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Thursday, September 30, 2010


Who is this John Blanton?

The Phillies lead the lead in Blantons - first Joe and now John!

Ugh. That should read "lead the LEAGUE."

I need more coffee.

Jason, I didn't know you worked Phanavision at Phillies games.

If SD wins the WC, we'd play them. If the Braves win, we'll have to play another division winner (stupid rule). It will probably be the Reds.

Personally, I'd like to see someone knock out SF. Their pitching is very good and they're really hot right now. They will play either Atlanta or the Reds, depending on how SD and Atl do this weekend. The Phils could knock Atlanta out and make it easier for SD. Or they can roll over and bring on the Reds. Not sure which team matches up vs. SF tough.

'Greg Dobbs added a pair of hits and played very well at third'

Add: In a meaningless game.

2nd cortisone shot in less than 4 months for Polanco? That's really pushing it. Don't expect it to hamper him too badly but you never know.

If SD is able to knock off SF you'd have to say that SD would be pretty darn hot too. Not going to happen though.

rocky bo on tv this morning: Greg Dobbs can make this team because of his defense


.260/.339/.317 since Sept 1
.270/.331/.320 since Aug 1

Frankly, the Phils haven't gotten much offense at all from the left-side of their INF the past few months. Both guy are playing hurt and I am sure that if the Phils weren't in the playoff race they would have been shut down for the season already. Polanco probably would have had surgery on his elbow to get a jump on offseason rehab.

I don't expect they will get that much in the postseason either unless Polanco's elbow really responds to the cortisone shot. Hopefully the Phils can count on them both to play their usual steady defense and get a few timely hits.

JRoll in the lineup:

There is already still some conjecture about JRoll leading off even though Cholly said that Vic will be the leadofff guy. I have a feeling that if JRoll gets some hits over the next few days that he might be the leadoff guy.

What I don't understand if the talk of batting JRoll 5th/6th in the lineup if he doesn't bat leadoff. Werth/Ibanez at the 5th/6th spots is a no-brainer right now especially with how Ibanez has hit. Only real question is do you hit JRoll or Chooch 7th.

Saw this about pitching the rest of the regular season:

Manuel said he does not expect Roy Halladay or Roy Oswalt to pitch again until the postseason. He said Cole Hamels would "probably work a few innings."

Pitching coach Rich Dubee said that Sunday would provide a final tune-up for the bullpen.

"Sunday our bullpen will all pitch our last game in Atlanta," Dubee said. "Everybody will get out there because you don't want them to go three, four days without pitching and we will have two days off Monday and Tuesday."

Read more:

And this about pitching rotation in the postseason, although I don't think we can take it as fact:

Conventional wisdom has been that the Phillies will follow Halladay with Cole Hamels in Game 2 and Roy Oswalt in Game 3 to split up the two righthanders, but there are strong indications now that Oswalt will pitch Game 2 and Hamels Game 3.

"It's going to be Oswalt in Game 2, you can bet on it," a baseball source said Wednesday.

Read more:

Finally, this piece about the offense:

I think the Reds are the best early round matchup for the Phillies. They have a good offense, but our starting pitching is better than their offense. Also, they are young and inexperienced (although really, other than the Phillies, there are no battle tested playoff teams in the NL).

We've already shown that our pitching can shut down their offense earlier this year in the Philly series, and we have a better bullpen than they do.

They do have Chapman coming out of the 'pen, which is kind of scary, but Chapman, along, isn't going to win them a series.

Also, I think a Braves/Giants 5 game series would be a good one, because both teams have solid pitching (Giants are better, of course), and relatively average offenses. It'd probably go five games, which, if the Phillies advance, would be a good thing, since neither team would be able to go into the NLCS with a set rotation.

Pitching Oswalt in Game 2 makes more sense. As good as Hamels has been, Oswalt has been even better. If they need to go to a Game 5 in the NLDS, I would rather have Oswalt out there than Hamels.

I just hope that this doesn't move Hamels back to a day start.

If Hamels pitches game 3 and Halliday game 4, the right handers will be split up.

