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Sunday, August 22, 2010

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Why does UC refuse to play our full lineup when it is finally available?

Was anyone really expecting Utley and Howard to hit the ground running after both guys came back early and neither one (especially Howard) had many ABs in the minors?

On Kendrick, this is obviously starting to get ugly. I wonder if there might be a serviceable fifth-starter type who might have made it through waivers, the way Moyer did a couple years ago.

Piniella to retire after Sunday's game against the Braves

MG: No.

The Phils need a Marty Bystrom, and Kendrick isn't it I don't think. Remember '08, Kendrick had to be shelved in September - Happ was the 5th starter, and I believe the Phils won all his games.

The closest thing the Phils have to a Kendrick replacement may actually be Brandon Duckworth at this point. Worley probably isn't ready. Carpenter is a AAAA guy at best. Don't know how Duckworth has looked because I haven't actually seen him pitch. But if he has anything at this point he may be someone to try to catch at a high point.

MG, nope, but I think Howard starts hitting before Utley.

Not sure if there's good reason to quit on Kendrick so quickly. He's been touched up before this year and come back strong. The guy's career numbers against the Nats are awful. His next scheduled start is against Houston, one of the worst offenses in the league.

Sophist - I agree with you. Kendrick has bounced back before. But if Houston kicks his behind, it's time for a serious consideration of alternatives.

Kendrick's longest streak of good starts this year is 3. He's done it twice. Just going by IP,R, his starts

1,2: bad
3: good
4,5: bad
6: good
7: bad
8: good
9: bad
10, 11: good
12: bad
13, 14: good
15, 16: bad
17, 18, 19: good
20: bad
21, 22, 23: good
24: bad
25: good
26: bad

Was last night anything new? No. If the screws up against Houston that may be something new. He hasn't had bad back-to-back starts since late June. He's been doing this all year. Why change things in late August, in the middle of a pennant race, when your other options are Worley and Duckworth? Kendrick is capable of rebounding. He's done it all year.

I don't think it's time to jump the Kendrick ship just yet. He was able to pitch into the sixth inning after a very bad first and second, which is somewhat encouraging.

Jamie Moyer had many starts for the Phils where he'd look awful for an inning or two early, see that he wasn't going to get certain pitches called for strikes, and then use smoke and mirrors to get through five. Sometimes the offense would rescue him, sometimes not.

aksmith - I agree with that, but especially because his next scheduled start after Houston is against the Dodgers.

In any case, it's short-sighted to think we're experiencing something new with Kendrick here. He's been alternating bad and good starts since May and he has terrible numbers against the Nats.

Kendrick's off and on is what's so troubling. Blanton is basically the same pitcher each time he goes out, gives up a couple runs or more, never lights out, makes it through much of the game, and basically seems in control in spite of his troubles. Kendrick is inconsistent and that just doesn't breed confidence when he starts.

Why does UC refuse to play our full lineup when it is finally available?

He's "refusing" because he gave a couple of players a day off yesterday and Utley a day off today?

I think we're trying for the lightning in a bottle syndrome with any change. At one time, Duckworth was exactly that for the Phillies, although they weren't going anywhere at the time. But the number of NL hitters who have seen Duckworth these days is probably nil. He'd be like calling up a kid who nobody has seen to try to wring a few good starts out of him. So, if Kendrick folds in Houston, I think it would be time to give it a try. Although in no way do I think the Phillies will do this.

Well, I messed that Kendrick list up a bit since 13 and 19 were relief appearance not "good starts". That means he's only had a stretch of 3 consecutive good starts once this year.

I was gonna post roughyl what Sophist did. Since the beginning of July, Kendrick has had 9 starts, 6 good, 3 bad. He is what he his. When he can keep his BABIP with RISP below, say, .230, he's a monster. When teams keep hitting him, even when people are on base, they eat him alive. This year he's done as well with RISP as he did in 2007. I'll take that as a 5th starter.

Just don't expect him to be Roy Halladay - he will definitely stink the joint up fairly often. At some point, I still think he'll completely decompensate for good (bad) and degenerate into a ROOGY. But this year he is a "reliable" fifth starter.

It is the real difference that the Roys make in our rotation, They push Blanton and Kendrick down in the rotation to where they are above league average, usually, compared to the guys they're often paired against.

When Ruben took over, he indicated his belief that you cannot afford to be pitching rich and hitting rich, and kinda indicated a preference (IIRC) to be the former. His drafts have borne that out, as have his major acquisitions. With just a little bit of very fine hitting, it is not bad to be a good pitching team. As long as the bullpen carries it's load too.

