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Friday, August 26, 2011


The Braves are legit. Let's lock up the East and have them and Milwaukee kill each other.

Get these posts in while you can, cause it wont last - just like last year when the Braves came to Philly with-in sniffing distance of the division.

I think David Herndon also holds LHB to a .657 SLG%

What are you talking about?

The Braves acquistion of Bourn reminds me of 1964 when the Cardinals picked up Lou Brock from the Cubs for Ernie Broglio. I hate to sound negative, but on August 25, 1964, the Phillies' lead in the NL was 6 games. It doesn't look like Atlanta is going to slow down any time soon. Why does it feel like we are chasing the Braves?

The Braves are playing very well, I will not discredit that. But there is plenty of baseball to be played and I find it hard to believe they will keep up this pace down the stretch. They have to cool off at some point, I think.

But let's see. I wouldn't mind seeing them go up against the Brewers in the NLDS, that's for sure. But if and when it gets to that point, I'll take the Phillies pitching over either of these offenses in a best-of-seven series.

so the phils are 15 games up on the WC? How does that translate to when they will clinch a playoff spot? Like two weeks from now?

McGuire: Can't play Braves in DS.

For the Braves to realistically catch the Phils though, they will have to win at least 5 of 6.

My bet is the Phils will do everything they can to clinch before that last series in Atlanta & will do so. Not worried in the least.

To really put pressure on the Phils, Braves need to sweep the Phils during the upcoming Labor Day weekend series. Even taking 2 of 3 just gains them a single game in the standings.

Haha - nice.

Hopefully the Mets can play the Braves hard this weekend, they are 6-6 vs them so far this year.

The Braves have 8 more losses than the Phils. And they have been playing garbage teams. We got this.

"Maybe the best offense in baseball since the All-Star break"

Post-ASB Run Differentials:
Atlanta: +22
Philadelphia: +69

Runs Scored Post-ASB:
Atlanta: 184
Philadelphia: 195

Runs/Game Post-ASB:
Atlanta: 4.6
Philadelphia: 5.3

JW- I think you misread McGwire's post. He has it right.

If anything, having the Braves pressure us is a good thing as it keeps us playing at a high level.

The last thing we want is a letdown in Sept due to coasting into the post-season.

yeah they are minus 8 in the loss column and the phils have 4 games in hand. so it's not really even a six game lead

How many games were the Braves behind the Phils a month ago (July 26)?

6 GB. They have been running in motion at best.

Phils only had a 3.5 lead over the Braves too at the ASB. Phils are doing their usual 2nd half run where they.

They are 15-6 this month, 17-6 since they acquired Pence, and 26-11 since the ASB. Just a veteran team doing their 2nd half thing.

It doesn't matter what the Braves do unless they sweep the Phils during the Labor Day weekend.

the hansen injury is rather large

I'll start worrying and having flashbacks when Manuel panics and starts pitching Halladay and Lee on two days rest (like Mauch did in '64 with Bunning and Short)

Ah - Brewers, not Braves. My bad.

so the phils are 15 games up on the WC? How does that translate to when they will clinch a playoff spot? Like two weeks from now?

Posted by: TK | Friday, August 26, 2011 at 09:42 AM

pretty much. which is why when people talk about 64, it doesn't make any sense. just people trying to get scared for no apparent reason

Is it weird that I truly expected Thome to end up with the Phils somehow? That would have been "storybook" type stuff.

So the Braves have been on fire and are still 6 games back. Not concerned.

I knew the Phils were playing well since the ASB but I didn't know it was at a .703 clip (26-11). I think that includes 3 games where they took a lead into the 9th & lost too.

Even by the high bar they have set for 2nd half performances, that is incredible. Wonder how many teams have ever played at a ~.700 clip in the 2nd half of a MLB season. Imagine it would be far and few in between.

Post ASB performances by the Phils

2010: 50-25 (.667)
2009: 45-31 (.597)
2008: 40-26 (.606)
2007: 45-29 (.608)
2006: 45-30 (.600)
2005: 43-30 (.589)

Amazing how much better this team has performed under Cholly in the 2nd half. Night and day every year although the acquisitions they have made every year since '07 have played a notable part too.

Magic # for wildcard is 18 (wins & SF losses).

Phils have played .648 baseball this year. Win at that rate in the last 34 games and they'd win 22 times.

With the Phils' magic number at 27, the Braves would have to win 26 of their last 30 to tie.

Even if the Phils go 17-17, the Braves would have to go 21-9 to win.

