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Friday, September 30, 2011


Well, the Phillies are the team best-positioned to play a 24-inning postseason game. Blanton, Kendrick, and Worley can each give them 5 innings out of the bullpen.

In all honesty, we see Herndon or Blanton in the case the Phils lose a late lead or if the game is out of hand. Though if it's an important out, I think I'd trust Herndon over Blanton.

Just goes to show how much stock the Philles put in Beerleaguer polling.

Maybe we should draw up the lineup card?

Per rotoworld, Carpenter is scheduled for game 2 now instead of jackson

I like it...Good stuff

Blanton has been throwing strikes and not walking people. Herndon, the opposite.

Herndon gets his first MLB save and then told to beat it! I actually preferred Herndon over Blanton since Herndon has been in relief all year with some bright spots and Blanton has given up a runs the last couple times out. Anyway, it really doesn't matter, it's like choosing to hang as opposed to a firing squad - the end result is the same.

A classic example of the Phillies going w/ a redundant veteran of questionable value over a player who has a slight chance of actually being useful. Kendrick & Worley already cover the "multiple innings in relief" angle, & it might have been nice to have Herndon on hand in case the Phils desperately needed a clutch DP ball. I suppose they decided surrendering clutch XBHs to the St. Louis was more important. Let's hope we never need find out.

I voted for Blanton. Looks like the Phillies are very concerned to do what I want them to do.

Per Philled_In:
Blanton says even he is surprised he made the NLDS roster but says he's felt good his last few times out.

If he holds up (If we ever see him), he seems a better pitcher than Herndon based on the very few times we saw him in Sept. I do feel a bit bad for Herndon, who pitched all those innings in extra-inning games. But I'm not sorry.

Gtown: Except that since he's come back, Blanton has been much more effective than Herndon.

La Russa has a hot daughter

Per @Phillies:

Position players: Francisco, Gload, Howard, Ibanez, Martinez, Mayberry, Pence, Polanco, Rollins, Ruiz, Schneider, Utley, Valdez, Victorino.

NLDS roster pitchers: Bastardo, Blanton, Halladay, Hamels, Kendrick, Lee, Lidge, Madson, Oswalt, Stutes, Worley.

I believe Blanton is actually on the roster as the 2nd rh bat off the bench after Mayberry.

FWIW, Blanton has a career 3.03 ERA against the Cardinals and a .718 OPS against.

You're kidding? The Phils went with the guy with age, experience, talent and big salary on his side. Hard to figure.

If it's true that LaRussa changed his mind and is starting Carp on short rest, he just outsmarted himself and lost the series.

Was there a single poster here who doubted Charlie would pick Blanton?

While there was debate about whether that was the best thing to do, I can't imagine anyone thought Charlie wouldn't do it.

Clout: I agree. If you read my post in the last thread, I think this is just a huge mistake by LaRussa.

How has Blanton been more effective than Herndon? Let's look at last game - Blanton gives up 1 run in 2 innings and is in trouble in both innings, Herndon gets the save. The appearance before that, Blanton gives up a gofer ball .....

Clout: I thought he would pick Herndon. I wasn't sure that they were convinced that Blanton is fully healthy, and I figure if they kept Herndon on the active roster for two straight years, they must have liked something about him.

clout: I tend to agree. Unless the name of the pitcher in question is "Sabathia", that move usually doesn't work out so well.

Gtown: And it didn't even work for Sabathia in the 08 playoffs.

You know, it's really a pretty silly thing to say "If Blanton/Herndon is in the game, we're either losing big or winning big so it's irrelevant." It's of course true that those two will probably not come into a game barring a blowout situation--though the possibility of extra innings shouldn't be ignored either. But in such a case, it's still important that they pitch well. You don't concede a playoff game because you're down 8-2, you try to come back, and to do that you need to lock down the other team until you can score. Similarly, if you're winning 8-2, you don't pull all your regulars and put in an AAA tryout reliever. In both cases it's far from impossible that you or the other team can turn the game around, and you don't want to compromise your chances to win any more than you have to; you need to carefully assess which of your pitchers you prefer for that situation, and set up your roster accordingly. This should be blindingly obvious.

