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Thursday, September 17, 2009


Hard to disagree with Jason on this one.

With Happ pitching tomorrow night , where to KK and Jamie fit in to the immediate rotation plans ?

There is a DH on Tuesday, and Pedro and Cliff Lee had long , great, outings on their last turns.

Beyond Friday the probable pitchers are TBA on

All i know is we had a double header on sunday, an emergency starter pitched one game, and a 38 year old pitcher who hadn't pitched until after the all star break pitched the second game and we used what? three bullpen arms between the two games? Yeah, the starters have really picked it up

I would probably use Kendrick and Moyer towards the end of the season to give our top guys rest. For now, full steam until we get into the playoffs. The sooner we clinch, the sooner we can rest any tired arms.

"MG - having a short pen in the playoffs is a key to success not really a risky formula. The playoffs are high leverage. Pitching success relies on the team's best pitchers - usu a short list. Guys over at BP, and this has been mentioned here before, found that pitching playoff success correlated to power starting pitching and a top-notch closer.

If the Phils are using more than 2-3 pen guys on a regular basis in the playoffs, they are probably not having much success. These last few days have been very encouraging."

Agreed Sophist. Hamels went late into games he pitched last year in the postseason and the Phils really had 3 relievers (Lidge/Madson/Romero) who were there 7th-8th-9th guys.

Madson pitched in 11 G, Lidge 9 G, and Romero 8 G. Still, the Phils did have important contributions from both Durbin (6 G) and Eyre (5 G) especially in games that Hamels didn't start.

So basically the Phils need to find their 3 high-leverage relievers for this offseason and another 1-2 guys that can pitch in the 6th/7th inning ideally.

Maybe Madson is the closer but after that it is a complete crap shoot. Park going down doesn't help and the Phils have to hope that somebody really emerges as a setup guy (Myers/Romero) and that the likes of Condrey & Eyre can produce. Phils should move Happ back to the bullpen too.

Basically it adds up to alot of "ifs" and I doubt those all break in the Phils' favor over the next 2+ weeks before the playoffs.

Well, if Park has a bad pull, or even a slight tear, we might not see him back during the regular season.

If they make it to the second round of the playoffs, that might be when we first see him.

The playoffs....who's in "The Pen"?????


Park, if he can come back and be effective

As Sophist noted in the previous thread, BP had an article stating that if the Phils were using more than 2-3 relievers on a regular basis in the playoffs that wouldn't be a good sign.

But, since adding Lee and Pedro, the SP has improved and even Cole seems to be rounding into form.

Happ - no need to add anything about how well he's performed, and Blanton, except for one outing, has been the best starter on the team since June.

Right now, things look pretty good going into the postseason - assuming they make it. :)

coolstandings has them at a 98.6% probability of winning the division and 98.4% to make the playoffs.

Even if, by means of some horrible collapse and/or an improbable late season surge by the Fish (14-2, anybody?) or Bravos (15-2, anyone?), they don't win the division, they are still 4 games up on Colorado in the loss column and would probably win the wild card.

So, Charlie has a chance the next 18 games to line up his starters and rest some people if they need/want it.
Hey, Whiners: Only 7 more losses to 95 wins!!!

awh - Cholly won't mess with the rotation significantly or rest his regulars until they clinch. He has come out and said that directly but you can imply it from his comments/lineups.

I have always understood that starters were better pitchers than relievers because they had command of more pitches, while a reliever could get by in an inning or two with only one or two pitches. Lidge is the perfect example.

I would think that in the playoffs, having a bullpen stocked with starters would be better than one relying on one pitch artists. The excitement and atmosphere of pitching in the playoffs would offset any of these four days off routines that the starters normally need. I'm sure that a Happ, Moyer or Kendrick would be pumped coming into the 6th inning of a tight playoff game.

How can their odds to win the division be greater than their odds to make the playoffs?

I was slightly concerned about the lack of LOOGY, but check out Happm Myers, and Moyer's no. against LHB this year. Solid.

sophist (from the prior thread):

I guess what I meant is that it's a risky formula because it heavily relies on unknown quantities. Myers, Romero, Eyre & Happ are all unknown because of recent injuries, and Happ is also unknown because he'd be pitching in a totally new role. I agree with you that it makes good sense to shorten the bullpen in the post-season -- although that becomes more difficult if you have to play a lot of 6 and 7-game series.

