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Friday, April 29, 2011


I feel bad for the groundskeepers who will have to clean that big steaming pile of excrement off the mound.


if halliday is the ace of the staff - what is herndon in the deck?

Just posted on the Sardinha thread -- While I like Sardinha -- the choice to bring him up over Kratz makes absolutely no sense for the following reasons: (1) Kratz does (I believe) have options left, contrary to some posts on the prior Sardinha thread; (2) Kratz demonstrated great defense during Spring Training, and he threw out just about every baserunner who attempted to steal on his watch in ST; and (3) Kratz's team-leading offense is far superior to Sardinha's. Early season stats yes -- but not a miniscule sample size in Kratz's 29 at bats: .345 BA, .724 slug.%, .486 OBP, and 1.211 OPS. In contrast, Sardinha's offensive numbers were the very worst on the iron Pigs -- as he basically split time with Kratz with the Pigs: .105 BA, .132 slug.%, and .359 OPS. Sardinha had zero RBI's in 38 at bats in 12 games this season with the Pigs. So why this strange choice?[If anyone can explain to me how Kratz has no options left -- they get a prize].

Phlipper, I hope you're not seriously contending that the SP pitching is not by far the most important aspect of this team. Also, so far early in this season, the Phillies have had 11 games where they've given up 2 runs or less. They are 11-0 in those games. That's 65% of their wins. They also have 2 wins where they've give up only 3 runs. That's 76% of their wins where pitching was the most important part of their team. They've really only won one game this year where the pitching was terrible, and that was the game where Blanton blew the 7-0 lead.

I'm not claiming in this diatribe that the Phillies offense is terrible, but there's no way the Phillies go 9-5 over a 14 game stretch of scoring 3 runs or less in every game, unless their starting pitching is absolutely lights out.

So again, I stand by my claim that the Phillies SP is absolutely, unequivocally, the backbone of this team.

Real simple reason Sardinha is up. This pitching staff has experience throwing to him. They're likely more comfortable with him and he's not likely to see much action... so on the off chance the backup catcher is needed while Chooch is out, it makes more sense to have the catcher this staff is more comfortable with.

Congrats Vance. Go away Herndon. I am so proud of Vance. The guy is as smart as I thought.

Congrats Vance. Go away Herndon. I am so proud of Vance. The guy is as smart as I thought.

CJ- wrong. Both Dane and Vance were called up for Asian Pacific Appreciation Night.

Fatty - of course I agree that the SP is the backbone of this team. But, again, someone posted the other day that the Braves SP has been superior so far this season, and I wouldn't be surprised to read that so has the SP of other teams with worse record than the Phils.

All teams win the majority of games where they allow 2 or 3 runs and win few of their games where their SP has been terrible.

So, yes, the SP is the backbone of the team, but the teams' weaknesses are are just like those of any team, and the best players on all teams have deficiencies.

Nothing earth-shattering about that - but you'd get a different picture if your view of the team were based only on BL comments.

Herndon is "Rules for Draw and Stud Poker".

b_a_p comment from last thread re the pitcher who threw a 50-mph curve ball: that was RJ Swindle, back in 2008. And I have a comment by NEPP on giving him props for making it to the Bigs "when so many other borderline guys never even sniff the coffee."

And what about Schneider and his terrible numbers -- the guy's BA sinking to .077 after his ofer-3 tonight, and his .123 OBP. Yes, Schneider has played only sparingly so far -- 7 games with 23 at bats -- but those are entire Spring Training at-bat stats for some backup players. Schneider's only two hits are home runs, as he swings from the heels but doesn't otherwise get on base much at all -- as he has only one walk this year. Sure, Schneider has guaranteed money in this second and final year of his contract, but watching him this year offensively and defensively -- I think he's done.

With the fact that Ibanez is 0 for his last 30, and a tough lefty coming up tomorrow, there's no way Mayberry doesn't start tomorrow.

If Ibanez is in the lineup, Amaro might have to fire Charlie on the spot.

I don't know if anyone said this yet.


Herndon is gone when Contreras or Romero come back. If Matthieson was pitching better, Herndon might be gone sooner but Stutes will stick. Worley impresses me, it felt like he got squeezed early in the game but he came battling

Worley showed us that he belongs in the Bigs.

Meanwhile, JA Happ is 1-4 for Houston, with an ERA of 6.35, a WHIP of 1.52, and a K/BB ratio of 1.42.

Dunno about you, but I think we owe R00b an attaboy for the Phils' pitching staff.

