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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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one reason not to panic; Cody Ross can't possibly keep this up.

JW, maybe you can avoid the "time to panic" cliche that infects the rest of sportsland. when is it really ever time to panic? That aside, I'd be OK sitting Raul.

"one reason not to panic; Cody Ross can't possibly keep this up"

Randomness says he can keep it up for 2 more days. Unfortunately.

Sitting Raul for Francisco isn't panic. It's smart.

Ibanez vs. lefties: .728 OPS
Francisco vs. lefties: .901 OPS

Why is this even a question?

I like Halladay in Game 4. This doesn't mean that everyone goes on 3 days rest the rest of the way. Blanton could get the ball in Game 5 if we win game 4 and ROY O is not feeling up for pitching on 3 days. Blanton could get the ball in Game 6 for the matter... But it does mean we are throwing our best pitcher and 20 M year man at a game that feels like a must win!

I dont see a downside to pitching Halladay.
Oswalt then pitches the one spot tomorrow.
Then Cole Back at home and Halladay to finish.
We have 3 aces. What does is matter?

About the offense... We aren't even hitting the ball hard. CM needs to decide who is ready to play today, not who his guys are or who got us here... but who is ready, healthy, mentally prepared etc... to play today. I really like what BB has been doing in SanFran to get offense. He doesn't look at salary or experience or playing time, just decides who is ready to play that day...

Cole didn't have a good game? I guess when the offense isn't producing - it's easy to say 2ER over 6 is not "good stuff".

(Repost, corrected typo) No one thought the Phils would sweep. Hence the Giants had to win at least 1 game. They've won 2, in a 7 game series. Hence, this pain was inevitable. I just bet Joe Blanton goes out this evening and pitches his heart out, giving us 7 innings, 3 runs.

As I said yesterday, we have Werth with his eye on huge money, and Jimmy Rollins is not likely to retire after his contract. There's 2 guys who are playing for both money and pride.

Victorino and Ruiz have fallen off a cliff this series, and Utley can't be as bad as he looks, can he? I expect big things from all 5 of these players. The heck with Ryan Howard; he looks like he needs an off season to get his mojo back. Unless his eyesight or bat speed have gravely deteriorated.

And another thing -- what if the Giants start to believe their "press clippings"? Since when do the Giants “swagger”? Their closer looks like a clown with a painted on beard and Cody Ross wants to be a clown! Both are due for their comeuppance.

I always take the Phils when their back's to the wall. I predict a 8 - 3 beatdown, Phils. Then we take our chances with H2O.

Ibanez looked good for a stretch in the second half... I felt like Greg Gross sat down with him and reminded him that you hit the ball hard the other way with outside fastballs... like Greg made a career doing... But we don't have many guys taking fastballs away to the opposite field right now. Howard focused hard on doing that in Game 2 and had two hits that way. Ruiz went yard on a high outside fastball... Someone just needs to tell Raul and Chase especially to A) stop taking outside fastballs that are strikes, andB) to take them to left.

"Someone just needs to tell Raul and Chase especially to A) stop taking outside fastballs that are strikes, andB) to take them to left."

AKA stop trying so hard to be dead pull hitters who are attempting to hit it over one of the highest right field walls in baseball?

Yeah.

It's like when you have guests come to the house. You put out all your finest stuff and hide the clutter in closets and in back rooms hidden from view. On the outside I have patience. Panic is in closets and in back rooms hidden from view.

I keep telling myself that we have great hitters and the giAnts don't. Repeat 100 times, then hit head with hammer.

It's far from a given, but if anyone can come back from 3-1 it's Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels.

(Tonight, clearly, feels like a loss.)

We were told by clout not to panic. That's good enough for me.

bake- shut up

I am nervous, but am not going to panic. This is a veteran team that has been told all year that the game to be played is the most important of the season. So, I do think the offense is going to scrape by just enough runs to get us through to H2O, but we need to come back home too.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it felt like Ibanez did his best this season when he was briefly in a platoon with Ben Fran.

Game 4 of the NLCS has been the Phillies' money game the last 2 years.

Let's hope the trend continues.

This is rediculous, but considering Cody Ross is the only player really hurting the Phillies, why not start walking him?

No panic. I'm lucky. Section 304. Season NOT Over.

