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Monday, September 10, 2012


If there were 35-40 games left, I'd say the playoffs were in the bag...with just 22 left? Hard to see it happening.

After all the negative press he's received the last couple of years, it's nice to see Aumont up here and nailing dowen that eighth inning. He's one of the kids I'm rooting hardest for.

Back to the "stumblin bumblin" Brown comments, it's only fair to point out the very good catch he made in the top of the 5th (?) when he leaped and reached into the stands to catch a foul ball when he was playing RF. Nothing awkward on that one....



Also would like to point out that the radar gun last nite was very hot. Cloyd was 88-89 a ton, DeFratus was constantly 95, and Rosenberg was popping 97.

I know Cloyd cant hit 88-89 all day, I know DeFratus isn't always at 95, and I definitely know Rosenberg doesn't "sit" over 95. And i'm pretty sure COL SP Pomengrantz(?) doesn't throw 95 from the left side either.

However, Aumont was just flat out filthy and the way the hitters looked, I believe every mph of his 97-98 sinking fastballs. His curveball doesn't break more until the RHB is running for the dugout, so nasty. No wonder that kid can't throw strikes, his ball moves all over the place."

I was just talking about that with a co-worker, NEPP. If the season was 10-15 games longer, do you think they'd make the playoffs? We both said yes. Of course, it depends on the opponents.

Thinking about the comparisons to '07, another reason why this comeback is even more of a longshot than that one: we don't get to play the Cardinals. The Phils played the Mets in Shea from Sept 14-16 in 2007, and came up with one of the most clutch sweeps in the team's history (this was after sweeping them a few weeks earlier at home). Cut the deficit in half in three games. That's the kind of chance they need to make a run here.

Unfortunately, they don't get the chance to play the Cardinals. Oh, well. If they had another 3 games against them, I think they'd have more than a fair shot of chasing them down. The Dodgers will get that chance instead of the Phils.

Aumont looks like he's throwing a wiffle ball...but a wiffle ball that's coming in at 97 mph.

Aumont is pitching well. Bastardo too for the last month or so.

DeFratus has had trouble throwing strikes. Ditto Lindblom.

Still the bullpen is better right now and if they sign a veteran RHP who can give them adequate numbers next year in some high leverage spots in the 7th-8th they might have the makings of an adequate pen as long as Papelbon is still Papelbon (fastball velocity dip is disturbing this year and he looks like he is pitching with a tired arm).

Baseball prospectus today on Halladay:

"But now here’s a different Roy Halladay, with no complete games in the 2012 season and only four or five more tries. The complete games are, of course, the least of the matter; more concerning for the Phillies would be the strikeout rate (down about a whiff per nine from his 2008-2011 peak); the walk and home run rates (both up about 25 percent); the velocity (down a mile and a half per hour from last year); and the missed time (his first since 2005). The complete games matter mostly because the complete games reflect a little bit of each of these drop-offs. And the complete games matter because they reflect just what it is we’re seeing. We’re not seeing Roy Halladay going from amazing pitcher to bad pitcher. Not at all. We’re seeing him go from amazing pitcher to really good pitcher. A guy who throws seven or eight innings. We’ve lost a singularity."

Six games back with only three ahead of you is doable even in this constrained condition. They just need to continue winning. They've had enough bad Karma all year, they have some good Karma to use left over.

Hurricane Isaac knocked off my ATT DSL service 13 days ago and it has not yet been restored. Hmmph! It is tough being Phillies score deprived and being left with trying to catch scores on the ESPN scrawl with all these football games going on!

MG: Like Betancourt. Agreed. One more guy like that and the pen could thrive next season.

Will Halladay vest into his 2014 option?

He has 137.1 IP now, and should he make 4 more starts and pitch 7 IP in each of them, that would put him at 165.1 IP for the season.

He would need to throw 249.2 IP next year to automatically vest into his 2014 option. Now, if he only throws 225 IP next year, but more closely resembles the Doc of 2010-2011, the Phillies may want to pick the option anyway. But if he only throws around 200 IP and is closer to league average than elite, it'll be interesting to see what the Phils do.

I may be reading thing incorrectly, but does Doc NOT have a buyout on that 2014 option?

I've had friends -- fans of other teams, of course -- asking me if I think the Phillies are a playoff team. I have been keeping it simple in my own mind -- finish at or above .500 and ahead of the Mets. Anything else with this odd season is gravy. I'll hope, but I'd feel a lot better about a run at the playoffs if it was Aug. 10 and not Sept. 10.

