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Monday, April 23, 2012


I don't think we could hit Hannah Montana at this point, but her bat might play well in the middle of the lineup.

I went on record, humbly accepting Kyle Kendrick as a "major league pitcher" after his last relief outing.

I'm hopeful that I'll have to further eat crow and anoint him as a "viable major league starter" in the next couple of weeks, as well.

Hope he still has Happ's old smoke and mirrors.

Iceman, I see what you did there...

I got the bar ware ready like I'm prepping for surgery. Could be a LONG game!

Way too many whiners on this blog this early in the season.

Has Drexel Lebow suspended their sponsorship of the Game Chat until the Phils reach .500 or something? Can't say I'd blame them for not wanting to be associated with some of the commentary on these recent Game Chats.

Chase Field is one of the better hitter's parks in baseball, but the D'backs only scary LH hitter is Montero so this matchup could be worse for KK's debut.

Miley is an OK prospect, but doesn't project as a #1 or #2 and the fact he's LH isn't an issue since the guys who'd be neutralized - Howard and Utley - are already neutralized.

I hope Mayberry's in the lineup because Chase is a big field with lots of OF space making it conducive to doubles and triples. That could help him on offense and makes his glove in LF even more important on defense.

This is one game in one place against one pitcher where it wouldn't make any sense to start Pierre.

On the Hardball Talk list of stories in the sidebar, I see one titled "The Royals Are Still A Little League Team". Wonder if we could beat them.

..aside from the fact that Pierre is hitting plus .300 and Mayberry....isn't exactly doing the same.

However, I am a believer in Mayberry even though I can't look past the fact that he looks as befuddled as I've ever seen him. What he is going through is completely mental. 100%. It's obvious that the talent is there. I believe what he's struggling with is the same thing that has kept him out of the majors for so long. At any rate, I will agree that if you are gonna get him a leg up in order to get going, tonight is a good spot for it.

I mean, does anyone have any idea about any kinda time table on when half our infield will be back?

You got it partially right, clout. Tonight's lineup:

Pierre LF
Polly 3B
Rollins SS
Wiggy 1B
Vic CF
Ruiz C
Mayberry RF
Galvis 2B

And despite his absence from the starting lineup, there's still a 98% chance that Pence is swinging at the first pitch tonight.

Kudos to anyone who predicted "he'll be our cleanup hitter at some point next season," regarding Wigginton, as well...

Wow the scotch must be working good. A look at that line up, I thought it was the 1927 Yankees for a second.

WP: At least Mayberry's in it. If he gets a line drive in the gap it should be a hit.

Just hope a D'backs winning run doesn't depend on a throw to the plate from LF.

Meant to say should be an EXTRA BASE hit

"Just hope a D'backs winning run doesn't depend on a throw to the plate from LF."

Truer words have never been spoken.

BTW, someone should check to make sure Manuel is okay. Not sure if he realizes that he penciled in his catcher into the 6-spot.

The Phillies have a crap record (20-27, .426) at Chase Field. They'll be lucky to take 1 of 3.

DPatrone: "AWH~ I understand everything quite perfectly. What YOU STILL don't understand is that the offense was going to suffer as soon as Howard went down."

Ummm, Dom, are you kidding me? Seriously? You think I didn't understand that?

Actually, it's you who don't understand that no player who coould have close to replacing Howard's productions was going to come to Philly to be Howard's caddy for two months - despite what you may think.

Gelb: "Hunter Pence is hurt. Arm injury. Unclear on severity. Likely not available off bench."

"Actually, it's you who don't understand that no player who coould have close to replacing Howard's productions was going to come to Philly to be Howard's caddy for two months - despite what you may think."

I agree with this to some degree, but I'm also not willing to let Amaro entirely off the hook with this.

I think we all expected for Mayberry to do better, and judging by the other moves Amaro made, he essentially thought Mayberry could replace Howard well enough for the first 50-60 games. He thought the rest of the production would be picked up by Wiggy and Nix (who ironically, is being buried on the bench with his 2-year deal).

