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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

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My inter-webs' life ambition is to be quoted by JW. Someday I'll get there.

RBill, for the record, I sympathize w/ what happened to you at the ballpark. I just wish people in general had more class and decency. I don't think it's just baseball fans and parks, but unfortunately, you're just trying to take your family out for a good time, and others have to seemingly go out of their way to ruin your experience.

Jbird, I've been quoted once or twice. The endorsement deals don't roll in as quickly as you'd hope.

repost:

Well, we always said that if one of our 3 aces went down for considerable amount of time this team would be in big trouble.

Just sucks that Doc being injured has somehow made Lee and Hamels unable to hold a lead.

Obviously Blanton and Kendrick are far from world beaters, but even they are under performing by their own standards.

How much of the Phillies payroll is on the DL right now? $65m? $70m?

Blanton's ERA+ by year

2009: 104
2010: 85
2011: 76
2012: 72

Kind of right where I expected him to be, to be honest.

Broxton was only going to go to a place he could close. Howell would have been tough to resign from TB since he expressed a pretty strong desire to resign & stay there.

Rodney might have been worth a gamble. Rays have done a really nice job the past 2-3 years of identifying veteran FA at minimum dollars & getting good value for them on 1-2 year deals.

I wouldn't say this is the worst bullpen in the league. Bastardo has quietly picked up where he left last season before his control issues in late August/Sept. Papelbon has been as dominant as advertised.

The issue has been that the internal arms that the Phils were relying upon either have been hurt or generally ineffective.

What strikes me about a bunch of the guys the Phils have right now from their system is how they throw hard (Schwimer, Rosenberg, Diekman) but simply don't have good command of their offspeed stuff or have a single offspeed pitch they can rely upon to get hitters consistently when their fastball control isn't working.

This is the biggest issue right now with the club since they have 3 starters (KK, Blanton, Worley) who will be in the rotation at least for the next 4-5 weeks who often only go 6 IP. Means they need to get 6 outs of their bullpen even if Papelbon is available for the 9th.

jbird: don't feel bad, if you were included in this header you'd have to be associated with the garbage that bap posted.

bap: you forgot Raul Valdes' .632 WHIP for only $450k!

***What strikes me about a bunch of the guys the Phils have right now from their system is how they throw hard (Schwimer, Rosenberg, Diekman) but simply don't have good command of their offspeed stuff or have a single offspeed pitch they can rely upon to get hitters consistently when their fastball control isn't working.***

That goes back to their draft strategy the last few years. They focus on big arms with questionable secondary pitches.

NEPP: but you'd think in 3-5 years they could teach them one more effective pitch. Maybe we need some roving fork ball, split finger, and knuckle ball instructors for potential relievers.

jbird: already been tried. Bruce Sutter was brought in to work with Scott Mathieson's fork ball. The results were, well - how do you say - inconclusive?

Papelbon's got the life right now. He's just kicking back and collecting coin.

*** but you'd think in 3-5 years they could teach them one more effective pitch. ***

You would think...I personally am not all that impressed with our franchise's ability to develop pitchers. Hamels is pretty much the only elite pitcher they've ever developed and only a handful of other pitchers have ever even made it to the majors for more than a cup of coffee out of our system. The White Sox supposedly had to make Gio repeat AA as they felt he had actually taken a step backward during the year he was in our system due to our lack of development. Floyd never panned out for us, etc etc. Worley, Madson, Hamels and Bastardo are the major arms I can think of over the past decade or so. Myers too I guess.

Not really that exciting.

Rodney would have been a nice signing had he performed for the Phil's like he's performing for the Rays, but I'm not sure that would have happened...the Rays identified a flaw in his delivery and had him move over to the 3rd base side of the rubber to correct it...would Dubee and Charlie have done the same?

Never understand the nostalgia for the Vet for baseball. Ever. Or the fans who went there.

I would much rather deal with college-aged hipster douchebags who just largely go to CBP because it is a place to be seen vs. the hard core drunks who used to go to the Vet. Much easier crowd to deal with.

Remember several times as a kid/young adult being quite scared at what was going on around me including one Cards/Phils game at the Vet where things got so out of control in the section that I was sitting. Dad & Uncle wisely got us out of there before things really went bad. Even the Stadium Security guys were getting their a$$es kicked. Only resumed control after Philly cops came in and start just clubbing people.

