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Thursday, September 22, 2011


Did Manual call out the team? I thought they had a closed door meeting in which he didn't really chew them out. What did the beat reporters say happened?

Oswalt looks great tonight. Good to see.

Utley has looked pretty weak for a while now. Needs to get some rest. Can Bowker play 2nd?

Oswalt is really bringing here...93-94 in the 8th inning.

Honestly I don't think the players on this team listened to Cholly that much last year at all during the summer when they really scuffled in June/July.

They picked up Oswalt & never looked back after that.

And that's what we all get for complimenting him.


only legit run he's given up so far.

First real mistake Oswalt's made tonight. As far as I'm concerned, he's at 7.2 IP, 1 ER right now.

Very pleased wtth what I've seen from Oswalt tonight.

Prediction: We lose 3-1. In the 9th, we'll get at least 1 runner on, probably 2 before we bow out weakly.

For all the good he has done tonight, Oswalt continues to be lousy at getting himself out of jams. If a runner reaches base against Oswalt, he usually scores.

Oswalt not happy with the calls. Can't blame him.

Anyone else sick of losing and not hitting?

MG, funny thing is that the Phils had won 8 games in a row before Oswalt got here. His first start actually broke that huge winning streak that got them back in the right direction.

Oswalt was definitely a huge part of last year's run, but I don't think he was the catalyst.

Oddest thing tonight is staring Bowker/Gload and then bringing in Francisco & Mayberry midway in the game to PH for them respectively while staying in the game.

I would be curious to have a reporter ask Cholly in the postgame why he did that.

BAP - Yup. Oswalt has been running into trouble later in games in the 6th/7th innings with regularity since he has been back.

He didn't look bad this inning but he did make a few mistakes.

I thought it was a players-only meeting?

But I agree, Iceman, and I posted earlier this evening that it's hard to believe Charlie's really playing to win when he trots out such a lineup as this one.

The only thing I can assume with starting Bowker is that they want to prove once and for all that he does not belong on the playoff roster.

Not sure why Orr (v. Valdez, who will be on the playoff roster), except perhaps for the same reason - to audition him for the postseason. Might be between him and MM right now. Neither's a terrific option, I realize, but every postseason roster needs its So Taguchi or Eric Bruntlett, I guess.

Mailing it in, or lineups devoid of talent, you decide: Phils "never saw more than 11 pitches in any inning vs Peacock tonight. Did same thru 1st 6 vs Detwiler on Tues."

I hear the CIA is going to show the last 5 Phillies games to terror suspects as part of their enhanced interogation program.

I don't give a crap if these games don't have any importance,these guys are in a freakin'coma!


Well, that sucked.

You gotta wonder why UC left him in there.

Well, whatever minor intrigue the game had is now completely gone.

Alright, it's official, no more Phillies until the postseason.

...unless, of course, they have a chance to oust the Braves in the final series, and run out all the regulars.

OMG - it gets worse

Give me one more.

So much for that good outing.

Well, crap. Another longball for the starting rotation. Puts the cherry on top of a crappy week of Phillies baseball.

On a lighter note:

"Nunez was placed on the restricted list Thursday and is not expected to return to the major leagues this season. According go the AP's sources, the right-hander's real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo and he's actually a year older than his listed age of 28. The Marlins have reportedly known about the issue for several months, but it's not yet clear how they plan to resolve it."

Fact is, Oswalt looked great tonight, and would have gone into the 8th with goose eggs across the board, but for Utley's misplay of that fly ball. In a legit game, Oswalt probably doesn't get left in for that to happen, so that 3 run HR is pretty much a minor footnote, on an otherwise promising outing.

And Oswalt is not 'potentially' an advantage over Blanton of last year. There is absolutely no comparison between the two pitchers. Roy Oswalt has never had an ERA+ of under 100 in 11 seasons. In Blanton's best season (in what appears to be a statistical fluke), his ERA+ of 124 still doesn't touch Oswalt's career ERA+ of 133. And if we're talking about just this season, in what is probably the worst year of his career, Oswalt's 104+ ERA is better than 2010 Joe Blanton's stellar 85. His ERA is more than a run better than Blanton's last year.

Not to mention that the fat turd went out there in Game 4 and crapped the bed against a pathetic lineup. He had a 4-2 lead going into the fifth and he couldn't even get through that inning. If Oswalt is worse than Blanton was this year as a fourth starter in the playoffs, I'll donate $1K to a charity of MG's choice.

