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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


"And lo, St. Utley appeared before the masses in Allentown, launching a monster Home Run, a logging a full 9 innings in the field without apparent distress.

And Ruben Amaro, Jr., having seen what St. Utley hath wrought said, 'It is good', and commanded St. Utley come down to Philadelphia, and the baseball temple therein.

'For the paying customers have grown restless,' said Rube, 'and they must see thy various Miracles and Wonders worked before thine own eyes, lest the revenue stream grow dry.'"

- Phillies Bible (Monty, 6:12)

I think we should have a Josh Batushansky day, also.

"Defeat commeth as Ye Olde Philadelphias send the relief to commence this contest"

-Phillies Bible (Monty, 6:24)

Utley game thread already? I'd have liked at least another hour to rip on Mini-Mart some more.

b_a_p: There's no possible way he's gone for good. We'll undoubtedly get many more chances.

As the originator of the moniker "Saint Utley", I take great pride in the graphic above.

That's some great work G-town!

"Yankees Fielder Drops Ball, Fan Picks It Up In The Stands, Ump Calls Indians Batter Out Anyway"

This is the single most perfect summation of both Yankees & Indians fanhood I have ever read.

"There's no possible way he's gone for good. We'll undoubtedly get many more chances."

You never know. What if he goes down to AAA, reinvents his swing, and comes back to the majors next year as a .345-hitting, .850 OPS hitter? The opportunity for ripping him will be gone forever.

Don't make fun of my boy. I was in labor 43 hours.

b_a_p: I find myself strangely unconcerned.

Nice Mass card

He is Risen

clout, Mass card? Are you predicting doom?

i'm just glad a game day image is back.

Is this wrong time to suggest trading Hamels to NY now for maximum profits now that CC and Petite are both on DL?

I'd like to think Utley's return (and the hopefull return of Howard in 3 weeks and then Halladay a couple weeks later) will make a difference, but even this optimist is having trouble getting behind the concept.

Nice graphic.

Youkilis is 5 for 12 since he was traded.

NEPP (BryanG) and that means exactly 'what?' to the Phillies?

Getting back 'St. Utley' will be nice but 'St. Halladay' is needed even more.

Too bad Contreras' RH arm couldn't pull a Lazarus act either.

Well, we kinda could have of traded for him.

Hopefully St. Utley sparks the offense tonight. Even with the pitiful, punchless Pirates' lineup, hard to see the Phils winning this game unless they can score at least 5 runs. Maybe 6 or 7.

Wait is this St. Utley or Zombie Utley?

Utley predictions tonight? I say 1-4 with a single & BB.

2-5, 2B, RBI, R

And one surprisingly good defensive play.

They put Dom Brown on the DL today. and Sandberg has a short bench with the moves today... Since they did the moves so late... Mini-Mart isn't there yet... and a guy on paternity leave... they have one guy...

How do you screw up rostering that bad???
if I was Ryno, I'd be really annoyed.

"schulermc37 minutes ago
short bench for Sandberg tonight: No pridie (with wife awaiting birth of first child), martinez not here. that leaves only spidale on bench"

Still can't believed the Phils are favorites tonight at -110. Power of St. Utley indeed I guess because the line did move a bit just because he is starting. Still took the Pirates.


Martinez "borrows" Kendrick's Voodoo doll again. On the first pitch, Valdes saws off the bat of the leadoff hitter, and Utley gets impaled by the bat.

"Getting back 'St. Utley' will be nice but 'St. Halladay' is needed even more."

MG, not sure I agree. Assuming Seidman is correct in his post over at csnphilly, Utley will make about a 26 run difference the rest of the season.

Assume that Halladay will replace Kendrick, will KK give up 26 more runs than Halladay over 10 - 15 starts? Maybe.

I'd say it's about 50/50 as far as the 'needed' upgrade is concerned.

awh - Assuming Utley hits and plays a lot. With this terrible bullpen and the way KK has pitched now for a month, I still lean on Halladay over KK for the final say 12-14 GS of the year.

Offense hasn't been great but it isn't what has hurt them either the past 5 weeks. It's been the pitching and defense.

Any word from Howard's exam today?

Wonder why the Pirates didn't try to put another LH bat into the lineup tonight? Because of what Valdes throws, he gives RHB a much tougher time than LHB.

Maybe Hurdle figures Valdes will only pitch 3 IP tonight or so & Phils have a bunch of LH relievers including Savery, Bastardo, and Diekman who are likely to see action tonight.

