A week in any other year you would be happy to have come out of with an even
record splitting both the Pirates and the Cubs series evenly, but not this year,
the Phillies should have swept both teams, but it wasn’t to be, now we head into
the inter-league weekend and the Phillies host the
Red Sox, so I thought it was
time I went back onto the interview circuit, which allowed me to meet up with Ryan
Howard, this is how it went…
Well that was a given, I blew it, I jinxed them, at the end of my last
post I had to go a say that Halladay would leave the Pirates
with all zero’s. What happened, I can only believe it’s that time of the month
again, before all the women jump up and down and start screaming like banshees,
I am not making some veiled reference that attempts to draw humor from your
pain, or is it our pain, juries still out on that one, I am referring to that
time when the last month the Phillies went
from dominating play to only managing to win 4 out of 12.
It’s like the Phillies offense just takes
a vacation and when they show up, the bull pen is on vacation. Unfortunately
last night the person that got the raw end of the deal was ‘The Doc’, Roy
Halladay, he threw another complete game, I can only believe he was
expecting the offense to come through at the end and get him the win, instead
the Pirates ended up taking it 2-1 in a pitching duel. Halladay
went all 9 innings on 132 pitches, giving up 9 hits and 2 runs, that should be
worthy of a win, but all it turned out to be was the ‘Halladay Blues’....
….the Phillies have the chance to turn things around tonight
as they take on the Cubs in the start of a 2
game series, on the mound tonight is Jamie Moyer, ironic because he started his career
with the Cubs, his major league debut for
them was against the Phillies, way back when
most of the other players were either un-thought of or getting their diapers
The Phillies hosted the Pirates in the first of 2 games during this weeks mish mash of
games, this year the Phillies are lucky, previously they have been on the road
for these stupid series that are only 2 games, this year they get to play host
all in the same week.
There was no great revelations last night, Kyle Kendrick, did well
pitching a good game, but then can you really judge how good or bad a pitcher is
against the Pirates, okay you can judge how bad a guy pitches. Now I have
no intention of knocking the Pirates and their abilities too much this
year, because I would like them to do well, yes I would like them to end the
season above .500 this year. This however doesn’t change the fact that a pitcher
who when performing slightly above average or better should be able to beat the Pirates,
providing the teams offense play along.
So far this season some teams, like every year are struggling, and media,
bloggers and fans in general start to call for the coach to be ousted, I read
recently that teams such as the Cubs, ChiSox,
Royals and even the New
York Mets have fallen into this category, however I believe all to
quickly the pressure is applied to the manager. There is evidence to suggest
that in some cases this is true, as is the case with the Washington
Nationals, see then now and with the old coach, this may not be the
best litmus test but it proves the manager can have some bearing on the matter.
I also believe other coaches play a
role, and for me the biggest role of the other coaches is the pitching coach, 2
guys I believe should be ousted and be replaced while the season is young enough
to salvage would be Joe Kerrigan of the Pirates and Rick
Peterson of the Brewers, I don’t think I
have made it a secret that I detest Kerrigan as a pitching coach, I never
liked him even when he was an analyst on Comcast and then when he wormed
his way into a job with Bowa at the Phillies I liked him even less
and rumor has it that he wasn’t much liked by any of the pitchers at Philadelphia
either. Just last night is a clear example, I know there arguments for this and
against, but a lot of coaches seem to do it when they don’t need too. Everyone
knows Taschner was with the Phillies
and at times he had a love/hate relationship with them, so why would you punish
him and send him to the mound at time when your down 8-2 and lets face it a
situational leftie isn’t going to make any difference, and what happens, yep,
the same as always the guy loads the bases and gives up a slam to the one guy
who has difficulty hitting lefties. So I say this to the Pirates get rid
of Kerrigan before he does so much damage to you pitching staff you have
to completely rebuild your pitching capabilties.
Brewers, I think know they have a problem,
but are probably having issues on how to fix it, which is replace Peterson. I
mentioned Peterson in yesterdays post, because it seemed like the catcher
Zaun, has issues with him, I don’t know if he does or doesn’t, but there
is just something strange about the guy and it didn’t look as though he had much
respect in the dugout during any of the games against the Phillies.
The fact that he was with the A’s and the Mets
with Macha and Randolph respectively tells me he is there because
these guys employed the management 101 rule of surrounding yourself with those
you know and that are going to have your back in a time of crisis, cause i don’t
think this guy would get a pitcher coaching job on an open market with just his
resume from the A’s and Mets.
I say the same to the Brewers, dump this guy
before you have to dump your pitching staff for a new one.
There were something’s that came out of last nights game for the Phillies,
with Jimmy Rollins returning so his energy returned to the club as well,
the guys were energized before, but this was like adding the energizer bunny,
the running game started again, hitting in the 3, 4 and 5 spots. Chase Utley
came up missing, he developed flu-like symptoms and went home, hopefully he’ll
be back today or tomorrow. Carlos Ruiz returned to the line-up behind the
plate, it doesn’t matter how good the back-up catcher maybe, there is something
about having your regular guy behind the plate, you get used to the things he
does and the timing of when he does things. Wilson Valdez, was designated
for assignment, after doing a great job filling in for Juan Castro and
ultimately J-Roll, his services were no longer required so he drew the
short straw as they say.
As I mentioned earlier Taschner gave up a slammy to Philadelphia‘s
…his 9th slam in the bigs, it’s almost to the point where
managers will start to walk in a run than pitch to him with the bases loaded,
regardless of his performance against lefties or righties on the mound, this all
goes out the window when the bases are loaded. He also showed he can play small
ball last night too, I just wish people would stop talking about how much
influence Barry Bonds has had on his hitting, because quite frankly,
after the Bonds assist Howard went into a slump, so leave Bonds
out of any accomplishments that Howard has this year.
All zero’s for the start of tonight’s game and if Halladay has
anything to do with it the Pirates will still be on all zeros at the end,
okay now I probably jinxed him, damn…..
The Phillies left Milwaukee
after sucking the life out of the Brewers,
the sweep was a back to back the Brewers
suffered at the hands of the National League East. It was a little cooler
last night in Brewer Town or were the Milwaukee
Brewers just trying to change their luck at home by closing the roof,
either way it made for a pleasant atmosphere, gave the pitchers a comfortable
environment, but it didn’t change the Brewers
luck as the Phillies completed a 3 game
sweep in a 4-2 win.
The game aired live on ESPN, who as usual showed their lack of up to
date knowledge of teams and players, other than the advanced scouting reports,
which at times are grossly out of date or inaccurate at best, given to them so
they could show some elements of knowledge about the 2 teams that were playing.
They pounded the commercial breaks with the information on the upcoming FIFA
World Cup, which is great for me, but I just hope they really do their
homework on the countries and the players, and don’t just go at it with the
minimum information on the players and the countries abilities and
accomplishments. It’s a little more insulting when you get information about a
country wrong than a home grown city or town.
So last night Cole Hamels got win number 4 and put him at 4-2 on the
year, coincidence that matches last nights score, it means about as much as Mick
Billmeyer using binoculars in the bull pen in Colorado, absolutely
nothing. It was a relatively okay performance by Hamels, nothing earth
shattering, he managed to get a RBI hit, but then left the bases loaded twice,
still ESPN felt he did enough to warrant being player of the game, personally I
don’t think he did, I am not sure anyone player jumped out at me, everyone
seemed to do their thing and no one really screwed anything up, except maybe Weeks,
should have had the out, on the Victorino base stealing, but let the ball
fly into centerfield instead, and he just didn’t seem focused, and
as good a game as Zaun called for the Brewers,
I was a little concerned at how when he went to the mound with the pitching
coach, he just stood there gazing into the air, paying absolutely no attention
to what was going on, does he not like, Rick Peterson, the pitching
coach, because he had that same attitude each time he came to the mound during
all 3 games.
The Phillies are utilizing back-ups for back-ups, with Ruiz out
and 3rd string catcher Hoover working everyday, Ruiz should be
back Monday, maybe. Valdez filling in at shortstop while JRoll
rehabs, Valdez is also filling in for Castro who is also out of
action, Rollins should be back on Monday, then we have Madson out,
Happ out the good news is that Lidge is also back on the DL, the
list goes on a bit, but really the Phillies
have managed just fine and when these guys return it should only be an
improvement, except for Lidge of course.
Last year we saw the images of Lidge where each time he came into a
game you had
to hope that for just this game he was able to hold it together long enough to
close the game. Unfortunately that didn’t happen to often, it was like a Holiday
Inn commercial, where Lidge is on the mound and Dubee comes out
cause Lidge is struggling and you know the conversation, Dubbe to Lidge
“Lidge you good, your our closer, right, you can do this” then Lidge
would reply “Yeah sure, I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night, no
problem”. We all know how that worked out.
This year I think we should stay with the Holiday
Inn commercials, you must have seen the new ones, where people are sometimes
doing dumb things, like being total idiots, yep that’s it, we’re going to work
with that this year for Lidge.
The Phillies return home to face 2
against the Pirates, and 2 against the sCrUbs,
then it’ll be on to that stupid thing they call inter-league play. I think we
should get one of those hidden dog fences to keep American League teams out of
the National League games, I am still not sure why there pitchers are such prima-
donnas that they can’t pick up a bat. The
Philles get to host the Boston Red Sox as
the first of what will no doubt be long drawn out inter-league play.
The weather in Colorado wasn’t quite the weather one would expect for May
time baseball, so we still have one make up game to play after splitting what
turned out to be a 2 game series with the Rockies. Roy Halladay didn’t get
homecoming/birthday win, I am sure the weather being the weather he and all the
Phillies players are happy to see Colorado disappear as their plane
altitudes worthy of leaving Colorado.
I started this post on May 11th, then changed it and changed it and on May
13th got a little further, it’s now an hour before game time on the 14th, so we
are going to change some of the future, present and past tense expressions so
that I can keep most of the post, at least the next 3 paragraphs, after that we’ll try
and jump to current thoughts and hopefully have this posted by
midnight or early Saturday morning.
The Phillies have arrived in Milwaukee for the weekend and a 3 game series
against the Brewers, at Miller Park, a stones throw from the
Harley museum, a
hop skip and a jump from Chicago or a good 9 to 10 hour drive from me, and yet I
am still not going, sigh!
The first game tonight sees Jamie Moyer take the mound for the Phillies, on a
little extended rest, and a former
Phillies favorite Randy Wolf for the
Brewers. This will either be a pitchers duel in slo-mo or a home
run derby, neither guy has dominating stuff, but when location is close to
perfect either can be un-hittable, unfortunately if they are missing their spots
or if the offense is on key then the ball will be flying everywhere and we could
see, if not both one team hit double digits in runs or at least hits. I guess
this we will see before the nights out, since they are due to start in about
55 minutes at 8:10 pm (EST) or to those 24 hour clock buffs, 20:10 hrs (EST) or
if your adventurous and dealing in global military time then 00:10 hrs Zulu, or
if you were being military and local to the game it would be 19:10 hrs Sierra.
Not sure how I got onto time zone ramblings then, but there does seem to be
some things that just aren’t right with the world as we think we know it.
British elections ended in what can only be described as a ‘hung
not going to explain that one, so google it, but make sure you read the right
answers if your really that interested, cause there are some US American takes
on what it means that are not very accurate.
Some US sports analysts, on the upcoming FIFA World Cup, think that
Beckham has been aligned with the England team to help them defeat the
Guys, Beckham is one of the best England players to have graced a soccer field,
if not for his injury, he would more than likely be on the England squad as an
active player, his presence alone will help the team, however, I am not sure his
purpose is to give England an advantage over the USA on June 12th, because quite
honestly if they can’t beat the USA, then they don’t deserve to be in the
More natural disasters have occurred in the first 4 months of this year than
I can remember, with earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and volcanoes all causing
more than enough destruction to last us the year.
Even baseball has some freaky things still going on even as we come to the
end of week 6 of the season, so tell me how do these things happen and it not
cause us to wonder if something weird is happening this year to everything.
How does the St. Louis Cardinals get swept at home by the
Houston Astros, who
had this seasons worse start of the year, when they went 0 – 8 and ended the
first 10 games 1 – 9.
The Los Angeles Dodgers managed to scrap together enough wins to reach .500
and still could drop below .500 before the weekend is over, as they play 3 in
The New York Yankees are playing second fiddle to the
Tampa Bay Rays, who
have the best record in baseball at 24 – 10 as they finish the week out at home
The New York Mets, Florida
Marlins, Atlanta Braves are all left in the dust
as they trail the Washington Nationals, who
have managed to match the Phillies
with 20 wins at the start of Friday, and while the Mets
and Marlins go at each others throats the Nats
are in Colorado hoping for no postponements.
Chicago looks as though it has a double curse, with the White Sox struggling
to have as good a record as the Cubs, who themselves are one of the few teams
living up to expectations, or down to them.
The BoSox, but for the O’s would be the laughing stock of the
AL East, except
they have been making an effort and are now above .500 and a good weekend could
make them challenge for 3rd place, if Toronto continues to suck at home,
especially as the Texas Rangers are in town and riding high a top the
Well it’s almost game time so now I’ll watch the Phillies and
completing this post….
came closer to a home run derby than a pitchers duel in slo-mo, with 3 homers from
the Phillies and 3 homers from the Brewers and it all started in the first
inning with 1 on and 2 out Howard hit a bomb deep to give the Phillies a 2 run
lead, after the Phillies scored again to
make it 3 – 0, it was the Brewers turn with
3 home runs in
one inning off Moyer to tie the game up, after that the Phillies never
looked back with Victorino on fire in the lead off spot and Ibanez and Utley
both going deep the Phillies took this first one by a final score of 9 – 5. We
do it all over today on Fox and tomorrow on ESPN, but they won’t be wearing the
70’s uniforms. The only one who really looked at home was Moyer, who actually
made his major league debut against the Phillies when they were still wearing
It would seem that after my rants of a Phillies absent offense being on the
DL, that someone took note and decided to allow them a day out at CBP today, it
was as if someone had turned back the clock 2 weeks, the bats
popped and the
runners ran, in fact the only Phillie not getting a hit today was Polanco, who
still doesn’t seem right since he was dinged with a ball last week.
There was no need to worry about Manuel and his Dubee making the right choices on
who to relieve who, since there was only room for just one guy on the mound today. This was a game
of play by numbers and for the Phillies the numbers worked out just fine. After
a 10 run game yesterday saw them losing 9-1 today the 10 run game was a complete
reversal with the Phillies winning 10-0, shutting out the Mets on a day when
there was only 1 home run that scored just 3 of the 10 runs.
It was of course a ‘Happy Halladay’ in Philadelphia, the ‘Doc’
pitches through 9 innings and allowed just 3 hits, a hit batter and a walk with
6 strike outs. This is Halladay’s 3rd complete game this season and his 2nd shut
out, it’s early in the season, but we all like percentages and right now he’s
throwing 50% of his starts for complete games and 66% of them are shut outs, but like the division standings
it’s going to all look different come September.
The Phillies offense managed to jump start off the glove of Reyes, it
couldn’t have happened
to a nicer guy, (he says in a very sarcastic tone), it was a play that
you would expect your shortstop to make, especially if your pitcher had a 27 inning
scoreless streak going, but fortunately for the Phillies, Reyes isn’t as good as
his hype or his own self image. This was followed by another blooper and
miss-play, this time by Cora and from there it went down hill for the Mets and
the Phillies looked like they did 2 weeks ago, they knocked Pelfrey for 6 runs
in the 4th inning, the final scoring play of the inning was a Victorino 3 run
homer, with 10 runs on the day in a Phillies game you’d expect more than just 1
homer, but that’s all it was 1 homer and that came off the bat of Victorino.
Some may say that Pelfrey got the short end of the stick here, with both
Reyes and Cora making bad plays to allow the Phillies to stretch the inning out,
but in reality the time was very limited for Pelrey to continue his scoreless
streak, after all his last outing on April 25th against the Braves was a rain
shortened game of barely 5 plus innings and he threw 106 pitches with 5 hits
then, so you knew someone very soon was going to knock him around, I am just
glad it was the Phillies who reaped the benefits.
Today is the rubber match, it would be nice for the Phillies to take
this and win the series at home against the division rivals, it’s still early in
the season so the rivalry thing is less emphasized, but still it maybe the one
that got a away that comes back to bite you in the rear later in the season. I
also just like to see Jamie Moyer win, so that all his critics will shut
the hell up.
The month of April has closed out what clubs are on the surprises list for
end of April…
Baltimore Orioles for having the worst record in baseball
Boston Red Sox for being worse than the Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays for being the best in the East
ChiSox for being the same or worse than the Tribe
Seattle for being the worst of the AL West
Oakland for being the best in the AL West
Washington Nationals for being good enough to challenge for the
top of the NL East
Atlanta for allowing a no hitter to be thrown in their ball
park by the visiting team in the first month of the season
St. Louis for being the team to let the Astros
break there ‘O’fer win streak at the start of the season
Pittsburgh for not being the worst team in baseball and for
there recent losing streak
Dodgers for going from best of the West in 2009 to the worst of
the West in 2010
San Francisco for not seeing your home town name spelled wrong
on the front of a players shirt
San Diego for being best of the NL West
If your team didn’t make the list that means they were doing what they were
supposed to do, either win, be average or just flat out suck. Here’s hoping May
brings out some element of normality to some areas of the game.
A weekend in Arizona may have been a vacation for some, a daily
routine for others, but for the Phillies it was a disappointing series
loss, we can search through every aspect of each game and pinpoint things that
we all would have done differently, but that won’t change the fact that we lost
the 2 out of 3 and now head into San Francisco, where the Phillies
need to at least take 2 out of 3 to stay the dominant force in the NL East for
the first month of the season.
While we spent 3 days at Chase Field in Arizona, there
was some noticeable things, not unlike the fact that they have to have the team
logo on the pitchers mound so their guys remember they’re at home. I don’t know
if any other teams have done this, all I know is I noticed it here in Arizona,
it could be that I haven’t paid that much attention to other mounds, all I
remember being there is the cleat cleaner and the sack of powder.
There were other things to see and since the Phillies were being
a little less than entertaining this weekend I decided to check out some of the
other sights of the D’backs, for example they, like other teams have fans that
attend the games and cheer when they are winning….
….they also have an owner who attends the games and occasional
invites friends along to entertain them as we see here they look very
….I have it on good authority that that’s the Dbacks owner on
the right, they call him ‘Mr. Excitement’, according to an undisclosed inside
There were more Phillies fans having a little trouble figuring
out which way to look….
….this of course could have been attributed to the fact that
the roof and all was open to the Arizona air, and this may have confused and disorientated
….they certainly made it clear that with all the doors and
roof open a fly ball in the right place catches the jet stream through the
stadium and goes for miles, which is probably why the D’backs have so many
homers this early, I am sure that will even itself out when the temperature
forces the doors and roof to be closed.
With the doors and roof open there was definitely people there
for sun and fun, with Phillie fans there is always going to be fun as I am sure
these guys were having their share….
….although it looks like the cheese could be melting, and the
masked warrior on the end looks like the heat may have gotten to him too.
We also had fans there, for maybe, decoration, I am not sure, but
after a number of captions, of what the 2 guys were saying and some of what she
was thinking, I decided best to leave it alone as I am sure it
could have had serious repercussions….
….here’s hoping San Francisco is little more
I did manage to flip to some other games to catch moments of
what I thought maybe excitement, I switched to the 9th inning of the O’s
and BoSox game yesterday to see if the O’s were
going to lose another, only to see them hold on to win, but what got me was the
commentators for the BoSox, who said ‘that was a disappointing one
to lose’ or words to that effect… wait a minute didn’t you guys just get swept
at home by the Rays and they think this was just disappointing,
why? because the O’s have the worst record in baseball at the
moment or because the BoSox couldn’t complete a come back in the
9th inning, hey BoSox commentators, let me tell you a secret, your
whole season is disappointing, if the O’s had gotten off to an
average .500 start, your team would be sitting at the bottom of the division and
now you have to go to Toronto, which could make you a .500 team or
completely demoralize you and your fans so early in the season.
San Diego Padres had their hopes dashed at being
the first team this season to hit 10 wins in a row, after taking 8 in a row they
were finally beaten by the Reds yesterday in a close game that saw
the Reds get the winner in a 2 run 8th inning.
The Pirates suffered their 6th straight loss,
after sweeping the Reds they got swept back to back and are now 4
games under .500, still lots of time for them to make it a .500 season.
