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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Aug 5, 2011, 5:28 AM EDT

Ivan Nova

Yankees 7, White Sox 2: Gosh, I just don’t know how the Yankees are gonna compete with the rotation in such bad shape. I mean, really, it’s dire (Ivan Nova 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER 10K).

Phillies 3, Giants 0: Cliff Lee tosses a seven hit shutout. Microcosm game: both teams can pitch, the Giants have no offense anymore, and thus comparisons between this series and the 2010 NLCS are not exactly apt. Seven straight for the Phillies.

Rangers 5, Tigers 2: The Rangers put at least a temporary halt to their current skid behind a strong outing from Alexi Ogando. Brad Penny — who seems to only pitch in day games — got lit up again.

Cardinals 7, Marlins 4: Single, double and a homer for Albert Pujols and — thanks to Edwin Jackson totally wearing that game on Wednesday afternoon — the Cards were able to trot out seven pitchers to keep the Feesh at bay. Like I’ve always said: that Tony La Russa is a genius.

Indians 7, Red Sox 3: Justin Masterson outpitches new hire Erik Bedard. At least by a little. Same number of runs allowed in one more inning for Masterson. The bullpens were the difference, with Andrew Miller giving up two runs on four hits while walking two in two and two-thirds. Carlos Santana went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Kosuke Fukudome had three hits.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 6: An exciting twelve inning affair. Desmond Jennings hit a solo homer in the 10th to tie it up at four. Then Robinson Chirinos tied it in the 11th with a pinch-hit single and won it with a two-out single in the 12th.

Cubs 7, Pirates 6: Things were relatively under control for the Pirates until the eighth, but then four Pirates relievers managed to allow three Cubs runs, turning a 6-4 Pirates lead unto a 7-6 deficit, which proved to be the final score.

Royals 9, Orioles 4: Before the season, every time I was asked about the Orioles’ chances, I’d say something about how that young rotation needs to come around.  Guess what? They never did, and a nightmare season continues.

Angels 7, Twins 1: Dan Haren took a shutout into the eighth and Mark Trumbo drove in four. Home run number 598 for Jim Thome.

Rockies 6, Nationals 3: Esmil Rogers slid into Ubaldo Jimenez‘s slot in the rotation and things went just fine (5.2 IP, 7 H. 1 ER).  A homer for Tulowitzki.

  1. uyf1950 - Aug 5, 2011 at 5:41 AM

    Win streaks are always nice come this time of the year. Yankees sweep a 4 game series on the road from the White Sox with an excellent performance by Nova, and make it 7 in a row for the team. Now the real fun begins with 3 in Fenway. With both clubs having identical records.

    I think Girardi’s going to wait until the end of the month to decide on the starting rotation. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if and it’s a big IF Hughes performs well and carries over his performance from the other night and IF AJ doesn’t start to get is act together that AJ is the one on the outside looking in come September and the post season. Just like last year. That’s just my opinion.

    • pisano - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:44 AM

      I not only agree with you, but it’s the only sensible thing to do. You can’t have AJ starting every fifth day and imploding. If Hughes is really back and Nova only seems to be getting better you can’t be giving possible wins away every fifth day when AJ pitches. I stated the other day that until the Yankees can deal him (if they find some team desperate ) or cut him the only place for him is mop up duty on blowout games. Remember his contract goes through 2013 heaven forbid.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        You guys need to back away from the cliff. He “imploded” during one game. He’s pretty much a league average pitcher, going to give you 6IP and 3ER a game. You make it seem like he gives up 7ER every time he goes out and pitches.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:58 AM

        Church – first, whether it’s perception or reality he is in my opinion not a league average pitcher. How many league average pitchers make $16.5M per year. If as you say he’s “going to give you 6IP and 3ER a game”. Why is his current ERA 4.54. Why is his ERA over the last 30 days 5.54. Why was ERA last year 5.26. Why has he already given up more HR’s this season then in all but 3 of his previous seasons in the ML. He’s getting worse with each passing start, not better. From my perspective I’m tired of hearing people (not on this board) say he should be so much better with his stuff, etc…, etc… The reality is for nearly 2 years he has underperformed dramatically, and something needs to be done. When the discussions by the Yankees ownership/management are who should the Yankees move out of the rotation and he gets a pass solely because of his “salary” somethings wrong. That’s just my opinion.

