Friday, July 31, 2009
The Howard- "The Howard" is a statistical accomplishment made popular by our slugging first baseman - a homer, strikeout, and error in the same game. We will acknowledge any player that gets a "Howard" and keep a running total on the right sidebar. Although we fully expect Ryan to dominate this category, it will be interesting to see if any Phillie can challenge him.
Astonishingly enough, Ryan Howard has made it through 100+ games this season without committing a "Howard". This is due to his improvement on defense (only 7 errors), not his lack of homeruns (26) or strikeouts (121). However, playing beside him on the diamond is the first offender of "The Howard" in a Phillies uniform this season- Chase Utley. Congrats! I'd tip my cap to him, but I'm sitting at my computer in nothing but boxer shorts.
Whether Rodrigo Lopez pitched good or bad, it was likely his last start for the time being. Unfortunately it went bad. It wasn't entirely his fault as the Phillies committed 3 errors leading to 4 unearned runs, but he managed only 4 innings allowing 10 baserunners and 7 runs total. The offense looked lost for the second consecutive night, this time succumbing to Jonathan Sanchez. Newly acquired Ben Francisco got his first hit in a Phils uniform.
Cliff Lee takes the mound for the first time at the MLB level for a team other than the Cleveland Indians. He's looking to make an instant impact by stopping a 2-game skid and put the Phils back on a winning track. He's been nearly flawless in interleague matchups: 12-2, 141.1 ip, 108 k, 3.18 ERA, 1.25 WHIP. Cliff is a lifetime .063 batter (2-32). The enemy counters with rookie Ryan Sadowski. Gotta win tonight with Tim Lincecum pitching tomorrow.
*Scott Mathieson continues to rehab his way back from 2+ seasons of injury. He was just promoted to Double-A Reading and has a 2-0 record in 10 games and 15 innings with 18 k's and 0.00 ERA in 3 stops.
*Eric Bruntlett continues to get at bats and continues to fall into the infamous pages of MLB history. His .381 OPS is the 5th worst this decade by any non-pitcher with 90+ plate appearances, and it's the 83rd worst since 1901. Release his mangy ass!
*Rotation- Cliff Lee (FRI), Joe Blanton (SAT), Cole Hamels (SUN), Jamie Moyer (TUE), and JA Happ (WED).
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Rodrigo Lopez gets the start tonight, and it may very well be his last for the foreseeable future in a Phils uniform. The rest of the rotation is up in the air, as Lee has to be slotted in somewhere while someone has to be bumped. The Giants are sending Jonathan "No Hitter" Sanchez, Ryan Sadowski, Tim "the Freak" Lincecum, and Barry "I used to date Alyssa Milano" Zito to the mound in the series. Lee and Ben Francisco are supposed to join the team in San Fran today, with Kendrick and Mayberry likely sent down.
Corey is on vacation, so whether a Tale of the Tape is forthcoming for the San Francisco series is unknown.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Cliff Lee- 7-9, 22 gs, 152 ip, 107 k, 3.14 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 30 years old. $8M club option for 2010.
Ben Francisco- .250/.758, 48 r, 21 dbl, 10 hr, 33 rbi, 13 sb, 27 years old. Under team control through 2012.
Carlos Carrasco- the much ballyhooed pitcher in the Phils organization for the past few seasons has taken a step back in his progression this season, stalling at Triple-A with a 6-9 record and 5.18 ERA.
Jason Knapp- a 2008 draft pick that is a strikeout machine, 149 k's in 116.1 ip.
Jason Donald- has been injured most of the season, and some question his future as a full-time MLB player. He was roadblocked at SS and 2nd by J-Roll and Utley, and his defensive ability at 3rd is still up in the air.
Lou Marson- high average, little power backstop. Could be starting in the majors now, but Chooch has that gig in Philly.
