Twin Killing Weekend …..

– PhilliesOutside –

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.

Loose
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.

Let’s
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).

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Strasburg vs Stanton ….

– PhilliesOutside –

I hear you saying Stanton wasn’t opposing Strasburg last night,
Stanton wasn’t the pitcher for the Pirates, and your right, it was
Stanton vs Strasburg in major league debut’s and although Strasburg
got the over-hyped coverage, personally I think Stanton will do more for
his club in the long run.

It was a day when the world would see the over-hyped Stephen Strasburg pitch
in his long awaited major league debut for the Washington Nationals at home to the
Pittsburgh Pirates, what more could you ask for, oh yeah, a sell out crowd, got that too.
The question is did everyone get their monies worth, most analysts, well
probably all of them will give a resounding ‘YES’ you did, on the night, you probably did, 14 strike outs through 7 innings, okay it’s not perfect,
he gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and he threw a lot of pitches really fast. Now any
normal person knows that the majority are going to expect the same if not better
the next time, and the next time, and the next time, and so on and so on, etc.
etc.

This we don’t know if it will happen, we know that the chances are it won’t happen, cause he’ll
come up against a team that loves the fast ball and is hotter than hell at the
plate and he’ll be lucky to go 5 innings, but till then he can bask in his glory
and the Nationals can have the pleasure of knowing that the over-hyped major
league debut, much like most things in Washington, was very well controlled and
we got to see what they wanted us to see.

 

The media over shadowed the major league debut of someone who, I believe,
will end up giving
more to his team and more to baseball in the long run than the over-hyped Strasburg, if you didn’t know the under-hyped
Michael Stanton made his
major league debut for the Florida Marlins in right field last night. The
expectation is that he will give to the Marlins what
Jason Heyward is giving to
the Braves, a young talented outfielder with a bat that can knock them out with
the best of them. He had a really good outing last night, albeit against the
Phillies
pitcher that is in the rotation by default, the fact that J.A. Happ is
still on the DL means Kendrick is still in the rotation, but he is a major
league pitcher, and Stanton came out of the chute swinging and got himself a
base hit in his first at bat, I tip my cap to Michael Stanton, he looked
good and he was far from cocky about his talents, he paid a lot of attention to
the game and other players on the field while he was in the dugout, he should
have no problem keeping his head on
straight and doing what it is he does best, play ball. I’m thinking this year
the Home Run Derby should have a special section that sees some
rookies get in on the action, like, Stanton, Heyward, Donald, Desmond to
mention just some of them.

 

It was also a night that saw the Phillies do something’s that haven’t been
seen for sometime in Philadelphia, all those doubters that didn’t believe it was going to
happen, well it did, During April they ‘did it’ 9 out of 22
times
, during the first
17 days of May they ‘did it’, 8 out of 16 times, May 17th was the last time they
‘did it’, and last night they ‘did it’ again, they scored 7 or more runs in 1 game,
well last night they scored double digit runs, another first since May 17th,
with a few fielding errors the Phillies managed to pull out a win with a come
from behind 8th inning. Carlos Ruiz was the only starter that didn’t hit, but he
drew two walks so he’s forgiven, Ben Francisco had a couple of
fielding errors out in right field that cost the Phillies
runs, but made up for some of that with a timely hit in the 8th to drive in 2
runs, which was all the Phillies would
ultimately need to win, but he was followed by Ibanez who drove in the
final run of the night to give the Phillies
10 runs on 13 hits, Ibanez broke out with a 4 for 5 night, while Howard
and Victorino both hit homers. All in all it was like spring break, it
was…..

….without the boobs.

 

Finally the MLB Draft, I hope one of the best picks this year
will turn out to be Perci Garner, Pick #77 by the Phillies.
Good luck to Perci on his MLB career, from the small town of Dover,
Ohio
.

 


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….


