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Saturday, June 20, 2009



I hate this team when they play like this.

Still on the bubble with Bastardo.

It would be a good day for Happ to make the offense irrelevant. Hopefully, he can at least expect some decent defense behind him. Think Manuel will play musical chairs again with outfield?

Bastardo definitely needs some work on his secondary pitches but overall I'd call this experiment a slight thumbs up.

To me with young pitchers you need to look at the intangible things as well. Coming off his worst start so far Bastardo did a nice job bouncing back, and also went on a pretty good run in the game before giving up hits again in the 6th. Shows an ability to lock in and shut out when things aren't going his way. Also, he did what you needed him to do last night getting into the 7th.

Right now the team is not in sync. When they get good pitching the bats stay quiet. When they get hitting the pitching falls apart. They need to get on the same page.

"Meet the new Brett Myers..." ouch?

Very frustrating performance by the Phils.

Truth: Good points.

With this lineup, 7 innings and 4 runs from your starter should be damn close to a win. I think Charlie just mailed in the last 2 innings with Taschner to give the others guys a rest.


The O's are throwing a RH sinker/slider/curveball guy today who sits in the high 80s on his sinker and has gone 7.0+ in his last three starts. In those three, he's 2-1 and has a CG against the Braves.

Oh, and did I mention the Phillies have never seen him before? It's like the confluence of all negative offensive factors for the Phillies:

- Bats are cold
- Never seen opposing pitcher
- Opposing pitcher throws sinkers
- Opposing pitcher on good streak


This team went from the sublime to the ridiculous in a matter of days. AL? Injuries? CBP? Witchcraft? Very odd.

curt: Yes, Charlie is under Grima's spell.

This has been a painful stretch. Probably a classic "trap" phase of the schedule after the sweep of the Mets in NY in extra innings. Still, I have to imagine the momentum swings a bit if they win that first game against the Sox with a Dobbs walk off.

I still have to question the use of the roster spaces: Bako and Traschner are pretty much oxygen thiefs on this team right now. This rote use by Charlie of pinchitting Bruntlett/Dobbs early and Coste/Stairs late shows that the roster needs some tweaks. Also, and maybe it is just me, but the promotion of Happ to the rotation seems to have flummoxed Charlie and reliever roles out of the pen.

I agree that Charlie mailed it in with Taschner and I actually have no problem with that. Odds are they weren't coming back and if they did they would have used the entire bullpen again in an extra inning loss.

Down south we're are suffering under persistent rainless heat. To add to this weather induced misery, I am suffering by this listless losing streak, where the Phils are making dodo no name pitchers look like Cy Young for a day (or night).

This team is unwatchable. A Cholly tirade is long overdue. Remember a few years back in Miami, on display for the cameras? It turned the team around.
Could Kyle Drabek be the 2009 version of Kyle Kendrick in 2007?

ozark: He could be a good start or two at AA away from that. If the Phillies can't get a front line starter then they might as well roll the dice on the hot hand of a supposedly poised kid who can throw more than 2 pitches.

I'm hesitant to bring up Drabek, but honestly how much worse can he be than Moyer, Bastardo, and Blanton have been?

I don't know the solution, but I've figured out the problem:

Collectively, at home, the Phils got the yips.

There has to be something more than coincidence involved in the Phillies' poor showing against AL teams: likely the same thing that often renders them impotent against "new" pitchers. Maybe there's a stat out there to counter this, but it's seemed for a long time that the Phillies seem to do especially poorly against unfamiliar opponents. Perhaps one reason why these unfamiliar opponents have the upper hand is because the hitters are so predictable, impatient, and largely uncerebral. With Ibanez gone, the only hitter who seems to consistently have a plan at the plate is Utley. As good an offensive team as the Phils are, they can very easily be outmatched (read: outsmarted) by an average pitcher with any modicum of command.

I guess losing streaks beget all sorts of inadequate theories, just throwing another one out there.

On another subject, Amaro's handling of the roster is really starting to register as a major weakness. The bullpen shuffles last weekend were perhaps the most eyebrow-raising, but the bench has also been an ongoing source of embarrassment. Even if you can get past the presence of Bruntlett - which is becoming nigh impossible - the whole trip with people like Cairo and Bako points rather damningly to someone upstairs not getting the job done.

Geez, people saying the past 3 days how they"had" to turn the game off. Frontrunners??? J/K.

Seriously though, we know how this team struggles aginst the AL teams in June. It is as unexplicable as the slow starts in April you just have to roll with the punches at this point. until we get back to play NL teams starting with Atlanta.

Also, Bastardo pitched well last night. Utley's "lost ball" play cost 2 runs, then because Mayberry wasn't used to playing left,the ball turned him around and there was another run. Bastardo should have only let up the 1 run and we would have been ok I think.

"Notes: The Mets and Braves picked up a game in the standings with respective victories over the Rays and Red Sox."

You're overlooking the real story: the Nationals also picked up a game by defeating the team that just swept us.

Rain will most likely be a factor tonight...Northeast weather has been abysmal since May

Jack Taschner has 18 BBs in 19 appearances. With the 30 hits in 25 innings thats a pretty high WHIP.
"I think BLers have been much too hard on Taschner."

Jason Jaramillo for Jack Taschner is a little bit of a loss. Especially since Chris Coste is done. Imagine a team that is so stacked that it can afford to carry a personal caddy for Jaime Moyer, one of the worst SP in MLB.

When this team is good, they can beat anybody. When they're bad, they can lose to anybody. The last three weeks have proved that. I'll admit that I "gave up" about 10 times over the last two seasons.
One more thing - maybe it's time to cut all the Peavy/Bedard/Halladay/Marquis/Haren/Oswalt/Koufax/Marichal/Grover Cleveland Alexander trade talk and just man up. I would consider bringing up Drabek and using him out of the bullpen. For years, I've wondered why other teams are always able to bring in some young flamethrower while we're forever trotting out an assortment of retreads.

It wasn't Jason Jaramillo who was traded for Taschner. It was Ronnie Paulino.

I'm rooting for him, but I have real doubts about Mayberry. When he makes contact, he's good. Sort of like Greg Golson with a little more power.

Zudok: According to mvptommy, Mayberry is a future stud, and it's because he doesn't hit for average. That's a good thing now, according to tommy.

Hydrant, I know that. How do you think we got Ronnie Paulino? Jaramillo for Paulino for Taschner. Happy?
Point is they traded a .270, switch hitting, 26 year old catcher to keep .220 hitting 35 year old catcher. And all they have to show for it is an unusable LH pitcher, that is not needed because they already have 2 LH relievers.

Jaramillo, Paulino, Barajas, Mike Lavalliere, Darren Fletcher - continuing the long tradition of second-rate catchers who come back to haunt.
BTW, apologies to Barajas - it was, of course, Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins who slid between the wickets a few years back and not some anonymous tomahawk-chopper. Nevertheless.

Jack: Well, we can only hope mvptommy is right. Because I don't see much else there myself.

****Still on the bubble with Bastardo.****

Yup...that about sums its up. When he's on, he can get by as a 4/5 starter. He seems more suited for a late-inning reliever though. His fastball would sizzle a bit more in short-relief.

Jack: Don't forget Mayberry's pedigree.

Here's how you'll know that the Phillies will be flailing at the plate again today. They're facing a sinkerballer who can't throw a fastball by anyone. If they move toward the mound, to the front of the batters box, they'll be fine. If they continue to hit with their back foot on the back line of the batters box, we're in for yet another long day.

For a team with a hitting coach and a manager who was a renowned hitting coach, they never seem to adjust to the pitcher.

I say go a couple more turns with Drabek in Reading and Bastardo in the rotation. If by the ASB Drabek is looking strong and Bastardo is looking iffy, call up Drabek to start, move Bastardo to relief, and dump Taschner.

Drabek will almost certainly not be called up this year. He's coming off an injury and has never pitched a ton of innings at the Pro level. I wouldn't expect to see him till next season. His future is too bright to risk in a mid-season call up considering he started the year in Clearwater and barely pitched last year.

aksmith: amen!

