Thank goodness interleague play is over, as the Phillies were a rather disapointing 6-12 against AL East opponents. Did I say “disappointing”? I think “dreadful” might be a better word.
Anyway, today is an off day, and tomorrow they return to action against their familiar NL East foe, Atlanta.
In the meantime, here are a few stray thoughts that struck me over the past week or so.
While paging through the 2009 Phillies Yearbook (one of the goodies that we picked up at last week’s Phestival), I noticed that some of the player profiles included an entry for “Last book you read”. As quite a few of the profiles did not even include this particular item, I can only assume that they haven’t actually read a book in recent memory. I did note that both Scott Eyre and Cole Hamels had the same answer to this one: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.
Last time I checked, this book (and its sequels) had a target audience of teenage girls. It is a vampire love story, after all. As they used to say on Laugh-In, “Verrry interesting.”
Speaking of Cole Hamels, a column in the Inquirer last week noted that he and his wife Heidi are expecting their first child, and that it will be a boy. The couple still plans on adopting a child from Africa, with Hamels quoted as follows:
“We’re going to adopt a girl, and it will be great for her to grow up with a brother. They’ll be like twins.”
Cole is apparently using a different definition of the word “twins” than I am familiar with. Nonetheless, best wishes go out to the expectant parents.
Finally, this shout-out goes to Julia at Julia’s Rants, who correctly identified 5 of the 6 lyrical snippets used in my last entry. For the record, the answers are:
“Bakin’ potatoes, bakin’ in the sun…” – Rock Lobster, The B-52’s
“The way the beach is kissed by the sea…” – Love, Reign O’er Me – though I was thinking of the classic version by The Who, this song was also covered by Pearl Jam
“Don’t know much about history…” – Wonderful World, Sam Cooke
“Here comes the rain, here she comes again…” – Rain, The Cult
“You make me laugh, give me your autograph…” – Supersonic, Oasis
“School’s out for the summer…” – School’s Out, Alice Cooper
In last night’s 13-11 victory over the Nationals, the Phillies hit not one, but two – count ’em – two grand slams. It’s only the fourth time in team history that two Phillies have hit slams in the same game.
Ryan Howard deposited the first one in the ivy in center field in the fifth inning, to tie the score at 6-6. Each team scored once in the seventh, but in the top of the eighth, Scott Eyre came in and absolutely stunk it up. Eyre gave up four runs without recording a single out – his ERA is now a dismal 10.80. Nats are now up, 11-7.
But did the Phillies give up? No! They recorded 6 runs of their own, capped off by Raul Ibanez’s own slam to put the Phillies up 13-11. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save.
– If nothing else, we’ve learned never to count the Phillies out, even when they’re down late in the game. Other than Sunday’s comfortable win, all their victories have been of the come-from-behind variety.
– Jimmy Rollins is on record in this morning’s paper as stating that “I’m ready to hit .400 for the next month.” Is that a prediction, Jimmy? His powers of prognostication seem pretty good, having accurately called the Phils the team to beat in the NL East in 2007, and calling for 100 wins in 2008 (103 including the postseason). The Inquirer also managed to unearth one from 2005, when Jimmy stated he would hit .400 for the month of September, and then went out and hit .402 for the month with a 36-game hitting streak. Hmm. Maybe I should have Jimmy pick a few lottery numbers for me. 🙂
Not so happy stuff
– Brad Lidge is experiencing swelling in his right knee, and was unavailable last night. Is this why Lidge has looked a bit shaky so far this season? Let’s hope it clears up soon, and Lidge returns to his 2008 form.
– Pity the poor Nationals. They hit five home runs last night, scored 11 runs, and still lost the game.
In case you were wondering
The other three grand slam combos in Phillies history are:
1921 – Ralph Miller and Lee Meadows (never heard of either of them)
1997 – Billy McMillon and Mike Lieberthal (Lieby! I remember him)
2003 – Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels (Tomas’ only career grand slam!)
Photo fun: something fishy going on
Yesterday’s photo of Cody Ross examining/admiring his hands is only part of the unusual tableau I captured during pre-game warmups a few years ago at Shea Stadium. Here it is in its full glory:
Do we really want to know exactly what’s going on here? I’m sure there’s a funny caption lurking here, too. Share your best efforts in the comments!
There’s also a second strange photo from this same game, which I’ll include tomorrow. Gotta keep ya coming back, after all!
(photo by me)
After looking totally lifeless in Sunday night’s opener, I had hoped that the Phillies’ bats might perk up a little bit. But no, they looked just as lifeless last night, too. Granted, I usually miss an inning or two in the middle of the game to get my kids to go to bed, so maybe I missed a little hint of action, but from what I did see I am currently underwhelmed.
I was also glad to be watching from home last night, as the temperature hovered around 40 degrees, with a stiff wind blowing. Has Mother Nature not gotten the memo that Spring is here?
Following last season’s M.O., when they did manage to get some baserunners, they were left stranded. 11 of them last night, and not a single one scored. Atlanta won the game 4-0.
Atlanta starters have not given up any runs these first two games, while the Phillies’ starters have given up 8.
Alright, I know, it’s only the second game.
In an effort to not be totally negative today (I’ll leave that to the Philly sportswriters), I’ll mention a few positives. Few being the operative word.
– Raul Ibanez made a great throw from left and Carlos Ruiz made a great play at the plate in the top of the fourth to nail Casey Kotchman to end the inning.
– Ryan Howard made solid contact on two hits, and was robbed of a hit up the middle by the darn overshift defenses always employ against him.
– in four innings of relief, Chan Ho Park, Jack Taschner, and Clay Condrey held the Braves hitless. Taschner, Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin, and Brad Lidge also combined for three hitless innings on Sunday. Maybe we should let the bullpen start the games! 🙂 Ha, just kidding.
The Phillies will get their World Series rings in a ceremony before today’s game. Joe Blanton goes up against Javier Vazquez at 3:05 pm. Please guys, one for the “W” column?
(no photos today, I had to make this a quick entry as I have actual work to do)