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Thursday, September 15, 2011


As he has done most of the year, Lee pitched great. The offense was asleep again. I suppose it's tough to get up for games that don't matter. It's a shame Cliff lost his shut out and his win. He missed Ruiz' target by quite a bit. That pitch may have cost him the Cy Young Award.

Cliff Lee has 6 shutouts and was within 1 out of two others. Should he get that 7th shutout, I think he gets the Cy. The last pitcher with 7 shutouts? Steve Carlton in 1972.

Not the best day for Jack.

CJ, That's why I wrote what I wrote. It's a very tight race between Lee, Halladay & Kirshaw. Without the most wins or the lowest ERA, the voters would have to look to Lee's streaks of dominance to give him the nod. A 7th complete game shut out as well as another continued streak of scoreless innings would be something that could set him apart. Plus he doesn't lose his cool and throw at people.

Before the season, I considered Lee a tick below Halladay's level of elite, best-of-the-best Top Gun pitchers. Not anymore.

"The plaque for the alternates is in the ladies room."

Unfortunately, I think Hamels' bid to join that group has fallen just short.

On another note, it was nice to see Ryan, while in a bit of a slump, hit a ball where it was pitched and drive it in the LCF gap to drive in the winning run. Maybe this will get him on a September / October roll that leads us down Broad Street.

I thought last's nights incident may have cost Kershaw the Cy Young. In that case, we're back to Doc.

I don't think I have commented in like 50 games...this season has been boring bring on the playoffs! In a seven game series if you have to face....halladay, lee, hamels, oswalt/worley, halladay, lee, hamels....which 4 games can you win? good luck, NYY

Excellent win Phils, CL pitched another gem that seems to have flown under the radar.

PS - Is it just me, or does it seem like Hanley Ramirez undergoes "Season-ending surgery" more often than not? It's a shame, for a prospect who was touted as being one of the most complete SS to play the game at one point.

Density er destiny?:

Phils are 21-9 when Lee starts this year; 23-7 when Hallady starts

That is a combined 46-16 (.742).

DBacks were 27-8 when Schilling started in and 25-10 when Johnson started in '01

That is a combined 52-18 (.743).

Schilling had an ERA+ of 157 and Johnson had an ERA+ of 188. Halladay has an ERA+ of 166 and Lee will probably be right behind him at 163-4 after tonight.

Schilling was 34 & Johnson was 37. Lee is 32 and Halladay is 34.

DBacks in '01 only went 92-70. Phils '11 team will win 100+ games and are simply a better team because their overall offense is better & they have vastly better starting pitching at the end of the rotation.

The DBacks though went 10-1 though in the 11 GS by Johnson and Schilling. It was the reason why they won the WS.

This Phils' team isn't going to clobber HRs in the post season like the '08 team. Nor do they have the shutdown bullpen that really locked down games from the 7th inning on.

The '11 Phils are going to go as deep in the postseason as there starting pitching carries them specifically Halladay & Lee.

Hamels hasn't quite pitched as well before he went on the DL although I still have high degree of confidence in him. Oswalt is banged up though & somewhat of an enigma as to what you will get out of him.

Bullpen is kind of a mess, bench on this team is pretty subpar, and they have a lot of banged up regulars nursing a variety of injuries.

Up to Halladay and Lee to carry the water for this team in the postseason. Good thing is that I think they are up for the task.

3 runs or less:

Phils are now 30-39 (.435) when they score 3 runs or less. I know that doesn't sound that impressive until you realize how often teams lose when they score 3 runs or less even in the NL.

For comparison's sake:

2007 Phils: 4-41 (.089)
2008 Phils: 12-47 (.255)
2009 Phils: 10-48 (.172)
2010 Phils: 24-51 (.320)

Basically been a metamorphism of the team where they couldn't win if they scored 3 runs or less in 2007 to where they have a fairly decent shot if Lee/Halladay/Hamels are on the mound.

"The last pitcher with 7 shutouts? Steve Carlton in 1972."

I assume you mean the last Phillies pitcher. Tim Belcher had 8 CGSOs in 1989 & Clemens & Hershiser both had 8 in 1988.

Of those 3, only Hershiser won the Cy Young. Belcher & Clemens each finished 6th in Cy Young voting. But, of course, CGSOs are more impressive today than they were in the late 80s.

That contrast between the '07 team and the '11 team with 3 runs or less is incredible, although it also emphasizes how much better that offense was (45 times scoring 3 or less vs. 69 already this year).

Schwimer was impressive, & I'm as happy as anyone to see Howard collect a GWRBI. Even so, the emotion that's sticking w/ me most is irritation over the fact that Lee's teammates couldn't get him more than 1 damn Run in 9 Innings, & help him to the Win he deserved. By my count that makes 3 starts this year in which Lee has pitched 7+ Innings while surrendering only a single Run, & wound up w/ a No Decision.

