Part of

« Game chat: Road trip takes Phils to Turner Field | Main | Game chat: Hamels has another crack at Braves »

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Blanton only gave up 1 earned run in 7 innings, and finally lowered his ERA under 4. Man was his April bad.

With a halfway decent April, Blanton would be in contention for the ERA title...not in the lead mind you, but at least in the top 5 or so.

Nice win for the Phils. Kind of a nail biter.

What a team, really. There have been many teams that have great pitching but a weak lineup and vice versa. This team has both. Yeah, sometimes the pitchers stink up the joint and the hitters don't hit but you can't beat this team over the long haul.

all of our starters had astronomically bad Aprils. Thankfully Blanton sure turned it around. Who else? Hammels is still struggling, Myers got injured, Park is no longer in the rotation, and Moyer got bounced. A totally different rotation from the one we started with.

Smokey, since April Blanton has pitched 118 innings to the tune of a 3.11 ERA.

In short, since April he has effectively pitched like the team's ace.

After watching Victorino's heroics last night, my thought was, "Aaron Who?"

No disrespect to Rowand but a tip of the cap to the FO for doing the right thing for the club by letting him go and properly assessing that Shane was more than up to the job.

Now if only Howard could pull his hands in and go the opposite way to beat the shift. I wonder how many hits he's lost as balls in the hole on the right side are caught by the third infielder there.

awh, and the start of May was pretty terrible too. I believe his ERA since June is closer to 2.

For all of the faults in Ryno's play, I'm sure glad he's on my team.

bap, I read through last night's thread, and this jumped out at me:

***Iceman: I did not ask if anyone thought he COULD hit a homerun off Gonzalez. I asked if anyone thought he WOULD hit one. But it's not surprising that you would completely misquote me because, if you didn't misquote me, then you might have to -- heaven forfend -- let one of my posts pass by without picking a fight in response.

Posted by: bay_area_phan ***

Now, I'm not trying to pick a fight, but it seems to me you're being a bit semantically disingenuous.

Yes, there is a difference between "would" and "could", but I read the original context the same way Iceman did.

Maybe you need to be a little more clear the next time you post.

Besides, even if someone did think Howard "would" hit a HR off Gonzalez, based on the track record that Iceman referenced, they wouldn't have been "delusional", just betting on low odds.

From last thread:

BAP said, "About the only negative thing I've had to say about Howard is that he is a massive liability against left-handed pitching and, as a result, is generally useless late in the game."

That is a very interesting comment... "is generally useless late in the game."

I believe Ryan Howard has 6 HRs after the 7th innning(close and late), that have either tied or put the Phillies ahead in a game. I also believe that may put him 3rd in the National league in that stat.

So how exactly, is he useless late in a game if he has done this? Also, how is he useless if he forces the opposing manager to use up all of his left handed relievers in the 1st game of every series?

Get a clue.

The wife got us tickets to see the Phils this afternoon in Atlanta so, for the first time since we moved to SC since 2006, I get to cheer them on in person. I'm so psyched... it's like I'm 10 all over again :-)

Let's go King Cole! Daytime records and this year's struggles be damned!

Spartansburg, have a great time in what hopefully will be a Phillies win!

Do me a favor, jump back on here after the game and let us know what you think of the stadium and atmosphere in ATL.

BAP (from last thread): So I just imagined the ridiculous debate you started earlier in the year when you declared that Howard cannot be considered an 'elite' player?

--The wife got us tickets to see the Phils this afternoon in Atlanta so, for the first time since we moved to SC since 2006, I get to cheer them on in person. I'm so psyched... it's like I'm 10 all over again :-)--

I like the Braves stadium. Very friendly atmosphere with southern hospitality. I did miss fan rabidness, Philly-style.

Spartanburg??? There's a Phillies fan in the Sparkle City?

I spent three years living in Greenville. Beautiful area of the country!

Hyperbole coming. I really think this is the best all around starting 8 I have ever witnessed firsthand. Certainly the best 8 in Phillies history and in MLB today.

Joe Blanton's last 14 starts:

94.2 IP, 2.38 ERA, 1.109 WHIP, 76 K, 19 BB

Yet Blanton is just 5-3 and the Phils are just 7-7 in those 14 games. Time for the Phils to reward Blanton with a little offense!

mikes77: I know that love is blind and I know that you're as madly in love with Ryan Howard as Romeo was with Juliet. But arguments like, "He has 6 homeruns in late innings" are nonsensical. If Ryan Howard had 6 late-inning homeruns, and made outs the other 200 times, would that make him a great late inning player?

Howard's batting average between the 7th & 9th innings was .238 coming into yesterday's game -- and most of the year, it has hovered right around .200. His average in extra innings is .200. Last year, his average in innings 7-9 was an astoundingly bad .141 and his average in extra innings was .100.

