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Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Wow, 3:41 AM post - Jason is truly burning the midnight oil tonight. Thanks again for your work, J. It isn't said as often as when things are going good, which is probably to be expected, but I guarantee the BL followers do appreciate the effort you make to keep this site the place to be.

I was going to add "for informed conversation on the Phillies" at the end of the last sentence, but realized that would probably subject me to a barrage of verbal tomatoes and produce.

On Hamilton's sinus headache mentioned late in the last thread. I haven't seen the particulars here, but I get them a time or two a year. Upon occasion, they can knock you out to the point you can barely speak or move around. Think migraine headache caliber when the person has to lie in a dark room until it goes away. Not sure what was going on with Josh specifically or the severity, but I wouldn't be too quick to jump on his case on this without all the facts,

Hamilton should just do a neti pot

Hamilton got's the pot part down. Rat-a-tat-tat.

Loved the win. But it's clear that the 1927 Yankees--I mean the Astros--are going to get steamrolled by the Cards. Not making up any ground = Season = Over!

From the previous thread:

This crow never tasted so good!!

Posted by: Fatalotti | Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM

That's why ya gotta like Fatalotti, even if you don't agree with him much.

I heard our local village idiot Cataldi go off on Utley this morning for giving up on the season because he didn't know it was ball four in the ninth. I could not see the game through my eyelids (I just came off a 3 day FDA audit of a project I was key on and was completely burnt out). Anything really happen or is that my punishment for not avoiding WIP in the morning?

Unfortunately, since the Cards won, the season is just about over anyway. But it was pretty cool.

Why does it always come down the Astros? If the Phils take 3 of 4 in Houston (which any team worth a salt would do), they'd be right in it -- and the rest of the teams would be worried. Scared sh88less, really.

That was the make-or-break point in the season. They failed. Until they're mathematically eliminated, I'm keeping up hope. But, that series was certainly a dagger, if not THE dagger in the their playoff miracle scenario.

Also, great job by the horribly un-clutch Ryan Howard.

His contract will handcuff this team forever.

Or something like that.

Definitely a fun win but would have been made funner if they beat the Bad News Bears over the weekend.

It's pretty funny how any lefthander would even entertain the thought of throwing anything but sliders to Howard.

Winning is good. That is all.

Sophist said in the last thread that he doesn't think we should be dwelling on the Houston series as what killed the team's season, because I'm assuming they count as much as the rest of the games, so why dwell so much on one series?

I'm sorry, but what the hell? Through most of a 162-game season it is virtually impossible to call any game a 'must-win' because the season is so immense, that teams (and managers) don't necessarily know when they need to bear down and win a certain series or a set of games. Those circumstances could not have been more clear to the Phillies last weekend. They had the two teams they were chasing beating up on each other on the west coast, and a four-game set against one of the worst teams of the past decade (or more). For once, it was actually very clear what they had to do: and they failed miserably. Yeah, that is more frustrating than losing to the Mets or the Marlins mid-season.

Season over. I want Howard take rest year off. Ruf at first. St at third and instructional league starts next week! And free agent wish list.

I'm with you Iceman. I do see Sophist's point and really see it because there are about 20 games I can point to throughout this season and say WTF. They came up small in a series they had no business losing 1 game in given the circumstances let alone 3.

I'm with Sophist. The reason being ~10 games back with only a month or two to play is considered "dead" is because in baseball you just can't win enough games in a row, no matter who you play. They are 10-3 in their last 13, how can this stretch be considered why we're losing?

Oh because the losses were to houston, phils should really have a 13 game win streak? Nope, baseball doesn't work like that.

hook: I feel like this question has been asked 100 times, but its never ever answered.

Name 1 good thing that can come from Utley moving to 3B instead of 2B.

If the answer if "so freddy galvis can play" then I urge you to re-read the question and pay attention to the word "good".

In my mind, the only answer to that question is the completely unsupported notion that Utley playing 3B can somehow allow him to play the full season while 2B would not.

If that is the case, then I guess I'm on board, but it doesn't really make sense to me how that could be true.

3B was hard enough on Larry's knees that he became a LF for a couple years. I dont see how it'd be easier than 2B really.

Nix preinjury: .326/.392/.587 - .979 OPS with 5BB/11K in 51 PA
Nix postinury: .206/.271/.317 - .589 OPS wth 6BB/28K in 70 PA

Ouch. I don't know if its fair to blame the injury for such a decline or its just the SSS he started with. Pretty hard to tell if he can be useful as a platoon mate next year with Mayberry or not.

