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Saturday, April 05, 2014


So I guess the splitting lefties in the lineup only comes against left-handed starters?

Seems like it misses the point about relief pitchers, though I suppose it makes a little sense against a righty starter.

I think asche's been decent enough to warrant a slightly higher spot in the order. If the wind was calmer yesterday, his OF hit would've gone out.

Jack: It does miss the point. I guess moving Howard to 5th against a LH starter could be of benefit if, for instance, it results in Byrd coming up (instead of Howard) with 2 outs & men on base. But the main reason you split the lefties is to punish the opposing manager if he brings in a LOOGY later in the game. That rationale applies regardless whether there's a RH or LH starter on the mound for the opposing team.

But what about Ryan Howard's 130 OPS+ vs. LHP so far in 2014? #bouncebackyear

what a catch !!

Proof once again PED right fielder> antisemitic right fielder

Good to see Cliff enjoying the hitting again~!

I'm guessing that defense will play strongly again in this inning.

Nice Ab by Howard again. Lots of deep counts.

Howard popping them to left for a hit. I like this. (instead of a SO).

"Hit" is a very dubious term, as he'd've been out had Lake managed to keep control of the ball.

But nice to see them pocket a run when the opportunity presented itself.

How CAN'T the neighborhood play be reviewable? The bag is touched, or not.

Can Nieves hit to the right side. Daggum, Howard and Brown go to left and with 1 out Nieves hits into a DP. I learned more about challenging a play from Franzke in the last 1/2 inning than I read from anything on line. He studies this game.

The history and spirit of the game, blah blah blah

Howie Wowie.

"Hit" is a very dubious term, as he'd've been out had Lake managed to keep control of the ball.

To be fair to Howard, that would haw been a pretty tough catch to make.

Oh yes. Howard did his job. But so did Lake, as he did have the ball until he rolled over his glove and it popped out. I think the real hero of the play was Chase Utley, who was smart enough on the basepaths to not go trotting back to first when Lake dived and appeared to catch it.

@bittel that cam't be a neighborhood play by definition. That was a joke. If that was reviewable, through five games Sandberg is making Chollie look like a managing genius.

Nice hit.

Another SB for Benny...lookin good so far.

Of course an even average throw would have nailed him there.

Shame Rollins can't play defense any longer.

Nice play Jimmy.

Great pick by Rollins, he ought to wear ear flaps all the time.

Washed up!!!

Gotta make that play, Cody.

Seeing-eye garbage costing Lee pitches (hopefully not runs).

That Rollins has seemed to overperform the pessimists' expectations of him has been a pleasant surprise, at least defensively. It'd be nice if that nice turn-and-throw wasn't karmic redemption for chasing that high heater to end the past inning.

Here's to Rollins. He knows.

I think I've already had enough of video review, managers' challenges, and talk by the announcers of reviews and challenges. It's an unwelcome further step towards NFL-levels of tedium in baseball.

Sometimes the BABIP Gods smile...

Kinda surprising that Nieves is above Asche in the lineup

I know George Kottaras was cut by...whoever he signed with. Is he still available? At least he'd be a back-up C that could get on-base. (Of course, he's a defensive butcher, but if it'd spare us another Wil Nieves PA, I could learn to live with that!)

I thought for a moment that the sound was messed up on my iPad because I couldn't hear the announcers...then I realized that I had switched over to the Cubs broadcast and they weren't constantly talking the entire time.

Jeff Samardzija, remember that name.

Nasty cutter by Clifton

Pre Achilles Howard easily makes that catch.

Not a good defensive game here from Howard.

Howard probably can jump a good 2-3 inches off the ground.

Just nasty by Lee there for the K!

Well it wasn't other-worldly by Lee today ... but it was workmanlike effective for seven innings.

Utley is fun to watch when he's locked in.

300 career doubles now for Chase.

Why not PH with RFD here?

Chances of a grand slam?

Great AB by Dom there to work the walk...good to see him being so patient.

While NEPP says a bad bullpen can only cost you a couple of wins per season, facts tell us otherwise.

No they don't actually...which is why you never cite any when making comments like that.

Also since when is a 10 game difference equal "a couple games"?

NIEVES and Rupp need to trade places.

Rupp is just as bad offensively as Nieves...

NEPP: Go through every game last season and check off the games in which a bullpen pitcher gave up what proved to be the winning run to the other team. I stopped counting in the low 20s.

Now go doth at for every other team in baseball ad see what you find. Then go compare our offense to those teams to see if some of them scored runs during those bullpen innings neutralize a bullpen run scored.

Hint: EVERY bullpen gives up the winning run of a game in a fair number of games, even the best.

So if Diekman gives up 3 runs, according to you, the bullpen is fine, it's on the offense. Moronic.

You're basically arguing that a bullpen should be expected to give up zero runs and that the offense should never be expected to score runs while their bullpen is pitching and they already have the lead.

It's a silly pointless argument to make when it is so far removed from reality.

Do you have any more straw left after that straw man you just posted?

It's Crapelbon time!!!

NEPP: Yet that is exactly what you're saying. offense was weak so if bullpen blows this game, it's on the offense. Please tell me how that is not perfectly in synch with what you've been posting for 2 seasons now.

Remember everyone, if Paplbon blows this gae, it's not his fault. It's the offense.

Perhaps BOTH the offense and bullpen would share the blame for the loss? Perhaps it's not happening in a vacuum, eh?

