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Sunday, April 22, 2007

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Kinda wished I got to watch the game a little more last night, only saw one inning but Hamels looked unhittable. Best change up in baseball but I also think he is going to start mixing in other pitches. His change up, when working to his liking, is unhittable.

hamels changeup is terrific, but it was the cut fastball that he used to pitch inside to righties that really impressed me last night.

plus his overhand curve is working nicely.

4.15 Random Thoughts:
1) I saw Abreu run into the wall yesterday to rob Big Papi of a home run (this occurred in the 2nd inning, if I'm not mistaken). To the poster that claimed Abreu was not dogging it in 2006 = when was the last time he did that for the Phillies? Certainly not in 2006.
2) I enjoyed the new lineup last night. When the big man comes back, perhaps you drop Utley to 5 for protection or move him up to 2 for run generation/hit and run tactics. I'd keep Rollins in the 3 hole, though - he's shown improved confidence at the plate since the All-Star break of 2005, and he's actually developed a hitter's eye, as displayed by the number of walks he's taken thus far.
3) The last impact free agent signed by the Phillies was Pete Rose - in 1979. By impact, I mean a player who puts them over them top = in that team's case, the player who got them to the World Series. Jim Thome was a nice acquisition, but his presence caused the Phillies to play no better or worse than the did before his arrival. In this day and age, you have to be willing to bring in and pay good players from outside the organization in order to go to the next level. Sadly, this Phillies ownership team, fragments of which have been in place since the early 1980's, has displayed an unwillingness to spend money, therefore, it is not inaccurate to state that the Phillies ownership team is not committed to bringing a championship to Philadelphia.
4) Perhaps during the 2-hour closed clubhouse meeting yesterday, it was made clear to the team that Cholly would be fired if they didn't get their act together. They played with a motivation and energy not seen since August/early September 2006. I do not attribute that to Cholly unless he's the guy that told the team that he's going to be fired shortly unless they start winning, in which case, his implorement for improvement must have been touching to the players.
4.15) John Wockenfuss.

There is little doubt that Cole is going to be something special. However, lets not forget this was a team that swung at 55' bouncing balls.

Abreu also misplayed a flyball over his head either yesterday or Friday night and cost the Yankees two runs. Tough play, but a gold glover should have had that ball.

I haven't seen a pitching performance that dominant since schilling. Myers and Randy Wolf and a few others have had times in the past when they were lights out in a certain otuing, but never as dominant as King Cole was last night.

With that being said I wouldn't expect anything less than 20 strikeouts from Freddy Garcia today.

What I find the most intruiging about Hamels is that he is doing this with command of two pitches. Yes he throws a curve, but he's no Barry Zito - it's erratic. Yes, a cutter, too, but he still doesn't have complete command of it.

The intruiging part: How good will he be when he does gain comand of those pitches, and is comfortable throwing them anywhere in the count?

That gives me goosebumps.

I read that the Reds had their first sell out since opening day. I wonder if there was a promotion or if the Hamels/Utley/Howard (if tickets were bought early) combo is getting that big.

fleece blanket night... still that's a lot of people for a blanket

Lineups

Howard starting, hitting 4th. Dobbs starting in LF. Burrell gets day off.

Phils
1. J Rollins, SS
2. S Victorino, RF
3. C Utley, 2B
4. R Howard, 1B
5. W Helms, 3B
6. G Dobbs, LF
7. A Rowand, CF
8. C Ruiz, C
9. F Garcia, P

Reds
1. R Freel, CF
2. S Hatteberg, 1B
3. B Phillips, 2B
4. J Hamilton, RF
5. A Dunn, LF
6. J Valentin, C
7. E Encarnacion, 3B
8. A Gonzalez, SS
9. M Belisle, P

that's idiotic. that's the lineup that hasnt been producing.

AWH: Actually, Hamels best pitch is his changeup. It's a killer.

Crazy Jon: Yep, dumping Abreu for nothing was a smart move. Guy was just dragging the team down. Almost as good as the Padilla trade, no? You should be an MLB GM.

One start does not an ace make. Let's not anoint this guy the savior of our pitching staff, yet. But nonetheless, it is encouraging. Thanks.

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