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Monday, October 03, 2011

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If we lose Game 3, we likely lose the series.

NEPP - are you saying that just to discuss simple odds...?

If they lose game 3, it's all over . . . and for a long time, given the number of elderly folks on this team.

They'll being fishing the bodies of BL-ers out of the Delaware River and Bay for years to come.

Drew - are saying Halladay pitches Game 4 and then Lee pitches game 5?

I'd rather go Roy O. in four and have Roy H. for five.

I keep telling myself we are not losing game 3.

It would be ironic if the much maligned Roy Oswalt ends up saving our season in Game 4.

NEPP, why do they lose the series if they lose game 3?

First of all, it's literally incorrect. Second of all, Oswalt, if he's pitching as he has been over the past month, vs. Jackson is a mismatch in favor of the Phillies. If they win that game, Halladay at home in game....I'll take that.

I understand that the series would be a lot tougher to win, but it wouldn't even be close to being over.

Its not a definite by any means, Fat but given the issues that Doc and Lee have already had, I think the odds are very very much against us if we go down 2-1.

yeah.. but... what if they win Game 3.

You're a cruel master, Silverman.

"yeah.. but... what if they win Game 3"

This Philadelphia, not California. We don't dabble in delusional hippie optimism.

Define Irony: If Hamels loses tomorrow and we go on to lose the series, he will take 99.9% of the blame from the fanbase...even if he pitches a good game.

In terms of a rare rational and factual post, this was a good one from DH Phils, of all people, earlier today:


"1) I thought Jerry Meals' strike zone was fine tonight.
2) I thought it was very unprofessional of La Russa to complain about the umpiring on-air during the game.
3) I thought Jay's collision with Ruiz was a clean play.
4) I thought La Russa's bullpen management tonight, while annoying, was perfect.
5) I do not understand the despair in some of the posts. Cardinals got just about every break tonight (including dunking in 12 out of 20 batted balls for hits off of Lee) and won by a run. Phillies will have the pitching advantage in every game for the rest of the series, including Hamels vs. Garcia in Game 3."

Posted by: DH Phils | Monday, October 03, 2011 at 01:49 AM

". . . is Philadelphia . . ."

I say no to pitching Doc on short rest. He's 34 now (and obviously wasn't 34 when he last pitched on short rest), and Doc on short rest vs. Jackson might be the same level of matchup as Oswalt vs. Jackson already. You just don't know what to expect from Doc on 3 days rest. And Oswalt is very capable of putting together a great outing.

LaRussa's bullpen management was perfect as long as the Phils didn't score. If they tied it up in the 8th or ninth, suddenly all those one out outings make you short in the pen.

"yeah.. but... what if they win Game 3."

Well, this is Philadelphia. People will still expect the Phillies to lose 2 straight games. ;-)

When the Phillies win Game 3 we can thank Heidi Hamels.

Not only do I think Oswalt should get Game 4 no matter what happens in Game 3 -- I wish he was starting Game 3!

If Jackson is as bad as some BL posters have been stating for the past 5 days, then using Oswalt would be fine in game 4. Halladay would be overkill.

Cole needs to twirl a 27-pitch, 27 SO perfect game. Ryan Howard needs to go 5 for 5 with 20 RBIs (5 salamis).... wait... Stop!

If the Phillies didn't play 27 outs last night, let's just assume that's the last time we witness that indifference. This team has come too far to get kicked around by a St. Louis team that just emerged from a season-long scuffle.

What's that old quote from Parcels before he left the Cowboys? "...you are what your record says you are...". This is the 2nd consecutive year the Phillies bested the ML in wins. This is the Phillies year.

Starting a pitcher on short rest is a total wild card, as we saw yesterday. Plus, it can have downstream consequences which affect a pitcher the next time out. If this were the World Series, and Halladay's last outing of the year, maybe you'd begin to think about it. But not in the NLDS -- especially since we've already got a favorable pitching matchup in Game 4.

