Part of CSNPhilly.com


« Phils can't hold late lead, fall to Dodgers | Main | Surging Delmon Young leads Phils' offensive eruption »

Friday, June 28, 2013

Comments

Get out the Bankers Club, it's gonna be a long night.

If all the Phillies' prospects reach their likely ceilings, the Phils will remain a very ordinary team indefinitely.

Yeah. Capuano...one of the best young arms in the galaxy.

Other than the fact that your starter is more likely to pitch through the 7th than he is to pitch through the 8th, I've never really understood why managers regard the 8th inning as more important than the 7th. I guess my point is: if the Phillies manage to find a serviceable pitcher, or combination of pitchers, to handle the 8th, all it will mean is that we lose more games in the 6th & 7th.

The Zambrano story
In mid-2004, Tampa Bay sent two pitchers, the notoriously bad Victor Zambrano (he led the American League in walks, wild pitches and hit batsmen in 2003 and did it again in 2004 -- despite being shipped to the National League midseason)

Even when they were good, the Phillies could never hit this guy. Get some sleep.

Jr. - If you would be so kind as to add a verb and a predicate, you could finish telling what the Zambrano story is.

derek: Adding a verb & predicate to that post would be like adding an 8th inning reliever to the Phillies' roster. It would fix one significant problem, but there would still be numerous others that remain.

"Hamels is just as much to blame as any other aspect of the team." - Sean

My post wasn't about assigning blame for the season up until now, it was about looking ahead and seeing what area of the team will most hinder the Phillies chances of winning baseball games. Hamels has been pretty bad for the most part, there's no denying that, but its quite possible that he can still be a strength rather than a weakness going forward. The bullpen however is not very good, and there's no reason to believe it will improve without an acquisition (or two).

"I've never really understood why managers regard the 8th inning as more important than the 7th." - BAP

It's the same reason why the 9th is more important than the 8th, and why not every good 7/8 inning reliever succeeds as a closer. It takes a special player to pitch well in high-leverage situations.

Corey - except for your use of batting average as a proxy for offensive performance, I enjoyed this write up. Well done.

Tonight is the last game of the first half. Should they fail to score ten runs, it will indeed mark the first time since 1972 that they have failed to score ten runs in a game during the first half of a season.

If they fail again tomorrow, I will be forced to go back to Baseball Reference game logs for that particular measure of offensive futility.

I would say that however much improvement could be found in getting two or three half decent relievers, it is imperative that the Phillies discover, within their roster or outside of it, a way to score more runs, more consistently.

In other words, Jake, if they want to win more games they must score more runs.

Jake: okay, I understand what you're saying, but the longer the season wears on and the more Hamels continues to lay duds (including his last start) I just don't know. At the very least it's extremely troubling and frustrating.

Jake: Well, I disagree with pretty much every one of your premises: (1) that the later innings are necessarily more important than the earlier innings; (2) that it takes some kind of special expertise to pitch in the 9th; (3) that not all good 7th/8th inning relievers make good closers. I remember when people used to say that Ryan Madson couldn't handle the 9th, even though he was lights-out in the 8th. The evidence to support this view consisted of a small handful of 9th inning appearances in which he had happened to blow a few saves. Then, when he finally got a full and fair opportunity to be the closer, he was every bit as good as he had been in the 8th.

b_a_p: I agree, three outs is three outs, regardless of what inning it is.

What does Victor Zambrano have to do with anything? It's Carlos who we have in the minors...

When you think about it, bap, each inning is more important than the preceding one. It's why you can throw any old maroon out there to pitch the 1st inning. It doesn't get any more low leverage than that. Heck the first couple of innings hardly count at all.

How about Tony Zombrano? He prices produce at the ShopRite on the way to the shore. Does a great job.

krukker: Checking to see who's paying attention. You get the gold star.

"...a surprisingly effective Delmon Young."


Corey, you DO know what a small sample size is, don't you?

