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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Chooch is locked in right now, and it's awesome. Great to see him producing at the bottom of the lineup. Exactly the kind of player who contributes to championship teams.

CJ has a point; it's foolish to argue that throwing x+1 innings is somehow more risky than throwing only x. In this sense, Lee's pitching the 9th is trivial.

What someone could say, though, should Lee implode during the playoffs, is that Lee was over-pitched in general--that tonight's CG was part and parcel of a larger pattern of over-use that lacks easy justification.

Honestly, this discussion is really like Democrats & Republicans. Both sides think they are obviously right, and that the other side has zero merit.

I can actually see both points. The game situation and standings may lead one to believe that it was an unnecessary risk ( especially if you view everything as numbers, probabilities, and risk/reward ratios). The other side (that probably tends to focus more about the human element) pays more attention to the uniqueness of every person & situation.

"Cliff Lee-Cy Young-Grown Man."

Rexy, yes he is a grown man. Nice to see you that noticed that.

Last time I checked, we also have many other "grown men" on the roster as well. All of them draw paychecks to play baseball.

And as "grown" as he is, even the biggest adult pitchers DO break down. Sometimes, from overuse.

Of course, what is more important? Getting a CG shutout in Mid September against a AAA team, when the division race is all but over and you have a 5 run lead, or being strong in October in the NLCS against St. Louis?

BIG picture thinking is what is needed. And its what is sorely lacking from our field manager most nights.

Yes Unikruk I'm pretty sure my small mind is very capable of understanding your position.

Your position comes from a mindset of 'fear'.
Afraid of what "might" (MIGHT) happen.

I don't get people (all people) in general today. Everyone's so damned afraid of every little thing.

my fake bumper sticker says "i'm with CJ". Great to see Lee go the full 9 to give the pen a break and get his confidence going again.

Yes, and pitching that 1 extra inning shows how lacking Cholly is in seeing the big picture. Clearly, again, this is just people finding the cloud in the silver lining.

i agree with smokey joe about "the human moment." charlie certainly heard the crowd reaction when he left pedro in the other night. it was thunderous. he understands that this was another legend building moment. a special phillies moment for fans and the team.

Maybe I'm just missing how this isn't BIG PICTURE?

I mean it's obvious that Charlie has down syndrome and is the dumbest person to ever manage a baseball team.

The team obviously wins in 'spite' of him and not because of him.

Charlie has had nothing to do with this teams success... I mean.. Should we just demand he turn in his ring?

Yeah, good thing we gave the pen a break and made sure Chad Durbin didn't throw an inning. Wouldn't have wanted him to pitch more than 3 times in September. He's gotta be wiped out.

Bottom of the 9th, 2-1 Fish over Cards.

..and that one inning would have given Durbin all of the work that he needed.

By the way even though Sabathia hasn't been brought up yet. People blame Sabathia losing in the playoffs last year on him pitching so much down the stretch.

Oddly I blame it on him out and out failing when his team needed him.

Bedrosian's Beard: Aside from Madson, Myers & perhaps Park, no one in the bullpen needs a break. In fact, several guys (Condrey, Durbin, Walker, etc.) would probably be better off seeing a batter or two before playoff rosters are decided. Besides which, Charlie almost completely negated any possible benefit to Madson by having him warm up not once, but twice tonight.

I feel the same way about Cliff Lee as I do about Pedro. They are rentals. Ride them. Ride them like CC right into the playoffs, baby.

I'm only half-joking, but look at the Yankees' handling of Joba Chamberlin. They've babied him and it hasn't worked out any better for them.

There does need to be some middle ground, but I also understand the desire for Charlie to have his team being playing its best baseball heading into October.

Rex: Yup. That's why Santana broke down this year, too.

This is fun hell i disagree with charlie sometimes too.

But I don't sit around pretending i know better than he does.

So I think playing devil's advocate to a ridiculous degree will be fun.

A Charlie Manuel statue should replace the Rocky Statue in Philly.

the only part of the pen that needed a break was ryan madson. everybody else probably could have used the work.

Old Phan: You're right. It wouldn't. And 1 AB for Stairs will never give him enough work, so therefore he should never PH. Same thing with Francisco, and Dobbs. In fact, we should never use the bullpen at all, or the bench. In fact, if 1 more inning isn't gonna hurt Lee, then why can't he be the closer on days he doesn't start? I mean, it's just one more inning, and as people have pointed out, if X innings doesn't break him, X+1 won't either. Right guys?

See, I can misrepresent what you say and make it sound ridiculous too.