"How can their odds to win the division be greater than their odds to make the playoffs?

Posted by: michael wheeler"

Because my damn fingers missed the right key.

The correct numbers are 97.6% to win the division, and 98.4% to make the playoffs.

Sometimes I need a proofreader.

Proposal for the postseason closer:



Hmmm, from a few comments, seems this is not a new idea, sorry, haven't visited for a few. Anyway, he hardly could be worse than what we have now.

Happ would be better served as a long reliever in the BP during the playoffs. I'd rather see Madson or Myers as the closer for now.

How does a team have a 98.6% chance of winning the division but only a 98.4% chance of making the playoffs?

Dan: I tossed that idea around the other day also. Right now Madson's the closer. If he blows another save or two, and Myers continues to look only so-so, I would definitely consider Happ. But all else being equal (ceteris paribus to Tray), I think Happ would be better filling Park's role as the middle/late inning guy who can pitch multiple innings.

UC would probably LOVE to be able to hand the ball over to Happ in the 6th or 7th inning knowing he could carry him to the 9th and hand it over to whoever the hell is closing for us.

Especially with Park out now.

Overall, we've had 2 years in a row of ridiculously solid starting pitching and that is a tribute to Rich Dubee and our training staff.

From Todd Zolecki: "Cliff Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Pedro Martinez, Happ, Lidge, Madson, Myers and Tyler Walker should be on the roster, if they are healthy. That would leave three spots for a group that includes Condrey, Durbin, Eyre, Moyer, Park, Romero and Jack Taschner."

Who would you pick?

For me, Romero, Eyre, Condrey and Park would need to show they're healthy & not rusty. Durbin is one I'd leave off this year if Condrey or Park is good to go. Taschner would also need to prove himself
- supposedly he adopted a more effective delivery in the minors, but it's untested at the ML level. I think there are a lot of question marks in this group.

So I agree with those who say clinch early and give time to the bench players to hopefully get them in sharp hitting form, and the BP pitchers to see what they've got.

Great comment by Rob Dibble on the Nats TV network last night: "Without Cliff Lee, the Marlins have a better starting staff than the Phillies." What's even the point of a statement like that. Without Michael Jordan, the Bulls weren't the best basketball team of the 90's.

"Proposal for the postseason closer:



Posted by: Dan | Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 11:31 AM "

ALERT! ALERT! Yet ANOTHER BLer suggestion for closer.

Now the BLer closer tally stands at:

Chan Ho, Pedro, Madson, Myers, Moyer, Walker, AND newest member of the club Happ.

MVP: What's your point? That's what we do on Beerleaguer. We toss ideas around. Who ought to be the closer in your judgment? Lidge?

Wally: That is similiar to saying "Without Josh Johnson, the Marlins rotation isn't much better than the Nationals"....

See there are plenty of announcers worse than T-Mac and Sarge..

I'm still dismayed that Cholly was all set to put the game in Lidge's hands last night. The guy is a mental wreck and it serves no purpose to keep abusing him like that.

Off the wall suggestion- How about Pedro as the playoff closer?

New role for him , I know.

Put Happ into the rotation for the playoffs , assuming he's healthy and pitching well.

Pedro is pumped up by the limelight and would love to be THE man on the mound when a round of the playoffs or the WFS is won.

Nobody would complain about the deer in the headlights look.

I have no idea if he could adjust to pitching 1 inning stints over several days , but after being against signing him in the first place, I have now come to believe he can do anything.

Not bad on de-caf coffee!

Remember when Roy Halladay came in to close a game against the Phils last year? lets do that with cliff lee or hamels.

Brad Lidge should be nowhere near a playoff roster.

BAP: No, as a matter of fact I think it should be Myers in 1 or 2 run games and Lidge in 3 run games. Also,put Madson back where he belongs as the setup guy.

Madson is not a closer, I think I have screamed that since day 1. And I am glad you are finally starting to see it BAP. You went from being the President of the "Madson for closer" club, to now having the view of "Give him 1 or 2 more blown saves before we move him". Well, that won't take long.

