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Monday, July 18, 2011

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Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

It should be noted that this is Garza's 2nd start since the AS break. Yeah, it's only Lee's first, but he had the "honor" of pitching in the AS game instead of a real game in NY.

At least Baez will be fresh for tomorrow.

Just one of those nights.

Tomorrow is a new day, as JJ would say.

Too many innings/not enough innings...

Roy Halladay is allowed to get sick. That's acceptable. Scoring one run in nearly seven innings against Rodrigo Lopez is not acceptable.

When is Utley going to get it going?

The HR, 2B and RBI's line for Chaser is not very good. Especially for a middle-of-the-order hitter.

He's had over 170 AB's now too.

Wilson Valdez has as many 2B's and 3 fewer RBI's. In about the same number of AB's.

Orr back to Lehigh.

Francisco survives for a while longer.

Doc seems to have issues with his post ASB starts.

denny b.:

I'm afraid that this is who Utley is now. Still a pretty good player, but not the #3 hitter he was.

Let the vitriol follow...

Marv, how dare you say something about Utley that's true? For shame!

@Marv: That goes double for Howard.

Funny... 3-4 years ago I bet this recap would not have been written so early/gone up so quickly.

Utley would make a damn fine leadoff hitter.

But yeah, Utley does not appear to be the hitter he was a couple of years ago. Of course, neither does Ryan Howard. Nor Jimmy Rollins--actually, Rollins is better than he was a couple of years ago, but not the hitter he was in 2005-2008.

Fact is, none of these guys (with the notable exception of Victorino) are the hitters they used to be. And if you think it's bad this year, wait till next year.

Shocked that Orr was sent down. Who woulda thunk they would have only one reserve infielder?

Utley/Howard are now just 2-29 with 1 RBIs since the ASB. Rest of the lineup isn't good enough to support them like in years past if these two guys don't hit.

Getting back Vic should help a bit.

Funny that you still can't be critical of Utley on here, unless of course you bring up Howard as well.

Utley hasn't been bad.

He's just not producing like a #3 hitter should be. He's basically been the LH hitting Wilson Valdez this year, with a few more HR's.

I think Utley should be hitting 2nd, when everybody is in there. And when healthy, Polanco probably fits better as the #3 hitter.

Against RHP it should be Rollins, Utley, Polanco, Howard, Vic, Rauuuul, Ruiz, Brown and pitcher.

Against LHP it should be Rollins, Utley, Polanco, Howard, Vic, Ruiz, Rauuuuul, Mayberry and pitcher.

Both of those lineups are more balanced ("LOOGY-proof").

The Utley/Howard 3-4 combo needs to be broken up. Its not 2007 anymore.

I missed the game thread.

I'm wondering if any BLers have panicked yet.

I'd be shocked, shocked I say, if any had.

Phlipper - Seeing Halladay looking disoriented and about to pass out on the mound should make anyone who is sane panic.

If it's just a mild heat illness episode, it's one thing. If it becomes a recurring theme every time the weather is hot it's entirely another.

The good thing is that he was sweating like a waterfall. When I saw that I was hoping they'd get him out of there fast. It was clear that he was struggling. They were pretty quick on the trigger and that probably prevented anything serious from happening.

Just so you know, I spent a few decades as an emergency physician in Las Vegas. Seen a whole lot of what everyone saw tonight. It's always best to head if off rather than treat the effects when they get more serious.

It ure shocked me to see it happening. Doc looked awful in the dugout, face totally red, sweating like crazy, unable to get his breath. You could tell it went way beyond being "gassed".

Been there, done that before (dehydration)twice. Once while skiing and was able to trace it to my own idiotic lack of hydration. Easy fix from then on. The other time it came out of nowhere after an exercise session. No logical reason.

But I would have imagined a professional athlete today would be almost beyond that, particularly someone as knowledgeable and painstaking as Doc.

aksmith or anyone else who knows this stuff, is this one of those things that can just come up and bite you in the rear from out of nowhere in spite of all your efforts to prep? Is there a physiological cause like electrolytes out of balance or something that a player simply would not know about until "too late" and you were caught up in it?

Not in my wildest speculation would I conceive that Doc would simply neglect to hydrate adequately on a night like last night. Hang in, Roy, take care of yourself, and take it out on the next poor team you face.

aksmith - Yeah on the highlights he looked like he was close to getting a sunstroke. Reminded me of marathon runners I used to look at hot days. Beat red, breathing erratically, sweating profusely even after you remove clothing, and doubled over & unable to stand.

