Friday, June 15, 2007

Phils Sweep Pale Hose, Get Ready for Tigers

The Phils completed the sweep of the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, by defeating the South Siders by a score of 8 - 4. They completed the sweep with six solid innings from rookie starter Kyle Kendrick and a grand slam off of the bat of Aaron Rowand. The Phils seemed to do all the right things in this series and pulled to within 2 games of the division-leading New York Mets. You have to like the position the Phils are in at the moment.....they just need to avoid those nasty bouts of inconsistency that they are prone to get caught up in.

Other items of note from the series:

- Wes Helms FINALLY hit his first home run of the year in the 3rd game of the series on June 13th, a mere two months into the season. Are you telling me that we don't have a guy in the minors who could have turned in Helms' .252 average with 1 homer and crappy defense at a lesser price than whatever it is they're paying Helms? Really?

- Just a masterful 7 inning pitching performance from Adam Eaton in game 1 (6/11) of this series, which the Phils won 3 - 0. With this win, he raised his record to 7 - 4. He did not give up any runs and struck out 5. He's helping in salvaging Pat Gillick's reputation as some of his other free agent acquisitions (*cough* Wes Helms*cough* Rod Barajas) have not worked out so well.

- Speaking of Rod Barajas, I wonder how much longer we're going to have this guy on the team. I already documented some his defensive blunders here that have hurt the team, but when is this guy going to hit? He was 1 for 9 for the series to bring his average to a mind-boggling .214 average. In the third game of the series against the White Sox, he even managed to treat the fans to a 3 strikeout performance. The fans are now seriously starting to get on this guy. This isn't like Pat Burrell, where he makes so much money, you can't gas him or trade his salary. Barajas needs to be made to disappear in favor of Chris Coste and soon.

- Cole Hamels had another stellar outing in game 2 of this series (6/12), going 8 innings, giving up two runs and striking out 9 in the Phils 7 - 3 win. Basically, it seems the starting nod for the NL in the All-Star game will come down between Hamels and the Padres' Jake Peavy. Unfortunately for the Phils, Hamels will not be starting against the mighty Detroit Tigers this weekend.

- Shane Victorino stole his 20th base of the season on Wednesday. He stole a base in each game of the White Sox series.

- With the RBI in Wednesday's game, 2B Chase Utley now has 53 RBI, good for 2nd in the NL behind Carlos Lee of the Astros.

The Phils have a 3-game set coming up against the Tigers at the Cit-house.

Other Philly Sports News:

- The Flyers re-signed goalie Antero Niittymaki to a 2-year deal as insurance against Martin Biron falling on his derriere. At the season ticket holder Q&A session I went to that featured GM Paul Holmgren and coach John Stevens, it was obvious when listening to Stevens speak that he holds Niitty in high regard and that he wasn't simply being nice in a hockey sort of way.

- Donovan McNabb actually did a little practicing for the first time since his knee injury in last year's Tennesee game. Naturally, the way the sports media is in this town with the Eagles, the media was all over it and I was completely bored of this story about an hour after I heard about it. Call me when training camp starts, please.......

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