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Tuesday, June 14, 2011


For the record, Phils scoring 4.76 runs per game over the 21 games since Utley's come back into the fold. 13-8 (.619) during that stretch. A .619 WP equates to a 100 win season, by the way

This is basically your Phillies team for the rest of the year.

Utley and Brown have transformed the predicted by some of us.

I'm not worried that Hamels will come back...I'm worried that he'll be back but not at 100%.

Cole certainly didn't look as though he was in pain. Now that he is turning into a man he should be alright.

Utley now at .278/.388/.486 on the seaosn (.874 OPS) with a 14.12% BB rate. Just a phenomenal hitter.

Utley is the best player on this team, and has been for the last 6 years. He's one of the best Phillies of all-time.

Do people dispute this?

No, I'm pretty sure everyone is in agreement on that, Jack. Nobody has ever said otherwise about Chase.

I dunno, Kevin Stockton was a pretty fantastic player in his day. I mean, Utley is good and all, but...

I'd put Kim Batiste and Mickey Morandini ahead of him too.

for my mental sanity, i'm going to choose to believe cole will be fine.

phils released B Gordon who immediately signed with the Yankees. Unfucking believeable. Guy has an ERA under 2 and now with Hamels hurt who knows...This will be really interesting if he pitches well in NY

Devil's Advocate:

Phils are 7-5 this month and 6-2 on this 11-game homestand (their longest of the year). Beating up on bad/struggling teams at home where they simply have been a much better team because of their offenses so far this season. Making up a little ground from their struggles 2 weeks ago against weaker competition.

Curious to see how they will close out the 1st half with 12 of their last 21 games on the road against better competition after this series though.

Steve Jeltz ought to be in the conversation as well. The curls man, the curls.

Since May 4th of last year, this is the line that Cole has put together:

42 GS, 275.2 IP, 6.56 IP/GS, 80 ER (2.61 ERA) 272 SO (8.88 SO/9), 70 BB (2.29 BB/9), 3.88 SO/BB ratio, 221 H, 1.06 WHIP


Hittin Season starts on a 64 deg. nite in mid-June. Looking good for Doctober weather. And we broke the Tuesday jinx, now 2-9.

"Manuel said Hamels mentioned something in the dugout about being stiff before taking the mound for the eighth inning."

Why on Earth did he go back out there in a 9-1 game, then?

@jack ... I was just about to write about cholly. why the f*&% was cole going out there in a 9-1 game in the eighth?

Hamels told Cholly he was drunk, Jack. UC chose to use the euphemism "stiff."

So the Phils fly to Seattle and get to face Pineada on Friday, King Felix on Saturday, and have a gimpy Hamels on Sunday? Ouch!

Jack, he went out there to prove to you and the rest of the BL naysayers that he's not an girly-man.

Spitz, I doubt Hamels will be gimpy. He'll probably be fine come Sunday. A knot in the back shouldn't be too much for atraining staff, complete with an in-house chiropractor, should be able to take care of that.

David Herdon doppelganger:

Since he has come back, he has pitched in 7 games (10 IP) with 0 BB and 8 Ks. Throwing strikes at a 67% clip including 9% swing & miss rate

Prior to being sent down, Herndon had appeared in 11 G (10 2/3 IP) with 7 BB and just 3 K. Only threw strikes at a 57% clip including 5% swing and miss rate.

His delivery looks more compact and fluid than it has any point this year including in spring training. Nearly everything is down and either in the zone/close to it. Pretty clear that Rod Nichols did something with Herndon to work out the kinks in his delivery.

I would love to hear what exactly he did because Herndon looks like a completely different pitcher right now.

"...why the f*&% was cole going out there in a 9-1 game in the eighth?"

Simple. They needed the innings eaten (where's Blanton when you need some eating done?)

They have a double header tomorrow and then a DAY game on Thursday. That's 3 games in less than 30 hours.

MG, agreed. Herndon has looked world's better since his return. Pretty much vindicates all the posters who were saying that he needed seasoning in AAA last season.

awh: Are you kidding me? Me as a naysayer for Hamels? That has to be a joke, right?

I was one of the very few people with the cojones to defend Hamels in 2009. You probably wanted to trade him for peanuts.

