Congratulations to Jimmy Rollins for producing the Phillies first Howard of the season. For those of you not "in the know" (and seriously where the hell have you been), The Howard is any time a player hits a homerun, strikes out, and commits an error all in the same ball game. Last night's Phils win featured two Howards; one by Young James and the other by the enemy Jose Tabata.
J-Roll has been heating up in June and especially of late. That is 4 homeruns over the last 5 games. He's now hitting close to his career norms (.268/.734 in 2012, .272/.760 career). And yes, that is a picture of Rollins with Ke$ha.
*Crashburn Alley did a post yesterday on how Cliff Lee is still great. No offense to them, but they really are too wrapped up in stats. Lee has not been great, and it's not just because he's winless. He's had some shitty games, games in which he was supplied some runs. He's had some great games too, but a 3.72 isn't great, despite whatever your defense is behind you.
These people that try to explain EVERYTHING with stats drive me nuts. Stats are fun, I like them. I read box scores every day. But thinking they're the end all, be all is just silly. Side note- comparing Lee's 2012 season to that of Cole Hamels "unlucky" 2009 is unwise if you're trying to make a case for supporting Lee's greatness. Hamels admittedly didn't train properly during the offseason following 2008 and wasn't mentally or physically prepared for '09. He wasn't unlucky, he was mediocre...the same thing Cliff Lee is right now. Not good. Not bad. Just okay.
*Tonight's Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game is sold out. It is also Chase Utley's supposed final rehab game before he joins the Phillies lineup on Wednesday.
*Carlos Ruiz is still good. Very good. At age 33 he is hitting .354/.983 while catching nearly every day. Impressive.