Not ready to cut KK loose just yet - but if it does have to happen, I think that Figgy would be worth a shot.

KK is 8-6 with a mid 4 ERA.

He's the 5th starter.

Check the other 5th starters numbers from around the majors. See how many of them are doing this well.

This team needs to win games when Hamels and Oswalt pitch. They haven't done enough of that so far. If they start winning those games, the Phils will make the playoffs with ease.

Ibanez starting again? Against a lefty? Why? Francisco is back to chewing sunflower seads every night again, I guess.

We got to see the Utley/Howard duo flail away against a LOOGY again last night. Been a while, since we have been subjected to that. Felt good, didn't it?

Olsen is a "smackass" (nice JW), but he is also a lefty. So look for another low-scoring bore of a game at CBP. Hope for a 3-2 type of win. The Phils have about 2 HR's in their last 70 innings of baseball. Be nice to run into 1 or 2 today.

I believe this stat is correct, but the Phils have played more games at home this year where they have scored 2 runs or fewer then ANY TEAM IN BASEBALL. That is pathetic.

Duckworth is hurt and on the DL, so he shouldn't even be mentioned. Carpenter has been horrible.

Worley is the only viable major league starting pitching candidate in either AA or AAA. Unless he falls off a cliff in his next 2 starts, he will likely start Game 2 of the Monday DH in Florida in a few weeks.

Is Figgy no longer with the Phillies?

Doh. Picked up by the 'Stros. Sorry. RAJ is a moron.

Does it really matter how Kendrick pitched last night anyway?

When you only score 1 run and get 4 stinkin' hits, you would have needed your pitcher to throw a shutout to win.

Halladay is the only pitcher on the staff that could have won that game last night. And he pulled off a Houdini act on Friday to do just that....1-0.

Figgy's with the Astros.

denny - what are Utley's career numbers against LOOGYs? They aren't that bad I don't think. Check the last thread. Going into yesterday, in a small sample, he was 2-5 with a double off Slaten.

Andy, yeah, Phils have won 8 of his last 13 starts. Even last night went according to the most likely formula for a Phils win. They got it to the 6th within 3-4 runs and Strasburg out of the game. They didn't take advantage of a couple of opportunities to get back in the game, and Durbin had a rough outing. In about 1/3 of Kendrick's bad starts, they make a comeback.

Phils are 4-8 in "bad" Kendrick starts. So in about 1/3 of his bad starts they either get to the other starter or make a comeback. And that's this year with their mostly weaker offense compared to year's previous.

"Why does UC refuse to play our full lineup when it is finally available?"

Maybe because that full lineup has produced virtually nothing when it's been together this season?

Paulino suspended for 50 games, Rod The Bod to LA and Juan Castro has been dumped for a 2nd time.

Thats today's "Former Phils" breakdown.

If you pick the LOOGYs out of this list from the SP, Utley seems to have a solid track record against late-inning lefties. His numbers in late & close situations back that up.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/shareit/HQ3Z6

Utley has bad career numbers against Olsen (though with a high SLG), and is returning from a stint on the DL, and Ibanez has good career numbers against Olsen (although only 10 AB).

That's probably all there is to it.

Olsen is very hittable, and every now and then unhittable. Mostly the former.

Clearly, I was upset last night. I'm aware that it is not reasonable to expect a win each time out from a 4th and 5th starter. Any illusion to unhappiness with the Oswalt trade was just damn poor writing on my part.

Regardless, no matter who pitches, a real problem arises when the Phils can't capitalize on an opponent's misfortune. My anger/frustration arose from the inability to jump on the Nationals when Stratsburg went down.

We need every win against crippled opponents in order to overtake the Braves, or to at least maintain a comfortable lead; heck, any lead in the Wild Card standings. What a nightmare to wake up October 4 and to be out of the playoffs.

Strasburg shutdown for the season

Phils have 7 more against the Nats, including today.
Braves have 6.

'Does it really matter how Kendrick pitched last night anyway?'

It might if you plunked down a bunch of money to take your family to CBP and watch him pitch. I agree of course that the offense didn't give anyone their money's worth either.

limoguy -- I was thinking the same thing. Guess that's why CPB has so much other entertainment during the game. Probably the Phanatic was working extra time last night.

Pitching matchups for the coming week:

STROS'

MON- Blanton vs Myers
TUES- Hamels vs Norris
WED- Halladay vs Happ
THURS- Kendrick vs Rodriguez

PADS

FRI- Oswalt vs Correia
SAT- Blanton vs Garland
SUN- Hamels vs Richard


-Phils will miss Latos and LeBlanc (who pitched a gem against them in Philly)

-Blanton is likely to pitch in the 1 game makeup series in Colorado on Sept 2.