But Amaro essentially pushed all his chips behind a guy who has had very little sustained ML success. Again, I don't think anyone could have thought he'd start this bad, and he still has time to get out of it. So far, though, it's been a losing bet for a Amaro, and one that he should be held accountable for.

(PS- I still want to know why Lee wasn't signed, though I suspect the answer is probably that he wanted to start 150 games instead of 50)

Oh, good, another injury/non-injury that will linger and inhibit the roster for the better part of a week, before a decision is made on the DL...

I suppose we can always chalk up Pence's diminished offense to an arm injury now though, right?

Guys, don't worry- if Pence has to go to the DL, Mini-Mart will be back soon and we can just shift Vic over to RF. Bat Mini 2nd. Two problems solved.

This is the Baseball Gods way of smacking Rube in the face and saying "Effing Free Dom Brown already, and get it over with, will ya?"

Thank goodness for the NHL playoffs.

Salisbury: "Pence out of lineup w sore L shoulder, Manuel says. He banged into wall in SF a week ago."

So yeah, I guess we can blame Hunter's recent crapfest at the plate on the injury.

GTown, I saw the play where he hit the wall. Great play, and I'm not shocked that might feel a bit of a twinge afterwards.

HOWEVER, I also saw batting practice for the last 4 days and Pence was his usual self, melting faces in the canyon that is Petco Park (and his in-game defense was normal, complete with questionable routes, but no visual impact).

Anyway, not sure if they feel like they need an excuse for his recent poor play and night off tonight, or what, but I'm not sold on it being injury from that ball in SF. Perhaps a bruised ego?

I won't be shocked when Manuel calls on him to pinch hit in the 8th inning and we need a HR tonight.

clout's favorite Cody 'The Answer' Ransom is hitting 6th for Arizona tonight.

Gelb: "Charlie had said the injury happened a week ago. Apparently not, according to Pence ... Signals crossed: Pence said the injury occurred Sunday when he dove. Left arm. No diagnosis yet."

The mystery deepens ...

So, as usual, players are playing hurt and the inevitable DL stint is pushed further out the timeline while player X is hurting the team through ineffectiveness. Sound familiar? Rollins, et al over the recent years?

Dammit, get a thorough assessment at the outset and make a firm decision about whether to DL, or not.

This crap about players "toughing" it out has gotten old and tired and it only prolongs the injury and makes the lineup ultimately weaker.

Phils/Kendrick are +105 tonight, FWIW. AZ and their .500 record, behind their career 7-game starter, is -125.

That's a slap in the face.

"KISS Saves Christmas" is a more believable premise than "Kyle Kendrick Saves The Phillies".

"The Phillies are lucky to be 7-9."

JW, confirmation bias on your part, and yes, they have "looked" worse than that.

Their run differential says they should be 8-8.

The problem is we've all been conditioned to expect better.

Actually, this 16 games stretch should be very informative for the younger guys who don't remember 13 losing season in 14 years.

Except for 1993, this is what we had to look forward to almost every year.

Iceman, I agree almost entirely with your post.

Y'all know my position: I posted numerous times in the preseason about how important a productive Mayberry would be for this team to succeed without Howard and Utley.

Hey, can I crow about how I was right and no one will ever admit it?

Nobody finds it slightly ironic that a face melting free swinger has hurt his shoulder. I am sad that there have not been some snappy posts about this.

On the homefront, unlike Patrone's family, my wife feels the team will do better but has suggested I not stay up to watch them until they string three wins together.

Aside from meaningless end-of-the-season games, when was the last time the Phillies fielded a lineup (including the pitcher) this weak?