Fish win, 2-1. Stay 7 games back, w/ Braves 7.5 back.

After watching these last two games I think it's just a question of who Charlie should pick to throw every pitch of every inning of every game for the Phillies in the postseason: Pedro or Cliff Lee? Ride them horses!

If you are really worried about Cliff Lee's innings pitched, then have him skip a start. Pitching one less inning will not matter, heap of wheat notwithstanding.

Yes,another great game by Chooch

I mean we're arguing for some reason. It's plain charlie was right!

I mean I guess he could have been wrong. But I doubt it.

and Jack Charlie was right. It sucks but hey what can you do?

Rex: What proved Charlie right?

Look, I said from the beginning there's a 99.999 % chance that inning doesn't matter. It's not a big deal. At all. But it just seemed to me like why bother? Why have Lee throw the most pitches he's ever thrown when you didn't need to? That's all. I didn't see anything to gain from it, and if there's even the most miniscule chance you could lose something from it, it's not worth it. That's all it is. Seriously. I love Charlie, and I love Cliff Lee.

"Ride them horses!"


Hey since we're only dealing in hypotheticals (which is POINTLESS but fun).

Let's say Clif Lee doesn't come back out for the ninth. So he's in the dugout Madson comes in and gives up 2 runs. man it's getting tight now. he walks the next two but get's two infield flies before walking the bases loaded. Tense now. Dugout is right at the top of the stairs. Lee is watching nervously. Count get's to 3-2 . Nat's hitter singles to center. Man on third going home. Play at the plate. Vic guns him down for the final out Lee being an emotional guy runs up the stairs in the dugout to go celebrate. Misses the top step. Tries to catch himself falling forward and Breaks his pitching hand.

I mean hell it could have happened. It's not why he should have been left in. BUT had all that happened it wouldn't have had he been left in :) haha

I got a ton of them :)

So Cliff lee is going through the parking lot after the game and this midget.......

well said jack, i'll sign my name to that argument as well.

Are we at the point of the town hall meeting where the loudest shrieker is declared the winner?

You gain Cliff Lee.

This is what Cliff Lee does.

This by all accounts is what Cliff Lee wants to do.

You don't expect a screwdriver to be a hammer, and you don't ask it to be.

If Cliff Lee says Cliff Lee wants to go then who the hell are we to say "no Cliff sorry, today you're a screwdriver."

I'm not shrieking unikruk I'm just agreeing with Charlie who was so obviously right( like earth is round and the sun is the center of the solar system right). But that you seem so incapable of understanding :)

Rex: I'm sure Cliff Lee wants to throw as many innings as possible. He's a competitor. He probably wants to throw every game. It's the manager's job not to make Cliff Lee happy, but to do what's in the best interest of the team. Pretty simple stuff, really.

wow, did somebody get into dad's liquor cabinet on this thread?

I would err on the side of resting guys this time of year, i.e., use the reliefer in the 9th. I favor riding em hard early and getting every win you can. I'm far from convinced that Lee has been overused. Pedro didn't pitch all Spring - spring ends in late June. He's fresh. I tend to view a game like today as proving what Lee can do in the playoffs. won't happen again.

why even have a manager if we're going to let players do whatever they want?

7 fricking wins from Lee is pretty awesome. Huge production from Amaro's July effort.

Sexy Rexy: If Lee wanted to go out for the ninth with 190 pitches already thrown, would you let him? If he wanted to pitch all 162 games, would you let him?

Count me among those who WON'T manage based on the 0.01% chance of disaster.

Letting Kendrick and Moyer take a few turns before the season is up would give Lee and Martinez some extra off days, which should be more than enough to let their arms bounce back for the playoffs. That would probably more than suffice.

Is pitching Lee for an inning tonight likely lead to him getting injured or being ineffective in Oct? Pretty remote to say the least.

Was it largely ridiculous with a fully-rested bullpen up 5-0 with a guy who has throw more pitches than anyone else in baseball the past two seasons and has a reputation for wearing down in Sept? Yeah.

It is just symptomatic of one of Cholly's many suspect aspects of handling a pitching staff and thinking about anything beyond today's game.

BTY is this the best of Cholly's handling of the pitching staff:

- Madson didn't appear in the game today but he did throw 14 pitches warming up in the pen. (gotten from a text by a friend who was at the game tonight)

So Cholly felt it was warranted to warm up his heavily-used closer who supposedly was battling a biceps tendonitis injury just 10 days ago and has pitched a lot recently in a game UP 5-0 in the 9th inning with a single guy on and 1 out at home?

Because Cholly is a putz when it comes to managing his bullpen.

