Sunday, August 15, 2010

Phillies Edge past Mets

The Phillies took two of three from the Mets this weekend because of their excellent pitching. Tonight, Kyle Kendrick and the bullpen allowed the Mets to score only one run. The Phillies ended up winning the game 3-1, the offense powered by the first two hitters in the lineup, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino.

The game started with heavy rain, which died down by the middle innings. The Phillies opened the scoring in the 3rd, when Shane Victorino doubled home Jimmy Rollins. Rollins reached on a single and stole second and third before Victorino's double.

The Mets countered in the bottom half of the inning, when Jose Reyes lead off with a home run. Reyes was involved in a close play in the first inning, when he was called out trying to steal second. The replay showed that he was just safe, but it was a very close play. Throughout the game, the ESPN dummies (mostly Joe Morgan), continued to talk about the play, show it, even though it happened in the first inning. Come on, now!

The Phillies took the lead for good when Polanco singled in Victorino in the 5th. Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz extended the lead an inning later, when his clutch single down the line scored Jayson Werth. Ruiz has been carrying the Phillies lately, getting clutch RBIs. Chooch has stepped up in the absence of Ryan Howard and Chase Utely.

Kyle Kendric pitched well in 6 2/3rds innings, only allowing the Reyes' home run. The bullpen pitched well tonight, surprisingly. Chad Durbin got the final out of the 7th. Ryan Madson pitched a hitless 8th, although he did walk a man. Brad Lidge, who is getting better and better, put the Mets down 1-2-3 in the  9th...... nicely done.

Things are looking up for the Fightin' Phils. Chase Utley is expected back Tuesday. Ryan Howard is also expected to join the team Tuesday, but he may not start until later in the week. The Phillies are two games back in the NL East, and are tied for the Wild Card lead.

The Phillies have an off day tomorrow. The Giants will visit the Bank for an important 3-game series for the the Wild Card lead. The Phils and Giants are tied up right now in the standings. Roy Oswalt will face off against Barry Zito on Tuesday night at 7:05pm ET.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Phillies, Halladay Punish Mets

The Phillies picked up a solid win tonight, shutting out the Mets 4-0. The Phils were lead by the magnificent pitching of one Roy Halladay. The offense didn't exactly break out tonight, just edged along enough to get the Phillies the win.

Let's start with Halladay. He pitched 8 innings, gave up 4 hits, and struck out 7. And no runs, of course. An example of Halladay's dominance came in the bottom of the 4th. Jose Reyes hit a triple to lead off the inning. At that point, with the Phillies up just a run, I thought the game would be tied before long. After a ground out from Pagan, Halladay struck out both David Wright and Carlos Beltran.

The Phillies pushed across the first run of the game in the 3rd, when Halladay scored on a single by Placido Polanco. That run was the only earned run given up in the game. The second run scored on a throwing error by Ruben Tejada.

The third and fourth runs came on an inexcusable error from third baseman David Wright. A Jimmy Rollins grounder was hit directly at Wright, who proceed to boggle the mind by letting the ball go through his legs. It is a play any pro third baseman is supposed to make.

Another embarrassing error was made by Shane Victorino in the 6th inning. Victorino attempted to field a bloop single on one hop. Notice the emphasis on "attempted." Victorino lazily let the ball go under his glove, leaving it to Raul Ibanez to run over from left. Pagan, who hit the blooper, advanced to second on the play.

That play did not hurt the Phillies this time, but that it not an acceptable play in a pennant race. While it is commonplace for the Mets to make those errors, the 2-time defending NL champs can't be pulling that crap. Victorino has been horrible defensively all year, and I would bench him for a game or two if I was Charlie.

The Phillies are now only two games back of the Atlanta Braves in the division, and one game back in the Wild Card. The Phillies should be focused on the division, and use the Wild Card as only a fall back option. Tomorrow's game at Citi Field is a 8:05pm ET start. Kyle Kendrick will be facing off against the Mets' Mike Pelfrey.

Union Held to a Draw

The Philadelphia Union needed three points today at home but Colorado held them to a 1-1 draw. The Union outplayed the Rapids in the first half, but again they gave up the first goal in the 59th minute. Jeff Larentowicz, who had a whole section rooting him on (he is from the area), drove home a long strike.

