Thursday, April 8, 2010

Billy Wagner Jason Marquis Sounds Bitter

Last night, the Phillies and Nationals were deadlocked at 3 apiece heading into the 5th inning. Then this happened:

Gif courtesy of The Fightins.

Jason Marquis was thusly pulled from the game without recording an out in said 5th inning, turning a tie game into a three-run deficit for his Nationals. Apparently, giving up massive bombs to Ryan Howard really irks Marquis because, in so many words, according to Marquis, Ryan Howard — he of the 8 million home runs and even more RBIs (oh yeah, and former MVP) — kinda sucks. Take it away meech:

What’s the honorable thing to do after you get fucking ROCKED for six earned runs over four innings by the champions of the National League?

Why, cry about giving up a mammoth home run to Ryan Howard, of course!

Listen to this jerkoff: (via WaPo)

“He does have holes in his swing,” Marquis said. “You just got to make pitches. That’s really what it comes down to. If you go look at the tape, a lot of the pitches he hits are mistakes. When I made pitches tonight, I got him out. I left one ball up, and that’s what he thrives on. There’s a reason why he strikes out 200 times. It’s because he has holes in his swing. If you make your pitches, he’s going to be an out.”

There’s also a reason Ryan Howard averages 50 home runs a season since he entered the bigs. It’s because he pounces on mistakes from shitty right handed pitchers.

And while we’re at it, Jason, there’s also a reason why you’ve been on four teams in the past five years. It’s because you’re a shitty right handed pitcher.

Really, I don't have much to add in the way of mocking a career middle-of-the-road starter who has bounced around from team to team because, you know, no one is all that interested in keeping him around very long. I mean, he's on the Nationals after all, one season after making the All-Star team (before completely shitting the bed in the second half of last season). But, here is one thing. It's not all that original to get tattooed by a slugger and then belittle him. No, Jason Marquis, it's not original at all. Billy Wagner already beat you to the punch, when in 2007, Pat Burrell homered twice off his former Phillies teammate, then with the Mets, resulting in two blown saves for Wagner. After one of those, Wagner, surrendering the winning home run to Burrell, said Burrell "had a one-track swing. It just so happens I threw it in that track."

So humble of him. Fact of the matter is, Ryan Howard is an all-star first baseman who leads the majors in home runs since his arrival in the bigs. Jason Marquis is an average pitcher with a career 4.50 ERA. Maybe he should worry more about the holes in his pitching than the holes in Ryan Howard's swing.

Of course, Jason Marquis isn't the only pitcher who should be looking himself in the mirror after last night's game. That's right, I'm talking about Cole Hamels. Despite my friendly letter begging him not to suck this season, Cole looked eerily familiar to the shitty pitcher who inhabited his body last year and let every little thing bother him.

Yes, he picked up the win. Yes, he only surrendered two earned runs. And yes, it was just the first start of the season. BUT, Cole displayed a lot of the traits last night that defined his 2009 campaign. Against the Nationals, a team that can certainly score runs but is hardly an offensive juggernaut. For starters, Hamels lasted only 5 innings in his season debut. Again, against the Nationals, in a very pitcher-friendly ball park. He failed to record a single 1-2-3 inning — though to be fair, he did get the first two batters in the 4th and forced the third batter to ground to first, which would have given Hamels a perfect inning if not for Ryan Howard's error. He walked the first batter of the game, and let the leadoff man reach base in three of his five innings pitched. He just wasn't that sharp.

However, after walking the first batter of the game, Hamels settled in, started to hit his spots. He got the next three batters in the first, and then after surrendering a leadoff single in the 2nd, got the next three batters again. He looked to be cruising along in the third, getting Marquis and Nyjer Morgan to ground out, retiring five straight. Then the wheels came off. Hamels missed his spot with a fastball, elevating it in familiar 2009 fashion, and Ian Desmond smoked it to center. The ball was hit on a rope, and just kept going. It cleared the fence, and that was all she wrote for Cole's confidence. He walked the next two batters, then gave up a single to Josh Willingham to tie it. One little mistake snowballed, and Hamels couldn't get it out of his mind. Luckily for him, Adam Dunn was on the second when the next batter, Ivan Rodriguez, singled, not even remotely fast enough to try and score. Hamels got out of it with no further damage, but that early 2-0 lead his teammates gave him in the first was gone two innings later.

I thought maybe Hamels would snap out of it in the 4th after literally helping himself, snapping the tie with an RBI single to center that plated Victorino, but nope. Fragile Cole was still with us, giving that run right back in the bottom half of the inning, again on a two-out rally. Cole got the first two batters and then forced the speedy Nyjer Morgan to hit a grounder to first. Howard tried to backhand the ball instead of getting in front of it, booted it and Morgan was safe. This is where the telling signs could have come. Last year, a play like that got to Hamels, rattled him, made him lose his focus. He had already lost focus once before in the game, but if he could bear down and get the next batter, perhaps it could quiet the demons of last year. But he couldn't. Again Desmond got to him, driving in Morgan with a double, game tied again.

Luckily for Hamels the bats had his back. Big time. The game started with a Rollins walk, Polanco getting hit by a pitch, Chase singling to move everyone a station, Howard getting Jimmy home, though grounding into a double play, Werth walking and Polanco scoring a wild pitch. Then the game was blown open by Howard's bomb, putting that bitch-ass Jason Marquis in his rightful place. From there, the guys tacked on a few more runs to get the total up to 8, meaning that through two games (against the Nationals), the Phils are averaging 9.5 runs per game. Not bad.

Placido has been a beast, following up his 6-RBI second Phillies debut with a 2-for-4 night including a double, three runs scored and an RBI. Chase went 2-for-4 himself, with two runs and an RBI. And Howard had a three-RBI game, going 2-for-5 including that mammoth blast off the loud-mouth sore loser. Curbball got himself two hits as well, and Jimmy was on base three times, going 1-for-3 at the dish with a run scored and two walks. Through two games, James Calvin has a .636 on-base percentage. Enjoy it while it lasts.

As far as the bullpen goes, Chad Durbin did a fantastic job through two innings, Danys Baez got hit hard in his third of an inning, surrendering the lone bullpen run, but Bastardo got his man, and Madson didn't shit the bed in the closer role like he did six times in 16 chances last year, picking up a four-out save.

All in all, not a bad outing, with the exception of Cole still struggling to exercise his demons. But hey, it's just the second game of the year and his first start. And the Phils are 2-0, Hamels 1-0. Playing the Nationals is nice. Now we'll see what Kyle Kendrick has tonight today this evening (?). What the hell is 4:35 p.m. considered? Afternoon? Evening? Better question: What the hell kind of start time is 4:35 p.m.? Oh yeah, a dumb one.

Almost as dumb as Jason Marquis.

Oh yeah, and the Phillies signed Nelson Figueroa, which is pretty cool.

BallHype: hype it up!

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