Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rod And The Phillie Killers



Rod Barajas – OPS greater than 1.100; destroyed Brett Myers' arm
Brian Schneider – 1/6 of career home runs against the Phillies
Brad Wilkerson – OPS of .920 and 13 career home runs
Mark Lemke - .332 average
Matt Diaz - .326 average and 30 RBI

I'm sure there are more (and worse) Phillie killers out there. Feel free to let me know who I should have included in the comment section.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Onward & Upward- LA Bound

Haven't we seen enough of the LA Dodgers over the past few seasons? Who cares, Phils beat them when it matters...sorry Bowa! One positive, no Manny this series, Mr. Fertility Drug is now with the White Sox. Andre "I absolutely slaughter Phillies pitching, makeout with all their wives/girlfriends, and have a voodoo doll of Charlie Manuel" Either will be in the lineup though. Whatever, screw LA. Doc Halladay gets the ball tonight in the opener and he's full of bullets having only thrown 73 pitches last start. He's ripe for a complete game shutout. All this bitching about the offense can cease as soon as the bats getting collectively going, and what better time than against a Joe Torre lead team?

If there are any Phils fans making a trip to Los Angeles for the series, don't forget to stop by one of those fancy-smancy lingerie boutiques on Rodeo Drive (that's Row-Day-Oh) and get something sexy for the misses.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What Up, Uts?

.269 average? Lowest OPS since 2004? What is up with ol' Chase?

I think I may have figured it out. I took a look at some Utley photos from recent Phillies games. I noticed something different. Take a look.




Goatee? Mullet? Dropping batting average? Holy crap, it's Mickey Morandini!

Apparently Utley's thumb has not healed so the Phillies have hired Mickey to "stand in" for Chase until he's ready to play. Well, that solves that mystery.

Antidotes

Sweeping Sunday? We'll see. While we wait with bated breath, here are some antidotes to keep your mind busy...
  • Key Match-Ups: Cole Hamels/PHI vs. Clayton Richards/SDP, Josh Johnson/FLA vs. Derek Lowe/ATL, Rodrigo Lopez/ARI vs. Matt Cain/SFG, John Lannan/WAS vs Adam Wainwright/STL.
  • Hollywood Hamels last win was on July 11th and his last win previous to that June 13th. 10 total quality starts in that span with only 2 wins, c'mon offense!
  • Joe Blanton is 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. He had a 6.41 ERA in 13 starts before the break. He followed a similar path last season. He had a 7.11 ERA after eight starts in 2009, but had a 3.16 ERA in 23 starts the rest of the way. (The Zo Zone)
  • Ryan Howard's .839 OPS ranks 11th in the Majors among firstbasemen. That's pathetic. He was given a massive contract extension and we're already witnessing his decline. Like Corey and I stated from the beginning, this contract is going to become a humongous burden. He's being paid like he's one of the best batters in all of baseball and he's not even in the Top 10 at his own position.
  • Greg Dobbs is batting .140/.401 in Triple-A in 43 at bats. Please just release him from the organization so that there's zero chance of him being recalled in September.
  • Nyjer Morgan assaulted a Phillies fan with a baseball. Mr. Morgan was being heckled by some fans in the outfield (imagine that?) and tossed a ball into the stands striking a man in the temple (not one of the hecklers). Apparently they were teasing his small stature and wearing of the uniform by calling him a jockey. He has since been suspended 7 games, but is appealing. (ESPN)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Eyes Wide Shut

When Jimmy Rollins slid across the plate with a self-described Karate Kid-like move that ended up being the winning run I was already deep in slumber. I do not regret staving off sleep to watch this victory. Sure, the win brought the Phillies to within 2 games of the Braves and gave them a slight margin for the NL Wild Card over the Giants, but witnessing a catastrophic Brad Lidge meltdown and Charlie Manuel managing idiotfest would have kept me awake with anger into the wee morning hours.

Roy Oswalt was in command of all of his pitches last night and dominating the Padres through 8 innings. His pitch count reached 102, and with his spot up in the order in the top of the 9th Manuel opted to pinch hit for him. Critical blunder. Oswalt is a veteran pitcher and retired the last 13 batters in a row and 17 of the last 19 he faced. He should have been given the opportunity to finish the game himself. 102 pitches is not a lot. I'm f'n sick and tired of these namby-pamby pitch counts. I know, I know, go tell that to Stephen Strasburg. But Oswalt ain't no Strasburg, he's f'n Roy Oswalt, owner of a lifetime 146-83 record with nearly 2000 innings under his belt. He could have handled another 15-20 pitches. That ball game never needed to be in the hands of Brad Lidge.

