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Thursday, April 15, 2010


Am I the only one that thinks the "everyone wears 42" thing is a bit much? Why not let one player on each team do it? It just feels gimmicky at this point.

Though not nearly as gimmicky as that darned Phanatic.

~stunned that Billingsly doesnt like the Phanatic~

Standard set (Post-Rollins):

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Ian Desmond, SS
3. Cristian Guzman, 2B
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ivan Rodriguez, C
7. Justin Maxwell, RF
8. Alberto Gonzalez, 3B
9. Scott Olsen, SP

1. Shane Victorino, CF
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, RF
6. Raul Ibanez, LF
7. Juan Castro, SS
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. J.A. Happ, SP

That damn Phanatic knocked my three-year old down one time coming off the field at Reading Municipal. Couldn't see him over that big nose and fat green stomach. The kid's almost 17 now and he still complains about him.

NEPP: On the 42 thing, we agree. It waters down the tribute in my opinion.

I'm sorry to ruin your day. I still love the Phils, though. That's got to count for something, right? If it makes you feel any better, I dislike the sausage race in Milwaukee and the President's Race in DC. I dislike a ton of things, so I'm not singling out the Phanatic.

Nepp- Have to agree with thea all 24 thing.

All due respect, Jackie Robinson was a great player and it took great courage to be the point man in breaking the color barrier.

It was a shame that the Phillies, in particular, were slow to desegregate.

But overkill is still overkill.

Nice story, Iceman.

I second that emotion. What we are seeing with the Phils right now is not only historic for Philadelphia history, it's something which very, very, very few fans of any sport get to enjoy and appreciate. As a fan of Alabama football, it reminds me of the 70s (where if Bama lost one game a year, it was a bad year). You just looked forward to seeing how you were going to dominate and win, game after game. It NEVER GOT OLD!!!!

It is a great pleasure to watch this team. Here's hoping it will never get old.

OOPs 42 not 24

Did they already give out the rings?

Today is April 15. All players should wear # 1040 or the amount of taxes they paid.

Ruiz in a day game after a really really long night game? What gives Cholly?

wish I knew how to post a pix to show how beatiul it is hhere at the zen. Just honored the Tuskeegee Airmen. Awesome.

I have the same sentiment as Iceman's father. I was not alive for the great teams of 76-83, so I can only imagine what it was like for the fans back then. They were watching Hall of Famers in their prime. After a long period of futility, the Phils rose to the top. Then of course they won it all in 1980, which at the time was by far the greatest time in Phillies history.

We may be even luckier right now. After improving for almost the entire decade, we finally made the playoffs in 2007. Unlike the 76-78 teams, we became WFC after just one miss. The pennant in 2009 was no small feat either.

We are showing that we are still head and shoulders above the rest of the league, with a chance to win more than just one title.

We may find that in 10 or 20 years that we are in fact also watching Hall of Famers in their prime (Rollins? Utley? Halladay? Howard?) but we can't be certain right now.

It truly is a golden era of Phillies baseball, and I'll never forget it either. I followed the magical 1993 team, but this team just feels different. Like Iceman's father said, the personality of this team is just awesome and it really is a pleasure to root for them. Utley becoming a legend with his WFC remark is just one example of why we love this team.

We may be watching a once in a lifetime dynasty. Even if we're not, I'm not enjoying it any less.

By the way, can one buy a Rollins or Howard or Utley 42 jersey at the ballpark today?? If so, the tribute is drvien by $$

ozark - hte uniforms aren't big enough to hold those numbers (taxes paid). I like the pierogi race in Pittsburgh. It's the only thing my kids pay attention to besides the cotton candy vendor.

personally i have an issue with retiring a number for the entire league. I didn't like it in hockey (and wouldn't like it in any sport). It denies the ability for a player to honor robinson themselves their entire career. I'm not questioning Robinson's social signficance, but feel like there's a different (and better) way to honor him.

And retiring a number should be reserved to the club. Personally, as a Phillies fan, I don't want someone else's number retired in my stadium. If it was Babe Ruth. or Gehrig. Or Jeter. Or Mays. Or Pujols. Or some G-- D--- Met. Sorry not for me.

I DO HAVE LESS of a problem with EVERYONE wearing his number today for one day on the anniversary Although every year seems much -- I would rather they honored a different pioneer every year. Why not a Larry Doby day? Or a Clemente Day? Or Pete Rose day. Kidding.

I always wonder if the significance of wearing the 42 means the same thing to the player, when Jimmy or Ryno put the jersey on, than lets say a Brett Myers. I'm not so sure Brett would get the same feeling that Jimmy would.

But the real question everyone needs to know, does the Phanatic wear the number 42??

Maybe some green jersers for Earth Day next week? Or blue to commemorate the Avatar release? All of these gimmicks are pretty bush league, but the Jackie Robinson one is at least rooted in something meaningful.

Oh, and my brother once stole the Phanatics tail during a promo appearance at an R-Phils game about 15 years ago. Let's just say that the big guy was a little less lovable when he got effed with...

