Wednesday, August 29, 2007

3-2-1 Contact

In case you didn't know- Ryan Howard has power, and a lot of it. When his bat meets the ball the sound of a choir of angels rings through the summer air...or for you that are more traditionalists- "crack". Howard became the fastest player to reach 100 homeruns in terms of at bats earlier this year, has the single season homerun mark for a Phillie, won a Homerun Derby, was the NL Rookie of the Year, has a MVP Award, made an All-Star appearance, and has come back to life since Chase Utley has returned to the lineup. I'd like to thank Ryan Howard for making contact last night in the 10th, walk-off homeruns are the best.

When it comes to Ryan Howard, contact is the only thing that matters. The man is always going to strikeout at a high rate, but this season his whiffs have been crippling to the offense at times. However, when he makes contact, good things happen, especially when he starts taking outside pitches the other way. Contact for Ryan Howard is different than contact of almost all other Major Leaguers in my opinion, because Howard possesses the most raw/natural power in all of baseball. Basically, any contact Howard makes has the likelihood of being a bullet that is either difficult to catch or is uncatchable via homerun.


Out of the Basement:
With yesterday's double-header sweep over the Cincinatti Reds the Pittsburgh Pirates have finally gotten themselves out of the dungeons of the NL, and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. At 59-72 their record is not pretty, but it is better than the Marlins, Nationals, and Astros, and if they win tonight Cincy too. At the beginning of the season I had high hopes for the Buccos with their young pitching staff and improved offense with Adam LaRoche slotted into the lineup as a power threat. However, for the 1st half of the season some of the young pitching faltered, bullpen fell apart, and LaRoche and company didn't generate hardly enough run support and the Pirates found themselves in the basement of the NL Central. Things have recently started to turn around and they're climbing the stairs out of the cellar as the offense is on a roll, the rotation is solidifying (Snell, Gorzelanny, Maholm, and Morris), and Matts Capps and Damaso Marte are doing a good job in the bullpen.

Hey, Daddy-o,
I don't wanna go down
to the basement.
There's somethin' down there.
I don't wanna go.
Hey, Romeo,
There's somethin' down there.
I don't wanna go down
to the basement.



BloodStripes said...

Always dig a Ramones reference.

Howard has found some form. Remember last september. His average was .387 and his OBP was a whopping .561. A few IBB of course but he was hot. He knows when to fire and is heating up for the run home. He and the Phils are hungry for October and are lifting at a good time. Utley's return is obviously a huge lift. Hamels back this weekend too. Another win out of these next two would be good.

BloodStripes said...

Oh yeah.......

Hey Ho, Lets Go Phillies!!!!!

Jacobin said...

After a win like last night, I find some sort of twisted shadow satisfaction in reading the comments written by Mets' fans around the internet. It's amazing how insecure and paranoid their posts can be, while at the same time they attack other teams and try to reassure themselves that they are better than what happened in a crummy loss. Very, very amusing... Billy Wagner and his crying certainly mesh well with that fan base.

Maria said...

Jacobin, I know exactly what you mean. Most of them just want to get rid of Carlos Delgado. But apparently they already know the magic number to win the division. It's like 28 or something.

What a great win...against the Mets!

furiousBall said...

Tonight's game is huge. We can't split this series. I think the Mets bullpen might actually be (knock on wood) worse than ours. It's a hard call, kind of like drag racing a couple of Pintos. We gotta get 6 good innings from Moyer and the Phils batters need to be patient up at the plate, run the pitch count up on Perez. Hopefully, we'll get into that bullpen and smack 'em around a bit.

I'll be at the game tonight in right field, no shirt on, with the word FART painted on my chest. Look for me.

michael said...

jacobin. its honestly no different then the phils board/blogs on any given day. although yes it still fun to read mets fans in misery.

Maria said...

FART? Any significance, other to stand out?

Jacobin said...

I think it's a little different, at least on the Phils blogs I regularly check out. I mean, after a loss, you have Phils fans talking about how much they despise Charlie or which player needs to be traded for a bag of balls or how the front office is a collection of limp dick morons. We tend to eat our own, whereas most of the Mets fans I've seen lately want to attack other teams and their fans. I'm not saying one is better than the other, just saying I find that style more annoying.

Anyway, c'mon Phils! Take another one from the frigg'n Mets!

furiousBall said...

I totally don't mean to hijack the comments here, but me and a friend just solved the Phillies bullpen problems...

