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Tuesday, September 29, 2009


mike: Look, I know that baseball players do a lot of physical activity beyond just the 3 hours on the field. But baseball sure isn't remotely on a par with other sports when it comes to being physically taxing.

Comparing baseball to shooting pool was perhaps a bit of overstatement, but it was my way of saying what Jack said: we have absolutely no idea if they're tired or not. Everyone keeps throwing this theory out there, because it gives them a pretense for launching into a diatribe about all the things that Cholly has done wrong. I love a good diatribe, and Cholly has done plenty wrong, but I'm not into diatribes that are based on sheer speculation. This one is based on sheer speculation, since there is absolutely no way to distinguish between a team which is tired and a team which simply isn't playing well.

Not to mention that there are plenty of holes in the "tired" theory. Why aren't the other teams tired? Why weren't we tired at this time last year? Were we tired a week ago, when we had that 9-run, 14-hit outburst against Milwaukee? Were we tired when we scored those 4 runs in the first 2 innings on Sunday, or only when we started letting Milwaukee back into the game in the later innings? If we have a big game tonight, will it be because we're suddenly untired? And, if so, how could that possibly occur without any intervening off days? This "tired" theory is just one of these seat-of-the-pants theories propounded by armchair psychologists. It's like earlier this year, when Rollins was hitting .200 and people kept opining that it was all because he wasn't working hard enough.

Maybe Verna did a Google search for "deer in headlights" and, after getting a bunch of hits on Beerleaguer, assumed this was the venue for lodging a complaint.

How do plastic deer perform with a 1 run lead?

If anyone is interested in tics for tonights game let me know,

Sec 330 $45 for the pair or best offer gotta be able to meet up in south jersey

They get hit, but still not as hard hit as some of our guys.

@bap -- fair enough. I'll just ignore the hyperbole.

As for your other questions... we're talking about a certain individuals who appear to be tired. Chase Utley for one. A guy we all know who plays the proverbial 110%. A guy who seethes when he's not in the line up. A guy who will play hurt for weeks on end and not tell anyone.

We don't know what the rest schedule is like on the other teams. We do know that when Rollins was hitting .200 Charlie sat him for something like 4 days straight.

Since that time how has Rollins fared? is it coincidence? Would he have just reverted to the mean anyway? If that's true... Wouldn't you figure that the PHillies offense should just revert at some point in the next week or so???

It is a difficult job to know the physical health and mental state of your 25 man roster (or 30 in this case). Which might be the reason Charlie only uses about 18 guys on his roster for stretches at a time.

If you accept that the number of innings or pitches that a Pitcher throws has some effect. Or if you accept that the number of innings a catcher catches has some fatiguing affect. You have to accept it applies to other areas on the field.

Remember back in the 50s they played less games and had more days off (because of double headers) than players do today.

The union has rules on the number of games that can be played in a row. It's the reason why players will often vote for a day/night double header than giving up their day off.

You have beaten the drum for the lack of offense this month. Why do YOU think that is?? What's YOUR solution?

bap - The ridiculous thing is, that could possibly be true. Google is a mysterious fig.

Twins won game 1 today vs. Detroit, lead down to 1 game (it was at 7 games two weeks ago). That is the much more likely collapse as compard to the Phillies. Tigers & Twins have three more games left starting tonight.

And I also think Colorado has more to worry about the Braves than the Phils. They close out the year vs. the Dodgers, while the Braves get the Nats.

Is it ok to panic now? Or do we have to wait until we're only a game up. I don't know how to feel and I need BLers to tell me.

Here's another scenario: Braves and Phillies are tied after 162 games, but ahead of Colorado by 1 game. There wouldn't be a playoff, the Braves would get the Division based on better head-to-head record, and Phils would be the Wild Card.

I have no idea what would happen if all three are tied.

mike: Pitching and catching is a lot more fatiguing then standing around the field for 90 minutes and sitting in the dugout for 90 more. That's what the other 7 positions do.

In answer to your question, I think the reason for their slump is simply that, when you assemble a team with the 23rd highest team batting average in the majors, prolonged hitting slumps are just part of the package. You just hope those slumps don't happen at the wrong time or that, if they do, you're able to overcome them because of the occasional long ball. And I have no solution for the problem, except to hope they either start hitting better or start pitching well enough to make up for it.

Billingsly: If we lose to Wilton Lopez tonight, while the Braves are beating Josh Johnson, permission to panic will be granted forthwith.

SmokyJoe: That scneario was discussed quite a bit in '07. If I remember correctly, the Braves would get the division by virtue of head-to-head record and the Phillies would play the Rockies in a one-game playoff for the WC. Or it might be that the Phillies and Braves play one game for the division, with the loser of that game playing the Rockies for the WC.

Either way, let's hope it doesn't come down to that.

If it comes down to that I'm pretty sure I will light myself on fire.

