After much research I have determined that She
Fan’s continued success after her face to face meetings with the Yankee
players has some elements of validity and has forced me to follow suit and meet
with the Phillies support personnel and ultimately the players required.
Since the process that has been discussed with the Phillies support personnel
is untried and untested they have requested anonymity, however the
players don’t have a choice since they are paid to do everything the club tells
For my first meeting this year I decided to go straight to the root of things
and get in with ‘The Doc’ Roy Halladay, we all know he suffered his first loss
last night, but that wasn’t his fault, even if he wants to take the blame.
here’s how the meeting went….
A weekend in Arizona may have been a vacation for some, a daily
routine for others, but for the Phillies it was a disappointing series
loss, we can search through every aspect of each game and pinpoint things that
we all would have done differently, but that won’t change the fact that we lost
the 2 out of 3 and now head into San Francisco, where the Phillies
need to at least take 2 out of 3 to stay the dominant force in the NL East for
the first month of the season.
While we spent 3 days at Chase Field in Arizona, there
was some noticeable things, not unlike the fact that they have to have the team
logo on the pitchers mound so their guys remember they’re at home. I don’t know
if any other teams have done this, all I know is I noticed it here in Arizona,
it could be that I haven’t paid that much attention to other mounds, all I
remember being there is the cleat cleaner and the sack of powder.
There were other things to see and since the Phillies were being
a little less than entertaining this weekend I decided to check out some of the
other sights of the D’backs, for example they, like other teams have fans that
attend the games and cheer when they are winning….
….they also have an owner who attends the games and occasional
invites friends along to entertain them as we see here they look very
….I have it on good authority that that’s the Dbacks owner on
the right, they call him ‘Mr. Excitement’, according to an undisclosed inside
There were more Phillies fans having a little trouble figuring
out which way to look….
….this of course could have been attributed to the fact that
the roof and all was open to the Arizona air, and this may have confused and disorientated
….they certainly made it clear that with all the doors and
roof open a fly ball in the right place catches the jet stream through the
stadium and goes for miles, which is probably why the D’backs have so many
homers this early, I am sure that will even itself out when the temperature
forces the doors and roof to be closed.
With the doors and roof open there was definitely people there
for sun and fun, with Phillie fans there is always going to be fun as I am sure
these guys were having their share….
….although it looks like the cheese could be melting, and the
masked warrior on the end looks like the heat may have gotten to him too.
We also had fans there, for maybe, decoration, I am not sure, but
after a number of captions, of what the 2 guys were saying and some of what she
was thinking, I decided best to leave it alone as I am sure it
could have had serious repercussions….
….here’s hoping San Francisco is little more
I did manage to flip to some other games to catch moments of
what I thought maybe excitement, I switched to the 9th inning of the O’s
and BoSox game yesterday to see if the O’s were
going to lose another, only to see them hold on to win, but what got me was the
commentators for the BoSox, who said ‘that was a disappointing one
to lose’ or words to that effect… wait a minute didn’t you guys just get swept
at home by the Rays and they think this was just disappointing,
why? because the O’s have the worst record in baseball at the
moment or because the BoSox couldn’t complete a come back in the
9th inning, hey BoSox commentators, let me tell you a secret, your
whole season is disappointing, if the O’s had gotten off to an
average .500 start, your team would be sitting at the bottom of the division and
now you have to go to Toronto, which could make you a .500 team or
completely demoralize you and your fans so early in the season.
San Diego Padres had their hopes dashed at being
the first team this season to hit 10 wins in a row, after taking 8 in a row they
were finally beaten by the Reds yesterday in a close game that saw
the Reds get the winner in a 2 run 8th inning.
The Pirates suffered their 6th straight loss,
after sweeping the Reds they got swept back to back and are now 4
games under .500, still lots of time for them to make it a .500 season.
The Cardinals are the only NL Central team above
.500, but lets face it they have only had to face one real competitive team and
they only managed to salvage the 1 win against them, (the Giants),
now they are back home for the Braves, we’ll see if they’re easy
to win games too.
