Sloppy Phillies End 10 Game Win Streak…

Well there was not much to say about today’s game, except the weather conditions were almost perfect for the ball to travel far and wide, except it didn’t, it didn’t even come close to reaching the fences.

sloppygiftcard.jpgIt would be unfair to single out any specific Phillies player, because frankly most were sloppy at one time or another, pitching, offence defense, you name it.

The home plate umpire is a different story, he deserves to be singled out. It wasn’t the fact that he should have been wearing a Zambrano Fan Club shirt, it was more like an ‘I Hate Phillies’ shirt, the strike zone was a little, shall we say expandable and contractable, and his sun glasses blocked his view of a critical called strike on Bako when it clearly wasn’t a strike, the ball actually bounced in the dirt, dirt flew up and everything, but as usually they’re always right, so came the ejection of Charlie Manual


Pitching, Luck, a Dive & a Homer, give Phils 10  straight

This game had it all, and took 13 innings to make it happen.

PITCHING –

Starters Blanton for the Phillies and Harden for the Cubs were outstanding last night, neither gave up more than 1 run and both went 7 solid inning, batter after batter was retired with no sign of any real threat from either offence. Then it was time for both bullpen’s to take over and take over they did, both bullpens were as dominating as the starters had been, going 5 innings, it was the bottom of the 13th with 2 on and 2 out, Werth drove the ball deep to left field for a 3 run walk off home run.

LUCK-

Has Brad Lidge been watching David Beckham at work?

Top of the 9th Lidge is in to hold the 1-1 tie, he ding’s Ramirez
lidgebeckham.jpgwith a ball to put 1 on, gets an out, then with some fancy foot work, normally seen on a soccer field, with a ball hit back up the middle, Lidge turns and flicks the ball with his heel straight to J-Roll at 2nd base, who throws to 1st to get the double play… definately a highlight reel playback

DIVE-

This was simply perfection from Ibanez, you could almost see his cape flapping in the wind behind him as Raul ‘superman’ Ibanez ran to his right, left his feet and flew to catch a line drive that would almost definately have been a double, possibly a triple and set up a chance for a Cubs winning run.

HOMER-

The walk off kind of homer that everybody loves, Werth at the plate, 2 on 2 out, extra innings with both pens about to run out of pitchers, a slight hanger of a pitch and BOOM there it is in some lucky fans glove up in the stand in left field.

Another series comes down to a possible sweep…


Phillies go NINE straight, Cubs get cooled off…

Well the HOT Chicago Cubs found out tonight how HOT, HOT really is when the Phillies put 10 runs on the board, via 3 home runs and a couple of RBI hits.

HOT.jpgThe Phanatic was playing Batman for Jack Nicholson while Rollins and Victorino were doing there impression of the dynamic duo at the top of the line up, Victorino got an education on ‘where to’ and ‘where not to’ run when stealing a base, from the umpires.

Ibanez of course was playing superman again, with a 3 run homer in the 1st with 2 outs and 2 strikes on him. Even as cold as Ruiz has been at the plate, he felt the heat of the team as he hit a 2 run homer in the 2nd and then hit an RBI double in the 4th inning.

Rollins and Utley both  picked up RBI’s in the 4th to make this a 9 run game.

Lopez did not have his best stuff tonight, was fishing around the strike zone, giving up 3 walks, even so, he only allowed 1 run through 6 innings of work and 1 extra base hit.

Howard not to be out done by Ibanez struck a typical ‘Howards Hompiniellabatteries.jpger’ in the 8th inning to make it a 10-1 game.

Durbin came out of the pen in the bottom of the 7th to earn a save the old fashioned way, 3 innings of shut out work, even in a 10-1 game gave Durbin the save, and he earned it allowing just 1 hit in those 3 innings he gave the rest of the pen a night to rest up and have fun.

The Cubs looked like a team with a ‘For Sale’ sign hanging over them, even Lou Piniella looked as though he was in the middle of a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode, either that or someone placed a robot version of him in the Cubs dugout and forgot to read the warning label  ‘Batteries Not Included’.

