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Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Watching the hightlight of the Mather RBI single one thing jumped out: He may not be able to do anything else, but Jermaine Mitchell can run. Fast.

KAS- "I love the idea of this team playing with a chip on its shoulder this year."

"I love the idea of this team playing with a chip on its shoulder this year."

This is something that I think is underrated, because it isn't something that can be measured but can absolutely make a difference.

It's just human nature to put it on cruise control sometimes when you're succeeding and everyone is saying great things about you. I'm sure they have been susceptible to that recently. Manuel said as much.

Now the media has totally left them for dead, talking about whether or not they should throw in the towel now or three months from now. That has to add some motivation to the veterans on the team that know they can still play. I know I'd be p*ssed off.

Someone should print that Jonah Keri article and put it on the clubhouse wall for everyone to read, particularly the part where he intimates that the playoffs are just a pipe dream. With the pitching on that team, that is ludicrous.

F Jonah. He wishes he was Jonah Hill.

These guys look good right now. Spring caveats apply but optimism is abound in my predominantly negative mind. That has to count for something.

8.1 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 2 ER was a pretty standard game log from Halladay from 2010-2011.

Just saying.

So HHU (Halladay, Howard, & Utley) are looking healthy and effective so far. . . . I'm doing my part: knocking on wood, throwing salt over my shoulder, and growing a playoff beard to keep it that way

howie verbalized this "chip" mentality when he said at his presser: "if you guys want to sweep us (oldies) under the rug, be prepared for a surprise, man. be prepared for a surprise, man."

Jayson Werth didn't want to add to the chip on the shoulder when he said the Phillies worried him more than the Braves.

Can't it just be April 1st already?

"We need to protect our guys to an extent," says Roy Halladay.

Is that what happened Wednesday?

This was Roy's response to throwing behind Tyler Moore....
"It slipped." And he said it with a smile.

Like. A. Boss.

"Someone should print that Jonah Keri article and put it on the clubhouse wall..."

Not to slight Cholly, Rube or anyone, but do you think they even have computer access? I mean, doesn't Ed Wade do all of Cholly's Googling for him? And we know RAJ isn't into those confounded new-age stats.

Maybe we should mail them a copy.

Carrier pigeon, WP.

I'm not sure how I feel about getting into a plunking contest with the Nats. The old adage"It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt" comes to mind.

I would hope that our pitchers feel pretty confident that when our batters are hit, it's intentional.

And that when we retaliate with a too-close-for-comfort purpose pitch, our guys lie as well as the other teams' guys.

GBF, I'm with you in that we don't need anyone getting hurt, but it's no secret that the Phillies get hit with a lot of pitches. Like, a WHOLE lot of pitches, already. Retaliating every now and again wouldn't be the worst thing, and might actually serve to decrease the frequency that our guys are getting drilled.

Lannan pitches for the Phillies now. Let the Nats worry about their lead pipe cinch hall of famers for a change.

I am so glad that one of our guys finally made a purpose pitch. I have always been frustrated by the fact that we let so many of our key guys get plunked without any retaliation. If Charlie won't tell our pitchers to do it, I'm hoping they will take it upon themselves to uphold the "code" of the game.

Bill Baer has an article where he compares and ranks the Nats/Braves/Phils using...the b00b method. Seriously.

The Phils, predictably, come out in third.

@jaysonst: One thing lost in all the Halladay/Strasburg/Tyler Moore brouhaha: Halladay's velocity was only 86-88 mph. Touched 89 on one pitch.

Not sure how to feel about that. He looked like vintage Doc today, save some command issue. Hitters looked off-balance.

The velocity is definitely a concern.

Hope this isn't grasping at straws, but does anyone know what the gun was showing Strasburg at?

I did notice that he wasn't too fastball heavy today, to say the least, but without a gun it's next to impossible to say much about velocity. TBag and Wheels spoke about his arm slot adjustment, which I thought was his solution to the drop in velocity last year. Doc is going to be very good even with some reduced velocity on his FB (not quite Maddux good, but still an elite pitcher). The bigger problem, however, is that last year that same drop in velocity was a harbinger of a bigger issue. It's still relatively early in camp, so he may be building up arm strength, but if that's the case, I'd like to see him throw it a bit more, even if he gets shelled.

Cyclic, they didn't have a gun on the broadcast, so I assume Stark has his own source for that velocity data. To further your question, we'd want to know what that exact same gun had Strasburg throwing. ST guns are notoriously uncalibrated themselves, so at least some relatively on the same gun would be some additional insight.

That's what I was getting at. Wondering what Stark's gun/source showed Strasburg at.

Could be an uncalibrated/cooler gun.

