Monday, April 12, 2010

More Pepper

The Yankees of the 1950's used to play the top teams more or less even and beat up on the lesser lights. Thus far in 2010 the Phils have followed this pattern poinding some of the worst teams in the NL to date, taking two of three from the Nationals (they should have won all of them) and sweeping the Astros in Houston. It remains to be seen how they will fare against the likes of the Cardinals or Rockies.

Prior to getting underway this campaign, the Phils were expected to score runs and pitch erratically. They have run true to form, hitting a ton and getting excellent starts two times from Roy Halladay and middling starts from everyone else. The surprise on the mound has been the bullpen, which overall has pitched very solidly.

Yesterday, the Phils faced their first true number one of the season, Roy Oswalt, and after surrendering a leadoff home run to Jimmy Rollins and another run in the second inning pitched well and effectively in limiting the Phils to their lowest hits and runs total of the season. Unfortunately for Oswalt and his mates, another Roy named Halladay started for the Phils and went the distance allowing a lone unearned run.

The Phils return to Philadelphia today for their home opener. The schedulers have granted them another shot at sustaining their uncharacteristic quick start with three more games against the Nationals.

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Barry Bonds announced he is "proud" of Mark McGwire for coming clean about the latter's use of performance-enhancing drugs. With proud friends like Bonds, McGwire must really feel secure as he continues his rehabilitation in the eyes of the HOF voters if not the general public.

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Mike Cuellar passed away about a week ago. When he arrived in Baltimore in the late '60's via a trade with the Astros, he became an integral part of one of the best starting rotations ever assembled. Cuellar always had a little trouble getting untracked in the first inning to pitching coach George Bamberger had him warm up a little extra hoping the lefty screwball specialist would leave his first bad inning in the bullpen. It didn't help but it sure sounded like a good idea.

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