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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

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I met LA at the airport today. I was heading to Pitsburgh for work and we were on the same Southwest flight.

He had both his rings on and looked exactly like you'd expect him to look. Absolutely pimp.

He was really nice. We chatted about how locked in Howard is and how Cole needs to step up. I asked him if he'd be going back to tv anytime soon and he didn't seem to think so. Made my day.

Finally getting to sit down and give the Phillies my full attention.

With the Marlins playing the Mets and the Braves playing the Padres, the Phillies can't let this be a trap series. A sweep or at least 2 of 3 would be nice.

Well that's a great start!

jrollin on the first pitch

Stairs is a huge liability in RF...dumb.

Ah Jimmy...YOU DA MAN!

J-Roll is washed up.

"With the Marlins playing the Mets and the Braves playing the Padres, the Phillies can't let this be a trap series. A sweep or at least 2 of 3 would be nice."

Why does it matter who the Marlins and Braves are playing?

The division race is over. O-V-E-R.

J-Roll is actively hurting this team.

Howard has 8 homers and 22 RBI in his last 11 games.

Wow.

Mike - I'm hoping the braves look ahead against SD. They have three against SD at home, and then go to Philly for 3 and FLA for 4. I'm really hoping they look past San Deigo.

Pirates are 7-13 in August since the trading deadline and have been one of the worst offensive teams the past month or so. Basically back to being the doormat of the NL again which they have been nearly every season after the trading deadline.

When Franske was about to go through the starting lineups for the Pirates, I wouldn't have minded hearing LA break-in and say "It DOESN'T MATTER."

***Despite a great run, the Phillies haven't gained all that much ground on the Braves, who took three-out-of-four from the Dodgers in Los Angeles and are fighting to close their seven-game deficit in the NL East.***

I like to look at the standings where it shows the record of each team over the last 10 games.

The Phillies went 8-2, the Braves 6-4 and the Marlines 5-5.

This means we have gained 2 games in the standings over the Braves during that period and 3 games over the Marlins.

Not too shabby.

Stairs has been useless the past month and a half.

The Pirates are a AAA team. The Phils should beat them with Stairs, Bruntlett, Francisco and Bako in the line-up.

No trap happening here. We're going for the sweep and the best record in the NL.

Series of the week in the NL is clearly the battle at Coors Field. With the way the Dodgers and Rockies are each trending, it wouldn't shock me to see Colorado sweep the series and pull into a tie for first. Amazing that the NL West is now even a race after the way the Dodgers started out.

That was a huge inning for Big Joe.

Kentucky Joe's got some range.

Stairs has had all of 21 ABs (25 PA) in that timespan...hard to get anything going at that pace. Only 101 PAs all season.

It seems like Blanton is getting a ton more swing & miss the the last 2 months vs 2 months of the season.

I would love to see the numbers but my bet is that the % of pitches that he gets swing & miss has nearly doubled the past 2 months.

Kind of jives with the dramatic turnaround in Blanton numbers:

April/May: 9 GS, 3-2, 6.14 ERA, 5.7 IP/S, .830 OPS

July/August: 8 GS, 4-2, 2.01 ERA, 7.3 IP/S, .627 OPS

Basically Blanton has quietly been pitching as well as anyone in the NL the past 2 months after a really crappy start to the season.

Kind of eerily mirrors what Myers did last year except Myers had to be sent down to the minors.

Andy Reid called. He wants Joe to line up at TE.

Blanton is just a pure Philly guy. He simply fits in on this team and our city. He just has that blue-collar ordinary Joe aura about him.

Stairs is an aging mediocrity. He has no business in the lineup or in the field.

I don't why I feel bad for pirate fans because I really can't stand the Steelers, Penguins, and Pitt Pathers for that matter. But the team's management is horrible & I find it to be a shame. They have a nice ball park though (even if it is always empty).

Damnit Doumit!

sorry off topic...... anybody know where the phills stay while playing the Marlins? I'm going to the double header in September would be cool to run into those guys at the hotel bar.

I like LA. I usually think he is pretty good on air, but wow he sounds like a bitter old man right now and I sort of agree with his point.

