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Saturday, May 21, 2011


Thanks for the tip DS: Happy birthday JW!! Enjoy it! Thanks for all you do here!

Happy Birthday Mr. JW.

I wish Lil Woodchuck a masterful performance tomorrow. He's been killing my fantasy team.

Jason is a lead singer? I wonder if they do "Panama"? I hate the Sammy Hagar van Halen.

Seriously, 11 over again. Is it the pitching? Is all that's needed this year is a good OBP guy (ummmm....); a slugger (Howard), and a ridiculous pitching staff?

BTW, I just bet Boras opens the Mad Dog bidding at $20mm per. How could we expect anything less, as Rivera looks like he’s on the downside (3 blown saves to this point in ‘11) and he’s hauling down $15mm?

Madson is having the best stretch by any Phils' reliever I can remember. Better than Gordon than Gordon at the start of '06. Better than even Lidge at the start of '08.

He's simply been unhittable this month.

Three years/35 mil with an option year for fifteen and a buyout of two.

You're welcome.

But I suggest they wait until he's put in a full or at least nearly full season as closer first.

Happy Birthday JW.

Great win tonight. Lee did what he does and Madson is set on earning himself a nice paycheck at the end of the season. I'd like to think he could be locked up midseason but I believe he has to test the FA waters at this point.

- Lee seems like a guy who really responds to be showed up a bit. He was dominant vs. Nats after the shoddy Braves' outing earlier this year. Ditto tonight after his career high 6 BBs last start. He was simply locked in from the get go.

I thought he had his best cutter of the year tonight. Busted right-handed hitters all night and had a left-handed Moreland flailing away a few times.

- Brown had a rough night at the plate but he shouldn't have faced Rhodes in the 8th. Rhodes eats up the best left-handed hitters. Cholly fail there.

- Good to see Polanco, JRoll, and Howard each have multi-hit nights. If these guys start to hit again, this lineup will be at least semi-functional. This collective ineptitude this month is a big reason why the offense has been so mediocre this month.

- Ruiz looks like he has entered one of his patented May/June slumps where he is worthless offensively. Can't imagine that playing hurt is helping him at all.

- Lewis was good tonight too. Had a nice slider and was locating his 4-seem fastball well.

- This series is really the first time all year the Phils have really caught a couple of breaks vs. opponent. No DH for the Rangers. They miss both Hamilton and Cruz. Ditto Ogando.

CBP is no pitcher's paradise but this Rangers' lineup isn't nearly as potent outside of Arlington. I don't think the Phils are going to hold the Rangers to 2 runs over the first 2 games even with Halladay/Lee at Arlington.

Rangers on the road: 3.71 R/G
at home: 5.21 R/G

That was the 2nd time the Rangers have been shutout on the road. Haven't been shutout at Arlington.

I'd say UC probably left Dom in there for defensive reasons

Freddy Galvis only a single and a double away from the cycle.

Wasn't able to see the game due to stupid Fox regional rules. (Got to see the Yanks/Mets in the deep South...riddle me that, Batman.)

But just looking at the box score, it seems our offense is still a little moribund but our pitchers are pitching their hearts out. Still, glad to see Lee showed up today and our offense do something against Colby Lewis, who is a pretty good pitcher in his own right.

A win is a good thing and a sweep tomorrow would be better.

They get the win tomorrow, they're 8-8 during the rough part of the schedule, and have a 4 game set against a Cincinnati team that they've played well over the last couple of years, at home. Would be set up well to end this 20 game stretch with a .500 or better record. Not bad, especially with an offense that has been virtually non-existant.

Good point, fat.

Still, updating my post from earlier, phils have now scored more than 3 runs just three times in their last 15 contests.

Happy Birthday, JW!

I missed the first 2/3 of it, but good game! Great to see Lee pitching like the Lee we anticipated when he signed! Great to hear that Howard broke out of his funk!
May it last....

Can't wait for Utley to return. Just for the morality boost alone.

So Jose Bautista now has 18 home runs. Are you kdding me?

Let's hope something weird comes up and he can't play in the July series vs. the Phillies.

Also, the Braves are getting humbled by the Angels this weekend, but the Marlins just refuse to "regress".

FL is really starting to tick me off. But, historically, they do well until about August and then start to fade.

So Madson should get the same overpaid contract that Lidge currently has? I'm not doubting he will get it and that the Phillies will pay it. Phillies really have no other options and Madson has been tremendous for years but is huge money to him a smart idea?

Hope JW has a toolsy birthday!

Happy Birthday, JW! On an occasion this special you ought to treat yourself to something special. Might I suggest

This feels like a birthday.

How much better would this offense have been getting Bautista for Gose. Not that it could have happened and not sure where he would have played last season but with him at 3rd or RF now it would certainly help Howard. Pretty amazing light switch change for him. (Ibanez has a similar breakout years ago.)

