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Thursday, June 19, 2014

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Philadelphia Phillies

Best Opposing Pitcher: Whit Wyatt

You remember Wyatt from his supremacy of the Braves, but it turns out he was even (marginally) better against the Phillies. His 1.54 ERA is the lowest of anyone with 100 or more innings against the Phillies, and he's one of only nine pitchers to put up a sub-2.00 ERA against the Phils.

Notes: Coming in after that are probably-shouldn't-be-Hall-of-Famer Bruce Sutter, should-be-and-is-Hall-of-Famer Steve Carlton, and John Tudor who was kind of tall. Carlton, you'll recall, pitched most of his career with the Phillies, but he came up with the Cardinals and was dealt to Philadelphia at the age of 26 in the biggest reverse lock deal of all time. It was a deal that proved the Cardinals don't always make the right moves and the Phillies don't always make huge painful mistakes. It just seems like it.

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/80480904/mlb-best-pitchers-vs-teams-randy-johnson-roger-clemens-sandy-koufax?partnerId=ed-8334225-658620023#!00wD8

Slightly edited repost.

Bizarre factoid:

Howard leads the Phils with 7 IBBs

Utley is second, with 5 IBBs

I believe all five of Utley's BBs occurred in order to get to pitch to Howard (could be wrong about this, but I'm sure of three of them). It has to be quite rare that the person with the second-most IBBs on a team has been IBBed mostly in order to pitch to the most-IBBed person on the team.

For comparison's sake, Anthony rizzo has 6 IBBs, Paul Goldschmidt 5 IBBs, Matt Adams 3, Laroche 3, Freddie Freeman 2. Howard's number are on pace with his recent full season averages.

Small sample this season, but not tiny, and sure other factors play in, but this would seem to support that there are quite varying assessments of Howard's current abilities.

bittel - If it is a LHP on the mound, Howard should never be IBB at this point any more especially if Byrd is hitting in the #5.

If I were an opposing manager, I would never IBB Howard at this point either unless it is a RHP starter Howard has absolutely mauled in his career.

Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN)
Cody Asche appears to be on field in St Louis taking early BP with Phillies. At least I think that's him from this nosebleed press box

Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN)
That is Asche here in St Louis

clout: Not to drag out a day-old thread, but I'm curious -- what decides a short series? Just want you to answer on record.

Lineup, David Buchanan v. Shelby Miller:

Rollins
Ruiz
Utley
Howard
Byrd
Brown
Mayberry
Brignac

Cards always take away the Phillies momentum. We are going good, but St Louis steals the way. Shoot the Squirrels!

Unikruk: "Not to drag out a day-old thread, but I'm curious -- what decides a short series? Just want you to answer on record."

You planning a lawsuit?

Can anyone find the stats for the bullpen since May 1? At the risk of jinxing it, they've actually been pretty good I feel like. Like, really good.

The irony is that they turned around right at the point at which even the most longstanding bullpen apologists, such as myself, had finally given up and declared it a lost cause.

Phils opened at +185 tonight and have dropped bigtime to +150.

Suckers just taking what is a really high MLB line, a secret army of Buchanan believers, or Phils' recent hot streak got a little juice going there way?

Sandberg pulling a Cholly and not messing with the lineup mojo including leaving Brignac at 3B tonight.

Actually a very sensible lineup too and the one the Phils should be using move regardless when Chooch is in the lineup.

Chooch only gets to bat that high when one or more of Revere/Rollins/Utley is out

No, clout, thought I might learn something. True/False critiques don't help in that regard.

It's also possible that we're thinking along similar lines and using different terminology.

Stark's latest on the Phils and the trading deadline:

"They're not open for business yet. And they've just reeled off seven wins in their last nine games, to climb back into quasi-contention. But with a team that ranks 26th* in the big leagues in OPS, ranks 20th in opponent OPS and faces a killer schedule between now and the deadline, this front office is realistic enough to guess where this is heading.

So clubs that have spoken with the Phillies say they've already indicated they're likely to listen on just about everybody on a roster that's still populated by big names from the fading glory years. But ...

"Look at their trade chips," said an NL executive. "Even if they blow it up, dangle [Cole] Hamels and dangle all these other guys, each one of those guys has some reason it will be hard for them to get back what they want."

Chase Utley? He'd be the best position player on this market. And with a reasonable contract (with a series of $15 million vesting one-year options, from 2016-18, based on health), he'd bring the best return. But he has to approve any deal. And multiple teams have told us the Phillies have acted highly unmotivated to deal him. "They're not going to trade Utley," said one exec, flatly. "That's not happening."

