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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


"crummy bench, shaky middle relief & 4th starter, and a couple of banged-up positional players who won't be 100%"

Whoever pitches Game 4 will be head and shoulders better than rolling Joe Blanton out there in the NLCS last year. Sorry. Add that to the list of things you're wrong on, MG.

This was the 3rd loss in a row.

The Phillies are suddenly playing like a bunch of sleepwalking zombie airheads. What happened?

Come home Phillies, We miss you!

One thing is for sure: the player to be named later in the John Bowker trade should be John Bowker.

My schedule says 2:05 tomorrow.

The radio and TV have been saying 2:00 as well, goody.

Out of curiosity, do these last 6 games count in the "Phillies have averaged X runs per game since Utley returned" calculation? We've scored just 3.33 runs over the 6 games. Of course, Utley's absence has been compounded by losing Valdez, as that has forced Mini-Mart into the lineup.

In Beerleaguer land, these last two games tell us more about how the Phillies will fare in the playoffs than the 7 games vs the Braves and the Brewers.

Oh, and Cole is mentally weak.

Iceman - Blanton was really solid down the stretch last year. He had a 3.01 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP in Aug/Sept in 11 GS.

Guess I fail to see how Oswalt is 'heads and tailer' better than Blanton was at this time last year.

Didnt we go into a slump last year after we got swept by Houston....Houston Kryptonite

CJ excels in the dubious art of refuting arguments which weren't made.

oh well.


Good thing the Phils do well against good teams. They know these games don't matter and it shows. Try to win tomorrow and get the hell home.

Nice to see Manuel rip them after this lackluster game -

An interesting quote in the article from Hamels ... “We’re human,” he said. “It’s a grind. You just have to grind your way through it. They’re playing with a lot of motivation and we’re not taking it as serious.” So, he readily admits the team is not really playing hard?

"Playing poorly against the Astros is nothing new for the Phillies. They were swept in a four-game series by the Astros in Sept. 2009 in Houston and August 23-26, 2010 in Philadelphia."

If the Phils had to play in Houston or Pittsburgh 19 times a year, instead of 6, they'd have trouble making the playoffs.

If I was Ed Wade, I'd call up Jarred Cosart to pitch on Wednesday. It would be a guaranteed sweep.

These were the two worst back-to-back games the Phils have played all year. In every phase but the bullpen, they have been poor.

Latest column from Stark covers a few points commonly mentioned here (including discussion of the whole 'it's not the best team that wins in the postseason, but the hottest' thing), as well as a new one, the potential rotation squeeze in Chicago in the offseason that might coincide nicely with Oswalt's departure.

Nothing good ever comes of Hamels speaking. Even when you know what he's trying to express it comes off wrong. Cole should emulate Carlton & just stop talking to the media. He'd save himself a lot of unnecessary grief.

Clearly the secret to beating the Phils in the playoffs would be to empty out your stadium and put a really lousy team on the field with a former Phil throwing junk in the direction of home plate.

Lose a series to the lowly Marlins? Check.

Dominate and sweep the 2nd place Braves? Check.

Take 3 out of 4 from the now 2nd place Brewers, in Milwaukee? Check.

Lose a series to the hapless (but Happ-ful) Astros?


The team playing the field against hte Astros this series looks like the Marlins. Their collective heads aren't in the game.

Good Morning.

I feel less envious of Lake Fred now (sorry Fred).

This has been a weird week. I was so worried about the Brewers, not so much about the Astros...

I do find myself feeling more and more that the outcome of a short series is perhaps less meaningful than I have thought in the past...the question in my mind becomes- is 5 games a short series? Is 7?


Yes, and yes

"Clearly the secret to beating the Phils in the playoffs would be to empty out your stadium and put a really lousy team on the field with a former Phil throwing junk in the direction of home plate."

Preferably with Barajas behind the plate to catch the slop.

An irritating stat on TV post game. Cole Hamels' last 5 starts against the fearsome Stros: 0-3, 6.91 ERA.

I guess the silver lining is that this will make us appreciate the normal, i.e. excellent ball the Phils' normally play. Seeing games like this every other night is pretty much the norm for many teams' fans.

GTown Dave: It's preemptive. And if it bluntsnthe typical nonsense that follows losses like this then it was worth it!

MG/Denny: Why didn't Charlie leave Hamels out to get the Win?

re: postseason bench

DOM will be on it.

I listened to Cole Hamels' comments after the game and he is right. Houston did have more motivation and in a perfect world, the better team would have crushed the lesser team. But sports has consistently taught us that the games still need to be played and they are not won on reputation or on paper. Cole will get the criticism like he always does but it looked like he wanted to win this game. I have never seen a team make the dumb stupid errors like they do whenever he pitches. It's amazing. I don't know how he keeps it together because Halladay would never accept it.

