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Saturday, April 23, 2011

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HAH! Love the game image

I appreciate the implication that Ol' Joe should be sold to the nearest glue factory immediately following his next odious outing.

Quite the early game graphic.

That's awesome. The game chat headers have been particularly good this year.

Cole Hamels has posted a 0.83 ERA over his last three starts and a ridiculous .497 OPS against.

The guy went from being booed off the field, to being maybe the best pitcher in baseball over his last three starts.

This is why LaRussa is a very good manager and also why everyoone hates him.
From Rotoworld:
"Reds manager Dusty Baker feels he was misled by the Cardinals Friday in regards to the window of opportunity they had to play the game before a rain delay.
Baker said he was told there was 45 minutes to an hour at the start of the game, but they ended up playing only three minutes before the delay. He was forced to scratch Edinson Volquez from his start and went with reliever Matt Maloney, whereas Cardinals manager Tony La Russa started reliever Miguel Batista and then went with starter Kyle McClellan after the rain delay. "It was a really tough start," Baker said. "There was information we received that probably wasn’t the information they received. We probably wouldn’t have started Volquez in the first place. We were told there was going to be a window. That window lasted about three minutes." Of course, Baker has no proof that the Cards didn't receive the same information, but we do agree that the situation sounds a little fishy.

Alright, I'm confused. The Phillies website has the game listed as 8:35, but my Comcast guide has the game at 5 pm on the Comcast Network.

Which is it?

clout: I mentioned the same thing after last night's game. It's not really in the interest of fairness to allow the Home Team the option of deciding whether or not a game should be started in foul (or potentially foul) weather, as is the case this early in a baseball season. St. Louis undoubtedly had an advantage in both planning & information dissemination. I'd be pissed off if I were the Reds.

Fatalotti: I was under the impression today's game will be played at 8.35PM EDT. The Phillies website is rarely inaccurate w/ game times.

GTown: I think the decision on whether to start a game has always been up to the home team, no?

clout: Per the Phillies Media Guide, "The right to postpone the playing of a game is vested in the home club with the exception of the final series between two clubs beginning on or after June 1, at which time the responsibility shifts to the Umpire-In-Chief."

It would appear MLB tacitly acknowledges the possibility of the home team possessing an unfair advantage, which begs the question "Why not make the decision whether or not to postpone a game the sole domain of the Umpire-In-Chief, period?"

One of the best pregame headers ever.

Heavy B should do fine in Sandy Eggo tonight. Question is, will the bats back him.

I love this header Jason. Kudos.

Probably better even than Joe with a beer can.

G-town:
In re: glue factory

Remember we're an Eastern PA team, with a AAA franchise in Allentown. Tired, old workhorses don't get made into glue; they get shipped over to Allentown Products (ALPO).

Andy: Excellent point. There would actually be a certain amount of poetic justice in Blanton becoming food ...

Ooops. It was "Allen" Products. But it was the same "Allen" as in "Allentown."

I must agree with Clout's perhaps harshly worded but completely accurate (it might even be egregiously accurate) post regarding pitching vs. offense. We all dig the long ball, but there is nothing like a good pitcher's duel. One of the most memorable baseball games I've ever seen was a Phils-Cards game at the Vet, Carlton vs. Gibson. The Phils won 1-0, and the game may have been about 1:30 long, and they were both dealing.

You know, I grew up in the Philadelphia area and lived there for years and I never realized that that is what Alpo stands for.

Heavy B tonight !!!!!!!

I didn't know about Alpo, either. You learn some new dog food information every day.

Old Phan: 7 July 2000 at the Vet. Schilling v. Mussina. Schill went the full 9IP, but lost to Mussina (who went 8IP) & the O's, 2-1. I think there were something like 18 Ks between the 2 pitchers. Great game ... aside from the part where the Phillies lost.

Strike Hard, Strike First, No Mercy!

Phils have gotten the first 2 parts down so far. Scored 8 times in the 1st inning and 6 times scored more than 1 run. Phils are just 5-3 in those games though. Need to remember the 'No Mercy!' part.

Sweep the leg!

Sensei?

You got a problem with that, Mister?

A pitcher's duel between Halladay and Lincecum (or something like that) is fantastic to watch.