Cliff Lee? Tough man to trade right now for anything substantial. Hasn't thrown a pitch in four weeks because of elbow inflammation. Will have at least $50 million left on his contract at the deadline (and a vesting option for 2016 that could inflate that to $62.5 million). "So much money, and he's injured," said one exec. "No one's going to take a chance on his health, with those kinds of dollars on the line, and they'll want you to give up your best [young] players."
[+] EnlargeJimmy Rollins
Mitchell Leff/Getty ImagesNow that he's the Phillies' all-time hits leader, maybe Jimmy Rollins will accept a trade.

Jonathan Papelbon? On one hand, he's only been scored on twice in his last 26 appearances (0.69 ERA, .178 opponent average, .189 opponent SLG in that span). On the other hand, he's the highest-paid closer in baseball ($13 million a year through next year, with a $13 million vesting option for 2016). "And teams just aren't willing to pay big money for closers anymore," said one exec. "And the other thing with him is, let's face it. It's not like you'd be bringing him in to be a leader in your bullpen."

Jimmy Rollins? Having a bounceback year at age 35. And he'd be energized by the chance to win. But he can veto any deal. Teams are convinced he'll want his $11 million vesting option guaranteed for next year (though he'll probably vest it anyway). And he'll be picky about where he'd be willing to go. "So at this point," said one of the execs quoted earlier, "they might as well just keep him and Utley and celebrate that they're lifetime Phillies and tell their fans to just go out and see them play."

One fellow whom other teams think might be their best bet to get traded is Domonic Brown, whom the Phillies wouldn't mind swapping for another young change-of-scenery candidate. But beyond that, the Phillies will be selling "all old guys with big contracts," said one AL exec. "So who's going to take those guys?"

The Phillies also can't bring themselves to follow the Astros, Cubs or even 76ers models and go into scorched-earth, start-from-scratch mode: "They'd like to rebuild," said an exec of one team that's spoken with them. "But what they want to do is move veterans for younger, productive major league players or top-line prospects who are close. They can't say to their fan base, `We're going to rebuild, and we'll see you in three years.' It's more like a half-rebuild. And that's going to be tough to pull off, with what they're selling."

But whether they can pull it off or not, we'll be spending many waking rumor-filled hours talking about the Phillies between now and July 31. We can guarantee that."

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11105021/rays-phillies-cubs-mlb-most-prominent-trade-targets

Actually pretty clear from what Montgomery said earlier this week that the team is focusing on '16 & he referenced it several times in the press conference even if no one in the Phils' FO will use the words 'rebuild.'

'Half-rebuild' is a pretty accurate phrase for summing it up and one the Phils may be forced into because they can't move pieces to get value in return. Problem is that leaves them in limbo this year and next year too as they work through some bad and/or backloaded contracts and possibly leaves them a bit lower in the draft (8-12 spot) instead of the Top 5 where they have much better odds of getting a real difference maker.

Unikruk: "Not to drag out a day-old thread, but I'm curious -- what decides a short series? Just want you to answer on record."

You planning a lawsuit?

Posted by: clout | Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 04:57 PM

"Look at their trade chips," said an NL executive. "Even if they blow it up, dangle [Cole] Hamels and dangle all these other guys, each one of those guys has some reason it will be hard for them to get back what they want."
******
Go back to the last three Junes, you'll find this same quote basically. Always trying to drive the price down.

Almost hope that they do crap out this summer, move a few pieces, finish with a Top 5 pick next year and in '15, hope they nail their top picks (ala '97 JD Drew #2 overall & '98 Burrell #1 overall) & find some other useful complementary picks, and by '17 really start to turn things around with a few pieces in place (Crawford/Franco/1-2 others) and a promising pipeline.

I just felt a tingle in my battery-throwing arm. Did someone mention JD Drew?

@Jack: Bullpen

April/Mar: 4.84 ERA, 1.318 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 3.5 BB/9
May: 3.35 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 5.2 BB/9
June: 2.60 ERA, 0.867 WHIP, 11.0 K/9, 2.4 BB/9

"And teams just aren't willing to pay big money for closers anymore."


I can think of one team that would.

Too bad Roob doesn't work for somebody else. We could trade Pap there.

    Unikruk: "Not to drag out a day-old thread, but I'm curious -- what decides a short series? Just want you to answer on record."

    You planning a lawsuit?

    Posted by: clout | Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 04:57 PM

Thanks, clout. I laughed out loud when I read this! Ya think some of the other chest-beaters and bomb-throwers might adopt a sense of humor. What's funny here is usually on an adult level and pretty sophisticated, too.

