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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Just get me to the plate, boys.

Another smart move by Torre, keep Padilla away from Phillies fans who could easily get him off his game.


Padilla #2? His stats in starts vs teams like the Nats, Pads and Giants, make his return to the NL look OK. But seriously, #2?

The goal for the Phillies is to win 1 game in LA out of the first 2. Padilla pitching game 2 really gives us the upper hand in that game, and if Hamels dominates in game 1, we could be in even better shape coming back to Philly.

Even if we lose both in LA, we have Lee in game 3 against Kuroda. While Kuroda has killed the Phillies, there comes a point where any good offense will get to a pitcher. With the confidence this team has, this time it might happen.

Can/Will Hamels pitch at the top of his game this NLCS?

Re: Game 2; It's important this game be well-pitched to bounce back from a Game 1 loss if such should occur. Does Charlie have to announce before Game 1 is over?

Murphy tweets: Hamels in game 1. Manuel says Blanton and Happ will be avail in bullpen first two games. He didn't announce a game 2 starter, but...

Game 1: Hamels
Game 2: Pedro
Game 3: Lee
Game 4: Blanton
Game 5: Hamels
Game 6: Lee
Game 7: All hands on deck

Bastardo will be off the roster in favor of Bruntlett, which is why Happ will be forced back to the 'pen. That way, we get another lefty out there to use as needed and run out 2 RH starters against the righty-heavy Dodgers lineup.

We didn't sign Pedro to be afraid to run him out there in a warm-weather NLCS game against Vicente Padilla. And frankly, I have faith he will get the job done.

Jason Stark said on Missanelli today that Charlie was leaning toward Pedro. What JW just posted would confirm this.

To me, the keys are Rollins and Victorino. They need to get on base and get in the heads of Dodgers' pitching. It would be very nice to see the team continue its (surprising) trend of hitting with RISP, though I'm not necessarily counting on it.

Let's hope Padilla's 10-cent head gets the better of his million-dollar arm.

Torre really is setting up his rotation for the best possible outcome: Kershaw at home in a friendly pitcher's park, Padilla same (and minus the harassment he would receive at CBP), Kuroda the Phillie killer and Wolf (who hates but is very familiar with) at CBP. Makes sense. Hope it all fails miserably, of course...

doubleh: Were I Torre, I would switch Wolf and Padilla. I'd take the risk of Padilla in CBP in order to get a lefty starter with a 129 ERA+ who's been great against lefties all season against the Phillies (stronger lefty hitters) into the series before Game 4.

But I agree with Kershaw and Kuroda in games 1 and 3.

For we mortals in the Phoenix area a flight to LA is usually only 45 minutes each way. For Torre and the private, non TSA, flight I am sure it was no sweat to visit Kuroda--but you are right he is a Phillie killer.

Uh no thanks on Bruntlett on the NLCS roster, if Bastardo goes for anyone it should be Park if he's ready.

Per Todd Zolecki's blog, regarding Pedro possibly starting game 2:

But interestingly, while Manuel and Dubee liked what they saw yesterday, Martinez didn't.

"I threw on the sides and in the bullpen but that's not enough," he said. "I threw two innings of BP yesterday, but that's pretty much it. I'm going to let Dubee and Charlie make the decision. My two innings of BP were a little bit erratic, wild a little bit."

-----What does everyone think of those comments by Pedro? Something to worry about? Or not?

It seems like every other team somehow manages to find room for a "speed guy" on their roster. We have no such option. I'm always fearful that that will come back and haunt us one of these games/series...

GBrettfan: I saw that, & wondered the same thing. Of course I worry about everything, so I'm just gonna hang out awhile & wait for the optimist faction to blow sunshine up my ass.

GBrettFan, my feeling is that it could be a little bit of gamesmanship on the part of Pedro and the Phils... Just my 2 cents, but it may mess with the mindset of the Dodgers going into the unknown of having to face the '09 version of Pete...

Phylan, we need another position player. We needed another one in the first series and got lucky to not have it bite us in the anus.

