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Tuesday, October 04, 2011


RFD is the man!


yayberry ftw

I like the move on three ends. More range better glove. Better arm, and his stats are great vs lefties. Let's hope Cole and do work and we can scratch a few runs and win one here!!


This is a no-brainer with a lefty going for St. Louis. Sort of like having Mayberry bat against Rumpelstiltskin in the 7th on Sunday.

Because I like to pick nits (and because I think it's definitely an option in an elimination game), I wanted to rebut a statement at the end of the last thread that Halladay has never pitched in relief. He did most recently in a game in 2008 against the Phillies. He came in in the 6th and finished the 8th, shutting the door on a Phils rally and preserving a win for the Jays.

i know garcia is nasty against the phils but we couldnt ask for a much better lineup to face him. 2 switch hitters, 2 legit power righties along with chooch and polanco then chutley and big piece. with all the playoff experience in the lineup plus cole hamels on the hill, i'm feeling pretty good about tonight.

I have a feeling that we're going to beat the piss out of Garcia and the Cards tonight. Something ridiculous like 12-2 by the end.

This may not be the time for "I told you," but where are all the Beerleaguer Keyboard GMs who dismissed Mayberry as a viable contributor to this team? It didn't matter whether the notion was stat backed or simply based upon his age and current level of success coming into the season...soooo many of them were convinced of his uselessness. Sometimes, you just have to understand what a quarter horse looks like in order you predict it's future success.

Now, that being said, if Mayberry is meant to be our offensive savior for this series and beyond, the Phillies are in deep trouble. A contributor he is, vital cog he should be not. No, it's got to be (and is) up to the core lineup. Those guys have to make baserunners count, if not in bunches like the days of old, then whenever they have the chance.

RFD for the win!!!!! I'm so pumped for tonight.

I think Vic will break out tonight. Vic always seems to come up with huge games at key points in the post season. Against a LHP tonight, I think he's due.

Need some big ABs from Pence and Mayberry today. And maybe Polanco and/or Ruiz will get a hit today. That would be a nice change of pace, huh?

i agree to an extent NEPP. this offense is on right now. I know they struggled against the cards pen on sunday but guess what, they have scored 15 runs in the first two games and should have come away with 2 W's if not for cliff lee cracking...dont think they'll put up 12 but i think they get to garcia. a guy can only dominate a team so many times. i think he reverts back a little tonight in his first playoff game with the pressure of the home crowd.

btw, did you hear cole yesterday? he said he enjoys pitching away from CBP in the playoffs bc the visiting crowds pumps him up and makes him focus a little more...before anyone jumps on cole, it didnt come off as a knock on phillies fans.

The Phils need to get something (anything) out of their #7 and #8 hitters. They are better hitters, then they have shown.

Hamels is the real key tonight.

Why do Cole and Jimmy hate Phillies fans?

Cole and Jimmy hate freedom.

A road game being started by Hamels that starts in the daytime?

Somewhere, MG is in fear.

JimmyRollins11 via Twitter:
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!

MG started tailgating hours ago.

Phillies better watch the strike zone today so they don't let Sunday repeat itself.

"...they have scored 15 runs in the first two games "

A yes - the large sample size fallacy. Anyone that is a "real" baseball fan knows that this team is in a deep slump. The most recent 5 innings prove that.

I think this falls in the "Feels so much like a loss, they will probably win" category.

Who is the ump behind the plate tonight?

From the article:

"Using the Normalized Strike Zone plot powered by the trusty PitchFX at, we see that the Phillies had seven pitches inside the strike zone called balls, while the Cardinals had one.

Going a bit further, the Phillies only had one pitch outside the zone called a strike, while the Cardinals had six. "

Just curious whether anyone knows how this compares to the "norm" of balls called incorrectly according to such plots.

My sense is that all-in-all, the ump called a decent game (better earlier, somewhat poorer later in the game). I've read many times that he was inconsistent and overall called a poor game. Is there some statistical method for making this evaluation in an absolute sense?

