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Friday, September 17, 2010

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Fast forward to Oct

WFC here we come.

Forget the National League, the Phillies are pretty damn close to having the best record in baseball. That is simply amazing to me after all they've been through this year.

"Now that they have [hunted down the Braves], you'll notice how the conversation has shifted to a "baring a collapse" tone."

What I noticed was that it has shifted to arguing over things like the significance of UZR.

From the article, "There are perhaps a dozen legit #1 pitchers in baseball, they [Phillies] have three of them."


Gotta love it.

The "history" that supports nobody stopping the Phils but themselves does not include two of the Big Three. However, those two have loads of experience (even if Doc doesn't have playoff experience) and their newness to the situation and hunger for a championship should energize the team.

no more UZR talk, please!

going into a series w/ only 1/3 of H20 doesn't feel quite right. the defense is going to need to respond with better UZR's vs. the Nationals.

It's the Nationals. We could field a team consisting solely of goatherds from UZRekistan and still take two of three.

From SI power rankings How sick is that?


Only twice in major-league history has a team had three pitches who each had 200 strikeouts in a season -- the 1967 Twins (Dave Boswell, Dean Chance and Jim Kaat) and the '69 Astros (Larry Dierker, Tom Griffin and Don Wilson). The Phillies have a chance to (unofficially) join them. Roy Halladay has 210 strikeouts, and Cole Hamels has 201, so those two are already there. Roy Oswalt only has 54 strikeouts since being traded to Philadelphia, but he had 120 in Houston, so he needs just 26 more strikeouts and has potentially four starts remaining.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/joe_lemire/09/16/power.rankings.1/index.html#ixzz0znbkPX2r

Oh Doc's been throwing strikes. The only problem is that a few of them have been right down Broad, and they've been ending up in the seats.

Conshy, this is a series where we can by with second rate pitching, so long as the bats show up. We are home and facing the nationals staff...we oughtta average 7 runs per game.

Also, we have Oswalt, and Blanton, lately, has been no slouch. Kendrick, on the other hand, will probably get murdered.

We should take 2 of 3 in this series.

As long as the stinkin' Yanks have stinkin' Rivera, they have to be the favorite in any series they play.

The Phillies have made the regular season boring. This has felt like a hockey season to me - just get it over with so we can start the playoffs. Quite an accomplishment in a sport where it is very difficult to make the post-season.

Lincoln: Tell that to the Bravos

lincoln, you're probably right. the nats are a bunch of lUZRs.

BobbyD, this season has been BORING to you??

only boring thing about this season is the lack of recent tazer incidents at the bank.

Dont be shocked if the Orioles shock the Yanks this weekend, Sholwalter has them playing great baseball this half and they've beaten some terrific teams in the past month and a half.

The word is barring, not baring (in 'baring a collapse').

The Nats won't be very "pesky", if you tee off on their 3 starting pitchers. At this time of the year, they only stay "pesky" if you let them off the hook early in games. Score a few early and they revert back to a 95 loss team playing out the string.

No Nyjer Morgan either in this series.


Any lineup with Dunn and Zimmerman back to back can be pesky if you keep your pitches up in the zone. Lidge had better be on his game if any of these games are tight at the end.

Why is everything taken so literally on here?

What do you mean by literally????

What do you mean by everything?

Well, I hate to be negative, but no one can forget a couple years ago when with I believe 17 to go the Mets blew a 6 1/2 game lead to the Phils. So we're not there yet, people.

The word is barring, not baring (in 'baring a collapse').

Hey, some people will use any excuse to get naked.

This is the baseball blog for people with the Aspergers. It's only sometimes readable.

I guarantee if tonight's game is 1-0 Nats in the 6th panic will ensue. And there have been plenty of games like that this season. Also I think any Phillies fans over 35 years old are not so confident in calling the race over with just yet. They're smarter then that.

Very true, Denny. The Nats are no more pesky than any 5th place team. If you own the best record in the entire league and you play well against the Nationals, you beat the Nationals, period.

If you take them for granted, and are complacent, then you can lose, very quickly, but that's true of all teams.

If the Phillies show up for this series (they will), and the Nats at least take the field (they wiil), the Phillies will take the series.

Not only are we not quite there yet, would it really be a collapse if we blew this lead? We could go 8-7 - which is mediocre but not at all the mark of a team in collapse (after all, at the pace we're winning games, we only should go 9-6) - and be tied if they go 11-4.

