Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thirsty Thursday- Raul Ibanez

Remember all the nay-sayers out there when Raul Ibanez was inked to a 3 year $31.5M contract? I was one of them, and you were probably one of them too, because there were many. We all love Pat Burrell and wanted him to remain a Phillie, but Amaro saw an opportunity to upgrade the team and signed Raul despite all the wannabe GM's no-go stamp of disapproval.

Since arriving in Philly I've heard nothing but great things about Ibanez; consummate professional seems to be the ringing endorsement. He was sought after as a steady force in the middle of the lineup, and that he has been. He's not only mashing the ball, he's also a decent left fielder with an accurate arm, runs the bases well, and has a knack for picking up the rbi. One might say, it's shocking how good he's been, or how refreshing it is to watch him play.

Shock Top Belgian White is a wheat ale made by Michelob, and it's absolutely refreshing with a mix of orange, lemon, and lime peels along with coriander. I highly recommend picking up a sampler pack of Michelob's wheat beers and enjoying them on a warm spring evening while watching Raul Ibanez and the Phils decimate the competition.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Don't Get Bent Outta Shape

Closer day-to-day with a bum knee; no sweat. Ace of the staff returns from screaming line drive assault and battery to sprain ankle while fielding; no big deal. 5 game winning streak; freaking awesome!

Okay, having Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels nicked up is not a good thing, but I don't think it's anything to panic over either. Lidge should be available come Friday, and Hamels has already said he expects to make his next start. Relax everyone, and enjoy the wild ride that is the 2009 season.

Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez are duking it out for honors of April MVP. Utley- .357 avg, 1.142 OPS, 18 r, 7 hr, 20 rbi, 2 sb. Ibanez- .355 avg, 1.142 OPS, 20 r, 5 dbl, 7 hr, 17 rbi, 3 sb. Those two are pretty unbelievable right now in terms of hotness, and I speak of their bats not looks (leave that for Wheels). Speaking of hot, what the hell has gotten into Pedro Feliz?

Phils go for their second straight sweep tonight with Brett Myers facing nemesis Scott Olsen. If they win tonight, Amaro may have to sign old friend Antonio Alfonseca to a minor league deal so he can walk around high-sixing everyone.

Oops, almost forgot the Golden Girls...


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Game Time: In Need of an Ace

Cole Hamels, this pitching staffs needs you. They need you to perform like you did in 2008, or 2007, or even your rookie year of 2006. They need 7+ innings of well pitched baseball. Why so desperate? The Phillies starting pitchers are averaging a measly 5.46 innings pitched per start with an absurd era of 6.68 and an awful whip of 1.61. Cole Hamels is supposed to be this staff's ace, yet he has the highest era and lowest innings per start pitched so far. Maybe that shot off the bat of Prince Fielder last start will help him shake off the World Series MVP afterglow and get working on another one!

The Nationals have played 18 games, scored 85 runs, and hit 21 homeruns. 27 of those runs (32%) and 12 of those homeruns (57%) have come in their 3 games against the Phillies. That is a pointblank indicator of just how atrocious our pitching has been. Like I said above, we need Cole Hamels, the real Cole Hamels tonight.

Phils look to add to their 4 game winning streak against Washington tonight. John Lannan gets the start, with a lifetime 0-3 record and 6.43 era against the Phils. Time for the Gnats to behold the power of the Golden Girls.


Phils Win In Grand Fashion

Lidge Watch
Fuqua said in the post-game presser that Lidge's unavailability last night was due to inflammation in his right knee. He had an MRI yesterday, which Fuqua said showed no structural damage.

The skipper said the Lidge was "day-to-day", but Post Game Live's Ricky Botallico isn't convinced. "You don't lay in a tube for nothing," said Ricky Bo. I'm pretty sure he was talking about the MRI machine, but either way, it sounds like Bottalico expects Lidge to miss some time. If so, we'll see how well Ryan Madson, the next Mariano Rivera, will do saving some games.
Romero Watch
JC Romero has sued the supplement company that makes 6-OXO Extreme, the product that resulted in Romero's positive test and suspension. He can't reduce his suspension. He'll be hard pressed to restore his reputation. But at least maybe he can recoup some cash.
Cooch Watch
While taking BP before the FeHams game last night, Cooch felt discomfort in his strained oblique. He didn't play in the game and will be re-evaluated today. He was scheduled to play for the R-Phils, but that appearance is uncertain.
Your Daily Golden Girls Fix
If you want the Phillies to win tonight, you'll watch this clip...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Joe Blanton Hungry Like The Wolf

The Washington Nationals should be fearing for their lives when they timidly tip-toe on to the field tonight against Joe Blanton and the Philadelphia Phillies. Joe Blanton is hungry, hungry for a win!

