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Friday, October 07, 2011

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Number of facts posted above that give us insight into or will have an impact on the outcome of tonight's game: Zero.

Reposted from the end of last thread . . .

"I don't understand the willingness to platoon a guy, but then not to pinch-hit for him against a lefty, the same situation you'd platoon him for if the guy was starting."

Yeah, that pretty much gets to the crux of the issue. In fact, the difference between Mayberry & Raul against a LOOGY is actually much greater than the difference between Mayberry & Raul against a LH starting pitcher. LOOGYs, after all, are specialists who often throw from a side-arm slot that is immensely difficult for LH hitters to pick up, but often very easy for RH hitters to pick up. Most LH starters throw overhand or 3/4 and a lot of them tend to have fairly even lefty-righty splits. Hence, Raul has a much better chance to get a hit off Jaime Garcia than he does against Rzepcynski, whereas Mayberry has a much better chance to get a hit off Rzepcynski than he does against Garcia.

In other words, if a platoon is justified in the first place, then pinch hitting for the left-hander against a LOOGY would be even MORE justified.

Those five-day rest numbers are crazy. It's hard to comprehend how good Halladay has been... far and away the best Phillies pitcher of my lifetime. Wouldn't want anyone else out there tonight.

Clout: To respond to the last thread, I agree it's a close call about who should start tonight (not that Charlie has any doubts).

But you know that Mayberry's numbers against righties are better than Raul's numbers against righties, right? And that Mayberry's home numbers are better than Raul's home numbers? And that Mayberry is obviously a better defender and baserunner?

I don't think it's a massive advantage for Mayberry, but I don't even see one individual place where the advantage lies with Raul, other than that he's a veteran. Do you?

maybe the game will go to the 20th inning 0-0 with Roy and Carnter on the mound and Selig will call it a tie and send both teams to the next round?

Well, there is no one I'd rather have on the mound tonight than Halladay. We'll see how the chips fall from there.

On the Crowd:
This crowd at tonight's game had better be cheering like crazy. In game 2 Howard was up with some runners on and the crowd was sleeping. That cannot happen tonight.

Jack: I can't really argue with any of the statistical evidence (which all favors Mayberry), except to say that the sample size is not enough to erase my lingering doubts about Mayberry's ability to hit RHP. Plus, Carpenter is no ordinary RHP; he's a very good one. Plus, it's in Philly, where Raul hits well. Plus, in a high pressure game like this one, there is something to be said for using a guy who has faced these types of moments before. So I think Raul is the right call (call it a "gut" instinct). But, if Rhodes or the Eye Chart guy comes into the game, it would be absolutely moronic not to pinch hit with Mayberry.

Shane, in all fairness, so was Howard.

"Well, there is no one I'd rather have on the mound tonight than Halladay. We'll see how the chips fall from there."

Yeah, it's not Halladay I'm concerned about. He could go 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER and still lose if the offense doesn't do jack.

"-The Phillies have never lost a series in which they led two games to one. They are 7-0 in such situations, including all three series they played in 2008 and their first two series in 2009"

All more proof that if they lose tonight, they're a bunch of "chokers."

As opposed to the poorer teams that we all loved, that lost in the first round in the past but didn't do so after leading 2-1.

I think they all get up for this game...sure helps that they hit Carpenter on Sunday and he's a righty even if his numbers against us are ridiculous. I feel like they'll win but I won't be surprised if they don't....Still be super pissed if they don't win tho

Let's just say that if Doc is staked to an early 4-0 lead like Lee- or hell, even a 2-0 lead like Oswalt- I think the final result will be quite different than in those games.

Why would we assume that LaRussa would allow Rhodes or Rzepcynski pitch to Mayberry? Isn't it more likely he'd go to a righty?

Yeah, it's not Halladay I'm concerned about. He could go 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER and still lose if the offense doesn't do jack.

The offense has scored at least three runs every game. I don't see why we should be particularly worried about a complete shutdown of the offense. I would certainly bet a considerable sum of money on even odds that if Halladay goes 8 IP with 1 ER, the Phillies will win this game.