Also, does "the same lineup" mean Ibanez or Mayberry?

If Charlie would have just went with 10 pitchers we wouldn't be having this conversation. Herndon has been pitching all year, but he's been extremely spotty meanwhile Blanton hasn't been here all year and has given up runs when he's in. Both should have been left home. Where's Juan Pérez?!?!

There have been Phillies fans every year clamoring to start Hamels on short rest ('08), Lee on short rest ('09), Halladay on short rest ('10). I don't think Charlie & Dubee are the kinds of coaches to really go that route - not based on track record, anyway. But since LaRussa sometimes likes to be less conventional, it doesn't surprise me any more than it surprised me to see the Yankees pitch CC on short rest in '09. Carpenter's their ace, obviously. If I'm calculating correctly, Carpenter would be able to pitch a Game 5 on regular rest.

That's if LaRussa doesn't think his way out of this decision and into another one.

Jack: I was basing my opinion strictly on the bias in favor of big money veterans. Even if Blanton pitched like crap I think he'd be on the roster.

Jack: True, but that appears to have been the exception. Hell, I don't care if it works for Carpenter in the future, just so long as it's not when he's facing the Phillies.

Let's see, Carpenter is 5-2 in the postseason with a 2.93 ERA. He has pitched 58 innings in 9 starts, so the Phils will see that lovely bullpen in game 2. Also, he's given up just 1 ER in last 24 innings pitched which includes complete game shutout of Stro's and 8 shutout innings against Phils on 9/18. It should be a great pitching matchup - hopefull we don't get the Lee from last year's WS.

Wait, Jack, GTown and I all agree?

That's impossible.

The same statistical methodology went into this decision that is going into the Ibanez/Mayberry decision. The stats that swung this one:

Joe Blanton: 9 postseason appearances (39.1 innings)
David Herndon: 0 postseason appearances (0 innings)

Anyone who questions this logic hasn't been following the Phillies in the Charlie Manuel era. If you need a primer as to how it works, a similar philosophy can be found in the teachings of Joe Paterno.

"If Charlie would have just went with 10 pitchers we wouldn't be having this conversation."

Yes, it would be much better to have John Bowker on the roster than a 6th reliever who is only so-so.

Larussa had to go with Carpenter for game 2 which makes him available in game 5. If he pitched game 3, that would be his only appearance in series.

I would've like to have seen Orr over MM - I like Orr's bat better and his defense is no worse than MM's.

If LaRussa is approaching this series by planning for Game 5, he's more of a moron than I originally thought.

I'm surprised by Blanton's selection, too - As has been said, I didn't think anyone was sure enough of his health, for one thing. Also haven't seen much of him to judge him by. But I do think Herndon's been unremarkable lately (admittedly, he's not one for whom the adjective "remarkable" normally applies).

We didn't have much chance to see Worley out of the 'pen, either, and I'm not sure what to expect from him in that role.

As others have said, here's hoping for spectacular 8-inning efforts from our starters (or at least 7), plus enough offense to give Charlie no reason to pull a starter earlier for a PH.

"Larussa had to go with Carpenter for game 2 which makes him available in game 5. If he pitched game 3, that would be his only appearance in series."

But then he'll be on short rest twice if it goes that far, right?

Ludicrust: No worries. Orr will be traveling w/ the team, presumably for the purpose of viewing, learning & someday imitating Martinez's vaunted "versatility". Only good things can result.

I think he'd be on regular rest for a game 5 start.

I have to admit, when the Phils tweeted pics of their workout this morning, I had to take a gander to see if I could find a pic of Blanton among them. Not because I wanted to see if he was prepping to be on the roster, but because I was curious if he's ever actually worked out before.

Orr doesn't have Mini-Mart's versatility, though.

Orr is really fast, way faster than MM. For that sole reason I preferred Pete since I would expect we need a big SB or run from second before we need anything MM offers (Backup to the Backup at every position).

So, collectively the Phils hit .211 against Carpenter with 11 RBI, 24 S0 and 4 BB(, but that does include a couple players not on roster (Brown, Kratz, Bowker, Orr, Moss).

