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Tuesday, September 27, 2011


What goes relatively unquestioned: prying that leadoff spot from Jimmy's cold, dead fingers.

I am not sure who got into Cholly's ear to finally get this proper lineup constructed (maybe he had this in mind all along, to put it together for the playoffs?) but kudos for finally putting the absolute best batting order this team could use, to use.

As for tonight, I see Oswalt going 5 innings and around 80 pitches. Then Herndon in the 6th, Bastardo in the 7th, Worley in the 8th and (if its a save situation) Madson in the 9th. Although it wouldn't surprise me if Cholly stays away from using Madson for a 3rd straight day.

" I think there is enough pride to give the Braves a hard time during these last two games."

Lake Fred, I think the Phillies are a confident enough bunch that they don't care who they play - Cardinals or whoever.

Therefore, IMHO, the clubhouse would like nothing better than to knock the Braves out of the postseason - especially to shove the comments Chipper made before the sweep in Philly even further up his hind end.

I just think they really want it and don't care who they paly.

Sigh. Still the unquestioned assumption that Chooch, he of the .376 OBP, belongs in the 8-hole by some incontrovertible law of nature. Seriously, why not switch him and Ibanez?

JRoll isn't perfect in the leadoff spot, but he's had a solid year and as between him at #1 and Vic at #5 or Vic at #1 and JRoll at #5, I prefer the lineup of the past few days.

especially to shove the comments Chipper made before the sweep in Philly even further up his hind end.

Posted by: Bigotto

What comments? I must have missed it.

"What goes relatively unquestioned: prying that leadoff spot from Jimmy's cold, dead fingers."
How quickly we forget. Going into the playoffs last year Victorino was leading off (Polanco was out for game one of LDS so Rollins lead off) and Rollins was hitting 6th. Just keep repeating that Jimmy refuses to hit anywhere but 1 and it'll be true someday.


I'm not opposed to moving Chooch out of the 8-hole but part of his high OBP is a result of being the 8 hitter. I wouldn't mind moving him up but you can't expect people to put up identicle number in any spot in the lineup.

postseason line-up:

So why is Jimmy hitting first again?

jimmy is fast, and he is clutch

Has anyone noticed that JRoll is actually hitting these days?

Who else would you recommend lead off with Vic in the 5 hole?

Jimmy is the only other option and he's been hitting.

So, does Rollins write the entire lineup or just his spot?

.270 Sept and .267 last seven days.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing for him to be there, just as I like Utley at #2 rather than lower down. It's just the notion that Charlie loves Jimmy leading off, and though there'll be some occasional shifting, it's always come back to him hitting there. It's just a given, regardless of performance, like Howard hitting #4.

Not sure where to find the stat, but I've seen the % of GS by Chooch in the 8-hole and he hasn't played most of his games there. Plus his BA is .287, higher than all regulars except Pence I believe.

I feel ya. It's just the phrasing "prying from his cold dead hands" implies that it is a refusal to hit elsewhere on Rollins' part.

Maybe not a refusal, he's just ... insistent :)

KK in 2011:

vs LHB: .237 AVG/.771 OPS
vs RHB: .269 AVG/.694 OPS


Good numbers NEPP. Kendrick has harnessed the cutter this year. I've never been a fan but, you won't hear a peep from me complaining about him coming into a game in any inning between 3 and 8. Guy has been solid.

Hugh: If Kendrick enters a game in the 3rd, 4th or 5th, the Phillies are probably already screwed, anyway.

J-Roll is a leadoff kinda guy.

Are you suggesting Kendrick as a LOOGY?

Agreed G'Town. But, I wouldn't use him in the second. We're really screwed there.

Just commenting on his versatility. He's like a swiss army pitcher this year.

No...I'm just noting that he can finally get LHBs out and his SO/9 ratio is up too as a result.

he's basically a legit 4/5 starter now.

I really don't care what the lineup is if we're winning. Which we have been. 100 games to be exact, and the last 2 with this lineup.

