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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Still can salvage a split series and a winning homestand....go out there and just win, baby, win.

What a joke.

Has Howard come back too early from the DL? Would a couple more minor league games have helped get his swing back? I don't know. But I'm not going to rip a guy who was having another great offensive year before being hurt and has struggled his first few games back from the DL.

As far as the ejection, I'll defend him on that too. I'm sorry, but tossing a bat and yelling in frustration should not get you ejected. Barry should be demoted back to AAA, and soon.

Has anyone seen a difference in our hitters approach to hitting from Milt to Gross?
I dont see any difference. --

I still see guys like Vic and J Roll swinging for the fence. Grant it JRoll tied the game on a dinger. But I believe they should setting the stage. Getting on base. Then putting pressure on the pitchers with Utley and Howard and Werth up at bat.

Frustrating to watch this lineup right now.

I have no sympathy for Howard. Hit the ball and shut up. Since he has swung at everything this series anyways the ump just assumed he swung again.

Jimmy's had quite a few good at bat's lately. He's the hit ball hard while running some deep counts. Raul looks to have broken from his little slump, too.

Utley and Howard have not looked good since coming back, but unless you think that it's their injuries that are still bothering them, I don't think you can say they've come back too soon. The only way to get on track against major league pitching is to face it every day, meaning that you just have to wait for them to come around.

i agree w/ everything i just read.

I agree with with The Truth Injection above. Whether or not he swung is almost irrelevant. The way the umpire handled the situation was ridiculous. First, he mocked Howard by putting his hands on his hips and staring him down. Howard then tells the plate ump that he was angry with himself, not the umpire -- which I don't know if I buy, but at least Howard was trying diffuse the situation. Then, after the second check (where I don't think he swung), he throws his bat in disgust and gets tossed immediately. Then, of course, Howard went nuts. He has to know the situation and not get tossed -- but I would have been a little ticked myself.

The umpiring this season has been brutal and the cause of seemingly much more debate than in recent years. The worst thing an umpire can do is compound a mistake by showing up a player. Haven't they learned from some well-publicized blunders this year to be low key. If it turns out that you're wrong, apologize and move on. If you're right, you're right and the player looks like an idiot. Now, right or wrong, Scott Barry has made it about him -- whether he realizes it or not.

i hear what you're saying alex but read sam donnelon's article in the DN this morning

the ump is a triple A call-up and was completely out of line tossing howard like he did. this crew is wayyy below average and it has showed in the last two games.

4 runs in 25 innings has cost the Phils 2 games not the umpires. Even if Howard stayed in the game, when were the Phils going to score?

nobody knows if they would have scored but we do know that having howard hitting instead of oswalt increases teh chances of scoring considerably. the astros bullpen was down to their last arm and instead of having to pitch to chase, they IBB'd to get to roy oswalt to end the game.

the umpire directly impacted teh game in a way that he should not have. two nights in a row the umpires' decisions have directly affected the game.

So, did the Umps make Howard go 0-7? They forced him to swing at terrible pitches and K 5 times? Because, if not, I'm a bit confused here.

STFU and play the game. Umps suck sometimes. It wouldn't be an issue if anyone on the damn team could get a clutch hit occasionally.

Old Phan, sorry about the Gload thing. I was at the game and didn't realize he was tossed. I thought you were asking why they didn't use him at first after the ejection.

Utley reached safely in 4 of his 8 PA. I don't think he's timing is completely back yet, but he didn't have a bad game.

I have 0 doubt that half the people in the stadium could have held the phils scoreless for the remainder of the night.

Nice to see Phillies fans so willing to throw Ryan Howard under the bus.

He didn't swing at strike 3, got baited by a bush league ump before that call and then was wrongly ejected. Who's to say he doesn't get a hit if the right call is made and it's 3-2 with the winning run at 3rd?

Yea, Howard is way off his game since Saturday. That doesn't excuse the injustice of the 14th inning.

