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Sunday, May 13, 2012


Long expired. He's been choking all season. Needing to step in as an experienced leader, instead we've looked to John Mayberry from the start of the season. We shouldn't have been talking about Mayberry breaking out all year, we should have been talking about our high priced right fielder carrying the load. Never understood why he got a free pass.

Oh chase and Ryan where art thou? It's funny how so many bash Howard and chase, but fact of the matter is. As many ops this team has had. 1 and 3rd etc those guys do a job. As for hunter if he's a better hitter then this. Show us mr pence. Pass expired. With him and wiggy those two didn't have a clue. Hope Juan is in left and John on first today. Time is slowly ticking. If this keeps up you can guarantee that Shane and heavy B will be dealt.'book that now.

If nothing else, I look forward to Hamels plunking Bryce Harper's mother today.

Why is it that few on this team can be counted on to have a good at-bat? Why did Pence swing at that first pitch last night? I can't understand how so many on this team so non-selective.

Is this a fixable situation without a complete personnel overhaul? Who is at fault?

a) Cholly
b) Gross
c) Players
d) All of the above

Pence is an above-average complimentary piece, but I don't think he has what it takes to be THE piece. In a better world than this, with a completely healthy Phillies lineup, his production wouldn't be discussed nearly as much right now.

Down by one run and facing Roy Halladay, the San Diego Padres walked the bases loaded with one out to face our cleanup hitter. No runs were scored.

That just about says it all.

Look, I understand that the general consensus is that we can build the future around Cole Hamels, but that simply isn't possible. This team cannot afford to have over $100 million dollars tied up on three starting pitchers, a closer and a 1B whose best days are likely far behind him.

Who's playing 3B next season? How about LF? Who's going to replace Utley's production if he returns as a shell of his former self? Not to mention the fact that we're saddled with J-Roll at SS for another four seasons of wishing and hoping for the production he offered in the previous decade.

Three aces with this lineup only means that we'll lose a lot of games by one run...if the bullpen doesn't make matters worse. This team needs two aces and a lineup in which we don't rely on aging stars to replicate their 2006-2008 numbers.

Let's not forget Wigginton went 0-4 & had 9 LOB last night. How in the hell was he supposed to replace Howard for a week, let alone half a season?

Who's at fault? The GM.

"It's funny how so many bash Howard and chase,..."

Huh? Bash Chase? At BLer?

Wigginton has always been known to be a streaky hitter. Last few years he basically has had one really good stretch and been useless the rest of the year.

In 2010, he really hit in April/May then fell off a cliff the rest of the year giving the O's a .631 OPS after June 1st.

In 2011, he had a really torrid stretch in that started from the end of May until around the end of June. Rest of the year he had a sub .600 OPS.

In 2012, he had a really torrid 3-week stretch where he had produced at a .941 OPS from April 12 to May 2.

I would bet good money that Wigginton doesn't give the Phils much production the rest of the year although he gets a ton of ABs until Howard comes back in late June/early July.

If the Phils are out of it at the deadline, they will be fortunate to be able to move him even for a player TBA given his contract.

My preseason prediction on him was that he would give the Phils one really solid offensive stretch, disappoint offensively the rest of the year, and be out of MLB next year.

It would probably help if he was in better shape. He's not fat but he certainly playing more at 235 or 240 & has a gut. Great athletes can get away with that through their late 20s often. Not so much in their mid-30s.

Three regulars hitting 50 points less than they should be. Simple.

I'm sick of these high gas prices.

Who's to blame? Amaro.

Zudok - How are those 3 hitters? JRoll is a .250-.260 hitter now. He's at .230.

Vic is at .259. He's basically a .270-.280 hitter.

Pence is at at .250 and he probably is the guy who comes closest because he is a .285-.295 hitter.

How is anyone surprised by last place looking at the personnel the Phillies run out there day after day? Worst winter by a GM ever.

Incredibly frustrating to watch right now.

MG's comments last thread about "pitch, can't hit - hit, can't pitch" resonate, as does the comment about Pence not being a cleanup hitter. I see him as a terrific complementary player in the right situation, but not the guy who you expect/hope to anchor your lineup as a cleanup hitter day afyer day.

The other thing I recall is the time the Phils did the salary dump and got rid of Abreu years ago. I know it's not a perfect analogy and the makeup of the team was different, but that was a scenario when the team could have shrugged their shoulders and mailed the rest of the season in.

I don't sense them doing that (yet) and these guys do not have a track record as dogs. I believe there is enough talent and heart to pull it together and maintain a respectable record. Although we cannot caount on anything from Utley at this point, Howard could come back and be a difference maker.

Not time to throw in the flag yet, but geez, guys, time to start making it happen a little.

