Saturday, April 30, 2011

Perfect Formula for a Guaranteed Win

WSBGMs is guaranteeing a Phillies victory today. What makes me so confident? For one, Roy Halladay is on the mound, who happens to be a perfect 5-0 in 5 starts against the Mets since joining the Phillies with a 2.09 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and a 3:35 BB:K. Oh, I'm not finished yet. The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies are a perfect 9-0 in day games this season, and today's game just so happens to have a start time of 1:10.

Roy Halladay v. Mets + Day Game = Guaranteed Win

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Stuff
*I'll give bitching about Ryan Howard's contraction extension a reprieve, seeing as the man is on pace for 175 RBI this season (27 RBI in 25 games).

*Raul Ibanez is now 0-30. You know how some site's have "beat the streak", where you have to pick a different batter every day with the hopes of them getting a base hit. Well, I'm thinking about flipping the script, and starting my own "beat the streak", where you select a different player everyday who will go hitless (must be in starting lineup). Raul would be a safe pick.

*The Indians had two players go Howard last night and still managed to pull of the victory. Asdrubal Cabrera and Matt Laporta each went yard, struck out, biffed plays in the field.

*Joe Blanton's DL stint is unfortunate, but I'm happy Vance Worley is getting the chance to impress. He's now 2-1 with a 0.95 ERA in 19 MLB innings (7 games, 3 of them starts).

*David Herndon blowing the shutout = Triple-A.
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Injury Updates
*Brad Lidge has been cleared to begin a throwing program starting today.

*JC Romero tossed a bullpen session yesterday and will go again on Sunday. If all is well, he'll do a brief rehab stint and possibly activated May 4th.

*Domonic Brown continues to only do 50%. That is, bat .500, going 2-4 in his third straight rehab game at Clearwater.

*Chase Utley's knee remains dead as Phillies Nation patiently awaits for reincarnation.

*Chooch is day-to-day with a sore back. Hence catcher Dane Sardinha's call-up from Lehigh Valley (Mike Zagurski was demoted).

*Joe Blanton's elbow isn't bad and will likely begin throwing in 2-3 days. Get him back, healthy, and pitching well again so we can trade his ass for a bat.

*Jose Contreras continues to progress and could begin throwing sometime next week.

*And only because he's my Phantasy team's namesake (Suck My Bocock), Brian Bocock will begin a rehab assignment in Clearwater. Not that anyone really cares.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Series Preview - Mets (Part 2)

New York Mets (11-14) @ Philadelphia Phillies (16-8)

Pitching Matchup:
Friday, 7:05, Mike Pelfrey v. Vance Worley
Saturday, 1:10, Johnathan Niese v. Roy Halladay
Sunday, 8:00, Chris Young v. Cliff Lee

The Mutts Offense:
AVG - .254 (13th)
OBP - .322 (16th)
SLG - .401 (11th)

Firstbaseman Ike Davis is a man on fire. He seems to find a way on base nearly every game and is batting .357/1.029. Since Jason Bay returned from the DL, the team is 6-1, and Bay is hitting well (.333/.898). Since taking over at secondbase, Daniel Murphy has played well offensively and defensively. Jose Reyes remains a top of the lineup catalyst, and Carlos Beltran is having a nice rebound year thus far. All in all, this offense is improving and once David Wright starts hitting like he's capable of and Angel Pagan gets healthy, they'll score a lot of runs. Of course, it's a team quite capable of being shutdown by Halladay and Lee. Worley on the other hand...

The NY Mess Pitching:
ERA - 4.42 (22nd)
WHIP - 1.46 (27th)
BAA - .272 (26th)

This staff has been bad, as evident by their rankings near the bottom of major pitching stat categories. Big r-tard tongue biter Pelfrey has a 7.23 ERA. Saturday's starter hasn't been that much better- Niese with a 5.10 ERA. On Sunday the Phils face Young, who is a game removed from the DL, but has pitched effectively so far (2.65 ERA in 3 starts). The bullpen is the strength, with Francisco Rodriguez, Pedro Beato, Taylor Buchholz, and Jason Isringhausen all logging important innings and boasting ERA's south of 3.

Prediction:
Break out the Legion of Broom for the Phightins. Cocky? No, not really. Just looking at the pitching matchups and noticing the lopsidedness.

More Bad Behavior:
The Atlanta Braves continue to fill up the smut columns, first Roger McDowell gay slurring and now Derek Lowe was arrested for DUI last night. WTF? He's like the eleventy-billionth numbnut MLB player to get caught since the turn of the calendar to 2011. Call a cab. Hire a personal chauffeur. Don't drive drunk!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh-for-47, Chooch's Back, Oswalt @ Royal Wedding, Scalding Polly, Brown Rehab, Rolling Mets & Bad Behavior


Oh-for-47
The combination of Raul Ibanez (0-25) and Carlos Ruiz (0-22) have zero hits in their last 47 at bats. Seeing that they occupy the 6 and 7 holes in the lineup; it explains much of the Phillies offensive woes.

Chooch's Back
Let me do a T-Mac style segue here...speaking of Ruiz, Chooch was forced out of the game yesterday with back pain. He will be checked by team doctors today in Philadelphia. DL stint is possible (my pessimistic speculation). That leaves the team with Brian Schneider who has only 2 hits in 23 at bats (.087 AVG) on the 25-man roster. Erik Kratz, Dane Sardinha, and Tuffy Gosewisch are possible call-ups should Chooch be out for an extended period of time.

