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Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Hard to imagine we could give the aces that kind of rest, but one never knows. Even if the division were wrapped up we'll be fighting for best NL record. Even if the best record were wrapped up, could we (would we) throw out less than our best in the last series when other teams might be fighting Atlanta for the WC?

On the other end of the spectrum, are Roy Halladay's innings pitched catching up to him? He's struggled his last few starts. Hopefully it's just a hiccup that he can straighten out.

Matt, hopefully he'll give us a sign of things to come tomorrow night.

Remember, Cliff Lee was positively bad last September, and then turned it on in the playoffs.

So, there's that.

Also, as Sophist has pointed out, Roy Halladay's pitches thrown are right in line with career norms. Also, he hasn't lost any velocity. He said that he's struggling with his mechanics lately, and usually that's something that pitchers can figure out.

He should be just fine.

nepp: dear lord you are right.

Phils better not carry 12 pitchers or Mike Sweeney is done for!

I want Mike Sweeney on the post season roster.

Somebody needs to embrace the moment, and nobody embraces stuff like Hug-Master Sweeney.

Some professor calculate in today's WSJ that those empty seats in Tampa, Atlanta, SD etc have cost those teams runs per game, and wins. For example, if each had enjoyed the same 100% attendance we enjoy at home games, TB would have 4.06 more wins, the Braves 2.89, and SD 3.41. She found that a 48% increase in attendance makes the home team score an extra run a game.

There's a reason everyone wants to play in Phila. right now - and it's you.

Not only are Doc's pitches/IP right in line with his numbers over the last few years, his velocity and movement were no different on average in his last start when compared with his season's numbers. Additionally, he hasn't even thrown the most pitches in MLB. I think he's 4th or 5th on the list.

He had one bad inning last time out and paid for one or two mistake pitches. Don't really see any signs that fatigue has anything to do with it. Just one of those stretches.

I couldn't agree more with the sentiment of the article. I think it's amazing what happens to journeymen who come to a team of winners. Wilson Valdez has been fantastic as well as Ross Gload. Great stuff and kudos to Ruben.

If the Phillies are 60 - 36 with Chooch starting, that makes them 24 - 25 when he doesn't start.

I'll leave it to the rest of you to discuss the ramifications.

("I be underpaid".)


awh - page D6 of the print edition.

It's only a 1 game lead, hardly a time for season summary and congrats all around.

Where is all that pessimism we know and love?

Yes, Curt, post the link. I'm trying to figure out causation. (Slow day at work.)

73-43 in games started by Polanco.

Phillies UT INF by OPS+ during their Phillies career:

Tomas Perez: 76 (final 2 years: 67, 47)
Abraham Nunez: 51
Eric Bruntlett: 44
Juan Castro: 28
Wilson Valdez: 68

Kutztown, my thought exactly.

Which causes which - winning or higher attendance?

curt, who's the author?

JW, I'll go you one better:

The Phillies are 32 - 9 in appearances by Lidge.

KF - basically, according to the article, she shows that big crowds in fact help teams play well.

You know, msybe Hanley wouldn't sleep walk if he weren't playing in front of 300 sleeping "fans" every night.

curt, does playing well attract big crowds?

See, that's what Kutz and I are talking about.

awh - David Biderman wrote the article. NYU's Erin Smith did the study.

clout, that was out of the blue.

What's that got to do with anything?

OK, curt, since I'm doing your work for you, here's the link:

Now I'll go read it and try to find the original study to see if I agree.

I heard some crazy stat that the Phillies are 84-61 when they play baseball so far this year.

clout: I wanted to mention it yesterday, you're excused for forgetting about Castro. I think Valdez made all of us forget him in a hurry.

awh: The thread topic of making do with what was on hand.

"curt, does playing well attract big crowds?"

Ask the Braves.

Cipper: That stat only applies to actual games played, win or lose...

Here's something for the statheads:

The title:

A Point-Mass Mixture Random Effects Model for Pitching Metrics

Basically, they claim to identify which pitching metrics are the "most reliable".

Key quote:

"Our model identifies FIP, HR/9, ERA, and BB/9 as the highest signal metrics for starters and GB%, FB%, and K/9 as the highest signal metrics for relievers."

