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Saturday, August 28, 2010

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Thoughts: Can this finally (please) be the game when Blanton pitches a scoreless first inning?
Rumor has it the Yankees are interested in Ted Lily. Hope the Dodgers move him before the Phils come to town. (We'll worry about the WS when we get there.)

It's amazing that no matter how many decent starts Blanton has made in recent weeks, his numbers remain putrid.

I almost feel like I'm baiting clout with what I'm about to say, but that's actually not my intent. So here goes . . .

Re Tagg Bozied: would it be the craziest idea in the world to invite him to spring training & give him a full and fair opportunity to fill Greg Dobbs' spot as a corner infielder, emergency outfielder & pinch hitter off the bench? The guy has done nothing but hit in his minor league career. Some of these minor league lifers can actually hit major league pitching, if only given the chance (See, i.e., Andres Torres in San Francisco).

Besides, if Tagg Bozied were on the roster, it might even bring back davthom.

RSB: If only he throws a 9-inning shutout today, his ERA will be under 5 (4.98) for the season.

Reposting:

Another point about Charlie's managing.

Sometimes people say that they recognize that he's good at managing players but bad with "tactical decisions," as if those aspects of managing are mutually exclusive. That's a false dichotomy.

The difference between tactics and strategies is relevant here, but sometimes Charlie sticking with a player in order to bolster his confidence is, in fact, a "tactical" decision to achieve a long-term strategy.

I'm down with Downs.

Not sure any of those Jays relievers would make it through the AL without being claimed.

Relief pitchers are some of the most valuable waiver claims because their salaries are nothing (compared to top line starters) and they can impact many games.

I'd certainly prefer another reliable reliver but not sure what role any added reliver would have.
Lidge = 9th, Madson = 8th, Romero = Loogy, Contrares = 7th, Durbin = Situational. Downs is going to cost a good prospect and Phillies are unlikely to offer arbitration due to salary concerns so it is a double negative.

Just to beat the deceased equine, I am always an advocate of the complete game, so I would have preferred O stay in the game last night. I assume what was going through UC's melon was that he wanted some insurance runs. Either way, sometimes the bullpen succeeds and sometimes they fail. Last night was the latter, but a HBP and a balk is not on UC, it's on the man on the hill. Lidge failed.

Twins got Fuentes so they probably aren't making that move. The Rangers, Yankees, and Rays are all in pretty good shape, but you never know. I wouldn't be surprised if Chicago was aggressive - Ken Williams always is.

So Tagg Bozied is The Solution, eh, BAP?

Tagg is DHing for us in the WS

flipper: You're overthinking it. If a decision works, it was a good decision. If it fails, it was a bad decision.

Sending Rollins last night was an extremely high-risk, against the book decision that could easily be called stupid, with 0 outs and the heart of the order coming up. But it worked.

Bringing in Lidge to pitch the 9th was a by the book decision that every manager in baseball would make. Either a guy is your closer or he isn't and if he is, you bring him in there unless the SP is throwing a shutout. But it didn't work.

Therefore, the stupid decision to send Rollins was a "good decision" and the normal decision to bring in your closer with a 1-run lead was a "bad decision."

Clout - That your 1:00 pm post makes little sense.

Sending Rollins was stupid because the "heart of the lineup" was coming up? You mean Werth and Howard? That heart of the lineup? Under those circumstances, sending Todd Pratt around third to home would have been the correct decision.

And you do not remove an ace from a game he is dominating, especially with a manageable pitch count. If you leave Halladay in that game, nobody complains. If you leave Hamels in that game, nobody complains. Seems pretty clear that Oswalt is an elite pitcher. At 102 pitches and clearly in command, you do not remove him.

In fact, the Phils benefited from just such a move earlier this season when Lincecum was inexplicably removed from a game the Phillies went on to win. And last her Santana was lifted with even a lower pitch count and that gifted the Phils a win. We all agreed that Bochy and Jerry Manuel were idiots. Well, last night, Charlie was the idiot.

I am normally very supportive of Charlie. But Oswalt was in command and lobbying to stay in the game in the dugout. I think Roy Freaking Oswalt has earned the right to pitch a ninth inning of a one run game, don't you?

Sending Rollins was the right move regardless of the outcome. It took a perfect throw to make that play that close. And removing Oswalt was the wrong move, no matter the outcome.

sneed, the AL teams would just be claiming them. Even if the Rays were in good shape with their pen it'd be wise to at least make the claim, since the Jays are highly unlikely to just hand any of these likely type As over. I'd be surprised if an NL team claims any of these guys before an AL team does.