Andy - I don't care if the Phillies fail to score 10 runs in a game for the rest of the season. It means nothing. The Phillies are 29-9 when scoring 4+ runs, which indicates that they are good enough to win consistently if they can score 4-5 runs per game. Scoring only 4-5 runs per game means playing in a lot close games, hence the bullpen is crucial.

awh: it gets better. Look at his last 10 games. _elm_n's hot streak has been 2 whole games.

Judging by those last 2 games, I can confidently state that _elm_n is the new Babe Ruth.

Tony Zombrano? How about a moment of silence for the late Tony Soprano?

For every hit that DYoung gets, a puppy is murdered. How can you sleep at night, r00b?

"Corey, you DO know what a small sample size is, don't you?"

Are we now prohibited from saying that someone has had a good week?

DYoung would eat puppies if he didn't have that pesky fat clause in his contract.

"b_a_p: I agree, three outs is three outs, regardless of what inning it is."

While that is true, its not as easy to get three outs after the hitters have played 8 innings, and are trying to manufacture a tying run (something they may not try in earlier innings) and/or swinging for the fences on every fastball because the object is to score that one run and keep the game going. It seems plainly obvious to me that closing games carries a lot more pressure than pitching middle relief.

Dave, _elm_n is r00b's hope for the season.

Unfortunately for r00b, their's no "o" in _elm_n's game, and therefore, "h_pe" is all r00b has.


Jr., I think most of us just didn't feel like getting into a pissing fight over a Mets' trade.

There are enough bad Phillies trades to dispute.

I think most of the "pressure" of pitching in the last two innings is invented or placed on the pitchers by themselves. If you throw the pitches you're supposed to throw, you should get the outs.

Jake: That 29-9 record actually proves Andy's point. When the offense scores more than 4 runs, the weak bullpen hasn't been much of an obstacle to winning games. The problem is, we only score 4+ runs in 47% of our games.

"Are we now prohibited from saying that someone has had a good week?"


bap, no we're not, but that is not what Corey posted.

He posted that _elm_n has been "surprisingly effective". I presume from your post that you agree with him.

And as Dave pointed out above, it's not a good week, it's two games including some horrible defense and a booted ball.

_elm_n's OPS actually DROPPED during the five games prior two the last two. But I guess in BAP World that constitutes a "good week".

If you're going to troll...

awh: And in the VERY SAME SENTENCE, he said the offense "is clicking right now." He made no broader statements about what it portends going forward? And I'm the one who's trolling? Sheesh.

BTW, this is one game where Charlie should sit as many LHB as he can, save Revere who doesn't have pronounced splits.


Revere
Frandsen @ 2B
RFD @ 1B
Brown {.297 .329 .568 vs. LHP in 2013)
MYoung
JRoll in the 6-hole
Chooch
DYoung (I know, I know, but he's probably got a better chance against Capuano than Howard)

bap, piss off and do what Kool Earl advises.

BAP - Most of those games (47% - 3 runs or less) have been played with a depleted lineup. The full lineup is doing a lot better, but I wouldn't count on a .763 winning percentage when scoring 4+ for the remainder of the season. Scoring 4-5 runs in a game, usually means it will be a close game, which is why I think bullpen help is the most urgent need for the team.

If Zambrano pitches well for the Iron Pigs tonight, bring him up and put Lannan in the pen.

@ bap

"Are we now prohibited from saying that someone has had a good week?"

When it's that anti-semitic waste of a roster space? I'd vote for yes.

limoguy - I'm all for it, but I don't know if Lannan will help the pen much.

BAP - and how many of those 3 run games have been blown late by the bullpen? I can think of several without even looking it up. Bullpen is the achilles right now.

In a way, we all have an El Guapo.

Okay, Jake.

You don't care if they ever ever score 10 ever again. Got it. It's arbitrary. (Though some might say indicative of bad offense.)

Then lets use this instead. The Phillies' 3.75 runs per game is fourth worst in the National league.

FOURTH. WORST.

I would say that even if they improve the bullpen, if they want to win enough games to be serious contenders, they need to score, like, runs or something.