Uni numbers would use K, not zeros.

A friend of a friend was the Pirate Parrot some years ago. He got fired after he got arrested for skinny dipping with a girl in a public pool after the bars let out. Other than that, the Pirate Parrot generally sucks.

Willard, I would expect no less from the Pilly mascot...

Joe West's crew is an embarrassing lot behind the plate. They cannot competently call balls and strikes.

Great. Another walk to Nyjer Morgan to start the game.

"I DO HAVE LESS of a problem with EVERYONE wearing his number today for one day on the anniversary Although every year seems much -- I would rather they honored a different pioneer every year. Why not a Larry Doby day? Or a Clemente Day? Or Pete Rose day. Kidding. "

I wouldnt bet on the Pete Rose day, but I hear you can get pretty good odds from the man himself.

I only have GameDay. Noah, are you saying Happ's pitches are around the plate?


Your home plate umpire 30 years ago today....
Joe West.

Time of game? 1:57

Would you want someone to steal your tail?

Double Play. Deja vu, anyone? Hope this doesn't lead to a 3R first for the Nats.

I'm saying the gameday for Morgan's first at bat, on the basis of what I saw on the TV was 100% accurate.

Nice link EF. Classic Randy Lerch game - hits an RBI double in a losing effort.

RB, guess not...

Noah: Thanks for the info. Sometimes Gameday isn't too accurate, so a pitch down the middle for a ball can be misleading on occasion.

it's not looking good for happ. he and moyer really need those borderline calls to be effective.

Am I the only one that thinks the strikezone seems a tad smaller this year so far?

No.42 is looking good today.

holy mackrel!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think this Utley kid is gonna be pretty good someday...

I love it when Utley gets hot.

So...this Chase Utley guy's got a bright future, huh.

Let's see if Happ can continue his RISP magic...

I love it when Utley gets hot.

/fixed that for you

Utley is good. Happ's ball/strike ratio...not so much.

Maybe Happ should just pitch from the stretch all the time. Or someone should tell him "ghost men on first and third" at the start of the inning. I'm starting to believe his ridiculously high strand rate isn't luck but just pure awesomeness in ballsy situations.

I love it when Utley gets me hot as well...

That isn't weird or anything is it?

Eerie. Last year, with RISP, Happ threw to the tune of an OPS against of just .479. With no men on, it was .753. And it wasn't that he was so much better from the stretch, as when there was a man on 1st, his OPS against was .847.

Once again, he seems to be throwing just so much better with RISP so far this year (.143 vs .846 with no men on). Will it continue?

maybe for some reason happ just pitches better out of the stretch.

funny note from last nights game... a guy behind me in the first inning after taking the first two pitches for strikes. "He takes too many strikes."

Of course Utley walked on the next 4 pitches, loading the bases and the scoring barrage began...

I guess you can't please everyone.

Castro is awful. Where the heck is Valdez?

4 walks in 2+ innings. Not very good. Is the zone that small? Or is he missing?

Not a great throw by Ryno.

Guys, I'm not saying Happ doesn't have some magical ability to pitch like Cy Young when there is a RISP, but there is absolutely no precident for it. None. There has never been a pitcher who has performed over time like Happ.

Like I said above, it isn't that he's so much better from the stretch, since when there's a guy on 1st, he pitches worse. Maybe it really in mental. I don't know. But he did it the entire season last year, and so far this year. Maybe there's something about him. Maybe he's the first truly "clutch" pitcher discovered in captivity...

Anyone else concerned with the fact that Happ cant throw a strike today?

Dan: that's interesting stuff about his OPS against with a man on first compared to RISP. I guess that does debunk the "better from the stretch" theory. Apparently he just likes the pressure.
Aside, Morgan was an awesome pickup for the Nats. He always seems to be on base.

Really cool story there Iceman. I'm 28 and my first memories of the Phillies were probably in 1984 or 85 so I'm after the last great team here. In that timeframe the Phillies had been over .500 for only 3 times before Thome arrived. There were tons of lean years in there and I remember the likes of Steve Jeltz and Chris James. I remember opening day pitcher Omar Daal in 2001 and Robert Person in 2002.

This truly is a special team we are watching right now. I only hope that we sustain this winning spirit for a while so I can have kids and share the love for this team. I'd hate for my kids to have to grow up with the same crappy type of team I suffered through.

looks like ryan howard can't throw a strike either

so, it's pretty much guaranteed that we're gonna see contreras at some point today.

An inning eater is someone who consistently gives his team 6 or 7 innings with so-so results. They're going to have to come up with a new term for someone like Happ, who consistently gives his team an inadequate number of innings, but with good results.

great situational hitting & they are so patient at the plate - my perspective from a game day desktop

"Bulllpen eater", or is that what Kendrick is?

Ah man, Happ's at 60 pitches through 3. Olsen isn't even at 30...

Bedrosian's Beard - "Bulllpen eater", or is that what Kendrick is?

How true!

First pitch balls to 11 of 16 hitters. That's pretty atrocious.

