Part of CSNPhilly.com


« Philadelphia tells clueless Phillies to take a hike | Main | Beer nuts: Very strange days for Pat the Bat »

Monday, June 22, 2009

Comments

I think this homestand really underscores how lucky the Phillies were last year in that they managed to largely avoid the injury demon. Hamels and the rest of the rotation stayed healthy, none of the position players missed much time during the season, and in turn the rotation staying healthy and effective meant the bullpen was able to hold together all season long.

I know there are lots of injuries, but losing 6 in a row to Toronto and Baltimore at home is never excusable. The most frustrating part is the bad AB's. Nothing but pop-ups and and weak groundballs to middle infielders.

I agree JW, and with you as well Ned, but this is a tough pill to swallow and injuries don't make me feel any better about losing 5 in a row at home and 8 out of 9.

Sure I mean, excuses aren't hard to come by... blown calls by umpires (Dobbs's homerun, Rollins's single), the fact that the Phillies never seem to play their best when facing the AL, or even their unusual poor play at home this season could be attributed to most of these losses,

but right now it doesn't matter because the Phils are just flat out losers. That's how they played, hit, caught, coached, managed, this entire homestand. I was hoping Manuel would just go out there and throw a water cooler at the ump, or steal second base and throw it into the outfield, just so SOMEONE associated with the Phillies would show they actually cared.

I love the Phils, and I expect this is like a father watching his teenage son showing apathy toward his true potential. With "the 20s" and "make it or break it time" right around the corner, it's time for the Phillies to step up, lest they dwell in the basement of the league.

1) Primary reason NOT to trade Ryan Howard - the line up is completely different without him, even when he's not killing the ball.

2) Primary reason NOT to go to home games at CBP - the Phils are listless at home. Forget the injuries; do the position players forget how to hit at home?

3) Primary reason NOT to worry - 162 game season.

4) Primary reason NOT to be comfortable - what's the record for worst home-away split in a WFC season?

Does Howard have the swine flu or what?

It's easy too look past a lack of discipline at the plate when everybody is hitting and the offense it putting up crooked numbers. We've seen this team under Manuel play almost bi-polar baseball. Unbeatable at times, then even worse than the mid nineties Phillies. Is it beneath a reporter to ask Manuel or Thompson about this? Perhaps a more conservative, disciplined *team* approach at the plate would yield consistent results? It might not be sexy, but even more early inning 5+ pitch at bats resulting in outs leads to an earlier exit for the opposing pitcher and more swings at the opponents bullpen.

It's reasonable to point out the injuries. Yet the hitting stands out. Like it or not, the Phillies' core are at the point where we should start to see injuries and unexpected declines in performance.

Utley and Rollins are 30 and Howard will be this winter.

Also a friend of mine asked about Howard's batting against LHP. Was it worse this season? Here are the numbers. 2005 was just a half season.
BA OPS
2009 0.194 0.616
2008 0.224 0.745
2007 0.225 0.826
2006 0.279 0.922
2005 0.148 0.421

It's still a very good offense, whether they're playing like it or not, and I don't think anyone is giving them a pass this week for their approach. But I look at a team like the Mariners. If you ever catch one of their games, you cannot believe their lineup, how bad it is. And it shows. It's a battle just to squeeze four runs out of that team on a given night.

I got watch the weekend's games down here in Richmond because I get the O's and Nats games. What's really disheartening to me is that we had one good offensive inning in 3 games. And the only reason that happened was due to Howard's heroics.

It shows just how weak the bench is and also that the 'pen isn't as good as last years'.

The biggest problem however is the lack of emotion and swagger. If I were Rollins, I'd have been in the ump's face in a half-a-second yesterday. Same thing with the HR call that didn't go our way against Boston.

It is becoming more clear to me that changes need to be made. Whether it's a trade or 2, a mangerial or hitting coach change (I'll explain that statement), or what else I don't know But something has to be done.

Now I think Cholly had done a good job all things considered but you have to play small-ball in close games and he just dosen't do it. Maybe a change in philosophy is needed. Especially if 2 of your biggest threat are out of the lineup. Maybe changing the hitting coach will help. Why are these guys taking too many pitches right down the middle and why do they look inferior against pitchers they should absolutely hammer? I don't know but maybe a change in philosphy is needed there too. The only good news is that we're still in first but that will change if the club makes no changes.

Considering the 1-8 homestand the Phillies just posted, a two game lead in the NL East doesn't seem all that bad.

Any news on Ryan Howard's health?

I agree we escaped the injury bug last year... but we did lose Rollins (Back when he was good) for a long period of time with that ankle sprain.

