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Thursday, June 21, 2012

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Dare you say, flip flopper? Get a grip, MG.

Always read the site, but don't post much. Had a feeling they wouldn't go down to the Rockies last night and they pulled it off. Let's hope it's an indication of things to come. The Martinez home run was almost funny because Blanton had started his homer streak and the team seemed down for good in this unfortunate season. When Martinez came up, who didn't expect a double play there? We need a lot more good surprises like that to salvage this season. Let's go boys, it's hittin' season.

Last night was a nice win, but for me it's hard to get too excited when it's against the Rockies, it's only two in a row, and they're still eight back.

Phlipper, of course everything you pointed out is possible. It's also possible that Papelbon could blow every single lead for which he's ever entrusted to protect. But we have to play in the world of probable, not possible. In a tie game on the road, if you desire to win said game, you have to get to the top of the 10th. That's your primary goal. To put yourself in the best possible situation to get there, you'd want to use your best pitcher, no? Now, I could understand if there are three punch-and-judy hitters coming up for the opposition, you might want to use a lesser arm, and not waste your best pitcher on three hitters who don't present much of a threat, but in general, you'd want to use your best pitcher available in the bottom of the 98th, then your next best pitchers in the 10th, and then when all other options are exhausted, you go to a long man and try to salvage the rest of the game.

Even if Papelbon is used and the Phillies then go on to take a lead, do you really feel like it's a "cost" that Papelbon was used in a higher leverage situation, and that Savery was used in a lower leverage situation? Every day of the week, I'd rather have Savery pitch with a lead and Papelbon pitch in an inning where there is no margin for error, then the other way around.

I get that there are nuances that have to be considered, and I don't think it's completely black-and-white, but I think it's much closer to black-and-white than you'd like to admit. What benefits have the Phillies achieved by NOT using Papelbon in those 8 extra inning games on the road, and even if there were potential benefits at the time (as you seem to think), were they actually worth the cost that he didn't pitch in any of those games at all? You talk about not overusing your closer, but if the Phillies take the lead in one of those games, Manuel was prepared to use him, so if he was available to pitch that night, why save him for a situation that may (and hasn't as of yet this season) presented itself?

It's just poor managing based on a groupthink.

fatal: go to a players page and click "more stats" next to the header that reads standard for, well, more stats.

fatal: do you feed seagulls at the beach?

I agree with Little Ollie, Rockies are brutal. Let's see a string of wins against some quality, but it needs to be noted that the hitting has picked up and that's good news. It isn't possible that Cliff lee will ohfer this year is it?

There's a reason they call Michael Martinez Mr. June...


They do call him that, right?

Last night was a nice win, but for me it's hard to get too excited when it's against the Rockies, it's only two in a row, and they're still eight back.

Posted by: Little Ollie

That was my take, too.

Blanton gave up 5 runs, which I would label an normal start.
Our $50M closer gave a run in a tie game.
We came back in the 9th due to some real sloppy defense on pretty routine plays.
We were 3-11 with RISP and left 9 on base.

Otherwise, we had clean defense (that catch by JRoll was great) and I'm happy for the team to build some momentum despite the above.

Need to get Doc back. Hamels needs to return to his April performance.

I still have phaith and I'll admit this series has me feeling a little better. Nice to see the team push hard like this, they're not cooked!

paraphrased repost from last night:

I have never seen a ball bounce off a padded outfield wall as far as Pence's game tying double last night. It literally rolled to the where the ballgirl sits and was still rolling before the LF got to it.

How hard must Pence have had that for it to have enough force to hit a padded wall 330ft away and bounce that far back? I truly can't think of a ball bouncing back any further.

toldya' decimation works

NL East Standings (by Pythagorean W/L)

1. Nationals: 37-29
2. Braves: 37-32 (1.5 GB)
3. Mets: 35-35 (4 GB)
4. Phillies: 35-36 (4.5 GB)
5. Marlins: 27-41 (11 GB)

See, we should be a lot closer to contention just based on our RS/RA ratios.