Don't miss that level of nonsense one bit. Went to almost every single Opening Day from the mid 80s to the mid-90s and even then there was often tons of fighting in the 500-700 levels. It was ridiculous.

lorecore: you can do it for more than one guy though. You never know who will pick it up as a dominant pitch. I remember reading that a lot of clubs don't allow their young pitchers to throw split fingers unless it's their last shot at the majors. Maybe Jose Contreras can make himself useful and teach a couple guys how to throw it effectively.

Sorry, they move him to the 1st base side of the rubber:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16443

One thign I do remember was the really ugly and cheap looking red ponchos the security guys at the Vet used to wear that said 'Security' on white letters.

Almost something you would use for a cheap Halloween costume.

Repost

Nice list Joe D. I really like this concept. Not because its negative, just because i find a lot of those items be really funny to remember. I'm in my 32nd year of existence, so I've got about the same perspective so I'd like to offer some additions to your list of the worst things to happen.

Jeff Jackson over Frank Thomas
Abreu, Rolen, Schilling trades
The first incarnation of T-Mac
Commercials played during Phillies games
Adam Eaton
Freddy Garcia trade
Idiots, specifically hipsters at the games
Jim Fregosi's handling of Phils bullpen in 93
Felske and Elia
Lance Parrish
Turk Wendell, Dennis Cook and Tim Worrell


I sat in the upper deck only once in my entire life...the Mulholland no-hitter.

Every other game I went to there I was always in the lower level...and I went to a ton of games. Never had any issues with fans at a Phillies game. At Eagles games, I was often scared for my life despite not being a fan for the opposition.

Sorry, guys. I guess I'm just a sucker for live baseball with a half-empty stadium. It has very little to do with hipsters and d-bags as a populous. I just assume that when the team stinks, those types of fans won't come to the games, thus shrinking the size of the crowd. Generally, when a team stinks, the only people that go to the games are fans who want to enjoy themselves. To each his own.

Sorry to hijack another thread. My last word on the subject.

I do miss being able to walk up to the vet 20 minutes before game time and pay $25 for a good seat down close to the action. That and the fear in the players eyes that they might be the next guy to blow out both knees just by running across the turf.

To the topic at hand:

Without crunching the numbers, I can't imagine a worse bullpen in the NL at this point. Perhaps even in the entire MLB. As I wrote in the previous thread, Kendrick is way down on the list of problems for this team. The 'pen and (recently) their defense have been killing them.

For years, posters like dennyb have been advocating that we never sign another reliever, but just turn the bullpen over to the many live arms who have been populating our AAA and AA rosters the last few seasons. Due to injuries and bad planning, we've finally done precisely that. I trust that we won't see people advocate the same approach in future years.

The Phillies hit the jackpot with Bastardo -- though it took a couple years to figure that out. They may have hit a mini-jackpot with Stutes, though it remains to be seen if he can repeat last year's success. Among all the rest of their current bullpen prospects, including Aumont, DeFratus, and the guys currently on the major league roster, they'll do well if, by 2014, they end up with 1 really good bullpen arm & 1 middle inning guy. More likely, they'll end up with 2 serviceable middle inning guys out of the whole bunch.

Nice list Joe D. I really like this concept. Not because its negative, just because i find a lot of those items be really funny to remember. I'm in my 32nd year of existence, so I've got about the same perspective so I'd like to offer some additions to your list of the worst things to happen.

Jeff Jackson over Frank Thomas
Abreu, Rolen, Schilling trades
The first incarnation of T-Mac
Commercials played during Phillies games
Adam Eaton
Freddy Garcia trade
Idiots, specifically hipsters at the games
Jim Fregosi's handling of Phils bullpen in 93
Felske and Elia
Lance Parrish
Turk Wendell, Dennis Cook and Tim Worrell


Posted by: Five-4-One

These are all terrific additions and ones I would definitely list but just rattled of things quickly. I love the last one. Those were the days of big deadline acquistions...Wendell and Cook...yikes. We certainly have been spoiled at the past few deadlines. I really don't know how I forgot Eaton. Maybe that's a blessing.

