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Saturday, May 04, 2013


Repost: on pace to get shut out 26 times this year. That can't happen, can it?

'No Offense for Old Men'

Hamels pitched well tonight after some early struggles with his control & locating stuff in the zone.

Slowey is having a miraculously good start to the season. I can't imagine it ends tomorrow.

Sadly, I find that I don't even really care about losses like these anymore. I almost expect them.

Rollins' offensive mediocrity was the subject of some consternation at the end of last thread. But I've somehow acclimated myself to it. It doesn't bother me that much anymore. My Top 10 list of Phillies annoyances:

1. Ben Revere taking called strike 1

2. Ben Revere hitting into a DP, even though he's supposed to be too fast to hit into DPs.

3. Delmon Young's existence

4. Michael Young killing a rally with a DP

5. Ryan Howard striking out haplessly against a LHP or hard-throwing RHP

6. Papelbon sitting on the sidelines while Horst, Durbin, Aumont or Valdes gives up the lead

7. Ben Revere trying to bunt his way on base & failing miserably

8. Chase Utley flying out meekly to LF or CF (which he has been doing often)

9. Dom Brown weakly grounding out (this would have ranked in the top 3 only a week ago)

10. Ryan Howard hitting a ball into the shift

Honorable Mention: Chase Utley botching a routine play on defense.

Galvis needs more playing time. He will bring life to this team.

How long can Delmon Young coast on his debut HR?
He sure looked bad tonight, but then again so did everybody not named Galvis.

Polly showed some speed tagging up on Revere on a routine fly ball to get to second. And then later stealing 2B on Hamels basically before he released the pitch.
Don't know if he can get that lifetime average back over .300, but he looks healthy right now. I just hope he doesn't turn into a Phils killer.

Just pathetic.

It looked like Revere and Delmon Young were racing for the Mendoza line. I see that Young got there first.

The only thing puzzling to me is how other teams have hit Fernandez. He looked like he would have shut out any team in baseball with his arsenal tonight.

Agreed with Meyer about Galvis. Barring injury to the middle infielders, I think M. Young will be gone at the deadline.

I wonder how many swings tonight were on pitch recognition (see the ball/ hit the ball) and how many were on pure guesses?

My bet would be a very high percentage of guesses.

RSB is dead on. The kid looked like Cy Young tonight. I thought he looked pretty good the first game, and he was WAY better tonight. When he'd get behind in the count he'd throw a breaking ball in an unhittable location to get even. He seemed to know that once he got two strikes, the hitters would chase anything out of the zone and gave them basically nothing good to hit once they were down to their last strike.

The only thing you can really say is that his confidence and ability to make pitches fearlessly is a referendum on how little the hitters in this lineup scare the opposing pitcher. But even that is sort of reaching. I'm not sure who could've hit him tonight. He seemed to be tiring a bit at the end, but he probably had enough left in his arsenal to finish the game out if they'd have let him.

If I were a baserunner, I'd run on Revere every time. His arm is probably worse than Pierre's.

Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.

That's probably the first time I've said that this year and not meant it as a rip on the Phillies offense.

Have to hope they get to Slowey tomorrow, because 4 games under going into a west coast swing with some brutal pitching match-ups has the potential to be a disaster.

BTW, I think we go through the same thing every year with Rollins where he is declared done because he starts the year slow. He has a career .713 OPS in April/May (May is his worst month historically) and .797 for the rest of the year. He's got a .793 career OPS in the second half. He will heat up. It happens every year. Then next year we'll probably go through the same thing again with people pretending the previous year never happened.

bap - Putting a called strike to Revere on the first pitch as your first thing is patently unfair. We want him to have patience, but know that nobody is afraid to throw a strike to him. If the pitch is not exactly in a place that he knows he can hit a line drive, guess what? I want him to take it - strike or not. He can make random contact on another pitch. I mean, really. 82 pitches in seven innings? With at least 27 of them happening on strike outs? The team was not exactly seeing too many pitches go by.

And really, how can three of your annoyances be from the 8th hitter, who gets the fewest ABs of any position player, and none from the lead off guy who gets the most ABs?

That's probably the first time I've said that this year and not meant it as a rip on the Phillies offense.

NEPP- he was impressive and that in combo with an impatient offense was a bad mix.Cole may have given him a tough AB . ditto Nix; but Galvis was the only one who seemed to be comfortable against him.

Give 'em hell tomorrow.

The one criticism I do have of the offense tonight is that they did a p*ss poor job against Dunn. Brown flailed at some pathetic pitches and looked Howard-like against a LOOGY. Ruiz rolled over on a 2-1 pitch against a pitcher he should kill (especially in that situation). And he basically was offering Mayberry a walk that he wouldn't take.

