The Phillies offense sprang to action like a well-oiled machine, generating big innings and capitalizing on scoring opportunities to win their second series in a row. And, oh yeah, dishonored pitcher Brett Myers had a very good afternoon.
I’ve drawn a blank on how to begin a post that doesn’t rip the Phillies. I'll get right to the nuts-and-bolts of it.
It doesn’t get any more rudimentary than David Bell, who had his best series of the season against his old team. Bell (pictured right with Bill Dancy, in a photo sure to be used in one of those nauseating books about the Phillies) had five hits, including two doubles, a triple and a home run. In addition, Bell showcased some slick work in the field under the gushing stare of former manager Lou Pinella, who worked Fox’s broadcast booth in Saturday’s game. Sweet Lou is often rumored to be in the running to replace Charlie Manuel. If it happens, rest assured the Phillies won’t play the way the A’s play. He’s no Moneyball disciple.
Speaking of playing the game the right way, Aaron Rowand, who’s been slumping ever since "the catch," played a large role in the two wins. Rowand had three RBIs this series with a couple of doubles.
Frankly, there’s hardly anything negative to discuss, with the exception of Abraham Nunez, who has reached new levels of futility. Nunez and his .133 batting average and 4 RBIs in 105 at bats, can be the first name enshrined in the Citizen’s Bank Park Wall of Shame. The shrine to Steve Jeltz and the other 1971-2003 degenerates turned to dust when Veteran’s Stadium was razed into a parking lot.
The pitching staff had a good series. Myers was exceptional, Cory Lidle was tolerable, and Jon Lieber was a little worse than that. The offense didn’t give them much breathing room, either. The Phils mostly fed upon the Giants bullpen late in their two wins.
Fasano’s return could lead to ill-advised roster move
Catcher Sal Fasano is reportedly due back Wednesday or Thursday, but the Phillies are strapped for how they can fit him back into the 25-man roster. Geoff Geary, who’s been a workman in middle relief, is the only pitcher with an option left. Chris Coste would need to be designated for assignment.
Maybe it’s time for the Phillies to ask themselves what better teams would probably ask themselves: Is a broken-down Fasano really worth it? The answer is a resounding "no."
Latest trade winds
From the Newark Star-Ledger: While one Venezuelan acquaintance of Bobby Abreu said the Philadelphia right fielder would like to come to New York, where he has a residence, another countryman said Abreu seeks a contract extension through 2011 in order to waive his no-trade clause.
From a column in the Pioneer Press: A little birdie says the first-place Detroit Tigers are close to a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies for right fielder Bobby Abreu.
From Baltimore Sun on Thursday: Flanagan said again this week that the Orioles would only be interested in acquiring players who are signed through at least next season. Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Lee and Barry Zito, the top players expected to be available on the trade market, are all free agents after this season. Philadelphia Phillies power-hitting outfielder Pat Burrell isn't, and he is a player that the Orioles have discussed. But he has a blanket no-trade clause, and is due to make $13 million in 2007 and $14 million in 2008.
From Jayson Stark, ESPN.com: Add one more team to the list of clubs interested in Bobby Abreu -- Milwaukee. The Brewers recently contacted the Phillies to see what it might take to get Abreu, an executive of a club with interest in the right fielder told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. But don't bet your favorite photo of Bernie Brewer on this deal going down. The Brewers still haven't decided if they're going to be buyers or sellers. And even if Milwaukee stepped up its pursuit, a baseball man friendly with Abreu says he would be surprised if Abreu waived his no-trade clause to go to the Brewers.