Here is the list of the Phillies travel hotels by city:

Arizona Ritz-Carlton: (602) 468-0700
Atlanta Westin Buckhead: (404) 365-0065
Baltimore Renaissance Harborplace: (410) 547-1200
Boston Sheraton Boston: (617) 236-2000
Chicago Westin Michigan Ave:. (312) 943-7200
Cincinnati Westin Cincinnati: (513) 621-7700
Colorado Westin Tabor Center: (303) 572-9100
Florida Westin Diplomat: (954) 602-6000
Houston Westin Galleria: (713) 960-8100
Los Angeles Ritz-Carlton: (626) 568-3900
Milwaukee Hyatt Regency: (414) 276-1234
New York Westin Times Square: (212) 201-2700
Pittsburgh Westin Convention Center: (412) 281-3700
St. Louis Hyatt Union Station: (314) 231-1234
San Diego Grand Hyatt: (619) 232-1234
San Francisco Westin St. Francis: (415) 397-7000
Toronto Westin Harbour Castle: (416) 869-1600
Washington, DC Grand Hyatt: (202) 582-1234

Big Joe battling there. Needs some bloody run support.

Are you a closet Phillies stalker JMARR?

~not really serious~

Cool list.

MVP MVP MVP MVP

NEPP -

Nah, I travel for work a lot and can control where I stay .... when possible I try to stay where they are. I've met a few of the guys over the past couple of years.

Geez, I really wish Jimmy would see more pitches and stop swinging at the 1st pitch!

lmao. Jimmy really needs to work the pitcher and start seeing some pitches if he wants to help this team.

So Milledge almost gets picked off 3rd because he wasn't paying attention and then doesn't go on contact with 1 out and the pitcher coming up next?

A great player might getting away with those kind of mental lapses but a marginal guy like Milledge better damn makes sure he plays mentally sharp.

An offensively inept team like the Pirates can't afford to have guys on 3rd base with less than 2 outs and not get these guys in.

um, nice one, Jimmy.

Jimmy is En Fuego!

Its funny. JRoll is notorious for swinging first pitch after a HR and what does Doumit call for - A fastball in the strike zone.

Thing that always amazes me about the Pirates is not just how marginally talented they are but how stupidly they generally play the game.

Marginal talent + poor execution = many a long night

what's with the random guy singing this entire inning?

Painful to watch hitters take those close 3rd strikes. Seems like the art of defensive swings to foul of pitches is not one often practiced these days.

granpa shouting out in the bullpen, i think i heard something about getting off the lawn

That one's on Cholly.

painful to watch Stairs chase down a ball. Also, Chase Utley is having some problems in the field lately...a good throw has him out at 3rd.

Second time Garrett Jones has struck out with a man at third and less than two outs? He a phuture phillie!

I wish we had kept Jenkins instead of Stairs.

I'd really like to see Stairs get a hit here. Blanton has saved this team 3 innings in a row now.

3 guys at 3rd with less than 2 outs and no runs for the Pirates . . . Pirates are going to lose this game.

Feliz trying to pull the 1st pitch up he sees . . . more and more old bad hits this month from him.

Feliz needs a day off.

Stairs needs to go sit in the bullpen with the other old man.

The last time Cholly put our 41 year old DH in RF it cost us a game. I'm sure Blanton is appreciating the replay.

Ohlendorf just mowing them down.

Stairs has 2084 Innings at 1B in his career...perhaps he could get his innings in at that position instead of RF.

Even Ryno could take a day off occasionally...to keep him fresh.

Blanton has his change-up going tonight

Blanton hasn't been sharp tonight. Missing location with his fastball more often than he has lately and leaving some hittable fastballs in the zone.

kevmac - Yeah he has especially against some right-handed hitters he has made look foolish with it tonight.

Yeah, he's been terrible so far.

Only 6 Ks through 4 IP.

Ugh. Basically meant Blanton has really had the changeup going with some nice late break but he has been missing location with his fastball more often than he has lately including a meatball he threw to Doumit on the inner half of the plate.

If the Pirates lineup wasn't full of so many hackers and they weren't chasing the changeup out of the zone so much (including some really poor situational hitting), they would be up in this game.

Mets had them loaded against the Fish with 1 out and Francoeur up 3-0 in the count...and they scored no runs. Damn it.

NEPP - How many pitches have the Pirates hitters swung at that have either landed in the dirt or bounced in the dirt? I count seven tonight so far.

Yeah, against a better team he'd be getting beat up right now.

Phils had trouble with ol' Ross earlier in the year, the big comeback game, if I'm not mistaken.

A better team would be up multiple runs by now. I can't believe how many times the Buccos have shot themselves in the foot so far. Missed opportunities to score every inning.

