Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Senior Citizens, Although Slow and Dangerous Behind the Wheel, Can Still Serve a Purpose

Sweet mother, that was one entertaining game last night, and it was all thanks to the eldest members of the Phillies pitching staff.

The dynamic dinosaur duo of Pedro Martinez and Jamie Moyer — Moyer especially — was plain dealing. After surrendering a leadoff home run to J.D. Stephen Drew thanks to throwing one too many changeups and then giving another single directly after that, Pedro settled in nicely, retiring the next eight batters he faced. The highlight was his 5-pitch second inning.

That's when the rains came, and I was sort of hoping for the game to get postponed. The Phils were trailing 1-0 after three and had already blown a golden opportunity in the first thanks to terrificly dreadful baseball.

Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino get back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the first for the Phils. Chase works a walk to load the bases. Naturally, you’d expect a smart hitting team to make the pitcher show he can throw a strike before swinging, because as everyone knows, a walk is a run with the bases loaded.

So what do the next three Phillies hitters do? They all swing before seeing a strike. First, Ryan Howard takes a half-hearted swing on the first pitch, a fastball way out of the zone. He winds up striking out chasing another bad pitch. Next, Jayson Werth comes up and takes a ball, then swings at a 1-0 pitch and pops out in foul territory to the first baseman. Finally, Raul tops off the craptastic hitting by grounding out on the first pitch to end the inning with no runs. Bases loaded, nobody out and the Phils can’t score a god damn run because their hitters are retarded.

Swinging before seeing a strike with the bases loaded, especially when the pitcher just walked a guy to load the bases, is my biggest pet peeve of all in baseball, and the Phillies routinely do it each and every year of my existence. It drives me nuts, and not surprisingly, the Phillies always go through ridiculously extended slumps with runners in scoring position. Someone explain to me how these major league players can continue to do things little leaguers are smart enough not to do. I really despise dumb baseball, and that first inning was beyond dumb.

Thankfully, the Phils turned things around. Werth made up for his boneheaded first at-bat by going 2-for-4 with a double and a homer, two runs and two RBIs. And Curbball did most of the rest of the damage, going 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs.

But the story of the night was without question old man Moyer. After the rain ceased, Moyer came out and pitched like a man who desperately wants to show he can still get it done. And get it done he did.

After surrendering a single to the first batter he faced, Moyer retired 11 straight Diamondbacks, crushing their spirits. He finished off the last six innings, pitching brilliantly — 2 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts — to pick up his 11th victory of the season. And the old man went 2-for-3 at the dish to boot. Considering Pedro and Jamie just combined to throw nine innings of 4-hit, 1-run ball with 8 strikeouts and no walks, perhaps we put the wrong pitcher in the bullpen … I'm looking at you, Cole.

All kidding aside (of course I don't want Cole out of the rotation and Jamie back in it), that really had to feel good for Moyer, who was very clearly upset with his demotion to the pen. Guess he's not so worthless after all this season.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. It's pronounced Curbball, and if you ever listened to his Hatfield Franks commercial on the radio, you'd know why.

  2. brad lidge bobblehead tonight. be there