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Monday, August 22, 2011

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82 wins matches the season total for the 1967 season. It's the 54th winning season out of 129.

I don't know what the record is for the most shutouts by a team in a single season, but the great Grover Cleveland Alexander had 16 shutouts one season all by himself.

@derekcarstairs Alexander's 16 is a record. It looks like the single-season record is 32: 1906 White Sox, 1907 Cubs, 1909 Cubs.

Also, updated my graph: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/73749/phillies/graph.html#wins

Alexander would have finished this game and pitched a complete game tomorrow.

Well, we're certainly going to find out how Worley holds up with facing a team a bunch of times in one season.

And can we please stop the Ibanez charade. Mayberry needs to be an every day player until he proves he can't do it. His defense in left is probably the best in baseball and his baserunning is well above average. As for hitting, he's better than Raul right now and likely going forward. I am a Raul fan, but he's the second best left fielder on the team right now.

Can I stop panicking now?

fletch: Love the graph. I hope you update it come the end of the season, too.

I think that even Chuck is ready to throw Ibanez under the bus.

Arizona streak at 6 after tonights loss to gNats. SF to win the NL Worst .. er.. West???

Usless prediction: Mets will take a back seat to WSH in rivalry. Games in DC could be ugly next year.

Yeah, I'll take the win. But the Braves are going to win too. I don't see how we're going to make up the negative eight game deficit in the loss column.

....on the way home from the game tonight...the usual Cliff Lee electric buzz in play tonite...Did it come across on tv/radio the amazing roar when Lee made the catch to end the Met's 7th inning and just continued to run to the dugout? It was as loud as I've heard at any of of the 14 games I've been to this year!

Lee and the bats - esp. Pence, Mayberry, Valdez, & Ruiz put the Phils right back on their rightful course.

The crowd loves everything Cliff Lee does. It's amazing. His at-bats are events in person. I've never seen anything like it. It would be over kill if it wasn't so much fun.

Dam fracking Braves won again...weak NL they will coast by the Phils should do the same pretty much

Braves won again? I'm watching the game and it's in the 8th. I must be in the Twilight Zone.

Was it discussed that the Phils will hand out a $750,000 signing bonus to 16-year old Venezuelan OF prospect Carlos Tocci? Sounds like an albatross to me.

OP: I always thought SoCal was in the twilight zone.

goody, evidently it's true.

Good to see Mayberry in the lineup again. A walk and homerun. This kid's all about OPS. After tonight, he'll be besting Howard and Utley in OPS+ by probably 5 points apiece. Just unreal.

Again, if he took over the LF spot, given that he's far superior in the field, on the bases and with the arm, his offense would have to plummet below Ibanez's current .691 OPS before it'd be worth putting Raul back in the starting spot.

Not advocating taking Raul out completely. Mayberry gets every start against a lefty and splits starts against righties, and Manuel can try to put him against righties that offer him the best chance to succeed.

That works out to Mayberry getting about 2/3 of the starts the rest of the way. Raul would remain fresh for a limited role in the playoffs, and Mayberry would be prepared to be our primary LF starter going into the postseason.

I'm for this.

"That works out to Mayberry getting about 2/3 of the starts the rest of the way. Raul would remain fresh for a limited role in the playoffs, and Mayberry would be prepared to be our primary LF starter going into the postseason.

I'm for this."

Fata: You and every other Phillies fan breathing right now. But there's about 12 million reasons why I can guarantee you that Ibanez is our starting LF for Game 1 of the playoffs (barring injury of course).

A little of this, a little of that; with trepidation it seems both Fatty and Jack are both correct.

Yet, with Manuel's years old penchant for auditioning for post-season playtime it appears that while Ibanez will play primarily against Righties and Mayberry Lefties the rest of the season, I think Ibanez will start against the first Lefty thrown against the Phillies in the playoffs. After that, it comes down to performance. That's the "Charlie Way."

Now the MLB Network guys are ripping Starlin Castro, & not w/out reason. I honestly hadn't noticed how incredibly brain dead this kid is in the field, & after watching the tape I cannot believe ANY Major League manager would stand for it.

We should keep in mind that Charley has been coddling Mayberry a little, starting him against lefties and selectively against righties who throw heat, but who don't have nasty secondary pitches.

