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Monday, September 20, 2010


Feels like a loss...

Brandon Beachy. Jair Jurrjens. someone in the braves scouting system loves alliteration.

I know the general perception of this whole "first time starter vs the Phils" doom and gloom - which does hold some truth.

But I will go out on a limb and suggest that over the last 60IP that a young starter was pitching vs the Phils, they had an ERA over 2.59 and a WHIP over 1.022 (which is what Jurrijens career numbers are vs. Philly).

kenshin kawakami.

oh. and for good measure - mike minor.

Man, I'd love to beat the hell out of these guys, not just to step on their throats for the division, but to get San Diego into the playoffs (assuming they don't overtake their division), as well.

mike minor.

craig_one - they like redundancy, too:

Bobby Cox

Jack: Mauer played 138 games last season... which is a fine total for a catcher who has to have off days. He was out the first 22 games of the season and then started 133 of the next 138 games and had 606 plate apperances.

He also lead the league in BA, OBP, SLG and his OPS was 70 points higher than 2nd in the league.

I don't know what the cutoff for me is... but Tulo is on pace for 50 fewer ABs than Mauer had and trails Votto by almost 40 points in OPS... and by 26 points in OPS+.

If you're going to miss time, you damn well better dominate the stats. Tulo isn't.

I'm with keith ... there's a ridiculous amount of overconfidence. The pitching alignment of the "big 3" coupled with the amazing win yesterday could be a bit of a trap for the Phils. Is there more pressure on the Phils tonight or the Braves?

Normally, this would be trouble-an unknown entity with nothing to lose, whom these guys haven't seen. But it's September now. He won't last 4. You can book it, boys.

Connie - really, neither given the WC. As long as the Braves don't get swept, they will hold onto the WC lead with the NL West teams continuing to beat each other up. I know this is made out to be a big series, but both teams are likely to make the playoffs.

willard; haha! i like that.

I'm not worried about a rookie starter against the Phillies tonight. If this were mid-June, yeah, I'd be concerned, but it's September 20th, there are 12 games left in the season, the Phillies have a 3 game lead and smell blood (evidenced by their vicious comeback in the 9th inning last night), and CBP is going to be a maelstrom of noise, waving towels, and for a green, rookie pitcher (who JUST found out he was pitching), it will be the worst night of his baseball life.

Just ask yourself this question: if you were a manager facing the Phillies in the playoffs, would you ever start an untested rookie in GAME ONE???

*I'm assuming this series will be played like a playoff series

But CJ, if Tulo keeps hitting like this, the numbers will get a lot closer. Of course if he cools off, he's not MVP. And no one's saying he's MVP currently. But if he hits another 6-8 HR in the next dozen games, his numbers get much closer to Votto's. And if they make the playoffs there will be quite an argument for him.

If there is on thing I would be curious to see is how many times the Phils have faced a starting pitcher for the 1st time this compared to previous years and how they fared.

It seems like they have faced a bit more than the usual this year and it seems that these guys usually get the better of them.

Freddie Freeman

A trap seris? No way. Trap series are when you are facing a truly inferior team, and you think you can just win by putting your batting gloves on.

Did you see the Phillies in the 9th inning yesterday?

They were relentless. They beat Storen on 4 straight hits (no cheap hits, either, 4 smoked baseballs). They smelled blood after the Polanco hit, and they destroyed him. And Storen is a decent closer, yet they made him look like he was a college pitcher. This kid tonight doesn't stand a chance. Not with this crowd, and not with this team ready to step on the Bravess throats.

If Beachy is going to survive, he's going to have to pitch like an ace. If he doesn't, he will get demolished.

I just wonder how much angst there will be on Beerleaguer should Beachy get through the lineup the first time unscathed.

If this kid can beat the Phils in this situation with the fans going nuts in that park with the kind of pressure he'll be facing, I might take my cap off to him.

At 11.2 K/9 I assume he's a hard thrower. Details anyone?

"for a green, rookie pitcher (who JUST found out he was pitching), it will be the worst night of his baseball life."

Granted things were a little different two weeks ago, but Adalberto Mendez had his first MLB start against us on the 6th and did just fine. And he's not even a good pitcher, as this guy is. For that matter, Maya had his third start of his career yesterday, and though he didn't do too well, it certainly wasn't an awful outing. You never know.

