Friday, August 31, 2012

Sereis Preview - Bravos

Friday, 7:35 - Roy Halladay v. Mike Minor
Saturday, 4:05 - Unluck-Lee v. Tim Hudson
Sunday, 5:05 - Don't Know v. Paul Maholm

Atlanta is currently in "first place" in the Wild Card standing, three games up on St. Louis and 3.5 up on Pittsburgh. So let's hope the Phils can pull off a sweep (ROFLMFAO) and help them Buccos!!!!

What I'm Parodying:
Friday - Meaningless Series Mix

Seven-thirty-five, first pitch in Atlanta
Gotta be good, gotta beat the Braves
Gotta have Cliff Lee, get a little lucky
Seein' all the games, the season’s goin'
Tickin' on and on, nobody’s watchin’
Gotta get home to my TV
Gotta catch the game, I see the Braves

Sittin' there in second place
Gnats are up in first place
Gotta make their mind up
Which place can they take

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta play the Braves on Friday
Everybody's lookin' forward to next season
Friday, Friday
Gettin' beat on Friday
Everybody's lookin' forward to next season

Losing and losing and, (Yeah!)
Losing and losing and, (Yeah!)
Damn, damn, damn, damn
Lookin' forward to next season

Jimmy  Rollins:
I guess I'm in the minority, but I didn't think his "non-hustle" was that big of a deal. So he didn't run 100% down the line. Big deal. It was only an issue because the ball was dropped. And even then he was safe at first. Watch a game or two this weekend and count how many times a player does something at less than 100%. Everybody does it. The days of "Charlie Hustle" are over. We are in the era of "Chuckie Half-ass." Deal with it.

Now, the base running was just stupid...

What I'm Drinking:
Newcastle Brown Ale - This is in honor of my favorite EPL team, Newcastle United, who earned a spot into the Europa League group stage this week. Three years ago, Newcastle had such a bad season they were relegated into the English second division. Now, they're playing in Europe (only teams who finish high enough in their domestic leagues qualify), so there's hope for the Phillies after this train-wreck of a year.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Phillies Nearing Milestones

Roy Halladay - 4 wins shy of 200 (currently with 196 W)

Ryan Howard - needs 5 more homeruns for 300 (currently at 295 HR)

Jimmy Rollins - 9 more hits until 2000 (currently sitting at 1991 H)

Jimmy Rollins - 4 stolen bases away from 400 (currently with 396 SB)

Chase Utley - 3 homeruns until 200 (currently has 197 HR)

Cliff Lee- 21 strikeouts short of 1500 (currently at 1479 K)

Jonathan Papelbon - 2 saves from 250 (sitting on 248 SV)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Revolving Door for Phillies Starters

Series of Events:
Cole Hamels is sick, so he can't make his start tonight. 

Call up Tyler Cloyd, International League Pitcher of the Year, and he makes a spot start in OGP's place.

Todd Zolecki reports Vance Worley has finally be shutdown for the season, hits the DL to make room on the 25-man roster for Cloyd.  The Vanimal will have surgery in 7-10 days to remove "loose bodies" (aka- bone chips) from his elbow.  Cloyd's official audition for the 2013 starting rotation begins now...

I hope he pitches well, because if he gets shelled, all his critics are going to be like- "Told you he was a fluke, all luck. Not going to be any good in the Majors."

Talking Points

*BJ Rosenberg has the worst ERA in the Majors this season of any pitcher with 10+ innings (12.66 ERA & 1.88 WHIP over 10.2 IP).  Why is he still on the roster?

*With Phillippe Aumont and Jeremy Horst available (who have combined to allow only 2 earned runs in 19.2 IP), Charlie Manuel summoned Rosenberg for the 10th inning.  Mr. Amaro, please relieve Fuqua of his duties this winter.

*One of the biggest disappointments of the 2012 season has been Antonio Bastardo.  For the first half of 2011 he was one of the best relievers in baseball (0.82 ERA/0.76 WHIP), now he is a complete mess and unreliably (5.07 ERA/1.26 WHIP since All-Star break of 2011).

*Phillies pinch hitters have been terrible this season, batting only .204 (37-181).  The NL average for PH is .240, and Washington leads the Majors with a .320 AVG from their pinch hitters.

*Good news- Ryan Howard can still hit.  Bad news- Ryan Howard still can't play defense.

*Vance Worley needs to be shutdown for the season.  He's not pitching deep into games and the innings he is racking up are of poor quality.  The Vanimal had a 6.43 in July and a 5.23 ERA in August.  Tyler Cloyd anyone?

*Darin Ruf hit his 37th homerun and collected his 98th RBI of the season last night for the Reading Phillies.  His homerun total leads all of baseball.

*As loyal reader Chase Trillo says- "Rosenberg sucks. Martinez sucks more. Manuel sucks the most!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Series Preview - Mets

Tuesday, 7:05 -The Vanimal v. Chris Young
Wednesday, 7:05 - King Cole v. Matt Harvey
Thursday, 1:05 - Oh no, it's KK v. Jon Niese

What To Watch For:
Tuesday - Want to play a drinking game? Here's a good one: drink every time T-Mac or Wheels make a comment about Chris Young's height and how it relates to his pitching style. They love talking about how he's an "intimidating presence" and how he strides so far he's "right on top of the hitter." They love how he throws "downhill" and yada, yada, yada. But more than anything, Wheels loves busting out the science to show us all how his fastball "looks faster" and the batter's reaction time is less because of his stride length. So, chug your entire drink if Wheels says any variation of, "He throws 88, but it looks like 93." You'll be drunk by the second inning. 

Wednesday - The Phillies don't have much going for them, and the Mets are falling fast, so this game is about as unimportant as the rest in this series. But luckily for T-Mac and Wheels the Mets will start rookie Matt Harvey. Since they, and us fans, haven't seen Harvey yet, they can spend 5 or 6 innings describing his rise to the majors and Wheels can give a different scouting report every inning based on what he saw the previous inning. Most of the stuff he says will contradict the stuff he said the previous inning, but that's okay because he can't remember what he says any better than we can. Also, look for Cole Hamels Cy Young references.

Thursday - Don't watch this game unless you can stomach the verbal-fellating Wheels is going to give KK. Luckily for most of us we'll have to follow on the 'net because it's a 1:05 start. Phew, that was a close one...

What I'm Drinking:
Knob Creek Bourbon - While I like and appreciate the trendy "full flavored" microbrewed beers, I'm in no way a "beer snob." I often prefer to drink cheap beer. I love Miller Lite and Natty Bo. But when it comes to liquor, I'm pretty darn snobby. I don't "mix" my liquor with anything but ice, water or club soda so if it tastes like garbage straight, I won't drink it. Jim Beam falls under this category. It's crap. It's mass produced, over-marketed swill. But Beam Inc. does make some good bourbon. Basil Hayden's is my favorite Beam "small batch" but the much cheaper Knob Creek does the job just fine. The taste? I don't know. I'm not that sophisticated. But it's good. Go get some.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Minor League Monster- Darin Ruf

Darin Ruf 2012 Reading Phillies- .316/1.023, 88 R, 145 H, 31 DBL, 35 HR, 95 RBI.

