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Saturday, September 11, 2010


Sounds like no Rollins until Monday.

JW: Agree with you about Ruiz. The Phils had their worst stretches of play when he was out. That can't be a coincidence; especially after seeing them do well without Utley and Howard.

Liked this Halladay quote from afterwards:

So I definitely look forward to playing beyond the end of the season. I never had a year where I got home and felt really exhausted. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

I'll second the motion of Chooch for MVP.

My buddy and I went up to the game last night. It was great. It took forever for the 2nd run to get put up on the scoreboard. I was yelling right away that Chooch was not forced, but I guess the scoreboard operators have lost focus due to the Mets ineptitude. Citi Field is really nice, but it was less than half full. There were a good number of Phils fans, which was nice.

Ryan Howard is an Indian Summer. Gets hot every September. I think we can expect him to reach 35HR and upwards of 115 RBI. Well below his career averages but given the league wide drop in power numbers and his injury, not all that shabby.

Missed the end of the game and may miss today's also. My comments on the Madson debate are as follows:

The last 3 games where we had a lead of 3+ runs in the 7th or 8th inning, and Cholly went to someone other than Madson or Lidge:

Sept. 8 game against the Fish: Phils lead 10-0 & bring in Nate Robertson, who implodes for 6 runs allowed in the 8th. Herndon finishes off the 8th, then walks a batter to start the 9th. Madson has to come in to close the door.

Sept. 7 game against the Fish: Phils lead 7-4 & bring in Contreras to start the 8th. He proceeds to allow the Fish 3 runs to tie the game. Romero then comes in & walks the only batter he faces. Madson finally comes in, pitches 1.1 scoreless innings & get the win (he also got a cheap blown save, because he allowed the tying run to score from 3rd on a WP). Phils win 8-7.

Sept. 3 game against the Rockies: Phillies lead 12-7. Durbin, one of the Phillies "good" relievers, comes in to pitch the 7th. He allows the Rockies right back in the game by giving up 3 runs. Lidge has to be summoned to pitch the 9th.

The lesson I derive is that, whenever we try to preserve our best relievers on the ground that a lesser reliever can do, we end up having to summon them anyhow for a bailout. If we want to avoid having to summon Madson or Lidge for a bail-out, the best way to do so is to use them before the bail-out becomes necessary.

I think Charlie should have pulled him after the 7th...

Doc may have some arm fatigue... who knows. Some people think ( ex- Dubee) that Roy has an arm like the man in the droid phone commercials- that it will never tired and he will always pitch like superman...

Dubee/ UC should be aware of the situation, we don't want a cliff lee type dead arm occurring w/ Doc while in the post season

Based on Halladay's last four starts, it appears he is going through a dead arm period right now. I am fully confident that his arm will come back alive for te upcoming Braves series and will be full of life come October.

For the record, the last sentence of my 11:35 post was intended (at least in part) as irony. So, before anyone goes ballistic, yes, I'm well aware that you can't use Madson & Lidge every single day. However, it's September, we're trying to make the playoffs and we have only 2 reliable relievers in our bullpen (3 if you count Durbin, who's somewhat more reliable than the others but substantially less reliable than most teams' 3rd best reliever). Whenever we use anyone other than those 2 or 3 guys, something always seems to go badly. Given those facts, I find it odd that, when Cholly makes a move which indisputably puts us in the best position to win a game, it results in such rampant second-guessing on Beerleaguer.

"we don't want a cliff lee type dead arm occurring w/ Doc while in the post season"

Or behind the back catches.

BAP- nice summary of the last three BP implosions when Cholly did what MG and others thought was the 'smart' thing to do. In all three cases, the 'smart' thing almost cost us the game.

Really unhappy that the Padres have now completely imploded and let the Giants tie them for the division lead. SF is really the only team in the NL that can roll three guys out there that can pitch with the Phils' big 3- Lincecum could certainly match (if not flat-out beat) Halladay on any given night, and any Sanchez start would basically be an automatic L. Cain is no slouch, either. Their offense is horrible, but if their pitching comes up big, it doesn't have to do much. They're the only team in the NL that worries me.

BAP, absolutely correct. Although the Phils are on their ascent and the Bravos are on their descent, it is too close to take risks. UC needs to find a happy medium where guys are being used when necessary but not to the point of overwork. Sorry, but when a game is on the line, I want the best guys available. We've all seen enough games to know how fast leads can disappear.

Iceman - The Giants' offense is actually quite improved from where it was at the start of the year. All the more reason to worry about them.