I knew I could count on you, BAP. My post was in reference to your post of yesterday (or the day before) wherein in you asked when it was ok to panic. You seem to get a lot of grief for being negative, but you and I are on the same page most of the time. This team is too good to play this poorly.

Re: Starters being tired.

It might be amusing to watch this team try to win a game with Hoover, Tracy and Bruntlett in the starting lineup. The pitcher tonight would be the time to do it, since he's the worst the Phils will face in the series.

Maybe Hoover and Tracy will have better luck with the bad starters than the our big guns have. I just don't understand how a team can beat Josh Johnson, Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson one week and then lose to the likes of Manny Parra and whatshisface Bazardo in the following week.

The Phils can't lose to two stiffs I've never heard of in a row can they? Braves got Josh Johnson! If the magic number isn't 1 by the night's end, something really wrong is going on here!

Yeah, maybe we should use this lineup:

Francisco CF
Dobbs 1b
Stairs LF
Mayberry RF
Tracy 3b
Cairo 2b
Bruntlett SS
Hoover C
Happ P

That would certainly solve the problem of having a thin bench.

Smoky: A one game playoff between the Rockies and Phils. Rockies can't win their division, they can only be the wildcard.

Mike: Braves and Phillies would play 1 game for division, and loser would play 1 game with the Rockies for the WC.

My personal opinion is that if the Magic Number is still the same after tonight, it's time to prepare to panic. If it's still the same after the Houston series, it's definitely time to panic.

BAP: Plus Tracy at 3B would be quite an adventure.

They are making it interesting, no doubt about it.
They really need to win tonight, if not for the magic number but for their own psyche.

The Phils biggest problem right now is not their pitching, hitting, tiredness. It's the Bravos. Imagine, if you will, if the Bravos were playing like they normally do. This would have been over by now.

Although, according to awh (I believe) and his constant WEN update, we will only lose 1 more game the rest of the way, so I'm surely not worried.

CERA - "Correlation does not intake causation"

Indicate. Man I need another coffee hit before listening to yet another monotonous quarterly earnings call with 95% BS.

I'm worried. I can fully picture the Phils, who don't seem as resilient this year as they were last year, losing 4 of these last 6 games, even against crummy or untested pitchers. Maybe especially against crummy and untested pitchers.

Meanwhile, I can fully picture the Braves winning every single game. Including a tiebreaker against us.

Fortunately, I can also fully picture the Phils rallying their spirits/bats/pitching to win just enough games to keep the division lead by 1 game at least.

That's why I'll keep watching, because you never know what we'll happen. But for the same reason, I'll worry.

BAP- How would Happ feel with that lineup and defense?

First he's a starter, the reliever, then starter, then trade bait, then a starter, then a rumor mill post season reliever, now he's playing with a triple A team behind him to try to nail down the division.

The kid is tough, but is he that tough?

BTW, I - like many others I am sure - was also worried the past two seasons (& postseasons) that the Phils would fall short, that Brad Lidge or another reliever would blow a lead, that starting pitching would falter, that bats would go cold.

I don't think I can just "enjoy the ride" unless I decide I don't care whether they win or lose. Isn't that how it is for fans?

GBrettfan - Somehow it is more nerve racking to watch them try to hold a lead , in a game or in a season, than it is to watch them try to come back.

Monica- "Chandler, you're panicking."

Chandler- "Uh, huh. Join me, won't you!"

I don't want to panic, but I am. Even if they get a lead, I have zero confidence they can hold it (unless it's like 5+ runs).

If we have to play a tiebreaker vs. the Rox, we play at home b/c we've got the better head-to-head record, but we'll play a tiebreaker vs. the Braves in Atlanta b/c they've got the better record in head-to-head games.

I really hope it doesn't come to this. No need for it.

I feel they have a good chance of winning tonight with Happ on the mound. That is, of course, predicated on them scoring at least a few runs against this new rookie, as well as on our BP holding a lead.

"This "tired" theory is just one of these seat-of-the-pants theories propounded by armchair psychologists. It's like earlier this year, when Rollins was hitting .200 and people kept opining that it was all because he wasn't working hard enough." b_a_p

For me, the only thing I 'know' is that we don't really know, and that we probably never will. We can speculate, but all the time, things happen in baseball that defy statistics and logical analysis.

There were lots of us who would have predicted Brad Lidge would not have a year as stellar as he did last year. That's certainly logical. But I doubt there was a single person who would have predicted how far he would fall and how fast.

The same thing with this slump. Maybe some tightness catching up with them. Maybe the realization that although they have led basically the whole way and were comfortably in control for 150 or so $%#@*&% games, they are now in a bit of a dogfight with a hot team, is mentally tiring them. b_a_p's thoughts about the prolonged hitting slumps make sense to me. Perhaps the rotation shouldering more than its share of the burden due to the pen's trials and tribulations has ground them down. Possibly the position players are worn down with having blown saves cost them games, and due to Cholly's lack of substitutions to give them a break. Maybe it's a bit of all these things.

