What a weekend already, it’s almost the end of the month, July will be here
in the next few days and Independence Day celebrations will be upon next
weekend. All that to come and we still have this weekend to finish, the staring
role being out in Los Angeles and the headline hungry A-Rod, I am sure the media
make more of it than is there, I am sure we all add to the snowball effect of
hyping up a situation when it really is no big deal. It is difficult to look the
other way when it involves A-Rod, because lets face it, it’s probably not so
innocent, in fact it’s probably far from innocent.
got suckered like so many, way back in 2004 hailing A-Rod as the greatest player
in baseball, stating things about how Jeter should move to 2nd and let the superior
player take up at Short Stop, had someone then said, well it’s A-Roid not A-Rod,
they would have said you had sour grapes, you were a Rangers fan or even a
die-hard Jeterholic, the chances of agreeing with you were as slim as A-Rod
telling the truth to Katie Couric when she asked him point blank if he used any
PED’s, of course he said no, they all do.
He can give it but he can’t take it, ask Ashton Kutcher who punk’d him, ask
Dallas Braden who he dished it out too and finally ask his ex-wife who showed
her thought via a t-shirt at a ballgame. Now it’s Joe Torre’s turn, who A-Rod once
said he preferred playing under Joe than the Rangers organization chose to
ignore Joe at Dodgers stadium this weekend, when it was obvious others wanted to
say hi to Joe, A-Rod was uncomfortable when he got within 10 feet….
…..I didn’t set out to bash A-Rod, it just snow-balled out of
control, it’s just that A-Rod does so much and then denies everything, I am sure even when
he is in his 70’s he will still be saying “I’m young and stupid”
as someone I am sure has already pointed out, getting 1 out of 2 right is okay,
and trust me your not young anymore, and besides you lost that claim when you
chose to father children, I am sure you probably tried to tell everyone, you
didn’t know what you were doing then, the only thing left right now is to see who’ll claim the first use of
A-Fraud and A-Roid.
For those that have been following the FIFA World Cup, you must
have heard by now that the USA is a Ghana from the tourny, beaten by the little
country in Western Africa, a country which is younger than the USA, but one
where the kids play football barefoot from about 3 years old. I have to say I
have found out since being here that the knowledge of international geography in
the United States is somewhat appalling, so here is a map of the world with the
USA and Ghana indicated….
….this is the beauty of the FIFA World Cup, it doesn’t matter
how big you are or how much money you have, it’s a game of skill and talent that
comes about from practice. I am sure some pundits will tell you how the USA was
robbed and should be going through to play Uruguay, but I am here to say, the
USA was lucky to even go to extra time, Donovan almost missed the penalty kick,
which after the USA coach had made a big thing in the press of players that fall
down, there was a lot of it going on from the USA team during the 2nd half of
this game, especially near and in the penalty area. All in all Ghana out played
the USA and deserved the win, congrats to them.
England met with Germany, which is probably the biggest rivalry
between 2 countries in this sport, the young German players showed poise and
maturity, which had been promoted as being the advantage England should have
enjoyed. Germany advances to the next round and will meet the winner of the
Argentina v Mexico game later today. The biggest disappointment of this World
Cup was the over hyped Wayne Rooney who was a total non-issue regardless of who
England played. There wil be those who would say that if the goal England scored
had been allowed then they would not have left the defense so wide open as they
threw caution to the wind to try and win, that unfortunate is the name of the
game and crying won’t change the result, demanding rules change to accommodate
your teams needs is not how sports should be played. The England team will have
to endure the return home and suffer the full weight of the media,
Germany get to advance, well done to them.
The Phillies were on the road in Philadelphia, weird, road grays
at home, even the broadcasters changed locations, yet what of the dug out and
bull pen, why didn’t they change places, one of the mysteries we have to live
with like the rest of the G20 summit. Still not sure why all those countries
spend all that money to tell each other how sucky the world’s finances are
In Philadelphia, we had a weekend that saw….