How's that for a "glass is half-full" comment?

Let's knock off the "well let's see them beat a good team" crap.

At this point, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO THE WINS ARE AGAINST. Get wins, period.

The division games are obviously of more importance, but at this point they need to beat up the dregs of the league to make up ground.

I failed to assign a good math equation to last night's win, therefore it sucked. Oh wait, I suck at math.

Good game.

So Polanco had to have hurt himself last night right?

Hard to ever expect a sweep, but they have to beat Jeff Francis tonight, no way around it.

Hard not to like what we saw last night. Remember, "losing is a disease - like bubonic plague, or syphillis." The alternative is always better, and also contagious.

JW don't get all hot and bothered. Think about they won 2 games in a row. Wow.

Gotta agree with RK here. They're, what, ten games behind the Nats? Uts and Howard and Halladay are still rehabbing. The bullpen is in shambles. And we're supposed to get excited about 2 wins?

I gotta agree. I mean why do they even bother trying to win games! Dear me they should've just packed it in a few weeks ago! These silly guys!

Generic closers get that save 133 percent of the time last night, so any scoffing about the quality of the win is ridiculous.

Maybe not ten games...
Anyway, part of the whole 'intangibles' thing is about crafting a narrative that involves speculation about what's going on behind closed doors and in players' heads. So here's mine:

The Utley thing has been hugely upsetting to the guys in this locker room. I mean, at this point we know it's bad, but seeing the best player on your team in what should have been the prime of his career hobbling around on basically arthritic knees, and watching him and his family and the team suddenly wondering really hard if he had any future in this game--that was a serious blow to this locker room. Coupled with Howard's slow recovery, everybody on this team felt way too much pressure to pick up the slack--previously complementary hitters needed to carry the club and be clutch in big spots, great pitchers felt they needed to be perfect, and this pressure negatively effected early performance, as the slow start started to confirm how difficult life would be without Utley and Howard. Things snowballed, and more guys got hurt, putting even more pressure on the remaining guys, etc.

Perhaps last night showed this team finally getting over all of that, and just being content being themselves? Perhaps Uts' apparently imminent return will help some more? Or perhaps they just don't have the talent any more.

Doesn't matter who you play. Have to win 1 before you can win 2 before you can win 3 before................

Bob - Que?

Need to get a sweep here to really have any 'momentum.'

Call me a nattering nabobs of negativity but it is pretty remarkable this year how this Phils' team even struggles and has to claw for every win even against the bottom feeders in the NL (Cubs, Astros, Padres, and add Rockies to the list too).

If they can manage to claw back to .500 and go into the ASB at .500 or even 1-2 games above it, then I will feel better about them.

Still feel that they will get some pieces back, play better baseball, and still end up a few games short because they dug themselves too deep a hole & aren't capable of sustaining .600+ baseball for 2-3 months in the 2nd half. 83-84 wins and home in October for the first time since '06.

One time I don't understand though is the claims/sentiment that seemed to be echoed that this team 'had stopped trying' or 'was going through the motions.'

Been to several games this season including 4-5 in the past month. Never got the sense they weren't giving effort and trying. If anything, they seemed to be badly pressing at times & making mental mistakes at times a result.

Say what you will about Vic & Pence but their effort level/intensity isn't one thing I would question about them. Especially with Pence. It leaves it out on the field every night & busts it down the line on almost every play. Figure with his 'blue collar' mentality he would be more popular here but that is largely BS constructed by the sports media. People will boo here if you aren't playing well. Period. Even if you are playing with effort & intensity but not delivering the desired result.

I like thinking about and discussing the intangibles, and am one of those who thinks they play a significant role in the fortunes of teams and players.

Just because they cannot be quantified or proven through stats, does not mean they are of no importance.

