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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Whoever made that Phils ERA bet with MG is looking good in the early going.

When you're rooting for a comeback, you have to love the venue being Coors Field.

Is Sweeney starting at first because of Howard's slump or because Howard got suspended?

No word on suspension. Probably just physical/mental rest - that's what it looks like now anyway.

Just win tonight.

Sophist: That was I. ERA of the teams' starters since our August 18 bet:

Phillies: 3.00
Braves: 5.11 (including today's game)

10-8 Braves. Incredible comeback thus far. Also, Cincinnati is clobbering the Giants today. Let's hope the Pirates oblige us as well, and the Phillies get a CGSO from Halladay. Then maybe we can all breathe a little more easily.

Halladay going for 7th win in 7 starts. If he does, he'll be the first Phil to do so since Lefty in 1981.

Oh boy, Carlos Gonzalez up with 2 on in the 6th. I'd love tos ee the Rox take the lead here.

Did Cliff Lee only win 6 in a row last year. I miss Cliff Lee....Cliff Lee

Eh, ump gave O'Flaherty a few inches off the outside there. Take a 2 run deficit though.

CarGo with the very Werthian strikeout looking on only 3 pitches.

Lee won 5 in a row. Then went 2-4 in his last 7.

People do forget how pedestrian Lee was here after his first metldown against the Braves, and then his subsequent shelling in Houston Werth was definitely THE MAN in the postseason, and I'd take him back on this team in a heartbeat, but he was by no means immortal last year. Halladay has yet to have the kind of poor in season stretch that Lee had with us last year.

P.S. I love Cliff Lee.

Wow, Freudian slip or something, should have read, "Lee was definitely THE MAN..."

How many appearances is this for Venters now, Sophist?

I know Venters has thrown a ton of innings this year as a rookie reliever and it's en vogue to suggest him as a late season breakdown candidate.

But it's probably worth mentioning that he started 29 games in the minors last year and threw 156.2 innings and that his arm may be somewhat more resilient than other rookie relievers.

Venters started to get worked pretty regularly in June although, Cox had not been using him more than two days in a row. He's used him 3 days in a row twice this month. He had 15 appearances each in June and July. This is his 15th in August and there are still 5-6 games left. Hate to wish bad things on the kid but, Cox is really riding him hard.

Noah, familiarize yourself further with Venters minor league career. He had TJ surgery and missed all of 2006. He then missed all but 34 IP of 2008 with elbow tendinitis. Resilient is not the word I'd use for his throwing arm.

That and all told he's got 6 minor league season with a 1.455 WHIP.

Fatalotti - that was his 30th appearance in their last 42 games (15th in last 22 games).

Venters would be rotting away in the minors if he was with the Phils.

My point is that using as Howard's comps once in a century talents who ....

OK. So Heather's argument is based on the premise that Howard doesn't compare to multiple "once in a century talents," all of whom played in the same century?

6 outs for the Rox to tie this game up. I hope when I get home, I found out they pulled it off.

Imagine if Savery had TJ surgery 3-4 years ago and then lost almost a full season due to elbow tendinitis 2 years later. But then got off the DL for this season and was stuck in the AAA pen to start the year.

That's basically Venters to start this year.

Sophist, Yes, he was a bad minor league starter and like all minor league pitching prospects he had arm troubles and TJ surgery is bad, though as many pitchers have shown not insurmountable.

Venters seems to be holding his velocity nicely in late August and I'm just not convinced he's going to see his wheels come off this year.

I dunno that the Joe Savery comparison is apt. Venters can throw 90+.

"like all minor league pitching prospects he had arm troubles and TJ surgery is bad, though as many pitchers have shown not insurmountable"

All minor league pitchers have TJ and then lose another whole season to tendinitis? I don't think so. Guys like that are the exception, not the norm.

He may just hold up, but his minor league history is not evidence for that at all.

I was just using a Phils minor league starting pitcher with terrible minor league numbers.

But, yeah, Noah, you're completely right that he had some promising stuff even though his MiLB numbers were awful (6.6 K9, 4.1 BB9) -- like his FB range and his slider. Apparently he had a high GB rate too. That makes his success so far less surprising (and the Savery comparison off for any reason besides ERA and WHIP). But I wouldn't say anything about his time in the minors shows him to be a resilient pitcher. I'm not talking about his success so much as whether he'll hold up.

following the game online -- venters at close to 30 pitches. will we see the rat try to make a 1.2 inning save?

would love to see fowler take this guy yard right now...

