They Are Who We Thought They Were

That’s likely not an accurate quote.  I probably just as easily could have inserted “Hoped, Were Told, Read, or Prayed” for “Thought”.


What an exciting postseason for us Phillies fans.  The Phillies have certainly exceeded every reasonable expectation anyone could have had.  They’ve gone from “please, just make the playoffs” to the National League representative in the World Series.


The Phillies have won three series so far and have a bevy of players to thank for those wins.  While a few individual moments will stand out, this seems like a whole team effort.

Now, for a few observations that may or may not be accurate.

  • You want to bunt for a hit? Don’t let Ranger field it.
  • The dislike for Hoskins that permeates this site was displayed in the form of booing during pre-game introductions AND during the NLCS MVP Award speech when Harper mentioned Rhys’ contributions in games four and five.  WTF is wrong with these people?
  • The world series will be a rematch of the participants in the best playoff series I ever saw, the 1980 NLCS.  I wonder if this is viewed as a revenge match much like a lot of Phillies fans viewed the WCS with St.Louis.
  • Stott had a lot of disciplined ABs.  On several occasions, Smoltz noted that Stott was “over-matched” against several pitchers’ fastballs, but prolonged ABs until he got an offspeed pitch to handle.
  • Segura, the opposite of disciplined ABs, poked a couple of RBI hits on pitches we all would have been yelled at for swinging at when we were in little league.
  • I know there was a lot of bad glovework this weekend, but did anyone else notice how many throws Hoskins had to dig out of the dirt from the left side of the infield.  I also remember the great play that Stott made and intentionally bounced the throw and the announcer thought it was another off-target throw.  It seemed like the only throws Hoskins could receive in an upright stance came from Segura who soft tosses or throws lasers depending on what is required (reminds me a little of Manny Trillo on throws).
  • Isn’t Wheeler a bargain at 5/$118M?
  • Kinda hard to believe that the Padres couldn’t find one instance where they would rather walk than pitch to Harper.  They walked Schwarber 6 times, Realmuto 3 times, Hoskins twice, and Harper none.  In fact, no other Phillies batter drew a walk.
  • NLCS: 10 HRs, 10 doubles, 4 guys OPSing over 1.000 – Schwarber 1.571, Harper 1.250, Hoskins 1.189, and Sosa 1.000 (1-2 with an RBI single).  all 3 series: 16 HRs, 23 1doubles, 2 guys OPSing over 1.000 – Harper 1.351, Sosa 1.250 (2-4 with an RBI single and an RBI double).
  • I love the emotion (and bat tosses) by Hoskins and Segura on their key hits.
  • While everyone has chipped in, this is Harper’s playoff run.  Thru 11 games, he’s slashing .419/.444/.907/1.351.  Among the starters, he’s the only guy hitting above .257, the only guy OBPing above .375, the only guy slugging above .545, and the only guy OPSing above .832.
  • Our much-maligned pitching staff through –
    • Four different relievers notched saves – Dominguez, Alvarado, Eflin, and Suarez.
    • Brogdon came up huge getting 7 outs on Saturday.
    • Wheeler is putting up ace numbers
    • Syndergaard gave us 5.1 strong innings against Atlanta and the Padres.
    • Eflin rebounded from that 3-run HR in our game 4 win against Atlanta to provide meaningful innings in three more games.
    • Nola provided 2 wins.
    • Bellatti and Robertson provided meaningful innings.
    • Shoot, even Gibson tossed 1.1 scoreless innings.
    • Assuming Wheeler and Nola get games 1, 2, 5, 6 in the world series, I have no problem with Ranger “Ice Water in his Veins” Suarez starting game seven.
    • And, finally, I’m a little tired of hearing how unlikely a world series participant the Phillies are.  Yes, they only won 87 games.  But, they beat a Cardinals team that only won 93 games in a weak Central Division.  They beat an Atlanta team that they played tough all season, losing the season series 8-11.  And, the Padres only had 2 more wins at 89 in a division that had only one 100-win team.

Now, 4 more wins, and on to the parade!  (Why not?  I did print this in the NLCS write-up, “And, then on to Houston.”)


This gives you a place to talk about the Phillies for the week.

The world series article will come out when the series roster is finalized.

Note: teams are/have been allowed to carry a 5-man taxi squad with them through the playoffs.  The Phillies NLCS squad included Hall, Maton, Nelson, Sanchez, and Devenski.  They have more guys staying ready in Clearwater – Kingery, Sands, Munoz, Marchan, Nittoli, and Plassmeyer.


Key Dates: Italics are used for dates that haven’t been confirmed.

  • October 28, 2022: MLB World Series, Game One in Houston on FOX
  • November 2-6, 2022: Trading resumes the day after the World Series ends.
  • October 3, 2022: Opening Day for the Arizona Fall League
    • November 5, 2022: AFL Home Run Derby
    • November 6, 2022: AFL Fall Stars Game
    • November 11, 2022: AFL Play-in Semifinal
    • November 12, 2022: AFL Championship Game
  • November 6-10, 2022: Five days after the conclusion of the World Series is the deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents.
  • November 10, 2022: Opening Day for the Australian Baseball League
  • November 16-20, 2022: Fifteen days after the conclusion of the World Series is the deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers.
  • November 18 or 21, 2022: Deadline to submit 40-man rosters before Rule 5 Draft
  • November, 2022: GM Meetings, Owners Meetings, MLBPA executive board meeting
  • December 1, 2022 – Non-tender Deadline – The last day for teams to offer 2023 contracts to unsigned players (pre-arb and arb eligible) on their 40-man rosters.  Non-tendered players become free agents.
  • December 4-11, 2022: The 2022 Baseball Winter Meetings will take place in San Diego, California.
    • December 9, 2022: Rule 5 Draft
  • December 15, 2022: Close of the 2021-2022 international signing period
  • January 15, 2023: Opening of the 2022-2023 international signing period
  • January, 2023: Deadline for teams and players to submit salary figures for arbitration
  • February 2-10, 2023: Caribbean Series (including Cuba, Curacao)
    • October 11, 2022: Opening Day for the Mexican Pacific League
    • October 15, 2022: Opening Day for Dominican Winter League
    • October 22, 2022: Opening Day for the Venezuelan Winter League
    • November 4, 2022: Opening Day for the Puerto Rican Winter League
    • November 12, 2022: Start of the Colombian Winter League 
    • December 9, 2022: Opening Day for the Panamanian Baseball League
  • February, 2023: Voluntary spring training reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and players recovering from injuries
  • February, 2023: Voluntary spring training reporting date for position players
  • February 22, 2023: Mandatory spring training reporting date
  • February 25, 2023: Phillies First Spring Training Game (split squad)
  • March 30, 2023: Season Opener at Texas Rangers
  • April 6, 2023: Home Opener v. Cincinnati Reds
  • July 2023: Rule 4 Amateur Draft
  • December 15, 2023: Close of the 2022-2023 international signing period

 


Here are the transactions that were reported (or uncovered) this week.

10/20/2022 – Phillies recalled RHP Chris Devenski from Lehigh Valley
10/18/2022 – Phillies activated RHP David Robertson
10/18/2022 – Phillies reassigned RHP Nick Nelson to the minor leagues

211 thoughts on “They Are Who We Thought They Were

  1. I could watch this all week ⬇

    .

    And I’ve posted (at least) 100 times how badly Matt Klentak failed in the Phillies rebuild. The Phils were going through their rebuild at the same time as the Braves, White Sox, Blue Jays, Padres, and Reds. Turns out only Atlanta has won a pennant faster than the Phillies … mostly thanks to Dave Dombrowski (who just understands how to build teams to win in the playoffs). But I do want to publicly acknowledge Matt Klentak’s JTR trade (he beat out the Nats and Braves for him), the Zack Wheeler signing, and the Jean Segura trade. The Phillies aren’t in the WS w/o those three.

