For some, they would have just finished a late lunch, for others
it would have been the conclusion of a normal lunch, if you were on the west
coast getting ready for the Phillies v Giants game 3. For those of us still out
east it was late afternoon, the October air was cooling off, some where heading
home from work, some trying to wish the final hour or so of work to disappear.
It really didn’t matter where you were or what you were doing,
the game waited for no man, just Fox Sports to say ‘Lets Play Ball’. The game
got underway with another anticipated pitchers duel between Cain and ….
….Hamels. Everything seemed to be going according to
predictions, both pitchers seemed to hold the hitters in a state of
confusion, until that is, Cody Ross, stepped up in the 4th. Ross managed to slap
a ball into left field to score the first run for San Francisco, then Huff
followed Ross with a hit to score the second run. Unfortunately the defense
wasn’t supporting the excellent job Hamels was doing, the stats may not have
been great for Cole, but he pitched better than they show.
The 5th inning saw another attempt by….
….Utley to make a play and support Hamels, again this one ricocheted
off Utley, into centerfield and scored the Giants 3rd run. This was too big a
mountain to climb for the Phillies offense which appears to be lost baggage on
the trip from Philadelphia. There is no one to blame, no umpires to curse at,
okay maybe the 1st base umpire, reality the Phillies have to stop making excuses
an hit the damn ball and score runs. Everyone seems to complaining about Howard
not hitting, but as it stands he’s had the most hits in this series.
Wednesday, is game 4 and the Giants are sending Bumgarner to the
mound, okay that name is too easy to mess with so we’ll show good restraint, the
….Blanton on the mound. Wait Blanton, he hasn’t started a game
since September 20 something, but he’s getting paid to do this, so let him do
it. He may not be a member of the H2O, but with the offense still in lost
baggage what difference will it make.
The Rangers seemed to knock the wind out of the Yankees sails
yesterday with what shows as a blow out win, it wasn’t so much a blow out, more
a nickel and dime win. It seems the Yankees hitters are suffering like the
Phillies, while Guerrero is playing the role of Ross. The Yankees pitchers,
yesterday seemed unable to find the right location, except for Robertson, who
only got to face 2 hitters, which he disposed of with 8 pitches.
The Yankees are in a much more difficult position than the
Phillies, it’s do or die for the Yankees tonight, although by the end of today
the Phillies could also be in the do or die position, or they could be tied
again, its a matter of time before we find out.
The Phillies lost their first game since, believe it or not they were in New
York at Citi Field facing the Mets back on September 11th, 2010. The Phillies
then managed to go Met to Met series without a loss. Although they managed this
loss without actually losing anything, the magic number is still at 2 and they
can still clinch this weekend. It maybe just have been a bit premature to line
the locker room with plastic ready for the champagne blitz.
This Mets series showed us what some players are made of, and quite frankly
David Wright and Jose Reyes should be traded to a west coast team, they
definitely showed us they do not like playing baseball the way it was intended
Finding something to whine about was the goal and they chose Utley’s slide
into 2nd to break up a double play in game 1 of this series, even though he was
sliding at Tejada, who himself didn’t seem to think anything was wrong with it
and even Jerry Manuel hinted at the fact that maybe the Mets wouldn’t be losers
if they played hard ball too.
I’d say Wright and Reyes should go back to playing T-ball where
the only slide is at the water park after the game.
Hamels gets the start in the season finale at home, one that
could end in celebrations or just another deep exhale of breathe ready for the
One Game at a Time – GO PHILLIES….
The Giants came to town on Tuesday and will stay until after the
game Thursday, giving the 2 teams the opportunity to mix it up 3 times and
between them one of the teams will go into the weekend the wild card leader.
These games should the Phillies dominate, also help the Cardinals and the
Braves, should the wild card be needed by these teams.
The return of ‘Pat the Bat’ to the Bank was a warm
welcome by many fans, Pat also honored his return with a run long ball in the
1st, but was quieted by Oswalt after that…….
