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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

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With Cliff Lee unavailable, there's not a pitcher on the staff I'd want on the mound tonight more than Pedro Martinez. He was born for this kind of moment.

Fascinating stat from Peter Gammons:

The last time Andy Pettite started on 3 days rest after throwing 100+ pitches in his last start was 9 years ago!!!

***But I digress. Gotta go one game at a time, which has been Manuel’s mantra all postseason.***

Exactly. All this talk of a Game 7 starter before Game 6 will anger the baseball gods.

No win situation for Cholly. Ironically, just getting to a game 7 shows his ability to outcoach Girardi.

"Gotta go one game at a time"
Shoulda stuck with that Weitzel
I'M GOING TO LOSE MY MIND IF I READ ANY MORE COMMENTS ABOUT GAME 7. THERE IS NO GAME 7 YET.

AAARRRGGGHHHHH

I'm going to be at teh bar by lunch at this rate.

One of the reasons to love baseball is its unpredictability.
Cole could become a hero by pitching a gem; or be virtually driven out of town by putting up a dud.
But, that's all for another day.
First there is Game 6- Hittin' season.

CJ: That is correct. It was 2001 and Pettitte got shelled in that game giving up 10 hits, 7 runs. Hopefully this is the recipe for Howard to break out of the slump.

Pete Happy: I agree. We are so close to the ultimate goal, no need to anger the gods now.

PLEASE stop talking about Game 7. The Phils have to win Game 6 first!

Is anyone else having a hard time concentrating at work today?

Nice article about Chase on msnbc.com today:
http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/33611554/ns/sports-baseball/

Although it "compliments" him by saying he's another Jeter, the rest is what we've known all along. There's also some back-handed swipes at Reggie Jackson, which made me happy. He's the co-pilot in my "celebrity plane crash fantasy."

Pettite has had the HGH flowing since then, CJ, so who knows what he's got now.

Kutztown, I haven't been able to concentrate at work for a week.

Game 6 is tonight...that is all.

It's been awful. I can't sleep at night, and when I finally do fall asleep, I wake up early (around 4 AM), regurgitating Game 2 and Game 4.

Tonight is going to be hell, no matter what the outcome.

One game at a time, however this is going seven. I still believe.

Girardi has been justifiably taken to task for over-managing throughout these playoffs. But the criticism is off-base on the issue of starting his guys on 3 days rest.

Girardi's choice was between starting Pettite & Burnett on 3 days rest or starting Chad Gaudin, who absolutely can't get left-handers out. Against a lineup in which the first 4 hitters, and 5 of the first 6, are left-handed, Gaudin is the last guy you'd ever want to use. On the other hand, Burnett had pitched great in the post-season & his career numbers on 3 days rest were stellar. You'd have to have 20-20 hindsight to know that Burnett was going to implode the way he did.

But loctastic pettite only used hgh once when he was recovering from an injury! Then he cried about it on national tv to show you how sincere his statement was!

BAP, were you listening to KLaw this morning on Mike & Mike? That's exactly what he said. Almost to a word.

BAP: That is not true. Everything you say is correct, except you left out one thing. The game was in Philadelphia. Burnett is worse on the road. That is why Burnett should have been saved for Game 6 at home. The writing was on the wall.

We will not go quietly into the night...we will survive this test...and we will thrive....big win tonight...book it...but we will win

Pettitte's another story. He's 37 and his track record on 3 days rest is mixed, with most of the success coming many years ago. He's by no means a great option for the Yankees tonight. But the question isn't whether he's a great option. It's whether he's a better option than Chad Gaudin. I'd have to say yes.

If Pettitte gets shelled tonight & the Yankees end up losing the series, many will blame Girardi for starting Burnett & Pettite on shortened rest. But the blame should fall on the GM for failing to find a viable 4th starter.

It's academic, though, because Pettitte won't get shelled tonight & the Yankees won't lose the series. The Phillies are looking hapless against left-handed pitching & the Yankees are incredibly tough at home. I'd love to be wrong, but I think it will end tonight.

Why are we even talking about this? We need to get there first. Hammer them and bring it tonight!

We have to hope that Howard is willing to take a walk at this point. If he does, I believe Werth and Ibanez (who seems to be seeing the ball/swinging much better) will make him pay. With teh way Utley is hitting, and my belief that Ibanez is starting a hot streak, the really only auto-out for Petite is Howard. I'd rather not see him even swing at this point.