These numbers just reflect common sense. If a guy is a .200 hitter against left-handed pitching, of course he's going to be less effective in late innings, when opposing managers can bring in left-handers to face him.

Just to let you all know, an article recently had Blanton classified as a non-compensation free agent taking into account the last 1 1/2 years of pitching. He was 2 spots away from being a type B (a supplemental round pick). I have to imagine, taking into account this year and next, he'll be at least a Type B after next season. Unless, the Phils sign him to a long-term contract.

Iceman: I think Jack was the one who started that debate. As for me . . . I don't know what an "elite player" is but, to me, it refers to someone who's the best of the best and, no, I do not consider Howard in that category. I consider him a very valuable player, but a one-dimensional one with some significant flaws.

AWH: "Delusional" was probably the wrong word. "Wishful thinking" is the term I should have used. As for the rest of your post, I'm struggling to see how I am being "semantically disingenuous" when I said something in plain English and you simply misread my post.

gobaystars: that is not hyperbole. The offense, top to bottom, is ridiculously good. I think it's also not a stretch to say we now have the best 1-4 playoff rotation in the NL.

Keep in mind, when you say "Phillies history" that there was a team with a starting eight who did this (worst to best):

.734, 80
.771, 89
.874, 114
.944, 130
.959, 135
1.050, 158
1.063, 159
1.145, 177

The top two subs:
.942, 130
.996, 143

They stole bases better than the 2009 team, too.

bap: Now who's being disingenuous?

Ryan Howard 2009 Late and Close:

75 PA, 313/387/642 for a 1.028 OPS and an OPS+ of 184

Ryan Howard 2009 High Leverage:

103 PA, 310/379/747 for a 1.126 OPS and an OPS+ of 193

Ryan Howard 2009 7-9 Innings:

141 PA, 244/340/512 for a .853 OPS and an OPS+ of 133


Saying that Ryan Howard "is generally useless late in the game" is demonstrably false. Wouldn't you agree?

CJ, bap et al:
This is coming down to a 2009 numbers versus career numbers thing. Howard has been better this year. Historically, he's been, um, inadequate.

Andy: Again, not true.

Ryan Howard was TERRIBLE in these key stats in 2008. But let's look at 2005-2009.

Late and Close OPS+//Inning 7-9 OPS+
2005: 178//146
2006: 182//159
2007: 151//136
2008: 77//60
2009: 184//133

Ryan Howard was HORRID in 2008 late in the game. I think I've demonstrated he's been more than adequate every other year of his career.

Now can we move past this myth?

bap, again I must disagree.

So far this season, with his improved defense, Howie has become a 2 dimensional player.

Now......if he steals a few more bags this season we may have to consider adding a third.:)

ok in the last 100 years. 1890s baseball judging by the numbers probably didn't look a lot like modern baseball. guys make 40-50 errors a season. guys striking out 15 times in 500 PAs. look at billy hamilton's line compared to everyone else it's like he was the only one who knew about walks and steals. It's like Rickey Henderson borrowed Dalton's time machine.

Oh, and bap, I do agree that he has some flaws, but when he gets on a roll he sure is fun to watch.

BAP- Do you derive any pleasure from baseball? Sure doesnt seem like it

awh: I think we all agree he has his flaws. But those flaws are often over-stated. Ryan Howard has been more than clutch late in games in his career... all except for last season.

CJ: Facts are irrelevant on Beerleguer.

If Howard is bad in the late innings what is Lidge? Let's hope Cholly's refusal to replace him doesn't end up costing a championship.

gobaystars: You could probably get a pretty good debate going over whether this team is better offensively than the 1976-80 team, which went to the playoffs 4 times in 5 years, won the division each of those years, won 101 games twice, finished 1st or 2nd in runs scored and HRs 3 of those years (and 3rd another year) and played in a neutral park.

If this team winds up matching that record, you'll have a pretty good case.

clout: The 1979 Phillies were 4th in the NL East.

clout: Yeah, impressions seem to be far more important than actual results some times.

Myers hit in the eye playing catch w/ his son and won't start tonight for CLW. Boo.

Okay, I see what you did there, but there was no wild card back then so winning the division and making the playoffs is gratuitous.

Well hackers seem to have taken twitter down again... great...

Willy: Blanton was a Type B free agent per the November 2008 Elias rankings. My guess is he'll be a Type A when the new ratings come out Nov. 1.

MPN: Yes they were. Your point?

My second note explains my point. Your original description was worded a bit off. Like I said, you didn't need to make a distinction between winning the division and making the playoffs, in those days they were synonymous. Of course perhaps you were just doing a historical lesson for the under 30 crowd.

The '79 team was a big disappointment but, the only time in five years that a very good Pirates team won the East. That year's flop set the stage for their first series title. 1 of 2. If I recall correctly, the offense featuring several all-time Phillie greats (except Schmidt) didn't distinguish itself and the pitching staff gave up some large run totals, including McGraw having one of his worst seasons ever.