Putting Papelbon in here is the right move. Sandberg can't tell Paps he's lost faith in him because he blew one game. He also had a 1-2-3 9th in game 1.

For example, if we jumped out to a 1-0 Lead in the first and then lost 2-1 after the bullpen gave up the winning run in the 12th, under your scenario that's a "loss attributable to the bullpen" when in reality the team lost for a number of reasons and not just because of the bullpen.

Reaching back to hit 90mph...he really needs to learn how to be a pitcher if this is the new reality for him, no more just blowing it by guys.

2 down so far...looking good

NEPP: Just as you would blame the offense exclusively.

Ok 2 down. Pap still stinks.

No, actually I wouldn't...I'd say they lost as a I always do when that crap happens

Sitting 89-90 and touching 91.

That won't work against a good offense


NEPP you're 100% right that Paps has to learn how to pitch if 90 mph is where his fastball's sitting all year.

He'd need a much better off speed pitch and far better location/movement to be consistently successful with that.

That's Paptastic!

If Papelbon throws 90 MPH but hits his spots like he just did in that inning, he'll still be miles better than everyone else in the Phillies' pen.

89-91 yuck. Scrubs are hitting 3-4 foul balls off him. He's getting it done today on luck and little else.

Bonifacio swings at everything. Papelbon was too close to the plate on those other pitches.

I have to def admit I was totally nervous with Papelbon pitching.

Let's keep it going Phils!

Lee is the ultimate gamer. Great game. Win on the road and the Phillies win into the 80's.

"Bonifacio swings at everything. Papelbon was too close to the plate on those other pitches."

Perhaps, but there was pretty good movement on those pitches.

Good win all the same. Win tomorrow and life is good.

I'd much rather see him locate well at 89-91 than reach back to hit 92 with zero command like hes been doing.

So, that makes the Phils 3-2 on the year. When was the last time they had a for-reals winning record? It's been a while, in any case.

Clout = Vizzini from The Princess Bride

Just for the record.

Gobaystars, a 1-2-3 inning where Paps threw 13 strikes and 5 balls is better than just luck. Granted the Cubs don't have a good lineup, but they did get to Lee for 10 hits and are major league players.

Pennant Fever!

Papelbon looked like an MLB pitcher today. He didn't look like an elite closer who should be making $13 million a season but he was effective at least.

He's getting paid to pitch like Craig Kimbrel but, if we're really lucky, he might be Chris Perez or Huston Street going forward.

If we're lucky.

Well-played, clean game for the most part. Would be happy with a 4-2 trip even with all of the "if's."

If we can get an effective Hamels back soon, we could at least has a punchers chance this year.

If they get starting pitching like the most recent five games (after opening day) then Hamels can take his time. Of course, that's a big if.

Anyone have an opinion on Ryne not having someone warming up behind Papelbon today? I would have definitely had Bastardo or Hollands up in the pen just in case. Or is it more important to stroke Paps' ego?

He pitched well, but the fact that Sandberg had to use Pap just to demonstrate that he hasn't lost faith in him is yet another problem with the imaginary position of "closer".

The existence of a "closer" means that decisions will be repeatedly made that put strategy second and ego/tradition first. And these decisions benefit nothing other than the future salary of the closer, whose agent will argue that pitching a scoreless 9th is worth millions of dollars more than pitching a scoreless 8th.

"He pitched well, but the fact that Sandberg had to use Pap just to demonstrate that he hasn't lost faith in him is yet another problem with the imaginary position of 'closer.'"

I agree with you in principle but, putting aside the whole silliness of the closer "position," Papelbon belonged in the game because, lost velocity notwithstanding, he's still our best reliever by a considerable margin. One bad game didn't change that.

Full tilt boogie! Shutdown Clifton today.

I'm very happy that I made no predictions this year. Jus think if good Cole comes back in May, all pitches in full force, and KK stays "good KK" all year. It would be such a thrill to see the Phils, Braves, Marlins and Gnats battle it out down to the wire.

And, yes, one more Division title from these geezers; aka the Fightin' Phils. What a champange-soaked monstrosity that clincher would generate. A guy can dream, no?

Must. Sweep. Cubs.

I agree, Rally Red. I'm already dreaming about the October articles celebrating the heroics of an aging team that everyone had abandoned before the season even began.

Even if it's just for another week or two, it feels good to know that we're still in the running and things are looking hopeful.

Papelbon didn't overthrow today and got ahead of hitters. That is what he is going to have to do this year including pitching to contact. Hopefully he'll get ahead of enough hitters where he'll be able to work in his splitter/slider to get more groundouts and Ks.

Biggest issue isn't even the 89-90 vs 92-93. It is that his splitter is inconsistent and he doesn't trust it as sin out pitch when he needs a strike. On days where he isn't really hitting his spots he is going to have trouble getting out unscathed. Ditto putting away hitters especially those who are good at fouling off/solid plate coverage. Easily see Papelbon having a lot of 25+ pitch outings thus year because he can't put away hitters with 2 strikes.

Hamels has had some crappy Aprils. So the question is, will he skip his crappy month, or will it just be delayed to May?

I checked his monthly stats. His career OPS against drops every month until rising slightly in sept./oct.

Cliffie has poster 2 W's right out of the gate.

The way he seems snake bitten to get the W some years, this has to be a welcome change.

Just imagine someone now getting the 27 wins that Carlton posted on a crappy team.
Different game than it was then.

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