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Friday, April 05, 2013


I turned off the game in the 4th, when the Phils were up 4-0 and Kendrick seemed to have things on cruise control, in order to save data on my iPad.

Clearly I should've kept watching, as that had to be the reason Kendrick was doing well. Nothing else makes sense!

BTW how about 40 y/o Andy Pettitte. What is his velocity these days?

Here comes Charlie's bumbling excuses...

it's the 1958 'Wheeze Kids' redux.

Can someone repost that "easy" early schedule prediction. 9-5!?

A very Halladayan outing for Kendrick.

I know he pitched poorly in spring training, but there's no good reason why Justin DeFratus isn't on this team. He is 25 years old, has been a top 10 Phillies prospect for like 3 years, has much better stuff than at least 3 of the guys in our bullpen, and has 120 innings of experience at AA and AAA. It's inexplicable that Chad Durbin is on the roster and DeFratus is not.

This game was depressing...highlighted all the Phils weaknesses at once.

It's inexplicable that Chad Durbin is on the roster.
Posted by: bay_area_phan | Friday, April 05, 2013 at 07:33 PM

Fixed that for you

Man, this comeback is going to be grea...ah damn. Damn you, fickle professional sport!

Are we all still collectively up-in-arms at the mere mention that this past offseasons acquisitions seem to be in line with a mid-season fire sale, assuming they can't figure out a way to stay close?

And I get the whole "only 4 games in thing," but let's, for a second, presume that this is the kind of baseball we see until midsummer. Would anybody at all have a problem with unloading anyone and everyone not named Hamels at the deadline? I know I'd be okay with it, considering that this same roster next year would only be more of the same (only a year even older). The only problem I have with that concept at all is the puppet master in charge of identifying and acquiring the "talent" we'd receive in return to build around.

Assuming Utley's can stay healthy and playing at a high level, I don't want to see him go. He should spend his entire career in a Phillies uniform.

Chris, I vascilate on him more than anyone. Obviously, all under the guise that he's healthy. Which, if he is, in addition to being able to still help this club as he sunsets his career, he also actually has a TON of value to another team (especially one in the AL, who might be able to reinforce his health via the DH). It's a really tough call. But, in my heart, I think I'm with you. I'd like to ensure that Chase and Cole are with the Phils next year (contrary to GTown's disdain, I still hold out hope that Dom could be valuable, too...), but virtually everyone else is touchable, starting with Papelbon.

Everyone may be available but if they are playing poorly, whose going to want them to begin with?

Not surprised that Horst and Durbin have gotten out to slow starts.

Durbin is a marginal MLB pitcher at this point & Horst didn't look like the same pitcher this spring either from a velocity/stuff perspective.

Disappointed though that Valdes has struggled so much in his first two outings. He did pitch reasonably well & I was hoping he would get out of the gate strong.

Durbin though is the proverbial 'turd in the punch bowl' and enabled the Royals to blow this game wide open. Amaro is going to really regret saving a little payroll flexibility and not signing Lindstrom for another $1.5M instead of Durbin or even going with Lyon/Frasor for similar dollars.

Utley's RBI by Game

Game 1: 3
Game 2: 2
Game 3: 1
Game 4: 0

If this trend continues, I predict that he will have -2 RBI in Sunday's game.

As was said before the season, the bullpen is still a mess. And the pitching is what will prevent this team from competing.

29 runs allowed in three losses. That's a f*cking joke.


Nix saw 9 pitches today in 4 ABs and had a horrendous throw in RF when the Royals plated two runs.

4-17 so far with 1 BB, 4 Ks and just 1 XHB

Meanwhile Schierholtz has gotten out to a solid start with the Cubs and had a good spring.

I didn't think much of Schierholtz's release at the time but I would much rather have his speed, defense, and moderate average over what Nix brings to the table.

More I see of Nix and the more I really dislike his game. Very limited player to begin with who is injury-prone and a poor situational player.

