The Phillies could not have wished for a better start to the second half of the season, it was a night when Jamie Moyer went 7 innings giving up just 1 hit and a walk, throwing 95 pitches, the bullpen continued what Moyer started, Madson threw a scoreless 8th inning and Romero threw a scoreless 9th inning, the pitches really were like a knife through butter, or in this case a filet knife through fish.
Keeping with the theme of things Ibanez and Howard homered into the SEA of empty seats, Ibanez hit a 2 run shot in the 2nd and a solo in the 4th, Howard became the fastest player in MLB history to reach 200 home runs with his solo shot in the 6th innning.
This win put Moyer at 9-6 for the year, the blogs and comments during the last week or so have been calling for the Phillies to acquire Halladay, I am all for this, however, more and more it has been written that Moyer should be the one to lose his spot, games like this are why we need to keep Moyer in the rotation. Currently at 9-6 for the year, games he has started the Phillies are 11-7, he is on his way to double figure wins again this year and can be a major asset in the clubhouse as well as on the mound, as the Phillies make a bid for back to back World Series wins. Just my thoughts to those who doubt Moyer has anything left to offer.
Howard reached his 200th homer mark in his 658th major league start, smashing the previous record held by Ralf Kiner who took just 706 major league games, hopefully Ryan is back on track to keep hitting the long ball.
RAUUUUUUL showed us that there should be no doubts as to whether he lost his timing at the plate during his DL period, with 2 long balls tonight he leads the Phillies with 24 homers, even after being out for those 20 games.
Can the Philles NET another win against the Marlins tomorrow, with Cole Hamels on the mound, in a fresh start after the break, he needs to put the first half games behind him and move onward and upward and start off with a solid outing of at least 7 innings.
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…..
The headlines around MLB say it all, the race for the #33 All Star pick is a tight one, since Victorino and Sandoval are playing cat and mouse in the NL ballot, the campaigning is reaching new heights never before seen in an All Star ballot.
Victorino added to his case last night with a walk off RBI to give the Phillies a 3-2 win over the Reds, this was definately the highlight of the game.
Lopez, had another good start, although he only went 5 innings, due to a sore shoulder (last reports), his pitch count was low and he held the Reds to just 2 runs on 5 hits. Rest up Lopez your fast becoming an asset in the starting rotation.
BullPen was again outstanding last night, Madson’s speed was up, location was good, both Durbin and Romero also had good outings. Although for me the best activity from the bullpen was without a doubt Chan Ho Park, the sandwich boards campaigning for Victorino votes, was terrific, I wonder if he lost a bet or won a draw to do that, hopefully we’ll find out on The Pen on MLB Network, whenever that returns.
The Phillies have teamed up with the Detroit Tigers to try and double the voting capacity for each of our respective players, wow, politics in baseball, colaborations between parties, who’d have thought it would come to this, who knows next year they may have to call in the people from American Idol to get telephone voting too.
The only soar note on last nights game was the strike zone, seemed to be a little too flexible when the chance of a called third strike loomed, maybe the home plate umpire was auditioning for an upcoming movie, or maybe a chance to grab a headline and get himself noticed.
All that really matters is that Victorino gave to us last night with the walk off RBI, now it’s our turn to give back and vote him in the All Star game. Voting ends at 4pm EST today, hopefully we will be celebrating during tonights game and Detroit will be celebrating too, which will just go to show the NL and AL can work together for the good of the fans.
Blanton surpassed all the hopes and expectations of the Philly fans just dreaming of a sweep, he pitched a good seven and a third shut-out innings, having good command of his fast ball and change-up, he kept the Mets of balance and guessing wrong, he gave up just 4 hits and walked 3 and set the phillies bullpen up nicely to clinch the win and the sweep.
The bullpen was again outstanding, not body likes to see a player get hurt and nobody wants to see an extra guy on base, but admit it, when Romero hit Cora I am sure there were a few fans thinking, ‘wish I could have done that’, so that set up Park to come in and get a double play, which just left the ninth. The commenators seemed confused as to if Lidge would pitch or not, then it was confirmed he was stretching in the pen, just 14 pitches today to go 1, 2, 3 in the ninth, was definately scenes from Lidge of ’08.
Rollins has surely quietened down the sceptics just a little, a lead off homer gave the Phillies an early lead, having another multi hit game Rollins is either back or just really likes to stick it to the Mets.
Utley, Mr. Second-Base God, hits another long ball to give Phillies a two zip lead and that’s all they would need, the defense was outstanding, turning double-plays when they were needed, Howard showed his fielding skills and that all the extra pre-season in-field training has paid-off.
With a home stand start like this I find myself looking forward to the next game, in anticipation of what extraordinary feats the team will show off next, bring on the Reds.
Congratulations go to Utley and Ibanez for making the All Star starting line-up and congrats to Howard for making the All Star team.
I realise it is fan based voting, but why wasn’t it a closer race between Feliz and Wright, Feliz is a better defensive third-baseman than Wright and has been above average with offence this year, just a thought.
Don’t forget send Victorino to the All Star Game as the 33rd man voting is open so get to it he deserves to be there: VOTE NOW
It seems I am not the only one who has negativity about Fox, So living in Ohio, just 550 miles or so from Philly what does Fox put on my TV, NOT Phillies vs Mets thats for sure, and since it’s blacked out on MLBTV, I have no alternative but to listen to the game on WPHT via MLBTV. So this is the first time this season I have had to do this, so here’s how the highlight are from a radio listners point of view.
First Inning – Jimmy Rollins, doesnt run the play out as hard or intense as he should for a guy in a slump. So Phillies leave men on base, we can’t do that against the Mets and oh yeah, Werth hits an RBI fly ball.
Second and Third Inning – Some pitch by pitch and has Manny Ramirez added longer dredlocks, cause it looks terrible, expalnation that it was meant to look terrible in a baseball uniform and not terrible in general.
Fourth Inning – Couple more runs score, Utley and Ibanez gets congrats for making the All Star Team as starters, then more appologies, cause the selection show is not till Sunday and no one knows who’s ahead in the voting till then, you must be looking at an old list.
Fifth Inning – Moyers pitching better, gives up a run.
Sixth Inning – Victorino RBI with 2 outs, he’s playing well and Atlanta lost, more unimportant drival about Nationals players and Braves players
Seventh Inning – 87 pitches through 6 and a third for Moyer, hopefully the bullpen can save this one for him Durbin in gets a hitter out, hits a hitter, 10 pitches, in comes Romero, lets hope he can find the strike zone, the stikes the next guy out inning over. Fireworks at the Wharf were last week, so probably going to watch the downtown today.
Eigth Inning – Romero resumes gets one out gives up a hit, Madson in – gets 2 out, Lidge is warming up in the bullpen, guess he’ll be in for the ninth wonder if he’s okay hasn’t pitched since Toronto.
Ninth Inning – Lidge 1,2,3 in 13 pitches. So Philly take 2
Not the most enjoyable way to spend 4th July, having to listen to nothing and make out what was really happening, at least with TV you can see for yourself your not relying on others to keep you informed.
So thanks Fox for screwing up my 4th of July.
Not a single mention about Jamie’s 600th start – Congrats Jamie, keep em coming.
Dare I say SWEEP today, fingers crossed.