Also, please tell me you're kidding about the innings eating. I know there's a double-header, but Hamels is the key to your season. You don't risk an injury with him if he's stiff because you want an inning saved in a 9-1 game with a double-header the next day in early June.

You have to be kidding me, right? I mean, are you serious?

So Cholly sent out a pitcher in the top of the 8th that was 9-1 with a completely rested bullpen AFTER that pitcher mentioned he had back stiffness in the dugout (and has a history of back issues & employs a pretty rigorous routine including post-game treatment to keep his back loose) the prior inning on a cool night?

Thankfully Chooch saw it right away and called out the Marc Anderson right after the BB to Helms to start the 8th.

Ugh. Why the hell would you send out Hamels there?

Fat - It wasn't the 'seasoning' at Lehigh that did much. He was only down there for a little over 2 weeks. Nichols tweaked his delivery (look at his motion next time on the mound).

Herndon never pitched this well either last year or in spring training.

Nichols - 1, Dubee - 0.

Listening to Hamels, it really sounds like nothing serious at all. He'll make his next start, and in a temperature controlled stadium like SafeCo, he should be just fine. Not really worried about this. It was just him realizing that an 8 run lead in the top the 8th at home is not time to pitch through discomfort and took himself out of the game.

Jack, in many, many cases the manager defers to the player. You see that all the time. I'm sure Charlie asked him if he could go out again and Hamels gave an affirmative answer.

If Hamels said he could continue and didn't think he was risking injury along the line of "I'll give it a shot", then why wouldn't Charlie have faith in his player?

MG, watch the video of Hamels. He didn't make it clear to Manuel that he was stiff or that there was naything to worry about. Manuel didn't do anything wrong tonight.

Also, Dubee taught Halladay the grip on his changeup. And that changeup turned Halladay from a great pitcher to the undoubted best pitcher in the game, as it gave him a 4th lethal out pitch.

Dubee-4 million, Nichols-1

I'm sure Hamels is fine. And I had no problem with him being out there at the time.

It was only after Charlie said that Hamels told him he was stiff that it makes it look like a dumb decision. If you're a manager, and the best pitcher in baseball this season tells you he's stiff and it's the 8th inning of a 9-1 game, it's absolutely idiotic to send him back out there.

MG - good point on Herndon. He could become a useable piece in the pen. If Worley does indeed come up for this weekend, I'd rather not see Herndon go down. Let's see what he has while he is pitching well.

SafeCo is "temperature controlled"? The roof was open the few times I've been there.

Hamels only said he mentioned it to Ruiz, and even he didn't think it was anything serious before going back out in the 8th. If this were a 2-1 game, I bet Hamels pitches through it, and we don't hear a word about it if he gets through the inning unscathed.


Ouch, Roto reporting that the Fish transferred Josh Johnson from the 15-day to 60-day DL.

If Hamels didn't mention it to Anderson or Cholly or wasn't pretty clar, then no blame there.

It largely does sound like a non-story. Hamels need to be a bit more clear if he isn't feeling 100% in those spots with his back. Don't need to display 'machismo' in that spot at all up big late.

I just want to confirm if it was "dan in philly" who put the zoochee on Hamels today.

Fat: Seattle will probably crank up the air-conditioning on Sunday and claim they can't fix it.

Either David Ortiz found a new undetectable desinger drug or he's having a rebirth at 35 after 3 years of being just an .854 OPS hitter. This year, he's at 1.019 OPS and an OPS+ of 175.

Certainly gives you hope that Howard can refind his 1+ OPS stroke again.

A's playing at home in front of friends and family. First game of the homestand. Perfect storm of suck for them.


Cole Hamels is the man.

Sounds like he'll be fine.

BTW, It's really impressive to see how the cutter has changed Hamels' game. He's really upped his GB% and probably as a result, has cut his HR/9.


Hey Cole, you got a knot there....a what?...A KNOT.....yeah yeah, you better NOT mention that again.

You really whizzed that one!

Coal Hammels? Sure... sign him. It's cheaper to heat your house with him than Roil Halliday.

Looks like Jays sent Drabek down to AAA to work on his command.

Did the_Berger just reference an Adam sandier album skit ? Haha.

