The Day After; Phillies Lose Ground in Race for Top Spot – Phillies Nation
2009 Recaps

The Day After; Phillies Lose Ground in Race for Top Spot

Basking in the glow of their third straight East Division title, the Phillies couldn’t quite shake the champagne hangover as they fell to the Astros, giving them a split for the series and dropping them another half game out of the race for the top seed in the National League.

Cliff Lee looked shaky early, surrendering two first-inning runs courtesy of a Lance Berkman double. Lee settled in until the sixth inning when he surrendered a two-run home-run to Tejada. Lee finished the night giving up four earned runs, on seven hits. He struck out six on the evening in 5.2 innings of work.

Both Chase Utley and Shane Victorino received the night off, with Eric Brunlett and Ben Francisco starting in their places. Francisco was the offensive star of the night, going 3-4 with two doubles. Pedro Feliz led the team with two R.B.I.’s while going 2-5.

The team looked sluggish all evening, most likely due to the lingering effects of Bud Light and celebratory champagne, but woke up in the ninth-inning, putting together a two-out rally.

Pinch-hitter Matt Stairs led the inning off with a walk before Astros closer, Jose Valverde, retired both Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez. Jayson Werth followed with a single, which was backed by Feliz’s R.B.I. double, which plated two. The Phillies eventually got the winning run to the plate however Miguel Cairo flew out to end the ballgame.

After a roller-coaster month of baseball, the Phillies earned the opportunity to take a few breaths and rest. However, despite clinching the division, there is still meaningful baseball left to be played. Home-field advantage is still in play and we all know how important that can be, as the Phillies were undefeated at home in the 2008 playoffs en-route to their second World Series title in the team’s history.



  1. karen

    October 1, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    It was definately a crappy game but honestly, after last night……they did better than I thought. I am unsure about Lee…I am hoping he was just not his best. I would love to see Cairo on the postseason roster…honestly, Bruntlett is just not good.

  2. Harry Kalas

    October 1, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I just got back from the game a little while ago . Spur of the moment thing.. Got a great deal from a scalper. It didn’t feel or sound like a sell out much after pre-game. Cliff Lee was a little disapp. I thought five inn was enough… But of course that’s easy to say after the fact. I’ll keep it positive. I called for a three run hr from Bruntlett. And my “lady friend”and everyone around us called me a nut job. He did hit it hard though… I like that Ben Fran guy in the lineup and in the #1 spot too..Keep dreaming though…. Teams always say after they clinch that they’re still going to play hard. blah, blah, blah… We still want the #1 seed. blah, blah, blah…. I learned that “There’s no sex in the Champagne Room” in college. The Chris Rock video a coulple of yrs or so later only rubbed it in. Look at how the Cards played the first few games after they clinched… That’s why I think the LA Dodgers will rebound against the Rockies this weekend… Chalk this one up to the Champagne Phillies Nation and let it go…..

  3. Ed R.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    The Dodgers have owned the Rockies this year. We are one game up on the Cards but technically it is two because of the head to head tie breaker. Personally I would have started everyone tonight, if we won, I would bench some guys tomorrow and see what happened. If the Dodgers won I would then rest some more on Saturday(even though I will be there) and then play everyone in the season finale to keep them fresh. But for once, I am going to let Charlie do his thing and not second guess. He deserves that much.

  4. T Mac

    October 2, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Charlie Manuel was definitely not playing to win tonight – sitting Victorino, Utley, and Ruiz. Worse than this was not pinch hitting for Bruntlett in the 8th with two on and two out – why not put in a real hitter there (maybe even Utley). Home field advantage is critical, but Charlie managed this game like it doesn’t matter.

  5. mikeB

    October 2, 2009 at 12:25 am

    T Mac; yeah, I think so too. Resting his regulars is going to be his priority and getting home field advantage will be second to that. Kind of get the feeling that the Phils have no problem with having to play the first two games in LA, if they get to play the Dodgers, because of their good road record and warmer. dryer weather in LA as compared to Philly.

  6. Harry Kalas

    October 2, 2009 at 12:52 am

    I respectfully disagree… I had more confidence with this lineup then I would’ve had with the regulars… Shane has been struggling big time…Charlie has been clawing for the chance to get him some time off to clear his head…And to hopefully re-light that fire… Chase, not really an exp needed here….He’s a tough guy that never complains….But the locker room knows that this guy is hurting bad…. And remember Ruiz just got back…no need to over due it…see Brett Myers…Bruntlett is going to be on the roster…he needs abs….thus the 2nd in the lineup…. Lee pitching to go along w/ Ryan, Jimmy, RAUUUULL, Werth, Benfran and Dobbs…should’ve been enough to beat this Astro ball club… Champagne always wins….. Chuck’s mistake is that he didn’t give his bench guys more abs/playing time during the season…See game 2 of the DH against the Marlins…

