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Friday, September 23, 2011


thank you for that

Finally a voice of reason! Come down off the ledge people and take a valium! Seriously!

JW - Has the term 'On-Deck All-Star' displaced 'Value Village?' I still prefer the later term.

You have to add Utley and JRoll to that list too. JRoll clearly isn't at full-speed with the lingering groin pull & won't be the rest of the year. Only hope that 2-3 days of rest next week will be the tonic that cures Utley's ailments.

They will go into the NL playoffs as the clear favorites & go as far as their stellar starting pitching takes them.

The way I see it, Utley was a non-factor in getting to 98 wins because he missed so much time and was merely an OK producer when healthy. I don't see Utley and J-Roll as concerns necessarily. J-Roll is still the guy I want at the plate in a big spot.

Injuries still are a real concern. It's Howard's left ankle/Achilles, no? The one he pushes off on? Chase looks like a ghost of himself. And for goodness sake, now we learn Hunter Pence has patellar tendonitis? Nice.

All these players are vital to the playoffs -- the sole reason this team was put together. If Charlie gets ‘em fired up and rips though the playoffs with so many hurting players, and a creaky bullpen, he gets my vote for Manager of the Decade.

FWIW, I was listening to a baseball podcast and the Phils were barely mentioned. JW is right. This mini-slide is not a story. The worst thing about it is that it hasn't been fun to watch.

I dunno, I just picture JW as Kevin Bacon in Animal House.


Not to be dismissive of injury, but I expect Howard and Pence to play through the pain come Oct. These don't sound like major, major ailments.

Thanks, JW. Great post.

I will say this: I do have concerns about Howard's health beyond this season. Typical big man issue: bad feet.

Yeah, maybe -- and hopefully. But since so many have equated these games to spring training games, then it's worth asking how recent Phillies' teams have fared when they stunk it up in spring training, then had to "flip the switch" for the first week of the season? The answer, it turns out, is that, when they played well in spring training, they opened the season strong. When they stunk it up in spring training, they opened their season by badly. It's a pattern that has held true in each of the last 5 seasons.

"Come Oct. 1, when it's ace vs. ace with loaded lineups, it'll all be forgotten."

Unless the losing continues, that is.

Bay: Two reasons why this could be different: Halladay and Lee.

I agree with JW that the overall season is awesome. But, if the next 6 games look much like the last 6 games, perspective be damned.
I'm too old to climb the bridge towers , so look for me on deck level about mid-span.

bap -- whether or not that's true about spring training, the situation isn't the same. We can flip the switch this time because we won't have guys like Kratz, Bowker, Gload, Moss, Schneider, Martinez, Schwimmer, DeFratus, Orr, etc. leading the charge.

jw: Agreed. But, since so many have likened these to spring training games, while expressing absolute confidence in the team's ability to flip the proverbial switch, I thought it only fair to note the trend.

This is the game where a Moss, Bowker, Francisco, Gload, Orr, MM, Schneider lineup would be fine. Flailing at Dickey isn't going to help bust any of the slumps.

"Flailing at Dickey isn't going to help bust any of the slumps."

That could be read a number of ways.

Q: Is Carlos Ruiz the MVP of the last two seasons? He was Beerleaguer's team MVP last season. Hitting .283/.372/.386 this season in an underrated campaign. Werth and Vic were the best producers of 2010-2011, but the best player of two seasons? Chooch?

Wow. Weitzel steps in and restores sanity.

Any chance of Dom Brown getting some playing time?
Oh how the mighty have fallen.

I never thought Dom could fall below the likes of Gload and Bowker on the depth chart.

I noticed that this losing streak isn't getting much press outside of Philadelphia. Non-story, especially when compared to the tribulations of the Braves and Red Sox. Imagine the hand-wringing at MLB and ESPN if there's no Yankee/Red Sox series in the playoffs.

On the other hand, I don't particularly like watching Bowker, etc get swept at home by the Nats and having those losses pinned on the Phillies. The casual fan (e.g. the idiots who don't pay attention all season but suddenly turn into Yankee fans come the playoffs) just look at the losing streak, not the details, then start flapping their gums about how much the Phillies suck. It's irritating.

Sorry, Ruiz has been consistently unremarkable this year.

MG: "JRoll clearly isn't at full-speed with the lingering groin pull & won't be the rest of the year."

I saw J-Roll hit a triple the other day and he looked pretty fast to me.

JW - You can make a compelling case if you get away from the saberites.

JRoll is one of the last guys I want to see up in a key spot right now. Yeah he has gotten some big hits in the postseason for this team over the year but more often than not he has been found wanting with some pretty mediocre career numbers in the postseason with RISP.

Depends on the matchup but Howard (*as long as their isn't a LOOGY killer on the mound) and Chooch are probably at the top of my list. Vic probably has the most potential to have a great AB or a horrendous one.

Really isn't a guy though who you want to see in a big spot for the Phils. Wasn't last year either in the playoffs.

You want Ibanez or Mayberry as the starter?

Clout - is your post about Will Schweitzer true? I haven't been reading BL very closely lately - too much other stuff to do.

