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Friday, April 13, 2012


So so far we've won every series except for a trip to Pittsburgh. Deja vu all over again.

The Marlins were just sloppy but, the score didn't necessarily reflect how sloppy. A dropped pop up preceeded the Wigginton homer and, a bungled relay on Pence's double actually led to an out that saved a run. Also, how was Polanco not standing on second after that ball Stanton dropped?

Great game for Wigginton but, I think he's going to hurt them at 1B. Already has. He plays the position like he has his glove on the wrong hand.

Over the last decade and change (since 01, really) the Phillies have consistently played clean, if shy of spectacular, defense and have run the bases as good as any team in baseball. These are the things that have kept them not only competitive but a joy to watch. We have been spoiled not just by the winning but by the good baseball that they play. I do not look forward to the first year that they are consistently careless out there.

Marlins' offense looks almost as bad as our collection of washed up has beens, as long as we're judging them on the basis on a week of games.

Phils fans do not suffer fools in the field and Qualls is qualmlessly confident on the mound.

Ya gotta give Joe Blanton some credit... Ya know how many people have tried to kill him in the last 60 years, but that s.o.b is still around...

'Less out of more' would be an appropriate motto for the Fish the last several years. Always seem to be a somewhat talented team on paper heading into the season yet a combo of poor fundamentals, weak defense, and injuries derail each subsequent season.

great game for Joey Bag'o Donuts. If he keeps it up all year the lineup will be able to average 3 runs a game (which is bad) and the team will still win 100 games. 3 aces and 2 #3 starers is an amazing rotation.

MG: not the best clubhouse dynamic either.

Qualls calm on the mound? He was walking around a lot on that mound and all he had confidence in was his sinker. Qualls is the setup man by default right now but it is a role I don't want him in. Get back soon Big Truck because you are sorely missed.

I'm not sure MG can be looked at as a rational commented on Qualls.

Waaayyy to early, but the money spent on him might not have been the worst thing to have ever happened like it was made out to be.

There is no substitute in a long baseball season for great starting pitching.

Phillies starters so far this year:40 IP, 5BB, 29K, 8ER, 1.80 ERA

Even if Utley and Howard don't play a game this year, with a starting rotation that good the Phils will win 90+ games this year.

Dan, re: 95 wins, I hope so. Agree they are really good, but looking at that stat line, no way they can sustain that pace over the course of the season.

If you take out the first two games in Pittsburgh where Galvis looked visibly overmatched at the plate, he has the following line in the last 4:

14 PA, 12 AB, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 SO, 2 2B, 4 RBI, .250 AVG/.318 OBP/.724 OPS.

So basically, he has been fine as he's started to seem comfortable at the plate.

So far as I can tell, Qualls has been fine so far. Has he even allowed a run?

And yet Contreras is "sorely missed" by MG.

MG: Yeah, he was definitely all sinker last night. My expectations were very small for Qualls. But from what I've seen, including spring exhibition, he looks ok to me. I hope he can lock down something like a seventh inning role when Big Truck gets back.

So I'm now not the only person who doesn't think Chad Qualls is terrible? Because it sure seemed like I was all winter and spring.

NEPP, if you take out all the ABs where Galvis didn't get a hit, he looks even better! :)

Interesting to go with Pence in the header highlighting defense, considering he was the only guy to make a mistake in the field, as he probably should have caught the ball that led to the Marlins only run.

Iceman, regardless of one's feelings on Qualls, you would agree that it would be a boon to this bullpen to have a healthy and effective Contreras back, right? I mean, I think Qualls is a fine pitcher myself, but lock-down setup guy I do not think he is.

DIP, I'm getting 39.1 IP and 7 ER for the starters this year, for a 1.60 ERA.

JW - Qualls is a one-trick pony with only that sinker. If he has it working, he can get by. Inevitably going to have his share of outings where it isn't & where Qualls gets 'brained' because he gives up a bomb when he hangs a sinker over the plate.

Best-case scenario for him is he gives you enough innings without giving up a run to make up for the outings where he gives up a HR and gives up 2-3 runs.

Still not a guy I want setting up a game especially one where the Phils are up a run. Going to give up his share of base hits, he has no pickoff move, and he's easy to run on because of his delivery.

Contreras is sorely missed. What middle reliever do you have much confidence in right now to come in give them a clean frame in the 7th?