In touch with the mound,
I'm on the hunt, I'm after you.
Fastball zips with sound,
I'm cheered by the crowd,
And I'm hungry like the wolf.
Straight zeroes are my line,
On batters I dine,
I'm on the hunt, I'm after you.
My bat is alive, World Series juices vibe,
And I'm hungry like the wolf!

WSBGM's is attributing the 3 game sweep of the Marlins to the power of the Golden Girls, so here's our parting gift today...


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sweep and Winning Record Come Today

Time to break on through to the other side. Other side being a winning record. Phils are 8-8 and have yet to taste .500+ this season. Grand Pappy Moyer is on the bump going for the sweep of the Marlins. "Owned", as those in the biz call it, has been what Moyer has done to Florida over his career going 11-1 with a 2.95 era. Graham Taylor, making his MLB debut, will be the pitcher for the Fish.

*All 8 of the Phillies wins have been of the come from behind variety (that sounds dirty).

*Clay Condrey is like a bird of prey, swooping down and grabbing wins in his talons, as he leads the staff with 3.

*Phillies pitching has allowed a homerun in 16 straight games now, 34 total. Opposing batters have a .287 average and .883 OPS against the Phils staff.

*Jimmy Rollins is horrible right now. He has the 5th lowest batting average (.162) and OPS (.441) in the majors among qualified batters. He's walked only 3 times in 68 at bats.

*Phillies are 2-0 since Friday's Golden Girls reference, so without further explanation...


Fresh Farm Produce:
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs- Carlos Carrasco may not have a win yet, but he has a 2.37 era and 0.79 whip over 19 ip with 20 k's. Outfielder John Mayberry Jr. is batting .292 with 6 dbl, 3 hr, 9 rbi, and 1.008 OPS (replacement for Miguel Cairo come May).

Reading Phillies- My favorite prospect Michael Taylor has 4 stolen bases along with a .286 average. Fast-tracked Michael Stutes is 3-0 with a 1.59 era and 0.94 whip. Old dirty bastard Antonio Bastardo is 1-0 with 2 saves, 0.71 era, and 0.57 whip.

Clearwater Threshers- teammates Kyle Drabek and Yohan Flande are a combined 6-0 over 36.2 innings pitched, striking out 43, with a 0.49 era.

Lakewood BlueClaws- outfielder Anthony Gose is batting only .242, but has 11 swipes in just 15 games. Like Carrasco, Jason Knapp may be winless, but has a 1.96 era and 0.76 whip over 18.1 ip with 30 k's.


Saturday, April 25, 2009


Hot Damn, Grand Slam

Shane Victorino provided the heroics last night, popping a Matt Lindstrom offering into the Miami twilight for a grand slam. Brett Myers registered the quality start, although it feels dirty referring to 8 hits and 6 walks over 6 innings as "quality". Matt Stairs continues to be a pinch-hitting god, now 4-8 with 2 hr and 5 rbi on the season in that role.

*The Phillies are breaking records. The competition has blasted homeruns in 15 straight games to start the season, and the previous record was 13. Doubtful the streak stops tonight with Chan Ho Park pitching. In total, the Phils have given up a MLB worst 32 homeruns.

*For all you Golden Girls haters and "sicko" fans...


Friday, April 24, 2009

Tale of the Tape - Miami

Tale of the Tape. You know how it works. Let's get it on...

Boating Refugees
Miami - Cubans escaping communist Cuba.
Philly - Jersey citizens escaping Camden.
Advantage - Push. Both are sent back as soon as possible.

Franchise Owner
Miami - The owner of the Marlins is Jeffrey Loria.
Philly - The owner of the Eagles is Jeffrey Lurie.
Advantage - Philadelphia has a football stadium for football games. Miami has a football stadium for football and baseball games. Philly gets the nod because their own can get a stadium built.