Didn't realize that Boras also represented Dom Brown. Hate the conflict of interests with agents. If the money is relatively similar, Boras is much more incented to push Werth to sign with any team other than the Phils so Brown gets more ABs next year. Thats stinks.

CJ - "I just wonder how much angst there will be on Beerleaguer should Beachy get through the lineup the first time unscathed."

Do you really wonder, or are you more curious? If history tells us anything, it will be nothing but doom, gloom and copyright Philly Phans' hyperbole. I always get a kick out of that, and do my share to perpetuate it!

That said, I'd rather we kick the kids teeth in. This is a series where I'd like to see no restraint whatsover.

So, tonight we find out if Tampa is going to show Jeter what a fastball in on the hands really feels like? Or do they wuss out? My money is on the latter, sadly...

And the ESPN monacre "The Firm" for our big 3 couldn't possibly be any lamer. I beg of our much more creative BL community to please never use that.

Tray: It's possible... but it's not just a matter of "catching" Votto in things like OPS... given the fact he missed 39 games, I'd need to see him build a clear advantage there, much like Mauer did. Tulo is only 6th in the league in OPS+... let's not forget what huge advantage he has playing in Colorado where his OPS is 125 points higher than on the road. has basically devoted their first page headline to the game tonight, and most of it is dedicated to hyping up the Phillies.

What wonders it does to your national image when you have Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels all on your roration.

I don't see the pressure on Mendez and Maya approaching what Beachy will be going through.

I like the example of Drew Storen last night. Major talent (so they say) but buckled under the pressure.

Accuscore on the ESPN preview has the Phils as a whopping 71% favorite for tonight.

Oh, so Storen's pressure = Beachy's pressure >>> Mendez/Maya's pressure. This is just wishful thinking. There's a lot of pressure on Beachy; there's a lot of pressure on Hamels. Maybe both will buckle under it, maybe neither, maybe just Hamels, maybe just Beachy. I think the most likely outcome here is that we'll only get a couple runs off the unfamiliar and talented Beachy and that the game will be decided by the bullpens.

From Accuscore:

The Philadelphia Phillies are 48-27 at home this season and are heavy favorites to beat the Atlanta Braves who are 34-41 on the road this season. The Phillies have a better than 60% chance of winning based on 10,000 game simulations generated one play at a time by the AccuScore Simulation Supercomputer. Phillies\' starter Cole Hamels is forecasted to have a better game than Braves\' starter Brandon Beachy. Cole Hamels has a 58% chance of having a Quality Start (QS) while Brandon Beachy has a 27% chance of a QS. If Cole Hamels has a quality start the Phillies has a 79% chance of winning. His simulated strikeout to walk ratio is 6.7 and he has a 58% chance of having a 5 to 1 K/BB ratio. When he has a 5/1 ratio the Phillies win 73%. In Brandon Beachy quality starts the Braves win 49%. He has a 5% chance of having a 5 to 1 K/BB ratio and if he does his team wins 49% of simulations. In simulations we tracked the batter for each team that was most productive based his average hits, walks and RBI per simulation. The most productive batter for the Philadelphia Phillies is Ryan Howard who averaged 2.7 hits+walks+RBI. He has a 46% chance of having a big game with 3+ Hits, Walks, RBI and if he has a big game the Phillies have a 80% chance of winning. The most productive batter for the Atlanta Braves is Martin Prado who averaged 1.99 hits+walks+RBI. He has a 31% chance of having a big game with 3+ Hits, Walks, RBI and if he has a big game the Braves have a 43% chance of winning.

Atlanta is 28-28 vs. teams .500 and over this season. The Phils are 35-27 vs. teams .500 and over this season.

Phillies are -200 on the moneyline for tonight's game, as well (Braves +170).

As recently as last year, I'd say that you could just about BANK on the Phils letting us down tonight. But when it's one of Hamels, Halladay or Oswalt on the hill, all of that is dead and gone. I love it.

Tray, actually I think Beachy's pressure is the greatest, and that of course a closer's pressure, especially where the closer is a rookie facing the meat of the order, is greater than the pressure on starters. Yes, Hamels will be facing the same pressure as Beachy, but one would hope that experience gives him the tools to deal with it.