I read crasburnalley this morning and it pretty much spells out 5he whole Kk vs Worley debate. Good stuff

As long as the phils have homefield against sf, they'll beat them

I would like to see CM use David Herndon more. A poor start to the season created a bad impression of Herndon, but he has done a credible job since. Take away his Apr and his ERA is under 4 and his WHIP is around 1.35 (not counting IBB). Since Aug 1 he has a better ERA than Durbin, who might be the one wearing down (1st half ERA 3.31, 2nd half ERA 4.78)
The other attractive things about Herndon are that he has given up just 1 HR this season in 48+ IP and has induced 9 GIDP.

Certainly a pennant race is not the ideal setting for taking a chance on a young pitcher, but if you're worried about overusing your best relievers, then it might make sense to look at Herndon a little more in these non-save situations (and maybe not yank him for Madson after a 1-out walk with a 4-run lead)

Can't even think of another candidate for team MVP.

Team MVP is Halladay, hands down. I would agree, though, that Chooch is the MVP among the everyday players. The only other candidates are Howard & Werth, but Howard's defense has been dreadful & Werth loses points for his RISP problems and his many bone-headed plays.

BAP - Cholly was asleep at the wheel in the game with Robertson. No reason he let the Fish hit around for 6 runs with Roberson.

The other situations were clearly on the pitchers. They were put in very reasonable positions by Cholly. Simply didn't execute in those games. Go back to those threads. Didn't complain about Cholly because he didn't make a mistake. His players just didn't execute.

Contreras and Durbin have generally both been fine since the ASB. Durbin has only allowed runs in 6 of his 26 appearances since the ASB. Contreras only 4 of his 24 appearances.

Madson and Lidge have been notably better but Cholly does have other relievers who have been effective enough when this team is ahead that can use them in a game when they are up 3 or more runs late.

3 runs is a save situation. You'll never see him go to anyone but the closer in that situation. Guaranteed

Anyone ahev the important parts of the keith law scouting report on lakewood?

MG- notice that in the games you said you didn't complain about bullpen usage, the lead was either blown or almost blown. The games you've complained about have all resulted in wins.

Halladay with Ruiz catching:
24 Starts, 2.09 ERA, 0.98 WHIP

Halladay with Hoover, Sardinha or Schneider
7 Starts, 3.77 ERA, 1.31


I think Halladay is picking Ruiz as the MVP

"The other situations were clearly on the pitchers."

That's the whole point, MG. It's on the pitchers that they didn't hold the lead and Charlie had to go with Lidge and/or Madson anyway, with the win significantly endangered. Percentages dictate that he's better off just going with the better pitchers whenever he can.

If he burned someone out, or if the team lost a game because a reliever was overused and couldn't be used subsequently, then you might have a point. However, despite at packed schedule during a pennant race you have yet to come up with an example of either.

You've been complaining about Madson being used in game after game - yet he's pitching as well as he ever has. Clearly, his effectiveness hasn't been diminished.

So, instead of maximizing the chances to win games as the opportunities presented themselves, you would have wanted Charlie jeopardize wins because of worrying about bad scary things that never materialized.

Iceman - There was lots of criticism of Cholly after that game with the Fish & Robertson. Hell, even LA and Bottalico on DSN wondered why Robertson was left out there for 9 batters.

Here's the catcher splits if anyone wants to look them over..

killbillrain -

"The Phillies' Lakewood affiliate has been one of the most prospect-laden clubs in the minors this year, with a rotation headed by the now-injured Jarred Cosart and, for part of the year, also featuring Trevor May, who punched out 13 on Wednesday as Lakewood took game one of their best-of-three playoff series against Hickory. Game two, eventually won by Hickory in ten innings, included a strong matchup of starting pitching prospects and ended up a showcase for the best reliever on each club, but the biggest name involved was Lakewood first baseman Jonathan Singleton.

Singleton burst on to the prospect map this year when he hit over .400 with a slugging percentage near .700 for his first month with Lakewood, and while his performance slid after that, there's still a fair amount to like. Singleton is physically well-developed already at 6'2" and a listed weight of 215 -- although I'd guess he's a little stronger than that -- and has an outstanding swing with good hand speed and excellent hip rotation for future power. He tends to hit a little too much off his front foot -- he can end up with his weight completely off his back side -- but he gets great extension through the zone, and if there was a beauty contest for swings he'd be one of the favorites. At the plate on Friday, Singleton didn't look good, but it could simply be exhaustion, as he was late on 88 mph fastballs from the lefty Erlin and struggled to adjust to anything offspeed. I'm inclined to think he's more of a one-level-per-year guy right now, since his season started late, he's already worn out in early September and his recognition of breaking balls is limited, but he does control the zone pretty well and his swing is ready to play at higher levels.