Watching your offense struggle to score runs against the likes of Livan Hernandez and Clayton Richard? Not as much.

Victorino CF, Orr 2B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Francisco RF, Ibanez LF, Schneider C, Valdez 3B, Blanton P.

Call me crazy but I like the call to give Polanco a night off and start Orr at 2B.

Now if Cholly would only start Mayberry vs. LHP . . . .

Zolecki (Somewhat Edited, via Twitter): Tonight's Lineup @ SD: Victorino CF, Orr 2B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Francisco RF, Geriatric .197 LF w/ no Range or Arm, Schneider C, Valdez 3B, Blanton P.

Looks like it's Rest The Old Guys Day. Except for Ibañez, of course. He's fresh as a f*ckin' daisy.

Although Kentuckessee Joe was advertised as a work horse and innings eater, I don't think, even at his best, that he has been either of those things.

Ibanez needs to swing his way out of his current funk.

Ibanez probably goes 3-4 tonight with a HR. He really worked on swinging yesterday. Got a lot of swings in.

So expect the funk to be over soon.

He's a veritable swingin' fool right now.

And a short while after I was told on Beerleaguer that NO ONE was suggesting that Ibanez be sat against Stauffer, people start whining about Ibanez being in the lineup. Beerleaguer is funny.

Blanton's 4th start: 3 against the opponent's opening day starter (aka #1) and 1 against a #2. Kinda expected him to draw a 4 or 5 once in a while, not yet in this sample size.

I agree that Ibanez should get starts against guys like Stauffer...its just insane that UC tosses him out there against LHPs like Richard.

And its just low hanging fruit at this point.

Through 19 games

Average Phils' game - 2:44
Non-extra innings - 2:40 (18 games)

Last year through 19 games:

Average Phils' game - 2:56
Non-extra innings - 2:55 (18 games)

I know 15 minutes doesn't sound like a lot but that is a huge time savings. If you take out that absurd strike zone in the 3-0 that Fletcher was calling the other night that dragged the came, the Phils' regular season games are flying by at a brisk 2:37.
No 4-hour slogfests here.

I don't get why Charlie doesn't give one of regulars off when then have one of the others starters on the mound, especially doc

2007:

Through 19 games

Average Phils' game - 3:07
Non-extra innings - 3:03 (15 games)

I guess what do you like more?

Shorter, quicker games with much better pitching but limited offense & comebacks or rock'em, sock'em games where it isn't over until the Fat Chick in the Pink Phils' tshirt sings?

pb, I would look at this as UC attempting to maximize his chances of winning games with the Aces on the mound rather than Blanton. If we win tonight with Blanton and the backups, great...if not, its not big deal and everyone is rested for tomorrow with Doc going.

Doc with the starters offers a far greater chance at the win than Blanton with the starters.

Fatalotti loves Cole Hamels. I mean, I really like him as a pitcher but, I think Fatti likes him in a special way.

No Polly = Charlie's playing hte Sunday lineup on Saturday. Doesn't want to short change Halladay. Joe Bagodonitz can lump it.

I've had some Knob Creek, some Makers Mark and some Makers 46 during my travels today just to show my solidarity with Big Joe. I hope he got some rest, and a good meal. Well, I'm sure he got the latter.

pb, What are thinking? Charlie is whipping the workhorse but not the thoroughbred?

No Polly + Schneider, I mean. I have no problem with it. I might even sub Gload for Francisco, but, I'd have given him a head's up last night. San Diego can be fun.

still no one has answered the question... why would you want the worst or second worst hitter hitting 3rd when they see so many people on base???

Posted by: HammRadio | Friday, April 22, 2011 at 03:34 PM

Hammradio: Prepare to wait a lot longer for an answer to a question that clearly doesnt have one.

Posted by: lorecore | Friday, April 22, 2011 at 03:36 PM

HammRadio: Because Ibañez has to play all game, every game! And Chooch has to be in the bottom third because he's a Catcher! And Mayberry needs to PH because of the f*cking wind! Dammit, man, don't you know common sense when you see it?!

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Friday, April 22, 2011 at 03:41 PM

Hugh: Knob Creek is my Hunting Season Bourbon of Choice. Really takes the edge off of those frigid, deerless days in the woods.

