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Monday, August 29, 2011

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Polanco was pretty brutal all around and has been all year.


Cole looked fantastic.

NEPP, I get your point that Stutes shouldn't pitch the 8th, but I liked Manuel using Bastardo in the 7th to get through Votto, Bruce and Stubbs, and letting Stutes face the 7-9 hitters in the 8th.

84 wins matches the season total for the 1979 season. 23-22 was a heckuva game.


Hib to the jib...PHillies win! DOOP DOOP DOOP

Unsung hero of the game: Ruiz, for blocking about 5 errant pitches in the 8th inning with runners on base.

what it was.

I know people are always looking for something to worry about, but did anyone see anything tonight that would make them worried about Cole? He looked very good.

Hamels needs to figure out how to allow fly balls that Pence can't mess up.

I know he won't win but I hope Shane gets a few MVP votes this year. This guy has really played well everywhere in line up and hasn't made and error all year.

Did anyone get a "y'know" count in Shane's interview?

Shane Victorino says a million words a minute. I get a headache sometimes trying to follow along.

really toughed out that win.

Liked what I saw from Cole. Velocity maybe wasn't there. And was helped out a bit by the strike zone. But seemed to get a lot of swings and misses tonight. Curve ball was sloppy but had a couple of good ones on Votto. I'm glad they didn't push him.

We definitely need another Left Handed bullpen option. Bastardo was fine in the situation in the 7th. (if cole was fully back, those batters were his). But you needed another lefty in the 8th. You will definitely need one in the playoffs.

What can you say about Vic. Clutch homer.


"Polanco was pretty brutal all around and has been all year."

Yep, his April was just terrible.

The hook: I could not possibly agree more.

Fat, I liked the usage of Bastardo too...I just dont think Stutes is a good idea in the 8th going forward and especially in the playoffs.

Basically, if our starters dont go 7, our BP is very thin. Same if we have to go to extras.


Shane is easily the team MVP this year.

BAP: Couldn't agree more. Chooch coaxed Bastardo and Stutes through those innings, blocked everything, took charge. Veteran catcher. Great game by a couple of warriors Hamels, Vic and Chooch.

Hamels' fastball average 90.2 MPH tonight, which is low for him, but I'm ok for now chalking that up to it being his first start back. Got 3 swings and misses out of 41 4-seamers thrown. The changeup was just nasty tonight. Out of 21 changes, he got 6 swings and misses.

Curve wasn't there tonight. Threw it 11 times, but only 3 for strikes and no swings and misses.

Generally, he was all fastball/change tonight.

Tough hard fought win, but a win nonetheless. Nice way to kick off the mess of a month the Phillies are walking into down the stretch.

BAP - Great point. Stutes was either hanging that slider right over the plate or bouncing it in the dirt tonight. He had no feel at all for it.

Schneider doesn't block every one of those sliders in the dirt nor prevent the base runner from advancing on them.

Bah. Chooch. Overrated. Dane Sardinha would have blocked all of those balls, hit a 5 Run homer & sacrificed his health & well being to stop the Reds from scoring on close plays at the plate.

NOT.

Polanco needs to start next season in September.

If the Phils starters aren't going at least 7 in the playoffs, they probably lose that game anyway.

I guess there's no way that Moyer's rehabbing in Clearwater couldn't mean a post-season Loogy role. Right??? Right??? :)

"If the Phils starters aren't going at least 7 in the playoffs, they probably lose that game anyway."

Probably true. Halladay, Hamels & Lee are basically our 7th inning relievers for the playoffs. But the lack of bullpen depth could still loom large if we're forced to play any extra inning games.

It will be a darn shame that relying on Lidge and Contreras to be healthy this year, is the difference between winning the World Series or not.

They have been fortunate that Bastardo made the Leap And Madson has held serve and Stutes did well.

Worley and/or Kendrick will be counted on for important innings in the playoffs I feel.

I wouldn't take too much from tonight's game too seriously.

The hitters (except for Valdez) all looked off with their timing. Vic even admitted afterward it took him til his 4th AB to feel comfortable up there.

