Friday, August 30, 2013

Series Preview- Cubs

Philadelphia Phillies (61-73) @ Chicago Cubs (56-77)
Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 2:20 - Doc Halladay vs. Jeff Samvoweayohjonfohizzzja
Saturday, 4:05 - Cliff Lee vs. Chris Rusin
Sunday, 2:20 - KK vs. Jake Arrieta

Cubbies Bats:
R - 512 (26th)
AVG - .238 (29th)
OPS - .694 (21st)

Chicago has some newer faces that are producing well for them- Junior Lake/OF (.297/.770), Donnie Murphy/3B (.286/1.024), and Dioner Navarro/C (.296/.871).  Amaro's castaway, Nate Schierholtz, is having himself a nice season too (.266/.819, 19 HR). Darwin Barney/2B and Starlin Castro/SS have been huge disappointments though.

Cubbies Arms:
ERA - 3.97 (20th)
WHIP - 1.30 (15th)

Samardzija strikeouts a batter per inning (176.1 IP/175 K), Rusin has a 2.64 ERA in 8 starts this season, and Arrieta has a 4.50 ERA since joining the Cubs.  All three pitchers are capable of shutting the Phillies anemic offense down.  In the bullpen, there is closer Kevin Gregg, with Blake Parker and Pedro Strop performing well in setup duties for him.

What I'm Drinking:
Goat Rodeo Brewing's On the Horizon Weizenbier. Summer is awesome.  Beach, vacation, pool, bikinis, cookouts, baseball, no school, air conditioning, etc.  All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, Labor Day weekend signals the setting of the summer sun, and the dawn of the harvest moon.  This beer wants to hold on a wee bit longer.  It's a German style wheat beer brewed with Bavarian wheat, German Hallertau hops, and a Munich wheat yeast.  It's an easy drinking summer classic. Light bodied with a smooth finish. Viva la Summer!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Series Win?

The Phillies are 8-5 since Ryne Sandberg became "interim" manager.  They've also won two series in a row and can make it three with a win this afternoon against the Mets.  Ethan Martin gets the opportunity to make up for the 2/3 inning debacle he had last start in the marathon 18 inning game.  Matt Harvey was scheduled to start for the Mets, but he might be heading for Tommy John Surgery, so Carlos Torres takes his spot.

*Darin Ruf has the same amount of homeruns as Ryan Howard (11 HR) in nearly half as many games (Ruf- 45 G, Howard- 90 G).  Yes, we like to donkey punch a dog while it's down.

* Cole Hamels 1st half- 4.05 ERA, 2nd half- 2.53 ERA.

*Carlos Ruiz is having a helluva month of August- .351/.967, 11 R, 6 DBL, 4 HR, 10 RBI.

*Since starting his career with 1 hit in his first 17 at bats, Cody Asche has done well (21-69, .304 AVG).  Hopefully his tweaked/cramped hammy won't deter him from finishing the season strong.

*Cesar Jimenez hasn't allowed a run as a Phillie, spanning 8 appearances and 9 innings.

*Joe Savery, currently rehabbing in Lehigh Valley, should join the bullpen as soon as rosters expand on September 1st.

*Jacob Diekman has made 8 straight appearances (8.1 IP) without issuing a walk or allowing a run.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Newest Phucco- Marlon Byrd

Marlon Byrd was last seen wearing a Phillies uniform in the early games of the 2005 season.  He was later traded to the Nationals, and has been been to many other teams since then.  Last year, after being released by the Boston Red Sox and being suspended for a banned substance, he found himself without a job this past winter.  The Mets took a chance on him, in the form of a minor league contract, and he rewarded them with a .285 AVG, .848 OPS, 21 HR, and 71 RBI.  The fact that he's hitting, playing quality defense, and owed very little money through the remained of the season made him an alluring trade candidate.  Enter the Pittsburgh Pirates.  They are on the verge of snapping their string of 20 consecutive losing seasons and nabbing a playoff bid too.  This officially makes Marlon Byrd the newest member of the elite Phucco Phamily.

