Tagged: Billy Wagner

The History of Lucky #13

The latest leaders list is out and for the 2-week period of 2/2-2/15, Phillies Phollowers has been ranked #13 among all MLBlogs!  That keeps me in the #1 spot among Phillies fan blogs and assigns to me my favorite number!  #13 – awesome.  Let us explore…

#13 belongs to my hero, Dan Marino, the greatest passer ever in the game of football.  Don’t argue – he just is. 
And one of the nicest people I have ever met.  This is my hair with Dan Marino (the photographer was shot later)…he is cracking up because I made a total *** out of myself the first time we met.  Rambled on and on about how much I loved him…he pat me on head afterwards and said, “It’s ok…”  Yes, he took pity on me.  What a nice man! 

The next time we met, we actually spoke on a semi-normal, adult-like basis.  We chatted about his charity work, his restaurants, his very strange limo driver who would not stop talking to me and some CBS camera guy who kept following me around.  The camera guy later tried to hunt me down after Dan left and I actually ran into Central Park (yes, in NYC) to hide from him.  There are very few things in Central Park you can hide from, but as it turns out, CBS camera men are one of those things.  But I digress…

Marino is a Hall of Famer, a world-class guy and held 22 major NFL records, until Brett Favre decided to break 7 of them.  Would he PLEASE retire already?  Geez! 
And did you know that Dan Marino actually designed the suit that Charlie Manuel wore at the World Series parade?  And when he gave it to Charlie, he predicted the Phillies would win the Championship!  That was in 2007, so he was 1 year off; but Manuel did get to wear the suit this year!  Anyway, I am proud to share the #13 with Marino!  Let’s see what else we know about #13…

·        The age at which you are considered a teenager.

·        A bakers’ dozen.

Fear of the #13 is called Triskaidekaphobia.

·        Wilt Chamberlain and Shaq have each worn #13.

·        Then again, so have Billy Wagner and Turk Wendell.

·        There are 13 players on a rugby team.

·        The number of original US colonies.

The seal of the US has 13 olive leaves, 13 arrows, and 13 stars. These form a triangle over the eagle with the number 13 on each point. On the back, the pyramid has 13 levels.

·        PG-13 = when kids can legally hear people cuss.

I therefore declare that #13 is a LUCKY number!  But if you’d like to bump my blog to a higher number next week, I promise not to complain :O)


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Lidge Makes Us All Nervous, But Gets The Save

First let’s talk about the starter: Brett Myers gave the Phillies another quality start tonight with 6 innings, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits and not walking any batters. He also struck out three and really only had trouble with one batter – Ryan Ludwick. Take him out of the line-up and the Cards don’t score off of Myers at all. I think it is now safe to say that Myers has re-discovered his Mojo :o) And not a moment too soon…

Our sleepy offense was in need of a power pitching performance to pick them up! Prior to the 8th inning, the Phillies were in a full-out slumber and the only scoring was a Chase Utley solo homer in the 6th. Thanks to a 3-run home run by Shane Victorino
P7132656.JPGin the 8th inning, the offense pushed ahead of the Cards. And although a sloppy performance by JC Romero threatened to destroy the Phillies slim lead, Ryan Madson came on and bailed him out, getting a double play ground ball to end the bottom of the 8th inning.

Then, with a 5-3 score, Brad Lidge was sent to the mound for his 28th consecutive save attempt and he promptly gave up a home run to Troy Glaus, making it a 5-4 game with no outs in the 9th. It was only the second home run allowed by Lidge all year. And things just went downhill from there. Back to back singles, then Lidge actually hits Cesar Izturis with a pitch; His first hit batter of the year. The next batter strikes out; now there are 2 outs, bases loaded. Joe Mather is the next batter and finally, strikes out to end the game and end the torture for Phillies fans everywhere. Seriously, if I were ever going to toss my cookies during a game, this was it. The good news is, Lidge did show that he has the mental toughness to continue to pitch out of trouble even when it looks as if he has totally blown it. :o)

This was a HUGE win for Phillies tonight as both the Mets and Marlins lost today. Also, the Mets have lost 4 in a row and I believe 5 of their last 6. Billy Wagner blew save #7 yesterday and that always warms my heart :o) In other words, momentum has swung in our favor…not to mention a 3 game lead in the standings. Day off tomorrow then we are back home against the Fish! Until then…Go Phillies!

It’s Raining Home Runs

After a nearly 2 hour rain delay today, the Phillies finally beat Atlanta by a score of 12-10 in a battle that included 7 home runs; 5 from the Phillies and 2 from the Braves.  Joe Blanton only pitched 2 innings before the skies opened up.  He allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits and a walk and saw his ERA jump to 5.13.  After the rain delay, both the Phils and Braves began to pour on the runs.

Adam Eaton gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in his 2 innings of work during his second appearance as a reliever.  Lucky for him, the offense came right back with a huge 5 run inning in the bottom of the forth led by home runs from Chris Coste and Shane Victorino.  As the battle of the bullpens continued, the Phillies continued to dominate.  Pat Burrell
P7265636 burrell cr.jpgsent his 26th of the year out of the park in the 5th and Jayson Werth followed suit in the 6th.  The hit parade continued into the 7th when Jimmy Rollins joined the party with a solo blast.

This game looked like a laugher by the 8th inning, but Rudy Seanez struggled, giving up a run and committing a fielding error; he was replaced by Ryan Madson who did not fare much better.  By the time Madson was through, 4 more runs would score and the Phillies now only led by 2 runs instead of 7.  But as usual, Brad Lidge came in and knocked them down for his 24th consecutive save.  Actually, I had forgotten to mention it, but Lidge had passed the old Phillies record yesterday for number of consecutive saves; it was 22, held by Billy Wagner.  Well, now it is 24 by Lidge.  Somewhere, Wagner is complaining and no one is listening…  Well, that is a daily event for him anyway J

Off day tomorrow for the Phillies Phestival to benefit ALS.  See you there if you are going!  Next up…The Nats in DC; 7/29 7:10pm; Brett Myers scheduled to start.  Let’s see if we can dig them a bigger hole into last place…Go Phillies!

