The Phillies won this game tonight in Pittsburgh courtesy of a Ryan Howard extra innings 3 run home run. Cole Hamels again gets the lack of run support from the offense. He pitched a great game through 8 innings, only to have Ryan Madson get a blown save tonight, Madson also oddly ended up with the win.
Stats to note from tonight's game:
RISP - 1-9
Hamels 8.0 innings - 7 hits - 7 SO - 2 BB 4.52 ERA
Utley 2-5 with home run - only run of game until Howard's home run in extra inn.
While watching tonight's game early on with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Phillies, I started to think about the Pirates overall team. How could Pittsburgh continually keep trading their best prospects as they do each year? This year they dealt off their future star Nate McClouth off to Atlanta, the other All Star player on the team was shocked to see this, Freddy Sanchez. Before you could say boo, Sanchez was on his way out of town too and off to San Francisco! How can you even buy a player's jersey in Pittsburgh knowing that the Pirate management treats them like pawns in a chess match? Jack Wilson played for the Pirates at shortstop in early July, he mouthed off about the trades the Pirates have been making and poof he was gone to Seattle by the end of the month.
What's more is how long it's been since Pittsburgh has been on the radar for any playoff possibilities. The last time they won the National League East (when they were still in the Phillies division) was in 1992, they also won the division in 1991, and 1990, in those finishes they lost all three years in the NLCS. Fast forward to now, 17 years later and they have been no where in sight as far as a contending team since 1992. Their payroll is one reason why they don't have big name talent on the team. Last season the payroll for the Pirates was around $48.6 million, the Phillies have nearly $85 million plus the Pirates amount from last season as this year's total for the Phillies in salaries. The Pirates have consistantly spent near the bottom of the National League in salaries year after year for the past several years.
It always seems like the Pirates have to wait till 'next year' earlier and earlier in the season. PNC Park looks like a nice field, why can't Pirates management field a good team that contends?
Q. When was the last time the Phillies and the Pirates had a trade with one another?
A. July 20, 2003: Frank Brooks for Mike Williams
Quote worthy from Twitter 8/26/09:
1. The Phillies are the best 8-inning team in the history of baseball. (via @ntarnowski)
2. kephasdesire Phillies closers are killing me