Here Come the Whiz Kids! Game Thread

The Philadelphia Phillies won the National League pennant in 1950, which was a major achievement. Despite the franchise having existed since 1883, it was only the second first-place finish in team history, and it was the first time that the team made it to the World Series since 1915, when the Phillies lost 4-1 to the Red Sox. In 1950, they faced the Yankees.

Of course, they got swept.

On October 14, 1980, the Phillies won their first World Series game since October 8, 1915. A week later, the franchise took home their first World Series championship ever. They proceeded to win the National League Championship in 1983, 1993, 2008, and 2009, winning another championship in 2008.

This run of success appears to have convinced Ruben Amaro that he is a good general manager who makes good decisions about things.

178 thoughts on “Here Come the Whiz Kids! Game Thread”

  1. In regards to a comment on the previous thread about overlaying the video feed with the radio feed on MLBtv, at the top of MLB’s Media Center page there’s a button that says “Access Audio Overlay with NextDef Plugin.” I don’t recall that being there since the beginning of the season, but, at any rate, that might be what you’re looking for.

  2. So did the team REALLY bench Chris Johnson for not one, but two games, because he sandwiched 4 strikeout 0’fers around a 3-hit game, dropping his batting average to a, well, not-all-that-bad-considering .244? Or do you suppose he’s been benched two days for throwing a temper tantrum, smashing something or doing something else either dangerous or stupid?

  3. Nice to clear the pitcher here, but I’d have liked Pena to put that last pitch in play. I guess he did appear to have been looking fastball, though.

  4. @8, the radio guys just alluded to a tantrum. I don’t have a problem with getting Pena in there though – he’s been a passble hitter here, and like last year, I suspect we’ll need him to round into form sooner rather than later.

  5. Alex,

    I’m with you on what to give Heyward. Also, great job on keeping the site up and running as well.

  6. Santana gives up a walk after throwing four strikes and two balls to a batter. That’s doing things a little differently.

  7. Heyward on 3B with one out, Freddie hits one back to the pitcher, who gets Heyward in a rundown. Jason doesn’t stay in the rundown long enough, gets tagged, then the catcher gets Freddie going to second.

    Edit: Well, thanks, Jimmy Rollins…

  8. Ervin Santana is stupid good. How the hell were there not a dozen other GMs willing to dump a bunch of money in this guy’s lap? Did we really sign this guy? And Aaron Harang has an ERA under 1.00? Is this all a dream?

  9. 32- Either that or Leo Mazzone stepped out of the shower and said “Good Morning!” to Bobby Cox, and we dreamed the last few years.

    Nice speed by BJ.

  10. The year of Ervin Santana’s birth, 1982, the band Santana had their last Top 20 hit until the late 90s.

    The song, titled “Hold On”, was written by a songwriter named Ian Thomas.

    There’s some weirdly bizarre and specific music and baseball trivia for you.

  11. related to the MLB.tv audio overlay issue some of us were talking about on the previous thread, near the top of this page….
    http://mlb.mlb.com/mediacenter/index.jsp?c_id=mlb
    there is a button that says “access audio overlay with nexdef plugin” I tried it and got the overlay working, but only for a minute or two at a time. I’d be interested to know if the issue lies with my computer or mlb.tv.

  12. Haha, Don and Jim talking about curveballs–to punctuate the conversation Jim says, “That’s how you and I won 324 games.”

  13. I’ve had trouble with Gameday all year; it causes Flash to crash almost every half inning. So I suspect it’s not your computer, Kruger. MLB’s programmers this year don’t care, and it shows.

  14. @40, My dream is for “Hold On” to be Ian Thomas’ entrance music in any Santana start. That’s some top shelf yacht rock.

  15. Ian Thomas’ (the songwriter) brother Dave Thomas is best know for portraying SCTV’s Doug McKenzie of Bob and Doug fame a sketch comedy about 2 hosers from the great white north.

    Ian Thomas last stop was in Winnipeg, which is dead smack in the middle of the great white north (yes, we still have snow on our lawns today, and a lot).

    If you string together all of the homers this inning, you can also get to the great white north! well maybe not, but the inning’s not over!

  16. I really enjoyed MLBtv last year, but I’ve encountered nothing but headaches this year. Last year you could manually set the quality you wanted it to stream at, but this year it is all automatic and it doesn’t work well. My Internet gets really slow at the evening progresses, and last year I could just set it to the lowest streaming option and keep watching the game. This year, it keeps jumping back to HD and therefore does not work at all on my computer. The app on my iPad will always stream the game, but it, too, is flaky. The service definitely feels like a downgrade from last year.

    @39 I can’t try it right now because it’s too late in the evening for me to stream the game on my computer, but I can install the plugin and let you know if I have any more luck than you had. If you have Twitter, you can contact MLB Fan Support about it. I have found in the past that if you complain through that venue, you get a response.

  17. Per the video from gameday, that was a classic Uggla no-doubt out-in-two-seconds homer, which has to be a good sign.

  18. I’ve subscribed to MLB.com from the get-go. This year I have been unable to view a single game. Thank God I can listen to Jim and Don, but I really would like to see Andrelton’s magic.

