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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

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FIRST!

As if there was any doubt...

I'm sensing a theme here.

The entire Delaware valley, and Phillies Nation everywhere, just breathed an unbelievable sigh of relief over the past 10 minutes. I felt the wind against my windows just now.

Did anyone else catch the Madson interview on MLB Network? They asked him about his role and he said (paraphrased) "Well, I don't know right now and I don't want to know. I just want them to call down, tell me to warm up, and I'll go in and get guys out. That's what my job is, no matter when it is."

That's a weird quote, considering all I've heard is that pitchers really want and need to have specific roles.

For the record, Phils now 1 game ahead of the Cardinals. 1.5 behind the Dodgers. LA tied 0-0 early with San Diego. Would be VERY nice to win to clinch tomorrow night since you figure on playing with mostly reserves the night after a clinch. Granted another ATL loss clinches the division, but in the home field race, a win is much better.

Interesting stat of the night: the Marlins have scored the same number of runs that they have given up this year.

I'm not sure if I want to see Utley on the field for the rest of the regular season. Maybe a couple of pinch hit atbats here and there. And I hope Vic, Werth, and Ibanez take turns letting Francisco & RFD letting two of them rest. Ryno seems to be fine, maybe give him a day or two off. Same with Jimmy and Pedro.

I felt that wind up here in Boston, too, Smoky!

No more pressing, no more stressing. Plus Cards lost. If Braves beat out the Rox, I'd like to host the Cards rather than traveling to St. Louie.

translation - give me the damn ball.
Interesting how he just threw gas through that last inning. The rocking chair sequence to the last guy up was classic.

Paul Bako update: 10 for his last 30 over 9 games.

ain't no stoppin us now

I agree that Saint U needs to sit for a few games.

now I get it...all a plan so I can see the clincher in person. I'll take it. 0 DITHL for madson tonite...he's the guy from here on out

VOR, that's impossible.
Didnt you hear Bako stinks?

Yeah man! This is the Phils team I've loved all year, not the shell of the team I saw last night. For this team, small ball means getting some guys on for the long ball. I'm okay with that, as long as the bullpen makes it stick. One is NOT the loneliest number. It's the onliest number.

I've never heard of this "two inning save." Is it even legal? It's not in my copy of the 2009 ed. of Things Managers Are Allowed To Do.

Pedro Martinez has a chance to be the hero tomorrow night.

Doesn't Pedro live for stuff like this?


Man, clinch that division tomorrow and rest Utley. No pinch hitting, no batting practice, no nothing other than R.E.S.T. Dont even let him come into the park (okay, thats pressing it).

I'm going with my wife on Thursday. What's the chances that I have to explain to her who is playing what for the Phillies?

Seriously, is Madson available tomorrow now? 27 pitches wasn't too bad, but the 9th had to be a little stressful for him.

didn't charlie say he would have used lidge if needed too i know they only had 3 pitchers available but i dont think i could have taken it ,that would have called for the schilling towel!!!!!

Utley may need to sit, on the other hand, until tonight, Werth was having a hard time of it and we all were enormous Ben Francisco fans, so, you know, funks, good players have them and then get out of them.

But no doubt he could use the rest, not to mention that he has far fewer unassisted triple plays than their all too under appreciated backup 2nd Baseman ...

Someone mentioned it earlier, but they actually won after a Charlie closed-door meeting.

victorino also needs to sit the rest of the regular season. he's hurting bad.

I think I may have been wrong after all. Charlie said in his postgame conference, that he was looking at numbers and saw the batters in the 9th had good numbers against Madson, so he was thinking of using Lidge. I didn't catch him saying why he decided differently, but I felt there was a beat as all the reporters paused, I assume they were stunned.

I feel good about their chances tomorrow night, now. Don't know if I'd feel that way with Lee on the mound, Cy Young winner though he is. But with Pedro, and following the win tonight with a few big hits and a great save, plus a Braves' loss...I think they'll put the pedal to the metal and get it done.

I went from completely pessimistic to completely optimistic through one victory.

He just said he was gonna bring in Lidge to be a prick. He wasn't really going to do it.

Don't the Phils face a pitcher tomorrow they've actually seen before?

yeah GBrettfan , the silence was deafening after he said that i almost burst out laughing!! or maybe crying, i just dont get it with UC!!!! god i hope pedro goes 6,7, 8 or 9 tom night.!!!!

Whoever thinks or said (thought I read in Inky) that Phils won't celebrate winning the East couldn't be further from the truth.

GBrettfan: He said he changed his mind when he saw that Madson had a low pitch count from the 8th. That's what he said, anyway.