I don't think the biggest problem is the lack of emotion, dpatrone. It's hard to have fun when you're losing, and if you play by emotions you are susceptible to the frustration getting to you, as opposed to playing on an even keel with a quiet intensity. I know what you mean, and I've felt the same way, too, but I think that it's really hard for us as fans to judge what the players feel. I do think the mental lapses are troubling when they pile up, but are they due to complacency, apathy, or are they due to frustration? We can't truly say as observers. In any case, what we love about this team is their "never say die" attitude. The only way for us to see that in action is when they play well in late innings, but that doesn't mean they are ony trying when they succeed.
And do we really want emotional players? The Zambranos and KRods of the world. I thought controlling one's emotions was a sign of maturity and professionalism. I think we do tend to look at it that way, when things are going well. We're all frustrated right now.

In response to DPatrone - I posted this at the end of the previous thread:

I don't know if I'm board with crucifying Rollins for not arguing after being wrongly called out. It's never been his style to argue, and particularly as that contrasts with certain opposing team's fans' impression of him as a "punk", I appreciate that element of refinement in Jimmy's demeanor. To equate the lack of argument to a lack of 'fire' is a rather lazy inaccuracy. Rollins plays the game with a discernible passion. When Utley got called out on strikes even as the umpire was yelling 'ball' the other night, he didn't put up much of an argument, either - as he rarely says anything to umps, himself. Again - does that trait correlate to not caring, not playing with passion? Yeah, not exactly. I think it can be interpreted as more of a strong leadership quality to *not* whine and shoot your mouth off at umpires; doing so usually just displaces accountability, attempts to shift the fans' ire away from the player or team and onto the evil umpire. While on a surface level, it may be gratifying to see a player vent the same kind of frustration you as a fan might have, that kind of behavior ultimately doesn't set a very good example.

(Mind you, I am *not* defending Rollins' .216 average here.)

I just realized I made opposite comments about frustration. It's possible the Phils let frustration get to them this homestand, with the errors and mental lapses, but I think this team is good at shaking off frustration and not letting those kinds of emotions get to them. As Mitch Williams says, they don't get too high or too low. If what you are suggesting is that they ARE getting too low right now, I hope you are wrong, or that they snap out of it. If what you are suggesting is that they need to play with more evident emotion - display their frustration by yelling at umps for bad calls and throwing bats around after SOs, that's what I disagree with

from Todd Zolecki's column:
"The one thing that jumps out is the bullpen ERA. The bullpen held the pitching staff together through its first 58 games, but the relievers look tired....
Yes, the offense struggled. Yes, the Phillies looked sloppy in the field. But I expect both of those things to correct themselves. This team will hit. This team will catch the ball. But will it pitch well enough to win?"

again, from zo zone:

First 58 games: They had a 4.60 ERA, striking out 7.1 batters per nine innings and opponents hitting .267 against them. Starters had a 5.28 ERA in that span. The bullpen had a 3.45 ERA.

Last 9 games: They had a 5.97 ERA, striking out 8.2 batters per nine innings and opponents hitting .314 against them. Starters had a 5.37 ERA in that span. The bullpen had a 6.88 ERA.

GBrett: you're right. It's really all about perspective, in the end. It'd be nice to have a team that's more consistent, but at the end of the day they remain in an excellent position, and I think we'll all agree that it's much preferable to have these lapses in June instead of September. I have every confidence the Phils will pick it back up. I've watched too much baseball to believe the streak they're on will last. The might be playing poorly in general, but also aren't catching a single break. It won't last, folks. Yes, there are problems on the team. Rollins' performance is a big concern. The pitching will be continue to be a concern. I'm not saying everything's pink roses here. But I don't see anyone dislodging them from first place, at least for very long. I think the players know it, too. The minute you see outbursts and 'emotion' from the team is when you as a fan can know it's probably time to panic, as well.

RSB: I am very glad you re-posted your comment about Rollins' lack of argument from the prior thread. Right on the money.

If J-Roll goes nuts, Beerleaguers call him a punk. If he reacts exactly as Utley does in these situations (as he did yesterday), Beerleaguers accuse him of not caring.

GBrettfan: That can't possibly be happening. Most posters here will tell you that a higher K rate cannot possibly accompany a higher ERA.

you've heard it here, Jimmy Rollins is beyond criticism.

This is a team of professional baseball players. I'm going to use Carson's hated term here... It's a marathon, not a sprint. The perfect example of a baseball player on this team is Chase Utley. Same expression on a home run as a strike out. If you had 25 Larry Bowas on this team, there probably would be 10 dead Bowas by the All Star Break.

