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Sunday, August 30, 2009

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scott eyre won't get anything but a hold, but he got the real save tonight. nice job putting out the fire!

I don't know if anyone has posted this yet, but Lidge is 15 for 18 in save situations with a 5.46 ERA after a day of rest and 11 for 17 in save situations with a 9.87 ERA without a day of rest. Still not good with rest, but that's a lot better than 9.87.

Defense was the difference in the game. They didn't make 2 plays that should have been made, we made one few other teams make.

Defense was absolutely the difference. Although, I wish Howard would have picked that ball in the 8th.
Scott Eyre is like asbestos

Oh, and please DFA Stairs tomorrow. Not because he can't catch up to a fastball anymore, but because Cholly's "answer" to the problem will be to give him multiple starts in RF. We can live with a PH who can't hit, but our pitchers don't deserve a fielder who can't field.

I agree about Stairs. It's downright pitiful seeing him either trying to catch up to a fastball, or swinging over a breaking pitch. His days are done. Great homer against Broxton. You should have hung them up right after the WFC last year, Matt.

I would be shocked if Stairs wasn't on the postseason roster, and would be just as shocked if he doesn't give them one more huge PH homer by the end of the season.

The Braves didn't do what they had to do these past 6 games, so it will take an epic failure for us to lose this thing now. The big mystery is which of the 3 western teams we'll draw in round 1, before playing the Cards for the NL title.

The fact that this team is this good playing with a 22 1/2 man roster is insane.

I fear you're right about the roster, and hope you're right about the huge PH homer.

Speaking of Stairs, is there any doubt we need a thread tomorrow devoted entirely to (the continuous) bitching about our bench, and how Rube desperately needs to do something tomorrow before the deadline for post season rosters?

FYI Phillies scouted A's/Angels series. Details in header.

Now that's good news to take to bed.

Nomar will help, but he's not going to fill the 4+ spots the bench is weak at. I'm excited for the September callups, really hoping to see Mathieson brought up and Myers return

Although, I still have a pretty vivid memory of Nomar going down meekly out in LA last Oct....

always good scouting someone who doesn't even earn any playing time.

"[Chooch] gets half of the game ball (Blanton gets other half)."

I'd give half to Chooch, half to Blanton, and half to Eyre.

I think I'm gonna start calling Joe Blanton "Quality Joe". I like it better than Kentucky Joe and you always get that coveted quality start.

Joe pitched a hell of a game tonight, I was glad to see Lidge recover when he fell behind in the count early and that first slider he threw had 2008 Lidge written all over it.. there definately is hope. The double play was beautiful. Loved the energy out of Eyre. Big win tonight. The Ruiz double wrapped up the division.. I also have faith in Stairs JW. Something about the guy is magical. Calling Mayberry Jr. back up would be just as good as Nomar in my opinion, plus some added young pop. What is Cairo doing in a Phils uniform?? Also, Bruntlett I believe will play his role again i.e. winning run in game 3 of the WFC. This is a team of destiny. Moyer has been impressive to say the least since the demotion, I say they throw him back in the rotation. Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Happ, Moyer/Pedro/Myers as a starter?? It was nice to see Blanton pick Lee up, the team can put the Lee loss behind them. Looks like the whole team is ready to play some serious, Playoff level defense this month. Werth hustling, forcing a play at the plate. Utley looking sharper than ever, and Rollins I agree is the best SS in the game. Right now, we have, the best infield by far, it's a lot of fun to watch these guys.. Utley, Rollins up the middle is as good as it gets. Almost enjoy that they're not putting up the runs right now and winning with the gloves. Like the defensive side of the ball better, always have. If I had to watch a game with this team and pick defense or offense to watch only, right now I'm leaning towards the pitching and defensive side. This is a lot of fun!

I prefer the line-up of:

Rollins
Werth
Utley
Howard
Ibanez
Victorino
Feliz
Ruiz

Looks more and more like the Giants will be dancing, but with a full Month left, I wouldn't count the Braves out.. I think the Braves are the Wild Card, they look too serious.

I was really impressed with how Blanton responded after a really shaking first inning. Basically, it was really just Blanton junking the fastball after the 1st inning and going with a heavy does of offspeed stuff.