My thoughts are that I'd rather take the chance with Madson, even though those guys had good numbers against him (could have been before he transformed himself second half last season, who knows) than use Lidge...they needed this win tonight and you can't take any chances. Madson is your best pitcher and it was a save situation. You have to use him.

Agree completely, doubleh. They needed this win. Glad Charlie made the right decision.

Really, if Madson had blown it, would any of us have protested that Charlie shoulda gone with Lidge? I doubt it.

Hopefully they win tomorrow and then Lidge can pitch the rest of the week. Perfect time for him to try to right himself.

Unless we can make a run for best record??

Whare ARE folks' thoughts about making a run for the record? Go for it, or rest guys?

Hard as it to face, Cholly did the right thing by letting Madson pitch the 9th.

BTW, the Tigers are this year's version of the Phils: 71-0 when winning after 8 innings.

I said it last year I think but since they expanded to three rounds of playoffs it just seems like too much celebrating to have champagne when you win the division, and again after the DS, CS, and WS.

I mean, can you imagine NBA players celebrating after winning round one of the playoffs?

It just seems a bit silly, is all. I dunno, maybe tone down the DS celebration; it's not THAT big a deal.

Certain players that will be important in the playoffs (Dobbs, Stairs, maybe even Bruntlett) need to get some playing time over the next few days to avoid a cold bench.

Chstk, it sure beats the alternative.

Houston Street just gave up a 3-run HR to Kendall and Brewers and Rox are tied with 1 out in the 9th.

chstk: If you're the Yankees, sure. However, it wasn't that long ago that finishing .500 would have been just cause for a Phillies champagne celebration. I, for one, can't get enough of seeing it 'em.

NEPP: I just read this from Dave Murphy's blog - "If the Braves and the Phillies are tied and both of their records are higher than the Rockies, the Braves would be the NL East Champ and the Phillies would be the Wild Card."

So I guess you were right, there's no longer a tie-breaker game played in every scenario.

I think if the Rockies and Braves end up tied for the Wild card, there is still a tie-breaker. Murphy also said if the Braves and Phillies are tied but the Rox have a better record, there's a tie-breaker.

BUt it doesn't matter for the Phils, b/c they're clinching tomorrow. I predict and hope.

So in one night, we go from fears of the Worst Collapse Ever to wondering whether they can get best record in the NL.

That's a pretty good night all told ...

I think it's ok for baseball teams to celebrate a little after winning a division. To me it's mostly letting off steam after a grinding marathon. Of course if you just won the world series the year before you don't celebrate as much as if it's the first time in 14 years. I think for the LDS you skip the party, but put it back on for the pennant.

I hope they do celebrate when they win the division this year, because as much as I hate to say it, this team is still not looking like they're capable of doing much more than that.

chstk of suffrg: "It just seems a bit silly, is all. I dunno, maybe tone down the DS celebration; it's not THAT big a deal."


A Pirates fan might beg to differ.

This win pales in comparison to the fact that it took Cholly 157 pages to finally color outside the lines of his Official 2009 MLB Coloring Book!

In the NBA, over half the teams make the playoffs. The NBA playoff system is garbage. Additionally, I'm a little less hesitant about giving baseball players beer than I am with those NBA characters.

I think one of the things that made this win special was that Cholly did color outside of the lines and it worked.

Who decides the post season roster: Manuel or Amaro?

If it's the latter, I have to believe that Rube will not include Lidge. You just can't trust Charlie not to use him in a critical situation.

Charlie is like a gambling addict. He has already lost so much that he HAS to keep playing in the hopes that he'll hit the jackpot and win it all back.

Rube has to know that the Mr. Perfect of 2008 is a reclamation project of 2010. What he isn't is a major league relief pitcher that has the mental makeup to pitch in the playoffs.

Would love to see them clinch tomorrow (either a win or loss) and that the Phils can tinker the last couple of games including give Ruiz some ABs to get his timing back, giving some regulars some badly needed rest (JRoll, Utley, Feliz, Werth, etc), and figure out who the heck is going to be available to even pitch out of the pen in the postseason.

Rox win it on a walk-off HR off of David Weathers in the 11th. Braves sphincters tightening. Of course, Iannetta had already been struck out on a check swing, but got a gift from the bb gods.

doubleh,

the rockies scare me. they have the look of a team that may just all the breaks... again.

"Charlie said in his postgame conference, that he was looking at numbers and saw the batters in the 9th had good numbers against Madson, so he was thinking of using Lidge. I didn't catch him saying why he decided differently,"

Let me venture a guess. As Lidge was warming up in the pen, Cholly got a call on his cell phone. It was Amaro, saying, "If Brad Lidge gets within even 50 feet of that pitcher's mound, I swear I will walk right down to the dugout and fire your ass on the spot!"

