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Thursday, May 26, 2011


My lineup today:

1. Valdez, SS
2. Valdez, 2B
3. Valdez, 3B
4. Valdez, 1B
5. Valdez, LF
6. Valdez, C
7. Brown, RF**
8. Valdez, CF
9. Valdez, P

**Only because he needs ABs.

I'm pretty sure Valdez shook off a fastball, then went with another fastball.


If the Phillies win their division by one game this year, we'll have Danys Baez to thank.

Valdez now has one more win on the year than Danks.

Seth, so true. The Phillies and Reds have been involved in some incredible, historical games over the last couple years.

In 2009, the Phillies tagged Johnny Cueto for 9 ER in 2/3 of an inning, scored 10 in the first, and scored 22 in the game, with Jayson Werth hitting a grand slam off Paul Janish.

Last year, 4 game series that included 2 overtime game winning hits by the Phillies, a come back from being down 6 runs in the 9th inning, Halladay matching zeros for 9 innings against Travis Wood pitching a near perfect game, and Brian effing Schneider hitting a walk off homerun in the 12th of the first game.

In the playoffs last year, Halladay pitches only the second postseason no-no against the Reds in game 1. In game 2, Roy Oswalt gets lit up, and it looks like the Red might take game 2, if not for 4 fielding errors handing the game to the Phils. Cole Hamels pitches a complete game shutout in the game 3 of the series finale.

And last night's game came in this year's series.

What a wacky matchup between these two teams over the past few years.

Heather, Valdez has one more in on the year than Ubaldo Jimenez, he of the *true* ace status.

Valdez had a ton of moevemnt on his pitches last night...he was basically throwing a 2 seamer and a running 4 seamer. The pitchfx movement was pretty impressive...something like 7-8 inches of horizontal movement on average. Hell, Madson only get like 4-5 inches of horizontal movement and Scotty "Flat pitch" Mathieson typically gets like 2-3 inches of movement.

Also, we had a running conversatoin about this once where we debated whether or not Valdez could crack 90 mph on the gun...he topped out at 89.5 mph last night...or "officially" 90 mph as they always round up for fastball velocity on stadium guns.

Well done, Exxon!

You guys are writing Starks' column for him. Expect it in the next three hours.

hittracker only had Howard's 10th inning HR at 434ft, damn disappointed. Thats only his 4th furthest this season (his one in Atlanta was 470ft, good for 3rd longest in the mlb this year).

Valdez shaking off Dane is still my favorite moment of the game.

Anyone find any quotes from Votto or Bruce on facing Valdez?

Not sure why there's such an uproar over the "brutal" collision involving Posey last was a completely clean play, and if his ankle hadn't been caught underneath his body he probably would have shaken it off after a few seconds.

IMO, it was neither brutal nor worthy of any sort of controversy over plays at the plate.

So Valdez has the same fastball velocity as Blanton.


*The Phillies have the best BB:K ratio in the Majors (135:409), but have 3 pitchers on the staff with more walks than strikeouts (JC Romero, David Herndon, and Kyle Kendrick).

*Since the beginning of 2009, JC Romero has walked more batters than he has struck out in each season, totaling 50 walks to only 47 K's in 65.1 IP. That's bad.

(from my post this morning)

Valdez has more wins this season than John Danks, Ubaldo Jiminez, Jo-Jo Reyes, and Tim Stauffer, who have all made 8 or more starts in 2011.

When the utility infielder is a better pitcher than you, perhaps its time for the team to look in another direction for a 2nd LOOGY?

Romero is pitching worse now than he did when the BoSox dumped him back in 07. There is basically zero upside with him. He simply cannot throw strikes to same his life.

16 pitches last night and only 4 strikes.

Carson, that was your post this morning? BB:K ratio?

Carson, that's impossible because I was told that not only is Ubaldo Jimenez a great pitcher, he's a top Ace who is far better than Cole Hamels (merely an okay #2 pitcher).

There's no way that Wilson Valdez could have more wins than him.

There's such an uproar because Posey is a marketable young player, and baseball likes to protect those players.

As others have noted, if that happens to Dane Sardinha, nobody gives a crap.

It's kind of an extension of the Derek Jeter rule: some players are just treated as better than everyone else.

