Monday, September 29, 2008

Former Phillies in the American League now

I thought Freddie Garcia was finished. He's not in a Phillies uniform anymore- thank god. What a terrible pitcher. We never even knew what his problem was and why he couldn't win a game in the Philly pinstripes. The Phillies paid him $10 million dollars for one year of misery, and now Freddie has shown up in Detroit to pitch on a very important day. The Tigers lost, though Garcia only gave up two hits though the 6th inning. Now why couldn't he pitch like this for the Phillies?



Oh by the way the guy we traded for Garcia was a guy named Gavin Floyd, yes that Gavin, and he went 17-8 for the Chicago White Sox this year and was the winning pitcher today for the White Sox who beat the Detroit Tigers 8-2.

Phils vs. Brewers 3 pm Wednesday



The road to the World Series is a long one



The Phillies long wait to return to the playoffs is now over. Just a couple days till the team gets back into the postseason, and hopes of going deeper into the playoffs is what the Phillies look to do.

That won't be an easy road, with the Phillies facing a dangerous Milwaukee Brewers team that matches a good offense with very good pitching. The Phillies just got through a series with them recently, they swept the Brewers in the middle of September and the Brew crew almost didn't recover from that to even get into the playoffs. This is a 'new season' though now, and everything that happened before this series is just history, the Phillies still have to go out there and play like the did during the whole month of September, with a purpose in mind.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Division is ours!!!! Congrats 2008 Philadelphia Phillies




Courtesy of MLB.com

Your division winning Philadlephia Phillies 2008

Phils at doorstep of Division title

The number "1" means a lot of things. It is a number that the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves surrounded by on September 27. They are in first place, and they have a magic number of only 1 to clinch the division title for the second straight year!

Tune into my podcast about the Phillies for this week's edition of Phillies Talk - The podcast
to see who the Phillies will be playing and how they should do against them.



Friday, September 26, 2008

Mets back from the crypt, still alive


Florida Marlins: please beat the METS!!!




I went to bed last night after seeing the Cubbies take a big lead in the game against the Mets. The Met fans were booing and trashing their own club royally, and I thought that this was the end of the road for the Amazins. I thought the Mets were down for the count, but low and behold they are not.

With only 3 games to go, we still don't know if the Phillies are going to win the division or not, and the Nationals like to play the Phillies tough. So, don't make those playoff reservations just yet!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I almost feel sorry for the Mets



I watched tonight's Mets game on MLB.tv and when I saw the Cubbies hit that three run home run in the seventh inning, I almost felt sorry for the Amazins. They've had a really tough time lately, and I am not too unsympathetic to their plight. I could imagine Mets fans at their lowest points, as they really booed their hearts out tonight in the rain.


The Phillies are looking at a full 2 games up with 3 games remaining. The rain is supposed to be coming on Friday and possibly Saturday, so when these games will be played is anyone's guess. I have the Sunday game with my plan, so I am looking forward to go cheer on the division champion Phillies for another division championship on this day!

Phils stay atop division despite losses

Get ready to paint the town 'Red'


The Phillies did peak at the right time this month, they went out there and got the job done when they really had to. The past two games they've stumbled, but luckily the Mets are playing the Chicago Cubs and the Cubbies have really played the Mets tough.

As I've said before, the Phillies at times look like a dominating team, and at other times look like a below average team. Pitching and batting equally at times can be blamed. The Phillies have little blockages that keep them from being a great overall dominating team. They can't seem to get hits to score runs at key times, or they can't hold a lead, or the starting pitching comes completely unglued.

All the great Phillies teams had a couple great pitchers on the staff, Carlton was the anchor through the 70's and into the early 80's. This year Jamie Moyer has went out there and pitched 15 wins - he's the top winning pitcher on the staff. Hamels has went out there too and dominated in every other leading pitching stat. There hasn't been that 20 game winner on this staff though, and that is the missing link to what would be a great, great Phillies season this year. A top A+ starter is still what the Phillies need, someone that is not going to work the bullpen ragged. If they Phillies get that pitcher, all other things being equal, they can really be in a position to dominate this division. They also need a lot more of a power hitter in the outfield. At present most of the run production is produced by the infielders and they need some big bat out there in the field to pick them up.


