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Friday, July 31, 2009

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I've got to say, I've been reading mlbtr non-stop today and yesterday, and I haven't seen the Phillies mentioned once. I think they're done.

Lost in all the hubbub is the fact the Phils have lost two ugly games in a row.Really? That fact hasn't been lost on me. I doubt it has been lost on any other bl'er either.

It's been kind of lost on me. I hate West Coast games, too damn late. I'll be staying up to watch Lee tonight, though

It's baseball, but I got hosed by the defense.

4 unearned runs, and I only threw 72 pitches.

I coulda gone at least two more innings.

Oh well, you win some - you lose some.

23 more losses to go to get to 95 wins!

I've got a very good feeling about tonight. Place your bets.

Everyone please take a valium and calm down. Since baseball is such a long season, it is about winning series NOT winning games in a row. Phillies won the D'Backs series, just so happened to lose the last game of it. Phillies lost the first game of this series, big deal.

Thanks for talking us down off the ledge, MVP.

I was ready to jump

JW, for some reason, I don't think that was a good enough pep talk for some.

The team is tired. The off day on Monday will be quite welcome. Hopefully we can split this series.

FWIW, how good is Pablo Sandoval? I mean my goodness, 1 HR and 4 RBI's last night. That guy has been hitting all year. AND he can play MULTIPLE defensive positions. SF may have themselves a very very useful player.

We have our 3 best starting pitchers going this weekend. I like our chances at 2, and hopefully 3 wins. The key to the next couple days going well is hitting Lincecum. It would be nice to have Shane back on Saturday. We need his speed and OBP in the lineup against that guy.

I take heart from the fact that last night was ugly due to a rare combo of quiet bats and terrible defense. The errors are a fluke.

mvptommyd: Pablo is good, and he knows it, too.

I guess he showed Charlie that he should have picked him over Werth for the ASG.

Hope they win Today and tomorrow. Those get-away games on the west coast are tough to get up for.

We're throwing our 3 best this weekend. This could be a playoff preview.

Hope Cole sees Lee pitch well and gets even more motivated to be the ace.

I can't get that worked up, you try to win series, not games. We beat Arizona, now we're down 1 with 3 games left against the Giants. I'll take a split, though.

Sandoval is having an All-Star caliber season. Except for the fact that Charlie didn't pick him.

I have a sinking feeling we will pay for that slight all series.

Actually, if the club wins two of the next three, then it will have been a good road trip.

4-3. Most teams in MLB would take that.

We've been spoiled by their performance on the road this season.

"This is big opportunity to see how the new-look Phillies stack up."

So...what did you see?

Seriously. On one hand my stoopid side is screaming: "stop this terrible losing streak!!!" On the other hand, my realistic side keeps reminding me that the incredible hot streak that the Phils were on had to end sometime. It's 162 games and the Phils are, now, clearly better than the rest of the NL East. I'm sanguine about even a couple ugly losses.

Tommy: Imagine if Sandoval playes his home games at CBP? He'd be a .330/35-40 homer guy

oh please, Lee thought nothing of the sort. stupid comment. are you telling me he sees one bad game and thinks that? that's pretty asinine

A Train: Well, it is cold enough there to be a playoff preview. In the end though, I think SF will be short. Mainly because of their inconsistant offense. I feel the playoff teams will be Phillies, Cards, Dodgers, Cubs

Sneed: I got one better. Imagine if Sandoval was our utility guy instead of the gnome!

loctastic: Yup, I don't think you'll see the Phillies make a trade today. Any more moves this team makes will almost certainly be after the non-waiver deadline.

"oh please, Lee thought nothing of the sort. stupid comment. are you telling me he sees one bad game and thinks that? that's pretty asinine"

What the hell's going on today? Did some low-rent Phillies blog shut down? What a dumb comment. I'm sure JW doesn't think that.

Count me in with those happy with a split this series. Giants are a good team in a dog fight for the wild card, Phillies are team coming off an insane hot streak, on the west coast, having played a bunch of games in a row. Quite a few players look like they could use a day off.

tommy, it will be real interesting to see who makes the playoffs.

I posted yesterday that it bothers me that everyone thinks the Phils have the NL East wrapped up.

