2014 Gameday

Gameday 56: Phillies vs. Nationals



Philadelphia Phillies (24-31) vs. Washington Nationals (27-28)

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: David Buchanan (1-1, 3.86)
WAS: Jordan Zimmermann (3-2, 4.07)

Time: 7:05, Nationals Park
Weather: Sunny, 74
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

Here’s your note tonight. The Phillies need a win and need to start a lengthy winning streak.

Lineup:  Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Byrd RF / Howard 1B / Ruiz C / Brown LF / Brignac 3B / Revere CF / Buchanan P



  1. lefty

    June 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Interesting lineup tonight. I get why you move Ben down, but Utley up to 2? I guess it makes sense, but I liked Ruiz in the 2 spot when they played without Ben before.

  2. lefty

    June 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Buchanan was clearly out.

  3. lefty

    June 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Werth gets the home call he went atound. Then hits a GR double.

  4. lefty

    June 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Buchanan is clearly no Cliff Lee.

    • Ken Bland

      June 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Kinda noticed that, too. Looks more like Walter Johnson. They seem to throw with the same arm.

      And Johnson pitched in the same city Buchannan is throwing in tonight.

  5. Ken Bland

    June 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I see Jimmy has dropped below .250. Jimmy really hs been one of the relative bright spots this year, and it wouldn’t really be like funny in a hilarious sense, but it would kinda typify the patheticness of most of this season if his average plummets to a certain point when he gets Schmidt’s total. It would just be so Phillie to have a guy at .232 as the club’s all time hit leader.

    • schmenkman

      June 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Just to get our terms straight, “Phillie” here means one of the more successful teams in recent memory, correct? (half kidding)

      Actually, that may not be so unusual. For example, Schmidt hit .203 the year that he passed Ashburn.

      • schmenkman

        June 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm

        …and Ashburn hit a very low (for him) .266 the year that he passed Delahanty.

        In any case, as long as his OBP is in the mid-.300s, it’s not as important what his batting average is.

      • wbramh

        June 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

        And .266 the year after he hit .350.
        Whitey was probably contemplating retirement after that off-year.
        If a player hits .266 today he wants to renegotiate his contract.

  6. wbramh

    June 3, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Worse yet, Jimmy finishes at .232 and still has the 4th highest BA on the team.

    My lingering fantasy after last night’s game was to bring up the entire Reading Phightins team to play against the Nationals tonight while demoting the entire Phillies team and force them to play the Harrisburg Senators.

  7. c. schreiber

    June 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    What’s the over/under tonight for hits by the P’s? What ever it is i’ll take the under!

  8. c. schreiber

    June 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Being here in Virginia I have no choice if I want to see this game but listen to their announcers. The worst ever!!

    • lefty

      June 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Yeah, I’m in the same boat. Bob Carpenter is an arrogant a”hol.

  9. Mike in NJ

    June 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Hey a lead off hitter that can lay down a bunt! Where can we get one of those?

  10. Ken Bland

    June 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Actually, the Phils are dangerously close to being no hit tonight. Here T6, their 2 hits so far are both on 0-2 pitches. Actually getting a hit on that count off a guy pitching well is really an accomplishment.

    • Scotty Ingerton

      June 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      So, they really haven’t responded to Sandberg’s “Sense of Urgency” team meeting.

      • Ken Bland

        June 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm

        I don’t know that I’d have run a successful meeting, but I don’t know that a sense of urgency would be an effective theme. I would imagine that concept was a good hear for some younger guys, but the average vet on the Phils is SS eligible, and they know this is not a talented team, so it might have been 1 ear, out another. Maybe a relax, have fun schpiel would have helped?

        The bottom line is talent levels usually win out, and the pitching they face near term probably just adds to the angst.

        Tough to predict the eventual new GM’s thinking, but in a general sense, H of F guy or not, I won’t be surprised if his desire to have his own manager plays out over a not nexessarily anything to write home about Sandberg. Kinda wonder about all the talk of how much he stresses funnymentals considering how unfunnymentally the Phils play. And all too often.

        Probably win the game 9-7 now and I’ll change my tune.

        tag: fat chance

      • schmenkman

        June 3, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        I don’t think I will ever understand the idea that if a team suddenly gets a “sense of urgency”, they will automatically get better results.