Oswalt @ Royal Wedding
The Phillies released this statement regarding Roy Oswalt's leave from the team- "There has been a tremendous amount of tornado activity near Roy’s home in Mississippi resulting in several tragic deaths and significant devastation to the area. Because of this, Roy is concerned about his family’s well-being. He has chosen to take time to make sure there wasn’t significant damage to his home, but more importantly, to make certain that his wife and children are okay. It is almost a year to the day that his parents’ home was destroyed by a tornado which has heightened his concern about the current situation. We are hopeful that he will rejoin the team for his next start, but will take that day by day."

Funny thing, I heard rumors he was attending the Royal Wedding in England tomorrow. It is a little known fact that Prince William and Roy are hunting buddies. They go deer hunting when William is state side and on fox hunts when Roy visits England.

In all seriousness, I hope Roy's family is safe and house is okay. Those were some seriously wicked and devastating storms that rolled through the South recently. In fact PA got hit with them earlier this morning.

Scalding Polly
Placido Polanco has long been proclaimed as the best 2-hole hitter in all of baseball due to his ability to put the ball in play and seemingly hit it in the direction of his choosing. Well, he's not only putting the ball in play, those balls are falling and finding holes for base knocks. Polly is currently the 2nd best hitter for average in the Majors (.389), and his 37 hits are also tied for 2nd. Impressive for a 35 year old coming off elbow surgery and a banged up spring training.

Brown Rehab
It has been hashed out on Phils blogs recently- Raul Ibanez kinda sucks. What to do? How about inserting a young stud outfielder into the lineup in the form of Dominic Domonic Dominique Brown, who just happened to go 2-4 with a homerun in his first rehab game for Clearwater yesterday. A healthy, confident, and competent Brown could inject some energy into the lineup and give Manuel options for match-ups by rotating Ibanez, Mayberry, Francisco, and Brown based on the starting pitcher.

Rolling Mets
Who is the hottest team in baseball right now? The Mets. I shit you not. The New York Metropolitans are winners of 6 straight and are ready to roll up into The Brick Cit House and make a statement against the Phils this weekend. The magic is coming from the return of Jason Bay, as they haven't lost since he's been activated from the DL.

Bad Behavior
Former Phillies reliever (1989-1991) and current Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell is in trouble for allegedly making gay slurs, using foul language, and lewd acts with a bat. McDowell yelled at three male fans in the bleachers, asking them "are you a homo couple or a threesome?" and later made inappropriate gestures with a bat. When Justin Quinn (the source) protested that his girls were present, McDowell allegedly said "Kids don’t belong at the f*****g ballpark," and threatened Quinn, asking "How much do you think your teeth are worth?" The family also claims they witnessed McDowell tell the group of male fans, "Are you three giving it to each other in the ass?" Wow, that's some bad behavior.

Rangers minor leaguer, Engel Beltre, has been suspended for throwing a trashcan at fans in the stands during an ugly incident where the same fans were chucking water bottles at the players following a loss at the Double-A game in San Antonio. Throwing water bottles is a no-no for fans, but losing your composure and retaliating by hurling a trashcan into the stands only makes it worse. Bad behavior all around.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ibanez Can't Hit, Contreras Update, Howard's Extension a Year Later, Bench Problems, Werth a Howard & Dirty Hamels


Oh-4-Ever
Raul Ibanez is batting a cool .171 (14-82) with an OPS of .484. His last base knock came back on April 18th (a week and a half ago!). He's in the midst of an Oh-for-25 slide. Oh my goodness, that's horrible! $11.5M for this...get outta here.

Contreras Update
Jose Contreras was cruising along working the 9th inning in save situations brilliantly. Then something happened. That something was an effed-up elbow. Yesterday he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of the right elbow based upon MRI results. He's likely out for a month. Meanwhile we get the pleasure of suffering through Danys Baez, Mike Zagurski, and David Herndon in high pressure situations. Yeah!

Revisiting Howard's Extension
MLBTradeRumors had a nice post on the Ryan Howard extension a year later. Readers of this blog know I continually harp on this deal, even though it technically hasn't begun. Why? Because the Phillies outbid themselves on an aging 1st baseman that strikes out a ton, plays below average defense, and is declining offensively. Sure, he's a still a force in the lineup, but so are tons of other firstbasemen around the Majors. Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Adrian Gonzalez were set to become free agents after the 2011 season along with Howard and all are better options than Howard. Yet, Howard is making $25M a season starting in 2012 and is not worth it. I am glad that Howard is currently on the Phillies, but I'm not sure I'll feel that way for the length of his extension. If I were GM, and dammit I should be, I would have waited until season's end to see what the market for firstbasemen looked like and gauged Howard's value before giving him an astronomical amount of cheddar.

Here's a post I did about this same matter back in December where I go more in depth. Go ahead, hate on me.

Bench Problems
Brian Schneider, who has been seeing more playing time lately, has 2 hits this season and is batting a pitiful .100. Bad. Michael Martinez continues to waste roster space and oxygen. I'd rather see Cliff Lee pinch hit that this munchkin. Seriously, dude is listed at 145 pounds. People take dumps that weigh that much. Let Martinez go and start auditioning bats from Lehigh Valley. First up Kevin Frandsen, or Jeff Larish, or Delwyn Young, or Ronnie Belliard, or the corpse of Ty Cobb. I could care less, just not Michael Martinez.

Werth with a Howard
Take a glance over at the Howard leader board for this season and you'll notice a familiar name at the bottom of the list (because it's alphabetical). Yep, Jayson Werth committed a Howard last night in a loss to the Mets. On the season, Werth is only hitting .220 and has already made 3 errors from RF.

Tonight
Tonight Dirty Sanchez Hamels stops the losing streak and shuts down the Diamondbacks. Like Flava Flav, I'm Hamels' hypeman- Yeah boy!

