.

CJ: "I can't wait until game 1 gets here so we can actually start arguing about Manuel's questionable DH decision instead of arguing about our own speculation about his DH decision."

Yep. That's how we kill time during all these long dead periods. We speculate about what moves our manager will make and then we call him a dumb sh*t for making these moves that he hasn't made yet. Then, when the off-season rolls around, we kill time by speculating about what trades our GM will make and then we call him a dumb sh*t for making these trades that he hasn't made yet.

bap: I think you are overstating it.

Bruntlett got the bulk of his playing time first when Rollins was hurt and then again when Feliz was hurt.

Between those injuries, there were 63 games. Bruntlett appeared in 42, but got just 4 starts (2 at first and 2 at second) and got just 44 PAs over that time.

After Feliz came back, there were 38 games. Bruntlett appeared in 27, but got just one start (in RF when Werth was hurt) and got just 15 PAs over that time.

Especially late in the year, Bruntlett was minimized and reduced mostly to just a Burrell late-inning defensive replacement.

Tickets to Games 1 and 2 for the lottery winners went on sale at 5:00 and have sold out. I'm waiting on a call from a friend to see if he got seats to Game 2.

bap: I can't believe we didn't trade for Rich Harden!!

I'm surprised there hasn't been a lot more talk on splitting up Utley and Howard against Kazmir.

How do you think the Phils will fare on that turf? They haven't played on any all season and that could be a distinct advantage for the Rays.

God, the Trop is just awful. That team deserves better.

EDGE: They should split up Utley and Howard against Kazmir. Especially because of the lefties Tampa can bring out of the pen.

But I doubt Cholly actually does it so that's probably why no one here is talking much about it.

doubleh: That's a good point. That turf can change things pretty drastically.

EDGE: Splitting up Utley and Howard has very little to do with who the starting pitcher is. It has to do with the other team's bullpen. Splitting them up forces a loogy to have to face Werth or Burrell instead of just Utley and Howard back to back.
So regardless of whether it's Kazmir, Garza, or Shields, with the lefties in Tampa's bullpen, it would definitely be a good idea.

The Rays do present a pretty formidable LH contingent from the bullpen.

Trever Miller had a 105 OPS+ this year. Lefties hit just 209 off him with a 612 OPS. He's the "easy" lefty.

J.P. Howell had a 197 OPS+ this year. Lefties hit 188 off him with a 534 OPS. Of course, righties didn't fare much better, hitting 197 with a 605 OPS. He's the "tough" lefty.

David Price is the third lefty in the pen, and there's very little book on him other than getting a 4 out save in Game 7 of the ALCS against the defending WS champs. His stuff is sick. It's sicker than sick. That little boost of confidence he got out of the pen against Boston could really hurt us in our series.

Speaking of out of town bars, I haven't heard anyone from Boston. Since the Sox are out of it, any area Phillies fans could hit up any of the better beer bars in the area. Anyone?

I can't wait for the games to begin ... all this talk about which DH we should use -- include me in the camp thinking it should be Dobbs at 3rd and Stairs at DH vs righties and Coste at DH vs. Kazmir

Steve Jeltz/BrianG/EDGE: Totally agree with you all about splitting up Chase and Ryan but won't be surprised if Charlie does not do this on Wednesday.

Off-topic -- I am coming back into town for the first time in a long time to see a game in person for Game3 -- where would you guys suggest watching the other Games 4 and 5 in and around Center City? Any recommended sports bars?

New thread.

Thoughts on Burrell's tweaky back after two games on turf?

BAP: Manuel is already on recoprd as saying Howard will NOT DH during the series.

Don't know what the hoopla is about the DH. No way Taguchi or Bruntlett starts, it's going to be Coste. And you know what, screw the Rays and their Cinderlla story, it's time for Coste to finish his final Cinderalla chapter.

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