Bastardo hasn't looked right since the start of spring training.

Stutes had made zero progress. 92-93 MPH straight fastball and a below-average slider he can't throw for a strike or get hitters to chase with any consistency.

Herndon's a low-leverage guy. Ditto Savery.

KK is the long-man and you don't want to see at the end of games.

Most nights they will get by because their starter is going to give them at least 6 IP. Super luxury that very few teams in MLB have right now.

"Probably should have?"

More like "would have been a fantastic play had he..."

Totally agree with the header, and have really enjoyed the good fundamentals in recent years, and I loved seeing Reyes get caught trying to steal third with two outs the other night. Never change, Jose.

Speaking of making the final out at third, Deadspin posted 'the' list of unwritten rules; should be fun to reference when it looks like Cholly's about to anger up the blood:

Jack, I thought that Galvis should have had that ball hit by Reyes. He kind of let it eat him up, but he more than made up for it with some other spectacular plays.

The story of the night last night was far and away the performance of JB. He looks more fit than in year's past, his fastball looked pretty good, and he was very efficient. He left after 7 IP with less than 90 pitches, I believe. He could have easily pitched the 8th, and I would have been quite ok with it. If he can pitch to around a 3.75 ERA this year, the Phillies will be in great shape, and will be better prepared to offset any regression from Worley, hould it come to pass.

Not saying Contreras is some kind of savior either. Who knows if his elbow holds up or if he is able to have an effective slider (didn't most of last year when he did pitch) or be able to hit 94-95 like he did in '10.

Contreras allowed another run on Thurs. in his latest rehab appearance on 3 hits and had to strike out two guys to get out of a bases loaded jam.

He's scheduled to pitch today & could very well be back by early next week.

Fatalotti - go stick your head in a pig (see if you get the reference without google).

OK, I do math without a spreadsheet and I make errors - sue me!

MG- I would think the term "sorely missed" would be reserved for those whose absences have cost the team games. You said Contreras was sorely missed because Qualls is pitching the 8th, and as far as I can tell, he's been the best reliever not named Papelbon so far. So I'm not sure why he would be 'sorely missed' in that capacity. Because you don't like watching Qualls walk around on the mound?

If you meant it solely in terms of bullpen depth, then yeah, he's sorely missed, as his absence probably cost us the last game in the Pittsburgh series.

***Jack, I thought that Galvis should have had that ball hit by Reyes. He kind of let it eat him up, but he more than made up for it with some other spectacular plays.***

Yeah, he should have had it. He should have just knocked it down instead of trying to glove it but that's one of those mistakes he'll learn from. His range is phenomenal as he showed on that shot up the middle and his reactions are fantastic as well as he showed on that Stanton liner where he almost doubled off the guy at first on a ridiculously smooth catch/spin/throw moves. The Reyes hit took a weird bounce and he didn't react!t happens.

I stand by my statement that he's a better defender than Utley.

Qualls though might be a very good value find. Amaro has had a very mixed track record on his 2nd-tier FA signings but has done a nice job overall of finding value in veteran FA bullpen pieces.

Yeah he had the Baez signing and resigning Contreras to a 2-year deal was ill-advised.

Still the 'hits' outweigh the 'misses.'

Park was a great value at 1 yr/$2.5M in '09. Ditto Contreras at 1 yr/$1.5M in '10.

Iceman - Qualls not being available in the Pittsburgh hurt but you really have a lot of confidence in him especially in a 1-run game?
I don't.

***Park was a great value at 1 yr/$2.5M in '09***

Once that whole "I promised him a spot in the rotation BS" thing ended.

None of the Braves' starters have gone more than 5 IP through the first 6 games and Freddi is already going to the bullpen early and often.

He's just an incompetent boob when it comes to managing a pitching staff & especially a bullpen.

As much grief as I give Cholly, Freddi is one of the worst managers I can remember in recent history in the NL at handling a staff.

Going to grind up that bullpen again by August I bet.

Jack: All winter long I said that Qualls would be a good signing because he was going to be cheap and with the volatility of bullpen pieces he could very easily have a nice year.

But you have to remember- his signing came on the heels of trading the vaunted Wilson Valdez so it was met with ridicule.

And for all those Valdez backers let me ask you this- what is better for this team right now and going forward: The sparkling defense, low hitting, high energy of Freddie Galvis or the sparkling defnse, low hitting, average energy of Valdez?