NEPP, I like that thought. The Braves are close enough to keep us sharp yet far enough behind that we can make sure guys are rested.

Best all-time performance in the modern era (since WW2) I could find by a Phils' team is the '77 squad that went 49-23 (.689).

Good chance this team could best that unless they clinch with a week to go & start resting regulars for the playoffs.

Denmark threatens Russia's stranglehold on....

It's Kyle Kendrick's birthday today.

The only problem with stating how well the Braves are playing is not including the fact that the Phils are playing just as well AND the Phils have their share of key injuries.

Rich D - Beyond Jim Bunning, what was our pitching rotation in 1964?

And really. Regarding the best offense? You mean the best offense not wearing red pinstripes maybe? Or just pinstripes - did you see the Yanks demolish Oakland yesterday?

In other words: wehat Noah said.

(Incidently, apt name for the coming weather.)

So Phillies get hot and lead balloons to 9.5 games. Braves get hot and reduce lead to 6.5 games. I am not worried.

The Braves winning by offense instead of pitching is great for the Phillies. We match up way better with a team that has pitching issues, no matter how good their offense is, and numbers posted above show Braves offense still isn't that great.

It's going to be an interesting stretch run. The weather really hasn't helped things. How many double headers do we have now until the end of the season? And it looks like tomorrow's might not even happen.

i'm not as concerned about doubleheaders or the braves. I'm mostly concerned how much brush and debris Roy Oswalt plans to clear after Irene's damage.

And yeah, get another bullpen arm for crying out loud! Capuano is fine by me.

If they don't get the 2nd game in on they HAVE to play that game by the end of the season if it has no effect on the records or standings?

For a frontrunner to lose a big lead, they usually have to begin playing bad baseball. That's not the Phillies.

The Phils have been playing good ball lately, just not great ball.

In this current rough patch of 10 games, the Phils are 6-4. If they continue at a .600 pace for the remainder of the season, the Phils will win another 20-21 games and finish the season with 103-104 wins. That would mean the Braves must go 24-6 or 25-5 to tie the Phils. Unlikely.

If the Phils play .500 ball the rest of the way, they still finish with 100 wins. The Braves then would have to play .700 ball in their last 30 games (21-9) to tie the Phillies. While the Braves could remain hot in September, it is unlikely that the Phils will only win half their remaining games with their starting rotation.

Anybody remember the Rockies from a few years ago when they went on the roll and everybody kept saying "they can't stay that hot", they only cooled when reaching the World Series.

GRAB: You bet they do because it still has affect on the #1 standing: $$$

I'd say you have a better shot of seeing the Phanatic playing SS in the playoffs, then getting that 2nd game on Saturday in.

Just a really stupid decision by MLB or the Phils, to not play the DH today. The forecast has been there for days now.

Could even see the Saturday afternoon game called off too sometime this afternoon (since Hurricane Warnings have already been posted) and to not "chance" anything.

So what likely ends up happening, is that the Phils and Marlins play today. The Saturday games are postponed.

One of those games, gets played on Thursday September 15th, in Philly (a scheduled off day for both teams). The Phils have to agree to this (since it will give them no scheduled off days in September) but I think they will. The other game either is played next weekend in Florida (as a DH on either Friday or Saturday) or is not made up at all.

yup, the NL that year vs this year is totally the same.

Oh brother - does this mean I have to climb back up that tower on the Ben Franklin Bridge?

You're referring to 1964? Really?

Get a dog!!!!

"For a frontrunner to lose a big lead, they usually have to begin playing bad baseball. That's not the Phillies."

That's the point. For the Braves to catch the Phillies, they would have to continue to play way over their heads, AND the Phillies would have to have an extended period of playing worse than they have all season long.

Please, just get a dog.

Andy, here's the 1964 starting rotation.

SP Dennis Bennett
SP Jim Bunning
SP Ray Culp
SP Art Mahaffey
SP Chris Short

Chris Short was pretty good. Ray Culp and Dennis Bennett were okay. I never liked Art Mahaffey when he pitched.

At this point in 1964, the Phillies were 76-49. The 2011 Phillies are 83-45. The 1964 Phillies went 16-21 to finish 92-70, one game behind the Cards. I don't see that happening this year.

I see the Phils are moving Sunday's game to Saturday.

I guess people will never stop bringing up the collapse of 1964, no matter how irrelevant it is.

