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Sunday, July 31, 2011


God, I love Ibanez.

Jack, I agree. The fact that Hanrahan never gets into these extra innings games for the Pirates is mind boggling. Great game for the Phillies. Off to see MayhemFest concert and headbang all night. I like Pence's words there:

"Good game, let's go eat!!"


That was a fun game.

Charlie is a much better manager with BAP as a consultant.

What a fun game to watch. This team is the best.

What a fun game to watch. This team is the best.

Also, props to whoever said we would lose the series to the Giants and sweep the Pirates. Nailed it.

BAP- Herndon was an ok call today (its just hard to shake 1.5 years of his sucking to assume he'll be good, but he has been lately). I just don't like the idea that the phils are down 2, so Stutes, Madson, and Bastardo are automatically unavailable. That's all I'm its time to celebrate a great win!

July 31, 2011 - Raul Ibanez day.

The guy puts this team on his back for a game every now and then.

Drew is all over the whole post-game thread thing. I mean, 30-second turnaround. He's a 5-tool poster.

To re-state from the last thread, that's the 3rd extra-inning game the Pirates have lost this week without using their best reliever.

If the Pirates actually want to contend, they should fire their manager and replace him with someone who knows what the hell they're doing. The refusal to use closers in non-save situations is the dumbest development in the last 20 years in baseball. It's mind-boggingly stupid.

pence looks really happy to be in philly

Raul Ibanez: Greatest player ever? Discuss.

Sweeping the Pirates here was reminiscent of when we swept the Padres last year to start their slide knocking them out of first. Want to know if you're a contender or pretender? Play the Phils in the second half.

krukker: Yeah, I predicted the Giants loss and Pirates sweep. I thought I had a good chance at getting that right, but I want to thank Clint Hurdle for pushing me across the finish line. Couldn't have done it without him.

"Good game, let's go eat!!"

A slogan that should be on playoff t-shirts.

Ibañez knows he turns back into an old pumpkin at midnight, & he took advantage. Just a fantastic game for him. And I agree w/ whatever Jack said RE: Hurdle & Hanrahan. That's 3 times in a week the Pirates' best pitcher has watched as his team lost a game in extra innings.

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Iceman: The debate was whether he should have used Stutes or Herndon. Stutes is our 3rd best reliever and is usually Cholly's 7th inning guy when we're winning. When we're losing, he doesn't use him. It's not because he's conceding the game or thinks we're going to lose. It's because you simply manage your resources differently in a game where you're losing.

A guy at the game had a great sign, don't know if they showed it on the telecast:

When you go get a guy at the end of July
That's Amaro

Braves lose, Phils up by 6.

Pence looks like a fat kid that just found a whole lotta cake!

By the way... Raul technically gets just a single for the walk off, right?

Dom would have hit 3 homers.

If nothing else, I'm pretty sure Raul has done enough this year to put to rest the idea that he won't have a major league job next year. If he still wants to play in 2012, some team will have him.

Hunter Pence should rightfully be 4-9 with a double and a walk in 10 plate appearances with Philly so far. Robbed on two infield hits by a bad call and a base-running blunder by Howard.

Pretty awesome for him to get the walk-off run. Help him really feel what it's like to play for this team.

CJ: If he gets to second before the run scores, it's a double. I know the announcers said it was ruled a double and that's what the box score has too.

@CJ Tom McCarthy said it was officially scored a double "as it should be."

Phils back up 6 games on the Braves, 7 in the loss column.

Everyone realizes there's a greater chance of Atlanta missing the playoffs altogether than of the Braves winning the division, right?

funny to remember that only a few short weeks ago, most on BL had ibanez as the season's biggest disappointment, ahead of the likes of baez or ben fran. and only a few short days ago, they preferred brown over him.

luckily for the fans, the phils don't consult BL experts.

Drew and shipass: Weird... when I saw it on the replay, Raul clearly slowed up on the way around first.

Oh well, I'll take it!

CJ: Phillies are basically 100% for the playoffs and like 90% for the division.

Braves are about 70% for the playoffs, and 10% for the division.

"That's Amaro" Love that tume.

In defense of Hurdle, it was the right move to leave Watson in against Ibanez. LHH were .100/.217/.175 against him going into the game.

