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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

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Boy, I remember the good old days when I was excited when it would be Cole's turn to pitch in the rotation. Now, it's grab the Tums and avoid greasy food!

Damn if this Cards team doesn't look good. If they just make it to the playoffs, that starting pitching is enviable as hell.

Funny thing, this baseball. A couple years ago, if you told me that I had (then) King Cole Hamels on the mound, with Brad Lidge geared to shut it down, I'd have said I'd be shocked if StL squeaked out 4 or 5 hits.

Now, I'll be shocked if they don't put out 4 or 5 dingers...

me is gonna participate in a game thread for the first time since bastardo started in San Diego last year...

this should be fun!

VoR - their starting pitching is no better this year than it was last year. Wainwright + Carpenter = Wainwright + Carpenter. 2009 Joel Pinero (118 ERA+) = 2010 Jamie Garcia. And they got swept by the Dodgers in the playoffs last year.

At'a boy, Colie-O! 5 pitches, 3 outs and your precious No-No in tact.

5 pitches makes me all tingly inside...

That'll do Cole. Keep it down.

Cole pitching to contact.

Vic, you're allowed to take a pitch or two. Just sayin'...

well THAT was some quick work! i'll take a 5-pitch, 3-up-3-down inning any day.

couldn't see on gamecast -- were the hit balls easy outs, or nice snares by the fielders?

The last out was a line drive laser, but right at the $125MM man.

If JRoll was "Jimmy Pop-up" last year out of the leadoff during the 1st half, Vic is quickly earning a nickname that involves hitting harmless flyouts.

cardinals lead 6 pitches to 5...

@ Spitz. good points, no question. i guess it's all about playoff pressure and how hit the hitting is on the other team. still, it's a nice staff to go into the playoffs with.

So, 6 outs on 11 total pitches. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this kind of efficiency won't last too much longer.

And my money is on Cole to put up the 20 pitch inning.

oops. make that how "hot" the hitting is

Some nice 94 mph cheese from Cole. If he can stay there, and actually use his change as an out pitch, he might be alright.

REAL nice fastball to Holliday there.

Reasons the Phils are scoring that many runs the past few weeks - their 1/2 guys OBP have really languished. Vic is now at .272 (NL AVG is .325), Polanco at .321 (NL AVG is .337).

WOW, 95 mph for another fastball K!!!

Did Hamels just hit 95?

95 mph huh

Is the gun off?

Lake Fred, did Heidi have Cole in the gym in the last week or so? Where's his skirt?

Decent location and 95 MPH? That's an impressive fastball.

There goes his no-no. He always seems to get down on himself right about here.

I'm all for high expectations, but he seriously thinks that he should be throwing no-hitters, then drops it down a gear when he gives up his first hit.

Hamels DID recommit himself this off-season. This looks like he did in 06 or 07 for velocity.

I honestly don't remember 94-95 on any sort of consistent basis from him at any point in his career. He is on 5 days rest????

Officially 94.8 mph...nice.

Castro's arm is Juan Pierresque.

he seriously thinks that, willard?

seriously?

He's been on the record several times as saying that he goes into each game expecting to pitch a no-hitter, and thinks that by the time his career is over, he'll have multiple no-no's to his name.

I could be wrong, but I distincly remember him being a bit obsessive over the whole notion a couple of years ago.

That was pretty outside.

Wainwright is dirty. Hamels has to go up against Lincecum and Wainwright back to back. Tough to get wins there.

That pitch was outside to Howard. Hope Hamels gets that call.

That pitch to Ryan was clearly outside on gameday -- what about tV?

Do we start calling Hamels effeminate names after each hit or just after each HR?

I love the things we find to criticize on here. Hamels wants to throw a no-hitter. WHAT A BUM.

Ryan frequently waves and misses that pitch. If the umps call it against him when he holds off, that is real trouble.

On TV you can't tell because the camera's so offset. Wheels said strike, which means many people will think 'ball'.

It was a good 6 inches off the plate...right where the catcher lined up though. Weak call nonetheless.

Howard-Werth-Ibanez with three great appearance there in the 2nd

Ibanez has had a pretty good eye at the plate (15 BBs) but you have to wonder when one of his patented 'hot streaks' is going to come . . . .

castro will swing next time, he promises...

