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Thursday, September 29, 2011

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Awesome! What a night for baseball! Great all around. Now it's time for the fun to start!

The graphic says it all.

11 wins to the trophy.

It's a beautiful thing! What an incredible night for the game! Finally a little more love on Sportscenter instead of pointless hours of NFL commentary on a Wednesday night!

What has to happen in the playoffs to match the insanity of the last day of the regular season?

11 more to go fellas (and ladies). It be choochtober.

I like the header, JW!

I have no idea why the Braves pitched to Pence with MM on deck.

* * * *
Per Matt Gelb: The pitching matchups figure to look like this:

Saturday, Game 1: RHP Roy Halladay vs. LHP Jaime Garcia
Sunday, Game 2: LHP Cliff Lee vs. RHP Kyle Lohse
Tuesday, Game 3: LHP Cole Hamels vs. RHP Chris Carpenter
*Wednesday, Game 4: RHP Roy Oswalt vs. RHP Edwin Jackson/RHP Jake Westbrook
*Friday, Game 5: RHP Roy Halladay vs. LHP Jaime Garcia


I especially like drawing the Cardinals considering Carpenter can only go once now unless he goes on short rest in Game 2.

Phillies have indisputable pitching advantages in Games 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Nice graphic...now lets prep for the absolutely worst matchup we could have gotten in the NLDS. Garcia and Carpenter absolutely own us over the last couple years. Doc and Lee will need to be nearly perfect and Hamels/Oswalt need to be elite too.


We win in 4.

I know the answer to the question in the graphic:

Fredi González.

Is Fredi Gonzalez the worst manager in the Majors right now?


I think the Hunter Pence decision has to be a pretty strong piece of evidence in favor of that theory.

Watching the replay, I can't imagine Boston ever forgiving Carl Crawford for that play. His effort looks really bad.

Our numbers v. Garcia aren't great, generally speaking, although we're talking small sample size. Those with the best numbers have fewer ABs v. him. (Ibanez, Mayberry, Valdez & MM)

Yes, please, let's pick to play the best modern era player in the biggest contract week in the history of the sport. The arrogance of this win is maddening.

Tonight's win and the series win were the most sadistically enjoyable I can recall as a fan of this franchise. Remembering the cool arrogance of Atlanta coming to the Vet and owning the team for years and to take those memories and rub their faces in it this week has been remarkably entertaining.

This week, the Phils were like a cat toying with the trapped mouse in the corner and then after gazing up at the Cards-Astros final score tonight plunging their claws into the mouse's neck and ending its misery.

Crawford is a POS...now Boston knows that.

Hell, Raul or Pat the Bat make that catch. Crawford drops an easy easy routine ball there.

Lackadaisical is the word that comes to mind for me.

So if you're UC and you need a reliever in the later innings. Do you even consider Lidge vs. Pujols?

if garcia pitches saturday like he did on monday, they will kill him. he was flat out awful

The arrogance? The arrogance of what? Having the gall to start Blanton and use Schwimmer, DeFratus and Herndon in a tie game?

The Yankees and their fans probably never got more satisfaction out of losing a game than they did tonight.

The Phillies are here to win the WS and you've got to beat good teams to do that. If you can't handle the Phillies playing good team, it may be time to tune out.

About that Cardinals record vs. the Phils...

The first two games they played, the Phillies were without Victorino, Utley, and Pence, when the offense was pretty putrid. They lost those two games 3-1 and 2-1 (Dane Sardinha started the second game).

The Phillies took 2 of 3 the next series with pretty much their regular lineup, minus Pence. The loss was a two-inning start by Oswalt; Danys Baez gave up six runs.

Their next meeting, the Phils lost the first game, clinched the division in the next, then lost the last two in the series when they more than likely relaxed a bit (and started their eight game losing streak).

Basically, you can't really can't take much away from the Cardinals winning 6 of 9 from the Phillies this year.

gobaystars, well said.

