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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

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NEPP, if you took away 6 of his singles, and replaced the two OF hits with HRs, his line would transform to .057/.108/.229.

As opposed to his current .229/.270/.229.

I'm sure teams could live with the two HRs if it turned him into a .337 OPS hitter.

Posted by: Fatalotti | Tuesday, April 09, 2013 at 09:55 PM

Clearly, Lee is going to win 30 games this year to make up for last year's W/L total.

I support this idea from him.

John Clark: "When you have Delmon Young in the lineup, you expect him to do SOMETHING!"

That just made me laugh.

I have seen some of the numbers that there really more statistically more HRs at CBP in warmer months but I would love to see that data vs temp.

It was 81 degrees at game time and the ball just seems to carry more at CBP when it is that warm and the breeze is coming up from the S to SW and blowing out to LF or LF CF or blowing from LF to RF.

The Iron Pigs only had 4 hits tonight and scored a lousy run and I think we know why - their leading hitter was out of the lineup (Mini Mart) and the scrappy Canadian started at SS.

Wow, 3 HRs in one inning! It was fun to watch the highlights.

Nice to see Young heating up over the past few games. Mayberry looked like he had a good game, too. I didn't realize that this was the most number of games it has taken for Howard to hit one out, but it sure is good to see him hit a HR.

Cloyd also had his 2nd crummy start of the year with this line:

5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Dropped to 0-2 but did lower his ERA to 10.12

Halladay is going to be given an especially long rope because there is no viable internal replacement if he goes on the DL.

It is either Cloyd or completely role the dice on calling up Morgan (who is on the 40-man roster).

Who was the player on the board who didnt know who Beyounce or Rhinanna was? I am old and barely know them either but my nephews laughed at the guy. I wasn't in my seat at the time.

W-L in Lee starts in 2011: 22-10

W-L in Lee starts in 2012: 12-18 (plus 0-3 when he was on the DL and Kendrick replaced him, so technically 12-21)

That's a 10-11 game swing when he didn't pitch all that much worse from one year to the next. They're 2-0 this year in Lee starts, and they absolutely need to hit that 22-10 mark (or exceed it) to make the playoffs.

Hefer is another RH mediocrity tomorrow that they should score some runs against. Kendrick should also have some success against this pathetic lineup. Tomorrow night should be a win, which would make the series a success despite last night's disaster.

Iceman - It was a disaster watching Halladay but even if Halladay had been more effective Harvey had really good stuff last night & pretty good command. That was a game that would have been tough even with vintage Halladay on the mound.

It was Papelbon and that useless pop trivia is probably not the only thing he doesn't know. It is kind of awkward to hear him try to articulate himself on any post-game interview or in the locker room.

He comes off as the living embodiment of Nuke LaLoosh. I think of that everytime I hear Papelbon throw out well worn/empty cliches.

Jimmy & Chase have both reached base in every game.

I wish MLB players were required to take the Wonderlic test. Papelbon's score would almost certainly be good for a laugh.

Tonight's game was just what the doctor ordered. After Doc's performance last night left me with a lingering sinking feeling all day today, Lee comes back and is Lee.

The offense raking certainly helped too--I think they carry this momentum to back KK tomorrow. I'm looking forward to them doing so, in fact. This team knows what they can be. Many of these guys may be aging, but there's still butter in the pan and, as Howard alluded to during ST, counting them out is a mistake. The pitching can pick it up, and if they do, the Phillies are a forced to be reckoned with.

I know his job is to pitch, but I love that Cliff Lee had a single. Love to watch him bat. And I love Michael Young's quote about that: "Cliff Lee is a baseball player who is a pitcher."

What's the stat about 4th most RBIs?

Guys Amaro could have had instead of Durbin:

Lindstrom- 4 scoreless outings. 2 hits. 4 Ks and no walks.

Howell- 3 outings. Gave up his first run tonight. Went two perfect innings in his first outing of the year.

Lyon- 4 scoreless outings. 4 K/0 BB.

It will be interesting to follow these pitchers to see how much successful they are than Durbin this year, as all were available at the time he was signed.

