Cole Hamels is back in All-Star shape after today’s complete game shut-out of the Reds, giving up only 3 hits and 3 walks with 4 strike outs. He looked more than comfortable, even giving a wry smile when Ken Griffey Jr. missed home run #600 by inches off him late in the game, flying out to Shane Victorino in center who caught the long ball right up against the padded wall. Cole wasn’t rattled. He just grinned and kept right on pitching. So, now he can sit back and celebrate a job well done and give his tired arm a well deserved rest J
Bit of a slowdown offensively again, with just 5 hits and 2 earned runs; the other runs came off of errors. One thing to point out though is that Geoff Jenkins has been quietly bringing his average up. He is at a .285 right now and the home run today puts him at 6 for the year, which is an area I think when he was brought in, he was really expected to put up some numbers similar to what Rowand did when he was here. So, this is a good sign that he may have found his comfort zone in this park and with the team. Victorino had another hit today too, which continues his streak of consistent hitting and getting on base. He is batting a .283 right now and has 12 stolen bases. It’s good to see some of these guys that had been struggling look like they have found their groove.
On to Atlanta now to face the Braves who have recently been rocked by the loss of veteran pitcher John Smoltz to surgery. I would pretend to be saddened by this news, but then you might scroll down my blog and see my Braves voodoo doll and realize that I am so not telling the truth J Well, in all honesty, I wish pain and surgery upon no one; but a really good opposing pitcher is welcome to take a vacation from his team any time he likes, especially when they are about to play the Phillies!
And since I forgot to mention it in the previous entry, if anyone has an odd fear of squirrels, stay out of sections 145 and 144 in Citizens Bank Park. That is where my friend the squirrel was wandering about yesterday J But seriously people, they are so cute! Just toss him a french fry and let him be… Have a good one!
Well, the rain held off just long enough to get the game in last night…unfortunately. The Phillies lost to the Reds 2-0 in what turned out to be a damp, drizzly, pitching duel with little to no offense on either side. 5 hits total between both teams. In fact, the most action I saw all night was this squirrel
who was terrorizing fans before the game, running in and out of the seats looking for food. Women screamed and jumped on top of the seats; the men, apparently equally ill-equipped to deal with the cute and fuzzy omnivorous rodent, yelled things like, “It’s coming right for us!” and ran away, leaving their women to fend for themselves. A sad, sad scene, indeed. I, of course, followed it around for 15 minutes trying to get a picture as people starred in wonder thinking, “Who is this brave and noble soul that may save us all from this vile and horrid creature? Will she vanish it with that large, heavy object around her neck?” Sorry folks, no such luck…just a camera, not a club. And I like squirrels J
Ok, so I may have gone off on a Monty Python-like tangent there…back to baseball…Brett Myers pitched a no-hitter up until 6 and 2/3 of a game I believe. A lot of walks, but he did a hell of job! So sad that our offense could not get any runs across for him. And again, we did have a few opportunities. This is why over the last few days I have been harping on the fact that our offense has missed a lot of opportunities, even though they won those games. I saw the day coming where it was going to bite them. I feel bad for Brett, having deserved the win, and not gotten it.
I think the big turning point of the game though was in the fifth inning when it looked like there was actually a chance that Volquez would lose his cool, but Ryan Howard let him off the hook. He had hit 2 batters and loaded the bases and was literally throwing a temper tantrum on the mound to his pitching coach (it was being shown on the big screen at the park). This guy was ready to blow! This is when a smart hitter knows how to work a pitcher. You TAKE a pitch. You wait to see if this guy is going to self-destruct. But no…Ryan swings at the first pitch and pops out! Totally saves this guys’ butt and keeps the game in the bag for the Reds. So, my question is, if Ryan doesn’t know what to do in this situation, why is no one telling him what to do? While there is a conference on the mound, why isn’t there a conference with the hitter? So, my picture of the game is Ryan Howard’s last at bat. He strikes out, but the best part is, check out the background and look at Charlie Manuel’s face. Priceless!
Well, let’s hope for a better result this afternoon! Cole Hamels is looking to rebound today and I am thinking Brett’s outing should have inspired him! Go Phillies!