Irritated with Philly stupidity and a look at the rubber match…

PHILLY STUPIDITY
Ever since one of my blog comment contributors was nice enough to point out that we were in fact 3.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race and not 4.0 games back, I have began keeping a more jaundiced eye on games that involve Oakland, Detroit, and Seattle.
Today Seattle received a unmerciful beat down by the Astros as the lost their game 10-3 and got swept by the ‘Stros in Houston and as of this moment the Athletics are leading the Cardinals in their game in Oakland.
So, As a diligent Yankees supporter — I am hoping for a Cardinals come back in that game.
That leaves me with the Phillies and the Tigers…
The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Tigers yesterday and had a 3-1 lead going into the top of the 7th inning today.
PhilliesI had high hopes for a hard fought win for some of the most raucous fans in Major League Baseball out at Citizens Bank Park today and a heart breaking loss for the Tigers.
That would have put us just 3 games behind in the Wild Card race and just 2.5 back if we could beat the Mets later tonight.
Things were looking pretty good when Pudge flew out to start the top of the 7th and Adam Eaton had looked pretty crisp for the Phillies thru 6 and a third and I had no reason to expect the implosion that was only a few short minutes away.
It started out with a double by Brandon Inge and then followed with a base hit single by Guillen that had the Tigers set up with runners on the corners and one out.
I gritted my teeth as I watched Gary Sheffield (who hadn’t been in the line up) stride out onto the one deck circle to pick up a bat and pinch hit for Justin Verlander.
The Phillies countered this move by going to their bullpen to fetch Geoff Geary.
Both Eaton and Geary are lefties and Geary doesn’t have anything eye popping in his numbers that would make me think he’s the guy to get Sheff out so I assume it’s just to get a fresh arm out there (Eaton had pitched 101 pitches in the game (66 for strikes)).
I was thinking that they should walk him and then try for a double play on Granderson who was due up next.
But they pitched to him and Sheff hits a line drive single to left that scores Inge and moves Guillen to third with one out.
Now the Phillies lead is 3-2 and they again have runners on the corners with one out and their grasp on this one has almost slipped away.
The Phillies then bring in lefty Mike Zagurski to face Granderson which prompts Jim Leyland to send out Omar Infante to pinch hit.
Zagurski is successful in his assignment and grounds out Infante for the second out.
On the play, however, Guillen goes to third and Sheff goes to second.
Now with first base open and Placido Polanco at the plate the Phillies summon Voel Hernandez who comes into the game and walks Polanco to load up the bases.
Now with the bases loaded Craig Monroe singles on a ball off of Jimmy Rollins’s glove that scores both Guillen and Sheffield and gives the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
What a bad break for the Phillies !
They had seemingly done everything right up to that point in the game…
Then comes the move that, in my opinion, may have cost them this ballgame…
With Polanco at third and with Monroe at first and with two outs they allow Hernandez to pitch to Magglio Orndonez.
These are the moments where games are won or lost.
There are the moments when coaches make the decisions that earn their salaries and have fans and sports writers either singing their praises or calling for their resignation in the papers and around the water coolers the next day.
Your team has two outs and your two run lead has metamorphosed into a one run deficit.
Two outs in the top of the 7th with runners at the corners and Maggs at the plate and Sean Casey on deck?
What do you do?
Well, if it’s me I walk him.
Maggs
Isn’t that the obvious decision here?
Magglio is only leading both the NL and the AL in batting average (.367), 2nd in the AL in RBI’s (64), and tied for 7th with home runs (13).
And, oh yeah, he’s only hitting a paltry .395 in the last 10 days.
Why do you let him have a chance to beat you?
If you walk him and load the bases and then Casey (who’s batting .286 with 22 RBI’s and zero homers) scorches one — then you just tip your cap and move on.
You don’t let their best hitter (and maybe the league’s best hitter) beat you with a base open and two outs.
But that’s what they did.
They pitched to Maggs and he hits a laser to right field and brings in two more runs to give the Tigers a 6-3 lead and he all but ended the game with that one swing in the top of the 7th.
Oh yeah, then Casey comes in and pops up to end the inning.
Obviously he was the threat you really didn’t want to face with the bases loaded.
The Tigers end up scoring one more run and the Phillies get one more and the Tigers end up winning 7-4.
If Maggs hadn’t gotten that hit maybe things would have shaken out differently.
All I know is it looked foolish to me to let the league’s leading offensive player take you like that.
I mean, the Phillies are looking up at the Mets in the NL East race and we’re looking up at the Tigers in the AL Wild Card race.
I thought we could help each other and help ourselves by beating the Tigers and the Mets respectively.
We would have both benefited by a Phillies win today.
Oh well, hopefully we can give you a boost by beating the Mets later tonight.
You’re welcome…


