Friday, October 31, 2008

Mike Schmidt - 1978

1978 was not one of Mike's best seasons. In fact it's his worst since 1973 and will be his worst season until 1988 when he was hobbled all season by injuries. He only player 145 games and hit .251, down over 20 points from 1977. He also hit only 21 home runs, down from 38 the year before. He would go on to hit 45 in 1979.

My memory is not good enough to remember what was going on in 1978 but I'm guessing he spent some time on the disabled list. You'd think there'd be some reference on the web that would give me that information but I couldn't find anything.

He did win his 3rd Gold Glove in a row for his work at third base so it wasn't a totally off season.

As a team, the Phillies once again won the NL East, with a 90 and 71 record. Not quite as good as the 101 wins in 1977, but still good enough to get them into the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the Phillies ran into the Dodgers again in the playoffs and lost to them 3 games to 1, just like in 1977. Schmidt did not have a good series, going only 3 for 15 with 2 doubles. But then again, hardly anyone on the team hit well in the series.

I don't remember where I got this 1978 Topps card. It's in pretty good physical shape but it's centered very badly both on the front and back.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

World Series - the next day

One thing about being a Phillies phan in a foreign land (Texas) is that my celebration of the Phillies win is a sort of a solitary affair. But it was fun today in work as people I didn't know would say to me "Go Phillies" and "What a game" when they saw me. My company is actually headquartered in Philadelphia so there were even people around as happy as I was. Here's me at work today.

This was a very enjoyable baseball season. The Phillies were fun to follow even if I didn't get to see them too often. The Astros were fun to follow, at least in the second half. I discovered baseball card blogs and have come in contact with a nice bunch of people who share by borderline obsession with collecting small rectangles of cardboard. I've made baseball card trades with complete strangers and never felt I'd be ripped off.

I've been blogging since February and have a steady, if small, group of readers. Now that the baseball season is over and the baseball card collecting season is just about over (I'm still looking for a couple blaster boxes of Topps Update), I'm going to feature some of my other Collections a bit more frequently (bonsai, photography and my Cliff Walk postcard collection). But I've got a lot of baseball cards I still want to share. I've got a series going with my Mike Schmidt cards and I want to do a series on the 1983 Phillies who went to the World Series and the 1980 Phillies who won the World Series.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read my blog and thanks for your joy in my joy for the Phillies.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies win World Series in 5 and a half games!

The rain and sleet were gone, the field was dry. The fans were ready. But even more important, the Phillies were ready. They came out firing and kept on coming. Brad Lidge was perfect once again. I've already posted cards of all the 2008 Phillies. So I'm just going to go with this picture I got from the Philadelphia Inquirer web site. 2008 World Champions. It doesn't get any better than this.

For every other team, it's wait until next year, including my other favorite team, the Astros. Phillies and Astros in the NLCS next year. Agony. You read it here first.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Virtual Bike Tour of Baseball Sites - Brenham Texas

While we wait for the rain and sleet to stop in Philadelphia long enough for the World Series to resume, I got back on the stationary bike. Today, I virtually passed through Brenham Texas. Brenham is the birthplace of the Houston Astro's manager, Cecil Cooper.

Coop was born in 1949. To look at his picture you'd think he was born in 1929. Managing a big league baseball team must really take it out of you. Cooper had a long and successful major league career prior to getting into coaching and managing. He was the 6th round draft pick of the Red Sox in 1968 and played for them for 6 seasons (1971-1976). In 1976 he was traded to the Brewers for George Scott and Bernie Carbo. He would play for the Twins until he retired in 1987, after a 17 year career. He had a life time batting average of .298 and was a 5-time All-Star. He also managed to be on the losing side of a World Series with both of the teams he played for.

Cooper was named interim manager of the Astros in 2007 and remained manager in 2008. It is his first managing position. The Astros had a cold-hot-cold-hot season this year. As always you can argue about how much the manager is responsible for something like this. April was cold. May was hot. At the end of May they were 30-27 and 3 games out of first. Then the chill really set in. By the All-Star break they were 46-51 and 6 games back. Then they got hot again and by September they were in the wild-card race going 40 and 24 after the break. They didn't get eliminated until the last weekend of the season.

Here's the latest map. My next stop of any interest is Taylor Texas which is a long way away. So far I've traveled 93.64 miles in 6 hours and 2 minutes. All without leaving my family room.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Phillies take 3-1 lead in the World Series.

