Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Read the shirt!


Time to Win!


Clinch Day

The past two seasons the Phillies have had an old goat on the mound pitching the day they clinched (Jamie Moyer). Today they look to continue that tradition of an old goat finishing off the NL East, but with a different face (Pedro Martinez). As depicted by Whitey Ashburn's #1 in the top left sidebar, the Phils magic number is at 1. Win tonight, and then rest the regulars, set up the rotation for the playoffs, and get ready to defend the World Series championship.

Pedro Martinez (5-1, 3.32 era) vs. Brian Moehler (8-11, 5.21 era). Pedro is coming off a long layoff due to neck stiffness and Moehler is coming off a rough start against Cincy due to him not being a very good pitcher.

Chooch was scratched from the lineup because his wrist still isn't ready to go. Brett Myers is throwing a bullpen session today. Grand Pappy Moyer tweaked his groin on the final out of the 7th inning last night. Scott Eyre hasn't pitched since being cleared by the trainers.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Time to Panic?

6 games to go, need to win 3, is it time to panic? With the Atlanta Braves glued to the Phillies backside like that ill advised "Kiss This" lip tattoo you got on your butt, it's starting to get uncomfortable. The Phils are playing horrible baseball, while the Braves are playing like they can't lose. The pitching matchups heavily favor the Phils in this series with Houston, but the bats have gone silent like the lambs. I'm not quite ready to panic, or am I?

Is it time to panic?
Hell yes!
Calm down Trigger. free polls

The Phillies and Eagles are joining forces to help raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. They will be selling these t-shirts to do so.


Monday, September 28, 2009

What's To Be Done?

I was wondering what role Brad Lidge should have with the team and this classic Simpson's line popped into my head.
I want it all: the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles. Sure, I might offend a few of the bluenoses with my cocky stride and musky odors -- oh, I'll never be the darling of the so-called "City Fathers" who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about "What's to be done with this Homer Simpson?"
Sure, Brad Lidge doesn't have a pile of sugar in his backyard, but the question is still valid - what should be done with this Brad Lidge?

Can he really give up the "terrifying lows" and "dizzying highs" of closing ballgames and pitch in the 6th inning? Hell, can he pitch successfully in any inning?

The stressors and pressures of closing games are one thing but a complete inability to get outs is another. He has given the team no inclination that he can walk to the mound, take the ball and record three outs without giving up at least a run. It's comical to compare Brad Lidge to Rick Allen's left arm but the reality of a useless 10 million dollar man is staring us all in the face and it's not too funny. And it has a goatee, a big mole and a bigger ERA.

So, what does Charlie Manuel think?

"I think he will get back to where he was," Manuel said. "Right now, from a mental aspect, he needs a little break."

Phew! That's a relief. I was concerned it was more than just the "mental aspect." This should be pretty easy to fix. Maybe he should fill up the bathtub, make it real bubbly, pour a glass of sweet pink wine, light a scented candle, plug in a toaster and throw it in and put on a little James Blunt. Calgon, take me away! By the time the bottle of wine is done Lidge will be an elite closer again. Problem solved. I don't know why I was even worried.
Last Night And Tonight
So maybe "easy win for the Phils" wasn't the most accurate statement I've ever written for the Phils. I always forget the "Tim Redding Factor." The shittier the pitcher is against other teams the better he will be against the Phils.

Tonight, the Phils and JA Happ square off against Wilton Lopez. He's never started a game before and he has an ERA of 8 in only 10 career innings of work. I guess the Phils will get shut out...


Enter Sandman?

Have you ever seen Ryan Madson show that much emotion before? I thought for a second he might go apeshit spastic like K-Rod.

After yesterday's win over the Brew Crew the magic number is down to 3 but more importantly the Phils may have found their closer. I know it was only one game and he's blown plenty of saves already this year, but with the season long meltdown of Brad Lidge and a dearth of options, Mad Dog has to be the man in the ninth.