From day 1, I've stated or believed opinions are like a88holes. Everybody has one.

Regardless of the reason for the dismal march down playoff mediocrity lane - I've never seen such rationalization from Beerleaguer posters except at an anti-AA meeting - the fact remains it's a GD shame this core only has one ring.

Makes me sick to think about it. And if this level of young talent is ever again assembled, better management is absolutely mandatory - top to bottom.

A sensible lineup, indeed -- with Revere on the pines the Phils are on a 99-win pace vs. 65 wins when he starts.

If Revere ever gets back in the lineup he should be hitting 8th and given the take when he's ahead in the count until he has 2 strikes, since he gets pretty much all fastballs anyway and has only 8 non-singles in 242 ABs or a 3.3% probability of getting an extra-base hit. Revere is hitting .231 on 1-0 or 2-0 counts. Wiith 6 walks in 252 PAs, his walk rate is a pathetic 2.4%. Maybe he'd at least get some walks if he'd have to take more pitches.

It is a damn shame that this core only earned one ring (also that Halladay didn't get one). But look on the bright side - At least we did get one WS ring. That's more than the Cubs and Astros can say about their most recent past postseason appearances.

Corey Seidman ‏@CoreySeidman 15m
Big for Phils RT @AdamRonis: The #Cardinals are skipping Michael Wacha's next start. Carlos Martinez will start Sunday.

Corey Seidman ‏@CoreySeidman 14m
Means that not only will Phils not face Wacha, but likely won't have to deal with Martinez out of pen in first 3 games

Jim Salisbury ‏@JSalisburyCSN 32m
Sandberg said Asche would be activated tomorrow

Weitzel - - Forgot to say, thank you for the new series thread.

Corey Seidman ‏@CoreySeidman 15m
Big for Phils RT @AdamRonis: The #Cardinals are skipping Michael Wacha's next start. Carlos Martinez will start Sunday.

Corey Seidman ‏@CoreySeidman 14m
Means that not only will Phils not face Wacha, but likely won't have to deal with Martinez out of pen in first 3 games


So that means they only lose Saturday's game where they have no chance of putting up anything against Wainwright. Not to mention there will be no scoring for Cole Hamels as usual. Forfeit that one to SL and take the day off.

Crap. Damn central time game.

Unikruk: I'd say that in any short series luck is 70% determinant with a number of factors making up the remaining 30% including talent, managerial decisions, hot streak and experience.

With Buchanan pitching tonight, there's a good chance of losing. He gave up three HRs to the Cubs last time out.

Burnett v. Garcia is also a good chance of being a loss. Garcia nearly always seems to handle the Phillies, and Burnett will give up at least a few runs, if not more. Cardinals are always a patient and good hitting team - - I presume such is the case again this year.

Where do "Playing the game the right way", "Wanting it more", "Hustle", "Knowing how to win", "Team chemistry", "Fire in the belly", etc. factor in? Are those in the 70% or 30%?

MG: You do recall what happened with that #1 draft pick in which the Phils chose Drew, don't you? When he didn't sign, the Phils were awarded a sandwich pick the following year in exchange. That used that pick to select Eric Valent.

How'd that work out?

Cyclic: Don't forget "heart." You gotta have heart.

All you really need is heart.

I disagree.

Anyone out there willing to see his soul for a long-ball hitter?


* * * *

I just watched the reel of all the outs (and the one man on via a Ramirez error) in Kershaw's no-hitter last night. Impressive. Dominant like Doc in his.

Um, I meant to type "sell his soul" not "see his soul". Talk about ruining the joke.

Well that was a very efficient top of the first.

Yep. Nine pitches.

Well, ten, but yeah.

Was it 10? I scrolled through in fast forward, must have missed it.

At least Buchanan had a similarly efficient inning.

Had to get Holliday out twice. Can't believe that one pitch was called a ball.

Angel Hernandez is to umpiring as Revere is to center field defense...

Nice patience Dom. Geez.

Have you seen me?

> Cardinals are always a patient and good hitting team - -
> I presume such is the case again this year.

Interestingly enough, the Cardinals are tied for OPS+ with the Phillies and Braves at 90 (lg avg is 94).

Well, maybe we have a chance, then, Dickie. Maybe.

When im gone and my replacement comes (Gwynn) you be clamoring for my return...

I thought when we saw the camera angle from behind 2B, it looked as though Jimmy was safe. I wonder why the Phillies didn't challenge? I suppose they want to save it for later.

