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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

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Too bad Blanton look the L tonight. This was arguably his best outing all season so far. He deserved better. So did Hamels and Bastardo though over the past week.

JRoll is a popular target for abuse but just about everybody in this lineup has gone cold - Utley and Vic are the only regulars having good months and there are a couple of regular who are ice cold the last ten days including Feliz and Ruiz.

Reality is that for the first 2 months of the season, the offense (and the defense) covered up the shoddy pitching staff. Both have dipped this month as the Phils have averaging have a run less this month and playing notably worse defense.

Run production per game (including tonight):

April - 5.95 runs/game
May - 5.29 runs/game
June - 4.76 runs/game

Runs allowed per game:

April - 5.6 runs/game
May - 4.75 runs/game
June - 4.71 runs/game

Thought after April, that as long as the Phils scored 900 runs this year as a team they were likely a lock to make the playoffs again regardless of how subpar the pitching staff was.

They were at that point though the end of May but as of tonight they had scored 367 runs in 69 games. Impressive but that translates into 5.31/runs a game (Best in the NL) but only to 861 runs which is well short of that 900 figure.

Likely going to be some considerable variation in this number but it is much more likely this team will finish around the 840 range. Still a good offense and a notable improvement over the 799 team figure last year but that likely spells huge problems for a shaky pitching staff.

Werth is having a funny little stretch. Butt ugly at bats mixed with home runs. No in-between.

Can't argue with it though based on the number of home runs lately. Although they all seem to be like a solo shot in a 7-1 loss.

What is it with the Phils and RHP? I don't have stats in front of me, perhaps someone else could post these, but doesn't it seem they are performing better against LHP than RHP? Why is that? With all the lefties in the lineup, shouldn't it be the other way around?

Jimmy needs to move down in the order if only for his own sanity. He's just pressing too hard at the plate and needs a break. Bat Vic lead-off.

I wanted to beat Werth with his own bat for swinging first pitch after Garza walked three straight batters and wasn't even remotely close to the strikezone. Garza's a good pitcher, but when he gets erratic, he can unravel really quickly, and they had him on the ropes there. This team really finds ways to beat itself on many nights.

What a shame to waste such a good start by Blanton...the final score is misleading as to how tight a game it really was for most of the night.

In positive news, Blanton is pitching like a legit #3, Moyer like a #4 and Happ as a #5. Hamels is an ace regardless of this year's starts. Meaning we need a #2.

MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Phillies inquired about Cliff Lee and found the price too high. Unless we're trading someone from the MLB starting lineup, I can't even conceive of a price that would be too high for Lee. Given the weak NL, Lee would likely give the Phillies a second straight WS appearance and maybe a victory--and he's signed through next year.

WOW Seriously... way to waste a great start by Blanton. We are playing like the Mets in September. This is LEGENDARY, and not in a good way.

Stark on the general wreck the pitching staff has been:

"No offense should be asked to come from behind as often as the Phillies' lineup has been forced to do that this year. This team has trailed at some point in 52 of its 67 games this season. That means, even though the Phillies are in first place, they've trailed in more games this season than the Pirates or Royals (51 apiece). And even the Nationals, who are already 27 games under .500, have only trailed in 58 games."

"If it weren't for the Phillies' closer issues, they might be leading the NL East by eight games. In their last 27 games, their closer (Brad Lidge or Ryan Madson) has either contributed a blown save, a loss or both in seven of them. Of their 11 losses in June, seven have been hung on the bullpen. And our friends at Inside Edge report that Madson hasn't gotten a single swing-and-miss on his fastball since Lidge was placed on the disabled list."

One of the things that was highlight in late May/early June was how amazing it was this team was in first place and playing so well with such paltry contributions from their leadoff hitter (JRoll) and their closer (Lidge).

It is becoming evidently clear that the Phils don't have a viable alternative for either one of these guys and unless they turn it around in a meaningful way, it is hard to see the Phils making the playoffs right now as currently constituted.

This is why baseball is so unique. Who thought JRoll and Lidge would be so awful so far this year?

I couldn't agree more about Werth, Jason. The other day I heard them talk about him as "Phillie of the Week" and I thought "the guy who keeps wildly swinging and ending up on one knee?" He's had terrible swings and terrible at bats, but he's made contact on a few.

Also, I think Charlie is quietly pissed at Werth. The other day he said something about how he "keeps seeing the same swings over and over" and I thought of Werth

I think some guys are now showing the effects of Cholly not using his bench more, early in the season.

Feliz and Werth are two guys I was worried about. Cholly rode them too much early and now is paying the price for it. Feliz was never going to hit over .300, but even his defense and range has looked bad lately. He looks a bit tired to me; which isn't surprising for a older player in the late days of June.