Castro completely outmatched by Wainwright's curve, even though it was hung.

I'm not much for superstition, but I've always believed you can't talk about the no-no while it's ongoing - even in the 2nd.

For my money, that's the best curveball in baseball.

Jack, he's no bum for wanting to throw no-hitters. Hell, he'd be a bum if he really didn't give a rip.

He's a bum if/when he gets rattled after giving up a hitter and letting a runner on board.

Happy to see it not affect him in the 2nd tonight, but historically he's gotten down on himself (although I haven't seen him kick any chairs yet...), and the proverbial wheels have fallen off.

Hopefully, he settles in tonight and continues dealing.

****Ibanez has had a pretty good eye at the plate (15 BBs) but you have to wonder when one of his patented 'hot streaks' is going to come****

June 12th - July 17th


If Cole really thinks 'No hitter' each time he goes out there that is a problem.

He is 'might' get one or two no hitters in his career. All the other games he plays he will have to be ready to give up at LEAST one hit. And keep his head in those games.

Think about how good Holliday is after he gives up a walk or a hit. I doubt he goes out there with that mind set.

Castro has been overmatched by a bunch of pitches recently. He is now hitting under .150 the past week.

LaRussa has trained the umpires to call everything a strike to keep the games moving along until the pitching changes.

good waste on the curve to wainwright...

bad waste on the pitch in on his knees...

Vic makes it look so easy out there in CF...just a graceful, natural fielder.


On Hamels: You guys are nuts...that's the oddest complaint I've ever heard. I try to be perfect in my job, so does he.

That happens with Vic way too often in CF for a guy now who has been out there as a full-time starter for 3+ years. Just isn't very good at judging the path of the ball. Once his legs go a bit, he isn't going to be a good CF anymore.

"I've always believed you can't talk about the no-no while it's ongoing - even in the 2nd."

If you asked me to match that comment with the poster, I would have to go through literally every BL poster I could possibly think of before I would guess sophist.

The difference between 94 and 89 is never more evident than that last pitch...guys have much more trouble turning on the 94 mph pitch.

NEPP- But according to Clout, fastball velocity doesn't really matter. I will say though that Hamel's is locating his fastball well again though & getting a very generous strike zone (as is Wainwright).

When Hamels has gotten a generous strike zone this year, he has really pitched well. When he hasn't like the 1st game vs. Nats & last week against the Giants, he has struggled.

Nah, clout would have definitely been at the bottom of the list.

But yeah, Sophist, the stats guy, sure isn't in my top 70, even without mvptommy.

apologies if this has been discussed already, but why do the cardinals bat wainwright 8th? is he that good or is ryan that bad? or is it larussa over-managing?

anyone else unabashedly annoyed with gus the groundhog?

I hate that hand puppet!!!

BAP - I know. It surprises me too.

NEPP - re Vic. was that serious? Vic is not graceful. He gets the job done, but in his own way.

Can Ruiz play RF next year?

Regarding that K pitch to Howard earlier, umps have been calling that on Howard a lot lately.

Any conspiracy theories? All I know is I'm pissed watching him get strikes called on him way off the plate every damn game.

Are Ruiz' skills wasted batting 8th? Would he have that on base somewhere else in the order or does he benefit from hitting in front of the pitcher?

You know Hamels must be having a good game so far if the only thing people can find to complain about is that he starts every game with the mindset that he's going to pitch a no-hitter. By the way, Sandy Koufax used to say exactly the same thing and it didn't seem to be too much of a problem for him.

Why do we even bother bunting against Molina?

chooch was safe, yo

Terrible call...complestley safe there.

another damn blown call. ugh.

Burt, for some stupid reason LaRussa bats all of his pitchers 8. Clearly he's smarter than all of us (except certified genius Ruben Amaro, Jr.).

Phillies pitchers: Put a little muscle into your bunts please.

Now that was a pretty damn good play by Molina although Hamels has to get the ball further up the line to make the pitcher field it. Normally don't see Hamels mess that up.

****Are Ruiz' skills wasted batting 8th? Would he have that on base somewhere else in the order or does he benefit from hitting in front of the pitcher? ****

I think he benefits from hitting in front of the pitcher. I think he'd struggle to break .310-320 OBP if not for that.

