Major League Baseball at times contains some weird and wonderful
things, not because of umpiring screw-ups or because players tend to get a holier
than thou attitude and do something really really dumb, but just because of the
pure mathematics of baseball.
Last night at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, was another
night where a sell out crowd got to see history in the making….
….Ryan Howard hit his 30th home run of the season and became
the first Philadelphia Phillies player to successfully achieve 5 consecutive
seasons with 30 HR’s and 100 RBI’s.
Things that make you say ‘Really’ in a sarcastic
The AL East has had more changes to the division lead than any
other division this year
The AL Central has all teams at or below .500 eliminated.
The AL West has only 1 team above .500
The NL West has 3 teams above .500 contending for the division
The NL Central has 3 of the 5 worst teams in the National League
The NL East has mathematics….
….the Mets season is officially over, yet right behind them in
the standing the Marlins cling to, well nothing really, but it gives the
Marlins this weekend before the last remaining dozen or so fans stop going to
the stadium and with the sCrUBs in town chances are no ones going to the stadium
As we end a week that has seen the ‘anti-hot’ Phillies
take 2 from 3 off the New York Yankees,
one of the hottest AL teams of the month, we move into the weekend where a
number of people will enjoy the celebrations of Father’s Day or is it Fathers’
Day, it doesn’t really matter, it’s a day to celebrate fatherhood, or it
could be a day to acknowledge that back in 1916 congress saw the future, it
maybe the only time that evidence points in that direction, but it’s true. In
1916 congress resisted the urge of President Wilson, and would not make Father’s
Day an officially observed day in fear that it would be ‘commercialized’ didn’t
see that coming.
This weekend sees the Twins in town,
nope, not referring to Jedward, okay no one was thinking that because
like me you probably didn’t have a clue who they were, but if you ‘google’
them you’ll be glad the man in your house doesn’t have them calling him ‘DAD’
or that there not calling you ‘DAD’. It’s possible you may think
they look okay, or you may find them amusing in a sick kind of way, but that’s
probably because there not your kids. If ever there was a case for free
contraception these would get the staring role, these are simple product of an
age where a Playstation or an X-box was the mainstay of parenting and probably
the parents main means of exercise and entertainment, since these two are
obviously a product of the parents secondary means of entertainment or maybe
even an entertainment mishap.
as a connection as it may be these two are twins and the Phillies
are hosting the Twins this weekend, Friday
got off to a good start with what can only be described as a ‘Twin
Killing’, after having had the worst month of the clubs history, well it
seemed that way, for the second straight game they got to the starting pitcher
early and knocked in enough runs to get them through the rest of the game for
the win. Staying with the twin format, for the second time this week the Phillies
hit back 2 back home runs, but it was the break out of the Howard Twin
that was the best event of the night, Howard went 4 for 4, 2 homers, a Triple
and a Double, he was a single away from the cycle, but honestly I’ll take the twin
homers over a single and a homer any day.
The Phillies ended the evening with a 9-5
win, that was attributed to Blanton, who turned in a good start, throwing
5 shut out innings, until eventually surrendering to the power of the Twins
in the 6th and 7th innings, ending his outing on 7 hits and 3 runs.
hope the Phillies can continue this
onslaught of new found energy and synchronized hitting and move on from the ‘anti-hot‘
period into a much more pleasing ‘anti-cold‘ phase or just a plain old scorcher.
For me this weekend will be a time to remember times past with my father,
the picture is 1973, that’s me, my dad and his mum.
It’s a time to share moments, even if they are via satellite, with my kids
and a time to enjoy hearing how my eldest son is preparing for his step up to
fatherhood, expected to occur sometime this coming September. We have already
sent the first round of Phillies baby
clothes to England to aid my future ‘grandson’ in making those
monstrous decisions as to what teams to follow and what colors to wear in
support of said teams as he grows.
The last time we had a via satellite gathering was for my mother’s 80th
birthday last February, it was kind of funny being on a laptop computer screen
moving around a gathering with a bunch of people gazing in at you as if they
were all blind, must be what a baby feels like, although it’s always good to see
how family members are doing, from nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters and even a
few people I had no idea who they were, these I knew exactly who they were…..
…..from left to right, my eldest son (Dave), daughter-in-law
(Lucy), future daughter-in-law (Toni), Youngest son Tom and me in the
bottom corner on a laptop screen. This weekend won’t be a mass gathering, it
will be like a lot of other weekends where I get to chat to my son’s and maybe
play a few online games too, (Lucy’s the pregnant one).
Friday, May 7th, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. Jamie
Moyer threw 105 pitches, over 9 innings giving up just 2 hits and
striking out 5, as he made baseball history.
Moyer is officially the oldest major league pitcher to throw a
9 inning shut out game, at
aged 47 years 170 Days young, Moyer was pushed to the bullpen
during August last year, this year some thought Kendrick should have got
the starting job, not Moyer. Personally I have said all along Moyer
was the choice for the starting rotation, I stand by that, and I say to all
those who will now jump on the Moyer band wagon, be careful what
I had said during spring training that I think Kendrick should not be
used as a starter till later in the year, and that Moyer will be
better more often than not during the first 100 to 130 games of the baseball
season. What Jamie did against the Braves, is far beyond
any expectation anyone could have seen, many could have hoped for, but no one
could truly have predicted.
not forget he wasn’t the only one on the field playing against the Braves,
even with the Phillies still feeling the effects of being without
Jimmy Rollins they have pulled together and over come some tough times.