I'm thinking that clout had tongue firmly planted in cheek there, AK.

aksmith: The point is that a decision is either good or bad based on the outcome. It can't be any other way. How could removing Oswalt be the wrong decision if Lidge had struck out the side in the 9th?

Leaving Romero in to face a RHB with the bases loaded is never a good decision no matter what outcome follows.

Bet Ruiz gets the day off today. Day game after a late night game, and he's been struggling a bit at the plate at least results-wise. Ruiz is 1 for his last 15 with 2 BB.

Not that Schneider has been any better. He had an okay June but is .128/.209/.282 since. He's 0 for his last 14 with no BB. The myth of the overproducing bench players.

Sophist: I understand all of that. I was just thinking out loud as to who might be legitimately interested in one of them since, as Type-A's, the Blue Jays are going to get legitimate players back in return for them.

I do think that if for some reason the AL playoff contenders let the guys slip though to the NL, that they would get claimed by several teams. The Phillies, Reds, and Cards would all benefit.

clout, This much, I'll assert with absolute confidence: if given 153 major league PAs next year, Tagg Bozied would hit better than .191/.250/.319 (Greg Dobbs' 2010 stat line). How much better, I have no idea. But, considering the generally low caliber of veteran retreads who have populated the Phillies' bench in recent years, I think he has done more than enough to earn a fair shot in spring training.

Sneed - It would have looked like a better decision. But it would still have been the wrong decision.

Two years ago, no problem. But with Oswalt, a true ace, in the game and in control? You don't remove a guy like that for the ninth just because one guy is called a closer and the other is a starter. And you don't remove an ace to build confidence in a shaky closer for sure. If you don't remove Halladay there, you don't remove Oswalt.

That's 43 PA for Schneider, that slash line. 5-39 in July and August.

aksmith: So you are saying that most managers would send a runner with 0 outs and the heart of the lineup coming up? And that most managers would not bring in their closer?

You are clueless.

BAP: Well then, let the record show that on 8/28/2010 BAP declared that Tagg Bozied is The Solution to the team's bench problems.

Be fun to see how this plays out.

Clout - First off for clueless, the manager does not send a runner from third. And yeah, with the way the Phillies heart of the lineup is hitting, I'd have sent Rollins. And if you hadn't, the odds of winning that game approach zero. Did you actually watch the at bats after Rollins scored?

Early in the game, no way I send him. But no way would anyone expect that throw out of the centerfielder. And no way can anyone count on Howard or Werth getting a hit under pressure or in fact doing anything but striking out in that situation.

And when did the argument become "most managers?" Nice switch there, as usual. Straw man anyone?

We're talking about THIS closer. But for a moment, think back to those games with Lincecum and Santana. You were sitting there thanking whatever toymaker created you for the managing stupidity of Bochy and Manuel.

You are both disingenuous and cluelesser.

The Phillies should save money next year by filling their pen and bench with Minor Leaguers.

Tagg? Rizzotti hasn't been a ball of fire after his promo to AAA. Maybe Tagg should go there first.

Tweet from magelb:


Good morning from San Diego, where it is overcast. But this stadium doesn't have a tarp, so I'll say the rain will hold off.

jr: Exactly right.

clout: Yeah, that was very clearly what I said.

aksmith: I get that those decisions are YOUR opinion. I was simply noting that 99% of the time, a manager (or thirdbase coach) would have done the opposite of what you declare to be the right decisions.

Looks like Rizzotti has been injured and trying to play with a thumb problem. Saw him not too long ago in a AAA game and his swing looked pretty darn slow. I think we have to allow for the possibility that he is still the second coming, or at least a late bloomer, who has been playing injured.

Clout - So, when you don't send Rollins, do you think the Phillies still win that game?

I'm saying that, of course, it's my opinion. But I agree with Perlozzo on sending Rollins. There is nobody in the lineup right now you can count on to have a quality at bat with a runner in scoring position. Polanco had one, and you can't waste that opportunity. And I think the vast majority of third base coaches send Rollins there is they're working for the Phillies. You have to force that kid in center to make a great throw.

And you're saying that you'd have brought Lidge in for the ninth. Right? Because Lidge has a better chance of saving the game than Oswalt?

So, you don't send Rollins. And you bring in Lidge. In your opinion. I don't agree that a competent manager does either of those things. And I felt at the time and still feel that those two moves combined very likely lose you the game.

Tagg "Tremendous" Bozied

or

Tagg "The Butcher" Bozied

or

Tagg "He's It" Bozied

hmmmm...so many possibilities...

Tagg Bozied The Clown

Hasn't it been stated in the past by people smarter than us that it is harder to make a play on defense than it is on offense?

