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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

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The Giants are one good day away from putting the Padres into the Wild Card standings.

They've changed managers but the Marlins look like the same meat headed bunch. How many times are there outfielders going to run into each other?

Phils offense reminds me of a bad teenager. The kid is constantly in trouble and then he stays clean for a week and the parents think "maybe this time he's actually growing up". Then the next day he knocks over a 7 eleven. The Phils put up a big number or two and then get one hit by some dudes.

Interesting comments by two Phils' watchers, paraphrased.

Mitch Williams said about a week ago that now that it was September, the bats would come alive, the Phils would do what always do when their backs are against the wall, and that they would take care of business and ultimately win the division. In a good line, he said that Ryan Howard's bats know when September comes.

In contrast, Bottalico said yesterday that we have been waiting for five months for the offense to show any consistency, and that it is foolish to continue waiting for them to put it all together on any type of consistent basis.

There HAS been a methodical slog through tough conditions by the Phillies this second half, and they deserve a huge amount of credit. We can hope that the players who have been shizophrenic with the bats will get hot and stay hot over the next month and a half. If they do and the pitching continues, the team will be a fearsome post season juggernaut. But we would be crazy to count on it. In the meantime while we wait, let's light a candle or two for the pitchers to continue their performance.

LA on the radio basically said the offense will be what it will be

That LA. So insightful.

(Sorry if someone mentioned this, I didn't read this weekend)

Anyone catch the Braves-Marlins game on Saturday night? The Braves announcers went on for 5 minutes about the "foul ball" in the Phillies game down there. It was completely infuriating.

Still, you know that if the broadcast team is looking over their collective shoulders, that the players must be feeling it too.

Just a matter of time...

The team is 16-23 when trailing after the 1st inning??? The Fightins'?? This stat is really hits me with just how bad the offense has been - This is the team that was never out of a game in past years, and they can't come back from a few runs given up in the 1st?
Contrast this with how often the Braves have rallied for a win in late innings. Yeah, I'm concerned about their chances in the postseason. If they get through the Braves first to make it to the postseason.

Yesterday's games were a microcosm of the entire season. Good pitching in both games (good enough to win) but an offense that either is non-existent or cranks out 6 or 7 runs. Nothing in between.

the braves rally at home only. on the road, they suck. smoltz was on mlb tonight last night. he said, yeah they rally a lot, but you can't rely on that all the time and they seem to be doing that and you can't win consistently like that

"The team is 16-23 when trailing after the 1st inning" and "Contrast this with how often the Braves have rallied for a win in late innings"

You should compare what the Phils and Braves do after trailing after the 1st inning. On a gut level, 16-23 sounds about what you would expect from a contending team. Lousy teams are probably much worse.

You know, apples to apples, ...

And I'd be more concerned about a 91 OPS+ team trying to win a WFS

st, another question about the Braves is "Against whom are they rallying?"

Is it against good bullpens or crappy bullpens?

I haven't checked, but I wouldn't be surprised if 3/4 of their comebacks are against 2nd division teams - the Nats without Matt Capps, etc.

"The team is 16-23 when trailing after the 1st inning"

Fortunately for us, with Halliday, Hamels & Oswalt pitching in the post-season, they won't be behind in the first inning very often.

Howard is going to have to be somewhere north of horrendous, where he currently lives. Keep Rollins out of the leadoff spot; no spark there. And hope the pitching holds up. I agree with LA - if the bats were really going to come alive it would have happened by now.

It was great to see Dobbs with another productive plate appearance yesterday. I can't remember the last time this guy got a hit. Still living off of a lucky pinch hitting run in 2008. He sucks.

Maybe I'm an overly optimistic fan (and have been for 40 years) but I'm still holding out hope the bats come alive consistently in September. We've had very few games with our starting 8 together. I know they've all had a lot of AB's collectively but little time to play together. This is a team sport and I feel playing together as a unit is under-rated.

We have great starting pitching and very good defense. The bullpen has been very good lately. If the bats wake up even a little, we'll be watching a lot of October baseball.

Mayberry is obviously cooked as far as having any MLB future.
But he can fill a minor Sept role-pinch running, and he's the only defensive OFer on the bench.

"continued fear of one and done in the postseason"???


Short series. Pitching gets it done.

