A win today would be nice — but the road trip has already gone about as well as could reasonably be expected.
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Joe Morgan game thread: Aug. 30, Braves at Phillies
August 30, 2009
Not That We Care: a guide to the playoffs, part 2
October 1, 2014
This is from a story about the Phillies’ offensive struggles in The Philadelphia Daily news. What do you all think?
“One major-league scout harped on two common theories about the Phillies’ offensive struggles: the absence of shortstop Jimmy Rollins for all but 11 games and the possibility that bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was stealing signals when he got caught with binoculars May 12 at Coors Field.
“To me, it’s obvious what’s troubling them,” the scout said. “They miss Jimmy Rollins. It’s not even about him hitting. It’s just his presence on the field. When he’s not on the field, they’re not even close to the same team.”
The scout was also adamant that there really could be something to the “cheating accusations” that surfaced in Denver.
“I’m very intrigued by that,” the scout said. “Check what the Phillies’ numbers are since that binocular game in Colorado . They’ve been accused of doing that stuff for years and one manager (the Rockies’ Jim Tracy) had the guts to challenge them. I saw Chase Utley off balance more in three games recently than I have in the last three years. That gets your attention.”
Here are the numbers: The Phillies hit 39 home runs through their first 33 games with the 33d game being Binocular-gate in Denver. Since then, they had hit 16 in 26 games before Saturday. The Phillies averaged 5.4 runs per game through 33 games. Since then, they’ve averaged 3.4 runs and been shut out six times.
Utley was hitting .314 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs through May 12. Going into Saturday, he had hit .170 with two home runs and seven RBIs since then. Jayson Werth was hitting .345 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs through May 12 and has batted .200 with three home runs and 10 RBIs since. Ryan Howard’s batting average has actually gone up a point in that span, but his 10 home runs through 59 games represented a significant power shortage from a year ago, when he had 18 home runs at the same stage of the season.”
“Jayson Werth was hitting .345 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs through May 12”
It’s not as though that represented the natural order of things — Werth’s never been that good. So no surprise at any regression there (and he’s still outperforming his typical numbers).
I don’t know. Did the Phillies find ways to steal signs at all opposing ballparks, or just Colorado? It’s not as though the same method would work in every park. I think it’s more to do with the fact that Rollins’ replacements have been horrible, Ibanez got old, and they get absolutely nothing from their bench.
From the last thread: I agree that it’s silly to say the way to beat the Rays is to keep their first five guys off the base paths, but it’s also a gross overstatement to say that B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena are among the best hitters in baseball. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
B.J. Upton: .243/.338/.424 with a 26.7% k rate.
Carlos Pena: .196/.310/.439 with a 32.2% k rate.
The Rays’ early season success was largely the result of their great starting pitching, but Garza, Shields, and Davis have all fallen off mightily since the middle of May. Thus the team is 10-11 in its last 21 games.
A win today would be nice — but the road trip has already gone about as well as could reasonably be expected.
Apart from the injuries, at least.
After the suicide squeeze bunt that sank the Twins on Saturday night, center fielder Denard Span ran past one of the umpires and said, “That’s National League baseball right there.”
When I put Upton in that group, I meant collectively. Those are 5 of the best hitters in baseball together. Not only that, they also have John Jaso and Reid Brignac hitting really well right now. Carlos Pena hit 39 HRs last year and has averaged a .930 OPS over the past 3 seasons. He’s struggled early in the season, but he’s hit 6 HRs in the last 5 games. I hate his K rate, but he’s one of the best hitters in baseball. That’s not a stretch at all.
The Rays’ pitching was lights out early in the year, and Garza, Shields, and Davis have struggled recently, but no one is playing above their heads right now. In fact, I fully expect Shields and Garza to improve over the course of the year. They’ll probably win the AL East, and may even win the World Series.