There's 81 home games a year (well, usually), and you're going to pay money to see some stinkers. That's how it is. I paid a bunch to see Hamels give up 3 in the first to the Giants the other day. It happens.

"Maybe because that full lineup has produced virtually nothing when it's been together this season?"

All 8 times? And as was mentioned by others, did anyone expect Utley to just show up and start killing the ball? Give him some time.

Maybe because that full lineup has produced virtually nothing when it's been together this season?

??? Unless I'm mistaken, outside of last night, the only time they had the full lineup all season was the stretch at the beginning of the year, when they mashed.

Wow. Missing Latos would be big.

Oswalt has a 2.06 ERA and a 1.119 WHIP in 6 starts at Petco, including a complete game.

Hamels has a 2.18 ERA and a .823 WHIP in 3 starts at Petco.

Big Lou P. retiring after today's game.

phlipper: when they nose-dived offensively in May/June, the only component of the lineup missing was the hobbled old man version of Jimmy Rollins. The everyday lineup looks better on paper than it actually performs.

I've always liked Piniella, largely because of the old story where, as a player, he was arguing balls & strikes with the ump & asked the ump, "Where was that pitch at?" The smart-ass ump responded by saying that a man as intelligent as Piniella should know not to end his sentence with a preposition. To which Piniella replied, "Where was that pitch at, a**hole?"

RSB - Rollins plays an important role in this lineup. And you have to consider the quality of his replacement (Castro, initially).

I think the takeaway on this whole messy season offensively is that it will be very hard to predict what the Phils will do going forward into these last 40+ games. We've seen a bit of everything from everyone in the lineup, with the most consistent top performers being Werth and Polanco (and Werth has his strange RISP numbers, and Polanco the barking elbow), and the top performers career wise are both coming back from the DL.

The good news is that the Phils have solid SP in at least 3 out of every 5 games, and that they've played very well offensively over the last 30 games (the last coupla days aside).

Oh, not to leave out Chooch. He's been solid all year as well. But outside of those three you've got the pop-up/flyball happy Vic, Utley back from the DL (who has had his own offensive up and downs earlier this year), Howard back from the DL, Rollins with lower body injuries, Ibanez and his streaks, the rookie Brown, etc. etc..

Hey, Mrs. Victorino is most definitely severely pregnant. There's gonna be a little "Cryin' Hawaiian." Good for them.

I just looked at the weather and it said there is a 100% chance of rain. I'm no mathematician, but that sounds high to me.
Is this game going to happen today?

Would it kill Charlie to bat Chooch second?

I think it might.

RSB - Agreed. This is a lineup on paper that looks really impressive but for several reasons this year (injuries, ineffectivness) isn't as potent especially from a power perspective as years' past.

If they stay on pace, they will finish with just 160 HRs this year. Last year, they had 224. In '07 and '08 they had 213 and 214 respectively.

Mostly due to injury replacements (punchless Castro & Valdez) but also due to notable dropoffs in power from Werth, Ibanez, and JRoll.

Nyjer Morgan is like Juan Pierre Jr...f'n annoying!

When was the last time the Phils had a first inning without allowing a baserunner?

Nice break getting an out there. He looked safe both in real time and on replay.

Just wondering...was watching that crappy Cubs/Braves game on fox yesterday, saw them unveil a "Thanks for whooping our azz all the years, Bobby"(perhaps not those words) sign they (Cubs and Miller Beer) posted at Wrigley in honor of Cocks retiring. This morning I wake up to Sweet Lou deciding to retire...now, not end of the season, now. Do you think maybe he would have preferred his own sign at his own park? Just wondering, I know he is a smart baseball mind but you get an ego after being a winner like him.

The Sunglass Exodus. Re: Howard not hitting the ground running...he had a single and was absolutely robbed of a double last night. I don't think he'll need long, or any time at all, to get back to what he normally is.

Perils of batting Dunn two spots after Morgan. The Ks.

Yeah, on agree with you on Howard, Fatalotti. Utley will probably take more time.

Oswalt looks like he has good stuff today. I was reading up on pitching mechanics last night, and there are many people who think that Oswalt has nearly perfect mechanics. I enjoy watching him pitch.

Oswalt's pitches look crisp here in the 1st.

OH come on, that is a strike.

That pitch looked like started a little outside and then ended up behind Zimmerman. Nasty!

Zimmerman has left quite a few runners on base in this series.

Nothing more exciting than a healthy and producing J-Roll in my opinion.