I haven't seen so many weakly hit popups and groundballs to the opposite side of the diamond all year.

Hamels looked good, but honestly thought he was struggling in the last few innings with his command (missing Chooch's glove a lot, even on strikes). I don't think he trusted his fastball much tonight. I think Cholly actually was right on the money to get him out of there as early as he did. I think he would have struggled to get through the 7th.

And what happened to Cole as a hitter? Ever since he hurt his hand, he has looked bad at the plate.

It took Bastardo about 10 pitches to throw more then 1 actual pitch in the zone. Luckily Bruce swung at 3 of them that would have been balls. He knocked off the rust and found his release point after that.

Stutes had no clue where the slider was going early, but knocked off the rust and found the feel of it late. He threw some good ones to Dave Chappelle (and should have gotten him out) and jammed Joe Votto with one to get him out.

I think this was a game that had loss written all over it, but somehow they figured out a way to win it. A game the really good teams win and the average teams lose.

Hope all the rust got knocked off tonight and Doc doesn't look like he usually does after the AS Break.

b_a_p: Charlie's managing, lack of bullpen depth, Charlie's managing ... there are literally hundreds of ways in which the Phillies might lose an extra-inning postseason game. And 90% of them are Charlie's managing. But yeah, lack of bullpen depth, too.

Few thoughts from tonight:

- Polanco had a tough game but he has been has been generally making much better contact this month. He had a tough night tonight at the plate but so did a few other guys including Mayberry (who looked awful and off-balance all night) and Howard.

Need at least another 2 weeks to have a better idea of what he will likely give the Phils offensively in the postseason.

- Polanco didn't misplay that smash. He did hesitate though a bit on the throw and put it short. Been doing that all year.

Infield defense on this team just isn't the same caliber as it was in 2008 & the only guy who I feel solid when they throw the ball is JRoll. Even JRoll doesn't have the same arm though. He occasionally will take a shutter step to 1B too.

- ESPN color guys tonight (Boone, Sutcliffe) made a bunch of puzzling or downright inaccurate points about the Phils tonight. Vic hit a curve that Bailey hung out. That isn't a pitch that baffles him from the left-side. It is a changeup from RHP.

Couple of other points too including the odd praise for Stutes given how much he has struggled of late especially since the ASB. Boone's lack of preparation really showed tonight especially.

- Valdez has quietly put together quite a nice August giving the Phils a nice boost filling in for Polanco and JRoll. At .297 (14-47) now this month after this 2-3 tonight and has 10 RBIs.

- Reds' rookies tonight (Sappelt and Alonso) ran into some filthy offspeed stuff starting with Hamels' changeup and later with Bastardo's slider & Madson's changeup. Looked overmatched all night. Tough night to be a rookie facing some of the best offspeed stuff in the NL.

@MG -- I don't think the JRoll's "stutter step" issue is his arm. Its the lack of stability with his legs (trying to get a good plant,etc) which has made his throws inaccurate. His arm strength is the same.

- Mini Mart failing to get that bunt down was exactly why he shouldn't be at the MLB. He simply doesn't do the things you would except a utility infielder (baserunning, bunting, contact) well.

Clout's right. The gap between the quality of a Valdez and Mini Mart is larger than most people think.

- No Lidge in the 8th tonight? Speaks volumes about the lack of confidence that Cholly has in him right now. I was really stunned to see Stutes in that spot.

Hamm - That might well be the case. Really good point.

MG: I feel Stutes & Lidge are very similar, the key difference being we've already seen Lidge fail in these situations eleventy-five times. At least Stutes is a different face.

Phils offense still best in the NL since May 23rd, at 4.89 runs per game. Like I predicted, the Mets, who were leading most of the way in this category, have fallen back to 3rd, due in large part to the departure of Beltran.

Speaking of Beltran, I know he's been injured a good bit since joining the Giants, but the Giants were the worst offensive team in baseball before Beltran showed up, and they are still the worst offensive team in the majors. Hard to add any kind of boost to that abysmal offensive squad.