The offense sputtering like this actually would make it harder to make the playoffs, but even that is a stretch...

We're a half game out with this "offense" and the braves aren't exactly going away.

Braves last 10: 6-4
Phillies: 7-3

I'm not sure who has this general fear... you... or the chicken littles...

but the rest of us... the dugout... and the legion of fans that continue to fill that ballpark seem to think otherwise.

is one and done possible? anything is. But I trust in a short series we're fine.

Speaking of Mayberry, the counterpart in his trade, Greg Golson, is hitting .375 for the Yankees this season. :) (9 PA)

Funny, he and Mayberry have very similar minor league numbers this season.

Why is Mayberry cooked for any future MLB career?

He did hit .350 this year against LHP. He had 20 SB's. He hit 15 HR's. He is a good defensive player. Those aren't exactly awful traits to have.

He may never get a chance here, but he'll get a chance somewhere to fill the 4th/5th OF role, hitting mostly against LHP and playing good defense late in games.

Still not convinced, it won't be here. They could save some money by letting Francisco go (and they obviously have very little faith in him either) and plugging him in that "get one or two AB's a week" role, that Ben has.

The Braves have scored more runs than the Philllies this season, and have a much larger run differential.

Will that "superiority" come back to haunt the Phils, or is that merely a reflection of the injuries the Phils have suffered?

Interestingly, the Braves are '-3' against their Pythagorean record, indication either bad "luck" or, perhaps, managerial miscues.

The Phillies are '+2' against their Pythagorean record, and indication of either good "luck", or a manager who has pushed all the right buttons.

The Phils are fortunate to be this close.

Based on run differentials, the Braves 'should' be up about 5-1/2 games right now.

At the suggestion of Edmundo, I investigated stats of the Phils and Braves (whereas the 16-23 record when trailing after 1st came from JW's quote of another poster in the previous thread).

The two teams actually don't look that different upon closer inspection. Braves have 6 more comebacks; on the other hand, the Phils have shined in extra innings games.

Comeback wins: Phils=35/Braves=41
When trailing start of 2nd: Phils=15-25/Braves=13-23
When trailing in 6th: Phils=10-39/Braves=15-39
Trailing in 7th: Phils=10-42/Braves=10-43
Trailing in 8th: Phils=6-48/Braves=6-48
Trailing in 9th: Phils=5-54/Braves=7-49
Extra-innings games: Phils=20-10/Braves=8-15

The OPS+ for the Phils=93, as Edmundo stated. (I had to look because I wasn't sure whether he was citing the Phils or the Braves OPS+.) The OPS+ for the Braves=102.

I do hold out hope that the Phils' bats can yet come alive. And I'm thrilled the pitching has become quite strong.

I was at that afternoon game yesterday, so you'll forgive me if I was feeling pessimistic and out of sorts this morning. The nighttime win was great, but that afternoon game was the worst I can remember attending.

Well the Phils somehow managed to score 7 last night without Jimmy leading off. That means, of course, that he will be leading off tonight.

How many wins will it take for the best record in the NL. I think 95 would likely do it. That means 16-7 the rest of the way. What do you think? Doable?

I did not see the first game yesterday (travel).

However, I just can't figure out why everyone here is surprised?

Really. The Phils have traditionally sucked the last 3 - 4 seasons when facing an opposing starter for the first time, career minor leaguer or not. (I wonder if there is any way to check their record in that regard?)

Yesterday unfolded exactly the way I expected. Because it's really tough to win a doubleheader, I thought they'd lose the opening and win with RoyO pitching. The only minor difference is that Worley pitched a little better than I thought he would.

As long as no playoff foe sends out a knuckleballer, a Japanese pitcher and a career minor leaguer we shuld be alright.

Rob, 16 - 7 is totally doable. It will probably take a 4 - 2 or 5 - 1 record against the Braves to do it, though.

I know a lot of people like to be fearful and forget what this team has been able to accomplish the last 3 y ears, but I'll give you soem perspective about what they've done over the past 43 games. Since they lost 3 straight to the Cards and 3 fo 4 to Cubs following the ASB, the team has done this:

31-12, and that counts the 4 straight losses to the Astros. That is a .721 winning percentage.

They've scored 4.72 R/G. Not great, but certainly not terrible.

