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Saturday, May 05, 2012


ON paper, I like the Nats today. Gonzalez is a tough draw. Good to see Vic at 3 against a lefty and Mayberry in the lineup.

And Chooch batting 5th.

Utley's with the team! Will go to Clearwater at some point for games.

When the starter on this team can't go 7, this team has huge issues.

Its especially problematic because their offense has a real problem scoring runs late (poor PH options most nights, limited power so they need to string together a few hits) and the game is tied.

Ruiz hitting #5 is a sure sign of the Apocalypse. Get your affairs in order.

In another 5 years or so Ruiz will be veteran enough to hit in the top half of the order -- assuming of course that Rollins, Pierre, or Polanco has retired by then.

"...Let's hope the Harper mug isn't a jinx.

Posted by: J. Weitzel | Friday, May 04, 2012 at 01:12 PM"

Never again, JW. Never again!

"It's the highest I can rememebr Chooch hitting in the lineup."

JW, Chooch has 2 PA batting 5th. One in 2006, and one in 2008. I couldn't find the individual games, but in both cases he may have been inserted as part of a double switch. This may be the first time he has ever hit 5th at the start of a game.

.000/.000/.000, 2 PA

As per David Hale:

This marks just the second time in his career Ruiz has started hitting higher than sixth in the order. The lone other game was April 15, 2008 when he went 0-for-3 in the No. 2 hole. Jayson Werth led off that game, Eric Bruntlett played short and Adam Eaton was on the mound. (And Chris Snelling hit a pinch-hit homer batting for Ruiz in the 9th!)

Four umpires! What a premium! Is this MAJOR League Baseball?

Never mind. They still suck.

On September 2, 2006, against the Braves, Chooch was inserted as a pinch hitter for the Model Dictator in the 8th inning. He grounded out to 3B. The Phillies won the game in a 16-4 blowout.

On July 5, 2008, against the Mets, he was inserted as a PH for Tom Gordon in the 8th inning. Burrell had been removed in the 7th for the Gnome (pinch runner). Charlie then did a double switch and so the pitcher's spot came up in the 5-hole. Chooch grounded out weakly to 3B.

Those are Chooch's only 2 PA in the 5-hole.

I just hoping the Phils can avoid the sweep at this point.

I was going to be happy with 3-3 in Atlanta/DC and still would be before this road trip started.

Lee's going be back next Wed. Even Utley will be back in another month or so I bet.

Read this:

Moving big-dollar deals

and contemplate just how bad Ryan Howard’s contract might be… in light of these whoppers. Boy oh boy, do we need Howard back; fit and strong, in the middle of this order.

Surely there’s a way he can learn to stop guessing and lay off the low and away breaking stuff. Hey Big Piece! OPS goes up – pretty well, I imagine – just by taking walks.

There is no reason that Polanco continues to hit in the 2-hole & Chooch isn't there.

JRoll has gotten out to a horrible offensive start but he's a better hitter than this. Polanco isn't. He's a guy who is a .270ish max hitter with zero power & doesn't walk much. Translates into about a .300 OBP & somehow slightly over .600 OPS. No way he should be hitting 6th.

Hitting above 6th spot. Polanco should be an 7-hole hitter or lower.

Polanco is basically Abraham Nunez offenisvely at this point. Only difference is that Nunez hit for a much lower AVG but he worked counts & walked a lot more. End up with around the same OBP & complete lack of power.

MG, but Polly's a proffesional, contact hitter.

Gio Gonzalez joins the list of Ryne Sandberg, julio franco, smoke stewart, as the greatest talent the Phillies discarded. Just sickening.

Disappointed to hear Wheels say he agrees with Manuel that Chooch belongs in the 7 or 8 hole.

Chooch in the batting order:

6th: .313/.412/.473, 131 PA

7th: .308/.375/.465, 616 PA

8th: .247/.349/.368, 1385 PA

Another wasted leadoff 2B.

Only semi-positive is that Gonzalez is at 47 pitches through 3 IP.

Otherwise I have nothing.