The Phillies look like they are going to the postseason, 3 more games will tell the whole story. A long journey that started in Philly in April is about to be part of history, and then the post season begins.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Phillies slip back, but will prevail!



The Phillies magic number is 4





The Phillies lost one last night, but they still are in the driver's seat to win the division crown. I'd rather be 1.5 games up then being down by the same amount. Brett Myers will throw tonight for the Fightins, and I think he'll throw another great game for the team.

The clinch may be on Saturday, or possibly Sunday at this rate. Phillies fans aren't worried yet, and I emphasize 'yet'. They can't leave the bases loaded without scoring anyone and be successful too often.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Burrell will go out a winner

Pat Burrell has been a Philadelphia Phillie for a long time now. In the days of teams constantly trading up for journeyman superstars, Pat has been a solid producer for the team for years. At lot of the time in the past couple years Pat has been the whipping boy for fans who blamed everything on him. They booed him mercilessly for years, and all through this he remained a constant professional. Burrell has anchored left field for the Phillies for many years. He hasn't always been outspoken, and this may have worked against him a little, but in many ways his silence speaks volumes about baseball. You can't get in too much trouble if you don't put your foot in your mouth.

In the early part of the season this year, Pat carried the Phils for some time. He received a lot of respect from the fans this season as well. He may well be leaving the Phillies after this season and in an age where not many players stay with a team for their whole career, Pat will be missed out there in left.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Phillies victorious and my 'Stub Hub' rant!

The Phillies make me very happy when they win games that they need to win. They did it again today! They went out on the field and got the 15th win of the year for Jamie Moyer and with the Mets losing, the are in the driver's seat at 1.5 games up with 6 to play. God, I think you've answered my prayers, the Phillies are in the playoffs! The Phillies are in the Playoffs!


Now onto a different subject, and that subject is Stub Hub, the official ticket reseller of the MLB. This place looks so good, yes, I like the way they display their tickets for sale and all of that. That being that, that company is one of the biggest ripoffs in the world today! The allow you to 'list' your tickets for sale on their site for free, they only charge you 15% on the total sales on the tickets. That's a lot of money, much more than you would pay if you listed them on the Ebay tickets area, which Ebay of course owns Stub Hub, so there you go. The tickets listed on here are totally inflated beyond belief, so buyer beware. Ticket scalpers didn't get this much for their tickets back in the days when they have to pound the pavements to sell their tickets. I looked ahead at the playoffs, their were already tickets at 1500.00 each for the World Series - now that is a lot of money. The face value on those tickets is no where near what people get on Stub Hub. It is not good for the consumer at all, and the seller even gets 'scalped' in the end by Stub Hub. If any baseball writers read my column, can you please do a big juicy expose about this crap!


Rich Baxter / Fightin Phillies the blog

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

1st place and the mystery of 17!

Being 7 games down with 17 games to go last year was strange enough for the Phillies to come back and win the division crown. That was last year.


Fast forward to now, it's the 17th of September and the Phillies are now in first place in the NL East. The numbers may be coincidental but they are what they are. The Phillies are playing great baseball and the Mets have again stumbled and the Phils are staring the last two week of the season down with everything to win!


The Mets have looked really strong overall in the last 6 weeks, they have been a changed team. That being said, they still are being bitten by a bad bullpen, and some tough luck. Atlanta beat up on the Mets and now with a loss to the Nationals, the Mets look very vulnerable.


Ryan Howard has looked stronger and stronger, forget about 190+ strikeouts - they are tough to watch at times, but he's got to be the best homerun hitter I've ever seen that also strikes out a record number of times. He has hustled tremendously and has been hitting in the clutch for the team lately.