Does anyone else feel there's a whole lot less passion this year? I'm not just talking about the players, but the fans as well. I feel like we are all limping in the playoffs still hungover from last year...

I'll never forget how astatic I was when we won the 2007 NL East. I remembering crying. I'll be at the game tomorrow, but it just feels different this time around. Maybe it's just me and tomorrow will revitalize me, carry on.

Limping towards the playoffs?

Dodgers: 6-6 in their last 12 games (down 3-1 to the Padres)
Phillies: 5-5 in their last 10
Cardinals: 10-6 in their last 16
Rockies: 7-8 in their last 15
---
Braves: 16-4 in their last 20

I meant the Cardinals were 6-10 in their last 16

Was nice to see the 2-inning save that we've been talking about was actually put into play. I believe I just said Charlie would never do it, but this is one instance where I'm glad to be wrong. It appeared to be the right move tonight, and gives confidence that it could very well be the right move in the playoffs as well. Now if we can just clinch so we can rest some guys...

I watched the game in a bar in New York and a stranger Phillies fan sidled up to my bar stool as the 9th started and when he saw Lidge standing in the bullpen we both gasped: "He is not really thinking of letting him pitch now is he?"
Nuff said!

Philistine: Not me. Have you seen their record vs. LHP lately? It's not good. I'll take my chances and hope for a return the favor sweep at the hands of our very own Fightins'. Revenge is a dish best served cold. 2 years cold.

With a win Wednesday night the entire fan base can officially breathe a bit of a sigh of relief. Still, there are some legitimate concerns surrounding this team that need to be fixed.

I am not going to say I am confident with the situation in the ninth inning heading into the playoffs. The hitting cane sometimes be too hit or miss, for lack of a better choice of words, and the Rockies once again have a hint of magic in them that should worry some fans more than it probably will.

Still, clinching a division is in itself a great accomplishment and should be celebrated, and honored, although this team should realize that division crowns mean nothing anymore. It's all about the red flags!

LA said ROX are 0-10 vs. LHP of late. He said he would keep Happ in the rotation if we played them.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned so far is the injury to Moyer. If everything goes as planned in the playoffs, I don't see how this is an issue (it may even be a blessing in disguise, as it will allow the Phils to carry, oh, I don't know, Lidge, w/o losing face - and hopefully w/o using him too, btw). On the other hand, should a starting pitcher go down with an injury, or need to get pulled after the third (Pedro, for instance) it sure would be nice to have Moyer back there, especially considering how a number of our pen pieces will likely have limited availability as they are coming back from injury.

With luck it won't be an issue, and he'll be back within 10 days. At worst, it could compound a bad situation later in the season.

Goody: I still say Happ is needed more in the pen than in the starting rotation. But the Rockies' left-handed heavy lineup (Helton, Hawpe, Steward, Gonzalez) is yet another reason we should keep 12 pitchers. With Eyre, Romero, Moyer & Happ, we have the ablity to stack our bullpen full of lefties. That could pay huge dividends in the late innings.

LA Jeff, i have to think that CBP will be pretty electric tomorrow nite, i'm going, this was the scenario i was hoping for, so i hope it is

I really want to see Moyer on the post season roster, so I hope he can recover fast from this injury.

This is an interesting tidbit...The Phillies have grounded into 89 double plays this season, the fewest in the Major Leagues.

Old Phan - I agree re: Moyer. I think it's very bad news if he's not available for the playoffs. He saved their butts tonight - if he doesn't pitch in that spot, who on Earth does Charlie bring in? Durbin? Eyre? Condrey? Walker?

Yuck.

Kyle Kendrick, with his new change-up, has looked better recently than Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey or Tyler Walker. If I'm Charlie, I find a way to get KK into some games and see what he can do.

If Jamie Moyer's injury is serious, he can take his role long man. Or, if no other healthy and effective relievers show up in the next week, he could be the best option for the 6th/7th innings (as sad as that may be).

I firmly believe that Feliz would not have hit that Grand Slam if I didn't call it first.

NEPP, you are the man.

The past two seasons the Phillies have had an old goat on the mound pitching the day they clinched (Jamie Moyer). Today they look to continue that tradition of an old goat finishing off the NL East, but with a different face (Pedro Martinez).

Today, my friends, is Clinch Day.

Oh oh oh! Go Phillies!

Hmm, I was all discouraged but that seems to have lifted suddenly.

