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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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We did get to see Castro and the bench this April bad streak. Maybe we'll see Pedro and a LV call-up during the interleague bad streak. Oh and the signing filled the pages thankfully for a couple days. April signing? What is up with that. I'm thinking its a prelude to a Rollins extension.

I'm glad the Met's are in 1st place. The Phillies certainly don't deserve to be. Maybe seeing the Mets are there will light a fire under them. I sure hope so, or it could be an embarrassing weekend.

Hard to win a lot of games against decent teams without two of your four top starters, your closer, your best lefty reliever and your leadoff hitter/best defender.” – denny b.


Denny you sound like a Mets fan circa 2009. Oh wait it's only fair when Mets have injuries...Speaking of which Beltran MAY be back by the allstar break so the mets are without their top player too.

Here they come ...

Bring on the phillies!

Something stinks in Frisco. They're holding a 5 ace hand.

Jason I've lived here 5 years now ("endured" the last three somehow...) so at least I'm not taking the turnpike just to post here like philss--k and others.

Read my posts from the last few years (always the same handle and email) and please don't lump me in with the "they". :-)

I guess you think I'm right then...

PS your accolades are deserved, great blog you've built here.

Its fish'n season. Get the bait can and lift up the rocks.

Injuries or no injuries, the bottom line is they are losing ballgames. They drew some pretty favorable match-ups recently and couldn't cash in. They missed Haren and Jackson in AZ. They're missing Cain and Zito (who has pitched well of late) in SF. Now watch, the bats will come alive against Lincecum and we'll be scratching our heads even more.

Seems to me they are in a slump. Utley and Howard have looked awful at the plate recently. Terrible approach, terrible pitch recognition and terrible swings. It happens. It's April.

If the Mets (or anyone else in the NL East for that matter) are in first come August, I'd be extremely shocked.

King Cole VS The Freak, day game...

Logic points to Cole getting hit hard today, but these Phils don't understand logic, and quite often defy all logic. They'll take this one, 5-3.

On a side note, my girlfriend told me this morning I left the phillies game on the TV last night while I was sleeping. Apparently after the Giants scored their first run, I muttered a few expletives and declared Moyer was as old as my father... I don't recall this, or even watching pregame. Even in my sleep, I get pissed when the Phils screw up.

The ongoing "highlight" loop of the Phillies offense consisted of single pitch count innings, with the Phils' vaunted offense serving up a variety of weak choppers to the infield and pops that sometimes reached the outfield - off a mediocre pitcher. In the meantime, the Giants were maddeningly efficient, with banjo hitters stringing together the needed hits to seemingly score everytime someone reached base.

The game on Monday night was iritating to watch. Last night's game was incredibly difficult to watch and set a new low.

I know dime store psychology is frowned upon at BL, but I have not heard this mentioned, so I'm going to bring it up here. These two past games were so lousy, I'm actually wondering if the Howard contract extension has been a temporary distraction. At the very least, the numbers are so huge, virtually every key player on the team has got to be cogitating about how his contract stacks up with Howard's.

I know they are all paid more than they can spend, and I know they are pros who are just supposed to go out and play. But it's human nature for anyone, even a Chase Utley, to look at this and brood about whether he is being paid fairly relative to this new standard. It can't help but distract from the needed focus on palying the game. Just a thought. Flame away.

I also wanted to give some props to Chooch. His line so far is .280/.438/.340. Not too shabby for your 8-hole hitter. His SLG is very low, but he is getting on base at an exceptional clip and turning the lineup over more often than not it seems. Can't say enough about his new, patient approach at the plate.

Bob: I understand what you're saying, especially the fact that it's only human nature to be distracted by something like that (even if only a little bit). But my quick and easy response to that would be: they were playing pretty poorly before the Howard contract was announced. The last three series were pretty bad.

So April is the right time for the Big Bad Body Piece settlement. Yeah, does Lincecum also have a Bad Body?

In the last 10 games, the Phillies have scored 30 runs, I read. That means that in order to win, our pitchers need to be pitching with an ERA under 3.00 right now. They, um, aren't.

I'm sure our bats will come back. I hope our pitching will perform better with the returns of Blanton and Happ. (Of course, we don't know when Happ will be back.)