The Cards and Dodgers play a four game set next weekend in LA. The Cards have troubles because their bullpen is bad and everyone is banged up. LA seems stagnant since the trade (lineup of mercenaries that don't seem to string rallies). Kershaw being scratched from his Sunday start (most important game of the year for LA) is a good omen.

It's all a moot point unless the Phillies can take 6 of 7 from Marlins and Astros right? Braves and Nats make up 12 games at the end of the season. They may have clinched, but there is nothing about the Nats' approach to this season that makes me believe they give the Phils any breaks.

"They may have clinched, but there is nothing about the Nats' approach to this season that makes me believe they give the Phils any breaks."

Except for shutting down their best pitcher.

So....does Kendrick start game 3 of the NLDS?

We’re not seeing Roy Halladay going from amazing pitcher to bad pitcher. Not at all. We’re seeing him go from amazing pitcher to really good pitcher. A guy who throws seven or eight innings. We’ve lost a singularity.

Possible but premature. Maybe likely.

It remains an incredible long-shot that the Phillies will win the WC. But .07% it's not. Those probabilities are based on the very faulty assumption that the team which has produced the -12 run differential is the same team that will be playing the remaining 22 games. In fact, the composition of the bullpen is radically different than it was even 2 months ago. Not to mention that those 0.7% odds fail to take into consideration how the particular teams are playing right now. I know there is a segment of the board that doesn't believe in such things as hot streaks, but I would beg to differ. Just because hot streaks are within the normal range of variation doesn't mean they don't exist.

If you played the last 22 games 1,000 times on a computer, the Phillies might win the WC 5 to 10 times. But these games aren't played on a computer. In the real world, their odds are more like 5%.

The Dodgers need to sweep the Cardinals in their 4 game series and then go back to sleep. The only hope.

BAP, by what methodology did you compute that 5% figure.

If the Phillies go 17-5 the rest of the way, it would require the Cards to go 11-11, the Dodgers to go 12-9, and this would just set up a tie.

The odds of the Phillies going 17-5 in and of itself is really low. Although this team has been playing better of late, 17-5 is a TALL task for any team. The odds of the Cardinals playing only .500 ball with a 9 game set against the dregs of the NL Central area los exceedingly low.

I really hope it happens, and at least at this juncture, there is a chance, but I just don't see it.

BAP - Good post.

Will the Phils go the veteran route in the pen in the offseason? Potential bullpen arms:

Papelbon, Lindblom, Bastardo, Aumont, De Fratus, Horst, Herndon, Stutes

I suppose, in looking at that list, that they could easily replace a couple of those young arms (i.e. Stutes, De Fratus) with a veteran. Not to mention, we're not clear how Herndon and Stutes will look coming back from injury.

If they were to replace any of the youngsters with vets, I'd hope hope that they'd consider replacing the likes of Horst, Stutes and/or Herndon. They are high on Aumont and DeFratus, and I think they should be given a chance over a mediocrity l like Herndon and Stutes.

doc is going to get his velocity back next year. he needs an offseason for strengthening. all those stats BP is posting was mainly when he was injured which was basically april until he went on the dl. he won't be amazing anymore but i believe he'll be very good again

The Phillies can go 17-5...whether they will or not is another thing entirely.

St. Louis needs to lose 5 of 7 on this WC trip...and the Dodgers need to lose at least 4 games on that 9-game trip after the Cardinals series. Both of those things happen, and the Phillies still have a shot.

Any question that, if the Giants have a chance to knock the Dodgers out of the postseason during that last series of the season, that they won't try to do it?

their playoff odds are set at exactly 0.7 percent

So you're telling me there's a chance? YEAH!!!

Yeah, the Phillies CAN go 17-5. They can also go 5-17.

Is it likely that they have the talent to do so? Not so sure about that.

I haven't been tremendously impressed with DeFratus in his limited MLB work so far. He's coming off an injury, so I'm sure it'll probably get better. His command/control needs some work. He's certainly got a better upside than a guy like Herndon, whose upside we've already pretty much seen.

Stutes is coming off surgery and I'd be surprised if he comes back 100% right away next season (Herndon falls into this category as well). I'd imagine Stutes might start the year in the minors. Not sure if Herndon would even be back for spring training after having TJ surgery mid-season.

So what do we hope for...a Dodgers/Cards split??

22-0 or bust!

Fat - As with most things baseball, I think BAP's calculation that combines objective and subjective analyses is more appropriate than the sabre-esque, purely number-crunching .7% calculation.