We don't need 12 pitchers. Even 11 pitchers is probably excess, when there are 2 off-days in this potential 7 game series. Cholly is going to ride his 4 starters, and at MOST 5 relievers (Lidge, Madson, Eyre, Durbin and probably Happ). Park or Myers (whoever makes the roster) would only pitch in a blowout or in extra innings. The final guy (whoever it is) won't likely ever see the field, unless of extreme conditions. Plus as we saw in Series 1, Cholly could use one of his 4 starters in relief too, if needed.

You don't need 2 pitchers (the 11th and 12th guy) who will never contribute a meaningful thing in this series. You very likely MIGHT need that 6th guy off the bench to contribute something though.

Bruntlett, while a liability at the plate, does give Chuckles an extra pinch-running option (instead of using your #1 pitcher to do so). And he gives them defensive versatility (instead of sticking Cairo in the OF in the 9th inning of a clinching game).

One of these days, we are going to get stuck in extra innings and not have any bench options left and lose a game because we have Chan Ho Park or Joe Blanton taking hacks in a key spot, instead of a guy who is actually paid money to swing a bat for a MLB team.

Why do we need another position player? One who plays below average defense, especially in the outfield? We seemed to do fine in the DS without him, and keeping him off the roster prevents Charlie from using him in completely unnecessary situations and letting his terribleness infect the game when it's important, which he loves to do for some reason.

Phylan: No one is advocating using Bruntlett as a pinch-hitter in a big spot. But did you like Cliff Lee pinch-running? Did you like Miguel Cairo playing in left field?

We had 3 pitchers (Kendrick, Pedro, Bastardo) combine to pitch to 1 batter in the NLDS. We had at least one too many pitcher. There's additional off days in the NLCS, so that reduces even more the need for extra pitchers. The simple fact is that the need for a pinch-runner or fielder arises more often in a key situation than the need to use Kyle Kendrick (or whoever you deem the last pitcher in the pen to be).

If you are arguing that Mayberry should be the extra player instead of Bruntlett, I might agree with you. But I DO NOT agree that another pitcher is more important than another bench player.

Who the heck pitches game 7?? Pedro?? Happ?? Blanton? Drabek?? (just kidding)

Leslie Gudel tweets:

Bowa on fans in LA vs Philly "I tell the players they should all play in the northeast at some point, then they wouldn't be so sensitive."

Hear that, Russell?

Pedro, the gamesman, might be selectively wild.

Marc: Either Pedro or whoever throws Game 4 (presumably Blanton). Wouldn't be surprised to see Pedro shift to the pen after Game 2, and Blanton be in line for games 4 and 7. Another reason why you don't need an additional bullpen pitcher. One of your starters can move to the pen.

I'd still rather see Berry called up to pinch run than have Gnome anywhere near the playing field.

Gnome cannot hit.
He runs average.
He fields below average at every position he plays. In fact, he had miscues at every position he played this season even with very few chances.

Just say NO to GNOMES. Cairo is no different in the outfield than Gnome is. They probably both can't play it.

Is it possible to bring up anyone in the organization? If so, what about the outside the box thinking of using Taylor as the 25th man? Surely he's got more speed then Bruntlett and could play the outfield just as well. His bat is untested but at most he'd be an extra-inning desperation pinch-hitter where Bruntlett has been abysmal anyway.

Thought it might be interesting to see all the lefties Wolf has faced so far this year as opposed to just looking at his overall numbers against LHP. NL West opponents top the PA numbers obviously.

Shattering the arriva derci abreu factions assumptions about Bobby Abreu?

I can't remember a series where any team, much less both teams, are poised to start a 4th/5th guy in game 2 due to environmental factors instead of unavailability of higher slot starters. What's up with that? With that said, I'm intrigued by the prospect of Pedro going in LA. I like him in the big yard on the big stage. Still, if he can't go 5, he should be on tap for game 4 in Philly.

This vegas predicts a Phillies win in six.
Don't forget that Vegas odds are set by the predicted cash coming in on a team and its popularity. (Las Vegas is an suburb of LA)
It will be interesting to see how a sunshine team like the Dodgers plays in raw conditions in Philly. I like our boy’s chances at home regardless of whose pitching for LA.

sources say kendrick and myers off roster, park and gnome in

vegas, poor punctuation notwithstanding, I share your confidence. Should be a good series, though. I love a rematch.