• Brody Colvin started for Lakewood and showed big velocity with below average command and control. Colvin hit 94 on his first pitch and pitched from 91-95 over his five innings, losing about 2 mph when working from the stretch. He accelerates his arm very quickly and gets good extension out front, so the ball appears to come quickly out of his hand towards the hitter. He was more confident in his 83-84 mph changeup, which had a lot of late downward action, than his 77-79 mph slider, which had some tilt but was less consistent and occasionally flattened out. Colvin cuts himself off in his delivery and didn't command anything as well to his glove side as he did to his arm side -- I could see him getting around the side of that slider -- but the raw material is there for a No. 2 starter who brings two or three above-average pitches.

• Lakewood countered with a relief ace of their own, Julio Rodriguez, who struck out 90 men this year for the Blueclaws in 55 innings and punched out five of the ten men he faced on Friday. Rodriguez didn't show a real knockout pitch and his fastball only touched 91, sitting mostly 86-89 in his second and third innings. He mixed four pitches very effectively, showing good two-plane break on the slow curve and hard tilt on the slider, with only the changeup a "show-me" offering (just to let hitters know he has one). Rodriguez's arm is loose and easy, and he works quickly, keeping hitters off balance. If he can hold that velocity as a starter, he has the body and repertoire to become a legitimate starter prospect, even though I think the crazy strikeout rate this year wasn't indicative of his raw stuff.

• Lakewood right fielder Anthony Hewitt batted three times ... and struck out three times. Breaking balls, fastballs up, changeups -- he can swing and miss with the best of them.

• Centerfielder Jiwan James didn't fare much better, fanning four times in five at bats. James' pitch recognition is a notch or two above Hewitt's, and like Hewitt he looks good in the uniform. James doesn't have Hewitt's raw power, but I give him a better chance to hit, and he does have the four tools other than power, with good bat speed and lots of range in center. He barely uses his lower half at all, with limited rotation, and tends to meet the ball a little out front, all of which points away from power despite the fact that he could easily end up over 200 pounds when he's in his late 20s.

• Catcher Sebastian Valle punched out three times in four ABs with a walk, although his at bats were mostly sound and he had a few good takes and showed he could foul off a lot of pitches he couldn't hit fairly below the zone. His stride at the plate is very short, but he's got good hands and uses his lower half well, which is why he's showing power already even though he's still pretty slight. He's a work in progress behind the plate but has arm strength and showed soft enough hands that he projects well defensively."

MG- I don't see why it matters what LA and Bottalico said. I wasn't talking about what they said. I'm talking about the oddity of your complaints coinciding with wins, and your lack of complaints coinciding with blown leads.

If we're talking about a 5-6 game lead I'm more in line with your way of thinking, but Cholly is managing in a tight pennant race where 1 or 2 games could mean the difference between a division crown or no playoffs at all. Manuel is going with what he feels is the surest path to victory in every game, and while he's throwing Madson out there a ton, Madson's performance has shown absolutely no signs of deterioration at this point. It probably helps that he missed many weeks after he went medieval on a chair. But whatever the reason, Madson has been very durable up to this point and the Phils have been winning games as a result of Manuel's relying on him. I know you'll keep complaining as you have done for the past two seasons- I just don't see how you can continue to argue conjecture time after time and not be able to bring any facts to the table besides fear.

MG: We agree on Robertson. Using him with a 10-run lead was fine, but Cholly should have given him the hook after 3 runs.

On the rest of the near meltdowns being on the pitchers, well, sure they were on the pitchers. But if Cholly uses Herndon with a 5-run lead & Herndon proceeds to blow the 5-run lead, it's not exactly consoling to say that the loss was on Herndon, and not Cholly.

Lidge's recent success appears to have arisen out of his increased reliance on the slider thrown for strikes (empirical observation; please refute if possible), forcing batters to stop waiting on a no-movement 91 mph fastball right down Broadway.

Regardless, I don't feel very confident about Lidge's short-term reliability; that is, through October. What happens if Lidge's elbow quits for good? Would Madson move up to closer, and Durbin take the 8th? Would Herndon become the Durbin-like swing man? Would that situation dash the Phils' awesome recent success?