Schwimer sort of reminds me of Bastardo when he first came up to the big leagues. He doesn't have Bastardo's stuff but, like Bastardo, he had great minor league numbers and a reputation for good command. Yet, like Bastardo in his first couple years, Schwimer has struggled to throw strikes since being called up. I love the fact that he's missing bats, though. He needs some polish but I think he can be a pretty good reliever for us within the next year or two -- perhaps along the lines of someone like Chad Durbin, if not even a bit better.

His early years Bastard wasnt known for his command wasnt until last year he developed his command. It was known for 2 years he had the right stuff just needed better control. Schwimmer had slightly better command of his pitches throughout his minor league career.

Just hope the hitters come out of their collective coma before the postseason starts.

"that makes 3 starts this year in which Lee has pitched 7+ Innings while surrendering only a single Run, & wound up w/ a No Decision."

Is there a pitcher in the league that this hasn't happened to? That's baseball. It's a goofy game.

Chase Utley as mean?

That's what many of his fellow major leaguers say in this week's Sports Illustrated players' poll.

Utley finished second with 13 percent of the vote when 215 players were asked who is the meanest player in baseball.

White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was the runaway winner with 29 percent of the vote.

Milton Bradley (11 percent), Carlos Zambrano (five percent) and former Phillies pitcher Vicente Padilla (four percent) rounded out the top 5.
Hard to imagine this goes back to his declaration about the World F. Champions in 2008. Our guess is this might be the baseball definition of "dirtiest" or it might be a reflection of Utley's hard-nosed style.

Not good for his saintly image.

Wheels ... er, Old Phan: Dunno about the entire league, but it has only happened to Hamels & Kershaw once apiece, & Halladay not at all.

Anyone worried about Bastardo? He hasn't been as dominating lately. Pretty sure his velocity is still there.

Am I the only one who wants the Braves to eat it and have the Cards slide in?

Howard with another meaningless RBI

Interesting about Utley being mean, but it kind of makes sense. You often see footage of guys in friendly chats with the opposing team's fielders when they reach base. But you don't usually see Utley doing that, or if so, it seems very curt. Probably hurts alot of feelings out there.

"Am I the only one who wants the Braves to eat it and have the Cards slide in?"

I would want that if it didn't imply that the Phillies would need to lay down against the Cards. I don't care if they're meaningless. Winning is better than losing and I wouldn't mind stomping the Braves to get to teh Series.

MG - I don't know if anyone else caught it, but great Back to the Future reference.

Hugh, I share your sentiment, but I also sort of agree with gramps in that it would be great to see the Braves miss the playoffs. I've never liked them. Never like Bobby Cox (overrated).

While I hope they continue their winning ways and beat up on the Cards, seeing the Braves go into a 6 - 7 game tailspin and get overtaken by the Cards would be somewhat satisfying.

Here's the question, though:

As they are currently constituted (injuries, etc. ) who would you rather see the Phils face in the playoffs - the Braves or the Cardinals?

The Cards can score, and, as we found out last season, all it takes to win a short series sometimes is a timely HR or two.

I'm not so sure how much I'd look forward to facing the Cards in a short 5 game series.

There doesn't seem to be any team that anyone is looking forward to facing in a short 5 game series.

From MVP candidate BAP-

"I know some posters don't believe in momentum, but I do believe in slumps and, if the Phillies team we've seen for the last week is the team that shows up for the NLDS, it will be a very short, and very bad, post-season."

Contract. Year.

Pence Era record: 30 - 14, .682 (110 win equivalent).

4.84 RPG

2.98 RA/G

Run differential: 1.86 RPG

Yes, that number above is accurate. the Phillies pitchers have gotten better since Pence arrived, and have allowed less than 3 RPG since July 30th.

"The plaque for the alternates is in the ladies room."

- JW (and Iceman, well, not BL Iceman, but the original Iceman)

someone was watching Top Gun on AMC last night. question is, did he watch it during the game, or the showing after?

So...replacing the worst defensive RF in history in Dom Brown with the above average defensively Hunter Pence helped out the pitching staff?


Ideally, the Cards and Braves end up tied and have to have a 1 game playoff the day after the season ends which tires them out coming into the NLDS.

Regardless of who wins, it helps us.

Such a ridiculous team - Lee/Halladay fighting for the CY (with Kershaw of course) is by the far the best angle left this season.

Such a ridiculous team - Lee/Halladay fighting for the CY (with Kershaw of course) is by the far the best angle left this season.

"There doesn't seem to be any team that anyone is looking forward to facing in a short 5 game series."

