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Saturday, August 28, 2010

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Finally. Now I don't have to avoid MLB highlights for a 5th straight day.

At least the Braves and their superior pitching staff is losing.

I think the karma changed for us when Torrealba flipped out on the ump. At that point the baseball gods decided to swing it the Phillies way.

Who pitched for Atlanta tonight? Hudson? I hope they have to face Johnson this weekend and he can regain his form for a game.

Scott Barry would have had him arrested for acting like that!

repost: Back to the umps... that is the difference between umps who know the situation and the importance of the games...

There's no way Torrealba, Headley or whoever else was whining should have been still in the game. BTW, I seem to remember Torrealba whining in the playoffs too am I right?

But, they knew the importance (playoff race) and the tight game, and weren't so quick to toss (even if the 3rd base ump jawed a bit). Its not an A+ effort. But Kudos for not unnecessarily tossing anyone and letting them play...

But... I hate this Padres team already... I look forward to hating them in the playoffs..

I read MG's earlier comment on the Braves' better pitching staff and rotation as "better than previous Braves pitching staffs and rotations," not the Phillies ... But I can let MG speak to that.

I think it was Hanson tonight for ATL.

Their 1,234 fans must be getting frustrated.

No way Lidge should have been in there. You think Halladay comes out of that game? Anyway, a win. Nice work, Rollins, Polanco, Durbin, Madson. Roy, you were great. You deserved the W.

That is because it was a veteran umpire crew, but they were horrible........just didnt run someone for being frustrated!

jim, they're scheduled to face Nolasco and then Johnson. Hanson pitched tonight.

"You think Halladay comes out of that game?"

Maybe Manuel thinks Oswalt is soft?

It's a shame Cameron Maybin injured himself tonight. He was a strong contender for Phillies Team MVP.

Thanks Hugh and Sophist........ Hugh, they had a season high tonight in attendence they broke the 3,000 mark.

Werth's 8th inning walk, which led to the tying run: +11.7% WPA

Werth's 10th inning K: -6.5% WPA

Werth's 12th inning GIDP: -4.9% WPA

Net WPA for his 3 "clutch" plate appearances: +0.3% WPA

Which 2 of these 3 plate appearances will be mentioned most on Beerleaguer? Which one was most important?

THat play by Werth on the track was the play of the game until Rollins did his sleight of hand thing.

I don't have a huge problem with UC taking Oswalt out of the game, he isn't a guy like Doc that goes the distance. Once again it's the mental errors, Lidge didnt pitch poorly he made a mental error if that doesnt happen he did the job, I thought whoever made the call him or chooch to throw that high fastball was insane, he has as nasty of a slider as anyone in the sport in a 0-2 spot with 2 outs in the 9th you have to throw it there........Regardless it was a huge win and now lets build on this.

Got bored and looked up Werth's RISP performance. A staggering 69 OPS+.

With runners on 1st and 3rd, Werth's OPS+ is a hilarious -21. Only 23 PA, but come on. Thrown into sharp relief by his bases empty OPS+ of 166, or runner on first of 207.

Did Werth also not get robbed of a HR tonight? I missed a few innings

Since returning

Utley: 9-33, 10 BB (including HBP, etc.), .452 OBP, 5K*
Howard: 4-29, 1 BB, .167 OBP, 16 K

Utley's not shown any power, but I'm not sure he's up there trying to.

*taking out first game back

Werth hit a liner deep that got caught against the short wall in left.

jim, he did.

Thanks I thought I heard Wheels babbling about that at one point.

It has to be one of the toughest things to explain in the history of baseball, how a guy can be a 300 hitter, but be the worst hitter in baseball with RISP

Something that has been forgetten about due to everything that happened in the late inning is how insane Oswalts ball to strike ratio was tonight....

"I don't think anyone can sit there and say they know what I'm thinking."

Jayson Werth

Another outstanding performance by Roy Oswalt. Such a great addition to the team.

Phils have the best record in MLB in 1-run games (.600).

He's thinking he wants another bong rip!