Happ's inability to limit walks was eventually going to come back to burn him. Still might an early season slump, and he might turn it around, but you can't keep walking guys at a rate of 4-5/9.

Syfy channel right now: baking the poodle (for real)

Happ's inability to limit walks is killing him now...Worley walked a bunch of guys tonight (4 in 6 IP IIRC).

If you are Ubaldo Jimenez you can get away with walking a bunch of guys but if you aren't, it eventually catches up with you.

"Rules for Draw and Stud Poker." Very nice!

Let's not oversell Worley. He pitched very good tonight... but not great. Obviously the results were great, but I'd like to see sharper stuff from him and better control.

He threw 102 pitches in his 6 innings, but only 56 strikes. And does anyone know how many swings and misses he had tonight? Just 2. KK had 3 swinging strikes in his last outing in just 2 innings.

I think Worley has some better stuff than he showed tonight.

Somebody mentioned Thole's Passed Balls number for April being really high at 7. Yes, that is ridiculously high for a single month. To put it in perspective, Ruiz has 16 Passed Balls for his entire career. Granted, Chooch is the best catcher in the game at preventing wild pitches and passed balls but its still pathetic. Thole is a really weak defensive catcher.

What the odds we see Ammount this year?

what are, sorry

Aumont might see a cup of coffee in Sept but even that's a long-shot I think. Unless he is ridiculously dominant in AA that is...and I mean ridiculous.

I like Stutes. I understand he's not gonna keep putting up 0's every outing, but I like his stuff and it sure as hell looks like he is more ready for the majors than Herndon, who now has more than a year of experience.

Amaro's explanation for the decision to go with Sardinha for the call-up -- as Amaro was quoted in Bob Brookover's 6:38 p.m. post onb was as follows: " . . .So we got Sardinha back. He did a good job for us last year. He's familiar with the staff." OK -- but when your now-starting guy Schneider is hitting .077, would it not make more sense to bing up the guy who is far better defensively and offensively than Sardinha. Guess not for Amaro.

NEPP, Ubaldo is a vastly overrated pitcher. He's good, but he's not elite. His two best season, 2009 and 2010, his SO/9 rates were 8.2 and 8.9.

Happ doesn's strike guys out at that same clip. You can get away with a high walk rate if you can post a high strikeout rate.

Seriously though, you just can't say a negative thing on this board about J.A. Happ. It's almost comical. Make one negative comment about the guy, and you will definitely get attacked. NEPP, would you argue that his walk rate is a GOOD THING?

Though Aumont is off to a good start with a 13.97 SO/9 ratio in the early going. He does have 4 walks which is a bit of concern as he's only pitched 9.2 innings so far.

Still, he's found his stuff again.

Keep the staff happy would be my #1.

Also, Happ's SO/BB ratio for his career is 1.80 and his career WHIP is 1.32. Just not great numbers. I like Happ when he was here, but it's definitely much better having Roy Oswalt here.

Definitely not saying its a good thing, Fat. Its just that Jimenez has good enough pitches to get away with walking a small village every game. He rarely gives up any hits so it barely balances out for him. However, the list of guys with his raw talent is quite small.

I agree he's completely overrated and his BB/9 rate is the major reason I think that.

I would bet that JA Happ doesnt have any family in Mississippi...

NEPP, it seemed like your post was being antagonistic, but after reading it again, I may have misread it.

I apologize if I did.

7 passed balls is ridiculous but I wonder how many of them were while catching Dickey. My guess, without looking it up, is that at least 4 or 5 of them were on knuckleballs.

Didn't Jimenez walk 6 guys in his no-hitter?

Didn't Edwin Jacskon walk EIGHT guys in his no-no?

RJ Swindle. Yeah, that's the guy. He was worse than Herndon.

"Let's not oversell Worley. He pitched very good tonight... but not great."

I actually thought it was a great performance by Worley for two reasons. First, he pitched around 2 errors in the first. Second, the ump was very inconsistent with the strike zone.

Worley only seemed a bit shaky in the 6th, other than that he had spot on command. Is he Roy Halladay? No. But he was very good tonight.

Worley is still pretty young - 23. He seems to have gotten a little better and more seasoned each time he came up.

5 of the 7 Thole passed balls were thrown by R.A. Dickey.

With Worley, the last 3 of his walks were all him. The first walk was a strikeout twice that was never called.

Its all good, Fat.

I agree on Worley being young. He's got the potential to be a solid #4 pitcher.

