Howard, Phils eliminate whatever this thing is from playoffs

October 14, 2009 by Zaki  
Filed under Headlines, Phillies

The Phillies will now face the Dodgers in a rematch of the 2008 NLCS after mounting a ninth inning comeback against what appears to be the most ridiculous mascot in the long and storied history of ridiculous mascots.

The Phillies were heavily favored coming into the series against the Barney & Friends refugee, but Carlos Gonzalez and Yorvit Torrealba gave it plenty of opportunity to douche it up in the stands by keeping the game close.

“I mean, I get that it’s a triceratops, but what does a dinosaur have to do with the Rockies?” asked Game 4 hero Ryan Howard, who hit a two-run double with two outs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. “I know the Phanatic has nothing to do with Philly either, but he’s got the benefit of being awesome and entertaining, so we all look the other way. That thing is just sad.”

Report: Jobless, insomniac Phils fans kind of enjoying NLDS

October 12, 2009 by Zaki  
Filed under Headlines, Phillies

Major League Baseball didn’t know what to expect with the midday and late-night start times for NLDS games between the Phillies and Rockies, so the league was overjoyed to hear that such a large contingent of jobless and insomniac Phillies fans had turned out to watch the past three games.

Approximately 17 fans across the Tri-state area have been able to watch each game live in its entirety, thrilling MLB’s Commissioner, Bud Selig.

“With the Yankees, Red Sox and LA teams in the playoffs, it’s been hard to get our reigning World Champs in a decent time slot,” said Selig on Monday. “But going up against Sunday Night Football and Jet Li’s The One, I’m more than pleased with the 15 or so people that stayed with us.”

Ryan Howard’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth and Brad Lidge’s save-ish-thing gave the Phils the 6-5 win and a 2-1 series lead. This information comes from a local jobless insomniac, Joe Costello, who was among the handful of people awake enough to record the game’s happenings.

“I definitely stayed up to watch the whole game, but…you know, what the hell else am I gonna do?” said Costello, who was one of the 17 fans that were also able to see the first two games without taking a three-hour lunch break or getting fired altogether. “It’s gonna suck when the Phils start playing at normal times. It was pretty nice having people envy me again.”

The Phillies will take on the Rockies tonight for Game 4 at a more-Godly hour of 6:00 pm ET.

Manuel: I trust my bullpen, just not around my wife or a baseball

October 10, 2009 by Zaki  
Filed under Headlines, Phillies

Charlie Manuel answered questions on Friday about his decision to go with potential Game 3 starters Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ out of the bullpen after Cole Hamels — who apparently couldn’t wait until February to knock his wife up — left after five innings in the 5-4 loss to the Rockies.

Some have said Manuel brought in his starters because he no longer trusts anyone out of the bullpen.

“Everybody says I don’t trust my bullpen and that’s just not true,” Manuel said. “Just because I don’t want them anywhere near my wife or to pitch in a game ever again doesn’t mean I don’t trust them with other things…like driving to the ballpark and dressing themselves.”

Though Blanton and Happ’s use in Game 2 doesn’t prevent either from starting Game 4, it does mean that Pedro Martinez will start for the Phillies on Saturday for Game 3. It also means that Kyle Kendrick and/or Brad Lidge’s spot on the playoff roster could have been filled by John Mayberry Jr., who could have pinch run on Thursday instead of risking Cliff Lee with the game on the line.

Manuel also suffered a mild stroke in the seventh inning when he was forced to bring in Scott Eyre to replace Happ, who took a line drive off of the leg and had to leave the game.

“It’s not that I won’t use the guys from the ‘pen,” Manuel explained on Friday. “They’re just last on my list after I’ve used the starters and asked all 46,000 or so fans if they want to take a crack at it first.”

Phils scout Adam Eaton, pretty much anyone to replace Lidge

August 27, 2009 by Scott  
Filed under Phillies

Phillies’ closer Brad Lidge successfully converted his ninth blown save of the season Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, serving up a two-run walk-off home run to rookie Andrew McCutchen. The man once known as “Lights Out” was anything but, illuminating PNC Park with an impressive five-pitch, three-earned run performance.

Despite Manager Charlie Manuel’s inexplicable faith in his closer, it appears bullpen help may be on the way – and it may come in an unexpected form. According to reports, former Phillies GM Pat Gillick and Special Assistant Charlie Kerfeld were in Denver this week, scouting a familiar face – former Phillie and current Colorado Rockies’ pitcher Adam Eaton.

As the apparent last man in the bullpen, Eaton came on in the 13th inning in a 1-1 game on Monday night against the Giants. After working a 1-2-3-4-5-6 scoreless inning, he surrendered three runs in the 14th, giving San Francisco a 4-1 lead. But the Rockies clawed back to earn a 6-4 win on Ryan Spilborghs’ walk-off grand slam. Eaton played a role in the Rockies’ comeback, working a bases-loaded walk to drive in a run and scoring the game-winner. “I pride myself on putting my team in the best position to win,” said Eaton. “And that’s exactly what I did on Monday.”

How does Eaton feel about potentially replacing his former teammate in the ‘pen? “It would be a little awkward, but let’s face it. I’m 1-0, Lidge is what, 0-10? We were both members of the team that won the World Series last year, so we’re equal in that regard.” In addition to his pitching, Eaton was quick to point out his performance on at the plate. “I drove in a run and scored another on Monday,” he said. “So essentially I only gave up one run in two innings, which is pretty (expletive) nasty.”

Although Eaton believes he could help the Phils repeat as World Champions, he is doubtful he would clear waivers due to the fact that “a World Series hero is a valuable commodity in late August.”

The Phillies have also apparently shown interest in Jose Mesa, should they fail to acquire Eaton.