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Monday, June 25, 2012


Necessary sweep.

Please make it happen.

Is it too late for the Phillies?

“There’s no doubt in my mind there’s plenty of time,” Utley said before Monday’s game against the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. “I know there are some people that have given up on me. And there are some people that have given up on this team. But I’ll be the first one to tell you that I definitely haven’t given up on myself, and I know our guys have not given up on this year. We have strong-willed guys on this team.

“We’ve lost some games lately. I think the majority of the games we’ve lost we’ve had a legit opportunity to win these games. All it takes is one good bounce our way and things can change. I’m excited to move forward in this rehab process and try to get back here as soon as possible.”

Utley has been on the disabled list since the season started because of chondromalacia in his left knee, but he is expected to be activated Wednesday. Utley worked out with the team Tuesday and will play a rehab game Tuesday with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Assuming he feels OK, expect him to be hitting third in the Phillies lineup Wednesday.

“Utley is our three-hole hitter,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think he is the guy that works the count. I think he is the guy that when he’s right he’ll hit 25-30 homers. I think he is the guy that’ll hit .300. I think he is the guy that can knock in 100 runs and score 100. That’s what I picture Utley to be. I think until we find somebody I think can do better more than likely he’s going to land in that three-hole.”

And Manuel still believes Utley can be a three-hole hitter?

“I think he’s earned a chance to see if he’s that guy,” Manuel said.

“I do believe that,” Utley added. “Having my legs under me is an important part of that. But time will tell.”

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor???

I really like Shane Victorino. Between him and Thomas Magnum, I'd take Shane every time.

Cyclic - Not a chance unfortunately. Tough to get a read on this game with two starters (Karstens and Blanton) who both have the potential to be very good if they have their sinker/changeup combo working while spotting the occasional 4-seam fastball with solid command.

Blanton's a better pitcher because he simply has more tools in his arsenal (cutter) and his changeup/slider are better pitches. Both guys though can hang stuff & get walloped.

Still have no good feel for this game. Say Phils 5-4.

Padres taking calls on chase H. Will take a lot to get him. Lmfao rube kicking himself in the nuts. That would be our perfect fit at third. Guess all those guys we gave up for best records isn't gonna pan out gosh darn it.

I saw it in the earlier thread today about the notion of Cholly 'tanking on purpose' to stick it to Amaro which is ridiculous.

Cholly just does some foolish things during games and has some beliefs that are completely unjustified & bordering on the delusional:

"I think he is the guy that works the count. I think he is the guy that when he’s right he’ll hit 25-30 homers. I think he is the guy that’ll hit .300. I think he is the guy that can knock in 100 runs and score 100. That’s what I picture Utley to be"

That hasn't been Utley since '09. I be quite happy if they get a version of Utley that is .270/.350/.430 or so you can hold up to playing 4-5x a week with only one day off a week or so.

In Vic's defense, I will point out that several beat reporters credit him w/ being one of the only players to voluntarily make himself available to the media, esp. after games. Perhaps that's simply his personality, but he does step up when his teammates won't.

This many bad breaks and you can't really call them bad breaks. We're probably just a bad team.

Breaks to win and breaks to lose
But these here breaks will rock your shoes
And these are the breaks
Break it up break it up break it up!

Chase in the 3-hole will be just the latest in a long line of examples in which the Phillies' offense suffers, as a result of Cholly's mind being frozen in time since about 2007.

Many years ago, a man climbed down into a hatch and started punching a certain set of numbers into a computer so the world would not end.

That man was Shane Victorino.

b_a_p: When Bowa was managing the Phillies I used to feel his was actively killing himself in the process. With Manuel I am certain he is actively killing me in the process. As if listening to Charlie's pitiful explanations for this past weekend's blunders wasn't bad enough ...

See when Charlie speaks it's more important that it instills confidence in his players than it is that he is correct. It's smart to play up Utley's return for all it is worth. Talk him up so the head cases playing RF and CF might calm down and start getting meaningful hits. Now, if he were doing something important like commenting on a blog, his predictions would have to be right on.

Players making nice with reporters is literally the least important thing they can do in my book. It's up there with dressing well on the bus to the airport.

Charlie instills a lot of confidence in Michael Martinez.

Mini-Mart holding a press conference at 6:45. Said to be upset over his not being in tonight's starting lineup. Will reveal some photos in his possession.

Miguel Tejada released by the O's.

How dare you!
If the players don't wear fancy sports coats or tight fitting sweaters and glassless fashion spectacles, how can they compete?

Btw, that Frank DeFord story is exactly why I hate old guys in every field of endeavor who cry about things not being good (read as: the exact way it was when they were young and excited about life) anymore or changing in such a way they suspect all consumers of said field will not recognize the "good old stuff". People like this need to find out old doesn't mean classic.

Charlie Manuel: Motivational Speaker? That notion requires an unattainable level of Suspension of Disbelief. I suppose it might make for a decent comedy sketch, though.