My how the mighty have fallen. Lenny Dykstra, Strike One - Juiced during his career; Strike Two - shady financial deals have him in deep financial and legal troubles; and Strike Three - now has been charged in Los Angeles for allegedly exposing himself to women he met on Craigslist. Not just one person, but women, plural! What a stain on our memories of that great 1993 team. It figures though, he was a Met. They corrupted him before he came to Philly. Shame on you, Lenny!

If the Phils collapse, sez Phillies Nation, it would tie the 1995 Angels for worst collapse ever. Somehow thinking we might have enough pitching to avoid that.

That was via coolstandings, it says. If the Braves collapse it would be worse than the 64 Phils but not the 2007 Mets.

Lake Fred- I remembere thinking Mahaffey was a good pitcher, but I looked up his numbers after your post, and it looks like he was good '60 to '63 and not so good from 64 on.
I don't remember if he had injury problems or what.
Chris Short was was my favorite pitcher of that bunch.

I am more worried about my apartment blowing away in this hurricane than the Braves catching the Phillies.

Saw the Iron Pigs again last night. Interesting that they sat D. Brown since they were facing lefty Matt Maloney. Brown did pinch hit in the 9th - blown away, swinging wildly at offspead pitches. Galvis is a scrappy little guy

Lake Fred: You're a little late to the Dykstra story. He's in jail for bigger shyt that exposing himself.

If the Braves manage to win the East, they'll deserve it because it's going to take a lot for that to happen.

Chris Short was the man.

LF - The point was that the 64 team did not have the staff that this one did. Also, they had pretty much over-performed all year long. I'd be interested in seeing what their run differential was like in, say, mid-August. I bet not so hot.

Yeah. the "Pythagorean" W-L (for what it's worth - which is never much) was 88 - 74. The 64 "collapse" was actually just reality setting in.

Cripes. The only above average hitter in the infield was Dick Allen. The others were all under 85 OPS+.

Instead of Double header, may I suggest some sort of All-star style skills competition for a win? Perhaps a pitching competition? Throwing balls at plates? Tic tac toe with pitches? Maybe a sweating competition so Blanton can participate too?

I just sold my tickets to the Sept 20 game, which is the re-scheduled Aug 14 rain out. Now I guess I'll have to sell my tickets from this Saturday's rain out. I hope the Sept 18 game isn't a rain out, too.

The Sunday game should have been moved to today. The Saturday night game should have been moved to Saturday afternoon. I don't know why there's still a game on the schedule for tomorrow night. It will not be played. At the least, there shouldn't be people driving to or from CBP tomrorow night.

grandpa - Just so it's not a "wierd named outfielder" competition. I mean, really: Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton?

I wonder how far it would travel if Howard got ahold of one with a 85 mph tail wind...

Dykstra was never particularly good before he came to the Phillies so, when he suddenly turned into a star, I always figured he would eventually get exposed.

I still think weather played a big part is some of the problems last week - I think Sunday would've been a win if Halladay continued and pitched 7/8 innings, and now here we go this weekend with more weather problems. I just hope it doesn't rain in Cincy next week.

'64 Phils and '07 Mets are the two biggest collapses in baseball history (maybe add the '78 Red Sox to the list).

They are clear historical anomalies for a game that has been played well over 100+ years now. Yeah they can happen but I wouldn't bet on it.

Andy & Fred,
I don't remember the whole staff in '64 but I do remember "Bunning and Short and hold down the fort!"

I agree with Bobby. We should be playing 2 today and 1 tomorrow afternoon. If the rain keeps us from playing Saturday night, we'll probably make it up on Thursday, September 15th. We're in the middle of a home stand and the Fish are b/t DC and NY.

Cincinnati weather forecast...

Monday Chance of rain 0 percent
Tues/Wed Chance of rain 10 percent

Another weekend in which the Phillies have to play their opponent and the weather, at the same time.

I wonder what kind of pitcher Hurricane Irene throws.

Think anyone of the Phillies can hit Irene's offspeed stuff??

Also, in honor of the hurricane:

All time phillies hurricane team:

Cyclone Miller
Steve Lake
'Hurricane' Floyd Baker (hon mention, Gavin Floyd)
Jim Poole
Josh Fogg
Charlie Ripple

And just because its such a ridiculous name:

P Cannonball Titcomb

OT: Please bleep over if you only want baseball talk.

So, how destructive is this hurricane supposed to be up there? Living in the South in a place unaffected, I'm trying to gauge how worried I should be about my family. Sister lives in coastal NJ and has been told by her job that she will be fired if she doesn't show up for work on Sunday, so she's staying put. Not sure if I should call and convince her to leave anyway or simply wish her good luck and tell her to throw a hurricane party.

