Gameday 2009

Gameday: Astros (73-85) at Phillies (92-66)

Houston Astros (73-85) at Philadelphia Phillies (92-66)

Felipe Paulino, RHP (2-11, 6.51 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (14-12, 3.19 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 56
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Whew! After a September scare, the Phillies and their fans can both exhale; and hopefully enjoy these next four games.  That said, there is still a lot to play for, like home-field advantage and a roster spot for some guys.

For Cliff Lee tonight will be a chance to fine tune for the playoffs and end the season on a high note.  He has been inconsistent after an electric start since coming to the Phillies.  In his last outing, he coughed up seven runs in six innings against the Brewers.  After tallying that start, his 226 innings this season led all major league pitchers.  Maybe Charlie Manuel will encore last night’s dramatic pitching change with Brad Lidge by pulling Lee earlier than usual.

The Astros meantime counter with 2-11 Felipe Paulino who has been the victim of poor run support (among other things) all season long.  Paulino has a 8.37 ERA on the road and 8.42 at night which means another sellout crowd in brisk conditions might spell trouble for the 25-year old righty.  He is mainly a fastball, curve, slider pitcher and has given up 120 hits in 92.2 innings this season.

As for the lineup, look for a usual starter or two to take a seat on the bench for the majority of tonight’s game. Charlie Manuel said he knows some of his players could use a rest. “I think I can do it. It’s not like I’m going to take three or four out of the lineup at the same time.” In the past five season, he has led the Phillies to an NL-best 217-143 record in the second half of the season – so he might know what he’s doing.

Imperial Pumpkin AleYour Gameday Beer – Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Happy October folks! One of the benefits of playoff baseball is that your beer stays cold at that game. A cold, but not frosty, pumpkin ale is a great way to enjoy prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. This hearty Pennsylvania brew come full of sweet nectar, spiced flavors. Have it with some roast beef and sweet potatoes. – By Brian

GO PHILLIES!

79 Comments

79 Comments

  1. SDO

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Utley, Ruiz, and Victorino have the night off… Bruntlett, Bako, and Francisco are starting.

  2. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    where did your read about Park’s clearwater rehab start?

  3. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    you know, I don’t care per say that they win, even though they have a chance at the best record in the NL, what I do however care about is that Lee not look like garbage on the mound, which, so far he does.

  4. "Runt"-- Jim Hoffmann

    October 1, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Is it possible that Cliff Lee is not all that, and a bag of chips. Is he a mirage that will fool us in the playoffs? We already know that Cole Hamels will not be 100%, or am I being too pessimistic.

  5. joedad

    October 1, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    j reed – Twitter, Todd Zolecki

  6. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks, too bad i don’t twitter…

    I was out…did Lee give up a two run dinger?

  7. Colorado Joe

    October 1, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Lee’s performance tonight will probably go a long way toward whether or not he starts game 1. I’m not sure what I want in that regard… I hope the Phils get homefield, and that I will be able to walk to game 3 with the Phils up 2-0!

  8. Manny

    October 1, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Oh man… cmon Clifton, I wanna see you shut them down for the next 6 innings.

  9. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    CO Joe – So does everyone have Rox fever there or does the town forget baseball once the Broncos season begins?

  10. Jeff

    October 1, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Lee is worrying me a little. Whats up with Bako with these interferance calls.

  11. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Well at least the Braves are gone from W.Card contention. At least I think so. I wouldn’t want to face the Braves pitching for 5 games.

  12. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    man has there ever been a batter with a more obvious tell than feliz bailing on a slider. still has been playing well.

  13. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    yes j-reed the Braves are toast. Rockies won today and sealed the deal. I kind of wish they would pass the Dodgers, i’d rather face L.A in the first round.

  14. Andrew

    October 1, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I was trying to not watch and take a break tongiht but I am tuned over. Glad chase is off would like him to get another day off too maybe pinch hit.

  15. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    good no tomahawk chop….I can wait 6 more months to see Jair Jurgins. If the the Mets stay healthy, the Marlins don’t replace the entire team with 10 cents a game Dominicians, and the Nats. learn a modicum of baserunnung and fielding, it will be a pretty tough division next year. If the the Nats. get some pitching then it will be a brutal division

  16. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    finally a dp from the MLB GIDP leading Astros

  17. Colorado Joe

    October 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Having lived in Philly till age 30, (36 now) I am surprised at how many people are talking about the Rockies. It is more of a baseball town in Denver than I would have thought before I arrived. People care more about the Broncos than the Rockies, but I saw plenty of Rockies stuff being worn even before the Rockies turned around their season. I have half-heartedly adopted the Rockies as a second team, except when they face the Phils. I wish I had been in Philly when the city got off the championship snide. There is a place called Pat’s Steaks in Denver which is a very cool Philly sports bar. It’s a good place for Penn State games, Eagles games and especially the Phillies for playoff games. The place was electric when the Phils won last year. Colorado is beautiful enough to have lots of transplants, including people from Philly.