METS – YANKEES : RUBBER MATCH:

Tonight the Yankees take on the Mets in the last game of a three game series that is tied at 1-1 after yesterdays win by the Yankees.
Wang2
Pitching for the New York Yankees will be Chien Ming Wang who is six and four on the season with an ERA of 3.49.
He started things off a tad rocky in the 2007 season but has earned wins for the Yankees in each of his last three starts.
In this last three games he’s averaging seven innings per start and has an ERA of has an ERA in his last three games of just about 2.04. In his last start against Arizona this past Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, in his first start against that team, he pitched 7 solid innings
and allowing just one earned run off of six hits
against two strike outs.
Tonight’s game will be Wang’s 11th start of the season and his first career start against the Mets.
Wang has looked very good to me in his last 3 or 4 starts and regardless of what Roger Clemens does or doesn’t do in a New York Yankees uniform in 2007 — Wang will still be the undisputed ace of the Yankees pitching staff until somebody comes along and proves other wise.
I’m also hoping that his ground ball style and propensity to coax batters into double plays will help slow down the relentless New York Met base stealing.
Especially that snotty little Jose Reyes…
And like I said yesterday, if the situation dictates it or if we get up by a substantial amount of runs I wouldn’t be crying in my beer if somebody decided to plunk Reyes.
I’m just saying…
But anyway….
Duke
Opposing him on the mound for the New York Mets will be former Yankee, and a personal favorite of mine, "El Duque" Orlando Hernandez.
Hernandez is 3-2 with a 2.38 in 9 starts so far this season for Willie Randolph’s New York Mets and has looked very good.
He’s averaging about 5 strike outs per game and his pitches have had good movement.
He did have a few control issues in his last start this past Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and that game, while not bad, was one of his poorer outings control wise this season for the Duke.
He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits and walked 3 in his 3 and 5 and 5 and two thirds innings in a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers.
It should be a real pitchers duel tonight as both Wang and Hernandez look to be on their respective games tonight.
Now if we can just keep Reyes off of the bases….

Please ???

Until later,
LETS GO YANKEES !!!

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11 comments

  1. joseph

    Although Seattle is exceeding all of our expectations of them, I don’t think you have to worry about them. They will probably fade from contention eventually. I think the Yankees are better than Oakland too. Although they might hang around until the end. I do not think the Yankees are better than Detroit however, maybe by season’s end they will be. But Detroit is hitting the **** out of the ball and if they continue to do so when Rogers comes back then they will be scary, if they aren’t already.

    http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

  2. Michael

    I feel almost the same way in terms of the wild card race.
    Detroit is scary and maybe despite what the records for both teams are — I don’t think that Detroit is better than us as a team.

    I think that Detroit was healthier than us for the first 50 games of the season and I think the players were playing better baseball than us, pound for pound, in the first 50 games of the season.

    But if Wang, Pettitte, Clemens, and Moose can continue to pitch quality starts and stay healthy I think we can stack up pretty well.

    I think Maggs and A-Rod are two of the best offensive producers in the AL and that Verlander might be one of the most unheralded aces.

    But if Posada, Abreu, and Jeter continue to hit well we have a good team.

    That’s not to take anything away from the Tigers though.

    It’s going to be a dog fight all the way down to the wire and I don’t envy any team that has to play Detroit in the post season if they have all their pitchers healthy and all their ducks in a row….?