I have some hope that Mayberry can contribute if used properly this year but little hope Nix brings anything positive except some spotty power.

Well, luckily Rube smartly signed Nix to a 2 year deal before the 2012 season so he was guaranteed to be here in 2013.

That was very smart considering what a multi-talented guy that Nix is.

There's no defending this bullpen but it's worth mentioning that the 4 runs in the first 3 innings could, and should, have been more. It seems trivial, considering that we lost by 9 runs. But, if we'd gotten a couple more runs across the plate, it might have been guys like Aumont, Bastardo, Adams and Papelbon pitching instead of guys like Durbin & Valdes.

NEPP: There's nothing quite so magical as the r00b 2-season special.

And by "magical", I mean "makes me puke".

Generally, the rotation of writers post-Weitzel has done a fairly admirable job with the posts. Increasingly, however, the game recaps are reading like AP ticker. Do the 'alternative viewpoints' on the Phillies have to come strictly from the commenters?

BAP - Agreed I thought they had Davis on the ropes in the 4th inning and then things fizzled.

JRoll's lack of an ability to cleanly field the in the top of the 6th was huge too. If the Phils turn 2 there, KK gets out of the 6th with no runs/no hits and probably goes into the 7th.

Instead the floodgates opened and a deluge of runs was put up on the scoreboard by the Royals. Really turned out to be the key of the game.

Gelb: "The 13 runs allowed by Phillies were most in a home opener since 1932, a 14-5 loss to New York Giants at the Baker Bowl."

Yay. History.

This was the first really frustrating game of the year.

Cholly sat on his hands and let the game get out of control because he wasn't fast enough to give struggling relievers a hook (despite a well-rested pen thanks to Lee) and the Phils let a game get away that they should have won.

KK/Lannan/crippled Halladay are going to chew up this bullpen too. Way too many games where you conceivably have the starter going less than 6 IP.

It is going to mean that Durbin, Valdes, and Horst all see there share of IP this year especially early on.

Kyle Lohse: 5 SO through 2 IP so far.

Guess he didnt need ST.

Only BAP would circle this back around to blame the offense. Some people literally cannot wrap their heads around blaming anything but the offense.

13 runs- a complete bullpen implosion. The offense isn't performing any differently than they did in 2011 when they ran roughshod over the league. The difference is that the amount of quality arms is down from 8 or 9 to like 4 or 5- and that generously includes Halladay, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he can figure things out.

I didn't make it 3 pitches into the Chad Durbin Apology Tour before throwing in the towel. Could have had Lindstrom putting out fires for them in the 6th/7th for the price of DYoung and Durbin combined; instead they have Durbin out there serving meatballs and Raul Valdes proving that he is, in fact, complete garbage.

This is the 'four quarters = a dollar" philosophy that Rube applies that I can't freaking stand. He spread his limited resources to two players who suck instead of pooling the resources on a player that could actually be a difference maker.

Obviously no single event can change giving up 13 unanswered runs to the Kansas City Royals, but...

Giving Butler the IBB to face the Royals best player in Gordon was a terrible decision.

Iceman: And its not like Lindstrom was the only guy. There were plenty in the $2-3M range that were clear upgrades, that all were available very late into the offseason.

Iceman, I love the four quarters = a dollar thing. Really puts several of the moves he made into perspective.

When will Dave Montgomery and Phillies brass hold Ruben accountable for this mess?

lorecore: Alex Gordon only had 72 RBI last year, why should we be worried about him?

Iceman: I'm not "blaming" the offense. I'm simply saying, they weren't blameless in this. If it had been 6-0, instead of 4-0, we'd have still had a 1-run lead after Gordon plated those 3 runs -- which means that Cholly might have brought in someone like Bastardo or Aumont, instead of Durbin. It's hardly an elaborate theory to posit that the game might have turned out differently if we had actually used our good relievers.

I think its fair to say they lost as a team.

