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Monday, October 12, 2009


Let's go Phil-Lees

i feel like this game was a huge momentum shift in favor of the phillies. the rockies have to feel like they choked against madson with 1st and 3rd and no outs, especially if tulo's sac fly would have been hit just a smidge better, the headlines would be completely different.

RSB: What you say makes sense. I think we are basically proceeding on different premises. Your premise is that you can't evaluate the decision to use Madson in the 7th without acknowledging that the decision essentially mandated using Lidge in the 9th. My premise is that the 2 decisions were independent of each other; using Madson in the 7th does not require using Lidge in the 9th, as there are still other options. In the real world (i.e., Cholly's world), your premise is right and mine is pie-in-the-sky academic musing.

So, to frame the original question as you are framing it: would I have still used Madson with 2 on & no outs in the 7th & Helton & Tulo coming up, if I also knew that using Madson there would mean using Lidge in the 9th? That's a tough question to answer. I'm inclined to say that my answer is still yes, but my answer may well be influenced by my knowledge of what actually happened in the 9th.

At Kutztown's suggestion, here is the non-cranky version of my response to BAP:

I used Padilla 7 starts because it was an apt comparison to Duensing's 9 starts, but I agree his full season number (99) is better for comparison to other fulltime starters.

I'm glad you acknowledge the lack of academic rigor brought to your statement ("the Dodgers EASILY have the worst rotation of the 8 playoff teams").

The Dodgers rotation is clearly better than the Twins, the Angels and the Red Sox with a closer call on the Yanks and Rocks.

Let's match the top 4 SPs for the Yankees and the Dodgers.

Wolf 129
Kershaw 149
Billinsgley 103
Garland 110

Sabathia 133
Burnett 110
Pettitte 107
Chamberlain 94

How about the Rockies?

Jimenez 130
Marquis 111
Cook 108
Hammel 104

One of the more puzzling myths on Beerleaguer is that the Dodgers' rotation is a weakness, not a strength of that team. The stats don't show it, no credible sports writer has said it and yet it seems to be conventional wisdom on Beerleaguer.

Very strange.

Durbin was sharp, worked quickly, and could have certainly pitched the ninth. Of course, thats not necessarily a great option either, but the point is that Madson in the seventh didn't have to mean Lidge in the ninth.

Great win, not sure about 'all timer', just the kind of grind n' guts win you need to keep playing in October. Things like the 8th inning Ibanez/Feliz ABs, while producing no runs, got us to the top of the lineup in the 9th.

Manuel's BP has now pitched what, 11 innings of 3 run ball?

Off topic to the playoffs, but

Has anyone seen updates on Jamie Moyer? The last I read was Friday -that he has a blood infection and is still in the hospital.
That is still what is posted on the Phillies site.

As they say, that's why they play the game.

Happ was clearly overwhelmed by his first Postseason start. No control, missed his spots and the strikezone shrunk accordingly.

I thought Cholly managed masterfully last night. Made all the right moves, particularly thinking to bring Madson in when he did, knowing he had all the time he needed to warm up.

I thought Lidge's slider looked sharp, and that was the difference. It's the reason Tulo couldn't just sit fastball. I was extremely impressed with how Carlos Gonzalez was able to keep fouling them off. That guy looks like a future Carlos Beltran.

My favorite at bat of the night was Jimmy's. After struggling all series, he did came up huge in the biggest of spots. For the first time all series... he was a LEAD OFF man. We've seen a lot Rockies lead off innings and reach first all series. And when it counted, Rollins did his job. I screamed at Jimmy, "this is your time, no go ahead and take it" with my bad Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks in Miracle impression.

What made that inning better? on Ryan Howard's deep sac fly (some might argue howard's pose was because he thought he had just hit a 3 run homer. And in warmer weather... it probably was... but he knew he got a huge run in)... Rollins didn't jog home when he tagged (which is standard Rollins during the regular season) but he ran home like he was chasing down USAIN BOLT.

Offensively Rollins might not be having a great series. But that moment, coupled with his meeting with Brad Lidge in the 9th, coupled with the superb defense in the Wind Game (his foul ball catch near the stands was amazing if you were at the game) makes me feel real good about where the phillies are in this playoffs.

Chase Utley gets a lot of comparisons to Derek Jeter (in terms of their baseball accumen and leadership and onfield sense) but our shortstop is no slouch in that regard.

If we repeat again, look to the shoulders of Rollins and Utley, because they are setting the foundation of another champion.

Had to be deflating to the Rockies, to have touched up Happ early and often, get runners on base. Yet again, the Phils offense was just crazy sneaky at putting up crooked numbers, even when it seemed that they were "out-offensed."

I'll be curious to see how COL reacts, whether they lay down and stay home or to see if they're looking for a late flight back to Philly tonight.

