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Sunday, September 09, 2012

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I didn't realize the Phillies shot to 6.5 games back from the wild card. Still a good amount of baseball left...

The phillies can lose 3 more games this year. They need to lose zero of the three today.

As a wee lad I witnessed the collapse of the '64 team; as a grizzled grown-up I saw the horrible first-round playoff exit in '11.

Common denominator? The St. Louis Cardinals. I would flat-out love to see a heroic run to the 2nd wild-card spot by the hometown nine, all wrapped up with a game left to play at the expense of the Cardinals.

Unlike Sophist, I have no stomach for "close but no cigar". I want to see a miracle, 'no doubt about it' comeback by the Phils.

cut, the question was whether you'd rather see the Phils miss by a game or miss by 5. I think the answer is obvious. But I love the Cardinals connection. Would love to see someone skip pass the Cards and bounce Atlanta in the one-game. If it were the Phils it would be ridiculous.

We've already gotten close enough that I think "If only we hadn't blown so many opportunities early on...". May as well miss the playoffs by 1 game as by 5. Either way, it will have been a disappointing 1st half and a more satisfying 2nd half.

With last night's rainout, it's that much harder to go the already-seemingly-too-good-to-happen 20-4 or whatever it is. It's unusual to sweep a doubleheader - certainly doable, but not as likely as a split - and it will also be that much harder to win on Thursday when it's a BP game (or an inexperienced starter).

But here's hoping!

"Unlike Sophist, I have no stomach for "close but no cigar."

Nor do I. A "close but no cigar" season will leave me utterly livid about things like: (1) all those extra inning games we lost in which Papelbon never pitched; (2) all those rallies Cholly killed by having a key player bunt; (3) all the game we might have won if Cholly hadn't left a pitcher in too long or failed to make an obvious pinch-hitting move or pinch-hit with the wrong guy or failed to make an obvious defensive substitution or played the no-doubles defense; (4) the 2 losses suffered by Joe Savery between June 8 (when we made the bizarre decision to option Raul Valdes to AAA, instead of Savery) and June 20 (when Valdes was called back up); (5) Mini-Mart's presence on the roster & Cholly's mind-boggling fascination with putting him in the starting him; (6) the numerous games which might have been won if only we had a single competent RH pinch hitter on the bench, instead of 4 left-handed ones plus Mini-Mart; (7) the 26 games started by Brian Schneider, the vast majority of which occurred while Erik Kratz rotted at AAA; (8) the sheer hideousness of Ty Wigginton & Mike Fontenot's 3rd base defense; (9) RAJ's dithering while the season was falling apart in June; (10) the refusal to shut down Worley, and call up Cloyd, even after it had become painfully obvious that Worley was no longer going to be effective this year; and (11) the idiocy of starting Raul Valdes & relying on the bullpen to give us 9 innings, rather than calling up Cloyd to make a spot start. And I've almost surely forgotten a few others.

I don't necessarily disagree with any of those strategic blunders and we're really talking about personal idiosyncrasies here, but I can't imagine the Phils finishing 20-4 or thereabouts and then spending the offseason (or more) "utterly livid."

Did the FO make a bunch of mistakes this year? Yes. But it wasn't a dream season on a lot of fronts. Enjoy it for what it is. But, again, this is largely a difference in personal makeup.

Aren't you already mad about all those things, BAP?

That's a long list, too. I'm feeling miffed now.

GBrett: I definitely worked up a goodly amount of anger while I was writing up the list. But I don't really sit around thinking about any of that stuff over the course of my day. On the other hand, if we end up missing the playoffs by one game, I will take a week off from work, rent out a room at the local meditation center, and sit around thinking about nothing other than that list for the entire week.

Anyway, it'll all be moot because we aren't going to lose out by 1 game. We will lose by at least 4 or 5 -- starting today when we lose both ends of this double-header, which we already look well on our way to doing.

Happily, I'm going to be out during this 1st loss and watching the 49ers game during the 2nd.

We probably will miss the WC by several games. I think the Dodgers or Cardinals will play at least as well as we do, if not better.

The question wasn't what we'd probably do. They'll probably miss by 3 games minimum. The question was whether you'd rather see the Phils play average baseball over the last month or out of their minds, historic baseball. Again, answer seems obvious.

After we lose this game, there will be one more for my list: starting Cole Hamels in the DAY GAME of a double-header.

