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Showing posts from October, 2008

PHEEL IT!

The Philadelphia Phillies won 24 of their last 30 games and became WORLD CHAMPIONS by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 in the 2008 World Series. I have heard Phillies Phans, at the ball park and on TV, say that they don't know what to do. This is what happens when a full generation of Philadelphia sports phans win their very first major sports championship. Cole Hamels was named Most Valuable Player of the World Series. That honor is added to his NLCS MVP hardware. Hamels narrowly missed becoming the first pitcher ever to win 5 starts in a single post season. Game phive was another instance where different players contributed to nail down a victory for the team. Pat Burrell, Pedro Feliz, Geoff Jenkins, Shane Victorino, Brad Lidge....it was classic 2008 Phillies baseball. Speaking of "Lights Out" Lidge, he ended the season perfect in save opportunities. 48 successful saves converted for the phirst year Phillie. Tremendous. Live it up, Phillies phans. This

To be continued...on Wheneversday

Game 5 is suspended till further notice, with a tied score. The commissioner of MLB is not good. The game should have been stopped sooner. The game is tied at 2 after 5 1/2 innings. When the game resumes, the Phillies will have 4 turns at bat against the Rays, who only have 3 turns at bat. That still does not make up for the Phillies and Cole Hamels having to pitch an extra turn on a wet, muddy mound in an extreme down pour. When game 5 is restarted, the Rays will get to pitch off of a dry, nicely groomed mound. That's an advantage for the Rays pitchers that Cole Hamels did not have in the same inning. There were multiple instances where gameplay was proven to not be under normal circumstances. The umpiring crew suspended the infield fly rule early in the game, when the Phillies had multiple runners on, due to the weather, pop flies were no longer routine. When an infield pop up is not routine, due to weather conditions, the game should be halted. Later, Jimmy Rollins,

Cool red socks, big lumber down the Rays

One win away from a world championship. I am so silly-insane-outrageously-excited that I can't stand it. The bats were on fire in game 4 at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies pounded 12 hits, 4 of which were homeruns. Ryan Howard slugged 2 homers and had 5 RBI in the 10-2 victory. Even Phillies winning pitcher Joe "I Wear Cool Socks" Blanton mashed a homerun to left field off of Edwin Jackson. It was Blanton's very first major league homer. Blanton pitched 6 solid innings, striking out 7 and allowing only 2 earned runs. Many players contributed in the game 4 victory. In addition to Howard and Blanton...Ryan Madson, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, JC Romero and even Jayson Werth all chipped in with key efforts. This has become key for this 2008 Phillies squad to have different heroes and varied contributors each night. When some guys fail to get the job done there's usually someone else coming through with a big performance. And in certain games, like th

2-to-1, Good guys lead

Jamie Moyer was one of the Phillies' stars of game 3. He proved many critics wrong, including me. He put forth a very solid effort and gave the Phillies a chance to win the game. Moyer pitched 6 1/3 innings and was charged with 3 runs (only one of which was ligitimate, but I'll get to that later). JC Romero got the win in relief by tossing 1 1/3 innings of perfect baseball. The second star of the game was Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz got the game winning infield single in the 9th inning. Carlos in the last two games is 4-for-5 with 3 walks, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, and 2 runs scored. His OBP in this series is .667. Major shout out to my pal Sarah, who predicted Ruiz would be the key to the Phillies' success in game 3. Ruiz's walk-off dribbler was just the Phillies' second hit with runners in scoring position in this series. The Fightin's are now 2-for-33 (.061 avg) in that situation. Hey, guess what...Jayson Werth still needs to be benched! Werth

1-to-1

Our right fielder sucked. The home plate umpire sucked. Hitting with RISP sucked again. The leadoff hitter's performance at the plate sucked. And game 2 simply sucked. Phillies RF Jayson Werth got the Rays off to a hot start with an error that put two runners in scoring position for the opponents. That led to two RBI ground outs from Rays hitters (Hey, Ryan Howard...take a lesson) and they left the first inning with a 2-0 lead. Then, in the 5th inning, Werth made his second error of the game...this time it was on the bases. He was doubled off first on a fly ball to lucky Rays RF Rocco Baldelli. Later, Baldelli was given a gift by home plate umpire Kerwin "I have the most Caucasian first name on Earth" Danley. In the 2nd inning, Baldelli failed to hold a check swing and, even though Danley gestured to ring Rocco up on a swinging strike, Danley second guessed himself and deferred to the first base umpire on the call. Baldelli clearly did not hold his swing

Hamels is my Cole Pilot...

