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Sunday, August 15, 2010


More Wins at the end of the season: Kyle Kendrick or Cole Hamels?

Phillies just padding their stats.

Nice job by KK. Although I have to say I'm not surprised, once again the BL Reverse Jinx works its magic. Phils got great pitching all series. Only 2 runs against in 3 games. Almost makes up for the shut-out series.

With all that great pitching, it's a shame we couldn't get the sweep. I know he would never say it, but do you think Hamels is a little annoyed that Kendrick now has more wins than him?

I thought the Phils would be about 8 games out by the time Utley returned. I've written this site for five years and still haven't learned ...

I can't believe the Phils are only 2 games behind the braves after a month without Chase. Good things to come in the next couple of weeks.

I thin kCole in 06 or 07 would be annoyed by something like that but not now. He's been through it all. He won a world series and hit bottom. Winning in October is what matters.

Who is this Utley guy you speak of?


Sophist, there are easily 50 pitchers this season who are on pace for 200 IP, and they aren't all aces. Blanton had a season with 230 IP, and one with 201. Other than that, he's been aroudn 196. So if his big claim to fame is that he can give you around 200 IP a year of 98 ERA+ pitching (his career rate), then that's not much of a claim to fame. If what he's done is enough to qualify you as an innings eater, than the term is essentially meaningless. By the way, last year, several people referred to Cliff Lee as an innings eater as well as an ace. and with him, the term has meaning.

I think Ole Jerry Manual helped KK a lot tonight.

Sure, KK struggles to get lefty's out. That is no secret.

But what Jerry did, stacking his lineup almost exclusively with LH hitters, I think, helped KK get into a groove. He was seeing lefty after lefty and eventually, he found his groove and started moving the ball where he wanted.

Plus, the Mets offense stinks and they look like they are counting the days down to the end of the season. That didn't hurt either.

In the next 33 games, the Phils play 23 teams at or under .500 The Giants are about to hit a brutul stretch in their schedule.

Time to get control of the wild card race and give yourself a 2 way go, in late September for the playoffs.

Dan Haren has made 5 starts for the Angles now, since he was traded.

The Angels have won all of 1 of those games and they have faded even farther behind Texas.

denny b: That's right. KK only succeeded because Jerry Manuel put too many lefties in the lineup.

I think I've now really heard it all. It's amazing the lengths people go to to diminish KK's success.

I think maybe he had a good game because after a rough first inning, he settled down and threw strikes.

Fatalotti - see the post in the precios thread on IP since 2005. A guy with 100 ERA+ and 200 every year is actually a very valuable pitcher. Granted were talking about this in Blanton's injures and so far ineffective year. He's 15th in IP since 05. If he's not eating innings nobody is. People who called Lee an IE were misusing the term. It implies some level of mediocrity.

The Phils played a great game today. Good pitching from KK, good defense, a couple of timely hits and good base running by Jimmy & Shane.

And let's not forget Brad Lidge. Since he gave up the bomb to Zimmerman, he's been very good.

It is literally impossible for KK to pitch well enough to win on his own. Everyone knows that.

I think there's a kernel of truth to denny's comment. Kendrick settled in after a couple innings and was quite effective. It is more than plausible that getting into a pattern and a groove against lefties helped him do that.

I'm looking forward to using my tickets for Thursday's game. We should see Cole and Chase and maybe Ryan too. Hopefully they can run out the "regular" starting line-up for the first time in a very long time and we'll put up some big numbers.

Sophist, then more than anything else, what should be lauded is Blanton's durability to make around 33 starts per season, and not hit the DL. If a pitcher makes 33 starts and doesn't get 200 IP, (6 IP per start), then they're a bad starter. I understand Blanton is a valuable pitcher, but the term "innings eater' as you are defining it, just seems to be a euphamism for "average, mediocre pitcher". Also terms aside, Blanton making 8 mil a year and only have THREE STARTS in 2.5 year of being here where he's gone 8.0 IP (and never more) is simply pathetic. Kendrcik has 3 starts of 8+ this year alone. And there's no getting around that Blanton has possibly been the worst starter in the NL this year. Again, if innings eater is his claim to fame, he ought to try looking for another claim to fame.

and blanton is signed for 3 years, 24 million.... cliff lee will likely get a similar contract to cc sabathia who is making 23 million a year

So while blaton isn't an ace he is a good value at pitcher

I'm still pissed Luis Castillo was allowed to bunt from the pitcher's mound!