541: nice list. But hipsters would be further down. The same winning that brings in the hipsters also brings in some of those pretty ladies that frequent the park.

"What strikes me about a bunch of the guys the Phils have right now from their system is how they throw hard (Schwimer, Rosenberg, Diekman) but simply don't have good command of their offspeed stuff or have a single offspeed pitch they can rely upon to get hitters consistently when their fastball control isn't working."

The thing that jumps to mind for me is simple: that these guys don't belong in the major leagues right now. I don't know whether they ever will, but all 3 should definitely be working on their off-speed stuff in AAA right now.

They aren't on the order of magnitude of the other injuries, but not being able to get even below-average, unspectacular middle relief from Stutes and Herndon has stung this team. Either one of those guys would have helped over the weekend and last night.

Which brings me to my next point: was there any indication when they got hurt that their injuries were season-threatening? I haven't heard anything about either one being close to returning. What the hell is going on with this team's training staff?

I know DH....Stutes is effectively dead I guess. I haven't heard a peep on him. As for Herndon I'm not sure I care to hear about him.

DH: this season has been completely de-railed by injuries. 1 more month to see what we can get back before it's time to pack it in. One more month.

Lee and Hamels have also lost a bit of an edge since Halladay went down--I think they're pressing and I agree that for the last two years it's been easy to take for granted not only the innings but the competitiveness that Halladay has provided. He seems to have led the staff quietly for the last two years: he provided the guts to the staff from 2010-2011 (when we began to win more with pitching than offense) that Utley gave to the offense to help make it elite from 2006-2010. Getting him back in August and assuming it takes him a few weeks to round into shape will be too late...I'd be working the phones hard if I'm the front office and retooling for 2013.

541: nice list. But hipsters would be further down. The same winning that brings in the hipsters also brings in some of those pretty ladies that frequent the park.

Posted by: Jbird | Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Haha, the list wasn't in order but I hear ya. I had to mention the hipsters again because they aggravate the crap out of me. There only so many times I can see a guy in a brand new tshirt made to look like its from the 70's and a hipster hat standing in Ashburn Alley with his back to the game.

Yes, the ladies are nice eye candy, however they are also quite annoying if forced to share the same space with them. They are there to cheer for Utley (because that is what they are supposed to do as written by law) and have a general ignorance of the rest of the team. Actually, they are probably the biggest group of "trendy to be seen."

BAP - Stutes isn't anything more than an average middle reliever at best either. If anything, he is basically Rosenberg although Rosenberg throws 1-2 MPH faster. Neither guy has a slider that is MLB-caliber. Huge problem if you are basically just a classic RHP who is a 4-seam fastball/slider pitcher.

That's the problem with the bullpen. Even if they get Stutes/Herndon back, they are still going to have issues all year unless they make a trade since there isn't an internal upgrade available.

"The thing that jumps to mind for me is simple: that these guys don't belong in the major leagues right now"

That is evident from their performance. But, at the same time, Diekman is 25, Schwimer 26, and Rosenberg will turn 27 later this year. If they haven't developed their secondary pitches, they're probably never going to.

I got sick of hipsters when I lived in No. Libs but being back out in the burbs and only witnessing them when I check out bars and Honeys and Silk City and the occasional Phillies hipster, I am cool with them again. The only hipster I hate is the dude in Northern Libs who threw concerts outside my apt on Hancock.

Going through b-r.com and looking at the 2005 season in particular. I was thinking back to Harry's call on 9/7/05 when Wagner blew the save on a Biggio home run. That completed a sweep at the hands of Houston. Wagner lost the game the previous day too. I remember the complete deflation I felt when Biggio's ball left and the call Harry made.

Additionally that 05 team had Jose Offerman and I just began laughing at the game in Wrigley when he got drilled in the head on a pickoff throw.

MG: An average middle reliever, which is about what Stutes was last year, would be a massive upgrade to this bullpen. Heck, even the much-maligned David Herndon would easily be the 3rd or 4th best option in this bullpen.

DHPhils: "What the hell is going on with this team's training staff?"