It really boils down to who they'd rather have pitching game 5 if it goes that far. If 34 pitches game 1 the choice is Hamels or Oswalt. The potential game 5 starter must pitch game 2.

SF scares me. C'mon SD.

SF and ATL are gettin in...ive been rootin hard for SD and against SF, but it's just not gonna happen...

sorry if you've all been talking about this in other threads but i haven't been on in a while...if standings hold firm, phils would play Cin, right?

I'm not scared of any team we may play, what scares me more is the team's penchant to completely collapse offensively over the span of a few weeks. They have tended to do that against good and bad rotations alike, but when we are hitting we can hit and beat anybody. The only things that can stop us from a 3rd straight trip to the big dance is ourselves. That's how good we are.

Dobbs got ripped for poor play in the previous meaningless game, gets the meaningless attached to the recap of his next game.

Cowley - Agreed. This Phils' team is better than the '08 and '09 clubs without a real discernable weakness.

Biggest chink in our armor is an effective leadoff hitter. Right now, Victorino and Rollins are both sub par.

The Sunday game against the Mets was a perfect example of how we play during our annual swoons prior to the All Star Break. Impatience at the plate, lethargic fielding, it was how we always look when we are at our worst. The less of those games we have the better, because we have the pitching to carry us even if we do the bare minimum offensively, but we've shown at times that we can do even less then the bare minimum when the bats go to sleep all at once. If we avoid that tendency we can roll through all 3 series with little problems at all.

johnnyd: I dont know about that, both players may be sub-par but Vic did a servicable job leading off and only tailed off toward the last couple of series. I wouldnt put J-Roll back in leadoff at all. His bat speed looks weak and of course he is never a threat to take a walk to get on base.

Rollins BB% this year: 10.2
Victorino's: 8.2

R: Rollins was hurt most of the season and played hurt the balance of the season, those figures aren't really a valid argument to put Jimmy back in the leadoff spot. Vic is the lesser of 2 evils, neither are true leadoff hitters.

Well, I decided to go last night and it didn't rain a drop! two rows from the Nats dugout. Outstanding time. Pleaded to Davey Lopes not to retire.

I was responding only to your assertion that Rollins "is never a threat to take a walk to get on base", which is simply not true. I don't think either of them are ideal lead-off guys, though frankly I think they're both fine (it's been shown that the difference in runs scored over the course of a season between the most to least optimal lineup is very small; a handful of runs at most).

Rollins began the season taking walks like crazy. When he came back various times his % went down, of course, but he was still drawing walks at a rate greater than his career average. And, to be fair, I think we need to acknowledge his extremely poor BABIP. Probably a number of factors there, not just luck, but luck is part of it. Just as the other night, when he hit the ball hard all three times he was up, with but one single to show for it. I imagine his legs have affected that to some extent.

Thank you for beseeching Lopes to keep working - We'll miss him when he retires.

joed: "Vic has been subpar leadoff hitter"

Vic batting #1: .276/.345/.466, with 22 SB.

will be curoius to see how sparse the crowds are in the ATL this weekend, and how much Phillies red is there even though we have this wrapped up. I predict we outnumber the hometown frauds..I mean fans even for these games. We are challenging the Yanks and Red Sox for the most well-traveled fans in baseball, no doubt about that.

Supposedly standing room only in Atlanta this weekend.

As a tribute to Bobby Cox, all the fans get thrown out of the stadium in the 5th inning on Sunday.

"Supposedly standing room only in Atlanta this weekend."

Where at, the downtown Hooters? Maybe it's the Bobby Cox Knee Replacement Bobble Head giveaway. Those fans may come out to wish Mr. Personality a fond farewell on Sunday but I think Friday and Saturday we'll half half the place occupied.

oops have half

Could someone make a sane argument, why we would need a 8 man bullpen for the NLDS, when we played with a 7 man bullpen throughout most of a 162 game regular season?

We have 2 days off, for the 5 game series. There is no way in hell, we need 8 bullpen pitchers for those 5 games (all of which will be started by H20).

For the NLCS, yes we need a 11th pitcher (Bastardo). For the NLDS? Not a chance.

