Is this team at home in Atlanta, or what? Talk about being comfortable, the Phillies walk away tonight with their 5th straight win on Atlanta’s home turf this year…they may as well be playing in Philly, the way they look in this ballpark. What exactly are they feeding our players over there anyway, Mom’s home cooking? I’ll say this, Georgia sure is a mighty hospitable state and the Phillies will be glad to return again anytime.
The 7-3 win was not without drama, however, as Ryan Howard threatened to blow the game for Phillies with TWO game extending errors in the bottom of the ninth inning. The second of the 2 errors loaded the bases to bring up Mark Teixeira who almost nailed a grand slam to tie the game, which should have been over 2 errors ago, but luckily, the ball sailed foul. Brad Lidge did finally strike him out to end the game, after a real nail biter of an inning.
So either Jimmy Rollins is reading my blog or someone lit a fire under him! Probably the second one…but one can dream J Tonight, he finally looked like the J-Roll I’ve been waiting to see all year! He was energized, enthusiastic, talking to all his teammates on the field and in the dugout and on top of that, getting the job done on both sides of the ball. Jimmy made several outstanding defensive plays and at the plate, went 3 for 4 with 1 RBI, 2 runs scored and a walk. Basically, he was Smurfy! J Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz & Chris Coste also had multiple hit nights.
In other super news, Adam Eaton got another win, and it was well deserved! 5 innings and only 2 runs…we’ll take it. I’d prefer a few less walks next time (5 tonight), but other than that, he did his job. And how many times can I say how GREAT Chad Durbin is? LOVE him! JC Romero has had a few shaky outings now, giving up a lot of walks and some home run balls. I am beginning to get worried about him a bit….he had that hip injury not long ago and has not seemed the same since then. I am wondering if he needs a break? Just a thought…
One more to go in our happy home town…oh, I mean our happy home away from home, Atlanta! Let’s see if we can sweep em’ twice in one season! Go Phillies!
Or rather, smashed it to tiny, tiny bits… Adam Eaton
takes the loss last night in the Phillies 7-1 dive against the LA Angels. In what was looking like a turn-around season for Eaton, he gave possibly one of the worst performances of his career, production-wise. Pitching only 5 innings, he gave up 12 hits, 6 earned runs, which included one home run by Vladamir Guerrero, 3 walks and recorded only one strike out.
Let’s talk about that offense though for a minute. Sure, Guerrero is a GREAT hitter, and arguably the best player on the Angels team with Casey Kotchman running a close second; but Vlads 11 homers, 40 RBI’s, slugging .484% and .285 average don’t stack up at all when you compare him to our best players. Chase Utley (when he’s hitting!) – 22 HR, 63 RBI, .600%, batting .291; Pat Burrell – 18 HR, 47 RBI, .583%, batting .275; Ryan Howard – 19 HR, 63 RBI, .480%, batting .219. Aside from Ryan’s low average, which he has been bringing up, statistically speaking, we should be beating the pants off this team!
So, even if you totally ignore Adam Eaton’s lousy outing last night, how is it the Phillies amazing offense only scores one run? And that one run came from a struggling Utley, still hitless in 23 at bats, lifting a sac fly to score Jimmy Rollins from third base. The offense produced only TWO hits on the night total, one from Shane Victorino, and one from Chris Coste. I understand everyone runs into good pitching sometimes…we saw it in the last 3 series. But sometimes you HAVE TO hit that good pitching. That is what separates the great teams from the good teams. In the last 3 series, the Phillies have not done it. Well, they have two more games against the Angels to see if they can repair their halos. Go Phillies!
A very ugly loss today which I am sure has resulted in a very quiet ride back to Philly for this team, left stunned by the events of the 10th inning in their 7-6 loss to the Cardinals. With 2 outs and a tie game, Chase Utley had the chance to put the inning away, but botched the throw to Tom Gordon who was covering first base. The inning continued. Tom Gordon gives up a hit to the next batter and we have 2 men on. The next batter hits nearly the same shot again between Utley and Howard; Utley fields it, leaving Gordon to cover first again. This time, Utley makes the throw, but Gordon just misses the ball! The runner at second scores, and the game is over. This team has got to be absolutely stunned.