So much irony in the critics of the critics who use outlandish and fake hypotheticals to make their points. Leaves my mind spinning at times.

1) Who are you guys and what have you done with the Phillies?

2) It is inexcusable to lose two games in a row to the poster team for the Not Ready for Primetime Players.

3)Someone's either gotta get them some greenies or cut off their weed supply.

4) They probably have a camera stashed in the Atlanta dugouts watching and laughing as the Braves get their hopes up.

5) Michael Lerner musta put on his Arnold Rothstein make-up and offered a deal to eight of the guys.

6) The Astros: Are. You. Serious?

7) Satan's out buying sidewalk salt in case the Phils get swept.

8) If they lose again, they should have to wear pink uniforms with frilly bloomers.

9) Houston Astros. 5 - 1, 5 - 2. Where is your self-respect?

Cholly complaining a bit after this game isn't something you would have seen either 2 or 3 years ago. He clearly feels comfortable to express his opinions when he deserves.

Every teams has lull(s) during a baseball season. It has to be a drag at times mentally to play a season of 6 months with another needless 6 weeks of spring training. Not to mention nearly a month of postseason baseball if you make the playoffs. That almost 9 straight months.

I was kind of surprised that Cholly was as critical as he was after the game. I thought he would want until after today's afternoon game. If they played sloppy again in the field while losing with Halladay on the mound, I thought he would rip into them a bit.

phargo - The "short series" referred to is the first one which is a best of five.

Here is a question that Iceman brought up and is an interesting one:

Feel better about Oswalt now or Blanton last year as the 4th starter? Kind of a wash?

Phils haven't used Bastardo since Sept 9th (last Friday) and seem like they are trying to make a point to stay away from him.

Interesting to see if he pitches this afternoon. I would imagine the Phils would try to give him another day off before using him tomorrow at some point during the double header.

We could lose 75% of our games for the rest of the season, and we'd still be the best NL team heading into the playoffs, most likely. Losing meaningless games with a lineup half-filled with bench players means nothing.

Remember people: There is NO evidence that momentum matters. None.

Phils haven't used Bastardo since Sept 9th (last Friday) and seem like they are trying to make a point to stay away from him.

Interesting to see if he pitches this afternoon. I would imagine the Phils would try to give him another day off before using him tomorrow at some point during the double header.

Posted by: MG | Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 09:46 AM

olney has some blog on this saying they are backing off of him on purpose

Given his recent performance, his IP over the last couple of years as compared to this one, and his injury history, it makes total sense for the Phillies to give some Bastardo time off.

MG, Maybe Charlie was trying to nip things in the bud. Mayberry's letting a grounder go between his legs coupled with Mini-Mart's "goofy"" weak throw to third, Howard letting a chopped grounder handcuff him, poorly executed covers of first base by the pitcher, and what sure looked like an overall lackluster effort are worthy of pointing out to the team after the game.

I think he set the table so they can get back on track behind Halladay and it's hopefully over without a big deal or "blowup" meeting. If the Phils go out and lay another egg today, he can still go cuckoo if he feels it's needed.

Charlie also said a couple of days ago that he felt what Bastardo mostly needed was a good outing. Today against the Astros with a decent Halladay established lead could be a great opportunity for that. Hope it works out that way.


Hamels never pitched in Houston. Oswalt's career and home was in Houston. The way Cholly played it last night is the way you do it 99.9% of the time. Hamels was 4 runs behind. Get him out and save bullets.

Oswalt stayed in on Monday because Chuckles wanted to get him a win. That's a fact, that some here don't want to admit.

Here’s my game report from Minute Maid Park. The last time the Phillies lost a third game in a row was June 3rd! They lost a 4th game on June 4th. Let’s hope this doesn’t repeat today.

The last time I saw the Phillies in person was 2008. Here in 2011, the Phillies have the best record in baseball, playing the worst team in baseball. I buy tickets to all three games. We upgraded parking to a $10 lot. It did not change the result of the game. This game we ate Prince’s hamburgers with cheese. They were good, so were their fries.

In the 4th inning, two guys came in with food, sitting at the other end of our aisle. We stood up, looked down at our feet as the passed slowly in front of us. We hear screams, look up and see Hunter Pence’s home run ball that had bounced off the wall rolling in left center field. The most exciting Phillies play of the night and we missed it! Chooch’s 9th inning homer that barely made it past the wall was not as exciting.

It was another night of shoddy fielding by the Phillies, but it was better than the night before, but it was still a loss.

I looked at the scoreboard when Chooch was batting and saw that he had 5 homers for the year. I told that to my wife and she said, “It’s amazing that you can remember such stats.” I told her that I had read it off the scoreboard. She told me that I should’ve kept quiet and she’d have been more impressed.

After seeing Mini Mart in person, I have concluded that he’s just clogging up a roster spot. I saw him make a poor fielding play on Monday and do nothing at the plate both nights.