With both Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard making very good
defensive plays, the offense was still keeping a steady average of hits and runs
as they managed to score 7 runs off Atlanta pitching, Jayson
Werth having a blast of ‘Deja-Vu’ as he hit a 3 run Jack in back to back
games, the first against the Cardinals then again against the Braves.
The Phillies continue the home stand for another 2 days, both games
against the Atlanta Braves then they hit the road for a week,
heading to Colorado for 3 games and then Milwaukee
for 3 games, but this season is about taking it one game at a time and the focus
is on the Braves for the Saturday game. Saturday some may think the dug out
looks bare or just strange, but it should only be for one game. Charlie
Manuel has said he will be missing Saturday’s game against the Braves for
personal reasons and he specifically said it had nothing to do with his health,
before we have a lot of conclusion jumpers.
You must have been on another planet or at best somewhere remote outside of the baseball world if you haven’t already heard of the 22-1 win the Phillies posted against The Reds last night. History in the making, the Phillies gave The Reds the largest deficit loss in their club history, it wasn’t just that they sent their ace starter to the dug out in two thirds of an inning, nor was it the fact that the Phillies were well on their way to batting around twice in the first, it is the things that in a different game would have been the headlines.
Cole Hamels went seven innings giving up 3 hits and 1 run throwing just 92 pitches with 61 of them for strikes. He must of been feeling good, at the plate he had a double, a single, 2 RBI’s and scored 2 runs, a week ago Jimmy Rollins would have killed for those in game stats. – Well Done Cole.
The Reds pitching staff threw more pitches in the first 3 inning than Hamels threw for seven, in total The Reds pitching staff threw over 200 pitches combined, with only about 60% of them for strikes. You know a pitching staff is having a tough night when they throw **** into pitch the 8th inning.
Jayson Werth hit a grand slam, okay so it was off the SS pitching, but even so it’s still a stat and would have been a headline in any other game.
Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 4 with 2 walks, with Jimmy’s first half slump, I think worthy of a headline.
Ryan Howard homerless again, it’s nice that he is in the Home Run Derby, but I would much prefer him to hit homers in games that count, maybe the possible return of Raul Ibanez this week will inspire Ryan to go long.
Phillies BullPen threw 2 scorless innings to close out the game, again with their performance over recent weeks this would have been a headline in a diferent game.
With all this in the first of 4 games against The Reds you have wonder if they can keep it up, I am sure The Reds are wondering what they can do tonight, they face the 5-0 Happ with a 2.96 ERA, I am not sure there is light at the end of the tunnel for The Reds at CBP.
For a diferent point of view I have decided to watch tonights game with The Reds commentary, just to see how they feel about a Phillies team that really showed no mercy last night. Lets hope the Phillies didn’t blow a weeks worth of offense in one night.
Almost Finally, in case you hadn’t noticed I added the word Phillies to my Blog name just so those who haven’t read it know it’s about the Phillies.
And Finally VOTE VICTORINO
Another night where it started Happ-y and ended with Maddog Madness, there was not much that the Phillies could hold there heads up for last night. Happ had another good start, J-Roll broke his O-fer, Dobbs and Utley were good at the plate. So Madson blew another posible win, Madson’s fault, maybe, a couple of pitches that missed their mark were hit well, one was even crushed. Should he have been put in, well he is the set-up man, but he has been off his game lately, who’s fault, Charlie for putting him or Dubee for agreeing, who knows what discussion went on in the dug-out before they decided, hinde sight is 20-20 so we all know it was a bad choice, but with Romero having a tough time finding the strike zone of late and the complete nervous appearance of any of the bullpen it’s tough to decide who could have come out and given us what we wanted. It’s done now nothing we can do but learn from it, Yes it seems we are slow learners this year.
What are the current positives – Yes we are tied for first, but we have 4 games in hand so concievably we could be 43-37, that’s the positive look. The negative side is we could be 39-41, maybe it’s good we have those games in hand, we stand a chance of getting out of the slump before we play those games in hand.
Let’s hope J-Roll stays out of his slump, at least with him being aggressive on the bases we have more chances to score. Current concerns obviously the bullpen, but also Howards lack of homers during this road trip and the the uncentainty of when we’ll get Ibanez back. I am sure some of Howards problem is Ibanez missing, lets face it pitchers were prepared to pitch good pitches to Howard so they didn’t have to face Ibanez.
We had a bad road trip, lets hope that will turn around the home stand. A series win or sweep of the Mets, is that to much to wish for, I think not, anything is possible the way Phillies are playing, they have to break out at home and start to dominate everyone who comes to the park.
I still think we will go into the All Star break on top of the division, may not be by as many games as everyone would like, but still we will be on top.
So now we get ready to see if we can crush the Mets this weekend and start the home stand on a positive…..