But, just as we'll never really know why the bottom dropped out on Lidge, we can't really know what is happening now. But it is fun to speculate and toss out the dime store psychology, and I'm as guilty as the rest of that.

Really, Bubba? I don't know if that's true for me. At least the team is in the driver's seat now, not dependent on the Braves losing in order for them to clinch.

However, I would agree that it's more maddening to watch them slumping now and frittering away the lead.

MG, which call are you on? I'm on MDRX

GBrettfan, you're right, but it doesn't help that the Braves are the hottest team in either league right now.

I think Sneed brought this up this morning, but the idea that we're sitting here blaming the offense for not coming through right now is silly. Whether they're "tired" right now or not, they have every right to be, considering they've already done more than enough to win the division. They've scored the most runs in the league. Same with the starting rotation; for the most part, they've pitched brilliantly since June.

If we had a halfway competent closer for most of the season, this thread would be about the playoff rotation, and whether Gustavo Chacin should be tomorrow's starter. The team already did plenty to win the division; the closer (and the manager and GM who kept putting him out there) screwed it up. Simple as that.

No, it doesn't help that the Braves are hot. But I'm sure that's what the Mets fans said about the Phillies the past few years, too. I'd love the Marlins to beat the Braves these next two games, but since we can't count on that....

As the Phillies say, they need to take care of their own business.

Bob, well put, BTW.

Bubba: My lineup was tongue in cheek.

clout: Tracy is 6'3". He'd be fine at third base.

Team meeting today, per Scott Lauber's blog. Charlie: "You won’t see me panicking. I’ve been in this game a long time. I love everything about the game. Getting slapped and losing and getting up, that’s all part of enjoying it and having a good life in it."

I found that amusingly put.

I'm glad he called a meeting, maybe that'll do the trick.

I just got my playoff tickets and I am VERY UPSET! I only have the Sunday plan so I won’t get my season ticket seats but I should get something comparable. I normally sit in sect 148 row 2 and in the playoffs I get to sit in 107(nice seats) then 303, then if they make the WS I am sitting in 421. That my friends is Bull$#!+. Also last year I got 4 games and this year I only got 3 games.
Does anyone else have this problem?

Per Michael Barkann on DNL, tonight is Psychiatric Rehabilitation Night at CBP.

There's some irony in there somewhere I think.

I hope tonight's game comes up with cure in more ways than one.

CSN reporting Bako will start tonight and Ruiz has been scratched.

I'm still at the stage where I would rather be in the Phil's shoes than thos of the Braves. Even if it's starting to look shaky, the Phils are still in control of their destiny. I cannot believe that some mix of Happ, Lee, Pedro, and Blanton will not make it happen yet again with quality plus caliber starts as they have done all year to close this out. I cannot imagine that the bats will not erupt a few times between now and the end of the season.

Not time to panic yet. But many people predicted a wild ride before the year was out, and the roller coaster is reaching the crest of the hill it really did not need to climb...

BTW, GBrettfan, thanks.

At least you got tickets, between my wife and I, we registered 5 email addresses and were denied on each one of them.

George - MDRX too. You a sell-side equity analyst?

Rich Hofman pointing out the irony of the Angels players pouring beer and champagne over Nick Adenhart's jersey after they clinched their playoff berth.

Another reason why I really like Rich. I think he's one of the best columnists in this city and is a total realist. He says, and I'm paraphrasing a bit, "Really? Do you really think the Phillies aren't going to win this thing? The Phils can see the colors of the Braves car in the rear view, but they can't make out the model yet. Not time to panic."

MG, yup. @ Leerink. You?

MG, and I love that we're both on here while listening to these guys.

doubleh: They just pointed that out about Adenhart on PTI. I didn't think about the irony of that when I first saw it. I thought that running out to his image in the outfield was pretty touching though. I'll be rooting for them to make it out of the AL.

doubleh: Hofmann is the best. Period.

Hofmann is one of the better ones, no question. Way better than that sally Phil Sheridan. I can't stand him.

Sam Donnellon is such a wet blanket; I'm not much of a fan of his. And I can't read or look at Les Bowen without thinking of Andy Reid saying, "This isn't hockey, Les," in that condescending tone of his (and take him seriously).

Reverend - Yes. I do not get my regular 17-game plan seats in Sec. 143. I get lower level for NLDS, 200 level for NLCS, and 300 level for WS. Also, only 3 games not 4. Of course, they way things are going, it's more likely that what I'll get will be a credit towards next year's season tix.

Re: Plastic deer relievers. They would do horribly in night games as a result of the constant deer in the headlights look they would be sporting. They would probably be OK during day games, however, so maybe we could use one as a designated Sunday closer.

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