Jayson Werth's brain: Gotta hit more HRs! Contract negotiations coming up with the Yankees! HR HR HR.

HR.

First, the negatives:

After the Yorvit homerun, Roy Oswalt was ABSOLUTELY dealing. His 9th inning was probably his sharpest inning as a Phillies, and, inexplicably Manuel decides that taking the ball out of his dealing ace's hand and putting into his less than stellar closer's hand is the best move. This move truly, truly, truly f@#king baffles my mind. What Manuel says to Oswalt there is that he doesn't trust him to protect, at worse, a 1 run lead. That is bad managing, I'm sorry. Put the game in your ace's hand, and let him do his job.

Ryan Howard is a black hole in this lineup. Yes, he had a nice walk and a nice opposite field single. But he struck looking on three different at bats at pitches that weren't even borderline. They were three definite strikes, and, the thing is, you're supposed to defend against borderline strikes. You'd better swing at definite strikes. Howard did not do that. He better get his stuff together, along with Werth hitting with RISP, or this team will coninue to score 3 or less runs a game.

Brad Lidge: 0-2 on Ludwick and you throw high and inside with your fastball, the pitch you have the least control over? Seriously? A based loaded balk? Seriously?

Now, the good:

Jimmy Rollins had a great night. His first two hits were very promising as he didn't try to do too much with either, but just went with them and put them in the outfield, which, more often that not, will lead to hits. He had a nice walk and the stroke on the double was beautiful. As for the slide at home plate for the winning run...thing of beauty.

Ryan Madson is lights out these days. Chad Durbin got some help on the corners from the umpire, who was very fair about giving that corner to both teams, and he worked in some nice breaking stuff. All in all, good stuff from those two relievers.

Roy Oswalt. Right now, he is the best pitcher in the rotation. His August ERA is 1.53 and he's gone 6.1, 7, 7 and 8. He could have easily gone all night tonight, and most definitley should have. He seems to get stronger, sharper and just plain better as the game goes on. He made one mistake tonight, shook it off, and just went to work. He is a pleasure to watch, and rivals the joy I get from watching Halladay work. He deserved a win tonight, and he deserved to finish it out himself, and Manuel needs to realize when it's a good time to keep the starter in and when it's not. Tonight was most definitely a great time to leave Oswalt in.

Howard 2nd fastest to 1000 K,843 games. Rob Deer only took 828.

Look, it wasn't Lidge's fault AND it wasn't Charlie's fault.

It was MY fault for failing to close out the italics when Lidge came in to pitch. (Of course, had Lidge picked up the save I would have deserved complete credit, also).

No excuse. I admit it, I'm a moron. Fortunately, Madson, Durbin, and J-Roll picked me up.

102 pitches. Dominant performance. And he comes out. Dumb. I'm a Charlie guy and a Lidge apologist. But that was just plain dumb. Goodnight.

I think the move to take Oswalt out is one of those move is your damned if you do damned if you don't, if he blows some of the same people on here that are killing UC for taking him out would be killing him if he let him in and Oswalt blew it.....Lidge has been great lately, he made two mental mistakes with the balk and the 0-2 pitch to Ludwick, not sure if that was him or chooch, but that was stupid.

Howard will hit, but your right he is killing them right now.

In all fairness, though, I am nursing a left pinkie strain and it does affect my grater than sign keystroke. But no excuses.

Way to step up, phlipper, although Jim Bunning's secretary is laughing at your pinky strain.

Jim, reliever's come in to relieve the starter. Oswalt had shown with his DOMINATING 8th inning that he needed no such relieving. Ace's are supposed to finish what they start, and he was in great position to finish that game. He wasn't gassed and he wasn't losing his control. He was dealing.

The odds of PH'ing in the 9th and pushing an extra run across + the odds of Lidge holding a 2 run lead are less than the odds of Roy Oswalt simply holding the 1 run lead in the 9th, with the way he was pitching.

I doubt anyone here, without being completely disingenuous and dishonest, could have seriously complained about Manuel leaving Oswalt in for the 9th. He was that good in the 8th, and had been for several innings before that. If they weren't on board with Oswalt pitching the 9th, they weren't watching the actual game.

