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Sunday, October 10, 2010


The Eagles play tonight? Is that a regular season game? good luck to them.

Over/Under is 7.5 today. under right?

Gillies waving his white shirt in public. Good. Give him some playoff tickets in the bleeders behind home plate.

Janish is better than Cabrera. It was in the Phillies' favor that Dusty was batting Cabrera (.303 OBP) 2nd in the lineup. This is a bad thing for the Phillies if Janish replaces Cabrera.

I keep hoping that Janish will somehow be brought in to pitch before this series is over.

Jack: The Yankees are better than the Phillies?

From Jack: "You can talk all you want about the Twins "failing" against the Yanks, but the Yanks are the best team in baseball--"

Seems pretty unequivocal to me.

The Yankees might be a slightly better team than us. Their offense is massively better than ours, and their rotation isn't as troubled as advertised. They had a better run differential anyway.

Tray: And the Phillies won the most games in baseball without their regular lineup for 75% of the season.

Chooch ok--check.
Francisco ok--check.
Now how's Utley's hand after being demolished by a 102mph fastball?


Yeah, I think you're right that the current Phillies team is better than the Yankees, now that I think about it. After all, we didn't have Oswalt until a couple months ago; we'd have a better record if we had him all year. As far as the regular lineup, though, it's not entirely as if we would've been our same old dominant offensive self if everyone had been healthy. Howard and Utley have had down years; Rollins just hasn't been good at all.

History will be made tonight. First series sweep ever.

Last October was before Hamels tweeked his mechanics and refined the cutter. I expect great things.

Cueto is going down, baby.

Theory - um...demolished...hmmmm....

Those who think the Yanks are the best team in baseball have not been looking at the performance of the Yankees' pitching staff this season (or post-season, frankly).

The Phils are the best team in baseball.

"Francisco ok--check."

I'll believe Francisco's ok after we've seen him play a few weeks. Nearly getting decapitated by a 100 mph fastball is bound to leave a psychic mark that will show in him being gun-shy at the plate. If his offensive dominance drops off, it will be due to that.

Oh, wait...

In re: Yanks "superiority"

Their stadium, unlike CBP, plays like a true bandbox. They hit over 100 HRs at home compared to 70ish on the road - so did the opposition.

In the second half of 2010, the Phils starting pitching ERA was 3.42. The Yanks starting pitching was 5.36. Since pitching is emphasized in the post-season, how confident are you NYY proponents that they're really the best team? (Oh, yeah; one other thing - they are a wild card team, which means they shouldn't even be considered the best team in their own division, by one important measure.)

PS: I'm expecting Cole near-Dominance tonight. He should be nearly unhittable. Expect the Reds to collect 2 runs on solo homers in 7 innings.

Three runs should be enough to end this thing.

I have spoken. (Disclaimer: this is the opinion of the author. It is not to be taken as an infallible divine recitation of future events. Investors should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to their personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The author recommends investors obtain financial advice specific to their situation before making any financial investment or insurance decision. Past performance in prediction is no indication of future performance. The author's past success in prediction does not exceed 2% accuracy.)

ozark, I sure hope so.

As much as this Reds team is on the ropes, they're at home and capable of an explosion.

I hope Cole brings his A game.

Also, I'm glad it's at night.

"the game was pushed back from 7:07 on TNT to 8:07 on TBS, which will force Philadelphia viewers to deal with a total overlap of the Eagles-49ers game on NBC Sunday Night Football, beginning at 8:20."

This is an absolute non-problem for me.

Boston College is playing the 49ers tonight?

The game is now 8:07?

Damnit...I dont like having to stay up late.

Clout: I think its close, but yes, I'd say the Yanks are the best team in baseball this year, and they certainly were last year.

The Yanks going 95-67 with a +166 run differential in the AL East is slightly more impressive to me than the Phils going 97-65 with a +132 run differential in the NL East.

Now, given that the Phils' strength (top 3 pitching) is magnified in the playoffs, I'd say they have at least an even chance of beating them in a playoff series. But over the course of the 162-game season, yes, the Yankees were better.

On second thought, yeah, you can make the argument that the Phils right now, healthy, are as good as the Yanks and thus arguably the best team in baseball.

That said, once again, I don't think I'm going to ascribe the Twins' loss to some magical spell that overcomes them when playing against the Pinstripes. I think the Yanks were just better. Games 1 and 2 were close games that could've gone either way--the Yanks were just slightly better. Same thing last year. That's all it was.

