Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Magic Number Watch

NL East:


Playoffs:


Let's put these numbers in perspective.

The Cardinals are the leading competitor for the Wild Card at 71-64. If they win all of their remaining 27 games the Phis could go 14-17 and still make the playoffs.

If the Cardinals win ~60% of their remaining games, they would end up about 88-74. The Phils could then go 4-27 to end the season and still make the playoffs.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dominate: Phillies and My Phantasy Team


We're witnessing a historical Philadelphia Phillies team, one that might go down as not only the best Phillies team of all-time, but one of the best teams in the history of the game. Every month they've turned in a winning record and hardly ever reach even a 2 game losing streak thanks to their stellar starting rotation. Tuning up for the playoffs is still ahead in September, but a 100 win season is extremely likely (on pace for 105). Regular season wins are essential to get to the postseason, but mean nothing once the October schedule sets in. This team is World Series champs or bust.

In fact, their "win or shut up" mentality reminds me a lot of my fantasy baseball team.

The WSBGMs Phantasy League is in its 5th season. This year it was a head-to-head format with 16 teams. This week the 1st round of playoffs began, with my team (Sucky My Bocock) getting the bye because of my dominating performance through the first 21 weeks of the regular season. I did not lose a head-to-head match-up all season long. The closest team in the standings is a distant 31 games back. However, the slate is wiped clean now that playoffs have begun, and my team's stronghold means nothing without a trophy come postseason's end. Details below...

Suck My Bocock's record: 167-73-12 (.687 winning %)

Stat/Rank:
*Hitting*
R - 717/1st
HR - 214/1st
RBI - 746/1st
SB - 121/3rd
AVG - .286/1st
OPS - .840/1st

*Pitching*
W - 90/3rd
SV - 101/2nd
K - 1262/1st
HLD - 78/2nd
ERA - 3.84/10th
WHIP - 1.26/9th

Monday, August 29, 2011

Series Preview - Red Stockings

Philadelphia Phillies (83-46) at Cincinnati Reds (67-66)

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 7:10 - Cole Hamels v. Homer Bailey
Tuesday, 7:10 - Roy Halladay v. Bronson Arroyo
Wednesday, 7:10 - Cliff Lee v. Dontrelle Willis
Thursday, 12:35 - Vance Worley v. Mike Leake

Reds Batting:
Runs - 627 (4th)
AVG - .259 (10th)
OBP - .330 (8th)
SLG - .411 (10th)

Reds Pitching:
ERA - 4.07 (20th)
WHIP - 1.33 (18th)
BAA - .254 (14th)

What We're Listening Too:
Corey - What else? Freekbass!!!!


Carson - Anything that is not Freekbass (or Justin Bieber, Cold Play, Train, Dave Matthews Band, Goo Goo Dolls).

Their Michael Martinez:
Paul Janish - Janish has the 5th most at-bats on the team but is only hitting .210-0-19. Brutal.

Their Danys Baez:
Jordan Smith had a 7.20 ERA before his demotion to Louisville. Now the reliever with the highest ERA is Nick Masset at 4.09.

What We're Drinking:
Corey - A dry martini made with Hendrick's Gin. Three olives. Hendrick's is distilled in Scotland and uses Bulgarian rose and cucumber to make a distinctively different flavored gin. Their motto says, "Preferred by 1 out of 1000 gin drinkers." I'm that one.

Carson - home-brewed Black IPA (half stout, half IPA), with coriander seed, and paprika. Dry, bitter, and smooth. Great beer.

Prediction:
Three of four for the good guys.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Around the Majors


*Alfredo Aces for Cy Young? Not quite, but he does hold the distinction of best winning % in the history of the game with pitchers that have 25 or more decisions. The Boston Red Sox reliever won his 9th game of the season yesterday and is now a nifty 23-2 in his 4 year career (92% of his decisions won).

*Jose Valverde tends to give fans ulcers when he closes games, but just like Brad Lidge in 2008, he is perfect this season. 39 save opportunities, 39 saves converted. Maybe the Tigers are a team of destiny like the '08 Phils. Jose actually has 41 straight dating back to September 4, 2010.

*Royals 3rd baseman Mike Moustakas was very highly touted prospect, but unlike his equally hyped teammate Eric Hosmer, he failed to make a positive impact until just recently. Moustakas was batting a paltry .182 back on August 16th, but in the 10 games since then he's gone 18-35 (.514) and brought is batting average up to .232, thanks to a 10 game hitting streak and 5 straight games of 2 hits. Hence, the reason I just picked him up in the WSBGMs Phantasy League.

*Roy Halladay is consistently the best pitcher in baseball, but for the 2011 season that distinction belongs to Mr. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers who just racked up his 20th victory of the year yesterday. These aren't fluky wins that are piled up due to run support, oh no, he's got a 2.38 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, so the record is legit.

*Matt Kemp has a chance at the Triple Crown, as he's 4th in AVG- .323, 1st in HR- 31, and 2nd in RBI- 100. He's helped carry Suck My Bocock to the best record in the WSBGMs Phantasy League.