Oswalt's season ERA is down to 3.12, by the way. Bordering on dropping his ERA down into the 2s.

I generally advocate letting pitchers pitch, and I would have been fine if UC let Vice Roy stay in the game. However, I'm assuming that he was trying to score some extra runs in the 9th. If Brad had done his job, no one would have cared one way or the other. It was not a Bradtastic outing, but the end result was good.

I respectfully disagree, I would have been fine either way...Oswalt isnt a guy that throws many complete games......Lidge has been great lately, it wasnt that he was hit hard and made two stupid mistakes, I am fine with taking him out after the 8th inning, despite the fact that he probably pitched his best game as a Phillie tonight...Charlie has probably stuck with guys to long in the past, I think he thought with Oswalt at 102, and the fact that he trusts Lidge, was why he made the move, I think he thought Lidge would get the job done and he could save a few pitches on Oswalts arm which there going to need later.

Regardless it was a huge win, and they are going to need both of these guys to get into the playoffs

His ERA is in the 2's with the Phillies.

Fatalotti, people here will dig deep to find something to complain about where UC is concerned.

Oswalt has 1 CG this year a 1 hit shutout against Pittsburg, other than that he only went deeper than 7 3 times this year not counting tonight.

complaing about Charlie all the time is like blaming the QB and coach in football everytime something goes wrong, there is just so much more that goes into the game.

OP and Jim, I usually agree with both of you. You need your closer to close games, and you shouldn't just always push your starter to avoid having to use your closer. But...Oswalt showed no signs that he was even near the end of his rope. The fact that he sat so long during the top of the 8th, and then came out and just sat the Padres down, with I believe two Ks, showed me that he was nowhere near done pitching. I think pitch counts can be a bit overblown. If Oswalt had struggled a little in the 8th, let a guy or two on and worked out of some trouble, then no doubt, take him out.

But this seemed to me to be a situation where you let Oswalt finish his game. He showed no signs that he was at the end of his rope. If your starter still has bullets in the gun, and it's a close game, you let your starter finish it. That's just my opinion. Even if Lidge did save it, I'd be happy (and believe me, all in all, I'm happy they won, and I do see more positives than negatives), but I'd still disagree with the move.

Oh, and Oswalt did complete a game just over a month ago on 117 pitches, so he has the ability still. It was a shutout.

Fun night in the ballpark, can't wait until tomorrows game. Good Philly vibes here. Chooch w/ the big outs early in the game. Jdub sorched that that ball to left, but a great catch. Gaslamp rocks!!

Jim, it's hard for Oswalt to go deep into games when he's with the Astros, and is constantly down in almost every game. I just counted on B-R.com, and in his Houston games, he left the game down or tied 13 times, and ahead only 6 times. It's hard to get complete games when you're always down in the game because you're team's not scoring.

Also, I never complain about Manuel, but this move tonight just blew my mind, especially considering his usual propensity to leave starters in, and the unlikelihood that the Phillies were going to score in that 9th inning, PH or no PH.

@Fatlotti

I get what your saying, either way I think it wasn't a bad move.....and I also think Charlie wanted to get Lidge into a save situation and save a few pitches despite the fact that he was fine going into the 9th and probably would have finished it without a problem.

We all do agree that Chooch/Lidge not calling the slider to Ludwick was pure stupidity, correct?

@Fatlotti

Good point, I wasnt't thinking about the pinch hit scenario for him with the Stros.

And also I agree with you alot as well, and I wasn't saying you kill charlie it's just how alot of people who don't know what there talking about always blame the manager when something doesn't work out, like they do the QB and Coach in football it gets old after a while......I'm not clumping you into that group, I just had to say it!

Jim, despite my disagreeing with the call, Brad Lidge still has to convert that save. It's not Manuel's fault that Lidge hit Ludwick and balked in a run. Lidge still needs to get 3 outs before giving up a run.