All Jimmy has to do on that play is run fast and slide.

The outfielder has to field the ball cleanly, throw the ball accurately to the catcher, the catcher has to catch the ball and apply the tag.

There's many more places there where the defense can mess up than Jimmy can.

On a close play like that, especially given the futility that is the heart of our lineup at the present time, it's probably the correct call to send Jimmy there.

I had absolutely no problem with it.

I love all the whining here. Sheesh.

Lidge bakes the poodle for the first time in almost a month (1 run in his last 11 appearnces) and, predictably, BL explodes with more whining. (Geez, I wonder what these same posters would be saying if Jonathan Papelbon [6 BS] were the closer.)

...Charlie made bad decision....Oswalt should have been left in....Werth sucks with RISP....Howard should be benched...

(I admit to some exaggeration).

Point: During the ebb and flow of the season baseball players fail.


BTW, have any of you noticed:

5 games ago the Phillies were 17 games over .500 and 2-1/2 games in back of the Braves.

Today, after losing 4 of 5, they're 14 games over .500 and 2 games back.

I love baseball!!!

"All Jimmy has to do on that play is run fast and slide."

And make a very athletic move where he somehow manges to reach back behind his body in mid-slide & touch a corner of the plate with his finger, before the catcher can tag him. I do agree with you, though. You have to be aggressive on the base paths when the team is hitting as badly as it has been. That was why I also had no problem with Rollins' attempt to steal 3rd the other night, even though he got caught.

awh: I'll give Lidge the benefit of the doubt this time, since he has pitched well lately. But, given his history plus the fact that he tends to have his implosions in bunches, I won't give him the benefit of the doubt if he blows another save within his next few appearances.

There is an enormous difference between 6 blown saves in 39 attempts (Papelbon) & 5 blown saves in 22 attempts (Lidge).

akmsith: If the score was 4-1 or even 3-1 then the decision is clearly more in favor of letting your starter hit and pitch the 9th.

When it is 2-1, and you're struggling to win games, Charlie decided that he wanted to try and play for another run. Especially last night when Rollins, Polanco, and Utley were having a good night. If Dom gets on and we get another run- even if Lidge implodes like he did we win 3-2.

Charlie played for an extra run and it didn't work because they didn't get it. Then it really didn't work because Lidge blew the lead. That doesn't automatically make it a bad decision though. It's not an easy decision and there are rationales either way. Everyone wants to bash Charlie on here at all times regardless of what he does though so people always proclaim it to be a terrible decision. Remember this is a blog where Charlie gets bashed based on what pitcher he uses in a 15-7 blowout.

TTI, exactly. I didn't interpret the move as UC thinks O can't go another inning, I saw it as he was trying to score more runs. Seems pretty simple.
If Roy was not coming to bat that inning, I'll bet he would have left him in.

The decision to PH was debatable. The odd thing about it was that in doing so Cholly went against his own form. He always prefers his starters for just one more inning, especially when they are still dealing and have no pitch count issue. His gut betrayed him by telling him Lidge would be OK.

If Oswalt was not due up in the 9th I think Charlie might have left him in. Plus we had the awesome Dom Brown to hit for him and get an insurance run, right?

Rollins has excellent speed and the ball was not a line drive so not problem with sending him. It was a great throw that should have been an out. At least Polanco advanced to 2B with Utley and Howard, who did not knock him in for an insurance run.

re: sending rollins / pulling viceroy

I think Perlazzo made the right call. This team has been struggling offensively and he had his best base runner in scoring position.

A big factor here is that the throw home advances the runner into scoring position - so even more of an edge to send the runner.

As for Oswalt, I disagree with his removal. If there were RISP than maybe I pull him, but not with the bases empty. And even with runners on, he was asolutely dealing last nite, i might have left him in anyway.

BAP - Yeah Lidge hasn't been great this year. He has pitched much better than last year though and pitched pretty well this month.

Is he one of the better closers in baseball right now? No.

Is he the complete disaster that he was last year who would failed often alot more than succeeded in close games? No.

Phils can live with this version of Lidge even if they are dramatically overpaying for him.

Conjecture, of course, but I totally agree that Oswalt stays in last night if his spot doesn't come up in the 9th.

And in general, after these last few seasons, there are few things I believe in more strongly than Cholly's Gut. Doesn't ALWAYS pay off, but it is, for better or worse (better!), our lodestar. I wouldn't trade him for any manager in the history of major league baseball.

You see his quote on Jimmy's unbelievable slide last night?

"It ain't tough. Hell no. Not if you know how to slide."