I think the main problem with the Phillies this year has been their manager and staff. The lineup construction and in-game moves have been blatantly flawed ( I say this as somebody who gives a lot of leeway in those depts). The Nationals are as banged up as the Phillies yet keep winning. Why?...Davey Johnson.
Even with the injuries, bullpen flaws and underperforming batters, a more savvy manager/staff would at least have this team at .500

Pence is the perfect example of best guy on aa bad team. He can't deliver on the big stage.

An absolute enormous pitching advantage today, with Hamels against the corpse of Jeff Suppan.

They have been really frustrating to watch this year, and a lot of their losses have been pretty inexcusable. But if they manage to lose this game today, I'll be climbing on the bridge with the rest of you.

I know it is sacrilege to probably mention this but the starter of the Big 3 I want to see Phils look to move is Halladay is they move someone if they are out of it in July.

It get complicated because he has no-trade protection (not sure if only limited to say a dozen places).

I would bet though that Halladay would be amenable to a trade though if you positioned as it would better him him to get that ring he is so desperately seeking.

He also would command a bit more in return because he is signed for the following year & has a vesting option for '14.

From the Phils' perspective, it clearly hurts to lose arguably the best starter in the NL. Still, he is an aging starter making big dollars who I don't think is going to win a championship here if the Phils aren't in the running this year in July.

Moving him enables the Phils to free up the cash they desperately need to resign Hamels this offseason, probably gives them a nice set of prospects in return (likely even better than Hamels), and positions the team better in '14 and '15 to contend with Hamels at the front of the rotation.

It would just take brass balls for Amaro to pull that off and involves a huge gamble especially with Hamels resigning here.

Pence has been the Beerleaguer whipping boy, and I've done some of the whipping myself. Objectively speaking, though, it's simply not true that he has failed to deliver timely hits.

Here are his numbers with runners on base: .313/.373/.612.

And with RISP: .300/.383/.525

RISP with 2 outs: .281/.378/.500

Man on 3rd with less than 2 outs: .333/.364/.667.

He's also 10th in the NL in RBIs. I stipulate that he has been an overall disappointment so far, and that he has massively failed in some critical moments in close losses. Overall, however, the problem with Pence (and the Phillies, in general) has not been a failure to deliver key hits. It has been a failure to get on base in the first place -- a problem for which Pence, with his .301 OBP, has been a significant contributor.

Iceman - Yeah. 'Corpse' is the right word to describe Suppan at this point. Out of baseball last year & been five years (2007) since he was really a decent starter.

Somehow managed to give the Padres 2 decent starts this year that last 5 IP but that was at Petco. Absolutely no reason the Phils should at least be able to score 3 runs off him today.

It has nothing to do with his RISP numbers. No one is saying he's Jayson Werth.

His numbers late in the game are there for anyone to see (I'm not posting them again) and they're atrocious this year so far. Again, they aren't nearly this bad for his career, so hopefully it is just a blip. But he's been awful in the late innings, and he was again last night.

Pence is still on pace for 33 HRs and 110 RBIs.

Just have to take the good (decent average, good speed, above average power) with the bad (questionable baserunning/fielding and 'Hulk' smash approach at the plate) with Pence.

Once his bat speed/athletic ability go a bit though, my bet is that he goes from a solid wine to vinegar real quick. Just hope the Phils aren't stuck paying him $15M+ a year in his mid-30s.

While I share some optimism that we almost have to beat Suppan today, I need to point out that Wiggy and Schneider are in the starting lineup.

Guys the problem is that they, including the coaching staff are playing stupid baseball. From Wiffington swinging at the first pitch with men on board after the preceding batter was walked, to Pence not positionng himself correctly to catch that late inning outfield foul before he threw to the plate. Each of these things alone mean little but in perspective they are not playing the game with the intent to maximize their effort towards success.

Back on the day manager Dick Williams who won more WCS than Manuel, would fine his players for making even the most cursory on field mistakes such as not hitting the cut off man, getting picked off, not hustling, etc. His players knew that if they made mental mistakes that they would pay for it, out of their wallets.

I'm not advocating bringing back Mr. Caffeinehead Larry Bowa, but for christs sake when are the players on this team going to get their asses kicked and benched by the coaching staff when they do stupid things?

Although . . . here's the counterpoint to my last post.

Baseball Musings has a tool which tells you the number of men on base for each hitter this year, and the percentage of those men who have been driven home. The Phillies have no one in the top 38. Their highest ranked player, believe it or not, is Freddy Galvis, who has a 16.44% RBI percentage -- good for 39th in baseball. Pence is at 15.38%, which is 50th in baseball. Not entirely sure how to reconcile that with his good power numbers & good numbers with runners on base. But that's what the tool says.