Again, I just think Manuel made a bad judgement call, but that doesn't mean it's his fault that Lidge blew a save. He put Lidge in a situation to succeed, and Lidge didn't. I just wish Manuel had stuck with Osawlt. I think Oswalt would have gotten the win, and I think it would have been great for him to get this done with the new club. He would have definitely solidified himself as a stopper on this squad (not that he hasn't already).

Anyway, just my opinion. Great win for the Phils, and great show of resiliency to get it done after the blown save.

0-2 to Ludwick, you throw the slider. Everybody on the planet knows it's coming, but if Lidge throws it well (like he's been doing for the past month), it doesn't matter. K. Inside fastball was overthinking things.

And put me in the camp of Cholly's decision being a questionable but defensible one. I'm cool with it either way.

Fatalotti,

Great points......and as I don't have huge problem with the move, I do agree with your points about Oswalt......It's a nice luxury to have 2 stoppers on this team....and a real solid number two in Hamels.

It would have been real easy to lay down after the bottom of the 9th with what has happened in the past week, it was a great win against a great pitcher and a great bullpen.

I'm just more mad about the 0-2 pitch to Ludwick that should have been a slider in the dirt, as soon as I saw Chooch standing up I was yelling, I just didn't understand that call.

I'm glad to hear that everyone agrees with me on the 0-2 pitch to Ludwick......I think I was called a moron on here for saying that this game is on chooch if we don't win it earlier tonight!

I do think there was something to Charlie's move that Lidge hasn't had a save oppurtunity since last Friday, right or wrong I think that was going into his thinking.

Just for the record I am not worried about Lidge after tonight...

I'm not worried about Lidge, either. I AM a little worried about Franzke. He's been blowing calls, confusing innings, getting names wrong....get your head in the game, Scott! Funny as ever, though.

Really? that's great......what kinds of things was he saying? I love Scott.....maybe the time difference and flying across country yesterday has him delirious.

The latest example was a pretty big one: "And Lidge balks in the winning run...the tying run."

He also called Carlos Lee "Cliff Lee" the other day, the same day he was fumbling innings like Tony Romo fumbles snaps. New baby + extra innings + x-country flights = Franzke channeling Werth in the booth. Regardless he had some great calls tonight (Werth's catch at the wall and the 12th inning highlights), plus the usual top-notch comedic banter with LA. Hoping he gets some good distraction-free hotel sleep tonight!

Nice, I heard his call of the game winner on WIP..........it was classic Franzke, him and LA are always great.

I love the channeling Werth in the booth line, classic stuff.

Your right this road trip will probably help him out alot.

Lets get another one today...The Phils own Garland and hopefully Joe can build off of his last start.

30 years ago today, the 1980 Phillies were in San Diego, having just picked up a half game in the standings, moving to just 2 games back.

Differences: no Wild Card, but they were in third place.

Also, Ryan Madson was born.

A nice piece here in SI about the difference managers make (or don't). Our own Charlie Manuel is mentioned alongside Earl Weaver, each contrasted with micro/over-managers, and held, in that respect, to represent the ideal tactician.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/cliff_corcoran/08/26/managers.impact/index.html

EastFallowfield - I remember as a kid growing up, the 12-team NL schedule and the twice a year, three-city west coast road trips.

After reading your post, I looked on Baseball Reference and noticed the three-day attendance of that series with the Padres was 31,766. Tonight's attendance was 34,233.

A few thoughts, questions: I wonder if Charlie makes the same decision re: removing Oswalt if this is game three of a playoff series. I'm inclined to say that he doesn't, even prior to last night's blown save. I'm even more convinced that he wouldn't, after last night's save.

Another thought: C____ L__ has struggled mightily this past month. I have always thought that the Phillies saw his high IP total (274 IP, including playoffs last year--a career high), and sold high. The decision had looked misguided until August, and of course his WAR prior to August would have been such an improvement over Joe Blanton's that the Phils would likely be in first place, now, had he never been traded away. Tyson Gillies's problems with the law have only solidified in people's minds that the trade was a blunder.

