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Friday, April 24, 2009

Comments

I can't find too much to fault Charlie with, aside from not getting Dobbs a start yet against so many righthanded pitchers. The Phils just aren't playing complete games, and the pitching largely is to blame along with Jimmy Rollins. As a regular, J-Roll is off to one of the worsts starts in the Majors this season. .169 batting average, only 2 walks...horrible!

Despite what we saw in the last two games, the lion share of the blame has to go to the pitching staff. A lot of stories were written in Spring Training about Rich Dubee running the show down in Clearwater. Now the Phillies pitchers seem unprepared. Is that a coincidence?

Dubee spend a lot of time deciding which player would play on which field. He was also focused on Happ, Park, Kendrick and Carrasco. Did he neglect his duties getting starters 1 through 4 ready for the season?

I'd probably say "no." Blanton pitched really well in the spring. Myers and Moyer looked good. Cole was unprepared from the jump and then couldn't really pitch. But it's worth discussing.

I don't think all of the blame can be put on Cholly, but I do think he, along with the entire coaching staff, deserves some of it. I believe that under the Cholly regime, the Phils have had the greatest level of talent than in recent years past (I don't think too many would argue that), but have come out of the gate slowly every year. Other than finalizing the roster, spring training is the time to get the team ready for the season. That is an area that I think the coaches have failed in the last few years.

I'm not saying "Season=Over." The Phils will turn around, but it is infuriating to see another...slow...start. I don't necessarily discount the fact that they have had a ton of distractions this year, but again, the coaching staff has the responsibility of aiding the players in preparation. They are not immune to criticism in that regard.

A fleshwound, I've had worse.

Jimmy Rollins is an interesting case. How could he start the season batting .169 with 2 walks when he hit the cover off the ball in the WBC?

Maybe he feels added pressure as the table-setter for the defending champs? I know this has been tried before, but I'd like to see Jimmy bat sixth or seventh a couple games in Florida so there's less pressure.

I'd like to see Jayson Werth bat leadoff for a couple games. He'd get more fastballs. Maybe he could drive a couple into the gaps like Alfonso Soriano does in Chicago.

For many years, Vuckovich handled spring training, as I understand it. Now we learn that Dubee had it for this spring. Did he have it in previous springs? If not, who did?

I dunno. It's the Phillies. It's April. This is par for the course. I don't perceive a complacency with the team, just a lack of consistency.

If people are going to put stock in Florida being such a threat based on their start, they've also got to look at what the Metsies are doing and wonder if that's any indication of their truer colors. It's a competitive division, but not an especially strong one. The Phillies can afford a 9-11 April. The thing that does stick in the craw, however, is that they were granted a very favorable April schedule, and they aren't taking advantage of it. But then again: it's April. And no, that doesn't make it meaningless, but in the face of so many other April panics...I can't quite be moved to work up a lather here.

conway - Much better than a dead parrot.

Jimy Williams did ST the last couple of years

These slow April starts drag on the psyche of Phillies fans that count the days to get back to .500 every year and think that being 5 games over .500 means the team is good. I want this team to play at a .600 level. This crap ain't cutting it.

yeah - i'm not really finger pointing anywhere either. It is frustrating at the time they're getting embarassed, but once you step back and look at in a bigger perspective, i dont think there is much 'blame' to go around.

Now that our pitching is calming down, our bats go silent, who didn't predict this?

What exactly is a bad start? The Phillies finished March/April last season 15-13. The season started later this year so they won't have played 28 games by month's end. But they will have played 20 and all they have to do to beat last year's record (%-wise) is go 11-9. Of course that means winning 5 of their next 6.

Since we're none of us worried, does that mean we're
a) confident
b) sanguine or
c) complacent?

I actually do think that the fans may be an indicator (without any direct connection of course) of how easy it is to relax once a championship has been won. I think that there was a whole lot more sturm and drang last year than this. We just spent, for instance, most of a game thread (as much as the game itself - and I am one of the contributors to the absurdity) discussing whether a grizzled veteran or a raw rookie is better suited to the position of back-up catcher.