Song of the Week - Son's Gonna Rise by Citizen Cope

I have 5,643 songs in my iTunes. This is one of them.

I first heard of Citizen Cope in 2004, listening to the Philadelphia public radio station WXPN over the Internet. WXPN is a great station, they play a lot of different kinds of music. I was listening to them pretty steady for about a year and got turned on to 5-6 artists. Clarence Greenwood is the singer/songwriter behind Citizen Cope. I don't know how to describe his music, kind of a cross between rock, pop and hip-hop, I guess. In my opinion, the best music is the sort that isn't easy to categorize. You can read about him here. This song is from his 2004 CD, The Clarence Greenwood Recordings. He doesn't seem to have made any videos. All I could find were live recordings or mash-ups like this.

Rollin' down the highway
Like a rocket
God, I'm headed to town now
You can't stop it
Got wheel in my hand
As I stand
On the floor
Of the board
Of this car
On the road
Got this woman in the back seat
Yeah she's my wifey
In the middle of the delivery
Man she saves me
To this day I don't know why
She picked me up
When i was down on the road
With the wind when it blowed

Well a son's gonna rise in a mile
In a mile
You'll be feeling fine
In a mile you will see
After me
You'll be out of the dark, yeah
You'll get your shot

Friday, October 24, 2008

2008 Baseball Cards in Review - Bowman Chrome

When I posted my review of 2008 Bowman the other day, I realized that I didn't have any 2008 Bowman Chrome cards except for the Chrome Prospects inserted into the regular Bowman packs. So I bought 5 packs today. These cards aren't cheap. 3-card packs go for $2.99. That's right, a dollar a card. The Chrome cards follow the same basic design as the Bowman, with veteran player cards bordered in red and rookie cards bordered in green. I somehow managed to pull the Fukudome variation cards. The one card is red-bordered and he's wearing a uniform which says Japan on the front. Perhaps this is from the 2006 World Baseball Classic games.

On the other card, he's in a Cubs uniform and the card is a Rookie Card. Both cards are numbered 155 and feature the same back. His 2007 Japanese stats are given. Based on what I've read on the blogs, Topps has had a few gimmick Fukudome cards this year. I guess this is another example.

In just five packs, I wasn't expecting much. I didn't get any color variation cards, X-Fractors (which I really like) or SuperFractor cards (I like those too). I did get two Refractor cards so all was not lost. And they were of players I collect, Tom Glavine and Jim Thome. In fact, these were the cards which were of players I collect. No Phillies or Astros either.

I'm showing Glavine's Bowman card as well for comparison. This year, Topps Chrome featured different photographs then on regular Topps cards. But the Bowman Chrome has the same photos as Bowman. The facsimile signature on the Chrome card is different. Looking back over past Glavine cards I see that Topps has used both signatures in the past. The two cards are also numbered differently as the Chrome set has fewer cards. You can also see the the Chrome cards have a white border instead of the black border on the regular cards.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Phillies and Rays tied 1-1 in World Series

Last night, in game 1, the Phillies left 13 men on base. While that's not a good thing, at least they won the game. Tonight they only left 11 on base, but they lost.

Carlos Ruiz was a bright spot, getting two doubles and two walks. He actually scored a run.

Ryan Howard may be showing signs of breaking out of his playoff slump, getting two hard hits tonight and only striking out once.

Brett Myers, the losing pitcher tonight, didn't really pitch that badly. He gave up 7 hits and 3 earned runs. A big hitting team like the Phillies should be able to overcome a 4 run deficit.

The next game is Saturday back in Philly. Jamie Moyer is pitching. The Phillies need him to snap back from the two bad starts he's had so far in the playoffs.

Monday, October 20, 2008

2008 Baseball Cards in Review - Bowman

This is my humble first attempt to review a year in baseball cards. I've been seriously collecting cards since 1985 so I think I know something about the hobby. For me the collecting year is about over. I'm just waiting for the Topps Update cards to hit the local Target. I acquired about 2,800 different cards this year. Counting duplicates, I've added almost 3,500 cards to my collection. I said acquire rather than purchase, because this year, really for the first time, I acquired cards by making trades. I made 10-12 trades with other baseball card bloggers.