*As of now, who would your choice for AL and NL MVP be? Top 5: AL- 1. Curtis Granderson, 2. Adrian Gonzalez, 3. Jose Bautista, 4. Miguel Cabrera, 5. Jacoby Ellsbury; NL- 1. Ryan Braun, 2. Matt Kemp, 3. Prince Fielder, 4. Joey Votto, 5. Shane Victorino.

*As of now, who would your choice for AL and NL Cy Young be? Top 5: AL- 1. Justin Verlander, 2. Jered Weaver, 3. Josh Beckett, 4. CC Sabathia, 5. James Shields; NL- 1. Clayton Kershaw, 2. Roy Halladay, 3. Cliff Lee, 4. Cole Hamels, 5. Craig Kimbrel.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Phils Prep for Hurricane

While people along the majority of the East Coast prepare for the ominous hurricane, the Phillies are prepping in their own unique way...



Friday, August 26, 2011

Series Preview - Another Crappy NL East Team

Philadelphia Phillies (83-45) vs Miami Marlins (58-72)

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:05 - Roy Oswalt v. Clay Hensley
Saturday, 1:05 - Roy Halladay v. Anibal Sanchez
Saturday, 7:05 - Cliff Lee v. ???

[In case you didn't already know, the Sunday game is moved to Saturday night as part of a day/night doubleheader. This way that bitch Irene can't wash out Sunday's game...unless it rains Saturday night. The Florida starter for the night game is still undetermined. Last Florida v. Philadelphia doubleheader was June 15th of this year. The Phils took both games.]

Flounders Batting:
Runs - 508 (22nd)
AVG - .245 (24th)
OBP - .317 (15th)
SLG - .385 (21st)

Flounders Pitching:
ERA - 4.14 (22nd)
WHIP - 1.33 (18th)
BAA - .256 (17th)


What We're Listening Too

Corey - Scorpions - "Rock You Like A Hurricane"

Carson - Blind Melon - "No Rain"

Their Michael Martinez:
Mike Cameron is hitting .178.

Their Danys Baez:
Closer Leo Nunez has 33 saves but also a 4.63 ERA. Clay Hensley and Chris Volstad both have ERAs around five and a half.

Fish Roster Report:
Randy Choate is on the DL. Chris Coghlan and his .230 average are on the DL. And surprise, surprise, Hanley Ramirez is on the DL. Is this guy going to have the same career arc as Gary Sheffield? Supremely talented infielder --> attitude problems --> unfulfilled potential --> traded multiple times --> tons of steroids and subsequent home runs --> always an ass.

My Favorite Marlin:
Logan Morrison. Quick summary - The Marlins sent Morrison, one of their top hitters and most popular players, to AAA basically because he was doing too much talking on Twitter and to the media. They made some comments about professionalism and "being ready for the majors" and whatnot. Well, the AAA stint lasted 10 days. Did LoMo learn his "lesson." Not sure. Check out this interview with the Palm Beach Post.
When asked if he has talked to anybody in the organization since the demotion, Morrison said, "I haven’t talked to anybody. I didn’t really care."

When asked why he believes he was sent down, Morrison said, "I have no idea."

When asked how he will change, Morrison said, "I’ll be the same person."

When asked what was accomplished by him being in New Orleans for 10 days, Morrison said, "I don’t know."

When asked to describe his relationship with the organization, Morrison said, "I’m the baseball player and they provide the uniform."
What We're Drinking:
Corey - Hurricane malt liquor in a 40 oz. bottle.

Carson - Clipper City Brewing Co.'s Small Craft Warning (uber ale).

Prediction:
Rain!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pinch Hit Poll & Minor Thoughts

Now that John Mayberry Jr. is hitting himself into a more prominent role, who should be Fuqua's first choice off the bench to pinch hit? Let's be honest, the Phillies bench is pretty pitiful. We've got a no-hit back-up catcher (Schneider), 3 good fielding/light hitting utility infielders (Orr, Valdez, and Martinez), a gimp (Gload), and the confusing case of Ben Francisco. Of course there's always pitchers- the power hitting Cliff Lee or aggressive Vance Worley.

*2011 AVG/OPS listed by each choice below.


Minor Thoughts:
*Cody Overbeck is finally starting to acclimate himself to Triple-A, as he belted his 6th homer for the Iron Pigs yesterday. That gives him 24 bombs on the season, to go along with 72 RBI. Problem being, he's a poor fielder that is now limited to first base duties, and we all know there's no future in Philly for him at that position.

*Freddy Galvis has been in the Phils minor league system for 5 seasons and until this year was an all-glove/no-bat fringe player. His defense has been MLB ready for a couple seasons, but his offense had been abysmal. 2011 is a different story, as he's hit .325 in 22 games since being promoted to Triple-A, after starting the season in Reading. For the year he's batting .281/.727 with 76 R, 42 RBI, 22 SB, and 38 XBH.

*A player you probably haven't heard much about is Carlos Alonso, currently in Single-A Lakewood. He was drafted in the 32nd round last in 2010 and made in inconspicuous debut last year (.265/.762). This year in 2 stops he's batting .333/.911 while playing solid defense at 2nd base and showing good plate discipline (23 BB:14 K). He's already 23, so we'll see how he does as he climbs the chain.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bullpen Trust Rankings

Bullpen Trust Rankings:
1. Antonio Bastardo 5-0, 1.48 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 52 G, 48.2 IP, 16:57 BB:K, 14 HLD, 8 SV, and has only allowed 19 hits for a .119 average against. Tony Bastard's mound presence is mature, intimidating, and determined. Love it!