Benny: Well I guess you will be disappointed when not only will Lidge be on the roster, he will close in 3 run games.

mvp: For the record, I don't mean 1 or 2 more blown saves for the rest of the year. I mean 1 or 2 blown saves in his next few appearances. And, yes, I'd be surprised if that happens.

So you think Myers should close in tight games & Lidge in 3-run games? I won't debate you on your belief. I'll merely point out that your opinion, like that of everyone else that you ridicule, is "Yet ANOTHER BLer suggestion for closer."

Let's start Lidge in game 1 of the playoffs. Like Jim Konstanty did in 1950. Then we can use Lee as the closer.

BAP: So let me get this straight. If Madson blows "1 or 2 blown saves in his next few appearances". That will make it 6 Blown Saves in 9th inning appearances (Since the 2 8th inning blown saves you "don't count") out of 16 tries. Lidge has 10 Blown saves in 39 tries. That is a 38% save percentage in the 9th innings for Madson and 75% for Lidge, but you still want Madson? Hmm....interesting.

And my Myers for closer hasn't been changed 10 times like other BLers closer "flavor of the week" seems to change as the wind blows. I said if not Lidge then I want Myers from Day 1.

MG: Have to touch on something from last night. You seemed to ridicule my suggestion that Madson came in to pitch last night even after the grand slam because he was already warm. To bolster your point, you mention the fact that he didn't come in the previous game after warming up. I can't believe you missed this, but I'll point out the stark difference:

Tuesday night: Cliff Lee pitching a shut out
Wednesday night: Chan Ho Park hamstring injury

I'll leave it at that.

Gramps- 1950 didn't turn out so well.

Is Myers physically up to being the Closer? Stuff wise he can do it even if he's not an optimal choice (not a lot of curve ball closers out there) but if he's not 100% yet, its hard to tell. It'd be nice to see him get some more reps in to find this out. Madson is the de facto closer right now as we all can clearly tell.

But Konstanty pitched well

I like having a closer who's coach only trusts him when up by 3 runs. That's confidence inspiring.

Gramps- Amen to that.

More importantly, is Myers mentally prepared to be the closer?

MVP: Like anyone else, Madson has to perform to keep his job. However, unlike you, I'm not willing to conclude, from a handful of bad performances (which might just as well have happened if he had been pitching in the 8th inning), that he can't close.

It's funny. When Lidge came off the DL, all you would let anyone talk about was his save ratio since coming off the DL. Everything that happened before he went on the DL was erased from history. How come that same logic doesn't apply for Madson, who is 4 for 5 in save chances since being moved to the closer role?

Careful Bed Beard, I smell a Madson to Lidge "combo special" tonight. Call it a huntch...

Is Taschner even eligible for the post-season? He was a Sept. call-up ...

Tommy- first off, you need to slow down a bit when you are doing math for your posts, you constantly muddle your arguments by misusing or mis-typing statistics. Secondly, as someone who would much prefer Madson to Lidge as closer I would encourage you to consider the fact that Lidge came in to the season knowing he was closer, and was given months and months and months to wrk out his problems, but he did not. Madson has been thrust in to the role with little warning and his performance has the look of a guy who is still adjusting, but getting better at it as he goes.

"From Todd Zolecki: "Cliff Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Pedro Martinez, Happ, Lidge, Madson, Myers and Tyler Walker should be on the roster, if they are healthy. That would leave three spots for a group that includes Condrey, Durbin, Eyre, Moyer, Park, Romero and Jack Taschner."

We aren't going to carry 12 pitchers on the post-season roster. We only carried 11 last year, and our starting staff is much better (and can pitch longer) then our staff last year. So Todd, we need to pick 2 out of your list.

If Park is healthy, he is a lock for the roster. For Zolecki to not say he is, is being foolish. And I still don't see why Lidge is a lock for anything. If we are picking our 11 best pitchers, he ain't one of those 11. But we all know Cholly will stick him on there, just because. So in thar regard, he is a lock.

The 11 man pitching roster, if all healthy, will be the following:

Eyre or Romero
Condrey or Durbin

We have 2 1/2 weeks to figure out who the "LOOGY" will be (Eyre or Romero) and who the middle righty guy will be (Condrey or Durbin). Happ goes to the pen. If he isn't healthy, Moyer gets his spot. If Park isn't healthy, both Condrey and Durbin may make it.