Thole & RA Dickey is reminiscent of Josh Bard's 2006 adventure with Tim Walkfield. He had 10 PB in 56 starts before the BoSox made a panic trade to reacquire Doug Mirabelli

Bard had issues with Tim Wakefield too.

Few thoughts from the game:

It was clear that Pelfrey had nothing right from the start. Yeah I am sure his illness and weight-loss affected him but CBP has been a house of horrors for him. Maybe I don't see enough of him but Pelfrey never has impressed. Overrated pitcher who gets attention only because he plays in NY.

All I could think about was why Collins left a gassed Gee in to face Howard. Indefensible decision. In year's past, Feliciano comes in at that spot and just handcuffs Howard. Don't miss seeing him out there.

Appreciate a guy like Pete Orr. He isn't talented but he plays hard every play and does the technical things like backing up throws correctly. A lot of players don't do that today.

Mets' bullpen is a mess even though Gee had some good stuff tonight but clearly tired in the 6th.

Worley was pretty good tonight but he had real problems finding the strike zone on a might when the ump had a pretty liberal strike zone.

If this game doesn't sink Herndon for a Grilli callup I don't know what will. Cholly had a look on his face of 'you are going to take a real beating here because I am not warming up Madson.'

dt73: We have to wait for Mennonite Appreciation Nite to see Kratz.

NEPP - I was at the game where dougie returned to fenway with a MA state trooper escort from Logan just in time for the start of the game. It was one of the loudest cheers I heard at Fenway. It was really surreal.

MG: "Appreciate a guy like Pete Orr. He isn't talented but he plays hard every play and does the technical things like backing up throws correctly. A lot of players don't do that today."

Really? Another scrappy white guy who does all the right things?

davthom: You're wacky. Hardly know if you're serious or just some fake Onion-like Beerleaguer poster.

Anyway, the suggestion that Schneider should be dumped for some AAAA catcher after 23 at bats is laughable.

Schneider is our backup catcher and will be unless he's hurt. He's a veteran who knows how to call a game and has some pop in his bat. Plus he's left-handed, balancing out our starter.

I mean.. you're not serious are you?

David Herndon should never have been kept last year. He should never have made the roster this year out of camp over Stutes and he shouldn't be on the roster now with Grilli tearing it up in Lehigh. At least Grilli has legitimate MLB experience.

Herndon is easily the worst reliever in baseball right now. He's up to a 1.969 WHIP with a grotesque K/BB of 3/7. Even if you think he's got potential (as the Phillies seemingly do), he has no business being on an MLB roster.

CJ - something like that. Not going to wax poetic about. He was playing hard even in a 10-0 game. I appreciate that even if it really doesn't matter.

MG, I remember talking about that day at work as I lived just outside of Boston at the time it happened and it was simply insane how excited the fanbase was for the return of a journeyman catcher like Mirabelli. I watched it live on NESN that night as they literally followed the state trooper motorcade with their helicopter. Just surreal as you said.

The crowd really filtered out afte the Howard slam in the 6th. By the 7th inning stretch, it was largely deserted. Good crowd early alot of people who leave really early if the Phils are down/up big in the 7th.

Wow. I really dislike David Herndon. That gobshiite is so awful he could give up a Grand Slam w/ no one on base.

NEPP - actually talked to mirabelli one night at length at the bar at mistral in the south end as I was waiting for my friend who was a chef to get off. It was about a month after his return. He was really down to earth and said it was probably the highlight of his career getting a standing o from the crowd at fenway.

MG, sounds a lot like those wacky Dodger fans.

Don't look now but Polly is at .390. Didn't realize it was that high. Howard has had a nice month overall after a bit of a lull but Polly has really had a great month at the plate.

Phan - yeah. Different type of fan at the games. I was surprised so many people left early on a Friday night vs a divisional rival. To each their own.

Just imagine if we had signed Berkman to play LF instead of the Cards giving him $8 million to rove RF for them.

What a hell of a comeback season for him so far. On an unrelated note, guess who is Berkman's #1 comp through Age 34?

Former Phillie Dick Allen.

Braves fall back to 6 out in the loss column and once again under .500 as Kimbrell blows the save and the Cards win in extra innings.

Giants also fall a game under .500 after being shut out by Jason Marquis. That's right... Jason Marquis. They've scored just 95 runs, better than just the Pirates and Padres. They've scored 2 or fewer runs 9 times in 25 games.