Their team ERA is 3.48 over that time.

They've been scoring 4.52 R/9 over that stretch.

This team scores, per nine innings, 1.04 more runs than they give up.

That is a recipe for success, and it's why they've been playing at a .721 clip. I know it's fashionable to keep worrying and beat yourselves over the head because of the inconsistent offense, but this is year 4 of the best period of Phillies' baseball in the history of this city (arguably), and they are .5 GB of the division and 1.5 up in the WC on September 7th.

Sit back and enjoy the ride a little bit. This is a good team, and they are good enough to get into the playoffs, and certainly good enough to win once there.

The problem with dropping Jimmy in the order is that he's going to miss out on an extra AB many nights, like last night. He needs those extra ABs to work on that .236 BA.

This offense seems to do much better when they resign themselves to focus on the pitcher at hand...as in; when they think it's important that they do so.

It's probably a well known theory, but one that bares repeating. They just don't seem to work the count or be patient with the younger, less established starters in the leauge. They don't put the time in to do what it takes like they would vs. an A or B list pitcher.

It's this dynamic that would still favor the Phillies' Offense in the post season.

Fatalotti, some here don't think 31 - 12 is good enough. The honestly believe the Phils should win every game. They really do.

They just don't seem to "get" that even a team that wins 100 games actually LOSES 62 times in a season.

(BTW, a team winning 100 games has happened less times than the number of WS champs - it's THAT hard to do.)

Were I Greg Gross, I'd ask Mel Brooks to come into the dugout and say a few words to the lineup. They all need to lighten up and stop grinding.

Fatalotti, BTW, I agree with you. But really, the difference between me and many of the whiners here is I DON'T expect them to win every night out.

And does anyone really think that a team that loses 60 - 70 times a year is going to "lose pretty" every time they lose? All of us will take "winning ugly" as long as they win, no?

So relax. I'll wager that we're going to witnes another ugly loss or two before the regular season is over.

And remember, if the season ended today the Phils are in the playoffs( I KNOW, it doesn't end today). Based on their pitching rotations, etc., which team would you place your money on to represent the NL in the WS?

And I love this site for the entertainment value of the comments. as well as informative opening commentary.

The Phillies are .5 games outta first place. A month ago they were 7 games out and on life support on loan from the Greek Naitonal Bank.

Yet, there's a healthy contingent of fans who are worried about their ability to get through the Braves....

Awh, it's fine to complain about the abysmal performace in the day game. They played like crap, and you're right, teams are going to lose ugly games.

As far as I was discouraged by the day game performance, I was more encouraged by the resiliency to bounce back and put 7 runs up in the nightcap and back as so-so outing by their ace. (It's fun being able to call three different pitchers "their ace")

My post was really in response to this line from the actual BL post by Jason Weitzel:

"But even as the Phils solidify their postseason stake, there is continued fear of a one-and-done due to spottiness of the offense."

We should never take anyone lightly at any point in the season, let alone playoffs, but if there is any team that should fear a one-and-done the least, it is the Phillies.

Copious amounts of playoff experiance up and down the roster?

Check.

A trio of bona fide aces at the top of the rotation?

Check.

Backend of the bullpen pitching lights out heading into the middle of September?

Check.

Lastly, of the division leaders and WC contenders, only the Reds and Rockies may have a better offense, but if they do, our pitching is so much better than theirs, it's not even a wash. We are the more playoff ready team.

Fatalotti, not that you're debating, but here's the stat:

Since and including the 1960 season, only 21 NL teams have won 100 games. This year it probably won't happen either.

So, in 51 seasons only 21 NL teams have won 100 games. In the AL it's happened 27 times over the same time period.

That makes 48 teams that have won 100 games.

Since 1960 there have been 50 WS winners.

It seems to me the worst habbit this team has is how they face pitchers and it was never more clear than it was yesterday. Against Adalberto Mendez they looked like they went up there with a plan to blast away. Against Anibal Sanchez it appeared the plan was to have patient and good at bats against a respectable pitcher.

We've seen this team over the years give early showers to pitchers like Sabathia, Beckett, and most recently Ubaldo Jimenez. Then against back end starters, minor league call ups, and Tim Redding (???) they look completely lost.

Part of me thinks that is why they have done so well in the playoffs the past few years. They're a team that needs to be challenged.

