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Monday, August 24, 2009


See Charlie knows how to appease the baseball gods. Charlie is recognizing them by giving Brunt another start after the gods gave him the walk off UTP.

(Oh, and we also have a big lead and can rest some guys)

Way to jinx Cliffy, Jason.

Good for Gnome. Jimmy needs a day off and maybe Gnome can build on his solid day with some more ABs.

Guess UC is trying to stack the deck against Lee or something. Lee will be the best hitter in the bottom 3rd of the order.

"Even before Bruntlett’s three-hit, triple-play performance Sunday, Manuel decided to give Rollins a rest in the series finale against the Mets, giving his utility infielder another opportunity to have a big game."

from Lauber

[Apologies for re-posting this from end of last thread: Is there BL etiquette about that?]

On Bruntlett and catching fire:

Last year, when Bruntlett filled in for an injured JRoll, he suffered thru an abhorrent 12-game stretch -- from the 4th game of the season (April 9) thru the 15th -going 7 for 45 (including, though, one 3-hit game with a homer).

However, Bruntlett then went on a 16-game relative tear, from April 22 thru May 8, where he went 19 for 61. Almost all singles, but for a .312 average, which would be good enough to put him one point behind the 2009 Phils BA leader, Victorino. (Not including Cliff Lee's .385 avg., that is.)

Not advocating for the Gnome, just pointing out that, given enough chances, he can perform. Problem for him is, there aren't enough chances on this team. So he's not a good fit for the Phils. He'd be a decent platoon (and cheap) player for another squad, something worth us noting so that he doesn't lose ALL his trade value. As terrible as he has admittedly been this year, if it were to be pinted out to another team that he can fill a gap given the chance to play, might he be worth a bullpen role player, at least?

[Ditto this post from last thread]

One other contrarian thought for the day: There's obviously been a lot of debate over Pedro vs. Moyer. The two have proven relative equals, statistically. But what about Hamels? Both Moyer and Pedro seem better than Hamels RIGHT NOW. (Not talking last year, or next year, or even earlier this year, but the last spate of games.)

In his last 14 starts, Hamels has just three wins (and those against anemic SD, AZ, and CIN squads). Everyone keeps touting our post-season rotation as if Hamels is going to breeze by his opponents, but I don't even think he is good enough to be our 4th-best starter right now. Post-season rotation now should probably be Lee, Blanton, Happ, then...Pedro?

I am sure Cole will be back to form next year, but right now, I don't have a lot of confidence in him as a post-season starter against a good squad.


(sounds like an electronic utility baseball player)


whatever -

give the man his due, hope he make thru the game without any E-5's

So kind of quietly, especially for the NYY, they are the best team in the league now. I guess buying all those players helped this offseason.

grammar error -

give the man his due, hope he makes it thru the game without any E-5's

VOR, are you really advocating removing last years NLCS and WS MVP from the post-season rotation? Won't happen and shouldn't happen. No, he hasn't been great, but the hope has to be that he catches lightning in a bottle and returns to form. Realistically, i would put him in the 3 slot (to me, thats the upside game since the Phils will have home field in the first round), but we all know he will be starting game 2 in the NLDS at CBP.

justphanatic: I'd lay very strong odds that Brunt makes it through the game with no E-5s. E-6s, though, that's another story.

Eric Bruntlett's play
Mickey Morandini's heir
Chico's sweet sweet tears.

I knew I would get that scoring codes incorrect. thanks for the guidance :)

My contempt for Bruntlett is so great that I actually came to the point this year where I was affirmatively rooting against him every time he came to the plate -- on the theory that, if his average keeps sinking, the Phillies will be more likely to drop him. When I saw him in yesterday's lineup, I said to myself, "Oh well. I guess he's with us for the duration, so I might as well start rooting for him again." Then he proceeds to get 3 hits & an unassisted TP to end the game (oh yeah, also 2 errors, but I don't want to get sidetracked here).

Now that I see him back in the lineup again today, I'm wondering if perhaps I was too hasty in deciding to root for him again. Cholly loves Eric Bruntlett so, every time Bruntlett has a halfway decent game, it begets about 3 more Eric Bruntlett starts. Maybe I should go back to rooting against him, in the hopes that it will minimize the number of starts he makes over the last 41 games of the season.