Gonzalez high this year is 97 pitches and he's typically only been throwing ~90 pitches/start.

Seems like the Nats are trying to protect his arm a bit in the early going.

Doubt the Phils touch him today & you hope he just goes 6 IP.

Despite Phlipper's completely baffling gloating a couple days ago about Polly, he still has a 64 OPS+. I'd hope that he'd wait until Polly at least cracks a 90 OPS+ before he starts gloating again.

So yeah, let's get Victorino a home. A zany thought, I know.

Ruiz tried not to score him. Werth wouldn't let him succeed, though. A solid throw, and Vic is out by a foot. I'll take the run, though.

No way would I have run on Werth's arm unless on a deep fly ball.


Vic was really lucky, actually. If Ramos hangs on to that ball, he tags him out 10 feet from the plate.

Good AB by Wiggy.

This would be a good time for Mayberry's first HR of the season.

Nice to see the Phils cash in and not waste another leadoff XBH. Not exactly like this lineup produces that many of them.

In terms of semi-regular players, the only person that John Mayberry is beating out at the plate is Freddy Galvis. He really couldn't have responded worse to his breakout season last year. What a shame and what a waste.

Fatti, yep, he was lucky, but I guess he and Samuel figure with the way Gio is tossing they better try to get one any way they can.

Phils did get lucky though. Vic should have been dead to rights.

Nevermind on the RFD HR thing.

Gio is up to 65 pitches - has to throw 18 last inning.

Always frustrating to see a washed up veteran have a good series. Tracy fits that definition to a T.

That was the ultimate "dink" hit by Ankiel.

Weak throw by JRoll.

I love when pitchers miss their spots by a foot and a half but still get the out. I saw Ruiz put his glove up high, and then saw the ball going toward the middle of the plate, and I was thinking "uh oh".

Either way, 4 innings of goose eggs is always a welcome sight. Hopefully Worley can give them 3 more.

JRoll, had no chance, but the encouraging thing is that it was really a good pitch by Worley. He made Ankiel swing at his pitch and he barely got any wood on it.

Then, Vanimal did a nice job with Ramos, got ahead, and made him swing at his pitch also.

Boy, Freddy needs to learn more plate discipline.

When Gio Gonzalez sees Galvis/Worley/Rollins coming up in the next inning, does he go into Spring Training mode, thinking, "I'm going to work on some pitches I rarely throw this inning?"

He could certainly get away with it.

Galvis is brutal to watch. When was his last hit?

"When was his last hit?"

Three days ago.

Since Galvis's 2-hit game against the Padres on the 20th, he's 4-36 for a line of .11/.135/.167 (.302) with 1 RBI.

This is about as bad as Ibanez was last year during his brutal April. Just a complete waste of a lineup spot. His defense is not good enough to make up for this. Not even close. Nobody's defense is.

Now about a .490 OPS this year. Ugh.

That line should read: .111/.135/.167 (.302)

He went 1/4, right? They are two far and few in between to actually remember them.

Fatti, are you saying that as bad as Orr is against LHP [.227/.284/.280] he should be in the lineup?

Worley is getting squeezed a little.

Ugh. Leadoff double to the pitcher with 2 strikes.

Eventually, one of these XBHs by the Nationals is going to score.

Well, the good news at 2B is that there was an Utley siting in the dugout today.

Looking at the replay, Galvis could have gotten Gonzalez at 3B.

awh, I'm saying that the Phillies have a real problem at 2B right now, and they better be hoping that Chase Utley found R'as Al Ghul's Lazarus Pit, and went wading knee deep.

BL reverse jinx is in full effect. Right after I compliment Worley, he give a leadoff double up to the pitcher and winds up in this mess.

Desperately need a DP here.

Glad Mayberry was in LF there and not Pierre's rag arm.

Gonzalez would have been dead at home.

Worley has been good this year, but that 95.8% LOB% is not going to last. Not even remotely.

Also, good thing Gio was at 3B, although the fly ball wasn't deep, so Mayberry would have had a chance to get anyone who went there.

That was a great hook by Vanimal.