A week or two ago it was a given that the single season win total mark would be broken. Now it may not happen. It's only symbolic, but it would be nice if they can still pull it off.

At home (and maybe on the road) against a RH I want Raul.
In the WS, it will be nice to have both of them in the lineup

clout - Yeah and that has been his only 2B/3B since he has come back. Has attempted a single SB either. Watch him go down the line on an infield grounder and he won't even be near the bag on a routine play.

You can't tell whether it is due to the actual injury or just a bit of hesitation on JRoll's part. He just doesn't have his wheels right now. Basically a station-to-station guy.

KF: I am not kidding. Will Schweitzer IS Juan Carlos Oviedo.

Ask Weitzel. He'll confirm.

Thanks clout. I always wondered how he popped in right away when the age topic came up. I thought he had nothing else to do and was reading every post in real time. Now we know he was a first class troll. Oh well. At least he had a hobby.

The Phillies have a pitcher named Ramon Oviedo in their farm system. He's nothing special but his prospect status has brightened considerably in the last 48 hours, as scouts start to speculate that he might have major league pedigree.

MG: J-Roll has started 10 games since returning from the DL. Number of attempted steals: 0; Extra base hits: 1.

In the 10 games before going on the DL: Number of attempted steals: 2; Extra base hits: 3.

Not a huge statistical difference given the SSS, although I think the 0 steal attempts is the most significant.

Thank you Weitzel for injecting some sanity back into the blog.

This different name thing is messing me up. Do you mean I may have cheering for the wrong D.R. guy all these years?

Re: JRoll, it's easier to get injured again if you're doing more. If I were him, I'd be trying to take it easy when it doesn't matter, only to repair a bit more and give it my all during the playoffs.

It's pretty apparent that the older players are not allowed to steal and risk injury, at least until Oct. Mayberry and Pence are the only guys with wheels who still get green lights.

I think Schwimer gets kind of a bad rap when lumped into the likes of the other names.

I think he has some value to Phils in the future, unlike the rest of those names listed around him.

This point can't be made often enough: this offensive skid began in the last two games of the Brewers series, one of which was won in extra innings while the other was lost. It continued through the Astros series, when almost all the regulars were playing, and through the Cardinals and Nats series--the second-stringers didn't start getting significant at-bats until the division was clinched midway through the Cardinal series. Making Bowker, Orr, and company scapegoats won't hold up to scrutiny.

It figures the long-awaited "restoration of sanity" would once again focus on the subs, & not the 1/3 of the batting order that have combined for a Sept. OBP dangerously close to the Mendoza Line. All 3 of 'em are gonna be playing come 1 Oct., & all 3 of 'em look more lost than any of the AAA slop save Bowker. In fact, Rollins, Vic, Utley & Bowker are practically indistinguishable in their states of reeking putrefaction. Turning a blind eye to such a remarkable string of horseshit PAs is a true feat of self-delusion.

Jimmy's speed looks fine once he gets moving but I always wondered if his injury hampered that initial burst of speed. Same with Utley.

Unless the rules have been changed to count a batter reaching 1B before his 2 pitch pop-up reaches an infielder's mitt as a Hit, speed is of no consequence. Besides which, Charlie has apparently abandoned the running game altogether. Not even the players who presumably might be able to steal a base or two bother trying. The resulting runners stranded on 2B & 3B w/ less than 2 Outs will bite the Phillies in the ass come Oct.

According to Paul Hagen on twitter, the "Phillies discovered Bastardo has been tipping his pitches." Interesting.

Many try, but no other Beerleaguer poster can turn a phrase quite as colorfully as GTown Dave.

I hate seeing my team lose. Period. That's me as a fan.

When it comes to real concerns about the post season, there are legit issues beyond just our left-handed relief.

I get that these games are virtually meaningless. Still, I expect to see some production from starters in the 1-4 slots. The only assumption you can make is that those players are not recovered from injuries and/or don't have their timing down. Either way, it's a concern.

We've got unbelievable starting pitching, so I'm not melting down. But I'm not closing my eyes, to an offense that may do more than just sputter based on history and current ineffectiveness.

gtown: i agree, ther regulars are playing like crap.

I think its because they aren't really preparing or caring as they normally would, and im actually just fine with that(even though they made my tickets pretty worthless last nite).

Do you have another conclusion as to why they are playing bad? Do you think its because they suck/old/hurt, or do you agree they aren't really preparing - but yet are taking much more offense to it than me?

BAP: Ramon Oviedo also pitches in the Reds farm system under the name Pedro Villarreal.

"Turning a blind eye to such a remarkable string of horseshit PAs is a true feat of self-delusion."

Yep. A clear case of:

Matt: "Phillies discovered Bastardo has been tipping his pitches."

Wow, I wonder if that means his side sessions with Mick Billmeyer are gonna end.

October 1st yet?

Now that Bastardo is fixed the Phillies can focus on hitting issues.

Why would the Phils publicize their supposed discovery of Bastardo tipping his pitches? No teams are publicizing they've picked up anything. Why not give other teams guessing and thinking they've solved him? And if the team is wrong, all they're doing is setting themselves up for an embarassment.

