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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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I'll be back in a week when hitting season resumes

Wow that was quick

Salisbury (via Twitter): "Charlie Manuel had team meeting after third shutout in four games. "Just a reminder to show the resiliency we're known for," said Vic."

Sounds stirring. Sorry I missed it.

JW swoops in and saves us all from further assault by logicians and grammarians. But davthom is an innocent casualty.

According to Wikipedia, there is a prominent theory that the word "irregardless" originated because people confused the words "regardless" and "irrespective" (which basically mean the same thing) into a single word. But if a made-up word gets used enough, I guess it eventually becomes a word.

Irregardless is not a word. Irregardless, people still use it.

Not that the presence of Jimmy Rollins would have made a whole lot of difference in the outcome in these last four games, but it strikes me as more than coincidence that the team fell into a major rut the instant he went back on the DL.

When these Phillies go bad, they look old and stale. They could really use a show of speed like the Mets have put on in this series. You have to be impressed by the way that team has adapted to its home park.

Speaking of the Mets' uncontested running game: I'm starting to think the Phils may have been better off with Paul Hoover around. Schneider doesn't really give you much, does he?

Anyway, of course the Phillies will rebound. The best thing we as fans can hope for is that they get pushed harder by the competition. They tend to coast and fall into lifelessness as soon as their lead gets a little padded.

BAP: Does ginormous qualify?

I'm confident Cole will shut the Muts down tomorrow and this streak will end.

OK, then -- here it is again from the dead thread.

Another stinker behind the plate by Schneider. Ohfer-three, a .143 BA after the game, and four stolen bases given up. You can put a fork in this guy -- he's done.

And considering the potentially serious problem with Ruiz's throwing shoulder, the Phillies were lucky to get Paul Hoover through waivers this afternoon so that they could outright him -- with all the current catching injuries around the league, particularly in Washington and Milwaukee.

In his two weeks up from LV, Hoover played circles around Schneider's performance thus far -- hitting, throwing and working with the pitchers -- his only blemish being that freak play on Sunday where "Wickets the glove man" Dobbs -- speaking of guys who are done -- failed to move to his left to take Hoover's throw in the run-down between home and third.

Its good to be back.

b_a_p: Rather than continuing to fight the modern lexicon we should instead focus on orientating ourselves to it.

Zolecki (via Twitter): "Victorino on Manuel's meeting: 'Play with some intensity. That was it. Nothing more than that ... No reaming. No yelling at anybody.'"

Totally agree about Sam Perlozzo. I know Captain Triple Play has a cannon in right field but you've got to send him to at least try to end this. The way they've swung the bats, holding Vic there was not smart.

They'll come around. I remember roughly this time last year they looked like death against the Orioles and Blue Jays and they came around.

Good old Colbert needs to be the stopper tomorrow.

I heard Cholly kicked Ryan Madson at the meeting.

This isn't the fascist French language. In English you can make up your own words. That's why dictionaries add about a dozen words a year.

Injuries are starting to take a psychological toll. They made it through Jimmy's first DL stint just fine but I think this second one has actually left the rest of the Phils regulars a bit disheartened. Add to that Ruiz's injuries, Madson's, Lidge's, Happ's, and I think its starting to get to these guys. That, and the fact that its left the reserves exposed, explains the lackadasical play.

Not an excuse though, they need to be better than that.

I'm all for innovation, but is "irregardless" progress? I mean, at least as it's casually used?

In any case, can't wait for the game tomorrow.

jdbird, that's only because the American education system can't teach kids to actually learn the English language. If you don't know the right word, make one up!

On a much more important note, Werth shaved his beard according to Zolecki.

Also, I didn't read the game thread so maybe this was already talked about, but the SNY broadcasters were speculating that Chase is injured. He did look awful on some very hittable pitches from Takahashi. If thats the case, season really does equal over.

Jayson shaving his beard - a reverse Samson move?

I tried to pull off the Reverse Samson once. Probably should have warned my girlfriend first. I ended up w/ a broken nose & an ex-girlfriend.

GTown, you aren't supposed to shave with a sledgehammer.

