Friday, April 13, 2007

On The Road While On The Road To 9,964

When they were trailing the Astros, 8-3, in the 4th inning, well ... the Phillies could've folded up their tent and said, "The hell with this!" -- but then they chipped away and cut it to 8-6 and (HEY! This reads alot like the intro from a week ago when the Braves had that 8-1 lead in the 9th before the Phils slapped together a meaningless 3-run rally in the 9th, blah blah blah ... ).

Interstingly, matters haven't changed significantly since that 3-game sweep by The A-T-L to open the 2007 season.
Except that the Phils are now 0-4 at The Cit ... and that 2-8 record finds them one-half game ahead of the woefully-untalented Washington Nationals (the Washington Generals of The MLB) and one-half game behind the ungodly-piss-poor K.C. Royals in the super-crappy team food chain.

It now boils down to a matter of "Will Charlie Manuel make it to the All-Star Break?"
Larry Bowa, from the Yankees dugout, is laughing his ass off.
Justifiably so.
Everybody in Philly knows that Larry Bowa can't manage because he's too uptight and ready to explode.
What the Phillies need is a low-key, down-home kinda manager.

Enn-eee-wayyy, it was somewhere in Spotslyvania county -- probably somewhere between Massaponax and the Stonewall Jackson Shrine -- that Carlos Lee whipped out his grand salami and turned a 3-1 Phillies lead into a 5-3 deficit.
Team Haystack was listening to the game on 1210 AM, the Philly station whose signal no longer reaches our pocket of the Mid-Atlantic Corridor after all those memorable games of the forgettable '98 season.

That Phillies play-by-play announcer was halfway decent -- and Larry Andersen sounds much more coherent.

Still, Brett Myers is one hurtin' bucko ... he of the 0-2 record and the ERA hovering near 10.00.
It may sound crazy now -- based on the way he's pitched so far -- but, with a little luck and a lot of breaks, he just might turn it around and give us a season to remember, such as, say, Don Carman's 10-14 / 4.29 season of of 1988.
Or Mark Leiter's 10-17 / 5.67 season of 1997.
Or Chad Ogea's 6-12 / 5.63 season of 1999.

Once again ... that's "with a little luck."
And a lot of breaks.

C'mon, Brett ... we're just needlin' ya.
Suppress that inner rage and the urge to allegedly slap her.

In all fairness to the guy we know as "Big B.M.," he pitched well enough the past two seasons (13-8 and 12-7 with sub-4.00 ERAs), but he is the king of the "no-decision."
25 of 'em the past two years.

Despite our Big B.M.'s tough luck, most of us are curious if Chuck Manuel will still be the manager for Milestone Loss No. 10,000 (or if it'll be interim mgr. Jimy Williams who'll be doffing his cap to the crowd of 10,000 fans).
After all, is it not a manager's job to steer the ship through murky waters?
So far, the Phillies have held the lead in eight of the nine losses -- so, ummm ... the math seems to indicate that Chuck is little more than a guy who says, "Go get me a 3-run homer, Chase. You, too, Ry ... "

Alas, just like in the final game of the Marlins series, the Phils scored three in the first and the starting pitcher immediately squandered it.
However, in the Marlins' game, the starting pitcher was a kid (Zack Segovia) making his MLB debut.
Brett Myers (in theory) should be better than that.

Again ... that's "in theory."
One Carlos Lee solo shot, one Carlos Lee grand slam and one Morgan Ensberg 3-run jack later, Brett Myers was gone.

Team Haystack lost the 1210 signal somewhere south of the Mattponi River ... and then when we got it back, Shane Victorino singled to begin the 8th and Utley worked a walk to put the tying runs on base for Ry.

Howard singled, but the Flyin' Hawaiian got cut down at the plate.
Then, Chad Qualls came on to get Wes Helms -- wearing Vuk's #18 -- to tap into a Vukovich-esque 5-4-3 DP.

Then, Mad Dog came on to pitch and served up Carlos Lee's third homer of the game.

Madson ... he's doin' a bang-up job of comin' in and grooving pitches for guys to hit over the fence.

Suddenly, that 82-80 season which this Planet predicted seems a little optimistic.
Especially after the Nationals take two outta three when that series begins on Wednesday ...

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