Friday, May 07, 2004
Taking off for the Weekend
I TiVo'd today's game, but have yet to watch it. I'll be busy until at least Saturday, so don't check out the site for anything original. I'll just reference all Phils/D'back blogs if they have anything to say.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
That's my record while in attendence.
Also the number of homeruns David Bell has hit when I am in attendence, as opposed to when I'm not. So if not the Phils, can at least Bell throw me free tiks until we see how this plays out, it could be worth it.
I love CBP, the Cit, or Scotland Yard, whatever you tend to call it. By the way, Scotland Yard is my personal favorite, and there hasn't been a favored nickname as of yet; what I do hear people referring to it is the "new park" and The Vet, only to go into deeper detail as if you didn't know what they were talking about. I think Citizens Financial isn't too happy about it either.
Ah, the point I wanted to make, before I got into the "name calling", was that my game ritual has been pretty much ironed out: Head to McFadden's (in-stadium) about three hours beforehand for a beer and fries, head into the stadium once it opens for some BP, then head to McFadden's (Callowhill) post-game. This is what I call a pointless comment, but it's my blog and I can make it.
Thank you, Marlon Byrd. Tonight's game should stall Glanville's takeover of CF, which Hernandez also offset by heading to the DL. His homerun dropped about ten seats away from me, thank God, I couldn't find the ball in flight and would have gotten smacked by it otherwise. I have glasses, and just don't wear them, that was one of those rare times that I lost the ball at a game and almost paid for it.
Bulls BBQ is easily my favorite place to eat. I only go after the sixth inning when there's no line and try to grab a pork sandwhich and some ribs, I hold off and am usually starving by this point. Tonight there was no pork (rumor has it that this happens often), so I settled for a beef sandwich and some ribs. The ribs were much more tender than last game, where I had to give a good tug to seperate them, but I didn't enjoy the beef at all. The pork has been excellent.
Lieberthal coming alive? Let's hope so.
Why in God's name did Millwood bat in the 7th if Bowa was only going to yank him on the slightest bit of trouble? He should have hitted for him. And Pujols getting a double isn't really a concern, I hear that guy can hit the ball just a little bit. Classic Bowa blunder if you ask me, he isn't sure of what to do, than hangs with it until it becomes too obvious. It reminded me very much of pinch running for Bell after he reached third on a sacrafice.
I also wasn't very far, about ten rows, away from the dude who jumped on the field. It was incredibally stupid, only because the ball was in play. The guy literally ran right by Burrell as he was running back for the ball, and his throw into second almost hit him. Is this a ground rule double? What happens if the guy, upon noticing the ball coming right for him, tried his hand at fielding? I'm sure if he distracted Burrell enough for him to miss the ball (Burrell had no clue by the way, but was giving the crowd a good lookover afterwards) about ten people would have jumped on the field to beat him down. The reason I say it was incredibally stupid because the ball was in play, is because most of the running on the field occurs during the middle of innings, where it's only stupid. Next time, Bill, wait for the seventh inning stretch or something to do that again:)
It may be too early to tell, but the last time I remember Wagner hitting 100mph was the first homestand, where he had only one prior appearence. Wear and tear, or just luck of the draw?
Wolf vs. Suppan
Randy Wolf (2-1, 2.78) tries to extend his scorless streak today, and if he manages seven or so scorless innings I think everyone should get ready for a historic run. But it seems pretty improbable at this point, he pretty much as to double his efforts as of now, and if pitchers like Pedro, Johnson, Brown, and Clemens can't do it we shouldn't get so worked up as of now. All that B.S. aside, this is the team Wolf can bring it up to 30+ innings if he has control, the Cards just can't hit him. Their best are Rolen (2-4) and Woody Williams (2-4), and I don't think the Woodster is going to pinch hitting anytime soon. Here they are agaisnt the Pack: .162/ .219/ 267
Jeff Suppan (2-3, 3.58) comes rolling into town, or was he already there, with his 1-0, 4.50 record against the Phils. His first start of the season wasn't that good, but since then he has been great. His allowed four earned runs over 23+ innings, so he makes an excellent matchup for the Wolf Pack's icon. Thome hits him well (10-37), as he hits every Cardinal pitcher well, and, wow, David Bell hits him very well (7-17), his first mention in a matchup writeup. Everyone else in the lineup has only faced him about seven times with one or two hits, take that as you will. Suppan vs. Phils: .295/ .360/ .482.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Conlin is back...
