Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We are Not Werthy

Well, yesterday, I had a feeling that nothing spectacular was really going to happen last night, dollar dogs and all.

I couldn't have been more wrong:

Jayson Werth, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to witness something I've never witnessed in person in my entire life. In my 25-plus years on earth, I've gone to literally hundreds of baseball games. Not once had I ever witnessed live a player steal home. Until last night. Jayson Werth is a beast.

In that most awesome 7th inning, with the Phillies leading 4-2, Werth got a one-out single and then watched as Will Ohman threw over to first approximately 35 times to try and keep Jayson close to the bag. Clearly, this pissed Werth off, and in the ultimate fuck you, he stole second anyway (his second steal of the game). And to drive his fuck you point home even further, Werth stole third, with Jimmy Rollins trailing him to second, to rub a little salt in the wound.

Then, well, he poured the whole damn bag of salt in there, stealing home as Russell Martin lobbed the ball back to the pitcher. And he stole that shit easily. It was awesome. As was the game itself. So much for the unspectacular.

The game started off the way I expected it, with Chan Ho Park giving up a run in the first inning and the Dodgers crushing the ball off him, even the outs. Juan Pierre was particularly raking it, literally hitting the ball hard every at-bat.

Even though he only had one hit, the little guy was smacking the ball around. But not like Raul. After Jimmy Rollins finally did something good at the plate by tying the game with an RBI single, Park gave the run right back. No worries. Raul to the rescue. In a three-run third, Ibanez smoked a two-run double and the Phils never looked back.

Park settled down and pitched six very impressive innings. The offense didn't explode, getting only six hits, but the Phils did show some rare plate discipline, taking a ton of pitches against a wild Los Angeles staff. When's the last time you remember the Phillies walking 8 times in one game? Hasn't happened often.

That brings me to Pedro Feliz. Pete Happy walked four times last night. Four. I don't think Pedro walked four times all last season.

A notorious free-swinger, Pedro seems to have changed his approach at the plate early in this young season and it's paying off. Feliz is batting .303, well above his career .253 average and the .249 he posted last year. The main reason is his sudden affinity to see pitches. Pedro is no longer just going up there hacking. He's looking for his pitch, working the pitchers and now he's batting over .300. If he can keep this up, watch out. A hitting Pete Happy makes an already potent lineup that much more potent.

Anyway, with the Phils holding down the fort, the excitement hit the stands. My cousin somehow, some way devoured 11 hot dogs. I'm not even sure how that's possible. I had five and I still feel like garbage. A section over from us, there was a nice fight, with an old guy telling a younger guy he was going to tear his face off. That was pretty sweet.

Of course, the highlight of the game was watching Werth completely and utterly embarrass his former team. Honestly, watching a guy steal every bag in an inning was quite possibly the coolest thing I've ever witnessed at a baseball game, with the exception of this. And the fans were clamoring for a curtain call.

Werth didn't oblige on that, but as he went out to take his post in right for the 8th, the fans gave him a standing ovation, just going wild. And Werth acknowledged them with some huge fist pumps to the crowd. Pat Gillick cannot possibly be given enough credit for signing Jayson Werth.

Madson came in and was just throwing flames: 96, 95, 96, 95. I don't know where this all came from down the stretch last year, but I like it. Madson has become a shutdown guy in the 8th.

Wish I could say the same for the artist formerly known as Mr. Perfect.

Yeah, Lidge got the save last night, but he sure as shit didn't look good doing it. He decided to go the Mitch Williams route and make it difficult. Lidge surrendered another run and let too many guys on base. He was hardly lights out, and it's really beginning to worry me. We all saw how he melted down in Houston after being awesome beforehand.

I certainly hope that doesn't happen again. All I know is, as Joltin' Joe sent me in a text last night, "Lidge really looks like shit" right now.

But Jayson Werth is the man. I wish I could have heard Harry call that bottom of the 7th.

Update: Apparently Werth did make a curtain call. I just missed it from my seats I guess.

BallHype: hype it up!

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