TV Sitcom
Miami - Golden Girls
Philly - It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Advantage - Miami. Many shows had characters that were stupid, sarcastic, bitchy sluts. But only one had them eligible for Social Security.

TV Sitcom #2
Miami - Empty Nest
Philly - Boy Meets World
Advantage - Philly. Topanga. 'Nuff said.

Miami - In 2007, Miami was identified as having the rudest drivers in the United States.
Philly - The "City of Brotherly Love."
Advantage - Philly. If Philly has a "Love" statue, does Miami have a middle digit statue somewhere in town?

Ugly Uniform
Miami - The black, magenta and orange failure of the ABA's Miami Floridians.
Philly - The "shooting star" Sixers jerseys of the early 90's.
Advantage - Miami. Tacky stars and fading colors are bad, but combining pink with magenta is in an ugly class all it's own, one that Philly can't compete with.

There you have it. The numbers never lie and the Phils take another TotT, 3-2-1. So, should be an easy series win for the Fightins. Even easier than that Milwaukee series...


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Game Time- Rule of King Cole

Hollywood King Cole was a jolly young soul,
And a jolly young soul was he.
He called for his fastball,
And he called for his change-up,
And the hitter was out- strike three.
Every batter he had a bat,
And a batter a strikeout became he.
Oh there's none so rare, as can compare,
With King Cole and his strike three.


Farmhand Gary Majewski is doing well for the Lil' Piggies of the Lehigh Valley. He's got 2 saves and 1.00 era through 7 appearances and 9 innings pitched, but it's this fantastic picture that I truly want to share with you. Strap some goggles on him and he's the Red Baron (which ironically used to be the Phils Triple A affiliates name).


Quality Starts = Losses?

The Phillies pitching staff has registered only 3 quality starts this season through 13 games. A quality start is when the starting pitcher goes 6+ innings while allowing 3 or fewer earned runs. Brett Myers had one on April 18th and Joe Blanton notched a QS in each of his last two starts (April 16th and last night). Funny/discouraging thing is that they've lost all 3 of those games. Hopefully this trend fluke can stop today when Cole Hamels goes against David Bush in today's afternoon matinee (game time 1:05).


When the 11-1 Florida Marlins traveled to PNC to play the 6-6 Pittsburgh Pirates people were expecting a sweep, just not by the Buccos. The Pirates are now 9-6 after taking 3 straight from the Fish and are starting to make people wonder just how good are they. Yesterday ESPN's baseball page's poll was devoted to the Pirates. Personally, I still view them as a team with a losing record after 162 games, but it sure is fun to watch them finally experience some success if only in April.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Win by Design

Last night was a beautiful 11-4 victory. In my opinion it was the first complete all-around game of the season. Jamie Moyer pitched like we expect him to, the offense contributed a sufficient amount of runs, defense and base running were solid, and the bullpen did their job. Damn, it sure is nice to watch a team perform like they're designed to.

For the most part, the offense has been clicking this season. J-Roll and Vic are off to sluggish starts, but the rest are performing at (Werth) or above (Howard, Utley, Feliz, Ibanez) expectations. It's the pitching staff that has the Phils deadlocked at .500-land (6-6 record), but Hamels (11.17), Blanton (9.00), Durbin (8.44), Madson (6.00), and Lidge (9.45) are not as bad as they've pitched so far, so that area of concern should improve.

The Howard:
If you take the time to look up at the righthand sidebar you'll see "The Howard" tracker void of Ryan Howard or any other Phillie. The reason for that, the Phils as a team have struckout a MLB low 63 times, and committed a MLB low 3 errors. Howard is still striking out a ton (15 k's in 12 games), but he's only hit 2 homeruns and has performed unexpectedly well in the field thus far.

Yeah Pittsburgh!
Don't look now, but the Pirates have the second best pitching staff in the Majors in terms of earned run average at 3.00. They also have a winning record at 8-6. Their past two wins have come against the early season powerhouse Florida Marlins. Do I expect this success to last all season? Uh, no. But if it does, I owe my buddy a case of beer of his choice (if they have a winning record come season's end).