Phlipper - my take on Meals' zone is similar. I thought that, with one exception, he completely denied Lee the top of the zone, which many umps do. I don't recall any of the Cards pitchers trying to work high in the zone. I also thought he didn't give either team calls on the black on his right side for most of the game, then he loosened up that part of his zone toward teh end of the game(which drives me nuts).

Cole and Jimmy are Commies who dont love cheesesteaks.

Is there a chance that Raul starts tonight? That would be idiotic, right?

I completely agree.

Anyone hear if they removed Carlos Ruiz from the full body ice pack?

I completely disagree.

I'm still ridiculously pissed at LaRussa's whiny strikezone comments.

What a b!tch.

For some reason, Garcia reminds me a lot of Jonathan Sanchez, but without the wildness: left-handed, really tough to hit when he's on, but kind of a head case. Hopefully, he fares as well as Sanchez fared in the NLCS last year.

Jerry, how about that call in the 19th inning of that game in Atlanta in late July? There are some people (not me) who blame you for starting a 19-43 slide for the team you screwed. I just think you shouldn't be working the post-season after a call that bad.

Gotta say, if the Phillies are bounced in 4 or especially 5 games, the real source of heartache/butthurt for me over the winter will be the five-game series. It's really a monumentally stupid way to play baseball.

I hate Pennsylvania.

I'm still ridiculously pissed at LaRussa's whiny strikezone comments.

To be fair, he said there were two strike zones. He never said which team was benefiting from the two zones. :-)

Here's a snapshot of how the other "Aces" (yes, it's debatable who's an Ace, but take it for what it's worth) from around the league have done so far:

Wilson - 5.0IP 6 runs and 7 hits (1 walk and 3 HRs)
Fister - 4.2IP 6 runs and 7 hits (2 walks)
Kennedy - 6.2IP 4 runs and 8 hits (1 walk)
Shields - 5.0IP 7 runs and 8 hits (0 walks)
Lee - 6.0IP 5 runs and 12 hits (2 walks)
Verlander - 8.0IP 4 runs and 6 hits (3 walks)
CC - 5.1IP 4 runs and 7 hits (6 walks)

"I'm still ridiculously pissed at LaRussa's whiny strikezone comments.

What a b!tch."

I don't recall hearing in-game comments from coaches/mangers like that, in any sport.

But what was even more striking was that the announcer said he agreed! I am assuming that the announcer go tongue-tied and said something that he didn't mean - but then again, subsequently throughout the broadcast the announcers where striking a similar theme. I don't ever recall national broadcasters condoning statements such as "there are two strike zones." It was bizarre.

JMJ is going to pull. Tony Cloninger today. He will hit 2 grand slams and pitch late in the game.

Apparently the umpires are the crap in a 5 game series crapshoot.

R Billingsy, I guess there is always a chance, but in his press conference yesterday, when asked if Mayberry was gonna start, Charlie said: " I'm leaning that way, that's probably what I'll do"

Has LaRussa been fined yet for his comments?

You'd think that a manager openly criticizing an official during a game on national TV would have some sort of punishment attached. I'm shocked that Shane Victorino hasn't be suspended for the remainder of the playoffs as a result yet.

bigmyc - Difference maker in the series? Nah. Tonight vs. LHP though Mayberry needs to get an XHB or two. Something he has done better than anyone in this lineup the past few months.

My dad always has said that you almost should never remember who the umps were in a game once it's finished. Maybe that's not really true but when Jerry Meals, Gerry Davis, or CB Bucknor are behind the plate, you just kinda know.

Correct, Phillies Dude. You should NEVER know an umpire's name. EVER. Think about the umpires you know. Odds are they're terrible. A good umpire should be a nameless, faceless drone that does not make himself part of the game in a positive or negative way.

As far as LaRussa strike zone comments on TV go, can anybody here see Charlie, or even Dubee doing something like that? I say no way. It's bush league and I think he should have been fined by MLB. I was at the game and didn't know anything about it till later, but had I been watching the game on TV, I would have been pissed.

