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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Comments

Watching the Braves lose over and over to the Natinals makes me chuckle at the memory of posts that always come out downplaying every win the Phils get against second division teams.

And how about the Mess, whining about the Utley slide, then that lame timeout? Liked Wheels' comment about Pelfrey: "He'll have his chance - next year."
Let's get this thing done - on the Mets.

Be nice to see us have a couple big innings to night.

Nice post, JW. I must disagree with one thing, though.

"Gaudy"?

IMHO, 19 - 3 is way beyond gaudy.


On another note, I'm really surprised the Braves lost, especially with Hudson on the mound. That had to be even more demoralizing than getting swept by the Phillies and the big three.

Talk about coming up small.

Uncle Charlie is the modern day Casey Stengel.

.

EF, thanks for the link to that Mets blog Faith and Fear in Flushing.

There actually is an intelligent mets blog. Who'da thunk?


I love this quote:

"...and the Mets don’t win when they’re taking on a chronically motivated opponent in front of 45,000 red-clad brayers tased out of their minds on success."

"'We're going to have to reevaluate the way we go into second base,' Mets third baseman David Wright told reporters after the game."

Yes David, the Mets should reevaluate the way you go into second.

And you should reevaluate the way you hit.

And you should reevaluate the way you field.

And you should reevaluate the way you pitch.

And you should reevaluate the way you manage.

And you should reevaluate the way you put together a team.

But don't worry, you will have plenty of free time in October to accomplish all that reevaluation.

I made the followign entry on teh Faith and Fear Mets Blog: "I am a Phillie fan. Irrespective of that I can tell you that Utley has been taken out twice by the same Nats pitcher who threw on his hands and caused him to be out more then 50 games between this year and the last. Phillies players did not complain and did not take the Nats pitcher out. $h!t happens. Of course Utley was trying to bust the DP. So would Tajeda and Wright if they were faced with the same situation. Its a leap to go from there and suggest that he deliberately tried to hurt Tajeda. The suggestion that he has to be taken care off is bush league. The best way to take care of it is to take care of business–winning–that’s what the Phils are doing now."

Will Utley get plunked in his first AB?

If Utley gets plunked, KK can retaliate, get tossed, and we'll have Worley ready to come in--might actually be a positive for the team.

RK, this entry on FAith and Fear was hysterical:

"kranepool
September 25th, 2010 at 9:51 am ·

The New York Mets, turning the other cheek since 2007."

Jack: Ha!

Although I think we all know that if Chase gets plunked appropriately (fastball to the back), it's over. There won't be any further action from the Phils. They play the game the right way.

Now, if the Mets go head-hunting, that's a different story. If they Mets throw at a couple of people, that's a different story. If the Mets get exceptionally dirty, that's a different story.

But I frankly don't think the Mets have any of that in them. They gave up in July.

If I'm the Mets, I definitely throw at Chase.

Their best scenario as a spoiler is that they get the Phillies riled up and off their game, I wouldn't really take offense to it, since I believe the Phils are smart enough to just let it go.

And I mean, so what? Utley gets beaned? That happens like 5 times a week.

Why do the playoff odds say the Braves still have a 55% chance of making the playoffs when they're not even first in the wild card anymore?

Jack always finding a way to insult KK.

Tray: Probably because the playoff odds simulates the rest of the season based on a formula measuring that team's talent level (looking at run differential, third-order stats--the components of run differential-- and other measures), and the formula sees the Braves as better than the Padres.

Whether that reflects reality or not, who knows, but I believe that's what happens.

Tray: It's actually very simple. The Giants and Padres play each other in the final three games. That means the Braves actually still control their own destiny despite the fact they're trailing right now.

Oh, also what CJ said.

Iceman: Yeah, that was kind of tongue-in-cheek. I'm aware of my reputation as "hating" Kyle Kendrick, so it was sort of self-referential humor.

Chase Utley trails Rickie Weeks by 6 HBP for the league lead (23, 17).

If the Mets go bonkers and just plunk him all series, he would become the first player to lead the league in 4 conseuctive seasons since Don Baylor in 1984-1987.