I know "Good pitching beats good hitting," but I want to see more offense before I'll feel comfortable playing either Texas or NY in the WS. Or even to feel confident we'll beat SF.

And I agree (forget who made comment, last thread) that Oswalt should not shake off Chooch too often. I think that was just a part of him having an off night, feeling rusty and all.

GBrett, so you think Texas, NY and SF are all better teams than the Phils?

Run differential is interesting to a point, but remember that there is no difference between winning 1-0 or 9-2. It's still a win.

Old Phan: There's no difference in the standings, but a team with a lot of 9-2 wins is generally a better team than a team with a lot of 1-0 wins.

That's been proven true--run differential is a better predictor of future performance than current record. So, that's just a fact.

Why argue about who is the best team in baseball right now? 5 more wins and we'll find out with certainty.

Greg: Yup.

Funny, all I hear on BL is how when the Phils blow a team out 9-2 all they're doing is 'padding their stats' to make their overrated offense look better than it actually is. Now it's a good predictor of future performance?

OP - No, not if the Phillies play their best. But SF matches up very well with pitching. NY and TX probably hit better than our offense has been - more like our offense was last year. (I have to say, I really don't know that much about the Rangers, it's just based on what I'm hearing "in the wind" from how they're being talked about.)

It's more that our offense has had so many cold spells and our power numbers are down..I just am not sure what to expect from the bats. And am mindful how our bats (minus Utley) seemed pretty cold in the WS last year, if memory serves correctly.

Then, too, I am a bundle of nerves in the postseason.

Typo? I hope so, I hope Cole did not actually misspeak here!

Q. Cole, what has it been like having the two Roys here now and you're pitching in Game 3? Does it take the pressure off you? How has it been different?

COLE HAMELS: You know I, think being able to have Derrek Lee and Pedro on the same pitching staff last year, I was definitely able to pick up something from those guys because of the caliber that Pedro has been through. And Derrek Lee, with him being able to come about winning the CY Young and dominating in the postseason.

* *
Then there was this a bit later:

Q. How often do you sit down with Chooch and go over game plans? Roy takes a lot of pride in calling a game. He does a ton of research. How much time do you spend with him and how much conviction does he have behind the plate?


* *

Wow, if those were the actual words out of Cole's mouth, that's a bit of disrespect, huh?

"Derrek" may have to bring it if Tex doesn't want to let down their fans. A TB/NYY match-up would be a great prelude to a PHI/NYY Series.

How fitting would it be to see the battles of the East in the respective Championship Series? NL East winner/Wild Card vs. AL East winner/Wild Card.

Oh, and Happy 3/4/4, I mean 10/10/10....

Don't want to get ahead of myself.

I'm pretty sure that's just a typo. If this was a tape recorded interview, maybe the transcription software MLB uses fudged up and some idiot editor missed it.

There's no way Cole was trying to "disrespect" Cliff Lee,

There's no difference in the standings, but a team with a lot of 9-2 wins is generally a better team than a team with a lot of 1-0 wins.

Well, if your definition of a "better" team is the one that has the higher run differential, then I'll take the weaker team that wins more games.

"I'm pretty sure that's just a typo"

Sounded like a serious brain fart to me.

Either way, no disrespect intended, I'm sure.

Old Phan: This isn't really up for debate. It's been proven that run differential is a better predictor of future success than present record. So, more times than not, a 50-30 team with a better run differential will do better going forward than a 55-25 team with a worse run differential.

I'm not sure what you don't understand about that. It's not really a matter of opinion. This has been known for many, many years.

Hey guys I know the big talker syncs the tv with their broadcasts but does any fellow berks countians know if weeu does too? I can't take tbs another night.


Of course, none of this has any real relevance on a 7-game series between the Yanks and Phils.

"Of course, none of this has any real relevance on a 7-game series between the Yanks and Phils."

Exactly right.

philwynk: I just watched the video of the interview. Cole definitely says "Cliff Lee." Maybe this was some scorned Braves fan's way of sticking it to the man.

Anyway, I don't think it's a big deal, but I know how Cole's "mental state" can be analyzed to death on here.

The flaw in ascribing more predictive power to run differential than to regular season record is fundamental. We select teams for the playoffs based on one of these statistics, i.e. regular season record. Thus the teams are going to be artificially close to each other based on this statistic, and of course the other one will have outsized explanatory behavior in the playoffs.