 


Cubs come to the City of Brotherly Love

So how much love will they get, not much from a hot Phillies team. Yes the Cubs are hot, well very warm compaired to the Phillies hot. On a 4 game winning streak, that the Phillies hope to end tonight at CBP. They will be followed closely by St Louis who holds a 2 game lead over them in the NL Central, but is this the full story, wrigleyforsale.jpgwhy are the Cubs on a winning streak, well they just got done with the strugling Nationals, even so they have beaten some good clubs in the last month. Are they making a run for the title or creating a good reason to get any interested parties to up the ante on bids for ownership of the club. Reports indicate the current owners would like to place the club into chapter 11 in order to release any future owners of the debt the Tribune Co. has generated.

So when the Cubs take the field tonight at CBP give a thought to all those players who don’t know if they’ll be playing for a team in chapter 11 or a team who’ll be playing post season ball this year.

Okay so you’ve had that thought now think about the Phillies going for 9 wins in a row…

GO PHILLIES………


Triple H can help the Phillies…..

Husband to Stephanie, son-in-law to Vince, world reknown WWE superstar Triple H, NOT the Triple H, I am refering too.

Halladay, Hamels, Happ and why not….

Halladay, since Ricciardi made it known he would trade his best pitcher the rumours have been filled with Philadelphia being the front runner, everybody and their halladay12.jpgdog has come out of the woodwork to make predictions on who should be traded to get Halladay in a Phillies uniform, most importantly the majority of them are throwing Happ into the mix of players to get this guy. Is he really that good, well he won yesterday for the first time in over a month, okay so he’s been injured. I’ll agree he can help win games, but at the moment so is Happ, so why trade one winning pitcher for another, doesn’t that just give you the same outcome, 1 win every 5 days.

I would love to see Halladay but for pitching prospects not one of our current starters that is winning, and at this point is an excellent candidate for ‘rookie of the year’. Halladay pitched well yesterday a complete game against the RedSox, which is some peoples minds this upped the value of this player, in other peoples minds it just showed that the groin injury is very possibly in the past now. Other reports say that Beeston, the Jays interim President stated that the Jays would need to be “overwhelmed” for them to trade Halladay, so what’s this the Jays front office are playing the, good guy, bad guy routine to get more for Halladay. I say don’t give away what we want just to get Halladay, afterall he only pitches every 5th day and we need more than 1 pitcher on the team.

If we do deal for Halladay it would definately put the Phillies in a strong position, but it depends who we deal to get him.

Hamels has obviously been in a bit of a pitchers slump, but I think he could very well be out of
hamels12.jpgthat and on the way to finishing strong. Before the rain delay in Forida, he was definately starting to look like Hamels should look on the mound, he is still the Phillies Ace, this years numbers may not say that, but he’s earned it.

Happ, anybody willing to give this guy up in a trade is not thinking clearly, they are being blinded by what they appear to be getting and not seeing what they have. I’ve heard it all, Happ is going to come down to earth, he’s in above his head, he’s been really lucky, he’s going to fall like Kendrick did, well I say this, if he was on another team and we had the chance to get him, you’d want him. He’s a rookie he has no past to go on other than the minors and we all know how that is so much diferent, back in 2002 people were saying the same things about Halladay, and again in 2004 and now, time speaks for itself and as they
happ12.jpgalways say “Hinde Sight is 20-20” those same people calling to give up Happ, in 5 years will be same ones saying what a terrible trade that was, we gave up a top pitcher for a guy that stuck with us for 1 year. Well you can’t have it both ways and noone has the magic crystal ball, so before anyone knocks Happ he deserves the benifit of the doubt, he deserves to be looked at as possibly a good long term Philly pitcher and not be judged on those that came before him. One more thing with Happ that seems to be overlooked he can swing the bat, no his batting average isn’t up there, but he makes contact, he puts the ball in play and that is a major plus with an NL pitcher.

Summary:

Get Halladay with prospects, keep Happ, Hamels is coming around you end up with a good rotation

Halladay, Hamels, Happ, Moyer, Blanton

 


Phillies Sweep Fish in Florida…..

