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Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Hilarious to look back at all the whining on Beerleaguer during the team's struggles that included gems like this: "It turns out that Halladay was actually traded to a worse team than the team he was on."

Now the Phils enter the postseason with the best record in baseball and soon-to-be-NL-Cy-Young-winner Roy Halladay is set to make his first career postseason start!

Go get 'em, Doc!

Prediction for Doc's night: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 27 K, 0 BB, 72 pitches thrown.

Sorry, make that 81 pitches...math sucks.

NEPP: I would hope his second start is more productive.

For Doc to give Cole praise speaks volumes to the accomplishments and fortitude of Hamels this year.

What time are the lineups announced???

My prediction:

I'll bet Doc has second thoughts about coming to the Phils.

MaDubbs: I'm going to jump for joy is the lineup resembles something like that. Though I'd switch Polly and Utley...

My only prediction is Victorino bats first. I'm having trouble seeing the argument in favor of Rollins. Vic has plenty of experience, gets on base, has speed, is not injured, and most of all has become a sparkplug for the team.

Is it too early to leave work?

want to be home in time for the first pitch...

Our boss is letting us wear Phils jerseys with jeans ans sneaks throughout the playoffs. Gotta love that.

batting utley 2nd may make some sense considering all the lefties available to in the reds pen. 4 of them i believe.

Jayson Stark likes the Phils too but this is a strong column chalk-full of all kinds of facts and points about the Phils and their competition.

Where it can go wrong (much discussed here on Beerleaguer)?

Normally I would never root for a Bobby Cox team but I will be a big Braves' fan over the next week.
- Lineup
- With left-handers
- The bullpen (outside of Madson/Lidge)
- History lessons (fluky crap happens in short series)
- The Field

AWH: Can you also provide future tracker doppler radar? I'd like to know what neighborhoods will be experiencing rain between 5:15 and 6:27 PM today.

From the Stark column:

"That lineup can be pitched to," one National League scout said. "They're a fastball-hitting club and a mistake-hitting club. So the key is, you've got to pitch them hard inside so you can create holes away with softer stuff. If you're going to get beat, you've got to get beat on the hands so they hook those balls foul. If you can execute hard and inside, so they know you're coming in, you can open up that off-speed stuff away and get them to chase it."

Really no shock to anyone who has watched this team this year. If Volquez has moderate command of his fastball today especially on the inside, it really sets up his offspeed stuff especially the changeup.

My secretary is starting with the smack talk about how the Yankees are gonna beat the Phils in the WS again.

Should I fire her now or wait until the Yankees lose?

KF: Worse yet cut off her internet access, she'd probably rather lose her job.

Note to self: Hire Joe Cowley as HR strategist.

From the Stark article:
"Since the postseason expanded into a three-round, four-week marathon 15 years ago, the team with the best record in baseball has won the World Series only three times -- in 1998 (Yankees), 2007 (Red Sox) and 2009 (Yankees)."

So for those, like me, that are more used to the Phils being the underdogs, rest assured- we may be favorites in each matchup , but we are still long shots to have a November, Jayson Werth led, WFC championship parade.


My favorite part of the Stark column?

And you know what? He might be right. Since the day Roy Oswalt showed up in this team's clubhouse, the Phillies have been the best team in baseball, by any standard:

• They're 41-19 since then. Only one other team in either league -- Minnesota (38-22) -- is within seven wins of them.

• They played 10 series and 29 games in that span against teams that were .500 or better at the time. They won all 10 series and went 24-5.

• They lost their first two road games after Oswalt arrived -- then went 21-5 on the road the rest of the way, winning nine straight series.

• Their team ERA, post-Oswalt, was a spectacular 3.23. That's seven-tenths of a run lower than it was before Oswalt checked in, and the second-best in baseball, only microscopically higher than the Giants' (3.21), since then. And Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels were a combined 21-7, 2.33. Scary.

• Finally, no other team in either league had a better record against the other teams in the postseason field. The Phillies went 21-15 against the Braves, Reds, Giants, Yankees and Twins this year. The only other club that was more than one game above .500 against fellow playoff teams was Tampa Bay (20-15).

MG, if Volquez has his command, doc is going to have to be really, really good today.

KF: suggest you see this movie for ideas.

"I watched some CSN yesterday, and someone mentioned that Charlie was thinking of switching Polly and Chase in the line up. Anyone else hear that?"

KF - I'm pretty sure I heard Charlie himself say this in the press conf. yesterday. He said he might do it to split up LH hitters.

Charlie's done that a few times this year, particularly against teams that have a variety of lefties in the bullpen.

However, if he's moving Polanco out of the 2-hole, I'm not sure he's my favorite for the 3-hole.

Hopefully that is the lineup, also hopeful it does not rain hard early and they lose Halladay. On the flipside Reds would lose Volquez but with the great lefty relivers they have it could cause lots of trouble for the Phils. I know this is a series they should win but boy I feel very uneasy about it. I've been reading way too much of this blgo I think.