      • Alex K - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        6 IP and 3 ER is a 4.50 ERA. Just sayin’….

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:25 AM

        How many league average pitchers make $16.5M per year

        Has nothing to do with my comment. The yanks overpaid. We knew that. We knew it three years ago when they signed him to a contract.

        Why has he already given up more HR’s this season then in all but 3 of his previous seasons in the ML

        Because he’s pitching in the AL, against better players? If you want a statistical based opinion, he has the second highest HR/FB rate of his career (14.9% vs 10.9% career). He’s actually giving up the least amount of LD since he’s been with the Yanks (17.3% vs 17.6% and 18.0%), the highest GB rate since he’s been with the Yanks (48.8% vs 44.9% vs 42.8%). It just sucks that some of his flyballs are going over the wall which is evidenced by a 3.93xFIP.

        From my perspective I’m tired of hearing people (not on this board) say he should be so much better with his stuff, etc…, etc…

        I agree, sort of. The guy has almost 2000IP in his career, [channeling Denny Green] he is who we thought he is.

        When the discussions by the Yankees ownership/management are who should the Yankees move out of the rotation and he gets a pass solely because of his “salary” somethings wrong

        Come on, you’re a Yankee fan. When has money* ever stopped them from doing anything?

        *Kei Igawa is a different story.

      • hasbeen5 - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        “But that argument applies to every hitter in the league. It’s a reality that to drive in the most runs you will need guys to get on base in front of you. I don’t think Howard should be penalized for being able to capitalize on getting lots of opportunities. In any case RISP is one possible way to normalize all that (though not perfect).”

        See I think this is why RBI doesn’t mean as much as a lot of people believe. I think a percentage of RISP driven in would be more informative.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 5, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        To Church – Thank you for your reply. I’m not sure all of it is accurate however. Again, in my opinion what he’s making has everything to do with it. But that’s just my opinion. Obviously others don’t subscribe to that theory.

        As for the HR’s. He’s been in the AL for 6 years now. And at his present pace Burnett is on “track” to give up 30 HR’s more by 20% then any other season season AL or NL. As for your comment about Igawa, he is a different story. The Yankees realized their mistake and banished him to Triple A. No such luck with Burnett.

        To Alex – Your response about the ERA doesn’t address my comment about his 2010 ERA of 5.26 or his ERA for the last 30 days of 5.54.

        Gentlemen, I understand where both of you are coming from. But from my perspective Burnett has been an utter disappointment. Whether it’s because of salary, performance or both it really doesn’t matter in my opinion. And when you add on top of that he has potential in the next 2 year “because of his salary” and/or wishful thinking on the part of Yankee executives to prevent the Yankees from investing in other options either homegrown or via FA that’s a problem. And let’s not fool ourselves gentlemen the Yankees these new “sheriffs” that are in charge now do have a budget. It may be $200M or $210M but their is a limit and that seems very clear to me.

        One thing I’m sure of Yankee fans all share one goal that’s for the team to win and I’m just not sure that with Burnett doing what he’s doing for the next 2 plus years that’s the best way to achieve that goal. Have a good day everyone.

      • Alex K - Aug 5, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        I was really just saying that 6 IP 3 ER is a 4.50 ERA. It was a context thing, not any type of rebuttal to you. A.J. was bad last year and he’s average this year.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:05 PM

        To Church – Thank you for your reply. I’m not sure all of it is accurate however. Again, in my opinion what he’s making has everything to do with it. But that’s just my opinion. Obviously others don’t subscribe to that theory.

        What part isn’t accurate?

        As for the HR’s. He’s been in the AL for 6 years now. And at his present pace Burnett is on “track” to give up 30 HR’s more by 20% then any other season season AL or NL. As for your comment about Igawa, he is a different story. The Yankees realized their mistake and banished him to Triple A. No such luck with Burnett.

        Of course it is, because he’s giving up the second highest HR/9 and second highest HR/FB rate since he’s been in the AL. And the reason Igawa is in AAA is because his salary doesn’t count against the Yanks for luxury tax reasons.