  7. Harry Kalas

    October 2, 2009 at 12:55 am

    I meant Feliz, Dobbs PH later in the game…Bako has been hitting well lately…

  8. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 1:24 am

    If players need rest, esp. Ut who is a poster child for overtraining, then what makes anyone think they will be any better if they grind out another game? And Cairo and Francisco are good…Francisco fielding aint pretty but it gets the job done. Is the knock on Cairo his fielding? I don’t know if he’s a liability in field or not. Anyone know. Giving Brunlett the Jeltz is lame. He’s either a] not good enough to even be considered or b] doesn’t have enough playing time to have any measure of credibility. Blaming a sub par bench player who hardly plays is the definition of a scapegoat.
    Sound more like alot of people scared not to call it like they see it: this was the staff ace’s time to reassure us that he has what it takes….we’re not talking a blip on the radar screen but several consecutive bad outings. With our Band-Aid Pen he needed to show that he can go at least 7 with a minimum of 3 ER. That’ why i thought madson save tuesday night was so important…a glimmer of hope that BP had an anchor that could hold the line when we really need it. Other than the middle of their line-up posing a legit threat, I find it distressing that he couldn’t handle the Astro’s for more innings and kept them to at least 3 earned runs. He left the game after a 5 and 2/3rds innings, gave up 4 runs, 3 earned and left the game with men on base. Tonight’s performance was in of itself not bad but in the context of several bad starts for a post-season team with a troubled BP, it was nothing short of horrid.

  9. Jeff

    October 2, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I get a little upset by hearing media and fans saying rest, rest, rest. We are fighting for a world series again. They will have rest. Sunday is there last game. They will have 3 days off. Thats alot. Right now you have the top record right there. Thats huge. I heard someone say well Utley needs a day off. He is tired. I am not a baseball player. I do not make the kind of money these guys make. I work a full time job. 50 hours a week. I also work a part time job teaching cooking classes to make extra money. I work close to 70 hours a week. There are days I come home and cant move. I wish I can take a day off but I have to support my family. I would mind sitting on a field making a handful of plays and earning 30 million. I am sure they can get through it. Sorry to complain just tired of hearing that word. REST.

  10. Keith

    October 2, 2009 at 1:29 am

    get some rest Jeff 😉

    go Phillies!

  11. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 1:39 am

    i saw some clips of Chan Ho pitching on the news…i miss his two seamer. Also it was important for the staff ace to take the game over so the position regulars could rest, that is we wouldn’t need ask the offense for a bail out with guys who have sat so long on the bench that the wood has been contoured in the shape of their asses.

  12. JeffR

    October 2, 2009 at 1:44 am

    If there’s a silver lining it’s that hopefully that will be the last time we ever have to watch Eric Bruntlett bat in a Phillies uniform. Cairo smoked two balls and I don’t see any drop-off in the field. I don’t get the ‘needing rest’ thing either for position players other than catcher. They bat 4 times a game and basically stand around in the field for about an hour a day.

  13. mikeB

    October 2, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Yeah, Lee or Werth would have been a more reasonable pick for the Jeltz. The Phillies would be smart in picking Cairo over Bruntlett for the post season roster. I have nothing against Bruntlett and I feel sorry for the guy but his abilities have gone downhill since last season. I know that he has not had much playing time this year and has not had that many at bats but at this stage of the game I think that Cairo would be more prepared going into the post season because of his getting more at bats playing regularly at the AAA Iron Pigs and has prior MLB experience too.

  14. Harry Kalas

    October 2, 2009 at 2:30 am

    jreed… 1. Your no carpenter dude. I don’t care what you say. 2. Comment on Lee is exactly correct. Tonite’s game was all about Lee. And he pretty much bombed… That 2 run shot he gave up to MT after we cut the their lead to 2-1 deflated the stadium…. We actually left after the 7th…. The Astors were 5-13 in their last 18 games coming into this series. And like the Brew Crew, they threw out the “perfect rotation” for us to kill them with. But the O was up and down, and streaky like always…..No way Vic would’ve had a better line than what Ben Fran did tonite… I’m sorry Jeff, but I disagree on Utley. This guy is batting about .200 for the month….We gotta have this guy rested and ready for the playoffs. Anything can happen, but I’m not high on the likely hood that we go back to back. We won it all in 08, and we avoided disaster by not pulling an 2007 Mets. I don’t know what to make of our pitching situation… I really don’t… But at least we’re not the only NL ps team w/closer starting problems…Maybe that and the exp will help fill in the gaps. A Hail Mary? I know…..

  15. Harry Kalas

    October 2, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Cairo is making a good case from himself. Is there anyone else on this roster than can play SS besides Beard?

