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Monday, September 20, 2010


I like the taser idea better.

We must not forget the efforts by the one and only Wilson "Exxon" Valdez. He beamed the ball with efficiency and accuracy tonight with 2-3 very difficult double plays. We sometimes under-appreciate the efforts required at short stop with gold glove winning, Jimmy Rollins, but what Wilson has been able to do in his stead has been nothing short of excellent.

Hamels chopped 'em and chopped 'em good! The Phils took their best gloves out there tonight. Great to see Lidge so filth.

Thanks for posting that video, JW! I missed seeing it during the game. Hilarious! Way to go, Diaz!

Reading through TalkingChop, it's the intellectual equivalent of or commenters. Picking on them is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Does anyone know of a Braves equivalent to BL?

Kudos to Matt Diaz. A Braves player who deserved a standing ovation.

Beerleaguer is sui generis.

This is random, but is anyone else ever reminded of Shaggy from "Scooby Doo" when they see Cole Hamels? The hair, the walk, the body type...

DH Phils: Unfortunately, I haven't found a Beerleaguer equivalent for any other team in baseball. We're very fortunate to have JW.

Most impressive thing about this game ... Lidge's lights out 9th. Those sliders reminded me of 08.

Another great game by Cole with little run support. Darn ticker can't take Lidge in meaningful games. His 1-2-3 performance means Cholly will keep trotting out Lidge in save situations for the rest of the season. I need heart medication!

Roy goes for no. 20 tomorrow. It doesn't get any better than this. I'm glad Cox is enjoying his last visit to loud Philly.

The good Braves blog is Literate, competent posters, occasionally devolves into SEC talk, lots of haikus.

Maybe this was covered on the game thread but did anyone else see the person in the stands on TV behind the batters who was just totally covered in hair, like a Cousin It with a Phillies cap? They must have showed him/her like three times in the game, and it freaked me out.

Valdez is exxoning magnificently.
Cole seeing a sports shrink? Clearly its helping.
Now if we could get Howard to see the shrink maybe he could become better motivated to distinguish balls from strikes.

timr- I saw the fan, the moss-man. Nice seats too! It was like halloween tonight out there.

Melky Cabrera is taking quite a beating on Braves blogs... as though he's all that's wrong with their offense. If only they had played Rick Ankiel instead!

I recall June of this season, when I was predicting 88 wins for the Phillies, and a post-season in front of the TV. This has turned out far better than I imagined was even possible. After losing 6 of their first 7 games after the ASB, the Phillies have been nothing short of phenomenal.

100 wins is not impossible, but 96 wins is very likely. What a great team, and what a season.

Howard was 1-2 with 2 walks. That would indicate he can tell balls from strikes.

Howard was 1-2 with 2 walks. That would indicate he can tell balls from strikes.

Old Phan duplicated his snippy (but accurate) remark about Howard. That would indicate that he likes the "post" button a little too much.

I liked this comment from the Braves blog..

"I blame Francoeur."

phil, yea. That's exactly what it means. (How's that for snippy?)

Since Aug. 31st, the Phils are 16-3. Here's what the offense has done in those 19 games:
301/384/488, 872 OPS, 37 2B, 27 HR, 6.2 R/G

And the pitchers:
3.65 ERA, 1.353 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9

And that's how you go 16-3.

"Another great game by Cole with little run support. Darn ticker can't take Lidge in meaningful games. His 1-2-3 performance means Cholly will keep trotting out Lidge in save situations for the rest of the season. I need heart medication!"

LF, Cholly would keep trotting out Lidge in save situations even if Lidge gave up 20 runs tonight. I would venture to say that Lidge has been one of, if not the best closers in baseball since August 1st. His stuff has been nasty, he's throwing his fastball for strikes early in the count, and even if they know the slider's coming, they can't hit it.

No need to fret about Lidge anymore, he's solid. So is Madson, and so is H2O.

It's time to put the negative Philadelphia attitude on the back burner, and realize that we legitimately have a team in Philadelphia that just might be the best team in baseball.

Soak it in!

Noah, are you sure?
I thought it was only us.
Huh. Imagine that.

