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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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But...the Gnome scored the winning run of the 2008 WS! That's invaluable playoff experience we can't do without this year.

Petey Pablo took the words right out of my mouth!!! ;-)

If the Phils are looking from help from Myers, Taschner, Condrey, Durbing, Cairo, Bruntlett, or Tracy, we're in trouble.

You could make a case that, with home field advantage still at stake, the Phillies should keep going with their regular lineup until home field has been resolved. But when it comes to pitching & the bullpen, it's definitely more important to figure out who's healthy & able to help us.

I'm not sure what should be done about the bullpen, but if the Phillies are serious about winning in the postseason there's no way they can afford to remove Happ from the rotation. He & Blanton have been the team's most consistent starters by far.

I also cannot imagine a playoff roster sans Bruntlett. Besides the fact that pretty much no one else on the team could fill in at SS should something happen to J-Roll, Gnome is invaluable in situations requiring unassisted triple plays &/or terrifying rain delay graphics.

Abreu update, courtesy of Rotoworld:

Abreu is batting .292/.394/.441 with 15 homers, 95 runs, 102 RBI and 29 stolen bases this season. Abreu has eclipsed 100 RBI for the seventh straight season -- Albert Pujols is the only other player with such an active streak.

Why would we care about some no-name outfielder playing on the West Coast in the AL? JK clout

Darn! We could have had Abreu. It would be a lot nicer to have him patrolling the OF than the stiffs we have out there now.

In all seriousness, it's nice to see Abreu have another (statistically) nice year. He's not my favorite Phillie of all time, but I certainly don't have it out for him like some do.

Also, what's Matt Smith up to these days?

They NEED Bruntlett on the postseason roster. Away games are inevitable and someone has to carry the bags.

I think Cholly will continue fielding starters to try to clinch home field advantage.

Of the ex-Phillies we may see post season Thome scares me more than Bobby A.
The only reason I would have ever liked the DH rule is that we could have had Thome and Howard co-exist as Phillies regulars

But for tonight, we need to take care of Bourne , Michaels & Co.

.

Gnome will be on the post season roster.

Its crazy but the only "certainties" on the bullpen roster are Madson and Walker. Rest are all question marks for one reason (e.g., health, performance). Literally I think they will go with who is healthy and available to pitch. Far less than ideal but that is the hand the Phils were dealt.

Really the only question mark is whether or not Lidge is on the postseason roster. Sadly, I think we will be even though I don't think that he can help this team right now in any capacity in a close game. I would rather have the Phils roll the dice with a Condrey or even Durbin instead.

clout, you didn't see the 500+ post game thread? No need to generate traffic until after the Phils clinch and before the first game of the NLDS. Abreu's stats will be comparable then.

Not all that interested in Abreu, but Howard will be on that list after his 7th season, barring injury.

Abreu also sports the highest career IFP (Indifferent Fielding Percentage) of any player w/ 10+ Major League seasons under his belt. Ah, I do miss watching ol' Bobby out there in RF ... on a bright, clear day he made the perfect sundial. That Werth is too damn dynamic for my taste. The way he runs after balls not hit directly to him is just so distracting!


MG: I can't even imagine Lidge being left off of the postseason roster. Hell, if Madson's spot had come up in the bottom of the 8th, we would have seen him out there in a save situation last night. Charlie simply will not let go.

Who would win the higher score in the ODQ (overall damage quotient)
Lidge or Eaton?

G-town: You're definitely top 5 in the least knowledgable fans who post here, your comment about Madson allowing hits in the 9th (one was a routine grounout to short that was a hit only because of an overshift) being just the latest example, but I don't recall range or arm being Abreu's problem on defense when he was here. His problem was being wall-shy. Now, 4 years later, you can make a case that his range his below average, but in 2005, I don't think so.

A note on fandom:

I drove my wife nuts last night. I had a lump in my throat and weight on my chest (of varying degrees) throughout the game. It lifted quite a bit after Feliz's GS, but then came back when I realized Happ's pitch count was high and it would be a bullpen night. It got a little relaxed after Weth's HR. It began to build as I screamed at my wife about Happ looking spent and Charlie leaving him out there, and boiled over after the HR. I actually relaxed quite a bit when Madson came into the game, and felt for sure that he'd be back out after the 9 pitch 8th. When I saw Lidge warming up, the lump/weight spiked to the largest level of discomfort in the entire game. And even when Madson came out, I still couldn't shake the thought of the revolving door with Lidge of Single (or BB) stolen base, repeat. It actually took me about 5 minutes after the final strike out to calm down.