So lets start with 2008 Bowman. This year's Bowman base set contained 220 cards which is similar to their 2007 and 2006 sets. As they have done for many years, most of the base cards are veteran players. These cards are recognized by the red border. The cards have a facsimile autograph, another feature they've had for years. The back of the card gives some biographical information and the player's last year stats. There is also a small head shot of the player on the back. The front of the card is glossy with silver foil around the player name. The back is not glossy. I like this year's design. Not their best design but much better than last years. The photographs are all action shots. Many of the photos suffer from being too dark.
Cards 201 to 220 are rookie cards with the MLB mandated Rookie Card logo. These cards are bordered in green. This is another long standing practice of Bowman. Otherwise the cards are identical to the base cards. There are also inserted at long odds 10 autographed rookie cards numbered 221-230. I only bought 2 retail boxes of the product so of course didn't see any of these.There were 4 parallel sets, Gold, Blue, Orange and Red. Golds were inserted one per pack. Blues were inserted 1 in 14 hobby and 1 in 32 retail and serial numbered to 500. Oranges were 1 in 26 hobby and 1 in 65 retail and serial numbered to 250. I didn't get any of those. Reds were a hard pull at 1 in 4,512 in hobby packs and were 1 of 1. Good luck with that. This is a Gold parallel. The gold cards were not serial numbered. In past years the Gold cards were thicker than the base set but not this year. They also have gold foil around the player name and the signature is in gold foil.

Prior to 2006, in addition to the cards bordered in red (veterans) and green (rookies) the sets featured cards bordered in blue which were prospects. In 2006, Bowman made the Prospect cards an insert set with their own numbering. The cards looked like the base set. It was very confusing. Perhaps in an attempt to make it less confusing, this year the Prospect cards have a different design. These Prospect cards have had the "1st Bowman Card" logo for a number of years.
There are also Gold, Blue, Orange and Red parallels with similar odds to the base set. I actually got 2 Blue Parallels. Maybe this guy will be a big star someday.
Here's the Gold parallel. I actually think I like the design of the Prospects card better than the base set.
In addition to the autographed base cards, there were also Signs of the Future cards. These have been a feature for years. They were inserted 1 in 36 retail. I only bought 20 packs so I got lucky. And even better, the player is a Phillie. Since 2006, this insert set has featured sticker autos rather than on-card autos. I haven't given much thought about that before but a number of bloggers don't like the sticker autos. I guess I don't like them as much as on-card autos.
There is another autograph insert called Bowman Scouts Autograph. These were inserted 1 in 410 retail and no, I didn't get one.

Bowman has a whole parallel set called Bowman Chrome. For some reason, they inserted the Bowman Chrome Prospects in the regular Bowman boxes. These also come in multiple colors and with refractor and superfractor versions. I've always liked these Chrome finished cards and all their refractor versions.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Song of the Week - Take On Me by A Ha

This is just for fun. I wasn't planning on featuring two 1980s songs in a row but my daughter brought this to my attention and it's too good to pass up.

This is the literal video version of "Take on Me". There are a handful of videos like this on YouTube, but I think this one is the best.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Virtual Bike Tour of Baseball Sites - Hempstead Texas

After several days of furious peddling, I've virtually made it to Hempstead Texas. Hempstead is the county seat of Waller County and has a population of about 5,000. It's not far from Houston. According to Wikipedia, Hempstead is known for its watermellons. I've lived in this area for 13 years and I didn't know that. What I know about Hempstead is that it is home to a large Ford dealership, which is owned by Ray Childress. Ray was a defensive lineman for the Houston Oilers from 1985-1996. He does his own television commercials where he promises to "clobber big-city prices". You can call the Clobber Line to get quotes over the phone.

According to, only one person born in Hempstead has ever played major league ball. That was Patrick Newnam who was born in 1880. Hempstead was only 24 years old in 1880 and probably looked just like a town in a Western movie. Newnam played for the St. Louis Browns. He appeared in 123 games between 1910 and 1911, with a batting average of .213. He hit 2 home runs. He died in 1938 in San Antonio.