The Phillies are starting to take a firm hold of the eastern division, with the series in Florida shortened by 1 game the Phillies completed another series sweep with a 5-0 win today. Philadelphia has won the last 4 series, 3 by sweeps, 2 of those sweeps are eastern division rivals, with a tough home stand starting tomorrow the Phillies have now won 12 of the last 13 games, which includes 8 straight.

After Friday’s delay and yesterday’s postponement due to rain, the anticipation of getting through a game in Florida without rain intervention was almost as much as could Happ pitch more scoreless innings. With the threat of rain and a few sprinkles early in the game Happ won out the day, going 7 scoreless innings, giving up just 5 hits and 1 walk. Happ has given up just 1 run in his last 14 innings.

The Phillies offence went straight to work in the 1st inning, when it seemed like they were going to make it very hard for Florida to contemplate a win even before they came to bat, some how, the Phillies managed to get themselves out and leave the bases loaded. The 2nd inning, Florida were not so lucky, as the Phillies jumped on Miller for 3 runs and added a 4th in the 3rd inning, this sent Miller scurrying to the dugout and the Phillies facing the Marlins bullpen.

The Marlins bullpen played very well holding the Phillies hitless and scoreless till the 9th inning, when they gave up the 5th and final run.

Rollins was a homerun away from the cycle during another outstanding performancethat gave him 3 hits, 1 run and 1 RBI, Ibanez continued to do what the fans have come to expect, deliver when we need it, 1 hit, 2 RBI’s and 2 BB’s.


Phillies Offence WIN this one in extra’s……….

Utley had a very good night from the start, others warmed up as the game went on, with J-Roll leading off in the first with a base hit, Utley went deep to give the Phils a 2 run lead, which they needed.

Hamels started off slow, gave you the impression that this was going to be one of those short games for him, after the first inning he settled in, it wasn’t a stellar performance, you just didn’t expect it to be a rain delay that knocked him out of the game. He went 5 innings giving up a solo homer in the first, along with 3 other hits and a walk in his 5 innings of work. We will definately need more from Cole as we get closer to post season play, the shame of it is, he works really hard and deserves better.

Werth started off the night as he had finished the day before, strugling to get comfortable at the plate, that changed as he warmed up, as if it wasn’t hot enough last night in Florida, picking up a couple of clutch hits, both drove in runs and more importantly the opne turned out to be the key insurance run the Phillies needed to win in the 12th inning.

Rollins has more than settled down now, on base a couple of times last night and each time he crossed the plate to score runs.

Howard and Ibanez were both continuing their, you throw it, we’ll hit it, campaign as they both picked up a couple of hits and scored a run each.

RAIN DELAY – During the 1hour 18 minute rain delay,
bigbenrain.jpg I decided to click around the other games on MLBTV, watched some of the Tampa Bay game, which the Rays looked as though they could come back, but weren’t quite doing it (they did in the end), had to have a look in at the Braves trashing the Muts (Mets), that was just funny, and since I am blacked out for the Tribe, I couldn’t see any of that game, but was dissapointed to see Huff didn’t get a win last night.

Rain delay over, no Hamels (understandably), so we went to the bullpen, which was back to full strength, unfortunately the continued strain that is being put on them showed last night, they allowed the Marlins to claw their way back into this game sending it to extra innings. Lidge came away with a save, but it was touch and go, as seems to be the norm recently.

Phillies Offence really gave us the win, back at it tonight, a little tougher game with the 8-2 Johnson on the mound for the Fish, but never fear ’cause Blanton is here, the Phillies work horse should keep it close and hopefully allow the Phillies get their 8th straight win….

 


Phillies, Ph-ilet the Fish in Florida

The Phillies could not have wished for a better start to the second half of the season, it was a night when Jamie Moyer went 7 innings giving up just 1 hit and a walk, throwing 95 pitches, the bullpen continued what Moyer started, Madson threw a scoreless 8th inning and marlin.jpgRomero threw a scoreless 9th inning, the pitches really were like a knife through butter, or in this case a filet knife through fish.

