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
Friday, May 7th, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. Jamie
Moyer threw 105 pitches, over 9 innings giving up just 2 hits and
striking out 5, as he made baseball history.
Moyer is officially the oldest major league pitcher to throw a
9 inning shut out game, at
aged 47 years 170 Days young, Moyer was pushed to the bullpen
during August last year, this year some thought Kendrick should have got
the starting job, not Moyer. Personally I have said all along Moyer
was the choice for the starting rotation, I stand by that, and I say to all
those who will now jump on the Moyer band wagon, be careful what
I had said during spring training that I think Kendrick should not be
used as a starter till later in the year, and that Moyer will be
better more often than not during the first 100 to 130 games of the baseball
season. What Jamie did against the Braves, is far beyond
any expectation anyone could have seen, many could have hoped for, but no one
could truly have predicted.
not forget he wasn’t the only one on the field playing against the Braves,
even with the Phillies still feeling the effects of being without
Jimmy Rollins they have pulled together and over come some tough times.
With both Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard making very good
defensive plays, the offense was still keeping a steady average of hits and runs
as they managed to score 7 runs off Atlanta pitching, Jayson
Werth having a blast of ‘Deja-Vu’ as he hit a 3 run Jack in back to back
games, the first against the Cardinals then again against the Braves.
The Phillies continue the home stand for another 2 days, both games
against the Atlanta Braves then they hit the road for a week,
heading to Colorado for 3 games and then Milwaukee
for 3 games, but this season is about taking it one game at a time and the focus
is on the Braves for the Saturday game. Saturday some may think the dug out
looks bare or just strange, but it should only be for one game. Charlie
Manuel has said he will be missing Saturday’s game against the Braves for
personal reasons and he specifically said it had nothing to do with his health,
before we have a lot of conclusion jumpers.
What determines a professional and what determines the right to freedom of
speech and the right to freedom of the press.
Why do I ask?
A "blogger", someone regularly showing intent to provide an
element of news and/or information to the public via any legal means available
to them and allowing the public access to that information for a reasonable
length of time.
A "Member of the Press", someone paid to obtain and report
information or someone paid to report information previously obtained, by any
legal method that is provided by the company for which they are paid, or if
freelance, by any legal means available to them.
In my happy world or "Idiots Guide To Things" you know the big
yellow books without phone number lists, this is how I see the difference
between a reporter and someone, say, like myself. With this in mind there are a
multitude of questions, but here are the ones I am interested in for now.
1 – If I get unknown information from a source within a company or government
and I choose to disclose this information via the means I have to the public, or
in plain terms, if I write about it in a blog post, am I allowed to claim the
same privilege as a reporter and not have to disclose my source if compelled,
since at the time I was acting as reporter?
2 – If a "Member of the Press" writes a blog is that still
classed as reporting, are they still bound by the same rules of verification of
information as they would be if it was written for a newspaper column?
3 – As a "blogger" are you bound by those same rules of
verification, or do you truly just have to ‘in all good faith believe what you
are writing is the truth’?
4 – or can both parties write what ever they like with the appropriate
Still the question – Why Do I Ask?
Some of you may or may not have seen recently a reporters column, John
Gonzalez, for the ‘Sports’ section of the ‘Philadelphia Inquirer‘
which is found online at Philly.com,
columnist handled the mailbag on April 28th, 2010 the day in question
and received a question from someone named ‘Alex’, you can read the
question and answer here
remember this was mail bag day so all questions are sent in by readers. (image
of John Gonzalez linked from his column on Philly.com)
May 1st, 2010 another reporter, Mike
Goldstein, (not the ex-scientologist, or at least I don’t think it is) who writes a blog for ESPN760
and also broadcasts the Saturday morning ‘Sports
Page Show’ chose to target John
Gonzalez and his mail bag post, notably the question from ‘Alex’ and
in doing so he not only questioned the abilities of John
Gonzalez he also questioned his livelihood as a reporter in a post on his
blog titled "This
isn’t journalism, but it’s still not ethical" , if you take the
time to read this great, if you skim over it and get the general census, that’s
okay too, if you do neither, then here’s the key points, Mike accuses John of plagiarism
while fabricating a question to suit his own means.
May 2nd, 2010 the same reporter, Mike
Goldstein, wrote another post in his blog titled "The
Joke’s On Me" where he is supposedly making a retraction of his
previous claims about the ethics of John
Gonzalez, but in my opinion he doesn’t, he just excuses himself as a radio
show host and not a reporter. Claiming he just writes a blog and it is not meant
as journalism. (image of Mike Goldstein linked from his column on
I also understand that exchanges via ‘Twitter’ took place as well as other
possible communications and they have to some extent resolved the issue at hand.
