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Monday, April 30, 2012


cut: Yeah. That may have been extra bases if Pierre were in there. Mayberry made it look easy.

Stepped out to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Sweet Christ, is Papelbon still not out of the inning yet?

Pap Smeared.

It shouldn't be that difficult to clinch a slightly less awful losing record in April.

That last pitch looked nice...and it was at 94 mph, which is nice to see too.

That's Paptastic!!!

~slowest pitcher on the damn planet~

Badly needed win. Polanco was a really deserving 'Chevrolet Player of the Game' player tonight.

Best case is they split with Nats/Braves and can take 2 of 3 with the Mets.

Great win!
Losers will have to wait for something to complain about.

Pap wears his wedding ring to pitch to remind him real life sucks worse than baseball can ever be.

Crap to Pap -- Bleep that!!

"Cubs' had at least 2 runners on every inning since the 5th inning and had the bases loaded in the 7th with no out only scoring 1 run. Combine that with crummy outings from Bastardo/Qualls. "

That's actually pretty impressive, MG. Now that you've explained, I'm surprised the hand-wringing wasn't even worse.

"Losers will have to wait for something to complain about."

Either you've never read a BLer game thread, or that must be a joke.

"Best case is they split with Nats/Braves and can take 2 of 3 with the Mets."

That doesn't sound like a best case to me. I'll be seriously displeased if we don't take at least 4 of 6 in these next 2 series.

Great win!
Losers will have to wait for something to complain about.

Posted by: gobaystars! | Monday, April 30, 2012 at 09:55 PM

I think we'll manage. Team hits one XBH in a week, and everyone starts clucking that we're whiners.

Very happy with the win tonight, but forgive me for not dancing in the streets that we barely scraped by a win against the lowly Cubs.

Phlipper - One of those nights where the Phils had the clutch hits (4-8 RISP) and the Cubs didn't (2-7).

Phils dinked the Cubs to death tonight. 11 hits with only 1 XBH (Polanco's double) and 4 infield hits.

Chad Qualls knows how to win!

I don't know about you but I am heading over to Cottman to fill the streets with dancing and celebrating. We beat Volstad!!!!! Hurrraayyyy!!!

Barely managing to split a home series vs. the damn Cubs is a loss in & of itself.

Fat - Yup and if you watched these past 4 games the Cubs' outplayed the Phils' overall.

C'mon now Fata -- Polanco had an XBH; JMJ's defense made a difference; Papelbon's still flawless. What's not to like?

11-12 is an 'okay' April. Phils did a nice job this month of not really creeping below .500.

I am really curious to see how the Phils can do over this stretch against NL East rivals on the road. I see 4-5 and would be happy with 5-4.

I am going to both the friday and saturday game here in DC. That ensures two losses in that series, lol.

Do wonder what the Phils are going to do with Thome though with this road trip coming up.

Another night where he wasn't available due to that bad back & he said there really has been not much improvement.

Herndon to the DL (right elbow inflammation). Roster move to follow tomorrow. Maybe we can finally get rid of Pence.

I see 4-5 and would be happy with 5-4.

I suppose that means I'll have to guess 3-6, & be incredibly disgusted when they only manage to win 2.

Cholly thinks the Phils are starting to hit? Did he watch this series?

I do agree with him 100% that they have to scratch and claw & if they can score 4 runs they have a really strong chance to win.

Phils have now scored 4+ runs in 10 games and are 8-2.

Chris in Vt.: Not sure if you know this but Cardinals thirdbaseman Minor League Guy was ranked 79th on the BA Top 100 prospect list.

Dave - The hilarious thing is that Bottalico said that it was a 'really tough blow to lose Herndon.' Yeah right. One guy the Phils actually could afford to lose.

You can't tell me that if the Phils don't call up Sanches that he can't pitch as well as Herdndon if not better than him.

I really like how he made everybody feel better about his condition by saying his back is "as bad as it ever gets".Okay, so you know you reached rock bottom. What's the next plan?