I actually agree with Todd Zolecki's thoughts on Thome, below:

* * *

Jim Thome has 2 hits and 9 strikeouts in 16 at-bats. I’ve had fans ask me if they think he is finished. But I’ve got a crazy idea: Play Thome more. If Charlie Manuel believes Thome needs more at-bats, which he said yesterday, then give them to him. What does Manuel have to lose? There had been talk in spring training that Thome might be able to play as many as two games in the field every week. Maybe even three. What happened to that? Thome has started just three times this season. If Thome plays more and his back flares up, it’s not like his absence is going to kill the offense, as little as he has played and as little as he has contributed as a pinch-hitter. (He’s 0-for-7 with 5 strikeouts as a pinch-hitter.) And as much as Thome has struck out, he also has given the Phillies some of their most “professional” at-bats. He is averaging 4.50 pitches per plate appearance. The next closest Phillies players with 16 or more at-bats are Juan Pierre (4.02) and Placido Polanco (3.94). So turn Thome loose. Let’s see how much he has left in the tank. If he produces, great. If he can’t handle the job physically or he continues to struggle, well, then you know.
Oh, and when Thome starts hit him fourth and Pence third. Maybe Pence would be more comfortable hitting somewhere other than cleanup. He has never hit more than 25 homers or had more than 97 RBIs in a season. Cleanup isn’t his spot, at least when Thome is playing.
I’ve gotten lots of e-mails and tweets about Domonic Brown, but he is hitting just .263 (15-for-57) with four doubles, one triple and eight RBIs in 15 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He has a .311 on-base percentage and a .368 slugging percentage. As much as John Mayberry Jr. has struggled, I can’t see the Phillies considering Brown as the solution in left field with a .680 OPS in Triple-A.

7 October 2011?

I'm OK with Charlie's lineup tonight, gives Pence a breather and wigginton at his best possible value - 1B vs LHP

Aside from meaningless end-of-the-season games, when was the last time the Phillies fielded a lineup (including the pitcher) this weak?

Posted by: Iowaphan | Monday, April 23, 2012 at 07:40 PM
* *

7 October 2011?

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Monday, April 23, 2012 at 07:42 PM

* *

Good one, GTown!

Sadly, to give rollins a breather, it'll include Galvis and Orr in the same lineup.

Yeah, this lineup is one for the ages. Literally. Discounting the 7-8-9 black hole, our primary offense is an average of 33.5 years young.

I've found the solution to the pain that is watching the Phillies. Green Flash West Coast IPA. Add bourbon and herbs as suits your particular palate. That is all.

It's one thing to give Pence a day off, it's another thing to know he's injured.

I hope that, like Chooch's wrist, this turns out to be minor.

"Green Flash West Coast IPA"

Good choice

Personally, I like the idea of Thome getting more time. Perhaps I'm letting nostalgia get the better of me, but I can't help but think Jim's got a hot streak or two left in him. I watched the man play quite a few times last season, & it's hard for me to believe that, given a chance to get his timing down, he can't still contribute. At any rate, what do the Phillies have to lose by trying?

GTown, amen.

Like I said last thread, it's not like his bat has slowed (like Raul last year). He's just in the midst of one of those funks that one of the most prolific power hitters of all time gets into every now and again. There's a reason he's 2nd all time in strike outs. Were we really expecting him to provide some semblance of consistency?

That's like asking Burrell to provide consistency (or sobriety).

Preacher: Or monogamy.

Hey, mainerob, I'll be in Portland and Augusta later this week.

Are there any good places to eat and imbibe in those town - or nearby?

News flash, from Salisbury on Twitter:

Chase Utley is taking ground balls alongside Freddy Galvis. That is some serious #PhilliesTalk.

If Pence goes on the DL, it's Podsednik getting the call, not Brown. No doubt about it.

Hugh, once again, we disagree. I would never dilute bourbon with beer.

awh, the retrodictive value of run-differential this early in the season is almost null.

The Phillies have scored 43 runs and given up 46. At only 16 games, that's just as likely to produce an 8-8 record, 10-6 record or 6-10 record.

