Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR
Crossing the Ruben Amaro-con
2007-05-25 10:52
by Mike Carminati

For a team that many picked to contend, this Phils team seems to have a fear of having a winning record. For the fourth time this season—all within the course of seven games—, the Phils lost after reaching the .500 mark last night, 5-4 to the Marlins in 11.

The Phillies lost two of three in the Marlins series due to various and sundry miscues—yesterday third base coach Steve Smith sending pinch-runner and potential tying run Michael Bourn who ended up being out at home by a good six feet, two separate miscues in two separate games by veteran defensive specialist Rod Barrajas each allowing a run, Greg Dobbs' brain fart of throwing home on Hanley Ramirez' bunt with a two-run lead and a man on third, leaving the bases loaded in the top of the llth yesterday. Oh, and they also lost their closer, their second on the year, for who knows how long.

The Phils seemed destined to reside at or below .500 all season. The record for games at .500 is 35 by the 1959 Cubs (see below), but this team seems destined to destroy it. Here are the teams with the most games at .500—note that none made the postseason:

YrTeamGs at .500WLPOS
1959Chicago Cubs3574806
1939Brooklyn Dodgers3484693
1993Chicago Cubs3384784
1999Pittsburgh Pirates3278833
1971Houston Astros3179834
1998Los Angeles Dodgers3183793
2002Montreal Expos3083792
1957Detroit Tigers3078764
1904St. Louis Cardinals2975795
1974Chicago White Sox2980804
1997Pittsburgh Pirates2979832
1983Kansas City Royals2879832
1985Chicago White Sox2885773
1903Brooklyn Superbas2770665
1984Montreal Expos2778835
2005New York Mets2783793
1991Cincinnati Reds2674885
1992St. Louis Cardinals2683793
1996Houston Astros2682802
1910Cincinnati Reds2675795
1958Detroit Tigers2677775
1898Pittsburgh Pirates2672768
1962Detroit Tigers2685764
1993Seattle Mariners2682804

As for the closer or lack thereof, it seems that the Phils are seriously considering 37-year-old Troy Percival, who last pitched, and quite ineffectively, for Detroit in 2005. With no one else having "closer stuff", the Phils will inevitably turn to former closer Antonio Alfonseca, who has wavered between pitching very and well and residing in Charlie Manuel's doghouse all season. I would prefer that they turn to 26-year-old Anderson Garcia, who has been closing very effectively at Reading this year (7 saves, 3.12 ERA, 19 strikeouts in 17.1 innings, 0.98 WHIP). Whoever the Phils turn to will have to avoid the seemingly inevitable injuries that result from Charlie "I Need A Frickin'" Manuel's inability to use a bullpen and overuse of his relievers who produce.

The Phils seemed destined to be the first team in two years with a closer who has at least double-digit save totals. The last were the 2005 Tigers:

YrTeamCloserSvTeam SV
2005Detroit TigersFernando Rodney937
2005Detroit TigersUgueth Urbina937
2003Detroit TigersChris Mears527
2003Detroit TigersFranklyn German527
1998Florida MarlinsMatt Mantei924
1996Detroit TigersGregg Olson822
1994Cleveland IndiansJeff Russell521
1994Cleveland IndiansPaul Shuey521
1994Detroit TigersMike Henneman820
1994Pittsburgh PiratesAlejandro Pena724
1990Atlanta BravesJoe Boever830
1987Cleveland IndiansDoug Jones825
1987Detroit TigersEric King931
1987Kansas City RoyalsDan Quisenberry826
1987Kansas City RoyalsGene Garber826
1985Cleveland IndiansTom Waddell928
1985Pittsburgh PiratesJohn Candelaria929

If they get another pitcher to save at least five to go along with Tom Gordon (5 saves) and Bret Myers (6), they will join this short list of teams without a ten-save closer but with at least three pitchers with five. Of course, they all predated the advent of the modern closer but then again, so does Pat Gillick:

YrTeamCloserSvTeam SV# w/ 5 Svs
1947Chicago White Sox82753
1934Boston Braves52053
1962Chicago White Sox62853
1973Houston Astros62663
1948Philadelphia Athletics51853

The Phils also have a good shot of passing the all-time "record" for most relievers, 22, by the 2002 Padres. The Phils have used 12 through the first quarter of a season and, which will grow to 13 if and when Myers goes on the DL. Also, they currently have no left-handed specialists nor, apparently, a real closer on the roster so you should expect that number to balloon soon. Here's the competition for the most relievers ever:

YrTeam# RPsSv
2002San Diego Padres2240
2000Cleveland Indians1934
2004Cleveland Indians1832
2004Boston Red Sox1836
2000St. Louis Cardinals1837
1997Kansas City Royals1829
2000San Diego Padres1846
2003Cleveland Indians1734
2006Washington Nationals1732
2005Arizona Diamondbacks1745
2006Cincinnati Reds1736
2005Florida Marlins1742
2002Detroit Tigers1733
1995Florida Marlins1728
2005Atlanta Braves1738
1996California Angels1738

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.