BAP: Freddy for MVP!

"Pence . . . was roundly booed when he popped out on a first-pitch breaking ball with the bases loaded and down one run in the seventh"

It was a slider that didn't slide. The perfect mistake pitch to hit out. Pence probably booed himself.

Right now I feel like I'm fighting with the Phillies. I love them. I want to get along with them. I want everything to be cool like it used to be and has been for so long but it just isn't. So we're starting fresh today. It's a nice day out. We're going to go out this afternoon and do something fun. Something relaxing and casual but we're going to put our best selves out there. If it goes well, there's a chance that we can make it work. If it doesn't, that doesn't mean it's over. We'll just see what happens.
I'm not going to yell at anybody or jump to any conclusions over what happens today. Cool.

Iceman -

That's ridiculous blaming Amaro for high gas prices.

Clearly it's Charlie's fault.

Hey, BL! I'm at the game!!!!!

Ditched the non-baseball-loving family when a friend had an extra ticket. Not sure it's right to spend Mom's Day apart from my family, but....I am. Kids get dad time, mom gets Phillies time, we'll have dinner together later...hopefully after a win!

Enjoy the game!

"the problem is that they, including the coaching staff are playing stupid baseball."

If so, it's worth pointing out that the likes of Wiggington, Schneider, Nix, Mayberry and, to a lesser degree, Pierre, have been playing stupid baseball for the majority of their careers -- that is, they've shown themselves to be mediocre or worse major league baseball players. Too many of the regular and semi-regular members of the roster are relatively untalented (a frightening number would, will, probably fail to acquire major leagues deals in 2013). Absent some fairly major overhaul in personnel, we can expect the stupid baseball to continue to season's end.

I'd rather have the Reading /LV lineups
\or some combination there

Klaus: Yep. Phrases like "stupid baseball" or "lack of focus" or "lousy approach" are just fan-created proxies for, "This guy sucks." Although, in the case of some of Cholly's tactical decisions, I think the the phrase "stupid baseball" is actually quite fitting.

Y IS TBAG quoting U.C

Funny people around here saying Charlie good blah blah, but on national level the "experts" say he can't manage tight game. Or ability to adjust on fly. Think about it in clev he had three run homer and up till 09 he had same thing. Now As pitching staff strong he can't play diff style offense. Shame. Wow when did we get a homer and RBI from Rollins guy?

That Rollins homerun will probably be the Phillies' only hit of the game.

BAP "Stupid baseball" is akin a per curium least according to my law professor wife.

kuvasz: LOL. Absolutely brilliant analogy. Can I hire your wife to write my appellate briefs for me?

This is Mrs. Professor Kuvasz: I'll be happy to . . . as long as it's not one of those turkeys that will result in the per curiam affirmed. (And it can't involve stupid baseball, either.)

Mrs. Professor Kuvasz: The good news is that I don't think we even have per curiam opinions in California. I can't remember ever seeing one.

The bad news is that about 95% of criminal appeals are turkeys which will be affirmed. And a few of them even involve stupid baseball.

galvis swing at the 1st pitch

0 out - man at 2nd

now 2 out & nada
repeat of yesterday

oh hold on..


An rbi single:?




There's no excuse not to jack at least 10 runs off Suppan

A walk in each of the first 3 innings tells me that this game is going to end up in the hands of the Phillies' bullpen around the 6th or 7th inning. Happily, I have to leave before that time.

Look, when we see a pitcher who strands 95% of his runners, we say he's due for regression. {Meant to post this earlier) When I see an offense that regularly gets men on base but fails to drive them in, I see a frustrating situation but one that's preferable to not getting on base at all. As annoying as it is to see hitters fail "in the clutch," the reality is that as long as those situations keep arising, the execution should revert toward the mean and the runs should start scoring.

fumphis: The Phillies have a team OBP of .305, good for 12th in the National League.

Hard to say that they're due more runs than they've gotten.

Add in a lower tier slugging percentage, and lineups that never bunches the better hitters, you can see why they're not scoring.

My mlb gameday is actually a split secon faster than PHL17 HD

If nothing else, I look forward to Hamels plunking Bryce Harper's mother today.
Posted by: Scott | Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 09:47 AM

I heard Werth already "plunked" Harper's mom.

Thats jroll's signature play up the middle and he booted it.

Raul... that was shamefully funny.

Time to expand this lead...

Jack, I get that as a general point. What I don't accept is that a game in which the team fails to capitalize on multiple RISP opportunities is necessarily an indictment of the offense. To say otherwise is to delve into the untestable waters of "clutchness." They did deserve more runs than they got last night.