Anyways, back to the Phillies. Now all the way up to 4th in the NL in runs/game, at 4.52.

The NL leader is only at 4.68. Not bad, especially considering their woeful start to the season.

MG-

You could really tell the guys who are no-stride, "feel" hitters (Utley, Howard, Polanco and Mayberry) were off-balance and out-of-synch tonight.

Plus give Homer Bailey credit. He kept pumping strikes in there early in the count and the Phils hitters were in the hole most of the night. He was throwing fastballs, curveballs and sliders for strikes all night.

I think they'll put Rauuuul back in there tomorrow in LF. See how it goes for a day. Then he'll sit and Mayberry will play against Dontrelle on Wednesday.

i think polly's hernia might be effecting his throws.

Is Mini Mart a candidate to not make the playoff roster? Please?

I think Stutes has more zip and longevity in the arm,... and he's building mental toughness with outings like this.

Lidge is just flat out finished

I find it difficult to see the strong comparison

Hard to get a read on Hamels tonight. Looked really good the first 2 times through the lineup. He struggled a bit later with his command a bit & only threw 76 pitches. This is a team he has owned & a place where he has had some really good results. Curious to see what he looks like his next 2 starts (@ FLA, @ MIL).

Velocity was a tick off on his 4-seamer too in spots but that wasn't a big issue. He did hit 92 a couple of times.

Also, as I'm putting these numbers into my spreadsheet, I'm realizing one immutable truth:

When it comes to offense, there's the Red Sox, Yankees and Rangers...and there's everyone else.

And it's not even close.

Valdez has quietly raised his average to .247, and (as MG reported above) he's hitting .297 this month. Also, he's is the Phil's leading hitter (for average) with RISP.

Yes, the gap between Valdez and MM widens. If Polanco can't pick up his game in September, perhaps Wilson should start at third in October?

Stutes simply isn't leaking oil. It is becoming a gusher. He has 10 appearances this month including tonight and has given up at least 1 R in 5 of them.

He had no feel for his slider tonight. Either he improves that pitch or he simply isn't a MLB caliber pitch.

I would have rather seen Lidge or Herndon tonight in the 8th. Stutes simply isn't a guy you want to see in any kind of higher-leverage spot right now.

Fatalotti: Another way to put that would be "When it comes to Offense there's the American League, & the National League. And it's not even close."

MG: I can see an argument in favor of Herndon over Stutes, but not Lidge. Lidge is done.

GTown, that's a good point, except for the Yankees, whose DH has largely been Posada, who's been pretty bad this year.

If every team was stripped of their DH, the Yankees would be the best offense in baseball. The Red Sox would still be top 2, probably.

The Rangers would get hurt a lot, since they've used Young there a lot this year, and he's been really good for them.

I think beerleaguers should start pushing Shane for MVP anywhere and everywhere we can on the interwebs.

Fatalotti: Well, the NL has Home Field & (in the case of the Phillies) great Starting Pitching going for 'em. Here's hoping it makes enough of a difference.

Just for Iceman:

'Day' Hamels: 8 GS, 2.73 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 4.5 K/BB, .218 BAA
'Night' Hamels: 18 GS, 2.51 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 4.7 K/BB, .211 BAA

The gap has narrowed compared to year's past but once again 'Night' Hamels is a better version than 'Day' Hamels.

"I feel Stutes & Lidge are very similar, the key difference being we've already seen Lidge fail in these situations eleventy-five times. At least Stutes is a different face," opined Frodo Baggins, lifetime Phillies fan, after he took a long draught of his own Ye Olde Ballpark Ale, brewed strictly according to an ancient Baggins recipe, and blew smoke in the shape of the Phillies "P" from the pipe that had comforted him in the darkest depths of Mordor.

The split that is even just a bigger is the home/road split for Hamels.

Uncanny how those splits (better at night vs day and home vs road) have held up every single year that Hamels has been in MLB including this year so far.

CJ had mentioned earlier that Howard had a chance to get to a .900 OPS this year. I told him I would keep a watch on this for him.

With 32 games remaining, it's safe to assume that Howard will get between 125 and 130 more ABs (~140 more PAs).