If the Phils played better ball durinig the season, then yes, the Houston series wouldn't have meant much -- just wins and losses. But they didn't.

I understand the point that wins are wins, losses are losses. The Houston losses count as much as losses in April. Wins against the Braves in September count as much as wins in April. Blah, blah, blah.

They needed to beat Houston (as they need to beat almost everyone) to have a shot. Houston is the WORST team in baseball, i.e. a team they should beat. They didn't.

How is that incorrect on any level?

I am in agreement that I don't see the value in having Utley move to 3B. Even assuming, of course, that he can adequately field the position.

So if Utley starts at 3B in the coming weeks, are we rooting for him to fail?

I will root for him to be a young Michael Jack defensively.

I just dont see it happening.

lorecore- oh, so it's just the randomness of baseball that they lost 3 out of 4 to a probable 110+ loss team in an empty stadium? A team they lose to every year in that same location? That makes more sense.

They choked. Plain and simple. Yeah they put themselves in a position where they had to win those games by blowing so many in June/July, but winning a series against THE WORST TEAM IN BASEBALL isn't the worst position in which to be. Actually, it's a pretty good position. A great position, even. And they blew it.

***Actually, it's a pretty good position. A great position, even***

And, as the Cardinals show, it is physically possible to beat the Astros.

Iceman: I would never root for him to fail. If he succeeds, that's gravy. The issue is what value does it have even if he can play the position? You will now have (assumed) shotty defense at 3B and a significant drop-off offensively if Galvis is your 2B. And we don't really know if 3B will allow Utley to stay healthy.

I don't know how to answer that question, but I think Utley's value is much higher at 2B when taking into account all factors.

That was an honest question about Utley, btw.

Because if he succeeds, that puts Galvis in the lineup next year. I'm not sure I know anyone here who wants that, unless they'll use the savings on not spending $$ on a 3B to get both Swisher and Bourn (or some combination like that).

If the Phils sweep the Mets and take 2 of 3 from Atlanta, will we forget about the dismal performance in Houston?

I won't.

Iceman: Ah, I see what you're saying. Although, I took it as a serious question, I misunderstood your point.

I think we are in agreement on the issues (other than getting Swisher and/or Bourn -- no thanks).

Upton and Bourn would be nice...

Kutztown: Me neither. That was back-breaking.

The footwork necessary at 3rd is much less strenuous than what is required of a 2nd baseman. That being said though there is no way Utley's arm and footwork will hack it at 3rd. He has a weak arm to begin with and his throwing position at 2nd is already suspect.

I wish I was blind enough to not get mad about that Houston series like some in this thread. There is no way I can find any excuse for that wretched performance down there.

Astros are already at 101 losses and have 7 left vs Brewers/Cards. Remaining 6 with Cubs/Pirates.

Good chance they end up at 109-110 losses. Not an 'All-Time Worst' team but certainly up there.

Sophist is right though. The odds were overwhelmingly in the favor of the Cards winning at least 5-6 games in their 9 games vs Cubs/Astros. Said 6-3.

Iceman, I don't disagree with you completely. I just think the failure of the season falls from that Houston series. There were way to many failures that preceded it. Not sure that's deserving of a comment like "I'm sorry, but what the hell?" whatever you mean by that.

Name 1 good thing that can come from Utley moving to 3B instead of 2B.

If it means Utley players 130+ games instead of 100+ games (not saying I buy this).

That's not something you or I can really answer.

I had the good luck to be at last night's game. For 8 2/3rds of it I was in a state of utter dejection -- caused largely by the state of the team and partly by the funereal atmosphere of gloom evinced by an empty, monochromatic, sepulchral Citi Field -- composing in my head a BL post explaining not only my disavowal of the '12 team, hardly earth shattering, but also my deep premonition that the '13 team, FA signings aside, will end up doing no better. But then, after Edgin took my advice to pitch around Utley to get to Howard, the latter hit the most timely home run I've probably ever seen in person. For the sheer unexpectedness of it, it ranks as a personal top 5 sport spectator event. It doesn't quite change my mind about '13 -- not sure at all, for one, that Howard will be at all as good as he needs to be -- but I am feeling appreciably more buoyant.

Bob - now that you mention it, wasn't a sinus headache the cause of that female reporter that started talking gibberish on camera a year or two ago? Can't blame Hamilton for missing anytime from something like that.

While I do feel like the wear and tear on Chase's knees could be less at third I have no proof of that to be true. It's much like the Strasburg mess. There is little to no basis for it.

