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Thursday, August 25, 2011

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No, the Phillies are just cruising along doing what they need to do.

If we need to, we'll step on the gas and win 10 in a row to keep our division lead.

Regular season is about winning series especially on the road and this team has done that in spades.

Appreciate the post on a potentially different angle during an off-day. Almost impossible to do given how many blogs/media attention the Phils get now.

Charlie often gives the stars the day off for get away days, especially if the Phils have already won the series. I strongly suspect that is one of the main reasons for what you see here.

Killer instinct is something that we will find out about when, and if, this team has their backs to the wall. That really hasn't happened yet this year, but probably will in the playoffs.
I think they will gome out with bats blasting when that happens, but we will have to see.

Don't we have enough to worry about?

The Phils win when they have to. They seem to be more about slow and steady in the long season.

that is an interesting point. i'm curious what the lineups have been in the final games of the series though.

it wouldnt surprise me if a number of those lineups included one or two typical bench players.

i know charlie focuses on winning each game, but after winning the first two games of a series and the fact that the team travels, the phillies have the luxury of sitting some regulars bc the series is already in hand and some guys need a day off....especially wiht the injuries this year.

Being 7-11 in a random and arbitrary 18 game sample tells us absolutely nothing about the team.

This team has had a killer instinct for the last 5 years now, and that's reflected in what is soon to be 5 division titles, six playoff series victories in 9 chances, two pennants and one World Series victory.

Oh, and they have the best record in baseball, up 5 in the loss column in the majors and up 7 in the loss column in the NL.

Lastly, while the Red Sox are a very good team, they've lost far more series than the Phillies, they started the season 2-10 (the Phillies have had no simiarly bad stretch...not even close).

There's also one other thing that the Phillies have done zero times that the Red Sox have done 2 times. Get swept in a 3 game series. Phillies have yet to be swept ALL YEAR.

I think the killer instinct is in the fact they rarely lose series. I could care less if they don't put away sweeps if they're essentially always going 2 for 3. It is probably hard to slam the door when you take two, trot out Kendrick (who has played admirably) or throw Mini-Mart and/or Valdeeez-Nuts out there for the "killer instinct" game.

The Phillies have lost 9 series this year. The Red Sox have lost 12, FWIW.

The killer instinct has migrated from the offense to the pitching staff. Back in the big boom days of 2006-2009, no lead was safe. Unfortunately we would blow leads too. There were dozens of those crazy see-sawing 10-8 games with the Braves and Mets, but the offense never went belly up. Now you've got three aces or 3 1/2 if you wannna count Oswalt (and Worley gets a mention here too) who are killers out there. Hamels, Halladay and Lee never let up. Relief staff too, at least at the back end with Bastardo and Madson. You feel like if the Phillies score 5 runs and one of those guys is pitching the game is won. But on the flip side if we fall behind by a few runs, it's not likely that the offense is going to come roaring back. But even that seems to have changed since Pence arrived. It now feels like no lead is insurmountable.... but we'll see how long that lasts for. Been a good ride so far, anyway.

Red sox going for a 3 game sweep? Im afraid not my friend.. its a 4 game series! They lost the first game 4-0! Haha good work!

Anyone know the last team to never get swept in a 3 or 4 game series?

(I guess the Phils got 'swept' in St. Louis earlier this year in a 2 gamer)

weren't the Pirates a winning team when we swept them?

The Red Sox have been swept 5 times this season (3 three-game series, one two-game series, and one was a three-game series with game 3 postponed). They have also lost 11 series.

The Phillies have only been swept once this year (a two-game series vs STL), and have lost 8 series (mostly during the injury plagues 1st half).

Seems like the Red Sox are streakier while the Phils are more consistent.

Another point to consider, if you want to project regular season performance into the playoffs is that maybe the Phillies don't do the foh-foh-foh thing (Moses Malone predicting a sweep of the 1983 NBA playoffs for those of you who have no idea what this means), but nonetheless win the respective series while absorbing a loss or two, or even three.

roy halladay would like to speak w you regarding his lack of killer instinct...meet him out back cpb after his ninth daily workout

cbp. darn.

this question really made me laugh
why does any team want or need to have what your calling "Killer Instinct"? isn't 2 out of 3 enough? isn't the best record in baseball not enough? I guess you haven't really seen Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt or Cliff Lee out there pitching. these guys DO NOT let up on anyone. it's called closing out an opponent... and these guys do just that.

I'm fine with us winning the first two of every three, means we'll have a lot of 3-1 and 4-1 series wins come playoff time, no?

