Posts Tagged ‘Chase Utely’

Awful Umpiring Help Phillies Take Game Three

October 12, 2009

I would like to first off thank the inventor of DVR. It really is one of the best inventions ever. It allows to watch shows, programs on sporting events on your time.

Last night I used this wonderful invention to record Game Three of the Philadelphia Phillies-Colorado Rockies series last night. With the game starting at 10:00 ET, there was no way I was staying up to watch this game.

I watched the first four innings last night, woke up this morning, and watched the remaining five innings. Truly fantastic.

While DVR allows you to watch everything you want to see, it allows you to watch things you have no interest in seeing during the show, program, or sporting event. Things like–more awful, hideous, terrible, inexcusable umpiring.

What the heck is going on with the umpiring during these playoffs? It has been truly terrible. I think the home plate umpiring has been okay. For the most part, the home plate umpires have been consistent with their umpiring

But the issue is–they are missing obvious calls. And it is happening time and time again throughout these playoffs. As much as I would hate to see all forms of instant replay in baseball, I really think Bud Selig and his band of merry owners are going to have to start to give it some serious consideration moving forward.

Last night was a perfect example of the umpires missing the obvious calls. In the top of the ninth, with the game tied at five, Chase Utley came to the plate with one out and Jimmy Rollins on second.

Utley hit a ball that went off his leg in the batter’s box and then rolled into fair territory. Utley was able to beat the ball out for an infield single.

However, not only did the ball hit him in the batter’s box which is a foul ball, but Utley was out at first base as well. Not did the umpires get the call wrong once, but they compounded the issue by getting the call wrong a second time.

As you can see Utley is clearly out

As you can see Utley is clearly out

Two terrible calls on the same play. Rollins advanced to third on the play and then the Phillies took advantage of the situation when Ryan Howard hit a sac fly to give the Phillies the lead.

I hate to harp on bad umpiring because it really overshadowed what was a really good game. And despite this game being played in 30 degree weather, it really was a good game.

In a back-and-forth game, the difference at the end was the backend of the Phillies bullpen. Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin, and Brad Lidge didn’t allow a hit for the last three innings and really shut the Rockies down.

With both starters being completely useless–JA Happ and Jason Hammel, you knew this game was not only going to come down to the underbelly of the bullpens, but the backend as well.

Lidge got the save last night

Lidge got the save last night

Madson, Durbin, and yes, Lidge all got the job done. And let’s give somewhat credit to Lidge. I don’t care how much of a Philly homer you are, when Lidge walked Carlos Gonzalez (the best player so far in this series on either team) you had to being thinking here we go again.

Then he walked Todd Helton with two outs and then about four million Phillies fans said “I can’t watch right now.” But Lidge got his act together and managed to get Troy Tulowitzki to pop out to end the game.

I said somewhat credit earlier because Lidge really threw a hanger to Tulowitzki. That last pitch was made to be hit 450 feet. Tulowitzki just missed it.

But the bottom line is this–one inning, no runs, no hits, and a save for Lidge in a tight game. The Phillies and their fans aren’t interested in style points, they are interested in results.

The result was a 6-5 Phillies win and a 2-1 advantage in the series.

Game Four is tonight at 6:07 ET. Charlie Manuel should be thanking Mother Nature for the rest of his life. Because of the snow out, Manuel can come back with Cliff Lee tonight and if necessary, Cole Hammels tomorrow.

I am convinced Manuel had no idea who he was going to start in Game Four. Now he gets to come back with Lee. Not a bad deal for the Phillies.

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The Champs Are Back: Philadelphia Phillies Clinch Playoff Spot

October 1, 2009

The defending World Series champions are back to defend their crown.

With their 10-3 victory over the Houston Astros, the Philadelphia Phillies clinched a spot in the 2009 postseason and their third straight NL East division title.

The Phillies have become, from top to bottom, one of the best run organizations in baseball. If you are looking to build an organization, the Phillies have a great blueprint for success.

Here’s the blueprint…

  • Draft a solid core like Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard Cole Hamels, and Chase Utley.
  • Surround that core with solid gamers like Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino.
  • Add players when needed like Raul Ibanez and Joe Blanton.
  • Build up your farm system so you can trade for players at the trading deadline like Cliff Lee.

That’s a pretty solid blueprint if you ask me. Despite their solid blueprint for success, the Phillies have a lot of questions going into the postseason. The questions mainly surround their bullpen.

Going into tonight, I was all prepared to suggest that Manager Charlie Manuel pitch Pedro Martinez in Game 4 and use JA Happ as the closer. Brad Lidge is toast this year and I think Ryan Madson is too good in the eighth to be removed from that role.

Happ could be to the Phillies this year what Adam Wainwright was for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. But after watching Martinez pitch last night, I am not so sure Martinez can start a playoff game for the Phillies.

Martinez had absolutely nothing against the Astros. His fastball was between 87-89 mph and it looked like Martinez was struggling to even get it to that speed. What on earth were the Phillies thinking letting Martinez throw 130 pitches against the New York Mets on September 13th?

That’s like not going to the gym for six months and the first time you go back you run a mile on the treadmill. Surprisingly, you feel great and when you go back the next time, instead of taking it easy again — you run five miles.

Chances are you won’t be the same and Martinez hasn’t been the same since.

I think at this point, the Phillies will have to go with Happ in Game 4 and take their chances with Madson or Lidge closing out the ninth.

The Phillies have a very good chance to repeat as champions. Now it’s up to their bullpen to make it happen.