1st and 3rd nobody out. Predictions?

Beatin' dat' shift.

This could be interesting. Miller can get rattled at times.

JMJ puts a good swing on a RHP. Nice.

May be a naive question but I'm old, at least in the eyes of the people who call me sir:

Does anyone keep players' results like batting average or pitching stats by home plate umpire? Seems at least as relevant as whether the pitcher is the opposite hand.

I believe there's a site that records results by umpire, but I don't think they allow sorting by player - or possibly even individual game.

Buchanan keeping the ball down well tonight. Pleasant surprise.

61 through 4. Another pleasant surprise.

It's always nice to have a shutdown inning by our pitcher after we score. Glad Chooch, Utley, and Howard came through.

Oh crud.

Great. Brignac hurt himself.

Good thing Asche's coming back tomorrow, I guess. That is seriously terrible.

Oh dear lord. Dont watch that again. That looked bad.

Looked like the ankle. Yeah, that's an ankle. Well, there goes our only mildly-quality UTI.

Ouch! Hate to see stuff like that.

I can't tell if he unintentionally slid by taking such a big step trying to beat the throw, or whether he would have done better to just run through.

He definitely would have done better to run through.

I think he was caught halfway between trying to take a wide stride and trying to slide, and he hit the bag at just the wrong angle.

God I love chooch. Such a gamer.

Nice inning. Buchanan's best outing.

70 through 5. Solid.

Who doesn't love Chooch?

Did you see that as Brignac headed into the tunnel, Chooch got someone to hand him a towel that he then draped over Brignac's shoulders? I thought that was a nice gesture.

Big Piece!!

Dont want to get too crazy just yet, but watching these hrs from Howard opposite field is encouraging.

Albert who??

The one time I wanted TMac to yell 'Oppo boppo!'

Him yelling at Buchanan to cover was priceless.

Feeling nostalgic after Howard goes deep in game 1 vs St Louis, following a road sweep of Atlanta

Wow. A Matt Rizzotti reference. He was the guy all of BL was clamoring for back in 2011. Monster minor league numbers. He'd destroy MLB pitching if only given the chance.

What's he up to these days?

Hittin weather.

If Phillies beat the Cardinals its because the Cardinals are a bad team.

I was going to politely respond with a word of thanks to clout for his civil answer, but I'm not very sure that the underlined and non-underlined clout are the same person.

Oh well. Go Phils.

To the pitcher?

I hope someone's warming up in the 'pen in case the wheels fall off.

A 4-0 lead is not sitting well with me right now.

Unikruk: It's hard to tell because the gutless troll has posted under my handle both on Typepad and off. But, yeah, it was the real me.

Nice work kid.

Key in this game is Buchanan's command of his changeup. He's locating it perfectly.

So far: 6 innings, 3 hits, 0 BB, 0 runs, 80 pitches. Very well done, Buchanan!

I keep Buchanan in until he gives up 2 baserunners with fewer than 2 outs.

Let Buchanan hit here too and hopefully he gets the bunt down.

Just hope that Sandberg will have someone warming to start the 7th and will pull Buchanan if a runner reaches.

Baseball heaven does the wave.

Cards fans doing the wave down 4-0. Baseball heaven.

They do the wave at every Cards' game (at least the several I attended last year while in STL).

Miller gives up 4 ER in 6 IP and gets a lot of claps. Another annoying thing is that they almost inevitably cheer the departing Cards' starter unless it is a really bad outing.

If you don't want to 'boo' that's fine but you don't applaud mediocrity or worse.

I prefer the wave in baseball heaven over the chop in baseball hell.

Randy Choate's photo is in the baseball dictionary under LOOGY.

His slash line vs. LH hitters in a 14-year career: .194/.274/.273

Moyer doesn't hesitate to correct you repeatedly TMac and nor do Stairs or Schmidt for that matter. Sea change from Wheels and Sarge.

Against a guy like that, it would be reasonable to PH Mini-Mart for Utley.


I prefer the wave in baseball heaven over the chop in baseball hell.

Posted by: Phan | Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM

This!

This Buchanan fellow is as efficient as a Carnot cycle.

I never expected Buchanan to have this good an outing. Cliff who? (Just kidding.)

3rd time through the lineup the Cards hitters just seemed to say 'f@ck it' and just go up there hacking on the 1st pitch to not let Buchanan get ahead of them with 1st pitch fastballs as he has done a lot tonight.

Cliff better come back 100% - or us fans should protest the Phillies medical staff's ineptitude in some ironclad, impossible to ignore way.

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