Jimmy Rollins has also been scorching the ball with his hits, and looks like the Jimmy that we all know, not the same guy from a month ago or so in LA, who was complaining about Phillies fans. He's not that person, he's the MVP of last year in the National League and he deserves much more respect from us for that accomplishment. Overall, I think Phillies fans undervalue Rollins, and don't understand that he is the best all around shortstop in baseball period.



We'll see what the next two weeks hold for the Phillies, if they keep the level of play up - we may just see them in the World Series. The pitching staff still worries me, but October is like a second season and I know this group of players would love to get into the Series!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Curse of the Mets has started!






Saturday afternoon, the Phillies played the Brewers and the Phils were victorious 7-3, on the Fox game of the week for Saturday afternoon. I watched the scores flash on the screen at home and saw the Mets leading 2-0 late into their first game of two with the Braves and considered them to go on and win the game and stay up with the pace of the Phillies. I was astonished after the game with the Phils to see the final from Shea, the Mets gave up the lead and ended up losing their game with the Braves 3-2. The curse has started!


7 games down and 17 to go from last year is a memory. The Phils are much closer to the Mets this year, and if things continue, the Phils should wrestle the division from the Mets by the 21st of September at this rate, that is seven games from today! Lucky seven has been good to the Phillies.


The Phillies have games against Atlanta (2 sets), Florida, and the Nationals left to finish out the regular season. The Mets in the same end of the season series will face the Nationals, Atlanta, and Florida to end the season but the most important games the Mets have is against the Cubs for 4 straight games at Shea! Yes, those mighty Cubs, if the Cubbies can sweep this Mets bunch, they can get them to the off season really quickly! The games against the Cubs are at home to make it even more painful for Mets fans as they will watch as the Cubs rip them to shreds.





Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Fans aren't the problem, it's Citizens Bank Park!

Quoted from philly.com:

Charlie Manuel said he never meant the fans.

Manuel caused a stir yesterday with a comment he made after Wednesday's 7-3 loss to the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Asked about the team's recent struggles, the Phillies' manager said: "We won a game here against the Mets in extra innings [on Aug. 26], and it seemed like everyone in Philly got real high.

"The next night, we lost and there was a big difference. People got flat. Now, the team didn't, but the whole environment was that way. And that has an effect on the team and the players."

Many took "people got flat" as Manuel's blaming the fans, who have come in record numbers this year.





The problem is not with the fans, Charley and Phillies management. The problem with motivating the crowd is the stuff that used to happen in Veterans Stadium doesn't happen at Citizens Bank Park.

There is no organ music to get the crowd going in the 'new' ballpark, there is nothing really going on sound wise that helps fans 'get happy' and clap - like the old 'clapping hands' on the scoreboard you used to see to pump up the crowd at the ballpark. These types of things always pumped up the crowd. I know because I was there and I remember all those little things. You had a couple bigger scoreboards keeping fans uptempo when the team needed a little extra help. It is no where to be found at Citizens Bank Park! That is the problem.


There isn't any thing going on except for the Phillie Phanatic, and he entertains some people but he can't do it all. He gets people clapping, but there's no music to go along with that... this needs to be fixed. You'll see more activity from fans if Phillies management recognizes that it is them that needs to do more to fix this.



Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies blog

Phillies and Brewers will play 3 games in 2 days now

The Phillies rainout forced another double header for the team, but it also afforded another day of rest for a starting pitching staff that has been pulling double duty lately. The Phillies are still in the hunt for the playoffs and I got my tickets for the playoffs ordered today!


We need that offense to keep roaring for Saturday's game vs. the Brew Crew - The Phillies need to do something with the starting rotation. With the pitchers they have currently, that poses and interesting problem. You can demote Kendrick, who has flopped in the last three games terribly. Who do you bring into the rotation though? I think Adam Eaton is finished as a starting pitcher. He has had nothing but bad numbers this year and toward the end of last. He's lost his winning ways and even his stint in the minors had him serving up softballs to them that they hit out of the park reguarly.