…. Halladay take game 1 and Moyer take game 3, which put Moyer
over 4,000 innings pitched and the pitcher with the most homers hit off him, I
guess we’re going to see something every time he pitches now, so good and bad
records will be set, since he has pitched in 4 decades and is into his 25th year
in the majors.
It’s the end of inter league play as the Phillies head for a 1
week road trip closing June out in Cinci and opening July in Pittsburgh. I now
get a week of calling MLBTV to tell them I’m not in the blackout area for these
2 clubs, oh joy.
I am trying to understand what makes a pitcher good, great or just very
useful in the rotation to a team hoping to compete for the ultimate prize. There
are some guys pitching that I like, some are my favorites, not because of who
they are or what they can do, but just because they impressed me with something
they did, it may have been small, it may have been huge, but at the time to me
it seemed significant enough to make me believe that this guys is okay and
worthwhile having around any ball club.
There are only 4 current pitchers that fall into the category, in no specific
order are Jamie Moyer, Phil Hughes, Chris Carpenter and Randy
Wolf, as I said
none of them jump up and scream Cy Young, but if anyone has never heard of one of
these guys then, I think your missing something.
It seems some believe this to be the year of the pitcher, with the shut outs
starting to grow, the no hitters and the perfect games all having enjoyed a
growth this season already, there could be some truth in the statement. So, I go back to my original thoughts of what
makes a good, great or one of a kind pitcher and how soon can you tell what the
guy will be, by now you probably can see where I am going, Strasburg, you’d be
We had hype around Lincecum back in 2007 and he has appeared to fill almost
all the hype the media placed on him, my personal opinion, his Cy Young
achievement, at least last year (2009), was awarded to the name and hype, he didn’t
deserve it, there were other pitchers more deserving, in my opinion.
Some people say wins and loses, mean nothing, it’s all about the other stuff,
well here are some other stuff, which guy would you want.?…
….since this ‘year of the pitcher’ isn’t going to go away, I think we need
to know a
few of the ailments that will definitely surface towards October. It could be the
player, but with the way people are acting I think it could also be fans that
suffer, we already have things like ADD, yes the real thing ‘Attention
or for the sports fans, it’s those who can’t follow real football, soccer to
those who have no desire to grasp a sport that the majority of the world’s
children understand and play from about 2 or 3 years old.
There is a NEW one about to strike the world of baseball it’s the Strasburg
Hyper Interest Tension Syndrome, yes you can
tell the baseball fan who is suffering, the day after the Washington
Nationals send Stephen Strasburg to mound, these guys will be paying
too many visits to the little boys room, we’re not sure if it’s due to the
excessive food and drink or a need to find relief from the tension.
Sports the lighter side:
The Marlins fired a manager that was actually doing
his job, but feel they found someone more suited and are considering offering the position to the USA’s national soccer
coach, they said, “if he can find 23 guys in the USA that can play
football that aren’t fat f-cks then he must be able to find 8 players and
someone who knows how to pitch in the Marlins club house that will play baseball
The Phillies go on the road to Philadelphia and play the Toronto Blue Jays,
this will be the hardest road trip the Phillies have ever made, if they win
it’ll be unfair on the Jays, if they lose everyone will have them back in a
The ChiSox have a 9 game winning streak and the Rangers have an 11 game
winning streak and the Rangers get to play the Astros for 3, so it’s possible we
could have a 14 game win streak by the time the weekend is over.
USA soccer star, I use the term loosely, Landon Donovan, is trying to force his
ex to get back with him by spreading rumors of their pending reconciliation and
blowing fake kisses to her via TV, I mean, dude you look really frickin gay, why
would she want you back.
The Phillies brief residence at Yankee stadium came to an end Thursday night.
It was clear when the Phillies entered Yankee stadium on Tuesday that the
Yankees were in the midst of a ‘anti-cold’ streak and the Phillies still
appeared to be enduring the ‘anti-hot’ period.