Good Morning.

Poor Doc. All those years in Canada must have ruined his heat tolerance. (Kidding- forecast for Fargo today is 96.)

Bob, if it is humid so sweating can't produce evaporative cooling like it's supposed to, and a person is active, I think it is definitely possible to develop heat exhaustion even when a person is well-hydrated.

I'd probably schedule Halladay's next start based on the weather forecast. Unless he goes on short rest, or they skip a start, he'll be throwing a day game in the July heat. Fortunately for him, it won't be at teh Vet. I never understood how they played on that skillet in teh summer time.

Once you're dehydrated during a game, drinking fluids won't help. They can't get into your system fast enough. An IV will help but there's not enough time between innings. I was hoping they'd get Roy out of the game after the 3rd inning. He looked terrible.

I'm wondering if there's a big fat IV for the offense. Rolo was tossing fat ones up there and, except for Jimmy in 1 AB, they couldn't hit them. No excuse not to score more than 1 run against that guy. We won't see a bigger pitching mis-match this year and our boys got their butts handed to them.

yesterday - another ex phil - beat the iron pigs - BRANDON DUCKWORTH... (geez)

A-Train - 1000% agree. RoLo was throwing BP and no one could hit him.

Imagine the fun we would have if Cole Hamels left the game due to heat exhaustion! We all know how that would go. Halladay gets a pass and sympathy from the fans.

Offense goes into a recession again against a mediocre lefty.

"Offense goes into a recession again against a mediocre lefty."

Were you watching TV with a mirror?

mediocre is giving Rolo too much credit.

I watched the game for all of 2 innings last night. When Howard & Raul swung at 2-0 pitches, with the team down 1-0 and Lopez not throwing many strikes, I knew it was gonna be a long night. Once again we get beat by a pitcher we should absolutely hammmer IMO. That's happened a lot this season. And there do not appear to be any answers on the horizon.

Say one other thing from watching last night's game a bit. Dom Brown stinks in RF. Yeah he is probably not familiar with Wrigley but he has shown me almost no improvement this year despite the regular PT in RF. Hell, he really hasn't shown that much improvement from last year.

Ideally, he would be in LF. Guess with that big arm the Phils want him in RF though. Think it is a mistake because I don't see him becoming anything better than an average RF at best. Hope that another year or so of playing time there helps.

I think most of the regular posters here are way past fun if this had happened to any player period. If this can grab Roy like it seemed to have, pretty much anyone is vulnerable. And once you're seriously dehydrated, as a few people have pointed out, you're in trouble, it's not something that grabbing a bottle of water will cure, and it isn't something you can "tough out".

MG: What is the difference in fielding LF and RF, other than needing the big arm?

Excessive heat warning continues today in Chicago with predictions of thundershowers all through the day/evening. Should be another great night to be a pitcher (especially with a rain delay possibility).

Semi-prospect alert: Austin Hyatt had a nice night last night, striking out 10 in 7 innings for the win.

So far this year, at AA, he's got 119 Ks and only 36 walks in 106 IP. He's old (25), but I wonder if he isn't a potential J.A. Happ type: a late bloomer who gives you a couple valuable seasons as a 4th or 5th starter for cheap, and then you move on. Those guys wont excite you, but they obviously are important to a team.

Watching the offense last night made me wonder how this team ever wins any games. Fortunately, I have a short term memory, so the next win will probably erase that anxiety.

MG~ I agree. He's not making much progress at all.

He's made a few mental mistakes this as well. Not running out a ground ball vs. Oakland, missing 2nd, etc. Those things can be attributed to being a young player. The questions are: Can he improve? Or is this it?

I wish there were a today game thread, because I'd like to continue the discourse on Utley and this may get buried in yesterday's news.

Unfortunately, I believe we are seeing the incremental demise of a great, but fairly short career. I've been an observer of this wonderful game since 1950 when the Whiz Kids took the nation by storm and almost won a WFS. During that time, I've seen a lot of outstanding players get on that downward spiral that inexorably leads to their retirement as their skills diminish.

Utley is not immune. His range has narrowed, his swing is not as crisp at it was in his heyday. Home run power has been diminished into warning track power. He doesn't seem to be as "into the game" as he was earlier in his career.

