The National League managed an upset of the American League by taking the All Star Game victory, because of recent history showing the dominance of the American League this is a good way to move forward into the second half of the 2010 season for National League teams.
At the beginning of the season I laid out how I thought the season would progress and how teams would position themselves for October baseball, with just over half the games played it’s a good time to reflect and update my season ending visions.
The American League has shown some surprises, out West the Mariners have not faired as I thought so this has left the Rangers and Angels duking it out for a post season place. In the Central the Indians are not performing in the manor they could have been and in the East the top 3 are as expected, but the Jays are doing better than I had thought, as a mid way summary I now have the following possible outcomes.
Angels ……..88-93 wins
Rangers ……..86-91 wins
The A’s will hover around the .500 mark and the Mariners will finish below .500 with about 70 wins.
ChiSox ……..84-89 wins
Twins ……..81-86 wins
Tigers ……..81-86 wins
The Royals and the Tribe will fight, but fail to reach .500 this year.
Yankees ……..93-98 wins
Rays ……..92-97 wins
BoSox ……..90-95 wins
As you can see this could be any of these, I had considered the Yankees breaking 100 wins again, but recent history shows last time they had 56 wins in the first half they had a dismal second half with only 33 wins, so the Yankees number is a crap shoot, the Jays should end around the .500 mark and the O’s will probably break 64 wins, but no more than 70 wins.
The National League has also given us a couple of surprises, the Padres are the biggest one for me, kudos to them, I thought they would struggle to be a .500 team this year, but they proved me very wrong. The Pirates are more disappointing than anything, I really thought they could be a above .500 team this year, but not going to happen, the Reds are better than expected or are the Cardinals not as good as expected. The East is as expected a 3 horse race and will continue through season end.
Padres ……..85-90 wins
Rockies ……..84-89 wins
Dodgers ……..83-88 wins
Giants ……..79-84 wins
Arizona will struggle to reach 70 wins this year.
Cardinals ……..85-90 wins
Reds ……..85-90 wins
The Brewers and Cubs will struggle stay around the .500 mark on the year, the Pirates and Astros will have chance to play spoiler or helper in September as the Cards and Reds are on target to give us a game 163 this year, but as the Astros and Pirates play out the year they’ll both struggle to get over 65 wins.
Phillies ……..90-95 wins
Mets ……..88-93 wins
Braves ……..87-92 wins
Still a close 3 team race and could go to any of the 3, itll be up to the Nats and Marlins to play spoiler, since both those teams wont even be knocking on the .500 door.
So these are my mid-term visions as far as the divisions are set, as for Phillies players and that dreaded date of July 31st, where teams negotiate to the wire to get the best possible deal, or they think is the best possible deal. The past few seasons the Phillies have faired pretty good at the trading deadline, this year I would say look to see Jayson Werth end up with one of 3 teams, Astros, Pirates or even the Reds, also movers could include, Dobbs, Castro or Ransom and maybe even Kendrick or Happ, I do not think anything major will occur, it is possible we could get Oswalt, but no breath holding here, or even one of the Reds pitchers, it maybe that the Dodgers decide they can lose Broxton, so the Phillies can lose Lidge, but that’s as farfetched as a straight trade of Pujols and Howard, or Werth and Ethier, dream on people ESPN’s got no inside track and the second half is just beginning. So tighten that safety belt, keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times and enjoy the ride, don’t forget to scream and raise your arms at the appropriate times, but most of all have FUN.
Making history in Philadelphia again, in all the years the Phillies have been a baseball team it is hard to imagine they have never had walk off’s in extra innings in three consecutive games, it’s hard enough getting three consecutive extra inning games at Citizens Bank Park….
….Thursday we saw Brian Schneider the back-up catcher hit a walk-off home run, then Friday it was Ryan Howard swinging the big bat, going deep for a walk off home run, then Saturday it was Jimmy Rollins who drove in Carlos Ruiz from second to score the winning run.
All 3 games have been tight finishes and some freaky things have been happening, Thursday and Friday we saw 9 inning heroics to drive the games into extras, and Saturday we saw a pitchers duel go all 9 innings, in fact Halladay I am sure was seeing himself way back in 1998, when in just his 2nd major league start he went 26 outs with a no hitter, before it was broken up with 2 outs in the 9th inning. It was eerie how similar the effort from Travis Wood was, his 3rd major league start, went into the 9th inning, nobody out before Carlos Ruiz broke up his no hitter, however as a young rookie he can be proud in the knowledge he went pitch for pitch with one of the best in the business.
