Charity Begins at Home…

Over the weekend the Phillies at home were very charitable to the Florida Marlins, the Phillies, we hope, have moved on from that, now someone else should take a turn to be charitable at home.

On the road this week, with the road trip opener at Wrigley Field it was hopeful that the Cubs would be the one’s to be charitable at home, as luck would have it they obliged, at first it didn’t look as if they wanted to be nice and play the charity game, the Phillies had to show then the way to encourage them.

J.A. Happ started the ball rolling by giving the Cubs a taste of the charity bug…

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through 6 innings he gave the Cubs, 11 base runners and 2 runs…

During those 6 innings where Happ was trying to encourage the Cubs with his charity work, you would have thought that…

Harden was more interested in pitching a perfect game…


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I think he must have started to feel guilty about all the fine charity work Happ had been doing for the Cubs, and realised that charity begins at home, 1 out in the 6th inning he very charitably gave us, (the Phillies), our first base runner. Yes, I have to admit it came out of the blue and was not expected, hoped for, but not expected, I am sure he felt bad that our guys couldn’t hit his pitches.

Mr Harden very kindly gave up a walk to our very own 8th hole hitter and #1 catcher…

Carlos Ruiz…


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and of course he graciously accepted the free pass to 1st base


with Ruiz on first and 1 out, Happ who having seen the charitable donation by Harden bunted the ball into the air, high enough to allow 1st baseman, Lee, to make a spectacular diving catch to give them 2 outs, 1 on in the 6th. Now is when you would find out if Harden was truely playing the charity begins at home game. With Rollins at the plate, having swung at the very first pitch of the game making a lame infield out, on one pitch, was now looking to Harden to be charitable, so as not to make himself (J-Roll) look so foolish again.

Rollins being a recovered struggling lead-off man had become greedy…


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he wasn’t content with a line drive hit, he had to go the whole 9 yards, or in this case 350+ feet into the bleechers for a home run.


Now with the game tied at 2 each we were in the 7th and Harden had gotten the charity bug really bad, with a hit and a walk and a fly ball he managed to have a couple on 2nd and 3rd base, Piniella, wanted to do his part, but wasn’t sure what that was,


so he wandered out to the mound to ask his players


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they weren’t exactly sure what his charitable role should be,


so he asked the homeplate umpire, who I am guessing told him staying in his dug out was more than anyone could hope for, so with his, out of this world, I’m on something look about him, he aimlessly wandered back to the dugout as if he forgot why he went out to the mound in the first place. so the Phillies, feeling sorry for Piniella did the charitable thing and got themselves out of the inning.


The 8th inning came around and the Cubs felt Harden had done enough giving, so they sent Marmol to the mound to keep up the charity work, Marmol turned out to be in a very giving mood,


his charitable donations started with a walk to Ruiz


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Dobbs came in as a pinch hitter and gave himself up with a lazy fly ball, Rollins tried to take advantage of Marmol’s kindness, but the inbound wind prevented another charitable donation of a ball into the bleechers. Marmol wasn’t very happy with his donations so far, he decided to give some more, so he hit Victorino with a pitch, who by the way was on his best behaviour, he didn’t charge at anyone today, then Marmol walked Utley to load the bases, then his generosity got the better of him, he walked Howard to push Ruiz across the plate for the go ahead run.


What could be more exciting than this, 1 run lead bottom of the 9th, time for the Phillies closer, who last year was putting the fear of god into every hitter he faced, this year however he’s putting the fear of god into the fans for every hitter he faces.


Don’t worry though this was a giving game so the Cubs would give themselves up for Lidge…


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Someone should have explained the rules of charity begins at home to Lidge.


He thought he was the one supposed to be doing the giving, cause he gave them a walk , a hit and a run to even the score 3-3.


Each side played the charity thing as best they could into the 12th inning, then the Cubs didn’t realise that Francisco is new to the National League and doesn’t fully understand,


with Francisco at the plate…


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Gregg tossed a donation to him…


Francisco, not really understanding everything in the NL, sent the ball on a line drive to left field and instead of it hitting the wall it dropped nicely into the basket on top of the left field wall. Once again the Phillies get the go ahead run. This time the make sure everyone is aware that it’s the home team giving the charitable donations,


fresh off the DL, Chad Durbin comes into to halt the donations…


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and halt them he did, Durbin picked up his 2nd save on the season,


giving up a charitable walk, and a strike out he gave the Phillies the win in the opener of a 3 game set in Chicago.


With this game in the bag, I thought I would just flip over and see if the Rays could do the same to the Angels,


I was just in time to see…


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Crawford let a ball go to the fence and give the Halo’s 3 more runs…


this was not what I hoped for, the Angels bea the Rays 6-0, but it was somewhat ironic in a way since these 2 games had something in common, just different outcomes.


The Cubs and Angels each had 10 hits, the Rays and Phillies each had 3 hits, but the outcome was the Angels had 6 runs and the Rays 0, while the Phillies ended with 4 runs and the Cubs 3 runs.


Tomorrows game at Wrigley sees the return of Martinez, in a Phillies uniform for the first time, ironic that his last game in the majors was against the Cubs. All Philly fans are looking for the win, and all are very curious as to how Martinez will fair in his first start after fan favorite Moyer was bumped from the rotation to make room for him.

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Phillies Swept by Braves in Atlanta, First Since 2005

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…..


Phillies back on the road…

Good or bad they are on the road again, just sat and watched them take 1 out of 3 from the Rays. So they lost 2 of 3, but there are some interesting things that I have noticed in the last week or so, maybe it’s just cause I am a Phillies fan or maybe it’s just cause I am watching it on MLBTV, never the less it has become more noticeable, to me. Not many like to dig at the umpires and some will blame them for everything, I have started to see a trend of the opposition getting the favorable calls, no matter how clear they are to those wtaching the game from the sidelines or on the TV. There was Dobbs home run, should have been reviewed, what is the rule anyway, I thought if the manager requested it and it disputed a home run, it had to be reviewed, guess not….. Jimmy Rollins clearly safe at first base, called out.. WHAT!!!! how could he be out, again he’s out cause he’s in a Phillies uniform…. A whole host of balls and strikes have gone against Phillies pitchers and hitters respectively, regardless of what people may say, they have gone against the Phillies and played a major role in the win/loss record. Tonight was the final straw, which is why I found I had to comment, Durbin was out of the inning almost… again balls when they were strikes called…. then what the hell were they thinking to review the ground rule double…. it wasn’t a home run… didn’t matter that the runner may have scored… it WASN’T a home run… not reviewable… maybe the rules should be clarified or maybe my understanding is totally wrong… review it if it doesn’t help the Phillies maybe thats the rule…. okay attacked the umpires enough, maybe it will be different in Canada, yeah right… Swinging strikes, maybe someone should emphasize the basic rule, if the pitcher isn’t throwing strikes don’t swing…. I know it’s tougher being at the plate, but until recently everyone was hitting great, till interleague at home, then it’s like their swinging at everything that head towards the vacinaty of home plate. Whats done is done maybe Canada will start the upswing and get the team into the habit of winning series again….. GO PHILLIES….