The pressure this team us under right now has to be mind numbing. I don't have a good feeling about tonight at all, so I'll be the first to say it: feels like a loss.

It's a Game 5, ANYTHING can happen. Last night's Yankees game, however, is the exact nightmare I think could happen to the Phils tonight. Baserunners everywhere, a couple early runs given up by Doc, then they're squeezing the bats into sawdust. I'm thinking 3-2 Cards. I really hope I'm wrong... http://jstolnis.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/go-ahead-and-panic-phils-fans/

Game feels like a win. It's going to be a great weekend of baseball at The Bank.

When does the NLCS start?

I will say that I think the first inning will be key. Do you think LaRussa tries a bunt with Furcal to lead off (provided he's healthy enough to do it)?

All I know is that the team which is, or even appears to be, winning the game during innings 1-5 is f*cked.

If the WS isn't played in a dome this year, I give the Phils a good chance of getting there.

They'd better win so my attention can continue to be diverted from the Eagles. Lose and they take their 3rd step backwards since 2008.

Not that how we feel about it makes a damn bit of difference, but I'm experiencing what feels like just the right amount of focused tension, where my guts feel tight but not knotted or nauseous ... the good doctor's making me feel better than I have all week, and the game hasn't even started...

"Why would we assume that LaRussa would allow Rhodes or Rzepcynski pitch to Mayberry? Isn't it more likely he'd go to a righty?"

Pitchers aren't like hitters. If a manager announces a pinch hitter, he can still pull him for a different pinch hitter even before he bats. But, once a pitcher enters the game, he has to face at least one batter. So if Ibanez is announced & Larussa goes to the lefty, Cholly could counter with Mayberry & the lefty would have to stay in the game & face him. As I recall, this exact same situation came up the other day & Cholly, for whatever reason, left Ibanez in for a hopeless AB against a LOOGY, with predictable results.

CC opts out and becomes a free agent where in 2012:
Boston 30 %
LA (NL) 10 %
Phila 25 %
Chicago (NL) 10 %
Mil. 5 %
NY (NL) 5 %
NY (AL) 15 %

CC has to go to the AL due to his weight gains since he left the NL. There is no way he could run to first base. No way.

While I appreciate the stats I agree with those who believe they mean very little in a one game matchup. However, one stat I found VERY interesting is how the away team is 8-1 in games such as tonight over the last so many years. Could there be such a thing as momentum? Could it be that when away teams force that game 5 or 7 they put ultimately too much pressure on the home team to perform? No answers to these questions but concerning nonetheless. I'm not trying to be negative but if I'm honest I don't have a good feeling about this game. At the same time, you just never know and the Phillies are a very good ball club.

"Game feels like a win. It's going to be a great weekend of baseball at The Bank."

Limoguy wins post of the month.

I don't know how some people even enjoy these games being so scared. Man up lady bugs. This is why we watch. Oops, I mean this is why I watch. I would hate to be accused of speaking for someone else here.

I seem to recall that CC was a decent enough hitter. I bet he could get to 1st base if he put the ball in the outfield.

RG: I would set those odds more like:

Yankees: 70%
RedSox: 20%
Phillies: 0%
Everyone else: 10%

I wouldn't want CC. I know I'm in the minority, but I just think he's too big (fat) and his performance will soon start to deteriorate even more than normal based on age. I felt last night he would give up a run or two. Maybe it's the memories of his ineffectiveness against the Phils when he was with the Brew Crew, though as I recall that was on three days rest.

SLO,
A colleague who teaches sports mgmt topics in NY quizzed a dozen or so agents and they all gave their top 5 or so. I assumed the White Sox would be a good place since they will most likely provide big money as they are working with a new manager and will rebuild. I was shocked to see so many assume the Red Sox or Phils will hand out any more big money starter deals at this point in time.

Do we think CC is going to opt out? Is it a club option or his? If he left NYY, man oh man, would their starting pitching be in trouble.