He also rode Condrey and Madson a lot early as well. Condrey is now hurt and Madson has been a shell of his early self in the past few weeks. I go back to a few of those outings using Madson, in blowout games in the 9th inning, and wonder why at this point even more. Just a waste of bullets in games, that they had no business in.

He also used Romero almost every day for a week straight, after he came off his year-long suspension, and JC has been awful lately with no command at all. He doesn't look like the same pitcher now, as the one that was pitching in August and September last year.

And, we all know he used up Durbin last year in the 1st half of the year. I still don't think Durbin has recovered from it.


Some of this (not all) I think should be at the feet of Manual and Amaro. At Manual, for not getting Werth and Feliz more rest the first 2 months of the year (even when they were going well) and for Amaro, for not getting his manager better options for his bench.

I'm sure this was covered in the last thread, but it's sooo comforting to see that Rollins' stellar play is now covering mental mistakes in the field. That play in the 8th inning that opened the floodgates was awful. He's entitled to an error every now and then like everyone else but that wasn't a physical error. Brutal.

I think Blanton had a better shot of pitching better in the 8th after giving up a cheap double, than bringing someone else in. But ya i know, high pitch counts..blah blah blah.

Wouldn't of mattered anyway. Rays only needed 2 runs to win.

"And our friends at Inside Edge report that Madson hasn't gotten a single swing-and-miss on his fastball since Lidge was placed on the disabled list."

That's stunning. Has his velocity dropped? Or is it just a matter of not mixing in his change up as much as he normally does?

I'm comfortable w/ Blanton as a #2 if there's no major trade for one. Too bad he wasn't staked to a 10 run lead. Could've thrown a CG, giving the pen a blow.

"This is LEGENDARY, and not in a good way."

JW, you ought to pay this guy to write your headers.

Who goes off the roster when Lidge goes on. My vote would be to go with 2 catchers and drop Bako.

If Werth wasn't a complete moron he would be a really good player, but instead he is a huge dope who has been able to become an above average player. Since he doesnt spend his offseasons getting in shape anyway, they should at least force him to study Baseball 101 or even take a few common sense tests once inawhile. Now that Brett is gone, Werth sees that opening for dumbest player on team and is going hard for it.

thephaithful wins the prize going away for irrational hatred of Jayson Werth. It's good to see that folks can spread it around a little, not simply reserve their biased smears for Rollins and Manuel.

Todd Zolecki quotes Werth:
The thing that I was thinking about is that he just walked the bases loaded," Werth said. "You've got two lefties behind me (Stairs and Greg Dobbs), so he's going to try to get ahead. He's going to try to get ahead with the fastball, and it's probably going to be in. At least I was looking in. I got the pitch that I was looking for. The location. I just beat it into the ground.

I didn't see the Werth at bat so I don't have the benefit of the context and emotion of the moment. First pitch swinging against a guy who just walked the bases loaded certainly goes against common wisdom. But, Werth probably takes more pitches than anyone on the team. I would fully expect Garza to groove one to just try and get ahead, assuming they scouted Werth's tendencies. Was it a good pitch to hit or not? If it was, a good swing puts up a crooked number. Hindsight is 20/20.

Hugh - Werth is right but it was a tough pitch to hit. Think it was 94/95 MPH fastball on the outside corner. Tough pitch to handle.

I can see why Werth was being aggressive there but Garza has struggled with his command all inning including get his offspeed stuff over. Werth likely would have seen at least 1 more fastball.

Bubba,

My wife asked me last night: "He just walked the bases loaded, why would [Werth] swing at the first pitch?" It surprised me because she is not an astute baseball fan. My response, begrudgingly, was just like Werth's. The result may have been the worst case scenario, but at least there was some thought behind the AB, contrary to what some might think. I don't think it was the right move at the time, I probably would have taken a pitch in that situation. But, his explanation makes sense.

Werth swinging at the first pitch doesnt make sense to me. That is the reason everyone does it-- they expect a different result than what they just watched. Walks as good as a hit.

RB- Agreed- My point is that Jason did have a thought / plan for his AB. You can disagree with that plan & the outcome was game changing in a BAD way; but he did have a plan.
If you read Lauber's column - Charlie has been trying to get Jason to swing on more first pitches too.
Way more upset with Jimmy's defensive mental lapse on Pat the bat's ground ball than with Werth trying to get a first pitch he could hit.
I can stand aggressive mistakes from the Phils better than the mental mistakes in key situations.

Werth sees the most pitches of anyone in baseball. So clearly, he didn't just swing out of general impatience. He thought he could get a grooved fastball and drive it. Like he said, he just beat it into the ground.

Jimmy is awful right now.

Bubba: I didn't mean to insinuate that you thought Werth had no plan. I was piggy-backing off your post because you quoted him. I wasn't clear on that. Sorry about that.

RB- didn't read any your post in any negative way.

Yo, new failure thread

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