  16. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 2:50 am

    Jeff – there are different type of fatigue. I’ve put in those type of hours as carpenter and would go to welding class after spending all day baking in the sun all day only to to put on my welding leathers, thick ass heavy gloves, welding shield and stare at a puddle of molten metal for four hours. No air condtioning in that little concrete prctice booth.
    But do you like errors, lots of strike outs, bad decision making, a team that looks flat…well these are symptoms of central nervous system fatigue. Baseball is a techincal/speed sport and both technical and speed workouts stress the CNS more than other workouts/athletic attributes i.e. strength, endurance (aerobic and anaerobic), flexiblity. Concentration, perception of fast moving stimuli and maximum recuirtment of fast twitch muscle fibers’ motor neurons needed to sprint, react to a fast moving stimulus like a pitched ball or line drive, swing a bat all require alot from the CNS and CNS needs neurotransmitters (adrenaline) to do this. The demands of the season eventually take its toll and it gets harder for unrested players to rebuild the body’s neurochemistry which results in prolonged slumps, errors, bad decision making, etc. If it gets depleted enough you will see players drag ass…just like they put in a full forty hours of manual labor…their dopamine levels are on empty….at that point its like your on thorazine. As it is MLB is ass backwards in regards to sports science so whether or not managers understand and employ these ideas i don’t know. But it’s reasonable to assume they eventually see the players dragging tail or by process of elimination of trying different things to fix poor performance eventually rest their players. Unfortunately they are professional athletes and were not. Just remember that quite a few of them but certainly not all of them aren’t exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer and outside of sports are as useless as t*ts on a nun. If you want them to repeat though, they need rest.

  17. Pingback: » Phillies Lose Final to Houston, Lee Shaky in Playoff Tune-up |

  18. george55

    October 2, 2009 at 6:08 am

    pretty sad that the NL’s most prolific offense (on paper) can’t muster more than 3 runs against a 3-11 opposing pitcher. 16 LOB. 16 LOB. 16 LOB. 16 LOB. That says it all. Houston only had 6. And Lee now seems VERY hittable……great tune-up, guy. What, are you experimenting with different pitches? Little late if you are.
    Still in a funk…..that’s a great way to be going into the playoffs. There is still home field advantage to play for!! Guess they don’t mind playing the first games in other teams ballparks. I see an early playoff exit…that’s an easy one to call.Just someone else’s turn for the ring. Baseball gods are fickled that way.

  19. Jeff Y.

    October 2, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Let the reserves get some at bats. We’ll need them in the playoffs.

  20. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Supposedly Romero had soreness in his arm while throwing Friday and Park also cut a rehab appearance short due to discomfort in his hammy. This all according to CSN Philly.

  21. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 7:09 am

    scratch that, it was discomfort in his forearm. Not his hammy.

  22. Dhall

    October 2, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Does anyone know what’s wrong with Lee? He was lights out when he first came over, and since then he’s been pitching like crap. I don’t need lights out again, just something in between. I was at the game last night, but I couldn’t tell if it was location or bad pitch selection or both. Heck, maybe the problem is Bako…I don’t know.

  23. teejvee

    October 2, 2009 at 8:53 am

    The problem is that he leaves way too many pitches in the middle of th eplat.

  24. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Lee’s problem is location. In his first few games he was painting the corners up down, inside outside. Now he is getting hittable pitches over the heart of the plate and hitters are teeing off. My guess is that he is tired because he had similar problems last September. I hope the adreneline from the crowd and from his first postseason will be what he needs to get over the hump.

  25. Phan in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 9:11 am

    i need j reed to explain plate techtonics to me now since he teeters on the precipice of omniscience.

    What stupefies me is that this blog site is chock full of geniuses who are experts on almost everything about the Phillies and Charlie Manuel is not using this brain trust.

    go figure

  26. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Phan, are your lips getting tired reading j reed’s post? Lots of big words there.

  27. george55

    October 2, 2009 at 9:16 am

    To Dhall: he forgot to get a re-fill on his roid pills, dude.

  28. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 9:22 am

    It’s ok… we should, however, let all the regulars play tonight and win this one. Rest, play, rest, play.. you don’t want your big bats to forget how to swing!

  29. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Dodgers magic number for home field throughout is 2. Phils magic number for the 2 spot in the NL is 2.

  30. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Chase Utley said that he was going to try to convince Charlie to give him a day off tonight… you know that all of those guys would have died for the day off. Weds night was probably a wild night for our Phightins… I’m not worried about Lee. I’m sure that he was a little bit unfocused out of the gate; this will be his first trip to the postseason so he has a right to celebrate. Plus, he knew he was working with a hung over group of misfits and was likely not very confident at the onset that he would get the win (when you’re not confident, bad things happen). He was good once he settled in and made one mistake (the HR he gave up to Miguel Tejada, who might as well be nicknamed Dave Montgomery because he owns the Phils… a career .434 hitter against the Phils to go along with a career average of .424 at the Bank).

    Not good to hear that Romero and Park are likely heading to the shelf…

    The Phils are going to take 12 pitchers into the postseason. Here’s how I see it:

    Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Martinez
    RH Relievers:
    Condrey, Durbin, Kendrick, Lidge, Walker
    LH Relievers:
    Happ, Eyre, Escalona

    It stinks because I would rather see Happ start but if Romero’s done, there’s not way that we can go into the playoffs with Eyre and Escalona as our only lefthanders in the pen…

  31. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Utley was going to try to convince Charlie to give him the day off LAST NIGHT… which he did, obviously.

