For years in his early career, Michael Young was leadoff hitter for the Rangers. Last night, Young was leadoff hitter once again, having not done so since 2004.
Was he successful at leadoff? How about hitting 3 out of 5? Now…that’s a leadoff hitter. (Domonic Brown was also 3 for 5, continuing his red hot ways.)
Last night the Phils rose a game over the .500 mark, and with Cliff Lee pitching tonight, chances are good they will be 2 games over .500 by the night’s end.
Ben Revere was notably absent from the game last night, and that’s as it should be. He hasn’t been contributing as he should. And the first inning failed steal of third with nobody out the other night? Not a pretty picture, that.
Cole Hamels, pitching ace for the Phillies, won his second game of the season yesterday.
How does a pitcher keep resentment out of the mix, when his team so often failed to garner him any run support in the past 11 games?
But now he has two wins out of 11 games. It’s not a glowing statistic – but it sounds a lot better than 1 – 10.
So we are thankful for small favors – and Cole must be too.
Meanwhile, Domonic Brown is a sideshow all by himself, leading the NL in homeruns, cranking out at least one every game now.
How does he handle the pressure of 42,000 screaming fans expecting a homerun every time he strides to the plate? He seems to be handling it, at any rate. Maybe the away games with the Brewers, the Rockies and the Twins will give him some relief from the expectations, and from the pressure.
He is a delight to behold, tho, and that is a fact.
Cliff Lee continues to be a pure pleasure to watch. Tonight he pitched the entire game, leaving a bunch of Marlins in his wake.
And Delmon Young is beginning to wield his bat in winning fashion. He had another home run tonight. It comes at a time when the Phils need all the offense they can get.
Of note is that Delmon is doing good in the outfield as of late. He threw a solid throw from the outfield to Rollins, to get a man out at second.
The Phils won the game 3-0, and won the series.
Now at one game under .500, they are off to battle the Nats in Washington, DC.
Is the Phillies closer named Ocho Cinco or Jonathan Papelbon? That’s an easy answer. Once the tall blond pitcher runs to the mound to close a game, Jonathan Papelbon is gone. That pitcher standing on the mound in the ninth inning, his killer stare blazing toward home plate, his arm swinging, is no other than Papelbon’s alter ego Ocho Cinco.
Former Red Sox infield Alex Cora remembers when Ocho Cinco was born. It was during the 2007 season during their fantasy football league draft. Papelbon was fixated on getting wide receiver Ocho Cinco and talked about it all the time. So Cora started calling him Ocho Cinco, and that name stuck as the name of his alter ego on the mound.
According to Papelbon, it’s Ocho Cinco, the cold blooded closer, on the mound when he pitches. Ocho Cinco has ice in his veins. He doesn’t remember past wins or losses.
After he’s cooled down in the tub post game, then he’s Papelbon again, the ‘goofy, nice’ guy with a soft southern drawl.
Papelbon said he loves running to the mound to close a game. He loves the passion of the Phillies fans, and loves the roar of the crowd as he departs the bullpen. He said it makes the hair on his arms tingle.
But, of course, it’s Ocho Cinco’s arm hairs that tingle, to be exact.
The less said the better concerning the Phillies game in Cleveland tonight.
Chase Utley hit a homerun; Delmon Young had a homerun his first time at bat, but from those points onward the game spiralled wickedly out of control, to disappear down the major league drain.
In baseball tomorrow is always, and forgivingly, another day.
Phillies pitching remains strong. Last night Kyle Kendrick had an 107 pitch, 3 hit shut out.
Today, Jonathan Pettibone had his first Major League win, defeating the Mets 9-4. He had lots of offensive support, including back to back homeruns from Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr., and a 5 run fifth inning.
Pettibone, whose father was also a major league pitcher, got his first major league hit today, in the third inning.
All this improved the temperaments of Phillies fans everywhere.
When Phillies 5th starter John Lannan went on the DL, eyes turned to the Iron Pig’s starting rotation. Who would substitute for Lannan, and get his first start in the majors?
The answer was Jonathan Pettibone, whose 9.64 ERA with the Iron Pigs was not massively impressive.
But Pettibone came to Citizens Bank Park determined to do well, and he did, striking out 6 and allowing two Pirate runs in 5 1/3 innings.
So the Phils have won two in a row. It’s a start. Maybe tonight Cole Hamels will get his first win, and it’ll be three in a row.
His 25 game suspension nearing completion, Carlos Ruiz may return to catch for the Phils on April 28 against the Mets.That means he might be back next week.
He ‘might be’ and not surely will be because he was hit on the wrist in a game in Clearwater yesterday.
His X-rays are negative, but he’s been deemed day to day by the Phillies’ brass.
Halladay gave up two hits – both homers. Half of his pitches were strikes.
It’s inevitable that murmurs of frustration would center on Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel.
Even an objective eye might agree that it is time for Manuel’s departure, maybe placing him in the front office instead.
Critics point out that he isn’t motivating the players anymore; Charlie is said to be a hitting guru, yet the Phils’ hitting is dismal. Something seems wrong with the picture.
But the team is said to love Manuel. Plus he brought the 2008 World Championship to the Phillies. Who can ever forget that? Who can ever be grateful enough for that?
Manuel critic Angelo Cataldi brays each morning that Manuel has to go. But Cataldi is a clown, and why WIP thinks his schtick is still amusing is completely baffling. (Oh, for another morning Philly sports talk show that centers on local sports and not the national venue.)
It could be that unless the team starts doing what they are paid to do, their beloved skipper might depart the team in this the last year of his contract.
Phillies, please start hitting.