WTF Award – April 2010

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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
early innings.

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
hits halted.

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
nights disaster
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,

Philadelphia,

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,

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.

St. Louis,

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.

Atlanta,

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’.

 


The ‘Waiting Game’…

… gets harder and harder as the post
season progresses.

That feeling of anticipation as each game
progresses as you get closer to the final out of each game, becomes a
drug, an addiction, when the game is finally over, if your team wins
there’s that state of euphoria, but it isn’t long before you just want
the next game to start again, you want that feeling of anticipation, you
long for your team to be back out there battling it out for the ultimate
prize in Major League Baseball.

I was not expecting to have to wait till
the 7th day before I saw the Phillies
back out on the field again, both the ALCS and the NLCS
had the makings of being 7 game series.

The ALCS between the Angels
and the Yankees could be just that, with the Angels
winning last night in an exciting 9 innings it has now driven the series
back to New York with the Yankees holding on to a 3
games to 2 lead.

The Phillies
managed to seal the deal in 5 games, taking a 4-1 series win over the Dodgers
in true Philadelphia style, in the 3rd game to be played at CBP
before heading back to LA the Phillies
clinched the NL crown.

So now we have to sit back and wait to
see who we will face in the 2009 World Series scheduled to start
this coming Wednesday. For the Philadelphia Phillies
I am not sure if they have a preference, since home field advantage is
with the winners of the ALCS.

The pro’s and con’s of facing each team
are obviously long, when you consider each teams line-up and each teams
starting rotation, but they’re the obvious points to reference when
looking into reasoning, but when evaluating the pro’s and con’s, in
simple terms it would be better if the Phillies
played the Yankees in the World Series, for 3
reasonable reasons, color, distance and the memories.

COLOR

If everyone in the stands is wearing red
and waving rally towels, it would confuse the players, they wouldn’t
know if it were the pitcher or batter that was being cheered. So we need
a team that wears the color blue
to play against.

DISTANCE

This really is a no-brainer, having to
contend with west coast times during the World Series would make
me very tired each morning. Keeping an east coast timetable and giving
the players a short little trip to New York where the Phillies
have already played this year would make so much more sense.

MEMORIES

It was fun watching the Phillies
at the new Yankee Stadium back in May, I remember the first game,
first pitch, Jimmy Rollins went deep off of AJ, next
batter Utley, AJ threw the ball right at him and hit him
square on the shoulder. The 3 game set went in favor of the Phillies
2-1, but that was way back in May and both teams are a lot different
now. Although with AJ and CC in the Yankees rotation they
both bring back memories when facing the Phillies.

Back to the ‘Waiting Game
although irritating and annoying for Phillies
fans, it is considerably short at 7 days (now down to 4 days)
compared to other NL team fans who are having to wait and see if there
team will have a shot next year.

As for the World Series match-up

it will be, who it will be