Scott Boras has touted Ryan Madson as the second coming of Mariano "The Sandman" Rivera. I guess we'll get to see if the mad agent is right about the Mad Dog. I hope he pitches like Mariano Rivera and not Saul Rivera...or Ben Rivera. [Side note: not that many "Rivera" pitchers in the history of MLB.]
Cole Hamels versus Yorman Bazardo. You may remember Bazardo as that guy who was pitching in a 2009 Grapefruit League game for the Phils and you didn't know who he was. And like most other Phillies that don't fit into the plan (see: Coste, Gas Can Geary, Mike Costanzo, Jason Michaels, Michael Bourn, etc.) he ended up with Ed Wade and the Astros. So far this season Bazardo has given up 13 earned runs in 13 innings. His ERA is higher than Brad Lidge's! Easy win for the Phils.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Celebrated Return of No-Hit Nunez

No-Hit Nunez is back in the house, and I've never been happier to see him. With the Phils win today they knocked their magic # down to 3, which was the number of Sir Abraham Nunez. Nunez sucked, hell I even banished his name from use on the blog years ago, but his return is very much welcomed today.

Going back to Philly on Monday for the final regular season homestand of the season. Like Starsky & Hutch- Do it, Do it!


Up 5, 8 To Go

Watching the Phillies recently and you may be inclined to think that they're quite capable of blowing a 5 game lead with 8 games remaining in the season. The bullpen is in shambles, with every pitcher failing in the 9th when given the opportunity or currently unavailable due to injury. The defense is sloppy. The starting pitching is either erratic (Lee) or banged up (Pedro). The top 3 (J-Roll, Vic, & Utley) in the lineup are in a slump (Combined 10-64 over last 5 games). Jayson Werth has 1 hit in his last 24 at bats. To blow this division lead and miss the playoffs would be utterly disgusting and infamously record setting, neither of which I'm hoping to happen. They need just 4 more wins to secure a postseason spot, but just how long is it going to take to get it done?

Today: Joe Blanton vs. Dave Bush in Milwaukee, Derek Lowe vs Livan Hernandez in Washington.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Physically & Statistically Beat Up

Some Phillies are getting beat up physically, while others are getting beat up statistically.

Physical Beat Downs:
*Pedro Martinez is scratched from today's start because of a lingering stiff neck that forced him out of his previous start. Taking his place today in the rotation is Kyle Kendrick.

*Carlos Ruiz has a bum wrist and has received numerous cortisone shots in it over the past few days, but he remains unavailable for duty.

*Paul Bako got lit up at the plate on Thursday night and is feeling a bit sore. These things happen when you're an 83 year old catcher I suppose.

*Scott Eyre and his "loose body" in his left elbow are "active", but have yet to appear in a game since being deemed ready.

*JC Romero has a mound session today, and it could be his last should it go well.

*Chan Ho Park is set to throw off a mound today and is "progressing pretty well".

*Brett Myers and his sore shoulder may be ready to pitch by late next week.

Statistically Struggling:
*What in the world has happened to Cliff Lee? He is 2-3 with a 6.35 ERA over his last six starts, with one start being a shutout.

*Jayson Werth has 1 hit in his last 21 at bats with 12 k's.

*Pedro Feliz is batting .216 with a .591 OPS in September.

*Brad Lidge has been scored upon in 5 straight outings and 6 out of 9 appearances during September.

*Shane Victorino is batting .241 with a .643 OPS in September.

Gotta love how we're stumbling into the playoffs.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Breaking News...

Breaking news...Paul Hoover is starting at catcher tonight. After sitting on the bench without any playing time since being called up at the beginning of September he gets the start behind the plate in Milwaukee, batting 8th in place of the injured Carlos Ruiz and currently overused Paul Bako. During parts of 5 seasons he's only caught 28 games with a .230 average and .493 OPS. I said it was "breaking news", not earth-shattering. Seriously, look at this picture, I think he's in shock.

On the mound: Cliff Lee and his NL ERA of 2.65 versus Manny Parra and his unsightly 6.42 ERA.


