What’s on Tap 9-21-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 21-09-2010

Tagged Under : Adalberto Mendez, Astros, Braves, J.A. Happ, John Lannan, Marlins, Mets, Mike Minor, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Phillies, Roy Halladay

Tuesday’s games:

Braves vs. Phillies

The Braves and Phillies continue to fight it out tonight to win the NL East. Mike Minor (3-1, 5.84 ERA) gets the start for Atlanta. Roy Halladay (19-10, 2.49 ERA) starts for the Phillies.  Game time is 7:05 p.m. in Philadelphia.

Nationals vs. Astros

The Nationals look to take game two against Houston tonight in Washington. John Lannan (8-7, 4.61 ERA) takes the hill for Washington. J.A. Happ (5-2, 3.63 ERA) gets the start for Houston. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Marlins vs. Mets

The Marlins and Mets begin a short two-games series tonight in Florida. Adalberto Mendez (1-1, 1.74 ERA) starts for Florida. Mike Pelfrey (15-9, 3.84 ERA) starts for New York. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

NL East Recap 8-20

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 21-08-2010

Tagged Under : anibel sanchez, Atlanta Braves, Brad Lidge, Carlos Marmol, Chase Utley, Chicago Cubs, Chris Carter, Cody Ross, Dan Uggla, Derrek Lee, Florida Marlins, Hector Luna, J.A. Happ, Jason Marquis, Jeff Karstens, Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Raul Ibanez, Rick Ankiel, Roy Halladay, Ryan Dempster, Washington Nationals

Braves vs. Cubs

Derrek Lee went hitless in his Braves debut against his former team, but Atlanta mounted another late-inning rally and defeated the Cubs 5-3 in Chicago.

 

Braves Cubs BaseballCubs’ starter Ryan Dempster allowed just two runs and four hits over eight innings.  Chicago handed the ball to closer Carlos Marmol in the ninth to try to protect a 3-2 lead.  Marmol (2-3) walked the bases loaded, and then allowed a bases-clearing triple to Braves outfielder Rick Ankiel to give the Braves a 5-3 lead.  Billy Wagner allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth, but retired the next three batters to earn save number 30.  Atlanta reliever Peter Moylan (5-2) pitched a perfect eighth inning to earn the victory.

 

 

Nationals vs. Phillies

The Phillies scored an early run, and ace Roy Halladay made sure it held up as the Phils defeated the Nationals 1-0 in Philadelphia.

 

Nationals Phillies BaseballThe game’s lone run came in the third inning when Raul Ibanez doubled home Chase Utley off of Nats’ starter Jason Marquis (0-6).   Halladay (16-8) allowed eight hits and three walks over seven innings, but didn’t allow a run to score.  The Nationals finished the game with 10 hits, but stranded 12 baserunners in the shutout.  Phils’ closer Brad Lidge came on in the ninth and earned his 17th save.

 

 

Mets vs Pirates

The Mets offense finally woke up in Pittsburgh, and Mike Pelfrey pitched eight solid innings in New York’s 7-2 victory over the Pirates.

 

Mets Pirates BaseballThe Mets scored three runs in the top of the first off of Pirates’ starter Jeff Karstens (2-10), and added two more runs in the third and fourth innings.   Jose Reyes and David Wright paced the offense with three hits apiece, and Chris Carter added a home run and two RBI for the Mets.  Pelfrey (12-7) allowed just two runs (one earned) and five hits in his eight innings, striking out five.

 

 

Marlins vs. Astros

Anibel Sanchez was dominant, and Florida’s offense exploded late in the Marlins’ 9-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Miami.

 

Astros Marlins BaseballHouston starter J.A. Happ (3-2) allowed a run in the first inning, and then held the Marlins scoreless until the sixth inning when Dan Uggla hit a two-run single.  Sanchez helped his own cause with a run-scoring single in the seventh, and the Marlins added three more runs in the inning to build a 7-0 lead.  Cody Ross and Hector Luna hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning for Florida to cap the scoring.   Sanchez (10-8) allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings, and the Florida bullpen pitched two perfect innings to close out the victory.