MM is probably just on the postseason roster because the Phils think he has to be to satisfy Rule 5 requirements. Their use of Rule 5 guys can only be explained by a complete and total lack of understanding of the rule.

Per Matt Gelb:

Ross Gload had an injection of anti-inflammatory medicine Monday to allievate [sic] pain in the muscle tear in his right hip that has bothered him all season. Ruben Amaro Jr. said Gload is completely ready to play in the division series.

Gload had a productive September, hitting .321 (9 for 28) with three doubles. He led the majors with 18 pinch-hits in 2011.

GFY, yeah, they've struggled against Carpenter, but look at what they've done against Carpenter on short rest...

He's NEVER pitched on short rest, and history is littered with stud pitchers being just lit up on short rest. It's a very risky move.

I think it goes:
Game 1 - Sat
Game 2 - Sun
(Monday off)
Game 3 - Tues
Game 4- Wed
(Thursday off)
Game 5 - Fri


So Carpenter would get regular rest between Games 2 & 5.

Carpenter is 2-0 0.60 ERA in 2 starts vs Phils this year - 15 IP, 12 SO, 2 BB, that is why Larussa wants him in game 2 and (he hopes) game 5.

clout: Amend that statement to you, Jack, GTown, and I agree on the LaRussa thing. Just a silly move by Tony. Carpenter is a great guy to have ready to go when it goes back to St. Louis on his normal rest. If the series was somehow 1-1, Carpenter would be the guy who could even give you a 2-1 series lead putting the Phillies up against the wall.

But now, even if Carpenter gets the job done we get Edwin Jackson in Game 3 which is a huge advantage for us.

And he was 1-0 with 1 ER over 8 IP in 2010, so he's owned the Phils the past couple seasons.


Will that injection make Gload any faster? He was almost as slow as Ryan Howard with the bad ankle/heel.

I think Ryan Howard will push himself harder on the basepaths in the PS, not be quiiite as slow. But I'm not sure it's wise to push himself too hard, because there are at least 11 and up to 19 games to get through. So maybe he won't run any faster at all. Maybe he can't even run any faster, although from comments he made, I did think he was being somewhat more ginger in those end-of-season games than he might intend to be now.

What do others think about it?

In my opinion, Larussa is bluffing about Carpenter. He's a jackass, not a moron.

Howard's game has never rested on his basepath prowess, and it still doesn't. He's always been slow, and he's naturally slower at 31 than he was at 26. Add to that a gimpy ankle, and you have the recipe for a station to station guy right now.

TTI, it's Garcia in Game 3, per what I read. Probably Jackson in Game 4, however.

I should be on the roster instead of Blanton. I'm the chosen one.

Let's not forget Lohse is starting game #1:

He's given up 4 ER in 4 Sept starts, including 7 1/3 vs Phils on 9/19 where he gave up 1 unearned run. He's pitched well against phils this year ...

2011 1-1 1.76 ERA 15.1 IP - he beat Halladay on 9/19 and lost to Lee on 6/22 and the Phils lineup was mostly regulars with Gload playing for Howard on 9/19 and Brown playing in 6/22 game.

Larussa thinks he is messing with Charlie and the Phillies but the Phillies' plans have nothing to do with who is pitching for the opposition. Charlie doesn't care. The Aces don't care. The hitters don't care.
Start a reliever. Hit the pitcher 8th. Do whatever you want. The Phillies don't care.

GBrett: Carpenter will be 3days rest for his original Game 2 start on Sunday(pitched a complete game on Wednesday), not his Game 5 start.

I just read what EFF linked in the last thread "Is LaRussa bluffing?" which said back in 2000 LaRussa had pitcher Kile do the press conference but then announced Ankiel would pitch instead for Game 1. The point of the article was don't be surprised if Garcia ends up pitching Game 1 - some kind of reasoning about protecting the Game 1 starter from the glare & pressure of the press.

So - what do you think? Will LaRussa have Garcia, Carpenter, Lohse, Jackson, Carpenter?

At this point, I haven't a clue what to expect from him. Aside from Chase Utley getting to study the proper tape the night before, I think gobaystars is right when he says the Phillies don't really care.