People go overboard complaining about players here, but as much as Durbin's been complained about, it hasn't been enough. In every one of his four appearances, the team finished with more of a deficit than when he stepped on the mound. He has -5.11 runs saved in 4 games and -0.33 WPA (1 WPA = a win) a week into the season!

As bad as he was to start the year last year, his numbers don't touch what he's done in just 3.1 IP this season.

I find Iceman's typo of Hefner's name amusing. And yes, they should hit him around tomorrow night.

Quirky little nuance that I love (and fortunately got to see a few times tonight): watching sections of the crowd rise from their seats as a home run ball sails out.

Don't remember if a hit followed the passed ball, which would make my question moot, but shouldn't that be the same as an error in counting earned runs?

CT, there was a hit after the passed ball which made the run earned. I'm pretty sure that had Lee gotten the next batters out after the passed ball, the run would have been unearned.

That should read "the next two batters out."

GBrettfan: Chooch went 1-3 in extended ST today, so now you know where he is.

Iceman - To be fair, Howell signed on Jan 7 (3 weeks ahead of Durbin and the market was unsettled for middle relievers then a bit). Lindstrom signed Jan 19th.

Lyon was still around and he didn't get signed until Feb. 9th. (2 weeks after Durbin). There weren't a ton of RHP relievers left when Durbin was signed on Jan 28th but the real kicker is that Durbin isn't that cheap.

Durbin got a $850k base but a $250k buyout for next year essentially giving him a $1.1M base and there were a bunch of relievers who were signed for $1.5-$2M who would have been upgrades.

Has anyone considered the possibility that, if we had signed Lindstrom or Lyon or Howell instead of Durbin, it would be Lindstrom or Lyon or Howell with the 8.10 ERA and 2.70 WHIP right now, and we'd all be listing Chad Durbin, with his 0.00 ERA, as one of the guys we could have signed instead of Lindstrom/Lyon/Howell?

To be honest, a small part of me actually believes this. It's a strange scientific phenomenon known as the curse of the Phillies' veteran middle reliever.

http://www.csnphilly.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/amaro-halladay-will-get-all-time-he-needs-turn-it-around

Do you think Amaro keeps muttering 'He'll figure it out' about Halladay under his breath while talking to him self and looking slightly disheveled/off kilter like a Watergate-era Nixon?

Durbin is here because:

1. Phils wanted to sign another veteran RHP reliever
2. Apparently had almost no money left to spend and went for a rock bottom price
3. He was ex-Phils player and he was signed over a couple of other options including Rauch, Capps, and Lyon.

MG- whoops. Yeah, you're right. Howell signed earlier. He doesn't count.

In my opinion, any RP in the range of Durbin's salary + DYoung's salary (plus possible anti-obesity incentives) is in play when judging the deal. That includes guys like Lyon and Lindstrom- and I'm sure I'm leaving out a few.

Has anyone been on the roof of the Comcast building lately to see if the dinky Billy Penn is still there.
Might explain BAP's theory and the 2012 season.
Not to mention the Eagles/ Flyers/ Sixers.

BTW- Good going for the Drexel Womens NIT Champs.

I see Bill Baer has even flipped on Halladay now, along with his d-bag militia on Crashburn Alley. He rips Manuel for using a Brad Lidge comparison when discussing having confidence in Halladay.

This guy is a world-class d*ck, captain of the hindsight police. Archives of articles are available of Baer snidely deflecting any criticism of Halladay over the past year and insisting he was actually pitching well while getting shelled. Now he's acting like he knew what was happening all along. He's the worst.

154 games to go.
Has a nostalgic ring to it.

Glad to see the middle relief get a well deserved rest tonight, in that they were in no way involved in the game.

Way off topic here but,

Julio Borbon was just DFA'd. Waiver claim or low level player would get him. Any interest?

I think Baer's article (not the most recent one, but the one before it), points out the biggest issue with Doc.

If he has lost BOTH his cutter AND his sinker, nothing else really matters.

He'll no longer be a viable ML starter.

Sorry, that earlier article was from Sommers.

Iceman - All Bill Baer is saying how much time do you give Halladay given that this team didn't have much margin of error to begin with and that he has been awful in his first 2 starts.

Don't see how that is that controversial. The issue is a contingency option. There really isn't one.

