Sunday, July 29, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
500 is a number that the Phillies just can't get away from. They win two, then you think they have something going and they string together a losing streak to match. They have three games against the Nationals at home coming up starting Tuesday. Kendrick, Hamels, and Eaton will throw the series for the Phillies. You would figure the Phillies should sweep the series from the Nats but that is where you can't rely on the Phillies to continue to play well enough to win. Something is lacking and I think it may be from the dugout. This team can play well, they have showed that, maybe what they need is a different manager to spark them on.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
It occurred to me after Friday night’s game that I had a chance to be present at what didn’t seem to be that big of an achievement. I have a Sunday plan that gives us an opportunity to get out to the ballpark at least 14 games a year with the Sunday game package. Saturday night’s big win over the Cardinals was my signal that we could indeed be in attendance for the game that everyone has been talking about this first half of the year of Phillies baseball. It could have been a sweep of the Cards or it would go into the record book as the big loss that the stats people have been keeping since 1883.
The Phillies looked really deflated after their two monster wins of the Cards. I knew after the third inning that this was going to be the night. Adam Eaton would find his name etched in Philly history if he made it far enough into the game before he would be pulled out. He didn’t disappoint, I am not really a big fan of pace of which Eaton pitches. He takes forever to pitch on the mound, and between pitches he wonders off the mound and generally doesn’t have a good command of the proper cadence of a game. I knew this before this game, but seeing him pitch this game solidified my opinion of this. The fielders get itchy out there standing around for so long, and it just seems like he goes off onto his own slow pace which hasn’t been all that successful this season, despite he has 8 wins. A lot of those games has just been the offense going out and outscoring the 5.69 runs a game that Eaton has been giving up.
I got home after the game and reviewed the ESPN game coverage of the game that was the featured game on Sunday Night Baseball. Announcers Joe Morgan and John Miller discussed the 10,000 loss mark and what it means if anything. They even brought ex-Phillie John Kruk into the discussion and they all agreed that Phillies fans like players that give it a full effort. I agree with that, but it goes further than that. A lot of great players have been booed by fans, maybe it’s just a way for the fan to take out their own frustrations with the team, I am not sure. Morgan said that the Philly fans like a great effort from their players and he tried to give that to them despite it being late in his career.
The ESPN coverage started out right from the opening of the broadcast though, they put up numbers of losing seasons, and number of times the team finished in last place, and so on. That coverage was unfair, it really looked like some sort of smear campaign for a minute or two. That’s the difference between having fun with a number like this and making a team look like a bunch of losers.
We left after the seventh inning stretch, I started thinking about how many Phillies games I’ve been to. I remembered Mike Schmidt’s winning walk off homers, Greg Luzinski’s blasts into the seats in Veteran’s Stadium, Steve Carlton’s magnificent strikeouts and other memories that I have. So thanks for the 1,000,000 memories that I have, I never even noticed the team had 10,000 losses and now that the record has been passed I am glad that it will never come up again probably. Thanks for the memories Philadelphia Phillies, me and my Mrs. are still Phillies fans!
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Only one game over .500 is not where I wanted to be going into the All Star break. The Phillies can win a couple over the next few days and impress me with a better record. All is not lost though, it could be worse. We could like the Cincinnati Reds or the Houston Astros.
The Phils are now in Mile High Country. The land of Coors Beer and former home of Mork and Mindy. The need to come through out here. I don't mean a sweep of the Rockies but I want 2 out of three from them! The Rockies are a game under .500 and I suspect they may have had some similar problems that the Phillies faced over the last 2 months.
The Phillies that are going to the All Star Game only have a short trip to get to San Francisco, so good luck to them as they make their way to the midsummer classic.
I hope to do a couple of podcasts this weekend for this blog, so stay tuned!
Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phillies 2007 blog
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I was worried after the Phillies dropped the first game to the Astros by such a convincing margin. The Phils got it together in the second game and as I write this they are ahead 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth. So if they can hold on here, they'll hold some ground against the Mets as the Amazin's are getting their butts kicked in Colorado by the Rockies.
The Mets seemed to be on cruise control against the Phillies for their 4 game set at Citizen's Bank Park. The Mets team has had a terrible problem of looking terrible as well after they win a few games in a row just like the Phillies. Colorado has amassed 17 hits already against the Mets on Tuesday night. The Phillies next stop will be Coors Field so I hope the Rockies are getting all of their hits now and will be tired out by the time the Phils get to town! :)
I am listening to a game as I write this on my MLB Radio subscription online, a familiar name 'Randy Wolf' is pitching out there in LA, and I can't help but remember how much I liked to see Randy pitch for the Phillies when he was healthy and pitching great. Mike Lieberthal even catches his games when he pitches for the Dodgers. I was lucky enough to go out to Dodger Stadium a couple of years ago and saw 'The Tornado', (Hideo Nomo) pitch for the Dodgers. He was one of my favorite pitchers in the mid 1990's. I love listening to Vin Scully on the radio feed as well for the Dodgers, he's always bringing up cool stories that keep you entertained.
Happy 4th of July, the Phils play a special 2:05pm (in the east) game for the holiday and Cole Hamels goes again for the Phils as he tries to find his previous success that he enjoyed his first 12 starts or so. The last couple of outtings he has looked a little unsettled on the mound. His record is now 9-4 with a 3.87 era.
Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils 2007 blog
Monday, July 02, 2007
We were at the game yesterday at Citizen's Bank Park and all I could think about was the Phils possibly being swept at home. The Mets fans were thick around the park, many making the trip to see their own favorite team play on this beautiful afternoon. It was great to see how many fans the Mets actually draw to see them play in Philly. The Met fans couldn't wait to get to the cheesesteaks and crab fries out in Ashburn Alley.
The game started and Kyle Kendrick looked a little shaky at first but he settled down to pitch a great game. Good enough to keep the Phils into the game. That is all you can ask for from a pitcher, especially a rookie just up from the minors. The Phils pulled away and Kyle picked up his third win for the Phillies, Aaron Rowand noted that he had some 'poise' on the mound like Cole Hamels did when he came up.
The Phils have fallen back in the standings a few games, but that's ok for now. I'd love to see them get a marquee name before the trading deadline like a Dontrelle Willis perhaps. He may be the missing piece of the puzzle. I hope the Phillies get on a win streak again starting tonight, because they will fall out of contention if they don't watch themselves.
Here's some facts from the ballpark where the Phillies play tonight at 8:05pm:
1. Minute Maid Ballpark the home of the Houston Astros opened in 2000
2. HOK Sports Facilities Group was the architect, they were the same company who helped design Citizen's Bank Park
3. It's only 315 feet to the homerun mark in left field, but the wall out there is 19 feet high!
4. The capacity is 40,950 at Minute Maid Ballpark
5. Union Station is a train station that is integrated right into the ballpark, over 60 percent of the fans arrive via Union Station in fact. The entrance way from the train station features old style decor from the early 1900's.
Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils 2007 blog