Typically used as a leadoff man, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins is just 7-for-31 (.222) with one extra-base hit and a .500 OPS in his temporary role as a No. 3 hitter. But enough about that. Streaker photos [here].
Phillies could use a good left-handed reliever: The thing that jumped out during yesterday’s game, besides the streaker who rushed the field, was how much the Phillies suffer from not having a reliable lefty reliever.
At the top of the eighth, Charlie Manuel called on 22-year-old Fabio Castro to pitch to the heart of the Milwaukee order – left-handed Prince Fielder, switch-hitter Johnny Estrada, left-handed masher Geoff Jenkins and lefty Gabe Gross, who hit two home runs earlier. Castro, who’s had command problems for almost three months, walked Fielder, then surrendered an RBI double to Estrada.
This season, the Phillies have used two left-handed relievers: Matt Smith and Castro. They have faced a combined 17 lefties. Twelve have reached base.
What are the alternatives? Just a hunch, but how about, I don’t know, a regular-ol' right-hander? The Phillies front office is reportedly looking toward the minor leagues, and low minor leagues at that. According to Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle, Pat Gillick and crew were out in full force Tuesday to watch left-hander Mike Zagurski pitch from the bullpen. Zagurski, 24, has only recently been promoted to Double-A from Class-A Clearwater.
Inexperience hasn’t scared Gillick in the past. Gillick was the one who oversaw Cole Hamels’ early promotion last season. The timing couldn’t be better to make some tough choices regarding the LOOGY situation, with Castro struggling and veteran Ron Villone dropping off the board after his call-up to New York.
Hamels a bad neighbor?
Philadelphia Will Do, which supplied the streaker link, also spotted this juicy tidbit regarding Cole Hamels, posted on a Philly.com message board.
"I usually hate postings like this, but this was too good to not share: my sister is a nurse at a hospital two miles from Citizens Bank. A doctor who she works with told her that her next door neighbor knows Cole Hamels personally and that he is a real jerk. Despite the homeowners association rules, he puts out his grass clippings on Sunday night even though trash pickup isn't until Wednesday. Everyone in the community has to drive around his trash all day Monday and Tuesday. Not cool."
Speaking as a modest Phillies blogger from Berks County, this is the shot in the arm I needed. Hamels, who's 23, tall, lean, is married to a Playmate and is the best Phillies left-hander since Steve Carlton, is responsible for his own yard work and grass clippings, while my homeowners association takes care of it for me.
Beerleaguer ... 1, Cole Hamels ... 0.