Thursday, September 28, 2006

Phillies @ Nationals - 4 More Wins to Go

Phillies @ Nationals – it’s hard not to believe that this wasn’t the most exciting game of the year for both clubs involved. Baseball is fun.

Any and all quotes below are courtesty of the MASN Nationals announcers...two guys that I can say that I hate from the bottom of my heart:

  • “They should lead the league in runs scored playing in that ballpark…even though they don’t win there.” – Dumb, dumb, dumb.
  • “Cole Hamels might even become the next Steve Carlton” – Tom Paciorek…this isn’t here so much for being ridiculous but rather to give another example of the crazy praise Cole Hamels has gotten in his rookie year. No pressure, kid.
  • The announcers are obsessed with Ryan Zimmerman…there is no other way to explain it. He is a fantastic young ballplayer and a guy that I would kill to have on the Phils, but it really isn’t necessary for the announcing crew to give detailed play-by-play of Zim’s every single move on the field.
  • The announcers did inform me that Zimmerman does have 11 bunt base hits this year…see, now that’s something I did not know. 11 bunt hits for a big guy like Zimmerman is a pretty cool thing…even cooler when the announcers said that he was 11 for 11 when attempting to bunt for a hit (hard to believe that stat is true, but I have no reason to doubt them…right?)
  • For the second time this September, second baseman Chase Utley let go a completely wild throw on a potential inning ending double play ball…both times he’s done it, it has not only extended the inning, but it also allowed a runner to score…18 errors on the year for Utley…fortunately for all involved I can stomach the occasional Utley defensive gaffe so long as he is hitting a whole bunch of homers…the Phillies second baseman now has 32 on the season…32 homers for a second baseman…that’s special
  • “I’ll catch the end of that…at the…sports pub…” – Tom Paciorek commenting on the Houston-Pittsburgh game after hearing the game was tied and in extra innings…this quote doesn’t seem that weird in writing, but the way he said it was sounded very forced and even a little creepy…maybe it’s me though
  • “If you closed your eyes, you might have thought you were in Philadelphia. Now that’s an insult [to Cards fans]…they are really loyal in St. Louis, what a shock for them to boo.” – Tom Paciorek describing the recent bouts of booing exhibited by Cardinals fans…
  • The announcers were totally fixated on a 2-0 pitch from Pedro Astacio to Abraham Nunez that they felt should have been called a strike (I think it was in the fourth inning…maybe the fifth)…guess this one pitch was responsible for the Phillies scoring a run three batters later, the huge momentum swing in the game, and global warming….
  • Should Randall Simon really be the first option off the bench for this team? I don’t hate Simon as an addition to the bench, but I feel the same way about him as I do Jeff Conine. Conine is a great bat off the bench who is ideally suited to hit tough lefties, but badly miscast in any kind of role where he is taking at bats away from better players. Simon is a nice bat off the bench, but should not be the top option for a team that hopes to win a championship.
  • I commented on liking the future of Ryan Madson the other day and now it’s time for him to either make me look smart or dumb (it’s just one at bat so it’s not that big in the grand scheme of things, but this is a fun exercise anyway):
  • Madson v. Soriano, man on second, two outs
    First ball fastball (93 MPH) lined to Shane Victorino in center…inning over
    Well, that was a wee bit anticlimactic…can’t complain with the results though…
  • Unfortunate call to lead off the eighth inning…Ryan Zimmerman was out at first on a nice play by Ryan Howard. Jimmy Rollins’ throw to first was high, but Howard jumped up and got it…the umpire ruled Howard didn’t come back down in time to get Zimmerman and, while it was a very close play, he did. Oh well.
  • Brian Schneider is referred to by the Nats announcers only as “Schneider-Man” (as noted in the comments section yesterday)…again, I just don’t get this
  • The Nationals have got to be one of the single worst run franchises in professional sports – they are so backwards in their thinking, it makes me sad for the fans in Washington. The Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez trade with Cincinnati was a thing of beauty – best trade by any team in baseball this season for my money. Unfortunately, that excellent trade was quite possibly the only bright spot for the Nationals front office during the 2006 season. The Nats could field a lineup that looks like this: Brian Schneider, Nick Johnson, Jose Vidro, Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Zimmerman with Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Church, Austin Kearns, and Jose Guillen getting time in the outfield. That’s a whole bunch of quality players. Too bad they’ll find a way to screw it up (see this newfound obsession with Nook Logan as the first step to their plan of deconstruction).
