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Tuesday, October 20, 2009


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This is something that I was waiting for all season. If that patience rubs off on Rollins and Ibanez, who seems to be pressing a little at times, I can't see how anyone can get through this lineup. Howard is the perfect example, his approach at the plate has transformed in the past few months and he is seeing the ball as well as anyone. They are a ton of fun to watch when they're waiting on their pitches.

Joe: Just because there is rosin on a player's hat does not mean he is cheating. A lot of players have quirks to them before they pitch. Lee and Blanton both go to their brim and then push down the back of their cap. Since most pitchers put lots of rosin on their hands it isn't strange to see marks in both those spots.

Lidge, as another example, touches his chin a lot before he pitches. Are you suggesting that Lidge is hiding pine tar in his beard?

For you to proclaim that our players are cheating because you "watched Blanton last night, close enough to see details" (I'm not sure how you watched it any closer than I did) is boardline moronic.

Don't you think Joe Torre notices the marks on the hats of Blanton and Lee. I'm fairly certain if Torre thought there could be a foreign substance on Lee's hat, he would of gladly trotted out to the umpire to request a check.

From last thread.. Arroyo was accused of "hat juice" and maintained that he wore the hat all year. If it's the same hat, it didn't help him in 1st half cuz he sucked. What can you do to a pitch w/ sweaty pine tar?

I know I heard some on here proclaim the Dodgers starting pitching to be a strength, but for the fourth straight game, our starter got the better result.

Game 1:
Hamels 5.1 IP, 4 ER
Kershaw 4.2 IP, 5 ER

Game 2:
Pedro 7 IP, 0 ER
Padilla 7.1 IP, 1 ER

Game 3:
Lee 8 IP, 0 ER
Kuroda 1.1 IP, 6 ER

Game 4:
Blanton 6 IP, 3 ER
Wolf 5.1 IP, 3 ER

Phils starters 26.1 IP, 7 ER
Dodgers starters 18.2 IP, 15 ER

From the Stark article:
"As I was standing in that batter's box," [Stairs] went on, "I had one thing in mind -- and that was going for that Budweiser sign (which hangs from the facing of the second deck in right field). But then again, that doesn't change -- against anybody."

Matt Stairs only has one job. Swing hard.

Utley's approach for some time has been to take a walk. In the final at-bat of Game 2, Utley swung with only the utmost reluctance. This is understandable, considering Howard, but it could also be explained by injury.

Great stuff in the Stark column:

Now here came one last pitch -- at 98.8 miles per hour. According to data compiled by Inside Edge, it was the hardest pitch anyone had thrown to Jimmy Rollins THIS ENTIRE SEASON.

CJ, my favorite Stairs quote from that article was actually a couple paragraphs later:

"I've never turned down a fastball, and I never will. I'll be swinging at fastballs till I'm 50. They might be slow-pitch fastballs, but I'll be swinging at them."

Rob J: "What can you do to a pitch w/ sweaty pine tar?"

Most pitchers can do nothing because throwing a spitter for strikes is difficult. A few, however, can make a ball dance and whistle "Dixie" with just a bit of pine tar. The uneven side of the ball creates wind resistance and awkward movements, not unlike a knuckleball, which is also hard to throw for strikes.

To see what you can accomplish if you're able to control (and hide) the spitball, check out the career numbers for Gaylord Perry.

Here's video of the best Stairs' quote of all time.>Getting your ass hammered . . . no better feeling

CJ: Anything can happen in a short series. The Dodgers pitching was a strength and their offense a weakness during the season. They led all post-season teams in fewest runs allowed and they finished 5th out of 6 in runs scored.

I know you've been proclaiming just the opposite ever since you declared Padilla and Wolf horrible starters. But the stats say you're wrong.

Sam: Wait... more evidence that Utley is injured is that he's reluctant to swing at balls outside the strike zone?

Gaylord Perry thrived on the spitter, and he was damn good at it.

Joe Maddon questioned Blanton's hat last year during the WS and the ump crew agreed there was nothing out of the ordinary going on.