I look at the playoff roster and think, in the beginning of the year, who would be on the roster? Surprises are Worley, Stutes, and Pence. First 2 are players that made the most of others injured and the last was the mid season trade. Overall, this is the team we thought they would be, right? Now, time to win the whole *&%%$%^&% thing!

The bigger issue with Howard is if he has foot problems going ahead forward. He is ridiculously slow though and has looked fairly immobile around 1B in Sept. Don't count on him making any plays where he has to move quickly this postseason.

Good point, baystars. Don;t know if it's posturing, gamesmanship, or whatever, but I think we all know (and have know for months now) what lineup the Phils are trotting out tomorrow. The opposing pitcher changes nothing but individual approaches to at bats, which are also pretty standard with advanced scouting. Tony isn't outcoaching anyone but himself, like usual.

Lorecore, thanks. I actually knew that. I just wanted to clarify that he'd be on regular rest for Game 5, because someone asked thought he'd be on short rest then, as well.

(Pardon my typo above, cross out "asked".)

Charlie doesn't care. The Aces don't care. The hitters don't care.
Start a reliever. Hit the pitcher 8th. Do whatever you want. The Phillies don't care.

It would just figure if Rollins cracked some corn & the rest of the ball club freaked out about it.

Keith - pretty good point. On March 31st, I would have probably only guessed 1 of Worley/Kendrick and 1 of Valdez/Martinez - but you are right.

We are who we thought we are, and we better not let anyone else off the hook!

Funny, GTown - But now you've put that tune in my head.

The chances of Herndon/Blanton pitching in this series are almost nonexistent. Better chance to see KK if there is a blow-out or if an injury (crossing fingers).

Herndon simply hasn't had the same control since he throw 69 pitches in that extra inning game Sept 4th. Walked 7 BBs in 7 2/3 IP after that in Sept & only threw strikes at a 53% clip in 7 games.

Even though Blanton did get hit a bit harder, he simply had much better command in Sept. Didn't BB anybody in 7 IP and threw strikes at a 71% clip in 5 games.

If Herndon had pitched like he did this summer, he would on this roster over Blanton. Blanton is simply a 1/2 inning guy at this point due to his elbow injury. Herndon took a bullet for the team in that Sept 4 injury, struggled to regain his command after that outing, and got left off the postseason roster.

So much for 'taking one for the team.'

Phlipper: Early in the season, I placed a $100. parlay bet in Vegas, that on the final day, Phils would set franchise record in wins, eliminate Braves, a pitcher not currently on the roster would get first ML win, another pitcher not currently on the roster would get his first ML save, and an OF not currently on the roster would get the game winning hit.
I don't remember the exact odds they gave me, but I now own the Ben Franklin Bridge. Try not to scratch the paint.

Other than the last game of the season when the Braves were choking on themselves, when has Herndon gotten a 'clutch DP ball'? Every time the guy has been put in a pressure situation, he's gotten shelled.

I don't want either of them, but it's not like we're leaving Dennis Eckersley off the roster as GTown makes it sound like. If either one sees meaningful action, it's bad news anyway.

Not true that the hitters won't care. I am sure that a couple of the hitters are watching tape/looking at some of the advance scouting reports.

LaRussa is just playing a little 'rope-a-dope' but it really doesn't matter that much.

I would be surprised though if he starts Carpenter in Game 2 on short rest given his lack of a track record/injury history. Seems like too much of a gamble although I can see why he wants Carpenter for a possible Game 5.

Having Lohse matchup with Halladay twice in a series isn't a very favorable matchup.

So, who should I be rooting for, the Rays or the Rangers? I think both teams are all right (although the Rays' stadium and fans* don't help their cause) and can see cases for both teams when it comes to rooting for one or the other in this series.

Also, why was that chick in the stands at the Rangers' stadium just crying (I had the sound muted)?

* I originally had this as "fan," a typo, but possibly accurate.

Bake, tonight you should root for the Rays, because I got them at +160 in Game 1.

Forecast says a 60% chance of rain throughout Sat., & a 40% chance on Sun. night. Boooooo.