"It's academic, though, because Pettitte won't get shelled tonight & the Yankees won't lose the series. The Phillies are looking hapless against left-handed pitching & the Yankees are incredibly tough at home. I'd love to be wrong, but I think it will end tonight."

A negative comment from BAP? It is as certain as taxes and death. Wow ,what a shocker.

I'm still wondering about Howard's foul ball numbers. It almost reminds me of the 1977 NBA Finals when George McInnis was in a horrible slump. In game 5 the fans gave him a standing ovation to encourage him to make a free throw.

MVP: Most pitchers are substantially better at home, including Cliff Lee & Pedro Martinez. But if you save Burnett for Yankee Stadium, it means you have to start Gaudin. A.J. Burnett on the road is still a lot better than Chad Gaudin against a lineup packed with left-handed hitters.

From Last Thread:

I agree with Milt, Howard is just trying to hard. If he would just meet the ball, he'd do much better.

He has not seen many pitches good pitches, but the ones he has seen he either fouls it off or wiffs completely. And they are big cuts too. Trying to kill the ball.

Also, I think he needs to forget about the strike zone and count for the first two pitches and focus on his sweet spot. If it's not right there, don't swing.

Lastly, Is his stance different? I just get this feeling watching him lately. Wait, let me check the videos....MLB.com...game highlighs...search...howard...page 10...1st HR in Atl.....2nd HR in Atl.... page 1... Howard Strugles... Huh.

I think he is opening up his stance slightly. His front foot in the HR videos stays more even with is back foot (as in distance from the plate). And his ankle rolls a little. In the strikeouts his front foot turns and points towards the pitcher. And I think it's away from the plate a little more. Hmm.. I think he's pulling his hip out a little earlier now than he was then.

Does anyone know Howard's or Milt's e-mail address?

Go easy on BAP. They lost the family poodle in the 9th inning of game 4.

BAP, I think that Burnett on 3 days rest would have been the correct option, had the series been 2-2. However, up 3-1, why NOT start Gaudin? Worst case is that you lose the game and have Burnett on full rest for game 6, then a much more rested Pettitte to spell Sabathia, if need be, for 7 if necessary.

I don't think that the overall short rest strategy was a bad one. I think that Girardi was a bit short sighted to not adjust once he had a lead and essentially had a "throw away" game. Plus, who knows, maybe the kids steps up and closes it out. Worst case they wouldn't be in a worse position than they're in now.

By the way... if the tough LHP is Howard's excuse... what's the excuse for swith-hitter Teixiera who actually has a worse avg in the WS?

BAP: Read Willard's post. That is my opinion as well. Should have started Gaudin since your up 3-1. Then that straightens the rest of your guys out. Instead you had Burnett, Pettitte AND CC all on short rest.

Shane, that's Howards MO in every slump. Charlie has said so many times this year and last. His timing mechanism gets off, he can't pick up the ball coming out of the pitchers hand, and invariably opens up too soon. And during these slumps, it's not even like he can get lucky with the ball finding the bat, because his bat isn't even in the strike zone at the same time the ball is. He's out in front of everything, with his weight already starting to shift before the hands are even ready, and the hips already opened. As Charlie said yesterday, he knows exactly what the problem is (and so does Howard), but because his swing is a long/looping cut predicated on timing, it's not as easy to fix as in theory.

bap: You're over-simplifying things. This wasn't simply a choice between Gaudin on full rest and AJ on short rest.

This decision backed the entire starting staff into a corner forcing the Yankees to start 37-year old Andy Pettite on short rest.

Up 3-1, the Yankees had the option to pitch Gaudin in Game 5 with the hope of out-scoring the Phils. Even if they lose, they come back with Burnett on short rest at home and then they have both CC and Pettite for Game 7 if necessary.

This isn't just 20-20 hindsight. This is what a lot of people were saying BEFORE Game 5.

CJ: Like Tex said in his post game news conference after Game 5, "Yea I struck out, but didn't you see my big hit in Game 4?". Tex is full of excuses, he will be living on Game 4 for the rest of the year.

WP/MVP: Yeah, that's actually a very good point. Let's put it this way: I'd like nothing better than for Girardi's strategy to backfire miserably.