Blanton is due for a bad outing with 8 QS in a row, but the Pirates are bailing him out big time here.

Really 83 pitches through 3?! He won't make the 6th. Guess the Pen will finally get some work.

83 through 4+, not 3.

another underrated part of Blanton's game - quick to the plate

T-Mac poking fun at Sarge for his ability to read is gold.

Whoops. Maybe he gets the coveted QS...

That was a great throw by Chooch.

The Phillies never seem to give Blanton any run support this year.

Blanton hasn't been bad tonight. Just not as sharp as he has been generally the past 2 months. Pirates have helped him out tonight on a couple of K's by swinging at balls in the dirt (I count 8 now) and some poor situation hitting. It should be at least 2-2 if not 3-2 Pirates.

Bad teams will be going all in against the Phils for the rest of the year. They have nothing to lose and the high risk most likely is the only way they pull out a win. Funny this is Shitsburg didn't have to go all risky in this one, but their desire to "stick it" to the Champs with high risk play has already cost them 3-4 runs this game...

Its clear that the Phillies positional players hate Joe Blanton. Otherwise he'd get some runs.

Whoops meant s*&^sburg

Blanton has just been drawing the short straw of opposing pitcher matchups.

I really hope Raul can get things going over the next couple of weeks. As good as Jimmy, Ryno, and Werth have player, it would be scary if Raul & Pedro started hitting like they did earlier in the season.

Matt - we could really use a single here.

1st ground ball out for Pgh tonight?

Feliz trying to pull an offspeed pitch out of the strike zone AGAIN. He his going to be hitting .260 before long again if he keeps this up.

Too bad Dobbs is hurt--would be nice to spell Feliz a bit.

Not watching the game intently--where's Ross' pitch count?

LA - The strike zone is "very small tonight." You just know that LA wants to sound off on one of his favorite rant targets (CB Bucknor who is actually a pretty crappy home ump).

He must have really gotten a pretty stern unofficial warning from MLB at some point this year to knock it off about criticizing the home ump's strike zone.

Well it was only a matter of time till Blanton fell off the balance beam tonight.

Damnit.

Hanging meatball, er slider, there. Vestiges of bad Blanton from earlier in the season tonight including struggling to throw his fastball for a strike and leave some meatballs up and in the middle of the zone that get hit a long way.

Woohoo, another quality start!!!

That's too bad. Blanton was one batter away from working his way through a very solid performance, given that his stuff didn't seem to be at it's best tonight.

Ugh. I'll get blasted for being negative, but that homerun feels like the death knell. The Phillies look like they're sleep-walking through tonight's game. I'm not getting winning vibes at all.

BAP, you are almost never negative. If you have a bad feeling then something MUST be wrong.

Hmmm, can Jimmy hit 3?

GNOME

Send that jersey to the HOF!

Guess that warning to LA re the umps has worn off. A brutal tirade against ol' C.B. Can't see the telecast, but I've got to think it was deserved.

the gnome! haha. I'll take it. C'mon Jimmy!

GNOMETASTIC!!!

Oh LA wants to unleash and go off on a rant about the crazy and inconsistent strike zone and finally did:

"CB Bucknor has had a bad career and still umping . . . there comes a point on you wonder who is evaluating this stuff . . . if you took a pool of players that at least 90% would vote Bucknor as the worst ump"

Franske was quiet the entire time and you KNOW that the Phils are going to get a call from the Commissioner's office about LA ripping Bucknor (and rightly so in this case because Bucknor is such a clown in calling a strike zone with no consistency).

Bruntlett was kind enough to save me a little crow-eating there. By getting that double on the first pitch, he didn't give me sufficient time to finish typing up my post explaining how stupid it was to use him there.

I saw Cholly earlier in the game giving it to Bucknor calling a high strike total BS. Because the place is so empty, you could hear him plain as day.

Bruntlett is now 5 for his last 10 and is back on his way to the Mendoza Line baby.

Big, big AB here for Vic. With the bottom of the order looking pathetic, failure to capitalize here will give us one more inning to realistically scrape together a run.

doubleh - LA is often too critical about the strike zone because can be a curmedgeon and was a former pitcher. LA is right on about Bucknor inside.

Sometimes he calls the high strike, other times he doesn't. Sometimes he calls the outside pitch, sometimes he doesn't.

My favorite is watching a guy like Cox go inevitably batsh!t with a guy like Bucknor behind home plate. It is almost inevitable because Bucknor is so maddeningly inconsistent.

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