In fact, I would bet that Blanton threw only about 25-30 fastballs (out of the total 88 pitches) after the 1st inning. Don't have the f/x data handy but I would love somebody to run the numbers.

Blanton's slider was effective enough tonight but it was really his sharp changeup (nasty late breaking action to the left-handed hitters tonight) and the best curveball I have seen him through all year that really made him effective tonight after the 1st inning.

If Blanton has that changeup working and tailing away like he did tonight, he makes left-handed hitters look pretty foolish. Take these numbers against Blanton tonight who batted left-handed in the Braves lineup:

Jones 0-2, 1 BB
McCann 0-3
Anderson 0-1, 2 BB
LaRoche 1-3

Yeah Blanton did give up a few BBs because he was trying to keep the ball away but (especially with that changeup) but he didn't get hurt by arguably the best hitters in the Braves lineup nor taken deep by any of these 4 guys.

Looks like maybe two years in a row where we'll have a losing record vs a team right behind us (unless we sweep the rest of the Braves games) and yet finish ahead of them.

So much for having to take care of things head to head.

Good Morning!

Quality Joe. I like it.

What a fun game to watch, except for Madson. Especially fun to see Chooch as an offensive force (!) and Jimmy doing what he does.

Have a good day.

Jimmy is well on his way to his 3rd straight Gold Glove. No question he's the best defensive SS in all of baseball.

Blanton pitch breakdown:

Fastball (4 seam) - 48
Sinker - 5
Changeup - 27
Slider - 18
Curveball - 13


A healthy diet of breaking and off speed stuff there.

Loved watching the game last night. They even did some bunting. Rollins made a strong bid for the Gold Glove playing before a national audience.

"I'd give half to Chooch, half to Blanton, and half to Eyre."

No slice of pie for Rollins, without whose arm and glove there wouldn't have been a save opportunity?

As for Stairs, to me it seems like he has the bat speed, it's just he swings like every pitch is a middle-in heater. Guess what? No one in their right mind is gonna throw him one there. The situation in the seventh called for a ground or sac fly to the right side, and he's swinging like he's got a ball on a tee in BP. I was scrathing my head?

Speaking of bat speed, it was plainly obvious watching Chipper Jones field and hit that his career is on a rapid downward descent. Two other players who reached the end about his age, coincidentally third basemen, come to mind: Mike Schmidt and Matt Williams.

Awww...

Frustration filled Brian McCann's face as he stared helplessly into his locker.

You'd think he would have done better than one lousy single in 3 games on a high school field.

The Braves lineup is pretty deep, but one weakness, aside from Chipper's lack of power these days, is having the catcher as your cleanup hitter. A catcher needs days off, period. There may be a price to pay later for him playing through the weekend, though I don't fault Cox for not sitting during a crucial series. This all bodes well for the Phillies winning the division. Too bad for the Braves that they didn't somehower hold onto Texeira.

The Bravos came to town looking to make up ground.
The pitching showed up twice and delivered a smackdown.

Jimmy Rollins IS the best defensive SS in baseball. There are others who are close, but NONE as good as Young James.

Raul Ibanez drew 2 BB last night. IMO that means he's seing the ball better. I look for good things from him going forward.

Joe Blanton got a MUCH DESERVED W.

He has now extended his excellence. I have posted this before:

Though not thought of as such, he has been, for his last 17 starts, the ace of the staff.

Joe's line since May 26th:


7-3, 115.2 IP, 2.49 ERA, .242 .289 .409 .698, 1.124 WHIP, K/BB 3.76

Interestingly, the team's record in thos starts is only 9-8. This is mostly due to poor run support and offensive inconsistency.

In 12 of his 25 starts, the team has scored 3 runs or less, and are averaging .31 RPG less overall (4.89) in his 25 GS.

Since May 26, the team is only averaging 4.00 RPG. However, in two of those games they scored 9 and 12 runs.

If those are subtracted then in the other 15 games they have only given him 3.13 RPG of support.

I don't have time to look it up, but I wonder whether the lower RPG numbers are due to the fact that he's been matched up against better pitchers this season.

The team is 14-11 overall in his starts - that's tracking at 91 wins.

Pretty darn ace-like if you ask me.

Maybe Lidge bottomed out and found new resolve/confidence.