I'd love CC in Philly.

Doc
CC
Lee
Hamels
Vanimal

Nasty

I don't even think we have the money, do we? Figure you let Raul/Oswalt walk and resign Jimmy/Cole/Madson - what $ is left? Still need another bat (D Brown/JMJ) and a bullpen piece if we let Madson walk.

I would really like the Phillies to win tonight.

Tomorrow's Headline

Phillies win....LaRussa's hair blames the umpires.

I think you'd have to say pretty strongly that the Phillies would be ill-advised to burn their FA dollars on another starter. Their rotation seems like it should be in pretty good shape next year sans Oswalt, assuming Blanton can stay healthy. It might be worth picking up a budget 7th starter, but the offense and bullpen should (and will) be the focus in the offseason.

Tomorrow's Headline

Phillies win...Hundreds rescued from perch on Ben Franklin

"One man's constant whispering of 'Beerleaguer' over and over was the only noted injury"

Really, they shouldn't even bother to play this game--it's pretty much a guaranteed loss at this point. I am hoping that Manuel is the first to go when the overhaul begins next week--it's his inability to manage creatively in the playoffs that killed us this year and last year. When he's up against someone like Dusty Baker, he's OK, but with a crafty, hyper-thinking manager like Bochy or LaRussa facing him, he's hopelessly outclassed. Bochy or LaRussa would have moved Howard down in the order by now if he was on their team; they would have pulled Lee early in Game 2 as well. The only way we could have made it past the Cards this year would have been to bring Sandberg up from Triple A and send Cholly down.

fumphis: Agreed. Either Blanton or KK will fill the 5th starter's spot next year. I could see RAJ adding another cheap, low-risk guy for depth & competition, but the off-season focus will be on offense, bullpen, bench, and resigning or locking up our own guys.

I think the Phils win 3-1. They do just enough to squeeze out 3 runs. Howard knocks a hit to the opposite field to score 2 runs and break a 1-1 tie in the 5th. Doc pitches a strong 8 innings and Madson locks it down in the 9th. I do feel alot of pessimisim and uneasyness about this game but i'm looking at it optimisticly because i've done the pessimistic thing too often and it's tiresome. If they end up losing oh well, the sun will shine brightly tomorrow. I'm going to meet my childhood hero in Hulk Hogan in Allentown. They won it in '08. Life is friggin good!

I was more into Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka myself. Hogan was ok, but he was too flamboyant for my adolescent tastes at the time.

Cliff Lee has had some streaks of unqualified greatness this season and some down in the valley time time too. The fact this series went to a game 4 - [IMHO), falls on his shoulders as he let an adequate lead of 4 runs slip thru his hands. They win that game- they are 2-0 before even going to St. Louis.

Babe Francisco took care of game 3. SERIES OVER.. NO NEED TO GO TO LITTLE ROY.

Oswalt... well - he is just not on the same level as Doc, Cole, and Cliff anymore.


On the Crowd:
This crowd at tonight's game had better be cheering like crazy. In game 2 Howard was up with some runners on and the crowd was sleeping. That cannot happen tonight.

Posted by: Shane | Friday, October 07, 2011 at 12:42 PM

* * *
I hope the crowd is really into it, too, Shane, even if the Cardinals get off to a lead or steal our lead later on.

I also hope the crowd is not too disappointed and stunned, should we end up losing, to give this team the ovation they deserve for a spectacular season. It's been 5 straight trips to the postseason. Hopefully, we're a long way from done, but even if we falter, this team has given us a fun ride this year and deserves our accolades in the form of clapping and cheers.

Got to respectfully disagree with clout in that none of the aforementioned facts will have a bearing on tonight's game...Simply put, if Royboy produces along the line that was stated, St. Louis is gonna have to shut down the Phils' bats completely to have a chance...which might very well happen if they don't loosen up a little.