Here hoping all this happens sooner rather than later. We needs some fight back in the Fightins'!

Ruiz might be on a liquid diet today after taking a ball to the gollywhopper last night.

Howard thrown out at 2nd doesnt sit well with me after the big signing. I know its not characteristic of him. But COME ON! That is the epitome of playing FLAT.

The Giant staff has given up 17 runs in the last 10 games. They need to scratch out 2 runs against Cy and play great OF defense.

Howard getting thrown out was bad but him not going for 2nd the second time he hit one there was even more offensive.

I'll be honest, when two of your starters are gone, your closer, your lefty set up, your lead off guy, and your number 2 hitter is playing hurt, you'd be foolish not to expect a major drop.

Still, these guys are better than this and are wasting opportunities. That being said, I have this crazy feeling that despite it being Hamels vs. Lincecum, I think the bats will finally say ENOUGH this afternoon and go to town.

phanatic's brother: At the risk of sounding like Wheels and T-Mac, Renteria did a great job on that play. Howard was doing what most every player in baseball does when a ball is hit to the corner. The SS is off the second base bag, not ready to take a throw and he pulled up a little. I can only get on him so much for that. Tip o' the cap to Renteria -- great play. It cost them a run, not the game.

So much for going wire-to-wire.

Hamels in a big spot today. Hopefully, he's up to it.

Regardless, I think a day off, some home cooking and the sight of the first place nYMets at CBP should get the bats straightened out.

I never realized how short the distance is from the RF corner to 2d in that park. After watching Utley get gunned down, I don't blame Howard for holding up on the second one into the corner. The dimensions for that RF wall are ridiculous.

"you sound like a Mets fan circa 09"

Hey, its better than sounding like a Mets fan circa 07 and 08.

Lincecum on the mound vs a struggling offense, a struggling Hamels, and a struggling pen? Why does everything i know about baseball tell me to bet the Phils.

The created the drawings for that stadium figuring on Bonds DH'ing into his AARP years. I did see Clemente make some throws from the Connie Mack right field corner to third base and a couple from Callison.

We're gonna win today.

thephaithful - You forgot it is also a day start on the road for Hamels which generally has been the crappiest version of the Hamels the last 4 years. Talking about numbers that are generally well below average & an ERA toward 5.

Probably a reason why the Giants are -170 to -180 and the Phils are +155.

The pitchers the Phils will likely face in their next 11 games: Lincecum, Niese, Pelfrey, Santana, Wainwright, Penny, Lohse, Carpenter, Hudson, Lowe, Jurrjens.

A win today would do huge things for my psyche heading into the weekend. It would probably do a lot for the players too :)

Well tutpsu just ruined me day

I think that having the Phillies and the Mets playing meaningful games so early in the year is great for the NL East. After all, us Phillie fans have been kind of spoiled by being in 1st all alone for so long.

Actually Carpenter is pitching Sunday, which means the Phils will miss him. And Niese and Pelfrey don't scare me. Neither does Lowe. And its going to be in the 80s this weekend. Not saying the Phils bats won't continue to suck, but if they do it won't have all that much to do with who is pitching to them.

Reasons the Phils aren't scoring runs:

- Hitting .269 as a team (5th in the NL) and have a solid OBP of .345 (3rd in the NL) but they are just hitting .246 as team with RISP. This is something they struggled with too last April & it will even itself over time.

- It is more amazing that opposing hitters are hitting just .235 with RISP but their BAA against is .269 (t-11th in the NL). As crazy as it sounds, the Phils' pitching staff has actually been a bit fortunate so far in this regards although they are giving up bombs 24 HRs (t-11th in the NL) at a really healthy clip.

- Phils have just 20 HRs so far which is only 6th in the league. Big reason is Howard's career power slump he is stuck in currently and missing JRoll. Expect both of them to return to normal to more normal.

It is also though due to the lack of HRs from Werth/Ibanez. They only have 4 HRs now so far in 128 ABs (32 ABs/HR). That is below average for corner OFs. Last year they had 9 HRs in 151 ABs (16.8 ABs/HR) in April. I do expect they will hit more HRs but no where near the 70 HRs they gave the team last year. More like in the 50-55 HRs range largely because of a big power dropoff from Ibanez to say 18-20 HRs.

