Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Your Consistently Inconsistent Phils

In the past week, the Phils have gone from completely exhilarating their fanbase to completely annoying them. Despite finishing a recent 6 game road trip with a 4 - 2 record, the Phils can't seem to take advantage of a good situation when one presents itself.

The road trip began with a 3-game sweep of the much-hated New York Mets. The great thing about these wins (other than who it was against) was that every night there was a different hero:

June 5th: Chase Utley goes yard against the Mets' Jose Feliciano in the 11th inning to propel the Phils to a 4 - 2 win.

June 6th: Down 2 - 0 in the top of the 7th inning, Jimmy Rollins silences the booing Queens faithful by hitting a 3-run bomb off of Aaron Heilman to put the Phils ahead for good. Phils win 4 - 2.

June 7th: In what may have been the most dramatic blow of the 3-game series, Pat Burrell ruined Billy Wagner's 31-game streak without a blown save by burying a 3-2 offering from Wagner to tie the game in the 9th inning. Burrell later put the game away in the 10th inning with an RBI double that plated Ryan Howard.

It should be noted that the Phils received excellent starting pitching throughout the course of this series (Moyer, Eaton, and Hamels) and that Antonio Alfonseca saved all 3 ballgames.

Naturally, the way that the Phils swept away the division leading Mets had Phils fans talking and feeling pretty good. Especially, because the Mets had some injury trouble and Phils were entering their next series against one of the worst teams in baseball, the Kansas City Royals.

Just when you thought it was safe to follow the Phils.....

Kansas City went on to not only take 2 of 3 from the Phils, but the Royals emphatically kicked the snot out of the Phils by a score of 17-5 on the last day of the series. The bullpen just imploded as the combination of Ryan Madson, Jose Mesa (yes, THAT Jose Mesa), Geoff Geary, and Francisco Rosario gave up an astounding 11 runs. Mesa managed to uncork 2 wild pitches in his inning-plus of relief in his return debut with the Phils.

Further adding to the doom and gloom that was brought about by dropping 2 of 3 to one of the worst teams in baseball is that Freddy Garcia appears to have hurt himself pretty bad and appears to be done for the season, although nothing is official.

The MLB Draft: The baseball draft came and went and if you blinked, you missed it. This is in stark contrast to the NFL draft, where everyone has an opinion. To me, the baseball draft is entirely too long. Apparently, the draft is designed to have 50 (that's 5 - 0) rounds and concludes after all 30 teams have passed on a selection or after the final selection of the 50th round, whichever comes first. That is not a player draft....that's a death march.

Not only is the draft too long, but no one ever knows who any of these players are. This is unlike football, where the majority of NFL fans also follow NCAA football. Same with the NBA. Even in hockey, if you follow hockey, you know who the top junior players are because the hockey press actually covers that stuff. Almost no one covers the baseball draft to the point where you know the players real well. I really don't know any NCAA baseball fans (and have no desire to follow the sport). I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that that the draft is held almost in the middle of the MLB season does it detract away from the event itself.

Anyway, the Phils took a pitcher with their first round pick named Joe Savery, a lefty from Rice University. According to BaseballAmerica.com, this guy is supposed to have a lot of talent, but is somewhat of an injury risk. That is the same sort of thing they said about Cole Hamels when the Phils drafted him a couple of years ago.

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