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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


You know, this is still all Milt Thompson's fault.

They could start Cliff Lee tomorrow and still lose in extra innings.

Feeble is exactly the right word.

Just me, or was the left side of home-plate more like a 50/50 Parish Ticket Raffle than a professional umpire's strike zone? Hamels got squeezed on that side more than Cain did it seemed. Cain wasn't great, but he threw his change-up effectively when the Phillies were forced into swinging at a 2-strike pitch. I've seen Jayson Werth let way to many predictable fastball counts go by with his bat on his shoulder. Utley looks pretty clueless at the plate as well...otherwise it was a riveting game to watch.

I agree; I don't think it was a matter so much of Cain pitching smart as the Phillies hitting stupid. You'd think that somwehere along the line, these guys (Howard excepted) would figure it out that it might be a good idea to start taking these outside pitches the other way. Where is the game plan with these hitters and when is the light going to go on that they need to get one and stick with it? With little exception, they've had a piss-poor approach at the plate all series.

Weird also how the energy seemed to die completely right when you thought they'd get fired up, by Victorino's reaction to getting tagged with a pitch.

Yes, good it was a fast game. Now FOX can show "Glee" in it's frickin' entirety, without delay.

In other news, I hope the entire cast of "Glee" gets hit by a semi, along with the FOX executives responsible for the early start time, and Buck and McCarver.

phlipper - I agree with you there on the blowhard point. Ricky Bo gets caught up in the moment like most of us fans. I try to read between the lines with him, but he does make good points and give some insight which I respect.

I think Dutch is the man though. He knows the game, both here on Earth and beyond in the next realm.

Nice time to revert to the team-wide slump. Hard to believe, Harry.

Scott: So you're blaming FOX for the fact this team can't hit a beach ball?

You just cant wait until after the game to make ajustments. With thaqt said. UNlike the lily-livered numbnuts whining wally wimps, I think the Phillies take this series back home and will prevail

If we could only go back in time and let the Padres sweep us in SD and play there instead.

No, I'm blaming FOX for making me miss the first 1.5 innings of the game, and for making the remarkably stupid decision to have a day game after making both teams fly across the country in the middle of the night following Game Two. All so they didn't have to pre-empt "Glee," which is apparently more important than the National Pastime.

I still blame Milt Thompson for the hitting woes.

The way the Phils are playing they could play the Pirates and be losing this series.

Fallowfield: is it really that the Giants have been so tough, or that the Phillies are kind of beating themselves at the plate?

I'm not going to take away credit from the Giant pitchers. But these hitters are making them way better than they've actually looked.

Scott - You didn't miss anything.

And the ALCS & NLCS alternate day starts on days when they both play.

I think Alex is right. In fact, I'm certain I saw us lose against lesser pitchers than Matt Cain in the Pirates series.

The Giants pitching staff has the best regular season ERA in MLB. There is a reason for that stat. Phills are discovering that...

Tomorrow, we need to go back to a tried and true Phillies lineup with Rollins leading off. J-Roll, PP, Uts, Howard, Werth, Vic, BenFran, Chooch, Blanton. Enough with the experimentation - lets go with what has worked the last ocuple of years.

What is "Phillies Baseball" nowadays?

Hope the starting pitcher throws a shutout and the other team doesn't catch the ball?

This team looks really old. They are late on 93 MPH fastballs. Ruiz is the only guy, whose bat looks somewhat quick.

No matter how the rest of this season goes, Rube needs to re-tool this offense in the offseason. I'd look at the entire outfield.

The Phillies did not hit....period, they looked very very very weak.

Of course, the Phils have outscored the Giants in this series, which gives me some hope that the Giants can have another inept offensive game or two.


What "experimentation"?

We haven't done jack squat to "experiment". The only reason Vic was leading off, is because Rollins got hurt. If he had been healthy (and hitting .240), he would have never moved.

Rollins is no answer to the problems. He can't hit either.

Getting Raul's tired bones out of there would be a start. Hoping Chase starts playing like a all-star and not a AAA player, would be another start. Bunting for a hit, might even work (especially with the bad defenders SF has at 3B).

Win tomorrow, and this series is going to go 7. It will come down to Hamels against Cain in Philly. And Hamels will beat Cain in a Game 7, at home.

Lose tomorrow, and Lincecum will likely end this on Thursday.

