Results tagged ‘ Mets ’

Rollins Talks Thole Blunder

Jimmy Rollins could not believe his eyes.

In the top of the second inning in last night’s 5-2 loss to the Mets, R.A. Dickey executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Josh Thole to second base with one out. Phillies first baseman Jim Thome tagged Dickey about halfway up the first-base line and nonchalantly tossed the ball back to Cliff Lee, who believed like everybody else at Citizens Bank Park the play had ended.

In fact, Rollins motioned for Thole that he did not need to slide as he reached second base, which is something he has done since he reached the big leagues whenever there is no play at the base.

“Nice hit,” Thole told Rollins as he reached second, referring to Rollins’ first-inning double.

“Thanks,” Rollins replied.

Then Thole inexplicably turned around and walked back to first base.

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Hey, The Mets Are In Town

phils mets 2007.jpgYour favorite NL East rivalry is back:

Phillies vs. Mets.

To get you in the mood, I found a photo of Shane Victorino jumping on top of Tadahito Iguchi after he scored the winning run in a dramatic 11-10 victory over the Mets on Aug. 30, 2007. The Phillies blew 5-0 and 8-5 leads only to score two runs in the ninth inning off Billy Wagner to complete the four-game sweep.

It’s only April 30, but when the Phillies and Mets open a three-game series tonight at the Bank, the Phillies find the Mets in first place in the National League East.

Everybody behave themselves!

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From what I’ve gathered, most of the local reaction to Ryan Howard’s contract extension has been positive, while many nationally have been critical of it. I talked again with Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick and got their takes on some of the biggest questions surrounding the deal.

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I’ll be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday on the Main Concourse behind Section 111 at Citizens Bank Park.

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Roy Halladay, Raul Ibanez and Howard answer questions (mostly from kids) during an On Deck reception with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

The Phillies and Mets Are Close

The Phillies can take a four-game lead over the Mets in the National League East with a victory tonight at Citi Field. The first two games of this three-game series have been entertaining, regardless of the outcome. If these games are any indication, it could be another intereresting September.

Here is a look at how these teams match up in a few categories:

Runs per game
Phillies: 5.47
Mets: 4.68

Home runs
Phillies: 84
Mets: 37

Average
Phillies: .263
Mets: .279

On-base percentage
Phillies: .344
Mets: .361

Slugging percentage
Phillies: .464
Mets: .410

Fielding percentage
Phillies: .991
Mets: .981

Errors
Phillies: 19
Mets: 41

Starter’s ERA
Phillies: 5.29
Mets: 4.47

Bullpen ERA
Phillies: 3.52
Mets: 2.88

I just took a look at Baseball Prospectus’ daily playoff odds report, and they also have this race very close. They gave the Phillies a 44.3 percent chance to win the NL East and a 16.3 percent chance to win the NL Wild Card for a 60.6 percent chance to make the playoffs.

They gave the Mets a 45 percent chance to win the division and a 13.9 percent chance to win the wild card for a 58.9 percent chances to make the postseason.

I’m guessing the reason why the Mets have slightly better odds to win the division than the Phillies is the Mets currently have been overall pitching. But the Phillies have pitched much better recently. The Phillies have a 3.72 ERA since May 15, while the Mets have a 3.86 ERA. The Mets also lost J.J. Putz for about two months because of elbow surgery. But what could be interesting is that the Mets could have Francisco Rodriguez, Putz and Billy Wagner in their bullpen in September if everything goes according to plan.

Might not be a bad idea for the Phillies to build a big lead before then.

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The Cole War. Seriously?

ny post back.jpgEverybody knows Cole Hamels called the Mets “choke artists” over the winter on New York radio station WFAN.

He might have been pushed into saying it, but he said it.

He said last Wednesday, “I didn’t know what I said when it happened. I really didn’t. I have to stick by what I said and it’s something where, truly, I like to do most of my talking out on the field. I’m not the type of guy that needs to look for attention in the offseason.”

Hamels recently appeared on WIP with Howard Eskin. Eskin asked Hamels why it is such a big deal to use the word choke.

Hamels replied, “The word choke means you weren’t able to fully come through when you were supposed to. I think the Mets had the top teams, they pretty much had the championships in the bag and they weren’t able to come through. A lot of guys will perceive them as choking in the end and not fulfilling their end of the bargain because they should have taken it. You know what? It really does show the strength and hard work and I guess the deep down guts that we have to take it away from them.”

Totally controversial, right? OK, not exactly. But the New York Post found those comments, wrote a note about it and made it the back page of its national edition today with the headline “The Cole War” splashed across Hamels’ picture. (The final edition bumped Hamels to a banner headline atop Nate Robinson‘s 41-point effort against the Pacers.)

Hamels shook his head and laughed when showed the Post’s back page.

“I think it kind of gets out of hand,” Hamels said. “But you know what? If it spurs enough (interest) to where we get a lot more attention when we face each other, that’s fine. … I don’t want it to be bad blood against their players and us because we respect each other. But if it really gets the fans involved, that’s OK.

“I know that I have the Phillies fans on my side and I know I’m never going to have the Mets fans on my side. So it’s not like they’re going to cheer me when I go out there. I guess if it gets more exciting when we play, I think that’s good for baseball. I think that’s what baseball needs. It needs some good rivalries to forget about the other stuff off the field that’s been happening.”

Hamels told reporters last week in Clearwater that he didn’t regret using the phrase “choke artists” on WFAN becuase he learned from it. He echoed that sentiment this morning.

“I’ll live with it, and I’ll never regret anything I say because I learn from it,” he said. “It’s a situation where I can try to apologize to players because I don’t want them to be offended by it. I have a lot of respect for all the players on their team. I guess it’s just something to stir the pot. Hopefully it’ll get things going for when we compete during the season.”

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