We get back to the question, can people of the media
pick and choose when they are covered by the ‘Freedom of the Press’ and when
they are just trying to make a name for themselves.
I as a blogger, who at times wants to believe I can be a member of the press
would like nothing more than for some big media company to pick up on one of my
stories and start paying me for something I enjoy, or anyone to start paying me for
something would be nice, but again I digress, back to the real question.
With the creation of blogs can members of the press pick and choose when they
are press, and can you and I pick and choose when we are reporters.
I say to you big media sports companies, how about a reality show that
represents the amateur blogger, and less of the ‘so called’ professional sports
reporter playing at being an amateur blogger.
All this and I have to ask, does anyone really care unless it effects them in
someway shape or form, probably not!
The Phillies managed to sneak a win last night in extras from a walk
off by Ruiz, Cole Hamels pitched an outstanding game as did Wainwright
for the Cardinals, the series all tied up tonight will be a good night
to prove to Manuel that keeping him in the rotation is the right thing to
The Howard contract has caused a stir around the bloggers, mostly
those whose team has a 1st baseman due to renew a contract in the next year or
so, they question the value of Howard and say the Phillies paid to
much, I say, someone has to be first and if anyone thinks that it has set the
bar high for others then they are wrong the bar was already high, Pujols
was due to get around $30M a year and anyone who thinks he would have
settled for less is mistaken, just because he gave the Redbirds a cheap
deal last time, doesn’t mean he would have done it again. Suck it up Cardinal
whiners you can’t keep expecting to pay Walmart prices for the very best
UPDATE:(6am May 6th, 2010)
In another pitcher duel last night the Phillies over came Brad
Penny and the Cardinals bullpen to win the 3rd game of the series in
a shut out win 4-0. Well done to Kyle Kendrick for pulling out an
extraordinary night of pitching. Halladay is up today in a day game, the Cardinals
have Lohse on the mound.
Monday morning the Phillies had to be feeling good, they took the
weekend series away from the Mets who had come into the Bank as
one of the hottest teams in baseball, demolishing the Phillies in the
opener on Friday night, but the backlash of this from the Phillies saw Halladay
shut out the Mets then the offense took the Mets number 1 Santana
into uncharted territory knocking 8 runs off him in the 4th inning, which would
end up being a 9 run inning, which was all the Phillies would need in the 11-5
So Monday morning would have had a feel good look about the club house, with
eyes set on the pending 4 game series against the St. Louis Cardinals,
the Redbirds have the best record in the National League, so this
is going to be a tough series, but as always would be a well fought series.
The game gets underway and as expected it’s a tight close fought game to
start, then the umpires have to get involved. They didn’t show any favorites
they just seemed to spoil what would have been a really good game without there interference,
as it happened the Phillies showed lots of patience at the plate against
a very good young Cards pitcher, unfortunately the umpires caused Manuel
to loose his patience and found himself being ejected….
….the home plate umpire definitely had a very bad game causing
players on both sides to question his abilities at calling balls and strikes, in
addition to both managers questioning his abilities at calling plays at first
and third, I just hope the umpires have had their day in the spotlight for this
series and can now let the teams get on with it and battle it out.
Kudos to the Cards for taking game 1 of this series.
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.
It is clearly obvious to anyone who has been watching the Phillies that the
offense has been on the 15 day DL along with Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton and now
Ryan Madson. Blanton is scheduled to reappear this weekend with the possibility
of being back in the rotation this coming Monday against the ST . Louis
Cardinals. Pitchers made it back into the bullpen, J.C. Romero last week, which
didn’t seem too successful and Brad Lidge yesterday, which was also not very
The offense though has been the most absent, after an excellent start to the
season there has been a distinct reduction in output since April 16th, there was
a brief appearance, a glimmer that maybe they were heading back on the right
track around the 22nd of April, but since then nothing, zero, zilch, nada,
nowt, stuck somewhere between spring training and now in a twilight zone for
baseball, the offense is scheduled to make an appearance anytime during the next
few days and from there slowly pick up speed and increased numbers till the All
Start Break then it will be time to see if they make it back from the mid-term
This offensive malfunction doesn’t however excuse all the errors
and mistakes that have been made in selecting which player does what and when
they do it, I know we’ve lost a few so it has to be the managers fault, wrong, that’s
not what I am saying, but he does have some role to play in the events that lead
up to the losses. Last year we saw Charlie Manual in a situation that
allowed this type of graphic….
