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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

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NEPP, good point. But that just tells me that Strasburg was a little more susceptible to the affects of his poor pitching mechanics than, for example, Mark Prior. The problem is that he will come back and still put undue stress on his elbow and shoulder due to his timing issues because he doesn't get his pitching arm into the cocked position until after he's already started driving towards the plate. The elbows issues can be managed more easily than the shoulder issues, and if he ever starts having shoulder issues, especially early in his career, he'll have a short career.

To get a great feel of what pitching mechancis should look like, watch any of our aces pitch. The instant their front foot hits the dirt, watch their pitching arm. It's fully cocked and ready to go. That's why our guys don't have elbow and should issues.

As for the offense...offah, foy, bleh, feh and ick.

Yup, the offense sucks right now.

Actually it seems like it is a bit more varied with teams trying to bust some of the Phils' hitters inside with fastballs especially Howard and Ibanez.

Right now?

Gotta say that, with the possible exceptions of Posey and Huff, the Giants weren't/aren't much better. They won with great pitching - including a great bullpen- and guys who rose to the occasion. That's the type of team the Phillies have to be. The days of bludgeoning are over - at least for now.

Trying to be positive. If everything breaks right, we'll have an slightly above mediocre offense this year.

Watching Ryan Braun hit during this series has made me realize just how crappy our offense is. We dont have a single batter ni the lineup that pitchers really fear. Howard is our "big bat" and most pitchers realize that all you need to do is bust him inside and then toss breaking stuff away to get him out. At worst you walk him to face the fearsome BenFran/Ibanez duo. Every hitter in our lineup other than Polly has a massive flaw that can be exploited and even Polly can pretty much only hit singles.

Howard should challenge Barry Bonds record for walks in a season. He should but he won't. Why would anyone pitch to him. He needn't be feared at this point but look who is behind him. He's the only guy who can hurt you.

JW - Yeah. Especially cutters that break in. Seems like Howard is getting an awful lot of them early.

JRoll isn't getting that many fastballs but teams are trying to get him to chase fastballs that are outside especially ones that are up in the plate. He's been chasing them early on like he did last season.

Teams realize that JRoll will chase it & that he largely can't handle it. You threw a fastball up in the zone that missed in '06-'07 and got bet JRoll would hit it out or a gapper. Now, teams seem to challenge him with regularity. He simply isn't a good fastball hitter anymore. It has to be down in the zone and no more than ~92.

I agree with you general assessment. Stay with fastballs especially early in the count, attack them with the offspeed pitch that gets them out if you have it (Vic - changeup, Ibanez/Ruiz - slider), and you should be in pretty good shape.

This offense isn't good. What we're seeing now is what we'll get for the majority of the season. Ibanez might bounce back, but in my opinion he's finished. He's an all around burden on this team right now (offensively, defensively, and financially).

It's not all Raul's fault though. J-Roll's premier days are far behind him. Victorino's impatience to wait for good pitches is becoming his hallmark. Francisco is a 4th outfielder, not a regular.

I'm not saying the Phils won't win or make the playoffs. I think they will to both, but all the excitement of having an awesome rotation is going to be zapped by the fact this offense is likely in the middle of the pack or bottom 3rd of the league when all is said and done and the bullpen just isn't very good.

When will Dom Brown be cleared to play?

Offensively, we knew this would happen didn't we? I can't say it enough. You still have to hit to win. All of our losses have come against pitchers whom we should hammer. As I said yesterday, I don't know how it will be fixed, if at all.

RAJ should have gotten a decent bat in the off-season. He didn't and they are paying for it. And we phans also have have to suffer through it.

Stay away. I would be curious to see the first pitch ratio that Phils' hitters see but I bet is among the lowest in the NL for fastballs.

Brown is already playing in XST games in Clearwater. Its only a matter of time before he's activated.

Though I dont think he's really the answer. Still, I'd rather see him in LF than Raul.

I didnt think Raul would bounce back last year and he did...to an extent anyway. However, this year, at Age 39, I think he's done. His already bad defense has gone from terrible to obnoxiously atrocious. That's a bad sign for a guy his age. He's simply done.

This team can't hit!
Pitching is mediocre!
How can they win like this...(looks at calendar) oh yeah that's right. It's April 20th.

If these problems persist into June and July I will start to worry. Right now the Pirates are good, the Indians are good and the Royals are good. Let's put April into perspective.