(Ron Hunt holds record with 7 straight seasons in 1968-1974, including 50! in 1971).

Jack, I heard you had a dartboard in your house with a picture of Kyle Kendrick on it, no?

awh: And a Ryan Howard voodoo doll.

In case you missed it, Mets' Elimination Mercahndise is on sale and going fast:

http://www.readtheapple.com/2010/09/modells-scrambles-to-maintain-stock-as_23.html

I wouldn't be surprised if first inning Chase leans into a pitch to bean himself. Solves the retaliation issue as the next Mets player who hits him would be automatically tossed, and ups Uts OBP, which he'd be happy about.

Win win.

"Probably because the playoff odds simulates the rest of the season based on a formula measuring that team's talent level"

I think that there's a formula that takes PECOTA into account, but that the odds most of us look at just estimate probabilities based on win-loss.

Remember back in August when some of us insisted the Braves would fade... and others (not naming any names, you know who you are) told us there's nothing to indicate the Braves would fade?

I saw it coming for just the reasons it happened.

1) The lucky comebacks wouldn't last. The Braves are 11-13 since their last late inning comeback on Aug. 29th. There has been no late inning magic in September. That kind of luck just isn't sustainable.

2) Their offense was a mirage. Sophist provided all kinds of numbers to support the fact that the the Braves offense was a bit of a mirage boosted by a strong May and early June. They did fairly well in August, but as predicted, the offense disappeared in September. They've averaged just 3.4 R/G in 22 September games.

3) Their bullpen would tire. This from Buster Olney: "Rival advance scouts think that members of the bullpen -- the most dominant element of the team in midseason -- are flat-out gassed." Remember, the Phils beat Every Day Johnny Venters this week. He's up over 70 appearances. Peter Moylan is at 80.

The Braves are the mediocre team I thought they'd be over the last 6 weeks, posting just a 21-20 record. I don't think they make the playoffs.

As of now, best record in baseball, how awesome is that! Never would of thought this a month ago!

CJ: That's a fair point, and I probably was guilty of overrating the Braves.

That said, I don't think any of us saw 19-3 from the Phillies in September, which was also part of the equation. If the Phils had gone something like 15-7 (not unreasonable), they'd be 3 games up right now, and we'd still have a division race.

It's been a combination of the Braves' slowing down to a .500 pace, and the Phillies winning at an absurd rate.

Wow... check this out... the Braves have 3 positions that have posted sub .700 OPS. It's not a surprise at SS... and I suppose not all CF can hit... but LF?!?! Ouch.

SS: .698
LF: .687
CF: .651

Of course, now that I've checked, the Phils also have two positions with sub .700 OPS.

3B: .696
SS: .672

Obviously the injuries to Polanco and Rollins contributed heavily to that. The Braves, on the other hand, have just trotted out some pretty bad offensive players, particularly in the OF: Cabrera, Hinske, Diaz, McLouth, Ankiel.

Jack: What? I think I posted three weeks ago something like, "I'm sure the Phils will go 19-3 over their next 22 games." I'll have to go back and check the archives...

Every year I (and some others) try to be rational in predicting what the Phillies can do in September, and every year they blow those predictions out of the water and play absurdly good baseball (except for last season I suppose).

Next year, I'm predicting an undefeated September.

Looking at some more Braves offensive splits... looks like they've developed the black hole at the bottom of their lineup:

7th place hitter: .684 OPS
8th place hitter: .673 OPS
9th place hitter: .534 OPS (pitchers+PH)

I was just on Metsblog checking out the comments, and I honestly don't understand why the Mets and their fans are so riled up over Utley's slide. It was perfectly clean! I think it would be completely ridiculous to plunk the guy over that. These guys cannot get that collapse our of their heads, they'll find any reason to get pissed at the Phillies for anything.

Hell, read those comments on Metsblog! Even their own fans think the slide was clean. Just don't get it.

Kyle Kendrick raped my mother and murdered my father.

Yeah, try to beat that.

