Monday, August 25, 2008

PHILLIES: Retribution for the L.A. Dod-jerks

What a glorious Phillie Weekend ... glorious in the sense that the Fightin's didn't wait another 28 years to return fire in these latest freeway drive-bys ...

28 years?

REFRESHER: (July '79) Greg Luzinski hit that 3-run blast off of Burt Hooton in the top of the first -- and for us Phillie phans scattered throughout Dodger Stadium that night (probably two dozen strong!), we were quite pleased -- that is, until that big blast from The Bull was voided by the incomparable mediocrity of Randy Lerch, who took the mound and made a frickin' mess of everything (only, back then, we didn't use a euphemism such as "frickin'," we just went ahead used the F-word).
The Phils fell behind, 8-3, thru 3 ... and we can't remember if we left the ballpark before Dusty Baker's grand slam in the 6th, although we do recall that the final score -- a 15-3 slaughter which permanently drove a wedge between a mother and her son ... reconciliation which was never realized (for the Phils ... not for the mother and the son) until July '07 when the Phils went ballistic and pounded out 26 hits, led by Aaron Rowand (5 for 6 with 3 doubles and a homer), Shane Victorino (5 for 7), Ryan Howard (two homers) and three hits apiece from Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and (gulp!) starting pitcher J.A. Durbin in the Phillies' reversal of the 15-3 fate.
With the Phils up, 11-1, in the 7th, Rowand and Pat Burrell went back-to-back against Rudy Seanez ...
Before Rudy Seanez became a Phillie ...
Before it was determined that Chad Durbin, not J.A. Durbin, was the answer ...
Before J.D. Durbin became the answer to the trivia question: "Who's the only pitcher in Major League history to be the winning pitcher in a 15-3 win at L.A. and the losing pitcher in 15-3 loss at home against L.A. in 15-3 games played five weeks apart?"

SEPARATING THE TRIVIAL FROM THE PHILOSOPHICAL, does this 4-game sweep of the Dod-jerks which we just witnessed offset the 4-game sweep in L.A. 11 days ago -- and does this make up for the '77 and '78 NLCS heartbreakers? (Actually, that's TWO questions -- and wasn't it already determined that the '83 NLCS was big-time payback, considering that the Phils went 1-11 vs. L.A. during the '83 regular season???)

Was "9 In The 9th" (Aug. '90) -- when Krukker's game-tying, pinch-hit, 3-run blast into the RF pavilion which tied the game, 11-11, and prompted Lasorda to pimp-slap his coffee mug to the dugout floor -- the sweet redemption for a 15-3 defeat in '79?

And, does a 15-3 defeat five weeks following the 15-3 victory which avenged a 15-3 defeat 28 years earlier actually negate the 15-3 victory which avenged the 15-3 defeat?

Interesting questions all ... and, "yes," in time, we'll all come to appreciate the singular beauty of each event.

Right now, though, America looks ready to awaken to the rekindling of this East Coast-West Coast rivalry from "those halcyon days of yore" ('77 thru '83), especially since the Phillies have visited the postseason only twice (in '93 and last year) since that epic era.

The Dodjerks? They ain't done diddley squat, playoff-wise, since that world title in '88.

Sadly, Tim Crews went out and killed himself after surrendering that homer to Kruk ... and Kruk responded by leadin' the Fightin's to the World Series.

No ... Crews didn't kill himself because of his pitching failure. His demise was the result of gettin' hisself all drunk and attempting to operate a motor boat at twilight on Little Lake Nellie and we're just guessin' that the Olin Family doesn't send any Xmas cards to the Crews Family and ...

[Reminder (!): Crews not only gave up the Krukker homer which we'll never forget, but three months earlier in L.A., Timmy surrendered a Krukkie 2-run single which tied the game, 8-8, in the top of the 8th ... only thing is, after Krukker's HR in Aug., Rod Booker -- whose 3-run triple in the top of the 11th snapped the 12-12 tie in the 15-12 Phils win in May -- laced Crews' next pitch up the middle before stealing second and scoring the go-ahead run on Carmelo Martinez's double to the LCF ... 9 In The 9th never gets old, does it? ... ]

Where It Stands: The Phils n' Dodgers are re-establishing some national relevance ... and what transpired during this weekend set was a pleasant turnaround from what we recapped less than two weeks ago.