Raul's grandpa: Maybe it's just guys named "Frank". Fitzpatrick is the same way, & his stuff has been unreadable for years.

Chase could very well make a very short lived comeback that sputters and dies before it ever really gets under way. However, last year he was a difference maker, and he was one of the few who played well in the post season last year.

There were a lot of snarky remarks about lost bat speed and Thome before his return and after his first two or three at bats. Easy to predict a flop, it's sort of a no lose position. I have no idea how Chase will do and sure, I have misgivings, but as a fan, I'm excited to see him coming back.

My Chase prediction:

70 games played
14 HR
43 RBI
.293 AVG

Frank - If Chase Utley does that, I'll be very surprised. And the Phillies will be an above .500 team for the rest of the season. Though, still no playoffs.

If the motivational speaking works is another question but for a manager to say "I don't expect much out of Chase so we need to keep leaning on Pence and Vic." would be insane and counter productive to what Charlie is trying to accomplish. That being win baseball games as opposed to make correct statistical predictions.

Love the positivity, Frank. Hope BL doesn't kill it too soon.

Could Pence have gotten to 2nd?

Looks like it.

Pierre was safe. Phils got robbed.

Nice to see Barajas doing his usual thorough job of blocking the plate.

who is this kid hitting leadoff?

Forgot Barajas was on this team. He'll probably hit 2 HRs tonight.

Gtown: Pierre was out. Clearly shown on replay.

Classic Pirates!

Little League baseball from the Pirates there.

**cue benny hill theme

Jack: Replay clearly showed the the fielder's foot was off of the bag.

Geez. If the Pirates keep playing like this a sweep should be easy.

I predict Charlie pinch-hits Mini-Mart for Fontenot in his first AB.

Which relief pitcher do you think blows this one for the Phils? I got Qualls.

This is all due to the presence of Chase in the dugout.

"Guys, Chase is coming! We better clean up this mess before he gets here!" Shane Victorino

Is this real?

This is downright hilarious. Aren't the Pirates supposed to be good this season?

Professional Hitter

This is clown baseball.

What's the record for errors by a rightfielder in an inning?

Chase is in the dugout?

I don't know the number but if given the chance, I'm sure Pence can top it.

See that? All they had to do was show Mini in the dugout and the inning goes all to hell. What a mush.

Martinez sucks.

(Shhhh! Just go with it!)

I have Blanton giving at least two back this inning, as is customary of our starters this year after getting staked to a lead.

Attaboy, Joe. You know you've blown bigger leads than this. Just be yourself, & it'll all fall apart in no time flat.

Wasn't Clint Barmes the guy who went on the DL for falling down the stairs carrying his kill from hunting while with Colorado?

That is correct, Frank.

Haha, Blanton

Boy, it's amazing how much that ball carries when Blanton leaves it out over the middle of the plate.

Hey he's a strike thrower

scratch that, *meatball thrower

Re: Victorino
The right move to do is to shop him and see what you can get for him. Once a deal is arranged, offer Vic a team- friendly extension with affordable club options. If he takes it, keep him. If not, there's no sense haggling with his agent all winter like Rollins...sell and spend his money elsewhere.

Is Carlos Ruiz going to hit .350 this year?

I am at a 5 1/2 out of 10 regarding Polanco coming back now. I would think it would have to be one of those wink, nod deals, I think his option is still too high.

How can you possibly get beat with a pitch up in that situation, with a base open and the pitcher on deck?

It wasn't his kill. It was shared meat from Helton.

I wonder if Polanco has another month like last April in him

"It wasn't his kill. It was shared meat from Helton"


Blanton sucks at every aspect of the game. And I hate it when Charlie asks a player (such as Blanton) to do something he has never been able to do (such as bunt).

ageless james off the bud sign !!!

I don't know about Polanco, but I DAMN sure hope Rollins has another month or four like June in him. Already bought the cow, might as well get some milk.

While the rest of the team has stunk it up something spectacular in June, Rollins, at least, has had an absolutely fantastic month.

couldn't have rolled that ball out there any better, harry.

Man I hope Rollins can even come close to sustaining this.

Awesome to see the power.

But how many pop-ups does 1 hr buy?

Karstens has been throwing meatballs galore tonight from the get o. Everything is too high and has little movement on it.

Phils have cashed in with a little help from the Pirates' Little League defense.

and somehow Rollins is having his typical solid season.

With Jimmy Rollins, more than any other player, I think, you can really tell when he is seeing the ball well. Not only does he get good swings, but you can his strike zone recognition on pitches he doesn't swing at. That ball 3 was only high by a few inches, but almost right out of the hand he dropped his hands, presumably recognizing it wasn't a strike. When he's struggling, he seemingly semi-check-swings at everything.

Moving On Up!

End of month for JRoll

April - .553
May - .638
June - .739 (right now)

He ends up the year with 15-20 HRs and an OPS ~.750 and he will have had himself a very nice year.

Dammit, Martinez!