The Phils' training staff has been highly regarded in the past:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/will_carroll/02/27/phillies-health-report/index.html

I doubt these guys got stupid/careless overnight. Sometimes a team has an awful run of luck, compounded by a reliance on older players and the tendency of athletes to keep quiet about injuries and keep playing when they're either (1) young and trying to keep a roster spot (Stutes, Herndon, Galvis), or (2) key players trying to carry the load for other injured players (Doc). That's most likely what we have here.

Jim Salisbury ‏@JSalisburyCSN
Phils go from 2.5 out to 9.5 out in 10 games

GTown's right, this team is impressive in a sad way.

* * *
Well, we always said that if one of our 3 aces went down for considerable amount of time this team would be in big trouble.

Just sucks that Doc being injured has somehow made Lee and Hamels unable to hold a lead.

Obviously Blanton and Kendrick are far from world beaters, but even they are under performing by their own standards.
Posted by: lorecore | W


It's a good point that as lorecore said & JW's header agrees, we always knew we needed our 3 aces in order to compete.

And that our other starters are underperforming lately just helps us dig ourselves a deeper hole.

If getting Herndon and Stutes back is the only hope for the bullpen, they're finished. Stutes = Rosenberg. Rosenberg = Stutes. Finkel = Einhorn. Wait.

Herndon is basically a ROOGY. Same supporters of him often bury KK for his inability to not get clobbered by LH bats. Herndon is much worse in his career:

.344/.443/.611 (1.054 OPS) in 187 PAs with 8 HRs allowed and 25 BBs and 21 Ks.

Ridiculously bad. Neither one of these guys is the answer either to the bullpen woes.

Or was that when they tried to double up Offerman at first...I think it was that. b-r.com says LaTroy Hawkins caught a line drive then made the throwing error. I remember it going off his head and laughing. It was his biggest contribution.

I was thinking last night that I actually missed David Herndon. And Stutes.

2012: Missing David Herndon and some folks calling for Hector Luna.

"Even the Stadium Security guys were getting their a$$es kicked. Only resumed control after Philly cops came in and start just clubbing people."

Ha! Back in the day Dad invited my uncle (his brother-in-law, & a Pittsburgh fan) out for a Pirates/Phils game at the Vet. My uncle still speaks w/ a sense of unbelieving wonderment of Philly cops coming in to break up a fight, & of how one cop in particular simply picked a guy up & threw him down the steep, concrete steps between the sections.

There were times at which the Vet was no better than an open-air dive bar, & anyone & everyone was liable to get sucked into an ugly brawl. I suppose having grown up watching baseball in that sort of atmosphere the mere discourtesy-to-rudeness of CBP crowds doesn't even phase me. Not that I feel such behavior is excused, mind you, just that it's an entirely different manner of annoyance nowadays.

MG, just saw your post about Herndon and Stutes. And I think the point is that yes, we're in trouble if we think of them as better options. That's how bad the BP has been. And for me, I'm grasping at straws. Absence makes the heart grow fonder of crap whose flaws I less clearly remember when their replacements shove crap under my nose every day.

I at least have to give some props to Thome. I thought he was toast but he has really been mashing lately.

Stutes/Herndon won't be a noticeable upgrade to the pen even if they were back.

Herndon would give them a RHP reliever who is adequate vs RH bats but it would require Cholly to play matchup baseball which Cholly isn't the biggest fan of doing.

Stutes was below average last year after May too. He came up & pitched well initially for the first 4-5 weeks. After that, he was average.

DH Phils- "The thing that jumps to mind for me is simple: that these guys don't belong in the major leagues right now [...] They aren't on the order of magnitude of the other injuries, but not being able to get even below-average, unspectacular middle relief from Stutes and Herndon has stung this team."

Exactly right. What's stunning to me is that this bullpen is now, quite literally, an AAA bullpen, with the injuries to Stutes, Contreras and Herndon. You can add Savery to the list of arms that probably don't belong in the majors. That's four arms that most organizations would have in AAA right now, along with Qualls, who can be a train wreck depending on what night it is.

I remember not blinking an eye when Herndon and Stutes went down, because they were arguably the weakest links in our bullpen. Now with KK in the rotation and Conteras done for the year, the loss of these guys is really hurting the team. Yeah, they have two really good arms (arguably elite) at the back-end (and this would really come in handy if a starter could, you know, go 7 innings and hold a lead in the process). But they are also arguably the only guys who deserve to be on a major-league roster, so it's really not a huge advantage.