2. Ryan Madson 3-2, 3.25 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 45 G, 44.1 IP, 14:47 BB:K, 23 SV, 3 HLD. He's been solid aside from that horrific blown save against the Nationals. The sooner he goes out there and picks up a clean save the better.

3. David Herndon 1-2, 3.61 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 34 G, 42.1 IP, 10:28 BB:K, and 4 HLD. Was horrible before his deserved demotion to the minors, but has steadily climbed the bullpen ladder of trust since being recalled. Continues to drop ERA from season's highpoint on July 6th- 5.14. Has not allowed a run in his last 9 outings (10.2 IP).

4. Brad Lidge 0-1, 2.25 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 11 G, 8 IP, 7:9 BB:K, 1 SV, 3 HLD. Control isn't there and that means inconsistency from one appearance to the next. Still capable of the big K though, which is a valuable weapon in relief.

5. Michael Schwimer has only made 1 appearance, but needs more looks, because he could be a secret weapon come playoffs.

6. Michale Stutes 5-1, 3.75 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 45 G, 48 IP, 22:43 BB:K, 7 HLD. The rookie looks like a rookie, and one that might not belong in the Majors at that. His numbers remain decent due to his impressive honeymoon, but now this relationship has gone stale. He has a future with the Phillies, but it might not be on the their 2011 playoff roster.

This-N-That:
*Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard are both day-to-day with minor nagging aches and pains.

*Ben Francisco is alive...who knew? In a rare start, he went 3-3 with a walk. Maybe Raul's gimp groin is a good thing. Gives the old man some time off and The Ben Francisco Treat some at bats.

*Clearwater Thresher Trevor May has struck out 197 batters this season. It's time to promote him for a couple Double-A starts to end the year.

*John Mayberry Jr. should get the majority of starts in LF heading forward, and not just against lefties. His bat is more valuable than Ibanez', as is his defense and base running. Raul becomes a spot starter against tougher righties and the left-handed pinch hitter that Manuel has been seeking since Gload became pointless.

*Cole Hamels trip to the DL is merely procedural. He'll be activated for his start this coming Monday.

*Jose Contreras will have season ending elbow surgery. Gotta think his career may be over too seeing his elderly age and all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stuff

NL East Magic Number:


Playoff Magic Number


Mayberry:
John Mayberr is 27-85 in July and August with 8 home runs. He's raised his overall line to .270-11-38. Meanwhile, Raul Ibanez is hitting .161 this month.

Phantasy Phootball:
Don't forget, WSBGMs Phantasy Phootball draft is tonight at 8:00. If anybody has hopes of stopping my three-peat, you better be on your game tonight!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Series Preview - Mets... again.

Philadelphia Phillies (81-44) vs. New York Mets (60-66)

Season Series:
Phillies 8-4 Mets

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 7:05 - Cliff Lee v. Dillon Gee
Tuesday, 7:05 - The Vanimal v. Jon Niese
Wednesday, 1:05 - Kyle Kendrick v. Mike Pelfrey

[Side note:Is anyone else sick of seeing NL East teams? I'd like to see the Phils play the other teams more than just 6-7 times a year and not play the Mets or Nationals every other week. Hell, I'd even take more, ugh, interleague games.]

Liberty Batting:
Runs - 565 (10th)
AVG - .265 (7th)
OBP - .335 (4th)
SLG - .396 (17th)

Liberty Pitching:
ERA - 4.18 (23rd)
WHIP - 1.35 (23rd)
BAA - .262 (23rd)

What We're Listening Too
Corey - Swedish rockers Twopointeight. They released a self-titled album in in 2006 and I was hooked after hearing the first track, "Red Eye." At the time, you couldn't even buy the album in the States and their online distributor was sold out. I finally found a digital copy on a punk message board. A second album dropped this year, "Twopointeight II." Again, you can't buy it in the States yet, but if you search hard enough, like I did, you can find a digital copy online. The first track is again a catchy one, "Guds Hand."

Carson - MLB talk radio on XM.

Their Michael Martinez:
Jason Bay. If this was a Nationals blog, I would title this section "Their Jayson Werth" because Bay is making bank and lots of outs. Bay is making $16 million this season, and next season, and next season. Then the Mets can give him $3 million dollar so he can leave. His totals over the last two seasons are .250-15-90. That wouldn't be worth $16 million in one year. Over two years, that's worth less than half that. The Mets - always getting value for their dollar...

Their Danys Baez:
The Mets have the second worst bullpen ERA in the National League and they can thank Ryota Igarashi for a large chunk of that. Igarashi has a 5.32 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP over 29 appearances. Luckily for the Mets he's only making $1.75 million and he's a free agent at season's end.

What We're Drinking:
Corey - Lancaster K├Âlsch by Lancaster Brewing Company. LBC only brews the refreshing Kolsch in the summer and they package it in cans, which makes it great for picnics/tailgates. It's the perfect beer to pound in the Jetro lot on a steamy August day.

Carson - pink lemonade.