If there is complacency it may not begin or end here, but it dwells here, too.

Lake Fred - The Phils are defending champs, and are a serious contender for 09, but what they aren't is an allstar team without holes.

To expect .600 baseball at all times during the season is bit lofty and will always want you expecting more.

I am perfectly fine with the Phils hanging around for the duration of the season and hit on cyclinders to break away from the division.

They've shown they can hit the ball. They've had a few decent starts(not even close to enough yet).
They've seen some great games from the bullpen.

They havent put it all together yet in April, but its a good sign to see that when they do, they can outhit and outbullpen probably the entire majors. Starters havent shown that yet, so thats what I'm still waiting for.

So how do we see the offense fairing against Josh Johnson, whom many baseball analysts have qualified a Cy Young hopeful?

We're definitely off to a slow start; there's no denying that. What seems to go unmentioned is the fact that we're off to almost the same start that we were in 2008.

I don't agree that Cole should have been taken out of the game, but you can't pin the loss on Charlie. Had Cole remained and pitched a complete game giving up only the runs he had already given up, we still would have lost 2-1. You can't fault Charlie for the lineup's inability to manufacture runs and their over-reliance on the longball to put runs on the board.


For all the talk about Jimmy Rollins being a leader, he isn't...plain and simple. Team leaders do not get benched for lack of hustle and for being late to practice. Team leaders are players who inspire/enforce teammates to not engage in such behavior. I know I'm going to hear the argument that it was so long ago and we need to let it go, but it was less than a full season ago. I'd like to believe that before you can be accurately called a "team leader" or a "captain", you should at least be able to get through a season without being disciplined by your manager for the very things you should be enforcing as a leader.

The argument that I've heard time and time again is "How Rollins goes is how the Phillies go." It holds very little water. His MVP season ended with a Rockies playoff sweep. A very modest season followed by a horrendous performance in the playoffs ended with a WFC. He is the best defensive shortstop in the NL, but apart from that, his value to this club is highly overstated. This, combined with his manageable contract and the presence of a prospect who might be MLB ready by 2010, is reason enough to sacrifice his defensive range for a rotation ace that will patch an even larger hole in the team than his departure would create.

The Phillies are nearly the same ballclub that they were in 2008. The difference is that our competition has VASTLY improved in Atlanta, Florida and New York. If we rely on the status quo, we are outmatched. There are too many holes in the rotation, and the run production is, as it was last season, feast or famine. That just won't get the job done in 2009. April was the easy part of our schedule.

Could we repeat as WFC in 2009 without a drastic change? Sure, but the likelihood of everyone getting as hot as they did in 2008, combined with a collapse of our improved competition is very slim.

At some point, you have to take stock of where improvements MUST be made to remain competitive, and what pieces can be sacrificed for the greater good. Jimmy Rollins exit from Philadelphia is the key to the Phillies chances to repeat as World Champions. If they manage to acquire an ace in a deal that doesn't involve J-Roll, great, but if even one of the pitching prospects we move in such a deal turns into the next Hamels/Floyd, it will have been a foolish move for the long term success of this ballclub. Moving Rollins, while an unpopular idea, is the only feasible option I can think of that would allow the Phillies to be strong contenders in the NL East for this season and beyond. Keeping him would put us at the mercy of a lot of lucky breaks...and they seem to be in short supply in Philadelphia in 2009 thus far.

Andy - no one is thrilled with winning only one of the first five series, but I choose to look at it like any other stretch of the season. Imagine if the Phillies' June last season had come in April instead. But since a context of winning and divisional leadership had already been established, people tended not to panic as much. Teams routinely hit 11-4 stretches through the course of a season - even bad ones. Even good ones fall into 6-9 ruts. It gets magnified when you start out with a dismal stretch because you don't have a larger context of success to latch onto. There's no sense of perspective.