I've said it a million times, & I'll readily go a million-&-one ... BEN FRANCISCO is the Phillies' LVP. It's not even close. Ibañez is merely grossly overcompensated his occasional hitting & feeble defense.

Milwakee is only 1.5 games behind the giants for the 2 seed bow. If the giants get the 3 seed, it's likely the phils play them in the first round. 5 game series with the giants? No thanks!

Great weekend. Welcome to Philly, Mr. Pence. Good game. Let's go eat!

Spitz: Yeah, weirdly, we need to root for the Giants to win games. Definitely want the Giants/Braves to play each other 1st round.

Wouldn't it be better to just root for the Diamondbacks?

Petey: Good point. But I see that as a very unlikely scenario.

I'd rather root for the D-Backs to win and overtake the Giants to keep them out completely. Only 2 back with a win today.

The D'backs have the Cowgills on their team.

Watching Pence play it's a little like watching Frankenstein's Monster. It looks like he was made up of ill fitting spare parts. And I was thinking exactly the same thing as a poster above who pointed out the kid should have four hits in a Phillies uniform already were it not for Angel Hernandez and Ryan Howard's baserunning blunder. Oh well. Those are the little things that babip is made of.

Funny, the player he reminds me of most in Phillies history? He was standing next to him at the end of the game. Sarge. Possibly the two least graceful, but talented players I've seen in a while. They don't have a similar swing or a similar gait. But after watching them play, I find myself wondering how either one of them ever hit or caught a baseball.

I mean, Arizona has a +22 run differential compared to SF's +3. I don't know why someone would think it implausible for Arizona to come back since the run differential tells you pretty much all you need to know.

Hey, Braves just became the second team to lose 10,000 games. See how meaningful that is?

Yeh, I think I'll root for the D-Backs to knock the Giants out of the playoffs, too. I can't stomach rooting for the Giants. Sorry, I just can't do it.

Well, it seems Hunter Pence wasn't such a big upgrade for the Phils after all, so says SI's Joe Sheehan in discussing Atlanta's addition of Michael Bourn:

"This is a big upgrade on both sides of the ball, probably more than a basic WAR construct would indicate because of the value of improving the structure of the lineup -- having Bourn should mean more runners on base for the team's best hitters. I could see this deal being worth two wins over the season's last two months, while also making the Braves substantially better in a short series. It's the first completed deal that increases a team's postseason hopes."

I like Michael Bourn but I don't see him as an MVP candidate.

2.5 games with 2 full months to play? Why is everyone assuming the Giants have it in the bag?

Good God. This reminds me of when national writers jumped on the Braves bandwagon before the season just to go against conventional wisdom that the Phils would roll to the division title. Sheehan is talking like Atlanta just resurrected Ty Cobb in his prime to hit lead-off.

Bourn is a very good player and I'm not happy the Braves got him. But come on.

Gonna be Pirates, Dbacks and Cards in the playoffs, brew-crew, Braves and Giants have NO shot

Because the Giants have insanely good pitching. But now that Sanchez has been injured/ineffective, and Vogelsong has to regress, and Bumgarner hasn't turned out to be the second coming of Marichal, and they're forced to use Zito, it's less insanely good two to three out of five games.

And some people are dismissing the DBacks lightly. They have some nice pop in that lineup and better pitching than anyone thought before the season started. And that dome is an advantage as well. Took in a few games there two years ago and it's a little tough to pick up the ball. Not Tropicana Field tough, but tough nonetheless.

Braves second team to 10,000 losses, btw. No fanfare yet.

Wow, this team is pretty good. Pretty pretty good. Lost 1 series since June 15th. Might be another month until we lose another.

"Watching Pence play it's a little like watching Frankenstein's Monster. It looks like he was made up of ill fitting spare parts."

Yep. There's something similar with Brown. Watching Brown is like watching a gangly colt or fawn that still hasn't figured out coordination.

In Pence's case, the Frankenstein Monster seems mostly to work. In Brown's case, less so. Maybe during the rest of the season and over the winter, Brown will develop into the left fielder the Phils need. But given the choice, I'd just as soon see Ibanez back there next year.

Ruben looks craftier with the stash.

I wouldn't count the D'Backs out in the West. They were tagged for death when Drew went down but they've actually gained a game since then.