The Phillies need to buck their trend of being blinded by pitchers they never saw before (like today's) and haul off on him early and often. If they wait until the late innings to figure him out it will be too late as they most likley will be down 2 or 3 runs again at that point. Only good sign is his ERA is 3 points higher at home than on the road this season.

Panic? No. Excitement? Hell yes! After they win tonight, the momentum shifts back to the Phillies in a big way.

I am with Patience.

But i hardly see benchnig Ibanez for Game 4 as an example of panic.

Also, Cole Hamels did have A stuff that game. The walk to Burrell killed him, and Cody Ross hit a good pitch followed by Utley continuing to prove fangraphs wrong as being a good defender.

Today is about several things but if this team loses today (and likely losses the NLCS), they go down as a very good team that had a nice run and denied a shot at historical greatness.

This game is on Fat Joe today. They need at least 6 and 2 (6 IP and 2 ER) today or better or they likely lose. Good thing is that I think he can deliever on that. He jus won't shut out the Giants or hold them to a run.

I think Philly wins the game and the series, I just wish they'd do it in more convincing fashion. . . Maybe their saving their bullets for the WFS this year.

MG: I think it's worse than that, it's what may be a final shot at a ring during this current run given the aging of this team and the simple odds of being able to win another pennant, even with our starting pitching, in addition to the rise of more competitive teams in the NL, and more importantly it would be a loss to a flat-out inferior team all around, and I dont want to hear about their amazing starters. We have the best in baseball.

Bulldog Blanton used to pitch in the bay area, so he should be comfortable and right at home. He might have a pitching gem stored away in his back pocket, ready to go today.

If somebody told me a week ago that the key to our success would be getting Cody Ross out I would have laughed out loud.

Baseball is a sure funny game.

If Ross had become a rodeo clown like his daddy told him to we would be up 3-0. Instead he's just a clown having a career week.

Let's just hope Blanton does to them what he did on August 18th.

6.1 IP, 2 ER

We get that, and the only reason we lose is because of the offense.

What else is new, though?

they really have to score early... and more than just 1 or 2 runs... otherwise... it will be a very long night...

I've pulled all my money out of the bank and have it stashed under my mattress; I've got a stockpile of canned goods and bottled water and have duct-taped my windows shut; and I am constantly sweating, unable to sleep, and have been screaming at the top of my lungs for no reason at random intervals throughout the day.

So yeah, I'm panicking.

If you're panicking down 2-1, you probably don't deal with adversity in the real world very well. Fortunately, I have no reason to think there is any panic in the Phils' dugout. Concern, concentration, yes. Panic, no.

I heard Bull on the radio lambasting this offense about an hour ago, Ricky Bo picking the Giants, Bowa renarking that the team's body language stinks,and LA stating as he has all season that he gives everyone funny looks when he goes to different cities and hears people say "how about that great offense you have over there"....he responds "what team are you watching?"...

The fact is we all feel the same frustration that they do about this team, they are underachieving in a monumental way.

"Today is about several things but if this team loses today (and likely losses the NLCS), they go down as a very good team that had a nice run and denied a shot at historical greatness."

Unless, of course, they go on to win the 2011 World Series. I'm pretty sure this same sentiment was expressed several times between last November and this September. Historical greatness is a bit abstract. I still like their chances to add a pennant this year and maybe next.

Giants are about straight about even today on the Vegas Lines.

The only commentator I've heard that still holds out hope is Dutch, then again he was reporting on set in his boxer shorts and also stated that a platypus told him Phillies in 6...

http://www.crossingbroad.com/2010/10/bay-area-writer-embarrasses-himself-and-his-team-by-taking-cheap-shots-at-phillies-fans.html

Bruce Newman 408-920-5004
Bud Geracie, Sports Editor and Bruce Newman's boss (408) 920-5389

Bruce and Bud aren't picking up their phones. Bud's voicemail directs you to call Darryl Matsuda at 408-920-5830. Darryl's actually got the balls to answer his phone, so give him a ring...

Most importantly- does Mitch Williams think that there is panic.
Just can't wait for that all important pre-game show. It's always the highlight of my day.
It's all bout the Fox sportcasters and analysts you know.

Didn't realize that Game 4 in the playoffs held so many ups and downs for this franchise in recent history although the Game 4 of the '93 series was probably the low point.