That is also giving Hurdle credit though for being a good manager & thinking ahead. There aren't many managers who Cholly can out right out manage but Hurdle is one of them.

Cue "Kashmir".

Ryan Howard: "For all the fantasy people, I'm not going to be out there stealing bases this year. It saddens me."

I feel a lot more confident that the Roy Halladay that posted Cy Young level numbers over 68 starts the past 2 years, and isn't dealing with a degenerative condition is much more likely to be a significant upgrade this season than the 2B who has said degenerative condition and has had declining offensive numbers over the past couple years.

Just my take. Love Utley, but this team needs Halladay more than anything.

When does Ryan Howard expected to be 100 percent? "Honestly, who knows. Maybe not until next year. But you know, if it’s 80, 85 percent, the only thing I can do is give you 100 percent of 85 percent."

Ryan Howard, on how surgically repaired Achilles has affected (or not affected) his ability to drive ball while hitting: "Hitting-wise I don’t feel any difference. It’s one of those things I don’t even think about. I’m able to get up on the ball of my foot on my swing, on my follow through. Swing-wise, it doesn’t feel… I don’t feel any difference. So to me, that’s a non-factor."

Not to mention that the Phillies only have 88 games left, and it's likely that Utley only plays in no more than 70 of them.

awh- it would be at or around 30 I bet, especially the way Kendrick has looked lately.

Plus, to evenly compare, you'd have to pretend Roy was coming back today since the estimate on Utley is from today to the end of the season. Would he be worth more than 26 runs over 16 starts (1.6 runs per start) than Kendrick? I'd put money on that.

Not that Utley's return isn't important. All of these guys coming back is ver important, which is why you can't count them out until you see what each is going to give you.

MG: Actually, the offense has been great. 4.8 R/G since the beginning of May, 4.8 R/G allowed over the same period. If those had been the numbers all season, the offense would be 3rd in the NL and the pitching would be 14th.

Over the full season, offense has been 8th best, pitching has been 9th best.

Ryan Howard on where he's at in terms of running on the surgically repaired Achilles: "Initially the first couple of steps were always an issue. As of late it’s gotten a lot better. It’s not going to be Olympic-time trail type speed, I know you guys are going to be real disappointed with that, but whatever I got is what I’m going to give. It’s definitely gotten better with all the progressions and I’m happy with where it is right now."

DH Phils - Even better than I thought.

"Over the full season, offense has been 8th best, pitching has been 9th best."

Unfortunately only the top 5 teams make the Postseason.

Say, BAP - I was thinking of your little hissy-fit last night, and I got to thinking.

I know you're from the Bay area, so I was wondering if you might live in Napa?

Based on your expertise in whine, I was thinking you must own a whinery.

Fatti and MG, I guess we'll just disagree on the "need".

I agree that it's been the pitching and defense that has hurt them - I pointed that out several threads ago. But Halladay is only half of that equation, and can't play defense at 8 other positions.

Utley makes the whole lineup better, not by "protection", but because his insertion removes a black hole at the bottom of it, even if he's not occupying that black hole.

The lineup - even without Howard and Nix - is significantly better with Utley.

When Howard and Nix return the potential 8 - hole hitter is Nix/Mayberry/Pierre or even Polly.

Nomoresuffereingthrough watching mini-mart, a nice guy but a player with little chance of success, bat in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded and the game on the line.

GTown: Yeah, in April the pitching was great and the offense was terrible. Since then, the offense has been great and the pitching has been terrible. Added together, the team is perfectly mediocre (330 RS, 332 RA).

MG: Better than I thought, too, and the pitching lately has been worse than I thought (although the beginning of May cutoff conveniently just barely includes the 15-13 game in Atlanta, for what that's worth).

Wow, another posting from Phlipper about another poster. Shocking. Also, your grasp of California geography is awesome. Really, your parents must be proud.

DH Phils: I'd love to see what the team could do if they managed to pull it all together, but so far that hasn't happened for a as much as a whole series, let alone an entire month or more.

"awh- it would be at or around 30 I bet, especially the way Kendrick has looked lately."

Iceman, the way Halladay 'looked' lately wasn't much better than Kendrick.

Kendrick has a 4.35 ERA since 2010. Halladay's is 2.60.

Over the course of 10 - 15 games that won't translate into 30 runs.