Looks like Bako will be the starting catcher for game 1 of the postseason. Does that bother anyone else? This is insane. Ruiz needs to be catching Lee.

@ Spitz. Maybe. Not advocating it as much as throwing it out there for discussion. Seems a foregone conclusion that Hamels will start Game 2 for us in a playoff series. I ask: Is that a wise idea? Maybe he could be matched up against another team's number 4 starter? Just because he was amazing last year does not make him amazing this year (um, see our closer).

Went to a game last year where Bruntlett hit a HR.

Went to a game this year and he got 3 hits, robbed of another, and turned a TP.

Maybe if I see a game with him next year he'll hit for the cycle and pitch a perfect game.

Ruiz will start catching Lee eventually. It is just working out well at the moment the way it is.

Bako will not play during the Playoffs (knock on wood).

I also think Lee gets his first L today due to the enourmous amount of jinxing going on. Hope I am wrong.

Guys, Chicho is clearly not a real Mets fan - do you really not recognize that?

chicho's sweet sweet tears?
more like Mets troll whining
(please get these things right)

Angel Pagan is one of the best sports names -- hell one of THE best names -- of all time. Perhaps Angel Pagan and hockey's Miroslav Satan could have a beer sometime. (An Angel pagan jersey -- or a "SATAN" Jersey -- would be a fine addition to anyone's wardrobe, no matter their team affiliation.)

Things I want to figure out before I die:

1. How to make more money doing less work.
2. How to find a job where I can make a positive contribution to the world.
3. Why Charlie Manuel likes Eric Bruntlett so much.

I'm so baffled by the Bruntlett thing, I think it'd be better for the organization to try to teach Quinten Berry or Anthony Gose how to play the infield. They'd likely be just as awful as The Gnome (both in the field and at the plate), but at least Charlie would have a basestealer to use late in games.

Andy, more like sweet tears in the Scott Peterman after he eats his parents sense. You kids don't watch good television these days!

VOR - You are seriously suggesting that the reason that Bruntlett was on pace (prior to his 3 hits) to have one of the worst seasons by a positional player since post WWII is in part due to a lack of regular playing time and that he has trade value potentially for a bullpen arm?

Wow a guess turning a triple play really can make some people delusional.

King - Why not start Bruntlett today? The guy had 3 hits yesterday (almost 4), JRoll does need a day off, and this Mets' lineup is anemic at best. If there ever was a time to start Bruntlett at SS, today is it.

10 points for the best "What Angel Pagan should name his first-born son" proposal . . . "Christian Pagan," "Jesus Pagan," "Thor Pagan"?

MG: I'm not talking about today. Coming down the stretch with a nice lead, I wouldn't mind if Bruntlett started 4 games a week to give each infielder a day off per week.

I'm talking about Charlie's long-term love for Bruntlett: Using him as a pinch hitter over Greg Dobbs; Using him as a defensive outfielder over So Taguchi; Batting him 7th in front of Carlos Ruiz; Using him as a DH(!) in inter-league play; Not begging Ruben Amaro to get a professional back-up infielder.

Big strike zone today. Hustle up, go get Moyer warmed up!

JAS: Wiccan (Wick for short) Pagan.

Dude. Ryan Howard is a BEAST late in the season.

MG: In my posts (previous thread), I said the Triple Play was not spectacular, and rather routine. That said, yes, i think his terrible season IS, due, in fact, to a lack of regular playing time, citing evidence from last year to back it up.

Now, please remember I hardly advocate that he should get regular playing time on THIS team. Just that, given the chance to play, he can be a good platoon player -- for someone ELSE. If another team values a platoon player, then he certainly has something to offer, and thus could lead to something valuable for the Phillies in return.

I am not blind to how truly terrible Bruntlett has been for the 2009 Phillies. But I do think, given the chance, he can be a valuable player for another team on the MLB level, and that all of our collective bitching about him is short-sighted -- his real value for us could come in the form of trading him for another player we could actually use. All our bitching is doing is reducing his trade value (and I understand that his field play hasn't helped, either).

Let's see, it's late August and Howard is mashing. The sky is also blue, my mother is a saint, and the Mets still suck.

