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Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Any word on Valdez and why he hasn't sniffed the field in a few games? He was hitting pretty well and is just as good as MM.


I think Oswalt gets the nod for the 4 starter spot in the postseason, but he sure isn't a shoe-in at this point.

3 more quality starts, even if they are of the 6IP 3ER minimum, would probably seal the deal. But if he can't do that, there's going to be some serious, and legitimate, debate whether Worley has actually earned in. And that obviously makes a big assumption that Worley stays on a track as well.

I thought there was a chance that Valdez has some sort of minor injury. The recalling of Pete Orr suggests that that may be the case.

ron: last thread it was discussed how Valdez and Martinez have basically platooned between LHP/RHP since Rollins' DL stint. Numbers prove that really isnt a smart call, and Valdez has a .929 OPS in his last 8 starts.

And to summarize some other Valdez factoids from last thread - he's 7th in AVG w/ RISP and 2nd in AVG w/ RISP, 2 outs for all MLB players with as many at bats as he has in each situation.

lorecore: I think one could already make a solid argument in Worley's favor, but I seriously doubt anything short of another trip to the DL will kick Oswalt from Charlie's Postseason rotation.

What's teh weather look like back east?

I was thinking last night that Valdez might have some small injury but if so i can't figure out why you would hide that as he's not a bullpen pitcher or a key bat off the bench. He had been getting more than a few clutch hits of late and he always hustles so it baffles why he would suddenly be benched.

Would resting Ryan Howard's foot be of any help to him or is it one of those ailments you just play through?

Chooch catches his own games and he finishes Schneider's games too. I know he's hit Beachy, but isn't about time Schneider caught Oswalt? I mean, it's worked wonders for Worley. And as we all know, if Chooch catches Worley, the world spins off its axis and vampires walk in the sunlight. Seems like Oswalt needs a little vitamin Schneider tonight.

I don't know where I can look to research this but my ancient neighbor swears the Phillies have protested the most games in history and told me he remembers a bunch against the Dodgers (still Brooklyn) on either side of WWII. The guy remembers all sorts of old baseball stuff but can't remember the 1980 or 83 series.
Anybody know anything about this?

aksmith, no my real name is not Fatalotti, but, a large portion of my last name is contained within my handle.

Really rooting for Roy O. to have a good outing. I want to enjoy him as a Phillie while it lasts. I love his laconic sense of humor and his gamesmanship (a trait shared by all our SPs). Plus I think he can be such an asset for us in the postseason.

If the weather weren't iffy and it weren't a school night, I'd really like to be there tonight. Never seen Oswalt pitch in person, and I've always liked him.

90% chance of rain tonight

Damn Fatalotti ... you just kinda put a puzzle out there so all of us are going to be trying to figure out your real name now!!

Surprise, surprise: MLB denied the Phillies' protest.

I'm seeing 45% to 65% chance of rain tonight until 10 and then it gets much worse. Better forecast than last night.

If we learned anything from last night, MLB WILL get this game in tonight. The Yankees and Orioles can vouch for that, if you need them to.

I wonder if KK gets the start if there is a long rain delay since Oswalt is an old man.

For MLB, the postseason cannot get here soon enough. Between the lack of legitimate pennant races, and the crappy weather, I'd have to imagine that casual viewership is down pretty drastically. It doesn't help that football is now upon us, as well.

BL traffic, however, seems to be up versus earlier this season, which is nice.

The sweep would be so sweet tonight. Aren't the Braves and Phils the only clubs that have not been swept in a 3 or 4 game series? Being the team to hand a sweep to the Braves would be nice.

SLO, correct. The Braves haven't been swept yet in any 3 or 4 game series.

SLO, a sweep against the Braves wouldn't count though, since this series was played in a band box.

Speaking of a band box, Uggla's HR looked at first to be a little pop fly last night. I was surprised it went out. Uggla's forearms also seem a few sizes bigger this year. He must be eating something good.

Why not have Mayberry play 1B instead of Howard? He looks like he's in pain when he tries to run.

Was doing some figuring today...

If the Phils play it like I think they will, Doc and Hamels only have 1 home start left this year in the regular season. It will come in the STL series.

My guess is that Hamels, Doc and Lee each have 4 starts left. So for Doc and Lee to win 20 games, they are going to have to win all 4.

1) I haven't seen a suggestion anywhere that Valdez is hurt and I don't recall any situation that may have injured him. He's been platooning and perhaps that's part of the reason he's been more successful at the plate? Could it be?

2) Has it been reported anywhere that Ryan Howard is injured? That he's re-aggravated something? I haven't seen it anywhere. His last 9 games are one of his best stretches at the plate all season. He also made a great play running down a foul pop and making a sliding catch. He hasn't been nearly as good on the base paths this year, but no worse recently than he was earlier in the season.