Doc didn't look like he had a "dead arm" for 6.2 inning last night. The other 1, though, he was off. When Oswalt had a "dead arm" you could see it every inning. His movement and velocity looked fine outside that one inning. Is this a dead arm that comes and goes?

His velocity is right where it always is as was his movement. Here's some of his commonly used pitches

pitch: 9/10 velocity/movement --- season velocity/movement

cutter: 91.0 / 6V, -1.45H --- 91.2 / 5.4V, -1.31H
4-seam: 91.7 / 6.1V, -4.5H --- 92.0 / 5.3V, -4.8H
2-seam: 92.0 / 2.2V, -9.8H --- 92.6 / 3.1V, -9.8H
curveball: 78.3 / -1.4V, 7.2H --- 78.1 / -1.3V, 5.4H

Doc's had a stretch of HR bad luck, I think. He only allowed 3 FB in the whole game last night (17 GB). Rare that a pitcher allows that few FB and gives up a HR, esp. in Citifield.

The HR was on a 4-seam FB; the double was on a 2-seam FB. Do any of those pitches look different from his usual season stuff? Looks to me like he just made a couple of mistakes in one inning and the Mets took advantage.

5K, 0 BB, 17 groundballs otherwise.

Big League Stew mentions that deal that some teams do near the end of the year about the number that has some magic attached to it. Think Michael Jack.

cut_fastball: Injuries always have the chance to derail future success. But that's true for every team.

If Lidge goes down, Madson moves to closer and Contreras takes over the 8th inning with JC handling lefties and Durbin in the 7th.

Our future bullpen success, frankly, would hinge on Contreras ability to pitch like he did at the beginning of the season.

Iceman - Do letting out Robertson out there that long wasn't a pretty questionable/even poor decision? Do you ever say that Cholly has made a questionable move?

"But whatever the reason, Madson has been very durable up to this point and the Phils have been winning games as a result of Manuel's relying on him."

You think he holds up the rest of the season and deep in the postseason if he keeps getting used at the rate he has the past month without either getting hurt or going throw a dead arm spell? I would bet the odds are slim to none.

Already thrown 34.1 IP the past 2 months which is a heavy workload for any reliever. He probably was able to handle it because he did miss some time earlier.

You think he holds up the rest of the season and deep in the postseason if he keeps getting used at the rate (17-20 IP/month) he has the past 2 months without either getting hurt or going throw a dead arm spell? I would bet the odds are slim to none.

Thanks Chris!

I really wished he didn't use Madson last night, they're gonna wear him out. To have to use him in game we where leading 10-0 in the 8th shouldn't of had to happen and bringing him in with a 4 run lead in the 9th after durbin through 6 pitches.. why not leave durbin? or contreas? i don't get it.

Lidge comparison

pre August FB: 42%, 92.4 mph, 9.5 V / -4.3 H (58% strikes, 2% whiffs)
since August FB: 36%, 90.9 mph, 8.8 V / -3.8 H (46% strikes, 2% whiffs)

pre August SL: 55%, 84.7 mph, 1.3 V / .11 H (63% strikes, 16% whiffs)
since August SL: 64%, 82.6 mph, .35 V / .97 H (76% strikes, 16% whiffs)

More sliders and more called slider strikes (more fouled off as well). A 13% increase in sliders for strikes with the same whiff%.

Speaking of injuries:

Any update on Lidge and his 'day-to-day' status? Elbow injury with a pitcher who almost exclusively relies upon his slider is bit troubling.

Still don't understand why JRoll was in the lineup the other night. Was talking with our CMO at work yesterday and he had no idea why a trainer would let a coach play a guy who was sick/had dehydration issues after having a series of muscle pulls in his legs.

I'd say that issue (Rollins playing under the weather) falls on the training staff not on Manuel (although he shares some of the responsibility).

anyone taking odds on Duda taking Kendrick deep ???? My entire psyche is damaged every time I even think about Kendrick starting. Hope UC has Worley ready to roll at the first sign of trouble.

b-a-p: Werth may be a bonehead, but he is definitely our MVB.


Yeah... like there's great reason to be scared of that guy. He's the worst hitter in their lineup... and that's even when they're playing that no-hit second baseman.

What's he hitting? Under .040, right?

Sophist - Agreed.

Thanks Sophist -- spot on!

From CJ: "Our future bullpen success, frankly, would hinge on Contreras ability to pitch like he did at the beginning of the season."