Not that there weren’t plenty of other chances to blow this game wide open earlier. The Phillies left 15 men on base and left the bases loaded multiple times. The offense is just not producing in key situations. Add to that, Myers did not have a good outing again, giving up 6 earned runs in 6 innings including 2 home runs. Yesterday, we did get a good performance from Adam Eaton, but it was essentially wasted as he was the only one who showed up to play. Eaton had two hits in the game, which totaled exactly half of the offense for the day. And Kyle Loshe gave a great performance, although it was for the Cardinals J
With teams like the Red Sox and Angels coming up, I think it may be time for Charlie Manuel to get the big stick out and start whacking some of these guys over the head! This is no time to become complacent! Let’s see Charlie get mad! That is always entertaining J (Note the evil smile on his face in the photo as he imagines smacking some players around with his bat) Speaking of inter-league play, how exactly do the Phillies get totally screwed with the Red Soxs and the Angels and the Mets get to play the lowly Royals? What is up with that? I hate inter-league play. Well, it would be ok if everyone in your division played THE SAME teams. Then it would at least be fair. The way it is now, it just isn’t right. Oh well, what can you do? So, Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there…have a good one!
Looks like we have a pitcher, Phillies fans! Adam Eaton has arrived…finally! Where exactly he has been hiding, no one knows. But let’s all breath a collective SIGH of relief as it appears he IS actually able to pitch! Yeah!!!! Two good starts in a row, only one run given up today, and he looked great! And looking back on many of his previous starts this year, you will see that a lot of his bad losses came because Charlie Manuel simply left him in the game too long and he hung himself. Charlie is getting better at pulling guys when he should, like he did last night with Kendrick, and letting our bullpen do their job. The more wins these starters can add on to their records, the more confidence they will have and that can only mean good things going forward for the team.
As for our offense, a little disappointing I have to say. Jimmy Rollins
kept getting on base and stealing bags, but no one else seemed to be producing much, besides the huge homer by Burrell. A lot of men left on base again, a lot of missed opportunities again, but they still pulled it out in the end. Brad Lidge had his most uncomfortable appearance of the year, but still worked his way through it. And like I said yesterday, a win is win!
I am always keeping watch on the NL East, hoping some other teams can help out the Phillies…The Mets lost badly to the Giants last night and will face them again this evening, sending Pedro Martinez to the mound who has been out for some time now. Frankly , I don’t think Pedro will be same guy after
all the injuries and family issues he’s been dealing with. So, let’s all root again for Aaron Rowand! Did anyone see the Player’s Poll in the May 26th issue of Sport Illustrated? Check out the graphic to the right…it is a poll of 495 MLB Players about who the toughest player in baseball is and Rowand got top billing! Quite an honor considering this is voted on by his peers. Let’s hope he and the Giants pound the crap out of the Mets again tonight!
I’ll be at the game tomorrow, hoping for good weather and also for a lack of historical homers (unless the score is 15-0 in favor of the Phillies) J Have a good night everyone! Go Phillies!
UPDATE: Well, the Giants lost to the Mets, 9-6…blah! Pedro did not pitch super well, giving up 3 walks and 3 earned runs in 6 innings, but Barry Zito totally trumped that performance with 5 walks and 5 earned runs in only 4.1 innings, getting torn up again this year. The Braves beat the Fish again and so the Phillies are 2.5 games ahead in first place! Atlanta is 3.5 games back, the Mets are 4.5 games back and the Nats are in the basement at 10.5.
Last night marked the first 3 game sweep of the year for the Phillies, making it a 5 game total season sweep of the Rockies, who we should not have to play again all year, unless by some strange miracle, they make the post-season. Not likely at this point. And finally Adam Eaton can exhale a huge sigh of relief and swat that monkey off his back! The big “W” eludes him no more! He has pitched rather well in his last 3 outings and really deserved to get a win.