While I am sitting here waiting for the Phils website to be updated with Roberto Hernandez's condition (it's a major event for this blogger), I remembered seeing Conlin on SportsNet tonite. I have no idea if he has been appearing on the show during his haitus from writing, but the first words out of his mouth made me cringe (as usual): "(Rolen) is the greatest third baseman to play the game..."
We know what city Bill's from, so we need not mention who he obviously is comparing him to, he cited his defense as his edge over "him" if his numbers hold up for a few more seasons. Instantly I was reminded of two things I haven't really thought of for awhile: I hate Bill Conlin and I hate Scott Rolen.
Yesterday he wrote an article, you can see it here. It really blows my mind he made this comment after spending time, apparently, with the man most regarded as the greatest third baseman of all time.
Final Innings: Roberto Hernandez? (Special Report)
It's 1:36 AM and the Phillies site has the posting "Hernandez placed on DL", but it goes over the game notes (since changed). If you check out the discussion section of one of my more recent posts, you'll see me and Bill Liming call for Roberto to head for the DL to stop Byrd or Michaels from being sent down. Our prayers have been answered apparently. I'll update this as soon as more information is provided.
Can't wait to see who our new bullpen mate is...
2:26 AM, patience finally pays off. Roberto is headed for the 15 Day DL, not the realeased from the team DL like I hoped, and his replacement will be Jim Crowell. My guess is Ed Wade just picked the guy with the lowest ERA at Scranton. Crowell has been pitching nicely, and he fits Hernandez's role of an inning a game, or as I like to call it the "WTF, not again inning". Can't find much on the type of pitch Crowell is, but I'm sure we will all find out very soon.
Phillies bloggers everywhere, including me, should be dissapointed because if Michaels, or Byrd, were to be sent down, we would have at least two weeks worth of hate material directed towards Wade. Now all we can say is that it worked out, Hernandez is gone (temporarily), and someone else gets a shot. Personally, I have just started baking a cake and blowing up balloons for Roberto's return.
A bad trend
I think Brett needs two more starts before you can pull the plug on him for awhile and give Madson a try. Of course, I tend to favor letting him ride it out awhile, but I don't want the Phils to fall behind to far in the early going, before the expected round of injuries (which are starting to appear) that afflict a team occur. This is short and sweet, Myers by month over the past year, maybe I should have seen this coming:
|Spring Training '04||23.2||37||5||14||---||1-5||8.75|
ESPN.com loves the Phils!
At least by throwing two good articles our way. We should get a good share of coverage this year by ESPN, mostly by Jayson Stark (a Philly boy) and the rest mostly bashing Bowa, so it was nice to see two pieces that were devoid of Bowa and/or team related issues.
Mr. Stark analyzes the effect Billy Wagner has had on the local crowd this year with his 100mph+ fastballs as opposed to his sub-100 mph fastballs. What is a Stark/Phillies column without the useful insight (and maybe the only thing useful he provides) of Doug Glanville. To me, Doug is relatively funny, and the idea's he comes up with are almost always intelligent and original; he pares in comparison to Yoggisms (I think that's what they are called) sort of how he pares in comparison to the average CF. But it doesn't stop him from being quoted and played, so he has to be doing something right.
