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Sunday, July 21, 2013


...and a new thread.
My two cents, Dom is the guy you want up in that situation. He handled the 3-0 count perfectly. He got a hitters pitch and he went for it. That's what you want. The game was in the hands of the best player on the team right there. That's what you want.
He didn't swing at junk and tap on back to the mound. He did what he was supposed to and it just didn't work out.

How many starts will it take for Harvey to become an official 'Phillies Killer?

I looked quickly and he is scheduled it looks like to have 1 more start against them this year.

So Lee pretty much has to throw a CGSHO, no?

Brown's quote In hindsight I shouldn't have swung at the pitch,it was out of the strike zone.

***repost***Painful, painful loss yesterday. Hard to believe if Hamels pitches to a .500 record, this team would have 4 more wins and be nipping at the Braves.

It's really tragic how the smallest irritation reduces Hamels to a puddle of sweaty frustration. I know that it's "uber-fashionalbe" to unambiguously declare that Hamels is a "tough guy", and that his competitiveness can't be questioned, due to a series of well-pitched games. In 2008.

Face it, folks. This team desperately needs a bulldog in the spot in the rotation where Hamels pitches. Instead - in '13 - we have a Shih Tzu.

Citing Dom Brown's swing at a fastball in a 3-0 count yesterday is nuts. Someone mused that Dom is "our best player" right now (a strong case can be made for Utley, too). However, the ability to make a reasonable case for Dom as the best player - with all his defensive shortcomings - speaks volumes about how far the Phillies have fallen from the glory years.

Half my kingdom for a bullpen. This hapless bunch must hammer the Mets today; prompting r00b to be a (hopefully!!) smart buyer at the deadline in order to make a run at the division. Otherwise, a r00b-led rebuild could take us anywhere but up for a very long time.

cut, funny you should say that. I was very close to writing "best offensive player" but I kind of thought it went without saying since we were talking strictly about an offensive situation. When speaking strictly about offense, Dom this year could have been the best player on any number of Phillies teams over the last decade.
Also, the "player X needs to be a bulldog" stuff is pure 1960s sports writer non-sense.

gobay -- a tired cliche to be sure, but why does Cole Hamels have a dozen losses? What a year.

Today's lineup:

Rollins SS
M. Young 3B
Utley 2B
Brown LF
D. Young RF
Frandsen 1B
Mayberry CF
Kratz C
Lee P

Good, we're finally ending that stupid Darin Ruf experiment.

Kratz at C...and Humberto Quintero is on our roster.

Any other attempts to make this decision sane?

Hopefully Lee can find a way to tame this Mets line-up full of all stars.

cut, are you certain that it is "lack of toughness" and not "got a fat contract and doesn't care anymore"?

Serious answer, not making his pitches coupled with some unfortunate luck. He appeared to be throwing too many poorly placed fastballs early in the year and generally everything was up. Also he had a run of poor support and some defensive meltdowns.
I don't mean to make excuses. He has had a very off year. But to look at his W-L record and come to the conclusion that he has pitched that bad is silly.
Hopefully this start is just a hiccup on what had looked like a season turning around.

"I know that it's "uber-fashionalbe" to unambiguously declare that Hamels is a "tough guy", and that his competitiveness can't be questioned, due to a series of well-pitched games. In 2008."

You're re-writing history. Hamels didn't start to shed his "mentally weak" reputation until the last three years. He was still being criticized in 2008 and especially 2009 and 2010.

Iceman: "this team must be the luckiest in history"

I don't know about luckiest in history, but I bet they have the worst run differential of a .500 team this late into a season.

* one of the worst

"I don't know about luckiest in history, but I bet they have the worst run differential of a .500 team this late into a season."

I believe (after 26 secs. of looking at it) that the 2012 Orioles had a run differential of -59 after 98 games and a record of 51-47.

Only a year ago, on this date, the O's stood 50-44 with a -45 RD, while Cleveland was 47-47 with a -46 RD. I don't think it's terribly uncommon. Nor do I think it's particularly reflective of this team's true ability. I think it's reflective of a very bad bullpen which has given up a ton of runs late in the game -- the vast majority of which came in games we were going to lose anyhow. Considering that we've been a .500 team over the last 260 games, I'm gonna go out on a limb & say that our .500 record is a better indicator of our true ability than our Pythagorean record.

Cleveland, by the way, ended up 68-94 with a -178 RD last year, so they really were extremely lucky to have that 47-47 record on July 21. Baltimore ended up winning 93 games with a positive RD (albeit only + 7), and they're right back in the playoff hunt again this year. So, while it's generally true that RD is a better predictor of future performance than record, it's clearly not always true. Sometimes RD, itself, can be an anomaly.