When you consider this run distribtuion, 8-8 would be a near miracle:

0 runs: 2 games
1 run: 4 games
2 runs: 4 games
3 runs: 1 game
4 runs 2 games
5 runs: 1 games
7 runs: 1 games
8 runs: 1 game

So, we have 10 games alone where they scored 2 runs or less, and 11 games of 3 runs or less.

Last year's Phillies (with a full season of Ryan Howard and an offense that finished 7th in the NL in runs scored), had a .245 winning percentage in games where they scored 2 runs or less. If we bring that WP forward, we would expect the Phils to be 2-8 in the 10 games where they scored 2 runs or less.

They had a .286 WP in games where they scored 3 runs or less, so in those 11 games, we'd expect a 3-8 record.

When we jump to games of 4 runs or less, they had a .348 WP. Bringing that to this year, we'd expect a record of 5-8. Still sitting at your 8 loss mark.

But here's the kicker: the Phillies were the best in the league in these categories last year, and in the 3 & 4 runs or less category, by a considerable margin. Thus, those figures can't be used as good proxies for this year's team.

As much as the offense was lamented last year, the Phillies were actually in the middle of the pack when it came to how many games they scored 3 runs or less, and they were below the median in scoring 2 runs or less, 1 run or less and were only one of 4 teams to be shut out less than 8 times.

Point being, if last year's Phillies scored 2 runs or less in a whopping 63% of their games, I doubt they would have sustained such freakishly high winning percentages.

"7 October 2011?"

Well, I have criticized GTwon repeatedly for whining, but with that post he wins the thread!

Thome's problem seems to be getting the bat off his shoulder. Indecision until death every at bat. Definitely too few at bats to order a coffin for him. I agree with whomever suggested getting him more ABs and seeing if he starts hitting. Same with Nix.

Loved b_a_p's treatise on why 'we' hate Pierre. Tallest midget award is his.

brad, you sure about that?

To date this season with LV:

Scotty Pods: .200/.200/.314 (.514 OPS)
Dom Brown: .263/.311/.368 (.680 OPS)

Iceman -- your 06:56 PM post is spot on. In fact, I rarely disagree with you, and seldom post when you and others give learned opinions that are in step with my thinking (I just don't have much time to spend here).

Why the heck did you get all bent out of shape when I mentioned Bowa? It's not like I'm advocating a hunger strike to get him hired. He simply was the personality most diametrically opposed to Chollie's.

Also, props to b_a_p on his superb postmortem on the managerial nonsense contributing to this funk. I think this may be the post of the year, and we’re not out of April yet:

"when Vic was leading off, how many runs has he scored? . . . Polanco hitting #2 and J-Roll hitting #3 are the problem."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I concede the point. Polanco & Rollins have far more to do with Pierre's paltry run total than Pierre himself.
Nonetheless, I loathe Juan Pierre. I understand that he has been the least of our problems up to this point, but he is a symbol for everything that is wrong with the 2012 Phillies. You've got a team which has too many old, declining players; which lacks for power; and which struggles to get men on base. So what do we do? We sign a 34-year old, badly-declined cast-off who slugged .327 last year and who couldn't get a major league contract anywhere else. Then we put him in our starting lineup, making a bench player out of a 28-year old who had an .854 OPS last season, and a minor league player out of the best prospect in our system. Then, for good measure, we bat him at the top of the order, even though he posted a barely league average OBP last season. And we start him almost exclusively against RHP, even though he's terrible against RHP & good against LHP -- and we do so at the expense of a guy who actually DOES hit RHP pretty well and can hit for power.
Everything about Juan Pierre's acquisition and use is just directionally wrong for this team. He hasn't been the team's greatest problem in 2012, but he is the greatest symbol of their problems.
Posted by: bay_area_phan | Monday, April 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Good stuff. Sad, really how it indicts both Charlie and RAJ.

"I would never dilute bourbon with beer."