Hey, this one's right up clout's alley:

Simply Better: Using Regression Models to Estimate Major League Batting Averages


"We consider the problem of estimating a Major League Baseball player’s batting average in the second half of a season based on his performance in the first half."

ollie: Those last 3 games could present some interesting scenarios. If the Phils have everything wrapped up, and would rather have the Braves win the WC over a west team, they could let Baez start all 3 games, and let Valdez bat clean-up.

Read a comment by Jack this morning that spoke to the closer (durability?) problem. 8 brilliant innings each out of Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt -- on 3 consecutive playoff games -- can disappear in a flash with a 9th-inning Lidge gopher ball in those 3 consecutive playoff games. Heck, the same think can happen against Atlanta next week.

Damn, I hope Lidge has got enough in the tank to make H2O's results stick. If Lidge goes bad again, and can’t get straightened out I wonder if Madson’s the man? Madson’s had his chances; is looking better, and his stuff/numbers make him the best we got.

Maybe that attendance article starts to explain Pat the Bats Tampa experience.

He missed the fans!

Record in games where Victorino blew nose into his batting glove and got at least one hit: 25-12

Record in games where Pluto and Venus were equidistant from each other (home only): 30-13

Record when Charlie wears carpal tunnel glove on left hand: 45-20

Record when Sarge wears blue jeff cap: 14-12

Record when at least 3 members of the "Citizens Seven" are women with glasses: 20-6

In reviewing these stats, they are very similar to last season....this bodes well for the home team statistically.

Wins when someone on Beerleaguer was sure the Phils would lose: 84

I'm posting from an iPhone, so it's hard to get into detail. But I can't see how you can quantify large home crowds equating to more wins. I'm not sure you can even test the theory unless you play all home games behind locked doors, then play them all over again with the same line ups in front of sell out crowds. Even then, the "laws of baseball" confound the study because, as we all know, each game - hell, each at bat - is different, even if the players are the same. Add to that he differences inthe weather, player health, etc.

I guess it's an interesting study to stir up conversation, bu I'm not sure that it's sound reaserch design.

awh: I'm quite familiar with Feng Hao's work on Bayesian estimators at Tianjin University, as most baseball fans are, but I think his understanding of linear regression leaves a lot to be desired.

Hard-on? I'm pretty sure this is a family blog

You funny, Clout

Kutztown: That study also ignores the hot babe factor in baseball crowds. The more hot babes in the crowd, the better the on-field performance as the athletes try to impress them.

Phillies have 84 wins with out Cliff Lee this year.

"The more hot babes in the crowd, the better the on-field performance as the athletes try to impress them."

Looks like we need to hijack a bus full of hot blondes and stick them down the 3rd baseline for when Werth is up with RISP.

This thread has officially lost its focus....

"This thread has officially lost its focus...."

There's a first time for everything.

Or move all the hot babes to areas of CBP where players can see them while moving the more bovine fans to Ashburn Alley.

Record when hot babes occupy Ashburn Alley: 32-21

Joe Cowley |

did you do a personal study?

"Hard-on? I'm pretty sure this is a family blog"

I'm certainly no offended by JW's language, but those words umm.. jumped out at me.

I did a thorough anaylsis of the Bill James periodical: "The American Past Time and Hot Babes: A Historical Perspective" sure beats that lame baseball almanac....

Cipper, the Phils have the most wins without Cliff Lee in the NL this year.

Look, teams do better with full stadiums because when fans hold up cards that join together to make a huge picture of a glass of beer, the resulting picture is very nearly HD and very distracting to the opposition. When they try that in empty stadiums, you can't really tell it's supposed to be a glass of beer.


No mention of today's milestone Beerleaguer moment: the first time in history that jw has used the word "hard-on" in one of his write-ups.

looks like game is unlikely tonight lots of rain in weird will it be to call the marlins the Miami Marlins in 2012?

I would assume that it would be natural for a team to perform better in front of a big, enthusiastic crown. However, my assumption is shot to hell when looking at the Braves this season. Amazing home record, lousy fan base. So maybe it doesn't matter.

4-1 when greg dobbs homers

the rain will move out. it only says 30% chance tonight. remember it's south florida. it comes and goes

st +1

I wonder if the rain will negatively affect the attendance at tonight's game.....