Ricky Bo is just sticking up for a fellow cr8ppy reliever.

MG: Unreal. Sometimes I wonder if these guys actually watch the team they're supposed to be covering.

BL is so changeable. Bastardo, hailed unanimously on BL as the greatest relief prospect ever due to his velocity, is now reviled.

While Jack et al will never acknowledge it, command really does play a part in major league success, more often than velocity.

Great CSN article about how Chollie knows Thome may very well suck as a PH but everybody just has to get used to it. If this doesn't sound like absurd cronyism, I don't know what is.

I love Jim. He may just be done and we have to just deal with it.

MG: BAP has declared a losing record in April a sure sign the Phils will miss the playoffs so there's no diff between 11-12 or 10-13.

I really wonder if Bottalico does much analysis any more. He says the bullpen is really hard up without Stutes/Herndon.

Has he taken a look at the numbers for these guys? Herndon gets rocked vs LH hitters. His biggest plus is that he can pitch more than 1 IP. Stutes looked terrible this year from the get go in spring training & struggled in the 2nd half last year.

It hurt your organizational depth but don't tell me that losing Stutes/Herdnon is a real blow the the pen. Contreras is still a better option than Stutes. I bet Sanches is an upgrade over Herndon too.

The only real issue is that they don't have a long-man or a guy who really can go 2 IP right now except Savery.

MG: BAP has declared a losing record in April a sure sign the Phils will miss the playoffs so there's no diff between 11-12 or 10-13.

Posted by: clout | Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

You should work for the Texas Board of Education. You are skilled in the ways of revisionist history.

What I'm hearing from Ricky Bo isn't praise of Stutes and Herndon per se, but recognition that our BP is left without middle relief & a few guys who can pitch a few innings at a time.

I get his point - but I get MG's, too. I don't trust Stutes or Herndon too much.

I'm hoping not to be swept by the Braves and lose 2 of 3 to both the Nats and the Mets.

I just realized I'm preparing myself for a worse record on this road trip than GTown offered. Egads.

rauls grandpa - "He’s 0-for-8 pinch-hitting this year with eight strikeouts and .219 in his career with 58 strikeouts in 128 at-bats.

Manuel conceded that Thome will always struggle as a pinch-hitter because of his big swing.

“He takes a big stride, and he takes a cut, he takes a hard, quick cut, and you’ve got to get your timing,” he said. “There’s got to be some kind of timing. The ideal pinch hitter is usually a short guy, who’s got a short, quick swing and he’s a singles hitter. That’s the ideal.

So basically Thome is completely miscast as a PH as is Nix. Ugh.

denny b got a ton of crap on here about the strong possibility of Thome retiring the other day. I don't think he is going to retire but this team would absolutely be better off for this road trip if he was DLed and they called up Overbeck or an extra INF.

Better to have that extra bat on the bench late than carry a guy who can't even PH for another 3-4 days.

How 'bout bringing up Diekman?

I know he's a lefty...

The Phillies have reached some form of Postseason play 12 times in the Divisional Era. In only 3 of those seasons have they had a losing April. I wouldn't say a losing April is a "sure sign" so much as a "bad sign".

GBrettfan - If the Phils' starter gets knocked out early right now by the 5th, all the Phils need is a mop-up guy anyways.

Cholly can give Savery 2 IP if he needs to.
Curious to see who the Phils call up.

"Cholly thinks the Phils are starting to hit? Did he watch this series? "

Well - in the battle of SSS, they are averaging 4.75 runs over their last 7 games.

Certainly is an improvement, and I'm sure the best 7 game stretch over the season thus far. Certainly better than their first 7 games when they averaged 1.7 runs per game.

Hey - I'm trying to find something positive here.

Sorry - that's 2.9 runs over their first 7 games.

":I wouldn't say a losing April is a "sure sign" so much as a "bad sign"."

The predictive value of a losing April, and certainly a record of 11-12, is virtually nil.

Why is that such a difficult concept?