AT is trying to steal my shtick as Beerleaguer's most unrelenting pessimist. But that shtick works much better if you've already established your credentials as a true die-hard fan. AT's credentials on this point are suspect, since it was he who said that he hoped Domonic Brown failed so that Beerleaguer posters who touted him could be put in their place. Most posters recall this comment coming from Will Shweitzer but, in fact, it was AT.

anybody know who the umpire is tonight?

SLO: Supafly was great as well. I was more of in the rise of WWF/WWE (Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Hogan, etc). Suka was probably on the tail end of that but he still flew around the ring like no other.

The 3 headed monster of Meals-Buckner-West will be behind home plate...

--honestly- don't have a clue about the umps

"Why would we assume that LaRussa would allow Rhodes or Rzepcynski pitch to Mayberry? Isn't it more likely he'd go to a righty?"

Even if they could do that, Mayberry against a righty is a MUCH better matchup than Ibanez against a lefty.

Mayberry vs. RHP: .250/.330/.455
Ibanez vs. LHP: .211/.233/.353

It's not even close.

This offseason will be a pivotal one, particularly if we lose today. The offense has the potential to be in really dire straits next year unless 2/3 of Utley, Howard and Polanco somehow manage to turn their careers around. Victorino is not likely to sustain his production from this year, Chooch may well be entering his decline phase, Brown is a question mark at this point and to a lesser extent so is Mayberry. Rollins is injury-prone and will be a year older, assuming he re-signs in the first place. With a pretty lean FA market at the positions we need to fill, and not much cash to throw around, Rube will need to find some diamonds in the rough to keep the window open. I'm not being pessimistic; I think he'll find a way, but we'll need his best effort along with more than a little luck.

the St. Louis Squirrel is behind the plate

zero chance in hell that anything but boos rain down if the phillies lose tonight... he phils got their cheers for the season when they clinched the division... now the cheers only come for advancing...

My Brown comment has been taken out of context (or else I phrased it wrong). What I said (or meant to say) was that the only positive side of Brown's inevitable failure was the amusement value of watching his worshippers make up excuses.

If the Phillies lose tonight, they'll have managed to increase their win total every single season since 2008, and yet exit the playoffs a round earlier every single season.

2008: 91 wins, WS champs
2009: 93 wins, WS loser
2010: 97 wins, NLCS loser
2011: 102 wins, ...

That should explain to people how the playoffs are random and the best team doesn't win. To steal a line from another writer, the playoffs are about who plays the best, but who plays the best is a crapshoot. It's not necessarily "luck" so much as it is not able to be predicted, and doesn't correlate with regular season record.

The only significant changes next year will be the departures - Oswalt, Madson and Raul, unless Jimmy leaves as well (50/50), in which case Rube will have to sign some middling SS. He will also sign some vet who can close if necessary.

Relatively weak write-up by Stark with a slight "GO ST LOUIS" feel to it.

I did like this quote from Rollins:
"That's the reason Doc was brought up here - to come out and be The Man - be Doc and perform a little surgery."

http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2011/story/_/id/7068611/cardinals-vs-phillies-game-5-instant-classic

The outcome of tonight's game should have little to no bearing on what the Phils do this offseason, other than how many rubber chicken specials they're required to endure on the banquet circuit.

Jack, I think Phils had 92 wins in 2008.

Also, I think studies have shown that playoff success correlates more closely to Pythagorean W?L than regular W?L, though I could be mistaken on that point.

I am in Harrisburg with no TV and need to find a decent sports bar that I can watch and hear the sound of the game and won't have a crappy dj come and blare music at 10pm cause its friday night. Anyone in hbg area know of some good ones?

Also, no matter what happens, I'll still love Roy Halladay and the phillies.

The focus should be more on the offense of lack of. Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Placido Polanco are a combined 5-for-45 in the series. This is unacceptable in a playoff run. Polly is hurt sub him for Valdez i know that doesnt sound great but he isnt doing squat. Im surprised with Ruiz. He usually excels in these situations an up to the end of the regular season was batting pretty good.

Zembie's on 2d Johnny, unless you don't like cheap drinks and smoke.

