The other day, I was thinking about the fact that I don’t seem to have the same anticipation, the same glee, the same “phever”, regarding the upcoming playoffs as in the past couple years. Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy when the Phillies clinched the NL East last week. And now that Game 1 of the NLDS will be upon us in just a few hours, I’m feeling the stirrings of excitement.
Or maybe it’s just gas. 🙂
Just a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable, nay, unbelievable that the Phils would capture the division four seasons in a row.
But now they have.
And therein lies the crux of my problem – the sustained success of these Phillies has led me to a point where I now expect excellence from them.
I feel as if I’m becoming like…..like……a (gasp!) Yankees fan.
…as the Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the Braves last night! The Phils now have a six-game lead over the second-place Braves, and their magic number to clinch the division now stands at 4. 🙂
Hubby and I were fortunate enough to be at Monday night’s game, thanks to our friends Carrie and Ed, who had two extra tickets available. We met up with them by the third-base gate and headed into the ballpark. Upon entering, were greeted by the sight of 20 statues of the Phanatic, painted in various themes by local artists, and currently being auctioned off for charity.
Carrie and I posed with one painted to look like the Liberty Bell.
Just in time for Halloween, it’s “Phrankenstein’s Mascot”! This one is among the four currently up for bids. Bidding ends later today, and apparently there are a lot of people with way more money than they know what to do with! The current high bid for this one is just under $10,000, and another is over $15,000 (!).
Millerrrrr Light, anyone? This friendly (?) beer vendorrr was working the stands prior to the start of the game. Aaargh!
Poor rookies! Pitcher Vance Worley makes his way to the bullpen with his Fancy Nancy backpack.
My daughter would have had a field day in the Braves’ bullpen, with all these beauties to choose from!
Cole Hamels was in fine form, giving up just one run over eight innings of work.
Though he hit homers on Sunday and Tuesday, the “dirty hawt” Jayson Werth did not hit one this night.
Contrary to certain people’s opinions (I’m talkin’ to you, Patti), this is just not at attractive look.
Brandon Beachy, making his first major league start for the Braves, made several throws to first in an attempt to hold Shane Victorino close to the bag.
All was for naught, however, as Shane successfully stole second, and evaded the tag with this slide.
Wilson Valdez has been more than capable defensively while filling in for the injured Jimmy Rollins – he has a gun for an arm, and helped turn two double-plays for the Phillies. The Phils had a total of three DPs this night in support of Hamels.
Carlos Ruiz has been having a fine offensive year for the Phils, contributing an RBI double in this game.
Brad Lidge came on in the ninth to get the save. The rally towels were waving so furiously, all the little white lint particles flying around looked like snowflakes! Well, sort of. Anyway, Brad had a 1-2-3 inning, and the Phils won 3-1!
I was waving my towel with gusto as well, hence no photos of Brad. 😦
After three tight games (3-1, 5-3, 1-0), the Phillies are off tonight with a much-deserved break. They’d best be resting up for the Mets, who come into town Friday for the last regular-season home games. Let’s go Phillies!
(all photos by me) (well, not exactly, my husband took the one with me in it)
Looking skeevier than ever, Jayson Werth’s two-run walk-off blast capped off a dramatic ninth-inning comeback for the Phillies yesterday. Here he is getting a man-hug from Charlie Manuel:
There are apparently those women out there who actually find his look attractive, or, as a friend who shall remain nameless put it on Facebook, “dirty hawt”. I personally do not count myself among these women. I think he looks like he just spent 40 days amongst the wolves.
Nonetheless, today comes word that Werth has switched agents, leaving Jeff Borris for
the devil himself Scott Boras.
With free agency looming after this season, what tiny hope there may have been that the Phillies would be able to re-sign Werth seems to have just gone from infinitely small to totally non-existent. Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino are both under contract for 2011, and Werth’s likely replacement, Domonic Brown, is also a Boras client. I can’t see Boras making much of an effort to deal with the Phillies, when he can probably get Werth a big payday elsewhere, and also get Brown a shot at the starting lineup next year.
To end on an upbeat note, I will be at the game tonight! The Phils open a 3-game series against the Braves, so the atmosphere at the ballpark should be playoff-like. Cole Hamels will be on the mound, so Phillies, remember…
RUN SUPPORT, PLEASE!