I agree with Old Phan: Gnome's on the roster. Also, Lidge is on the roster, and Moyer's on the roster (if he's reasonably healthy). Cholly puts them on for gut reasons, and Ruben puts them on for "we have a lot of money tied up in these guys next year" reasons (not Gnome, obviously). And forget sentimentality, Moyer is needed on the roster for his versatility. Here's hoping it's truly a minor injury.

Extenuating circumstances (everybody's hurt) aside, it would be a pretty bold move to not start Happ considering how consistently good he's been this year.

My concern for Happ in the BP is how quickly he could re-acclimate his arm to be able to pitch everyday or every other day. The days off in the postseason would lessen that, but starting pitchers spend the entire year tuning their bodies to a regimented schedule to pitch every 5 days.


Last year we all breathed a sigh of relief when we got to the ninth because we knew the ball would be put in the hand of Brad Lidge, we would hear the ominous closing music, and he would take care of business and ice the game.

A year later, just the sight of him stirring in the pen against the lowly Stros makes peoples' stomachs boil.

Amazing what a year will do.

I can see BLs having recurring nightmares ten years from now where they dream about Lidge warming up and waking up screaming or cursing.

I'll go out on a limb: Bruntlett will NOT make the post-season roster. With all the bullpen uncertainty, the Phillies will carry 12 pitchers, which means either Cairo or Bruntlett must go. Bruntlett hasn't had a single PA in more than a month. Those PAs have gone to Cairo. Bruntlett's post-season roster spot will go to Cairo too.

(Stepping into jinx-proof suit.)

Okay, so what happens if the FLA/ATL game ends before the Phillies game, and ATL has lost? I'm guessing that they don't stop the game and guzzle champagne. What if the Phillies then go on to lose their own game? Do they have a celebration after their loss? That sounds weird, but I guess I would take it.

BAP, of course Cairo will make it over the Gnome. Cairo is 6'1'' and the Gnome is only 6'. Easy call for Charlie.

bake: They'll celebrate tonight if they clinch no matter how the clinching happens!

I wonder if the Red Sox popped the cork after the Rangers lost late last night giving Boston the Wild Card. Does the Wild Card merit champagne?

joe - That is a legit issue. Frankly it would have served the Phils to have move him back in the bullpen prior to his last start but i guess Cholly & Amaro felt they had to clinch the NL East first.

Yeah the injuries have really complicated things but it hasn't helped that Cholly and Amaro have putzed around with the bullpen this entire month including the well-chronicled closer issues.

My bet is that the bullpen is largely going to be unsettled going into the playoffs and the Phils are going to rely upon Cholly's ability to manage his staff/bullpen. I bet it burns the Phils in a big way in the playoffs at least 1 and possibly more if they are able to make a deeper run.

Clout: Would you rather have Abreu or Werth?

On the eve of a third straight division title, and about to defend a World Series title ... Bobby Abreu? Interesting.

I wonder what Ryne Sandberg is up to

Where does the height = awesome meme come from? Man, I miss all the good stuff.

MG, many a playoff team has been burned by their bullpens at least 1 game per postseason. I bet it happens several times this postseason to non-WFC teams. We aren't the only fans who will be sweating blood over it.

I seem to remember Mariano Riviera giving up a game winning HR on two different occassions (at least) in the postseason, and he has been, without a doubt, the greatest postseason reliever of all time.

CJ: There was champagne last night after the Sox clinched the WC, even after they lost.

MVPTommy made an argument that 3B are generally tall (and they actually are) so they could cut down on line drives over their head...thus the taller the 3B, the better. This was part of his argument as to why Jimmy Rollins wouldn't be a good 3B defensively. We all ripped him for it and I specifically brought up Chone Figgins (who is having a great defensive season at the hot corner as examples of why that's not true. The real reason is that 3B is more of a power position and thus taller bigger power hitters usually play there. It has nothing to do with balls over their head.

Thus, in good beerleaguer fashion, we've been running it into the ground for the past couple months now.


BTW, "Victorino is actively hurting this team."

Ryne Sandberg is up to 6'2", therefore a better choice for the postseason roster than either Gnome or Cairo.

Wow that's terrific. I'm 6'4, so clearly I should get in the game.

clout: I didn't mention Abreu's range or arm, nor did I make a comment about Madson "allowing hits" last night. For someone so concerned w/ posters who are supposedly lacking in attention span, you're quite often reactionary & inaccurate.

I really hope Lake Fred is wrong, or was being sarcastic. I wouldn't be unhappy if we did not see Utley, Rollins, Victorino, Ibanez, or Werth the rest of the season. They need the week off. They shouldn't even throw any more than necessary to keep limber.