Oswalt has looked better and better, with a really good outing his last time out in terms of movement, command, and velocity. He's pitched well in the postseason before, and I would imagine he will be champing at the bit to pitch. He is as hungry for a ring as anyone on the team. I'm good with him for Game 4. Just be fully prepared to only get 7 (or maybe even 6) strong innings.

And if Oswalt doesn't pitch Game 4 in that scenario, when DO you use him? Game 5, or do you pitch Lee in Game 5? And what does that do to Oswalt's motivation and effectiveness if you advance, when he will really be needed? Finally, I guess you could work around it somehow, but what does it do to the order of the rotation gong forward?

Jeez, from what I'm reading here, they may as well forfeit Game 3 and concentrate on Game 4. Since when did losing Game 3 become fait accompli?

Just some randoom thoughts on last night's game:

Cliff Lee lost the game for us. I love him but for only the second time in his career he lost a four run lead. It was totally disappointing!!

Why did Phillies fans cheer him as he came off the field and not boo him like some have suggested? To many of us Phillies fans, Cliff Lee is one of our heroes...a player that we love to watch perform. There are many Beerleague posters who don't comprehend our depth of good feelings towards Lee and think it maybe should be directed in larger measure to the players that are their favorites. But especially us younger fans have adopted him as our own. I watched the game with my 15 and 10 year old brothers who were wearing their Cliff Lee jerseys and touching their Cliff Lee bobble-head for good luck. We expect that Cliff Lee will always be super awesome in every big game he pitches in red pin-stripes. By the disappointment on my brothers' faces as the game progressed, you would have thought they had just found out there was no Santa Claus. Maybe as we get older we'll learn that only statues belong on pedestals. But boo Cliff Lee? .... never. As my 10 year old bro said - "I still totally love him anyway."

Last night seemed like a game of "inches" and for the most part they weren't going in our direction. Maybe a couple of inches more and Victorino could have run down that shot to center or Rollins could have caught Pujols' liner. A couple of inches lower on the throw and perhaps Ibanez could have had an incredible second outfield assist at homeplate or a couple of inches more and Lee could have had that grounder up the middle and turned it into a double play. Maybe an inch or two difference on some of his pitches and Lee would have gotten that critical strike call we all thought he should have had. A few inches, here and there and we could have been celebrating a Phils triumph from a pitcher without his dominant stuff. But hey, that's the game of baseball.

And finally, last night's loss was terrible but any loss in the playoffs is bad. Like two other series are, we're tied at one. The next game is just as important and the Phillies will need players to step up and hit well, pitch well, and defend well. They will win what is essentially a 3 game series (just like most in the regular season) based for the most part on how they play as a team.

"Since when did losing Game 3 become fait accompli?"

The question posed was: IF we lose Game 3, who should we start in Game 4? Are we not allowed to discuss the possibility that we could lose Game 3?

Oswalt starts game 4. It's why you went out and picked up a 4th Ace in the off season - so that you don't have to use Halladay on short rest.

Wasn't this up for debate in last year's NLCS IIRC? Down 2-1, they did not do it then either.

Drew Silverman has officially gained acceptance into the Debbie Downers Club. Welcome Drew!

Oswalt should have started that game too.

It's an honor and a pleasure, Willard. Thank you for having me.

To answer the hypothetical, I think it depends on HOW they would lose Game 3. If the offense goes completely inept against the Cardinals bullpen again, count me as extremely concerned. They appeared to "flip the switch" Game 1, but did they shoot all their bullets? The switch appeared to be pretty much stuck Game 2.

If it's a pitching meltdown, I'm slightly less concerned, but any time backs are against the wall, there's reason to be nervous.

This offense cannot put up another stinker against a very inferior bullpen for the rest of this series.

Although Raul is certainly not the singular problem, perhaps actually using Mayberry in LF tomorrow night might light a fire??

I'm just glad we didn't wear him out last night, and instead used a far lesser option in Ben Fran, when a single run ties the game.