Jack: 8 games left... and there's an outside chance (fairly slim) that the Phils get to 100 wins (going 7-1). That's about as insane as it gets. If all 8 games were to matter, I wouldn't put it past this bunch. Instead, we'll clinch home field throughout the playoff probably during the Nats series and won't have much to play for the rest of the way.

Does anyone have a clip of the slide...?

MaxB: Utley's slide was legal, but it was hard and late. It's the kind of slide that could be worthy of retaliation. Utley is a tough player. This is all part of his rep. He's not dirty, but he'll play the game hard.

Here's a good comment from Metsblog:

kw_all
Sep 25, 2010, 9:48 am at 9:48 am #
'
i have been a mets fan 32 year but i have started watching the phills play alot on mlbtv and i got to tell you, that team plays hard, makes no excuses and, just wins. they lost howard, utley, victorino, hamels, and others and yet here they are with the best record in baseball on sep 25.
character and toughness.

i wish my beloved mets were just close to what that team is. we used injuries as an excuse to lose, when the phils were hurting they went out and traded for the best pitcher available in oswalt. look at them now.
jeez."


Well said, kw_all, well said.

How Utley should slide against the Mets from now on...

http://www.posters.ws/images/836713/ty_cobb_sliding_into_base_sepia_photofile.jpg

http://multimedia.detnews.com/photostore/tycobb/TyCobb42.jpg


Notice how Cobb kicks his cleat up to rip the defender's arm/hand/leg...now that's a good slide.

I remember noting the lack of pop in the Braves line up when everyone thought this race would go down to the wire three weeks ago.

Three more wins and the Phils have homefield advantage through the play-offs.

David Wright should get married to Bobby Cox.

Thanks CJ...just as I remembered it, a good clean hard slide. Every player in baseball should slide like that.

I love Joe Morgan's "slide" at the end of this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5Dp-DxfAlc&p=278C84B5879AB4E2&playnext=1&index=6

(first seen in a thread about Utley's slide on BTF)

Best case scenario for the Phils, IMO, is that either the Padres win the West and the Braves win the WC (so we play either the Reds or Padres), or the Giants win the West and the Padres win the WC (again, so we play the Padres).

My point is that the Giants are the team I want to avoid most. They are the only team who can match us starting-pitching wise (our guys are slightly better, but Sanchez absolutely kills us). Plus you know Burrell would find a way to come up big against us. I just want nothing to do with that team. The Reds and Padres' starters would be a joke playing in CBP--we'd be huge favorites in either series.

Another good comment on Metsblog (seems losing has thinned out most of the idiots over there and left the real fans)

"K-Mac22
Sep 25, 2010, 11:35 am at 11:35 am #

That slide was perfect! That’s how you are taught to slide when you are in H.S.

The Mets need to retaliate not by throwing at one of their players but by sliding hard into 2b themselves."


Exactly. If I were Wilson Valdez or Jimmy tomorrow, I'd be very aware around the bag. If the bean Utley, it'll just show they're a bunch of beyotches.

fuzzy - That Morgan "slide" is lagh out loud funny.

Would anyone have predicted before the season the following:

That Jayson Werth would beat Ryan Howard in not only AVG and OBP, but also SLG.

That Chooch would lead the team in AVG and OBP.

That Victorino would hit more HRs than Utley and Ibanez.

That Wilson Valdez would have a higher AVG than Jimmy Rollins.

That Ryan Howard would lead the team in HR and RBI--just kidding about that one.

CJ, here's Buster Olney's take on the Bravos "collapse":

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=5613523&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2fblog%3fname%3dolney_buster%26id%3d5613523


I've posted this thought before, but I must say that I really dislike the notion that a team "collapses" at the end of a season.

Why, because it's baseball, and teams go through hot and cold streaks all the time.

If the Phillies had had this hot streak during the middle of the season and right now had been slumping the way they did in July, people would all be talking about a "collapse" on the part of the Phillies as well.

So, I don't buy into the Braves "collapse". Yes, according to Olney they're 21-20 since Chipper got hurt, but in that context I wouldn't say they "collapsed", unless you think 21-20 a "collapse".