Martinez And His Rib Rub

If you remember, Cole Hamels once blamed a lack of available chiropractic care for an elbow injury. At the time I lampooned Hamels' desire to have an on-staff chiropractor, suggesting that Criss Angel, Harry Potter, and Dr. Nick Riviera would be equally fine additions to the staff. But now it seems Hamels may have found a friend in the battle to get an official Phillies quackopractor. From Yahoo!:
RHP Pedro Martinez saw a chiropractor Monday in South Florida and had an adjustment that relieved some pain in his stiff neck. “I think I had a rib out of place,” Martinez said, although GM Ruben Amaro Jr. seemed unaware of any rib problem.
Amaro unaware of any rib problem? Of course he was not aware of any rib problem. One, there was no rib problem. And two, everybody knows the only person with the Phillies who really knows ribs is Sarge.

.gif would be courtesy of if I would have asked. Please visit their store and buy a t-shirt so they won't sue us for using their material. I wish they could put .gif images on a t-shirt...


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Brad Lidge Blows Saves for a Living

2009 Brad Lidge: 0-8, 11 blown saves, 1.86 WHIP, 7.48 ERA. That is the highest single season earned run average and third highest walks+hits/innings pitched (WHIP) by a closer in the history of Major League Baseball. He's put 107 runners on base is just 55.1 innings. He's allowed at least 1 earned run in 27 of his 63 appearances, meaning 43% of the games he pitches in the opposition is tagging him for at least 1 run.

The man that helped secure the World Series championship is likely to do the polar opposite of that this season. With this dilapidated bullpen, Manuel doesn't have too many other options, so expect more gut-wrenching, heartbreaking losses to follow.

The Phillies were 79-0 when leading after eight innings last season. This year they are 75-10.

"It's incredibly frustrating," Lidge said. "I'm disappointed, but they hit the ball tonight. They did a good job. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get another chance to get something started again, but, yeah, I'm definitely frustrated a little bit at a loss, but I'm sure there are some things I can do better."

Get something started?
Like a rally for the opposing team that ends with a blown save and a loss?

Sure there are some thing I can do better?
Like not allowing a run every damn appearance or having the worst season ever in the history of closers?!

*Quote pulled from The Zo Zone.

Freakin' Elves:

I feel like I'm watching an episode of Little People, Big World when a Marlins game is on because of Santa's elves Cody Ross and Dan Uggla.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WSBGM's Power Rankings

Welcome to round 3 of WSBGM's Power Rankings. Remember, the rankings are based on who we have the most confidence in at the time of the rankings. Overall talent and past performances will bias the rankings slightly, but the goal is to provide a snapshot of who's excelling currently and who is pitching like Brad Lidge (aka- horrible).

Position Players:
1. Utley- Harry said it best, "Chase Utley, you are the man!"
2. Werth- ugly swing, big results.
3. Howard- August and September is his time of year.
4. Ibanez- look who's starting to hit again.
5. Victorino- seems a bit lackadaisical lately.
6. Rollins- leadoff batter's on base % still below .300.
7. Ruiz- all aboard the Cooch-Cooch train!
8. Francisco- perfect 4th outfielder, thanks Cleveland.
9. Feliz- lousy .689 OPS, should Phils pick up his $5M 2010 option?
10. Stairs- looking like a PH threat again.
11. Bako- we could have Paulino, Jaramillo, or Coste instead.
Not Enough Time- Dobbs, Cairo, Bruntlett, Tracy, Mayberry, Hoover.

1. Lee- 7 wins with a 2.65 ERA in 10 starts as a Phillie.
2. Hamels- is primed for another run of postseason dominance.
3. Blanton- sturdy and consistent.
4. Happ- stupid injury derailed would-be rookie of the year award.
5. Martinez- honestly, the entire rotation is good right now.
6. Moyer- since "demotion" has lowered ERA by nearly half a run.

1. Madson- setup master, closing disaster.
2. Walker- husky sweater is 2nd best option because of injuries.
3. Condrey- welcome back Jars of Clay.
4. Kendrick- effective spot start and relief work since return.
5. Escalona- might be LOOGY come playoff time by default.
6. Durbin- walks too many batters.
7. Drummer from Def Leppard's phantom arm.
8. Lidge- still sucks.
Injured- Myers, Romero, Eyre, Ho Park, Taschner.