What’s on Tap 8-20-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 20-08-2010

Tagged Under : Anibal Sanchez, Astros, Braves, Cubs, J.A. Happ, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Marquis, Jeff Karstens, Marlins, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates, Roy Halladay, Ryan Dempster

Friday’s games:

Braves vs. Cubs

The Braves begin their series with the Cubs tonight in Chicago. Jair Jurrjens (5-4, 3.92 ERA) starts for Atlanta. Ryan Dempster (11-8, 3.62 ERA) starts for Chicago. Game time is 2:20 p.m.

Mets vs. Pirates

The Mets send Mike Pelfrey (11-7, 3.95 ERA) to the mound as they begin their series with the Pirates. Jeff Karstens (2-9, 4.57 ERA) starts for the Pirates. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. in Pittsburgh.

Nationals vs. Phillies

The Nationals and Phillies face off in Philadelphia. Jason Marquis (0-5, 14.33 ERA) starts for Washington. Roy Halladay (15-8, 2.24 ERA) starts for Philadelphia. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

Marlins vs. Astros

The Marlins begin a weekend series against the Astros in Florida. Anibal Sanchez (9-8, 3.31 ERA) takes the mound for Florida. J.A. Happ (2-1, 4.66 ERA) gets the start for Houston. First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

NL East Recap 8-10

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 11-08-2010

Tagged Under : Alex Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Anibal Sanchez, Astros, Billy Wagner, Braves, Brooks Conrad, Casey Blake, Chipper Jones, Chris Carter, Dan Uggla, Dodgers, Domonic Brown, Francisco Rodriguez, Gaby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, Ivan Rodriguez, J.A. Happ, Jair Jurrjens, Jay Gibbons, Jeff Francoeur, Jonny Venters, Jose Reyes, Josh Thole, Kyle Kendrick, Logan Morrison, Marlins, Matt Kemp, Matt Lindstrom, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Omar Infante, Phillies, Placido Polanco, Rockies, Stephen Strasburg, Troy Glaus, Ubaldo Jimenez, Vicente Padilla, Wes Helms, Wilson Valdez

Mets vs. Rockies

Rockies Mets BaseballThe Mets beat the Rockies 1-0 Tuesday night. This game featured a great pitchers duel between starters Mike Pelfrey and Ubaldo Jimenez. The only run of the game came in the bottom of the 7th. After walking Chris Carter to start the inning, Jimenez then gave up a double to Josh Thole to put men on second and third. A few batters later, Jose Reyes hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Jeff Francoeur, who pinch-ran for Carter.

Pelfrey went 7 strong innings to get the win, giving up no runs and only four hits while striking out four.  Jimenez also went 7 great innings, but took the loss. Jimenez allowed one run on four hits while striking out eight. Francisco Rodriguez recorded his 25th save of the season for the Mets.

Marlins vs. Nationals

Marlins Nationals BaseballThe Marlins took the series opener 8-2 Tuesday. Florida jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the 1st on an Dan Uggla home run. Uggla drove in two more runs in the 3rd on a double to left field to score Hanley Ramirez and Gaby Sanchez. Washington got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd after a field error by Wes Helms allowed Ivan Rodriguez to score. Florida added three more runs in the 5th with doubles by Sanchez and Helms. Logan Morrison singled in the 6th to score Ramirez, making it 8-1 Florida. Washington had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th, but could only get one run home to make it 8-2.

Anibal Sanchez got the win, going 6.2 innings and giving up two runs on five hits while striking out seven. Stephen Strasburg took the loss, going 4.1 innings and allowing six runs on six hits while striking out four.

Phillies vs. Dodgers

Dodgers Phillies BaseballThe Phillies fell to the Dodgers 15-9. Andre Ethier drove in Los Angeles’ first two runs of the game with a single in the 1st and a double in the 3rd. Ethier would score later in the 3rd on a single by Jay Gibbons. The Dodgers scored four more runs in the 4th to make it 7-0 Dodgers. Placido Polanco scored the Phillies first run in the bottom of the 4th. In the bottom of the 5th, Wilson Valdez scored on a ground out by Polanco. Ross Gload followed with a two-run shot t0 right field to cut the lead to 7-4. As soon as the Phillies made it a close game, they gave it all right back, giving up four more runs to L.A. in the top of the 6th. Domonic Brown homered in the 6th for the Phillies to make it 11-5. Los Angeles responded in the 7th with two more runs on a single by Matt Kemp. Philadelphia put up two runs in the 7th on a homer by Gload to make it 13-7.  In the top of the 9th, Casey Blake made it 15-7 Dodgers with a two run home run to left field. The Phillies fought back in the bottom of the inning, but were only able to add two runs on a double by Brown.