I don't think any place of business can fire someone for not showing up on Sunday, especially if they work near the coast, and especially since the governor of NJ has already declared a state of emergency.

Pretty sure that's not allowed.

Probably unlike most posters in this blog, I graduated from college in 1964 and witnessed the great meltdown firsthand. What is lost in revisionist history is that Gene Mauch perpetrated arguably the worst body of managing in a 12-game period ever in all of baseball history!

He panicked. He reduced his starting staff to Bunning and Short. This will never happen with the starting pitchers Manuel can and will trot out. I'm sorry, but, unlike the initiators of today's blog, I refuse to panic and put myself in the position of feeling like the pursuer (as opposed to, I mean chased).

There is no comparison between the 1964 and 2011 Phillies. The Braves will cool down. The Phillies will continue their inexorable march to the best record in the sport and a great position to win the WFC!

Btw, for those of you who continue to wring your hands over the 6 game lead, or whatever it is, it is ALWAYS about the loss column and games in hand. I'm shocked at the so-called pundits who don't even acknowledge the loss column as the most important one.

@ Fatty and circus: great, great creativity!

If anyone's interested, here's a link to Shane Victorino's fashion show for charity last night at the Union League. Two Phillies that I just can't see doing a fashion show are Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee and indeed they didn't participate (although they prob contributed money).

Rich D: You're the only one who feels like we're chasing the Braves. Every time the Phillies lose, you post something about how the last weekend of the year might mean more than we think, or something of that nature.

I think everyone else understands that while a 6 game lead (8 in the loss column) with 34 to play is not insurmountable, as far as late August leads go, it's pretty comfortable.

Lets say they decided to play Sunday's game in a double-header today, then move Sat.'s game to the afternoon. You suddenly have TWO games worth of ticket holders who have been displaced without much forewarning.. That would get really, really messy.

Even though Sat. evening's game will probably get rained out, I think they made the right decision. Postponing a game for Sept. sometime will help ticket holders plan accordingly.

He panicked. He reduced his starting staff to Bunning and Short.

Yes, he panicked, but he didn't reduce his starting staff to 2. He did start Bunning and Short on 2 days's rest twice after the streak hit 4.
L Wed 16 Bunning
W Thu 17 Wise
L Fri 18 Short
L Sat 19 Bennett
W Sun 20 Bunning (Bunning started 39 games, so 3 days rest was not unusual)

L Mon 21 Mahaffey
L Tue 22 Short (only 4.2 innings)
L Wed 23 Bennett
L Thu 24 Bunning
L Fri 25 Short
L Sat 26 Mahaffey
L Sun 27 Bunning
L Mon 28 Short (5.1 innings)
L Tue 29 Bennett
L Wed 30 Bunning (3.1 innings)
W Fri 02 Short
W Sun 04 Bunning

Mauch's alternatives were a rag-armed Art Mahaffey who stunk in '64 and was even worse the next two years then retired, 24 yo Dennis Bennett, who defined a 1964 version of meh and 18 yo Rick Wise. Ray Culp was injured.

If you had Halladay and Hamels, and say KK, Carlos Carrasco and Jesse Biddle, what would you do?

I don't think anyone believes the 2011 Phillies are going to blow up like the 1964 Phillies or 2007 Mets. Those teams are just cited as examples of what CAN happen. And, yes, notwithstanding the conventional Beerleaguer wisdom, 6 game leads can easily be blown -- particularly when you have 6 more games against the team who's chasing you.

The odds of the Braves catching us are quite slim, but any Phillies fan who boasts that he's not paying attention to the Braves scores is either a liar or delusional.

If the Phillies play .500 ball, the Braves have to go 21-9 to catch them.

"If you had Halladay and Hamels, and say KK, Carlos Carrasco and Jesse Biddle, what would you do?"

Start drinking.

The Braves have been playing well.

The Braves have been playing crappy teams.

The Braves will probably continue to play well because of the 30 games they have leftthey only have 9 games against teams with winning records:

6 against the Phillies

3 against the Cardinals

That's it.

As far ar the Braves "threatening" the Phillies? IMO the only realistic hope the Braves have of catching the Phillies is by beating them AT LEAST 5 out of the 6 times they play head-to-head.

Why? Because of the 34 remaining games on the Phillies' schedule, only 14 are against winning teams, and 6 of them are against teh Braves. They also have 4 against the Brewers and 4 against the Cardinals.

