Rough start. Kyle lacked command of his pitches and was behind most of the hitters and the Dodgers won the first game of the trip.
Good sign was Chase Utley’s hitting. He’s driving the ball again. It would be great if he finished the season the way he started.
Ryan Howard drove in his 99th and 100th runs last night. It marked the third straight season in which he’s topped 30 homers and 100 RBI. Only one other Phillie has done that, Chuck Klein, 1930-31-32. Mike Schmidt did it nine times but never three consecutive years. That’s hard to believe.
Minor League Notes
RHP Kris Benson turned in another quality start last night at Lehigh Valley . . . RH reliever Rudy Seanez worked one scoreless inning on a rehab assignment and should be ready to come off the DL on Saturday . . . LH reliever Matt Smith, coming back from Tommy John surgery, has been shutdown at Clearwater with an inflammation in his left elbow.
(Throughout this week, I’ll present an inside peek from Alumni Weekend last Friday and Saturday at Citizens Bank Park).
While many of the Alumni intermingled with one another, groups from their own era wound up having dinner, watching a game or socializing at the hotel where the out-of-town Alumni stayed.
At the hotel, the Whiz Kids could be found in the lobby, sitting in a circle. “We’re going over the hitters,” blurted Stan Lopata. They relived stories over and over.
Another group was huddled in another section of the huge lobby. Their bond: the only World Championship club in our history….Lefty, Schmidt, the Bull, Boone, Unser, Bystrom. The wives would be chirping in one small circle and the players in another.
Jean Luzinski laughed, “They’re talking baseball. What else? We’re talking about long-term health insurance.”
A glass of red wine was accidently knocked over on to a red upholstered chair. It created a very large dark red circle. “Hey Schmitty. Autograph the chair and we’ll sell it on e-bay,” kidded the Bull.
Two years from now will be 2010. Brilliant deduction, I know. But, it will be the 30th reunion of the World Champions. That will be the Alumni theme that year. “Please, don’t say 30 years,” begged Boonie.
Saturday night at the hotel, ESPN’s Dick Vitale, a huge baseball fan, was in the lobby. He was like a kid in a candy store visiting with the Whiz Kids and ’80 bunch.
Putsy Caballero’s grown son made the circuit getting autographs on caps and balls.
Bob Walk, a Pirates broadcaster who was on the ’80 Phillies, walked in the lobby post-game and immediately hooked up with his former teammates.
The 1950 Phillies and 1980 Phillies. Each carved out a special piece of Phillies history. They are bonded together as champions, something that lasts forever, both for them and the fans.