A month ago before Contreras went down I joked that this was the worst bullpen in the league, and didn't really mean it at the time, because surely there had to be some group that was worse, and we had three legitimate arms at the back-end. At this point, they really are the worst in the majors. I can't see how it can get any worse.

Part of me says, how can you have a $170 million dollar payroll and be worst in the league in a major area of the game? Then the other part of me looks at the DL and understands.

... Diekman is 25, Schwimer 26, and Rosenberg will turn 27 later this year. If they haven't developed their secondary pitches, they're probably never going to.

Yeah, but that's still "young" to the Phillies. Just imagine how much willpower it must have taken for the club to violate its "You're not ready for the big leagues until you find it hard to stay awake for the 11 o'clock news!" policy so many times this season.

nly real positive about the Interleague games so far is how Thome has played. Another multi-hit night including a key 2-out hit that drove in 2 runs. Now up 8-17 (3 XBHs) with 7 RBIs.

If the Phils do continue to fade and end up sellers, I hope he gets moved to a AL team who could use a left-handed DH like the Rays in order to have a solid shot to get to the postseason & a shot at a WS ring.

"Stutes was below average last year after May too. He came up & pitched well initially for the first 4-5 weeks. After that, he was average."

MG, the bullpen could use 'average' right now. They are significantly below average.

Abreu, Rolen, Schilling trades

At least the Rolen trade yielded Polanco, a very useful player.

Commercials played during Phillies games

The Camera Shop In-cor-por-a-ted
Where the focus is on you

Thome: 1.160 OPS since he came off the DL.


Washed up.

This team should definitely be on Prism right now and not gearing up for some big TV deal.

Part of me says, how can you have a $170 million dollar payroll and be worst in the league in a major area of the game? Then the other part of me looks at the DL and understands.

Subtract $66 million worth of DLed players (& I'm inc. Polanco) from the Phillies $174 million payroll & you get $108 million worth of active players. That's still the 9th highest payroll in MLB, & 3rd highest in the NL ... & that's as compared to the rest of MLB unadjusted to reflect their own injuries. Players breaking down has been a problem, but it's far from an excuse. This is an expensive, poorly assembled team.

MG: "Stutes was below average last year after May too. He came up & pitched well initially for the first 4-5 weeks. After that, he was average."

You've said this before, and it is simply false. Stutes' 2011 numbers by month, after May:

June: 3.14 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, .130 BAA
July: 3.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .227 BAA
August: 5.84 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, .294 BAA
Sept: 3.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .209 BAA

In short, he had one very bad month in an otherwise well above-average rookie season. And it's also worth remembering that he was one of the key cogs in our bullpen for much of the season, and pitched very well in many high-leverage moments (.176 BAA in high leverage situations).

Whether he can repeat his strong rookie year obviously remains to be seen. But to say that Stutes is no better than B.J. Rosenberg is utterly preposterous.

Thome looks like he turned his slow bat into a dangerous opposite field hitter.

In his prime, or actually, all the way up to last season - any ball that went to the opposite field was usually a bomb or off the wall. These last 4(yes i know, just 4) games he's used the opposite field to slice outside pitches in for base hits.

This team should definitely be on Prism right now and not gearing up for some big TV deal.

This season & the ones to follow could wind up costing the Phillies a ton of money. Bad team = bad ratings, & bad ratings means hundreds of millions of dollars suddenly go *poof!*, & like Keyser Söze, they're gone.

BAP - Even if you disregard his xFIP, Stutes numbers in low leverage/medium leverage were nothing to write home about, he was fortunate to strand as many runners as he did, and he is a flyball pitcher who had some luck keeping the ball in the park last year.

Stutes isn't anything more than a marginal reliever. I'll discount earlier this season because he only pitched in a handful of appearances and was pitching injured.

Stutes is almost a carbon copy of Rosenberg from a stuff comparison except Rosenberg throws a bit harder.

MG: His numbers in high leverage moments were excellent. His overall numbers were very good. Are you seriously arguing that the numbers which really count are his numbers in low and medium leverage situations?