They were within 3 games of the Phils until the beginning of the week, and sure, the Phillies contributed to their losing, but it still begs this question:

Didn't the Braves just lose to a superior team with three #1 SP?

How does losing to a better team constitute a "collapse"?

~with a HUGE grain of salt~

Per Fangraphs, Wil-Val has been worth $1.9 million this year for the Phillies (0.5 WAR).

So, in their terms, even investing $1.2 million in both Castro & Valdez (combined salary roughly), the Phillies still came out ahead at the backup utility infielder role.

awh: The Braves are 9-13 in September. Their 9-10 against teams other than the Phils. Those teams?

Mets, Pirates, Cardinals, Nationals, Mets, Nationals

I think a team with a .580 winning percentage going into September... that manages just a .474 win percentage against three of the worst teams in baseball and a team that had packed it in... well, that team collapsed.

You can call it a cold streak... or whatever you'd like... but there's a reason people say games in September matter more.

****Didn't the Braves just lose to a superior team with three #1 SP?****

Yup...same as with the Phillies winning the division against the Mets in 08. 07 was the only real "collapse" year by any of our opponents.

NEPP: That makes sense. Just going on common sentiment, Valdez has been worth more than they could have expected.

What do they have Rollins being worth? I wonder if 82 games of subpar offense and good defense is worth 8.5 million.

I can't believe I just typed their instead of they're. I'm so embarrassed.

CJ, you didn't mean it. It was a typo.

FWIW, I wasn't saying that about Rollins sarcastically. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Rollins had, despite his injuries and poor offensive performance, still earned his money this year.

The Rollins and Utley contract extensions were two of the best decisions this franchise has ever made. Both have been among the top values in baseball the last few years--not coincidence we've had a ton of success in those years.

By the way, I'm not suggesting the Phils didn't earn this. 19-3 is remarkable. We'd still be winning the division if the Braves were 15-7 in September.

If the Braves had won in September at the same rate they won the rest of the season, they'd have gone 13-9... and we'd still have a 4 game lead.

Fix my math... we'd still have a 3 game lead.

****What do they have Rollins being worth? I wonder if 82 games of subpar offense and good defense is worth 8.5 million.****

Well, they have him at 2.1 Wins and a value of $8.6 million. They love his glove and he has good power compared to Wil-Val.

Since Utley signed his extension in 2007, he's earned $38 million and he's been "worth" $120.8 million so far with 3 years to go on the deal.

> and he has good power compared to Wil-Val.

While J-Roll does have decent power, comparing his power to that of Wil-Val is like saying J-Roll hits into fewer DPs -- so does most of the league.

Oh snap. Buster Olney used the "3 #1s" phrase. Him and R.Billingsly are gonna have to fight.

3pm, after school, in the playground, by the swings.

****While J-Roll does have decent power, comparing his power to that of Wil-Val is like saying J-Roll hits into fewer DPs -- so does most of the league.****

I'm just explaining why they value him so much more at SS.

Lincecum pitched last night at Coors against the Rockies, in a huge game.

He went 8 IP, 2 H and 9 K. I don't want to face the Giants, at all.


CJ- Good points about the Braves, but I still didnt think that they would drop series against teams like the Pirates, Nats and Marlins. I drunkenly proclaimed that the Phillies would win the divison back when much of the Beerleaguer whiner brigade was all gloom and doom, but I didnt think that they would have it done as soon as they did.

The Braves are exactly where they belong. In second place behind the Phils. I think they played a bit over their heads for awhile and came back down to Earth.

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/speed.php-pitchSel=547973&game=gid_2010_09_24_cinmlb_sdnmlb_1&batterX=&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=.gif


Aroldis Chapman's velocity chart from last night. He topped out at 105.1 mph and averaged 101.9 mph (i.e 102 on a gun) on 25 total pitches (all fastballs) How ridiculous is that?

