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Friday, September 10, 2010

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It would be really nice to not have to use entire personal days at work to attend hypothetical Phils playoff games for once...come on small market teams.

I skimmed through the last thread and didn't see anyone mention this...forgive me if it's old news, but did anybody catch the article that mentioned that Polanco is actually playing with a BROKEN elbow?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5552400

The Braves drew the usual throng of 20,000 last night. Their home record is somewhat mystifying. I think they must be stealing signs.

It was mentioned last night and a "Phils playing with pain rating" listed.

yes, he's been playing with it since april when tim hudson broke it. it's not really fully broken. it's chipped

It is September 10th, and there is a lot of baseball to be played. Collision course for a World Series rematch? I like the optimism but I'm not going to hold my breath. Not too long ago this "World Series bound" team was knocked around by the Astros, and their remaining games aren't exactly a cakewalk.

Let focus on extending our lead in the division, and making the playoffs. Anything can happen in these final 20 games or so, and that statement holds even more weight when/if we start playing playoff baseball.

Nothing is guaranteed, and nothing comes easy.

Cards throw Carpenter vs. the Braves' Minor tonight.
Minor making his sixth start and got shelled last outing.

they got knocked around by the astros last august too and got swept. it really happens every year

Is it too late in the season to start the "are we peaking to early" worries?

Yeah, don't get carried away with the "broken elbow" thing. The injury hasn't changed or gotten worse. It's a bone chip. He'll likely require surgery right after the season.

I don't see this team as peaking at all. The offense is still a big question mark. Two games of strong hitting doesn't mean a heck of a lot. The SP has been solid since Oswalt came on. They're not peaking, they're just good.

It's early yet, but the Braves show every sign of being in a late-season fade. It wasn't all that long ago that they were sitting on top of a comfortable lead. Now they are nervously watching the Giants and/or the Padres coming up behind them for the wild card slot.

It is a beautiful thing to watch.

Atlanta's been in a slow fade since the break really.

I'm looking forward to the Phils' taking a shot at accelerating the Braves' fade to a plummet. Those games should be fairly intense.

I go away for a week and I come back to the Phils in first place. On top of that, no real griping about Werth's RISP, KK as a decent 5th starter or any mention about the C____ L__ trade here on Beerleaguer. Strange times we live in, strange times indeed.

Just a joy to see the Phillies rounding into shape, minus that 8th inning, who was that guy and he should have been tarred and feathered before they cut him. Embarrassing...

Tragedy in Arizona:

PHOENIX—The Arizona Diamondbacks organization apologized to fans, their families, and the community at large Thursday after more than 16,000 people attending the previous night's game were killed by the poisonous Western diamondback rattlesnakes given out as part of Complimentary Rattlesnake Night.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/16000-diamondbacks-fans-killed-on-complimentary-ra,18061/

I'd say the offense has been pretty decent the last 10 games, they have averaged 5.9 I believe actually

MG - I almost lost it, as an AZ citizen, until I realized the link contained the Onion. Good job.

Runs a game that is

I got reamed out the other night when I suggested the Phillies would win a game they led by five runs in the seventh inning...it's hard to believe too many people are going to agree the Philles are on a collision course to be back in the World Series. Big Three or not, the Phillies are not going to just waltz through the playoffs *if* they get there.

MG, great link.

It's funny, whenever I read a news excerpt, and something in strikes me as a tad bit unbelievable, I've grown into the habit of checking to see if it's the Onion.

While the Phillies probably won't win 100 games, as Bruce Ruffin so often predicted, they have a great opportunity to put some cushion between themselves and the Braves. If they can go 4-2 over this road swing, and then take care of the Braves when they come to Philadelphia, it's not crazy to think they could have a 4 game lead in the near future. It may be the case, if they keep winning at the pace they have been, that the division won't be on the line come the last series of the year.

Should be a fun last 21 games. Just threw weeks left; crazy.

Was reading some stuff on the rasmus-tony larussa situation, and it made me think... bets on whether Cholly pulls a TLR and platoons dom next year or puts him out every day like he should?

While the last few years of daytime NLDS games have been hard for the working person, they've been great for my kids who could not stay up late enough for the prime time, four-hour epics.

When I pulled my son out of school to go to the NLDS Game 1 last year, he was the proudest person you'd ever meet. Cars honked at us in our red garb, and him with his glove, as we stood on the side of the road, waiting for the bus to Center City.

Of course, my kids now think their favorite team goes to the postseason every year, like it's their birthright.

I've developed a loathing for the Rockies; I hope they don't make the playoffs so I don't have to watch them. Someone posted a link to a whiney article by some hack-writer fan of the Rockies (just after the Phils won the one game series against the Rockies) which cemented by disdain for their fans and team.

shipsass, and we wonder why so many Braves fans are annoying. For them, it was their birthright for 14 years.

Don't want to see the Rox get into the playoffs again. Baseball is a sport best played without snow.

For the same reason, I am rooting against the Twins.

How could major league baseball allow two teams in the coldest/snowiest climates in the U.S. to build stadiums without retractable roofs? It's beyond absurd.