Howard's mojo hasn't seemed the same since he got hit on the hand by Lannan a week ago. Since then he is just 3-20 with 3 singles. He has 2 BBs but 7 Ks. Whatever rhythm he was in seems to have been disrupted a bit.

Seems like he has been chasing more stuff out of the zone the past week like he did last year at times.

I would be curious to see if he is standing as close to the plate. I can't really tell.

DPatrone - the hate of RAJ schtick is getting old. He went out and got the best pitcher on the open market. Come on dude.

Dom Brown is the savior for this team offensively. He was so messed up at the plate in spring training and was pressing from the get go. Amaro needs to have patience, let him rehab at Lehigh with at least 150 ABs, and get some of his mojo back.

RedBurb - agreed that it's early although, I am concerned that there are holes that need to be patched, not merely players who need to step up. Disagree - The Pirates are good? A team for whom pitching is anticipated to be a huge liability is hitting to a .238/.320/.356 line is not "good."

I was talking more about their record. They are 8-9.

Rube will make a trade to shore up the OF at some point. It will probably wait until June/July though as nobody really makes trades before June. We'll survive until then and the offense will wake back up.

First 2 game losing streak of the season and now we are suffering? Look, the offensive problems aren't anything we didn't expect. We all knew we'd have to win a bunch of 3-2 games. So far that's exactly what we've done. My only real fear is a serious injury to one of the big 4. One or two of them will probably miss a bit of time, but if any should suffer an arm injury of some sort that would be a huge problem. Otherwise what we've seen is what we get. And that should be good enough to win the division IMO. One thing that has bothered me a bit is the defense. I was expecting it to degrade a bit, but it's been shakier than I thought. Last night the Brewers made two big plays early in the game that really impacted how things played out. The Phillies don't have too many players with the ability to do that any more.

Ibanez with a day off. Finally.

Red Burb~ I do not hate RAJ. Far from it. My point is that you can have 5 Cy Youngs pitching for you and if they give up 2 runs a game and you only score 1, you lose.

Let's not waste the great starting pitching we are getting most of the time. Let's not put it all on their shoulders. The starters can't go out there every day with the attitude that they have to pitch a shutout to have a channce to win. That's too much pressure.

The offense must do its part. If need be, it has to be augmented. 1 1/2 runs a game over the last 2 dosen't cut it. It's amazing people don't realize that.

Dont worry, I'm sure Raul will get to PH at some point.

Amaro probably didn't know he'd be without his #3 hitter to this point.

Honestly, this is all Chase's fault for getting injured...and Dom Brown to a lesser extent. Nobody expected that Valdez and BenFran would be everyday guys in the lineup for the first month of the season.

When I say "suffering", I'm speaking in terms of the pitchers we've lost to. That what is troubling. Guys that don't throw real hard. We are also taking too many pitches right down the middle.

Yes RAJ will make a trade for a bat at some point. No doubt. But at what price? Right now, at this moment, I'm not in favor of moving Blanton for Kendrick to be the #5.

"The offense must do its part. If need be, it has to be augmented. 1 1/2 runs a game over the last 2 dosen't cut it. It's amazing people don't realize that."

I'm pretty sure people realize that. I'm also quite sure people realize that even a terrible offense will score more than 1.5 runs/game over the course of the season. This offense is bad, but last year's offense wasn't that bad and it went thorugh ruts FAR WORSE than what we're seeing now. People need to ease up a little bit and realize that, just as we shouldn't get overly hyped about an early season 4 game winning streak, it's just as foolish to get too down about an early season 2 game losing streak.

Pitching is the most important part of baseball, and we are rich in that department. Give it time.

Guys, Amaro told us that Raul had almost as many RBIs as Werth last year, so it would be no big deal losing Werth. The offense would be just fine.

Also, if Chase Utley returns healthy, this offense will get a LOT better.

DPatrone - Hitters go through slumps. Like I said earlier, if this continues into June and July then I will be worried. However, it is April 20th and back to back losses aren't as worrisome as some may think.

Everybody knows our hitting will eventually fall somewhere between the first couple games and the last couple games. No one thought we were going to score 8 runs a game and no one should think we are going to score 2 runs a game all year. We are going to get Utley back, Lord willing. And, my guess is we trade for a corner OF bat around the trade deadline.

Also, the King of AAAA hitters got DFA'd. Anyone want to bank on a change of scenery for Brandon Wood?