Game WON of the 2008 World Series is in the books. On this night, the Phillies won their 100th game of the year and lead the series, 1-0. There's nothing much better than Cole Hamels putting all the silly cowbell chimers on the HUSH setting, down in Tropicana Field. Hamels now has 5 earned runs allowed in 29 post season innings this year. That is a 1.55 ERA. I really can't think of anything more phun to watch than Cole Hamels these days. Our Phillies got off to a hot start in the 1st inning when, following a Jayson Werth walk, Chase Utley (AKA- Chutley) hit a blast to deep right field for a homerun. This gave Philadelphia a lead which they would not let up. Utley went on to add another base hit and two steals in his World Series debut. It just wouldn't be the Phoul Ballz if I didn't toss some negativity at you all. I need to take the time to critique the non-move in the top of the 9th inning where, against a right handed pitcher and with 2 runners on

Ready for The Series

Cowbells, mohawks, bad math equations...these things all await the Phillies in St. Petersburg. The Rays' fan base is mostly Johnny Come-Lately's. Their stadium is a mess. But the team has made history. The Rays have 37 more wins this year than they had last year. That is the biggest increase, from one year to the next, in modern baseball history. World Series note of the day #1- Phillies 25th man So Taguchi is the only player on either team to record a base hit in the World Series. Both teams are not required to set their rosters till Wednesday morning. There has been some speculation that catcher Lou Marson would make the World Series roster for the Phils, so that back up catcher Chris Coste could be used as a designated hitter against lefties, and that would cut the risk of leaving the Phillies in a stuck position if starting catcher Carlos Ruiz were to become injured during a game. MLB rules state if your DH plays the field, the team loses their DH, and the pi

We're going to St. Petersburg!

Tampa Bay won the AL championship. The Rays now stand in the way of destiny.

The Phillies win the pennant!

So many possible headlines after this win. "Cole-ywood." "Phall Classic." A "Cole Train" reference. "I'll name my first born Charlie...even if it's a girl." I took the easy route. Who remembers Jimmy Rollins predicting that the Phillies would win 100 games this year? Well, with this NLCS victory, the Phillies are now 1 win short of 100 wins this year. Jimmy leads the Phillies in all time lead off homeruns in the regular season. In addition to that, all 3 of Jimmy's career post season homeruns are of the leadoff persuasion. Dodger shortstop, Rafael Furcal, who is usually tight on defense, made three errors in the 5th inning of game 5. This really took any wind out of the Dodgers' sails and put the Phillies up 5-0 at that point. There was no coming back for LA, as they lost 5-1. Cole Hamels is your NLCS most valuable player. Through 3 post season starts, Cole has surrendered just 3 earned runs in 22 innings pitc

Advantage- Phillies

In the fourth game of the NLCS, the Phillies came from behind in the 8th inning with two 2-run homeruns to take the lead and hold on for a huge victory. Tonight's heroes were Matt Stairs and Shane Victorino again. Shane set a new Phillies record for RBI in one post season with 11. Matt Stairs said in a post game interview that he's made a career of coming off the bench with the approach of swinging for the fences. Stairs has 13 career regular season pinch hit homers and a .938 OPS as a pinch hitter. Shane-o's 2-run homer tied the game, and Stairs' 2-run monster shot put the Phils ahead for good. Matt Stairs had the at bat of his life in this game. Phillies phans will love this guy phorever, based on this one moment. This go ahead homerun was Matt Stairs' Aaron-Rowand-busting-his-face-on-the-outfield-wall moment. A third hero in game 4 was Chase Utley. Chase continues to contribute at the plate and made a very key defensive play in the 7th inning to hold

LA wins one

Yeah, well I guess a sweep isn't the way Philadelphia sports phans are used to operating, so most of us should still feel okay. The Phillies are still in control of this series against the Dodgers. For anyone who might be REALLY bummed after that loss...allow me to toss out something positive for you to hold onto tightly as you wait for game 4. The Phillies bullpen has pitched 12 2/3 innings in this series and has given up only 1 earned run. That is a 0.73 ERA. In the postseason, the Phils bullpen's ERA is 2.03. And in case that actually gave you a boost, let me bring you back down by stating my feelings that Charlie Manuel is making a mistake by not using Cole Hamels in game 4 of this series, on 3 days rest. Using Hamels on Monday would allow Cole to pitch a potential game 7 of the NLCS, on Saturday. Phormer Beast, Jamie Moyer, is no longer an option to start again, versus the Dodgers. Moyer's spot would be up in the rotation for game 7. Joe Blanton is slated

2 wins away from The Series...Destiny?