Ugh, Brad Lidge. He had been very good, actually he was great, since his last blown save. However, last night displayed in glorious high definition why he's a mental midget. How the hell do you balk in the tying run? I'll tell you how- you're confidence incompetent. No excuse.

Some more negativity- Ryan Howard has struck out in 14 of his last 21 at bats.

So, yeah, the Phils won the game, but in tragic fashion. Whatever, onward and hopefully upward.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bring Back The Duck Pond

Most people watch baseball because of their deep rooted love of the game and of course for entertainment. Viewing the debacle of this past week has tested Phillies fans' love and most definitely was not entertaining (save Oswalt shagging flies). Now it's on to the West Coast to face a hard-nosed squad that has held down 1st place in the extremely competitive NL West nearly all season long- the San Diego Padres. That means 10 PM start times and early AM end times here on the Atlantic shelf. Why bother staying up late to only be infuriated by inferior lackadaisical play on the field and wasted opportunities? It's just as easy to read about another lackluster performance from the lineup in the box score the next day. What would make me tune in though is the return of The Duck Pond. Yes, Brandon Duckworth is worth mucho nostalgia points in my book.

Many casual Phillies fans and even some diehards probably don't know Duckworth has been toiling in Triple-A Lehigh Valley all season long and has done a good job in both the rotation and in relief. In 23 games, 15 of them starts, he has compiled a 5-4 record over 95.2 innings with a 3.39 ERA and 98 k's. Is that going to help the Phillies into the playoffs? Nope, but neither will Danys Baez. Duckworth last pitched in the Majors in 2008 with the Royals. His last days in Philly were back in 2003 before he was swapped to Houston in the Billy Wagner trade. Aside from his awesome fan group, he's a decent hitter too- .221/.541, I mean that's better than our lineup lately.

Okay, by now you should know that this is not serious. It's more of an outlet for the total disgust over the current 25-man roster of the Phillies than an actual plea for Brandon Duckworth's call-up. So, if you care tonight features Roy Oswalt against Mat Latos (yes, only one "t"). Watch it if you want.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yada, Yada, Bright Side and Crap...

The Phils just got swept by the Astros and show no sign that they might start hitting the ball soon. But again, we have to look at the positives:

1) Three of the next six games start at 10:00 on the east, which means most of us will be fast asleep and miss this horror show.

That's all the positive I can think of right now...

A Look To The Bright Side

It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath. Yes, they’ve lost three in a row to the mediocre Astros, but the team doesn’t suck. They’ll win more games. I know it’s hard, but look at all the positives:

1) They are only 2.5 games behind the Braves.
2) They are .001 percentage points ahead of the Giants.
3) The Braves and Giants are playing as poorly as the Phillies.
4) The Phils have Kyle Kendrick pitching this afternoon, which pretty much ensures victory.
5) Scott Barry will be gone after today.
6) The team can't hit like this forever. Ryan Howard is 3-20 since coming off of the DL. He won't hit .150 the rest of the season.
7) It's very unlikely that another runner gets picked-off today.
8) With Chase Utley back, Wilson Valdez is 20% less likely to hit into a double play.
9) The Phils still have two series left with the Mets, so that's at least 4 wins right there.

Today's game - birthday boy KK (8-6, 4.58) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (9-12, 4.00)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why Larry Andersen Should Be (And Isn't) On TV

[Hat tip to Preserve Jon for the audio link]



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nate Robertson a Phillie...Sorta

The Phillies signed lefthander Nate Robertson to a minor league contract and he is set to join the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs staff. Robertson has pitched for the Marlins and Tigers over 9 seasons with a 4.97 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and an ugly 57-77 record. Doubtful the Phils have ideas of grandeur that he's going to help them down the stretch in September, but the career starter could perhaps be converted into a reliever. His splits aren't very impressive though, has only held lefties to .268/.694. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Speaking of waiting and seeing (you like my T-Mac segway there?), we'll have to wait and see if the Phils score Cole Hamels any runs. They're currently losing 2-0 through 5.5 and are showing no signs of life. The band is back together again, but they ain't producing any hits, just music made for the deaf. Pathetic. Poor Cole.

Stupidity Loses Ball Game

Jayson Werth getting picked off 2nd base to end the inning after Chooch got intentionally walked was inexcusable. He just put his head down and moseyed on back to 2nd completely oblivious to the game going on around him and Astros catcher Quintero rifled the ball to catch him dazed and confused. CS = caught stealing? No, not in this case, CS = caught stupid.

Ryan Howard's futile glove-stab at Michael Bourn on his bunt was unnecessary. The smarter play would have been to toss it to 1st for the out instead of playing cat-and-mouse with the elusive pipsqueak. Bourn went on to score the winning run with 2 outs. You do the math- minus Bourn's run, plus another out equals a Phils win.

