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Tuesday, August 30, 2011


***NEPP: Howard isn't as potential a Hall of Famer as Utley? Or even more so?

It's like people are going out of their way to prove my case.

You really think Howard has HoF potential at this point? Really? He plays the easiest position on the diamond and his offense isn't even close to elite now.

I was expecting runs scored last night, too. Bailey had a different idea.

Only way I see the Reds winning this is if the Reds get a few HRs against Halladay.

Definitely 'feels like a win.'

And it carries over to the game thread ...

Fat - after Drew, this is probably mostly our fault.

NEPP, quit feeding the troll. Clearly he is conveniently forgetting the 4+ years of vitriol spewed, openly and often, against the likes of Pat Burrell and David Bell. He's just looking to stir the pot.

And by "our" I mean "your" of course

There is no excuse for the Phils not to win this game. Pitching match-up is ridiculously in the Phil's favor. Hopefully the offense shook off its rust last night.

I'm just sick of the BS racism excuse every time someone dares to say Utley is a superior player to Howard. Utley is better and pretty much always has been. It has nothing to do with his skin color when people acknowledge it.

NEPP, it typically comes from those who don't understand the simple nuance of baseball that doesn't equate one position player to another at a different position. Very "fansince09" mentality.

At the root of it is a simple expectations vs. performance. Those who can't comprehend that expectations are different by position, do not understand an important aspect of baseball. Unfortunate that they're still quick to use SABR metrics without understanding these things.

CJ: This is why people say Utley is better than Howard:

It's because sabermetrics says it's not even close, and most people on this blog subscribe to sabermetric thought. Unless WAR has a racial component, race is not the reason people think Utley is better than Howard.

Utley on. Howard up. Confidence low. Hope I'm wrong.

Have I just never noticed Arroyo's unorthodox leg kick in his windup delivery, or is that new? Kind of distracting.

Still plenty of good seats available. I guess the fans in Cincy don't pay to see Votto on a mediocre team, huh?

Oh well, at least he didn't strike out looking. That's a step in the right direction.

Dont worry, in 2 days, that ball is gone. Not September yet.

The average Phillies fan with no interest in sabermetrics thinks Ryan Howard is on the same level as Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez because of his RBIs. It's the sabermetrically-inclined fans who "bash" Howard.

Feel free to disagree with the tenets of sabermetrics. You can legitimately argue that sabermetrics undervalue Howard and that some fans overvalue sabermetrics. Implying that race must be the reason people think Utley is better than Howard shows an apparent ignorance to what is talked about every day on this blog: WAR, wOBA, and differences in positional replacement level.

Cincy has never had great attendance...for one, its a tiny metropolitan area.

This blog has gotten depressing lately...can we please get back to enjoying the 84-46 first place Phillies? Seriously, the team is 5 games up in the loss column for best record in BASEBALL.
I forgot, wins are not a good indictor of how well you are doing according to BL.

(by that, I mean ignorance to the fact that WAR, wOBA, and positional value are talked about every day here, not necessarily ignorance to the statistics themselves)

What's up with Doc lately. Lots of bloopy soft hits for like the past month now.

Doc let the leadoff man on? No way!

DH Phils, very well put and all very fair statements.

NEPP, yeah, that was my snarky remark about a post earlier today about having a less than great team, with a star player to generate your revenue. Though, I don't think anyone can argue the fact that if you win, the butts will show up in the seats.

One of the things I've noticed lately is that the Phil's pitchers have had trouble in the 1st inning. Cole's start aside last night, I can't remember the last time a SP had a 1-2-3 1st inning. Could be my imagination, though.

Yeah, I recall the post.

More wins equals more attendance (outside of Florida basically).

That were scary. But now I'm sensing a DP.

And by "DP" I meant strikeout.

Keith: I think that's a lot of the reason why, we have less complaining about to do about the actual team.

Nice play, Doc. Way to shake off that rust with a nice catch.

SLO Phan: Halladay has a lot of not 1-2-3 innings, & not just in the 1st.

SSS alert, but judging by Halladay's velocity on his cutter and the lone 4-seamer Gameday shows him throwing, he's either affected by the layoff in the same manner that Hamels was, or the gun in Cincy may be a bit on the slow side. Either way, it helps reassure that Hamels should be just fine.

Nice job by Doc to get out of that inning. Didn't give in to Votto.

How is Cairo hitting 5th though? Is that something he has done much of this year? Odd lineup choice by Baker.

Gtown: Agreed. Just seems like the pitchers have labored in the 1st inning lately.

I really have not missed Raul in this lineup at all

Well, that was fun. Can IbaƱez go back to warming the bench now?

Very replacement level-esque, on the part of Mr. Ibanez.

WP: Arroyo only does the leg kick when no runners are on base, which is why we're seeing a lot of it tonight.

Looks like the law of averages may be bringing the Phils back to earth v Arroyo. Can't score 9 in 2 innings every time.

Keith - Agreed.

"This blog has gotten depressing lately...can we please get back to enjoying the 84-46 first place Phillies?"