And the Phils have a chance to wrap up April with 18 wins. For comparison:
2010: 12, 2009: 11, 2008: 15, 2007: 11, 1993: 17, 1983: 11, 1980: 6 (only 15 April games that year)

If you had told me in March that the Phils would have the same record as the Indians after 25 games, I'd be pi88ed.

Also, when was the last time that the team with the best record was shut out by the Pirates? At Coors Field, no less.

Ryan Howard has an OPS of .947 this year. He's never had an OPS through April higher than .892.

Here's his line this year so far:
302/364/583, 7 2B, 6 HR, 27 RBI
And his April best in his career in those categories:
306/388/525, 6 2B, 5 HR, 17 RBI

What makes it more impressive is that he's pretty much doing it alone (apart from Polly).

Howard leads the Majors in RBI right now...not bad for a guy that is washed up on the decline phase of his career. He also has a .947 OPS so far in April...which is easily his best April ever.

How freakishly strong is Ryan Howard?

In his first home run, the second deck shot, he doesn't even stride. He just lifts his foot up and puts it back down. That is all upper body strength and bat speed, sending the ball 427 feet through the air.

That's scary strong.

CJ...thanks for stealing my thunder you big jerk. I just spent 10 min calculating all that out.

Seriously though...what a month by our overpaid slugger.

Howard is the strongest hitter in the Majors, Fat.

His 2nd HR was more impressive. He got jammed, couldn't extend his arms and still muscled it out.

I agree, CJ. I was shocked it went out from the swing but then I remembered its Howard and he could hit HRs with one arm.

The Phillies offense stinks. This is all about bad pitching, not good hitting.

See, Old Phan has the proper perspective. The Phillies went 3-15 tonight w/ RISP. That blows. Thank goodness for Ryan Howard. I knew he was gonna hit that Slam the minute Collins chose not to go to the bullpen for a LHP. Yeah, Big Man will have his share of hideous ABs, but watching him crush the ball never gets old.

Other than that, the only guy putting up numbers is Polanco. And I don't even know what to say about Reverse DiMaggio at this point. If he's in the starting lineup tomorrow I'll be apoplectic.

By-the-by, how freakin' annoying are the Marlins? The Phillies have tied the franchise record for April Wins, & their lead in the NL East is only 0.5 Games? Florida should feel free to begin a lengthy losing streak any day now.

GTown, our 6-7-8 hitters are a combined 3 for their last 82, I believe.

You read that right.

BenFran is quietly posting a .797 OPS so far with 18 RBI on the season. That puts him on pace for a 117 RBI season.

Fatalotti: Wow. That's so bad it borders on being inconceivable.

That is a scary number.

Rollins has raised his OPS 106 points in the last 7 games. He was sitting on a .624 OPS back on 22 Apr and he's now sitting on a much more respectable .730 OPS with a very impressive .366 OBP.

A couple of intersting notes from around the league:

Jeter has a .616 OPS on the season and a 73 OPS+. Yankees must be glad they locked him up for 4 yeas.

Also, whatever Jose Bautista did to make himself better, he should sell that secret to other players for a killing. The guy has a .729 career OPS coming into the 2010 season. He posted a .995 OPS last year, and he is posting a preposterous 1.289 OPS this year, and that's not counting tonight's stats (he had a HR tonight vs. the Yanks).

Is there any chance the Phils can pry him away from the Blue Jays this year?

I thought Worley did great tonight as a fill-in starter. He did just as good Blanton would have.

The fans of the Mutts are not pleased about tonight's game. Here's a post from one of them:

AngryMetsFan - 1 hour ago

We'll win the series...look on the bright side:
The great Vance Worley was on the mound today; next, it's just some young punks named Halladay and Lee, or whatever their names are.

UC sticking with Raul is starting to border on indefensible. He's nearly to the point of posting a negative OPS+.

Hell, his OPS itself is down to .465.

That's with a .218 SLG percentage. How pathetic is that?


How many more hits does Polly have (39) than points in Ibanez' OPS+ (31)?

Fat, Jeter's contract extension is probably the worst contract in the game right now. Jeter is looking like Biggio when he limped towards his 3,000 hit at the expense of his team's chances of winning games. Biggio posted a -1.5 WAR (per in 2007 but damn if he didn't get to 3000.

Has anyone noticed if Raul is at least trying something different with his stance or grip or where he positions himself at the plate?
(I'm sure the heaviest bat on the Phillies is still being used by him of course)

Credit to Rollins for having a patient AB & taking the Walk w/ Howard on-deck in the 6th. That was a clear HUHA opportunity, & it pleased me to no end that Jimmy didn't bite.