  32. LH

    October 2, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I wonder if Eric Bruntlett took extra batting practice during this week in anticipation of playing. He swung at ball three and ball four pitches multiple times last night, while being guilty of absorbing half of the team’s LOB, ugh. But Chase needs his rest and we all wish Andy Tracy played other than first or third. We won’t have Bruntlett to kick around any more after this year, (no solid source just assuming), and luckily overall we haven’t seen him that much. When you have the best in Chase the rest looks paltry. Tonight’s Fact: The fans, I, and Eric will be there, the Fanatic will be there, Harry will be there, and probably Bruntlett will there too.

    The Dodgers are a heart beat away in the standings but I don’t see how we can catch up to them unless we have a few good pitched games. And Charlie will be inserting a number of relief pitchers to solidify his post season pitching roster, while keeping his starter’s innings short. But who knows with a few good pitches, some good swings, and Dodger loses the NL leader results may be different. The Phillies crowds are a sight to behold especially in the post season. It’s a factor which can cause flustering mental mistakes like the Brewers and Dodgers incurred last year. But the Phils away record gives one to pause. I guess I’m being greedy and want more home games with a greater chance of a winning a series at home plate.

  33. LH

    October 2, 2009 at 9:46 am

    ‘The fans, I, and Eric will be there’ – my son has the same first name as our infamous utility player

  34. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Chuck, you left Madson off your list. I don’t think Walker makes the roster.

  35. Rich

    October 2, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Does anyone have confidence in any member of the Phillies bullpen right now except maybe Madson and Eyre? Condom, Walker, Myers, Durbin, Lidge, Kendrick, Escalona…these names don’t exactly exude confidence nor instill fear in the opposition. Quite the opposite…it’s like ringing the dinner bell!

  36. Phan in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 10:14 am

    i have alot of confidence in Condom.

  37. Phan in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I believe the bullpen should be ribbed for our pleasure.

  38. Bob Kahn

    October 2, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Gosh, a lot of you guys really blow with the wind. If the Phillies win a game we are invincible and if we lose we are trash!
    If the other team hits we have bad pitchers, if we hit we have great hitters. If the other team doesn’t hit we have great pitchers and if we don’t hit we have bad hitters.
    Fact is there is another team out there – they have professional players and sometimes they have a good pitcher or good hitter. The Astros have higher BA than the Phillies. Without HRs the Phillies will lose against the Astros. No HRs we lose, its simple.

    Just chill, we won the division, we probably won’t win the WS – not because we have a bad team but because there will be 8 good teams going for it. Doesn’t mean we can’t have fun along the way.

  39. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I have lots of confidence in Happ in the bullpen ..

  40. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Thanks, joedad… I thought that list seemed a little off. I guess that it comes down to Durbin or Walker and that’s not an easy decision. Walker has been really shaky lately but Durbin hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire, either. Our bullpen is a group of misfits right now. Our bullpen was our strength in 2008 and now it is clearly our biggest problem… go figure.

  41. bob

    October 2, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Starters-Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Martinez
    Bullpen-Condrey, Durbin, Kendrick, Lidge, Madson, Eyre, Happ, Escalona (?)

    This is assuming the injuries will shelf Romero, Park and Myers for a while.

    Just my opinion, I wonder if I am missing anyone?

  42. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I’d take Walker over Durbin… And if Pedro is going to start in the playoffs, let him get the final start of the season and see if he’s sharp… cause if not, Happ should start in the playoffs instead of him… the guy has a 2.85 ERA for the SEASON for god’s sake!

  43. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I doubt they’ll give nods to Escalona or Kendrick over Brett Myers

    I think if Happ goes to the bullpen, Escalona is the odd man out.. with Brett Myers getting in

    Happ, Kendrick, Condrey, Lidge, Myers, Madson, Eyre, Durbin

  44. bob

    October 2, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Just gotta hope that we get the quality (and playoff quality for this group is 7+ innings) starts from Lee, Hamels, Blanton and Pedro. It seems that with the injuries Happ needs to be our lefty out of the bullpen.

    This team will hit and they will pitch. Hopefully Charlie can get the good matchups out of the pen when the time comes.

    I have faith in this group, despite the injuries and question marks. This can do this and are not the only team with problems. Even the mighty Yankees have questions in their rotation.

  45. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 10:36 am

    And Escalona??? The guy has barely pitched for us lately, I don’t think Charlie even wanted him to pitch in close regular season games… so I do not see him making the playoff roster. With Happ and Eyre we are set for lefties… Eyre the situational one, and Happ the “Romero” one that can pitch to both lefties and righties…

    Myers > Durbin > Escalona.. that’s how I see it.

  46. bob

    October 2, 2009 at 10:38 am

    For the record I think that Happ should start but with a lack of lefties and Happ being more than capable of throwing out of the pen, it may be Pedro as the #4.