Yeah but you were using a Phillies pitcher with similarly bad numbers but a much worse profile.

From the recent fangraphs piece:

"Baseball America noted that his fastball ranged from 88-94 MPH, and that his slider was a plus offering. Also, Venters burned minors since ’05."worms to the tune of a 57.7 GB%"*

Which, even if his results are horrible, is at least a foundation especially the final piece.

If Venters pitches for another 10 years, I suspect he'll lost, at least, 2 to injury (over the course of the ten, full or partial seasons). He's a pitcher and fluky things happen to them.

I'm just not convinced he can't finish this year with the same ability he's shown so far.

*Also from that piece: "But even if Venters’ ERA (1.17) is wacky-low, his 3.07 xFIP cracks the top 20 among relievers. "

Philly killer Carlos Gonzalez!

I've seriously never researched a reverse jinx more thoroughly.

YES!!! Go Rox!!

Go Rockies!!

10-10 out in Colorado on a 2 run single by Cargo.

They showed on Quick Pitch this morning that at home he has a .374 average, 20 home runs, and 52 RBI's this season.

Noah, yeah. I'm guessing you posted that before reading my post at 6:12.

Gotta love this time of year, when watching the scoreboard and cheering against other teams is just as exciting as pulling for the Phils.

BTW, quick thought I didn't get into the last thread - I think that the chasm between "old" and "young" teams has closed considerably since the PED era has winded down. It was a lot easier to see success with an "old" team a few years ago, when that age had the benefit of speedy recovery times.

Little single puts the Rockies three outs away. . . .

Noah, I wouldn't say I'm even convinced he's going to hurt his arm or lose it this year. I just don't think Venters use would get many compliments around here if Manuel used him the way Cox does, and no one will be surprised if he gets hurt or loses something this year. His career so far is mired by injury and ineffectiveness, but the Braves continue to run him out there. I mean, he just left Venters out for a second inning to lose the lead there.

Awesome comeback!!!

I hate rooting for the Rockies.

1 run lead is nothing in Coors.

Whatever Rube's paying Kyle Farnsworth he should double it.

Holy F*&^ -- what a comeback by the Rox (huge choke by the Braves!) :)

1 run lead not much except Braves are scoreless in 5.

thank you, Kyle Farnsworth.

If Charlie was running anyone out there the way Cox sends out Venters I'm not sure Beerleaguer would talk about anything else.

make that a 2-run lead everyone -- farnsworth is their baez, let's not forget

The Farns is afraid to throw his fastball.

Getting beat with his off-speed junk.

The Braves bullpen is starting to leak oil out in Colorado.

Noah, exactly. And imagine the reaction if someone predicted his sustained success based on his 150 IP last year, his first season with more than 20 starts since 2005.

Boy, it's tough being a Phillies fan working in Houston today. (It's not tough during the post and offseasons) Going to the apartment to watch the Houston broadcast. I think we'll see Howard as a pinch hitter in the seventh.

Can't help but think that last night's loss will have this Phils team more focused and determined. A loss by the Braves today, after that lead, does the exact opposite of that.

I was hoping to get home to find the game tied, going to extra innings. a 2 run lead for the Rox. That's awesome!

Giants also losing big.

I hate to interject myself on yesterday's ejection of Howard, but that was TERRIBLE umpiring. I umpired baseball games back in the 1980s, even a few NCAA Division I games while I was a junior and senior in college. I didn't really appreciate, at the time, how special that was, being a college student who umpires NCAA games. But I did it.

Rule Number One as an official, and I don't care what sport you officiate in, is you don't cause the outcome of the game. Look at the replay on MLB.TV. What bothers me is this ump--Scott Barry--had an apparent chip on his shoulder after his first botched call.

That's what gets me. As a former umpire, possibly a good one, getting yelled at, shown up, etc. It's all part of the game. If I was the third base ump in last night's game, and Ryan Howard treated me that way, I'd take a chill pill, settle down, quickly realize I was wrong, and make sure the make-up call went to Howard. After all, he's the former MVP that people pay to see. The people that pay my salary. Instead this guy got angry, and his make-up call was to call a strike on any bat waiver Howard might have that was appealed to him. Stupid umpiring. This Barry guy might have skills, but he really needs to learn Umpiring 101. DO NOT CAUSE THE OUTCOME OF THE GAME. Let the players decide that.

However, it appears that Scott Barry's history is a bit larger than last night's call. Isn't he the only umpire to ever throw the Nats All Star third baseman, Ryan Zimmerman, out of a game?