Klaus, glad you stuck around and got to enjoy the payoff of that titanic blast. I view the season as done but damn if I didn't really enjoy that for a few reasons:

1- it was the Mets.
2- it was an absolute bomb.
3- it felt nostalgic.

How is that incorrect on any level?

It's not. It just seems short-sighted to have all this frustration over one series when the team's failures should they fail (obligatory they likely will) were much more widespread. Yes, you should win that series, but -- as that series showed and as this season has shown -- this is a flawed team. Flawed teams don't always beat the teams they should. And neither do elite teams.

They choked. Plain and simple. blah, blah, blah...
Posted by: Iceman | Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 10:08 AM

I am impressed by your long distance psychiatric abilities. You can tell that they did this?
"To fail to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension, especially in an athletic contest"

They simply aren't that good of a team to expect that they can steam roll team after team, series after series.

Sophist: For me, it's more frustrating than those other series because they clawed their way back in. Teams they needed to lose, lost. The stars were aligning. They were playing good ball. And, wouldn't you know it, they had four games against baseball's worst team. If they win the series, they're in the driver's seat with time running out.

To me, that series loss is much, much more deflating/frustrating than a series loss to the Dodgers in June.

Losing 3 of 4 to the Astros after fighting your way back into contention is the baseball equivalent to blue balls.

OK, I am of the opinion that BOTH Sophist and Iceman are correct.

Sophist is correct in that over the course of a 162 game season wins and losses count the same, and the totality is what matters.

But, there is also a need for teams to "step up" from time to time, and bear down and beat teams that they should beat - and by "should beat" I mean teams to which they are clearly superior.

For instance, HTF does a team not score a single run on a pitcher like Keuchel? How? The guy has a K/BB ratio that is UNDER 1.00. The Phillies are the ONLY team that he has faced that did not score at least one run on him. It's inexcusable IMHO.

Yes, I know... it's' baseball, and these types of things happen during the season, but, again, there is a time where teams - and the players of whom they are made up - have to step up and perform like they're not ready to head home for the offseason.

If yo believe that Sophist is entirely correct, then it's necessary for you to believe that player psychology and confidence have no bearing whatsoever, because these things just occur randomly during the course of a season.

So, when do the Phils opt for a 4-man rotation to make a proper run at the Wild Card spot?

It seems stupid to have Cloyd/Kendrick starting 6 of the team's last 13 games while trying to jump three teams in the race.

RB - I'm not really saying wins are wins, etc.. I'm saying that the team's failure isn't about the failure to win a series in Houston in September. That just isn't the story of the season so it seems short-sighted to get all frustrated about. Really, it's that despite all their flaws and injuries and crummy luck, they clawed back and had a chance before all their problems from earlier in the season resurfaced for 4 days in Texas.

Their bullpen needs work. Aumont's control problems surfaced; Bastardo's did too. Their last starter hit the DL with bone chips, leading to a short rest start from a soft-throwing AAA wonderkid (possibly a mismanaged move). Kendrick has his moments but didn't deliver and -- all series -- the offense came up small when it matters (what was their RISP no.?). Struggling all season -- a nonexistent spring training, an improperly conditioned arm -- Halladay only went 6 innings. Utley had a .700 OBP because they were pitching around him to go after our 1-legged cleanup hitter. Diekman isn't very good.

This is a flawed team. They came up small, but for all the reasons they came up small all year. But they're 38-23 in their last 61 anyway -- a testament to what they can do with the SP they expected and some semblance of a 'pen. They are close to being a 90 win team, really, which is crazy considering the run they've had.

If yo believe that Sophist is entirely correct, then it's necessary for you to believe that player psychology and confidence have no bearing whatsoever, because these things just occur randomly during the course of a season.

That's not what I'm saying.

This is likely belaboring the point, but there have been too many games this year that the Phils had no business losing. But they did it.

The Astros stink, and the Cardinals are taking care of business against them - as they should be. The frustration of the Phils NOT doing so makes the losses to them seem more significant than others.

In a season full of "coulda, woulda, shoulda" losses, losing 3 of 4 to the 'Stros in crunch time will probably be the death knell. And it's too bad.

Sophist: "That's not what I'm saying."


Actually, it seems to me that in this sentence that's EXACTLY what you were saying - or at the very least implying:


"Flawed teams don't always beat the teams they should. And neither do elite teams. "

Phils certainly can contend next year if they are healthy but you really won't have a good idea on this team until the end of spring training.