    And there can be no doubt (at least in my mind) that Bryce Harper is the most clutch performer in franchise history. That 8th inning go-ahead HR was story book like. But how about the fact that he took the CH that faded just below the zone (at the very last second) with two strikes on him. When he did that, I told my wife there isn’t another guy on the team who would have laid off that pitch. And Harper just gets the city/Phillies fans ⬇

    .

    One last thing … games six and seven are in Houston next Friday and Saturday. The Eagles are in Houston to play the Texans next Thursday. How many fans do you think stick around for an Eagles/Phillies experience in Houston?

    1. Hopefully the Phillies follow the same formula with Houston that they did with SD. Split away and sweep at home. No return trip to Houston.

    2. Hinkie……the last time the Phillies won it…Mike Trout was a Phillies fan…he could be in Houston….for the Eagles game. And probably at the link on Sunday vs the Steelers.

  2. So what’s the probability of multiple Phillies phans dressing up as a Houston Astro’s trash cans this year? At the CBP?
    Lol someone’s going to do it … I know I’m registered for WS tickets 🙂

  3. Not to be overlooked is Gelb’s revelation that the Phillies planned out Ranger closing Sunday, as soon as they pulled him with only 68 pitches Friday. Amazing.

  4. So, does Nola or Wheeler start game one? Nola will be extra rested versus Wheeler would be on normal schedule. If Wheeler starts game two then he would have an extra day of rest and the last time he did that he seemed to be extra sharp.

  5. I am so happy for those guys. They did it when I thought they couldn’t. For me and I’m not afraid to admit it, it was the most improbable of scenarios. Most teams that reach this point will have some flaws and a WS Champion will ultimately be looked at through the prism of “they were able to overcome them”

    I’m not sure what Houston’s flaws are. I just know every team has them and it may just be a temporary SSS thing such as Altuve is only opsing 296 out of the lead off spot and as a team 708 compared with our playoff 762 OPS.

    As far as criticism of Rhys goes I think the lead would have been perfect for him in that he is who we thought he was which is a player who at times can carry a team and then at other times can seem totally lost at the plate.

    For me I’m just going to enjoy it for what it is and take whatever happens. I will steer clear of what off season moves should or might be made after the season. Bottom line for that and then I will leave it alone is a good GM won’t take any of the emotion from a run like this and apply it in ways that don’t benefit the long terms goals of being a perennial contender.

    We have a great chance and as I said a few weeks ago I am a big Dusty Baker fan and that team has been turned over quite a bit from the 17 cheating scandal. No hostility for me at all towards them.

  6. When I saw the list of guys staying ready in case of emergency, my heart broke a little for Kingery. It must be absolutely brutal being just barely, “not good enough” to be on a World Series roster. Especially when so many people were so sure you were going to be one of the building blocks to get the team to this exact spot.

    I obviously don’t blame the Phillies for not carrying him on the roster, but it just stinks that he can work so hard and still come up just short. I hope he gets some kind of redemption story eventually.

    Also, anyone booing Hoskins is a band wagon fan. It’s one thing to boo your own players if they’re phoning it in, and I can even understand booing for terrible plays. But you don’t get on a guy for slumps. Everyone hits those patches. He’s going out every day and doiwgat he’s asked. It’s not like he’s the one making the lineup cards. I’m in the camp that we need to move on from Rhys in the next year or two, but he’s been great for us and he’s a Phillie for life in my eyes. He deserves every bit of praise he gets from this team and I hope he can help bring home the championship to cement his legacy.

    1. “… and DOING WHAT he’s asked.”

      Not sure what my phone was trying to autocorrect that into.

    2. Dan K…agree.
      Rhys is well-liked and is streaky hot at times and can carry a team for that stretch. Nevertheless, Dombrowski will do what he thinks is best for the term in the short-term and long -term after the season is completed. But for now…have to savor the moment.

      1. I think its really hard to let him go, Cause he is really friendly with Harper, But that glove is really bad,

        1. rocco….sadly for Rhys, these last three weeks in front of national audiences, with the 3 or 4 miscues, his rep is sealed ..even MLB. Network people talk about his fielding…..along with the bat making up it.
          Do you hold your breath when a ball comes down his way?

  7. Also the 3 toughest places in sports to play have to be Boston NY and Philly. It’s just different in those 3 places when compared to other parts of the country.

    In the city’s defense or fans defense (and I am not a boo-er per see when I am at a game) in these places if you don’t perform to expectations (Aaron Judge) you will definitely hear about it.

    And as long as it doesn’t cross any lines I think that is fair. Any irreverence towards the fans and their fandom should be done with caution. For it is fandom that makes the game interesting.

  8. So……….you want to be a GM? Think of it, you are involved in the World Series, all the highs and lows of it. Say you win the thing! It goes 7 games on Nov. 5. 5 days later you are into trades, qualifying offers and free agent signings, etc. Hardly enough time to recuperate from all the celebratory activities, not to mention saying goodbye to some of the people that aren’t a part of the future. A really tough business, I think.

    1. Being a GM is really not easy. Every transaction they make will be dissected by fans and media. You have to be available to the media, you have to answer to the owner. You have to deal with agents all the time, and sometimes agents are unhappy (their players getting cut or not getting enough playing time) and/or unreasonable (Scott Boras insists on adding 1-2 more years to the FA deal). The GM job sounds glamorous but stress levels has to be through the roof.

  9. Hinkie………you never answered “Rocco’s” question last week. What makes Thomson so good at pulling all the right levers?

    1. Sorry to rocco. I never saw that post.
      I’ve gotta give Thomson credit for having his finger on the pulse of the team. That said, sometimes there isn’t only one right decision. For instance, it all worked out yesterday, but IMO things may have gone smoother if Thomson let Wheeler finish the 7th inning, and then allowed Ser-Ant’ny to enter the contest to start the 8th inning with no runners on (but we’ll never know for sure). In the end, it’s the players who make the manager look smart or not.

      I do think Thomson ran laps around Bob Melvin. Thomson was waaaay more aggressive with his BP (even though the Philles’ pen isn’t nearly as deep as SD’s. I was in disbelief when Melvin failed to bring in Josh Hader to face Bryce Harper in the 8th inning yesterday. Hader is the best LH reliever in the game. AJ Preller gave up four good players (including two top 10 prospects) for 1.5 years of Hader. Melvin used him just one time (vs just 3 batters) in the series. Hader was on three days rest in an elimination game, and Melvin still didn’t use him against the Phillies/MLB’s hottest/most clutch hitter. That is unforgivable IMO.

      1. I think Thomson does a good job, think he will get a little bit better and then settle into who he will be. Perhaps by mid-summer 2023. You never know, if he is getting direction from above yet like Maddon got on Trout or whether he has full rein. You cited Wheeler, I would have given him one more batter, but I tend to come after them when I think they are done. For instance, if it is a close contest and Ranger is pitching, I get nervous the beginning of the 6th because that is usually when he is done. Not knocking him, that is just who he is, if you get 7 exceptionally good day.

        You are correct the players do have a good deal to do with making a manager look smart. I do like this guy though, nothing artificial about him that I can see.

  10. Great observations, Jim. This was a team effort led by Bryce Harper, who was tremendous. The SP was great, the BP stepped up, everyone contributed. I have always been a Rhys fan, and I fully acknowledge that he made some really poor defensive plays. But, that HR off Strider, and the bat spike, was one of the most exciting moments I can ever remember. Even more than the Eagles Super Bowl win because my reaction was delayed. I kept thinking there was going to be a flag for some bogus PI on Gronk, so it took me a few seconds to realize we won. With Hoskins’ HR, I felt like I was there. The whole team stepped up at key times. Segura had 1 hit in the Series, and it won game 3. Someone mentioned that if he had enough innings, Ranger would win the GG for Pitchers. Marsh hit a key HR, everyone, really, had a part. It was so much fun. And, you need a little luck as well. I don’t know why the Padres didn’t bring in Hader to face Bryce, but I am sure glad that they did not. He stepped up huge, our Mr. Harper, and that HR yesterday was like a movie script. Anyway, thank you Jim for this site, and the ability you give me to share these fun games with all of you. Apologies for rambling on, but I would like to be at home today, instead of at work, and re-watch every game so far in these Playoffs!

