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Tuesday, October 04, 2011


***Phlipper: When was the last time he [Madson] pitched?***

He pitched games 1 & 2, Phlipper. So tomorrow will technically be his 4th game in 5 nights.

his pitch counts are all pretty low though:

Game 1: 8 pitches
Game 2: 15 pitches
Game 3: 20 pitches

Madson has pitched 3.1 innings so far.

I think the plan was to have Worley get 6 outs. But they started getting lucky hits and all hell broke loose.

can somebody tell me where to find franzke's call?

M. Grassie: It’ll be Roy Halladay against Edwin Jackson in Game 4.

Man is Oswalt gonna be pissed.

' intentional walk to Hunter Pence,...?

dude, what game did you watch?

Hell of a game. Playoff baseball is awesome!

Just an awesome game to watch.

On to the Tigers/Yankees games.

I hope Porcello pitches the game of this life, and I hope Burnett takes one on the chin.

I am mentally exhausted right now. I can't imagine how the Phils feel.

you've got to get a little lucky to win a WS. Ben Fran winning the game for us falls into the lucky category. go Phils!

i'm just happy we won. am i crazy to think this series might be harder than the next if we advance? maybe because the cardinals work counts and ab's much much better than milwaukee. i don't know. just thinking

Phillies are due for a game where they just get 7-8 dominant innings from a starter that gives up 2 runs or less, and where the offense puts like 5 runs on the board, so they can coast to victory.

Amazing game. Playoff baseball is the greatest thing in the world. Every pitch of this game was tense.

Now, go Brewers. I have class at 5:30 tomorrow and would much prefer an 8pm start.

Continued success.

***am i crazy to think this series might be harder than the next if we advance? ***

The Brewers are really good this year too...another tough offense and very good pitching. There are no easy matchups in October this year.

It's amazing that in one swing a guy can earn his entire paycheck for the year...

I'm glad Ben Fran got to do something big. He's largely the forgotten man. Good for him.

***am i crazy to think this series might be harder than the next if we advance? ***

The Brewers are really good this year too...another tough offense and very good pitching. There are no easy matchups in October this year.

Posted by: NEPP | Tuesday, October 04, 2011 at 08:41 PM

oh no doubt about it. maybe i was just thinking of that last series. they were hacking and wacking all series. i do like gallardo a lot though

you've got to get a little lucky to win a WS. Ben Fran winning the game for us falls into the lucky category. go Phils!

Posted by: conshy matt | Tuesday, October 04, 2011 at 08:39 PM

I can see how Ben Fran's one hit was lucky, but then what about those 10 Cardinals hits that all had eyes?

As expected, Cole came through today big time against a tough lineup.

***Ben Fran winning the game for us falls into the lucky category. go Phils!***

I think Cole had a little bit to do with it.

Halladay in Game 4? Mistake.

Cole picked up the club today and showed why he's an elite starter.


I think you're right that was the plan - and it was a good plan, but the Cards got some bloops and Charlie had to respond.

"LaRussa gambled that Garcia (who had pitched a hell of a game so far but was wearing down) would get Francisco."

MG - his pitcher was dealing. Fairly low pitch count. Everyone expected Garcia to go one more inning at least. He has a crappy bullpen. Your keyboard second-guess managing doesn't make it a "gamble" to leave Garcia in at that point.

I never thought I'd be tuning in to Ben Francisco at a postseason podium.

Congrats also go to the much maligned Ben Fran.

Please tell me Halladay in game four is a joke?

Garcia was dealing all game till that point...not a huge bet to assume he'll get BenFran there.

Not sure I buy the "Saint Louis has a crappy BP" anymore. How many shutout innings in a row do they have now? 8?

***Please tell me Halladay in game four is a joke?

Posted by: BobbyD | Tuesday, October 04, 2011 at 08:45 PM

Definitely a typo by Grassie.

2011 Ben Fransico= 2008 Matt Stairs

halladay is not pitching game 4. jesus.