- Will several key guys (Utley, Howard, Halladay, Chooch, Worley) look healthy and ready to go in April?

- Who is going to round the bullpen which will still be in great flux even with a FA signing or two?

Try to draw any conclusions from the 2nd half on next year is pretty difficult at this point given the Phils might have 2-3 new starting positional players next year.

"If yo believe that Sophist is entirely correct, then it's necessary for you to believe that player psychology and confidence have no bearing whatsoever"

"Flawed teams don't always beat the teams they should. And neither do elite teams."

That's a stretch, awh. Those things say the "exact" same thing?

Sophist: We're not arguing the same things. I was responding to your "It just seems short-sighted to have all this frustration over one series when the team's failures should they fail (obligatory they likely will) were much more widespread."

All I am saying is that, IMO, it is completely justified to be more frustrated with the Houston series than any other series during the year. When taking into account all the factors (i.e. time of the year, position in the WC, the winning streak, the overall play of the team, the "must win" mentality they needed, etc.) the Houston series was heart-wrenchingly bad.

Obviously, this is a flawed team and the reason they're in the position they're in is because they played poorly for most of the season. And I would disagree with anyone who says otherwise.

"All I am saying is that, IMO, it is completely justified to be more frustrated with the Houston series than any other series during the year."

Completely agree.

I think we can all realize playing shitty for 80+ games is more impactful than 4 games against Houston and also be upset that they lost 3 out of 4 to Houston when they were in a good position to catch up.

Exactly, johnny.

I was in the middle of a tweet after two outs saying that this is it. It's official. Then Howard holds off that talk for another day. WHY COULDN'T WE BEAT THE ASTROS?????

awh - it's also not "random" -- in the way I think you're using that term -- for Diekman to come up small, for Halladay to struggle, or for Hamels to give up HR or for Aumont to lose control. This isn't any given sunday kinda stuff. This is the team the Phils put together this year.

""Flawed teams don't always beat the teams they should. And neither do elite teams. "

Sounds like this doesn't it?:

"... these things just occur randomly during the course of a season."

awh - no. it doesn't. unless you're using the word 'randomly' differently than most.

Or you can actually read all the posts I've written and see anywhere where I talk about player psychology, confidence or "randomness." I haven't said a word about those things.

And this is exactly what I said in the previous thread that Iceman is referring to:

Please. Lots of things besides Houston stood in their way this year. Especially since what happened in Houston -- Bullpen blowups -- are pretty much what cost them so many games in the first half. Enjoy the wins for what they are. Not the Phils season this year barring something incredibly unlikely occurring. And it won't be Houston that stopped them. How about the 10 losses to the Mets?

Cloyd - 3 IP, 3 R, 3 ER
Hamels - 7 IP, 4 R, 3 ER
KK - 5 IP, 4 R, 4 ER
Halladay - 6 IP, 3 ER, 3 R

Cloyd was pitching on short-rest and almost set up to fail. Roster management ineptitude which has been a problem a few times this year. Still have no idea why there is not another 1-2 pitchers up and Horst is still slated as the long man.

KK and Halladay though didn't pitch deep enough into the game. I would love to see the Phils' record when their starter went at least 7 IP this year. It meant the difference between having to get 3 outs of generally mediocre relievers instead of 5-6.

Sophist- didn't mean 'What the hell?' as a snide comment, though I can see how/why it came off as such. I meant it more as 'What the hell, am I the only one that feels this way?' I think your points have a lot of validity.

"Cloyd was pitching on short-rest and almost set up to fail. Roster management ineptitude which has been a problem a few times this year. Still have no idea why there is not another 1-2 pitchers up and Horst is still slated as the long man."

Yes, yes, yes.

This was such an awful decision. Not often do I give a player a complete pass for failure (the person collecting the paycheck ultimately should be accountable for his performance), but Cloyd didn't even know he was going on short rest until AFTER his start that Sunday! He had never done it before and had barely sniffed the big leagues to begin with. I can't believe a consensus was reached in the organization that this was the best possible option.

Iceman - gotcha. Sorry little testy today (TMI: the paralegal is giving me guff this morning). I was equally frustrated too. Just think it wasn't a matter of a team coming up small so much as a flawed team hitting a wall. As MG's post further illustrates, Doc hasn't been himself this year for a variety of possible reasons. This wasn't vintage Doc coming up small. Kendrick didn't pitch well but, despite his recent run, he's not a great pitcher. In a ballpark like Houston he'll throw a dud. Hamels gave up small long balls as he's prone to do. Cloyd ... what can you say?

