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Monday, April 22, 2013

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We broke the game thread jinx of posting an opposing player's picture.

Panamanian reinforcements are to arrive next weekend. Just in time too.

The Phils C came into the game tonight with a .232/.232/.382 (.614 OPS) line which was good for 13th in the NL in OPS.

I would be pretty surprised if Chooch starts out like gangbusters offensively (generally been a somewhat slow starter) but he will certainly give the Phils more offense than that & an upgrade defensively.

He also hopefully brings a degree of comfort to Hamels and Halladay who at times have not appeared comfortable working with Kratz. Generally think that is very overrated but if a starter is struggling with command every little advantage can't hurt.

Lineup switch

JRoll is 8-21 (2 doubles, 1 triple) with 3 R scored since he was inserted back up into the leadoff spot.

Revere is 5-17 with 2 R.

I don't think will be seeing Revere back in the leadoff spot anytime. It would be nice when Chooch comes back if the Phils would hit him 9th. One can wish.

Adams is the glue to this bullpen right now. He almost certainly isn't available tomorrow night but he's been there most effective reliever by far.

Don't think he is ever really going to get back to 92-93 but he has good fastball command and an arsenal of pitches (cutter, slider, changeup, curve) that even if he doesn't he can be a very solid option as long as his fastball command is solid.

Papelbon on the other hand still really worries. He did have good feel for his fastball tonight & was rearing back and firing away in the top of the zone. That might work when you are routinely 95-96 like he used to but he was 92-93 tonight.

Pirates' hitters were jumping all over his first pitch fastballs tonight. I have to think the advance scouts said something to them about Papelbon's fastball velocity. They had some good pitches to hit but luckily didn't do that much damage.

The Phils' top 3 relievers (Paps, Adams, and Bastardo) have combined for 24 Ks and 6 BBs in 21.1 IP, and have given up only 12 hits and 4 ER.

The early struggles of Durbin and Valdes have obscured the fact that the guys who are supposed to be very good in the Phillies bullpen have been. If the starters can get deeper into games, the pitching is going to be very good.

MG: Adams has been very good (other than giving up the HRs), but you also continually underrate Bastardo. Yet to give up an ER and has only surrendered one hit, and yet you never give him any credit. Not like it's out of nowhere--he was very, very good in 2011, and was pretty good last year too, if not as good as 2011.

Kind of reminds me of Madson. It took at least a couple of years of 8th inning dominance for people to recognize that Madson was a very good reliever, and to realize that's what he was and that he wasn't going to backslide into mediocrity. Bastardo isn't as good as Madson, at this point, clearly, but I sense that people stil see him as going either way, when all the evidence is that he's just a good reliever.

MG agree with Ruiz making Hamels and Halladay more comfortable on the mound. Ruiz has caught both enough to know what to do if their pitching is off and make the appropriate accommodations to get batters out.

I can basically sum up the story of the year so far:

The trio of Horst, Durbin, and Valdes has pitched 22.2 IP, while the trio of Papelbon, Adams, and Bastardo has pitched 21.1 IP.

The first trio has given up 20 ER and the second trio has given up 4 ER.

Jack - Bastardo is a decent reliever. He just has erratic fastball command and you don't know what you will get out of him from night-to-night.

Simple reason Madson was a lot better is that his BB/9 was under 2.5 his last 4 years here.

Bastardo's is hovering around ~4.3 BB/9 since he became a reliever here. That's a huge difference. Trade some Ks for a reliever if his BB/9 is nearly lower by 2.

His slider might be the best single best offspeed pitch of any Phils' reliever right now. Really like Aumont's curve too but it is too bad his mechanics are so piss poor & his delivery so inconsistent.

The innings pitched by any reliever will be small enough that their performance can go either way in a given year, but Bastardo has to far enough up on the depth charts that he's going to get his appearances as long as he's healthy.
So far , so good this season.

This bullpen is just one RHP reliever short right now and has been since Opening Day. If they had another really solid RHP reliever who could come in the 6th-7th innings and give them 60-70 IP this year of ~3.50 ERA, things would really start to fall into place from the 7th inning on most nights.