5 predictions for tonight:

1. Cole Hamels channels 2008 and rolls to CG win.

2. Mayberry & Vic beat up on Garcia.

3. Howard has several good ABs despite Garcia being LH.

4. Jack compliments Garcia and criticizes BL posters for denigrating the opposing team.

5. clout shows up at some point in the later innings and quotes 1-2 posts from the 2nd or 3rd to "show" how everyone else is stupid and only he knows all.

Mayberry will have a 3 base error tonight on a routine pop up in the bottom of the 10th inning that will turn out to be the winning run on the next AB courtesy of Ryan Theirot. Kendrick will be the losing pitcher. Cole gives up two runs in the first inning but goes 7.1 with 6 ks. Pence ties it up with a two run shot to RF in bottom of the 6th.

Cole's best start in 2008 was an 8 IP, 0 R effort against the Brewers.

I'll GLADLY take that tonight...

NEPP:I completely agree with your predictions. Especially # 1. Though I must say #'s 4 and 5 go without saying. I will add one other prediction. You will post "that's Hamelstastic" sometime between 7:30 and 8:30 this evening.

I slept with La Russa the night before. He's really just a sensitive guy beneath all of that harsh exterior. I felt terrible when he yelled at me.

I see that Girardi whined about the umpiring also.

I'm debating using "That's Coletastic" over "That's Hamelstastic" actually...

Was Girardi complaining that CC wasn't getting pitches a foot and half off the plate, because that's where most of his pitches were all night.

NEPP: "clout shows up at some point in the later innings and quotes 1-2 posts from the 2nd or 3rd to "show" how everyone else is stupid and only he knows all."

You're off a bit. I show up in the later innings to post quotes from you that make you look like a moron.

The point isn't that "everyone" is a moron or that I know more. It's that YOU are a moron for repeatedly doing the same dumb stuff game after game.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel for me.

clout never makes predictions so he can never be wrong.

"You should NEVER know an umpire's name. EVER."

I've been watching baseball for almost 40 years and I can count on one hand the number of umpires whose names I remember. But, growing up, I had a close friend who not only knew every umpire, but actually remembered -- and could precisely imitate -- each umpire's mannerisms and cadence when he called a strike. It was impressive.

To his credit, Sabathia said it wasn't the umpiring - but that he just didn't get the job done.

Phlipper, is a Ham on Rye the best you can do for the bridge? At least take a giant hoagie with you.

Dutch Rennert was my all time favorite umpire. He was very good and REALLY loud. You could here him from the mens room at the Vet.

" You could here him from the mens room at the Vet."

That's because he was actually in the ladies room.

BABIP Gods - please come back to us and be kind today!!

Hey guys, it's 12:22, and I'm still nervous.

I'll update you further with details.

Baseball Phan - that link is an amusing read. I tend to agree with the guy's general premise that Lee pitched a bit better than his line and, that the difference between a win and a loss is often a product of fortune. However, the approach is not serious and lacks credibility. He started with a conclusion and worked to prove it. Exhibit A, Craig drives a ball to the deepest part of the park and it clangs off Victorino's glove for a triple - not Lee's fault is the verdict. I guess that was an error on a routine fly ball. Might as well look at it from Craig's point of view - if that ball is caught, he hit it to the wrong part of the park.

Old Phan - harder to carry while climbing.

Maybe a roast pork sandwich, though.

That Baer article leaves out a couple events, like:

1st inning: Hot smash down the 3rd base line but Polanco makes a great play to prevent an RBI double; or

4th inning: Single to LF (a line drive which Baer still manages to call lucky), but Ibanez makes a great throw & Ruiz a great catch, to save a 2nd run from scoring.

Bud Selig does not want HIS Brewers to face the Phils. The umps have their orders.

Now that the technology exists to eliminate the home plate umpire's ball-and-strike calls entirely, and since it's been pretty much proven that the human eye can't really accurately accomplish the task, I wonder if MLB should just go with electronic ball-and-strikes calls.
Now that they run the little strike zone box on TV, everyone at home can see that the umps make dozens and dozens of mistakes in every single game, I just can't see how all those inaccuracies don't hurt the game.

