I was set to write about a faint “pop” this morning emanating from the Pacific Northwest. It would have been the sound of the Phillies’ bubble bursting.
Instead, a 13th-inning triple by Jimmy Rollins led to a game-winning sacrifice fly by Tomas Perez, allowing the Phils to escape the land of the lost with at least one win, defeating the Mariners last night 3-2.
While this blogger used the time to catch up on reading (“Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer), watch fine cinema (“Direct Action” with Dolph Lundgren; “Batman Begins” with Christian Bale), and sweep our dirty floors (caused by cat, James, and dog, Madeleine), the Phils narrowly avoided a sweep themselves.
But I’ll take it. Coming off an emotional homestand then jetting off to parts unknown, a series loss to the Mariners wasn't unexpected.
The lack of extra-base hits was a surprise however; they managed only three all series. In addition, David Bell went hitless in his return to Seattle and Mike Lieberthal and Jim Thome each collected only one hit.
On a related note, check out George S.’ comments in my Larry Andersen post about Bell-Lieberthal. Great stuff.
Moving to the pitchers, I like the Phils deep bullpen right now. Rheal Cormier, Ugueth Urbina, Ryan Madson, Geoff Geary and Billy Wagner allowed only one run – a homer given up by Cormier – over 6.2 innings last night. Geary deserves respect this morning on this space, typically hostile toward the right-hander. He earned the win, and Wags got the save.
Moving on to the starters, Jon Lieber pitched eight innings two days ago and leads the team in wins, but would it be out of line to say he’s been a disappointment? What’s the deal with all the home runs? He gave up a homer to Dave Hansen Wednesday, who hadn’t hit one since July of last year.
As for Vicente Padilla, he had a typical line Tuesday going five innings and change, allowing three earned runs. There are no indications Padilla will ever become the dominant pitcher coaches talked about. He’s a fifth starter who would be battling to keep his job in a healthy rotation.
Then there’s Brett Myers. His only negative is he doesn’t get run support. What a fine year he’s having. Make this man an All-Star.
More left coast fun as the Phils travel to Oaktown for a series with the Athletics. The A’s are a bad team with a punchless offense, including a team OPS of .689.
Tonight it's Barry Zito against Rob Tejeda in the Super Bowl of blog gossip the last few days. Zito has been talked about as a potential replacement for Randy Wolf, with the unproven Tejeda his current substitute.
Plenty of Beer Leaguer for everyone
Sam Moyerman, writer of the best Sixers-slash-fantasy sports blog on the planet, provides yet another vehicle for me to spread my propaganda this morning on A Fantasy Life. It's the first of a two-part interview talking about the Phillies and fantasy baseball.
For any comic book fans out there, Sam is a featured reviewer for the popular Web site Broken Frontier.