Some had heralded this inter-league match-up as a re-duel from the 2009 World
Series, even the front page of MLBlogs endeavored to blast us with images of the
Yankees and Phillies, while hoping to drive us to
blogs that could portray this
match-up as a spill over rivalry from last years post-season. The one thing it
did manage to do was show us that the Yankees enjoy a good comedy, they had
moved on from the normal images that would instill you with the need to label
them as the ‘Evil Empire’, moved on to more humorous aspects of being the
Empire’, it was Rick Moranis batting in the 8 hole for the Yankees. Joking
aside, in this time when appearance is normally more important than comfort or
sensibility, it’s good to see someone throw that out the window for safety,
especially someone in New York.
think to try and conceive some hidden rivalry between these two teams who have a
long way to go before either can even contemplate the possibility of a post season
where it would be a meaningful rivalry. This isn’t a rivalry some were trying to
create it to be, but more it seemed like mutual respect, we did see some firsts during these 3 games.
Lifetime first was game 2 with Jamie Moyer as the winning pitcher, this was a
first because no pitcher this age has beaten the Yankees before, but then as old
as Moyer is, each win is probably going to be a first for the teams that lose.
It was actually on this day 24 years ago that Moyer made his major league debut,
June 16th 1986, where he pitched for the Cubs against the
Phillies and got the win while Steve Carlton took the loss for the
Things weren’t what they seemed at Yankee stadium this week, Tuesday was
supposed to be a pitchers duel, but turned out to be one of Halladay’s worst
starts this year, Sabathia faired a little better for the Yankees, as he faced a
Phillies team that has struggled during the ‘anti-hot’ period. Even with the
lack of offense the Phillies still managed to get some hits, runs and put
Sabathia under some stress, but ultimately the Yankees took the game much to the
delight of the Yankee fans.
This 3 game series saw for the first time this year the return of the man who
hit the longest home run at the NEW Yankee stadium, last year a monster
homer was hit by the Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez, another first this
year was seen during game 2 as the Phillies launched back to back home runs,
something they’ve lacked since September ’09.
Game 3 had Kendrick pitching for the Phillies
and Pettitte for the Yankees, after
the Yankees sneaked a win from Halladay,
I am sure most fans were surprised that Moyer was able to fend off the Yankee
bats and get a win in game 2, game 3 was one that Yankee
fans must have felt confident about, with probably the best Yankee
pitcher taking the mound and the Phillies
default pitcher because Happ is stuck on the DL, anyone that knows
baseball would have given this to the Yankees.
This is still a sporting event and not all things are as we expect them, this
year is a prime example of how normal is not really normal, so much to
the pleasure of the Phillie fans Kendrick
faced off against the Yankees for the very
first time in his short career and got the win.
put my hand up and admit even as a Phillie
fan I was almost sure Pettitte was going to win this one, with the way
the Phillies have been playing and the way
the Yankees have been playing, there were a
number of Yankee fans, even before the first
game, laying it out in the comments section of a number of online articles on
how the Yankees would easily sweep the Phillies,
this ramped up even more after they beat Halladay, with comments telling Phillie
fans they don’t have any other pitchers after Halladay and with the lack
of offense the Phillies may as well concede
and go home without the major embarrassment that the Yankee
hitters will give them. Then after game 2, Yankee
fans seemed confused that a 47 year old had had the audacity to actually
beat them, now after Kendrick held the Yankees
to 4 hits and 1 run there is probably a few Yankee
fans telling Joe how to best re-arrange his line-up so that the Yankees
When it comes right down to it, the Yankees
have an impressive 41 wins which ties them with the Rays,
okay maybe Yankee fans are used to being on
top, but we still have almost a 100 games left and as we have seen anything can
happen. Of those 41 wins 22 are against teams with a below .500 record and 19
are against teams with a better than .500 record, okay so that’s fairly even,
until you look at the 25 loses, only 8 to teams with a below .500 record, which
really means they are almost a .500 club against winning teams. I am sure you
can look at this with any club and see similar things, but when you consider
they can only play the Orioles so
many times and I think they have played them some 12 times already this year, or
it certainly seems like it, and they’ve played the Astros in
inter-league with the D’Backs still
to come, as long as they don’t drown in self pity and lose to the Mets
this weekend they should at least be able to stay on pace with the Rays,
until they have to play a long string of games against winning teams that is,
then who knows.