For a comparison, the Red Sox so far this season have swept a series from a winning team six times, compared to the Phillies zero, including road series sweeps in Anaheim (4), Detroit, Toronto and twice at Yankee Stadium. Tonight, the Red Sox go for a three-game sweep in Texas.

Food for thought. If the Phils have a "mail it in" mindset in the last game of a series, can the referenced "killer instinct" be switched on during the playoffs? The Red Sox have battled back from 2 - 10 oblivion, and appear to be battle-tested for a long playoff run. I wonder how the Phillies might act in the face of a long losing streak?

I'd love to be a mouse in the dugout and have witness to Howard's "...get me to the plate, boys..." swagger in 2011. It doesn’t' seem that exists anymore. Hell, RAJ even went out and got him Pence's protection (there's a really gross joke in there... never mind).

"I wonder how the Phillies might act in the face of a long losing streak?"

We'll probably never know.

A lot of these "non-sweep" games have involved some fairly sub-optimal circumstances that can't reasonably be interpreted as having any deep meaning.

Against the Giants, Oswalt was making his 1st start after getting off the DL, & we were facing Lincecum.

Against the Cardinals, Oswalt was making his last start before he went on the DL, and he got absolutely hammered.

Against the RedSox, Cole had to leave after 4 shutout innings because he took a line drive to his hand.

Yesterday, and in the July series against the Fish, KK pitched the getaway game & pitched badly.

In the Game 4 loss to San Diego, Lee had one of his worst games of the season.

Back in May, we lost a getaway game to the Mets in what was Worley's only really bad game of the season (8 runs allowed in the first 2 innings).

Danys Baez has also loomed large in a few of the losses.

When you're sitting there watching the Phillies lose, after they've won the first 2 games of the series, it's certainly a little frustrating. But I don't think there is any pattern there and, even if there were, I don't think the pattern would have any particular significance. If we win the World Series in 5 games, instead of 4, I'll be ok with it.

Two explosive nighttime outbursts in a row, I wasn't at all surprised that they kind of mailed it in yesterday.

excellent post, BAP.

No.

doing some quick research, the most revered regular season teams of recent memory, the '98 Yankees and '01 Mariners, were both swept at some point, though the Mariners held out until the last week of september.

The 1975 Big Red Machine were swept in a four game set in Philly in May of that year.

The '86 Mets were also first swept by the Phillies in september of that year in a series at the Vet.

Looks like Sun's game is cancelled in lieu of a day/night DH on Sat to get the game in.


Good call by the FO to do that early.

As Mr. Loaf once said, two out of three ain't bad.

Mike: I corrected the Red Sox thing. Thanks for pointing that out.

NEPP: is that official?

Another thing: by my count, the Phillies have lost game 1 of a 3-game series 12 times this year. Exactly half the time, they've come back to win the series. That's a pretty good track record and would seem to refute the notion that they lack a "killer instinct."

The people who developed WAR are currently working on a Killer Instinct Index.

As we all know, the results of any post-season series is detrmined by who has the better Killer Instinct.

***is that official?***

One of my season ticket holding friends texted it to me...he said it was but I haven't seen an outside confirmation of it yet.

"Looks like Sun's game is cancelled in lieu of a day/night DH on Sat to get the game in."

That will probably mess up the scheduled pitching matchups, thereby increasing the probability that we'll lose Game 3 after, hopefully, having won Games 1 and 2.

The '86 Mets were also first swept by the Phillies in september of that year in a series at the Vet.


IIRC, that pulled the second place Phils to less than 20 games out of first.

Rosenthal:

Sources: #Indians awarded claim on Thome, #WhiteSox awarded claim on Kubel. Thome has no-trade clause; preference is #Phillies. #Twins #MLB

Rosenthal:

Sources: #Indians awarded claim on Thome, #WhiteSox awarded claim on Kubel. Thome has no-trade clause; preference is #Phillies. #Twins #MLB

Posted by: Bedrosian's Beard | Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM


Does Thome's preference to play for the Phillies mean that he can ask the Twins to outright him, allowing the Phillies to pick him up?

Worst thread I've ever seen on BLer.

Baseball is comprised of two major elements, pitching and hitting. The Phil's pitchers ABSOLUTELY have a killer's instinct. Those guys try to shut you down every time they take the mound. The hitters sometimes do not have a killer's instinct. It seems like it depends mostly on who's pitching for the opposition and how much success they have already had in the series. When everyone is healthy Charlie needs to play the hot hands and not be so blindly loyal to a player that is struggling. He'll yank a starter on a pitch count, but not a hitter who goes on a three game oh-for. So, I don't think its fair to say the "team" doesn't have a killer's instinct.

