Phils falling

The Philadelphia Phillies have had a rough couple of games. They started off hot averaging around seven runs per game. While everyone knows they could not stay on that path all season, it seems like they have gone from hot to cold almost over night.  It is a well known fact that throughout the season the offense goes through slumps where the bats just aren’t making the kind of contact they need.

The starting pitchers all need run support and as of late they have not been getting it.

In last nights game, Cole Hamels took the mound in hopes of carrying on the success that the starting rotation and the Phillies in general have been having.

The Phils ended up losing that game in 12 innings by a score of 6-3.  They only had nine singles in the whole game, but what really did the Phils in was Kyle Kendrick’s less than ideal 12th inning.

The Brewers, on the other hand,

With the top ace Roy Halladay starting it for the Phillies on Wednesday, the fans and the team had high hopes.  Those hopes were quickly shot down when Halladay had over 60 pitches in the fourth inning.  He gave up 10 runs on six runs over 6 2/3 innings.

Teams can win games solely based on pitching and defense.  The Rockies did it in the 60’s.  But the last couple of games, the pitching has been lacking and that is when the bats need to be on fire.

Romero on DL, robot to throw out first pitch

Yes you read that right.  A robot will be throwing out the first pitch at Wednesday’s Phillies game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The robot was created by students at the University of Pennsylvania.

In other news, J.C Romero has been placed on the 15 day disabled list with a strained right calf.  They have recalled Mike Zagurski from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Roy Oswalt is also on point to make his next start despite leaving his last game early with a lower back strain.

Lincecum gets hot

San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in their game against the Colorado Rockies and also struck out 10.

They won by a score of 8-1.

The Giants scored their runs early with help from Pat Burrell, Nate Schierholtz and Freddy Sanchez, who each homered  in the game.

Carlos Gonzalez broke up the no-no when he hit a single in the seventh inning.

While a pitcher rarely thinks about a no-hitter even as it is happening, a lot of the team members do. No one wants to be the guy who messes up a no-hitter.

Pat Burrell, at one point, went to manager Bruce Bochy and begged to be taken out because he felt like he was a liability in left field.  I mean, if it came down the Burrell’s running skills, yes take him out, but he is a solid defenseman.

Overall, the game was success for Lincecum, who picked up his second win of the season.

Esmil Rogers picked up the loss and gave up eight runs on six hits over three innings.  This marks just the second loss by a Rockies starter all season.

Mets snap streak

The New York Mets lost both of their recent double-headers, one against the Braves and one against the Rockies.  Today, they snapped a seven game losing streak with a win over the Atlanta Braves.

That was the longest losing streak the Mets have had since an 11 game streak in 2004. They took today’s game by a score of 3-2.

Dillon Gee got the win, while Tommy Hanson picked up the loss.

Nationals prospect dies

Washington Nationals prospect Yewri Guillen has died of bacterial meningitis.  Guillen played for the Nationals baseball academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.

The team paid for his funeral to help out his family, and Nationals players have also donated money to the family.

It is not known when or how he contracted the disease, but it is known that everything was done by the books as far as treating him when they found out he had it.

The funeral was held today (Saturday).

Ubaldo heals!

Ubaldo Jimenez has finally healed from his cuticle injury! Rejoice!

Jimenez will make his next start on Tuesday.  He is officially off the disabled list as of Monday but Rockies manager Jim Tracy doesn’t want to mess with Esmil Rogers’ pitching schedule, so Rogers will pitch on Monday.

Dykstra arrested

Former Philadelphia Phillies great Lenny Dykstra has been arrested and charged with bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling pieces of his estate.  He as also been arrested for grand theft charges related to the purchase of vehicles.

Dykstra helped the Mets win the World Series in 1986.

Too soon for CG’s?

Over the last two games, the Phillies have had pitchers who pitched two consecutive complete games.  Some may be asking if it is too soon for pitchers to be going that deep into games, only about 12 games into the season.

Starting pitchers pitch around every five days.  That is a good amount of rest for them, but when there are 162 games, it can get tough.  By the end of the season, every player, including the pitchers is tired and worn out.

Some games, pitchers go three innings, other games they go all the way.  But is it too soon in the season for complete games?

I say no.  I think early in the season is the right time to have complete games.  It is rare that a pitcher throws a complete game and gets the loss, even though Cliff Lee managed to do that twice.  So if there is an abundance of complete games, that means the team wins.  If you start the season off with a lot of wins, from a complete game or not, there is some wiggle room that comes along with that.

Up until the All Star break the season is pretty casual and when a team loses the response is usually “well, it’s still early.” After the All Star break is when the push for the post-season really starts.  That is also the time when a lot of teams struggle.  Coming back after the excitement and camaraderie of the All Star Game can be difficult even for the most seasoned players.

Some players even come back injured.

Winning a lot of games early in the season, from the help of complete games, leaves some room for error later in the season.  It does put stress on the pitcher, however, it is no more stress that is on a player that hits, lets say 20 home runs early in the season. It’s what they get paid to do.

A lot of people say that it is the responsibility of the managers to not let pitchers go that far into the game, but I see it differently.

A managers decision to take a player out a game relies on a couple of things.  If a pitchers pitch count is getting high, regardless of the score, a manager is likely to take the pitcher out of the game before pitches get sloppy.

It has happened before, last season if I remember correctly, where a manager took a pitcher out of the game when he was on the verge of a no-hitter.  His pitch count was getting high

If the pitcher starts giving up a lot of hits, a manager will make the call to the bullpen.

Managers have been around in the baseball world for a long time and they know when and when not to pull a pitcher. They also have all the faith in the world in their pitchers and want them to succeed, so if that is with a complete game, great, if that is with them taking them out early to ensure no injuries or runs, that’s great too.

While complete games are more exciting during the post-season push and the actual post-season, they are just as much-needed early in the season.

Back-to-back complete games

For the first time since 1999, the Philadelphia Phillies have a pair of pitchers who have thrown back-to-back complete games.  Roy Halladay completed his game last night and the Phils won by a score of 3-2.  Although Halladay had some trouble getting that first out in the ninth inning, he still managed to get the job done in style.

Cliff Lee also got the job done in style.  The last out of his complete game shut out was awarded to none other than Jayson Werth. The Phillies won 4-0.

With Nationals Park being filled with just over 24,000 fans (most of them from Philly), it could have been confusing to the average player where the game was actually taking place.

Roy Oswalt takes the mound for the Phils tomorrow, and while another complete game is a lot to ask, if any rotation can get it done, it’s the Phillies rotation.

Bonds might get away

Barry Bonds was convicted on one charge of obstruction of justice just yesterday.  The other three charges, one that included perjury and lying to a grand jury, have been declared as a mistrial.

The proper deadlines could not be met, so the judge had no choice but to declare it.  This means that if he is going to be tried, the prosecution will have to go through all of their testimonials, evidence and other things in order to be granted another trial.

Many thought it was unlikely that they would go to trial again and that Bond would get away with lying.

Another trial will cost a lot more money and manpower.  The prosecutors also take into consideration the fact that the jury was deadlocked on a verdict for these charges once before, so they really have to decide whether or not their new case can be convincing enough for the hung jury.

The judge has set a May 20, 2011 date to discuss with the prosecution their decision on whether to move forward with another trial or drop the charges.

This is also the sentencing date for Bonds.