Nevertheless, regular season record isn't such a worse predictor of run differential that we can just discard it in favor of the other, even if we DIDNT have this problem. We're gonna have to use both, combined with our firsthand idiosyncratic knowledge of the seasons for each team.

That is probably a pipe dream.

Philwynk, it may be a brainfart, but it wasn't Cole's.

Same press release refers to Carlos Ruiz as "Roy". Chances of both interviewer and interviewee having brainfarts of that magnitude are very slim. Given that Cole didn't type up the press release the source of a common factor in both error is most likely whoever asked the questions.

I hope we remember this run differential discussion when it comes time to freak out about the Giants-Phillies series. is better than that. That's some 2nd rate blog crap there. Just shows how much due diligence they put into that garbage. Pretty shoddy journalism.

I agree, Lincoln, that it's almost certainly two typos - I thought it was funny, and that's why I shared them. Pretty crappy editing job to call Chooch "Roy" and Cliff Lee "Derrek." It did make me do a double take - two double takes, one for each - and they caused a few seconds of confusion on my part as I tried to figure out who Derrek could possibly be.

I completely forgot about the Rangers-Rays game being on this afternoon! I've missed everything, see that it's 5-2 Rays in the 8th.

Stupid Rangers making it that much easier for the Yankees to win the AL.

Old Phan: You'd take the team that wins more games regardless of the quality of the competition?


Brooks Conrad is actively hurting the Braves.

Hudson laboring big time.

Jack, what do you think the Phils run differential would have been without all the injuries to the starting position players and the pitching staff, and with RoyO on the team all season?

Even run differential comparisons are imperfect. The Yankees play in what is indisputably the best division in baseball. The Phillies play in a fairly average division.

I'm not sure who is better between the Phillies & Yankees, but I do think the Phillies are better equipped to prevail in a short series, due to their superior starting pitching.

How the Giants didn't score in that inning is just incredible. And people are seriously wetting themselves over the prospect of facing this lineup in a 7-game series?

Are The Giants a good team? Absolutely.
Do they deserve to be in the playoffs? Sure.
Are they a "scary" team? Not at all.

The Braves' red softball uniforms are an embarrassment...

For everyone wringing their hands about the Phils offense, I submit to you the following:

1) The Tampa Bay Rays scored a combined 1 run over their first two games at home.

2) The Texas Rangers have scored a combined 4 runs over their last 2 games at home.

3) The Braves didn't score a run in this series until the 6th inning of game 2 of the series.

4) The Giants scored 5 runs combined over their first 2 games at home.

5) The Reds were no-hit in game 1 of their series, and then after scoring 4 runs early in game 2, were unable to tack on a single run later in the game to add any insurance.

6) The Twins scored a combined 7 runs in 3 games on their way to being swept.

7) The Phillies, over two games, have 11 runs, good for 5.5 runs per game.

8) The Yankees, over three games, have 17 runs, good for 5.67 runs per game.

Yeah, it would be good if the Phils hit better, but this is the playoffs. Just win games, and so far, 2 for 2.

Calm down.

AWH, lets not forget that the Yanks had a fairly serious injury in Andy Petite.

This is a stupid argument anyway. It will all come down to whether Howard can hit DeMaso Marte.

Did Heyward get hurt?

What is Heyward going to take a nap out there?

Either he's ok or he's not.

he seems to be in pain, but is staying in

Heyward ran into the wall and it looked like he twisted his glove hand awkwardly.

After alot of standing around it looks like he's staying in the game...

Brooks Conrad would drop a beach ball. He is a terrible fielder.

Brooks Conrad is the worst fielder in the history of baseball.

Nice play by Hudson.

Is there a worse defensive player in all of baseball than Brooks Conrad?

Nice play by Hudson there. Conrad should take note.

On second thought, I am really enjoying this Braves-Giants series. It's tough to decide which team I'd rather watch the Phils steamroll in the NLCS.

Brooks Conrad may be finding himself DH'ing for the Mariners next year, because there's no way he should be fielding for anyone after this season.

One more error, and Hudson's gonna throw a fastball at Conrad's head.

Tim Hudson's on his way to 40 pitches, and he's not even through the 2nd. But, with the Braves' bullpen, might not be a huge deal.

Fatalotti, the Phils' 4 runs were all they got, all in early innings, of game 1--- and Halladay had one of them. In game 2, we capitalized on errors. So if you use examples of other teams' lack of offense, I think you need to be realistic about ours, too, putting it in context.

But yes, all that matters is winning--of course.

