Archive | July, 2007

The Phillies Are Acquiring Average Relievers

31 Jul

Julio Mateo is the best we could do?

The Phillies Bullpen As It Stands

30 Jul

This year’s Phillies bullpen is eternally in flux, and has seen yet another change with Ryan Madson going to the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder. The bullpen to start the season consisted of Tom Gordon, Ryan Madson, Antonio Alfonseca, Geoff Geary, Matt Smith, and Clay Condrey. Condrey eventually was sent down (up?) to Ottawa, Gordon hit the disabled list, Madson went on the DL as well, Smith was sent down and THEN put on the disabled list, Francisco Rosario was put in there, Jose Mesa was signed, Geoff Geary kind of flamed out after a terrific 2006 campaign and was sent to Ottawa, JC Romero was given a contract, Mike Zagurski was given an extended cup of coffee before being sent back to the minors, and Brett Myers was put in the bullpen, took a detour to the DL and has since come back. I think Fabio Castro was in there somewhere as well. Whew. And I’m sure I’m missing someone somewhere.

So what does the pen consist of now? Let’s take a look:

Antonio Alfonseca

  • 3-1 38 IP 4.26 ERA 1.66 WHIP
  • 14 Ks, 13 BB, .312 opponent batting avg, 3.08 K per 9

He is lucky. Advanced stats show Alfonseca as an even worse pitcher. He sucks and manager Charlie Manuel has started to phase him out, pitching him only 7 times in July. Don’t look for him to be in the ballgame in tight spots down the stretch.

Clay Condrey

  • 0-4 24.1 IP 6.29 ERA 1.68 WHIP
  • 16 K, 9 BB, .314 OBA 5.92 K per 9

FILLER FILLER FILLER

Tom Gordon

  • 0-1 13.1 IP 3.38 ERA 1.35 WHIP
  • 13 K, 3 BB, .264 OBA 8.78 K per 9

He’s old, he’s been hurt all year, but he’s finally back in the bullpen in a pitching capacity. They’ve pitched him 4 times in July, about 3 or 4 days apart each time, and he’s yet to give up a run. If he’s going to be able to go every other game soon, he could become a key part of this bullpen. Scratch that, it’s almost mandatory for this bullpen to be useful that he be a fairly integral cog.

Jose Mesa (with Phils)

  • 0-2 20 IP 3.15 ERA 1.00 WHIP
  • 5 K, 8 BB, .176 OBA 2.25 K per 9

He’s an enigma. His season stats are fairly awful if you add in his time spent in Detroit, and his peripherals are SCARY. He strikes no one out, relies completely on his defense, and apparently has one of the luckiest opponent batting averages of anyone in the league. He’s definitely due to hit the wall…and that won’t be pretty.

Brett Myers

  • 1-2 37 IP 5.35 ERA 1.43 WHIP
  • 51 K 18 BB, .245 OBA 12.41 K per 9

Although I’d rather see him in the rotation, he’s obviously in the bullpen for the rest of the season. He’s probably the best reliever we have in there right now, and has been able to let loose (when healthy) on hitters. His May was terrific when he was moved to the bullpen, and he’s now back to hopefully stabilize this pen. He’s definitely a positive.

JC Romero

  • 0-0 7.2 IP, 1.17 ERA 1.70 WHIP
  • 10 K, 8 BB, .179 OBA 11.74 K per 9

This guy walks on the edge without falling over, allowing WAYYYY too many free passes, and yet somehow keeps his ERA low. Wait, I know how…he’s pitched 14 games for the Phils and has amassed only 7.2 innings. He’s the prototypical lefty specialist. We won’t see him pitch much, and we’ll only see him when a lefty is at the plate in the 7th or 8th innings. One can only hope that he doesn’t keep walking a hitter an inning.

So there you have it, your Philadelphia Phillies bullpen. With two days left until the trade deadline, and then another month of possible waiver-wire moves, this is certainly expected to change. However, the current group has a bunch of oldheads and castoffs and then Brett Myers. You have to respect Pat Gillick for actually outdoing Ed Wade at his own game. He is now the king of finding old relievers.