CJ: Ok, you win. Perhaps I overstated my case by extrapoloating his weakness against left-handers into a more general weakness in the late innings. So let me sharpen my point a bit: while his overall numbers in late/close situations are fine, there are many specific scenarios in those innings in which his weakness against left-handers leaves him very vulnerable.

bap: I agree.

Although, I'd be interested to see how his splits break a little more. Is he better against lefties in these clutch situations than he is against lefties in other situations? I do not have that answer.

MPN: You are correct, that is redundant. So let's skip the playoffs and just leave the division winner in place, thus:

gobaystars: You could probably get a pretty good debate going over whether this team is better offensively than the 1976-80 team, which won the division 4 times in 5 years, won 101 games twice, finished 1st or 2nd in runs scored and HRs 3 of those years (and 3rd another year) and played in a neutral park.

If this team winds up matching that record, you'll have a pretty good case.

Now I remember why I disliked the Braves so much all of those years. Lost in the flash in the pan hatred of the NY Mets was the whining from those Bravos and their infamous skipper. At least when the Mets lose they don't blame whatever ballpark they're playing in that day or how the wind is blowing. It disappoints me when the Phils lose and they blame the ump or some other outside factor, but it happens so infrequently you can usually forgive it.

Hey, Bobby, maybe you shouldn't have brought a RHP in against Howard, especially a pitcher that's had such an awful recent stretch of games?

clout: Agree completely with your underlying point. I wasn't trying to sharpshoot, just was confused at the wording at first.

This Phillie team had a pretty good starting eight, too. No one had a BA under .280; a couple guys could pound the ball; they scored a total of 944 runs.

Of course their pitching was patootie.

Hugh: You have a good memory. Luzinski and Schmidt hit .253 and .252 respectively (although Schmidt's power remained steady) and the team finished 7th in the league in runs scored. Also, Ruthven and Christenson were hurt for long stretches, which menat that Randy Lerch and Nino Espinosa became the #2 and 3 pitchers. And, as you note, to top it off, McGraw had the worst year of his career (to be followed by the best one a year later).

hh - Of course the Mets fan will, occasionally, whine that games should end after 6 innings...

Andy, but Phil "Susudio" Collins was 16-11 with an ERA+ of 114.

Andy: Context is everything. That team finished 4th in the (8-team) league in runs scored and had a team OPS+ of 93.

Ryan Howard is not an elite player? I'll bet opposing teams would beg to differ.

Andy: Of course, fans are going to whine about everything, but it's the players and managers that need to be above that kind of stuff, no matter how infuriating the umpires, etc., are that day. I know these ballparks today really can get under your skin. LOL

FWIW, the current team, heading toward a 3rd straight division title (we hope) has had OPS+ of 104, 98 and 102. The '76-78 3 straight division winners had OPS+ of 105, 108 and 99.

A case can be made that was the better offensive team. The defense was better too with Gold Glovers at C, SS, 3B and CF. That was also in an era where errors were scored as errors and not hits, like today.

Where I think the current team is better is in the rotation. While Lee isn't close to Lefty, the rest of the top 4, Hamels, Blanton and Happ, are better IMHO than Christenson, Ruthven and Lerch.

clout: And that rotation played in pitcher friendly parks, unlike today. I wonder how that rotation would have fared in today's parks.

clout: Thanks for refreshing my memory on the McGraw flip-flop seasons. It dosn't help us any, but it shows that Lidge is not the first guy to go through these wild swings.

The 76-78 team was better than this (07-09) team because the defense was better. The results don't show because there were 4 other SuperTeams playing at the same time.

The (Pete Rose/Joe Morgan) Reds, (Garvey/Lopes) Dodgers, (Andre Dawson/Ellis Valentine) Expos and the (Stargell/Parker) Pirates. were better than the competition that the Phillies have to play today.

Some of those Chuck Klein early 30's teams could rake. But the Baker bowl was apparently the band box of band boxes.

The '32 team scored 844 runs (100 less than in '30) but finished first, league-wise, in that department, with an OPS+ of 102.

MLB must have done something to the ball.

Of course, conversely, I wonder how Schmidt, Bull and Maddox would have fared in CBP?

Mike Schmidt could've probably neared a 61* season at the Bank.

Looking up Luzinski's numbers, I'm sort of astonished at how good he was.

"Mike Schmidt could've probably neared a 61* season at the Bank."

I doubt it. If Schmidt ever hit like that, they would have pitched around him. Schmidt was almost Pat Burrellesque in accepting walks.

That's great if Blanton is a Type A after next season. I'd like to keep him here in Philly. He's still relatively young. And strong.

Thread de nuevo

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel