was the ‘O’ from H2O that took the mound on Friday night for the Phillies facing
off against the Reds in game 2 of this NLDS match up. The stage had been set by
Halladay’s amazing no hitter on Wednesday, the anticipation of what could game 2
give us to rival game 1.
Roy Oswalt was not at his best Friday night, far from it in
fact, giving up a homer in the first at bat seemed to set the stage for his
performance, it certainly gave the TBS commentators added reason to praise the
It’s bad enough that TBS and Fox don’t give us local
commentators, but when they give you competitors commentators it’s just a slap
in the face to fans. TBS thought it fitting to put Brewers and Braves
commentators in the booth for game 2, and it was clear that they were very
anti-Philadelphia, right from the introductions to the final pitch.
Things seemed to be going the Reds way, thus the commentators
were able to praise them and tell us all the stats that made the Reds the better
team, especially after Utley made a couple of errors, we heard how the Reds and
Padres had the least errors, etc etc.
came the 7th inning, if these commentators had put Chapman on any higher pedestal
he would have needed oxygen for the altitude. They told us how he went through
an opposing team with 8 pitches in an inning, told us how his fast ball was
un-hittable. Told us his idol as he was growing up was Contreras, whom had just
shut down the Reds 1,2,3 in the top of the 7th.
There is no question this kid has some good stuff, but did the
Reds throw him into the fire too early, did the overwhelming atmosphere at
Citizens Bank Park effect him any, were the Reds fielders expecting no one to
hit a ball. Who knows, but this type of thing could effect a young players
mental attitude going into his next appearance.
It all started with the first hitter he saw, Chase Utley and of
course the commentators who had attacked Utley earlier for his 2 errors, were
quick to attack him again, when his actions indicated….
….he was hit by the 101 mph fast ball that was up and
in, the umpire awarded him first base. It wasn’t enough that they were accusing
Utley of cheating, they then called his action ‘Jeter Like’. Way to go, attack
a guy that isn’t even playing in this game.
It didn’t stop there, Utley got to 2nd on a ground ball by Werth,
the fact that TBS had lousy camera angles for plays that normally are clear to
the camera, or they just didn’t want to show the truth in what happened, but
again they accused Utley of being out.
Still not the end of it, first pitch swinging, Rollins hit a
line drive into right field where the Reds players where sleeping, thus driving
in Utley and Werth, the commentators chose to accuse Utley of not touching the
base has he rounded third, it didn’t matter that the replay clearly showed his
foot hit the bag, they still accused him of being a long way from third.
The bottom line the Phillies scored on some fielding errors, but
more importantly the raving of Chapman didn’t seem to affect the Phillies who
hit him like any other pitcher, Ibanez and Sweeney both hit his fastball, which
forced Baker to remove him from the game.
We now have to wait till Sunday to see how the 3rd phase of H2O
In San Francisco the Giants allowed one to get way from
them by giving up 3 runs in the 8th and then the game loser in the 11th, the
Braves take 1-1 series tie back to Turner Field where they were almost
unbeatable during the season.
We have ALDS games today, which could make the ALCS picture
clearer, however for now 3 postseason teams hang on to a life line…
A moment in time: October 9th, 1919 the Cincinnati
Reds clinched the World Series title surrounding the Chicago White Sox or ‘Black
Sox’ as they were to be known for the part they played in the fixing of the
games. All involved players were banned for life, which also included ‘Shoeless’
Joe Jackson, even though any participation he may or may not have had was and is
Thursday was a day off for the Phillies, a day to reflect on the
near perfecto by Halladay, a day for the grounds crew to perfect their grooming
…Citizens Bank Park in time for game 2 of the NLDS between the
Phillies and Reds on Friday.
Thursday afternoon saw the Tampa Bay Rays, picked apart by a
Texas Rangers pitcher, the Rays went down 6-0 and now must head to Texas down by
2 games, knowing that every game is a life line to the post season, one more
loss and it’s back to booking tee times instead of next round travel
The Minnesota Twins played game 2 of their ALDS series against
the Yankees in their new home. It seems they may be psychologically hampered by
the previous loses in post season to the Yankees, because it doesn’t seem to
matter what they do they can’t get a break. Okay so the umpire made a bad call
on Berkman, but that didn’t lose them this game, it’s their own actions. With
Gardenhire ejected, probably for renaming the home plate umpire, but we’ll just
believe it was for arguing balls and strikes. He shouldn’t feel bad with Maddon
getting ejected in the Rays and Rangers game it’s probably a day for ejections.
The Twins now head to New York with each game a life line to post season, which
means they probably will be with the Rays, booking tee times before Wednesday.
The first game between San Francisco and Atlanta played out at
AT&T Park with the Braves hoping to give Bobby Cox a final season to
remember and the Giants hoping to just get out of the Bay area without a loss,
this could have been the first game into extras if not for the iatrical part the
umpires played in the 4th inning, and ultimately the hit that Ross managed to
squeak out of Lowe to drive in Posey. Giants take a 1-0 game lead into today’s match up.
It seems Halladay set the standard for post season pitching,
with both Lincecum for the Giants and Wilson for the Rangers pitching 2 hit shut
outs Thursday. This post season is definitely shaping up to be in the top few
all time great post seasons and seems to be following the theme of ‘Year of the
In addition to the Giants and the Braves game 2 today, we will
also see the ‘O’….
…. of the H2O Phillies post season rotation trio take to the mound
against the Reds. The Reds will be trying to get back on an even keel with the
Phillies or at the very least go back to Cincinnati with a hit, while the Phillies will be looking to go 2 games up before heading
to Ohio this weekend.
is experiencing ‘Doctober Halladay’s’, Yes I know another cheesy play on names,
but it seems to be the preferred expression at the moment. It was his first post
season game, it would have been shear magic had he just won it, but the fact
that he won it with style was more than magic, it was history being made right
in front of our eyes as Halladay throws a no hitter in game 1.
I am sure the statisticians will be able to tell us how many
pitchers have thrown a no hitter in their very first post season game, I am sure
they will be able to tell us how many have thrown that no hitter in the post
season the same year they threw a perfect game. Yep there’s no taking your shoes
and socks off to add them all up.
Once again Roy Halladay gave most of the credit to Chooch
(Carlos Ruiz), for his outstanding performance, and emphasized the team winning
game 1 as the real story.
Game 2 for the Phillies is Friday, and phase II of the H2O trio,
Roy Oswalt, takes the mound. The question is, how does one follow Halladay’s
show, simply with a winning performance.
The Phillies are on a day off today, like a number of teams. For the Phillies
they should be contemplating the series against the Braves in Atlanta, I know
it’ll be another sequence of audition games and I guess Charlie has earned that
right to set the starting line up the way he thinks it will be most beneficial.
was checking in on other teams, those that we could face in the post season at
some point and the Reds seemed to amuse me the most. First off when they
clinched the division, I am not entirely sure the front office was convinced
they would, it seems they scrambled around in the dungeons to get the
celebratory liquids ready.
It was also news worthy today that Dusty Baker could be signing his extension
as Reds manager before the end of regular season.
Its interesting that the article covering the news of Dusty Bakers contract,
they explain that for 2 years under him they were a below .500 ball club and
that this year he managed to turn things around and is currently 88-70, this is
very good no doubt, but truth
be known, if the stupid dumb-a-ss Cardinals had played to their potential that
88-70 record would put them in the wild card fight with San Diego and Atlanta.
The Reds owners, GM etc, should consider that next year the Reds will just be
another, also ran, middle of the road, central division team wondering why the
Cardinals and sCrUBs are the focal point of the division.
There is more for them to consider before signing this guy, with the pending
investigation into the deliberate disregard for the Ohio indoor smoking ban
during celebrations, do they want to
be in the middle of a major sex scandal like the Catholic Church and the altar boys,
because I am fairly sure this is some kind of harassment, the boss making
advances at a younger employee.
The negotiations for Baker’s contract have been ongoing since mid-August and
today I found out why, he was holding out for a special concession for his lunch
snacks. Only in Ohio folks does McDonalds offer Cherylls Cost Cutter….
….yep, it’s a huge Triple Cheeseburger, it would have to be
huge for $150 and of course to satisfy Dusty Baker’s appetite, the ultimate
question of course is who the fu-ck is Cheryll and is Ronald getting some.
Around Baseball –
The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Royals making the AL East
officially in deadlock, the involvement of a team from Florida could be cause
for concern, but I have officially been told that there will be no delays while
endless re-counts take place.
San Francisco won their game and the San Diego Padres lost
theirs, which puts the Giants 1 win away from a divisional clinch, tonight’s
game between the Padres and Giants will be heated and full of tension I am
5 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
The final regular season game against the Nationals, although the Phillies
are playing spring training type baseball at the moment, they have to consider
who they want in the first series of the post season when they head into Atlanta
for the final weekend. If they play ‘FALL’ training games in Atlanta it will
undoubtedly give the Braves the advantage over the Padres on who gets the wild
card slot. If Atlanta get the wild card then it would depend on how the Reds and
Giants finish out the season. This is of course speculative on the basis that
the Giants clinch in the West, stranger things have happened and the Padres
could still leap frog the Giants and grab the division.
The guy they call Big Joe Blanton took the mound tonight, some say
it’s ‘Big Joe’ cause he’s a ‘FATtee’, others say it’s cause of his
….me I’m just glad his name isn’t Richard. The bench players
got another start tonight and went back to back with homers in the top of the
2nd inning added to it in the 4th and 5th to give Joe a cushioned lead to pitch
off. When the start of the bottom of the 7th inning came around the Phillies had
just back up players on the field except for Blanton, I am sure the 7-1 lead the
Phillies were enjoying played a part, in addition to this being post season
auditions for the back up players.
A day off today gives everyone a rest and time to consider the
Braves series, do they continue auditions or go to Atlanta and make a statement.
The Phillies get home field advantage, which means they get to
play at home at the start of each series while they are in the post season. With
this in mind there is at least one change they should consider making before
post season play begins….
….the 2nd base bag, this has been the culprit of injuries and
has even come completely out and into the hands of sliding runners. This base
pad is responsible for a Valdez injury, Utley injury and a
Rollins injury and is suspected of being part of some bad judgment calls by
Werth, Ruiz and Victorino, so what do you say ground crew, lets replace this bag
with one that is more reliable and a little more favorable to the Phillies.
The Yankees lost to the Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the O’s,
so no changes there.
The NL West is still a fight to the end with both San Diego and
the San Francisco winning.
The Braves won again keeping their lead in the Wild Card and the
Phillies still uncertain of who will be the team they face in the first series
of post season play.
6 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
Some called it a hangover game, some called it the day after game, but it should have been just another game that we went out there and tried to win. The starting pitcher goes out there, albeit a shortened game of just 5 innings regardless of how he does, so for Roy Oswalt, yes I said Roy Oswalt, cause if you were listening to the Phillies TV feed you would be a little confused, they kept on calling him Roy Halladay, in fact they called him Roy Halladay more than they called him Roy Oswalt, so just in case T-Mac , Wheels or Sarge actually read anything that is written here maybe they’ll offer an apology to Roy Oswalt.
So there not totally confused here’s what Oswalt looks like….
….without wanting to point out the obvious, he’s the one with ’44’ and the name ‘OSWALT’ on his back.
The Phillies have selected the post season schedule already, and needless to say they have selected the one that allows them to go with a 3 pitcher starting rotation. The choice was somewhat of a no brain-er, and members of the press asking Manuel why he’s going that way, should not be covering baseball for any media outlet.
Just in case you missed it, they have been labeled H2O by a number of fans and some members of the Philadelphia press….
They have suggested that Halladay will start game 1, but this is speculation at this time, it is also an obvious choice. In keeping with obvious choices personally I would have Hamels then Oswalt, this would be just to break up the righties with a leftie in between, but it’s all about what Charlie thinks at the time.
I was dubious about constantly resting players from our starting line up between now and October 6th, but on reflection I think it’s more for Manuel to see what bench players and what bull pen members are going to make the cut. It’s a waiting game now, it’s like a second round of spring training in the fall.
The Yankees and the Tampa bay rays won last night assuring them both of play off spots, it’s just a case of who’s the division winners and who’s the wild card team.
The Reds beat the LOLstros last night to clinch the NL Central, kudos to them.
The NL West is a fight to the end and can only be decided when the Padres and Giants go at each other in the final series of the season. The Braves need to keep winning to keep them in the wild card, the series against the Phillies could be their do or die series. The Padres have the toughest road over their final 5 games.
7 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
It was a cooler night in the nations capital, there were dark clouds looming overhead, would the baseball game get played or would it get postponed. What was sure to be an inevitable celebration had been delayed at least 2 days already, because the Phillies winning ways hit a speed bump.
It was time, even Charlie was starting to get impatient, he wanted those champagne bubbles to flow, it was almost a necessity, since it seemed he had forgotten how to even form the simplest of bubbles with his gum….
….it was the 2nd or 3rd inning and the rain started to fall, but fingers crossed it wouldn’t get heavy enough to postpone the game. The Phillies took an early lead off the bat of Jayson ‘The Tool’ Werth with a home run in the 2nd inning, from there they never looked back. Roy ‘The Doc’ Halladay pitched yet another complete game shutting out the Nationals, he allowed only 2 hits in 9 innings….
….you could tell from pitch 1 that the Doc was pumped, he’s thrown 20 win seasons before, he’s thrown more than his share of complete games, even managed a number of shutouts and a perfect game, but his repertoire was lacking the one thing every baseball player dreams of, a shot at the post season.
The Phillies offence came alive late in the game, it was like they were sitting ready to pounce. With a 3 run 6th and a 4 run 9th, it was just a matter how how quick the Doc would mow them down in the bottom of the 9th, it wasn’t long before the crowd at Nationals Park was on their feet screaming and waving rally towels….
….yes, you heard it right, it was Nationals Park and yet the Philadelphia fans had taken it over and like so many other trips to Washington the Phillie fans were the ones in the majority.
It was finally over, the Phillies clinched their 4th straight NL East crown with an 8-0 swatting of the Nats. The Phillies players managed to make full use of the champagne they had transported from Philadelphia to Washington….
….Lets party, for one night.
The Phillies will end the season with the best record in the National League, thus clinching home field advantage for as long as they are in the post season. Yes, it’s a time to celebrate, but it’s also not the time to sit back and relax too much, we have the chance to end the season with the best record in the majors this year, so why not add one more title to the list.
One Game at a Time – GO PHILLIES….
The latest tool in the Phillies arsenal is not Jayson Werth, even though next to his new agent, Boras, he seems like a saint, he’s still a tool. It’s official, the Phillies now have the ‘Power of the Swiffer’….
….it can be used while on the road or at Citizens Bank Park, Florida, Washington and now Atlanta have suffered the power of the Swiffer this month.
The Phillies have now won 10 straight and have a 6 game lead in the NL East, they are even closer to clinching a playoff berth.
Up next the New York Mets come to the Bank, yes anyone with just an inclining of common sense knows they can’t keep winning without a loss, but for now it certainly feels like it….
Braves beat writers, coaches, players and fans have all been telling us of the
Phillies offensive woes when facing pitchers for the first time. This concerted
effort even have the TV analysts convinced to the point they are spewing the
same ‘Bull Sh-it’ in an ever increasing web of deceit.
Lets put our rookie pitchers against the Phillies ‘Aces’ cause that’ll give
us the best chance to win and make up ground on the division leaders. If you
believe that then you also probably believed the Mets were the team to beat in
the NL East this year.
The ‘Atlanta Braves True Lies’ appearing at a stadium near you,
if your a Braves fan that is. What was the real reason behind the need for
Atlanta to pit rookies against some of the best pitchers in the league this
Who did the Braves stand the best chance of beating with their ‘Aces’ on the
- option 1 New York Mets
- option 2 Philadelphia Phillies
So why not be Brave and honest and tell the truth, they could
almost guarantee wins against the Mets with their ‘Aces’ on the mound, but
against the Phillies it was a crap shoot. The ‘truth is’ it’s better to beat
the Mets with Aces and lose to the Phillies with rookies instead of losing to
the Mets with Rookies then losing to the Phillies with Aces on the mound.
Good luck with the rest of the season with that mentality Atlanta, you may be
handing a Wild Card to a West coast team, or maybe that’s the plan, maybe Bobby
Cox has his retirement housing all picked out in Florida and can’t wait to move
‘The Doc’ Halladay clinched his 20th win of the season against the Atlanta
Braves, making him the first Phillies pitcher to win 20 in a season since Steve
Carlton in 1982.
Roy joined CC from the New York Yankees as the only 2 pitchers this season to
reach the 20 win mark, with Jimenez and Wainwright close behind on 19 wins.
The biggest differences between the two 20 win pitchers, about 50 or 60 LBs
of blubber, that’s one stat I’m happy CC has more of than Halladay.
With Halladay’s 20th win the Phillies moved 5 games ahead in the NL East.
After being 3 games back on September 1st, the Phillies are certainly giving
themselves a chance at a 4th consecutive post season.
Even Jayson Werth seems to have gotten a new lease on life, we hope that his
joining forces with Boras has nothing to do with his sudden spark of enthusiasm.
The fact that he joined with Boras means he must have completely accepted the
fact that he’ll not be with the Phillies next year.
Tonight is the last of 3 at home with the Braves as Roy Oswalt takes the
mound for the Phillies against Tommy Hanson for the Braves.
A picture I came across not long ago, reminded me of how close it was that maybe I could have become part of the evil empire, it wasn’t to be, I saw the passage to the good side and followed the light. In defense of the fact that I had managed to wear a Yankees hat without my head burning, it was sometime in the 80’s and I had yet to see my first Phillies game. It wasn’t long after this I was resident down the 1st base line at Veterans Stadium enjoying the sight of the Philadelphia Phillies playing the New York Mets. It was early in my understanding of the game, so I was more into why this or why that, than any rivalry.
The brief visits over the next 10 years gave me more of an understanding of the game and an increased passion for the Phillies, even though during those early years in my baseball life L’s were a premium for the Phillies and the W’s could be something of a rarity. I learned that wins and loses aren’t necessarily what get you hooked to baseball, it definitely helps to have a post season visit at some point in time, but right down to the last game before elimination there is still hope and the knowledge that any team could and at times does collapse giving way to the unexpected.
The National League East is definitely heating up, with both the Phillies and the Braves playing only teams within the division through season end, with a 3 game set against each other in Philadelphia next week, the season will end on a 3 game series in Atlanta between the two clubs. I say tighten your belts it’s going to be an up and down roller coaster final couple of weeks for both Braves and Phillies fans.
Some have already written the Cardinals off, but with a couple of shots at the sCrUBs and the Pirates in the final weeks and the Reds having to play double duty with the Brewers and the LOLstros, in my opinion they could be in for a bumpy season end, it only needs the Reds to continue at the 3-7 pace and the Cards to improve with a spurt of wins, after all this is baseball anything can happen and it could be that Texas is the only team that appears safe at the moment, but even they could collapse and make the final weekend full of games that shape the post season.
Useless stats 101 – The year I got the Yankees hat and ultimately became a Phillies fan, there were just 2 divisions in each league and the Phillies finished 26 games back of the Cardinals, in the NL, with a 75-87 record.