If the team is 18-25 sometime in June, I'll be at the ready with concern. I just don't see that happening. The Phillies have a way of leveling off their doldrums, and usually fast enough to make everyone wonder what we were all worried about in the first place.

This really doesn't look like a team going about its business any differently than any other season. I think Manuel may be a little over-aware of the pitfalls of complacency said to plague defending championship teams, and seemingly determined not to let it happen to his squad, under his watch. But look carefully, and the Phillies were the same struggling outfit in each and every April under Manuel. We've run the gamut of reasons: too pressured, too cold, too unprepared, now too complacent. Their track record of survival in the months to follow speaks a little more loudly to me at this point.

If the Mets and Braves have VASTLY improved, why is one of them just a half game ahead of us (tied in the loss column) and the other a half game behind us?

And the Marlins are 5-4 against every team not named the Natinals.

If Eaton had been pulled after the 7th, he would have left with a GameScore of 78, or the 3rd best outing of his career, his best outing since 2005.

I was begining to write a recap around that stat, so, of course, the Sox had to go an muck things up -- the second time this year they've killed a Play-Index-influenced recap with some meaningless late runs. The two 8th inning runs lowered Eaton's GameScore to 67, which still ranks in the top 25 starts of his career and top 5 in the last 4+ seasons (91 starts).

White Sox blog looks at Eaton's start.

EastFallow: Why? Because it's April, not September. I hate to be a pessimist, but K-Rod and Putz represent probably the best 8-9 inning lockdown in the game. If Wagner manages to return down the stretch and pitches anything like he's capable of, we're in trouble. This is a team that lost an astounding number of games in the last three innings in 2008. I don't foresee that happening again. Meanwhile, if something happened to Lidge (injury, ineffectiveness, etc), our bullpen is in deep, deep trouble.

I heard the same sort of things about the Rays from Yankees/Red Sox fans that I'm hearing now about the Marlins from Phillies/Mets fans. When Bobby Cox says a team has the best rotation in the division, you can take it to the bank. The Marlins are going to be a tough club to deal with all season. Remember, the WFC were 8–10 against Florida in 2008. Considering improvements around the league, we can't afford a losing record against an improved Marlins ballclub in 2009. I'm not saying they'll run away with the division, but they very well may play the Phillies spoiler en route to a Mets division title.

What's the point of throwing at Fielder? Its too bad Lidge won't ever be in the batter's box. Or Manuel for that matter. Of all the stupid reasons to start a beanball war, a pitcher gets hit by a batted ball. Is Hamels psyche so fragile?

Food for thought:

We've already lost half of the number of games against the Braves that we did in all of last season (14-4).

We've already lost as many games against the Padres as we did in all of last season (4-2).

We've already lost twice as many games against the Brewers that we did in all of last season (5-1).

We've lost more games against the Rockies than we did in all of last season (5-0)

Considering that we went 4-11 in interleague play, 7-11 against a weaker Mets team and 8-10 against a weaker Marlins team in 2008, I'd say that concern is definitely warranted. The season is certainly not over, but we're being beaten by teams that we devoured last season. Unless our fortunes change against our improved division rivals and in interleague play against the Red Sox and Yankees, there is cause for concern.

Mac: When Rollins gets on a hot streak, so do the Phillies. I think thats the point of the saying, not the end of year results compared to his overall years stats. Ya he had a bad year last year, but in September when he hit over .300 the Phillies had a great record.

It would be kind of hilarious if Eaton did turn into a solid option for the O's. I still bet they get more of their share of the first 2 outings (4-5 IP and at least 3-4 runs) if they keep him the rotation.

Even a blind bear finds honey every now and then.

I think tonight is a good time to start Dobbs vs RHP to get him at bats. Feliz looks like he is going to start a cold streak anyway.

So only our April struggles mean anything?