*Last chance to enter the Coin That Phrase Contest this week. Winner will be announced Friday.


And Then There Were 5

With the split of yesterday's doubleheader the Phillies have reduced their magic number to 5 games. I figured they'd win one of the games, but not the one they won. The offense touched up the better pitcher Josh Johnson in Game 1 and sputtered out against the high-ERA'd Anibal Sanchez in Game 2. Each game featured quality starting efforts by the Phils pitchers though, Blanton- 7 ip, 2 h, 2 bb, 0 r, 9 k, and Moyer- 7 ip, 9 h, 1 bb, 3 r, 5 k.

To go to 4 today the Phils have the favorable match-up of Cole Hamels against Rick VandenHurk. Let's wrap this thing up as quickly as possible and just worry about getting healthy for the playoffs.

Remember to enter your favorite sports related phrase/quote in the Coin That Phrase Contest.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Big Games?

The passing of Monday signified the Phillies last off day of the season. They won't get another breather until October 5th. 14 games remain between now and then with a doubleheader slated for today. With an 8 game lead on both the Florida Marlins (who they play today) and the Atlanta Braves the postseason seems well within the realm of reality.

Game 1 @ 4:10: Joe Blanton (10-7, 3.97) vs. Josh Johnson (15-4, 3.01)
Game 2 @ 8:10: Jamie Moyer (12-9, 5.05) vs. Anibal Sanchez (2-7, 4.50)

Blanton and Moyer are a combined 16-4 against the Fish with a 2.98 ERA over 124 innings. The duo of Johnson and Sanchez are 4-5 with a 5.10 ERA in 67 innings when facing the Phils (most of that being Anibal's fault).

The question is- just how big are these games? If the Phils are swept in this 3-game/2-day series then it would get a bit scary with only a 5 game lead and still 3 more games against Florida later on. However, winning just 1 game would assure that the Marlins get no closer than 7 games, and a 2 game difference is huge at this stage of the season.

Make sure you enter the Coin That Phrase Contest.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Off Day Musings

*The Phillies aren't only a homerun hitting juggernaut, they also pound many balls into the gaps (oh, that sounds dirty) for doubles. They lead the NL in HR (210), doubles (219), and runs (747).

*The first handful of months to the season saw the Phils in the bottom portion of the NL in team ERA, but our pitchers are now ranked 6th with a 4.08 earned run average. Thanks Pedro and Cliff.

*With 105 stolen bases and only 22 caught stealing, the Phils have a MLB-best 83% success rate.

*Thankfully September allows for expanded rosters, because many of the Phils pitchers are ailing and the starters have only gone 10 innings in the past 3 games combined due to injuries or weather. Others with bumps and bruises- Eyre, Romero, Myers, Park, and Taschner.

*Old buddy So Taguchi got a September call-up with the Cubs and is batting a cool .500, albeit only in 4 at bats.

*Some WSBGMs readers suggested the Phils should have signed Milton Bradley this offseason instead of Raul Ibanez. Thankfully Ruben Amaro is sane, as Raul has been an all-star and MB has been his old reliant tumultuous piece of crap self getting suspended for the remainder of the season by the Cubs. Image courtesy of More Hardball.

*Don't forget to enter the Coin That Phrase Contest.


Coin That Phrase sports phrase contest!!!

It's Coin That Phrase contest time! Coin That Phrase ( is the only place on the web where you can take ownership of your favorite lines and turn them into t-shirts, mugs, key chains, dog tags, and cash! Here’s your chance to do that for free…

Submit you favorite sports phrase from the weekend. Could be a sportscaster quote or maybe a newspaper headline. Perhaps Serena went nuts again or they mic’d up T.O. Whatever it is, email your favorite quote from the weekend of sports to for a chance to win. The contest runs through Wednesday night and finalist phrases and the winner will be posted right here on Friday. The winner will receive a free t-shirt with their phrase on it and a $25 gift card to Coin That Phrase to shop some more. The blog with the most entries and the blog that represents the winner will also win, so make sure you include the site you’re coming from in your email. Every phrase submitted will be posted at, so even if you don’t win you can still buy something sweet with your phrase on it. Good Luck!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pedro Finally Loses

Say goodbye to the dancing midget and to the Swayze, because the Phillies and Pedro Martinez's winning streaks are over. Last night Pedro lost his first game in a Phillies uniform, and it was his 100th loss of his career. Aside from the loss in the standings, they may have lost Pedro too, as he left the game after 3 innings with neck pain. Meanwhile, the offense was slain by the merciless hand of Javier Vazquez, making for a boring night of baseball viewing for this Phils fan. Series wraps up this afternoon with a Cliff Lee/Tommy Hanson clash.

