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Friday, April 17, 2009

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Madson is very good, but when he soils the bed it is usually a large defecation. Obviously the Marlins arent going to play .900 ball all season but 4.5 out is 4.5 out. Not.Good.

This ain't the Perfect Season.

WFC hangover, right there. Only Ut and Ibanez have showed up to play baseball so far this year.

The lack of speed off the bench is alarming. Dobbs was out by 4 feet.

Phillies pitching is really struggling, seems like they're all tipping their pitches. I think thats 23HRs given up in 9 games, not a good stat.

Pitching is to blame for the early struggles. Scott Eyre is probably the one pitcher who has pitched well.

Frank: Dobbs didn't get a good jump off 2nd even with 2 outs, he thought the ball was a lot closer to him and he unnecessarily slowed down so it wouldn't him. I think that slow start made that play a lot easier for SD.

Madson still needs another pitch sometimes. He kept throwing that first-pitch changeup and they were sitting on it.

Again, a little noticed element of the game: the Phils had taken a 7-1 lead in the fourth and Perdome comes out to relieve Young and can't throw a strike, loads the bases with two outs. So our fine friend Feliz comes up and naturally lets him off the hook with a first-pitch fly out. The Phillies don't score thereafter.

He did hit it hard, true. But it's dumb baseball. Even if he hits a grand slam, it's fundamentally dumb baseball. At the time I thought, well okay, it's 7-1, but Hamels is prone to the long ball and it wouldn't take much for that gap to be closed. Sure enough.

It happens way too often with him. I appreciate Feliz as a fielder. He's as smooth and solid as they come. But his lack of hitting intelligence frustrates the living crud out of me, and if he hasn't changed at this point in his career, he isn't going to change. I hope he's gone next year.

Geez. Feliz is hitting what, .345? Why stop there, RSB? He's not just responsible for tonight's loss, the Phils would be undefeated if he weren't on the team.

RSB: Flipper thinks stats after 8 or 9 games are more important than a full season or career stats. Don't confuse him with facts. It makes his brain hurt.

Just a reminder. we are 4-5 with about 150 games left. It is ok, guess what our record was this time last year? You got it 4-5/ We are doomed!

On a more important note, the flyers are down 2-0 in a best of 7 playoffs series, the sixers stink and the eagles just traded for one of the top 5 best elft tackles in the league. Wake up beerleaguer, all will be fine in phillieland.

PS Rollins went 1-4 with a run scored, so everyone relax.

Good point, clout. As a master of understanding the power of sample size, you weigh in to agree that one AB by Feliz cost the Phils the game.

I mention it because of the dumb AB he had the game before against Washington! And again there, he killed the rally and they didn't score afterward. Not the reason they lost, but it sure as hell doesn't help when you've got a guy in the lineup who uses his head about 10 percent of the time when he's at the plate.

But okay, apparently this is only fair to point out when he's hitting his customary .250. Fine. He'll get there soon enough.

Is it as obvious to anyone else that Cole is CLEARLY damaged goods? He is injured, it is apparent. I know he is going to say he's fine, but he is not. Our starting pitching has been awful, the worst in recent memory to start off a season. Madson is allowed a bad outing, and for Lidge to work out of bases loaded, no outs was impressive. As for Dobbs, I was at the game, and it looked as if he was running in quicksand. Immediate Burrell flashbacks. Not a fun way to begin the year.

Lost in the shuffle was a tremendous night at the plate from Ibanez (3-for-3 with 2 BB to boot).

The hitting has been up and down, but it's not the main culprit for the Phils losing ballgames. I know it's a dumb statistic, but how's this for a sobering realization? Quality starts this year...

Livan Hernandez: 1
Phillies: 1

Yikes.

I'm concerned about all the pitching trends so far, and especially about Hamels. But there may be other factors at work here. Between the various world series ceremonies, Harry's death, and a certain amount of (is lassitude the right word?) they've had a hell of a first couple of weeks.

Obviously, I haven't ever been on a team that won the world series, but I can only imagine that coming back the next year, it would be easy to get off to a slow start, to have a little less urgency maybe.

