Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Someone's Got Someone's Number

Just when nearly everyone, yours truly included, was about to write off Jamie Moyer, the wily, crafty, savvy (pick all three) 45-year old veteran pitched a fine game against the Mets in the New Yorkers' final season opener at Shea Stadium. The win was the Phils' ninth straight against their biggest rival.

Moyer did get off to a somewhat shaky start giving up some long, loud outs, especially a deep fly ball by David Wright and a booming home run in the second by Carlos Delgado, his eight career homer off of Moyer. The veteran southpaw then settled down and held the Mets to one more run before the bullpen nailed down the victory.

For their part, the Mets were cruising behind Oliver Perez but when he exited the wheels came off. A throwing error by Delgado was the critical error as the Phils clawed their way back. Former Phillie Billy Wagner, always good for a dispassionate analysis of all things Philadelphia, said his ex mates didn't have the Mets number; rather, his current team just keeps "shooting ourselves in the foot." Whatever you say, Mr. Wagner.

Chase Utley was named player of the game for getting plunked three times by pitches, a major league record for one game, and being hit by Delgado's errant throw on the front end of an aborted double play. He also drove in an insurance run with a double in the eight inning. But the real hero of the game from where I sat 100 miles away in front of a television (when I probably should have been earning a living) was Shane Victorino who made several superb catches in deep center field, one after colliding with a much bigger Jayson Werth. Victorino made at least 1-2 grabs that the former occupant of his station, Aaron Rowand, would not have even gotten to. Rowand, who always played too shallow and took circuitous routes to many balls, may be missed for his clubhouse presence, but Victorino is his superior in the field. It remains to be seen if Victorino can get untracked at the plate, however.

The victory evened the Phils' season record at 4-4. A win today would put them over .500 for the first time this year.


Anonymous said...

This was Victorino's gala premiere as a center fielder. It's important (for me particularly) to remember that even while he may frustrate offensively at times, he's going to help win games with the glove even when he's 0 for 5. Same with Pedro Feliz.

A win today not only puts the Phillies shockingly over .500 in April, but widens the distance between them and New York (and Atlanta). Might seem totally ridiculous to even mention standings in early April, but the Phillies for once would actually have a head start over those two teams out of the gate, and that *could* - I'm saying could - potentially make this season a very different one from following the customary pattern we've seen under Manuel.


Anonymous said...

We apologize for the brief spurt of optimism, and now return to our regularly scheduled programming.


Tom Goodman said...

Amen to that.