(Seriously. Just go with it.)

That's the kind of brainless play on Vic's part which irritates people.

I tried calling but you don't answer. I want my hair back.


Does Blanton really have a better than 6/1 K:BB ratio this year? That seems crazy

I would rather MVP voters not parse the phrase "most valuable", but I wonder where this team would be without Andrew McCutchen. That was a good pitch from Blanton and he hammered it.

Only SS right now ahead of JRoll in OPS in the NL are Lowrie (quietly have a very good year and one of the best moves this offseason), Tulo, and Castro.

Better than Furcal. Better than Dancin' Reyes.

One guy I can't figure out why he gets as much attention as he does is Dee Gordon. He's really fast. Whoopee. He's a terrible defensive SS who has no clue at the plate.

You'd think 7 runs would generally be safe.

You'd be wrong.

MG: But he's really fast!

Blanton at 89 Pitches through 5 IP. I think he's gonna wind up leaving this game in very solid shape for another bullpen choke job.

MG - Wait til Billy Hamilton is up for the Reds...he's Dee Gordon with a decent eye at the plate and some pop. On pace for 140+ steals in the minors this year (had 80 at the ASB). Still pretty crappy defensively, though.

J-Pop is just absolutely killing this team. Typical horrible RAJ signing. Just horrible. He's clearly washed up. Can't get around on anything anymore. Just a punch-and-Judy singles hitter. Plus he's a bum who clearly doesn't care about the game.

Yeah, Blanton has pitched well but he's got 1 more inning left in him at most. A 4-run lead has never felt more precarious.

Coworker had an extra ticket to this game and didn't feel like hustling to get down to CBP to watch 'Mr. Mediocre' (Blanton) labor through 6 IP tonight. Hate watching him pitch.

Honestly, nothing in Blanton's numbers would suggest he's a 5+ ERA pitcher this year, except for the HRs and HR/FB ratio.

He's basically pitching really well, except that he likes to groove a pitch or two a start that gets clobbered...

Oh - sorry. Please disregard that 8:42 comment.

I meant to post that about a month ago when everyone else was posting similar comments.

It never pays to procrastinate.

We're winning and this makes us unhappy because we have little to complain about!

I still can't believe they gave up on my son. He is still ready to play.


I can't wait until I only have to watch Wigginton wave at pitches as a PH.

ppp - since we're winning, let's start a convo about how bad Mini-Mart is and how much we hate Wheels.

MM would have K'd on those 3 pitches

Martinez will still get the start tomorrow

This Fontenot guy sucks.

This Fontenot kid is clearly having a fluke-ish night. I can't wait to get Mini-Mart back in there.

Fontenot is 2 for 3 tonight.
Mini Mart is 2 for his last 36.

"Martinez will still get the start tomorrow."

Yep. The Pirates have a LH starter going tomorrow. We can't be without Mini-Mart's potent right-handed bat, and the .160/.169/.173 career slash line it has produced.

Galvis makes that play

AWH~ I'll anwser your comment from a couple of threads ago this way. Just read Murphy's column. When he suggests a bat you say nothing, when I do it you jump all over me. Yes any bat would have been at a much higher cost. I'll grant you that. But the production probably would have been better too when you talk about an everyday player compared to the bench guys. You just can't admit I had it pegged. Now look at the situation we're in, which can be attributed to somewhat to what RAJ didn't do.

And Edmundo, Yeah he brought in once again bench guys not an everyday player. And they're very good bench players, when they come off the bench. I'll say it again. He gambled, he lost.

Now he could've allocated money for the 'pen differently, and had more $$ to soend elsewhewre, but he didn't do that. He thought he could get by with the pitching carrying us. Again he lost the gamble.

Cholly has to go with what he has, but as we all know, a lot of times he uses what he has incorrectly.

Now I'm not saying either of you don't make excellent points, you do. But as someone put it the other day (I forget who) he tried to fix gashes with bandaids. Not the way to go IMO. If he'd gone another way, we'd probably be better off but hind-sight's always 20-20.

I haven't had the misfortune of having to listen to the unlistenable Matthews for some time only to turn the game on and hear him say how hard it is on pitchers to have to endure errors because I guess it increases their pitch count and then have him do a funny about Chooch chooching along to third base only to discover it was Wiggy. Of course, T-Bag compounded the "holery" by making a joke about Wiggy.

Some things never change.

Martinez: 82 career innings at SS, .950 FLD%
Fontenot: 365 career innings at SS, .956 FLD% (284 in last two years, but zero last year)

I don't understand why the suspicion is that Fontenot goes back to AAA when Utley comes back because Martinez is supposedly the only other guy on the roster who can play SS, like Larry Andersen just said a minute ago and Charlie said a few days ago on the manager's show.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Fontenot is as good as his .390 OBP this year would suggest, and I've seen his bad defense, but I've also seen Martinez's bad defense. Martinez is only two years younger than Fontenot, so it's not like they're really opting in favor of youth. I just don't get it.

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