  47. bob

    October 2, 2009 at 10:39 am


    I am assuming that Myers is down right now. If healthy he certainly would be in there over Escalona

  48. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 10:41 am

    The 12 probably are:

    Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Martinez, Happ, Madson, Lidge, Eyre, Myers, Condrey…

    …and 2 of the following 3: Kendrick, Durbin, Walker. (I’d leave out Durbin, cause Walker can do the same job and probably better… and we need KK for long relief).

  49. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Manny… I agree with everyone that thinks Happ DESERVES to be in the rotation..

    But Romero is hurt… Eyre has thrown to a total of 4 batters in the past 2 months.. and Escalona ain’t the guy I trust in a pressure situation

    Considering Happ would be the #4 starter anyway.. (Maybe two total starts in the entire postseason??) .. Both Happ AND the Team would be best served with him in the bullpen for late-game, pressure situations.. because he can handle them

  50. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I agree, bob.. based on his performance, Happ should start no questions asked… that’s why I think it’s important to give Pedro one more shot starting and see how he performs..

  51. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 10:46 am

    You’re right Don, I was hoping Romero would make a comeback but that’s not gonna happen… Happ would be more useful in the bullpen… he could even close a game or two.

  52. Chuck

    October 2, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I can’t see Escalona on the roster. And Walker will probably be on it.

    Happ will be JUST FINE in the pen.

    If Myers is healthy then he probably is on it and not Kendrick. But Kendrick, IF he pitches like he has been, might not be the worst of the bullpen worries (refer to closer issues, specifically Lidge, Brad and Madson, Ryan).

  53. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 10:50 am

    That’s all this is about… obviously they know that Happ carried them this season.. and that he and Blanton were their two steadiest pitchers.

    But its time for the TEAM now.. which is why Lidge is no longer the Closer, and why Happ will be in the bullpen

    Personal stats don’t mean anything now, its time to win every game.. and you can’t do that without a reliable LHP in the bullpen

  54. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Escalona has to be on the roster… I don’t see how you can go into the postseason with just Eyre and Happ as your lefthanded relievers. Eyre is coming off of injuries and Happ has to be ready to go in case Pedro implodes. You almost have to have a third lefthander, don’t you?

    The fact that the Phillies brass have been making it very clear that they don’t feel like Myers is ready leads me to believe that they’re posturing towards leaving him off the roster.

    4 Starters – Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Pedro
    5 RH Relievers – Madson, Lidge, Condrey, Durbin, Kendrick, Walker
    3 LH Relievers – Happ, Eyre, Escalona

    13 position players:
    Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Chooch, Raul, Vic, Werth, Ben Fran, Bako, Dobbs, Stairs, Bruntlett (punt)

  55. Chuck

    October 2, 2009 at 11:40 am

    I’d put in Cairo over Bruntlett.

  56. Bruce

    October 2, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Since there is speculation here about the playoff roster for the Phillies, here is one from Phila. Inquirer…

    “Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has a few more days before he sets his rotation for the National League Division Series but the early word in Philly is that Pedro Martinez(notes) won’t be on the list, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    Martinez, brought in mid-season to give the Phils an extra boost toward the postseason, told reporters his last start, an unimpressive four-inning outing in which he allowed six hits and three runs, was a “tune-up” for the postseason. But it’s looking like Manuel may choose rookie J.A. Happ(notes) over Martinez in the first round if the opponent is the Colorado Rockies.

    Lefty Happ, who is in the running for Rookie of the Year, pitched well against the Rockies on Aug. 5, when he shut them out and struck out 10.

    It’s looking like the rotation in Philly will be Cliff Lee(notes), Cole Hamels(notes), Joe Blanton(notes), and Happ. But Martinez could make an appearance in the second round if the Phils get that far.”

    Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

  57. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    and then they would switch that to Happ bullpen for the NLCS if they got there.

    Ruben Amaro was on the radio this morning hinting that Happ showed a great outing vs. the Rockies … Lee never started a postseason game before.. and Hamels has great postseason numbers

    so expect Hamels to be the #1 for the Playoffs

  58. Chuck

    October 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I agree that Hamels should be #1…for the fact that he has been good in the playoffs. And the fact that, not only has Lee not seen the playoffs, but also because of his RECENT stretch of bad outings. If Lee was pitching consistently like he did his first 5 outings then maybe it would make sense to make him #1. But Hamels has turned it on and I have confidence that he needs to lead this thing off.