The only positives of the game were:

1. Utley keeps hitting
2. Brown got a HR

Everything else (including Brown's fielding) pretty much blew.

lorecore: The conventional pregame wisdom said Yost was crazy for leaving Butler out of the lineup. Given the way Kendrick had begun getting hit, I thought it was a good move to walk Butler & bring in a reliever. Obviously, that didn't work out very well.

"I thought he was very good through four innings," Manuel said of Kendrick. "Then all of a sudden, I took him out and the game definitely got away from us."

I love how Charlie speaks of the game as if his own decisions had no impact upon the outcome, esp. when one then reads something like this:

For Durbin, it represented another lackluster performance. He stumbled through spring training and his debut outing on opening day in Atlanta. Durbin is reprising his reputation as a slow starter.

Manuel said he wanted Durbin pitching in that situation because of his experience and reputation.

Because of what? Why not go w/ someone BECAUSE THEY'RE A GOOD PITCHER?!?!

Cholly's comment kind of wipes out my speculation that Bastardo or Aumont might have pitched there if the Phillies still had the lead. I guess I should have realized: Cholly actually believes Durbin is better than Bastardo & Aumont. I mean, he has been in the league for longer than Bastardo or Aumont. So how can he not be better than they are?

For all of the crap that Durbin gets these are the other relievers right now on the 40-man roster:

- Rosenberg
- Robles
- Diekman
- Stutes
- Savery

No help coming from anybody on that list. Iron Pigs bullpen also includes Miner, C. Jimenez, and Friend.

Good thing Amaro gave away Schwimer for nothing in the preseason since the Phils' 40-man roster and Iron Pigs' bullpen is loaded with such talented arms.

Cholly is a senile old man...we knew this.

IronPigs are being 1 hit with an 11-0 deficit right now.

5 errors charged to Lehigh so far through 7.

MG: r00b had to let Schwimer go. He dared point out the Phils' medical staff is a bit dodgy.

I did forget to add De Fratus but I understand why the Phils sent him down this spring after he continued to struggle with his command.

Stutes looked awful this spring and he walked 2 guys last night in his first appearance as an Iron Pig.

There isn't any help coming for the pen any time soon. They are going to sink or swim in the 6th-7th with Horst/Valdes/Durbin for a while.

Hasn't been a whole lot of swimming so far, MG.


Listened to the final innings on radio and the boos birds were out in force in the 8th/9th.

Phils' fans aren't going to have the patience they did with this team last year especially when they were hoping for Utley/Howard to return and spark them.

The boos and a home opener lose are nothing new for the Phils. I don't miss when I would go to Opening Day at the Vet and there would inevitably be some brawls in the upper levels (500-700).

It doesn't surprise me that Cholly still thinks Durbin is a good reliever and has a strong preference for him over Bastardo/Aumont.

Same $hit, different year.

If there's one thing of which I'm certain, it's that this franchise will not be able to regroup until both Charlie & r00b are no longer on the payroll.

Horst and Valdes deserve a little leeway - especially Horst who had a great first appearance this year already.

"Inevitably"? Opening day at the Vet was about the brawl game.

GTown's 9:42 post is exactly right.

I went to the game and I must say the crowd was pitiful. Quieter than any other opening day at CBP, despite the rare nice weather. They also gave up in droves around the 7th.

Definitely disappointing. ... Also, watching the Nationals post-game show. They just found out that they're not going 162-0. CIN 15-0.

It's one level of stupidity to actually think its a good idea to sign Chad Durbin.

It is a whole other level beyond to sign Chad Durbin when you have a manager who orders his roster not on talent, but on age and whether the guy was there with him in 2008.

It's almost like you could see this coming. Almost.

BAP- I mean, I guess if you want to skew it that way, sure. You'll skew it any way you can to blame the offense.