3) Roy Oswalt is younger than Roy Halladay.

"Howard has bursitis in his Achilles tendon"

Ryno's foot has been bothering him for some time, and he looks much worse on the basepaths the last week or 2.

However, I can't imagine they will sit him right now unless it gets really bad.

CJ, there's a story on about the bursitis in Howard's achilles & heel. It's even a headline story. Dated 9/6. Here's the link:

CJ, the TV announcers mentioned Howard is having Achilles, ankle and foot pain.

CJ - have you seen him running lately? There seems no doubt that he's hobbled - and clearly running more slowly than earlier in the season.


I think you will see Chuckles start to give starting players rest, after the Milwaukee series.

Probably will bench 1-2 players a night. Vic will get one night. Then Polly and Pence get the next night. Then Howard the night after that.

They can still put a good lineup out there each night and win games, and keep folks sharp and hopefully fresh.

Plus (and I am being serious) Ben Francisco is going to have be dusted off and rolled out there again. He literally has gotten no time in the past month. They need to get him back out there and get him some AB's in the last 2 weeks, if they plan on him being on the post-season roster (which I think they do).

And I would not at all be surprised if the decision on the 4th starter is made soon. And if they decide on Oswalt, then it will only make sense to put The Vanimal into the bullpen for the last 10 games or so and get him acclimated to pitching out of the pen. See how he looks pitching on back-to-back days. I don't think you just want to keep starting him the rest of the month and then throw him into the pen and expect him to be comfortable. Its a different animal.

rauls grandpa: I think your neighbor might be correct. I saw a list of protested games from Retrosheet at the time of the incident & was struck by how many times the Phillies were involved.

CJ: The Phillies radio broadcast mentioned Howard's foot issues last night, & Ryan Lawrence did the same in a column today (inc. confirmation from both Ryan & Charlie). He has been notably worse on the base paths recently. Also, Roy H. knows better than to go lumberjacking mid-season w/ a bad back.

CJ - Yes, it has been reported that he has what sounds like a tendinobursitis in his ankle, most likely the Achilles tendon.

It is a very painful injury/illness to have. And he's clearly having trouble running. And yes, he's having his best stretch at the plate probably all season.

It's even possible that by favoring the injury, he's found something that helps his swing. Although that is completely my conjecture.

Wow, Verlander is the best pitcher ever. Six inning giving up 4 earned runs.

Just goes to show how misleading wins are as a stat. He's been great in most of his starts, but this one looked positively Blanton-esque. If the Tigers get to the WFS and play the Phils, I hope his starts look a lot like this one.

You'd think Mayberry would have at least checked first to see if she was married.

I guess having common sense isn't an entrance requirement for Stanford.

I was surprised (though I shouldn't be) at some of the comments last night about Ryno running. It's obvious that he is hobbled on the basepaths.

It is entirely feasible that a good pitcher will give up runs from time to time. Unless you're Cliff Lee.

Old Phan: I thought "Waddlesaurus" was funny.

GTown, can't argue with that.

Outside of aksmith, who thinks Mini-Mart should be starting over Valdez?


Mini-Mart's Mom, maybe?

Though, even Mini-Mart's Mom can't argue with Valdez's recent production with RISP.

clout: Charlie Manuel.

Gload's Mom thinks he should pitch.

I apparently missed the Howard news... thanks everyone.

Is it something that just bothers him when he runs the bases? He's obviously swinging the bat pretty well right now. And is it something that will get better with rest? If not, doesn't seem much point in resting him.

GTown: That's what's so puzzling. Valdez vs. RHP (.640 career OPS) is MUCH better than Valdez vs. LHP (.581).

The split is more even this season but his ABs vs. LHP are only 83, so it's a meaningless sample.

From "The most important part of treating bursitis is resting your Achilles tendon while the bursa heals"

So, yeah, it wouldn't hurt to give him a few days off.

While the article claims you can't see it on his face, he was noticeably grimmacing on the passed ball/wild pitch where he scored last night.

"Audience Snapshot: Based on internet averages, is visited more frequently by males who are in the age range 35-44, are graduate school educated and browse this site from work."


limoguy: When a girl looks like that, even if she wears a ring, I will ask her if her husband is bigger than me, or owns a gun. If not, she's fair game.

clout: Agreed. I just can't resist being a smartass. I have to think there's something we don't know about that's keeping Valdez off of the field. What that might be, I haven't the slightest clue.

Anyone see this? JMJ ...

John Mayberry’s Agent Tries to Net Him a Date with a Mermaid from “Pirates”

Erin Wright, Y! Philadelphia editor

That old phrase "Have your people call my people" has taken on a whole new meaning when it comes to one member of the Phillies team.