Tray, actually I think Beachy's pressure is the greatest, and that of course a closer's pressure, especially where the closer is a rookie facing the meat of the order, is greater than the pressure on starters. Yes, Hamels will be facing the same pressure as Beachy, but one would hope that experience gives him the tools to deal with it.

Anyway, obviously there's no science to this.

Brandon Beachy. Broad Street. Beatdown. Book it.

Quote from Hamels in the ESPN article:

"It's not as stressful,'' he said. "You don't have to be the guy. I think all three of us know we're very capable of going out there and winning, but AT THE SAME TIME, we don't have to overdo it. We just have to go out there and be ourselves, and the good things will happen.''

Charlie Manuel's got his boys talking like him now, as well.

Before you know it, Hamels will be studdering and speaking in incoherent sentence fragments, and not really answering the question that was asked him.

Really? The Firm? That's a horrible moniker.

With 3 aces and 2 jokers, The Full House is a much better description of the rotation.

Tray, how did Cole handle the pressure in game 1 of the NLDS, game 1 of the NLCS, game 5 of the NLCS, game 1 of the WS and game 5 of the WS in 2008?

If there's anyone that'll be more susceptible to "crumbling" it's by far and away the untested rookie.

CJ: You seem to be dismissing the fact that he's a gold glove-quality defender at the most important defensive position. The fact that he's even close in OPS to a 1B is a pretty good feather in his cap, considering the positional value of a SS.

Hey, Squonk in da house!

I was going to write something thought provoking and analytical, but the comments posted thus far made me smile. Alliteration. Redundancy.

Makes me think Beerleaguer has a better stock of thinkers and comedians than a few years ago.

At a minimum, y'all have a getter command of $5 words, and use far less acronyms than what was found on Beerleaguer a few years back. That's good, because I hate it when people throw out stats I never heard of before, and haven't heard about since, simply to dumbfound and make a point that is irrefutable.

Good work, people. Beerleaguer may yet become a great repository of thought and analysis, instead of a great repository for nerds to look smart.

The baffled by rookies situation does not apply tonight. The white towels will override that.

Jack: Yeah, and the GG was missing for 39 games. It factors into the discussion... but I don't put nearly as much emphasis on defense as some others do. And his glove isn't enough to make up the difference. If the season ended today, Joey Votto would be the MVP, hands down, in my opinion.

Looked up a scouting report on beachy, and he seems hittable. Link here Quite honestly, in September, this is the type of guy a veteran heavy, playoff hardened, hungry team should demolish. We will certainly learn a lot about this group of players in the coming days and hours.

Beachy going from minor league parks with a few thousand folks to a virtual madhouse. Braves must feel he can handle it, but everything in a game rides on a pitcher's pinpoint control, so I'll believe when I see it.

It's in the 90s today where I am, but it feels like a cool October afternoon where I'm waiting on pins and needles for a playoff game to start.

I can't wait for tonight's game!!!

Little Ollie, more than anything, the Braves are certain that Jurrjens knee CAN'T handle the task tonight, so their hands are kind of tied. Hudson is probably unable to go on any type of short rest, and Lowe hasn't exactly killed the Phillies this year.

What else are they going to do, but throw out an untest, though probably highly touted, prospect?

By the way, if Victorino swings at the first pitch against a AA guy who was undrafted out of a small college in his first major league start... I'm going to have a problem.

"I just wonder how much angst there will be on Beerleaguer should Beachy get through the lineup the first time unscathed."

First time through the lineup? You're selling us way short. The game is still an hour and a quarter away, and I already feel like cussing the Phillies out for letting a rookie shut them down.

I have no idea what their options might be. Someone mentioned Kawakami. They're paying him more than $7M.

CJ: If the season ended today, I would give it to Votto hands down, as well.

I would vote Votto, Pujols, Tulo, Gonzalez, CarGo. And then maybe Chooch.

Rockies with two strong MVP candidates and a CY candidate to boot? I'm hoping they're the odd ones out. tells us the Braves three starters for this series have 59 games of major league experience. The Phils three starters have 803 games of major league experience.

CJ: Good comment. In addition, from The Phils have a 99.7% chance of making it to the playoffs. They rank second to Texas, who have a nine game lead over Oakland.

