Yep, it’s that time again, Phillies notes. In a classic wannabe-sportswriter move, I’m too freaking lazy to write an entire post about one Phillies event, so we’re all going to delve into multiple ones right now. Let’s go:
– Brian Peoples over at Philling Station is back from his multi-week vacation, and already has some goodies up. Read him.
Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 33 games last night with a single past 2B Ronnie Belliard. He’s now within spitting-distance of Jimmy Rollins’ 38 game streak, and can sort of see Joe DiMaggio’s 56 gamer in the distance. And Utley still won’t talk about it. Hey, whatever works.
– Cory Lidle called out the Phillies clubhouse as soon as he made the I95 jaunt to New York, saying that some of his teammates did not expect to win. Arthur Rhodes shot back with the full force of his 5.67 ERA, calling Lidle a ‘scab’ who crossed the line in 1994 and ate ice cream after starts. Lidle then backed off his comments a bit, but added that he watched a lot of film and simply prepared differently. He also wondered where the ‘scab’ comment came from, because he and Rhodes got along. Chase Utley and Brett Myers were also quoted as wondering why Lidle said the things he did. Charlie Manuel understood where the frustration came from, but still took the comments personally. All in all, it was a fun, pointless little exercise in he said, he said where nothing gets accomplished.
– Bobby Abreu showed up in his first game as a New York Yankee last night, and went 0-3 with a walk and a run scored. Looks like an off night, eh? Well, it was until the 9th inning, when Abreu battled starter AJ Burnett for 9 pitches, and finally drew a walk to load the bases. Bernie Williams then came up and cleared them with a double, and the Yankees went on to win the game 5-1 and walked into first place. Various Yankees and front office people are already praising Bobby’s patience, some going as far as to note that the Yankees showed similar patience when they were winning championships in the late 1990s.
– Remember when it was asked where the hell Fabio Castro went? Well, it took 22 days since his last appearance, but he has now shown up in not one, not two, but THREE games in the past week. All it took was three blowout games in a row, one of which where Jon Lieber gave up 9 runs in 4 and 2/3 innings. Oh yeah, and Castro didn’t give up a run in any of those games, and now has pitched 8.1 scoreless innings for the Phils, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks. Expect to see him again sometime in late August.
– Your Philadelphia Phillies just keep on winning. The Abe Nunez era is now 4-1, as they beat the Saint Louis Cardinals in their new digs 5-3. Scott Mathieson gave up 3 hits, 5 walks and 3 runs in 5 innings, but proceeded to net the victory as the bullpen shut down the Cardinals offense the rest of the way. Ryan Howard brought out the whooping stick, as did Chris Coste, and the Phillies offense had 11 hits and 4 walks. Good game by the Phightin’s, and it draws them to within 4.5 games of the wildcard-leading Cincinnati Reds.
– For all the hand-wringing over Pat Burrell’s offense (on-fire since the all-star break) and defense, he’s still light-years ahead of his supposed replacement Shane Victorino. Victorino’s line is now down to 257/325/397 for a 722 OPS and has hit 161 with no power since the all-star break. He has shown a little more patience (278 OBP), but not nearly enough to merit gaining any more playing time in center or left. Aaron Rowand is similarily struggling, now hitting 257 with a 320 OBP. His 727 OPS in July was nothing special, and that followed his 604 OPS in June. After such a great start, he has really plummeted back to his career numbers, and there’s little reason to suggest that he will somehow regain his May form. I would say it would be time to cut bait, but Rowand has a player’s option, and why would he turn it down when he is so loved here?
– Michael Bourn was sent down after one day up with the Phillies, and Chris Roberson was brought up, again, in his place. Roberson proceeded to get his second major league hit last night, and Bourn went 2-4 with a triple in Scranton. The options in CF are there for next year, if the Phillies choose to look for them.
– The Phils and Cardinals square off tonight at 8:10 PM for game 6 of the Abe Nunez era. Brett Myers faces Jeff Weaver. Expect a Phils blowout.