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The Fun's Over, now Back to Work!

It’s been quite a week for the Phils. It began with Charlie Manuel and staff venturing with chosen Phillies, to the MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis, MO. Every time there was a shot of the NL dugout I thought the Phils members had brought the rest of the team for fun! With Victorino, Utley, Ibanez, Howard, Werth and the coaching staff representing the Philadelphia side of things, it felt rather homey. Too bad winning didn’t translate with the scent of cheesesteaks in the dugout. The AL took the defensively won game 4-3 for the 13th consecutive time. According to the Skipper, it was quite the hectic event with a ton of publicity in and ON the field; loads of celebrities and sports anchors walking around as if they were players. I saw some footage of Charlie and Joe Torre shaking hands with LL Cool J, who could ask for anything more?

Onto Miami on Thursday, where the gang was beginning a 4 game stand with the Florida Marlins, winning the first of four with a final of 4-0. Jamie Moyer gave up only one hit in the form of a single and went scoreless for 7 straight innings. Thank YOU sir. This game also marked a huge career point for Ryan Howard. After hitting his 200th career homerun that night, he was declared the fastest player in history to achieve the mark, beating out Ralph Kiner, who set the record in the 50’s.

Friday night saw yet another win, but not for free. After going a total of 12 innings, the Phils pulled away; a final score of 6-5. Good work but no luck for Cole Hamels, who was put to rest after the rain delay in the 5th inning, giving the evening’s win to Condrey. Utley and Werth were responsible for the important runs, both hitting RBI singles. After a few extra innings, Lidge came in to settle the score, however not without some luck and oh yeah, Chase Utley. He’s said it himself, he’s rusty and in order to see the Lidge we all know and love we’re gonna need to see some confidence building… read on.

Not much happened during the 2-inning stint that was Saturday’s game. The torrential Floridian weather (POP!) left the two teams amid a cancellation, without a make-up date in sight, with the Phils down 2-0.

Today’s game (Sunday) started out with great 2-pronged defense, good ball and even better pitching. J.A. Happ took us 7 scoreless innings with the infield doing its thing. Great plays were made throughout, with notables by Happ and Werth in the 1st, Rollins in the 2nd (37 games without an error) and Feliz’s makeup grab in the 3rd. Normally consistent Pedro Feliz was haunted by the elusive ball all game. He tacked on 2 errors and every time he seemed to be taking a breath another straight shot came flying his direction. Typical.
Most runs were scored in the 2nd, when Happ singled to score his first run this year while making way for a hell of a charge. Rollins and Victorino hit darts toward the infield to produce two defensive errors from the Marlins to load the bases. Chase Utley got hit, his 14th time this year, while also batting a run in! Ibanez was next for a 2 run double with all runs/hits being scored while there were 2 outs! Thank god Raul is back in good condition, while he’s able to rest his injury whenever the chance arises, such as later in the game. A wild pitch brought in Chase on loaded bases in the top of the 9th for a 5-0 final concluding a 3 playable game sweep of the Marlins. The bullpen cycled through Happ (yes please!), Madson (keeping it real), Romero (…), Eyre (service) and finally Lidge (“once and doner”) for the last out of the game, while building the largest Phillies lead in the NL East since 1993, a total of 7 games beyond Florida and Atlanta. This helped to bring B. Lidge to a better mental standpoint after where he’s been (remember, confidence building?). No pressure, one batter, one out and look what happened… success. You bring him back, and the equation could be declared close to complete!

With all of this good news I leave you all with a few eager points of interest. We just signed Pedro Martinez for 1 year/ $1 Million. Bring it on; this is one of the better decisions I’ve seen from a financial standpoint in a while. He’s off to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs this week to work himself out of the whacked shoulder that put him on the 15 day DL as soon as he signed. If he sucks, we drop him in a year. Considering he’s a multiple Cy Young winner that kicked major ass in the Red Sox years, we’ll definitely roll forward on that contract if he can produce.

Then we have Roy Halladay, the Toronto starter who is looking less like a prospect everyday. Although Philadelphia tops the list of possible future homes for the pitcher, he probably won’t be getting what he wants salary wise with the numbers looking 20-30% lower than desired by Halladay. He won his 11th game this season today, and it was his “last” day as a Blue Jay under contract. With the trade deadline looming in the July 31st distance, we think about the love we have for our team…

By: Andy Troutman

1 comment:

  1. Your right, we need Roy Halladay, why not go out and get him? Please check me out