Maybe UC won't feel the need to use him anymore in non-save situations to help him with his confidence.

A return to normalcy, in other words.

awh - re: Blanton. One of the guys from ESPN commented last night that they couldn't understand Oakland letting him go.

limoguy, I'm just repeating what another poster wrote last night, but Oakland didn't let him go. We gave them 2 good prospects, one of which (Cardenas) is very legit. They made out all right.

Keep in mind, the whole AL vs. NL thing (think Lee, Sabathia, etc.).

A couple of other items:

Interleague, the team is 0-3 behind Blanton, yet he pitched 19.1 innings giving up 8 runs with a 3.72 ERA.

After two poor starts against the during his "bad" spell early in the season, in his last 3 starts against the Braves Blanton has 19 IP and a 2.36 ERA.

Focusing on the defense:

In terms of the total defensive package--errors, infield range, making the big (difficult) play, smart baseball, outfield coverage, outfield arms (putouts), stolen bases, blocked balls--who in the NL can match the Phillies defensively? I'm not saying they're the best at each aspect (for instance outfield coverage), but the aggregate is pretty impressive.

SmokyJoe, the A's also got Josh Outman, who was in their rotation before he got hurt.

If he recovers from surgery (TJ, I think), then thye'll have gotten a SP in return and a legit prospect who could be a starting MLB position player.

That's not exactly a bad haul.

OTOH, the Phillies got Blanton and a WFC.

That's not a bad haul either.

A's traded Blanton because they were tired of his inconsistency and poor training regimen which would almost inevitably result in him getting fatigued by Sept.

It is going to be interesting to see if Blanton continues to pitch so well in Sept or if he gets gassed a bit and struggles.

Great game by the boys last night. I think this is a turning point year for Joe Blanton. As the numbers awh posted show he has been great since the end of May and he is working himself out of trouble now without the fastball. It's not often you see a pitcher become more dominant in a game by focusing solely on off-speed stuff. Great game by J-Roll too. Heads up play there in the 8th to nail the lead runner and keep the tying run at first instead of at 3rd.

Did anyone else see the column about the Mets on SI.com? It's a pretty scathing piece that eventually says the Mets best chance for competing is for the Wilpon family to leave. Here are some excerpts:

" What matters about the Mets is that....right now they're the kind of bad that drives people to drink. If they were a band, they'd be Creed; if they were a food, they'd be tripe soup; if they were a gesture, they'd be a lazy, lazy slouch."

Later on re yesterday's line-up.

"What was really appalling was that Castillo was joined not by limited but useful players forced into roles beyond their talent, but by one of the stranger collections of broken toys you'll ever see on a major league field. The number three and four spots in the lineup were taken by Daniel Murphy and Jeff Francoeur-- pinch hitters who can't hit. The five spot was taken by Jeremy Reed, a defensive specialist who isn't an especially good fielder, and Cory Sullivan, a bad defensive outfielder who hits like Castillo without the on-base skills. And all three games were started by middle relievers. You really wonder how this team would do against the Sacramento River Cats."

The theme of the piece is that the Mets are a stars and scrubs team. They have too much money invested in their main guys and nothing in the minors and no decent back-ups.

What's the MLB record for bases loaded, no outs, failing to score? I would say the Phils are close to it.
Joe Morgan seems to think that Lance Berkman moonlights as an umpire.

MG, I'll take you at your word as to why the A's traded him (though they have a history of trading pitchers once they become too expensive).

Blanton may have taken that to heart, as evidenced by his showing up for ST having lost a lot of weight.

He seems to have kept that weight off this season.

Perhaps that will lead to better September results.

awh - Money and his impending FA in 2011 was an issue but the A's still controlled him for another 2 1/2 years. It was more about Blanton and his pitching results than his cost/impending FA.

Truth, I saw that article in SI too.

Scathing is putting it lightly.

He pretty much implied that the Mets won't be competing any time soon, especially with the financial hit the Wilpon's took from the Madoff swindling.

Not much good happening in Queens right now.

I even read something the other day saying that Reyes might even have to have surgery on his hamstring tendon.

So, what will their lineup look like next season? Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Frenchy, Castillo, Murphy and who?

What about their pitching? Santana and Perez coming off surgery, Maine and Pelfrey. Could be good, but lots of "????".