Did the ump think that was a force play?

That was a pure case of the ump judging a safe/out call solely on when the ball arrives. I hate when they do that.

i can't wait to send my as of now unborn son down to the domican republic to attend a summer session at the 'Molina Brothers Academy.'

Sophist: Regarding Ruiz OBP: What's his OBP like compared to the rest of the NL's catchers? I don't feel looking it up, I'm just asking you because you post a lot of stats and would probably find it easier.

Back to Madson. Freak occurrence or not the guy's a dope. I'm waiting for an athlete to sprain his ankle doing a chest bump.

Sophist - The C must bat 8th. It is one of Cholly's "Keys to Managing."

It did look like a blown call on the replay though.

I guess I should reword that sophist, how does it compare to the rest of the #8 hitters before pitchers in the NL?

ozark- or cut his hand opening up a dvd case?

A potentially back breaker there...GG Pujols with a weak grab. He usually gets that.

At least Madson didnt fall down a staircase with a bag of venison on his shoulder...

C'mon Wheeler. Pujols just didn't squeeze that when he picked it. That should have been a DP.

Polanco's AB there was the reason why the 'ability to make contact' is generally overrated - especially with a slower guy who hits a ton of ground balls up to the middle of the INF.

I think Ruiz just has good on-base skills irrespective of where he bats in the order. He has worked plenty of walks over the last few years even when a pitcher was not on deck.

burt: If the question is "... is LaRussa over-managing?", the answer is always a resounding "YES".

BAP, not trying to beat a dead horse here (although that would be in BL form), buy my point is NOT that Cole wants to toss a no-no every time out. Like I said, I would be disappointed if he didn't. My concern is how he REACTS when he does give up that first hit. We talk all the time about "high leverage situations," etc. My concern is how Cole seems to go DITHL often after giving up that first hit. Not that he's mailing it in or anything, but you can see that he's legitimately bummed. That's all fine and dandy as long as he can suck it up and move on, rather than crap the bed or kick a damn steel chair.

Chooch had the 2nd best OBP for all NL catchers with at least 300 PAs last year. Only Yadier Molina was better than his .355.

So for some reason the HD channel on comcast in harrisburg is not HD tonight. Just showing 480 upscaled crap. Makes me want to throw up watching it.

Check out crashburnalley.com for a take on Chooch's OBP. I asked him about moving Ruiz up in the order, and he had a good response. He also looked at other 8 hole catcher's OBP. Should be the newest post, I think.

LaRussa is annoying, but he's right about P batting 8th.

NL C OBP

Ruiz - .432
B Molina - .408
McCann - .395
Doumit - .379
Martin - .344
Y Molina - .344

Back to a previous point:

- RZR and UZR/150 showed that Vic didn't have a good year last year in CF & they show that he has gotten out to a pretty poor start this year too. In fact, none of the Phils' OF have played well in the early going including Werth.

I think Cole gets a ton of crap just based on his image as a So Cal guy. If he were from Texas or somewhere like that, I doubt he'd get this "He's a prima donna headcase" crap.

He's been pretty good so far this year and it looks like he's really starting to put it together.

@ MG Good call, I think thats overrated too. I dont mind Howard striking out too much for the same reason. (No sarcasm)

Walking a guy with Pujols and Holliday waiting is never a good idea. Pitchers spending a lot of time on base always seems to result in a bad inning the next time out.

NEPP, did you just see that walk? Cole is a prima donna head case. (tongue firmly in cheek)

WP: Got it. But there was another poster who actually expressed consternation that Cole wants to pitch a no-hitter every time out.

Re Pujols: he hasn't looked like a Gold Glove first baseman this series. That's twice that he has failed to scoop a low throw out of the dirt. Ryan Howard actually excels at making that play.

Whatever magical game plan the Phils have against Pujols the last 3+ years, it really has worked. Just 1-7 now this series . . .

****RZR and UZR/150 showed that Vic didn't have a good year last year in CF & they show that he has gotten out to a pretty poor start this year too. In fact, none of the Phils' OF have played well in the early going including Werth. ****

I would agree with that just based on watching them so far. Vic has been rough in CF...and Werth has been average at best.

I guess its not Fielding Season yet.

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