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Thursday, May 20, 2010

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I enjoyed Contreras' lack of control. Many of his misses (without going back to look) were tight and inside to right handers, and the strike three swinging to the completely astray A Ramirez was some entertainment.

That battle with Soriano was particularly good.

The main story is going to be Contreras in the 9th, but I'm glad you pointed out Utley's baserunning. Drawing the walk and scoring on Ibanez's single was classic Utley. So was tagging up and getting to 2nd on Howard's fly ball the AB before Rollins' HR.

Utley really is one of the best baserunners I've ever seen.

My vote for the T-shirt:

Front: "This game feels like a loss."
Beerleaguer.typepad.com

Rear: Philadelphia Phillies Record

2007 -- W89, L73
2008 -- W92, L70
2009 -- W93, L69

MLB World Champions, 2008

Contreras is not afraid to pitch inside.

Spot on write up. Only other thing that crosses my mind: it's good to get some guys a touch of rest, including the bullpen, before interleague gets underway.

I don't usually do this, but the headline should read "Tie-breaking."

***********

Nice win today. For comparison sake, our record through 40 games:

2010: 25-15 4.0 ahead
2009: 23-17 1.5 ahead
2008: 22-18 1.5 behind
2007: 20-20 5.0 behind
1993: 28-12 5.5 ahead
1983: 20-20 3.5 behind
1980: 22-18 1.0 behind

I don't think a single person on here predicted that Contreras was going to be the Phils' closer for a prolonged stretch in the 1st half.

If you had told me that before the season, I would have told you the bullpen was in shambles. Instead, it has gotten some strong early performances from Durbin & Contreras and more importantly not been overexposed this season.

Not surprised though the bullpen began to post better numbers since Blanton came back & Moyer/KK both were pretty damn solid too.

Harder to say who has been the most pleasant surprise in the early going but Moyer gets my vote over Contreras. Not only been giving the Phils the inning they need (and didn't get form his last year) but he has been very effective the past month to boot.

2 parades in one year? I can't wait.
Has Charlie or Jimmy commented on the new lineup and how long they think it will continue?
Also, when will the Phillies start running again?

From Zolecki:

Rollins is 4-for-7 with a double, two home runs and six RBIs when he puts a ball in play on a 3-0 count. (He also has walked 120 times in that situation.)

I agree, MG, although I would add that Moyer is All Washed UP(TM). And Kyle Kendrick will never be a big league pitcher.

We always say: "Chase is the man!!" Though that remains true, now we can also chant: "Contreras is the man!!!"

"1993: 28-12 5.5 ahead"

Conclusion? Steroids are worth 3 wins.

This promotional item

R-Phils Promotional Item

R-Phils August 2010 Promotional Schedule

is disturbing for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that clearly the Reading Phillies organization does not follow Beerleaguer. At all. Howard the Gnome? I think not!

G-Town, that is going to give me nightmares.

Old Phan: Somehow I don't think that thing was what Ryan had in mind when he signed the MLBPA Licensing Agreement.

Whoever did that is getting a Subway $5 foot long where the sun don't shine.

Yous all got a seriously lacking sense of the absurd.

Like the Chase Utley Cheesesteak tee, the Howard garden gnome is so wrong it's gloriously right. I'll be driving from Brooklyn to Reading just to get one. Promotion win.

I wish i could get a ryan howard gnome.

I'm sorry if this was mentioned earlier but why wasn't Romero in Bastardo's place? Is it rest for Romero or testing Bastardo?

I'd rather have Howard be the gnome on this team than the Gnome be the gnome.

In re: 1993
I remember that start. The key to the hot April and May was the starting pitching. Those guys were horses on a mission. The needle probably helped them too.

In the course of yesterday's game thread MG was wondering what record the Phillies had accrued in Businessperson's Specials since CBP opened in '04. Thanks to the crapfest that was last night's Flyers game, I had the time to go back through the relevant Media Guides & find an answer. Said answer is not pretty ...