The other thing that bothered me about the ejection was the quickness of it. Players are not allowed to argue balls and strikes, but almost every game you'll see a player argue with the home plate ump about a called strike for a little bit and they aren't tossed. The persistence of the argument is usually what gets someone ejected. So Howard saying one sentence from that distance shouldn't do it.

Secondly, plenty of guys throw their bat when they get rung up to end an inning and they don't get tossed for that. So throwing the bat shouldn't get tossed.

Like I said in another post last night- the ejection really felt like retaliation because Howard didn't really carry out a long argument and never got in the ump's face about it.

Also, in a situation like that you have to ask yourself, "When have I ever seen Howard get like that?" The answer is never. Howard may yell at himself but he never gets that outwardly angry.

NEPP - if you watched his last AB then, yes, you would know that the umps do "force" players to swing at terrible pitches by saying they swung when they did not.

The offense was awful, but there's no reason this game couldn't have been decided by the player's on the field including Howard. This is what I'm talking about:

"they IBB'd to get to roy oswalt to end the game."

Hard to just play the game when ridiculous officiating puts you at such a disadvantage both in Howard's AB and its consequences.

But, yes, of course Howard had a terrible game at the plate. But in the least the umps should give him and the Phils a fair shot at success.

I don't think the umpires "cost the Phillies the game." The offense did that.

The point is that umpiring is getting worse every year. Instead of being held accountable, the umpires have become defensive and are quick to mix it up with the players.

Scott Barry was completely out of line last night. Gibson missed the call (on two accounts) the night before. He still handled it poorly. Ask for help, get it right and move on. If a mistake is still made, at least there was an effort to correct it.

Just because the offense was bad, it doesn't give the umpiring crew a license to miss calls and act like a-holes. The lifeless offense simply masks the fact the umpiring in this series (and the entire year) has been abysmal.

Great article by Sam Donnellon. I never won in a confrontation with a ref or ump . That's the way it is,learn to accept it or pay the consequence.

TTI - When you've got Zimmerman and Howard to lose their tempers in one week of officiating, you're probably doing something wrong.

There are going to be plenty of folks today criticizing Howard for the ejection (Jack got a good jump out of the gate last night), but to make that argument, you've got to argue that Howard should have been ejected. If you don't think he should have been ejected, then you're criticizing him for something he didn't do (namely, earn an ejection).

(For the record, I thought they had a better chance with Oswalt at the plate last night. Howard looks very lost, and while he'll snap out of it, I don't think it would have happened in the bottom of the 16th. Then again, if Howard's in the lineup, it's unlikely that Chase Utley, the tying run, gets intentionally walked.)

****NEPP - if you watched his last AB then, yes, you would know that the umps do "force" players to swing at terrible pitches by saying they swung when they did not.****

I agree with you...on that FINAL AB. That doesn't explain the other 6 ABs that sucked. Howard came back early, is really rusty and it shows. He'd help himself out alot if he ddidnt half swing or swing at every damn pitch low and away.

Second night in a row the umpires have way too much to do with the outcome of a Philllies loss. Minor league replacement umpires have no buisness being on the field during the stretch run with teams in contention.
I understand that MLB needs back-up umpires for injury replacements, but in season vacations should be handled in a planned manner, with qualified MLB umpires as rteplacements -or don't allow in season vacations.
The ump last night was excercising his ego at the expense of Howard, and the night before the 1B ump's ego would not allow him to check with the home plate ump or the crew chief to be sure they got the play right.No- it was HIS call& HE was going to get his moments on the high light tapes.
Bud, stop being a statue and get the umps under control. They support the game, they aren't paid to let their ego's ruin the game.

The idea that Oswalt has a better chance at the plate than Howard is pretty ridiculous.

NEPP, Howard it a warning track flyball in one of those other 6 AB.

Yeah I know...I did watch the game actually (all 32 hours of it). I simply didn't post on BL as I was doing other stuff.

@nepp -- he crushed a fly ball that on any other night would have been out of the ballpark.

he also hit a line drive down the line that was caught because the first baseman was holding the runner.

