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Saturday, April 24, 2010


From the Zo Zone:
"Hamels is 12-13 with a 4.41 ERA in the regular season since 2008. He has allowed 31 homers, which is tied for the seventh-most in baseball. His ERA ranks 61st out of 88 pitchers who have thrown at least 163 innings."

That's not unlucky, that's just mediocre, borderline bad.

Alright, enough of that. Lets watch Figgy seize the day.

Figueroa gets a lot of love on Beerleaguer. And he is indeed a fun guy to root for, since he's an alumnus of the Schilling trade and he's the quintessential AAAA journeyman. Realistically, though, there's a reason why he's an AAAA journeyman, and there's a reason why his ERA as a starter is more than 1.5 runs worse than as a reliever: he struggles to throw strikes. You can get away with that in short snippets as a reliever, but you can't get away with it as a starter.

That said, if he can throw strikes, he's perfectly capable of having a quality start tonight. More likely, it will be something like 5 innings, 4 runs allowed & we'll have to win this with our bats.

-- From the last thread...

Last post on the topic -

I don't think it was a realistic possibility that the Phils were ever going to keep Doc, Lee, AND Hamels AND Blanton. Particularly since they felt a need to replenish the minor league system after the Halladay trade. The only place that the trade-off was between Lee and Moyer is in the imagination of fans as they think of how great it would have been to have a rotation with Doc, Lee, and Hamels at the top. It was never going to happen.

I'm not inclined to complain about the Phils' management - they went out and got one of the best, if not the best, pitcher in the game. But they aren't going to spend like the Yankees or the Red Sox - the only teams that are willing to have three Ace-quality pitchers in the same rotation.

Josh Beckett since 2008: 18-6, 4.01 ERA, 28 HR
AJ Burnett since 2008: 15-9, 3.95 ERA, 26 HR
Aaron Cook ...: 11-8, 4.44 ERA, 25 HR
Joe Blanton ...: 12-8, 4.05 ERA, 30 HR

What a fun game?! Let's post highly contextualized stats!

Why cite W/L? Why cite ERA? Hamels' ERA+ is 97 in that span. Yes, we expect better, and yes it's effected by the BABIP stuff, but it's not "borderline bad" it's pretty much average. And his WHIP in that time is 1.287, pretty close to Cliff Lee's 1.243, Matt Garza's 1.246, Lester at 1.280, on and on. His K9 in that span is 8.0, which puts him in the top 25, right there with Wainwright, Beckett, Jimenez, King Felix, and is more than Santana.


Just like they diagrammed it...

Not to defend Hamels, whose recent pitching has been indefensible. But, I don't know that I'd call a 4.41 ERA "borderline bad." "Mediocre" or "average" sounds like a perfectly good description to me.

The key phrase of Zolecki's snippet is, "of 88 pitchers who have thrown at least 163 innings." There are 150 starting pitching spots in the major leagues, and many of those spots are constantly in a state of flux, with pitchers getting rotated in and out of the spot all year. So, when you compare Hamels to only the 88 guys who have NOT gotten shuffled in and out of the rotation over the last year+, you're basically comparing him to the top 60% of the starting pitchers in the majors. Among that top 60%, Cole's ERA is in the 31st percentile. Being in the 31st percentile among the top 60% makes him pretty damn average relative to the entire 100%.

Of course, that's since the beginning of 2008. More recently, he has been a lot worse than average.

phlipper: Right. The team decided saving 9 million and getting prospects was worth more than the performance difference between Lee and Moyer. Again, time will tell if that is right. But that's what the trade is.

Sophist: That is a fair and reasonable response. It will be ignored.

Jayson Werth made a heckuva play there. No hesitation whatsoever as he turned and fired that back into second.

Oh, and let me just add that, while I think he's somewhat overstating the case against Hamels, I don't mean to pile on Carson, which seems to be the sport of the day. As a card-carrying member of Beerleaguer's Negative Poster Club, I thoroughly enjoy reading the rants of posters like Carson and G-Town Dave. I encourage both of them to keep it up, when the circumstances call for it.

Great HR there by Jayson.

It' going to be very interesting to see what kind of contract Werth pulls this offseason.

Cole Hamels is average. I can agree on that.


3-4 years, $45-60 million easily.