There is lots of baseball left to play, and the Braves, with that rotation, could make a run. Also, as we saw at the beginning of the season, the Fish can win 10 of 11.

One would think, that rooting for a team that lost a 6-1/2 game lead with 12 left, or the same-team-different-season that overcame a 7 game deficit with 17 to play, Phillies' fans would know that no lead is safe and secure until the magic number is zero.

So, while I'm enjoying the season, I refuse to believe the Phillies have the division wrapped up.

Because until they do - they don't.

rolo: Oh same as me. For the sole reason in August and September we play the Braves and Fish about 10 times each. I just think that is how it will shake out in the end.

We haven't had a losing streak since June 30th-July 2nd.

That was a month ago.

We were probably due.

Rolo et al: Don't forget that the Mets once had the division wrapped up, a 7 game lead with 17 to play, and blew it. We have a 6 game lead with 62 to play. NOTHING is safe!

Even the best teams have stretches like this, and hell, this ain't even a stretch. It wasn't all that long ago that this team couldn't win a friggin home game to save its life. So yeah, chill.

Also, I figure I'll mention again, where are all those calls for Happ to move to the pen now? Anyone? No?

The fact that Bruntlett is still on this team is a shame to Rubin.

The fact that Bruntlett sees playing time is a shame to Charlie.

I hate these late games. I've been a zombie all week at work.

Or it could be the Halladay withdrawal.

Being that the Phillies are a second half team they still have an outside chance of hitting triple digits in the win column. I wouldn't have believed that possible a few years ago.

JW: I'm not looking to hurt your income on the blog, but is there any way to change the display ads on the blog? I mean I like a big set of sweater puppies as much as the next guy but that ad makes it hard to navigate the page at work. Working in a place that is pre-dominantly female also makes it hard to get around.

RT: Happ to the bullpen isn't really an issue right now. I can't imagine anyone really thought he'd be removed before Lopez. Happ to the bullpen will be an issue when Pedro is ready to join the team.

Truth: Firefox + AdBlockPlus = no more unwanted coworker stares

Rolo, it was nice knowing you. Next stop, BP. After that? Who knows?!!

Maybe we can get a good hitting utility infielder for Rolo.

Clearly the Phillies don't have the division wrapped up and it is premature for anyone to declare so. I still would say though- do you think the Braves or Fish can play 7 games better down the stretch than the Phillies.

I don't think they can. Florida is just too spotty with offense and the Braves have holes in the bullpen. The Phillies clicked there for a while and gave people some belief the division is locked. It definitely isn't, but the guy is standing there with the shovel ready to start throwing dirt on other team's chances.

When the Phillies struggled against that shlub pitcher on Wednesday it got me worried that it was a signal they were about to go into a funk.

Rollins on third nobody out and he doesn't score with three allstars to bat? Vomitous.

Baseball - praise the lord and pass the rolaids

p. Red- That normally would work, but they won't let us download new programs on the computer, which means I'm stuck with an old version of Internet Explorer. My Flash Player is the old version too

Yeah, the off day on Monday looks huge right now. They're off the first 3 Mondays of August. I also wouldn't be happy to have at least a split in SF and a 4-3 road trip and would not bet against it.

Going off of CJ's Pedro talk. Did anyone see the interview with Charlie. He was asked about Pedro and if he see Pedro coming up after tonight's start. Charlie said paraphrasing here, " No, we will let him pitch 2 or 3 more times after Friday and we will see how he does."

That tells me if Pedro doesn't pitch up to their liking then they will look for other options for him.

At least by the time it was 7-1 it was still only around 11:30 ET and you could get some sleep.

If they had waited til 1 AM to stink it up I'd be even groggier today.

Stick a copy of Firefox w/ AdBlock installed on a USB flash drive. You won't have to install anything on the computer itself.

I keep hearing how the Lee deal makes the Phils the favorite to win the NL pennant, but I say look out if they face the Dodgers this time around. George Sherrill gives them an extremely effective right-left combo at the back end of their pen, and one the Phillies would be highly susceptible to if they had to face LA in a post-season series. I don't often find myself saying this, but I agree strongly with Sam Donnellon when he says that Sherrill is the guy the Phillies perhaps should have spent more time targeting, and that the back end of *their* bullpen is more likely than not to do them in. It's now four months into the season: Lidge still sucks, Madson has proven himself to not be a viable backup option, and I surely hope they aren't counting on Myers or Martinez to be options in those roles down the stretch.