Brett Myers is having a remarkable post season. 3 hits at the plate in game 2 of the NLCS is historic. He's the very first pitcher ever to collect 3 hits in an LCS game. Brett has as many hits in two post season games as he did the entire 2008 season. He's also 2-0 on the mound this post season, and that's pretty nice also. That one TV sports network referring to Brett as "the Hit Man" might not be the greatest idea, based on his past, but we'll let it slide since he's the freaking man today and that one TV sports network usually spews garbage anyway, so we expect no less. The Phillies learned prior to the game that manager Charlie Manuel's mother had passed away. Brad Lidge and the rest of the team wanted so much to win for Charlie. The team then learned, after the game, that outfielder Shane Victorino's grandmother had died. Shane's father kept the news from Shane until after the game. Victorino updated his blog, on mlblogs.com, an

Happy Birthday to THE BAT

It's Pat the Bat's birthday. In the past two post season games, the birthday boy has hit 3 homers in important situations. In those past 2 games, Burrell is 5-for-7 with 5 RBI. Let's hope he can give all the phans a nice birthday gift today in game 2 of the National League Championship Series. Also ready to heat things up is our boy, Chase Utley. Chase had 2 hits, with a 2 run homer in game 1 of the NLCS. These boys should keep it up. Not a lot of time to give a thorough post here today...was out late last night at the game, and I'll be headed out shortly to game 2. Your stat to ponder...In four of the five post season games this year, the Phillies have scored in only ONE inning. They've scored in just 7 of 42 possible innings on offense. Phillies phans, holler if you hear me! Go, good guys

Cee over Dee

One more day...

Phinal Phour!

Congratulations to the Fightin' Phillies and all you Phans on advancing to the National League Championship Series. A best of seven series begins at 8pm on Thursday, in Philadelphia, against the Dodgers. Game 2, is scheduled for 4pm on Friday, also at home. All NLCS games will be broadcast on FOX. The Dodgers have 3 coaches that are phormer Phillies. Dodgers 3rd base coach, Larry Bowa played as a Phillie and managed the team, of course. Bullpen coach Ken Howell was a Phillies pitcher in 1989 and 1990. And Dodgers first base coach, Mariano Duncan played with the Phils in the early 90's. And on that note, here are some Phillies who used to be Dodgers...Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes is a former Dodger. Jayson Werth was with LA, before he signed with Philadelphia. And Shane Victorino is a product of the Dodgers' minor league system. The Phillies are expecting Chase Utley to improve his performance at the plate in order to stand a chance at making it to

We've got a 2-0 series lead, and little bit of "Cooch"

We're having the opposite experience of what we lived through in the post season of 2007. My collection of rally towels will soon exceed the amount of strike outs that Ryan Howard gets in a season. TBS gave Carlos Ruiz a new nickname (formerly Chooch). I gave that Brewers guy one of my own..."Chokey Choke" Sabathia had gone 31 straight starts without giving up as many as 5 earned runs (he allowed 5 ER in 3 2/3 innings pitched in game 2). Shane Victorino hit the very first post season grand slam in Phillies history. The ESPNews ticker stat of the night that I couldn't ignore was....Utley & Howard combined- 0-for-7 with 6 strikeouts, in game 2. Game 3 of the NLDS in Milwaukee will feature Jamie Moyer vs. Dave Bush. Bush was 9-10 this season with a 4.18 ERA in 31 games. In 6 career starts vs. the Phillies, Bush has no decisions and a 5.88 ERA. Combined against Dave Bush, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are 14-for-36 in their careers (.388 avg),

En El Dee Ess

Happy October to all of you. Baseball playoffs are back in Philadelphia. Hip hip, hooray!! Kole Hamels (yes, it is okay to spell it with a 'K') pitched one hell of a game 1 on Wednesday. 8 innings pitched, 9 strike outs, no runs allowed, 1 walk. As we've grown accustomed, Brad Lidge made the 9th inning quite exciting, but he is still perfect in converting save opportunities this year. Our Phillies have gone up 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs. How 'bout an Ice Cold Brew to celebrate? The Brewers have now lost 5 straight games at Citizens Bank Park over the past 3 weeks. In those 5 games, the Brewers are 25-for-155...that's a .161 batting average. Surely, we all realize the Phils have missed the Brewers' best starting pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, in those 5 games. This evening's match up with Brett Myers facing Sabathia will be interesting. Myers threw a complete game 2 hitter against the Brewers back on September 14th. Sabathia was 2-2 with a 2.11 ERA i