Home Page

Baseball Analysis Home   Max Blue / Historic Teams / Phillies

Phillies Journal 1888-2008Phillies-Journal-1888-2008

Philadelphia's Phillies - Baseball Thrills in Three Centuries - Includes game summaries and daily limericks and for 2009 and 2010 seasons. Published March 5, 2011.

Phillies 2010 pre season - Brown in Town


Yesterday's Phillies game:


Billy Wagner walked a tight rope,

Phillies dancing all over Braves’ hope.

But the lefty hung on for the win,

and as for the playoffs: they’re in.

All teams now face a steep slope.

Sunday, October 3, the TED, Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta – 8, Philadelphia -7.

WP – Tim Hudson (17-9), LP – Danys Baez (3-4)

S- Wagner (37/44).

HR – Derrek Lee (19), 4th.

John Mayberry (2), 3RD, 1 on, Werth (27), 7th, 1 on.

San Francisco beat San Diego so the Phillies will host Cincinnati on Wednesday in game one of the LDS. Atlanta will travel to San Francisco to face the Giants. It’s a new season and no matter how they struggled to get there, all teams are even to begin. Of course some teams are more even than others.

For the firs ttime in the 127-year history of the Phillies, they led the major leagues with 97 wins. And how unexpected is the fact that Carlos Ruiz led the team with a .302 batting average, and a .400 on-base percentage.


They honored Bobby Cox at the TED,

Chipper Jones gave a speech and he said,

“This man is great,”

But it may be too late

as it turns out his team is near dead

It’s hard to feel sorry for the Braves,

remember all those years they were knaves?

But Phils’ pitching fed them zeroes

and all those old heroes

could as well have been living in caves.

Saturday, October 2, 2010. Turner Field (the TED), Atlanta, Georgia

Philadelphia – 7, Atlanta – 0.

WP – Bastardo (2-0), LP – Venters (4-4).

Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Dale Murphy, Andres (the Big Cat) Gallarago ….along with a long list of other former Braves’ players, turned out to honor the retiring Bobby Cox in an on-field celebration before the game.

The Braves needed a win to clinch a playoff spot, but couldn’t get it as Vance Worley pitched five innings of one-hit ball followed by one scoreless inning each from Antonio Bastardo, Danys Baez, Ryan Madson, and Jose Contreras.

The San Diego Padres beat the Giants for the second day in a row, setting up a complicated series of possibilities for the final day of the season.

If the Phillies and Padres lose, San Francisco wins the Western Division and Atlanta wins the Wild-Card. Phillies will play Cincinnati in Division Championship series. Braves will play San Francisco.

If the Phillies and Padres win, San Diego will be NL West winners and Giants will win Wild-Card. Phillies will play Giants in LDS.

If the Phillies win and the Padres lose, the Braves and Padres tie for Wild-Card and play one game in Atlanta to decide winner. If Padres win they will play the Phillies in LDS. If Atlanta wins the Phillies will play the Reds in LDS.

Okay, here’s the deal: Phillies in Atlanta for season-ending three-game series; they have wrapped up the Eastern Division championship so will use these games to fine-tune for the post season which begins next Wednesday in Philadelphia. Who they will play first is still not decided. Atlanta leads the Wild Card race by two games over San Diego who trail San Francisco for the Western Division Championship by three games. The Padres still have a chance because they have a three-game series in San Francisco to end the season. Cincinnati is the Central Division champion.

Charlie Manuel says Phillies will try to win every game. San Diego says,”Thank you, Charlie.” Bobby Cox takes off his hat and scratches his head. His pitching rotation is a mess; once again in a crucial series he is forced to start Brandon Beachy who has yet to win a Major League game.


Oh baby, was that ever sweet;

Jimmy Rollins delivered a four-run treat.

Braves desperate to win the Wild Card,

knew against Phils ‘twould be hard,

but their defense curled up like spoiled meat.

Friday, October 1, 2010.Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia.

Philadelphia – 11, Atlanta – 5.

WP – Kendrick (11-10), LP – Beachy (0-2).

HR – Rollins (8), 6th, GRAND SLAM.

Kyle Kendrick, nursing a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning began by walking the pitcher. Liddy said, “I told you so. I don’t trust that guy.” The tieing run scored on a two-out hit by Derrek Lee. The Phillies’ sixth inning had Bobby Cox and the 51,000 Braves’ fans watching in disbelief as their playoff hopes took a major hit. With one out, Jason Werth hit a ball to centerfield that Nate McLouth butchered into a two-base hit – it was a linedrive straight at him – he started in, then got his feet crossed backtracking and stumbled, almost falling down, as the ball bounced to the wall for a double. With two out, Carlos Ruiz bounced to thirdbaseman Brooks Conrad who threw poorly to second for an error, loading the bases. Domonic Brown pinch hit and walked to force in a go-ahead run. Bobby Cox brought in a lefthanded pitcher to face Jimmy Rollins. It was a curious move because switch-hitting J-Roll is better from the right side. He hit Mike Dunn’s first pitch into the left field seats for his third career grand slam.


Three who don’t often hit came through.

Ben Francisco hit two.

Joe Blanton took care of the bats,

don’t laugh at the weak-hitting Nats.

Post-season tuneup not new.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia – 7, Washington – 1.

WP – Blanton (9-6), LP – Ross Detwiler (1-3).

HR – Sweeney (2), 2nd, Francisco -2 (5), 2nd, (6), 5th, 1 on, Mayberry (1), 4th, 1 on.


Adam Dunn is a big guy,

hits balls deep into the sky.

His 9th inning shot won the game,

Jose Contreras gets the blame

on a night Phillies’ bench got to try.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010, Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Washington – 2, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Storen (4-4), LP – Contreras (6-4).

HR – Dunn (38), 9th.

Ibañez (16), 4th.


A two-hit shutout by Doc put Phillies over the top.

Fourth Division win in a row, once more the corks pop.

Jason Werth drove in four

then let out a roar:

“Eleven post-season wins, then we’ll stop.”

Monday, September 27, 2010. Nationals Field, Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia – 8, Washington – 0.

WP – Halladay (21-10), LP – Lannan (8-8).

HR – Werth (26), 2nd.

Monday, April 5, 2010, Nationals Field,Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia – 11, Washington – 1.

WP – Halladay (1-0), LP – Lannan (0-1).

Who’s writing this script


Cole Hamels outpiched by Pat Misch?

What kind of baloney is thisch?

Phils needed one win to clinch;

who knew they'd blink, if not flinch?

Lose two to the Mets? The Phils anti-wish.

Sunday, September 26, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

New York Mets – 7, Philadelphia – 3.

WP - Manny Acosta (3-1), LP – Hamels (12-11)

H – Feliciano (21), Dessens (10)

HR – David Wright (26), 2nd, Carlos Beltran – 2 (6), 5th, (7), 9th, 1 on.

Chase Utley (16), 5th, 2 on.

We should be celebrating – Atlanta lost to Washington so Phils hold a six game lead with six games to play – they can do no worse than tie for the NL East division championship, plus they are assured of a spot in the post season playoffs even if they lose all six games because they would be Wild Card representatives no matter what happens. So why aren’t we celebrating? Two-straight losses to the Mets after a spectacular run of 11 straight wins and 19 of 22. Cole Hamels pitches like cold soup

in a potential Division-winning last home game of the season. Other than Chase Utley’s three-run homer, the team reverts to the weak-hitting wimps they have been from time to time during the season, especially against the Mets. Fourteen left on base. Yikes! It’s a downer when it should be an upper. It’s baseball, and we have to live with it because we can’t live without it.


It was Durbin who let the dam break;

a three-run double to a rookie for K’s sake.

K-Ken up 2-0 after six,

dazzling the Mets with new tricks.

After winning so much, loss hard to take.

Mets’ rookie, Gee,

ran Phils up a tree

after R-How’s first inning blast

had us thinking the win streak would last

‘til the year two thousand twenty three.

Saturday, September 25, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

New York Mets – 5, Philadelphia – 2.

WP – Dillon Gee (2-1), LP – Kyle Kendrick (10-10).

H – Elmer Dessens (9), Pedro Feliciano (20)

BS – Chad Durbin (1/1)

S – Hisanori Takahashi (8/8).

HR – Howard (31), 1st , 1 on.


Three weeks and almost all wins,

makes it hard to hold back our grins.

The team’s come together at last

erasing a long losing past,

and a century of baseball sins.

Friday, September 24, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 3, New York Mets – 2.

WP – Blanton (8-6), LP – R.A. Dickey (11-8).

H- Madson (15),

S – Lidge (27/32)

HR – Angel Pagan (11), 4th, 1 on.

Victorino (18), 1st.

It’s like the Phillies are sprinkled with fairy dust. It’s like a sweet, happy dream. It’s like one of those second-rate Holywood feel-good movies where you just know that everything will turn out okay, and the hero will ride off into the sunset with the pretty girl on his arm. It’s like the baseball gods, long known for their devilry and fickleness, have decided to give the Phillies some of the mystical magic they have spread over the New York Yankees for nearly 100 years.

And don’t think I’m not aware that the baseball gods are still watching, even though the Atlanta Braves lost again to the last-place Washington Nats. The Phillies still have the magic number two to deal with, but with a seven-game lead and eight games to play, well ……………….


Roy 2 knew just what to do;

hold the fort ‘til someone comes through

Blanked the Braves on one hit through seven;

then watched Raoool unlock gate to baseball heaven.

Is this team good? Ten straight wins should give us a clue.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 1, Atlanta – 0.

WP – Madson (6-2), LP – Jonny Venters (4-3)

S – Lidge (26/31).

You know things are going good for the home team when you have four or five choices of the top story line for another important win. The choices:

Phillies sweep Braves to take six-game lead with nine to play.

Roy Oswalt throws seven innings of near-perfect baseball.

Raul Ibañez hits 8th inning double off flame-throwing lefty to score Jason Werth with the game’s only run. Bobby Cox sheds a tear in the dugout.

Madson and Lidge close out one-hit shutout

Tenth straight win makes team 18-3 in September.


Phils grabbed an early lead

on a Jason Werth three-run seed.

then the doctor reached into his bag

and found medicine to make the Braves sag.

Raool, Mad Dog, and Lidge provided the ending we need.

Tuesday, September 22, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 5, Atlanta – 3.

WP – Halladay (20-10)., LP –Mike Minor (3-2)

H – Madson (14)

S – Lidge (25/30).

HR – Freddie Freeman (1), 7th.

Werth (25), 3rd, 2 on.

Jason Werth will be a free agent following the 2010 season, and has recently announced that he has asked a man named Scott Boras to be his agent. Boras is viewed as one of the toughest agents for management to deal with in player negotiations. In Philadelphia Boras is remembered as the notorious villain who advised J.D. Drew not to sign with the Phillies those several years ago. When Werth delivered another important hit to the Phillies’ September push this night, one could only imagine the smirk on Scott Boras’face wherever he was watching.

But any account of this big win must mention the crucial hit that Raul Ibañez delivered in the sixth inning. The Braves had battled to close their deficit to 3-2 and the game was very much in doubt with Doc Hallady sagging when Ibañez came to bat with two on and two out against Mike Dunn, a fireballing lefthanded pitcher.

With ten games left in the regular season, the Phillies took a five-game lead over the second place Braves. It means that if they win six of those games they will become National League East divisional champions for the fourth straight year. The magic number is six. That means that any combination of Phillies’ wins and Braves’ losses totaling six will result in a Phillies division championship.


King Cole was intent on the task,

fired strikes from behind his fierce mask.

Phillies turned three double plays;

Braves’ in a two-error daze,

leaves the Phils in a four-game-lead bask.

Monday, September 21, 2010.Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 3, Atlanta – 1.

WP – Hamels (12-10), LP – Brandon Beachy (0-1).

S – Lidge (24/29).

The first surprise was that Braves’ star pitcher Jair Jurrjens couldn’t go because of a sore knee, so in a gutsy, if not reckless move, Bobby Cox called on a kid named Brandon Beachy who until this fateful night, in a “we gotta win” situation had never pitched in a Major :League baseball game. The kid was terrific, and might have pulled it off except that Shane Victorino’s liner to right leadingoff the fifth in a 1-1 game, clanked off Jason Heyward’s glove for a three-base error, and it turned out, the ballgame when Victorino scored on Polanco’s infield roller.


Jason Werth brought his broom to the plate,

no way the crowd noise could abate.

Down six to five, man on first,

unleashes a BROBDINGNAGIAN burst.Will a clean sweep to the end be Phils’ fate?

Sunday, September 19, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 7, Washington – 6.

WP – Vance Worley (1-1), LP – Drew Storen (3-4)..

H – Joel Peralta (8), Sean Burnett (20), Tyler Clippard (22)

BS – Storen (2/6)

HR – Willie Harris (9), 3rd; Mike Morse (11), 6th, 2 on; Danny Espinosa (5), 7th.

Werth 24), 9th, 1 on.

It was like a fairy tale. Liddy had given up all hope after Joe Blanton, following a series of right-down-the-midd;e, hit-me pitches, watched Mike Morse connect with one for a three-run 6th inning opposite field shot that put the Phillies in a 4-3 hole in a game they needed to keep pace with Atlanta who was in the process of thumping the Mets one more time up in New York. Liddy was not the only one to despair when Charlie Manuel’s raggedy end-of-the-bench bullpen flingers saw the Nats tack on two more to take a 6-3 lead into the ninth, and turn it over to their generally efficient closer, a right-handed flame-thrower named Drew Storen. But the Phils struck with some frightening efficiency of their own: Polanco, Utley, Howard: single, double, single, then Werth. Storen, for some odd reason threw a series of fastballs Werth fouling off pitch after pitch until at last he squared on up,as they say, and sent it on a plus 400-foot ride into the leftcenterfield seats and a 7-6 fairy tale win.

So. Here’s the deal: Atlanta in town for a three-game series; 12 games to play, Phillies have a three-game lead. If they sweep the Braves they will lead by six with nine to play, if the Braves sweep they will leave town dead even with nine to play, the final three in Atlanta next week. The only certainty is that over a hundred thousand baseball nuts will be rocking Citizens Bank Park in south Philadelphia for the next three nights. And Liddy remains skeptical. .


Kyle Kendrick won his tenth game,

Said, “My turn to join in the fame.”

Homeruns from three of our guys,

R-How’s number 30, no surprise.

Last place Nats looking tame.

Saturday, September 18, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia – 5, Washington – 2..

WP – Kendrick (10-9), LP – Jordan Zimmerman (0-2).

H – Durbin (15), Madson (13).

S –Lidge (23/28).

HR – Werth (23), 2nd; Howard (30), 3rd, 1 on; Ibañez (15), 3rd.


After one the Phillies had six,

leaving the Nats in a fix.

With Roy Oswalt dealing

the prospect's appealing

for team to get in further licks.

Friday, September 17, 2010,Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia,Pennsylvania

Philadelphia - 9, Washington - 1.

WP - Oswalt (13-13, 7-1 Phillies), LP - Jason Marquis (2-9).

HR - Werth (22), 5th; Ruiz (8), 8th, 1 on


Doc Halladay won number nineteen,

though not the best of his games we have seen.

Phils scored lots of runs early;

nicely done, no need to be surly.

Team rolling like well-oiled machine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010. Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Philadelphia – 10, Florida – 5.

WP – Halladay (19-10), LP – Jorge Sosa (2-3).

HR – Gaby Sanchez (18) 6th.

Utley (15), 3rd.

In 1964, as is well-known and oft-lamented in this part of the baseball world, the Philadelphia Phillies held a six and a half-game lead with 12 games to play, then lost 10 straight games and the pennant. So with the news that here in 2010 the Phillies hold a three-game lead over the Atlanta Braves with 15 to play, nobody is counting any chickens. Six of those games will be with Atlanta, and six with last-place Washington who just beat the Braves two out of three. Still, we should be allowed to feel good about the prospects since the next nine games are at home while the Braves face a nine-game road trip.


The name of this game: young King Cole;

buried Fish in a 13-K hole.

Vict-o and Pol-co the offense,

in a game that was gripping and tense.

Team into its all-winning role.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010. Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Philadelphia – 2, Florida – 1.

WP – Hamels (11-10), LP – Adalberto Mendez (1-1).

H – Durbin (14); Madson (12)

S – Lidge (22/27)..


Joe Blanton served up one tasty dish,

a stew of the Florida Fish.

Four of his teammates went long,

a soul-soothing September song.

More like this and we’ll soon get our wish.