I thought the Phils had the worst 3/4/5 right now with Moyer/KK/Figueroa. I would actually say that honor goes to the Pirates with Morton/Burres/Karstens. That is a bad, bad rotation and my bet is the Succos lose 100+ games this year especially if they have their semi-annual fire sale at the trading deadline.

Unlike some posters, who seem to think that Ben Francisco and Ross Gload should get more playing time than Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard, I'm not a big believer in starting the bench players. But I might make an exception today. Guys like Polanco, Utley, Ibanez, etc. simply aren't hitting right now. If you give them the day off, they get 2 full days to clear their minds.

Besides, it doesn't matter who starts today. Day Game Hamels against Lincecum is the biggest mismatch since the German invasion of France. We can either delude ourselves into believing that we have a chance to win, or we can just accept defeat and get some key starters a day of rest.

Duke has looked bad his last two outings, too. Morton is atrocious - batting practice. Burress isn't even officially in hte rotation - as of this morning their toying wiht throwing him or another AAA pitcher tomorrow. Karstens was called up last night for a spot start and did well. He may go back to Indianapolis after Sunday, though. They don't just have a bad rotation - tehy have no rotation. At least we've got Moyer and Blanton is on the way back. Last I looked on the Phils website, they hadn't announced who they're throwing this weekend in any of hte games. Anyone have that info?

MG: I remember arguing with several posters last year who seemed to think there was method to the Pirates' madness & that they were finally on the right track to building a decent team. But all I see from that organization is the same cycle being played out over and over again. They trade their solid veterans for prospects and, if a few of the prospects pan out and have a couple of decent seasons, they promptly get traded away for more prospects. Wash, rinse, repeat.

While the European war analogy is funny, unless they're hurt, I send the starting 8 (7 + Castro) out there against Lincecum. No white flags on the last game of the trip, especially wiht an off-day tomorrow.

I think hte PIrates could lose 110 this year. The Pirates do have new management and a new approach. They no longer sign aging has-beens and never-were's to try and delude the shrinking fan base into thinking they could compete. I see too much of hte Pirates and am as critical as anyone but, I'm resigned to the fact that the new guys need to have a chance to prove this is different. Right now, the team is like an old jalopy that has been completely stripped to the frame. The stated goal is build through hte draft and minor league development. Two huge issues there: 1) the cupboard is bare from years of trading somebodies for nobodies, and 2) the current crop of AAA grads displays the same alarming lack of skill and fundamentals that the last several classes showed.

I expect they will be trading players again at the deadline but, their only real chips are pitchers and that situation is so bad, I can't see how they can afford to deal a useful arm. The guys who I expect will go are LaRoche, Crosby and/or Cedeno although, none of them will garner any significant return. Fully expect 2 or 3 guys from AAA to get promoted by mid-season - Alvarez, Tabata and Lincoln.

From MLB site:

It's been nearly six years since the Giants last swept the Phillies in a three-game series, as it last happened back in August 2004 at Citizens Bank Park.
To put that in perspective, Giants ace Tim Lincecum was just entering his sophomore season at the University of Washington at the time and Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels was only in Class A in his second year of professional baseball.

Hugh: Well, I'm trying to work up a reverse Beerleaguer Jinx here. But, really, I wouldn't be offended if Dobbs and Gload were in the lineup today.

" We can either delude ourselves into believing that we have a chance to win,"

Just curious, BAP - are you as uniformly negative in all aspects of your life, or only with respect to the Phillies?.....

"Don't bother going to school today, kid, you're just going to flunk out anyway. (And besides, I'm sure all the other kids would beat you up and steal your lunch money.)"

"Don't bother making any dinner tonight, honey, I'm sure it would taste horrid anyway - let's just order a pizza (even though it will taste horrible, arrive cold, and be too expensive)."

"No need to cut the grass today - I'm sure the mower would just kick up a rock that would blast me in the eye, causing permanent blindness. Might as well just hang on the couch and watch the Phillies lose."

it is bad when people are comparing our starters with the pirates. real bad.

b_a-p - whatever works. I believe in the reverse BL jinx. This one was a bad omen from that perspective:

"In this park, and with this pathetic Giants lineup, this is about as favorable a matchup as Jamie Moyer will face all year. If he's even halfway on his game, the Phillies really ought to win this game pretty handily."