In fact, it is almost scary to think that we now have more to worry about with Brett Myers than we do with Adam Eaton… Eeek! There is a frightening thought. My mind simply can’t handle that one right now… Brett is scheduled for tomorrow night’s start against the first place Marlins, which is the Phillies big chance to take the lead and they NEED him to pull this one out. He has got to get his head screwed on straight and come out pitching like he is capable of. Whatever has been holding him back, I sure hope he’s got it taken care of.
And for your reading fun today, check out Men’s Fitness Magazine Top 25 Fittest Men In America…Chase Utley made the list (#18, if I am to go by the order which they are listed on the web site)! According to the Phillies site, JC Romero was a tad disappointed on being left off the list. His reaction was, “We’re pitchers, and they don’t realize what you got under the Major League uniform,” he said. “It’s no big deal. I’ll live. I’m No. 1 on my wife’s list at home.” Awwww. How cute is that? Well, I still love JC too…and if he ever wants to show us all what is under the uniform, we’ll be happy to check it out J
Memorial Day was a truly awesome celebration as the Phillies bat’s lit up the night sky, sending balls flying out of the park and scorched down the lines for extra base hits. Utley led the massive 20 to 5 pounding and total KO of the Rockies, with a career high 6 RBI’s, going 3 for 6 including a home run, 2 singles, and a stolen base. And as always, he looked GOOD doing it. I’d imagine he felt a bit like celebrating after the game…maybe like skipping joyfully through a field of flowers?
Ok, so I took some liberty on the flower part, but it was fun :o) As for the rest of the gang, Pedro Feliz with 4 hits? Wow! Coste and Taguchi with 3 apiece; Dobbs in his short appearance goes 1 for 2; Bruntlett 1 for 1. And if they weren’t getting the hits, they were getting the walks! Howard and Victorino racked up 5 between them. The only quiet night really was Pat Burrell, with just 1 walk and no hits…poor guy :o( So, now if you are Adam Eaton, you have to be wondering, hey, where is this offensive when I’M pitching? Let’s hope they saved some for the next few games…
The extra bonus here is that they really wore out the Rockies bullpen. Hopefully, they’ll be nice and tired for our next 2 games… And, we did not use ANY of our guys once again, thanks to the man who loves to take out the garbage for us, Clay “The Trash Man” Condrey. As I said before, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Keep eating up those useless innings for us Clay! Can’t wait to see what happens tonight…Go Phillies!
I am still recovering from the stomach ache that I was left with after last night’s game. Yuck. First off, Adam Eaton was pitching. That alone is enough to make you want to hide under the covers and down a bottle of Tums. Then, this offensive for the Phillies which has exploded in the last 2 games decided to take a vacation until the 9th inning, which turned out to be too little too late. I feel hung over and I didn’t even have a drink. That is SO not fair!
I guess my Marlins voodoo doll worked though…they FINALLY lost a game! However, I may have hexed the entire NL East…we all lost last night EXCEPT for the Nationals! Go figure… But to make up for it, Billy Wagner did blow his second save of the season for the Mets, which does make me all warm and fuzzy inside :o) It has been requested that I make a Mets voodoo doll as well, so I will be working on that this weekend. The wheels are turning…hmmmm…can you smell the smoke? So, I’ll keep you posted…
As for Mr. Eaton last night, I do feel a bit sorry for him. He actually pitched rather well and was just let down by the rest of the team, who could not put anything together against Brandon Backe. They just kept swinging at pitches in the dirt! It was like a golf outing…very strange. They had that huge rally right at the end against Valverde, whose face Feliz nearly smashed in with a line drive. But even with this guy pitching with a partial concussion, they still could not score enough runs to even tie the game up. And it was especially disappointing to see Victorino and Howard go down so easily in that situation when both have seemed to be really hitting much better of late and everyone was really expecting them to be able to come through there. Howard at least could have taken a pitch.
Maybe someday Adam will get a win… For now, he has at least earned another shot at it. Here’s hoping the offensive will show up for him the next time. Go Phillies!