  59. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I hope that Happ gets the nod…

  60. Brian of CO

    October 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    FYI, Lee was charged with 3 ER’s not 4 ER’s.
    Philadelphia IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
    Lee, Cl (L, 14-13) 5.2 7 4 3 1 6 1 3.22

  61. Brian of CO

    October 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I can see Hamels being #1 in the playoffs because he has Playoff experince and was wicked in the playoffs, but to say Lee shouldnt be because of his “RECENT stretch pf bad outings” I think partially contradicts some of the reason to have Hamels as #1, seeing how Hamels has had struggles the entire season. He has had some wicked starts, but hasnt necessarily not struggled. I think we all thought Hamels was back when he went for what 19 shutout innings? But following that he has had some struggles. If you want to use recent struggles as a barometer, Blanton or Happ would be #1, but I dont see that happening. I believe if you left it at Hamels #1 because of his post season experience, and quality in the post season, with Lee as #2 because of no post season experience, would be a dead on statement IMO.

  62. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Lee’s got an ERA of like 6 over his last 7 starts .. can’t start him game #1 off the playoffs

  63. Brian of CO

    October 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    In those last 7 starts, Lee has given up more then 4 runs on 3 of those starts. He hasnt been awesome or lights out since the first 4 starts, but looking at those 7 starts, Lee has had 3 BAD outings, the other 4 at least being workable. I am still happy to have him as the #2, for me based on no post season experience.

  64. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Blanton (has thrown 7 innings ONCE in the past month) and Happ haven’t been lights-out either over their last few starts..

    Lee has been REALLY bad a few times recently.. but you place guys in a postseason rotation based on a few things..

    Some guys never handle big games situations real well (CC Sabathia..) but Hamels has proven before that he can .. which is enough to give him the nod over Lee, especially considering that Lee hasn’t pitched that great lately

    Its not a slap in the face.. its going on numerous factors..

  65. Chuck

    October 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Doesn’t matter if Hamels “has had struggles the entire season.” It’s what he has done LATELY that really matters….and coupled with Lee’s bad outings it makes sense to have Hamels #1. AND he has playoff experience….REALLY GOOD playoff experience.

    If Cliff Lee was 10-1 instead of 7-4 and his ERA was well under 2, then maybe there’s an argument.

  66. Brian of CO

    October 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Again Don M, I agree having Hamels #1 based on his post season experience. But some others are acting like Lee sucks, and Hamels is lord and savior and has been awesome this season. Hamels has the post season experience. Thats it, and agree with having him as #1 based on that. To me he has been a disappointment over all this season. Look at the last 10 starts. Hamels 26 ER, Lee 28 ER. Not to mention to say Hamels hasnt struggled “recently” is a bit of a stretch. In the last 3 starts, Lee and Hamels have given up the same amount of Earned Runs. Hamels was 6, 4 and 1 (most reason on) Lee has been 3, 7 and 1. They have both struggled. Thats my point. My point is NOT that Hamels should not be #1, or that Lee has NOT struggled. As I said Lee has struggled, Hamels should be #1, but to say Hamels hasnt struggled, is giving him a free pass. Thats my point.

  67. Justin

    October 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    God, Walker better not be there. Pedro would make more sense in the pen, given the brevity of his outings, and Bruntlett should just be given the wrong time about when the bus is leaving.

  68. Brian of CO

    October 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    “It’s what he has done LATELY that really matters”

    Hamels has given only 2 less runs in the last 10 starts, and has given up the same amount of runs in the last 3 starts. Is that recent enough Chuck? Hamels should be #1 based on Playoff Experience. I am not certain how you can argue that Hamels has been great “LATELY” and Lee has had “bad outings” if you look at the last 3, or maybe even 7 starts. They BOTH have had good outings, and both have had “bad outings” “LATELY” thats a fact. Based on those “facts” hamels should be #1 based on post season experience.

  69. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    After settling down last night, Lee retired 13 of 16 batters before giving up the homerun to Miguel Tejada…

    Prior to that:
    – He pitched a dud in MIL (mulligan)
    – Was really good in 4 innings against ATL before being removed due to a rain delay
    – Threw a complete game shutout against the Natinals

    So he has been mildly inconsistent but I see no reason to think that he’s going to flounder in the playoffs. Lee versus Billingsley or Jimenez… we would have the upper hand in either of those match ups.

  70. U Gotta Believe

    October 2, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Home field is important, but these players could really give a ______ about the rest of the season…They know they can win against anyone, anywhere. They are more concerned about getting rest, playing time for the bench, and setting up there rotation. Plus I love how after every loss everyone on this site goes crazy and tries to figure out what went wrong and how to blame Charlie or put the blame on one player. It is baseball, every team is going to win (1/3) of the their games (yes even the nationals) , and lose a (1/3) but it is what you do with the other (1/3) that counts. I promise you it is going to be the Phils against the Yanks in the world series, in which the Phils win it in 6.

  71. Stuart

    October 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    i want to win in 5 so its at home.