*Editor's note: this was written before Cholly ruined Oswalt's outing by keeping him out there when he was clearly done in the 8th

Wheeler and Tom McArthy are SO lame."Oswalt was magnificent tonight" Yeah! Right up until when he gave up 4 runs with two outs

Not the best night of managing by Cholly. I do worry a bit that Cholly is going to lean on Oswalt too long in a playoff start & Oswalt will run into trouble.

He's not 26 years old anymore, Chuckles.

Nats get 4 and Stasburg doesn't even pitch. I don't care who's playing,preview of Nats 2012.
Time for someone to throw the switch!

Happy Fan Appreciation Day!!!!

Cholly is going to have to make some tough calls with this bullpen & pitching moves in the postseason.

Anyone feel confident he will push the right buttons?

I keep hearing commentators say the score doesn't tell the full story of how the starter pitched. I get that, but isn't the bottom line the result? Doesn't matter if it's one or two mistakes, they often make the difference in a game. Not that we were likely to come back froma 3-0 deficit, but giving up a 3-run HR, even after pitching 7 good innings, is never a good thing.

Is Oswalt like Blanton last year, where he's only good for a certain number of innings/pitches?

Genius move by the Rays to keep Moore in the minors for so long. Wonder if it winds up costing them a possible playoff spot.

Can we quit blaming "the lineup" for why this team has stopped hitting?

They stopped hitting 2 weeks ago. All of them stopped hitting, 2 weeks ago.

The lineup tonight was filled with starters and bench guys, who could all be on the post-season roster.

Why can the Nats backups come out and hit and the Phils can't?

I love that stuff. At least my grandparents picked a name that sounded vaguely like theirs.

That "button" he pushes better activate two defibrillator paddles!

MG- he's going to have at least one screw-up with leaving a starter in too long. It will depend on the situation, though, as to whether or not I'll fault him for it, because with the bullpen he has, can you really blame him for trying to get an extra few outs from his starters?

(P.S. I think Oswalt is way better than Blanton; I only meant to compare them in terms of hitting a wall later in the game. Possibly. Not sure.)

Funny, I just can't bring myself to celebrate 7 innings, with 6 earned runs allowed. This year's Oswalt is basically the pitching version of Jayson Werth: if men are on base, he fails almost every time.

GBrettfan - Pretty much. Basically runs into trouble in the 6th inning or around 95-100 pitches whatever comes first.

Been the trend since he has been back in almost every start.

GBrett, context, my friend.

If Hunter Pence is your starting right fielder, Utley clears defers to him on that fly ball in the 3rd inning, which directly l led to one run by falling, and allowed the batter to advance to second. He then scored on a single that came in an AB that never should have happened.

In the 8th inning, Oswalt was clearly left in too long tonight, and surrendered a HR to a good homerun hitter.

If the Phillies defense plays up to standard and Charlie removes Oswalt when he should, we're instead singing the praises of a 7.2 IP, 1-2 ER performance.

Can we please get 102 wins at least. This is F'N sad and sucking. I don't care if it was the 27 yankees. Play with some balls and some heart.

Fatalotti: and if my Grandma had pine cones we wouldn't have to buy a Christmas tree this year!

I think most are underestimating the mental aspect of baseball. How can these guys get amped up enough to care about these games and perform well? They know they are playing for NOTHING. And what they do doesn't matter in the slightest for the team right now. They all have their eyes on the ultimate goal.

I'm way more interested in how they play when it matters. That goes for position players and pitchers alike. Let's see how focused they are then.

Look, I know there are a load of scrubs in this game. But the results are still f______ pathetic, because there are a few supposed non-scrubs in there too. If those starters and a few bench players can't even squeeze one damn run out of the last home game against an absolutely sh__ty Nationals team, it's not something to brush off as completely insignificant. And I guess I'm not totally buying the mailing-it-in thesis. Haven't Utley and co. been sucking pretty hard since well before clinching? That is, it's not entirely clear that they've just turned on the suck after drinking the champagne.


Debbie Downer (aka, a clear-eyed observer of reality)

"They stopped hitting 2 weeks ago. All of them stopped hitting, 2 weeks ago"

Let's hop into dennyb's time machine to 2 weeks ago. September 8th. Right in the middle of a 6 game winning streak against the 2nd and 3rd best teams in the NL. Pretty much the last meaningful games they've played.

Anyone else find that extremely coincidental?

Iceman - If it is Lee/Halladay on the mound, probably not but Oswalt is a different case.

I do feel for Cholly though. He has a bullpen right now with one solid option in Madson. That's it.

Oddly, I have confidence in Lidge even though he almost never manages to pitch a clean inning anymore. He keeps the ball on the ground & weak contact with his share of Ks.

Rest are complete unknowns and that includes Bastardo. No idea how Worley might do in a tough spot. Stutes has been terrible since August. Herndon isn't a guy you want to see in any key spot.