  11. Congrats to everyone on here who has stuck with the team over the years. Very exciting and improbable run. Not sure if I like the 5-day layoff for the Phillies who are scorching hot, but I guess the same can be said of the Astros. Like the question about Wheeler or Nola in Game 1. It’s not a bad idea to give Wheeler extra rest/start Nola with more recovery time. However, I think we all know Thomson at this point. Wheeler will get the ball Game 1. Maybe over a longer season next year, we see more adjustments by Thomson, but we won’t see them during this playoff run.

  12. The only reliever having a tough post season is Hand on Wednesday and Saturday. Wednesday he came in and allowed 2 inherited runners to score and another of his own (team lost by 3 runs). On Saturday he allowed 2 more runs. Now he was much better during season and part of the reason why the team made the playoffs. The rest of the relivers have been doing well or improving.

      1. Agree, that was an unfortunate set of circumstances for him… BUT… they overcame and won. Amazing.

  13. Unbelievable…that’s the word that keeps resonating in my head.

    Just unbelievable.

    Harper is unbelievable. He makes hitting look easy and it is so hard. To do what he did is just otherworldly.

    This team overcoming their poor defense and managerial change and all of the adversity is unbelievable. Who hear really, really thought this was possible until last week? I will will you who, Dave Dombrowski. He believed this could happen and it did. The team has played out exactly how he thought it could. This team peaking at the right time, getting hot at the right time is unbelievable. Hat tip to DD.

    What a magical time.

    1. I just wish they added the, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?” line to the end of that video.

  14. Trying to figure out who on the current Phillies roster has a WS ring. It comes down to 2:

    Schwarber (2016 Cubs)
    Robertson (2009 Yankees)

    Chris Devenski, still on the 40 man roster, has a ring with the 2017 Astros.
    Johan Camargo, who was DFAd during the season, has a ring with the 2021 Braves.

    1. Looks like they were suggesting Bohm and Painter for Syndergaard and Archie Bradley. Glad they aren’t our GM.

      1. Yes, it was just a fantasy piece from 7 months ago. At the time nobody knew that Painter would become a top 20 prospect this year or that Syndergaard would lost 5-6 MPH off his pre-surgery fastball. Still, it’s interesting that someone else saw that this was more than possible.

  15. Well again, a lot of things I’d like to say but I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.Not chancing nothing at this point 🙂

    Harper’s HR – … wow … I almost stomped a hole through my floor out of pure excitement. My wife was crying … to see me so freaking excited. Never seen the true fandom yet. To put it into context, my house is Old. Like no subfloor old. The floor definitely bowed. So there was a chance my FAT-A- – could have fallen through the floor. What an amazing moment for any Phillies phan … but for a lifer? My lord … I’m still freaking excited from it. Absolutely amazing .. it deserves a Ric Flair signature Wooooooooooo!!!!

  16. Great stuff, Tac, it was really something special, and we are not done yet. I know the Astros are really good, no disrespecting them at all. But, you play the games on the field, and we have seen that anything can happen! And, v1, it is unbelievable. DD deserves a ton of credit, and, he reminds me of Pat Gillick. Even after moves that didn’t work out, $11M, I think, for Familia, Hand and Knebel, he didn’t stop. And, what he did at the deadline helped a lot. Big moments from Sosa, Marsh and Thor, and Robertson gave us some good outings down the stretch. DD said this team was built for the post season, we just need to get there. We did, and look where we are now!

    1. If I recall correctly, Knebel received $10 million and Familia and Hand were each paid $6 million. So there’s $22 million to re-distribute this offseason unless Hand somehow revives his chances in the WS (even then, he’d be lucky to get $6 million next year).

      1. The market for relievers is going to be wild imo. I don’t see anyone’s salary going down for a few reasons:
        1) inflation – yes it’s comical but it’ll be part of the negotiation tactics for sure
        2) Judge’s contract will push boundaries
        3) Diaz is expected to get record money for a closer
        4) After this years playoffs, everyone is going to feel they are closer than they are…

        Personally I like Brad Hand. He’s had good stretches.

        Also… Juan Soto as a GG finalist? What a joke. If that is a GG Ofer… man I really sold myself short on being a defensive replacement/pinch runner

        1. I like to compare Juan Soto in RF to former Phillie Bobby Abreu…their best defense was a good offense.

        2. Because relievers are so volatile from year to year I don’t expect their market to change that much. Yes, closers like Diaz will get mega deals but guys like Hand will be in the same market as before.

          Teams can trade for relievers at the deadline like the Phillies did with Robertson to lessen the risk of paying big money for a good reliever who then has a bad year.

          1. True teams can trade for a reliever at the deadline……but you will undoubtedly sacrifice a prospect(s), i e Ben Brown….and therein lies that uncomfortable cognitive dissonance factor.

            1. At least they weren’t the Padres who traded a whole lot more for a reliever who faced 3 batters in the entire series 🙂

            2. Yeah….AJ Preller probably is shaking his head….why not have Hader come in to face Harper and work a 4 out save.

            3. Romus………do you think AJ has a few regrets on some of the dollars he spent? Notwithstanding, the Padres are a pretty good team, they were with us all the way!

            4. Skeet…….he has tried about everything humanly possible to get over the hump…..and when you think about it…the Dodgers were his hump and he did get over them…..maybe they just shot their wad too early.

      2. When it comes to relievers that are near the end of their arbitration stage….Seranthony Arb3 should be approx $3M and Alvarado Arb3 should be $4M. Some of the others are earlier in their arb years.
        Roberson could be brought back at less than $5M

          1. rocco…hah….btw, looks like we see Hector Neris again…..number 8 on Phillies all-time saves records with 84

            1. Rocco………what does dissonance mean? Since Romus started taking those night classes, I can hardly keep up with him. I’m still on “see Sally run, see Sally run fast”!

  17. Who amongst us thought when we were watching the Phillies clinching the 6th playoff spot in Houston at the beginning of the month we would once again I think 4 weeks later see the Phillies opening the World Series once again in Houston. Phillies have had some good things happen involving the Astros over the years.
    I am all for the split at Houston and then let CBP and the great fans pull their magic again. That would be truly unbelievable.
    Cactch I think you are pretty close on those numbers. I doubt Hand returns but who knows.

    1. For the WS or for next year? I guess if we find a mysterious injury before the WS it might be a “slight of hand” move.

  18. Thanks, catch, I was only about $11M off. Hand did have some good stretches during the year, and all of the guys deserve credit. Just glad that John Middleton hired Dave Dombrowski. I read Matt Gelb’s article, and I heard somewhere before, that Topper and the Coaches talked about using Ranger in just that situation. That is some amazing foresight. So many things had to go right!

  19. Just an unbelievable postseason. Four more wins baby. Two things:

    1. A great piece on Harper v. Suarez: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/bryce-harpers-game-6-home-run-was-a-master-class-in-hitting/

    “The very best hitters make pitch-to-pitch adjustments like we saw here from Harper. But not a single hitter in the sport was able to do what Harper did here: hit a home run off a Robert Suarez sinker. Much respect to one of the best hitters of this generation.”

    2. Very annoying to read all the “this postseason format sucks.” Yes, of course there is a lot of randomness in a five- or seven-game series. The 2011 Phillies know that well, and you didn’t hear them complaining. This team has two aces, the MVP, the BCIB, a bunch of sluggers, bullpen guys that can paint 100 mph, young talent, and since Thomson took over, they’ve been on a great win pace. So why don’t they belong, and why wouldn’t they win it all?