Kutztown Fan, thanks for the Utley link. I know Jeter is the archenemy, but putting that aside, not a bad comparison.

I can't get too worried about Game 7 yet. getting through Game 6 with a W would be a huge accomplishment for the Phils, and that's my focus.

Keys for tonight for me:

(1) Strike zone. If Pettite gets that strike call on his slider/cutter that is just outside on lefties, this will be a problem for Howard. You know Pettite will work that angle hard.

(2) Does Pedro have enough gas left in the tank for a quality start. No fear about his rising to the occasion, but wondering about the arm's capacity to do what the heart commands.

(3) I understand Vic will play, but concerned about his effectiveness, both at bat and if he has to make a critical throw.

(4) Who will wake up first - Ryan, Tex, or A-Rod? Tex was commenting about how he and Ryan were similar players in many ways, including streakiness and ability to carry a team when they are hot. Tex has been ice cold and we've kind of shrugged it off without much comment here, but he or Ryan could crack a game wide open almost single handedly. A-Rod seems to be rising from his nap and that could be a big problem also.


As long as we're dealing in uncertainties and pissing off the baseball gods, BL poster would be advised to look at this:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=1426

If Game 7 ends up being on Friday, rather than Thursday----does it favor the Phillies, b/c Lee, Blanton, etc. have all had more rest? Or the Yankees, b/c Sabathia gets a 4th day of rest?

Kutztown Fan, just out of curiosity, if Reggie is the co-pilot, who is the pilot?

Here is a GREAT article about a guy with HK. Also, the picture of Harry is GREAT. He looks like he is three sheets to the wind.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/20091104_Broad_Street_Billy__Pop-Pop_Politano_is_Phils__angel_in_the_outfield.html

So Pettite gutted his way through 6 innings on normal rest, but will be on the top of his game on short rest?

ozark,

Can't believe you brought that up, I had been mulling that over as well, but was thinking about it in connection with Hamels. McGinnis came back with, I think, about 29 points against Portland in the final game, but too little, too late, as the Sixers went down.

He was never really the same player after that. Apparently, the Sixers were really rough on him, mocking him in practice.

I don't think that's the way of this Phillies team, and Howard has bounced back several times from precisely this type of slump. We can only hope it starts tonight.

Bob: A-Roid is 4 for his last 10 with a HR and a couple doubles, I believe. I think he's swinging a good bat right now.

I want to see 3 stolen bases against Pettitte in the first three innings and a balk call. His nose should grow another inch or two tonight with that lie move.

I'm not a drughead, but isn't all this HGH and steroid stuff supposed to aid in muscles recovering quicker from injury and overuse? Don't pitchers rest to let their muscles heal and recover from the strains of pitching? Since Pettite isn't allowed to use these banned substances, shouldn't his 37 year old pitching arm muscles be at a disadvantage tonight?

CJ, you're right, I think we can say A-Roid is awake at this point.

Couple of thoughts...

The Yankees will try to jump on Pedro early in this game. They know that once he settles into a game he can go several innings where he shuts teams down. That could work to Pedro's advantage if they are overly agressive and swing through his changeup.

Joe West is the plate umpire. He tends to effect games with his big strike zone. I also don't think he will tolerate pitchers throwing at hitters.

Cholly should consider moving Jayson Werth to the #2 spot in the order. Werth hit Pettite very well in Game 3 and batting him earlier in the order may get him an extra at bat in the game. I know the problem with that plan is that you don't have Werth hitting between Howard and Raaaul. So be it.

Five random thoughts:

1) The Yanks vaunted offense has an incredible line-up in name, but they haven't exactly blazed us with power numbers: the Yanks have as many homeruns in this series as...Chase Utley.

2) As of this point, Chase Utley is the Series MVP if the Phillies win, Johnny Damon if the Yanks win.

3) I wouldn't want to send a negative message to Ryan Howard, and Charlie is an expert at getting the most from his players through the confidence he shows in them, but given his struggles at this moment, and particularly against Pettite, and given Utley's hotness and Werth's game against Pettite already, would it make sense to -- for one game -- switch Howard and Werth in the lineup? Perhaps that would also give Howard better pitches to hit, if Utley and Werth get on ahead of him?

4) There are only two pitchers right now in this entire Series who I'd fear, from either side: Cliff Lee and Mariano Rivera. That said, Chan Ho Park has looked good. Should he be considered a closer tonight or tomorrow in the "it's anybody's role" sweepstakes?

