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Monday, October 03, 2011

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The Phillies' bats were quieter than the fans. Let's focus on something that matters, Jimmy.

No. Just play the damn game. With that logic, this team should lose every away game.

Who cares? Non-story. Why are we even talking about this?

So was the offense...

Not so quiet that we couldn't hear you talking to the press about your contract DURING the playoffs, Jimmy. Go play.

Jack - Agreed. Yeah they were a bit quiet after the 2nd but they didn't have many reasons to cheer either.

The quiet crowd caused him to get picked off.

Yes, Rollins has a point. There needed to be way less complacency and way more hand-wringing in the stands and in the dugout. Hand-wring ahead of time, when it can lead to effective action, not when it's too little, too late. Conclusion: there better be a load of BL-ers making their way to the bridges over the Delaware today--now--in preparation for tomorrow's game. Waiting until tomorrow to do it is simply going to be too late.

From innings 3-9 I was straining to hear the crack of the bat as the Jimmy & his teammates pummeled any one (or more) of 6 pathetic St. Louis relief pitchers. Musta missed it.

Of possible interest is the book SCORECASTING: THE HIDDEN INFLUENCES BEHIND HOW SPORTS ARE PLAYED AND GAMES ARE WON (by Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim), which (among other things) explains how the issues of crowd noice and umpire performance is related. Home field advantage is about making so much noise in favor of a certain outcome that the umpire won't dare--indeed don't want--to call your guy out on a close 3-2 pitch. The best example is the impact of poor attendance on the Marlins.

I think the Phillies will win this series. Tomorrow's game should be close, but I think they should handle Jackson on Wednesday, an I haev faith that Oswalt regained his form at the end of the season. If you get it back to Philly (should we not take both in STL), Doc vs. Carpenter is a mutchup I'll take any day of the week.

BUT...should they lose this series, this game will hurt ALL offseason. Spotting Cliff Lee to a 4-run lead that early in the game, and getting to face one of the worst bullpens in baseball for 6 innings, should be a win every single time. You just simply can't lose last night's game.

I'm confident they'll advance, but last night's game will stick if they don't.

I have to give a lot of credit to JMJ. He went from a AAAA guy would would never really make it in the majors to the Phillies offensive savior. Good for him.

Rollins needs to shut his mouth...another lovely comment during the playoffs:

--The impending free agent shortstop also confirmed that he's hoping for a five-year deal. "When free agency comes about, people are going to pay you for what your numbers reflect," said Rollins, who turns 33 years old in November. "As far as my legacy here in Philadelphia?" he said. "It's pretty solid.--

Holliday is likely done for the series:

"Holliday was able to appear as a pinch-hitter in Game 1, but struck out on three pitches and Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that his chances of starting the final three games of the NLDS “appears to be diminishing rather than progressing as the club hoped when it placed him on the playoff roster.

Strauss writes that manager Tony La Russa delayed posting the Game 2 lineup in the hopes Holliday could play, but he wasn’t able to take batting practice and “nagging issues with tendon at the base of his right middle finger are worsening.”"

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/03/matt-holliday-to-have-hand-injury-examined-in-st-louis/

The Cardinals don't need Holliday. They have an unhittable bullpen.

Old Phan, of course no one ever said any such thing, nor does anyone believe that he's the offense's savior...the offense doesn't need a savior.

Do you think he's a better option at the plate than Francisco and/or Polanco?

Jimmy challenged the fans last year after the San Francisco games. Jimmy being Jimmy.

Guess Lee didn't have his 'tilt' last night.

Let J-Roll run his mouth. I've enjoyed his time here and hope he has a strong finish to his Phillies career with a World Series ring (that'll he'll probably be presented next season when the Mets or Giants visit town).

Someone tell Cole he's actually pitching in San Diego.

It works both ways, Jimmy. If the players feed off the crowd's actions, the fans can sometimes feed off what the players do. Every time the crowd would get excited before the start of an inning, someone would hit a weak fly ball on the first pitch and kill the energy all over again.

well, it's good to hear that JRoll thinks the fans matter. armed with this information, all fans should:

1. turn your hat into a rally cap anytime the phils are batting

2. bring megaphones to games

3. stop texting/tweeting/facebooking and watch the damn game

4. start working out (builds stamina)

5. borrow Shane's Ridalin (if sitting near the home dugout, of course)

6. run onto the field (so they know you care, and it gets the crowd into the game) if the crowd noise is sub-optimal

I don't want to hear the Eagles loss as an excuse for quiet Phillie phans.

What is almost as annoying is the saber folks who try yammer on about Lee and his 'unluckiness' last night with BABIP.

Yeah there were a few bleeders that got through but he also gave up 5 XHBs last night too (3 2Bs, 2 3Bs) and walked 2 guys. He didn't pitch well. It happens.