Vicente Padilla got the win, going 5 innings and giving up four runs on six hits while striking out two. Kyle Kendrick took the loss, lasting only 3.1 innings and giving up six runs on eight hits while striking out one.

Braves vs. Astros

Braves Astros BaseballThe Braves beat the Astros by a score of 4-2. After entering the game for an injured Chipper Jones, Brooks Conrad scored the games first run in the 7th on a single by Troy Glaus. The Braves defense was sloppy in the bottom of the 8th, however, with errors by Alex Gonzalez and Omar Infante allowing Houston to take a 2-0 lead. Solo shots by Conrad and Glaus in the to of the 9th gave Atlanta the lead.

Braves starter Jair Jurrjens went 7.1 innings and got the no decision. He gave up two runs on six hits while striking out three. Jonny Venters got the win for Atlanta after facing just one batter. Houston starter J.A. Happ also got a no decision, going 6.1 innings and allowing one run on two hits while striking out six. Matt Lindstrom took the loss for the Astros. Billy Wagner  came in to pitch a 1-2-3 9th to get his 28th save of the season for Atlanta.

What’s on Tap 8-10-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 10-08-2010

Tagged Under : Anibal Sanchez, Astros, Braves, Dodgers, J.A. Happ, Jair Jurrjens, Kyle Kendrick, Marlins, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Phillies, Rockies, Stephen Strasburg, Ubaldo Jimenez, Vicente Padilla

Tuesday’s games:

Marlins vs. Nationals

The Marlins and Nationals play the first in a three-game set tonight in Washington. Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 3.50 ERA) takes the mound for Florida. Stephen Strasburg (5-2, 2.32 ERA) starts for the Nationals. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Phillies vs. Dodgers

Kyle Kendrick (7-4, 4.37 ERA) and the Phillies take on Vicente Padilla (5-3, 3.09 ERA) and the Dodgers tonight in Philadelphia. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

Mets vs. Rockies

The Mets send Mike Pelfrey (10-6, 4.16 ERA) to the mound as they take on Ubaldo Jimenez (17-2, 2.61 ERA) and the Rockies tonight in N.Y. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Braves vs. Astros

The Braves and Astros continue their series in Houston tonight. Jair Jurrjens (4-4, 4.48 ERA) gets the start for Atlanta. J.A. Happ (2-1, 4.03 ERA) starts for Houston. First pitch is 8:05 p.m.

Nl East Recap 7-25

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 26-07-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Ben Francisco, Brad Davis, Brad Lidge, Braves, Brewers, Brian McCann, Casey Blake, Casey McGehee, Chipper Jones, Chris Volstad, Clayton Kershaw, Clint Barmes, Cody Ross, Dave Bush, Dodgers, Eric Hinske, Hanley Ramirez, Ian Desmond, J.A. Happ, Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Francis, Jesse Chavez, Jimmy Rollins, joe beimel, Jonathan Lurroy, Jorge Sosa, Josh Willingham, Kenley Jansen, Marlins, Melky Cabrera, Mets, Nationals, Nyjer Morgan, Pedro Feliciano, Phillies, Prince Fielder, R.A. Dickey, Rickie Weeks, Rockies, Ross Detwiler, Russell Martin, Ryan Madson, Ryan Spilborghs, Wes Helms

Braves vs. Marlins

Braves Marlins BaseballThe Marlins beat the Braves 5-4 in 11 innings. An RBI single in the first by Brian McCann and a home run off the bat of Eric Hinske in the 3rd gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead. Florida got on the board in the bottom of the 4th, scoring four runs in the inning. Cody Ross drove in Hanley Ramirez with a single, followed by two more runs thanks to a triple by Wes Helms. Helms would score the 4th run of the inning on a single by Brad Davis. A sacrifice fly by Melky Cabrera in the 6th cut the Marlins lead to 4-3. Atlanta tied up the game in the 8th on a double by Chipper Jones. It would remain 4-4 until the bottom of the 11th when Ramirez scored the winning run on a walk-off single by Helms.

Chris Volstad went 6 innings, giving up three runs on five hits in his no decision. Jair Jurrjens got a no decision as well, throwing 7 innings and allowing four runs on six hits. Jorge Sosa got the win for Florida. Jesse Chavez took the loss for Atlanta.