As a reformed KK hater, I'm pretty OK with him in the bullpen to come in preceding a sequences of Contreras, Qualls, and Pap.

The predictive value of a losing April, and certainly a record of 11-12, is virtually nil.

Why is that such a difficult concept?

Posted by: Phlipper (getting cable installed on the Benny Frank) | Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:40 PM

I actually agree with you here, but why don't you ever support your assertions with some evidence? This has actually been shown to be more or less true, but have you actually seen any studies?

"I actually agree with you here, but why don't you ever support your assertions with some evidence?"

Uh, because it should be patently obvious?

If you think that a losing April is a "bad sign" for a team's playoff hopes, in particular an 11-12 record, then you either don't understand statistics or you don't understand how long a baseball season is. A slightly below .500 average for a 23 game sample size, in particular a sample at the beginning of the season, and in particular a sample at the beginning of a season with two key players out of the lineup (who stand a reasonable chance of returning later in the season).

Statistical references don't substitute for common sense.

I'll take the W - scoring in only one inning vs Volstad is a crime, even if it was to the tune of 4 in the inning we did score.

Rollins and Polanco showing some signs of life tonight. Polanco's double might have been the hardest ball he's ever pulled off a hard throwing RHP in in the past two years.

Phlipper - I'm agree with you. 11-12 is alright right now and as long as they hover around .500 for the interim that is what you hope for. It leaves them in close distance in the WC race.

Only way this season gets dicey is if they go on a couple of losing streaks and creep down to several games below .500.

I mean seriously, the Phils are 3 games in back of two teams, one of which has zero track record and the other which has a track record of slumping late in the season, with @140 games left in the season? And you're trying to discern bad signs from that?

Have you not watched the seasons of the two teams that knocked the Phils out of the playoffs the last two years?

Have you not seen teams, year after year, trade off gaps of 3 games numerous times over the course of any given season?

And besides, no amount of "evidence" will satisfy GTown's need to bellyache. It is undoubtedly congenital.

Quick someone do a study on how significant/insignificant tonight's game was!

Doc: 1.95 ERA
Lee: 1.96
Worley: 1.97

Orr: .794 OPS

gobaystars - Winning a home game against one of the worst team in MLB against one of the worst starters in the NL right now is one of those game during the course of the season the Phils have to win this year if they are going to make the playoffs.

Goody - how about Hamels (2.73), and Blanton (3,81).

That seems like a pretty good "sign" to me - when your five starters all have an ERA 3.81 and under.

The offense, basically, has a good shot to improve because it's unlikely that it could get any worse (outside of Nix, Pierre, and Wiggy).

The starting pitching won't maintain this level, so I'm not climbing down off the Benny Frank yet, but culling "bad signs" from bad statistical analysis is amusing but not particularly informative.

Kind of reminded me of Phillies teams of a few years ago - had the lead, lost the lead and came back to win it late with a two run double followed by the closer walking the first batter then getting out of it to seal the win.

Dragon, that's the kind of study I was hoping for. Well done! WFC here we come!
Significant Fuklen Win!

Phlipper: I was just noting the closness of the 3, as pointed out to me by the AP.

And getting my nightly dig in at the Orr haters:)

goody - Wow! I didn't even notice that. Talk about statistical improbabilities.

The ERAs I mean - not Orr's OPS!

Phlipper: You see statistical insignificance, I see unpleasant historical precedent. I've never felt anyone has any obligation to agree w/ me, nor do I care when they do not.

I am not an Orr-hater but he stinks.

Still given that Galvis has a .171/.209/.317 in 41 ABs vs. RHP and he has had some brutally ugly ABs the past few days, it isn't the worst idea to give Orr the spot start vs. a finesse RHP pitcher.

Dude, you'd see unpleasant historical precedence if Halladay gave up a hard hit foul ball recording the 27th out of a perfect game when the Phils were up 10-0.

So, you've got nothing Phlipper. Figures.