They're going to struggle against their fair share of LH relief pitchers, but Dunn is a guy that they should be able to get to- especially Ruiz and Mayberry. I know Mayberry hit a ball to the warning track, but you're not going to tie the game with one swing and Dunn was giving him a free base. He hacked at a pitch way out of the zone 3-1 and eventually got himself out.

I'd complain about Galvis's AB against Cishek where he had no intention of doing anything but trying to draw a walk, but they were really patient that inning and Cishek just made pitches when he had to.

What's the MLB single season record for hat tips? I ask only because the Phillies are almost certainly gonna shatter it if they do so every time their offense is completely shut down.

Going to Sunday's game. Just hope our #5 starter (Halladay) is on his game. Bringing an ample supply of Red Bull in case the offense takes an early nap.

I'll be scouting Mini at LV this afternoon. He's been a solid clutch performer in May. I'm thinking he's ready to hit the highway heading south.

Really looking forward to July trade deadline and Winter meetings. Excitement abounds for a new beginning

Very interesting article on the massive increase in defensive shifts and the corresponding drop in offense as a result.

The stankees are going production from wells and Hefner. Aren't those guys 30 plus????

"The case of Fernandez is a puzzling one: He's now crushed the Phillies twice this year, allowing just three hits and no runs in 13 innings. Against the rest of the majors, Fernandez has given up 12 runs and 18 hits in 18 frames."

What's the puzzle?

LAD is promoting Dee Gordon (MLB OPS .622, MiLB OPS .747) to add "offense."

I wonder what they'd give us for Mini-Mart? He might not be as strong as Gordon, but he's versatile.

Andy: I had a whole tirade on this subject earlier in the week. Revere takes the first pitch almost every single time & it's a called strike almost every single time. Then 0-1 often leads to a 2-strike count and the next thing you know he's shortening up his swing & is an even weaker hitter than he already was. Hence, the .204 average after 0-1, and the .l40 average with 2 strikes on him. If the pitcher needs to throw a ball over the center of the plate just for Ben Revere to hit a line drive over the infield, then the solution is not for Ben Revere to take more pitches until he's lucky enough to get one over the center of the plate; the solution is to not have him on your team.

What bap continuously fails to acknowledge is that revere swung at a even lower % of first pitches last year when he hit .294

FWIW, Fernandez is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. He'll win a Cy Young someday.

Don't know if anyone else noticed but MG came up with a perfect nickname for Delmon last night: "The Yak," in honor of his defense.

Henceforth, I shall only refer to him as The Yak.

If I were Charlie I would order Revere to bunt on the first pitch of at least 2 ABs per game. He'd beat out 40% of them.

lore: I haven't failed to acknowledge that at all. I have mentioned it several times and what I said was: it doesn't change my opinion the slightest bit. He took too many pitches last year too. He ended up at .294, but there are many reasons to believe: (a) that number was a fluke; and/or (b) that number would have been considerably higher if he had swung at more first-pitch strikes.

The guy hit .238 last year with 2 strikes. For his career, that number is .207. There's nothing unusual about that number; it's the same career 2-strike average as Rollins, and .04 pts higher than Chooch. The difference, though, is that: (a) those guys actually draw a lot more walks than Revere, so there is a point to their working the count; and (b) Revere absolutely has to hit for a very high average in order to be a viable major league starter. So, when nearly 40% of his career PAs have ended up with 2-strike counts, on which he his .207, he needs to think about a new approach.

Ozuna's gonna take a whole lotta guys deep in his career. Valaika not so much.

BAP: I'm curious to know why you think Revere's .294 last season was a fluke. His career minor league average is .326.

Given that you believe stats put up in the minors by 30-somethings mean they can be good hitters at the MLB level (Kratz etc.) wouldn't you give even more credence to a young player's stats?

There you have it.
"The difference, though, is that: (a) those guys actually draw a lot more walks than Revere, so there is a point to their working the count;"

The reason that Revere does not "work the count" is because people don't throw him pitches outside the zone. But the same people who criticize him for not swinging at the first pitch are the same ones who complain about the Phillies always swinging early in the count. (I'm with clout on this. I like the idea of having Revere drop first pitches down frequently.)

More importantly, I think that blaming the Phils lack of offense disproportionately (3 out of ten?) on the eighth slotted hitter is on the lame side. Revere is not the reason for the Phils lack of (ahem) production. That fault lies much earlier in the line-up.

clout: I don't necessarily think it was a fluke. I think the jury is still out. But his 2012 LD% was actually lower than in 2011, when he hit .267. The difference was .32 points in BABIP. So, one of those 2 seasons smells like a fluke & we don't yet have enough information to know which one it was. Of course, after watching the guy hit nothing but infield ground balls for the last 5 weeks, I am certainly beginning to form an opinion about which season was the fluke. But I await to see what the rest of the season brings.