True dat. Heck, the lowly Astros just reminded the mighty Phillies that a short series can be won or lost by anyone at any time. There is probably a study that shows the correlation between the winner of the world series and the team that most observers thought was the "best" team. Might not be as high a correlation as we would like to think.

Off topic, but it's amazing that he Red Sox's WC lead is down to 3 games. I don't follow the Sox that closely, so I'm unaware of their injury situation. But, at this point, is it fair to say that the 2011 Red Sox have severely underachieved? Weren't they supposed to run away with the AL East crown?

Also, awesome slump buster for Ryno. I know that wasn't an official PH since he came in to play 1B the inning before, but it might as well have been.

Going back to 2009:

Howard as PH: 3-4, 2 HR, BB

I get that any team can win a short series because anything can happen. But guess what? I'd rather go to fight in a 5 games (or 7 game series) with this team, especially with Halladay, Lee and Hamels at the front my rotation, than any other team in baseball.

Think about this: the Phillies have scored 14 runs over their last 7 games, or 2 runs per game.

Their record during that period?


They just won a 7 game series with a pitiful offense. No other team is as well equipped as this team to win any random 7 game series.

Dear Mr. Playoffs-are-a-crapshoot,

F U.


Best Pitching Staff in MLB History.

Also, during the period between May 23rd and about a week ago, the Phillies were the best offense in the NL. That the offense took a nap after they had basically locked up everything that matters during the regular season is not a surprise.

And they are still on pace to win 106 games, and they can probably get damn close, even playing their b-squad, because they still have the pitching.

MG - great numbers. interesting and not so surprising that the 2010 Phils scored 3 or less the most times.

"So...replacing the worst defensive RF in history in Dom Brown with the above average defensively Hunter Pence helped out the pitching staff?"

NEPP. good point. And don't forget RFD has been patrolling LF for a fair nnumder of games as well.

We now have a better home record than Milwaukee.

In case anyone was curious

Philly: 51-22 (.699)
Brewers: 52-23 (.693)

Great article over at

Best part are the below records of teams when they score 3 runs or less:

Yankees: 11-35 (.239)
Red Sox: 11-39 (.220)
Rays: 14-51 (.215)
Tigers: 17-41 (.293)
Rangers: 13-37 (.260)
Angels: 17-51 (.250)
Braves: 20-49 (.290)
Brewers: 18-46 (.281)
Diamondbacks: 16-42 (.276)
Cardinals: 18-41 (.305)
Giants: 30-61 (.330)
Dodgers: 20-59 (.253)
Padres: 14-66 (.175)

Phillies: 30-39 (.435)


Ha, the Giants are unreal, 91 games with 3 or less(g'damn frauds), while the Yankees are pretty filthy in the fact that they just really dont score less than 4 very often.

amazing how low the winning %'s are. i mean, it seems so easy to win even if you only score 2 or 3 runs. just have the starting pitcher go the distance and give up one or none. why can't other teams figure this out???

consy, the Phils keep it simple. Teams that get wrapped up in convoluted winning strategies just don't succeed.

"So, sharp defense in Game 1, and an adrenaline rush in the nightcap, two things that went missing in Houston." - JW

One thing they continued from Houston was the inability to score runs. Poor Cliff Lee was trying to match Doc's 1-0 CGSO from the day before and missed it with one pitch. This offense should feel ashamed of themselves for forcing their aces to need to pitch CGSO in order to get a win.

dammit, i sure hope we traded the right guy:

Michael Taylor, A’s
Taylor, a 2007 fifth-rounder, finally debuted earlier this month after a bounceback season at Triple-A, where he slashed .272/.360/.456 with 16 HRs and 14 SBs — production that came in less than 350 ABs due to an early-season injury. Oakland has free agents galore in the outfield (Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, Hideki Matsui and Conor Jackson), and Taylor is ready, so let’s make the match happen already.

Hey, y'all -- my apologies if this topic's been covered ad nauseum on this board, but I'm hardly a regular to the comment section. I also apologize for the length of the post.

This is all very forward-looking, but with the accolades of the regular season all but decided -- save historical league records and personal awards -- what else is left but to look ahead (and pray that King BABIP favors us). Much is being made of which teams might match up best against the Phillies, both in the NLDS/NLCS and -- god willing -- the World Series. To simplify the debate a bit, my question will assume the Phillies meet the Yankees, who I personally consider to be the Phils' greatest challenger, in the WS, but could just as easily apply to the Sox, Rangers, etc.