Prediction:
Two of three for the good guys.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another Rain Delay...

3 rain delays in the last 4 games. Noah better build another ark.


Stuff:
*Cole Hamels hopes to make his return to the rotation Friday against the Marlins.

*Polanco says he's feeling better and is trying to get activated tomorrow to start the series against the Mets.

*J-Roll had to leave the game early today with a groin issue. I sure hope Polly comes back, because I'm not sure how long I could stomach a left side of the infield on Martinez and Valdez if this injury proves to be serious.

*Listening/watching Jay$on Werth get booed in DC by both Nationals and Phillies fans is a guilty pleasure.

*We all know Phillies fans travel well, because T-Mac and Wheels talk about it every single away game, but Phans completely take over Nationals Ballpark. It's hilarious.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Manuel Blows 2nd Save of the Season

On Tuesday night Phillies manager Charlie Manuel blew his first save of the 2011 season by sticking with Roy Halladay for too long. Last night he blew his second save in grand fashion, allowing a walkoff grand slam. Okay, so Fuqua didn't actually throw the pitch that Ryan Zimmeran deposited over the leftfield fence, but he sure as hell lead to the cause of it.

Rewind to Tuesday night. Manuel warmed closer Ryan Madson up in the 9th inning while Halladay ran out of gas, but never used him. Then in Wednesday's blowout win (9-2), he decided to get Madson "some work" despite the game situation, because you know once you warm a pitcher up you have to bring him in (hate that f'n stupid mindset). Then on Thursday an actual save situation arose and Madson came in to fill his role. Again last night a save situation was in play, but Madson had essentially thrown a starter's load worth of pitches over the past 3 days between the bullpen and actual game, so he was worn out and it was obvious. Two-thirds of an inning, 6 earned runs, blown save, loss. Ugly!

Some of this could have been averted. For instance, once Wednesday's game got out of hand, Michael Schwimer was the logical choice to pitch in relief, and it would have saved Madson some bullets. Also, Manuel could have allowed Brad Lidge to work a second inning last night, seeing as though he only expelled 7 pitches in his 1 inning. This would have allowed Bastardo and/or Madson to share the 9th or work it solo.

It's hard to get too mad about a loss considering the Phils are having an amazing season, but the season is far from over, and dumb managing is something that always raises the ire of fans.

Friday, August 19, 2011

80 Wins is Better Than...

Born in 1979 I've witnessed the highs and lows of the Philadelphia Phillies. For you bandwagon Phans (welcome aboard!), you have no idea just how shitty times were in the 90's. It amazes me that I'm still a Phils fan, seeing as those were my formative years. Thank goodness I didn't jump ship across the state to Pittsburgh...because that ship done did sink. Anyway, the Phightins have 80 wins already this season and we're only in the middle of August. For half of my life, that total was not eclipsed by my favorite team. Take a look below...

Year - Wins:
1981 - 59*
1985 - 75
1987 - 80
1988 - 65
1989 - 67
1990 - 77
1991 - 78
1992 - 70
1994 - 54*
1995 - 69*
1996 - 67
1997 - 68
1998 - 75
1999 - 77
2000 - 65
2002 - 80

* = Strike Shortened Season

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Series Preview - Nationals...again.

Philadelphia Phillies (80-42) at Washington Nationals (59-63)

Season Series:
Phillies 7-4 Gnats

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:05 - Roy Oswalt v. Livan Hernandez
Saturday, 7:05 - Kyle Kendrick v. John Lannan
Sunday, 1:35 - Roy Halladay v. Wang from Caddyshack

Wang didn't get to pitch last time b/c of the rain delay, so I'm using the picture...again.



[Side note: Every time I write or speak the word "again," I can't help but think of this clip. Take a listen. Skip to 4:50, that's where the real rant begins. Skip to 8:10 to hear the "again" part."]

Generals Batting:
Runs - 474 (24th)
AVG - .240 (27th)
OBP - .309 (25th)
SLG - .378 (22nd)

Generals Pitching:
ERA - 3.70 (12th)
WHIP - 1.33 (20th)
BAA - .260 (20th)

What We're Listening Too
Corey - I have a 3+ hour drive to Pittsburgh today to watch the Buccos play the Reds so the ol' iPod will get a good run out. For a long drive, or anytime for that matter, I love listening to "All In" by San Francisco rock/punk band Nothington. I can't recommend this band enough. I once saw them described as a mix of Leatherface, Social Distortion and Tom Waits and if you don't think that sounds great, then you suck. [Of course, once I'm in da 'Burgh, I'll be jamming to the great Pittsburgh rocker Donnie Iris' "Ah Leah."]

Carson - Weezer's Pinkerton. I played my original cd of Pinkerton so much that it wore out (burned courtesy of Corey), so I bought it this time around. Weezer is my favorite band and Pinkerton is by far their best album. I sing/yell the lyrics while jamming out with my imaginary band in my car while listening to this amazing album. For people that only know "new" Weezer, they should go back and listen to this.

Their Michael Martinez:
Still Adam LaRoche.

Their Danys Baez:
Still Sean Burnett.

What We're Drinking:
Corey - Like I said, I'm off to Pittsburgh so I'll be drinking some Iron City beer and "pop."