He would have to post an OPS of 1.215 the remainder of the season to get there.

To get an .850 OPS on the season, he'd have to post an OPS of .978 the remainder of the season.

That's more likely if he stays true to his September form of year's past. I just don't see .900 being feasible this year. I'm going to guess he sits about .840 at the end of the year (currently at .815).

Last bizarro split for Hamels:

vs. RHB this year coming into tonight:

.202/.248/.288

vs. LHB

.255/.296/.409

Didn't realize they were that large. Gives up a lot more LD (20.4% vs LHB vs. 13.8% RHP) and gets a lot less GB outs vs LHB (1.75 GB/FB ratio for RHB vs. 1.37 for LHB) this year.

I would guess maybe it has something to do with his improved cutter & keeping RHB more honest on his changeup but that is just a complete guess.

MG, aren't changeups generally better against opposite handed hitters?

Those splits aren't very crazy compared to his career numbers:

vs. RHB: .238/.286/.389 (.675)
vs. LHB: .238/.300/.413 (.713)

Fat - Generally. Just a pretty stark difference this year compared to even the past few years.

Hamels has basically annihilated RHB this year. If his .536 OPS against RHB coming into tonight doesn't lead MLB starters this year, I would be pretty surprised.

MG, I can't find rankings of OPS/wOBA against RHB for starters on fangraphs, but among pitchers w/ 100 IP or more, Hamels has the second best xFIP (2.90) in the majors against RHP, trailing only Roy Halladay and his ridiculous 2.17 xFIP against righties.

He has the second best BAA when facing righties, trailing only Ricky Romero (.190).

I agree Stutes was not great. However, if Poly plays even average 3B in the 8th inning, the Reds don't score.

Some figures on Hamels fastball tonight compared to probably his best start this year on July 22nd vs. the Padres, and his last start before going on the DL:

Tonight:
Avg FB velocity: 90.12 mph
Horiz. Break: 3.95
Vertical Break: 11.54
Swinging Strikes: 7.32%

August 12th (last start before going on DL):
Avg FB velocity: 88.55 mph
Horiz. Break: 2.65
Vertical Break: 12.68
Swinging Strikes: 6.45%

July 22nd (vs SDP, 10 K, 1 BB, 3 H, 8 IP):
Avg FB velocity: 91.3 mph
Horiz. Break: 3.09
Vertical Break: 13.06
Swinging Strikes: 2.17%

It's hard to get a feel on how we should expect his fastball velocity to look after a 16 break w/out pitching, as he's not had a break like that midseason for a couple years now. He's been in the 91.5 avg mph range for most of his starts hit year, so he's obviously a bit low at 90.12 mph tonight.

We'll have to look at his numbers after his next start before making further judgements.

Cripes, I hate to agree with a fricking hobbit.

Could the gun in Cincinnati be 1 or 2 percent slower?

Victorino is currently 8th in the NL in OPS. Of the 8 players ahead of him (Braun, Votto, Berkman, Kemp, Fielder, Holliday, Tulowitzki), only made two/three of those players really adds much to their team in terms of defense AND baserunning, like Vic does.

WAR bears that out. Vic is 8 in the NL in WAR right now, but of the 7 players that are leading him, 3 of those players are pitchers (Doc, Lee, Kershaw...Hamels is 10th). The 4 position players that lead him in WAR are Kemp, Braun, Votto and Tulo. Kemp and Tulo add value on defense (Tulo more than Kemp), but Kemp is a beat on the basepaths (34 SB this season). Braun, though he stinks in the field, is having a monster season at the plate AND has 30 SB.

While I think Vic is a viable MVP candidate, it'll be hard for him to grab it from Kemp or Braun, and personally, I'd give it to Braun right now, if we feel that the winner should come from a contending team.

This was one of those "uneasy" games, not knowing how long Cole could keep it up, rusty/sleepy offense, watching Stutes get into trouble, and seeing Bruce get that 9th inning hit to lead the Reds half of the inning off. Ended up as kind of a nice, gritty win IMHO.