Game 3 of the 2009 NLDS was more intense than this one. It was also mainly taking place after midnight here on the east coast so that may alter my opinion.

That 8th was interesting. I didn't have a problem with him going with Worley to start but it felt like he was trying to manage like LaRussa there by making a ton of moves to get the guys he wanted. I also didn't think it was a good idea to let Bastardo pitch to Holliday once he was announced. Lidge was probably the right move there although it meant burning Bastardo for only one batter.

The slider to Holliday was outside and caught a little too much of the plate- still a nice piece of hitting by Holliday. That ball Furcal lined to left for a single was something he never even should have been swinging at- let alone line it for a hit.

It wasn't pretty, but it was a win and now the Cardinals need to rely on Jackson to get them to Game 5. Not a great position for them.

Someone just asked Cole the "fan perception" question!!

Are they serious about Halladay in game 4? I don't think that's a good idea.

NEPP - obviously, Cole was awesome. still, if Ben Fran doesn't homer there, it might have all been for naught. that's the kind of "luck" you need - the guy who homers when you don't expect to in a big spot.

I think Hamels gets such a hard time because he has a high-pitched voice.

Seemed like Hamels was focusing on keeping his ball down all game - maybe helping to contribute to his high pitch count. He was determined not to give them something high enough to be driven out of the park.

NEPP - Francisco was 1-9 in his career too with 1 K.

Cards got the small breaks tonight with a couple of hits drop-in but the Phils got the biggest ones (Francisco's HR and the DP to end the 8th)

I take back all the bad things I said about Ben Fran this year. And this will be the toughest series the Phils have all postseason. I'm not nearly as worried about the Brewers, DBacks, or the various AL teams the Phils will play after this series.

MickO - those Cards are masters of the BABIP, so...

what are you people talking about? they already announced oswalt no matter what happened in this game.

Phlipper - Why did LaRussa then have Dotel/Rhodes starting to warm after the first hit in the 7th?

Oswalt Game 4 against Jackson.

It's a typo. Easy mistake to make. And I'm surprised you're still seeing it. Hit refresh or empty your cache.

Definitely...nobody in the world expected BenFran to hit a HR there. Awesome moment.

Philly fans still like me better.

So, its Doc in Game 4 tomorrow then?

really awesome moment. those were 3 seriously meaningful RBI's.

Walking Cabrera to get to Victor Martinez...kinda a no-win situation.

Shift + refresh.

Dotel vs Francisco

0-5 with 1 K. If LaRussa had brought in Dotel, I imagine Cholly would have countered with Gload. Gload is 1-4.

7 IP 1 ER 8 K's for Oswalt in a 6-2 victory tomorrow

MG - because LaRussa is prone to making endless bullpen moves and in case it became clear that his pitcher was falling apart. How many games has the Cards bullpen blown for Garcia this year? He wasn't going to pull him unless it was clear.

It wasn't clear. He gave up a solid hit prior to BenFran's bomb, but did you think he was faultering? He was dealing, with a low pitch count. He didn't even take him out after Ben Fran's HR.

Actually make that Ibanez (4-8 with 1 HR and 3 BBs) vs Dotel.

PH matchups in a NL game because of the pitcher hitting is just one of several reasons why the game is more interesting than an AL game.

Costello said that with a hurt finger, Holliday's bat speed is a slider swing. Ergo matcup v. Lidge favored Holliday.

I don't view this loss as necessarily deflating for the Cards. They did not score off Hamels, but battled him & chased him out early enough to get to our BP, only losing by one run after late inning rallies.

Although I do think the matchup tomorrow favors us.

***Ergo matcup v. Lidge favored Holliday.***

Bastardo would have blown him away.

Phlipper - I didn't say it was clear although LaRussa obviously was preparing to lift Garcia at that point.

If Francisco had just delieverd a single instead, I bet that LaRussa would have lifted him.

Ricky Bo says Oswalt's going to get knocked around tomorrow?


Yanks already warming up the BP.