One can't keep calling it a team-wide "slump"--like it's a fluke. Look at the 2010 splits vs. righties for Rollins and Victorino, add in NLCS poor performances from Utley and Ibanez and a better-than-average RHP in AT&T, and there you are. The over/under for hits would have been 6.

This game falls squarely on the shoulders of Chase Utley. He came up to the plate twice with a chance to drive in runs, and he botched two plays in the field that would have saved runs. He lost this game for us today. The luster is starting to come off Utley, as he has been average to poor this year.

Denny b: For one, splitting up Utley and Howard. I would contend that Utley gets better pitches to hit with Howard behind him rather than PP behind him. Let's go back to getting a man or two on for the big bats, and hoping they go yard. I know we don't hit HRs anymore, but thats the best way for this team to win since they don't string together hits.

Game 4 Halladay Game 5 Oswalt Game 6 Hamels Game 7 Halladay, No Joe.. What's wrong with that people? FILLL ME IN PLEASE. AND I HATE PLACIDO POLANCO, HE IS THE ONE MISTAKE AMARO MADE.. BRINGING HIM BACK WAS RETARTED.

Raul did nothing today, but Utley was far worse. I don't know how you can paste the ones picture up there and not the others...

blanton is big game pitcher and he may pop one!

Based on Twitter reports, it sounds like Raul will be back out there tomorrow.

oswalt in left tomorrow


I think we should throw joe tomorrow. maybe the bats will realize that they have to score 5+ to have a chance...seriously, i think blanton is the play

The Phillies looked as bad today as the Yankees looked last night.

Both teams are old and getting beat up by younger clubs with great pitching and hunger.

Hard to see the Giants scoring a lot of runs off any pitcher. Starting Blanton makes sense.

I dont get why charlie wont pitch Cole on three days rest, you have to do it once just to see if he really can or cant do it. I much rather have cole on 3 days rest in game 6 than joe on huge rest in game 4. and please tell me raul isent playing tomorrow pleaseeeee

Utley has been terrible this post-season.

Wow, Yankees fan helps put one on the board for the bad guys.

hey - why didn't the umppires review the homerun, clearlt interference

hey - why didn't the umppires review the homerun, clearlt interference

Posted by: Slocs | Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 08:36 PM


Because it's the Yankees.

Slocs: Because it benefitted the Yankees. Pretty simple.

americas team another foul

Guy almost took off Cruz' glove

how is that bum out there - i am tired of this bs umpiring, strikezones, killing integrity worse than steriods

Can we secretly replace Ibanez's bat with a 5oz lighter one?

I don't understand the problem with reviewing these plays when the manager requests it. Like the Gregg Dobbs foul/HR last season, for example. And the fan interference (or not, as the case may be) in this inning.

Fan interference isn't reviewable. In any event, it was pretty clear that ball was going out regardless, and I think the fielder's glove went into the stands.

Bud Selig wants the Yanks to win it all again. More arrogant fans buying merchandise, plus there's the whole "win it for The Boss" thing. Pretty sickening.

Pretty sure the powers that be would prefer the Phillies, too, but that didn't help today.

Who let the dogs out is ringing at the bar I'm at in Cincinnati lol.

Charlie, on the possibility of starting someone other than IbaƱez in LF tomorrow:

"I'll think about all that. But at the same time it's getting kind of late to be trying to make moves, isn't it?"

Only if you're no longer interested in winning, Charlie. Only if you're no longer interested in winning.

Why change now, UC? I mean, that'd be silly.

I can see it now...a "healthy" Rollins will be our leadoff hitter next year, Ibanez will start 155 games in LF and maybe post a .700 OPS, Howard will hit 30 HRs and post a .335 OBP and we'll win 84 games.

How low would the ratings be for a SF/TEX World Series?

Would anyone outside of those 2 cities even give a crap?

From NEPP, last thread:

Can we get the 50 HR/150 RBI/.250 AVG Howard back?

It's my guess, not this year. However, we can get run production out of Victorino, Werth and Ruiz; and God willing, Utley and maybe even a level-swinging Jimmy Rollins.

I've made a living out of showing pessimism on this board. However, I believe that this team wants 2 WS rings in 3 consecutive trips enough to fight to the death.

Cody Ross is a mirage. He will not be a factor here on in. The Phillies need to generate runs by any means possible. I just have a feeling the Giants became convinced of their invincibility today, and that ain't a good thing for the Giants.