Bobby’s World Mondays!

30 Jul

TOOTH OR DARE!!!!!!

And The Winner Of The Chris Wheeler Guessing Game Is…

26 Jul

Tom G from Balls, Sticks & Stuff!!! He guessed that our favorite announcer Chris Wheeler would mention the size of Petco Park during the final 3 games of the Phillies-Padres about 9 times. I counted 10 times throughout the 3 games, putting Tom almost spot on! Congrats Tom, and I hope you like the shirt. And everyone else go get their favorites, courtesy of the Chris Wheeler Glossary and Cole Hamels Facts.com.

Alex Rodriguez Is On The Verge Of 500 Homers

26 Jul

Or he’s already hit it:

On Friday, A-Rod will be on deck when the Yankees resume a suspended game against the Orioles in the eighth inning. If he homers in the completion of the suspended game, it would count as being hit on June 28, when the game began. That would make it home run No. 493 — and Wednesday night’s would become No. 500.

Alex, the obvious AL MVP, is having a sick season where he’s putting up a 1.072 OPS as a 3B in a ballpark that gears towards left-handed hitters, not righties.  He’s already hit the same amount of homers (35) as he did during the entire 2006 campaign, and is only one double (25) behind last year’s total.

Him hitting home run number 500  at the age of 32 is a tremendous accomplishment, and he could literally retire tomorrow and probably still be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  However, he’s going to continue playing, and will likely have several more years of peak performance.  Rodriguez might be the first player to net $30 million in one season, should he resign with the Yankees or opt out of his contract and go out on the free market.  I hope I won’t be the only one enjoying watching his career finish out.

Chase Utley To Miss 4-6 Weeks With A Broken Hand

26 Jul

Well that’s not good…

Ryan Howard Saves The Day…Er Night…Er Morning?

26 Jul

After Antonio Alfonseca almost blew the game for the Phillies when he gave up 3 runs in the 9th, Jimmy Rollins smacked a triple to left center and then sprinted home on an errant throw to tie the game back up at 5-5. It took 5 more innings for either team to put anything up on the board, with the Phils squandering a ridiculous chance to score when Chase Utley and Howard were walked to start the bottom of the 10th and then this horrible sequence occurred:

- A. Rowand popped bunt out to third
- M. Bourn grounded out to first, C. Utley to third, R. Howard to second
- C. Coste hit for J.C. Romero
- C. Coste fouled out to first

Bunting with a guy hitting as well as Aaron Rowand? Not being able to hit the ball further than 60 feet? Kudos to all involved. Kudos indeed.

And then there was Ryan Howard. He wouldn’t let the Phillies go down to the lowly Washington Nationals…no no no, he smacked a Chris Booker pitch into the 2nd deck in right field to end the game 7-5 in the Phils favor. It was Howard’s 28th bomb of the year and 9th this month. His march towards player of the month of July (357 average, 460 OBP, 771 slugging percentage and 9 homers) continues.  This guy is simply on fire, as is much of the rest of the offense.  Score one for the good guys!

Bud Selig Is Mulling His Options…Still

24 Jul

April 2006: No decision on Bonds probe

No need to make a decision on anything Bud. I’m sure you’ll give a proper amount of time to weigh all the factors in this situation and get back to us with your response in a timely manner.

February 8th, 2007: Selig Noncommital on Following Bonds

It’s a bitch getting plane tickets. One-way or two? Aisle or window? First class or coach? I can see why you’re struggling with this decision.

March 3, 2007: Selig unsure if Bonds will cooperate

That damn Bonds never makes a decision and sticks with it!

July 8th, 2007: ‘I have not yet’ decided. ‘It’s not for me to comment’.

No, why comment? You’re only the commissioner of a sport that’s on the verge of seeing its biggest, flashiest record broken. No big deal. Brush your shoulder off Bud, you got 99 problems but a home run record ain’t one.

