Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Everybody Hits... Every Other Night

Jekyll showed up last night in Los Angeles...or was it Hyde?

The Phillies banged out 26 hits including two 2-run homers by Ryan Howard en route to a 15-3 drubbing of the Dodgers. Following their pummeling by LA the night before the Phillies season-long pattern of up and down continues apace.

Emergency starter J.D. Durbin picked up his first major league win and his first three major league hits. When your pitcher has more career hits than wins you know you are talking about an offense-minded club. Everybody hits, wahoo! Shane Victorino and Aaron Rowand both collected five hits. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins settled for three hits each. And a resurgent Pat Burrell hit career home run number 200.

Tonight unheralded phenom Kyle Kendrick goes for win number five. It's any body's guess which team will show up to support him. Yesterday one of the panelists on DNL made a very good point about Kendrick, noting he is the type of pitcher who keeps the ball low and should thrive in Citizens Bank Park. Following Rich Hofmann's piece on the home run rate at the Bank, that is certainly good news. Kendrick has been the real Cinderella story of this season thus far, jumping from AA to the Show as an emergency starter (do the Phillies have any other kinds these days?) and pitching very effectively. Let's hope there are no pumpkins in his immediate future.

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Well, finally, we have something concrete to mull regarding reliever Tom Gordon's health and it isn't exactly good news. After months of "pathologies", upper respiratory infections and other maladies Gordon himself announced he has a torn labrum. As someone with a torn labrum I can assure readers it isn't the kind of injury a pitcher can necessarily play through despite reports in today's Inquirer that many including names like Pedro Martinez have. Of course there are tears, partial tears and assorted pain thresholds and tolerances to be considered. Gordon is back in the pen for now and available for duty. I won't be surprised if he goes down again.

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A few weeks ago I wrote the Phillies need to re-sign Aaron Rowand. With each passing day it seems a little less likely they will. There have been no negotiations according to several reports. Meanwhile, Rowand continues to produce offensively at a career-best pace. Moreover, he's the kind of throwback player lots of teams covet, on the field and in the clubhouse. So once again as the Phillies approach the July trading deadline they are faced with the real prospect of losing a productive and important player. The silence coming out of the GM's office strongly suggests Pat Gillick is planning to move Rowand for pitching. Get used to the idea of an outfield consisting of Pat Burrell, Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino. Pitiful.


David said...

Kind of sounds like Gordon is in denial, doesn't it? He's talking about not wanting to consider retirement, even when he's 39 and oft-injured, hoping to pitch three or four more years. Maybe he's looking at guys like Mesa or Roberto Hernandez and thinking guys can pitch forever if they want. Possibly, he's afraid that if he shuts himself down and has surgery, the baseball world will consider him retired regardless of what he himself declares.

How'd you come up with a torn labrum, by the way? Was it he time you put a little something extra on that fastball to Rocky Colavito?

Tom Goodman said...

No, I tried to blow away Al Kaline while he was home visiting family. Ruined my budding career. From that point on I had pathologies.

Tom Goodman said...

P.S. Rocky Colavito! Now there's a name from the past. Hit four home runs in one game, perhaps against the O's (cannot remember). Rifle for an arm. Great baseball name. Some kind of power hitter in a park that could charitably be called larger than the Grand Canyon especially when compared to today's bandboxes.

david said...

Is that a true story about Kaline?

Tom Goodman said...

I cannot tell a lie. His first season in the big leagues was in 1953 when I was five years old.

Tom Durso said...

Rowand is having a complete aberration of a season, offensively. If they can move him for pitching that's worth having, I could understand it.