        As if 1) they didn’t have it already, and 2) if they just _tried_ harder they would do better.

        Maybe they’re just not that good. Maybe they’re in a slump, and being told to adopt a sense of urgency does not help one iota in getting out of the slump. Maybe the other team wants to win too.

      • Scotty Ingerton

        June 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm

        I definitely agree with “they’re just not that good”. As I said back in March, they’re one of the five worst teams in baseball.

      • wbramh

        June 3, 2014 at 10:21 pm

        Schmenk: You’re trying to apply logic to an illogical situation. I agree, it makes no sense that they’d have to acquire a sense of urgency but they really don’t have it. They can’t even perform basic plays that they should be able to perform by rote by the time they’re starting players on their high school team..

        I think most students of the game can sense the difference between being short on talent and being short on talent, attention and concern. I know you see it, too even if it doesn’t seem to make sense, especially when it effects an entire team. But it’s a condition that can turn into a virulent organization-wide disease and I don’t think these guys have a clue how to break out of it.

        Ashburn would have bunted his way out of a slump. These guys don’t know how to bunt.
        I don’t see the passion. I don’t see them breaking bats over the water cooler. I don’t see them running to first at full speed if only out of pure anger and frustration. And I’m sorry but it translates to either not thinking or not caring. If I were Sandberg I would demand they run out walks and fine any player who didn’t follow his orders. Everyone is expressionless and functioning in foxtrot time while the competition is playing high-energy rock and moving at the same speed.

        I’ve watched a lot of bad Phillies’ team over the last 66 years. Some of those late 50s and early 60s teams were beyond dismal but they led the league in bench-clearing rhubarbs. In other words, they never got used to losing – or being made to look even worse by the opposition. This team is in a trance. They’re far from the least talented Phillies team I’ve ever watched but I can’t think of one less fun to watch.

      • schmenkman

        June 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm

        I can probably count the words that I agree with on the fingers of one hand, but I think you probably knew that already.

      • wbramh

        June 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm

        I thought I had you agreeing with me up to at least 7 fingers.

      • schmenkman

        June 3, 2014 at 10:58 pm


        – While they play a kids’ game, I don’t want them acting like children having temper tantrums and possibly hurting themselves. That would be reprehensible IMO and grounds for demotion until they can act like a grownup.

        – The problem isn’t that they’re not trying enough, or don’t have a sense of urgency, it’s that they’re pressing and not enjoying the game.

        – They’re a mediocre team at best that’s going through a rough period. That combination can look ug-lee, like it does now.

        They’ll get through this — they won’t be good enough to compete for anything, or probably even break .500, but they will look better than this, and the change won’t have a thing to do with some lame “sense of urgency” speech.

      • wbramh

        June 4, 2014 at 12:14 am

        First of all, I agree with you about the “sense of urgency” nonsense. Hopefully, Sandberg came up with that line for the press and wasn’t trying to sell that garbage to his players.

        Second, I think you missed my point about Rhubarbs and destroying the dugout and clubhouse. I’m talking about developing an attitude that directs the frustration away from the players and onto common enemies. I’m not suggesting they necessarily have to bash water coolers or that the manager has to get into fistfights with his own players, a la Billy Martin, but they sure could use an Earl Weaver type of wake-up call. They need to get mad, direct their anger and take it out on the ball instead of the bat.

        And I don’t put it all on the players. Perhaps Sandberg is truly lost for ideas. First of all, he didn’t assemble this team, and for the first time, he’s managing players who by definition shouldn’t need a baby sitter or someone to yell at them like children who refuse to listen. I also realize that money has changed the game. When you pay your worst players 6 million a year to underperform, make bonehead plays or throw 80 mph fastballs you can’t just send them back to tending bar – or tell them to un-defect back to Cuba. You’re expected to play a JMJ or keep Ryan in the daily lineup and not dare move him out of the cleanup position until it becomes too painful not to attempt some changes.

  11. c. schreiber

    June 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Since no one set the over/under I’ll do so for us. The over/under will be 4. As I said I’ll take the under.

  12. lefty

    June 3, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    We may well have a number of years like this. Uggghh.

  13. wbramh

    June 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    If Dom hits a grounder watch him trot to first.