July 21st, 2007: Selig noncommittal on whether he’ll follow Bonds homer chase

OK, so he did show up July 20th when the San Francisco Giants visited the Milwaukee Brewers. He showed up in HIS ballpark, and watched a team owned by his daughter. Must’ve been tough to get a ticket. No need to go any further though Bud. Take your time my friend, no rush. We got all the time in the world.

Brett Myers Needs To Get His Ass Back Here

24 Jul

Brett Myers is dealing:

Philadelphia Phillies closer Brett Myers struck out three and allowed one hit over 1 1-3 scoreless innings in his second minor league rehab appearance Monday night with Class A Clearwater.

Myers has been out since straining his right shoulder in the ninth inning of a game at Florida on May 23. He has six saves in seven chances and a 2.61 ERA since moving to the bullpen.

Pitching against the Tampa Yankees, Myers threw 19 of 25 pitches for strikes. The right-hander said he felt “good” after the outing and that he was scheduled to pitch again for Clearwater on Wednesday night.

Screw Wednesday, get him up here NOW. Sure, I’d rather he take the place of Adam Eaton in the rotation but, seeing as he’s going to remain in the bullpen, he can help this team NOW. Don’t be fooled by one complete game, this team cannot go without help from its bullpen. And Myers is a big part of said help. His terrific May (20 Ks, 6 walks and 1.23 WHIP in 13 IP) would be savior-esque in this bullpen right now.

Seeya later Clay Condrey. You just couldn’t keep the opposing players off the basepaths (30 hits and 8 walks in 21.1 IP). It’s been real.

Tim Donaghy: Making Villanova University Proud

23 Jul

LOL Nova, LOL.  You seriously fucked up Donaghy.

Bobby’s World Mondays!

23 Jul

YES! It’s the thrilling conclusion to the blatant Home Alone ripoff episode!!!  YES YES YES

How Many Times Will Wheels Mention The Size Of Petco Park This Weekend?

20 Jul

During yesterday’s game against the San Diego Padres were all treated to multiple mentions of the size of Petco Park by our main man behind the mic Chris Wheeler. In the interest of fun and just a little bit of malice, I am going to run a guessing game. So fellow fans, how many times will Wheels mention the size of the ballpark? “This ballpark is huge’ , ‘look at the size of this ballpark’, ‘you don’t hit many homers in this field’, or some facsimile of this phrase. Also acceptable are patent-pending Wheels chuckles or guffaws at deep flyouts being caught on the warning track. However, if he does a guffaw then a phrase, that is still only one mention. Each mention must be on a different play or plate appearance.

The fan closest to the actual number, over or under, will win a HUGE (like Safeco) T-Shirt courtesy of this blog (other fine Wheels T-Shirts are available at Chris Wheeler Glossary.com). Make sure to leave a real email address in the comments section of this post so I can contact you. And if this is a complete failure, well I’ll just keep the freaking shirt!

  • Friday 10:05 pm
  • Saturday 10:05 pm
  • Sunday 4:05 pm

And don’t forget to play BINGO!

Brad Maule Is Another Famous Person I Know

18 Jul

The man that runs Phillyskyline.com got some MAJOR pub in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Business section on Monday. The piece focused on how developers in the community have used it as a tool to spy on their competition and even promote their own properties by letting Brad give photo tours which he then uploads to his site. While I personally enjoy the neighborhood tours far more, there is no denying that his building photo essays are simply tremendous…and news that important people in the real estate business use them only cements this idea.

Yes, the man from little Tyrone, PA has arrived. And OK, I sort of have a man crush on him because of his tremendous photo skills, but an unbiased observer can definitely appreciate the hard work he puts into every photo essay and each update to his site. Keep up the good work Brad! Even if you do use the ‘we’ blog-speak at your site!