The Braves rookie was supposed to be a pretty big strikeout pitcher, according to his minor league numbers, but he had just 1 K in his 4.1+ IP against a team that has its fair share of Ks.

It's nice to see Cocks make some head scratching moves especially allowing Beachy to hit in the top of the 5th and then take him out with 1 out in the bottom of inning.


Another great start by Cole, Lights Out was once again fantastic....huge double plays, and great job to take advantage of the mistake by Heyward.....and score some big runs with a runner on third and less than two outs, with just putting the ball in play!

The Phillies hit that kid hart today, unfortunately the wind kept knocking everything down. At one point, he had 9 fly ball outs, 1 ground out, and 1 strikeout. On a normal night, that's a recipe for disaster. Polly crushed a ball that would have been a doulbe, knocked down, Raul smashed a ball right into Infante's face.

But, no crying, they did what they had to do, and Cole Hamels was incredible.

I know Doc's the undisputed ace, and Roy has been almost unhittable since he came here, but Cole is the best pitcher on this team right now.

I'll take any one of them in any game, though. Tomorrow is Doc vs. Mike Minor. The Phillies ought to be up 5 games after tomorrow night.

Time to step on the Braves' throats and make them think wild card, and nothing else.

Old Phan I think Howard is seeing the ball a bit better as is made clear by the stats. Nonethless he still looks clueless up there and is mostly guessing. When Ortiz is batting the umpire doesn't call a strike unless Ortiz moves his bat.
If Howard could learn to distinguish balls from strikes he could become one of the games most feared batters.


accurate, they hit the ball hard all night, Werth missed a rbi on that ball that was right at Heyward.

RK, I have a hunch if you asked every pitcher in the league (as well as their managers), I think you would find that they think he is already one of the games most feared batters, and he has been since he was a rookie.

Wow RK, interesting night to complain about Ryan Howard.

What does this team have to do, and what must Ryan Howard do to get people to stop bitching about them so much.

Maybe if Howard had 6 HR, 19 RBI, 15 BB, and an OPS of 1.071 in his last 18 games and maybe if the Phillies had won 42 of their last 57 game, you'd stop complaining??

Wait a minute...

If I were a Braves fan I would blame Alex Gonzalez, that strike out in the 2nd was the biggest moment of the game....Cole limiting the damage in that spot was huge!! The other key moment was obviously Heyward misplaying the ball Vic hit.

I never get how or why people rip on Howard, he has carried this lineup, year after year since he has arrived!

Jim, it is one of life's great mysteries.

The Phillies have a 4 game lead in the loss column for the best record in the NL. If they do something crazy like sweep the Braves out of town (and with Doc and Oswalt going, it's not so crazy), they'd almost have a strangle hold on the best record in the NL. They currently have a 5 game lead in the loss column over the Giants and the Reds.

There is a chance that the Phillies might have the best record in the NL locked up going into the last series against Atlanta, which would mean they could pitch H20 a couple innings in each game of that series, and have them fresh for the 8 day NLDS.

Did anyone think that was even remotely possible when the Phillies were 48-46 on July 21st??

I would blame it on C_____ L__ or Nate Roberts.

If you read my first post it started with awesome.

I do worry the Phils are so so so incredibly hot that I worry that it is unliekly to be sustainable.

As for Howard he is a feared hitter but when he goes through one of his funks he is easily out maneuvered--we have all seen this before.

Howard is awesome but "6 HR, 19 RBI, 15 BB, and an OPS of 1.071 in his last 18 games" sucks. Pick it up Piece. ;]

@old phan

He is going to go down as maybe the best player in franchise history, I know I am a hard fan, but he is one guy I usually don't say a whole lot about him when he is struggling, becasue you know he is going to get hot and carry this team....sure he goes through slumps, like anyother player, and looks awful at times, but their are only maybe 2 or 3 other players in baseball that are capable of carrying a lineup like he can!


they went on a similar run in 08, and we all remember how that ended!

Jim, I agree completely. Then again, I am one of the very, very few who was happy about the contract.

Did anyone think that was even remotely possible when the Phillies were 48-46 on July 21st??

Look back Fat. Some of us did.

Did anyone think it was possible that they could have the division wrapped up 10 days ago before the final series?