Really happy to see Cole go 6 strong innings and thought Cholly made a good decision to pull him when he did.

Also, we'll have to see, but I'm encouraged by the 90 mph avg. fastball after some time off.

Was not stunned to see Stutes, but it did strike home the point that the BP is pretty thin as presently constituted. I like Stutes, but not looking for a real bounceback this season (would be a bonus if it happened), and although Herndon has really stepped his game up, not totally confident about him in high leverage, post season games.

Nice way to start the series. Baseball is back!

25

It looks like the Snakes are going to be 5 up after tonight.

Looks like the Giants are going to lose tonight. They are currently down 6-0. And with our win, that would knock the number needed to eliminate them at 14.

But, since they'll have 64 losses, as will the Cardinals, we have to turn out attention to them now, so the magic number only decreases by 1 tonight, and sits at 15. We also lost the season series with the Cardinals, so if tiebreaker rules apply, they would beat us.

Wild guess on Howard's end-of-the-season OPS: .15 -- which is to say, exactly what it is right now. We've been waiting all year for the power surge to come. With 32 games left in the season, I think we can safely deduce that it isn't coming.

BAP, let's see what he does in September. For his career, Sept/Oct has been his best month. He has a 1.084 OPS during that month in his career. No other month during his career is over a .948 OPS, and the first three months are all under .900.

Even last year, he posted a .939 OPS in September (though his best month was June).

Let's see how he does this last month, but I agree with you: I'm not expecting anything Earth shattering. I think he'll end up around an .840 OPS, just because he's slumping right now, and slumps are usually followed by hot streaks for most players.

Like most people, I thought the Giants would hold off Arizona. But, after tonight, they'll be 5 back with 27 to play. It isn't quite over but, realistically, the odds that any team can overcome a 5-game lead in 27 games are extremely remote.

Fatalotti, you made a mistake in your Ryan Howard calculations. He can have an OPS anywhere between .857 and 1.179 in his final 140 PAs and still achieve a 900 OPS on the season, depending on the composition of his PA outcomes.

No, I don't think it will happen for him this year. Yes, he is my favorite player and I hope it does.

Matt H, there are several iterations that Howard can use to achieve a .900 OPS, but I fail to see how posting an OPS UNDER .900 for the rest of the season will get him to a .900 OPS for the season.

??

140 PAs, 20 ABs, 0 Hits, 120 BBs

:)

It's the classic problem with OPS as it doesn't have common denominators and doesn't score to the same maximum.

I was just having some fun. He is my favorite player, after all, but if he walked 120 times in 140 PAs I think Mayberry would take his place at the top of that list...

FWIW, if you are using the same ratio of BB/AB and XBH/H as he currently has, and you assume 140 PAs, I get a similar OPS requirement to that of your calculations.

That probably isn't quite right either, though, since I doubt that Ryan Howard hitting well means that the ratio of HR/H stays at the same rate it currently sits at. An acceptable proxy perhaps.

Good call, Matt. I see it now.

I should preface then, assuming a normal distribution of H/BB/XBH, Howard would need to post an OPS over 1.2 for the rest of the year to get to .900 OPS for the year.

=)

I was at the game tonight - the weather was great, but the Phils just looked sluggish both in the field and at the plate. I still can't believe the official scorer gave Phillips a triple on a ball Pence clearly misplayed - should have been an easy catch. I also thought Howard misplayed that grounder in the ninth. Stutes just makes me nervous, the same feeling Lidge gives me. The way they played tonight, they are just lucky the Reds are so bad offensively.

For the record, Matt, here are the assumptions:

Current:
550 PA, 478 AB, 119 H, 26 2B, 1 3B, 27 HR, 61 BB, 6 HBP, 5 SF--.249/.338/.477 (.815)

Projected Final:
690 PA, 595 AB, 169 H, 34 2B, 2 3B, 35 HR, 84 BB, 6 HBP, 5 SF--.284/.375/.524 (.900)

Line to finish the season (projected):
140 PA, 117 AB, 50 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 23 BB, 0 HBP, 0 SF--.427/.521/.718 (1.239)

Sometimes I get a feeling this forum would f8ing love a Ryan Howard who loses 80 lbs and goes 0/20 with 120 walks and 5 steals.