Revisionist history. We all know Howard K's a lot.

And that just means... homers are on the way.

or not.

Getting on Howard today seems contrarian for the sake of contrarian.

Sophist - While Utley was on base for 4 of 8 PA, he didn't look too comfortable (and the IBB was more due to Scott Barry than to the way Utley is swinging the bat). My guess is that he's still getting his feel back. The thing about Utley is that, because of an efficient swing, he's able to make contact even when he's not seeing the ball too well, and some of the contact he makes results in bleeders and dink and dunk hits (like last night).

He struck out 5 times (4 if you accept the last one being BS). So what if he made good contact a couple times...overall, he was terrible.

They're both rusty and it shows...though seemingly less so for Utley thanks to his greater plate discipline/shorter swing.

NEPP - Not saying Howard had a great night, but you're exaggerating. Up to that point in the game he had two hard hit outs and 4 K. Howard strikes out a lot, sure, but he'd also it the ball hard when he made contact.

I'm tired of hearing the moron announcers on TV make excuses for Utley and Howard that their timing is still off since being on the DL. Play a few more rehab games, but when you're back in the lineup you need to produce. If you're not ready...

I don't think scoring runs is going to get any easier on this upcoming road trip either.

ozark - Whether you like it or not, sticking players in AAA until they get hot, then bringing them up to continue raking doesn't happen. It doesn't happen because ML pitching is magnitudes better than AAA pitching.

optimus - Yeah the IBB was all Oswalt and he dunked a hit, but his other hit was a hard shot up the middle IIRC. My point was simply that, while he could be doing more (doubles, HR, go 6-6) and probably doesn't have his timing yet, he had a relatively productive night at the plate. No one expected him to come back and start mashing, but he didn't go 0-7.

This begs the question of why won't the manager split up the 2 struggling lefthanders currently batting 3rd and 4th.

I agree with everything in the post.

To me, the key take away is they couldn't score runs against this garbage Houston team. All the excuses in the world doesn't change that fact.

The umpire's call was garbage, but they shouldn't have had to be in that position.

Sophist - Agreed, on Utley.

And on feeling more comfortable with Oswalt at the plate then Howard in the 16th: I made no claim that my comfort levels track reasonable baseball moves. Of course you'd rather have Howard at the plate, no matter how badly he's hitting. But I've seen Howard in these funks, and it starts to put me in a funk too. Then, all of the sudden, he'll go 12-25 with 4 HR, and it's hard to understand how you ever didn't want to see the guy at the plate.

I lived in Boston for five years, and the winters there used to get me feeling the same way. How could anyone want to live here? Then the summers would come around, and it would be particularly pleasant in August and September, and you'd think, Man, what a great town. Summers in Boston are nice enough to make the winters tolerable.

This team always struggles against the 'stros late in the season. Not an excuse, but they just seem to suck against this team this late. Also, the team went on a 21-6 tear, and they are coming back to Earth a little bit. It happens. The good thing is that while they are coming back to Earth, they still have the pitching keep them in games, and the Braves have also come back to Earth, and we are STILL IN THE WC LEAD.

All that being said, umpires should never affect the outcome of the game, or put a team with no bench players in a position where they HAVE to start a pitcher in left field. Scott Barry took us out of that game, no matter how much Howard was sucking, and put one of our starts at injury risk, because he wanted to show up Howard and make himself out to be a tough guy. it was a prick move, and I hope the fans make his life miserable tonight. They definitely did last night.

I'm not advocating AAA appearances until they get hot. I'm advocating them until they look like major league hitters.

ozark - But that's the key, right? That all the time in the world in the minors is not going to make you look like a major league hitter.

A point that has been brought up a few times, but bears repeating over and over is:

Then again, if Howard's in the lineup, it's unlikely that Chase Utley, the tying run, gets intentionally walked.

The fact that Howard is mired in a slump doesn't negate the fact that Utley was walked because Howard had been ejected. It took that bat out of you 3-hole hitter's hand.

i'm no lip reader but it sure looked like Howard was calling that umpire a racist. anyone else notice that?

