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Thursday, April 22, 2010

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Torre Langley, we hardly knew ye.

Probable spot start and/or bullpen insurance. With Mon's offday, couldn't we just skip Happ's spot anyway? Everyone is on normal rest right now.

Nevermind...was looking at the wrong week on the schedule. Yeah, we need a spot starter.

I'd go with Figgy personally.

Threads are changing too fast for me this morning. Reposted:

sophist: Fair enough. I do have a tendency to throw gratuitous negativity into my posts.

phlipper: Agree with you about it being hard to top Lee's playoff performance in terms of numbers. But, as some posters pointed out the last time this topic came up, Lee has never pitched a game on 3 days rest, whereas Halladay has not only done so, but has great numbers in that situation. This means that, assuming we haven't used him in a Game 7 of the last series, he could pitch 3 times in a 7-game series, whereas Lee could only pitch twice. So instead of losing 4 games to 2, like we did to the Yankees, we would only lose 4 games to 3.

***So instead of losing 4 games to 2, like we did to the Yankees, we would only lose 4 games to 3.***

Hamels will be better this year, so we'll likely win 4-1 or 4-2. No worries.

Murphy, in his live chat today, said Carpenter is his bet to spot start if Happ can't go on Saturday. They're probably keeping Carp ready - just in case.

This is also something Murphy posted in his chat:

"Getting to the postseason might actually be more difficult than getting to the World Series this year. I really like the way Hamels is throwing right now, and if he stays healthy I think he could have a monster second half. With Halladay and Hamels starting four of seven games in a playoff series, the Phillies are in great shape. They just need to make sure injuries in the rotation and their bullpen don't allow the Braves to make a run at the division title. Because this Braves team is damn good."

BAP - wasn't meant as criticism.

awh: The Marlins aren't half bad either. That lineup is as good as any in the league, except the Phillies (when healthy) and maybe the Rockies.

And, frankly, I'm still not writing off the Mets, although most others seem to be.

BAP, I guess my initial impression was much like yours: Halladay didn't look as sharp in the last three innings as the first 6. But then i got to thinking, and it occurred to me that the 7th, the inning where Halladay started to "struggle," started off with Chipper and McCann both swinging at 1st pitches. After that, Halladay dialed down the first pitch strikes, as you noted. That may have been intentional, as an adjustment to the fact that the Braves were gunning for him on the first pitch.

And you're correct, defense certainly saved him at certain points. But aside from that amazing catch from Vic, most of the great defense was on ground balls. If these balls had been hit at people, and not required sharp athletic plays, I'm guessing we wouldn't have thought he struggled in the last three. You can say, well, if those balls are 2 feet more away from those players, the game is totally different. But Halladay's job is to role ground balls, and he kept doing that effectively into the 9th.

He threw 17 pitches in the 8th, and 12 in the 9th. That's pretty effective, for anyone, and at any part of the game. I'm not really disagreeing with your assessment, just presenting a different point of view.

bap, I'm not writing off the Mets either.

Keep in mind their best player (IMO), Beltran, is still DL'd until around June.

re-posting:

" Four games, though, seems a little soon to start comparing him to great Phillies pitchers."

I agree. As good as Doc has been, it has yet to be proven that he will do so well once hitters have faced him more and know his repertoire of pitches better. His toughest innings have been later in games. That said - some of that is undoubtedly due to some tiring.

And his long-term record in the AL East speaks well to his ability to get hitters out even after they have faced him often.


BAP - I already posted about the advantage that Doc would most likely start three games in a seven game series.

"If these balls had been hit at people, and not required sharp athletic plays, I'm guessing we wouldn't have thought he struggled in the last three."

That's true, and a good point. And I don't think he pitched badly in the 7th at all. I do think he started to labor a bit in the 8th & 9th, when he faced 7 batters & threw first pitch balls to all of them. But he got away with it because, when he does have to come over the plate on a hitter's count, he's still got the stuff and location to induce ground balls.

I can't wait to see Halladay live for the Phils. I live in New York, so I got to see him pitch against the Yanks a few times. For my money, he is the best pitcher since Pedro. I've never seen anyone dominate the way Pedro did. But like the old goat's pitches, all of Halladay's pitches seem to have late movement. Jason's line about each pitch having its own valid purpose was perfect.