TTI, to call Valdez's defense sparkling is to sully the good name of the word sparkling.

DIP's mistake was counting Blanton's relief numbers on the starters' ledger.

unwritten rule #13 "Never let the score influence the way you manage." seems to contradict 50% of the other rules.

unwritten rule #13 "Never let the score influence the way you manage." seems to contradict 50% of the other rules.

Posted by: Jbird |Friday, April 13, 2012 at 09:56 AM

If you're not managing based on the score, what the hell is your purpose of being in the dugout? Just set up a game plan, tell it to the players, and then go take a nap.

Of course you need to manage based on the score.

JW: "Blanton took charge with one strike after another, none of it fast and much of it off-speed."

I actually thought Blanton's fastball location early was one of the best things he did last night. The first time through the lineup he was hitting his spots at 90-91 to get ahead and then flashing the junk later on. A couple of his strikeouts were actually on 4 seamers that he snuck past hitters after dancing his offspeed stuff out and away.

TTI: I'd still default to Galvis and the team long term being better off with Galvis in AAA. current performance of the 2, maybe Galvis, but he's not running away with it yet. Valdez has 1 more hit in 1/2 as many at bats. But Galvis is better on the field. But if Galvis hits .250+ with a .300+ obp and continues to develop, I'll be glad to be wrong.

Fun with pretending we can quanitfy defensive contribution:

We don't know everything that baseball management does about defense, but one metric is "Defensive Runs Saved" (DRS). Freddy leads the Phils with +2, which is tied for 4th in the majors for all positions and is tied for first for 2nd basemen and 2nd in the NL.

No other Phillie has a DRS above 0. According to FanGraphs, a whole season of +15 is gold glove quality defense. It's silly to talk about "pace" after one week, but if Galvis were to play at this level for a whole season he'd end up somewhere north of +50. In 2011, the very best 2B ended up with a DRS of 23.

MG- why at this point would I have less confidence in Qualls, who has not allowed an earned run this season, than Contreras, who is 40 years old and coming off of elbow surgery?

If your point is the bullpen is dreadfully thin, then I'm with you. But I don't really have much confidence in any of them to be an 8th inning guy at this point. Bastardo should be the guy, but like you said, he does not look like the same pitcher he was last year.

Blanton was able to locate his fastball and had good feel for all 3 of his offspeed pitches last night.

When he is able to do that, he is a very good pitcher. Just rare that he is at that level through out an entire start over 7-8 IP.

Its also worth noting that Galvis leads the NL in Assists at 2B and is 2nd in Putouts. He's getting to a ton of balls so far.

Was anyone else not worried that Papelbon was going to blow the save last night?

Maybe it's just the fact that I am not used to watching a closer with two effective pitches after the past three seasons, but he seemed in control to me, albeit extremely amped up.

If you were to calculate out Freddy's WAR (not available yet as his defensive numbers arent being put yet), he's currently at -0.1 WAR for offense and his Runs Saved put him at roughly 0.2 WAR for defensive purposes. Thus he's a 0.1 WAR player at this point. His glove is basically just making up for his offense right now.

***albeit extremely amped up. ***

He looked like he was gripping the ball too hard...and it was hurting his velocity on a couple pitches. Otherwise, he looked good.

Which is a less useful measurement, WAR or "Defensive Runs Saved"?


Somehow I find myself very skeptical of the idea that our bullpen savior is a 40-year old, who pitched all of 14 innings last year & who was still injured when spring training rolled around this year.

As with Lidge last year, the Phillies have nothing to lose, and a great deal to gain, by giving Contreras another shot & hoping for the best. But I doubt this one turns out as well as Lidge did. Contreras was absolutely bombed in his few spring training appearances and he has continued to struggle in his rehab appearances against Single A opposition. I'd be very surprised if he's of any use this year.

WAR, DRS, 99% of non Philliper posts on beerlaeguer >>>> value of all Phlipper's comments/insights combined

Fish have my early bet for 'Worst OF defense' in the NL.

DRS is actually a pretty good stat.

It is also funny how just one week into the season all of the national pundits seem to have done a complete 180 on the NL East.

Instead of being the 'Group of Death' it is a division filled with flawed teams.

Anyone who follows these teams though on a closer basis though in spring training realized that and a few injuries (especially to the Nats) have just made that more likely.