  18. Andrew

    October 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    The mets suck and are losers
    Staying healthy has nothing to fo with it.

  19. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    CO Joe – how cold does it get there?

  20. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    j reed; back at the beginning of the year during spring training I think it was Manuel that was talking about Feliz who was coming off of off-season back surgery and Charlie stated that he thought that Pedro might improve at the plate in the coming season and hit 20-25 home runs and increase his RBI production. Looks like Feliz came up a bit short of that expectation.

  21. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Maybe we should let Francisco lead off all the time?

  22. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    that was a hell of a play by Tejada…now that he is off the juice and slimmed down a bit I guess he is more mobile.

  23. Colorado Joe

    October 1, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    J Reed, last winter we had less snow in downtown Denver then there was in Philly. Two years ago winter was pretty harsh however with some significant blizzards.. Snow starts later in the year but ends later as well. The weather changes can be abrupt in a single day. There is a saying out here that if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour cause it will change.

    I don’t like that our offense has done nothing against a pitcher who has done so poorly this year. I think when the playoffs start people can and will get hot. I hope so anyway.

  24. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    MikeB. – yeah I’m still happy with his performance esp. earlier in the year when he was hitting for contact. Both he an ruiz really helped the offense when they had to make-up for the putrid staring pitching. Still I’d wet my pants and mule drugs for the Mexican mafia if we picked up CHONE FIGGINS who’ll be a free agent in 2010. Also ADRIAN BELTRE is available. Maybe he and Ichiro were watching Ibanez celebrate last night. Afterall the Marniers, Rangers and A’s should write a book “How to Gift Wrap a Division for the Angels”

  25. Manny

    October 1, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Oh. No.

  26. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I think Feliz will be back personally.

  27. "Runt"-- Jim Hoffmann

    October 1, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    J reed —- I also like Chone Figgins…. a really solid leadoff man and good third baseman. Also, a switch hitter. Move Rollins to Feliz’ seventh spot and we will strengthen our overall lineup and take pressure off Jimy.

  28. teejvee

    October 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Another horsebleep outing for Lee.
    Very disappointing.
    There just ain’t nuthin there IMO.
    Gets ripped.

  29. joedad

    October 1, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I’d take Figgins in a heartbeat but want no part of Beltre. He had one good contract year and has been average since then. I’d rather have Pedro for another year.

  30. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    joedad – off hand, do you how well Feliz and Beltre match-up fielding wise?

  31. joedad

    October 1, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    No I don’t.

  32. "Runt"-- Jim Hoffmann

    October 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I hope the Phils get a better utility player than Bruntlett next year. This guy has no bat. He really is a minor leaguer.

  33. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Runt – my thoughts exactly. also Figgins fielding stats are a mile long…he’s the ultimate swiss army knife of utlility men. Do you think we might aquire him?

  34. joedad

    October 1, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Hit submit too early. No I don’t but based on your question I assume Beltre is better.

    My assessment is based on him having a monster offensive year followed by a monster contract and being a dud since then. I can’t trust a player like that.

  35. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Adrian Beltre’s production really dropped off this year. Only played 107 games. Maybe he was out injured on the DL this year but I do not know for certain what all has gone on with him this season. Just 30 years old. Maybe a change of scenery would do him good. Figgins would be a great addition to the Phils. No knock on Feliz but would be nice to have a third baseman in the future with consistent production at the plate, maybe ten or more home runs than Feliz has and without a drop off in defensive play. Some one who hits into less DPs and does not swing at so much junk.

  36. charlie

    October 1, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    What the hell is wrong with Cliff Lee? Is his arm dead after 200+ innings this year? His last decent game was against the Nats at CBP.

  37. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    joedad – i was going on Marniers rep. for being a good fielding team. I’ll check, not much going on in this game unless your rooting for the stros

  38. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Feliz’s career Fielding Pct at 3rd is .964 while Beltre’s is .957, not a huge difference.

    Factor in that Beltre is 4 years younger, has a career batting average 16 points higher and almost twice as many homers in 2 more years.

    Yes Beltre had a career contract year but if you look at his numbers over the course of the last few years, discounting this year due to injury, I would take him.

    He has a cannon for an arm.

  39. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    No offense, and I like Figgins but he is not the answer. He can get on base for average and steal, I guess if you want to sign him so you have a real lead off hitter then so be it but in 6 full seasons he has 31 total home runs. His fielding is about the same as what you would get from Beltre. And he is 1 year older than Beltre, 3 years younger than Feliz.