Even Chase - not exactly one to complain - said it seemed like they were on the road a long time. I'm trying to give it a couple of more weeks for the dust from the series celebrations and the aftermath of Harry's death to settle, and let them get into the groove of just paying ball night in night out. Then we'll see.

dennyb said about Coste's first double tonight -- "Yes, it was a nice hit. Coste is a nice backup catcher. It would also be nice, if Coste could throw a runner out this year too."

Come on dennyb -- Coste has played in six games so far -- is the only Phillies catcher who is over .500 as a catcher -- and has had only two stolen bases (in two attempts) on his ledger so far. Certainly not much of a sample -- and it should be noted that Coste threw runners out and picked off a guy at first base in Spring Training this year.

As for Coste's throwing performance last season in 2008 -- it was essentially the same as that of Ruiz -- who everyone acknowledges is a fine defensive catcher who throws well. [Coste threw out 13 of 56 baserunners -- a 23.2 % "caught stealing" percentage -- while Carlos Riz threw out 20 of 85 baserunners in '08 -- a 23.5 % "caught stealing" percentage]

I believe that these perfomrances by Coste and Ruiz were in the middle range of major league catchers "caught stealing" numbers for 2008 -- and the reason the numebrs weren't better -- for Coste or Ruiz -- has more to do with Phillies pitchers being simply not very good in holding runners on base -- a shortcoming perhaps partially due to a failing on Rich Dubee's part in this area.

And speaking of good old Rich Dubee -- what blame should Dubee shoulder for the abysmal showing of the Phillies starting pitching thus far this season? I say -- a considerable amount of blame.

And what is that starting pitching ERA so far anyway?

i like coste, admire the guy, but i have noticed that he does not seem to call as good game as ruiz. i could not believe the junk coste was calling for from madsen in the 8th and lidge in the 9th. ruiz treats his relievers completely different.

"The lack of speed off the bench is alarming."

Yup. Might have cost the Phils a game tonight. No way, in the 8th inning of a 1 run game, that a average (at best) speed guy like Dobbs, should be out there, as your baserunner. But, Cholly has no other options. He only has 5 bench guys to begin with. And, he really can't use Bruntlett, because he's the only extra outfielder (who can actually catch the ball) on the roster. Stairs is 40 years old, and almost strictly a pinch-hitter. Cairo is old and not fast. Marson is your only backup catcher. Your starting pitchers (Myers, Moyer, Blanton and Park) can't move very well either, for a potential pinch-running assignment.

But, the game's outcome should have never gotten to that point anyway. When you are up 7-1, at home, with your ace on the mound, and then your solid 8th inning guy in there with a 2 run lead late, you shouldn't lose.

Now, how about some good news...

Vance (that's his first name, right?) Worley had quite the night at Reading tonight. Pitched 5 innings, giving up 3 hits, 1 ER, and struck out 6 to get the win. Also, smacked a 2 run homer as well, to back himself. Future LOOGY candidate Sergio Escalona got his 3rd save. Pat Overholt, who is finally in the role he should have been all along, continued his fine work, with a scoreless relief appearance (has a 0.00 ERA for year).

Drew Carpenter got his first win of the year at LV, with 6 innings of 3 ER baseball, with 5 K's. Career minor leaguer Andy Tracy went deep. Gary Majewski got his 2nd save, with a scoreless 9th.

After such dreadful seasons last year, it appears both LV and Reading, might have pretty good teams this year. The talent level at both places, is much better then it was last year (which isn't really saying much). At least, they can compete this year.

Troubling. I don't have much to say since my anger from the Flyers game has left with without a clear mind. Needless to say, this team is in trouble given current trends (Hamels, Lidge, no bench, no middle relief). They're missing some peripheral pieces, although that concern will decrease if they're major pieces, like their entire rotation, don't come through.

2009: 4-5
2008: 4-5
2007: 2-7
1977: 3-7

From the Inky:

During Monday's game in Washington, the Phillies taped a picture of Kalas in the visitors' dugout and kept it there until they left Thursday.

The Marlins, the next team to play at Nationals Stadium, have decided to keep the impromptu memorial on the wall until they finish their series, manager Fredi Gonzalez said yesterday.