It is just annoying to see 'we'll BABIP were over .500 against him last night' blah blah blah.

CQD-MGY. Sinking. Passengers too quiet. Failed to alert crew of iceberg. Need immediate assistance.

A-Train - More believable if you hypnotize him into believing it is Cincinnati instead . . .

MG- I did a post about that very subject this morning. Luck is a factor, but certainly not the only factor.

RE-post:

As a general principle - you want to use a PH when you can realize maximum gain.

The gain of Mayberry over Valdez is, arguably, greater than Mayberry over Polanco (assuming that despite career statistics, the argument that last night Mayberry would be a better choice than Polanco - something that I don't really concede).

Of course, in the end, the advantage of Mayberry over Valdez was never an option, but...

At best, even assuming the argument that Mayberry > Polanco, the advantage gained there is only a tiny fraction better.

The chances of either one getting on base are slightly better than 1/3. So the likelihood that Mayberry would get on where Polanco wouldn't is tiny.

That given, the likelihood of Mayberry producing a run if Polanco got on is probably greater than the likelihood of Valdez producing a run if Mayberry got on.

In the end - it is simply a judgement call. But the notion that either decision was a mistake, or something Charlie SHOULD have done, doesn't add up, IMO.

As BAP says - a greater advantage gain would have been to use Mayberry against a loogy - replacing a LH hitter. But even there, probably the maximum advantage you can gain from using Mayberry is if you are using him to bat for a pitcher. At some level, it makes sense to roll the dice to see if you can create a situation where you realize the maximum gain. Sometimes your gamble doesn't pay off.

Hamels has pretty good numbers at Busch.

3.00 ERA, .530 OPS against, and a 4.83 SO/BB.

Only 27.1 IP and a 103 PA, so it likely means nothing, but still, not bad.

MG - how many of the hits Lee gave up last night where solidly struck?

I can think of two hits off of players' gloves, one blooper into RF, and one where Polanco studder-stepped because of a sawed-off bat.

Would you attribute 9 strike outs and no HRs to good luck?

I'm not inclined, either, to chalk a pitchers' performance one way or the other to "luck," but I will say that to my eyes, Lee was "OK" last night - certainly not lock down, but not exactly struggling either.

Phlipper, in my opinion, I think you're overvaluing the advantage that Polly has over Valdez right now, and undervaluing the advantage that Mayberry has over Polly.

Of course it's overly simplistic to claim that Lee's outing was solely a product of bad luck but 12 for 20 on balls in play is unsustainable for any pitcher, no matter how bad his command is.

Blowing a 4 run lead, by surrendering 5 in only 6 credited innings is struggling. Result based.

When he is good, he is very, very good but when he is bad . . . :

That was 5th time this year Lee had given up at least 5+ runs in a start (33 GS)

Hamels has had it happen 2 times (31 GS)
Halladay has had it happen 2 times (33 GS)
Oswalt has had it happen 4 times (23 GS)

"Phlipper, in my opinion, I think you're overvaluing the advantage that Polly has over Valdez right now, and undervaluing the advantage that Mayberry has over Polly."

Could be, Fata. But I tend to discount "right now" arguments over career stat arguments.

There's nothing unlucky about giving up 5 extra base hits, walking 1.4 batters per 9 innings more than your 2011 average, or constantly falling behind in the count.

If anything, Lee may have benefitted from some good luck. Polanco made a great play to save a run in the 1st inning & Ibanez & Ruiz made a great play to save another run in the 4th.

"Blowing a 4 run lead, by surrendering 5 in only 6 credited innings is struggling. Result based."

There's no arguing that point.

Garcia vs. Philadelphia: 6 G, 4 GS, 18 H, 4 ER, 6.3 K/9, 1.20 ERA, 0.933 WHIP, .178 BA/.254 OBP/.248 SLG/.502 OPS

Let's Go Os-walt! (clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

Phlipper - That ball to Vic was crushed. It was hit to the deepest part of the park. Don't fault him for making that catch. It was a tough play. Very few CFs would have made it. Most wouldn't have gotten there in the first place.

None of the XHBs were bleeders that were defensive miscues. Nor the BBs.

The only game he had all year that was kind of similar was the game vs Blue Jays where he struck out 10, walked nobody, but gave 3 HRs.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=310703114

Ball wasn't carrying either last night especially after the rain/mist started in the 7th.

This really is a different ball park in April and October than it is July/August.

With that wind blowing as it does from LF to RF, I am 100% positive that one of those balls that JRoll crushed goes out last night in July/August. Maybe both.

"Of course it's overly simplistic to claim that Lee's outing was solely a product of bad luck but 12 for 20 on balls in play is unsustainable for any pitcher, no matter how bad his command is."

Bingo.

Blaming the results on bad luck is no more logical, IMO, than dismissing the element of good fortune for the Cards.