"When Howard and Nix return, does Charlie split up the lefties with this lineup?:"

Posted by: awh | Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 05:20 PM

Charlie seems pretty wedded to the Utley #3, Howard #4 configuration. If he didn't switch it up when Werth was going good, I don't see him doing it now.

And for all the concern about the lefty following lefty, and for all the times that it created matchup problems late in game, the Phils seemed to always do pretty well against LH starters, and of course, LH pitchers are a minority so in the long run, the advantages against RH pitchers may well outweigh the disadvantages against LH pitching.

My guess is that Pence will bat 5th (because he's got more power) and Chooch will bat 6th.

What's up with the fake PPP?

And whoever he is, he clearly has a firm grasp on unintentional irony.

Oh, and btw:

"Although it doesn't have any firm boundaries, the Bay Area includes portions of nine counties: Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Alameda, and Santa Clara."

Utley totally saved that inning for Valdes. If he doesn't get to that ball, who knows how fast the game -- nay, the rest of the season -- might have unraveled.

Artist LeRoy Neiman died recently.

Phlipper, for what it's worth, the Phillies had a great record last year against LH starters because, for whatever reasons, their pitching was better, but their offense was notably worse.

Batting Utley 3, Chooch 4 & Howard 5 would make far too much sense for Charlie to ever give it a shot.

I've been a little distracted from the Phils lately with my ultimate frisbee leagues and studying, but did I just hear TMac say that Juan Pierre has a HR???

If he hits a home run here, I may actually start praying to him.

Looks like I walked in the door just in time.

Fats: You don't pray to Chase Utley? You Philistine.


Pierre is still slow, I see.

Nope. Still don't like Pierre.

Fatal-- A no doubter too

I'm not just talking about last year, Fata. I'm talking over a longer stretch. Last I checked before last year, their offensive production was actually better against LHP.

And when you say it was worse, their OPS split last year was .723 and .701 - not that big a difference and with Utley missing a lot of time, and Howard missing some time.

I was sent down for this?


Fatalotti: Well there's your answer.

And Pierre's twice as much of an idiot now.

Alright, time to get my Chase Utley beads, and go hit the pews.

Saintly !!!!

Way to cost us a run, Juan

Ok, that was as cool as it gets.

And Utley saw that it was good...thus sayeth the Lord.

Does anyone still want to try and argue that Utley doesn't bring a positive energy to this team?


It's going to be interesting to watch people walk back the countless "Utley will never contribute anything again" statements.

Mini-Mart sucks.

Back to back

Chooch doesn't want you to forget about him now that Utley's back.

What year is it?

That was perfectly storybook. I haven't been this happy watching Phillies baseball in a long time. Welcome back, Chase!!!


Love it!

Phlipper, good points. The numbers I ran was runs/game, which is not the best measure of offensive performance.

Still, I largely agree that against LH starters, moving the 3/4 hitters around doesn't make much of a difference, but in the late innings, I think it makes a big difference. That's why I think they should do it.

thome yelled "son of a bitch" at chooch as he entered the dugout. lol

See, Utley is even making Ruiz hit!!!


The man can walk on water. Chooch is right behind him. St chase has risen.

Even I'm impressed.
Wish I could paint Chase.

Now I just hope that our starter can last deep into the game, so we don't have to rely on the bullpen for very long. Wait . . . what's that you say?

I see Chase Utley still has the shortest swing in the history of baseball, and yet somehow can still hit a ball 400 feet.

An amazing player, and it's too bad he's had to deal with these knee injuries.

And I know we're all fawning over Utley, but how is Chooch doing this????

Simple. Chooch is Batman.

Chooch is 4th in ALL OF BASEBALL in bWAR among position players.


Somewhere Harry the K is knowingly smiling -- Chase you ARE the man.

awh- Halladay was pitching hurt. I'm assuming that when we get Halladay back, it will be the real Doc.

Me, too, Iceman.

Utley not playing like a man with bad knees.

Fata -

(2007, too)

OPS against LHP better than against RHP. Some years by a fairly considerable margin.

Phlipper, hard to use those numbers with any predictive power. Back then, Utley was almost equal against lefties and righties. And through 2010, those teams had Werth, and through 2008, those teams had Burrell.

Kind of funny that 2008-2010, better against LHP. Last year with Utley out a lot and Howard a little, and this year with both out all year, better against RHP.

Obviously, the differences are explained by more than just Howard and Utley - but it does suggest that concerns about lefty/lefty at 3/4 are inflated.

Valdes not doing us any favors with the pitch count.

Who is this guy?

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