Going to electronic monitoring would eliminate 2 traditional baseball "skills":
Knowing the individual umpires' tendencies and adjusting accordingly, and catcher "framing" of pitches. Are these parts of the game worth keeping? I get the argument that they are, at least as a tradition and as a fan and sports-media talking point.

But electronic pitch calls would make things much fairer, and reduce the possibility of a team getting badly screwed by a bad call, if everyone agrees that's a bad outcome.

I feel like if MLB did this, it would cause enormous changes, but for the life of me I cannot figure out what those changes would be. And I guess that's an argument against.

Phlipper: Since this is potentially your last meal on this earth, you almost have to go with a cheesteak. Come on. It's what the national media thinks everyone in Philly eats. Also throw some snowballs at Santa on your express way down to the Delaware river.

Hugh - on that triple, he also says "Although Lee missed his spot, he didn’t make a bad pitch. Give Craig credit for putting a good swing on the ball." This is debatable. I think the pitch, a changeup, was intended to be lower than it was, but ended up hanging a bit. It was away, so it still required a good swing (Craig does deserve credit), but it stayed up.

I can't wait for this thing to start. Nervous. I'm glad it's an early game. Don't want to have to wait the additional three plus hours to get this thing going. Also, Lee was definitely the victim of some BABIP bad luck at times this season, but the other night wasn't one of those games.

Good discussions and reads on beerleaguer today. I have to go to classes now and will miss beginning of today's game but my heart will be listening. What's up with this 5 o'clock start?

Here's a human interest article from ESPN that I enjoyed reading in case anyone else here might like this sort of read:

Baer is what I call a sabermetrics extremist. My view of sabermetrics extremists is that they aren't all that much different than "My Eyes Tell Me" extremists like, say, MVPTommy. One is putting complete, unquestioned faith in what his eyes tell him -- even if the numbers say his eyes are wrong. Another is putting complete, unquestioned faith in what some stat geek says, without ever pausing to ask himself if it is possible there might be nuance that the statistic fails to capture.

I'd love to see the K-zone for some of Eric Gregg's games (like that playoff game where his strike zone was wide enough for Livan Hernandez to strike out 16 Braves or something ridiculous).

Good lord - this is scary; a sabermetrician arguing something very similar to what I was arguing about Lee's performance.

As much as I disagree with much of what sabermetric extremists argue, I will say that this is an impressive statement:

"The difference between one of the best pitchers of this generation and one of the worst is six hits over a sample size of 1,000 batted balls. Halladay, of course, separates himself from the pack with tremendous defense-independent abilities: not issuing walks, missing bats, and inducing weak ground balls."

Mayberry vs Garcia

Not the best LHP matchup since Garcia has a good cutter he uses to run in on the hands of RH bats. One pitch that Mayberry struggles with a bit from LHP.

Still Mayberry is 3-6 (a double) vs. Garcia. I hope that Garcia is foolish enough to give Mayberry a curve tonight that he crushes for a HR.

Imagine it will be a ton of cutters/changeups with some 4-seam fastballs mixed in.

Have a feeling the Phils will need a huge game out of Vic to win tonight. Tended to be kind of an 'all or nothing' player for the Phils in the postseason. He game up big in Game 1. Not so much in Game 2. Destroyed LHP pitching this year. Need him to get a couple of hits tonight & produce.

Rollins lost all my respect when he said LaRussa was a smart manager.

Does anyone else think it might be a good idea to move Ryan "lefties-tie-me-up-in-knots" Howard down in the lineup (sixth, perhaps) and let Mayberry bat fourth? With Pence and RFD back to back you have hope for, say, back-to-back doubles/singles, and then a chance Vic can knock one of them home. Mayberry won't be as much use in the sixth hole, since Howard and probably Utley will have already made out by the time he comes up, and if he gets on base there's little chance of Polanco bringing him home. Similarly, following a Rollins pop-up and an Utley flyout, Pence might get on base, but Howard will probably leave him stranded with a strikeout--whereas Mayberry might be able to bring him home.

My predictions: Garcia shuts the Phils down completely, Hamels gives up a double and then a homer to either Berkman or Pujols, Phillies get one run off a reliever, but the game finishes at 2-1. Me for the bridge.