I agree that he didn't need to have Madson warm up.

Last rant of the night:

- Your truly elite coaches in professional sports (Popovich comes to my mind as the most underrated coach in pro sports in North America today) and just your good coaches know when to push their players.

The difference thought is that your elite coaches try to rest their players at every chance they get during the regular season because they realize that those minutes/innings/etc mount up over the course of the year in a regular season with a large numbers of games over a period of months. Especially if you are a championship team that is coming off a long season.

Cholly just doesn't get this fact and it is one of the reasons why he is a just a good manager.

When Cholly wins, he's wrong and when he loses, he's wrong. Ergo, he's always wrong no matter what the outcome. Got it.

Madson warming up is indisputably indefensible, I think.

As far as Lee is concerned, I think the people who are in favor of him pitching the 9th are completely misrepresenting the point of the people who are opposed. The risk is not a line drive off his elbow or him spraining his ankle so much as it is the extra fatigue on his arm.

He may not have seemed to be laboring tonight, but plenty of pitchers have had their arms ruined by overuse (Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and Jason Schmidt come to mind). In his career, Lee appears to be a workhorse who can probably handle a heavy pitch count better than a lot of players, but why risk his arm in a 5-0 game against the Nationals?

I see Cliff Lee as an important part of the Phillies' future. Why unnecessarily risk that?

I understand the thought that he wants to go back out there, and the emotional part of me loves complete game shutouts. Rationally, though, wouldn't it be a good opportunity to save Lee's arm and get Clay Condrey or even Lidge a relatively low-leverage inning of work?

And the people who are saying things like "He's a grown man" simply aren't using their brains. Would Kerry Wood have been any less of a "grown man" if he threw fewer pitches early in his career? He'd probably still be a starting pitcher.

If it's a close game, like Sunday, maybe it's worth the risk. If it's an important game, maybe it's worth the risk. If the pitcher hasn't thrown many innings this year, maybe it's worth the risk. If you're winning the game by 5 runs, and winning the division by 7 games, I don't see any reason to risk the long-term health of your pitcher.

Old Phan - That not what I was saying. If you get a catch to give one of your important players a little bit of breather, why not take it? That's all.

I actually do think Cholly is going to rest of a bunch of his positional players and keep a tight rope on his starters but for some reason he won't do that until the Phils actually clinch the NL East. I just don't understand why it you only really can't do that until then. That's all.

I agree with Brad. Charlie has Kendrick and Moyer as options to give the rest of the starters an extra day or two of rest and that's what I think he'll do. But pitches 110 and up are more taxing than the pitches before them for the most part. This is true of any repetitive activity. And pitches made with runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs are more taxing on pitchers than pitches during clean innings. A lot of judging the wear and tear from the number of pitches that are thrown has to do with the situations they are thrown in. I would err on the side of either giving the guy the ninth inning off or giving him an extra day or two of rest. Either one is okay withe me.
And Cliff Lee does have the reputation of wearing down late in the season. But arguing against myself a little, he sure doesn't seem like a maximum effort guy. His delivery doesn't seem like it should be all that taxing when compared to most.

I do like seeing complete games, for sure, but it isnt about the "grown man" argument. He pitched 8 innings of relatively easy ball, and I didn't see how bringing him out in the 9th would be a risk. I assume that Cholly would have yanked if he allowed more than 1 guy on base. If people are serious about resting him, why not take him out in the 5th or 6th and give Durbin, Walker, et al, some work? I could almost see that before pulling him the 9th. Give the guy his CG. It's a win-win. Remember, this is not the end of September 1964, and Cholly isnt Gene Mauch.
As an aside, I'm all for resting guys, and I would have no problem seeing Howard, Utley, J-Roll and Pete get some days to rest right now. Just accept that the Gnome will be in the game.

I have been as critical as anyone on Cholly. I would have removed Lee after 7 or 8 innings under those conditions, but his decision to leave him in to get the shutout probably ranks as a 3 at most on my objection scale. Apparently it ranked as a 9 or 10 with a lot of people. But after reading Cholly's post-game comment that he had no intention of taking Lee out,warming up Madson has to rank as a WTF.

Best case scenario is that Cholly keeps trotting out all of the regulars, the Phils continue to keep winning, and they filet the Fish next week to clinch early.

If they clinch early, Cholly will finally likely feel he can give some regulars time off, keep the starters on a pitch count/give them an extra day between starts, and potentially figure out what he has in the bullpen.

The sooner the Phils clinch, the better. I don't buy any of the nonsense that it would be best if the Phils don't clinch right up until the very end. BS.

