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Monday, October 12, 2009


(Reposted from previous thread)

Possible good news ...

(via Zolecki on Twitter): "No update on Scott Eyre, although Manuel said Eyre didn't appear to be limping this morning."

(via Lauber on Twitter): "Awaiting an official medical update on Scott Eyre, but Charlie Manuel said there's been no talk of replacing him on roster."

When he went down, it looked like he was shot.

Good to see!

So did Brad Hawpe get caught with Jim Tracy's daughter or something?

Let's go with a complete game from Cliff to make this moot, shall we?

I'm a bit worried about Lee tonight. Last week he had a few days worth of stubble. Now he's clean-shaven. Not nearly as intimidating.
Ballplayers should adopt the NHL tradition of playoff beards.

Playoff beards, certainly if any cold weather teams are possible venues.

clout: I saw your comparison of the Dodgers' staff to other playoff staffs, but I think this is one area where single-season stats don't really capture the essence of the argument. Yes, Randy Wolf has had a fine year. But do you really think he's better than Josh Beckett, Jered Weaver, and John Lackey, and nearly equal to CC Sabathia & Ubaldo Jimenez (as their 2009 ERA+ would indicate)? Do you really think Jon Garland and AJ Burnett are equals? Do you really think Cole Hamels is worse than Jason Hammel, Jon Garland, and Chad Billingsley? And does Billingsley (a fine pitcher) even belong in the discussion, since the Dodgers themselves don't even seem sure that he's in their rotation?

Whatever his 2009 numbers, Randy Wolf has been a league average pitcher over his career. He does not have playoff experience &, in a playoff matchup against the likes of Sabathia, Burnett, Lee, Hamels, Jimenez, Lester, Beckett, or Lackey, I think most people would bet against Randy Wolf more often than not.

I would call the Dodgers' starting rotation deep, but not particularly strong at the top. Kershaw is tremendous, but there's no telling how a 21-year old with less-than-stellar command is going to respond as he goes through the post-season and the pressure increases. Billingsley is also a high-ceiling starter, but he really struggled in September & it's not clear what the Dodgers can expect to get from him in the post-season. If those 2 both perform to potential, yes, the Dodgers' rotation can match up with anyone's. But those are some big question marks -- particularly Billingsley.

I wouldn't worry about the clean shaven Lee, I mean, he is still 6'3", so i'm not worried about it.

But if you're tall AND have facial hair, look out!

I guess the true barometer of your fanhood is when you're holding tickets for NLDS Game 5 (the only possible playoff game that you'd be able to attend, due to geographic proximity complexities) and you hope that you don't have to use them...

Height is obviously a factor in determining skill, and when you add in facial hair, it definitely increases one's skill. However, facial hair should never be used a sole barometer of skills, otherwise the Gnome would be in the Hall of Fame already...

then again, technically, isn't he "in" the hall already with his jersey or something from last WS?...

Beerleaguers are in a good, if not giddy, mood. Smell of victory in the air perhaps?

Gnome is in the HoF twice for both the WS and his triple play.

How the hell does a guy with a .903 OPS get left on the bench in 3 of the first 4 playoff games? Am I the only one who finds that utterly incomprehensible and downright bizarre?

Hopefully the Phils watched a lot of video on what they did the second / third time through the lineup in Game 1 to get to Jiminez. They've generally fared better against each of these Rox pitchers when they have had a turn through the lineup. Hopefully that translates to seeing a guy a second time in quick succession.

What was Lidge's "Brand new pitch" mentioned in the previous post?

clout: i agree with your argument that the majority's opinion of a weak dodgers rotation is being overstated - which we all know is how you get your jollies - but listing a bunch of 2009 ERA+ numbers and indicating that Randy Wolf is on the same ground as CC Sabathia is not a very responsible peice of evidence.

Soo, then Pedro must play better with his 3 day scruff than when he is clean shaven. No only if he was 3 inches taller...

euphronius - his cutter, he just started using it recently.