As we quickly skip over the fact that the Phillies lost yesterday to the
D’backs in a display of how to throw the home run ball, I am moving onto another
form of wins and loses.
There are some teams that have surprised me this year, including the Oakland
A’s 8-4 success at home and Pittsburgh’s need to self destruct on the road. The
national League seems to be on course with the exception on the Dodgers still
trying to find a way to get above .500 and Arizona and we can’t forget about the
Mets, who claimed the injury curse as their demise last year, but are struggling
to prove last years team was any worse than this years (almost) injury free
The team that stands out this year as being the team that are on schedule to
get their own realty TV show, because that’s what happens to losers, they get
given air time by NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS or some off the wall station that’s funded
by one of the supposed big 4 names. This team is the Baltimore Orioles, a team
that has been a mediocre average team in a division that has them surrounded by
teams that are self proclaimed awesomeness teams, and the Tampa Bay Rays, who
seem to manage to prove the point that you can compete without breaking the bank
as long as you have some baseball sense, which by the way isn’t very common,
hence I didn’t call it common sense, as that would be an oxymoronic occurance.
Anyway I have again digressed from the point of this post, it is of course
the number 20, be it wins or loses who will get there first, normally it is all
about reaching 20 wins, but this year the O’s, (aptly named) are on the brink of
reaching 20 loses before anyone gets 20 wins, so I just wanted to see if anyone
thinks a 20 win is possible before the 20 loses of the O’s.
Phillies take 2 of 3 from Braves in Atlanta, Jamie Moyer gets win number 260
career, (not the season), he is now 2-1 on the season. Before this season
began, most were raving about the Braves pitching, and rightly so, they have
some excellent pitching, but those raving on the Braves were saying how bad the
Phillies pitching really was and really had it not been for 2 errors in last
nights game by Utley, 1 receiving the ball from Castro and the other throwing to
Howard, the Phillies starting pitching would have shut the Braves out, the 1st
game the bull pen gave up all the runs in the 9th and 10th innings, game 2
Braves got no runs and last night, they scored 2 unearned runs on the errors and
then 1 more in the 7th off Chad Durbin.
The Phillies aren’t the only team with the pitching rising to unexpected
levels this early in
the season, seems the Oakland A’s managed to confuse the Yankees yesterday, long
enough to get the win and it also seems as though they urked A-Rod enough to
walk across the mound on his way from 3rd to 1st in the 6th inning. Dallas
Braden unleashed a tirade of verbal disdain on A-Rod for his actions, not only
at the end of the inning, but after the game with the press too, I think he
just wanted to make a point that he wouldn’t be bullied by a member of the ‘Evil
Empire’, A-Rod acted dumb(founded) like he’d been accused of taking PED’s or
something, and then proceeded to remark on how long Braden has been in the bigs
and how many wins he has to his credit. Unanswered questions that should be
answered for us to really understand who is acting like a spoilt bratty rich kid
and who is acting like a baby:
1 – Is there an unwritten rule?
2 – Would A-Rod have crossed the mound with say Brett Myers on it?
3 – Would a big deal of been made of this if it had been a rookie from
Washington or Pittsburgh
or Cleveland instead of A-Rod?
4 – Does anyone outside of Oakland care?
Other pitchers who I think warrant a mention for being better than people
thought they would be is Sheilds of the Tampa Bay Rays, who got his 2nd win
yesterday in another display of demolition in Chicago as the Rays bashed in
another double digit score against the team that may need a presidential pardon
to escape the backlash of its fans come the end of the season.
A day later and the pen get the day off, not because they blew it yesterday,
but because ‘the Doc’ allowed it to happen. With the help of some
outstanding defense, from the likes of Victorino, Utley,
Castro, Howard and himself, Roy Halladay pitched his way to a
shut-out through 9 innings.
He managed to get into the 4th inning without even giving up a hit, at one
point it looked as if the defense coupled with his outstanding pitching was
going to let him cruise through 9 innings in less than 100 pitches, by the 7th
he had been averaging 11 pitches an inning.