He leads all of minor league baseball in homeruns, is 3rd in OPS, and is close to cracking the top 10 in RBI.  He's done all this in the Double-A Eastern League that is regarded as having very fair parks (not hitter friendly like the Texas League or Pacific Coast League).  Ruf is not considered a "prospect" because he lacks "tools".  Tools are great, they helped build Noah's ark, but I could give two squirts of pee about tools when it comes to players, just as long as they produce.  I'm not stupid, I understand that toolsy prospects have a higher ceiling than non-toolsy guys like Tyler Cloyd or Darin Ruf.  However, it sucks that they get pushed aside because of this.  You don't know what you have until you test it out.  In other words, give the dude a shot.  Maybe that's what the Phillies have in mind, since Ruf has recently been moved to left field, a position that isn't blocked at the MLB level like his old position of 1st base is (Ryan Howard).

Seems to me that the Phillies have been best served by non-prospects over the past few years.  Hyped guys like Carlos Carrasco, Kyle Drabek, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, etc. haven't done too well at the MLB level.  Remember Domonic Brown was one of the best prospects in the game prior to 2011.  Oh my, how his stock has fallen.  Then there are the under-the-radar minor leaguers that have come up and contributed to the Phils run of success- Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley, Erik Kratz, Chris Coste, John Mayberry Jr., and I'm probably missing a few.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Man Never Swings and Misses

Have you ever heard of Willians Astudillo? 

Don't worry, me either, until today.  I was checking out the Phillies low level minor league stats and saw a catcher with the Gulf Coast League with a .300+ batting average and decided to investigate.  Turns out he's one helluva hitter.  Seriously, the man swings and hits...everything!!!  The 20 year old Astudillo is currently in his 4th minor league season and owns a .310 AVG/.765 OPS in 211 games.  Nothing special yet, right?  Well, he's had 801 plate appearances and has only struck out 21 times (Ryan Howard does that in a week's worth of games).  Also, he's only walked 37 times.  This mean he's always up at the dish hacking and smacking.  He's just now settling in at catcher too, as he's spent time all around the infield (1st, 2nd, SS, and 3rd) as well as corner outfield.  Sounds like a good athlete.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Phillies AVG & OPS Leader: J-Roll?

You know your season is in the shitter when the leader for your team has a measly .241 batting average and .699 OPS.  The Phillies have been so injury-riddled that Jimmy Rollins is the only current player on the 40-man roster with enough plate appearances to qualify (Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino were traded away).  Carlos Ruiz would be killing it with a .335 AVG/.959 OPS, but alas the DL Monster gobbled him up too.

Even the lowly Astros (worst record in baseball) have Jose Altuve leading their squad (.302/.773).  The offensive starved A's have Coco Crisp batting .251 and Josh Reddick with a .797 OPS.  Hell, the Padres and Mariners, they of spacious home parks, have better leaders.  Basically, the Phils have the worst AVG/OPS team leader stats in all of MLB.  Sad.

Other Stuff:
*KK has strung together 3 very well pitched starts in a row (3 W, 21.2 IP, 16 K, 0.83 ERA, and a 0.69 WHIP).  I'm not sure how he does it, but he does have value.

*Roy Halladay has 195 career wins.  Counting today, he'll make 7-8 more starts this season.  It would be awesome to see him notch #200 before April of 2013.

*The Phillies are in 3rd place in the NL East.  Doesn't count for crap, but it makes some fans feel better.  They're 10.5 out of the Wild Card.  I think there's a better chance to Hitler being reincarnated and elected President of the United States before the Phils make the playoffs this season, but hey, that's just me

Friday, August 24, 2012

Series Preview - Those Pesky Little Bugs

Washington Nationals (77-47) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (58-67)

Pitching Matchups:
Friday 7:05, Edwin Jackson vs. Oh No, It's KK
Saturday 7:05, Gio Gonzalez vs. Roy Halladay
Sunday 1:35, Jordan Zimmermann vs. Cliff Lee

The Nationals have been in first place all season long and will continue to be.  Of course, they stand a good chance to getting beat in the NLDS because they're retarded and are shutting Strasburg down, but whatever, their loss...literally.  Jayson Werth is back in the lineup.  Ryan Zimmerman is hitting again.  Michael Morse's 2011 wasn't a fluke.  Ian Desmond is off the DL.  Adam LaRoche is still driving in run.  Tyler Clippard , Sean Burnett, Ryan Mattheus, Mike Gonzalez, and Craig Stammen do a great job in the bullpen.  Their rotation is what the Phillies was last year- dominant. You know, they're good, best record in baseball.

What We're Drinking:
Got a variety case of Magic Hat, because I was in the mood for some different brews.  Of the 4 beers in the pack, #9 was the only one I've had before. 

#9- A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A beer brewed clandestinely and given a name whose meaning is never revealed. Why #9? Why, indeed. A sort of dry, crisp, fruity, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there’s never been anything else quite like it.

My take- not my favorite of the Magic Hat offerings, but that's just this beer enthusiasts opinion.  This is one of their flagship beers and their best seller, so they must be doing something right.

Hocus Pocus- Our take on the classic summer wheat beer. It’s a light, crisp ale for mowing lawns, hitting lazy fly balls and communing with nature. Glowing like brilliant rays of golden sun, its malty sweetness finishes tart and crisp. Hocus Pocus is best appreciated with a wedge of orange. Offered as a sacrifice to cloudless days.

My take- loved it, great summer brew.  I wanted to just sit back and drink a 6-pack of these.  Refreshing and crisp with a great balanced full flavored attack on your taste buds that you don't always get from a wheat beer.

Hex- Hex is a malty amber ale offering hints of toffee and caramel with its slightly smoky finish.

My take- I'm not really much of an Oktoberfest/Marzen guy, but this is Magic Hat's "Ourtoberfest" and is actually an ale. It definitely surprised me.  Also, the logo is awesome, so it joined my bottle collection.

Hi. P.A.- is a medium-bodied groove with a fresh and fruitful nose of tympanic temptation. It begins and ends with a big hop bite that is itself forever balanced on the brink by a steady rhythm of malt. Dry-hopped for extra quenching in the face of heat and beat, it’s an ideal accompaniment to chilling out, turning inward or sailing onward through the music of the night toward the dawn of the mind. It’s the liquid way to say be here now lest you never come this way again.

My take- India Pale Ale fans need to get their lips on one of these.  Floral/fruit notes in both the nose and taste. Hops are balanced well with malts, no bitter aftertaste. Yellow/gold in color with white head and that has lacing effect.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Amaro Earns a Bit of Respect

"They haven't pitched a ton and they haven't played a ton. They've only played a couple weeks. They've done a nice job. I don't want to take away from the job they've done, but you have to understand that two weeks does not make or break you. I had a nice two weeks in my career, and then I stunk. I think these guys are probably better players than I am, but everybody likes to jump on the bandwagon, plus or minus. I think we have to show some patience there."
~Ruben Amaro Jr., Phillies GM
This statement was made in regards to the performances of Domonic Brown, Kevin Frandsen, Erik Kratz, and Jeremy Horst. Basically, he's saying calm down fans and don't get too high or too low on a guy based on only a month of action. In a season that has sucked for the most part, fans are in search of a good story and hope for the future. These four players provide that. Domonic Brown popped his first homerun of 2012 last night and upped his AVG/OPS to .282/.764, but only in 22 games/78 at bats. Kevin Frandsen is batting .358/.833, but only over 22 games/88 at bats. Erik Kratz has hit for power (.292/1.091) and played tremendous defense, but the sample size has only been 26 games/65 at bats. Jeremy Horst has a 1.06 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, but has only made 16 appearances totaling 17 innings. It's okay to get excited, but don't be heartbroken if some or all of these guys don't pan out.