What is that, a Kentucky Car Bomb? Beer is to quench the thirst for traffic on the base paths. Bourbon is for the general sense of well-being while all goes to hell around you. To each his own.

To follow up, here the Phillies WP in games of 4 runs or less last year, and the team's around them:

4 runs or less:

1. PHI: .348
2. DET: .290

3 runs or less:

1. PHI: .286
2. STL: .215

2 runs or less:

1. PHI/WSN: .245
2. ATL: .231

1 run:

9. PHI: .150

Definitely a post worthy of the "Beerleaguer Hall of Fame".

I can tell you more about Portland than Augusta, awh. Portland has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the US and many of them are outstanding.

One of the very best with a great bar in Portland is Fore Street known for its hanger steak among many other specialties. Google it and you'll find a nice website. Street and Company is the best fish restaurant in town and Cinque Terre will provide you with a delectable Italian menu. Try any one or all and you won't go away with an unsatiated appetite.

Augusta? Meh.

Have a great time in Maine and, hopefully, the weather will cooperate as it isn't right now.

Btw, I'm in Brunswick right between the two cities.

Geesh -- I made the Utster out for dead... my bad. Regardless, not a soul around here would be happier if he played 120 games to the tune of .270/.390/.450. If only!

Fatti, I'm just going by what they post over at

My general point is this:

This team, as it's currently constructed, without Howard and Utley, is not playing up to it's potential.

Not only are they missing two All-Star calibre players, but the guys who are not on the DL (Rollins, Polanco, et al) are playing like sh8t.

Wiggy has done as well as could be expected, Nix has started slowly and gotten buried against RHP by Charlie's fascination with 'Pop Gun' Pierre, and Thome has stunk in all of 18 PA. Who expected Freddy to do much better than he has? Schneider? Well...count me in the group that thinks he's cooked. IMHO either Kratz or Gosewich would be upgrades. Pete Orr is Pete Orr, and a .250 BA is probably all we can expect from him.

Basically, what I'm stating is that with Howard and Utley out it's incumbent on the 5 holdover regulars from 2011 who are not on the DL, specifically - Rollins, Pence, Polanco, Vic, and Chooch - to step up their games. They haven't done it. Also, as others have pointed out, RAJ seems to have "counted" on Mayberry continuing his 2011 performance and, so far, except for one game, he's fallen flat on his face.

What did anyone expect - that Nixington, Thome and RFD would "carry" the team while Howie and Chase are out?

Sure, even they haven't played as well as they can, but what were your expectations?

The "Holdover Five" need to step up their games. The role playing subs are exactly that, and not much more should be expected from them.

What did anyone expect - that Nixington, Thome and RFD would "carry" the team while Howie and Chase are out?

Hasn't r00b basically stated that those were/are his expectations? Kind of a shame, really, seeing as how he's the GM & all.

Hugh, Green Flash West Coast IPA: highly recommended for west coast games.

Pence out too?

That's it man, game over man, game over! What the fvck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

mainerob, thanks.

Jim Salisbury: Utley said he was pain free hitting. Still some pain fielding. Legs are stronger. He is upbeat about progress. No timetable still

NEPP: Watching "Aliens" again??

Another solution to the pain that is watching the Phillies:

Supplemented every now and then by this:

From David Hale: Utley on when he might return: "I have to listen to my body and right now it's telling me to continue to move forward with the things I'm doing. I don't want to put a certain date on it because I don't want to force something that's not ready to happen. When my knee is ready to go, I'll be out there."

Bake, I don't know the beer but, that's my prescription for bourbon.

I predict a breakout of 3 runs tonight. Phils lose 9-3. Power of negative thinking serves me well.

On another front -

ARod hit a three-run homer tonight, giving him 632 HRs and 1900 RBIs for his career. He has a shot this at passing Mays on the HR list and at becoming only the fourth player to reach 2,000 RBIs. He should also end the season with well over 2,900 hits.

A helluva ballplayer.

And a horse's ass.