Quote-worthy Hamels:

"When you're in this game a lot, you start to put pressure on yourself and sometimes you kind of need the new emotions and that's kind of what the younger guys bring," said Hamels, who allowed two runs in seven innings in Game 1. "And it just kind of gets you back to reset … the type of caliber that you are and why you like to win. And that's ultimately what we need to do.",0,3112154.story

bonehead, BAP is one of my favorite posters here, but come on man, he pulled that 5% number out of thin air. I don't necessarily agree with the 0.7% figure either. It's pointless trying to pin a number on it. It's a long shot, whatever the number is.

They are 6 games back in the loss column with three teams in front of them and only 22 to play. I really hope it happens, but so much dumb luck would have to fall their way, that putting a number on it is just ridiculous in the first place.

22-0. And then 12-0 to win the whole thing!

Could happen. I could easily see them getting past LA and Pittsburgh. All the way to St. Louis though? Doubtful, but not improbable. The Cards should know better than anyone. And if they do get in, of course, the playoffs are about who's playing better at the time, not who's been best all year. Washington should be fairly leery of that fact.

Fatalotti: What's not to like about Horst so far?

The bulk of his appearances have been clean this year and he's a much better second lefty than Diekman when it comes to throwing strikes!

Translation: Please dont bring Shane back via Free Agency.

As far as 2nd LHPs go...aka LOOGYs, Horst is the best we've had since Scott Eyre.

Yes, The Scott Eyre.

Fat - My personal computation arrives at 4.1645%

And I'll 'show my work' as to how I calulated that figure:
* First I started with the .7% objective calculation.
* Then I added 3.4645% for my factored subjective analysis


KAS, you can probably take Horst out of my comment. Good point. Stutes and Herndon, though, shouldn't make it over DeFratus and Aumont is both have good camps.

Fat - My personal computation arrives at 4.1645%

And I'll 'show my work' as to how I calulated that figure:
* First I started with the .7% objective calculation.
* Then I added 3.4645% for my factored subjective analysis


It sounded the other day from Salisbury's interview that they were leaning toward internal solutions to fill the pen. That would be a mistake.

Bonehad, I concede.

Meant exclusively to fill the pen except for a minor signing like a Qualls/Willis type on a minimum value deal.

No team is a playoff team until they clinch.

No team is not a playoff team until they are mathematically eliminated.

It's not a great chance, but there is a very real chance that we reach the playoffs.

Well, crap. I just wrote a whole post explaining the reasoning behind my "odds." For whatever reason, the post didn't show up.


A lot will depend on the next week. If the Cards lose 4-5 games on this trip and the Phils go, say, 6-1 (which, while difficult, is eminently more plausible than 17-5, given the schedule), then they are right back in it, and a lot of other factors start coming into play...the Dodgers going on the road for 9 games...we miss Dickey in the Mets series (based on projected matchups), etc...

Is it a reach? Sure.

Does it beat the alternative (which is watching them play out the string for the last 15 games)? You betcha.

Fatalotti makes a good point to differentiate among the relievers. Aumont and DeFratus are superior prospects compared with the rest.

Diekman (despite what you read here), Horst, Stutes, Herndon and Rosenberg are mediocre Grade C prospects. That doesn't mean they can't have a good streak (as Horst is now) or be a useful middle inning guy. It just means their upside is limited and the chances of them having much of a career are far smaller than for Aumont & DeFratus.

Some of those guys, and I don't lknow which ones, will be thought of 4 or 5 years down the road the way we now think of Zagurski, Escalona & Drew Carpenter.


It is most likely too late but we at least have a bit of a reason to watch these games besides Ruf, Cloyd, Aumont, etc

bebop (or should I call you Rocksteady?): I'm just playing the naysayer today. I'm enjoying them having a chance infinitely more than if they were 12 games out right now, and it wasn't even close to possible.

But, as much as our series against the Astros, Marlins and Mets excites me, I'm instantly reminded that the Cardinals have 6 agains the Lastros and 3 against the Cubs during that same stretch.

The odds that BAP's lost "odds" post would make sense to me is 110%.

This does not fit with BL groupthink, but in his last 50 games, Mayberry's slash line is .285/.356/.494

You can run several thousand simulations according to some parameters and assumptions you come up with, and that will produce a number, but obviously the results are only as good as the parameters and assumptions allow. What I think BAP is saying is that if he were a betting man, he'd set the expected likelihood of the Phillies making the playoffs at 5% for purposes of calculating his odds. That's subjective, but so is the BP model, for the reasons BAP himself outlines.