Well, my birthday wishes came true yesterday – the Phillies DID win, and the Braves DID lose, so the Phils are atop the NL East. For the moment, anyway.
Now that three blogs’ worth of wishes in a row have been granted, I think I’d better stop while I’m ahead!
Clash of the Crustaceans
Saw this little news item on the Phillies website. Over the weekend, the Phils’ single-A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws, won their South Atlantic League semifinal series over the Hickory Crawdads.
Based on the mascots, I would definitely pick Pinchy the Crab in a mascot smackdown over Conrad the Crawdad. Pinchy just has a more determined look about him, and besides, Conrad is hiding behind a giant ‘H’.
The BlueClaws will now face the Greenville Drive for the Sally League title.
For the most part, minor league team names and mascots are a source of great amusement for me. But “Drive”? What kind of team name is “Drive”, anyway? Don’t the execs in Greenville realize that a catchy team name and mascot will provide multitudinous marketing opportunities, with cute little mascot bobbleheads and stuffed mascots for sale in the team store?
Good luck, BlueClaws!
I noticed something interesting about my last two posts. On Tuesday, I happened to mention that I would like it if the Phillies’ offense were to give Cole Hamels a bit more run support than they had been recently.
Lo and behold, the next day they gave Cole 10 runs worth of support! And they needed it, too, after the bullpen gave 6 runs right back.
In my next post, I asked that the bullpen culprit please be kept away from the mound for the remainder of the season. Later that same day, Nate Robertson was designated for assigment!
Wow! Two wishes asked, two wishes granted. My lucky stars must be perfectly aligned right now!
Hmm. Coupled with the power of a birthday wish (mine just happens to be tomorrow), who knows what might happen? Let’s see, I wish that the Phillies win the rest of their games, and the Braves lose the rest of theirs!
OK, that might be a bit much to ask for.
I’ll start small. Phils win tomorrow, Braves lose, putting the Phils back into first. Is that too much to ask for? I think not.
Last night, I knew I should be up at the computer, doing some Actual Work. But I really wanted to watch just a little more of the Phillies-Marlins game. The Phillies were actually giving Cole Hamels some run support!
Maybe they saw my little note to them in my last entry. 🙂
When the score got to 7-0 in favor of the Phillies, I felt that it was safe to go to work. Cole was pitching really well, and the offense was putting up some crooked numbers. By the time he left the game, after seven shutout innings, the Phils were up 10-0.
Then Nate Robertson entered the game. The same Nate Robertson who had been released by the Marlins earlier this season after posting a 6-8 record in 19 games, with a 5.47 ERA.
Robertson managed to record only two outs before getting lifted, and gave up 6 runs! Yikes! Then again, what should I expect from a pitcher with a career 55-77 record and an ERA hovering around 5, who was apparently better known in Detroit for his gum-chewing than his pitching?
In 2006, the year of “Gum Time”, the Tigers made it to the World Series after quite a few years of ineptitude. Since the Phillies have their sights set on making it to the Series for the third year in a row, maybe they should use Robertson not as a pitcher, but as a “designated chewer”.
I’m sure he’s being paid enough to cover the ensuing dental bills.
(scan from Detroit Tigers Magazine – 2006 Season, Issue No. 3)
***Post-blog update! Robertson will not be near the mound anymore this season. As of yesterday afternoon, he had been designated for assignment. I am not upset about this.***
Phillies team yearbooks never fail to provide sources of amusement for me. There isn’t usually a whole lot of substantive writing in them, but lots of color pictures of the players, along with their answers to a number of banal questions regarding favorite things, places they’d like to visit, and so on.
Last year, we learned that Cole Hamels is a fan of the Twilight series of novels. *snicker, snicker*
This year, one of the questions is “What famous person would you like to trade places with for a day?”
While most of the responses were other athletes or musicians, both John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz would like to be President Obama for a day.
Juan Castro, however, is shooting straight for the top.
Of course, this begs the question of what would he do with his God-powers for one day? Perhaps heal all the Phillies that are on the DL?
Or, seeing how he has since been released by the Phillies after batting an uninspiring .198 in 54 games, maybe he should start by upgrading his own baseball skills.
(page scanned from Philadelphia Phillies 2010 Yearbook)