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tale of the Tape - Milwaukee

Music Festivals
Milwaukee - "Milwaukee Summerfest" is the largest annual outdoor music festival in the country.
Philly - The 2009 Philadelphia Music Festival will feature bands no one cares about and will have a "Red Bull DJ Stage."
Advantage - Milwaukee in a landslide. While Philly has a DJ booth, Summerfest has Rancid, The Dropkick Murphys, The Offspring, Flogging Molly, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Bon Jovi is going to be there too, but we won't hold that against Milwaukee.

Homegrown Actor
Milwaukee - Gene Wilder
Philly - Kevin Bacon
Advantage - Philly. Wilder was in the movie "Hanky Panky" with Beau Starr, who appeared in the 2005 film "Where The Truth Lies" with Kevin Bacon. So, Gene Wilder has a Bacon Number of 2. Kevin Bacon has a Bacon Number of 1. Therefore, advantage Philly.

Milwaukee - The typewriter was invented in 1867, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Christopher Latham Sholes.
Philly - Among Ben Franklin's numerous inventions were bifocals, the lightning rod, the odometer, and swim fins, for which he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Advantage - Philly. - The typewriter is gone but swim fins will be here forever!

Statues For Fake People
Milwauke - The Fonz. A lifesized bronze statue of Arthur Fonzarelli was placed on the Riverwalk just last year.
Philly - Rocky.
Advantage - Push. I'm sure some of you might think this would be an easy win for Philly, but not so. Honestly, I wanted to give the category to Milwaukee. Look at that beautiful statue of the Fonz. It practically screams, "Aayy." It's nothing against Rocky, he was great, but he was no Arthur Fonzarelli. Fonzie rode a motorcycle, kicked a bunch of ass and pulled more tail than any other television character of his time. He was also a great philosopher, with such thought provoking statements like "Live fast, love hard, and don't let anybody else use your comb" and "There are two kinds of people, 'cool' and 'nerds.'" And if they ever do a remake of Happy Days, Fonzie could be played by Pat Burrell. However, because I foresee this being a divisive category and out of respect for Rocky, I decided to call it a "push."

Ex-Players on TV
Milwaukee - Bob Ueker did some pretty funny Miller Lite commercials. But his grand achievement in TV was his starring role in the one of the greatest sitcoms of the 80's, "Mr. Belvedere."
Philly - John Kruk starred in an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. "Alright, then let's get wasted."
Advantage - Push. "Belevedere" and funny beer commercials is tough to beat, but the strength of that classic ATHF episode earns Philly a push.

Milwaukee is tough. A few close calls could have pushed them over the top but in the end, Philly prevails 2-1 with 2 pushes. That means the Phils should take this series with the Brewers, just like they did with San Diego and Washington and...


Monday, April 20, 2009



There's A New Pimp In Town

I love dongs. I love walk-off dongs even better...

I've also wanted to hate Raul Ibanez since he was signed. He replaced a legend, the Great One, the Left Field Pimp. And while I'm still not ecstatic about three years and thirty million, Ibanez's first two weeks with the Phils have been terrific (.386-5-10) and I must admit...the Phils are a better team with Ibanez than they would be with Burrell.

At this point, I've been proven dead wrong about the left field situation. Not offering Burrell arbitration and signing the aging, lefthanded Ibanez has been a good move by Lil' Rube. And I hope, in reference to this subject, I stay wrong all year long...

Chan Ho Gotta Go
Yeah, I've seen enough. Chan Ho hasn't been a productive starter for years. He had a great season in the Dodger bullpen last year, leading some to think he could slide into the rotation and reproduce those numbers. Smart idea? No. Under that logic, Ryan Madson could return to the rotation, but nobody wants that. Fact is, this isn't 2001. Chan Ho Park belongs in the bullpen.