Rollins has the 3rd lowest OBP of the "regular" starting 8. Even Howard's is better. The man can't run hard w/out fear of winding up back on the DL, & I can't even remember the last time he attempted a bunt before the one a couple of days ago. Rollins should be in the bottom third of the order. In any event he has no business whatsoever batting leadoff.

I agree with NEPP.

"Who else would you recommend lead off with Vic in the 5 hole?

Jimmy is the only other option and he's been hitting."

J-Roll has been in the spot for years. Years of Phillie success. Don't change what ain't broke.

Not the best LO hitter but I'm more bothered by the notion that he refuses to hit lower. People claiming that are essentially writing fan fiction.

I'm no big fan of having Rollins bunt for a hit but, especially now that his legs are apparently being reserved for exceptional situations. When Larry was limping at 3d late in last night's game, though, was a good time to lay one down. Would have been ruthless.

The Saint!

400 feet - CHASE!!!!

Rooting for Oswalt again. Hope he'll end the regular season on a high note.

Chase! Good to see!

GBrettfan, Agree. Would love to see Oswalt and Chase both have big games.

Is Bucknor behind the plate again? Per Gameday, some of those strikes looked outside the plate.

94mph on his fastball.

Oswalt is amped up. Good sign. Hope he doesn't lose it in the 5th or 6th again.

Since Pence appears a better hitter than Victorino this lineup makes some sense. Most likely an opponents' LOOGY would pitch to Utley-Pence-Howard. Victorino's split vs LHP is not that much better than Pence.

Rollins batting 5th would likely be better but he has been worse as a RHB this season. Jimmy gets the leadoff spot by default. At least he has some speed and does not strike out very much.

If Ibanez does not tank, the lineup should not have too many 'easy' outs. Hopefully, Utley catches fire in the playoffs and Howard can bat with runners on base.

His name is Dan Outgla.

O's already up 1-0 in the first.

No more C.B. Bucknor or Jerry Meals for the rest of the season. L.A. is beside himself w/ joy.

Joe Blanton would eat Jerry Meals.

Hopefully Oswalt can string together a few good innings in a row now.

Prior to today, Utley career line vs. Lowe (45 PA): .452/.489/.810. Yowza.


Oswalt won't be going past 5 or 6 innings tonight, so it doesn't matter if he has anything left then or not.

Maybe this will help Cholly finally figure out Roy O is a 6 inning/100 pitch starter now.

Get another meaningless RBI, Howard.

Have you noticed a slimmer Blanton when he pitches? He seems to have lost quite a few lbs.

Chip Caray sounds like he's working a funeral procession.

Talking Chop has all the mirth of a tuburculosis clinic right now. It's great :)

Wheeler just said, "Take your UZR and shove it!!"

Lowe just doesn't have his sinker tonight. Been terrible in the 2nd half and can't imagine him being able to give the Braves a good outing in the postseason.

Bourn has 59 stolen bases, and yet didn't run on Lidge last night. Still strange.

They'll still score that a hit.

Fat: I'm sure he would have run, but he only had 3 pitches in which to do so. Prado singled on the 4th pitch.

Come on, Rollins.

Darn it, Jimmy.

Good job, Chipper!

That'll do fine.

Seemed like Rollins may have gotten distracted thinking about whether the runner on 2nd would try to take 3rd.

Nice pitch by Oswalt.

On another note, Gallardo named the Brewers game 1 starter. Was shocked that it wasn't Greinke, but Gallardo has the best OPS+ team in the 111.

That rotation has been pretty good, but hasn't quite lived up to what they were supposed to be, especially Greinke, whit a 101 OPS+.

Evaluating teams based on the arbitrary error stat doesn't mean much to me anymore.

That aren't a bad defensive team but Howard is really hobbled at 1b now and this team isn't as good defensively in the infield compared to 2008.

MG, to be fair, comparing them to the 2008 team is kind of pointless.

How do they stack against the league is the better question. No doubt they're not as good as their younger counterparts, but do they still grade positively against the field?