    • lefty

      June 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      I wouldn’t call it loafing, but certainly not Charlie Hustle either.

    • wbramh

      June 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Yep. He hit a grounder and trotted to first.
      I guess the Sandberg told everyone in that big meeting to take it easy running out ground balls. You don’t want anybody pulling a muscle hustling to a base just because you have no runs on the board.

  14. wbramh

    June 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I think this team is boring the Washington players and fans to death.
    The competition can’t even enjoy their own victories. They come too easily.

  15. Ken Bland

    June 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Look forward to zoning in o the ever popular CSN website tomorrow and checking out Corey Seidman’s new column.

    Formerly known as 5 things you need to know, I have no doubt the smart editors will be changing the title to 5 Things Yu Need to Forget.

    As another victory is scored for truth in journalism.

    tag: pretty darned good idea

  16. wbramh

    June 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Bases loaded for Byrd.
    Strikeout or fly-out to right?

  17. David

    June 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Apparently, human resource departments do not recognize “baseball-related depression” as a legitimate medical condition. At least the Phillies recognize Revere is not a leadoff hitter and moved him to number 8 in the lineup.

    The Phillies have problems but the lack of starting pitching is really killing this team right now. In the last six games, the Phillies have gotten one game resembling a quality start and that game was Hamels start on Sunday. If the starting pitcher gives up 4 runs in six innings, there is a good chance the team loses. If the starting pitcher gives up 7 runs, forget it.

  18. Morris Buttermaker

    June 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Fire Amaro!

  19. Tracey

    June 3, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Another day another disgrace

  20. Morris Buttermaker

    June 3, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    They may not fill up the Runs column, but they continue to fill up the Errors column.

  21. Tracey

    June 3, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Ricky Bo looks PISSED!

    • Mike in NJ

      June 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Ricky is going to have a stroke on live TV if they keep playing like this. If only the team cared as much!

      • schmenkman

        June 3, 2014 at 10:22 pm

        I couldn’t disagree more. I think the team cares a whole lot more than a part time TV guy.

      • wbramh

        June 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm

        I think Mike was referring to the baseball reliever and very tough competitor by the same name as that part-time TV guy. That Ricky B. would be appalled – maybe more so than the current members of the team.

      • Chuck A.

        June 4, 2014 at 6:17 am

        Do they schmenk? Do they care? I’m beginning to wonder…

  22. Tim

    June 4, 2014 at 8:30 am

    We all know that Schmek lives in a different reality than most of the rest of us.

    • schmenkman

      June 4, 2014 at 8:34 am

      That may well be (for better or worse), but the idea that they “don’t care” is just preposterous.

      • George

        June 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

        I agree that “not caring” is preposterous. I can’t think of a single person who WANTS to look like an ass.

        The Phils are playing bad fundamental baseball not because they don’t care, but because they haven’t been taught how to play good fundamental baseball. No one is born with the knowlege of what base to throw to; it has to be learned. There are different baserunning situations that have to be learned. Certain pitches need to be thrown to certain batters, and no pitcher knows which until he’s taught. Looking at the boneheaded play in recent games, one might easily conclude that the Phils’ farm system has no teachers anymore.

        It’s time to shift a little blame from players’ supposed attitudes to where that blame might really belong: the development people.

      • Lefty

        June 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

        George – I agree especially after hearing Bowa yesterday –

        “A lot of this has to do with instinct,” Bowa said. “If you don’t have good baseball instincts, you can’t teach instincts. If you don’t have it by the time you get to the big leagues, you’re not going to get it. I don’t care how much you practice. And there are some people right now showing they don’t have the baseball instincts that maybe we thought they had.”

        It sounds like he expects that the players should already know everything, and not need to be taught/coached. Sure instinct is important, but you still need instruction, and “continuing education”. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, police, managers, firemen, nurses, — everyone needs continuing education including MLB players.

      • Lefty

        June 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

        I don’t know, maybe I’m reading Bowa’s words wrong, but it still irritated me yesterday.

      • wbramh

        June 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

        Bingo, George.
        Exactly what I’ve been saying for awhile (including elsewhere in this thread).