People were making a deal here about the Phillies 4-5 record vs the Braves. What does the Braves 3-4 record vs the Mets tell us?

Man, if Dom Brown were major league ready, he would have had 3 home runs last night. And one of them wouldn't have been a cheap bloop home run into the upper deck.

The Hamels thing is a non-story but leave it to the Beerleaguer doom and gloom team to turn it into something.

I wonder what exactly makes some people on here happy.

DA 15, Gordon wasn't released. From Phuture

" Brian Gordon who has been atop the International League leader board in several statistical categories exercised an opt out clause in his contract that allowed him to leave if he was being placed on a major league roster. That roster will be none other than the Yankees."

Of course, the odds are that Gordon will go 12-2 for the Yanks and be on their post-season roster. I am curious, though, whether the Yankees retain options on him / it's a two-way contract or, if he'd have to clear waivers to get sent down to AAA again.

The Hamels thing's not exactly a "non-story" but, It's not a big deal unless he wakes up today and it's worse.

Jumping in late, but I think it's a good thing that Cole told Charlie that he was getting stiff before the 8th. It makes me think two things:

(1) it is not a major injury, just minor stiffness; and
(2) Cole may have told Charlie something to the effect of "It doesn't really hurt, so let me throw to the first batter. If it bothers me, I'll come out."

Or maybe I'm just being optimistic (hopeful).

David Murphy has a post up that lays out a couple different scenarios for the rotation order to the all-star break, depending on whether Worley or Kendrick stays in the rotation next week. My expectation is that Worley gets the start Saturday, does well, and replaces Kendrick who goes back to a swing man role.

In the Worley scenario, he has them pushing Worley back during the Boston series, to get Hamels a start on 6/30, which I like. He also has Halladay starting ahead of him the following day, in Toronto, which would allow Halladay to get the last start before the break. I'm dubious that they do that - they had the option to do it last season and opted not to, if I recall correctly. They might have done the opposite, though, declined to jiggle the lineup after the break to get him the first start of hte second half. Either way, I bet they opt to get him an extra cushion over the break, especially since he'll be pitching in the ASG.

Interesting to see - lots of hand-wringing here last weekend when Pirates swingman, Jeff Karstens, held the Phils to 1 run over 7 innings in that extra inning loss. No credit given to Karstens. That's the last run he's given up, having put together two scoreless starts in a row. Tops out at 7 innings but, he's pitching pretty well right now.

A-train. you missed the point completely. The phils could have put him on the major league roster instead of Baez, Herndon, Kendrick or Romero and he could be the long man or maybe the fifth starter. But they let him walk and now he is starting for the Yankees. GET IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lincoln: I had to fight not to burst out laughing in my office at that picture.

Where has it been offered that Hamels spoke to Manuel about feeling stiff before taking the mound? I haven't read this anywhere, and it could save Jack from further ridiculous rants like the ones above.

So Herndon, who was supposed to be a Ground Ball pitcher, has all of a sudden become a Strike Out pitcher? I'm not buyin' it. Sure, he Struck Out the first 2 batters he faced ... & then he gave up 3 Hits in his next 1.1 IP. 3 more Outs came on deep Fly Balls, which were mercifully knocked down by the wind. If the Phillies didn't happen to have an 8 Run lead, Beerleaguer would be singing a different tune this morning. When I look at Herndon I simply do not see a pitcher who is ready for MLB.

Also, I'm always ready, willing & able to label Charlie a moron, but I don't thing it applies RE: Hamels last night. I specifically recall hearing Charlie respond to a reporter's post game question to the effect of (& if you've ever heard Charlie attempt to speak, you know I'm paraphrasing mightily here), "Cole was cruising, so we sent him out for the 8th, but if he had said to us beforehand 'Hey, my back feels tight', there's no way we would have sent him back out there". Point being, Charlie is not knot culpable.

Some startling numbers:

OPS+ for Phillies starting 8

Rollins: 92
Victorino: 128
Utley: 139
Howard: 124
Polanco: 103
Ibanez: 92
Brown: 108
Ruiz: 92

No member of the starting 8 is under 90. % players are over 100. Average OPS+ for the starting 8 is 111.

