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Thursday, October 14, 2010

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I am reposting Fatalotti's last post because it bears repeating:

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[Oswalt] gave up all of 2 ER over his last 28 innings pitched. Now, all of the sudden, he's in a torpor because he gave 3 ER over 5 innings pitched againt the best offense in the NL?

It doesn't take much around here for people to get themselves worked into a stupor.

Along the same vein, the Phillies scored 5.57 runs per game over their final 30 games of the season. They scored 4.96 runs per game over the final 68 games of the season, in which they went 49-19!

But, they have an offensively poor 3 game series IN THE PLAYOFFS, and suddenly they're trotting out a deadball era offense, and will get shutout in 4 straight games this series.

No mind that they scored the second most runs in the NL this year, behind the Reds, and that they scored SEVENTY FIVE more runs than the team they about to square off against, and did all this with lengthy injuries to key players.
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I repeat:

The sky is not falling.

The Giants are the least formidable threat the Phillies have faced in the post season in 2008, or could have faced in 2010.

Phillies win in 5, and that's being generous to the Giants (albeit not as generous as the Beerleaguers who have built them up to be a powerhouse that didn't just squeak by a slumping Padres team).

Howard facing The Freak in game 1 is probably the best thing that could happen to our offense. Look at his numbers against Tim. You want to see him break out of an offensive funk? You'll get your wish.

The Giants are the weakest of the remaining teams in the post season. The NY media agrees, with one sportscaster yesterday already assuming we will crush the Giants and that they will beat Texas, and admitting that the Phillies will be the most formidable opponent the Yanks have faced since the Braves in 1996.

Viva Fidel!

p. Red, that pic is awesome.

I'm guilty of building up the Giants more than they are probably worth. Thanks for the post Will, I feel somewhat better.

On the other hand, the Giants won the NL West and are now in the NLCS. They can't be a pushover right?

I'm not saying that they'll be no-hit and shut out in 66% of the games, but considering that this is exactly what we did to the best offensive team in the National League, it isn't a big leap of faith to say that we'll take care of their jigsaw puzzle lineup.

I think not taking the opponent too lightly is reasonable, but the amount of hand wringing that's occurred is astounding.

Sorry if this has been said before, but I haven't been around in a few days...

What is the deal with Franzke possibly leaving for the Texas TV job?

Before the post-season began, I felt the Giants were the only NL team that could hold a candle to the Phillies, but they didn't scare me. I was convinced that the Phils wouldn't lose a game until perhaps Game 3 of the World Series.

Now, I have a really uneasy feeling about this series. Thanks a lot, guys and gals. I should really think about taking a break from reading Beerleaguer. But it is so damn amusing!

I need tickets for the celebration game in San Francisco.

...pitching twice in relief in the National League Division Series before taking the mound against the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS.

Relief pitching in TWO games of the NLDS? Seems like such an oddity after watching this year's NLDS.

I heard that a way sometimes to get tix is to become a member of the opposing team's fan club because they will allocate some seats that the fan club can dole out. Anyone ever try it?

Regarding the talk yesterday about the offense I'll just repeat this. The playoffs are a different beast from the regular season because primarily pitching gets stronger in the playoffs. That means runs are harder to come by.

You don't need to score a bunch, just enough. I know people don't think the Phillies can do that, but I think they can.

Joe C: Oh, well, if that one NY sportscaster said we'd win, well damn. I didn't know that. It's over. No point in even watching.

I know it doesnt mean much but it's nice to see non-expansion teams in the final four post season this year. Nothing against the Rockies, Marlins and Rays of the world but I'm one for seeing teams with long traditions and storied histories in the playoffs, and obviously the Phils, Giants and Yanks are such teams. And nice to see Texas finally make it as well, although their history is a bit less successful.

"and admitting that the Phillies will be the most formidable opponent the Yanks have faced since the Braves in 1996."

How about the two series losses to the 2001 Dbacks and the 2003 Marlins?