The title to this post is Amaro Earns a Bit of Respect, and that comes from a particular part of his quote- "I had a nice two weeks in my career, and then I stunk."  Completely and utterly honest.  Now, if we could only get him to admit the same about his GMing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

90's Retro Night, Wolf Pack & More

Tonight the Phillies will don those hideous maroon colored uniforms of the early 90's for a retro theme night.  The Reds will also be wearing some throwbacks.  To keep in the spirit of the 90's, the Phillies have set up a reunion of the Wolf Pack.  Funny thing, I don't think the Wolf Pack officially started until the 2000's.  Randy Wolf's rookie season was in 1999, and he was pretty terrible, and I don't remember him having a fan group at that time.  Whatever, it's all in good fun, right?! The Phils will also pay homage to Tommy Greene's no-hitter by having him toss out the first pitch.


Ironically, Randy Wolf was released by the Brewers earlier today after surrendering the most hits and runs in the NL this season.  Over his 14 year career, Wolf has won 130 games with a 4.19 ERA and 1.34 WHIP.  If the Phils are feeling really nostalgic, they sign him and have him in uniform for tonight's 90's Retro Night.

Minors:
*Cody Asche is tearing up Double-A pitching with his teammate Darin Ruf.  I profiled Ruf last week and he's now up to 32 homeruns, 88 RBI, and a 1.001 OPS.  Asche started off in a huge slump to begin his time with the Reading Phillies.  That's no longer the case as he's bumped his batting average up to .291 over 55 games, and is hitting .323/.837 overall on the season, split between Reading and Clearwater.  He's playing 3rd base this season, but played 2nd in 2011.  This is only his 2nd season in the minors, so it seems he acclimates himself quickly to new environments.

*Jonathan Pettibone's prospect status is skyrocketing.  In 5 Triple-A starts, he's 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA.  For the season he's 13-7 with a 2.95 ERA (split with Double-A Reading).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

UnluckyLee

I am not here to talk about BABIP, ERC, DIPS or any other Sabermetric stats that "prove" Cliff Lee is unlucky and is still having a great season (Cliff Lee-esque if you will).  Nope, I'm here to talk about his wins, and in that department nobody can argue that he's been extremely unlucky.

Through 21 starts, Lee has a 3.83 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.  Honestly, that should be good enough for about 10 wins.  Yet, he only has 2.

Here's a list of MLB pitchers that have more wins than Cliff Lee and far worse ERA's (minimum 1 earned run higher)...

*Bruce Chen/KCR - 9 W/5.45 ERA
*Ricky Nolasco/MIA - 9 W/4.94 ERA
*Ubaldo Jimenez/CLE - 9 W/5.59 ERA
*Ricky Romero/TOR - 8 W/5.53 ERA
*JA Happ/HOU/TOR - 8 W/4.88 ERA
*Derek Lowe/CLE/NYY - 8 W/5.36 ERA
*Jason Marquis/MIN/SDP - 8 W/5.30 ERA
*Joe Blanton/PHI/LAD - 8 W/4.96 ERA
*Dan Haren/LAA - 8 W/4.90 ERA
*Blake Beaven/SEA - 8 W/5.00 ERA
*Freddy Garcia/NYY - 7 W/4.96 ERA
*John Lester/BOS - 7 W/5.03 ERA
*Luke Hochevar/KCR - 7 W/5.24 ERA
*Derek Holland/TEX - 7 W/4.98 ERA
*Henderson Alvarez/TOR - 7 W/4.84 ERA
*Johan Santana/NYM - 6 W/4.85 ERA
*Ervin Santana/LAA - 6 W/5.59 ERA
*Bereket Desta/Ethiopia - 6 W/37.89 ERA 
*Tim Lincecum/SFG - 6 W/5.45 ERA
*Jeff Gray/MIN - 6 W/5.59 ERA
*Josh Beckett/BOS - 5 W/5.23 ERA
*Jeremy Guthrie/COL/KCR - 5 W/5.41 ERA
*Philip Humber/CHW - 5 W/5.76 ERA
*Brain Matusz/BAL - 5 W/5.42 ERA
*Daniel Bard/BOS - 5 W/5.24 ERA
*Bud Norris/HOU - 5 W/5.23 ERA
*Christian Friedrich/COL - 5 W/6.17 ERA
*Josh Tomlin/CLE - 5 W/6.36 ERA
*Livan Hernandez/ATL/MIL - 4 W/5.20 ERA
*Roy Oswalt/TEX - 4 W/6.04 ERA
*Jeff Francis/COL - 4 W/6.07 ERA
*Francisco Liriano/MIN/CWS - 4 W/5.22 ERA
*Ross Ohlendorf/SDP - 4 W/7.77 ERA
*Nick Blackburn/MIN - 4 W/7.39 ERA
*Tommy Hunter/BAL - 4 W/5.49 ERA
*John Axford/MIL - 4 W/5.22 ERA
*Travis Wood/CHC - 4 W/4.83 ERA
*Jeanmar Gomez/CLE - 4 W/5.18 ERA
*Will Smith/KCR - 4 W/5.40 ERA
*Randy Wolf/MIL - 3 W/5.69 ERA
*Francisco Cordero/TOR/HOU - 3 W/7.55 ERA
*John Danks/CHW - 3 W/5.70 ERA
*Jair Jurrjens/ATL - 3 W/6.89 ERA
*Jake Arrieta/BAL - 3 W/6.13 ERA
*Vin Mazzaro/KCR - 3 W/6.89 ERA
*Daniel Hudson/ARI - 3 W/7.35 ERA
*Tyler Chatwood/COL - 3 W/5.46 ERA

As you can see, quite the extensive list.  If you actually took the time to read it, you probably didn't recognize some of the names.  Basically, Cliff Lee has been incredibly freakin' unlucky in terms of winning ball games.  His ERA on the other hand...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Series Preview - Reds

Monday, 7:05 - Roy Halladay v. Mike Leake
Tuesday, 7:05 -Cliff Lee v. Homer Bailey
Wednesday, 7:05 - The Vanimal v. Bronson Arroyo
Thursday, 7:05 - Cole Hamels v. John Cueto

Reds Batting:


- Jay Bruce is .406-4-9 in his last 8 games
- Scott Rolen is hitting .387 in August  but because of new/old back problems, should only play in two or three games this series. 
- Joey Votto has been out of the lineup since the middle of July and isn't expected back for this series.

