It was pouring
buckets most of yesterday morning and afternoon where I go to school in
southeast Ohio, about eight hours west of Philly, so I had a pretty good
feeling last night’s game was going to be postponed (Somewhere during the
course of my edumacation, I learned that weather travels west to east!). The
good news is the two rainouts in the last week break up what would have been 15
straight days without an off day (fans
don’t like off days, but players need them). The bad news is this was the
Padres lone visit to Philly and the make-up game will mean losing an off day
later in the year.
(Fans in attendance last night received World Series ring keychains and I now attempt to get one on the black market from some profiteer. No “fan” would sell this!)
This mid-week series
with Milwaukee is the NLDS rematch from last fall which the Phillies won 3
games to 1. The 4-game sweep of the Brew Crew in September at CBP cost Ned Yost
his job and the squad is a little different in 2009. Former A’s manager Ken
Macha is one of only two new skippers (Seattle’s Don Wakamatsu being the other)
in baseball and CC Sabathia traded a lifetime of riches and praise from Milwaukeeans
for fortune and ridicule in the Bronx for not living up to his $161 million
If you told me
before the game Ryan Braun would have a career-high 5 hits and 2
round-trippers, I would not be too optimistic about getting a win. However,
Jamie Moyer held the rest of the lineup in check and his offense supported him
early and often. Manny Parra somehow lasted 4 innings after almost being yanked
in the 4-run 1st. He allowed six straight batters to reach base
after retiring J-Roll on one pitch to lead off the inning. First-inning
deficits HAVE to be averted though. We must lead MLB in this category!
Pedro Feliz went oppo, opposite
field for his first dinger of ’09.
J-Roll AND Shane both scored on a
R.J. Swindle wild pitch and a subsequent error by the usually-reliable Jason
A quick reaction by Shane for a
force at 2nd on a shallow blooper that had Billy Hall tagging
leaning toward heading back to 1st.
79-minute rain delay. BOO.
The delay occurred around the same
time as dejected Flyers fans filed out of Wachovia Center following a 3-1 L to
Pittsburgh (and now trail the series by the same 3-1 margin). I’m sure an hour
backup to get out of the Sports Complex was a joy to fans already in a
fantastic mood….sarcasm definitely intended.
Overall, a total
team effort with every starter except Big Howie recording a base hit. And guess
what? Losses by Atlanta and the Mets have catapulted the Fightins to 2nd
place in the division with a 6-6 record! It’s time to be relentless – no looking
back. A visit to Dolphin Stadium this weekend versus the division leaders is an
important litmus test. If that other team in the Keystone State is defeating
the Marlins……I’m just sayin’.
Blame? Cole, from yesterday’s Inquirer: “If it comes down to the end of the year
and we lose the division by one game, I can easily raise my hand and say I
[messed] up. I didn’t help the team in my first couple of games of the
Why he would even bring up this unrealistic
hypothetical scenario is beyond me. But seriously, it is always nice to see professional
athletes take accountability when they’re struggling, but two starts does not
make a season. Hopefully, his mind is on shutting down the Brewers on Thursday
afternoon. He’s inferring that his jam-packed offseason schedule (that’s the
downfall of being World Series MVP) caused him to not be prepared for spring
training, which resulted in elbow issues. Thumbs
up to his wife, Heidi, and him adopting an orphan from Africa, though.
Around the Majors
What is better than
11 a.m. baseball on a Monday morning? Patriots’ Day is THE most underrated holiday
and I propose every team have one A.M. start time per month. Brunch and
baseball! This is the one sweet thing about living on the Left Coast. All of
the East Coast Sunday games start at 10 a.m. = Heaven.
Maybe Manny Acta
will be the most man canned? My pre-season predictions had San Diego’s Bud
Black to be the first casualty this season, but Acta is catching a lot of heat
in the Nation’s Capital – even
for mistakes made by the equipment manager! They’ve strung together two
wins in a row to improve to 3-10 after blowing three consecutive saves to
Florida over the weekend…ouch. Whenever I watch them play, I don’t see any
desire and teams are taking advantage. Matt Diaz of the Braves legged out a
DOUBLE on the most ordinary ground ball up the middle after CF Elijah Dukes
took the laziest jog inward. Since I do reside in the D.C. metro area over the
summer, I look forward to getting nice tickets at an affordable price.
Let’s hope Kerwin
Danley makes a speedy recovery back behind the plate after receiving a mild
concussion from a broken bat of Hank Blalock. Umpiring is a thankless job and
seems to only go noticed when there is a bad call or fluke injury.
Have a phantastic Phillies day!