Sophist, b_a_p: Good points all. Regardless, if the Phils good play over the past 6 - 7 seasons counts for anything, perhaps we've built up enough good karma to sneak in the back door. At the expense of the flippin' Cardinals.

Cole in day game, meh. The larger issue is that we narrowly lost out on the rare delicacy of a Tyler v. Tyler matchup.

So far, not so good.

No one glorifies a routine play like Chris Wheeler.

In situations like that it is even more infuriating to have MM in the lineup. Disgusting.
I can't imagine that the rest of the lineup doesn't feel the same way.
Seriously, if anyone is a journalist I would love to read an investigative piece on why in this universe MM is starting on this team.

The starters seem to be doing the opposite of what they did during the slump at the beginning of the year: spotting the other team leads instead of blowing them.

The debate between sophist and BAP is a debate between logic and emotion. sophist is one of the very few posters here who is not 100% pure emotion.

Just get me to the plate with the sacks juiced, amigos! Then you'll see why UC gives me these ABs!

That sucked, Jimmy.

Vintage Utley baserunning. Big man too.

Nice baserunning by Hamels, Utley & Howard in this inning. Esp. for a pitcher, a guy with bad knees and a guy with a healing Achilles.

Big Piece held back and took an outside breaking ball to right-center. That's a pitch he usually whiffs on.

Wish he'd do that more often.

Don't we all, clout.

We're not even at .500 yet. I keep thinking we should be.

I'd rather we miss the playoffs by 1 game than 5. Either way, however, I'll be left feeling disappointed by the 1st half and pleased with the 2nd half.

BAP's post on how he'd feel if they came close to the playoffs is vintage BAP. His definition of being a fan is "find any way possible to be miserable, even in the face of success."

The only difference between BAP and a WIP goon like Gtown is that his brand of humor is actually quite funny, and I don't think he's quite as serious about his misery as he leads on.

From June 13 to Sept 5, MM was 5 for 69.

Gtown is too literate for WIP.

So how many of us in the world do you think are watching the Phils exclusively today in the midst of Eagle-mania?

Notice on BAP's list how little blame the players on the field get.

COC, I have the Eagles game on TV but muted. Phillies on the radio, switching back and forth.

Sophist- good point. Gtown is a rare case of a WIP fan that actually showed up to freshman English class.

I'm switching to the Birds between innings, just checking in from time to time.

I know I'm the exception, but it still makes me sad that it is football season because it means the countdown to the end of baseball (especially this year)

Had to go out for a bit. I'm back watching now and see Albert Ross has two more meaningless RBIs.

The Eagles are playing? Huh.

COC, You aren't alone in that feeling.

If I had told you in March that on September 9th Eric Kratz would be the starting catcher for the Phillies and have the highest BA in that day's lineup would you have believed me?

Phillies still haven't gone on a tear, either. 6-4 in our last 10 games. Good, but not that good. The Angels are 9-1 in their last 10. That's what we need to be doing.

And no matter how many times I check the standings, there are always 5 teams ahead of us.

Numbers aside, we still don't look like a "hot" team when most of our innings are like the one we just saw.

They've won 10 of their last 14. .714 win pct the rest of the way would get them to - what? - 84 wins?

Nice job by Howie there.

So who said we have to watch football to see tackles?

It's gonna take a lot more than 175 lb. Chris Nelson to take out the Big Piece.

Winning 18 of these last 24 games would be a .750 win pct and get us to 85 wins.

Phillies well on their way to losing both ends of the double header.....??? Really? Hamels 7 innings of 2 run ,5 hit ball. What exactly,other than more offense,were we looking for?

MM well on his way back to establishing the Martinez line.

Jimmy really isn't fun to watch bat when he's slumping.

I'm always fun to watch, whether it's my 'incredible defense' or my triple-crown offense. Yeah baby!

Just like Friday, they should be embarrassed they didn't pound this chump. I don't care how poor the offense is. The pitcher is worse, and has even been worse on the road than he is at Coors.

Ice, exactly. That is why, as much as I continue to hope, I fear we are simply not the team to take the NL by storm.

Truth (I'm back from the park now): I don't lose a lot of sleep over games lost because the players screw up. That's just what players do: they screw up sometimes. I'm far more bothered when the coaches don't put the team in the best position to win.

