A lot of tension for a businessperson’s special Wednesday afternoon. As the Phils remained hitless into the fifth, the day after collecting just two knocks against the Brewers, visions of the Shutout Sweep last year in New York had to be dancing through some heads. A patented Phillies slump was taking hold, and to make matters worse, it seemed like the manager was the one pushing the panic button. I’ve never thought that talking about not hitting home runs (aka telling guys to try to hit them) was the best way to boost power production. But, the Phils did produce two key homers to come from behind today, so maybe that will keep Charlie happy for a little while–at least until the plane lands in San Diego. That would have been one miserable flight if Placido Polanco hadn’t given them a jolt in the sixth.
I think the Phils are getting out of town at a good time. San Diego isn’t typically a place to get well offensively, but the natives were getting a little restless around these parts. When I was looking at the schedule about a week ago and saw Marcum and two left-handers coming up after him with a trip to San Diego to follow, I didn’t have the highest hopes for the offense. Things seemed to snow ball a bit too. Even the occasionally hard hit ball turned into an out. Relief on the horizon was going to be that trip to Arizona and a series against one of the most generous pitching staffs in the league. The Phillies still should be able to rough up the teams that everyone roughs up. With a little momentum from the last 3 innings on Wednesday, maybe they can turn things around a little earlier. One thing I would like to see is less of Wilson Valdez and someone aside from J-Roll in that 3-hole.
Dustin Johnson fired his caddy yesterday. Or, they had an amicable split. Apparently DJ’s caddy is dating the twin sister of DJ’s girlfriend. That seems a little incestuous to me. I wonder if how close these guys are off the course contributed to Bobby Brown surviving two blown majors and a couple of other mishaps. People will be falling all over themselves to get a piece of Johnson’s bag. Major champion or not, he’ll probably cash 30 million in checks over the next ten years. That could even be a conservative estimate. I’d take the job, even though I think Johnson’s purported cool demeanor is actually more of a shocking lack of intelligence. I think the good old boy might be a little “book dumb.” But, there are far, far worse things to be if you are a golfer. I wonder if Rory is thinking about switching bag carriers. He seems to be following DJ’s career arc.
MLB Underdog of the Day: Yesterday’s Result: WIN. Financial Status (-330 Smackers)
Probably my smoothest bet of the year last night. Nice and comfortable. Big Dub can tell you I was tempted to go Brewers +175 this afternoon, but in the end my morals saved me from another defeat. Obviously, I am going to have to string together a decent stretch to get back to even and then maybe we can move from there, but I’ll take 2 of my last 3 as a sign that maybe I am not the absolute most clueless man in America.
Today’s Selection: Pittsburgh (+130) over Florida.
Sometimes it is tough to find a play. I’m going to put my money behind Pittsburgh’s mysterious Charlie Morton. Morton is coming off a complete game against the Reds in his last outing, and if he’s good enough to handle that line up, he should be able to deal with Florida’s as well.
Quiz of the Day: Minor League Cities. Category: Heard of the International League? My Score: 22/30.
You can do this by putting in teams you actually know, or you can just start rifling off “kind of” big cities. Your choice.