The Phillies destroyed the Reds, with the Reds help. The Phillies will beat the Giants without the Giants help. Halladay and Oswalt will not permit it; heck it's in Rollin's best interest to have a great series despite injuries, as I don't believe he's retiring at the end of this contract.

Finally, Jayson Werth. What better way to ratchet his way up to 6 years/ $120mm by carrying the team for a few games; 7 more to be exact. Here's hoping!

"Would anyone outside of those 2 cities even give a crap?"

Yankee fans think the same thing about ANY other teams being in the WS.

A Giants/Yankees world series would generate more viewers than a Philly/Yankees series. You'd involve two coasts and have the whole New York Giants thing going.

"we'll win 84 games.

Any time you're ready to lay down some cash on the over/under there, NEPP, let me know.

Are there alot of NY GIants fans still out there? I'm thinking most people of that group are either dead or are Yankees/Mets fans at this point. Its been over 50 years since they played in NY.

I'd watch as much of the WS as I could no matter who the teams are. The four teams left are of very high caliber in their quality of play. Much better than a Colts-Saints or Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl.

If we're not in it, I will be too disgusted to watch.

Usually, however, I would watch it. I dont think I could bear to watch the team that beat us vs the guy we let go (or possibly the team that beat us last year) play.

snarkk: "The Giants pitching staff has the best regular season ERA in MLB. There is a reason for that stat."

A tiny spark of intelligence in a miasma of ignorance.

If Blanton beats Mad Bum tomorrow night, and I think he can, then the Phils are 2-2 with H2O all pitching on normal rest. That swings the momentum to the Phillies in a big way.

Game 4 is the key game of this series. And Big Joe has been pitching well: two runs or less in 4 of his last 5 starts.

Do not despair, oh ye of lulu faith.

Dave - I was thinking the same exact thing. I thought Bochy really was stretching especially by leading off Renteria and putting Rowand in CF but guess what - those moves both worked and each guy had a key base hit today. Moving up Ross to the 5th hole was also a good move.

Granted there isn't much on the bench that Cholly can tinker with but Francisco should be in the lineup tomorrow. Yeah, Francisco hasn't played and struggles at times against a guy who throws a decent changeup (like Bumgartner does) but Ibanez looks like the 'Roald' of May/June who couldn't turn on fastballs.

Ibanez is just seeing fastball after fastball and likely will see more of the same tomorrow on the outside corner with some sliders mixed in. It would be a mistake to start Ibanez tomorrow.

clout, i'm trying to get on your's hard, but i'm trying. one more benefit to add to a victory tomorrow night is that we'll play two out of those last three games at home.

Dukes: Exactly!

Day-Hamels vs. Night-Hamels

- Phils and Hamels can say all they want to but 'Day Hamels' is just an inferior version of the 'Night Hamels.'

Probably a series of small factors leading up to the difference but he doesn't have the same mojo. Statistically significant differences over 5 years backs this up.

Day: 51 GS, 15-16, 4.27 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .270 BAA, 8.1 K/9, 2.98 K/BB

Night: 51 GS, 45-29, 3.20 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .229 BAA, 8.7 K/9, 4.00 K/BB

This guy is just a mediocre starter during the day. Period.

I bet against the Phils today and will probably continue to bet against Hamels during day starts as it has made me a tidy profit the last 2+ years.

Paul Domowitch lambasted a guy on Sunday night while I was coming home from the game with about the day vs. night splits between Hamels. Said the guy was an idiot who was looking at obscure stats. Think we know who is the idiot on this one. Then again he also said Lee was going to get blasted so it wasn't a good weekend for him.

Even if Joe pitches well tomorrow (something he is entirely capable of doing) the offense needs to scratch out some runs. Like I said at the beginning of the playoffs- you don't need to score a ton, just enough. If Joe gives up 2 you need to score 3. The Phillies can do that.

Today they left chances out there against a Cain- who much like Timmy in Game 1- was very beatable. The Giants got some key hits off good pitches by Cole in the 4th. It happens. If Joe wins tomorrow this series is in our favor. I still wouldn't rule us out if we get down 3-1 but it's a tougher hill to climb obviously.

If there is one trait that this group has, it's resilience.

Keep the faith....things can only get better

MG: Mad Bum's changeup is good, not great, and his fastball is of the 90 mph variety. He wins because his command is ridiculously good and his delivery is deceptive.

He reminds me a bit of J.A. Happ in terms of how he gets guys out. But he does give up lots of hits (9.6H/9IP) and the Phils can beat him if they swing only at pitches in the strike zone.