Old Phan: You mean that's also a shaving term? Huh. I learn something new everyday ... ;-)

Dave - Reverse Samson? I don't even want to know.

Tomorrow should be an interesting test. They were in a similar situation at the end of April. Passed with flying colors by taking the last 2 of 3 from the Mets including the Sunday night game vs. Santana. Frankly I thought they were playing even worse baseball at the time.

Personally, I think they get swept tomorrow but we'll see. Great thing is that they play in the NL East where every team since '07 season has had several flaws and this season is no different. There is no other team in this division that is going to win 95 games and run away from the Phils.

Wait, so davthom has come back and transferred his... allegiances, I'll say, to Hoover? As clout would say, interesting.

Didn't get mentioned but Blanton is getting lite up after from the 6th inning & on so far:

7 IP, 15 ER, 18 H with a 19.29 ERA and a 2.86 WHIP.

Innings eater maybe but that I bet they are giving Cholly & Dubee plenty of indigestion.

On the bright side, Rod was hit on the wrist by a ball that bounced in front of the plate. Says it is very sore, doubtful for tomorrow.

Bench with another 0-2 in PH with Dobbs' continued utter futility as a PH (1-19 this season now). They are hitting now .125 (8-64) on the season with 3 XBH.

It is hard enough to come back when your offense isn't hitting. Doubly hard when you are having the worst bench production in MLB.

That's why I thought replacing Ibanez, Ruiz, and Castro in the order today to shake things up was kinda weird. I didn't think those guys were the main problem with the offense. Sure, they weren't doing great, but they're not the guys on the team who should be generating the bulk of the offense in the first place. For the past few games, Victorino, Howard, Utley and Werth have looked lost with the bats for the majority of the time. When they have hit, it's been for a bloop single or two. I'm hoping it's just a run of massive bad luck instead of something worse. But...I don't know that I'm buying that. I don't have a good eye for baseball, I'll admit, but it doesn't seem like these guys are making great contact and just getting robbed...they just look like they're flailing up there, by and large. Oh, and on a separate but related point...I know it's a good idea to run up the pitch count...but taking the opposing pitcher's first pitch the majority of the time to the point where the opposing pitcher throws a strike down the middle and it goes by untouched, time after time? Time to mix it up a little, guys.

"What has happened to these guys all of a sudden?" JW

Nothing has happened to them. But some things have happened to their opponents. These opponents have been studying the Phillies and have exploited their tendencies and weaknesses. Five guys don't go into a hitting slump simultaneously. Bad hitting is not contagious or like women cycling together because of close proximity. Their opponents seem to know how to pitch to the Phillies, and the opposing batters seem to have identified the situations where Phiilie pitchers go to a particular pitch and are waiting on the ball.

I posted earlier that the Phillies have been scouted real well, but that is only half the story. The opposition has to execute too. The Mets have, as did the BoSox.

For the past two games the Mets broke down the Phillies with the skill of a surgeon.

The Phillies are going to have to kick it up a notch and do what their opponents have done recently, adapt; at the plate and on the rubber.

The AB where the SNY broadcasters were speculating that Chase is injured. Chase singled. On the replay they said something like, "look at that swing, its like he golfed it to right, no follow through". If they knew anything about Utley they would know he smacks home runs with that swing. They also speculated injury when he threw arkwardly to Howard. The one that bounced and he was charged with an error. Make what you want of that. Off balance. Rushing to make the out. Sometimes things like that just happen. Maybe they know something we don't but all players have niggling injuries. If there is something it is not serious.

Today the Phillies played like they knew they were slumping. Let it go boys. Play with hustle and enthusiasm and it will come. Walk up to the plate like your on a hot streak.

Werth mighta decided that big beard plus uncomfortably steamy weather was a bad combo.

Looks like the Rays aren't good enough to be in the AL East either.

fight of the decade?
(tell me it ain't true, Bob Boone)
Coste versus Hoover!