Everybody outside of Philly remembers Wild Thing giving up the walk-off to Carter to end Game 6 but his meltdown in Game 4 was more disappointing.

This worry is all a bit overblown. By playoffs standards, the Phillies postseason run since 2007 has not been very dramatic. Sure there have been individually dramatic games. But in eight series, they have played in ZERO deciding games. They only went more than five in one out of four. This is playoff baseball and has the look of going seven games. You may hate to believe it but the Giants are trying win also. The Phils don't lose only when they make mistakes - they do get beat.

MG: The game 4 debacle was where that series was lost in 1993.

"Even the ballparks stood in stark counterpoint: The Giants play in a park named after a company that quietly drops your phone calls; the Phillies play in a park sponsored by a bank that forecloses on people's homes."

I read somewhere that several banks are foreclosing on homes, and only when you stop paying your mortgage, usually held by...banks. Funny this comment comes from California where most residents can afford to buy breasts but can't make their mortgage payments...

Word 'round my office is that Raul is in the lineup tonight. In fact, reports are that there are no lineup changes at all.

Anyone see the lineups yet?

UC barely wanted Ben Fran to play at all this season. Why would he want to start him tonight?

Reasons to calm the nerves about Blanton starting:

1)he's not AJ Burnett
2)he's not opposing Juan Marichal
3)we're not down 3-1
4)Ryan Howard hasn't torn up his hammy
5)we won't be facing Cliff Lee if it goes 7
6)Wally Ritchie could be starting, we need
to hit to win

I bet Cholly is regretting not having Dobbsy available to jump-start the offense

The offense needs to bust out in a big way tonight. The last two years the Phils have scored double digits at least once in the postseason, they need to do so again tonight. We need to dominate, let's put the Giants back on their heals a little bit, make them nervous about having to face H20 again with the threat of this offense coming to life.

Another thing the Phils have done in the past that they haven't yet done this postseason: get to a team's closer. I really want to see a blown save by Wilson, then whoever gets the key hit can do that stupid forearm crossing thing he does right in his face. What is that supposed to be anyway?

i can't see them busting out at this park with their under .200 BAA the last 3 years and 3-8 record. they may win but it would have to be low scoring

Does everyone realize if the Phils win tonight, they regain home field advantage ?

Momentum changes big time with a Phils win tonight.

All of sudden game 5 becomes a must-win for the Giants.

"I really want to see a blown save by Wilson, then whoever gets the key hit can do that stupid forearm crossing thing he does right in his face. What is that supposed to be anyway?"

he is publicly swearing eternally loyalty to Zod...

In the 1960 World Series, the Pirates in 4 of the games scored 3, 0, 4 and 0 runs.

Clout: That was the Mazeroski series? against the Yanks?

Joe: Yes it was.

Old Phan:

Ibanez vs. lefties: .728 OPS
Francisco vs. lefties: .901 OPS

That's why he should want Francisco to start tonight.

Now, I know he won't. Ibanez will be in the lineup, and he may just get a couple hits.

But the right move is to start Francisco.

Patience. Tonight is huge obviously, but as a few have pointed out, if they win tonight the momentum definitely switches again.

Yes, Bucs were outscored 38-3 in the 3 games they lost in '60. The fact that they won shows the best team doesn't always win, or at least that's what Mickey Mantle and his teammates said afterward.

I don't want to see Wilson again because, that will mean the Giants have a lead. I also don't want to see that beard. What is the look he's cultivating? G.I. Joe with the kung fu grip?

The Beard gives Joe Suck something to talk about endlessly during the game, especially since he has no pure baseball knowledge anyway. he's always focused on the props and side-shows during every game and series he does for the same reason. I remember one game he talked about the way Petitte stares at the batter over his glove before each pitch for so long I was waiting to hear the theme from "Love Story" in the background...

Starting Ben Francisco in San Francisco sounds right to me. C'mon Cholly!

And to further prove McCarver's lack of relevant baseball knowledge (although much greater then his counterpart), he couldnt answer a question that Buck asked him the other night regarding a pitcher that McCarver caught who holds the record for post season shutouts. Even with that hint he didn't know it was Bob Gibson, the covered up his senility by telling us that Gibson recently had knee surgery and was recovering nicely.

Joe, McCarver's memory lapse was hilarious. His agreement with Buck's claim that Posey made his MLB debut on the same day that Halladay pitched his perfect game in Florida AND also on the same day that Burrell returned to Philly and hit a homer, was downright embarrassing.