        To Alex – Your response about the ERA doesn’t address my comment about his 2010 ERA of 5.26 or his ERA for the last 30 days of 5.54.

        Because ERA is a terrible indicator of pitching and is prone to wild swings.

      • spudchukar - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        Yankee fans and UYF, you are the ultimate one, my chum, know the perils of Burnett. Add the pressure of post-season and the likelihood of success is minimal. Assuming that October baseball is in the offing, after C.C., who do you see being #2 and #3? Unless Hughes shows me an awful lot in August, I gotta believe it is Garcia then Nova. Agree? Colon seems to be more fitted for the relief role than Garcia.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        Add the pressure of post-season and the likelihood of success is minimal

        AJ Burnett in ’09 playoffs:

        ALDS – 6IP, 3H, 1ER, 5BB, 6K
        ALCS – 6.1IP, 3H, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
        ALCS – 6IP, 8H, 6ER, 3BB, 3K
        WS – 7IP, 4H, 1ER, 2BB, 9K
        WS – 2IP, 7H, 5ER, 3BB, 3K

        Yup, no success whatsoever. Just nothing but terrible game after terrible game. Oh wait….

      • uyf1950 - Aug 5, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        Church – how is this possible in one post you use Burnett’s innings pitched and ERA average per game to partially justify you comment that’s he’s a league average pitcher. Then in your most recent comment you do an about face and to quote your reply to Alex and I quote “Because ERA is a terrible indicator of pitching and is prone to wild swings” when it’s pointed out Burnett’s does not fit nicely into the 6 inning 3 ERA average scenario. Your 2 comments on the surface don’t see jive.

        It appears neither one of us is about to change our minds about Burnett and since we both feel strongly about our position there is no reason to. With that said I’m done on this topic, enjoy the game this evening, my friend.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM

        Because ERA over a person’s career stabilizes, he’s had almost 2000IP. ERA over one year, which last year was less than 10% of his career, or 30 days, is no where close to a large enough sample size.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        when it’s pointed out Burnett’s does not fit nicely into the 6 inning 3 ERA average scenario

        Just to add on, he precisely does fit into this scenario.

        23 Starts
        15/23 he’s given up 3ER or less (65% of the time)
        20/23 he’s given up 4ER or less (87% of the time)

        This year, he’s given up 1ER the same amount of times as 6ER or 7ER.

    • dailyrev - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:13 AM

      Made this point yesterday before “that happened” and the Yanx-Sawx were tied:

      Check this out: Sawx went 20-6 in July and only led by 2. Today, if the Central-leading Tigers were chasing the Sawx, they’d be 10 games back. Texas would be 8G back. Milwaukee would be 7.5G back; SF would be 7G back. Atlanta would be 5.5 games back. Only Philly beats them (2.5G ahead of Sawx).

      Yanx are 1 out of 1st. That’s a team playing some seriously good beisbol, yet all I see in the headlines is how bad their pitching is and all the A-Rod drama.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 5, 2011 at 5:43 AM

    Last night showed a couple things about bullpens. First, a team like the Phillies with their starting pitching really doesn’t need much of one, especially come playoff time when they will be allowed to leave it all out their. Mr. Lucky had a rough night at the plate but Mr Overrated picked him up just fine. Maybe if people looked past their Phillies hate at the player, they wouldn’t write silly articles about a guy being “overrated” who is hitting .308 with a 130 OPS+. But to each his or her own.

    Second, a team like Boston definitely does need their bullpen, and not one that is overrated. Sure I know Bard had the big streak and everything but is anyone really secure looking at the Sox pen and thinking it is going to dominate the 7th-9th? Especially since it is likely that it is going to be called upon since it seems the starters are 7 inning pitchers at best? This weekend will show a lot. Will they so what they did last year and lose to the Yankees after beating them up? Or will they continue to show their author-tay?