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Hugh: Yeah, I take a lot of flak for being negative, but look what happens when I go out of character and try to be optimistic. As I recall, I also said something in that same post about Todd Wellemeyer being the perfect cure for the Phillies' offensive woes.

I have teh same problem. I posted something similar about Wellenmyer, I'm sure, and I know I posted some crap about looking forward to the Phils pounding Kris Benson in Phoenix. It's distressingly predictable that you eat such words.

For Hugh Mulcahy, saw this on the sidebar yesterday, from Zolecki:

Phils rotation this weekend against Mets: Kendrick on Friday, Halladay on Saturday and Moyer on Sunday.
about 16 hours ago via TinyTwitter

it's only gonna get worse. howard will probably take a bean ball in the nose (expanding an already record width by a full 2 inches) and go on the DL w/ a concussion. when he comes back he will continue his also record homerless draught to 500 at bats then retire after this year, while still being owed nearly $150 million.

Found an interesting quotation from Amaro re Howard's contract:

"We tried to design the (Howard) contact in a way where our goal continues to be the same, to keep a championship-caliber club on the field year in and year out," Amaro said. "We feel with the way we structured the contract, it gives us the flexibility to do that, as far as Jayson, Jimmy and other guys who can become free agents in the not-so-distant future. Naturally we'd like to keep all these guys. We'll go by a case-by-case basis and hopefully we can keep this group together."

I guess this "structure" gives the Phils $3M extra or so to work with from 2011 to 2013. I don't know if he has Werth or Rollins specifically in mind, and, while $3M isn't a slim number, it doesn't seem like much as an annual average.

Not sure how I did that, but the second indented bit was my comment.

Sophist, I focused on this part of the Amaro qoute "Naturally we'd like to keep all these guys. We'll go by a case-by-case basis and hopefully we can keep this group together."

I think (hope?) he's a man of his word.

But, I also think that if Jason balks at Rube's offers he's gone like Lee is gone.

I figure that Cholly would start all of the regulars today with the exception of Chooch (day game after a night game).

I would start Dobbs at 3B today again too with Polanco scuffling at the plate while hitting a ton of ground balls.

Phils simply need at least 1 XHB from Utley & Howard today to win this game. Howard has turned into Gload the past 10 days (lots of singles and not much else) and Utley is mired in a funk too (6-33 with only 2 XHB the past 10 days).

Sorry folks, its sure loss today. Cole the Impaler will turn to dust in the daylight today.

Hard to win a lot of games against decent teams without two of your four top starters, your closer, your best lefty reliever and your leadoff hitter/best defender.” – denny b.

welcome to the world of the 2009 mets....feels good to be back on top. phuck the phils hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

"I guess this "structure" gives the Phils $3M extra or so to work with from 2011 to 2013. I don't know if he has Werth or Rollins specifically in mind, and, while $3M isn't a slim number, it doesn't seem like much as an annual average."

I agree with Sophist here. I appreciate and applaud the sentiment of keeping the current group together, and Werth and Rollins in particular.

And I was also one of those who voted favorable for the Howard contract, with my fan persona overcoming the rational side. But I'm having a hard time seeing how the Howard deal is going to make it easier to keep Rollins and Werth around.

Save Nelson for the weekend: In a game in Mexico, Figueroa threw 153 pitches over 10 frames.

"I wanted to stay in because it was a team that bypassed me in Mexico, and I said I was going to show them that they made a mistake,"

line ups: from @ToddZolecki Today's lineup @ SF @ 3:45 pm ET: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibanez LF, Castro SS, Ruiz C, Hamels P.

Meyer - I kind of wondered the same thing. You think the 'FU' factor would be kind of high for Figueroa in the first time he pitched the Mets. Rather see him than KK.

good bring on figueroa for the weekend. you want pelfrey or santana? haha

For some reason I cant hear Mets fans whining over the sound of our two straight NL Pennants.