Here, I'll do the work for you:

There, now you can read that, and go back to chiding everyone for their inability to understand statistics.

Waste of time.

Gee, Fata:

"Sure, winning early is a great opportunity to build a lead in a division, but the season is a marathon, not a sprint."

I would never have thought of that had I not read it at the end of that study.

In fact, that article shows that May and June records are very predictive of overall success, but Phlipper writes "a slightly below .500 average for a 23 game sample size, in particular a sample at the beginning of the season" to say that April success or lack thereof doesn't mean anything. Of course this same line could also refer to a poor showing May, but unfortunately, it would be way off the mark.

Phlipper, you have to understand that statistics is a discipline based upon evidence and studies. Saying that a poor April record isn't predictive is a hollow statement unless you can back it up. Why should May or June be more predictive than April or August? They are both but single months, and probably all contain roughly the same amounts of games. If it were just a matter of a small sample of games, they should all be equally uninformative. That's not the case, though, but we wouldn't know that if we didn't do a little research.

I would never have thought of that had I not read it at the end of that study.

Posted by: Phlipper (getting cable installed on the Benny Frank) | Monday, April 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Yeah but the logic you offered me was that any 23 game sample in the beginning of the season is not predictive. But a poor 23 game sample in May, which would qualify as the beginning of the season, if not early in the season, has shown to have real predictive power.

So you don't understand what you're talking about. You just act like you do.

If you did this over all teams in baseball over numerous seasons I would bet that April and Sept would be the least predictive months. April because teams are finding thier feet and there are teams/players that are slow/fast starters. And September would be a poor reflection because there are so many callups and teams are out of it or far ahead and playing different people. Now find me a study or heads will roll! Or don't because who cares/this is stupid.

It looks like somebody liked Intro to Statistics so much that they signed up for STAT 202. Well played.

"Why should May or June be more predictive than April or August?"

Fata - once again, that shows that you, also, don't understand statistics.. Findings of relative significance can actually just be a statistical artifact.

If you showed that 23 game sample sizes had a solid predictive value for a 162 game season, then you might be on to something. The relatively greater significance of May and/or June, I'd say, means nothing. The May and/or June sample sizes are random, and the relatively lower predictive significance of the other months likely prove my point.

If you could come up with some explanation why May and/or June should be more predictive than any other months, have at it and I'll bow to your scientific method - otherwise all you have is a statistical oddity that bolsters a mistaken sense of confidence from looking at some numbers for too long.

It's like when people talked about Hamels pitching worse during the day w/o being able to provide a logistical explanation behind that supposed "correlation." Actually, some folks did do some reverse engineering to speculate for causation there.

So I'd be curious. Has his day/night performance differential changed more recently, and if so, do the speculative explanations align with something that changed about his pitching mechanics?

Here's a hint, Fata - look for confidence intervals when you're trying to explain predictive statistics. Even they can result in statistical oddities - but at least they help.

Phlipper: The roof was closed last week in Arizona, and look how keeping the Sun off of Dracula helped!

Fat - That is a terrible analysis. Basically worthless. See txdave's comments on why it is.

Cole Hamels day/night splits explained:

Cole LOVES Letterman and Saturday Night Live. He used to stay up and watch both shows. He would be tired. He wouldn't pitch as well. When he signed became the spokes person for Comcast/Xfinity he got free DVR/On Demand service. Now Cole can get his laughs and be well rested for day games. Hence the poor day/night splits early in his career and the improvement over time.

Run a study on that!!

Here's another juicy aspect of that article:

"The regression shows, at least in the case of the Phillies, that May and June records mean more than April."

So - now I understand: there's something about the Phillies in particular that causes their May and June records to be "predictive" of their season as a whole, but perhaps not with other teams?

Do you not see how ridiculous is your claim that May and June records have show to have "real predictive power" for the Phillies?

A simple correlation does not = "real predictive power," Fata.

Eek. Little understanding of stats here. Linear regression here is just a really dumb idea with this data sample.

