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Thursday, August 20, 2009


Joe Blanton pictured consuming one of eight solid innings on Thursday night.

Werth and Ryno are both En Fuego!

Can the damn Astros close out a game...2 on with no outs and Hanley at the plate.

Since falling to 39 - 37 on July 2nd, the Phillies have played very good baseball, to the tune of

...................30 - 12.

Yep, 30 - 12.

That's .714 baseball.


What was the measurement on Howard's bomb?

If the Phillies can go at a similar pace (31-13) to close out the year, we'll be a 100 win team. That would be sort of cool, although -- of course -- it didn't work out too well for the Angels last year.

Annnnnnnd the Astros hang on. Good.

They're still waiting for it to land so they can measure it.

Fish lost 4-1 and 455 feet

6.5 games up with 3 in hand.

Uggla struck out - game over

'stros win.

Nice job.

Phils are now up 8 in the loss column over the Bravos and Fish.

JW - no charge for lifting my innings eater descriptor from the last thread. :-)

The crazy thing is that Moyer still leads the team with 11 wins and it likely will be the team leader through at least Labor Day.

It would be a crazy year if the Phils win 92-93 games again and their leading win total by a pitcher is only 11-12 wins (which is very possible).

This team is fun. I'm a little worried that I'm not worried about anything...oh yes Brad Lidge!

...but maybe it's been Ruben's idea all along to build a staff to pitch complete games and thus bypassing the bullpen! Yes that's it!

Someone give me something to complain about, I feel like a Patriots fan!

If the Cubs win tonight, the Phils will have the best record in the NL. Go Cubs!

LA Jeff You want something to complain about? Easy, just start thinking about the Eagles.

I want a 4 game sweep at Shea - I'm sorry - Shiti Field

Or Corporate Bailout Field, whichever you prefer

Something to worry about: Any injury to Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley after August 31, 2009.

Forget about a sweep. Saturday's starter, Hernandez, was released to make room for the Rat, and CY Redding will be starting.

on a side note, isnt it nice to not have to deal with met trolls for the last three months??? the injuries theyve had to deal with are brutal, but for all the talk theyve done the last two off-seasons, they deserve it.

sheffield now wants out of there...will be interesting to see if he plays at all, or is still on their squad this weekend

eagles game was awful, as is the case with pre-season games...but reids penchant for terrible time management shone through when they botched a chance at a FG to end the half, its good to be a phils fan these days

Football play by play... on a baseball message board.


speaking of the mets. Sheffield has threatened to quit the team because they won't give him an extension. i'm glad the phillies didn't sign him. There is a good chance he is about to be released and the Phillies should not sign him.

The Mets implosion continues apace. Hope they don't find a buyer for Wagner, though. Had this weekend series circled on the calendar and, now, not so much.

easy, Mike...

sheffield has always been about sure hed be a good soldier if he was on the phils these days instead of a team whose lineup is nearly devoid of a legitimate MLB caliber player

"Someone give me something to complain about"


Since July 25th...

Dobbs has 2 hits.
Bruntlett has 1 hit.
Stairs has 1 hit.

Moyer has 3 hits.
Blanton has 3 hits.
Lee has 5 hits.

Now, for some good news...

Blanton now has 8 consecutive quality starts and 12 of his last 13 starts have been QS.

Lee now has 9 consecutive quality starts (4 with Philly) and 12 of his last 13 have been QS.

Happ has 10 quality starts in his last 11.


Stairs actually has ZERO hits since July 25th. He has one hit since July 1st.

Since July 25th...
Dobbs has 2 hits.
Bruntlett has 1 hit.
Stairs has 1 hit.

Good thing none of that matters.
If I was worrying at all, it would be about Raul. But I'm not worried about him, either.

obviously no one expects a thing out of scruntlett....stairs, admittedly, has one thing on his mind when he steps into the confident he can hit a meaningful bomb between now and october if given the chance...dobbs hasnt gotten any at bats but hopefully we'll have a big lead late in september and he can find a groove heading into the playoffs...

im definitely concerned with raul....he has looked dreadful...he looks like hes swinging out of his shoes on every pitch...he had one nice opposite field hit this series but he hasnt done that with regularity since hes been back from the DL....however hes still an upgrade over burrell and if my memory serves me correctly we won a WS with PtB in left

someone asked in earlier thread, but is there any word on romero?? eyre has been very good but JC was a workhorse down the stretch in 08

Wagner actually looked good throwing tonight for the Mets. I know everyone on here hates him, but I wouldn't be opposed to seeing the Phils pick him up (though it'll probably never happen). He and Lidge are still buddies from their Houston days.