The Phillies have one of the best teams in the league, no doubt. But their division makes them look better than they are. I don't look at them as having a decisive edge over anyone other divisional leader.

RSB: Too bad you don't post much anymore because your posts are typically spot on, like this last one.

RSB: Sherrill has a lot more value to a team that's going to be facing us than he does for us. No other lineup in the league has the lefty presence that we do with Utley, Howard, and Ibanez. Sherrill would have simply replaced Romero as our go-to lefty guy, because he's not better than Madson and Lidge is our closer, for better or worse.

Is replacing Romero with Sherrill worth a couple prospects?

RSB: Why do you believe the NL East is worse than other divisions? The Nats are terrible, but so are the Pirates and Padres. The other four teams are near or above .500. In fact, we compare very favorably with other divisions. The idea that the NL East is significantly weaker is a myth.

And starting pitching is infinitely more important than bullpen pieces.

LF, I'm going to keep the moniker until he pitches badly, even if he's in the 'pen.

I like guys like him that work their tails off to make it back from an injury, and he was a pretty decent pitcher before he got hurt.

He wasn't as sharp as he has been, but he didn't pitch that badly last night, and the boys had a horrible game defensively. It reminded me of the bad game AZ had.

Every team, player, pitcher and manager, either individually or collectively, has clunkers now and then.

Our Phillies are a very good baseball team. They just need to relax and play the way they know they can.

The Truth Injection - Another, albeit crappy work around, could be to deny the hosts of the advertisements. Take a look at this webpage for more info. (Though if you can't install applications on your desktop, then more than likely you can't change this file either.)

What is the latest word on Victorino? Should we be worried about him heading to the DL?

mvptommy: "That tells me if Pedro doesn't pitch up to their liking then they will look for other options for him."

The worst nightmare for CJ and BAP!

Sherrill would have been nice but I hate when they trade prospects for relievers.

By the way this is completely off topic but Mike Missinelli is unlistenable anymore. I thought he was ok for a while there but lately he's been so negative. Too many lefties, Cardinals are awesome, Happ sucks, Vic sucks, Lee isn't the answer, etc..

Agree with Jack and CJ: The NL East is as good as the NL West. Further, Sherrill was a good counter move for the Dodgers, who realized that the Phillies made the biggest move of the season so far and reacted accordingly. We won the World Series last year so we already were the de-facto team to beat; now, the Dodgers have to feel that their supposed pitching advantage has been neutralized.

Overall, the key to winning in the playoffs is pitching and we made the most significant move. However, even if Lee/Hamels/Blanton give us late inning leads, they aren't likely to be large one's given the quality of pitching we will be facing. If our bullpen holds leads for us then Sherrill could ultimately be a non-factor, but if they don't, we are going to have a difficult time coming from behind against LA.

Then again, every time you make a blanket statement about what this Phillies team can, and cannot do, they prove you wrong. They already contributed to one of Broxton's 3 blown saves.

Bay Slugga: From what I heard yesterday, I don't think DL will be necessary. But I haven't heard anything today. I'd expect him probably out of the lineup again tonight.

Jack: Not to mention it would cost your precious owners more money.

Of course RSB is right. Sherrill would be an upgrade from Romero and could step in as closer should Lidge continue to flop. The Dodgers got him for a couple of C-level prospects. But we can't have more spending, can we?

Holes in the Phillies roster going into this week:

1. Hamels
2. No 2 starter
3. Lidge
4. Bruntlett
5. Mayberry

Good job so far, Rube. Bruntlett's replacement can be obtained after the deadline. Now let's figure out what's wrong with Lidge.

Lidge and Madson have time to get right. Before everyone writes Madson off, he was not the lights out 8th inning guy for all of 2008. That pitcher emerged in September and carried it through the playoffs. He's been a little off since his closer stint, but if we can settle down Lidge, I think it will have a domino effect on the rest of the pen, Madson included. Both of those guys have proven to be head cases, but how many relievers aren't?