Monday, September 13, 2010. Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Philadelphia – 11, Florida -4.

WP – Blanton (7-6), LP- Miller (1-2)

HR – Logan Morrison (2), 6th; Dan Uggla (30), 8th, 1on.

Werth (21), 2nd; Utley (14), 3rd; Ruiz (7), 1 on; Dobbs (5), 7th.


I’m just glad he pitches for us,

that way we don’t have to cuss

when he fires his darts

to break enemy hearts

with his sturdy right arm blunderbuss.

Sunday, September 12, 2010. Citi Field, New York, New York.

Philadelphia – 3, New York – 0.

WP –Roy Oswalt (12-13, 6-1 Phillies), LP – Jonathan Niese (9-8).

HR – Ibañez (14), 7th.


Tieing run at third, two men out.

All hands geared for a big Chooch shout.

But a weak tap to third

is all that we heard,

and we’re left with no choice but to pout.

Saturday, September 11, 2010. Citi Field, New York, New York.

New York Mets – 4, Philadelphia – 3.

WP – Pelfrey (14-9), LP – Kendrick (9-9).

H – Pedro Feliciano (17), Manny Acosta (1).

S – Hiryota Igarashi (6/6).

HR – Jose Reyes (9, 3rd.

Okay,it was another 9/11 day – Phiillies 9 hits, Mets 11 hits. Nothing like 9/11/2004

when after nine innings both Mets and Phillies had 9 runs and 11 hits, and the Phillies won 11-9 in 13 innings. Still.


To the Phils’Doc, a tip of the hat,

you don’t get muc better than that.

Eighteenth win and game-winning hit,

gave New York Mets’ fans a fit.

One step closer to leaving league flat.

Friday, September 10, 2010.Citi Field, New York, New York.

Philadelphia – 8, New York Mets – 4.

WP – Halladay (18-10), LP – Jennry Mejia (0-4).

HR – Carlos Beltran (3), 3rd, 1 on.

Howard (29), 4th; Utley (13), 7th.


Phils blow a 10-0 lead?

What would the headlines read?

Fish six-run eighth inning

had all our heads spinning

but Mad Dog once more filled the need.

Howard and Utley again drove in eight;

willing the team to be great.

Hamels blanked Fish for seven,

his left arm sent down from heaven.

Now in sight: pennant-winning gate.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia – 10, Florida – 6.

WP – Hamels (10-10), LP – Andrew Miller (1-1)

HR – Gaby Sanchez (17), 8th, 2 on.

Ryan Howard (28), 4th, 2 on.


Phillies played poorly but won.

To take league lead ought to be fun,

but it felt like team fell in a ditch

when Fish tied game in 8th on wild pitch.

Hail, Polanco! his hit got the job done

Tuesday, September 7, 2010.Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia – 8, Florida – 7.

WP – Madson (5-2), LP – Jorge Sosa (2-2)

H – Durbin (13), Contreras (13)

BS –Madson (6)

HR – Stanton (18), 8th.

Ibañez (13), 4th; Victorino (17), 5th; Howard (27), 5th.

It was Blanton’s game to win. A 7-4 8th inning lead, Contreras in to set up for the closer – not Lidge. They didn’t tell us that Brad Lidge had a sore elbow and couldn’t pitch. Whatever. Contreras and Madson could do it, right? But wait. Marlins’ strong-man rookie,Mike Stanton, hit what looked like a pop up to lead off the inning. Some pop up – it kept going, and going, and going, setting a record for altitude, and finally came down five rows deep in the left field seats for his third homerun of the series. Contreras tried to keep a straight face, but was clearly rattled. He made a terrible 0-2 pitch to 8-hole hitter Brad Davis who lined it to left for a double, then a ground single to right that gave Jason Werth a chance to show off his arm. Davis rounded third but held up until Werth’s ill-advised throw behind him was so far off line that Polanco couldn’t stop it and Davis scored to make it a 7-6 game. Then it really got ugly. Romero relieved and put the go-ahead run on with a 4-pitch walk, then committed a balk to put the tying run on third with one out. Madson relieved and threw a wild pitch to tie the game before striking out Hanley Ramirez to end the inning with a tie score. The first two Phillies’ batters in the 8th made weak outs before Victorino singled to center, stole 2nd , and scored the winning run on a slashing line drive hit to right by Placido Polanco. Madson fanned Wes Helms to end it after wisely handing Killer Stanton a free pass.

Not yet time to celebrate, though Atlanta is sputtering from two straight losses to Pittsburgh, the team with the worst record in the league. Phils in first place because they have won 80 games to Atlanta’s 79; both teams with 60 losses. Twenty two games to play.


Monday, September 6, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Game One – 1:05


Marlins showed off their fry,

sad for us, he outpitched our young guy.

Another bad game at the plate,

how can we open the hit-gate?

If we don’t do it soon we might die.

Florida -7, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Adalberto Mendez (1-0), LP – Vance Worley (0-1).

H – Will Ohman (2).

HR – Chad Tracy (1), 2nd; Mike Stanton (16), 8th.

Game Two – 7:05


Roy 2 struggled, but hung on to win,

in spite of a three-homerun sin.

Phils’ bats rattled a sweet seven,

compared to before, it was heaven.

Look out, Braves, Phils closing in.

Philadelphia – 7, Florida – 4.

WP – Roy Oswalt (11-13, 5-1, Phillies), LP – Anibal Sanchez (11-9).

H – Madson (11).

S – Lidge (21/26).

HR – Stanton (17) 2nd; Hanley Ramirez (21), 3rd, 1 on; Cameron Maybin (8), 5th.

Braves lost to last place Pirates who have lost 91 games, so Phillies 79th win equals the Braves, but they have lost one more so trail by a half game with 23 games to play.

Phillies’ hitting has been so bad, it’s hard to believe they are near the top.


Yo, Kendrick, where in space do you think that you are?

On Mars, or a far distant star?

Only a rookie

would throw such a cookie

to a Prince who could hit it that far.

Randy Wolf twirls these days for Milwaukee,

and against their old friend Phils looked gawky.

With a chance

to advance

bats again balky.

Sunday, September 5, 2010.Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Milwaukee – 6, Philadelphia -2.

WP – Randy Wolf (11-10), LP – Kendrick (9-8)

H – Zach Braddock (11).

S – John Axford (20/22)

HR – Prince Fielder (30), 1st, 2 on..

Kyle Kendrick could read the scoreboard as well as anyone. Atlanta was losing to Florida, and if he could put down the Brewers, the Phillies could move into a tie for the NL East lead. His sinker was moving nicely, and he was feeling good. He got leadoff hitter Rickie Weeks on a weak fly to right, then made good pitches to Cory Hart and Ryan Braun that they put in play for seeing-eye hits. His first pitch to Prince Fielder ended in the right-field second deck. It was called a mammoth homerun and basically ended the game because the Phillies could not solve Randy Wolf’s Jamie Moyer-like mixture of off-speed pitches. After the game,Kendrick said, “I should have pitched around him.”


The Brewers put four in the seats,

one of those hard-to-believe feats.

Doc Halladay they had in their sights,

not one of the best pitcher’s nights.

Is Milwaukee one of those teams that cheats?

Though the Doctor seemed lame,

the Phils won the game,

with some thunder and speed of their own,

as one more time it was shown,

that this team’s bound for glory and fame.

Saturday, September 4, 2010.Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 5, Milwaukee – 4.

WP – Halladay (17-10), LP – Kameron Loe (3-4)

H- Romero – 9, Madson – 10.

BS – Zack Braddock (2)

S – Lidge (20/25).

HR – Fielder (29), 2nd, Alcides Escobar (4), 2nd, Cory Hart -2, (23), 3rd, (24), 7th.

Howard (26), 2nd, Werth (20), 2nd.

The camera zoomed in on Zack Braddock’s mother, sitting with a group of South Jersey baseball fans wearing T-shirts displaying a message: PHILLIES BY CHOICE, BREWERS BY BLOOD. She couldn’t help it as tears rolled down her cheeks – her son toeing the rubber at Citizens Bank Park. The big lefty came on in the 7th with his team leading 4-3, runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out. He faced pinch hitter Wilson Valdez whose job was to bunt the runners into scoring position. But Zack was all over the place, adrenaline oozing, and loaded the bases on four high velocity pitches not close to the strike zone. He settled down to get Jimmy Rollins on a tap to third and the first out on a force at home. Then Placido Polanco hit a fly ball to medium left that Ryan Braun caught and gave it his best shot trying to get Carlos Ruiz scurrying from third with the tying run. The throw was weak and off-line, and got by the catcher allowing Valdez to slide home safely with what proved to be the winning run.


Phils at last got C-Ham a run,

said, :”That’s it, pal, you only get one.”

“Thanks, guys, that’s all I need,”

the lefty replied, then did proceed

to throw zeros as if it were fun.

Friday, September 3, 2010, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 1, Milwaukee – 0.

WP – Hamels (9-10), LP – Chris Capuano (2-3).

H- Contreras (12)

S – Madson (5/9)


Down four in the 7th, Phils score a nine spot,

topped off by C-Ut’s four-run shot.

Chase and Big Piece drove in eight;

a welcome return to team plate

It’s September, guys, time to get hot.

Thursday, September 2, 2010.Coors Field,Denver, Colorado.

Philadelphia – 12, Colorado -11.

WP – Bastardo (1-0), LP – Manny Delcarmen (0-1).

H – Romero – 8, Contreras – 11; Belisle (17)..

BS – Delcarmen (1)

S – Lidge (19/24).

HR – Chris Ianetta (8), 2nd, 2 on; Dexter Fowler (4), 2nd; Carlos Gonzalez (31), 5th.

Ryan Howard (25), 7th, 1 on; Werth (19), 7th; Utley (12), GRAND SLAM, 7th.


J-roll led off with a blast,

O-man said,”Thanks, that’ll last.”

Chase Utley, three doubles;

for Dodgers, big troubles,

as the Phils pinned their flag to the mast.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California.

Philadelphia – 5, Los Angeles Dodgers – 1.

WP – Roy Oswalt (10-13, 4-1, Phillies), LP – Clayton Kershaw (11-9)

H- Romero (7), Madson (10).

HR – Rollins (7), 1st; Victorino (16), 2nd.


Phils' catchers drove in five.

Ryan Howard proved he's alive.

Brian Schneider, a three-run potato,

Chooch Ruiz, a two-run tomato,

and Big Piece, a centerfield drive.

A relief to see bats show some life,

for too long they have shrunk from the strife.

Utley and Howard start to stirr.

Next 30 games just a blur;

with eye-popping plays they'll be rife.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California.

Philadelphia - 8, Los Angeles Dodgers - 4.

WP - Kendrick (9-7), LP - Monasterios (3-5).

H - Durbin, Romero, Madson.

HR - Loney (9), 6th, 1 on.

Schneider (4), 2nd, 2 on; Howard (24), 3rd, 2 on.


Roy Halladay did what he could,

but Phils swinging toothpicks, not wood.

Off Kuroda, just one lousy hit;

team in a can't-hit-spit-pit,

like their batting eyes under a hood.

Monday, August 30, 2010. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Dodgers - 3, Philadelphia - 0.

WP - Hiroki Kuroda (10-11), LP - Roy Halladay (16-10).

HR - Rod Barajas (15), 5th.


Philx¹ pitchers turned off the run tap,

Two runs, then one run, then zap!

This day Œtwas Cole Hamels¹ turn,

to make Padres¹ bats burn.

Just in time Phils find winning road map.

Sunday, August 29, 2010. PETCO Park, San Diego, California.

Philadelphia ­ 5, San Diego ­ 0.

WP ­ Hamels (8-10), LP ­ Clayton Richard (13-9).

HR ­ Mark Sweeney (1), 7tn, 1 on; Werth (18(, 9th.


Shane Victorino solved the need;

as usual, he did it with speed.

Only three hits for the team.

Where is that hot-hitting beam?

On first-place we still have a bead.

Saturday, August 28, 2010. PETCO Park, San Diego, California.

Philadelphia ­ 3, San Diego ­ 1.

WP ­ Blanton (6-6), LP ­ Jon Garland (13-9).

H- Contreras (10), Madson (8).

S ­ Lidge (18/23).


Jimmy Rollins¹ 12th-inning double to right;

raised hopes for the end of the night.

Then Polanco¹s clutch hit, rewarded our wish,

when J-Roll dived for the dish,

and Chad Durbin then turned out the light.

Lights Out Lidge blew the save on a balk;

Bringing a loud sleep-deprived squawk

from fans who stayed late,

concerned with team¹s fate

and hoping to see more than talk.

Roy Oswalt, a pleasure to see,

as he time and again fired strike three.

First-place Padres went down

in spite of Lidge acting the clown.

Is this a glimpse of what¹s to be?

Friday, August 27, 2010. PETCO PARK, San Diego, California.

Philadelphia ­ 3, San Diego ­ 2 (12 innings)

WP ­ Durbin (4-1), LP ­ Ernesto Fieri

BS ­ Lidge (6/23).

HR ­ Yorvit Torrealba (4). 3rd.


Yes, indeed we have seen it before,

Phillies face Astros, lose four.

Last year in Houston, this time at the Bank,

and now, just as then, team not in the tank

Thirty five games left to rise up and soar.

Thursday, August 26, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Houston – 5, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Wandy Rodriguez (10-12), LP – Kendrick (8-7).

HR – Carlos (el caballo) Lee (18), 3rd.

This four game sweep was eerily similar to the one in Houston last year. In game one of that series, Wandy Rodriguez blanked the Phillies 7-0 and hit a bases-loaded double off Cliff Lee. In game two of that series, Brad Lidge had probably his worst game of the year, blowing his 10th save, and taking the loss to go 0-7 on the year. .


The best pitcher in baseball took the rap,

outpitched by ex-teamate Jay Happ.

What’s up with that, Doc?

To ping-hitter Bourn a boundary knock?

While your own hitters are taking a nap.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Houston – 3, Philadelphia – 2.

WP – J.A. Happ (4-2), LP – Halladay (16-9).

H – Byrdak (8), Mark Melancon (2).

S - Lyon (8/9).

HR – Pence (20),4th; Bourn (2), 6th.

Werth (17), 5th.


It was a dark and losing night;

for Phils, only one highlight;

Jimmy Rollins provided the thrill,

tied the game in the 9th with his skill;

after that it was mostly downhill.

Ryan Howard tossed out after picking a fight.

Five Ks no doubt had him uptight.

Roy Ostwalt came in to play left,

made last out, leaving Phils’ fans bereft,

and wondering why offense is so light.

Sixteen innings and nothing to show

but a loss and a tough row to hoe.

Howard and Utley look lost,

like their batting eyes covered with frost.

as they strive to get back in the flow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Houston – 4, Philadelphia – 2 (16 innings).

WP – Jeff Fulcino ( 1-0), LP – Herndon (1-3).

H – Byrdak (7), Gustavo Chacin (3)

BS – Wilton Lopez (2)

HR – Carlos Lee (17), 4th, 1 on.

Rollins (6), 9th.


With a lead in the 8th you should win,

but last night when Madson came in,

Michael Bourn gained the bag

when Ump claimed Big Piece missed a tag,

and the Phils took a blow to the chin.

Old amigo, Brett Myers was the winner,

because of a blind Umpire sinner.

Joe Blanton’s winning game.

down the drain: what a shame.

How it hurts making Ed Wade a grinner.

Ex-Phillies came back to haunt.

Jason Michaels was in on the taunt.

Charlie Manuel ejected

because he objected

to an umpire’s bad call, not to say, flaunt

Monday, August 23, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Houston – 3, Philadelphia – 2.

WP – Myers (9-7), LP – Madson (4-2)

H – Tim Byrdak (6).

BS – Madson (4/8)

S – Brandon Lyon (7/8).

HR – Ruiz (6), 3rd.


His fastball comes in like a snake;

no matter if batters swing or they take;

most often they fail

as they helplessly flail

like a drowning man stuck in a lake.

Sunday, August 22, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 6, Washington – 0.

WP – Oswalt (9-3, 3-1 Phillies), LP – Scott Olsen (3-6)

HR – Ibañez (12), 7th, 1 on.


Kyle Kendrick at his worst,

walked three in the first,

and the hitters picked this night to sit.

Strasburg and Nats’ pen gave team a fit.

Sad to see winning bubble burst.

Saturday, August 21, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Washington – 8, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Doug Slaten (3-1), LP – Kendrick (8-6).

H – Slaten (4).

HR – Roger Bernadina (8), 9th, 2 on.