Fatalotti, I understand the complaining.

My beef is with the unrealistic expectations of some who post here.

While they "say" that they know the Phils won't win every game, the griping leads one to believe that they may not mean what they say.

Thanks for the figures awh.

Anyway to tell how often those 100 game winners actually won the WS?

Not too long ago, the Mariners won 116 games, right? I don't remember them winning the WS. The games are played on the field, and it's not always the team with the best record who wins.

Remember, the Phils weren't the #1 seed the last two years they went to the WS.

Mayberry might make a great platoon-mate with the 87 year old Ibanez next year. Especially if Werth goes elsewhere (may be hiring Boras!?!) and the Phils' lineup will feature 12 lefthanders in a row.

One thing that is pretty high unlikely this year is that this team will power itself offensively with power to win in the postseason. Did that in a big way in '08 and to a slightly lesser way last year. Don't see this team being able to hit a ton of HRs in the postseason especially as they face better pitching.

One opponent I don't want to see is the Giants. I would be curious to see the numbers but the two places in the NL that this offense has done very limited damage since '07 are PNC Park and AT&T Park. I could easily see the Phils getting dominant pitching performances in AT&T Park and still struggling to win a game because of their offense.

That 16-23 mark is probably similar, if not worse, for every major league team. When you're down after 1 inning, it's a disadvantage. Sometimes that disadvantage is enormous, like the time when Jamie Moyer allowed 5 runs in the first. Sometimes it's merely very big, like all those times Blanton & Kendrick have fallen behind 3-0 in the 1st inning. But even if the deficit is 1-0, you're more likely to lose than win (I'm talking generalities here; if the matchup is Halladay v. Craig Stammen, it's different).

It's like Backgammon. If you roll a 6 and 1 on the first roll, flip the doubling die because you've already got an advantage.

We have Mathieson, Bastardo AND Mayberry up? How can we possibly lose now?

Fatalotti, some of those 100 game winners DID'T EVEN MAKE THE PLAYOFFS.

It was before division series, or, like the 1993 Giants (103 games vs. Braves 104), they didn't even win their division.

1962 Dodgers (102) didn't make WS either.

2001 OAK (102) didn't win division.

There are a few more.

Funnily enough, if the Braves wanted to set up their pitching rotation to match up with the Phillies, the one guy who they'd absolutely want in the mix is Minor. He's left-handed, a good strikeout pitcher, and the Phillies have never seen him before. I don't think you could find a more lethal combination of traits for beating the Phillies.

MG, scores from the 2008 playoff run.

NLDS:

3-1
5-2
1-4
6-2

NLCS:

3-2
8-5
2-7
7-5
5-1

WS:

3-2
2-4
5-4
10-2
4-3

Postseason runs scored per nine innings: 4.57

Postseason team ERA: 3.14

Over the team's last 43 games of this season.

Runs scored per nine innings: 4.52

Team ERA: 3.48

Over the last 43 games, we've been basically watching the 2008 playoff team.

bap, that's a great point. A team that's up after the 1st has a big advantage, and the other team, many times, makes it worse when they start to press.

Gillick: I live here in upstate South Carolina where the Braves had a Double-A farm team until they moved it to Mississippi. The local paper still runs a detailed story about each Atlanta game. I also get all the Atlanta games on TV. I don't often listen to the Braves announcers, but I can tell you, the Phillies are in their heads all the time--with references such as you cited, with on-screen updates of Phillies games in-progress, etc. That said, I am with you in the thought that if its true of the annoucers, it must also include the players (and manager) as well. BTW, watching the Braves so much, you can get a sense of their moaning and griping about pitches and calls, and they contnue to do it because that attitude comes from the top. They really are a bunch of whiners.

Fatalotti: Well, sort of. Most playoff teams also have strong starting pitching, so offenses are supposed to be shut down. On average, we faced considerably better pitching in the 2008 playoff run than we have faced over the last 43 games.

GBrettFan, thanks for that list of comebacks. Both teams are pretty close in "comebackiness".

The weird advantage in the Phils' favor this year over Atlanta is that the Phils COULD turn it on offensively. The Braves have been humming (Heyward, Infante, McCann have had nice second halfs so far). But there is no indication that the team will kick it into high gear (heck, I'd settle for a consistent 2nd gear at this point).