I see it as more of a problem with- and I can't believe I'm saying this, after defending the Durbin signing tooth and nail because I didn't really see the harm in it at the time- not having another quality arm in the bullpen to push Bastardo/Aumont down to the 6th/7th innings. The money was there. The arms were certainly there to sign. Amaro decided to sign Delmon Young and Chad Durbin instead. He'll be wasting money that could have been used to sign Matt Lindstrom to steer Delmon Young away from obesity.

It all seemed kind of innocuous at the time because I bought into the "Horst and Valdes will continue defying their career norms" Kool Aid. I thought the middle relief would be fine. I'm not a big fan of jumping to conclusions after four games (the season certainly isn't over as a lot of idiots on here and talk radio seem to think), but I don't think it's unreasonable to say that having faith in Horst and Valdes to pitch quality innings for this team in relief was a foolish assumption. They are garbage that arguably shouldn't even be on an MLB roster. And unlike what Jack and others seem to think, there's no stable of young studs ready to step up and dominate the late innings.

The offense is what it is, and what it has been since 2011. Signing Nick Swisher wasn't going to change that. I mean, the difference between 4 and 6 runs in this game was Young hitting 5th and Brown hitting 6th (I'm hoping that won't last long). It's good enough to win games and compete.

But this bullpen is a horror flick, and the rotation is no longer good enough to hide it. I thought Durbin was an OK depth signing (though I certainly didn't advocate signing him before it happened- I wanted Lindstrom) because there were enough quality arms to bury him, but that simply isn't the case. They should have gone out and signed another difference-making arm, despite protestations from some simpletons on BL that they shouldn't sign any bullpen arms at all.

When you see it actually play out in real time, it becomes a lot more horrifying. And like MG says, there's no cavalry coming to save them.

What exactly does Charlie think Durbin's "reputation" is?

What exactly does Charlie think Durbin's "reputation" is?

Whatever it is, the Royals sure didn't give a damn.

The only (and I mean only) silver lining here with Durbin:

It's all happening very early and very quickly. The entire bullpen was so dreadful today that you can't pin the loss entirely on him, but he's had two chances now to prove he's at least mildly competent and failed both times.

Manuel blathered about Durbin's 'experience' post-game, but he's not going to be able to use that excuse for very long. Since he stepped on the mound in spring training he's looked like a guy who shouldn't be in the league. Hopefully a decision is made before he actually single-handedly starts costing them games. For the first time in years, Manuel's job might be on the line if he keep stubbornly relying on 'experience.'

By my count, today was the 687th time in the last 8 years that the offense shut it down after getting an early lead.

On the plus side, Dan Haren- a $13 million signing hailed by many a BL regular- gave up 4 HRs (6 runs) in 4 innings while showing diminished velocity in a blowout loss to the Reds. Then MG's boy Zach Duke came on and gave up another 6 runs in less than 3 innings. With how quickly some on here are to judge Revere, MYoung, Lannan (before he's thrown a pitch), etc. as failures, I guess we can assume that Haren and Duke will both be failures for the Nats.

The Braves on the other hand- who some on here have predicted to have a terrible rotation- had Mike Minor (2.16 ERA in the second half last year) pitch into the 8th inning of a win against the Cubs. With the Cubs and Miami next on the schedule, expect the Braves to build a 2-3 game lead in the next week or so before their first series against the Nats.

Iceman: I'm not defending Charlie--while I've stated that I like the guy and love what he's done for this franchise, anyone who has been here knows I'm not a fan of a lot of his in-game tactics.

But it's hard to fathom the guy who signed Chad Durbin firing the manager who had the temerity to use him.

I have no problem with Charlie departing after this year, and I really don't doubt that the next Phillies winning team will be under a different manager. But to fire Charlie midseason is scapegoating, pure and simple. Rube put this mediocre product out on the field, not Charlie. I agree Charlie doesn't exactly make it better, but to me, Charlie has earned the right to go out on his own terms. He shouldn't be fired by Amaro.

Raul Valdes is the left handed version of Rodrigo Lopez.