Keeping with the theme of things Ibanez and Howard homered into the SEA of empty seats, Ibanez hit a 2 run shot in the 2nd and a solo in the 4th, Howard became the fastest player in MLB history to reach 200 home runs with his solo shot in the 6th innning.

This win put Moyer at 9-6 for the year, the blogs and comments during the last week or so have been calling for the Phillies to acquire Halladay, I am all for this, however, more and more it has been written that Moyer should be the one to lose his spot, games like this are why we need to keep Moyer in the rotation. Currently at 9-6 for the year, games he has started the Phillies are 11-7, he is on his way to double figure wins again this year and can be a major asset in the clubhouse as well as on the mound, as the Phillies make a bid for back to back World Series wins. Just my thoughts to those who doubt Moyer has anything left to offer.

Howard reached his 200th homer mark in his 658th major league start, smashing the previous record held by Ralf Kiner who took just 706 major league games, hopefully Ryan is back on track to keep hitting the long ball.

RAUUUUUUL showed us that there should be no doubts as to whether he lost his timing at the plate during his DL period, with 2 long balls tonight he leads the Phillies with 24 homers, even after being out for those 20 games.

Can the Philles NET another win against the Marlins tomorrow, with Cole Hamels on the mound, in a fresh start after the break, he needs to put the first half games behind him and move onward and upward and start off with a solid outing of at least 7 innings.


Half Done, All Star Break to come…..

Something a little different today, don’t laugh my rhyming sucks……

 

Some slumps, some bloops, the first half is done,

It ends on a Felix grand slam home run,

Some Phillies are resting, this may seem sweet,

With the past weekend of a Pirates sweep,

Time to relax, whether your Muts, Nats or even Cubies,

Off to St. Louis, where rivals become buddies,

Watchin’, the Derby can be slow, but painless,

Who will win, my guess, Howard or Carlos Pena,

The Rays give the infield a new AL spin,

The Phils have the outfield and we’ll get an NL win.

 

So ryhming is not my best feature, but it’s the All Star break, so have fun


Would the REAL Cole Hamels Please Stand Up………

I have decide that Cole Hamels has an Alter-Ego that at any given moment will come to life, he has no control over this Alter-Ego, in fact the claims that he was working on mechanics in the bullpen this week was a disguise for, “Trying to control the Alter-Ego”. This Alter-Ego is none other than the “COOKIE CHUCKER”, for no hamelsalter-ego.jpgapparent reason when the “COOKIE CHUCKER” rears it’s ugly head Cole will simply throw cookies down the middle of the plate to opposing hitters, thus allowing the homer to be hit. The “COOKIE CHUCKER” is the evil, hitter friendly pitcher trapped inside Cole’s body. Last night the “COOKIE CHUCKER” came out, without warning, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 1st inning and decided to stay around and play till the 3rd inning. You could see the look on Cole’s face in the duggout between the 2nd and 3rd inning where he was fighting to hide the “COOKIE CHUCKER”, it was the extra “bullpen” work that gave Cole the strength to bury the “COOKIE CHUCKER” back inside himself and keep it at bay till he left the game. So next time Cole Hamels throws one of those hitter friendly cookie’s you’ll know the “COOKIE CHUCKER” has reared it’s ugly head again……

 

RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL is back and what a night, 2 hits, 2 runs and an RBI, and that included the game winning run, more importantly his return saw the Howards Homer come back to life….

HANDS-UP how many people were convinced the Phillies had lost this one, before the bottom of the ninth came to life…. own up…. thought so…. have faith…. even Joe Biden and his wife knew it wasn’t over, else why would they have stayed…. it was none other than a Vice Presidential Order, the Phillies had to win last night at all cost….

I am sure by the time the bottom of the ninth came even the Pirates fans thought they had this one in the bag, it was without any doubt the come back of the year, so far, for the Phillies, as I said Howards Homer came back to life to tie it up, then a Ibanez started the 1 out bases loading actions, till Bako hit the game winning drive….

Lets make it a HAPP-y sweep today….