Pitcher A: 7-9, 22 gs, 152 ip, 107 k, 3.14 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Pitcher B: 11-3, 19 gs, 141 ip, 123 k, 2.62 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Pitcher C: 8-6, 20 gs, 133 ip, 79 k, 2.64 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
The answer is an emphatic "yes". Pitcher A is the reigning AL Cy Young, Cliff Lee. Pitcher B is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Roy Halladay. Pitcher C is the contract motivated Jarrod Washburn. All three are rumored to be sought after by the Phillies as this Friday's trade deadline looms. Toronto wants an arm and a leg, plus two other unknown body parts for Halladay, which is too steep of a price. It's believed that the Indians wouldn't require the movement of the Phils top prospects for Lee, and he has an option for next season. Washburn could probably be had for a song and dance, now whether that's the "Humpty Dance" or "the Hustle" remains to be seen.
What To Do?
Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton are staying put in the Phils rotation, that much I am sure of. Happ is a mainstay, unless of course his stay is cut short by trade. That leaves two spots in the rotation, currently occupied by Moyer and Lopez. Jamie is a constant up-and-down, but I find it hard to believe the Phils would take him out of the rotation (although they probably should). Rodrigo has been amazing since joining the Phils, and removing him would make little sense to me. Then you have Pedro Martinez on his way back to the majors. What are the Phils going to do with these six pitchers? Add in a possible trade candidate from the list above and you have possibly 7 arms for 5 spots.
JA Happ looks to bounce back from his only loss this season and shake off trade speculation against the Diamondbacks' Yusmeiro Petit. Heading into this series, a sweep seemed unlikely with Grand Pappy pitching Monday and the dominant Dan Haren pitching last night, but the unlikely could happen. Tune in tonight for outcome.
Brad Lidge has gone from one of the best seasons ever in the history of closers to one of the worst seasons ever. As we all know, he was a perfect 41-41 during the regular season and locked down all 7 opportunities during the playoffs in '08. This year he's blown 6 saves, notched 4 losses, and has a 7.11 ERA and 1.79 WHIP. His earned run average is tied for the worst in the history of the game with closers having 20+ saves (the legendary Shawn Chacon being his run surrendering buddy). His walks/hits per 9 innings is 5th highest. Concerned? Yep, and we have 2 more seasons of this crap to follow for $10M+ each year.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
For the first time this season a player on opposing squads committed a Howard in the same game. Thanks to Detroit's Curtis Granderson and Texas' Michael Young the list of offenders has reached 61. Still no appearance from the stat's namesake, Ryan Howard, or any other Phillie for that matter.
Battle of Aces:
Philadelphia and Arizona send their staff aces to the mound tonight. Cole Hamels (6-5, 4.66 ERA) hasn't pitched like a top of the rotation starter, but he claims he's a "second half pitcher". Dan Haren (10-5, 2.14 ERA) is battling with Tim Lincecum for NL Cy Young honors. Good news, in limited exposure Hamels has done well against the Diamondbacks, where as Haren has not against the Phillies.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Phoenix - The pool in right center.
Philly - Ashburn Alley.
Advantage - Phoenix. Bikinis = nice.
Phoenix - Frying an egg. It's like 110 degrees in Arizona, so sidewalk cookery is entirely possible.
Philly - Getting beat to death.
Advantage - Push. Eggs are loaded with fat and cholesterol which leads to coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction and death. Since the end result is the same, gotta call a "push."
Phoenix - The Mercury.
Philly - No WNBA team.
Advantage - Philly. Although getting a team in Philadelphia would lower the unemployment rate for the 6 feet tall lesbian demographic, not having the WNBA benefits the rest of the population immensely.
The School For You
Phoenix - The University of Phoenix.
Philly - KKF.
Advantage - Philly. U of Phoenix has the largest undergraduate population of any university, spread out over the entire country. So, KKF wins for two reasons 1)exclusivity and 2)explaining why you drive to King of Prussia to go to the University of Phoenix is difficult to do.
Fashion Faux Pas
Phoenix - The bola tie is the official state neckwear.
Philly - Sweatpants. For some in south Philly, sweatpants are active wear, night wear, formal wear and everything else in between. The bar, school, a job interview, a wake...sweatpants will be worn.
Advantage - Philly. Sweatpants are comfortable.