Wilson Valdez is supposed to be a good bunter. Nice f'n bunt directly to the firstbaseman on the fly skippy. Instead of advancing the tying run, he advanced himself further into Phillies fans' doghouse.

Joe Blanton is not a speed demon, so sending him on contact from 3rd is likely to end with a bad outcome. It did, he was out by 10 feet. It seems that running on contact with the drawn-in infield hardly ever works for the Phillies, yet they continue to do it expecting different results...that's stupidity.

That game should have been won 2-1 or 3-1 Phils, but it goes down as a crucial loss due to stupidity instead.

It was also a night of ex-Phillies haunting the team. Jason Michaels and Michael Bourn combined to go 4-6 with all 3 runs scored, and Brett Myers held the Phils to 2 runs over 7 innings while striking out 9 to pick up the W.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bring Out the Crazies




The Philadelphia Phillies's honor a Player of the Week each week during their telecasts and this past week they have bestowed that honor upon the Phans that have packed Citizens Bank Ball Park for 100+ straight sellouts. Today will be yet another full house (minus Bob Saget, but heard the Olsen Twins might be there to see there cousin who is starting for the Gnats). One thing is fur sure, Phillies fans are passionate and crazy (me being one of them).

Match-Up: Roy Oswalt and Scott Olsen go in the rubber match. Phils need to put some runs on the board, as their 2 runs in 2 games is completely pathetic off of this Nationals' staff. Yesterday nothing was lost (Braves and Giants lost), but that also means nothing was gained.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Big Piece To Piece It Back Together


The Big Piece, Charlie Manuel's petname for Ryan Howard, was 1-2 in his first rehab game yesterday with Lakewood. Howard knocked in a run, giving him the franchise record for the BlueClaws on the day he also had his jersey number retired there...aw, how special. Today he plays for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in what might be his final game to knock the rust off with a possible return to the Phillies lineup on Sunday. Inserting The Big Piece back into the lineup will surely help the offense, no offense to Ross Gload and Mike Sweeney. With nearly the entire lineup on the DL at one time or another this season they have not had much opportunity to play together as a cohesive unit, and what better time then the stretch drive in the hunt for October. Things are about to get really exciting in Philly again, which is a far cry from the sorrow and angst fans had this time of year in the late 90's and early 00's.

Odds & Ends:
*Roy Halladay continued Beast-Mode last night, going 7 shutout innings and lowering his slim ERA to 2.16. He now has pitched 200 innings exactly on the season. Awesome.

*Stephen Strasburg gets his first taste of Philly tonight. I've seen him pitch multiple times, and he is the real deal, but I hope the Phils absolutely obliterate him. 100 mph fastballs travel a long distance in warm August air when the bat connects just right. He's opposed on the mound by Kyle Kendrick. Go get that respect KK!

*Phillies remain 2.5 back of the Braves in the NL East and a game ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cliff Lee Brought Phillies Cocaine?

Remember those awesome prospects Ruben Amaro Jr. so highly coveted from the Seattle Mariners farm system that he promptly shipped ace Cliff Lee across country? The 3 young men haven't done anything worth two pinches of poop since joining the Phillies minors. Phillippe Aumont has a 3-9 record with 5.64 ERA in the low minors while walking nearly as many as he strikes out. JC Ramirez, 7-6, 4.65 ERA, hardly can't miss. Then there's Tyson Gillies, the deaf one. Well, he's been injured most the year, but apparently that has not stopped him from trying to snort the baseline...literally. Dude was caught with cocaine and arrested. I thought the nose candy went out with Steve Howe and Darryl Strawberry, but it's made a comeback now with Rangers manager Ron Washington and Tyson Gillies. Just say no to drugs!!! Hard to believe Cliff Lee inadvertently brought cocaine to Philly huh?

Meanwhile there's a new series starting tonight in South Philly between the Phightins and the Gnats. Match-up: Roy Halladay and his minuscule ERA (2.24) versus Jason Marquis and his outrageously gargantuan one (14.33). Yeah, if the Phils don't lock this one down there's something majorly wrong.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chooch for Cintron


Ever wonder where Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz gets all that energy to sustain the brutal heat of catching nearly every day during the scorching summer months? From an energy drink of course- Cintron Liquid Energy to be exact. Oh yeah, I'm gonna go buy a can and get blitz! Red Bull might give you wings, but this stuff apparently gives you the ability to be totally clutch. Clutch is so cooler.

Elsewhere:

*The Cardinals acquired Pedro Feliz. Yes, that Pete Happy. He's been absolutely horrible this season (.221/.555), so lets hope that trend continues and he helps Tony Larussa's crew lose rather than win.