*I am proud to announce that the title to this post is the longest in WSBGMs storied history.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just A Reminder

I'm thankful the Phillies are still in first place and I think they'll be in that vicinity for the entirety of the season. But, it won't be because of their offense.

Carson has pointed out recently the consistent mediocrity of the "O." And for all of the Phillies fans who think it's just a matter of time before they "break out," I just wanted to take the time to point out that it won't happen. Here's a reminder why.

1) The obvious reason is that Chase Utley, the Phillies best hitter, hasn't played this season and no one knows when he's coming back. You just can't replace him.

2) Jayson Werth is gone and has been replaced by Ben Francisco. While I like Francisco, this is a definite downgrade.

3) No offensive players were added in the off-season.

[Lets recap. A slightly above average offense lost their 3 and 5-hole hitters without any significant offensive additions.]

4) Jimmy Rollins is batting third. He's an aging middle infielder with rapidly declining offensive skills. And he's batting third. Again, look at this trend for Rollins.

2007 - .296 Avg, 30 HR, 94 RBI, .875 OPS
2008 - .277 Avg, 11 HR, 59 RBI, .786 OPS
2009 - .250 Avg, 21 HR, 77 RBI, .719 OPS
2010 - .243 Avg, 8 HR, 41 RBI, .694 OPS
2011 - .256 Avg, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .643 OPS

This, friends, is your 3-hole hitter. There's only one team that can consistently win with that in the 3-hole and that's because of Roy, Cole, Roy...

5) Raul Ibanez is old. He looks horrible. And he's not getting any younger. Yet, he's on pace for 155 games played and 575 at-bats. Last season - 155 games and 561 at-bats. You think more rest might favor the 39 year old right fielder?

6) Ryan Howard isn't the dominating force he's being paid like and cannot carry this team without Utley. So far he's on pace to have another drop in his power numbers and despite being the only power threat on the team, opposing teams are intentionally walking to preferentially face him.

Again, the sky's not falling. This team doesn't "suck." I'm just reiterating the things that WSBGMs has been saying since the pre-season so everyone here has realistic expectations of this offense.

So, let's all hope the pitchers don't give up more than three runs tonight...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Series Preview - Diamondbacks

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 9:40, Cliff Lee v. Ian Kennedy
Tuesday, 9:40, Roy Oswalt v. Daniel Hudson
Wednesday, 3:40, Cole Hamels v. Joe Saunders

The Snakes Offense:
Avg - .258 (13th)
OBP – .321 (15th)
Slug - .428 (5th)

They are a pretty average offensive team with big-score capabilities because they have good speed throughout the lineup and 5 or 6 guys that can hit the ball out of the park at any time. Stephen Drew leads the team in average (.344) and journeyman Ryan Robers is hitting out of his head (.320-4-13), but the star of this offense is Justin Upton, who’s having a solid year early (.282-4-14). Miguel Montero and Willie Bloomquist are both hitting over .300 in the early stages. Montero also has three homers and Bloomquist has seven steals.

On the other end of the stat line, Kelly Johnson and Chris Young are struggling (.185 and .212 respectively) although Young does have 4 long balls and 14 RBI.

The remainder of the team is made up of “whose-thats” and “has-beens” like Juan Miranda, Russel Branyan, Melvin Mora and Xavier Nady.

The Snakes Pitching:
ERA – 5.16 (30th)
WHIP – 1.48 (27th)
BAA - .281 (28th)

This team is battling San Diego for last place in the West for one reason – their starting pitching is absolutely horrendous.

The carousel of pitchers in the desert is not working out well. They had the young, promising Max Sherzer but traded him for Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Jackson didn’t perform as expected so they traded him for Daniel Hudson. Hudson was great last year but so far this season, he’s getting knocked around to the tune of a 5.90 ERA. [*To be fair to the Sabermetricians, I should point out that his xFIP is almost exactly the same as 2010, in the 3.73 range. This is because his strike out rate is quite high (9.6 K/9). However, his walks are up and his BABIP is back to an “average” numbers after benefitting from a .240 number last season. So if his K rate drops, expect his xFIP to meet his real ERA at about 4.50 in a month or two.]

Ian Kennedy has been similar to Hudson. He had an ERA under four last year, but this year it’s over five and a half.

As for their best pitcher the last few years, Dan Haren, he was traded to Anaheim for Joe Saunders and a 26 year old reliever with a career minor league ERA of 4.61. Wow, that was a great trade. Saunders has the best ERA on the staff this year, at 4.98.

The rest of the rotation consists of that guy who didn’t throw a perfect game (Armando Gallaraga) and some other guy (Barry Enright.)

Prediction:
The D-backs will take only one at home from the Phillies.

Magic Number:

Phillies Offense Still Remarkably Consistent

3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 0, 4, 3, 2, 4, 3- runs scored in each of the last 13 games by the Phillies. Red = win, Black = loss. Record = 9-4. The offense remains remarkable consistent, and for now it seems to be enough to produce wins despite hitting just .207/.280/.303 over that period. It's difficult to complain when the Phillies have a MLB-best record of 15-6. Sure, the offense is struggling to churns out runs, but with this pitching staff it might just get it done.

So Much For That Idea
Just the other day I pondered the notion of Jose Contreras being a closer on the cheap going forward. Well, he hit the DL yesterday with elbow problems. And that's the problem with relying on ancient armed relievers.

Ryan Madson gets another chance to shine in save situations. Lets hope he doesn't go WWF on a metal chair this time. Meanwhile, Michael Stutes gets the call-up from Triple-A. The 24 year old right-hander was drafted in the 11th round back in 2008 and has steadily climbed the system with success at every pit stop. Minor league #'s: 24-12, 100 G, 40 GS, 301.2 IP, 286:135 K:BB, 3.31 ERA, 1.27 WHIP. Give 'em hell kid.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Phillies Phans


*The Phillies pitching staff has allowed the 2nd fewest runs (68) in the Majors. That's good for a 3.10 ERA and a ginormous slice of the pie why the Phils have a MLB best 14-6 record.