Some BL'ers and worse (the typical WIP fan) will describe losing streaks with expressions like "listless", "lack of fire", "no emotion" etc. When the teams demeanor is NO different than when they are winning. What team have you guys been watching the last few years?

Everyone is frustrated here. You never see Rollins argue a call ever. It's Manuel's job or Lopes job to argue those calls. It's unprofessional Now some might argue that it wouldn't be bad for a Rollins to take a nice 2 or 3 game suspension for bumping an umpire, remind yourself that Eric Bruntlett would be playing short for those games.

I don't know how showing emotion will prevent throwing a meatball to give up a two run homer. Or how showing emotion will prevent you from hitting into a double play.

But a guy trying his best can still go 0 for 4 with 3Ks just as easily as a guy can mail it in and go 2 for 4 with a 3RBI.

Just thank the heavens for a road trip... Even if it's a Ray's team looking for WFC revenge.

Hope everyone who is a father had a nice Father's Day yesterday. But as usual I need to ruffle some feathers about some things that happened yesterday.

Things Learned on Bler on Father's Day

1. If for some reason you miss one game on here because you have a life outside the internet, you are now a frontrunner according to Clout. As This was his statement yesterday.

"For anyone who doubts that most Beerleaguer posters are frontrunners, compare today's game thread with one when they were winning."

2. Clout and Jack are father-son. (Actually, if true exaplains alot)

3. When Howard AND Ibanez's combined 40+ HR and 100+ RBI's are out of the lineup it is tough to score.

4. Last year we were 4-11 in interleague play. This year we are 3-9 so far. No need to panic, just the same old Phillies. Two things are gaurenteed in a season. Phillies will have a slow start AND have a miserable interleague play record.

5. Can we please cut Taschner as soon as Eyre and Lidge return, Thank You.

mike c: Great post.

mike: "Some BL'ers and worse (the typical WIP fan) will describe losing streaks with expressions like "listless", "lack of fire", "no emotion" etc"

Um, quick question. What's the difference between BLers and a "typical WIP fan"?

Actually, I have tuned in and out today. The overall opinion there, seems to be to relax because last June the same EXACT 6 game losing streak happened. I actually think those on BLer are over-reacting on this one.

I too agree with RSB and Mike C. It's difficult not to be reactionary when things are going this poorly, but this team will rebound. Hopefully when Lidge and Eyre come back, the pen will fall back into their defined rolls in which they are comfortable. Ibanez will hopefully come back healthy and continue at a nice pace. And so on and so forth. Better this happens now than in September.

In re: Rollins lack of argument with ump. What is he supposed to do? The ump missed the call and Cholly came out to defend him. That's it. I'd rather have the manager get thrown out of a one-run ballgame than our lead-off hitter and gold glove shortstop -- no matter how poorly he is playing. It's a no-win for J-Roll. Why over-analyze?

The real important thing to this thread is if Jack is really Clout's dad.

Everything else is a non-issue.

How did Mayberry do the past few games? I've been under a rock. I mean besides the boxscore, did he look comfortable playing in the bigs?

Gary: Mayberry looks pretty good, but needs to play RF. He messed up on a ball in LF because he's not used to playing out there. Plus he's got a better arm than Werth. At bat, he should platoon vs. LHP for now.

Mayberry showed off a strong arm, but also got hoodwinked by Rolen into allowing an extra base on what should have been a single.

Hanley Ramirez moved ahead of Rollins in the AS vote...

I don't want to see Rollins in hystrionics on the field because of a bad call. I think back to the NLCS and all the tantrums Russell Martin was throwing and how I was so glad the Phillies never exhibit that sort of behaviour. Besides, are umpires more or less likely to give you calls in your favor in the future if you show them up on the field?

Exactly.

Charlie is the one who needs to argue bad calls and he usually only does it when they are fairly egregious.

Just looking at the schedule... Why are the Phils playing Toronto again next weekend? Aren't there some other AL teams they could play?

eff: i like how the mlb.com writeup says "you can't go wrong with jimmy or hanley". Haha umm i'd beg to differ.

If Rollins somehow made the start at the allstar game, think Charlie would bat him leadoff?

bake: i think toronto is our "natural rival." that;s why we are seeing them twice this year in interleague play.

:-(

mets playing the yanks 3 extra games compared to phils playing the BJs 3 extra times should actually favor the Phillies this season, that is until phils went 2-1 vs NYY and 0-3 vs TOR so far.

thephaithful: Not to mention the fact that the Natinals took 2 of 3 from the Yanks. They aren't exactly lighting the world on fire right now.