Guy that hasn't generated much concern either despite having the same issues as before he went on the DL is Halladay. Simply hasn't been anywhere near the same caliber pitch even after he came off the DL as he was the past 2 years.

Everybody keeps say the past week that 'Howard needs to be Howard' for this team to contend. More importantly, they need Halladay to be Halladay. He was the lynchpin on his staff the past 2 years who they could rely upon to stop losing streaks, almost consistently give them at least 7 IP almost every outing, and give them a good shot to win almost every time out. Simply hasn't been the case this year before or after his DL stint.

Sometimes I wonder what makes MG decide something's been under reported. I didn't thin Doc's struggles was one of those things.

Domonic Brown has not proven yet that he has the bat to be a fixture in the Phillies' OF over the next decade. One thing he has proven, however, is that his glove is no worse than that of Luzinski or Burrell. Though modest, that's progress.

"I am impressed by your long distance psychiatric abilities. You can tell that they did this?
"To fail to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension, especially in an athletic contest"

Well, if I have to go game by game:

Game 1: Bullpen fail. They scored enough runs to win. Product of a flawed team. Didn't help that Cloyd was put in a position to get shelled.

Game 2: Win. Took care of business.

Game 3: I don't know how this can be classified as anything other than a choke job with the pitcher they were facing. KK didn't do well, but getting shut out by an AAA-caliber junk throwing POS is a CHOKE JOB. There's nothing random about it. They gagged.

Game 4: This was classic 2012 Halladay- bled to death and didn't leave a flawed bullpen enough margin for error. And let's be honest, those hits that scored 4 runs against Aumont were two of the luckiest consecutive hits maybe in the history of baseball. But the offense again didn't deliver the knock-out punch against a terrible starter. That's two nights in a row they failed to capitalize on an awful starter (they scored 4 runs, but let him off the hook numerous times- he gave up 4 walks and 5 hits in five innings).

So I guess if you get technical, only one of the games was a flat-out gag job.

I thought Brown's catch in the 9th last night was pretty impressive.

Sophist - Go look at the recent stories on the Phils in the general media the last month or so. Halladay generally hasn't been a focal point one way or the another. Hasn't been since his initial return & his first 4-5 starts back.

I just think its stupid to think the Phillies "should" be on a 13 game win streak.

Needing a 13 game win streak to get "closer" to the wildcard isn't the answer - its the problem!

I've felt that Brown's defense has been fairly solid this time around...none of the massive blunders he was previously known for.

Mets with 15 straight games with three runs or less at home. Any chance Cloyd can extend that for one more game?

re: Edgin "made a mistake"

Completely disagree. A high and inside fastball to Howard(and many LH Power hitters) is a great pitch, especially if you think they are staying back on your offspeed stuff.

I just think its stupid to think the Phillies "should" be on a 13 game win streak.

Expecting a 13 game win streak is absurd. Expecting them to take 3 of 4 from Houston? Not so much.

NEPP: Agreed. Brown's defense, as a whole, has been much better. He has shown the ability to take decent routes to balls, he's hanging onto them and making some really strong accurate throws.

It sounds like his work in the minors has been paying off.

rbill: Which of the 4 games to Houston did you expect the Phillies to lose?

Aren't the Astros terrible? Weren't the Phillies on fire?

What logic says that expecting only 3 win vs Houston is right, but expecting more than 10 of their last 13 isn't right?

Obviously, the poetic injustice of squandering our short-term Wild Card chances in Houston is too salient to ignore. But, taking a more general view -- and this, I think, is all that Sophist was attempting to say -- the particular failures of the Houston series were just functions of the mediocre talent level of the roster as it's existed more or less all season long. The '12 Phillies are roughly a .500 ball club -- 3 of their 81 losses happened to take place in Houston. In other words, the Wild Card (and the division, needless to say) was squandered when this iteration* of the Phillies took the field.

*And I think the second half additions probably elevated the team from sub-.500 to slightly above.

lorecore: the first game was the 'loss' in the series, as most of us said after the game. And they even held a lead despite the disastrous Cloyd decision.

The other three games should have been won, especially Game 3.

Howard...hit the most timely home run I've probably ever seen in person

This was the most timely HR I've seen Howard hit in person.

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090620&content_id=5434416&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi

Yeah, we SHOULDA be Houton, but we didn't. Yeah, we SHOULD NOT HAVE blown 2 games against the Braves but we did. And we SHOULD NOT HAVE lost a 1-0 game that Lee pitched 10 innings of shut-out ball, but we did.