I know our rotation has not yet been revealed, but I see that the Rangers will use Cliff Lee in Game 3 - i.e., NOT push him to pitch on short rest. I agree with the decision, myself, but I have not read/seen/heard analysts' thinking. I suppose they pick the Yankees to win in 5.

yeah the nlds last year was weird. i think blanton came after hamels in game 2 when cole got bombed and then he relieved happ in game 3 in the frigid weather

c13: I assume they feel that they were the better team going into both of those years, and I agree. The DBacks and Marlins weren't the favorites in either series.

For some reason, I have been more riveted by the games this year than ever before.

This is going to be one sweet championship.

Not sure if I heard it on the radio or read it here on BL, but someone stated that if the Phillies can score just 4 runs per game they'll win the WFS. NLDS: 13 runs, 3 games, 4.33 runs/game. Right on pace.

Fatalotti --

I just hate when a team is anointed a "stone cold mortal lock". It is a possibility that Oswalt might be out of sorts due to long inactivity; he has had back issues. The other nagging issue this year is that the Phils are not built to play small ball. They have to bear down and do the little things correctly to get that style of play done; it’s not in their instincts.

I was just surmising that it's a heckava tougher climb without a sharp Oswalt and a bashing Howard. The Giants are sneaky good. They ran down the Padres and appear to have won the NL West/Division Series on merit.

oswalt hasn't had a back problem in a while.

Wonder if and how the high winds will play int Game One. If they're blowing out it could turn an anticipated classic pitcher's duel into home run derby.

cut: The Phillies play more "smallball" this year than ever before. They're a very good baserunning team and hit a lot of singles.

The only real issue with the team, as compared to past teams, is the lack of power, not the lack of "smallball". We hit a grand total of like 3 extra-base hits the Reds series, and only hit 1 HR. If the Phillies really want to cruise to another title, they need to rediscover the power that made their lineup so scary in the past.

Here's the deal phans. If both teams play the best they can possibly play, the Phils win the series. Easily.

The past 2 years we went up aginst the Dodgers, with their starting pitching, 'pen, and their lineup, and beat them.

The Dodger lineup from the past 2 years was superior that that of the Giants this year, in my opinion. And we didn't have the 2 Roys in our rotation. Watching MLB network yesterday, Billy Ripken predicted a Phils win and Millar and Byrnes predicted the Giants, citing that they are a different team now than early in the year. Tim Kurkjian (ESPN says Phils in 7).

The Giants may be different than earlier in the year and with great starting pitching, but overall they are not a better team than the Phils. With all the injuries and slumps, the Phils still had the best record in baseball. That was not an easy thing to accomplish, but it was no accident. The national media as a whole is still not giving the Phils the respect they deserve. Everyone is talking about how the Giants will be difficult for the Phils to handle, but what about vice-versa? If not for a SD collapse, the Giants wouldn't even be there. The Phils OTOH, behind by 7 on July 22, went out and took control.

But the best team doesn't always win. We gotta do what we know we can do. We gotta be up 2-0 going into SF. That's it in a nutshell.

I saw some piece a couple days ago about how the winds are expected to be 10 to 20 mph or so and blowing in from center field, so yes the winds could play a big role.

Philly.com has a bunch of lists of stats from the teams the Phils have played over the last 4 years in the playoffs.

The two teams at the top of the runs per game beat them...2009 Yanks, 2007 Rockies.

All the teams after them lost, with the exception of the team at the bottom of the list, the 2010 Giants.

I think this Phillies team is a bulldozer. They'll sweep the giAnts, then they sweep the unfortunate winner of the ALCS. I just feel it. I'll be disappointed and amazed if the Phillies lose ANY games in these series. I make have just become the anti-BAP and will be banished from BL for a month, for not adhering to the BL negativity rules!

From my half baked calculations, the Giants pitchers got to pitch in the top 9 pitchers parks* 112 times over the season, while the Phils pitchers got 24 such starts.

*ESPN park factors

"Here's the deal phans. If both teams play the best they can possibly play, the Phils win the series. Easily."

Yes. However, this was also true of the World Series last year. If the Phillies played and pitched the best they possibly could, the Phillies win that World Series.