Meanwhile, KK is pitching like poop and the Phillies aren't hitting (aka- losing to the Mets).

Monday, August 26, 2013

Series Preview- The New York Mets

Philadelphia Phillies (59-71) @ New York Mets (58-70)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday, 7:10 - Cliff Lee vs. Zack Wheeler
Tuesday, 7:10 - KK vs. Jonathan Niese
Wednesday, 7:10 - Cole Hamels vs. Dice-K
Thursday, 1:10 - Ethan Martin vs. Matt Harvey

Mutts Bats:
R - 508 (tied 21st)
AVG - .239 (29th)
OPS - .683 (28th)

With David Wright/3B on the DL, there isn't anybody noteworthy in the Mets offensive attack.  Marlon Byrd /Rfis having himself a fine season (.283/.844 with 21 HR), but that's pretty much it. Ex-Phillies prospect, Travis d'Arnaud/C, is now splitting time behind the plate with John Buck, but is only 2-18 so far in his MLB career.

Mutts Arms:
ERA - 3.76 (11th)
WHIP - 1.29 (13th)

The Mets bullpen has been weakend with closer Bobby Parnell on the DL.  LaTroy Hawkins has taken over save opportunities, but he's not sure thing.  Dice-K is a new addition to the rotation, because of an injury to Jeremy Hefner.  Matt Harvey would be the favorite for NL Cy Young if not for Clayton Kershaw.  Wheeler is a stud rookie that is cementing his spot in the rotation for years to come.  Niese is hittable, but has done well against the Phils over the course of his career.

They split the series.  I want to say Phils take 3 outta 4, but these teams are fairly evenly matched.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Casper Wells- Worst Player in the History of Baseball

He can't hit, he can't pitch, he sucks.  Casper Wells.

With Charlie Manuel no longer the whipping boy for the Phillies losing ways, the crux of blame pivots to Ruben Amaro.  He's assembled a roster full of other teams' rejects.  We're not the friggin' Astros, man!

Anway, since joining the Phillies, Wells has 1 hit in 23 at bats (.043/.207) and a horrific 67.50 ERA and 9.00 WHIP.  Last night's marathon games featured two Phillies position players "pitching", the other being the equally horrible John McDonald (3-19 since joining the Phils and a WHIP of 6.00).

I don't understand the point of players like Wells, McDonald, Roger Bernadina, Michael Martinez, and others of that ilk.  There's no upside with these guys.  If you're gonna lose, why not lose while trying to develop some players from the farm system?

Low-Lights From Last Night:
*Phillies pitchers issued 18 walks.

*Phillies batters struck out 20 times.

*Starting pitcher, Ethan Martin, lasted 2/3 of an inning in an 18 inning game.

*Dom Brown left the game in the 3rd inning with right heel soreness.

*Casper Wells was 0-7 in the batter's box and 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning on 3 hits and 3 walks on the pitcher's mound.

*The Phillies were 2-15 with runners in scoring position.

*The Phils pitching staff is haggard, so Doc is returning early.  Yep, Roy Halladay toes the slab today in Citizens Bank Park.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Series Preview- Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks (65-61) @ Philadelphia Phillies (57-70)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:05 - Wade Miley vs. Cole Hamels
Saturday, 7:05 - Randall Delgado vs. Ethan Martin
Sunday, 1:35 - Patrick Corbin vs. Tyler Cloyd

Snakes Bats:
R - 537 (14th)
AVG - .258 (11th)
OPS - .715 (14th)

The D-Backs offense has been a disappointment outside of Paul Goldschmidt/1B (.300/.947, 31 HR, 100 RBI).  They've suffered through many injuries this season, so much so that they only have 3 batters that are qualified to the batting title (Goldschmidt, Martin Prado, and Gerado Parra).  However, Aaron Hill/2B is back with the club and hitting extremely well (.312/.897 in 58 G).