While he certainly has earned a shot, Mayberry has yet to prove he will be successful against all comers.

aksmith - i love mayberry, but to say his defense in LF is the best in baseball is a little over the top. I think gardner, holliday and crawford all lay claim to that 'best defense' moniker.

however mayberry should definitely start; I'm already wondering what happens next year w brown - if mayberry keeps playing like this I'm not sure how you send him to the bench

Derek: No one's successful against all comers. Hell, we have a $25M per year first baseman who can't hit lefties, soft-tossers, flame-throwers, or guys with funky deliveries, yet still manages to be near the league lead in RBIs by crushing the 25% of the pitching population that is left over. If Mayberry kills lefties and can hit power-pitching righties without great secondary pitches, he'll have himself a very good major league career.

For what it's worth, I don't think Mayberry is anywhere close to as good as he looks right now.

He's still better than Raul.

we'll see, i'm already completely surprised with what he's been able to do this season after returning from AAA. All bets are off with this guy .

aksmith's gross overestimation of Mayberry's defensive prowess is both understandable & excusable. After watching 116 games worth of Ibañez in LF any glimpse of half-competent fielding was bound to cause a fit of momentary insanity.

Stat of the night...

Gload has 2 hits since the All-Star Break.

Which elicted the following reaction from LA...."Really?".

With Howard's putrid career numbers against Niese (1-13 with 5 K's), does Cholly go with RFD at 1B on Tuesday and Francisco in LF? That's what I'd do.

When i posted Braves win again the info i was looking at said game was over. If they where in the 8th its a lock pretty much with Venters an company....Dam fracking Braves lose some Tomahawk this..

Niese is on the Phillie Killer radar.

Career ERA: 4.25

ERA vs. Phils (7 starts): 2.82

So Worley today, Kendrick tomorrow afternoon?

"I think gardner, holliday and crawford all lay claim to that 'best defense' moniker."


circus, you had me until you got to Holliday, and then the sentence crumbled.

For August, the best hitter for the Phils has been Mayberry, hands down. Despite a below average BABIP of .280, his OBP has been .395 and his slugging an incredible .829.

Those who have said he can't be an everyday player need to re-evaluate this idea, including me. At this point, I project him, not Brown, to be the starter in LF next season (this coming from a huge Brown fan).

By being the first major league team to 82 victories, the Phillies will finish their ninth consecutive season with a record over .500. Only the Yankees (18 and counting) and the Red Sox (13 and counting) currently have more. And no one else is even close.

In fact, only six major league teams entered 2010 with a streak of three or more.

(philly.com)


This point right now I believe I would rather see herdon then lidge even in the 6 or 7 inn. What are his numbers since he came back from aaa

I've never really thought it was a question whether or not Manuel would put Raul on the bench at all, let alone half of the time. I'm starting to doubt that now, though. I think it's a real possibility.

At this point, you know the only thing stopping him is the fact that it's Raul's last year with the team, and probably his last shot at starting on a winning team, period. Manuel clearly likes Raul and wants to give him that chance.

But despite what people on here might have you believe, Manuel's not blind. Mayberry is clearly getting more playing time because the coaches realize he is the better player. The only question is whether that playing time will continue to gradually increase, or if he's going to cater to Ibanez and let him ride out the season praying that he catches fire.

My guess is that it continues to be a 50/50 platoon to give Ibanez 'rest' with hopes that he's ready for the playoffs, and he'll then get every start in the postseason.

No mention of yet another W for Lee who is in another dominant stretch & creeping more and more into the Cy Young race with every passing start?

As long as Ibanez is healthy, he will start in the playoffs except RHP. Mayberry though has pretty much cemented his spot as the starter vs LHP in the playoffs.

I bet if the Cy Young voting were held today, Lee would finish 2nd just slightly ahead of Kershaw because of the 5 CG shutouts he has tossed. Kershaw only has 2 and 4 complete games.

Halladay still is the clear front runner and likely finishes the year with better stats in the categories that matter with the more traditional-minded voters including L, ERA, CG, and IP, If Lee can somehow get to 20 Ws (which is really tough at this point given he will likely only have 7 more total starts & at least 1 will be an abbreviated start where he goes less than 5 IP), I say he can leapfrog over Halladay. If Halladay gets to 19 or 20 wins, he wins the Cy Young hands down.

MG- would you lay money on Mayberry starting vs. LHP in the playoffs? I wouldn't.