Or maybe just half, while the other half complains about having a first basement with the worst ISO/Contract$$ in baseball.

Also, the strike zone was generous all night for BOTH pitchers.

Matt H, I'd take a guy with a .857 OBP over any player in baseball, past, present or future.

Fatalotti-

That is a brutal way to get to 900. Perhaps the likeliest given his power struggles, but brutal. I had fewer walks (16), more HR (11), and a line that was more along the lines of .395/.464/.757. Kept the current ratios and just jacked up the hits on the final 124 ABs until I hit 900 on the year.

I really hope the season turns around for him.

I know you would. That player would be worth at least two Halladays. I don't think I would enjoy watching that kind of game.

Matt H, we basically need him to turn into Jose Bautista+ for the rest of the year.

I don't see it happening. But I hope.

I had a friend ask me if I would take a player on my team who got a hit every time he came to the plate, but the one caveat is that he would never hit a homerun.

I told my friend that not only would I take this player, but he would win the MVP hands down every year he was in the league with a 1.000 BA/OBP.

He couldn't understand that, while homeruns are awesome, a guy who gets on base EVERY time he comes to the plate would be the most valuable player of all time.

Anyways, good night. Here's to hoping Ryan Howard is reading this and starts feeling indignant at our lack of faith.

Yeah, it hurts watching "your guy" struggle so obviously. Goodnight.

Fat: I can't believe anyone actually asked that as a serious question.

Man only if Conteras could of came back an to form he was early in the year. He would of made a huge difference four our bullpen. With our starters long as we had 3 decent guys we would of been ok. Im sure Cholly an comp are already figuring out their bullpen situation for playoffs. I think Kendrick will get the call if we go into extra innings. Stutes is slipping Herndon Gulp might become Cholly choice first.

BAP: I bet there are more than a couple of regulars on this forum who would take Ryan Howard over Fatalotti's hypothetical player.

That theoretical guy is going to end up with a boatload of meaningless RBIs. I would take that guy over any guy that's ever played the game, but it might get boring after awhile.

The way they played tonight, they are just lucky the Reds are so bad offensively.

They're so bad offensively, they lead the NL in runs scored.

If Stutes is pitching in late inning/close games in the playoffs, I'll be joining a support group.

The bullpen is Madson, Bastardo and Russian Roulette right now.

Actually did not feel Stukes pitched that badly. A grounder that got through a KO another greounder that maybe Polanco should of gotten and a grounder that Polanco made an error on. Run was unearned.
Herdon gives up grounders and lots get through. I'll stick with Stukes. He gets his strikeouts.

Good morning.

Nice hissy fit by Cole when Charlie took him out. Good to see him maturing. (It's a team sport, Princess.)

The little line of facial hair along the jawline currently sported by Chooch and Ryan is absolutely hideous. It rivals anything Werth ever did.

ESPN managed to assemble the most boring set of announcers ever last night. The only even marginally interesting thing about them was the enormous size of Aaron Boone's hands.

Have a great day! I hope you all stayed dry.

EFF: I was hoping that was Internet sarcasm when that was posted.

The Phils did win last night right? Good thing I watched the game because I would have had a hard time figuring it out by reading this thread.

Hmm Mike G, the postgame thread that explicitly stated that the Phillies won wouldn't have been a dead giveaway.

This meme is getting tired.

I agree, Stutes pitching to Votto was some uneasy viewing.

I agree, Stutes pitching to Votto was some uneasy viewing.

Posted by: Brett

___

The husband did not help.

phargo: "Hey, isn't that the guy who's hitting .400?"
mr. phargo: ".425"

Thanks, hon.

Kudos to Chollie (assist to Dubee?) for pitching Bastardo in the 7th against those lefties.

If Lee or Halladay threw a fit when yanked by Charlie it'd be a sign of their bulldog grittiness. At what point will we start liking our homegrown ace?

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