Pretty classy by the Fish. Nice gesture to say the least.


I dont see how you can say Hamels is hurt since his velocity is up a good bit from his last start. He was sitting 89-91 all night (which is about right for him). He was at 87 last start so the theory must be that he "injured" himself so badly that he jumped 2-3 mph on his fastball. What type of injury does that, exactly? Injuries dont make you leave pitches out over the plate or hang a breaking ball.

You want the truth you can't handle the truth?

Truth- 2008 is over, and it was great, but it's time to take care of business in 2009.

Truth- Ryan Madson is not Mariano Rivera (Scott Boras is a doucheosaurus).

Truth- Striking out 4 times in a game is shameful (yes, you Howard!).

Truth- Phils are 4.5 games back in the NL East.

Truth- our leadoff hitter's OPS is .313, that would only be good if that were his batting average.

Truth- Teams are batting .293 off of our staff with a .919 OPS.

Truth- April is by far the easiest month on the schedule versus opponents, yet the Phillies record is a customary losing April 4-5, which is unacceptable.

I don't care if it's only 9 games or not, because the entire pitching staff (aside from Eyre) is struggling. It's not like it's only 2-3 guys, it's 11 out of 12 and that's bad, really fricken bad!

Gary Sheffield's comment after hitting his 500th homerun: ""Now that I'm in the club it's like getting your degree. Nobody can take that away from you."

Problem is, nobody can take it seriously, either.

All of baseball was affected by Mike Schmidt's 500th homer, 22 years ago today. It was a huge event that season, and not just locally.

It's just sad to consider how much of a non-event the same milestone is now. And guys like Sheffield and Palmeiro take away from the significance of guys who did it legitimately, like Griffey, Thome, and Thomas. It's almost like no one even wants to think about homerun totals anymore, either single-season or career, because all the records are so hopelessly dubious.

EDGE: When Dobbs hesitated before running from second base, it wasn't to avoid getting hit by the ball. He hesitated because he didn't want to get thrown out at 3B if the SS fielded the ball in the hole.
Either way, it was poor baserunning.

I like Dobbs as a pinch hitter. But he has a low baseball IQ. He seems to constantly make little mistakes, but they aren't noticed due to his limited playing time.

Just an Idea: If the marlins were in some universe to win the world series this year, that would mean they consistently have won one world series every 5-6 years. I think most organization in baseball would love to be in that position. So, should that happen, will more teams adopt the marlins model of trading for young cheap talent, bring in cheap veterans to round out the lineup, win it all, and then blow up the team all over again?

NEPP - You're right on re Hamel's health. He's not injured, just missing his spots. His velocity is increasing.
The Phils have proven that they will be very cautious with Cole. And Cole has proven that he will speak up when he doesn't feel right.

The Marlins model is more or less the model for all small-market clubs (what other model do they have?). The difference is that the Marlins draft tremendously well.

I was at the game last night. Seriously disappointing. Hamels seemed to be pitching well going into the sixth--his pitch count was low and his ball to strike ratio excellent--suggesting that he was able to locate. If his deterioration in the 5th/6th can be chalked up to fatigue, then I'm encouraged. With more work, he should more and more closely resemble the pitcher he was last year.

As for the staff as a whole, it's strange that one of the better pitching staffs of 08 should turn into by far the worst only one year later. Sophist is correct that we haven't much of a middle relief, period. But we do have quality arms in the back-end and in the rotation, who I would expect to soon return to performance levels typical to their careers.

If they don't though, it's .500/sub-.500 ville for us this season--a bad pitching team is just a bad team, end of story.

yo dubee, whats up with your pitching staff?

anyone that thinks he's hurt, I'm sorry to say, is an absolute baffoon. your velocity doesn't increase if you're hurt. you don't walk one man in 6 innings if you're hurt. he made a few mistakes and they hit them. that's all. and last of all, once again, for like the billionth time, this is cole hamels. if he felt the slightest twinge, he comes out of the game. how do you people not know that by now? do you follow this team?