Snakes Arms:
ERA - 3.79 (14th)
WHIP - 1.29 (12th)

The D-Backs are throwing their best 3 starting pitchers at the Phils this weekend, with Corbin being the best of the bunch (13-3, 2.45/1.02).  Their bullpen a weakness, as the role of closer has been a revolving door all season.  Ex-Phillies farmhand, Brad Ziegler is lights out though (7-1, 2.34/1.14, 11 HLD, 7 SV).

What I'm Drinking:
Weyerbacher Brewing Company's Double Simcoe Double IPA.

This beer is exploding with hops.  This is my favorite offering by Weyerbacher because of it's hop complexity and smooth malt backbone.  Pours a burnt orange with a semi-creamy head that leaves behind a beautiful lacing effect.  That means is sticky, and with India Pale Ale's that a good thing.  The Simcoe hops have a warming spice note to them that is unique and enjoyable.  The aroma is citrusy and the flavor profile is piney and grapefruit-esque.  For a double IPA, it is well balanced with the caramel malts giving it a slight sweetness to help offset the intensity of the hops.  The 9% ABV makes you happy after drinking a few. scores it a 99 out of 100.  It's that damn good.

Ryne Sandberg's first two games at the helm couldn't have gone worse, each a shutout to the Dodgers.  However, since then the Phils have fought for him and gone 4-1.  Therefore, I'm going with a series win for the Phightins by taking 2 outta 3.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Amaro Cornering the Market on Horrible Hitters

Roger Bernadina is officially a Phillie.  He of a .178 batting average and .517 OPS this season.  He's been a passable 4th outfielder in the past with the Nationals, but not in 2013.  Hence being released.

Amaro is doing a helluva job fielding the worst team possible.  He's give Casper Wells (.150/.380), John McDonald (.093/.336), and recently demoted Michael Martinez (.167/.333) playing time.  Obviously the Phillies woes weren't Charlie Manuel's fault.  Amaro pieced together a roster of complete shit.  Don't forget Laynce Nix (.180/.486) was with the team all year until about a week ago.  If not for the Marlins, they would have the worst team in baseball.

Amaro is ruining this team.  True story.

Monday, August 19, 2013

WSBGMs Fantasy Football Returns

E-A-G-L-E-S...Eagles! Actually, I hate it when dopes do that at the Phillies game, but the truth is the Phils suck and football season is just around the corner. And you know what that means, it's WSBGMs fantasy football time! We're running two leagues through Yahoo! this season. Each league will have 14 teams, so it's sure to be competitive.

Click on the Yahoo! fantasy football image below to create your own league or join an existing.  Or if you want to play against the GMs, just use the URL below to join one of our leagues.

Yahoo! Fantasy Football - Homepage

WSBGMs Phantasy Phootball 1- (Head-to-Head)
WSBGMs Phantasy Phootball 2- (Points)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bye-Bye Charlie!

Today is a day of joy and sorrow as the Phillies fired Charles Fuqua Manuel from the position of manager.  Ryne Sandberg takes over.  Let the new era begin...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fun/Not Fun

Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf in the same lineup, back-to-back, hitting bombs.

The 2013 Philadelphia Phillies Season (AKA- How to Lose with a Huge Payroll)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Darin Ruf's MLB Man Cave Interview

I was searching for something on Darin Ruf, since he's one of the few good things going for the Phillies right now, and I came across this video from last year. He seems like a levelheaded guy and I hope he can continue to improve defensively in the outfield, because the Phils need his bat in the lineup. Perhaps he secures a starting gig for next season, along with Revere and Dom, which allows the Phillies to sign an offensive minded catcher like Brian McCann, who loves hitting in Citizens Bank Park (.292/.882, 18 DBL, 12 HR, and 49 RBI in 68 G).

