Magic Number Is 2

lidge 0924 2010.jpgLots of stuff happened during tonight’s 3-2 victory over the Mets:

- The Phillies’ magic number is two. They can clinch their fourth conscutive NL East championship tomorrow with a victory over the Mets and a Braves loss to the Nationals.
- The Phillies have an 11-game winning streak, which is their longest since a 13-game hitting streak July 30-Aug. 12, 1991.
- They are 19-3 in September.
- They are 93-61, which is the best record in Major League Baseball.
- Joe Blanton allowed two runs in seven innings to improve to 8-6 with a 4.94 ERA. He is 5-0 with a 3.54 ERA (29 earned runs in 73 2/3 innings) in 12 starts since his last loss July 21 in St. Louis.
- The Mets are upset with Chase Utley.
- Charlie Manuel is upset with the Mets.

The Phillies were upset with the Mets for calling time when Brad Lidge was in the stretch, ready to deliver a 0-1 pitch to Jesus Feliciano with runners at the corners and two outs in the ninth inning. The Mets were upset with Utley for a late slide into second baseman Ruben Tejada in the fifth inning.

“I think that was terrible,” Manuel said of the timeout in the ninth.

Seconds before Lidge threw a pitch to Feliciano, the Mets got third base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt to call timeout because they wanted Luis Castillo to pinch-run for Josh Thole at first base. Why the Mets waited until Lidge had started his at-bat with Feliciano is unknown, but Manuel did not like it. He got into a heated conversation with first base umpire and crew chief Jerry Layne before returning to the dugout.

“Terrible it was allowed and when it was done,” Manuel said. “He’s in a stretch. He’s in the process of throwing the ball. They’re over there screaming time out.”

Lidge eventually got Feliciano to strike out to end the game and pick up his 27th save.

“It’s a little ridiculous, I think,” Lidge said. “That’s an interesting freeze-the-kicker type move, I guess. I actually haven’t seen that done in baseball. Hopefully that won’t be a trend. Hopefully that’s a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of thing.”

Utley slid late into second base trying to break up a double play in the fifth inning. He started his slide almost as he reached the bag.

Tejada was not upset afterward, but his teammates were angry.

“I think it’s a little dirty because I think he slid right on top of the base,” Jose Reyes said. “He doesn’t need to do that there in that situation.”

“If he wants guys sliding like that into him then it’s perfectly fine,” David Wright said. “He knows how to play the game and if doesn’t mind guys coming in like that when he’s trying to turn a double play, then we don’t have any problem with it. … He knows the difference between a good, clean slide and a slide that’s late. That’s a better question for him.”

Utley never emerged from a back room in the Phillies’ clubhouse to comment.

Hey, could make things even more interesting tomorrow, right?

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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!

6 Comments

Huh. Wasn’t it just two years ago that Marlon Anderson completely bowled over Tad Iguchi trying to break a double play that ended the game? That’s not the pot calling the kettle black at all. Guess we should expect to see the benches clear tomorrow. Don’t do anything dumb guys.

To David Wright and the rest of the Mets..”There’s no crying in Baseball!!” I’ve a lot worse slides into second.The mets have nothing to play for, so a knockdown pitch wouldn’t hurt anything… but then again Utley would probably laugh.

As a Phillies fan, that was a pretty bad slide. I don’t mind going out of the baseline a little, but Chase started that slide really late.

It amazes me how “sensitive” baseball has become over the years. Remember when it was totally ok to bowl over the catcher trying to score or take out the shortstop or 2nd baseman who was trying to turn a double play? If he was in the baseline and going for the bag, like Utley was, it is ok. I have seen other teams do the same to us plenty of times. The Mets need to quit crying and toughen up. That is how the game is played…or at least, how it used to be played ;o)

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Utley’s slide looked awkward and was dumb. He is lucky he didn’t hurt himself. Yeah, we really need to get back to those non-sensitive days like when Pete Rose blind-sided Ray Fosse and ruined Fosse’s career.

and ROse did that in the All star game that meant nothing (not even home field advantage in WS. I guess we now know why the Mutts are a sub .500 team–=they have no heart or soul….

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