It's Cloyd (who had another crappy start tonight) or a complete roll of the dice on Morgan.

If I were Amaro, I would be inclined to give Halladay at least another 4-5 starts to see what he does and maybe even more because the contingency options are 'Bad Option A' or 'Bad Option B'

If Halladay is this bad through 7-8 starts in early May, the Phils either need to put him on the DL (because I think Halladay is injured and not disclosing the true extent of how he feels to the trainer/medical staff) or send him down for assignment.

Phils went through this most recently with Myers in '08 but they didn't send him down until his start after June 27.

As long as Halladay continues to assert he is healthy (and he did last night again), I think he stays in the rotation until at least Memorial Day.

Best pitchers in NL:

Got brought up again tonight with Lee on the mound. Still think it is Kershaw right now and it isn't even that close. He's a step above any else in the NL and has been for a while.

I vote for Cliff Lee as the best pitcher in the NL. To me, he and Kershaw are about equal. I loved the game last July 18 when they faced off against one another. Both went 8 innings and gave up only one run. Cliff only allowed 2 hits and one of them was a HR by I think Rivera that Mayberry should def have caught at the wall. It was a totally epic pitching duel between two artists on the mound.... much like the Cliff Lee vs. Matt Cain duel a couple of months earlier.

Kershaw's better than Lee and it isn't really subject to any reasonable debate. The difference is that, while Kershaw gives you the same incredible peaks as Lee, he does it without the valleys. In the last 3 seasons, Kershaw's highest ERA in any single month was still only 3.63. Lee has had 4 months in that time period with ERAS over 4, and two months with ERAs over 6.

This isn't a knock on Lee, by any means. It's just that Kershaw and Verlander are pretty much in a different stratosphere from all the other pitchers in baseball.

Hey, MG, are you saying you would have preferred they sign someone else other than Durbin?

Here is a question I wish Amaro would ask - why didn't Halladay stay in extended spring training for at least 2-3 weeks to make 3 starts, get back on schedule from the time he missed in spring training due to his illness, and be ready to go say the 3rd week of April?

Even Cloyd couldn't have been worse his worst 2 starts and I can't imagine it would have done anything but help Halladay & the Phils.

I would guess that it was largely due to Halladay telling the staff and FO (Amaro) that we was ready to go and no one willing to take a tough stand with their ace by telling him that it was in his best interest and the team if he had at least another 2-3 starts in extended spring training.

awh - Here's what I posted when he was signed:

"Durbin's a bad signing though on a MLB deal. He's a guy who throws slop (sub 90-MPH cutter/sinker) now and doesn't have the slider that made him a useful pitcher here in '08.

At best, he's passable and at worst he is Qualls redux. Don't understand why Amaro didn't spend try to spend a bit more and go after Lindstrom instead ($2.3M).

Hell I would have rather Amaro gone after a few remaining FA RH relievers including Lyon, Rauch, Capps, and Padilla. Even Lowe as a swing man type possibly.

Just generally a waste to hand out $1.1M guaranteed to Durbin who I bet have very few/if no other guaranteed deals. At the very least, I find it pretty hard difficult Amaro couldn't have structured the Durbin deal as a minor league deal with a salary contingent among him making the Opening Day roster. "

I expect to see this type of offense every time they face Gee. And I look forward to the next onslaught of our mighty sluggers when Chris Volstad comes to town. Between that, not so much.

If it takes Dillon Gee level pitching to unleash these bats, I still don't get a good feeling from this team. Chad Durbin will be an asterisk on their record. Although, I'm still very sure Doc will drag them down to below .500. Doe anyone really believe he's healthy? Especially given his propensity to lie about his health. It's not like he hasn't lied about it before. While it's fine to lie to us, it's not fine to lie to your employer.

@MG, not defending Halladay or RAJ's decision to bring him north with the team out of spring training, but Cloyd could have done worse. He actually did in the Pigs opener, which I saw in person.

Cloyd could do worse, but Martin or Morgan are good bets to do better. They are surely not finished products, but they have the potential to improve and are healthy. Emphasis on the healthy.