@Jack you can make it Mayberry if you want because I really don't give a sh**, but Bruntlett doesn't belong on a Major League team, much less a Major League team's playoff roster.

@Alex - playoff rosters are limited to only those players who were on the 25 man roster at some point in the season, and on the 40 man roster prior to September 1st. So Taylor would not be eligible.

Martino tweets:
Pedro Game2
Kendrick off, Myers off
Bruntlett in, Park in

The Gnome and Kendrick?

If you're going to start a righty in game 2, make it Blanton. Pedro pitched well in 5 starts but it's a small sample size and he's coming off a neck injury having not pitched since late September. What a dumb choice. Blanton is too valuable to be used as a long reliever.

Zolecki reports it, too:

Brett Myers said tonight that the Phillies have told him he is not on the NLCS roster.

"I'm (ticked)," he said.

Chan Ho Park will take his place, a team source said. Park has not pitched since Sept. 16 because of a strained right hamstring, but Park said he feels healthy. Myers said he had a feeling he would not be on the NLCS roster once the Phillies did not pitch him in Games 3 or 4 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Myers said he had nothing else to say, but the normally boisterous right-hander sounded hurt by the decision.

The Phillies also have decided to carry 11 pitchers in the NLCS, instead of the 12 they had in the NLDS. Eric Bruntlett will be on the roster. He replaces Kyle Kendrick.

Even though Bruntlett just might be the worst positional player this year in MLB (or at least one of the worst), it makes sense to carry a 6th bench player who will likely get used 1-2 in this series over a 12th reliever that Cholly won't use unless he is literally left with no recourse in an extra innings game.

@Phylan: You are not correct. Anyone in the Phillies organization on 8/31 can be on the postseason roster. They would just replace an injured player (e.g., Ennis, Moyer or Romero). That said, calling up Taylor makes no sense.

Yeah in an extra innings game we're sure going to thank god we left off that extra PITCHER for a positional player with below-average defense and an OPS+ of TWENTY-F***ING-ONE

Bruntlett will just have to pitch, too! ')

Nah, seriously, I'm sure Charlie and Dubee weighed all the possibilities and then made their choices accordingly. Unfortunately, you can't have it all. Fortunately, the days off should help in the event of an extra inning game. Durbin, Park, the starters in the pen, can all go more than one inning, too.

that means Bastardo is still around. I think it makes sense Martinez goes in game 2 because is it is in LA warmer and where he came up. I see the logic of keeping Happ in bullpen when your other two are a rookie and the other has a sprained ankle and lose bodies in his arm. you need lefthanders for Andre eithier but... I don't have much confidence in Pedro. Maybe Wolfe is going 4th because game is in Philly.

It makes no sense to keep bastardo on the roster unless Charlie will actually use him. Not so sure he will based on the NLDS. Glad to see we're only carrying 11 pitchers though.

What are Gnomes splits vs Sherrill? Maybe we can PH him for Howard in the 8th

Blanton should be the starter in Game 2 but it was pretty clear from the last series that Cholly has trust in 3 relievers:

Blanton as a long-reliever and Eyre/Madson at the end of the game.

He will go to a Happ, Park, or Lidge in this series but I bet all of these guy remain the second-tier options in this series too.

i dont have to tell any of you this but when you do not have home field advantage the goal is to win one game of the first two, i think padilla going in game 2 gives us the best chance to do this. I cannot believe that he is starting the second game of the NLCS for the dodgers, just unreal if you really think about it.

Even though Tampa had home field for the WS, you'd be hard pressed to think that their fans are all that formidable, and we all saw how many phils fans where there. While the LA fans aren't us, they arent pushovers either, I'm excited to see how this team reacts to starting a series on the road

The thing is if you're going to use Blanton at all I think it should be for short relief, in the 7th, 8th or (gasp) 9th. He's too valuable to just use in the case of your starter bombing. All of that being said, I still think he should be starting game 2.

That should read "if you're going to use Blanton in relief at all"

Someday, many years from now, someone from the Phillies organization is going to explain their fascination with a guy who can barely run, can't field well and can't hit at all. And they'll tell us why they keep bringing him back.

I'm guessing the reason will be they own stock in Pepcid. But I have scratched my head raw over the last few seasons trying to figure out why he is still on a major league roster and I'm completely at a loss.

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