Hey, these bats are awake here

Blow it open boys. Gonzalez honestly can't stick with Lowe much longer, and given the magnitude of the situation, I'll be shocked if Lowe stays in if the lineup rolls over.

Bad Lowe. Everything is up and his sinker doesn't have much movement.

Shame these games won't count if the Braves ultimately aren't a playoff team

Good AB Polly.

Looks like the team decided to wake up right in time to end the season.

Fat - probably above average but not top 3-4.

Chooch has a higher OBP batting 6th (.407) in 118 PAs than he does batting 8th (.383) in 121 PAs.

I'm definitely declaring Beerleaguer bankruptcy on my calls to sign Derek Lowe during the 2008-2009 off-season.

Fata: I'd put them right at average defensively. Above-average on days Mayberry starts in LF.

Another umpire a__holing it up in the Sox-Orioles game. I guess when you make a horrible third-strike call, the only way to deal with it is to try to egg on the batter so you can then chuck him out of the game.

Vintage Sarge, about Lowe: "That's the kind of year he's had this year." I suppose this year as opposed to any other year? Gotta ask him, I guess.

Did Oswalt just throw an eephus?

I know this game isn't over, but it sure is fun to crush the Braves' soul.

Red Sox 5
Baltimore 1

Gameday showed Oswalt throwing a 43 mph curveball with a 20" break to McCann. Did he really throw an eephus pitch?

McCann seems to be the only Brave out there who hasn't given up. He's a he'll of a player. Man, the rest of them just look dead. Don't they know they have a chance to clinch tonight?

Bake, yea, saw that call. Not even close.

Gameday showed Oswalt throwing a 43 mph curveball with a 20" break to McCann. Did he really throw an eephus pitch?

Funny that when the Braves replace Gonzalez with Wilson, a player with a .277 OBP, they are actually making an improvement.

How's Yunel Escobar doing?

.290/.369/.413 (.782) 112 OPS+

Not bad.

Still one of the more puzzling trades.

Rollins is really swinging the bat well lately. Hopefully it carries over into the playoffs.

Fata: They traded Escobar because he wasn't a great clubhouse guy.

Clearly, as their sterling September record shows, that clubhouse chemistry matters much more than talent.

Pitch/FX has Oswalt's lowest pitch speed at 69 mph.

The Escobar trade is one of the worst in past few years.

Oswalt at 56 pitches, they said he'd throw 100 and be done.

Really great sign from Oswalt tonight:

Max FB speed: 94.9 mph
Average FB speed: 93.15 mph

Great news!

What call? Oh, some newbie jacked my nick? That's what I get for laying dormant for too long...

Crowd cheering Lowe's removal. Reminds me of the days of Adam Eaton. Who would then probably tell the reporters "I didn't pitch bad."

today on "mornig joe" they were discussing the possible firing of terry francona.

They should be discussing the firing of Theo Epstein for bringing in Carl Crawford for all that money and leaving his rotation paper thin.

I guess ol' Derek will just head on back to the clubhouse, have a drink or six & drive on home now, poor fella.

Fata: There was an article on Fangraphs that showed that Oswalts performance this year correlated very strongly with his fastball velocity. When he average above 92, he pitched very well. Under 92, not well at all.

I'm waiting for Clout to come in and tell us how velocity is irrelevant, but the numbers are what they are (standard caveat of correlation not equaling causation, of course). Clout's overall point that velocity isn't everything is of course true, but he often acts as though it's nothing, which is just ignorant, especially when he applies it to ALL cases. You have to judge these things on an individual basis, and it seems clear that fastball velocity actually is important for Oswalt.

If anyone should get canned, it's Theo for not acquiring more pitching.

So Utley fouled all 5 fastballs way off to the left side.



hacker !!

That was a Jayson Werth AB: one of the worst looking swings you'll ever see on the first pitch, and a homerun later in the count.

Just the way I had hoped. Phils crushing the Braves.

Did the Sox try to trade for a SP after Buchholz went down & Lackey had already been struggling?

And they never showed Pence a fastball.

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