I think denny has a point. I dont know why Frenchy was left out of the line-up, he is hitting 400 against KK. Even though the Mets were heavily left-handed tonight they only faced right handed pitching.

8 million a year is NOT a lot of money for a free agency eligble pitcher


I am not dissing KK's performance. It was solid.

But I think the opposing manager overdid it, with the lefty thing. After a while, if you continue to see hitters in the same spot, and you are a control/command pitcher, it becomes easier to get zoned in and find the pitches that are working that night.

KK was shaky early with his command. But I think he found his release point and feel, partly because he was seeing so many lefty hitters.

The Phillies are actually leading the WC race by percetage points. So, the much loved phrase can be used now. We control our destiny to get to playoffs. It may be a little early for that, but it's pretty crazy that this team, were the season to end today, would be in the playoffs.

Now the concern is....

Once Utley and Howard get back, thinking all they have to do is roll the ball out there again and the wins are going come.

The team has played with a nice hunger in the past few weeks. Partly because, they have been short-handed with talent and power.

Now that they have the talent and power all back, they need to keep playing the same way. More running. More patience. Grind out more AB's. Don't constantly play for the long ball or big inning.

Don't get complacent. Don't think Utley and Howard automatically mean victory every night, just because they have been winning without them.

Yeap. Watching Kendrick win was like finding a $50 bill on the ground; unexpected, but quite delightful.

His pitches had quite some movement and it is apparent that he does not get rattled as much as he used to earlier in his career.

I'd like to see what happens to his career if he gets a chance to have Halladay's and Oswalt's pitching acumen rub off on him.

KK is 8-5 so his wins are not total surprises.

Nice outing by KK.

Many here didn't expect it.

Interesting, because his histroy indicates he's capable of a good outing - and a bad outing.

So really, a good outing from KK in an extreme pitcher's park probably shouldn't surprise us anymore. Of course, a bad outing in an extreme hitter's park probably should surprise either.

Going into tonight's game, I actually thought KK would pitch as well as Pelfrey did - 3 R in 5-7 IP. I thought to get a win the Phils would have to knock Pelfrey around a little, not scratch out 3 R.

But it's baseball, so you never know.

Did the mets get another hit last night after the Reyes homer to lead off the 3rd?

Report was KK was roughed up early because he only had his lucky boxers on and lucky horse shoe in his back pocket, and had forgot his lucky rabbits foot in his locker... This clearly left him lacking luck, which we all know is the ONLY cause for his success. No need to dig deeper on this settling down and throwing strikes nonsense.

It was great to see the Phils running last night. It is good to see that they aren't continue to be dependent upon 3 run homer strategy. We still need help in bullpen, however. We are ready to make our move. Hopefully, we can take series with Giants and put them behind us. Giants play Phils, Cards, and Reds over the next week and a half.

"Did the mets get another hit last night after the Reyes homer to lead off the 3rd?"

the bunt.

I'd like to see Blanton skipped in the Giants series. Because of off-day today, Phils could line-up Oswalt, Hamels, and Halladay on regular rest, then insert KY-Jelly-donut back into lineup on Friday against the Nats. Any possibility to this?

Thanks Heather. Forgot about that... and that shouldn't have even counted.

Anyone see an explanation/excuse from the umps for allowing that Castillo bunt? I don't get it. The rule is plain and it was a clear violation, no reply needed. There must be some reason . . . maybe.

should be "no replay needed"

"magelb: A few are asking me why not skip Blanton this week? Well, the #Phillies begin a stretch on Tues in which they play 24 games in 23 days."

Hope, I think they just missed the call.

I'm know it's happened before, but until last night I had actually never seen it. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the umps hadn't seen it either, much less actually called it.

Not looking for it, it probably took them by surprise - so I'll bet they just missed it.

I'll bet the video gets circulated (I've heard they do that in order to help educate the umps) so that they're more away of it going forward.

quincy is right - he should have been called out and it should not have counted.