Also, on the grey box to the side of the article you will notice how not funny Juan Pierre is, he had a good opportunity to land a quote concerning leaning into one of Wagner's pitches this year, but he stuck to the usual "blah blah blah" answer. I thought someone who wears his hat the way he does would have to have a great sense of humor, I guess it just doesn't show up in the press.
The second article is from John Sickles who gives his scouting report of Gavin Floyd. Obviously, Sickles has been impressed with Floyd's work this year, who notes that maybe Floyd's projected debut of 2006 may be pushed up. I hope so, the way Myers is pitching recently, there may be up to three openings in the starting rotation next year. Floyd had another start, easily his worst by far: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
Millwood vs. Williams
Kevin Millwood (2-2, 3.38) shut down St. Louis for the most part last week, and he still didn't win. Seven strong innings which allowed only one run, but hopes of a Phils win were dashed by the bullpen in a 5-4 loss. We saw another bad outing by Myers, and we'll probably see another strong outing by Millwood, or at least I hope so. Renteria (12 for 27) hits Millwood very well, but the amusing thing is that the next two best hitters versus Millwood are Rolen and Marlon Anderson who are a combined 26 for 80 with 9 2B and 7BB. An added edge for Millwood is that the Phils are undefeated when I am present at CBP in the regular season, 2-0 with a rainout. Cards vs. Millwood: .255/ .303/ .410.
Woody Williams (0-2, 6.00) is the Cardinals' version of Brett Myers this season, although his last two starts haven't been too bad. But guess what, the Phillies have rocked Williams in his last two starts (0-2, 11.00) and the current lineup posts excellent numbers as well. Whats that smell in the air? I think it just may be another Glanville start, and he may deserve it because of his splits against Williams (by posting these, it seems to me Glanville is getting starts over Byrd when he has "decent to good" split versus pitchers coupled with Byrd having never faced the pithcer, does Bowa think that much or just coincedence). Here comes some good numbers, and I think I am going 3-0 (If I do, the Phils should drop me off free tiks until my percentage drops below .750). Phils vs. Williams: .363/ .438/ .673! in 113 at-bats. Projecting a lineup nowadays is akin to projecting Jessica Simpsons' thought process, but I'll give it a try.
Byrd has never faced him, but our boy Glanville has...8/18 1 HR
Abreu 8/19 1 HR
Thome 4/13 3 HR
Burrell 4/11 1 HR
Lieberthal 7/12 1 HR
Additionally, Phat Albert Pujols may be the greatest 24 yr old to ever play the game (and that line has been used alot), or he could just be one of the greatest 26, 27, 28? yr old to ever play the game, depending on who you ask. He may be older, and the Cards may know about it and not telling anyone...hell, noone knew Soriano's real age until he was traded, after all.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Final Innings: Roberto Hernandez
Not a good week for our man....Normally, I would wait until he at least makes a third appearence. He has a calf strain or something, so I would be surprised if makes many appearences the next week, and I needed some quick filler since I will be working overtime again and won't be able to post during the day. I write Roberto's post's as he appears, so it was pretty much prewritten.
The Phillies were winning 2-1 in the 8th inning, with two outs, and Rheal Cormier just intentionally walked Scott Rolen to load the bases. Reggie Sanders would pinch-hit for Colin Porter, and Bowa would bring in Hernandez, which would result in instant disastor. Reggie cleared the bases with a triple. Phils lose 5-4 in thirteen innings.
.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R-ER, 3 IHR, 1 K
Against the D'backs Roberto came in during a 6th inning that Milton would like to forget, and he recorded the third out with no problem. Following that inning the Phils were trailing 4-3. The seventh inning was a problem, however, and Roberto was right in the middle of it, another disaster. In the end, Phils lose 6-4.