"Dont be shocked if the Orioles shock the Yanks this weekend"

Wait. How can the O's shock the Yankees this weekend if you just got done saying that it wouldn't be a shock if it happened?

Actually Tray, at the pace we've been winning over the last 53 games (38-15, .717 winning percentage), we should go 11-4 ourselves. The Braves would then have to go 14-1.

The Phillies will only lose this lead if they don't play like they're capable. That's possible, certainly, but I'm confident they'll hold on to 1st place this time.

We've gone 12-3 so far this month, they've gone 6-9. Not that it's impossible for them to turn it around as they went 20-8 in May, but that was a long time ago, and they haven't been as productive since, and do not seem to show any signs of repeating that success either.

"If the Phillies show up for this series (they will), and the Nats at least take the field (they wiil), the Phillies will take the series."

It's never that simple, is it? The Braves lost their Nationals series this week, and I don't know that they didn't show up. Their bats were contained by mediocre pitching and they failed to capitalize on the opportunities they had, things which happen to us quite often. Granted, we're facing much more marginal arms than the Braves did - but we're also starting Kendrick in one game.

A funny thought occurred to me last night, while I was at AT&T Park watching the Giants put a whooping on the Dodgers. The Braves might actually be better off if the divisional race is already over heading into that final 3-game series of the season. That would likely mean that the Phillies would play the reserves in some or all of those games. And the Braves may badly need those games to win the WC.

If we go 11-4 it is literally impossible for the Braves to go 14-1.

That's true, but we're not a .717 team any more than Carlos Gonzalez is a .450 hitter because that's how he hit this month. No team can play that well for long. You can't necessarily extrapolate from recent performance, especially when you cherry-pick the range of games at which you look (I'm assuming that's where 53 came from instead of 60 or what have you) to determine what our recent performance really is.

On the opposite end of the Jeter episode: Last night Konerko is hit in the face with a fastball, next AB crushes one to left.

Tray, I meant "show up" in the positive sense, as in, get geared up for the game, focus, intensity, ready to step on throats kind of "show up". I don't think that they can just throw their gloves out there and win. They have to come ready to play, and if they do that, being that they are the best team in the NL, they ought to take the series.

It is that simple.

True, Jonesman.

Konerko is having a hell of a year. Imagine if the WhiteSox had kept Thome...they might actualy have had a shot at the AL Central with some offense like that.

Am I the only one that's loving the season that Thome's having in Minnesota. He's just a good guy and Minnesota is a great fit for him.

Right on with Thome, and as usual the fans have taken to him in Minnesota. Too many egos in Chicago to get that team back on track. Guillen is the Rex Ryan of baseball, too much talking and nothing to back it up. And both had cable shows. The Twins are in my opinion the scariest team in the AL.

Tray, I think the team that we've seen since Thompson was fired has more of a correllation to the true Phillies team than the team that we saw in late May, June and early July. Would you agree?

Sure, they may not be a .717 team over an entire season (116 win season!), but, if healthy, and with Oswalt, Hamels and Doc at the top of the rotation, I think they're better than a .585 team. Right now, they are better than a .585 team, in my opinion.

NEPP - No, you're not alone. I've been a big Thome fan since the mid 90s when I met him. He deserves everything he receives, and without a doubt, first ballot HOF material.

Thome will be lethal in the post season having been there, done that.

Tray, despite my ramblings, I concede your point. If I consider this to be a legitimately 100-win team, that is a .617 winning percentage. Extrapolated over 15 gaes, that is 9.25 wins, so you're right, 9-6 is a very reasonable assumptiong for the final 15.

NEPP, I'd like nothing more (other than the Phillies getting to the WS), than to see th Twins get to the Fall Classic.

If the Phillies win out they'll match their record of 101-61 that they achieved in back to back seasons in the 70s. Any takers?

Completely off-topic, but I found this interesting.

Ubaldo Jimenez --

Pre-ASB: 15-1, 2.20 ERA
Post-ASB: 3-5, 3.76 ERA

There is a strong possibility that he will not reach 20 wins this year. After his first half, who would have thought he wouldn't reach 20? He was as close to a unanimous Cy Young winner as one could be in only a half a season. Now, I would say he's just about out of the running. Am I a bad person because I started smiling as soon as I saw this? I'm not a big Rockies fan.

