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Thursday, September 15, 2011


Jack: Thanks for debunking an argument no one was making. I thought that was my territory.

Had you been here at the beginning of the discussion, you'd know what we were talking about.

Someone suggested that Ryan Howard's stats are worthless because he does all his damage when it doesn't matter but collapses in clutch situation.

I presented his high/low leverage splits in OPS and his WPA to demonstrate how false that argument is.

No one is saying WPA is a great stat as opposed to the highly flawed WAR. One person suggested they liked it better than WAR in making an MVP argument. That's about it.

There really was little interest in this game today. I had two good seats for this game & was forced to sell them on Stubhub at significantly less than face value.

Bad time & day, lackluster opponent, and iffy weather = less than face value.

First time in 2 years that I have had to sell tickets to a game I couldn't go to at less than face value.

Black Hole revisited:

Mini Mart

Gravitational forces of this suckiness could ensnare even the most powerful of teams

Charlie's continued use of Mini-Mart at SS instead of 2B continues to baffle me.

Can't wait to have Mr. Mean back in the lineup.

I thought Utley was fine? No word from Amaro or Cholly?

MG - Are you saying that KK sucks as a hitter? I hope that's what you mean, because it's been proven over and over on this blog that as a pitcher KK is our sixth ace (or seventh, I can't keep track anymore) and is battling Clayton Kershaw and Charlie Morton for the Cy Young Award this season.

. . . and that's how it's done on BL. Clout? CJ? How'd I do?

Mini Mart is more versatile than Valdez, clout.

I mean, so what if Valdez has made a career as an above average defensive utility SS. SO what if Martinez has shown time and time again that he can't field the position at the MLB level. Mini Mart is simply more versatile...whatever the hell that means.

Maybe they're going to play Utley in game 2, the one they expect to win. He was never going to play both games of the double header.

NEPP - Maybe Valdez is still having trouble with his ankle? And it's more important to have him healthy in the playoffs than today.

Maybe UC just thinks it would smarter to not have Utley play both games of a day/night DH on his first day back...just a thought.

Valdez - Not ankle. Hammy? I've been out of town for a couple of days. Having trouble keeping all the injuries straight.

aksmith - Generally although KK has been 'alright' this year offensively at 5-22. He is only a career .135 hitter though which even for a pitcher is kind of weak.

You sit for a week and can't play 2 games in one day after he hadn't sat in a couple months?

Patsy - Why play Utley in 2 games after he is coming back from a concussion? Like the Phils really need to sweep this DH?

"They think Valdez could be ready to go by Game 2." - Wheels

Clearly, the extra 5 hours rest is pivotal.

What's the forecast for Philly today? Are we supposed to have rain possible all day/night?

Maybe he needs to drink some more fluids and have the motrin kick in to take care of his "injury"...

That balk was hilarious!

Nice crack by Pence.

Question: Has Pence even taken an inning off since joining the Phillies? The guy just seems to be able to play all the time.

Well, there's the Phillies' run for the game. Maybe for both games.

Actually, that Pence AB reminded me of a surprising stat which I saw yesterday. While Pence is generally viewed as a wild swinger who doesn't walk all that much, he leads the team in pitches per PA. To my surprise, Utley was way down the list, behind even Rollins.

Is it fair to say that those who didn't want to deal with Hunter Pence were wrong?

And, by the way, I was one of those initially against dealing for Hunter Pence. I was wrong.

"That said, I find it hilarious that when a stat shows Howard in a positive light, it must be a great stat (WPA). If it shows Howard in a negative light, it's obviously a garbage stat that is worthless (WAR). Gotta love it."

So, Jack - since you wouldn't allow such obvious bias to enter your viewpoint, how do you feel about the following?:

Average OBI% (% of “other” runners on base batted in) from 2006-2011

Howard: 18.5

A-Gon: 16.5

Pujols: 17.4

Fielder (2007-2011): 16.2

Cabrera: 18.3 (with 67 fewer HRs than Howard)

Tex: 17.3

When you add his %OBI to his unequaled # of HRs, he comes up as probably the most productive cleanup hitter in baseball.

You do agree, don't you Jack?

BAP, I think that the book on Pence isn't so much that he doesn't take many pitches, but more so that he's never met a fastball that he doesn't like.

He'll typically take anything off speed and swing away on FB's, no matter where they are. He fouls a bunch off, which will also help see more pitches in an AB.

Pretty much, if it's coming in 89 mph+, Pence will be swinging.