Point is, we could say coulda, shoulda, woulda, all year but it doesn't matter. They were in too big of a hole to climb out of, not only in terms of GB but also in the # of teams we have to jump over. We'd still be 2 games back if we'd won 3/4 from Houston. We wouldn't the lead for the 2nd spot. And the Cards are probably gonna keep winning. They came from far back last year, but those circumstances were different.

Howard's heroics last night just delayed what is immenent, we're not making the playoffs. Unfortunate, but true.

Klaus - as usual, well put.

Regarding St. Utz at 3rd, it must be a good plan because Tmac said when he watched him make throws in practice they were all on line. So there!

lorecore: A four game series sweep is difficult to do, therefore, I expected a series win. Hence, 3 of 4.

Also, where did I say that I "expected" them to win 10 of 13. I may have said that they "need" to, or that they "need to win every series" or something like that. My position has always been that the Houston series is the best chance to make up a few games based on the schedules of the teams involved in the WC.

But if you need numbers or some type of reasoning behind my apparently outlandish assertion that the Phillies "should" have won 3 of 4, here you go:

The Astros played the season up until that point, losing at a .687 rate. Losing 3 of 4 of those games is basically what they've been doing all year. Why should I expect anything else? The Phils, at that time, we're playing above .500. Therefore, the Phillis, based on their record, should win more than 2 games in the series. And Houston, based on their record, should lose more than two games.

I'm sure that wasn't my thought process at the time, because it's ridiculous. I don't see how saying the Phils should've taken 3 of 4 from the MLB-worst Astros is so controversial.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-19/baseball-learns-to-be-more-like-football.html

Right on the money. 2nd WC basically has made Sept. baseball interesting for several fan bases including the Brewers, Dodgers, Tigers, Angels, and the Phils. Maybe even add the Pirates too before they really started to fade.

Add the Cards to that list too.

No better way to dampen the excitement of a great baseball moment than with Tbag.

Re Doc...I have a feeling that there is something more going on than age or injury, be it personal or some internal condition.

I just can't see such a precipitous drop being solely age related, especially given Doc's conditioning regimen. I also don't think it is all injury. I still think back to Doc's mysterious bags-already-packed-in-the-dugout 24-hour absence earlier in the season. Not that we deserve an explanation (I don't want one), but most similar absences are explained proactively by the team (paternity, a wedding, a doctor visit, a graduation, etc) This one came and went, and of all players, Doc would be least likely to leave without an urgent reason.

It all must be frustrating for Doc as well, who is probably hating the fact that he isn't contributing the way he usually does.

JW, nice try with the new thread and all, but there's NO WAY I'm electing to play a video when you outwardly tell me that TBag plays a prominent roll.

Dickie Thong: An excellent sample of early-period T-mac, when his powers of shouting and punning were at their atmospheric heights.

"...OFF THE BENCH WITH A FEVER! ... AND HE'S SENT THIS CROWD INTO A PHILADELPHIA PHEVER!!"

My favorite Ryan Howard hit of all-time? It may be, "Get me to the plate, boys."

It wasn't a HR, but a game-tying 2B in the 2009 NLDS vs. Colorado. Seen here.

Interesting that lots of Ryan Howard's big hits followed an Utley walk.

I think its solely injury for Halladay, and its something to do with him out of the stretch. I expect a solid bounce back from in 2013.

rbill: I meant that you are using logic to reason that sweeping Houston in 4 games is hard to count ont , so why dont you see that after winning 7 straight beforehand and i think like 9 of 10 last series (not 100% sure on exact numbers), that it would be understandable if they finally had a let down, even if it was vs a crappy team?

"Get me to the plate, boys" is an all-timer for me.

I'll nominate the game vs Cincy back in 2010 where they scored 5 times in the 9th to tie, and then Howard goes walkoff bomb the opposite way vs Arthur Rhodes in the 10th.

For those that didn't notice, that homer-from-the-hospital bed by Howard was off of our old friend Baez AND even though it put us ahead, we ended up losing that game on a blown save by Maddog, but for an in-the-moment moment, one of the best.

Also hard not to think about the August 28, 2007 walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th vs. the New York Mets. That was game 2 of the 4 game sweep during our comeback season.

"Interesting that lots of Ryan Howard's big hits followed an Utley walk."

I bet this is why Charlie doesn't break up these 2 lefties in the batting order.

I now I was crushed a few weeks ago for even suggesting Rollins is one of the top 5 SS in baseball this year.

Hard to argue against that now...

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