Last night, the Phillies apparently put Friday’s painful Game 2 loss out of their minds, and set about administering a good old-fashioned butt-whuppin’ to the Dodgers, winning 11-0. Game 2 saw the Phils’ bats stymied by former Phillie Vicente Padilla (gotta admit I didn’t expect that), as they mustered only one run on Ryan Howard’s solo homer. In Game 3, they exploded for 11 runs!
And I wasn’t even wearing the lucky shirt! Mind you, it had been washed since Game 2, hopefully removing any bad luck remnants. But prior to the game, I’d been so busy helping my son with a school project, that I didn’t even think about changing shirts. So I sat down to watch the game still wearing my Penn State sweatshirt, and my Eagles not-so-lucky garment that didn’t do any good at all for them yesterday. And still the Phils won! So maybe I can just wear whatever I want for the rest of the series.
Random thoughts on Games 2 and 3:
– Talk about temperature extremes! Friday’s game was played under bright blue skies with temps in the 90’s; last night’s game had mid-40’s temps with windy conditions. Given my choice, I’d much rather the conditions in L.A., and besides, everything is better with palm trees!
– Cliff Lee once again pitched a gem for the Phillies, going eight shutout innings. So far this postseason, he is 2-0 with a miniscule 0.74 ERA.
– Pedro Martinez also pitched a gem on Friday, going seven shutout innings, but ended up with no decision in the 2-1 loss.
– Ryan Howard hit a two-run triple in the first inning last night. Now there’s something you don’t see every day, as Howard is obviously not known for his speed. Howard has now driven in at least one run in seven straight playoff games, setting a new record for a single postseason. Way to go, Ryan!
– Carlos Ruiz is quietly having a great postseason so far, hitting .429 with 7 RBIs. He doesn’t get the same amount of attention as the rest of the lineup (except possibly Pedro Feliz), but he’s been very productive batting in the number 8 spot.
The Nose Knows
Speaking of Pedro Feliz, not sure what was up with his nose last night, though I’m assuming this was a Band-aid, and not his attempt to impersonate Rudolph:
I would’ve assumed that there were products available for people with darker complexions, but surprisingly I can’t find any such thing on the internet. But there are lots of fun products out there for more interesting situations.
Celebrate a birthday:
Let the other team know you’re watching them:
Let the other team know you think they’re toast:
And since Halloween will only bring Game 3 (yes, this year’s postseason definitely goes too late into the fall) of the World Series:
Shocking TV Scheduling!
In a real surprise, the Yankees/Angels game is on at 4 pm here on the East Coast, and the Phillies/Dodgers game gets the prime time spot. What gives? Has the world tilted on its axis? Has hell frozen over? Steinbrenner wants to watch the Yankees and can’t stay up that late anymore?
Whatever the reason, I’ll be watching Game 4 tonight from the cozy comforts of home. If anyone has tickets they don’t want to use, I’d be more than happy to brave the elements! 😉
(Feliz photo by Mary Schwalm/MLB.com)
They say that “hitting is timing”.
According to Warren Spahn, “pitching is upsetting timing”.
Thanks to Cole and Heidi Hamels, we now can surmise that “timing of wife going into labor is upsetting pitching”. Cole was not sharp in yesterday’s 5-4 loss to the Rockies, giving up four runs in five innings.
Ah yes, timing. Cole Hamels, who seems to already have his whole career planned out, was certainly not thinking ahead when he and Heidi decided to engage in some baby-making, presumable back in January. Would it have been that hard to realize that January plus nine months equals new baby smack in the middle of playoffs? Maybe he was assuming the Phillies wouldn’t make it to the postseason?
(alright, yes that last paragraph was typed with tongue planted in cheek, but still…)
As for Baby Hamels, I haven’t been able to find any confirmation this morning that the baby actually arrived. Nonetheless, congrats to the new parents.
Which leads me to wonder why Charlie even decided to have Cole start this game, if labor was that imminent. Sure, we can say that professional athletes should be able to set their personal lives aside while on the field, but who knows how much that might have affected his concentration?
And then there’s Cole’s abysmal record in day games this season: 0-6 with a 5.44 ERA. What’s up with that? His performance in night games is markedly better, at 10-5 with a 3.95 ERA. No wonder he was whining to the press earlier this week about the ridiculous start times of Games 1 and 2.
So why not start Happ or Blanton? Okay, Happ had pitched two innings in the final regular season game on October 4th, but Blanton had last pitched on October 2nd. As it turned out, both Happ and Blanton were used out of the bullpen, so now the Phils have burned through three starters in one game.
That would seem to leave Pedro Martinez as the Game 3 starter, though Charlie has not yet made his decision, saying Blanton is still in the mix, according to phillies.com. Happ says he would be ready too, even though he took a liner off the leg yesterday from the first batter he faced.
Now the series moves to Denver, where the forecast for Game 3 includes temperatures in the 30’s and snow showers (!). That’s football weather, not baseball. At least I’ll be watching from the cozy comfort of my home.
No one ever said the sweet smell of success would be a mixture of sweat and beer. But for Shane Victorino, that’s exactly what it was last night.