BAP: Lidge was 8 for 8 coming off the DL. Madson is 8 saves for 12 in the 9th innings this year. Clearly, you can see the difference right?

And a "Handful of bad appearances"! The guy has blown 4 saves in 12 9th inning chances! If he had Lidges appearances total of 39, he is on pace to blow 13 saves. Whiich is worse than Lidge.

Edit to my above post...

Walker was left out of my 11. I think he makes it regardless of what happens. Condrey or Durbin may only get on the roster, if Park isn't healthy.

So, the 11 should be:

Eyre or Romero

Next in line...

Moyer for Happ
Condrey or Durbin for Park

Can Myers even pitch effectively two days in a row at this point? And, isn't Myers if up by 1 or 2, Lidge if up by 3 a closer by committee? Who do they use if it's tied or they're up by 4? If Lidge can't be trusted with a lead of less than 3, he needs to pitch in a different role or not at all. At a minimum, you have to warm somebody else up wiht him which is not what htey want to do.

MVP: Last question (or series of questions). If I interpret your posts correctly, you are of the view that the Phillies need to dedicate a post-season roster to a guy whose sole purpose is to pitch in 3-run save situations? I'm trying to unravel the logic in this.

The guy is so bad that you wouldn't trust him with a 1 or even 2-run lead, but you absolutely have to have him on the roster to pitch in those 3-run save situations? Is Brett Myers able to pitch in 1 and 2-run situations, but unable to do so in 3-run situations? How about a 4-run lead? Should Lidge pitch then, or can we use someone like Walker in those situations? What exactly is so significant about 3 runs? And do you really think that if we put in, say, Scott Eyre with a 3-run lead in the 9th inning, he would suddenly fall apart and blow the game?

speaking of Rob Dibble...

late in the game last night, Tyler Clippard's ball 4 to Ibanez was a fastball outside. Dibble actually said that the pitch went outside because it was blown by the wind. what?

after watching a lot of opposing announcers on this season, i have to say Dibble is the dumbest and most annoying by far.

Wheeler's statement (and multiple repetitions) that the Nats catcher should have looked Utley back to 3d before throwing to second on the double steal was pretty stupid.

mvp: Let me slow down for you. Here is my point. Before Lidge started blowing saves right & left (again), you were fond of saying, "The guy is 8 for 8 in save situations since coming off the DL." Others would then argue, "Yeah, but what about all those blown saves before he went on the DL?" But, under your line of argument, those didn't count, since the DL was like a fresh start.

So, my point is: why doesn't that same logic apply for Madson? You keep citing his FULL-SEASON save statistics, ignoring what he has done in his most recent stint as closer. So how come he isn't entitled to the same "fresh start" that Lidge got? Since his fresh start, Madson has saved 4 of 5 games, including 2 1-run saves & 2 2-run saves. And he did this despite being heavily overused during this period.

"....after watching a lot of opposing announcers on this season, i have to say Dibble is the dumbest and most annoying by far."

Not defending Dibble (because he comes off as a arrogant prick most of the time), but if you had to sit there and watch the Nats every day for 6 months, you'd be punch-drunk too. LA would have jumped out of the booth by June 1st, if he was a Nats broadcaster.

They make mistakes that the guys at Lakewood would laugh at.

Hugh, that is true, but it may have prevented Utley from scoring, assuming that Nieves doesnt throw a rocket into centerfield.

Considering that Charlie hasn't used Myers in 4 straight games now, since his 0.1 IP, 3 ER blowup against the Mets, I think talk of him being the closer is still quite premature. I find it odd that no one has brought up that Myers has not only been used, he hasn't even been warming up at all. Walker, Madson, Lidge, Park were all used. No Myers.

****after watching a lot of opposing announcers on this season, i have to say Dibble is the dumbest and most annoying by far.****

Well, consider the source. Dibbs is the same guy that says today's pitchers are babies and should be able to pitch every day out of the BP or on short rest with no issues and he doesn't believe that excessive pitch counts lead to injuries. This coming from a guy that major shoulder and arm issues as a result of overwork. He pitched 350 innings in 272 appearances over a 4 year stretch. He was out of baseball by age 30 due his injuries.

