All Aboard

August 13, 2007

The pennant-race train keeps on chugging.  For the Phillies, that train is AMTRAK’s and Washington, DC, is the destination.  The team took the train to DC this evening.

The road trip includes six games, three each with the Nationals and three in Pittsburgh.  Both teams have losing records but doesn’t mean a tiddly at this stage of the season.

The next homestand, 10 games in 10 days from August 21-30, will be a dandy as all three teams are in the hunt: Dodgers (3), Padres (3) and Mets (4).

Winning a series is key to October baseball.  The Phillies just completed a homestand in which they took two of three from both the Marlins and Braves. 

Playoff fever seemed to grip Citizens Bank Park this weekend for each of the three games.  Games this era seem to be played in the bullpen.  Both the Mets and the Braves have strong bullpens, although Octavio Dotel’s DL will weaken Atlanta’s pen. 

With Tom Gordon and Brett Myers back, the Phillies bullpen is starting to fall into place.  There’s certainly a lot of experience with Gordon, Antonio Alfonseca, Jose Mesa, J. C. Romero and Clay Condrey.

Scott Mathieson, Freddy Garcia and Francisco Rosario, three pitchers who are on the DL, have begun throwing programs in Clearwater.  They could be September additions.

Utley Update
Chase was examined by Dr. Randall Culp today. Utley’s right hand was placed in a modified splint which will allow him to begin light tossing and exercising tomorrow. He will be re-examined by Dr. Culp next Monday, after which the Phillies will have another update.

Big Rating
Last night’s ESPN rating (9.8) was the highest TV rating for the Phillies (records date back to 1996).   It eclipsed a 9.6 on Comcast SportsNet, September 27, 2006, vs. the Washington Nationals.  The second-highest show for the 8-11 time period was Shark (NBC), a 6.2.  Proving that pre-season NFL games are meaningless is a 3.6 rating for the Seahawks/Chargers game.

Alumni Weekend
The three-day Alumni Weekend concluded with a pre-game Alumni Batting Challenge yesterday. For the details, click on:
http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070812&content_id=2145950&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi

2 Comments

Last night was a big win. The DP call before Howard’s HR was controversial, but it was the right call regardless.

Sweeping the next six before the homestand would be huge, but I’ll take two of three in each series.

The bullpen has been HUGE. Alfonseca in the 7th took the wind out of the Braves sails. When the bullpen allows a run, the Phillies lose.

http://fightingphils.mlblogs.com

Larry,

First of all, congratulations on your upcoming retirement. My Dad, Don Loos (originally from Richland) says “hi”.

Secondly, I was wondering if you could help me with something. I have been trying to locate the uniform numbers of “Phillies greats” from the past, like your old hero, Del Ennis. Would you be able to tell me what number the greats from the 50′s and 60′s (Ennis, Jones, Simmons, Sisler, Seminick, Mahaffey, Short, Allen-1964, etc) wore? I have been following the team religously since 1975, and I can associate just about everyone with their uniform number(s), but my only source for the earlier teams has been limited photos.

I appeciate any help the “Baron” can provide.

Thank you,

Bill Loos

Reading, PA

“bloos@ramusa.com” or

“bloos@philliesmvp.com”

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