A big night at the Bank. Ryan Howard back off the disabled list, and Steven Strasburg, the rookie sensation, pitching for Washington. The kid showed his stuff, with a high nineties fastball, a snap dragon curve, and a 90 mph changeup that accounted for most of his six Ks. But the last one he threw, in the fifth inning, the 56th pitch of his night, came with a sharp pain in his forearm and ended his night, and probably his season. Kendrick was awful again and the team never had a chance. Roger Bernadina, Nats’ leftfielder sealed the win in the ninth with a three-run homer off Chad Durbin, and a spectacular, climbing the wall, catch of Ryan Howard’ s moon shot that looked like it might be a two-run homer.

Since July 21st in St. Louis, the Phillies, at 21-6, had the best record in baseball, but in the last three games, two against last-place Washington, they could only manage four hits a game, and four runs, total. They seem utterly helpless against even mediocre changeups, if there is such a thing. They trail first-place Atlanta by only two games in the loss column, but can’t seem to close the gap. Improbably, they achieved their stellar month-long rise without Howard and Utley, but now the big guys are back, Ostwalt has joined the rotation and all systems are go. Right?


Nats’ baserunners all over the place,

but Doc, Dog, and Lidge protected home base.

Ian Desmond’s 9th inning, two-out, linedrive poke,

made Charlie and thousands of fans nearly choke.

But then Lidge struck out Dunn to save face.

Friday, August 20, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 1, Washington – 0.

WP – Halladay (16-8), LP – Jason Marquis (0-6).

H- Madson (7).

S – Lidge (17/21).

Ian Desmond’s 9th inning, two-out, linedrive poke, would have tied the game if it had been about a foot higher; it smacked off the leftfield wall at the 334 foot mark, resulting in a harmless double when Lidge gathered himself to fan the fearsome Adam Dunn on his patented down and dirty slider, the same one he used to strike out Eric Hinske to clinch the 2008 World’s Championship.

Charlie Rubeo has been a Phillies’ fan for more than 70 years, so it was only right that the team put one in the win column to honor Charlies’ 81st birthday..


Cole Hamels must be shaking his head;

when he pitches, team bats are dead.

Three starts in a row

and no runs to show;

hands and feet seem encased in lead.

Thursday, August 19, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

San Francisco – 5, Philadelphia – 2.

WP – Jonathan Sanchez (9-8), LP – Cole Hamels (7-10).

S – Brian Wilson (34/37)

HR – Pablo Sandoval (9), 4th.

Phils again helpless before a multi-pitch lefty. Sanchez yanked in the 9th by a jittery manager, Bruce Bochy, with a two-hit shutout, a five-run lead, a man on first, and a 2-0 count on the batter. He had thrown just 100 pitches, and seemed perfectly capable of closing the deal. Sergio Romo, his replacement blew the shutout when Mike Sweeney doubled home a couple of runs, but that only brought in ace closer Brian Wilson who got the final out for a cheesy 34th save. How can it be a save when the tying run is only in the on-deck circle?


Joe gave up two homeruns, but no more.

J-Roll’s foot no longer sore.

The two J’s cut Giants to size,

for Phils’ fans, not a surprise,

who’ve seen this oft times before.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 8, San Francisco – 2.

WP – Blanton (5-6), LP – Matt Cain (9-10).

H – Durbin (11).

HR – Andres Torres (12), 1st; Burrell (12), 6th.

Rollins (5), 4th, 2 on; Dom Brown (2), 8th.

Dom Brown hit an upper tank pinch-hit homerun. Chad Durbin relieved Blanton in the seventh with one out and the tying run at the plate. Andres Torres, who had homered in the first, hit a sharp ground ball to Utley who fed it to J-Roll, flashing across the bag and firing to first for an inning-ending double play. Rollins had two chances to hit a double and complete the single, double, triple, homerun cycle, but he couldn’t do it.


Small Phillies, J-Roll, S-Vic, and Ruiz,

knocked in seven, slick as you please.

Small Roy brought his arm to the show;

any doubt that this guy can throw?

Polanco four hits: game a breeze.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 9, San Francisco – 3.

WP – Oswalt (8-13) (2-0 Phillies), LP – Barry Zito (8-7).

H- Madson (6)

HR – Burrell (11),1st, Jose Guillen (1), 7th.

It wasn’t as easy as the final score indicates. Into the fifth, the Giants’ Barry Zito was giving a dazzling Jamie Moyer imitation, frustrating the Phillies with off-speed pitches and 85 mph fastballs while protecting a 2-0 lead. One of the first inning runs was a Pat Burrell homerun. The Bat returned to the Bank as the Giants’ leftfielder and was warmly welcomed; there was even some applause after he put a Roy Ostwalt changeup into the leftfield seats. Jimmy Rollins tied it in the fifth with a two-run single after Roy 2 moved two runners into scoring position with a nice sacrifice bunt. Victorino’s sixth inning double gave the Phils a two-run lead, and after Jose Guillen’s 7th inning homer cut it to 4-3, the Phils blew it open with five in the 8th. It was strictly small ball – no homeruns, 13 hits and just three doubles.

The game was also marked by the quiet return of Chase Utley; he was the only Philly to go hitless, going 0-5, but it was good to have him back. Placido Polanco, with his four singles, took over the league lead in batting average at .325. Greg Dobbs was designated for assignment when Utley was activated. Ryan Howard is still on the sick list with his sore ankle, and the team is 11-3 without him..


It was K-Ken’s turn to be good;

bad news for New York Mets wood.

Seven innings and only one run,

J-Roll and S-Vic got it done,

and Lidge saved the game as he should.

Sunday, August 15, 2010. Citi Field, New York, New York.

Philadelphia – 3, New York Mets – 1.

WP – Kendrick (8-5), LP – Pelfrey (11-7).

H- Durbin (10), Madson (5).

S – Lidge (16/20)

HR – Jose Reyes (8), 3rd.

GWU, 26-17, GWU&H, 10-3.


Doc Halladay made a house call,

and prescribed another Mets fall.

Phils offense a big lift

from an ugly three-error Mets gift

that made their fans boo, if not bawl..

Saturday, August 14, 2010, Citi Field, New York, New York.

Philadelphia – 4, New York Mets – 0.

WP –Halladay (15-8), LP – Pat Misch (0-1).

GWU, 25-17, GWU&H, 9-3

Word from South Florida: Chase Utley played second base and hit a triple in a rehab game. Word from Citi Field: Ryan Howard ran in the outfield and hit balls over the grandstand in batting practice.


A knuckleball pitcher named Dickey,

showed the Phils what it means to be tricky.

He gave up one hit,

and Cole Hamels got it;

it’s like someone slipped us a Mickey.

Friday, August 13, 2010.Citi Field, New York, New York

New York Mets – 1, Philadelphia – 0.

WP –Dickey (8-5), LP – Hamels (7-9).

Back in May the Phillies were blanked by the Mets in a three-game series, one of the shutouts by Dickey, his first win of the season. So the Phillies have gone 36 innings this year without scoring a run at Citi Field. It was the second time in a week that Cole Hamels has lost a 1-0 game to the Mets. As before, the game hinged on a single pitch – a two-out sixth inning fast ball to Carlos Beltran that he belted off the leftfield wall to score David Wright who had doubled to center on a ball misjudged by Shane Victorino. Why Hamels would throw these guys fastballs when he had made them look like saps on unhittable changeups, is a question only the baseball gods could answer. And only a superstition-soaked ball fan, scarred by a lifetime of bad experiences, would point out that this calamity occurred on Friday the 13th..

GWU, 24-17. GWU&H, 8-3.


The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Phillies nine this day,

the score stood 9-2 with two innings yet to play.

But suddenly the Dodgers’ pen began to look like cake,

and the Phillies closed to one on a boot by Casey Blake.

Then Brute Broxton tried o get a pitch past Chooch

but the littlest Phil attacked the ball as though it were a pooch.

Tieing and winning runs scored when the ball bounced off the wall.

Teammates mobbed their catcher as if he were ten feet tall.

Thursday, August 12, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 10, Los Angeles Dodgers -9

WP – Baez (3-3), LP – Broxton (4-4).

H – Kuo (17), Sherrill (3).

BS – Broxton (5/26).

HR – Kemp (19), 7th, 1 on

GWU, 24-16. GWU&H, 8-2

If this game sounds familiar, flash back to October 19, 2009:


David grabbed his sling shot and stepped into the box,

Goliath on the mound firing 100 mph rocks.

The spotlight was on, the Phils near a ditch.

Jimmy Rollins dug in and looked for his pitch.

A double to right!

What a beautiful sight,

Fireworks and cheers stopped all clocks.

Monday, October 19, 2009, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 5, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4.

WP – Lidge (1-0) [1-8], LP – Broxton (0-1)[7-3].

H – Belisario (1)[13], Kuo (1)[15], Sherrill (1)[12]..

BS – Broxton (1)[3].

HR – Kemp (1)[27], 4th.

Howard (2) [47], 1st, 1 on.

It was oh so hard to watch, but Liddy stuck with it, the drama unfolding at a pace that would make a snail blush. “No way they win it,” she said more than a few times as the Dodger relievers grimly hung on to the one run lead. In the eighth with the tying run on second and the go-ahead run on first, Ryan Howard fanned on a shoulder high fastball from lefty George Sherrill that made Liddy wince. “I knew it,” she said, reflecting a sentiment blanketing the city of Philadelphia, the entire Delaware Valley, and the lush farmlands extending through the Amish country around Lancaster where David and Christine Hargan watched in rising anxiety, and all the way to Harrisburg and Enola, where Sue and Gary Walters suffered through it.

But nobody could turn away from the team that had come so far, and had come back so many times. Liddy and all the rest were rewarded in spectacular fashion in the bottom of the ninth when Jimmy Rollins, the littlest Philly of them all, faced the fearsome Jonathan Broxton, the biggest Dodger of them all with two on and two out, and laced a searing line drive into the right centerfield gap, scoring Bruntlett and Ruiz for a 5-4 Phillies win and a 3-1 edge in the 2009 National League Championship series.

“I don’t believe it,” Liddy lied in wide-eyed belief. Max was yelling so loud, he failed to savor the unleashed exuberance of 45,000 ballpark fans who literally made the Bank shake.


Roy Ostwalt knew what he was doing;

through Dodgers’ lineup he was chewing,

with a dazzling array

of pitches this day

the O-Man avoided Bank booing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 2, Los Angeles Dodgers – 0.

WP –Ostwalt (7-13)(1-0), LP – Chad Billingsley (9-7).

H –Madson (4)

S – Lidge (15/19).

Phillies scored winning run in 4th inning on a Dom Brown bases loaded fielders choice. The kid had a veterans at-bat, fouling off pitches to stay alive and finally putting the ball in play to score the run. In the 6th, Ross Gload doubled into the right field corner, but came up lame with a strained groin muscle. For the first time in over a month, Lidge had a 1-2-3 inning, the final two outs with batters flailing at sliders in the dirt. Ostwalt-Madson-Lidge. OML. One More Lidgerama. DWH. Dare we hope?

GWU, 23-16. GWU&H – 7-2.


K-Ken’s pitches were flat,

Dodgers’ bats soon took care of that.

Back of Phils’ bullpen was trashed

and even though Gload and Dom Brown bashed,

team was cooked in a boiling oil vat.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Los Angeles Dodgers – 15, Philadelphia – 9.

WP – Vicente Padilla (6-3), LP – Kendrick (7-5).

HR – Jay Gibbons (1), 6th, 1 on; Casey Blake (11), 9th, 1 on.

Ross Gload -2 (5,6), 5th, 1 on, 7th, 1 on; Dom Brown (1), 6th.

Dom Brown’s first major league homerun came off Dodger right handed reliever Ronald Belisario; it came with the Dodgers leading 11-4. Kenrick was awful, and bullpen also-rans, Bastardo, Herndon, Baez, and Romero, took turns dodging line drives in a dreadful display as the fickle Phillies’ fans did not even stick around to boo,

GWU, 22-16. GWU&H – 6-2.


For the first time all year, Doc gave up five,

Mets like drowning rats fight to stay alive.

Werth and Ibañez in two blinks

shot down the 8th day, 8th month jinx,

and the Phillies continued to thrive.

Sunday, August 8, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 6, New York Mets – 5.

WP – Halladay (14-8), LP – Dickey (7-5)

H – Madson (3)

S – Lidge (14/18)

HR – Werth (16), 2nd; Ibañez (11), 3rd, 2 on.

GWU, 22-15. GWU&H, 6-1.


Phils needed a win to keep pace.

Braves one game up in the race.

King Cole made just one mistake,

for Santana that’s all it would take,

as Phils’ offense fell flat on its face.

Saturday, August 7, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

New York Mets – 1, Philadelphia -0.

WP – Santana (9-6), LP – Hamels (7-8).

S – Frankie Rodriguez (24/29).

HR – Francouer (11), 7th.

Earlier in the week, the Mets lost two of three in Atlanta, the lone win coming when Jeff Francouer homered to the opposite field in the 11th inning. Tonight he did it in the seventh for the only run of the game. But for that one pitch, Hamels was outstanding with 11 Ks and no walks. It was the fourth time this season that the Phillies have been shut out by the Mets.

How cruel is Baseball? Riding a five game winning streak, and 13 wins in 15 games, having edged to within a thin game of the National East lead, did we not have reason to believe that with Hamels and Hallady scheduled to pitch the next two games against the sagging Mets before an adoring home crowd, that even without Utley, Howard, and Victorino, the team would rush to the top? Not so fast, Max, it’s baseball. And next it’s Hallady, the best pitcher in baseball, up against a guy named Dickey who tossed one of those shutouts back in May, when the Mets were still contending. The guy throws knuckleballs, what chance do we have on the eighth day of the eighth month? Double eight. Aces and Eights. Behind the eight ball.


Down 2-1 in the 8th, Phils scored six,

leaving the Mets in a fix.

Seven hits in the 8th, Sweeney, two,

showing us what he can do.

From Phils’ bag, more winning tricks.

Friday, August 6, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 7, New York Mets – 5.

WP –Durbin (3-1), LP – Bobby Parnell (0-1)

BS – Parnell (2)

S – Lidge (13/17)

HR – Mike Hessman (1), 9th, 2 on.

J.C. Romero once more dangerously ineffective – gave up three-run 9th inning homer to pinch hitter, Mike Hessman, but Phils had a five-run cushion so it did not affect the game, and gave Lidge a chance to get a one-out save. Sweeney started the 8th inning rally with a single to right, and ended it with a single to left.

GWU, 21-14. GWU&H, 5-0.


The littlest Philly stood tall;

a 10th inning, game-winnng, long ball.

Roy Ostwalt pitched well.

though Romero did smell,

and Brad Lidge saved the game for us all.

Thursday, August 5, 2010, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Philadelphia – 5, Florida -4 (10 Innings).

WP – Madson (4-1), LP – Will Ohman (0-1)

H – Hensley (18)

BS – Nuñez (6/32); Romero (3/6)

S – Lidge (12/16).

HR – Ruiz (5), 10th...

What’s going on here? Are we to believe that the Phillies are a better team without Ryan Howard? So far, so good. The whole team seems to have stepped it up a notch, but Polanco, Ibañez, and Ruiz, have gone beyond that. This night they each had three hits. Outstanding defense by Rollins, Polanco, and Dom Brown has been crucial to the winning in support of solid starting pitching. This was the night Roy Oswalt made his first contribution – he was relieved by J.C Romero in the 7th with a 2-0 lead and two men on base. Romero was wildly ineffective – a double and two walks, followed by a hit off Contreras to leave the Phillies in a 4-2 hole which they heroically overcame in the 9th , gaining a tie when Werth singled up the middle to atone for a miserable eight strikeout performance in the series. And in the 10th , here came Chooch.

Better without Howard? So far, so good.

GWU – 20-14. GWU&H – 4-0


K-Ken once more had good stuff,

and the patched-up Phils lineup was tough.

Big hits from Gload and Dom Brown

helped put the Florida Fish down.

Dare we think we might just have enough?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010, Su Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Philadelphia – 7, Florida – 2.

WP – Kendrick (7-4), LP – Anibal Sanchez (8-7).

H – Contreras (9), Madson (2).

HR – Mike Stanton (10), 2nd.

Phillies acquired veteran right-handed slugger, Mike Sweeney to play first base until Ryan Howard returns.

GWU, 19-14. GWU&H – 3-0.


R-Hal not perfect but still good.

at dodging the Florida wood.