For me, I enjoyed the win, and it was great to see guys like Thome acting as happy as if they had won a tough playoff game.

Now does it mean they are about to go on a tear? Doubtful? The talent is suspect at this point, to say the least. But to me last night was a clear demonstration that the players have not given up on this season. And I haven't given up on them.

Don't forget luck. Nobody wins without some, and so the Phils haven't had any.

Bob - Intangibles are as far as 'health & avoiding injuries' I would agree but in baseball because of how the game is played with 1-on-1 interactions I will take the more talented team every single time especially over a prolonged stretch.

MG: Pence may have intensity, but they make extremely stupid plays. Pence swings at balls over his head like a little leaguer and takes ill advised risks on balls in the field that end up as errors or misplays.

Obviously he brings a lot of positives to the table, and they usually outweigh his negatives - but in the midst of a losing streak, the player who is clumsily dropping a 1 knee while swinging at ball or letting a blooper skip behind him will be one who gets the majority of the wrath.

If Victorino continues to play poorly and value drops, do we grab him back for a 1-2yr deal or just part ways regardless?

We really don't have a successor worth a damn...kinda like the Jroll situation all over again, although CF seems to be more available than SS in the bigs.

lorecore - Its largely BS that fans in Philly appreciate players who work hard & play intense even if the results aren't there. Like the ridiculous notion is a 'blue-collar' town which hasn't been true in 35-40 years.

It is just an easy cliche to hang on because it is easy to drop into an argue or make a cheap talking point. That or it is just something who is a national figure & knows little/nothing how about how the area has dramatically transformed since then say 1970 or 1975.

Yeah I don't know why fans would boo Pence swinging at a 2-strike pitch three feet above his head or five feet outside into the other batters box. Doesn't make any sense. He looks like he's trying hard so he should get cheered no matter what.

Totally get why they boo Rollins though. Guy has a bat attitude.

"Its largely BS that fans in Philly appreciate players who work hard & play intense even if the results aren't there"

I'm not totally sure of this.

bad attitude* jeesh.

lorecore: I want them to ditch Victorino regardless and go after Bourn (especially if they don't sign Hamels).

Nats are going to be all over Bourn, unless they bring in an CFer at the deadline.

Bed Beard - Classic example. Chooch. Supposedly has been beloved since he came up but he got booed at times in '08 when he was scuffling so badly in the summer & basically lost his job to Coste for a while.

Wow...a guy lost his job for a few weeks to guy going nuts at the plate?

I'm shocked.

Also, a player was booed? also shocking. Booing doesnt mean a player is hated, it just means he did something stupid for the most part.

NEPP - C'mon NEPP. People in Philly boo players beyond just doing 'stupid things' if they don't produce.

MG -- completely agree:

"One [thing] I don't understand though is the claims/sentiment that seemed to be echoed that this team 'had stopped trying' or 'was going through the motions.'

Been to several games this season including 4-5 in the past month. Never got the sense they weren't giving effort and trying. If anything, they seemed to be badly pressing at times & making mental mistakes at times a result."

Phils are basically locked into a FA for CF next year, which isn't a bad class at all (per MLBTR):

Center fielders
Alfredo Amezaga (35)
Rick Ankiel (33)
Michael Bourn (30)
Melky Cabrera (28)
Mike Cameron (40)
Curtis Granderson (32) - $13MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Josh Hamilton (32)
Scott Hairston (33)
Angel Pagan (31)
Corey Patterson (33)
Cody Ross (32)
Grady Sizemore (30)
Ryan Spilborghs (33)
B.J. Upton (28)
Shane Victorino (32)

Hamilton, Bourn, Upton, and likely Melky will all get better deals than Vic. They are all younger and having better seasons. If you can get Vic on a "5th best player available" contract, you might get some good value.

I would absolutely love for Vic to stop playing like crap and jump up on that list, but at current look out - thats where i'd put him.