  19. if anyone is truly fed up with mlb.tv, I have used bosscast dot net to stream what I cannot find elsewhere. The feed isn’t great, but the price is right.

  20. Even the best non-Kimbrel arms of the ‘pen are turning each game into “Press Your Luck.” No whammies, please.

  21. What a shit show this bullpen is. There’s not one trustworthy arm before Kraken.

  22. Avilan playing the role of Pickles this evening. He has nothing tonight.

    Edit- f u Avilan and f u Fredi

  23. Is everyone else unavailable to effing pitch tonight? There was plenty of time to get someone ready after Avilan loaded the bases and clearly looked like he didn’t have it.

  24. I was saying during Ervin’s last start, insisting that everyone have a Defined Role (TM) in the bullpen is why we can’t have nice things.

    That would have been a really good spot to bring the best reliever in baseball in for. Nope. Avilan is the Lefty Setup Man (TM), ergo.

  25. good thing we have Kimbrel for the save situation against the bottom of the order next inning. wait….what?

  26. Leaving Avilan in to face the righthanded Ruiz with the bases loaded is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen a manager do.

  27. Is there a law against using your best reliever to get out of a jam in the 8th inning? Where was Kimbrel?

  28. Forget about Kimbrel. At least use a righthanded Carpenter to face Byrd. Christ. We can’t bench Fredi. He’s going to keep doing this stuff all season long.

    Edit: Byrd, not Ruiz.

  29. Season bullpen WHIP: 1.40. Non-Kimbrel bullpen WHIP: 1.53. Man, I miss the O’Ventbrel days.

  30. @116—I was thinking the same thing. This is why I hate the win rule in baseball. It’s stupid. Avilan being the Vulture tonight.

  31. Kimbrel hurting? Is pitching 3 innings the last 5 days really too much for him? Freddi predetermined not to use him today, it seems.

  32. Avilan seemed more like a wounded bird getting chased by a wolf, with the wolf somehow slipping on some wet leaves and dropping off a cliff, rather than a vulture.

  33. If we get the win, I don’t care who gets the win. Avilan won’t benefit either. If his ERA is crap, no GM is going to hand him an awesome FA deal based on his W-L.

    But in other news,

    DAN FREAKING UGGLA!!!

    Who are these people wearing Upton and Uggla jerseys? I like them!

  34. In a game like this where the lead see-saws back and forth in the last few innings, the best thing to do would be to give the win to the starting pitcher who struck out 11 in 6 innings and only gave up one run. Giving the vulture win to an ineffective reliever just makes zero sense.

  35. @132 – “Exception 1, the starting pitcher must pitch at least 5 innings to be eligible for a win. b. Exception 2, if a relief pitcher, who would normally be in line for a win, makes a “brief appearance” and is deemed ineffective, the official scorer can grant the win to the succeeding relief pitcher.”

    So the official scorer could give it to Carpenter if he so chose, but not to Santana. And I imagine that would make Carpenter ineligible for a save, but it would really be something if he was able to get a save and a win in one game.

    But anyway, considering we were the visitors, I can’t imagine the scorer gives enough of a damn who gets the win.

  36. Edit: ESPN is totally wrong, apparently. And Kimbrel has a sore shoulder. Which is bad, bad news.

  37. @143 we are doomed!!!! Is it excusable to have a sore shoulder once a while when he throws so hard?

    Am I dreaming? Uggla?! Really? Are you serious?!?!?!??!?!??!!?!

  38. My quick calculation has Uggla’s line going from .195/.227/.244/.471 to .222/.265/.400/.665… That’s 27 points of BA, 38 points of OBP 156 points of slugging, for 194 points of OPS.

  39. Two HR games two weeks into the season will do that. :-)

    That was a fun one. Seems like both managers were without their best relievers, but that’s okay. It just made it more fun for us watching.

    I’ll forgive Avilan this atrocious outing since it turned out well, and Ian Thomas has looked quite sharp this year. Plus it was good to see Carpenter and Tony V put in some solid work.

    Fun fact that I haven’t seen enough: Before tonight, Atlanta was the only team to record wins against either the Brewers or the Nats.

  40. Remember when Dan Uggla did this kind of stuff to us all the damned time? Even before he played for Atlanta, he was one of the great Braves killers of the last decade. Speaking of Braves killers, I hate that Marlin Byrd is still in our division.

  41. @150-But his options were limited in part by his own decision to needlessly pitch Walden for a third day in a row on Sunday.

    But damn. Please, please, please let this be the real Dan Uggla. That singles and doubles Dan was never going to work out.

  42. I guess Dave Schoenfield wrote an article just this afternoon stating that Uggla’s time should be up and he should be DFA’d.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/45988/time-for-the-braves-to-cut-dan-uggla

    I’ll give him a pass on the 12 games in to the year stuff, since ESPN was covering this game and probably assigned him to write SOMETHING about Atlanta. But even still, talk about bad timing. Dan makes two fantastic plays in the field, finally draws an unintentional walk, and then launches not one, but two MAJESTIC homeruns, one of them a game winner.