The Mets are talking about removing pitchers from the rotation, firing coaches, all this despite having the Best Bullpen In Baseball. Maybe they will lose enough games in ways MT can't foresee to again come up short.

The Mets had a superior bullpen in 2007, what did it get them? Second place.

The Braves have also played 6 games against the Natinals (4-2). They're 3-6 vs everyone else, including the 2 of 3 they got from the perennial April disappointment Phillies.

It's sort of fitting that the poster who openly doubted the fan-hood of anyone who dared question some of Amaro's off-season moves is now the very first poster to go into "season=over" mode.

Back to FLA and warm weather , add the lack of pressure and the "just another game" atmosphere should hopefully mean a looser team and maybe the confluence of good pitching and good hitting in the same game.

This team needed a road trip real bad - maybe they can pull it together.

It is only April, and all that, but I weant to see our Phils hitting on all cylinders once again.

This Chicken Little stuff is ridiculous. I'm mostly irritated at the putrid product that the Phillies are putting on the field. There have been far too many unwatchable games this year. Yecch.

MG - Even a blind cobra finds a mongoose???
If Eaton performs even average this year it would be about as amusing as a bee sting.

Schu's Blues: Yeah; I guess I'm pretty relaxed about the beginning of the season, too. After decades of following the Phils I know how unindicative (is that a word?) their April record is. On the other hand, if the Phils had, say, missed the play-offs, or bowed out early, I imagine the board would be lighting up even more with the inadequacies of the current playing level - i.e. we'd be discussing what's going wrong and making proposals a whole lot more than we are.
I guess I'm just saying that a belly full of WFC (not to be confused with KFC) tends to calm down our anxieties.

All that being said, the hallmark of Chollie's leadership, which brought the team together, seems to be a kind of relaxed affirmation which allows the athlete's to claim their talents and use them. I see no need for a Bowa approach, nor even any heightening of anxiety.

And, yeah, the Fish should probably discover shortly that the Phillies are not the Natinals.

"Since we're none of us worried, does that mean we're
a) confident
b) sanguine or
c) complacent?"
---------------------
or dare i say,

d) smarter

Maybe the majority of us finally figured out that trading every player on the team and firing the manager after a few bad games isn't the way to evaluate a baseball team anymore?

Hope the Phils look as this Marlins series as the opportunity it is. If they could slap the Fish around a little, it could go a long way toward restoring the balance of power. If they don't it's not the end of the world or anything, but it would be fun.

At least Stairs kept us from getting no-hit. We should thank him by sending him to the All-Star game. http://canadianwood.blogspot.com/

Also thank Stairs for the 88º weather tomorrow in April. When he hit that homerun in the NLCS, the impact of the bat actually shook to the Earth to its axis, and shook the planet's natural orbit by a few calendar days. Lets hope the one yesterday knocked the Earth back into orbit so our summer lasts longer into the fall as well.

The poster who wrote a dissertation on why Rollins must be traded really doesn't understand what Rollins means to this team. Rollins embodies the Phillies. And when he is getting on base and doing his thing, he is more vocal in the clubhouse and getting on other guys to pick up their game. We NEED JRoll to be JRoll if we're going to have any chance to win the division again.

After watching this team for the past few years, I'm not going to panic after another slow start. IT'S WHAT THEY DO. Once Jimmy starts to hit, this team will click, and that's just the way it is.

EFF: Do you think the Marlins are a contender? Do you think they'll be close at the end?

Mac: "He is the best defensive shortstop in the NL, but apart from that, his value to this club is highly overstated."

apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Andy: It's a mix of A & B for me. The Phillies always get off to slow starts in April and then get hot once May 1st rolls around. Right now that is their norm. If this year they never turn it around then next year around this time I think you would see a lot more unhappy people on here under the same circumstances.

Mac Tonight: You are becoming ridiculous. Trading Rollins is a panic move, and it would adversely affect us defensively. It would be unnecessary.