I'm really starting to like this guy Oswalt.

I thought the fans were great when he was up in the 16th. Amazing how many stayed.

Phils will probably win something like 16 - 5 tonight. I still like their chances this season.

Yeah, I'm as disgusted as anyone else is right now and agree with what I've read here this morning but it's a new day and and the scoreboard reads 0 - 0.

Thank God this isn't an off day. Couldn't wait that long to get last night's game out of my system.

Interesting points by George S in the lead in here, and I'm glad JW posted it after last night. I want to touch on the Manager for a second. I'm a Charlie Manuel supporter. He's earned our respect, so this is not an attempt to second guess him.

A quote that I love is "your biggest weakness is often your greatest strength in excess." This applies to Charlie in certain ways. Ironically, he is the most popular head coach in a notoriously knee jerk town for making decisions that are famously anti-knee jerk. He stays with his players through up and down times, and they respect him greatly for that. I've never heard a player second guess or criticize him. That's amazing in Philly.

However, this has been a season of the bizarre. Between injuries, a league-wide power outage, and a bullpen shortened by deadweight, Charlie has been forced to be creative. And he has, but not when the team has been healthy. The tinkering he did with the lineup when Utley was out, and especially when both Chase and Howard were out, might have saved our season. You could argue that Gload would not have sustained his performance and that adding Oswalt has surely helped, and I would not disagree with that premise. But I do believe that Charlie's flexibility increased our chances to win by finding the right lineup combinations to maximize the strengths of the players at his disposal.

Now, I'm sure Charlie won't do this with the full team healthy, and I'm betting that he'll prove me wrong, but like George S said, it's almost September already. We are a team built to hit home runs and we aren't. We need to find other ways to generate runs.

'a league-wide power outage'

Are they using exactly the same baseballs as they did last year?

It doesn't take much of a difference in the ball to create a different result.

Just when you think that the issue of poor MLB umpiring has reached a tipping point, a AAA ump injects himself into the NL pennant race. This may force Selig's hand. All winter, he will be dealing with not only replay, but also umpire evaluation/accountability. On a brief side note, Scott Barry appears to be Cowboy Joe West's best protoge.

Also, I disagree with the idea of giving Howard and Utley more rehab at-bats. If they are healthy they have to play. Who's to say they don't struggle with MLB pitching after hitting .300 in minor league at-bats. You put your best players on the field, and trust that they will find their groove.

I'm not angry at Scott Barry for making us lose the game. Eventually, David Herndon was going to give up a run. Batters just make contact against him and runs score. The problem with the ejection, and Barry knew this, is that we would have to use a starting pitching at a position. And when he does that, he's no only affecting the game he's in, but potentially affecting our entire season. What if Oswalt came up lame in the outfield or threw a ball awkwardly? No reason for what the ump did. If he really felt Howard was out of line or deserved punishment, have him fined or something, but don't put a non-position player in an unnecessary situation where they could get injured.

At this juncture why in the world would any pitcher throw Howard a strike, let alone a fastball? He's getting himself out. Hope he still has Bonds' phone number.

My only hope right now is that the players recognize that these two losses were due to their inability to score runs more than the umps. What the ump did two nights ago was a blown call--and he compounded the problem in the way he handled it... and last night the ump was flat out inexcusable. And both plays altered the flow of the game. However, we LOST because we can't score runs right now.

If the team gets caught up in feeling like their losing because of umpires, this season is going to spiral very quickly.

Now, the MLB on the other hand, needs to do something. I'm not saying suspend last night's umpire (though that'd be nice enough... but as a AAA replacement he won't be going anywhere but down anyway)... but there needs to be some kind of system in place for increased umpire accountability. Humans are fallible... I get that. It is less about the calls themselves and more how umps handle it. I don't know what the solution is... but since they're the ones getting paid to think about it, they could certainly find a solution.