1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R-ER, 2 BB, 2 K, he also picked up his first wild pitch of the year
Save yourself buddy, go on the DL
Myers vs. Carpenter
Brett Myers (0-1, 7.36) gives it another go against the Cardinals today. Last week he allowed three runs on eight hits, in only four innings of work. If Myers has two more starts like the one's he been posting lately, he may be looking at a trip down to AAA to have things looked at while Madson gets a few starts. The Cardinals aren't exactly the team you want to play when your trying to find your groove, but right now Myers doesn't have that choice. He is throwing strikes, but hitters are just getting around on him, so most likely we are seeing a mechanics flaw that Kerrigan hasn't found yet. Against the Cards: .348/ .450/ .515...I'd like to say he can turn around tonight, but I don't see any reason he will.
Carpenter (1-1, 4.50) was in a similar situation to that of Myers last week when he ultimately shut down the Phillies. Carpenter has now had two really strong outings in a row and looks to extend that streak to three. In those two games he has pitched 6 and 7 innings respectively, in neither of those two starts has he reached 90 pitches. He's not overused, playing well, and the Phils don't hit him well; I have a feeling the Phils win this one, but everything else says it's gonna be something like 7-4 Cards. Phils vs. Carpenter: .253/ .351/ .384 in 99 at-bats where no one hits Carpenter extremely well.
Monday, May 03, 2004
With all the extended inning games lately, the Phils are mulling the possibility of bringing up a reliever to spell the bullpen for a week or two. This immediately presents two questions: Who are they going to bring up?, and who are they going to send down?
This means the Chase Utley fan club will have to go into remission for awhile, and all the Glanville haters may as well start a riot because he may even get more playing time following this move. First, I will look at who the Phils may be considering, and who I believe should, be brought up as the extra reliever.
First glance around Scranton's pitching staff shows many viable canidates, but you really have to start with David Coggin. Not because Coggin is the best pitcher at Scranton, he's not, but because he was competing for a bullpen job earlier this spring. He most likely would have landed it had their not been a decision to bring on a sixth bench player, or a surprising, and so far correct, move to have Madson on the team. Coggin (1-1, 4.76) has been starting for Scranton, where he has gotten better over his last two starts.
There's also Brian Powell (3-0, 1.78)who has gotten a lot of pub on this site, and I would like to see him get a shot, considering he is not part of the future (31 yrs.). Also, some other considerations would be Clay Condrey (2-1, 1.23) and Josh Hancock (3-2, 2.70), they are two other pitches with good K/BB ratios who have been getting their work in, although they are younger (28 & 26 respectively) and somehow that probably won't work in their favor with Bowa. Another guy I would have liked is Eric Junge, who has pitched well in his call-ups but he is currently on the DL. There are a couple of other guys who could be considered at this point, but without the work.
The Phils will probably bring up David Coggin, and I don't see anything terribly wrong with that, but I am hoping for Condrey. All of them are righties, there really isn't much going in the lefty department at Scranton, and any call-ups from Reading would surprise me. Regardless of who they bring up, they are presented with a great opportunity here. I've been predicting the demise of Roberto Hernandez, and one or two relievers will most likely go down with injuries this year, so it's important for the call-up to pitch well if he wants to stick around for the remainder of the year, or to be called up at a later point.
Of course one person to watch out for is Ed Yarnell, recently acquired from the Red Sox, he would be the worst they could do. He's not expected to provide anything but as a roster filler in Scranton, but Wade never ceases to surprise me. Although I'm confident Arbuckle has a lot more to do with the decision making here, and I believe their call-ups over the last couple of years haven't been so bad.
Now we get to the portion of the debate which is actually an old debate for many of us. Who to get rid of off the bench? Ah, Doug Glanville is the easy answer, but it's probably not the correct one. They haven't decided on a working plan concerning Wooten/Pratt usage as of now, and it looks like they won't have one in the foreseeable future, but I doubt Wooten will be moved with a pending Pratt suspension around the corner. Ledee is going nowhere, and if he does, it better be in a trade, but I still don't want that. Tomas Perez? No way. It all comes down to Michaels and Glanville, and it really becomes difficult. Bowa is really favoring Glanville at this point, but I really believe the front office likes Michaels a lot here. Of course, Glanville has the same "advantage" that gave him the roster spot in the first place, speed and the ability to play CF everyday without a defensive drop-off. Michaels can easily be forgotten with Glanville, Ledee, and some days even Perez.