Scoring 10 runs in a game means nothing. Once you score 6 or 7 runs, the other team brings in their Durbins. When the Phils scored 10 or more in the past, that was a guarantee that they would lose a low-scoring game the next day.

Fourth worst.

Fourth.

Worst.

I never knew that we had so many former players here that could opine on how the pressure of pitching to get the last 3-6 outs of a game is exactly the same as pitching with 12-15 outs remaining.

Scoring ten runs in a game is arbitrary. But it's one of those easy to measure indicators that they are no where close to having a potent offense.

And the point is, really, that every Phillies team since 1972 had accomplished that feat by this point in the season. Remember the line-ups in the late '90s? They did it.

No matter how they do at getting hits, these guys stink at pushing runs across.

So, yeah. Half a season not scoring 10 runs in a game? No biggie, I guess. Fourth worst offense in the league? Guess what? That's a biggie.

Has anyone questioned the decision to pull Pettibone in the midst of him retiring 14 straight batters?

Lannan serves up ground balls. Just what you want when you're protecting a lead.

Andy - As I said in my 5:19 post, most of the games played thus far have been with a depleted lineup. We were hoping for a shot in the arm when Utley and Ruiz came back, and so far it looks like they are helping the offense. There is no Utley coming back to help the bullpen. It is what it is, and its not good enough.

Incidentally, the Phillies have the fifth lowest staff ERA in the National League. Which means they would have won a few more games if they weren't the FOURTH WORST offense.

Jake - The "we've got injuries" argument is one of the most over-used excuses for performance in professional sports. Every team has injuries. In the NL, all but three of them have scored runs better than the Phils.

Andy - Not all teams have one of their best offensive weapons on the DL, and those that do probably have trouble scoring runs. I agree that injuries are not an excuse, and the fact that the Phillies can't score when 1 or 2 guys get injured just shows how terrible RAJ is at assembling a roster.

This started with me saying that the bullpen is the achilles heal of the team. If the lineup loses a few players to injury, it could become a bigger liability, but right now its the bullpen.

Zambrano has allowed 4 runs in the first 1.2 innings at LV. 3 of the runs were earned; 1 was on a Mini-Mart error.

He ain't joining the Phillies. Nor should he, unless it's in a bullpen capacity -- and even then, I'm not so sure.

"Incidentally, the Phillies have the fifth lowest staff ERA in the National League. Which means they would have won a few more games if they weren't the FOURTH WORST offense." - Andy

Or if they didn't have THE WORST bullpen.

bap: If MR. Z punches out MM for that error, I nominate him for the BL Hall-Of-Fame.

Eric Hinske designated.
Is it possible to pick him up just to have fans come down to the field to beat him with sticks and rocks?

Phillies' average runs per game for the season as a whole: 3.75

Phillies' average runs per game while Utley was on the DL: 4.03

Going forward, there's no question that they're better off with Utley in the lineup. But those numbers make it kind to argue that Utley's absence is the reason for our 3.75 runs per game average up to this point.

May-June of 2011: Phils went 33-23 while scoring 3.73 RPG. Five bullpen losses.

May-June 27th of 2013: Phils are 26-27 while scoring 3.77 RPG. Eight bullpen losses so far.

BAP - Good stat, but there's no question that the offense has looked a lot better since Utley/Ruiz returned. It also helps that Utley is swinging a hot bat right now.

Iceman - Good stat, so if the bullpen had blown "only" five games in that period, the Phillies would be over .500

Correction: If RAJ was a competent GM, the Phillies would have a decent bullpen and a .500+ record right now.

Zambrano 34 pitches,done. Looks like he'll be ready to take Pettibones next start.

Jake- pretty much. And it also proves that with that kind of RPG, the team has been successful in the past because of its pitching. The notion that the RPG is the only and/or biggest culprit in them tanking is unequivocally false.

I wonder if Ruben is also secretly pulling the strings at the Sixers camp? Hmmmm!

Jake - On that much, I agree.

