Sunday, October 24, 2010

DYNASTY DEFERRED:  First off, hats off to the San Francisco Giants and their fans.  You earned these wins through clutch hitting and pitching which held out bats at bay, and as much as many in the Delaware Valley would like to attribute this result to a lack of talent/clutchiness/whatever on our team's part, the Giants pitchers are at least equally culpable in inducing said lack of awesomeness.

And this remains a damn good Phillies team, and sadly one which we're likely to never see reconstituted in this form again. Jayson Werth is likely gone, and his replacement will not match him in moxie and bearditude.  But that's it -- all the other core players will be back.

Yes, I'm disappointed about this result.  I'm disappointed in the weakness of our bench, a question for which "Ross Gload" ws not an answer.  I'm disappointed in how sloppy the fielding was this series.  I'm disappointed in the failure to drive in runs when the situations presented themselves.  And I'm prematurely disappointed in the Philadelphia fanbase for what's going to be a  long winter of turning Ryan Howard into the next Donovan McNabb, designated for Azazel to take on all the team's collective sins.  Make no mistake: it will be ugly, and it is unearned.

Making the playoffs requires having a talented team.  Winning in the playoffs requires them to be playing at the height of their talents come October.  In 2008, the Phillies did; in 2010 they didn't, and many months will now be spent ascribing excessive meaning as to why, until pitchers and catchers report and hope begins anew.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to enjoy whatever baseball we've got left.


  1. Joseph J. Finn1:41 PM

    Phillies fans, please don't be too hard on your boys.  Unlike my team, you made the playoffs.  You won the divisional round.  You made it to game six of the championship series and almost forced a game 7.  There is no shame in this loss.

  2. Adam C.2:05 PM

    And I'll just repost, with slight variation, what I said in a couple of comments on the earlier thread:

    <span>I'm still going through the stages of grief here.  Was at the game, sitting behind home plate, and I still haven't brought myself to look at the replay of the last called strike on Howard.  So many missed opportunities, regardless of that call.  
    At least today I sound like Harvey Fierstein.  So I've got that going for me.  I also know that the tension that wracked my body last night even upon getting home -- I mean, my back and shoulders were in serious knots -- won't be something I have to deal with over the next two weeks.  Still, a pretty empty feeling, all in all.  This team should have achieved more this season, and next season it won't be as strong offensively without Werth and with an extra year of mileage on Ibanez and Rollins (and possibly, though I can almost not even bear to say it, on Utley).</span>

    Re: Howard and lack of RBI,<span> this is why RBI is a meaningless stat as a measure of a player's overall value and production, particularly in the short posteseason with small sample sizes. Those ripping Howard, Utley, etc. for their low/no RBI in this series are doing so (in general) without reference to the number of runners that were actually on base ahead of them.  Or, I might add, for the fact that Howard did single to move Rollins over in the first so Werth could sacrifice him home, and that Howard's double later in the game should have scored Rollins, but either (a) a lucky bounce or (b) a poor coaching decision to hold Rollins at third (or both) prevented an RBI there.  Ryan did his job early, he came up short at the end.  It's not a character (or hitting) flaw. 
    That said, RBI is a VERY good measure of whether you were able to do your job as a hitter with runners on base.  And on that measure, many Phillies failed last night, just as they failed throughout this series.  When you rush out to a 2-0 lead but then fail to bring a runner home after the first inning, that's on just about every hitter in the lineup, plus Perlozzo (for holding Rollins up at third) and Manuel (for at least one questionable pinch hitting choice - using Francisco over Sweeney).  </span>

    <span>What really killed things, based on my view of the crowd's involvement, was when the Phils had Sanchez on the ropes in the third, the benches emptied, Utley and Ruiz were fired up, and then....nothing.  Couldn't capitalize off of Affeldt, and my perception was that a lot of the air (and the confidence in this team) went out of the crowd.

  3. MidwestAndrew8:08 PM

    We Royals fans are well versed in "Ross Gload." His biggest supporters were consistently telling us that "Gload will Explode." I'm not sure he ever did.

  4. Adam C.8:38 PM

    Yeah, we're still waiting for the ghost of Ross Gload.

  5. The Pathetic Earthling10:02 PM

    One of the things that's getting some play in the local media here was that Affeldt was going to storm out of the bullpen to join the fray and the bullpen coach told Affeldt to sit tight and warm up. Phillies fans apparently shouted every sort of derivative of "you are pussy for not getting into the fight" but Bochy took his time during and after the altercation to give Affeldt plenty of time to warm up.  And that played out nicely, I think.

  6. Adam C.11:02 PM

    In my section of the crowd, we had no idea until later on if Sanchez had been tossed or if Bochy had taken the opportunity of the hubbub to lift him. It did occur to me at the time that we'd probably rather still have Sanchez to kick around. Of course, it didn't occur to me at the time that the SF pen would completely lock things down for 6+ innings.

  7. gtv20009:52 AM

    Over my years of being a baseball fan I've learned one thing - playoff baseball is pretty much a toss-up.  The best team doesn't always win, so don't beat the team up over a 6 game series loss.  An inch here or there can determine the series.  Look at the late eighties Athletics experience in the World Series - a 4-1 loss to the Dodgers, a sweep of the Giants, a sweep by the Reds(?) in sucessive years with the same team.  A lot of bounces involved.

  8. Adam C.11:44 AM

    Fangraphs says it well today:  Don't Blame Ryan Howard.  Subtext: Buck and McCarver suck.

  9. The Pathetic Earthling1:40 PM

    Does there exist a commercial device to manually adjust (or perhaps auto-synch) an AM Radio broadcast to a television signal.  Why I would want to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver when Jon Miller is available is beyond me.

  10. Adam C.2:42 PM

    If there is, I wish someone had told me about it before the NLCS.  I watched the first two NLCS games with a loooooooooong lag between the FOX video and the Phils radio broadcast.  Frankly, I thought it would be the reverse, but the video led the radio by a fair amount, and it didn't seem to matter much whether I was watching on cable with TiVo or over-the-air.  Anyhow, not so entertaining that way.