Enough is Enough or is it ?

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whirlwind signing of the NEW number 33, Cliff Lee by the Philadelphia Phillies has
definitely brought out the reactions from fans all around baseball. It is safe
to say the reaction is mixed across the board from those that despise the
signing to those that really love it.

There are however something’s that Phillies fans need to keep
under control and that is over hyping the starting rotation, we all know the fan
base in Philadelphia can turn their love into hate on the toss of a coin. They
can deny it all they want, but deep down they know who they are and it’s those
fans that will be the first to call for Amaro’s head or Charlie to be replaced
when Phillies famous four get swept by a team like the Pirates or Astros.

One more note for the Phillies fans we don’t need a cutesy name
for these four guys, so enough with ‘Phour this’ or ‘that Phour’ the H2O was fun
but lets leave that as a thing of the past it really is ‘water under the
bridge’.

Should we be surprised at the general response from Yankee fans
who say what they will now, the majority thought they had Lee in pinstripes and
now of course the jibes at Lee for going back to Philadelphia are nothing more
than that of a spoiled little brat not getting that Christmas gift they wanted.
They are not the only group of fans that have shown that deep down they despise
Lee for wanting to go where he wanted to go and not where others thought he
should go.

For those that still seem to be bewildered by Lee leaving money
on the table to sign with the Phillies, ask LeBron James, he seems to think ‘when
your getting that much money $20Million is nothing, it wont change your life,
it’s about where you want to be after the first $100million’
.

Just remember it’s not even January yet, hell any or all of them
could twist an elbow opening Christmas presents, or hurt a rotator cuff carving
the turkey. This is one Phillies fan that wants to enjoy the 2011 season with no
expectations other than to be truly entertained all season long by a
Philadelphia baseball team that has chemistry and energy with every start.

On a final note, what if the Phillies traded Blanton, Kendrick
and whoever could they still land Zack Greinke … ho!ho!ho!


Phillies lose game 3, Yankees Do or Die …

Phillies Outside

For some, they would have just finished a late lunch, for others
it would have been the conclusion of a normal lunch, if you were on the west
coast getting ready for the Phillies v Giants game 3. For those of us still out
east it was late afternoon, the October air was cooling off, some where heading
home from work, some trying to wish the final hour or so of work to disappear.

It really didn’t matter where you were or what you were doing,
the game waited for no man, just Fox Sports to say ‘Lets Play Ball’. The game
got underway with another anticipated pitchers duel between Cain and ….

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….Hamels. Everything seemed to be going according to
predictions, both pitchers seemed to hold the hitters in a state of
confusion, until that is, Cody Ross, stepped up in the 4th. Ross managed to slap
a ball into left field to score the first run for San Francisco, then Huff
followed Ross with a hit to score the second run. Unfortunately the defense
wasn’t supporting the excellent job Hamels was doing, the stats may not have
been great for Cole, but he pitched better than they show.

The 5th inning saw another attempt by….

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….Utley to make a play and support Hamels, again this one ricocheted
off Utley, into centerfield and scored the Giants 3rd run. This was too big a
mountain to climb for the Phillies offense which appears to be lost baggage on
the trip from Philadelphia. There is no one to blame, no umpires to curse at,
okay maybe the 1st base umpire, reality the Phillies have to stop making excuses
an hit the damn ball and score runs. Everyone seems to complaining about Howard
not hitting, but as it stands he’s had the most hits in this series.

Wednesday, is game 4 and the Giants are sending Bumgarner to the
mound, okay that name is too easy to mess with so we’ll show good restraint, the
Phillies have….

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….Blanton on the mound. Wait Blanton, he hasn’t started a game
since September 20 something, but he’s getting paid to do this, so let him do
it. He may not be a member of the H2O, but with the offense still in lost
baggage what difference will it make.

The Rangers seemed to knock the wind out of the Yankees sails
yesterday with what shows as a blow out win, it wasn’t so much a blow out, more
a nickel and dime win. It seems the Yankees hitters are suffering like the
Phillies, while Guerrero is playing the role of Ross. The Yankees pitchers,
yesterday seemed unable to find the right location, except for Robertson, who
only got to face 2 hitters, which he disposed of with 8 pitches.

The Yankees are in a much more difficult position than the
Phillies, it’s do or die for the Yankees tonight, although by the end of today
the Phillies could also be in the do or die position, or they could be tied
again, its a matter of time before we find out.