Better just to run simple correlations and larger sample sizes for all MLB teams.

gobay - Your joking right?

You think Cole is a Leno fan? Not possible. He's Dave all the way.

And now that I've read the comments, another point that they raised.

To do a valid statistical analysis, you'd have to control for the quality of the teams that they played in the various years (and of course, other variables like anomalous performances or injuries to key players). Assuming that those variables would just average out would be a specious assumption.

It would be interesting to see some analysis of the "predictive value" of various sample sizes (of games) with CI's discussed.

If anyone has a link, it'd be fun to see something along those lines.

What does CI have to do with running a correlation analysis?

If you had the time, I would just take the say since 1969 (when the mounds were raised) and run simple correlations value for each month to the final month for all teams and for all of the playoff teams each year although the later one would be of limited value.

Just don't have the time nor am I that remotely interested enough to run it.

"April because teams are finding thier feet and there are teams/players that are slow/fast starters. And September would be a poor reflection because there are so many callups and teams are out of it or far ahead and playing different people."

That would be my guess, also, but then you're introducing variables that would be hard to control - maybe veteran teams would be differently affected, or contending teams where call-ups were less involved in game outcomes.

But again, on the other hand, my guess is that any 23 game stretch - certainly if a team has a record close to .500 as opposed to .750 or .250 or something like that - has very little predictive value.

Given that the best team in baseball had a .630 winning % last year (with the next best being only .599), I find it hard to believe that a 23 game stretch has "strong predictive power," let alone a 23-game stretch of a 11-12 record.

From High Cheese:

"Lee definitely out for Friday for Strasmus in the nation's capital. Dubee wouldn't rule out 5 days after that"

Big shock. Lee out until at least May 10th. No surprise there really. My bet is that he needs a rehab start, misses 2 more starts, and is back some time the week of May 14th early.

"What does CI have to do with running a correlation analysis? "

I'm just skeptical of estimates that lack some solid effort to establish the reliability of the estimate. Simply stating a correlation is fine - but sometimes people take that correlation and run with it to conclude that they are making a reliable estimate when they aren't.

Of course, baseball statistics are fun because they leave so much room open for speculation, but the problem is when people don't realize just how unreliable a correlation can be.

Anyway, agree that this convo has outlived its usefulness. I just find it funny when fata gets his knickers in a knot.

A losing April predicts a long, long season on BL.

Who is our "7th starting pitcher"?

Is it Austin Hyatt (who has a low 3 ERA in the early going at Lehigh after a great 2011 season) or Trevor May? (now 5-0 at Reading).

Its actually a pretty interesting question. May is obviously the better prospect with better pure stuff but Hyatt was in ST with the big club and more experienced.

As for who replaces Herndon, it has to be Sanches doesn't it? Of course he would have to be added to the 40 man roster. And there is only 1 spot available.

So if you add Sanches and finally put Thome on the DL, it will likely mean Kratz is the guy who comes up to replace Thome. Because Kratz is on the 40 man.

Sanches and Hyatt both have deceiving ERAs. Neither has pitched well. Opponents are hitting .304 off Sanches & he has given up at least 1 run in half his appearances. Still, I keep coming back to these numbers: 147 games, 187.1 IP, 2.92 ERA, .218 BAA. Those are his numbers over the last 3 seasons. That's a track record of success that no one in our bullpen, save for Papelbon and Qualls, can come close to matching. He ought to be called up.

As for 7th starter . . . it's enough to say that, if we ever need one, we're in dire trouble. If we need a spot start, though, I can't imagine why we'd use anyone except Dave Bush. If we are in the unfortunate situation of needing a longer-term answer, I could see double-jumping Tyler Cloyd. Hyatt simply isn't throwing enough strikes to be called up to the majors &, given May's history of struggling when promoted to a higher level, we probably want to be pretty cautious in moving him along. Plus, there's no point in starting his clock if he's only going to make a few starts.

denny b: Regarding 40-man roster spots, I believe DL spots are retroactive through spring training, so Howard or Utley could trivially be moved to the 60-day DL (and really, neither one will be back by the 60th day of the season anyway).