Good pitching as always the key,

Francisco and Ruiz hit with glee,

and the Phils won again as they should.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Philadelphia – 6, Florida – 1.

WP – Halladay (13-8), LP – Sean West (0-1).

HR – Uggla (24), 2nd.

Francisco (4), 2nd; Ruiz (4), 2nd.

GWU, 18-14. GWU&H, 2-0.


Lidge re-found lights out switch,

and the Phillies thus dodged one more ditch.

Polanco and Werth came through late,

avoiding a Washington sweep fate.

And we thought he’d forgot how to pitch.


The Big Piece was clearly in pain;

ankle twisted and rising in vain.

If this guy is hurt,

Phils could lose their shirt,

it’s as if we’ve been hit by a train.

Sunday, August 1, 2010. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia – 6, Washington – 4 (11 innings).

WP – Contreras (6-3), LP – Collin Balester (0-1)

BS – Joel Peralta (1)

S – Lidge (11/15).

HR – Adam Dunn (25), 6th, 1 on.

The team is a hospital ward – Utley, Victorino, and Moyer on the DL, Ibañez benched with a sore wrist, and Ryan Howard on crutches after twisting his ankle sliding into second base. Woe is us.

GWU, 17-14. GWU&H, 1-0. Without Utley and Howard? Where are those giggles coming from? The NL East? The entire National League? The baseball gods?


With a chance to close first-place Braves gap,

Lights Out Lidge performed like a sap.

Gritty team comeback a waste,

leaving a sour, bitter taste.

Phils can’t win with the no-closer trap.

Saturday, July 31, 2010. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Washington – 7, Philadelphia – 5.

WP – Drew Storen (3-2), LP – Lidge (1-1).

H – Joel Peralta (3).

BS – Clippard (9/10); Lidge (4/14)

HR – Ryan Zimmerman (18), 9th, 2 on.

Ruiz (3), 6th; Ibañez (10), 7th.

Joe Blanton coughed up three two-out, first inning runs and the Phillillies spent all night trying to catch up. They finally did, on Raoool Ibañez’ two-run 7th inning homer. They took the lead on Carlos Ruiz’ two-out 9th inning single. But Lidge was crushingly awful.


The good feeling’s gone away,

Roy 2 a bad day,.

outpitched by a guy with two wins.

What happened to all of our grins?

Did Ryan Howard forget how to play?

Friday, July 30, 2010. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Washington – 8, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Craig Stammen (3-4), LP – Oswalt (6-13).

HR – Werth (15), 7th.

This is not what we hoped it would be. Roy Ostwalt’s first pitch as a Philly was scorched on a screaming line drive to the right-centerfield gap for a triple by Nats’ leadoff, and ,260 hitter Nyjer Morgan. Two pitches later, Adam Kennedy bounced to second and the Phillies trailed 1-0. They never came close to catching up, looking like lost sheep against Craig Stammen, a guy they torched for seven runs in two innings the last time they faced him back in May. Ostwalt looked a lot like Kyle Kendrick on the mound, but to be fair, he was hurt by the usually reliable Carlos Ruiz, when, with runners at first and second in the third inning, Chooch picked up a bunt close to the plate and fired it to third for a force that turned out to be a farce when the base was uncovered by thirdbaseman Greg Dobbs who was charging the bunt. But with the team flailing helplessly at C-Stam’s sinker, it hardly mattered. And to make the night a total loss, Jay Happ pitched six two-hit shutout innings in his Houston debut. Oh boy.

Ryan Howard was maddenly inept, fanning on pitches out of the strike zone, as he does when he goes into frustrating stretches called slumps, mixups, slides, or whatever. It began, as it always does, following a time when he hits everything in sight, and in this case after he had raised his batting average to .305. On the night Domonic Brown came to town with a resounding bang, R-How fanned four times.Just last night, when Wilson Valdez lined the game-winning hit to left-center in the 11th inning, R-How in the 10th fanned feebly with the bases loaded to end the inning. So which is better? H-bomb connects and Phils lose, or he fails miserably and Phils win?

Individual success or team success?


Wilson Valdez was the star;

reaching for J-Roll’s high bar.

Saved three with his glove,

turned DPs that fans love,

and his game-winning hit took team far.

The sweep of the Snakes

is just what it takes

to get to the top of the heap.

And now for the next giant leap,

Roy Ostwalt, to prove we’re not fakes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 3, Arizona – 2 (11 innings).

WP – Contreras (5-3), LP – Esmerling Vasquez (1-4).

H- Durbin (9), Madson (1).

BS – Romero (2).

HR – Miguel Montero (3), 7th.

Ibañez (9), 6th.

GWU, 16-12.

Jimmy Rollins missed his third straight game with a bruised foot, but Valdez was sensational in his place – the two inning-ending double plays on great feeds from Polanco, at second for Utley, were only possible because of instant release and cannon-like throws. Better than J-Roll? Close.

Roy Ostwalt is a Phillie. Ruben Amaro, Jr. announced it with a hard-to-contain straight face. He said the deal has been cooking for a month and a half. J.A. Happ to Houston as Ed Wade continues his determined effort to bring all things Philly to Houston. Amaro, Junior could not hide his satisfaction in bringing another top pitcher to town, but could not, and never will, avoid the what ifs, as in, “What if we still had Cliff Lee?”

With an eight-game winning streak, Dom Brown in town, and now Roy 2, the Phillies’ cup is overflowing. Joy and expectation abound. Yippee, wahoo, and oh boy

flood the town. Time out! Hang on! Sixty games yet to play, and yes, it’s hard not to join the celebration with Halladay, Hamels, and Ostwalt at the top of the rotation, but what does it tell us that for the first 100 games of the 2010 season, these three princes of pitch have lost a combined 27 games? And only 25 wins. And we still trail Atlanta by three games on the loss side. Am I worried? Of course I’m worried


To Philly town

came Domonic Brown,

an outfield job to find.

The kid had all five tools, and longballs on his mind.

But mostly what he sought was a Champion’s cap for his crown,

Brown was in town

‘cause Victorino was down,

and the kid in his debut was great.

Two hits, runs, and RBIs his fate.

Measure him for a Champion’s gown.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010. Brighthouse Field, Clearwater, Florida.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 7, Arizona – 1.

WP – Halladay (12-8), LP – Edwin Jackson (6-10).

He batted sixth and played rightfield. His first Major League at bat came in the second inning of a 0-0 game with Jason Werth on second, against Edwin Jackson, a big righthander good enough to pitch a no-hit game earlier in the season. He missed a two-run homerun by a foot, and settled for an RBI double as his scorching linedrive clanged off the right field barrier above the scoreboard. The 45,000 fans were delirious.

The only bad news was that the kid cost Roy Hallady a complete game shutout with an ill-advised diving attempt to catch a sinking line drive in the ninth inning with two out and a man on base. The ball rolled to the wall while a run scored.

Pat Gillick was in town, spinning answers on a pre-game TV show. It doesn’t take much imagination to surmise that Gillick is here to advise Ruben, Junior on ways to clear a path for Domonic Brown the way he did for Ryan Howard when he traded Jim Thome following the 2005 season.

GWU, 15-12.


Phils rap Snakes for six straight.

When you win it just makes you feel great.

Three homeruns iced the cake;

a Werth, Howard, Ransom bake.

One step closer to World’s Series fate.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 9, Arizona – 5.

WP – Herndon (1-2), LP – Jordan Norberto (0-1)

H – Blaine Boyer (3); Danys Baez (6).

BS – Norberto (1/1); Herndon (1/2)

HR – Mark Reynolds (24), 4th.

Werth (14), 5th, 1 on; Howard (23), 6th, 1 on; Ransom (2), 7th, 1 on..

GWU, 14-12.


How can you feel bad when we sweep?

It’s because the Lidge save made us weep.

He littered the bases with Rox,

Charlie Manuel fell out of his sox.

Phils won but the price may be steep.

Monday, July 26, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 5, Colorado – 4.

WP – Blanton (4-6), LP – Jason Hammel (7-6).

H – Durbin (8), Romero (6).

S – Lidge (10/13)

HR – Seth Smith (14), 9th, 1 on.

It was brutal. Lidge protecting a 5-2 lead was one out away from wrapping it up when Rockies’ Seth Smith unleashed a two-run homer that reached the rightfield seats so fast that Charlie hardly had time to gulp. Then he loaded the bases with two walks and a hit before getting Ryan Spilborghs to tap a ball to the right of the mound that he fielded and fired to Ryan Howard to record his 10th save, Charlie Manuel’s 500th win as a Phillies manager. Never a doubt.

GWU, 13-12


Thundershowers brought relief from the heat,

plus an hour and a half wait for Jimmy’s treat.

An RBI single to tie game;

a steal of third - fans aflame,

scores on wild pitch – Rockies beat. Pretty neat.

Sunday, July 25, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 4, Colorado – 3.

WP – Madson (3-1), LP – Joe Beimel (1-1).

H – Corpas (2); Contreras (8), Romero (5).

BS – Beimel (1)

S – Lidge (9/12)

HR – Spilborghs (9), 4th, 1 on.

Francisco (3), 2nd, 1 on.

Jay Happ, after all these months on the sick list, was at last back on the mound. He pitched five innings and struggled with his command, walking four. But the worst part was his confrontation with Ryan Spilborghs in the fourth inning. With a 2-1 lead, he walked Melvin Mora to start the inning, then, apparently determined not to walk Spilborghs, he went to a 3 and 2 count, and then threw what seemed to be an endless string of 91 mph fastballs that Spilborghs, happy to play the game, fouled off one after another until he at last timed one just right and put it into the leftfield seats for a 3-2 Rockies’ lead. Why, in the name of Rich Dubee, Carlos Ruiz, Charlie Manuel, and the college-educated Happ, he didn’t change speeds in that agonizing exchange we’ll never know. But in the end, it was okay because J-Roll found a way.

GWU – 12-12


Hang on here! Is this some kind of trick?

That guy on the bump is Kyle Kendrick.

Last we heard he was down on the farm,

sent there to dodge further harm.

All wonder if this time he’ll stick.

Charlie Manuel to K-Ken, he sez –

“Simple, kid, just beat Jiminez.

Never mind that he’s 15 and one,

and after last week you were done.

Win this game and we’ll make you the Prez.”

On the field “twas a hundred degrees;

sticky hot, and no hint of a breeze.

From the start, our man Kendrick was grand,

while Ubaldo could not find his command.

Phils put up ten – is this some kind of tease?

Saturday, July 24, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 10, Colorado – 2.

WP – Kendrick (6-4), LP – Ubaldo Jiminez (15-2).

HR – Ian Stewart (14), 5th.

Raul Ibañez (8), 6th, 1 on.


At long last, this one feels right;

a soul-soothing, Doc Halladay night.

Ibañez and Ross Gload the big hits;

much needed while Chase Utley sits.

Good pitching the key to the fight.

Friday, July 23, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 6, Colorado – 0.

WP – Halladay (11`-8), LP – Aaron Cook (4-6).

HR – Gload (4), 5th, 1 on.

GWU, 10-12


In Saint Louis, July days are hot, hot, hot.

In 2010 Phillies’ bats are not, not, not.

On this day, all zeroes through ten,

but things changed after that when

Polanco unleashed a game-winning shot, shot, SHOT!

Thursday, July 22, 2010. Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri.

Philadelphia – 2, St. Louis – 0 (11 innings).

WP – Durbin (2-1), LP – McClellan (1-3).

S – Lidge (8/11).

HR – Polanco (6), 11th.

How good was Cole Hamels? In eight innings he allowed only two base runners, one hit, one walk. For his trouble he got yet another no-decision. Madson, Romero, Durbin, and Lidge added three innings of no-hit ball. Cardinals’ 14-game winner, Adam Wainright, struggled through six innings, but still managed to blank the weak-hitting Phillies. Cardinal Manager Tony LaRussa got four more scoreless innings from his bullpen until Polanco put an end to the futility with his bolt-from-the-blue 11th hour shot.

We have known it for a long time – Phillies’ hitting woes are the fault of hitting coach, Milt Thompson, never mind that in two of the last three seasons, the team led the league in runs scored. Thompson was fired after today’s game.

And then there is the sad news that Jamie Moyer’s career may be ended with a damaged left elbow. Or not. He’s only 47, and might elect to have Tommy John surgery.

GWU – 9-12.


It’s no fun to write about losing,

no kidding, it’s not to our choosing.

But the fact is, we did,

‘cause our bats once more hid.

Baseball, like life, is confusing

Wednesday, July 21, 2010. Busch Stadium, St.Louis, Missouri.

St.Louis – 5, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Jaime Garcia (9-4), LP – Blanton (3-6)

H- Kyle McClellan (14).

S – Ryan Franklin (18/19).

HR – Holliday (18), 7th.

Howard (22), 5th.

GWU, 8-12.


Cardinals’ Chris, a model of efficiency;

Phillies’Andrew, a glaring deficiency.

Moyer hurt his left arm,

Kendrick sent down to the farm,

How to stop this numbing insufficiency?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010. Busch Stadium, St.Louis, Missouri.

St. Louis – 7, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Chris Carpenter (11-3), LP – Andrew Carpenter (0-1).

HR – Winn (2), 3rd, 1 on; Matt Holliday (17), 5th, 2 on.

GWU, 8-11.


The season has taken a bad turn,

all our hopes are beginning to burn.

Kendrick pitched like a rotten garage;

clubbed and crushed by a homerun barrage.

Gol-dang it! Dag-nab it, and durn!

Monday, July 19, 2010 Busch Stadium, St.Louis, Missouri.

St.Louis – 8, Philadelphia – 4.

WP – Blake Hawksworth (4-5), LP – Kendrick (5-4)

HR – Pujols (22), 5th, 1 on; Allen Craig (1), 5th; Skip Schumaker (3), 5th. Randy Winn (1), 6th.

GWU, 8-10


Wind blowing out at Wrigley Field.

Even the great Halladay must yield

Then the bullpen caved in;

a five-run 7th inning sin.

Phils like a grape that’s been peeled.

Sunday, July 18, 2010. Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Cubs – 11, Philadelphia – 6.

WP – Gorzelanny (5-5), LP – Halladay (10-8).

H- Andrew Castner (2).

HR – Soto (11), 2nd, 1 on; Soriano (17), 6th, 1 on.

Dobbs (4), 8th; Howard (21), 9th; Francisco (2), 9th.

GWU – 8-9.


For the Cubs, the ninth was a nightmare.

Closer Marmol pitched like a clown at a fair.

With two outs Polanco singled to tie,

if catcher Soto holds ball, Phillies die.

One more game where Charlie loses some hair.

Saturday, July 17, 2010, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois.

Philadelphia – 4, Chicago Cubs – 1.

WP – Durbin (1-1), LP – Marmol (2-2).

H- Marshall (12)

BS – Marmol (4).

S – Lidge (7/10)

Cole Hamels and Cubs’ Randy Wells dueled scoreless for six innings. Cubs scored on a suicide squeeze in the seventh and led 1-0 into the ninth. Carlos Marmol swaggered to the mound intent on blowing the Phillies away as he did yesterday with three quick Ks. Instead, he walked pinch hitters Schneider and Gload, then out of a clear, blue sky, Placido Polanco, missing from Phillies’ lineup for two weeks, smacked a linedrive to left that got to leftfielder Tyler Colvin in a one-bounce hurry. The rookie uncorked a fine, one-hop throw to catcher Soto, beating the lumbering Schneider by 10 feet for the third out and three straight Phillies losses. But Soto dropped the ball. SOTO DROPPED THE BALL. Game tied 1-1. But not for long. Soto dropped another ball – it was called a wild pitch, but a major league catcher would catch that ball 99 out of 100 times. Whatever. It hit the bricks behind Wrigley’s home plate and Ross Gload scored the winning run standing up. A Chicago nightmare but a Philadelphia dream.

Games without Utley, 8-8. Welcome back, Polly.


Joe Blanton coughed up a lead twice;

once the victim of Baseball’s blind mice.

Ryan Howard again hit one out;

all the more reason to pout

when our pitchers unload losing dice.

Friday, July 16, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Cubs – 4, Philadelphia – 3

WP – Sean Marshall (6-2), LP – Madson (2-1)

S – Marmol (17/20)

HR – Byrd(10), 6th, 1 on; Aramis Ramirez (11), 8th.