Phlipper, do you think that Polanco is the same hitter now that he's been over his career?

His numbers since May 1st have just been putrid, and this isn't the case of one section in June or something really skewing the data. he's been flat out poor the entire time. He's got no power, but that's okay if you hit over .300, but he doesn't even do that anymore. I just don't consider him to be the 97 OPS+ guy his career stats have him at anymore. He hasn't been that guy since 2008, and he's been pretty much awful since May 1st of this year.

Probably attributable to injury this year, but still doesn't mean he's not a bad hitter right now.

Phlipper - Making your sandwich already? Going to be pretty soggy and disgusting by tomorrow night I would imagine.

MG - I'm not "blaming" Vic - but he took a pretty bad path to the hit, he overran it, and the ball went into the web of his glove and bounced out. Further, he failed to handle the ball well after he dropped it. If he had simply "given up" on catching it, and prevented the runner from taking an extra base, the outcome would likely have been more favorable.

The ball was absolutely crushed, as was the triple to open the game. I don't recall that many other well-struck hits, and I recall at least a few that were very close to being turned into outs.

Good point, MG - please note the change.

Tortoise-Hare Syndrome; akin to the first game, the team that scores a lot of runs initially acted like the proverbial hare that backed off his performance once he thought he had the race won, while plodding tortoise just kept on moving, regardless of the distance between him and his adversary.

I said this to my buddies immediately upon Polanco hitting into his inning-killing double play with men on first and third in the first inning after three runs scored. It was if the collective mind of the Phillies sighed after the first inning and said "that ought to be good enough, we can relax a bit now."

27 outs. 27 outs.

Theriot roped a ball for a double. The Pujols single to drive in the winning run was hit really well.

Lee's command was inconsistent all night. When he missed, it was right over the middle of the plate. He got hit hard a few times, and he paid for it.

Actually, Theriot roped two bals for doubles. One into the left field corner and one down the first base line. He and John Jay were the really menaces last night.

Jimmy's comment seemed tongue in cheek/harmless to me: Like, "Everyone knows Phillies fans are totally crazy and the loudest around. Well, now we're down a game and we need even more noise and rally towels and general craziness."

Between the raindrops, length of the game, pitching changes and silent bats, the game had a hypnotic feel: "You are getting sleepy. You are getting sleepy..."

Hey, Jimmy, next time tell the stadium music guy to play Welcome to the Jungle prior to every Philly hitter's at-bat.

Fans seemed pretty loud over the TV. All the sellouts in a row tell you something about fan loyalty.

If the fans seem more reserved, I don't doubt that in the postseason a higher percentage of the seats go to corporate types, "VIPs", etc. as opposed to "typical" hard core fans. I would make a guess that proportion may have increased since 2007-2008.

It's also a theory of mine, that in a weird way there is more fear/desperation than there was in 2008. Back then, there seemed to be more of a wonderment, an "OMG, they may actually make this happen!" vibe. On BL, there were lots of posts of "I love this team." Haven't seen much of that this season, even though the team has gained several terrific players who play hard every day and seem like great guys to boot. Every step forward in the playoffs at that time seemed like an incredible gift that you thought you might never see.

This year the stakes seem higher somehow. This team is built to win it all and win NOW. Anything less than a WS championship will be a huge disappointment. Heck, even the players have said this. People know the team has the total capability of winning it all, so every loss is crushing. At the same time most people know, or at least sense, that there is a lot of randomness involved, and that it may well not happen. So people may, in a bizarre way, stay just a bit more detached and not vest themselves quite as much.

I know in 08 if we had lost, I would have been disappointed for sure, but I also felt it was a team on the rise, that was going to get better. I also know for me personally that it will hurt more if they are eliminated this year. This will likely be the best shot they have for many years.

I remember a perceptive post by Iceman many months ago about how "everyone wants to bulletproof this team" but that you can only do so much, every team will have weaknesses, and that the knowledge that there is only so much you can do creates some of the griping and moaning here.

Just some thoughts. If I were a shrink or a psych major I could articulate it better. Back to work.

The Division Series should really be 7 games.

The rally towels look really cool on tv but the sound goes down with those things all over the place. You can't wave a towel and clap at the same time. Having said that, WGAS. No excuses we lost a game we could have (should have) won.

Phlipper - Can't blame a guy who crashed hard into a wall to fumble around a little bit, especially when he's rushing to get the back in. I was happy he didn't topple over, myself.

Yo, new thread

The crowd tried to cheer but then Rollins got picked off first, I guess they could've booed in that instance? Really, there was very few opportunities to cheer - just bad after the 2nd.

I remember thinking that same thing "Where's the crowd?". They were not cheering when we had the batters up later in the game. Not like before. Watching the lead slip away just killed the crowed and they never got back into it.

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