The Braves, especially with their rotation, may be better than the Mets next season. ditto the Fish.

Well, enough specualtion...let's enjoy the rest of this season and see how far they go.

According to Jim Salisbury, Drabek won't be called up this September.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20090831_Phillies_Notes___Perfectly_healthy__Drabek_done_early.html

Salisbury quotes Chuck LaMar, Phils Ass't GM player development: "He's gotten to the point where he's 100 innings more than he's ever pitched, and we need to be careful with him because of his unique situation."

That article on SI says we're a stars and scrub team too, doesn't it? Aren't most good teams stars and scrubs?

Even the Yankees lately have gotten away from having a former All Star at every position on the field.

LSG - Thanks and that makes perfect sense. This is zero reason why Drabek should be called up in Sept (he won't pitch, it would just start his MLB time early, and he has already pitched a ton this year).

That only really interesting callups are going to be if Mathieson gets called up and what positional players besides Mayberry get called up.

Glad the Phils cut off Drabek. The thought of calling him up in Sept. was a bit ridiculous.

I bet the Mets go after Lackey, big time.

We're not really a stars and scrubs team. The idea is that our role players are very solid contributors (Werth, Victorino, Ruiz, Feliz, Blanton, Happ, Madson) in addition to our core of star players (Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hamels, Lidge). The Mets, on the other hand, have a great star core as well (Wright, Beltran, Reyes, Santana, K-Rod), but the rest of their players fail to contribute anything close to what the rest of our roster does.

I think this has been the key difference between our teams over the last couple years, and a real testament to the work Pat Gillick did in building not just a championship core, but a championship team.

EF, let's look at the Phils lineup:


1B - former MVP - Star
2B - perrenial MVP candidate - Star
3B - Feliz; .275, 9 HR, 64 RBI, (low OPS, though), scrub?
SS - former MVP - Star
LF - Ibanez; .278, 27 HR, 79 RBI, .910 OPS, scrub?
CF - Vic; 9 HR, 55 RBI, .838 OPS, GG, scrub?
RF - Werth; .271, 29 HR, 79 RBI, .893 OPS, scrub?
C - Chooch; OK, as much as I love him behind the plate, at the plate he qualifies as a borderline scrub, last night notwithstanding.

OPS+ :

C - 95
1B - 132
2B - 152
3B - 85
SS - 81
LF - 132
CF - 117
RF - 130

Lifetime, JRoll's is 97, Feliz 84, Vic 103 (since becoming a FT player), and Werth's is 114.


I'm not sure the supporting cast can necessarily be labled "scrubs", unless one is discussing the current makeup of the bench.

I'm not sure I'd call Chooch a scrub. He's 6th in the NL among catchers with 150 ABs in OPS. And he's also one of the better defensive catchers as well. I enjoyed hearing the ESPN crew repeatedly praise Chooch's ability to frame pitches last night.

I'm not saying Chooch is an All-Star. He's far from it. But he's got a 95 OPS+ this year and he's a complete defensive catcher. There are lots of teams who would take him as their #1 catcher.

Phils don't have a "scrub" but the big difference the last 2 years (April-May this year withstanding) vs. earlier this decade is that the Phils actually have a decent rotation 1-5 including some clear frontline starting pitching and a bullpen that generally has been a strength and not a weakness.

The Phils' teams earlier this decade had some really impressive offensive talent too but too often the pitching staff was found wanting including almost never having a decent 4-5 starter and some very shaky bullpens.

Was driving into Houston late last night and I put one of the local sports stations, 610-AM, trying to get the Phillies score. I believe the station was playing The Sporting News national radio programming. Well, some guy calls in from Atlanta belly aching about Larry Jones, saying that he should essentially get out of the way and let a younger talent play. He was also moaning about the loss to the Phillies by one run after scoring nine the day before. Boo hoo, do I feel sorry for him. 'ell no! WFC, baby!

I make the effort of going to SI's website and clicking on the article, expecting to revel in some schadenfreude, and I end up annoyed. WTF?

CJ, I wouldn't necessarily call Chooch a scrub either, that's why I used the qualifyer "borderline".

However, he seems to be a very streaky hitter.