Full Vic quote (too long for twitter):
Chollie tole us, "You freakin' girls need to learn how to "play with some intensity." If y'all wanted to show yer a buncha freakin' pansies in this league, well, "that was it." And if you don't wanna be no more than third place losers, well play like this and you'll be "nothing more than that" Now c'mon over here where I got my two by four and take off yer battin helmets so we don't need to do "No reaming. No yelling at anybody."

000 000 000
000 000 003
000 000 000
000 000 000

what the hell is that?

Tonight's scoring line:

000 000 001
000 000 000

Hamels with the shutout. Utley homers off Feliciano to win it.

Back to reality - at least with Hamels on the mound they have a chance of holding some runners. Personally, I'd have Howard grab on to their belts as they try to take a lead.

"I heard Cholly kicked Ryan Madson at the meeting."

Hard enough to break his toe?

They need to bring up the Lakewood Blue Claws, both the team and the coaching staff.

At least we would see some enthusiasm and hustle.

Fangraphs has the Phils' ED24 (Ennui-diminished runs above average by the 24 base/out states) at a high for any four-game stretch this season.

No Andy -- its "Hoover vs. Schneider" -- but with the Phils ill-advised signing of Schneider -- obviously with much guaranteed money this season at least -- they're trying to limp along with a starting catcher who is trying to "play throough" a potentially-serious throwing shoulder injury -- backed up by a guy who is finished.

As for Coste -- contrary to an erroneous report in the Philly Daily News to the effect that Coste had been with Nationals' AAA Syracuse -- Coste has been on the Nationals' DL all year -- and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery last week.

After 45 games....

2010: 26-19
2009: 25-20
2008: 24-21
2007: 22-23

The best part of the Schneider deal is that 2nd year...same with Baez and Gload.

WTF was Rube thinking giving marginal bench/bullpen guys 2nd years? Nobody does that, why did he feel the need to do it?

optimuspun: Excellent analysis!

Sort of lost in the current funk is how poor the defense has been in recent weeks. Gotta hope this is just a speed bump and not part of a larger trend.

Ruben's not happy; from Paul Hagen:

After he observed that the Phillies "stink when it comes to hitting," he was asked if he anticipated a turnaround. He said he hoped so. "They're paid not to stink," he zinged.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20100527_Paul_Hagen__Slumping_Phillies_walking_a_thin_line.html#ixzz0p8KVbe1F
Play fantasy sports and win cash prizes instantly. Philly.com's Instant Fantasy Sports Games

I was thinking that 1 through 8 in any lineup Charlie ran out there were squeezing the bat handle to dust to try to hit 5-run homers to compensate for pitching injuries and inconsistencies. However, even with the pitching injuries the Phils are still 5th in team ERA.

Jim Fergosi despised the word “slump” and always referred to an underachieving hitter as caught up in a “mix-up”. The mix-up(s) match Jimmy Rollins’ absence. Without Rollins’ intensity, no one has stepped up. Is this a team Achilles heel? Is Jimmy this team's “Dutch”? 2010 injury notwithstanding, does Jimmy deserve a big contract to hang around for leadership alone?

bruce ruffin is a jroll fan? Most people who post with his type of view are usually avid "he sucks because he always swings at the first pitch" posters.

Since the Stanley Cup matchups finalized:

Phils: 0 runs
Flyers: 0 goals

Can the Phils strike first by Saturday?

Let me check my calendar. Yup, still May.

Baseball is not for those subject to wild emotional swings, with the bat or their hearts.

thephaithful -- I'm a huge Rollins fan. How ironic would it be that one of the team's smallest players had a deciding influence on team outlook/chemistry?

I remember reading the “sports page” and hearing when Moses Malone referred to "...winnin' time". With Jimmy out, what Phillie is doing that now??

I sure hope Ruben has some facts to back up his quote.

RodeoJones -- The thought of the Muts sneakin' into the playoffs on the strength of these early season wins over the lifeless Phils is way too scary. Time to get a dog?

For my money, J-Roll is one of, if not THE, major reason the Phils have been successful. What he does on the field and in the clubhouse is immeasurable. I think he changed the culture and attitude of this team when he started to take a more active leadership role. And, by the way, he is a hell of a SS.