Old Phan, my only point is that, if he looks Utley back, he has no chance to get Howard. That's the same as saying, he shouldn't have thrown the ball at all. He should have decided, and probably did, what he would do if Howard broke before the pitch was thrown. I was surprised Howard made it, to tell you the truth. Hindsight is 20/20.

Jack, yes I noted that and thought last night's game would have been a good fit for him in the 8th, but it did happen pretty fast and Madson was warm.

Howard thinks he's Maury Wills.

Hugh, that's why I agree with you that it was a stupid statement. If you look Utley back you are conceding the stolen base.

Howard/Utley for 2009:

28 SB, 0 CS

I actually enjoyed hearing Don Sutton on Nats broadcasts. Anybody know why they dumped him for Dibble?

Dibbs is 3 inches taller than Sutton...that probably factored into it.

Jack: Excellant point. We shouldn't forget how quickly Myers rushed back from surgery. Anything we're able to get from him will be a bonus. To suggest he's a candidate for closer at this point is VERY premature. I hope he shows us before the end of the season that he's reliable in high leverage situations, but that remains to be seen.

MG, I agree.

"line up his starters" doesn't mean they'll miss a start, but he does have the luxury of giving someone an extra day to line him up for a spot in the playoff rotation.

As for resting the regulars, I posted: "need/want it".

I don't see Howie wanting to come out of the lineup with 40 HRs in sight.

Utley may get a game or two off, same with JRoll and Feliz. (Beware the triple play-threat Gnome!)

Stairs and Benny Frank might get a couple of starts in the OF to get some ABs and to keep the three starters fresh (and Vic's knee unswollen), and Bako may get a couple more starts than he would otherwise to keep Chooch's legs fresh (if they clinch with 8 to play I can see Bako getting 3 of the last 8 starts).

That's all.

No one is going to sit very long or more than one day in a row.

Charlie simply won't do that to guys he wants to keep sharp for the postseason.

NEPP: Hilarious.

BAP: Fine use whatever numbers you want then. In Madson's "latest stint" as closer he has 4 saves in 6 9th inning opportunities. That equals 67%. For his FULL year he is 9 for 13. That is 69%. So in reality his 1st stint was not really any better than his second.

Now Lidge's FULL year is 29 for 39, which is 74%.

So is anyone else happy we didn't give Derek Lowe $60 million last winter?

4.53 ERA, 92 ERA+ 1.492 WHIP.

Not exactly top of the rotation numbers out of him. Though they are fairly in line with his Away number for the last few years prior to leaving LA.

Sorry BAP, giving him more credit than deserved. He is 8 for 12 on the year.

tommy, you're ignoring one crucual point:

Even in some of the games he has saved, Lidge has not looked very good.

Hence the 7+ ERA.

I cant even imagine a better deal than the Phils got with Lee.

BAP - Gotcha. Good point.

I'm not sure I understand using the pitcher with the lowest ERA on the roster and one of the best lines against LHB in a long-relief role. Seems to me to be a rare occurrence and fairly low leverage in the playoffs. Hopefully, Hamels and Lee, etc. pitch well enough to remove the need for long relief, unless we're talking about extra innings.

If the situation does arise and the game is close, sure. Otherwise, Happ would possibly be a good guy to bring in with LHB coming up if Romero doesn't return strong, or in Park's current role.

Bubba - Not sure I like Pedro as the closer. First inning line against: .355/.375/.806/1.181. He's shown that he's needed an inning or so to warm up. Not a good formula for the 9th inning.

****I cant even imagine a better deal than the Phils got with Lee.****

It was a good solid trade. It will look even better when Ricciardi is canned this winter for being an idiot with Halladay.

Benny Frank as a throw-in is what makes it such a great deal and shows Rube knows what he is doing as a negotiator.

The Phillies not only need to use these final 18 games to secure a playoff spot, but to get healthy, evaluate what they have, and decide what they will do with the playoff roster.

Starting 8 on offense: Rollins, Vic, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Feliz, and Ruiz.

Then 5 more for the bench: Bako, Francisco, Bruntlett, Stairs, and Dobbs.

Rotation: Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Pedro.

Bullpen: Lidge (although he doesn't deserve it), Myers, Madson, Happ, Walker, Romero (assuming he's activated soon), then 2 ?'s. Condrey, Park, Eyre, and Moyer are up for a spot, but the first 3 are hurt, and what good would Moyer really serve in the playoffs if Happ is already the longman in the bullpen.

awh- I agree, but I also think Dobbs, Mayberry, Gnome and Cairo are going to HAVE to get significant AB's in the last week to 10 days of the season, to get them ready for the postseason.