Larry Andersen, last night after Franzke's report on Drabek's outing: (Paraphrasing, somewhat) "He keeps pitching like that and I wouldn't be surprised to see him up here." Not sure if he said "this year" but it was obvious that's what he meant. Now, you can say he's just an announcer, but of course he's an ex-pitcher and former minor league pitching coach. I'm not saying it's the right thing to do - I don't profess to know - just saying it could happen. And why not work him into the 7th inning? I know, I know - his future is as a starter. But I think the Phillies overthink this stuff sometimes. I'd rather see him than Durbin, Condrey, Taschner, Park...stop me, please. Granted, they're a bit overworked. What the hell, let's just win the damn game tonight.

zudok: He did say this year.

i know that blanton really contributed last year toward the wfc, but look at who they traded to get him ... another 'misguided pitcher' ( only while in the phillies' system) who turns out to be a stud with oakland -
josh outman. could use him the rotation now...

imagine a home grown rotation: hamels, outman, g. floyd, bastardo...


makes you think..

and happ

zudok: "When this team is good, they can beat anybody. When they're bad, they can lose to anybody." I thought the same thing last year. The Phils do have a knack for looking alternately unstoppable and abysmal. I'm afraid I join with Hydrant, RSB and aksmith in feeling pessimistic about tonight's offense. But the thing about baseball is, you never know, so of course I'll be watching and hoping for the best! And Truth, I agree with your assessment of Bastardo. I found it most encouraging that while still a work in progress he got back on track after a bad 2nd and had 7 IP with only 1 further run. Taschner stinks, sorry to say. The only thing is, Condrey and Durbin are also faltering in many of their appearances, and JC isn't impressing me either right now. (I'll give Condrey a partial pass on his back issues.) The best thing about yesterday's loss was the BP got to rest. Hopefully Lidge will come back soon but only if he's back closer (much) to last year's version.

I thought of one possible reason the Phils are playing badly: the weather. I remember Mitch Williams saying (last season, when I called to complain early on about the number of errors being made) how they are not a good cool weather team and how they improve as the weather heats up. Personally, I really like him as an analyst, and just about everything he said last year proved right. Bad news: The weather is stuck in a cooler, wet place for the near future. Good news?: It's bound to be summer soon.

Probably way early to be calling Outman a "stud"

But if he is then by tommy's analysis he is the next Cy Young.

I'm with The Truth Injection regarding the Bastardo experiment. He's shown good makeup for a 23 year old with just two starts above AA under his belt before he got thrown into Major League service. Don't need to re hash the defensive blunders that cost him some unearned runs last night, but please take note that for a week straight we've harped on the need for a starter to go 7 plus and take some of the pressure of this gassed bullpen; Bastardo was the first of our starters to do so on this home stand since Blanton a week ago against the Sox. So, slight thumbs up on the Bastardo experiment from me as well. He needs to develop his slider and change-up, and should be given time to in AAA, but for not we have a 23 year old lefty with a nice fastball and ML makeup. Nothing to scoff at even if he's not actually the next Johan Santana.

I doubt Charlie's plan was to leave Traschner in for the 9th, but once he gave up 3 in the 8th and we did nothing to put a dent in that lead, he had no other choice. Why waste any of our real pitchers? In some ways I wonder if that was his message to the team: "If your going to play like you don't care, then I will manage like I don't care either."

All of the bad baseball aside, this team knows how to win and knows when to dig deep. I guarantee wins the next two days. Expect a big game from Utley tonight and Cole delivers a huge Sunday win tomorrow. That will be just what the doctor ordered; if not, we have a 6 game road trip coming up.

Outman left last night's game with an injury. Don't know how serious.

Bastardo - 2 ML wins and it's obvious, although he's still a work in progress, he has what it takes to compete at this level.

Kendrick - 21 ML wins and it's obvious that he doesn't have what it takes.

Bastardo has what Jim Fregosi used to call "face". He LOOKS like he belongs and knows it.

nothing to add to the convo, as everyone seems to be expressing the same feelings i have.

so just want to remention how idiotic the phils are for calling up Bako, and it is to a point of pure amazement that he still remains.

Don't they lose Majewski to an optout if they dont activate him by July 1? What a waste of what seems to be a pretty good gamble on their part.

Yo, new thread

Yo, aksmith, very astute observation.. you know I concur with your assessment of their plate approach...or lack thereof.

These guys are so complacent as hitters (and let's face it, they have probably earned it) that they don't adjust to differing pitching styles.

Well, it's time they start taking hitting seriously for these guys. You mentioned about the hitting coach...I don't know what Thompson does for the this team, but I don't think he talks to the players about hitting.

He does seem to tow the line pretty well though.

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