        The inability: to bunt, to know what base to throw to, to take proper routes, to know where they are in relationship to the fence, to snap the ball back into play (rather than lob it), to watch for pick-off moves, to throw strikes (and avoid the free passes that lead to disastrous innings), to know how much of a lead to take (too long or too short), to lay off pitches, to run out a “routine” grounder (and at full speed), to keep a ball in play for a sacrifice, to erase personal bad habits, etc etc.

        All of these issues begin with good coaching and end with smart managerial decisions. This team appears to be devoid of off-field talent, from its scouting crew to its bean counters.
        Schmenkman is certainly correct when he suggests that they may not be a very talented collection of players. I agree, but it’s far worse than that. They’re also poorly coached and incapable of overcoming fixable flaws in their individual games. The fact that these players don’t do the basics by rote at this point in their careers clearly tells us that those elements of the game have never been drilled into their heads anywhere in the system. Yes, perhaps the Twins’ system was no more a help to Revere than the preparation Dom Brown received in the Phillies organization. That shouldn’t make us feel better. Rather, it underlines the fact that the Phillies talent evaluators can’t see obvious flaws in other teams’ players, either. Nor can they recognize obvious talent, as the emergence Mr. Singleton and other ex-Phillies’ prospects are dramatically proving.

        Even a team with a dearth of talent can be fun to watch. Some have even won pennants.
        This entire organization is sucking the life out of a great game.

        There should be a July fire sale for scouts, coaches, managers, GMs and owners.

      • wbramh

        June 4, 2014 at 10:39 am

        Lefty: Bowa may have been right about not being able to teach instincts but his statement contains two glaring flaws.

        1.) Good instruction and influence helps the best of players (or anyone who naturally excels in any field). We’ve seen under-talented team over-perform. including the 1993 Phillies (or the 2014 Oakland As).

        2.) Even if you can’t teach it and a player doesn’t have the instincts, how the hell did he rise through professional baseball and end up on a major league team?

        Is that the player’s fault or the sign of an inept organization?

      • Lefty

        June 4, 2014 at 10:57 am

        I completely get that instinct and athleticism play a big role in the competence of a ball player. I just don’t think it’s right to put it all on that, as if teachable moments don’t help people- ballplayers, and every other profession. So maybe it is harder to teach those that don’t possess the natural skills Larry Bowa had, but to say it’s impossible irritates the crap out of me. Why, are the coaches that lazy? If it doesn’t come natural to a player -why bother trying to teach them????

        WB gives great examples of teams that over achieve- it happens in all sports-


        Larry Bowa is not and never has been a good coach, No IMO, no IMHO about it, he’s just not. Put him back on MLB network, he was pretty good there.

  23. photoFred

    June 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

    It’s hard to think they don’t care when I recall the greeting Howard got after that come back walk off dinger that seems like it happened a month ago. That was pure joy. I think they are lost, maybe, but not indifferent.

    • photoFred

      June 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

      And, as a team, very mediocre.

  24. Mike in NJ

    June 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I’d like to see a sign that they care, like some players speaking out. I’m not suggesting they throw team mates or coaches under the bus, but I’d like to see a player during an interview express some anger or disgust with the way the team is playing, and not just some robotic platitudes.

    • George

      June 4, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Any speaking out, by it’s very nature, I believe, leads inevitably to throwing somebody under the bus. I don’t know if it’s “robotic platitudes” or just a desire not to publically blame whoever flubs up on a particular day, which could cause a clubhouse row or a media stink. As a teammate, you can’t just yell “This team stinks” and hope no one takes offense. As a teammate, you can’t put yourself above the others by expressing anger publically; you have to remember that you’re probably part of the problem, too.

      I’ve heard players say, “I should have made that play,” or “I elevated that pitch.” I think that’s better than shouting and complaining about the rest of the team and THEIR poor play.

    • Scotty Ingerton

      June 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Sort of like this?

      “I definitely didn’t come here for this.It’s going to take, in my opinion, a lot,” he said. “And in my opinion, I think it’s going to have to be something very similar to what the Red Sox went through a couple years ago. From top to bottom.”

      “No, I would like to stay here. But if I’m going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don’t want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?”

      Jonathan Papelbon – July 28, 2013

      • Lefty

        June 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        yeah, because that worked so well. 🙂

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