    1. The “post season format sucks” complaints are mostly coming from Dodgers/Mets fans who believe they are truly the best teams and deserve to be in the WS. (And maybe a few Braves fans than can’t remember last season)

      Once baseball moved from having only one team from each league make it to the WS in 1969 the randomness of a playoff series became part of the equation. Complaining about it now is simply sour grapes.

    2. I agree with you Frank. The issue in Philly wasn’t star power the last year or two, it was everything else. The bullpen, the secondary guys, the bench – but they figured it out.

      Okay, two topics.

      First, this team was EXTREMELY well coached. The most overlooked guy on this team was Caleb Cotham (we all know about Kevin Long). Pretty much every pitcher got better on this team and some got a lot better. Cotham is, by my estimation, a fabulous pitching coach. And how about the job those fielding coaches did taking a really horrible fielder like Alec Bohm and making him average? That was no small task, although a lot of credit goes to Bohm too.

      Second, on Harper. I’ve said this for a while and it’s true – Harper hasn’t just had good years for the Phillies since 2020 (he was great in 2020 but got hurt the second month of the year), he has improved immensely since he joined the team, which is saying something. And, yet, until maybe yesterday, he was incredibly underrated. His reputation hadn’t caught up with his improvement. I saw a top 100 players in baseball show on MLB Network this spring and, while they had Harper rated accurately among all players (I think he was 5th), aside from announcing his name and stats, he received no attention whatsoever. He was the only guy in the top 10 that was glossed over – it really pissed me off. But no more – this is a legendary player. Let’s treat him as such.

    3. The 2006 Cardinals were like 83-79 and won the WS. This team is, in my view, a lot better than that team and we had to play so many games against 100 win teams, which depressed our record. Had the Phillies and Cardinals swapped divisions, I’m pretty confident the Phillies would have won like 94 or 95 games. This team has its weaknesses for sure, but it’s a pretty good team.

      1. I agree Catch. It does make a difference who you play. The NL East was one of the best. Braves only won 88 games last year. Two things. Under this formal it rarely happens that the two teams with the best records are going to make the WS. Astros did. But it is hard to win 11 or 13 games. I mentioned other day that the Dodgers won 1. Braves won 1. Mets won 1.
        Not sure they really have anything to complain about. Each game had 27 outs. They got all of their at bats like the other team.
        The point is the Phillies somehow caught fire at the exact right time. Plus,
        they have been a little lucky. Six runs in the top of the 9th inning does not happen very often.

        Let’s just figure out a way to get 4 more wins. That would make this a truly Unbelievable season for all. Go Phils.

        1. Look, the Phillies had 102 wins in 2011……and they lost to the Cards in the Division Series (3-2)……in the end, you just hope when your time comes, it all evens out

  20. I have watched Harper’s homer about 40+ times today and listened to Dancing on my own. About a dozen times. This is so much fun.

    1. I may or may not have watched it a few times myself… 🙂 … I saw somebody point out 2 things that are interesting .. maybe it’s nothing but:

      Harper and Machado had words on third base, looked like Wahan had to pull him back – not sure if it was a pleasant or unpleasant exchange…

      And

      Harper did a stutter step before he touched third … wonder if that was mocking Soto … and Machado at the same time …

      Well, I’m sure Harper will eventually tell us

  21. There is a nice article on CBS that talks about all the win totals nonsense. He mentions all the team who have won in the 80s. Also for Catch the Cardinals this year had the lowest strength of schedule of any team in the majors. Kind of speaks for itself. Good article.

    1. the cards did have a 42 year old find the “fountain of youth” …

      Yeah … that’s either the quality of pitching faced being subpar, steroids, sign stealing, or some combo. It’s not my 1st rodeo, I’m calling it like I see it… nobody finds the fountain of youth at “42” , nobody. Especially when you’re 10 hrs away from 700. I’m not buying that.

  22. Passan has an article on ESPN about the Astros seeking perfection. Going 11-0 in the playoffs.

  23. Throw me a bone here, and don’t think less of me. If possible!
    When the players get a big hit, and motion their hands across the Phillies lettering ….

    What does that mean?
    A) Let’s go Phillies
    B) ripping the shirt open like Superman
    C) Tac, you’re an idiot

    1. Think they are highlighting the “Phillies “ on the uniform to symbolize they are part of the team vs. an individual accomplishment. Everyone is a cog in the overall machine.

      1. I believe they are honoring the team . At least that’s what I would like them to be expressing- that is a testimony to me being a fan for 70 years…..Go Phillies!!!

  24. Looking at the OPS+…..both clubs had 7 players at league average (100) or above
    1 C Martin Maldonado ….69
    2 1B Yuli Gurriel ……………..84
    3 2B Jose Altuve…………….160
    4 SS Jeremy Pena…………101
    5 3B Alex Bregman………..133
    6 LF Michael Brantley*….125
    7 CF Chas McCormick……110
    8 RF Kyle Tucker*………….128
    9 DH Yordan Alvarez*……..187
    UT Aledmys Díaz ………….95
    ———————————————————————————–
    C J.T. Realmuto……….129
    1B Rhys Hoskins………122
    2B Jean Segura……….104
    SS Bryson Stott*……….84
    3B Alec Bohm………….100
    LF Kyle Schwarber*…..130
    CF Matt Vierling…………83.
    RF Nick Castellanos……95
    DH Bryce Harper*……..145
    CF Brandon Marsh*……116

    1. Romus…it looks like Series is going to the 7th game 9th inning to determine the winner. As these playoffs have progressed that would not be impossible.
      Romus…you just have too much information. LOL.

      1. Don….lets hope the Phillies can do it if it does go to 7.
        I saw where Verlander has not been as great in the past play-offs as his regular season metrics proved out.
        And guess what….Astros only have the three LHPs of note on the team….Valdez as the starter and Will Smith/Blake Taylor (and all of 43 games between them this season) as relievers….loads of RH relievers.
        Guys like Harper, Schwarber Stott and Marsh could have a big series.
        I do not hear he MLB.network guys talking much about that.

  25. Since Bob took B I will go with A. But no idea. I wonder about that because most do something. There are so many things they do that it is hard to keep up with them.
    It may not mean anything.

  26. Tac I believe that I read somewhere the gesture is along the lines of saying “Yeah. we
    are the Phillies and we just did that”
    Also can somebody tell Kyle to stay off the mechanical bulls until the parade. He can have his own flatbed and ride the machine all the way down Broad St

  27. Just in case anyone missed the game yesterday the replay is on MLB right now on Direct. Bottom of the 2nd A lot less stress watching tonight.

  28. Hinkie…..one report on Verlander’s free agency.
    2023 Age: 40
    Eligible for Qualifying Offer: No
    Justin Verlander earned $25 million this year, and he can earn another $25 million in 2023 if he exercises his player option. But why would he do that?
    As a 38-year-old (soon to be 39) …..he’s likely to win his third Cy Young Award, and justifiably so given that he posted the lowest full-season ERA by an AL hurler since Pedro Martínez in 2000. To be sure, some questions still linger. For instance, whether Verlander can avoid even minor injuries like the calf soreness that sidelined him for several weeks this year. And also, whether he can continue to be as dominant in the face of a below-average whiff rate. Even still, we’re thinking the Cooperstown-bound righty has a shot at matching or even breaking Max Scherzer’s record-setting average annual value in a multiyear deal.
    Best Guess Projection: 2 years, $88 million

    …….wow $44M AAV…that is a lot of $$$$$$$

    1. Wow. I had Verlander at 2/70M. No matter the price, he should be Dombrowski’s top target this winter. He’d add another stud to the rotation. The postseason is all about having enough good/great pitchers (both starters and relievers) to survive multiple playoff rounds. The best point about signing Verlander is he isn’t going to require a long term deal (and he’d make a tremendous mentor to kids like Painter and Abel.