*Ryan Howard has been the main source of RBI the past 2 games, but the man has 2 4-strikeout performances in this series already. Over/Under for today's game set at 3 K's.

*Missing Brad Lidge? You shouldn't be. Jose Contreras (5) and Ryan Madson (2) have been perfect in save opportunities.

*Raul Ibanez has zero hits in his last 18 at bats. Do we see Mayberry R.F.D. in LF today?

*Props to Pete Orr, who is proving to be useful. I love his hustle too. Hustle, as in all out play, not drug dealing.

*I am proud to announce my WSBGMs Phantasy baseball team (Suck My Bocock) leads the league in Howards with 3 (culprits- Gaby Sanchez, Matt Kemp, and Hunter Pence).

*Doc is set for redemption, wanting to quickly erase the bad taste left in his mouth from his last outing. If the Phils score their typical 3 or 4 runs, I'm thinking it's time to bust out the Legion of Broom...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Shut 'em Down

I could use this platform today to bitch about Manuel's malfunction of continually starting Raul Ibanez against left-handed pitchers, or his refusal to remove Jimmy Rollins and his 1 RBI from the 3-hole in the lineup. I'd rather focus on the amazing feat of 5 shutouts posted by this pitching staff in just 19 games. The Phillies are tied for the best record in the Majors (13-6) and are poised for a big season if they can get some of these offensive flaws fixed. But for now, the pitchers will just have to continuing to shut 'em down.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Amaro Celebrates Earth Day


What better way to save the Earth than rid the Phillies of David Herndon and Michael Martinez? Memo to Kyle Kendrick- watch out, you're next.

Other Stuff:
*Roy Oswalt's back is fine and he continues to be exceptional in a Phillies uniform: 10-1, 17 G, 106.2 IP, 94:27 K:BB, 1.77 ERA, 0.89 WHIP.

*Ryan Howard struck out 4 times yesterday, 3 of them coming against Padres starter Mat Latos, who he is now 0-8 against with 8 K's. Damn!

*Raul Ibanez is old. In case you didn't know. He's also pretty bad. Once again, stated for the slight chance you didn't already know.

*Cole Hamels is going to feel at home tonight in Sandy-Eggo, since that was his home growing up. Duh! Career at Petco Park: 2-1, 4 G, 28.2 IP, 1.54 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 18:2 K:BB. Not bad, but could be better...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Series Preview - Padres

Pitching Matchups
Thursday, 10:05, Roy Oswalt v. Mat Latos
Friday, 10:05, Cole Hamels v. Clayton Richard
Saturday, 8:35, Joe Blanton v. Tim Stauffer
Sunday, 4:05, Doc Halladay v. Dustin Moseley

The Padres Offense:
Avg - .222 (30th)
OBP – .309 (25th)
Slug - .334 (28th)

Those are some pretty pitiful offensive numbers. Of course, numbers can be deceiving. Just not in this situation. This offense really, really , really sucks.

They don’t hit for power. The closest thing they have to a power threat is Ryan Ludwick. Unfortunately for the Padres and Ludwick, it’s not 2008 anymore. They don’t hit for average. Catcher Nick Hundley, a career .250 hitter, is the only starter hitting over .260. Yes, you read that correctly. Seven of the eight regulars are below .260.

Really bad Padres stat – the first base platoon of Jorge Cantu and Brad Hawpe are hitting a combined .142 with one homer and eight RBI. That’s almost as bad as having a three-hole hitter have only one RBI through 17 games. Almost.

Really good Padres stat – the Padres have been able to steal a Majors-leading 26 bases so far with Cameron Maybin (6) and the O-Dog (7) leading the way. But Ruiz will have a chance, as the Padres are second in the majors at getting caught stealing, too.

The Padres Pitching:
ERA – 2.97 (3rd)
WHIP – 1.21 (6th)
BAA - .243 (10th)

The starters are pretty good. Mat Latos is back pitching after a DL stint for a sore shoulder. He looks to build on a great 2010 when he posted a 2.98 ERA including a 7 inning, 1 ER start against the Phils last September. 2003 first-rounder Tim Stauffer is now starting full time after having a 1.85 ERA in 2010 throwing mainly out of the bullpen. Clayton Richard is a solid middle-rotation lefty who limited the Phils to only four hits in 7.2 innings last season. Dustin Moseley will likely get the start in the finale. He’s 0-3 with a 1.40 ERA this season. The hard luck journeyman is unlikely to keep that pace up, though. His career ERA is 4.90. This will be the first time he’s faced the Phillies in any situation.

The real strength of this team is in the bullpen. Check out the ERAs of their primary relievers – Heath Bell (1.13), Mike Adams (0.90), Luke Gregerson (1.93), Chad Qualls (3.12), Pat Neshek (2.57), and Ernesto Frieri (1.86).

Prediction:
The Padres haven’t won a series since opening weekend when they took two of three from the Cardinals. And there is no way they win three games this weekend. Of course, the Phils aren’t exactly a team on fire right now. Therefore, I’m calling a split.

Food For Thought:
The highest paid player on the Padres, closer Heath Bell, makes less than Joe Blanton.

Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino’s combined salaries are more than the entire Padres team.

The Padres have $13 million committed to next year and 14 arbitration eligible players. The Phillies have over $112 million committed for 2012 with 5 arbitration eligible players.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Closer on the Cheap

Brad Lidge is an expensive closer- $11.5M.

Ryan Madson is an expensive setup man- $4.5M.

