Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Raul Ibanez is a Golden God

In the first inning of last night's game, it looked like the Phillies of old — pre-World Fucking Champions — were about to creep up on us. After Jimmy Rollins lined a leadoff single to center and Shane Victorino ripped a double down the third base line, the Phillies had runners on second and third with no one out. Then Chase hit a sinking bullet right at Derek Lee for a groundout, hit way too hard to even attempt to score. Then Ryan Howard struck out at a pitch near his eyes. Second and third with no one out became second and third with two outs, score still tied at 0-0.

It looked as though the Phils were about to get nothing after having two runners in scoring position with no one out. I should have known better than to doubt Raul.

The best free agent signing ever this year did it again, cranking a 3-run home run to straightaway centerfield, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. That's all they'd need in the 10-1 pounding they gave Ted Lilly and the Cubs.

It was the killer Z's leading the way. To complement Ibanez's three-run jack, there was Carlos "Curbball" Ruiz going 2-for-4 with a 2-run homer in the second and an RBi double in the 4th, Pedro Feliz going 1-for-3 with two runs and Rodrigo Lopez pitching six innings of five-hit ball, surrendering just one run while working around some control issues (three walks). It certainly was a nice night for the killer Z's.

Once again, it was Ibanez leading the way. All the credit in the world has to go to Ruben Amaro on this one. Many people had reservations about the signing, even those who liked Ibanez and his production — myself included. The three lefties in a row caused some concern. Then last night, Steve Phillips mentioned how the Phillies had an insanely awesome record against lefthanded starters this year, putting to rest the questions of the Utley-Howard-Ibanez trio in the middle of the lineup.

Raul has been nothing short of incredible this season. The guy missed three-plus weeks of action with a groin injury and is still tied for second in all of baseball with 25 home runs, trailing only Albert Pujols' 34, 4th in the NL in RBIs with 68 and hitting .315. Raul has simply been one of the best players in baseball this season, finally getting a chance to play in a stacked lineup, seeing more quality pitches than ever before in his career playing in a very hitter-friendly park. And his play in the outfield has been a welcome change from the lumbering Pat Burrell.

Hats off to Ruben for the move. Now go get Halladay. Pronto.

P.S. — It was pretty interesting listening to the national broadcast on ESPN last night with Steve Phillips, Orel Hershiser and Dan Shulman. For starters, it gave me a break from listening to Tom McCarthy, who seems to get worse and worse every game. And it was nice to take in an outsider perspective.

The trio in the booth was particularly complimentary on the Phils' defense, gushing over the tremendous gloves and arms they have all over the field. And with good reason: The Phillies have the fewest errors in the National League with just 35 in 90 games, along with the highest fielding percentage in the NL at .990. In fact, only the Blue Jays have fewer errors (32) and a higher fielding percentage (.991) in all of baseball.

As Phillips, Hershiser and Shulman said, the Phils have the defense and hitting to match up with anyone … and if they can somehow land Halladay, they'll have the pitching to go along with it. Seriously, go get him, Ruben.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. When are you going to post the Erin Andrews video?

  2. If only I was around on Saturday, I could have found it. Now I'm scared of the viruses … also, seriously, what kind of freakin sicko is borrowing holes in walls? Vinman?

  3. Obviously the phils gotta give up some prospects to get Halladay. But they are going to have to give up either Drabek or Happ, right? Which one would you trade, you definitely can't lose both of em!

    PS what's the erin andrews video?

  4. I'll give up either, I don't care. I'll give em all up for Roy. EA was nakey in her hotel room and some guy filmed it