OBP at the top of our order
Victorino: .355
Polonaco: .445
Rollins: .366
Howard: .364

So they're getting on... and Francisco is doing an okay job knocking them in. But after that?

BA at the bottom of the order:
Ibanez hitting 6th: .138 (.000 last 8 games)
Ruiz hitting 7th: .200 (.000 last 8 games)
Valdez hitting 8th: .246 (.050 last 8 games)

Yeah NEPP, Jeter should have gotten a year deal, at best. It'll be interesting to watch him live out that 4 year deal.

Speaking of Biggio, how about that he posted a 9.6 WAR in 1997?

That's just crazy...

I can't even remember Raul getting a big hit this year. I know he has a HR (somehow) but I dont remember any important hits by him. Its amazing how a guy can just suddenly not have it anymore.

"our 6-7-8 hitters are a combined 3 for their last 82, I believe."

When something negative is going on with the Phillies, I usually have plenty to say on the subject. In this case, though, I'm at a loss for words. There is literally nothing I could say which could further sharpen the negativity that is already inherent in that stat.

It is a pretty quick and crazy decline for Raul. From 2001-2010, the guy was a 118 OPS+ hitter. That's not HoF, but that's pretty darn good. Even in a down year last year, he posted a 112 OPS+. You could do a lot worse.

This year, it seems like he lit himself on fire, and then drove off the proverbial cliff.

I think I heard Franzke or JJ mention that Raul hasn't had an XBH since 7 April.

NEPP: On April 15th, vs. the Fish, Ibanez had two key 2-out RBI singles helping stake the Phils to a 3-1 lead. They lost 4-3, but that one wasn't on Raul.

The next game, on April 17th, Ibanez had another 2-out RBI single in what turned out to be a 3-2 win.

And that's about it.

As bad as Raul was at the beginning of last year, he was nowhere near this bad. Not just in terms of stats, but in terms of process. Last April, it seemed like everything was a weak grounder to 2nd. This year, he just can't make contact. He's swinging and missing even at 90 MPH fastballs right over the heart of the plate. And what's with the sudden inability to throw the ball more than 10 feet on a line?

I know Raul is 39, but he was 38 last year and he posted a 112 OPS+. Absent injury, I can't think of too many players who went from being good to just completely losing it in a span of one year. It's almost always a gradual process. I'm almost starting to wonder if there might be some underlying health issue.

Curious case of Craig Kimbrel (or just small sample size?)

In Kimbrel's first 6 outings, he was pretty much perfect. 10 Ks in 6 IP, 4 saves, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 H

In his 7th outing, he blew the save and was left in to pitch a 2nd inning. He had 4 more K's in those 2 innings giving him 14 in 8 IP.

In his last 4 outings since that 2 inning affair, ZERO strike outs.


Raul's ISO after tonight's game: .057.

That honestly makes me laugh.

As hard as it may be to believe, there are actually 7 players with a lower wOBA this year than Ibanez.

Raul Ibanez: .229
Chone Figgins: .227
Austin Jackson: .221
Alex Rios: .216
Vernon Wells: .214
James Loney: .209
Carl Crawford (!): .199

It actually could be worse, I suppose.

Other notables re: wOBA...

Hanley Ramirez: .246
Albert Pujols: .351
Ben Francisco: .340
Jayson Werth: .337
Ichiro Suzuki: .333
Pat Burrell: .379
Hunter Pence (for whom the Phillies should trade): .379
Jayson Heyward/Victorino: .374
Howard: .371
Jeff Francoeur: .416
Matt Kemp: .466
Ryan Braun: .490
Joey Votto: .495
Matt Holliday: .517
Lance Berkman: .521
Jose Bautista: .542

***the above post's stats don't reflects today's games***

The reason most of those players are still getting at bats? Big contracts!

Referring of course to The Struggling, but I suppose that applies to the other list, as well.

So do you think once Brown comes back an after he has had a few games in something will be down about Raul?

Hey guys, just curious on what you think of my blog


Matthew, since you started filtering comments to please the plain vanilla SNy crowd: BORING.

I don't go there anymore.

"Worley only seemed a bit shaky in the 6th, other than that he had spot on command. Is he Roy Halladay? No. But he was very good tonight."

So, Dukes, you need to ask clout how to evaluate that.

In addition to having good results does he get and "LG"?

From the 4 games against the Mets so far this year......the Phillies have scored 32 runs.

If I were a Mets fan Matthew. I'd read Metsblog everyday.

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