I think the 2012 orioles were one of the luckiest teams in mlb history based on pythag.

I think the phils have a bad run diff because their bullpen sucks, their rotation is not good and their offense is not good.

I dont recall facing Harvey that much already.

Helped that the Orioles called up Manny Machado around this time last season.

I'm sure Cody Asche could have that impact if we called him up.

Thanks for shooting down lorecore's dumb comment in about two seconds. So they're the luckiest team since last year. I can live with that.

I usually think of lucky teams as teams which have a huge number of wins in 1-run games, the way the O's did last year (and, yeah, despite what they've done this year, they were obviously pretty lucky last year). The Phillies are actually 10-16 in 1-run games, by my count. They have not been lucky.

After spending the whole year saying that the Phillies suck, I'm not trying to pump them up now. I'm just saying: you really have to put blind faith in the infallibility of sabermetrics to believe that the true Phillies are closer to their Pythag record than their actual record. If you actually watch the games, or even look through the box scores, you'll see a significant number of games which we were going to lose anyhow, which we ended up losing by 8 or 10 runs because of Chad Durbin or Jeremy Horst or Raul Valdes or Phillippe Aumont.

As much as I loathe the Phillies' offense, it's the offense of a .500 team. The starting rotation (even with Hamels having a bad year) is the starting rotation of a .500 or slightly better than .500 team. Even the back of the bullpen (Papelbon, Bastardo, & Adams before he got hurt & started to decline) is about at the level of a .500 team. It's the slop that comprises (and has comprised) the last 4 spots in our bullpen that is overwhelmingly responsible for that -46 RD.

Scott: Let me take a wild guess: he looked great in his bullpen session?

Delmon Young never gets a big hit. He's odds-on to strike out in big spots; it's a win when he makes contact. He's incredibly easy to pitch to.

How does it make sense to not only play him over a kid like Ruf you're trying to develop, but then bat him 5th??? Wouldn't every single informed fan rather have had Mayberry up there with the bases loaded yesterday than him? This isn't a small thing; it's rank incompetence.

I guess we will see. I think two things will happen. The Phillies bullpen will pitch better in the second half. And the Phillies will still be a .500 team.

I know win and losses are not a pitchers 'fault' but Hamels is certainly 'losing' lots of games.

I agree with everything BAP has said in this thread, which means I probably need to pop a Valium.

I'm by no means saying that the team is better than .500 as currently comprised, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why the RD is what it is- they have been in an inordinate amount of games where their AAA bullpen has completely imploded and doubled (or more) the score of the other team. I'm sure slaves of RD will say 'Well duh, that just one of the reasons the team is so bad. It's not the only reason.' But the bullpen has also been responsible for a lot of the losses where they blew a lead that they had late- leads that teams with a good bullpen would've kept.

Basically, the convention wisdom is that if the RD of a team is soundly negative, but the record is .500 or better, that is the underlying sign of a good bullpen. I think in this case, it actually shows how bad of a bullpen this really is. I don't have time to go through the early season games where the bullpen imploded (Durbin, Horst, Valdes), but I'll bet the sum of those runs is as much or more than the current run differential.

Also, and I usually am not a fan of the 'eye test,' but I can't count more than one or two games this year where I've thought, 'Man, this team is lucky they pulled that one out.' It hasn't exactly been a season of good fortune.

Gelb article about how no teams would trade for Papelbon because of his contract and decline in performance.

Shocking. Amaro must be stunned that a 4-year big money contract to a closer in his 30s didn't turn out to be a smart move. I mean, who could've seen it coming?

"Delmon Young never gets a big hit. He's odds-on to strike out in big spots; it's a win when he makes contact. He's incredibly easy to pitch to."

DYak late and close: .653 OPS, 11Ks in 39 ABs
DYak high leverage: .630 OPS, 15Ks in 41 ABs
DYak, innings 7-9: .582 OPS, 15Ks in 63 ABs

As far as today goes, DYak against power pitchers: .423 OPS.

Basically everything bittel said is not only seemingly correct, but statistically correct also.

Since Cholly refuses to start Nix and the Phils don't have another OF on the roster right now, how are the Phils going to rest anybody in the OF?

Not an issue today coming off the ASB and an off-day tomorrow but just wondered.

If RAJ doesn't want to trade him anyway, then is it a dumb move?

Beard - Yes.

I think Raj can trade Papelbon. But Pap is going to have to demonstrate some gas in the next few weeks and Rube is going to have to eat significant money. And he's not going to bring back the stud, near major league ready prospect that people seem to think he will.

