Hot Corner Howard:
Earlier this season the catchers littered The Howard 2012 standings, but now the hot corner has caught fire. The 4 players currently atop the Howard leaderboard are all 3rd basemen. Don't look for Longoria to boost that total any higher, as he's on the DL. Do keep an eye on rookie Will Middlebrooks who has committed 2 Howards in his first 4 games of his career. Also, Pedro Alvarez's power seems to be returning and his fielding is as horrific as ever, so more Howards are likely to come for him too.
Looks like Cole Hamels will be the only one facing a consequence for the exchange of fastballs to the body and war of words between him and the Nationals. Cole gets a 5 games suspension, while Gnats pitcher Jordan Zimmermann gets nada for his retaliation. Nor does GM Frank Rizzo for calling Hamels "gutless", "fake tough", "chicken shit", and other pleasantries.
The Phillies are in last place in the NL East, 5 back of Washington. Oh, that's encouraging.
With Papelbon's 9th inning meltdown last night, the Phils bullpen continues to blow games. That's something like the 6th game this season lost in the 9th inning or later. Oh, that's encouraging.
Manuel Still an Idiot:
Runners on 2nd & 3rd, bottom of the 8th inning, 1 out, score tied at 2 with Freddy Galvis at the plate. Manuel lets him bat. Dumb! Those stupid "Freddy! Freddy! Freddy!" chants didn't help the helpless hack succeed. Should have pinch-hit Orr, Pierre, or Nix in that situation instead of keeping them for later. Between the crappy offense, crappy bullpen, and crappy managing of the crappy offense and crappy bullpen it's going to be difficult to make the playoffs this season. Oh, that's encouraging.