….this year however, unless more thought is applied to
situations things will be very different, and I want to be fair to Charlie,
it’s not all his fault, he relies heavily on Rich Dubee for up to the
minute information on members on the pen and listens to recommendations on who
should be utilized and when, but there are times when even a novice such as
myself can tell that certain pitchers shouldn’t be used in certain situations. It
has to be the only time a major league ball club manager can safely say, it was
down to the Dubee.
We have in the bullpen a pitcher who is a rule 5 draft pick, who
we keep in the pen because if we don’t he
has to go back to where he came. In reality he belongs in the pen, he serves a
role and he’s good at it, but put him in the wrong place or situation and he’ll
have a bad day as would most of the pitchers out of the pen. Last nights game
against the Mets was a key example of right and wrong pitchers for the
scenarios, Baez is not a 2 inning guy, why was last night the time to try
and find out, it wasn’t, it shouldn’t have been, cause we already new the
answer, but for some unexplained, x-file type reason we had to confirm something
that we already new, after he pitched in his second inning and didn’t get any
outs, but gave up 4 runs, it was time to bring in the rule 5 guy, Herndon,
who went on to pitch 2 scoreless innings, he did let a inherited guy score, but
nothing against him.
Today the Phillies and Mets go at it nationally on
Fox, oh whoopiii, we get to listen to a bunch of no knowledge numbnuts a-sssswhipe’s
ramble on about how good or bad players are when they don’t even know anything
other than what they read in the columns from the biased reporters of either FoxSports
or ESPN. Talking of ESPN, we get the joys of watching and
listening to all the action from them on Sunday night.
Anyone who has any interest saw or heard the Mets pound
the Phillies last night, the rivalry makes it hard to stomach, but I have
to say the Phillies made it easy for the Mets. There was signs of
talent back in the Mets lineup, sorry all you Mets fans, but I
dislike Reyes with a passion, not because he’s a Met, but
because he gives the appearance of having an arrogant, holier than thou
attitude, his actions indicate that he believes he is bigger and better than the
game itself, so for me, he is not one of players with talent on the Mets,
however Jeff Francoeur and David Wright showed up to play and play
they did, Jason Bay also made the right choice and opted out of the BoSox
for the Mets in the off-season. Rod Barajas, okay he hit 2 homers
last night, but guys he’s a 3rd rate catcher at best and should be kept on the
bench for emergency use only, preferably behind a glass, with ‘break in case of
emergency’ on it.
So it’s big pat on the back for the New York Mets, but
it’s still early in the season, so no breath holding hoping you’ll go all the
way, we don’t want a rush of people turning blue in New York,
cause I think that’s happening in LA at the moment and it’s not
from breath holding.
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.
What did we miss in the last few days.
Nationals Sneak a Win
Thursday, April 15th, 2010 – Philadelphia,
The Phillies tried to sweep the Nats, but as we saw last year
on those days that the Phillies decided to have some type of ceremony
the team didn’t meet the expectations on the field. This
year seems to be going that way too, with the presentation of the 2009 NL
Championship rings on Thursday before the final game against the Washington
Nationals, this laid down the jinx and the Phillies failed
to deliver. It was not a very fitting end to a day that honored Jackie
Robinson and saw 19 current Phillies receive the rings.
All seemed to be good up to the 8 inning, Baez came in to pitch the 8th
and hold a 3 run lead, for Madson. Unfortunately the reason Baez
was acquired did not pan out in this game he gave up 3 runs, which allowed the Washington
Nationals to tie the game at 5-5, then in the 9th Madson gave up
a couple giving the Nationals the win.
The good news was that Happ pitched 5 good innings, although his pitch
count was high, he only gave up 1 run on 3 hits. Utley managed to hit his
5th home run of the year and his 3rd in consecutive games. Polanco is
still hitting at a plus .450 clip and doesn’t look like slowing down soon.
Halladay has Fish on Friday
Friday, April 16th, 2010 – Philadelphia,
Roy ‘The Doc’ Halladay faced the Florida Marlins
Friday, some say after facing less than dominant teams, this weekend against the
Marlins would be the real tell for the Phillies. Halladay
stepped up like an old time mailman and delivered through rain and sleet, well
okay no sleet, but he delivered regardless of the weather conditions, which
seemed to bother the Marlins manager.