Abreu, Rolen, Schilling trades

At least the Rolen trade yielded Polanco, a very useful player.

Commercials played during Phillies games

The Camera Shop In-cor-por-a-ted
Where the focus is on you

Posted by: Edmundo | Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Useful, if the Phillies had used him properly and played him over David Bell in 2005. Oh and then let him walk, watch him turn into an all-star and one of the best hitters in the American League, and continue to play David freaking Bell at third in 2006.

So I guess we can add the David Bell/Placido Polanco fiasco to the list.

Hey but at least they brought Polanco back right?! Right?! Same goes for Lee! This team is good at making amends! Who says too little too late right?!

Turning back into an also ran is going to be tougher now that we have no HK to listen to. Generic Announcer Guy wasn't all that listenable when he was calling wins.

Turning back into an also ran is going to be tougher now that we have no HK to listen to. Generic Announcer Guy wasn't all that listenable when he was calling wins.

Posted by: EastFallowfield

I know it's pointless to just continue to rip on T-Mac but the man is terrible. I was talking to my dad this weekend about how even during downtimes it was still great to listen to HK and you could just hear the disgust in his voice. Now with T-Mac at the helm he is still as annoying and chuckly as ever. He lives for those New York Life drops. He should be a part of the overhaul with this team.

BAP, his numbers in high-leverage may have been a by-product of his being new to the league (no book on him) and a sample size issue. I don't think he's the worst reliever this side of Mississippi, but his fly ball tendencies and proclivity to hang his slider give me pause to consider him anything more than a marginal reliever.

Turning back into an also ran is going to be tougher now that we have no HK to listen to. Generic Announcer Guy wasn't all that listenable when he was calling wins.

Posted by: EastFallowfield | Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM

EFF, I think this has been in the back of a lot of people's minds. It's definitely been in the back of mine.

I remember nights in the late 80's, when the Phils could be 20 games out of first, and you'd hang on every pitch because Harry and Whitey could make you feel like it still mattered. Or they could be so entertaining just talking to each other that you'd forget that you were watching Don Carman and Steve Jeltz. Ever since, even after Whitey passed, I couldn't spend a summer evening without hearing Harry. It was like civic responsibility. They were terrible and Harry wasn't sugar coating it. He was commiserating. He was letting you know that it was still ok to watch and be mortified, but at least he felt the same way.

But geez, with this guy now, there's just no hook. Its so much easier to just flip it off. The team is floundering, yet that smiley faced mush mouth is acting like this team is one or two wins away from first place. He acts like every single player wearing the uniform is an all-star. Its insulting and frames this team in an even more depressing reality.

The only way to top off this season is to bring in a couple of wrong brothers. Anyone know if Bryan Harper and Steve Braun are available?

sell everybody and everything. i wonder what we could get for XFinity Live?

@Five-4-One...couldn't have said it any better than with this line you used...

They were terrible and Harry wasn't sugar coating it. He was commiserating. He was letting you know that it was still ok to watch and be mortified, but at least he felt the same way.

Really great.

People didn't hang on every word that HK and Ashburn said. If I recall correctly, the Phils radio/TV ratings generally stunk in the 90s. World's greatest announcer isn't going to get people to watch/listen in large numbers to a bad product. If the team is winning, people will listen/watch. Otherwise, it is next to impossible to grab attention of non-sports fans and even tough to keep the attention of moderate ones.

Fat: His overall numbers are what I'm looking at. I brought up his high-leverage numbers simply in anticipation of the argument that he rolled up those numbers in garbage time innings.

It's more than possible that Stutes was a one-year anomaly. I'm not super concerned about his fly ball tendencies because his HR/FB ratio wasn't particularly anomalous. My concern is about his historical inability to throw strikes. But his walk ratio was significantly improved last year and, if he can keep it no worse than, say, 4 to 4.5 walks per 9 innings, I see no reason why he can't be a decent middle reliever. A decent middle reliever would look pretty good in this bullpen.

I do not agree with MG that Stutes doesn't have the stuff to be a good major league reliever. He has a very good slider & struck out nearly a batter an inning last year.

Re: Stutes: An average pitcher is an upgrade at all of our bullpen spots but two.

MG,

The point is that at McCarthy may turn off the moderates who may have hung on and even some of the hardcores.

