With the Dbacks coming into town I started thinking about the link between the Phils and the snakes, which lead me to the Curt Schilling trade. Back in 2000 Schilling pretty much talked his way out of Philly, so Ed Wade shipped him to Arizona for Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee, and Vicente Padilla. Schilling formed a terrific 1-2 punch with Randy Johnson in 'zona and went to the post season twice with them, winning the World Series in 2001; while the package that came to Philly for him sputtered. Schill really isn't the focus of this plashback, although I do want to point out that he's 1 of only 9 MLB players to be born in Alaska and he has the uppity middle name of Montague. The spotlight of the phlashback is the 2000 Arizona Diamondbacks' roster, which included 11 former Phils on it. The previously mentioned Daal (2000-01), recently resurfaced Figueroa (01, also a Phucco, with Bucs 03-04), Travesty Lee (00-02), and Switch-hittin' Padilla (00-05) all arrived in Philly via the Schilling deal. Others- another Phucco Turner Ward (01, with Bucs 97-99), Kelly Stinnett (brief stint in 03), Rod Barajas (07), David Dellucci (06), Russ Springer (95-96), and lefty specialist Dan Plesac, also a Phucco (02-03, with Bucs 95-96).
The series sets up with the Friday showdown of cancer survivor Doug Davis (3-4, 3.74 era, 1.48 whip) vs. Mr. Win, Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.39, 1.36). Saturday will see the ancient but still fierce Randy Johnson (5-7, 5.18, 1.43) take on the fighting for his rotation spot Adam Eaton (3-7, 5.20, 1.56). Sunday series finales will be a beauty with Dbacks' ace Bradon Webb (13-4, 3.27, 1.17) set to face Phils' ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.18, 0.99).
Happ Not Happy?
JA Happ helps the Phils to wins in both of his starts this season and gets demoted to Triple A Lehigh Valley. This move does not make Happ happy, but it does make sense. The Phils won't be needing his services until after the All-Star break, so they sent him down to the minors to make a start until he's needed. My guess is that he and Brett Myers will be recalled after the All-Star break, with Myers taking back his spot in the rotation and Happ taking Eaton's (unless Eaton pulls out a masterpiece Saturday afternoon). Minor league journey man and Independent League refugee Mike Cervenak gets the call-up from the Lil' Piggies. Here's to hoping he gets a few pinch-hits and displaces So Taguchi on the 25 man roster.
*Has there ever been a league leader in both homeruns and rbi left off the All-Star team? It's about to happen this season, because Ryan Howard leads the NL in both categories (27 hr, 83 rbi). I'm not advocating Howard for '08 NL All-Star, but it's hard to ignore those numbers, and lord knows I have tried. In all fairness, Ryan does have a 13 game hitting streak and has upped his average to .234.
*We all know about the struggles of Carlos Ruiz collecting only 4 hits over his last 40 at bats for a .100 average. However, our other catcher is currently struggling too; Chris Coste has no hits in his last 17 at bats. That's a buttload of bad baseball right there.
*Grand Pappy Moyer went 7 innings to pick up his 8th win of the season, 238th of his career, and dropped his era below 4 (3.95). Not bad for someone old enough to be around when JFK was still President.
*JC Romero picked up the save, which was a departure from the norm. Since Tom Gordon has been placed on the DL, Charlie Manuel has tried various pitchers in various situations and I must say I like the change. I got tired of seeing the scheme of Romero in the 7th, Gordon in the 8th, and Lidge in the 9th played out every time the Phils had a lead late in the game. Now the ball may go to Clay Condrey, Ryan Madson, or Chad Durbin. This Gordon DL stint may just end up being a blessing in disguise.