Ben Fran and the Backup Boys Clean House, 7-1

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 29, 2010 11:09 PM | Comments: 0
2010 Game Recaps, Posts

It’s turned into a waiting game, basically. Everyone is looking ahead to the postseason, which starts next week. The reserves stepped in once again on Hangover: Day 2, pushing the Phillies to a series win over the Nationals with a 7-1 victory. Ben Francisco jacked two home runs, John Mayberry and Mike Sweeney each added one and even though the game was rather meaningless (again) it gave the bench guys some good swings heading into the playoffs.

Francisco and Mayberry each knocked in three runs and Joe Blanton pitched seven solid innings. Blanton ends his year on a high note, one that started fairly ugly. He struck out six and allowed just three hits while tossing 107 pitches. He likely won’t pitch in the NLDS, so Charlie Manuel allowed him to go deeper than Roy Oswalt went last night.

As for the few regulars who saw time, Shane Victorino went 0-for-4 as did Jimmy Rollins who has scuffled at the plate the last two games. Wilson Valdez, if you want to call him a regular, played second base and finished 0-for-3 with a walk.

In his quest for a spot on the NLDS roster, Greg Dobbs went 2-for-4 with a couple of singles. Out in the pen, Romero, Madson, Lidge tossed two scoreless frames to end it.

Just one week. But before the playoffs, enjoy the final moments of what has been an awesome regular season. Let it last.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1709 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Dobbs’ 2 hits were cheap ones. I’m not convinced that he’s postseason-worthy. But I guess I sort of see the logic with the infield being possibly thin.

    And how bout the Phillies pitchers rendering Adam Dunn useless tonight??

    Good win. Good for the bench guys.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    But are they going to keep Sweeney it be retarded if they dont? Or are they worried about Jimmy? Dobber is a waste of space. They must be worried about Jimmy going down I have to assume.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    I think the rumors in the previous threads about Dobbs being on the postseason roster over Sweeney were just flotsam. Valdez can play 3rd, 2nd, and SS. Sweeney has a passable backup bat, and can play first to some extent. That covers infield defense substitutions; you then have a lot of flexibility with the remaining non-starter spots to use on the right combination of capable outfielders, bats, and bullpen pitchers. Dobbs is unnecessary.

  • Posts: 0 Greg

    I think it was precautionary in case Rollins goes down and Polly gets hurt or something. Though I’m sure Polly would tough it out, or Ruiz would move up to third (he was a 2nd baseman before he caught) and Schneider would catch, or something like that.

  • Posts: 0 Greg

    And Valdez can play the Outfield, too. He’s played at every position minus C and P I believe. It’s not like we’d need him to play out there though.

  • Posts: 0 biz

    Valdez? There’s a whole thread on this site devoted to knocking his abilities. Don’t tell me he’s a key member of this team!


  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    The Giants won again last night. Lincecum through 7 had 11 strike outs and gave up 6 hits, 1 run. All the run support he needed was provided by Pat the Bat – a three run dinger in the bottom of the 4th, his 20th.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Yes. If any of you haven’t visited that thread yet…the one entitled “Wilson Valdez’ Historic Season”….I invite you to read some of it now.

    The author…and a few of his cohorts…apparantely wants us all to believe that Valdez is NOT one of the major reasons why the Phillies are where they are this season.

    Any parade that was Wilson Valdez has been rained on pretty significantly by these clowns. I just said on that thread that the “horse has been beaten”…but after reading a comment or two on here just now…I couldn’t help but make mention of the topic.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    After a rough August, the Giants pitching staff has been on fire in Sept (as have the Phils- top 3 starting pitching staffs in Sept):

    Team W L ERA G H HR SO
    Giants 13 7 2.05 25 107 13 167
    Angels 9 6 2.7 25 129 11 120
    Phillies 17 5 2.76 27 148 22 150

    Not much offense after Posey and the Bat.