*Brad Hawpe has been released by the Rockies and will be free to sign anywhere come Monday or Tuesday. Rumor Guru Ken Rosenthal thinks the Phils will try to grab the lefthanded hitting OF/1B.

*A long time acquaintence of Joe Torre expects him to become the New York Mets next manager.

*Ryan Howard to play in 2 rehab games, Friday with Lakewood and Saturday with Lehigh Valley. All goes well, may be activated for some Sunday delight.

*Cole Hamels and the Phillies go for the sweep tonight. Score him 5 runs and I guarantee victory.

Witness

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ode to Big Dome & Fantasy Udpate

Ode to Big Dome
(A Ballad for Placido Polanco)

Such grace is played with an enormous head,
Batted ball to third and the runner is dead.
Slick fielding, bat wielding, our beloved Polly,
Your big dome is quite beach-bally.
The specially stitched XXXL hats are no price,
You shave that melon, so there won't be lice.
Second stint in Philly is truly a blessing,
Your luscious noggin we wish to be caressing.
I pity your wife should she birth vaginally,
Unless the doctor can shrink that head magically.
Nevertheless, your baseball skills are bountiful,
And for this we are eternally grateful.

Fantasy Update:
Harry Kalas Cialis, Corey's team, has secured a playoff berth in the WSBGMs Phantasy League 4. In second place holding steady is Lidge Ledge Leapers, my team, with Dick Allen Thumpers (Sir Alden) hot in pursuit. The regular season ends next Sunday and then 6 lucky squads out of the 16 team league will take aim at the coveted Fantasy League gold trophy.

If you can't get enough of being in charge of team and are looking for some more fantasy action, you could always join WSBGMs football league. It's through Yahoo, league id- 357234, password- phillies. Currently sitting on 8 teams, but would like 4-6 more.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Burrell Returns & San Fran Series Preview

Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Pat Burrell.
Pat Burrell who?
Pat "The Bat" Burrell bitches!

It seems Pat Burrell is made for the NL despite the fact that he's slow and defensively inept. Wait, wouldn't it make more sense for him to be a DH in the AL? Apparently not, because that experiment went terribly wrong with the Tampa Bay Rays (2 years, .218/.672). Now that Burrell is back in the National League where he spent the first 9 years of his career with the Phillies his numbers are back on the rise. In 56 games with San Francisco he has hit .285/.905 with 10 homeruns and 30 rbi. The Giants and Phillies are tied for the NL Wild Card lead and old buddy Pat Burrell has had a lot to do with that. Here's to hoping he ass-scoots backward on inside sliders and k's continuously the entire series like we remember him doing from time-to-time here in Philly rather than big pimpin' and knocking shots over Ibanez's head.


Pitching Match-Ups:

Game 1- Barry Zito vs. Roy Oswalt
(8-6, 3.44/1.24) vs. (7-13, 3.34/1.12)
Game 2- Matt Cain vs. Joe Blanton
(9-9, 3.11/1.15) vs. (4-6, 5.69/1.47)
Game 3- Jonathan Sanchez vs. Cole Hamels
(8-8, 3.60/1.32) vs. (7-9, 3.33/1.23)

Big Deals:
San Fran- Aubrey Huff (.295/.911) has been their offensive catalyst this season. And with Andres Torres (.288/.867), Pat Burrell (.285/.901), and the hot hitting rookie Buster Posey (.337/.902) surrounding him the Giants offense isn't a joke anymore.

Philly- both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard might be activated from the DL during this series and inserting them into the lineup would be the most pleasurable insertion manager Charlie Manuel has had in a long time...apologies to his fiance Melissa Martin.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Andy Martino's Weekend Wrapup

Before I provide my weekend recap I have a quick message to the readers of this blog. It’s nice to once again provide Philadelphia-area readers with a “New York intellectual” perspective of Phillies baseball. I tried as much when I was scribing for the Inquirer, but unfortunately my daily offering of wit, entertainment and insight wrapped in beautiful prose ended up being a bit like giving caviar to a dog. To say that my talent was being wasted would be an understatement. But as former UN ambassador Adlai Stevenson once said, “I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance.” So, to all who want to redeem your pathetic city for losing my talents, please read and enjoy.

Friday – Speaking of redemption…RA Dickey. Five days after getting hit around by the drooling ogres in red pinstripes, Dickey dominated the beast with class, grace and finesse. His knuckleball danced and floated through the air, each pitch performing its own act of Swan Lake. Baffled Phillies unsuccessfully looked for answers, like Charlie Manuel in a 2nd grade spelling bee. It may have been the most righteously pitched game in the history of Citi Field.

