Phils Push Aside Braves.

In Real Life Tom Isn't Afraid of Jerry.

Go back to Atlanta, mutts.  Go back to your converted Olympic stadium that gets jammed 1/2 full every night, go back to your tomahawk chopping SEC fans, and drink in the fact that you can’t score off Philly’s starters and your manager is absolutely running your lights out bullpen into the ground.  I know the arms out there are young, but I think James Andrews is going to have his hands full in the near future.  When guys are on pace for 90 appearances, you have issues.  

I think that is one fundamental difference that we can take from the weekend series.  The Phillies were in control of the game late on Sunday, but when Atlanta couldn’t go to their top guns the Phillies pounded out season-high hits and runs numbers.  A game with a bit of tension turned into a laugher.  If you are going to build your team on pitching, you have to have guys that can go deep into games.  Derek Lowe throws about 20 pitches an inning.  Braves starters have piled up a grand total of 3 complete games.  Now, you’re probably going to come back at me and say that the Phillies starters are throwing too many innings.  Well, that’s not the same thing in my opinion.  The Phillies starters have prepared themselves for this workload.  No reliever can prepare for 90 outings.  

And, it’s going to be difficult for the Braves to rest their key relievers because they play an inordinate amount of close games and they don’t score very many runs.  You’d have to expect that their bullpen performance will trail off in the 2nd half, so instead of worrying about what would happen if Jayson Heyward and Dan Uggla got hot, maybe Braves fans should be worried about what would happen if their top-4 relief pitchers can’t pitch to a 2.00 ERA from now until eternity.  

The Phillies offensive outburst on Sunday proved they can still hit bad pitching, and it proved that Raul Ibanez is still a streaky hitter, but I doubt it will be a springboard toward a huge 2nd half.  Although, there are positive signs.  If you take out Saturday’s game–this is probably the best stretch of 2 weeks the Phils have had since they opened the season.  The Phillies are actually averaging just over 6 runs a game in July (that includes two 14-run outbursts and two 1-run face plants), and a portion of the line up (Rollins/Brown/Mayberry) seems to be trending up.  And, they’ve done all of this without much help from their most consistent hitter to date, Shane Victorino and without the hobbled Placido Polanco.  

If we’re looking for a team that might play even better in the 2nd half, I’d start with the Phillies.  They aren’t going to score 6 runs a game, but really since Utley has been back things haven’t been that bleak. If they can get healthy and if they can get a workable platoon going in the outfield (either Mayberry/Ibanez or Traded for Bat/Ibanez or Both), you’d have to expect a more productive offense in the 2nd half, especially if Ryan Howard can go on some version of his typical August/September run.  

This is certainly a glass half full look at the Phillies, but on pace for 100 wins, what other outlook can you have?  That’s the team you’re afraid of?  Atlanta?  After they scored 7 runs in three games, after they showed they are equally inept at hitting left-handed pitching?  Yes, Hanson pitched a great game.  He’s a front-line starter.  It happens.  It could conceivably happen in the playoffs, but if the Phillies and Braves meet the Braves will have to win 4 of 7.  A tall order.  They’d also have to get by the NLDS.  Is this where I mention Atlanta’s historical uncanny ability to lose playoff series?  

In summation, enjoy the break, Phillies fans.  Give your brain a 4-day rest.  It probably needs it.  


Speaking of the break, isn’t it a shame that baseball is stuck with the home run derby?  It’s not a sport that really lends itself to skill competition.  It’s too bad they can’t put in some type of temporary wall and have guys trying to hit bombs over a 50-foot monster, and we obviously can’t do anything like fastest pitch, or fastest runner or any modification of what the other sports do.  We’re left with guys taking BP.  The first round is always good for some oohs and ahhs, but that’s about it. If anyone out there has an idea for an All-Star game event for baseball, I’d love to hear it.  All-Star week needs a breath of life.  