Considering how much of a groundball pitcher Halladay, Lee and Hamels are you can bet they are happy to have such a strong defense at 2nd.

If Galvis can just hit his weight and if Utley comes back, next year Rollins will probably switch to 3rd next year. Utley has had good defensive measures and lately Rollins not so much, so we might see a big leap in infield defense next year.

MG RE: Nats - just wait until Strausberg reaches his innings limit/gets injured. Almost 0% chance they finish with a winning record this year, IMHO.

Re Chad Qualls . . . I thought the acquisition was pretty decent too. He's essentially what the Phillies hoped David Herndon would become, but didn't: a durable ground ball specialist, who doesn't have great stuff, but who doesn't often beat himself with walks or bad pitches. The problem is not Chad Qualls. The problem is that, in a playoff caliber bullpen, Chad Qualls would be about the 4th best guy. In our bullpen, he's the 2nd best.

"WAR, DRS, 99% of non Philliper posts on beerlaeguer >>>> value of all Phlipper's comments/insights combined"

lorcore, What's your PVAR (post value against replacement) rating?

"Almost 0% chance [the Nats] finish with a winning record this year, IMHO."

They were essentially .500 (80-81) last year with no Stephen Strasburg, no Gio Gonzalez, no Edwin Jackson, and terrible years from Zimmerman and Werth. The Morse and Storen injuries are huge blows, no doubt. But Morse will eventually be back & their starting pitching is so vastly improved as to easily offset the loss of a closer.

"The problem is that, in a playoff caliber bullpen, Chad Qualls would be about the 4th best guy. In our bullpen,

I'd say that outside of part of last year (when Bastardo was dealing), the combo of Paps and Qualls may perform as well as the closer/setup the Phillies have had most of the time since the WFC. It certainly would be nice to have someone better - but it's premature to say that it isn't playoff caliber.

Didn't clout assure us that Phlipper and lorecore were the same person?

I think I heard on the postgame show on Comcast SportsNet that Blanton threw 85 pitches, 57 of them for strikes.

Pretty good. It was great to have such a good first outing from him.

"Didn't clout assure us that Phlipper and lorecore were the same person?"

All part of what the Phils front office pays me/us to do: A devious plot to create confusion amongst Phillies' critics.

the fact that the majority of my posts aren't whining about what "beerleaguer taught me" probably puts me in the positive on that metric alone.

We get it, you think people are too negative. Lets joke about how the season is over all the time, yuk yuk yuk.

"We get it, you think people are too negative. "

Too negative? At Beerleaguer? Who?

Haven't seen Old Phan for a while. Is he still around?

What fell apart more quickly: North Korea's missile launch or South Florida's baseball campaign?

Are the radar guns amped this year? Because Blanton's fastball was routinely at 91 and Qualls is throwing in the mid nineties.

Blanton hasn't regularly been at 91 since he was first acquired. And if I'd known Qualls was a mid-90s guy, I wouldn't have been so down on the move. Even though he got a big assist on strike three last night from the ump. There is a large difference between an 89 mph sinker and a 93-95 mph sinker. I truly don't remember him having that much velocity.

***Are the radar guns amped this year? Because Blanton's fastball was routinely at 91 and Qualls is throwing in the mid nineties. ***

Pitchfx (typically more accurate than the stadium gun) had Blanton sitting 90.5 on his fastball and 90.2 on his sinker with him topping out at 92.3 mph.

For Qualls, it had him averaging 92.74 on his sinker with him topping out at 94.3 mph.

So...nice I guess.

Those velocities are right in line with Qualls numbers for last year.

Starks column today cast some doubt on the Dodgers will sign Hamels meme. Personally I think they'd be better off looking at hitting.

Blanton fastball had more life last night than it did all spring. He was routinely at 88-89 on it topping out at 90. Last night he was routinely 90-91 topping out at 92. Not a huge difference but gives him a little leeway if he makes a mistake with it.

Joe Blanton = Tractor Roy what? Tractor Roy who?

jbird: decent point, but i think what forces their hand on that is if ethier manages to get 140-150 rbis(he has 10 already), then they'll be pretty hard pressed to just let him walk and use that money to sign someone like hamels.

It was nice to watch Blanton throw strike after strike last night. I thought he had a large number of high strikes, though, and I'm not too bullish on him living in that location all year with the same results.