Victorino’s home run saver early on was a key play in giving the Phillies
the confidence to move on from last night and shut the Braves down. Ryan
Howard was stretched to the limited in an acrobatic move that would be more
fitting for one of those dance shows, it was definitely a first to see the big
1st baseman stretched in the splits at first base to get the out, amazingly he
still kept his foot on the bag. There was also one of Utley’s all
familiar shuffle passes to Castro for the start of a crucial inning
ending double play.
With run scoring plays in both the 2nd and 6th innings the Phillies
needed nothing else to seal this win other than the 9 innings from ‘the Doc’. It
was without question though Roy Halladay that made all this possible, he
is now the first pitcher to go 4-0 in 2010, he also has a 4 win streak started,
he has maintained his average of every 3 wins he throws a complete game.
Tomorrow is the rubber game of this 3 game series, then the Phillies
start a trek out west stopping in the desert for a 3 game set against Arizona,
before heading on to San Francisco for 3 against the Giants.
Although it would be kind of stupid to go to San Francisco for 3
games against the Mets or Dodgers, so I guess some
of that was just filler.
They say charity begins at home, but last night it was a charitable event at Turner
Field, the recipients were the Atlanta Braves and the donators, by
default were the Philadelphia Phillies. I say by default because they
were less than willing participants, it was forced upon them by the baseball
teams equivalent of the chain-letter/email that says if you don’t do this or
this then something bad will happen, when you know doing those things will
result in something bad anyway, yet some still falls prey to the doing.
Last night it was a disease that spread through Phillies
bullpen, nothing could be done, there was no blaming it on Lidge, it was
a case of the……
…..there is no explanation for the collapse of a game, after a
extraordinary 8 innings of work from your starter, the temporary closer comes in
gives up back to back homers to make it a tied game, then in the 10th another
bullpen pitcher comes out to hold the game at a 3-3 tie and gives up a homer….
3 homers lose the game.
What did we miss in the last few days.
Nationals Sneak a Win
Thursday, April 15th, 2010 – Philadelphia,
The Phillies tried to sweep the Nats, but as we saw last year
on those days that the Phillies decided to have some type of ceremony
the team didn’t meet the expectations on the field. This
year seems to be going that way too, with the presentation of the 2009 NL
Championship rings on Thursday before the final game against the Washington
Nationals, this laid down the jinx and the Phillies failed
to deliver. It was not a very fitting end to a day that honored Jackie
Robinson and saw 19 current Phillies receive the rings.
All seemed to be good up to the 8 inning, Baez came in to pitch the 8th
and hold a 3 run lead, for Madson. Unfortunately the reason Baez
was acquired did not pan out in this game he gave up 3 runs, which allowed the Washington
Nationals to tie the game at 5-5, then in the 9th Madson gave up
a couple giving the Nationals the win.
The good news was that Happ pitched 5 good innings, although his pitch
count was high, he only gave up 1 run on 3 hits. Utley managed to hit his
5th home run of the year and his 3rd in consecutive games. Polanco is
still hitting at a plus .450 clip and doesn’t look like slowing down soon.
Halladay has Fish on Friday
Friday, April 16th, 2010 – Philadelphia,
Roy ‘The Doc’ Halladay faced the Florida Marlins
Friday, some say after facing less than dominant teams, this weekend against the
Marlins would be the real tell for the Phillies. Halladay
stepped up like an old time mailman and delivered through rain and sleet, well
okay no sleet, but he delivered regardless of the weather conditions, which
seemed to bother the Marlins manager.
Halladay was all business, even when it came to the 8th
inning and he had an 8-1 lead, and was holding the Fish to just a
hand full of hits, the intensity he showed was that as if it was a tied game in
Even though the umpires let the game go on through the rain,
it was clear that the Marlins manager was doing all he could to
try and get a delay, primarily to get Halladay out as early as
possibly, since his players were going nowhere fast against him. In fact Halladay
was the main reason Florida’s Cantu had his record run of
It wasn’t just Halladay that caused the Fish
to have a slow day, even though I am told fish like the rain, believe it or not
the empty bench in the picture of Halladay, does not infer that the rest
of the players took the day off, Halladay had some very good defense
behind him too, even Raul Ibanez got into the act, showing that age
hasn’t stopped him taking the needed dives to make a catch, obviously events
like this, especially in the rain draw comments from his fellow team mates, I
think it took another 2 batters for Victorino to stop poking fun at Ibanez
for his attempt at gaining as much air time as an NBA player.