Victorino (15), 4th ; Howard (20), 6th, 1on

Cubs’ pitchers recorded 14 strikeouts, not a few because home plate umpire Marty Foster was calling strikes on anything close to the plate. Ben Francisco was called out on a pitch at least a half foot outside. But then in the fifth inning, with Blanton nursing a 1-0 lead, he shifts gears and narrows the strike zone as Blanton faces Cubs’ pitcher Ted Lilly, 0-26 on the year, with the bases loaded and two out. Lilly gets a game-tying walk when he looks at two strikes called balls by the blind mouse.

GWPU, 7-8.


Howard homered in the first and the last;

in between, Cubs unleashed a 12-run blast.

Jamie Moyer’s performance was poor,

leaving team and their fans feeling sore.

Are all his glory days past?

Thursday, July 15, 2010. Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Cubs – 12, Philadelphia – 6.

WP – Dempster (8-7), LP – Moyer (9-9).

H – Sean Marshall (11).

HR – Derek Lee (11), 3rd, 1 on; Soriano (16), 3rd; Giovanny Soto (10), 7th, 1 on.

Howard -2 (18), 1st, 1 on; 9th, 1 on


Chooch and J-Roll got it right,

just like they did last night.

Cole Hamels again King of the Hill,

kept Reds’ bats quiet and still.

Phils’ swagger alive, shiny and bright.

Sunday, July 11, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 1, Cincinnati – 0.

WP – Hamels (7-7), LP – Matt Maloney (0-2)

H- Contreras (7), Romero (4)

S- Lidge (6/9).

No extra innings, no walkoff, just another one of those boring, 1-0 pitcher’s battles.

The suspense was off as early as the third inning when Carlos Ruiz doubled off a fan’s hands at the 387 foot mark in left-centerfield, and Jimmy Rollins punched a two-out single just over the second baseman’s head. With an early lead, Hamels stared in disbelief when his third strike fastball to Scott Rolen in the fourth inning was called a ball, loading the bases with none out. No matter, he jammed the next two hitters with snaking fastballs they could only hit back to him, the last for a double play. Contreras, Romero, and Lidge got the last five outs to complete the second consecutive 1-0 win. It was only the second time in team history that had happened, the first time was in 1913. They are now 7-6 without Polanco and Utley.

Time out for the all-star game. The Phils hit the break trailing the Atlanta Braves by four games in the loss column and five in the win column. The season picks up on Thursday with a four-game series in Chicago against the Cubs.


The drama was high as a kite.

Reds lefty Wood, a near-perfect night.

Phils’ R-Hal matched the kid’s zeroes,

both searching the bench for some heroes.

Chooch and J-Roll got it right.

Saturday, July 10, 2010, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia – 1, Cincinnati – 0 (11 innings).

WP – Contreras (4-3), LP – Bill Bray (0-1).

When was the last time the Phillies won three straight extra inning walkoffs?

Well, never. This one was improbable, unlikely, unprecedented, unbelievable,

and by any measure, fictional, The baseball gods at play. Reds’ young lefty, Travis Wood, in his third Major League start, retired 24 Phillies in a row before Carlos Ruiz,

activated off the disabled list for this game, lined a double into the left-centerfield gap to lead off the ninth inning in a scoreless game. Scoreless because the Reds’ rookie was up against the best pitcher in baseball, the Phils’ Doc Halladay, who was not perfect but good enough to keep the Reds at bay until his mates could get him a run. They could not. The kid stranded Chooch and finished with a one-hit nine-inning shutout. But Chooch was back two innings later with another double, and this time he scored the winning run when Jimmy Rollins drilled a liner tight to the line in right to end it. Never happened before – three straight walkoff extra inning wins. Who needs Chase Utley?

GWPU, 6-6.


Six-run ninth leads to comeback-of-the-year

and a rip-roaring, 45,000 voice cheer.

Dobbs and Cody Ransom supplied five,

keeping sagging Phillies alive

until a tenth inning Big Piece long spear.

Friday, July 9, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 9, Cincinnati – 7 (10 innings).

WP – Ryan Madson (2-0), LP – Arthur Rhodes (3-3).

BS – Francisco Cordero (6).

HR – Gomes (11), 1st, 1 on.

Dobbs (3), 9th, 2 on; Ransom (1), 9th, 1 on; Howard (17), 10th, 1 on.

GWPU, 5-6.


Brian Schneider was looking to pull;

enough of this hot, 12- inning bull.

His left-handed swing

was a beautiful thing,

and his game-winning cup is now full.

Thursday, July 8, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 4, Cincinnati – 3 (12 innings).

WP – Figueroa (2-1), LP – Jordan Smith (2-2)

H – Romero (3).

BS – Lidge (3), Madson (3)

HR – Votto (22), 1st.

Victorino (14), 1st; Schneider (3), 12th.

GWPU, 4-6.


The heat was on – 100 degrees.

Jamie Moyer, dealing his cheese,

held a three to one lead after five,

then the honey was sucked from his hive,

by the team once called Boston Bees.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Atlanta – 7, Philadelphia – 5.

WP – Medlen (6-1), LP – Moyer (9-8)

H – Venters (8), Saito (11)

S – Wagner (19/22)

HR – Prado – 2 (9), 1st ; (10), 6th; Diaz (1), 6th, 1 on.

Howard (16), 5th, 1 on; Victorino (13), 7th.

GWPU, 3-6.


Ryan Howard stood on third with none out

after his game-tying three base hit clout.

Then Werth, Francisco, and Valdez all failed,

and four innings later Phils were nailed

with a loss they could well do without.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Ciktizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Atlanta – 6, Philadelphia – 3 (11 innings).

WP – Jesse Chavez (1-1), LP – Herndon (0-2).

HR – Prado (8), 7th ; Hinske (6), 11th, 1 on.

Ibañez (7), 1st, 1 on,

GWPU, 3-5.


R-Hal toed the rubber with grit,

teeth clenched, ball ground in his mitt.

Over nine he put first place Braves down,

added some stars to his crown,

and won on Greg Dobbs’ big hit.

Monday, July 5, 2010, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 3, Atlanta – 1.

WP – Halladay (10-7), LP – Lowe (9-7).

HR – Chipper Jones (6), 1st.

Greg Dobbs (2), 6th, 1 on.

GWPU, 3-4


Fourteen Bucs on a dead Phils’ chest,Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum,

Eight for the Pirates and five for the rest, Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum.

Fe fi fo fum, I smell the blood of a Philly rum dum.

He’s down in the clubhouse in search of some bats,

that were hauled off by Utley, including the hats.

If we don’t find them soon we’ll be stuck on the moon with our bottle of rum and a puny teaspoon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh – 8, Philadelphia – 5.

WP – Meek (4-2), LP – Contreras (3-3)

BS – Contreras (0/1)

H- Hanrahan (13)

S – Dotel (19/22).

HR – Alvarez (2), 7th.

Dane Sardinha (3), 7th.

GWPU, 2-4


Phils scored 12 runs and won,

for a change watching was fun

Kyle Kendrick, his first complete game.

Can the team fulfill J-Roll’s bold claim:

Without Utley our season’s not done?

Saturday, July 3, 2010. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 12, Pittsburgh – 4.

WP – Kendrick (5-3), LP – Paul Maholm (5-7).

HR – Pedro Alvarez (1), 2nd; Ryan Church (3), 5th.

Rollins (4), 5th, 1 on; Francisco (1), 6th.

GWPU – 2-3.


So he came in oh and six,

Phils at this time can’t hit Molly Putts or Tom Mix.

Moyer lost on two swinging bunts,

while his batless team practiced their punts.

We need to invent some new tricks.

Friday, July 2, 2010. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh – 2, Philadelphia – 0.

WP – Ohlendorf (1-6), LP – Moyer (9-7).

H- Joel Hanrahan (12)

S – Dotel (18/21).

GWPU – 1-3.


Pittsburghs’ Pirates are the NL’s worst team,

beating the Phillies is their dream, it would seem.

So tonight they stuck Hamels with his seventh loss,

leaving we fans downcast, dreary, and cross.

In this house and around there was more than one scream.

Thursday, July 1, 2010. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh – 3, Philadelphia – 2.

WP – Daniel McCutchen (1-3), LP – Hamels (6-7)

H- Javier Lopez (4), D.J. Carrasco (4), Evan Meek (5)

S – Octavio Dotel (17-20).

HR – Wilson Valdez (4), 3rd.


The best pitcher in baseball lead with six outs to go,

then, for some reason, R-Hal shifted to slow.

He served up a gamer to some guy named Bruce;

with 10 Ks but 13 hits, some Roy-screw is loose.

Yo, Doc, don’t make our row any tougher to hoe.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati – 4, Philadelphia – 3.

WP – Rhodes (3-2), LP – Halladay (9-7).

S- Francisco Cordero (21-26)

HR – Votto (18), 6th, Bruce (10), 8th, 1 on.

Sardinha (2), 4th, 2 on.

For the second day in a row, a Phillies second-line player hit a three-run homer, the third in two days. When was the last time Brian Schneider, Wilson Valdez, or Dane Sardinha hit three-run homers? When was the last time Roy Halladay coughed up a three-run lead? What can we expect in Pittsburgh? Jamie Moyer pitches a no-hitter and homers in a 1-0 win? If I’m writing this novel, I’m sifting the most improbable plots I can hatch. But who can top reality?

Game two without Polanco and Utley (GWPU) 1-1.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010. It’s bad. A strain, sprain, pain – whatever – of the collateral ulnar ligament on the right thumb. Utley goes on the 15-day disabled list, and we’re told not to expect him back in 15 days. But that’s not all. We also lose Polanco to the 15-day disabled list with a sore left elbow. Polly has been playing with this pain for more than a month after being hit with a pitch by Atlanta’s Tim Hudson. He is hitting .318, good for scond place in the NL batting race; imagine what he’s hit if healthy.

So now what? Don’t expect sympathy from Atlanta, the Mets, especially the Mets, or anybody outside of the Delaware or Susquehanna River valleys. The games continue. Deal with it. The deal tonight is Greg Dobbs, back from AAA, bats second and plays third base. He goes 0 for three and is hitting .145. Wilson Valdez bats eighth and plays second base where he turns a nifty double play on a feed from Jimmy Rollins to end the seventh inning. And Valdez, in a nice Chase Utley imitation, goes 2-4 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer to give the Phils a 6-1 lead in the fourth inning.

More bad news. Brad Lidge. Joe Blanton was one out away from his fourth win when Lidge walked Brandon Phillips, gave up a single to Orlando Cabrera, and a game-tying three-run homer to Joey Votto.

And finally, the good news. Phils win it in the 10th on big hits by Ryan Howard, Raul Ibañez, and Ben Francisco. J. C. Romero saves it for winning pitcher Brad Lidge.


It was Joe Blanton’s game to win,

until Brad Lidge’s ultimate closer sin:

a three-run homer to tie,

it seemed the Phils’ fate to die,

‘til the team counter-punched to Reds’ chin.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010. The Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Philadelphia – 9, Cincinnati – 6 (10 innings)

WP – Lidge (1-0), LP – Arthur Rhodes (2-2)

H – Contreras (6).

BS – Lidge (2-7).

HR – Votto (17), 9th, 2 on.

Schneider (2), 2nd, 2 on; Wilson Valdez (3), 4th, 2 on.


Did we really think it would happen again?

That a year later Joey Cueto would once more give up ten?

It seemed that this time he added a changeup,

a pitch our guys see as a strange nup.

Kyle Kendrick was shaky, may head to the pen.

Monday, June 28, 2008, The Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati – 7, Philadelphia – 3.

WP – Cueto (8-2), LP – Kendrick (4-3).

HR – Rolen (17), 4th, 1 on.

Ibañez (6), 9TH, 1 on.


Jamie Moyer smiled at the lovely refrain:

“Phils win by nine once again.”

The youngster once more did his part,

mixed pitches to break others’ heart.

And the Phils rain on inter-league train.

Sunday, June 27, 2010. A hot day in Philly;

Philadelphia – 11, Toronto – 2.

WP – Moyer (9-6); LP – Brett Cecil (7-4).

HR – Vernon Wells (19), 3rd, 1 on.

Moyer milestones: (1) 624 career starts, (2) 267 career wins, (3), 4,000 innings pitched, (4) 506 homeruns allowed – major league record.

Phillies finished 18-game inter-league schedule with 10 wins. In 2009 they won only six and lost 12, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the last place Baltimore Orioles.

They now hit the road for a three game series with Cincinnati, and four in Pittsburgh. In the first Cincinnati game they are scheduled to face Joey Cueto, who, on July 6, 2009 suffered a first inning meltdown in Philadelphia featuring a 10-run first inning and the largest wining margin in Phillies’ history, 22-1. First inning homeruns were hit by Victorino, Dobbs, and Utley. In the 8th, Jason Werth hit a grand slam homerun off Cincinnati back-up infielder, Paul Janish.


Margin of victory again nine,

thanks, team, for this low-tension line

R-Hal was great,

Toronto way late,

Phillies’ class beginning to shine.

Friday, June 25, 2010.Rogers Center, Toronto, Canada NOT.

Philadelphia – 9, Toronto – 0.

WP – H alladay (9-6), LP – Jesse Litsch (0-2).

HR – Victorino (12), 8th.

Okay, it was supposed to be played in Toronto, but in fact it was played in Philadelphia. The reason had something to do with the teetering on the edge of disaster state of the world. Leaders from 20 of the world’s richest countries were meeting in Toronto to talk about money, and local authorities were nervous about providing security. Terrorists disguised as baseball fans?

So Phillies’ faithful were treated to the sight of their team wearing road gray uniforms, batting first in their home park, Ryan Howard acting as designated hitter, and a team of red-coated Royal Canadian Mounties singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch. For Toronto, it was their first sellout of the season.


On an early Summer day, hot, humid, and breezy,

Phils rattled their bats, and made it look easy.

Tomahawked with five in innings two and then six,

Cleveland’s Indians left town wounding their licks;

last seen looking sad, low down, and queasy

Thursday, June 24, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 12, Cleveland – 3..

WP – Joe Blanton (3-5), LP – Fausto Carmona (6-5)

HR – Jason Donald (2), 5th, 1 on.

Dane Sardinha (1), 6th.


How much did we miss the small guy?

I’ll tell when I’m down from the sky.

A walk-off homerun !

The game once more fun,

get set, fans, team ready to fly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 7, Cleveland – 6.

WP – J.C. Romero (1-0), LP – Kerry Wood (1-3)

BS – Frank Hermann (1), Wood (3)

HR – Shin- Soo Choo – 2 (9, 10), 1st, 1on, 5th, 1 on.

Werth (13), 2nd; Schneider (1), 7th; Rollins (3), 9th, 1 on. .


Phils scratched two in the first, and Moyer made it stand up

Made last place Cleveland behave like a whipped pup.

The old guy is taking team far,

should he be an All Star

for filling desperate Phillies win cup?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 2, Cleveland – 1.

WP – Moyer (8-6), LP – Mitch Talbot (7-6)

S- Lidge (5-6)

HR – Russel Branyan (10), 2nd.

Moyer gave up only two hits in eight innings and won his 266th game, tying him with Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Eppa Rixey for 35th place on the all time list of most wins by a pitcher.

Roster moves: (1) Jimmy Rollins returns from disabled list, (2) Greg Dobbs designated for assignment – it means he is placed on the Waiver list – if no team claims him he can be sent to Phillies’ triple A team at Lehigh Valley. (3) RHP Scott Mathieson optioned to Lehigh Valley, (4) LHP Mike Zagursky recalled from Lehigh Valley, (5) Carlos Ruiz placed on 15 day disabled list with concussion, suffered when hit by a broken bat in Friday game against Minnesota.


This is not at all what we’d hoped,

for the sixth time, Roy Halladay was noped.

One run not nearly enough.

Twins’ Pavano just too tough.

Phils’ like a steer who’s been roped.

Sunday, June 20, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphjia, Pennsylvania.

Minnesota – 4, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Carl Pavano (8-6), LP – Halladay (8-6)

HR – Denard Span (2), 5th; Justin Morneau (8th).

Wilson Valdez (2), 5th.


“It’s only one game,” they will say,

though our ace closer let one get away.

Up by five in the ninth, thinking four straight wins.

Not so fast, they’re the Minnesota Twins,

who bring big thundersticks to the fray.

Saturday, June 19, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Minnesota – 13, Philadelphia – 10.

WP – Rauch (2-1), LP – Baez (2-3).

BS –Rauch (3-20), Lidge (1-5)

HR – Justin Morneau (14), 6th ; Jim Thome (6), 9th, 1 on; Joe Mauer (3), 9th, 1 on; Drew Butera (1), 10th.