Rest for the pitchers, figuring out the bullpen & working back in some guys, and setting the rotation is far more important than any "momentum" the Phils would get by not clinching until only a few days before the season ends.

MG: I agree. Not to mention, if the Phillies haven't clinched yet and it's September 29th or 30th, they've likely been playing poorly and would have little "momentum" anyway.

The sooner they clinch, the better for all concerned.
It feels like they clinched months ago.

shutout win by the phils, lee was dealing, division looks locked, reigning WFC... and people are complaining. do these complainers enjoy anything?

Maybe Charlie was considering the supposed Happ start coming up, meaning Lee will have another extra day's rest again before his next start?

Anyway, for the doom and gloomers who complain when we beat the also-rans...

Time to rest your worries?

Did anyone mention that Lee had an extra day's rest by virtue of the off day? I for one am not really worried about Madson getting overused. He pitches an inning at a time for crying out loud. Remember Tugger in 1980 pitching two at a time? Besides, I think a starter deserves at least a shot at a complete game shutout, like Hamels and Pedro did earlier.

One of the better articles I've read recently from a syndicated source. Hofmann broke it down like a fraction. Thx EFF.

"It feels like they clinched months ago."
In a few days they may have a 7 game lead with 17 to play. We can relax then. :)
Lots of overconfidence by a number of people. Maybe living through 1964 has left me permanently wary.

Chooch's defense is also stellar. He threw out 2 baserunners in consecutive games.

While everyone is debating whether an extra inning will wreck Lee, did anyone notice that the bullpen is in disarray?

Madson is closer for the moment, but has he proven himself playoff ready?

Anyone here know who the setup man is?

While awh has penciled in Romero for a playoff spot, all evidence points the other way. So who are the lefties in the pen? Is Eyre healthy?

Park has been great as the 6-7th inning guy, but will he have to be shifted out of that role into the setup spot?

If he is, who replaces him? Condrey? Lidge? Durbin? Make you feel confident?

Anyone get the sense that Charlie wants to push his starters as hard as possible because he either 1. doesn't trust the pen or b. doesn't want to sort the pen out?

How much time is left to get the relievers into defined comfortable roles so they're ready for the playoffs?

Anyone think the pen might be a problem post-season? Anyone? Yoo-hoo?

I have a feeling Cliff Lee knows more about his arm than anyone else.

I am actually rooting for the Marlins in their games against the Cardinals. So long as the Phillies win, the magic number for the Division goes down and I'd really like to dsee the Phillies go into the playofffs as a 1st or 2nd seed as opposed to a 3rd

A few threads ago, someone posted the recipe for success for the Phils right now. Score big early and have your starters throw complete game shutouts.
That sounds like last night's game & it does give us a breather from addressing Clout's point about the BP roles.
My leanings on the 'pen is to use Madson as closer and Walker, Myers , Park as setup/ high leverage guys/ backup closers.
I don't think it's wise to use Madson , or any closer, too many days in a row.

So I woke up this morning after Phillies win 5-0 with a CG by Lee sprinkled in. 9 strikouts, 3 walks. AND OF COURSE PEOPLE ARE COMPLAINING. I should have known, I swear only here.

I am thinking to myself, What went wrong that people don't like?

- Did we not beat the Nationals by enough runs, therefore it doesn't really count as a win?

-Did the pitcher not pitch well enough?

-Did the offense not hit well?

-Are we not still up 8 games in the loss column?

No, people are complaining because Cliff Lee was left in to pitch the full game instead of putting the bullpen in for some time. Last I checked the bullpen was reeling and needed time off. Then people are complaining about Madson warming up when not being used. Big deal, he threw 20 pitches in the bullpen. I am positive that won't make his arm fall off. Sometimes BLers just need to enjoy the game. But After last night's thread, I am positive also that "enjoying" a Phillies game will never happen here.

I think right now, the gut's mindset is that until the thing is mathematically clinched, it's not over. And he doesn't really have that much trust in the BP. So that's how he's operating until the division is clinched, despite the fact that many feel the division is a wrap. Maybe he & the organization want the #1 seed as well.

How did Carlos Ruiz get the nickname Chooch?

EFF - thanks for the link. I think it supports my opinion that the Phils shouldn't want the #1 seed because they'll have to play the wildcard (Rockies or Giants). They match up better against the Dodgers.

Phils #1 seed. Playoffs are Phils vs Wildcard; Dodgers vs Cards
Cards #1 seed. Playoffs are Phils vs Dodgers; Cards vs Wildcard

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