Nevertheless, in his 8 games since the ASG, Joe Blanton has posted an ERA of 3.63 (.340 BAbip), pitching like (what would be) a respectable third starter, and a very good fourth man in the rotation. The interesting thing is that, in his 9 games since the ASG, C____ L__ has posted an ERA of 4.30 (.316 BAbip). He'd be no better than the fifth starter on the best rotation in baseball, these days.

(Full disclosure: I would be surprised if C____ L__ does not rebound in September, and I would have him start over Joe Blanton any day of the week. Whether I would start him over Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, or Roy Oswalt in a playoff series, were the playoffs to start today, I'm not sure.)

Anyone who says they aren't worried about Brad Lidge, I have to wonder about their stability and mental state.

JW- I thought the Braves haves better overall starting rotation and pitching staff. It isn't huge but still think they finish the the last 5 weeks with a better team ERA.

As for Cholly, that was a pretty questionable pitcjong decision but that is par for the course.

Despite their impressive record, offensive upgrades, and record on the road, this Padres' team is one I would much rather see the Phils matchup with in the playoffs than the Giants.

I'm far more concerned about Charlie, and his belief that "closer" is an actual position on the field, and that he has only one man who can play that position.

His mismanagement of the bullpen has been the difference in 2010. It's cost this team several more than the two games they're currently back of Atlanta.

Jim - The coach on football has a much, much bigger impact than a baseball mgr in several aspects especially on game clock mgt.

As for Cholly, people don't always complain about Cholly to the contrary. In fact, he generally gets alot of credit on here and rightily so. People just question his tactical decisions at times and it was very valid last night.

"It's a bizarre thing," Lidge said. "The ball hit my glove as I was taking it to my glove to get my grip. It started coming out and I had to look down to get the grip otherwise the ball probably would have fallen out of my glove. By that time my momentum was taking me forward, so basically I had to step off or I would have fallen on my face."

Second-guessing hte manager is part of the fun of baseball. I won't pretend that I'm smarter than Charlie Manuel. But, I felt particularly strongly about not taking Oswalt out for the PH but, I'm guessing a majority of managers today do the same thing. At least it wasn't a walk off balk. Lidge was ragged. He didn't get hit hard but, when you load the bases, sh!t can and will happen.

As for the game, Latos was tough. Still, the 2 run offense has to go. Howard is racking up the Ks at a disturbing pace. When he turns it around, they'll be in good shape.

WS - What two games? You know the Phils won last night, right?

Jack - funny thing about last night was that Lidge, after having success for a sustained period, found a new way to blow it. Have we ever seen him blow a 1-run lead like that?

He had a bit more on his fastball (92.6 mph average vs 90.6 mph average the rest of the month), and threw 92% of his sliders for strikes. Kinda crazy that he could throw that well but pitch that badly, but that's what mental mistakes will do.

Oswalt

since joining the Phils: 6 starts, 41.1 IP, .968 WHIP, 7.6 K9, 2.0 BB9, 191 ERA+

since first WSN start: 5 starts, 35.1 IP, .883 WHIP, 7.9 K9, 1.8 BB9, 1.53 ERA

Will - Suppose you have a hitter with an OBP of .400. Would you say that the 60% of the time he didn't reach base really cost his team some wins? It'd be strange because the implication would be that we should expect success 100% of the time.

Now take a case of bullpen decisions, which are much less transparent than are situations in which a player does or does not reach base. Are you able to tell me how many games have been lost on the basis of bad decision making? Are you able to tell me that Charlie has lost more games because of bad decisions than have other managers? If so, how? It's conventional wisdom here that Charlie is such a terrible manager of his bullpen, but this wisdom is unsupported by anything but narrowly selected, anecdotal evidence. Suppose he's cost his team 3 wins by making bad bullpen decisions. What am I supposed to do with that number? How does it compare with the league average, for managers?

Is last night an example of Charlie's poor decision making? Maybe it is. But he seems to have made pretty good decisions in the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings. So what are we to make of those decisions? Ignore them?