Just to be clear: it is absolutely irrefutable that this team would have at least a few more wins with a better bullpen. I just take issue with the view that a bullpen upgrade, alone, would somehow be enough to put us on equal footing with the Braves. If we added 2 good relievers tomorrow, the Braves would STILL be a better team than we are. And that's not even taking into consideration the fact that we have spotted them a 7.5 game lead.

The Phils are 24th in runs allowed and 23rd in runs scored.

This is a tired game. The entire team is to "blame." There's no one area that's good. It's just a bad team...

I shook my head when he acquired Durbin. While i understood the thinking behind it i generally thought it was another bad move. In the vein of the other Chad and Danys Baez. I remember we where been clowned on the other blogs when we bought Danys on board.

In 2011, the Phillies had one of the best pitching staffs in baseball history (including the bullpen).

Saying that this offense would win games with that staff is more than a little bit unfair. If you're saying you need one of the best pitching performances in baseball history in order to win with this offense, you're saying more about the offense than you are the current pitching staff...

Not to mention that the 2011 offense averaged a mere .65 runs per game more than this year's offense. I've gotta run out the door so I'll leave it to someone else to tell me what the league averages were in 2011 & what they are in 2013. But, unless the scoring environment has radically changed over the last 3 seasons, a .65 run-per-game difference would seem to be pretty enormous.

MYoung
Utley
Rollins
Brown
DYoung
Mayberry
Revere
Ruiz

Weird lineup, but could be a good one. Especially if Delmon Young stays "hot". Can't think of what I'd do differently. maybe revere leading off and Frandsen spelling MYoung?

Is Mayberry playing 1B?

Yes

I expect more improvement from the offense (and hamels) RPG wise than the bullpen at this point

Ugh...this just isn't a good team. Stop it already. You can argue and claim what-ifs all you want, but this is reality. The team is poorly constructed, old, and injury prone. They have some big names, and they still have some big stars. But as a whole? I'll be surprised if this team finishes at .500, let alone above it.

They're not any good.

No Relief in Site:

The more and more I get to see of De Fratus and the less and less I like of what I see.

He has decent fastball velocity but his control and command are spotty on it at times. Struggles to throws strikes at times and tends to run deeper counts.

Still doesn't have a quality offspeed pitch. Every MLB reliever needs at least one. His go-to breaking pitch is his slider and it just is very inconsistent at times & hangs too much vs LHB. Better than what Stutes has but that isn't saying much.

Struggles with LHB too because he doesn't really have a pitch to get them out with. Changeup isn't very good and his cutter is a kind of 'work-in-progres' too.

It kind of baffles me how the Phils can fail to develop almost any relievers with a MLB-caliber offspeed pitch. Not a short-term problem either & it is a huge reason why this team consistently fails to develop homegrown relief talent.

They have a ton of relievers it seems the last decade who have adequate velocity (lows 90s) but have fastball control & command issues and lack a MLB-caliber offspeed pitch. Makes sticking as a MLB pitcher pretty challenging.

De Fratus is marginally better than a guy like Stutes but that isn't saying much either. Only setup/middle relievers guys in the pen with a MLB-caliber offspeed pitch are Aumont and Bastardo & Aumont has no idea where his pitches are going to go.

Savery may have pedestrian stuff but at least he throws strikes consistently. Can't stay about Stutes or De Fratus.

Bullpen isn't quite as bad as it was at this point in '07 but it is pretty damn close.

MG - it's almost like it speaks to an organizational failure to make good decisions and develop players with a long-term plan in mind...

No real rhyme or reason for this except a 'gut' feeling and a very moderate wager on the Phils tonight at +145.

All kinds of reasons to bet against the Phils tonight though especially with Lannan on the mound. It means at least 3 IP out of the pen and watching Lannan try to grind to even get through 6 IP.

You are what your record says you are.

Ugh...this just isn't a good team. Stop it already. You can argue and claim what-ifs all you want, but this is reality. The team is poorly constructed, old, and injury prone. They have some big names, and they still have some big stars. But as a whole? I'll be surprised if this team finishes at .500, let alone above it.