When he's hot the balck hole doesn't exist. when he's cold he can't buy OPS.

i am suprised that those commenting on the mets article in cnnsi today were not floored by perhaps one of the most poorly written and illogical pieces in a long time. at the risk turning this into a FJM rant, some highlights...

"On their annual visit to Chicago this weekend, for example, the Mets lineup counted one player good enough to start for a championship team. That player, Luis Castillo, hits for so little power and plays such shoddy defense -- on Sunday he managed to reprise the season's most infamous play by botching two pop flies in shallow right field -- that he's barely useful even when getting on base more than 40 percent of the time. Smart fans wanted him released last winter."

so he's good enough to start for a championship team, but he's barely useful even when playing his best. i see.

and:
"The problem isn't that [the mets player]shouldn't be playing -- someone has to take the field, and this is who the Mets have. The problem is that they were on the team to begin with."

having bad players playing for you isn't the problem, it's having them on your team in the first place. brilliant. speaking of stating the obvious - "Why any team would ever be built like this is an interesting question -- after all, there is a lot of advantage to be had in making sure that your lesser players aren't actively bad"

you don't say?

and this gem:
"Teams structured like the Mets -- the reigning world champion Philadelphia Phillies, for one -- have done well in the past and will do well in the future. But they rarely do quite as well as they should."

totally. the mets are "structured" just like the phillies and, like the mets, rarely do as well as they should. a more soundly structured team would have won at least 3 WFC last year.

i could go on, but my head hurts.

Does the guy who wrote the SI article know that Beltran, Delgado, Reyes, Maine, Putz and Wright have all been on the DL for almost the entire season?

Assuming Pujols wins the NL MVP, who finishes second?

Is it down to Howard, Reynolds and Fielder?

I'd give half to Chooch, half to Blanton, and half to Eyre.

This reminds me of my high school football coach, who once told us in a fiery, math-challenged pregame speech that football was one half offense, one half defense, and one half special teams.

Howard picking that ball in the eighth and starting a 3-6-1 DP would have really put the icing on the cake to the defensive display last nite. Other than that, they made all the right plays out in field and ended up being the difference in the ballgame.

re: call ups

Definitely a safe move to shelf Drabek, no sense in considering him as a callup.

Pulling for Matheison to get a shot, would be a nice comeback story after 2 TJs and hopefully help his chances of grabbing a pen spot in 2010.

Quintin Berry might be my pick to have the biggest impact of any callup if he is put on the 40man roster.

Prince is having a very impressive year, i believe him and Howard will be splitting 2nd and 3rd place votes, while the winner(of 2nd place) might come down to one of them stealing 1 or 2 first place votes away from Pujols, which would probably be Howard since 1st place votes hardly ever go to players to noncontenders.

"Assuming Pujols wins the NL MVP, who finishes second?

Is it down to Howard, Reynolds and Fielder?"

I'd probably go with Hanley Ramirez.

"This reminds me of my high school football coach, who once told us in a fiery, math-challenged pregame speech that football was one half offense, one half defense, and one half special teams."

Was his name Yogi Berra?

Something's been bothering me recently: I've heard 66,000 times that the Phillies rely too heavily on the home run. The evidence is that the Phils lead the league in percentage of runs scored via home run. Of their 662 runs, 306 (46.2 percent) have come from home runs, according to Jason Weitzel's Twitter message.

But the Phillies also lead the league in runs scored. So, it's possible that they score a ton of runs via homer but they also still score a lot of runs in other ways (356, if my math is correct). Where does that fit in the league standings?

If the Phils are last in "manufactured" runs, then that's a problem. If they are in the top half of the league in "manufactured" runs, and yet they hit so many homers that they lead the league in percentage of runs scored via homer, those are two good things, not a problem.

Anyone know where to find this information?

awh:
"However, he seems to be a very streaky hitter.

When he's hot the balck hole doesn't exist. when he's cold he can't buy OPS."

And that's different from other players how? Is Raul Ibanez a scrub because he's streaky? Is Ryan Howard a scrub because he's streaky?

I understand what you're saying, but catcher is a position that I believe is especially immune to streaks because when you're good defensively, any offense you get is simply a bonus.

"Teams structured like the Mets -- the reigning world champion Philadelphia Phillies, for one -- have done well in the past and will do well in the future. But they rarely do quite as well as they should."