I kind of agree with Hugh. Joe wasn't very low in the zone last night, but he was working hard inside to righties, apparently.

phils record in blanton starts at the bank: 30-13 including playoffs. a .700 winning perecentage. amazing

It wasn't just that Blanton was throwing strikes, or that his velocity was up 1-2 MPH.

He was keeping his fastball out of the middle of the plate. The Blanton I remember from 2010 & 2011 could not command his fastball at all. When he threw it for strikes, it would be up in the zone or right down the middle. Last night he was pumping his fastball right on the corners, and when he missed, it wasn't where hitters could hurt him. When he does that with his fastball, his off-speed stuff (which is actually pretty good) becomes that much more effective.

I'm not totally buying into Blanton being "back" to what he was in 2008-2009 for this team, but it was certainly encouraging to see. Also nice to see him work into the 7th without falling apart.

vs Dickey

Polanco: 7-26, all singles
Pence: 2-12, HR
Rollins: 1-14
Victorino: 3-11, 2 2B, HR
Ruiz: 4-10
Mayberry: 1-6
Wigginton: 0-5

Pretty poor numbers although Vic has all XBH vs him. Dickey's splits are kind of right down the middle LHB/RHB for his career...aren't switch hitters encouraged to bat reverse against knucklers tho?

lorecore, not sure how to find it, but I'd love to see the hitting stats on Phils hitters for the 10 days AFTER they face a knuckle baller. Color me "less than thrilled" about Dickey starting tonight.

At a bare minimum, I agree with the poster who suggested letting Orr get the start at 2B tonight, and save and head games from Galvis.

Question about 7th inning vs 8th inning reliever? Isn't bad if either of them give up 2 or 3 runs? I do not want any 'bad' relievers pitching in any games, especially if the Phillies are winning at the time.

I suppose the 7,8,9th inning roles are all related to when the team is winning and the 'leverage' of the spot. The reason I really liked Madson is that as a 'set-up' guy who could throw more than one inning, Charlie could use him in a high-leverage/fireman role (runners on base and good hitters up) since he could get K's, groundballs, and walked few.

As many have mentioned sometimes the 'closer' role is easier because pitch starts with a clean inning and has time to get warmed up. I always thought have an excellent 'setup' guy was just as important.

Bastardo should be that guy this year. He has the most talent of the rest of the bullpen guys. Qualls and Herndon (and Kendrick) are all ground ball guys. Stutes and Contreras have a better chance for stranding runner via strikeout so I consider them more valuable with runners on.

If he's healthy, I could see Blanton having a 2009 type season. It's not like that season was a huge outlier. Until the last 2 injury-plagued seasons, his career-long pattern had been to alternate between slightly below average & slightly above average seasons. He's due.

It's worth recalling, too, that Blanton is a very streaky pitcher. Even in his generally rotten 2010 season, he went 6-1 with a 3.48 ERA after the AS break. In most seasons, he struggles in the 1st half, then pitches much better in the 2nd. If he could reverse that pattern this year, it would be very helpful. I suspect we'll need him to be good in the 1st half more than we'll need it in the 2nd.

I thought Qualls looked pretty good last night. He was one worm killer away from a 1-2-3 inning. The only balls that were put in play off of him were ground balls. That's as it is supposed to be. And has been mentioned before, his velocity was good too. I don't see much to bitch about there.

Phils -180, o/u 6.5

Thats a pretty strong favorite right there even with Dickey on the mound. FWIW, Dickey is only 2-3 vs Phils despite a 2.61 ERA in 6 starts.

Joe Blanton from 6/24/09-9/5/09:

13 GS, 89.1 IP, 2.52 ERA, 6.95 K/9, 1.91 BB/9, 3.63 K/BB, 1.12 WHIP, .688 OPS against

If we could get that run again this year, that's be awesome.

Phils -180, o/u 6.5

Thats a pretty strong favorite right there even with Dickey on the mound. FWIW, Dickey is only 2-3 vs Phils despite a 2.61 ERA in 6 starts.

Posted by: lorecore | Friday, April 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Don't forget, Cliff Lee's also on the mound. Whenever he's pitching, you've got a pretty good chance.

Ah well i'll be damned..

Dickey @ CBP: Lost both starts with 9 runs and 16 hits in only 9IP, including 3 homeruns.

Looks like his reputation as a Phillie killer was purely on a few of his starts in New York.

