Archive for May, 2012
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
The Philadelphia Phillies are not exactly lucky this season.
With the news of their ace right hander Roy Halladay out for six to eight weeks with a right shoulder injury, they are without some pretty key pieces to their lineup. Now, baseball fans may think that it isn’t a big deal, but he will miss a few games that may be crucial down the stretch. I mean, eight weeks = around 11 starts missed. Every outing the guy has makes a difference. There may be 162 games in the long season, but a playoff spot these days could come down to one game. Therefore, every single contest holds merit.
The two-time Cy Young award winner is not out for the season with a torn labrum or rotator cuff, but it is pretty devastating news for a team that is not playing to their potential or expectations. They currently sit at the bottom of the NL East division playing just over .500 baseball. 26 wins to date.
If losing their stud on the mound isn’t bad enough, the Phillies haven’t had their star second baseman Chase Utley or slugger Ryan Howard for the entire season.
Although it’s detrimental to the Phillies, Halladay hasn’t been the same pitcher we have come to admire. His numbers aren’t exactly Halladay-esque, with a 4-5 record holding a 3.98 ERA in 11 starts. Doc has thrown a lot of great games, including a perfect game two years ago yesterday (May 29, 2010). But considering age and the horse-like workload over his career, you have to start thinking he’s on the downward slope of his illustrious MLB campaign.
Even Charlie Manuel may have seen this coming, “He’s 35, and he’s thrown a lot of bullets over his career. Sooner or later, that’s going to catch up with him. I think he’s at the point where if he just steps back a little bit, you’ll still see that dominant pitcher. I think that he wants to go out there and finish every game. He’s everything he’s built up to be. What you’re seeing is, even the best sometimes have to take a step back and regroup, as far as how he feels,” Manuel said.
The fact of the matter is, when a pitcher ages, health is going to become a concerning issue. Halladay has been a pitcher in the big leagues since 1998, that’s 12 years! Think back to that time for just a moment. Now, I am sure it seems like eons ago. In fact, it was. Especially when dealing with an athlete’s body.
This guy will recover this season, but will the Philadelphia Phillies have a chance this to reach the 2012 playoffs? Or even recover from these big losses? As the season rolls on, my confidence in that happening is decreasing by the day.
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
traveling to Toronto without the help of two key pitchers. One being
Mariano Rivera and the other being David Robertson, a University of
Alabama Alumni. Robertson was recently placed on the 15-day DL with a
the Mariners and then again when he pitched in relief on Tuesday vs.
the Orioles. Without a doubt, the absence of these two bullpen pitchers
is tough, but Rivera has been known for a couple weeks now. The Yankees
are heavily reliant on this young closer, so New York’s most recent
loss, may be the Blue Jays gain.
Toronto has been struggling against division opponents recently, so this
could be good news for them. With Robertson out, it will be Rafael
Soriano to the rescue. Soriano just earned his second save on Monday, so
he will have a lot more opportunities in the next two weeks to add on to
As far as an update on Robertson, Yankees Manager Joe Girardi was quite
optimistic that his fill in closer’s injury isn’t too concerning, “We
tricky,” Girardi said. “We expect him not to pick up a baseball for
probably seven to 10 days and then we’ll see where we are after that.”
Girardi also continued to say that even without those two weapons, he
has guys left in the bullpen that can close the door in tight ball
games, “They have been used a lot lately, but we think we have the guys
that can get it done,” he said.
Soriano has a different view on the tough situation, almost saying that
to fill in for the two injured pitchers, it could become overwhelming
for the rest of them,”We lost Mariano first. The bullpen will do
whatever we have to do, but now with two guys down, it’s not easy for
us,” Soriano said.
Robertson has a 2.51 ERA with 1 save this season and an 0-1 record.
Those aren’t numbers that would blow you away, but he is an effective
pitcher. His 2011 numbers as the set up guy for Rivera were
outstanding. In 66.2 Innings, the 2011 All-Star posted a 1.08 ERA and
100 K’s… Spectacular season but to fill in for The Hammer Of God? Big
last guys the Yankees needed to lose this year, but injuries happen to
in their respective position.
Friday, May 11th, 2012
There have been many ups and downs to the MLB season so far, but the most notable story-line to me Josh Hamilton and his heroics as he tied the Major League record for home runs in a single game.
Hamilton with four homers, going 5-for-5 in a 10-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. He’s the 16th player in MLB history to do so and if that wasn’t good enough, he also hit a double… 18 recorded bases in one game set the American League record! Sidenote: Hamilton and Matt Kemp have been the most impressive hitters so far this season and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So, what about Albert Pujols? Where has he been? Quite frankly, he is not even close to living up to his the high expectations that were set at the beginning of the year. I knew the money paid for Pujols was outrageous. Anyways, back to positivity!
Hamilton was outstanding at the plate and impressed the baseball world on Tuesday, May 8th, but just give this a read, “I take the confidence with me of having a good game, like I would if I was 4 for 5 or 5 for 5 with five singles. I’m getting on base and scoring runs. You take all those things with you, but you don’t take the moment to the next day because 99.9 percent of the time it isn’t going to happen again. One hundred percent of the time in the case of this. Don’t live there. Just come in here, prepare, and move forward.”
NOW, it seems to me this is a guy who has complete control of his mental game. The obvious compliment in this incredible feat would be to shower him with praise over his night at the plate. But, what’s more impressive is his ability to keep a level head and remain even keeled. I’ve seen it in other sports where an athlete has a spectacular night and all of a sudden he’s a gift to the game. The player automatically thinks he’ll be signed to a big deal and his head ultimately swells to the size of a watermelon. In this instance, not the case.
Hamilton’s interview with Pardon the Interruption was absolutely captivating. The centre-fielder was more than humble and almost resorted immediately back to the mentality of a TRUE baseball player. Yes, he was stoked about four jacks in one game, but what he was most concerned with, was his next game/next at bat. It was almost as if he meant, everything is downhill from here on out so accepting this will make my life easier. It was refreshing to watch someone not get ahead of themselves and get overwhelmed with the fame.
Oddly enough, even with his recent success, Hamilton’s future is a little uncertain right now. He’s a free agent at the end of this season, but doesn’t really seem too stressed, (most players would be). The outfielder seems calm and collected and will most likely continue to be good to the game that is good to him. Players like this are getting more & more rare that it’s nice to stop and congratulate them for it once in a while. I don’t really wear hats that often, but if I was wearing one right now, I would tip my cap off to Josh Hamilton. Younger baseball players and upcoming athletes should take on his approach to the game because from what I’ve seen in the past few years, role models in sports are something of the past.
Unfortunately, Hamilton hasn’t always been the good boy. He’s had his fair share of drunken photos after a couple of relapses, has been in and out of rehab and essentially disgraced himself publicly. He was an alcoholic and a drug addict, but you have to hope he’s turned a corner to where mentally, those days seem like decades ago.
What helped him get clean, was he found God. Despite your religion/non-religion and what many believe, that does help A LOT of people, including athletes. The remarkable comeback this guy has made is something to be valued. Hamilton essentially fixed his life right before it was too late. The media coverage he receives now is night and day from 2009.
His 2012 MLB campaign has been impressive, and for his sake I only hope he can continue on.