Again, Cholly can mix-and-match easier late in a game, with more position players available. And if you face Cincy, they are going to be loaded up with lefty relievers. Gload, Dobbs and possibly Brown, haven't shown (or been given much of a opportunity) to hit lefty pitching in 2010. So, do you want Gload facing Rhodes or Chapman in a big 8th inning spot? Or would you rather see Cholly burn Gload and use Sweeney instead? Could be the difference between a win and a loss.

Old Phan - I think they should move the outfield fences for Bobby as well.

lol at "scared" of the giants. cmon. if the phillies play well, they'll beat the giants. they are the better team. and that's gonna be in a 7 game series anyway where it'll be even a better chance to beat them

I think if we see Chapman in a series against the Reds we knock him around. I'm more afraid of a guy out of the pen who throws off speed slop up there, they tend to shut us down completely.

Denny B: Being the playoffs, I'd think Charlie would be more likely to make a quick hook. Having extra arms out there will help mix and match.

Only a few hundred reserved seats remain for Friday night’s game. All the reserved tickets have been sold out for Saturday and Sunday’s games, including the Bobby Cox tribute game Saturday, first pitch at 4:10 p.m.

This weekend series has loomed large for a long time before we clinched the division, I would bet there was a fair number of Phillies fans that booked this weekend in Hotlanta and we will be well represented.

Love to see a full stadium anywhere but damn, I hate the tomahawk chop.

Looked like the Rays had quite a crowd last night after giving away 20K tix, and then they promptly lost the game. Maybe they play better in front of 15K after all.

I'm psyched about Oswalt potentially starting a Game 2.

He's been absolutely great at CBP. Can't wait. Think Cole will be money in game 3 on the road.

Also, wonder if this decision is just about UC liking the veterans (yes, I know Cole has a bunch of time under his belt, but Halladay and Oswalt are more veteran-y than Cole) or if this was some kind of numbers-based decision.

I wonder if Cole's regression into his 2009 form on Sunday played into Charlie's decision as well. Cole rarely is able to turn things around in one start when he gets into that rut. He either strings together several starts in a row that are stellar or brutal. Doc and Oswalt leave their last game behind them. Hence Cole at #3.

They must have recently sold out. My cousin is going to the game -- he didn't invite me, that jerk -- and he was able to call the Braves box office on Monday and get decent seats (lower level, 3B side) for both Friday and Saturday. Don't know about Sunday, though.

"Being the playoffs, I'd think Charlie would be more likely to make a quick hook."

Not when his 3 starters will be Halladay, Oswalt & Hamels. And, in the off chance that one of them does get an early hook, we won't need to mix & match because we'll have Blanton to eat up innings. denny is absolutely right about there being no reason in the world to carry 11 pitchers in this first series. I do disagree with him, however, about who that 11th pitcher should be. I think it should be Bastardo.

A Giants-Phillies NLCS has a chance to be the best championship series ever.

Clout: Agreed. Also the only NL team with postseason experience the way things stand now are your hometown Phillies. The Rockies would have been the other.

clout: Agreed. That's why I hope SF loses in the first round.

Wanna know why Oswalt may start Game 2?

Would you be surprised that it may have nothing to do with Oswalt or how well he's pitched recently?

Cole Hamels at Great American Ballpark:

4 GS, 3-0, 27 IP, 16 H, 6 R, 3 HR, 12 BB, 33 K, 1.037 WHIP, 1.67 ERA

.172 .264 .344 against, .224 BAbip

"A Giants-Phillies NLCS has a chance to be the best championship series ever."

Yeah, all that strong pitching would make for tense games, filled with anxious moments and high drama. I sure as hell hope it doesn't happen.

Without looking at that park's dimensions, I would have expected Cole to have given up more HRs there.

"Yeah, all that strong pitching would make for tense games, filled with anxious moments and high drama. I sure as hell hope it doesn't happen."

Come on people!! What's the difference how nerve wracking it may be if we wind up on top? I would love to see a classic series, we have home field and superior pitching, though not by much. Where's the swagger? This is the best team we have had on over 100 years. Bring it.

Of course, liefetime Oswalt is 23-3 (7-1 @ GAB) (no that is not a typo) against the Reds, so maybe leading off with the two Roys is a way to try to drive a stake in the Reds' hearts before they even get back to Cincy.