The man is a civic treasure.

also, the best move of the night: IBB to Adrain Gonzalez in the 9th.

I have little doubt that he would have crushed one off lidge. You can not let him hurt you anytime you play this Pads team. With his surrounding parts, I'd give him the Barry Bonds treatment since he is Bonds'esque when compared to his teammates offensively.

bap, including last night, this is what Lidge has done in the month of August:

.143 .189 .171 against

13 G, 11 GF, 10.1 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 11 K, .087 ERA.

One cloud: .208 BAbip, so maybe it isn't sustainable.


You're generally a pretty reasonable poster, so I'm sure you don't expect perfection from Lidge or any other player every time they take the field.

Unfortunately, many, many others here do. With all the bitching they do about players who fail (remember, a hitter who's FAILING 67.3% of the time is LEADING the league in BA) I really have to question how well they understand the game.

Now, I do agree with your point about Papelbon, but I used him to merely illustrate a point that relying in raw numbers or anecdotal evidence is rather silly.

"The Phillies enter two games back of the Braves in the NL East, the closest they've been since June 1."

Wow. Imagine where they would be if they didn't stink.

As predicted, Cholly is done messing with the lineup. The guys getting paid to produce are either going to start performing, or not.

I love Jimmy's quote. I also love the face he made walking back to the dugout, which comcast caught so well. You can see it at the end of the video on Phillies.com
Jimmy Rollins is an athlete that "gets it" more than most.

"Bringing in Lidge to pitch the 9th was a by the book decision that every manager in baseball would make."

Really? Every manager in baseball? Hell, even the specific manager in question wouldn't have brought Lidge into the game last night if it had been Halladay on the mound rather than Oswalt. Apparently what Roy H. says, goes, but when Roy O. argues to stay in the game -- as he has stated he did last night -- Charlie can't be bothered to listen.

I make no bones about being extremely critical of Charlie Manuel, almost certainly overly so at times. However, it's the fact that his decision making has no apparent logic or consistency to back it up that drives me nuts. The way in which he mishandled his pitchers last night was a jackass move by a jackass manager. He's lucky the rest of the bullpen bailed him out ... much as Perlozzo is lucky Rollins made that ridiculous slide.

A bad decision is a bad decision, whether it ends up working or not. I'm happy the Phillies won, but it's easy to see where the mental midgetry on the field comes from when a team has a manager & coach making decisions such as were made in that game.

Old Phan: If the Phillies hit w/ any kind of consistency whatsoever, they'd be 6-10 games up right now. One cannot look upon the failures of their opponents & claim them as their own successes.

gobaystars - Rollins' performance last night was one of the more inspired of the season, right there with Utley's after the Lopes interview "situation."

Rollins has a funny month of production so far

8 games: .324/.410/.382, 3 R
2 games: 0-7, 0 R
4 games: .368/.400/.632, 5 R
2 games: 0-7, 0 R
4 games: .286/.318/.524, 4 R
2 games: 0-8, 1 R
Last night's games: 3-5, 1 BB, 1 2B, 2 R

Gtown, isn't that what I said (albeit in a more light hearted way)?

Old Phan: I must have missed it. Watching such a wonderful offense score 3 whole runs in 12 innings tends to fog my mind.

Random yet interesting fact

"RHP Carl Pavano ranks second in the majors in first-pitch strikes, 67.1 percent, according to STATS Inc. The leader is Texas LHP Cliff Lee at 70.8 percent. If either pitcher finishes the season over 70, it will be only the second time since STATS began tracking the data in 1988. So far, the only pitcher to finish a season throwing strikes on more than 70 percent of his pitches was former Minnesota RHP Brad Radke, who had a 72.8 first-pitch strike percentage with the Twins in 2005."

Another funny month

Ibanez

8 games: .400/.486/.567
4 games: 0-18, 0 BB
11 games: .300/.378/.525

I like that Garland can't really strike anyone out and walks a lot of batters

Kendrick: 4.1 K9, 2.6 BB9
Garland: 4.8 K9, 3.0 BB9

I do not see how Charlie mis-managed the bullpen. Lidge came in to close and failed by a couple fluke occurrences (0-2 HBP and balk) and a necessary IBB which meant HPB put running at 3rd.

After that he did not keep Lidge in (he should not be pitching more than 3 outs) and then went with his next best pitcher in Madson (while Padres had Bell) then had to pinch hit. Then he keeps Durbin for 2 innings to win it.

Hey we have Josh Lewin who is normally the Texas Rangers announcer calling our game today- nice. He's easily top 5 for me in baseball right now.

And I actually enjoy Karros much more than McCarver as far as teh national guys go.