Wow. That's what I was thinking, but I did not mention Contreras in my post. I just wonder if Contreras' gauge is on "E". Just how much Rule 5 magic might Herdon be able to summon in a pinch?

Contreras actually had a great August... as good as he was at the beginning of the season. It hasn't been a steady decline. His June and July weren't great.

I think backing off his workload in the 2nd half has helped. His last outing was rough, but he's only given up runs in 2 of his last 19 appearance. (He did allow an inherited runner to score in two other outings.)

lidge was available last night. just wasn't a save situation so he didn't pitch

Contreras has been a solid 7th inning arm.

Our BP is actaully pretty good if you look at it objectively:

Closer - Lidge: Has been lights out for nearly 2 months now.
Setup Man - Madson: Best setup man in baseball probably.
LOOGY - Romero: Solid numbers, especially against LHBs and of late.
6th - 7th Inning guys: Durbin & Contreras: Both are very solid over the course of the year, both can get outs via the K, and Durbin can even go multiple innings.
The Rest - Herndon, Bastardo, etc: Most are hit or miss but that's the same with every BP in baseball.

The only thing the BP lacked during the 2nd half has been a legitimate long-man. Ever since Figgy was let go they've had to mix and match in blowout situations.

I think the best thing about last night's game: Utley reclaimed his corner.

Just in case anyone thought he couldn't get it out there anymore.

Halladay is the team MVP. Chooch is awesome. He's the easiest player to root for in baseball. But he's not the team MVP. Let's not get carried away.

Fatalotti - Totally agree on Ut's Corner, along with Howard's continued power display. The ball Utley hit back to Sanches was laced too.

I second your motion on the BP Nepp, our normal guys have been pretty solid overall

****I second your motion on the BP Nepp, our normal guys have been pretty solid overall****

We tend to delve far too into it on a game to game basis and forget that guys will give up runs, they're gonna lose games, etc. Our bullpen is solid. The only guy in it that isn't really good is Baez but his crappiness is made up for by Contreras being surprisingly solid in a BP role.

Herndon is a 7th guy in a BP and is thus crappy. Its not as if the minors offered any alternatives (Mathieson??? Please)

At this point, Herndon has an outside shot at actually making the 25 man out of ST next year as opposed to a full year in Lehigh.

It would be an issue with the 40 man, but why not bring up Brian Bocock as a backup SS for the rest of the month if Jimmy is questionable?

Phils lineup looks a lot worse without Ruiz in it. Hope Schneider starts to hit a bit more. .700 OPS on the year; .685 in the second half.

Pelfrey vs. PHL for his career: 12 GS, 5-4, 4.73 ERA

Wasn't that fair?

Tim McCarver actually stoke the Phils side once - Polanco's ball was FAIR - it caught chalk!

Uh, yeah, that's a fair ball.

Jobbed already.

Doesn't get much more unambiguous then that on a foul ball call.

Franzke and LA are spending a lot of time to mock the poor attendance at Citi Field.

I wonder if there's a backstory...

WOW!!! McCarver did it again!
Said Manuel should be manager of the year!!
I happen to agree, what with all of the crap he's had to deal with in 2010.

Are umpire's so lazy they can't walk down the line 20ft to see if a ball kicked up some chalk and landed fair? apparently so

Is Citi Field sitting under a big tree? Some crazy shadows on the field.

4:15 is a lot later on 9/11 than it was back, say, in June . . .days are shorter = earlier and darker shadows.

God, KK just sucks.

Ah, the old pitch around the righty, go after the lefty move. Would make sense, if Kendrick were good against lefties.

KK is really solid vs. LHB...his average is .323 vs them on the year. God knows what it is over hte past couple months. Probably .523.

So much for the 'Maybe Kendrick will find himself at Citi Field' theory. Puke.

KK over his last 5 starts: .902 OPS against.

I wonder if this is his last start for the year with that.

NEPP, it's actually over 1. They're getting hits off him even then they're not at the plate.

Yeah, Kendrick still stinks. However, he is getting badly squeezed by the home plate ump. the second pitch to Wright was a strike. And a sinker at the knees on the corner was also called a ball to one of the earlier batters.

If Kendrick is getting squeezed, it's like Moyer getting squeezed. It's going to be a long day.

If KK gets knocked around today, everyone will get their wish. We'll see both KK and Worley.

Squonk, in da house. They are playing the Braves vs. Cards game down here on DC Fox5. Any way I can watch the Phils game?