CJ--

Thanks for that, CJ; the Red Sox had pretty much the same situation that I described, except worse, because they had to hang around in the clubhouse and wait for the Rangers to lose at 1 am ET.

And
Asked what the celebration was like in the clubhouse, [Mike] Lowell said, “It’s wet.’’

(from http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2009/09/30/party_favor_red_sox_lose_but_win_wild_card_thanks_to_angels/)

NEPP, Victorino is Actively Killing Them. If we want to break the cycle with a reverse jinx, we need to up the ante.

In his last two appearances, Tyler Walker has allowed 4 earned runs without retiring a batter. It's safe to say he failed his tryout for a spot at the back end of the bullpen.

So, it looks like it will be Madson and Happ along with anyone who puts it together in the next week. Romero gave up some hits, but his pitches looked pretty sharp on Monday. Having three effective relievers in the postseason would be better than we've seen in a while.

Other candidates:

- Myers put on a glove and picked up a ball in the 9th last night. He's itching to get back in the game.
- Eyre says he can pitch, but his injury prevents him from warming up more than once per night (not a good sign).
- Park is still injured and, unless I'm mistaken, is still in Clearwater.
- Condrey hasn't given up an earned run since his return. He's given up 6 hits (no walks) in 3.2 innings. His pitches looked relatively sharp on Monday (that is, they looked Clay Condrey-esque) even though he gave up a hit to Kaz Matsui to allow inherited runners to score.

Who's left? Kendrick, Escalona, Durbin, Walker, Moyer

Tonight's Lineup vs. HOU (via Zolecki on Twitter): Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ibañez LF, Werth RF, Feliz 3B, Ruiz C, Martinez P.

Jack: I'd rather have Werth, given the big age difference. But do you think he'll match Abreu's career OPS+ of 132?

Recall, my problem was never with the idea of dealing Abreu, it was with Beerleaguer consensus which hailed that trade as a good deal for the Phillies.

As I recall, only you, me and JW thought it was a bad trade when it was made.

clout - I was livid too because it meant they were giving up on the season and trying to basically save a buck or two in the process. Basically wound up costing them a playoff spot in '06 because the team got hot and they missed Lidge in the rotation in August and Abreu's bat the final 6 weeks.

Old news at this point.

MG: Think you meant Lidle, not Lidge. But I can understand your confusion, as both are pretty much dead to us right now.

Yo new playlist.

from Rosenthal and SI.com:

"...Four of those players — Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz — have on-base percentages of .316 or below in September. A fifth, Jayson Werth, has tailed off slightly. And the sixth, Ryan Howard, is cheating to get to fastballs inside, one scout says.

Referring to Werth, Utley, Rollins and Howard, the scout says, "A team that can make pitches will go right through them. They're all extremely dangerous if you get into their happy zones. But they all can be beaten in a lot of different places right now."

If the Phillies do not revive in the postseason, manager Charlie Manuel could be second-guessed for leaning too heavily on his veterans — and occasionally asking too much of his starting pitchers.

Utley, coming off hip surgery, has played in 153 games."

I'm really surprised Jamie Moyer was so healthy for so long. I don't think he's missed a start due to injury since he arrived in 2006. Can the same be said for any other Phillies pitcher?

G-town Dave: This was your comment last night after the routine grounder to short that became a hit because Rollins was shifted:

"Madson is just a different pitcher in the 9th than he is in the 8th, & it's not a positive difference.

Posted by: G-Town Dave | Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 10:03 PM"

Regarding Abreu's range, calling him a sundial is a comment on that, no?

I actually recall many angry posters, including this one.

Clout: The sundial comment might have been speaking more to his lack of effort than his range. But I'm just guessing.

Facts:

1. The Bobby Abreu trade was the catalyst for Phillies subsequent success and World Series crown.

2. Jamie Moyer is washed up (tm).

Did I miss anything?

clout: Regarding Madson, I was referring to his 9th inning mentality in general, & his annoying tendency to leave balls out over the plate in the 9th specifically. Case in point, the first pitch to Lee. Regarding Abreu, I have no idea what his range or arm were, because I never saw him putting forth the effort. Again, indifferent.

Anyway, off to the game now. I'd love to see Pedro make me eat my initial opinion yet again by pitching a gem & sewing up this division already ... Let's Go Phils!!! :-D

CJ: Yes:
3. Bastardo is better than Tommy Hanson.

TNA: Well, that's encouraging. (Not) Makes us sound like a lineup of second-rates.

Regarding this observation on Happ - "Frankly it would have served the Phils to have move him back in the bullpen prior to his last start but i guess Cholly & Amaro felt they had to clinch the NL East first." - Maybe that's a case for keeping Happ in rotation for postseason, since it will be rather important to clinch those series?