Nationals vs. Brewers

Nationals Brewers BaseballThe Nationals fell to the Brewers 8-3 Sunday. Milwaukee jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a single by Jonathan Lucroy and a wild pitch by Ross Detwiler allowed Prince Fielder to score. Milwaukee scored three more in the 4th thanks to a throwing error by Ian Desmond and a two run shot off the bat of Rickie Weeks. A sacrifice fly by Josh Willingham and an RBI single by Adam Dunn in the 6th got the Nationals on the board and cut the Brewers’ lead to 5-2. Nyjer Morgan singled home a run in the 7th making it 5-3. Milwaukee responded in the bottom of the 7th with a three-run shot off the bat of Casey McGehee.

Ross Detwiler took the loss in his first game back since undergoing hip surgery in February.  Detwiler lasted only 3.2 innings and gave up five runs on three hits. Dave Bush got the win, going 6 innings and allowing three runs on six hits.

Phillies vs. Rockies

Rockies Phillies BaseballPhiladelphia beat the Rockies 4-3. The Rockies, Clint Barmes, drove in the game’s first run in the 1st.  The Phillies responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run shot to left field off the bat of Ben Francisco. Ryan Spilborghs homered in the 4th for Colorado to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead. The Phillies came back in the 7th as Jimmy Rollins drove in and scored the Phillies’ 3rd and 4th runs.

J.A. Happ got a no decision, throwing 5 innings and allowing three runs on four hits.  Jeff Francis also got a no decision, going 5 innings and giving up two runs on six hits. Ryan Madson got the win for Philadelphia. Joe Beimel took the loss for Colorado. Brad Lidge recorded his 9th save for the Phillies.

Mets vs. Dodgers

Mets Dodgers BaseballThe Mets fell to the Dodgers 1-0, finishing their road trip with a 2-9 record. Russell Martin doubled to left field in the 8th inning, scoring Casey Blake from first base for the game’s only run. The Mets threatened in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, but couldn’t break through against Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw.

R.A. Dickey left the game after landing awkwardly while pitching to Martin in the 6th.  Dickey was pulled after pitching 5.2 brilliant innings, and giving up two hits.  Kershaw pitched 8 very good innings to get the win. He allowed seven hits and no runs. Pedro Feliciano gave up the winning run giving him the loss. Kenley Jansen recorded his 1st save for the Dodgers.

What’s on Tap 7-25-2010

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Whats on Tap) by klake13 on 25-07-2010

Tagged Under : Braves, Brewers, Chris Volstad, Clayton Kershaw, Dave Bush, Dodgers, J.A. Happ, Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Francis, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Phillies, R.A. Dickey, Rockies, Ross Detwiler

Sunday’s games:

Braves vs. Marlins

The Braves and Marlins both go for the series win in the rubber game this afternoon. Jair Jurrjens (3-3, 4.25 ERA) gets the start for Atlanta. Chris Volstad (4-8, 4.78 ERA) take the mound for Florida. First pitch is 1:10 p.m. in Florida.

Phillies vs. Rockies

The Phillies send J.A. Happ (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound as they continue their series with the Rockies. Jeff Francis (3-3, 4.63 ERA) starts for Colorado. Game time is 1:25 p.m. in Philadelphia.

Nationals vs. Brewers

Ross Detwiler (-,- -.–) makes his first start for the Nationals since having hip surgery in February. Dave Bush (4-8, 4.34 ERA) gets the start for the Brewers. First pitch is 2:10 p.m. in Milwaukee.

Mets vs. Dodgers

R.A. Dickey (6-4, 2.73 ERA) and the Mets look to end their road trip with a win as they close out their series with the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 3.15 ERA) starts for the Dodgers. Game time is 4:10 p.m. in L.A.