Carson - Appalachian Brewing Company's Double IPA sampler. ABC brewed up some 2XIPA's showcasing various hops (Summit, Cascade, and Nugget). Tasty!!!

Magic Number:


Prediction:
Sweeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!

Get Howard Some Powerade

Ryan Howard doesn't only love Subway, nope, homeboy chugs the Powerade too...


Injury Updates:
*Carlos Ruiz hurt his taint. Well, actually his left nut, but you get the picture.

*Ryan Howard may have strained something in his hand while swinging last night (bat not dibble-dabbling with other couples). He described it as a "little discomfort" or a "weakness". I thought sliders were his weakness...

*Both Joe Blanton and Jose Contreras are attempting to work their ways back into the Phils bullpen picture before season's end. If healthy Contreras is a boost, but Blanton is probably better off watching the playoffs from the comfort of the dugout on the inactive list.

*Cole Hamels has a bullpen session scheduled for Friday, and if all goes well could take his turn in the rotation sometime next week.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Manuel Blows 1st Save of the Season

Did you know the Philadelphia Phillies lead all of Major League Baseball in save percentage with an outstanding 92% success rate (36 SV in 39 opportunities)? Well, last night Charlie Manuel blew the save. Wait, what?! Yep, he allowed Halladay to pitch himself into a jam and surrender the lead, in what otherwise was a dominating performance by Doc. I'm not suggesting Manuel was wrong for keeping Halladay in to start the 9th inning, as I would have done the same. He was cruising along, retiring the last 12 Diamondbacks in a row. However, having Bastardo or Madson getting loose would have been smart. That way when Halladay gave up back-to-back base hits to begin the inning, the reliever could have come in and given Arizona a different look and hopefully have saved the game or at minimum only surrendered 1 run, that way a tie would have still be in effect. But instead, Halladay stayed in the game and got saddled with the complete game loss.

Good thing we had Michael Martinez and Ross Gload batting in the bottom of the 9th. Those two are super clutch. Seriously, Martinez is back to proving he sucks, and Gload just can't hit...or run for that matter.

Other Stuff:
*Placido Polanco was finally DL'd. I still don't get waiting 10 days to do it, but whatever. Replacing him on the roster is reliever Michael Schwimer, who has dominated at Triple-A this season (9-1, 46 G, 67 IP, 10 SV, 22:86 BB:K, 1.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP).

*Cole Hamels "dead arm" had to have an MRI, and the result was no damage, just inflammation. He'll miss at least 1 start, meaning more Kyle Kendrick. I know this will bring joy to Corey.

*Raul Ibanez is having a horrible August, batting .136/.369. His protege Dom Brown is struggling in Triple-A too (1 hit in his last 21 at bats, now batting .255). I think it's time to see more John Mayberry Jr. in LF.

*Lyle Overbay has become a below average MLB 1st baseman, but not when facing the Phils. Nope, then he's a friggin' superstar. In 7 games this season against Philly he's batting .364/1.098 with 6 RBI. For his career he's played in 43 games against the Phils and hit .295/.919 with 7 HR, 19 R, and 30 RBI. It is nice to see someone from the Special Olympics succeeding in the Majors though I guess.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Series Preview - D-Backs

Arizona Diamondbacks (68-53) @ Philadelphia Phillies (78-41)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Tuesday, John Collmenter vs. Roy Halladay
Wednesday, Joe Saunders vs. Cliff Lee
Thursday, Ian Kennedy vs. Vance Worley
*All game times- 7:05

Season Series:
D-Backs 2, Phils 1

Snakes Hitting:
RUN - 556 (7th)
AVG - .250 (18th)
OBP - .319 (13th)
SLG - .418 (7th)

Justin Upton is a MVP candidate at the age of 23 (.306/.943).

Snakes Pitching:
ERA - 4.02 (20th)
WHIP - 1.31 (15th)
BAA - .260 (20th)

Dbacks have their own 15 game winner in the form of Ian Kennedy. Bet the Yankees wish they still had him.

Their Michael Martinez:
Sean Burroughs last played Major League Baseball in 2006 before resurfacing with Arizona this season. He has a respectable enough .257 batting average, but it's completely empty, as his OPS is a paltry .564. He's only 30 years old though, so maybe he has upside like our 28 year old rookie Martinez. Ha!

Their Danys Baez:
Aaron Heilman was released after posting a 6.88 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 35.1 IP. Guess which organization he's in now...the Philadelphia Phillies (currently on DL in Triple-A Lehigh Valley).

What We're Listening To:
Carson- Bad Meets Evil (Hell the Sequel). This hip-hop duo boasts Eminem and Royce Da 5'9". Eminem is my favorite MC of all time and when teamed up with Royce, it makes for a very pleasurable eargasm. From start to finish, the two exchange verses back-and-forth with fervor in double-time over a multitude of dope beats. Best tracks: Above the Law, Fast Lane, and Lighters (ft. Bruno Mars).

Corey- Blitzen Trapper - "Furr." I can't really describe it, but trust me, give it a listen.