And then they'd have to face Cole.

Oswalt at Great Am. Ballpark:

11 GS, 7-1, 70.2 IP, 74 H, 30 R, 28 ER, 9 HR, 17 BB, 57 K, 1.2887 WHIP, 3.57 ERA

.276 .323 .440 against, .317 BAbip

Comparing Oswalt and Cole @ GAB, it sure seems to make sense to start Oswalt in Game 2 in Philly and let Cole take the hill in Cincy.

It would seem to give them a better chance of winning.

I never read too much into the lifetime stats against a team. The Reds don't have the same guys they did two or even five years ago. Doesn't much matter in that sense.

Man I wish the Nats had made the playoffs and we can play them in the first round. These other teams will crush us. In fact I won't even be able to watch the firsr round, and should we make it to the NLCS I may wet my pants...

The biggest indication that Cole is pitching game 3? That he's pitching this weekend. If Oswalt were going to pitch game 3, he'd be pitching this weekend. Write it in pen: Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels.

I admire the honesty of folks admitting to their fear of the Giants - but I'd like to offer a recommendation to those that are so afraid.

Get a dog.

Did I miss something or did the Giants have far superior pitching to the entire NL West, and yet are still fighting for the division??

I was listening to the Astros game last night with Cincy and H2O is having its affect on the league. Cincy has clinched, but they are under pressure to keep winning because they don't want to face Philly in the first round. I guess SF will feel the same way, so both teams will play their starters in order to avoid playing Philly, therefore, making it assured that the well rested Phillies will be facing a tired team in the first round.

I watched that PBS "Bottom of the Tenth Inning" last night. It was interesting how they portrayed Schilling and Johnson as being a feared starting duo in the 2001 WS. I wonder how history will depict H2O? They did have some fleeting photos of the Phightin' Phillies. I felt they did a good job. I learned a lot about "the Clear".

The way the Giants are being vaunted for their incredible pitching staff reminds me of how the Cardinals were portayed the last 2 seasons. Results: biatch-slapped by the weaker Dogers in last year's playoffs, and a full-blown 4 alarm collapse in 2010, leaving them barely at .500. And they have the best player on Earth to boot. Let's get rational here people.

phlipper: It's not fear. It's simply a recognition that the Giants would present the biggest matchup problem for the Phillies. Contrary to what many on here believe, the Phillies CAN lose in the playoffs. And the chances of their losing to the Giants are greater than the chances of their losing to any other team.

robbie, I agree to a point. does one then explain the continued success of someone like Oswalt against a certain franchise?

I happens, though the sabermetricians would probably chalk it up to something random.

I have stated that the team I would LEAST like to see the Phillies face in the WS (is they make it) is Texas.

Why? Vladimir Guererro. He has been a Philly killer his whole career, and used to beat the Phils all by himself sometimes. at least it sure seemed that way.

Lifetime he's a .371 .465 .739 hitter against the Phils. Sure, the numbers are old and against different pitchers, but he didn't do anything like that against the Mets (.311 .402 .578), and how do explain away his record against the Twins (.249 .279 .378)?

But where I really see historical track records against individual teams mattering is in the CONFIDENCE level that the individual player has when facing the team.

If a big part of the game is mental it has to matter, no?

There's one team I would not want to face in the post season, and that's the '27 Yankees.

I love the myth that the Giants offense "has gotten better" or that it's "heating up" or that the new additions make the lineup "more formidable." All false.

Giants OPS
July: 751
August: 739
September: 695

Giants R/G
July: 5.3
August: 4.4
September: 3.7

For comparison's sake, the Phils have an .827 OPS in September and are averaging 5.2 R/G.

"Get a dog.

Posted by: phlipper"

It's official: phlipper is Howard Eskin.

Cuck Fobby Box. If he loses any game this weekend he will say its coz Chpper and Prado are hurt.

"I was listening to the Astros game last night with Cincy and H2O is having its affect on the league."

Lake Fred, absolutely.

If anyone thinks that players and management around baseball didn't notice what the Phillies did to the Braves last week then he/she better think again.