The Braves and the Marlins are tough -- they worry me, and I think the wild card comes from the NL East this year. I can't muster up any fear over the Mets because of their pitching staff.

i do not believe happ has thrown his bullpen session yet so i can't see that it means dl yet. probably insurance

DL might make sense since you can make it retroactive to April 15.

that's true

Good point about the retro DL, plus Happ missing a start or three is a very small price to pay if it gets him right and he doesn't have to pitch through pain for the rest of the season. The Phils are still in first place despite being without 4 or 5 key players. All of them are due back before too long, but none should be rushed.

I think Charlie should send a message to the Phans, and the rest of MLB. Doc should be the only pitcher put on the All-Star roster. Complete game, Phils get home field in the Series. Done and done.

I'm calling Happ to the DL.

RE: 1st pitch swinging, a 0-0 count is the best pitch to swing against Halladay, other than a 2-1 count, which doesn't happen too often. Therefore most hitters will swing a the first pitch against Doc if it's near the strike zone. Thus he gets a lot of short innings. Thus he saves the bullpen. Thus he becomes even more valuable.

Like I said before, he's Greg Maddox with a better fastball. Just amazing.

Maddux wasn't always a pure finesse guy. He used to easily be low 90s throughout a game with great movement/location. I think sometimes we forget just how dominating Maddux was...here's his peak:

1992-1998 (7 seasons)

127-53, 56 CG, 19 SHO, 2.15 ERA, 0.968 WHIP

In that span, his lowest ERA+ was 162 and his highest was 271.

He won 4 Cy youngs in that period and was a top 5 vote getter every year.

the phillies disabled list and day to day is reminding alot of the mets last yr - hope not...

NEPP, I watched a whooooooole lotta Braves games in the 90s. Mad Dog usually topped out at 88 or 89 with his fastball (I remeber this very clearly). He was never at any time a power pitcher. I wouldn't call him a pure finesse guy, but it was always his movement, not his velocity, which was his strength. That, and having 4 plus pitches he could throw for strikes at any time, and a cutter which ate lefties alive.

I keep seeing Halladay throw it up in the low to mid 90s throughout the game. Maddux may have hit the low 90s a few times during a game, but never as consistently as Halladay, and never as fast as 94, which I saw Doc hit several times last night.

And note, I am not saying that Doc is a better pitcher than Maddux. Just that he has a better fastball. If there ever could be a better pitcher than Maddux not enhansed by steriods, I'd like to see him. I might be now, but then again, I'll reserve my judgement

I don't think Halladay's quite on Maddux's level either. To me, Pedro & Maddux are the two greatest pitchers of my lifetime, with Randy Johnson just a shade behind. And that lifetime includes all the big stars of the 70s.

Maddox always looked like an accountant to me, so seeing him on the mound was kind of amusing. But I have to admit, I loved watching him pitch and actually rooted for the Braves in the World Series when they played the Yankees. Of course the only time they won is when I wanted the Indians to win.

Will someone please explain the benefits of a retroactive DL designation to me?

Kutz, I'm an accountant, so I don't really know how to take that comment :)

If we put Happ on the retro DL, we can say he's been on it for the last 5 days or so, which will allow him to come back 10 days from now, not 15.

Dan - no disrespect to accountants, especially after your succinct explanation to my question.

I will now be silent, but informed.

Carpenter was scratched from his start because it just makes sense. With Moyer on the mound tonight, it's entirely possible the team might need Figueroa to pitch 2-3 innings, in which case Carpenter will be called up to start on Saturday.

Also, he will be the guy called up if Happ goes on the DL--but this move does NOT mean that is automatic; see above for why it makes sense anyway. But if Happ does need to go on the DL today or tomorrow, there's no point in calling up a guy who just pitched.

****And note, I am not saying that Doc is a better pitcher than Maddux. Just that he has a better fastball. If****

To clarify, I agree on this point. I am not implying that Greg was ever a power pitcher in his career.

Before he learned how to pitch, (back as a prospect with the Cubs), he was able to hit 93-94 on the gun and he was thought of as a possible power guy. His rookie scouting reports are clear on that. He then realized that he's far more effective at 90ish with movement than he'd ever be overthrowing just to get a radar reading.