If ever there was a game that was perfectly set up for me to achieve the BAP, today is it. Ibanez is playing, so I'll have plenty of opportunity to declare him washed up. Hamels got lit up last night, so it shouldn't be hard to get in a dig against him. And, with a fringe major leaguer as our starting pitcher, the game figures to end up in the hands of the bullpen -- which always gives me occasion to proclaim the game a "certain loss." I haven't actually achieved the BAP since Iceman created the statistic. But I'm optimistic about my prospects of doing so tonight.

TTI- I liked Sophist's comment, didn't ignore it at all. However, you I should probably ignore.

BAP- I always respect you. Blogs are a place to express opinions, vent frustration, and share joy. You understand that, others unfortunately don't.

Now, back to the game...

This whole Lee thing is reaching levels of silliness. I'm not saying that you have to like what the front office did, but at some point you need to accept that we can't change the past.

I'm 100% positive that if me, clout, MG, and...oh what the hell BAP..jumped in a time machine back to December of '08 and told Amaro, "Don't offer Moyer this contract. If you don't, it will hurt for half a season but then come 2010 we will have Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Blanton in our rotation," he would rip up the contract. However, we can't focus on what is done. The reality is what we have in front of us and we have to hope guys like Moyer can keep finding some magic, and Hamels becomes whatever qualifies as consistent.

Just to clarify - I also appreciate Carson's rants.

Hey TTI- Wouldn't trade Howard. Wouldn't trade Hamels. Don't think you know me. I get mad at players, but doesn't mean I don't want them on the team. Don't need to attack me. Like Frankie Goes to Hollywood- RELAX!

TTI: I agree we should probably move on from the Lee deal. The reason this whole thing started today was that I proposed that we please stop talking about every Hamels start in terms of the Lee deal, because the two have nothing to do with each other.

"Blogs are a place to express opinions, vent frustration, and share joy."

Yep, I'm a huge believer in venting. I also think it's a bit tiresome when, in a moment of frustration, someone makes an obviously hyperbolic comment like "Cole Hamels should be demoted to Single A" -- and then has to spend the next 2 hours explaining himself to those who take the comment literally.

To be clear, it should be SS single A...he's not ready for Clearwater.

Re: The last thread, essentially what Jack is saying (beyond the Moyer-Lee tradeoff) is that the Phillies explanation of and justification for the Lee trade was a lie.

Jack is correct.

1st 2 innings have gone about how I would have expected. Lots of baserunners and not enough strikes thrown, but good enough results. As hitters start seeing Figueroa for the 2nd time, and his pitch count starts to rise, I expect the D-backs will start hitting him a lot harder. If we can get 6 and 3 out of him, I'd be thrilled. Even 5 and 3 would be ok.

I'm getting pretty sick of watching this offense look completely inept. When Juan Castro is the hottest hitter in your lineup, something is very wrong.

BAP: My point is, and always has been, this: I understand people flying off the handle and saying dumb things. However, why does the dumb thing need to be said? When you (not literally you) get pissed at something, before we quick type up something to get our anger recorded forever take a step back and rationally post something. Flying off the handle- which is going to trend the thread into crazy area, is as bad as people like Tommy who used to say intentionally dumb things just to get a rise out of people, IMO. There are plenty of posters on here that do a good job of rationally explaining things they hate. Irrational hatred has its place, it always does in fandom, but when it becomes a constant running theme it gets a little tiresome. Even you would have to agree with that to some degree.

And in the interest of fairness, I'll be honest- there is a player on the Phillies I have an irrational hatred for. I have for a long time, and all my buddies know it. Even when he is going good I get pissed as soon as I think the wheels are coming off. But on here I try to be more rational in what I say about the guy.

BAP: Allow me to defend Figgy, whose acquistion I hailed at the time it was made.

You are correct that Figgy's historic problem has been an inability to throw strikes.

However, last season, in 70 IP, his BB/9 fell to 3.1, nearly a full walk below his career average. Hiz K/BB ratio was his best ever. That improvement was mirrored in 112 IP in Trip A.

Figgy has always had good stuff, but like a majority of good stuff prospects, his control sucked.

For whatever reason, that changed last season. Sometimes it takes guys a awhile to figure it out. I think he was a smart pickup and I wouldnt be surprised if he were this season's Chad Durbin.

I like JJ, but I still miss Franzke. Can't people plan their births for the off-season?

BAP: Totally agree on venting frustration via this blog. One can vent frustration without acting like a total moron or making statements that make the poster look like the stupidest fan in baseball history.

" I'll be honest- there is a player on the Phillies I have an irrational hatred for. "

I'm thinking it must be Utley. Now that Feliz is gone, who's left to hate?