5) Why people hate McCarver I do not know. I find his insights incredibly telling and I enjoy his Twain-like style. Joe Buck is take or leave.

Stand Pat: This ws discussed in previous threads. An extra day rest would help the Yankees BIG TIME. It woiuld mean CC wsan't pitching a third time in a row on short rest. Unless you think Blanton is a better pitcher than CC, the advantage would be huge for the Yankees.

" Why people hate McCarver I do not know. I find his insights incredibly telling and I enjoy his Twain-like style."

VOR, I was with you there until that little nugget, which essentially ruined any semblance of credibility you might have had.

I find it fascinating, although entirely predictable, that when Utley was cold there wasn't a single post suggesting he be moved in the lineup, but now that Howard is cold there's all sorts of finger pointing and suggestions he be moved.

And yet posters say there's no hypocrisy or double standard on Beerleaguer.

VOR: Against a left-hander, Werth needs to bat behind Howard. That way he's there to drive in the runs that Howard doesn't.

Bob- "Does Pedro have enough gas left in the tank for a quality start. No fear about his rising to the occasion, but wondering about the arm's capacity to do what the heart commands."

Share your concern, I expect we get a high scoring game tonight.

Strangely though , I think the NY crowd may play in our favor.

If the "Who's your Daddy" chants get Pedro's adrenaline going then ....
Adrenaline +heart may take the arm's capacity to a higher level.

clout: When St. Utley is "cold," he's really just bravely battling through a debilitating injury that will require surgery.

clout: Personally, I think it would be asinine to move Howard out of the cleanup spot. But there are countless possible explanations, having nothing to do with hypocrisy, why someone might propose something for Player A and not for Player B. In this case, one reason which jumps right to mind is that, when Utley slumps, he still gets on base.

Adrenaline will likley be a big factor for Pedro. It seems to me that he's the kind of big-time pitcher who can harness that adrenaline into more velocity without losing his control.

Like I said, he was born to pitch in games like this.

Blanton looks like a model of physical fitness next to CC at least.

An umpire shouldn't be that big of a possible factor in a game but you can bet money that "Cowboy" Joe West will have a pronounced effect on tonight's game.

Usually I don't subscribe to LA's ranting about refs but he is spot on with Joe West. Consistently one of the most inconsistent home umps in the game.

It is inevitable tonight that Posada will complain even more than he has this series if that is possible. I wouldn't be surprised though to see a bunch of bitching and griping by both teams.

I can't see West having a small strike zone or a consistent strike zone tonight. Both bode poorly for Howard's success tonight.

Thank god people are stopping this game 7 talk. I tried to mention something last thread but no one seemed to care.

We need game six. Lets put all our attention into pedro. He will need it

Willard Preacher - I actually have two plane crash fantasies. One is for athletes, the other is for celebrities.

Reggie Jackson is the co-pilot for the athletes plane crash. Roger Clemens is the pilot. The flight attendants are T.O. and Deon Sanders. Tim McCarver has the seat in the back of the plane next to the toilet.

I'm starting to get psyched about Pedro pitching tonight. He can give it his all as there is no next game to save it for. He's pitched two good games with nothing to show for it. Hopefully, the Phillies bats can give Pedro run support against a tired Pettite and give Pedro a victory. This is the type of a game, if Pedro can win it, that they make movies about.

"Tim McCarver has the seat in the back of the plane next to the toilet."

Kutztown Fan - Let me guess where Adam Eaton is sitting?

Jorge Posada has become extremely unlikeable in my house. His whining is never-ending and he's hard-pressed to figure out a way to make more trips to the mound.

Kutztown fan:

Interesting to see that you're still posting after this recent development in Kutztown:

"Kutztown University has enough pot-smoking students to keep a multimillion-dollar drug ring in business, according to Attorney Gen. Tom Corbett."


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33589785

What the hell difference does it make whether a bunch of people on a blog are talking about game 6 or game 7 of a World Series (none whatsoever)

I hope Cowboy Joe tosses Posada after the 2nd or 3rd time he cries about the strike zone like a little baby.

I see the Phils starting slow tonight, but then hammering Petitte the second time through the lineup. Hopefully Pedro has one more good start in him for this postseason. I've got a good feeling, but am slightly concerned that he's coming back on shorter rest than he has in months

@ BAP: "Against a left-hander, Werth needs to bat behind Howard. That way he's there to drive in the runs that Howard doesn't."