I prefer Marchman’s explanation:
This leaves us with a third possibility, that their recent play has been an almost comically grotesque expression of the basic truth that the Phillies aren’t quite as strong an offensive team as their reputation would have it. Unlike competing explanations, this isn’t easily knocked down. Of the team’s three key hitters, one is a 30-year-old first baseman who’s averaged 193 strikeouts per 162 games over his career, and another is a 31-year-old right fielder whose career park adjusted OPS is about as good as Adam LaRoche’s. The fourth-best hitter, left fielder Raul Ibanez, is 38. And of all possible responses to the crisis, one they’ve chosen involves signing Willy Taveras, who has the fourth-worst adjusted OPS among active hitters.
One could certainly describe the Phillies’ offense more generously, but given their recent performance, what compelling reason is there to do so? As Manuel has it, this is baseball, and after suffering the equivalent of a 1,000 year flood, this offense will recover, at least a bit. In the meantime they’ll have endured three straight shutouts at the hands of the lowly Mets, a sweep at the hands of the team that now lords over them from their accustomed spot in first place and a view on a time that everyone knew would come, when age caught up with them and their lineup past Chase Utley read in blanks and question marks. The odds on that were always dead certain.
It’s a very good offense overall. I don’t dispute it.
Sickels reviews our draft. Well worth the read, but so you know: he likes it. (He says it’s an “OK” draft which would look better if we could sign Sabol or Alvord, which we already knew.)
BTW, Strasburg is on TBS right now.
From the last thread, the only reason TAMU was better than Texas in the 80s/90s era was that Jackie Sherrill cheated his ass off to attract players. FedEx envelopes full of money.
Of course SMU was doing the same. There is a story of TAMU giving Eric Dickerson a maroon Trans Am only to be left at the altar when he committed to SMU. Aggies were pissed!
TAMU has no interest in going to the PAC 10. It’s a bad cultural fit for them. They want the SEC bad. The SEC obviously wants Texas too, but not enough to really fight for them.
Texas really wants the Big 10 for the federal research money that the Big 10 institutions get as members of the CIC. It’s huge money beyond the lucrative tv deal that the athletic departments of the Big 10 get. The whole reason that the Big 12 is imploding is because schools like Northwestern get 10 million more a year in tv money than Texas does. Hard to believe.
Anyways, Texas wants A&M to come with it to the Big 10 but Delany hasn’t invited A&M. Hence the attraction of the Pac 10. But again, A&M would rather be in the SEC. But Texas isn’t really interested in the SEC so if the SEC offers A&M they will go their separate ways.
National League. American League. blah blah blabbity blah.
Just make the DH rule the same in both leagues and call it a day.
Or remove the abomination of interleague play and call it a day.
The only abomination is the Mets playing the Orioles–further deceiving the Mets that they’re contenders.
Clevland is no as bad as Os, but close.
Who are already up 5 on the O’s after the first half inning..
Heyward’s snapping out of it, hopefully.
That was nice.
Does Medlen break out a new hat for every start?
@20 – I don’t think we have to worry about him having a John Wetteland hat.
Hah. I missed the top of the first. Looks like that’s where the fun was!
The Prado has twice as many homers this year as Chipper and Yunel combined.
All of the swings-and-misses by Heyward these past few weeks are really concerning. Either he just can’t get the bat around because of the thumb injury or there’s something mechanical. Those were FBs across the plate. No reason to not make any contact whatsoever.
I hope the Braves find some way to keep Medlen in the rotation.
Nice grab, Melky.
Nice D, fellas.
Medlen is dealing today. And though he’s certainly not pitching like it, Medlen (with that cap) always reminds me of Charlie Brown on the mound.
Melky reminds me of the “pizza, pizza” guy from Little Ceasars”.
A 9-pitch inning. Well done, Mr. Medlen.
Am I old, or do those hats make the players look like real dorks?
30 – classic!
Up 6-1, Strasburg leaves the game with one out in the 6th with the bases loaded: 95 pitches, 1 ER (so far, a Hafner HR), 2 H, 8 K, 5 BB.
Prado is a hitting machine.
Strasburg seemed to be in a battle with the mound in Cleveland.
I have no idea how the Twins kept winning games without Nelson Liriano. Franchise player. Great point there, Chip.
There goes Chip mentioning the no-hitter.