    • Kevin S. - Aug 5, 2011 at 6:25 AM

      See, here’s the problem. 130 sounds good, until you realize that makes Howard 12th among qualified first basemen, behind luminaries such as Michael Morse, Michael Cuddyer and Casey Kotchman. wRC+ has him 15th. If one is rating him as an average-to-slightly-above-average first baseman, that’s fine, but calling him (and paying him like) one of the best first basemen in the league is over rating him. First base carries too high of an opportunity cost for Howard to be considered elite.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 5, 2011 at 7:09 AM

        Mr. Overrated is Hunter Pence. Mr. Lucky is Ryan Howard. They both have similar OPS+ but Chris was talking about Pence….the .308 BA give it away. I said it the other day, I will say it again; people use OPS to say that Howard is overrated, I use Howard to say that OPS is overrated. Anyway, how about Howard defensively last night? Excellent game; several tough picks and that over the shoulder catch.

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:21 AM

      Lol, Mr. Lucky has driven in one fifth of all the Phillies runs this season. Mr. Lucky sure is lucky.

      • hasbeen5 - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:23 AM

        I’m not taking anything away from Howard, but doesn’t the fact that he has all those guys on base ahead of him make him lucky? I mean, if the Phillies had the OBP of the Braves, I’m guessing he wouldn’t have as many RBIs.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:31 AM

        Now that I’ve said that, I do have to follow it up with Mr. Lucky hasn’t even heated up yet which looks like it may be beginning now. He’s been doing less than I like to see from him in the first half and he seems to be turning up the heat. Howard got better as soon as Pence was plugged in behind him.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:34 AM

        I’m sure there is a stat out there that says that Howard gets all these guys on base. However, it has to be a bit over stated. For a majority of the season, the Phillies had Rollins and Polanco 1-2…neither big OBP guys. Granted Utley and Victorino get on base at a high clip, however, it was not until recently that they both were batting ahead of him. Howard also has a .312 BA with RISP….not too shabby.

      • hasbeen5 - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        That’s true, he didn’t have them in front of him all year. Like I said, not taking anything away from him. I guess I’m just jealous that in Philly, getting somebody to second base isn’t worthy of a standing ovation like it is in the ATL

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        Hasbeen, they aren’t all that great with the OBP. Really. With that logic, where are all of Beltrans RBI’s ? TheMets have a much better OBP than the Phillies And the Mets have faster legs on base too. Howard has always been a leader in RBI’s and Home runs since he’s come up without being on a big OBP team. There are always criticisms of what he doesn’t do right yet he’s on the leader boards every season since he’s been up. All I’m saying is he drives in runs and he drives in more runs, Like Fielder won’t get “overpaid” either? How much are 120 to 150 runs worth to a team?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:51 AM

        I’m sure there is a stat out there that says that Howard gets all these guys on base. However, it has to be a bit over stated.

        It’s not. Here’s a stat courtesy of Joe Posnanski from 7/12:

        Comment: Howard leads all of baseball with 296 runners on base. He had an amazing 60 game-stretch recently when he hit .223 … and he still drove in 47 runs in those 60 games

      • bleedgreen - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:51 AM

        Hasbeen5,

        Wait… you mean to tell me that if theres no one on base in front of you, you can’t get a whole lot of RBIs? Blasphemy! And for all the poogpoohing of Ibanez this year, he still has 60 RBIs as well, and he’s been batting behind Howard most of the season… but thats still 27 less than Howard. He’s LEADING THE LEAGUE IN RBI. He hasn’t had less than 100 RBIs since 2005! He had 108 last year, missing over a month of playing time. Suffice it to say he probably would have had 10-15 RBI at a minimum in a month of play. Also, that 108 was the lowest of his career when he played the full season. Before that his low was 138. How people can say a guy with an average of 130+ RBI a year is overrated is beyond me.

        Over his career, he’s averaged .85 RBI a game. Pujols has .78. Fielder has .64. Utley has .64. A-Rod is .79 and Jeter is .49. So yeah, how again is Howard overrated? He’s an RBI machine whether it comes from home runs or not is irrelevant. He drives in runs, and thats what wins baseball games.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:02 AM

        Did Posanski happen to give Howard’s BA with RISP during that stretch? If not, then it is just more meaningless nonsense.

