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Pimpin' Ain't Easy


...Now outta that tight pose and onto some more enlightening behavior; that is, positive thinking about the Phillies. When I last left you, things weren’t exactly the way we like them. Rough seas had plagued the Delaware River making winning, hitting and fielding a challenge.

But like I said onto better things! Pull a 180 and find yourself in the NL looking down upon all competitors. Things couldn’t have be going much better for the Fightin’ Phils as they strolled into Citi Field this week for a 4 game stand against the Mets. With the Mets taking the first game and the Phils rallying for the second, we found ourselves in the midst of once thought “easy” series. NO, this is the METS! We GOT this!

Sunday, things got off to a quick start with Werth’s 29th HR of the year, a 3 run in the top of the 1st. Then Carlos Ruiz shows up, taking care of business batting ANOTHER 3 run in the top of the 1st. You kiddin’ me? Aaaannnnd we had a batting problem when? This led to one of the best things I’ve ever seen in any Phils, Mets game. Jerry “whatchu talkin’ bout?” Manuel takes an angered walk to the mound and pulls Oliver Perez in the 1st!!! Oh yeah, Pedro Martinez was coming up to bat! I mean who pulls their starter against the opposing pitcher in the 1st? Jerry Manuel that’s who bitches…

When the Met’s finally got their chance to bat that inning, a very interesting play occurred. A hit to center field found Victorino chasing the ball towards the padding. At the crux (Kruk’s HA) of the warning track and the padding, the ball gets stuck. Shane throws his hands in the air (again!) signaling a problem. Ibanez runs up, gets it out and throws to the infield, resulting in an inside the park homerun. While it was another of Shane’s fine hand motions, it’s an interesting point to arrive at. With all the fields and all the games in a season, it must be terribly difficult to remember all of the ground rules at all of the different parks. At Fenway, you stay away from the Ivy. Hand in Ivy = Playable, Hands up = No Dice. Regardless, I guess it’s just another one of the awesome responsibilities glued to the millions that accompany the position of a professional baseball player…

We did see a few nice firsts this game also. Pedro Martinez had his first hit as a Phil, knocking in Ibanez for an RBI in the top of the 3rd. We also were privy to an MLB-wide first. Eric Bruntlett seized the first EVER unassisted triple play to end the game in the 9th inning. All I have to say is wow, whoever thought we’d see Bruntlett in Cooperstown?! The Phils walked away from Sunday with a W and a final of 9-7 (after a rather bittering 9th inning Mets rally).

Monday’s afternoon game was another good day to remind ourselves that we aren’t New York. Winning the game, 6-2 while taking the series 3 for 4, we managed to push ourselves to 40-21 on the road this season, being 18-7 in August. That’s pretty impressive if I do say so myself. With the win we achieved a season-high, 22 games over .500 with a record of 72-50, winning the past 3 in a row.

Cliff Lee started the game, going a total of 7 innings, taking the win (5-0 as a Phil; another record) and accumulating a 0.68 ERA starting with the Phillies. Absolutely stunning. Raul finally got his bat on the ball, hitting an RBI his first in the past 8 games (just keep swimming.). The Big Man, Ryan Howard hit 2 HR and 5 RBI, making today his 21st multi-homerun game. This now makes him #3 overall on the Phillies list of multi-homerun hitters. His 2nd HR of the game (33rd of the season) marked another record-breaking point for Ryan Howard, being the 2nd Phillie in franchise history to put together 4 consecutive 30+ HR and 100+ RBI seasons. Read it again. Let me just summarize this way; the only other Phil to ever achieve this mark was Chuck Klein from the ’29-’32 seasons. Big Man. What more do you need to know?

Luckily I get to leave you somewhere better this week. Off to Pittsburgh for a hopeful sweep to add to our 7 game lead of the NL East (our 3rd time this season achieving such a margin). With Joe Blanton starting, I think we can feel good. See you soon.

Andy Troutman
8/24/09

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