At least I didn't go with my backup post idea....

What if they lose Games 3 and 4?

If the Phillies lose Game 3 due to LaRussa gamesmanship there had better be a mass seance to get Gene Mauch back for one last try.

Mauch would have Doc pitch every game.

Drew, you could have gone with the "what if Halladay's spleen explodes on the trip to St. Louis" angle too. You showed great restraint.

WP, or the ever popular, "What if Cole remembers he's a mentally soft, girly-man?" or the "What if Oswalt drives his tractor down to St. Louis?" posts.

Taking a break from this joint ... posts like these and some of the comments drive me mad.

I feel like I'm listening to Angelo on WIP.

It's a 5 game series - give it a rest. We did just fine in 2008 after losing one to the Brewers, one to the dodgers, and one to the Rays.

It's baseball!

What if they lose Games 3 and 4?

Easy. It'll be the most disappointing end to a Phillies season since '77-'79. This team needs to win 2 of the next 3 or be rightly called out as underachievers.

Phillies Dude - I like it.

NEPP - I've read a lot of hate on this blog today, but yours takes the cake because of its simplicity, directness, and clear need for attention. You're an awesome fan and a great soothsayer, at that.


Anyway, if I recall correctly, last week someone posted something about the Phillies having never lost a game this season when they've used their core lineup. This would be the first if that were true, so I say bring it on.

Stick with them that brung ya to the dance. Oswalt starts game four no matter what. Anything else is panic and both teams will sense it.

One game is not going to stop the Phils. Just do some TIMELY hitting!

I think I agreed with all 5 of DH Phils points from the wee hours of this morning. It's a long wait until Game 3. I, personally, have great confidence in Hamels going into game 3. I know he's averaging like 2 homers per 9 IP since Labor Day but, I don't see anything inherently wrong with his stuff the last few times out. He and Chooch need to work the hitters and Hamels needs to hit his spots.

Where is Bowker to pitch when we need him.

I see no way Manuel panics in an elimination game and throws Halladay on short rest.

I do like the posts positing that a game 3 loss is a dagger in the back for this series. It's not, of course. No more than a win in game 3 makes a series win inevitable for the Phillies. If they split in St. Louis, they have Harry LefrickingRoy Halladay going in the rubber match. Same advantage persists in the last 3 games that made them favorites before they threw out the first pitch.

I'm glad Bowker's not on the roster. He'd probably still get a chance to PH ahead of Mayberry.

"Harry LefrickingRoy Halladay"

I like that.

A lot.

I don't think I am a downer or fatalistic, but I do admit that last night's loss pushed me to the edge bringing up too many memories of that poor offense. Yes, I am worried with Garcia looming, but I have faith in this team. Go Phillies!!!!

For the next two we're facing Garcia and Jackson. They're facing Hamels and Oswalt. Advantage Phillies. Stop panicking, you worry warts.

I agree but if Cole loses a well pitched game, tough titty little kitty we roll with the Roys.

Whitey: You still like the Phillies bet at -300 here?

Posted by: Jack | Monday, October 03, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Don't be silly. However, I love the Phils at -110 to win the NL Pennant.

Don't you think the cardinals are worried with hamels, oswalt/hallway, and hallway/lee looming?

All they need is a split. If it goes back to Philly, behind Halladay, Phils win. It's doable. If you asked me last night or this morning, I would've said they're toast. But I don't see this team losing three in a row.

The cardinals won a fluke game and we have pitching advantages in every game for the rest of the series. I'm not on any bridge.

So glad to hear Meals didn't miss that 3rd strike to Uts.Like my truck,my Tv needs analignment.

Before the 8 game schneid, how many times did this team lose 3 in a row all year?

I think it's a shame Dubee does the mid-game interviews with TBS instead of UC. Cholly would have made the game much more interesting and entertaining. Same way LaRussa did.