Reds Pitching:
- Aroldis Chapman still throws 100 MPH and has a 1.37 ERA with 29 saves. They signed Ryan Madson to close why?
- After Cueto and Matt Latos (who won't pitch this series), the strength of the staff lies in the bullpen. Chapman, Alfredo Simon, Logan Ondrusek, Jose Arredondo, JJ Hoover, Sam LeCure and Sean Marshall all have ERAs under 3.25. Basically, the Phils have to score in the first 6 innings...

What We're Drinking:
Weyerbacher's Last Chance IPA - Fans of American IPAs will not be disappointed by this offering from from the Easton brewery. On their website, they describe Last Chance as a "full-flavored hop assault delightfully lacking in balance" because of it's hop domination. I had a few of these yesterday while I was watching KK mow down the Brewers (yeah, that happened...) and while this beer is definitely hop heavy, I found it more enjoyable than other similar styled beers. For me, most hop prominent beers are "one and done" before I move on to ales, pilsners or "yellow fizzies." Typically they are high in alcohol and the significant bitterness becomes off-putting after one or two. But Last Chance is only 5.9% ABV, while potent, is not intolerable when drank at a reasonable pace. And frankly, I didn't find the hop bitterness to be overwhelming. I did find that I enjoyed the beer more chilled but not ice cold. Five to ten minutes on the bar top before opening makes Last Chance perfect.

And if the Last Chance doesn't already sound good, consider that a portion of the proceeds from all sales of Last Chance go to local animal shelters. The beer was only released a few months ago but Weyerbacher has already donated over $6000 to shelters in Easton, Boyertown and Whitehall. Have a glass, make a difference!

Prediction:
Phils split. They have the advantage in the matchups the first two games, but given Lee's luck, they'll probably lose that one...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Juan Pierre, Two Pierre, Red Pierre, Blue Pierre

*Juan Pierre is 1 stolen base away from reaching 30 for the 11th time in his 13 season career.  Also, he's 17 away from 600 SB.  (Photo courtesy of Facebook friend)

*Since returning from the DL in late July, Laynce Nix is an ugly 5-31 (.161 AVG) with 17 K.

*Papelbon has pitched in 10 consecutive scoreless appearances.  Considering he's blown only 3 saves, and locked down 27 games, he's come as advertised (90% success rate).

*I'm rooting for Domonic Brown, but he just doesn't look good at the plate or in the field.  Where's his power?  He make terrible reads of fly balls/line drives.  I thought he was supposed to be a gifted athlete...

*Kyle Kendrick toes the slab today in search of his 49th career victory.  It's hard to believe KK has a positive winning percentage (48-39, .552%) with all the flak he catches from Phans.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

BJ Rosenberg is in Trouble

Back in 2006 We Should Be GMs launched at the end of March right before the season started. We've witnessed lots of ups and downs, triumphs and defeats, mountains and valleys, highs and lows...oh, you get the point. However, we have not witnessed a Phillies pitcher as bad as BJ Rosenberg since the blog came into existence. And that does not bode well for him.

Taking into consideration my arbitrary minimum innings pitched requirement of 7 IP (the only way my silly post would hold a drop of water), Rosenberg has the worst ERA since Terry Adams in 2005.

Worst ERA:
2012 - BJ Rosenberg 12.79 ERA & 2.05 WHIP
2011- Andrew Carpenter 7.71 ERA & 1.82 WHIP
2010 - Mike Zagurski 10.29 RA & 1.86 WHIP
2009 - Brad Lidge 7.21 ERA & 1.81 WHIP
2008 - Les Walrond 6.10 ERA & 2.13 WHIP
2007 - John Ennis 8.22 ERA & 1.96 WHIP
2006 - Julio Santana 7.56 ERA & 2.04 WHIP
2005 - Terry Adams 12.83 ERA & 2.63 WHIP

The casual Phils fan would have a tough time remembering most of those pitchers outside of "Lights Out" Lidge.  That's why Rosenberg's crappiness does not look good for his future.  Take a look at that list.  Only Lidge went onto be a productive MLB pitcher following that horrendous season.  Most of the group is out of baseball or toiling away in the minors for the chance at one more shot of espresso in The Show.  If BJ is lucky enough to not be demoted back to Triple-A, he better work on stringing together a few scoreless appearances in order to defy history. Good luck with that buddy...

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Favorite Phillies Game

Earlier this week we asked readers to recall their favorite Phillies games and below are some of the entries we received via email.  Thanks for sharing...

From Jeremy:
My favorite Phillies memory was the first time I watched them play in the Vet against the Dodgers on August 25, 1995. It was the last family vacation we took before I left home, for good, to ship off to Marine Corps boot camp. Hideo Nomo got the start for the Dodgers against the vaunted (rated rookie) Jeff Juden. Typical late 90's Phillies expectations, shitty. Gregg Jefferies, one of my most hated Phils hit for the cycle. Juden went deep as well and pitched a complete game. Juden broke several bats during BP, so he had to borrow a bat from Stocker, if I remember correctly. The Phightins went on for a 17-4 stomping of the Dodgers. After the game we went down to the players exit and got a couple of autographs, the biggest name I got was Tommy Greene. Dutch got hurt on a play at the plate and I remember the pissed off look I got from Tommy when I asked him how Dutch was doing. We had such a good time with an unexpected win that we went back the next night.

August 26, 1995- Dodgers vs. Phils in the Vet, Ismael Valdez vs. Sid Fernandez. Another unexpected Phils victory (9-4). Shaky start for the former Met "great" as he gave up a first inning HR to the "not gay" Piazza. But the Phils broke the game open with an 8 run 4th inning. Check out the craptastic players in the box score for that game. Mark Whitten in the clean up spot, followed by a favorite of mine Charlie Hayes, then Phucco Van Slyke.

From Greg:
My favorite Phillies game memory (that I was present for), was last season's 19 inning classic against the Reds. Roy Halladay pitched decent, Bastardo almost blew the game, and Howard ties it up with I believe one strike left to go. Danys Baez grinds out 5 scoreless innings by some kind of miracle, and Wilson Valdez gets the meat of the order out in the 19th leaving Ibanez to walk it off. It summed up why I love baseball over all the other sports. You just don't know what's going to happen in a game that has no clock.

From Matt:
My favorite Phils memory is a game between two team going nowhere, but for pure excitement, it's my favorite game...June of 1990,( I had to look it up) the Phils, after a promising start, were stumbling back to their normal mid-to-bottom of the standings pace. We had a double-header versus the Cubs. First game, Phils are sleep-walking towards a 5-1 loss. The whole game, the Phils dugout had been chirping at the home plate ump about squeezing the strike zone. Eighth inning, Phils get a runner on, and Dykstra smokes a homer to get us within two. The crowd is starting to rustle. Phils get another runner aboard, and after an out, the ump rips off his mask and throws Nick Leyva out of the game for complaining about the strike zone. Crowd gets a little more riled. Before the next batter - Charlie Hayes- can hit, Bowa starts in on the ump from the 3rd base coaches box. He rants and raves, then gets tossed. The crowd goes nuts. Cubs change pitcher, and while he's warming up, Vukovich starts in on the ump, and now he gets the old heave-ho. Now the crowd is going bonkers. Charlie Hayes steps in the box and hits the first pitch about 500 feet into the upper deck, tying the game. The old Vet was shaking. I still get goose-bumps remembering it. Phils ended up winning in 10 innings.