Precisely my point that Werth follow Chase DIRECTLY, dude. It seems apparent to me that, if Howard gets up with one out and hits into a double-play, or gets up with two outs and strikes out, that Werth doesn't even get the CHANCE to drive in the runs that Howard does not. Make sense?

@ Clout: No hypocrisy on my part in moving Howard. Just trying to 1) break up the left-left combo that Pettite dominated the other night; 2) take advantage of Utley's hot hitting and string that together with the Werth who dominated Pettite the other night. That seems like a very powerful, worrisome-to-the-Yanks mini murderer's row, and takes some pressure off Howard to find his groove. If Howard flails up there in the clean-up spot, he kills rallies. And I am not a Howard hater or bashing Howard now. I love Ryan. I'm just being pragmatic about that fact that there are two games left in the season, and he is struggling at the moment, and why not get the hotter (against lefties) Werth up earlier in the line-up than the guy who MIGHT kill a rally with a strikeout? Hopefully, if Howard did bat fifth, he'd be able to break out of his mini-slump, but this way the team gets to win-win from the left-right-left combo and the distraction to Pettite derived from the fear of Werth's two-homer performance from him the very last game.

Just trying to think out of the box with the season on the line, folks.

@ Willard: Ha! Well, if the McCarver nugget failed, at least I'm batting .800 on my post! (Remind me never to fly with you, sir.)

Phylan is clearly not familiar with the concept of jinxing.

Has anyone heard anything about Shane yet?

I feel like we are in terrible shape without him, and yet I am without an update.

Anyone?

Phylan: "What the hell difference does it make whether a bunch of people on a blog are talking about game 6 or game 7 of a World Series (none whatsoever)"

You obviously haven't been around Beerleaguer long. There are scientific studies to support the power of words on this blog!

Yeah, Jorge's getting up more often than the guy in the prostrate medication commercials.

VOR: I still think you've got to leave Howard in the cleanup spot. He's the best run-producer in baseball. Sure, he COULD strike out to end the inning, thereby depriving Werth of the chance to drive runners home. But he also has a pretty decent chance to hit a 3-run homer along the way.

Howard has batted in the cleanup spot every game this year. It's generally a bad idea to start doing things differently in the playoffs.

My thinking on batting order is this. If Manuel keeps 3-4-5 the way it is, Utley may be pitched around (HBP or walked)a few times, which is good because we'll have a good baserunner on, and Pettite will need to throw some strikes to Howard. He's got a chance to break out, altough not likely . If you put Werth behind Utley, Utley will see some pitches, but Werth won't. He'll be pitched around to get the likely out in the 5 hole. All things being equal, the one guy who I don't want having hte bat taken out of his hands against Pettite tonight is Jason Werth, not Utley.

Phylan, if you're not careful, you will crush the spirits of many people with your "untrue talk", like a man telling a bunch of hopeful young children that there is no Santa.

@Hugh Mulcahy Why Jayson and not Chase? Chase is a better hitter, and he actually hits better against LHP than he does against RHP

The Phils haven't changed their lineup in months, outside of giving guys a day of rest here and there at the end of the year. No reason to change it and mess with anyone's head at this point. Howard is capable of coming out of a slump at any moment, and is also capable of hitting one out even during his worst slumps.

If the Yankees choose to pitch around Utley, so be it. 9 games ago this was the same guy who said "just get me to the plate, boys." They did, and he delivered. For his entire career, Howard has elevated his game in September and October. If the Yankees want to put the bat in his hands with this game on the line, I'll take it all day long.

"What the hell difference does it make whether a bunch of people on a blog are talking about game 6 or game 7 of a World Series (none whatsoever)"

That's crazy talk. Put down that pipe, man. Of course it matters.

Which has a greater chance of happening:

1) The sun collides with the moon, showering the earth in moon rocks.

2) Manuel moves Howard out of the cleanup spot for Game 6.

Phylan: utley is better against lefties than righties but, Werth is better against lefties than Utley. Plus, Pettite is pretty tough on lefties. Utley was 0-3 with 2 Ks in Game 3, I believe. The weaker part of my plan is probably the notion that Pettite might pitch around him more than once.