Zero interest in Brandon Wood. We need a corner OF, not a crappy 3B or 2B. Hell, Valdez is a much better 2B than him right now.

RB~ No doubt. But we've lost to Wolf, Hernandez, Markum etc. Not exactly guys who the ball ahrd. That's what worries me. Can Raul get around on anyone's fastball anymore?

You have to look at it for what it is now, not what you think it will be. Yes we're missing Utley. Big loss. Hopefully he'll return and play well. But if not?

It's not that we're not hitting. It's we're not hitting pitchers we should.

Once Dom Brown is healthy and has had a couple weeks of success at Lehigh, I would move platoon Ibanez and Francisco in left and start Brown in right.

Brown has had enough of a track record of success in the minors and has the talent level that he is ready for some on the job learning. I don't expect he will put up huge numbers right away, but I do think he would be a nice addition to the lineup.

Although Charlie shows A LOT of faith in his veterans, I think it is time to start relying less on Ibanez. I think the drop-off in Ibanez' arm (which wasn't that great to begin with) is a big indicator that at age 39 he is slowing down and that his offensive struggles are age related and not just a slump that all hitters go through at some point.

NEPP- you forgot to factor in the change of scenery!!!

My concern is that they may not have the money to make a trade. Amaro has broadly hinted that if they kept Blanton, they'd be giving up the financial flexibility to make an in-season trade. One wonders how binding that statement is. Maybe the Cigar Guy will step in & make an exception, so they can go find themselves a corner outfielder near the trade deadline.

Our hitting is doing what it did late last year: not hitting. But our friend Jayson Werth isn't exactly tearing things up here in Washington: batting .200 with 2 rbi. Not like he's doing a lot better than Ben Francisco. Losing Utley took a mediocre hitting squad and made it worse. Unfortunately, there is little money to expend and little talent to obtain during this season. It will be like the games I grew up listening to as a kid in Southern California: Dodgers winning 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 behind Koufax, Drysdale, Osteen, etc.

KK has a 1.000 OPS, maybe we should stick him in left.

DPatrone, you really need to come down off the ledge...

Two things, a pitcher's velocity isn't the only determining factor in how good he is. Marcum doesn't have much velocity, but we're not the first team he's befuddled. He's been a good pitcher for a few years now. Randy Wolf, while not as good as he looked at time last night, has also had success for years; likewise with Hernandez.

Does this mean that the Phillies have been struggling as well? No. But ALL TEAMS struggle offensively at one point or another. Like ReBurb said, if nothing changes over the next month, then you worry. Otherwise, this is baseball. The ups and downs of a regular season can be frustrating at times, but you have to get used to it.

"It will be like the games I grew up listening to as a kid in Southern California: Dodgers winning 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 behind Koufax, Drysdale, Osteen, etc."

Not the worst thing in the world.

I'd take a shot at fixing Wood.

By "everything breaks right," I assume NEPP means someone backs the HGH truck up to the ballpark, otherwise I'm not sure Ponce de Leon himself would help this offense.

Will be celebrating national holiday today. Perfect time for a day game.

And this is a surprise, how?

This team (despite some stats) wasn't very good offensively most of last year.

We don't have Werth and Utley from that squad, and replaced them with Francisco and Valdez. Two massive downgrades.

And on our 5 man bench, we are carrying a Rule 5 draftee as well.

Did anyone not expect that the offense would be the weak link?

Dom Brown has to show he can hit again. And he has not shown he can hit major league pitching. To think he will be the everyday RF or LF anytime this year is being overly optimistic.

Ibanez has to come around. Rollins has to show he's not sliding down the backside of his career. Mayberry has to be given starts against LHP in RF. Utley has to come back healthy and hitting again. If those things happen, the offense will be good enough. If they don't, the offense will be the reason the team falls short.

We haven't heard much from DPat, but for some reason I expected to come on BL and see a post from him this morning.

DPat- you are like a chatty cathy doll. You're just saying the same thing over and over and over again. Now you're talking about a trade, on April 20th, at 10-6, with maybe our best hitter on his way to returning? As Fata said, get off the ledge.

I meant LF for RFD, not RF.

If anything, if Brown could come back and be a platoon guy in RF this year with Francisco, it would be a help. I don't trust Francisco to do much against RHP.

Could see 2 platoons in the corner OF spots before long. As it really should be.

If only they had gotten Michael Saunders from Seattle for Lee. Oh wait, his OPS is 637.