"It's nothing," Blanton said. "They rub the balls up with whatever they rub them up with, and you rub it up and get it on your hand. I'm constantly trying to get moisture, and just touch my hat. It's nothing sticky. Anybody can go touch it. It's basically just dirt from the ball that gets ... over time, over so many starts, I don't change my hat. It just gets rubbed on the hat."

dont know if anyone saw this or even cared, but that la market that MLB wants so bad in the world series is getting ass raped in the LCSs

clout- so you answered my question... Arroyo isn't a cheater but the Phillies might be? (i saw dark spot on Blanton's hat figured it was dirt and not pine tar. Do you have an opinion of your own? Also I think Perry used vaseline in any of his concoctions.

Sam, Utley had as many hits as anyone in the Rockies series. the only player on either team with a higher average than Utley in that series was Carlos Gonzalez. even in this series, he has more hits than Ibanez and Werth combined.

he's a smart hitter who doesn't get himself out very often. that doesn't mean his "approach is to take a walk."

According to posters here, Utley's 2 bad throws could have been caused by only 2 things: A case of the yips or injury.

To the utter astonishment of many, during an in-game interview last night Perlozzo suggested a third possibility: he made an error. The first was caused by a bad feed from Jimmy, the second by Belliard hurtling into him.

Sometimes that happens. Isn't that amazing?

From Buster Olney's chat today:

Noonan (Philly)

How does Russell Martin get away with arguing balls and strikes so much? I know it's the playoffs, but the umpires need to get a handle on that whining.

Buster Olney (2:00 PM)

Noonan: I'm sure that the coaching staff -- and pitching staff -- would prefer that he bottle it a little more. The Yankees felt the same way about Posada 10 years ago, the theory being that a catcher arguing about the strike zone being too generous was, in effect, taking possible strikes away from his own staff.With that, folks, my time is up... Have a great time watching the games this week.

Rob J: I've never heard of or seen written anything suggesting that Blanton or anyone else on the Phillies knows how to command a spitter. And if you can't command it, it's worthless.

Perry used a lot of ointment to keep his hair in place, although after he retired he said he used that to distract the eye from the true location.

Clout, you have to admit that Utley had quite a few bad throws to first, even ones that Howard was able to catch. He did look better last night, though.

Lidge has done that belt thing in every start this year...last night wasn't any different. I guess his "special" belt only works in the playoffs.

clout: My point stands... any playoff team leaning on guys like Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla can't claim to have starting pitching as a strength. I think that's been very apparent in this series. The Dodgers starting pitching lacks front-line talent and depth.

Deer Joe, Brad and Cliff, pls teech Chase to cheate lik u. Thks.

Damn, typing too fast, should have been Cole not Chase, way to ruin my own attempt at a joke.

Padilla and Wolf both pitched well enough to win. It was the bullpen that let them down, so I'm not sure I agree. Depth I'll give you, but you can't blame Wolf and Padilla for the current situation.


RT @visitPA I guess they didn't wait until the bottom of the ninth? #NLDS

Mike Scuilli - Loved your TV market stats- MLB should wise up to the fact that the Phillies provide them better viewing numbers than LA. The seats at CBP and the seats at home stay filled for all 27 outs- not like LA.

USC and UCLA football and the Lakers are much more important to Angelenos than baseball. They do like the Dodgers, but they aren't front page news if anything else is going on.
Hugh, agree with you about Simers for the LA Times. Truly atrocious.

CJ: The season stats show that Dodger pitching was a strength. No team, AL or NL, in the post season allowed fewer runs per game.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, just as I or anyone else can show that statistically your opinion has no basis in reality.

P.S. How did Padilla do in Game 2, BTW?

JW- On the importance of walks in this series- Don't forget , on the other side of the coin, the Phillies one loss came on a walk with the bases loaded.

Clout: No one will disagree that Wolf and Padilla pitched well in this NLCS. I believe what CJ is trying to express is that leaning on those two isn't really a strength. While the Dodgers got two good starts out of these guys, they aren't front end talent, but pitchers who are playing over their heads.

I think Padilla will be exposed in game five, and CJ's opinions will be more clearly seen.

Old Phan, L.A. is such a great sports town, now, let's see, how's their NFL team doing? Oh, the Rams and the Raiders both such, but far away from L.A.

On the Dodger's pitching staff's great stats, well, they played half their games in spacious Chavez Ravine, then thanks the the Red Sox - Yankees scheduling rules, the Dodgers pad their stats with tons of games against the sanitary Pads of San Diego and the toothless D-Backs. Their All Star Starter Billingsly is in the 'pen and one of their big September winners, Garland is not even on the roster. Thrash heap Padilla is the best they have for the postseason. I'm not impressed.