Jerry Yang Is Winning Big Ass Poker Tournaments

18 Jul

Yes, the Main Event of the World Series of Poker is over and a champion has been crowned. Jerry Yang is another complete unknown, following in the footsteps of Chris Moneymaker from 2003, who has never even cashed in a poker tournament. No, he’s not the co-founder of Yahoo, but is instead a psychologist and social worker. Yang collected all the chips in play, besting 2nd place Tuan Lam on the last hand:

Hand #205 – Jerry Yang has the button, he raises to 2.3 million, Tuan Lam moves all in for 22.2 million, and Yang thinks for about ten seconds before he calls.

Yang shows {8-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}, and Lam shows {A-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}. It’s a race situation, and Lam needs to improve to stay alive. The crowd erupts into chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” and something similar with “Canada! Canada!”

There is standing room only here, and everybody is on their feet, including the players. (But excluding your faithful tournament reporters.)

The flop comes {Q-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{5-Spades}, and half of the ESPN Arena erupts in applause as Tuan Lam flops a pair of queens to take the lead, and he is a big favorite to double up, making this a much closer heads-up match. Yang needs an eight or something runner-runner.

The turn card is the {7-Diamonds}, and Yang picks up a gut-shot straight draw, winning with an eight (for a set) or a six (for a nine-high straight).

The river card is the — {6-Hearts}! Jerry Yang spikes a six on the river to win the hand — and the 2007 WSOP World Championship — with a nine-high straight.

88 v AQ suited for the win. He takes home 8.25 million, while, Lam wins 4.84 million. Not bad! Yang has pledge to donate 10% of his winnings to several charities, and was noteworthy for being the player at the table to constantly thank his God and talk about his Christianity. While that’s not my thing (does your God pick which players he wants to give sets and full houses to?), I guess it works for Yang. He certainly seems like he’s a guy that will appreciate the money. He also vowed to give his children the best education possible.

My final table rooting interest was Alexander Kravchenko, who seemed to be a down-to-earth guy that will use the money he won wisely. He took home 4th place and 1.85 million dollars, as well as winning a bracelet earlier in the Series when he bagged first place and $228,446 in the $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo Split 8 or Better tourney. He stated in his exit interview that he would play LESS poker, not more, and I completely respect and support that. Why put all the money you earned back into the poker community, simply because you feel you have to ‘prove’ you can play at high-limit levels in the cash games? No one says you have to prove anything to anyone. Take the money and enjoy it.

Well, the World Series of Poker is officially over. Thanks to Poker News for the great updates, and thanks to the people over at 2plus2 for their fun analysis of the tournament. ESPN will certainly slice and dice the coverage down into all-ins, bluffs and backstories, partially ruining what should be the best televised poker program out there (that goes to High Stakes Poker). Oh well, it’ll still be fun to see the tournament play out when they do show it.

Tom Gordon Was Hurt The Whole Time?

18 Jul

Say what?

The Phillies closer revealed before Tuesday’s game that he’s been pitching with a slightly torn labrum. He said he felt something in his shoulder since as early as 2005, while with the Yankees, and he received the diagnosis last season. His condition has worsened, though the right-hander said he believes he can manage.

Well thanks for telling us Tommy!  Perhaps this could’ve been disclosed before you signed your multi-year deal?  Hell, I thought it was outrageous when we originally found out that the Phils lied about Tom Gordon’s spring training trip to Philadelphia.  And now this.  And perhaps Ruben Amaro Jr and Pat Gillick could’ve, you know, ASKED if something was wrong.  Or maybe the Phils just need better doctors:

 Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies were hopeful and confident of Gordon’s continued ability to pitch. When they saw the results of the MRI taken in November 2005, he said it showed nothing other than regular use for a veteran pitcher.

“We’re confident we can manage this year and, hopefully, the next year,” Amaro said. “We don’t have any idea [beyond that]. That’s like looking into a crystal ball. Any time you have a pitcher who has pitched as long as he has, there’s always a risk.”

Yep, nothing more than regular use…except for that tear.  No big deal though.  It’s not like we needed him.  Our bullpen depth is one of our greatest strengths.

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