The Point Is…

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 15-12-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Kennedy, Adrian Beltre, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Billy Wagner, Boston Red Sox, Brian Bruney, Brian Schneider, Chris Coste, Cliff Lee, Curtis Granderson, Daniel Schlereth, Edwin Jackson, Florida Marlins, Gregor Blanco, Houston Astros, Ian Kennedy, Ivan Rodriguez, J.A. Happ, Jeremy Hermida, Jesse Chavez, Kyle Drabek, Lance Armstrong, Mark DeRosa, Matt Lindstrom, Max Scherzer, Michael Taylor, Mike Lowell, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Placido Polanco, Rafael Soriano, Roy Halladay, Shane Victorino, Takashi Saito, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals

TPI took last weekend off and you have my sincerest apologies. On a rather humorous note, the Red Sox have tried to trade the Lance Armstrong of the Baseball World (Mike Lowell) to the Texas Rangers and would look to replace him with….drumroll….Adrian Beltre. I am not a general manager, though I do manage several fantasy baseball teams, but do you think it would be wise to bring in a guy who underperforms and is overpaid, into a fishbowl like Boston???? Do you really think Boston’s fans will have the patience for .250, 20 HR, and decent range/arm???? Not a wise move IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). Yes, I speak in acronyms sometimes.

The NL East has been busy this off season. First let me address the Granderson trade. Love this move. Absolutely love it. But not for the Yankees. I love it for the Diamondbacks. Dont get me wrong, Granderson will make a fine addition to the already potent/imposing Yankee lineup. But you have to love what the Diamondbacks did. They imported Edwin Jackson, and Ian Kennedy. They have now added two starters to their rotation. Scherzer was good, and Schlereth might end up being a good reliever, but any time you can get a #2 guy to be your #3, it is a good move. Kennedy is definetly a #4 guy and he will thrive in that roll. Great move all around for everyone involved although I think the Tigers got the worst of the deal, which is not a knock on them. It was a fair and balanced trade all around.

Pudge Rodriguez. 2 years from the Nationals. I like what they are doing here. Sure, it is not 2001, but you have to like the fact that the Nationals are trying.   Getting Bruney from the Yankees is a good move.  Strengthens the bullpen.  If they could get another starting pitcher, they might be decent to watch.

Welcome Back, Enrico Polazzo!

Welcome Back, Enrico Palazzo!

Placido “Enrico Palazzo” Polanco has rejoined the Phightin Phils. I like Polanco as a player. I have a soft spot for guys who take pitches, work the count, and make contact. Very valuable. Like a Shane Battier of Major League Baseball. Does the fundamental things right, but isnt a superstar. My question is, where does he hit in that lineup? Are the Phils going to move him down in the order, which kind of negates his value.  Are they looking to move Victorino down?  That is the only downside of this move.  Polanco would not be a good #6 or #7 hitter.  Mark DeRosa/Adam Kennedy I think would have been a better fit. 

Apparently, not thankful enough to be playing professional baseball!

Apparently, not thankful enough to be playing professional baseball!

The Mets and Phillies each got a new backup catcher.  The Phillies picked up Brian Schneider while the Mets got Chris Coste.  Calling this move minor would still overplay its signifigance, but what makes it interesting is Chris Coste’s statements about his remaining “a lifelong Phillie”.   Further, Mr. Coste found it “difficult” to sign with the Mets.   Frankly, I am glad players have a little more invested in their employers than simply their loyalty to the all mighty dollar.  However, Mr. Coste, the Phillies just cut you.  They deemed you worthless, so worthless in fact, that they signed Brian Schneider to replace you.  Mr. Schneider  hit .218 last year.  .218!!!!  I think it would be wise for Mr. Coste to close his mouth, cash his paycheck, and thank the heavens above that someone wants to pay him to play baseball.

Moving on, the Braves signed Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito and traded away Rafael Soriano, who had accepted arbitration.  Really, the Braves moved laterally here, unless you count what was received from the Tampa Bay Rays, right handed reliever Jesse Chavez, as an improvement.  It seems a right of passage for baseball teams to turnover their bullpens.  Usually, guys who one team didnt like move to a team that likes them slightly more.  Is Billy Wagner better than Rafael Soriano?  Not really.  Maybe cheaper, but otherwise, pretty much the same pitcher with similar injury concerns.  Saito is interesting but I think he has fallen from his spot as a stable bullpen presence. 

The Marlins yardsale continues as they have traded away Matt Lindstrom and Jeremy Hermida this offseason.  From Boston, the Marlins received, what else, young talent, in two left handed pitching prospects.  I dont even know what the Marlins got from Houston for Lindstrom.  Let’s just say, for arguments sake, it was a bag of magic beans. 

I cannot comment on rumors because they are just that, rumors.  I am sure there were other moves I missed, such as the Mets setting the world on fire by signing Henry Blanco who should not be confused with Gregor Blanco, because they are not related. 