Brown had a rough night at the plate but he shouldn't have faced Rhodes in the 8th. Rhodes eats up the best left-handed hitters. Cholly fail there.

posted by: MG | Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 10:52 PM

You can't be serious?

i'm not a big fan of the stat, but:

Jose Bautista WAR - 4.3
Phillies entire offense - 4.1

freaking unreal.

fwiw, roy halladay - 3.3

I missed last night's game. I see Brown went 0 for 4, but that's irrelevant to how his swing looked.

Can anyone fill me in? Was he able to get around on fastballs in on his hands? What did he do with breaking stuff on the outside part of the plate? Did his swing look better than last season?

I love Madson. I've been saying for years that he had closer stuff and would do just fine as the closer here, despite his early struggles in the position (of which way too much was made). He's one of my favorite players on the team, to be honest.

But I do think that maybe the Phillies might understandably be a bit gun-shy about handing out a huge contract to a closer in the midst of his best stretch ever.

But I do think that maybe the Phillies might understandably be a bit gun-shy about handing out a huge contract to a closer in the midst of his best stretch ever.

Posted by: Jack | Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 09:22 AM

Jack, are you talking about an extension mid season like Lidge? With Scott Boras as his agent, I don't see that happening with Mad Dog.

Clout, just from watching some of the highlights, it looked like Colby Lewis tried to bust him with some fastballs high and inside, which his swing does not allow him to get to...and if he somehow does get the bat on it, he makes weak contact.

Mike G - Francisco was 1-3 vs. Rhodes with a 1 BB in 4 PAs. Brown had never faced Rhodes.

These are Rhodes splits the last 3 years:

vs. Left .172/.236/.251 (.487) in 239 ABs
vs. Right .232/.319/.330 (.649) in 267 ABs

This left-handed bats were hitting 2-16 (.125) in 16 ABs vs. hitting 7-26 (.269) in 26 ABs.

So you have a guy on the bench who is right-handed, has seen Rhodes a few times before, and has had some modest success in very limited PAs?

Yet Cholly sends up a left-handed rookie against a guy who eats up left-handed bats on a night where he was struggling a bit at the plate in a close game with a speedy runner on base?

That is about as clear a manager fail as you can get. Managers first duty is to put his players in a reasonable position where they can succeed. Cholly didn't do that last night with Brown vs. Rhodes. Basic managerial fail.

I wonder if UC was actually looking at Rhodes's career numbers or was just going with "the gut" (TM) which told him that Phillies hitters (to include the left handers) have eaten Rhodes alive recently.

or maybe show some confidence in the rook?

Heather: Thank you. That's what happened last season and why Charlie wanted to change hhis swing.

DOM still has a longer swing then you'd like to see, but with his stature that might be a hard thing to eliminate completely.

He chased a fastball too high on his bases loaded flyout to deep RF. It wasn't really a matter of him not getting around on the pitch, it was him chasing a bad pitch.

But the book on him is definitely hard and in. Hopefully in his progression as a MLB'er, he starts to makes pitchers pay dearly when they dont get it inside enough, and learn to lay off pitches that are too high/in altogether.

Clout - Yup.

His first AB Brown got jammed on an inside fastball on his 2nd pitch he hit weekly to the 2nd baseman after they started him on the outside corner with a nice 4-seam fastball.

His second AB they started working Brown inside with a curveball and then a 4-seam fastball high and inside. He laid off a slider outside but they got him to chase one and whiff.

His third Ab they started him again with a 4-seam fastball that was outside and low. He laid off. Then threw a 4-seem fastball that was high and outside they got him to chase to hit a weak fly out in a key AB.

His 4th AB vs. Rhodes he was just overmatched. He fouled off the first 4-seam fastball that was away but was a strike. Then they worked him high and inside for a called strike on a 4-seam fastball. Got rung up looking on a 4-seam fastball that was again inside but lower. It was a pretty bad call though.

So Brown didn't handle the inside fastball last night at all and their general plan of attack was to start by working him away on the outside corner & then bust him inside with the exception of his 2nd AB.

Curious to see if most team take that approach (start him outside, then bust him inside).

Wes - That it was badly misplaced. It was a piss poor move on several accounts.

Basic question was this - "Did he put Brown in a place where it was likely he was going to succeed?"

The answer is a clear 'No' and that is the primary job of a manager.

MG: Thanx for the report. Dom will have to learn to handle the inside stuff to succeed at this level.

It's a little early to dissect every pitch to Dom after one game. Don't you think? In fact, he's not holding his hands high and behind his head anymore. That's a good thing. But he did look like a guy who isn't real comfortable in the majors right now. Just like every Phillies hitter but Vic has looked for the last month or so.

I used to jokingly post the pitch by pitch critique of Mini-Mart. Now, people are doing this seriously for Dom? That's a little silly. And Clout taking the word of others for how he "looked"? Well, as long as it confirms his preconceived bias, then I guess it's fine.

MG, if the game had been tied or the Phils had been trailing, I would agree. However, the Phils had a two run lead in the bottom of the seventh, a situation where they are unbeaten. Cliff Lee was dominant. Why not show a little confidence in the kid and leave him in the game. While he not a totally polished outfielder, he's a better defender that Benny Fran.

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