To me it seems as if Michaels will be sent down, but I would be very amused/excited if Glanville were the one to be released. That said, I think the right move would be for Wooten to go, and when Pratt gets suspended bring up Michel Hernandez or AJ Hinch for a couple of days. So far the Phillies like having Wooten, and they should, but he's playing in all the wrong situations. What's the point of having someone when you don't have a set plan when to use him (as in when to use Pratt pinch-hitting more or even playing first on Thome off days) or when it seems Bowa doesn't like to play him that much anyway. Perez can easily fill his void, even at catcher, while providing no drop-off at the plate.
This is how I see it: Wooten should be traded for a couple of lollipops and the extra reliever should be kept in the pen for the long haul. Michaels and Ledee would probably snag a couple of extra at-bats, and it would also mean that Utley gets that much closer to seeing playing time with the Phils. Without the extra bench player, there would be less lineup options for Bowa to screw up, and he can keep Glanville on the team so he can feel warm and cozy in the dugout. See, everyone's happy.
Phillies Weekly Review
Alot of winners this week and only two losers.
Pitcher of the Week: Ryan Madson, Randy Wolf, & Billy Wagner. These three guys provided us with 19 innings of scoreless baseball the past week. Ryan Madson has yet to let up a run (a running theme in today's edition), and pitched marvelously in two extra inning games in which he netted wins. Randy Wolf (21 scoreless innings) not only pitched seven more scoreless innings, but apparently can run in a pinch, scoring the Phillies winning run yesterday. Billy Wagner came back to form, providing four more innings of heat; I tend to worry about his arm at the end of the season at this rate however. It was a good week for pitching overall.
Madson line: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Wolf line: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R-ER, 1 BB, 5 K; 1 for 2 with 2 R
Wagner: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R-ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 Save
Batter of the Week: Jim Thome. Continues his uncharacteristically hot hitting in the early going, one can only hope he can continue to improve (as his trend goes) over the course of the season. If so, watch out. By now half his fingers have been rendered useless, but it hasn't stopped him so far. The Line: 8 for 22, 4 R, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 2 HR, 6 K
Farm System Pitcher of the Week: Brian Powell (Scranton) & Gavin Floyd (Reading). Brain Powell's first start of the year yielded four runs, since then he has only allowed one in 20 IP. Gavin Floyd is only really here because he continued his season without letting up a run, marking 17 IP over the course of the year, I believe his next start is today or tomorrow...keep tuned.
Powell: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R-ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Floyd: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R-ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Note: I almost gave the Farm System Pitcher of the Week to the entire Scranton starting staff, they simply shut down the opposition this week. A number of pitchers had similar outings to Powell & Floyd but their scoreless inning streaks give them the nod. How good were the starters at Scranton this week?
Scranton Starters: 37 IP, 21 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 16 BB, 27 K; 4-1 in seven games, the loss was given to Condrey who didn't let up an earned run, and only three of the the seven starts gave up runs.
Farm System Batter of the Week: Ryan Howard (Reading). Earlier in the week I mentioned how many of the Phillies "top prospects" were just starting to come around, and Howard is the prime example. He was hitting only .210, 9 RBI, and 4 HR before this week; and he needed to be alot better if he was ever going to get to see time in the Bigs at his age. And he did, doubling his RBI's and HR this week. The Line: 9 for 24, 4 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, $ BB, 6 K.