Even though we sucked that year. we had the core of the '93 team on board- Dykstra, Kruk, Hollins, Daulton. We didn't know it at the time, but better days were coming, if only briefly.

From Don:
My most memorable moment was the year the stadium (Citizens Bank Park) opened. My friend gave me 4 tickets to the on deck series. They were in the Diamond Club area right behind the Phillies on deck player stands. Ricky Ledee was batting and fouled one off near Todd Pratt who was on deck, so I yelled "Hey, Todd!", and he tossed the ball to me that I gave to my son. Go Phillies!

From Richard:
He claims- I was born a Phillies Phan only because I could not root for them any earlier!
Check out his favorite game at Dawgbones, A Phillies Phan!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Series Preview - Brew Crew

Thursday, 8:10 - Unlucky Lee v. Marco Estrada
Friday, 8:10 - The Vanimal v. Yovani Gallardo
Saturday, 7:10 - OGP v. Mike Fiers
Sunday, 2:10 - Oh no, it's KK v. Randy Wolf

Phillies Pitching:
- When will this bad luck streak end for Cliff Lee. Last year, Lee gave up 4 or more runs in 7 games and and 62 earned runs for the year. Already in 2012, he's given up 4+ earned in 9 games and 60 earned. To match last year's earned run totals, he will have to have a 90 inning scoreless streak. That is some serious bad luck.

- Vance Worley continues to pitch hurt for no apparent reason. Todd Zolecki mentioned this the other day on his blog with some quotes from assistant GM Scott Profrock. My 'favorite' quote - "I haven't been involved in any discussions whatsoever with shutting him down."

Wha-wha-what!?!?! You haven't even discussed shutting down a young pitcher with an elbow injury. This sort of quote does not inspire faith in the front office...

- KK had a great game versus the AAAA team playing in Miami, which means we get to watch him get hammered by real teams while T-Mac and Wheels use this one game as defense to keep giving him starts.

Brewers Pitching:
- Mike Fiers is a 27 year old, former 22nd round pick who's having some success in his first big league season. If he was with the Phillies, he be in AAA watching KK get 20 starts...

Phillies 'Hitting':
- Michale Martinez. Really? How is this guy still on the team. Current OPS - .375.

Brewers Hitting:
- Ryan Braun has played 108 games this season, which is about 50 more than he should have played. (Obviously Melky Cabrera didn't consult with Braun before admitting that his failed PED test was legit and that he accepts the punishment for his cheating.) Braun hasn't homered in two weeks and is 9 for his last 47.

Prediction:
Phils lose 3.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Diamond in the Ruf

Pardon the corny title, but I wasn't feeling overly creative.  Should I have went with Ruf Riders instead?  Whatever...

Anyway, Darin Ruf is currently killing Double-A pitching.  Before this season he killed Single-A pitching.  And before that season he was killing lower level minor league pitching.  Notice the trend?  The 20th round selection in the 2009 draft by the Phillies is starting to turn heads.  He's never been considered a top prospect, and isn't necessarily young (25 years old), but he's finally getting some long deserved attention.

Last night for the Reading Phillies, Ruf blasted his 28th homerun and knocked in his 81st RBI.  He's currently batting .314 with a .997 OPS.  Career stats: 4 seasons, 438 G, .304/.893, 243 R, 473 H, 133 DBL, 57 HR, and 260 RBI.

There's a problem though- he plays primarily first base and in Philly that position belongs to Ryan Howard for the next 4+ seasons.  Truth be told, Ruf should be promoted to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for a few weeks to end the season as a trial period to see how he handles the top talent in the minors.  Also, he should also be moved to left field (he's played 25 games there), where there is a vacancy in Philly.  He's not going to be a trade chip that gets the Phillies a high-quality MLB player, so they might as well see if he can handle the outfield and possibly look to call him up sometime in 2013.

Other Stuff:
*Freakin' KK went out and pitched awesome last night.  Thanks a lot dillweed!  Now we have to suffer through another 4 crappy outings before there is even a murmur of removing him from the rotation. 

*Jimmy Rollins is not the all-time leader for games played at SS for the Phillies.  Whoopty-flippin-do!

*Can Doc keep the Marlins scoreless streak going today?  The Carnival Fish haven't scored a run in 27 innings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Win Phillies Essential Games DVD Set

A&E has released a DVD set of Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies.  We were lucky enough to receive two complementary copies for our own viewing pleasure as well as a few copies to give to some of our loyal readers. 

4 Games of the DVD Set:
*1980 NLCS Game 5
*1993 NLCS Game 6
*2008 World Series Game 5
*2010 NLDS Game 1 (Halladay's no-hitter)

How to win...
Submit a recap/story of your favorite Phillies game that you've seen in person or viewed on tv.  It could be something as memorable as Steve Jeltz two homerun game or unforgettable as Michael Martinez's MLB debut.  It's up to you to amuse us.  Please email us at weshouldbegms@hotmail.com with your entry.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Series Preview - Carnival Goldfish

Monday, 7:10 - Cole Hamels v. Nate Eovaldi
Tuesday, 7:10 - Oh no, it's KK v. Josh Johnson
Wednesday, 12:40 - Roy Halladay v. Mark Buehrle

Why Carninal Goldfish?
...because that fish describes this team way better than the one they are using now.

Every dumb little kids loves winning a goldfish at the carnival. It swims around in that little plastic bag full of water, it's scales majestically reflecting the fluorescent light coming from the top of the funnel cake stand. The kid's parents know how this is going to end but they do what they have to do, and they spend a bunch of money on a new bowl, some food and bowl decorations like small blue stones or a miniature castle. And for a few days or a week, that fish lives like a king. It sits in the living room or on a prominent table for all to see. The kid feeds it every day. Dad changes the water in the bowl. But then... things change. Dad stops changing the water and it becomes cloudy. The kid forgets the fish exists because mom moved the bowl into the corner of the kitchen behind the toaster, so he never feeds it The fish starts swimming more slowly every day until one days it's "swimming" on its back. And nobody really cares, including the kids. So Dad flushes it.

Well, that's basically the Marlins season.

Oh, how everybody loved the Marlins at the beginning of the season. They signed one of the shiniest catches in the free agent market, hitting champ Jose Reyes. Reyes joined young slugger Mike Stanton, 5-tool knucklehead Hanley Ramirez and perennial breakout, Cy Young candidate Josh Johnson in what looked like a contending team. Then they added the loud-mouthed attention whore Ozzie Guillen to manage these young studs. Of course, just having the fish wasn't good enough. They needed a new bowl (Marlins Stadium) with interesting decorations (whatever the hell that thing is in center field that makes noise when homers are hit). They hosted an Opening Day game. They were the darlings of Baseball Tonight. Everything was peachy in South Beach.

Then, things went wrong. Josh Johnson didn't pitch so well. Mike Stanton complained that the park was too big to hit homers. Jose Reyes, the batting champion, was hitting below .250. Hanley Ramirez was just plain horrible, on both his play and his attitude. People stopped paying attention. The bowl became cloudy, if you will. They started swimming slowly. And then one day, Hanley was in LA and the fish were in last place. The season got flushed.