"keep" other teams guessing, that is

Wonder what the 'tipping his pitches' has to do with the fact that he hasn't been able to locate his fastball the last month with regular command or control?

Whatever works I guess.

Little Ollie: I offer 2 possibilities.

Possibility 1: The Phillies are not "publicizing" Bastardo's pitch-tipping at all. They mentioned it only to Bastardo, but some blabbermouth within the organization anonymously passed it on to the media.

Possibility 2: He's not really tipping pitches, & the Phillies know he's not tipping pitches. But they think his confidence is all screwed up, so they came up with some pretextual physical explanation in the hopes that, if he fixes this non-problem, his confidence will come back. Something like, "You know, Antonio, I've noticed that when you throw your slider, you pull on your left ear 3 times." So Bastardo stops pulling his ear and, believing that the ear-pulling was the source of all his problems, he suddenly gets his confidence back again.

""Turning a blind eye to such a remarkable string of horseshit PAs is a true feat of self-delusion."

And all this time I thought baseball was supposed to be fun. I feel like a fool.

Big Joe starts tomorrow. Easy win.

Didn't Lidge think he had this same problem last year? If I remember, I don't think his "correction" really helped him any.

Gtown: Do you really think Rollins and Utley will continue slumping right though next week and into the playoffs? That would be a damn long slump. And once again, an at-bat during a meaningless game is a hell of a lot different that an at-bat during the playoffs. And don't tell me Utley won't be pitched differently with Howard and Pence coming up behind him, etc., etc.

I, for one, always look forward to Blanton's starts. Not sure why at this point. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the Legend of Kentucky Joe.

Anyway, speaking of non-meaningless meaningless games, does anyone know if tonight's Flyers game is on TV? It'd be good to see Simmonds get a pile of goals or something after last night's nonsense. And it'd be good to have something with which to ease the pain if Howard and co. continue the Bad News Bears impersonation tonight.

Speaking of which, the weather for tonight's not looking so hot:

It all comes down to the two talented and thankfully durable arms of Cliff Lee & Roy Halladay. If they have even average games, we could be in trouble as hitting is always somewhat muted in the playoffs (or so it seems). They don't have many average games. They are in the highest echelon of elite pitchers.

I hope when the switch is flipped it turns on faster than the fluorescent light in my basement.

The Nationals, Royals, and Orioles are all 8-2 in their last 10. I guess that means they're good teams.

BobbyB, show me the commenters who think the Phillies are not a good team. The Nats are not good, but they're hot. The Phillies are not bad, but they're cold. And to the extent that "hot" and "cold" are meaningful concepts, the Phillies' coldness is worrisome.

Watching Indians-Tigers on MLBN, always cracks me up watching Hafner Bat and run, hes like a giant gorilla playing baseball. Yay for the DH.

Posted by: Mego | Tuesday, August 09, 2011 at 10:07 PM

I wonder if Mego threw bananas on the field while Hafner was batting.

I think the use of all the subs does mean something, more than others here seem to think. Even the worst teams have major league players, and notwithstanding the team's lead, the difference between the best and worst teams isn't always so great. Rest a couple guys, test a few minor leaguers, and it makes a difference. Yeah, a few Phils' starters have been cold, slumping, or recovering from injuries, but we've admired all year how the team uses all 25 on their roster, and it's rare that the entire team is hot at the same time.

So I'm on the side of those who aren't worried (too much).

JW, I cannot believe you expressed concern about Howard in the long run. That 5 year deal is gonna be a bargain!

I'd say the most glaring deficiency w/ Rollins & Vic is a lack of patience. Fortunately, this can be fixed. Unfortunately, there never appears to be much rhyme or reason to when the Phillies decide to take a few pitches before wailing away.

Utley is more troubling. Here's a guy who used to be the picture of situational discipline, & now he looks as if he's gotten to the point of throwing crap at the wall & seeing if any of it sticks. Either Team Regression has found it's ultimate example, or there's something we're missing. My idea would be to bump Mayberry up in the order & move Chase down. I doubt that will happen, but I'd be curious to see the result.

Regardless, I don't believe it's possible to go from a month of hitting below .200 to tearing up Postseason pitching simply because the calendar reads 1 Oct. The top of the order -- & Howard & Pence -- have 6 games in which to get their timing straight, & in that brief span I'd like to see a whole lot more focus from the former group than I've been seeing. Spring Training games are the true meaningless exhibitions, & the Phillies won't be able to treat Oct. like Apr. if they come out flat.

My prediction: Vic turns it around, Utley remains hopeless & Rollins could go either way. For me the midway point between reality & hope so far as J-Roll's concerned is that he will be mostly ineffectual, w/ a key moment or two of greatness. Whether that will be enough of a contribution from the top of the order to get through to the NLCS remains to be seen, but I'm expecting a tighter NLDS than the Phillies have yet experienced no matter which team they face.

they need to start hitting the ball.charlie needs to light a fire on there team the phillies are way to talented to go down in flames!that series with nats was a joke the way they lost,they need the eye of the tiger like rocky balboa.

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