Frankly the whole idea of "odds" as a metaphysical construct is very epistemologically weird, especially for something like baseball where conditions can't be recreated and every outcome is highly subject to chaotic variation.

I don't think they're going to reach the playoffs, but I'm really glad to see them playing well and adding some interest to this crazy season. If they were playing at the level of June, this last part of the season would be horrendous as a fan.

clout: Agreed, but this team can't fill out it's bullpen with either top prospects or high-priced relievers. I mean, I suppose they could if they found enough high-priced relievers to buy, but that's stupid considering the volatility of relievers.

Stutes and Herndon have been servicable bullpen parts for the Phillies in the past and, if healthy, could be again. Horst has acquitted himself very well as the 2nd lefty. I think Rosenberg is already a Zagurski, Escalona or Caprenter!

I imagine the Phils filling their bullpen with current pieces plus a free agent.

clout, I feel like people on here have been very cognizant of the fact that Mayberry has been doing well for the last couple months. In fact, I'm quite sure that Iceman has pointed out that Mayberry is a "second half player" on numerous occasions.

The long and short of it: yeah, of course I pulled that 5% figure out of thin air. But my point is: the 0.7% figure was also pulled out of thin air, simply because, when you're talking about a playoff race, there is no such thing as a "mathematical" calculation of odds. All such calculations require the entirely subjective process of making certain assumptions and, in many cases, those assumptions are just dumb. One of the assumptions that I find to be particularly dumb is the assumption that 22 games played by real human beings can be predicted under the same probabilities matrix as if it were a computer simulation. It's an assumption that completely eliminates any emotional component of the game.

My 5% number, though pulled from thin air, is based on my observation that the Phillies are playing very well right now, and the other teams not so much. It is also based on my observation that the supposedly improbable seems to happen quite often in sports. Finally, it is also based on my recognition that the Phillies' starting lineup is pretty p*ss poor; that the bullpen (though it's pitching well right now) is totally unproven; and that the task of going 18-4 (or whatever) is a monumentally difficult one no matter how well a team is playing. That's why I said the odds are around 5%. I think that number duly reflects the enormous improbability of their pulling this off. However, I reject the view that the odds are 0.6%.

clout: Mayberry had a horrific first 16 games (175/175/200). Since then, he's 265/323/455 in 112 games (79 starts). The player he's been in those 112 games is pretty indicative of the player he is. He's a .780 OPS OF who can play above average in the corner OF positions, average in CF, solid at 1B and is much more dangerous against LHP.

In other words, a valuable piece to the Phillies.

KAS, as long as we get the Herndon of 2012:

9.4 K/9, 1.2 BB/9, 50% GB%

Those are the peripherals of a damn reliever.

The "2nd half player" thing is totally fallacious, by the way, given that we're looking at exactly two (2) seasons. Why can't we just say Mayberry is a streaky player and his hot streaks have happened to come in the second half?

BAP, and my point was, your odds aren't derived appreciably better than the odds that your derisively discount, so why even speak of odds in the first place?

The Phillies need to win like mad during the remaining 22 games, and they need a great deal of help.

Isn't that better than a number?

What I love about all of this, however long the odds, is that September baseball is--at least for a short time until the numbers tumble differently--relevant!

Two months ago we were dreading watching the playoff races materialize without any hopes of being in the mix.

While baseball season is always better than no baseball season, it is far more interesting and fun when the Phils are in contention.

Let's cross our fingers, continue to hover over the out-of-town scores, do the math a bazillion ways, and keep on playing!

fumphis, for the record, I was just recounting Iceman's words. I don't believe the "second half" player meme, either. Mayberry, like all players has streaks, he just seems to teeter on the extremes more than some others.

Fat, I hope you're being tongue in cheek. Those peripherals are from 7.2 innings pitched by Herndon this year.

"and my point was, your odds aren't derived appreciably better than the odds that your derisively discount, so why even speak of odds in the first place?"

Agreed. But people keep bringing up these Baseball Prospectus odds, so I felt it more than fair to point out why I think they're asinine. My own odds are equally asinine but, at least to me, they feel more accurate.

Of course, after we lose tonight, my 5% odds will go down appreciably.

fumphis, my tongue was so firmly in my cheek, I would have been arrested for pantomiming an illicit act in public.