Terry Collins is a gutless POS for taking Jose Reyes out of the game, regardless of what Reyes wanted. If I were, God forbid, a Mets fan, I'd wonder who the hell was running the team -- Collins or Reyes?

Really made the Mets look like a terrible organization, as if they needed more help with that.

The Phils beat the Dodgers like a rug in the playoffs a few years ago after getting trounced by them in the regular season.

To make anything at all out of the Cards being 6 - 3 against the Phils in the regular season is nuts.

For once I agree w/ gobaystars! The Phillies just need to go out there & win, no matter who they play. If they enter the Postseason worried about who they're facing -- & I don't believe that to be the case -- they might as well forfeit.

If I'm a Braves fan, I am suddenly very nostalgic about Bobby Cox.

Congrats to the Phillies for their franchise record 102nd win. Thanks for a great regular season. Way to finish, boys!

I think this team is just excited for the long-awaited postseason to begin. They aren't afraid of anyone.

A great big Thank You to Carl Crawford for a season and a final game that will allow finally allow me to sleep at night!

Pujols just said that taking 3 out of 4 from the Phils in September doesn't mean a thing.

And you guys thought I was dumb for not bringing in a defensive replacement for Buckner in Game 6? Francona has made me look like a genius during the last month!

Iron Joe go home. While they have a very good offense, Holliday is banged up, their starting pitching (with carpenter only pitching one game) can not even be mentioned in the same sentence as the phils', and most importantly the card's bullpen has been flat out horrendous. Obviously anything can happen in a 5 game series but the phillies are the prohibitive favorite IMHO.

Watching Papelbon being interviewed is painful. I don't envy him at all.

Papelbon is trying to explain what happened, & he's got nothin'. The Braves looked sad & disappointed. The Red Sox are flat SHOCKED.

I guess its good that the Braves moved out of Boston or it would be looking like Jonestown tomorrow.

It's too bad these teams have to talk to the press after they lose and answer stupid questions. I think we all know how they feel.

Interestingly enough I don't know how it feels to be a pompous, multimillionaire jackhole who just choked in front of the entire baseball-watching universe. Papelbon handled it surprisingly well. Incoherent babbling suits him.

GTown, that's one way of looking at it, I guess.

If I took home a gazillion dollars, win or lose, I think I could answer of few boneheaded questions. I'd be willing to give it a shot.

I'm sure there will be a lot of analysis over the next few days....but here's a start at looking at Jaime Garcia's pitching this year over at Joe Lefkowitz's Pitch F/X site:

http://joelefkowitz.com/pitcher_card.php?pid=448802

Note that his velocity has been dropping steadily. His strength is his command of off-speed pitches and throwing first-pitch strikes. He likes to throw a two-seamer fast ball that has considerable sink.

If he can't command his two-seamer, or if his curve isn't being dropped in for strikes, he could get hammered if his fastball velocity continues to top out at 88mph. Of course, it always seem as if Phillies hitters struggle with soft-tossing lefties who take forever in between pitches.

Does Mayberry get the start in LF for game 1?

Ever since they played in the NL East, I've always found the Cardinals to be particularly odious -- right up there alongside the Yankees, Mets, and Braves. So it would give me a certain amount of satisfaction to beat the tar out of them. Plus, it would exact some small measure of revenge for 1964.

Think Bill Simmons will be walking his dog until Christmas or so?

This is neat(from phillies.com):

The Phils honored Manuel in the clubhouse after the game. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Madson have been with Manuel since he managed his first game with the Phillies in 2005. They presented him an oversized bottle of champagne with his picture on it.

"It's awesome," Ryan Howard said. "Charlie is so deserving of it. He's been a great manager. He's just been a great person ever since I've ever been able to encounter him way back in the Minor Leagues. It's a happy moment for all of us, for him, and we got to have a little fun in helping him celebrate it."

At the moment, the Phils are the hottest team in the NL.

I can recall as a fan of this franchise. Remembering the cool arrogance of Atlanta coming to the Vet and owning the team for years and to take those memories and rub their faces in it this week has been remarkably entertaining...