Friday, August 09, 2013

Series Preview- Nationals

Philadelphia Phillies (52-62) @ Washington Nationals (54-60)
Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:05 - John Lannan vs. Dan Haren
Saturday, 7:05 - Cliff Lee vs. Taylor Jordan
Sunday, 5:05 - KK vs. Stephen Strasburg

Nats Bats:
R - 419 (28th)
AVG - .240 (26th)
OPS - .684 (25th)

The offense is spearheaded by Bryce Harper/LF and Jayson Werth/RF.  They're having good season, but each would be great had they been able to stay off the DL.  Ryan Zimmerman/3B, Ian Desmond/SS, and Adam LaRoche/1B are the supporting cast for an extremely disappointing offense attack for this team.

Nats Arms:
ERA - 3.73 (12th)
WHIP - 1.26 (9th)

They went from an elite pitching staff in 2012 to middle-of-the-road one this season.  They can still twirl a gem, but they can also be battered around.

Quick Thoughts:
*I like that Cody Asche and Darin Ruf are getting to play regularly through the rest of the season.  The Phillies need homegrown cheap starters, and these two fit the mold should they prove they belong.

*Chase Utley will likely be a Phillie for life.  The 2 year extension has two vesting options as well that are easily attainable as long as he stays healthy (which is no short feat for him).

*I desperately want Roy Halladay to come back and see if he can still be a good, if not great, pitcher.  I'd love to see him back on a 1 year $5M deal with incentives next year if so.

*Michael Young has cleared waivers, meaning he can be dealt.  Make the move Amaro.  Try to capture lightning in a bottle.

*Casper Wells was claimed off waivers from the ChiSox.  He sucks, but that means he'll fit right in with this squad.  He's hit .155/.380 this season, but was useful as a 4th/5th outfielder from 2010-2012 with Detroit and Seattle.

Phils take the first 2, then get mowed down my Strasburg on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Ruf is an On Base Machine

36 games into his MLB career and Darin Ruf already has a streak of 33 games of reaching base safely. In those 36 games he's hit .316/.994, 19 R, 9 DBL, 1 TRPL, 7 HR, and 17 RBI. It's a small sample size, but it also goes to show that he's one of the few reasons to tune in and stomach watching the Phillies over the final months of the season. I've been rooting for Ruf for about 4 or so years now and am glad he's finally getting a chance. Earlier this season Amaro defended himself for not having Ruf on the roster by stating just because he hit lots of homeruns in the minors, didn't mean that success would translate to the Majors. Well, Amaro is once again proven to be an idiot. Keep proving him wrong Ruf!
*Ruf made his first start in right field last night and will likely continue there through the rest of the year (previously played LF and 1B).

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Series Preview- Who Cares?

Chicago Cubs @ Philadelphia Phillies 

Pitching Match-Ups:
Tuesday, 7:05 - The Winning Pitcher 1 vs. Who Cares
Wednesday, 7:05 - The Winning Pitcher 2 vs. Who Cares
Thursday, 1:05 - The Winning Pitcher 3 vs. Who Cares

Cubs Bats:
R - Better than the Phillies
AVG - Better than the Phillies
OPS - Bettter than the Phillies

It doesn't matter who is in the Cubs lineup this series, they will be better than the Phillies.

Cubs Arms: 
ERA - Better than the Phillies
WHIP - Better than the Phillies

It doesn't matter who the Cubs put on the mound this series, they will be better than the Phillies.

Who Cares?

Sunday, August 04, 2013

New Poll- How Many Wins for the Phillies?

Back on April 28th, I asked the loyal readers of WSBGMs to vote on how many wins the Phillies would have in the 2013 season.  The results of the that poll: 3.18% of you idiots said 86+ wins, 3.83% had wishful thinking of 82-85 wins, 33.61% went with 78-81 wins, 15.01% of people like myself saw the writing on the wall and predicted 74-77 wins, and then there were 44.37% of you that were miserable bastards and voted 73 wins or less.  (Total votes - 1,226)

Well, I wonder how much has changed since then in the minds of Phans. The Phillies are currently 50-60, putting them on pace for 74 wins. Personally, my prediction at the beginning of the season of 75-87 looks to be very reasonable, so I'm sticking with it.  Let's see what the rest of you think...