…..but was kept busy in left field his normal hunting
ground when he was with the Phillies.
The other player in a return to the Bank was the
Phillies 2nd baseman Chase Utley…..
…..he may have been dormant in his return, but it’s good to
see the familiar moves at 2nd base and the ease in which he slipped right back
into his role, although tonight should see him batting in his regular 3 spot
against Matt Cain.
Useless stats 101 – Tuesday’s game against the Giants saw
the Phillies start a 24 game stint with out a day off till September 9th, in the
middle they have a double header against the Marlins. The 24 games will see the
Phillies play at home then travel to the west coast with no travel day, then
after 6 games travel back to the Bank stopping in Colorado on the way. Get ready
for some jet lag at the plate…
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 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
Sunday was a day that companies had the opportunity to commercialize and reap the
financial benefits from all those feeling guilty about not having given enough
attention to their Mothers during the year, a time when that expensive,
worthless, tradition of sending or giving a piece of stiff paper with some words
created by someone paid not nearly enough to dream up such drivel, just so that
those doing the giving can feel good about themselves for having at least on
this day given some attention to the person that gave them life. Yes folks it
was ‘Mother’s Day’ here in America, this past Sunday. For those that don’t care,
it was not Mother’s Day in England, that was back in March and it’s true calling
is ‘Mothering Sunday’, which is actually different than Mother’s Day, as with
most things that are commercialized propaganda, it’s different because it’s
something to do with religion. I personally didn’t receive any cards or well
wishes, even though throughout the year I have heard the word Mother used
in conjunction with other words when referencing me or calling to me.
The Phillies celebrated Mother’s by giving away Phillies
scarves or is it scarf’s, does it matter, since those that got the
scarves/scarf’s wore them with pride, unless they were an Atlanta Braves
fan of course, then they probably kept them to remember the day they went to Citizens
Bank Park to see Atlanta get beat.
Even though the Phillies offense had the Braves pitcher on the ropes
early with hits and home runs by the start of the 4th inning the Phillies
were up 4 – 0, because guys like this….
….decided to show up and play ball, Polanco hit a homer in the
2nd with a pink bat, not that it matters too much the color of the bat, it’s
still a home run, no extra points for the bat being pink, probably extra cash
when it gets auctioned off for the charity.
The Braves pitcher, Kawakami, held his own
from the 4th and stayed in putting up respectable numbers through 6.2 innings,
even though he took the loss. The Phillies had Cole Hamels on
the mound, who during the first 4 innings looked as though he was going to be
cruising his way to a shut out and show Jamie Moyer he could do it too.
Alas it wasn’t to be, even after a major conflab on the mound…..
….somewhere the old ‘K’ Cole got lost and
confused about where to throw the ball….
….he managed to give up 3 runs in the 5th inning, that was
enough for Manuel who let the bull pen finish the game, led by Chad Durbin who
threw 2 scoreless, the bull pen was un-hittable, literally, they struck out 5
over the 4 innings of work and never allowed a base runner, even Lidge pitched
the 9th without giving anyone a mild seizure.
As with any day when the Phillies play at CBP, there is always at
least one creature that gets onto the field, no tasers needed on Sunday it was
….doing his duties, or should I say trying too. Yes, he’s been
reportedly hailed as the best mascot in sports and I understand you either love
him or hate him, but it has become clearer that most hate him because of the
team he’s associated with, not for what he does, because lets face it, no matter
who you are, if he was your teams mascot you’d think he was the coolest mascot
ever, or at least your kids or grand kids or great grand kids would think he was
So the celebration of Mother’s is over and the Phillies
headed to Colorado where the air is thin and they use some kind of machine
to make the balls stay in the park, or so they say.
There was something in the air, maybe it was moisture of some
sort, but Charlie was trying to figure it out….
….as the Rockies made some accusations of
someone spying on the game from the Phillies bullpen, not sure
what it was all about and I’m not sure Charlie was to sure either, but it
prompted Victorino to use the bullpen phone and tell them to stop clowning
It certainly wasn’t the bull pen the Rockies
needed to watch, it was the Phillies catcher, Carlos Ruiz….