For a true read on the Phillies' helplessness in dealing with a star player, just realize that not only did the Phils bring Halladay North, but they slotted him second after he showed beyond any doubt that he was not ready to pitch to major league hitters, or minor league ones in ST. That's just kneeling and praying at the altar of Doc. And it shows a complete lack of spinal tissue.

Chris Volstad is STILL on a major league roster?

Baffling.

Neat fact from TheGoodPhight recap of last night's game. Lee has gone 19 straight starts with at least 6 innings pitched and no more than 1 walk.

Pretty impressive.

I see Bill Baer has even flipped on Halladay now, along with his d-bag militia on Crashburn Alley. He rips Manuel for using a Brad Lidge comparison when discussing having confidence in Halladay.

This guy is a world-class d*ck, captain of the hindsight police. Archives of articles are available of Baer snidely deflecting any criticism of Halladay over the past year and insisting he was actually pitching well while getting shelled. Now he's acting like he knew what was happening all along. He's the worst.

Posted by: Iceman

Bill Baer is a real piece of work. Anyone who call's Phillies fans racist for being critical of an African-American player doesn't deserve any readers. I haven't looked at the blog since ... shame because he posts some good stuff sometimes.

GBrettfan: Chooch went 1-3 in extended ST today, so now you know where he is.

Posted by: Conway Twitty | Tuesday, April 09, 2013 at 10:51 PM

* * *

Thanks! Good to know!

Neat fact from TheGoodPhight recap of last night's game. Lee has gone 19 straight starts with at least 6 innings pitched and no more than 1 walk.

Pretty impressive.

Posted by: Fatalotti

* * *

It's also a record.

Now THAT's history that G-Town and the rest of us can be happy about!

MG: Baer loses me in the article when he builds his argument off Lidge losing Game 4 of the World Series and says how terrible he was all year. He was, but Lidge was pretty good in the playoffs until that point.

I should clarify that Lee already had the record, so he only extended it last night. I didn't remember hearing it before.

I found this from last September.
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/philadelphia-phillies-lee-breaks-major-league-record-fan-214800110--mlb.html

When Clifton Phifer is in a groove...something that typically happens 1-2 times a season for a 7-8 game stretch...he is basically unbeatable. Sure, guys like Verlander and Kershaw are better. Nobody would ever dispute that. However, when Lee locks in, he is just insanely good. Remember his shutout streak? Remember his 6-0 months with 1-2 ER total? He's just insane. This year, it appears that he is starting the year off with a streak. Thank god as this team really needs someone to step up.

Gee was just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully, it gives some of these guys confidence and they put together better ABs. Nice to see Howard go deep the opposite way, but his other ABs weren't great. Young (obviously) looked good. And Utley is back to being Utley. Even when hit-less, he helps the team in other ways -- good baserunning, good ABs, BBs.

The positives seem to be building.

I guess we can hold off on the rebuilding talk for another day.

Last night was a good win. Tons of XBH and that was a win reminiscent of the years when they didn't think 3 aces was the only way to get it done.

Another blow for an NL team:

Cardinals closer Jason Motte may be facing reconstructive surgery on his elbow after an MRI on Tuesday showed that being shut down since March has not helped in any way. That would mean they've lost Carpenter, Furcal, and Motte.


Everyone said the NL tiers were basically Nationals/Reds and then the Braves/Phillies/Dodgers/Giants/Cardinals

The Cardinals are having guys drop by the wayside.

Agreed on Utley, R. Bill. He looks really good and fresh right now. His baserunning has been forcing things offensively which is much needed. I just hope they give him enough off days to ration his energy out.

Bad news for the Cardinals but I'm sure they will have some guys step up for them. They always do.

Can we put Revere at the bottom of the lineup yet?

I didn't realize the Blue Jays were 2-5.

Blue Jays doing their best 2012 Marlins impression and they have some of their cast members.

We sure went from 2-160 to 157-5 in a hurry!!

So we really don't want Roy Oswalt in long relief/spot start over Raul Valdez? I'm still hoping we see some use in bringing The Beard to philly whe he's ready to return.

It is great to see Utley constantly doing things to help the team, even on nights when he does not get a hit. A big issue this year will be how Charlie handles giving him just the right amount of playing time.