By the way, this announcer is totally on MLB The Show 10. He also seems surprised that Howard hit it right into the shift, as if that's never happened before, and the Mets are the first team to discover it.

Getting squeezed is why he completely missed his spot there on the Davis double. I mean, otherwise he would have actually thrown it where Schneider set up.

What would Howard bat without the shift? .360?

I can't find the stream for this game anywhere, and this is the first time thats happened. :(. You'd think the roommates would understand that they can watch Curbed DVDs any old time.

Phils should be running against Thole at Citi.

This might be a repeat, but.

I live near DC. Fox 5 is playing the Braves/Cards game. How can I watch the Phils game?

****What would Howard bat without the shift? .360?****

IF you look at his hit charts you could probably extrapolate it...but yeah, he'd probably be at least a .330 hitter without the shift.

I'm surprised Maddon didn't stick all 7 of his fielders on the right side of the field when Howard batted in the 08 WS. He likes to think outside the "box".

Mets. Defense.

****I live near DC. Fox 5 is playing the Braves/Cards game. How can I watch the Phils game?****

You dont. Welcome to the Byzantine rules of MLB's blackout policy.

You have to love this Mets team. Or hate them. But you can't be indifferent about them. They are THAT bad and THAT annoying.

Good job Schneider, good job.

Yeah, I don't like when Schneider starts.

Not to worry Mets, Big Schneid's got you covered.

Could the Mets have tried ANY HARDER to give us a run that inning??


Wow, could McCarver be any more lame? The shift plays more with the minds of the hitter than cutting off hits?

His alcohol addled brain must be preserved to show school children in the future. Kids, don't drink drugs. This is what could happen.

Howard has made no change to his game because of the shift. If he did, they wouldn't do it anymore.

I wish someone would pitch McGarver inside. Maybe he'd shut up.

I equate watching KK work to having dental surgery.

NEPP - There is no pressure in this game. We should have already had it marked as a loss, so anything else would be a bonus. Should the Phils go and score ten runs, then maybe they'll win. But I don't think Kendrick will lose this game. It will be a paltry output from the offense.

Well, thank you for giving me that welcome news, NEPP.

So I write letters. Get arrested on the footsteps of Fox5. Is that what it takes?

Braves vs Cards? Come on.

I paid good money to watch my Phils on MLB.TV. Why can't they just show the broadcast, with the commercials, so Fox makes their money.

I mean who cares how it is viewed, over the Internet or by TV. Don't TV networks really care about advertising dollars?

I will cease and subsist at this point. Or it might get violent.

aksmith, there is pressure in every game from here on out. Yes, they're a game ahead, but, you know, they'd probably like to stay a game ahead.

Manuel wants to win today, the Phillies want to win today, everyone wants the Phils to win today. And, even with Kendrick on the mound, they should, at the very least, give themselves a chance to win the game.

****I paid good money to watch my Phils on MLB.TV. Why can't they just show the broadcast, with the commercials, so Fox makes their money.****

If it helps, I'm now listening to it on the radio (via instead of on TV as I lost the TV.

You're not alone in your annoyance over the blackout rules. I mean, we're both paying a subscription to MLB to watch this game and we cant because of their TV agreement with Fox...too stupid.

MG- again, you're arguing "what are the odds" with me and there is nothing to refute that because you're not giving me a factual argument. It's all speculation. If I'm not mistaken you were on this same bandwagon last year about overusing Madson and despite your many complaints, Manuel ended up knowing what he was doing and we rode Madson through September and October with no damage done.

If you look at the season like a baseball game, we've got a 1-run lead in the 8th right now. There's no wiggle room here for Manuel to throw out guys who have shown him they aren't reliable and could blow a lead or two. He's managing to do everything he can to do win as many games as possible because every game is that important right now. In your opinion, he should throw out shaky guys with a 3-5 run lead and take the risk of them completely imploding. We'll just have to wait and see who is right in the end, because right now you're not providing any facts to back up your complaints.

And for the record I'm not a Cholly apologist when it comes to most things, mainly refusing to bat Werth lead-off (or just keeping J-Roll at lead-off period), his continuing refusal to platoon Ibanez, etc. But I have been pretty satisfied with his handling of the bullpen this year (including giving Lidge one more shot after the Washington implosion). We haven't seen many BP implosions because he simply won't run out guys he doesn't trust (Baez, etc) just because they are 'available.' He's managing to win the game. I wish he'd do the same while constructing his line-up card, however.

Pelfrey at Citi Field this year: 8-3, 2.93 ERA this year.

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