Gnome hasn't had a single plate appearance in 20 straight games now. Cairo has had 9. Mayberry hasn't had an AB, since his recall. Dobbs will have to get AB's, since he might be the only realistic pinch-hitter the team has in the playoffs.

There are 6 bench spots available for the post-season roster. Somebody has to fill those 6 spots. Right now, 1/2 of those spots would be filled with guys who have hardly swung a bat in anger in a month. That is kinda scary. Extra-inning games do happen in the post-season. Cholly just might have to use more then 2 bench players in a game at some point.

No way Walker gets put on the roster before Moyer. Just don't see that happening.

Umm ... has it been noted that Pedro Martinez' middle name is "Jaime"?

Carson- You don't need 12 pitchers in the postseason. We only carried 11 last year and that was with "6 innings" Moyer as one of the starters. And, no Lee.

11 pitchers is all that is needed and all that should be chosen. Especially, with off-days.

There was a time that a BLer speculated that Stanford would be embarrassed to call Amaro an Alumnus if he made a play for Halladay. I assume that also covered a trade for Lee.

Tommy: I think we can all agree that the 8th inning of a playoff game is a higher-pressure situation than the 9th inning of a regular season game. Why, then, do you think that somebody who had a 2.13 ERA and 0.87 WHIP last year in the playoffs cannot handle the pressure of closing?

Brad Lidge in Save Situations:

40 G, 34.1 IP, .305/.406/.504 against (.389 BAbip), 1.87 SO/BB, 11.3 SO/9, 1.922 WHIP, 32 R.

Brad Lidge in Saves:

29 G, 27.1 IP, .222/.306/.354/.660 against (.300 BAbip), 2.92 SO/BB, 11.5 SO/9, 1.244 WHIP, 11 R.

Looks pretty good overall in his saves.

DH Phils: For the same reason that most people here thinking a guy who in the playoffs last year had a 0.00 ERA and a .500 WHIP can't handle the pressure of closing in this years playoffs.Madson isn't good as a closer.

Denny B- I know they only took 11 pitchers last year in the playoffs, but with the uncertainy of pitching back-to-back days for Myers, Romero, Condrey, and/or Eyre a 12th pitcher would likely seem the route the Phils take. Also, who would be the 6th bench player- Cairo?

Tommy: I understand what you're trying to say, but you're misquoting statistics again. Somebody above called you on the same thing. Please pay attention when you're citing numbers.

Also, nobody thinks that Lidge can't handle the pressure of the playoffs. His problem has nothing to do with pressure and everything to do with simply not getting guys out. It's not like Lidge is pitching well in low-leverage situations and crumbling when the game is on the line.

Howard IS Maury Wills! He hasn't been caught yet this year.

NEPP - Howard's 7 SB
In my best Negedelphia voice: Howard's only half the runner Pujols is. While Howard's 7 steals rank him second amongst MLB 1st basemen, (alongside Berkman and Loney), Pujols easily outpaces the pack with 14 steals.

Pujols is a freak. He's got almost twice as many walks (106) as he does K (60). As someone like Adrian Gonzalez and Howard can tell you, there's usually a tradeoff between power (slugging) and contact. Not only does Pujols have a super high average (.333), he leads the league in OBP AND leads it in SLG by a HUGE (.080) margin. The 14 steals (which gives him one more than "speedster" Werth) just makes him ridiculous.

Lidge's actual playoff numbers: 0.96 ERA, 0.96 WHIP. Again, it doesn't really change your point anyway, but you lose credibility in an argument when you cite completely wrong numbers. I guess you were looking at just the World Series numbers.

Sophist: Charlie & Rube would be doing the team a disservice is they put Moyer on the roster over Walker. In the playoffs, a guy who can get out righties the way Walker has all season (RH hitting .197 against him) is more valuable than a longman like Moyer.