      1. … and I understand Verlander’s shaky postseason record. I don’t care. He’s a HOF pitcher. Clayton Kershaw has had the same stigma. I don’t think anybody would turn him away.

        1. Hinkie – the Phillies obviously have to consider signing a guy like Verlander.

          But if I’m the Phillies I double down on hitting and fielding and try like hell to sign Trey Turner. If the Phillies sign Turner, he probably plays second and, next year, the Phillies have the best, or one of the three best, offenses in baseball. But the big reason that I sign him is that the Phillies already have two aces in Nola and Wheeler, a solid and ascending #3 in Suarez (he’s a 3 right now, but he went through growing pains this year – there’s more upside down the road with him) and they have three incredible arms in the upper minors in McGarry, Painter and Abel. One or two of those arms will be reliable arms next postseason and I suspect at least one of Abel or Painter (probably Painter, but Abel has huge upside as well) in the postseason rotation and McGarry can be the X factor coming in out of the bullpen if he’s not in the rotation at that time. I do, however, sign a guy like Eflin or Syndergaard to be the #4 and allow Falter to be the #5 out of ST, knowing, at some point, he’s likely going to be replaced.

          1. There’s a decent chance that, by next September, Andrew Baker is also in the bullpen (as hard as it is to believe, he throws as hard as Seranthony) and Billy Sullivan could play into their plans. And don’t forget Coonrod. He was hurt this year, but another year under Cotham could work wonders for him. Not a lot of guys can throw 97-99 MPH, but Coonrod can.

          2. If the Phillies sign Trea Turner he will undoubtedly play shortstop…..Dombrowski already hinted that Stott may slide over to second in an interview with TMac and Kruk.

            1. Either way is fine. The point is that we would add Turner and keep Stott as a middle infielder, and not acquire a high-priced pitcher with the pitchers we have in the minors who, I believe, will provide depth and excellence on the mound by the end of next year.

            2. I’m almost certain if Dave Dombrowski wants Trea Turner, he’ll have no problem landing him. Tuner wants to play on the east coast. He’s very close with Kevin Long and Bryce Harper, and what Harper wants, the Phillies usually make sure he gets.
              That said, I just feel the Phillies biggest vulnerability is pitching depth. I thought the same thing at the beginning of this season. Other than Zach Eflin and Corey Knebel, they remained healthy enough to compete/win. However, arms can be volatile. Championship caliber teams usually stack their rotations and BPs with very good hurlers to survive a long season and (more importantly) multiple rounds in the postseason.
              Verlander on a two year deal is likely a smarter path than Turner (who I really like a lot) on an eight year contract IMO. Look what Houston did last winter. They let Carlos Correa walk. Jeremy Pena stepped in, and they survived offensively. The Astros brought back Verlander to head a stacked rotation, and it was a winning formula for them.

            3. “…..what Harper wants, the Phillies usually make sure he gets.”
              I suppose that is a good thing since they probably would not be where they are currently at now, if they didn’t sign Schwarber and Wheeler.
              He may have suggested those signings.

      2. Not sure how accurate their AAV’s are….they also had deGrom $40M plus AAV, and Trea Turner, Correa and Bogaerts all at $30M plus AAV.
        And they had both Verlander and deGrom with very short length contracts
        I do think they are basing their high AAVs for the future HoF aging pitchers on Scherzer’s $43M AAV from the Mets.
        Judge , they have at $35M AAV over 8 years.
        IMO, he will be a Giant since they have a bountifully sundry amount of money under the threshold and they need his face for their team

  29. Bob D posted this above … So, does Nola or Wheeler start game one? Nola will be extra rested versus Wheeler would be on normal schedule. If Wheeler starts game two then he would have an extra day of rest and the last time he did that he seemed to be extra sharp.

    As much as I’d like to give Wheeler an extra day of rest, I’m starting him in game 1. If he starts games 1 and 5, and the series goes 7, he could be in the bullpen for the deciding game. I’d rather have Wheeler in the pen than Nola at that point.

    1. Good point Tom. Wheeler seems to be the one starter who is cut out to do such a thing. Suarez is another who could but he is lined up for game 7 start already.

  30. I wish at the games this weekend and Jim I’m pretty confident those weren’t boos for Rhys. My whole row yelled “Rhyyyyyyyyys” when his name was announced.

    1. That’s what I thought I heard, but I was watching on TV so it wasn’t crystal clear.

    2. I verified what I wrote before I wrote it. Friends who saw it on TV when I did. Friends and family of friends who were at the game. Media I talk to who were at the game. And, Phillies’ staff that I know who were at the game.

      I wouldn’t have written it on a whim. I made sure others heard what I thought I heard.

      1. I also had a video from behind the third base dugout during the introductions of the Matt Stairs first pitch game. I deleted it in disgust after listening to it.

        1. I’m one of those in the camp of moving on from Rhys next year to open 1b up to all of the other DH candidates on the roster and using his money elsewhere but I share the disgust of anyone who would boo Hoskins in that situation.

          He’s been nothing but a model player/citizen in the city. He plays hard and is always willing to speak to the media and take the heat. Regardless of his defensive weaknesses and streakiness, his time with the team should be appreciated.

          1. 3up…..tend to agree.
            He has been a great Phillie, embodying the Philly Way.
            IMO, the last arb year for Rhys will be Borasque- like $13/14M AAV…or who knows, Boras may want to go higher if Rhys explodes in the WS.
            Then again will the Phillies offer a LTC…will Boras accept?
            More than likely it will come down to the money.

          2. And so it begins again . . .

            I get the idea of not committing to giving Rhys a big dollar long FA extension. But not re-upping him for next year while he is cost-controlled? After how he delivered this postseason?

            Still don’t get the disrespect . . . Are we watching the same games?

            1. What disrespect? It’s not disrespect to appreciate what a guy has done and also realize that it’s time to move on.

              He’s not cost controlled anymore. His final arbitration year will be for more than they should pay him to play 1b. He would make a great DH but the Phillies don’t need a DH, they already have 3 of those.

            2. Not so. In his last year of arbitration, he is still cost-controlled and team-controlled. He will get paid more than he did last year, but not as much as he would get in free agency. He will probably make about $9.5-13 million next year. In free agency he’s in the $15-18 million a year range.

              But you let him go and then what? You lose offense, that’s what and it will cost a lot to replace what you lose with Hoskins. So Harper goes out to right, Castellanos goes to DH, and Schwarber plays first. Now you’ve got a hitting hole in left field. And if you keep Schwarber in left (I would) who plays first? Sorry, but with all due respect to him, not Darick Hall – a team that goes to the WS doesn’t slot a 28 year-old rookie in at first. So tell me who is out there who hits as well as Hoskins (3.1 bWAR) and is available for about $12 million w/o losing a draft pick? Maybe you’ll give me a good name, but I am not aware of one right now.

            3. In any event, unless DD pulls off some mega trade or finds a first base target who hits better than Hoskins, Hoskins is highly likely to return for next year. After next year – who knows?

            4. “But not re-upping him for next year while he is cost-controlled?”….under normal circumstances that would be true with a guy in his last arb year….but not under the Boras handbook.
              What Boras does may very well decide what Dombrowski will do.
              If the Phillies offer the LTC and Boras rejects it..that means next year is Rhys’ walk year…..then there is only a QO awaiting him from the Phillies after 2023.

            5. I am not too worried about Boras here. Boras knows when he has a lot of leverage and when he doesn’t. Also, the Phillies and Boras know how to cut deals, especially when a player has limited leverage as Hoskins has here. The worst thing that would happen is Boras asks for like $16-17 million, the Phillies counter at around $12.5-13 million and either they cut a deal or go forward with an arbitration, which is unlikely. One way or another, Hoskins plays every game he can next year and tries his best to increase his market value for the following year.