MG - Do you think there's something about daylight that affects Hamels' BABIP?

season= possibly over...

what a painful game

glad i only saw it on gmday on the train ride back from nyc...

it was even frustrating to watch it on a phone!

I think there's something about daylight that affects Utley's ability to field ground balls. Just sayin'.

Yeah, possibly over. OTOH, need to win one out of the next two to bring it home. Anything can still happen.

Bamgartner tomorrow:

- Guys with decent changeups have seemingly given this teams fits this year and today was no different.

Problem is that Bumgartner has a pretty decent one that given right-handed hitters fits this year. It isn't going to be a mystery what he does tomorrow. In fact, it will be clear as day. Steady diet of fastballs on the outside corner (especially to the Phils' left-handed bats) with a mix of changeups to right-handed hitters and a heavy slider/occasional curveball vs. the left-handed hitters.

If the Phils don't stay off his fastball that is a ball on the outside corner (and they haven't vs. Lincecum or Cain), they won't do squat tomorrow unless Bumgartner has usually erratic control which is pretty rare.

TTI - Problem is the best-case scenario I see tomorrow from Blanton is something like (6 IP, 2 ER). I actually do think Blanton will be okay but the Phils need flawless relief from their bullpen.

philipper - Not sure. I haven't seen anybody really tear into the day vs. night differences on balls in play but I would bet there are some significant significant differences. Hamels does get less swing & misses during the day including on his changeup.

Clout - Agreed about Bumgarner and the Phils' chances tomorrow. Actually like them. If they lose tomorrow, its over though.

optimism is a nice way to view things but c'mon when exactly has this team provided any evidence of offensive competentcy.

Slump is a neat way of explaining things, but that means its temporary. slumps don't last whole seasons. crapping the bed for this long means the lineup is being outfoxed.

MG: In looking at the chart of Mad Bum's last start (vs. ATL 10/11) he threw about 73% of his fastballs (2- and 4-seamers) for strikes, but many of his breaking pitches were balls (strike rate: CU 50%, SL 57% and CH 62%).

Obviously, the Phils need to focus on fastballs thrown for strikes and try to lay off the junk. Like Happ, he spots his fastball up and down, inside and out while trying to hit corners with his breaking stuff or fool batters into swinging at that junk when it's out of the zone.

He's a pitch-to-contact guy and, unless he's way off his game, he won't walk anyone.

Fat: "This game falls squarely on the shoulders of Chase Utley. He came up to the plate twice with a chance to drive in runs, and he botched two plays in the field that would have saved runs. He lost this game for us today. The luster is starting to come off Utley, as he has been average to poor this year."

I agree to a point. There is a lot of blame to go around, but Chase has not been Chase. I blame it on J-Werth screwing his wife. Wouldn't that distract you?

Wait - MG - Are you calling Hamels mediocre for giving up 3 runs, only 2 of which were truly earned?

MG: Are you seriously bringing up Hamels in day games as a reason we lost today? He struck out 8 in 6 innings, only walked one, and only gave up runs because Cody Ross is on ridiculous tear right now and because Chase Utley suddenly can't play defense. He pitched very well today, with a little luck we'd say great, and if he'd gotten some defensive or offensive support he'd probably have gone 7-8 innings and only given up one run.

Cole Hamels wasn't on the top ten list of reasons the Phillies lost today.

I can't believe I'm typing this, but I agree with clout. This is still a very winnable series for the Phils. If they get game 4, there's every reason to believe that they can win two of three, with home field advantage, by rolling H2O out there. The two losses have been gut-wrenching and hard to look at, but we should be used to this team losing a few ugly ones due to the offense not clicking. Hopefully, some of the hitters make slightly better contact than they have or show better plate discipline, and maybe a hard hit ball or two falls into the gap instead of being lined right at a fielder. No reason to give up hope now.

I thought Cole pitched at least above average (for late playoffs, not in all MLB) today. Really, blame the hitters.

One thing I'm sure of - you can never, ever, win a baseball game with zero runs. Duh.


- Didn't really get brought up much today but I would be willing to bet that a couple of Phils' hitters are less than 100%. Polanco is a shell of himself.

He is get pounded with fastball after fastball on the outside corner and just can't drive the ball even when he makes contact. Pitchers are going right after him because they know they aren't going to get hurt when he fully extends because of that elbow.