I hope that Rollins, Utley and Howard did not all get old in a hurry. There is a non-zero possibility that's true and that would really, really su**.

BAP, definitely. Although, they faced some scrubs in the 2008 playoffs. Andy Sonnanstine is nothing special, Jeff Suppan was a joke, Billingsley was terrible in those playoffs, and the Dodgers bullpen was abysmal in that game 4.

They also won at a .786 in those playoffs.

I guess I'm just saying, the Phillies are playing like a playoff team lately, and if they make the playoffs, they have to be the most feared team of the bunch, unless Lincecum regains his form completely. In that case, the Giants would be comparable to us, though I'd take Oswalt over Zito any day of the week, and I'd take Hamels over Cain. The Lincecum, Halladay matchup, were it to happen, would be legendary if it lived up to reputation.

The Phils are 13-9 in their 22 games over the last 21 days, which is a .591 winning percentage (which translates to 96 wins in a 162 game season).

That's pretty good considering the collective bargaining agreement forbids teams from playing more than 20 days in a row without a day off without approval from the players.

There's two games left in this brutal stretch. If they win both, a sparkling 15-9 (.625 win pct) would be phenomenal. A split and 14-10 would still be a .583 win pct. Lose both and it would be a disappointing 13-11, .542 win pct. Tough to call a .542 win pct disappointing when you play 24 games in 23 days, but I think we'd all be pretty bummed by it.

Assuming the Phils don't re-sign Werth, Mayberry could very well end up in a platoon with Dom Brown in RF next season. Obviously, much depends on how each performs in spring training, but it wouldn't be a shock.

I think people are overlooking one thing. That Mendez kid yesterday had a mean cutter and a nasty slider. The Phillies who tried to work the count ended up being behind in the count. And he continually pounded the ball inside against both lefties and righties before getting them to fish for outside stuff.

That sounds like a successful pitcher to me. Yeah, the bats looked awful. But that kid also pitched the best six innings of his life. I also find it frustrating that the Phils tend to do badly against anyone new. But if you look at what that kid was throwing, it was simply nasty, winning stuff.

Would a hot hitting team have destroyed him? Maybe. But the Marlins hit well at CBP and they didn't exactly light up Worley, who did not have dominating stuff at all. My guess is that they wouldn't have hit Mendez either.

Give the kid some credit. Any pitcher who throws stuff that cuts in on the hands of Phillies hitters will do well. Wolf and Mendez did that the last two days.

If Brown and Ibanez are the corner OFs next year, I would expect that Mayberry, or some RH bat would platoon with both players. This may be the reason why Francisco sticks with the team next year.

he wasn't a kid. he was 28

aksmith, I will not accept your unbiased outlook.

Whenever the Phillies don't score many runs, it's because they didn't do their job against a pitcher they should have crushed.

Whenever the Phillies score a lot of runs, it is never because the other pitcher was bad. It is always because their offense is THAT. DAMN. GOOD.

And that is the only way to look at it.

Since returning from injury:

Utley: .263/.368/.363 .731 OPS
Howard: .169/.229/.338 .567 OPS

Although, if I may remove my tongue from the inside of my cheek, I do recall reading an article this morning where Manuel said that Mendez was leaving very hittable pitches over the plate, and the Phils should've taken advantage of him.

But, Manuel would easily have the most tendentious outlook of them all, so that with a grain of salt.

they both seem to be hitting better recently. at least I think utley is a little bit. just doesn't have much power anymore. i don't think that'll return this year

howard was starting to turn it on and hit the ball a lot better but stopped again. not sure what's going on there

Didn't Howard have a doulbe in game 1, and last night, he (along with Utley and Brown) crushed balls to deep centerfield that were caught on the warning track, if I remember correclty. I was at the game, sitting behind home plate, so I couldn't judge exactly how deep they went, but it looked like all three times, the CF was very near the wall.

yeah he hit a 3-1 fastball off a guy in the 9th in game 1 for a double. i'm talking about consistently hitting for power in regards to utley. he'll pop one now and again i would imagine.

