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Friday, May 28, 2010


Turns out no one in the Phils lineup can actually hit. They just always knew pitch, speed, and location of every pitch thrown based on their use of binoculars at a game once in coors field.

Not one of the most believable scenarios I have ever heard.

You are kidding, right? You cannot be serious in implying that they can't score because they can't steal signs! C'mon now.

Besides, more than one team has accused the Phillies of stealing signs. The Rockies and Dodgers have also complained. Why would they freeze up against the Mets, of all teams, and why now??

And why can't they steal signs? It's part of baseball, you just have to be discreet about it (i.e. don't stand in the open with binoculars).

If you pair the zeros, they kind of look like binocular lens'. Maybe the Phils are sending the league a big up yours in their own unique way.

I'm not even upset about this shutout streak anymore. Almost fascinated by it at this point. Seems impossible.

Here ya go, JW. Tomorrow night's graphic is on me:

Fifty-Five Of Fifty-Six

Also, I'll be expecting our resident intellectual betters to promptly call out JW as a reactionary moron who has never watched an entire baseball game -- let alone a full season -- in his life, as they undoubtedly would to any other poster suggesting part/all of the above. After all, what's good for the goose ...

If I were in a fantasy baseball league, I would definitely try to pick up Chris Volstad between now & tomorrow.

Gtown - Not only is that impolite (you don't insult your host), it would be wrong. JW is more circumspect in his analysis (even if I disagree with it).

Karma, reversion to the mean. It's all the same. The off-break is exactly balanced by the leg-break; the googly by the doosra.

I think Jeff Francoeur said it best in the postgame.

"I hate to be the Marlins." He's right you guys have a great offense and their just going through a funk.

But I will say it doesn't help to have KK on the mound 2m.

Sophist: That one flew right by you, like a pitch past ... well, anyone in a Phillies uniform right now. Thanks for the misdirected scolding, though.

I don't think GTown was insulting the host at all. I think it was just sort of a gentle dig at those who jump all over anyone who rants a little during a miserable slump. GTown's point was: where are these people when our host is the one doing the ranting?

Personally, I love it when jw rants a little. Seems to me part of the whole point of this blog is to do just that &, when an even-keeled guy like jw starts ranting that so-and-so sucks, it makes it harder for the usual suspects to go ballistic when someone else makes the same rant.

BAP - sorry if unclear. "that" was referring to Gtown's apparent expectation that I would call out JW. Not that what Gtown was doing was wrong or impolite.

A bit of good news:

33IP 9ER 11BB 27K 3HR 2.45ERA 1.667WHIP

Those are the numbers for Cole's 5 starts this month. Tonight is the first of those 5 starts the Phillies have lost. Although his WHIP is disconcerting, Hamels has not given up more than 3ER in any of those starts, gave up 2 or less ER in 4 of the 5, & did not surrender a HR in 3 of the 5. Cole had a 5.28ERA by the end of April. It has since dropped to 3.82 on the season. Now if the Phillies can just remember how to hit, their situation ought -- ought -- to be looking pretty good.

sophist: Ah. Got it. Although I'm not sure GTown was specifically talking about you.

Sophist: For what it's worth I was not referring to you, although in retrospect I should have been more aware that you might think so.

This is the second "conspiracy theory" topic of the season, by the way. I can only assume JW throws these out to stir the pot. If any of us actually believe that the Phillies can't score runs because of a lack of stolen signs, we should all pick a new team to follow.

Gtown, Hamels has given up 34 hits and 11 BB in 33 IP this month, yeah? That's not a 1.667 WHIP.

Sophist: You're right. Forgot to carry a number. 1.367. Still a bit higher than it should be for him (Career High was in '09 at 1.400), but a step forward nonetheless.

Edit: 1.364

Grrrrr ... It's not my night for typing.

... or for math. 1.286 in '09 was his high. My point's the same. Also, the stats on Yahoo! Sports are not entirely accurate. From now on I'm gonna stick w/ B-R.

Let's just say Cole is pitching well and leave it at that.

Whats a Phillie season without a bit of phutility? Come october when we are waving the NL pennant around we will look back and laugh. Its all good fodder for JW's next champs book. Hard to believe! by the way is awesome. The best book on the 2008 season and I got 'em all. Thanks JW. Whatever happens they can never take that away from us.

Phillies phorever!!!

I tried to stay up late enough to see the Phillies score a run last night. That went well...Seriously, I'm starting to find it sort of comical and fascinating to watch. Just how long will this go on?

It completely sucks but at the same time its funny. Its so horrendous you just gotta laugh. Especially with all the wise cracks coming from G Town and BAP et al during the game. But in saying all that......please Phils come good next game.

It is no mystery. It is a lot harder to hit when you DON'T know which pitch is coming.

Yup, the Phillies are absolutely gonna be shut out for the rest of the season now that the league has cracked down on their sign stealing.

Who could guess that the knuckleballers were gonna throw knuckleballers without the signs?

All i can say...WTF?

Better now than in Choochtober

Happy I went to bed after the Polanco error. Now, I'm only half-exhausted at work instead of completely exhausted.

Skipped the 9th, went to bed, and missed nothing.

After the weekend, I suppose they'll reveal to us that the entire Phillies team has been on vaca in the Bahamas, and we've been watching the Reading Phillies posing to let them have a little R & R.

