I feel like I have a hangover, but I did not have anything to drink. The Phillies 4-3 loss to the Giants last night was the kind of life-sucking let down that leaves you wishing you had stayed in bed. Where was the big comeback? Where was the timely hitting? And more importantly, where was the pitcher’s duel we were promised? The raucous crowd used all their energy to try and will this team to a victory. But when Shane Victorino struck out to end the game, all the air went out of the balloon.
Neither Roy Halladay nor Tim Lincecum pitched very well and both were visibly annoyed by the home plate umpire, Derryl Cousins, who had a moving strike zone. Cousins only called hitters out on strikes twice all night and one of those was Lincecum. Although, if you count the time he tried to call Jimmy Rollins out when he only had 2 strikes on him, I suppose he went for 3.
Ex-Phil Pat Burrell was out in the 6th inning on a strike right down the middle, but the idiot in blue didn’t call it, which led to 2 more runs. Of course, Raul Ibanez probably should have caught this ball that Burrell hit; and there was no need to scale the wall like he did either:
The Phillies offense had opportunities to score but did not capitalize. Ryan Howard led off the 2nd inning with a double and then never moved until the inning was over. In the 3rd, Carlos Ruiz tied the game with a homer. Halladay then singled and it looked like the Phillies had a real shot at rattling Lincecum. But then Victorino stepped to the plate and grounded into a double play to kill all the momentum. Still, Placido Polanco and Chase Utley kept the inning going only to have Howard strike out to end it.
It was that kind of up and down drama that never materialized into runs. Jayson Werth, the only Phillies batter with 2 hits in the game, nailed a 2-run homer in the 6th to give the Phillies a chance at a comeback. But despite the defensive efforts and pitching to keep it a 4-3 game, the Phils offense never stepped up and got it done.
For the Giants, Cody Ross was getting it done. I never liked Ross when he was a Marlin and last night’s game certainly has not changed that as Ross hit not one, but two home runs off Halladay. In fact, I now believe that Ross is pure evil; the spawn of Satan. I swear he is the brother of Chucky, the most despicable of all Satanic spawn. He must be stopped before he steals our souls. Exorcism, anyone? Ugh.
By the way, has anyone else noticed that despite Rollins’ claims he is healthy that he looks like he could not hit the broad side of a barn right now? I hope Charlie Manuel watches film of his at-bats and holds him out of the game if he is not right. It is the playoffs; they do not have time for Rollins to work his way back. Love ya Jimmy, but please do not hurt the team by trying to tough it out.
One fun note from the game was the whistling and catcalling directed at Lincecum and his long hair. Some fans shouted that he looked like a girl and then the whistling began, as if being directed at a pretty girl. Lincecum was asked if he noticed and he said, “I was thinking I must have a really nice butt.” Sorry Timmy, you actually have no butt at all. I have photographic evidence.
And here is the full Photo Album from the game, which includes pre-game ceremonies, a shot of VP Joe Biden in the crowd and some Phanatic fun to cheer you up.
So tonight the Phillies will lean on Roy Oswalt to get a win. They will also try to do something they have never done before; hit Jonathan Sanchez. Cross your fingers…game time is 8:00pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
After reports that Ryan Madson, under the advisement of agent Scott Boras, had turned down a 3-year 12+ million dollar deal, Madson did finally sign with the Phils. Maybe he read my blog and told Boras to stick it? Or maybe the report was just wrong. Either way, Madson is now locked up for 3 years to the tune of 12 million dollars. Madson has been injury prone the last few years, so hopefully he is back in top form now. He ended 2008 with a 3.05 ERA in 76 games winning 4 and losing 2. Madson excelled in the postseason with a record of 3-1 and a 2.13 ERA in 11 appearances.
This years’ World Baseball Classic will feature 13 current and prospective Phillies, representing 10 different countries. Topping the list for the USA team are Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. JC Romero will pitch for Puerto Rico and Carlos Ruiz will catch for Panama. Here is the full roster of Phillies:
USA: shortstop Jimmy Rollins, outfielder Shane Victorino
Puerto Rico: lefthander J.C. Romero
Canada: outfielder Matt Stairs
Panama: catcher Carlos Ruiz
Dominican Republic: catcher Ronny Paulino
Italy: outfielder Michael Spidale
Mexico: infielder Oscar Robles
Netherlands: righthander Mike Bolsenbroek
Australia: righthander Drew Naylor, catcher Joel Naughton and infielder Brad Harman.
Venezuela: righthander Carlos Carrasco
In addition to those listed above, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt will serve as bench coach for the USA team. Class A Clearwater manager Ernie Whitt will manage Team Canada, Gulf Coast League Phillies pitching coach Carlos Arroyo will serve as pitching coach for Team Puerto Rico and former bullpen coach Ramon Henderson will do the same for the Dominican Republic team.
The full schedule can be seen HERE. You can also catch a preview of the World Baseball Classic during Phillies Spring Training in Clearwater at Brighthouse Field. On March 4th, the Phillies will play an exhibition game against Team Canada and on March 5th, they will play Team USA. Rollins and Victorino will play against their own teammates! I will be at both games to bring you coverage.
And finally, I would like to congratulate our new Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama on his inauguration. My daughter went to the rally in Wilmington a few days ago and was especially excited about this dawning of a new era in US History. We all hope that president Obama will give new meaning to the phrase, “Team USA.” Please do us proud!
And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod! All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!
Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose, Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!