I bet the Cubs go after him...

I would not like to see Wagner end up pitching for someone the Phils may face in October (assuming they make the playoffs, of course).

anyone picking him up would have to take on a few million bucks, i believe...cubs would be a fit but their pen, at least from the right side, is solid....the cardinals are all about waiver deals these days and their pen, aside from franklin, is pretty bad....dennys reyes and trever miller are their lefties...a healthy wagner would really make them tough in the late innings

i wouldnt be opposed to bringing in the rat, but with all the terrible PR in flushing this season, im sure minaya would look to deal him elsewhere

I attribute all the Muts flaws this year to playing in a ballpark that has Phillies jerseys built into the foundation.

PB- that's logical. I almost liked it better when they were falling on their faces in the latter half of September.

Taking anything less than 3 out of 4 from this depleted Mets club would be a disgrace. They won't have Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, or David Wright in the lineup. Johan Santana pitched last night, so they'll dodge that bullet. Instead they get Mike Pelfrey, Tim Redding, Oliver Perez, and recently turned starter Bobby Parnell. The Phils are one of the hottest teams in baseball, and are 20 games above .500 (69-49) for the first time all year. With the Braves and Marlins beating up on each other this weekend, it's time to pad the 6.5 game NL East cushion.

Ready and willing to eat my comments about not getting ready to decleare Howard on fire. J-Dub recognized it early and pegged the big man as ready to fly. Here I am declaring him hot while in mid-streak. Good catch J-dub, I give you props.

Howard 10 off the RBI lead and 7 off the HR trail.

Prince/Pujols beware, not even Jack can stop him now.

I was there last night - what fun for a fan, to see 3 HRs and get to hear HK's call.

I did think that Charlie should have replaced not only Chase with Bruntlett but also put in Dobbs and Stairs (Can he play 1st??) as well. They all need ABs, and with a big lead, it would have been the time to sub them in for one AB at least.

Hopefully the Phils can keep all this going into the POSTSEASON! Heck, if the pitching stays this strong, we won't even need PH'ers...esp. if the pitchers keep getting 2 hits/game! :)

carson, did you read Paul hagen's column today?

It's worth a read.

I think all of us would like to see the Phils run away with the division so we can relax and enjoy the rest of the season.

Hagan, OTOH, uses some examples as to why that may not be the best thing.

Personally, I think the Phils will make the playoffs, so I'm not really concerned whether they win the division or not.

Home field advantage seems to be, at least to this year's team, irrelevant. So, all I care about is that they get in.

Most importantly, I want Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge to "get right" - to return to the dominance they showed late last season - or at least some semblance thereof.

That, IMO, is the most important thing right now.

The division lead..... not so much so.

Also, beware the Fish.....beware the Fish.

Hagen also makes this note:

*** "15: Straight games with 10 or more hits for the Marlins going into last night, the longest such streak since the 1937 St. Louis Browns. Has the trade for Nick Johnson made the difference? "It may not be a coincidence," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Believe it or not, we preach taking pitches, working the count, but haven't seen it."***

And, to make matters worse, they get Anibel Sanchez back.

Remember, this is baseball, and even a 7 games lead with 17 left isn't safe.

Phils have been playing outstanding at home over the past 2 months. Come playoff time, it will be a plus to play more games in the Brick Cit House than elsewhere.

"Also, beware the Fish.....beware the Fish."

Nein! Too many holes and only 6 games left vs. the Phils head-to-head. The Fish would have to go 5-1 or 6-0 to have a realistic shot. Only way it happens is if the Phils really get hard hit by the injury bug and lose 2-3 regulars over the next 7-10 days (knock on wood).

Excellent, excellent series.