Is here such a thing as negative attendance? If there is, I'm sure the Marlins can achieve it.

It's no big deal to use the phrase "hard-on", but to use it in the same sentence as "Ty Wigginton"? That's surreal.

Thoughts on Uggla's 30 homers 4 straight seasons? I think he's an excellent slugging second baseman, but lousy fielder and not a great hitter. Kent was far superior on all counts even though he's challenging his offensive totals.

*cricket cricket*

Joe, Uggla is a DH-in-the-making, or at best, some team will move him to 1B. Maybe even the Marlins, though Sanchez is 4 yrs younger and has put up respectable #s at 1B this season, despite significant home/away splits.

Joe, it's hard to transition from babes in the bleachers to Uggla's HRs. Give it time.

My reactions when I saw that Uggla stat were (1) to look at Utley's numbers and (2) to look at Uggla's defensive metrics. He did play all those games at 2B, but should he have been there?

His defense isn't so bad and his offense so good that he'd be a better 1B than 2B, but it's probably not all that far off. He's dead last in UZR/150 if your time range is the last 3 years (and that's with a roughly replacement level outlier in 2008, 2007 and 09 and 2010 were all well, well below replacement level by UZR/150). If the last 4 years were the range, I'd bet he'd be last by an even more significant margin.

Uggla would make an excellent DH or 1B or LF. He's not a 2B.

"Record in games where Pluto and Venus were equidistant from each other (home only): 30-13"

This makes no sense unless a third point is added to your equation. Venus and Pluto are always roughly 3.6 billion miles from one another. I call your stats into question.

CMI: It was a trick question anyway, I think Pluto was booted out as a planet last year....

Chris Coghlan plays 2B, was an above average one in the minors. Uggla wouldn't be such an excellent 1B. He's be like an Adam Laroche or an Ike Davis. His career wOBA is about in that range and his defense would be about average over there. Not worth the money for a team like the Marlins.

Favorite Marlin player's name to be uttered by Harry the k: centerfielder Chuck-y Carrrrr....

Speaking of injuries, Joe Lemire at has some interesting notes on Polly's pain:

"how weird will it be to call the marlins the Miami Marlins in 2012?"

Not half as weird as it will be to call them the Omaha Marlins in 2014 or so.

Phils home record with hot ball girls manning foul territory: 0-0

Call Me Ishmael, based on your specifications, would it make sense to say that the team is 84-61 when Venus and Pluto are equidistant from each other?

no name: The Miami Marlins was the name of the Triple A minor league team in the 1950s and 60s. They played their games at Miami Stadium, which was also the spring training home of the Dodgers and later the Orioles. I was down there in 1988 and caught a few O's games. Great little stadium. It was built in the 1940s and, sadly, torn down in the 1990s.

Anyone actually interested in reading the attendance study can go here and click the "one click download" button at the top.

sophist: Uggla played nearly as many games at 3B as 2B in the minors and his bat would play better there than at 1B, while his glove would play better there than 2B. He was used exclusively at 2B because the Fish had Miggy at 3B. His lack of range wouldn't be as harmful at 3B as 2B. But he would still be well below average, defensively.

No surprise here..

Phillies switched Oswalt and Kendrick in rotation this weekend, which allows Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt to face Braves next week.

JC - Touche.

Fatalotti - no, because again, there is no third point in the line segment. Even using a locus, it would contain a third point. Pluto and Venus will always be x distance away from one another. If you were to say the Phils were 84-61 when Venus (point A) and Pluto (point B) were equidistant from ____ (point C) , then yes, I would agree.

I tell you, the nerve of some people on BL, making random statements about math and the universe...

No... the Marlins will still be in Miami in 2015... except they'll become the Miami Gators, move the American League and beat the Cubs in the World Series.

Just ask Doc Brown and Marty McFly.

Miami stadium was the Yankees spring training home and then the Orioles. Dodgets were in Vero beach.

Miami will become the Miami Cubans and they have long term contract since the city is paying for new stadium (with roof) no leaving Miami but plenty of Cubans will showup

clout, his offense would be slightly above average at 3B offensively. Mark Reynolds territory (who's about as good at 3B as Uggla is at 2B). Maybe something like Casey McGehee in value (maybe a little better) or the 2010 version of ARod. Not sure why he's not playing 3B now unless the Marlins know something we don't.

