Results tagged ‘ Bobby Cox ’

What Grade Does Charlie Get?

Charlie ManuelSo on WIP this morning Angelo Cataldi asked what grade Charlie Manuel deserves as manager.

Hmmmm … I think he gets an ‘A’ because in my opinion, wins and losses are the only things that matter.

Manuel has more wins than any manager in Phillies history (727) and his winning percentage (.561) is the best among Phillies managers with 300 or more games. He has won five National League East championships, two National League pennants and one World Series. The Phillies’ .561 winning percentage under Manuel from 2005-12 is best in the National League and third in baseball behind the Yankees (.590) and Angels (.563).

Now, if you’re argument is, well, he only won one World Series, despite some pretty talented teams … just a reminder the Phillies have won only two World Series since their inception in 1883. And a little perspective is good here, too. Jim Leyland has won just one World Series in 21 years as manager. Bobby Cox won just one in 29 years. Tony La Russa won three in 33. Tommy Lasorda won two in 21. Connie Mack won five in 53. The point here is that it is tough to win a World Series.

One in eight years with the Phillies isn’t so bad. In fact, I’m reminded of something Dallas Green told me in Spring Training 2004. He said, “If it were easy to win a World Series, I wouldn’t be the only son of a bitch walking around here with a ring.”

Leave Dallas to tell it like it is.

But I also know some people think Manuel didn’t take advantage of the talent he had. So what do you think? Vote.

Halladay Does It Again

Thumbnail image for halladay 0421 2010.jpgA few words from the Braves following last night’s masterful performance from Roy Halladay:

“In my years here, there have been two guys that have commanded the strike zone like that, that I’ve actually faced,” Chipper Jones said. “Rocket (Roger Clemens) was the other one. What’s not to be impressed about him? He’s the real deal.”

“Halladay is very, very good,” Bobby Cox said. “What you saw tonight is basically what he does every start. You don’t get many (scoring chances). He’s that good. He’s really a machine.”

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A few numbers to know regarding Halladay:

  • He is 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his first four starts with the Phillies, matching Cliff Lee‘s starts with the Phillies.
  • He is 6-0 with a 0.53 ERA in his last six starts, dating to last season with Toronto. It includes four complete games and three shutouts.
  • He is 8-2 with a 1.21 ERA in his last 10 starts, including six complete games and shutouts against the Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners and Braves.

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Great defense last night in the 2-0 victory. Shane Victorino robbed Troy Glaus of a homer in the second, making a leaping catch at the wall. Juan Castro made a nice play up the middle that had Ryan Howard stretching as far as he could humanly stretch to beat the runner in the fifth. The biggest play might have been the inning-ending double play that Chase Utley and Castro turned with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh. Yunel Escobar hit a grounder up the middle. The ball hit off the mound and Utley made a diving catch to his right and flipped the ball to Castro, whose momentum carried him across the bag as he made the throw to Howard to end the inning. Howard then made a fantastic diving catch on a one-hopper to his right in the ninth. He flipped the ball to Halladay at first to retire Jones for the first out.

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The Phillies provided just enough offense. They had scored 77 runs (7.7 per game) in their first 10 games, including a .315 batting average and a .935 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, but have scored just six runs (1.5 per game) in their previous four games, including a .188 batting average and a .533 OPS.

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Placido Polanco said he does not expect to miss much time after bruising his left elbow. Tim Hudson hit Polanco with a pitch in the first inning, and Polanco remained in the game until Wilson Valdez pinch-hit for him in the seventh inning. Polanco said x-rays revealed no fracture.

“It’s stiff now, weak, sore,” Polanco said.

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

Halladay Looks Good Again

The two busses that carried the Phillies from Bright House Field in Clearwater to Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista left at 1:30 p.m. today.

Roy Halladay was not on board. He could not wait for the busses to make the 90-minute trek. He wanted to get to the ballpark earlier, so he drove himself and arrived at 2:15 p.m. instead.

“I just can’t sit at home on days I pitch,” he said during a 7-4 victory over the Braves. “I get fidgety. My wife can’t stand me, so she kicks me out. I try to get here a little earlier just to meander for awhile.”

Halladay, who will spend that time during the season studying a game plan, allowed three hits and struck out five in three scoreless innings against Atlanta. In two Grapefruit League starts, Halladay has allowed five hits and struck out eight in five scoreless innings. Halladay struck out the side in the first inning, including a nice curveball to get Brian McCann to end the inning. He retired the side in order in the third, striking out Nate McLouth and Martin Prado each for the second time.

“I felt like it got better,” Halladay said. “The last inning I felt like the command was better.”

Halladay threw 51 pitches, 33 for strikes. He allowed singles to Chipper Jones and Troy Glaus in the first inning, which left him unsatisfied. Yes, Halladay didn’t think he threw particularly well the first two innings – and he still looked good, catcher Brian Schneider remarked.

Braves manager Bobby Cox marveled at the two front-door cutters that got Prado.

“He can do it with every pitch,” Cox said. “There’s a guy that can throw 96 (mph) if he wants to. But he throws 89-91 and knows right where it’s going.”

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

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