Boo hoo, the dumb Dodgers won't meet the beloved Yankees in the World Series.

LF, I don't think anyone would accuse LA of being a great sports town.

Slugga: How did Padilla pitch against the Cardinals in the NLDS?

BTW, I agree with you that Padilla and Wolf both pitched above career norms this season. That does happen sometimes and when it does, you have to admit it, not pretend it didn't happen. When average guys have great years, that's a team strength, not a team weakness.


I hate to report, but LOTS of people left the game before it was over. I was leaving the Springsteen concert yelling at people leaving the park before Lidge even came in. I was depressed that so many front runner fans actually had Tix to the game.

Old Phan, when I was growing up as a Phillies fan, the Dodgers were the be all end all of the NL. They had Saint Walter Alston as Mgr. and great pitching with Drysdale and Koufax and Ron Perranoski. They lacked power, but I was led to believe that Dodger Stadium was where it was at. I still long to attend a game there, though, with the country going in the long term economic dumper, I'll be lucky to afford dinner, so, I probably won't make Dodger Stadium in my lifetime.

JW, you are correct: Phillies' patience at the plate is one of their major strengths.

The same was true of the Phillies last year. Burrell only had one hit during last year's World Series, but walked 5 times. Utley batted only .167 through the series and had only 3 hits, but walked 5 times and scored 5 runs. Werth walked 6 times during the series. The Phillies worked 27 walks total during the world series; Phillies pitchers gave up only 10.

All my little league coaches used to tell me, "A walk is as good as a hit." It's not exactly true, but it's darn close. It makes the opposing pitcher work extra, it puts a runner on base, it moves people up. We won last night because of walks (and a hit batsman, which amounts to the same thing.)

Thank Charlie Manuel.

Why does everyone assume MLB wants the Dodgers? I mean, we all keep saying it, so people assume it must be true.

Chances are, though, the people at MLB look at the same market numbers you're looking at (or better ones) and realize that a Phils-Yanks series would actually be better. Of course, it doesn't really matter what MLB wants, does it? Unless you believe there's a conspiracy by which they fix games, the teams will decide who plays in the WS. Amazing.

"Why does everyone assume MLB wants the Dodgers? I mean, we all keep saying it, so people assume it must be true."

Philadelphians playing the victim. Philly isn't NYC or LA market area, but people should stop acting like we're from Cincinnati

Jack: Buster Olney in his chat today said he thought MLB is praying for a Yanks-Phils series because it would provide the best ratings. A Yanks-Dodgers series has better subplots, but the Dodgers can't even outdraw an NFL game between Atlanta and Chicago on Sunday night in their home market.

LF and Old Phan: You guys are such a breath of fresh air in reality when debating the "truth" behind the dodgers pitching staff.

Also, a very interesting note I came across. "The Great" Joe Torre is a career 1,173- 767 in the AL with the Yankees 4 World Series and 6 AL pennants. However, in the NL with the Mets, Braves, Cards and Dodgers he is 1,073-1,148 with 0 World Series and 0 NL Pennants.

WOWWZA! Seems like if he can't manage a bought championship team, than he is overrated as a manager.

Lake Fred, according to BB-Ref, Dodger Stadium multi-year park factor on pitching is 99, 100 being perfectly balanced.

Clipper: The better question is why did you go to the Springsteen concert over watching Game 4 of the NLCS? That's even WORSE!

Clout: When a team sends a pitcher to the mound who is over preforming, there has to be some hesitation that he may fall back to earth.

Would you rather have Cole Hamels or Padilla pitch for your team this year in a possible game 7?

Bought the tix before they made the playoffs, but still watched the game on my phone the whole time, which no one around me complained about.

Not sure if this was covered before, but Keith Law is in Arizona and filed these scouting reports:

Domonic Brown -- yes, with two o's -- of the Phillies was a stumbling block in the defending champs' talks with Toronto for Roy Halladay, and given his tool set it's easy to see why. He's a superb athlete who can run and throw and has some raw power. That said, he's still pretty crude, succeeding on the basis of his ridiculous athletic ability. His reads in right field are really poor, although he's fast enough to catch up to balls he misreads off the bat, and while he has arm strength, his throwing motion needs work. He also leaks badly at the plate, but again, he's got the bat speed to compensate. He's still one of the top 20 or so prospects in the minors, but he still needs some polishing before he's ready to race to the majors.