The Cardinals are the only NL Central team above
.500, but lets face it they have only had to face one real competitive team and
they only managed to salvage the 1 win against them, (the Giants),
now they are back home for the Braves, we’ll see if they’re easy
to win games too.
As we quickly skip over the fact that the Phillies lost yesterday to the
D’backs in a display of how to throw the home run ball, I am moving onto another
form of wins and loses.
There are some teams that have surprised me this year, including the Oakland
A’s 8-4 success at home and Pittsburgh’s need to self destruct on the road. The
national League seems to be on course with the exception on the Dodgers still
trying to find a way to get above .500 and Arizona and we can’t forget about the
Mets, who claimed the injury curse as their demise last year, but are struggling
to prove last years team was any worse than this years (almost) injury free
The team that stands out this year as being the team that are on schedule to
get their own realty TV show, because that’s what happens to losers, they get
given air time by NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS or some off the wall station that’s funded
by one of the supposed big 4 names. This team is the Baltimore Orioles, a team
that has been a mediocre average team in a division that has them surrounded by
teams that are self proclaimed awesomeness teams, and the Tampa Bay Rays, who
seem to manage to prove the point that you can compete without breaking the bank
as long as you have some baseball sense, which by the way isn’t very common,
hence I didn’t call it common sense, as that would be an oxymoronic occurance.
Anyway I have again digressed from the point of this post, it is of course
the number 20, be it wins or loses who will get there first, normally it is all
about reaching 20 wins, but this year the O’s, (aptly named) are on the brink of
reaching 20 loses before anyone gets 20 wins, so I just wanted to see if anyone
thinks a 20 win is possible before the 20 loses of the O’s.
Did I miss this or did it not get promoted..? am I allowed to do this..? is it updated or is it still being worked on..? all questions I can’t answer… oh well, with a day off yesterday and not winning the cookie contest, (sob, sob), things are slow so here is the list that I missed, how about you..?
I’m thinking maybe our illustrious leader Mark is working on that wish list, or more importantly my visitor magnet, so people just come to my blog.
Thanks to all who read by the way, I did make #26 on the list…
Although I need one that will stop people like the dude from this post ‘Real Men of Genius’ write stuff like this: “I don’t care about your Phillies and your crappy blog.” compliments of
Phillies, Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles, Twins, Tigers, White Sox, ChiSox, Indians, Royals, Angels, Rangers, Mariners, A’s, Athletics, Marlins, Braves, Nationals, Nats, Cardinals, Red Birds, Brewers, Reds, Astros, Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks, D’Backs, Arizona, San Diego, San Francisco, Colorado, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Houston, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, New York, Atlanta, Florida, Philadelphia, Oakland, Seattle, Texas, Kansas City, Cleveland, Tribe, Detroit, Minnesota, mini-soda, Baltimore, Toronto, Canada, Tampa Bay. Boston, BoSox
Jimmy Rollins could be on DL from today, so the great dilemma will be who to put on the bench instead of Castro, while he fills in at shortstop…. how about Brown, I know most think he’s not ready and it could hurt him sitting him on the bench for 2 weeks instead of daily play in the minors, but I say, he’s paid to do a job let him do it….
We’ve all heard the Bud Light radio commercials making good humor of certain creativeness of over zealous guys, if you haven’t listen up…..
….who continued with the Budweiser advertising theme last night. At the start of the game which continued for just 2.2 inning, these Real Men of Genius in actions alone said to the Philadelphia Phillies….
….‘This BUD’s For You’, and the Phillies soaked it up for 3 runs in the 1st then continued to hit, but for the saving grace of this lone Astro on more than one occasion….
….the Bourne Supremacy, the Phillies would have probably scored well into double digit runs last night.
The Phillies bats have been alive from day one, there was just one guy who was on a 3 game slump, and he managed to pop a couple of big hits last night…
…so, welcome to the list of hitters Raul Ibanez. The Phillies in just 4 games have managed to send 151 hitters to the plate, who have produced 32 runs on 52 hits. Only 4 homers so far but they have 29 RBi’s covered 81 total bases, walked 26 times and more surprisingly they have only struck out 18 times.
As they remain in Houston over the weekend, tonight the ageless wonder, Jamie Moyer, takes the mound for the first time this season.