    If he’s got that kind of mojo, maybe he’ll write a hit-piece on BJ next.

  43. If Fredi knew he only had two available relievers for the last two innings (Kimbrel and Walden really unavailable and not trusting Gus to get even righties out), I would have been pretty happy with not hitting for Varvaro up 5-1 and him having pitched to just one batter.

    It’s probably a bit of 20/20 hindsight, but I really didn’t like seeing Avilan being left out there to pretty obviously lose the game. Hell, have Carpenter get 5 outs and let him rest a couple days if needed.

  44. DVR’d the game & went to the gym at the end of 7 innings, Braves up 2-1. Imagine my surprise…

    Those last 2 innings were like the Great American Scream Machine. The Braves went 1 for 11 with RISP — but that last AB was a doozie.

    The I-95 NE corridor is due for some heavy rain tomorrow, so the club (and this bullpen) may get a day off tomorrow.

    And fingers seriously crossed for Kimbrel.

  45. Well, Wren might be trying to unload Uggla as we speak, and it’s not like one game is going to change how right that decision would be.

    People have pointed out that Pena/Pastornicky would get the first shot.

    Meanwhile, La Stella and his hit tool have provided a .250/.353/.286 slash at Gwinnett. I’m not sure that we care if La Stella is a Super Two or not.

    It’s an interesting set of decisions, that’s for sure.

  46. People have pointed out that Pena/Pastornicky would get the first shot.

    Right, two people with no power who would not have hit that home run.

    It’s such a bad feeling when it’s the ninth inning, two outs, team is trailing and you want a home run…and someone with no power comes up. Instead of hoping for a home run, you’re hoping they won’t make an out so someone with some actual pop in their bat can come up.

  47. @166, A homer wasn’t imperative in that situation. Down one run, bases loaded, one out. A single has even odds of giving us the lead.

  48. Had the pleasure of attending last night’s game…

    – Around the sixth inning, the wind really picked up, pushing out towards the left field fence. I commented to my brother-in-law that we might see some home runs, and that seems to have been proven correct.

    – Ervin Santana has been surprisingly competent at the plate for an AL transplant (carrying his bat with him while running to first base notwithstanding), and Roberto Hernandez actually looked far more ridiculous. His swing looked like he was casting a fishing reel.

    – The Phillies crowd was dead. I think last season sapped whatever remnants of spirit/arrogance left after their 2007-2011 run. There was a big exodus after the 8th inning back-to-back-to-back home runs (even though it was still only a 5-1 game), and there didn’t really seem to be much excitement at all after Dom Brown’s home run to take the lead. Maybe they knew what was coming.

    – I’m glad BJ is out there using his speed, but I think good throws from the catcher get him pretty easily. Nevertheless, I’m more than fine with him (and Heyward) exploiting a weakness.

    – And all that said, perhaps the key play of the game (other than the monstrous home runs) was BJ beating that throw to second base in the top of the ninth on Freddie’s groundball. After that, it was two on, nobody out, and the wheels sort of came off for the Phillies.

    – I mentioned this last night, but between his work on the field and the homers, this was Uggla’s best game as a Brave. And out of the seven home runs, it was definitely Uggla’s first homer that was the
    most impressive, aesthetically.

    – Interesting stat: this is the first time in 80 years that a pitcher gets a win after giving up at least 5 ER in one or less innings of work.

  49. @166-Right, because when it’s the ninth inning and the bases are loaded with one out and you only need one run to tie the game what you want coming to the plate is a guy with, coming into that night’s game an OPS+ of 18 on the season, and with, over his last 600 PA, a batting average of less than .180 and a strikeout ratio of more than 30%, but, hey, with some actual pop in his bat.

    The odds are not good that last night was the real Dan Uggla, rather than the guy who struck out repeatedly last year in similar situations. I hope it is, but if it isn’t a Pena and Pastornicky platoon can be productive.

  50. About last night’s bullpen performance: two holds, a win and a save. What more could you ask for? :p

  51. I was encouraged that Uggla barreled up to a fastball in his first homer, and he found the right hanging spinner to launch in the second. Why would you not just throw that guy a steady supply of fastballs and curveballs in the dirt?

  52. @170

    That throw by Utley Dutley was stupid. You’re right, it changed the game.

    @173

    I would throw nothing but fastball low and in to him.

  53. Uggla has hit the ball hard all year, he’s just been unlucky and hasn’t had much to show for it. You can see the changes he made this offseason. Gattis seems to be heating up now also. It’s time for Heyward to do the same.

    So far so good on the Santana signing. Great job Wren.

  54. A while ago, Uggla was hitting the ball to right center. Haven’t seen much of that lately. If he could do that more often . . . .

  55. @176-Uggla got the results he got last night by ditching all the changes and going back to the old swing (complete with that weird locked elbow hitch at the end) and the old approach. I don’t think we can have both–a guy that goes up there thinking about using the whole field with a swing capable of doing that and also a guy who can yank two balls out to left in one game.

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