The impatience of the Phils lineup and tendency to swing for the fences is what makes the opposing pitchers look far superior then what they are. How many times have we swung at the first pitch after a 5 pitch walk, botched a bunt attempt, or neglected to just put the ball in play when that's all that was called for? And as great as our offense can be at times, too many players strike out on flat out garbage pitches, namely Victorino, Werth, and Howard.

aksmith: Mendez is a failed prospect, minor league filler. His pitches are nothing special, but if you are overanxious and swing at pitches out of the strikezone, you can make it easy for him.

He's a fringe major leaguer at best and I'd bet he doesn't pitch in more than 25 games in his entire MLB career.

JBird - I've told you a million times, "don't exaggerate".

Since the middle game of the Dodger's series, it looks to me like Howard has started to swing the bat a bit better and see the ball a bit better.

Counting that game, his line over his last 8 games.

33 PA, .241/.333/.621, .954 OPS, BAbip: .222, 8 SO

Still not quite there yet, maybe, but he's found his power again. Just has to raise that average, but that will happen if the BAbip regresses. Small sample size, though.

interesting observation by Jack McCaffrey

[http://delcotimes.com/articles/2010/09/07/sports/doc4c85a66859c88996382900.txt]

-------------------------------------------
"Exactly why was it, anyway, that Yankees manager Joe Girardi often had his catcher walk signs to the mound during the last World Series, rather than flash them in code the customary way, between the shin guards? And didn’t Larry Bowa chime in that the Phillies were good at stealing signs? And didn’t the Mets complain to baseball about that possibility in 2007? How can those facts — and how can the Phils’ 2010 numbers — be dismissed as sour New York grapes?"
-------------------------------------------

I think it's obvious that a pair of binoculars isn't responsible for the Phillies offense, but it is reasonable to suggest that it is a piece in the jigsaw puzzle of the Phillies ability to intercept signs.

I'm certainly not complaining about it. Intercepting signs is absolutely fair game if it's done honestly. I only hope that they are able to continue to do so effectively.

st - 28 is a kid to me.

Clout - He's only "failed" if he fails. He didn't fail yesterday, so I think we should wait to call him failed until then.

He likely pitched the game of his life. And Charlie can say he left balls out over the plate, but Charlie can only see up and down from the dugout. He can't see what the camera showed which was late cutting movement against righties and good bite inside to lefties. Those pitches over the plate never really happened like Charlie thought. In fact, the pitches were so good that the lineup looked just as awful in inning six as it did in inning one.

That tells me the kid pitched well. And I'll bet good money that you've never seen the kid pitch before. I bet you'd have called Dickey a failed prospect too. How's that working out?

"too many players strike out on flat out garbage pitches, namely Victorino, Werth, and Howard. "

Actually, the most guilty of that is Mr. Roll, especially the swinging at the first pitch nonsense.

Anyone else think Kyle Kendrick had his best day as a pro yesterday? After watching Vance Worley, its pretty clear Kendrick will be the #5 Starter for the rest of the year, and the odds on favorite for next year as well. If he can;t throw a low strike, Worley has no chance to succeed at the Major League level.

aksmith: You probably know less about minor leaguers and prospects than any poster here. You'd be wise to stick to topics on which you have some tiny amount of knowledge.

"Anyone else think Kyle Kendrick had his best day as a pro yesterday?"

No.

I agree, Rollins is also guilty as well, but he's been so irrelevant this season I didnt even throw him in there. Other than that walk off HR after he came off of the DL, and his mostly reliable defense, he hasnt done much of anything.

"If he can;t throw a low strike, Worley has no chance to succeed at the Major League level."

Very true. Nothing says "failure" like 5 innings of 2-run ball with only 5 strikeouts.

Figures for our "top 3" since the beginning of August:

Roy Oswalt:

7 GS, 48.2 IP, 1.85 ERA, .92 WHIP, 44 SO, .565 OPS against

Cole Hamels:

7 GS, 49 IP, 2.39 ERA, .88 WHIP, 55 SO, .568 OPS against

Roy Halladay:

7 GS, 50 IP, 2.88 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 47 SO, .731 OPS against

And this is counting Halladay's recent "struggles"

I love watching these guys 3 out of every 5 games.

Utley's OPS is over 1 in the last 8 games. 12-31 with 3 2B and 1 HR. 5 multi-hit games.