It’s still early in the season and with a 6 run lead going
into the 9th Manuel didn’t want to tax Halladay too much, so after last
it was time to see if the Pen could step up and show that they could hold
a 6 run lead.
In steps Herndon, a rule 5 pick from the Angels,
who won this spot fair and square at spring training, I just hope that this was
just a glitch in his capabilities, because he managed to give up 4 runs and only
get out 1 hitter, now this is a little unfair to him, because the rain was still
coming down and everyone that came up to bat seemed to hit a little bloop in the
infield or to a spot where no one was and everyone kept going point to point. So
Charlie had seen enough, made his AT&T call to the bullpen
using up those roll over minutes, although by now he was on his unlimited nights
and weekends minutes. This time it was Madson called upon to find out if
the Pen is mightier than the Sword, or Sword Fish in this case.
As it happens ‘Mad Dog’ Madson was mightier, it took
just 6 pitches to get the final 2 outs and give Halladay his 3rd win as
the Phillies ace.
WTF Saturday all around baseball
Saturday, April 17th, 2010,
Jamie Moyer took the mound for the Phillies
and Norlasco for the Marlins, the 1st inning was the Moyers
achilles heel, he gave up 5 runs, and that was it, after that he struck out 7
through the next 5 innings. Norlasco for the Marlins was
just as devastating and held the Phillies bats in check, he was on
target for a shut out game except for Jason Werth’s 9th inning home run,
ironically his first of the season. The Fish went on to win 5-1
against a Phillies offense that seemed to be sleeping all night.
Boston Red Sox has been hosting the Tampa
Bay Rays this weekend, Friday nights game got rain out and since it was
tied up at 1-1 they postponed it till Saturday, hoping to squeeze it in before
the start of the scheduled Saturday game, I am sure no-one expected this to go
to 12 innings, but it did and the Rays came out on top, the
scheduled game started late, obviously, but only went 9 innings and also saw the
Rays squeeze another win at Fenway by a score of 6-5, I am sure
there are some Tampa fans with brooms in hand for Sunday’s game.
Well this was one of those games where even the commentators
were wondering if anyone had the capacity to end this game, I’m guessing that
the Mets bench figured the only guy that could possible end it
would get walked and so he did 4 times, although in 20 innings and 9 times at
home plate with a bat in his hand, 4 walks wasn’t bad, and as it also turns out
he got the only Cardinals run in the 19th. Both these teams were
suffering from some variation of the ‘canthitaball-phobia’, both teams
posted a lot of ‘zeros’, over the 20 innings of work, this was definitely
a marathon no-one expected, just like the outcome, Mets finally
won it 2-1.
There has been a lot of hype in spring training and early on in this season
about how good the Atlanta pitching
staff is, personally I think hype is all it is, yes they are good, but it’s more
about the only thing the Braves can push in order to try and make Bobby
Cox’s final year a pay off year. Anyway during the Phillies
game the commentators started to mention a no-hitter going on in Atlanta,
I thought okay, maybe I was wrong, so I flicked to the Atlanta
game to see the Rockies up 4-0 and Jimenez for the Rockies
throwing the no-hitter, okay so he had 6 walks, but he also had 6 strike outs, I
have to admit he wasn’t the first pitcher I would have selected to throw a
no-hitter this season, in fact I didn’t expect a no-hitter before mid May from
anyone in baseball, so to see one this early, by a guy who obviously needed all
the stars to align for this to happen, and for it to happen against a team who
has been hyped for it’s pitching staff, in my eyes definitely wins the ‘WTF’
award for April. I know there’s still lots of playing time in April, but it
would take a Kyle Kendrick to throw a no-hitter to beat this ‘WTF’.