Prediciton:
Phils win two to take the series with KK taking the one loss, of course.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Kratz with The Howard, Phillies with the Win

The Howard- a strikeout, error, and homerun all wrapped up in a nifty lil' package by one player in the same game.

And for some uncanny reason, the Phillies seem to win any time one of them does it.

Today's hero- Erik Kratz.  The career minor leaguer is finally getting a chance to shine at 32 years old and is making the most of the opportunity, batting .333/1.200 in 20 games with 6 doubles, 5 homeruns, and 12 RBI. 

This marks the 4th Phillies Howard of the season, and the 4th time they've won (Others by Chooch, J-Roll, and Howard).

*Side note- Michael Martinez got the start at SS today and went 0-2, dropping his triple slash line to .130/.190/.185. Holy crapballs he's horrible, but loyal reader SirAlden loves him. He also thinks Mike Lieberthal was a cancer and that Ryan Howard is signed to a good contract, so his opinion should be taken with 1 million grains of salt.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Congrats Lieby

Congratulations to Mike Lieberthal on his induction onto the Phillies Wall of Fame. He's one of the best catchers in Phils history and deserved the honor. Career stats: .274/.783, 1212 G, 534 R, 1155 H, 257 DBL, 150 HR, 610 RBI, 2 time All-Star, and 1 Gold Glove in 14 MLB seasons (13 of which were in Philly the other 1 coming with his hometown Dodgers).

Friday, August 10, 2012

Series Preview - Cardinals

Friday, 7:05 - Roy Halladay v. Kyle Lohse
Saturday, 7:05 - Cliff Lee v. Jake Westbrook
Sunday, 1:35 - The Vanimal v. Lance Lynn

The Cardinals are playing to get in the playoffs while the Phillies are just playing.

St. Louis sits 5 games out in the NL Central (3rd place) and 2.5 games back of Wild Card #2 leader Pittsburgh.

What to Watch For This Series:
- Will Vance Worley continue to struggle with his elbow injury? Will the Phillies shut him down if he does? Will any Phillies broadcaster even mention that he's pitching in relatively meaningless games with bone chips in his elbow?
- Can Cliff extend his lead over Robert E. to three games?
- Can Michael Martinez get his average (.135) higher than Roy Halladay (.188)?

Irritating Read of the Day:
Check out the Phillies team report on Yahoo!.

Here's KK talking about his role and his last start - "I guess that's how it is with me. "It's been, 'What have you done for me lately?' You always want to pitch good. It was a bad outing, but you've got to move forward."

And here's the mention of Tyler Cloyd - "The Phillies have a young pitcher in Triple A, Tyler Cloyd, who has dominated at Lehigh Valley this year with a 2.12 ERA. However, he is not considered a hard thrower and most scouts seem to believe he doesn't have consistent enough stuff to get out major league hitters on a regular basis."

And finally, Charlie Manuel on the 5ht starting spot - "Rich (Dubee) and I will talk about it. It's not like there are a whole lot of options there."

So, KK is a whiny little baby who knows he should be in the bullpen or AAA yet still thinks he's Roy Halladay because he grew a beard that one time. And the 'scouts' don't THINK that Cloyd can get anyone out so they don't seem to want to give me a chance, an idea that Charlie reinforces with the 'no a lot of options' quote.

I have news for the scouts - Jamie Moyer and countless others didn't throw hard but were successful. And I don't want to hear about what you THINK will happen because the only thing that matters is the results on the field. And currently, his results are awesome and he deserves a chance to fail.

It just infuriates me that they won't give a guy a shot because he might not do well, but guys like KK and MM fail over and over again and are rewarded with more opportunities...

What I'm Drinking:
Bellringer Gin - I picked up this bottle of gin to make some gin and sodas. It cost me $13. Let's just say, you get what you pay for. It's 94.4 proof, but after that I have nothing positive to say. I should have just bought a handle of Banker's Club...

What I'm Listening To:
Everlast - Songs of the Ungrateful Living. Everybody knows "Jump Around" and "What It's Like" but the rest of Everlast's work, like this album released in 2011, is largely unappreciated. One my favorite songs on this album is "Sixty-five Roses," a song about dealing with child with a serious health issue. Kind of a "downer" but it's still a great tune.

Dumbest Thing I've Heard This Week:
NFL commissioner wants American Football as an Olympic sport. Seriously. 

There's Our Old Friend:
Shane Victorino hasn't been in LaLa Land very long but he intends on staying.

Victorino had this to say a few days ago - "I don't want to just be a two-month or three-month rental. I want to be here. Don't get me wrong. I still miss Philly and I still miss everything about that place, but... I'd love to stay here for the next however many years."

Good for Victorino. He has family in Vegas and there aren't many other places to play major league baseball that are closer to Hawaii. He was a good player for the Philles and unlike some other former Fightins (see: Rod Barajas) I wish Victorino nothing but the best. Also, I didn't want the Phils to re-sign him or his diminishing skills.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Trivia Time

I was talking with a co-worker this morning about Bobby Abreu being designated for assignment by the Dodgers and possibly accepting a demotion to the minors.  As we recalled our memories of Abreu I brought up that he had a couple 30/30 seasons with the Phillies (31 HR/36 SB 2001 & 30 HR/40 SB 2004).  That lead us to quizzing each other on MLB 40/40 club members and we were only able to come up with 3 of the 4.

So, here's the trivia question, and no cheating you bloody wanker (challenging my inner-Brit in honor of the London Olympics)- Who are the four players in Major League Baseball history to ever hit 40 homeruns and steal 40 bases in the same season?

*Hint- Cecil Fielder is not one of them.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

FP Santangelo - Ignorant Juicer

FP Santangelo is apparently the Andy Martino of baseball broadcasting.

FP, the Gnats 'color man' on MASN had this exchange with lead announcer Bob Carpenter.

FP - [The Phillies] sellout streak ended tonight, apparently. 257 games.
Bob - That's a great run.
FP - They're gonna have to take back their own ballpark.
Bob - Now that is funny.[pause] We took our's back.

Zing!!! Aw, snap. The Phillies got burned, son. Yo momma!!

I hope FP got a good laugh. Although, I would like to point a few things out to FP:

1) The Phillies still lead the National League in attendance, despite having a season from hell.
2) The Nationals are about to shut down their best pitcher, so even if they make the playoffs, enjoy watching John Lannan get lit up.
3) Bryce Harper's 'eye makeup' makes him look stupid. And Mike Trout is better.
4) I've seen your wife naked.
5) You are an admitted HGH taker and you appear prominently in the Mitchell Report. So, I hope you take pride in that fact that you were a cheater and helped destroy the integrity of baseball in the 90s. Congratulations on contributing to one of worst eras in baseball. The NBA was more popular than baseball for a while because of people like you. Great job, juicer.
6) The Nationls are 15th in baseball in attendance, despite being in first place. They are even behind Minnesota, Milwaukee and Colorado.
7) Earlier this season, the Washington Post published an article about why the Gnats can't fill the seats. Nice.

Oh, and Bob, did you guys really take back your park? Does a NYT article titled "Uninvited, Phillies Fans Still March In" help your case? Didn't think so.