Would the REAL Cole Hamels Please Stand Up………

I have decide that Cole Hamels has an Alter-Ego that at any given moment will come to life, he has no control over this Alter-Ego, in fact the claims that he was working on mechanics in the bullpen this week was a disguise for, “Trying to control the Alter-Ego”. This Alter-Ego is none other than the “COOKIE CHUCKER”, for no hamelsalter-ego.jpgapparent reason when the “COOKIE CHUCKER” rears it’s ugly head Cole will simply throw cookies down the middle of the plate to opposing hitters, thus allowing the homer to be hit. The “COOKIE CHUCKER” is the evil, hitter friendly pitcher trapped inside Cole’s body. Last night the “COOKIE CHUCKER” came out, without warning, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 1st inning and decided to stay around and play till the 3rd inning. You could see the look on Cole’s face in the duggout between the 2nd and 3rd inning where he was fighting to hide the “COOKIE CHUCKER”, it was the extra “bullpen” work that gave Cole the strength to bury the “COOKIE CHUCKER” back inside himself and keep it at bay till he left the game. So next time Cole Hamels throws one of those hitter friendly cookie’s you’ll know the “COOKIE CHUCKER” has reared it’s ugly head again……

 

RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL is back and what a night, 2 hits, 2 runs and an RBI, and that included the game winning run, more importantly his return saw the Howards Homer come back to life….

HANDS-UP how many people were convinced the Phillies had lost this one, before the bottom of the ninth came to life…. own up…. thought so…. have faith…. even Joe Biden and his wife knew it wasn’t over, else why would they have stayed…. it was none other than a Vice Presidential Order, the Phillies had to win last night at all cost….

I am sure by the time the bottom of the ninth came even the Pirates fans thought they had this one in the bag, it was without any doubt the come back of the year, so far, for the Phillies, as I said Howards Homer came back to life to tie it up, then a Ibanez started the 1 out bases loading actions, till Bako hit the game winning drive….

Lets make it a HAPP-y sweep today….

 


Pitchers Duel goes to Philadelphia…

It was nothing more than pure speed on the mound tonight, as both Blanton and Duke were quick through each inning, Blanton pitched 7 1/3 innings giving up a solo homer in the first, he allowed just 3 other hits keeping the Pirates bats quiet.

Duke pitched an outstanding game for the Pirates giving up just 3 runs, in 8 innings, all the Phillies runs came in the 3rd inning, the only Phillies batter that seemed to be consistent against Duke was All Star, Victorino who tapped him for 3 hits. Both Utley and Werth got a hit each off Duke during the three run 3rd.

Romero came in to relieve Blanton and got the 3 batters he faced, setting it up for Lidge to get the final 2 outs in the top of the ninth.

Lidge again made the fans sweat and their hearts race, needing just 1 out in the top of the ninth, he gave up a solo homer to Moss, then a single to Wilson and somehow still managed to get the PH to swing through and get himself out, it took Lidge 20 pitches to save the game and a lot of stress and worry for the fans, who went from cheering to crossing their fingers.

I don’t normally single a player out as a player of the game, but today I think I have to give this one to the Pirates pitcher Duke, that was a tough one for him to lose. Imagine what his stats would be like behind the offence the Phillies can produce….. just a thought, while we’re looking for starters…..


Phillies beat up on Mets

You all knew at some point the guys were going to have a game like this at home, and it just happened to be the Mets on the recieving end, couldn’t have happened at a nicer time or against a better opponent. With the traumatic road trip and the recent sweeps against the Phils, this was what the fans needed, no time for the boobirds to anounce themselves, straight out of the gate players were swinging and hitting an opposing starter. The free for all ended when the Mets bullpen took over, but even so some nice encouraging things were seen.

Rollins was swinging good aswell as being patient about what pitches he chose to swing at, okay 2 games of hits doesn’t always mean the slump is over, but he looked comfortable at the plate for the first time in a long time, it was like his season was just begining.

Lopez, under what must have been a stress filled day of returning to the majors, gave an excellent performance, while pitching strikes and keeping the hitters of balance, the type of game you hope you are going to get from all your starting rotation, now if he can produce that performance again and again, then maybe we have found a fill-in for Myers.

It was good to see Madson have a relaxed 9th inning, hopefully it will help towards getting his confidence back and giving us the same type of performances we enjoyed last year.

As much as I would like to think it was a dominant Phils team that put the Mets and their fans into a silent stuper, I have to admit that they themselves did everything they could to help the Phillies and the Philly Fans enjoy a long awaited win at home, so for that we should thank the Mets and hope they continue to be supportive in todays game.

The only thing I am still waiting for is Howard to start hitting long balls again, maybe he needs a clubhouse vacation like J-Roll got recently. So today we hope and prey that Jamie Moyer has another good start and goes deep into the game, keeping the Mets off balance and swinging through his off-speed pitches and completely missing his slow/fast ball.

Lets make this a happy 4th of July with another win against the Mets and then maybe we can dream of a sweep of our own.


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…..