Prediction:
Phils lose two of three because they want the D-backs to win the West and not the Giant. Just kidding. Phils win the series, like they do every series...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Night Musings

Krukker!
"To those people that say Philadelphia is a tough place to play and didn't want to play here...I say they didn't have the guts to succeed here."
~John Kruk from his Phillies Wall-of-Fame speech

Did You Know?
Antonio Bastardo has only allowed 18 hits this season in 44.2 IP, making for a .122 batting average against. Wow!

Lets Make Up:
Yesterday's rain out has been rescheduled for September 20th at 1:05, which will be the opening bill of a day/night doubleheader.

The Harry Kalas statue will now be unveiled before Tuesday's game against Arizona, at 6:40 PM.

Rotation:
Tuesday- Halladay, Wednesday- Lee, Thursday- Worley, Friday- Hamels, Saturday- Oswalt. Everyone gets an extra day rest, with Halladay and Lee actually getting 3 because of Thursday's off day, yesterday's rain out, and then today's off day.

Bush League:
The Phils are on a roll lately with minor league signings of has-beens. First there was Aaron Heilman a couple weeks ago, then there was Jack Cust, and now David Bush. Bush will probably make some starts for the Iron Pigs over the next month, but never pitch from Citizens Bank Park's mound unless it's with a jersey other than the Phils. But then again, Baez Sucked appeared in 29 games with them this year.

Dom Watch:
Domonic Brown is in Triple-A learning a new position (leftfield) and is also in the midst of a slump. He's currently hitless in his last 14 at bats, which has dropped his batting average to .271. Doubtful this was part of Charlie and Rube's maturation plan for the youngster. The kid's got skills, but employing them consistently and successfully his his biggest challenge.

Flip-Flopping:
Pitcher turned batter turned pitcher again Joe Savery now has a 1.78 ERA in 25.1 minor league innings this year after begining the season as a 1B/DH. What's more impressive is that he's developed control and has been striking guys out at a much higher rate then previously in his career (5 BB:32 K). The former 1st round pick is a lefty, so seeing him in the Majors someday is not too much of a stretch.

Pence Deal Completed:
19 year old lanky outfielder Domingo Santana was sent to the Astros to complete the Hunter Pence trade. Santana's biggest upside is his young age and power potential. He was the Phils #9 rated prospect heading into the season according to Baseball America. In 3 minor league seasons, Santana has compiled a .247 AVG, .746 OPS, 117 R, 54 DBL, 21 HR, 96 RBI, 16 SB, and 93 BB:313 K.

Greene Gets Greenbacks:
The Phillies top pick, #33 overall, Larry Greene was signed before the deadline today. He will receive a $1M bonus, which is over slot. Greene is a power hitting outfielder that Philadelphia selected with the compensation sandwich pick they got from the the Nationals, due to their signing of Jayson Werth.

Juan Carlos Sighting:
JC Romero began his 2011 campaign with the Phillies, who released him. From Philadelphia he signed a minor league deal with the Nationals, who released him. From Washington he signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, who released him. From New York he signed with the Rockies and is available in Colorado's bullpen for tonight's game. It pays to be a lefty.

Off Day, Off Topic

Just thought I'd post a little baseball story and video that I saw on a few sites this weekend to see what loyal WSBGMs readers think about it.

The newspaper story is HERE. Please read the article and the comments.

Here is the video of the incident.



This is pretty straight forward. It's obvious that the catcher did this on purpose. If you buy the "crossed up" argument, you are a moron. Even a "crossed up" catcher would not throw himself to the ground, drop his glove and stare at the ground where he thinks the ball will end up. A normal catcher might move where he thinks the ball will curve, but would react to the actual ball and at least stick a glove out. No way a catcher completely disregards the ball hurling his way at 70-80 MPH unless he knows where it's going (ie right at the umpire).

The 22 year old umpire didn't handle the situation perfectly. He should have confronted the team and at least the catcher and manager should have gotten the boot. This may even have been cause for forfeiture. However, if that was me at age 22 and a 17-18 year old catcher did that to me, I would have ripped off his mask and pummeled him repeatedly in face, so I give the umpire credit for maintaining his composure and walking away.

What do you guys think?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hamels' (Evil) Dead Arm

Cole Hamels lacked pinpoint control and zip on his fastball Friday night. "Oh crap, he's injured!" was the conclusion many fans jumped to. The Phillies on the other hand are calling it "dead arm". Manuel thinks he'll be able to work his way out of it. Maybe everything turns out okay...

Around the NL East:
GB = Games Back

Atlanta Braves 70-50, 8.5 GB. That Popeye/Elvish hybrid Dan Uggla has a 33 game hit streak. Also, they released "their Danys Baez" this week, by parting ways with Scott Proctor.

New York Mets 58-61, 20 GB. LOLMets.

Washington Nationals 57-62, 21 GB. Jayson Werth is awesome, isn't he? Totally a cornerstone player upon which to build a winning franchise. Fail.

Florida Marlins 56-63, 22 GB. That vulgar tweetin' S.O.B. LoMo (aka- Logan Morrison) was optioned to the minors yesterday. Also, they released "their Michael Martinez" yesterday, who just so happened to be our Wes Helms once upon a time.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Victorino's Hawaiian Entourage

Shane Victorino (aka- Flyin' Hawaiian) has a posse yo!