Here's my updated route. In 10 days of riding, I've covered 69.83 miles in 4 hrs and 32 minutes. Next stop is Brenham Texas, birthplace of Astro's manager Cecil Cooper. Only about 20 miles to go.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday Night at the Movies - City of Ember

This is a movie, that as far as I can tell, has received no buzz. It opened this week but I never heard of it until last last week, when one of the stars, Tim Robbins was on The Daily Show. Bill Murray, who is also in it, appeared on Letterman last week as well but I missed that. Martin Landau is also in the movie. Bu the real stars are the two young actors Harry Treadaway and Saoirse Ronan. The movie is based on the 2003 novel City of Ember written by Jeanne Duprau. The book is young adult fiction. My daughter, who wants to be a librarian specializing in young adult fiction had read it, liked it so came to the movie with us. The plot synopsis is simple enough. The City of Ember was buried 200 years ago to save a remnant of humanity from some disaster. After 200 years, the citizens of Ember have forgotten their origins and the city, especially the great generator which supplies power, is breaking down. It is up to two teenagers (Treadaway and Ronan) to find a way out of the city. I wouldn't hesitate to bring a kid as young as 8 or 9 to see this movie. But its not a kiddy movie. Lots of adult themes, like resignation, hope, love, loyalty and betrayal are explored.

The reviews I read were mostly not very enthusiastic but nobody seems to hate it. One called it the family movie of the year. We liked it and I'd recommend it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Your 2008 National League Champion Phillies!

This is the starting lineup that Charlie Manual mostly used throughout the post season so far.
Jimmy Rollins - Shortstop Jimmy was the National League MVP in 2007. He didn't have quite as good a season this year, 30 home runs last year, for example, but only 11 this year. He did hit .375 in the NLDS against the Brewers and hit a lead-off home run in the clinching game of the NLDS. He tailed off in the NLCS, but once again, hit a lead-off homer in Game 5. You should not underestimate the effect of hitting a lead-off homer in such a big game. He also played his usual stellar defense.

Shane Victorino - Outfield Manual seemed to switch Shane and Jayson Werth between the 2nd and 6th batting spots just about every game. Whichever spot they were in, it also seemed, that one of them had a big hit in just about every game. Shane hit a grand slam off C. C. Sabathia in the 2nd game of the NLDS. He also hit .357 in the series. Just like Rollins, he tailed off in the NLDS, but his 2-run homer in the 8th of Game 4, tied the game and set up the 2-run homer by Matt Stairs that won the game. Victorino played both center and right fields and made a number of fine catches.
Chase Utley - 2nd Base Unlike Rollins and Victorino, Utley got off to a slow start in the postseason, only hitting .133 in the NLDS. But he roared back in the NLCS, hitting .353. He hit a key home run in the 6th inning of Game 1 to help knock Dodgers starter Derek Lowe out of the game. He also helped turn 7 double plays in the DLCS, including an unassisted one where he caught the ball on his knees and crawled to second base to double off the base runner.
Ryan Howard - First Base Ryan got off to his usual slow start this season, but his slow start stretched out longer than usual. But, after a fabulous September, he finished the season with 48 homers and 146 rbis, good enough to lead the league in both categories. He finished with a .251 average. He didn't have much of an impact in either series, hitting no home runs and only getting 3 rbis. But he also walked 8 times (while striking out 7 times). He did bat .300 in the NLCS and scored 4 runs.
Pat Burrell - Left Field Pat can become a free agent at the end of the season and there is a lot of speculation that this is his last season with the Phillies. He has not always been a fan favorite but he is a solid player. He had about an average season (career-wise) with 33 homers, 86 rbis and a .257 batting average. He hit 2 home runs in the 4th game of the NLDS. In the NLCS, he hit .333 and a homer in the key sixth inning against Lowe in Game 1.
Jayson Werth - Outfield Jayson was a free agent signing after the 2006 season and a pretty cheap pickup at only $850,000. He hit 24 home runs this year (almost half of his 6-year career total) and hit .273. He hit .313 in the NLDS and had several big hits. He wasn't much of a factor in the NLDS.
Pedro Feliz - Third Base Pedro was a free agent signing after the 2007 season after 8 seasons with the Giants. He had a subpar year statistically compared to his career, but he was also hurt for part of the season, playing only 133 games. He played a solid 3rd base in the post season but did not contribute much offensively.
Carlos Ruiz - Catcher In his 3rd season with the Phillies, Ruiz only hit .219. But was caught just about every inning in the post season. He had a couple of big hits in the NLCS.

Cole Hamels - Starting Pitcher Cole was the Phillies 1st round draft pick of the Phillies in 2002. After three seasons with the Phils he is 38 and 23 and the unquestioned ace of the staff. He won Game 1 of the NLDS and Games 1 and 5 of the NLDS. He was named MVP of the NLCS. In 22 innings of NLCS work, he pitched 22 innings, walked 6 and struck out 22. He was never in any serious trouble. In Game 5 he kept the bases empty in front of Manny Ramirez, so that even though Manny was 2 for 3 with a home run and a walk, he wasn't a factor in the game.