It played out thusly:

FRI. nite --Howard hit the 2-run HR offa Maddux, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead ... a lead which expanded exponentially once old-school fave Chris Coste launched that 3-run bomb for a 7-1 lead ...
SAT. afternoon -- Burrell was formidable (5 ribbies) on the FOX broadcast; Hamels was in command ...
SUN. niter -- Down, 2-1, in the 9th, Victorino's leadoff single looked as if it would go to waste -- until Andy Tracy made his Phillie debut a memorable one by drawing that 2-out walk (it wasn't until later in which some Americans learned that Andy Tracy hadn't played in an MLB game since '04 ... or that he'd hit 20 HRs for the New Orleans Zephyrs in '02 while battin' .199 ... or that he'd hit 25 HRs for the Tulsa Drillers in '03 ... or that he'd hit 33 HRs w/ 120 ribbies the Colorado SkySoxx in '04 ... or that he'd hit 23 HRs for the Zephyrs in '07 before clouting 22 round-trippers for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs this year), setting up that game-tying, parachute single to RF by Pedro Feliz ... the same Pedro Feliz who delivered in the 11th -- after Victorino's leadoff double and Cole Hamels' PH strikeout (Hamels pinch-hitting only because That Big Yokel Mgr. didn't see Chad Ogea or Amaury Telemaco anywhere near the bat rack) -- with that walk-off, 3-run blast.
MON. nite -- A 13-hit shutout W for Myers, Romero and Condrey?
Those guys?

No doubt, there were some mysterious forces at work ... and forces of nature beyond our control.
If nuthin' else, the 4-game sweep got the Phils righted a little (as the NY Mess wobbled) ... and it shoved L.A.'s head back into the under-.500 toilet.

So, that's a plus.

No word on the salvation of Jimmy Rollins, who, on that West Coast swing, called Phillie phans "front-runners" and then, after going 3 for 9 in the first two games at Dodger Stadium, went into 2-21 funk to end the road trip before going 2 for 25 to open this homestand (he was 3 for 3 tonight w/ a 2B and 3B -- meaning he was "a homer shy of hitting for the cycle").

4 for 46 is unacceptable, given that he was 1 for 12 against that Washington Nats Double-A pitching staff.

However, some of us will never discredit Jim's remark, although we'd probably modify it to say that the fans at The Cit are slightly ignorant (evidenced by the fact that they can't get quality noise goin' until the JumboTron instructs them to do so).

It's baffling as to why anyone would boo J-Roll. When we envision these people, the image which usually pops into our head is some loser wearin' his #33 OGEA Phillies shirt (because he can't find his #33 AMARO, JR. shirt and he never ordered that #33 BURRELL shirt) -- and that loser's brain is so fried from Fantasy Football and on-line (gay) porn that he's forgotten the days when the #11 at SS for the Phils was not J-Roll, but rather a total sack-o'-shit named Ivan DeJesus.

He's the same loser who booed Rolen outta town before booing Abreu outta town ...

Anyway, the difference between #11 at SS then and now: #11 DeJesus would give us plenty of 4 for 46's ... and follow it up with a 5 for 23 w/ 0 HRs, 1 RBI, and one CS.

In the #11 DeJesus vs. #11 Rollins paradigm, we know that Jimmy will eventually snap out of it and demonstrate why he's one of the Top 10 most-exciting, well-rounded players in the sport.

#11 DeJesus will hit .246 forever and ever and ever and ever and ever ...

Which makes us wanna punch out that guy in the #33 OGEA shirt ...
For booing J-Roll ...
And it makes us wanna punch out the guy wearing the #25 JEFFERIES shirt ...
Just 'cuz we hated Jefferies ...

As per players we should be booing, we can give thanks that "Man-neee" didn't spend this weekend making The Cit his personal playground. Man-Ram had a decent 4 games vs. Philly in L.A. (4 for 11 w/ a 2B, an HR, 5 rbi, 2 BB plus 3 IBB in two 1-run outcomes and two 2-run outcomes), but he was neutralized in this series (2 for 14, 3 BB, 3 SO)

On the other hand, the Phils had better hope that they don't meet up again with 33-year-old rookie pitcher Hiroki Kuroda in the postseason (contingent on whether the Dod-jerks or D-Bricks win the West).

Kuroda stifled the Fightin's in both of his starts.

Anyway, about the only thing which tarnished the glory of the weekend (other than Larry Andersen keeping alive his streak -- for those of us who heard an inning of Fri. nite's game on XM Radio -- of 800 or 900 games in a row of adding absolutely nuthin' to the broadcast, other than drunk-soundin' commentary such as, "I think that was splitter") was FOX spending part of the Saturday broadcast offering images of "Black Friday" from the '77 NLCS (and providing those accounts of the top of the 9th without the expressed, written consent of those who lived it).

What made it weird (and frightening to re-visit) was the fact that Bowa was wearing his blue Dodger batting helmet in the third-base coach's box while Lopes wore his red Phillie helmet in the first-base coach's box (even though Sat. was a blue-cap, retro jersey day).

Some of us kept nervously lookin' over our shoulder, wondering if Bruce Froemming was somewhere nearby, an evil smile splashed across that fat, pumpkin face as he began to unbutton the blouse of Lisa or Rhonda and ... <<<yo!>>>

We might never reconcile where exactly we stand in the 15-3 vs. 15-3, Mother-Son / Black Friday / 9 In The 9th / 4-Game Sweep paradigm ... but, this was an enjoyable, beat-on-the-brat/beat-on-the-brat/beat-on-the-brat-with-a-baseball-bat event for sure.

Almost wanna makes ya wanna call up yer 77-year-old mom for the first time since Mother's Day '81 and inform her just how bad Dodger Blue sucks ...

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