If the Phils met the Yanks, no doubt the AL champs would look to throw CC in games 1, 4, and 7. In what ways might that affect how the Phillies align their own rotation, if at all? Obviously our “four aces” have been diminished to three (with two REALLY good 4 and 5s), and we’d want at least two starts out of each. However, the only way to pull that off AND get a possible third start from Halladay or Lee would be for ALL three aces to throw on short rest, lining up as follows: 1. Roy, 2. Cliff, 3. Cole, 4. Roy, 5. Cliff, 6. Cole, 7. Roy. Giving Cliff or Cole an extra day would completely negate the value of having Roy pitch on short rest, as the rotation would then only allow for Cliff and Cole to pitch games 6 and 7 (with Worley or Oswalt throwing 5). Anything other than that order and Hamels would likely ONLY throw game 3, Worley 5, with both then available in relief roles for the possible 7th. As an addendum, do you think the Phils would be better off with such a rotation, if the Big Three is open it?

Also, I know beat writers and management (often via anonymous sources) have discussed previously Cole and Cliff’s supposed preference to pitch on regular rest. Any word or sense that such a preference might change should the Phillies reach the big dance?

The Phillies will throw 4 starters in every round of the playoffs. If they didn't pitch Doc on short rest last year to eliminate a Blanton start, there's NO WAY they're doing it this year to eliminate an Oswalt start.

Fatti, the most amazing stat of the group that you've posted:

The Giants have scored 3 runs or less....



From USA Today: "The NFL wants all fans patted down from the ankles up this season to improve fan safety.

Under the new "enhanced" pat-down procedures, the NFL wants all 32 clubs to search fans from the ankles to the knees as well as the waist up. Previously, security guards only patted down fans from the waist up while looking for booze, weapons or other banned items."

I'm glad I'm a baseball fan. There were no patdowns at Minute Maid Park. They did check my wife's purse.

I'm with Fatalotti. Oswalt replaces Blanton this year in Game 4 with Blanton/Kendrick replacing Durbin in the same Game. Map the route.

The Yankees would have to pitch CC in game 4 and thus games 7.

The just don't have the depth in the rotation that the Phillies have.

Let's just hope the Phils GET to the WS.

After last season, we should know that we cannot take anything for granted.

Should we really be THAT worried about the offense?

They've scored 4.84 RPG since Pence arrived, even with the lull in the last 7 games. And then threre's this little item from Brookover's column this morning:

"The starting eight of Pence, Utley, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, and Carlos Ruiz have played together only seven times."

Maybe we're worrying about something for which there's no need to worry.

Lake Fred: At CBP, they pat you down from the knees (mainly pants pockets) on up. In fact, they checked my 14 month old son's waist area. I kid you not. I guess, in case I wanted to smuggle booze and/or weapon in his sweatshirt.

And it doesn't bother me one bit. To me, a few seconds of inconvenience is worth it to better ensure safety and catch "rule-breakers". I never understood why people get up in arms about having their bag checked or going through a "pat-down". What's the big deal? It's not like the perform a cavity search at the gate.

haven't even read the article yet, but i can tell i'm going to enjoy it:

Zero reason to use our guys on short rest. Pitching guys on short rest almost always backfires anyway.

Lake Fred: I wasn't insinuating that you were complaining about the procedures. After a reread of my post, it kind of looks that way. It was not my intent. I just adding to your piggyback on your post.

I just adding to your piggyback on your post.

I don't know what that is? I think you get the idea. More coffee? Yes, please.

awh: In terms of future planning, would it be fair to worry about the fact that our starting 8 have played only 7 games together this year?

Manuel's been entertaining questions about whether his 4th starter should be Oswalt or Worley (giving indications that it's Oswalt). Doesn't sound like he's considering a 3-man rotation (although a reporter has yet to pose that question this year, that I'm aware).

RBill--Really, you've been pat down @CBP? I haven't noticed that, and I have not been. Are they patting down all men, or are you suspicious-looking? ;)

"Phillies Fans-My Bad" (linked above by conshy matt) IS a fun read.

Kershaw the Fraud:

Home: 11-1, 1.72 ERA, .882 WHIP .252 BABAIP
Away: 8-4, 2.90 ERA, 1.086 WHIP .304 BABIP

And there is Doc:

Home: 8-2, 2.32 ERA, .975 WHIP, .311 BABIP
Away: 10-3, 2.35 ERA, 1.096 WHIP, .310 BABIP

Am I the only one who has noticed the following irony? Matt Kemp is having a fantastic, MVP-caliber season, but is widely viewed as undeserving because he plays for a bad team. Clayton Kershaw is having a fantastic, CY Young-caliber season, and more than a few "pundits" have been heard to promote his cause on the ground that he has done all this while playing for a bad team.

Yo, new thread.

. He doesn't have Bastardo's stuff but, like Bastardo, he had great minor league numbers and a reputation for good command. Yet, like Bastardo in his first couple years, Schwimer has struggled to throw strikes since being called up. I love the fact that he's missing bats, though.

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