Utley looked okay his first week+ back. Not many XBH, but he had a .400+ OBP. He and everyone else hit that slide at the end of August (3 game 0-11), but he's looked like the same old Utley since game 2 of the Dodgers series.

Clout - Still drunk? I've seen a fair bit of minor league baseball and know a little about minor league baseball and prospects. I pitched a bit in college, badly.

But I suppose your vast knowledge of semantics and strawman arguments makes you an expert on both minor and major league baseball.

So, I stand corrected. Mendez stunk and the Phillies pounded out twenty hits in their sleep against him. Thus, he is a failed prospect. And Dickey is a failed prospect. And Coste was a failed prospect. And Happ can't pitch in the majors without an ERA of 4 plus. Any other of your wisdom I've missed, oh drunk one?

To be totally fair and accurate, Rollins & Vic do not often strike out on garbage pitches. They hit those garbage pitches for weak pop-ups.

"After watching Vance Worley, its pretty clear Kendrick will be the #5 Starter for the rest of the year, and the odds on favorite for next year as well. If he can;t throw a low strike, Worley has no chance to succeed at the Major League level."

With Dubee and Manuel losing patience with KK he has his work cut out for him to be the 5th starter next season.

I love the way the media was jumping all over the two Roys over the weekend after they both gave up the long ball, debating whether they were tired. These 2 guys are warriors with off the chart September records. Maybe these talking heads would like to go back to the days of Don Carman, Floyd Youmans, Tyler Green, Wayne Gomes, etc...

aksmith: Has nothing to do with my knowledge. Has to do with the knowledge of professional scouts and talent evaluators whose reports I, or anyone else, can read.

BAP, don't forget J-Roll's weak grounders to 2nd.

Clout - Yeah, anyone can read. Did you watch the game? What did YOU think of the quality of those pitches Mendez was throwing?

Anyone can vomit what they've read. And it's pretty obvious that a guy in AAA at 28 who isn't on injury rehab is not a classic prospect.

So, give us your opinion. I assume you saw the game. What did you think of the Mendez kid? Dazzle us.

mccaffrey is the same guy who said we had no chance to make the playoffs back in july and he's also said some other ridiculous and stupid things. he's a moron. pay no attention

Clout, it's obvious that Mendez isn't going to be the ace of a playoff team anytime soon, but just because he's not going to be a consistently good pitcher (most likely) doesn't mean that he can't twirl a good game whenever there's a full moon.

Don't you remember when Kendrick went 7 innings of 1 run ball earlier this year agsinst the Yankees. The Yankees have their faults, but one of them isn't hitting #5 pitchers. Sometimes pitchers throw good games, even if they are not consistently good pitchers. That's why Edwin Jackson has a no-hitter and why Kyle Kendrick's ERA isn't over 6 yet.

I'm not saying Mendez definitley threw a good game yesterday (I didn't watch most of it), but if you contention is that he couldn't've been good because he's a AAA/AAAA pitcher who's been toiling in the minors for some time, well, that's just a fallacious argument.

@ st

you're right about mccaffrey. he is a no talent a** clown. he wrote a column back in 02 or 03 saying that villanova should cut the basketball program....the guy is a joke.

If Mendez hadn't gotten the first hit of his professional career and tried to run to 1B, the only thing that stood between him and a 1 hit shutout was one more Brian Schneider AB. You could put together a full length video of "How to Never Reach Base" with most of the Phillie ABs.

Search for next year's #5 is over, and his last name, you guessed it, is Lee:

63-year old Bill Lee pitched for the Can-Am League Brockton Rox over the weekend, going 5 1/3 innings while giving up only 2 ER on five hits for the win. He also struck out one, a guy 33 years his junior. Best part of the story? This game was for the final playoff spot, and his team sent a 63-year old out to the mound!

http://www.enterprisenews.com/sports/x2003707818/Tornadoes-manager-Rich-Gedman-left-impressed-by-Bill-Lee-s-performance

aksmith: At 28, Mendez is not a kid. He's spent 8 years in the minors and hasn't been particularly successful.

He's never been listed among either Chicago's or Florida's Top 30 prospect list by BA and is generally regarded as minor league filler.

He's got a good fastball, but weak secondary offerings and has had serious command problems. His numbers at New Orleans were mediocre and he's never been successful enough to complete a full season at Triple A.