In the midst of all the crap that was last night's game, a happier story. Matt Gelb posts in his blog:

One by one, the Phillies players walked up to Roy Halladay and shook his hand. Halladay’s smile was the widest it has been since he joined the team.

The righthander purchased around 60 Baume & Mercier watches to commemorate his perfect game May 29. He gave out the watches as gifts to everyone in the clubhouse — all of the players who were on the active roster then, the entire coaching staff, all clubhouse personnel (including bat boy Rob DiClementi), training and video staff as well as public relations officials.

The watches were enclosed in brown boxes with an inscription on the front: “We did it together. Thanks, Roy Halladay.”

“Unbelievable,” Raul Ibanez said as he opened his. “Wow.”

It’s not unusual for a pitcher to reward his teammates for a milestone like a perfect game. Halladay went beyond that.

Each watch was engraved on the back with the date of the game and the linescore. Every watch was personalized, the person’s name engraved on the back of their watch.

Read more:

Phils are 6-39 with RISP and aren't hitting alot of Hrs the last 6 games. The RISP funk will likely even out sooner than later. I doubt though this team goes on a power bender anytime soon though.


Thanks for the link. That is awesome. I figured he'd get Ruiz something, but this is above and beyond. Roy just seems like a great guy. Love having him on this team.

Barry escalated the situation, baited Howard, in a situation where he had to know the team was without position players.

In basketball games (I know for a fact in college), refs will check fouls on players to see if they are in danger of getting their 5th foul and in overtime games especially they are more conservative with their calls to make sure teams aren't playing short handed. (Most fouls at the end of games are players giving themselves up).

I also blame Gibson for the escalation. Its obvious, Howard was conversing with him about the baiting. He easily could have stepped in and tried to calm Howard down before the third strike. He didn't because he's the guy who's now tossed Manuel 3 times this season. And this crew has tossed Manuel 4 times. Seriously???

And Gibson didn't need to ask for "help" on the third strike. Just because you appeal doesn't mean the ump at home has to go for it. Gibson knew the situation. He let this happen. And whoever is the crew chief for these bumblers should be on notice as well.

I was at the game, so I had no idea that Barry was baiting Howard. I was livid at the game. I was enraged when I came home and saw that video. If that video had been shown on the big board, I'm not sure that ump would have made it out of the building without a few bud light bottles thrown near him.

Another Phillie who was in danger of getting tossed was Shane Victorino. In between innings, Vic was in a expressive debate with the first base umpire, tapping him on the chest with his glove. It might have been a friendly conversation for all i know. But earlier in the game, Vic was called out ona third strike by an appeal to Barry, that wasn't EVEN close. Earlier in the game, there wasa strike appealed on Hamels that was called safe, that looked more like a strike than Vic's swing. Howard's second strike was NO WHERE NEAR a swing. The third strike looked more like a strike from my vantage point, in either case I knew Barry was going to ring him up. And likely cause the ejection.

On Sunday, I was at that game too and before the game the Phillies had a nice send off for philly native Jerry Crawford. It always feels weird giving an ump props, but he was always one of the good ones. Now I know why I felt a little dirty. Its because guys like Barry, West, etc make up for their shortcomings as umps by being jerks. Selig needs to address this.

Since June 7, compiling 15 starts, Hamels has gone 7+ IP in 12 of those starts and has an ERA of 3.01. He has 2 wins. Since May 4 (couting the start against the Braves where he was pitching in a heavy downpour, givng up 3 ER and could only go .2 IP before the game was delayed for well over an hour), he has, in 21 starts gone 6+ in 16 of thsoe starts, with a 3.06 ERA. he has 5 wins in that run.

It's damn shame what this team is doing to one of their premier starting pitchers. He now has a 3.47 ERA overall, and I'm completely confident that he will pitch well in his next start, and the Phillies will lose. Sad.

The ump's conduct reminded me of that NBA official who got suspended for baiting Tim Duncan while he sat on the bench. Unfortunately, Bud Selig is no David Stern, and there is very little chance this ump gets suspended.