This goes along with my earlier thought that most GMs aren't drooling morons who've never watched a baseball game. And yet there is some small hope because we have both Rube and Ed Wade in positions of authority for a major league team. They can't be the only baseball challenged GMs in basball. Can they?

BB: Got to get indignant about something.

I appreciate that cut fastball has adjusted his Hamels stinks theory from "doesn't make the team feel good about themselves" to "He isn't a bulldog."

As for why he has so many losses. Some of it has been clunker games. But look at some other lines:

April 13th- 6 IP, 1 ER- Lost 2-1 to Miami

April 23rd- 8 IP, 2 ER- Lost 2-0 to Pittsburgh

May 4th- 8 IP, 2 ER- Lost 2-0 to Miami

May 9th- 6 IP, 2 ER- Lost 2-1 to Arizona

May 20th- 6 IP, 2 ER- lost 5-1 to Miami

June 11th- 6 IP, 2 ER- Lost 3-2 to Minnesota

A 2.48 ERA and no wins in any of those game to show for it. In fact, as far as decisions in those games he is 0-4

It's almost as if a pitcher's win/loss record tells you next to nothing about how he's pitched.

Very happy to have some time off today to catch Havery vs. Lee. A fantastic Sunday afternoon matchup.

Fat - Me too although I need to run some errands later. This is the kind of game I wish I was in person at and had pretty decent seats behind home plate even if up a level.

Fat: Who is this guy Havery? Is he the spawn of Matt Harvey & Joe Savery?

I'll probably only see the first hour -- or 90 minutes if I'm lucky. But I'll catch the Matt Harvey no-hitter highlights on Baseball Tonight.

BAP, yes. And he's really inconsistent. He'll fan 10 in a row, then walk the bases loaded, and serve up a grand slam.

Fat: Yeah, it's like creating a race horse by mixing the genes of Secretariat & Mr. Ed.

Odds that Utley's hand is broken?

Fat - It wouldn't surprise me if he has a hairline fracture. At the very least, he is going to have a severe bruise.

New to the board. Getting a chance to check out the Phillies in NJ with family.
Anybody from the Seminole County, Florida on here?
How do you watch the games at home?

Phlorida: It's like $110 a year -- although, at this point, it would probably be cheaper to just get it by month.

Thanks to TTI and Fata -- I completely forgot that all that counts is statistics. Who cares if you can't deliver for your club? We'll be fine. I'm bloody well sure Hamels will have sub-4.00 ERA in all his losses. We win! We win!

The SOB is being paid $153mm over 7 years to win flippin' baseball games. "Close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. You fellers just permanently etched the idiocy of Sabermetrics into the hallowed halls of Beerleaguer for years to come.

Did you take note that Kendrick has 9 wins? Maybe he wants to win a little more than Mr. Hamels. Lord knows it appears the team often picks Kendrick up over his rough patches, which is more than you can say for Cole Hamels.

Lee is really hitting his spots early on.Missed a bit with Murphy, but so far, living around the paint.

That's what I get.

Ugh, this bullpen is the worst.

I loathe David Wright solely because he plays for the Mets.

Bay Area Phan thanks. Is a way to see it on TV? My monitor is no way big enough.

Don't even know why I'm watching this game.

Lee was pretty terrible in his last 2 starts before the break & he wasn't good in the AS game either. I fear we're in the middle of one of his annual rough patches.

Yeah that pitch was horrible, can't be doing that against the one guy you don't want to let hurt you

They moved the wall in so they could have a "Party City Deck"?


Still watching CS

Phlorida, there are means where you can port things on your computer out to your TV. I use an HDMI cable, running from one of my video cards, but there are other methods, too, that don't require a video card with an HDMI out port.

So are we sellers again?

Yep. Bad Cliff Lee again.

This looks familiar. I should be grateful since I'm at work and shouldn't be watching the game with the amount of work I need to accomplish before I go home.

Cliff is making me rethink the effort required to do that. I will definitely check it out when I move back down.

Did the Mets' announcers seriously just suggest that Marlon Byrd could be NL Comeback Player of the Year? Somehow I don't think that award was intended to reward players who missed the previous year because they were caught juicing, and who "bounce back" while under investigation for continued juicing.

I wish that I couldn't believe Delmon Young was still the starting RF for this team.

But sadly, I can absolutely believe it. Par for the course for this front office.

Is the usual Jack?

I can't remember the last starter who just made this Phils' lineup look so completely inept as Harvey has done for the past year.