Also strikes me as a game where the top of the order guys will struggle against Garcia (JRoll/Utley) & they could really use a lift with some production from the bottom half of their lineup in the 6-7-8 spots with Mayberry/Polanco/Chooch. Where the game I bet is lost/won tonight is how these guys produce or don't.

Even if the Phils do lose tonight, it is 2-1 with Jackson going tomorrow night. I won't be joining the bridge jumpers.

You neva neva NEVA bat Ryno anywhere but cleanup!

Rollins lost all my respect when he said LaRussa was a smart manager.

You realize that TLR is in the discussion for best manager of the last 50 years? I find him distasteful, at least, if not worse as a human being and would not like to have a beer with him. But he has been VERY successful with 3 franchises. His teams play hard.

This is a team that has beaten CC, Kershaw, Cain, Jimenez, Arroyo, David Price, and the untouchable(?) Aroldis Chapman. This team was made for nights like these, Garcia is pitching in his first post-season game....ever. Tonight's victory will be 7-3, Phillies.

Jaime Garcia scares me... but I don't think he's a lock today...

BAP - i agree w/ u about Baer. i still read his site to see that side of things, but i really don't agree with him as much as i disagree with him.

re: electronic balls and strikes - it makes complete and total sense to do it. problem is that it is less of a baseball issue and more of a fundamental human issue. putting balls and strikes in the hands of a computer would feed some mass fear of machines taking over the world a la Terminator or The Matrix. people absolutely fear turning the world over to technology. perhaps that's not an unreasonable fear. i don't agree with it, and i think that if/when the change is made, people will look back and wonder why they didn't do it sooner.

conshy- especially if larussa programs the damn computer or hacks into it..

Those CG strike zones don't just magically appear, they have to be drawn for each batter, right? I don't know whether there's a human in the booth doing it or some very impressive algorithm, but either way the result is not going to be 100% neutral or consistent.

I'm suprised that Baer didn't find a way to somehow blame Lee's performance on Ryan Howard.

fumphis - i don't think that we're talking about the technology they show on TV. pitchFX is completely different than that.

You can see that Polly is hurting again.

and in typical 20/20 hindsight...

should Polly have had that surgery in the late summer and maybe been ready by the 2nd round?

not an opinion - just asking..

fumphis: I have wondered about that too.

I'm bummed about this 4:00 PM Central Time slot for this game. I'll still be at work when it starts. I will be at my wife's mercy to have her record the game. Of course the sacred N.Y. Yankees get prime time. I hope the Tigers kick the snot out of those blowhards.

I worry that, with the sun shining at the start of gametime, the vampire genes flowing in Cole's bloodstream will adversely affect his performance.

I also hear that President Obama will be at St. Louis while the game is on. I bet he shows up in the booth wearing a Cardinals cap, trying to capture votes for next year in a swing state.

fumphis -

I did some looking online to see what kind of technology they use to get those strikezone graphics on TV. From what I read, they do use a very sophisticated set of algorithms with multiple cameras.

What I didn't find out was whether they adjust the setup depending on the height/stance of the batters. Also, I don't know if they calculate whether balls might pass into our out of the strikezone as they drop in height.

Obviously, judging whether pitches are inside or outside wouldn't need adjustment.

For the Phillies I think they really need to show some patience with Garcia and make him make good pitches. Don't help him out and chase stuff which they are prone to do sometimes. (I think some of that falls on Vic having a big game)

Even if you can't get to Garcia get his pitch count up and get into the bullpen. It's not a great bullpen, even if it was very good in Game 2, but take as many shots in the series against it as you can.

LaRussa got fined by MLB for his comments. They took away his Meals allowance.

Lake Fred: I actually like obama but considering everything he touches turns to s*** don't we sort of want him rooting for the cards.


@conshy matt, they use an electronic eye in tennis.

Dickie, sure, but no one cares about tennis. plus, in tennis, it's pretty necessary.

Hey, I care about tennis. A lot.

sorry Fat Man. i'd watch tennis if they went back to wooden rackets.

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