Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Burrell Powers Phils; Lito A No-Show

Pat Burrell, in his march to have someone overpay him next year, hit a 2-run bomb in the bottom of the 6th inning to break a 1-1 tie to propel the Phils to a 3 - 2 win.

Adam Eaton (!) pitched 6 2/3 strong innings to pick up his second win of the season. Eaton struck out 5 and didn't walk anyone. That Eaton didn't walk anyone is nothing short of amazing, since he averages a little over 3 walks per 9 innings pitched this year. Brad Lidge came in and saved it for Eaton and picked up his 15th save in the process. Both Eaton and Lidge were bailed out at a couple of points in the game (Eaton in the 7th, Lidge in the 9th) by a pair of esthethically pleasing 5-4-3 doubleplays.

Chase Utley was, again, in the middle of the proceedings, knocking in the Phils' first run with a broken bat single and scored on Burrell's homer after doubling off of the Reds' Aaron Harang (who took the loss for the Reds).

As it is currently raining pretty hard outside of my office window right now (a mere 10 minute drive down the Schuylkill from CBP), who is to say if the series will continue tonite or not. Since Thursday's game is a day game, there is always the possibility of a double header tomorrow. But if the series does continue, the Phils will send Brett Myers against one of the best young pitchers in baseball in Edison Volquez (7:05pm - CSN-TV).

Lito A No-Show

Lito Sheppard blew off an optional OTA yesterday and it made big news across the area.

The fact is, with Sheppard unhappy with his situation, you can't be surprised he blew an entirely optional team activity. He did attend the mandatory mini-camp last month, but the operative word is "mandatory". I doubt Sheppard is dumb enough to miss events that will get him fined. To do so, would only further deteriorate his already non-existent leverage in this situation.

If Sheppard decides to be a no-show at training camp, that will an entirely different matter. But the fact is, if he were to miss any training camp, you wonder if he'll be committing some sort of bizarre career suicide. Who will want a small, injury-prone CB who holds out of camp, who is pissed off about an extension he signed in good faith just under 4 years ago? Furthermore, what makes Sheppard think anyone will give him the contract numbers he's looking for even when healthy?

The best move for Sheppard is to do what he's told with respect to team activities and it's possible (though not likely) he'll be traded. In this scenario, Sheppard would be the team's nickle corner and if he has the year he thinks he's capable of if he's healthy, there may be more demand for his services. Only by performing on the field will Sheppard get what he's after (i. e. -- a renegotiated contract).

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