Not having him in the lineup kills this team. Even if he is slumping, he always brings something to the table.

(However, you know what else kills this team? Mediocre pitching, terrible defense and a slumping offense. When they happen at the same time, you basically get shut-out and manhandled for 4 games in a row)

This streak reminds me of the 08 streak that started after the 20 run game against the Cards. They were unwatchable for what may have been 8-10 games or so, then snapped out of it.


Re: Schnieder. I didn't expect too much from him, but his signing looks like a complete bust.

"These opponents have been studying the Phillies and have exploited their tendencies and weaknesses."

Now, now. We can't allow reality to intrude. Nothing wrong here that a little team meeting, or some "leadership" from Jimmy, can't fix.

Has anyone noticed that the Phillies went on a skid after the bullpen coach was caught stealing signs from the opposing teams. Now that your cheating team can't steal signs, your offense isn't that good after all. I understand stealing signs is part of the game, but there is the right way do do it. Using binoculars from the bullpen?????. If you are wondering why your team sucks lately, Don't they just weren't that good to begin with. For years this practice has been going on with this team. Now that you can no longer steal sins, because all of MLB is on to you, let's see how good you really are.

Curt: My post was more of a generalization about Jimmy's role on the team from about '05-present. I'm not saying that Jimmy's leadership (I won't put it in quotes because he is the leader of this team) will magically fix the current slide, nor will a meeting.

But something has to trigger a change in the stale play of late. A team leader has to step up, or a meeting has to be held. That's the purpose. Not that a meeting will magically turn it around. Only the players can do that by making adjustments. You know what...nevermind.

I can't believe I'm explaining the role leaders and meetings have on a baseball team.

One more thing -- early on, Ruiz was killing it. He gave "turning the lineup over" real meaning. Now, I hear he has a bad shoulder as well as the knee (healed?). How bad is his shoulder? Here's hoping he gets to full strength. Soon.

Here is what a franchise 1B should be doing to improve...(per Buster Olney)

"• In Justin Morneau's first year in the majors, he hit .154 in 26 at-bats against left-handed pitches, and through his first years in the majors, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire often sat him against lefties. But as time has gone on, Morneau's proficiency against lefties has gotten better and better and better, fueling his development as a hitter.

Turning Left
Just Morneau has gotten better against leftties over the years.

Year ABs BA OPS
2003 26 .154 .377
2004 83 .240 .716
2005 154 .201 .586
2006 213 .315 .904
2007 202 .228 .693
2008 236 .284 .778
2009 206 .277 .836
2010 60 .383 1.096
"When you're in the minor leagues, you really don't pay attention who is left-handed and right-handed," said Morneau. "Then you get up here, and you realize is all about the matchups; it gets magnified."

Morneau feels like he's just gotten more comfortable against lefties, and believes it helps that he bats behind Joe Mauer, another left-handed hitter. Before every game, Morneau knows he'll probably get one or two at-bats against a left-handed reliever, because opposing managers will often call on a lefty to face Mauer then Morneau, and so as part of Morneau's pre-game preparation, he watches video of those specialists, as well as the starting pitcher. And because he follows Mauer, he'll go to school on Mauer's at-bats, seeing how the lefty is working to his teammate.

Because of the success of Mauer and Morneau, they get repeated looks at those lefty relievers -- and get more accustomed to each of them. "It's just one of those things -- you get to know them, and knowing the situation, you know what guys will be trying to do," said Morneau."

Today seems like a good day to just not read Beerleaguer comments. This is all nonsense, folks.

Billingsly - I'll tell you what - I'll trade you my leaders and meetings for your pitchers who hold runners at first and your catchers who can throw guys out.

ChrisVT: Morneau's .900 OPS in 2006 kind of throws a wrnech into that post, but I get what you are saying. For comparison:

Howard's Year | AB | AVG | OPS vs LHP

2006: 197 .279 .923
2007: 209 .225 .826
2008: 237 .224 .746
2009: 222 .207 .653
2010: 75 .240 .696

curt: ignoring jroll's impact on this team over the past decade is pretty short-sighted just because fangraphs doesnt have a precise number placed on it.

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