I know one of the guns on a previous broadcast showed Halladay getting up to 92. Obviously that could have been hot. But if 92 isn't reliable, I'm not ready to put much stock in the 88.

Dum da dum dum dum....


NEPP-- That too.

With Doc, if his velocity is down, I'd be concerned.

But I won't be really concerned until I see the results not being there. Greg Maddux apparently took some juice off his fastball on purpose, and it only made him better.

I trust Doc enough, that if he's healthy, he'll gameplan to be a great pitcher, even if he's maxing at 90 instead of 93.

As long as its not the shoulder again, its not an issue. He lost all of his feel for his changeup with the shoulder issue so he got hammered.

I find myself much less interested in Baer's opinions over the last year. ESPN got a hold of him, and his stuff declined.

Baer also says the Nats > the Braves in CF, and then (via Twitter) justified that by comparing Span's and Upton's b-WAR over the last 5 seasons (Span comes out on top).

Let's leave aside the fact that Fangraphs disagrees on WAR, specifically since 2010 (Upton: 11.5, Span: 8.7 since 2010). I must be the only person on Earth that is not head-over-heels in love with Denard Span like it's 2009 again. Using five year averages glosses over the fact that he's been a completely different player his last three years in the league compared to his first two.

Span, 2008-2009 (~1100 PAs): .305/.390/.422/.811, 117 OPS+
Span, 2010-2012 (~1500 PAs): .271/.334/.367/.702, 95 OPS+

He's also averaged just 117 games per season the last three years (he lost significant time due to a concussion in 2011). His walk rate has steadily declined and he has 9 HR in his last three seasons- his power is just a notch above Revere.

I understand that the remainder of his contract (3 years/~$21 million, plus
a good pitching prospect) is certainly better value than what the Braves gave Upton. But he isn't the better player, and he certainly isn't the guy he was in 2008/2009, which is what guys like Baer and Dave Cameron, etc, seem to think the Nats are getting.

b00b Baer

And for that matter, b00b>>>Baer, too.

Fata- I agree. I was a real fan of his until the last year or so. Not sure what he changed or why he changed it when he moved to ESPN, but his writing has suffered as a result.

Ice, at least for me, it might just be that when I first discovered Crashburn Alley, there either wasn't (or I wasn't aware of) a lot of blogs promoting advanced analytics for the Phillies.

Over the last couple years, though, I've found other sites that I think do what Baer was trying to do, but just better. So I'm just visiting CA less frequently.

Add to that that I think he got a little too big for his britches, and that's what happens.

Pencil me as more concerned about Papelbon and his fastball velocity instead. Halladay generally was hitting most of his spots, keeping his change up down, and getting ahead of hitters. When Halladay feels uncomfortable, you can easy tell.

If it is hot and he is overheating ever since that outing in Chicago, he gets beet red, sweats profusely, and repeatedly goes to the rosin bag. If he uncomfortable with his command, he will glare at the gone ump repeatedly on anything close, grip the ball, and walk off the mound.

Today he did almost none of that working quickly and efficiently like he does when he has his mojo working.

Yeah MG, I agree. Halladay has a much greater repertoire and such pinpoint control, he can better survive a drop in fastball velocity. Mind you, if he's at 88-89, he likely won't be the 2.50 ERA monster of yesteryear, but he can still hover around 3.00.

If MG isn't panicking, neither am I.

His stuff looked really sharp today (especially his change) and the results were very good. He was also good out of the stretch today, which is what I am watching closely since that's where almost all his regression came last year.

"I find myself much less interested in Baer's opinions over the last year. ESPN got a hold of him, and his stuff declined."

Fatti, I actually agree with that opinion.

I used to read Baer a lot more than I do, but he seems to have lost his edge.

I think with the espn realtionship he's had to dumb-down his content, becaue it's not nearly as original or insightful as it used to be.

Maybe he's just running out of ideas?

There has been chatter that Halladay's velocity was really low. I saw the Yankee game on YES. The cutter was in the high 80s (resting 87-89) and the sinker was touching 90, 91. Word is that today's totals never touched 90.

Nothing that hasn't been said before, and we've discussed this before, but DH to the NL? Thoughts?

Its gonna happen and it was inevitable the moment they decided to balance the leagues to ensure year round interleague play.

And I will hate it.

At this point, what should be our top five concerns (given that most agree Halladay isn't one of them)?

rolo's (and not necesarily in this order):

1. WTF is playing one corner OF spot
2. WTF is wrong with Papelbon
3. WTF is going to be the backup middle IF
4. DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE (catch the damn ball)
5. Spot starter/bullpen (OK that's two that I snuck in there)

Fatti, I'll give you my thoughts, and I'm not going to edit out the expletives:

I fucking HATE the DH. Period.