The Phillies host the Twins
this weekend, but then the Tribe come
to Philadelphia, at least we get 1 club that’s not a winning team
this month, not that it seems to make a difference to the Phillies,
at least during the ‘anti-hot’ run anyone and everyone has a 50/50 chance
Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful weekend and just in case you’ve been traveling
around with your eyes closed or surfing the interwebs with blinkers on, Sunday
is Father’s Day, so don’t forget, unless your the dad, then it’s
customary to act surprised and still have to break out the grill and cook for
everyone that stops by….
Well that was a given, I blew it, I jinxed them, at the end of my last
post I had to go a say that Halladay would leave the Pirates
with all zero’s. What happened, I can only believe it’s that time of the month
again, before all the women jump up and down and start screaming like banshees,
I am not making some veiled reference that attempts to draw humor from your
pain, or is it our pain, juries still out on that one, I am referring to that
time when the last month the Phillies went
from dominating play to only managing to win 4 out of 12.
It’s like the Phillies offense just takes
a vacation and when they show up, the bull pen is on vacation. Unfortunately
last night the person that got the raw end of the deal was ‘The Doc’, Roy
Halladay, he threw another complete game, I can only believe he was
expecting the offense to come through at the end and get him the win, instead
the Pirates ended up taking it 2-1 in a pitching duel. Halladay
went all 9 innings on 132 pitches, giving up 9 hits and 2 runs, that should be
worthy of a win, but all it turned out to be was the ‘Halladay Blues’....
….the Phillies have the chance to turn things around tonight
as they take on the Cubs in the start of a 2
game series, on the mound tonight is Jamie Moyer, ironic because he started his career
with the Cubs, his major league debut for
them was against the Phillies, way back when
most of the other players were either un-thought of or getting their diapers
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.
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.
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.
Phillies take 2 of 3 from Braves in Atlanta, Jamie Moyer gets win number 260
career, (not the season), he is now 2-1 on the season. Before this season
began, most were raving about the Braves pitching, and rightly so, they have
some excellent pitching, but those raving on the Braves were saying how bad the
Phillies pitching really was and really had it not been for 2 errors in last
nights game by Utley, 1 receiving the ball from Castro and the other throwing to
Howard, the Phillies starting pitching would have shut the Braves out, the 1st
game the bull pen gave up all the runs in the 9th and 10th innings, game 2
Braves got no runs and last night, they scored 2 unearned runs on the errors and
then 1 more in the 7th off Chad Durbin.
The Phillies aren’t the only team with the pitching rising to unexpected
levels this early in
the season, seems the Oakland A’s managed to confuse the Yankees yesterday, long
enough to get the win and it also seems as though they urked A-Rod enough to
walk across the mound on his way from 3rd to 1st in the 6th inning. Dallas
Braden unleashed a tirade of verbal disdain on A-Rod for his actions, not only
at the end of the inning, but after the game with the press too, I think he
just wanted to make a point that he wouldn’t be bullied by a member of the ‘Evil
Empire’, A-Rod acted dumb(founded) like he’d been accused of taking PED’s or
something, and then proceeded to remark on how long Braden has been in the bigs
and how many wins he has to his credit. Unanswered questions that should be
answered for us to really understand who is acting like a spoilt bratty rich kid
and who is acting like a baby:
1 – Is there an unwritten rule?
2 – Would A-Rod have crossed the mound with say Brett Myers on it?
3 – Would a big deal of been made of this if it had been a rookie from
Washington or Pittsburgh
or Cleveland instead of A-Rod?
4 – Does anyone outside of Oakland care?
Other pitchers who I think warrant a mention for being better than people
thought they would be is Sheilds of the Tampa Bay Rays, who got his 2nd win
yesterday in another display of demolition in Chicago as the Rays bashed in
another double digit score against the team that may need a presidential pardon
to escape the backlash of its fans come the end of the season.
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’.