Oswalt's been great, as well as Hamels and Halladay. Blanton has been outperforming his job description since the ASB, and Kendrick is a 5th starter and does what 5th starters do.

It's really up to the offense to go back into what we expect.

The ninth was strange. Lidge blew the save, but he actually pitched well to the batters he intended to pitch to. He induced 4 groundballs, and had Ludwick buried 0-2.

(Wheels questioned why they'd be throwing a high and tight fastball at that point, and maybe that was a mistake on Ruiz's part. Then again, Ludwick was leaning, looking for the outside pitch, so maybe it was a good call, just poorly executed.)

The walk to AG was intentional, of course. Then again, if Charlie didn't have confidence in Lidge vs Gonzalez, it's not clear why Lidge should have been in there in the first place. If you're forced to put the winning run on, for fear that the guy is going to hit a home run, then there seems to be a problem.

BUT: it would have worked, had Lidge not plunked Ludwick and balked in the tying run with Headley up. So I don't know.

(Also worth noting: no swinging strikes for Lidge. Maybe he didn't feel good about his slider, which he didn't throw much, and which is what generates all the swings and misses when he gets them, but either way, he certainly wasn't dealing, even if, as I'm claiming, he was THAT bad.)

@optimusspun,

Good point, and I've been making a similar point here at BL for a while now. Despite the certainty of some that Charlie made the "wrong" move last night, the reality is that no one really knows. In all these cases, individually, there is no way to determine whether a move was "wrong" or not, despite the certainty of Charlie detractors.

For weeks, I have asked that MG, or anyone else who is so certain that Charlie overuses his best bullpen arms, to give one example of a situation where Charlie was unable to use a reliever in a key situation because he had been overused the previous night. Not one example has been given. Yet, we've been told probably hundreds of times this season that Charlie has made the "wrong move" by overusing his relievers. "Wrong moves" that never produced bad consequences, and which may well have preserved a victory in the games where the best relievers were used?

Further, I can't think of a season in the last three, or maybe four, that Charlies's bullpen hasn't exceeded or at least equaled conventional wisdom expectations when the season started. If Charlie makes such "bad tactical decisions" with his relievers, then he is one lucky dude.

The point is that it is impossible to look at these individual decisions and say with any objectivity whether it was "bad" or not because you can't prove that if Charlie had done what his detractors say he "should" have done the outcome wouldn't have been worse. But if Charlie was "wrong" as many times as his detractors are sure he's been wrong, you'd think that over the long term, "bad tactical decisions" would be reflected in a bullpen that underachieved?

That should read, "He wasn't dealing, even if, as I'm claiming, he was NOT that bad."

He threw the slider about as much as he's been throwing it all month. For the month he's thrown somewhere between 65-70% sliders. He threw 13 sliders and 7 fastballs last night.

I think that FB was just supposed to be high, but not tight if I recall where Ruiz placed his glove. He just missed his spot ... by a lot.

Now comes the news that LaRussa and Pujols are attending the rally in DC organized by the king of the schmucks, Glenn Beck. Now I know who I don't want to make the playoffs.

Sophist - Fair enough. I was going by the way Wheels was talking, as if it was all fastballs.

Oh, and to be clear, before Jack hallucinates again that I'm on the Phillies' payroll - I am NOT saying that fans don't have a right to second-guess managers' decisions. Of course that's part of being a fan.

What I'm saying is that it doesn't make sense to me when fans conclude that (1) they know with some objectivity whether, in many situations, a manager's decision was wrong or not and, (2) they have anywhere near the amount of information a manager has when he's making an in-game decision.

optimus - he may have thrown in more often in noticeable or key counts (like the 0-2 pitch to Ludwick, which was probably intended to be a ball outside the zone to chase or a set-up pitch anyway).

flipper - what information do you think Manuel used to make his decision? I'm guessing he thought (1) Oswalt had thrown over 100 pitches and (2) Oswalt's spot was due up, and (3) Lidge is the closer and pitching well.