Stuff:
*Don't worry about Hamels being hurt because of his lack of control and substandard fastball last night (only 88 mph). Insider info reports that he had a very late night at his wife's charity event on Thursday and his performance was likely a residual effect.

*Wilson Betemit became the first player this season to commit The Howard for two different teams. He did it with the Kansas City Royals earlier this year and then with the Detroit Tigers last night. Congrats.

*ESPN's Erik Krabell wrote a piece about the NL & AL MVP Races and this comment stood out- "You’ll see no sign of Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, the NL's RBI leader, because RBIs are a misleading statistic. Howard is having the worst season of his career, and not only defensively. It’s notable that his Phillies teammate John Mayberry Jr. has almost the same WAR. Perhaps the Phillies can’t afford to lose him, but let’s not call it an MVP season. Half the Phillies' lineup has been more valuable to their team, believe it or not."

*The Phils signed Jack Cust to a minor league deal. He lost his power in Seattle (doesn't everyone?), but can still draw walks. He'd be a better left-handed pinch hitting option than Gload, but so would Steve Jeltz at this point. Honestly, I'm still hoping for a Domonic Brown promotion before September, so that he is postseason roster eligible.

*If the Phillies lose to John Lannan tonight, I'm going to stop believing in this team.

Ha, just playin'.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Series Preview - Washington

Philadelphia Phillies (77-40) vs Washington Nationals (56-61)

Season Series:
Philles 6-3 Gnats

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:05 - Cole Hamels v. Livan Hernandez
Saturday, 7:05 - Roy Oswalt v. John Lannan
Sunday, 1:35 - Roy Halladay v. Wang from Caddyshack



Senators Batting:
Runs - 457 (22th)
AVG - .240 (28th)
OBP - .309 (26th)
SLG - .379 (23rd)

Senators Pitching:
ERA - 3.76 (11th)
WHIP - 1.33 (20th)
BAA - .261 (23rd)

Their Michael Martinez:
Jayson Werth. Just kidding, but his .227-14-44 line is pretty pathetic given his mega-contract. The award goes to currently injured first basemen Adam LaRoche and his .172 average and .546 OPS.

Their Danys Baez:
Sean Burnett. He is second on the team in appearances but is near the bottom in ERA (4.68). The two previous seasons Burnett was been terrific (3.12, 2.14 ERA respectively), but he's been horrible in 2011 and the Nationals don't have anything better.

Next Big Thing Update:
Bryce Harper - .250-2-10-.696 and 1 ejections [see below] in AA Harrisburg.

Stephen Strasburg - 1.2 IP, 1 R, 4 K at LoA Hagerstown.



What We're Drinking:
Corey - Keystone Light. Always smooth.

Carson - nothing special, probably just water and Diet Coke with lime.

Prediction:
Sweeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Name That Phillie- No Game Today Edition

So, what'cha doing today with no Phillies game to watch? Me...thinking about the weekend series against the Nationals or otherwise being lazy. Anyway, found this random Phillies player from the past and wanted to see if one of you brainiacs could figure out his hidden identity. Go ahead, name that Phillie...



Oh yeah, almost forgot to plug our 1-day fantasy baseball league. If you haven't registered yet I suggest doing so now. If you don't plan on registering, I question your loyalty...just joking...sorta.

Cliff Lee Overshadowed by Children

Seems like Cliff can't get a word in edgewise...


*Phillies finally get a well deserved off day after 20 games in 20 days and a 10 game road trip.

*Hunter Pence with Phillies- .347/.981, 6 R, 3 DBL, 3 HR, 9 RBI in 12 games (11 of which the Phils have won). Still think they overpaid?

*Tomorrow is our 1-day fantasy baseball league. Hurry up and register for free and possibly win some mullah.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Phillies Aquire Bobby Thigpen...18 Years Ago

Remember when Bobby Thigpen saved 57 games for the 1990 Chicago White Sox? At the time, it was a record, and it earned him a spot on the All-Star team, 4th place in the Cy Young, and a 5th place finish for the MVP. Very impressive for a relief pitcher. That was far and away his best season, but Thigpen did save 201 games in his career with a 3.43 ERA in 448 games over 9 seasons. Why am I reminiscing about a former member of the Pale Booties? Well, back in the magical season of 1993 he was traded to the Phillies for Jose DeLeon on this day (August 10th). Thigpen made 17 appearances for the Phils over the last month and a half of the season, winning 3 games, but with an unsightly 6.05 ERA. He also appeared in the postseason for the Phightins, his only playoff experience of his career.


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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Free $50 Playing Fantasy Baseball

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Quick Hits

The "Brawl"
Busy day at the respective offices for Carson and I so there's not much time for the ol' blog, but I wanted to make my view clear on the San Fran/Victorino "brawl." Give me a second while I channel my inner Al Gore. Okay, here I go:

No suspension for Ramirez? Bulls--t! No suspension for Whiteside? Bulls--t! A fine for Polanco? Bulls--t!

I understand why Victorino got suspended. He took off into the pile and tackled somebody. Probably should have just allowed himself to be restrained. But for Polanco to get the same "penalty" as Ramirez/Whiteside is odd. And for the instigators to get off without a suspension is even odder. The whole decision is laughable.