Don't fall behind the Big Man, young Mr. Parnell.

That wouldn't have been a HR at Citi Field....Ohh that's right.

Think that's enough for Clifton?

WAHHHH. Howard Strikes Out TO Much. WAHHHHHH

A littel Oppo Boppo for the Big Man

J.R. King wants to know why Cholly plays E-Brunt. Reposted from last thread below:

Supposedly this happened in Spring Training at Clearwater:

And God sent his Angel to bring instructions to Cholly of Philly.

The Angel appeared before Cholly and spoketh, "Oh Cholly, you are to keep safe the player known as 'the Gnome' as he is destined to perform a wondrous deed. Though he may hit poorly and many will say 'Banish the Gnome to the land of Nye' you must resist the temptation to follow the admonitions of those in league with beer, for, verily, I say to thee, the Gnome shall make errors against thine enemy, but be steadfast, for the Gnome shall in an instant perform such a deed that even the E of SPN must proclaim his glory. So speaketh the Angel of the Lord."

And now you know why Brunlett has been on this team all year.

VOR: You're getting zany. Last year, with a career high 212 ABs, Bruntlett hit .217/.297/.297. His numbers against left-handers were .254/.361/.380. He has ZERO trade value and ZERO value as a platoon player. If a team needs a utility infielder, they can check the waiver wire, where they will find plenty of players who are better than Eric Bruntlett.

That's it, bring Jimmy back in and move Brunt over to second.

Saint Utley, thou hast forsaken me.

Howard can smell the RBI title. Pujols is getting wee weed up.

So much for me calling a Lee PG today.

I'm watching on gameday, and all it says for the first batter is "fielding error by Chase Utley, throwing error by Chase Utley, Pagan scores." Would somebody please describe for me what the heck just happened??

Utley: Setting himself up for a Unassisted Triple Play, just as Gnome did yesterday...

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?

Utley dropped a pop out, tried to throw it to second, it was nowhere near anyone (as LA said, "It was a perfect throw to the tarp.") and Pagan scored.

Channelling my best Tim Mccarver, in the mode of a lead-off walk is better than a lead-off homer:

I hate when the Phillies score several runs in the first inning because it ussually means their bats go silent for the rest of the game.

The Rat is supposed to pitch today.

Hope Gnomer takes him yard, and he gets booed off the mound as heads out of town.

I have to think Ruben is going to try and find somebody before September 1, to pick up in a waiver deal, to fill Dobbs role. The bench is bad and September will be a nice time to rest players. And with the only infielder expected to be recalled in Cairo (and he is already here) on Sept 1, they have to find somebody else to go with Gnomer. Plus they are likely to dump a pitcher for the playoff roster anyway, so another position player will be needed. Its probably going to be Mayberry right now, I would think.

Time to campaign for Halliday...

I don't like this guy "He's No" Angel Pagan. How can an angel be a pagan?

This is why you never count your chickens before they hatch in baseball. The Baseball Gods do not take kindly to it.

Ha! I see you point, BAP, but don't think you see mine. Overall, last year Bruntlett had a role similar to that of his role this year -- utility guy, spot starts, terrible pinch-hit production. Hence his .217 BA for 2008. But, as I noted earlier, when he filled in for Rollins as a starter, he had a 16-game stretch where he went 19 for 61, or a .312 average. Seems like that would have value to some team looking for a cheap fill in.

Lee is terribly disappointing today....

I hate Sheffield, too!

Why does everyone keep saying the Mets have an anemic lineup? I'm not seeing it. They may not hit HR's, but they are hitting us pretty well this series. Granted, Utley gets a day off and forgets how to play second and that doesn't help, but really.

I hope the Phils still have juice left in their bats, because this isn't going to be like the first 4 games Lee pitched.

Bruntlett has no value to a AAA team.

The Phils are in a defensive slump.

4 errors in the last 2 innings of play (and Gnomer botched another play which could have been another one). They are playing like the Mets.

Or maybe its something with the right side of the infield at Citi Field?

Did someone undo the lacing on all of the gloves today?