Dunno if this was already posted last night from Salisbury:

New Weapon Makes Halladay (4-0) Better Than Ever

Zolecki (via Twitter): Tonight's Lineup @ ATL: Victorino CF, Dobbs 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibañez LF, Castro SS, Ruiz C, Moyer P.

Maddux certainly had an accountant's efficiency. Six complete games that required fewer than 90 pitches. I always found that fact freakishly impressive.

Pirates really making a run at this one. Brew Crew winning 20-0 in the 9th.

Couple of points from this thread and previous...

IMO... I've seen both pitch...Roy Halliday RIGHT NOW is Carlton good. Obviously he hasn't pitched long enough to get 300 wins and 4,000 K's. Not sure if he will as we now see 5-man rotations i/o 4. Times are different. Can't argue about Roberts or Alexander as I'm not quite that old.

Greg Maddux was an awesome pitcher. I saw him a lot too. He could get it over 90 if he wanted to but mostly relied on changing speeds and pinpoint location. However, he benefited from a wide strike zone that has since been modified. There was a big fuss about that (I'm guessing 10 years ago) and I believe it's been changed for the better. Again...tough to compare b/c times were different.

Interesting that Charlie has Chooch starting tonight after Schneider caught both of Moyer's previous starts. It's not a match-up issue, as all of Moyer's opposing SP (including tonight's) have been RHP. I wonder if the skipper thinks good chemistry between battery mates trumps having LH batter Schneider facing RHP Lowe. If so, that may well be a first for the match-up obsessed Manuel.

bap: You were correct last nite on tonite's lineup. Can't wait for Moyer to tell Hayward "Get off my lawn" with a brushback pitch.

Zolecki (via Twitter): "Scott Franzke left the team to be with his wife, who is expecting. Wheels and LA on the radio, McCarthy and Sarge on TV tonight."

Oh, f*ck me. Now there's no escape. Best wishes to Scott & his wife, though.

Dave: I think it's just the "day game after nite game" thing with the catchers.

Ouch. Brewers outscored the Bucs 28-0 over the last two games.

goody: Could be. Whatever the reason, a change of pace can't hurt.

Zolecki (via Twitter): "Happ to DL. Figeuora to pitch Sat. Romero activated."

I'm not esp. surprised by any of this.

happ to the dl. romero activated. figueroa starts on saturday

Edit: I'm assuming, of course, that Zolecki meant "Figueroa", the pitcher the Phillies already have, not that the Phillies have all-of-a-sudden acquired a SP named "Figeuora" to fill the Happ gap.

A-Train, then again, Maddux pitched during the height of the steriod era, so who knows?

NEPP, I heard Skip Carey say years ago that Mad always knew he wouldn't make it on his velocity, but he may have been wrong. Or I may be mis-remembering. Whatever. By the time he was pitching for the Braves, he didn't throw as hard as Doc does now.

Dave: It could be worse. I'll stick with LA, and Wheels is, by far, the best of the other 3. Braves on XM is another choice, but XM is behind the TV, if I remember correctly.

G-Town:

Brian Schneider lifetime vs. Derek Lowe (12 PA):

.111 .333 .222 .556


Chooch vs. Lowe (8 PA):

.125 .125 .250 .375


Not much matchup difference, albeit small sample sizes.

goody: Thanks for reminding me about XM. I'm used to a TV/radio delay anyway, so that won't be a big deal. Besides, I haven't yet had a chance to hear the Atlanta folks channel Bobby Cox & whine about every perceived bad break the team gets yet this season. Could be good for a laugh or three. :-)

awh: I was referring to getting a LH bat in to face a RH pitcher. Personally I'd rather Charlie look more at specific batter/pitcher stats as opposed to the generic lefty/righty thing he seems to prefer (although you're correct in that it doesn't really matter much in this case). At any rate, goody is probably right about the day/night thing. I had forgotten that Moyer's first two starts were afternoon games.

I formally make a motion that Halladay start all the games for the rest of the season.

Whew! Talk about snake bit. If we can get our whole team back on the field and still be at or near 1st place, it will be a great job.

3 pieces of bad news in 27 minutes. They say everything happens in 3's, so all the bad news is out of the way before the game.

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