I hear all of the analysts keeping talking about how crappy/shaky the Cards' bullpen is but the Phils' bullpen in front of Madson really isn't that much better right now.

Lidge has gotten the job done but still tough to watch him in a 1-run game given his propensity to allow a hit/walk a guy and for runners to steal on him at will.

Bastardo is likely only going to face LH batters & be a situational guy but who knows he can come in throwing strikes.

At least you know who pitches the 8th though. It will be Lidge/Bastardo. The real mystery is who pitches the 7th inning if they need 3 outs. Guess Worley by default. Maybe Stutes but I absolutely don't want to see him in a high leverage spot late in a game this series if at all possible.

I need a playoff refresher here - what's the best way to watch postseason games from my computer at work (i.e. the Rays game now)? Is the Postseason Companion package worth it on

MG, if what GTown is saying about rain comes to fruition, the Phils bullpen could become all that more important (even, gulp, Blanton).

Since Larussa's pouring on the gamesmanship, Cholly ought to do the same: hold a press conference & announce that Michael Martinez will be our Game 1 starter in centerfield.

Hmmm... No prediction thread? How will we know which BLers to mock without one? (I guess we could go the clout route and mock everyone, but that's a lot of work.)

Did I hear correctly that the Yankees are going with a 3 man rotation?

I don't really get why there's so much consternation over Blanton's inclusion on the roster. Herndon stinks & Blanton's stuff actually looks pretty good coming out of the bullpen. Heck, it has even crossed my mind that he could be next year's closer.

WP - Yeah I just looked at the forecast. Freaking rain all day tomorrow and starting late tonight. There is a 40% chance at game time it is raining. Ugh.

So Lidge is a poor 8th inning option because he's tough to watch?

He's got a freaking 3.40 xFIP and a 3.29 SIERA, to go along with a 1.40 ERA. The guy's been getting the job done.

Yeah, the walks sucks, but he has a 7.4 H/9, which isn't that bad, and a .635 OPS against, a SLG of .282 being a part of that. The reason for this is because batters are putting the ball on the ground against him nearly 60% of the time. Hard to hit homeruns and doubles when everything is on the ground. The walk sucks, but if you are striking out over a batter an inning and putting lots of balls on the ground, it's hard to get that runner home.

MG, luckily, if rain is going to create a "bullpen shootout," you couldn't pick a better bullpen to be up against!

A rain delay that knocks the starters out of the game early would certainly be an equalizer.

But if there's a long rain delay in, say, the 3rd inning, this might be the rare situation where the Phillies disregard the conventional wisdom & bring Halladay back.

Another option would be to bring in Cliff Lee, who will have had 4 days of rest. Then start Oswalt on normal rest in Game 2.

Tony probably knew it was going to rain all along, maybe even has something to do with it, which is why his rotation strategy is so odd.

We'll probably see Garcia tomorrow, after all, after Tony makes it rain.

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Tony LaRussa bluffed everyone and threw Mark Mulder in game 2.

Did I hear correctly that the Yankees are going with a 3 man rotation?

Posted by: Kutztown Fan

Worked in 09 I think, right?

All indications are that Sabathia will pitch game 4 on Tuesday. Freddy Garcia going in game 3. Burnett in the pen. Who knows what they do if they're up 2-1 heading into game 4, though.

Between Garcia and Colon, which of those dinosaurs is pitching on 3 days rest, and who expects either one to be effective on three days rest?

I saw a headline this morning that Colon wasn't on the ALDS roster. If they throw 3 starters in this series, and it goes 5, the other guy going on short rest would be Ivan Nova.

Good point Hugh. I wonder if they'll think about going only 3 starters deep into the ALCS.

Also, why was that chick in the stands at the Rangers' stadium just crying (I had the sound muted)?

Kid that threw out the first ball was 6 year old son of the fireman who fell to his death at their stadium earlier this season.

Wow, Tampa Bay has a chance to blow this game open right here.

Wow, 6-0 Rays.

Stark looking pretty silly now with his Texas over Phillies in the WS right about now. Wilson getting slaughtered.

CJ Wilson's getting pounded. I say: all the better. He's an ass.

6-0 Rays. It's momentum!!!

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