  72. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Justin, …

    Walker has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the second half this year out of the bullpen .. so if he makes the postseason roster.. they felt he earned it

    Bruntlett is your only option for a legit middle-infield replacement.. He looked fine turning double-plays last night, and obviously if there was ever a need for him to play, we would need his defense much more than we would worry (or care) about his bat

  73. Brian of CO

    October 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    IMO, playing time for the bench is more important than trying to win. I agree that this team can beat any team, any where. It would be nice to have home field yes, but if Charlie can give his bench some playing time, it would help them to work on mechanics, and things like that. To me, the bench only serves to get better whether at the plate, or in the field with more playing time. IMO, Bako is proof of that. His AVG has risen from .190 to about .230. He even has at least 1 hit in 8 of his last 10 starts, and at 1 run is 5 of those 10 starts. He is not considered the normal starter still, Ruiz is. If other players can get better at the plate the way he has granted in the limited time we have left (4 games including last nights loss) it serves better to have starters and bench players hitting away for 1 extra game in the NLDS, then it does to have only the starters hitting well at home.

  74. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    I think that your #1 pitcher should also be someone that is willing and able to pitch on short rest… you should feel comfortable bringing this pitcher in for game 4 on short rest, if need be. That being said, I would be more comfortable with Lee… just my opinion. I would be happy with Hamels, too… he’s definitely a big game pitcher… but he’s not very durable. #1 or #2 doesn’t really matter, does it? I mean, either pitcher can be ready to pitch game 5…

  75. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    U Gotta… who is talking about the rest of the season? I don’t care where we play or who we play…

  76. Brian of CO

    October 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Up to the All Star break the Phillies biggest problem was pitching. And yet now going into the Post season, Starting Pitching is another problem. (hear me out and read the rest before you post). This time the problem is, do you have Hamels the NLCS/WS MVP from ’08 with proven post season starts (and at times struggles during the regular season of 08 as well) or Lee, the 08 AL Cy Young Winner as the #1 vs #2. Now do you have Happ, a clear case for the Rookie of the Year, true coming off an injury, but still the rest of the season, has been really good as the #3, or do you have Blanton who may not be great, but been somewhat consistent, only giving up more than 3 runs on 2 occasions in the last 10 starts, or granted he makes the post season roster, Martinez a former multiple Cy Young Winner, who has been a very pleasant surprise. Pedro is somewhat consistent it seems to give up 3 runs. Sometimes he will give up 3 runs in the first few innings, then lights out, or lights out early, and give up 3 runs, but usually pretty consistent, which for a #4 is a nice quality start. All in all this is a good arguement to have. The question is which team will show up? The team that win 13 in a ron after the all start break, or the team who got swept by Pit and Houston?

  77. SandChicken

    October 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Lee did not give up 4 earned runs. He gave up 3 earned runs. Bako’s catcher interference error with one out in the 1st inning allowed Tejada to reach, and led to the 2 runs in that inning. After that Lee cruised through the next 4 innings, until he had some control problems in the 6th.

    His pitch count wasn’t very high at that point either, and he probably could have gone 7-8 innings if his next start were not going to be a playoff game.

    Runs only on one home run, and one inning prolonged by an error. Overall I don’t think his start was bad.

  78. Amazinsux

    October 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    You could give Bruntlett 500 at bats and he’s still a .200 hitter. In his case, it has nothing to do with at bats. He just can’t hit. Period.

  79. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Good thing Bruntlett’s on our team as a Utility Player, not a pinch-hitter then..

  80. Mark B

    October 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Sorry if this was addressed earlier and I missed it – I was wondering, do we want the Rockies to sweep the Dodgers this weekend and win the NL West – would that be optimal for the Phils, assuming we do well against the Marlins.

  81. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I think you look at a team like the Dodgers.. they have been on top all year, have this pressure to win .. and they’ll choke

    Rockies are playing with house money, and are the hottest team right now … but do they really have the Starting Pitching to win in the playoffs?

    Cardinals are on a slide.. and will feel the pressure knowing that Holliday is gone after this year.. and they need to win right now

    Phillies won’t be nervous since they’ve been through this before.. and they have players that have stepped up on the big stage before.. I honestly think we’re the favorite to go to the World Series, regardless of who we play..

    Of the AL teams… I’m routing for the Angels, since I think we can both OutHit, AND OutPitch them … Yankees can outhit us… RedSox are almost our clone .. and the Tigers have FILTHY starting pitching, if they’re healthy

  82. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    People called me crazy when I said the other day that Martinez would probably be left off the playoff roster and that Kendrick would stay….

  83. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I want Hamels to start Game 1… but they’re gonna have to do something about the schedule because if he pitches on Saturday he’ll only have 3 days rest for the Oct. 7th game…

  84. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    If Kendrick makes it over Pedro.. its only for the NLDS .. and because you don’t need 4 starters for it

  85. cas

    October 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Does it even really matter if we have home field advantage? This team plays just fine on the road. But, I still don’t see us going past the first series. Too many injuries in the bullpen, too much inconsistency in the starting rotation, too many strikeouts and not a single .300 hitter in the lineup anymore. We’re slumping at the wrong time. This time last year, we were clicking on all cylinders and seemed invincible.

  86. Chuck

    October 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Actually, if you gave Bruntlett 500 at-bats he’d be a .201 hitter…at least….