Chris Davis of the Rangers struck out for the 100th time this season, in his 219th AB. Haha, Werth and Howard look like contact hitters compared to that.

With only 14 BB to go with the 101 Ks, he's striking out once every 2.35 plate appearences.

Laughing at others misfourtunes might be the only thing able to keep me sane during this losing streak.

Marlins took 2 of 3 vs the Yankees too.

Mets should have had 2 of 3, except for Luis Castillo's botched catch of a final out popup.

Oh, right it's "natural"; I somehow forgot.

Well, we owe 'em a sweep I guess.

Ryan Howard has acute sinusitis, according to the team doctor.

He's reportedly resting at home today, but may be on the plane to Tampa if he feels better.

The older I get I see it is a "marathon not a sprint". I still get pissed with losses, especially ones that should easily be wins (like a handful of ones recently). However, this team has proven over the past two seasons that they'll go through funks and pull out of it ahead. J-Roll looks really freakin' bad. But so did 1st half Burrell in '07 and 1st half Howard in '08. I'll still still call it like I see it and where my emotions on my sleeve, but I know better than to write this team off or think they're going to suck forever...this is just momentary sucking.

Comment on the emotion thing:

- Don't understand why people were frustrated at JRoll not arguing the call. He was clearly out of the basepath and was out. If he had blown up there and gotten ejected, fans would have likely criticized him for losing his cool and letting his frustration show.

Basically, as JRoll last year - Philly is a frontrunning town (especially in sports) with an extreme "what you done for me lately attitude." This is a common American theme but especially prevalent in the NE and Philly.

Only way people will be content again is if JRoll starts to hit regardless of his effort or hustle. It is largely bullcr@p that the fans hear won't boo a player who isn't working hard but just not seeing results.

- As for emotion, it does clearly matter. Unlike football, it impossible to stay fired up all season long in baseball. Every good team team hits at least one (if not two or more lulls) during the season.

Cholly saw that his team was flatter than a pancake yesterday and that is why he came out to argue the call. That was a classic text page move out of the Earl Weaver Managerial Handbook: argue a call and get tossed in a close game late at home if you have been flat all day even if you know it is completely 100% correct.

Frankly one of the better managerial moves that Cholly made in a while. Vic followed up with a 2B but Utley just couldn't bring him home.

The Phils natural rival USED to be Baltimore. But then Montreal moved to Washington and started a home and home with them. I think I'd rather play the Yankees again over any of these other AL East teams.

Zolecki's comment about the bullpen being tired of kind of a "Cap'n Obvious" leve observation - hasn't pitched well lately -

1. Phils have played 5 extra-inning games in the past 2+ weeks
2 Have had 2 key guys go on the DL (Lidge, Eyre)
3. Have another who is likely pitching at least semi-injured with a bad back (Condrey).
4. Played a ton of games at home where they have picked worse all year
5. Compounded by the goof in bringing up Kendrick instead of Escalona and having to shuffle the bullpen around with a bunch of roster moves the past two weeks.

Yeah the bullpen hasn't pitched well at all but it is really due to a bunch of other factors besides "starters" are going late into games. That usually doesn't begin to show up a bit later in the season on guy's arms.

June 13-June 27th

3-12 or 4-11 last year.

Season turned out nice. Teams have their ups and down. Phils will have a couple 5 game win streaks later in the year and we'll all forget this happened again.

OR

They'll continue to lose at home and we'll be miserable because 17 of their next 21 games after this short trip are all at CBP.

What was annoying yesterday to hear from Cholly and the players was how they didn't want to talk about their record at CBP or the kind of casual dismissal of their performance there all season.

They can downplay it all they like but if they don't finish above .500 at CBP, they likely aren't returning to the playoffs. Only 2 teams in baseball have ever made the playoffs with a .500 or sub record.

They need to go 28-20 (.583) at CBP the rest of the way to finish at 41-40 and it is hard to see this team as currently constituted with their pitching staff doing that.

Justin - You just hit on my last point I forgot to add. Given the amount of games they play at CBP in July, it is pretty likely that is where season is really going to be decided and strongly shape their position prior to the trading deadline.

I say Phils need to go at least 11-7 at CBP in July.

Series at CBP in July: 3 vs. Mets, 4 vs. Reds, 3 vs. Pirates, 3 vs. Cubs, 1 vs. Padres, 3 vs Cards

Phils should be able to go better than .500 or my bet is they will be home Oct. 1.