I think if St. Louis had a better pitcher to throw in Game 4, you think about using Halladay. There is no way this team shouldn't be able to shell Edwin Jackson, so any of the four starters we have available would give us the pitching advantage. I hope they'd stick with Oswalt.

Last night was probably the most painful postseason loss of the recent run, and I can't figure out why. Maybe the fact that once it was 4-0, with Lee on the mound, it should have been in the bag? I don't know. It's still disgusting to even think about.

It certainly doesn't end the series, but they'd basically have put this team away if Lee could've handled his business last night.

I think the LaRussa interview made it especially painful. The game seemed to turn in their favor after that. He made a bone-headed move starting Carpenter and somehow he got away with it in a game that was in the bag for the home team.

"So glad to hear Meals didn't miss that 3rd strike to Uts"

I missed this. Who defended that call? Even Brenley scoffed at it.

"Over? Did you say 'over'? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"

"In terms of a rare rational and factual post, this was a good one from DH Phils, of all people"

Thanks, I think.

I think people are greatly overstating the degree to which the series is "over" based on what happens in game 3.

If the Phillies lose Game 3, I think Phillies are something like 60% favorites in an Oswalt vs. Jackson Game 4 and 65% favorites in a Halladay vs. short-rest-Carpenter Game 5, which would put their chances of winning both games at ~40%.

If you thought the Phillies were about 60% favorites in each game before the series, why would that change after 3 games? (I already know the answer that will be given: "momentum".)

"There is no way this team shouldn't be able to shell Edwin Jackson"

Actually, I can think of a way and it doesn't require much imagination. The Phillies' offense has a pathological side to it and, when that side shows up, it simply doesn't matter if the opposing pitcher is Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Adam Eaton, or the guy who pitched in the Little League World Series: the Phillies are not going to hit.

That side of the Phillies' offense was thought to be extinct after Utley returned and we traded for Pence. But it's alive and well, as it proved over a good 15 to 20 games in mid to late September, and proved again in yesterday's abomination against the supposedly terrible Cardinals' bullpen. If that version shows up for Game 4, then Roy Oswalt is going to have to pitch the game of his life because he'll be pitching against the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball.

By the way, doesn't the concept of a "momentum shift" totally invalidate the concept of "momentum" as a meaningful explanation for anything?

Cardinals had the momentum for the first half of Game 1, and then it shifted to the Phillies, who held it through the rest of Game 1 and the first 3 innings of Game 2, until it shifted back to the Cardinals, where it currently sits (until it shifts again).

How can anyone not recognize that this idea is total nonsense?

I think there's no chance that Halladay comes back on short rest. None whatsoever. There is an outside chance that Lee makes an appearance out of the pen if it goes to five games and things get desperate. Highly unlikely, but possible.

"To many of us Phillies fans, Cliff Lee is one of our heroes...a player that we love to watch perform. There are many Beerleague posters who don't comprehend our depth of good feelings towards Lee and think it maybe should be directed in larger measure to the players that are their favorites."

Only reason I mentioned is that here is no way Hamels get that kind of standing ovation. He might even get booed a bit. He's done a hell a lot more for the Phils than Lee.

Hell, Oswalt gets that kind of standing ovation last night. Maybe not even Halladay.

Really tough question because if they lose tomorrow night, Game 4 becomes a possible elimination game.

I would go with Oswalt on the mound. Still would need to win 2 games. Halladay vs. Carpenter in Game 5 on normal rest gives you a better chance than Oswalt. If Oswalt stinks though, Cholly has got to quick with the hook which I don't know he would do that.

Yes, let's blame the offense for scoring 11 runs in Game 1 and giving Cliff Lee a 4 run lead early in the game. I guess blaming the offense never gets old, does it?

Oswalt's usefulness to the Phillies in '11 comes down to his next start. Either way, it's a do or die game.

"I guess blaming the offense never gets old, does it?"

Actually, no.