S'matter? You don't enjoy talking about how the man with one of the best HR per AB ratios in history, and with one of the best RBI per AB ratios in history, is an albatross?

Is there something wrong with you?

Single Season HR Peak:

Ted Williams: 43
Dave Kingman: 48

Clearly, Kingman is the better player.

there's something vaguely fascistic about that leg kick.

OK. 2 outs. Now it's time for the offense to shine.

Top 10 players in hr/ab in history:

1. Mark McGwire 10.61 R
2. Babe Ruth+ 11.76 L
3. Barry Bonds 12.92 L
4. Ryan Howard (31) 13.27 L
5. Jim Thome (40) 13.62 L
6. Ralph Kiner+ 14.11 R
7. Albert Pujols(31) 14.12 R
8. Harmon Killebrew 14.22 R
9. Sammy Sosa 14.47 R
10. Alex Rodriguez(35) 14.59 R

Slouches, one and all.

If the Phils would just leave the bats on their shoulders, they'd have about 5 walks instead of 5 weak popups.

I was getting ready to type something about trotting out Cairo and Renteria every day, then remembered how old Polanco and Ibanez are.

Look at Valdez trying to secure a playoff roster spot. Nice play at short.

In the history of the game - players with a better ab/rbi ratio than Ryan Howard.

Babe Ruth
Lou Gehrig
Hank Greenberg
Ted Williams
Jimmie Foxx
Mark McGuire

Bunch of bums.

1. Mark McGwire 10.61 R, 162 OPS+
2. Babe Ruth+ 11.76 L, 206 OPS+
3. Barry Bonds 12.92 L, 181 OPS+
4. Ryan Howard (31) 13.27 L, 138 OPS+
5. Jim Thome (40) 13.62 L, 147 OPS+
6. Ralph Kiner+ 14.11 R, 149 OPS+
7. Albert Pujols(31) 14.12 R, 170 OPS+
8. Harmon Killebrew 14.22 R, 143 OPS+
9. Sammy Sosa 14.47 R, 128 OPS+
10. Alex Rodriguez(35) 14.59 R, 145 OPS+

Sosa is the only one with a lower OPS+ and that includes his ridiculously bad pre-steroid seasons. Even Killebrew's number, which is close, is only close due to his bad dip at the very end of his career in his late 30s.

Terrible comp.

Mike Morse has Jurrjens number tonight.

Valdez is on the roster. He's actually right there with Vic as one of the guys you want at the plate when you need a big hit.

"Sosa is the only one with a lower OPS+"

Right. He has weaknesses as a player.

He has also hit HRs and driven in runs at rates equaled by only a handful of players in the history of the game.

He doesn't walk much. His OBP isn't very good. He strikes out a lot.

But when there are runners on base, and when there are runners in scoring position, he makes up for his weaknesses with prodigious production.

You can't have everything in life. He's not a perfect player, get over it.

And in the meantime, enjoy sitting back and watching one of the best cleanup hitters/run producers in the history of the game.


"Neither you nor any other poster here ever says anything negative about Utley while bashing away on J-Roll, Howard, Ibanez etc. etc."

You must be confusing me with other posters. I've been known to say negative things about everyone on the Phillies, even Halladay. If you'd like me to recap the negative things I've said about Utley, I've said that his defense is vastly overrated, his throwing arm is terrible, his offense is a shell of what it used to be, he can't stay on the field, and he goes through prolonged slumps every season in which he's absolutely unbearable to watch.

Nonetheless, he's still one of the top 5 2nd baseman in the game & it requires an incredibly active imagination to argue that he's just as deserving of criticism as Howard, Rollins, or (seriously?) Ibanez.


.ti oD

Nobody ever said he was a perfect fact, we're just saying Utley is better and has been.

Why people argue it is a mystery to me at this point.

"Valdez is on the roster. He's actually right there with Vic as one of the guys you want at the plate when you need a big hit."

And on the mound when you need a big out.

About damn time.

Yeah, BAP really is an equal opportunity criticizer.

On cue, Ryno with a bomb and 2 RBI's.

the bum !!

That was absolutely bound to happen after he spent the entire day as the subject of Beerleaguer scorn.

Like that.

Harmon Killebrew would have hit that much deeper into the seats. Howard sucks.

Anomaly... not a sign... no hot Sept coming.

No sir.


Worthless HR

Worthless RBIs

I'll take both

Dare I say that was a bandbox homer, or is that a whole "pot, meet kettle" kinda thing?

12 more if he wants another 40 HR season.

Is there was a better way to measure RBI efficiency that was more than just BA with RISP? Perhaps weighted by number of opportunities somehow. Someone mentioned Howard having a large number of opportunities as being a reason he has so many RBIs in one of the many, many Howard==overrated discussions.

Shouldn't he have been saving that HR for Thursday, when the calendar turns over?

Of course, the way some people look at it, it's purely coincidence that he is only behind Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, and Mark McGuire in ab/rbi. I mean, the fact that he's seventh behind six hall of famers and the biggest juicer in history is purely coincidence.