He's basically just throwing batting practice up there. This guy will be DFA'd by May 1st.

When does Zeke Carrera make his first appearance? All of Philadelphia waits with anticipation.

Tough first two games defensively for Tommy Joseph at LV. 4 passed balls and 2 throwing errors. Yikes.

Galvis at 3B tomorrow? I betcha.

Jack- I agree with you completely- I'm merely stating the reality of the situation. What GM has ever said "Well, the manager hasn't led this team to a winning record, but it's really my fault for assembling a defective team, so I'm going to fire myself"? Manuel's first in line to get the ax if this thing goes south, deserving or not.

I do think it's puzzling that you're defending him now after you said during the game that it was Manuel's fault he couldn't think outside the box enough to pitch Aumont/Bastardo earlier. I mean, he's got to use all of these guys at some point if the starter isn't going to go six innings.

But yeah, the bullpen Amaro has provided him sucks. So you're right, he shouldn't be fired for simply using the sh*tty pitchers that Amaro has given him.

I'd love to see them get rid of Cholly before the firesale, if they have a poor first month of baseball. I just can't see them winning with his managerial style and this roster.

So much for the new and improved bullpen. Man, that was butt ugly.

Valdes and Horst 'aren't garbage' but they aren't guys you want to rely upon to pitch a bunch of higher leverage innings in the 6th-7th either.

Horst simply isn't the same pitcher right now he was last year. His fastball is consistently 1-2 MPH slower and his slider doesn't have the same break to it.

Durbin is the worst arm in the pen right. Everything he throws his sub 90-MPH (cutter, changeup, curve) with moderate command at best and no offspeed pitch that gives MLB hitters a tough time.

Qualls was at least a one-trick pony last year (sinker, sinker, sinker). Durbin doesn't even have that.

Only thing that you can hope for is that Durbin started out really badly last year in early April & settled in after that to pitch relatively well.

Not as if the Phils have anyone worthy of a callup right now anyways. De Fratus needs to work on his command and get regular work, Rosenberg is pure filler and a downgrade from Durbin, and Stutes has struggled all spring with his command & control.

Denny - I wouldn't mind seeing Galvis at all tomorrow at 3B but I can't possibly see Cholly benching M. Young to start at him at this point.

It would be nice if M. Young would show some inkling of power at the plate. He's hit 1 ball hard so far in play in 5 games. It's been weak ground ball up the middle after weak ground ball.

M. Young is this season's Ibanez, or Polanco. If he's physically able to drag himself onto the field, he will start.

This, after MG commented "sink or swim" -


Posted by: Horst/Valdes/Durbin | Friday, April 05, 2013 at 09:36 PM

Burst out laughing! Thank you!

Iceman's "4 quarters = 1 dollar" reminded me of a poem by Shel Silverstein:


My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes - I guess he don't know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head -
Too proud of me to speak!

GBrett- oh man. That is perfect. Thanks for that.

You could use that for the Lee trade, as well as a lot of other moves made by Amaro that are 'quantity over quality.'

MG- they were garbage before last year and had fantastic years out of nowhere in 2012. With what we've seen so far, do you think they're closer to being garbage or competent?

I'm leaning 'garbage,' especially Valdes.

Lindstrom, btw, was already used in a very eerily situation to Durbin this year. Bases loaded, 7th inning 2 outs against KC. Lindstrom comes in to face Escobar and gets him to pop out.

Using Iceman's 'sliding door' scenario, Manuel inserts Lindstrom to pop-up Cain & K Francoeur. The game remains 5-4.

Iceman - No they weren't and you are being overly dramatic. Talk about role reversal.

Horst had a slight boost in his velocity and had better command last year. I didn't expect him to duplicate that but he still has a decent enough slider to complement his ~90 MPH fastball

Valdes has MLB-caliber stuff too and wasn't bad in spring training. Just is missing his spots badly right now. If Valdes continues to struggle, he is going to be the first guy that gets sent down in April.