AWH: I read that column this morning and have to say I agree with Hagen. I would rather the Phils not completely run away with the division and that the Braves/Marlins can stay within striking distance so the Phils have to go hard all the way to the end. I really think that is a good way to enter the playoffs.

Also, did I hear correctly somewhere that through the whole series Phils pitchers did not issue one walk? If so, that is an awesome stat and one that will certainly lead to many less runs scored and many more games won. Hopefully they can keep up the good control.

Despite all the speed, this Phils team seems to be built for comfort around this time of year. As they did in 2007 and 2008, they are peaking at the right time. They have left behind the poor pitching performances and woeful swings and misses of April and May. What appeared at the time to be a concern has proven to be solid pitching strategy. Allow your pitchers to take their lumps early, round into form mid-season and perform at their peak through the last third. Even moreso, Uncle Charlie has imbued the team with his personality and when August and September roll around it is truely hittin' season. Even Feliz and Chooch are coming around to give us a needed boost at the bottom of the lineup.

As other BLers have pointed out, we have a favorable schedule over the final 6 weeks of the season. The Fightins have already begun to beat up on the have nots of the senior circuit, posting an 8-2 record over the last ten games.

I agree with Carson. Anything less than 3 of 4 in Bailout Ballpark would be a disappointment.

Phillies are 69-49. In order to LOSE the division, the following has to happen. Say the Phillies go 22-22 (.500) the rest of the way. The teams in the division need to do the following:

Marlins 27-14
Braves 27-14
Mets 38-6 (Just for fun)

I just do not see this entire scenario happening. First of all, Marlins and Braves are what they are. Which is around a .500 team. No way they go on that type of run. Secondly, the Phillies are not going to only go .500 the rest of the way.

I agree with AWH in the point, lets get Hamels and Lidge right. That should be numero uno on the list. Also, a utility infielder that can quasi-hit would be nice too.

Nice Sta-Puft photo of Blanton. Never cross the streams.

If Howard stays hot and grabs the HR/RBI crown(or ever does it again in another year), he'll join an elite list of playesr to lead his league in HR and RBI the same year multiple times:

Babe Ruth: 6
Mike Schmidt: 4
Ted Williams: 3
Hank Greenberg: 3
Hank Aaron: 3

Monday's starter is listed as TBD; should be Lee's turn. Think they're considering throwing Moyer into the mix? Maybe they're saving Lee for the ... Pirates ... Hmm.

Th annoying thing about streaky teams is that they have bad streaks along with good streaks. Keeping my fingers crossed that in late September heading into October they are on a streak like this one.

Again, in post-season, the best team (as defined by wins, which is how MLB does it although some posters here disagree) wins only about 25% of the time.

Sct: The Pirates actually would make more sense for Moyer.

- Young team
- Hackers
- Nothing to play for

That is a Moyer recipe for 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 K, 2 BB and then the BL community saying the old man got ripped off.

Another thing on Moyer:

Against (Wash, Marlins, DBacks) 43.2 IP, 12 ER, 11 BB, 35 K's

Against all other teams( Cubs, Cin, Col, Mets, Toronto, Tampa, Dodgers, Brewers and Atlanta) 85.2 IP, 63 ER, 27 BB, 39 K's

clout: Are you talking about win the World series 25% of the time or win their League 25% of the time? That makes a big difference because when you are talking about switching leagues. Then you are in a whole new ballgame. Because some teams just aren't built to play in the AL or vice versa and that is why they lose in the World Series.

Example A. 1999 Atlanta Braves
Example B. 2004 St. louis Cardinals

it doesn't matter to me how far ahead the phillies are at the end of the year or from how far behind they have to come (as they did in years past), what matters is that they are on one of these hot streaks as opposed to one of their cold streaks going into the postseason. maybe they should play really bad the last 10-15 games and force Charlie to have a team meeting the night before the playoffs. seems to work.

if they do make the playoffs (still have to say "if" for superstitious reasons), i would like them to play either the rockies or the dodgers. the cardinals are scary and i still think the giants in a short series would be trouble. it's not just lincicum and cain, the phillies have a lot of trouble with zito, too.

clout: Perhaps this is due to a weak division? See the Angels teams of the last couple years. I'm trying to wrap my head around why that would be.