I'd love to see a Twins/Phillies WS. Though I'd probably hate it as Fox would slobber all over the "All-American" Twins with endless accounts of Morneau, Mauer, Thome, etc against the big bad evil Phillies...blah blah blah.

It'd be worse than the "Cinderella Story" Rays. My favorite part of that Cinderella story was when the Phillies bludgeoned Cinderella to death with a baseball bat and then dumped her body in the Schuylkill.

Jimenez hasnt been the same since that Saturday day game at the Bank when we knocked him senseless. He looked shellshocked and hasnt had a dominating game since. Welcome to AL-style baseball in the NL.

R.Billingsly-

You're not a bad person, I smiled when I saw that too. I think the Rockies and their fans are insufferable.

NEPP: Nice, I love.

I hate the Rockies a little bit less now that Yorvit Torrealba is off the team.

NEPP- well said.

Y'know, before I started reading Beerleaguer I wasn't superstitious. But I'm noticing that this thread has about a dozen instances of tempting the Baseball Gods in what some of the old-timers around here must regard as a very dangerous manner.

Guys -- we're up a lousy 3 games in both the division and the wild card race, with 15 games left to play. The celebrations are premature. The Phils have to continue to play very, very well even to make the post-season.

Consider what happens, for example, if we drop 4 of 6 to the Braves in the coming weeks. Do that, and winning the division rests on our winning one game more than the Braves the rest of the way. In the meantime, with both San Fransisco and Colorado playing outstanding baseball down the home stretch, if the Phils only manage to play .500 ball the rest of the way, we could easily be knocked out of both the division AND the wild card races.

I don't think that will happen, but... geez, folks, don't pop the corks on the champagne bottles just yet, willya? Can't we have somebody trigger a reverse jinx for us? B_A_P? Anybody? Repeat after me: "This feels like a loss." "This feels like a loss..."

This upcoming series feel like a Nationals sweep.

"then dumped her body in the Schuylkill...."

... where it promptly dissolved in industrial-strength effluents, and no trace could be found thereafter.

Philadelphia's a beautiful town.

Thank you, b_a_p. I feel better already.

Since the Philly game, where he got shelled, Ubaldo has a 2.76 ERA over his last 9 starts. He's averaging rougly 7 IP per start.

But he's 3-4 over that stretch, because he's experienced some poor run support. 4.11 R/G for the Rockies in those starts.

In the gemes he's won, they've scored 9, 6 and 10. In all other 6 starts they've averaged 2 R/G.

The only thing that's killed Ubaldo's Cy Young chances would be his stretch from 6/23-7/24, where he went 6 games with a 7.64 ERA.

By the way, I hate the Rox as well, but Jimenez is an amazing talent. and outside of that one month stretch, he's been really, really good.

I like Amaro's:
"If I was a real smart guy we'd have all four of 'em,'' Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said, good-naturedly.

What a dork!

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_heyman/09/14/wednesday.scoop/index.html#ixzz0znrzCWy5

"then dumped her body in the Schuylkill...."

Phrase of the day.

It's amazing how a 3 game lead feels comfortable, while 2½ games does not. I am excited this year. I can remember when Gene Mauch used his good starters on short rest and blew his big lead and the pennant. Cholly is no Gene Mauch. Now, I have one good reason (the only one) to be happy when KK pitches. That means Cholly is giving H2O the proper rest and is not panicking.

Still Lake Fred, Worley should get those starts against the Nats, because KK, and his 12.71 ERA against the Nationals isn't exactly instilling confidence.

Fatalotti, you are correct. My mental processes are faulty this morning. I guess I stayed up too late last night. Worley would be an improvement over the abyssmal KK. I bow to your better insight in this matter, ha ha!

Fatalotti:

Are my numbers incorrect? Poor run support or not, Jimenez's second half is markedly inferior to his first. The point still holds up.

For me, the jury's still out with regard to what kind of pitcher he'll be. He had a good half. The remaining 2.5+ years of his MLB career have been mediocre. It doesn't mean that he won't have a stellar career, but he has to show me more than one good half of baseball. That's just the way I roll.

Our Lakewood Blueclaws are literally in quite a fight for the SAL Championship with the Greenville Drive.

