Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ten Games to Glory? 

The Phillies kick off a vital, vital, vital home-stand against the Florida Marlins this weekend. It is a little much to say that the Phillies playoff chances are riding on this series, but every game counts these days and the Phillies could do themselves a huge favor by wiping out the Marlins and removing them as a threat to sneak up at the end of the season and catch the Phillies for second and/or make the playoffs. (The former being much more likely than the latter.)

The Phillies send their best tonight, Cole Hamels. Cole won his last start, against the Astros, scattering three hits and four walks over seven and two-thirds of an inning, fanning eleven Astros. Cole has really come on these last months. He’s 5-3 with an ERA for August and September of just 2.54, and he’s striking out 9.37 batters per nine innings, allowing just 2.38 walks and 1.11 home runs with a 1.00 WHIP. Cole is progressing very well and seems to be handling the stress of this playoff race very, very well.

Tomorrow the Phillies send Jon Lieber. When I get a chance, I’ll have to remove that poll b/c is it pretty obvious that the 8-10 Lieber ain’t getting to twenty wins this season. In the Phillies rotation right now Lieber is the weak link. While his post All-Star ERA (4.64) is an improvement over the pre break ERA (5.47), he’s still extremely inconsistent and prone to giving up home runs. He’s surrendered two homers in each of his last three starts.

On Sunday the Phillies send Jamie Moyer. Gotta love this guy. He’s 3-2 with the Phillies with a 3.79 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. I think the Phillies got exactly what they wanted when they dealt for Moyer in the off-season: a crafty veteran who could stabilize the rotation and give them a nice compliment to Cole Hamels.

If I had to predict how this series will unfold, I’d say that the Phillies will probably win Friday night and Sunday afternoon’s games, and drop the Saturday game, which will probably be nationally televised.

Other predictions for this weekend: Eagles over the 49ers 31-17, Ohio State over Penn State 38-7, and the Cincinnati Bengals over the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-17.

-Whatever happens in the next week I think we can safely say that the Phillies won’t go 9-1 and equal last year’s 88-74 mark, the team’s best record since they won 97 games and made the World Series in 1993. Let’s say the Phillies go 6-4 and that is good enough for the post-season (which it might be), then the Phillies will finish with 85 wins, their worst mark since ’02.

-If the Phillies do make the playoffs they will shrink the circle of teams that have failed to make the playoffs in the modern, three-division format era to the Nats/Expos, Pirates and Brewers.

-Fun with You Tube. I’ve been a late comer to the You Tube thing, but I discovered it the other day and I’ve been laughing my head off watching clips from The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Two in particular made me chuckle:

Click here for a hilarious bit from Bush mangling the saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Even if you are a Republican, you have to admit it was pretty funny, especially the look of panic that was on W’s face when he blanked on what to say.

Click here for a funny bit from Steven Colbert where he asks a prominent Georgia Congressman about his enthusiasm for the Ten Commandments and then stumps him when he asks him what they are.

And finally … click here for a nice compilation of Ryan Howard home runs. I had to end that on a baseball note.

Wildcard Watch! … Dodgers moved a half game up last night with their 5-2 win over the Pirates. No biggie. Let’s see what happens…

1. Los Angeles: 80-73
2. Philadelphia: 79-73 (0.5)
3. Florida: 76-77 (4.0)
4. San Francisco: 75-77 (4.5)
5. Atlanta: 75-78 (5.0)

Everyone enjoy the weekend!

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