I can only imagine if Earl Weaver had a show to express his feelings over the recent homestand:

http://users.rcn.com/pkatcher/audio/EarlWeaverTirade.mp3

Isn't Stark's "statistic" about the number of teams that have made the playoffs with a losing home record a kind of classic sportswriter's canard? It's true only in as much as it represents half of your games, but I'm not quite sure what their current home woes and road wins are supposed to mean in that context. If it's reasonable to expect their road record to come to earth (which I think it is), it seems equally reasonable for the team to return to historical norms and play better at home. It's not like they're a power team in a pitcher's park.

A bad home record at the end of the season definitely indicates a middling team in general, sure, but a stellar road record and mediocre home record doesn't yet indicate a middling team.

They WILL be at home Oct 1st - and 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Hopefully they will not be home on Nov 1st!

tw- Bonus trivia word of the day with canard.

Yeah, but it is likely the Phils will play somewhat better at CBpP but you can't outright dismiss the fact that this team is clearly hitting worse at home and pitching worse too along with just not beating any decent at CBP.

If the Phils just weren't hitting with RISP in scoring position or they had beaten a few good teams, I would fit that you would likely see them play better at home over July and revert to their performances of past year.

MG: What did you want them to say? "We're terrible at home and we don't know what we're doing and it's driving us crazy and it's all we can think about and I can't get to sleep at night because we've lost so many games at CBP?" or "Yeah, it's ruining our season, we have no chance at winning now"?

Come on. These are professional athletes. They're working hard to trying to win at home, but for whatever reason, they're not right now. Casually dismissing it is exactly how they should respond. They know it sucks, but they also have confidence it will get better. I'm sorry they didn't get angry just to make you happy.

The comments about how players and coaches should react to the media and show the same anger or disappointment as fans are the single stupidest comments on here. People seem to feel like just because they're angry, the players owe it to them to answer certain questions a certain way. The players and coaches should focus on winning. Caring about what they say to the media is just utterly stupid and pointless.

Not to absolve myself, as I'm sure I was involved, but I seem to remember a lot of people being ho-hum about the loss of Brett Myers. He seemed fairly replaceable at the time.

I think ALL of us would give anything to have Brett back right now.

No I would not expect that kind of quote Jack but there is a difference between dismissing a question and even giving it a lipservice answer.

I don't question that the Phils aren't "working hard" but that is missing the point. You kind of get the feeling that the predominant attitude of the players is that we have won the last two years and we have won at home so at some point we will just turn it around like we did the last 2 seasons.

I just wonder if that attitude has been kind of reflected in all of the mental gaffes (poor defense, getting picked off, baserunning errors) that have occurred this season at CBP. Hell, even Cholly himself has said a couple of times that this team has not been at sharp home and made some poor mental blunders.

One thing to lose at home. Another to make the number of mentally-related miscues the Phils have had.

MG: Agree that they need to play sharper at home. I just don't see any connection whatsoever to any quotes to the media. If I were a player I would probably say as little to the media as possible too. I just find it odd and juvenile when fans act as though the players should be projecting their (the fans') feelings into media quotes that have no relevance whatsoever.

I think what bothers me most is that over the last two years I’ve felt like, okay, we’re going to win this game…even when we don’t. Yesterday, I had this sense that Hamels was going to somehow get screwed out of a win. I just sensed it from the start.

We, over at the site, have a suggestion for the Phillies.

4daysrest - Comparing "Uncle Eddy" Savitz to Bedard. That's a little bit of a stretch.

Myno, Really? Would Myers have done much better than Tony Bastard has thus far? Granted, I think if the rotation stays as is we eventually will miss Myers, but Bastardo has filled in okay so far, especially in his first two starts.

Yeah Myers was so lights out this year he's still #2 in the NL in HR allowed (Moyer is trying his best to catch him) despite being on the DL for a month. I wish he got hurt in spring training.

Moyer going tomorrow is an automatic loss.

A stretch, yes. But also kind of funny in a sick and twisted sort of way.

Yo, new thread

MG -

Sure, and it's frustrating as hell, but I'm not sure what the home/away record of playoff teams at the end of the season tells you, other than teams that play poorly in half their games don't make the playoffs. The bats are sure to come to earth away (especially with Ibanez out), and the pitching seems likely to play down to their team FIP, but even that probably gives you an away record a hair above .500 record in their remaining away games. At home, it'll be the same July/August we always have: as the bats go, so goes the team.

But I mean, they can't possibly play any worse at home, can they?

He said Earth. On the road. Bwah ha ha.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories

HardballTalk

Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel

CSG