Attitude at Altitude…

– PhilliesOutside –

Sunday was a day that companies had the opportunity to commercialize and reap the
financial benefits from all those feeling guilty about not having given enough
attention to their Mothers during the year, a time when that expensive,
worthless, tradition of sending or giving a piece of stiff paper with some words
created by someone paid not nearly enough to dream up such drivel, just so that
those doing the giving can feel good about themselves for having at least on
this day given some attention to the person that gave them life. Yes folks it
was ‘Mother’s Day’ here in America, this past Sunday. For those that don’t care,
it was not Mother’s Day in England, that was back in March and it’s true calling
is ‘Mothering Sunday’, which is actually different than Mother’s Day, as with
most things that are commercialized propaganda, it’s different because it’s
something to do with religion. I personally didn’t receive any cards or well
wishes, even though throughout the year I have heard the word Mother used
in conjunction with other words when referencing me or calling to me.

The Phillies celebrated Mother’s by giving away Phillies
scarves or is it scarf’s, does it matter, since those that got the
scarves/scarf’s wore them with pride, unless they were an Atlanta Braves
fan of course, then they probably kept them to remember the day they went to Citizens
Bank Park
to see Atlanta get beat.

Even though the Phillies offense had the Braves pitcher on the ropes
early  with hits and home runs by the start of the 4th inning the Phillies
were up 4 – 0, because guys like this….

….decided to show up and play ball, Polanco hit a homer in the
2nd with a pink bat, not that it matters too much the color of the bat, it’s
still a home run, no extra points for the bat being pink, probably extra cash
when it gets auctioned off for the charity.

The Braves pitcher, Kawakami, held his own
from the 4th and stayed in putting up respectable numbers through 6.2 innings,
even though he took the loss. The Phillies had Cole Hamels on
the mound, who during the first 4 innings looked as though he was going to be
cruising his way to a shut out and show Jamie Moyer he could do it too.
Alas it wasn’t to be, even after a major conflab on the mound…..

….somewhere the old ‘K’ Cole got lost and
confused about where to throw the ball….

….he managed to give up 3 runs in the 5th inning, that was
enough for Manuel who let the bull pen finish the game, led by Chad Durbin who
threw 2 scoreless, the bull pen was un-hittable, literally, they struck out 5
over the 4 innings of work and never allowed a base runner, even Lidge pitched
the 9th without giving anyone a mild seizure.

As with any day when the Phillies play at CBP, there is always at
least one creature that gets onto the field, no tasers needed on Sunday it was
just the…..

….doing his duties, or should I say trying too. Yes, he’s been
reportedly hailed as the best mascot in sports and I understand you either love
him or hate him, but it has become clearer that most hate him because of the
team he’s associated with, not for what he does, because lets face it, no matter
who you are, if he was your teams mascot you’d think he was the coolest mascot
ever, or at least your kids or grand kids or great grand kids would think he was
pretty cool….

So the celebration of Mother’s is over and the Phillies
headed to Colorado where the air is thin and they use some kind of machine
to make the balls stay in the park, or so they say.

There was something in the air, maybe it was moisture of some
sort, but Charlie was trying to figure it out….

….as the Rockies made some accusations of
someone spying on the game from the Phillies bullpen, not sure
what it was all about and I’m not sure Charlie was to sure either, but it
prompted Victorino to use the bullpen phone and tell them to stop clowning
around.

It certainly wasn’t the bull pen the Rockies
needed to watch, it was the Phillies catcher, Carlos Ruiz….

….who went 4 for 5, one of them a homer, and it wasn’t a fluke
or the thin air or altitude or something they put in the bottled water in Colorado,
he’s actually been hitting that good of late, with a.354 avg, he’s got himself a
little ‘on base’ streak going, I think he’s actually been on base in all but 1
of the games he’s played this season, he’s picking up more walks and now he’s in
the number 7 hitting slot, he’s getting more hits, lets hope he can sustain this
for the year or majority of it anyway.

The Phillies defense were showing off some quality
glove work…

….but that still didn’t stop Colorado, with Hawpe
back off the DL and going 2 for 4 on the night, the Rockies managed
to get it all tied at 5 going into the 9th inning. In fashion of the last couple
of years the Phillies put up a 4 spot in the top of the 9th and
the Rockies where unable to find a way to answer, with Contreras pitching
the 9th, who seems to be solidifying himself as a late inning guy that Manuel
can depend on, the Rockies went down on just 1 hit in the 9th, giving the
Phillies game 1 of this series.