We're just dealing with probabilities here. No one can see the future, so the manager has to make the choice with the highest chace of success. You're right that no one has presented much evidence that Manuel failed to do that last night. But just because we're dealing probabilities doesn't mean there aren't bad decisions.

Sophist, just curious. What percentage of Gregerson's pitches are typically sliders? He seems to throw a high percentage of sliders with a low velocity fastball - with good success.

about 60% this year

" But just because we're dealing probabilities doesn't mean there aren't bad decisions. "


Fair point. It's fair to call decisions "bad" if someone makes a decision that obviously flies in the fact of probabilities. But, again, if Charlie did that as often as it is concluded, with certainty, here at BL, then it would have to be reflected in performance over the long-term. Unless he is just unbelievably lucky.

As for information we don't have, it could have been something Chooch or Oswalt said. It could have been something that Charlie observed from close observation we can't have on TV. It could have been factors that were operative for Charlie that fans don't know are part of his decision-making process; such as his need to try to keep Lidge sharp, his desire to again evaluate Lidge's readiness in high leverage situations, his desire to deal with Oswalt's "dead arm" admission only a short time ago, something his pitching coach said, etc. In fact, we don't have the information to know all the factors Charlie used to make his decisions. On the other hand, it may that Charlie weighed none of that and just went with the "gut." We just don't know.

Here's a comparison of Lidge's August pitch selection with Gregerson's

Pitching ..... Lidge ...... Gregerson

Slider: 69% (78% strikes) ...... 59% (71% strikes)
4-seam: 31% (48% strikes) ..... 21% (64% strikes)
2-seam: 0% .......................... 16% (59% strikes)

Gregerson's slider sits around 83-84 with his FB about 90-91. Lidge's fastball may actually have a bit more movement than Gregerson's.

Fatalotti: The fastball that lidge hit Ludwick with was not meant to be high and inside. He missed his location with it. It's not like it was intentional.

Re: the pitch to Ludwick. LA and Franzke seemed to say an inside pitch was an expected set-up for the put-away slider. The pitch just got away -- not necessarily a bad pitch selection.

I know no one can say with absolute certainty what would have happened had Charlie stuck with Oswalt, but with the way he pitched in the 8th inning (I think he had an 11 pitch inning with 2 Ks), with how much stronger he had been getting as the game had progressed, and that fact that he is just a better pitcher than Lidge, I don't see why anyone wouldn't want him in that 9th inning over Lidge.

The only argument for taking him out was to use a pinch hitter in hopes to put an extra run or two on the board, but the likelihood of them putting a run on the board wasn't as good, as far as I'm concerned, of Oswalt just finishing out that game in the 9th.

Plus Oswalt already had a hit that game, so maybe he sparks a rally himself, plus closes the game out.

Not to say, Sophist, that those weren't primarily why Charlie chose to pull Oswalt. The proof of that would be that if Oswalt weren't due to bat and Charlie left him in. But again, we can only speculate about that.

The reason I asked, Sophist, was because in Chooch's ab last night, Gregerson's fb and slider were pretty much the exact same mph. I wasn't checking those #'s during the other at bats.

philipper - I would have to go back and look. Just haven't had the time. Yes, I generally would prefer for Cholly to have his best relievers available when games are close.

I will give you example of a team that follows this. Daniel Bard and the Red Sox. Bard has arguably been the best reliever in baseball this year.

He has appeared in 58 G this year. In only 4 of those games, have the Sox been done. He has appeared only once when the Sox have been done more than a run.

In 41 of 58 of his appearances, the Sox have been in a game where they are up 2 runs or the score is tied. Only 4 times out of the 44 times he has appeared when the Sox are ahead 4 or more runs.

Basically, Francona realizes that Bard is his most precious and meaningful resource and uses his accordingly.

Let's contrast this with how Cholly uses Madson.

Madson has appeared in 35 G and Cholly has used in 3 games where this behind 4 or more runs. He has also brought him in 5 times when they are ahead 4 or more runs.

So basically, Cholly has used his reliever 8 times out of 35 times when the game is pretty well out of reach (4 or more runs). 24% of the time.