Brad Lidge - Closer Lidge came to the Phillies in a trade with the Astros (my other favorite team) after the 2007 season. The Astros got Michael Bourn in return. At the time, it was a toss up as to who got the better deal. Lidge only saved 19 games for the Astros in 2007. He'd had a rough World Series against the White Sox in 2005, and in 2006 and 2007 he didn't seem like the same pitcher. But coming to Philadelphia seems to have resulted in a full recover of whatever ailed him. He was 41-0 in save opportunities during the regular season with an ERA of 1.95. In 7 games in the post season, he pitched 7.1 innings, and got 5 saves. He gave up 1 ER, 3 walks and struck out 10.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Phillies take NLCS in 5!

I'll put up a longer post tomorrow but I had to crow tonight. The Dodgers are a great team but the Phillies outplayed them tonight. They kept base runners of the bases in front of Manny Ramirez, which I think was the whole key to this game. Cole Hamels gets the well deserved MVP for the series.

Bring on the Rays!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Phorgotten Phillie Phile - Jay Baller

1993 Donruss, Card #356

Even if you don't remember Jay Baller, if you're a Phillies fan, you know something about him. On December 9, 1982, the Phillies traded Baller, Julio Franco, Manny Trillo, George Vukovich, and Jerry Willard to the Indians for Von Hayes.

If you're a long time Phillies fan you'll remember that Von Hayes was often called "Old 5 for 1" while in Philadelphia. Baller was one of the 5.

Baller was the Phillies 4th round draft pick in 1979. He made his debut with the Phillies on September 19, 1982 and managed to get into 4 games, for 8 innings with 2 walks, 7 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.38.

Between 1983 and 1992, when he came back to the Phillies, Jay compiled a 4-9 record with 6 saves in 82 appearances. Most of this was with the Cubs in 1985-1987 but he spent time with the Indians, Cubs, Mariners, Expos, Royals and Astros. The Phillies signed him as a free agent in 1991 but he didn't play. They signed him again in 1992 and he appeared in 8 games for 11 innings and an ERA of 8.18. He retired after the 1992 season when nobody was interested in signing him.

Phillies Lead NLCS 3-1

The Phillies got off to a good start last night, scoring 2 runs off Derek Lowe who was pitching on 3 days rest. Lowe only lasted 5 innings but by then the Dodgers were up 3-2.

Manny Ramirez plated the second Dodger run in the fifth with an rbi single. I don't like to make too much about a single players performance in a series like this but Ramirez has been something. He is batting .500 with 6 rbis and something like 5 walks. He might be the series MVP even if the Dodgers lose (ok, not likely).

Joe Blanton started for the Phillies and he also only lasted until the 5th. His and Lowe's pitching line look very similar, except that Blanton had given up one more run. This game came down to the bullpens.

The Phillies ran 5 relief pitchers out there: Durbin, Eyre, Madson (who got the win), Romero, and Lidge (who got his 3rd save of the series). Together they only gave up one run.

The Dodgers ran 6 pitchers out there: Kershaw, Park (who got a blown save), Beimel, Kuo, Wade (who got the loss and the 2nd blown save of the game), and Broxton. Together they gave up 5 runs.

Then, of course, there were the two big home runs. Shane Victorino, apparently enjoying being the villain in Dodger Stadium, belted a line drive into the Phillies bullpen off of Wade.

After Wade gave up a single to Ruiz, Manuel sent in Matt Stairs to hit for Madson, Torre then brought in his closer, Broxton. Stairs promptly crushed the ball to deep right field giving the Phillies a 2-run lead. It was Stairs' first at bat of the post season and his first at bat since September 14! This is his 1993 Score Select rookie card, the only card of his I had at hand. The Phillies acquired him from the Blue Jays in September, but I don't know the details of the transaction.

And what more needs to be said of Brad Lidge. He came in the game with 2 outs in the 8th, only the second time all season he's pitched in the 8th inning. He was brought in to pitch to Manny, who got a double. The next guy struck out on a wild pitch and made it safely to first. Loney then flied out. The ninth inning went 1-2-3.

He is now 5 for 5 in save opportunities in the playoffs this year, after 41 saves, vs. no blown saves in the regular season.

The next game is Wednesday night. Cole Hamels will be pitching for the Phillies with Chad Billingsley for the Dodgers.