So you're saying that Blanton can't be a successful MLB pitcher?


FWIW, I think there might be something wrong with Ubaldo Jimenez. I don't watch a lot of Rockies games, but the times I have seen him pitch he just looks off. Whether it's a mechanical issue or an injury, I dunno.

Posey blocked the plate and Cousins wanted to score...nothing dirty at all about the play.

Chris in VT - this always happens when a popular player gets hurt. If it had been a backup catcher for the Royals it wouldn't be an issue.

Yeah, the movement Exxon had on his pitches was incredible. The hitters must have felt like dopes not being able to get good swings against him.

I love the fact that Valdez wanted badly to throw a slider in the game and had to convince Dane and then he plunked Rolen with it - another way to endear himself with the fans.

And I have new respect (or some now) for Baez has he said .."When I threw the third inning, they told me you’re done, we’re going to use Valdez there," Baez said. "I said no. Give me a chance to hit again. Because I knew the top of the lineup – we’d have to face the top of the lineup the next inning, and I didn’t want Valdez to face anybody. I wanted to give the team a chance to win the ball game."

I guess I have to start setting the DVR to record an extra 3.5 hours. My tape cut out right as Dom Brown was striking out in the 11th. I missed a lot of free baseball.

"So Valdez has the same fastball velocity as Blanton."

well he was able to bring it a bit more b/c he was in a relief role. i'm guessing he'd sit at 84-86 mph as a starter.

heather - ubaldo's been better this month. his k's are up, and batters are only hitting .198 against him. still the nearly 7 BB/9 (in may) is ghastly. there's been talk of a lingering injury besides his cuticle since spring training. management thinks its mechanical and fixable. still, he's no cole hamels.


Now that Valdez, Verndon, and Baez are (temporarily) off the radars of negatively-obsessed BLers, Romero-hatred boils over once again.

Now I'm sure Valdez is throwing 100 mph when he's throwing to big target Howard to complete a DP.

Courtesy of

Wilson Valdez pitchfx data:

Thrown: 1
Avg Vel: 88.3 mph
H Movement: -7.60
V Movement: 5.94

Four Seam Fastball
Thrown: 2
Avg Vel: 87.85 mph
Max Vel: 89.5 mph
H Movement: -7.87
V Movement: 9.78

Thrown: 6
Avg Vel: 86.38 mph
Max Vel: 87.9 mph
H Movement: -9.62
V Movement: -3.47

Thrown: 1
Avg Vel: 75.4 mph
H Movement: 9.24
V Movement: -2.81

Chris, I just watched the Posey ain't beanbag and all, but not sure it's so cut and dry. Posey wasn't blocking access to the plate, and Cousins had to launch himself leftward to make contact with him. If I were a Giants fan, and Posey misses some significant time, I'd be a bit pissed. And if I'm Bochy, I think about putting one in Sanchez' ribcage next time around.

But agreed that it's stupid to go overboard on policing collisions. It wasn't particularly brutal, more of a freak play resulting from Cousins pushing the boundaries.

phlipper: Lefties have a .400 OBP vs Romero this year. Apologies if we are not showering him in praise.

This just in. Valdez brings Boras in and gets Amaro to ink him to a 4 year 38 million contract extension with FNTC.

so valdez has a ton of sink, movement.

how is this freaking possible????

It doesn't surprise me at all that Valdez hit 90. As Meyer points out, he throws so hard from second I'm surprised Howard doesn't run and hide.

on the postgame radio interview, valdez said he was 'throwing sinkers, trying to move the ball all over the plate.'

Seriously looks like Valdez missed his calling. He's throwing 90 with movement without being trained as a pitcher? Awesome.

There's a lot to dislike about J.C. Romero. The guy doesn't throw strikes. The high wire act is done - he now uses a net and that net is the rest of the bullpen routinely has to come in and clean up after him.

It's definitely time for the Phillies to go in search of a new LOOGY.

The kind of movement Valdez likely has is not something you train. It's something he can't stop. Howard had a pretty funny quote about catching his throws to first. They're all sinkers.

