Utley, Halladay and Howard Are NL All-Stars

Thumbnail image for halladay 0529 2010.jpgChase Utley
, Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard have made the National League All-Star team.

Utley won the fan vote at second base, although he will not play. Halladay won the player vote. Charlie Manuel selected Howard as a reserve, which has caused a stir because he picked Howard over Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who arguably is having the best season of any player in the National League. (Votto can win the Final Vote and still make the team.)

Halladay met with reporters before today’s game against the Pirates at PNC Park. He is 9-7 with a 2.42 ERA. The Phillies have scored just 12 runs for him in his seven losses, so he should have at least two or three more wins. He still ranks sixth in the league in ERA. He ranks first with six complete games, and threw a perfect game May 29 against Florida.

Asked to assess his first half with the Phillies, he said, “Challenging. Obviously, the injuries have probably played the biggest role in the first half for us. But it’s been a challenge. Trying to get everything going in the right direction at the same time, it seems like it’s been tough for us. We get on a while, and then something else seems to get away from us. It’s definitely been a challenge. But I think as far as attitude and overcoming the stuff we have, it’s been better than any other team I’ve been on at this point.”

Halladay said he felt no pressure to make the All-Star team following the trade that brought him to Philadelphia in December.

“There are going to be expectations both ways,” he said. “I’ve always tried to put the focus on the expectations I have for myself. Sometimes those don’t always translate into numbers. Sometimes they do. I felt like if I kept my approach the same and competed the same, I can accept the results one way or the other. I felt like I just needed to stick to what I’ve done.”


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Hard to justify Howard over Votto with the Cincy first baseman having such a great year and he’s been clutch for the Reds – as the Phils found out this week.

Hmm, yeah … nice. Baseball fans get more worked up over All-Stars than fans of other sports. Never figured that out. They over-reacted to that tie a few years ago by adding giant rosters and making it “count.” Tell that to half the roster who couldn’t care less where the World Series is being played because they ain’t going.

Meanwhile, our local 9 just lost 3 of 4 to a AAA team. Blanton said he “pitched well.” Taking P.R. lessons from Lidge, I guess.

Now, the Braves come in for what amounts to a regular-season playoff series. Since the knock (if there are any) on Halladay is that he has no playoff experience, let’s see how he throws when he faces the Braves on Monday night. With Halladay, Hamels and Moyer going, you’d expect them to have a shot at sweeping them. But the way they’re playing now …

Oh, and I just found out that there is a Phillies fan group who refers to Ruben Amaro as Ruin Tomorrow. I suspect pherris is at the root.

Mule: while I wouldn’t say Blanton was lights out, he left the game having given up 2 runs and up by 3. Once again our bullpen disintergrated, allowing both runners on to score, plus a few more for the hell of it. My only beef is that Charlie should have taken Blanton out after 6. He has not been good in later innings this year.

As for the loosing 3/4–not good, but we are missing half our starters at the momment. There will be series like this until Utley, Polanco, RUiz etc return

f.i.j.: Blanton also left the game in the 7th after giving up a homer, single and a double. “Pitching well” would have been not doing those things. Bullpen or not, a starter has to be capable of getting through the 7th inning at least once in a while.

I will not accept injuries as an excuse for losing to the second-worst team in baseball. Boo-hoo, they have injuries. They still have Rollins, Howard, Ibanez, Werth and Victorino.

just to help your day get better, Mule, Drabek through a no no in AA ball the other day.

That’s great. Let’s see how long they bury Drabek in the minors before they “feel he’s ready.” Mostly, it’s about service time and projected salary.
To my way of thinking, if you have a left fielder hitting .240 and you’re paying him $12 million, you’d still have to pay him regardless of whether he was sitting or playing, so why not find a guy (Brown) who might be able to help you win?

muleman: “Ruin” Amaro, Jr, I love it and thanks for the props but I had nothing to do with this spot-on sobriquet, much to my chagrine. But now I have read in too many places to be dismissed the Phillies renewed interest in bringing Cliff Lee back. Maybe Junior should offer back to Seattle the three “future stars” they received from the Mariners in the trade for Lee. What is the liklihood of this happening? Slim or none? Then again Junior does not to become known as the GM who “destoked” the Phillies farm system.

I thought about that “re-trade” scenario myself, but it probably happens a lot (or maybe all the time) in baseball. Would the Phils have taken Rick Wise back after they got a look at Carlton? No.
You can always go back and re-write history, but there are a few of us who scratched our heads at the time, thinking that Halladay was the right-handed Cliff Lee. Perhaps that was a disservice to Lee, who over the past 3 years has been the better pitcher.

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