Ummm, that should say "more AWARE of it going forward."

Wait.................the Phillies have a 66 - 51 record. That's .564 baseball.

But Gelb wrote in the paper today that the Phils are 14 - 9 when Kendrick starts.

That's .608 baseball.

That doesn't compute.

Here's another interesting anecdote from Gleb's article:

Pinch-hitter Jeff Francoeur was the first to face reliever Chad Durbin, and he hit a deep fly ball to left-center. Shane Victorino made a running catch against the wall, near the 384-foot mark. It probably would have been a home run at Citizens Bank Park.

Durbin said he knew the ball was staying in the cavernous stadium and approached Francoeur differently than he would have in any other ballpark.

"Keep it in the middle of the park," he said."

Interesting...the Phillies pitchers are learning to use the Mess' own ballpark against their hitters.

Fatalotti - You wanted to know why Blanton is called an innings eater even though he never goes deep into games. I told you it's that that innings eaters go deep but that they make all their starts and much more often than not get to the 5th or 6th inning. They're not stars. Whether you want to applaud Blanton for that or not is up to you, but he is an innings eater (14th in baseball since 05 in IP) as the term is most commonly understood.

Sophist, Blanton is 14th is MLB since '05 in IP?

Say whatever you want about the quality of the innings, but a pitcher has to be doing something right to be left out there that long.

I can see how it would be easy for the home plate ump to not notice Castillo being out of the batter's box, after all his eyes are watching the pitch to make the ball/strike call. But the first base ump is the guy who had to have seen it. His angle should have made it obvious. Is there some protocol that prevented the correct call from being made, i.e. unless the home plate ump asks him for his opinion, he doesn't offer it?

How about Kendrick is 32-19 lifetime? I know wins and losses don't matter but, at some point, you have to credit him for contributing to the team's success the last few years. He's a AA call-up spot starter who refuses to 'go back where he belongs.' Beats teh hell out of Randy Lerch as a 5th starter.

Beats teh hell out of Randy Lerch as a 5th starter.

Talk about damning with faint praise.

EFF: Can we get a comparison between 2007-2010 season standings as of x number games into season?

Enjoyed the victory and the play of the Phils over the past few weeks. They have truly elevated their game to do what they had to do.

Things are certainly looking up, but as denny b says, there is no time for complacency. To me the key is the rest of the team not taking any kind of mental "break" with Utley and Howard back, thinking that the two returning players will pick up any slack. I'm hoping differently, but I think both players, Utley in particular, could be noticeably below 100% for a while.

"Talk about damning with faint praise."

True, I just like to keep the memory of Randy Lerch alive. When he was the probable pitcher, it was a good night to find a lighted park and play some whiffle ball.

Nice to see they had their running shoes on. They need to do more of the same.

howard won't be back until the weekend. he limps and is sore after his workouts.

Hugh, 32 - 19? That's a .627 winning percentage.

I don't understand. I was informed by many here on BL that Kendirck would never make it as an MLB starter.

Tracy ringolsby at provides tthis little item. I'm not quite sure what to make of it:

"The Mets’ shutout of the Phillies on Friday was their 18th of the season, which is the most they have had since they had 18 back in 1976. Mets are 40-59 when not throwing a shutout."

40-59 when not throwing a shoutout?

I'm actually a bit concerned that Chase and Ryno will be very rusty upon their returns. Hope the rest of the squad realizes they may still have to keep pulling a disproportionate amount of the weight for a week or so after those guys get back.

i don't see how utley won't be rusty. he hasn't played since late june

Ringolsby also provides this, which IMHO could be HUGE for the Pads if they make the playoffs, and could even impact their playoff chances:

"135 2/3 innings pitched for San Diego RHP Matt Latos this year, and the Padres are keeping a close eye on him, which is why he was removed from Saturday’s 3-2, 11-inning loss to San Francisco after giving up Pablo Sandoval’s leadoff home run in the seventh, which cut the Padres lead to 3-2. Latos threw a combined 235 1/3 innings in his three previous pro seasons. He worked 56 1/3 in 2007, 56 innings in 2008, and 123 innings last year, 50 2/3 of which came in the big leagues."

link here:

Lastly, let's hope this continues:

"...but the Giants are 4-12 in Philadelphia in the last five years and have a winning record in Philadelphia only once in the last decade."