Saturday – I hope everyone in the Philadelphia area watched the entire game and didn’t turn the television off and go do what people in Philadelphia do, namely consume cheesesteaks, court obese women and purchase sweatpants. What happened in the ninth inning Saturday was more important than the whole of the game and should have been a life lesson in morality for all of the Delaware Valley, aka Dante’s third level. When K-Rod entered the game the faithful fans at Citi Field, overflowing with morality, voiced their collective displeasure with his recent behavior. I’m sure any Philadelphia fan watching was confused as to why the fans weren’t celebrating his violent, reprehensible behavior. That’s what they cheer every game…

Sunday – Go watch ESPN or MLB TV highlights of this game and you’ll see why everyone hates the Phillies and takes pity on New York. What are they showing all morning today? Clip after clip of Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino stealing their way into scoring position, subsequently scoring, and then talking about it in the dugout. It epitomizes Philadelphia baseball. Theft. Check. Winning. Check. Being cocky, arrogant jerks on national television. Check.

Thank you for reading my weekend wrap-up. Remember, if you want to continue your enlightenment, you could buy a New York Daily News or check out my blog, Surfing the Mets. That's a little joke because it's on the 'net, which people "surf," and net sounds like Mets. Very funny, but you're from Philadelphia so you're too stupid to understand. Just imagine my blog makes fart noises, then you'll laugh.

The Phillies play two weekends against the Mets in September. See you then.

~ Andy

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Roy Halladay Cy Young Runner-Up


Who should be the National League's 2010 Cy Young? Sadly, Adam Wainwright. Most people that aren't Cardinals or Phillies fans would probably scream Ubaldo Jimenez, but he's 3rd, maybe 4th in the balloting if everything is accounted for fairly, because Tim Hudson is having a helluva year too along with Roy Halladay of course.

Let's take a look at the big 4's NL ranks...

Wins:
1t. Adam Wainwright- 17
1t. Ubaldo Jimenez- 17
3. Roy Halladay- 15
4. Tim Hudson- 14

Strikeouts:
1. Roy Halladay- 175
3. Adam Wainwright- 158
10. Ubaldo Jimenez- 143
43. Tim Hudson- 89

Innings:

1. Roy Halladay- 193
3. Adam Wainwright- 176.1
5. Tim Hudson- 164.2
14. Ubaldo Jimenez- 155.1

ERA:
1. Adam Wainwright- 1.99
2. Tim Hudson- 2.13
3. Roy Halladay- 2.24
6. Ubaldo Jimenez- 2.55

WHIP:
1. Adam Wainwright- 0.97
3. Roy Halladay- 1.01
6. Tim Hudson- 1.07
7. Ubaldo Jimenez- 1.11

Complete Games:
1. Roy Halladay- 8 (3 shutouts)
2. Adam Wainwright- 5 (2 shutouts)
3. Ubaldo Jimenez- 3 (2 shutouts)
12t. Tim Hudson- 1

Quality Starts:
1. Adam Wainwright- 21
2t. Tim Hudson- 20
5. Roy Halladay- 19
6. Ubaldo Jimenez- 18

If you exclude other possible candidates such as Mat Latos and Josh Johnson and focus solely on these 4 assigning a point value for rank among themselves as followed 4 points - 1st, 3 points - 2nd, 2 points - 3rd, 1 point- 4th then the Cy Young balloting would read as such 1st- Adam Wainwright, 2nd- Roy Halladay, 3rd- Tim Hudson, 4th- Ubaldo Jimenez. With roughly 6 weeks yet to be played in the season and an estimated 8-9 starts per pitcher in that time frame a lot can change. Hopefully Halladay stays in beast mode and continues ripping through the competition and flip-flops with Wainwright to take the coveted award.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

1 Hit, Injuries & Hamels

The Phillies have been shutout 4 straight games at Citi Field. Last night was the worst one yet. Harry Doyle said it best...


Injuries:

Ross Gload is nursing his groin, but is available for pinch hitting duties. Carlos Ruiz missed last night with a sore right quad (probably did that while attempting to elude the victory mob), but is expected back in the lineup today. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are both aiming for a Tuesday comeback to start the Giants series. Greg Dobbs and Domonic Brown would likely be sent down.

Hamels:
Ol' Girl Parts twirled another dandy. Last year's "unlucky" excuse by Sabermetrics was infuriating, but this this season there's no deny his unluckiness. A 7-9 record should not match up with a 3.33 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning pitched. Cole has 1 win in 9 starts since the beginning of July, but his ERA over that span is a sparkling 2.43. Jamie Moyer had 9 wins in 19 starts with a 4.84 ERA, there's absolutely no excuse for the Phils offense to be so putrid in their support of Hamels. Get him some W's!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Andy Martino Perspective on K-Rod Allegations

Dear GMs,

Thank you for your interest in my perspective on the K-Rod rumors. In the interest of not turning our beloved closer into another Shirley Sherrod, I will refrain from making any sort of real judgment on K-Rod's behavior until the full facts of the case are disclosed. Because remember, when you stand under the umbrella of speculation, you still get wet.