Go Phillies….


Patience is a Virtue…

– PhilliesOutside –

Monday morning the Phillies had to be feeling good, they took the
weekend series away from the Mets who had come into the Bank as
one of the hottest teams in baseball, demolishing the Phillies in the
opener on Friday night, but the backlash of this from the Phillies saw Halladay
shut out the Mets then the offense took the Mets number 1 Santana
into uncharted territory knocking 8 runs off him in the 4th inning, which would
end up being a 9 run inning, which was all the Phillies would need in the 11-5
win Sunday.

So Monday morning would have had a feel good look about the club house, with
eyes set on the pending 4 game series against the St. Louis Cardinals,
the Redbirds have the best record in the National League, so this
is going to be a tough series, but as always would be a well fought series.

The game gets underway and as expected it’s a tight close fought game to
start, then the umpires have to get involved. They didn’t show any favorites
they just seemed to spoil what would have been a really good game without there interference,
as it happened the Phillies showed lots of patience at the plate against
a very good young Cards pitcher, unfortunately the umpires caused Manuel
to loose his patience and found himself being ejected….

….the home plate umpire definitely had a very bad game causing
players on both sides to question his abilities at calling balls and strikes, in
addition to both managers questioning his abilities at calling plays at first
and third, I just hope the umpires have had their day in the spotlight for this
series and can now let the teams get on with it and battle it out.

Kudos to the Cards for taking game 1 of this series.

 


Mets (Muts) Pound Phillies

– PhilliesOutside –

It is clearly obvious to anyone who has been watching the Phillies that the
offense has been on the 15 day DL along with Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton and now

Ryan Madson
. Blanton is scheduled to reappear this weekend with the possibility
of being back in the rotation this coming Monday against the ST . Louis
Cardinals
. Pitchers made it back into the bullpen, J.C. Romero last week, which
didn’t seem too successful and Brad Lidge yesterday, which was also not very
reassuring.

The offense though has been the most absent, after an excellent start to the
season there has been a distinct reduction in output since April 16th, there was
a brief appearance, a glimmer that maybe they were heading back on the right
track around the 22nd of April, but since then nothing, zero, zilch, nada,
nowt,
stuck somewhere between spring training and now in a twilight zone for
baseball, the offense is scheduled to make an appearance anytime during the next
few days and from there slowly pick up speed and increased numbers till the All
Start Break then it will be time to see if they make it back from the mid-term
break.

This offensive malfunction doesn’t however excuse all the errors
and mistakes that have been made in selecting which player does what and when
they do it, I know we’ve lost a few so it has to be the managers fault, wrong, that’s
not what I am saying, but he does have some role to play in the events that lead
up to the losses. Last year we saw Charlie Manual in a situation that
allowed this type of graphic….

….this year however, unless more thought is applied to
situations things will be very different, and I want to be fair to Charlie,
it’s not all his fault, he relies heavily on Rich Dubee for up to the
minute information on members on the pen and listens to recommendations on who
should be utilized and when, but there are times when even a novice such as
myself can tell that certain pitchers shouldn’t be used in certain situations. It
has to be the only time a major league ball club manager can safely say, it was
down to the Dubee.

We have in the bullpen a pitcher who is a rule 5 draft pick, who
we keep in the pen because if we don’t he
has to go back to where he came. In reality he belongs in the pen, he serves a
role and he’s good at it, but put him in the wrong place or situation and he’ll
have a bad day as would most of the pitchers out of the pen. Last nights game
against the Mets was a key example of right and wrong pitchers for the
scenarios, Baez is not a 2 inning guy, why was last night the time to try
and find out, it wasn’t, it shouldn’t have been, cause we already new the
answer, but for some unexplained, x-file type reason we had to confirm something
that we already new, after he pitched in his second inning and didn’t get any
outs, but gave up 4 runs, it was time to bring in the rule 5 guy, Herndon,
who went on to pitch 2 scoreless innings, he did let a inherited guy score, but
nothing against him.

Today the Phillies and Mets go at it nationally on
Fox, oh whoopiii, we get to listen to a bunch of no knowledge numbnuts a-sssswhipe’s
ramble on about how good or bad players are when they don’t even know anything
other than what they read in the columns from the biased reporters of either FoxSports
or ESPN. Talking of ESPN, we get the joys of watching and
listening to all the action from them on Sunday night.