On the way home, my wife told me that despite the loss, she was happy to see Cole Hamels, her favorite Phillies player. She asked me who my favorite player is. I told her that it had been Ryan Howard for a long time, but I also like Hunter Pence. I thought a little longer and said, “It’s Cliff Lee!” Well, he’s not pitching in this series.

Let’s hope that Doc shuts them down this afternoon and that the Astros do not move to the American League. In my mind, that’s a stupid idea.

Does Momentum Matter?

2010 - Giants
Overall: .568%
Sept: .655%

2009 - Yankees
Overall: .636%
Sept: .645%

2008 - Phillies
Overall: .568%
Sept: .680%

2007 - Red Sox
Overall: .593%
Sept: .593%

2006 - Cardinals
Overall: .516%
Sept: .414%

2005 - White Sox
Overall: .611%
Sept: .613%

2004 - Red Sox
Overall: .605%
Sept: .645%

2003 - Marlins
Overall: .562%
Sept: .692%

2002 - Angels
Overall: .611%
Sept: .667%

2001 - DBacks
Overall: .568%
Sept: 519%

2000 - Yankees
Overall: .540%
Sept: .419%

So basically, in 5 instances, the WS winner had a significantly better Sept record, in 3, they had a much worse Sept record, and in 3, they were about the same or slightly better.

FWIW, so far the 2011 Phillies have the following split:

Overall: .648%
Sept: .615%

If we win today, its back up to .643% and its meaningless either way.

NEPP: Also recognize that obviously you would expect, in the aggregate, to see slightly better Sept. records because some teams (2003 Marlins, 2009 Giants, 2008 Phillies) necessarily needed to win a lot of games in September just to make the playoffs.

The Starks article ( includes a note on the Braves pen being overused as many on this board have said repeatedly - they are showing signs of wear and tear recently and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cards catch them in the WC race

Exactly Jack. Its also important to remember that lots of times in September, teams simply play better as the teams out of it are starting rookies or prospects to "see what they have, etc". Expanded rosters probably taint it also. I thought about going back and seeing how the team with the best Sept record (playoff team at least) did in the playoffs each year but I'm too lazy. A perfect example of it would be the 07 Rockies who destroyed the competition in Sept only to lose in 4 to the Red Sox. Anyone who has a ton of free time can feel free to research that one.

So basically, does momentum matter? No, probably not.

Denny: "Oswalt stayed in on Monday because Chuckles wanted to get him a win. That's a fact, that some here don't want to admit."

Speculating on another person's motives is actually the exact opposite of 'a fact'.

If you want a fact, how about that Oswalt(103) and Hamels(100) were both taken out of the ballgame after they completed an inning where they broke the 100 pitch mark.


Stark just did an article on September momentum and playoff success:

I like my "From Sept 1st" splits better than "Final 40 games"

Reading Stark's column, he seems to hint that the Phils could decline Oswalt's option but still bring him back for less money, if he wants to play. Works for me.

Should also note that he writes the Phillies "aren't likely to pick up" the option, which fits with what most reasonably intelligent posters on here have concluded.

MG- I think you would be hard pressed to find someone on here that says they felt more comfortable with Blanton as a Game 4 starter last year or in 2009. Everyone was expecting him to be awful, and he delivered on those expectations.

What are the chances that either of the choices this year go out and take a dump on the mound like Blanton did last year in San Francisco? He didn't even make it out of the fifth inning.

Oswalt is a proven playoff performer and he's put together some good starts this year. Even if he gets hit around, I don't see him getting his brains bashed in and being pulled in the 5th inning.

Iceman - I don't think 'awful' is quite apt. People were hoping he could give the Phils a decent shot to win. Say something like 6 and 2 or 6 and 3.

Blanton didn't. Struggled pretty much from the get go but he had pitched well down the stretch.

I do like Oswalt a bit more in a Game 4 than Blanton last year but I would pretty much put him in the same overall category.

You hope he can give you something like 6 and 2 or so. Kind of what Cholly was hoping Blanton would do last year in Game 4 of the NLCS.

Oswalt's has given up his share of hits & has run into trouble late with regular consistency in the 6th/7th innings since he came off the DL.

I would say I would feel a bit more confident in Oswalt but it generally is a wash.

I hope this isn't viewed as spam. We are organizing a wiffle ball tournament this weekend if anyone is interested. 3 people per team, and the $15 per person entry fee also includes beer and a T shirt.

Oswalt lost Game 4 of the NLCS. Still get that feeling in my gut as if I ate a can of spam.

"So basically, does momentum matter? No, probably not."

I buy this. Hopefully, it goes without saying, but it's important to distinguish momentum from a team's getting hot at just the right time. And on the flip side, from a team suddenly, inexplicably, going ice cold.

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