This is internally incoherent. They "should" do better than they do, but don't, because of how they're structured. Similarly, I "should" be playing nose tackle in the NFL, but don't, because I'm genetically disposed to be 6'1 and 150 pounds.

Agree with f4f, the article is terrible. No small feat for a anti-Mets peice

I think the Phils are waiting on Nomar to get his walking papers, then they'll pick him up. Though it'll be interesting to see if he is in red pinstripes by the day's end!

As for Blanton, I don't think you can say enough about how good he's pitched since July. His breaking stuff is just incredible and he really reinvented himself after a horrible start. Definately one of the unsung heros on this team right now!

I hope Phils acquire Mr. Hamm.

Phils could carry both Gnome and him on the expanded Sept roster. Gnome could give JRoll and Uts lots of rest in September. Mr. Mia could give Pete and Ryno some days off.

Then, for the postseason roster, drop the Gnome.

yikes, "an anti-Mets piece."

BAP: The guy who wrote for the article absolutely mentions that. His point though is that the Mets have dumped so much money into their main core of guys that they have not spent money to have capable back-ups. On top of that the structure of the team has always been on this vein.

He basically is saying- constructing a team that way is boom or bust. If everyone stays healthy you have a good competitive team. When injuries start hitting though you have nothing to band-aid the situation.

Let's not discount the fact that Beltran and Delgado have bene known injury issues for some time. Putz just had an arm injury last year (IIRC) and they still had no back-up plans. Their back-up plan for Delgado was moving Daniel Murphy to first and asking him to learn a new job on the fly. That is just not a recipe for success.

Forget the injuries for a moment. Assume the team is healthy and I think the the Mets have two issues.

1.) No one on that team seems to be the vocal leader. I keep up on them and there is no one who seems to take control of skids and implore the team to play better. The Phillies do a really good job of policing themselves. Remember last year when Victorino celebrated the grand slam off Sabathia in the NLDS and the report was there was a note in his locker to not be Jose. The message was- we have a job to do and don't showboat. When the Mets collapsed two years ago Jose Reyes came up so small in September. Even marginal output at that position would've won them the division. Last year it was just a bullpen that couldn't get out of it's own way. Compare that with a guy like Clay Condrey who has absolutley stepped up in spots when needed.

2.) The Mets have absolutely gutted their farm system the past two years and have maybe 2-4 guys who can do anything. They also don't spend money on filler guys who may be serviceable. Amaro knew he may have to start the season without Utley or Feliz. He went out and signed a bunch of infielders to compete in the hopes maybe one would break free of the pack. It didn't work that way but there is no harm in given some guys a couple hundred thousand dollars and hoping one hits. That is something Gillick instilled and Amaro seems to have picked up. Even if your back-up plan doesn't work it's good to have one. Minaya doesn't ever seem to have a back-up plan.

That's why the Braves and Marlins going forward worry me considerably more. Both have good farm systems. The Braves have a really good GM and they never seem to make a bad move. The Marlins have a great young team and with the new stadium there is a belief they may finally have the money to keep guys and bring in free agents. Until the Mets show any of those traits I just don't worry about them.

Truth: I agree with all of that to a certain extent. The Mets have not done a great job at finding role players and spare parts. But let's be serious. If the Phillies were to lose Howard, Utley, and Rollins,what would our starting infield be? Dobbs, Gnome, Cairo, and Feliz? Anyone think we'd be leading the NL East with that infield?

I never understood why the Phils kept Stairs over Jenkins anyway, since they have to pay him. Stairs time is done. Nomar, I'd say why not? He can't hurt, could he? i mean can he do any worse then the guys already on the bench?

But what is bothering me is that while we should win the divison be a healthy margin, I don't think we're quite as good as last year. Can't get runners in from 3rd with < 2 outs and we should have at least 6 more wins and have the best record in the league. Still am not pleased with Cholly's game strategy or lack thereof.

Bonehead: Nomar has played only 2 innings at 2nd base in his whole career, and that was in 1996. So, much as I would like it, it's difficult for me to see how he would replace Bruntlett on the post-season roster. More likely, he will replace Stairs -- unless Stairs suddenly starts hitting again, in which case he will probably replace no one.