Brooks Conrad is their 3rd 3B behind Larry and Martin Prado....It'd be like us having Andy Tracy out there at the Hot Corner...or Cody Ransom

Kutz, Hudson has so much natural sink on his fastball, it'll probably end up hitting Conrad in the neck.

Iceman, root for the Braves toinght. Means Lincecum can't start game 1 of the LCS.

Conrad makes me that much happier we have Valdez.

No Cabrera. Janish hitting 8th

GBrett, I wasn't arguing that our offense was fine, just putting our offensive ineptitude in context with the rest of the playoffs teams, all of which, other than Yankees, have been doing next to nothing offensively.

For example, before the 8th inning of game THREE of the ALDS, it looked like the Rays were never going to score again. Yet, here they are, forcing a game 5.

The Rangers, with 2 chances to close out the same series at home, were promptly shut down by Matt Garza and Wade Davis, to the tune of 4 runs combined in both their home games.

Point being, we're not the only team, and in fact, we are one of 7 teams in the playoffs with offensive issues.

This Phillies team has been money in the postseason for 3 years now. Let's just watch it play out.

Spitz: Again, that's worse for the Phillies. The Reds lineup is better with Janish hitting 8th than Cabrera hitting 2nd.

Dusty was doing us a huge favor by hitting a guy with a .303 OBP 2nd.

I posted this last night:

So, Cincinnati will be without Orlando Cabrera for, probably, the remainder of the series.

Orlando Cabrera

OPS+: 76
Fld %: .977
RF/G (Range Factor/9): 4.06

Paul Janish (his likely replacement):

OPS+: 96
Fld %: .984
RF/G: 4.25

Unfortunately, it appears that the Reds actually get better with the injury to Cabrera.

I agree that our offense looks better than the Giants' offense, but that's not saying anything. It certainly looks a lot worse than the Rangers' or Yankees'. Both of which have actually gotten pretty decent pitching so far. Also keep in mind that the runs we've scored, several of which were gift-wrapped to us by bad defense, were scored off of Volquez, Arroyo, and the Reds' bullpen, rather than the likes of Lincecum, Cain, and Sanchez. So while I do think we'd be the favorite in the upcoming NLCS, I'm less confident about potential WS match-ups, and I do think the offense is a concern - as it's been all year.

So, I assume the Rays will go with David Price again in Game 5. What are the odds of him crapping the bed twice in one series. Gotta think advantage Rays at this point. Crazy series.

Cliff Lee won't be able to pitch Game 1 of the ALCS, or David Price if the Rays win, right? (May be ok in case of Price.)

Guess the Rangers shoulda pitched Lee today.

"the Phils' 4 runs were all they got"
True, and that was 3 more than they actually needed.
How many runs would be acceptable for the Phils to score in every game? I'm curious.

NEPP, wrong question. What are the odds that Price outpitches Cliff Lee in an all or nothing game?

That's the more pertinent question.

I wouldn't bet against Lee, though.

Riiiiight Jack - cause you are much more of an expert on the Reds than Dusty Baker is.

Numbers dont always tell the whole story dude.

****NEPP, wrong question. What are the odds that Price outpitches Cliff Lee in an all or nothing game?****

I could see them cancelling each other out if Price has a good game.

One of the stories last week called Cliff Lee "Travis", so apparently we're all forgetting the name of the guy we used to discuss in every post.

Old Phan- if the Phillies don't score at least 1 run per inning, the offense is a concern.

And Tray, the argument that the Phils 'only' scored 4 runs in Game 1 is just bogus. They knocked the starter out in the second inning and pretty much mailed in the last 4 innings or so. Which nobody should really be 'concerned' with. They were as captivated as everyone else was.

Don't see how you can bet against Lee in a do-or-die game, no matter who is pitching against him. I'm still wondering why he wasn't pitching Game 4.

Some people will look for anything to be "concerned" about.

At what point do people just sit back and enjoy the show?

If now isn't that time, then I'm not sure when that time will be.

tweet by jayson stark:

Orlando Cabrera told #Reds he can play. Just inserted in lineup batting 8th. Remember, he was on '04 #RedSox team that came back vs #Yankees

so i guess he is playing?

As per Stark's twitter, Cabrera got put back in the lineup. Hitting 8th. Jack does a little jig!

How many more points do the Phils earn if they win that first game 8-0 as opposed to 4-0?

Phillies scoring only 11 runs in 16 innings is definitely a concern.

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