MG, Agree that talent trumps intangibles like "heart", "guts", "playing with fire and intensity", etc., etc., especially over the long haul. I think this is particularly true in baseball. These attributes may play more of a role in say, basketball and football.

Also, I'm not so sure about the so called Philly tradition of revering "hard-working, blue collar guys". Sure, most of us like these guys, but most of us have pretty short leashes when the blue collar guys aren't producing wins on a consistent basis. Wasn't Utley booed a week or so ago when he struck out a couple of times?

I really wish Vic would stop hitting LH. One of the few non-knee reactions you see mentioned alot. Even hear LA echo that sentiment once or twice this season.

Just costing the team a lot of outs and in the process himself a fair amount of money this offseason.

JW: So the Phillies suddenly found intangibles last night, after not having them for the first 65 games, where they failed to come back from behind once?

MG, you're assuming he would do better hitting RH vs. RHPs?

Wasn't that long ago the idea of the Phils being linked to Melky was laughed at. Too bad that didn't work out.

schmenk: i do. R/R are much usually much less pronounced and he's a natural RH, he came up into the bigs like that and throws RH.

schmenkman - Yes. Especially this year and his anemic line vs. .228/.301/.325 in 206 ABs vs RHP and his .324/.378/.632 in 68 ABs vs LHP.

Granted those are small sample sizes but this is something too that has been an issue since '10 when he has at least a +.250 OPS swing each year.

This year it has just gotten ridiculously bad and when you get to the point when a switch-hitter has a .200+ OPS swing from one side of the plate to the other you have to question the value in continuing to switch-hit.

Hard to believe that Vic couldn't give you a .730-750 OPS or so vs RHP hitting from the right-side. It would dramatically improve his overall numbers.

clout's obsession w/ hot weather at CBP notwithstanding, two of the three HR balls which Blanton surrendered were right in the center of the plate (one up in the zone, one low). He stopped getting brutalized by the opposing batters when (*gasp!*) he began pitching well. Crazy concept, I know.

and just from watching, his LH stance/swing just look piss poor. Even wheels(or someone) was ripping him for having awful timing from the LH side with his leg kick. He pulls off a ton of stuff and gets tied up on anything above his waist.

From the RH side, he steps into the pitch and drives, is able to get his hands in on pitches up, and has a great stride down in the zone to get the barrel on pitches that sinking.

Gtown Dave: Before Rosario's HR, Blanton had just barely gotten away with two deep flyballs on balls up in the zone to Helton and someone else (can't remember who).

The other ones carried (though Cuddyer's was ripped), but Rosario's HR was just a terrible pitch up in the zone, and one completely foreseeable based on his pitches earlier in the inning.

Agree that Victorino looks awful and has sucked hitting LH. Only questioning whether he would do much (or at all) better RH vs. RHPs. I agree it'd be worth a try, and for all we know he's aware of his poor resutls and has tried it in the cage and is more comfortable LH. Who knows. Somebody should ask him on twitter.

I knew this header was risky business. Folks - just enjoy what you saw last night. That's all this is. Do I think they're going to the WS because Wiggy hustled? Of course not.

The fight for worst starter on the team is nearly at a dead heat:

KK: 75 OPS+
JB: 78 OPS+

I think KK's 1.540 WHIP puts him in a comfortable lead, but JB's HR proclivities inch him closer every day.

Does anyone think they're going to the WS at all, whether P. Wiggly hustles or not?

JW: Fair enough. I certainly enjoyed it. Games just used to happen more regularly, which is why I found it odd that this would symbolize something about the team. If anything, it merely highlights that it hasn't happened any other time.

"Somebody should ask him on twitter."

Or ya know, someone who gets paid to ask those questions.

Bake: Who do you think will go to the WS?

Do I think they're going to the WS because Wiggy hustled? Of course not.

Man. The negativity in this place can become overwhelming at times.

"At this point, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO THE WINS ARE AGAINST. Get wins, period."