Also, I wouldn't rule out the Cardinals and Brewers both passing the Braves. The Cardinals are going to put some pressure on the Braves from this point out and they got the same type of thing the Braves did by going after a leadoff hitter in Furcal.

"But given the choice, I'd just as soon see Ibanez back there next year."

Oh jeez.

Just to play devil's advocate, the Pirates improved both their defense and offense by adding Lee and Ludwick. This is not a bad lineup, especially if Ludwick reverts to form after leaving Petco. And their pitching has been better than expected. Plus Rickie Weeks is out for 6 weeks and the Cardinals are a crapshoot.

The left side of the Bucs INF remains awful, but maybe Alvarez will suddenly turn into the player all the scouts predicted.

Alvarez looks like a poor man's Ramirez over at third. The Bucs look a whole lot better than they used to, but they're not better than either Milwaukee or St. Louis. The positive for them is that the difference is not very great between the teams and anything can happen, injuries, hot streaks.

So, do the Phils send Ben Fran down and grab another pitcher for their trip to Colorado? Seems it would be the prudent thing to do.

pence could be marty's wild oats son.

I mentioned before that both Ibanez and Lidge could be back next season but both would have to take a huge pay cut and give a hometown discount. I doubt that happens.

If Lidge somehow transforms into a finesse pitcher and Ibanez is willing to take Gload's job I could see them back. (Watch Amaro extend each for 3 years.)

"But given the choice, I'd just as soon see Ibanez back there next year."

Stop talking.

"But given the choice, I'd just as soon see Ibanez back there next year."

Stop talking.

Posted by: Malcolm


I'm an Ibanez defender but there's no reason in hell for him to be on this team next year - not even for the veteran minimum.

f4f: I was thinking that very same thing.

That being said, this has to be Raul's final year in Philly. Pence in RF, Victorino in CF and a platoon of Brown and Mayberry in LF makes for an effective and relatively inexpensive OF for the foreseeable future.

I'd be interested to see who might come on board as a backup if/when Francisco is non-tendered.

On a side note, any chance Thome clears waivers? I'd like to see him win a ring in Philly, and we could do worse for a PH and World Series DH.

This will be Raul's last year in Philly, but I would not mind having him as LH hitter off the bench next season.

K-Fraud came into the Houston vs. Milwaukee game w/ a lead in the 8th, & blew it.

Heh heh heh ...

"But given the choice, I'd just as soon see Ibanez back there next year."

Posted by: Bake McBride was Here | Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 05:39 PM

Oh, good God no. Even after today's epically awesome game (good job, Ibanez!), he still has a .728 OPS with bad defense. And next year he'll be slower, probably a worse hitter and he'll still make more than Dom would.

That said, upon further reflection, I think they made the right call to send Dom down. He can learn how to play LF, and it lets both of them get at-bats, which'll be important if the Phillies get to the World series and both of them start against RH starters. And didn't someone say that they could avoid Super-2 status for Dom if they keep him down for August?

Oh and fantastic game from Ibanez. Good thing the Phillies didn't just shift Dom over to LF.

Good thing the Phillies didn't just shift Dom over to LF.

After what I saw from Brown in the field I wouldn't shift him into a casual game of catch w/out very careful consideration.

"Good thing the Phillies didn't just shift Dom over to LF."

Good thing it wasn't even a consideration.

hib to the jib...the phillies keep marching on

What does "hib to the jib" mean?

DH Phils: Googling might shed some light on it. Sadly, it does not appear to mean "Permaban."

Maybe we can revive the discussion of the other day: My opinion was that both Rollins and Utley have the ability to become Hall of Famers if they put up their current type numbers for five more years and maybe win a championship or two more.

Now? The Phillies with the best chance to be in the Hall of Fame? Hunter Pence.

aksmith: Apparently Michael Bourn has a better shot at the HoF than any of 'em, & Atlanta got him for NOTHING!!! r00b wuz JOBBED!!!

Ibanez was fantastic!

~listened on radio while working in the yard~

Hell of a game!