The Pirates WERE indeed a winning team when we swept them, we put them into this funk they have been in since, but they were +.500 and i believe in 1st place.

I don't think a collection of players can have a common instinct.

Interesting developments on Thome. I'd love for him to come here, but still would be shocked if he did. It would mean circumventing the entire waiver process. Do Amaro and Thome risk their credibility by doing it? If it's within the rules, why can't you do it? Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Howard Lovers & Howard Haters - Choose your stat.

From Elias: Ryan Howard played the 1000th game of his big-league career on Wednesday. His total of 279 home runs is the most in MLB history through 1000 games (the old record: 277 by Ralph Kiner). On the flip side: Howard's 1179 strikeouts are second-most at that point, behind Rob Deer, who had 1206.

"The '86 Mets were also first swept by the Phillies in september of that year in a series at the Vet.


IIRC, that pulled the second place Phils to less than 20 games out of first."

I was there for one of the games of that series (Darling vs. Gross, I think it was Friday night). The Pets needed to win 1 game of the series to clinch the division, and the upper deck was mostly Pets fans who wanted to watch their team clinch. Some pretty impressive chants were volleyed, many of which can't be printed on a family blog.

Baseball's hottest team, the Brewers, displayed no killer instinct yesterday. Throwing Marcum against the universally feared "TBA" pitching for Pittsburgh, they lost 2-0. TBA turned out to be a former Marlins first rounder making his first MLB start, after having made 3 career starts at AAA. Funny game, baseball.

I'm surprised Thome would prefer Philly over Cleveland. How much did he make Philly bid against itself to pry him away from his beloved Indians? Must really like Charlie Manuel.

In a word?

Yes.

"Being 7-11 in a random and arbitrary 18 game sample tells us absolutely nothing about the team."

Bingo.

Fata, from what I've read, he could do that, but it ain't gonna happen. If it did, RAJ would have a hard time making any kind of significant trade with anybody in the future, because the other GM's would consider it a breach of etiquette.

"The people who developed WAR are currently working on a Killer Instinct Index."

Bingo X 2.

This post is one of the best example of how to incorrectly use statistics to extrapolate a completely unsupportable concept.

If you want to assess the Phillies' "Killer Instinct" (which, of course, is a meaningless concept),

look at their win/loss record.

Not saying they're going to fail in October becaues of it, but wouldn't you like to see the Phillies sweep a good team at some point this season?

"His total of 279 home runs is the most in MLB history through 1000 games (the old record: 277 by Ralph Kiner)"

Ah. But HRs are meaningless, just like RBI.

Why would RAJ be the bad guy in the Thome situation? Thome's fair game if he's released. The Twins would be at fault for releasing him.

I think Silverman is bored during the day...Weitzel, give him more to do around the office!

"wouldn't you like to see the Phillies sweep a good team at some point this season?"

Yes. Preferably in the World Series.

In seriousness I've noted something of a pattern of dropping the 3d game when they started 2-0. Of course, early in the season, it seemed their MO to lose the first game and take the second two. As b_a_p notes, the circumstances in many of those third games were not conducive to a victory and the Phils have placed no apparent importance on winning that 3d game as opposed to winning the most games overall. Not a concern.

I'd just like to point out that I just agreed, whole-heartedly, with Fatty and clout on a single thread.

End times?

"I wonder how the Phillies might act in the face of a long losing streak?"

In other words, the evidence for the Phillies being a good team is their going on a losing streak.

The killer instinct thing is pretty ludicrous, but taken on its own terms, no bad thing, since a .666 winning percentage in the playoffs = WFC.

Why would RAJ be the bad guy in the Thome situation? Thome's fair game if he's released. The Twins would be at fault for releasing him Posted by: Steve | Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 01:28 PM

Not saying that RAJ would be the only bad guy. The Twins would be equally at fault. It would be an obvious attempt to circumvent the rules.

@Phlipper: "I'd just like to point out that I just agreed, whole-heartedly, with Fatty and clout on a single thread.

End times?"

Not when the thread topic is as contrived and asinine as the one we're currently posting on. I agree with Bay Slugga here - worst thread on BL ever.

MLB said they would step in if the Twins simply released Thome so he could sign with the Phillies.

I don't think they would be circumventing the "official" rules. There is no rule saying you cannot do it. If anything, it's one of those many unwritten rules in baseball.

I would much rather see a 'Looking Good' index being developed.

I am kind of indifferent to a 'Killer Index' index.

Why would MLB step in if they do something perfectly within the rules?

NEPP, did you read that somewhere, ie, is it official?

Possible Thread Ideas

Bigger Fan Favorite: Bobby Abreu or Jayson Werth?