If one of our starters is in a tight spot and tires out in the 6th/7th inning, Walker is the guy I want coming in to get Pujols/Holliday/Manny/Kemp/Tulowitzki/Atkins, etc.

denny: I'm still betting that the Phillies DO go with 12 pitchers and 5 bench spots, for multiple reasons. Reason 1: Our 7th best reliever is a much better player than our 6th best bench player. We've gotten by for most of the year without Cairo & Mayberry. Keeping them off the roster is no real loss and, if there's any benefit in keeping one of them, that benefit is negligible.

Reason 2: Politics. Telling Cairo & Mayberry that they aren't on the post-season roster will come as no great shock to either of them. Telling that to Tyler Walker would be difficult. Telling it to Moyer would be even more difficult and, given his revered status, would potentially, create bitterness among other players.

Reason 3: Brad Lidge. For some reason, it's a foregone conclusion that he'll be on the roster. Yet he's completely useless. If he's your 6th reliever, it's equivalent to having only 5 relievers, since you can never use him in any meaningful situation & he can't even eat up innings in blowout games. If they're really going to keep Lidge on the roster, they definitely need a 7th guy.

Reason 4: Injuries. This is the best reason of all for keeping 7 relivers. It's clear that there are huge health concerns about several of the relievers who are going to be on our post-season roster. Keeping an extra guy serves as injury insurance.

Frankly, given the numerous injuries & the probability that Lidge will be on the roster, I think the Phillies would be nuts to keep only 6 relievers, solely for the "benefit" of having Mayberry or Cairo.

*** Gnome hasn't had a single plate appearance in 20 straight games now.***

I get the point, but I never thought I'd see anyone on BL complaining about the Gnone not getting enough PAs.

From High Cheese:

Jayson Werth has a place in MLB history: the first 30-home-run hitter to drive in three other 30 home-run hitters with a grand slam.

Also on High Cheese, Murphy has stats that show Lee is better on 5 days rest and Hamels is better on 4 days rest. How to juggle that if you were trying to?

Why would the choice be Walker vs. Moyer? Makes no sense. With Park gone, Walker is a lock.

Have any of Howard's steals lead to the Phillies scoring a run? Example: Howard singles, steals second, scores on single.

I would be very surprised if Moyer wasn't on the playoff roster.

sophist: Nice comparison stats on Lidge. What this tells us is that he's pretty darn reliable in 72.5% of his closing opportunities and horrible in 27.5%.

Do the Phillies have someone to close in post season who will fail less than 27.5% of the time?

Here's a novel idea - have pitchers like Happ, Myers, and Madson come in for 2 inning "closes" after our starters pitch an average of 7 innings in the playoffs (which I think we can count on with our workhorse starters).
We spend way too much time in talking about defined roles and how the ninth inning is so different from everything else.

Howard SBs:

vs LA: Back end of double steal with Werth, Werth scores on single. Then Howard scores on double.

@ NYY: Steals, gets stranded

vs Bos: Steals 3rd, stranded

vs Pgh: Back end of double steal, both stranded

@ Chi: Stole second, scored on a single. Otherwise stranded as Bako was up next with 2 outs.

@ Wash: Stole second, stranded

vs Wash: Stole second allowing Utley to steal home.

Phils are undefeated when Howard steals a base from what I can tell.

You can't always define roles in the playoffs anyway. Short series, more on the line, you often have to throw the book away. Hard for Cholly to do, I know.

i want to play the dodgers or rockies in 1st round and avoid Cardinals at all costs.

I think that Old Phan is right that defined roles matter less in the playoffs. Every game is so crucial that you need to manage differently. You're not worried about providing the long-term benefits of stability that roles produce. You need to win, now. Whatever guy can get it done at the time you need him to, that's who you use.

Sophist - Lidge has closed 5 of 13 save opportunities in 1-run games successfully. That's all you need to know about him closing in the postseason.

I agree with BAP. Lidge is nearly useless right now and should be left off the roster.

You keep hearing "Lidge is going to turn it around" but there are 2+ weeks left in the season? Lidge just hasn't had good control at all this month and looked shell-shocked out there in a close game as soon as as runner gets on. If he has to pitch out of the stretch, its just going to lead to bad things.

More and more it is clear that almost none of the really important bullpen questions will be settled and the Phils are likely going to draw some names out of a hat of whoever is healthy and available.

Shame because it is the one and only area right now that is going to come into play every game in the postseason that is a clear Achilles heel.

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EST. 2005

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