Some immediate regression there.

These umps suck in this series. I think by now Vance should start to get more of plate. He's not a one and done pitcher.

Worley deserved that, to be honest. You can't give up a leadoff double to the pitcher, and then a walk a batter, and expect to escape unscathed.

Bad pitch over the plate and Werth just nailed it with his arms extended.

Phils aren't going to score another 3 runs this game nor is their bullpen going to hold the Nats scoreless. Ball game.

Only hope that Hamels is locked in tomorrow and pitches a shut out.


Vance can keep his LOB% up in the stratosphere by giving up another 3-run HR then getting the next guy out, right? Sounds like a plan to me.

The Nats are starting to remind me of the 1969 Mets. Like the Mets, the Nats make their own luck, and it just snowballs. All of a sudden, the Phillies don't seem to match up well with Washington.

Great play by Chooch. Worley didn't get those calls on the outside part of the plate today and subsequently was in trouble most of the day.

Ugh. Who do we face tomorrow?

GBrett: Zimmerman, and his 1.89 ERA.

Man, I am discouraged, deflated and I AM GETTING STEAMED!!!!!!

I know im gonna get blasted but the phils need to start thinking long and hard about rebuilding. The 09 team wasnt good enough and they were better than this team. Every team since has gotten worse but were still better than this team. Its not getting better. Time to look to the future.

Thanks, Scott. Maybe I'll skip the game tomorrow.

Who is Chad Tracy?! I vaguely remember hearing his name in years past, but not as someone who routinely hit HRs! Geez!

Remember when our starting pitching was mediocre, but our BP was good for the 7-9 innings, and there was always a decent chance our offense would come back?

I'm not usually the kind of guy who thinks that there's always a better solution in AAA, but how can they NOT call up Fontenot?

Game tying HR last night. Has hit in 6 of 7 games and is 13 for 35 (.372).

GBrett, that "never out of it, even in the 9th" offense is probably what I miss the most. Always an exciting rally possible with those guys. Sadly, this offense is many of the same guys, but it's just not there. Not that they quit, per se, but most games like this are pretty safe to turn off once the Phils get down by 3 or more.

Time to see what it will take to pry Chisenhall from the Indians.Start the rebuilding.

at least harper knows how to wear his pants.

I know im gonna get blasted but the phils need to start thinking long and hard about rebuilding. The 09 team wasnt good enough and they were better than this team. Every team since has gotten worse but were still better than this team. Its not getting better. Time to look to the future.

Posted by: JRide | Saturday, May 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM

102 wins

And yes i know they won 102 games last year. The NL was horrendous. I'm going with what my eyes tell me.

This is likely Savery's last outing. He's going to be sent down on Tues/Wed whenever Lee is activated for his start on Wed vs. Mets.

Bullpen will be better off with a legit long man when KK is back there.

Rebuild because they are about to drop to 13-15 and are missing Lee/Utley/Howard? They were a 1 GB from the Reds in the 2 WC.

I don't know what is more ridiculous this year. 'Need to rebuild/gut it all' when this team struggles a bit or the 'its early this team won 102 games last year/they will be fine' crowd.

This is ~.500 team right now that has to get some pieces back and see where they stand at the trading deadline.

The sad thing is the Phillies looked like they gave up today. I think this season is already getting to them. Frustrating weekend.

Yes, in the Phillies record books, there will be an asterisk next to the 2011 team.

*NL horrendous

Offense on this team does stink though. Yeah they have improved a bit nominally in a few rankings the last week but if the pitching staff allows even 4 runs in a game, this team loses right now.

Allowed 3 or less runs in 13 games this year and are 11-2 in those games.

After today, allowed 4 or more runs in 15 games this year and are 2-13. 1-2 in games where they allow 4 run and 1-6 in games where they allow 5 runs.

If the Phils' starter goes deep into a game (at least 6 IP) and only gives up 2-3 runs, they have a good chance to win. Otherwise they are going to lose almost every single game right now otherwise because of their dink offense with a subpar bench & a thin bullpen.

