Friday, July 2, 2010

7-1-10 pt 2: vs the Phillies

At the onset of our series against the White Sox, their front office had their fingers crossed that a series against one of the worst teams in baseball would kick start their struggling ball team. As it turns out, it did. Not so in the case of the Phillies, however.
One might be tempted to call the Pirates somewhat snake-bitten from time to time; the Iwamura disaster, recent injuries to Tony Sanchez and Neil Walker...At times it really just feels like a curse.
In this regard, we share a lot in common with the Phillies. Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth are just a few of the star athletes on the Phillies roster. And yet they are not hitting. Ryan Howard looked awful in this game: awkward lobs at balls pitched at his ankles, completely lost at the plate. What gives? Who knows.
Lastings Milledge calms down an over-eager Valdez.
Lastings Milledge runs the bases.
Few players display enthusiasm like Milledge. It's great to see him continue to start in right field.

Jose Tabata gets a walk.
Alvarez gets caught in a rundown. This brought back chilling memories of the two-outs-at-third fiasco involving Andy Laroche and Andrew McCutchen from several months back. Fortunately, Alvarez stoppped short of all that.
Jayson Werth after being struck out by Daniel McCutchen.
McCutchen is no longer afraid to pitch inside.

Cole Hamels got the loss despite having a very fierce change-up tonight.
You can almost see Tabata getting his hand stepped on.
Right about here my heart skipped a beat.
But one band-aid later he was good to go.
Despite the win, there were still several poor defensive plays in this game.
Andy Laroche in his new incarnation as second baseman.
A concussion-free Crosby attempts to catch a runner stealing.
The throw, however, was not in time.
There were still several bad defensive plays in this game. Here, Jones attempts to throw a runner out at home. The error was given to Laroche, but I feel that Jones could have caught it.
A sadly-familiar sight.
McCutchen's clear displeasure at a called third strike.

Javier Lopez's sidearm.
Milledge reacts to a fly out to center field.
Evan Meek was another big star of this game. We got to see his ERA once again drop below 1.00

He also had his first at-bat in the majors, successfully bunting a runner to second.
He was pleased.
The incline race. I am not a fan. There is nothing entertaining about watching two guys make whacking motions at the exact same rate while one incline inexplicably moves slightly faster than the other. I miss the karaoke.

McCutchen attempting to catch a ball in center.

Evan Meek celebrates another successful appearance.

Milledge gets mad.

Dotel once again gets a save. Watching this guy pitch is a beautiful thing.

And Paul Maholm smiling in PNC Park! A rare sight for a man from the John Wayne school of masculinity.
Regardless of the current state of the Phillies, a win for us is no small deal. It would be great to see how this team can do once the general mood in the clubhouse improves. All we need is the spark....

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