Amaro just told the beat reporters he hopes Utley can return before the end of May.

He's got high apple pie in the sky hopes ...

So much for that May 15th date then.

May 15th would be before the end of May...

I'd force Utley to stay on the DL at least 15 days after he declares himself ready to go. Chase has a history of trying to play injured/coming back from injury too soon. It hasn't served him or the team well.

Considering I wasn't convinced he would play at all this season, end of May is a good thing. By July he should start hitting.

Not sure how I feel about resting our hottest hitter when we've had 11 games in a row with 4 or fewer runs scored. On second thought, I do know how I feel about it: I don't like it.

It just has a different feel, CJ. I think he'd phrase it "by mid may" if he meant the 15th. Before the end implies something like May 25th (to use an example).

I thought it was a given that he was only going to come back to DH?

Tonight's game poses a challenge for Blanton. After his solid outing against the Brewers, he is faced with a Padres lineup which is pretty dreadful. The question is which Joe will show up? Will it be the one who sports an ERA of 7.27, a WHIP of 1.62, and BA of .385 against righthanded hitters, or will it be the new and improved Joe as in his last game? While I am not setting the bar too high (I don't expect another shutout), tonight's game is an opportunity for Joe to look like he belongs in the Phils' world class rotation. Here's hoping that he pitches well, and that Cholly has a short hook around the 6th inning if Joe decides to do his implosion act.

GTown - I hunt like I golf and, I always start on the 19th hole.

"End of May" equals 'we should know if he can play before the trade deadline.'

Chase needs to play at least one game before his All-Star game appearance.

If Rube flat-out said the end of May (I haven't seen the direct quote yet), that's a good sign. He's pretty cagey about most things but on the rare occasion he gives a definitive answer about something, it's going to happen.

Nevermind. Just saw the quote. Cagey as usual.

"I'm hopeful." Yeah, I'm hopeful too. I hope I win the lottery.

Blanton had a pretty solid outing his last time out & it seems almost inconceivable that he could have 2 good games in a row in April. The combination of Petco Field & the Padres' anemic lineup will prevent him from having the type of complete implosion we're accustomed to, but I figure he'll go about 6 innings & allow about 3 runs. And, since we're facing our 12th straight future Hall of Fame starter in Tim Stauffer, 3 runs should easily be enough for a Padres win.

Blanton just needs to give the Phils a chance to win. That is 6 and 3 tonight.

Amaro wasn't setting a specific date or setting an expectation. He was apparently responding to a question about not putting Utley on the 60-day DL (which would have had him out through the end of May).

"Fatalotti loves Cole Hamels. I mean, I really like him as a pitcher but, I think Fatti likes him in a special way."

Hugh, I'm not sure the impetus for this post.

Hugh, Cole Hamels is a special pitcher on this team to me for a few reason:

-He's drafted and developed by the Phillies.
-He's our youngest starter, and if we lock him up, has the most potential to affect this team for the really long term.
-He just seems to be getting better, and really looks like he has yet to hit his peak, which is scary.
-2008 NLCS and WS champion!!

So, I guess I do like him a special way...

Old Phan - Blanton is more like a horse eating innings worker.

Fat- I'm not sure I've ever seen Hamels stuff better than it was last night. I know the Padres offense is truly awful, but he was spotting his fastball and cutter, and he had a lot of break on his curve.

Actually, he's been able to command his curve a bit more this year from what I've seen. If that pitch continues to develop, and turns into something more than just a 'show me' pitch...watch out.

Fatalotti - no specific impetus; just a totality. You seem to be his biggest fan on BL. No offense intended. Embrace your man-love.

Iceman - Hamels had all four pitches working last night. That curve is not really something special but, when he can throw it for strikes, it's a real weapon. Guys are either sitting fastball or change on Hamels. It's ridiculous to expect them to sit curve. Although, I'm pretty sure one guy guessed curve on an 0-1 count in the 8th last night - forget the hitter - trying to shoot it into right from the right side and he got used on a changeup.

Hugh, no offense taken. As much as I feel lucky to see the Phillies with Doc, Lee and Oswalt, I love that I get to see Hamels in the prime of his career.