I know I said the Swayze would end, but this was already made ahead of time, and I couldn't resist...


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Game Time- Point Break

Both Vic and Chooch sit, but for different reasons. Shane is still feeling ill, while Ruiz has a bum wrist. Hopefully both will be back in the lineup Sunday, but for tonight we get the Francisco Treat and Bako Bits.


Saturday Stuff

Injury Report
Cooch left last night's game with a wrist sprain. X-rays were negative. "I don't think it's going to keep him out very long," Fuqua said after the game, while holding the x-rays up to the light. "We'll just wait and see."

JA Happ said he felt fine when he was taken out the game last night in the third inning. Apparently Utley and Rollins saw him wince when he ran to cover first. Whatever, I'm not buying it. I think Charlie Manuel was sick of seeing himself in Swayze parodies and decided that Kyle Kendrick was his best option to stop the winning streak.
How Did I Not Know This
Charlie Manuel had a comment on Ryan Howard's attempted steal of third - "Big Piece can hit, but he can't steal third."

Big Piece? Piece of what? I don't know, but I guess he's got a new nickname here.
Pedro goes against Javier Vazquez at 7:10 on CSN. But until then, if you are like me and will spend the entire day at home putting everything you own into some boxes because you have been evicted are moving, here are some things to keep you entertained.

7:30 Burnley v. Sunderland on ESPN2. Gotta love the Premier League in HD.
8:00 until 1:30, a Phineas and Ferb mini-marathon on DisneyXD
10:00 Portsmouth v. Aston Villa on Fox Soccer Channel
12:00 Penn St. v. Temple on Big10 Network
12:30 Liverpool v. West Ham on Fox Soccer Channel
3:30 Nebraska v. Virginia Tech on ABC, Tennessee v. Florida on CBS or Michigan St. v. Notre Dame on NBC.
4:00 Barcelona v. Atletico Madrid on GolTV
4:00 Cubs v. Cardinals on FOX


Friday, September 18, 2009

Killing 2 Birds with 1 Stone

Entering Atlanta for a 3 game series against the 2nd place Braves is a big deal this time of the year. The Phillies seem to be in control of the NL East, but regardless of how secure you think their grasp on the division is, it remains up for grabs. The Braves are 7.5 games back and could conceivably be only 4.5 back after Sunday. On the flip side the Phillies really only have to win 1 game to keep this a comfortable lead, because they'd still leave Atlanta up 6.5 on the Braves. Essentially winning one game is like a two-fer...killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Should the Phillies take the series, they'd be up 8.5 games, or sweep and be 10.5 games up on the Braves. Meanwhile, the Marlins are facing the Reds for 3 more games (lost to Cincinnati last night in the 1st game of a 4 game series).

Weekend Match-Ups:
Fri- JA Happ vs. Tim Hudson
Sat- Pedro Martinez vs. Javier Vazquez
Sun- Cliff Lee vs. Tommy Hanson

Those are some supreme clashes right there. Happ is coming off a minor injury, while Hudson is still building arm strength. Pedro has been amazing, while Vazquez is a strikeout machine. Lee has made me nearly forget about ever wanting Halladay, while Hanson is a stud rookie.


Nobody Puts Charlie In A Corner


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Phillies Updates

Chan Ho Park "popped" his right hamstring last night when he delivered the final pitch of the 7th inning. He will be reevaluated today by the trainer, but this is simply bad news. A hammy takes awhile to heal, and it's not like the Phils have an abundance of time right now. Park may have been horrible in the rotation (7.29 ERA), but since being moved to relief (2.52 ERA) he's been outstanding. Maybe he can get Mr. Miyagi to do his miracle rub on it for a quick heal.