Pete Happy - thanks for the lawsuit idea.

Gbrettfan - that's where I heard it. I think they said it was to counter Chapman than the Reds' starters.

When will Cholly release his line up?

Cholly is going to change his lineup now? Seems like a very un-Cholly like thing to do.

CJ: Polanco's not my favorite either. Everyone's making a big deal about the Rollins at the top of the lineup decision, but it's forgotten that Polanco is banged up and has been pretty bad the last couple of months himself. The only thing I'm sure of is that Victorino is the best hitter right now out of those 3 options.

Old Phan: It seems un-Charlie-like, but it's something he's done already this year, so it's not unprecedented.

CJ, he really hasn't shuffled the lineup much once everyone (except for J-Roll)came back from injuries. The lineup has been pretty much set. I don't have a big problem with it, but I'd be surprised if he swapped Polly and Uts.

For the 16 games from 8/21 to 9/5, the Phils were healthy and Charlie had Polanco and Utley each in the 3-hole 8 times. Then Rollins went down, and Charlie had to adjust his lineup accordingly.

Had Rollins remained healthy, I'm fairly certain we'd have seen that trend continue.

The ideal lineup would have Vic leading off, Chooch batting 7th and Rollins 8th. That will never happen though.

"Prediction for Doc's night: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 27 K, 0 BB, 72 pitches thrown.
It could happen -- the last 9 batters are so scared to get in the batter's box that the ump calls a strike on them for delaying.

By the way, please prepare yourself for any family members over the age of 70 to call your house tonight as the game starts screaming: "What %*^&$@) channel is this game on??!!!"

How many times did Polly bat 3rd in September?

Typically its traditional to bat your best hitter in the 3 logically, our banged up singles hitting 3B is the right choice.

i still think Werth should lead off, myself, but I understand his role as a RH power threat in the heart of the order.

I think we should bat Werth in the leadoff and in the 5 hole...utilizing a ghost-runner in his place if he is to get on-base leading off and then has to hit in the 5 hole in the same inning.

We can do that, right?

I think swapping Werth and Howard makes a lot more sense than swapping Polly and Uts.

Here's my lineup"

Vic SW
Utley L
Werth R
Howard L
Chooch R
Raul L
Polly R
JRoll SW

NEPP- We can do that, right?

If Bud can make up ad-hoc rain out rules during post season, I think ghost runners are quite possible.

If it suits network TV, Bud will be all over it.

We shouldnt be swapping anybody, if it aint broke dont fix it. Vic at leadoff, everyone else stays in position.

Old Phan: Like I said, once Rollins went down, Charlie had fewer choices at the top of the order so he didn't move Polanco to third for the rest of the month.

Joe, exactly. The lineup as is works.

Why I would bat Chooch after Howie:

2010 Vs. LHP: .327 .431 .509

I hope Beerleaguer doesn't fall into the trap of posting dozens of different lineups each day. That's a trend I've grown to hate on other, less-intelligent baseball blogs!

The chances of Charlie deviating significantly from his standard lineups is less than the chance of President Obama announcing to the world that he's actually a citizen of Russia and resigning from the Presidency. I'm just sayin'

We may need to rename it Choochtember.

The last 28 days: .373 .464 .576

CJ, I agree. In all likelyhood the lineup will look like this:


Now, maybe he moves Vic, Jimmy and Raul around a little:




but IMHO, that's about it.

Now, he may change and break up Chase and Howie if the LHH start to get eaten up by the Reds' LHRP late in close games.

We'll see.

useless playoff tidbit: Davey Lopes is godfather to one of Dusty Baker's kids.

Phillies in three!!! I can't even pick a scenario that's different from I want in my heart!

Valdez at 3B, Polanco out.

This news is all bad.

Agree w AWH on lineup, I for one dont want to see too many changes, just give me Vic leading off, big bats in the middle, and Rollins down in the 7/8 hole.

Cant fricking wait fellas, its a good feeling to have this much excitement even tho we've been there a bunch the last few years. heading out of work at 430...

J-Roll is leading off today.


1) So much for being healthy going into the playoffs.

2) Kinda obvious why Greg Dobbs made the roster, isn't it?

Polly with a back injury? Ugh.

CJ: No kiddin'. Talk about worst case scenarios, lineup/batting order-wise.

UGH . All I asked for was a Vic leadoff and rollins down in the order...

so, 4 hours to game time...

Eh. I hope this is precautionary with Polly. I would much prefer he get healthy for the rest of the playoff run than force it by playing in game one.

I don't like this lineup AT ALL! JRoll should not be leading off and I really hope Polly's injury is not serious. ( Polanco out of lineup with back injury. Valdez at third.)

Let's hope Valdez likes the spotlight & gets a couple of hits.

I'm not a big fan of rally killing double plays.

Wow, so this Magical back injury came out of nowhere!! He said he felt great yesterday!!!! Knew it was too good to be true

Gotta wonder how injured Polly's been since the beginning of August... he's posted an OPS just below .650 since then.