Utley response(from Zolecki's blog)--

Utley Responds to Mets' Comments About 'Dirty' Slide
Chase Utley finally responded to the Mets' comments he took a "dirty" slide into second base in the fifth inning last night at Citizens Bank Park:

"I have never ever attempted to break up a double play with the intent to injure someone," he told MLB.com. "I understand what it's like to be taken out. I've been kicked, kneed, elbowed, spiked and even flipped upside down. And as much as I might not have liked it at the time, I understand that it's all part of being a Major League second baesman. Second basemen have had to deal with this for over 100 years. And with that said, we as a team play the game hard and play it to win. That is not going to change."

I loved Chase's response. Especially, "And with that said, we as a team play the game hard and play it to win. That is not going to change."

The Braves are who we thought they were. If want to crown their a$$, then crown them. But they are who we thought they were... and we DIDN'T let 'em off the hook!

Utley didn't intend to injure anyone but it clearly wasn't a 'clean slide' either because he didn't begin to slide until he was at the bag.

Baseball is a different game today where you often don't see that kind of slide. You also don't see pitchers who want to retaliate right away. If say a guy like Danny Darwin was starting today or a number of other starters from 20-25 years ago, Utley would be drilled the first time up no questions asked.

I don't know who the moral authority is here on Beerleaguer but I just have to ask if it was wrong to call my cousin and his wife (Mets fan married to Braves fan) last night (while drinking with buddies) to sing "Eat a dick" in Spanish for a few minutes and then hang up.

MG: A fine line between hard and dirty. I'll defer to the guys who plays 2nd base (for both teams). Utley and Tejada both say it wasn't dirty.

MG: That said, it was so close, as I said last night, that I'm surprised there wasn't more immediate retaliation. It makes the Mets look like whiny babies to make a big deal of it after the game. If it was so "wrong," they had ample opportunity to send their message.

Raul, do you actually like your cousin and his wife? If so, no need to rub their noses in it. I don't even know them and I feel bad for them.
One of my best pals is one of the 2,594 Braves fans in Atlanta. We spoke briefly during the game on Monday and was getting very cranky. Haven't spoken to him since the sweep. I know that deep down inside he knows the Phils are better.

CJ - It was a close play and not necessarily surprised that some of the Mets' players were upset a bit after the game. A fair amount of people on here would be pretty livid if somebody did the same thing to Utley in last night's game.

As for the retaliation, it wasn't uncommon that a team wouldn't do it later that night in a close game late. You would just wait for the following day.

Raul - If you are over the age of 21, yeah it was a really immature and pointless thing.

Old Phan, it is a mutual ball-busting relationship. He called me up to make fun of Kolb when he went down and his wife sent me some stupid NYer email chain thing which had a bunch of pictures of Eric Lindros knocked out and Donovan injured. Then I didn't hear from them when Vick did well.

Just the latest chapter in The Legend of Chase Utley. We'll be telling our grandchildren about him.

Raul, if it's mutual, then have at it!

ATL up 1-0 in the 4th.

I expounded on the Utley slide in last night's thread, but metsblog's own Michael Baron said it best:

"As much as the Phillies make me absolutely sick to my stomach, I actually admired their style of play tonight, because their guts, hustle, and all out effort is EVERYTHING I wish the Mets were at this point in time. Between Joe Blanton belly flopping, Raul Ibanez diving in the outfield, and Chase Utley going 100 percent into Ruben Tejada sliding into second base, lets just say, I hope the Mets were watching."

I also enjoyed the poster, in the same thread, who said he didn't want to see this escalate into a brawl between the Mets and the Phils, because he thought the Phils would pretty clearly win in a fight too.

I don't recall if I mentioned this last night, but Mitch Williams was unhappy with the lateness of that time-out call. (Harold Reynolds defended it, saying the Mets called for it early enough, but the ump probably couldn't hear with all the crowd noise, nothing to be done.) As Mitch pointed out, had the batter got a hit, the Mets probably would not have wanted that time-out, after all.

Which makes me think how funny it would have been had the time-out been granted just as a HR was hit.

r's gramps, I have to concur. If it's a mutual B**lbusting relationship then it was entirely appropriate.

AAMOF, I'll say you probably didn't go far enough - at least for Braves and Mets fans.

I suggest you somehow record "Meet the Mets" and the "tomahawk chop" interspersed somehow, and call them up and play it for them.

