Results tagged ‘ David Wright ’

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.

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Myers Is Back, Victorino Tries the Dark Helmet Look


myers closer.jpgBrett Myers
is back.

He is back, but he won’t be on the active roster until tomorrow night’s series opener in Houston. He will be in the bullpen, pitching in the sixth and seventh innings to start. If he does well, you will see him in the later innings, especially if Brad Lidge struggles or needs a day off.

“I’m ready for whatever,” Myers said. “Once I’m on that roster, it’s in (Charlie Manuel‘s) hands.”

Asked about potentially closing, Myers said, “Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. That’s how I feel about it. Brad’s the closer here, and I wish him well and I’m pulling for him every night. If he is sore one day or if he’s thrown three days in a row or something, there’s plenty of guys down there that can jump in that spot and do it. I don’t necessarily have to be the guy that does it, but it’s always fun to do. But I just want ot get my feet underneath me and get a couple of games in before I’m ready to do the major stuff, I guess.”

You have to wonder what would have happened had Myers never gotten hurt. Do they make the Cliff Lee trade? Do they only go after Pedro Martinez? Maybe the stars aligned so the Phillies would add Lee and Martinez and the bullpen would add Myers.

“They’re definitely stronger,” Myers said of the rotation. “I just wish I would have had a better hip to be able to pitch a little better in the rotation. You take what you can get. I was dealt a semi-unforuntate hand, but I’m glad it worked out the way it did.”

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I said Tuesday on Twitter that David Wright looked like Spaceballs’ Dark Helmet in his new batting helmet, which he wore after suffering a concussion. Like I always say, safety first. But still … those helmets are HUGE. Well, Shane Victorino is giving the new helmets a shot tonight. He has traded in his trademark double-flapped helmet for a pair of single-flapped helmets that are able to withstand baseballs thrown at 100 mph.

Like Tiny Elvis would say, “Look at that helmet, man. That thing’s huge.”

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The Mets Talk about Pedro


martinez and santana.jpgPedro Martinez
is expected to arrive in Philadelphia tonight and take a physical tomorrow morning, a baseball source said.

If he passes his physical, the Phillies could introduce him at a news conference Wednesday.

Martinez has not pitched since last season with the Mets. He went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA, but Phillies scouts liked what they saw last week during two simulated games at the team’s baseball academy in the Dominican Republic.

“Pedro is a pitcher who likes to compete,” Mets ace Johan Santana said. “If Philadelphia is giving him an opportunity to play there, he’s going to compete for sure. That’s all he’s looking for. He’s a great friend of mine. We had a great time together in New York last year, and I hope all the best for him. He’s looking for the best for him, and I believe that Philadelphia is offering him what he wants and the conditions that he wants, and he’s going to have a chance to win there.”

But can he still pitch?

“Time will tell,” Santana said. “I don’t really know. But he showed in the WBC that he was ready to go, and he wants to prove a lot of people that he still has a lot left in his tank. I believe that he’s a man of his word. If he says that, he’s going to compete.”

Mets third baseman David Wright said he also thought Martinez threw well at the WBC.

“I know that’s a small sample, but you can never count a guy like Pedro out,” Wright said. “He’s just got a certain competitiveness to him and a fire to him that not too many pitchers have.”

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Who Will Manuel Take to the All-Star Game?


howard derby.jpgCharlie Manuel
is a powerful man these days.

As manager of the National League All-Star team, he makes eight selections to the 33-player roster. And he made no bones before tonight’s game against the Braves that he is partial to his own players.

“I’ll be the first guy to tell you that,” he said. “Everything that I’ve gotten out of us winning … I’ve got a World Series ring, and everything I’ve got was because our guys played good and they won. If you want to call me a player’s manager, I think I am because I think the players definitely have everything to do with it. I think good players make a good manager. I think good players can play over some of the mistakes a manager can make.”

We know Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley will be starters at their respective positions. They have commanding leads in fan voting.

But which other Phillies could go?

“If you ask me who I would vote for or pick, anytime I could pick one of my players definitely I’m in favor of that,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, when you look at things, you have to be fair to the game and also the guy who is having a big year. That can be hard to because there are so many.”

I’ve heard some talk that Manuel should pick Cole Hamels (4-5, 4.98 ERA), Brad Lidge (0-3, 7.57 ERA and 14 saves) or Jamie Moyer (6-6, 6.05 ERA) for their contributions last season, when the Phillies won the World Series. I don’t expect that to happen at all. Manuel would love to pick a few Phillies, but it would be impossible to sell Hamels, Lidge or Moyer with home-field advantage in the World Series on the line.

So when then?

I think Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino are legitimate possibilities.

Howard is hitting .256 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is tied for second in the NL with 41 extra-base hits. He is third in RBIs and go-ahead RBIs (19) and tied for third in game-winning RBIs (nine). He is fifth in home runs. He is from St. Louis, where the All-Star Game will be played July 14. He has been one of baseball’s best run producers in recent seasons. He has meant the world to Manuel in the middle of his lineup.

But Howard has some stiff competition at first base. Albert Pujols (.337, 30 homers and 77 RBIs) will be the starter. Prince Fielder (.306, 20, 74) has to go. Adrian Gonzalez (.268, 24, 48) and Todd Helton (.312, 9, 53) are legitimate candidates. There are others, too. There are only so many first basemen Manuel can take, which puts Howard in a numbers crunch. It will be interesting to see which way Manuel goes.

Victorino is hitting .295 with five homers, 34 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. He is tied for second in triples (five), tied for fourth in runs (52) and tied for ninth in hits (89) and stolen bases. Obviously, there are plenty of outfielders with better power numbers than Victorino, but Victorino is not a power hitter. He is a speed guy, who plays great defense and can hit. He might be an easier case for Manuel to make.

Third baseman Pedro Feliz has had a nice season, but he also appears to be in a numbers crunch with David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Casey Blake and others.

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Jimmy Rollins snapped his career-worst 0-for-28 slump with a single to right field in the third inning. Rollins also singled in the fifth.

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