The Phillies are 61 - 25 against teams with a losing record - .709 baseball (115 wins). If they continue to do that for their last 20 games against the sub-.500 teams, they'll win 14 of those 20 games.

So... to go .500 the rest of the way [17 - 17] they'd only need to win 3 of the 14 games against winning teams.

But here's the problem for the Braves: The Phils are 22 - 20 against winning teams, that's .524 baseball (85 wins). Therefore, it's likely that the Phillies split the 8 games with the Brewers and Cards - that would be 4 more wins.

With the way the Phillies play against losing teams (14 win potential), and the likelihood the split with the Brewers and Cards (4 more wins) that would put the Phillies at 18 - 16 the rest of the way EVEN IF THEY GOT SWEPT by the Bravos.

The Braves need to go 22 - 8 [.733] the rest of the way just to tie the Phillies. Possible, sure, but unlikely.

But what if the Phils and Braves split their last 6 games? The Braves would have to make up 8 games in the loss column with only 24 other games in which to make up the distance.

If the Phillies go 14 - 14 in the other 28 games they have left (after splitting with the Braves), the Braves would have to go 18 - 6 [.750] in the other 24 games just to tie.

But, with the way the Phillies beat up on losing teams, so you think it's likely the Phillies only split the other 28? I don't.

MG is right. Even winning both remaining series 2 - 1 still leaves the Braves with a huge hill to climb.

MG: "Amazing how much better this team has performed under Cholly in the 2nd half."

Coincidence? I don't think so.

lorecore, I don't think so either, bu tI would be hard pressed as to quantify how and why.

Does the atmosphere he engenders allow his team to relax more earlier in the season and be mentally fresher for the stretch run?

Him and Rollins have speficially referred to the season as a marathon, thats the team mentality - never get too high/too low. Lets his players fight through slumps without dogging them and the players respond.

I mean of course all this is - Despite his foolish decisions to burn all his starters out and somehow at the same time ruin hsi pen arms as well that will come haunt him come the end of the season.

or the next season
or the season after that.

Maybe in like three years, the Phils will have a bad stretch run and everyone can say see!!!! We were right!! All his stupid decisions came back to bite him in the end.

The Phillies haven't even broken a sweat yet. They will kick it up a notch when they need to and will go into the playoffs with a full head of steam.

lorecore and bigot-to; the second half surge may have to do with the allstar midseason pickups RAJ seems to make every year. take a good team and make it better halfway through every season, you'd expect a more successful second half.

btw.. programming note... since we keep mentioning the 2007 LOLMets and collapses... Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of the start of the "defining moment" TM-@clout 4 game series with the Mets. Since its likely that we will have wash outs this weekend... maybe a look back to that series would be timely and appropriate.

"the second half surge may have to do with the allstar midseason pickups RAJ seems to make every year"


None of these players were even born yet in 1964. It means nothing to them. It should also mean nothing to us. That demon was exorcised in 80 and 08 and also in 83, 93 and 09 for that matter.

Yeah, the Phils were barely treading water until they got Pence. That makes sense. Give Cholly no credit.

limo, the exorcism of '64 took place in '08 (for me). '83 (what a boring team) and '93 were not enough. '80 exorcised the playoff heartbreaks '76-'78 and '79 when Pete Rose was going to lead the Phils to the championship only. '80 was not powerful enough to erase all of that plus '64.

"I don't think anyone believes the 2011 Phillies are going to blow up like the 1964 Phillies or 2007 Mets."

Except for the author of the above post, who brought up the 2007 Mets just the other day in reference to the team. And also did so in 2009.

The only reason anyone is paying attention to the Braves is because there's no one else to which we can pay attention. Unless you want to get caught up in the 'Will they win 100 games?' thing, at the end of which either outcome will be incredibly anticlimactic.

And the Bourn-Brock comparison by Rich D needed to be highlighted. An instant BL hyperbole HOF comment.

The Braves have not, do not and will not scare me.

I'm sorry if that makes me seem like a homer, but that's the way I feel.

circus/bap: "the second half surge may have to do with the allstar midseason pickups RAJ seems to make every year"

Thats odd, I thought RAJ was only GM sicne 2009? How does he affect 2005-2008?

I understand that its some fans very nature to panic, but I really don't understand what the Phils possibly could have shown over the past few weeks to believe that panic is even close to warranted. They've lead practically every game they've played over the past two weeks into the 9th inning. They are still pretty much steam-rolling teams.

When they start looking inferior to losing teams (or any team, for that matter) or losing series in which they actually get beaten like a drum in most games, then you can maybe think about getting concerned. For the playoffs.

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