All that said, the ejection had nothing, and I do mean nothing, to do with the outcome of this game. Every game we lose, Beerleaguers have an excuse. It's bad luck, bad umpiring, bad weather, injuries, the absence of Nelson Figueroa, the full moon, the Harmonic Convergence, etc. Somehow, the inept offense always manages to escape blame, even though it's invariably the real culprit.

Offense has scored 1 run in Hamels' last 27 innings while on the mound.

BAP, who blamed any of our losses on the Harmonic Convergence? Daulton?

BAP: I tend to agree, but aren't you someone who blames our wins on the other team losing?

@bap -- I doubt selig will punish... but he did suspend Mike Winters for baiting Milton Bradley in the incident where he tore up his knee.

TRIVIA == the umpire who replaced Winters the next day???

That's right.... SCOTT BARRY!!! Ladies and Gentlemen, Major League Baseball!!!

BAP- gotta disagree with you a bit there. This may be a bit of an exercize in semantics, however, to say that a bad umpire call which results in a pitcher playing outfield (and an outfielder playing first, which was absolutely a part of the reason two runs scored in the 16th) and resulted in a pitcher batting in the 4-hole and making the last out of the game did not affect the outcome of the game is absurd. I am in your camp (and said so above) in that the Phillies lost because they didn't score runs. But you can't take that so far as to call the umpire debacle something which didn't affect the outcome of the game.

The Phillies should have won the game in 9 innings. And in lieu of that, the Phillies had a pretty damn good chance of losing the game even if Howard wasn't bait-tossed. However, the way things played out the bait-toss is intricately intertwined with how the gamed ended.

GBrett: nice find. Roy is, as we all suspected, a class act. Seems as if the tightly knit clubhouse, as well as team chemistry, is something that Rube, UC & the FO place great importance on.

Let's hope it translates into the bats getting hot, heck I'll even take warm, sometime soon. Two wasted opporunities on consecutive nights can certainly build some frustration, both with the fans in the stands, here on BL and in the dugout. Roy knows even another near perfect game may not be enough if the bats stay silent tonight.

1) Howard struck out four other times. The offense scored one run against a lousy pitcher. They are stinking it up again and I don't know what the answer is. But regardless of who the umpire is, they have to score some runs if they want to get back to the WS. It's time for a closed door meeting of the Dallas Green/Larry Bowa variety. Werth zoning out at second one night and then last night's travesty demonstrate that they are not playing like they're serious.

2) Something needs to be done with this umpiring crew. They stink. They're lousy. They are below standards. It's bad for the game.

3) The offense stinks.

4) The Phils need to begin hitting and scoring or there's no way they'll catch ATL.

5) The offense stinks.

I think that's all. Oh, and


I have to agree whole heartedly with BAP's observation. The offense is woeful. This team ws built to score 4 or 5 runs per game. Outstanding SP and even a rare phenomenal job by the BP last night could not overcome the Silence of the Bats, which was deafening.

No excuses from me, but I will share my observation from watching the replays a few dozen time: Howard still hasn't swung at that pitch, the same as Matt Holiday still hasn't touched home plate.

The stats say the Phillies are hitting the ball, but I don't see it.

The stats say Jayson Werth is having a good season, but I don't see it.

What's Oswalt's OF UZR?

"All that said, the ejection had nothing, and I do mean nothing, to do with the outcome of this game."

Really? That's a pretty strong statement. Maybe Howard makes the play Ibanez can't at 1B. Maybe Howard hits a HR instead of an Oswalt groundout.

I totally agree with your view that the team should have scored more runs, and should blame themselves for the loss. But to say so strongly that the ejection had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome makes some pretty strong assumptions, no?

I'm a bit sleepy this morning (I stayed up late watching a 16 inning game), but my thought driving to work was that we saw emotion from Howard. He got mad. We know that he deeply wants to win. Then, I started thinking, what if this had happened to Werth? He'd probably stroke his beard, give a stupid grin, and, then, meekly walk back to the dugout.

I'm a little surprised to see no comments at all about J-Roll getting thrown out at 3B. Guess everyone thought that was a smart play.