Madson's performance was a Philatio. He sucked last night. I realize that a team that wins 100 games loses 62, but every loss hurts. Blowing a 7-1 lead sucks to the tenth degree. Let's win today. We can beat the Pads.

kuvasc -- Your post above in this thread was one of several recently with the same general message. You said -- "i like coste, admire the guy, but i have noticed that he does not seem to call as good game as ruiz. i could not believe the junk coste was calling for from madsen in the 8th and lidge in the 9th. ruiz treats his relievers completely different."

So your point is that when Coste is behind the plate -- we won't -- and shouldn't -- blame the pitcher for throwing poor or at least "hitable" pitches -- we should blame Coste for bad pitch-calls -- calls which the pitchers can, should -- and often do -- shake off -- if they disagree.

That is nonsense.

You weren't specific -- your point is baloney -- and this is "Exhibit A" of how Coste is subjected to a negative double standard by some people here. [Clearly, the "piling on" began with that shot that Rich Dubee took at Coste during Spring Training when Dubee said Coste's game management was "sometimes questionable." This comment followed Romero's temper tantrum last September after Romero had a bad relief appearance -- the latter rant being the first criticism of Coste's play-calling or game management in any published report. To the contrary -- Coste's "pitcher-handling" and play-calling had universally been praised before Romero's whining last season.]

Certainly no one on Beerleaguer has blamed Ruiz for the crappy pitching performances which ocurred this year while he was behind the plate. And no one blamed Marson -- nor should they have - for the lousy pitching which occurred during Marson's start behind the plate on Thursday night in Washington.

Of all the people who have earned credibility this season -- Rich Dubee is not one of them. I ask these two questions: "What is the Phillies' starting pitching ERA this year?" and "What is the Phillies' overall pitching staff ERA this year?

Put simply -- blaming Coste for the poor Phillies pitching performance so far this year is absurd.

Yo, new thread

I'd say Dubee earned a lot of credibilty coming off last season. He and his staff certainly needs to get their act together, though.

simply put, davethom you are a quite a mindless little hoot. putting up strawman arguments to knock down is an act of an intellectual coward but you have taken the art to new heights. my remark about coste not calling a good game did not devolve to blaming him for the collapse of phils pitching staff this year, so putting words in my mouth to disagree with them is as purile as it comes. coste did not catch an inning until game four, until that time the starters were getting shelled but the relief staff were holding their own.

in the last game coste called for madsen in the 8th to throw change up after change up and three of those change ups got hit. one would think that mixing up pitches would confuse the batter, but coste also called for several consequetive fastballs from lidge in the 9th, four of them in a row without a single slider being called for. and lidge got hit on two of them too. so it isn't simply that both usually outstanding relievers got hit because both were off on the same night. maybe you are not aware that pitching is an art form that demands that a successful pitcher constantly keep the opposing batter from teeing off on a particular type of pitch. you do that by setting up the batter with mixing your pitches, so when coste called for several of the same type of pitches consequetively he played right into the batter's hands. ruiz does not do that, at least nowhere as often as coste has.

btw the success of the phils from late august to october last year was as much due to ruiz's pitch calling as anything else. if you are too stupid to see that it remains your problem, not mine for pointing it out.

btw you ought to stop tea bagging coste, it makes you look stupid.

kuvasz -- So -- in your post above -- which few people will read on this "dead thread" -- I am a "mindless little hoot", an "intellectual coward" , "purile", and "stupid" (repeated twice). Some pretty good mindless and desperate name-calling though, kuvasz, I will have to hand it to you there. Answer this question -- is name-calling the refuge of one who has nothing intelligent to say by way of rebuttal?

And your central observation of sophisticated baseball analysis and pitching strategy is that pitchers should keep hitters off-balance -- by throwing pitches which the hitters are not expecting. Now -- that's truly novel, and if I were going to resort to name-calling, I would call you a numbskull for that piece of brilliance.

Your first post above -- in which you blame the catcher for a pitcher getting hammered is what I said it was -- nonsense -- nothing better. By the same standard -- do you blame Marson for the Phillies pitchers getting pounded by the terrible Washington Nats on Thursday night -- of course you don't-- because you were too busy taking a cheap shot at Coste only.

Its called being disingenuous and hypocritical, kuvasz.

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