So, I thought it was a virtual lock and I dropped $300 on Kentucky Joe Blanton to absolutely DOMINATE tonight in San Francisco.

Only problem is that I thought I was betting on a chicken wing eating contest.

Consistent with the "don't panic" theme, if the Phils win tonight, which I think they will, the series is knotted at 2-2. If someone had told you before the series that the Phils would win the first two in Philly but drop the first two in SF, would you have been totally surprised? Would you have thought that they're dead in the water? I doubt it. Since the actual situation, should they win tonight, is exactly the same it would have been in that alternative scenario, I don't see a reason to view their prospects for taking the series any differently. If someone told me that the Phils would reduce the series to a best of three with home field advantage and a rested H2O raring to go in those games, I'd feel pretty good about things.

The really annoying thing for me is that H2O are good enough that even if they lose tonight, it's still not implausible that they can pull it out. That makes it impossible for me to write them off and resign myself to a series loss if they go down 3-1, which means there's a potential for further suffering on my part that could have been avoided if they had crappier starting pitching.

Hugh: I heard that too, and he was never corrected which made it even more incredible. Even Whitey and Harry were sharper in their older years and Vin Scully is downright intellectual compared to McCarver.

phan bro, was it the reverse-jinx or the double-reverse jinx that I should shut up about?

"Panic? No. Excitement? Hell yes! After they win tonight, the momentum shifts back to the Phillies in a big way."

Exactly. Win tonight and not only are we tied up, but we're guaranteed a trip back to CBP. Whole different story altogether.

You mean Burrell didn't REALLY hit a HR in his return to CBP the same night that Halladay pitched a perfect game? Bummer, I was thinking it was a pretty monumental day all around.

Not that it matters, but Posey got called up the day Doc threw perfection or the day Burrell hit a HR at CBP? Which is it, anyway?

McCarver thought that Burrell hit his home run at the Bank on the same day that Doc pitched the perfect game in Florida while Posey was making his major league debut and also on the same night that Moyer pitched a 2 hitter against the Cardinals on the same day that Dominic Brown made his major league debut, right after we scored 7 runs off of Broxton in a comeback win at the Bank. Now I know what he meant.

It's safe to say that McCarver may have taken one foul ball too many off the noggin. Either that or one to many high-balls once he retired.

JC, don't forget, but on the very same night, Cody Ross was picked up off of waivers from the Marlins, who were the team that Hallady beat in the perfect game.

Therefore, not only was it the greatest night in sports history, but it also devalues Doc's perfect game, as, sadly, Ross, the greatest power threat in the game today, was not in that Marlins lineup.

McCarver makes me long for Wheels on the TV broadcast.

Pitching Blanton tonight means we probably see Kendrick.

Boy, if Blanton and Kendrick both pitch today, the Phils will definitely pile on the runs, right? Kendrick's run support is at 5.5 for the season and Blanton's is at 6.1 for the season. I wish Cholly had thought of this sooner, in order to kick-start the offense.

"Pitching Blanton tonight means we probably see Kendrick"

Oh, goodie.

(throwing up in my mouth a little bit)

If Blanton can't hold his own against this lineup, he can't hold it against any lineup. Chances are, though, that he gives up a few in the first since that's common for him, not to mention he'll probably be rusty after the long layoff.

I really think he'll keep them in the game, though. At this point, the series is on the bats.

Ironically, if Blanton follows his usual script, it would make more sense to start KK and have KY Joe come in for the 2nd-6th.

There's no way Kendrick is used unless Blanton gets knocked out early. We'll probably see Durbin for an inning or two, though.

I put it at even money on seeing Contreras, too.

Madson/Lidge usage will be dictated almost solely by whether or not some semblance of offense made the trip out to the West Coast.

WHY IS BLANTON PITCHING?

seriously. it is panic time...you know why? because if we don't win today, its past panic time.

I agree that in most cases, taking the first pitch is good strategy. Sophist had some good stats on that earlier this year. But I do remember that the Phils used that plan against Burnett last year ( a good idea, but you have to realize when it isn't working and adapt) and it cost them. As I recall, he maintained the edge on the Phils by simply putting a mezza mezza fastball over for the first strike in virtually every Phils AB, putting every hitter in a huge hole.