The Braves might be the 2nd best team in the league, and the Phillies behind H2O slapped them back to Atlanta.

It got noticed. Big time.

CJ, the Giants have scored better than league average RPG since the addition of Burrell. bring up a valid point that they seem to have cooled a bit in September, but who did they play? Have they faced better pitching staffs in September than in the previous months?

Burrell is a decent hitter in a lineup that is beyond weak. he has done well since being acquired but that should have been expected when added to that offense, which flat out stinks.

p's bro, you're right, he'll make some excuse.

I'd love for the Phils to sweep the series this weekend and knock them out of the playoffs.

His problem is he wouldn't be able to blame it on "a li'l ol' fly ball".

Speaking of the series in ATL, how much more relaxing is being on the road for a Phillies team that has the best record in the league wrapped up? It's gotta make the road trip a little easier, no?

BTW, I haven't seen it mentioned yet, but the Phils are currently the only 95 win team in MLB, and sport the best record is baseball.

The Yankees recent slide is puzzling, because a month ago I thought they were a lock to win 100 games.

That's baseball.

"It's official: phlipper is Howard Eskin."

Eskin is the biggest a-hole in Philly, but you have to admit that it's a good line.

Each of the potential opponents have their strengths and weaknesses. None of them stands out as more dangerous than the others: they have similar records, similar run differentials.

The Phillies are on an incredible roll. I'm looking for it to continue in the playoffs.

I underwent a major fan transformation about two years ago - from a lifetime of always expecting the worst to pretty much expecting this team to perform better than the hand-wringers. (I will admit to a temporary crisis of faith around mid-season, but even then I was far more optimistic than your average BLer.)

I'm looking for this team to exploit the weaknesses of whichever team they play in the NL playoffs. If they face the Yankees in the WFC, I'm going to book an appointment to check out dogs at a pit bull rescue shelter.

If Pat the Bat represents the Giants' best hitter, should we worry? No, I'm sure we have the book on how to pitch to Pat the Bat, so he's looking at called third strikes all series long.

'The Yankees recent slide is puzzling, because a month ago I thought they were a lock to win 100 games.'

Not that puzzling when you consider they have one legitimate and healthy starter in CC, Petitte out for a long period and coming off the worst start of his career, and an $80 million starter that wont make the post season starting rotation, we well as a sub-par season for Jeter,injuries to A-Fraud, Tex and Swishilicious, and s season where Rivera wasnt in the top 5 in AL saves for the first time since the Carter administration.

hamels being the #3 has ZERO to do with his last outing and i am sure manuel and dubee are not basing their decision on that absurd logic.

Joe Cowley, the '27 Yankees wouldn't scare me as much as the '69 and '70 Orioles (and I know the '69 team lost to the Mets).

Those teams had great pitching, IMHO better than the '27 Yankees.

Also, the A's teams in '29 through '31 were pretty darn good too.

phlipper, I was just busting chops. :)

"(I will admit to a temporary crisis of faith around mid-season, but even then I was far more optimistic than your average BLer.)"

phlipper, I always thought they would win the division, and posted to that effect back in July. They're just a better team than the Braves, and since their health has returned they've proven it. (Of course adding Roy Oswalt didn't hurt either.)

Look, I understand that they are - right now - the best team in baseball.

They really are. They're better than any other team out there and their record demonstrates it.

So, I don't have any "fear" entering the playoffs, but rather a cautious understanding that the best team doesn't always win, and that the playoffs are a crapshoot.

They're the best team, and the "should" beat every team they face, even those from the other league.

But "should" is not the same as "will".

"A Giants-Phillies NLCS has a chance to be the best championship series ever."

Presumably because of the exciting pitchers' duels. But when the pitchers' duels are really a function of the ineptitude of the dueling offenses (our offense is good, but can turn crappy on a dime), is it really that exciting?

I'm thinking the '27 Yankees would be a cake walk. Outside of "Field of Dreams" Iowa, I am pretty sure dead guys would really suck. I am sticking to my desire to see the Phils beat the best if they are going to win it all. Sure they could lose to the Giants, but they could also lose a short series to just about anyone (see: The Mets; see: The Astros). On the other hand, I believe this is a team that wins when it has to, and beating the best is the surest road to a featured spot in the next Ken Burns movie.