I mean, when the team is starting guys like Nate Schierholtz, Michael Martinez, Brian Schneider, Dom Brown, and Ty Wigginton, how angry can you get at players for not performing?

Our .233 team BA in September, good for 13th in the league, doesn't impress you, Iceman? With a .674 OPS?

In the day and age of sabermetrics, I realize that batting average is seen as an out-dated stat. But, when I look at our starting 8 and see ".244, .241, .239, .238, .256, .236, .270, .133," it kind of makes me think that maybe a couple of .290 hitters would immensely help this lineup.

Kinda weird to include Brown and Schierholtz on that list.

Mayberry got very lucky there..How 'bout it Kratz?

Get ready for the pig man.

The only way they score here is via a wild pitch.

Sigh.

I would have rather seen Frandsen hit for mm.

I want to say some very WIP things about this POS Wigginton right now.

Well, be mad at Wiggy if you want, but it was the right move by Charlie.

Hitting for me was definitely the thing to do.

This inming, Pap has to be more than crap.

I spoke too soon.

Crap it is.

Crapplebon in for the loss.

Eagles look like the same team from last year - losing to the woeful Browns.

Why not let Aumont pitch part of the 9th?

It will be completely fitting if Papelbon is the one to drive in the final nail in the Phillies' coffin.

Rosenberg can throw balls alot cheaper than than this moron.

RK: Because I know how to use a bullpen.

Pap is a head case. Can't get mentally prepared for non save situations. Should have left aumont in. can't lose this game

Pap is 50-50 to blow a lead or a save at this point. His stuff is just not good at this point in the season. No command

Got a bad feeling Pap blows this.

I read these posts and expected Papelbon's numbers to be bad. They are not.

A copy of that story should be handed to everyone entering the park for the rest of the season.

That was quite uncomfortable. Pap rarely makes it easy.

Time to get a run. No one wants extra innings in a game of a doubleheader.

"I read these posts and expected Papelbon's numbers to be bad. They are not."

Overall, you are right. But 6 losses is a pretty ugly figure for a closer, especially (I just have to say it) one being paid $11M this year.

In the last 28 days, batters have done this against Papelbon: .132/.233/.368.

I'd say he doesn't have much trouble but it can look otherwise. Opposing batters are hitting .217 against him this year. Batters had a .297 OBP against Lidge in 08. Batters have a .277 OBP against Papelbon this year. Papelbon has just allowed a few more HR than usual.

The Phillies' task is to not only win this game but to do so in the 12 minutes before the Niners game starts.

Man, this catcher is pathetic.

Rollins on second, let's go Nate!!

"But 6 losses is a pretty ugly figure for a closer"

It is? Trevor Hoffman had 4 or more losses in almost every year of his career, and 6 or more 5 times in 15-16 years as a closer.

I guess Jimmy broke on contact, or assumed the pitcher would go to 1B? But he did a great job prolonging the run-down long enough for Schierholz to get to 2B.

Get pissed Big Brown!

I'd like to petition that the Phillies not sign any players whose names are very difficult to spell (like Schierholz) unless they are very, very good players.

Sophist: 3 of those seasons were at the very beginning & very end of his career. 6 losses is second among all NL closers this year.

Look, the guy has had an overall good year. But he has blown too many games, which is the reason many of us feel uneasy when he enters the game.

How have they not scored on a wild pitch today?

Let's go Mayberry (whistling Andy Griffith theme song)

The Phillies are going to win on a walk-off PB. It is destiny.

JMJ v. RH pitcher with 2 outs. Extras?

Woo-hoo!

BAP - Rivera has 6 losses in a year with 50+ saves and a sub 1 WHIP (2001). When a guy pitches in so many high leverage situations, where he can't get bailed out by later runs, some years he'll have more losses than otherwise. Papelbon hasn't been perfect, but he's been as advertised. Not fun to watch but one of the best in baseball.

One half down.

Point is this: just like with starters, a relivers W/L tells you little about his ability to go out and make outs when necessary. Papelbon has been excellent has keeping men off the base paths this year. That's his job, and very little changes -- as far as his ability to do that goes -- between saves and non-saves. Anywhere that looks like his skill changes is largely a product of year to year variations in splits.

Wow, what a strange way for it end. I had memories of the Cincy game last week, of the ump blowing another call.

FYI - Pap with the win.

That was one of the weirder walkoffs this year.

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