Anyone else think an awesome post-game thread would have been "All the Right Moves" with an original movie poster photoshopping UC into Tom Cruise's role?

Missed opportunity by JW...though the Starbucks IV bag WAS inspired.

I think Moyer was released from the hospital so he's doing better.

Mike C: Rollins was running hard because he knew Utley was tagging from 1st to 2nd, and that if Utley was thrown out at 2nd while Rollins was jogging home, the run wouldn't count. So Rollins booked it home to make sure he crossed the plate before there was a play at 2nd. Really smart, heads-up baserunning. The kind of little things this team, behind all the home-run power, really excels at doing.

Thank you, Clout. Now, doesn't that feel better? :-)

Mike: I think Jimmy ran like hell to home base because he thought Chase might be tagged out at 2nd.

And yes, Rollins foul catch in the Wind Game was amazing.

I think we all hold Rollins to a much higher standard because we think we know what he is capable of (i.e. his MVP season where everything came together). Thus, we get annoyed when he fails.

Utley is the only Philadelphia athlete I've ever seen that can do nothing wrong. Though, the current Flyers bunch is impressive too.

drake...momentum shift?

I agree with Larry Bowa:

"Momentum is 60'6" away."

Am I the only one that drank a two liter bottle of coke at 10pm to get through the whole game and then was so jacked up on caffeine that I didnt fall asleep til 4 am and now dragging at work even though I had a pot of coffee?

Speaking of which, if you fall asleep on the couch watching the game tonight, do you lose your BL elite card?

Yes, yes you do.

@jack/Kutztown -- that just enhances my point. thanks.

I'm not willing to make any judgments on Happ's potential as a postseason starter based on one start in record cold weather. MLB & TBS made a farce of the game by scheduling the freakin' Yankees to play their game in the afternoon in a dome while leaving the Phillies & Rockies -- who happen to be engaged in the only competitive series of the playoffs thus far -- to languish in polar midnight misery.

So far as the game itself went, I must give credit where credit is due: Charlie did a pretty nice job of managing a tough one. The only decision I really disagreed w/ was bringing in Lidge to pitch the 9th when Durbin could just as easily have gone back out there. On the other hand I'm not much of a Durbin fan, either, so it was kinda like six-of-one, half-dozen-of the other ... at least from my perspective.

Bottom line, the Phillies managed to pull out a big, big win on the road, & now they've given themselves two chances to wrap this series up & move on to the NLCS for the second consecutive season. Here's hoping they buck ulcer-ridden Philly sports history & do it in one.

Happ couldn't control it. That was the real problem. Deep counts. No control. And I'm sure it was temperature related.

Speaking of that tag up, I thought it was dumb baserunning by Utley to tag and go to second. Just not worth the risk.

""Bullpen management last night was perfect."

And who would be saying that had Lidge coughed it up, as we were all reduced to praying to deities known and unknown that he wouldn't?

Manuel gambled and won. That's a far more accurate assessment than saying the bullpen management was perfect. It is highly arguable that Lidge has any business being on the mound with a one-run lead in the ninth.

Posted by: RSB"

RSB, I usually don't have a problem with the things you post, and some are quite insightful, but a couple of your coments above are doozies.

Your first paragraph is a rhetorical question, I know, but you need to try a little harder that to post something so very blatantly obvious. Of course people would be posting differently if the result were different. Duhhhhhhhhh.

And the "Manuel gambled and won" is so vacuously obvious and silly that I'm almost at a loss.

By definition.......BY DEFINITION, RSB.......EVERY time a manager goes to the bullpen he is gambling.

AAMOF EVERY time he sends a pinch hitter to the plate he is gambling.

Every time he fills out a lineup card he's gambling.

EVERY TIME he makes a move in a game he is gambling.

Gambling is betting on the probablity of outcomes.

Last night, as others have pointed out, Charlie made an assessment and played the odds right when he put his most dominating bullpen pitcher in when it was most critical.

He played it right.

Credit to Charlie.

Silly comment to you.

Im glad lidge got the save and the confidence booster, but you realize he pitched 11 balls and 10 strikes and did NOT have 1 swing for a miss.

****I'm not willing to make any judgments on Happ's potential as a postseason starter based on one start in record cold weather. ****

Let me clarify, I think it was a case of over-excitement. I think he'll be fine in his next start. He was overthrowing and overthinking and it hurt him. Then an unfriendly strikezone killed him.

I agree AWH - and having a very very good pitcher on the mound for the Rox today makes me nervous.

Not looking ahead, but does anyone know when the NLCS games will be played? Trying to plan out my work schedule accordingly.

Where is the Stark article about Lidge and Rollins? I'd like to read it.

I'll trust Utley's instincts on taking 2B on that tagup. He knows how fast Rollins is and he had a good idea on the LF's arm. He made the smart move as he put an insurance run in scoring position. If Feliz is on 3B, I doubt Utley goes. With Jimmy's speed, Chase knew he was good regardless of whether he was thrown out.