Cliff Lee is in Texas, who’d of thought that the city of New York could miss out twice in one week, for top trades in a sport. Just when everyone thought Lee was going to be a Yankee, after being beaten to the draw last year by the Phillies for Lee, this year it was a matter of tradeable merchandise, it didn’t pass inspection.
Then we had to endure what was created, when for a few years the media force fed everyone about how great someone is, and constantly fed that persons ego, add to that huge amounts of wealth and you crown yourself King then hold the sports world ransom for your own egotistical endeavor to spit in the face of the fans you spent so much time ripping off with your over priced merchandise.
The Yankee way of life rubbed off on at least one of it’s players, who managed to buy his way into the All Star Game, or so it would seem with all the advertising purchased etc, and yet you have to wonder, who would they have got to fill the Home Run Derby spot if he hadn’t made it.
One game left for the half way break, and time to reflect on how teams have done and how they may do in the second half, or rather the 74 or 75 games that fills the 2nd half.
Perfection is a hard thing to achieve, in baseball terms for a pitcher, it’s
throwing 9 innings and facing the minimum number of batters, just 27, without
giving up a hit, walk or anything else that may put a batter on the bases. It
was the end of the worst week of the Phillies
season so far, it was Saturday night in Florida, the Phillies
had set a record for innings without a run during the week, they were what could
only be described as having a case of hitlessness…..
Tonight the Phillies ‘ACE’ Roy
‘The Doc’ Halladay turned the tables and threw the perfect game, not just a
no hitter, a perfect game, the 20th in baseball history, 27 Marlins
came up and 27 Marlins went down, including
3 straight pinch hitters in the 9th inning.
Roy Halladay, definitely imprinted himself in the Phillies
history books and it is well deserved. A man of class, saying he just followed
Ruiz from the 6th inning on, so to the pair of them congratulations.
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.
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.
Washington is still in turmoil and has been exposed in a similar light to the outing of J. Edgar Hoover, yes I can confirm from ‘inside sources‘ that more cross dressing is going on in Washington than you think. This time it’s not some guy that has similarities to that of Adolf Hitler, just with different hatreds, yet weird secrets. It’s not some super scoop of President Obama in the First Lady’s, closet playing dress-up, this my friends is a simple cross dressing in plain sight, like that of Milton Bradley in a Mariners uniform instead of a Cubs uniform, it is non other than the leader in Washington…
While the Atlanta Braves and the media hype around them promote the newbie Heyward to heights of greatness that he’ll never live up too, the Washington Nationals and it’s media barely make a ripple over the existence of the short stop Ian Desmond….
This however is not uncommon in Washington as we have seen in the past and continue to see as they play down one of the best 3rd basemen in the National League…
…Ryan Zimmerman. This maybe Washington’s way of hiding the facts so they don’t lose the fight, had this been any other town then Zimmerman would have been in a different uniform by now gathering the glory of at least some post season games, instead he has to sit back and accept that quietly he will get his ‘Silver Slugger’ and ‘Gold Glove‘ awards without any national media coverage.
What else was uncovered in Washington this week, yes more role reversals, an unusual one this time involving Ryan Howard. The normally over-bearing size and height of Howard makes others feel and seem somewhat miniature in stature, however at first base this week…
…Adam Dunn gave Ryan Howard a small glimpse of that same feeling.
The Phillies are set to finish a 3 game stand in Washington today and hopefully continue the onslaught of runs, with 19 in 2 days it’s looking like a fruitful road trip has begun well for the Phillies. They will move on to Houston Friday and face a demoralized Astros, who were taken apart by the Giants over a 3 game set this week.
It’s finally here. Spring is Sprung…
…all the cheap shots at the American League teams are out of my system, until something really horrendous happens, it’s time to focus on the task at hand, supporting the Philadelphia Phillies through thick and thin, taking all the abuse other fans can give, and giving it back in the same good humored rivalry it is all meant.
Accepting that when my team does something, which to the average human, is totally off the wall and far out there, they are doing it for the best interests of the club and not to spite the fans.
Everyone gets a clean slate, even umpire Ed Rapauno, gets a fresh start and can step out without fear of humiliation in Philadelphia, until that first call anyway. It’s a time when Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes have the same number of stolen bases, or a time when even Brad Lidge is no longer a…
It truly is a special time, the Cubs have the same record as the Cardinals, Milton Bradley has as many RBI’s as Albert Pujols, and any player can claim to equal Ryan Howards home run quantity.