Hamels last night:

63 4-seem fastballs (42 strikes, 3 swing/miss)
31 changeups (23 strikes, 10 swing/miss)
16 cutters (11 strikes, 1 swing/miss)
12 curves (6 strikes, 0 swing/miss)

Average fastball velocity at 91.4 MPH but that was dragged down considerably by the last 2 innings where he was at 89-90. Maxed out at 94.6 MPH in the 2nd inning.

People say his curveball has really improved since '08. I don't see it. Its marginally better but it is still a pitch he can't throw for a strike, don't generate any swing/misses, and when he hangs it gets blasted.

Its a pitch he shouldn't use more than several times a game and only on first pitch/ahead in the count. Data on Fan Graphs shows that is exactly how he is using it.

His seems like he has gotten a pretty good feel for the cutter though in a relatively short time period considering he really only started using it last year. It is the pitch he need vs. right-handed hitters to keep them from sitting on his changeup.

When he's on though his fastball like especially like he was after the 3rd inning last night, he goes into fastball/changeup mode and with an occasional cutter/curveball. I hate the outings where he starts to get 'cutteritis' and throws as many if not more cutters than changeups. You don't take away a guy's best weapon.

As much as I feel lucky to see the Phillies with Doc, Lee and Oswalt, I love that I get to see Hamels in the prime of his career.

Blanton heard "prime" & thought there was a beef carving station. His focus is gone for the night.

wouldn't be a surprise if blanton throws 7 0s here with the futility of run production he's up against.

GTown, I know you have a beef about Blanton, but he is a cut above the rest.

It is really hard to say who is the best pitcher on this staff when they are 'locked in.'

Halladay is the best pitcher by far on nights where he doesn't have his best stuff because he can throw so many pitchers & has so many pitchers he can go to including variations on his fastball. Don't think I have seen an outing yet where he didn't find at least 1 pitch that worked fairly well.

People would argue Halladay too is that best pitcher when he is 'locked in' but you could make a very valid argument for either Lee or Hamels though.

When Hamels has pinpoint control of his fastball through out an entire game (and that's pretty rare) and he is feeling his changeup like he did last night, he just mows through hitters.

Old Phan: Touché.

MG: Halladay makes more out of starts in which he really doesn't have much than any pitcher I've ever seen. In my opinion that's a big part of what makes him the best in baseball. That said, when he's "on" I really love watching Cliff Lee pitch.

Chase comes back and lifts this team with his energy on diamond

Feels like a split squad game.

Low strike is on tonight. Make note of that, because it won't be later on.

8 whole pitches. Impressive.

This feels like a loss.

Phils have a 31-inning scoreless streak against the Padres right now. Hamels shutout them out last year and they haven't scored since the 5th against Kentucky Joe.

Since I need to do Easter dinner prep work, its radio for me only tonight.

Will the Padres ever score again?
Will JRoll ever have another RBI?
Will Ibanez ever have an XBH (last one was two weeks ago on 4/9)?
Which 'kind of the midgets' will likely pitch tonight in the 7th?

So yeah...Blanton kinda sucks right now.

"These guys are due to break out."

Give me a break. They're awful and Blanton is throwing BP, again.

Well, one of your questions was answered, MG.

Kentucky Joe! My Man!

Well, that was fast.

Christ...

Blanton has thrown one Fastball ... what the Hell?

Good thing we have a rested bullpen...

Screwed up that play big time.

The Phillies would almost have been better off giving up the run but getting the DP out of that.

That rundown is probably going to end up costing us a run assuming they get another hit here.

That was worth putting 2 guys in scoring position.

You better fear and respect BenFran's arm.

Francisco's bulls-eye throw keeps the runner on 3rd.

Good thing Hudson the Gimp chose not to run there because Francisco's throw was basically along the dugout railing.

BenFran certainly doesn't have Werth's arm!

If you didn't know their respective records they'd look like two of the worst teams in baseball.

Scouting fail. You run on the Phils' corner OFs when you have the chance.

Kentucky Joe gets through it!

I'll take it. That could have been a million times worse.

The Padres putting on a clinic in Letting the Pitcher Off the Hook 101.

A testament to how bad the Padres offense is. Still, big strikeout there.

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