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Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hot, hot, hot… 

Don’t look now, but the Phillies have won 12 of their last 14 and are pretty much the hottest team in baseball. How are they doing it?

Not improved pitching: their ERA is 5.00 over the last seven games.

Answer: the Phillies have been hitting again: .555 slugging percentage in the month of June, complete with 15 home runs and 34 extra-base hits in the last 9 games. Not too shabby. Even guys like David Bell are getting into the act (10 for 27 with five runs scored and a home run). Pat Burrell is continuing to perform well, as is Bobby Abreu. Check out some of the Win Shares as of today, and compare with their expected Win Shares:

Abreu: 15 (7 exp.)
Burrell: 11 (6 exp.)
Bell: 3 (6 exp.)
Thome: 3 (5 exp.)

I’ll write something in the next few days about Win Shares in general. I think it observes some comment.

I was thrilled to see so many people reference my comments about Urbina’s groundball-flyball ratio. Adding fuel to the fire was Tom G’s report at Balls, Sticks & Stuff that Urbina was apparently involved in a drunken fracas on the Tigers airplane the other night.

Losing Polanco, adding a flyball pitcher, adding a potentially disruptive influence in the clubhouse … Anyone else sensing that this trade was a major mistake?

Comments:
Well said and well observed about Oogy's g/f ratio. Here we can see that Citizens Bank Park is the 8th easiest place to hit a HR at 1.134. Not as huge a difference as some might think, as CF seems to be as dead a zone as the lines and allies are live ones.

We can also see that Commerce greatly suppresses singles and doubles, which leads to runs ratio of only 1.024 (11th).

This is pretty similar to 2004, so we can assume these are permanent park features. Does this hurt Oogy? Absolutely, but the key, as always with homer friendly parks, is to minimize baserunners by limiting walks and singles, so those homers don't hurt as much.

How good is Oogy at this? His carreer OBP against is a modest .296, which isn't bad for most pitchers. He strikes out over 10/9IP, which is consistent for most fly ball pitchers (that is, strikeout pitchers also tend to be flyball pitchers).

Another byproduct of not giving up many hits ans striking out a lot of guys is that even though he's a flyball pitcher, his slugging % against (carreer) is only .364, which is like facing David Bell every at bat.

In short: don't look just at his g/f ratio and think he won't succeed at Citizens Park. He's no Billy Wagner, but he's quite the jump from Rheal Cormier.
 
I can sense it, the way you can sniff the Pioneer Crossing Landfill on certain hot days in Reading. It's there, but only a small trace of it.
 
I don't think this trade was a mistake. I think Urbina's potential clubhouse issues will be muted due to the presence of his close friend, Abreu, and two other of his countrymen (Chavez and Perez).

More importantly, if you looked at the infield, outfield, starting pitching, and relief pitching thus far, by far the biggest weakness on this team has been the bullpen. I liked Polanco, but I think it's interesting (and I don't mean this to be rude) that one of the loudest Utley fans who wrote about the surprise Polanco arbitration repeatedly is asking if this is a mistake. They cleared the way for Utley - now let's hope Bell is healthy.

I understand the value of stats such as flyball ratio (you were dead on with Milton), but Urbina is a good pitcher. Urbina will help this team, and we did receive a serviceable infielder in return. He's not Polanco, but he definitely is an experienced guy who can fill in.

I think it was a good move and I think we would have all been cursing Ed Wade for not making the move if we were aware it was an option for him and he didn't pull the trigger.
 
I totally love how the Phils are playing right now. What gets me is just the fact that, everywhere you look, people are acting like the NATS are the hottest team in baseball right now. The Nats are hot, make no mistake. But the Phils, man. The Phils! They're way hotter.
 
I really doubt that UU is going to be a disruptive influence in the Phillies clubhouse. First of all, he will be with his close childhood friend Bobby Abreu, has stated that he is happy to be on the Phillies and is fine with the set-up/spot closer role.
 
how can you question the UU acquisition? this was a GREAT move. it was exactly what they needed: help in the bullpen. the only guys who could get anyone out were Madson and Wagner. given their (over)usage lately, i was envisioning Madon's arm coming right out of its socket like in that old SNL skit with the Bulgarian weightlifter at the All Drug Olympics. UU was very likely the best reliever who was going to be available, and we got him very early that it will make much more of a difference than had we gotten him at the 7/31 deadline. Finally, not only did it help the Phillies, but it also means that the Marlins or Braves didn't get him, and their bullpens have been killing them, too.
 
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