Granderson just saved Burnett's arse there. Likely a 3-0 lead if he doesnt catch that.

Yanks have bullpen activity in the first

It's got to be deflating for the Cards, except for Pujols, who isn't human.

This feels like a loss.

LaRussa managed Game 2 flawlessly in relation to how he used his bullpen.

In Game 3 though the decision to let Garcia pitch to Francisco will loom large. Not that it was the wrong move necessarily but it will be the one questioned.

One thing though- had LaRussa gone to Dotel, Charlie goes to Ibanez who is 4 for 7 in his career off Dotel with a home run and 5 RBI.


21 pitches
7 strikes

Yes, SEVEN strikes.

This feels like a loss.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Tuesday, October 04, 2011 at 08:58 PM

uhh no

Auto correct fail. Coste, not Costello (!), said that about Holliday.

Hamels' start was fairly typical. Strong, but ultimately lost in the mix and buried in the game story. What a "treat" it is to see the return of the big PH postseason moment from an unlikely source. "Where were you when Ben Francisco ..." Important to remember that to a man, the relievers are in new roles or new to the postseason. Rookie mistakes like Worley not going after Craig and bringing up Pujols.

Lots of bleeders and bloops and catches on the laces by the Cards. Lots of hits on pretty decent pitches, like Furcal off Lidge. In the end, though, Lidge is just too predictable while Madson's stuff can keep most any hitter uncomfortable.

Ball must have been hard to see all game. Did Vic lose a couple in the twilight? Seemed like Vic and everybody else broke the wrong way on everything.

This all goes back to the Phils starters working at least 7 IP. When they do, it really shortens games and they only need to get 3 outs before Madson comes in.

Going to be interesting to see tomorrow how long a hook Oswalt gets.

Tomorrow's 5:05 PM (Central) start should feature those same wonderful shadows again.

Its supposed to be a completely sunny day again too.

It is a true paradox that something I watch to relax and be entertained is actually stressful & excruciating.

MG: Assuming he's doing well, Oswalt's hook should be based on pitches, not innings. I'm thinking ~95.

I couldn't think of a worse way to be eliminate than a Burnett start. You know you are done before it starts.

I'm amazed it's even a question. Garcia was blowing the Phils away. They simply weren't squaring up on balls all day before Vic then Francisco. And the odds of Francisco doing that against a guy dealing like he was were close to nil.

I don't much like the way LaRussa manages. But I think he's blameless on that one. And the fact that Charlie first used Lee for too long, then decided to burn Bastardo for Lidge tonight makes me think he's been hanging around LaRussa a little too much.

Wonder if Maddog is available tomorrow night?

I'd love to know the last time a pitcher had a shutout through 6 innings with a pitch could above 115. Those Cardinals hitters are battlers.

I stand corrected a little on Craig. Didn't realize he was a .917 OPS hitter. Maybe the Phils are as caught off guard by the Cards as I am.

Bottalico & Costello saying (me, too) that the BP is still a.question mark & will need to step up for us. Said Bastardo appears to be LOOGY now.

So, when does BABIP come back to bite the Cardinals? That's 2 straight games where everything seemed to be dropping for them.

That was actually Francisco's 2nd PH career HR.
Only his 2nd one though in 96 career PHs.

His career numbers as a PH aren't bad:

.253/.351/.379 in 95 ABs coming into tonight.

Hamels in the post-season:

13 GS, 7-4, 3.09 ERA, 77 SO, 21 BB, 1.053 WHIP

It's "Coste," not "Costello."

I'm watching post game live on CSN, and it seems like we lost this game.

i guess bap is the producer of that fine show then

***Wonder if Maddog is available tomorrow night?***

No question he's available. He gets a bunch of days off if they win tomorrow.

Mike G: It's not going to get any rosier over here, pal.

Gonna be interesting to see what happens tomorrow night should we have a save situation. Madson is probably going to be asked to only get three outs so it is going to fall heavily on whomever is there between Oswalt and him (obviously if we have the lead). There won't be a ton of leeway for runners being allowed.