Is Cole 'Man Enough'?

The Roy Oswalt Test: What Type of Tractor Are YOU?

***did you read that somewhere, ie, is it official?***

I read it somewhere (MLBTradeRumors maybe) a couple of days ago. The MLB league office said they would veto any attempt for the Twins to circumvent the waiver process by simply releasing a player of Thome's caliber so he could sign with another team. Thus, he's not coming to Philly.

NEPP, we've had all of those threads, and they were much worse than this one.

"but wouldn't you like to see the Phillies sweep a good team at some point this season?"

Absolutely. But, if they do, it won't tell me anything that I don't already know about their chances in the post-season.

"Why would MLB step in if they do something perfectly within the rules?"

Because it would annoy Joe Torre.

My biggest concern for the postseason? The weather. Rain delays, in particular (those not lasting a few days on end like in 2008). Nothing I'd hate more than to take the best starting staff in baseball into the playoffs, only to have them go a couple innings before a delay. Luckily, we have a few contingency plans (and the opposing team would have the same issue). I just don't want to see our Aces marginalized by crappy October weather.

Since it's such a trivial concern, put me in the "not too much to worry about" camp.

Dammit, I might have to surrender my Debbie Downer card if this continues.

I don't understand all the fascination with Thome - a 40 year old .248 hitter limited to 70 games this year.

Mike Williams, this is why there's such "fascination":

Jim Thome
2011 wRC+: 131
2011 Homeruns/XBH: 12/24
Career Home Runs: 601

Ross Gload
2011 wRC+: 47
2011 Homeruns/XBH: 0/5
Career Home Runs: 47

The attachment to Thome is, of course, much more emotional than his numbers. Our sheer incompetence as an organization kept us from surrounding the people he needed to win, so we want to see him win, and we want to see him win with us. See Staley, Duce...

2011 Thome>>>2010 Mike Sweeney

2011 Thome>>>>>>>>...>>>>2011 Ross Gload

2011 Thome= all-round nice guy whom the fan base already likes and who already likes us, with good pop off the bench (or in the DH role).

Who wouldn't want to see Thome PH in the playoffs?

Interest in Thome:

Phils have 1 HR all season by a LH hitter (Howard). Gload has 61 ABs and only 5 XHBs (all 2bs). His overall line is .246/.270/.328 as a PH.

Last year Gload had 66 PH ABs and 6 XBHs but 3 were HRs. His overall line was .227/.271/.409. Phils also had Dobbs who had 49 PH ABs and had 4 XHBs including 2 HRs. His overall line was an anemic .122/.204/.286

Even with his string of ineptitude as a PH the last 2+ months (1 for his last 12, 3 for 16, 3 for 24), Gload overall has at about the same clip as last year. He just doesn't have the ability to drive out of the park or take a BB. Thome/Giambi do have the ability to do both and why the Phils are interested in upgrading if possible.

Thome is 3-11 this year as a PH with 1 XHB (a double). He also has just 1 BB and 7 Ks.

Let's not exaggerate how much better he is at this point than Gload as a PH. He's better because of his potential to hit a HR (and to a lesser degree draw a BB) but he's can't play in the field & is possibly slower than Gload.

MG, the fact that he's 3-11 as a pinch hitter with however many Ks and BBs does absolutely nothing to offset the fact that he has a 131 wRC+ to Gload's 47 wRC+. It's 11 PAs. SSS, anyone?

Gload is about as close to useless as they come this year. Thome, even if he's slower (it's like arguing whether a tortoise is slower than a snail, I mean really...), is such a bigger threat at the plate, that any nominal difference between the two in the field or on the basepaths is moot.

In conclusion, I don't think it's possible to exxagerate how much better Thome is than Gload, and for exactly the reasons you stated. He can hit HRs and take walks, very important for a PH, no?

New thread.

Primary LH PH in the playoffs (2008 and 2009):

2008:

Dobbs went 1-3 as a PH
Stairs went 1-4 as a PH

2009:

Stairs went 1-6 as a PH
Dobbs went 0-4 as a PH

2010:
Gload went 0-5 as a PH

Basically Thome will get about 4-5 ABS as PH AB if the Phils reach the NLCS. 6-7 PH AB if they reach the WS and very possibly would start as a DH vs RH starter in the WS.

Nope, this crew does not have a "killer instinct."

Too many times, in a game or series the club has had the opposition on their backs with a tight grip around their necks only to let them up. The Phillies are a bunch of very good ball players, but there is not a single bad-ass, nasty FM who not only wants to win but who also loves to beat up on their opponents; like a Ty Cobb, or Bob Gibson.

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