Off topic (maybe inspired by the Drabek shut down) but did anyone see the baseball tonight bit that John Kruk did about Joba Chamberlain?
His premise was more or less that the Yankees are wasting a talented player by saving him for someday that may never come and stunting his development. Personally I think it is partially that and partially him not being very good. Now my real question is does anyone think the Yankees mishandling of Chamberlain will come to be seen as a turning point in the pitch count debate and the peak of paranoia that led to teams moving away from the over use of pitch counts? Regardless of one's own opinion on the topic it does appear that there is a slow building movement away from this sort of coddling.

The Mets are a good team; They've had some severe bad luck on injuries this year. If you take our two best pitchers and 3-6 in our lineup out, the Phils would not be that impressive either.

September call ups should be fairly uninspiring, and rightfully so. The Phils don't NEED any additional talent to close out this division, so certainly no need to start anyone's clock. Just a player or two to get the regulars some rest here and there before the playoffs.

I could see Mathieson and Mayberry, but not much else. Drabek would be a TERRIBLE move for so many reasons its not even worth discussion.

And JW, so as not to again tempt the baseball Gods, I'll go ahead and wait until tomorrow at the earliest (when it's officially September) to post the updated Magic Number for the Phils. Here's a hint, though, it's less than the number of outs per team in a 9 inning regulation game and more than the number of CFB teams typically referenced in any ranking....

Dobbs did play a handful of games at 2nd in 2007, and he had 7 errorless chances. I suppose he could play there in an absolute emergency.

One could argue that the odds of losing a playoff series because Utley gets injured, & Dobbs screws up in the field, are actually less than the odds of losing a playoff series because Eric Bruntlett (instead of Nomar or Stairs) is forced to hit in a critical late-game situation.

BAP: I think we could still be competitive. I would bet that we wouldn't be leading the division though.

Let's take out every thing that matches up to the Mets. They've lost thier first baseman, short stop, 3rd baseman, center fielder, three top pitchers and a set-up man. I'm not opposed to swapping Feliz out for Utley in the scenario.

That would give us a line-up consisting of Ruiz, Dobbs, Utley, Bruntlett, Cairo (probably), Ibanez, Werth, Francisco.

Our starting pitching would be (minus Lee, Happ, Blanton) Hamels, Martinez, Moyer, and then probably Kendrick, Carpenter. I would say Romero is similar although not exactly akin to losing Putz. If you want to take out Madson we can though. That would probably move CHOP to that role and we'd call up Majewski hypothetically.

Let's assume this line-up (not necessarily in that order):

Werth
Bruntlett
Utley/Feliz
Ibanez
Francisco
Dobbs
Cairo
Ruiz

With a rotation of:

Hamels
Martinez
Moyer
Kendrick
Carpenter

Bullpen of:

Durbin
Walker
Eyre
Taschner
Majewski
Park
Lidge

Do I think that team could stay in a race? Probably. They ultimately would most likely not win the division, but I don't think they would roll over and die like the Mets have.

Finishing 2nd in the MVP voting is almost like being second to fly across the Atlantic. Who cares? Who remembers?

bap - I understand that there would be a risk in dropping Gnome.

Dobbs would be emergency 2B, Nomar would be EMERGENCY SS. (They both have a month to take extra practice reps.) Other than emergency situations, Uts and JRoll NEVER come out the any game.

If Phils need to replace an injured middle IF during the postseason:
a) Phils would be in BIG trouble, regardless of the roster;
b) Gnome could be added to the roster for the next series.

You're right in that its a risk that the Phils will probably be unwilling to take. But I am so tired of seeing the Gnome.

"I'm not opposed to swapping Feliz out for Utley in the scenario."

To have an equivalent situation, you'd have to. Basically, the situation would be this: take away the Phillies four best offensive players--Utley, Howard, Ibanez and Werth.

It's worth noting, too, that the Lee trade likely isn't made if the Phillies lose what the Mets have lost. So, no Francisco--and lately, no Hamels.

I think the Mets injury woes are being exaggerated a bit. They had Johan until a week ago and they held Wright out because they are out of it and wisely are playing it extra safe. The point is that if the Phils lost guys like Rollins, Howard, and Victorino (which are the positional equivalents and about the same talent level as the Mets big 3 injuries this year) they would still have Utley, Werth, and Ibanez as run producers and guys like Dobbs, Feliz, and Ruiz as solid ML players. The Mets turned in to David Wright and a bunch of AAA guys.