Bullpen is going to be completely gassed before May.

Ouch, 5 walks for Haap... not watching the game, just listening - is Haap having control problems or is the strike zone being called too sternly/inconsistently?

5 walks through 3.1 IP. Not good.

What's happened to Happ? He's not making me happy anymore.

My 10-yr. old thought I should type that.

Seriously, he is reverting to the predicted-by-many mediocrity. Maybe he works best under the pressure of proving himself.

Only Doc and Gramps have reached 6 IP, did I hear that?

and Blanton's just an "eater".

AtBat makes it seem happ isn't getting the corners.

5 walks. One unearned run. Happ is weird.

Astros won a game!

It's really nice of Joe West to help Scott out with those outside corners against Utley.

Great video!!! And the Rollins injury-stroll has some strong Gehrig overtones. Good thing he didn't start the year 0/20.

Ibanez had that one nice game but, other than that, he is really looking like a player who is at the end of the line.

Why no BenFran today? A lefty is on the mound, Ibanez has not looked good and we need to get our bench some ABs ...

BobWalk - Ibanez needs ABs more than BenFran in my opinion.

How on earth does a guy throw 5 innings without allowing an earned run, while simultaneously striking out no one and walking 5?

Is it just me, or does L.A. want it both ways? First pitch Happ threw, he complained that the umps could shorten the game by calling strikes. Next pitch, he said Happ needs to do a better job of hitting the strike zone. - - I'm sure he can mean both at once, it just sounded kinda funny to my ears.

@Spitz -- if I thought that more ABs would help Ibanez, then yes, I'd keep him in the lineup. Unfortunately, I am beginning to lean towards b_a_p's assessment of an Ibanez in quick decline

BAP: I don't think that translates to a very good FIP.

BAP, Happ has always been a bit of a mystery, no?

"we need to get our bench some ABs"

Really? Here we go again...

We have a bench player starting at SS. Dobbs played yesterday.

I'd rather give the AB's to Ibanez to either pull it together, or to prove that he's done. If he's "done," BenFran will get more than enough AB's (and we'll be looking for a true 3rd OF).

For those of you who either commented or silently agreed that NO Phillies pitcher has been performing up to snuff except Roy Halladay...

Jay Happ is going to finish the 6th easily within 100 pitches for the day, and has yet to give up an earned run this year.

Hamels is a continuing question mark, Kendrick a predictable disaster, and Moyer, like Old Man River, just keeps rolling along at the same pace as always. But Happ is starting the year just fine and dandy, thank you.

This game definitely feels like a loss.

Nice catch by Polanco there!

@Willard -- I'm just saying after a long night game, against a lefty, and with Ibanez not exactly tearing the ball off its cover ... today's game could have been a nice way to give BenFran a start

BAP, music to my ears...

"How on earth does a guy throw 5 innings without allowing an earned run, while simultaneously striking out no one and walking 5?"

@bap -- I think Kyle Kendrick is asking that same question

The way the starters are going, it feels like we're down by 5. We're very fortunate to still be tied. I think we've seen enough of our offense to know that we can never count them out.

Nice play Polly!

How does a game that has practically identical line scores in the 6th inning feel like a loss? This game could certainly go either way.

@Bob - I'm with you. I'd just like to give Ibanez enough rope to unequivocally help Ruben decided whether or not we need to prepare for "plan B," definitively.

Although, I do have to say that Ruiz probably could have used a breather today, to give Schneider a few AB's. Then again, Chooch is hot, so might as well drain that well.

Everything feels like a loss to certain posters, until proven otherwise.

Jay Happ is going to finish the 6th easily within 100 pitches for the day, and has yet to give up an earned run this year

Little premature, Philwynk. 6 BBs in 5.1 IP. Not good.

its amazing what a couple of strikeouts can do for you.

Offense will finally wake up in this inning.

I'd be curious to know when was the last time a starting pitcher put up a stat line like Happ's line of today (if it holds up).

And, before clout shows up and points out that people would be all over Moyer or KK if they pitched a game like this, let me just say: I do NOT regard this as a good game by Happ. 99 times out of 100, if a pitcher has a stat line of 6 walks, 0 strikeouts, 52 strikes & 47 balls, he's going to get completely rocked. I'm glad he didn't but I'm not under any illusions that he can keep having the command problems he has had in his first 2 starts, & continue getting the same good results.

Nice job by Contreras. Bullpen has been a pleasant surprise so far this year.

No worries, bap, Stark will let us know soon enough.

If MLB Gameday is accurate -- it looks like Contreras is bringing the gas -- 97mph? :)

I was not sold on the old man when he signed, but he's been a pleasant surprise

Actually, if you dig through this season's game threads, you'll find only one game in which I wrote the words, "This feels like a loss." That was the game where we went like 0 for a million with RISP and, indeed, we did lose.

Why does today's game feel like a loss to me? Because our bats have gone completely dead against a very mediocre pitcher. When that happens, we generally lose. Hopefully I'll be wrong.

A healthy Contreras will be the "Big Piece" of the bullpen this year.

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