Jose Contreras is a moderately priced setup man and cheap closer- $2.5M.

Lidge has an option for $12.5M next season, or a $1.5M buyout (the likely route). Madson is a free agent after 2011 and will likely market himself as a closer. Then there is Contreras who is signed at an identical $2.5M for 2012 and has an option for the same in 2013. The man is old, but has reinvented himself as a reliever. He has shown composure and been successful during his limited time in the closer's role, both last year and so far this year. If Contreras continues to get the job done (85% save rate or better), then this could be an area where the Phillies save some money going forward until one of their young gun relievers are ready from the minors (Michael Stutes, Michael Schwimer, Phillip Aumont, BJ Rosenberg, or Eric Pettis).

Relying on an ancient armed reliever may not be the best plan for a contending team, but I'm just trying to think outside the box here. Remember, funds will be limited going forward due to massive contracts (Utley, Howard, Lee, Halladay).

Post #2000 Extravaganza


We Should Be GMs and Juan Pierre had a race to 2000 and we won. We got to the ton mark by slugging homeruns and going for the gusto, while Pierre was happy slap singling his way to the milestone. Suck on that Frenchy!

Still have no idea what I'm rambling on about? This is WSBGMs 2000th post bitches! I know nobody really cares, including co-author Corey, but nevertheless I felt the need to point it out and celebrate it. Yeah!

Now, onto the Phillies.

This team is broken. Broken in the sense that that the offense we're witnessing is the real offense, not just a slump. I pointed out all the pitfalls of this lineup before the season and was heckled in the comments section by being labeled "stupid", "vagina", "retard", "dick", and even made one guy "sick". I'm not going to gloat because it appears I'm right; being right in this case is a bad thing. I just want people to realize this team isn't being handed the NL East or a World Series appearance. They're going to have to score runs to win games, and 3 or 4 runs half the time isn't going to be enough. I'm not giving up on the season. I do believe this team is still playoff destined. I'm just being real.

Main Reasons for Concern:
*Power outage- the Phillies are near the bottom of the NL in extra base hits. They have scraped together a measly 27 doubles, 1 triple, and 11 homeruns. Get used to it, because Werth is gone, Utley is hurt, Ibanez sucks, and the rest of the lineup aside from Howard just doesn't seem all that capable of generating power anymore.

*Middle relief- pushing Contreras to the 9th leaves a gaping hole in the 7th inning, one that the Phillies have been unable to plug to this point. Bastardo seems decent enough, but Manuel continues to use Baez Sucks, the recently DL'd Romero, and other trash in those situations.

Questionable Roster Residents:
*I'm befuddled with the redundancy of Pete Orr and Michael Martinez. I understand the need for a utility infielder since our normal UTL is currently starting at 2nd base (Valdez). Carrying two of these on the roster is just dumb. Martinez sucked in the minors. He's 28, very little upside, if any at all. Let him go! Bring up Ronnie Belliard (AAA #'s- .357/.973), who has also had experience and success as a MLB bench player in the recent past. With the offense struggling, the Phils need some real pinch hit threats that might actually produce.

*David Herndon and Kyle Kendrick are far too hittable. The Phils need some bullpen options that have the ability to miss bats (ahem- Michael Stutes). KK is the longman, but what use is a longman that doesn't get the job done? And what use is a pitcher (Herndon) that allows 84 runners per inning?
____________________________________________________

Well, I can't end our 2000th post on a sour note, so I'll pep things up with this...

*Please leave hate mail in comments section below.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

JC Down, Zags Up

JC Romero has fallen victim to the DL, while Mike Zagurski gets the call up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley where he's pitched 3.1 scoreless innings with 7 K's. Romero has been erratic (imagine that), and is no big loss. He suffered a strained right calf in last night's loss.

Wonder if we can workout an "injury" for Kyle Kendrick and Mike Martinez too? How about lacerated labia for the prior and anonymously-useless disease for the latter. Michael Stutes seems like a better option in relief than KK and 3 week old dog dung would be better than Mini-Mart. Whatever, all is well...all is well.

Tonight's Forecast- showers, low 50's, and a 100% certainty of dominance by Doc.

And now I leave you with this video of ESPN's Tim Kurkjian (aka- Papa Smurf) being mimicked by the Philly Phanatic.
Kurkjian And The Phanatic. Watch more top selected videos about: Sports, ESPN

Phillies Offense Remarkably Consistent

3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3- runs scored in each game by the Phillies offense over the last week. The Phillies offense has been remarkably consistent, just not enough!

Before you bend me over a barrel and give me my lashing for using this small sample size, please think about what it is that I'm saying. This offense is just not good. Ibanez is weak, old, and doesn't belong in the field. As I so eloquently put it in yesterday's comment section, "Also, I've seen enough of Ibanez in a Phils uniform. Thanks for the memories, but a quadriplegic with a malfunctioning wheelchair could "run" on his arm. I just think Raul has been horrible." Ben Francisco is pulling off every pitch and can be beat, easily, on the outside part of the plate. Jimmy Rollins is our 3-hole hitter with 1 f'n RBI. Wilson Valdez was career Quad-A player until be miscast as a starter, that is hitting above his head and will come crashing down sooner rather than later. The Phillies pitching staff may just be the bee's knees, but they need runs to work with.

I'll relax though; they still have a winning record after all. Nothing to worry about right?