They're not any good.

Posted by: Chris in VT | Friday, June 28, 2013 at 07:43 PM

Exactly.

They have a puncher's chance of winning any given game but this is a very mediocre team overall and it shows in their record and overall numbers.

Joseph's record says .036.
Get your catchers glove Mini.

I totally agree with BAP, Andy and most of the posters here. The bullpen has been no problem at all this season.

clout: Do you think this would be a playoff team if they had a better bullpen?

You probably can go as far and say their lucky to even have the record they do have Nepp.

Is it that hard to agree that both the offense and bullpen pretty much blow (along with the overall team defense?

I know it would cut down on 90% of the comments here though.

BAP: Nope. But I don't write stupid statements like this: "When the offense scores more than 4 runs, the weak bullpen hasn't been much of an obstacle to winning games."

Let me know if you don't understand why that's stupid statement.

NEPP: I certainly agree with that statement.

clout: Well, according to Jake, we're 29-9 in games where we score 4+ runs. I haven't fact-checked his stat but, if it's true, would you care to explain to me how my statement is untrue?

b_a_p - I think they have a shot at the playoffs with a better bullpen. Without that, the starting pitching and offense would need to be hitting on all cylinders for the rest of the season, which isn't going to happen.

Anybody else find it strange that the Phils keep firing the hitting coach when the hitters aren't performing well but they've kept the same pitching coach regardless of how well or poorly the pitchers have performed?

BAP: It's not untrue, it's stupid. You think it says something specifically about the Phillies bullpen, when it doesn't at all.

Phils are indeed 29-9 when scoring +4 runs, for a 76 W%.

The average team scores +4 runs 41 times, and wins at a 74 W% rate.

In conclusion, for about the 100000th time in the 100000th category, they are mediocre and nothing special at all.

clout: I wasn't addressing the Phillies bullpen (whose hideousness I've acknowledged on numerous occasions). I was addressing the logic of Jake's 4:48 post, in which he cited that 29-9 stat as evidence that we'd win more games with a better bullpen. Seems to me, the only thing the 29-9 stat proves is that we'd win more games if we scored 4+ runs more often.

Where is a "better bullpen" going to come from? This team is constructed as is, and Rube has said he's not going to pay the price for the bullpen arms on the market. The team has failed miserably when it comes to developing RPs in house.

Sorry to be Negative Nancy, but a better bullpen isn't going to fall out of the sky. The team is what it is. Rube would be an idiot to mortgage more of the future Ina futile effort to bolster a mediocre squad that has a miniscule chance of being in the playoffs. It's time for a re-build. It happens to every franchise in every sport, and it's happening to the Phils right now.

*** Rube would be an idiot to mortgage more of the future Ina futile effort to bolster a mediocre squad that has a miniscule chance of being in the playoffs. ***

Dont tempt him.

BAP: It was obvious from both the topic of the conversation and your response that you were using that stat to defend the Phillies bullpen. What made it stupid is that every team in the NL has a great record when they score more than 4 runs regardless of their bullpen.

Marc Hulet previewed the Futures Game position vs position. Took Maikel Franco over Matt Davidson.

Franco's stock is shooting up all over the place.

Franco is a really bright spot in this season. Obviously he's still a year away (if at all), but his seamless jump to AA is really impressive.

"What made it stupid is that every team in the NL has a great record when they score more than 4 runs regardless of their bullpen."

IT WASN'T MY STAT! It was Jake's stat -- which he cited to "prove" that we need a better bullpen. Except it didn't prove that at all -- which was precisely my point. If you think that I was citing that stat to "defend" the performance of the bullpen -- or that I have EVER defended the performance of this bullpen over the course of the 2013 season -- then you are not merely the contentious irritant that everyone knows you to be: you are truly a blithering idiot.

BAP's exact statement about the issue:

"Seems to me, the only thing the 29-9 stat proves is that we'd win more games if we scored 4+ runs more often."

Don't see how that claims we'd win more games with a better bullpen...

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories

HardballTalk

Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel

CSG