They got this sh!t, so just cool out. If you are think defeat is most probable for the Phils with Hamels, Oswalt, and Doc on the hill and Ryno hitting in his hometown for the next two games, you are beyond help. They still might lose, but this idea that every single setback is a sign that this is all a fraud and everything is going to fall apart in the next moment is a loser's mentality. Do you think Yanks fans (the real fans, not the jacka$$es who rock NY hats for the look) or Rangers fans are thinking a series loss is likely, just because they're at 1-1 and lost a game at home? Based on what I've seen out of the Phils for a good stretch of years now, I have to believe they're teed off they lost and will bear down because of it. There ain't no quit in them. So why do some of you have it in you?

Serious question from a long-time lurker: why does this loss feel so bad? Like Iceman, something I've been asking myself.

I had a hard time sleeping last night and am having a tough time shaking the resultant gloom. It's clear I'm not the only one. But why? Am I being irrational?

It was a crappy way to lose, that's for sure. Would have been on cloud 9 to have been up 2-0 in the series. Sucks that the Cards stole one from us on our home turf. But, did we really expect them to fold without a fight? To sweep them in 3? We knew going in they would be a tough opponent.

Somehow a tight pitchers' duel and a 2-1 loss would have been easier to take. I think the manner of the loss has tapped into our lurking fears: disappearing offense, our aces are not invincible, etc.

My rational brain still tells me that we have the distinct advantage going forward. Winning a short series has always been a crapshoot. Being at 1-1 instead of 2-0 sure doesn't feel as comfortable, but doesn't change any of the factors that IMO make us the favorite to ultimately prevail.

Some recent Twitter updates:

@magelb
Charlie confirms Mayberry as the likely starter in LF.

@JimmyRollins11
So I'm hearing that the media said I blamed the loss on the fans last night??!! Smh if you believe what they said... U should know better!

@jaysonst
Tony La Russa says Matt Holliday felt "significant pain" in his Game 1 AB so "it's a little tough to be optimistic" he'll be back in NLDS.

It's the offense, stupid.

Jimmy is a front-runner SS.

No scoop that Mayberry will start in LF vs. Garcia tomorrow night.

"Smh"? I failed shorthand in junior high school-what does "smh" mean?

Old Phan,

Smh="shaking my head", e.g. in disbelief, disgust, etc.

seven, thanks.

I think the most annoying thing (besides the loss) is how I keep reading about the "genius" LaRussa. Give me a break. He plays lefty/right match-ups and this makes him a genius? Was it genius to start Carpenter on three days rest and have him give up 4 runs in 2 innings? So annoying and I have 2 days until the next game to stew about this.

Swap Games 1 and 2 and most people would be feeling pretty good right now.

Tony LaRussa could give smug lessons to Rube. What a tool.

I would love to see a LaRussa/Amaro press conference where they asked them questions about this series.

Man, these non-game days are brutal.

Tony would just claim that Abner Doubleday screwed him out of the credit for inventing baseball. Rube would be infinitely more interesting explaining how he became the Prince of Darkness.

Tampa has mustered all of 1 hit in this game, and somehow they're ahead 1-0 through 6. What's even more incredible about that accomplishment: they're not playing the Phillies.

Well, it has been one minute since I posted & now Tampa's losing 2-1. Now I know for sure they're not playing the Phillies.

and both would credit their smugness to the teachings of theo epstein....

I didn't realize Texas had won 96 games this year. I don't really follow the AL, but I guess they were pretty good, even without Cliff.

BAP- I guess I should say 'You're welcome' for enabling you to go on one of your pointless tangents about the offense, but if you actually read what I said, it's that there's no reason they SHOULDN'T be able to, not no reason they WON'T. Jackson is the type of pitcher they should be able to knock around a bit, because A) They have in the past, B) He relies primarily on his fastball, and C) He is not a very good pitcher.

Now obviously it's possible they can go to sleep against him, or he can pitch the game of his life in Game 4. But as a manager, when considering throwing your #1 on short rest, one of the top factors that would weigh on just how desperate you are is the pitcher you'd be facing. If Adam Wainwright was pitching Game 4 on regular rest, I'll bet you'd probably see Halladay in there. But Edwin Jackson? There's a good chance Oswalt out-pitches him. So why risk it?