Just awesome that the Phillies had a hand in two of the worst collapses in baseball history, both division rivals.

It was a crazy night. I tried to stay up and watch the end to chase all those Braves ghosts out of my psyche but fell asleep in the 11th.
I just woke up (the kid and dog were having trouble sleeping and started stirring) and I am reading the events of the evening on MLB.com and must say it will be good to see Larry and Bobby sitting this one out.
As for Boston, could this team construction be the end for Little Theo?

My buds and I (and some girls too) just finished an impromptu Phils celebration party for the great season they have given us to date. If talent and the baseball Gods dictate, we'll have another celebration too this year. Hats off and caps tipped to Charlie Manuel on becoming the all-time winningest Phillies manager. He will never win manager of the year ... but he's our manager and he's won us fans over. And let me tip my cap to someone who didn't even play in tonight's game - Cliff Lee. Yes the Red Sox gave out almost 300 million in contracts to Adrian Gonzalez & Carl Crawford (hell - the Nats gave Jayson Werth 127 million) but we signed the most important free agent last year in Cliff Lee. Maybe he will never get the attention of a Doc Halladay or other big name pitchers in baseball, but his signing excited a team and a fan base that helped carry us to 102 wins. Sure, I wanna be in the World Series more than I could try to express in words ... but already I realize that my Phils are in the playoffs this weekend and the Braves and Red Sox are gonna be playing golf.

Old Phan, while Boston's 2-10 start to the season had no actual effect on their September record, the 10 losses they accrued in their first 10 games ARE included in the 72 losses they had for the season. Having 72 losses, instead of 70, for example, is why they will be playing golf for the next month and not playing baseball.

Yes, they had a chance to win it down the stretch despite their poor start. Still, those losses count.

"In the end, the NL wild-card race story is about the St. Louis Cardinals and their September surge. Put them alongside the ’51 Giants and the ’64 Cardinals and the ’78 Yankees and ’95 Mariners as baseball’s miracle comeback kids."

2007 Phillies? No?

Finally caught the video of Pence throwing out Uggla.

Dman, what a throw.

NLDS vs the Cards simply interests me more than bs DBacks. Really looking forward to catching Game 1 on Sat. at CBP.

MG, in which section will you be sitting?

Another mile marker in a long journey -- GO PHILS!!! Congrats to Charlie, too. Never have so many criticized so many effective decisions (I'm guilty). Wow.

Just awesome that the Phillies had a hand in two of the worst collapses in baseball history, both division rivals.

So awesome. Both their fan bases had to resort to muttering about how many losses the Phils accumulated before they were born and trashing the city of Philadelphia.

I already had a postseason dream where Doc was pitching and I thought the score against the Cards was 3-3, but someone kept telling me it was 3-0 in our favor. Make it so!

Okay ... so when does MLB announce Saturday's game time?

No shadows please?

I'm a little bummed there's no baseball today. Not bummed enough to wish the Barves were still alive in 2011. Retire now, Larry. Please.

Glad not to be in Boston right now; gotta be a lot of fuming, angry people there this morning.

In Atlanta, I imagine, they'll go back to not caring much by Saturday.

And you know, ESPN also had some graphic up of epic playoff collapses (listed by # game leads blown in September, I think) that did not include the 2007 Mutts.

ESPN says Loshe will be game 1 starter. Is anyone else seeing this?

OK, I have been one of the most vitriolic critics of teh Phillies' FO in the past, even using perjorative nicknames for the occupants therein.

That stated, I think it's very important to note just how important...and just how WISE it was for the FO to sign Cliff Lee.

Both Boston and Atlanta collapsed in large part because they lacked depth in their starting pitching - injuries took their toll.

OTOH, RAJ and Co. accumulated enough SP depth that they were able to weather injuries to Oswalt, Blanton and, to a lesser degree, Hamels.

Boston made a big deal out of signing Crawford, but would they be going home if they had signed Lee instead? Was Crawford that much of a positive that he would have outweighed Lee anchoring that rotation late in the year?