Also your argument that the Phillies will have a worse record becasue of how many games they've lost against certain opponents this year is faulty. Especially when you use the logic you do after that point. I'll let you figure that out though.

Mac is not having a good Friday. I'm not too concerned yet. Just 12 games in. If this team is 13-17 after 30, I might consider writing a fraction of what Mac's writing.

Maybe Rollins is feeling pressure from Donald. His contract is up in a couple years and we have a capable MLB-ready replacement.

Oh the Phils are 14 games in. Guess I'm complacent too. baxter, I hope that's a joke.

I was starting to get a bit concerned about the Phillies' bad start, but then I saw that the Mets have already lost as many games against the Cardinals, and half as many games against the Brewers, as they did all of last season. So now I feel much better.

It is so weird when posters develop an irrational opposition to a player on a team they are supposed to be a fan of. Mac Tonight's Jimmy Rollins fixation is just bizarre. First of all, I would hardly call his postseason performance 'horrendous'. He was great in the MIL series and struggled in the other two, but he managed to get on base enough to score 10 runs in the playoffs. Second of all, how often do you see a veteran for veteran trade in MLB? Why would a team giving up an 'ace' trade him for a veteran SS?

Clout:

I don't know. There have been plenty of teams who got out to hot starts that have faded.

I could see them having a similar season as they did last year. Contending for a while, gradually fading as the season goes on. Being annoying to play all the time.

If they turn out to be "This Year's Rays" it won't be because I questioned their staying power in April on BL.

EFF: There have also been plenty of teams with high expectations, who got off to slow starts and never really recovered. See the 2008 Detroit Tigers, for example.

The truth about the Phillies' bad start lies somewhere between the "season=over" rhetoric and the "Everything will be ok; we came back last year" attitude. The season ain't over but the bad start is alarming both because of the deficit we already have to make up, and because the start has revealed our worst fears about the caliber of our starting pitching. To just brush it aside on the ground that we have overcome deficits in the past is the epitome of selective memory. The Phillies have been in existence for more than 120 years. In about 4 or 5 of those years, we overcame a big deficit and made the playoffs. In the other 115 years, we had big deficits which we never overcame.

Were the expectations really that high?

We all read over and over that we're lucky and it's hard to repeat (from our own fans especially).

The idea that we know how the season is going to play out based on a couple weeks of baseball is silly.

We've already covered that two or three teams a year recover from 5 game deficits to win the division. To pretend it's some sort of rarity is a different epitome of selective memory.

Right now your division champs include Toronto, KC/Det/CWS, Seattle, Florida, StLouis and Atlanta.

How many of those teams do our gloomy posters think have wrapped up their divisions?

Few points:

1. Interesting thing to me that the Phils are a miserly 3-6 at CBP. Pitching is a bit better at home while the offense is a bit more stagnant. Sample sizes are too small to make conclusions but I wonder if this team will go back to the Phils' teams of 2002-2006 this season, teams that were pretty good but for whatever reason generally seemed to play really tight at home & struggle at times.

The last seasons the Phils have generally take care of business against teams at home particularly against weaker foes (below .500 teams). That hasn't been the case so far this season.

- Best evidence of the poor play so far this year. Run differential of -15 for the Phils. It puts the Phils 12th in the NL.

That's bad and among the worst in the NL. Only teams that are worse are the Astros (-16), DBacks (-20), and Nats (-20).

Bar for a successful season would be making the playoffs again. Think that Amaro and most reasonable fans would agree with that.

As for deficits, if the Phils finish the month at 9-11 they will be ok. Not ideal but not too big. Only thing they really can't do is get swept at Florida and leave themselves staring at a 6 or 7 GB deficit at the end of month. That would be a meaningful hole to have to crawl out of because it looks like this team won't have the pitching this year to have prolonged periods of success.

Metsblog takes the pessimistic route too today, the old window is closing deal.

Just like our window kept closing every time we came up short for the wild card for most of the 2000s.