Wilson Valdez (1), 2nd; Howard (14), 2nd, 1 on; Ibañez (5), 3rd; Werth (12), 7th; Gload (3), 10th.

It’s just one game, sure, but when Brad Lidge looks more like 2009 than 2008, how can we not worry? Cole Hamels was in line for his 7th win until the sickening 9th, when old friend Jim Thome, closing his career as a pinch hitter, but still smiling, slugged Jose Contreras with a two-run shot. Lidge relieved, and hung a slider to AL MVP and 3-time batting champion, Joe Mauer, who put it into the bullpen beyond the cnterfield fence to tie the game at 9. This is major pain, fans. Phils had a chance to win it in the bottom of the 9th, but both Ryan Howard and Jason Werth, struck out with the winning run on second base. This is beyond pain. But it’s only one game.


With a triple, two long, and a double,

the Big Piece reduced Twins to rubble.

Chase found his mace, drove in four.

Have the Phils at long last opened the door

for the rest of the league major trouble?

Friday, June 18, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 9, Minnesota – 5.

WP – Blanton (2-5); LP – Nick Blackburn (6-4).

HR- Nick Punto (1), 7th, 1 on.

Utley (11), 2nd, 2 on; Howard – 2 (12, 13), 2nd, 5th.


Kyle Kenrick faced Andy Pettitte.

Any chance for the Phils? Forget it.

And then a miracle took place,

K-Ken outpitched the great stone face.

Baseball can trample hopes if you let it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010. Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York.

Philadelphia – 7, New York Yankees – 1.

WP – Kendrick (4-2), LP – Pettitte (8-2).

H – Contreras (5).

HR – Victorino (11), 5th, 1 on.


Who needs Cliff Lee? We’ve got J-Moy,

the ancient, yet eternal boy.

Knock him down, he gets up,

forget about Red Sox whup,

to see him down Yanks a pure joy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010. Yankee Stadium, the Bronx, New York.

Philadelphia – 6, New York Yankees – 3.

WP – Moyer (7-6), LP – A,J. Burnett (6-5)

HR – Cano (14), 2nd; Posada (9), 5th.

Howard (11), 3rd; Werth (11), 3rd.

Shane Victorino’s bases loaded triple the big hit. Howard and Werth back-to-back homers the first of the season; last year team did it 11 times. Jamie Moyer, at 47, the oldest pitcher to ever beat the Yankees.


Bronx Bombers touched R-Hal for three,

much to Herb Rogoff and friends glee.

A tough time to be a Phils’ fan,

Hard to believe this team’s also-ran.

Jamie Moyer is next – where’s Cliff Lee?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

New York Yankees – 8, Philadelphia – 3.

WP – Sabathia (7-3), LP – Halladay (8-5)

HR – Granderson (5), 3rd; Swisher (11), 3rd, 1 on; Teixeira (10), 5th.


Harry LeRoy Halladay’s his name.

Saving 2010 Phillies’ season’s his game.

At Yankee Stadium tonight, with his team in a spin,

the perfect pitcher’s out to dial up a win.

One run will do, team, to stake out our claim.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 – seven hours before first pitch of the three-game interleague series at the new Yankee Stadium,.where on October 28, 257 days ago, 22-game –winner, CC Sabathia threw out the first pitch of the 2009 World’s Series. Lest we forget, the Phillies won that game on the strength of Cliff Lee’s pristine pitching and Chase Utley’s two homeruns. Sabathia is on the mound again tonight with a 6-3 recored and a 4.01 earned run average. Cliff Lee, sad to say, is trying his best to make the Seattle Mariners competitivie, while the Phillies rest their hopes on Roy (don’t call me Harry) Halladay. Chase Utley is still hitting third for the Phillies, but his average is below .260 due to a calamitous slump that has gone on now approaching 100 at bats. Can we hope that facing CC Sabathia will bring back his sparkle?


Charlie Manuel to Cole Hamels: “Need you ask?

Here, my friend is your task:

muzzle the Red Sox big guns,

they’ve mugged us with too many runs,

put on your Darth Vader mask.”

The King faced the loud, hostile croud,

chin high, eyes narrowed, and proud.

Then he unleashed his best stuff,

turned Red Sox bats into fluff,

and led Phils from under a cloud.

Sunday, June 13, 2010. Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts.

Philadelphia – 5, Boston – 3.

WP – Hamels (6-5), LP – Wakefield (2-5).

HR – Beltre (9), 2nd.

Ibañez (4), 4th, 1 on.

S- Lidge (4-4)


To lose is one thing, but when you fail to compete,

the shame and humiliation’s complete.

Joe Blanton’s arm’s like a limp rag,

Chase Utley’s bat zigs when it should zag.

Result: champion Phils no longer elite.

Saturday, June 12, 2010. Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston – 10, Philadelphia – 2.

WP – Delcarmen (2-2), LP – Blanton (1-5).

HR – J.D. Drew (7), 2nd; Daniel Nava – GRAND SLAM on first ML pitch he saw.


Jamie Moyer, sad to say, was tattooed,

in Philly he would have been booed.

One plus innings, nine hits and nine runs,

as the Red Sox unloaded all guns,

Phils were battered, beat up, and bruised.

Friday, June 11, 2010. Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston – 12, Philadelphia – 2.

WP – Lackey (7-3), LP – Moyer (6-6)

HR – Mike Lowell (2), 1st, 1 on.


R-Hal gave up one run and lost.

It’s because Marlins’ Josh Johnson tossed

another shutout at Phils,

adding more woe to team ills.

Bats seem to be covered with frost.

Wednesday, June 19, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Florida – 2, Philadelphia – 0.

WP – Josh Johnson (7-2), LP – Roy Halladay (8-4).

S – Leo Nuñez (13-15)

HR – Uggla (14), 9th.

Roy Halladay won’t say it, but how could he not think it? These Phillies are letting me down. He left Toronto for Philadelphia so he could pitch for a World’s Series quality ballclub. He knew he would always be matched against the opponents’ top pitchers, but with the Phillies’ powerful lineup, he thought he could always count on one or two runs which most of the time would be all he’d need. But here we are, 58 games into the season, 13 starts for the Doc, and his won-loss record stands at 8-4. It should be 10-2. .


A three-run eighth for the lead,

all the sturdy Brad Lidge would need.

Ben Francisco the big hit,

in since Charlie had Jason Werth sit.

Thank you, team, for answering our plead.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 10, Florida – 8.

WP – Contreras (3-2), LP – Clay Hensley (1-3).

BS – Tankersley (2)

S – Lidge (3-3)

HR – Gaby Sanchez (5), 1st; Hanley Ramirez (9), 3rd, 1 on.

Howard (10), 3rd, 1 on; Victorino (10), 4th.


With both Utley and Werth in a dive,

Phils’ pennant hopes can’t survive.

One word for our mood, and it’s gloom,

sad reflections all over the room.

Can our pitching keep us alive?

Monday, June 7, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

San Diego – 3, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Wade LeBlanc (3-4), LP – Cole Hamels (5-5).

H – Luke Gregerson (14).

S – Heath Bell (16-18).

HR – A. Gonzalez – 2 (12, 13), 7th, 9th; Scott Hairston (7), 7th.

The rythyms of a baseball season are enough to challenge the imagination of the most creative minds in the wonderful world of fiction. Consider this: three weeks ago in Milwaukee, Cole Hamels blanked a tough Brewer lineup in their home launching pad park through five innings, then in the sixth gave up back-to-back homeruns to Casey McGehee and Cory Hart. Lucky for him he survived the inning with a 3-2 lead and won his fourth game putting the Phillies 10 games over .500 at 23-13. Tonight, King Cole was even better – through six innings he had not allowed a hit, then with one out in the seventh, needing eight more outs for his first career no-hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres’ fine first baseman, nudged a fly ball into the flower bed adorning the top of the left field wall for a 1-0 lead. Echoes of the night in Milwaukee were heard when Scott Hairston backed Gonzalez with another left field homer. Too bad for Cole and the Phillies, there was no 3-0 lead to sustain us. Since that night in Milwaukee, the Phillies have lost 13 of 20 and have seen their ability to score runs swirl into a depressing whirlpool of naught. This night, just as the night before, Jason Werth, with the game on the line, made the final out flailing at a high fastball, out of the strike zone.


Both starting pitchers were lame,

nine bullpen pitchers in game

Phils lacked clutch hit,

a test of our wit,

like recent days, more of the same.

Sunday, June 6, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

San Diego – 6, Philadelphia – 5 (10 innings)

WP – Mike Adams (1-1), LP – Baez (2-2)

S – Heath Bell (15-18).

HR – Adrian Gonzalez (11), 1st 1 on; Nick Hundley (4),5th.


Jamie Moyer another complete game;

he’s like an indistinguishable eternal flame.

To our joy J-How and Werth regain pop,

much needed to keep Phils on top.

Keep it up team, give us more of the same.

Saturday, June 5, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 6, San Diego – 2.

WP – Moyer (6-5), LP – Jon Garland (6-3).

HR – Werth (10), 3rd, 1 on.


R-Hal not perfect but got his eighth win,

never mind it was thin as a tooth skin.

As lately we’ve seen this game was tense,

it helped when S-Vic hit one over the fence.

And to Lights Out Lidge: welcome back old friend, where have you been?

Friday, June 4, 2010, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 3, San Diego – 2.

WP – Halladay (8-3), LP – Matt Latos (5-4)

H- Contreras (3); Romero (1)

S – Lidge (2-2).

HR – Victorino (9), 3rd, 1 on.


Just kidding you know,

these days they can’t even hit Derek Lowe.

In the third, bases drunk,

Utley hit like a skunk

Team’s lost eight out of ten and four in a row.

And if you think this road trip was rough,

it’s now that the schedule gets tough.

Four with San Diego, leading the West,

then twelve with American League’s best

We’ll soon know if this team has enough.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta – 2, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Derek Lowe (8-4). LP – Jose Contreras (2-2).

S – Billy Wagner (9-11)

Can we blame this limp losing stretch on Jimmy Rollins’ sore calf, and Polanco’s bruised elbow Why not? We have to blame it on something. Of course the fact that Utley, Howard, and Werth went into a collective dive might have something to do with it. If these three guys don’t start adjusting to off speed stuff in a hurry, the end of their three year dominance is at hand, and just when they had convinced the Delaware Valley that they were as good as they seemed. But hey, they’ve been making those adjustments these several years, and their early thirty ages should put them in the peak of their careers – so as grim as things seem at this moment, following three-game sweeps at the hands of the

Mets and Braves, we should not yet give up on them. Think of a new beginning tomorrow night at home against the suddenly difficult Padres – Roy Halladay, looking to be the first pitcher in Major League history to pitch consecutive perfect games.


How to get out of this mess?

The world’s upside down, more is less

Hamels a first inning burn,

after hour rain delay, can’t return.

Mayday! SOS! A champion team in distress!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta – 7, Philadelphia – 3.

WP – Tim Hudson (6-1), LP – Cole Hamels (5-4)

S- Billy Wagner (8-10)

HR – Glaus (9), 1st, 2 on.

Howard (9), 6th, 1 on.


Atlanta came into this game smelling blood,

first place Phils’ woes nearing a flood.

Joe Blanton not the man to stem tide,

though gods bless him, he certainly tried.

When tides ebb can we exit the mud?

Monday, May 31, 2010, Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta – 9, Philadelphia – 3.

WP – Tommy Hanson (5-3), LP – Joe Blanton (1-4).

HR – Chipper Jones (3), 1st, 1 on; Troy Glaus (9), 7th, 2 on.


It’s hard to be perfect these days,

or to win when J-Werth has four Ks.

Jamie Moyer was pretty darn good,

but his team went to bat without wood,

no doubt dreaming of Halladay replays.

Sunday, May 30, 2010, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Florida – 1, Philadelphia – 0.

WP – Anibal Sanchez (5-2), LP – Moyer (5-5).

H – Taylor Tankersley (1), Clay Hensley (5).

S – Leo Nuñez (10-12).


Inning by inning tension mounts,

unbearable three and two counts.

The Doctor is nursing a lead

If none reach base he’ll succeed.

Think of the odds he surmounts.

He did it! With karma and zen.

Men frozen to seats in bullpen

So thank you, my friend, for the thrill

a once in a lifetime chill.

Now then, when will you do it again?

Saturday, May 29, 2010. Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Philadelphia – 1, Florida Marlins – 0.

WP – Halladay (7-3). LP – Josh Johnson (5-2).

Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins – 27 consecutive outs. What are the odds of that happening? For the Phillies, at least 10,000 to one against. Jim Bunning famously did it on Fathers Day in 1964, but that was it until this night. Since 1883, close to 20,000 Phillies’ games have been played and two perfect games.

After the fifth inning, Charlie Manuel, his coaches, the Phillies’ bullpen crew, and countless home viewers, sat in awed silence, not daring to speak or move in fear of breaking the spell.


Ibañez’ three-bagger broke the dam,

soon followed by a Big Piece small bam.

Victorino a key stolen base,

then an RBI ground out from Chase,

and the Phils shake the shutout flim flam.

Friday, May 28, 2010. Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Philadelphia – 3, Florida Marlins – 2.

WP – Kendrick (3-2), LP – Chris Volstad (3-6).

H – Durbin (7); Baez (5).

S – Contreras (3-3)


Shutout in four out of five?

In the standings a sickening dive.

Not even one long ball,

in sad fact, nothing at all.

Question now: can we survive?

Thursday, May 27, 2010. Citi Field, New York, New York

New York Mets – 3, Philadelphia – 0.

WP – Pelfrey (7-1), LP – Hamels (5-3).

H – Feliciano (6).

S – Frankie Rodriguez (9)


It’s like we’ve got holes in our bats.

It’s like we’re swinging at gnats.

It’s like we’ll never again

score a run and what then?

Back to being league doormats.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010. Citi Field, New York, New York.

New York Mets – 5, Philadelphia – 0.

WP – Hisanori Takahashi (4-1), LP – Blanton (1-3)

HR – Jose Reyes (1), 3rd.

Four straight losses and zero runs in 37 of 38 innings, but still three games on the lost side ahead of second place Atlanta, and four up on Florida, Washington, and New York


He brought his best pitch to the dance;

when it dipped and dived, Phils had no chance.

Phils’ Doctor was ripped, zipped, and flipped,

best for us if his turn had been skipped.

Sox stall Phils’ plan to advance.

Sunday, May 23, 2010. Citzens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Boston – 8, Philadelphia – 3.

WP – Wakefield (1-2), LP – Halladay (6-3).

HR – Youkilis (9), 6th.

Gload (2), 9th, 1 on.


Daisuke Matsuzaka, one of Red Sox flingers,

got some breaks on four-line dingers.

Phils’ hits were caught,

Drew’s drive was not,

and the Red Sox came out the win-singers.

Saturday, May 22, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Boston – 5, Philadelphia – 0.

WP – Matsuzaka (3-1), LP – Kendrick (2-2)

Jimmy Rollins back on 15-day disabled list with sore right calf muscle. Phils’ lone hit off Dice K was an eighth inning bloop single by Juan Castro, in for Jimmy, that Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro could have caught if he had taken a slightly different back-to-the-infield route. Still, the baseball gods were with Matsuzaka this night.


The way things are going, one day soon,

Jason Werth’ll hit a ball to the moon.

His upper deck shot on this night

plus Cole Hamels’ hefty lefty might

keyed a soothing, refreshing Phils’ tune.

Friday, May 22, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 5, Boston – 1.

WP – Hamels (5-2), LP – John Lackey (4-3).

S- Romero (2).

HR – Victor Martinez (6), 1st.

Howard (8), 4th, Werth (9), 5th, 1 on.


The Bank echoed loud with Raooooooooooooooool,

after Ibañez unlimbered his tool.

A game-winning single to right,

a soul-soothing beautiful sight,

though to Sweet Lou very cruel.

Through five the pitching was tight,

a Blanton and Dempster tough fight.

Then J-roll’s long ball for the lead,

and a lefty Bastardo late bleed.

set the stage for Raul’s bright night.

Thursday, May 20, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 5, Chicago Cubs – 4.

WP – Baez (2-1), LP – Grabow (0-3).

BS – Antonio Bastardo (1).

S – Contreras (2).

HR – Derek Lee (5), 7th; Kosuke Fukudome (6), 8th.

Utley (10), 1st; Rollins (2), 6th, 2 on.


Another lefty, another stutter;

another stumble into low-hit gutter.

Jamie Moyer once more good,

but offense swinging rotten wood.