So, I have to give the FO credit. It was the key to the season. They made the right call, and spent money much more wisely than the Boston FO.


(...despite the opinion of Dave Cameron.)

ESPN.com has Garcia as the Game 1 starter. It also has Hamels pitching Games 3 and 4, so who knows...

I was pessimistic about the Phils' chances in the post-season this year until I realized that since they are the hottest team in baseball outside of they Rays, they have momentum.

Clearly, as long as they don't have to face the Rays in the finals, we're winning another WFC.

Fat - I have to check my tickets but it will be in the LF outfield near the foul poul in 141 or 142.

Seems odd but I know several people going to that game who are friends/family. Either season ticket holders who have playoff seats for every game or partial season ticket holders who just randomly got that game as one of the three games they were assigned.

Probably just meet my cousin and uncle with my father for a drink before the game (no where near the ballpark) and head over later to the game.

I can only imagine what drunk madness most of the parking lot with people tailgating but Sunday will even be worse with the Phils/Eagles games. Gladly watch Game 2 from home/friend's place.

Oh, and in case it's lost on anyone here (which I doubt), is there not delicious irony in the fact that Boston ostensibly weakened the Rays by signing Crawford away from them. Yet the Rays, who put their faith in young SP like Shields and Hellickson, have come out on top.

Pitching rules.

Curious to see who the Phils take in the last few spot or two in the pen. Actually have some interesting decisions to make.

I just watched Crawford's "effort" from last night.

Wow.

Fangraph for Rays/Yanks game last night:

http://www.fangraphs.com/tgraphs/20110928_Yankees_Rays_0.png

Yeah, Crawford on that last play was unbelievable. Not just not catching a very catchable ball, but then the slow-motion "oh, I guess I should pick this up and, what, throw it in the general direction of the catcher" that followed.

Only thing missing from last night's game was that Cox wasn't in the dugout for the Braves. It would have only been fitting if that had been his final game.

Sure the Cox would have been less than gracious after the game displaying why he is an old curmudgeon.

MG, I'm in Section 143 I believe. I'll stand up during a lull between innings and yell "MG". If you want to acknowledge me with a tip of the cap, that'd be pretty cool.

=)

Rumor has it Terry Francona found this ecard from Joe Girardi in his inbox this morning http://www.funny-ecards.com/cards/sorry/i-am-so-sorry.html ...

Wonder if Loshe will have the decency to give back the grand slam he gave up in '07.

Will go back to lurking, but wanted to know when the impassioned Pete Orr vs. MiniMart on the postseason roster debate will commence so that I can be present for all of it ;-)

Orr v. Mini-Mart is scheduled for 1:07 PM today.


On Crawford: Yeah, just think, 6 more years of that type of quality play in LF.

Overall, I think Tito and Theo are both gone. Papelbon will never be able to show his face in Boston again. The anger in NE is palpitable right now.

On the Cards...we're gonna rip through them with our pitching.

Congrats to our guys. And what's more, we don't have to listen to that stupid "chop" chant.

Best all-around night of baseball I've seen in recent memory. Go Phils!!!!

Fat - Probably think you are a bit crazy but let me check my tickets and get back to you.

Here is what the Sox for $14M this year from Crawford:

.255/.289/.404 with 11 HRs and 18 SBs in 502 ABs

Crawford had a 0.0 WAR.

Here is what the Phils got from Francisco for $1.1M

.244/.338/.364 with 6 HRs and 4 SBs in 250 ABs

Francisco had a -0.9 WAR.

No harm, no foul in keeping Francisco on the bench in the 2nd half really as a 5th OF/PH. Crawford came up a huge goat last night but he really hasn't played good defense all year and was a zero offensively this year.

One team I didn't want to see in the first-round was the Cards. I have to admit I was hoping the Braves would win last night just for the simple fact that it would have forced a 1-game playoff today and for them to use Garcia.