    I would be willing to put Sweeney, Francisco, or Chooch at third if PP goes down instead of wasting a roster spot on Dobbs. Unless something drastically changes in the last 3 games, I think Rollins will be a back-up – at least in the Div series – timing isn’t down at the plate, and looks very tentative in the field.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Will Charlie actually do that??….make Rollins a back-up?? You know how fiercely loyal he can be…

    I would subscribe to that idea, though.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    My first preference is that Rollins gets his timing back, if he doesn’t, then start Valdez. You’re probably right though – if Rollins can walk, he’ll start. The next question is where does Charlie put him in the BA? In his current condition, should be 7th or 8th.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    As valuable as Valdez has proven himself to be in the infield, I don’t see Charlie lifting Jimmy unless his health becomes an issue or his back is against the wall. I would imagine that the reason for putting Valdez on the postseason roster is to back up Rollins, Polanco, and Utley, because he’s had significant playing time at both shortstop and second and he could probably play third if need be.

    Ibanez and Werth have stayed pretty healthy all season and despite a slight downturn in offense production in the very recent past, Victorino has been, well, Victorino in the field. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I think it’s possible that Ben Francisco is the main outfield back-up and if there’s room for Domonic Brown, they’ll bring him along to back Werth up.

    *tongue in cheek* And let’s not forget that in a true emergency, Oswalt can play left field if he doesn’t get the ball on any given night.

    But, yeah, I’m thinking Rollins is getting a pretty long leash unless he reinjures himself or clearly isn’t up to par. He’s earned a long leash.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Plain and simple, why would you risk putting someone like Sweeney, Ben Francisco or Chooch at third if Poly goes down? You’ve got to have a legit 3rd baseman on hand and as much as we may not want to admit it, Dobbsy does a fair job at third. But, to put someone with no recent experience in the ‘hot corner’ in case your starter goes down? That would be foolish. Dobbsy has to be part of the rotation, earned or not.

  • Posts: 0 PizzaBagel

    Greg Dobbs is a waste of space. I hope we don’t have to see his sorry face in our dugout next year.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I’m sorry. I just can’t bring myself to refer to him as “Dobbsy”. In my opinion, Greg Dobbs has done nothing to warrant a cute nickname from any of us.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Although he had a terrible world series, Dobbs was a critical part of the 08 team. His glovework was terrible, but a nice lefty off the bench, had as good a year as you can ask from a bench guy. Since then, he has been a liability to the team (defense or at the plate). He was done last year, regressed even more this year. I respect his 08, but would be perfectly happy to never see him bat again (at least in a Phils uniform). I wouldn’t want to risk a pitcher getting hurt at third, but would be happy with anyone else playing the position (prefer PP).

  • Posts: 0 biz

    Dobbs is a below average fielder and he’s brutal at the plate. I don’t know how he managed any hits last night. It seems like he’s only capable of pop ups and strike outs. Cody Ransom was a better choice at 3rd.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Wilson Valdez can play third though? I would hardly say Dobbs does a “fair job” at third. Just use Valdez there. Unless you’re worried about Polanco AND Rollins going down I guess. Which could happen.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Valdez can play 3rd, short and second…all very well.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Right, I said that. Twice.

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    There is no way you can start Valdez over Rollins. Jut Valdez is a great glove. Great arm. He can get you a hit here and there. Rollins is always a threat to get it going.

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    If Rollins AND Polanco get hurt in the postseason, we’re probably not winning the big trophy anyway, no matter who’s on the bench.

    There are four non-pitchers this team can’t afford to lose in the postseason: Utley, Howard, Werth and Polly.

  • Within today’s notebook comes news the #Phillies will be replacing both of their AA and AAA managers http://bit.ly/akwOrY

  • Posts: 0 Chuck


    Rollins is not healthly at all. He’s a potential liability out there.

    Start him. See how it goes. But bench him if it’s obvious that he can’t really play effectively.

  • Blanton is now 9-6 with a 4.74 ERA, which may not sound like much, but after being 1-5 with a 7.28 ERA through mid-June, he has made up considerable ground.

    Over his last 11 starts, Blanton is 5-0 with a 3.03 ERA and the Phillies are 10-1 during that stretch.

  • Posts: 0 jeff of Nova

    Here is my post season roster prediction



  • Phillies’ remaining schedule hardly meaningless http://bit.ly/dl1jJ8

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Jeff of Nova- No back up catcher? Got to have either Schenider or Hoover.

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    Dobbs isnt a great fielder and worse at offense. Truth the matter is Polanco is hurt, Jimmy is hurt, im sure Utley is same. Im thinking he would get a Roster Spot just for the fact that any one of those guys can go down at any time and then that would leave just Valdez.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    This quote is from the Denver Post 2007, I can’t vouch for it’s accuracy. But if correct, it answers a question some people have been asking about, whether Cholly should keep Greg Dobbs on the playoff roster.