  40. DC

    October 1, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Cliff Lee is either really dominant or really crappy. There seems to be no in between (well, I guess you could say tonight was the first in between since he came here). I’m scratching my head over this one. I hope he is dominant in the playoffs.

  41. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    thanks Ed R. …. I agree, I’d take Beltre….shoot the Marniers are usually stocked with good players i mean look what happens when they leave there!

  42. joedad

    October 1, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I just checked on baseball-reference… he has 4 gold gloves in a row so I am sure he is a solid fielder.

    Figgins is a legit leadoff hitter, something this team hasn’t had since Dykstra??? The Phils have some salary coming off the books but have some raises to pay out next year so they might need to resign Feliz.

  43. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I have always been a Beltre fan. He would own the left field wall if he came here I assure you. Probably 25-30 bombs a year, easy.

  44. joedad

    October 1, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Where does Lee pitch in the playoffs? Is he the #1?

  45. Andrew

    October 1, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    we dont want figgins trust me

    I like pedro esp if we win another series

  46. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    The Phils hold an option on Feliz so he is theirs if they want him.

  47. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Lee has not pitched up to expectations for most of September. The Phillies should pitch him third behind Hamels and Blanton in the playoffs. No telling now from his recent performances how he is going to pitch in the post season.

  48. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Lee is slated to be the number 1 as he would pitch Wednesday on normal rest.

  49. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Beltre has won two gold gloves. 07 and 08.

  50. pb

    October 1, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    didn’t get this lineup with the changes he made it should have been

    rollins
    francisco
    howard
    werth
    ibanez
    feliz
    bako
    bruntlett
    lee

  51. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I don’t mind the lineup though I do have an issue with moving J-roll out of the lead off. He is on track right now so to take him out of that seems to make no sense. But, they won the division for the 3rd year in a row. Clearly Charlie knows better than I do even if I sometimes wonder if that is really true.

  52. "Runt"-- Jim Hoffmann

    October 1, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    i would not mind seeing Brett Myers in another uniform next year. This guy should be a relief pitcher, not a starter or a closer. I wonder if he would accept the role of reliever with a huge pay cut from the Phils. He is no where near $10 million a year, which is what he will want. For that price you could get two Bret Myers talent wise who are indeed proven and proud to be relievers. Our bullpen will need an overhaul after this season. Why I like Figgins — not just because I am a runt myself, but because he is an excellent leadoff hitter who gets on base and makes everyone better because he can also streal. Rollins is not a leadoff hitter as his OBP is too low. But he would be a better player, I believe, if he were put in the lineup and allowed to be himself.

  53. Chip Snapper

    October 1, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    That’s me!

  54. joedad

    October 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Myers is too good to be a relief pitcher IMO. He has a full arsenel of pitches that can get him through the lineup multiple times. He is a number 2 on many staffs, 3 on good teams.

  55. Jeff

    October 1, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I am really suprised the Phillies did not go after this one. There should be no problem winning the rest. We could have home field which would help this year. You have three days off after our last game. Lee is really really worrying me. My buddy calls him a one hit wonder. I thought we would beat up on the astros who are just plain bad and the marlins. have the number one seed. guess not.

  56. Eric Bruntlett

    October 1, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Give me a chance coach. I know I can do it. Just give me the Jeltz.

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  58. jt

    October 1, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    whats the deal with cliff lee he isn’t looking good at all and the astros are a team he should be shuting down they suck…i not sure about him in the playoffs if he can’t shut down the astros.

  59. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Should have pinch hit for Bruntlett to try to get this game tonight. Bruntlett got five at bats with nothing to show; 3 Ks with 7 runners stranded.

  60. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Jeff – besides Cliff “where’d my two seamer go” Lee laying another egg, well at least it wasn’t a rotten one but an egg nonetheless, its the STROS, a vertiable thorn in our side. Before our 3 division tiltles, before baby jesus brought us Hamels, didn’t seem like the Stros were always keeping us from the wild card?

  61. Eric Bruntlett

    October 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    jt, poor pitch location. He could be worn down like he was last year in September. he had an extra day of rest before this start and, if he is the game 1 pitcher, will have an extra day of rest. Hopefully that and a shot of adreniline from the crowd and his first playoff game will be what gets him going again.

  62. joedad

    October 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I want to see a Bruntlett walk off

  63. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    mikeB. – while bruntlett is not a great player, it’s pretty difficult to have not seen major league pitching for a month and not struggle.. A struggling Stair or Dobbs would be different because that ‘s what their job is, too come off the bench cold and hit.