See you next year, FP. The Phils will be back in contention and your stadium will be philled with red "P" hats and obnoxious, rowdy jerks throwing batteries at Bryce Harper.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

On the Bright Side of the Sellout Streak Ending...

You should have heard/read by now that the Philadelphia Phillies consecutive sellout streak came to an unceremonious end last night at 257 games (273 counting playoffs). The paid attendance for last night dipped below 42,000 for the first time since the beginning of July 2009. It's not all bad though. With Phillies tickets going on StubHub for $12 (far below face value), the sellout streak ending, less parking and concession revenue it will send a message that the fans expect more. And by "more", I mean a better outfield than Mayberry, Schierholtz, and Brown. A better starting third baseman than Frandsen. Michael Martinez to be banished from the team. That kinda stuff. So, look on the bright side of things, this might actually have a positive ripple effective because it will begin to dent the owners' wallets.

For what it's worth, I'm taking the family to Friday night's game. Of course, I got the tickets for free though.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Series Preview - Braves + Luck Factor

Monday, 7:05 - Vanimal v. Ben Sheets
Tuesday, 7:05 - Ol' Girl Parts v. Mike Minor
Wednesday, 7:05 - Oh great, it's KK v. Tim Hudson

A week ago, the Phillies faced these same three pitchers and got swept in Atlanta.

The Phillies are 16 back of first in the NL East and 12.5 back in the Wild Card.

Yet, I'd be a happy Phillies fan if the team would just release Michael Martinez and re-sign Mike Fontenot. What joke...

Anyways, I got to thinking about Cliff Lee and his horrible, no-good, crummy luck and I remembered back to a post I did about two years ago. Since I can't bring myself to write much about the Phillies and since we probably could all use a little laugh, after the jump I've re-posted my sarcastic take on luck and pitching. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Jimmy Rollins- King of Pop

Phillies won in walkoff style, thanks to a bases loaded single in the 9th.  Yippie.

Now onto more important matters like making fun of Jimmy Rollins.  He's the King of Pop...popping up!  Seriously, he hits weak pop-ups to the infield more than any other player in the game (not proven by statistics, just a hunch).  Glad we have a leadoff man that is struggling to get on base even 30% of the time (current OBP- .304).

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Say It Ain't So- Chooch Remix

Say It Ain't So- Chooch Remix
Somebody tweeted about the injury.
Somebody said "out for the year".
Guess I'll just close my eyes.

Oh yeah.
All right.
It hurts.
Inside.

Flip on the Tele.
In leadoff is Jimmy.
Somethin' is buggin' me, need Chooch back.
The team is ready to blow.

Say it ain't so a-woah-woah.
Your DL stint is a heartbreaker.
Say it ain't so a-woah-woah.
The Phils season is a life-taker.

I can't fix you, not a doctor and you could sue.
What the hell hurt you?.
So try and heal, when I say:
The days will be a wasteland of despair,
Until you come back catching every day.
That would be cool.
 
Say it ain't so a-woah-woah.
Your DL stint is a heartbreaker.
Say it ain't so a-woah-woah.
The Phils season is a life-taker.

Dear Chooch, I write you in spite of years of silence.
You're dinged up, found a partial tear, 
Things aren't so good also I hear.
This Schneider schtick awakens ancient feelings.
Like Barajas, Fat Lazy Dog,
The anger rages on.
Yeah Yeah-Yeah-Yeah-Yeah

Say it ain't so a-woah-woah.
Your DL stint is a heartbreaker.
Say it ain't so a-woah-woah.
The Phils season is a life-taker.

Worst of the Night

So what was the worst thing about last night's game?

The loss was bad. Losing is never good unless you're trying to get a better draft pick.

How about Nate Schierholtz forgetting the number of outs and getting doubled up in the first inning? That was embarrassing.

What about that blown 'out' call on John Mayberry at home in the 6th? That would have tied the game and the Phils ended up losing by that one run. That was pretty bad.

But in the end, the worst part of the game last night was Chris Wheeler repeatedly assuring everyone that Kyle Kendrick would be in the rotation for the rest of the season. Ugh.

What a good little soldier Wheels is. He has no problem talking incessantly about stuff we all know to be garbage just to make the bosses happy. I bet he got an email just before the game:

Wheels,

Hey buddy. We just traded Joe Blanton so KK's getting the start. And we're keeping him in the rotation the rest of the year. Do me a solid, make this all sound good for us tonight. Just keep saying how good an idea this is. If you say it enough people will believe it. And don't mention "He who should not be named" down in AAA. I can't bring him up now because he might do well, which would make me look dumb for starting Raul Valdes earlier this season. You know the routine.

Thanks buddy,
Rube


PS - When you can't answer the trivia question tonight, just pretend that you actually knew the answer and scoff at those that didn't know some random scrub player from the 70's. I love when you do that!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Series Preview: D-Backs

Friday, 7:05 - Shoulda Bintraded v. Ian Kenned
Saturday, 7:05 - Roy Halladay v. Joe Saunders
Sunday, 1:35 - Cliff Lee v. Trevor Cahill

Seriously, Rube couldn't find a taker for Joe Blanton? Sheesh.

UPDATE: Should Bintraded has just been traded. Blanton goes to the Dodgers for Player To Be Names Later or straight cash homey.

The Phils have called up BJ Rosenberg which means KK starts tonight.

D-Backs Hitting:
Arizona has been mashing recently. Jason Kubel had 12 homers and 22 RBI in July. Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero each drove in 18. They acquired third baseman Chris Johnson from the Astros and he has 5 hits, including a grand slam, in his first three games. If Justin Upton and Chris Young ever start hitting again, this team could win the division as they are only two games back after sweeping the Dodgers this week.

D-Backs Pitching:
Mike Zagurski is in the bullpen for Arizona, so that favors the Phillies. [Every time I see Zagurski's fat face, I think of former rotund Pirate starter Jimmy Anderson. During the fourth inning of every one of his starts, my Dad would always say, "Time for Anderson to tank it so he can get to the post-game buffett." And since Anderson never made it past the 5th inning, this seemed like a plausible explanation. And when he wasn't starting and the camera would catch him in the dugout, he'd always say, "I think there are bar-b-q sauces stains on his jersey." Good times.]

What I'm Drinking:
Dogfish Head Jin - This is the greatest gin I've ever had. They only use four botanicals - juniper, cucumber, coriander seeds and whole leaf hops. The juniper and cucumber give that classic gin flavor, but the hops really shine through. I've been drinking this stuff straight up, slightly chilled. A few cubes of ice could be used but this gin is so tasty and smooth, it would really be a shame to water it down at all.

What I'm Reading:
Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter. I'm not one to read books, not when there is sooooo much stuff on the internet that I haven't got too yet. But somebody left this lay on my kitchen table and I figured, "What the hell." And wouldn't you know, it wasn't that bad. It wasn't that good either. But if you find yourself sitting on a beach somewhere soon and need something to read, give it shot, especially if you like fiction that pretends to be non-fiction and you've already read that day's New York Times...

Question of the Day- Friday

Here's what we know:

1) Michael Martinez is one of the worst hitting position players in MLB history and isn't really an outfielder.