The Phillies have played 43 designated Businessperson's Specials from 04/15/2004 through 05/20/2010. Their overall record in those games is 15-28, or a .349 winning percentage. The breakdown is as follows:

'10 2-1 *
'09 2-4
'08 4-3
'07 1-6
'06 1-6
'05 3-4
'04 2-4

* 3 more BPS are scheduled for the 2010 Season.

The prior ugliness is as compared to the Phillies overall record in Regular Season Day Games at CBP over the same period of 94-64 (158 Games), a .595 winning percentage.

Just for poos 'n' chuckles, I also found that the Phillies are 86-76 (162 Games, a .531 WP) in Regular Season Day Games on the Road in that period, which makes for a grand total of 180-140 (320 Games, a .563 WP) for All Regular Season Day Games from 04/15/2004 through 5/20/2010.

Overall, the Phillies have done remarkably poorly in Businessperson's Specials since CBP opened in '04. How poorly? They actually have a better winning percentage in Home Interleague Play Games (same period, 51 Games, 20-31, a .392 WP), All Interleague Play Games (same period, 99 Games, 39-60, a .394 WP) & even Road Interleage Play Games (same period, 48 Games, 19-29, a .396 WP).

So by all means, go to a Day Game -- hell, go to an Interleague Game -- but if you want a better chance of seeing the Fightins win avoid the BPS at all costs.

I can think of a couple of great BPS wins...the big comeback vs the Braves on WFC ring day last year, the epic comeback vs Billy Wagner to sweep the Mets in 2007. So you just might see a classic game if you don't avoid a BPS.

Was kinda hoping JW might have changed the spelling mistake in the headline by now. Don't expect perfection, but they aren't as jarring if they're not in bold at the top.

Don't look now, but Phils have second best record in MLB, behind only that team they beat in the WFS in 2008. Remember, we were very lucky to get to play them instead of some real team like the Red Sox.

Our 3 starters each have a better ERA than the Red Sox pitchers they're facing in the series, even KK.

Fixed the spelling error. Product of racing the clock to get it posted.

No worries, just stood out since it's in the tabs when you visit...

EFF: That Mets game in 2007 was a Sunday if my memory serves me correctly.

EF: what do you mean? The Phils beat the 2012 Red Sox!

Ya'll forget the 2001 Phillies, who were 25-17 on May 20 (ahead 5 games). Went 13-2 btwn May17 and June1. And were 8 games ahead on June1. Then the bottom slowly fell out...some stats from http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/2001-schedule-scores.shtml. But I do remember them being ahead by a lot in the middle of summer, and knowing it wouldnt last :(

Nope, the great Wagner vs Burrell game was a thursday afternoon. The sweep in New York a few weeks later was on a sunday.
That was maybe the greatest baseball game I have ever seen. Werth running all over LoDuca and the Rat was great. The constant shots of Burrell on deck at the end of the game. Gooch's pop up slide at the plate and the celebration that followed. Amazing game.

Speaking of the Mets, they actually took Maine out of the game yesterday 5 pitches into a start! You can't make this stuff up. Their 3-4-5 starters are all out of the rotation now.

I'm not sure why, but I trust Contreras to get the job done moreso than I would Lidge or Madson.

I think the reason some people would trust Contreras more than Lidge or Madson is because they have yet to see him fail.

Sort of a baseball-tinged inversion of the "better the devil you know" idiom.

@Mike Smith--it looks like our starting rotation in the home stretch of that season was Omar Daal, Brandon Duckworth, Dave Coggin, Robert Person, and Randy Wolf. Feels a little different this year, doesn't it?

Yesterday was Werth's birthday.
Which means either:

A) Chollie left him rest because of the BIG DAY.

B) Everything's gonna be downhill from now on./He's washed up. (He hasn 't had a single hit since he turned 31!)

C) That beard's gonna look especially funky today after last night's Werthday Party.


D) He gets to catch today.