Yep... literally. Check out the brawl from Game 2:
http://www.wyff4.com/video/25020405/index.html

I don't hate the Rockies. (The only team I hate is the Yankees.) But they do make me nervous. Those games last year were close. Of course, we have, like, 3 "Cliff Lees" this year instead of just one.

How do folks feel about our offense going forward? I feel it's been so inconsistent, I could see us continuing to hit well with a mostly-healthy roster, but I could also see us barely scoring against mediocre pitchers. Wondering if others are feeling more confident that the offense has turned it around for good.

RBill, I wasn't looking to disagree with you, just wanted to point out, that other than a rough stretch for a month that has (correctly) knocked him from serious Cy Young contention, he's been pretty dman good all year. Other than that stretch, he has a 1.76 ERA. And he's been really good since the Phillies game.

Also, his ERA+ by seaosn looks like this:

2006: 145
2007: 112
2008: 118
2009: 137
2010: 172 (higher than Roy Halladay, who is at 165)

He's had MUCH more than one half season of good pitching, and has been more than mediocre most of his career.

Jimenez is a very good, young (same age as Cole) pitcher who will likely have a hell of a career. While I think Doc is the CY for the NL this year, Jimenez should be right up there with Wainwright for runner-up. He's for real.

I don't have the numbers, but it seems like the offense has actually picked up quite a bit and has been a lot more consistent this month. There are always games where teams don't score, but is anyone really slumping right now? Doesn't look like it.

I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here, but I don't care who the Phils play in the playoffs. There is no team they can't beat when they're in this mode, and even without J-Roll, this team is probably better overall than last year's team.

Fatalotti: I wasn't trying to argue either, but on second read, I guess my tone did imply that. My apologies.

I guess I just don't like him. Watching him pitch leaves me unimpressed. His first half was killer, but his stats over the rest of his career don't strike me as anything other than being a solid MLB pitcher -- not a perennial Cy Young candidate. To be honest, his ERA+ numbers surprise me. They don't seem to coincide with his peripheral statistics. But I don't claim to be a sabermetcs whiz.

@GBrettFan: "How do folks feel about our offense going forward? I feel it's been so inconsistent, I could see us continuing to hit well with a mostly-healthy roster, but I could also see us barely scoring against mediocre pitchers."

I think we'll be fine.

Utley seems to have gotten his swing back, and is in the middle of a hot streak. He may slow down some, but I don't think he'll go cold. Werth has been pretty consistent, he'll continue to keep his numbers up, and probably also continue to suck air out of the lineup with RISP, dammit. Ibanez, I dunno, roll the dice, you'll get monster hitter Raul or strikeout king Raul, no way to tell. Chooch will be solid, he's just awesome. Victorino is on a good roll and I don't think he'll stop. Polanco is playing hurt, but his "hurt" seems to maintain a .300 average.

The question mark seems to be Ryan Howard. So far this September, he's got a .409 OBP and a slugging % of .636, and he's driven in 15 runs. Not too shabby (but not quite as many runs as Utley.) There's no way to know for sure, but historically, September is his month.

Wilson Valdez is hitting .333 this September, with a .412 OBP. Don't expect that to last, but doggone, enjoy it while it does. Jimmy who?

The Phils always have the occasional "nobody hits" games against mediocre pitchers. That's why they don't go 163-0. But it hasn't happened often enough to keep them out of the playoffs the last 2 years, and most likely it won't this year, either.

...sabermetrics whiz. Ugh.

RBill, no need to apologize.

I had some irrational dislike of Jimenez this year, early on, because he was getting stupid levels of hype (like Greinke last year), but when you look at his body of work this year, he's been really good, and outside of that month long stretch, he's been as good, if not better, than any pitcher in baseball. And, with his stuff and velocity, he'll be a good pitcher for a long time, in my opinion.

If Doc is on his game, it will be one hell of game 1 should the Phils and Rox square off.

This team is making the playoffs. Yeah there is still a lingering shot for the Braves but it really has faded over the past week.

Maybe some are diasspointed that the Braves/Phils series might not mean a whole lot. I am not.

As for 'Baseball Gods', people are only always punished for excessive hubris in Greek trageides and Hollywood movies. In real life, there are plenty of people who do just fine with a overinflated ego and sense ofpride through out their entire lives.

"As for 'Baseball Gods', people are only always punished for excessive hubris in Greek trageides and Hollywood movies. In real life, there are plenty of people who do just fine with a overinflated ego and sense ofpride through out their entire lives."