Greg Dobbs is back, but is he back? After being the NL's best pinch hitter in '08 (22-62, .355), he's taken quite the fall from grace this season (7-46, .152). Last night I noticed Dobbs' shaved his patented sideburns, which is like Samson cutting his hair by my estimation. The PH usually plays an important role in the playoffs, so hopefully Matt Stairs, Ben Francisco, and Dobbs can get some spot starts down the stretch here should the Phils quickly keep reducing their magic number, which now sits at 11 (next stop- Bowa's #10).

JA Happ is scheduled to resume his regular turn in the rotation, starting Friday against the Braves in Atlanta. It'll be interesting to see how the layoff effects his stamina and precision.

Cole Hamels looks to continue his recent success (2.03 ERA over last 3 starts) and finish off the Nationals tonight for a sweet sweep. The winless Ross Detwiler counters for Washington.

Behold the power of the Swayze...


The Swayze Continues

Okay, look around. Anybody watching? No? Then commence singing:

Oh, my love, my darling...


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Power of Swayze?

I was more than a little concerned when Carson tried to harness the power of a recently deceased Patrick Swayze yesterday. Sure, it worked when Bea Arthur died but we were already riding the Golden Girls train when she passed. This effort seemed more like corpse exploitation, which worried my given Swayze's history of seeking revenge in ghost form. I was fully expecting Whoopi Goldberg, while channeling the spirit of the dirty dancer, to negatively interfere with the Phillies last night. But I was wrong. Lee dominated the Gnats. Swayze did not seek retribution for our attempt to turn his cancerous pancreas into Phillies wins. But did Swayze give the Phils some good mojo? Who knows, but the precedent has been set and I'm not one to mess with a winning streak. So, until the Phillies lose again, we'll have to go with Swayze...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Road to the Postseason

With 20 games to go, the Phils are 7 up on the Florida Marlins and have a 7.5 game advantage over the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies still have to face the flippin' Fish 6 more times this season, and the boorish Braves 3 more. Playoffs may seem safe, but there's a lot of meaningful baseball left to be played.

Remaining Schedule:
Sept. 15-17 @ Philadelphia vs. Washington Nationals
Sept. 18-20 @ Atlanta vs. Braves
Sept. 22-23 @ Florida vs. Marlins (doubleheader on 22nd)
Sept. 24-27 @ Milwaukee vs. Brewers
Sept. 28-Oct. 1 @ Philadelphia vs. Houston Astros
Oct. 2-4 @ Philadelphia vs. Florida Marlins.

Fallen Heroes:
May Patrick Swayze bring the luck of the Golden Girls to the Phillies.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Lidge Can Do Bad All By Himself


Pedro Wins, Mahow Dances

This is already the 5th time this crazy little fool has appeared dancing on the blog and it's all because of Pedro. Last night Pedro threw 130 pitches en route to 8 shutout innings and the win. Pedro as a Phillie: 7 games started, 5-0, 37.2 ip, 34 k, 2.87 ERA, and 1.09 WHIP. Fantastic.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stay Tuned

We have a momentous day is Philly sports upon us. Many will be glued to their television sets, swapping channels between downs of the Eagles opening game and pitches of the Phillies first game of the double header today starting at 1 pm. A new season brings new hope, and the Iggles are hoping to kick off the season with a win in North Carolina against the Panthers. Meanwhile, the Phillies send human batting tee Kyle Kendrick to the mound in round 1 of the day/night double header. This is likely a loss because the Mets have Phillie-killer Tim Redding going for them. The nightcap is set for 8 pm on ESPN with a showdown between Pedro and Maine.

Things are getting dicey in Philly. The 9th inning remains problematic, as Ryan Madson is proving to be every bit as bad, and actually badder than Brad Lidge in save situations. Both of them have the stuff pitch-wise, but they seem to lack the mental wherewithal to succeed in high pressure situations. In the past I've blamed Charlie Manuel for many things, but seriously, what's a manager to do?