Anyone who has any interest saw or heard the Mets pound
the Phillies last night, the rivalry makes it hard to stomach, but I have
to say the Phillies made it easy for the Mets. There was signs of
talent back in the Mets lineup, sorry all you Mets fans, but I
dislike Reyes with a passion, not because he’s a Met, but
because he gives the appearance of having an arrogant, holier than thou
attitude, his actions indicate that he believes he is bigger and better than the
game itself, so for me, he is not one of players with talent on the Mets,
however Jeff Francoeur and David Wright showed up to play and play
they did, Jason Bay also made the right choice and opted out of the BoSox
for the Mets in the off-season. Rod Barajas, okay he hit 2 homers
last night, but guys he’s a 3rd rate catcher at best and should be kept on the
bench for emergency use only, preferably behind a glass, with ‘break in case of
emergency’ on it.

So it’s big pat on the back for the New York Mets, but
it’s still early in the season, so no breath holding hoping you’ll go all the
way, we don’t want a rush of people turning blue in New York,
cause I think that’s happening in LA at the moment and it’s not
from breath holding.


APRIL FOOL’S DAY in October

As normal, with large mug of
coffee in hand, I sat down at my computer to browse the sports news and
preview today’s match ups, in doing so I also glance through all types
of news and information cast upon me from the depths of the endless
sources known as the world wide web. Today was different, today I had to
check the calendar twice to make sure I hadn’t awoken in some freaky
episode of FlashForward. After reassuring myself it wasn’t April 1st, or
to some April Fool’s Day, in some other time zone I continued to check
out the news and reports.

What made me think it could
be April Fool’s Day

Was it that Charlie Manual
chose to use 2 perfectly good starters…

…NO…that could be
explained.

Was it that the new star of
the Red Birds, Matt Holliday chose the most inopportune moment to show,
something known as butter fingers in some children’s circles in
England…

…NO… that too could be
explained.

Maybe it was rumors that the

Cardinals
had been forced to make the signs around the ball park easier
to understand to prevent lawsuits from the visiting Dodgers and their
fans…

NO… that was
understandable.

It wasn’t even sports
related, it was the fact that staring me in the face on my opening web
page was the recipient of what has till now been a prestigious award,
known as the Nobel Peace Prize, I had to ask myself was this a joke, a
prank cast upon us by the AP, or is it some advance payment from
the Norwegian’s for something we will yet discover our government has
promised them. These and more questions I could not find answers too, in
an effort to see if this was to be an ongoing trend I found myself
checking out the Hollywood Awards to see if anything was changing, could
it be next year that this Nobel Prize winner would be receiving an
Oscar…

 

I just hope tomorrow puts me
back in October, where a state of limbo exists until the conclusion of
the MLB division series, till then we can only hope and pray something’s
will never happen


September/October… the Final Countdown…

What’s in store for the Phillies
as we enter the final month of baseball, okay so the regular season runs
into October this year, but it’s only 4 days.

33 Games in 33 Days…

So the end of season
schedule is not being kind to a team trying to go back to back World
Series Champions, they have a full month and beyond. During September
they will play 30 games, in fact lets go from here to the regular season
end, 33 days to go, 33 games to play and somewhere they will get 2 days
off and play 2 double headers. Being 7 1/2 games up in the NL East is
certainly an advantage, but with this schedule it will definitely make
it a challenge to maintain. Finishing off the season is going to make
them tired even before post season play begins, at best you can hope for
a strong showing in the first half of September, so they can rest some
of the key players leading up to post season.

Offense and Defense…

 

The same guys that have
been producing the offense, (some days it may not have been much
offense
), are producing stellar defense. These guys are playing
every game like it is October baseball, they are making plays like it is
the last out, they are truly supporting every pitcher that takes the
mound.

The pitching staff seem to
be turning things around, yes your going to have the occasional game
where the opposition hit you around, those days make you more intense
the next time out. 

Starting Pitching…

 

 

Cliff Lee, took
his first loss in a Phillies uniform, which was okay, this way there are
no added strains on him to go perfect to season end. He can now pitch
his game and do what he does best.