I mean clearly Manuel won't do it, the point is that he shouldn't be so stubborn about his lineups. Howard is a terrible hitter vs. LHPs. Like, historically bad. Eric Bruntlett bad. Don't make me quote the numbers, they're ugly as hell. Oh and our leadoff hitter has the worst OBP of the starters, and yet he's kept that spot for the whole year outside of five or six games. It's ridiculous

LOL @ CJ - that's 100% true. Kinda reminds me of the post on Fangraphs (which I usually love) earlier in the WS that argued that the Phils lineup was set up all wrong, and advocated that Utley lead off, Ruiz bat second, etc.

From a long-run perspective, they're probably right as a matter of statistical analysis. However, optimal lineup construction will only get you an additional 10-20 runs per YEAR, so it's essentially meaningless in a 7-game series.

What annoys me most is that Ruiz continues to bat behind Feliz.

1. Eaton has to sit with the baggage.

2. Pot smoking is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Kutztown University students. I fear for our future To make matters worse, too many of them are Yankee fans.

3. Why even bother talking about changing the batting order. We all know it won't happen.

4. I LOVED Posada not getting his millionth time out AND getting a strike called on him. Even better, he struck out on the next pitch. The all-too-frequent time outs and trips to the pitchers mound are cheap ploys that a team confident in their skills should not employ.

"The all-too-frequent time outs and trips to the pitchers mound are cheap ploys that a team confident in their skills should not employ."

The Yankees all have bonus clauses based on TV facetime.

Just for the record, this discussion is (for me) fun food for thought. I'm not stomping my feet demanding that Werth and Howard be swapped, and chastising Charlie for doing so. That said, I don't think it is all THAT radical to swap the fourth and fifth hitter, considering:

1) the Werth v. Pettite factor
2) the Howard v. Pettite factor
3) the precedent for such a switch, manifest in the fact that, at times during this very season, our very own skipper did indeed switch our 5 and 6 hitters a couple of times: Werth and Ibanez. And one reason he did so, in addition to slumps, was to break up the lefty hegemony. So there!

(And, CJ, when that happened, there weren't even any bizarre astronomical occurrences that threatened human life on this planet!)

Anyway, for what it's worth (or Werth, as the case may be), again, I offer all this in fun and with respect -- I throw no flames at any of my dear BL colleagues.

Go Phils.

Pedro has a 5-0 career record on days when the sun and moon collide, showering the earth with moon rocks.

The Yankees all have bonus clauses based on TV facetime.


Posted by: Bubba | Wednesday, November 04, 2009 at 02:15 PM

That explains a lot.

One of the great things about attending Game 5 was that I didn't have to see Burnett's ugly puss up close on TV. Luckily for those watching at home, they didn't have to look at it after the 3rd inning.

"Pedro has a 5-0 career record on days when the sun and moon collide, showering the earth with moon rocks."

Crap, so expect a return to the mean? Dammit!

The funny thing about "breaking up the lefties" with regards to Howard and Ibanez is that Ibanez hits better against lefties. In fact, he hits a LOT better versus lefties. Weird thing.

Per Tom Verducci, SI.com...

"Joe West is the home plate umpire tonight, so a small strike zone with these two teams hitting will mean tougher duty for the pitchers. (Strikeout, walk and slugging rates with West behind the plate all favor the hitter, compared to average rates.)"

I'll be surprised if either Pedro or Pettitte pitches past the 6th.

@phylan - What's JRoll's OBP in the World Series?


Re: Joe West strike zone? Is it Huge or is it Small???

I think the answer is, it is completely inconsisitent... and will cause havoc for EVERYONE. Good times.

I know Howard is 1 for 12 against Pettitte in his career, but that's a fairly meaningless sample size. There is actually good reason to believe that he should be able to hit Pettitte.

Pettitte had rather stark reverse lefty-righty splits this year: a .282 BAA against lefties; .249 against right-handers. And it's no one-year anomaly. For his career, he has yielded a .272 average against left-handers; .270 against right-handers. Howard's problems with left-handers would presumably be a lot less severe against a lefty with those kinds of splits.

I'll be surprised if either Pedro or Pettitte pitches past the 6th.

Posted by: Memphis | Wednesday, November 04, 2009 at 02:30 PM

That reminds me. I have to stop by the liquor store on the way home tonight.