They'll have Eyre wearing the high ankle style of cleats on that bad ankle. Their hats have earmuffs, Erye's shoes will have anklemuffs.

euphronius - Lidge supposedly threw a cutter last night.

Mitch Williams said on WIP that if it was a cutter, it didn't cut in the same way he threw a fast ball to Joe Carter that wasn't fast.

Anybody heard what the travel plans are if there is no Game 5? Wouldn't it make sense for the team to just fly from Denver to LA late tomorrow and get a couple days of SoCal R&R, rather than squeezing in two cross-country flights between tonight and Thursday?

Anyone else kind of think that Eyre wasn't even close to the bunt BEFORE he fell over? At first, I almost thought the fall on the ground was to hide some embarassment of simply being an overweight reliever who can't even field his own position.

To BAP: I dont get the benching of Hawpe either but I'm not complaining. It is a lesson of when "playing percentages" goes wrong.

I've been out for a few hours and I hate that everyone working for/interviewed by MLBonXM seems to think Utley was out. The article on even thinks he should have been called out for running inside the baseline for too long. Now that I've watched the video on, I can see that the play is really, really close - It's difficult to tell whether Helton had the ball in his glove and his foot on the bag before Utley touched the base.

In my opinion, if the call was bad, that's a shame, but it happens. It was a close play, not an obvious error by the umpire. Is it my imagination, or is it being talked about as though Utley got away with something egregious?

Now, as far as the "hit" goes, I think that's obviously a bad call. Again, probably tough for the umpires to tell. But it's clear on the replay, whereas the play at 1B isn't clear to me on the replay, either.

Is this being treated as more of a big deal than it is? Or am I just supremely biased in favor of the Phils? It gives me a bad taste to think the mistakes are the only reason the Phils won. (Although I still maintain that the Rockies probably didn't have a problem with it in '07, when a bad call allowed them to advance to postseason.)

BTW, I liked Dave Murphy's blog about last night's game and Charlie Manuel. It's on High Cheese today.

At least Utley touched the bag...better than Holliday did in 2007.

BAP: Since you can't win the argument on who's been better this season, you resort to who's had a better career.

By that logic, Brad Lidge is the best closer in the playoffs.

I think Lidge's new pitch is fictitious. He or Dubee has created this "cutter" to play with the minds of hitters. They have mentioned it to the media and Lidge has talked about it with reporters. Why would you let that secret out? Because it's BS, hitters weren't being fooled by the slider anymore and they were sitting on it. Then there was the mention on BBT last month that he was tipping pitches. I don't buy that, he is just predictable.
Lidge told reporters last night that he got Jason Giambi out with his new cutter last night. Great tale, whatever works but I don't buy it.

GBrettfan: They were whining about it on ESPN SportsNation, too, but they also brought up other blown calls during this postseason so far as well (Twins/Yanks). If the Rockies or their fans seriously think that's the only reason they lost yesterday's game, they are seriously deluded.

Twins didn't lose that game to the Yankees solely based on that one blown call.

How do you know if Utley's out there that Howard doesn't come up and hit a 2 run HR? Just because Utley's called out there doesn't mean the rest of the game goes the same way. Plus, the Rox walked, what, 8 Phillies? I think 3 of those 8 scored. I think that has more to do with the loss than one blown call at first in the 9th inning.

Good point Clout. Mo Rivera and his 0.74 playoff ERA doesn't hold a candle to Brad Lidge's perfection from last year.

In all seriousness, I think I would rather have Lidge on the mound than Joe Nathan or Houston Street. The evil you know is better than the evil you don't know, and those two guys have been bad in the post season. What say you?

Sam, according to Scott Lauber's blog, they haven't yet decided whether they will fly directly to LA or come home first - IF they win tonight. Which we all hope they will.

Yo, new thread.

thephaithful: ERA+ is probably the best single measure of how a pitcher is performing. Wolf has had a better year than Sabathia.

Murpy tweeted that the team is traveling back to Philly no matter what: "nobody packed for 5 days, let alone 10."

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