As for his replacement, most would call for JA Happ. He was solid last season and has been serviceable out of the bullpen. It's tough to argue against Happ, but I would love to see Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco has been the team's "starter-in-waiting" for some time now, with Happ getting the nod over Carrasco last season based on age/experience/etc. If Carrasco has the bigger "upside" or "potential" or whatever you want to call it, his AAA numbers should earn him a spot. In eight career AAA starts, he has an ERA well under 2.00 with 56 strikeouts against only 13 walks (10:0 this season.) If he's our future, the future may well be right now.
Tonight's Game
The Phils look to earn a split tonight (7:05, TV Comcast) against Padre starter Kevin Correia. The former Giant hurler didn't face the Phils last season and appeared three times against the Fightins in 2007, all in relief. He's had two good starts so far in '09 (11 IP, 5 ER), so the Phils will look to reverse his fortune. Jamie Moyer goes for Philadelphia and I'm not even going to mention his 6.55 ERA.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't Blow Chan Ho

With 4 straight games of 8 runs given up to the likes of the Nationals and Padres, we need Chan Ho Park to come through and pitch like he did this spring to earn the 5th spot in the rotation. Phils have a MLB worst 7.16 era and the bullpen needs a breather. Don't blow Chan Ho!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pitching Staff Explosion

Enough with these April bullshit excuses. It's not their fail-proof blueprint.


Brutal Honesty

You want the truth? You can't handle the truth. The truth is this team is playing like it thinks it can just ride on the coattails of last season's success and expects everyone to bow before them. April is by far the easiest month on the schedule versus opponents, yet the Phillies record is a customary losing April 4-5, which is unacceptable. Last night they blew a 6 run lead to the mostly talentless and nameless San Diego Padres. The offense doesn't share too much of the blame as it's been largely the pitching that has been worse than imaginable or explainable.

Offense: 9 homeruns in 9 games. Are we playing in the Dead Ball era? Jimmy Rollins' OPS is .313; that's what you want your leadoff hitter's batting average to be (J-Roll's batting average .125). Jimmy is in drop the barrel of the bat mode and is popping everything up. Over the years we've come to be disgusted with this Jimmy. His partner in table-setting Shane Victorino isn't so swell either (.243 avg/.326 OB%).

Pitching: What the hell is going on? We have the next to worst earned run average in baseball right now (7.06) and it's not like we're playing the powerhouse offenses of the Yankees or Rangers either. 23 homeruns surrendered is a ridiculous amount, and it'll only get worse as the mercury rises. Teams are batting .293 off of our staff with a .919 OPS. Staff ace Cole Hamels has given up nearly as many homeruns (4) as he has strikeouts (5). Chad Durbin looks absolutely horrid- 9.64 era, 2.57 whip, 7 bb in 4.2 ip. Joe Blanton (17 hits allowed in 10 innings) is making me lust after Adam Eaton (okay, that was going too far).

Truth- Phils are 4.5 games back in the NL East.

Truth- "It's cold" doesn't work as an excuse when the opposing offense is blowing bulbs in the scoreboard.

Truth- Striking out 4 times in a game is shameful (yes, you Howard!).

Truth- Ryan Madson is not Mariano Rivera (Scott Boras is a doucheosaurus).

Truth- 2008 is over, and it was great, but it's time to take care of business in 2009.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Tale Of The Tape - San Diego

The Phils open up a weekend series with the Padres tonight. Who has the edge? Let the "Tale of the Tape" answer that...

Sunday Trip
San Diego - To Tijuana for a donkey show.
Philly - Across the Ticony-Palmyra bridge to buy beer.
Advantage - Philly. Donkey shows are great, but you're at risk of getting shot or catching hepatitis every time you cross the border. In Jersey, only your hepatitis risk increases.

Whale Watching
San Diego - Either by charter boat or at Sea World.
Philly - The NovaCare Complex, The Linc, Ishkabibble's or any other spot frequented by Andy Reid.
Advantage - San Diego.

Best Afro
San Diego - Oscar Gamble. He only played one year in the Padres outfield, but that 'fro made an impression.
Philly - Bake McBride.
Advantage - Push. There are no losers in the land of the 'fro.

For The Kids
San Diego - Legoland.
Philly - Sesame Place.
Advantage - Philly. I'm a big fan of Legos, but the kids love Elmo.

Baseball Mascot
San Diego - The Chicken.
Philly - The Phanatic.
Advantage - Philly. Best. Mascot. Ever. Don't believe me? It's been voted on.

Annual Assembly of Losers
San Diego - Comic-Con.
Philly - The Eagles.
Advantage - Push. Nothing to be proud of here.

The numbers never lie and they are saying that the Phillies, with their 3-1-2 victory in the TotT, should take at least two from the Padres this weekend.