Tagged: Joe Martinez

Rocky Mountain Climbing Back to .500?

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My last
Phillies-related post was in the middle of game three, a game that the Braves
stretched into a 10-3 lead. Thanks to Atlanta’s relievers — who walked in four
runs and couldn’t even find the strike zone with a MapQuest search – the Phillies
led a game for the first time after 25 innings of play and earned their largest
comeback victory since 1990! You still have to be patient at the plate to draw
bases loaded walks. It is the little things that win ballgames. That’s why they’re
called the Fightin’ Phils!

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An odd one
series road trip out west will have a rubber match tomorrow. The battle of the
previous two National League champions started off with a 10-3 Colorado Rockies
win and has Phillies fans worried about Cole Hamels’ left elbow. His velocity
remains down in the high 80’s instead of low 90’s. Even Charlie Manuel is
concerned and there is a possibility he will miss a start. The World Series MVP
was penciled in as the Opening Night starter before this setback and I’m
wondering if he was still rushed back too soon. I’m all for sitting Hamels all
of April if it means he will be the much-needed Ace from May-October.

Every team
goes through slumps during the course of the season. It just so happens that
the Phillies started the season off in one. Besides Chase Utley and Jayson
Werth, the rest of the lineup has been nonexistent offensively. Tonight every position
player got involved banging out 15 hits highlighted by Ryan Howard’s
bases-clearing double and Werth’s two RBI triple. Brett Myers was credited
with the W despite now giving up SIX homers in 13 innings. Fortunately, four of
them have been solo blasts.

Injury Bug: Carlos Ruiz was the first victim this
season, straining his right oblique Friday night and he will miss some time. Lou
Marson was called up from AAA Lehigh Valley and will make some starts behind
Chris Coste (who made a catch tonight similar to that of Bob Boone/Pete Rose in
the final inning of the 1980 World Series. He bobbled a pop-up in foul
territory and made a diving bare-handed snag.) Marson made his Major League
debut in the regular season finale last September.

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Diehard Indians Fans: A shout out to the 500 or so fans who
remained at The Jake for the Tribe’s home opener Friday afternoon – which turned
into a late night before all was said and done. Thanks to a non-stop rain delay
totaling almost FOUR hours, the final out was recorded over seven hours after
the first pitch. The 0-5 Indians need to win a game for these diehards. This
game reminded me of the home opener I went to in Cleveland two years ago
against Seattle. The grounds crew did everything in their power to get the game
played, but white snowflakes don’t mix well with a white baseball. Paul Byrd
had a no hitter through 4.2 innings before former Indians manager Mike Hargrove
strategically convinced the umpires to pull the players off the field. The
entire four game series would be postponed and played at different times during
the season.

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No More Unbeatens: Livan Hernandez, now with the Mets,
outdueled Ricky Nolasco to hand the Marlins their first loss of 2009. The
Indians and Nationals remain winless. And if the Nats don’t beat Atlanta
tomorrow – uh, oh – because they play their next three games versus the
Phillies!

Yovani Gallardo!: Congratulations, you became the first
pitcher to go yard
off of the most intimidating pitcher of this era, The
Big Unit a.k.a Randy Johnson. It was a no-doubt-about-it homer, too.

All-Stars to Gather in the Desert: Chase Field, home of the Arizona
Diamondbacks, will host the game’s best for the Midsummer Classic in 2011. St.
Louis is this summer’s host, while the Angels do the honor in 2010. Veterans
Stadium was the choice in 1996 and I’m hopeful that CBP will get selected in
the near future. Pittsburgh’s PNC Park hosted just 12 years after Three Rivers
Stadium did. The problem is so many new ballparks have opened in the last
decade that there is a long wait in line.

Some people
from my dorm created an intramural softball team and our first game was a few
days ago. I pitched a complete game nine inning 32-hitter! I caught one line
drive in self-defense, but another one breezed by my head before I could react.
The reason I mention this is because later that same night I’m watching San
Francisco reliever Joe Martinez suffer a concussion after Milwaukee’s Mike
Cameron smoked one off his forehead. Baseball is far from becoming compared to
football in terms of danger, but there are certainly high risks.

Happy Masters
Sunday everyone! And Easter too, of course. 😉

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