Furthermore, I don't think it can be underestimated that the HK and Whitey made otherwise moderates into hardcores. I can tell you flat out, that if they hadn't been around, I probably would not be a hardcore fan.

Its my belief that the solid foundation of that generation of fans who survived the 80's and 90's is what truly triggered the Phillies fan explosion. I know everyone wants to point to the division titles etc, but the franchise was gaining steam prior to that, thanks to the solid fan foundation that remained.

This is all very "Astute" analysis regarding the bullpen.

I'm just waiting for them to announce the firing of Manuel and the hiring of Bowa. That would just make so much sense for how things are going.

Matt Gelb:
http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies_zone/its-the-pitching-stupid.html??2dw

From the above:

They are allowing 4.33 runs per game in 2012 and have a team ERA of 4.00. Both figures are worse than the league average. And when scoring three runs or fewer, the Phillies are 4-23 (.148), a far cry from the clip established a season ago.

In 11 June games, Phillies starters have a 5.77 ERA.

* * *
And for the one who asked:

Mike Stutes and David Herndon are far away from a return — if there even is one.

I know the team will bounce back a bit and win some games, but this godawful nosedive can't help but make me wonder if there will ever be a night that they don't somehow find a way to lose.

At this point it's kind of a race to the trading deadline. Can the current crew find it within themselves to claw close enough to have a reasonable shot at a run for the playoffs when (if?) the reinforcements arrive?

Still looking for some regression to non-abysmal. I mean Cliff Lee has to start winning some games doesn't he? Cole's looked human in his last few games. Isn't he due to put together a 5-1 run? Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick ought to be able to put a quality start together that coincides with the team getting a few runs maybe half the time shouldn't they?

Tongue and cheek on the above paragraph, but two weeks ago I would have said about the effort to stay above water, "Probably so." Now gone to "Very doubtful."

"Generic Announcer Guy wasn't all that listenable when he was calling wins."

I feel this way about Michael Martinez. I didn't understand the disgust for him last year because they were a really good team, and his presence didn't really hold them back at all. He kind of amused me.

This year, it's been ~3 games and I can't stand the sight of him.

"This is an expensive, poorly assembled team."

Be intellectually honest for once in your life, G-Town. You've been saying the same thing for years, most notably last year, and have been wrong every time. Your tune will never change.

The injuries that the team have sustained this year would be crippling to any roster. The Halladay injury (and the fact that they let him pitch hurt for the first two months of the year) put it over the top.

And "put it over the top" is even taking the significance of Halladay's injury lightly. On a fully healthy roster, the loss of him would be catastrophic by itself. I think this is the one thing everyone on BL has universally agreed on for as long as he's been here.

Put it on top of everything else, and it's a knock-out blow.

So phans are finally starting to realize that RAJ really screwed the pooch. Other than the bench and the closer, he really disn't approach things correctly did he. I can't fault him for Papelbon nor the bench. It's Cholly who's not using pap properly.

The bench would be great if the players on it didn't have to play regularly.

I've said it 1,000 times RAJ should have addressed his everyday lineup. He didn't. He thought the pitching would carry the team through. It won't. there are injuries there too. Time too face the music Roob. You screwed up, but you don't see it.

I knew it though. And I'll stand by my convictions every time. All of the debates I've had here... It's all coming to pass. The team is bad, hurt, broken, and there is very little that could be done to fix it.

darren daulton was right!!! 2012 is the end of everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!

an you add me to the list?

DPat- don't ever change.

With this loss, I have stepped off the "Playoffs Bandwagon" and will resume my more normal lifelong Phillies fan position as one suffereing and looking forward to those magic times when the Phillies may have a winning team sometime down the road. They can get rid of Hamels. He's no Doc Halladay, he's merely human. Utley can retire, he's done! They can trade Howard to the AL so he can be a DH. Bring in a bunch of untried rookies and begin a cheap youth movement. Augment the team with a free agent here or there and let's rebuild this team and try to get back to respectability in 2013 or 2014. I'm no longer emotionally invested in this particular team. Let's get rid of Cholly at the All Star break, while we're at it, and bring in Sandberg. I'm done with this 2012 Phillies team. The names of Nix, Pierre, Wiggington et al will all be faded forgetable memories in the not to distant future. There it is. It's over. I'll watch golf on Father's Day.