While catching a fly ball off the bat of the Cubs’ Jake Fox in the bottom of the fifth, a fan threw a beer, cup and all, at Victorino. The beer and the ball arrived at the same time; amazingly, Victorino managed to make the catch.
[I of course do not condone throwing objects at players. I must note, though, that the perpetrator had impeccable accuracy in aim and timing.]
As for the actual game, the Phillies made it two straight against the Cubs, winning 12-5.
As is so typical for the Phillies, they broke out of their recent offensive malaise with a good old butt-whuppin’, in a game that featured an eight-run explosion by the Phillies in the top of the fourth.
Pedro Martinez made his much-anticipated Phillies debut, lasting five innings and giving up three runs. Not really that much of an improvement over a typical Jamie Moyer start, but it was good enough to get the win last night. And quite frankly, at this point in the season, I don’t care how they get the wins, but just that they get the wins.
Speaking of Jamie Moyer, he is apparently not all that happy with the Phillies over the decision to move him to the bullpen. But really, what other option was there? J.A. Happ has been pitching well, new Phillie Cliff Lee has been fantastic so far, and although Cole Hamels has been inconsistent this season, the team is not going to send their (supposed) ace to the bullpen. Joe Blanton has a 2.46 ERA since late May, as opposed to Moyer’s 4.40 ERA in the same time frame.
So who’s the obvious choice? Unfortunately for Moyer, he’s the odd man out.
Tonight I take in my first-ever professional football game. Okay, it’s just a preseason game, but still it should be fun. The Eagles will take on the New England Patriots at the Linc in their first preseason game this year.
Through channels I’m not knowledgeable about, my son’s football team got free tickets. Coincidentally, or not, they are also called the Eagles. Face value for these tickets is $95.00 (!!!). Yikes! Seems like a lot for a preseason game.
Woo hoo for free tickets! Everybody keep their fingers crossed that the rain holds off!
(Victorino photo by Tom Cruze/Chicago Sun-Times)
The first part of our stadium quest had gone past pretty quickly, with 10 stadiums visited within a span of four years. That was because this was the BK era. No, not Burger King; Before Kids.
Kid number one was born in 1998, so we were on hiatus for awhile. Come the year 2000, we felt he was old enough to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for a large enough chunk of time that we could begin to resume The Quest.
June 14, 2000 found us on a bus trip to New York City to visit that cathedral of baseball, Yankee Stadium. We decided on a bus trip because we could relax on the bus and leave the driving to someone else, and we were a little wary of the idea of driving into NYC ourselves. Once we got there and the bus had parked, I felt justified in this decision. The area immediately around the stadium didn’t seem like the nicest part of the city.
This days’ matchup would have the Yankees hosting the Boston Red Sox. Our seats were waay up in the upper level, so the picture quality is a bit less than I would like (keep in mind that I am scanning these photos into the computer, and it doesn’t seem to like me to use too high a resolution, so they might look a bit grainy).
Here is the view from our seats during the pre-game batting practice:
I must say that the upper levels of the stadium were incredibly steep, almost enough to induce vertigo. Good thing I only had one beer this day!
On the mound for the Red Sox was this guy:
The Yankees had Roger Clemens starting that day. He only pitched one inning, not even long enough for me to have taken a picture. Clemens walked two on 28 pitches, though no runs were allowed. He was removed after the top of the first due to a strained groin, and replaced with Ramiro Mendoza.
Even without the Rocket, the game was a classic matchup of these two teams. The Yankees scored first, in the bottom of the first, with a run scoring on a bases-loaded walk to Jorge Posada.
Here is a shot from the top of the third, as Jose Offerman, who had walked to lead off the inning, is out on a force at second. Derek Jeter tosses the ball to Chuck Knoblauch:
Boston finally evened it up in the top of the seventh, on a solo home run by Nomar Garciaparra.
The Yanks went back on top in the bottom of the eighth, when Tino Martinez hit a monster shot to the upper deck in right field, off of Tim Wakefield. In this view of the outfield, you can see the scoreboard – Yankees 2, Red Sox 1.
In the top of the ninth, Boston had a chance to tie it up against this guy:
Jeff Frye singled to lead off the inning. But the threat was eliminated with a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play – Trot Nixon was called out on strikes and Frye was erased in this play at second:
Down to their last gasp, Nomar grounded out to the pitcher to end the game. Yankees win, 2-1. By now I had a splitting headache from the tension of such a close game – and I didn’t even have a rooting interest in either team! Thank goodness I could sleep it off on the bus ride home.
A Cautionary Note:
Since this was the first new stadium visited since the birth of our son, of course we decided to bring him a little something back. So what do you get a two-year-old? Without thinking of the possible ramifications, we got him a little cap, of course! And that was our mistake. He wore that thing constantly for at least the next three years, until it was finally so faded and frayed that I threw it out. In the meantime, he decided that the Yankees were his favorite team (!) and demanded a new cap. This was sacrilege in a Phillies household! So always make sure to get your child your own team’s cap before any others.
Next stop, Pacific Bell Park in beautiful San Francisco.
(all photos mine)