Contrast that to Bard who has been used 9 times in 58 G when the game is pretty well out of reach. Just 15% of the time.

Cholly did the same thing with Madson last year and was even more foolish with his best reliever using him 21 times out of 79 G where the game was pretty well out of reach. 27% of the time.

From Hagen on Aug. 20th

"In that 11-game span starting Aug. 5, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin have each come out of the bullpen seven times. Eight of those 14 occasions the margin was two or fewer runs. And Brad Lidge has pitched four times, all in save situations, converting each opportunity.

It's worked, too. Down at Broad and Pattison, Harry the K has been singing "High Hopes" on an almost nightly basis.

There's a catch, of course. There's always a catch.

The nature of bullpens is that it's always difficult to find the right balance between too much work and not enough, to keep the relievers sharp without burning them out. And with more doubleheaders (one) than off days (none) scheduled between now and Sept. 9, at some point something's gotta give for a team that keeps using the same three pitchers out of the 'pen."

Read more: http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/paul_hagen/20100820_Paul_Hagen__Inside_an_unbalanced_Phillies_bullpen.html#

Fatalotti,

Fair enough. But do are you really weighing the odds on the chances with a pitcher who has been strong for 8 innings going into the 9th with 100% pitches, as compared to bringing in a reliever with Lidge's save % this year and who is well-rested and been on a hot streak?

I'm not saying that I would even necessarily agree with the decision; but over time, I have reached the stage where my default reaction is to trust Charlie's feel for the game, not to assume that he makes idiotic decisions that are clearly "wrong."

Sorry, that should have been 100 + pitches.

(Or in other words, do you really think that the odds were that Oswalt's pitches in the 9th would really have been 100% as sharp as they had been previously in the game?)

phlipper - Your right we don't have the other info but I would overwhelmingly bet that Cholly went with Lidge in the 9th because it is baseball orthodoxy, Cholly uses baseball orthodoxy whenever possible managing his bullpen, and Lidge had pitched fairly well.

I will say that using Lidge wasn't the worst decision in the world either because he did have a relatively fresh arm after 2 days off (his fastball showed more life on it than it had in a few weeks) and he has performed reasonably well in 1-run save situations this year.

This isn't last year where Cholly continued to throw Lidge out there in 1-run save situations with often disastrous results.

I also don't agree with Will that Cholly's use of the bullpen this season has really cost the Phils that many games either. I would have to go back and look but many 2 games at the most I bet.

Once again, MG, Charlie could manage defensively as you suggest, always worrying about whether a reliever might be available in upcoming games when he wouldn't if used on a given night.

But. First, on many of the occasions when you say that Charlie has made a mistake, the relievers are actually still going to be available the following night. Sometimes you go on to playing chess moves multiple games into the future: "If Charlie uses him tonight, and then has to use him again the next night, he won't be available on the night after next when our starting pitcher has a tendency to get knocked out of the game early at times).

I'd prefer a manager who manages more aggressively than that, and given that despite your almost constant complaint that Charlie uses his best relievers too often, it seems to me like you should have some obvious examples of where he's been burnt.

Further, the comparison to the Red Sox needs to be considered within the full context. Does Charlie have as many viable alternatives as Francona?

Isn't hind sight wonderful.You can all pretent you are experts.The fact remains,the offense stinks.If Ryno hit as well as he shakes his head no, Phils would be in first place.Wasn't it a great ball Jason hit? Too bad it was caught,guess it wasn't that great.

Braves rotation vs. Phils?

It really comes down to Oswalt vs. Jurrjens. Phils probably have a slight advantage with Hallday/Hamels vs. Hudson/Hanson. Braves had the advantage with Lowe/Minor vs. Blanton/KK.

Oswalt has been very well since coming over including last night. Jurrjens had also been pitching pretty well until he got lite up his last start in Colorado.

My bet is that both teams starting rotation's finish with ERA under 3.50 from here on out but that the Braves finish just a bit ahead of the Phils for several reasons.

I think it was Hanson tonight for ATL.

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