The guy's baseball IQ (Utley's of course, not Charlie's) is simply off the chart. I often wonder how much of an edge it would give a team if all the players had that type of focus. I'm not talking about his incessant hustle. I'm thinking more of constantly, always, doing all the little things right. Being the absolute best baserunner you can be for the speed you have. Getting your body in the way of a throw from a catcher when you are on third. Etc, etc.

For the Jays it doesn't help that:

Encarnacion is hitting- .074
Lind is hitting- .118
Bautista is hitting- .188
Rasmus is hitting- .190

And on the pitching side:

Buehrle was lit up in his start.
Dickey has been lit up in both of his.
Morrow has been very pedestrian.
Johnson was okay.
Happ was the only starter to not let up a run.

Someone mentioned earlier, but Lee saving the bullpen could pay off big time tonight by allowing Charlie to yank KK quicker if need be.

If he starts getting after the second/third time through the lineup, then we should be able to go Aumont/Bastardo/Adams/Paps right in a row. That should be plenty to hold the Mets under whatever the runs we score off some waiver wire guy like Hefner.

NEPP:

Completely agree about Cliffie, when he's locked in, he's the best in the league. And it's absolutely perfect if he's starting the season on a hot streak, the Phils need it to stay afloat until Doc figures it out. Then Lee can be human for the middle 4 months, then streak again for Sep and Oct.
There, that was easy.

lorecore, agreed on how it give him flexibility to pull Kendrick tonight but you forgot to mention that he would go right to Durbin.

lorecore: You say that now but wait until Durbin comes outta the pen.

In all seriousness though- i would love to see the Phillies have a 3 run lead, let KK go 6, then go Bastardo/Aumont/Adams/Papelbon to close it up. That is the recipe for success for this team.

KK, Lannan, and Halladay should set that as their goal and we roll with those 4 bullpen arms, only occasionally using Horst/Durbin/Valdes when we need an out in the 6th or in blowouts.

Or better yet, release Durbin & see if someone like DeFratus can't do a better job. Sure, there are no guarantees, but a pitcher who can't safely be called upon until a game is well out of hand has no place on the active roster.

Here's a cool video of our Cliff Lee being interviewed by a young fan ... a really young fan named Corbin.

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/eAECZNomCVw

A twisted side of me actually wants to see Durbin come in with at least one runner on and allow them to score. I need that streak to at least reach double digits.

defratus, stutes, deikman are all better than durbin. Rosenberg and Savery are about equals.

"I guess we can hold off on the rebuilding talk for another day."

I guess so.

Just for some perspective, after 8 games the 2007 Division winners were 2 - 6, and both the 2008 and 2009 teams were 4 - 4. The 2010 team was 7 - 1, and the 2011 team was 6 - 2, and you know what happened both of those seasons.

Point: 8 games does not a season make. The talent is there and this team will compete. It remains to be seen whether they can make the playoffs.

Durbin is so bad, he could start an inning, and give up a 2-run homer to the first batter he faces.

lore, I agree on DeFratus, but Stutes is still a question mark coming off of the surgery and Diekman is so wild he can't hit the side of a barn during some of his outings.

That's not to say I think Durbin is still any good, just that both of those guys have their questions marks.

yo durbin's era is so fat, it walked past my TV and I missed 3 episodes.

To expand on my post above, a team can crap the bed any time during the season. The 2012 team started out 3 - 5 also, but after 53 games sat 3 games back at 28 - 25 and looked like they were going to at least stay in the hunt until Utley and Howard returned.

The next 35 games they proceeded to go 9 - 26 through July 13th, were 14 under .500 and sat 15 games back.

Teams can implode at any time. Another recent example is the Red Sox September 2011 collapse when they went 7 - 20 and missed the playoffs.

awh: It is always compounded by what teams around them are doing. The Braves are 7-1 and people see that and lose their heads. Never mind that the Braves have given up basically 2 runs a game and scored 36 total. That isn't going to continue.

Julio Borbon was just DFA'd. Waiver claim or low level player would get him. Any interest?

Meh - he's largely interchangeable with Carrera, except that (1) Carrera's 16 months younger and (2) Borbon's never played an inning of RF in pro ball. Might as well stick with Zeke.