Phillies in 5 sounds good to me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Song of the Week - You Spin Me Right Round by Dead or Alive

I have 5,540 songs on my iTunes. This is one of them.

I just spent about 30 minutes trying to find a good video for a piece from the musical Hair called "The Flesh Failures/Let The Sunshine". This is the finale of the show. It cycled up on my iPod this week. I am an unabashed child of the 1960s and this is a good song from then. I even actually saw the show in it's original Broadway run in 1972. But all the videos were terrible, or in Dutch. So I started twirling through my iTunes library until something caught my fancy. Here we go into another 1980s tune. This song came out in 1984, the year my first child was born. My wife and I married in 1980, and although I can't say we went out clubbing a lot, we did did hang out with a younger crowd of people from where I worked and since it was a fun time, I really like 1980s music (either punk or New Wave). So enjoy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

NLCS - Phillies lead 2-0

This is just going to be a very short post. I've been Comcasted (meaning my Comcast internet connection was down for about 24 hours this weekend).

So , Go Phillies!

2 great games.

Update Sunday Morning: The title now reads correctly, Phillies lead 2-0.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thursday Night at the Movies - Appaloosa

This is a special Wednesday night edition of Thursday Night at the Movies. Tomorrow night is the first game of the NLCS between the Phillies and the Dodgers. I'm not missing that. So we decided to go to the movies tonight.

We actually never saw a trailer for this movie and pretty much decided to see it based on the ad we saw at the theater. The cast is compelling with Ed Harris (who also directs) , Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy Irons and Renee Zellweger. The movie was excellent. It's pretty much an old fashioned western, without 20th or 21st century angst. It has a good story. In the end the story is about the loyality one man can have for another. It features a woman (Zellweger) who comes between two men (Mortensen and Harris) but the interaction is different then is typical which makes this a much better story then it might have been. Mortensen and Harris are enjoyable to watch together, in the tradition of an Redford and Newman movie.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Virtual Bike Tour of Baseball Sites - Tomball Texas

I reached the next stop on my virtual tour, Tomball High School, home of the Tomball Cougars baseball team. Former Cougar, Troy Patton was the 9th round draft pick of the Astros in 2005. This is his 2005 Bowman Draft Picks card. This card lists his birthplace as Tomball but other cards, and, lists his birthplace as Spring, Texas. I have it on the authority of the sports editor of the Tomball Potpourri that Troy is a graduate of Tomball High School. Troy is now with the Orioles. He was part of the trade which brought Miguel Tejada to Houston. Unfortunately, Troy suffered a torn labrum in his left (throwing) shoulder and had surgery last March which ended his 2008 season before it began. The next leg of the trip is to Hempstead Texas, 29.4 miles.
Total days riding: 6, total miles: 40.9; total time on bike: 2 hr, 42 mins.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Phillies win NLDS in 4

There wasn't much time to recap Game 3 so let's just skip it other than to say the Brewers won 4-1.

Even though the Phillies were up 2 games to 1 entering Game 4, there is no question that their offense was sputtering. Their pitching has been great but guys like Utley, Howard, and Burrell were not producing.

The offense got this one going in a hurry as Jimmy Rollins hit a lead off home run on a 3-2 count. In the Phillies third, Victorino got a 1-out double and was moved to third by an Utley ground out. Howard was intentionally walked. Next up was Pat Burrell, batting something like 10 for 20 career against the Brewers starter Jeff Suppan. Pat the Bat took him deep into the left field bleachers to make the score 4-1. Then Jason Werth also took Suppan deep, this time to center.

Prince Fielder got his first hit of the series in the 7th with a home run off the Phillies starter Joe Blanton. Burrell got that run back with his second home run of the game, off Parra in the 8th.

Blanton was a late season pickup for the Phillies who went 4-0 for them down the stretch.

Brad Lidge pitched the 9th, even though it wasn't a save situation. He gave up one hit, struck out 1 but no runs. Phillies win 6-2.

I can't seem to find who was named MVP of the series, but if I was naming someone, I guess it would be Pat Burell.

Song of the Week - Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Richard Hawley

I have 5,541 songs in my iTunes. This is one of them.