I know you didn't because you and I were talking about how it would be nice to have that series not mean anything to get the pitchers some rest, especially Doc, but we felt it was fairly impossible...


I was happy with the contract, my only comment I made to my friends was I hope he isn't like Papi in 3 years, but I always defend him more than anyone else on this team, so I am a little biased when it comes to him and Utley, it's everyone else I usually rip! lol

I mean some of us thought the Phils could still win the division back then.

I will be the first to admit that I was thinking they would be about an 88 win team back then, and maybe they could get to 90 with a little luck and win the WC

I assumed this is where the Phils would be provided that everyone got healthy in time. Happily, they did.

RK, they've been sustaining this run for 57 games now. What makes you think it's suddenly going to just come to a crashing halt?

The reason they are winning at this clip lately, is because of Hamels, Oswalt and Halladay. Those guys aren't going anywhere, plus the offense has been a lot better lately. The team you see now, is the team we envisioned they would be at the beginning of the year.

Yes, I realize a .736 clip is not going to hold up forever, but even they are just a .620 team, that's still plenty good enough to win a WS. .620 clip is basically a 100 win season.

This team is for real, and they're firing on all cylinders. No need to worry about them peaking too soon. When you have three aces, a good #4 starter, power in the middle of your order, good defense, a good leadoff hitter, two guys at the backend of the bullpen shutting down and shorterning games consistently, you're going to win LOTS OF GAMES. Deal with it!!

Also, you want to know how feared Ryan Howard is??

They intentionally walked him in the third inning today in a 1-1 game.

Yeah, he's feared.

Now is not the time to look ahead... but I took a moment to anyway.

Roy Halladay: Signed for 3 more seasons, plus a 4th option year.

Cole Hamels: Signed for 1 more season, plus under club control for an additional arbitration year.

Roy Oswalt: Signed for 1 more season, plus an option year... although Oswalt may opt out.

It's possible we get to see H2O together through the 2012 season.

I thought they could still win the division when they were 48-46, but the thought they could run away with the entire NL.

I don't know if I ever thought that was possible. Yet here they, are a few games away from having AT LEAST a 5 game lead in the NL loss column, with 9 games to play.

But Ryan strikes out to much, so his career 280 average and his 40 homeruns, and 130 RBI's are meanignless, he should hit 330 60 180 everyyear...........being sarcastic of cours.....just in a great mood after that win tonight, and my buddy got two tickets for tomorrows game from a co-worker, so I am jacked!

CJ, if the Phillies do something special this postseason, and he's healthy, I see no reason for Oswalt to opt out.

Also, if he opts out, he only get a $1 M buy-out, whereas if the Phils opt out, he gets $2 M. Only an extra million, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. If this rotation does next year what we believe they can do, I see no reason why Oswalt would want to leave that.

Maybe I'm just thining wishfully though. :)

To add to your post Fatalotti.....................Washington intentionally walked Howard in the 1st inning just yesterday.

I hoped they could win the division when they were 48-46, but I wasn't that positive, but then Oswalt came and they had that homestand, so I thought they could do it again......and then after the Houston series I still thought the WC was a good bet, but I thought that may sink them with the division.........yea I'm all over the map with this team, but sometimes that is the fun part of being a fan!!!

"Who do I consider the ace?" manager Charlie Manuel said, repeating a question. "Whoever pitches good that night. We've got some pretty good pitchers. To say who is the ace, I like all three of them."

--Charlie Manuel

I agree.


If Oswalt stays healthy, which is a concern, I think he will stay for the option year, he loves it here, he feels like a 25 year old again, playing in front of sold out crowds , and being with an organization that is willing to spend to win.....I may have my issues with RAJ, but I can't fault his aggresion in trying to keep this team a winnner, and I think the franchises goal of a Yankees/Braves type run here....


My favorite part of the Talkingchop thread?

They tried really hard to convince themselves that Cole Hamels wasn't pitching that well. He kept "keeping balls up." The players kept swinging at bad pitches and not at the fat pitches down the middle.

Yep... that's right, Cole pitched lousy and held the Braves to 1 run in 8 innings.