Halladay goes for the complete game 1-0 shutout win tonight. Yeah!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Series Preview - Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers (7-8) @ Philadelphia Phillies (10-4)

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 7:05, Shaun Marcum v. Joe Blanton
Tuesday, 7:05, Randy Wolf v. Roy Halladay
Wednesday, 1:05, Chris Narveson v. Cliff Lee

The Brew Crew Offense:
AVG - .255 (17th)
OBP - .317 (18th)
SLG - .399 (14th)

Fresh off a double header sweep against the Gnats in which the offense went dormant, Milwaukee is searching for answers. It's early in the season, but disappointment is abound. The big guns of Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, and Ryan Braun are firing on all cylinders (combined .312 with 11 HR, 30 R, 32 RBI), but the rest of the lineup is anemic. The offense will likely rival Colorado and Cincinnati's for best in the NL by season's end, but for now can be handled if the Big 3 are kept in check.

The Brew Crew Pitching:
ERA - 3.50 (13th)
WHIP - 1.34 (15th)
BAA - .256 (17th)

With the additions of tonight's pitcher Marcum and Zack Greinke, this was supposed to be an epic year for the Brewers. Their two main cogs in the backend of the bullpen have been letdowns thus far (Axford and Saito) and their staff ace Yovani Gallardo has been anything but that. However, the 3 starting pitchers being sent to the mound this series are all off to solid starts, especially Marcum and Narveson. Wolf is pitching exactly like he always does, a touch above mediocre.

Prediction:
This is a tough one. It's pretty much a given the Phils lose tonight with Blanton on the hill, but the next two games are toss-ups seeing that they're facing lefties and Howard is in a funk and Ibanez can't hit lefties (or righties for that matter). But, I'll pick the Phils for 2 out of 3 because Halladay and Lee are beasts and for the hope that Manuel will wise up and give Mayberry a start or two this week in LF.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Bullprint

Today's victory went according to the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies blueprint. 7 innings pitched by the starter while allowing only 2 runs. Phils offense manufactures 3 runs and the bullpen holds it down for the final 2 frames for the 3-2 victory.

Including today's win, that is the 10th time this season that a Phillies starting pitcher has gone at least 6 innings while allowing 3 runs or less. That's pretty damn good considering Joe Blanton is a member of the rotation and they've only played 14 games. Pitching is the reason this team is currently atop the NL East with a 10-4 record, and will be the reason they win the NL East this season (if they do).

# of Blueprint Starts:
Halladay- 3
Oswalt- 3
Hamels- 2
Lee- 2

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fraudulent Dykstra, Madson's Wife & Baez Sucks

Game Summary- Oswalt tweaked his back, Manuel managed poorly, the offense and 7th inning relief sucked. Phillies lose.

Now onto other news...

Fraudulent Dykstra
Lenny Dykstra was once a physically fit (probably due to steroids) offensive force of a center fielder. Now he's a fat faced failure in the business world that has been arrested on charges of bankruptcy fraud. This man is just another stain on the reputation of Major League Baseball. During his playing days he was reckless with drinking and driving (take note Miguel Cabrera!) and since leaving the game he's been accused of essentially stealing people's money in various business ventures, forcing sexual favors of a housekeeper, and being an overall douche. Keep it classy Nails.

Madson's Wife
Ryan Madson's wife, Sarah, who is pregnant with the couple's 4th child recently went on a mini-rant about Phillies fans...
"I hate the fans. It is bad enough that they bother us during the season, but they will not leave us alone in December when we go out to eat. We stayed here during the off season last year, but we will be going to California this year. There must be something particularly bad about Phillies fans because all the players leave in the off season."

Honestly, I could give two squirts of piss what some random woman, who otherwise would be a nobody if not for her husband, thinks about the Phillies. However, her comments were ill-advised and foolish. Sarah might hate us, but we're the city that's paying her man's rather large salary and keeping her a happy housewife. Furthermore, Ryan has to pitch in this typically unforgiving city and drawing negative attention to him is not a good idea. He's already in a difficult situation, pitching only 1 inning at a time where it's either success or failure, cut and dry. Now he will likely face questioning about his loyalty to the team and whether or not he's making a mad dash for the West Coast once free agency hits this offseason.

Baez Sucks
WSBGMs had the inside scoop about a month ago when pitcher Danys Baez had his name legally changed to Baez Sucks. However, we failed to elaborate to the full extent of the name change. His full name is officially Baez F*cking Sucks. Glad we have that on record now. Also, let it be known that WSBGMs would like to start a petition against further use of Baez Sucks in any Phillies game Major or Minor.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Series Preview - Marlins

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:05, Roy Oswalt v. Javier Vazquez
Saturday, 7:05, Cole Hamels v. Anibal Sanchez
Sunday, 1:35, Joe Blanton v. Chris Volstad

The Fish Offense:
Avg - .264 (11th)
OBP – .335 (10th)
Slug - .400 (16th)

The biggest story for the Florida offense is the early struggles of Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton. Ramirez is hitting .256. Stanton, while battling through a quad injury, is down at .216 and left eight men on base during last night's win versus Atlanta. Neither of the two sluggers have yet to leave the yard.

The second biggest story is that two Philly has-beens, Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs, haven't been absolutely terrible. In limited duty, the duo are a combined 12 for 31.

The Fish Pitching:
ERA – 3.60 (13th)
WHIP – 1.29 (13th)
BAA - .249 (14th)

The Fish get lucky because they don't have to face Halladay or Lee this series. But the Phillies perhaps are even more fortunate because they avoid Josh Johnson, because after Johnson this staff is weak. The respective ERA of each Florida starter is 8.64, 6.97, and 5.59. Of course, Joe Blanton pitches Sunday...

As poor as the starting has been for the Fish, the back end of the bullpen has been solid. Leo Nunez has four saves and set-up man Clay Hensley has four holds and a 1.35 ERA. And if the game is close late, look out for the Ryan Howard v Randy Choate match-up. Choate has held lefties to a .178 average over the last three years.

Prediction:
Blanton pitches this series, so that means only two of three.