I think the Phillies could have at least hung in the race long enough for their management to make some moves to account for the missing pieces, while the Mets completely collapsed due to their lackluster secondary players and backups. All this is not even taking in to account the known fragility of many of the Mets players who did get injured. The Phillies were constructed much better than the Mets at the beginning of this year, its not even close.

Does anyone know what Chooch's is numbers are like with RISP as opposed to without. I don't really care about average so much but to me he jsut seems to do a pretty good job of at least doing something in those situations (either a sac fly, legitmiate hit for RBI, or at least advancing the runner on go/fo) as opposed to when its just him hitting for himself with bases open.

The lineup would likely be this:

Rollins
Victorino
Dobbs
Stairs/Mayberry Jr.
Feliz
Donald
Cairo
Ruiz/Marson

I mean...

Yeah, let's not exaggerate the Mets' problems. It's not like they lost all these guys for the season.

Besides, the Delgado injury was easily predicted. And I'm not sure anyone was surprised that Putz went down considering the signs. And Maine gets injured every year.

Wright and Santana only went down recently and that's long after they were out of it. I still don't believe Perez is injured... or ever was. His problem is that he sucks.

Losing Reyes and Beltran were suprises. You really couldn't see that coming. Everything else? Cry me a river.

The Mets had Wright until recently. Put Utley back in that lineup Klaus!

In regards to worrying about starting peoples clocks for backups, i don't think that really matters too much. I'd say that the fo probably doesn't envision 75% of those guys still being here in 3-5 years, so frankly, who cares.

Plus even if were talking about maybe 1 guy who we see long term, i mean, it's worth it if we really need him because a) were going to be in a quasi rebuilding mode sometime in the next 3 years, and b) if we win another world series, the team will have enough money if they have throw an extra bit of $$$ to some arb eligible player a year earlier then they thought.

Look, being a Phillies fan, I have no problem with the Met's fall. That said... you have to realize 2 things...

Both winning and losing are infectious.


Second, if you use the baseball stats like WARP... and you take away Utley - that's like 9 wins in and of itself.

It goes from there... you can get to something like a 20 win swing.

The Mets have been competitive that past few years... I realize their money situation is changing; but that said; don't be surprised if all that talent gets back on the field and all of the sudden they're challenging the Phils again.

Hmmm... my troll alarm is going off.

Is it because someone with a brand-new handle suddenly appears and is a Mets apologist while professing to be a Phils fan?

That SI article on the Mets was terrible. It read like it was written by a drunk and angry Mets' fan. No perspective, no analysis. Just largely ranting.

CJ: Exactly. Delgado has been an injury risk for a long time, and they had no back-up plan. Beltran seems to miss time almost every year. Putz had an arm injury last year. These things should not be overlooked.

Like I said- I doubt the Phillies would be leading the division with all those injuries, but they would be competitive.

Beginning tomorrow, Phils finish the season with 34 games in 34 days.

If Cholly's smart, he will take advantage of the big division lead and generously sprinkle in rest for the regulars.

Still remarkable that a team 22 games > .500 has the WORST BENCH IN BASEBALL..Just think about the fact that they get no assistance at all from Bruntlett, Stairs, Cairo and Mayberry when he was here. Hopefully this does not bite them in the playoffs. You would think Amaro might try to get some insurance over the next 10 hrs

Cholly should probably sprinkle in a bit more rest to the regulars but I bet that doesn't happen until the Phils clinch the NL East sometime in the last week of the season.

I don't doubt that Amaro tried to improve the bench. The fact is that he failed to do so, for whatever reason. If he brings in Nomar, my bet is he still failed. The biggest bench improvements we can hope for are: 1) Dobbs gets healthy and stays healthy; 2) Bruntlett maintains his newfound competence at the plate and, it rubs off on his defense; and 3) Stairs starts making better contact.

CJ doesn't think injuries have hurt the Mets much this year.

Interesting.

clout: "CJ doesn't think injuries have hurt the Mets much this year.

Interesting."

I love the humor clout brings to Beerleaguer!! :-D

Yo, new thread!

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