Dukes: I agree. I want Dodgers or Rockies. Big Series this weekend for an avid baseball fan. You have Marlins @ Braves, Giants @ Rockies , Yankees @ Boston, Texas @ Tampa, Phillies @ Mets

"I'm not really concerned whether they win the division or not. ...I want Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge to "get right" - to return to the dominance they showed late last season - or at least some semblance thereof."

If the Phillies fail to win the division, that sort of means that in the final month Hamels and Lidge, among others, will have played catastrophically.

Frankly (to borrow from MG) I don't want to see a broken Phillies team limp into the playoffs. Let's continue winning, pray for Colorado and roll the dice.

Klaus: 100% with you. For the Phillies to lose this division they are going to have to finished something to the tune of 20-24 if not worse. If we lose this division, we have problems much bigger than Hamels and Lidge at that point.

In his last three games, Pat Burrell is 2-4 in each game with 2 HRs.

Is anyone else rooting for Pat? I really am. I follow his stats.

Doug: Congratualations, you are the lucky winner of my topic of the week.

I was waiting ALL week for someone to mention Pat starting to get hits. Even though it was against the Orioles. He is now at .232/.330/.401 for the year with 12 HR,45 RBI, 83 K's and 42 BB.

What I really can not WAIT to see. Is for Pat go on a nice little streak with Ibanez still struggling then all the minions to come out saying we should have signed Burrell after all. That will truely be hilarious, and I can not wait for it to happen. Because you know it will be suggested by at least one person.

re: Phils 20 games over .500

My personal superstition during the season is not to get too excited about any division leader until they reach this plateau before Sept. (You know, a lot can happen in 162 games.)

Can I now begin to believe that the 2009 Phils are for real and that they will win the division?

Anybody notice that former Phillie farmhand Jorge Padilla finally made it to majors last week with the Nats? I remember early on when Conlin compared him to a young Sammy Sosa, as well as touting the future of Brad Baisley. Goes to show you never really do know about these low level prospects, so much can happen.

Frankly the one and only real issue I care about the rest of the season is how the bullpen sorts itself out. It frankly is the only question that matters before Oct. baseball.

There are two main questions:

1. If Lidge continues to so bad down the stretch (he arguably has been the worst reliever in baseball this year and been even worse than Mesa in '03), do the Phils have the balls to send him to the DL?

2. How does the rest of the bullpen shape up including the possible return of Myers, Romero/Condrey health status, and what role Pedro may play out of the pen?

Basically, every part of this team right now is championship caliber except the bullpen.

I would love to see the Phils trade for a guy like Wagner because the reality is that they have only a single guy (Madson) who I would want to see out there a 1-run game in the playoffs late. Park and Eyre are fine for a postseason roster but not necesssary guys I want to see pitching a key 7th or 8th inning although you can make the argument for Park.

No walks in the entire series for our pitchers. Just an outstanding job by the staff as a whole to shut it down and not give the other team free passes.

"No walks in the entire series for our pitchers."

Needs to be said again.

TI: Good point. Phillies now are tied for 11th in the MLB in ERA. And are 26th in the MLB in walks issued. Amazing what a couple of months will do for this staff.

Man, we get Cy Redding AND Ollie Perez this series? Splitsville here we come.

The best team rarely wins in baseball because any team can win 4 out of 7 games. If the Phillies played the Nationals, there would be plenty of times where the Nats would win any combo of 4 games out of 7. When you have two relatively good teams matched up, as you do in the playoffs, it makes sense that the best team may not necessarily win 3 out of 5, 4 out of 7, and 4 out of 7 all in a row. It's hard to do.

And it's not about what team is playing well in September. Studies have shown very little correlation between being really hot in September and then succeeding in the playoffs. For every 2007 Rockies, there's a 2006 Cardinals.

denny b has bringing it up but the one guy I am really interested to see if he makes the Sept. 1 callups is Mathieson. This team desperately needs another hard-throwing bullpen arm and Mathieson is supposedly reaching the low-mid 90s on his fastball again with a decent changeup at Reading.

Besides Myers, he is the one player that I am really interested to see if he can help the Phils fill their most pressing need - quality bullpen arm who throws hard.

Tommy: You realize that your boy Mayberry has almost as bad a line as Burrell for the season, but is playing in Triple-A, not the AL East?