What you hear is a grumble not a mutter.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Chicago Cubs – 4, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Tom Gorzellany (2-4), LP – Moyer (5-3).

H – John Grabow (6), Carlos Zambrano (3).

S – Carlos Marmol (7).


From the start he was no fluke:

Bucs’ crafty lefthander: Zach Duke.

He took the mound facing a duel,

for Phil fans the outcome was cruel:

a 2-1 Doc Halladay rebuke.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh- 2, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Duke (3-4), LP – Halladay (6-2).

H – Evan Meek (3); Joel Hanrahan (8).

S – Octavio Dotel (8).

We’ve seen it before --- flash back five years ---


First ML win for lefty named Duke.

Time will tell if the kid is a fluke.

A triple and five doubles,

Just one run for our troubles.

Excuse me, I may have to puke.

Thursday, July 7, 2005. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh – 2, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Zach Duke (1-0), LP – Brett Myers (6-5)

HR – Humberto Cota(5),4th,1on

S – Jose Mesa (21)


J-Werth and R-How drove in ten,

making things easy for K-Ken.

Phils feast on pitching poor or fair;

lineup top to bottom their share,

stout-hearted, like ten thousand men.

Monday, May 17, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 12, Pittsburgh – 2.

WP – Kendrick (2-1), LP – Charlie Morton (1-7).

HR – Delwyn Young (1), 1st (leadoff).

Werth (8), 3rd, 2 on; Howard (7), 8th, GRAND SLAM.

J-Roll back off the DL and hitting third (2 hits) because Utley down with flu. The stout-hearted Wilson Valdez also was down with J-roll-like symptoms. He’s out of options so can be claimed by anybody needing infield help. Seems a pity after his heroic Milwaukee series. Brad Lidge back on the DL with a sore elbow though tests show no structural damage. Lefty Bastardo called back and pitched a clean ninth after Kendrick breezed through eight. Howard’s ninth career salami came in the eighth against a weary lefty (old amigo, Jack Taschner), and seemed like piling on after walks to Polanco and Rollins. Whatever. Six RBIs for the Big Piece pushes him near the league lead where he belongs. Werth’s 20th double missed being a second 3-run dinger by a foot off the centerfield wall.


Wilson Valdez is his name;

world class defense his game.

When J-roll and Castro went down,

Ruben Junior brought this guy to town;

quick hands and great arm bring him fame.

In the 8th, with two men on base,

mighty Casey grounded to Chase;

whose flip to Valdez

brought a smile from Baez,

and a big grin to Charlie Manuel’s face.

Valdez turned a nifty two,

and before he was through,

unlimbered his short leftfield arm,

handing the Brew crew great harm,

and a loud shout from Philly – WHOO HOO!

Sunday, May 16, 2010. Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin,

Philadelphia – 4, Milwaukee – 2.

WP – Hamels (4-2), LP – Dave Bush (1-4)

H – Durbin (6), Baez (4).

S – Romero (1).

HR – McGehee (8), 6th; Hart (5), 6th.

Danys Baez seemed to be in over his head. Facing the Brewers’ raw meat middle-of-the-order muscle with a 4-2 8th inning lead, he somehow avoided serious injury to himself and his mates from flaming linedrives off the bats of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder that showed up as mere singles in the box score. But now he had to face Casey McGehee and Corey Hart who had torched Cole Hamels for back-to-back homers in their previous at bats. McGehee jumped at a low sinker and bounced it to Utley who got off a long back-handed flip that Valdez, with one foot on the bag, instantly redirected to Ryan Howard for another box score understatement – a 4-6-3 doubleplay. Valdez capped the inning by throwing out Corey Hart from short leftfield on what looked like a cinch run-scoring single in the hole. He did the same thing to Greg Zaun, leading off the ninth against J.C. Romero who was in the unfamiliar role of closer.

A 4-2 Phillies’ win to sweep the series, secured by extraordinary shortstop play from a third-stringer who, we were told, was the MVP in the Dominican Republic winter league – I’d like to think he is from San Pedro de Macoris, the city of shortstops.


Victorino’s an RBI machine,

32 in 35 games — pretty keen.

Okay, so Brewers’ pitching is weak;

all games count, and their hitting’s not meek;

Phils’ run count as good as we’ve seen.

Saturday, May 15, 2010. Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Philadelpohia – 10, Milwaukee – 6.

WP – Blanton (1-2), LP – Chris Narveson (3-1).

S – Contreras (1).

HR – Fielder (6), 5th; Alcides Escobar (2), 6th; Coery Hart (4), 7th, 2 on.

Victorino (8), 6th, 1 on.

For 37 year-old Jose Contreras, the first save of his 8-year career that included over 200 starts. Before he skipped out of Cuba for a $10 million New York Yankee jackpot in 2002, Fidel Castro, a so-so pitcher in his day, labeled the 6 ft 4 in, 250 pound Contreras, El Titan de Bronze. The Bronze Titan is now the official Phillies’ closer after Brad Lidge was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Antonio Bastardo was called up from Lehigh Valley to take his place on the roster.


“Three homeruns?” Moyer said with a shrug.

Brushed them off like an itching small bug.

Phillies hit three of their own;

to the league, one more time shown:

a future Philly Champagne chug-a-lug

Friday, May 14, 2010. Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Philadelphia – 9, Milwaukee – 5.

WP – Moyer (5-2), LP – Randy Wolf (3-3).

H- Herndon (1); Baez (3).

HR – Fielder (5), 2nd; Edmonds (3), 2nd; George Kottaras (3), 2nd.

Howard (6), 1st, 1 on; Ibañez (3), 4th; Utley (9), 9th.


Once again, a catcher conks walk-off big hit.

Sad for Phils, Chooch Ruiz not the guy who did it.

For Rox' Olivo, hit number five,

keeping his team alive,

and leaving the Phils in a pit.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010.Coors Field, Denver Colorado.

Colorado – 4, Philadelphia – 3 (10 innings).

WP – Beimel (1-0), LP – Durbin (0-1)

HR – Olivo (6), 10th.

The weather was part of the story – postponed on Tuesday because of a cold, soaking rain, they tried to play two this day. In the morning there was a thick layer of snow and slush on the field, but the grounds crew plowed that off, and it helped that Coors Field is the only Major League park with a heating system under the turf. Why don’t they have a dome? The rain held off long enough to get in game one, played in 40 degree temperature.Miserable. Game two was called off before it began when the rain returned. Miserable. Why don’t they have a dome?

Somehow, Roy Halladay and Aaron Cook pitched through the misery well enough to keep the game respectable. Halladay had a 3-1 lead into the seventh, leaving Rox runners on base all over the place, but he was done in by an egregious Ryan Howard error when the Big Piece threw a dirt ball that shortstop Valdez couldn’t handle. It should have been out number two, and Brad Hawpe’s following triple would not have tied the score.

Phils lost the game, and they also lost Carlos Ruiz to a strained knee ligament just as the sturdy backstop was rising to stardom- yikes! Oh, and Brad Lidge went back to Philadelphia to have his sore elbow examined – yikes again. The good news is that Jimmie Rollins batted six times in a Florida extended Spring Training game (whatever that is).


Carlos has got a hot bat,

no one could arguewith that.

He’s hitting three fifty;

four hits tonight: nifty,

let’s give him a grateful back pat.

Monday, May 10, 2010. Coors Field, Denver Colorado

Philadelphia – 9, Colorado – 5.

WP- Baez (1-1), LP – Corpas (1-2).

BS – Romero (1)

HR – Ruiz (2), 6th; Gload (1), 9th, 2 on.

Ross Gload’s three-run pinch hit homerun iced it in the ninth after Ruiz’ fourth hit gave Phils the lead. Kendrick struggled against a Rockies’ lefthand hitting lineup, but he was in line for the win until J.C. Romero blew the save in the 7th. Ruiz’ second season homerun tied the score in the sixth. Victorino hit two triples. Ryan Howard still looking for his groove – pulling off against soft-tossing lefties like Rockies’ Greg Smith (a Jamie Moyer wannabe) and striking out a lot. Wilson Valdez playing a decent shortstop in for injured Juan Castro, in for injured Jimmie Rollins, but the team misses J-roll. Well, the fans miss J-roll. Well, this fan misses him. The team is winning all right, and beginning to pull away in the East, but it’s not as much fun without Jimmie.


Phils win with lovely old song –

three pin-striped heroes went long

Hamels survived his one bad inning,

another old song – much hair thinning.

On the homestand not much went wrong.

Sunday, May 9, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 5, Atlanta – 3.

WP – Hamels (3-2), LP – Kawakami (0-6).

H- Durbin (5); Contreras (2).

S – Lidge (1),

HR – Polanco (5), 2nd; Werth (7), 3rd; Victorino (7), 7th.


Yo, Phils: if you only give Blanton one run,

chances are you’ll not have much fun.

On this windy May day,

seven Braves’ pitchers held Phils at bay,

and the four-game home winning streak was done.

Saturday, May 8, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Atlanta – 4, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Eric O’Flaherty (2-1), LP – Blanton (0-2).


The forty seven year-old lefty’s amazing;

can an 82 MPH fastball be blazing?

Bobby Cox had his say

on this historic day:

“The old goat should be out somewhere grazing.”

Friday, May 7, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia – 7, Atlanta – 0.

WP – Moyer (4-2). LP – Lowe (4-3).

HR – Werth (6), 3rd, 2 on.

Moyer became the oldest player in Major League Baseball history to throw a complete game shutout.


The bases were drunk, tieng run at the plate,

in times past what Phils’ fans mostly hate.

But Halla fanned Holli this day

to a 45,000 throat, HOORAY!

Schedule that World’s Series date!

Thursday, May 6, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 7, St. Louis – 2.

WP – Halladay (6-1), LP – Lohse (0-2).

HR – Werth (5), 1st, 2 on; Ibañez (2), 5th.


Kyle Kendrick unveiled his best stuff,

Redbird bats seemed one cream puff.

P-co and Vict-o went deep,

Tony LaRussa yelled, Bleep!

Phils’ pitching is suddenly tough.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010.Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 4, St.Louis – 0.

WP – Kendrick (1-0), LP – Penny (3-2).

HR – Polanco (4), 4th, 1 on; Victorino (6), 6th.


What made it so nice

was he did it twice.

The first blast was foul by two feet;

never mind, the next one was neat,

Carlos feasting on curves, beans, and rice.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 2, St.Louis – 1 (10 innings).

WP – Contreras (2-1), LP – Blake Hawksworth (0-1).

HR – Ruiz (1), 10th.

Cole Hamels and Adam Wainright, duked it out through nine innings. Charlie sent Hamels out for the ninth trying to close out a 1-0 win, but the King couldn’t do it – he gave up two doubles and escaped a loss when Lidge came in to hold it at 1-1 until Carlos Ruiz, the man they call “Chooch”, led off the 10th with a laser beam just foul, then hit a moon shot into the left field grandstand to end it. They call it a walk-off, but it’s really a dash and a homeplate leap into a bunch of hopping and back-whacking teammates. In the post-game TV interview, Chooch was pied twice, one for each of his homers.


In the Central, St.Louis is first,

they pitch like a star that has burst.

For the Phils, Joe Blanton came back,

but lost when his team failed to hack.

Let’s hope that his team is not cursed.

Monday, May 3, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

St. Louis – 6, Philadelphia – 3.

WP – Jaime Garcia (3-1), LP – Blanton (0-1).

HR – Nick Stavinoha (2), 7th.

Werth (4), 7th; Utley (8), 9th.


Phils trailed 5-3, then, Bam! Bam!

Moyer walked, and Vic hit a GRAND SLAM!

Mets’ best pitcher, Santana,

oozed out like a rotten banana.

Phils take back first, Hi Ho and Shazaam!

Sunday, May 2, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 11, New York Mets – 5.

WP – Moyer (3-2), LP – Santana (3-2).

HR – Wright (5), 1st, 2 on; Barajas (6), 4th, 1 on.

Polanco (3), 1st; Howard (5), 1st; Victorino (5), 4th GRAND SLAM; Utley (7), 4th, 1 on.


So much for the New York Mets’ streak.

Phils’ Doc made their bats seem quite weak.

Flyin’ Hawaiian did his bit,

capped 6-run 4th with big hit.

One more step to the goal that we seek.

Saturday, May 1, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 10, New York Mets – 0.

WP – Halladay (5-1), LP – Pellfrey (4-1).

HR – Victorino (4), 4th, 2 on.


Mets in town with 7-game win streak swagger,

bent on remaining a first-place team bragger.

Four homeruns made their case,

lefty Niese kept Phils off base,

and the home team left the park with a stagger.

Friday, April 30, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

New York Mets – 9, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Niese (1-1), LP – Kendrick (0-1).

HR – Wright (4), 2nd, 1 on; Francoeur (4), 2nd; Barajas -2 (4,5}, 5th, 9th.

The good news: Brad Lidge is off the disabled list. The bad news: Lidge’s second pitch is slammed by the demon Rod Barajas for a homerun. More news – unclear if it’s good or bad – Ryan Madson kicked a chair and broke his big toe after blowing the save in San Francisco.


Mad Dog Madson’s hair is on fire;

hang on Dog, that’s a chair, not a tire.

When the toe hit the chair something broke,

honest Injun, guys, it’s no joke.

Shape up, Dog, stop being a crier.


Tim Lincecum pushed Phils to the brink,

no way in the world our ship doesn’t sink.

Then out of the blue,

Werth again pulled team through

with a base-clearing, opposite-field dink.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010. AT&T Park, San Francisco, California.

Philadelphia – 7, San Francisco – 6 (11 innings)

WP – Madson (1-0), LP – Sergio Romo (0-2)

BS – Brian Wilson (1), Madson (2).

S – Figueroa (1).

HR – Howard (4), 5th.

Only 20 games into the 2010 season, and a thin half-game out of first place in the National League East, it would be foolish to say the Phillies were in dire need of a win after losing three straight games in Arizona and San Francisco. Still, it’s often said that a win in April counts the same as a win in September, and nobody in Philadelphia is comfortable when the New York Mets win seven straight games and nudge past the Phillies into first place. And today’s pitching matchup, if not ominous, is by any measure, troubling. Tim Lincecum against Cole Hamels. Two years ago, he was King Cole, a dominant, if not overpowering, lefty; most valuable player in the League Championship Series and the World’s Series. Today he is still sporting bruises from his performance in Arizona five days ago when he was slugged for four homeruns, three in one inning. And Lincecum? Undefeated on the year, looking for his fifth win, and aiming for a third consecutive Cy Young Award. Who said Roy Hallady is baseball’s best pitcher?

It’s all zeros after four, both pitchers wracking up the Ks. In the fifth, Ryan Howard connects for a bomb to left giving Hamels a lead which he quickly coughs up in the bottom half. In the sixth, Hamels walks a Giants’ rookie with the bases loaded, then grimaces in disgust when Edgar Renteria, the Colombia assassin, singles to right for two more runs and a 4-1 lead which Lincecum takes into the ninth.

When pinch-hitting Greg Dobbs grounds out to start the inning, the outlook for the Phillies is as dim as a ten-year-old light bulb. But then odd things begin to happen. Lincecum, who has not walked a batter, throws four straight bad ones to Shane Victorino, running his pitch count to 106, and Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy comes with the hook. Bad move Bruce. Never mind that his closer, Brian Wilson, is perfect on the year - four saves, and no hits allowed. Wilson gets the second out on Polanco’s fly to center, but Chase Utley rips a single to right and Wilson wants no part of Ryan Howard, representing the tying run, so walks him to load the bases. Jason Werth now goes to war with Wilson who is throwing 95 miles per hour speed balls, and 90 miles per hour sliders. The count goes full, then after fouling off several potential game-ending pitches, Werth manages a weak flyball to right that drops fair by a toothpick width, clearing the bases for a 4-4 tie.

Both teams score a run in the 10th, Ryan Madson blowing the save, until Nelson Figueroa gets an agonizing final out for his first Major League save after the Phillies score two in the 11th on a bolt-from-the-blue double by Wilson Valdez and a dropped fly ball by Giants’ leftfielder Eugenio Velez.

Okay, it’s only the 21st game of a long season, but somewhere in this tangled mess of a game, there is a message, and if I ever figure out what it is, I’ll be sure to let you know.


Phils in a sickening slump.

Look meek to a guy they should thump.

Even Polanco can’t hit;

it’s like we’re in a dark pit

or slowed by a nasty speed bump.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010. AT&T Park, San Francisco, California

San Francisco – 6, Philadelphia – 2.