      • FC - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:04 AM

        getting somebody to second base isn’t worthy of a standing ovation like it is in the ATL

        Yeah I know what you mean, I remember as a teenager coming home from a date yelling: “I made it to second base!”, Dad was like: “been there, done that, kid.” *sigh*

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:07 AM

        Did Posanski happen to give Howard’s BA with RISP during that stretch? If not, then it is just more meaningless nonsense.

        Why are you changing the subject? Hasbeen5 mentioned that it’s possible Howard has so many RBI because of the players in front of him being on base. You made a comment saying it’s overstated. The fact is he’s leading the league in having men on base while hitting.

        As for his BA with RISP, almost every batter in MLB hits better with men on base. However, when you hit .223 over a 60 game stretch and still knock in 47 runners, I think that shows he has a lot of people on in front of him.

      • FC - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:13 AM

        He’s not changing the subject. Asking for his BA with RISP during that stretch is a legitimate question, as a matter of fact his general BA is less relevant. It doesn’t matter how many men get in front of him, how many is he driving home when he gets an opportunity is what actually produces those RBI. Stopping at general BA is making an incomplete and shoddy analysis.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:14 AM

        How am I changing the subject? You don’t think his BA with RISP is relevant to his RBI totals? Furthermore, did Posanski break down at what base the runners were on? All those things seem particularly relevant to me given the context of the conversation.

      • Alex K - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        How does his batting average with RISP make a difference to what Joe Pos was saying? Do you seriuosly think that Howard has some magic ability to hit better with RISP? If he can urn it on like that why wouldn’t he do it all the time?

        There are a lot of people on base when he come to the plate. He hits a lot of HR’s. That means he is going to get a lot of RBI.

        The RBI is not a good stat to base the worth of a player on. They can’t control how their teammates do. Would you consider Howard a worse player if there were 100 less men on base when he came up and he got 50 less RBI?

      • FC - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:35 AM

        How does his batting average with RISP make a difference to what Joe Pos was saying? Do you seriuosly think that Howard has some magic ability to hit better with RISP? If he can urn it on like that why wouldn’t he do it all the time?

        It has nothing to do with Magic, teams play Howard differently. With bases empty they play an extreme shift on him because he pulls the ball, so he frequently hits balls into spaces where normally there would be holes or gaps . With men on base, they can’t do that, they need to cover the bases for possible DP and defending against SB. So for Howard there’s a measurable difference in hitting with bases empty and men on base (most notably scoring position).

      • FC - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        They can’t control how their teammates do. Would you consider Howard a worse player if there were 100 less men on base when he came up and he got 50 less RBI?

        Which brings up the question of BA with RISP. This tells you the rate at which the hitter is driving home the runs given the opportunity to do so, and this is independent of total RBIs or total runners in front of him.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:40 AM

        And yet Howard is hitting .312 with RISP this season. And yet, despite not having big OBP guys sans Utley hitting in front of him he habitually leads the league in RBI’s. And yet, he is top 5 in the league in getting the runner home from second. Listen, if you think that having runners on base or RISP is irrelevant to how a guy performs at the plate…whatever, that is your prerogative. I disagree. In fact, people just have a diametrically opposed viewpoint of RH. People can go on and sight whatever peripherals they want, it is irrelevant. What is relevant is producing runs and Howard is among the best in the league at it and has been since arriving. Howard this year without men on base .226, with men on .284, RISP .312…OPS of .806, .869, .929 respectively. I don’t know, those numbers with RISP look dramatically higher to me.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        This is basically an argument that can not be won by either side. The fact is that some people like Pepsi and some people like Coke. Some people like Vanilla and some people like Chocolate. And some people think RBIs are overrated and some people think they are not. Doesn’t really matter because like I said…Mr. Lucky continue to rake and when he has an off night, then Mr. Overrated picks him up.

      • Alex K - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:48 AM

        I don’t think Ryan Howard is a bad player. He just isn’t a great player. If you put almost any other power hitter in his line up spot (for the Phillies) they would also have a ton of RBI. That’s all I’m getting at. His RBI total is more a function his team than it is him. That doesn’t make him suck, it makes the RBI stat suck.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        Listen, if you think that having runners on base or RISP is irrelevant to how a guy performs at the plate…whatever, that is your prerogative. I disagree. In fact, people just have a diametrically opposed viewpoint of RH

        We’re not saying that at all. What we’re saying is that A, everyone hits better with RISP, and B, Howard has more guys on base than everyone else in MLB.