Other News:

Brad Lidge has a sore elbow, waaaaaaaaaa!!! go back on
the DL then don’t tie up a roster spot if your going to keep whining all year so
you have an excuse when you blow your first and subsequent saves this year.

Dallas Braden, who became news worthy earlier this month
when he accused A-Rod of being a ‘dick’, which by the way Braden,
we all knew this before you accused him, just threw a perfect game. So congrats
to him, but you did sour your win somewhat by both you and your Gran-Ma
referencing A-Rod when talking of your perfect game. As much as A-Rod
will take credit for anything good and nothing bad, this I am sure he played no
part in, so let A-Rod go back to denying PED use and not have to
deny knowing unwritten rules of baseball. He’s a Yankee player,
those unwritten rules don’t apply, that’s another unwritten rule.

Milton Bradley is still a bigger ‘dick’ than A-Rod.

Cliff Lee goes for his first win of the season tonight,
the question is if he gets it, will it count, since it’s against Baltimore.

Roy Halladay goes home for first ever start in Colorado,
hard to believe that a guy like Halladay never pitched in Colorado.
This homecoming should be sweet for Halladay and not so sweet for Rockies
fans as Halladay goes for win number 7 and the Phillies try
and clinch the series tonight.

 

Advertisements

The Race is on…

Race for the N.L. East Division Title…

Looking at how the Phillies have been playing of late, I thought this division was going to be the closest run contest, but having seen how the Rockies and Dodgers are playing, the N.L. West could produce the biggest upset in September.

The teams in the N.L. East will all play a major role in the way this division unfolds during September, everybody plays everybody, so I am going to do a brief review of each team and the role they could play.

The Washington Nationals (47-90) in my opinion will have the biggest impact on the outcome of this division race. There current strategy seems to be reviewing players and setting up the team to go into the off season, so they can best decide who to trade and who to keep, plus they are looking at what areas they will need to fill during the off-season so as to not end up with the worst record in baseball in the 2010 season.

The Nats play everyone in the division which means they will be a spoiler and a helper, who they will help and who’s hope’s they will spoil is yet to be seen. They could even have a hand in the N.L. West with (2) 3 games still scheduled against the Dodgers. They host 3 games against the Phillies starting today (Tuesday, Sept 8th) and with the way the Phillies have been playing of late anything could happen.

The New York Mets (62-75) currently are in an ‘argumentum ad misericordiam’ state. They cannot decide if self-pity or pity from the fans right, considering the new stadium, the pre-season hype then the injuries, the ball park not very player friendly and of course the cross town Yankees doing so well, they are desperately seeking a ‘It’s NOT our fault’ acceptance from the not so fair weather fans.

Although they do play everyone in the division, the role of the Mets is more likely to be a deciding factor in where and how the Marlins and Braves finish.

The Atlanta Braves (70-67) are fighting to hold onto a winning record and at the same time desperately trying to stay in the wild card race. They are only 8 games back in the division race, but with Florida and the Phillies ahead of them, they would have to sweep both team during games this month and they only have 3 against the division leading Phillies. the wild card has it’s own challenges, currently 7 1/2 games out they have to hope the 3 teams ahead of them completely collapse.

They will probably be more inclined to spoil the chances of the Marlins while maintaining a winning record this year.

The Florida Marlins (72-65) are the FISH with a WISH. It’s tough to decide which is the hardest task for them, the wild card or division, both are very hard mountains to climb. Currently standing 6 games back in the division and 5 1/2 games back in the wild card it’s a 50/50 chance to make either one. They do have 6 games left against the Phillies and they did sweep the Phillies at CBP and the Phillies have been struggling of late, so there has to be hope in the hearts of the Marlins fans.

The Philadelphia Phillies (77-58) have a hard schedule ahead, with just 2 days off, but 2 double headers to play. They will play 6 games outside of the division, tough games against central division teams, but more importantly the in division games are critical. With Florida and Atlanta hoping for a shot the Phillies will have to bring the best of the season together to finish out on top.

A team in turmoil at the moment, with the starting pitching being the only element of the team delivering a winning performance, the offence needs to step up and the bull pen needs to refocus. the offense it’s all about the players, Raul Ibanez seems to be on a slow climb from his slump, the rest of them have to become more consistent, the bull pen is solid except for 2 or 3 players, who Charlie seems to favor.

It’s all about choices and this man has some to make…

Make the right choices and the Phillies can be in the post season shooting for a repeat, the wrong choices and the season ends October 4th.