This next week is the season...the Cardinals have 3 in San Diego (tonights game is big...Stults has been piching well for the Pads opposed to Volquez - who is going tomorrow - who has been pitching like azz) and then 4 in LA.

As you say the next 9 are against the Astros and Cubs, and it is hard to see more than 2-3 losses if the Phils have any shot to materially make up ground against the Cards, it has to happen this week.

I think my last post was swallowed up by the internet, as well.

Oh nope, it wasn't. BL was just being slow.

I don't see this team in the playoffs. Too many games lost early in the year, when the offense was struggling and other games when the bullpen couldn't get anybody out. And of course with the injuries they've had.

It's nice to see them win some games and show everyone what they're capable of when healthy. I believe they're sending a message right now. And if the GM brings in the right pieces in the off-season, look out. He also has to realize that mistakes were made when putting this team together, and those mistakes cannot be repeated. Right now though, they're fun to watch. But coulda, shoulda, woulda...

I find Fata's typo omission of the word "good" in his first Herndon comment amusing.

can_of_corn, I'll go you one better. In addition to games being of increased entertainment value, due to their relative "meaningfulness" this little hot streak has also given hope for next year. The whole 'window is closing' crowd has been, at least temporarily, silent.

You can see this surge with prominent younger names associated (no one outside Papelbon over the age of 26?!?!) and feel quite a bit better about heading into next season. That's what's been the huge sigh of relief for me. Howard and Utley, contrary to speculation (my own included, I'm sure) still have pulses. JRoll still has some life left in those legs and Mayberry has shown that he's NOT a complete bust. Sprinkle in occasional moments of optimism for a still-learning Dom Brown, and you can start to feel better about the short term future. If nothing else, it makes me feel better about throwing a bunch of $ at Hamels. Firstly, I want to have him here next year. Secondarily, the "holes" may not be as prevalent as we all let on (we may have found a capable backup C in Kratz and utility player in Frandsen).

I still think the focus needs to be on 3B (obviously, even if the Utley experiment is going to take place - need a contingency and factor in Utley's availability) and OF (Mayberry/Dom could benefit from at least starting in platoon roles and who knows if Pierre is back). While I get the need for a veteran bullpen piece, my preference continues to be to find a 5th starter and keep KK in the 'pen. Cloyd isn't quite ready for prime time, either.

Seems to me that BAP is saying given the GB and number of teams ahead of the Phillies, he would expect them to win one out of 20 times. The computer model being used is putting that number at something on the order of 7 times in 1000. Obviously there are a million and one variables and no two seasons are alike but I think BAP's number makes a little more sense.

BAP, this recent surge has me in an optimistic mood. That said, there's still that significant part of me that sees not just a loss tonight, but likely this series. And with some of those inept 2-hit losses that crop up every time we start to think the offense is coming back around.

"Isn't that better than a number?"

Yes as long as no money is exchanged. Gamblers need numbers.

So Ruf's officially up or is it just rumor still?

Does he see the field or just a pinch hitter?

Aumont does look terrific. Really pleased with him. Is there any chance the front office is so happy with what they have seen in Aumont that they would possibly roll the dice and deal Papelbon, sign Madson to close and then have Aumont and Bastardo in your setup roles?

lorecore, yes Ruf is up.

"Don't do this to yourself. Indeed, the Phillies are playing as well as anyone in the National League, but with playoff odds under 1 percent, time is not on their side."

If nothing else, it'll make for an interesting remainder of September. Of course, when you're competing with football in September, that's never hard to do anyway, regardless of how horrible your team is.

I'd put the odds at closer to 1 in a 100, but that's just the feeling in my gut, and is substantiated and supported by nothing.

The whole % thing is stupid and a joke for sure. Just like why is Baltimore only given a 39.3% chance and Tampa Bay 60.8%? Maybe there are scheduling factors, certain players, etc. that go into it but is it worth a 21.5% difference, especially with TB a game behind the Orioles to begin with? It semes like the oddsmakers just aren't taking the O's seriously, which I could have understood in early August. But this is almost mid-September and they are hanging tough.

I don't care about percentages or any other nonsense. I care that they keep winning. They need help. They've made this bed. If it happens, it happens.

I like the odds because, along with the assumptions built in, they provide a a good springboard for discussion of the remainder of the season. They also provide a fun way of comparing different septembers (07 to 64, for instance) even if you take the ranking associated as insignificant.

lore, I'd actually be surprised if Ruf didn't get a start tonight, even. Phils facing a lefthander. Just not sure if he'd play in LF or 1B (to spell Howard who started twice yesterday).