Mayberry's line is .251/.330/.439. That's pretty bad for a 25-year old so-called power hitter.

jack: By " my boy" Mayberry isn't getting paid 16 million over 2 years.

Klaus, I see your point, but what I was trying to convey is that I'm not so concerned about THIS team having homefield advantage.

They have been so good on the road, that winning the division to secure the home fiels is, IMHO, not really relevant.

I do agree that I want to see them play well through September, and at this stage, with the lead they have, that probably means winning the division.

But, in a very, very, very unlikely hypothetical, if:

the Fish do a 1916 NY Giants immitation and win 26 straight, and the Phillies go 16-10 during the same stretch,...

and the Fish then go 8-7 to finish the season and the Phils go 13-5...

the Fish finish 1 game up with 98 wins.

In that scenario I wouldn't care if the Phils won the division.

And, based on how this team plays on the road, would you really care if they had home field advantage?

* But

Why didn't Blanton get an unearned run on the ball Francisco lost in the lights?

I'm writing off Mayberry as a fifth outfielder who swings and misses way too much. I also see mack truck like gaps in Francisco's game. The dropped fly ball illustrates a loss of focus. I seem to recall similar lapses in the field whenever he's out there. Our defense out in the pasture is much more solid when we've got Raul, Vic, and Werth out there.

Did I read MG comparing Lidge 2009 to Mesa 2003?


What have you done for me lately, eh?

Lets not blow up the 'pen of a first place team in late August. The recent performance of the starters is allowing the leaky 'pen to refuel. They broke down due to all the innings pitched early in the year due to shaky starting pitching. Now the starters are pulling their weight and allowing the 'pen to breath. As I wrote earlier, this is a good formula. The 'pen will be in order come September. Have phaith...

Sneed: Because Francisco didn't receive an error on the play.

From espn game notes on last nights game:

"Howard has six hits in his previous 12 at-bats vs. left-handed pitchers, including three doubles and a home run. ..."

That's what I like to see.

Right, ok, so I should have said: Why didn't Francisco get an error? That was my implication. I would have thought home town scoring would have been kinder to Blanton.

"What have you done for me lately, eh?"

Welcome to BLer. This is the motto.

"Again, in post-season, the best team (as defined by wins, which is how MLB does it although some posters here disagree) wins only about 25% of the time."

This is such an utterly meaningless stat. If baseball teams played a balanced schedule then you *might* be able to make some kind of determination based on total W-L record regarding the "best" team. But even that is limited considering some teams get better later in a season by brining up great rookies (i.e. Ryan Braun) or trading for great players (i.e. Cliff Lee).

Under this theory, the Phils should intentionally NOT have the best record because that will hurt thier chances of winning the World Series.

sneed: In general, if the player does not make contact with the ball, it's not ruled an error. I didn't see this particular play, but I'm guessing it dropped without being touched by Francisco's glove.

mvptommyd: As I pointed out a few threads ago, Pat Burrell has played better than Raul Ibanez since the end of May.

I'm just sayin'.

re: call ups

I also am hoping Matheison makes the team. I actually wouldn't mind seeing him make the team prior a day before Sept. 1, I feel like he could have an outside chance at a bullpen spot in the postseason, especially if Durbin/Condrey do nto recover from their injury fully.

Anyone think Quentin Berry could be in line for a call up? Great D and speed on the bases at the very least.

CJ: Big deal. Whats your point? April and May Raul literally carried this team. Also Raul won how many games for us? 5 or 6?

You realllly aren't going to try and argue Burrell is better than Ibanez for this team, are you? LMAO, please. I KNEW at least 1 person would do this. I am not even going to defend that Raul has been overall better.

Is 25% the best win percentage for all 6/8 teams to make the playoffs?

I would think so. Highest W team is probably 25%, while 2-6(8) collectively make up the remaining 75% with a bunch of totals below 20%.

From Phuture Phillies:

Lou Marson is hitting .360 with a homer and 7 RBI’s, to go along with a .411 OBP since his trade to Columbus. AFter really struggling just after the trade, Jason Donald is hitting .257 for the Clippers, while Carrasco is 4-0 with a 3.45 ERA, WHIP below 1.00, and opponent average of .208. A trade that has seemed to make everyone happy, including Phillies fans.