Howard certainly hasn't had a great August .250/.329/.500 with 5 HRs but Utley is struggling at .240/.296/.333 with only 1 HRs (5 XHBs). Not even BB much with only 5 BBs this month.

The bigger issue (and Curt has pointed it out several times) is keeping Howard & Utley in the 3/4 holes in this lineup.

Howard can't buy a clue again this year vs. LHP (.236/.294/.358 with 2 HRs in 148 ABs) but Utley hasn't been any better (.220/.297/.366 with 2 HRs in 82 Abs).

Yes I know that Utley has hit LHP pitching much better the past 3 years than RHP. It is also a really small sample size. It just makes the opposing manager's job easier when using a LOOGY later in games.

Iceman: I can't follow your train of thought. So, the coaching staff and Charlie Manuel recognize that Mayberry is a better player than Ibanez? And yet, Manuel will give Ibanez every start in the playoffs out of nostalgia?

So, Charlie will purposely handicap this team in the playoffs by playing without his best roster...for what reason? What sane manager puts what they know is less than their best 9 players on the field?

IMHO, either Charlie still thinks Ibanez is his best option (because of veteran grittiness, leadership, and other intangibles) or Mayberry gets the start. Even Charlie doesn't trot Ibanez out there in the playoffs knowing that Mayberry is better.

Iceman - At this point, yeah I would. Unless Mayberry goes into a deep funk, he has simply hit too well & with too much power for Cholly to bench him. If Mayberry wasn't hitting HRs, I think Cholly would view him a bit differently but the 2nd half power surge speaks volumes.

6 HRs now in just 66 ABs for Mayberry. That's tied for 2nd on the club with JRoll (6) and slightly behind Howard (8) and both of those guys have had more than 2x the AB since the ASB.

People are missing the point. It is already officially a platoon situation in LF. Has been for a while. Cholly just won't come out & say that because of how he deals with players in public.

Ibanez will start vs RHP pitching and Mayberry will start vs LHP pitching. If Cholly does start Ibanez this point in the playoffs vs LHP pitching, I would be shocked since it is something he really hasn't done in months. It would also be fair for people to really criticize such a move either.

Don't look now, but Howard isn't having his patented hot summer. I know it is sin to say this, but Howard is a DOG.

People miss the point too on Mayberry. Mayberry has shown he can hit the curve. He hasn't shown he can hit a changeup from a RHP pitcher.

Then again a good changeup from a RHP is this team's kryponite. Only two guys that really hit that pitch well from a RHP are Utley and JRoll. I haven't seen enough of Pence to get a real sense of whether he can or not.

Phils now tied for 5th in runs scored in the NL, tied for last in the NL in games played.

1) STL 2) CIN 3) COL 4)MIL 5) PHI/AZ

Milwaukee has scored 10 more runs in 5 more games.

The Phillies have the NL's best wOBA over the past 30 days, according to Fangraphs. The Phillies have the best FIP in all of baseball over the same period.

Heather- you're talking about the same manager that kept Lidge out there as his closer all of 2009 despite the fact that he was the Hindenburg out there in the 9th inning.

In the NL playoffs, how many LH starters are we talking about anyway? Joe Saunders in the NLDS. If we get to the NLCS, Randy Wolf? And that's it. And we know Cholly isn't subbing in for Raul against a LHP in the late-innings.

If Raul is still hitting at that point, even a little bit, that will be more than enough justification in Manuel's mind to keep him out there for the one or two games that the Phils face a LH starter.

Bay Slugga- a sin to say that? If you don't think Howard is a dog, you don't fit in with a majority of BL.

I love that Pence and Mayberry often allow us to forget the AB right before them.

I just perused Metsblog for a little Schadenfreude. Wow. They make Eyore sound like Pollyanna. I particularly like the argument about Gee sucking last night because he "pitched in a bandbox."

"Heather- you're talking about the same manager that kept Lidge out there as his closer all of 2009 despite the fact that he was the Hindenburg out there in the 9th inning. "

Yeah, but I really think in Charlie's mind, Lidge was about to turn it all around and the best thing Charlie could do was show confidence in Lidge. (I kid you not...I remember reading an interview with Charlie in which he said stress was causing Lidge to overgrip/overthrow the ball.)

That's why I think it is likely that in Charlie's mind, Ibanez COULD be better even though it hasn't shown up on the field, through veteran intangibles, whatever. But I doubt he honestly thinks to himself when filling out the lineup card: "Mayberry's better, but I'm putting Ibanez in anyway."