Phlipper - Broken record much?

Mayberry needs another game at 1st - give Howard a game/day off.

Ouch...Howard in a rare september slump. 0 for his last 12 with tons of K's.

I have an idea, let's spend today's game thread debating and attempting to debunk advanced stats that are biased both for and against Howard.

That sounds like a fun time and a nice change of pace.

How the hell did Ibanez get to 73 RBI??

Not bad for a guy who has really struggled at times this year.

There's honestly no reason to bring Ibanez on the road anymore

Raul! Nice to see the Phils strike first today.

September + Home = play Raul!!

In his 41 games as a Phillie coming into this game, Pence's line:

323/394/563, 958 OPS, 9 HR, 25 RBI

So many folks said he was due for a regression, at least in his batting average, and instead he's improved.

Steve - Ibanez is a DH too (designated home) specialist then?

ahh. good ol CBP Ibanez. Has a team ever platooned a position based on ballpark over handedness before?

Look at that MVP effect Ryan had on the two players before and after him in the lineup.

I was happy to see the deal for Pence and thought he would be a great fit for the team, but not if Dom was going to be part of the deal. But, I also have to confess I wasn't enthralled with the Oswalt deal originally, so my Houston deal evaluation record had nowhere to go but up.

Raul should be a stay-at-home ball player.

Crazy. KK hasn't pitched in 22 days in any capacity.

"Phlipper - Broken record much?"

MG - any thoughts on Charlie's bullpen management?

How about whether he leaves starters in games too long?

How about the level of MiniMart's play?

I don't think that I've ever heard you weigh in on those topics, and I was curious as to your views.

Oh, and while you're at it - what do you think about Howard's % OBI being at an elite level? Does being the most productive player in baseball in terms of knocking in runs and knocking himself in - even when controlled for the number of opportunities - make him an "elite" hitter?

Fatherhood suits KK just fine.

KK is definitely 'looking good' early . . .

Or maybe, MG, about Valdez's approach to hitting?

Or maybe about Ibanez's defense?

'Cause I can't remember you talking about those issues either.

If that wasn't an Utley-esque hbp, I haven't seen one yet.

Philipper - When it is relevant, I might mention it. You keep posting that same damn stat on Howard ad verbatim.

Any word on KK's pitch count today? I'd be surprised if he went more than 5 innings (provided he was pitching well in those 5 innings).

Kyle Kendrick - strikeout artiste.

I'd love nothing more than to see a Tampa sweep this weekend, giving MLB a desired actual playoff race, and giving virtually everyone in Boston an ulcer.

Actually CJ, most people said (or at least myself), that Pence was succeeding in part due to his BAbip over and above what his peripherals indicated he should be doing. Just to look at a couple peripheral stats that I feel are important to what to expect a hitter to do going forward:

Before trade:
BAbip: .368
BB%: 6.9
K%: 20.0

After trade:
BAbip: .344
BB%: 11.1
K%: 16.0

The fact is, if Pence had maintained the same BB% and K% that he had when he was with Houston this season, he would have regressed, since his BAbip is lower here than it was in Houston.

But, what he has done, and should be commended for, is walk a LOT more and strike out a good deal less. If you maintain a 11% walk rate with just a 16% K rate, and hit the ball as hard as Pence does, you're going to have a LOT of success.

Which he has done.

Judging by the first 2 innings, I'd say that Kendrick should always pitch on 22 days rest.

Hyothetical: WS, game 7. Bottom of the ninth, tie game. Runner on 3rd, 2 outs. Do you want Schneider or MM? I'd go with MM.

I'm not watching at the moment, what's KK's line and pitch count so far?

Mini-Mart's race to finish above the Mendoza is very compelling. Schneider, on the other hand, already has his magic number down to 1.

Popping up a 3-0 pitch may be the most infuriating thing in baseball...

Fatalotti: Oh, I get it. But the near conventional wisdom, particularly outside of Philly once he was dealt here, was that a regression was inevitable. Instead, Pence has excelled.

Vic's last 12 games:

143/222/245, 467 OPS, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB

"Hypothetical: WS, game 7. Bottom of the ninth, tie game. Runner on 3rd, 2 outs. Do you want Schneider or MM?"

You do realize that, by posing that question, your are subjecting yourself to potential criminal liability on the charge of torture?

Yeah CJ, he's been a blast to watch. If he can maintain that walk rate (which was always his weakness), and the K-rate, he'll be an All Star every year he's here, because the guy just tattoos the baseball when he makes contact.