Gloating in April. Some people will never learn. The Nats could be in first in two days (they're only a game out).

Sports fans are a fascinating bunch. You would think after the last 2 years that Mets fans would show a bit more humility, but no...

WGAS who's in first in April? If the Mets are in first come September, I'll be shocked. Not that I think the Phils are a lock, mind you, but I still think the Marlins and Braves are better teams.

Now watch the Nats shock us all and win the division.

Old Phan: Humility in NY? Those things go together like the Phillies and a winning record in IL play.

Pelfrey hasn't allowed a HR yet, is stranding 93.6%, and is striking out 6.6 K/9 right now. None of them will last. Reality and Pelfrey will soon some crashing back together.

Hey guys, when you get your ballpark just over 75% full for games, you can brag all you want.

I wish the Phillies had that kind of fan support at CBP.

As much as it's too early to be upset (can't believe I'm saying this), I would be worried were I a Dodgers fan. But I'm sure they are given their horrible offseason. For a team that's gone to two straight NLCS', they did nothing to get better and probably aren't even treading water. They've got a guy on the mound who's never played 4 games above AAA getting shelled today at Citifield. I believe he's starting bc Vincente Padilla is an idiot or is injured. One of the two.

More than anything, Amaro seems deadset on single-handedly disproving the widely accepted theory that players decline in their 30's.

The Dodgers have too much FO drama to concentrate on baseball.

If I told you that a certain Phillies prospect allowed 3 earned runs and 4 walks in 5 innings of work today, how many Beerleaguers could guess which pitcher I'm talking about? No peeking allowed. But, since this pitcher has the same identical stat line in virtually every game he pitches, those of you who keep track of our prospects should have little difficulty guessing.


It must be wabbit season or duck season or some other season as that creature has made its way down the Jersey Turnpike, like a scourge from the boroughs or barrels of NY via


Never hear a word when the Skunks are losing, but - when the a sweep of the Manny-less Dodgers, then...

The throngs of echos of empty stands at Taxpayer Field in Flushing NY are deafening. They - like rats - arise from their slumber, after a having a gourmet meal from the sewers, whence they came to troll our blog and trash talk our team.

Be gone - slither back up the turnpike - you are the bane upon the face of baseball, We are still the class of the National League.

Not in our house...

JW: Responding to one of your Twitter posts, it's true that Howard's durability is a point that often gets overlooked, and it's why he provides more overall value than his pure rate stats might indicate. That's a good point that I haven't seen raised many places.

You just hope that his extra value in durability outweighs the natural tendency of age to wear people down with nagging injuries.

bap: It's Joe Savery, right? You confused me for a minute though because you used the word "prospect". I'm thought Clout was the only guy who still views Savery as a "prospect".

Jack/JW: I don't think his durability does get overlooked. Durability (ie games played) factors into his WAR, and that's stat most statheads are making their case based off of.

Also, durability is fleeting. Jimmy Rollins was extremely durable from 01-07, but now he's now had semi-serious injuries 2 of 3 years. Who knows when the same thing could start happening to Howard.

Jack: I figured you or NEPP would be the first to nail the answer. Yes, of course it's Savery. And, as soon as I hit "Post," it occurred to me that I probably should have put the word "prospect" in quotation marks.

Might be time to move Savery to the bullpen & see if he's of any more value there. I doubt it, but I see no harm in trying.

Just revisiting the Pirates bashing for a second, Post-Gazette columnist-emeritus Bob Smizik re-posted Sam Donnellon's article on the Howard deal under the heading "Once lowly Phils now NL Yankees", prefacing it with the comment: "Howard can thank former Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield for that. With a chance to trade for Howard in 2004 and only have to give up Kris Benson in return, Littlefield turned down the deal."

I recall them shopping him during the Thome years, but not this rejected deal. Littlefield, of course, is the guy who traded for Matt Morris and his $10,000,000 annual salary, whose subsequent release helped Littlefield on his way out of town (and out of baseball, I hope).

Wow. I've never heard that story about the Pirates, but Littlefield is the baseball version of Dick Rowe, the Decca Records exec who turned down the Beatles.

The Howeard-Benson swap was talked about on here often over the years. I thought it was Kip Wells, however.

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