However, I will say that it would not surprise me if K-Rod was in some sort of confrontation with his father-in-law. The fire and desire that drives K-Rod to repeated glory on the field may at some point manifest itself elsewhere. Nobel Prize winning French author Albert Camus once said, "We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others."

If these allegations are true, however, does it affect our perception of K-Rod? Does he become a pariah? A liability? A Brett Myers? German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said that, "It says nothing against the ripeness of a spirit that it has a few worms." And to me, K-Rod is nothing short of an entire bushel of crisp, clean Granny Smiths.

Furthermore, this episode, regardless of the outcome, may galvanize and energize the Mets. The team, while they may lack the arrogance and ego-centrism of your beloved Phillies, have many strong leaders that can use this situation to promote unity and propel the team forward toward a playoff spot. As English humorist and author Jerome K. Jerome once wrote, "It is in our faults and failings, not in our virtues, that we touch each other, and find sympathy. It is in our follies that we are one."

I look forward to hearing the truth in this case. I also look forward to returning as guest-blogger to provide a recap of the upcoming Phillies-Mets series. I'll see you then.

Respectfully yours,
Andy

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Ross Gload just blew a tire as he smacked a double down the rightfield line and was forced to leave the game. Have no doubt, a trip to the disabled list is forthcoming. Now if this were the New York Metropolitans they would curl up in the fetal position sucking their thumb weeping for Mommy and sink below .500. This is the Phightin Phillies though, not a bunch of pantie-waste bitches. A 16th player to the DL ain't shit.

Disabled List Casualties:
1. Jimmy Rollins (Twice)
2. Brian Schneider
3. Carlos Ruiz
4. Placido Polanco
5. Ryan Howard
6. Chase Utley
7. Shane Victorino
8. Antonio Bastardo
9. JA Happ
10. Joe Blanton
11. Brad Lidge (Twice)
12. Ryan Madson
13. JC Romero
14. Jamie Moyer
15. Chad Durbin

The Good & Bad of Last Night

The Good:
*Chad Durbin continues to be the bullpen MVP, striking out the only 2 batters he faced.

*Raul Ibanez extended his hitting streak to 17 games.

*Greg Dobbs actually got a pinch hit single and is now 4-39 in that role. (See how we celebrate the negative?)

*Ross Gload has been terrific since Ryan Howard went down. His 2 homerun/4 rbi night puts him at .316/.435/.632 with 6 r, 2 hr, and 7 rbi in Howard's absence.

*Domonic Brown showed some potential last night, albeit not in the outfield, but at the plate hitting his first MLB homerun and collecting his second double. About his defense, aside from his arm, I've been very underwhelmed.

*Victorino went 1-2 in his first rehab game with the Iron Pigs.

The Bad:
*Danys Baez is a waste of roster space and resources, giving up 2 more runs in the Dodgers route of the Phillies. Signing him to a multi-million dollar 2 year deal is an unforgivable mistake. He hasn't had an ERA lower that 4 since 2005, yet Amaro felt confident in his late inning abilities. Puzzling to say the least.

*Antonio Bastardo has been great in the minors (2.43 ERA), but that success has not translated into anything good at the MLB level (6.14 ERA). We need him, because JC Romero looks shot...

*JC Romero's last 3 appearances- .1 ip, 3 h, 5 r, 2 hr, 3 bb. Yeah, that's bad.

*What the hell was up with the regularly sure-handed J-Roll's fielding last night?

*Kyle Kendrick dropped one of his stink bombs, which is bound to happen to him. He had been pitching very well, but these short, bad outings will come from time to time.

*David Herndon has allowed 52 hits in 37.1 innings. The opposition is batting .342 against him with an unflattering .842 OPS. What do the Phillies see in him that they've committed an active roster spot to him all season long?

Tonight:
Strikeout righties face-off, Roy Oswalt vs. Chad Billingsley. Roy-2 makes his Philly debut, and they certainly need him to perform like Oswalt of old after last night's turd sandwich.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Greg Dobbs Hate Piece

There are a few rules that Carson and I like to follow when developing posts. I won’t divulge all of our creative secrets, but here are two that seem to have resonated with at least a few readers:

1) If a dead horse is available, beat it. (see: three days of Andy Martino.)
2) When things are going good, focus on the negative. (see: almost every post in the last three years.)

So, to continue the trend, I’m going to ignore the winning or the recent brilliance of Ol’ Girl Parts and instead bring you – the pinch-hitting statistics of Greg Dobbs.