Cheis Wheeler on Olsen, "He's either on or off. He doesn't really have a middle ground." Sounds like someone we know, huh? Nice start by Jimmy.

Rollins swung at the first pitch again? What a jerk.


A double? Uh, nice going.

I hate when Jimmy swings at the first pitch. I hereby declare that the double doesn't count because I don't approve of the process.

Jimmy Rollins making things happen. For all his flaws he's a winner.

Well, the Phils have now scored their run. All Oswalt needs to do is pitch a complete game shutout. We're set.

Good small ball right there. And it happened with two guys swinging at the first pitch. I guess it's not always a bad thing. Maybe Howard will hit a homer here to remind the Nationals that he's back.

Howard is right back where he was before the injury. A lefty throw a pitch, any pitch, Howard doesn't see it, and he swings anyway.

We may keep wondering when Howard will be healthy, but in fact, when he got injured, he had just gone in the toilet for a few games. He appears to be right back there.

I am not complaining. Howard is a great player and he will eventually again do great things. But it's important to remember that the Howard we lost with the injury was this Howard, not some imaginary Howard from Septembers past.

Not the most patient inning, but it's tough to complain too loudly when it nets a run.

Hell of a bunt.

Foul balls galore.

I have a problem with a lot of bars, not just the lum.

Oh man. I love Larry Anderson

Nats have a lot of interesting young guys. If a couple of recent draft picks work out, they should be right there.

At the current rate, who pitches the sixth today?

Foul balls make games boring.

For a guy nearing 40 pitches thru 2 IP, Oswalt is pitching very, very well. 30 stikes, 9 balls or something like that. Missed his spot a bunch of times against Morse, but otherwise very impressive. And some nice AB from the Nats.

Was that a hell of a bunt last inning? Or was it just another case of Polly playing too deep at third. For as well as he's played this season, he consistently plays too deep against the speed guys.

Oswalt may need to get a few more pitches down in the zone, but otherwise, he's got a good fastball and he's hitting both side of the plate well.

anybody know the name of the same Werth uses for his walk-up music?

Here comes the GIDP machine. Missed him.

I have a theory I'd like to pose to beerleaguer. The thing is I don't have any proof because try as I might, I cannot find anywhere a table with Catcher ERA, and even if I could, I've read that it is a bad stat.

However, I've noticed that when Brian is behind the plate instead of Chooch, certain pitchers seem to suffer. Not the likes of Halladay or Oswalt, but Kendrick does, as does Madsen, and Joe Blanton too. My theory is that Carlos is somehow instilling confidence in pitchers where that can sometimes be a problem, and this allows them to throw strikes and attack, as opposed to being attacked.

I wonder if anyone knows of a site that has the stats to prove that theory, and I wonder if we'd be better suited giving chooch off days on days where confident veteran pitchers are scheduled to pitch.

Almost makes you want to bat Valdez leadoff -- that way he'll come up at least once a game with no one on first.

Well, that took longer than expected, so there's that.

In GIDP situations, Valdez needs to bunt. Every time. No exceptions.

With a struggling offense & in a critical game, I truly don't understand how you start Wilson Valdez when Utley just had 2 full months of rest.

Brett: Bunt to the pitcher?

Thankfully, that GIDP was the last play I'll see in this game, as I have to leave. I fully expect to come back & find that the Phillies were held to 1 run in a 6-1 loss.

Wow, that was a nice play by Oswalt. Great throw.

bap - cuz Scott Olsen has a better swing than Utley right now?

TMac HAS to stop saying "room service hop". He seems to get that in at least once a game.

@Fatalotti -- I was thinking the same thing. Is it possible to have a signature ground ball call?

Actually, Fatalotti, room service hop is about the only phrase that comes out of Mr. Met's mouth that doesn't make me want to vomit.

That throw was absolutely terrible.

With a struggling offense & in a critical game, I truly don't understand how you start Wilson Valdez when Utley just had 2 full months of rest.


Gee. I dunno, BAP. I'm guess that maybe Charlie thinks for some reason the needs a rest? Just a hunch.

He forgot where he was supposed to throw that ball.

wow. That was some sorry-ass typing on that last comment.

Sort of surprised Olson didn't try for second there.

Polly should have received the unintentional walk here.

Great play by Polly.

The end of the play looked like something out of a Little League game.

Nyjer Morgan must have an absolutely atrocious arm if you're sending Oswalt from second a single to center field.

*I* can throw better than Morgan, and I throw like a girl.

Maybe he realizes that Utley just came back early from a fairly major injury...probably needs a few days off here and there.

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