Tagged: Reds

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

After the Giants beat the Braves last night, the Phillies now know who their opponent will be in the NLCS, which doesn’t start until Saturday. Granted, the Phillies made quick work of the Reds, sweeping them in three games; the Giants needed four games to dispatch the Braves. Even if both series had gone a full five games, the divisional series would have ended on Wednesday. Why do we possibly need two full days off between series???

Initially, I thought I wanted the Braves to advance, because I felt the Phillies had a better chance against their pitching. On the other hand, those two teams had already met 18 times during the regular season (with the Phils winning 10), so there was a certain amount of familiarity. The Giants and Phillies have only played each other 6 times, which I’m sure has it’s own set of pros and cons.

At least now I won’t have to hear that annoying (and some would say politically incorrect) Braves chant during the games, and as far as I know, the Giants don’t have any sort of mass chanting from their fans.

Flip side is, I’ll have to watch Tim Lincecum and his girlie hair.

Random NLDS Musings

Since my last post, following Roy Halladay’s no-no, the Phils took the next two from the Reds, though in rather opposite ways. In Game 2, the other Roy wasn’t quite so sharp, and in fact, Oswalt later admitted that he had felt a bit rusty. The Reds took advantage and jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 4 1/2 innings. But then the Phillies started to chip away at the lead, and the Reds let the game slip through their fingers. Literally. The Reds committed four errors in this game, and their pitchers hit three batters (more on that in a bit). Bottom line, Phillies won 7-4, though only two of the runs were earned.

Game 3 was a much more polished affair, as Cole Hamels went the distance for a complete-game shutout as the Phils won, 2-0. For the Phillies Phaithful, it was only fitting that the final out was a Scott Rolen strikeout.

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Which leads me to Rolen, or as one local sports talk-radio guy calls him, “Lemon Face”. [the following photo is actually not from the NLDS, but earlier in the season]


(photo by Ed Wulfstein/Icon SMI)

Lemon Face had an atrocious series, going 1 for 11 with eight strikeouts! He also committed two errors! Hee hee! You may recall Rolen’s demands to be traded near the end of his tenure with the Phils, saying that the Phillies management and ownership weren’t committed to winning. Looks like the Phils have been doing pretty good lately, doesn’t it, Scott?

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Chase Utley, for his starring role last Friday in “Chase’s Excellent Adventure Around the Bases”. First, Utley was (maybe) hit on the hand by Aroldis Chapman; next, he (maybe) was safe on a close play at second; and finally, he (maybe) touched the base while rounding third. He was definitely safe at home.

I had to laugh at this Utley quote regarding the hit-by-pitch: “I felt like I thought it hit me, so I put my head down and I ran to first.”  O-kaaay, Chase, whatever you say. 😉

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John Mayberry, Jr. may have been surprised to learn that he was also hit by a pitch in that game, because he is not on the postseason roster!

mayberry hit by pitch.jpgI’ve often wondered if the sportswriters actually watch the games. It would seem the answer is no, because if they did they would know that it was Ben Francisco who was nearly decapitated when the ball went off the brim of his helmet.

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Listening to the TBS announcing duo of Brian Anderson and Joe Simpson was enough to make me catatonic, given that they collectively seem to have as much personality as my pinky toe. And they clearly need some lessons in enunciation – one of them (I’m not sure which, they’re both equally dull) kept saying “Utley” in a way that made it sound like “Ugly”.

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The funniest moment of the series had to be in Game 3, when Rich Dubee was being interviewed during the game about the renaissance of Cole Hamels. With Dubee unaware of what was going on behind him, Roy Oswalt was ducking from the dugout into the clubhouse. He apparently couldn’t resist the temptation to grin at the camera on his way past:

oswalt dubee.jpgHubby, son and I were in hysterics. This team is definitely loose and having fun!

Let’s go, Phillies!


20 Stadiums in 20 Days – Turner Field

After visits to Comiskey Park, Milwaukee County Stadium, and Wrigley Field, the final stop on our 2007 ballpark tour was at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. The stadium that would become Turner Field was built for the 2006 Summer Olympic Games, after which it was converted into a baseball stadium in time for the 2007 season, which was the Braves’ first season playing there.

Turner Field is named after Braves owner Ted Turner, who likes to name things after himself – you know, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), Turner Network Television (TNT), Turner Classic Movies. I’m not a fan of Ted Turner, what with that whole colorizing of classic movies thing, but anyway.


Turner Field is situated next to the site of the old Fulton County Stadium. During our visit, the carcass of it was still visible from Turner Field – this area eventually became a parking lot.


We were in Atlanta for two games, August 23 and 24, 1997, against the Cincinnati Reds. Both were day games. Let’s just say that it is really hot in Atlanta in August, hence the nickname “Hotlanta”.

Prior to the first game we walked around the ballpark to check it out. Here is a look at the field during pre-game warmups:


On the very upper concourse in left field is a giant Coke bottle made of all sorts of baseball equipment. Coca-cola is headquartered in Atlanta, and of course is a big sponsor.


Fun non-baseball thing to do in Atlanta: visit The World of Coca-Cola, and learn all about the history of Coke, and taste the various products Coca-Cola markets throughout the world. The first tasting room on the self-guided tour lets you sample all the usual products – Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, etc. Then you go into a room with all the international products. There are way too many to try them all, so we randomly picked a few. The Latin American products tended to be incredibly sweet. Then there was one from Italy, called Bitter Aperitif (the name itself should have been a red flag), that was so bitter that I had to run back into the prior room to cleanse my palate with classic Coke! Not sure why anyone would willingly drink this stuff – I’m guessing it’s an acquired taste.

turner3.jpgThe first game pitted the Braves’ Denny Neagle against the Reds’ Brett Tomko (or as She-Fan, Jane Heller, likes to call him, Bombko). Tomko only gave up one bomb-ko this day, a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first to Kenny Lofton. Neagle would get the win, and Tomko the loss, as the Braves won this one, 10-3.

Starting pitchers for the second game were John Smoltz for the Braves, and Mike Morgan for the Reds. The game started off much the same way, with Kenny Lofton again hitting a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first. The outcome, however, was much different, with the Braves losing 6-4 in 10 innings. Jeff Shaw got the win and Stan Belinda the save for the Reds, with Chad Fox charged with the loss for the Braves.

Our seats for both games were down the left field line in foul territory, with a view into the Reds’ bullpen:


Not too much shade in there!

After this trip, there would be no new stadiums visited until 2000. There would end up being a three year hiatus for the birth of kid number one, the one who was sick yesterday. He’s much better today, by the way, back to picking on his sister.

Up next time, the quest resumes at Yankee Stadium.

(all photos mine)