The offense just may be coming around to be a strength on this team again. Remember, 4.76 runs/game since Utley and Brown have become fixtures 21 games ago.

What was Brown's before those 2 bombs yesterday? 92ish, also?

an OPS+ of 92 for a shortstop or a catcher is fine, for a left fielder it is bloody horrific.

This would be my lineup:


I love Jimmy, and he hit well last night, but he's in my 8-hole until he shows more plate discipline.

"Manuel said Hamels mentioned something in the dugout about being stiff before taking the mound for the eighth inning."

Maybe he didn't think he was talking about his back . . . .

Hugh, I'm not sure what Dom's OPS+ was coming into last night. Another funny little thing:


Howard: .486
Utley: .486
Brown: .486

Brian Gordon of the Iron Pigs opted out of his contract and signed on with the Yankees. That sucks because he was absolutely dominate.

12 G, 9 GS, 5-0, 1.14 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 55.1 IP, 7:56 BB:K.

4-8 at the plate with a HR.

He's a converted outfielder with 119 minor league homeruns and a .275 average and .781 OPS.

Seriously, this dude could have pitched long relief and been a bat off the bench. Sure as hell a lot more of a threat than Michael Martinez.

By the way- Screw Michael Martinez.

Personally, I think the addition of Brown and Utley are a big part of the reason Howard's seeing balls he can actually hit again, and also maybe it's taking pressure off of him.

Will we see him go off on one of his tears? Are we seeing it now? He's sure driving the ball again...

Great text from a friend last night after Brown's second dong.

"Hop in the DeLorean and set it to 2008"

A few observations from section 130 on last nights game:

- There was not a lot of wind last night. What wind there was seemed to come in from LF towards the 1B line.

- The big screen had a Close-up of Morrison's (?) face after he chase down Brown's line drive out. It was a somewhat pained expression, as if the words "Dude, I barely got to it" was going through his iond. Which he barely did.

- Checked the game notes and could not find mention of Cole's 50-foot curveball in the 7th inning. He had at least 2 other pitches that short-hoped to Ruiz that inning. Was that a harbinger of his leaving the game in the 8th?

- With 3 very hard hit balls last night. Brown desrves an LG with a star. He burried the first HR 10-12 rows deep and absolutely crushed the 2nd decker.

- Victorino should have been sent home on the Utley double. For Juan Samuel: C'mon, dude, send him! On Polly's SAC, RF for the Fish played the ball as well as he could, hanging back and running in for the catch and making a darn good throw.

- Volstaad took one for the team. Not sure what he did to derserve it. What else could it be when you're down 5-1 and the coach visits you on the mound with no one warming up in your 'pen.

- Had a great chat with 3 Fish fans while I was desperately looking to buy a bottle of water during Hearndon's warm-up. Between them, the guy rocking the Marlin's home jersey and his flatbill/ear-tuck buddy in the affliction T-shirt (both of whom looked like they were looking for a fight), there were more Marlins fans at an away game that at a home game.

- I really, really hate people who get leave/return their seats in the middle of play.

- Bull's bbq pork sandwhich >>>> the Schmidtter. Had both. Long story as to why, but it involves a round of golf, a 2 hour hour drive to the park, the rain delay and a birthday.

Powered up:

Phils boosted their their Home OPS at CPB last night by a whopping .17 pts to .729. 5 HRs will do that especially when they had only hit 30 in 36 GS coming into last night all season at CBP.

Phils' line at CBP:

.255/.334/.395 with 35 HRs which translates into 4.46 R/G in 37 GS.

Opponents at CBP:

.243/.298/.342 with 23 HRs which translates into 3.32 R/G in 37 GS.

On the road, things look much uglier.

Phils' line on the road:

.239/.303/.357 with 22 HRs which translates into 3.70 R/G in 30 GS.

Opponents at CBP:

.252/.312/.369 with 19 HRs which translates into 3.43 R/G in 37 GS.

So they hitting the ball pretty well at CBP and getting quality pitching. On the road though, they are being outhit and even with their great pitching are hard pressed to overcome the anemic offense.