Anyone following on ESPN Gamecast? Bruntlett's "HitZone" is almost completely red with a single square of white and no blue (in other words, he has no cold zones, and hits the ball at an above average rate in any part of the strike zone). I had a hunch the HitZone was BS but... wtf? Is it possible he just swings at bad pitches allll the time but is actually a good hitter when thrown strikes?? ......Naaaaaa

Over/under combined errors this game: 4.5.

Am I mistaken? I thought Citi Field was in New York, not Williamsport.

Gonna be tough to play down to the Mets level, but looks like we're taking a shot at it.

This looks like a little league game.

When does the dorky kid with the jeans get to come in and play right field?

Thanks, tg082.

VOR: So a team would give away something of value for a career .230/.303/.329 hitter, who is hitting .150 this year and hit .219 last year, because, if you cull through his 500 career games, you can manage to find a 16-game stretch in which he hit .312?

Lee certainly looks hitterish.

doubleh - interestingly, when it comes to batting average you are correct. they are in the top 5 in the leauge in batting average (if my memory serves me correctly)

Every batter should bunt. Odds are, half will reach on errors today...

doubleh: current series aside, the line-up is pretty anemic. Since June 1st they're hitting .261/.322/.380.

The BA is relatively high, but that's about it.

Lay off my son. Eric is a fine young man who gives 100% (equivalent of 22% for a real Major Leaguer).

The cool part is Lee's ERA keeps dropping, even with the shenanigans behind him.

Nice put-out, Utley. Ends the inning, leaving the 9-slot to start the bottom of the next inning.

What the hell is Utley doing in the field. The first play is a bad play whatever. What concerns me is the plays since then. He is playing rigid and looks scared. Playing scared to make a mistake is the best way to make one.

This is why Utley shouldn't get days off. Takes him out of his routine and leads to bad play :) JK

As we've learned before, Batting Average has far less correlation with scoring runs than On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage. The Mets might have a decent average, but they don't get on base all that well, and don't hit for power. Thus, they don't score many runs.

Jesus Howard is on fire.

It is so funny that they traded fro Francqouer...another guy who doesn't get on base.


dude holy f, that was a BOMB.

RBI/HR crown here he comes.

Parnell's not a lefty tho, so doesnt really matter.

RYNO! Very nice. Very, very nice. For those watching, was it a bomb?

I trust that Howard has now passed up Jayson Werth in OPS.

Phaithful answered my question before I could even ask.

a no-doubter for sure...landed a few rows into the upper deck in RF

bap: Yeah, I would think so. But both are on fire right now. It's fun to watch.

Wahhhh WAHhh WAHHHHH. Howard can't hit lefty relievers. He is overrated!!! WAHhh WAHHHHHHHHHH WAHHHHHHH

HOLY ERRORS! What is going on there today?

Yes, but he's still a single, double, AND a triple away from the cycle! Bum.

Zeez: I thought you were banned from posting here?

Looking at the Phillies lineup today I can't understand how he hits 2 out in 2 at-bats. The Mets should have IBB him twice and dared someone behind him to get a hit.

Should Lee actually be batting 7th this game? Back to the days of the black hole.

unikruk: pretty bad over/under when the over is hit in the top of the 3rd inning.

70 pitches for Parnell already in the 3rd. Man their bullpen is getting taxed.

Crazy, crazy series.

what can the pitching coach be saying to his guy on the mound?

"Hey kid, sorry about this, but we burnt the pen this weekend. I'll buy you a beer later, but you're in this until the 6th.

The funny thing is that, if Bruntlett merely reverts to his .230 career average, he would have to be on fire for the remainder of the season.

Bruntlett's going for MLB Player of the Week so he can retire to travel the world sending home photos of himself in front of famous monuments.

The Gnome is now just a double, triple and homer shy of the cycle (hey, after the "Gnome Alone" play yesterday, anyting can happen).

With the way Ibanez has been struggling I think that Jayson needs to be the primary 5th hitter from here on out.

At least we flipped the lineup over, so one of our better hitters can lead off the next inning.

The teams combined have as many hits as errors. Heck of a game.

In the three games Bruntlett has started in August, he is now 5 for 9 (6 for 9 if you include the hit taken away yesterday).

But let me distance myself from the position of Bruntlett defender, which I don't want to be. I just think he has value as a platoon starter for a team that is not the Phillies.

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