              By the way, I doubt DD offers a long-term contract to Hoskins. Why would he do that unless it was a great deal and we pretty much all know Boras won’t be giving the Phillies a great deal.

            6. “By the way, I doubt DD offers a long-term contract to Hoskins. Why would he do that….”
              ……goodwill and respect,
              …..ignoring Hoskins on a LTC this off-season, only raises some doubts in Hoskins’ mind whether or not the Phillies consider him a part of their future. Surely it is business not personal….but for a longtime Phillie player he could feel slighted.
              IMO, the lTC offeredt may not be of the AAV/length variety that say a Cashman offered Judge last off-season, but it could be more of a team friendly variety.
              IMO, 4 plus an option @ $18M AAV.

  31. This post-season is showing why baseball can capture a city like no other sport. You live and die with these guys day in and day out for 162 games and when they win, it is more rewarding than any other vicarious experience can be.

    BTW, v1, your post on your son saying someday he will tell his grandchildren about the game he attended with his father was priceless. As heart-warming as, well, a Bryce Harper pennant-clinching home run.

  32. Enjoying all your comments; this is such a wonderful forum of true fans. Thank you, Jim! I’ve been reading this site for maybe 15 years(?) There is nothing comparable to the passion and information shared here.

    We are on the West Coast and I’m trying to talk myself and the Mrs into flying back for next weekend. We now divide our time between Scottsdale and SoCal but are So Jersey people. We buy tix each May when the Phils come to Dodger Stadium and also in Phoenix in August. We have purchased the MLB TV App for years. The driver head in my golf bag is covered by the Phanatic. I miss WaWa’s…

    But I admit I gave up after the Cubs series. I said to my Jersey girl, “Why are we doing this? We left the Philly area 40 years ago and in the Summer we live 20 minutes from Dodger Stadium and the Dodgers are great, year in and year out. We are torturing ourselves…and for what?”

    But we just couldn’t switch loyalties.

    Our last game at the Bank was in ‘11…their last post season game until this year. Ryan laying on the ground….So we are just loving this return to glory. No matter what happens in the WS.

    Go Phils!

    (And loved Vi’s post of his son!)

    1. Fan since, 59 I’ve been a fan since 56 and moved to Southwest Florida eight years ago and also have the MLB app, so I can identify with you. Fortunately, we get to see the PhuturePhils from Clearwater when they visit Ft Myers and go Miami for the big club at least once each summer.

      BTW, interesting that the demand for Phillies tickets is so great ($3,000 in the secondary market) that you can buy Astros tickets for $1,500, fly there and still save money.

      Finally, in further agreement, ya gotta love PhuturePhillies, very knowledgeable posters and Jim does such a great job herding the cats and keeping it civil.

      1. Frank, I hope you and yours managed to get through the storm reasonably well.

        Nice to hear from a “fellow traveler” who too lived through it all: ‘64, Black Friday, the run in 80 and so on. Earlier today I heard Bowa talking about that last one. By his account, once they got by Nolan Ryan and the Astros their confidence soared and the pressure was off as they entered the WS. Kinda feels the same to me this time. Hope that’s not just my wishful thinking!

        I agree with Tac and your comment Re: Eagles.

        Underdogs?…fine with me too!

        1. Fan, thanks. We’re fine. Our house got slammed. Missed playoff games for lack of power, Internet or TV, but figure that meant I didn’t jinx ’em. Some how, they managed to win last week even though I was watching.

          Great story in Inky about team chemistry and Kyle Schwarber’s role in nurturing it. This does appear to be a good group of guys easy to root for, like the 2008 team.

  33. Well early word on the street is that the Astros are good … so good that it’s inevitable. Smart money, if not all the money is on the Astros. Might as well not even play the games 🙂

    4 for 4 underdogs … fine with me.

    1. Tac, weren’t the Eagles underdogs in every 2017-18 playoff game, including the Super Bowl?

      Wonder if Rob Thomson has a Philly Special move under wraps.

  34. I am not discounting the Astros at all. But, I am happy being the underdogs again. We can hit, and if we keep our approach at the plate like we have been doing, we can score runs even against the Astros. As far as the off season goes, I think we target Tre Turner #! on our wish list, and move Stott to 2B. I understand the SP argument, and I always respect Hinkie’s opinion, but I just don’t see a $40M offer to Verlander. It wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong. But, I see Turner and a mid level SP, like a Gibson, maybe and another high leverage BP arm.

    1. Other than Valdez…..the Phillies lefties should explode….Harper’s career OPS is almost 130 points better vs RHPs.
      Schwarber also does better vs RHPs…add in Stott and Marsh.
      Hate to be a jinx….but think they win the first game vs Verlander.
      After that anything goes.

      1. We’d all really prefer it if you wouldn’t be a jinx Romus 🙂

        That’s said, I see more ways to lose this series than win it, but it is winnable for sure. All about executing in the moment. Everything else is noise. I’ll refrain my being a jinx myself .. I’ll stop there 🙂

        Let’s Goooo Philllliieesssss!!!!

  35. I watched the replay of game 5 last night. Yes, Phillies won again 4-3. But there are so many little things you miss in real time sitting on the edge of your seat.
    Darvish threw 7 straight balls counting the automatic to Schwarber before
    the Hoskins home run.
    It was raining really hard during the 6th and 7th innings. I wonder if umps gave any consideration to putting tarp on at that point. I wonder if the fact that both Wheeler and Darvish were still pitching kept the game going at that point. Rosenthal came on some time in that area and said 45 more minutes of hard rain.
    It was really tough for the pitchers in those innings. SerAnthony was really pretty good other than the 3 wild pitches. He was really bringing it when he had control of the ball.
    I had forgot that Harper struck out on a 68-mph curve in the 6th. If they only knew.
    Austin Nola led off the 8th vs Alvarado. He would get back up meaning Pads got 2 runners on in both the 8th and 9th innings.
    Suarez absolutely blew the 1st two pitches by JT to start the 8th. Then he got cute and threw it soft and JT ripped it to left for a single.
    Suarez blew 2 fastballs by Bryce to start his AB. Then a couple of foul balls where he was late. Maybe one of the best takes you will see on the 1-2 changeup. That pitch looked like a strike most of the way to the plate.
    Then we all know what happened next. Harper did kind of hesitate rounding 3rd.
    I videoed the Harper home run and Ranger’s last two pitches
    It was fun to watch and so much less stressful.
    Saw that Mattress Mac can win 75 million if Astros win. I think he wagered 10 million at the beginning of the playoffs.
    It is so fun to be a Phillies fan at this time. Lots of my friends have contacted me in the last day or so knowing I am a diehard Phillies fan.
    I am also really glad I have read this site for years and finally got the courage to chip in. Kelly Clarkson has Shane Victorino on her show right now. These next 10 days will be electric for Phillies fans.

  36. One last thought since some are talking about future roster. I do not think win or lose Middleton will hesitate to do whatever he and DD feel will be the best for the Phillies going forward.

    1. Don, I’m very glad you “finally got the courage” to post. You’re one of the best contributors and we all certainly enjoy following the achievements of your grandson.

  37. Lots of great story lines for this series. Chas McCormick is from West Chester

    Both teams starting a rookie SS. Not sure that has happened before or often.

    Dusty Baker has the most wins amongst managers to have never won a ring. His long career in the MLB as both player and manager has only yielded him 1 as player 1981. As a manager he has won pennants in both the NL and AL. 2X in the AL.

    Hecter Neris was really good for them this year

    If the Phillies win this thing both Brandon Marsh and Mickey Moniak will receive WS Rings. Sadly O’Hoppe will not and he may be the best player of the 3.

    And my personal fav is Mattress Mack the big time bettor from Houston has $10 million bet on the Stros to win the WS. If he wins it is worth $75 Mil. Last year he bet a similar amount and lost. In fact it is stated he loses quite a bit on these bets

    Go Phils!!!