Magic #


Phlashback Phriday:
Phillies (3-6) at Expos (3-6)
Friday, April 15, 1988 7:35, Stade Olympique
Attendance: 11,292, Time of Game: 2:45
Phillies pitchers: Shane Rawley, Todd Frowirth, Mike Maddux, Wally Ritchie
Game notes: Milt Thompson and Chris James had two hits each and the Phils touched up Expos starter Floyd Youmans for three in the 6th to tie the game. But Frowirth did his thing in the bottom of the sixth, giving up a two run homer to shortstop Luis Rivera (pictured) to earn the loss. Tim Burke got the save for Montreal, who had doubles from Dave Engle and Tim Wallach.

Utley Runs, Lee Dominates, Phils are Rollin'

Have you heard the breaking news on Chase Utley? No, he didn't get his leg amputated, rather he's finally starting to run. This doesn't mean you'll see him in the Phils lineup next week, but it does mean he's progressing. Hopefully his knee responds well to the stress of running and he's able to begin a rehab assignment in a week or two. Wilson Valdez has done an admirable job filling in, but Utley adds a entirely different dimension to the lineup.

Did you watch the game last night? I hope so, because Cliff Lee pitched exactly like what the Phils paid for. He dominated for all 9 innings and was masterful. A 1-2 punch of he and Halladay is a beautiful thing. Then to think we have Oswalt and Hamels in reserve. Awesome!


Philadelphia Phillies in 2011- 4 series, 4 series won, 9-3 record, looking great. The offense has slowed of late, but the W's keep coming. Keep on rollin' fellas, all the way to and out of Miami.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Artist, Public Enemy, & Switcheroos

Artist
"Watching Doc pitch is watching an artist at work. You absolutely cannot miss his starts. He is amazing. He's probably the best athlete (meaning best at what he does) that I've ever seen play in Philly."
~ACSmitty79

I wonder if Roy Halladay will follow in the footprints of Prince and turn himself into a symbol.

Public Enemy
John Lannan was tossed from his MLB debut. That fateful day he cracked Chase Utley with a pitch, breaking his hand. Yesterday Lannan didn't have Utley to aim at, so he hit Ryan Howard instead...on the wrist. Howard was taken for x-rays following the game, and they came back negative (thank God!). He says he's sore, but hopes to miss no time. In Phillies speak, that means 15-day DL bound.Over Lannan's 98 MLB starts he's hit 21 batters, with 8 of them being Phillies. That's f'd up!

Switcheroo 1
Now that the season is starting to settle into regularity, the offense will begin to show its flaws. One of those flaws is an ancient left fielder with a slowing bat in the form of Mr. Raul Ibanez. To keep him "fresh", Manuel should sit Ibanez against some lefties in favor of southpaw basher John Mayberry. Looking ahead to this weekend series with the Marlins, they'll be featuring entirely RHP, so last night against Lannan would have been the opportune time. Ibanez last night- no hits in 4 at bats, with 3 K's.

Switcheroo 2
Some of you may recall Joe Savery was the 19th overall selection of the 2007 MLB draft, made by the Philadelphia Phillies. I envisioned him becoming a dominate closer for the lone fact that his last name would have made for a nice play on words. However, his life as a pitcher was just not meant to be as the Phils cut ties with the lefty in that capacity late last season. Now Savery is attempting to make a name for himself as a potent bat. He's currently in Single-A Clearwater knocking the snot out of the ball: (16-25) .640/1.547, 5 R, 3 DBL, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:2 BB:K. His ability to play the field is still in question, as he's seeing most of his at bats as a DH and some time at 1st base. Maybe he'll displace Ryan Howard in a couple seasons. Ha!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Around Baseball Last Night

Does anyone want to read or talk about how bad Joe Blanton has been in two starts? Or should we try to figure out why in the hell John Mayberry was pinch-hitting last night instead of Ross Gload? I didn't think so. Let's talk about a few other things that happened in baseball last night.

1) Bad Umpiring - Two plays happened between first and second base last night that resulted in blatant mistakes by the umpires. You probably all saw the first play, when Ian Desmond tagged Jimmy Rollins with an empty glove then threw wildly to first allowing Howard to reach safely. If the play would have been called correctly, the Phils would have had first and second with only one out. Francisco followed with a single to left. What could have been...

The second bad call occurred in the Houston-Chicago game. Perennial fantasy underachiever Bill Hall got caught in a "pickle" between first and second. He eluded the tag of the Cubs infielder... by running out of the baseline. The video is here. It's not a great video, but if you watch the hilights on ESPN or MLB Network, it's pretty obvious that Hall jumps out of the baseline.

From my perspective on the couch, these were two inexcusably bad calls that shouldn't happen this frequently.

2) Bad Fans - Did you catch any of the Braves-Marlins game last night? No? Well, neither did many people in Atlanta. Attendance at Turner Field last night was 13,865. Pa-the-tic. It's only the fourth game of the year and the fans are already done showing up. Hopefully the players see the kind of support their city gives them...

3) Bad Josh - I'm sure you've all heard, but Josh Hamilton broke his arm tagging up from third and sliding into home head first on a pop-up caught by the Brandon Inge near the third base dugout. Video is here.

What did Josh Hamilton have to say about the play? "A stupid play. I was thinking, 'I don't want to do this ... something is going to happen.' I listened to my coach."

Hamilton, you little bitch, way to throw your coach under the bus and assume no responsibility for your own play.

First, the ball and the play was in front of Hamilton. He does not need to rely on his third base coach on a play like this and he certainly isn't obligated to try to score. It was actually an astute play to notice that Brad Penny wasn't covering home, but after taking two or three steps towards home he should have seen catcher Victor Martinez had also noticed the same thing and was heading towards the plate. With so much of the decision making belonging to Hamilton himself, he shouldn't be acting like it was all the coach's fault.