Also, the notion that OUR hubris could in any way effect the outcome of games played by the Phillies team (not us) is laughable.

But that's superstitiou for you. Illogical and irrational.

Yeah, MG, we all know that what we feel and say off the field (and 300 miles away, in my case) has absolutely zero impact on what goes on on the field.

But it FEELS like it makes a difference. And to a Boomer, feeling is reality, n'est-ce pas?

I guess I should have said, "To a Boomer, feeling is reality -- and I really AM the Center of the Universe!"

I'm as confident as anyone going down the stretch, but I still worry about the bullpen.

If the Phils secure the top record in the NL and get the extra off day, Kentucky Joe won't need to start until game 4 of the NLCS. So, is there something Charlie and Dubee can do to get Blanton and KK prepared for middle relief roles? If the Phils clinch early, can they have Vance Worley and even Andrew Carpenter start games and then have those two come out of the pen for an inning or two?

Tonight will be a tough game. Ignore Marquis' 6+ ERA and look at his last 3 starts, hes pitched like a stud.

http://zozone.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/09/madsons_heavy_workload.html#more

Zolecki writes about Madson who has had a ridiculous workload the past 2 months.

"Ryan Madson has made 37 appearances since the All-Star break, which easily leads the Majors.

The next closest pitchers have 32.

Chad Durbin, who is second in appearances for the Phillies since the break, has 29."

Couple of bones to pick with this piece:

1. "Plus, they've done it before. Romero pitched in 20 of 28 games in Sept. 2007. Tom Gordon pitched in 18 games (and 13 of the final 16) and Brett Myers pitched in 16 games (and 12 of the final 16)."

How is pitching at this pace for say 3-4 weeks comparable to what Madson has already been 8 weeks and very well might be close to 10-11 weeks if they make a deep postseason run?

Madson's usage probably won't be as big of a deal in the postseason because of the amount of off-days in between games. I just hope he makes it there with enough left in tank or doesn't get injured.

2. "Don't think those moments aren't seared into Charlie Manuel's mind with the NL East hanging in the balance."

Yeah there were 4 games this season where the Phils were up late and the Phils' second-tier relievers let up some runs to make it close. One of those situations was caused directly by Cholly (leaving Robertson out there to face 9 hitters) and I am sure almost every team in MLB has faced at least 3-4 games something similiar happened.

Need some kind of benchmark comparisons here to really make sense of this issue and to give it some proper context.

Maybe I am crazy:

I like KK on the postseason roster as a swing-man/right-handed reliever.

With Blanton's notable struggles in the 1st inning of games this year, he is a guy I don't want to see coming out of the bullpen in a spot vs. a right-handed hitter. In that spot, I would rather see KK.

MG, if it's against the Braves, definitely.

KK has a 0.60 ERA against the Braves this year.

If it's against anyone else, I'm not so sure.

MG- Madson looks to be OK, only has 47 IP this yr (Lower than 09 or 08 workloads).

I agree, if we can have him skip some games between now and the playoffs it is a good thing, but I think CM is counting on MadDog as a key piece to get us there.

Fatalotti:

Here is KK's line vs. RHP:

.255/.289/.424

Pretty much in line with this career numbers.

.258/.302/.397

KK has been effective vs. RH batters every year and this year is no exception.

Bubba - I don't think the Phils are going to let up as long as they don't have the best record/home-field locked up the NL playoffs.

Likely means Madson won't get a whole lot of rest.

MG, speaking of Robertson, something has always puzzled me:

WTF was RAJ thinking?

Looking at what robertson had done this season (and last) it was OBVIOUS even to someone with the brain of a dwarf ant that he had nothing left.

Do the Phillies have that kind of hubris that they thought they were such good coaches that they could beat a dead horse back to life?

I "get" most of the FO's thinking - I don't always agree (C____ L___) - but I usually "get" it.

That is a move, that no matter how much I try to understand the thinking behind it, I still come up clueless.

philwynk -- Premature celebrations (actually that sounds like a "men's clinic" ad)... BRRR... Must. fight. off. visions. of. '64...

If the Braves take 4 of 6 from us, we need to win 1 more than them in other games. Somehow, that just doesn't sound like a stone-cold mortal lock. I'm gonna watch 'til the last out of the NL-best record-securing game!