Agreed. Better to win a game like that than to lose it (or any game for that matter).

Am I at the right place? GTown and DPatrone with comments against negativity. Bizarro BL.

Wiggy Hustled?

Season=Over

NEPP, wrong. Wiggy Hustled means

Season = Just getting interesting

Tonight's game is a kind of a 'put up or shut up' game for this club. Facing a starter on who is likely entering non-guaranteed contract status/AAAA depth filler and a Rockies' team that is badly scuffling. Need to stake them and complete the sweep.

Winning 2 of 3 isn't going to get this club back to .500 in a quick-enough manner. They need some sweeps in there to do that.

Grit? Is that what that stuff built up in Helton's joints is?

This is a group of people who enjoyed roughly ~10 of the wins last year during a 102 win season, so it's not surprising they wouldn't enjoy this one.

Wigginton's turned back into a pumpkin:

Basically the last 2 years, he has had one-strong offensive spurt and been an offensive wasteland the rest of the season. This year looks no different:

Since May 1st:

.215/.288/.356 (.643 OPS) with 5 HRs in 153 PAs (43 G, 33 GS).

Howard can't get back fast enough because the Phils are giving up way too many outs with Wigginton at 1st. Ridiculously bad production for a 2-month stretch for a guy who predominantly plays 1B.

I wish Cholly would play Luna a bit more at 1st. Somehow Cholly has this misguided notion that Wigginton is a decent defesnive 1B which just isn't the case. He stinks there too struggling even at times to pick throws out of the dirt.

Who didn't enjoy last night's win? Anyone?

"This is a group of people who enjoyed roughly ~10 of the wins last year during a 102 win season, so it's not surprising they wouldn't enjoy this one."

More bogus strawman cr@p. Worst part of this site has been PPP (Philiper/awh) posting stuff that is neither creative or insightful.

Terrible win.
Let's just say I still don't know what happened to Rommel because I turned the game on.

I enjoyed at least 20 wins last season. Maybe 25.

MG: Luna's not the answer. Hopefully Mayberry is, altho that makes you have to start pierre in LF.

At this point in the season, and after closely scrutinizing every stat there is, my revelatory, expert opinion is that a non-Phillies team will represent the NL in the WS.*

Also, I enjoyed last night's win.

* This could change as more, newer evidence comes to light.

lorecore - Of course not but I wouldn't mind seeing him getting a bit more PT at 1B instead of Wigginton. That's all.

After that brutal series in Baltimore and the defensive butchery in the infield, Cholly seems to put Fontenot & Luna on the bench in favor of Mini Mart & Wigginton.

People on this site know how I feel about Mini Mart and Wigginton's not hitting enough to justify the PT he is getting. If Wigginton isn't hitting, he useless too.

Nix's injury set back hurt too because this team could use his power & production against RHP.

It's been brutal this year to watch Wigginton and Mayberry (and Vic too) flail away helplessly most nights against a RHP starter.

Take Nix starting at 1st/LF vs RHP starter over the options the Phils have right now. Even if his defense at 1B isn't good, it isn't worse than Wigginton and the Phils get an offensive boost.

I love that people bitch about ppp then still continue to reply to him.

I love MG talking about "blue collar" mentality in Philly and then writing a whole post bashing that it is a myth.

I love people complaining about the Phillies winning becuase it wasn't against a good team.

I love that Fata is still complaining about the closer stuff.

I love people complaining about the headline story because JW dared use the word "intangibles" and you can't read pages of stats about them on Fangraphs or whatever other stat site so many here touch themselves to.

I love Beerleaguer.

I love San Dimas.

The Love Song of T. Injection Prufrock.

As an English teacher I love that comparison Bake!

Love to Love You Baby

In the spirit of the Phillies it should be "Proefrock".

"I love that people bitch about ppp then still continue to reply to him."

hard to ignore, but agreed. a random comment or two doesn't hurt but when someone gets suckered in enough to post stats/paragraphs of reasoning expecting to get satisfaction from making them sound stupid, it just makes it worse.