Halladay was all business, even when it came to the 8th
inning and he had an 8-1 lead, and was holding the Fish to just a
hand full of hits, the intensity he showed was that as if it was a tied game in
Even though the umpires let the game go on through the rain,
it was clear that the Marlins manager was doing all he could to
try and get a delay, primarily to get Halladay out as early as
possibly, since his players were going nowhere fast against him. In fact Halladay
was the main reason Florida’s Cantu had his record run of
It wasn’t just Halladay that caused the Fish
to have a slow day, even though I am told fish like the rain, believe it or not
the empty bench in the picture of Halladay, does not infer that the rest
of the players took the day off, Halladay had some very good defense
behind him too, even Raul Ibanez got into the act, showing that age
hasn’t stopped him taking the needed dives to make a catch, obviously events
like this, especially in the rain draw comments from his fellow team mates, I
think it took another 2 batters for Victorino to stop poking fun at Ibanez
for his attempt at gaining as much air time as an NBA player.
It’s still early in the season and with a 6 run lead going
into the 9th Manuel didn’t want to tax Halladay too much, so after last
it was time to see if the Pen could step up and show that they could hold
a 6 run lead.
In steps Herndon, a rule 5 pick from the Angels,
who won this spot fair and square at spring training, I just hope that this was
just a glitch in his capabilities, because he managed to give up 4 runs and only
get out 1 hitter, now this is a little unfair to him, because the rain was still
coming down and everyone that came up to bat seemed to hit a little bloop in the
infield or to a spot where no one was and everyone kept going point to point. So
Charlie had seen enough, made his AT&T call to the bullpen
using up those roll over minutes, although by now he was on his unlimited nights
and weekends minutes. This time it was Madson called upon to find out if
the Pen is mightier than the Sword, or Sword Fish in this case.
As it happens ‘Mad Dog’ Madson was mightier, it took
just 6 pitches to get the final 2 outs and give Halladay his 3rd win as
the Phillies ace.
WTF Saturday all around baseball
Saturday, April 17th, 2010,
Jamie Moyer took the mound for the Phillies
and Norlasco for the Marlins, the 1st inning was the Moyers
achilles heel, he gave up 5 runs, and that was it, after that he struck out 7
through the next 5 innings. Norlasco for the Marlins was
just as devastating and held the Phillies bats in check, he was on
target for a shut out game except for Jason Werth’s 9th inning home run,
ironically his first of the season. The Fish went on to win 5-1
against a Phillies offense that seemed to be sleeping all night.
Boston Red Sox has been hosting the Tampa
Bay Rays this weekend, Friday nights game got rain out and since it was
tied up at 1-1 they postponed it till Saturday, hoping to squeeze it in before
the start of the scheduled Saturday game, I am sure no-one expected this to go
to 12 innings, but it did and the Rays came out on top, the
scheduled game started late, obviously, but only went 9 innings and also saw the
Rays squeeze another win at Fenway by a score of 6-5, I am sure
there are some Tampa fans with brooms in hand for Sunday’s game.
Well this was one of those games where even the commentators
were wondering if anyone had the capacity to end this game, I’m guessing that
the Mets bench figured the only guy that could possible end it
would get walked and so he did 4 times, although in 20 innings and 9 times at
home plate with a bat in his hand, 4 walks wasn’t bad, and as it also turns out
he got the only Cardinals run in the 19th. Both these teams were
suffering from some variation of the ‘canthitaball-phobia’, both teams
posted a lot of ‘zeros’, over the 20 innings of work, this was definitely
a marathon no-one expected, just like the outcome, Mets finally
won it 2-1.
There has been a lot of hype in spring training and early on in this season
about how good the Atlanta pitching
staff is, personally I think hype is all it is, yes they are good, but it’s more
about the only thing the Braves can push in order to try and make Bobby
Cox’s final year a pay off year. Anyway during the Phillies
game the commentators started to mention a no-hitter going on in Atlanta,
I thought okay, maybe I was wrong, so I flicked to the Atlanta
game to see the Rockies up 4-0 and Jimenez for the Rockies
throwing the no-hitter, okay so he had 6 walks, but he also had 6 strike outs, I
have to admit he wasn’t the first pitcher I would have selected to throw a
no-hitter this season, in fact I didn’t expect a no-hitter before mid May from
anyone in baseball, so to see one this early, by a guy who obviously needed all
the stars to align for this to happen, and for it to happen against a team who
has been hyped for it’s pitching staff, in my eyes definitely wins the ‘WTF’
award for April. I know there’s still lots of playing time in April, but it
would take a Kyle Kendrick to throw a no-hitter to beat this ‘WTF’.