Don't know if anyone else noticed last night. But Hamels seemed to have gone back to his less fluid delivery of old early and was keeping the ball down very nicely.

Then suddenly, he went back to his new, smoother delivery and every pitch was up and many of them left the stadium.

Clearly, this was a mechanical problem. But I saw three homers and that mechanical flaw that seemed pretty obvious, and before I turned off the computer and found something productive to do, I don't believe I saw the catcher or the pitching coach approach the mound and talk things over with Cole?

Maybe Schneider did go out there but I don't recall it. But Dubee was still sitting in the dugout while Cole was clearly off.

Anyone else see his change in mechanics there?

Howard is just in a funk right now.

When Ian Kennedy and Kris Benson are mowing your lineup down, there's something seriously wrong.

I guess Ryan Howard has remembered it's April.

And Clout, I'm not sure I'd say the Phillies are totally lying. Obviously, they did feel like it made sense to get some prospects back into the system after the last couple years of trades, and that's understandable.

But obviously money was a bigger factor than they're letting on, and any PR spin attempting to paint a resurgent Hamels as an adequate replacement for Lee is laughable, because it's Moyer who is replacing Lee in the rotation, not Hamels.

clout: Perhaps his control has gotten a bit better -- although, so far this year (including tonight), it hasn't been evident. I do agree with you, though, that he was a smart pickup. Even without great control, it's nice to have a guy in the pen who can pitch mutiple innings and is versatile enough to start without disgracing himself.

TTI: Why say it? I guess for the same reason that you tell your buddies about your irrational hatred for whichever Phillies player you're talking about. There's comfort in venting among fellow fans.

flipper: Feliz was the most beloved and defended player in the history of Beerleaguer. Numerous posters, including you, leaped to his defense upon spotting any post that was remotely critical.

The most hated player was Moyer, last season. I've never seen the avalanche of personal attacks and hatred for a player as was seen on this blog last May. Those same posters today pretend that never happened.

Jack: Exactly right.

Showing frustration at a player and hating him are two different things.

Eaton was hated...Moyer was loved but very frustrating.

So far, so good for Figgy.

Is it just me, or have the Phillies bats gone cold?

If we get a "quality start" from Figueroa, and I'm thinking we will, then we absolutely cannot afford to lose this game.

Hard to believe that an offense can perform so completely differently one week to the next. Given how Castro's hit - it can't even be blamed on the loss of Rollins.

And I know I said my last post was the last on the topic - but Jack, Halladay replaced Lee in the rotation, not Moyer (or Hamels).

NEPP: You're wrong. Go back and look at the posts from last April and May.

There's some beautiful irony at the meta level in Clout saying that we should be moderate in our venting, and in doing so, making wildly exaggerated claims of his own about the postings on here.

philipper: No it isn't Utley. He's my favorite guy on the team. It's Madson.

aksmith: I didn't notice anything funky in his delivery but I was reading something while I had the game on and wasn't watching closely. If you're right though that is certainly an interesting observation. Could be that he got away from himself for a while and struggled as a result.

I hope the bullpen is feeling chipper tonight. Good thing though that Figueroa had a relatively tame inning there

Clout, from here on out, (out of respect to the other posters), I'm going to ignore your ridiculous posts - rather than make a complete fool out of you as I did the last time your falsely characterized my posts about Feliz.

If anyone referenced in this thread was deserving of scorn, it would be Eaton.

Just noticed Figueroa's pitch count. Six full innings may be out of the question, unless he works a pretty quick fifth.

I was joking, TTI. I think it is a metaphysical impossibility for a Phillies fan to hate Utley.

Now we get to play: guess which Phillie TTI irrationally hates.

If he hated Utley (as phlipper posits), that would be more insane than irrational, and TTI doesn't strike me as insane. Howard is a possibility, since he's absolutely maddening when he gets in funks like the one he's in now. Rollins can be pretty maddening too, when he's going badly.

But I'm guessing it's someone who's not a star, but hasn't really done anything to warrant the vitriol of any rational Phillies fan. My guess: Shane Victorino.

flipper: Will you give me $5 for every post you've made defending Feliz?

the phillies in general are not very patient at the plate tonight- that's why a Kennedy's p.c is fairly reasonable after 5 innings 70 after 5

last 3 batters - castro 3 pitch ab, ruiz, 2 , fig - 3

fig has 80 pitches by the end of 4...

just an observation..