R-Bill thx for your long list of laugh-out-loud subtle little moments. been trying to catalog them in my mind all morning.

loved chooch's dive onto the tarp for the foul ball (and his keeping a very straight face even as the fans mobbed him there).

also the role-reversal when valdez faced fisher: when he popped up, fisher reacted like an all-star hitter who'd just missed, while valdez (as many have noted) awesomely didn't even stand around to watch the catch get made.

I inadvertently took my own advice last night. I went out shopping with my wife in Houston, Texas. Little did I know that the Phils were on ESPN2 here. We got home, I checked on the NBA score on ESPN, then turned on ESPN2 just to get the Phillies score on the crawl. To my delight, they were broadcasting the game. It was the bottom of the 9th. The Phils had the bases loaded in a tie game and Dom Brown is up to bat. I'm excited for Dom but he does nothing to earn my excitement.

In the 10th I see Bruce's barely made it out of the field of play homerun. Bummer! Then I get to see Ryan Howard's epic clutch blast to deep centerfield.

Now I'm settled in to watch a game and it drags on an on. I'm treated to all these pitchers that I have no faith in: KK, Romero, Herndon and Baez. I watch on my couch fighting off sleep through the 18th. I could stay awake no longer. There was an hour left on a DVD in the recorder, so I hit the record button and crawled into bed.

This morning I watched the rest of the game. My hopes were low as I watched Exxon Valdez on the mound get tagged for a long fly to deep center, caught by Mini Mart, and then Exxon hits Scott Rolen with a pitch. The fans were going nuts, on their feet, cheering every pitch. Luckily, he got through that inning.

I watch the Phillies half of the 19th. I saw Rollins scratch hit. Dom works a walk. Polly moves up the runner. Out of respect, Ryan Howard gets a free pass. Now my hopes are on Ibanez. To my surprise, he hits a long fly to deep center that the fielder doesn't even bother to throw to the plate. A great win, won by the dregs of the Ruben Amaro, Jr. bench. Let's hope they don't fall asleep this afternoon.

No one pointed out the craziest line of the night?

Kyle Kendrick, 0.2 IP, 2 K

That's a 27 K/9.

Herndon sent down to make room for Contreras.

Martinez ss. Brown rf. Utley. Howard. Ibanez. Mayberry cf. Valdez 3b. Sardinha. Lee.

Kendrick, Herndon, Baez and Valdez combined to shut out the Reds:

9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K

And that's against a team averaging 5 runs a game.


J-Roll, Chooch and Polly get days off.

You know what? I'm fine with that. I'm a little surprised Rauuuul isn't also getting a day off, but Gload is hurt and can't play the field.

Baez going 5 scoreless IP has to be the single biggest surprise. Lowered his ERA by nearly a run with a single outing (4.19 to 3.33).

MG: Yeah, Baez and Valdez have pretty much earned enough goodwill to avoid criticism for at least a couple of days, right?

CJ, per Kyle Kendrick's K/9, I think that it's pretty clear that he has closer's stuff. Given that, I have no problem letting Madson walk.

Do the Reds come out smoking this afternoon, or are they depleted from last night? You'd have to think the Phils are riding high after the win last night and watching Valdez out there.

I'm cool with the lineup today. I imagine the Reds' lineup will be similar in the sense that some guys will get the day off.

At least the Phils only have to travel to New York tonight/tomorrow. Sure beats having to fly to Atlanta.

Isn't it interesting that Gload still hasn't gone to the DL when they actually could use another body today.

His at bat last night was possibly his worst of the season. Yet Rube still will not DL him. I have to admit I just don't get it.

And while I loved Valdez' at bats for the most part, and really loved his pitching last night, I also remember how shaky he was in the field at second base. That ball that ticked off his glove early on for a hit should have been his first error of the game, to go along with the other one. And his slowness afoot and poor break on Martinez' bunt cost a man in scoring position later in the game.

While I get the love for him, I was definitely not getting it earlier in the game. He is a valuable player to have on the team. But let's not go overboard on the positives. They are there, but his fielding at second has been below average this season, no matter how much Clout is looking for a metric to disprove it.

We'll here comes awh with the cold water crapper.

I stayed up and watched the game and am thrilled they perservered and gutted out a win, and Wilson Valdez proved why the FO values "versatility" and why it can be important.