One thing everyone's forgetting is that we swept the brewers and scored a ton of runs on them and that was AFTER we were "caught" stealing signs. That argument holds no water...Its a slump and this team has shown in the past that they slump together. Thats the ultimate team - one slumps and they all slump.

Wake me when the NHL playoffs are finished. Till then I pay no attention to the Phillies in their current state. Let's hope the Blackhawks do their best Phiilies impersonation.

You can ascertain the baseball IQ of anyone by simply ascertaining whether they think sign stealing has anything to do with the past week.

JW, I'm hoping your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek.

In the 8 games in between the Colorado series and their current streak of futility, the Phils scored 47 runs, or almost exactly 6 per game. If this shutout stretch was due to their lack of sign-stealing, why were they scoring prolifically in that stretch?

It's just a cold spell. Maybe the worst I've ever seen this team suffer through, but that's all it is.

JW: So what happened at home vs the BoSox? Did we only steal signs on the road according to your opinion?

I am actually heavily pulling for a shutout tonight so the Mets can't claim it had anything to do with them. And then hopefully a torrid pace after that.

oh and JW - I think their shipment of steriods got lost in the mail... that makes more sense than your post.

Might this be the first time the team has felt the need to panic in the last 3 years?

"EFF: Who could guess a knuckleballer would throw a knuckleball without stealing signs"


Perhaps Rollins' presence is more important to this team than any of us realize?

There is the old saying that "speed never slumps." The Phils used to be a great base-stealing team and have lost that this year. Maybe the stretches of futility we've seen in the past weren't quite as bad because they could still rely on their legs to jump-start the offense when necessary, and that is no longer a weapon for them. We always complain that when they don't hit HRs, they don't score; well that may be truer than ever this season.

Whatever happened to Vic, Werth and Utley stealing bags? All 3 are well off their typical numbers even without factoring in Rollins.

Nobody on the team is running (other than Ibanez) and its showing up in the box scores.

How can you say that speed is no longer a weapon for them? Did you see Ibanez burning up the basepaths last night?

Even Howard had 8 steals last year (i believe)...

The whole team has stopped running, and there's no valid explanation for it. A team with speed and power is extremely difficult to shut down. A team with one or the other? Not as much.

Vic seems to have fallen in love with his newfound power stroke and given up on SBs. Werth and Utley just don't seem that interested in stealing bags. From what I've read in the past Lopes usually leaves it up to the runner whether or not to steal, but if I were him or Charlie I'd be ordering them to go at every reasonable opportunity.

Yup, I posted in the previous thread that we've been average under 4 runs per game since binocular-gate, even with all the shutouts. We score 3 or 4 last night we might have salvaged the game.

Does anyone get the feeling that if Jimmy were healthy, he'd have gotten a leadoff HR in one of the last couple games?

He always seems to get that big hit to break the team out of a funk like this.

Since the the baseball gods won't let the Phillies hit in New York, let's go fishing in Florida!

Guys usually steal less bases as the get older. We've invested a lot in players who are getting older. Get used to it. These are the Amaro Phllies.

They'll probably score 14 runs tonight

Primary factors for what has gone wrong of late:

* Rollins is more necessary to the team's offense than previously realized. (Many of us have noted that Rollins makes the team go, but now it seems more apparent than ever.)

* Utley and Ruiz playing hurt. Ruiz somewhat confirmed, Utley a guess.

* Poor fielding. If Dobbs doesn't make the error in the Halliday game, it's still a close game and the offense feels still in it. Once those floodgates open, the offense suddenly feels it's in an inescapable hole and presses. Errors have abounded of late from all parts of the field for the Phils, and that has put them in a hole.

* Collective press mentality. Once the zeroes start piling up, the psychological factor kicks in. I am sure they'll be fine once they explode for 4 or 5 runs here or there -- it will give them their swagger back.

* Target practice. Let's not forget that the Phils are the two-time National League champs, and that every team gets up to play them more than the Phils can possibly get up for their opponents. Beating the Phils is entirely meaningful for every team in the MLB. Only the Yanks have the same meaning for the Phils, psychologically, at this point. Someone needs to step up and be a team captain and motivate this team. It's a spot that has been filled by J. Roll in the past, more indication of why we need him back. He gives us better D, better offense, more speed, and more swagger.

Jack - This is a pretty dramatic drop from 1 season to the next; I would buy the aging thing if it was gradual, but to be 1 of the top teams in baseball to one of the worst in a single season, when most of their players are still in their prime, doesn't make any sense.

It's easy to understand an individual player slumping, but it's impossible to explain a whole team slumping at once.

This will pass but baseball is very tedious to watch right now.

The aging of the team will show up more in down time due to injuries. The Phils have never had any depth, but lack of depth only hurts when the front 8 can't go, which will inevitably be more and more often.

Of course there are those who think playing time for our benchwarmers is a feature, not a bug...

The team needs Rollins, but his absence is not the reason for the slump.
The reason for the slump one knows.

Ryan Howard is certainly worth $25 million a year.

JW, stop being such a donkey.

Yo, new thread

It's called a slump, this team has a few every season. This is no way to draw traffic to your blog. Wait, actually it is. This is the first time I've been here. Good work!

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