Interesting blog entry "On a leash" by Dave Murphy about Pedro Martinez.

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/

First, he talks about how sly Pedro is, off the mound as well as on. Then, he talks about the difficulty of judging when it's time to pull him. He ends by asking:

"What if Martinez has thrown six scoreless on 90 pitches in a game the Phillies lead 2-0? Is it Chan Ho Park time? Or is it a game for Martinez to win or lose?"

my lineup 4 tonight
Rollins (s)
Utley (L)
Werth (r)
Howard (L)
Victorino (s)
Ibanez (L)
Francisco (R)
Feliz (R)
Ruiz (R)

Re: Joe West

I think having him behind the plate works for us, in that Pedro both can command his pitches (and adjust to the zone) and also gets Ks through swings and misses, not so much called strikes (at least at this point in his career). Petitte, on the other hand, will get shelled if he doesn't get the borderline calls and has to start throwing his curve and cutter over the plate.

Voice of Reason: The Werth-Ibanez switches were virtually the only non-injury changes Manuel made this entire season with the lineup. And, frankly, I think it was because he wasn't sure Werth could be the 5-hole hitter. Once that was established, the lineup was pretty standard.

Lineup changes aren't unprecedented with Manuel... but I think we'll see health care reform in America before Manuel moves Howard out of the cleanup spot.

CJ: As astronomically improbable as it is that the sun and moon might collide, it's even more improbable that, should said collision occur, the earth would then be "showered in moon rocks". That being said, I'd still take those odds over the odds of Manuel moving Howard from the 4-spot.

I fear the Howard/Petite lineup, in that Petite almost pitches like a Loogy with his best pitches being Curveball, Slider, & the Cutter. If Petite throws 1 single fastball for a strike to Howard, it will be unintentional and a mistake.

Of course, part of the issue with pitching on three days rest is command, moreso than movement or velocity. Here's hoping that he leaves a fastball that's supposed to be letter high over the middle of the plate.

That should have said Howard/Petite matchup

Lest we forget the last WS game 6....Joe Carter. Now let's all be hopeful and humble. Go Phillies!

CJ & Mr Classic-
I think that sun-moon collision thing happens on the ads on Fox at least 12 times a game.

Smoky: If he pitched like a LOOGY, you'd expect him to have good numbers against left-handers. But he doesn't.

On a FoxSport Poll: 46% think the Yanks win tonight, which means 54% think the Yanks will lose. 11% think the Yanks will win in 7 and the remaining 43% think the Phils will win in 7 games. This poll has over 215,000 votes.

In other news, clouts' buddy Padilla shot himself in the leg. From the Associated Press:

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla accidentally shot himself in the leg in Nicaragua.

Dr. Eduardo Reguera said Padilla didn't need surgery after spending time at Managua's Metropolitan Hospital.

Police spokesman Vilma Reyes said Wednesday that Padilla's pistol apparently jammed during a target shooting session late Tuesday. Padilla was trying to clear a round from the chamber when the pistol went off.

His agent, Adam Katz, told The Los Angeles Times that it was a "hunting accident."

On Joe West:

From a 2007 analysis of umpires on hardballtimes.com:
"Joe West: Although I’ve tried to avoid casting judgment on the quality of umpires for now, Joe gets my top vote. He is very close to the league average in every direction, but doesn’t give the pitch off the left side like most of the league. He also had the fewest number of extra balls and strikes (as opposed to having a bunch that cancel out), which is a sign of consistency."
(source here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/a-zone-of-their-own/ )

Another old but interesting analysis from Baseball Prospectus here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6502 )
--One of the metrics they come up with is Pitcher's Advantage, and they find Joe West in the middle of the pack, "swinging" (as they put it) 3.6 percent of calls to the pitcher's advantage.
He's close to the top on their accuracy metric (they agree with 91.6 of his calls, with the highest being 93.6 and the lowest 86.8 - these are out of all umpires with over 500 calls as of 2007 I think).

Here is Baseball Prospectus on this particular World series: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?type=2&articleid=9702
--West is about league average on the called strikes out of called pitches ratio. A larger percentage means a larger strike zone for this metric, West is at 63.5% to league average 63.1%. Of this crew, he and Jeff Nelson are the most generous (Nelson at 64.2%). The others are all stingier than average, Gerry Davis at 59.6% being the stingiest.

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