  • Biggest situation of Matt Smith’s career – men on second and third, two outs, Ryan Church the batter – fly ball to Michael Bourn in right field on a 2-2 breaking ball…job very well done, Matt Smith
  • A Chris Booker sighting! Since I’m probably his number one fan (okay, only fan), I have to admit that it was kind of nice to see him pitch again this year. I was really rooting for him to make the Phillies out of spring training (loved the fastball, loved the slider, loved his minor league K totals), but can understand why the situation didn’t work out for either side (he pitched horribly in limited time this spring, got himself injured early on, and has a deserved reputation of iffy control). The only Phillie to ever face Booker prior to last night’s game was Jeff Conine, the hitter who he came in to face yesterday. Unbelivably enough, I was actually in Baltimore the day Jeff Conine had that at bat against Booker (Conine hit a double and Booker got rocked). Small world, huh?
  • Very interesting story from the ninth inning: Austin Kearns made his first plate appearance since walking off the field in tears last after his collision with Nick Johnson last Saturday. Apparently Kearns is in bad shape physically still and can not aggressively swing the bat. And yet there he was hitting for the pitcher in the ninth inning of a 5-5 game…thankfully, Tom Gordon didn’t issue his fourth walk of the inning to him and instead got him to fly out to Shane Victorino
  • Great at bat for Chris Coste leading off the tenth inning (he walked)…getting that leadoff man on base is a beautiful sight…although it didn’t amount to anything in the end
  • Buck Martinez (ESPN) on Pat Gillick: “Pat Gillick was the last GM to win big in Toronto, Baltimore, and Seattle – that tells you something.” Well, it does and it doesn’t. I get what he was trying to say (Gillick is a winner everyone he goes and all that jazz), but I see it more along the lines of Pat Gillick has always left organizations worse off than when he found them. Well, maybe not worse off then when he found them, but he still has a history of leaving teams in really, really bad shape.
  • “He does have the BEST beard though” - Nats announcers on Rick White…I can’t believe a visiting announcing crew just commented on Rick White’s crazy facial hair! How original!
  • The pitcher spot was due up third in the eleventh for the Nationals…they were out of position players on the bench. Leadoff man (Ryan Zimmerman) got on to start the inning, setting up a HUGE at bat for Robert Fick…if he got on, it would have really taken the pressure off whichever pitcher the Nats decided to send out to bat. Fick wound up flying out to left-center…pivotal moment in the game right there.
  • “[Chris Coste has] a lot of little…niches and…glitches that he’s gotta get down [in his swing]” – niches and glitches? Is Tom Paciorek drunk?
  • Chris Coste should bat leadoff…he came through again in the twelfth inning by getting on base to get the inning going (this time with a single to left)...again, it didn’t amount to anything but it was still a strong start to the frame
  • 3 lefties due up in the 12th for the Nats and Charlie Manuel goes with RHP Clay Condrey…LHP Fabio Castro seemed like a more logical choice, but at this point in the game I had no problem with Manuel going with Condrey even if it is for the silly reason of playing a hunch…the move worked pretty well, so I’m glad I didn’t protest it too much…
  • 2-0 changeup to Chase Utley with Shane Victorino on first (he singled on a 0-2 fastball) in the 13th inning…gutsy pitch by Bergmann, who ran the risk of going 3-0 to Utley by not using his fastball to get a strike…it missed, but he followed it up with 2 fastballs on the outside corner…3-2 pitch was a fastball in on the hands that Utley popped up…disappointing end for an at bat that once had a lot of promise
  • Felipe Lopez, Alfonso Soriano, and Ryan Zimmerman (Phillie Killer™) all due up in the thirteenth…Clay Condrey was not impressed…Lopez struck out, Soriano was badly jammed and weakly lined out to Rollins on the first pitch, and Zimmerman flied to short centerfield…baseball is a funny game
  • Chris Coste is amazing…another leadoff hit…this time a double…one of the best parts of Coste getting on each time has been watching Michael Bourn’s bunting practice afterwards…he sacrificed after both the Coste walk and hit earlier in extra innings and later added a bunt single to put men on first and third with nobody out in the fourteenth…
  • As crazy as it sounds, I think Clay Condrey pitched his way on to the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies roster last night…I don’t think this is a bad thing at all…
  • Jeff Conine went 0-7 last night...

What a great game...there is a huge threat of rain for tonight's game so here's hoping that can get it in...


Anonymous oper33 said...

Maybe next year.
R.I.P 2006 Phillies
Call the tow truck cause these boys are out of gas.

2:30 AM  

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