Second, you don't slide head first into home unless you are willing to take the risk of getting hurt. I don't have a statistic, but most injuries at home that are not from Pete Rose-style collisions, occur to players sliding head first. Hamilton said, "If I slide feetfirst, I'm out." And now he's really "out"... 6-8 weeks.

Third, don't call out your coaches like that. Hamilton should take a lot of responsibility for the play and to be honest, it's quite a bit of bad luck that this happened, but even if it was 100% the fault of the third base coach, Hamilton should be more professional and not be such outwardly accusatory. Josh might not have much life experience with making mistakes, but he should learn that errors in judgement happen and sometimes people need the support from the people close to them instead of constantly being reminded of their errors. Maybe someday Josh Hamilton will make a bad decision or two and somebody will immediately go to the press and call him "stupid."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Series Preview - Nationals

Pitching Matchups:
Tuesday, 7:05, Joe Blanton v. Livan Hernandez
Wednesday, 7:05, Roy Halladay v. John Lannan
Thursday, 7:05, Cliff Lee v. Jordan Zimmermann

The Gnats Offense:
Avg - .217 (26th)
OBP – .321 (16th)
Slug - .328 (25th)

Wow, those average and slugging numbers are horrendous. It’s probably because their lineup consists of Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman plus a group of that may hit but aren’t (Desmond, Morse) and garbage (I-Rod, LaRoche, Ankiel).

Still, offensive optimism is still alive, at least in the broadcast booth. Whoever was doing color commentary on the Gnats game Sunday had this to say about Jayson Werth, “Maybe he’s just not seeing the ball well right now. This is a guy, when he gets locked in, he won’t make an out for a month.” Initially I thought this was a case of McCarver-like hyperbole, but a little research shows that in fact Werth did not make an out in November, December, January or February…

The Gnats Pitching:
ERA – 4.09 (16th)
WHIP – 1.29 (13th)
BAA - .242 (10th)

Livan Hernandez is slowly becoming Jamie Moyer, in as much as he looks like he could pitch forever and rarely tops 85 MPH on the gun. I love watching him get guys out with his combination of slow, slower and even slower. I also like that he has a career batting average of .222. By comparison, Abraham Nunez hit .221 in his two years with the Phillies. Quick Trivia - how many of the eight teams Livan has played for can you name? I only got five before looking it up...

As for the other two Gnats starters...who cares. John Lannan and Jordan Zimmermann may only give up a few runs but Doc and Cliff will be tossing shutouts so they don't really stand a chance.

Ouch:
Yesterday, the Gnats put Ryan Zimmerman on the DL with an abdominal strain. I guess that leaves Jerry Hairston Jr. at the hot corner for this series. Or Alex Cora.

Prediction:
If Blanton puts in a decent start today and the Phils take the first, they will sweep. Legion of Broom!

WTF?
The Phils are first in the league in average and second in OBP. Their three-hole hitter, Jimmy Rollins, is batting .324. Despite the multitude of baserunners and hits, Rollins has zero RBI’s through 9 games. Prediction – Rollins gets his first RBI tonight.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Off Day Relaxation



Phillies MLB Ranking:
Batting Average - .334 (1st)
On Base % - .380 (2nd)
Slugging % - .484 (3rd)
OPS - .865 (2nd)
Runs - 59 (3rd)

ERA - 3.49 (12th)
WHIP - 1.21 (6th)
BB - 18 (1st)
K - 76 (5th)
Quality Starts - 6 (tied for 3rd)
Shutouts - 2 (tied for 1st)

Fielding % - .988 (tied for 3rd) *only 4 errors


*Leaders of the New School alumni Busta Rhymes, Dinco D, and Charlie Brown all bust a verse on A Tribe Called Quest's Scenario.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Won

Aside from a couple stinkers, the Phillies have been absolutely dominating to open the 2011 season. Now at 7-2 after the shutout victory over the Braves this afternoon, the Phils have won all 3 series this year. Their run differential is +26. That's good.

Early Observations & Notes:

*So good so far for Jose Contreras, or as Manuel likes to call him, The Big Truck, in the closer's role.

*Shane Victorino had 9 base knocks in Atlanta.

*Cole Hamels is okay after all.

*Charlie Manuel likes Michael Martinez way more than me. Actually, I don't like him at all.

*Ben Francisco is hitting well enough to replace Werth, but his defense has been unsightly.

*The pitching staff has twirled 2 shutouts. Nice.

Magic number watch...

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Focus on the Positives

Here at WSBGMs we're known for our rosy outlook on the Phillies and life in general. Sure, Cliff Lee got lit up more than the night sky on the 4th of July by the Phils main competition in the NL East in the form of the Braves, but that doesn't matter. It was only 1 game. Dissect it anyway you want, there are 162 of them in a season, so redemption is always just around the corner. Phils are 5-2 and looking good, so lets focus on the positives.

Positives:
*Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt haven't shit the bed yet.

*Antonio Bastardo is a K-machine (9 K in 4.2 IP).

*Kyle Kendrick is taking well to the long relief role.

*Brad Lidge is out until the All-Star break, so he won't be blowing saves until post-July.

*Baez Sucks wants his named legally changed back to Danys. He's appeared in 4 games without surrendering a run. That's gotta be some sorta record.

*Ryan Howard got engaged to a smokin' Eagles cheerleader.

*The offense is doing well overall- .337/.852 and 46 R in 7 games.

*Today Roy2 scales the hill against rookie Brandon Beachy of the Braves. Phils win 6-3. Bet on it.

*Jason Giambi recorded a Howard yesterday to keep pace for 1 Howard per day.