Wait a second, you are not Cliff Lee....

Wait a second, you are not Cliff Lee....

Oh yeah, another thing, the Phillies just traded for Roy Halladay and three prospects.  If you read NLEastChatter, you knew I said that the Phillies needed pitching.  Well, they got it.  Just not in the way I imagined.  It is a shrewd business move, trading one star for another, especially since it looked unlikely that the Phillies could retain Cliff Lee past 2010.  However, do the Phillies actually get better?  They trade away 2 prospects in Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor and get three players back.  So essentially, for Roy Halladay, several months of Cliff Lee, and three prospects the Phillies traded 5 prospects, which really isnt a bad deal.  However, at the end of the day, entering next season, the Phillies still have one true ace, a solid number two/maybe ace/maybe bust and J.A. Happ.  This is exactly what they had when the season ended.  While Halladay is a great, great pitcher, the rest of the National League East cannot be any more afraid of the Phillies than when they had Cliff Lee. 

The rest of the offseason will be filled with what the hell the Mets will do.  The Mets, surrounded by Boston, the Yankees, and the Phillies, have watched all three teams pull off great moves and great signings.  They will be pressed into action.  The Nationals are essentially waiting for the dust to settle to see who will accept signing with the Nationals as opposed to playing in Japan, the Braves are quietly trying to put together a team in a city that cares slightly more about the Braves than the Hawks, but well below the Falcons and college football.  Lastly the Marlins appear to be determining who will show up for Spring Training to decide who they should sign.  With that said, feel free to show up to Marlins spring training.  If you manage to look official you might just join the 40 man roster.

The Hot Stove

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 21-11-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, Adam LaRoche, Andy Pettite, Atlanta Braves, Austin Kearns, Ben Sheets, Benny Agbayani, Billy Wagner, Bobby Howry, Brad Lidge, Brett Myers, Brian McCann, Bruce Chen, Carl Pavano, Chipper Jones, Cole Hamels, Dan Uggla, Darryl Hamilton, Derek Lowe, Eddie Guardado, Edwin Jackson, Eric Bedard, Fernando Rodney, Florida Marlins, Hank Blalock, Hideki Matsui, J.A. Happ, Jarrod Washburn, Jason Bay, Jason Kendall, Jason Marquis, Javier Vazquez, Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Joe Crede, John Lackey, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Jorge Cantu, Jose Contreras, Justin Duchscherer, LaTroy Hawkins, Marco Scutaro, Marlon Byrd, matt holliday, Melvin Mora, Miguel Olivo, Mike Cameron, Mike Hampton, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Octavio Dotel, Orlando Hudson, Paul Byrd, Philadelphia Phillies, Rafael Soriano, Randy Wolf, Rich Harden, Rocco Baldelli, Russell Branyan, Ryan Madson, Ryan Zimmerman, Scott Podsednik, Shawon Dunston, Stephen Strasburg, Tim Hudson, Todd Pratt, Tommy Hanson, Vicente Padilla, Washington Nationals, Yunel Escobar

I never knew why it was called the Hot Stove, and I suppose in the age of Google and Wikipedia, I could easily find the answer to that question. Ultimately, it does not matter so I will simply continue on in blissful ignorance. Sports has become a 24 hour a day, 365 investment. Baseball is no different. As soon as the season ends, whether your team won or lost the World Series, the question is the same, what about next season? It does not take long before everyone wonders where free agents are going, how much money they are going to get, and who is the favorite next year. The Yankees are already facing questions like, are they going to resign Johnny Damon? What about Matsui? Is Pettite going or coming back? What about Holliday, Bay, and Halladay? I mean this team just won the World Series. I am going to be honest. I do not have any inside information. No one at any of the NL East teams is feeding me information.
Here is what I do know and it has been said by much smarter and more eloquent people than I. You cannot win in the offseason. So let’s take a stab at some of the more popular off season rumors and take the opposite position and see where that gets us.

Popular Theory #1

The Phillies are only looking to add a third baseman and complimentary pieces. Otherwise, they are still the team to beat.

