Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bull Dogs And, Well...Dogs

There are plenty of players who hate to lose and there are plenty who hate to perform badly and don't mind showing it.

Doc Halladay makes both lists. Indeed, Doc may head both lists.

Halladay returned from a long, weather-enforced layoff last night and pitched seven strong innings, at one point retiring seventeen in a row after a yielding a leadoff hit. Doc worked out of a bases-loaded jam, fighting himself as hard as hit fought the Reds in that frame. After hitting a batter he spoke aloud to himself. If one could read lips the translation would run something along of the lines of "%$#%( idiot". Later in the inning, after walking the bases full, he threw the rosin bag to the ground hard enough for it to be available to anyone pitching in China at the moment.

But Doc being Doc, he escaped the jam and finally recorded his sixteenth win of the season.

Ryan Howard homered twice, the first one a two-run shot that gave the Phils their first and what proved to be sufficient lead to record their 84th win of the season. Hunter Pence tomahawked a homer to right and Raul Ibanez, who must have about nine hundred lives, stroked three hits including a two-run shot of his own.

The win, coupled with an Atlanta loss, stretched the Phils' lead to 7.5 games.

* * * * * * * *

The Giants are fading fast in the west proving that last year's world championship was indeed a fluke. Sure, the Giants had superb pitching last year but, c'mon, let's face it, they won because has-beens like Pat Burrell were briefly resurrected at the right time and never-weres like Cody Ross went on a tear, especially in the post-season. One might argue the loss of Buster Posey was too much to overcome, but a careful look at the roster will show Burrell has been released for good and Ross is hitting .231 and Aubrey Huff is the team leader in everything but homer runs with .243 average, 55 rbi's and obp of .301.

Oh, and last year's starters are mostly struggling and closer Brian Wilson is on the DL.

Before you start arguing how much injuries have hurt the Giants, let's not forget how many other contenders have had to deal with them, too. Again, Burrell and Ross proved to have feet of low-fired clay.

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