I believe Gary Cederstrom will be the home plate umpire tonight.

Hugh: My priorities are seeing the game, then hearing the game, then everything else. The wife smokes so I'm used to it. Thanks. =)

I thought Starks article was great. Didn't really see a pro-Cardinal shift any where. It expresses two very good teams battling it out to the final breath.

One thing he pointed out was the Cards are very good at staying alive and also jumping on 1st pitch strikes this series. They've fouled 0f 44% 2 strike ptiches and have a .410 avg in at-bats of three pitches or fewer. That's incredible and hopefully unsustainable. They pretty much are doing to the starting rotation that no other team this season has been able to do.

I do think that stops tonight. Doc is going to be locked in. His curve, sinker, and cutter are going to be magic tonight I can feel it!

I do think that stops tonight. Doc is going to be locked in. His curve, sinker, and cutter are going to be magic tonight I can feel it!

Posted by: Tim from Williamsport

They're due to regress!!!!

The AT/Brown comment is even stupider now.

I'm generally a pretty calm fan as was calm when they lost Game 4. But today I have been an absolute wreck.

Before 2007 I used to be a BAP-type fan, expecting the worst and declaring it a fluke if the worst didn't occur. I'm pretty concerned that a loss tonight would drive me back to that point. I thought the pessimist inside me was dead, but three playoff losses in a row and it might be resurrected.

Jack: "the playoffs are about who plays the best, but who plays the best is a crapshoot. It's not necessarily "luck" so much as it is not able to be predicted, and doesn't correlate with regular season record."

Exactly right. Which is why all the stats mentioned in the header are meaningless insofar as the outcome of tonight's game is concerned.

"What I said (or meant to say) was that the only positive side of Brown's inevitable failure was the amusement value of watching his worshippers make up excuses."

Yes, what could possibly be more reprehensible than fans of a team pulling for the team's highly touted prospect?

Wait, did BAP just defend optimism?

clout: I accidentally hit the "Post" button before I could finish my thought. What I intended to say was: "Yes, what could possibly be more reprehensible than fans of a team pulling for the team's highly touted prospect, despite knowing that he is inevitably doomed to failure?"

Well, when Doc finally got his chance at a post season start, he did it in living technicolor. Not sure how much rest he had before that post season no-no, but he basically became Hallady x 2.

So, yeah, I think those aforementioned stats have a bearing..at least on tonight's contest.

Is there any difference at all between stats in the header being "meaningless" and stats in the header being "an indicator of what is probable but not a guarantee?"

mick O, I would think that there's plenty of difference. Just think about that.

Would you rather someone hand you a lottery ticket that was "meaningless" as far as it's propensity to hit or would you rather they give you the ticket that is "probable, however not guaranteed?"

Perspective:

American forces fired 105mm artillery toward insurgent rocket position near the Pakistan border after being attacked on the 10th anniversary of the Afghan war.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/08/world/asia/attacks-rock-us-outposts-near-afghanistan-pakistan-border.html?_r=1&ref=terrorism

Who do you think should be a nervous wreck?

Count your blessings and enjoy October baseball. Really, it's fun.

I want to see one thing during the game tonight, besides the Phillies winning it in a laugher. I want to see Ryan Howard move about a half foot closer to the plate and wait until the ball gets deep before swinging.

He's actually currently standing the farthest away from the plate that he has during his entire career. One more inch and he'd be out of the batters box. I think he can hit from there, but only if he's willing to forget everything Charlie did to mess up his natural stroke, and go to left field. Charlie making him concentrate on turning on the ball may have been one of the worst ideas in the history of baseball. It's shaved about 20 points off his average and made him vulnerable to both inside and outside pitches.

Let's see the old school Ryan tonight and the Phillies will do well.

ak, couldn't agree with you more. I think the 20 points might be understating it, though. A guy with that type of power doesn't need to yank anything down the line..he's a clean up hitter, not a two hole guy.

He's totally lost the ability to stay with the pitch and the idea of "using his hands" is an after thought.

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