Once again, the numbers never lie. Philly takes another TotT so the Phils will take another series...with or without Roy Halladay.
*The Phillies jacked 4 2-run homeruns yesterday, thanks to J-Roll, Utley, Howard, and Ibanez.
*Speaking of homeruns, the Phils have 4 players in the NL Top 10 in that category (Ibanez, Howard, Utley, and Werth).
*Shane Victorino is having an amazing season. NL Ranks: .320 avg (7th), 72 r (2nd), 125 h (2nd), 26 dbl (8th), 6 trpl (4th), .858 OPS (23rd).
*Chase Utley (70) and Jayson Werth (68) rank 3rd and 4th respectively behind Vic in runs scored.
*Pedro Martinez's rehab start was cut short by rain yesterday in Single-A Clearwater.
*Phils head West tonight, with a 3-game series starting in Arizona. Tale of the Tape forthcoming.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
*So much for that pitching surplus I spoke of Tuesday, as the DL is now being crowded with relievers (Romero, Durbin, and Condrey). Tyler Walker, Kyle Kendrick, and Steven Register have taken their spots. Inspire confidence? Yeah, I didn't think so.
*Phillies hot streak coinciding with a Jimmy Rollins hot streak...whoa, really? The saying goes, "As J-Roll goes, so do the Phillies." July: 16-5 record, Rollins- .337/.965, 17 r, 11 rbi, 13 bb, 7 sb, 12 xbh. We should all be very thankful.
*Mets record- 45 wins, 51 losses, 10.5 games back. Mets DL'd: Jose Reyes, Billy Wagner, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, John Maine, Fernando Martinez, Fernando Nieve, JJ Putz, Ramon Martinez, and Gary Sheffield. Go ahead and laugh.
*Here's to hoping today's starter Joe Blanton continues his season trend, as his ERA has dropped with each month. April- 8.41, May- 4.65, June- 3.62, July- 0.83.
*Where they stand: 1st in NL in runs (518), 3rd in MLB. 13th in ERA (4.47), 22nd in MLB. Lowest errors in NL (39), 2nd lowest in MLB. 2nd best record in NL (55-40), 5th best in MLB.
*To get Roy Halladay- Kyle Drabek, JA Happ, and Dominic Brown. No thank you.
Friday, July 24, 2009
1. Doug Glanville/CF
2. Ron Gant/LF
3. Bobby Abreu/RF
4. Kevin Jordan/3B
5. Rico Brogna/1B
6. Marlon Anderson/2B
7. Gary Bennett/C
8. Alex Arias/SS
Pitchers- Chad Ogea, Steve Montgomery, Jim Poole, and Wayne Gomes.
Seriously, Kevin Jordan was our cleanup hitter? Thank Buddha times have changed. For as bad a J-Roll is at times, just remember Alex Arias could be out there instead. From that group of players I really only have fond memories of Glanville and Abreu. By the way, Ogea pitched himself out of the majors that season with the Phils, finishing 6-12 with a 5.62 ERA and 1.51 WHIP...very Eaton-esque. Montgomery got the win, Gomes the save, and Abreu went 3-3 for 2 rbi.
St. Louis Series:
Previous Tale of the Tape for St. Louis. And yes, I still want to slap the Band-Aid wearing dipshit Nelly.
Pitching Matchups- Joel "Call me Joe-L" Pineiro vs JA "Call me Jay" Happ (FRI), Kyle Lohse vs Rodrigo Lopez (SAT), and Todd Wellemeyer vs. Joe Blanton (SUN).
And for your viewing pleasure...
...oh, and she makes some good points about Roy Halladay too.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Moyer also has 9 wins and hasn't put up the absolute shit numbers that Adam Eaton did. Mainly because he has had 5 starts where he's given up 1 run or less. In the other 14 starts, however, he has a 7.55 ERA. Given that now we have a 75% chance that Moyer will give up 5 runs in 6 innings, I'm not convinced Moyer will be able to contribute to this team in October. I'm hoping to see more consistency in the next few starts, regardless of the size of the strike zone...