This is not to say that he needs to ride the bench. His intangibles are still there, but not as dominant as they used to be.

Robbie Alomar may have been the best second-baseman ever and even he wore down and retired a shell of his former self.

With his injuries still an issue, I just don't see him making a full comeback. That said, I think he needs to stay in the 3-spot, because there is no one else in the everyday lineup who presents a power threat except possibly for Ibañez.

In another conversation, Ryan Howard should be the centerpiece. If the Phillies ever acquire a true power threat to hit before him, not to mention some protection in the 5th slot, then the answer to the question, "Has he lost it?" can be answered.

Ryno slumping right now, if you think this is a sign of any longterm significance then you obviously have never watched phillies baseball for the past 5 years and/or you simply like the cheap thrills of being a moron.

not so much a post directed to anyone right now, but just putting it out there for the inevitable if he has another bad game tonight.

On Brown, I can forgive the ball in teh ivy - tough play for any RF and, I think he probably was guilty of a little bit of overzealousness trying to get that ball. The single Pena hit in the 3d looked like a ball that most RF get to. Brown is hesitant and bad at judging balls in the air. I think that's something that can be improved with practice and an indication that he was called up early.

Hugh: if we had another person the roster(Benfran/Gload) that could have made either of those plays in RF, then maybe i'd agree with you.

Truth is that we saw Benfran butcher RF just as much as DOM and dont even need to see how bad Gload would be. Would DOM be a better fielder after sitting in AAA for another 5 years? Yes. Is that helping this Phillies team? No.

Apparently Doc has performed poorly in the heat throughout his career. Sportscenter just had some graphic showing his ERA in 90 + degree games and it's over 4.

lorecore - I'm not saying there's a better option. Circumstances dictated he be called up when he was.

Chase Utley's OPS: 777, with a .362 OBP.

Wilson Valdez's OPS: 567, with a 275 OBP.

But yeah, Chase has essentially been a left-handed Wilson Valdez.

I mean, it's one thing to say that Utley will never again be anything close to the hitter he was. I think it's premature, but it's a legitimate possibility. But a LH Valdez? That's just stupid.

They need to break out the pickle juice.

"I think he needs to stay in the 3-spot, because there is no one else in the everyday lineup who presents a power threat except possibly for Ibañez."

Utley has 18 RBI's in 190 plate appearances. And very few XBH's.

He's not a #3 hitter anymore. This isn't 2007. With the way he takes pitches, he should probably be hitting in the 2 hole.

Plus I despise the LOOGY-friendly Utley/Howard combo. That doesn't work anymore either.

Cholly needs to maximize what he has and make it as tough as he can on the opposing manager. He has started doing that with Ruiz hitting higher in the order (to break up the lefty's down in the line). He needs to do the same with Utley and Howard.

David-

If you go back and read what I wrote, you'd see Utley has the same number of RBI's and only 3 more 2B's then Valdez in roughly the same # of AB's.

And Utley has hit 3rd all year. Valdez mostly 8th.

Utley has become a Valdez-type hitter, with more power and more plate discipline.

For further comparison:
Chase Utley OPS+: 114
Wilson Valdez OPS+: 58

Chase Utley WAR: 1.6
Wilson Valdez WAR: -1.1

Chase Utley oWAR: 1.4
Wilson Valdez oWAR: -0.2

Basically the same.
Now, I'm not saying that Utley isn't a shell of his former self, never to return to his previous greatness. He very well may be. But even a broken Utley is worlds better than Wilson Valdez.

Utley has improved the offense significantly since his return. He gets on base at a good clip, steals bases at opportune moments and takes the extra base on teh single. He walks more than he strikes out. To compare him to Valdez, who gets on base less than 30% of the time, is a complete joke. Stick to women's soccer, bud.

Ah.... RBIs. Well, you've got me there. Everyone knows that the best method of judging a hitter is his number of RBIs.

On top of Utley's better power and plate discipline, he also has a significantly better batting average (.263 vs. .236).

So basically a Valdez-type hitter, with a better batting average, plate discipline and power. Got it.

Hugh, you are one tough hombre. It does seem a little ludicrous, however, to put Utley's and Valdez' stats side by side.

Okay, so rereading what I wrote, I was rather rude. I'm sorry.

I'll wait till the end of the year to call Utley a former shell of himself. And even then I will feel its premature.

