Burrell Goes Yard, Phillies Don't

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Jayson Werth is one of the most patient hitters in baseball.

He entered last night’s game against the Rays averaging 4.48 pitches per plate appearance to lead the National League and rank second in the Majors. That is second out of 164 hitters who qualify for the statistic.

Here is the top five:

  1. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox, 4.53
  2. Werth, Phillies, 4.48
  3. Luis Castillo, Mets, 4.37
  4. Nick Swisher, Yankees, 4.37
  5. Adam Dunn, Nationals, 4.34

So it seemed especially surprising when Werth swung at a first-pitch fastball from Rays right-hander Matt Garza in the fourth inning in a 7-1 loss. Garza had just walked Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to load the bases with nobody out.

The conventional wisdom is that Werth should have taken at least the first pitch, but he swung instead and hit into a 5-2-3 double play. Matt Stairs struck out swinging to end the inning.

“The thing that I was thinking about is that he just walked the bases loaded,” Werth said. “You’ve got two lefties behind me (Stairs and Greg Dobbs), so he’s going to try to get ahead. He’s going to try to get ahead with the fastball, and it’s probably going to be in. At least I was looking in. I got the pitch that I was looking for. The location. I just beat it into the ground.

“Would I do it again? Yeah, probably. I’d probably try to put a better swing on it. I went and looked at it (on video). It wasn’t that it was a bad swing. It was a good pitch. It was a strike. It’s what I was looking for. He beat me. I thought about it all game, and I really think if I had the same opportunity I would have done it again.”

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel offered his take.

“Sometimes he takes fastballs … he’ll take two in a row sometimes that look right down the middle,” he said. “I have no problem with him swinging at a fastball, but when you hit it you hit it like it’s 3-0. You hit through the ball. I’m sure he wasn’t trying to hit the ground ball to third, but I have no problem with him swinging at it. But where it went, it was just bad for us.

“As a matter of fact, if you want to know the truth, once he’s had at-bats and once he’s worked a guy an at-bat or two, I would like to see him swing more at first-pitch fastballs.”

*

Werth had an explanation, and Manuel had no problem with it. Jimmy Rollins had no explanation why he flipped the ball to second base in the eighth inning instead of throwing the ball to first to get slow-footed Pat Burrell at first base.

“Usually, I just pick up and go to first automatically — just because the ball is hit soft towards the middle and I’m over on the pull side,” Rollins said. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I really don’t know. It’s an automatic play to go to first. … Every once in a while, those plays happen. And when it happens, it’s like, ‘Gosh, darn it.'”

Rollins is hitless in his last 19 at-bats. He is hitting .135 (7-for-52) with two homers and seven RBIs since he returned to the leadoff spot after hitting sixth June 7-9.

*

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12 Comments

If a pitcher walks the bases loaded, you have to take a few pitches. At that point one run was important. We weren’t behind by six. Rollins took the collar again. Enough already. Remember a few years ago when the Met’s hired a team psychologist to try to penetrate the heads of the prima donnas. Maybe some guys on this team need a good head straightening. I think Blanton pitched a great game and should not have gotten the hook after the double. I know his pitch count was in the hundred teens, but he deserves to loose it on his own and not with the help of the weak bullpen. Did you notice that’s Charlie’s style. Stop being perfect by giving up one late hit and you’re pulled. Romero should have started the inning. Chan Ho Park = Tom Gordon = Jose Mesa. Great taste/ less filling.

TODD ZOLECKI………A question, if you please. Last night marked the 3rd time, in less than half a season mind you, that the only run the Phils scored in a game came from a solo home run by Jason Werth (the other two were on 4/22 against the Brewers and on 6/17 against the Blue Jays). It just got me wondering who holds the record for that. I’m sure the Elias Sports Bureau would have the answer. If you have the opportunity, could you find out from the Phillies’ statisticians who holds the single-season record—-both for the Phils and the all-time MLB—–for number of times a solo home run by a player has accounted for the only run his team scored in a game? Thank you.

That’s it for Rollins when it starts to effect his defense. I missed that at-bat and I was not aware that Burrell got on with a fielders’ choice. That would have been the last out after that great double play by Stairs and Ruiz. Jimmy’s really hurting us now. It’s not like I want Bruntlett to play, but 19 at-bats without a hit? C’mon Jimmy!

Posted this a few threads ago, but it was the last post and then Todd pretended to be a journalist and posted 3 new threads, so here it is again.