Karros may be better than McCarver, but he's still an idiot.

Give me Karros over McCarver anytime.
Who else were the rookies of the year during the Dodger's streak that KArros started? Karros, Piazza, Nomo, was there a fouth guy?

Love these early patient ABs.

Not only is KYjelly starting for the Phils, but I turn on AtBat and get to hear Wheels doing color in the first. Oh yay. This game already feels like a loss.

7 pitches = 1 innings for the phillies = patience at the plate?

Garland

Home: .210/.313/.301 (.241 BAbip), 5 HR, 2.49 ERA
Away: .266/.338/.413 (.291 BAbip), 10 HR, 4.04 ERA

What a stupid park they have built.

My pubes are significantly more stylish than whatever the hell that thing on Karros' head is. Also, I can't remember the last time I was able to watch an entire Phillies game w/ the TV Volume un-Muted.

Gtown, it looks like a Bob's Big Boy cut.

Blanton. 0 R! Has that happened before?

gtown - TMI

That's only the 12th time in 22 starts Blanton hasn't given up Run(s) in the 1st Inning, & the first time he hasn't since 6 August.

Sophist - when blanton was an infant

If Garland Ks Howard, that's rock bottom

C'mon, Ryan. It's time.

These announcers sucks. "SD is going to be the place to play"? What, on their $40MM budget?

Vs. Garland:

Scheinder: .000/.125/.000 in 8 AB
Chooch: .667/.667/1.167 - 4-6 with a HR

hmm, maybe not the best time for an offday.

some other notables:

bighead: .390/.390/.512 in 41 AB
Werth: .429/.556/1.429 (2 HR, 2B in 7 AB)
Ibanez .333/.384/.530 in 73 AB
Sweeney: .293/.358/.603 in 58 AB.

Ah, good AB from Howard. Better than what we've seen lately. He had some better ones yesterday too.

robbed!

"One cannot look upon the failures of their opponents & claim them as their own successes."


GTown, that, and the post above it, are some of the more bizzare I've read here.


Read my post above: Baseball is a game of failure. Usually the team that wins is the team that FAILS LEAST.

You sound like one of the people about which I was posting, no?

6-8 AB don't really mean anything. Day game after an extra innings night game and Ruiz has been struggling a bit lately.

Sophist, how is it that baseball players having streaks is "funny"?

Rosenthal would look entirely appropriate in jockey silks.

awh, uh, okay.

Rosenthal is a horse's a$$.

joe 'Halladay' Blanton!

In 2 starts Blanton's ERA at Petco is 5.73.

Donut looking strong so far.

Old Phan: That's pretty offensive. To horses...

maybe Werth can take sliding lessons from Jroll.

anyone remember when you'd watch a phils game and be surprised by multiple 1-2-3 innings. ah, those were the days.

of course, playing in petco certainly won't help hit the hr's, but there's lots of room in the gaps. it'd be nice if we could adjust.

Anyone following on mlb gameday? I don't know if it's a just today thing, but it's starting to look like a virtual game. Pretty cool stuff.

petco dimensions are pretty normal - aside from right center being pretty deep - so it must have a lot to do with the air. No humidity at all, the ball never sails up in the air long.

not sure you can blame the construction of the park for the home/away splits.

And from fans perspective it might be the best stadium in the country.

Scott, you're right. My apologies to all horses everywhere.

re: gameday

looks the same as it always does for me

nothing virtual about gameday. it sure is a great free site though.

I don't get this: "Either he's your closer or he isn't."

Well, how about he's your closer when it makes sense for him to be, and he isn't when you have a great pitcher pitching a great game where he's only at 100 pitches and shutting down the opposition the last few innings?

Someone will have to show me the rule where pitchers HAVE to be pulled after 8 innings if they're not throwing a shutout. I haven't seen that one in the book, but Clout says it's a rule that all managers follow.

Except we all know that if it was Halladay pitching, not Oswalt, there's no way Lidge would've been out there.

jason.tp, shouldn't they have built a park with dimensions more suitable to their environment? I'm not sure many fields have CF like Petco's (400-411 from left-center to right center) and the RF wall is 387 at the middle. Seems pretty deep to me. That's deeper than Citi's LF (though they have taller walls in NY) and much deeper than Citi's RF.

Wasn't meant to be a comment about the fan-friendly nature of the place anyway.

Great play by Polanco.

jason.tp, that's also deeper than Busch Stadium's dimensions, about 15 feet deeper in LF and RF and CF in Busch isn't almost flat across as it is in Petco and peaks at 402 in dead center.

Great play by Polly.

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