The Union had chances but were just unable to finish until Danny Mwanga finally tied it up in the 73rd minute. Mwanga broke away from the defenders and slotted it home when it was just him and the goalie. Union fans rejoiced as the Union then looked to take the lead.

They were unable to due it. Late in the game, Sebatien Le Toux made a nice run in the box. While he was running to the ball, he was clipped by a Rapids defender. Le Toux was brought to the ground, and the scoring chance was foiled. To the coach Peter Nowak's disgust, the official motioned "play on" to the players.

The Union should have had a penalty shot, but that's neither here nor there. Sometimes you don't get those calls. The Union now sit with 17 points, and at 7th place in the Eastern Conference.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kolb Shines in Debut

Kevin Kolb made his debut tonight as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kolb played all the first quarter before being subbed out for Michael Vick. The Eagles did win the game 28-27, if that means anything to anyone.

In first drive for the Eagle offense, Kolb nailed open receivers with spot-on passes. In the first play of the game, Kolb found an open DeSean Jackson for a 21-yard gain. He hit Jeremy Maclin for a 29-yard gain later in the drive. On 3rd and 6 at the Jacksonville 11, Kolb made a great pass through the defenders to tight end Brent Celek, who bobbled the ball two separate times before dropping. Drive ends with a field goal.

In the second drive, Kolb lead a solid drive down the field before being halted by an offensive holding penalty deep in Jacksonville territory. Here are Kolb's stats from the game: 6/11, 98 yards, 83.5 QB rating.

Vick had an O.K. game, with the one glaring spot being his fumbling problem. Vick fumbled the ball twice, one leading to a loss in possession. Vick has to be more aware of the defenders around him, and, quite obviously, hold onto the ball. Vick's stats: 11/17, 119 yards, 1 INT, 60.7 QB rating. He also ran for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Other offense players who had good game were WR Riley Cooper and RB Martell Mallet. Don't know much about Mallet, but he ran for 60 yards and a TD. Cooper is a guy who I think will work his way into starting reps. He has impressed coaches in camp and had 61 yards receiving today.

The defense looked good in the first quarter, when they kept the Jaguars scoreless. The first team allowed the Jags to only gain 10 yards on two drives. The backups however had problems, allowing 17 points in the second quarter alone. An encouraging sign and a not so encouraging sign in the same game.

The Eagles next preseason game will be at Cincinnati on Thursday night at 8pm ET.

Phillies Pathetic in Loss

The Phillies have not scored runs in games pitched by Cole Hamels all season. That did not change tonight, as the Phillies suffered a 1-0 loss to the Mets at Citi Field. Only one word came to my mind as I watched this game: Pathetic.

Knuckleballer R. A. Dickey stumped the Philly hitters all night. He gave up only one hit, and that was a single by Cole Hamels. Hamels was the only guy who showed up at the ballpark tonight for the Phils. The Phillies knocked around Dickey last week. This week, Dickey becomes Phil Niekro. I don't get it. Same hitters, same pitcher, different result.

Hamels pitched wonderfully, tossing an 8-inning complete game. He gave up only one run on five hits, and Cole struck out eight. If I was Cole, I would be frustrated with the hitters. Every fifth day they don't show up, and it happens to be the day Hamels pitches. I would challenge the hitters by dissing them in interviews and such.

Roy Halladay will be on the mound for the Phils tomorrow, facing off against the Mets' Pat Misch at Citi. That one will be a 7:10pm ET start.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oswalt Wins in Home Debut

Roy Oswalt pitched in his first game in Citizens Bank Park tonight, and also won his first game in a Phillie uniform. Oswalt pitched seven strong innings, giving up five hits, and striking out five. Oswalt had great control of his pitches, throwing 109 pitches, 73 of them strikes. The Phillies won their 63rd game 2-0, shutting out the Dodgers.

The Phillies broke the scoreless tie in the 4th, when Placido Polanco scored on a grounder/fielder's choice by Domonic Brown. Not much offense for the Phillies tonight. Raul Ibanez knocked in Mike Sweeney in the 6th with a deep double to left-center field.