I think Satchel Paige played on the Miami Marlins (the International League version). Marlins had a nice rivalry with the Havana Sugar Kings, or so I've read.

fljerry: Incorrect. The Dodgers trained in Miami in the 1950s before moving to Vero. The Yankees trained in St. Pete during that decade, then in Ft. Lauderdale in the 60s.

Zolecki tweets:

Phils announced RHP J.C. Ramirez (part of Lee trade) had surgery on his hip last week. Said he should be ready by spring training.


But I thought it was Aumont that had the "degenerative hip condition?"

sophist: It's a puzzle to me as well. Obviously, he wasn't going to bump Miggy when he arrived and when Coughlin was ready, they had Cantu at 3B. But now, why not shift Coughlin to 2B, where his bat as more value, and Uggla to 3B, where his glove has more value?

The Havana Sugar Kings? I believe that was the name of the gang that was infiltrated by Crockett and Tubbs on last night's re-run of Miami Vice (of course posing as Burnett and Cooper)...cameo by Dennis Farina....

Ishmael, that was the joke. Since, technically, Venus and Pluto are always equidistant from each other, then the Phillies record when those two are "equidistantly situated" would be what their record is always.

Probably a dumb joke.

I'm good at those.

I wonder if the Phillies are aware that they can do this rotation, thus getting the order to be Halladay-Hamels-Oswalt, thus setting them up for the playoffs, and making it so all three are on 5 days rest heading into the last series against the Braves.

9/14, FLA: Hamels, 5
9/15, FLA: Halladay, 4
9/16, OFF
9/17, WSH: Oswalt, 4
9/18, WSH: Kendrick/Worley, 6
9/19, WSH: Blanton, 5
9/20, ATL: Halladay, 4
9/21, ATL: Hamels, 6
9/22, ATL: Oswalt: 4
9/23, OFF
9/24, NYM: Blanton, 4
9/25, NYM: Halladay, 4
9/26, NYM: Hamels, 4
9/27, WSH: Oswalt, 4
9/28, WSH: Kendrick/Worley, 9
9/29, WSH: Blanton, 4
9/30, OFF
10/1, ATL: Halladay, 5
10/2, ATL: Hamels 5
10/3, ATL: Oswalt, 5

All they have to do is swap Halladay and Hamels next Monday/Tuesday.

clout, either his arm at 3B is that bad or his offense is so good at 2B that he's a better value overall there. Or maybe he's stubborn and they don't want to move him. Or Coghlan isn't ready to be an everyday 2B.

Fatalotti - I know, I attempted to tie in BL's love of stats with your joke, and failed. We'll call it a draw.

Fatalotti: Zero chance of them giving Hamels 6 days off to rejigger the rotation.

CH - He did. Man the Phils haven't got a single break with any of the guys from the Lee trade.

Did they ever get an update on Gillies? Did he turn evidence & cop a plea?

sophist: Coghlan's primary position was 2B in the minors and he was at least league average on defense according to the scouts. He was shifted to LF simply because of Uggla.

You could be right about Uggla's arm, however.

clout, I meant to emphasize the "everyday" part of that statement, although that is undermined by the fact that he started almost every game for the Marlins before his injury.

"And his name is DAN UGGLA!"

Anyone hear the Marlins announcers do this? It is very TMACish of them.

From Spencer Fordin at

"Ruiz, who homered and drove in four runs in Monday's series opener, is batting .343 (48-for-140) with five home runs and 34 RBIs in his last 31 games. The Phillies are 60-36 when Ruiz starts this season."

The only jersey I own...

Bay Slugga - I cannot stand that, especially when they replay it on MLB channel the next day. According to Wikipedia, it's said that the announcers do it because his name is so often mispronounced. I don't know how you can mispronounce a name like that, seems pretty easy, but there you go. I agree, though, it's annoying, almost as annoying as the Hawk saying "he gone" after a strikeout. My brother says it now for everything, regardless of what is happening in the game, and I totally blame Harrelson for this.

Whenever I hear either of these two examples on a broadcast, I have to laugh at the people who complain about TMac. He may be annoying, but not nearly as annoying as that.

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