Cole got lucky tonight. :P

Cole has been lucky all year with his 2.93 ERA

How is charlie Manuel not the manager of the year? This team was dead in the water on July 22nd, 7 games out, and now they are about to run away with the NL (if they keep playing this way), and maybe have the best record in MLB.

I know they have incredible talents and the best frontline pitching, but the manager is crucial in a team turning a season around at all, and to accomplish a turnaround such as this...

It's surreal, and Manuel ought to win manager of the year. He's done an outstanding job.

"Nonethless [Howard] still looks clueless up there and is mostly guessing."

I guess he's a hell of a good guesser.

Every singel one of Cole's 206 strikeouts have been lucky.

Gee, I always thought that it's considered good pitching get guys to swing at borderline pitches.

Maybe not in the South though. They're a little different down there.

If Cole was getting the corners tonight, he would have even been better!

Charlie should be NL manager of year, but if SD gets in, I wouldn't be suprised if Bud Black wins it, or the writers may give Cox a going away present, and Dusty is in the running, most didn't have them winning that division eventhough I did

Am I missing something? A Braves fan on talkingchop is outlining how the Braves win the WC and meet the Phillies in the NLCS. The Phillies have "no chance at winning that series". WTF?

I didn't know the Braves had enough fans to support a message board

Oswalt is a power pitcher. It needs to be seen what he looks like through the end of next year before an opt-out decision is made.
When is JRoll back?

"Melky Cabrera is taking quite a beating on Braves blogs... as though he's all that's wrong with their offense."

Cole Hamels was what was wrong with the Braves offense.

Even with a tight strikezone and getting squeezed (the ump did it to both teams), Cole stiffled the Braves.

The Braves are a good team. The fact that Cole did it to a good team is all the more impressive.


you could argue their bullpen would be a huge factor in that series...I will admit I want to sweep the Braves, because of their pen I don't want them in the playoffs, out of all the NL playoff teams, they are the only team that I think it would be a toss up in a best of 7

Cole has 5 losses this year where he's only given up 2 ER or less, and 4 ND when he's given up 2 ER or less.

Let's say we give him 7 of those wins. He'd be 19-3. 19-3!!! All that it would've taken for that to happen; the Phillies would have had to score 3-4 runs in some of those games. Not to much to ask.

Oswalt has 6 losses in which he's given up 2 ER or less. He has 3 ND in which he gave up 2 ER or less. Let's give him 6 of those wins. He'd be 19-7!

Basically, we should have 3 19 game winners right now with sub 3 ERAs.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the best rotation that I've ever seen in my life from any team.

@awh, I heard sometime during the end of the homestand, with a 4 game lead and with the way Exxon is playing, they want to give him as much time as he needs, his injury is usually a 3 week injury which would take them till the end of regualr season.

Obviously they would like to get him in a few games, to get some AB's, but they won't rush him back at this point, because if he would get hurt again he would probably be done for the rest of season, regardless how far they advance

Yeah Jim, the Braves are the second best team in the NL, though the Giants could make a strong case.

The Giants may have a better balance between their SP and bullpen. Their top of the rotation starters are better than Atlanta's, and they have a better closer. The Braves may have more weapons on offense, because the Giants have really been struggling on offense.

The team that would give me the most concern is the Rox, because Ubaldo can shut you down, and their offense can take their games at home.

All in all, I like the Phillies chances against any team.

I am one that doesn't think wins should be a factor in CY young, hence I think King Felix should win the AL.

If Cole had that record Fatalotti is talking about, which is realistic, he would be no-brainer CY Young....he is the best pitcher on this team right now, and he has been since the first month of the season with all due respect to Doc's great season, and with a good start and a win tomorrow he will wrap up the Cy Young

Yeah Jim, I'm not a big fan of W/L record, but I understand how it's perceived, and pitchers themselves put a lot of stock in it, so I appreciate when players reach milestones, but we all know that Cole and Oswalt are not 12-10 and 13-13 pitchers, respectively.

They should both be 20 game winners this year, along with Roy Halladay.

"Did anyone think that was even remotely possible when the Phillies were 48-46 on July 21st??