Surprisingly... Valdez posted an OPS of .813 last month in a full-time role.

Let's hope J-Roll is healthy, or the left side of our infield could be Valdez/Dobbs. Ouch.

Good thing Doc is going to pitch a shutout today, otherwise I'd be worried.

Why is Polly out...WTF??!?

I think the big key to this series will be the Philies scoring runs in the first 5-6 innings of the game. The Reds put 4 lefties in their pen (Wood, Rhodes, Bray, & Chapman) who are there designed specifically to get out left-handed hitters. Plus our biggest power threats off the bench are Dobbs and Brown which would be negated by a move to a left-hander. More importantly it would probably require Charlie to make a double move and insert Sweeney which burns a couple guys.

I know the Phillies have gotten to Rhodes this season but I'd rather not have to count on them hitting left-handers late in the game especially if it is close. Jump on the starting pitchers and render the arms in the pen meaningless.

where do you guys go for starting lineup annoucements?

MasterlockJr.: I monitor the Phils beat reporters on Twitter. @HighCheese and @ToddZolecki are the best sources.

The upside is that with Rollins leading off, Vic will often feel like he's leading off as the bases will likely be empty in front of him.

This is a huge blow to us...not feeling it today.

Zolecki tweets (ominously):
Amaro is hopeful Polanco will be able to play Friday.

I have a feeling they knew about Polly's back injury for some time now. He didn't just injury his back yesterday. Explains the Dobb's move.

thanks CJ...

So, if you're the Reds, you've got to be pretty pumped at this point, right? Seems like destiny is stepping in for them.

Let's calm down a bit. Two words: Roy Halladay.

MasterlockJr.: I agree w/ CJ. You should also add @magelb & @ryanlawrence21. You'll get a fair amount of redundancy, but a better overall picture.

Have we ever had a 3B without a bad back in recent memory?

Rolen - chronic back issues
Bell - chronic back issues
Feliz - chronic back issues
Polly - chronic (apparently) back issues

Seriously, WTF? Why do so many 3B have back issues.

No one likes this line up, which logically leads to the conclusion that they win the game 103-0.

Crap. JW better be right about Greg Dobbs having "a big hit left in him." I'll even trade that for 6-7 small hits.

At least this gives BL something to worry about.

king myno: Unfortunately for us, a "big hit" for Dobbs = Flying Out as opposed to Striking Out, Grounding Out or Popping Up.

tutpsu: Yeah... I'm not overly worried. It's disappointing, but that move alone does make up for the huge advantage the Phils have today. This just adds more fuel to the fire for those who were all ready in "Sky is falling" mode over the powerful Reds!

Well, I think this one is pretty legit to be worried about.

Losing Polly is bad enough...having JRoll lead off is compounding the blow to the offense.

I assume Jimmy will now hit a leadoff HR to make me look stupid.

Murphy (via Twitter): "Phils have these 4 hitters in a row today: Valdez (.667 OPS), Halladay (.292 OPS), Rollins (.657 OPS/LHB) + Victorino (.681 OPS/LHB)"

Amaro was on 610 and was very frank and honest which as most bl'ers would find surprising... said polly had a back stiffness early in the week... got treatment didnt' get much better...

He said he could go if he pushed himself, but they felt Valdez had performed well lately and didn't want to risk it.

He was getting treatment from a doctor as he spoke...and they were hopeful he'd be ready on Friday.

At least the lineup doesn't have Dobbs at 3B.

But a Phillies source said YESTERDAY that Polly not starting because of Back - WTF yesterday???

rollins had to leadoff now that polanco is out because they had to move up victorino. manuel would never put chooch #2 so that was out of the equation anyway

Huge blackhole created by this lineup.

Did the Rays sell out?

I think we could all live without J-Roll leading off, but I can almost understand it with Polly out of the lineup.

my guess is Rollins wouldn't have led off if Polly was in the lineup.

This a a big loss:

The loss of Polanco for at least Game 1 is a big one. The 34-year-old led all National League third baseman with a .986 fielding percentage (Reds third baseman Scott Rolen was second at .977). He also hit .298 with a .339 on base percentage, driving in 52 runs and scoring 76.

NEPP: There is a direct correlation between above-average height and back problems. It stands to reason, then, that 3B are most likely to have back issues.

polanco had an OPS in september in the 600's. keep that in mind

****NEPP: There is a direct correlation between above-average height and back problems. It stands to reason, then, that 3B are most likely to have back issues.****

I love it when Beerleaguer comes full circle.

Old Phan: Agreed. At this point trying to shuffle everyone around to keep Vic at the top would probably be more trouble than it is worth. Moving Chooch or (Heaven forfend) Valdez to the 2 spot? Not thrilling options. Losing Polanco completely blew up a good thing. Bottom Line - I will not be assigning Charlie his usual share of the blame for Rollins' failure(s) at the plate today. When/If Placido returns, however ...

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