The day has finally arrived for JC Romero to be unleashed upon baseball. He’s been held up for the first 50 games of the season for a seemingly bogus banned substance suspension, but that’s all in the past now. With JC back in the bullpen, this means we have and second reliable reliever to handle the 7th/8th inning besides Madson. This liberation means the end of the “Romero Watch” graphic on the right sidebar after tonight’s game. Welcome back!
The scouting report that the Phillies broadcast team provided for viewers last night had Antonio Bastardo’s fastball at 89-91 mph. Maybe it was adrenaline, but he was chucking it up there at 94-95 mph and looked solid through 6 innings, striking out 5 while allowing only 1 run. This successful debut, coupled with the fact that the Phils are thin in the rotation, has earned him at least another start or two. I'd love for him to continue being a lucky bastard and slot into the 5th spot in the rotation with a 4.25 era. Maybe then, Rube could forgo having to deal prospects for a rental starting pitcher.
Raul 4 MVP:
By hitting homeruns 18 and 19 last night, Raul Ibanez has surpassed both WSBGM’s aficionados’ season predictions. The homeruns were also #200 and #201 of his career, and he did it on his 37th birthday. Nobody could have predicted that Ibanez would be putting together this amazing of a season. His stats suggest MVP consideration- .340 avg, 1.115 OPS, 43 r, 13 dbl, 3 trpl, 19 hr, 51 rbi, 4 sb.
Greg Dobbs was a pinch-hitting wonderboy last season, but has fallen on tough times to begin ’09. Over his last 7 games he’s been restoring faith in his ability to deliver going 3-8 with 5 r, 1 dbl, 2 hr, 3 rbi, and 3 bb.
The Howard was created to honor our stonehanded slugging 1st baseman, but astonishingly enough he’s flashed terrific leather this season and has yet to commit a Howard. In fact, the Phillies are the best fielding team in the majors with only 17 errors. However, we’ll continue to track this stat through the season, and be pleasantly surprised if Ryan remains off the list. By the way, last night there were 5 Howards committed (Derrek Lee, Jorge Posada, Josh Bard, Ben Zobrist, and Victor Martinez).
Not only did the Phillies win last night, all of their minor league affiliates also posted W’s. Records: Phillies (MLB) 30-20, Iron Pigs (AAA) 21-30, Phillies (AA) 28-22, Threshers (A+) 24-23, BlueClaws (A) 31-20.
JA Happ looks to keep his record spotless while helping secure the sweep of the Padres with 6'10" ex-Princeton center Chris Young opposing him. The Pirates attempt to keep their positive vibes vibing tonight against the Mets and make it 3 straight against them.