Anyone hear about Howards visit to the specialist? It was postponed to today wasn't it?

NEPP -- I don't know if you're a "craft brew" fan. Or one who loves very hoppy beers.

If yes to both, go to the best beer store you know and try to find some fresh "Green Flash" IPA. I think that they date stamp their product; the fresher, the better, generally, less than 3 months old is awesome.

Or, in the words of Otter:

Come on, Flounder.

You can't worry forever about your mistakes. You fuc8ed up. You trusted us. Make the best of it. Maybe we can help you.

Flounder: That's easy for you to say. What am l going to tell Fred?

Otter: I'll tell you what. I'll swear you were doing a great job taking care of his car, but... you parked it out back last night, and this morning, it was gone. D-Day takes care of the wreck. We tell the police. Your brother's insurance buys him a new car.

Flounder: Will that work?

Otter: It's got to work better than the truth. My advice to you... is to start drinking heavily.

Unknown: Better listen to him. He's in premed.

Otter: There you go. Just leave everything to me.

I wish I knew who was Otter and who was Flounder...

Last word on Howard was via his twitter at 3:17 he said he was about to head to his 3:30 appointment. I would assume there would be info tomorrow at the earliest.

Wussies dude didnt even hit the wall that hard to be hurt...Play tackle football in the middle of street and hit the pavement then we talk..

If hunters injury isn't bad, and howards foot isn't bad. Maybe this is rock bottom as of right now. Good to see chase swinging. And fielding. Know he's not here yet. But maybe he can tell these rubes to start playing.
How would line up look if everyone is healthy?

If Dom was up Vic second Dom 6th

Anyone got an over/under for pitches in the first inning by this jabroni? (/MG)

Doesn't have much ML experience and Pierre gets on base vs. LHP*. I've got a good feeling- 10 pitches.

*To solidify Cholly never hitting Pierre against LHP again, he'll probably go 0-4

This game feels like a shutout loss.

Thought this game started at 9:45. What gives?

"ARod . . . has a shot this at passing Mays on the HR list and at becoming only the fourth player to reach 2,000 RBIs. He should also end the season with well over 2,900 hits.

A helluva ballplayer.

And a [centaur]."

Jabroni: 1
Phillies: 0

It pays to be optimistic- I hit that one right on the nose. Way to work the count guys!

"Thought this game started at 9:45. What gives?"

It did. The Phillies' half of the inning was faster than the speed of light, thereby taking us several minutes back in time.

Wouldn't you love to be a pitcher facing the Phils this year - well, right now? You're going to greatly improve your ERA and most likely get a win. I know all the talk of everybody slumping at the same time, but a quick look at this lineup makes you think of the Pirates. Last year free agent Beltran is playing well, did Roob ever talk to him? He'd look nice in the outfield right about now.

It's uncanny how every pitcher (even the jabronis) pound the strike zone with absolutely no fear of being hurt against these guys.

Miley is just pumping fastballs right down the middle that inning like he's Justin Verlander.

There the Pierre we all know and love.

Well, Cholly's decision to start Pierre has wasted no time in costing us badly.

Brown would have had that...

If that's not scored an error, the D-Backs official scorer should be flat out fired.

Juan Pierre, Team MVP.

Leadoff error - I mean double, they score here and we all know it's over.

Look away...

"Wouldn't you love to be a pitcher facing the Phils this year - well, right now? You're going to greatly improve your ERA and most likely get a win."

You just described my fantasy baseball strategy. Anthony Bass won me two categories at the end of my match-up yesterday.

Oh, Pierre. Well, it would have likely been a double with Raoul or Burrell out in the field, too.

And this is about what I expected from at least some of KK's starts.

Just peachy.

Time to go to bed already?

How can the announcers comment that Pierre "Is having a fine year" after 3 weeks? Charitably, he's the cream of the crap.


This is starting well.

Kendrick is sharp - this may be a 12-0 shutout loss.

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