Rain Delay, Howards Homers and a Phillies Win in Atlanta…

Well it looks as though
it’s going to be a busy week, but I’m going to try and keep up with
stuff. This one will be a quickie, since it’s already really late.

Last night we had a rain
delay and eventually a ball game of which JA Happ pitched a solid
outing giving up just 1 run on 3 hits, he did manage to walk 6, throwing
117 pitches through 7 2/3 innings.

 Howard’s Homers was on
display yet again, after the longest dry spell for Howard, he has
now hit 4 bombs in as many games, 2 of which came last night, it must be
all that meditating he does before he leaves the dug out for the on deck
circle.

His swing was almost
identical for each homer, even though the pitches were in completely
different parts of the strike zone.

It was one of those events
that could have bought a tear to the eyes of anyone…

My guess though is he was
just wiping away the sweat from all the hard work swinging the bat.

Since they were up by 3
runs, they took a little time to amuse themselves in the dugout…

What could these guys be
finding so hysterical…

So many choices what is a
closer to do!!….phew!! a 1/3 of an inning gotta get that right…

Tuesday will be here soon
and the Phillies host the D-Backs for a 3 game set at CBP, we’ll definitely
be looking to move above the .500 mark at home again….


Phillies Offense Wakes Up…

On a night that had been promoted by the media to be the second coming of Pedro Martinez turned out to be the awakening of the Phillies bats. The night at Wrigley Field was broadcast on ESPN, you have to ask yourself, was that just a coincidence that the rotation was switched around to debut Pedro Martinez, or were greater powers at play, the word is, that the Phillies would not change the rotation just to help ESPN get extra ratings, but conspiracy theorists believe otherwise. Personally it didn’t matter, the Pedro Martinez debut was over shadowed by the return of the long awaited Phillies offense.

How did Pedro perform in his return…

martinez.jpg

for me the verdict is still out!

It is really hard to compare how one pitcher would have performed over another pitcher on a specific night, since things may have been different for a different pitcher. When you consider he went 5 innings, anyone else out on the mound and Charlie would have pulled in the 5th inning, he loaded the bases with nobody out, the fact that he had a huge lead at the time and his name is Pedro Martinez on his debut in a Phillies uniform was the only reason he stayed in the game to get through the 5th, had the Cubs hit a grand slam I hope Charlie would have pulled him regardless of the circumstances. In the end he finished with a 5.40 ERA, I just cant help thinking had it not been a struggling Cubs, but a red hot hitting team, he would have been crushed and the huge lead the Phillies had would have been worthless, but I will wait for at least a couple more starts before rendering a verdict on his inclusion as the 5th starter.

The night really was all about the Phillies offense, which came to life, you could tell from the begining it was going to be a good night for them, even the defensive plays were considerably better than they have been over the last couple of weeks.

Who was the hero of the night…

offense.jpg

 All of them!!

Yes, some had more hits than others, some had more RBI’s than others etc. etc. but the real fact is they all hit, they were all swinging the bats well, and none of them made any errors. Until Eric Bruntlett came in to give Chase Utley a rest, then he managed to kick a ball into the outfield that should have been a routine double play.

The only other incident, which I am sure will be picked up on highlight reels was that of a fan, with Victorino going back on to the warning track in left center, some stupid, idiotic, Cubs fan, I know I here some of you saying they just have to be a Cubs fan to to be those things, but this one was a little more of those things, he threw, what i can only believe to be perfectly good BEER at Victorino just as he was making a catch…

beer-mix.jpg

1 – Shows him throwing the BEER, (what a waste)

2 – Shows him pleading his denile case

3 – Shows him further denying it, while the wrong guy gets ejected

4 – Shows him bragging to fans around him how he got away with it. (okay, so I helped out a little with the t-shirt lettering)

It wasn’t over, I am guessing they reviewed the footage and decided the guy they ejected wasn’t the one,

because this lonely idiot…

beer-5.jpg

managed to get everyone around him ejected too…popular guy now I bet…

Today is a day game and Cliff Lee will be taking the mound, lets hope the offense stays alive and gives him similar support. It will be a day where the Phillies fans will be hoping to bounce back from the weekend and complete a sweep of there own.

Here’s something that came to me yesterday while watching this game, no real reason why it came to me just did, so thought I would share for others to ponder it, and if you know the answer great…

Has a hitter in a single game, hit for the cycle, been put on base by a HBP and got on base by a swinging strike that gets away from the catcher, thats 6 at bats, I know, but has anyone ever done that?…