I'm not sure why people had problems staying awake. I was laying in bed, heart pumping. I had no problems staying awake, but I'm paying for it today. Maybe, just maybe Lee can mow em down for a quick one today?

Spitz - go to for the latest schedule.

At times last night I wished I could have fallen asleep during the game. I really enjoyed it when it was over, but I found it kind of agonizing while it was happening. The weirdness of the late night start and the horrible cold conditions gave the game a really eerie feeling from the get go (at least for me) and that sense of dread kept rising when it became slowly apparent that Lidge might be pitching, and then that he was coming on to close it.

It all worked out, but geez it was nerve-wracking.

So far

Phils: .313/.389/.444
Rockies: .255/.296/.388

No one for the Rockies is really hitting except Gonzalez, who's scored 5 of their 11 runs and has 8 of their 25 hits. Helton (.167/.286/.167) and TT (.273/.308/.364) have been relative non-factors.

At a glance, it's almost surprising the last two games have been so close.

Sophist, Atkins is hitting, right? And, until yesterday, Torrealba?

All mirrored in the pitching stats so far


PHILA: 1.148
Col: 1.692

This could merely be the difference between Jimenez and Lee, though.

I'd like to see the Phils back Gonzalez off the plate a little bit; he's living on it right now and is a little too comfortable up there.

I'm not suggestion anyone hit him, mind you, but rather pitch him far enough inside to worry about it. Get in his kitchen as they say, knowwhatimean?

Thanks Kutztown. I saw that this morning, but was hoping that they would have set the times, at least for games 1 and 2. Since we know the games will be in LA and the ALCS will start in NY, MLB should know when the games will be played. Of course, MLB is generally incompetant.

Spitz - I'd be willing to bet the Yankees/Angels will start at 8:37 and the Dodgers/Phils-Rockies will start much later.

Atkins has 3 hits in 10 AB (the two doubles) but no walks. Yorvit also has 3 hits in 10 AB (a double and the HR) but no walks. Yeah, not bad, but the Phils lineup is strong across the board except for Rollins (who has two relatively big hits himself.) To compare: Feliz has 3 hits (a double) and a walk. I wouldn't really say Feliz is hitting that well this series. The Phils have 3 other guys batting .400+ and three guys with OPS over 1. Feliz has the lowest BA so far outside Rollins.

It's only a handful of AB, but seems significant. Looks like Gonzalez is willing this team's survival in the series, with a couple of clutch hits by his teammates for help while the Phils are clicking up and down the lineup.

I'm probably the main Lidge apologist here, but I saw nothing in his performance last night that would or should lead anybody to believe he turned a corner. Gonzalez kept fouling off that nasty slider with ease- he's either tipping his pitches or it's just not coming out of his hand right, because last year he buried hitters on 2-strike counts almost every time.

That being said I'll take 9 more saves like that. It's the playoffs, there's no use being picky. Win ugly, win pretty, win freezing- who cares? Just win. Last night's took a few years off my life, however.

"If we repeat again, look to the shoulders of Rollins and Utley, because they are setting the foundation of another champion."
I'll add Ryan Howard to that list.

I knew at least one person would play the "Charlie gambled and won" (i.e. he got lucky) card. I met with some disagreement on Saturday when I posted that, in the Court of Public Opinion, he is an idiot when the team loses, but is merely lucky, not smart, when they win. That was exactly the kind of comment I had in mind when I made that post. The man is often in a "no-win" situation, but the good thing is, he doesn't really care what most people think. People post here because they are passionate about baseball. That's great. Many also think that they are as intelligent about baseball as they are passionate. They aren't. If they were, they'd be in the game somehow, like Charlie is. The man has spent the bulk of his life in this game. He deserves a little credit. (That being said, it is good to see that quite a few folks are actually giving him said credit)

I don't think Gonzalez fouling off Lidge's slider was an indication of ineffectiveness on Lidge's part but more of a "Damn, this kid is good." He was fouling off very good pitches that Lidge was locating low in the zone for strikes. The issue was with his fastball as it always has been this year. Carlos Gonzalez is a really good young player.

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."

Glad you acknowledged Blanton. For my money, he's been the most consistent pitcher we've had this season. And in a season of streakiness, consistency is king.

Blanton gets my Phils' Cy Young award this year.

===> New Thread.

Charlie played basically every inning from the 6th on as if it was the 9th inning. In the playoffs I think that is pretty astute.

jw, these last six sentences kick a#s - they capture so much of what last night was about.

Congrats to Chooch....a lot of us picked on him when he wasn't hitting, but his true colors really shows during the post season. He is an important part of this team.. Anyone ever brought up the thought of playing Van Halens "Panama" when he comes to bat ??

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