Kinda like arguing with clout...he says something, you prove him wrong with 2008-2012 data, then he replies that 2004-2007 data is needed instead. Even if you went to get that, there'd be something else, and so on.

Wins against losing teams shouldn't count. The Phillies haven't really lost since they are a losing team.

Arguing with clout is fun. Despite his antagonistic nature, he knows a great deal about baseball (much more than I), and I'd say at least half his posts have some really good insight, even some dripping with snark.

MG- you going to engage in some revisionist history and say that the posts here captured a spirit of 'enjoyment,' especially from April-June?

I remember JW himself writing a posts about how the Phils had turned into a boring team and he was losing interest. Every year you and others talk about how they don't get how people think this place can be an ocean of negativity for long stretches of time and pretend last season, or the season before that, or the season before that never happened.

Has nothing to do with that moron PPP but it has everything to do with you being a realist once in a while.

I love San Dimas.

Posted by: Socrates | Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 01:52 PM

Post of the day.

I've decided it all depends on w/ which clout one happens to be arguing.

TTI: "I love people complaining about the headline story because JW dared use the word "intangibles" and you can't read pages of stats about them on Fangraphs or whatever other stat site so many here touch themselves to."

Actually, let's say that I thought "intangibles" were a *HUGE* part of a baseball team. Let's say I thought that stats were stupid and couldn't possibly measure the worrth of a team. That teams that that had such intangibles would do things like come from behind a lot, or keep leads in close games when they had them, or to prosper even in the face of injuries. That these things would show the heart of a team that stats never could.

Well, then, I would be forced to conclude that this team had very little intangibles, wouldn't I? Seeing as though they've done absolutely none of the things listed above with any sort of proficiency.

NEPP: Agreed.

The PPP holy trinity is Brian Schneider, Chad Qualls and Michael Martinez. Amen.

"We were 3-11 with RISP..."


3r0ck, 3-11 is .272, no?

MLB average is .252.

Looks to me like the Phils had a pretty good night with RISP.

TruthI, so do the Phillies have better intagibles than the Rockies? How long does a team hold on to their intagibles? What causes a team to gain intangibles? Lose intangibles? Can you score a run due to intangibles?

When you bang into a wall and hold on to the catch, is that an intangible? If you drop it, is it a non-intangible (or whatever the reverse is?).

Iceman: As long as MG continues to make money off the Phils losses, each game will "feel like a win" for him, and keep his spirits up.

BB: Problem w/ gambling in general, problem w/ betting on Phils games in particular or merely irritated that MG is correct often enough to make money?

Raul's GrandPa, he's still dead. I never.boo the players. I just bet against them and then brag about it on a hardcore fans site.

Betting against your team is BS...there are a million other things to bet on that dont require that.

"Worst part of this site has been PPP (Philiper/awh)..."


MG, I promise you PPP ain't me. I was gone for a while - got bogged down in work/travel and only caught a couple games the last 3 weeks.

I don't bet on anything save the occasional NFL game, & I never bet on teams I root for. That's because I find my personal feelings get in the way of better judgment, however, not because I find anything wrong w/ the practice. My opinion is if you're good enough to take Vegas' money more often than not, go for it.

Lineup: Rollins (SS), Pierre (LF), Pence (RF), Ruiz (C), Victorino (CF), Polanco (3B), Mayberry (1B), Martinez (2B), Worley (P).

Worley's been shafted by lousy defense of late. For some reason I'm feeling Mayberry to (literally) drop the ball this evening.

"MG: Luna's not the answer. Hopefully Mayberry is..."

Mayberry since his low on April 22nd: .264/.309/.481

Mayberry since May 1st: .258/.308/.483 with 6 HR, 20 RBI


His power has emerged of late, with 4 HR/10 RBI in his last 6 games.

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