The problem with taking on Brandon Wood is that, much like a Rule 5 guy, you HAVE to keep him on your 25 man or else expose him to waivers again. Who would he replace on the bench? Mini-Mart? They say Wood can play SS but he hasn't in years and he's not exactly a great glove at 3B either.

Was just looking for something in a little used drawer and came across my ticket from game one of the 1980 World Series. Row 16 right behind homeplate. Just in front of the Phillies wives. Any guesses on the price?

Phillies are dead-last in all of MLB in team OPS in the past 7 days. (.501)

***Any guesses on the price?***

$11?

NEPP - I'm sure someone like Houston or Cleveland will claim Wood long before he gets to Philly on the waiver wire. I'd take Wood over Peter Orr, just see if Charlie can work his magic. If not, no big loss.

donc, I sat out in left field and my ticket was 15 bucks, so yours must have been at least 30

DPatrone has been on the ledge for 3 years now. We all know he ain't jumping, so let him stay there.

But yeah, April 20th is a little early for the trade talk. He usually waits until June to jump on Amaro and claim that he won't get anything done... even though he continually makes the biggest splash at the trade deadline.

Fat~

I agree. But let me throw a name at you. Ross Ohlendorf. He went 1-11 last year. He parlayed that 1 win into a $2 million contract. You know how many wins he has since getting that 1 win, including Spring Training? Zero. You know who he got that 1 win against? Our beloved Phightin's.

There is no excuse for losing to a pitcher like that. I know a pitcher's velocity is not an indication of how good he is. But none of the guys we've lost to are unhitable. Yet we didn't hit them. My entire point is, and I keep getting blasted just because I'm me, is that hit guys your supposed to hit. That's all.

There's gonna be enough troble with the Tim Lincecum's of the world. We should handle the pitchers of much-less caliper. I wouldn't say I'm on a ledge for having that opinion.

You guys got it surrounded. $20. $6.00 for regular season games. Hard to believe Harry.

Whenever Chase returns, he isn't going to "return healthy." At the very least he's going to return rusty, and need a month to get back into the swing of things. Thats almost a certainty. But the more troubling possibility, knowing Chase, is that he returns early, and isn't really healthy, and either re-injures himself or simply is no good for the rest of the season. I'm not sure we can really count on Chase to spark this offense this year, despite recent optimistic reports on his progress.

"Pitching rich?"

Contreras
Madson
Bastardo
Baez
Zagurski
Herndon
KK

That's as weak a middle relief core as you will find in baseball right now.

What has to happen to a starter that Cholly won't push him at least 7 IP over the next few weeks?

Bed's Beard - You're right, Saunder's OPS is .637. But, Ibanez is at .592 . . . Saunders has just as many hr's and doubles as Ibanez despite almost 1/2 as many at bats and his home ballpark. The disparity in the numbers increases if you only look a the last 7 days (.196 better) or 14 days(.153 better). Ben Francisco's numbers fall off a cliff if you don't look at that opening series. Saunders beats Ben Fran by .308 in OPS over the last 7 days and .222 over the last 14 days. And, I'm willing to bet the 24 year old Saunders is playing some better D than either of our guys too. . .As an aside. Saunder's OPS is much, much better than the combined OPS of Aumont, Gillies, and JC

DPatrone... how do you expect opposing offenses to fare against the Halladays, Lees, Hamels, and Oswalts of the world?

The roster is pretty much comprised of studs and duds.

Two guys with huge opportunities over the next few weeks:

Mayberry & Bastardo

Cholly is desperate for offense and power. With Ibanez and especially Francisco scuffling, Mayberry will likely get his share of PT. Cholly isn't expecting a .300 AVG out of him but if he hits .250-.260 with some pop and decent plate discipline he likely earns a significant bump up in PT.

Bastardo probably has more opportunity right now than anyone on this team. Cholly insisted on starting Romero as the 2nd loogy out of the pen who only pitched in low leverage situations. He should have been the 1st LHP reliever.

With options that range from 'stinky' to 'stank' in the bullpen right now for the 7th inning, Bastardo has a real shot to cement himself as a non-situational guy. Here's hoping that Cholly gives him the chance although doesn't go hog wild with him by pitching him on 3 consecutive days with alot of pitches.

Bed's Beard: Gillies has absolutely been a bust since he hasn't been able to get on the field for over a year now with leg injuries.

But Michael Saunders kind of sucks too.