    Yo Feliz making a case for another year…Like it!

  64. jt

    October 1, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    they should of pinch hit utley for cairo but o’well would of been something if they did come back.

  65. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Well, on a positive note, they got 13 hits tonight but on the downside, did not get the two or three clutch hits when they needed them with runners on base. Some regulars were rested which may benefit them in the playoffs. Bruntlett for the Jeltz which might be too easy or unfair to award because most would expect that he probably would not do much at the plate, so then the Jeltz could go to Lee or Werth. Werth grounded out earlier with the sacks loaded.

  66. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Lee gets the Jeltz, it’s time for the 08′ Cy Young to show up….

  67. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Jreed; yeah, I understand that for the first four plate appearances that Bruntlett had but you just stated the case for why Brunlett should have been pinch hit for for his fifth time up.

  68. Phan in TN

    October 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    a part of me is laughing at the braves but that’s the mean, “drive-by booing” evil Phillies Phan part of me. I have one braves fan friend who is not a sister kisser and I asked him if he likes apples.

  69. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Jt – Rest means rest in my book unless your desperate…what would have happened had the game gone into extra innings.

  70. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I disagree about Feliz. The Phils could use an offensive upgrade who is consistent at the plate.

  71. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Mkie B. – like i said to Jt rest means rest. I just happen to know alot about sports physiology and training so that’s where I coming from. Alot of it has to do with neurochemistry, resetting muscle memory and rebuliding glycogen stores and neurotransmitters more so than just simple muscle fatigue.

  72. ralph

    October 1, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    My cat’s breath smells like cat food

  73. j reed

    October 1, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    mike B. – i’d really like Chone Figgins ….Feliz just always seems to redeem himself right about the time i really am giving up on him.
    Figgins has fielded every position but catcher and first base. that’s impressive…lot’s of baseball IQ comes with that versitlity. I’d take either him or Beltre , but how often do you find a guy who can play 3rd base and CF. that’s meshuggenah. Plus a legit contact lead-off guy…i get tired of hearing – “when jimmy goes, so go the Phils”…if that’s how the team works wouldn’t a heady .300 batter be a better lead-off guy than Jimmy. Besides and i’m just generalizing about power hitters, do we want another steaky power hitter if that’s what Beltre is? Sometimes it hard to tell whether a player is streaky by the basic numbers and I don’t have the time to watch alot of Marniers baseball to know their players well enough to make such a call.

  74. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    j reed; do you think that Manuael and all his coaches know and understand about sports physiology and training and do you think that they manage with all that in mind?

    My thinking is is that Jimmy Rollin’s offensive talents would be better used in the latter part of the batting order to give it more punch. The Phils could push to get Figgins and then you would have a great lead off hitter. Bringing in Beltre would not solve the lead off hitter problem. We would have a lineup of mostly all home run hitters if he were brought in. Live by the HR and die by the HR.

  75. mikeB

    October 1, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    j reed;—and that is very impressive, Figgin’s versitility, in addition to being a leadoff hitter. Phils should go for it.

  76. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 12:02 am

    mike B. – No i don’t…MLB and baseball doesn’t. They have improved upon things but you still see a rise in chronic overuse injuries when 1] peds are not pervalent anymore , at least not enough to taint any data 2] our medical technology and knowledge improves , it’s a sign that there is something intrinsically wrong with baseball’s approach to training. I’m mean the failure rate alone of propsecpts speaks volumes. Hearing phrases about pitchers like “get their arm stretched out…”What are they stretching out….ligaments? Because provided there is no restriction in a joint’s range of motion or no anatomical exceptions then it’s real easy to achieve maximum flexibility of the upper body of a professional pitcher in less that a week. Were not talking a front or full side split…even that much lower body flexibility is unecessary for the demands of baseball. This just happens to be one of litany of outragous crap that falls out of the mouth of baseball. It a complicated subject about which if your interested in let me know. Just don’t what write out a page of stuff unless your interested. And stretching out ligaments takes forever and is not advised because it compromises joint stability. Is that their actual intention , I don’t know but alot of the injuries pitchers experience is to connective tissue i.e. ligament and tendons. Bottom line the game would need alot of restructuring to change things but baseball is stubborn …it’s been doing things their way long before this information was available to them and it hard to overcome. But they did it for track and field and and track and field is way older than baseball. .

  77. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Mike B. – hell ya…and he’s a hustle player a la eckstein…philly type of guy to the core

  78. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Mike B. – peds in track and field different issue but the training methodologies are top flight

  79. Jamison Jedlicka

    June 24, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Hey, this blog was returned in a google listing on medical uniforms, it was roughly exactly what I envisaged but seeing your article I’m happy it did. Continue the excellent work

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