    My original thought was that despite the fact that I loathe Dobbs, having ONLY one extra utility infielder, Valdez, was a dangerous thing to do in case Jimmy is not really ready, and Polanco’s elbow prevented him from playing. But this seems to say that we don’t have to put Dobbs on the roster because if needed in an emergency we can keep him on standby, and change the roster for injury.

    “Starting in 2007, a club may, with the permission of the commissioner, substitute for a player injured during a postseason series. Roster changes during the playoffs are rare but not unheard of.”

    Pat maybe you can check the accuracy of this.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    I forgot to post the link. Again, I think it needs to be further examined.


  • Posts: 0 Andrew R.

    You guys are all crazy. Dobbs has been horrible this year, but if it’s between him and Brown, you have to go with Dobbs. He provides an extra, much-needed infielder. We’re not going to experiment with Chooch or Ben Francisco at third in the play-offs. That’s just insane.

    Secondly, pinch-hitting is extremely difficult to do. The odds of getting a hit are incredible low. It’s not like Domonic Brown has lit the world on fire since coming up.

    Thirdly, Dobbs is not our main pinch-hitter. If we desperately need an rbi, we got Gload. And lately, Dobbs has just been a “show-me” pinch-hitter so the other team will put in a lefty.

    And finally, Cole, Oswalt and Halladay seem to be pitching well beyond 7 innings lately, so the whole idea might be moot. If they go out and dominate, when are we going to absolutely NEED a pinch-hitter to just get on base????

    The fact is, we could probably go into the playoffs with 24 men if need be. Or if you want to get cocky, 3 starting pitchers, Madson, Lidge and the starting 8 plus Gload…. so that’s 14. So worrying about who the last guy is going to be, and arguing like idiots about it doesn’t really make sense, does it? We have the best record in the NL with Dobbs on the team!!!! OH MY GOD!! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!?!?!

    The phils will be fine with Dobbs being the 25th man on the playoff roster.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Would think Schneider at catcher While I disagree, Dobbs will make it. Now that you can change rosters each series, the big question is whether KK makes the DS roster. With the amount of off days in the DS, only need 3 starters. KK has more bullpen experience than Blanton, but hope not to need either, Blanton is the better pitcher, and deserves the respect (plus we may need his bat!). It would be kind of a slap in the face to KK, but I think you leave him off, bring along Dom. The other option is to drop Contreras for KK. Should be interesting.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    “respecitely” is not a word.

    The remaining games are meaningless unless you’re Ben Francisco or Domonic Brown or Wilson Valdez or Jimmy Rollins, in which case they’re completely meaningful. Truthfully, I would love to see the Phillies knock the Braves out of the postseason (a first round match-up against the Padres would be better than a first round match-up versus the Giants) but the Phillies aren’t going to make that a top priority… they can beat anyone and they know that rest and health is more important than a match up. So if the Phillies don’t care, I can’t really care, either. I hope that we see the Dr. Jeckyll version of KK (not Mr. Hyde)… I hope that we beat the Braves but I won’t shed a tear if we don’t.

    I was looking back at the PN 2010 predictions of the NLE- must give a standing ovation to the guys who made the predictions. They looked like this back in April:

    1. Phillies (94-68)… we’ll end up with 95-98 wins
    2. Braves (90-72)… will end up with 90-93 wins)
    3. Marlins (86-76)… will end up with 77-81 wins
    4. Mets (80-82)… will end up with 77-81 wins
    5. Nats (69-93)… will end up with 68-71 wins

    I guess it’s not rocket science, especially in the NLE (the missed in the other divisions) where things ended up a lot like the prior year. The Padres came out of nowhere so I give them a free pass there but they predicted that the Reds would finish 4th and drew a lot of criticism from the readers who said that their assessment was harsh considering the young talent on the Reds squad… so they get an A++ in the division that matters and C- in the others (and that’s probably generous).

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Unlike the Valdez string yesterday, I’d hesitate to bring up the points mentioned here as arguing like idiots. Sure, we all know Dobbs will be on the roster, just wishing for another alternative. While Dobbs has very little to offer (do you really think Sweeney, Chooch, Francisco, or even Roy Oswalt would be any worse at third?), there is no way Charlie takes that chance. Bring Dobbs along, and it is the fault of Rube,…, for not finding another utility infielder that apparently grow on trees. Don’t bring him, and be prepared to get second guessed.