Seriously, this is getting to be some bullshit. I can’t take watching this guy another game. Sideburns be damned. 2008 be damned. Dobbs gotta go, son. Of course, he probably shouldn’t be here now based on 2009. Check out this little chart from fangraphs.com:



So for every pinch-hitter who got at least 40 at-bats in 2009, Dobbs had far and away the worst OPS. (Although, the worst management decision might have been giving Greg Norton 89 PH at-bats. Wow.) And this year, Dobbs is currently 3-38 (.078). Yet he still is on the roster making out after out.

Hell, Cody Ransom was 1-5 as a pinch hitter and he’s horrible. But at this point, maybe we can’t compare Dobbs to other hitters. Maybe the starting rotation is a more apt comparison.

Halladay – 9-67 (.134)
Oswalt - 4-32 (.125)
Hamels – 7-47 (.149)
Blanton – 5-39 (.128)
Kendrick – 4-35 (.114)

Oh no. Even the pitchers look like they could do just as good of a job as Dobbs.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Andy Martino Weekend Wrapup

Friday – The Phillies rolled through the Mets with all the courtesy, civility and regard for consequence as the Third Reich when they rolled through the French countryside. See my full report HERE.

Saturday – Well, let them eat cake! All was set right in the sports world…at least for one night. Please read my stellar analysis HERE.


Sunday – When watching a game like this, I often question my decision to cover sports, because that wasn’t a just game we all watched yesterday. It was a travesty of justice. It was de-evolution of popular culture. It was, for all intents and purposes, an environmental disaster of sports entertainment. Hits and runs flooded Citizens Band Park like millions of gallons of BP fuel while poor RA Dickey, like an innocent hard working fisherman with leathered skin and white knuckles, was helpless in attempt to honestly ply his trade against the tyrannical, environment hating “Big Oil” Phillies.

Consistent with the uneducated slovenly inhabitants of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the crowd cheered blindly, obviously not cognizant of, or caring about, what this display of barbarian baseball would mean to their dignified opposition, other fine teams within Major League Baseball, or sports culture as a whole. I imagined Ruben Amaro, sitting in a luxury box on a plush leather chair, with all the likeability of a yacht-riding Tony Heyward, laughing maniacally as Raul Ibanez sauntered around the bases after his vulgar display of power.

The insults and disgrace was not limited the field, either. While Roy Halladay rushed through the Mets lineup like a coke-fueled Charlie Sheen goes through a brothel, degenerate Phillies fans made spectacles of themselves in the stands. Repeatedly, television cameras caught fans, who for the most part are indistinguishable from baboons or mud-covered swine, mocking, gloating or cheering right in the face of unassuming Mets fans. Despicable.

So what does all that I've witnessed this weekend tell me? It's not just the Phillies who are contemptible. It's the whole organization, the city and their fans. The stadium could collapse. The press box seat in which I sit to write this piece could crumble. Our beaches and oceans may never again be inhabitable. The minds of children, free of innocence, could instead become awash with the filth and lasciviousness displayed by their favorite baseball team. But these people… these creatures… they just don’t care. As long as Philadelphia wins baseball game, all is right in the World. They will defecate without prejudice on everything the good and righteous of this world hold sacred, all in the name of playoff baseball.

My time in Philadelphia is over, again, and I leave you with only one request. Pray for Jose Reyes. Pray for the good in the game. Pray for K-Rod and the rest of the sentient beings that make baseball America’s favorite pastime, that they can overcome the evil, the arrogance, the condescension that is baseball in Philadelphia.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Andy Martino Game Recap

There are times when a sport becomes more than simple form of entertainment or distraction from the mundane. Occasionally, the sport becomes a vehicle for the reaffirmation of one's personal philosophical and ideological values. That transformation from sport to sanctimonious phenomenon happened during lat night's Mets triumph. Witness.

As the ever-polite first baseman Ike Davis scooped up Ruben Tejada's well-intentioned but off-centered throw to first, the humble closer of the Metropolitans began to celebrate. As demure and unassuming as always, K-Rod cautiously raised his arms and pointed to the sky in an act of pure reverence for the Higher Powers. With whiskers from his great beard blowing in the Philadelphia smog, an obvious homage to other wise bearded thinkers like Socrates or Thoreau, you could almost hear his silent expression of gratitude from the press box.

After ungrateful rookie Domonic Brown ended the game with a strikeout, the Mets assembled towards the middle of the field to congratulate one another on their hard-fought and well deserved victory. Hands were shaken. Gluteus maximus muscles were tapped gently in a non-homosexual manner. If any of the players had been Asian, I'm sure bowing would have been in order. Two meek celebrators even did a jumping, mid-air, side-touching routine. How novel!

