Can anyone figure out the emotional ride of a baseball season?
Gloom took over last Thursday after the struggling Astros swept four from the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Three days later glee replaced gloom following a three-game sweep in San Diego of the Padres, who had the best record in the NL, the lowest team ERA and the fewest errors. The Phillies have now swept a series at Petco Park in 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010.
Brilliant starting pitching by Roy-O, Joe and Cole told the weekend story. Combined, they allowed two runs on 15 hits in 22 innings while walking one and striking out 15. For Cole, it was his first win since July 11. Figure that one out.
The Padres committed four errors yesterday, one more than the total number of runs they scored over three games. Their three runs came on a solo homer, balk and RBI single by Saturday’s starting pitcher.
With a lefty on the mound yesterday and Howard struggling, Sweeney played first and hit his first NL home run. Watching on TV, he seemed as excited as a kid opening a birthday present.
Southern California trip continues tonight in Los Angeles against the Dodgers–night, night, day. Phillies rode busses from San Diego north to LA after yesterday’s game.
Minor League notes
**Roly deArmas guided the Gulf Coast League Phillies to a first-place finish in the North Division (season ended Saturday). Phillies host the Mets today at 12 noon. Winner meets winner of Rays/Marlins game in a best-of-three championship series.
**Congratulations to Bill Dancy, former minor league manager for the Phillies, field coordinator and big league coach, who won his 1,600th game as a minor league manager on Saturday night. He’s managing the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs) in the Class AA Southern League.
**First baseman Jonathan Singleton of the Lakewood BlueClaws has been named the most exciting player in the South Atlantic League by Baseball America.
Well, folks, today’s blog is the 900th from my keyboard. First one was March 20, 2006. It was initially called “The Baron’s Corner.” MLB.com’s Mark Newman, the blog professor, suggested the name be changed to Phillies Insider. I didn’t argue because Mark knew better.
Looked up the word blog in my trusty, dusty Webster’s dictionary that I wore out (I’m exaggerating) in college. The words blog, internet and computer didn’t even exist in the 1957 edition. So, checked out Webster’s website for a description of a blog:
“Full name: weblog a journal written on-line and accessible to users of the internet.”
Paul Bodi was the MLB.com eastern regional editor when I begin writing the blog. “What should I write,” I begged. “Whatever you want.” Hey, I figured I could handle that.
Some of the stuff has been brilliant; some has been bad. I’ve tried to give you a different look at the Phillies, something you wouldn’t read elsewhere. That is the goal.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully, you didn’t fall asleep too often.