Lest anyone think I'm in a normal state of mind (if such a thing exists), I have been consuming copious quantities of adult beverages for about two hours. This is an incident for which I do not apologize. :)

"DH to the NL? Thoughts?"

Darrin Ruf might have a Phillies future, after all. Assuming he can hit better than .130, that is.

I'm not as opposed to the DH as some on here are. I'm actually MOST opposed to the leagues having different rules, especially one that affects the game as drastically as the DH rule.

And since the leagues have been playing each other for over a decade now, it's just flat out dumb for them to have different rules. Either both should have DH or no DH. But align the rules, is what I'm most hopeful for.

***Assuming he can hit better than .130, that is.***

With an average like that, he could easily DH for us in a World Series.

Get um awh!

Papelbon is the biggest issue right now especially after his really reduced velocity both times out and his illness prevented him for pitching the other day.

Defense is going to be crummy this year. Just something the Phils will have to live with hope it doesn't hurt them too much

How is him having flu like symptoms an issue? What, baseball players don't get sick?

Mike G - it's not but it prevented the Phils from taking a look at him, it is complete conjecture on my part but when Cholly and Amaro both went out of their way to insist Papelbon was 'fine' after he got shelled his 2nd time outing it sent up a possible warning flag. Same kind of language that have been used an awful lot the past 2 years when guys have been hurt.

it's been 40 years. time to give in. besides, who would you rather see stride to the plate? a slightly older, yet still dangerous ryan howard or roy "i hate batting" halladay?

Brade Lidge was 31 during his amazing 2008 season. In his age 32 season, he cratered.

Just a heads up, but Papelbon is entering his age 32 season.

HUUUGE win by 'Nova over G-Town tonight.
Now, we'll have three city schools dancin'.

Fat - Lidge cratered because he hurt his knee in that pile at the end of the WS and it went downhill from there with one of the worst seasons by a reliever in 09.

Lidge and the Phils pretty much were completely dishonest with lidge's health that spring too.

MG, there's very little similarity.

But closers do have a history of suddenly breaking down as they enter their 30s.

The main culprits for our bad 2012 defense were Pence, Wigginton, Pierre, Fontenot, Frandsen, Mayberry when he played CF and, most of all, Howard, who couldn't even bend over to scoop up low throws -- as he had done very well in the past.

Pence, Wigginton, Pierre, and Fontenot are gone. Frandsen will be a backup. Barring injury, Mayberry won't be playing much CF. And Howard, one hopes, can at least get back to something resembling pre-2012 defensive form.

If Ruf goes back to AAA -- which I hope he doesn't but is obviously a distinct possibility -- we'll probably have Mayberry/Nix, which is actually a somewhat above average defensive tandem in LF. We're also well above average at CF, SS and C (when Chooch comes back), and at least average, if not somewhat better, at 2nd base.

Dom's obviously a bad defensive player and Young comes advertised as terrible but, all in all, I don't think that's a terrible defense. It might even be above average, given the strength up the middle. I'm far more worried that our offense will suck something fierce than I am about our defense.

"Who would you rather see stride to the plate? a slightly older, yet still dangerous ryan howard or roy "i hate batting" halladay?"

I'd rather see the game of baseball played the way it was meant to be played.

Which means, no friggin' designated hitter, for some lardass who can't run and can't field.

When I was in college, a group of us formed SADH (Students Against the Designated Hitter). On opening day of the baseball season, we gathered near home plate on the baseball field and proceeded to march around campus shouting slogans like, "Hey, hey, yield, yield; Dave Kingman must field" or "No sh*t; let 'em hit" or "PV = NRT. Baseball should be DH Free." We ultimately marched right up to the chancellor's office, where our founder proceeded to educate the chancellor about the evils of the DH. We actually wound up on the sports report for 2 Sacramento tv stations.

True story.

Just for MG:

Chollie has said Howie is playing again tomorrow....

bap, you're a man of conviction...

Dang, b_a_p you must be as old as I am... in college when Kingman was playing? BTW, PV = nRT tags you as a chemistry/ science undergrad... or a very brave liberal arts guy.

I have no idea what PV=NRT means.

cut: I was not a chemistry major -- but I do remember learning PV = nRT in high school chemistry (just don't ask me to remember what it means). But the 2 guys who formed the group, and wrote all the slogans, were both bio-chem majors who later became doctors.

Actually, I forgot the best part of the story. The reason the local press even knew about the march was because the guy who organized the whole thing actually called all the local tv stations ahead of time to tell them. During the interviews, he was absolutely ranting and raving about how we believed that getting rid of the DH was the single most pressing issue that our country was facing. The next day, we encountered some humorless guy in the dorm cafeteria, who was absolutely enraged that we considered getting rid of the DH to be more important than things like famine in Africa.