Injury News: Ross Gload was injured in tonight's game while running to second. It looks like a groin injury. He will have an MRI tomorrow.

Chase Utley was cleared to start hitting today for the first time since he hurt his thumb on June 28th. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said that the timetable for still the same as it was when Chase had his surgery. I would expect him back in two weeks.

McNabb Fan Asked to Remove Jersey at Eagles Camp

A fan wearing a Washington Redskins Donovan McNabb jersey at Eagles training camp was approached by Eagles security. Security asked Jim Devlin, 43, remove the jersey. Devlin said on 97.5 the fanatic that the security guard told him that head coach Andy Reid requested he take the jersey off.

Of course, the Eagles denied that Reid asked to have the fan take the jersey off. Here are comments from Devlin (acquired from "I just wanted to get reactions from the fan base, see who says what. Maybe get in a healthy debate on whether Donovan McNabb was good or bad for this franchise.

"I'm fine. Everybody was very cool, calm, professional and did not make a big deal about it. They asked me, and I figured I'm a guest at their facility, so why not make life easier for everybody?"

"Nobody really thought I was really wrong. They asked me to do something, and I was more than happy to do it."

I find this story very funny. The Eagles like to control every little thing. I am an Eagles fan but I am by no means fans of Andy Reid, or owners Jeffery Lurie and Joe Banner. I'm sick of their control freak attitude and ignorance.

Lure and Banner don't care whether the team win or lose, as long as they have a capacity crowd at the Linc. Of course, they will, and make just as much money. This team will not win a Super Bowl until the three amigos are no longer affiliated with the Eagles.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Phillies, Ibanez Slay Mets

The Phillies just edged past the Mets 6-5 in today's ballgme. Raul Ibanez lead the charge for the Phillies, hitting a 3-run home run in the 3rd inning. Roy Halladay picked up the win even though he gave up five runs. The Phillies remain two games back in the division because of the Braves win against the Giants. They are however only half a game behind the Giants in the wild card.

The first two hitters in the Mets lineup gave Halladay grief all day. Each had two hits and terrorized on the base paths. Pagan stole second and third in the first inning. Halladay struggled in that first inning, giving up two runs.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Jayson Werth hit a deep drive to center field. Carlos Beltran staggered back to catch it but slammed the center field fence. Very funny moment for us Philly fans. Beltran did not even expect the wall. That's why they have the warning track there, Carlos. The ball ended up in the vines climbing up the brick wall beyond the center field fence.

Raul Ibanez has a 16-game hitting streak
The Phillies batted around for five runs in the 3rd inning. Raul Ibanez had the big blow in the inning, hitting a 3-run homer of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Knuckballers have had success against the Phillies this season, but Dickey had none today. Ross Gload and Brian Schneider also had RBI singles in the inning.

Halladay more or less cruised along until the 7th inning, when the Mets cut the Phillies three run lead to two. Halladay did not have his best stuff today but he held in there and got the win. The Phillies finally scored runs for their ace and he did just enough to supplement those runs.

Then came Brad Lidge with a one run lead in the 9th. Josh Thole singled to open the inning, oh no. Brad then got the next three Mets to make an out and end the game. The tying run got to third base but no further.

Raul has a 16-game hitting streak going. He has really stepped up in the absence of Ryan Howard. Here is Ibanez (all quotes acquired from "There's a lot of stuff that you do, and the harder you look, the less you find. You have to back off and trust everything you've done. Less is more. The most important thing is to relax through the swing.

"Character is the key. This team has a mentality that I haven't seen on other teams. It's a light-enough clubhouse where a lot isn't said, and nobody presses to do more. You just try and contribute in any way that you can. We have a lot of guys doing that."

Here is the winning pitcher from the game, Roy Halladay: "I'm happy with the win. Obviously, it's about winning games. Even in the seventh, I felt like I made two good pitches to start the inning. I ended up making pitches after that that cost me. The bullpen picked me up. It's a little easier getting to sleep at night taking a win out of it."

The Phillies took two out of three from the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have an off-day tomorrow and then start a three-game series with the Dodgers at the Bank.