Posted by: Fatalotti"

Fat, best record in NL? I didn't "predict that, but I did post, when they were down 7, that I still thought they'd win the division if they got healthy.

Very simply, when healthy they're easily the best team in the NL - even before they got Oswalt. Now, with RoyO, this team is going to be very hard to beat if they make the playoffs.

It's not over yet, but things looks pretty good.


The Rockies may scare me more than Atlanta, I didn't take them into consideration, I forgot about them. I would put the Giants behind both, yes they have the great starting pitching, and an excellent pen, but I feel like 3 runs is enough to beat them and the Phillies starting pitching is better...

All in all the Phils will be favorites in any series, I was thinking about this last night, if they win the NL again, this team with this rotation and this lineup has to be the best NL team in a long, long time.

awh, it's definitely not over, of course, but they have a 4 game lead in the division (with two games against the chaser, with the pitching advantage in both games), and they have a 5 game lead for the last playoff spot (if need be).

5 games up with 11 to play. Those teams that they lead by 5 games (SD, SF, and Col) are all going to be playing each other down the stretch, knocking one another down.

The Phils are a DEAD LOCK for the playoffs. They will be there. The question is, which seed will they be?

I'm very confident that they'll win this division and take the best record in the NL.

We'll see.

I think W/L can be a tiebreaker when it comes to, two or 3 even pitchers, but for example in the AL, Felix has a run less ERA than CC, sure CC has 20 wins, and Felix only has 12, but leads the league in ERA and strikeouts, so how is it even a debate in this case?

Yeah Jim, definitley a tough debate. I'm more a fan of peripherals, but there are those who see great importance in W/L (I disagree, vociferously).

But just remember, you have three pitchers on your team who are all legitimate Cy Young candidates.


Phils simply made every defensive play and the Braves didn't tonight. That was the difference.

As others mentioned, watching Valdez turning the 3 DPs tonight was a pretty thing. JRoll is a better SS because he has better range but Valdez has a stronger arm & turns a better pivot on a DP throw.

Lidge is also quietly putting together the best stretch of his career with an ERA now of 0.92 in 19.2 IP (21 G) since Aug 1 with 12/13 save chances locked down.

Lidge looked unhittable tonight. And it all started with the first pitch fastball strike at the knees. After he threw that, the Braves were at his mercy.

If he's strong through the duration, we'll be nearly unbeatable.

Yea when was the last time that was done, the 70's orioles.....having 3 legit cy young candidates, that is amazing

Lidge was nasty, and he was facing the meat of order, huge not to have to face McCann by going 1-2-3

Cole Hamels has a 2.36 ERA since May 4th (excluding the June 1st, .2 IP game against Atlanta in the rain).

He's been that good for that long.

He has a 1.89 ERA since the All Star Break.


Yea it's not a fluke he has been doing this for quite sometime...

As I said:

Cole Hamels was what was wrong with the Braves offense.

he was lucky, as he has been every start since the break and howard sucks, well I don't think that, but that is what I have been hearing

Biggest surprise of the game? THE FANS STUNK. If you were at the game, you should be ashamed at how quiet you were. The only time the fans made any real noise was in the 9th. The rest of the game, seemed like senior citizen night. Awesome win, but pathetic crowd.


I sort of noticed that on tv, the 9th was loud....maybe it was just one of those kinds of games, I thought it was loud in the 8th for cole to

Yeah, maybe it was a Monday. Hopefully it'll be more playoff-like tomorrow. Wish I were there.

I will be there tomorrow, I will do everything I can to make it better!!!!!

I'm envious. Have fun, and for god's sake, get those people up and yellin! This ain't the Bronx.

I will do everything I can and if I have to call people out to get them up and yelling I will be, Doc has a chance for his 20th, and probably win the Cy Young, and a win tomorrow buries the Braves, if that isn't reason to be loud, there has to be something wrong with these people

Am jealous Jim! Enjoy being at the game, bring home an awesome Phillies victory, and give a report tomorrow after the game.

I just found out I was going this morning by buddy sent me a text and said a co-worker had tickets and couldn't go....should he buy them? so needless to say I am jacked!!! I prob won't be on tomorrow night I live in the poconos, but I will stop by sometime Wednesday and give a report

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