I'd be surprised if Howard was even back by the weekend. Still not even ready to go on a rehab.

See, the last time I said KK was a decent 5th starter, he went out and threw a POS of a game. But, since demotion, he is 3-1 in 5 games. Of course, this last game was against the inept Mets(loved writing that). However, you can only play the team your spot falls on in the rotation. AS a 5th starter, KK is a decent 5th starter in the MLB. If he wasnt, he would be an iron pig. No team has 5 aces on its staff.

awh - Cards have the same issue with Jaime Garcia and IP. We've already seen the Braves second best starter go down (TJ surgery), and Cox continues to use Venters in every game. Mike Leake has been effective for a couple weeks, probably due to young arm fatigue.

Here JW, I'll do it:

After game 117:

2007: 62 - 55, -3.0
2008: 64 - 53, +2.0 (this surprised)
2009: 68 - 49, +5.5
2010: 66 - 51, -2.0

KK has 4 pitches and they're all sick.

Sophist, did you mean Leake has been "ineffective"?

and while it is poor form to wish for, or take delight in peoples misfortune, Chipper's ACL may have just put the braves out of contention.

Chase Utley (sprained thumb, ERD 8/18) Dustin Pedroia (fractured foot, ERD 8/16) Can an 0-for-3 day be good? For Utley, it can. He didn't strike out, putting all three balls in play. As I've said before, his ability to make fine motor adjustments are the last, best test for his thumb, so I'm looking for swings-and-misses. One observer said that Utley looked a bit out of sorts, not in that he was hurting, but just that he seemed frustrated with himself. Let's call that rust for now and continue to watch to see if there's any more sign that he's not adjusting or that the thumb isn't holding up well under the forces of the game. We should see Utley back this week as expected, but his results so far seem to have that return coming early in the week rather than later as I'd thought. As for Pedroia, he made it through a weekend of games. He looked rusty and there wasn't a play that challenged his defensive range. One observer thought he was playing under some sort of restraint, an order not to try something too taxing. Pedroia is a tough guy to rein in, but I think the fractured foot scared him enough that he's listening. It's impossible to say how this will affect him, if at all, but as long as he's reasonably healthy, he'll help the Red Sox.

awh - yes. Lots of typos lately. it's a little late to be 0 cups of coffee into the day.

"I don't even look at the wild card, believe me," Uncle Charlie.

sorry to switch topics, but any updates on the phils unsigned draft picks and the likelihood they'll sign by tonight's deadline?

thwnd: don't know. Check futurephillies. The link is on the left.

Let's hope the Phils go Oswalt-Hamels-Doc for the Giants series.

that's not happening

Phils will miss Lincecum, right? He looked mortal against the Padres.

yeah, I don't think Manuel wants Blanton and Kendrick pitching on consecutive days.

yeah they'll miss timmy

big time timmy jim

June 28th: Chase Utley DL'd
Phillies record: 40 - 34, -3.5

August 3rd: Ryan Howard DL'd (retro to 8/2)
Phillies record: 57 - 48, -2.5

Phillies sunk to 48 - 46 and -7.0 on July 21st and then had 9 - 2 run with Howie in the lineup.

They've played 9 - 3 baseball without both Utley and Howard, to close another 1/2 game.

Bravos have played 8 - 4 baseball over the same stretch.

I'd rather have Blanton & KK pitching consecutive days against the Nats than Blanton matching up with Matt Cain in the most critical series of the season (to this point).

Oops, that should say:

"Bravos have played 9 - 4 baseball over the same stretch."

"They've played 9 - 3 baseball without both Utley and Howard, to close another 1/2 game."