I picked Toronto to win the East but, if they don't, it will be because their starting pitching isn't up to snuff. Buerle is 34 and showing signs of slipping. Johnson finally stayed healthy last year but was nowhere near his formerly dominant self. Dickey's age, and potential problems with a domed stadium, have been discussed on here at length. Morrow is almost certain to crash back to earth this year. And Happ is Happ.

Toronto's hitters will come around. Their pitching will obviously be better than it has been, but whether it will actually be good enough to win the division is an open question.

To "Cliff Lee is real good" -

As someone whose complaint about the question to players segment at CBP is that I can never hear it well enough to get all the answers, I loved that video you linked of Lee being interviewed by the little boy. Adorable - both of them.

Look at the picture that heads this piece:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20130410_Phil_Sheridan__Phillies__Cliff_Lee_takes_simple_approach_to_pitching.html

I wonder what Doc was thinking as he regarded Cliff Lee.

I hope he finds his way. It's sad for baseball, let alone for us.

Speaking of which, I don't think any of us acknowledged that Mets fan who posted in the game thread for Doc's last start, expressing genuine regret for Doc's struggles. He didn't have to come on here to post that. I think his name was "drew".

I'm far from a fan of Diekman or Stutes, but they belong on this roster over Durbin.

I think Doc is about to rip Lee's soul out in that photo.

I agree with those that say there is a lot of baseball to be played. Some positives so far on the run production side of things, and Hamels will turn it around.

That said, I wonder if Utley can play at this level ("this level" meaning intensity not OPS+) for a mostly full season, and I just don't know if the rest of the staff is good enough to make up for the fact that (a) our middle relief is terrible and (b) Doc is cooked. Given those two factors, this is an 81-83 win team at best barring some unforeseen resurgence (Pettibone reveals himself to be Worley 2.0).

Just enjoying it a game at a time at this point. They may not be excellent as a unit, but we still get to see some borderline HOF talent in Hamels-Lee-Utley-Rollins. Enjoy it while it lasts.

GBrett: True. I think we were too busy lamenting our inevitable 5th-place finish (but somehow simultaneously 25th draft pick) to really home in on it.

Who would've guessed that the times to get excited is when Lee & Lannan pitch and to shudder and crawl into a hole on the days that Cole, Doc and KK pitch?

Iceman: "Hefer is another RH mediocrity tomorrow"

Phillies won't be cowed.

Also, having read the article, nice to see the Philly.com posters in mid-season form already.

I'm really interested to see what this team looks like at the end of April when Ruiz is back and presumably when Delmon Young is healthy and playing everyday.

I know I made a joke last night but the last time D. Young committed himself into being in shape was the year he had the best season of his career hitting 21 home runs and knocking in 112. Say he comes back and gives you 15 and 70- isn't that a good piece to have somewhere in the line-up? On top of that it gets Carrera out of here and gives you a bench of Frandsen/Galvis/Mayberry/Nix/Kratz which has a nice mix on it.

Dump Durbin call up DeFratus and the bullpen looks better on paper too.

TTI - No because Delmon Young is the devil.

TTI, it depends. 15 and 70 sounds nice, but if it's accompanied by a .290 OBP, it's not that nice.

What is Delmon Young's ETA?

Yeah 15-70 doesn't tell you a whole lot. He did as much last year and his OPS was still barely above .700.

What is Delmon Young's ETA?

Posted by: Sophist | Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Too soon.

Sophist's 10:41 post basically sums up my thoughts as of now.

As Sophist said, Doc is cooked and the middle relief is horrible. He didn't mention that the offense scares nobody but AAAA pitchers and not even all of those.

If everything breaks right, this is a just over 80 win team. And with this payroll, that's awful.

Here's a link to a write-up on Phillies Nation that looks at Cliff Lee's career over the last few years:

http://philliesnation.com/archives/2013/04/lee-continues-to-cement-his-awesomeness/

i wonder the last time a blog linked to beerleaguer for interesting content.

"I'm far from a fan of Diekman or Stutes, but they belong on this roster over Durbin."

Stutes, yes. But Diekman is absolutely terrible. Yes, even worse than Durbin.

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