TMac noted it last night (might have been his single best observation of the year so far I have heard) that Bastardo this spring and early into this year is working much more quickly & not taking 20-30 seconds at times between pitches or going off the mound as much compared to early last year.

It was a subtle observation but a very good one.

MG: Yeah, they basically need someone to be Durbin in 2008, or Chan Ho on 2009. Bastardo, Adams, and Paps are comparable to Romero, Madson, and Lidge. You're right that they need one more righty.

Durbin in 2008 gave them 87 IP (which is way higher than I would've expected) of pretty solid relief work. Obviously, he isn't the guy this year, but someone needs to fill that role.

I still hold out hope for Aumont, but who knows when he will put it together. He will at some point, even if it's 10 years from now like Jason Grilli, and only for a short time, but he's certainly not reliable now.

Blanton gave up 12H in 6IP tonight. His ERA is near 8. Angels gave him 15 million, ouch!

kuvasz: so you are essentially saying that chooch can spin straw into gold. alchemy. pay the man, roob.

Hey Dom, nice technique on that dive (with Revere backing you up)!

Is Biddles 16 strikeouts a typo?

No, Ted. It's not. Pretty amazing against any opponent, at any level.

I'm sure you guys are sick of anti-Charlie rants, so I'll save it for the most part. But, once again, the Phillies get a bunch of runners on base and can't score. Whether it's ultimately the players' fault or not, at some point you either have to try to manufacture a run, play higher percentage match-ups or something else. It's like he recognized the struggles and said "Jimmy, go leadoff. That'll solve it." Nothing else was done.

And the Mayberry thing...don't get me started. The move made no sense before the game, it made no sense during the game, and it makes even less sense in hindsight. Enough "gut" decisions and start using your head. Better yet, use someone else's head. Anyone else's head.

**My last post is not 100% directed at last night's game, but more a theme of the season so far.**

All in all, Pettibone looked good. I didn't realize he was only 22. For some reason, I thought he was in the 24-25 range. I think he earned at least another start with Lannan out. Encouraging to see him not get rattled in the 1st and have confidence in his stuff. Coming back 3-0 to get McCutchen looking was beautiful.

Jack, excellent summation of the RP.

Jack: "The trio of Horst, Durbin, and Valdes has pitched 22.2 IP, while the trio of Papelbon, Adams, and Bastardo has pitched 21.1 IP.

The first trio has given up 20 ER and the second trio has given up 4 ER."

And thats not even counting the inheritted runners that those 3 have let in.

Its funny that Aumont isn't included in either trio, because he fits in both camps.

He's got a 0 ERA to look the one of good guys, but hes got a 1.875 WHIP that puts him right there with the bad ones.

I thought Pettibone looked good last night. He attacked the zone and his fastball seemed to have some good late life on it. His secondary pitches could use some fine tuning but that should come with age and seasoning. He is leaps and bounds more exciting to watch than Cloyd.

"And thats not even counting the inheritted runners that those 3 have let in."

I was thinking the same thing. Those were almost more costly than the runs they've given up when the team was already behind.

MG is right. The team could really use a fireman in the middle innings like Matt Lindstrom.

Aumont currently has two losses with 0 ER allowed.

The last time a player ever lost less than twice the amounts of ER they allowed was Lee Smith in 1983.

Smith only allowed 19 ER in 103.1 IP for the Cubs, but still was credited with a loss in 10 games.

Seeing D.Young last night I say release him immediately and put Dom in RF.I'm sure that will happen.
Highlight of the game: First inning diving catch by Cameron Perkins with the bases loaded. Every bit as good as the one by Revere.Both he and Altherr should be at Reading later this summer.
Not much on the pitching side. Luis Garcia hit 97 on the gun.Seemed about right since Valverde hit 95.
Now Franco. since he DHed didn't see much but was disappointed.May have to get on the Asche bandwagon.Also by BLer standards, not sure he is tall enough to play 3B.
Can't beat dollar night at the ballpark and all the balls that get throw to the fans.

Papelbon may have a sparkly ERA, but these peripherals are frightening:

6.75 K/9, 1.13 BB/9, 18.2% GB-rate, 4.34 xFIP

Let's hope it's just a small sample size illusion, but he won't be very good with those strikeout and groundball numbers going forward.

New thread.

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