  • Posts: 0 jeff of Nova

    Whoops I forgot Schneider my bad I did count him
    14 position players 11 pitchers

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Does Greg Dobbs know how lucky he is even being CONSIDERED for a playoff roster spot??

    Yeah, Lefty…I pretty much “loathe” him as well (not that anyone on here could figure that out, mind you)

    The f*cker better do something…ANYTHING….to make his spot count….cause he’s a real waste in my opinion.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    I don’t think we need to put him on the roster, the link seems to imply that you can call up a player for injury replacement. Hopefully Pat or someone will check into it, to see if
    a) the writer was correct or b) my interpretation of it was correct.
    Read it and let me know what you think.

    JUST SAY NO – to Dobbs

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Polanco got a cortisone shot to the elbow – Hope it holds together for 1 more month: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5631014

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Polly should be okay if he doesn’t dive on the elbow to to get a ball. Besides being hit by a pitch that seems to be what causes him the most “in game” pain.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    If we go with 14 position players and 11 pitchers, I think that it looks like this:

    Guarantee stamp, position players (7):
    Ruiz, Vic, Werth, Ibanez, Polanco, Howard, Utley

    G-stamp, starting pitchers (4):
    Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, Blanton (R)

    G-stamp, relievers (5)
    Lidge, Madson, Romero (L), Contreras (R), Durbin (R)

    G-stamp bench bats (4)
    Ben Fran, Valdez, Schneider, Gload

    That leaves 5 spots… I think that you can lump Rollins in there as long as he shows us that he’s not still injured over the next few games. I also think you have to keep Bastardo as another lefty.

    That leaves 3 spots… I think that you have to keep at least one more pitcher to give us 11, total and it’s between Baez, Herndon, Kendrick and Worley. I think that he’ll go with Worley; he went with Bastardo last year without really knowing what he had and I think he’ll do the same but he could go with Herndon or Baez. The other 2 bench spots should belong to guys that can actually make a difference if called upon. The reason that Rollins isn’t a guarantee is because if Charlie looks at this thing and says, “I don’t think it’s worth keeping Dobbs around to protect Jimmy.” He could hold off adding him to the roster until the NLCS (if he gets healthy). If he looks at it and says, “Jimmy’s not a problem, I’m going with the best team.” I think your bench guys are Brown and Sweeney. If he looks at it and says, “I need to be careful.” We’ll see Dobbs and one of Brown or Sweeney (probably Sweeney b/c Dobbs is a lefty). My prediction: the final 3 in are Sweeney, Brown and Worley. First four out: Baez, Herndon, Kendrick, Dobbs.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    It’s a shame because we wouldn’t be talking about this if Rollins/Polly were healthy.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    If this is correct,/ if I’m reading it correctly- we don’t need to talk about this anymore. I think it says no matter who you decide for your 25, you can still get an emergency replacement with commisioners approval. In which case Charlie would go “with the best possible team”.


  • I really don’t see worley making the postseason roster………

  • So, with Jayson gone, we’re going to need a psycho… http://bit.ly/b6YGKk

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Wait, I thought guys had to be with the club by Aug 31 to qualify for the postseason. Worley was called up in Sept, right??

    Or is that deadline just for TRADES.??

    In other words….as long as your in the system by Aug 31…??

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    For the divisional sereis, I don’t think they’ll go with 11 pitchers anyway.

    To be eligible for a team’s playoff roster a player must be on either a)the 25 man active roster, b)the disabled list, c)the bereavement list, d)the suspended list as of August 31st at midnight.

    Worley was a Sept call-up, and is not eligible.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    You might be right, Jay but that’s my surprise pick.

    I’m also not very confident that Brown makes the team… Charlie’s hand is kind of forced here unless Rollins is 100%. It stinks because if Dobbs makes the team, I can’t envision any situation where I would rather see him at the plate than Brown BUT you have to have 2 backup infielders if those guys aren’t healthy or else you’re really vulnerable.

    Can anyone play 3B in a pinch? Gload? Werth? Ben Fran?

  • The Reds trail the Giants by two games for the #2 playoff spot. Nobody wants to face the #Phillies in the 1st round. http://ow.ly/2MvMW

  • As bfo_33 said worley is not eligible……I agree with you i would not want dobbs on the roster…..

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