Funny that someone mentioned the Metsblog magic number jinx... because some Braves fans are now think the "Postseason Pace" posts have jinxed them.

They started on Sept. 3rd when the Braves were 78-56 with a 2 game lead over the Phils and 96% odds.

They've gone 5-8 since then while the Phils have gone 10-3 dropping the Braves odds to 68%.

cut_fastball: If the Braves take 4 of 6 from us, we'll still be up 1 game as long as we play even with them the rest of the way.

awh - They did start Worley over Robertson. I just think it was a veteran who they rolled the dice on to see if he had anything left as a LOOGY because there lefty reliever situation is so unsettled. No big deal.

cut, if the Braves take 4 of 6 from us, they will have made up 2 games, so we would still have a 1 game lead, which means we would merely have to win as many games as them in the other 9 games to win the division.

We could win ONE LESS than them in the other 9 games, and ti will merely have forced a tie for the division, and if we're both better than the WC record, we'd both make it.

So, in recap, if the Braves take 4 of 6 from us (aka, beating H2O 4 times in 6 chances, even though the Phillies are 27-10 over their last 37 starts), the Phillies would have to lose 2 less than the Braves in the remaining 9 games to lose the division outright.

Possible, but I'm confident that won't happen.

The Phillies have a 3 game lead.

If the Braves take 4 of 6 from the Phillies, don't they pick up 2 games?

Wouldn't that leave the Phils with a 1 game cushion?

Thus, if the Phillies went 4 - 5 in the other 9 games, the Braves would have to go 5 - 4 in theirs just to tie.

Doing the math, then, if the Phillies go 6 - 9 (2-4 vs. ATL, 4-5 other), the Braves have to go 9 - 6 to tie and 10 - 5 to win the division.

The Phillies will play hard, and they won't panic. These guys just don't seem to - and neither does Charlie.

But if the Phillies just split with the Braves, the Braves have a really big hill to climb, barring a 3 - 6 or 2 -7 collapse by the Phillies in the other games.

Should have been:

So, in recap, if the Braves take 4 of 6 from us (aka, beating H2O 4 times in 6 chances, even though the Phillies are 27-10 over their last 37 starts), the Phillies would have to WIN 2 less than the Braves in the remaining 9 games to lose the division outright

"MG, speaking of Robertson, something has always puzzled me:

WTF was RAJ thinking?"

He was probably thinking about catching lightning in a bottle.

Pedro's last season with the Mets wasn't awe inspiring, but he had a good half season with Philly.

Granted, you can't even begin to compare a schmuck like Robertson with one of the greatest pitchers of the turn-of-the-century era, but that's what Amaro was probably thinking....low risk, slight potential of a small reward.

awh: can't argue that Robertson was a bad pickup, but picking up other teams' garbage has been one of the Phillies strong points for years now.

I think they've earned the benefit of the doubt when dumpster diving.

Phillies in their last 53 games are 38-15 (.717)

Braves in their last 53 games are 28-25 (.528)

If the Phillies even play a little under their pace and go 9-6 (.6), the Braves would have to go 13-2 to take the division outright.

If the Braves keep playing at their pace and go 8-7, the Phillies would have to go 4-11 to lose the division outright.

Again, anything is possible, but the odds of the Braves suddnely playing at a .867 clip, or the Phillies suddenly playing at a .267 clip, or some combination thereof, just aren't that great.

Say Phils go 7-8 (.467). The Braves have to go 11-4 (.733) to take the division.

Given that the Braves have been slightly better than a .500 team for nearly 2 months, and the Phillies have been a .700 team for nearly two months, there is very little reason to worry.

Well, if you want to consider it dumpster diving, then maybe I "get" it, but I would not even have bothered.

With Pedro, Eyre, Romero, etc., I "get" it.

They had more recent track records of success at the time the were picked up.

Robertson hasn't had an ERA under 5.44 since 2007.

Big difference.

I know what you're saying AWH, but Robertson was given a minor league deal, so no big deal.

While I have some "What ifs" in my head concerning the offense and the BP, I really expect the Phils to keep making a solid push through the end of the season. They can see the finish line and smell the postseason - I don't expect them to become complacent and let up. I expect they'll also want to fight hard for best record, secure home-field advantage.

Strange to think all this may happen without Jimmy Rollins.

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