MG-

I understand your point, but Mayberry hit a changeup from Gee for a HR last night.

Iceman, as I stated last night, Manuel would likely start Ibanez agains the first leftie the team sees in the first round of the playoffs, but Mayberry starts against the second one if Ibanez does not fare well against the first one. That is a reflection on Manuel's playoff management style where only on-field evidence weighs more than his commitment to veterans.

The situation in LF couldn't be better. An older player is phasing out and a younger one phasing in. It's happening gradually and both players are making a contribution.

It's actually hard to talk about Cliff Lee because there are no words that adequately describe him.

If Manuel starts Ibanez in the playoffs against a LHP to "see how he fares" despite Ibanez's inability to far well against LHP over a 162 game season, that would be nearly inexcusable. Mayberry deserves to get the start against ALL lefties, whether playoffs or not, and should split time against RHP with Ibanez.

Mayberry outstrips Ibanez by a LARGE margin in every respect on the baseball field, and it's barely even close. As far as defense, arm and baserunning go, there's not even a debate.

As far as offense goes, put it this way: Mayberry isn't just hitting better than Ibanez at this point; his numbers are better than both Utley AND Howard.

Mayberry should be transitioned into a starting role in LF right now, and should be the primary starter in the playoffs, where his power and defense are far more important than Ibanez's "veteran experience".

It's not even a question.

I like to think that Mayberry's adjustments at the plate have gotten him over the hump, but I still think he is still just a platoon player who can/will get exposed if given the starting job everyday.

If you look at his gamelogs, he excels when used situationally and given starts every few days - but once he was starting everyday(in mid May) his performance dwindled into almost nothing. His OPS dropped from .915 before he replaced Victorino to .682 by time he was sent back down to AAA.

It could simply just be a cold streak/hot streak like plenty other players go thru - but it does seem to have a little too much correalation to dismiss for me.

Lee, Doc, Mayberry and Pence are all very "hungry" players...its great to have that type of drive on a team.

lorecore, I get your point. But the fact is, if Mayberry had the EXACT same line as Ibanez offensively, I'd still want Mayberry out there starting, just because of how he excels in the other areas of the game.

But now that he's shown us that he has tremendous power when he makes contact (he's only 5 HRs behind Ibanez in less than half the PAs), and his OBP, even during his rough stretch, was still better than Ibanez's .282, I just don't think there's anything to lose.

NEPP - Prince Fielder is always hungry. Evidently.

"did walk three batters "

Well. Considering it was an absolutely, unjustifiably abysmal strike zone, he did pretty well.

That ump shouldn't even be at Williamsport this week.

Next year's ST battle for LF should be interesting in a good way.

derek: "We should keep in mind that Charley has been coddling Mayberry a little, starting him against lefties and selectively against righties who throw heat, but who don't have nasty secondary pitches."

Except for the fact that righty Dillon Gee is a pure junkballer with no heat, whose best pitch is a nasty changeup (which he couldn't locate last night), yeah.

clout, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't interject facts into this discussion.

circus: "aksmith - i love mayberry, but to say his defense in LF is the best in baseball is a little over the top. I think gardner, holliday and crawford all lay claim to that 'best defense' moniker."


Holliday?????

Holliday is great offensively...thus he must be a good defender, right?

I assume he will now win a Gold Glove.

Against a left-handed pitcher, the lineup should be:

Rollins
Utley
Victorino
Howard
Pence
Mayberry
Ruiz
Polanco
P

Of course, this will never happen. But starting Mayberry against a lefty and splitting up Utley/Howard (against all pitchers) in the playoffs should be mandatory.

Yeah, when I saw Holliday in that list, my jaw hit the top of my desk.

Fat: I'd rather have Ibanez put up his dogcrap numbers for 1/2 nites and Mayberry's excellent platoon numbers the other half, instead of Mayberry put up Ibanez-like numbers every nite.

I think the best approach is to be happy with what Mayberry is giving you in this role, and slowly get him more ABs(as Charlie is doing) as he continues to improve.

Not sure what the rush is to thrust him into a starting role when #1 - he failed to deliver the last time he tried and #2 - we're cruising right along regardless.

Over a 5-year sample, Holliday has posted UZR/150s in LF of:

5.2, 3.4, 4.2, 6.8, 9.1

The last two numbers are higher and correlate with his move to St. Louis, making me wonder if there's something going on there (maybe the park, maybe the other defenders, who knows).