Have a good day.

"With who we got in our bullpen?" said the manager. "He's going to pitch."

Charlie, when asked who would close tonight - referring to Lidge, of course.

Here's hoping Pedro goes 9 strong.
OR the offense pummels the Astros pitching.

Just like that down to 1. GREAT !


Was Madsen throwin all heaters? Anyone else not feel comfortable with that?

If they do clinch early, IMHO giving the regulars a breather and the bench a chance to get some innings is more important than going pedal to the metal for home field advantage.

Also, winning the division is a big deal. It's a mark of sustained performance over the entire season and deserves some sort of celebration. A little more muted than the past couple of years, though. Then you need to hold off with the celebrations till you win the pennant, at least.

The Yankees, Angels and Red Sox celebrated their achievements, despite their many playoff appearances in recent times.

Why should the Phillies mute a celebration in any way?

It seems odd to go from 1964 Phlashback Panic to let's not be too happy in around a day.

Of course you celebrate! You know they will, and probably the same way they did last year - that is, with happiness but not unbridled joy, for a relatively brief time - b/c they know they're not done yet.

Madson on why he threw so many fastballs:

“I knew I had a good fastball again,” said Madson, who pitched two innings for only the third time this season. “For some reason, I was hitting location and getting ahead of guys. It’s one of those things. You go with what’s working until a hitter tells you to change.”

GBrettFan- EXACTLY! Not to mention there are some guys on this team that weren't here last year, so what? they don't get to enjoy it at all? let them celebrate how they want.

EFF: "It seems odd to go from 1964 Phlashback Panic to let's not be too happy in around a day."

You don't read Beerleaguer then. Emotions whipsaw every 5 minutes on this blog. Attention spans longer than 5 minutes are a rarity.

Great year for the Phils, neat site on 2009 attendance:

espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

Phils third in majors and have the highest home with a 102.1 capacity. All translates to $$$ for next year payroll.

NPR's Morning Edition just had a Frank DeFord piece on baseball announcers, in which he discusses the Tigers' Ernie Harwell and our own Harry Kalas. You can find it at npr.org and either read it or listen to it.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113309157

Madson seemed to be going exclusively with hte hard stuff. Maybe it was hte adrenaline or maybe it was because the hitters didn't look to him like they could touch him, regardless of those 2 hits. I'm not concerned that he has lost the change, if that is hte question. If you don't see it next time, then maybe you have a reason to question.

I will admit that Madson looked good last night going 2 innings.BUT my only point this whole time was to focus on the 9th inning.

Last night he came in the 8th, got 3 outs in 9 pitches. Comes out in the 9th (right move by Charlie) and he lets up a single, Fly out, Single. Now he did a good job of striking out Lee and Pence. Threw 18 pitches in the 9th.

I'll tune in w/ 2 outs in the, only if my heart can take it.

I think tonight is a perfect time for a turn-back-the-clock start from Pedro.

GBrettfan, thanks for the link

Surprising the Braves had less than 60% capacity attendance and the Rockies less than 65%. Well, maybe not so surprising. Denver's a football town.

I was watching the game with my wife when she remarked when Madson had two baserunners on with one out in the ninth, "This is just like Lidge." I told her that Madson is not Lidge, that Madson has control and can throw strikes. In my mind that is why Madson should be the post season closer.

The second single Madson gave up was weak, I'm not too worried about it.

I *was* worried about the pitch to Lee, before the strikeout pitch. Bako called for it to be way high, Madson threw it just high, and Lee fouled it off. That could have gone badly.

GBrettfan: thanks also.

Side note: I was in the Atlanta area when the Phils became WFC, watching the game with my youngest daughter and newest granddaughter, age 3 months, who woke up in the bottom of the 8th. (Maybe she had a premonition of good things.) Watched the last pitch; we both shouted: "Swing and a miss, struck him out" in our best HK voices. Granddaughter got a tad upset with the shouting and jumping up and down. We forgave her.

Middle daughter in Fla sent a text with the same words and the comment "HK voice."

Eldest daughter called from CBP and said the same thing in her HK voice.

All 4 of us never heard the call, but said the same 7 words.

GBrettfan: I had a good laugh when McCann was up in the 9th and the Braves announcer said, "the 28,000 in attendance are on their feet..."

Are you kidding me? This is the hottest team in baseball, they are on the verge of catching either the wild card or division leader and all that the Atlanta metro area can round up is 28K? What a joke...they deserve to lose.

totally agree, Colin K.. that was pathetic

I was wondering that, too. Why wasnt there a sellout last night?

new thing, yo

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