Me: You know although the Mets are marginally better than us starting pitching-wise, I don't think their bullpen is any better than our crappy one. If Moyer can keep us in the game for 6 innings, we have a shot tonight. Tonight's game is huge by the way, if we split the season, we gain no ground and we need to gain the ground.
D-Money: I agree that tonight is huge, and would make tomorrow a must win. They can't just split having won the first two.
Me: And we need to gain ground, we gotta be Franco Harris. Let's grow beards and wear throwback Steeler jerseys to make our statement.
D-Money: That's going to be hard to put together by tonight. How about I just wear a brown shirt and clap.
Me: Brown shirt? What are you rooting for Musolini?
D-Money: Hah! Wait, can he pitch the 8th?
Me: I'm sure his fast ball has more movement than Gordon's, no argument from me if you want to put a dead Italian fascist on the mound instead of the guy with the torn labrum.
D-Money: I'm just thinking of the intimidation factor. Of course, I think his head was severed from his body and placed on a stick, so that may also take some prep work. Maybe we could just put his head on a stick out there, and then a pitching machine underneath the head.
Me: I would totally be freaked out if a headless dictator was on the mound.

Jacobin said...

Did anyone read about Andrew Carpenter, one of our Clearwater prospects pitching a perfect game last night (granted, it was a 7-inning contest)? With that kind of outing, I think we can expect his Tommy John surgery to be scheduled sometime early next summer.

Jacobin said...

Early word on the lineups is that Fuqua has made the genius decision of not starting Utley tonight and is instead going with Uguchi. Let me add that Utley is fine and this is not a health issue... Hillbilly Mensa back in action.

SirAlden said...

Ryan Howard to Rollins to put on the tag! Reyes CAUGHT STEALING for the second time tonight! Reyes running on the infield grass trying to cut off the angle.

Abraham Nunez, ROBBING Castillo of EXTRA BASES. Three Out! Castillo shakes his head as he goes out to the field this is the second sure double that Nunez has robbed him of tonight!

Flash the Leather Phightin's. Flash that Leather!

Bob D said...

Actually it is not a real bad desicion, especially considering tommorow to be a day game. Iguchi is good, its not like he is replacing him with Nunez, Oh wait he is on 3rd. Ok some hillbillymensa is still ailing him some.

Also if he wanted to rest Howard 1 day a lineup with Iguchi at 2B and Utley at 1B is not bad either.

SirAlden said...

Alou grounds out into an inning ending double play, wiping out David Wright at second who walked to lead off the inning...

Around the horn DOUBLE PLAY started by GM CARSON?


Stellar defense from Abraham Nunez this evening.

Bob D said...

Put this one in the win collum!
Awesome game again

Bob D said...

Now to go for the sweep!

chuckm said...

Oh man, another stolen win! If Anderson wasnt so stupid, Green would have beat that, Chavez would have scored and I have no doubt that Myers would have lost his shit and given up
the lead run(s).

Jacobin said...

What an odd way for a game to end. Wow, the whining on Mets boards is going to be insane from this one. Three wins so far is mighty nice, but if we pull the sweep tomorrow... Yabadabadoo!

Burrell continues to be a Mets killer and Jimmy Rollins burns himself deeper and deeper in the Mets' fan psyche as the enemy. Shit, we've found some odd ways to win in this series so far. This is only the team's third win of the season when scoring less than three runs!

Jacobin said...

I watched the replay of Anderson's slide a few more times and, wow, I really believe the umpire made the right call. If the ump had been Lance Barksdale, I guess everyone would have been ruled safe. How strange is this series so far? Rowand's weak grounder stays fair last night and tonight an umpire makes the correct call in a crucial situation where it benefits the Phillies!

das411 said...

Does anybody remember, I think it might have been in that movie "Whatever it Takes, Dude", the tribute somebody put together showing highlights of the '93 team and all of their crazy games, to the song "Day by Day" by the Hooters?

This team is definitely starting to feel an awful lot like that one...they are certainly showing us something every day by day by day, and all of a sudden are one more solid start from Lohse away from being within 2 games. Who would've ever predicted 24 hours ago that Reyes would be picked off *twice*, and the game would end on Marlon Anderson being called for interference?? You can't make this stuff up...unless somebody upstairs has written one hell of a script...

GM-Carson said...

"You can't make this stuff up...unless somebody upstairs has written one hell of a script..."

By upstairs do you mean your Mom? You know, since you live in her basement and all. Just kidding.

Moyer was good enough tonight.

J-Roll wanted to double-barrell middle-finger salute the Mets, but he decided to be nice and hit the homerun instead.

Pat Burrell has been awesome in the 2nd half.

Jose Gay-Ass picked off twice in the same game is hilarious!

The interference call on Marlon Anderson was the correct one, that was a horrible slide, he practically tackled Gooch.

I actually agreed with Manuel is sitting Utley, and I would have sat Howard too.

SirAlden said...

YOu forgot your phlashin' the leather comment on Abraham Nunez, GM Carson!

He was the star of the game.

I guess I think our franchise after Baltimore's (Brooks Robinson), has the greatest bragging rights for post 1960 3B Fielding (Michael Jack Schmidt, Scott Rolen, and last night's star of the game Abraham Orlando Nunez Adames).

Yes! Adames is his real last name.

GM-Carson said...

Sir Alden- Yes, Nuni played GREAT defense last night, but what the hell are you talking about in regards to his name?