I empathize with Cholly because he is going to have some tough decisions in the playoffs come 7th/8th innings.

This team sinks/swims with Lee & Halladay. Need them to be nearly flawless.

So after a spectacular season, the Phillies are spending the last few weeks of it accumulating their worst losing streak in a 313 games.

I hope they WILL be like the 2000 Yankees or whatever year Yankees team that was, that clinched early, lost late, and won the WS.

Oswalt is an old man at the end of his career.

For some reason, Cholly keeps thinking its 2002 and he is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He's not and he's not. He's a guy with 10 losses on a team with only 60 losses total.

Why doesn't Cholly just sit them ALL down for a game? What is Rollins, Vic and Utley doing to merit another start? They are collectively 0 for 35 in this series.

Play the entire "F Troop" tomorrow. They literally can't be any worse.

Bring the frontliners back on Sunday and play them in at least the first 2 games in Atlanta.


Oswalt with bases empty: .311/.341/.464 (.806)

Oswalt with Men On: .259/.324/.352 (.676)

Oswalt with RISP: .288/.338/.384 (.722)

The phillies can kiss my black ass !

denny b - Do you have Samuel and Gross in the lineup?


They haven't hit for sheet, since the end of the Milwaukee series.

If you knew anything about baseball, you'd know that.

Fatalotti: and if my Grandma had pine cones we wouldn't have to buy a Christmas tree this year!

Posted by: Lance Phillips | Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 09:21 PM

Yeah, because context doesn't mean anything. Come on, man.

Ah man, you guys remember the '11 Phillies? Now that was a team that couldn't lo--oh darn.

Well, at least Espinosa hasn't gotten a hit tonight.

Honestly, these games should not matter as meaning anything or not, these are professional baseball players. They should have accidentally taken 3 in the last week.

Hell, Savery might be the 2nd or 3rd best hitter in the lineup right now.

For those who think that Rollins, Vic, and Utley are in a coma because the games don't count, could you elaborate on that theory a bit? Are they going up to the plate and trying to make outs because the games don't count?

And the games DO count by the way. They don't count toward winning the division. But this team which fancied itself some sort of historical juggernaut has already squandered its opportunity to ever be regarded as such. Next up: squandering the chance to be regarded as the best Phillies team ever.

Fata, I appreciate the context. Especially since I missed the first 7 innings. I love Oswalt, and I think he's a great pitcher. I'm encouraged by his last few outings. I think we're a better team with him as our 4th starter than Blanton, no question.

However, there's still the bottom line. Which is that whether you're tired or not, those runs in the 8th inning are still on you.

I truly meant only to compare Oswalt to Blanton in the sense of hitting a wall late in the game (and I'm not sure there's a big enough sample size for that - although we're not getting a bigger one.) But if it's anticipated, then it can be planned for, by replacing Oswalt before damage is done.

MG- I'm also fine with Lidge. Maybe he's got me fooled, but his slider still has great movement and his last several outings have been very solid, which is more than you can say for anyone else in our bullpen.

I still would like to see Cholly use him situationally, though. To start an inning against a string of RHB, or in the middle of an inning against a RHB when a K is needed. Unfortunately with the way the rest of the bullpen looks, he's going to be the setup guy and asked to get 3 outs per game no matter what.

bap, see my 9:21 post.

Only time wil tell....Charlie has gone on record as saying he wants to see normal,balls against the wall effort the last five games leading into the first Post-Season series.They sleepwalk through the Braves and we know we have a BIG problem.I remember a quote from Joe DiMaggio as to why he played so hard EVERY game. His answer was that they're going to be people in the stands that never saw him play before and he didn't want to disappoint them.....I'd of hated to have one of these debacles be the only time I got out to the "Bank"this year!

OK - I know my view can be discounted because I am always so overly negative.

But this team has really not been playing particularly well over the last couple of weeks.

Vic is 11 for his last 82.

That is a long streak of suckitude.

Give him a few days off already. I have faith he is just worn out and will rejuveniate once the playoffs start.

dennyb- that's exactly what I just said, you dolt.

Looks like the Yanks are starting to mail it in, too, after clinching last night. L, 13-2.

They could lose out and if they win the WFC, no one would give a sh8t that this "historical juggernaut" didn't set the franchise record for wins.

Playoff wins are ALL that matter. I'm willing to bet each of the players feel that way too.

Fat: I absolutely knew someone was gonna do that to me. I actually told myself, "Look up his splits because, if you're wrong, you're gonna look stupid." But I already had too many windows open on my computer and one more would have crashed the system. So I just went ahead & posted. It sure SEEMED true.