I guess the only reason I feel some trepidation is because I have no way of knowing whether or not the Phillies will play they best they can. I certainly hope they do, however.

cut_fastball, I take issue with some of your statements.

Roy Oswalt is as durable as they come. He's posted over 200 IP in 7 of his last 9 seasons, and posted 211.2 innings pitched this year. That number would have been more, but he didn't make his last start because we already clinched, and they shortened his 2 starts before that because they wanted to keep him fresh down the stretch, as they had the division pretty much sewn up by then. If they don't dot hat, he probably posts around 225 IP this year, which would be as much as Lincecum and more than Cain. Oswalt's back is as far from being an issue right now as it can possibly be. He's in great health, and as strong as ever, given his second half numbers.

Also, you contend that the Phillies are not built to play small ball, assuming that you are insisting that they can't win close games, and sneak out runs. Well, they did post the best winning percentage in 1 run games, so they know how to play close games. They've also been to the NLCS three straight years now, so winning at all costs in the post season is something they specialize at.

Lastly, the Giants, while they had a strong second half, didn't exactly "chase down" the Padres. The Padres lost 10 games in a row at one point, and ended the season by going 14-22, and it still took the Giants until the last game of the regular season to put them down (after having lost the first two games of that series).

The Phillies, on the other hand, were 48-46 at one point, and were barely even entertaining the idea of the division. Yet, they went 49-19 and not only took over the division, but took over the best record in baseball. They didn't benefit from another team's collapse to do that, either. They went out and took it, jumping over the Braves, Reds, Padres, Giants, Cardinals, Rangers, Twins, Rays, and Yankees. And a team like the Twins actually had a GREAT second half. We were just better.

Look, I get that the Giants are good, and can beat us. But everything I'm reading on here that builds up the Giants (pitching, plays well in tight games, took over the division after having been down, great closer..); all these things can be said equally as strongly about the Phillies, or in most cases, can be said more strongly about the Phillies.

Lincecum said it well in the mlb.com story. The Giants have to come in here and beat us. They are the ones with the tall order. If the Phillies play well, they will win. If they don't play well, then many other teams besides the Giants could beat them.

but last year, we never saw the best of hamels or the best of lidge. they stunk most, if not the whole year.

I dont necessarily agree that the Phillies were expected to easily win last year's WS playing at their best. I think they would have won in 6 doing so, but it wouldnt have been easy either way. I actually think we'll have a much easier time with the Yanks this year should we play them, their pitching is suspect.

Fat: My thing has never been to say the Giants are anywhere close to as good as the Phils, though they are close to as good in one key area, starting pitching.

My only reason for trepidation is that low-scoring, close games (which this very well could be given the quality of pitching), are games that can have a wide variance based on luck. In a 1-1 game, a ball that bounces one way, or a sure-handed fielder who makes one wrong throw, and the game can be over. The better team (the Phillies) should be worried about those kids of games, because the more luck is a factor, the more chance there is for an upset.

That's really the only thing that worries me--that the Giants could get lucky, basically, and given the nature of the games that are likely to be played, this is a real possibility.

It's not hand wringing on my part. I refuse to take the Giants for granted for one simple reason:

They're pitching is nearly as good as the Phillies'. You have 2 legitimate staff aces in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, an ace in the making in Jonathan Sanchez, and a very good rookie in Bumgarner.

And hot pitching has, can, and will carry an inferior team over a superior one. If the Giants get that, this is going to be a long series.

Not surprised Bochy decided to start Matt Cain at home. His splits are very different away. He's still pretty good, but the difference is that of a #2/#3 vs. an ace pitcher. Cain is brilliant in the Giants' park.

Heather~ I have the same concern as you, of course. That's why I said "If....". And that's a big "if".

Unlike Baker who can be generally counted on to play a wrong 'hunch' when it comes to pitching that is less than optimal, Bochy made the optimal choice by putting Sanchez vs. Oswalt and moving Cain to Game 3.