1) I would still like to see Raul platooned with Mayberry particulary on the road. He has picked it up at home ( he could of had another homer last Sunday against SD but was robbed on a great catch)
2) I wonder about Utley. He has been driving the ball better but I think he could use some rest. All I heard during the spring was how serious his knee condition was. I know he is a gamer but I would like to see him at full strength for the playoffs. Maybe right now Charlie's hands are tied because of Polanco's health.
3) Interested to see how Oswalt looks when he comes back. Probably a six inning guy for the time being.
4) Tough 10 game road trip coming up, especially with four in San Fran. I would sign on the dotted line now for 6-4.
5) i hate the 10pm starts on the West Coast. especially after a tough loss, work comes early.

oH S8it, the yard work. what month is this?

aksmith: You mean, other than Halladay?

***hey should fire their manager and replace him with someone who knows what the hell they're doing. ***

Clint Hurdle is and always has been a terrible in-game manager.

"Run, Forrest, run."

aksmith - i'd say hunter pence has zero shot at the hall of fame given his career so far. i couldnt tell if you were being sarcastic or not.

To put that in context:

Raul Ibanez career avg -
.281/.343./.472, 22HR, 94RBI, 113 OPS+

Hunter Pence career avg -
.290/.339/.479, 25HR, 90RBI, 117 OPS+

And that takes into account Raul's elder years as well. Hunter Pence is above average, well below HOF quality

G-Town - In fact, the Braves did get Bourn for nothing. Maybe less. Those prospects stink in the scheme of things. If our lineup weren't already so lefthanded, I imagine we could have gotten Bourn for May and a warm cup of spit. That's about what Atlanta gave up for him.

Circus, yes I was kidding. Hunter is a nice player, but he's no hall of famer.

DH - Halladay is a given. The others are question marks.

Ibanez > Brown. It's just the way it is.

If Brown were to vastly improve by next year, fan-f___ing-tastic. If not and for some wild reason Ibanez were the other choice, then bring on 40-year-old Raul.

Some thoughts from the game:

- RIP Pirates '11 season. Phils put them down for the dirt nap today. Came in just 2.5 GB. Leaving 4.5 GB. Nice run while it lasted but their season is over.

2nd NL team the Phils have put down this season already (4-game sweep of the Fish from June 14-18 effectively ended their season).

- Angel Hernandez has to have one of the most pitcher-friendly strike zones in the league. He constantly gives the outside corner whenever I see him behind the plate.

- Pirates better hope that 2011 is just an aberation for P. Alvarez becuase he had one of the worst swings I have seen all year today. He isn't going to help them down the stretch.

Behind on stuff all today, flailing away off-balance, and simply not picking stuff up. It was brutal. Given how piss poor he is defensively (miss played a routine pop foul ball today), he better hit for power because that is supposed to be his one great attribute.

- Not sure how Worley was getting so many swing & misses on his fastball today. I would love to sit right behind home plate but it really looked like the Pirates' hitters had trouble picking it up especially early.

- Phils are going to rely upon Lidge at some key point in the playoffs & he will fail them. His slider today was 79-81 without the customary break. No command on his fastball.

- Call me crazy but Bastardo is the guy I want to see right now in a key situation late. His stuff is electric with one of the best sliders in the game. Dropoff after Madson/Bastardo in this pen is quite steep though.

Can't believe people think the Phils have a similiar caliber bullpen to the Giants or Braves.

- Pence just has a wacky stance. No other way to describe. His right foot rests as far back as it possibly can with his left foot well out in front & at about a 30 degree.

He has one of the most open stances I can remember ever seeing. As the last minute, he lines up his left foot and it somehow comes together. It does result in some really ugly looking swings when he misses especially on offspeed stuff away. I can also see why he is easy to jam if you get a fastball in on his hands.

Clint Hurdle is known for going to the mound with frequent mound meeting and somewhat lengthy ones.

It was hilarious today how Hernandez would starting walking out to the mound as soon as Hurdle arrived there to break up the meeting. Hell, in the 10th when Hurdle went out to the mound to talk to Watson, Hernandez started walking out to the mound even before Hurdle got there. Can't remember seeing that in a game recently.

68 wins matches the season total for the 1891, 1925, and 1997 seasons.

"Can't believe people think the Phils have a similiar caliber bullpen to the Giants or Braves."

Who has ever claimed this?

MG: You'd think with all those trips to the mound, one time Hurdle would just go ahead and bring in his best reliever.