Gelb: "The 13 runs allowed by Phillies were most in a home opener since 1932, a 14-5 loss to New York Giants at the Baker Bowl."

Yay. History.

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Friday, April 05, 2013 at 08:29 PM

or in other words..... they've razed three ball parks since they got their asses beat so much.

I know Durbin is the lightning rod so he takes a ton of the blame but let's not let Jeremy Horst off the hook so easily. He has one job in this game- get one out in the 6th inning. He comes in and throws an absolutely awful pitch to Alex Gordon and a 4-2 lead is a 5-4 deficit.

That pitch had Kratz set up on the outside part of the plate and it ended up belt high on the inside half. He missed his spot by about 8 inches and it got crushed.

I get that Charlie could've (and probably should've went to Bastardo there). I can understand the reasons why maybe they didn't though. Bastardo can be wild and with the bases loaded you can't afford that. And given Bastardo's spotty track record I can see the hesitation.

But no matter what lefty Charlie goes with there they need to get their job done. If Horst gets the out there then we see Aumont/Bastardo in the 7th, Adams in the 8th, Papelbon in the 9th- Durbin never sees the light of day in this game.

I know it is Amaro's fault to a degree, and Charlie's- but at some point, guys being paid to do a job need to do their job. Horst failed yesterday!

Fire Rube and make Charlie the GM since he's such a good talent evaluator. :-)

I read Moneyball a couple months ago and the part where Beane calls up Omar Minaya to rip him off once again hit a little to close to home. I can picture other GM's foaming at the mouth to take advantage of Rube's hubris.

At least the Phils still haven't blown a lead in the 8th inning. That's a positive, right?

I questioned the wisdom of intentionally walking Butler to face Gordon, but LA had recommended that exact move.

Our BP continues to be a problem. And having starters fail to pitch at least 6 innings of 3R or fewer is a part of that problem.

You all appear to have been completely correct in decrying the acquisition of Durbin. I'm clinging to the sliver of hope offered by LA when he said that last year, Durbin had a bad beginning but pitched under 3.00 ERA thereafter. We'd be thrilled with that, no?

But right now, it just feels like we're repeating 2012 (at least the first half of it). Not fun.

And I miss Jayson Werth in RF.

Cholly has to answer to no one . Remember that BL. Ryan S says under his breath "1 month of this and this job is mine" whooaaaaaaaaaa

Well, one thing about yesterday leaves me smiling. I just saw video footage of George Brett, with Mike Schmidt, throwing out ceremonial first pitches.

I know next-to-nothing about the current Royals, but I'd love for them to have a good year.

I'd also love for us to take the next two games. I'm excited to go on Sunday to see Hamels pitch.

(In hindsight, G-Town, I'm glad you couldn't take me to the home opener. Sorry you drew KK, again, and had to witness that dreadful rout.)

Iron Pigs had 5 errors last night and 2 the night before while Syracuse played two errorless games. Ruf not charged with any errors so far, but Mini Mart was flagged for an errant throw last night. Ruf went 1-4 in both games and owns the only RBI recorded by the team so far. They have been outscored 22-2 in the two games and Cloyd owns an 18.00 ERA.

Biddle really solid start. And Quinn off and running. A prospect I am going to follow a little more is Walding. The 6'3 200 third basemen.

Is Shel Silverstein a secret owner of the Phillies? The "4 crappy players equals 1 good one" principle has been a staple of their philosophy for pretty much my entire life.

The four quarters thing is a very good analogy for Rube's philosophy. How many here wanted Cespedes or Soler when all that it took was a little money? How good would those guys look in this organization right now. How about Aroldis Chapman. Again, all it took was dollars. Instead, the Amaro team head out to foreign coutries trying to trade spare change for pop guns, hoping those pop guns turn into cannons in five or six years.

I will be fascinated as well as considering what you will be talking about here.

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