    Seriously….back to Lee vs. Hamels….Hamels SHOULD get the nod over Lee because of his playoff experience. BUT….the fact that he has pitched A LOT BETTER in the past month certainly helps his case.

    If Hamels had sucked the past month in addition to his poor 2009 up to that point….then I’m not sure if he’s a #1….playoff experience or not.

  87. Don M

    October 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I’ll take a team with .270 hitters with 35 HRs everyday … makes us the most dangerous offensive team in the playoffs.. either us or the Yankees depending on who you ask

  88. beta sigma shag

    October 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I really do not know what game some of these people were watching, Lee had a bad first inning but only gave up 2 runs, then domianted for four innings, only throwing one bad pitch in the 6th. He will be fine. Saying that Cole will pitch in game one of the playoffs. He may pitch two or three innings on Saturday or not at all, I think Blanton will pitch the second game, Lee the 3rd, and depending on the if you need game 4 or not, if the Phillies are up 2-1 then probably Pedro in game 4, with Happ ready to come in from the pen. Game 4 will also depend on who they are playing, if it is a left handed dominant team you will JA I think.
    Not sure if it is a good thing that Cole will have over a week off before his start, but I really do not see Cole not on the mound for game one.

    From how I see it, the Phillies are 2 games up on the Cards because they have the head to head won so for the cards to jump us in records they have to win 2 more games if the phillies do not win any, and don’t the also have head to head advatage over LA, I know i should know that, but i do not. It would be nice to win 2 games over this weekend, but I feel it is more importent to have everything lined up for Wednesday.

    Oh and by the way I will be making the trip from Vermont for Sunday’s game against the Fish, and the first home game of wild card round of playoffs, so if it is Wednesday, that means driving to VT Sunday night, and then turning around and driving back Tuesday night after work for game on Wednesday, But I love it.

  89. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    People called you crazy because you said that Kendrick should be considered as a starter. Kendrick won’t be a starter; not a chance.

    I did a spreadsheet because I’m a spreadsheet nerd… I scored each team in the NL on a scale of 1-5 in eight categories (1-5 hitting, 6-8 hitting, 1-2 starting pitching, 3-4 SP, bullpen, bench, fielding, base running, management/experience and home adv… I gave each category a weighting and multiplied each score times each weighting to get a total score out of 5 to figure out which teams were best. In order, Philadelphia, LA, Colorado and St Louis… there you have it, see you in the World Series.

  90. Manny

    October 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    hahahah!!!! I NEVER said that!! Kendrick as a starter???? No way!! C’mon, you seriously thought I said that?

    Originally, I said: Kendrick will be in the roster instead of Martinez, but HAPP would be the 4th starter in that case (KK in the pen for long relief)…

  91. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    “Does it even really matter if we have home field advantage?”

    Well, cas… the Rockies are 51-30 at home, the Dodgers are 48-30 at home and those are the two teams we’re looking at for our first round match up. It’s not about us being comfortable as much as it is about them being uncomfortable. Most teams play better at home…

  92. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I must have misinterpreted that, Manny…

  93. Chuck

    October 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Original Chuck P….you have WAY too much time on your hands, dude…

    ……hope your spreadheet is right.

  94. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    It’s Friday… I’m actually very busy. Job, three kids (including 2 year old twins), coach (HS b-ball), very active in the community… but I’m very thorough and when I start thinking about something I do crazy things.

  95. bob

    October 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Who gives a crap who pitches game 1? It’s most likely gonna be Cliff Lee on normal rest.

    Lee and Hamels are both capable of getting the job done. You are gonna need the other pitcher in an important game 2 regardless of game 1’s outcome.

    Both are big time pitchers and I am happy to have them for this run.

  96. shag beta sigma delta

    October 2, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Hey bob as the game being very mental, especially in the playoff, game one starter does make a difference. Look at the winners of five game series’s winner of game on wins the series about 85% of the time.

  97. The Original Chuck P

    October 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I misreported the results of my spreadsheet… St Louis was third on my spreadsheet… we were first by with a total of 4.16 pts, LAD – 4.05, STL – 4.01 and COL with 3.72.

    If Hamels starts tomorrow, he’ll be our #2…

  98. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    If Lee pitches on Wednesday, it would be on one additional day rest. Friday through Tuesday is 5 days rest rather than the traditional 4. He only threw 89 pitches yesterday on 5 days rest so he should be somewhat well rested.

  99. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    CSN just reported, Romero is done for the year.

  100. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    original chuck P. – how did you arrive at your weightings….I am assuming linear weights…so how did you come about finding your coefficients? just curious

  101. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Ed R. -Knuble in a Caps. uni. Say it isn’t so.

  102. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    i knew he would be gone but not to a rival

  103. JK

    October 3, 2009 at 9:17 am

    finish the job phillies! why are you sitting key players now? you have a few days off before the playoffs anyways. dodgers are struggling and home field advantage for the nlcs was yours for the taking but now it looks like it’s too late now.

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