Noah - I like that explanation, but I also like Contrares' 20-2 K-BB ratio and his sub-1 WHIP.

Howard through 40 games

06: .297/.352/.566 -- 13 BB / 40 SO - 3 2B, 0 3B, 12 HR
07: .231/.387/.500 -- 36 BB / 48 SO - 6 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR*
08: .181/.286/.368 -- 22 BB / 56 SO - 4 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR
09: .258/.339/.528 -- 18 BB / 50 SO - 11 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR
10: .304/.350/.482 -- 11 BB / 40 SO - 7 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR

Thought it was interesting how few BB Howard had through 40 games in 2006. He had just as many IBB thru 40 as this year as well (3).

It's actually something that he's been able to maintain a higher BA than 06 despite 6 fewer HR. His HR/FB so far is %17.5 so far this year compared to 34.9% in 06. His LD rate is up a tad and we've seen plenty of hits through the shift early on.

yeah you don't have numbers like that and think someone is going to fail. the only thing I would have thought is that can he handle it mentally and I really think that he can

* for 07 is to mark that he had a DL stint. He was out from May 10th to the 24th so his 40th game didn't come til June 5th. The 07 start was strange for this reason but also because he got 16 IBB to start the year. .231/.387 - he was just getting pitched around. Makes those XBH more impressive.

actually 34.9% was his HR/FB in 05 - His rate in 06 was 39.5%

I think Contreras will certainly be a positive contributor for the Phillies this season. His stuff passes the eye test and any time he comes in after a Moyer start he must be a nightmare to pick-up/hit.

However, his career K/BB tends to sit closer to 2.00 (slightly worse than Madson, nearly a full K/BB worse than Lidge) than to 10 (we saw some of this yesterday when he was super wild and extremely lucky to strike out Aramis Ramirez with a slider that never looked like a strike). Also, his WHIP almost has to go up.

I'm not saying he won't be effective in a late inning high leverage role long-term. Just that he will fail at some point and it shouldn't mean people should become uncomfortable with him closing or make sweeping judgments about his mental state (I'm predicting he'll never get a "too laissez-faire" accusation from these fans but perhaps a "squeezing it, gets too nervous" accusation will be in order), just that everyone fails sometimes in baseball.

Contreres has the look least like DITHL - He looks like the deer would be venison and the truck with the headlights would be in a chop shop before the ump calls the first pitch.

Acc. to USA Today, "among contenders", Phils have the toughest interleague opposition by winning percentage. Easiest? Wash. Nats, who don't play a divisional foe for another 5+ weeks.

Noah, of course he will. The question is how much his peripherals and success will change, and I'm not sure how on point his career numbers are -- he's never been a relief pitcher before. We'll have to wait and see.

I was at the R-Phils-Senators game yesterday (love the 10:20 a.m. start time) and had a few observations and questions:

1. Why wasn't Gillies playing?

2. Why wasn't Tuffy Goosewurst playing?

3. Dom Brown both looks better and plays better than anyone else on the R-Phils.

4. Galvis had a chance to make a great play on a slow roller, but didn't make the pickup.

5. Drew Naylor got off to a shaky start, partly because of poor control and partly because of poor defense by something named Mike Spidale in LF.

6. For a slap hitter, Quentin Berry swings at an awful lot of pitches out of the strike zone. I'm thinking his upside may be Chris Roberson.

7. R-Phils tied game 2-2 in 8th, but Escalona immediately coughed up 3 hits to weak-hitting Senators and lost 3-2.

Note to self: Don't got to a Reading Phils game.

Clout: How did Brown look defensively in the OF?

Clout- Gillies is on the DL with a hamstring injury, you are probably right on Q. Berry, and Brown is awesome to watch in person.

Here's the BL post from 2007 confirming the BPS status of the finale of the 4 game sweep vs the Mets. It was a glorious Thursday afternoon.

I'm thinking [Quentin Berry's] upside may be Chris Roberson.

If that's true, I think it's time for Berry to get his real estate license.

.

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