Of course, the old counter to baseball players ought to be able to field is:

Why is it fair that pitchers have to hit? They obviously are deplorable at it, and it's extraordinarily rare that a major league pitcher would have made it to the bigs as a hitter. So why should pitchers be forced to do something that they are awful at?

So,are you saying you'll organize a protest march at Citizen's Bank Park, BAP (all the way from CA)?

I have no idea if Doc threw at the batter or simply lost control of a pitch, but I love that he played it up with the press w/o saying it was intentional.
If he did just loose control , why not leave the Nats with the impression that he might just loose control again .

From WikiPedia:

The state of an amount of gas is determined by its pressure, volume, and temperature. The modern form of the equation relates these simply in two main forms. The temperature used in the equation of state is an absolute temperature: in the SI system of units, kelvin; in the Imperial system, degrees Rankine.[7]

[edit] Common form

The most frequently introduced form is

where P is the pressure of the gas, V is the volume of the gas, n is the amount of substance of gas (also known as number of moles), T is the temperature of the gas and R is the ideal, or universal, gas constant, equal to the product of the Boltzmann constant and the Avogadro constant.

In SI units, P is measured in pascals, V is measured in cubic metres, n is measured in moles, and T in kelvin (273.15 Kelvin = 0.01 degrees Celsius). R has the value 8.314 J·K−1·mol−1 or 0.08206 L·atm·mol−1·K−1 if using pressure in standard atmospheres (atm) instead of pascals, and volume in litres instead of cubic metres.

why continue to give the AL team an advantage in the WS? remember 2009, Hideki Matsui, designated gunslinger, being the series MVP, .615 BA? vs. matt stairs .125 BA? of course you do. it haunts me still.

Love that rolo/awh admitted to being intoxicated after posting that strong condemnation of the DH. Posts here would have so much more context if you had your BAC beside your username when posting.

Hell, 20% of the time I post here I'm under the influence of something. The probability increases at night. That probably answers a lot of questions for people.

I've been resigned to the idea of a DH in the NL since learning about year-round interleague play, and am slowly losing my outrage at the loss of NL tradition, although I'm still not happy about it.

As long as the Phillies get a very good one.

lol Iceman. i'm never unaltered when i post here. got me some "colorado medical."

bullit- that is actually the only reason I am in favor of a DH in the NL. AL teams are constructed to have that extra hitter in the lineup and are at a distinct advantage when they've got a guy that's been in the lineup for 150 games in the World Series vs. an NL team playing their best hitter off the bench. It doesn't always work out that way- the Stairs idea should have worked, in theory (it's the Francisco thing that was a joke)- but it does most of the time.

And it doesn't swing both ways. When they play in NL parks, batting someone like Roy Halladay sure as hell isn't going to give us an advantage.

I hate the DL, but so far I have also hated seeing Ruf try to play LF.

On our current roster, I would guess Howard would DH if Ruf could play 1B, if he hit his way onto the 25 man.
If not D.Young would DH.

Back when Thome was blocking Howard's MLB entrance the DH would have been a solution.
NL DH is not gonna happen this year , but '14 or '15 is likely.

The stories of it coming keep cropping up and the old school objectors , like me, keep getting older.

"So,are you saying you'll organize a protest march at Citizen's Bank Park, BAP (all the way from CA)?"

Nah, I think my protest days are behind me. Besides, I kind of like the DH now. I suppose it takes away some of the strategy of the game, but watching the pitcher hit can be pretty painful. And I also agree with Fatalotti that, in a day and age of interleague play, it's pretty ridiculous to have the two leagues play under different rules.

Darin Ruf can't field, can't hit = trip to the minors.

Tommy Joseph isn't expected to be on the opening day roster, but maybe he should be. I am tired of the mediocrity we've seen at that position when Chooch doesn't play.

I hate the DH. I hate the fact that one league uses it, and the other doesn't, even more.

Ah...the annual DH debate came to BL early this year.

My thoughts are exactly as awh's 8:26 post and I have had nothing to drink at all:

I f**king HATE the DH.

The DH completely takes away the strategy of the game, which makes it great and separates it from all other sports. That's my main gripe. Baseball's strategy is unlike any other in sports and it is completely ruined with the use of the DH. AL games are unbelievably boring to me.

If they want to keep the DH in the AL, fine. I kind of like the fact that the leagues have different rules. But I agree that if they're going to have interleague all year long (which I also f**king HATE), the rules need to be consistent between the leagues one way or the other. My vote, obviously, would be to abolish the DH -- which will never happen. So just get rid of interleague and I'll be satisfied.

The WS DH advantage is why we lost in 5 in the 2008 WS.

Oh wait...

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