Myers Returns

The Phillies entered the ninth inning down by 3 runs for the second game in a row against the NY Mets last night.  However, they were unable to pull off an amazing 9th inning comeback rally like they did the night before.  Closer Billy Wagner sat the line-up down in order to end the ballgame and tie the Phillies for first place in the NL East going into today’s 12:10pm afternoon game.

In Brett Myers return from AAA, he went 5 innings and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 5 walks.  After a very shaky first inning where he walked 4 batters in a row and gave up 2 runs, he began to settle in.  His curveball had some great movement on it, his fastball location was much better and he did not get hit too hard.  Overall, it was an improvement.  Not great, but better.  Actually, I think Charlie Manuel pulled him out of the game too soon.  He had just begun to look comfortable when suddenly, there’s Ryan Madson pitching the 6th inning.  Obviously, that was a mistake as Madson gave up the 3-run homer that eventually cost them the game.  Not to say that Myers could not have done the same, but I think he should have at least been sent out in the 6th and given a shot at it.

Offensively, this team has obviously had something slipped into their Kool-Aid.
koolaid.jpg  Everyone else hits John Maine, why can’t we?  Maine is like the punching bag of the NL East, but put him in front of the Phillies and he looks like he’s tossing magic invisible balls up there.  Six hits is all the Phillies could muster.  Even Superman Chase Utley is 0 for 8 in this series.  If they can’t pick it up this afternoon, they are in real trouble.  Maybe they should switch from spiked Kool-Aid to Snapple – it’s all-natural
J  Good luck team – Go Phillies!

All-Star Week Photos

I have a few photos to post for you as I promised yesterday. First, from the parade, you’ll see Chase Utley saying hello, Mike Schmidt standing and pointing to me (he was obviously excited to see a Phillies jersey as well), a blurry shot of Brad Lidge waving (ugh!) and the Phillies All-Star statue:


Next up, the Home Run Derby…to the right is Chase being introduced; on top is Chase hitting a home run; bottom shots show chase getting his award for collecting the most votes in the NL along with A-Rod who got the award for the AL:

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And finally the Fan Fest…Map of events; Utley’s locker; a few of the memorabilia items on display; Derek Jeter speaks at a clinic:

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More to follow at a later date in a link…

So, 15 innings last night??? Wow! And frankly, we can all thank Billy Wagner for that one. The NL had the lead in the 8th until he blew it. But no, let’s go back even further and thank Clint Hurdle for even selecting a guy who had blown 6 saves this year and putting him on the team to begin with! UGH! And then Dan Uggla could have saved the day later with a man on third and one out, but instead, grounds into the double play and continues on to commit 2 straight errors the next inning and strikes out his next at bat. I have to say, I actually felt sorry for him. That had to be like to worst game EVER for him…poor guy. So ultimately, poor Brad Lidge waited and waited for his save opportunity and got warmed up and sat and warmed up and sat, etc….. By the time he finally got into the game, he must have been tired and still, it was not even a save situation. And so, as it goes many times with closers in non-save situations, he gave up a few hits and, ultimately, the winning run. So sad for Brad…it never should have gone that way for him. Other than that, Chase Utley had a solid game, going 1 for 3.

That’s all for now! Back to the regular season tomorrow…Go Phillies!

The Big “W” Still Eludes Eaton

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.

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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!

NL East Voodoo

In answer to my own question yesterday, Ryan Howard is back!  Yeah!  I am so happy to see smiling Ryan again :o)  The sad pooh-pooh face was just no fun at all.  He hit another homer in Houston last night and went 3 for 5 with a total of 2 RBI’s, finally smashing through the Mendoza line!  Now batting .207, Howard can relax a little and hopefully get that average up into a respectable area.

Are you all wondering what the voodoo is all about?  Don’t worry…we are getting to that…read on though, I have more to cover first.  Solid offensive output all around last night.  Most everyone pitched in, but they still left a lot of men on base.  As for the pitching, Kendrick is obviously still on a learning curve here…he’s making me nervous!  Not a bad performance, but kind of shaky with his location being off a lot at times.  It will be interesting to see how much he learns from his mistakes from start to start this year.  But as usual, great job by the pen and nice to see Lidge have a happy return to Houston!

I am so sick of the Marlins winning!  Can this team just go away already?  So, I have made my very own Florida Marlins voodoo doll.  I am using my J-Roll Smurf stuffie doll to beat him up with:

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I think we should all make one.  I was going to make a Mets voodoo doll too, but then I realized, they already have one of their very own…he is called “Billy Wagner and His Huge Team Morale Smashing Mouth.”  We should put one of those in every opposing clubhouse :o)  They just dropped 4 straight to the Atlanta Braves!  Johan Santana, the gazillion dollar man, or whatever they pay him, gave up 13 hits, 3 earned runs and only 1 strike out in 7 innings!  Wonder what Mr. Wagner had to say about that?  Probably something with like 20 cuss words in it and his finger pointed at every one on the team sucking except for him…  What a team player…gotta love him!

So, then I was going to make a Braves voodoo doll…but, my Uncle is a Braves fan, and also a minister and so I thought perhaps I might be struck down by a bolt of lightning if I tried it!.  Soooooooo…hey, can someone else do it for me?  Shhhhh…don’t tell!  As for the Nationals, why waste my time, really?  Talk to me when they get hot…(and as I say that, I am silently hoping I did not jinx it…)