Maybe we should just leave them on the DL & go with Sweeney & Valdez for the rest of the season.

yeah but i would imagine blanton and kendrick would be back to back for 3 more weeks after that until they can juggle the rotation again. I don't think you risk that

st: True, although there's certainly nothing unusual about having your 2 worst pitchers go back to back. That's usually the way rotations are set up.

agreed. but i do like that we are setup where if one of them lays a turd, we have a stud coming the next day so we don't go on a streak. i mean, yeah, I would probably skip blanton anyway and risk it though

hilarious cards on a site Neyer linked to this morning(acidcow). A Phillie made #2 on the list. Somehow Bake McBride's 1980 card didn't make the cut.

gobaystars!-- Here's something to mull over:

* 45 games left. 66 wins to here with the lineup -- shot to pieces for most of the season – finally coming back.
* Do we have the best starting 3 in the majors? Many say yes.
* Has Madson returned to a rock in the 8th?
* Has Lidge 'strategerized' (apologies to President Bush [43]) his way out of his fading fastball with his slider?

Even with gradual contributions from Utley and Howard, this team’s gallant replacements (Valdez, Sweeney) have been great. With a healing Ross Gload, all the better. My point is simply this. We’ve played .700 -- .800 ball over the last week or longer. Can we play .756 the rest of the way? That translates to 100 wins.

Downsides are the disappointing contributions from Jose Contreras and especially J.C. Romero, and the seeming need to pitch Chad Durbin in every long relief/7th inning situation. What’s really bizarre is the Phil’s have got to this point with a 23 man roster, as RAJ won’t budge on the useless Herndon/Baez axis of meatballs.

Charlie cannot settle for the wild card. Therefore , we have to go for the 100 win mark. How could the Phil’s get to 100 wins? Of course I’m assuming that 100 wins gets us the NL East pennant.

haha they won't approach 100 wins. cmon

Jbird - hilarious cards indeed. I like the Glenn Hubbard/python card, with the Phanatic and good old brown-yellow-orange 500-600-700 level Vet seats in the background. Good times.

100 wins you're absolutely dreaming.

Hubbard must have been at one of Giles' weirdo promo sunday afternoons. Perhaps the Phanatic's birthday. I remember having the Chris Gwynn card as a kid and thinking "What is he doing?" I also remember the Henke and Bip Roberts card.

100 wins? I don't know. The Division? Sure.

st, you are right, 100 wins is a stretch,but .600 ball nets another 27 and gets them to 93 wins.

The question in my mind is will 27 - 18 the rest of the way be enough to win the division?

Can they go 29 - 16 (.644) and get to 95 wins?

Alex -- I'm not dreaming. I'm just speculating how to guarantee a playoff spot; better yet, the NL East Pennant.

Charlie the sabermetric genius?

Smart of Charlie to have his two best relievers, Durbin and Madson, pitch in the higher-leverage innings last night (pLI's of 1.34 and 1.22, respectively), while saving Lidge for the lower-leverage 9th (pLI 1.15), right? Anyone?

why are people surprised at the Phillies' ability to stay with the Braves? The depth of the lineup was supposed to be a major strength.

The best way to guarantee a playoff spot is to go 6-0 or 5-1 against the Braves in their remaining head-to-head games.

Well obviously 100 wins would get you in the playoffs. There is just no way they are going 34-11.

bigmyc, why are people surprised?

Simple, this is BL, where several times this has been declared:

Season = Over

they'll be between 90-95 wins. 92-95 and they'll get in somehow

Keith Comstock = Kenny Powers?! Eerie.

P.S. -- I'd love to watch the patented Bobby Cox "grimace" as we take 2 of 3 from the stinkin' Braves in September, and sweep 'em at season's end. Maybe 98 wins?

Bruce: Any team, including the worst team in baseball, can play .750 ball over 12 games. Over an extended period, the odds of playing .750 ball are extraordinarily unlikely. Only 1 team in the history of baseball has ever finished with a better winning percentage than .750, and that was the 1906 Cubs (who went on to lose the World Series).

Even if the Phillies got Howard & Utley back, and then traded Tuffy Gosewich & Anthony Hewitt for Albert Pujols & Adam Wainwright, the odds of their playing .756 ball for the rest of the season would still be extremely slim. The good news is that we won't have to win 100 games to win the division. 93 to 95 will probably do it. If it doesn't, there's a good chance it would be enough to at least get us the WC.

""They've played 9 - 3 baseball without both Utley and Howard, to close another 1/2 game."

This tells you a lot about this team.

The Phils play the Braves twice during the last two weeks of the season. By the time that happens, will the Phils have caught or passed the Braves?

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