****NEPP: You're wrong. Go back and look at the posts from last April and May.****

He took a lot of abuse for Rube's mistake of giving him a 2 year deal.

Jack: As this blog's biggest booster of Pedro Feliz from the day he was acquired I can see where you might describe that fact as an exaggeration.

"flipper: Feliz was the most beloved and defended player in the history of Beerleaguer"

Clout, I'm assuming you're kidding, right?

who else agrees with LA on this pitch count issue? or are we still on the "people who have made baseball thier fulltime job for 30 yers don't know what they are talking about" kick?

Only a matter of time till that happened. Its a shame the offense disappeared lately...Figgy has done a decent job for a spot start.

BAP: It's only my opinion but as I said, irrational hatred has a place, but when it becomes a running theme it grows old. That's my only gripe. And there are some who only really post when they complain.

About Madson, every time he comes into a game I turn into Randy Quaid in Major League II.

Johnson crushed that. Go figure, a former Brave crushing the ball against the Phillies.

TTI: So much for my (belated) guess. I probably should have figured that out, since the Madson as closer debate was the one time when you ever sided with MVPTommy in an argument.

My own irrationally hated Phillie is Ben Francisco. Well, "hate" is too strong a word. It's more like irrational dislike. While the numbers all say that he's a good 4th outfielder, I look at him and see a player who is substantially worse than the sum of his parts.

Kind of like the Phillies right now.

If you have to vent about a player, fine. When you involve his spouse or call him a vagina, you shouldn't complain if you get called on that.

You got 5 IP, 2 ER from Figgy. Is it fair to expect more?

Far more than we deserve from a spot starter picked up on waivers from a last place team.

Kelly Johnson is locked in. .327/.426/.769 before tonight. 2d in the NL in OPS+ in the early going.

Shane has been lame at the plate lately...

This is one of those feelings that probably be contradicted by stats, but it just "feels" like Vic has contributed very little to this team's offense this year.

BAP: I only sided with Tommy in that I wasn't sure Madson had the quality to be an effective closer. The whole DITHL thing I thought was ridiculous.

The Madson stuff started back when he was a starter. His curveball was usually what set me off. I love when he proves me wrong, but I get pretty fired up when he doesn't.

What is up with Typepad tonight?

Howard's OBP now below .300

This is simply brutal to watch. The team looks like sh!t lately.


About damn time, Raul...about damn time.


Cue up the Spanish announcer's "Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaul Ibanez!"


Raul Ibanez!!!!!!

I hope Castro isn't hurt. He's been an absolute bright spot the past couple weeks

Thr phillies team do look like they are sleep walking

or playing w/ their eyes closed..

holy mackrel

thx raul!

why was castro lifted?

Castro being hurt would mean Valdez at SS...damn.

After Valdez, we'd have to go with Ransom.

I cannot believe Wheels can't guess Justin Upton. I don't know the other one, though.

Speaking of slumps, Pujols is an amazing 3 for 22 of late...His average has dropped from .364 to .288.

When this offense goes into slumps like this it's difficult to watch. They really haven't done much in the past week at all. Very poor at bats all across the board with a couple exceptions.

At least with Polanco on board, the offense will be more long slumps.

Durbin back to looking sharp.

Good speed for a catcher.

I get about as much joy watching Figgy and Durbin combine for 7 strong as I do watching Moyer do his thing and Halladay his.

Give major credit to Kendrick, Moyer and Figgy Fever for their strong pitching efforts this week. They were asked to step up and they did.

If a couple of the "big guns" on the staff had done a better job, this could have been a really great start to the road trip.

First pitch swinging...give me a fvcking break.

Boy, that was some weak sauce right there.

Nice job taking advantage of that leadoff double.

do the phils believe in the sac bunt??

and this 1st pitch hitting just svcks!

I can't quite figure how the details will play out but, one way or another, I picture this game ending up in Ryan Madson's hands & disaster ensuing.

Contreras looks better every appearance he has.

Please lets see some patient ABs

Swinging at a bad 3-0? Ugh.

Might be time for Gload to get a spot start at First...

At least Jayson came to play...MY GOD WHAT A BLAST!!!

Nice, JW!!

Where did the hell did that thing hit in center? That was an absolute bomb.

Jayson Werth has risen...

I'd rather see Contreras come back out than have Madson save a 1 Run game.

Howard needs AB, not time on the bench.

Werth is very good.

mr werth!!!

holy mackrel!!!!!!!!!!!

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