One thing about the past two seasons - it has increased the anxiety/slight sense of paranoia in the Mets' FO. Talking about doing all kinds of draconian overkill moves including removing Pelfrey, Perez, or Maine from the rotation after just 3 starts.

Yeah these guys have pitched poorly but alot of teams starting pitching has really struggled this spring too. Seems rather hasty to pull an established starter who was successful last year after just 3 starts.

As this relates to Park - he was last successful as a starter in the year 2003. Not last year or even the year before that. Hell, two years ago he was almost out of baseball.

He has to earn this spot in the rotation and if posts poor numbers after 5-6 starts by mid-May, he should be pulled from the rotation.

BAP - not that you were referencing me directly, but my point in 'brushing aside' the tepid start to the season is that every team hits down patches and up patches through a season - and due to a lack of perspective (because we haven't yet seen that the team is capable of playing at a higher level), April takes on a little more meaning than it sometimes should. No one wants to hear players (or fans) say 'it's a long season', but it IS a long season, and there's plenty of opportunity for cold spells to even out. The Phillies are relatively far behind in the standings, but it's difficult to argue that they're far behind a superior team and are thus buried from the start.

RSB - well put.

And with the wildcard in place, every team outside of the basement dwellars will probably be 'contenders' until at least the end of August.

Everybody is pointing out that the starting pitching has been bad (and it obviously has been) but the middle relief of Condrey/Taschner/Happ/Durbin/Eyre has been less than stellar either.

Eyre has done his job each time out but he is a limited situation usage guy. Condrey hasn't been bad either but the rest have all struggled mightily at times. If you starting pitching is shaky, you need your bullpen to give you a chance to rally and win the game - especially with this offense. Phils' bullpen did too that almost all of last season and this year it has been rather shaky.

everybody forgets the wildcard like it doesn't exist or something. you can make the playoffs without winning the division and frankly see no harm whatsoever in that at all. just get in

MG: Trashner has been very good.

All of his runs came in that inning where Charlie hung him out to dry.

Gm1: 1-2-3, K'd Chipper.
Gm2: Two 1-2-3 innings, thru atl's 2-7
Gm3: K'd Dunn to escape 6th, then rocked.
Gm4: walk, hit, 3 outs.
Gm5: walk, hit, 6 outs.

I'm not a Trash fan but the guy did his job to get Dunn out with men on, and for some odd reason was left out for the next inning and given 0 help whil he gave up 4 runs. All scoreless, hassle free innings aside from that.

Since we've got so many "glass half full" posters, I must play the role of the "glass half empty" guy.

Obviously the starting pitching will improve to a certain extent; it certainly can't be THIS bad all year. But, as has been pointed out, our offense -- except for the last 2 days -- has generally been doing well. Yet, except for replacing Burrell with the equally streaky Ibanez, this is the same lineup that went into hibernation for a 3-month period last year. It's not hard to imagine a scenario where the offense goes into a protacted tailspin, as soon as the pitching straightens itself out.

"To just brush it aside on the ground that we have overcome deficits in the past is the epitome of selective memory. In about 4 or 5 of those years, we overcame a big deficit and made the playoffs. In the other 115 years, we had big deficits which we never overcame."

The analysis is absurd. 125 teams are created equal? The 2009 Phillies, quite like the teams of 2008 and 2007, is equally alike the teams of 1944, 1945?

In fact, basing one's expectations for the 09 team on the achievements of the 2008 team is somewhat justifiable.

Or, at least, it's infinitely more justifiable than basing one expectations for the 09 team on the anti-achievements of the Phillies circa 1931.

klaus: Yes, I was just being glib. I was not trying to be analytically precise. For a more analytically precise example, I take you back to the question I asked last week. Look at all the defending division champions in the last 30 years who fell behind by 5 or more games before the end of May 31 in the following season. How many came back to win the division? I haven't undertaken to figure out the answer, but I'm confident the percentage isn't very high. Again . . . I am not making predictions or declaring the division race over. I am merely saying that a 5-game deficit should not be dismissed as readily as everyone is prepared to dismiss it. It would be more concerning if it were the Mets we were chasing, but it is still concerning.