Heady stuff, here. Should be an exciting next few weeks - and hopefully more.

I do not want to face the Rox in the playoffs -- should the Phils make it, of course. There is something about that team that bothers me. They are on one of their patented late season runs (winning 7 in a row), and a team like that is always dangerous.

I would love for the Cards to overcome the deficit and get the WC -- I think they are vastly overrated (even with their pitching) and very beatable.

Phils are 6-1 against Colorado this year. I also don't worry nearly as much about their pitching as I would the Cardinals or the Giants.

In the end, if the Phils make the playoffs, the opponent will matter less than how well we pitch.

I see from the last thread that NEPP is still using UZR and UZR150 numbers from a single season (actually not even a full season)as a debate-ending fact.

Again, folks, UZR and UZR150 have LITTLE VALUE when viewed in anything smaller than 3 years chunks. Too much noise, too much subjectivity in those stats. Even the sabremetricians say that. It's the equivalent of looking at a hitters BA on May 15th and making some kind of declaration for his season.

Here's a classic example: Rollins UZR and UZR150 over the past 4 years:

2.7/2.4
12.9/15.2
4.6/5.0
6.5/12.8

Anyone think Rollins defense has been that ridiculously erratic over the past 4 years?

You know, clout, I haven't (religiously) read the comments section of this blog for months, but it's comforting to know that when I do come around, you're still beating the same drum.

In fact, I think your Jimmy example is a perfect example of how to use UZR. It sure looks like he's an above average shortstop, albeit not one who is 15 runs a season above average. But four years of positive UZR data seem like solid base to say that he's above average. Making stronger claims than that would, as you seem to be suggesting, be foolish.

I also think it's fine to use one season of UZR data in a discussion, as long as you add the appropriate caveats. In Utley's case, one year is too short to simply say he's above average, but this will likely mark the fourth year that his UZR/150 will be between 12 and 20. Utley, unlike Jimmy, sure has the UZR data to suggest that he saves about 15 runs every 150 games. In fact, as far as this metric is concerned, Utley has been pretty consistent, and consistently above average.

Always a pleasure.

That should say fourth year in a row for Utley at over 12 UZR/150. It will remarkably be the the 6th time in his career he's posted such a high number, if he keeps it up. In his "down" year, he posted a 7.5 UZR/150.

Phillies Red: "But four years of positive UZR data seem like solid base to say that he's above average. Making stronger claims than that would, as you seem to be suggesting, be foolish."

Exactly right.

Jim S on Csnphilly.com is reporting that Kendrick is going to be the starter on Saturday against the Mets, not sure how I feel about that...Last game he pitched on Fox was against the Rockies and Jimenez and he looked great, as a matter of fact I think that was the last time he actually looked half decent.

It's a shame that one of the big 3 can't be going on national tv. Kendrick is a letdown.

MaDubbs: The Rockies start was 7/24. On 8/15, Kendrick held the Mets to 1 run in 6 2/3 IP, although that would be considered a bad start by the posters obsessed with bashing all things KK here.

Ah Clout, couldn't just correct MaDubbs mistake without taking a shot at people who point out that KK is, in fact, a bad pitcher. Just because there are pitchers worse, doesn't change the fact that he is not good.

And trotting him out to the mound in the heat of a pennant race in September should make every fan uneasy. It obviously makes the coaching staff uneasy, as can be gleaned from their comments after his last start.

But I guess they're irrational Kyle Kendricks "bashers" as well, huh?

KK has not pitched well recently, but he is capable of a good start, has he has proved many times this year. The Phils are obviously trending upward, and I'd rather not see anyone pitch on short rest unless they absolutely have to. I'm sure KK will be on a very short leash.

Old Phan: I agree with you 100 percent, Worley will be warming up right away if he gets in any kind of trouble, I am just happy that Robertson won't be coming into any games because he is gone!! He was the left handed Adam Eaton

I'm glad Worley will be warming up as that will give Kendrick a chance to get through the inning and into the next one. KK's due for a good game and why not against the Mets.

Also, if Kyle Kendrick's ERA of 4.89 didn't do it for you, you'll be happy to know that his ERA as a starter (excluding his innings pitched in relief) is a tidy 4.98.

He's so close to 5, he can taste it. I envision he'll reach that summit (or valley) this weekend.

Fatalotti: Who would you start in KK's place? And what is your standard for a good pitcher? He's certainly pitched poorly his last couple times out... but he's far exceeded most expectations for this season and, despite the opinions of the KK bashers, has proven he's a capable ML pitcher.

Somebody already mentioned this but, if you would clout, please look up Utley's UZR numbers for the past 4 seasons...very steady to say the least.

The Cards would be at least somewhat closer to a playoff spot right now had they simply played Colby Rasmus every day instead of letting La Russa's ego get in the way. Rasmus is their 3rd best position player, behind Pujols and Holliday. It's malpractice that he was allowed to sit on the bench the last month while the Cards fell behind the Reds.

My main point was that Utley, despite a rough start has been as sollid as everand his range, as illustrated by the OOZ numbers I posted suppoort that. He makes plays on balls that most 2b never even touch. He's a great defender having yet another very solid year.

