Reason #1,942,813 Why Chase Utley Is Great

Cliff Lee was in a bit of trouble in the top of the fourth against the Mets this afternoon. After allowing a single to Eric Young, Jr., Wilmer Flores laced a line drive down the right field line. While Young was running to second, Utley acted as if Flores had hit a pop-up. This caused Young to slow up to find the ball in case he had to go back to first base. Of course, he didn’t, but once he found out it was too late to round third base and go home. While Young eventually came around to score on a ground out, Utley did save a run with the Academy Award-worthy acting.

.gif after the jump.

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Delmon Young Had A Bad Night (.gifs)

Lots of things have gone wrong for the Phillies since coming back from the All-Star break. They have lost 13 of 15 games and have kissed any of the previously-improbable odds of making a run at the post-season goodbye. Injuries have stolen Domonic Brown, Ben Revere, and Ryan Howard from the Phillies and they have been hard-pressed to replace the lost production.

The Phillies dropped last night’s nationally-televised game to the Braves 4-1, giving the Braves their tenth win in a row and the Phillies their fifth loss in a row. It was a depressing game all-around, but it was Delmon Young who ran away with the worst performance of the night. In four at-bats, he struck out four times and saw a total of 15 pitches. Those of you quick at math realize that it takes three strikes to strike out, so with four strikeouts you have 12 of your pitches gone right there, meaning Young saw only three extraneous pitches in four at-bats. It was, in the time between when you wiped the tears from the corner of your eye and your next crying fit, comical.

Let’s relive Delmon’s night together, in .gif form after the jump. The usual caveat applies: if you have a slow computer, the barrage of .gifs may bog it down, so be forewarned.

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Ethan Martin Scouting Report

Ed. Note: This was originally scheduled to run prior to the start of last night’s Braves-Phillies game, but Eric had trouble getting WiFi at the airport.

Tonight marks the debut of Ethan Martin, a 6’2” righty who was the primary return in the Shane Victorino trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer. Martin has one of the better arms in the system but also has a few issues that could prevent him from pitching as a starter long term. I’m writing this post in the Philly airport, waiting to board for a flight to Florida, so bear with its length, which is considerably shorter than you’re used to seeing from me.

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The Second Circle of Hell (.gifs)

On Thursday, we relived a hellish inning in which Phillies pitching surrendered eight –yes, count ‘em, eight — unearned runs to the Detroit Tigers in one inning. There were three errors, two walks, and only two hits, the last of which was a soul-crushing grand slam. At the time, it seemed like the perfect send-off into a roster liquidation, but alas.

Seemingly motivated to one-up themselves, the Phillies played an inning and a half of some of the worst baseball you will see this year. Scholars are debating which has been worse, the eight-run inning against the Tigers, or the end of last night’s series finale against the Giants. For science, let’s relive all of the awfulness in .gif form after the jump. As usual, if you have a slow computer or Internet connection, this page will probably bog it down.

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The Inning from Hell (.gifs)

The Phillies played their two worst games of the season to close out the weekend in Detroit. On Saturday, they were dominated by Max Scherzer and the Tiger offense, falling 10-0. Yesterday, the Phillies went out to an early 3-0 lead, but Jonathan Pettibone gave up three in the fifth before manager Charlie Manuel called upon his bullpen. The bottom of the sixth may have been not only the worst inning the Phillies have played this year, it may have been their worst of this millennium. They surrendered eight runs to the Tigers on two walks, three errors, and it was capped off by a Jhonny Peralta grand slam. Can you think of a worse inning?

If you missed it, or simply want to torture yourself by reliving the bottom of the sixth yesterday, I’ve captured the magic in .gif form. Those of you with slow computers may want to avoid clicking through.

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PSA: Michael Young Isn’t Fast

Judging by the aggression with which third base coach Ryne Sandberg instructs third baseman Michael Young to run the bases, one would think that Young possesses a modicum of agility. Not true, sadly. 2011 was the last season in which Young stole more than two bases and he’s overall been a below-average base runner every year dating back to 2007, according to FanGraphs. Over the last week, though, Sandberg has been sending Young home with reckless abandon on outfield hits, but Young has been safe exactly zero times out of three attempts.

Below are all three depressing attempts. Continue reading…

.gif: Domonic Brown’s 12 May Home Runs

Domonic Brown finished the month of May with 12 home runs, the most by a Phillie in a month since Ryan Howard in May and August 2006. He also became the first player in baseball history to hit at least 10 home runs without drawing a single walk in a calendar month. Brown has homered in four out of his last five games, including multi-homer games in two out of his last three.

Here is an enjoyable .gif with all 12 of his May homers, followed by a heat map of the pitch locations.

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A Visual Look at Delmon Young’s Tuesday Night

For some hitters, they see five pitches more or less in a typical at-bat. When Pat Burrell drew a team-high 114 walks in 2007, he got to a 3-0 or 3-1 count in 87 of his 598 plate appearances (14.5 percent). For Delmon Young, he has gone to 3-0 or 3-1 in three of 89 PA (3.4 percent). That’s right, Delmon Young has been in a 3-0 or 3-1 count exactly three times this season.

In last night’s 3-1 victory over the Red Sox, Young came to the plate four times and saw five pitches in total. Total. Like the cereal. Let’s take a stroll through his Tuesday night. Lots of .gifs after the jump.

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The Wednesday Ten: Starving for WiFi

Once again, the Tuesday 10 has become the Wednesday Ten as Paul, your regularly scheduled host, searches high and low in Manhattan for an Internet connection. Much as early man scoured the desert for water, man now crawls on his hands and knees, growing weaker by the hour until he finds WiFi. Is that… a Starbucks? With free Internet? No, couldn’t be. The closer you get, the more you think your search has ended until… nope, just a mirage. What you thought was a Starbucks in the distance turned out to be the halal cart.

Let’s jump into the Ten.

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