But no.

Phils are the best team in MLB and the only thing that will hold them back will be their health & effectivness of mainly three guys: Polanco, Lidge, and Oswalt.

- Mini Mart has played some great D at 3B and arguably shown enough to be in the utlity INF running next spring. He is also a low baseball IQ guy who makes poor decisions with too many foolish ABs, swing selection, and lacks ability to bunt/make contact.

Polanco's defense might not be as good as Mini Mart's but even a Polanco who could hit .270-.280 out of the 7-hole would be a big lift for this lineup.

- After Bastardo/Madson, there is a real quality gap between the relievers. I guess Stutes would get the call if the Phils were ahead in the 7th/Lidge if they were behind.

Phils really need the Lidge of last Aug/Sept who wasn't throwing quite as hard (91-92 on his fastball) but still had a good hard slider that he could throw a couple of different variations of.

Hard slider isn't there right now. Just at 81 MPH or so. He can still get guys to go fishing for it in the dirt but it doesn't have the same bite nor does he have the same control of it.

I have no idea what the Phils will get from Lidge the remainder of the season but it certainly looks like he isn't even what he was last year down the stretch. That's a problem now that the deadline has passed.

- Oswalt gives teh Phils a big potential edge in a Game 4 depending upon how he matches up with. I am really curious to see if Oswalt looks like the June version who clearly labored or more of the April version who would give this team a notable edge in a potential Game 4 matchup.

Team that did the best at the deadline?

- Braves? Nope. Phils? Nada. Rangers? Bingo. Got Adams who is arguably the best setup guy right now in MLB baseball and added Uehara in the 7th.

They probably went to being the slight favorites in the AL now ahead of the Red Sox. Really like their team.

Iceman - I have seen it mentioned a few times on here. NL teams made a few nice moves but I am really glad the Phils are in the NL and not the AL. Rangers, Yanks, and Red Sox are all notably better than any other team in the NL than the Phils.

Great game from Raul, nice to see the Phils finish a sweep as well.

I have a bad feeling that Ibanez fails to break the Mendoza line in August.

MG: Everything I've heard says Oswalt has looked sharp. Hopefully he can pull out 7 inning outings down the stretch.

MG - I don't know what you've been looking at, but Lidge's slider looks fine. It's his fastball that's the problem. He's topping out at 89 and goes as slow as 86 and he has no command of it.

But his "strike" slider is as good as ever. The one I haven't seen is the tumbler that ends up at the ankles or in the dirt. Don't know if he's tried to throw that one or if he's able to.

It makes me wonder why Rube didn't go all in on Adams or Bell. Or maybe one of the other guys who were on the market. Maybe he tried. Or maybe he thinks he'll grab someone off waivers in the next month.

I wonder if Hideki Matsui would have been available to replace Gload as the lefty off the bench. Don't know his contract situation. But I'd have loved to have him for the stretch run and playoffs.

Pirates are 3 games away from the same win total they had all last year. Yea, Hurdle should be fired right away. He's done nothing with this team.

MG: Who in the world ever suggested the Phils bullpen was equal to or better than the Giants or Braves?

With Madson and Bastardo we're close to or equal either 8th/9th combo in Atlanta or San Fran. But after that? It's a pretty big question mark.

Two posts for Lidge to basically tell us Lidge stinks, AND he starts a constructed argument by making up a starter.

Always welcome.

MG- I'm on here a lot and I haven't seen anyone say that. Maybe I missed it. I know there are a lot of people, myself included, who would have rather focused on bullpen help because I think the pen is extremely thin after Madson/Bastardo.

Basically by not getting another arm, Rube is hinging his hopes on the starters going 7+ innings in every playoff start and not running their pitch counts up. I guess you could make an argument that if they don't, the Phils are screwed anyway, but there isn't a single arm in the bullpen I trust in a key spot aside of Madson and Bastardo, Stutes included. What happens if a game goes extras?

Don't get me wrong, I like the addition of Pence, but this team is going to be playing close games in the playoffs no matter what. An extra arm for the 7th or extras would have been nice.

"Pirates are 3 games away from the same win total they had all last year. Yea, Hurdle should be fired right away. He's done nothing with this team."

It had to be said.

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