As we aproach the trade deadline, we should start thinking of the upcoming years as well as this one. Next year, our entire real 25 man roster (including guys on DL and not the rookies replacing them now), all are under the Phillie’s control except for Stairs, Eyre, Myers and Park. I doubt if any of them will be back except for Myers if he accepts arbitration for a 1 year deal. Stairs can be replaced by Mayberry, for example and RP of Eyre’s and Park’s capabilities are easily found.

In 2011, however, Feliz, Werth, Brunlett, Moyers, Blanton and Durbin are all FA’s. While we have Outfielders in the minors to fill in for Werth ( Mayberry, Taylor, Brown) we have no one to fill in for Feliz, unless you count Donalds. We will also need 2 SPers, and an all round utility guy (Donald’s role, perhaps)

In 2012, we potentially loose to FA: Howard, Rollins, Victorino, Dobbs, Ibanez, Madson, Romero and Condrey. This in addition to the players listed above who are FAs in 2011. We can very likely enter 2012 with only 7 of our current players on the team (Utley, Ruiz, Coste, Hamels, Happ, Lidge, and Taschner) of whom 2 we probably won’t want back in any case (Coste and Taschner).

We need to take all of this into account when trading for pitching and RH bench this year. We can’t give away the players who are potential replacements in 2012. We can’t afford to restock the entire team via FA (we’re not the Yankees after all). This is Rube’s true test, not finding a SP for the last half of this season

Frankly, I’m not worried about 2012. They need to upgrade the pitching now in order to be in position to defend their World F’ing Championship. They have a pretty deep minor league system for the first time in years and should be able to fill in with youth and the occasional FA, which everybody needs to do. The pitching, catching and OF depth looks pretty good. They can spare something to upgrade the rotation right now. The weakness in the system appears to be infielders so they need to keep Utley for life and monitor Donald to see if he can be a decent replacement for Rollins. I thought he would make a decent trade piece this year, but I am really worried about JRoll.

Of course, none of this means anything if Lidge fails to come back.

While I agree that we don’t want to write off this year in favor of 2012, we dont’ want to kill our chances in 2012 either. We need to get a SP, but only if he is going to be a differnce maker. As Charlie has been saying, we dont’ need a #3-5 pitcher. We have tons of them. We need a #1-2 pitcher. If we can get one then it’s probably worth trading almost any prospect (I think you need to keep either Taylor or Brown as well as Drabek, Happ and Bastardo (he’ll be a set up man or closer one day) Under no circumstances, however, di I trade valuable prospects for a run of the mill pitcher (like branton, for example).

I want to win this year, but I want to win in 2010, 2011 and 2012 as well

I’m a huge proponent of sports psychologists. This team needs one badly!

Just as disturbing as J.Roll’s hitting, is his OBP. Maybe if he just stood there not swinging, he could pull off a walk. Or step into a pitch, and get hit. Chase needs to give him some lessons!

Just read in the Inky, that the Hamel’s are expecting a baby boy. Congrats to them! The article said that Heidi is 6 months pregnant. I just saw her at Phillie Phest, and she sure didn’t look 6 months pregnant!

Norma: Guess when you’re “tiny” even when you’re pregnant you don’t look it!

Last night’s game was really frustrating. When Werth hit the solo HR, I screamed at the TV “WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THAT WHEN THE BASES WERE LOAD!!!!?” Also J-Rolls “brain freeze” play was just another example of things seem to be going for this team from time to time. Blanton pitched a great game its such a shame he couldn’t get a “W”.

Well, we all remember Rollins famous comment to Pat in the WS, “what’s missing is you”. Well young James, how’s the shoe fit on you? Please Charlie, move him down in the lineup, he is killing us. The line between loyalty and being just plain stubborn has been crossed, do what’s best for the team, not his ego.

I was thinking the same thing about Werth. Why didn’t you do that weith the bases loaded? Instead of swinging at a terrible ptich from Garza. Garza was all over the place and Werth helped him out with that terrible appraoch. And by the way, Jayson, you could have hussled down the first base ine a bit to break up tht 5-2-3 double pay. And Jimmy should have gone to first base instead of getting that out at second. Pat Burrell was rrunning, everyone knows that Pat is slower thatn a turtle, come on Jimmy. Besides that Joe Blanton pitched great last night.

putting Pat Burell and running in the same sentence is an insult to running

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