Emailing the NL East standings daily would be a good second step.

There's a photo montage on NY Daily News about Philadelphia having the rudest fans in professional sports. Things like throwing snowballs at Santa (Giants fans threw them at players, causing league-wide rule changes), the necessity for Eagles Court (wasn't K-Rod incarcerated at Mets Penal Institution for a while?), those kinds of things. See how easy it is to use a broad brush?

Can't stand obviously biased reporting like this. I feel dirty even calling it reporting.

That's the best the NY Daily News can do? How trite. Well, they can whine all they want about hard slides into 2nd and rude fans. They have to find something to do with their time after the season is over. Us? We're busy with post season play.

jack,

Oswalt in a huge game went 7 IP (could of gone 8 was only at 98 pitches) 1 H and 8 K and oh yea he's our number 3, the giant's dont want to face us.....at all

I think the Giants look so intimidating partly because they're the only potential playoff team that really has a chance of knocking off the Phils (other than the Rockies, but they're pretty much buried now). The Padres, Braves and Reds would need a minor miracle to beat them.

Personally, the only thing that would concern me about the Giants would be seeing them in a 5-game series. Too much can happen in a series that short. I still would prefer not to see them period, but with the Phils' record in 1-run games this year I'd like their chances in a longer 7-game series.

In a 5-game series, Lincecum could conceivably dominate game 1 and then all of a sudden the Phils would be forced to win at least one game in Pac Bell against Sanchez/Zito, or be eliminated.

"Oswalt in a huge game went 7 IP (could of gone 8 was only at 98 pitches) 1 H and 8 K and oh yea he's our number 3, the giant's dont want to face us.....at all"

If you insist on ranking Oswalt as our #3 and Halladay as our #1, you could also say that our ace has a 4.55 ERA this month in four huge games - worse than league-average - while their ace has a 2.08 ERA in the same span. And in a huge game last night, he went 8 innings and gave up two hits on no walks and 9 K's. And their #3, Sanchez, has an 0.73 ERA this month.

Good lord. Eskin is a blowhard, but he does have one good expression:

If you're so afraid (of the Giants) go out and get a dog.

I don't know why some here the Phillies "can't lose" to any other team except perhaps the Giants.

The playoffs are a crapshoot.

One bad bounce, one blown call, one hung slider...that's all it takes.

Do not anger the baseball gods by ass-u-ming anything.

muchacho concurs....but has a question.

whatever happened to double h?

if someone wants to see a dirty slide, see ankiel's against exxon last week

or a year or two ago when castillo ( of the mets) did a dirty slide and was called for interference.

those are dirty slides..

geez

Barring some kind of big Nats' rally in the bottom of the 9th, the Phils won't be clinching tonight. I think tomorrow would be a good day to clinch, anyway. Last home game of the regular season.

For the record... it was Marlon Anderson who got called for interference... and it was a little less dirty than it was very, very stupid!

I sort of agree with awh, but I would put it this way. Of course any team CAN beat the Phils in a short series, but the Phils are still far and away the best team in the league and can beat any of these teams handily, so I'm not worried about who they play.

Utleys slide was not dirty......if that bitch wright or reyes would get there uniform dirty, maybe this team wouldn't be in 4th place for the 2nd straight year...

It's nice to have them bring my hate out again, because they have been so insignificant for the past two years

Yo, new thing.

phillyinnyc, the Mets are weak and grasping at straws.

They obviously don't have the inner motivation it takes, and with cowardice pointlessly try to use Utley's hard play as a source of motivation for themselves.

It's become apparent that their division title in 2006 was perhaps as random and unlikely as a blind squirrel finding a nut. They certainly haven't displayed the type of character the last 4 seasons that would indicate it was anything other than a fluke.

That team needs a total makeover. Maybe they need to bring in Bobby Abreu to help fire up the troops, because that would certainly be an improvement.

@awh...I blame minayh.....he did nothing to put players around reyes, wright, and beltran after 06.....those 3 are soft, they needed a fiery type of leader that can play to put with those guys!

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