Yeah, there's an obvious middle ground here. Bud Norris and co. kept the Phils mostly off the board. The uncertainty about this lineup is unchanged, one game into the full crew. But the Barry/Howard absurdity effected two of the game's major AB.

clout - considering it was 2-1 at that point, with one out IIRC, and the Phils had been hapless all night, and that Rollins hasn't been CS in a year, I didn't have a huge problem with the play.

clout- that was definitely a smart play. Getting that out at third can only benefit the team.

Lake Fred- Either Werth would do that, or he'd get 20th century on that umpires ass and have an old-fashioned motorcycle gang beat-down.

Incidentally, when there was that long fly ball that looked like a home run off that bat that would have won it for the Phillies, Werth was so excited that he was hopping out of the dugout already.

clout: Glad you brought that up. When Werth was thrown out at 2B the other night, BLers had a field day. J-Roll was inexplicably caught stealing 3B and nary a peep.

I would assume that's because the Howard/Barry debacle has overshadowed the rest of the game. It was a boneheaded decision by J-Roll, but apparently that kind of mental error is ok because "he was trying to make something happen."

The Theory is correct. To say Werth doesn't care, is far from correct. He was literally jumping out of the dug out, cheering that ball to clear the fence.

However being ditracted by Myers sticking out his tongue at him is inexcusable. Ty Cobb would have left the second base bag and beat Myer's a**...after time was called, of course.

"Maybe Howard hits a HR instead of..."

Striking out for the sixth time?

Really. They need to end Spring Training and start scoring the runs their salaries indicate they're going to.

Why can't people talk about the disgraceful umpiring without being attacked? Whether it did or didn't cost them the game, the umpiring was bush-league.

Tonight, Howard needs to sharpen his spikes, get a walk, and try to steal second, missing the bag and hitting the ump.

For those who haven't seen it, has video of Barry throwing Zimmerman out of the game the other day. If you think Howard's was bad, you should watch this one. Zimmerman did less than Howard. In fact, Zimmermand didn't even look at Barry, nor did he utter a word to him.


"STFU and play the game"
Brilliant. Exactly how do you do that if you get baited and tossed from a game by a replacement ump?

I know I just said it last night, but I miss our offense. Where has it gone? Is it coming back? When and for how long?

Stealing third with one out is entirably excusable, especially when the guy doing it hasn't been caught in over 25+ attempts. Being at third with 1 out is infinitely preferable to being at 2nd with 1 out. You don't make the 1st and 3rd outs at third base. If there is one out, and you have a legit shot to make it third base (which coincidentally aslo got Polanco in SP, and Rollins had more than a legit shot), it is justifiable to do it. Just because it didn't work out, doesn't make it a bad idea.

To compare that play to Werth's monumental brain fart from the previous night is disingenuous and borderline psychopathic.

i liked the double steal attempt on a risk/reward basis. if successful, then you've got 2nd and 3rd w/ 1 out and chase up. if it fails you still have a runner in scoring position for chase to knock in w/ a single and tie the game. didn't work, but that was the perfect time to try it. except that w/ the lefty up the catcher had a clear view to third base.

Should be *entirely justifiable*

Why was it boneheaded for Jimmy to attempt a steal? Would it have been boneheaded if he'd been successful?

Did Rollins attempt to steal on his own or was he signaled?

"from previous post
Postseason odds plummet to 39 percent.
Posted by: EastFallowfield | Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 08:09 AM"

Anyone else having doubts about the phillies reaching the post season? If they make it - will they be limping in? ( psychologically speaking)

Besides the Rollins HR, he has played bad, bad, bad.. IMO, the 3rd base attempted steal had an equally bad affect as the Werth pickoff did.

I think H & U s/ have stayed on the DL to rehab a little longer to get their timing back and shake off the rust. Coming back early & playing like this isn't doing the team any favors..