John Mayberry Jr., who has been a hit on the field, is looking to extend his winning streak -- at least when it comes to romance. According to an article in the New York Post, the outfielder is reportedly smitten with actress Antoinette Nikprelaj, who recently did a turn as a sexy mermaid in the latest installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie franchise.

The 27-year-old slugger isn't calling up the stunning actress, however, and asking for dinner and a movie. It seems he's outsourced that job, relying on his agents to make the introductions and possibly facilitate a meeting. The Post said it obtained e-mails written by an agent in the baseball division of Creative Artists Agency -- the firm that reps Mayberry -- that were sent on to Innovative Artists, the agency representing Nikprelaj.

If the e-mail quoted in the article is any indication, the agent wasn't too happy in the role of pseudo-Cupid:

"I hate to even be sending you this e-mail, and I'm quite embarrassed to say the least, but we have a young client on the Philadelphia Phillies who asked us if we knew any agents at Innovative Artists and could connect him to Antoinette Nikprelaj.

"I know you're not a dating or set-up service, but John Mayberry Jr. (Phillies OF) would love to meet Antoinette or invite her to a baseball game sometime. Would this be possible?"

A bio of Mayberry, in which his Stanford education featured highly, was reportedly also sent to Innovative Artists.

No word on how -- or if -- the agent's inquiry was received, but looks like it may be a moot point, anyway. Seems that the lovely Ms. Nikprelaj is married with a daughter. Maybe she has a single sister?

"Audience Snapshot: Based on internet averages, is visited more frequently by males who are in the age range 35-44, are graduate school educated and browse this site from work."

And who are interested in the Drexel Lebow MBA.

GTown, he's not a Rule 5 guy....

P.S. can someone explain how Rule 5 works to Cholly? Maybe he thinks he HAS to play Mini-Mart?

Ironically, based on the commentary, you'd think that BL readers/posters were either teenagers, or well north of 44. Go figure.


FWIW - on the broadcast last night they were saying that it only bothers him when he runs the bases - not when he bats or fields. Seems a bit illogical - but then again, his hitting and fielding do seem unaffected.

If you watch the clip from two games ago when he scored on a hit from second, he was really, really hobbling as he was crossing the plate. It was painful to watch.

Wait..are people here suggesting that Exxon is hurt and the Phillies aren't saying anything or DLing him? That doesn't sound like this team. Not at all. Really.

Cholly is still trying to figure out what Rules 1-4 are.

SLO Phan: There's no benefit to DL'ing a guy in September.

Also, even I have given Howard an obvious break for being hurt, as far as his running. It looks terrible out there. His feet and ankles are obviously in serious pain. As it happens, he's hitting quite well, which is very good. But he can't run for crap.

I assume that it's an injury that won't get better with rest--otherwise, why on earth would he be out there right now? We've got a playoff spot virtually clinched. I have to assume that it's just a pain threshold. That said, it's something to watch out for come playoff time. In the "protest game," Howard should have easily scored on Ibanez's double that followed the Pence play. I hope a play like that doesn't come back to haunt us in the playoffs.

When Howard had to slide face first into home, he looked as worn out and beat up as Chase playing with his torn up hip.

Not sure who would win a race right now...Polly or Howard. Both look incredibly slow. I think any of the 5 starting pitchers are faster then they are.

"on the broadcast last night they were saying that it only bothers him when he runs the bases."

That would explain why the injury first surfaced in the last week. Until then, he hadn't been on base enough to notice it.

Jack: I know. It was more of a general sarcastic statement about the team regarding its "injured" players.

BAP, well-played. Waiting for the inevitable follow-up about how we'll never know if Utley is hurt...

"That would explain why the injury first surfaced in the last week. Until then, he hadn't been on base enough to notice it."

You mean that period of August, when he had 8 HRs and 25? RBI?

denny b: That's really the one thing I'm worried about come playoff time: A lack of athleticism/speed/youth.

The starting pitching is great--if somehow they don't perform well, then what are you supposed to do? The bullpen, I'll take my chances on. Bastardo and Madson have been as good as there is in baseball, and despite myself, I kinda trust Stutes right now. Lidge is a huge question mark, but so what.

The offense, if Shane gets back to hitting, is generally fine. But they can look real old. When Utley isn't hitting, he looks old. Howard's feet are so banged up, he makes regular Ryan Howard look like Bo Jackson. Polanco and Ibanez look like they're 55. Rollins is currently on the DL with leg injuries.

If there's one giant difference between the last few Phillies teams and this one, it's a notable lack of athleticism. The Phillies have fewer flaws than any other team, but that's their biggest flaw, IMO.

Ben Francisco also tried to pick up Antoinette Nikprelaj, but she popped out of his glove & rolled away.

Color me shocked.

Jack is "worried" about Howard not being able to score on a double, and a lack of athleticism/speed/youth.