The answer to this problem is simple, JA Happ deserves the chance to give his best to the club for the last two weeks. He's got some good skills and may be a pitcher the Phillies rely on in the future. Time will tell what happens with the situation but that is one option that looks good at this point.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Phillies Talk Podcast - Sep 6 2008




Phillies vs. Mets rained out for Game 2 - they'll play 2 on Sunday!


Here is the latest show of Phillies Talk - the independent podcast that talks Philadelphia Phillies baseball!

Phils show improvements Game 1 vs NY Mets

The first game against the New York Mets saw the Phillies getting the win and more importantly more confidence last night at Shea Stadium. They had a lead that looked precarious again into the 9th inning, but this time Brad Lidge closed the door on the Mets although I couldn't watch the end live myself, it just looked very bad for the Phillies with two runners on and the tying run coming up to bat!


A tropical storm forces the postponement of Game 2 till 2:15 pm on Sunday, oddly the game will be a day/night doubleheader, with seperate admission. All baseball clubs now never give you the good old fashioned double header for free anymore. I remember the days when they used to schedule them, two games for the price of one. If this series were held in Philly, they would have had everyone come to the ballpark so they have to pay to park and then get some snacks in them before they called the game this afternoon. They've waited hours on end to get ballgames in this year, and if your a fan, and hold a ticket, you either play by their rules or just go home and miss the game. Thank god, the New York Mets called the game well before time, so this type of stuff doesn't happen with a tropical storm bearing down on the fans.


Now if game 1 in New York goes extra innings, I guess Shea will just have 45-50 thousand people looking to get into the parking lots and stadium right on the heels of the first 50,000 fans that are there to see the first game. That should be fun.


Onto the game itself though, Game 2 features Jamie Moyer who has won 12 games this year for the Phillies against Pedro Martinez who at times has looked good for the Mets, then other times looked like he was finished for the year. He certainly isn't the old Pedro that used to pitch for the Red Sox.


Game 1 stars for the Phillies, Brett Myers for keeping the Mets off their hot bat streaks, and Greg Dobbs who at this time should be referred to as "Mr Clutch" for the Phillies as he as come through many times this year for them and single handedly won several games for the club.



I still am not convinced this Phillies team makes it to the playoffs, this series with the Mets might be the closest thing the Phillies have to a playoff atmosphere. There is still too many question marks with their pitching both starting and relief. The Phillies management needed to add a Greg Maddux or someone like that, and didn't. That in my opinion leaves the Phils a little short this year.


I hope I am wrong!



Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Phils looked bad against the Nationals

The Phillies are the team with two heads. One head is a team that could win it all, everything purrs like a kitten and when this happens it is just great. Last night the Phillies turned in what looked like the other head they have, it is ugly and when it shows itself, you just want to turn away.

The Phillies had a situation where the Nationals had the bases loaded, two ground balls and nobody threw home? This is just unexplainable. These are major league players, and this shouldn't happen. Phillies announcer on the radio, Larry Anderson, was livid on the radio broadcast of the game. You can always look to him to tell the truth about something. He did tell the truth last night, he was really mad at the Phillies and said, "There's two errors you won't see in the box score." His sidekick didn't say a word, he generally doesn't berate the Phillies but this time it was true and the Fightins looked like a high school team. Ryan Howard's indecision left him to throw to second base when he clearly had a play at the plate, the guy would have been out by 15 feet.


The Phils fall 3 whole games behind the Mets, this team could be out of it by next week at this time if things don't change for them. The bullpen implodes regularly now, the offense is producing but not enough when the bullpen implodes, and sometimes the offense doesn't show up at all. They are not out of it yet, but this weekend says it all for the team. If they can't beat the Mets, they won't be going to the playoffs.