I never listen to music on the radio anymore and I pretty much can't stand to watch music video shows (I can't understand how kids can watch these shows since they have so many commercials), so where do I hear new music? One good source is podcasts. I currently subscribe to Minnesota Public Radio's Song of the Day podcast and the KEPX Song of the Day podcast. KEPX is a public radio station operating out of the University of Washington in Seattle. There is a lot of great music being made by people I never heard of and I get some of it delivered right to my computer everyday for free. You can easily find either of these by doing a Google search. Every once in awhile, when the podcast bin starts to get full, I listen to the first 30 seconds or so of the song. If it grabs me, I keep it, if not, I dump it. I tend to keep most of the songs. I sometimes change my mind on subsequent listening, then I dump it.

Richard Hawley is a British singer who's been working since the mid-1990s in various bands and solo efforts. The song is a great pop tune which sounds like a lot of other great pop tunes but plesently so. You can read his Wikipedia entry here. If I had to guess, I'd say that Hawley wrote the entry himself. The video is just about incomprehensible to me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

NLDS Game 2, Phillies 5, Brewers 2

Brett Myers vs C. C. Sabathia. Battle of the jersey cards.

After a one-year experiment with Myers as the closer in 2007, the Phillies returned him to a starting role this year. He got off to a rough start and, in fact, the Phillies sent him down to the minors in early July to work on his stuff. After coming back, Myers had a 7-2 record (his over all record was 10-13), including a complete game win against the Brewers in that 4-game sweep of the Brewers the Phillies pulled off in mid-September.

The Brewers acquired Sabathia from the Indians for a bunch of prospects. He was 11-2 for the Brewers, one of the biggest reasons perhaps for the Brewers being in the playoffs.

Myers got off to a shaky start, loading the bases in the first but, with the help of a double play, allowed only 1 run. He pitched 7 innings, only giving up 2 hits and 2 runs.

Sabathia had a good first inning but came a bit unglued in the 2nd. After getting Burrell out, he give up back to back doubles to Werth and Feliz, which plated the tying run. He then got light-hitting catcher Ruiz to ground out. Up came Brett Myers for the most pivotal at bat of the game. Sabathia got two quick strikes on Myers, but then Myers starting fouling off pitches and taking pitches outside the strike zone. The fans started getting into it, actually giving Myers a standing ovation for a fly ball foul. Then, after 9 pitches, Sabathia walked him. Jimmy Rollins was up next and was walked on 4 pitches, loading the bases. Up next, Shane Victorino, who already had a double, hits a ball into the left field bleachers to make the sore 5-1.

Sabathia's line: 3.2 innings, 6 hits, 5 ER, 3 walks, 5 Ks.

The Phillies had 9 hits and the Brewers walked 7, but they left 10 men on base, most of them after the 2nd.

A big win for the Phillies who go to Milwaukee for the next game on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2008 NLDS Game 1: Phillies vs Brewers

The first game of the National League Division Series between the Phillies and the Brewers gets underway in Philadelphia at 3 PM Eastern. That will be 2 PM Central where I am. I'll be recording the game on my DVR at home and avoiding the Internet and radios until I get home from work to watch the recording.

The Phillies are starting Cole Hamels. Hamels was 14-10 this season with a 3.09 ERA. He was 1-1 against the Brewers, his win coming during the 4-game sweep of the Brewers in Milwaukee in mid-September.

This card is a 2008 UD A Piece of History Timeless Moments Jersey that I got in a trade with another baseball card blogger.

Yovani Gallardo will be starting for the Brewers. Gallardo, a 2nd year player, was 0-0 in 4 starts this season, with a respectable ERA of 1.88. He apparently did not pitch against the Phillies this year.

This card is a 2008 Topps Chrome Refractor which I don't actually own anymore. I traded it to a Brewers fan earlier in the season.

Other Phillies news. Reliever Brad Lidge who was 41 for 41 in save attempts this year, was named the NL Comeback Player of the Year. Lidge, who seemed to go into a 2-year funk after giving up a game-winning home run in Game 5 of the 2005 World Series while pitching for the Astros, made the most of a change of uniform.

Post Game Update: The Phillies won 3-1. Cole Hamels pitched a great game, giving up only 2 hits while striking out 9. Lidge got the save. He struck out the side in the 9th but also gave up 2 hits and a walk but only 1 run. The Brewers pitchers actually pitched pretty well but were done in by shoddy defense (an error in the 3rd which lead to all the scoring) and too many walks (including 3 in the 3rd).

Tomorrow's game features Sabathia for the Brewers, pitching on 3-days rest (now I understand why he didn't pitch tonight). C. C. was 11-2 after coming over to the Brewers. Brett Myers will be making his first post-season start for the Phillies.