My analysis is the Phils are likely to make it to the playoffs, and we will see why in this series. Two struggling rookies facing two pitchers who would be the ace on any ballclub in baseball.

My prediction: The Phils do the minimum, win two of three at home, and clinch at least a playoff spot in this series.

My hope: The Phils make the Braves look like Blood Pudding in deli of your local grocery store. Disgusting name, even more disgusting look when viewed up close.

squonk - You will like this then:

Who am I (since I was traded)?

3-5, 4.36 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 77 SO in 88.2 IP

Who am I (since I was traded)?

7-1, 1.94 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 61 SO in 69.2 IP

Hint: One guy plays for the Phils and the other one has generated roughly 12,834 posts on here over the past year.

cj- we'll let victorio know - so he keeps that in mind

philyinnyc: I appreciate anything you can do. Thanks!

I smell a letdown tonight with the Phils responding to take the next 2 of 3 and the series.

Wonder how the season long saga "Somebody Please Score for Me" turns out with Hamels on the mound.

Halladay has gotten decent run support (4.41 R/G) compared to Hamels (3.58 R/G).

Adrian Gonzalez deserve some MVP consideration too, considering he's the only marquee hitters on his team and he's putting up great numbers in a horrible hitters park.

By "MVP consideration," I don't mean that Gonzalez should be considered for MVP (barring a late-season collapse, Votto is a no-doubt-about-it MVP). But he certainly belongs in the top 5 and maybe even the top 3.

"First time through the lineup? You're selling us way short. The game is still an hour and a quarter away, and I already feel like cussing the Phillies out for letting a rookie shut them down."


This game feels like a loss.

1 more alliteration

Their closer - Ratty Ratfink

bap: I have Gonzalez just behind Votto on my MVP ballot (which, it seems, doesn't count).

bap - He does. Doesn't get nearly the publicity of a Pujols, Howard, or even Votto but he deserves it. If he were in a major media market, he would be a pretty big star.

MG: Funny enough... Gonzalez would likely be in a major media market had the Padres done what was expected and faded in July instead of September.

Yo, less old thread.

I don't see why anyone will be surprised. Here is what's going to happen. Beachy will breeze through the Phils' lineup for the first three innings. That is what always happens. Tonight will be no different. This game will be won or lost after the first three, and possibly the first four. If Hamels can shut out the Braves for the first four or five, that will give the Phillies time to adjust. But everyone has to know the Phillies will not hit this kid until they've seen a bunch of at bats. That is all.

1 more alliteration

Their closer - Ratty Ratfink

Dinner last night:

Somebody brought up Howard and that fact that he isn't even among the top 5 1B in the NL this season.

Didn't think so but he rattled off Pujols, Gonzalez, Fielder, Votto, and Dunn and after looking at the numbers it is pretty hard to argue against that given off the power year Howard has had and his horrendous defense.

How's Beachy's control? If the Phils are patient I wouldn't be shocked if his nerves make it hard for him to find the strike zone.

aksmith - Yeah. I would be pretty surprised if the Phils score tonight in the first 3 innings unless Beachy is just really wild and issuing plenty of BBs.

Looked at Baseball Prospectus but couldn't find a single article that really took at the issue of when teams face a starter for the first time.

MG: I hate to disagree, but a meltdown isn't taking two of three in this series. I've written about this before. Minimum standard is win two of three at home, one of three on the road. Champions are made by beating these minimum expectations.

That could happen and, in fact, as a Phillies Phan, I hope it is likely. But the Braves are too good of a team to expect that to happen. Despite the pitchers the Phils will throw at the Braves. There might be an offensive funk that brings about a 1-0 Braves win. However, I think we agree that leaving CBP with a four game lead is the minimum we Phans should expect.

Beachy -- 2.1 BB/9 this year in AAA and AA.

Braves bullpen better be ready earn their money tonight.

First major league start for Beachy against the Phils at a sold out and absolutely crazy Citizens Bank Park against Hamels who has been lights out for months. What kind of a chance do you think this kid has. The playoff atmosphere alone will be too much for him to handle,let alone the Phils are playing out of their minds. This game will be decided in the first three innings,BOOK IT!

Only Chooch's 27th double?

Seems like he's hit 100.

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