Expect things to even out a bit as the season goes on but this simply is a much more difficult team to play at CBP right now. Pitching has been very good everywhere as expected. Offense disappears on the road quite often as I expect it will this weekend in Seattle playing in a pitcher's park against some good starting pitching.

On Polly's SAC, RF for the Fish played the ball as well as he could, hanging back and running in for the catch and making a darn good throw.

Posted by: No1 | Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 09:26 AM

I have to disagree on this one. To me it looked like Stanton overran the ball and had to reach behind him to make the catch. He did make pretty good throw, but that reach cost him.

Thrilled to see the offense rounding into shape. Won't always be smooth sailing like last night of course, but I think the team has established that the clunker offense of a couple of weeks ago isn't the real Phils' offense either.

My wife and I stopped off at the local pub after dinner last night with a couple from Baltimore who are Orioles fans. Two large screen TVs in front of us, one with the Phils, one with the Orioles.

We watched the Phils' incredible display for the last several innings while the other couple shook their heads, wondering what it would be like if the Orioles had a team like that. Meanwhile the husband gloomily talked up Weiters, and said the Orioles were starting to assemble some good young players, and maybe in a couple of years...Then for good measure they watched their team lose to Toronto on a walk off homerun.

Interesting perspective, and one that made me vow to appreciate what we have more. There are speed bumps but these are good, good times for us overall, and the sun doesn't shine on the same dog's rear every day.

Agreed Stanton caught that ball a little awkwardly. Came in half a step too far. He still kept his body going forward, though, and got off a good, accurate throw. I don't know that a perfect catch and throw gets the runner on that play.

Halladay and Hamels get a lot of discussion this year as best pitcher in the NL. I would probably say though that Verlander is the best pitcher in MLB so far.


I have to disagree regarding the wind at the game last night. I was standing in Ashburn Alley the entire night and from around the third inning on, there was a very strong wind blowing from left to right. I think it had something to do with Brown's fly out to left center being knocked down and it certainly didn't hurt the RF jet stream home runs (although Brown absolutely crushed that second one; my favorite part was Mike Stanton's reaction in RF as soon as it left the bat).

MG, it'd be hard to argue against you right now. Scary thing is that Verlander and Hamels are just entering the primes of their careers. Though, right now, Hamels does have a slightly higher ERA+, but Verlander gives more innings per game (7.4 vs. 6.97). Hamels strikes out a little more, and walks a little less, but Verlander's WHIP blows Cole's out of the water, and Cole is LEADING the NL in WHIP right now. Verlander has been awfully impressive. Halladay is still the best pitcher in the game in my mind, just because of the innings and consistency he gives you.

MG: Gonna hafta disagree on Verlander. I'd say Hamels has been slightly better.

Sean: I agree RE: both the wind, & Stanton's reaction. He came in a few steps, glanced up, the ball sailed over his head & he didn't even bother looking back at it. The only way it could have been better was if he never even came out of his crouch.


Halladay: 160
Hamels: 154
Oswalt: 122
Lee: 113
KK: 111
Worley: 104
Madson: 178
Bastardo: 360 (!!)
Stutes: 162

Any wonder we have the best record in the majors...

MG: I'd have to disagree with that. So would Roy Halladay. Sure he's got the no hitter, but that and WHIP are about about the only categories in which he's beating our resident greatest pitcher in MLB.

I love it when the outfielder never even leaves the crouch on a bomb. Unfortunately, his pitcher probably doesn't.

Fat - There probably isn't one player in MLB right now who makes more of an impact on his team than Verlander. Saw it earlier this year but the Tigers are well-below .500 since '09 when he isn't on the mound.

Tigers record with Verlander on the mound since '09 is 53-30 (.639). With other guys on the mound, the Tigers are just 151-158 (.489).

Wonder what other pitchers have had that dramatic an impact.

Bob, great perspective. As a Phillies fan, these are the best of times.

I noticed on the tube last night that Cole's hair is now nicely trimmed on the back. He looks better this way. Perhaps the long hair that was cut off has shifted the center of balance on Cole's head and his back has not fully adjusted to this change, causing his back to get stiff.