The Fightin' Mets
The Mets can't win many games these days, but they are good for some interesting stories.
Apparently, Tony Bernazard, the Mets' vice president of player development, challenged at least one double-A player to a fight. Reports are that he called second baseman Jose Coronado a "slang term associated with a woman's anatomy" before "ripping off his shirt like Hulk Hogan" and issuing an invitation to fight in the parking lot.
After hearing that there were shirtless men in the stadium parking lot in Binghamton, Jose Reyes decided to start his rehab there tonight.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Durbin- 2 yrs, 6-6, 112 gm, 136.1 ip, 110 k, 2 sv, 23 holds, 3.30 ERA, 1.36 WHIP.
Romero- 3 yrs, 5-6, 152 gm, 111 ip, 95 k, 1 sv, 52 holds, 2.27 ERA, 1.29 WHIP.
Eyre- 2 yrs, 4-1, 48 gm, 32.2 ip, 32 k, 14 holds, 1.93 ERA, 1.10 WHIP.
Condrey- 4 yrs, 16-8, 151 gm, 183.2 ip, 99 k, 4 sv, 10 holds, 3.77 ERA, 1.48 WHIP.
Here's to hoping for the continued success of Lopez and the same fortune for Pedro Martinez.
The Phillies are the hottest team in baseball, winning 10 straight and going 14-3 in the month of July. Joe Blanton went 7 solid innings, surrendering the lone run to the Cubs. The bullpen went 6 perfect innings, with Clay Condrey garnering the win. Utley, Howard, and Ibanez went 0-14, but Werth and Rollins delivered enough offense to get the job done. Great pitching all around by both squads and a very fast paced 13 inning affair.
*Thanks to my Baseball Reference subscription I was able to crunch numbers and discover Eric Bruntlett's .395 OPS is the 9th worst this decade by a player with 90+ plate appearances. It's the 109th worst since 1901. Release him!!!
*Chan Ho Park as a starting pitcher- 7.29 ERA, 7 starts, 1 win, 33.1 ip, 21 k, .311 average against. Chan Ho Park as a reliever- 2.94 ERA, 20 gm, 2 wins, 30.2 ip, 36 k, .226 average against. Sometimes bloggers know best.
*Tyler Walker has accepted his minor league assignment and will report to Lehigh Valley. He pitched well for the Phils, and he's likely to get a September call-up.
*Toronto has imposed a deadline of July 28th to resolve the Roy Halladay issue.
*Phils have been scouting Diamondbacks closer Chad Qualls.
*Pedro Martinez threw 4 innings in a simulated game yesterday in Florida, and both Amaro and Pedro reported it went well.
*Moyer goes for his 10th win of the season this afternoon in a Business Persons Special.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Lopez vs. Martinez:
I was not a fan of signing Pedro Martinez, but I understand the reasoning behind it. My problem with it now is that Rodrigo Lopez has been outstanding in his 3 starts, and it would be nearly impossible for Pedro to outperform him if he were to take his spot in the rotation. Lopez #'s- 2 wins, 17.1 ip, 13 k, 2.60 ERA, 1.21 WHIP. Now, I do not expect this level of success to continue, but I also do not expect Pedro to post an ERA below 4.50 either. Pedro is set to throw a simulated game today and then pitch a Single-A game on Sunday. He could be ready to go in about 2 weeks, giving Rodrigo a few more starts and plenty of time for a debate to go from simmering to boiling.
Do I want Roy Halladay to be a Phillie? Hells yes, I'd be purchasing that jersey right quick. The real question is, what am I willing to surrender. JA Happ has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the NL this season, is under team control for years to come, and therefore should not be traded. If the Phils are so concerned about starting pitching, it would make no sense to trade who is currently their best option in that role. Toronto is reportedly seeking some combination of Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Dominic Brown, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and/or Lou Marson. Drabek, Taylor, and Brown are rated as Top 25 talent by Baseball America, so I would be alright with parting with one of them, but not two. Donald still is questionable as a full-time MLB player, so although I like him, I would not be sad to see him go for Halladay. Marson could probably be the starting catcher now, but that is Chooch's job, and will be for the next couple seasons. A package of Taylor, Carrasco, and Donald for Halladay would be ideal.