Giants R/G & OPS pre-Burrell: 4.2, 723
Giants R/G & OPS post-Burrell: 4.4, 731

I suppose they've gotten better... but only marginally.

st, did I miss something someone else posted? Who posted that Hanels' recent outing was a factor.

IMHO it has more to do with Hamels having a better track record in Cincy than Oswalt, albeit with a much smaller sample size.

Speaking of the 10th inning, enough already with Mike Freakin Barnacle and his kids crying over the Red Sox, and Dolores Kearns Goodwin waking her kids to watch the ball roll through Buckner's legs. Hasnt HBO and ESPN done enough Curse of the Bambino specials to last another 100 years?? We get it, the Red Sox have had generations of jilted fans up until their recent rings, the Yanks ae the evil empire, Yadda Yadda Yadda.....

Phlipper called Eskin an a-hole. Sounds like something Eskin would say. Wait. I;m getting confused.


I agree, confidence plays a HUGE part (Exhibit A: Brad Lidge)

I look at it like I do most stats — it's interesting to note, but I don't count on it predicting much, especially in the playoffs. If Oswalt starts against the Reds and gets knocked around, that stat won't mean much (at least to us as Phillies fans).

someone posted it above awh

awh- I have this mental picture of the '27 Yankees getting off the train at the old train station on North Broad in present day Philadelphia looking for the Baker Bowl.

CJ, .2 RPG is significant, and can be the difference between 3 wins or losses.

I could make the argument that without Burrell the Giants would be looking UP at the Padres right now.

Surprisingly, the Giants' overall offensive numbers are essentially identical in the 2nd half as they were in the 1st. A big reason for that is that Andres Torres, who went from a journeyman to dynamic leadoff hitter, has been absolutely horrid in September, batting .135 without a single walk.

Nonetheless, I think it's fair to say that their lineup is more formidable than it was early in the season. Burrell is an improvement over Rowand/Schierholtz, but the real upgrade was Posey replacing Molina. Plus, they've added guys like Guillen & Ross, who give them some added power & lineup flexibility. They're not exactly murderer's row, but they definitely have some hitters that can hurt you, and that didn't used to be the case.

And throw in Dennis Leary, the fat guy from Curb your Enthusiasm, and Ben Affleck while your at it.

Saw last night that in ranking NL pitchers by ERA, our 2 Roys both make the top 5 - I believe Halladay was #3 and Oswalt #5. How awesome is that? Not that I didn't already know they rock, but it was neat to see it up on the TV screen like that, for some reason, to me.

Also saw last night that the pitchers with the best career records in win percentage for the month of September include Oswalt (#1) and Blanton (#4 or 5). Others were Santana and Sabathia. I don't remember if there was a 5th who it was, nor do I recall whether this was a NL-only ranking. I'm thinking it must have been among current pitchers.

Anyway, I'm just very happy to head into the postseason with H2O. In '08 we had Hamels pitching very well, Myers, Blanton and Moyer. In '09 it was Lee (awesome), Hamels (not the '08 version), and I don't even remember who else started. Weren't Blanton and Happ in the BP? Myers and Moyer injured. OH yeah, Pedro (not in his prime). This year we get to trot out Halladay, Oswalt and a better-than-ever Hamels? Impressive!

Saying you don't want to face the Giants is not the same as saying you think the Phillies are going to lose.

The Phillies will be favorites no matter who they play, and if they play to the their capabilities should beat any NL team. But, IMO and many others, the Giants present the biggest threat. Therefore, why on Earth would you not say you want to avoid them?

Question for the board:

IF the Phils make it to the WS this season, I'm going to "presume" that Sweeney and Gload are the DH when they play in the AL ballpark.

But Sweeney actually had reverse plits in 2009 and 2010, and has reverse CAREER splits. Is BenFran a better option against LHP?

Gload vs RHP in 2010:

bap, thank you for the dose of sanity. That's all I'm saying.

Here's the graphic you need to look at every October

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