Trust the gut.

That's why MM is playing SS and Orr is playing 2nd.

Really nice play by Orr.

Beltran has also been very good though for the Giants (through yesterday):

.325/.367/.558 with 5 HRs in 120 ABS in 31 G (30 GS)

That was an amazing catch!

KK, K machine?

CJ: You might have had a personal interaction that I haven't -- but the level of Pence doubters was nothing more than the same level of doubters that any trade always has, especially a trade involving prospects vs established MLB'er.

But yea... you were right, they were wrong, yaayy!

I'm sure the Marlins love making an incremental trip to Philly, to play a makeup series, in the rain anyway, the day after they've been eliminated from playoff contention.

Umps seem to be in a rush today - a couple strike calls on checked swings that didn't seem close to a swing.

Orr is a mad man at 2nd today.

Chase who?

So, we're agreed then...KK starts any potential Game 4s in the post-season.

NEPP: you must have missed the discussion of Hamels last start - KK would start game 3 of postseason.

Let's see how Lee does in the nightcap before we go deciding on where Kendrick slots in the playoff rotation.

"Let's see how Lee does in the nightcap before we go deciding on where Kendrick slots in the playoff rotation."

I prefer we go with the known commodity, rather than wait to see how Lee fares. Let's call this done.

And I just fell for the CSN batcrack/crowd noise audio intro for the 793rd time this season.

I'd love to meet the producer who thought that one up, right after I meet with AT&T Flash Mob guy.

NEPP - If he has 22 days rest, apparently so.

I'm still not sure why KK isn't the game one starter. Yeah, Doc didn't allow a run yesterday, but KK hasn't allowed a HIT yet.

Obviously, he's the superior pitcher.

I think KK's outing can only be attributed to his "Little Doc" five o'clock shadow.

That's what happens, Fatty, when you jinx the pitcher.

And then THAT happened....

Thanks for nothing, Kyle.

Get Joe Bla up.

That's why KK should be held off until Game 2.

jinx on Fatti

Had to come back down to Earth eventually.

I've rethought my position after careful consideraton, and I will stick to Doc as my game 1 starter.

It has nothing to do with what just happened on the field.

fatal: ouch, putting the no-no jinx of KK.

It is sad that everybody knows the Phils won't score again in this game.

I want to hear TBag and Sarge debate the reason for LoMo's demotion some more - Tweeting or performance.

This would make for good TV. Sarge sounds pretty certain it's solely for Tweeting, which I find hilarious.

BC - The Phils will not score, prolly. But those minor leaguers they've filled the line-up with might. Ya never know.

In re: Peterson's whiff
I know it doesn't really count when Worley gets a guy looking. Does it count when KK gets one?

CJ: Fatalotti is the king of pretending he didn't take a position he actually held. But you are correct. He and Jack argued that Pence's good numbers early on were a fluke and that with him, what you see is what you get.

I argued that because of his age, Pence had a good chance to improve his career numbers, while Fata and Jack trotted out WAR and other stats to show that I was wrong.

FWIW, these are the same bozos who bashed Kendrick in nearly every start until he made them look like smacked asses they were wrong so often.

Of course they ARE smacked ases, but still...

Andy, we can count it. KK needs all the help he can get with his K/9.

78 pitches from KK already? I wouldn't be surprised if they PH for him in the bottom of the 5th here.

Why? He's the last guy to get on base.

Ugh, Bowker suks

Clout, it's been so long since you ripped on me, I was beginning to wonder if you forgot about me.

wow, someone was wrong on the internet? alert the police! btw, is there anything worse than being called a bozo on a blog? poor Fatalotti's digital ego just got knocked down a terabyte.

How is Bowker any different thatn KK hitting?

Has Bowker put a ball in play, yet?

Removing Kendrick already? Puzzling. Especially for a hitter who isn't even as good as he is.

Now it will be up to the official scorer to pick the winning pitcher -- assuming we win, which I doubt.

With Schneider and Martinez hitting on the interstate, I'm not sure why Kendrick didn't bat last inning - in the 7 hole.

Fata: I was going to rip aksmith, but that's like beating a dead horse. You at least make worthwhile posts.

Kershaw leads league in victories and strikeouts - seems like he's Cy Young right now.

So, Bowker's done precisely nothing since he got to the Phillies.

If the Phillies are just looking for a guy to pretend that he's a left-handed hitter, I'd be more than willing to collect a paycheck.

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