Don't the O's have a negative run differential? Or at least close to it? That probably weighs heavily into the percentages.

Seriously, the Orioles might be the luckiest team in the history of baseball. I went to see the game on Saturday (that ended on the blown call at 1B) and immediately laughed when I saw their lineup had three guys hitting under .200 and a few more under .250. Take into account they were throwing Joe Saunders (who managed to labor through 5+ giving up just two runs) against CC and that Yankees the hell did they win? Well, the blown call, for one. And Lew Ford (hitting well under .200 going in) went 2-4 with a HR and 2 RBI.

Makes you think the whole thing is pre-ordained.

Charlie said Ruf is starting tonight, yesterday.

Ice - That's probably the one thing that's bringing down that percentage. But they've had that negative run differential all season long and still are in a nice place in the standings.

fumphis: "Why can't we just say Mayberry is a streaky player and his hot streaks have happened to come in the second half?"

This is reality, of course, but on Beerleaguer, Mayberry, until about 3 weeks ago, was declared worthless, terrible, no value, last season a fluke, dump him for minor leaguers etc. etc. etc.

You are suggesting that a season is 162 games long and a lot of things, good and bad, happen to players during that season. And if you draw conclusions from streaks without waiting for the long season to play out, you're a member of the Moronocracy.

Maybe we should debate the merits of run differential as a predictor of future success????

(just kidding, we should not again debate the merits of run differential as a predictor of future success!!!!)

Joe D: There's no chance Aumont's play affects any future plans for Papelbon.

1) Relievers are volatile to begin with.
2) Young relievers are especially volatile.
3) Aumont has a track record of control issues. He's pitched great thus far, but it's still very early.

The Orioles are outperforming their Pyth W/L by 11 games!

Pyth W/L has them at 67-73, yet they are 78-62.

Call it luck, call it divine ordinance or call it testicular fortitude, but it ain't natural!!

well damn, thats pretty cool then. I hope Ruf takes a page out of Kevin Fransden and Erik Kratz' book by hitting the ball over the place right from the start.

Even if it is a 5% chance (don't think it is that high), those are still horrendous odds and only odds a person who likes to lose money takes.

At least it has made what would have been 3-4 weeks of meaningless baseball though. Why I liked the addition of the 2nd WC and enjoyed when Selig added. Plus, the fact that winning a division was given more meaning again too. Selig got a lot of criticism over both but I thought it wasn't a bad balance between aligning the interests of owners (wanted 2 more teams in the playoffs) and fans.

Now, if he only throws 225 IP next year, but more closely resembles the Doc of 2010-2011, the Phillies may want to pick the option anyway.

The Phils don't have a team option on Halladay, according to this article:

If he doesn't reach the IP number - which is extremely unlikely - he's a free agent after 2013.

clout: "in his last 50 games, Mayberry's slash line is .285/.356/.494"

clout: "f you draw conclusions from streaks without waiting for the long season to play out, you're a member of the Moronocracy."

(extremely unlikely that he reaches the IP target, that is)

Rosenberg is pushing his breaking pitch. It's very basic that you need to get on top of it so it will have downward movement instead of sitting up on a tee. Don't know if Dubee's working on it with him, but someone with a mid to high nineties fastball, and even a mediocre breaking pitch to go with it, should be a much better pitcher than Rosenberg is.

And is anyone else amazed that Aumont gets that velocity by shortarming the ball? I haven't seen it from the batter's point of view, but it has to look like it's coming right out of his jersey. Kind of like Randy Wolf, but with a sharper, faster curveball and seven or eight more fastball mph.

STS- where'd you hear Ruf would start tonight? I can't find a link to it

victorino and pence are having just awful awful years for SFG/LAD. You could make the case that everything we traded for them is pure return since we gave up two players who are playing worse than their replacements for the most part(i.e. not when MM starts in RF).

Wade LeBlanc's splits on the season (SSS alert):

.732 OPS for left-handers; .578 for right-handers.

In 2011 (another SSS): .921 OPS for left-handers; .613 for right-handers.

In 2010 (a larger SS): .816 OPS for left-handers; .714 for right-handers.

For his career: .820 OPS for left-handers; .664 for right-handers.

I'm certainly not against getting Ruf in the lineup. But if Wigginton is in the lineup, on the theory that we're facing a left-hander, then Cholly is just as big an idiot as many of us have always suspected. This pitcher has some of the most extreme reverse lefty-righty splits you'll ever see.

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