Its kinda frightening how far Utley has fallen off as a hitter in such a short time.

He's just a shadow of that guy who dominated the World Series a couple of years ago.

Calling it. RFD with a walk-off homerun.

Time for a Coffey break.

We're witnessing history here folks: the single most superfluous pitching change in the history of baseball.

BAP- so if they go on to win the World Series, but they lose their remaining 6 MEANINGLESS games, it won't mean as much to you?

Come on man. I'd love to see them win 100 as much as anyone, but as long as they win the WFS I don't care what their final record is. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing them go 1-5 over their next six so I could nail my pre-season 99 wins prediction.

if this team doesn't win 101 or more, they cannot overtake the 1976 and 1977 team for best ever. Can they?

Utley is a shadow of the guy that played in June.

Pretty sure Johnson did that just to live up to his last name...

Mayberry started the home season with a walk-off hit and he could end the home season with a pop up to RF.

It all comes full circle, Larry.

"Its kinda frightening how far Utley has fallen off as a hitter in such a short time."

You're writing off Oswalt as an 'old man' after one poor year, but Utley's 4 straight years of decline is a "short time." Way to be consistent, dennyb.

I'm calling a Dom Brown Grand Slam off the Liberty Bell to win it.

denny b - Yup. I have zero confidence that Utley will turn it around either in the playoffs with a magical 2-3 days of rest like in '09.

Cholly really has leaned on him hard though since July with rarely a day off. You and I agree that the 'win everyday philosophy' that Cholly espouses is generally 'penny-wise, pound-foolish'

You just have to hope that the 2-3 days of rest does rejuvenate him a bit and that he isn't fried for the year. Utley was pretty productive in the later part of July after he had a few off-days at the ASB.

Iceman: My honest, albeit unpopular, answer is: if they don't win 102 games, after having had 12 games in which to do so, the luster will have come off this season for me. Winning a World Series would restore about 75% of it. The other 25% would never be restored.

I suddenly don't care about the rest of the game (maybe that's because I came in during the 6th).

Carlos and JMJ just padding their stats.

I have serious doubts that this team will even recover. This is not good, to say the least. You can say these are meaningless games, but it's a helluva lot of games to lose. I won't be surprised if they are gone after the first post-season series!

ben fran, grounder to 3rd?

That first sentence of my last post was vague. What I meant was: if they don't win 4 more games (to get to 102), despite having 12 games in which to win those 4 games, etc.

Davey Johnson managed this game tonight like it was a game in a pennant chase. Just ridiculous managerial overkill.

OMG, I hope they trade Dom Brown in the off-season, so I don't have to hear his name mentioned here anymore.

Potential "mailmen" in the Phillies line-up the last week: based on past incidents,Rollins..quite possibly.Victorino,Utley,Howard,Ibanez,Mayberry,Ruiz..NO WAY,just not in their DNA.The starting 5 pitchers...same thing. I think most of these guys have the typical Athletes psyche of acheiving and winning.I f I was invited to Chase Utleys house for Thanksgiving dinner and we played Scrabble afterward he'd be trying to crush me!

Ice Truck-

Even Oswalt would say he's an old man. He can still be a fairly effective major league starter. But he's not a ace anymore. And he's not a guy who can reach back and go past 100 pitches too often and be very effective. He should be treated as a 6 inning guy at this point.

You'd think the manager would understand this by now. He thinks its 2002 Oswalt. Its 2011 Oswalt.

BAP, if the Phillies win the World Series, I guaran-frickin-tee you no one...and I mean NO ONE, will give two sh!ts about this stretch of meaningless games.


surprise... Mr. I get hits with no one on makes the final out.

bap - It was weird enough when ppl were angsting about the cy young award, but angsting about 102 wins takes it to a new level...

This is what happens when you....

denny b - Yup. It isn't even thinking that Oswalt is a young guy but the simple fact that Oswalt has been running into trouble late in games this year when his pitch count get to 95-100.

If it had happened only 1 or 2 times since he had been back, it would be a different story but that hasn't been teh case.

"I have serious doubts that this team will even recover. This is not good, to say the least."

Anyone who doesn't have doubts about that at this point is, frankly, feeble-minded and needs to watch this Simpsons clip:

Fat: If the choice were: win 98 games & the WS or win 105 games and get knocked out in the NLDS, obviously, I'd choose the former. But a week ago, we all took the franchise win record as an accomplished fact. So, if we don't accomplish it, yeah, I'll consider it very disappointing. I'll still be very happy if we win the World Series. But I'll be somewhat less ecstatic than I would have been if we had also broken the team win record.

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