And the proof? Because his career OPS+ isn't high as some people - who seem to enjoy whining about imperfection rather than enjoy watching excellence - would like. Because if a player isn't perfect, he's an albatross.

From a WAR perspective, Chase's walk was actually more valuable than Howard's HR. Believe me - I plugged it into my handy dandy black box, and it said so.

phlipper, it has nothing to do with bashing Howard to say Utley is the better player. Why people cant accept that is mind-boggling.

Actually, Utley's BB was valuable. Arroyo seems like a different pitcher throwing from the stretch. Personally, I like having both Utley & Howard.

I know RBI's are a statistic that is scorned by many but can we all agree on something here.

Had he not gotten hurt last year there is a very good chance that Howard would be on pace for 6 straight seasons of 130+ RBI's. That is pretty good no matter what statistic or metric system you subscribe too.

Yeah, Spitz, but the HR actually was the optimal outcome in that spot.

WP: There's a reason that Howard's homerun totals on the road are almost exactly the same as his homerun totals on the road: because Citizens Bank Park is an absolutely average homerun park & has been ever since they moved the fences back.

Great American BallPark, on the other hand is a bandbox.

Arroyo Career Splits:
Bases Empty: .740 OPS
Man on 1B: .806 OPS

Arroyo 2011 Split:
Bases Empty: .835 OPS
Man on 1B: .939 OPS

So yeah, Utley was integral to that HR there.

Willard Preacher, no the optimal outcome (from the team's perspective) is clearly walking the bases loaded and getting a grand slam. From a player's perspective, though, getting a HR is clearly the most optimal thing they can do on an individual level.

Andrew - Howard's had a lot of opportunities, no doubt.

He also has phenomenal numbers with runners on base and runners in scoring position.

He also hits HRs at a prodigious rate.

His career rbi/ab ratio is not simply a factor of having a lot of runners on base.

Recently someone posted an article that discussed rbi production weighted for number of opportunities - but it was limited in scope to this year (when Howard has been relatively down), and failed to factor in the rbi created when you knock yourself in with an HR. In other words, it was a hatchet job.

His career rbi production stands for itself. Sabermetricians can whine all they want about advanced statistics, but Howard has produced runs as well as all but a handful of players in the history of the game.

Disagree WP - "Optimal" would have been a 15 pitch AB followed by a HR.

"phlipper, it has nothing to do with bashing Howard to say Utley is the better player."

NEPP - I never said it was. I don't think it's "bashing." I just think it's stupid and meaningless.

They are completely different ballplayers that play different roles on the team. Saying one is better or worse than the other means absolutely nothing.

Utley is a great player in a number of ways.

Howard is a run producer that ranks with the all time greats in the history of the game.

Comparing players is something all fans do...regardless of position.

I love that Doc can look like crap in the 1st and still have a scoreless game going through 4. He's just so unassuming in his dominance.


Anyone seen Jack?

I'm going out on a limb and saying that Halladay isn't giving this lead up.

Halladay is probably annoyed by all the Kershaw for CY talk that's going around...expect him to go on a 5-6 game run of dominance to finish out the year.

"Is there was a better way to measure RBI efficiency that was more than just BA with RISP?"

BA with RISP doesn't capture it all because some RBIs come with no RISP. In fact, some come with no one on base at all. But a solo homerun is every bit as good as a single which drives a guy home from 3rd.

By my definition, an "RBI opportunity" is the sum of all men on base during a player's official ABs, plus the number of his official ABs (since every AB is 1 RBI opportunity, by defintion), plus the number of men driven home by way of sacrifice fly (since a sac fly isn't an official AB). Then, take the guy's RBI total, divide it by his RBI opportunities, and you could get a pretty accurate measure of how good a guy really is at driving home runs. I have no idea if such information is available anywhere.

Victorino is a talented player of the sport of baseball.

Just another worthless hr by Howard. Imagine how good this team would be if we had that stiff huff or Carlos Pena. Great job Howard to get doc a little early lead.

BAP: I'd be interested to see those totals. Do BR or Fangraphs have an API to query that sort of stuff?

Vic is definitely having one hell of a season.

Nice job of stranding Victorino by Utley.

Andrew: So far as I know, I just made that stat up. There is a website that lays out players' RBI opportunities, & percentage of successes. But I think its definition of an RBI opportunity refers to having men on base or in scoring position -- which doesn't really capture the full range of potential RBI opportunities. Last I checked, a run scored on a solo homerun counts just as much as a run driven home from 3rd base.

Look at that fat slob nearly crushing the little girl when Polanco caught the ball

Love the 8 pitch inning by Doc.

i think polly head-butted him.

Iceman - Nope. Not unless Cholly leaves him out there too late and the Reds tag one out. Strike zone has been generous tonight and Doc had really settled in since the 2nd.

I actually haven't said anything negative about Hunter Pence since he came to the Phillies. I'm sure I eventually will, though.

Pence comes through again.

Vlad Pence.

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