Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Two Bad Losses...But Still Five More to Play

Astros @ Phillies – last regular season game in Philly ends on a sour note

  • Randy Wolf struck out Luke Scott with a 94 MPH fastball on the outer half in the first inning…this isn’t possible, right? It had to have been a fast gun, that’s the only explanation.
  • The Phils decided to play the infield in with a man on third and one out in the third inning. Wily Taveras came to the plate, hit a hot shot right to Jimmy Rollins at short, Rollins held the runner at third, and got the out at first. Pretty play.
  • was plugged by Phillies announcer Larry Andersen early in the game…it’s always nice to hear that site get some positive publicity when it can. Terrible throw by David Dellucci in the fifth inning…the Astros rookie catcher Humberto Quintero should not be able to score on a shallow pop-up to rightfield, I don’t care if Juan Pierre is out in right…I guess Dellucci’s arm is now on par with Pierre’s and Soriano’s as the worst in the NL…1-0 Astros lead

  • Fifth inning…well, it was an inning with very humble beginnings (back to back K’s for Abe Nunez and Randy Wolf)…but baseball is a funny game and it isn’t unsual to see an inning change with just one at bat. Jimmy Rollins with a hit, Shane Victorino with a hit, Chase Utley with a walk (great patience shown by Utley…it was almost Burrell-esque), and then finally, Ryan Howard with a single up the box…I hate to say it, but it was an MVP-type of big hit…2-1 Phillies
  • The Phillies loyalty to Randy Wolf needs to end and needs to end soon. Why would he hit in the bottom of the fifth, let alone go out and pitch in the sixth? Wolf was completely done after five innings and, as fate would have it, he was also set to bat second in the bottom half of the inning. Any Phillies fan watching the game could tell you that Wolf was done after five…why couldn’t Charlie Manuel and company figure this out?
  • Ryan Madson’s future spurs a whole heck of a lot of debate amongst Phillies fans. I think any talk of Madson getting a shot in the starting rotation again is all but dead…and, contrary to what I said before the season (boy was I wrong), this isn’t a bad thing at all. I don’t think it is a stretch to see Ryan Madson on the mound and consider what kind of pitcher he become once he gets more comfortable pitching out of the bullpen again. I admit his numbers have stunk (both starting and relieving this year), but his 3-pitch arsenal (plus fastball, plus changeup, iffy but usable in moderation curve) is ideally suited to the pen. I’ll be the first to predict a big 2007 out of the bullpen for Ryan Madson.
  • Jimmy Rollins is playing out of his mind right now…his homerun in the sixth looked like it was on a batting practice fastball…it was actually on a telegraphed changeup that must have looked like a beach ball to Rollins…the Phillies have done a heck of a job of making teams pay whenever they give them extra outs in an inning (in this case, the extra out came on that ball Chris Burke missed off the bat of Abe Nunez)
  • 7th inning was excruciating…the less said about it the better. On the bright side, the bottom of the 7th held lots of promise. I thought for sure the Phillies would rally with Utley and Howard due up to begin the inning…I was wrong.
  • Pat Burrell gets a gold star for his at bat against Brad Lidge to open the eighth…it really was an incredible at bat – Burrell took a great swing at a 3-1 inside fastball and then held off on a 3-2 fastball that just barely missed…the walk didn’t wind up helping the Phillies cause in the inning, but it was a good sign nonetheless…

Tough loss, but it’s baseball…with every game comes but one winner and one loser…the Phillies lost this one, but that doesn’t mean the season is over…

Phillies @ Nationals…another Phillies loss

A sampling of the horrible Nationals broadcasting duo (Tom Paciorek and Bob Carpenter) found on MASN:

  • “The Phillies absolutely do not want to play the Nationals right now.”
  • “Chase Utley is the real MVP of the Phillies.”
  • Apparently Shane Victorino became a starter for the Phillies after the Bobby Abreu trade…no mention of the pesky Aaron Rowand injury (don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story, right?)
  • “I Wish I Were A Brett Myers Winner” - this clever ditty was inexplicably one of the "Keys to the Game" featured in the first inning
  • These two guys (Tom Paciorek and Bob Carpenter) just talk…I’m not even sure they watch the game as they talk. They show little to no regard to any of the on-field action, it’s incredible. They think they are hilarious too…maybe I’m missing something.
  • “Placico Polanco is a guy who really knows how to play the game” – not saying it isn’t true, but what does something like that mean exactly?
  • “Nobody that we have seen has gotten more big hits for his team than Ryan Zimmerman”
  • “If Ryan Zimmerman gets 50 doubles, he will have the Rookie of the Year award sewn up.”
  • Tom: “How about Houston actually scoring some runs? Not bad for the worst offense in the world”
    Bob: “Yeah, they are jacked!” - awkward silence followed...I still can't figure out what Bob was talking about...anybody know?
  • “I’d take Soriano way over this guy” - (this guy referring to Burrell)…yeah, what's your point?
  • “Bottom line is scoring runs and you do that by knocking them in” – Bob Carpenter sure knows his baseball...
  • Nats backup outfielder George Lombard is referred to simply as George…why? In what world do fringe major leaguers such as George Lombard deserve first name only status?

As for the game itself:

  • The Chase Utley 3-run homer that wasn’t was a heartbreaker…it made no sense that the umpires could blow it like they did, but they did. The bad call sure wasn't the reason why the Phillies lost the game, but it sure didn't help either. Nothing can be done about it now, so we move on...
  • Great baserunning by Jeff Conine in the third…when in doubt on the bases, any major leaguer would be wise to remember this: always run on Alfonso Soriano. Soriano has got an arm like Dellucci...
  • There are two impressions that any sports announcer needs to be extremely confident in before trying…especially before trying live on television. The Nationals color guy (Tom Paciorek) was apparently unaware of this little rule of thumb. Please, Tom, I beg of you – never, ever, ever try either that Vin Scully or Howard Cosell impersonation ever again. Please.
  • The 7th inning represented the Phillies best crack at getting to the Nationals pen: Victorino, Utley, Howard were the scheduled hitters. Again, I had a good feeling. Again, I was wrong.

Worst loss than the Houston game…but there are worse positions to be in than one back with five to go…right?

I'm very glad Charlie Manuel decided Pat Burrell should be benched in favor of David Dellucci and Jeff Conine tonight. Wouldn't want Burrell's career line of .385/.467/.731 against Nationals starter Pedro Astacio mucking up the lineup (small sample size caveats apply: those numbers are in just 26 at bats)...

The Phillies really need a win.


Anonymous malphie said...

Some random notes on your random notes:

-- Article in the NYTimes today about the Phils' wildcard hopes. Mentioned that the Phillies have gotten good starting pitching lately, in particular from Cole Hamels...and Randy Wolf. They must have been looking at W-L.
-- Baseballreference should update stats during the season. I'd visit it more.
-- Excruciating is exactly the word I'd use to describe that top of the 7th inning against Houston. It was almost 50 minutes long!
-- Those Nats guys ALWAYS refer to Washington players by their first name only. Except for Brian Schneider; he's Schneider-man.
-- They also comment on every freaking out-of-town score during the crawl. Tonight the play-by-play guy said, "Wild game in Florida...the Marlins score three in the first, Cincinnati responds with one in the second." Wild game!
-- One last thing about the Nats announcers...that color guy is in love with Randall Simon. "Here's a guy who just-plain knows how to hit." Who knew?

Meanwhile, it's 4-3 Nats in the seventh (game two of the Washington series). Nice of Utley to break out of his slump. Not nice of the rest of the lineup to fall into one.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous pya said...

I'm actually stuck listening to these guys even when they're not playing the phils, not that I am an avid natties watcher. The stuff they say has no meaning: "There's a ball" "Yep, he really got up with that one" "It was a high ball." I just can't take it.

2:54 AM  
Blogger XXX said...

I was actually had those last three points written down in a Word doc somewhere (scores, Schenider-man, and Simon) and planned to include them in the original post but they didn't make the cut. Plus I agree wholeheartedly on the Baseballreference evil as it sounds, it might actually might sense for them to team up with ESPN to get something done about that (ESPN does a very good job at updating player stats by the day).

Pya...I feel your pain. It's only been two games on MASN and I already want to kill myself. Last night Tom Paciorek even attempted a Jack Nicholson was so pitiful that I actually felt physical pain.

12:13 PM  

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