  38. ESPN has an article on Mattress Mack. Amazing how these guys make it. Ali helped save him back in the day with a fight gimmick. Couple times he was basically broke.
    Amazing.

    1. Like Mattress Mack, rocco has been know to lay down some large coin.
      Though rocco is more into the horses from what I hear on the streets..

      1. Yes i love the ponies, My oldest son got tickets for fourth game, I think he paid under 200 if i heard him right, I cant walk that far with my knee so i will watch on tv,

        1. rocco…that game is probably a night game…hope the weather holds up.
          Phillies got some luck, Sixers are off until the next night ..Nov 2nd vs the Wizards at Well Fargo , and the Flyers are in New York on Nov 1st

  39. Ticket prices:
    The average secondary market price for a game in Houston is $1,584.
    If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, but it dwindles in comparison to the price of those Philly games…3, 4 and 5.
    The Philly price is more than double that at $3,228.
    Comprende?

      1. I do think, just as a guess, those tickets on the secondary market are not of the ‘nose-bleed variety’ but the lower bowl between first and third…maybe even Diamond club behind the plate.
        I cannot see those prices upper deck or in the outfields

        1. Tickets on the secondary market run the gamut – you can buy anything anywhere. You can buy two tickets now in the upper deck for under $700 – less than what they were going for in 2009 and you can buy field level seats for about $1,000 (each, of course). FYI – the prices are going down right now – markedly so. They will probably stabilize in the next day or so and then go back up again – depending on supply – demand will be there.

        1. Romus, I cant figure you out, successful stock broker, owned 12 properties’, all that money, and you aren’t going to game? Your 84 yrs old, What are you going to do with all that cash?,

          1. rocco….LOL……remember that Tug McGraw quote when he got his first big Met contract…..ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey……the other ten percent I’ll probably waste.

  40. I would start Wheeler over Nola for the first WS game. Wheeler has been more consistent and winning the first game could be crucial. It would give the Phillies an early boost of confidence and get into Houston’s head.

    1. Nola hadn’t given up an earned run in his prior 3 starts before the San Diego game. He was arguably pitching better than Wheeler. I think it’s the right decision, Wheeler has been losing steam in the later innings and these post season games are very taxing mentally.

      Nola’s coming in with 9 days rest, Wheeler is much better statistically with the extra day. The only advantage I would see with starting Wheeler in game 1 would be having him available for Game 7 in the bullpen.

      1. Nola might be the most underrated pitcher in baseball. Some of it is his fault – he had a few very uneven seasons. But a lot of it is just circumstance – he hasn’t won a lot of games, so it hurt his reputation. But he’s superb.

  41. For those arguing that Wheeler should start game 1 so he’s available in game 7 out of the pen, I feel compelled to mention…

    He’ll be available regardless. Everyone will be available. It’s game 7. No one is worried about overwork in game 7. They’ll have all off-season to rest and recover. We have no way of knowing if he’d be any sharper with one extra day of rest. Either way he’ll be out of his typical rhythm.

    So don’t worry about game 7. Go with the rotation that gives us the best chance to win BEFORE game 7. It’ll be tough to get there in the first place, so no point planning for it.

    1. Good points Dan. Phillies best chances to win are probably in a shorter series. Longer probably favors the Astros depth at so many positions.

    2. Dan K….you are a wise man.
      Game 7s are ‘all hands on deck games’……I cannot see any pitcher saying…..’nope, not me today’
      These are what the giants did….MadBum games.

  42. A question for anyone. My grandson would like a Schwarber red pinstripe jersey.
    I have looked at all the sites but do not see any. Lots of JTs. He has a Harper jersey I got him, and he wore it to school yesterday. He is a big Tigers fan but maybe he is changing over to the good guys. Thanks.

  43. Thanks guys. Jerseys are really expensive.
    Disney was really expensive couple week ago.
    I will check these out.

    1. Very expensive, but if it helps the good ones last a long time. My 2008 Hamels World Series jersey has been worn to a lot of games, and it’s got no real damage to speak of.

  44. So true Dan. I sent link to my daughter. She is going to check it out. One of links only had XL. He is not that big. The one you provided showed most sizes available. He is at a velocity pitching program so she has time to look. She said she found one for around $120 last night on a Fanatics site.
    There is no doubt if things are well made, they are going to last longer.
    I kidded her that now is the worst time to find one unless Kyle wins WS MVP.
    That would be ok though. I can chip in some for him.
    Schwarbs an IU guy so us Hoosiers have to stick together.
    Thanks again.

  45. Nola GM 1 – onboard with. He’s got the rest. The question I always had about him was if he could pitch in the playoffs on short rest – this is the correct move.

    GM2 – Wheeler – perfect give his arm the shot it needs

    Hopeful time time off can get the bats locked in. Castellanos, here is looking at you. That’s a lot of time to figure fire it out

    1. Also traded prospects for JT, Sosa, Stubbs, Marsh, Segura, Gibson, Syndergaard, Robertson, Alvarado & Eflin.

  46. Four of the CBS writers are picking the Phillies to win the World Serios.
    They must not think the Phillies winning the NL was a fluke.
    Go Phils.

  47. I’d prefer if fewer people predicted the Phillies. This team has been thriving on being the overwhelming underdog. I feel like if people start believing in them now the magic will run out.

    1. One advantage not mentioned – Topper over Dusty. Yes Topper is unproven, but he has managed confidently. Dusty’s playoff resume is very visible.

      1. I tend to agree. There are a few things that I’ve strongly disagreed with in regards to Thompson’s moves (usually just in-game pitching decisions, but also NEVER putting Guthrie in for Castellanos as a defensive replacement). But on the whole, his moves have been excellent. He seemingly has a very good grasp on the strengths of his players and how to put them in position to succeed.

        Baker, while seemingly an awesome guy and a baseball lifer, has always seemed to me as more of a neutral manager; he makes roughly the same number of good decisions as bad. Which is fine for a powerhouse team like the Astros who just need a guy who won’t get in their way. But I’ve never had the feeling that he’s extracted as much value out of his players as he could.

    2. Good thought Dan. But one thing to keep in mind is the Astros have been here a lot and have 1 title. That one may have been slightly tainted. Maybe they can be the Braves of yesteryear. I think Braves went 13 straight years to playoffs and won 1.

  48. A question for the group… to win the series, this one Phillies hitter must step up: ____, and the pitching staff must corral this one Astros hitter, _____? For me, it’s Jean Segura and/or the nine-hole hitter. The way the top of the lineup is playing, it seems critical to turn the lineup over and have men on base for the heavy hitters. I want to see those guys start to get on base more regularly. As for the Astros, I don’t know all of their hitters well enough, but I’d say it’s a good thing if you continue to keep Altuve down. Always good to keep the leadoff man off the base paths.

    1. To me, it’s JTR that needs to get hot. I expect the Astros to pitch much less to Harper than SD did, so JTR needs to either get on base in front of him to make it harder or get hot behind him if they flip the 2 of them in the order.

      For Houston, its Alvarez who is their best and most dangerous hitter.

      1. I personally think Thomson ought to move Castellanos a few rungs down the ladder in the lineup and move Jean Segura up…at last try for one game and see what happens.

        1. Castellanos is coming back offensively and I think he is a moody personality so fragility is a factor this series along with next year. He is trending up, stay with him might be the next sparkplug.

          1. Denny- I agree with you. I think Castellanos is a sleeping giant – he is capable of finding his stride and could be a factor…..

            1. And going from there;
              Our next 4 batters:
              -Bohm, #1 Pick, 2nd best hitter this yr,
              -Stott, #1 pick, best minor league hitter in organization,
              -Segura, #1 or #2 hitter on team last couple of years,
              -Marsh, #1 pick, was in the top 100 prospects list

      2. I agree with you all that Castellanos is important too. If he’s driving the ball consistently (even if some of it is for outs), it’ll make it harder for Houston to pitch around Harper. He’s a key. I wonder if they will actually move Harper to 3 with Houston not having any lefty relievers. To me, that necessitates another move in the lineup because I don’t think you want JT, Casty, and Bohm all in a row without a lefty thrown into that area of the lineup.