I can see why people are picking the Giants in this series because they have both the starting pitching & bullpen to negate the Phils' lineup especially guys like Howard and Ibanez.

Vic and Werth are going to need to have decent series for this team to win.

Rotation: Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt games 1-3 just released

As attention as Wilson gets for his idiotic dyed beard, I actually would rather have Lidge and especially Madson over any of the Giants' setup guys although the Giants have the better overall pen.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise if the Giants' bullpen ends up being the 'goat of the series' for the Giants.

that's wrong joe. it's halladay, oswalt, hamels, blanton

Jack - Agreed about the power. This team is going to be really hard-pressed to string together multiple hits/BBS in an inning to score a few runs. I do expect the Phils though to be expressive on the basepaths this series vs. an inexperienced catcher with a mediocre arm who struggles to catch breaking stuff at times.

I like the wording "expressive on the basepaths," MG.

I think I'm going to stop reading BL until the games start up again. Too many of the non-trolls have some serious emotional problems, and it's upsetting me.

Everything -- everything! -- the Giants can do as a team, the Phils can do better. And likely will. Stop inflating your team's opponents because you fear personally 'taking them too lightly' might affect the outcome of the games.

Lincecum blister problems?

According to Zolecki's blog, Charlie said he might use Halladay in Game 4 if the Phils are down in the series. Does he let Halladay pitch a complete game 1, then? or pull him after 7 to keep his pitch count lower before a possible short rest between starts? Does it matter if he pitches 7 or 9? Does the decision depend on any other factors, such as how close the score is?

Unikruk, very well said.

GBrettFan: IMO you are trying to win the game. Roy's pitch count should be no different in game one than it is for any other start.

Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Win

So is it Oswalt or Hamels in Game 2???


FWIW, Hamels has a 6.12 ERA in AT&T park for his career.

Wait, people are going to stop reading because not enough posters are predicting Phils sweep by scores of 10-0 every game? Wow.

This is the most confident and optimistic I've ever seen Phils fans, on here or elsewhere. The idea that people would stop reading because of the negativity makes no sense.

And other than bap, I still haven't seen a single person predict a Giants win. Now predicting the Phils in 6 or 7 is too negative? Seriously?

it's oswalt in game 2

I predict a Phils win in 6. Apparently that makes me a negative nancy on here. Who knew?

"people are going to stop reading because not enough posters are predicting Phils sweep by scores of 10-0 every game"

Cloutian response. I expect better from you.

The Phillies will win it in 4 1/2 if Halladay pitches the fifth game.

Yes, it's Roy O. in Game 2.

So:
Halladay v. Lincecum @ PHI
Oswalt v. Sanchez @ PHI
Hamels v. Cain @ SF
Blanton v. Baumgartner (sp?) @ SF / or Halladay v. Lincecum again

I anticipate only stellar performances out of Halladay. He looked absolutely determined to win - As Charlie said, he's "starving." And I don't see the Giants being able to snatch a steak away from a starving lion.

I'm hoping that, as someone mentioned yesterday (Andy, if I recall), the Phils are getting their dander up at the questions about their lack of hitting in the NLDS and the difficulty of facing the Giants rotation, and as a result come out swinging like they've eaten their spinach - and are seeing the ball (I know, Lincecum's deceptive, but...) as though they've eaten their carrots, too.

What's the Phillies winning percentage since BL came into existence? I think I see a pattern.

I predicted Phils in 5, but I really, really want to see a sweep. For some reason, this year, I'm not just happy to see the Phils win... I want them to absolutely demolish teams.

well the questions are starting to annoy the players. i have seen that in the video. victorino and howard for sure

I should rephrase that, of course I'm happy when the Phils win. But this year, I'm actively rooting for the sweep, for domination, not just hoping they win the series.

From the live chat in Murphy's blog, held by Sam Donellon.

sam donnellon: pat gets booed i guarantee it. at least he should be. they gave him his bows when he came through in august. this is for real.


And FYI, Charlie's addressing media now, live on csnphilly.com and probably on phillies.com as well.

Yo, newer thread

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