Billingsly - Mental error? Utley up against a tough lefty, having not looked comfortable at the plate since coming off the DL. It was the neither the first nor third out of the inning. Rollins hadn't been caught in a year, and the catcher would need to make a perfect throw. Sometimes you gamble and lose. Doesn't mean it was a bad gamble.

Oh, and for those have never watched a baseball game before, you can go 0 for 19 and get a hit on the next AB and possibly win a game. That's the beauty of baseball. Always a fresh start, and you can't possibly know what will happen next. Blaming Howard for that incident is a joke.

You don't make the 1st and 3rd outs at third base.

I have always hated that phrase. How about "don't make an out at 3B." Is that too difficult?

There was actually quite a bit said about Rollins getting caught, after it happened. I had no problem with the play. When you aren't scoring runs with your bats, sometimes you need to steal bases to try to generate something. Rollins is almost never caught stealing &, even with a perfect throw, was only out by a whisker. Had it worked, you'd have men on 2nd & 3rd with 1 out, which is a much better scoring scenario then 1st & 2nd. with 1 out. In fact, had he succeeded in stealing 3rd, Rollins likely would have scored on Utley's ensuing fly out.

Rollins play isn't even in the same er.. ballpark as Werth's.


Sorry to go all clout on you here, but do you think it was a good play?

I don't. Having Utley, a left-handed hitter at the plate makes it all that much more idiotic. Quintero had a clear shot at him. I don't think it was the correct gamble in that situation. Sorry.

"Getting on Howard today seems contrarian for the sake of contrarian."

Gee, that never happens.

I'm not saying that no one should ever try to steal third. I'm just stating that in that situation I don't think it was smart. The offense was sluggish, but two on, no-one out with your 3 and 4 coming to the plate? Rollins has good speed and was already in scoring position.

In that situation, I just don't see the reward outweighing the risk.

I know MLB doesn't change umpire crews in mid series, but they should now.
Two games in a row -the same crew calls BS calls to the detrement of the same team.

We spent a few hundred posts yesterday about how CM should send a message to Werth and the team but some public chastisement.

Well Sellig needs to send a message to this crew , and umpires in general by pulling this crew from the rest of this series.

Will he do it?

Will he do anything at all?
Yeah- he will suspend Howard and do nothing about the umps.

Billingsly: There was 1 out.

Nothing wrong at all with J Roll's steal attempt.

RBill, there was one out before the Rollins steal attempt. That's what it made it a gamble worth risking. With no outs, it's a stupid play, because you are already in scoring positino, and a well placed out can still get you to third with only 1 out and still a chance to score without a hit. But with 1 out, a hit will be needed, unless you steal third.

I know the expected run value of stealing 3B is marginal at best with especially with 0 or 1 out. It is generally a low reward/moderate risk type gamble.

People harp on JRoll's stealing prowess but that is generally for stealing 2B where the general roll of thumb is that an 80% of more success rate exceeds the possibility of making an out at 3B.

How's this:

Howard had a poor game. He was frustrated. It showed.

Scott Barry had a crappy game. He's not big league material. It showed.

Sportscenter had the highlights from the Astros feed and when Howard went after the ump, Barry turned his back and walked to the outfield grass in a sheepish manner. It was almost as if he knew he messed up and got hot headed at the wrong time.

I will give him credit though- some umps would move toward the player and Barry walked the other way. Had he moved towards Howard we may have definitely seen The Big Piece do something that warranted a suspension.

Billingsly - Fair enough. My response was a little smug, after all. And I don't think it was obviously the correct move to steal, or that anyone who would disagree would be obviously wrong. I primarily object to calling it a 'mental error,' but maybe I read too much into your post.

I do like the move, myself. I was just looking at the run expectancies for the different situations:

Runners on 1b, 2b with 1 out: 0.971
Runner 2b with 2 out: 0.344
Runners on 2b, 3b with 1 out: 1.467

One run is the threshold that needs to be reached late in the game, so it's not crazy to take a reasonable chance (say, 75%) of getting your run expectancy over one. That's why I would object to calling it a mental error.

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EST. 2005

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