And, in conclusion, US Women’s soccer 2 wins away from the Women’s El Cupo Worldo.  Riveting and Captivating had a baby on Sunday afternoon.  That game was wild.  Clearly, I didn’t actually see it, but Marta can go commiserate with the Braves.  



19 thoughts on “Phils Push Aside Braves.

  1. Isn’t it Cortese? I’m not sure he’s available as the greatest celebrity athlete of all-time anymore.

    Maybe if they did the World Championship of wiffle ball. Not MLB but those guys that take it way too seriously.

  2. what if they timed some of the fastest guys running the bases… it sounds kinda simple and lame, but i think i’d be interested to watch that. Would the skinny little guy on the dodgers? (son of phils pitcher) win out? And then maybe for some comedy they could have a few guys like P Fielder and D Ortiz run the bases and give a prize for slowest time.

  3. I am aware there are many reasons why this will never happen but one idea would be to time the College World Series to end during the all star break and have the final game(s) played at the stadium hosting the all star game.

  4. some pretty good ideas, I especially like slowest runner. That could be high comedy.

    The college world series isn’t bad either, but now they play a 3 game series to decide that, and it’s just not really practical at all.

    the players are worth too much, and are too guarded to do anything worthwhile. i’m a little surprised they still do the derby.

  5. What about throwing accuracy stuff? Like horse from the outfield? Have a cardboard (or whatever) cut out of a player standing on the bases and then hit pop flies and see who’s got the best and most accurate arm at the respective outfield positions?

    Or, world championship of Butts Up, Stitch, Red Butt or whatever you called it in the varying areas. Take the 6 infielders and give them a racquetball and a wall. Go. Wouldn’t you enjoy seeing A-rod or Pedroia getting pegged with a racquetball by Jeter or rollins or someone? I would.

  6. I’d love to see a world championship of red ass. that’d be priceless.

    jayson stark actually has a decent idea in his story today about putting guys in the derby who are noted BP beasts but don’t make all-star teams. I think that makes sense.

    what if you had a nationwide contest for glory days guys and some random adult leaguer got a spot in the Derby. It’d be amazing to the guy soil himself in front of that crowd, or better yet jack a few bombs.

  7. I heard Ortiz tried to get some guys to come who weren’t on the all star team but no one was willing to give up their three-day vacation just to participate in the derby.

    I like the glory days derby idea. It’d be like the US Open of Home Run Derbys. There’d be local and sectional qualifiers, the whole bit. All for the chance to jack a few home runs in front of 50,000 at a major league stadium. My god think of the revenue from the entry fees.

    Maybe we should be measuring the distance of the home runs too. Something like you get five home runs or three outs, whichever comes first. Winner is whoever hits the ball the most cumulative feet.

  8. Judging by distance rather than total is not a bad idea.

    I really think the amateur version could work, though.

    Each MLB city hosts a qualifier. You win a trip out to the site if you win. On Monday they trim 30 guys down to 1 or 2 and there you go.

    It’s marketing gold.

    MLB should really put me on the payroll.

  9. Basically this is the MLB version of punt/pass/kick it sounds like. I wouldn’t mind seeing what these guys can do with an aluminum bat. Maybe give the MLB guys a wooden bat, then get Bryce Harper, Montero, some phenom power guys and let them hit with aluminum to see what the outcome is. Who hits more.

  10. that’s a decent idea, i’ve seen guys try to hit softball pitchers before, it usually doesn’t end too well.

  11. july 11, 2011. mark this date in history, 3-Putt just said Q had a decent idea. it’s less frequent an event than – say – those egmazing eclipses.


  12. He has not retired.

    I haven’t heard anything since the initial diagnosis, which was a bulging disk.

    I think sometime in August was the projection for his possible return, but I don’t think we’ll know anything until he starts throwing, which he hasn’t done as far as I know.

    Also, apparently Contreras suffered a setback, and the whole Blanton elbow thing is kind of a mystery, so if the Phils make a deadline move, there’s a pretty good chance it’ll be for a pitcher.

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