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Losing Down Through the Pipeline

Philadelphia Phillies, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, Reading Fightin Phils, Clearwater Threshers, Lakewood BlueClaws, Williamsport Crosscutters, and Gulf Coast League Phillies.

627 games.

289-338 record.

.461 winning percentage.

The saying goes, "winning is contagious".  Well, it appears that losing is too, from top down.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Series Preview- Braves

Atlanta Braves (64-45) @ Philadelphia Phillies (50-58)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:05 - Kris Medlen vs. Ethan Martin
Saturday, 4:05 - Brandon Beachy vs. Undecided
Sunday, 8:00 - Alex Wood vs. John Lannan

Braves Arms:
R - 494 (8th)
AVG - .255 (15th)
OPS - .743 (7th)

Chris Johnson/3B might not be Chipper Jones, but he leads the NL in batting average (.346).  Brian McCann is back to being a top tier catcher (.284/.903).  Freddie Freeman/1B (.311/.876) has been on a tear of late. Evan Gattis/C/LF (.250/.807) continues to hit his way into the lineup. Justin Upton/LF (.258/.807) went into hibernation after April, but is starting to wake up. Dan Uggla/2B might be hitting below the Mendoza Line, but he's still crushing homeruns (21 HR) and drawing walks (55 BB).  Overall, they are an offense that relies on the long ball and strikes out a ton.

Braves Bats:
ERA - 3.31 (3rd)
WHIP - 1.21 (5th)

The Phillies get lucky this series, because they miss the Braves best starting pitchers (Teheran and Minor).  Probably won't matter though, as a kid fresh out of high school could shutdown the Phils offense.  They have 7 members of their bullpen with an ERA of 2.77 or below, and they are headlined by setup man Luis Avilan (1.22 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 18 HLD) and closer Craig Kimbrel (1.34 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 31 SV).

Ethan Martin is optioned to the minors following his MLB debut tonight and Tyler Cloyd is recalled for Saturday's start (or Raul Valdes gets the spot start and sucks).  The Braves are vulnerable this series with Beachy and Wood going, but the Phillies are horrible.  I say Hotlanta takes 2 outta 3.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Howard Update

I know the title of this post might be misleading, but we're not discussing Ryan Howard.  He's still overrated, overpaid, and on the DL.  Rather, we're giving an update on the 2013 standings for The Howard.

Located on our right sidebar, you can see the extensive list of players that have committed The Howard (strikeout, error, and homerun in same game) this season.  Currently Pedro Alvarez of the MLB's best record Pittsburgh Pirates leads the way with 4, but Milwaukee's Juan Francisco made a move up in the standings, and now that the ChiSox Adam Dunn is manning 1st base regularly, it could be a fight to the finish for the crown.

Last night Chase Utley recorded his first Howard of the season, but because the Phillies are one of the worst teams in baseball this season, it did not end in a win for the good guys like it typically does.

Random Notes:
*Darin Ruf has reached base safely in 28 straight games.  Which is awesome, considering he has only played in 31 games in his career.  Maybe Amaro should sign him to a 5 year $125M extension right now.

*Michael Young is not part of the team's 2014 plans, so the failure to trade him is inexcusable.  The Phillies season is a lost cause, so why not give Cody Asche the last 2 months to test his mettle and try to get something or some sort of value for Young?  Amaro sucks.

*The Phils have the 3rd worst run differential in baseball with -81; only the Astros and Marlins are worse.

*Two disappointing, big contract pitchers square off against each other tonight in Philly (Cain vs. Hamels).  Cain is currently sporting a 4.79 ERA, by far the worst of his career, and Hamels leads MLB in losses with 13.