*From Yahoo Sports- Brett Myers (hip) is "way ahead of schedule" in his rehab and will throw a bullpen session Saturday in Philadelphia. Myers said he was told by a hip specialist that he could return in mid to late August if his rehab continues to go well. He wouldn't be used as a starter, but could contribute as a late-innings reliever.
*From MLBTR/Jayson Stark- Pedro Martinez's contract is a prorated $2MM base salary, which will ultimately be worth less than $1MM for the rest of the season. He has incentives to pitch as both a starter and a reliever. Bonuses are awarded for every start Pedro pitches after his fifth. He's also getting paid a $15K bonus for every fifteenth day he's on the active roster. Incentives are included for postseason awards and the Comeback Player of the Year award. In all, Pedro could receive an additional $1.275MM next to his salary.
*Jayson Werth has struck out 9 times in 4 games since the All-Star break.
*Eric Bruntlett's OPS has dipped below .400 (.399) which is by far the most pathetic in baseball. Not opinion, but fact. Seriously, that's the lowest OPS in MLB this season from any player with 70+ at bats.
*Joe Blanton went from being on his way to ruining the Phils win streak on Saturday night to being able to help bump it to double digits tonight (thanks again Mother Nature). Rich Harden gets the ball for the Cubs. 10 straight would be awesome, go Phils!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Chicago - Von Steuben Day Parade
Philly - Mummer's Parade
Advantage - Philly. Von Stueben Day is celebrated in many places, not just Chicago. In fact, the biggest parade is in NYC. So, even though Ferris Bueller sang "Danke Schoen" and "Twist and Shout" in the Chicago parade, it's lack of originality makes it an easy loser to the Mummers.
Chicago - Wrigley Field
Philly - Citizens Bank Park
Advantage - Chicago. Two reasons: 1)the government isn't bailing out the gum industry and 2)the Doublemint Twins. Yummy.
Hall of Fame Broadcaster
Chicago - Harry Caray
Philly - Harry Kalas
Advantage - Philly. Kalas takes this category for Philadelphia based on loyalty and longevity. He was the Phillies broadcaster for 38 years. Harry is the voice of Philadelphia and the Phillies. Caray, on the other hand, was consistent with his location. He spent 25+ years in Chicago, split between the Cubs and White Sox. But he spent nearly as much time calling games for the Cubs arch rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. Think Kalas would have left to go call Mets games after being in Philly for 25 years? I don't think so.
Chicago - The longest title drought in major professional sports history. That is one hell of a cursed goat...
Philly - Most losses in professional baseball history.
Advantage - Philly. The Cubs haven't even been to a World Series since 1945. That's way worse than merely losing a lot of games. Especially when the Phillies are currently WFC.
Outfield Wall Composition
Chicago - Ivy covered red brick.
Philly - Typical green padded wall.
Advantage - Philly. If Aaron Rowand would have been the Cub's centerfielder a few years back he would have died.
Name of Tall Building
Chicago - Willis Tower
Philly - Comcast Center
Advantage - Chicago. The Sears Tower was recently renamed the Willis Tower in honor of Bruce Willis and the the 20 year anniversary of the release of "Die Hard." Props to Chicago for honoring the greatest action star of our generation and the greatest movie to never win an Oscar. Yippie kay-yay, Chicago.
Needs English Lessons
Chicago - Balki Bartokomous. Balki, the Chicago resident and former shepherd from the island of Mypos, often gives advice to "cousin Larry" in very broken English.
Philly - Gary "Sarge" Matthews. When Sarge speaks, it's best to write down the words and then rearrange them to so they make sentences before you actually try to comprehend what he is saying.
Advantage - Chicago. At least Balki is from another country. Sarge's only excuse is that he takes cues from Wheeler.
There you have it. The numbers never lie. Put another series win down for the fightin' Phils.