Speaking of ticket prices, just got tickets 4th row behind the visitors dugout Saturday, 6/4 at PNC Park... $32 face value. Should be a nice little road trip.

JBird - Both Ramirez and Aumont are off to solid starts.

The point was he sucks as well.

"I'm not sure we can really count on Chase to spark this offense this year, despite recent optimistic reports on his progress."

Could not agree more. I know the season's almost over and the Phils are barely squeaking by and might not make the playoffs, therefore many are looking for a savior to pull them out of this black hole, but you can't assume Utley is going to magically life the offense up the minute he steps on the field. Obviously the Phils need him in the lineup, but don't assume all be well once he returns. I remember some ugly stretches of non-hitting from him last season.

Phillies.com, bereft of highlights, is auto-playing "Orr grabs a line drive at second base". Sad.

I would like to echo a few of the comments...I too am sorely disappointed in how the 2011 season has ended. I am very saddened by the waste of potential here, and how we have lost our chances to win, despite our outstanding pitching staff. Much like last year, this sad, sad offense has once again led to failure. Really, just too too bad.

DPatrone - Really man? Ross Ohlendorf? You're using Ross Ohlendorf's one win as a litmus test to show that they struggle? Holy crap dude. I think you need a new hobby.

Eight straight games of scoring 4 runs or less.

MG - I'm aware, and I hope they both succeed fantastically.

Will we get our weekly home run today from the Phillies? Or should we just expect a few singles and maybe some sac bunts?

Anyway, if the offense is still bad after Chase comes back, I fully expect Brown to be in one corner and a trade pickup in the other.

qunicy - curioius. Did you procure those tickets directly from MLB/Pirates? Or from Stubhub? Some other outlet?

Jack - 4-4 over said stretch of games. Since we know the Phillies will continue to score 4 runs or less for the balance of the season, I guess they'll finish 83-79. Oh well. We'll get 'em next year guys.

Bonehead - A family friend has season tix for his company. Just funny that face value is $32.

As important as runs per game for the offense, what are the runs allowed per game?

Quincy~ I don't care about other offenses, just ours.

RB~ You're STILL missing the point. The point is most other teams are hitting guys of the lower ilk. We are not. Is that opinion or is it fact.

I realize we are gonna lose 60+ ballgames, and we are not gonna have our hittin' shoes on sometimes, but what I've seen from the offense the last few games has been horrible. If you agree, then 'nuff said.

Hopefully they're letting Raul dig his own grave. Can't see any other reason to trot him out there game after game.

Old Phan: We are allowing 3.93 runs per game.

The pitching has been generally pretty good so far this season. The competition hasn't been great, but the pitching and defense has done exactly what it's needed to so far.

Season=Over

DPatrone - so why aren't you using Bud Norris instead of Russ Ohlendorf? I seem to remember the Phils hitting him pretty recently. Or is Bud Norris a world class starter?

Polanco may be siting @ .874 OPS, but he's clearly not tall enough to play third.

Klaus: I went to bed early after Halladay was pulled. I was woken up by MLB@BAT alerting me of Orr's catch. I chuckled that that is what they resorted to in order to get a highlight out there...

Missing Chad Durbin:

Not really. He's had a problem throwing strikes in a bunch of his appearances so far. He would be better than the likes of Herndon/Baez but he hasn't exactly gotten out to a good start either.

Allow me to defend DPatrone here. I thought it rather clear that his point was not about Russ Ohlendorf. He just used Russ Ohlendorf as one example of how the Phillies' offense continues to be completely baffled by sub-mediocre junk-ball pitchers.

Good morning.

Ish.

BAP - DPatrone said the Phils aren't hitting pitchers they should. Bud Norris is an example of a pitcher they should've hit and they did. His point is invalid.

Reality is they miss Lidge. With him on the roster, I doubt that Halladay even comes out for the 7th inning last night. It would have been Contreras instead. Would it have made a difference in the game down 3-0?

Likely not with the way they were hitting but the Phils just conceded and wisely did so after the flood gates opened. Brewers' bullpen though has been pretty shaky this season & the Phils would have 3 cracks at them again including a likely chance at Axford in the 9th.

Yo, new thread

RedBurb: The Phillies hit Bud Norris. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with their offense. Got it.

So, to sum up the last few hundred posts, the saviors of this sorry-assed team are Stutes and Dom Brown.

What could possibly go wrong?

quincy - you better not have snagged my seats!

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