The Phillies swung at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone against him yesterday. I thought his stuff was quite ordinary.

As Fatalotti notes, none of that means he can't win a major league game, esepcially when the other team is helping so much.

But it doesn't make him a young prospect, nor does it mean he'll have a major league career.

Clout - Genius. I never called him a prospect. And I never said he'd have a major league career. STRAWMEN. You're typical mode is to attack strawmen you've set up yourself. So why should I ever expect you to change.

If you thought his stuff was quite ordinary, then your knowledge of baseball is weak. I doubt you've ever faced a live pitch. The movement on those pitches was very good. And his command was precise. He may never be able to do that again, but he was as good as his results.

Every good pitcher makes the hitters help him out. And even a bad pitcher who has a good game has usually done the same. Do you think Jamie Moyer would ever have won a single game if the hitters hadn't helped him out? That's what pitching is. Aroldis Chapman can throw it past anyone. Very few others can.

You can sit on a blog all day and spout nonsense. But the kid was excellent yesterday. And the number of balls hit off the fists of Phillies batters proves it. And you calling him a failed prospect doesn't change the fact that he pitched very well for one game. Which is all that I ever said, even if your strawman argument is not served by what I actually said.

Here is my take on Mendez: he will not be good, but he was pretty good yesterday. Part of the problem was that the Phils were actually taking too many first pitch strikes, then swinging at garbage after they were down in the count (much like what happened in game two of the 2009 WS against Burnett). I think the scouting report told them to take early against a guy that had control issues, but that was not the guy who pitched yesterday. They also had some bad luck on some hard hit balls in play. So, in sum, we saw a not very good pitcher having a very good day, a game plan that made sense but didn't work, and a team doing a very bad job of hitting behind in the count. Nothing that should be causing existential dread in my opinion.

The reason the hitters don;t look like they have a plan is that they don't have a plan.

The Kendrick/Fielder debacle spoke volumes about how this coaching staff approaches their charges. They just assumed KK would know what to do and never bothered to tell him to stay away from Fielder. Everything we've ever heard from Charlie @ Co. is that that's how they handle "coaching" hitters as well. It's as if the One Rule of Coaching is: "Don't put too much into the players heads to have to deal with." which is becoming "Don't encourage your players to adapt - just let 'em figure it out. It worked when they were in their 20s, it's bound to work well into their 30s"

It's worked in the past, with self-motivated players with an abundance of talent. But, something tells me that after 5 years of it, bad habits start to grow. They need to adapt as skillsets erode. The ideal manager for the 2008 Phillies may not be the ideal manager for the 2010 Phillies (or 2011)

Coach 'em up, Charlie!

I know we probably shouldn't bash columnists here but before reading that McCaffery article you should know that the guy is a hack of the highest order.

His column appears in the local paper a few days a week and he writes nothing but garbage. the guy also shows a minimal understanding of sports, let alone baseball.

Mick O: "They just assumed KK would know what to do and never bothered to tell him to stay away from Fielder."

What are you talking about? Chooch calls the pitches and he called a pitch away. KK threw a bad pitch. There's a big difference between not having a plan... and not being able to accomplish the plan.

Mock O, sorry, but that post was silly.

Why? You're saying coaches can't adapt to an onlder team, something that, on it's face, is not accurate.

aksmith: In your original post you said Mendez was a "kid" who threw a "nasty" slider and "mean" cutter, had "precise" command and "good movement" of his pitches.

I took that to mean you thought he was a pretty damn good prospect. If what you really mean is that he's not a prospect and that yesterday was a fluke, then there's really no disagreement.

So, what exactly was it that you were trying to say?

clout: You're totally quoting aksmith out of context, for reasons I don't understand. It's pretty clear from reading his posts that his point is that it's possible for a mediocre pitcher, or even a bad pitcher, to put together 6 good innings, without the opponents being at fault.

aksmith was never arguing that Mendez is a good prospect. He said: "He likely pitched the game of his life."

awh:

So you think that since a certain coaching philosophy worked with a younger team in 2008, it's definitely going to work with an older team and that no adjustments need to be made and the players will figure it out for themselves and never need advice.

Yes, I'm the silly one. You've made this clear to me.


Speaking of drunk, I just had a molar capped that I chipped during KK's last start munching on a cheeseteak.

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