Man Vs Food marathon on TV has me craving fried chicken, hot dogs, and jalapeno burgers.
Chances of my diet succeeding are equal to that of the Mets winning the National League.
Why do the Twins have a ten year old girl as their PA announcer?
Why do they have a ‘T’ and a ‘C’ on their caps?
39 – they’re Minnesotans. These are the same people that build roofless stadia when they know it will snow and elect comedians and wrestlers to high office.
I think their brains are frozen.
National League Baseball!
Obviously I’ve only seen three games here — but it seems to me that the construction of the ballpark heavily favors righthanded hitters. Which is odd considering that the Twins’ two best hitters are lefties.
12 HR/~50 RBI already. That’s covered the price of admission for Troy. The rest is gravy.
I like the Twin Cities. Gotta go there next month. Wish the Twins were in town.
BTW, I’ll be in ATL for the entire Detroit series at the end of the month. If anyone wants to hook up, would love to say hey or have a beverage.
@38 Man vs. Food usually makes me NOT want to eat. Now, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives that makes me want to eat, eat, eat!
Glaus HR out anywhere but Death Valley
If I am not in Italy, I’ll go, ububba. email me your dates.
/I am playing July 3 at the Star with John Howie of the $2 Pistols as well.
I’ll plan on being there on Saturday, ububba.
Martin Hit Machine
Three more hits for Prado.
I’m psyched Glaus has put together a solid game. I keep worrying that he’s about to cool off, and then… well.
On Medlen: while his low strikeout numbers (as a starter) catch my eye, he seems to have really good control while pitching with amazing efficiency. A 7-pitch 6th.
He’s the new Maddux.
Troy Glaus All-Star
What’s weird is that we didn’t hit any homers in Arizona.
Glaus for MVP. I’m serious.
I have Glaus and Adrian Gonzalez on a fantasy team and literally can NEVER start the right one.
Yesterday, Gonzalez dismantles Cliff Lee and Glaus has been kinda quiet, so I figure maybe Gonzalez will go on one of his multi-game binges…despite facing Felix Hernandez later today…sigh.
Do you not have a utility spot?
@63 Don’t feel bad Adam in early May I traded Glaus for Kendry Morales.
Medlen has been outstanding…..
I think he would have to warrant some serious consideration. He is at least the come back player of the year, so far, and the team MVP going away.
The best move of the Wren era, so far (passing the Frenchy relocation)
And…thank the lord we didn’t enter Hibernation Mode.
That’s nice… tunned into mlb.tv to watch the game for a bit. First pitch I see is a homer by Young haha
And the twins announcers appearing think they are playing Oakland as they just said “They have chipped into the Oakland lead”
Medlen is still fine, and the Twins announcers are still better than Chip. That is all.
MLB Network is showing the 1957 World Series film right now.
That Glaus guy for Oakland really can mash the ball
note to self: don’t run on that guy
I’ll never get why the catcher is allowed to appeal on checked-swing calls but the batter isn’t.
Gardenhire is like a mini-LaRussa with the overmanaging.
Heyward’s becoming awfully reminiscent of Schafer with a nagging injury turning into a plethora of strikeouts.
@75, because if the home plate ump calls a strike, the 1B ump ain’t overruling, and if he calls a ball, the batter ain’t appealing.
Nice comeback inning, Mr. Medlen. (FWIW, Medlen at 92 pitches thru 8.)
How ’bout another tack-on run, guys?
They’re not appealing the strike/ball call. They’re appealing the “did he go around”. The batter would be appealing when he was ruled to have gone around and he didn’t think he did. How is that any different?
Twins announcers crying about the disadvantages of American league teams having to play in National league parks without the DH, wha wah wah get over it!
ahem. Sorry, as you were.
I’ve always thought the interleague rules favored the NL to be honest. If we play at Minnesota we get to add a batter to our lineup, if we host Minnesota they have to adjust their whole defense/lineup whereas we don’t.
A 6-5 trip. Cannot complain about that.
@84 – Well, you could complain about it, but we wouldn’t listen to you.