… Two Aces to Go

hamels 0920 2010.jpg

Have to wonder what the Braves are thinking after losing tonight to the Phillies, 3-1.

In the past, they might have said, “Well, we’ve got Cole Hamels out of the way. Now we can get after (insert names here) tomorrow and Wednesday.” Except this time (insert names here) are Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. That cannot be a comforting feeling knowing the Phillies hold a four-game lead in the NL East with just 11 games to play.

“You never want to feel comfortable in this game or relaxed, but I think at the same time, if there’s ever a time when you feel confident with where you’re at, that’s got to be right now considering what we’ve done the last two months to catch the Braves and go ahead a little bit,” Brad Lidge said. “Yes, if they do their thing and we all take care of our business then I like our chances a lot.”

A few things about tonight:

  • Hamels is 6-3 with a 1.74 ERA in 14 starts since July 10, which is the second-best ERA in baseball in that span. (Only Seattle’s Felix Hernandez has been better with a 1.59 ERA). Hamels also is 5-0 with a 0.49 ERA in his last five starts. The guy is pitching with tons of confidence right now. He worked out of a serious jam in the second inning. He is confident throwing any of his four pitches for strikes. He is looking tough.
  • Lidge looked nasty in the ninth inning. He is 0-0 with a 0.91 ERA and 14 saves in 15 chances since July 31. It is such a huge boost to the bullpen to have Lidge throwing well. If Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt can give the Phillies seven or eight innings, Charlie Manuel has to feel pretty good going with Lidge, Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras and Chad Durbin in the late innings.
  • The magic number is eight.
  • Not sure how I feel about Red Man running onto the field. On one hand, I hate these people because they are idiots. Idiots. On the other hand, I loved seeing Matt Diaz trip up the guy as he avoided ballpark security (Get those security guys cleats!) and seeing Diaz smile as Phillies fans in left field cheered him. Red Man, you are no Green Man!

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

20 Comments

A great performance by Cole. I admit I had fallen off his bandwagon but he has really shown me something most of this season. No emotional tantrums on the mound when things are going bad, just coll and calm.
Until the city makes it a mandatory 1 year in jail for running on the field, wingnuts like the Red Man will continue to seek their 30 seconds of fame. But, I too loved Diaz’s move, and am glad the fans in left saluted him for a job well done. Let’s get that magic number down to 6 tonight.

Halladay’s last few outings haven’t been as solid (around a 4 era) with a few hrs given up, so I hope the offense shows up tonight.

I’m not worried about Halladay even a little bit, but Cole might be the #1 guy right now. I think the atmosphere tonight will get Halladay’s juices flowing and he will be awesome. I’ll be in the house tonight and tomorrow and I can’t wait.

whether you buy into Rube’s “restocking the minors” senerio or not, you have to admit that Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels are so much better then Lee, Hamels and Happ ever would have been. (or even Halladay, Lee and Hamels)If he knew what he was doing, hats off to him; if he didn’t know what he was doing, then hats off to him for getting real lucky in how it all worked out. In any case, RUbe has given us a great rotation for the next 2 years and a great chance to have a parade down Broad Street again this year.

I have really enjoyed watching Cole Hamels mature this season. Those lackluster run support games hurt his W-L record but he’s fought back with nerves of steel that surely have helped to set the tone for a Philly team that is LOCKED IN for another October run. I’m not missing Lee anymore.

f-i-j, in hindsight it was not only a great move, it was ballsy as well. When they were starting discussions about Oswalt, they were still dinged up with multiple injuries and were 7 games out in the NL East. Amaro could have just as easily figured it wasn’t our year and decided to be a seller instead of a buyer. If you recall, there was talk of moving Werth and getting what we could for him. The decisions they made that week turned the whole season around.

agree Phan. All of those who keep claiming that Rube is a lousey GM should just stay away from teh parade he’s bringing us this year…the man has made some very very good moves so far…and of course, a few not so good ones. Overall, he’s definately earning a sold B+/ A-

I saw last night’s game from the Diamond Club. Row 9. Awesome experience. Every fan should have that opportunity at least once. Great food, great view and of course, a great show. Lidge’s slider looks (and is) unhittable from there.