WP – Wellemeyer (1-3), LP – Moyer (2-2).

HR – Aubrey Huff (2), 2nd; Matt Downs (1), 2nd.

And now the Mets are in first place. Woe.


Best pitcher in baseball? Not tonight.

Giants’ lefty Sanchez won this fight.

Phils’ left too many men on base,

managed only one run thanks to Chase.

To see Hallady lose is a fright.

Monday, April 26, 2010. AT&T Park, San Francisco, California.

San Francisco – 5, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Jonathan Sanchez (2-1), LP – Halladay (4-1).

H – Guillermo Mota (1); Jeremy Affeldt (1).

HR – Eli Whiteside (2), 7th.

Before the game, it was announced that the Phillies had signed Ryan Howard to a five-year contract extension for $125 million. In his first at bat as a filthy rich ballplayer, H-bomb faced Giants’ lefthander Jonathan Sanchez who had yet to yield a single hit to a lefthanded batter in the 2010 season. The Phillies trailed 2-0 after Super-Roy, who had allowed only three-earned runs in four games, gave up a two-out, two-run single in the first inning, but there was Chase on first base and Polanco on second as the millionaire stepped into the box looking to turn things around. Not quite. His screaming line drive to deep centerfield was caught by a backpedaling, twisting Giants’ centerfielder for a long, expensive, out. Aaron Rowand, the Giants’ regular centerfielder, on the DL after taking a pitch to the face, would have caught it without the twist. No matter, Sanchez had all the runs he would need.


Kelly Johnson and Mark Reynolds struck once more.

Result: one of those five-run innings we’ve seen before.

Kyle Kendrick, with a three-run lead,

unable to fill his team’s need,

so Phils limp from town feeling sore.

Sunday, April 25, 2010. Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona.

Arizona – 8, Philadelphia – 6.

WP – Leo Rosales (2-0), LP – David Herndon (0-1)

BS – Danys Baez (2).

S – Chad Qualls (4).

HR – K. Johnson (7), 5th, 1 on; M.Reynolds (7), 5th, 2 on.

Dobbs (1), 1st, 1 on.


Jason Werth, a ninth inning game winner;

with his hair he just looks like a snake-skinner.

Figueroa, in for Happ, got through five;

bullpen then kept us alive.

In the desert we’re told the air’s thinner.

Saturday, April 24, 2010. Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona.

Philadelphia – 3, Arizona D-backs – 2.

WP – Contreras (1-1), LP – Juan Guiteirrez (0-2).

S – Madson (4).

HR – K. Johnson (6), 5th, 1 on.

Werth -2 (2,3), 2nd, 9th; Ibañez (1), 7th.


Cole Hamels pitched like a toad,

run down by a truck on the road.

Served cookies to make hitters happy,

then stared into space like he’s sappy.

Who does he think will carry his load?

Friday, April 23, 2010. Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona.

Arizona – 7, Philadelphia – 4.

WP – Kris Benson (1-1), LP – Hamels (2-2).

S – Chad Qualls (3).

HR – Mark Reynolds (6), 4th, 1 on; Adam LaRoche (1), 4th; Chris Snyder (2), 4th, 1 on;

Kelly Johnson -2 (4,5), 5th, 7th.


The old lefty pitched win twohundred sixty,

a six-inning, no-earned runs nifty.

He put the Braves down,

made them look like a clown,

he looks like a twenty-year-old swifty.

Thursday, April 22, 2010. Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia.

Philadelphia – 8, Atlanta – 3.

WP – Moyer (2-1), LP – Lowe (3-1).

Happ on 15-day DL. J.C. Romero called up


It was clear, Phils needed a lift;

in a blink it came, sure and swift.

Doc Hallady in charge all the way,

great defense helped save the day

and end 3-game losing drift.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010. Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia.

Philadelphia – 2, Atlanta – 0.

WP – Halladay (4-0), LP – Tim Hudson (1-1).

Shane Victorino snatched Troy Glaus’ 2nd inning blast an instant before it cleared the centerfield fence. Utley, Castro, and Howard (4) all made outstanding defensive plays.

News from the groaning bench: Polanco had to leave the game after taking a pitch off his elbo. Happ will miss a start because of soreness in his left forearm. Blanton, Lidge, and Romero are expected to be back by the end of the month. Rollins is taking batting practice, but his calf still hurts.


Like three pistol shots in the night,

to Phils’ fans a plum ugly sight.

Thank Kendrick, into the ninth, team was cruising,

then, in a flash, they were losing.

Ryan Madson the cause of this blight.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010. Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta – 4, Philadelphia – 3 (10 innings).

WP – Billy Wagner (1-0), LP – Contreras (0-1).

BS – Madson (1).

HR – Glaus (2), 9th, 1 on; Heyward (4), 9th; McClouth (1), 10th.


Nineteen innings and only one run?

Hang on, team, this is no fun

Cole Hamels pitched well,

but still the Phils fell,

to a phoney Fish lefthander’s gun.

Sunday, April 18, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Florida – 2, Philadelphia – 0.

WP – Nate Robertson (2-0), LP – Hamels (2-1).

H- Burke Badenhop (3)

S- Leo Nuñez (3)

HR – Uggla (3), 2nd.

A Little League third base coach has this advice for a runner on third with less than two out: “Listen to me, son. If the batter hits the ball to the outfield, your natural reaction is to break for home. YOU MUST RESIST THIS REACTION. You must immediately go back to third base and tag up. If the ball falls for a hit, or is dropped, you will score easily. If the ball is caught, you have a more than even chance of scoring after the catch.”

In the fourth inning of this Phillies’ game with the team trailing 1-0, Jason Werth was on third with one out when Carlos Ruiz hit a fly ball to medium right field. Did Werth go back to tag up? No. He broke for home, then had to recover and retreat to tag up. Too late. He was standing on third when the throw sailed over the catcher’s head, but was backed up by the pitcher. This happens often in kid’s games, but not in the Major Leagues. Disappointing? For sure. Disgusting? That too. A chance to tie the game before 45,000 desperately seeking home fans, who take every loss as a personal affront. Sam Perlozzo, Phils’ third base coach should be banished to Reading for further instruction. Jason Werth should stop thinking about whether to get a shave or not. Pay attention, guys, this is serious stuff. We’re talking about a two-game shift in the standings – win and take a 2½ game lead over the Marlins, lose and it’s a ½ game. It’s intolerable.


Ricky Nolasco, always trouble,

pricked Phillies high-scoring bubble

Jamie Moyer again five good, but one bad.

The first-inning train wreck was sad;

left him scrambling to rise from the rubble.

Saturday, April 17, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Florida – 5, Philadelphia – 1.

WP – Nolasco (1-0), LP – Moyer (1-1).

HR – Paulino (1), 1st, 2 on.

Werth (1), 9th.


Doc Halladay won his first game at the Bank;

made sure Fish stayed in their tank.

Fans’ main complain,

was a nasty, cold rain,

but they loved hearing Fish bats go clank.

Friday, April 16, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 8, Florida – 6.

WP – Halladay (3-0), LP – Anibal Sanchez (0-1).

S- Madson (3).

HR – Uggla (2), 4th.

Polanco (2), 2nd; Utley (6), 7th.

If it wasn’t for the persistent rain, Halladay would have pitched the ninth with an 8-2 lead. But the rain wouldn’t quit so Charlie sent David Herndon out for the mop up. The kid deserved better; his power sinker was doing its job, but three dribblers on the wet infield went for hits, and Ryan Madson had to save it after the Fish scored four and put the tying run on base.

Chase the Mace homered in his fourth straight game, bringing a ho-hum, what else is new, from the Phils broadcast booth. In 2009 the slim slugger homered in five straight games two separate times. Polanco also homered, and after 10 games has 20 hits and a .444 batting average. Ryan Howard is not far behind with 17 hits and a .362 average. The numbers are blinding, but Liddy cautions against premature celebrations. I know, I know, only ten games.


Just what we Phils fans most fear:

a blown save – the first of the year.

Baez had a 4-2 lead,

‘til a two-homerun, 8th inning bleed.

Nats bats awoke ‘twould appear.

Thursday, April 15, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Washington – 7, Philadelphia – 5.

WP – Clippard (2-0), LP – Baez (0-1).

H – Sean Burnett (2).Bastardo (2)

BS – Baez (1).

S – Matt Capps (4).

HR – Dunn (1), 8th; Zimmerman (1), 8th, 1 on.

Utley (5), 1st; Victorino (3), 9th.

It was a day of firsts – (1) Matt Capps’ first career one-plus inning save, (2) Ryan Zimmerman’s first career pinch-hit homerun, (3) Adam Dunn’s season-first homerun,

(4) Ryan Zimmerman’s season-first homerun, (5) Phillies’ season-first blown save, (6)

Max Blue’s first season-rant at Phillies’ bullpen.


The Hawaiian and Chase drove in nine,

as the offense continued to shine.

Nats thumped Kendrick but no luck,

they got hit by a runaway truck.

Folks in these parts think it’s just fine.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia – 14, Washington – 7.

WP – Figueroa (1-1), LP – Bergmann (0-1).

H- Durbin (4).

HR – Utley -2 (4), 2nd, 2 on, 6th; Victorino (2), 5th, 1 on.

Jimmy Rollins on 15 day disabled list with strained right calf muscle. Wilson Valdez called up from Lehigh Valley..


Phils trailed 4-0, but no matter,

team muscle’s like one fearsome batter.

Polanco on record hit pace,

Howard the same and Chase is a mace.

In 2010 some ceilings will shatter.

Monday, April 12, 2010. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia – 7, Washington – 4.

WP – Hamels (2-0), LP – Marquis (0-2).

H – Durbin (3), Contreras (1), Baez (2)

S – Madson (2).

HR – Willingham (2), 2nd.

Utley (2), 5th, 1 on.

A couple of dark clouds marred the sunny day at the Bank. Jimmy Rollins hurt his right calf muscle in pre-game warm-ups, and Jason Werth had to leave the game in the fifth inning with a sore hip. Born to suffer.


Doc Halladay loaded his gun,

then strode to the mound bent on having some fun.

When all the smoke cleared,

it was what Houston feared,

Phils leading the league, five and one.

Sunday, April 11, 2010. Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas.

Philadelphia – 2, Houston – 1.

WP – Halladay (2-0), LP – Oswalt (0-2).

HR – Rollins (1), 1st.

Jimmy Rollins took Oswalt deep on the games’ second pitch, his 34th leadoff homerun, It would have been enough but for a poor throw to third by Halladay in the 6th inning..

Trailing 2-0, the Astros put the first two men on base, and Jeff Keppinger tried to bunt them over. Halladay fielded the bunt and threw low to a back-tracking Placido Polanco who failed to hold the throw, loading the bases with none out, A run scored when Cory Sullivan hit into a 6-3 doubleplay. Carlos Lee stranded the tying run on third with a fly to center, making the run unearned. Halladay’s 111th pitch was popped up by old amigo Pedro Feliz to end the game and leave the Doc with a 2-0 record, 17 strikeouts, no walks, and a 0.56 ERA over 16 innings of picture-perfect pitching.


A curious, hard to explain game,

Jamie Moyer was great, also lame.

Ryan Howard on a furious pace,

denting walls all over the place.

Keep it up, team, and gain fame.

Saturday, April 10, 2010. Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

Philadelphia – 9, Houston – 6.

WP – Moyer (1-0), LP – Brandon Lyon (0-1)

H – Sampson (1).

Durbin (2), Baez (1).

BS – Lyon (1).

HR - Jason Michaels (1), 3rd, 1 on; Pence (1), 3rd, 1 on.

Howard (3), 7th, 1 on; Victorino (1), 9th, 1 on.

How can Jamie Moyer pitch five innings of two-hit, shutout ball, interrupted by a third inning meltdown where he coughs up a four-run lead by handing out a pair of 2-run homers, seven hits and a walk? It’s like he took a quick nap where he dreamed about bad pitches, then woke up and resumed dazzling the opposition with well-placed, off speed stuff. Curious.

Never mind. Ryan Howard bailed him out with a 2-run moon shot in the 7th. Ten RBIs and three homeruns in five games – on pace for 324 RBIs and 97 homeruns..


The top of Phils lineup is hot,

the ‘Stros to their sorrow are not.

Team raps sixteen hits, scores eight runs,

While Happ and pen muffle ‘Stros guns,

Philly fans smiling a lot.

Friday, April 9, 2010. Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas.

Philadelphia – 8, Houston – 0.

WP – J.A. Happ (1-0), LP – Bud Norris (0-1)

HR – Utley (1), 4th.

Phillies’ fans are smiling because in the first four games of the 2010 season, (1) Jimmy Rollins has walked five times, and is hitting .467 with 3 doubles and a triple, (2) Placido Polanco, after today’s 4 hit game, is hitting 579 with 8 RBIs including a Grand Slam homerun, (3) Chase Utley, after hitting his first homerun today, is hitting .438 with 4 RBIs, (4) Ryan Howard is hitting line drives to all fields, has struck out only one time, has two homeruns, 7 RBIs, and a .400 batting average. .


Phils came that close to a sweep,

but for Kendrick’s and Ibañez’ deep sleep.

Team clawed back for a fifth inning tie,

then lost on a walk and a bloop, my o my.

Year’s first loss no reason to weep.

Thursday, April 8, 2010. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Washington - 6, Philadelphia – 5.

WP – Tyler Clippard (1-0), LP – Nelson Figueroa (0-1)

H – Sean Burnett (1), Brian Bruney (1)

BS – Clippard (1). S – Matt Capps (1)

HR – Willie Harris (1), 4th, 1 on.

After a stellar Spring Training, and a media hype about how much he had learned from Roy Hallady, Kyle Kendrick, in the rotation because Joe Blanton pulled an abdominal muscle, took the mound against the bottom feeding Washington Nats and saw his second pitch to leadoff man Nyjer Morgan scorched into the right-center gap for a triple. It only got worse after that. In four innings he threw 55 pitches, gave up six hits and five runs including a 2-run homer to little man Willie Harris.

Raul Ibañez was 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position including a weak pop up with the tying run on third and one out in the 9th. Raool is hitting .095 after going

1 for 11 in the 3-game series.


Cole Hamels was not at his best;

the five-inning grind was a test.

Ryan Howard came through,

with homerun number two,

with this guy the Phillies are blessed.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia – 8, Washington – 4.

WP – Hamels (1-0), LP – Marquis (0-1).

H- Durbin (1), Bastardo (1).

S – Madson (1)

HR – Desmond (1), 3rd.

Howard (2), 5th, 1 on.


Monday, April 5, 2010. It’s a bright sunny and warm day in the Nations’ Capitol,

and the honorable Barack Obama, sports fan, and incidentally, President of the United States, toes the rubber with his left foot and rocks into a herky-jerkey motion. The pres wears a red satin Washington Nationals jacket and on his head, a wrinkled Chicago White Sox cap to show the crowd where his baseball allegiance rests. The good natured crowd handed him the first Bronx cheer of the day when he whipped out the cap on his way to the mound. The TV announcers note that Obama’s pitch marks the 100th anniversary of the day in 1910 when William Howard Taft became the first U.S. President to throw out the first pitch of the baseball season (never mind that made-for-TV Yankees-Red Sox game last night).

The pitch is high and away, nowhere near the strike zone, a fitting reminder of where the 2010 Washington Nationals are likely to end the season. The star-spangled Phillies’ lineup takes a couple of innings to get the kinks out, then goes to work on John Lannan, the hapless Nats’ lefty to the tune of a five-run fourth inning keyed by Ryan Howard’s two-run blast over the right field bullpen. Placido Polanco ices the cake with the first Grand Slam of the season in the 7th inning. Meanwhile, Doc Halliday fans nine Nats in seven innings on the way to an 11-1 win. Phillies’ fans are pleased by the near-perfect outcome, but nervous at the thought that the successful 2006, 07, 08, and 09 seasons all began with an opening day loss. Whatever. We will do what we have to do.


Welcome to Philly, new friend,

let’s hope that this win starts a trend

to a big winning season

we’ll all find most pleasin’

with a World’s Series crown at the end.

Monday, April 5, 2010. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia – 11, Washington – 1.

WP – Halliday (1-0), LP – Lannan (0-1)

HR – Howard (1), 4th, 1 on; Polanco (1), GRAND SLAM, 7th.



HomeGuru's Baseball Book StoreLink to UsBraintrust & Mailing ListsEmail the GuruContact InfoBaseball Analysis Home