Regarding the earlier point on fan interest (or lack thereof) this season, it's actually quite simple. The diehard fans (those of us who follow every single bunt attempt and fastball left up in the zone) have had high expectations the last few seasons, and have had a bad taste in their mouth when it was all said and done. It's only natural that we temper our expectations in the light of it all, while still being somewhat cautiously optimistic about what should still be a very good team. For every negative post (yeah, even from GTown), there is a die hard Phils fan who is rooting like hell for them to win as many games as possible and march through the playoffs.

However, the more noticeable "lack of sentiment" regarding the Phils this year certainly is a direct result of the fewer number of "front runners" (to steal a phrase from JRoll). When the Phils overperformed versus lower expectations and ultimately won a WS, again it's only natural that new fans emerged to be part of the excitement. A few seasons of not meeting ridiculously lofty expectations, and the bandwagoners are sitting back and waiting for the excitement again. They're not necessarily Phillies fans, as much as they're fans of the excitement of winning a championship. Throw in a couple of the most recognizable faces of the team, in Howard and Utley, not so much as sniffing even Spring Training AB's and your casual followers are following something else.

As crazy as it sounds, my mom, girlfriend and even grandmother love them some Howard HR's, but can't quite appreciate the grace of a Juan Pierre bunt single attempt...

But, if this team keeps winning, mom, wifey and the soccer dude from Accounting will tune in later this season and into the playoffs. I'd bet on that.

Dickey's rep as a Phillie killer I think spawns from that one game where he 1-hit them, and that one hit was Hamels (if I'm remembering correctly).

I think Hamels threw a gem that night also. Pretty tough night all-around.

Maybe it's b/c Howard and Utley are out?

WP- great post, especially the last few points.

As an illustration of your point, after Monday's game against the Marlins I told my fiancee (who is an A's fan, but has gotten into the Phillies since they started winning) it would probably be rough to watch the team for the next few months until Utley and Howard came back. Her response: "So who are we going to watch, then?"

In my head I was like, "You don't have a choice."

I think there's a lot of truth to what you said, WP.

* * *
On another note, I saw this today. It's very well-written, and although it's 3 years old, I hadn't seen it before. It's a tribute to Harry Kalas.

Preacher: I'd rather they tuned in sooner. I'm getting killed on trying to resell my extra tickets so far this year. It's definitely not the gimme it has been for the past couple of seasons.

D never slumps; its like the autonomic nervous system, functioning largely below the level of consciousness.

GBrettfan: Thanks for the link. Not a game goes by that I don't miss Harry. If ever there was a baseball version of "The Day The Music Died", 13 April '09 was it.

Man I wonder how long I'll be able to perfectly replicate the sound of Harry's calls in my head at any moment. Maybe forever. I hope so.

Fans and interest:

Phils games last year did a 9.7 average TV rating which was by far the best in MLB.

I am curious to see how many those numbers dip in the early going when the first numbers come out in May/June.

Right now the Phils' rotation looks like a full house - 3 aces and 2 kings.

limoguy, probably closer to 3 Aces and 2 Jacks. Blanton and Worley have to prove that they're even queens yet.

Maybe the Phils' lack of offense isn't as bad as we all think. From Verducci in

"Of the 95 games played in the majors this year, 22 of them were won with three or fewer runs. We still have 96 percent of the season to play, so let's not get carried away. But it's something to keep an eye on: the percentage of games won with three runs or fewer has been climbing in recent years. Check out the annual percentage of games in which the winning team scored three runs or fewer:

Year % Wins with 3R or Less

2006 14.4
2007 15.0
2008 16.8
2009 16.2
2010 19.3
2011 21.0
2012 23.2"

Read more:

NEPP: "If you take out the first two games in Pittsburgh where Galvis looked visibly overmatched at the plate..."

This is the sort of hilariously biased analysis ("If you ignore the 2 months when he was hurt, xxx is a .300 hitter") that I've come to expect on Beerleaguer. I'm happy to see it's starting during the season's first week.

I look forward to the first run-differential forecast dictating how many games the Phils will win. NEPP you want to crack that barrier too, or leave it to Jack or Heather?

Ollie, offense is down, especially in the NL, over the last 5 years. I've been posting about it around here so much that everyone probably is sick of hearing me call this the dead-as-a-doornail-era in baseball.

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