Scott Mathieson of the Philadelphia Phillies hasn't pitched in the majors since 2006; he underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of that season and threw just eight innings total over the next two years. He's back now as a reliever and showed a nasty two-pitch mix -- a fastball at 93-97 mph and a hard slider at 82-86 mph. He pitches aggressively with his fastball and seems to have a lot of confidence in it. I imagine that if he'd been healthy all year, he would have ended up in the Phillies' major league 'pen and been considered for the playoff roster.

CJ: Since that report, Brown has played even better. He's now hitting .320/.414/.680, with 2 HRs.

Domonic's probably won't make Philadelphia for another year and a half. Should be plenty of time to refine his skills. Phuture Phillies also does some updates on the AFL.

Clipper: Ok then you get a quasi-pass. This SAME scenario happened today on 610. The producer of the Mid-Day show has tickets for Pearl Jam the night of a potential Phillies-Yankees WS game 4. So he is selling the tickets so he can watch the game. And I think he is right to do that.

Cipper - I know not everybody stays 'till the end of the game, but you look at the empty seats in LA early and late in the game- even close games, and there is a noticeable difference.

clout, that's pretty amazing that Chavez Ravine is only a 99 to the 100 multi-year park pitching factor mean. What parks are hitter's wastelands? The Polo Grounds?

On the topic of MLB wanting a Dodgers - Yankees series, I read about it in the L.A. Times today. They want the return of Joe Torre to Yankee Stadium. They want a coast to coast series between L.A. and NYC, not Philly. They want the Dodgers to come back and play for all those surviving 70 and 80 year old Brooklyn Dodger's fans. The networks like two blue teams. They hate the Phillies, always have, always will.

LF, I remember that Dodger team, and they were exciting. I saw Koufax pitch twice at Shibe park, one he got knocked out early in the game, and the other was a complete game shutout in the last game of the season.
Regardless of what one thinks of Dodger fans, Chavez Ravine is a beautiful place to watch a game.

From Lauber's blog today:

Asked if he needs to remind the Phillies that the Dodgers can still come back, Pedro said, “This team doesn’t need to be told. This team has proven over and over that this team is all about business. If we were a car, we would be probably in trouble with the law. This team really speeds up and never lets down. We’re of a NASCAR type of team. We actually feel like we are in the driver’s seat — in the NASCAR driver’s seat.”


"given his tool set it's easy to see why."

Are you sure you want to admit what you know about Dom Brown's tool?

Bubba - agreed, but I was depressed at all the people leaving a one run game in the 9th.

MVP- I also have PJ tix for the night of the first WS game. I will follow the same procedure i did for Bruce, and I believe I'll make up for it since I have first or second home game tix for WS, assuming all goes well the rest of the series.

CJ, Pedro evokes NASCAR in his analogy of the Phillies???!!! Cool! I guess Chase is our Driver. Cholly leads the pit crew. Stairs works in the garage, ripping apart engines with his bare hands.

this was posted on the Dodger website before the game had ended...


Old Phan,

I remember the Dodgers from the 60s (I was a Pirates fan back then.) I was too young to appreciate what I was watching, but a team on which Johnny Padres was a distant third starter was pretty tough to beat. Drysdale and Kofax were unbelievably good, on the same team at the same time.

Imagine if next year, Cole Hamels starts living up to his potential again (a distinct possibility) and Cliff Lee remains dominant...

"All my little league coaches used to tell me, "A walk is as good as a hit." It's not exactly true, but it's darn close."

I'm reminded of an SI profile of Pablo Sandoval, wherein the hitting coach (or first base coach) was quoted as saying, "if you wanna see walks, watch the postman".

The Giants finished 13th of 16th in runs scored.

West Coast/East Coast matchups make for ratings bonanzas and allows for prime time games on both coasts.

The Dodgers or the Yankees would draw more casual baseball viewers than the Phils or Angels. Fox would prefer both, but if they had to choose one or the other I'm thinking they'd prefer the all East coast matchup rather than Orange County vs. LA County.

Doohickey: I don't buy that. There's general baseball apathy on the West Coast. And the Phils have a national profile of their own being the defending WFChamps and having high profile stars like Ryan Howard.