Cole Hamels, last
2 games have been more like the Hamels we know from last year, hopefully
he has his game back and we can move forward. His confidence was such
that his game against the Giants this week saw him stealing a base, the
first of his career and he also went a solid 9 shut out innings giving
up just 2 hits in that game.

JA Happ, has
been the rookie with a veteran look, he has been excellent all year,
even when the chips are down, he stays focused and pitches his game. He
is without a doubt prime candidate for ‘Rookie of the Year‘ this
year.

Joe Blanton, the
Hulk‘, the ‘Work Horse‘, when you see him pitch it is
obvious he enjoys what he does and he stays in command and doesn’t get
phased by anything, he’s had good numbers this year and his second half
is as usual, very good.

Pedro Martinez,
the newest member of the starting rotation, who has not yet produced
what you would call a quality start. Facing 2 rain games that lasted 2
and 3 innings for him and 2 other games where he was seemed to be still
trying to find his way back in the majors. We will have to see how he
does this week against the Giants, a team the Phillies don’t produce
much offense against, will Martinez be able to keep it close, we will
see this week.

Jamie Moyer, Although
Moyer is now in the pen, I have included him here, simply because he has
taken the 2 rain delay games from Martinez and been outstanding, he has
also pitched reasonably well all year as a starter, still holding the
most wins as a Phillies starting pitcher this year. With the 2 double
headers the Phillies will be facing I think his role will be very
important, especially as one is against the Marlins, a team he has
dominated.

The Bull Pen seems
to have had some rest of late, although there are some deep issues still
to be resolved, I haven’t included a breakdown for them here, because I
think we need a little more time into September to see if the looming
post season is going to spur them on or if we will continue to see the erratic
side of the pen. I will mention thus far the only two I am comfortable
with are Eyre and Park, but we will continue to watch and see how Lidge
and Madson perform during the next week, along with some notables like
Durbin, Walker and Taschner, now he’s back up.

With the ability to load up
the team with new faces in September, the Phillies have chosen to be a
little more conservative, holding room for some of the DL players to
make an impact in the post season, assuming the Phillies maintain the
current state of play and make the post season of course.

More to come over the
weekend, with a look at bench players and the expected return of DL
players…

 


Just a Random Quickie…

Time for a quick blog, choosing the subject was a challenge, there have been a few recently. So it was a pick out of the hat between, John Smoltz and some sarcastic banter about the Cards recent addition, last nights performance by Cliff Lee, which is already covered plenty of times and opportunities will keep arising,  my verdict or lack of on Pedro Martinez, Brett Myers fight to get out of a car or Yankees/Boston and the Rays chance to take over Wild Card.

and the winner is…….

Pedro Martinez, my verdict….

What has Pedro done for us lately, well unfortunately his recent start against the D-Backs was shortened, so we were unable to see if he could go beyond 5 innings and if he would give up any more runs as he tires, so I guess the verdict is still out on that subject….

But still, since it was Pedro Martinez that was chosen lets review what he brings or could bring to the Phillies…

We all know he’s a 3 time Cy Young winner, but his last one was 9 years ago

so he’s a 7 time All Star, again last one was 4 years ago

how about a 5 time player of the week, yep, 7 years ago

he’s an innings eater, yeah okay, highest ranking was ’98 and ’04 when he was 6th in the AL

How about he was an All Star MVP, that’s true 10 years ago

Here’s one, he won  ‘MLB.COM ODDITY OF THE YEAR’, and that reflects on what exactly? – Oh I see he found it amusing that the sprinklers came on at Shea, while he was pitching for the Mets.

So he’s a comedian, a clown, someone fun to be around, well the Phillies have there fair share of those guys, I guess the question will be….

Is Pedro going to be the CLOWN…

or will he turn out to be just another side show…

Only time will tell…

…for me there hasn’t been enough time or action to determine. This weekend he is scheduled to start against the Mets at Citi Field, we’ll see if his old club comes out and destroys him or if he manages to destroy them. Based on the Mets current state of affairs I would have to say the advantage is Pedro’s going into the game, but we’ll see. Truth be known I would like to see him face the Marlins, but that probably isn’t going to happen. Till the next time when I hope there will be more action and evidence to show if Pedro’s involvement is worth the hype or not…

Tonight Blanton goes to the mound, and we’ll see if the Phillies offense can support him and clinch a sweep of the D-Backs.