I had not noticed this problem as much against the Giants thus far. Agree that the Giants found some holes last night while seemingly every Phils grounder went to Sanchez as if magentized to his glove. But they made miscues/errors in the field and failed to hit the ball hard with RISP, so to an extent, you need to make your own breaks.

Cody Ross' run scoring hit was a hard line drive, at just the right time. I don't remember many of those off Phillies bats yesterday, timely or untimely.

BTW, anyone know where sophist and bay_area_phan are? I miss their comments.

Salisbury just said via twitter that Benny Fresh is batting 7th tonight.

This series has been pretty odd. The pitchers I thought would win have both lost. The one I thought would lose has won. So, in that spirit, bet the house on Pancakes Blanton.

I agree with everyone that through a 162 game season Halladay is the best starter in baseball. But we had Lee and the knock on him was that he couldn't go on short rest. Why is Halladay not going on short rest now with the team flailing? This would be the time to do it, certainly.

I started watching the games with the tv on mute and no radio feed after McCarver explained what a Nehru jacket is. I didn't use a radio feed, either. It's much more pleasant.

I really enjoy seeing a game in person MUCH more than on tv because no stupid announcers. I'd rather hear the remarks of people sitting around me. They're usually wittier and more accurate.

Salisbury (via Twitter): "Ben Francisco in Phils' lineup batting 7th for Game 4."

Apparently Charlie hasn't given up on this series after all.

Oh no, BenFran is starting? We'll have to find another reason to berate Cholly tonight.

Not arguing that the offense hasn't been anemic, but I'm not sure I'd agree that they haven't been hitting the ball hard. At least off of Timmy L in the first few innings, all outs were fly outs. It's not like they're completely baffled. Hopefully it's just minor adjustments.

That said, the one thing that has me leaning toward "panic" (although not yet there - we'll see about the 2nd inning or so), is that this offense doesn't exactly pull it together quickly in periods of poor performance. That "swoon" we saw this summer was magnified when this team started pressing.

"Oh no, BenFran is starting? We'll have to find another reason to berate Cholly tonight."

Give Heather a few minutes.

Even if Francisco goes 0-5 tonight and hits into 4 double plays and makes 6 errors in the field, this was the right DECISION right now. The outcome might or might not end up how you want it. But Francisco hits lefties much better than Ibanez, and Raul is slumping.

It's the right decision to give the team the best chance of winning.

Iceman: The criticism of Charlie would be worse if he had started Ibanez. The impression I get is that most people on here agree it's the right move.

I agree. I'll go on record as saying it's the right move.

That said, I also reserve the right to bitch about it when Francisco goes 0-5 with 4 GIDP's and 6 E's.

Jack, after his 3rd double play and 4th error, I'd hope that Manuel would consider reinserting Ibanez.

Little things like a 6th error can really change a series, you know?

Iceman: I'm not worried. He's certain to provide several.

Given that Charlie has done something as smart as replace Ibanez in the lineup with Francisco, he'll have to do something equally as stupid to counteract that move, so that he can retain his country bumpkin charm. What would he do that stupid?

...

Oh, there it is. Salisbury just tweeted that Baez has been activated and is starting game 4.

Blanton starting is the right move too regardless of the outcome.

Ibanez turned it on after Francisco began platooning with after the all star break. May lightnight strike again.

Jack -- I agree 100%. BenFran deserves the start against Bumgarner. Raul looks lost at the plate and he is no rose in the field either. Ben at least has splits that reflect some aptitude hitting against lefties and is at his peer (if not better) with the glove. Let's hope UC's hunch pays off big tonight

Since we're going on record before we get to see how the game unfolds and then play Monday Morning Quarterback, I'm with starting Francisco and Blanton in game 4.

I've been listening to the radio broadcast with the tv on mute - funny, the radio is a pitch ahead of tv so I know what is coming before I have to witness it. Of course, the Phils offense is easy to predict these days - weak groundouts and strikeouts with the random bases empty single or hit batter mixed in.

The reason there is panic is what we've all seen (or not seen from this offense all year. We all remember the funk as they fell back in the division and then found there groove for a bit, it just seems like they are in that funk again. I'm not sure scratching out a few runs will be enough with Joe and the bullpen working today - would rather have Doc on there with something to prove after a disappointing game 1 start.

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