Myers and Pedro are going to strengthen our pen in the playoffs. If Charlie needs to dig in for 6-9 outs a night, max, I think he still has plenty of good options. I think people here wanted him just so the Dodgers couldn't have him and not because we need him so badly.

Clout: Maybe they liked the Dodgers C Level prospects better than our C Level prospects?

mm: Is possible, but as far as I know the Phils never made an offer.

sneed: I'm glad you know that Pedro's rehab starts will go well, that he'll accept a bullpen assignment and that he'll pitch well down the stretch for us.

I was a bit worried, but I feel much better now.

Brett Myers as a releiver in 2007: 1.200 WHIP, .613 OPS
Brad Lidge, 2008: 1.226 WHIP, .565 OPS, 225 ERA+
Brad Lidge, 2009: 1.789 WHIP, .952 OPS, 60 ERA+


I'd love to see "Rock Star" Brett Myers close. Or Brett could figure out what happened to "Lights Out" Lidge and bring him back. Either way, I'm good.

Jack: Is Sherrill worth a couple of prospects - absolutely. I agree that he's probably worth more against the Phillies than he would be with them, but that's fairly elementary considering the heart of their lineup. But it's not like highly effective left-handed relievers don't come in handy against all teams. Romero is a quality lefty, Eyre is a useful earlier-inning LH option, but neither of those guys inspire a high degree of confidence and neither can close.

It's possible Lidge will finally turn it around, but I think it's more likely that the Phils will rue not getting more bullpen help. Playoff games are often tight affairs that come down to the later innings. I'm not comfortable with 'Wild Thing' Romero, 'Blow 'em Away or Bust' Madson, or 'Lit Up' Lidge as the three primary guardians as the games get bigger and bigger.

And come on - particularly with the wholesale disappearance of the Mets, the NL East is kind of a joke. The Marlins and Braves are exactly what I thought they'd be - competitive, 84-win types at best. The Phillies are never as bad as they look when they're going bad, and not nearly as good as they look when they're on a run. Cliff Lee might get them an extra win or two in the post-season, but his presence doesn't address the bullpen issue or the latent unpredictability/inconsistency of the offense.

new thread

RSB: I agree that Lidge has not performed well to date, and is unlikely to return to last year's form (likely because of a bum knee). I also agree that the Phils' BP is more likely than than not to "do them in"--IF, in fact, they are done in at all. This is a capital IF because it seems reasonable to say that the Phillies' strengths surpass those of other NL contenders (Best offense, best defense, and one of the top rotations in the league, leaving a mediocre BP as the team's default weak link).

That said, I don't agree that Madson has proven not to be a viable backup option. He has surrendered ER in 9 of 52 appearances this year: he surrendered ER in 3 of 33 appearances prior to June 16; in 3 of 3 appearances from June 16-20; and in 3 of 16 appearances since June 20. To me, it seems like the guy had a bad week in the middle of June. Yes, this was a 3 game stretch in which he was filling in for an injured Brad Lidge in the closer's role, but unless you're of the school of thought that it was something about the ninth inning, and not, say, fatigue or some soreness, or whatever, that caused his rough patch in June, I think we have every reason to believe Madson would likely perform well as a closer. He's a good pitcher, and would likely be a good option, still, were Brad Lidge to continue to struggle.

Yeah Phils have looked a little lethargic including last night but they just haven't had at all with RISP the past 2 nights. Even last night, there were at least 3 times where the Phils could have gotten back into the game but they just did't come up with a base hit with RISP/2 outs. It happens over the course of the season.

Generally, the Giants lose will have a surefire "L" if the Phils can score 5 runs. Giants are 4-31 when they give up 5 runs or more. Phils by contrast are 19-31 when they give up 5 runs or more.

My bet is the Phils put up 6 runs tonight and shine behind Lee tonight, beat Lincecum behind a strong Blanton outing with some offense late, and lose a close with Zito. All in all a split here is fine and so is a 4-3 roadtrip with a day off lately.

The Phils didn't miss the boat on Sherrill. It's just that O's GM McPhail is putting together a future team piece by piece. What he doesn't have is a future 3B and SS. Now he got his 3B from the Dodgers and he looks like an excellent prospect. The Dodgers fit what he needed and the Phils didn't.

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