EFF: The Marlins were 5 GB on Sept. 19 last year, so while they did indeed gradually fade, they didn't fade a whole helluva lot.

BAP--

I'll play devil's advocate to your devil's advocate.

Ibanez may be streaky, but not as streaky as Burrell. Ibanez will not have the low lows of Burrell, but also won't hit the high highs. That said, I think Ibanez can be a plus for the lineup.

Utley was hurt for the second half last year and that hurt his hitting. He appears to be fully healthy now and I will assume he stays healthy, therefore Utley 09 will be better than Utley 08.

Jimmy Rollins is having a terrible start. However, he is a better hitter than that and will come around. Jimmy also missed a month last year and had a down year offensively. I think it is possible that Jimmy 09 is better than Jimmy 08.

Other than power numbers, Howard was really bad offensively for a good portiion of 08. So far Howard's power numbers are down, but he looks much beeter at the plate. The HRs will come.

Feliz had a bad year last year, down from his career norms. He is off to a good start. If he even ends at his career norms, that is a plus over last year.

Ruiz had a really bad year last year and it is not too hard to imagine him improving on last years numbers.

Of course injuries can throw off any of this, but you can't think about that when looking to the future. Anything is possible, maybe the offense really does go into t major slump this season, I just think it is not too likely to happen. I think it is more likely that they are as good or better than last year.

What is more worrisome is the pitching.

MG: You're getting soft. Earlier you said Park should be pulled after 3 starts. Now you're giving 5 or 6.

Wes: You may have missed it, even though sophist has posted the stats at least twice. Ibanez is even streakier than Burrell. So on that point, you don't know what you're talking about.

Wes: Yeah, what clout said. Also, Feliz really didn't have a bad year. His OPS was right in line with where it has been for each of the last 4 years. It has declined by a very slight amount in each of those years.

As for Utley, Howard, Rollins, & Ruiz, your points are reasonable, though somewhat on the optimistic side. I certainly hope you're right, because it was fairly remarkable that the Phillies were able to weather a 3-month period of offensive futility and still come away with a playoff birth, let alone a WFC. I doubt that blueprint can be repeated.

wes: its true, although 90% of the pro-ibanez posters last year kept trying to push the whole "consistency" argument for months, its been dismissed over and over again.

People mistake Ibanez for being consistent because he is more of a contact hitter. He may hit the ball more often than Pat, but that doesnt translate into consistency.

If anyone thinks that Ibanez isn't a streaky player, what do you think he's doing right now? I'll go out on a limb and say he doesnt finish 2nd behind Pujols in OPS this year.

clout - Yeah I guess I should clarify. If Park has another crappy 2 starts where he only makes it into the 4th or 5th inning his next 2 starts and gives up at least 3-4 runs in each start, he should get pulled from the rotation then. This team hasn't had starters going deep into games anyways and can't afford for Park to chew up the pen if he can at least give them 5 innings.

Clout your comment "apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

That made the soda I was drinking come out my nose. It still burns a little but I will forgive you.

Yo, new thread

"The Marlins were 5 games out on Sept 19"...yeah, their peak after they dropped 8.5 back, which is pretty far back to leapfrog 2 teams. They finished 7.5 back. We spent September worrying about the Marlins last year? On what planet?

Lou Marson -- looks at a called third strike for the second time in a row. I don't think Coste has ever done that in the three prior seasons that he has played in the big leagues -- been called out on strikes in two consecutive at bats.

If Coste had done that -- all of you "double standard' posters would be howling for the guy to be placed on waivers immediately.

Put simply -- Lou Marson is not ready for the big leagues -- and needs at least one full season in AAA before he will be.

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