More shocking? That Delmon Young is still our starting right-fielder or that Humberto Quintero (career OPS+ 62) still has a roster spot even with Kratz back?

I vote the latter.

BAP - Easily the later. If Kratz can catch, why the hell the are the Phils carrying 3 catchers including a guy who is a terrible career hitter?

Amaro does things on roster management during the season since he has become GM that are completely baffling. Wish the beat reporters would be a bit tougher on him about that issue.

I think Amaro may be on vacation and he just didn't get around to replacing Quintero before he left. He'll take care of it tomorrow, I'm sure.

MG: I don't know--I think the beat writers this season have been as critical as you'll ever see.

Gelb and Murphy in particular have both bascially called out the front office many, many times.

You'll never see beat reporters openly call out the team--one, because they need everyday access, and two, because they're not columnists. It's not their job to write opinion pieces.

But if you read between the lines, you can get a sense of what they think. And those two in particular have made it pretty clear they don't think the team is very well run.

Jack - That's a fair point.

I fear they will need to tip their caps to Harvey...

Harvey may throw a 90-pitch no-hitter today.

The Phillies should just leave their bats in the dugout. It's just professional courtesy to not make Harvey work harder than he has to, if he's going to no-hit you anyhow.

This is going to be a quick one.

This might be over with Harvey on mound. Looks our 2 ace LH pitchers have checked out. Sell, sell, sell. The fans will get over it.

Credit to Harvey for having a plan and sticking with it against this team. He has fantastic fastball command and knows that all you need to do if you have a plus fastball is pump strikes against these guys and get ahead in the count. It's nothing fancy.

Worst case is they foul a few off and they're buried in the count, subjected to his array of breaking stuff in a 2-strike count.

I don't blame the team at all. They simply can't hit guys like this anymore. The numbers bear that out. They won't hit Harvey until they get new players.

Phils don't have a spot on their 40-man roster but would it really be a big deal if they moved a guy like Robles or Collier off it? Can't see either guy being claimed especially Collier with his horrendous season at Reading.

Besides Gillies/Collier, the only other positional players on the 40-man roster are Galvis, Hernandez, and Valle.

Why Cholly would start Frandsen over Ruf against Harvey is utterly beyond me. Not that I think Ruf has much chance against Harvey, but neither does Frandsen; at least Ruf has a chance to run into one.

Wow, Harvey is already 1/3 of the way to a no hitter :)

Shame that Lee grooved that fastball right down the middle of the plate to Byrd. Lee looks like has started to settle in and this Mets' lineup sucks.

Tough dilemma -- walk away from another loss and salvage part of the day, or keep watching the no hitter.

Iceman: "I don't blame the team at all. They simply can't hit guys like this anymore. The numbers bear that out. They won't hit Harvey until they get new players."

This is generally how I feel about the team, overall.

When Amaro says stuff like "guys just need to play better," he's just full of it. The team is playing, for the most part, exactly how you would expect them to play. Unless your expectations are based off the numbers on the back of their baseball cards from 2007.

I guess we're witnessing how the Phils would fare in a one game playoff.

Wow, someone is ahead in the count.

Only way the Phils are going to touch Harvey today is either with a HR or with some Mets' defensive follies.

"Unless your expectations are based off the numbers on the back of their baseball cards from 2007."

With Rube, that could very well be!

Harvey does have a 2.21 ERA at home this year in 11 GS and a 2.13 ERA in 15 GS.

Harvey pretty much has dominated everyone at home so far. Only 2-4 in those 15 GS though because of the pathetic run support he has gotten.

All he's doing is throwing fastballs right by them, painting the corners and overpowering them. What are you going to do?

I normally don't buy into the early no-hitter talk on BL, but today there is a real sh...


LA - 'Just as I suspected Harvey doesn't have no-hit stuff today'

I love his deadpan humor at times.

Why Charlie do you plug Frandsen at 1B when he is a better fielder at 3B then Young.

Come on Jack, 2007 was only six years ago. How much can change in six years?

Phils will definitely see Harvey again too at Citibank field during a 4-game series (Aug 26-29)

Delmon Young being behind Brown puts a damper on any rally hopes I had here.

Brown needs to start cheating on his swing against this guy if he's going to swing for the fences. It's not like his swing is slow, and some of these fastballs he's getting are right down the heart of the plate.

Mets are going to have some pretty damn good pitching over the next few years with Harvey, Wheeler, and Syndegaard.

I don't think there's any question that they need to be guessing pitches and swinging for the fences. It's pretty clear we're not going to be stringing a lot of hits together against this guy, and it's pretty clear we're not going to chase him out of the game early.

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