I always had kind of high hopes for Savery. Now I see he's a Quad-A reliever who will probably never stick here nor anywhere. I actually felt alright about this pen at first but now I see they suck, save for Papelbon. Season = Over. Trade everyone for prospects. We'll be good to go once the Reading guys are settled in in the bigs. See ya in 2018.

This season is taking on the stench of 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.

WP - I miss that offense, too. I really miss the feeling that the other team wasn't going to score after the 6th, whereas our guys had an excellent chance of rallying after the 6th.

They haven't come back often enough this year to give much hope to those late innings when we're losing by a few runs.

Don't quite know what metaphor to describe the fact that the Phils spent so much money on starting and closing arms yet expect to catch lightening in a cheap-ass bottle with their 6th, 7th, and 8th inning arms.

I guess it is akin to buying a new SLS Mercedes then being forced to run it on goat pi$$.

btw I have to concur with Rich D. from the look of things the team gave up when the score reached 5-1.

natitude 2 attytood 0

Yes, the National League was abysmal last year, which is why the Cardinals refrained from celebrating their World Series championship.
And the Amazin' Mets? They were 11-14 on Cinco de Mayo, 1969.

Bullpen isn't in great shape right now but with Lee back it helps a lot because it moves KK back to a swing man role, moves Savery down (he's showed little in his limited spots), and Lee works deep into game which KK wasn't stretched out.

Bastardo still is a quality arm who has had better command of late. Qualls is miscast as a setup man but he's an adequate reliever. Didn't help that 'Mimbo' Mackanin sent him up there in the 8th to face 3 LH bats and Bastardo faced 2 RHPs in the 7th.

Need to mix & match with these two with neither being designated as the automatic setup man. I know Cholly hates that because he prefers his 'paint by numbers' bullpen but I hope he is sensible and flexible enough to realize that Qualls isn't a setup man.

Contreras though is an enigma right now. Today he looked great & had good command on his fastball. Last night he had none. Completely a crap shoot on what he has every time out right now.

Sanches is a guy who can help a team at the MLB level if used properly (against RH bats in lower leverage spots). Schwimer has good stuff but his command has been erratic at best & he melted down on the mound the other night in the 9th.

Not like they really miss Stutes/Herndon either although it would be nice if Schwimer actually could show something because he is going to up with the team for at least the rest of May.

It is just that they don't have another solid arm in the pen besides Papelbon. Have to mix-and-match most nights. Maybe they call up Diekman sooner than later but again it requires the bullpen to be managed by feel and situationally match up relievers whenever possible.

Cholly hates to do this, strongly prefers having an anointed guy for the 7th/8th, and is a weak manager when it comes to make pitching decisions if you ask me.

At least Papelbon is really well rested now.

This was an L before the game was played, much like the Garza game Sunday. We're never hitting Gio. That's why last night's game was all the more important.

But hey, the management last night clearly thought the game didn't matter once we got to extra innings, so I guess it wasn't that important. As long as we collected an OT loss, we still get a point, right? By the way they are managing, you'd think that's how it works.

Going with cheaper bullpen arms in the pen is fine. What I always am always mystified by is the insistence that any AAA reliever who posts good numbers will almost certainly translate into average numbers at the MLB level & that veteran relievers are eminently replaceable by younger ones. Its largely a fallacy.

What's has hurt the Phils this year is that Aumont has gotten out to a mixed start at Lehigh & De Fratus has been hurt. Those two are really the only young relievers right now in the Phils' system who are capable of being anything more than mediocre middle relievers. Savery/Stutes/Herndon/Schwimer aren't.

MG, great analysis.

So...performance in the minors cannot be used to predict success in the majors, but we know for a fact that Aumont and De Fratus will be better than what we have now??

This guy Rickie Ricardo is the worst WIP guy. I just left a friend's house (he and the missus are WIP fans) and the guy makes me love TBag and Tony Bruno.

Come back and save us, Chase!

Is that even possible?

Rich D;

I actually feel that this is more like 1984, which was the first season of decline after a series of successful seasons. But your point is well taken.

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EST. 2005

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