Oh well. It's not like the Phillies are the only team with declining offensive stars. For instance, Joey Votto has the same number of doubles and one fewer RBI than Jeff Francoeur. He has basically become a Jeff Francoeur-type hitter, but with higher batting average and more walks.

Ah, to admit the error(s) of our ways, David. Would that be E-10? Are you the designated poster?

To err is human. To forgive is divine. So, divine it is.

Sorry for the drivel. Or, as I've read in some posts over the years, of course, in sports blogs, "dribble" (smiley face emoticon to follow).

If you take out Lopez' horrible first start, he has a 2.43 ERA with a .256/.317/.392 line against him. Some of you assume he sucks but he has been pitching well. Last nnigt, he was hitting corners, keeping the ball down and changing speeds. People CAN pitch like that and get batters out just as Jamie Moyer did for years. Lopez was not throwing batting practice.

Jack - Simple. More chances. Why you stick the worst OF in LF.

lorecore - Francisco has been better than Brown in RF this year. Even on routine plays Brown seems unsure of where he should be until the last minute too often. Probably not fair to really judge his defense until end of next year after he has had nearly 2 years in RF at MLB level.

Utley is slumping but comparable to Valdez? Valdez has been so bad offensively lately that he has lost PT to Mini Mart. That should tell you everything you need to know.

Now that is funny, bay area fan. I know it's still early in the am in SF, so you get a pass...kinda. You invoke Francoeur in the same conversation as Joey Votto just after David $$$$ has been skewered for comparing Utley with Exxon. Did you not read the posts preceding yours?

Yeah, Francoeur and Votto are the same person, except that he hits for a (far) higher average and gets more walks. How about little things like Votto winning an MVP in 2010? Seriously, do you really believe that he has "slipped" to Francoeur standards? Should they be traded for each other straight up?

You need a Bloody Mary to get your day started, bro.

RoLo now 2-1 against us, after being 3-1 for us, so we're still up one.

Yeah. I didn't think that RoLo was throwing bp last night. He reminded me exactly of that guy that pitched for us a couple of years ago. He had 3 or 4 really nice starts for the Phils when we needed them. We were singing his praises then. IIRC awh even briefly changed his name to RoLo. He is not without ability even if he isn't overly impressive. We should have been able to manage more than one run off the guy however.

A disclaimer to bay area fan: If you are being facetious with your Votto/Francoeur comparison, I apologize. Otherwise, I'll stick to my rejoinder.

mainerob I do believe your sarcasm meter is due for a check up.

maine: I thought it was self-evident that I was being facetious, but apparently not

Mainerob, dennyb was the one who said that Utley has "basically been the LH hitting Wilson Valdez this year, with a few more HR's" and that "Utley has the same number of RBI's and only 3 more 2B's then Valdez" to support his point.

My comparing the two was to refute his point (and I maintain that his statement was wrong, even though I apologized for my sarcasm). Although BAP makes a compelling case...

I could be wrong, but I somehow had the distinct impression there was just a tad bit of irony in b_a_p's Votto/Francoeur post. Or maybe his seriousness sailed right past me. If so, can we start a thread about a potential mutli-team Votto/Frenchy trade that might land us with just the reliever we need?

MG: Brown may be more unsure, but i'd rather him be cautious than have a false sense of confidence that Francisco has while he breaks the wrong way and runs into Victorino's path.

Dave was nice enough to apologize (unneccesarily) for being rude. On Beerleaguer sarcasm is just about the most polite way to express disagreement. Beerleaguers throw around terms like moron and idiot like Wheels uses middle in.

Off topic thought, but what's the over/under on how many times wheels is going to talk about how much Worley sweats tomorrow night? i'm going with 25.

Domo should leave his glove in the dugout and just head out to right field with a clever in his hand.

Not that surprised by the offense's inability to hit RoLo last night. He shut them down before, and I believe the comments on this thread are pretty much the same as when that happened. What I am surprised about is Halladay's performance. This is a man who apparently prepares better and harder than anyone else. So, I'm surprised to see that he had trouble in the heat. Wasn't he prepared for this? And, don't forget, RoLo was pitching in the same conditions. He had no problems. Was it a matter of over-training by Doc? Inquiring minds want to know...

i have no comment for that. it's not worth an answer

MG: Disagree with you on BenFran being better than Dom in RF. Dom's problems are inexperience. BenFran is just flat-out bad.

clout - Maybe. Neither is a good option out there. Francisco just seems a bit more steady out there.