But despite his "blind squirrel' moment, I fully expect Danys Baez to pitch poorly again as the season progesses, so enjoy this moment while it lasts.

I fully expect mini-mart to be the object of scorn (performance-based scorn).

I fully expect KK to get his share of abuse - especially on BL, and for the haters to question his ability/value as a MLB pitcher.

I fully expect last night's second blind squirrel, Herndon, to get called up again at some point and earn the ire of the BL crew.

I fully expect Charlie's intelligence and in-game management to be questioned and second-guessed as the season progresses.

I fully expect JC Romero to remain on this team unless a "better option" is somehow available - and I expect Charlie to use him and be continually disappointed (see: Brad Lidge).

Pretty sure I'd hand the ball to Valdez before Romero.

I just gotta say for all you Valdez lovers...Pete Orr throws a 2-seamer at 97, 4-seamer at 92, 3 different types of cutters, the "gyro-pitch" (Dice-K's cousin taught him this), the Ephus pitch, 2 kinds of knuckleball, a circle-change, a heavy biting sinker and that screwball that Bugs Bunny throws (it gets three strikes).

awh, duh. who doesn't? most of us are just enjoying the aftermath of a crazy game.

Mini Mart leading off, guess since we got last night's game we're giving this one away.

Inside the numbers here:

The most valuable player last night? Baez
The most valuable hitter? Bruce
The most valuable Phillies hitter? Howard
The least valuable Phillies pitcher? Bastardo
The least valuable Phillies hitter? Polanco

A facinating game. You could quite literally write a book on everything which went on.

You know, if we would have kept Nelson Figueroa, none of this would have happened...

Though the Reds have Cairo hitting cleanup.

Reds lineup (via David Hale)

Stubbs 8, Phillips 4, Votto 3, Cairo 5, Bruce 9, Heisey 7, Hanigan 2, Janish 6, Bailey RHP

Also... if our 3rd baseman were taller in the 19th inning, he'd have caught that foul pop.

That line- hope I am wrong

But--- looks like a lot of K's for the opposing pitcher.

Can we get any run support for Cliffie with that line up?

line= lineup

The positive of this lineup -- we have some good pinch hitters waiting.

Roro says Buster Posey has torn ankle ligaments and a broken leg.

Tough break for Giants and just shows why/how hard it can be to repeat.

Posey done for the season

"Roto" says...

Sucks for Posey...that's one of those "career threatening" type injuries.

Yeah it is...I'm sure if he recovers he won't be playing catcher next season

Does our manager understand the concept that, when a bench player starts, it is permissible to put the bench player in a different spot in the batting order than the everyday player he is replacing?

NEPP, maybe not "career threatening" as much as "career diminishing".

I doubt in the long run it would affect his bat - he's young and can heal - but it might affect his ability to catch.

Could wind up in the AL as a DH.

As badly as I feel for the kid (I never like seeing anyone hurt), I think his agent's reaction calling for rule changes is way over the top.

A freak injury like this happens once every few years, not often enough to change the rules. His agent obviously is worried it could affect his payday. Possibly, but it's water over the damn at this point.

Jim Caple has a list out ranking the owners.

Montgomery sits at #8.

I definitely don't agree with the list.

On "Mike & Mike" this morning, they were talking about the Posey injury & Mike Greenberg was positing that it's a bad idea for a catcher to put his body on the line by blocking the plate just to save one run in a May game. I guess he'd love Dane Sardinha and Rob Barajas.

A catchers job is to block the!t happens sometimes.

His agent sounds like an ass basically.

Huge blow to Posey's career...though he probably should be playing 1B anyway.

awh: Exactly... it's like Kendry Morales' agent calling for rule changes on celebrating game winning HRs.

Major props to Baez. Charlie tried to pull him after his 3rd inning but he said no, gimme a chance. Love it!!

Tell it to Andy Seminick.

PalyChris: Great comment about the Valdez vs Fisher at bat.

An infielder pitching to a reliever, the reliever slams his bat at the plate and curses after popping up even though he's never put a ball in play before and the infielder struts off the mound with zero doubt of the outcome even though he's just faced his 4th batter ever.

"8. David Montgomery, Phillies: A decade ago, he would have been much further down this list. But since then, the Phillies owners have turned the team into a world champion and one of the best-run franchises in baseball. Even Philadelphia fans would be slower than normal to complain anymore."