But I don't see there being any question that Holliday is an above-average defender in LF. One of the best in the league? He's certainly far below Crawford and Gardner. But he seems quite good.

lorecore, if you'd read my posts, you'd see that I advocated that, for the rest of the season, Mayberry get all starts against LHP and split starts against RHP with Ibanez, giving Mayberry only 2/3 of the starts the remainder of the way. This would give Ibanez PAs to keep fresh and be ready for a limited role in the playoffs, and have Mayberry ready to take over LF going into the playoffs.

The playoffs are not a time to tinker with stuff. You put your best players on the field and hope for the best. Right now Ibanez isn't part of that "best player" discussion. But you're right, we shouldn't just throw Mayberry into the fire full time right now. Give him most, but not all of the starts.

Just when the playoffs start, he should be the guy.

Some of the defensive outfielders I'd take over Matt Holliday: Jrue Holiday, Vonnie Holliday, Roy Halladay, Billie Holiday, and Scooter Halleday, who I just made up.

MG: So who's your extra man in the lineup at AL parks in the World Series?

Ben Francisco?

Ask the Cardinals from Game 2 of the 2009 NLDS about Holliday's defense.

And he still may not have touched the plate...

Jack: If UZR says so, it must be true. There's no subjectivity at all there. Holliday is a great defensive outfielder. Anyone who watches baseball can see that.

Sheesh!

clout, not arguing for UZR here, but is there any defensive metric that is devoid of subjectivity?

Clout: If we make it to the WS, I would think Ibanez would permanently DH, even against lefties. He's still probably better than Francisco.

It would be managerial incompetence to DH Mayberry and start Ibanez in LF. Sadly, I expect that to happen.

Fatalotti: Probably not, but some stats have a small amount of subjectivity and some a giant amount.

Clout: Even you have admitted many times that in multi-year samples, UZR is a pretty good metric.

I gave you a 5-year sample that says Holliday is an above-average LF. If you don't want to believe it, fine, but I'm not sure on what grounds. It's possible you might watch every Phillies game, but I highly doubt you watch every Cardinals game. So your "I watch the games and see Holliday" argument is specious at best, as my guess is you watch Holliday play about 10 times a year, max.

"Mayberry should be transitioned into a starting role in LF right now, and should be the primary starter in the playoffs, where his power and defense are far more important than Ibanez's "veteran experience"...saith Fatty

Anybody who has watched Manuel manage for the last half-a-dozen-years knows that is not how Manuel rolls. So heaven forbide, a long time Mayberry booster like me has to defend having Manuel for not starting Mayberry, but a dollar to a donut says he won't unless Ibanez skunks out in his first start against a left handed pitcher in the playoffs.

Often, I have just about torn out my hair after seeing Manuel's player decisions that point to his belief that veterans DO step up when the time comes, and does not trust less experienced players, but in whole, his attitude has worked out quite successfully since all of his players recognize (and I would think, appreciate) his deference to experience. BUT if Ibanez goes 0-4 against a leftie in his first playoff game, he sits out the next start against a leftie. In that way Manuel shows both loyalty to his veteran and team in consecutive games.

Personally, I think Mayberry has shown enough to start in LF throughout the rest of the season and playoffs, but I have not yet signed a contract to manage the Phillies.

UZR/150 has Alfonso Soriano as the best defensive LF in baseball over the past 5 years:

Soriano: 15.1
Crawford: 12.5
Holliday: 5.6


Somehow, I question this.

Jack: Its so hard to believe those numbers.

I've seen Holliday play about 30-40 times and just about every game theres a ball he's chasing after that he took a bad angle on, especially down the line.

Fata: One other point: UZR tends to correlate with what scouting reports say better with infielders than outfielders.

That probably has to do with the far greater numbers of chances that infielders have compared to outfielders.

Kutztown: I love the "bandbox" argument that always happens when the Mets loose to the Phillies at CBP. The best part is metsblog showed park factors the other day to show how pitcher friendly Citi is (they are considering moving in the walls), and sitting there at number 14 was CBP. Not a single mention in the comments of how neutral CBP has been in recent years.

Gary Cohan mentioned last night that, "CBP has been playing neutral probably because of the the great pitchers they have."

I'm going to send him an email on how Park Factors work me thinks.