And it's not like the offense has been hibernating to the point where you think they'd be shut down by anyone. If I told you before the series their run totals in games 1 and 2 would be 11 and 4 respectively, you'd probably assume they'd be up 2-0. Well, not specifically you, I guess. But anyone rational.

I enjoyed reading the threads today.

I didn't see Jimmy's interview, but I got his tweet. It was clear to me that Jimmy was not blaming the fans for the loss. He's just trying to get fans to be even louder when the series comes back to CBP. Trying to provoke and motivate. But not blaming for the loss.

It does make me wonder, however...If we as fans like to take pride and credit for giving the team an extra boost of energy when they win, or for rattling the opposing team, then does that not imply that if we don't make noise, we are failing to give that energy boost or to possibly get into the other team's heads?

Mind you, I'm not saying the fans were at fault, that would be nonsense. And I don't even know how loud it was or wasn't, not having been at CBP last night. I'm simply musing aloud here.

I think it more likely that we fans can be a non-factor than a negative one, for lack of "enough" noise.

Either way, I totally agree that there wasn't a lot to cheer about, that it felt deflating to see Lee give up the 4-run lead and our offense to do nothing v. this supposed-to-be-weak BP all those innings. I think the crowd feeds off the energy of the game as well as fueling the energy.

What do others think?

Ironically, I got the SJ Magazine today, with Cliff Lee on the cover, and an article starting off describing the energy in CBP for the last outs of his 5-0 CGSO v. the BoSox this summer.

"This Philadelphia, not California. We don't dabble in delusional hippie optimism."

My vote for winner of the thread.

kuvasz: No. Just ... no.

The Phillies played a clip like that from practically every movie ever made, starting in about the 5th inning. A guy behind me finally said, "One of these things has got to work!"

None of them did. And they're annoying.

BAP, I don't usually get on your for your nonsense, and I'm as upset about the Phillies not hitting the Cardinals bullpen, but I must ask; what is your perception of what a "good" offense is?

Do you assume that good offenses never struggle? That they never go 7 innings within a game and NOT score?

Do you believe the Yankees or Red Sox or Blue Jays or Rangers are unable to go multiple innings without scoring, or that they never get shut down by good/mediocre pitchers alike?

Do you not remember last year when Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick, in back to back games, completely stifled the high-powered Yankees offense at their home field?

How about the fact that Ivan Nova, a league average pitcher by every metric, completely shut down a very good Tigers offense in game 1a of the ALDS the other day.

Do these events not exist within your reality? Is it only the Phillies offense that EVER struggles?

BAP, my first sentence came off really arrogant. I didn't mean to imply that everything you type is nonsense, but sometimes, you get a little zany with your posts, and I felt curious as your perception of a "good" offense.

Very good points, Fata.

A key for the Phillies in this series was supposed to be forcing out the Cardinals' starters to take advantage of LaRussa's weak bullpen. I'd say allowing 6 different relievers from said bullpen to collectively almost match Halladay's stretch of dominance from the 2nd through 8th inning of NLDS Game 1 is pretty pathetic.

Tropicana Field; ruining baseball since 1998.

The season ended last night; what remains are a few convulsions before it expires. This team cannot beat Garcia, and the Cardinals can be expected to tee off early and often on old "home-run ball" Hamels. Even if the Oswalt game is a win, the Phils then have to face a rested Carpenter--and seeing as how they were shut down by the worst bullpen in the playoffs last night, what hope have they against an ace? The symmetry here is spooky--2008, a World F*** Championship. 2009, a Pennant. 2010, the first round of the playoffs. 2011, just the division. Next year we'll lose that, I guess.

Here's my prediction: If the Phillies win Game 4, they'll win this series & advance to the NLCS. If they don't it'll be Season = Over, for real.

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