Many of us wondered how scary this team would be if the starting pitching and the offense ever clicked at the same time. Well, it has happened recently, and good God is this team scary. Add the recent starting pitching success to the potent offense and league's best defense and this team is really tough to beat.

Also, can I gripe about something? This is not directed at Tommy per se, but his statement is the most recent offense. I'm sick of people saying "literally" when in fact what they are saying is not to be taken literally.

"April and May Raul literally carried this team."

I don't recall Raul having 24 guys in a harness on his back for two months. He didn't "literally" carry this team. He figuratively carried this team. Using a figure of speech like "carried the team on his back" is fine. But to say he "literally" did so makes me angry.

I'm sorry. Just a pet peeve of mine. I have others. Want to hear them? No? Ok.

How 'bout them Phils, huh?

MOyer is still acting like a big effing baybee. Did you see him sulking in the bp after Utley's dinger? There is a good pic of it on You would think he was 4-6yrs old and not 46.


Thanks for the update. I don't think Cleveland got hosed on the deal, as some national media types would have you believe. They got three serviceable players that could all contribute at the major league level soon. In addition, they got a high ceiling pitching prospect in Knapp. Cleveland made out ok in this deal, in my opinion.

Personally, I want the Phils to clinch the division in mid Sept.

I want to see the bench get more playing time.

I foresee a playoff scenario with Pedro being used as the occasional closer. They could have a playoff closer rotation of Lidge, Pedro and Myers.

That dude: Yea. And also, did you see last night when Hamels was handing all the pitchers water. It was Hamels, Pedro, Happ, and Moyer. Moyer was o the end with a frown on his face.

This guy is unbelieveable. I am not anti-Moyer. The number speak for themselves (See my teams breakdown above). Unless he is pitching against the nats, fish or Dbacks, he is bad. Also, to come out with quotes in spring training that "No one is above the game" and "I am a team player". Ohhhh really, Jamie? Good job showing it pal.

AWH: "In that scenario I wouldn't care if the Phils won the division."

Yes, and taken by themselves a functioning Lidge/Hamels is >>>> a division title.

If those two were currently in '08 form, I'd have no difficultly labeling this team the best in the league.

mvptommyd: My point is that Pat Burrell has been better than Raul Ibanez over their last 51 games. That's all. I'm not making a statement beyond that. Anyone is free to draw their own conclusions.

Re: Cliff Lee trade

I want to see these prospects succeed just to rub it in Toronto's face even more :-)

By the way... I'm not officially writing off the Marlins. If they couldn't win a series with the Astros, and have now fallen into a tie with the already-written-off Braves... it's over.

My written off list:
Nationals 4/22
Mets 6/9
Braves 8/16
Marlins 8/21

CJ: As you said, "in general."

Because if a ball goes through someone's legs without touching them, it's almost certainly an error. Francisco lost the ball in the lights and cost Blanton what would have almost certainly been an easy out. It's a tough call, and not anything really important, but seems to me Joe has a decent case there.

I just like padding our stats.

Carlos Carrasco will be a solid average middle of the rotation pitcher someday. His stuff will always be better than his makeup. Cleveland got some value in return, but it was mostly a salary dump.

Regardless, a change of scenery is almost always good for people. All of us have been at jobs for a few years and gotten complacent, whether it be in the form of bitterness or frustration. Sometimes you have to look for a new job to get to the next level or to find your motivation again. Not completely analogous because ballplayers don't really operate in real world scenario's like the one I've created, but I'm hardly shocked at a recent surge in their performance. Whether they can maintain that is another story.

R Billingsly I literally laughed my ass off when I read that.

Billingsley wrote "I'm sick of people saying "literally" when in fact what they are saying is not to be taken literally.

"April and May Raul literally carried this team."

I don't recall Raul having 24 guys in a harness on his back for two months. He didn't "literally" carry this team. He figuratively carried this team.

I caught an earful from my daughter this week complaining about this very thing from her friends (not me). She's tired of this poor use of the English language. Good catch, Mr. Billingsley.

McG: Your bowel movements are going to be much more difficult sans ass.

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