….who went 4 for 5, one of them a homer, and it wasn’t a fluke
or the thin air or altitude or something they put in the bottled water in Colorado,
he’s actually been hitting that good of late, with a.354 avg, he’s got himself a
little ‘on base’ streak going, I think he’s actually been on base in all but 1
of the games he’s played this season, he’s picking up more walks and now he’s in
the number 7 hitting slot, he’s getting more hits, lets hope he can sustain this
for the year or majority of it anyway.
The Phillies defense were showing off some quality
….but that still didn’t stop Colorado, with Hawpe
back off the DL and going 2 for 4 on the night, the Rockies managed
to get it all tied at 5 going into the 9th inning. In fashion of the last couple
of years the Phillies put up a 4 spot in the top of the 9th and
the Rockies where unable to find a way to answer, with Contreras pitching
the 9th, who seems to be solidifying himself as a late inning guy that Manuel
can depend on, the Rockies went down on just 1 hit in the 9th, giving the
Phillies game 1 of this series.
Brad Lidge has a sore elbow, waaaaaaaaaa!!! go back on
the DL then don’t tie up a roster spot if your going to keep whining all year so
you have an excuse when you blow your first and subsequent saves this year.
Dallas Braden, who became news worthy earlier this month
when he accused A-Rod of being a ‘dick’, which by the way Braden,
we all knew this before you accused him, just threw a perfect game. So congrats
to him, but you did sour your win somewhat by both you and your Gran-Ma
referencing A-Rod when talking of your perfect game. As much as A-Rod
will take credit for anything good and nothing bad, this I am sure he played no
part in, so let A-Rod go back to denying PED use and not have to
deny knowing unwritten rules of baseball. He’s a Yankee player,
those unwritten rules don’t apply, that’s another unwritten rule.
Milton Bradley is still a bigger ‘dick’ than A-Rod.
Cliff Lee goes for his first win of the season tonight,
the question is if he gets it, will it count, since it’s against Baltimore.
Roy Halladay goes home for first ever start in Colorado,
hard to believe that a guy like Halladay never pitched in Colorado.
This homecoming should be sweet for Halladay and not so sweet for Rockies
fans as Halladay goes for win number 7 and the Phillies try
and clinch the series tonight.
A day later and the pen get the day off, not because they blew it yesterday,
but because ‘the Doc’ allowed it to happen. With the help of some
outstanding defense, from the likes of Victorino, Utley,
Castro, Howard and himself, Roy Halladay pitched his way to a
shut-out through 9 innings.
He managed to get into the 4th inning without even giving up a hit, at one
point it looked as if the defense coupled with his outstanding pitching was
going to let him cruise through 9 innings in less than 100 pitches, by the 7th
he had been averaging 11 pitches an inning.
Victorino’s home run saver early on was a key play in giving the Phillies
the confidence to move on from last night and shut the Braves down. Ryan
Howard was stretched to the limited in an acrobatic move that would be more
fitting for one of those dance shows, it was definitely a first to see the big
1st baseman stretched in the splits at first base to get the out, amazingly he
still kept his foot on the bag. There was also one of Utley’s all
familiar shuffle passes to Castro for the start of a crucial inning
ending double play.
With run scoring plays in both the 2nd and 6th innings the Phillies
needed nothing else to seal this win other than the 9 innings from ‘the Doc’. It
was without question though Roy Halladay that made all this possible, he
is now the first pitcher to go 4-0 in 2010, he also has a 4 win streak started,
he has maintained his average of every 3 wins he throws a complete game.
Tomorrow is the rubber game of this 3 game series, then the Phillies
start a trek out west stopping in the desert for a 3 game set against Arizona,
before heading on to San Francisco for 3 against the Giants.
Although it would be kind of stupid to go to San Francisco for 3
games against the Mets or Dodgers, so I guess some
of that was just filler.