        Getting close now… 36 hours.

        1. Houston may employ Will Smith out of the bullpen to combat Harper and Schwarber. Although Smith didn’t have a successful season, he held lefty hitters to a .637 OPS in 105 meetings between his time in Atlanta and with the Astros.

      1. I tell you what, the Yankees are in trouble, in my view, with or without Judge, but without Judge, they might as well just take a rebuilding year or two. I know they won 99 games, but I don’t think they’re that good. So it wouldn’t shock me if Judge ended up someplace else.

        1. Correct…..Yankees will be in trouble….they will not be able to outbid the Giants, unless they want to break the tax threshold again…..Giants, otoh, have plenty of money to spend under the threshold.
          And then there is Samantha Bracksieck…Judge’s wife and sweetheart since high school and they then together went to Fresno State….both from an hour drive outside SF…she probably wants to be home around family now.
          Especially starting a family.
          Not sure about the Dodgers and how they will navigate their wishes for Judge ….and as for Steve Cohen…..pitching may be their main concern with deGrom/Diaz and then replacing Bassitt and Walker if they move on…then there is Nimmo hitting free agency.
          Plus doubt Judge will jump to the Mets.
          Yankees could be in real trouble if Cashman cannot convince Judge to return.

        2. Quickly looking at the Yankees 2023 Payroll:
          Gerrit Cole…………..$36M
          Josh Donaldson…..$22M
          Giancarlo Stanton…$32M
          Anthony Rizzo………$16M
          Luis Severino……….$15M
          DJ LeMahieu………..$15M
          Aaron Hicks…………$11M
          7 players…………..$147M
          Not sure how Cashman gets Judge back, plus pay the other 32 players on the 40. The Stanton trade has come to haunt Cashman.

  49. I thought it was interesting that there is already open talk of Betts to 2B and letting Turner walk. The Dodgers don’t worry about tax thresholds. To the 65th question, I want Castellanos to get hot and agree I want to keep Altuve off base.

  50. Game 5 of the Astros vs Phillies game is now on MLB. Trillo and McBride just made two great throws to nail runner at homeplate. Great block of home by Boone.
    Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell are announcers. I watched that game. I am really old. Phillies up 2-1

  51. Rose just made 2 great defensive plays.
    One to rob Morgan of a single.
    Second to throw Cabell out at home after bad throw to 1B.
    Boone was really good blocking home plate.
    After 5 innings he has got 2 out at home.
    Amazing how good some of these guys were in their day.
    Phils up 2-1 after 5 innings.

  52. Astros score 3 in bottom of 7th. Lead 5-2.
    Ryan up 3 runs top of 8th and Phillies bottom 3rd of order load bases.
    Rose walks in a run. Ryan out. Caption Ryan’s only WS was in 69 in a 27-year career.
    I had forgot how great this game was. Now 5-4. I think it was Maddox that gets the game winner. Only 42 years ago.

  53. Phillies score 5 in 8th. Trillo key hit.
    Astros 2 in bottom. Tied at 7.
    This game was like game Saturday.
    I had forgot all of this happened.
    I still think Maddox does something to win.
    Tug has been in all 5 games.
    3 games in series went extra innings.

  54. Jim – comments are not enabled on the Trade Rhys post. Was that intentional? or just a settings mistake? I would love to comment on that post as I think that it is a very interesting topic.

  55. Imaging our guys pitching like Lee in 2009. That was something special then. Brilliant performances by Lee.

    On Hoskins, that’s a tough call because it’s not really about Hoskins. It’s about how 3-4 players collide for playing time. Let’s see how the Series goes, and I think the answer will be apparent. Either double down and go even heavier on the hitting or beef up the defense to sacrifice the hitting

    The X factor in this whole team reconfiguration is Painter. If he comes in like Hamels did in 2008… how does that change your opinion? Sure, it’s not guaranteed, but it’s certainly possible imo

    Lastly, tomorrow is the WS, the baseball gods have been smiling down on the Phillies, they are not done yet. Seize the moment Phils! First one to 4 wins.

    1. That’s interesting. If I recall correctly, minor league affiliates are required to update their stadiums to an agreed-upon level in the 10-year agreement they signed after contraction. If the improvements included criteria covered in the agreement, they might be in violation of that agreement. So, yes, Allentown might lose the franchise.

      1. Shame……Coke -Cola Park, less than 15 years old costing $50M to build, and yet does not meet MLB’s criteria.

  56. .

    I laughed when I read Bryce was with his wife, his son, and … Bryson Stott.

  57. Romus…I was just on Phillies shop site. They now have a signed Bryce Harper WS ball for only $699. Now things are getting in you price range. LOL

  58. Just thinking about pitching rotations in the WS; think Gene Mauch would have rotated Bunning and Short in games 1 thru 6 and have Short relieve Bunning in game 7 in 1964 if they would have made it?

  59. Romus…if you prefer quantity over quality, you can
    JT ball $179
    Nola ball $199
    Stott ball $149

  60. Plesac just cracked up Ansinger and Reynolds on MLB set.
    He said that earlier Phillies BP was more dangerous than cigarettes.
    They were discussing the value of Alvarado vs Tucker and Alvarez.

  61. 22 or 27 game 1 winner have gone on to win the World Series in Wild Card Era.
    I am not the math guy like Romus but makes me think tomorrow night is pretty important. I am thinking that is in the neighborhood of 80%. That is pretty strong.
    Go Nola. Go Phils.

    1. Gold Glove Nominees: DRS
      Max Fried (Braves)…..3
      Tyler Anderson s Dodgers)….5
      Corbin Burnes ( Brewers)….4
      —————————————–
      Ranger…DRS =9

      SDI/Rawlings Gold Glove criteria may have prevented Ranger from the competition….not sure how many innings or games a pitcher has to have had participated before qualifying.
      https://sabr.org/sdi/2022-08-28#NLP

      1. Supposedly Ranger was only a handful of innings short of the cutoff criteria and wasn’t eligible.

    2. This is why when Padres bunted in the 9th inning of game 5 I was thrilled because there was no better pitcher to field the ball and throw him out than Ranger, out # 2. Advance scouting missed that one or the batter acted on his own ?

  62. Romus, Ranger’s not qualifying for the GG because of innings makes his numbers even more impressive. His DRS equals the total of Anderson and Burnes together in less innings. Congrats to him!

    1. matt….yes, agree.
      Ranger pitched 155 innings…I would think that is more than enough.
      Fried was 185, Burnes was 202 and Anderson’s IP was 179.

      1. It’s not his overall number of IP that prevented him from qualifying, but when he pitched them. To qualify, a pitcher needs 138 IP by the team’s 138th game. The Phils played their 138th game on 9/9, at which point Ranger had 127.2 IP. He crossed the threshold on 9/16 during the 144th game of the year.

        Personally I think the rule is silly, but they need time to vote on the award and the cutoff has to be somewhere. So here we are.

        1. Thanks for clarifying Dan. I think the rule is silly. Glad that Ranger was recognized by the Fielding bible, though.

  63. Some really good articles, Phillies Official page, 2 writers draft the 30 best players in this years World Series.
    Observations;
    Harper #1
    5 from each club in top 10
    Verlander, Wheeler, Nola 5-7
    Also nice article by Jim Salsbury about Zach Wheeler on NBC Philly.
    Sorry I’m having a brain cramp on how to copy and paste on my Mac.

  64. Well the HR was a mistake for sure. But all 3 of the other hits were good pitches and lucky to be hits. Hopefully we can get some of that luck on our side.

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