Headed Home

phils 0428 2010.jpgThe Phillies are headed home and so am I.

I figured out that I have spent 62 of the past 73 nights on the road, including my redeye tonight to Philly. I’m not complaining. Not at all. I just thought that was a crazy number. I kind of feel like George Clooney in Up in the Air, but instead of getting rock star treatment from my airline I’m sitting in a middle seat in the 22nd row. Thankfully, I’ve got an airport approved sleeping aid to get me through the night.

But you’re here for the Phillies, so let’s talk Phillies. The Phillies arguably salvaged their nine-game road trip through Atlanta, Arizona and San Francisco with a crazy 7-6 victory in 11 innings today over the Giants at AT&T Park. (AT&T Park is one of my five favorite ballparks, by the way. I highly recommend a trip for every Phillies fan.) The Phillies went 4-5 on the trip, which certainly is not good, but considering the Phillies’ offense has been ridiculously frigid and they’re missing two starting pitchers, their closer and their shortstop, maybe it could have been worse.

Cole Hamels continues to puzzle. He allowed one run through five innings as he battled Tim Lincecum, but after he loaded the bases with one out in the sixth and struck out Lincecum for the second out, he walked Andres Torres to score the first run in a three-run rally to give the Giants a 4-1 lead.

Charlie Manuel and Brian Schneider both offered unsolicited opinions that they thought Hamels threw well, despite the fact that Hamels’ line showed he allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings to give him a 5.28 ERA after five starts. But you know what? I thought he threw well at times, too. His stuff is there. He struck out 10 batters. His 3.6 strikeout/walk ratio ranks 22nd out of 125 pitchers in baseball with 20 or more innings. He just hasn’t been able to finish. I think it will come. I really do. And if I’m wrong, I’m wrong. But I think Hamels will get on a run at some point.

“It’s pitching deeper,” Hamels said. “I’m not going to take anything negative from the way I attacked the strike zone because I felt like I did that really well. I was able to really go after them. I felt like I was able to do what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, the line doesn’t look good, but after this game I feel really pleased with what I was able to accomplish, and I look forward to my next start.”

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I’ll be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Barnes & Noble in Rittenhouse Square. Stop by if you can!

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Check out notes from today’s game. … Joe Blanton said he is ready to rejoin the rotation.

12 Comments

What an awesome game today! Thank you Bruce Bochy!

I watched the game today, and thought Hamels’ pitched well. The bases loaded walk was a bit rough, but the guy was down 1-2, battled back, and had a great AB. Cole threw a lot of pitches early, but still had good stuff today. I saw some decent curveballs, which the Giants announcers made them think of Zito. That made me cringe, but they did mean it as a compliment.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes…it rains. The serendipity of baseball.
That was a gift from the baseball gods. As Dr. Phil would say….’What was he thinking?’ Payback for the Braves/Kendrick game that they lost. I saw that phan too, karen. As it turned out, I think he still distracted the RFer.

Whata game! Holy moly! This is why I love baseball. Two outs, bottom of the 9th, 3/2 count, down by 3 runs, bases loaded, bases clearing double. (I held my breath when I saw what appeared to be a Phils fan almost interfer with the play!?) Also who would’ve though Valdez would have the game winning hit?! Almost like Brunlett having a game ending triple play :-)

The pitch count. I’ll never understand. Lincecum was mowing them down, then he walked Victorino and Bochy’s head exploded. 108 pitches?
Granted, Wilson is a good closer, but stuff like that makes me shake my head. We constantly hear about how [so and so] has to play because of the millions the team pays him. So, why don’t they apply the same logic to their starters? So many times a guy is breezing through a game, hits that “magic number” and the manager goes out to get him to bring in a guy who would be boxing groceries if it weren’t for the blessed pitch count.

Anyway, thanks Bruce for going “By the Book.” I hope you lose the division by a half game.

I booed Valdez before his last AB. I think it inspired him.

Please, please, please..can someone address the issue with 1210WPHL (The Big Talker)radio and Phillies games? Yesterday, during the momentous 9th inning in San Francisco, it was getting to be sundown in Philly, and the reception just falls off the map! I LIVE in Philly and had to go sit in my car to hear the rest of the game. In this age of HD Radio, can’t these games be put on an HD2 station (like KYW does with WYSP2)? Come on folks–this ain’t the 1960’s anymore!!!

k.weaver: I have the same problem with ESPN 960. The AM band is an antiquated notion that existed when sundown meant something and people had to go to bed to get up early to feed chickens. I’d suggest a Smart Phone and Gameday Audio for $3.99 a month.

And while some of you are bashing Amaro for not getting better bullpen help or whatever junk you spew about him, how about a word of praise for having Castro to backup Jimmy at short? Not just yesterday’s amazing play, but his defense altogether. You’re never going to replace his bat in the lineup, but he does a good job in the field, and that’s what you want out of your backups.

Mule: I agree that Castro was a great move. But about his bat: 13 R, 7 RBI, .283 ave, .292 OBP over 47 AB, while not the same start as JROll had, these are very fine numbers for the #7 hitter.

IN Murph’s blog piece about Lidge’s return, lots of folks saying that Herdon should have been let go instead of sending Bastardo down. THis just shows how little most fans understand the game behind the numbers. Besides being a rule 5, his sinker is tailor made for CBP and he will only get better. Once again RUbe made the right move

Castro was a good pickup. ‘atta boy, Junior. But isn’t he the GM? Isn’t this what he suppose to do? Do we praise the garbageman for picking up the garbage?

It sounds like pherris didn’t get enough love as a child … or an adult.
OK, the next time you pick up my garbage I’ll walk outside and thank you.

pherrisphain, I praise the sanitation workers for collecting the garbage…..

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