That's the phillies summary from the ESPN article re: the owners -

Why must national media alway find an opporunity to give the phila fans a dig?

It's old - VERY old already!

here's what we know about wilson valdez as a ball player:

- atrocious hitter
- no power
- no speed
- no plate discipline
- not particularly smooth in the field
- doesn't pivot all that well on DPs
- rocket arm
- great natural movement

how was this guy never at least considered at a convert to pitcher option?

Tough break for Posey. 50% of the reason he's considered such a stud is because he is a catcher and his offensive output is such a premium.

Totally unrelated... Buster Posey... broken leg, torn knee ligaments... out for the year. Wow.

Phillyinnyc: I agree...It's mentioned in every national broadcast...every story...every talk radio show...I am so sick of hearing about how bad of fans we are. Booing does not make you a bad fan...not knowing the game or not giving a sh!t makes you a bad fan.

CJ, or Coughlan's agent calling for a ban on shaving cream pies.

By the way, I'm the guy who posts information that has already been posted. I'm a moron.

For those who never heard the tale of Seminick's injury in 1950:

"Durocher felt that Seminick was blocking the plate long before the throws were arriving. When the game went into extra innings, he told Monte Irvin that if he got on base and had a chance to score to bang into Seminick as hard as he could on his attempt to score. Irvin got that chance and slid into Seminick so hard that Seminick went into the air about four feet. Seminick lay on the ground, his ankle broken.

Barely able to walk, Seminick caught a doubleheader the next day. He played out the season by taking novocaine shots in his ankle. Andy also played in the World Series against the Yankees on his broken ankle and did not fare well at bat."

Ashburn was always weaving 'tough guy' Andy Seminick stories into his day game / blow out riffs.

i work up in brooklyn

you should hear some of the crap i hear from the nu yawkers that i work with re: phila fans...

mostly from mutt fans, but some yawkees fans too

Phillyinnyc and GRAB, it fits the narrative that the media have decided they're going to continue to write.

Never mind that the same selected samples of other team's fans (spitting Yankees', coma-inducing Dodgers', etc.) are just as bad.

They chosse to ignore those incidents by comparison and lazily perpetuate the narrative.

I mentioned earlier, I watched the Posey play on am really not convinced he was blocking the plate. Cousins had to veer left to make contact...I do think his agent is over the top - it's a part of being a catcher - but I'm really not convinced it was all that clean.

Have you guys seen it? Am I wrong?

Think you guys might get a kick out of this...the last time a Phillies position player won a game was two weeks after we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Here are the details of that game, coincidentally against the Reds.

Jayson Stark's column on the 19-inning epic is posted.

mutt fans are the absolute worst. Ruse, crude adn uncultivated.

BTW, I like the fact that Philly fans are considered tough - especially on the opposition.

I like the fact that Fisher was getting heckled last night.

I like the fact that the Braves rookie pitcher commented about hard hard it was to pitch in front of a packed Philly house.

I like the fact that opposing players worry about our fans.

I like the fact that opposing teams don't like to come to South Philly.

I like it because it gives my team a competitive advantage.

Screw the lazy writers, screw the lazy broadcasters, and screw the weak-minded players who can't take the heat in the Sout Philly kitchen.

Great win last night. Feels like a playoff win. With that said, I'm a little disappointed with our line-up today. Phils hardly give Cliff any run support as it is now, so putting out a line-up like this does not bode well. Hopefully Charlie is thinking of using the regulars off the bench early....

Dan how come Bastardo get your vote as last night's least valuable Phillies pitcher? Sure, he got tagged for a just barely made it over the fence homer, but Romero was just plain terrible. He's my choice for that award.

any Phillies fan who does not cringe every time Romero warms up, or worse yet, enters the game should have their head examined. Let's hope Rube can finds a serviceable lefty in a trade sooner rather than later.

also, you have to give it up to Baez. I've loathed him since his signing but at least for one night, he earned his keep

LF- romero was in and so quickly... - dan probably forgot about him

Has Charlie Manuel ordered Martinez to crouch down at the plate, shoulders to knees, and squeeze down his strike zone or something?

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