NEPP: I'm pretty sure there were a few years where Soriano led the league in OF assists (though the number has dropped as runners have stopped running on him). And he was athletic enough to play 2B for half his career and he used to steal 40 bases a year.

I could absolutely see that player being a very good defensive LF, at least a few years ago. In that vein, it should also be noted that your 5-year sample is being skewed by two really high numbers in 2007 and 2008 for Soriano, and much more reasonable numbers the last three seasons, indicating a decline. Holliday, on the other hand, has been pretty consistent with reasonable above-average numbers.

Soriano, Are you kidding me?!

WAR also says that Carlos Lee is the best defensive player in the entire NL at any position, worth 1.7 Defensive Wins.

CBP has played neutral for years now.

For the record, I don't think Soriano is particularly good defensively right now.

But I could certainly see a player of his athletic ability and skills being a very good defensive player a few years ago.

Jack: Your blind faith in dubious, subjective stats like UZR and WAR is far more irrational than my judgment based on major league scouting reports and my own eyes.

Halladay has below average range and a below average arm. I'm not sure who the guy charting UZR in St. Louis is, but I do indeed doubt the accuracy of his charts.

Is the same Holliday that had ball hit him in the nuts in a huge playoff game. Give me break.

I'm really enjoying fletch's graph (link on third comment of this thread). As a fan that endured many losing Phillies seasons, 82 wins was always the first goal of the season. 81 wins guaranteed a .500 season, but 82 wins meant a winning season, a rarity for long suffering Phillies fans. Fletch's graph says that 82 wins is better than 91 former Phillies seasons out of 128. At first, I was fooled into thinking that all those seasons with less than 81 wins had losing seasons, but I forgot that the seasons used to be 154 games instead of 162. (Remember Roger Maris' asterisk?) Then I noticed that the real early seasons had even less games. The 1885 Phillies only won 56 games, yet they had a winning record because they only lost 54 games!

Lee pitched great last night. Good for him. Herndon pitch two scoreless frames to finish the game. The bats were hopping.

It pisses me off that I called for Herndon to come in for Halladay on Sunday, instead we got the new kid to give up Doc's win with a homer. Oh well, its water under the bridge, but those two losses to the gNats really bug me.

by the way clout - how much more scared of the Cardinals are you then the Brewers again?

"you're talking about the same manager that kept Lidge out there as his closer all of 2009 despite the fact that he was the Hindenburg out there in the 9th inning."

Well, to be fair, in 2009 we didn't have Bastardo. And while we had Madson, everyone was pretty well convinced he didn't have the mental make-up to pitch in the 9th inning. Without a real viable replacement, it is pretty easy to hope Lidge would figure himself out and become Lights Out Lidge again.

lorecore: UZR150 says that Carlos Lee is one of the greatest fielders in baseball: 17.6 in LF.

Anyone who's seen his blazing speed knows this is true. I'm surprised they didn't shift him to CF after the Bourn trade.

It's gotten to the point where I expect Mayberry to do damage in his PAs. In the same way you expect Vic to do damage. He definitely looks hitterish. His judgment of the strikezone has improved dramatically and he was justified in staring at that called strike three yesterday. (Of course, the umpire had just widened the zone after Pence made it 10-0 rout.)

People who don't look hitterish recently -- Utley and Howard (looks lost - guessing 75% of the time). Hopefully they use the rest of the season to improve their PAs. Does it look to anybody that Utley's front peg leg isn't planting properly?

Clout: I don't disagree with you on Holliday's arm. It's nothing special.

But please quote one of these scouting reports talking about Holliday's range. Because I can give you not just UZR, but also Plus/Minus and Fielding Runs Above Average that have Holliday as above-average in LF. I mean, you do have those scouting reports, right? You wouldn't just be making it up, I'm assuming.

Also, where do you find the time to watch every Cardinals game in addition to watching Phillies games? That's impressive. I mean, I assume if your basing something on your own eyes, you at least watch almost every game, right?

Anyone with half a brain would look at Carlos Lee's numbers and realize that the number this year is clearly a fluke, as he's been consistentlt below-average for the years before this year.

Could not be more different than Holliday, who has rated above-average for 5 straight years.

lorecore: The Brew crew is red hot. As hot as the D'backs were a couple weeks ago when numerous posters here predictred they'd win the division.

I think the Brewers are pretty formidable and Furcal has done nothing for the Cards so far. Their pitching doesn't scare me much, though.

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