Note: Recently I have been paying extra attention to the catchers in the farm system, mainly hoping that one looks playable in the near future. I consider catching the weakest of any position in the system right now, and none of them were hitting before this week. Trent Pratt (Clearwater) had a good week, raising his sixty points to .270, and the duo (Hinch & Hernandez) at Scranton came alive (9 for 21 with 7 runs combined). Their averages prior to this week? Hinch was hitting .172 and Hernandez was .208 (which was tops coming into the week). It's almost unwatchable at Reading, where Jacobson (.063) and Ruiz (.208) haven't had any success. Michel Hernandez is the organization's best bet right now, and he is primarily defense. I will write about this more in-depth in the near future.
What the Hell? Phillies Line of the Week: Larry Bowa, Marlon Byrd & Doug Glanville. What the Hell? Doesn't neccesarily mean bad, or good for that matter, it's just the surprising player/moves of the week. Larry, what are you doing man? I stuck up for you with the first Glanville start, but two? No, no, no, no, you need to stop it. It has been commonly accepted that Bowa doesn't think like the rest of us on planet Earth, but now he is pushing it. A good number of his moves this week were extremely suspect or just plaing wrong. Byrd pinch-running for Bell so late, two Glanville starts, Wagner batting yesterday, and no strategy concerning Wooten/Pratt are amongst the highlights.
Marlon (3 for 18 on the week) isn't helping matters by not getting on base enough to stop Bowa from thinking so hard. This lineup should be fool (Bowa) proof, but not when there are holes in the lineup. Maybe we are witnessing that Byrd is a really slow starter, and if he heats up again this year we probably won't have to worry about a shuffle in CF next season. But Bowa is seeing a second year player who has had one good half of a year, and won't let him work out of whatever is going wrong. It's Bowa's stupid belief in the "veteran" presence. Being from the Philadelphia area, I am used to it. Larry Brown anyone? Pick it up Marlon.
Doug Glanville will not be critized here. "Don't hate the playa, hate the game" It's not his fault he is playing so much, it's a combination of Byrd and mostly Bowa. The reason Glanville is here, is because he hasn't been so awful in his extended play lately. And if you think I am jumping on the Glanville bandwagon forget it, I'm not. Doug is actually playing well enough to keep this fiasco ongoing. I was a little concerned about Glanville making the team, the last bench spot mind you, would be a problem. Just not this problem. I thought he would be useless off the bench taking at-bats away from Ledde and Michaels. While we are seeing that, we are experienceing something different altogether. Glanville is hedging his way in to being a heavily used platoon player, or even a starter! What the %#$! is going on here?!? I may be overreacting a little, but you can see my concern. Hoepfully the situation simmers down this week, but I am really worried. You know what Glanville is really good for? He probably would have a funny quote to sum this whole thing up. By the way Doug, you had a decent week. Doug: 3 for 10, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
Sunday, May 02, 2004
Milton vs. Webb
Eric Milton (2-0, 3.27) has pitched very well for the Phillies this year, but I would like him to be able to extend his outings past the 6th. Probably neck-and-neck with Millwood as the most consistent starter on the staff this season, he has never faced Arizona. Luis Gonzalez is 4 for 6 off him, but Sadler, Hillebrand, and Mayne are a whopping 0 for 16. I said I was searching for info to throw in for Milton in these things, and I'm still looking for anything good, otherwise I'm going to be putting up his best/worst stat lines for the time being. Opposing batters' lines when facing Milton, when there are runners on first and third: .548/ .528/ .839.
Brandon Webb (2-1, 2.10) hasn't slowed down from last year at all, and his sights focused on the Phils where is 1-0, 2.77 in two starts. Here's the number of runs allowed in each of his starts: 1,2,3,1, and 0. No doubt he will throw endless sinkers at the Phils, and if there's one thing to get excited about is that he has walked a number of batters this year. Thome is 3 for 6 off him, but he has no HR, and noone has faced him more on the Phils lineup. Regardless, this is a game where they have to take pitches and get Webb out of the game as fast as possible. Phils against Webb: .214/ .327/ .381