  3. phurrballe@aol.com

    Hi Michael…your blog is great.

    First, I am glad the Phillies lost today. But of course, I say that only because they are nipping at our heels so a Brave/Philly loss is music to my ears. The Mets can find their own way to lose ground (like playing your team!!!) But Atlanta/Philly is to the Mets as Detroit is to the Yankees. Detroit is a real hot club at the moment so the Mets fair better with the Braves and Phillies, both who seem to be sputtering as well, than the Yankees and their nemesis, the Tigers.

    Of course I must take exception to calling Reyes “snotty” – unless “snotty” means fast as a whip, can hit and field on a dime and has the ability to taunt and provoke pitcher angst 🙂 Seriuously, I do not take offense to people picking on Reyes. In most instances it is a compliment. And look who is talking with Jeter. This guy is awesome. Is there anything Jeter cannot do?? Guess he is “snotty” also (he he – please know I am a friendly poster and say that in jest!!)

    I do not think Wang will be in trouble tonite though. I love the Mets and will always root for them, but we just have some serious slumping and holes going on.

    I am just thrilled to have El Duque out there; should be interesting to see how Wang and El Duque maych up.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me blog here. See you next subway series (in October of course).

    Lee Ellen

  4. Michael

    the A’s did lose their game and now the Wild Card race has us 4 behind Detroit, 3 behind Seattle, and 1 back of Oakland…

  5. Michael

    drop by anytime Lee.
    And, yeah, Reyes is truly a pheominal player.

    He can literally do almost anything on the field and if he gets on base it just seems like he’s only a few moments away from scoring a run.

    But since tonight is the last night of games between the Yanks and the Mets this year (unless we meet in the 2007 World Series) I’ll wish you guys luck !

    Especially against the Phils — their fans are mean !

    LOL !

    Anyway, I actually saw your boys in Spring Training this season.

    I went to Yankees ST camp and while I was in Tampa — I drove down to Lakeland to watch the Mets play the Tigers at the Tigers Spring Training complex.

    So, Thanks for sharing and drop by any time.

    And good luck to the Mets — Just not tonight — but in the games AFTER tonight…

    LOL !

  6. phurrballe@aol.com

    Yes, Phillie fans are truly obnoxious. Haven’t figured out why as you see how I post – pretty benign but they pretty much booted me off their blogs. Very odd.

    “And good luck to the Mets — Just not tonight — but in the games AFTER tonight…

    LOL !”

    Ha – Got it!!!

    Lee Ellen

  7. Michael

    they booted you off of their blogs?
    What did you say that there?

    If you check out Joseph’s blog :

    http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com

    and some of the others that Jason and Mike and Jason and Mike and I post on — you can see that some of us are Yankees fans and some of us are Red Sox fans and while we don’t agree on everything — O.K., Every now and then we don’t agree on anything…

    LOL …

    We still try to always remain civil and make our posts and our points and just discuss the game that we both love.

    I welcome fans of all teams here and love comments from people who choose the Yankees as their favorite team as well as fans of other teams.

    As long as you don’t come in and insult me or the other Yankees fans that read and post here — I always welcome your perspectives.

  8. Michael

    //they booted you off of their blogs?
    What did you say that there?//

    I meant to ask what did you say that they thought was so bad that they chased you away?

  9. phurrballe@aol.com

    You may not believe me but I posted similar things as I did here. Very benign – Phillies have some great players and as with any team, I respect the talent. I just love baseball so chatting with other fans is really fun for me. I am pretty non-confrontational. And I was not booted in the literal sense but when they insult Mets fans to the extent they did, I just do not go back. Dodger fans were just as bad. Most others I visited were fine.

    Anyway, Yankees are pretty much making a mockery of the Mets tonite so I tip my hat to Yankee players. They pretty much are unstoppable right now and I am sure they will make the AL East a real dog fight before long. Good job guys and thanks again.

    Lee Ellen

  10. Michael

    thanks to you as well…
    Good luck to you and your team.

    Sorry to hear about your negative expierances with the Phillies Blogs…

    Good luck to the Mets after the top of the 9th…

    LOL !

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