Wouldn't you think the Dodgers-Phils playoff game would be a ratings "bonanza" in the LA market? It wasn't.

Slugga: If it was the 2009 version of Hamels vs. the 2009 NL version of Padilla, then that's a no brainer.: Padilla.

If, however, it's the career version of those two, then I go Hamels.

CJ: What Doohickey means is that the casual baseball fan who has no horses in this particular race would be more inclined to watch an LA-NYY WS because it has all those juicy storylines that stupid casual fans need to watch postseason ball (instead of, you know, the two best teams facing one another and getting a really good series).

It's unfortunate, but true. LA might not watch their own team in the WS, but the rest of the country will.

If there is a Yanks-Dodgers World Series, I will not watch a single inning.

I am just assuming the "Nascar" analogy came from Pedro Martinez as opposed to Pedro Feliz.

clout: "Slugga: If it was the 2009 version of Hamels vs. the 2009 NL version of Padilla, then that's a no brainer.: Padilla.

If, however, it's the career version of those two, then I go Hamels."

That's a strange opinion. What makes Padilla better than Cole this season?

Hamels: 99
Padilla: 99

Hamels: 1.286
Padilla: 1.425

Hamels: 7.8
Padilla: 5.9

Hamels: 2.0
Padilla: 3.3

Opponenets Vs:
Hamels: .273/.315/.440/.755
Padilla: .277/.347/.412/.759

What, exactly, makes Padilla a better pitcher this season than Hamels? And what, exactly, makes it a no-brainer?

Lake Fred: and someone has to yell once in a while: "No Shane, left turn! Only left turns!"

doubleh: I guess I don't buy that a casual sports fan would be more interested in some of these inside baseball subplots. Casual fans don't care that it's Joe Torre vs. the Yankees.

I get the argument... I just don't think it's correct. Buster Olney agrees with me... which doesn't make me any more right, just thought I'd add that.

CJ: While Padilla has obviously had a better post season than Hamels (that is the no brainer), I would be more comfortable with Cole on the mound.

With Hamels you have the big game experience and success in those games. While Padilla was dominant in game two, I can't help but think he is one big hit away from unraveling.

I'm getting annoyed listening to the call by Chip Caray. As Ruiz is turning around third, he says:

"Here's the throw to the plate!"
<2nd baseman catches it>
"It's not in time!"

WTF is this guy's problem? I think he blew a similar call in that Detroit / Minn playoff game.

i wonder how many times clout has gotten kicked out of a casino when he hit on 16 with the dealer showing a 7 and busted, but still thought he won.

"All my little league coaches used to tell me, "A walk is as good as a hit." It's not exactly true, but it's darn close."

My coaches used to yell the same thing to me, and I passed that down to the kids I coached.

In some ways the walks can be more demoralizing than a hit. Unless a pitcher is really getting shelled, he can always tell himself that such and such a hit was a blooper, or would have been an easy grounder if it were 10 feet to the left, or even that he made a good pitch but just got beat by the batter that one time.

Walks, however, are evidence of a pitcher's pure failure to do the most basic task, throw strikes, and fielders hate them.

Would love to know what the statistical value of a walk vs. a single is.

clout: I won't, either, but then again, I'm no casual fan.

CJ: I hear you, and I hope we do get Phils-Yanks and the ratings are through the roof so people can stop assuming LA's good for anything but basketball or college football.

CJ, the Dodgers are probably unique in that most of their fans don't actually live in Southern California.

Anyway, I'm surprised that Olney can type. The last I knew his lips were still fused to Joe Maddon's rear-end.

Bob: The only value I see of a single over a walk is that runners are in motion during a hit. While a runner can score from second on a single, a runner on second doesn't move on a walk if a 1st is open. There is also the element of fielding a ball in which an error could be made.

I would wager to say that a leadoff walk is just as good as a leadoff single.

Clout, if you are going to consider Wolf & Padilla strengths in the playoffs based on their yearly & recent performances, wouldn't it stand to reason that that same logic would mean that Happ was even a bigger strength for his lineup?

Bay Slugga, I would agree. The only way a run will score from a walk is if the bases are loaded, but having runners going introduces a whole new set of variables, including multiple possibilities for mental and physical errors.

People used to gripe all the time about Abreu taking walks, and complaining how Ortiz wasn't a wimp and didn't wait for Manny to do the heavy lifting of producing RBIs.

yo, new thread

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