I don't know what there is to seriously say about the Phillies, other than hope they can rise above their mediocre talent level and get back in it. Or they don't and RAJ makes some good trades in July.

I'd love to see if the Giants would be interested in Victorino...Maybe for Gary Brown and/or Heath Hembree?

From that Gelb article:

The bullpen is in shambles. A payrolll of $178 million bought the Phillies this on Tuesday: Their five pitchers were Kyle Kendrick; three minor leaguers in Joe Savery, B.J. Rosenberg, Jake Diekman; and Chad Qualls, who was signed late in the winter off the scrap heap.


Chase says if he does infield practice his knees hurt? When is his deadline?

Chase either has to be activated by July 2nd or go back onto the 15 day DL.

DPatrone: I'm not defending RAJ's off-season, but who exactly are these everyday players who were readily available and would have fixed what is wrong with the Phillies' lineup?

The other problem with patting yourself on the back for being right about the bad offense is that the offense is about the 3rd or 4th biggest problem with this team, behind the bullpen, the starting pitching, and maybe even the defense. The Phillies are 8th in the league in runs per game -- not great, but better than the team 9.5 games ahead of them in the division, better that division leading Cincinnati, and better than WC contenders, San Francisco, Miami, and Pittsburgh. And that's after a godawful April, where they ranked 2nd from the bottom. Since May 1, they've gone 16-22 while having one of the higher scoring teams in the league.

Also, in this wretched June stretch alone, they've lost 5 games (including the last 3) where they scored 4+ runs. They've lost another 2 in which they scored 3 runs. That was not supposed to happen with our all-world starting rotation.

Conventional wisdom is that Utley's influence on the team goes far beyond his performance on the diamond.

If that is the case, and if his mere presence can make a difference of a point or two every few games, instead of continuing this charade of "rehab" let's just bring him back now to hang around the dugout.

It also sounds as if his "rehab," could be replicated with the team during warmups and batting practice.

I so don't buy the whole "Chase being around increases morale bs". Will his pom poms keep Hunter Pence from looking like a complete fool in the field? Will his pats on the back help this team bring men in from 3rd with less than 2 outs? Will his ass taps keep Joe Blanton from pumping out meatball after meatball?

I thought Thome's return was supposed to break the clubhouse out in song and happy times? I don't see that either.

To continue on the above...yesterday with the t-shirts in the clubhouse and the pants pulled up high was also pure BS. That will do nothing to cure the 500 things that ail this team.

Here's all you need to know about this 1-9 stretch which has unraveled the Phillies' season.

In 6 of their 9 losses, they gave away a lead. Two of the blown leads were 1-run leads. One of the blown leads was a 2-run lead. The other three were 3-run leads. And, amazingly, Blanton was responsible for none of these blown leads. The responsible pitchers have been: Hamels (blew two 3-run leads); KK (blew a 2-run lead); Worley (blew a 1-run lead, with help from some bad defense); and Lee (blew 1 and 3-run leads).

@Joe D-- Yeah you are right... these guys shouldn't try to do something to make the game fun again...

Lee and Hamels both blowing at least 1 3 run lead (and each blowing 2 leads total) during this stretch is the killer.

The 1-9 stretch isn't surprising at all considering those facts.

@Joe D-- Yeah you are right... these guys shouldn't try to do something to make the game fun again...

Posted by: HammRadio

At its core I understand it. I'll tell you what's fun though...making routine plays routinely. That is an absolute blast.

bap: agreed, but dont let that stop Dpat from clamoring about how badly we need Michael Cuddyer's 104 OPS+

BAP, is the reason that Blanton didn't blow any leads because he put us in the hole from the get-go? Just wondering, and I don't remember.

Re: the intangible talisman effect of Chase Utley
We could figure it out by looking at the record of the team for games/stretches when he's been in the dugout with them - I know there was a stretch recently - and comparing it with the record without him in the dugout. At what point did he go to FL?

Of course, the Halladay injury and the Galvis and Polanco injuries are undeniable contributors to the state of our pitching and defense.

Maybe they can get Chase on facetime in the dugout. There you go...problems solved.

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