On the other hand, he doesn't seem to be going as deep any longer this season and has labored a bit more, so putting him in the BP could be a better use of him.

I'm betwixt and between on this one.

I can say that I'm not feeling great about our starters right now, either. At least they are healthy, but they, like many of the relievers, seem to be lacking crispness.

Regarding resting regulars vs. going for wins, I'd be surprised if Charlie rested all the regulars at once! He's not trotting out the suggested lineup of backups. He'll rest one or two of them a day for the last few days of the season. Or that's what I think he'll do, anyway.

Carson- Bako? Kendrick? Cairo? Walker? Do you know something that we don't? Or is just that they are not as photogenic as Brunt?

I didn't want to put everyone on (namely Kendrick and Cairo). I used the ESPN.com team page pictures, and Bako and Walker are still donning Reds and Giants garb. I did forget Durbin though, so I might have to do a quick edit.

I think people need to calm down a bit re: the starters and take a look at how the Brewers and Astros have fared vs. LHP this season. Now, while it's true that the SP hasn't been as sharp lately as we would like, matchups do factor into the equation somewhat.

Plus, the playoffs are a new season and a crapshoot and all those cliches.

From a quick glance over on their collective OPS+, both rank at or near the top of the NL. StL and Col not so good, but LA should cause some consternation because their OPS+ as a team vs. LHP is just a tick below Milwaukee's.

I'm hoping StL knocks out the Dodgers myself. Even with their starting rotation and our offense's supposed holes (according to the unnamed scout), I'd much rather face StL if the Phils manage to get to the playoffs and make it to the NLCS.

I'm with doubleh, I'd rather see L.A. and StL duke it out while we roll the overperforming Rox as payback for 2007. We need to beat the Cards record to assure that we play the Rox.

You all need to buy some CDs from the new October BL playlist. It's all music to watch WS games by.

CJ - Fact is the Phils' spent the money largely freed up from Abreu on signing Eaton and enabling them to pick up Garcia's contract in '07. They also didn't pick up a single player who helped the MLB team in a substantial way in '07.

The Abreu trade helped the Phils win squat but it get it gets touted as lore as being the pivotal movement the franchise was suddenly able to win it all and it is almost 100% revisionist BS.

doubleh: At the risk of being accused of looking too far ahead, I would also prefer to play the Cardinals over the Dodgers. We seem to play pretty well against St. Louis.

On StL vs. Dodgers as an opponent, I would have to agree with doubleh on purely a gut level, all stats and matchups aside.

I just have this sense that the Dodgers got surprised somewhat last year by the Phils (maybe they got carried away a bit by the Manny hoopla and their own press clippings while the Phils were going about their business), and that the two teams were more evenly matched than the series may have shown.

I think the Dodgers know just how dangerous the Phils can be if they are on their game, and would be very highly motivated to not take them lightly at all, and to get some payback. They still have to have memories of that Stairs home run squirming in their brains.

Gnome sits next to Charlie on the bench so I'm assuming he's being groomed to be a coach. I think he stays on the roster. Let's hope this season marks the end of his "playing" days in which he did very little actual honest to God playing.

If Abreu stayed, would we have signed Werth?

Interesting.

All that said, I would love to see the Phils slap the Dodgers around again just because I know they would hate it so much. Much easier to work up a loathing for them as an opponent than it is for St. Louis.

myers available out of the pen tonight per dubee

Andy Martino reports that Brett Myers is available to pitch out of the 'pen tonight.

Does this alter Charlie's plan to use Lidge, I wonder?

I'm sure we're all hoping for an offensive drubbing that will make any use of a closer a choice merely of interest in seeing him/them throw vs. necessity. I know I could take a nice calm game where the Phils lead from the get-go and the Astros never approach them.

Bob: I'd love to beat StL. They are the Yankees of the NL. Billy Bob Thornton would be the new celebrity to cry this year (like Alyssa Milano).

If Vic is actively killing this team, then Saint U is digging the grave.

JW interesting playlist. I think it's pretty much the same stuff that my Dad is rocking out to, on vinyl, from the comfort of his La-Z-Boy.

And I KNOW you're the same age I am....

MG: You are significantly discounting the psychological impact of removing Abreu from the locker room! He was a lead weight around the neck of our collective winning spirit!

And that's not a dig at your musical taste, as much as it's an indictment on music today - it pretty much sucks all around.

new thread

doubleh: You have a point. I had not realized the Cardinals had this edgy/hip/celeb vibe associated with them.

Gnome sits next to Charlie on the bench so I'm assuming he's being groomed to be a coach.

Now that's an interesting mentorship: West Virginia hillbilly teaching the Stanford boy.

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