These unpretentious, almost deferential forms of rejoicing exhibited by the Mets was refreshing for this writer, who had previously been bombarded with patronizing, pontificating, pompous, pretentious Phillies.

Games like these are proof to those who believe that baseball, like life, is won by playing the game the right way. The proper way. Where the audacious and the ostentatious can be replaced with the unobtrusive and the acquiescent with equal or great results.

Thank you Mets. Because of you, sports fans can look forward to today's game not only for the thrill of competition, but for the satisfaction of a life affirmed.

And thank you K-Rod. I guess sometimes closers save more than games. They can save sports as a whole from the destructive grips of Philadelphian arrogance.

Amen.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Andy Martino Game Recap

The Mets played a smart, polite, joy-to-watch game of hardball last night but unfortunately their manners and skill could not overcome the uncouth and poorly-hygienic Phillies. And on a night where the Phillies celebrated a mullut-wearing, space-traveling, Hooters-marrying catcher, it should be no surprise that sense and dignity would fail on the baseball field.

The game was relatively uninteresting until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Phillies completely went off script and began hitting balls away from the Mets fielders. This resulted in an unseemly parade of pinstriped bastards prancing arrogantly from base to base, most of them arriving at home plate with an heir of entitlement that that surely made proletariat catcher Josh Thole nauseous.

Even new Phillie Mike Sweeney, despite being with the team only for a few days, has already become a condescending brute. In spite of an already comfortable four run lead, Sweeney violently hit a Manny Acosta speedball into left field scoring another cretin Phillies player.

Despite the bases smelling like bourgeois pride after the 8th inning, the Mets courageously scored three of their own players in the 9th. This was obviously due to Mike Hessman's valiant desire to provide the local fans with a home run baseball souvenir. Even in defeat, the Mets never stop thinking about others, do they?

The Mets still have two games left in this series [tonight, 7:05, Hamels v Santana]. Hopefully, for the sake of the universe, good will prevail over evil at least once...

~ Andy M.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Killing In The Name Of


Rage Against the Machine guitarist and Left Alone frontman are rocking the stage! Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz's bats are like matchsticks, because they're on fire. Raaauuulll is riding a 13-game hitting streak and has taken his AVG/OPS from .236/.711 on July 1st to .275/.798. Chooch just finished up a 8-15 series against the Marlins which included 3 doubles, 2 homeruns, 3 runs scored, and 6 rbi. Overall for the season, Ruiz is batting .298/.838.

Stuff:
*Still befuddled how the Phillies ran themselves into 3 straight outs in the 9th. Ibanez broke for home on contact and was caught in a rundown, Werth was then picked off at 2nd base, followed by a caught stealing by Dom Brown. Bad baseball.

*The Phillies are now an impressive 10-5 in extra inning games.

*Placido Polanco is 2nd in the NL with a .322 batting average. Pedro Feliz- .223. I'm just sayin'.

*JC Romero is wild, this we know. Do you know just how wild he is though? Over the past 2 seasons in 41 innings- 35:29 BB:K. Wow, worse than you thought, right?

*Greg Dobbs is worthless. It took him all of 7 pitches to strike out twice yesterday. He's now 3-36 (.083) as a pinch hitter and is only batting .191 overall. Time to release him and give someone like Andy Tracy, Neil Sellers, or Matthew Rizzotti some PH opportunities.

*Don't forget- Muck the Fets!

*I pity you if you don't understand the reference in the title of this post. But for those of you that are ignorant to kick ass music, here ya go...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Roy-2 Part 2

Only 1 of The Roys has come through for the Phillies since the 2 joined forces, and that Roy hasn't been Oswalt. We all know Halladay is a beast and is a legitimate candidate for the Cy Young, but the other Roy has some serious catching up to do. His first outing with the Phightins we can chalk up to nerves, over stimulation from media hounding him, whirlwind of emotion, etc., but tonight there are no more excuses. With a win tonight Oswalt can get back on track and assure a sweep of the Marlins. Roy-2 Part 2 Phils win.

Thoughts:
*Count how many times Sarge says "for me" during a telecast when giving his opinion. It drives me nuts, and now that I've brought it to your attention hopefully it drives you nuts too.

*I don't mean to piss in your Frosted Flakes (after all "They're Great!"), but people need to chill out in their expectations of Domonic Brown. He's a rare talent for sure, but he hasn't been all that impressive yet. I know this may surprise you, but his OPS is only .568. That's not good, that's not mediocre, that's bad. Now, it's a small sample size and he is just a rookie, but when Victorino returns, Brown should return to Triple-A for regular at bats because he's going to be needed next year with Jayson Werth shipping off. Please don't take this as a knock on Dom, it's not. I'm simply trying to put things into perspective and that perspective should be- don't expect too much from the youngster.