On the team that has the best record in baseball by far, will very well likely set a franchise record in wins, has one of the best performing offenses in the NL, and has the best pitching in the NL.

It is to laugh.

Frankly, despite the mature 35-44 demographic that BL appeals to, I was hoping to read more about the Dickey/Hand match-up in Florida tonight.

Frankly, I'm somewhat disappointed.

Guys, Phlipper is here already.

No bad-mouthing Oswalt until at least the 5th inning.

Also, no praising him early, either.

Looks like a better turn out tonight. Actually quite impressive if the forecast is as bad as others have alluded to.

Phlipper: You're right, I forgot to add my disclaimer about the Phillies being the best team in the history of Western civilization.

If you read my post, you'd have seen this sentence: "The Phillies have fewer flaws than any other team, but that's their biggest flaw, IMO."

Is your point that I'm wrong substantively (i.e., you think we ARE young and athletic?), or that we simply aren't even allowed to talk about a possible flaw on this, the greatest team ever assembled in the history of humankind?

"Until then, he hadn't been on base enough to notice it."

Oh, I get it.

Oswalt's fastball looks good. 93ish, and has some movement. Good sign.

The Phillies have won the first two games of this series w/ relative ease, & noted mediocrity Brandon Beachy takes the mound for Atlanta this evening.

This game feels like a loss.

If Oswalt keeps hittin 92-93 consistently, I think he'll have a fine day.

"Antoinette Nikprelaj"

I thought that was something spelled backwards, or a NY cab driver.

Fata - so now you're going to hold back on your inclination to say he's getting "shelled" if he gives up a hit in the first inning?

I hope Rollins is healthy come playoff time.

I really do.


So, we are to believe that Chooch consults TBag for feedback on his pitchers' performances and insight into where they're at in the zone as the game goes on? Really?

I will never like Martinez.

Yes Phlipper. I'm also going to hold back any inclination to claim that he's pitching well early on, since, following your logic, no value judgments can be made until the results are in.

only Tbag could say the following with a straight face after a terrible error at short..."so the phils with some pretty impressive defense after the first error of the night"

If stat-keepers distinguished between errors and egregious errors, Mini-Mart's would have fallen into the latter category.

Jack - I just think that your obsession with finding things to hand-wring about is amusing.

How has their lack of speed/youth/athleticism affected them so far this year?

What next, you're going to hand-wring that they don't have a Pujols clone starting at each position except catcher and pitcher (where they should have Bench catching and Halladay pitching - provided, of course, that he hasn't been ruined from overuse by Charlie as he has this year)?

BAP, I'm surprised they didn't Prado a hit, since errors don't really exist anymore.

Actually, fata - I'm heading out to the gym. Won't be on BL at least 'till I get back.

Hand-wring away Phlipper-abuse free. It'll make for some amusing reading when I sign on later.

You know it's an especially pitiful mistake when even the "Official Scorer" can't justify awarding a Hit.

Fat: Yes, the "no-doubt-about-it" error has become an endangered species. But I think we just had a sighting.

Thanks Phlip!

Phlipper: Because the discussion was about how Howard is hurt and it's affecting his baserunning. I used that to note that, as a general matter, this was not a particularly young and athletic team.

I happen to be of a belief that, if there's a flaw that could come back to hurt them in the playoffs, that may be it. I also noted that they're the team with the least flaws, though this being baseball, they obviously have some. You, apparently, are of the opinion that there's no way they could ever lose because they're the greatest team ever assembled. It's actually amazing they've lost any games this season, you know? That's great for you.

And that's kind of the elephant in the room - You can debate splits, platoon, whatever, between Mini and Valdez. Bottom line, when you consider the SS position defensively, there is no way you can argue that Martinez should be getting the lion's share of Jimmy's PT.

All the talk of this team being old, what do people expect the front office do ... bring up Galvis and Singleton and drop Rollins and Howard? Stars get older as time goes on, just enjoy it while they last. With Ibanez gone next year, you'll have a couple of younger outfields on the corners. They have a good rookie starter and lots of youth in the pen.

Preacher: There should be absolutely no question that Valdez is a better option than Martinez both at the plate & in the field. Which makes his sudden disappearance all the more odd.

Chase popped that ball up because he was trying to compensate for the error that he expects Mini-Mart to make next inning.

WP, elephant?

It's like the diplodocus in the room.

TBag should have Chooch call more curveballs for Oswalt. Just an idea.

Clearly, you should be able to pick a fan out of the stands and expect better defense than what Martinez gives you. Seems like every foul ball is an impressive play.

This is like watching Lidge.

First pitch to Howard is a foot off the plate - can they give that one to Oswalt?

Never threw him a strike - announcers say nothing, Aaron Boone sucks. I'm still mad at his explanation for the Joe West call vs Philly.

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