Scott... What part of a man on 3rd with 1 out and the top of the order due up makes you believe they can expand the lead??

What would our on base stats look like without Juan Pierre? Probably 17th in the league.

What's wrong with Hamels?

Pierre's baby's gonna have a big head.

Pierre's baby's gonna have a big head.

If Pierre's baby has a big head, then we know that Polanco went all Jason Werth on the mother.

jroll with a great stop in the hole to end the inning, more than makes up for his other misplay up the middle since Maybin might have beat the play regardless.

The rumors of my defensive demise have been greatly exaggerated - b8tches!

Yeah, Jimmy, but you still belong in the 6-hole - b8tch.

Time for RFD's second bomb of the season.

Well, the BL Reverse Jinx is operational.

MG special in progress - Ruiz smashes a single in his PH appearances for Schneider.

wow, nothing like professionals not knowing what the infield fly rule is.

Thats jroll's signature play up the middle and he booted it.

Posted by: lorecore | Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM

I think the infield pop-up with runners on is Jimmy's signature play.

fumphis: I agree with your point entirely. I just was noting that it doesn't really apply to the Phillies of this season. They are neither good at putting runners on base nor at driving them in.

Why o why are they using contreras?

Btw - why bring up Diekman, luna, fontenot, or Raul - if youre not going to use them?

Why o why are they using contreras?

Btw - why bring up Diekman, luna, fontenot, or Raul - if youre not going to use them?

That would take a coach with a clue

The reports of Bastardo's demise have been greatly exaggerated. He has walked too many guys this season so far, but he's also still striking guys out and getting pop-ups, which is one of his signature skills.

It might be a little like being the tallest midget, but he's still probably the best option in this bullpen other than Paps.

I think dubee has been smoking a few too many

Nice range by Jimmy. Oh I allowed to say that?

Bastardo may or may not be, but, I would like see Diekman get a try in the 8th inning

Good eye wigg-- swing at the ball, look at the strike

C'mon Freddy! I love to watch him and really want him to stick in the Bigs

"Bastardo may or may not be, but, I would like see Diekman get a try in the 8th inning."

Agreed. Diekman, after all, has a long and proven track record of major league success. There's no reason to believe he wouldn't shine if thrown into a critical late-inning situation in a close game.

Where is everyone? It's the 9th inning and we haven't even reached one Next>> yet. What is it... Mother's Day or something??

chollie's blue hat is relatively undented.

Bap - point taken --

Alright peons and pissants: 2 out of 3 aint bad. As always, Show some sac and drink some Jack and to gusanos like G-Town Dave and BAP who do not have a sac to show...grow a set already

I'm in Scotland. Sounds like I picked the right time to go, what with the continued sucking and all.

Series win but man this struggles to even beat the bottom feeders right now.

Yay, we beat the Padres! WS 2012, here we come!!

If you think Cholly is going to use his bench or especially bullpen guys just brought up from Lehigh unles he has no alternative,, you haven't watched him manage this team especially the last 3-4 years.

Looks like this is one of those wins that only counts as 1/2 win for the Phils.

Actually, losing a game by 4 runs and another by 1 run in a given series is kinda how the Padres do it.

MG: Unless it's the 8th inning with bases loaded and the game on the line, in which case Charlie will still go with Diekman instead of using Papelbon.

MG Bingo....I didnt watch the game but i knew Chollie would not go with recent additions from LV in a tight game/High Pressure situation unless he absolutely has to...I may not know 1/10th of what some of he Bl'ers know but this i do know...Good win for the Phils...Dam just realized Pence is hitting .250...Pierre still rocks...

GBrettFan: Glad you not only chose to go to the game, but were also able to witness a win. Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Juan Pierre Day, everybody!

2012 Record:

With Hector Luna: 2-1 (.667%)
Without Hector Luna: 14-18 (.437%)

Looks like we have a new stopper.

NEPP: Correlation clearly implies causation here.


Thanks, GTown! Jimmy hit that HR just for me, you know. ;)

Contreras actually got 2 outs - is there hope? 'Course, Charlie didn't trust him not to give up a run. Was holding my breath Bastardo would be the effective version.

Beautiful afternoon at the ballpark with a Phillies win! Very happy. Kids & husband played golf (9 holes) so it was a win-win. Dinner with the family. Good day.

And Joey Votto with a walk-off grand slam against Henry Rodriguez, to beat the Nats. Braves are now in 1st, I believe.

Nats closer kinda sucks...think they miss Storen much?

Just saw that Mike Costanzo -- yeah, THAT Mike Costanzo -- got called up by the Reds today. He'll probably turn into a 35-homerun per year hitter.

And the Phillies will probably wind up with George Castanza.

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