I have to be honest, despite the nausea that ensued from watching the World Series as a Mets fan, I was envious of the way the Phillies were constructed. However, that same World Series exposed a lot of problems that the other NL East teams were not in a position to capitalize on last year. Cole Hamels is a question mark. Can Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ be counted on to perform as well as they did last season? Jayson Werth a 40 HR guy? Did Brad Lidge turn into a pumpkin? The least of the Phillies problems is 3rd base. With the Phillies lineup, they need someone slightly better at the hot corner than, say, Roger Dorn. The Phillies though could use a Randy Wolf type starter or try and catch lightening in a bottle with Eric Bedard. Rafael Soriano is available and if he can stay healthy, he would be a great setup man, push Madson to the 7th inning and also serve as insurance should Brad Lidge regress further into pumpkin pie. (Hope you appreciate the seasonal reference.) I understand that the Phillies will not overspend for John Lackey, but pitching wins. You cannot outslug everyone, especially in the playoffs. The Phillies need to find find a wily veteran to play third base, like the Marlins did with Jorge Cantu, and hope for the best. The rest of whatever money is available should be poured into the starting rotation and the bullpen.

Free Agents to Target: Joe Crede, Marco Scutaro, Rafael Soriano, Ben Sheets, Randy Wolf, Billy Wagner, Melvin Mora, Adam Kennedy, Jason Marquis.

#2

The Braves should look to unload salary by trying to dump Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez.

I am going to say it, the Braves could be on the short list for the Wild Card next year. Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar, Adam LaRoche and Brian McCann create a pretty competitive lineup. Lowe, Hudson, Vazquez and Hanson are not a bad front 4. With the Mets and Phillies looking vulnerable, why would the Braves start bailing? While I dont think the Braves should make a run at Holliday or Bay to try and “go for it”, I do think they should look to invest their money. I am thinking Mike Cameron. I think they try to bring in Randy Wolf, or make a trade for Edwin Jackson. Speaking of trades, make an offer for Dan Uggla, I bet it would take less than you would think. The Braves can compete and though Lowe and Vazquez are huge contracts, can you really consider trading them? The Braves knew what they were getting into when they signed Lowe. Might as well make the best of it.

Free Agents to Target: Mike Cameron, Scott Podsednik, Marlon Byrd, Bobby Howry, Octavio Dotel.

#3

The Mets need to sign Matt Holliday and/or Jason Bay and/or John Lackey.

As a Mets fan, it would be great if the team could be run like fantasy baseball team. It cannot. While a left fielder would be great, and the Mets could sorely use the power, this team needs to be more artfully constructed then just plugging in Holliday. Now, the Mets could have a Yankee moment and burn money by signing Lackey and Holliday/Bay and turn the baseball world on its head, but that wont happen. This team needs a more focused approach. The Mets have won before with the likes of Darryl Hamilton, Benny Agbayani and Todd Pratt. The Mets need quality top to bottom. They need a solid rotation. The bench was exposed last season. The Mets should not have players on their team that might appear on a 1998 baseball card. Signing one big free agent will not solve this problem. There is better ways to invest money than in Holliday.

Free Agents to Target: Austin Kearns, Rich Harden, Adam Kennedy, Jarrod Washburn, Fernando Rodney, Jason Kendall, Jon Garland, Miguel Olivo.

#4

The Nationals should….

Eek. I dont know where to begin. The Nationals need to establish a winning culture. Right now, they are about inspiring as East Germany before the wall fell down. (Again, another culturally relevant point, Google it if you dont know why.) However, there is hope. Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman. Stephen Strasburg. A mildly intriguing starting rotation. The fact is, Washington, right now can neither afford nor attract top talent. So it needs to continue to build like it did when it signed Adam Dunn. In this market, given the fact that bigger teams are reluctant to give up draft picks and pay out top dollar, teams like the Nationals can sign players like Adam Dunn and thereby become competitive.

Free Agents to Target: Orlando Hudson, Justin Duchscherer, Hank Blalock, Ben Sheets, Brett Myers, Carl Pavano, Paul Byrd, Jose Contreras.

#5

Marlins? Marlins? Bueller?

As with the Nationals, the Marlins are a total mystery as to what direction they will take. They are rumored to be looking to move pieces. I just dont know. I dont even know what to say. It wouldnt surprise me if the Marlins found a way to finish below the Nationals next year or if they won the World Series. What I do know is that they have cheerleaders. Yes, you read it correctly. Rivaled only by the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders for “Fewest Fans to Entertain”, the Marlins have decided cheerleaders are a good way to get people to the ballpark. They have been around for a few years and it always surprises me when I see them. Is this the UFL? What happened to this baseball game? How much are they getting paid? How much could a ticket possibly cost to sit directly behind them? Anyway, the Marlins will probably have one signing that makes you go, oh yea, remember when he was good for that one season? The Marlins should give out an award to that guy. Call it, the Ken Bottenfield Award and it should be written into the contract.