The only thing more laughable than Joe Garagiola Jr.'s decision on this case is the description of Eli Whiteside's dance routine by philly.com write Frank Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick wrote that Whiteside was "bouncing on his toes like a very bad middleweight or a Castro District hoofer." Castro District hoofer!? Classic.

Polly
So Placido has a "sports hernia." Great. And by "great", I mean "aw crap."

The talk is surgery vs. non-surgery. Disabled list or steroid and pain injections. Ruben Amaro even said, "Frankly, a lot of guys have sports hernias. It's a matter of... discomfort." He also said they weren't looking for third baseman in any trades.

It's all smoke. Most of these injuries need surgery. Guys can play through it, sure, but find me one guy who's played through the pain and been anywhere close to their expected level of production. How'd Donovan McNabb look when he played with his? [If you are a football fan, you know how this injury affected Kaka, Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres, etc.]

The way I see it, the Phils have two options 1) get Polanco the surgery and trade for another third baseman now (Casey Blake, Ty Wiggy, etc.) and hope Polly can get back for the playoffs or 2) go with the rest/rehab/steroid, pain injections and trade for a third baseman in August if he's not getting better. Either way, we won't see a 100% Polly until 2012.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Series Preview - Dodgers

Philadelphia Phillies (74-40) at Los Angeles Chapter 11's (52-61)

Season Series:
Phillies 2-1 Dodgers

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 10:10 - Roy Halladay v. Hiroki Kuroda
Tuesday, 10:10 - Cliff Lee v. Ted Lilly
Wednesday, 3:10 - Vance Worley v. Chad Billingsley

Eluders Batting:
Runs - 415 (28th)
AVG - .252 (15th)
OBP - .315 (19th)
SLG - .362 (25h)

Eluders Pitching:
ERA - 3.81 (14th)
WHIP - 1.29 (13th)
BAA - .247 (8th)

Their Michael Martinez:
Juan Uribe has never been much of an "average" hitter but he had enough power to make him a viable offensive option for the infield. But his .204 average and 4 home runs just doesn't cut it now.

Their Danys Baez:
Jonathan Broxton - A closer with a 5.68 ERA? Who is this guy, Jeff Brantley? Broxton has been hurt much of this season, so if you don't remember him, here's a refresher.



What We're Drinking:
Corey - Green tea. I'm trying to lay off the sugar containing beverages for a while and I'm drinking waaaaay too much Coke Zero. So, a few cups of freshly brewed green tea should help spice things up and the caffeine might help keep me up for the 10 o'clock starts.

Carson - Powerade Zero. I'm painting 3 rooms in 3 days and it's muggy as hell up in here, so I need to stay hydrated. Gatorade/Powerade is good for replenishing electrolytes, but the stuff is loaded with carbohydrates. Therefore I turn to Powerade Zero, with ZERO calories, but more electrolytes than water and a better taste too. I like all the flavors, but grapes is my favorite.

Prediction:
Two of three for the good guys.

Just Sayin'...

Howard a Midget Against Giants:
Ryan Howard is going to put up his typical 30+ homeruns and 100+ RBI this year, and for that I am thankful, but he sure can't hit Giants pitching. In 7 games this season he is hitting .125 (3-24) against San Francisco with 9 K's. His only productive game was when Barry Zito pitched, and that doesn't really count. We all remember his called strike 3 against Brian Wilson in the 2010 NLCS, but truth is he's never been good against the Giants (batting .208 in 39 games). No more worries during the rest of the regular season, but should we face the Giants in the playoffs...

The Polanco Equation:
Polly + Age = Injuries. Injured Hip + DL = Michael Martinez. Ugh!

The Wright Stuff:
2011 8th round pick, Austin Wright cruised through Rookie League (Williamsport) and is now flashing his goods in Lakewood (Single-A). In his minor league debut season, he's gone 4-1 in 10 G, 9 GS, 45.2 IP, with a 2.96 ERA/1.31 WHIP, and 17:50 BB:K.

Minor League Leader:
Clearwater Threshers starting pitcher Julio Rodriguez leads all of the minor leagues in wins with 15. The 2008 8th round pick is 15-6 on the season. In 4 seasons he owns a 3.05 ERA and has struck out over a batter per inning. Pretty impressive for a 20 year old.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Should Cole Throw A Curveball?

via Deadspin.com


Magic Number:

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Giants Are Sore Losers

Phillies are the class of Major League Baseball, while the Giants have become sore losers...

Giants relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez...

Giants bunny-hopping catcher Eli Whiteside...

Tidbits:
*Phils are 7-0 since acquiring Hunter Pence. Giants are 1-8 since acquiring Carlos Beltran.

*Vance Worley is good.

*John Mayberry likes his hits to be of the extra base variety. 31 of his 59 career hits have been doubles or homeruns (53%).

*Ryan Madson might be back from paternity leave today, sending Scott Mathieson back to Lehigh Valley.

*Beltran complained following the game about J-Roll swiping 2nd base up 6 runs in the 6th. I hate these "unwritten rules". There is no mercy rule in Major League Baseball. Kill the opponent, deprive them of all hope.

*Rooting extra hard for a win today and then again tomorrow, because a 4-game sweep of the reigning World Series champs would further confirm the East Coast dominance in this sport.