For what it is worth, I do think that Rollins defense at SS has been very erratic over the last 4 years possibly due to his injury issues, but I'm not sure it exactly coincides with his UZR ratings.

In 2008 I didn't think he was nearly as good as in 2007, but some of the other defensive metrics (total zone, range factors from B-R) say he was better in 2008 than in 2007. And this year I've thought he wasn't moving around as well too, when again the defensive metrics say he has been fine. So subjectively, my mind was telling me he was hurt, and therefore, I convinced myself he wasn't as good.

So, in conclusion, we all now know that I know nothing about rating someguys defense even when I watch him play a ton.

And I'll follow up my post with one more thought...Since we all know that defensive metrics are 100% Objective and there are no 'people' watching skills to depend on they should be trusted as if they were the gospel.

CJ, should I answer your second question in terms of numbers or philosophically?

Also, his numbers as a starter this year:

27 GS, 4.98 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 1.74 SO/BB, 4.23 SO/9, 5.75 IP/GS

If these figures "far exceed" expectations, I shudder to think what those expectations were. And if those expectations were so god awful, that the above numbers are stellar in comparison, then he should've never been in the rotation in the first place.

And as far as starting someone in his place, I never claimed that there was a solution this year. I wouldn't be totally against giving Worley a shot, but I doubt he'd be much better. This rotation right now has 3 #1 starters and 2 #5s. Hopefully that'll be just good enough to get them the NL East. We'll see. My overall contention was that, even if there isn't a better option, that doesn't mean we should be satisfied with KK's performance. He has been an overall bad pitcher this year, with a few bright spots sprinkled in.

a quality start is a 4.50 ERA... 4.83 isn't much over a quality start.

And for this Phillies team, even with its hitting woes, a quality start should be easily enough to win a game.

I would argue that Blanton, whose peripherals indicate performance more akin to a 4.00-4.25 ERA guy, is much closer to a #3 or #4 than a #5 pitcher.

4.89 sorry

Sorry to interrupt the KK debate (again?!), but Tom Friend has a really good article on ESPN about Eric Show, on the eve of Pete Rose's record-setting hit. Brought a tear to my eye, not gonna lie, it's pretty sad.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=5543839

I think Blanton is a solid #3 on most clubs. We have the luxury of havin 3 guys that would be #1s on any other team...so he is pushed to the 4 spot. He's been very solid over his last 11 starts...the 1st half was likely the result of his injury issues in ST.

Forgive me if this is old news, but I just read this today. Yet another reason to despise the Mets:

"Perez, Luis Castillo and Carlos Beltran all missed a team-sponsored trip to visit wounded veterans at Washington’s Walter Reed Hospital this week – ignoring Jeff Wilpon’s personal appeal for the players’ cooperation....
Beltran said he had a meeting regarding the high school his foundation is building in Puerto Rico. Castillo said he simply didn’t have the stomach to be in the presence of amputees..."

Makes me hope even more for a Phils sweep this weekend.

Clipper, first of all, a quality start is an arbitrary term. Also, his starter's ERA is at 4.98, which is almost a half run higher than a "quality start".

Jack, it may be the case that Blanton's been a bit u nlucky this year, but these numbers do not look like a #3 starter to me, and a #4 would even be a stretch. They look like #5 starter figures.

24 GS, 5.15 ERA, 6.42 SO/9, 3.03 SO/BB, 1.45 WHIP, 6.19 IP/GS

Nepp: Not sure if you read the fielding bible, but do you know why Utley "makes plays on balls that most 2b never even touch"?

But I will agree that Blanton's been much better lately.

Would have preferred Worley, just because the Mets have never seen him. I think thats a distinct advantage for the pitcher, especially the first couple of times through the lineup. So why not give him a shot?

Heather, do you have a link to that article? Not because I don't believe you, but I just need one more thing to rub in the face of my Mets buddies via email. Thanks!

NEPP: So you're saying that a single season UZR number has meaning?

Then you have to assert that J-Roll has been wildly erractic in the field over the past 4 years.

It has meaning when its supported by his overall cvareer numbers. Bny itself, its not as solid. Rollins numbers show him to be a very good defender overall...regardless of how you're trying to argue them to make some asinine point that only you care about.

Willard - that article is on SI.com. I read it. No wonder we call them The Mess.

Fatalotti: If you don't know what the Beerleaguer expectations for KK were... then you either can't read, or haven't been around very long. Beerleaguer felt KK would be lucky to survive the season as a starter... at AAA! You see, his K/9 is too low proving he'll never have success as a ML pitcher.

A 33-22 record (.600 win pct) in 89 career starts have done little to persuade them otherwise.

Of course, you can't present a better option for our 5th starter, but that won't stop you from complaining about him.

On KK Haters:

The problem with running KK out of town on a rail because of his performance is that you would, rightly, have to put Moyer and Blanton on that rail with him because they performed at more or less at the same "unacceptable" level. If you do not, then you just hate KK and it has nothing to do with performance.

Yo, new thread.

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