Meant the Phils would have only seen Carpenter/Garcia once in the NLDS and not until Game 3.

MG, I'm a bit crazy. Haha.

I'll probably be so wrapped up in the game, that I'll forget...

When is the roster for the NLDS announced?

MG, I don't think the players in the Phillies clubhouse care who they play.

Sure, the cards won the season series 6 - 3 by taking 3 games after the Phils clinched everything.

If the Phillies had had something to play for, do you think that would have happened?

Also, as noted above by Matt at 12:44 AM this morning, the Cardinals and Phillies haven't played each other at full strength very much this season.

It should be very interesting.

You know. Listening to the haters last night (you know Braves and Red Sox fans who just happen to be from Philadelphia)it was hard not to think of that time Wagner let up that Grand Slam that officially knocked the Phils out of a late season push for the postseason. I've been there and seen that. There's temptation to maybe get a few jabs in. But I'm not one for such behavior.

BECAUSE I LIKE TO KNOCK THEM OUT! YOUR TEAMS SUCK! THEY BLEW IT AND THEY BLEW IT BAD! HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! HOW DOES PAPPELBON BLOW THE LAST SAVE OF THE SEASON TO THE ORIOLES!!!! HOW DOES GONZALEZ PITCH TO PENCE WITH AUTOMATIC OUT MARTINEZ ON DECK? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! YOU GUYS SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok I'm done.

Last night was such a great night. Not only for the Phillies but for the game of baseball. I was hoping someone would have to play 163 today but considering how it all unfolded today, I'm happy with how it all turned out. I mean seriously, one minute it appeared the Sox would survive and the Rays were choking. Then the total opposite. One minute it looked like the Braves would live to play one more and then Kimbrel had a meltdown.

Bottom line is, what you get from the game of baseball, you don't get anywhere else. Last night was more than just a sport, it was poetic.

Bigotto - I am sure they really don't that much but the Phils would have been better off with a Lohse in Game 1 & Jackson/Westbrook in Game 2. That's all.

Okay, just to get things rolling: Game 1, top of the 8th. It's 2-2. Doc hasn't pitched his sharpest game but has managed to work his way out of a couple of jams, and somehow they've squeezed two runs out off of Garcia.

With a runner on 2nd and two outs in the bottom of the 7th, Chollie bites the bullet and pinch-hits for Halladay (who is at 110 pitches in any case), but to no avail. Hoping that a few days off, some work with Dubee, and a couple of hurried sessions with Cole's sports shrink have cured him, you send Bastardo out. But he walks the first batter and puts a big fat one over the plate to Freese on a 3-1, and it's 1st and 2nd nobody out.

And, yes, of course, you knew where this was going: Pujols on deck. So who do you go with? Stutes? Lidge? Worley? Kendrick?!?

As Fat Andy would say, time's yours ...

Worley

I have heard form 2 places that Loshe is starting game 1. Seems crazy to me.

Lidge of course...because there's no way that Pujols could rip his soul out again.

I also do not think the players really care who they are playing, and if I had to guess, they are probably feeling pretty confidant right now against whoever they go up against.

I think any of the matchups are loaded with potential problems, that's the nature of the beast. You have to play good teams, and after a 162 game elimination process, none of these teams are easy. Bring em' on.

Uncle Cholly > Fat Andy and Greasy

Good Morning!

Chapstick of Suffering? Odd handle.

Thanks for the flickr pic, Kevin. Very funny.

I was otherwise occupied last night, but it was well worth going over to the Phillies site this morning to see that throw from Pence. Wowee! Nice play by Chooch, too, of course. That sort of thing is what I most enjoy about the game.

Have a great day.

Prediction: LaRussa will lose at least one game because of a bullpen decision that he makes to "play the percentages". He always seems to do that every series we play him.

Hands down the sweetest part of this, no more of the 'chop' chant for 2011.

Lidge,1st pitch,double steal,wall Pujols. Next pitcher gets 3rd out.

I think it is cheesesteak of suffering.

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