        As mentioned above, a big issue is that the shift takes a lot of hits away from Howard, and you can’t shift with men on base. Many of us argue that Howard, while still great at knocking guys in, shouldn’t get ALL the credit for it because if the guys in front of him weren’t on base, he wouldn’t get any RBI (save his HRs).

      • bleedgreen - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        Chris,

        How can someone think that RBIs is overrated? RBIs win games. Thats the primary way to win games. Score runs.The best hitters in the world don’t win games if there’s no RBIs.To state otherwise is silly.

        “I think the team that scores the most runs is going to win the game.”

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:53 AM

        Alex K,

        “I don’t think Ryan Howard is a bad player. He just isn’t a great player.”

        He’s not a great player? Are you joking? He’s one of the premier home run hitters and RBI producers in the game and has been over the last several years. He’s also a former MVP in the NL. If you don’t like the guy, just say so. But, to say he’s not a great player is crazy.

      • Alex K - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        Bicepts- I don’t think he is a great player. He’s very good. I just hink he is a touch below great (and trending down). He was great in 2006, 2007, and 2009, but those are three season out of seven full seasons and parts of two others. Not thinking that Ryan Howard is a great player doesn’t mean I’m crazy, it just means I disagree with you.

        I could care less about his RBI totals, by the way. He has good players on his team that have a lot to do with that. His MVP should be in Pujols’ awad cabinet, as well.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:37 AM

        “I don’t think Ryan Howard is a bad player. He just isn’t a great player.”

        He’s not unfortunately. While I don’t like fWAR for 1b due to the defensive component. He’s his rank in batting runs against the rest of MLB.

        2011 – 14th (300 PA min)
        2010 – 12th (500 PA)
        2009 – 9th (500 PA)

        He hits a lot of HR’s, and he gets a lot of RBI due to the players in front of him. But his walks are decreasing, his power is dropping, and the K rate dropping might be a factor as well.

      • FC - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:38 AM

        Many of us argue that Howard, while still great at knocking guys in, shouldn’t get ALL the credit for it because if the guys in front of him weren’t on base, he wouldn’t get any RBI (save his HRs).

        But that argument applies to every hitter in the league. It’s a reality that to drive in the most runs you will need guys to get on base in front of you. I don’t think Howard should be penalized for being able to capitalize on getting lots of opportunities. In any case RISP is one possible way to normalize all that (though not perfect).

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        Damnit against MLB 1B. Where are you EDIT FUNCTION?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        It’s a reality that to drive in the most runs you will need guys to get on base in front of you.

        Of course, but who should get the credit for that? MLB and the talking heads give ALL the credit to Howard. Those of us above pointing out the fact that if Utley/Rollins/Victorino weren’t on in front of him, still are giving credit to Howard for knocking them in, but we’re not genuflecting at his feet. Say 70/30 credit to Howard.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        You know, Chris F. said it best earlier with his Coke/Pepsi analogy. Some people prefer Coke, others Pepsi. What I see here is that people like to point out Ryan Howard’s flaws through numbers anyway they can to discredit him as a ballplayer. You say his numbers are declining (power, average, etc.). But, what you fail to point out is that hitting across all of baseball is down. I don’t want to dispute why this is the case here.

        You then bring up Sabermetric numbers that mean nothing to me from my perspective to support why Ryan Howard is not a great player. Maybe in your fantasy league, he is a bad baseball player. All I know is in real life baseball, the guy is great. If you ask any GM in the NL who they would rather have at 1st base and batting 4th other than Howard, you may only hear the name Pujols.

        But, those of us who know that Ryan Howard is a great player will never be able to speak to the sabermatician about this, because you will throw in numbers to back your case as to why he is not great.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        What I see here is that people like to point out Ryan Howard’s flaws through numbers anyway they can to discredit him as a ballplayer.

        How are we trying to discredit him? The problem is many of us think of him one way and some of you disagree. By pointing out all the ways he’s declining in no way removes what he’s done as a player.