JRoll also is seeing a ton of stuff away but it is mostly offspeed junk. Just hasn't had good plate discipline/coverage since he came back off the DL. He is another guy who even when he makes good contact struggles to drive the ball because of his gimpy leg. That 2-0 fastball he smoke the another night is usually a pitch that JRoll puts out.

Ibanez - mystery? Given his notable ups and downs this year, it is hard to say if he is in just one of his horrid funks or if he is a bit tired. Probably a bit of both.

Vic - Biggest disappointment this series. Phils needed a big series out of him especially with the left-handed bats they are going to face. For whatever reason this year, he has just been terrible from the left-hand side of the plate. He looked good vs. Sanchez on Sunday and my bet is that he looks good vs. Bumgartner tomorrow.

Brian G: Yeah I'm with you on the day/night aspect being brought up here. MG and I wrote that piece on those splits and it's valid to a point, but Hamels was good this year in day starts and was actually good today. He is far down the list of reasons we lost today.

Hamels was above average today (as he was in most of his day starts this year) but he wasn't nearly as unhittable as he was in his start vs. Reds.

6 IP, 3 ER is a decent outing but not great. Unfortunately, Phils don't have much margin for error right now and if there starters gives up 3-4 ER, they are likely going to lose.

Wait, we didn't win 12-0 tonight? BL told me that this was in the books, that was an easy win.

Seriously though, this isn't THAT surprising. The Phils offense hasn't been great, Cain is a good pitcher, and it's a tough park to score in. Why did people think this was easy? I've never seen BL as ridiculously overconfident as it was before today's game (and this series as a whole). This wasn't hard to see coming though.

Not sure why there's concern about the pen tomorrow. Everyone except Contreras is fresh.

Hamels was just fine. The Ross hit was legit, but Huff hit a slow grounder that found a hole, and obviously Utley misplayed a ball that led to a run as well.

He pitched well. They just scored a couple, and we didn't. That's what happens in low-scoring, close games. They can go either way based on a couple of balls that get through. This was always going to be the way the Giants could win.

Here's a crazy, but somewhat reasonable thought. How bout bat Shane between Utley and Howard so he'll bat right-handed or waste pitchers.

PHinBK: "Slump is a neat way of explaining things, but that means its temporary. slumps don't last whole seasons."

Where did the Phillies finish in the league in runs scored?

Seems like 2007. Time to fast forward and quickly.

JeffS - Yeah. Utley was a goat today. The two biggest weaknesses I thought the Giants' had that were generally overlooked was their bullpen and their defense. Both cost them in Game 2.

Hopefully tomorrow the Phils catch a break with a Giants' defense letdown because Bumgarner doesn't walk hitters and really doesn't give up many HRs at home.

Jack: [Why did people think this was easy? I've never seen BL as ridiculously overconfident as it was before today's game (and this series as a whole). This wasn't hard to see coming though.]

Agree for the most part, but truth be told, this is probably the least optimistic cheerleader blog. I can imagine the others tonight.

Teixeira just pulled a hamstring.

That's a playoff-changing injury right there, if it's serious.

What's with Utley's tight half swings?? is he playing hurt again or what.

Actually I hope Cholly keeps the exact same lineup with the exception of subbing Francisco for Ibanez in the 7th hole.

Have a strong feeling this is will be a bullpen game tomorrow and that one of these teams pen will cough it up in the 7th/8th tomorrow.

Utley is the goat tonight, but the Rollins-Ibanez combo has absolutely killed us this series as well.

Other than the Rollins double the other night, they haven't done a single thing. Howard and Werth have been on base a lot--and have been stranded a lot.

Polanco hasn't been great either. You can see the team just aging before your eyes with those three.

Cowley - Not sure. For a guy who had such a great quick swing last year in the postseason, he doesn't even look like the same guy. Lots of herky-jerky swings that are off-balance that are usually a rarity from Utley.

Utley hasnt gone on a true offensive tear the entire season. You want to talk about guys aging quickly, unless he's hurt he has regressed more than anyone. And it's more than a broken finger and the recovery that followed. His mechanics are totally off.

Jack - Polanco is playing with a gimp elbow that likely be operated on a few days after the season is over. JRoll also doesn't have his legs which are a big part of his game. He is a guy though that needs to alter this offseason training regimen this year to emphasize flexibility because guys in their mid-30s usually have a tough time of shaking pulls without prolonged rest.

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