Big Lost finale tonight. I hope the Smoke Monster gets the girl in the end. That’s all I’m going to say. Someone will have to weigh in with exactly how awesome/frustrating it was. I’ve got bigger concerns and frankly, more vapid television shows to be addicted to. Sitting here flipping through the channels though, I’m happy that ESPN didn’t put the Phils on Sunday Night Baseball. Two straight prime time open hand slaps by the Red Sox might have been damaging to the Phillies’ street cred. This way, their ace takes a beating amongst the relative anonymity of Sunday afternoon games. Pretty interesting weekend for the red pinstriped boys. Let’s take a peek.
Best story of the weekend? Roy Oswalt has told Houston ownership that he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause. Ed Wade has run this so far into the ground that Oswalt realizes they are the new Nationals. Are we talking legacy, because Roy’s currently doesn’t have a ring attached to it, and it sounds like he wants another chance at one. Now, Oswalt (who is 2-6 with a sub-3.00 ERA), probably doesn’t have much of a chance of arriving in Philly. Maybe some of the Ruben Amaro fan club can convince me otherwise, but Oswalt is due a good chunk of change this year and next, but more importantly it would involve trading these prospects that we apparently can’t live without. Probably no dice there. So, while Oswalt becoming available might be great news for the Yankees or Tigers or someone along those lines, it is still good news for the Phils who will need the pitching market at the deadline to be flooded with as many arms as possible. Gotta drive that price down. PS, there’s a good chance Cliff Lee could be with a contender and pitching against the Phils down the stretch. Call it the last, unexpected bonus of shipping him out of town.
Jimmy Rollins and his calf. There’s not a silver lining in this one. Not really. Every time J-Roll leaves the batter’s box for the rest of the season we’ll be thinking about that calf now, and it could be a coincidence, but when J-Roll went down this time the offense went down with him. The bat racks haven’t exactly been rattling, especially the last two days against Boston. Oddly enough it was Jimmy’s replacement, Juan Castro, who broke up Daisuke Matsuzaka’s no-hit bid on Saturday night. It’s always embarrassing to be no-hit, and despite a couple hard hit balls the Phillies’ offense has looked anemic all weekend. They did keep Jason Varitek from catching his 5th no-hitter, though.
The Roy Halladay win projection meter is dropping like the prices in a Wal-Mart commercial. At last glance we were at 22, and thinking about bumping it, but the last two weeks haven’t produced a win, and I’m going to have to recalibrate the in-season Halladay win projection meter back down to 20. I’m not ready to give up on the 20-win dream, yet. So was it the cumulative effect of pitch count today, a bad outing, more shockingly bad defense behind him? Possibly a combination of the three, though I think his arm is completely fine. Even with this 3-start winless streak, Halladay’s ERA is still sitting at 2.22, which is well below his career average. I think the misconception about Halladay coming in was that he didn’t give up any runs. He piles up complete games, but they are hardly all shutouts. The fact is, he’s had two off starts out of 10 and would have 7 or 8 wins with better run support. I say Big Roy is still who we thought he was.
I’ll close with my favorite baseball highlight of the past 5 or 10 years, easy.