MG - Martinez is playing 3B because Valdez played horrible defense at 3B. It has next to nothing to do with offense.

Dom seems particularly bad on balls hit directly at him. He freezes and takes a second or two to decide how well it's been hit. I know balls right at you are the hardest to judge but he seems to have more problems with them than most people. That ball off the wall last night could definitely be chalked up to inexperience however.

whitey - Mini Mart has been hitting too. Even Cholly the other day mentioned he liked the offensive contributions that he was bringing to the table lately. It is both.

July:

Martinez - .273/.324/.424 with 1 HR in 33 ABs
Valdez - .190/.217/.190 in 21 ABs

Bizarrely enough, I think about Pat Burrell sometimes when I think of fielding in the corner spots. He certainly wasn't toolsy, wasn't fast, average arm, not much range. But over time, it seemed to me he progressed to the point where he caught what he could reach and would sometimes throw out baserunners trying to stretch doubles out of balls off the wall. Fielding was not a strong point to be sure, but IMO he maximized the abilities he had.

Not saying Pat was a good outfielder, but I have to think that given his natural abilities, Dom should be able to over time improve his routes, positioning, instincts, etc. with experience. He has the arm and speed to certainly do what Pat did (admittedly not a high standard) and far more. Dom may never be an elite OF, but certainly experience should make him easily acceptable. Give him more time.

At least Dom has good feet. Pat the Bat always had that mysterious foot ailment that was never adequately explained.

Sorry guys. For Maine, it's terrifically hot and I'm succumbing just like the good Doc did last night. I've lost all my senses and sensibilities. Of course, Bloody Maries for lunch.

clout, defense aside, we've had Brown up in the bigs for a while now. Curious to hear your analysis of his progression with that fastball in on the hands that we've discussed before.

And contrary to most of my posts, I'm actually being 100% sincere in inquiring about your insight. I've agreed with you all along that it's his single biggest offensive "to-do."

mainerob, a good rule of thumb is that if the post shows a "Posted by: bay_area_phan" underneath it, there's about a 100% chance that there's some sarcasm thrown in there. It's part of the beauty of all BAP posts.

@MG: Did you hear/see/feel yourself praising BenFran, albeit faintly, in comparison with DomBrown? Have we stooped so low that Francisco comes out on top of the bad fielders? Yikes! These are truly bad times in the old corral for corner outfielders.

Last night stunk all the way around.

"Dom's problems are inexperience"

Perhaps. Perhaps not. There's really no way to know that at this time.

I'll remember that in the future, Preacher Man. In fact, I'm known around these parts for slinging the bull, but haven't yet felt comfortable doing so in this forum. In time, I'll come around, bro.

From Mlbtraderumors.com


The Phillies have talked to the Marlins about closer Leo Nunez, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.  The Marlins seek young pitching in return, Crasnick adds. Nunez fits with the Phillies' goa of acquiring players they can control beyond this year, though his salary will get a healthy bump from this year's $3.65MM. 

Lake Fred,

Now he has a foot issue again with SF. Bill Conlin had talked to Pat and thought it was plantar fasciitis. Who knows, but PF can sure derail you if that's what it was.

Bob, I looked up plantar fasciitis and I believe that I have suffered from this a few times over my life. It takes awhile for it to heal and for the pain to stop. I guess if you are a professional athlete, you just get prescribed a bunch of pain meds to get you through the games.

Man, what's Pat the Bat gonna do without his wheels?

Lake fred, You're right, it's sure not an overnight thing. FWIW, I got rid of mine (so far) by an extensive program of stretching over several months.

It f'ing hot here in chicago. This is going to be a rough series.

Pat the Foot

mainerob, Bloody Marys are for breakfast. Beer is for lunch. Do they do it differently in Maine?

It's hot for both teams in Chicago. I just hope Lee can give them some innings. The soft underbelly of teh bullpen shouldn't be seen in public two days in a row.

If the Phils trade for Leo Nunez, I'll freakin' kill someone.

What's wrong with Leo Nunez? You'd rather have Danys Baez and David Herndon?

I am thrilled with Stutes' season so far and thought he has really showed promise, but I'll take Leo Nunez over him in a heartbeat, both this year and next(and of course all the garbage arms below Stutes as well).

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