If there's a Cardinals version of Beerleaguer, I'm sure its posters must be ranting about the 14 runners left on base today. Every time I looked up, the Cards had men on base.

Hamels had nothing but a good fastball today. It's amazing he was able to gut out those six innings. His changeup was flat, not up to Hamels standards. His curve only fooled one hitter one time. And his cutter was just so so. His command was not nearly up to where it was before he was injured.

The fact that he was able to go six scoreless was a minor miracle. He is truly an ace. Hope his shoulder is better by next season. And I hope he's able to keep throwing performances like today during the WFS.

Playing the Cards offense must be what it felt like to play our offense a few years ago...they just keep coming at you with no easy outs.

mr. squirrel is talking now

It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Lee tomorrow night as a reliever in the 7th/8th.

b_a_p: In the Cardinals version of Beerleaguer they're probably praising those guys for getting on base, & hardly noticing how many never scored. Remember, "Baseball Heaven".

Two little things, one neat, one not so neat.

Ibanez puts his arm around Jimmy and does a little be still my heart thing.

Interviewer of Francisco wrapping up: "He's not used to many homeruns. But...that was a big one."

Screw you, pal.

In the words of the immortal Otter, "They can't badmouth our pledges. Only we're allowed to badmouth our pledges."
(or something close to that)

What a tense game. Wow. I'm mixing a drink NOW.

And btw, think we've finally, finally put the total lid forevermore on any references to Cole being soft?

"Playing the Cards offense must be what it felt like to play our offense a few years ago...they just keep coming at you with no easy outs."

it reminds me of how McLiar used to hit everything thrown at him.

I stand corrected a little on Craig. Didn't realize he was a .917 OPS hitter. Maybe the Phils are as caught off guard by the Cards as I am.

Posted by: J. Weitzel | Tuesday, October 04, 2011 at 09:03 PM

When Pujols is hitting behind you, I don't care what your OPS is. You go after Craig there and don't walk the guy in front of him.

aksmith - Hamels' curve has stunk since he came back off the DL. Can't throw it for strikes or get guys to case it.

He was using it a fair amount this summer as a 2-strike pitch with some real success.

aksmith: Agreed about Hamels. He did this with moxie because his command really wasn't all that great. He was falling behind hitters all game long.

In his defense, the Cardinals' hitters, to a man, have great plate discipline. They simply do not swing at very many bad pitches.

JW, wasn't attacking your post, by the way.

These starting times are ridiculous. If they start at 6 Eastern Time tomorrow, the hitters are going to have the ball screaming out of the sun for about an hour and a half. Have the Skankees EVER had to play a game at that time of day?

Remember when the team with the best record got to pick the schedule they wanted? F TBS and MLB. Schedule the darn games at the same time if you have to. Watching major league hitters afraid for their lives is no fun at all.

As much as big league success doesn't always equate to a successful coaching career, McGwire is a guy I could see hitters listening too becasue of all his fairly recent success. Is he the most accomplished hitting coach ever? Ted Williams?

A rare good piece on discussing the LaRussa decision to walk Ruiz and pitch to Ben Fran with Garcia. The applicable part is near the end of the column:

"So, yes, criticze La Russa; that's the easy and popular thing to do. (You could also criticize him for not bringing in a right-handed reliever, either to face Ruiz or to face Francisco -- although you may seen Raul Ibanez hit for Francisco in that scenario.) But let's give praise to Francisco. It's fun to second-guess managers in the postseason; that's what us bloggers like to do, what fans like to do, what talk radio likes to do. Nothing like a good debate to stir the discussion. But Francisco got a mistake pitch and drilled it. He's become a postseason hero for the Phillies.

In the end, the players win and lose the games. The Phillies got the big hit, the Cardinals didn't -- Allen Craig smashed that ball with the bases loaded in the eighth, but it went right to second baseman Chase Utley for an easy double play.

Phillies fans are rejoicing, Cardinals fans are in despair. That's postseason baseball."

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