Apparently, this guy thinks he is bigger than the game and can impose his will on the outcome. People write that he is a AAA replacement for some ump, I dunno, on vacation? My question is, how did this fart for brains even make it to AAA?

If Marmol had not imploded against the Braves, if that call against Bourn hadn't been royally eff'd up, and the Braves end up losing today, the Phillies would be tied for the division lead heading into their game tonight. Just saying.

Wow, Rockies win!

Wow. What a play by Gonzalez.

there ya go rockies! way to 1-2-3 the braves in the 9th

So which loss is worse:

Phils this morning, or the Bravos just now?

I'm thinking the Braves L was slightly worse, given that it happened after the Phillies loss and they were probably feeling fairly lucky.

Almost as good as Phils' comeback vs. LA!!

Yeah, Fatalotti, those two close losses to the Stros are looming larger now. Braves get swept and have lost 5 of 8, I believe.

Mick O, not even a question - a team up by 8 runs dropping a game is MUCH more debilitating than a team losing a game in extras that no one even expected to get into extras.

Nice choke job by the Braves bullpen. Now Braves fan know the feeling that we had when the Phillies coughed up that 6 run lead against the Twins.

Venters: 15 appearances in 24 days in August.

Since July 20th: 22 appearances (24 IP) in the team's last 34 games.

Good thing he's young I guess. Today was his 4th straight game.

Being up 10-1 and losing has to be more frustrating than playing(/watching!) for five hours and losing.

If Ryan gets suspended for not swinging, that changes things, but I guess if he hasn't been yet he's probably not going to be. (Right?)

Speaking of being up 10-1 and losing. Giants and Reds are tied at 10.

Zach: I certainly hope Howard isn't suspended. Instead, I hope Scott Barry is assigned to the Florida Instructional League.

And the Giants take the lead.

Reds pen is actually pretty bad.

So tonight is suddenly a MUST win game if we want to stay in the playoff picture.

Yes, if the Phils fall a game behind the Giants, 2.5 behind the Braves, in August they are totally out of the playoff picture.

It's a day of wild comebacks in the National League playoff races. The lesson: if the Phillies enter the 9th inning with a 15-0 lead, use Madson or Lidge to finish.

1 out of the wild card and 2.5 out of the division is "out of the playoff picture"?

You guys are missing the point. They'll be a game back and have 2 games in hand. That's way out of the Playoff picture.

Sophist, I merely meant it in a "if the playoffs started today" sense...not overall.

Reds tie it. Giants defense questionable.

What a bandbox in San Fran.

NEPP was just using hyperbole. Perfectly acceptable around here.

Everything in tonight's game hinges on the first pitch Halladay throws.

Seriously all I meant by "playoff picture" was by who would still be making the playoffs. Not that hard to understand.

NEPP: I'm continuing a theme I've had all afternoon. I got what you were saying once you explained it.

That said, if Halladay starts off with a ball instead of a strike, we should just pack it in.

TTI, your way off base. The entire FATE of the Phillies franchise hinges on Halladay's first pitch. Strike, and it's years of proserity to follow. Ball, and we'll see our 20,000th loss before our next playoff appearance.


I look forward to the many years of Phillies prosperity to follow.

200.1 IP for Doc

Awesome! Is this the first time Bourn didn't get on to start the game?

Strike 1....Game is over we win.

Mike Sweeney at first base? What happened to Howard? Oh that's right, he went 0-7 yesterday with 5 Ks and then almost went Randy Couture on Scott Barry. Almost forgot.

Scott Barry is at 2B tonight so I assume we'll see a couple balk calls against Halladay and some brutal calls on potential DPs and SBs.

Fatalotti: I think we should've started Roy Oswalt at first. He has a better chance of getting a hit than Ryan Howard anyway.

Phils haven't lost 3 in a row since July 20th (Moyer started that game). First losing streak of the month.

Man, I love Mike Sweeney and his legitimate excitement! Waiting to high five Chooch after a 1-2-3 inning!

I like how TMac is calling Hallaay the stopper, even though our last two losses had nothing to do with our starting pitching. We lost the last two in spite of our starters. I have full confidence that Halladay could do his thing tonight, and we still lose this game.

Oswalt is a LF, not a 1B.

Tomorrow's lineup should include Oswalt in LF against another LHP as well as Chooch at 3B.

Truth: You need to throw in a little vitriol with your hyperbole. You'll get the hang of it eventually.

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