Even though the Phillies lost, again, to the Marlins yesterday, a loss by the Cardinals gave them home field advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs. They will face the Rockies starting on Wednesday in Philly. The Dodgers get the Cardinals.
Despite the loss, a few good things came out of the game yesterday.
· Jayson Werth now stands at 99 RBI for the season with 1 game left.
· Antonio Bastardo, who was with the team earlier in the season but got hurt, is now back and pitched a scoreless 7th inning. Bastardo is a lefty, so this may be good news for the pen.
· Brett Myers pitched a scoreless 6th inning and felt no pain since the hip surgery and shoulder injury.
· Ryan Howard blasted home run #45 for the season.
· Miguel Cairo went 1 for 3 and is making a good case as a bench player on the post-season roster.
· Brad Lidge looked like he may have his mojo back – he pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning and looked sharp for the first time in a LONG time. Maybe it was the change in music? Lidge dumped Drowning Pool’s “Soldiers” in favor of Linkin Park’s “No More Sorrow” as his intro song. I’d say that is fitting.
JA Happ will pitch today in the final game of the regular season and try for lucky win #13 to make his case for Rookie of the Year. Game time is 1:35pm.
Congress & Steroids Revisited
Yesterday, I posted some information on a CBS article that covered a possible Congressional inquest to see whether the regulations on dietary supplements should be revised by Congress. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter was made aware of the issue because of JC Romero’s suspension when he took a supplement that was illegally tainted. Some felt that Congress should not worry about such issues and here is my response:
Senator Specter was made aware of the issue because of baseball, which is always in the limelight, but that is NOT the big picture. This is beyond baseball. It is about innocent people everywhere going to stores like GNC, which is in almost every major shopping mall in the country, and buying their vitamins and supplements and getting more than they bargained for. I am one of those people.
I take a variety of vitamins and supplements which my doctor advised for various medical conditions. These pills are not properly regulated by the FDA, which means you cannot know for sure what you are taking. We all try to buy from reputable sources, but the bottom line is, companies can and will taint their products with illegal and dangerous substances either to save a buck or get you hooked so you will buy more. I hope the only thing in my Vitamin C pill is Vitamin C, but do I know that for sure? No.
These companies are putting people’s lives at risk. Personally, I do not want steroids or anything else that could hurt or kill me in my supplements, do you? So while the steroid issue in baseball may have been the catalyst for looking into the matter, it is not the main issue. Congress does have plenty of issues to tend to, but regulating these drug companies is important as well. Remember that the next time you take some Ginkgo Biloba, Glucosamine and Chondroitin or any other supplement which is unregulated.
The Phillies went down in flames last night against the Marlins, who are officially out of the post-season race. While the Phils have already clinched, home field advantage is still up for grabs but the team has been playing like they are not worried about home field. They looked tired and lifeless in a 2-7 loss last night. The team does play well on the road, with a 48-33 record this year. However, nothing beats the 10th man advantage at home.
Ryan Howard gave the Phils their only jolt of energy in the 1st inning when he blasted a 2-run homer. But pitcher Joe Blanton had a bad game, allowing 4 runs in the first 2 innings, which seemed to put the team right back to sleep. Overall, Blanton allowed 5 runs in 6 innings and took the loss. Several relief pitchers got some work and looked pretty good; Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey and Scott Eyre did not allow any runs in their outings and all 3 are recently recovered from injuries, so that is good news.
On the other hand, the rookie lefty Sergio Escalona, did not do well. He allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in 1 inning and now has a 5.25 ERA for the year. Escalona was the only lefty possibility out of the pen besides Eyre now that JC Romero is hurt. JA Happ may wind up in the bullpen as a result, because at this point, the Phillies cannot afford to put Escalona on the post-season roster.
If the Phillies can win their final 2 games, home field may still be possible. They own the tiebreaker over the Cardinals, but not the Dodgers. The Dodgers would need to lose their final 2 games. So at 4:10pm today, the Phillies will try to beat the Marlins and then tomorrow at 1:35pm. I will be at the last game and return with photos!
Congress & Steroids
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is looking into a possible Congressional inquest to see whether the regulations on dietary supplements should be revised by Congress. The inquiry is a result of over-the-counter supplements being tainted with steroids and illegal substances and Specter became interested in the subject due to JC Romero’s 50-game suspension this year.
Romero took an over-the-counter supplement after getting approval from the Major League Baseball Players Association but the supplement was illegally tainted. Romero sued the supplement manufacturer, but MLB refused to over-turn his ridiculous suspension. The CBS article on the topic goes into greater detail, but essentially these companies need to be held accountable. They are putting people’s lives at risk and it needs to stop. Best of luck to Senator Specter!
Photo by Jenn