As for his minor league average . . . it absolutely counts for something, in making projections. But it counts for less and less with each passing season at the major league level. It's well within the realm of possibility that a guy who hits everything on the ground could post a high average in the minors simply because the playing surfaces are not the greatest & the caliber of infield defense is poor.

Andy: It wasn't a top 10 list of reasons for the Phillies' hapless offense. It was a top 10 list of personal annoyances. It is subjective.

As for Revere taking the first pitch . . . I don't follow your logic. Because I criticize, say, Ryan Howard for blindly hacking at the first pitch, I'm not allowed to criticize a completely different kind of player for blindly taking the first pitch?

I think most hitters should generally take the first pitch. But, if that approach leads to an inordinate number of first-pitch strikes against the hitter, it's time to change the approach. I mean, the whole point of taking pitches early in the count is to work yourself into a hitter's count, where you can get a fast ball over the plate. If you get that fast ball over the plate on the first pitch, why not swing? Especially when you're Ben Revere -- a guy who can work the count all he wants but still isn't going to walk.

The school play is finally done. I am happy to report that no trades for prospects will be necessary, as every actor was outstanding.

I got home in time to see the rebroadcast of the game starting in the 5th inning. I saw the score and knew right away that he had given up a HR (I figured one walk and one HR). I watched the bottom of the 5th and saw who was pitching and that the Phillies had 1 hit, and I just KNEW that the final score would still be 0-2.

But I kept the game on anyway, because even when you know, you never really know until the game has been played out.

P.S. My Phillies friend invite me to go to the game with them today. Happiness. (Bonus: I'll score a Chase Utley tote bag.)

Here's to "good" Doc and some offense! Enjoy the game everyone!

GBrettfan- have fun at the game. It should be a beautiful day for it. Hopefully they score some runs for you!

I listened to damn near every stinking out last night. Franzke and LA are going to be sorely tested this year and many years thereafter if we don't see a phoenix-like reappearance of a viable major-league-worthy Phillies offense.

I find I'm much more annoyed by Revere's inability to lay down a bunt for a hit. I mean, really? I'm sure it's not easy, but its an acquireable skill. Why is he still sucky at it?

Cut: isn't that a litmus test for a good broadcasting team? You'll still listen to them even if the team stinks?

Heather -- hands down the best i've heard since Harry/Whitey. The Franzke/LA duo is a real blessing.

Thanks, Iceman.

I saw this headline and didn't like it:

"Should the Washington Nationals Look to Acquire Chase Utley at the Deadline?" (Bleacher Report)

What if it got us Rendon back?

If Amaro would trade Utley to the Nats without doing what Mike Rizzo did when we asked for Morse and asking for something stupid in return like Rendon or Harper, I'd be completely done with him.

In the event they're so bad that they're trading Utley, seeing him go to Washington would be about the worst-case scenario for the season. I wouldn't watch the playoffs. I certainly hope that Amaro isn't stupid enough to even consider dealing him in the division for a second.

Bleacher Report - case example that the overwhelming majority of user generated content on the Internet is pure cr@p.

MY GOD KING!!! Chase Utley just hit Strasburg with a steel chair right before the first pitch!!! IT'S PANDEMONIUM IN THE CAPITOL TONIGHT!!!

I had forgotten about Torii Hunter until I just saw a BBTN segment on how well he's doing so far this year. A couple of us really wanted him in the off-season, especially on the two-year/$26 million deal he eventually signed. .361/.406/.479/.885 with a HR and 16 RBIs in 27 games. Around a 1.0 WAR so far.

He's obviously seeing a lot of pitches to hit ahead of Miggy and Prince, and that average will normalize a bit, but he'd have been an ideal guy to slot every day in the #2 or #5 spot in this lineup. The RH bat they need without the type of commitment that would have killed them going forward.

Instead we've got Delmon Young who can barely play the field and can't hit RHP.

From what I recall Hunter had multiple good offers and his pick of teams to go for...this he picked the best possible situation for him to win a WS in his mind

NEPP- he also said that the Phillies were the first team to contact him and he really considered coming here. It's a shame he didn't.

Objectively though, if he just wants a ring, he probably made the right decision. He'll also see more strikes hitting in front of Fielder & Cabrera than he would almost anywhere else in the league.

Also a guy some people wanted- Melky Cabrera- has a .556 OPS.

I don't think it's surprising that he's tanking, but I thought Toronto would be quite good this year and basically every acquisition they made in the off-season has so far been a complete bust. Wonder what the fall-out will be if they continue losing.

DET is pretty much the ideal setup for him.

Harper just got ejected by third base ump John Hirschbeck for just standing there looking disappointed after swinging K (Hirschbeck said he offered on appeal).

Hirschbeck threw his hands up and basically goaded him into saying something, Harper did, and he threw him out. What a joke.

IIRC, Hirschbeck is notorious for instigating players

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