Ruben’s acquisition of Valdez is among the best moves of the season. Anybody would want Halladay & Oswalt, but it takes a great staff to put together an offer for an extra man who can contribute the way Valdez has. Defensively, they lose nothing at shortstop.

And I’m thinking that Charlie will have a quick hook with Halladay tonight. The perfect scenario would be that he gets a big lead early and can coast through 6 innings and turn it over to a rested bullpen (thanks to Cole). Otherwise, I don’t think Charlie will allow him to stay out too long.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Well, you guys Squeaked out a couple against our AAA starters. You know you won’t see them when we meet in the playoffs. Good luck tomorrow with Tommy, he has been lights out lately.

Our starter tomorrow night is no slouch either reef. should be the best game of the series.

Bill, now is not the time to be putting out AAA starters.. unless you have to, or have already conceded the division.The wild card is still up for grabs however.Good luck with Hanson though

Hey we had no choice lost 2 starters in the last month and a third one we pay a fortune to hasn’t started in 2 months. Our mgmt. is clueless and our owner even worse. Tomorrow will finally be a game.

well, stuff happens Bill, see you in the LCS ….maybe (P.S. don’t look behind you, some team may be gaining on you)

Reef, complaining about injuries? What do you want from us, sympathy? We’ve had every regular, except for 2, on the DL this year. Our all-star shortstop, the former MVP, is out of the lineup for almost the entire season. We lost one of our starting pitchers to inury and he’s out for the season if not forever…..just admit it, your manager sucks. COx decided to concede the division by pitching not only 2 rookies, but 2 lousy rookies. He’s have been better off letting the bullpen pitch both games. THe way to know if a team is really good is tosee how they do when things don’t do perfectly–we stayed in teh hunt an are now 5 up with 10 to go, you folded like a house of cards……see you in spring training as you won’t even win the wildcard……

I wasn’t far from you muleman, row 12 in 130. I was close enough for Prado to hear me yell that he sucks after he butchered that foul popup. Great atmosphere. Couldn’t tell from our angle whether Roy was getting squeezed, but he uncharcteristically went 2-0 on a lot of hitters. Still managed to handle the Braves pretty easily. Minor was scared to even throw a pitch. Halladay would get the ball and deal. Minor would stand there like he didn’t recognize the sign the catcher was giving him.
That sound you hear is the casual Braves fan whining with excuses about his decidedly weaker team. If the Phillies took advantage of the sloppy defense they would have scored 8-9 runs. As it is they just buried the Braves with some clutch hitting and defense, since that’s all that was needed. And the Phillies are depleting the Braves bullpen every night. It’s gonna wear on them. The Braves aren’t going anywhere with that defense. They have to worry about even making the postiseason now.

let me start by saying thatI am a fan of JROll,an think he adds a lot to the team. That said, look at the lines for Jroll and Valdez this year. Valdez may be a bigger, and better aquisition then Halladay was.

G AB H R 2B HR RBI AVE SLG OBP

JROLL 82 331 81 47 15 7 37 .245 .372 .324
Valdez 101 314 81 30 14 4 33 .258 .360 .298

While there is a difference, it’s not that great, and Rollins is a former MVP and Valdez a journeyman super utility guy. Another bow of the head to our Man RUBE!!!

If the Braves don’t win the wild card, the Phillies will have to make one extra west coast trip in the division series. Where as if the NL West winner has a better record than the Reds and the Braves are in I believe the Phillies play the Reds and the other two go bi-coastal.

It’s hard to say who will win the West or who will have the better record. The best scenario obviously would be to play the Reds, but I wouldn’t mind if the Phillies get the Padres as the wild card. They own them, especially out there. The Reds have some dangerous bats but probably have the most vulnerable starting pitching.
Phear nobody.

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