I understand this is not gospel, and I agree that Verlander has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball this year. Per fangraphs:

WAR (a counting stat):

Doc: 3.8 (14 GS)
Weaver: 3.4 (15 GS)
Hamels: 3.3 (14 GS)
Haren: 3.1 (14 GS)
CC: 3.0 (15 GS)
Verlander: 2.9 (15 GS)
Lee: 2.8 (14 GS)

xFIP (rate stat):
DOC: 2.33
Hamels: 2.51
Lee: 2.53
11. Verlander: 3.03

Either way, he's been ridiculously good, but I would argue that Cole and Doc have been slightly better.

I'd take Verlander, but his numbers are a little inflated due to a ridiculous and unsustainable .221 BABIP. Doc's is .310 (.300 is about average). One can easily see Halladay's numbers getting even better as the season goes on, and Verlander coming back down to earth a bit.

In FIP, Doc's #1 with 2.11, Hamels #2 with 2.28, and Lee's #6 at 2.56, in all of baseball. This might end up being the greatest 3 starting pitchers in the history of all of baseball, bar none. That scrub Oswalt has a fip of 3.53. Bum!

"There probably isn't one player in MLB right now who makes more of an impact on his team than Verlander."

That's an argument for MVP, not best pitcher in baseball. Generally, I think parsing the best player among the very upper echelon is pretty fruitless. Doc throws the most innings of roughly the highest quality, so I'll choose him.

Verlander's numbers are gaudy. He's become much more of a control pitcher and the <6 hits per 9 is downright Nolan Ryan-like.

For as much as BLers like to rattle off statistics, I'm surprised everyone still likes to use ERA+. The calculation of the stat is flawed and most people are using ERA- now.

For years we had to talk about the great pitchers on other teams. The Phillies currently HAVE the best RH starter and the best LH starter in baseball. I say let's keep talking about them.

how can you not love what Cole is doing on the mound right now? but i've got to throw this out there...

charlie's comments about Cole "looking like a man" without his shirt, plus a 2-3 mph uptick on his fastball, plus a career start to this year, plus his best #'s yet last year...and no one is thinking PED's?

Peripherals for Doc, Cole and JV:

Player: SO/9, BB/9, SO/BB, Ground Ball %

Doc: 9.06, 1.2, 7.57, 53.1
Cole: 8.94, 1.75, 5.11, 53.3
JV: 8.46, 2.1, 4.04, 42.3

Again, Verlander is a great pitcher, but I think Cole and Doc have been that awesome this year, they're just better.

conshy: No, PED accusations are relevant only for players on other teams, not the Phillies.

"charlie's comments about Cole "looking like a man" without his shirt, plus a 2-3 mph uptick on his fastball, plus a career start to this year, plus his best #'s yet last year...and no one is thinking PED's?"

Seriously? This is just dumb.

Chase Utley:

career low k% (11.1%)
career high BB% (14.1%)
wOBA .389

good to have you back, Chase Utley.

No PEDs for Hamels. He threw a faster average FB last year, but sacrificed control and saw a higher than normal walk rate. His velocity is back to 2008 levels this year, and his control is so good,t hat his walk rate is setting a career low.

And he just turned 26 last year. Not uncommon to develop a couple mph on the fastball when you start to hit the prime of your career.

Conshy: I might be more suspicious if Cole was 37, not the 27 that he actually is. He should still be improving.

Jack - i know. and i don't REALLY think that, but i found it amusing, especially w/ Charlie's comments. in the 90's that kind of talk was a red flag.

R - like i said, i wasn't trying to start something. if Jose Bautista's manager stated in a presser that his power is legit, you should see how ripped the guy is, we'd be all over that. right?

Obviously I don't think Hamels is on PEDs. I find it hilarious though how willing people are to just casually assume every other player in baseball is on something if they have a stretch where they hit some HRs.

Personally, I don't think anyone here has any clue what PEDs players take, who takes them, and how you would even be able to tell.

After looking at those peripherals again, if it isn't clear that Cole is turning into Roy Halladay, I don't know what would make it clear. But if it isn't also clear that Doc is just better than anyone in baseball, I'm not sure what else could make it clear. He strikes a lot of batters out, offers the fewest free passes in the majors, and when they DO make contact, more than half of the balls are ground balls, meaning weak contact, and ground balls can't turn into homeruns.

Simply the best.

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