BAP: Doesn't the "clock" stop when you send the player back down? If that's the case, it doesn't hurt too much to give him 20 or so days of service time. That said, I agree that double-jumping May is probably not prudent.

Good game, Y'all.

Long after we are all dead, when some 428th century robotic cyber-historian stumbles across this conversation while digitally excavating the dusty corners of the web-based backups in the mildly radioactive ruins of the Stanford Internet Archive, this Beerleaguer thread will make it into the "Classic Internet Posts of The Past" column of the "Phillies Phan Korner" news portal of the PHX sector of the 2785 Cygnus-11385 Mission To Tomorrow ColonyShip.
Paranoia, Jubilation, hope, wild optimism, deranged pessimism, panicked cynicism, gulity, naseous, ephermal joy, vague shame.
\ curtain,

may is going to start off with a win guaranteed! hamel is 4-0 when playing good teams on the road and will win this one! i have more stats on my blog and how to bet the game so come check it out and enjoy!

Time to kick the tires on Mike Gonzalez.

One other thing to be optimistic about is April had that long West Coast roadtrip, which besides the Padres is usually tough. So it's now out of the way. This also means more home games in the warm summer months when the bats heat up and Utley and/or Howard might be back.

If you told me that, on May 1, three Phil's would have an ERA under 2 and that Hamels was real close to them -- and yet the Nats would still have four starters under the Phil's best mark...I'd have taken those odds.

Who would have predicted the ERA of the Cards' starters so far?

Not that I mind the idea of Thome going on the DL. He deserves as graceful of an exit as possible. (Also wondering if the back tweak story may be a bit over-inflated, just as an excuse for a move.)

But please don’t DL Thome just as Mini-Mart is ready to play (word used loosely) again.

How revolting would it be to have one of the best in the game replaced by Mini-Mart? Please….bring anyone else up, but I can’t even type “Thome for Martinez” without gagging.

That article I posted was absolutely poor. It stunk to high heaven of sample bias, too, as it dealt with only the Phillies and World Series winners (i.e. teams that had to have righted the ship, even if they had a poor start). Also, months are arbitrary end points. We could do 50 game samples, we could 75 game samples...whatever. My larger point (and still is) is that Phlipper continues to make positive assertions without backing it up.

But before chiding people relentlessly that April record means nothing, show WHY it means nothing.

For example, even if this isn't a true-talent 77 win team, and is actually a true-talent 95 win team, the damage of this 11-12 start is real. If they play to their true-talent level of a 95 win team the remainder of the season, they'll go 81-58, and finish the season with 92 wins, 3 wins off the 95 win pace. The longer they play poorly might not actually portend that they'll play poorly all season, but the damage of every lost game is felt the remainder of the season.

Definitely a positive win last night as they showed some life after letting the bats hibernate again after the early crooked #. My April whipping boy (Polanco) is starting to find some old form and actually hitting the ball further than 120 feet.

Who would have predicted the ERA of the Cards' starters so far?

I swear Duncan has a pact with God himself.

"I swear Duncan has a pact with God himself."

Geez - throw out Wainwright's #'s, and the freakin' STAFF ERA is probably close to under 2.50.

And note for the BLer haters - J.C. Romero's ERA is 0.00 (well, in 4 innings pitched - no walks, though).

re: Braves matchup

Looking forward to road series vs Braves and Nats. Sucks that Lee won't be able to start, but I'm hoping the Phils can 'get up' for these series and realize they're not playing the dreck of the league anymore.

Maybe our roster has a hard time getting up for crappy teams early in the season and they'll be able to turn it on once facing some relevant competition on the road in their own division.

@Philipper..St. Louis also has better vitamin stores. Everything in their vitamins is untraceable.

@lore....they need to be able to get up for every series. They are professionals.

Phlipper: would you consider yourself a JC Romero supporter or a fellow 'BL Hater'?

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