        You say his numbers are declining (power, average, etc.). But, what you fail to point out is that hitting across all of baseball is down. I don’t want to dispute why this is the case here.

        Except I’m not talking about things like HR, I’m talking about statistics like ISO. Per the definition at fangraphs:
        Isolated Power (ISO) is a measure of a hitter’s power. Or, to look at it another way, it measures how good a player is at hitting for extra bases.
        Howard’s was in a steady decline from a height of .346 in ’06 to .316, to .292, to .229.

        His Walk Rate from a high of 16.5% of plate appearances to 11.6 to 10.7 to 9.5

        NOTE: both his walk rate and ISO have increased from last season, but still well below his best

        If you ask any GM in the NL who they would rather have at 1st base and batting 4th other than Howard, you may only hear the name Pujols.

        Going to ignore the sabr comments, should have went with mother’s basement. However, I like how you prefaced the comment with NL GM. Because that removes Adrian Gonzalez from the equation. However, I’d still take Votto and Fielder over Howard.

    • Joe - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:51 AM

      Thing is, Boston’s bullpen has actually been pretty good, and not overrated by any stretch. Papelbon had a rough week or so in early June, but he’s been outstanding otherwise. Bard has been outstanding. Aceves and Albers have been real good. Dan Wheeler’s got a 4.54 ERA, but after April 11 he’s had a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Morales has been excellent prior to last night. Outside of Bobby Jenks, who only has 15 IP, and the schmeg they’ve brought up from Pawtucket to fill out the back end when needed, the bullpen has been solid.

    • phukyouk - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      “Will they so what they did last year and lose to the Yankees after beating them up?”
      two years ago…. :-)

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:41 AM

        Yeah two years ago :P

  3. joshftw - Aug 5, 2011 at 6:05 AM

    Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia could both pitch perfect games next week, and people would still be questioning the Yankee’s rotation.

    …Of course, those concerns are valid as long as A.J. Burnett is still pitching.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 5, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    I would like to give some credit to Madison Bumgarner. He was lucky to escape the first inning without a beating, but after the 2nd he was brilliant. One of the best performances I’ve seen against the Phillies all year. That kid is going to be a star. Cliff Lee was equally brilliant last night. Some good defense behind him as well. I’m interested to see the dynamic between Utley and Sanchez tonight. Last time I saw that guy he was unnecessarily jawing at Utley.

    • gogigantos - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      Didn’t he, that guy Bumgarner, look good in Phillie last October,, mmmm hmmm

    • goawaydog - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:06 PM

      Many others, rookie or otherwise might have folded after back to back jacks like that. That kid however has ice water in his veins … Another example, he gave his fiancé a cow for her wedding present, that takes cajones. Thank you for your support, I for one look forward to watching him pitch for years to come.

  5. hasbeen5 - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Was there any retaliation by TLR for hitting Freese? I mean, clearly that was intentional with the bases loaded.

  6. Joe - Aug 5, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    Andrew Miller wasn’t great, but Franklin Morales gave up 400-foot bombs to the first two batters he faced to cough up the lead, so I think his performance probably warrants the negative press.

  7. cur68 - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Talk about a let down. The Mighty Men Of Beaver Town nearly got it done. Once again, for about the 20th or so time, they blew the save. This was 2 blown saves in 1 game, too, just to really twist the knife. Plenty of offence, not so much with the closing out.

    Rasmus is starting to get it done. Finally. Matter of inches for a homer. Bautista showed him how THAT was done. But for Davis crossing up his feet, and getting picked off @ 1st, the game would have been over even with the bullpen insisting on giving out runs.

    Now the Orioles. Which bird is mightier? Hang in there sports fans, because its going to be one Brett Lawrie’s turn to contribute at the Major League level.

    • FC - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      The Jays are infuriating. I hope AA has plans to put some good pieces into the BP, because he got Colby but he had to dismantle the little good he had in it to get him.

      • cur68 - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        Yeah, giving up Scrabble and Frasor was tough, man. Not that they were closing out any better with them, mind you. But at least they didn’t blow it twice in the same game before.

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