2) The Phillies want to see what Mayberry, Brown, and Schierholtz have to offer heading into 2013.

3) Juan Pierre is batting .312 with 27 SB.

Why did Charlie Manuel start Mini-Mart in CF?  Furthermore, why the hell is Martinez even on this team?


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Question of the Day

Here's what we [think] we know:

1) the Phillies don't think they can make the playoffs which is why they traded away Vic and Pence.
2) Vance Worley has a bone chip in his elbow that according to writer Matt Gelb will "likely require offseason surgery."

Yet, Worley is still out there pitching. So, the question of the day is, why not shut down Worley and have him get the surgery now so he's ready for next season?

Also, belated congratulations to Cliff for opening up a 2 game lead on Robert E.

Go Ahead and Like Erik Kratz

Is there any less thankless job on a MLB 25-man roster than the backup catcher?  Nah, don't think so.  For the past few years Brian Schneider has been cast in that role for the Phillies, but an injury opened the door for Erik Kratz this season. 

Kratz is making the most of the opportunity.  He had a 2 game debut with the Phils in September last year and has only played in 12 games so far this season, but the results are promising: 14 G, .357/1.201, 5 R, 4 DBL, 3 HR, and 6 RBI.  Solid defense is another thing he offers, having caught 47% of base thieves.  Baseball-Reference.com rates both his offense and defense positively in terms of WAR (Wins Above Replacement). This is all in a small sample size, but it shouldn't preclude you from rooting for the guy and liking him.  Don't going getting too excited though, he's our 2012 version of Chris Coste (The 33 year Old Rookie), because Kratz ain't no spring chicken at 32 years old.  I'd also like to throw this out there- he's pitched 6 relief innings in the minors, so maybe we'll be lucky enough to also have another Wilson Valdez-esque secret bullpen weapon.

Other Stuff:
*Ryan Howard is really good.  Really good at striking out. 2012 has not been kind- 27 K in 63 AB and 19 K over his last 9 games.  Awesome contract Rube, pure genius.

*Michael Martinez is back on the Phillies 25-man roster.  Why?  Amaro and Manuel say because of defense.  Screw that!  He's horrible.  He sucks.  He is worthless.  None of that is hyperbole, it's fact.  Mike Fontenot was designated for assignment to make room for Mini-Mart.  Lets take a look at the numbers: F- 7 MLB seasons, M- 2. F- .265/.734, M- .185/.513.  F- 4 WAR, M- (-)0.5.  Yeah, this move made total sense...NOT!!!  If Martinez appears in a game then I believe the Phillies are playing to lose.  I've never disliked a Phillie more (No-Hit Nunez, Eaton, and Bell are breathing a collective sigh of relief).  It's not that Fontenot is something special (he's not), it's the fact that Martinez is pure crap and doesn't deserve to displace him and wear a MLB uniform.  It's a disgrace.  Amaro is a buffoon. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

What To Root For

From a 102 win season in 2011 to possibly a 90 loss campaign this year (.447 winning %) and with two of the team's starting outfielders traded away there doesn't seem much left to root for. Oh, but there is...

1) Figuring out the bullpen. Papelbon is the closer, but what else do they have heading into 2013? Newly acquired Josh Lindblom is 25 years old and has posted a 2.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP through the first 75 appearances of his career. Those numbers seem solid enough to insert him into the 8th inning setup role for the remainder of 2012. Michael Schwimer, who has posted a 2.21 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over the past two months, seems to be progressing towards becoming a big league mainstay. Don't forget about lefty Jeremy Horst, courtesy of the Wilson Valdez trade, who has only pitched 10 innings, but has been impressive thus far (0.90 ERA/1.00 WHIP). Then there's the mysterious case of Antonio Bastardo who was one of the best relievers in baseball for the first few months of 2011, but has been wildly inconsistent and maddening ever since. Also, Justin De Fratus is toiling in Triple-A working his way back from injury waiting for the chance to show his stuff. By my count, that gives the Phillies 5-6 good relievers heading 2013, so Amaro may only need to spend money this offseason on 1 legit bullpen piece.

What To Root For- the young relievers to continue developing over the next two months and head into next season poised to be part of the Phillies return to supremacy. 

2)  Figuring out the rotation.  Halladay, Hamels, Lee, and Worley are set.  That's a pretty good top 4.  However, a 5th starter is needed, one that is better than Blanton or Kendrick.  Tyler Cloyd anyone? He is 13-1 in 21 starts and 134.1 innings with a 1.94 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 93 K. 

What To Root For- Blanton to be traded soon, KK to remain in the bullpen, and Cloyd to get a 8-10 start audition for the 5th slot in the 2013 Phillies rotation.

3) Figuring out the outfield.  Domonic Brown is going to get a chance to play and win an outfield job for next season.  Whether that be in LF, CF, or RF is yet to be determined.  I vote left field with a platoon of Mayberry/Schierholtz/Nix in right field.  John Mayberry has destroyed left-handed pitching during his career (.291/.901) while Nate Schierholtz (.265/.731) and Laynce Nix (.254/.750) have fared better against righties than Mayberry has.  All three of them are nothing more than 4th outfielders, so combine them into one starting outfielder.  That leaves center field open.  Hmm...

What To Root For- Dom to hold his own over the next 59 games and lockup LF.  Pierre to be traded so Manuel is forced to play Mayberry, Schierholtz, and Nix to see if they can be part of the outfield puzzle for 2013.  Amaro to sign Michael Bourn or Melky Cabrera to play CF for 5 YR/$75M.

4) Figuring out the infield.  Utley, J-Roll, and Howard are all back; older and still injury-prone.  Polly will be gone.  Who mans the hot corner and who are the utility infielders?  The free agent market looks bleak, but Amaro can get creative, just as I would (I should be a GM after all).

What To Root For- Polanco and Wigginton to be traded so Frandsen and Fontenot get the majority of playing time at 3rd and UTL for the the rest of the year (*Also, so Amaro isn't tempted to pickup Wiggy's 2013 option at $4M).  Amaro to sign Jeff Keppinger to play third base next season for 2 YR/$6M.  Depending on the play of Fontenot and/or Frandsen, look into signing Ryan Theriot, Marco Scutaro, or Maicer Izturis for UTL.    

2013 Lineup:
1) Bourn/CF or Rollins/SS
2) Rollins/SS or Cabrera/CF
3) Utley/2B
4) Howard/1B
5) Ruiz/C
6) Mayberry/Schierholtz/Nix RF
7) Keppinger/3B
8) Brown/LF

2013 Roster:
1) Ruiz/C
2) Kratz/C
3) Howard/1B
4) Utley/2B
5) Rollins/SS
6) Keppinger/3B
7 & 8) Scutaro, Theriot, M. Izturis, Fransden, or Fontenot UTL
9) Brown/OF
10) Bourn or M. Cabrera CF
11) Mayberry/OF
12) Schierholtz/OF
13) Nix/OF
14) Halladay/SP
15) Hamels/SP
16) Lee/SP
17) Worley/SP
18) Cloyd/SP
19) Papelbon/RP
20) Bastardo/RP
21) Lindblom/RP
22) Schwimer/RP
23) Horst/RP
24) De Fratus/RP
25) Kendrick/RP