Free Agents to Target: Mike Hampton, Vicente Padilla, LaTroy Hawkins, Shawon Dunston, Russell Branyan, Bruce Chen, Eddie Guardado, Rocco Baldelli. (Although to type this list makes me feel like I am wasting my time).

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see who the teams in the NL East decide to sign and/or trade for, but there are always some surprises.

NL East Daily Recap from 9-29-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 30-09-2009

Tagged Under : Angel Pagan, Atlanta Braves, Brian Sanches, Cameron Maybin, Carlos Beltran, Centerfield Gate, Chris Coghlan, David Wright, Elijah Dukes, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, Ian Desmond, J.A. Happ, Kaz Matsui, Kenshin Kawakami, Lance Berkman, Leo Nunez, matt diaz, Mike MacDougal, New York Mets, pedro feliz, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, renyel pinto, Ryan Madson, Ryan Zimmerman, Sean Green, The Braves Baseball Blog, The REal Dirty Mets, Tim Hudson, Tyler Clippard, Washington Nationals, Wilton Lopez

Feliz with a granny

Feliz with a granny

Pedro Feliz helped the Phillies finally cut down on their magic number to win the National League East, during a 7-4 win against the Astros.  Pedro Feliz  hit a fourth inning grand slam in the fourth inning putting the Phillies up for good in this one.  J.A. Happ(12-4) pitched 5.2 innings giving up only nine hits and four runs (three earned) and threw 199 pitches for the win in this one.  Ryan Madson got his tenth save of the year as he appears to be the closer of the week, but did give up two hits before recording the final out and needed 27 pitches to do it, check out Phillies Phandom for more.

Wilton Lopez(0-1) couldn’t do what the no name pitcher on Monday could do to the Phillies and was tagged for five runs and six hits in only 3.2 innings.  The Astros got home runs from Lance Berkman early and a two run shot from Kaz Matsui in the sixth inning but they ended their four game winning streak for the year against the Phils.

noimageOnce again the photographers took the night off for the game… thanks!

Anyway, the Braves finally lost a game, and it was a damaging loss as both the Rockies and the Phillies both won.

Chris Coghlan had three hits and two runs scored and Cameron Maybin had two RBI as the Marlins went on to beat the Braves by a score of 5-4.  Josh Johnson pitched well through five, giving up three hits and a run but left with a no decision in this one as the Braves eventually tied it.  Renyel Pinto(4-1) worked 1.1 scoreless innings to get the victory in this one and Leo Nunez got his 25th save of the season, check FishGuts for more.

Tim Hudson had a rough start for the Braves as he went five innings and allowed seven hits and four runs and three walks, but was bailed out by the bats to not get the loss.  Kenshin Kawakami(7-12) went 1.2 innings of relief and gave up three hits and a run in taking the loss in this one.  Matt Diaz had the big blow in this one, a three run shot in the sixth to tie the game off Brian Sanches, but it wasn’t enough.  Check out The Braves Baseball Blog for more.

MacDougal gets another S

MacDougal gets another S

The Nationals took advantage of bad defense for the Mets last night on way to their second straight win, 4-3.  Sean Green(1-4) gave up an unearned run with a walkwhile there were errors by the middle infielders for the Mets allowing the Nats to take the lead.  Tyler Clippard(3-2) worked two innings of scoreless relief to get the win as well and then passed to MacDougal for his 18th save of the season even though he gave up a hit, but struck out two.  Centerfield Gate has more on the Nats win.

Going to the eighth inning, the Mets were up 3-0, then it fell apart.  In the eighth, Pelfrey gave up a two run home run to rookie Ian Desmond and later, a RBI single to Ryan Zimmerman to allow the game to be tied.  The Mets got an RBI walk to Beltran in the first and two RBI singles, one by Pagan and one by Wright in the second inning.  They had a chance to tie it on a deep fly by Wright in the top of the ninth, but a great running catch by Elijah Dukes killed that momentum.  Check out The Real Dirty Mets Blog for more.