Results tagged ‘ Chase Utley ’

The “Epic-ness” of David Wright

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Team USA vs Team Puerto Rico

Even if you aren’t a fan of the WBC, you have to admit that watching that game was pretty epic. It was a pitcher’s duel throughout (okay, maybe Jane didn’t like it) and I happen to really enjoy pitcher’s duels. Neither pitching staff was substantial as a total of seven pitchers was used by each side. It was the defensive plays and small ball that this game centered around.
For example, though many of you may have glanced over it, David Wright’s steal in the second inning was pretty important. Admittedly, I would have glanced over it myself if my friend hadn’t mentioned it when we were talking about it. Though I fell asleep in the top of the ninth (what can I say, long day + couch + no lights=sleep) I was up and ready for the bottom of the ninth. 
I had essentially called David Wright’s walk-off hit since Game 1 against Canada. In that game, I said that he was going to hit a home run. It didn’t happen. 
‘Fine,’ I said, ‘You owe me one”. When it didn’t happen in the next couple of games, I began to get frustrated. We had made a subconscious agreement! Finally, I compromised after he didn’t hit one against the Netherlands. 
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‘You owe me a very important hit, and you will get it at a crucial moment,” I said. Even at the beginning of the game against Puerto Rico, I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if David Wright got the most important hit of the game tonight?”
Well, when it got to the bottom of the ninth, I knew. The bases were loaded with one out, and Kevin Youkilis had just walked to bring in a run to make it a one run deficit. David Wright was up. 
I knew. I just KNEW. I had even made it my status on Facebook. Just ask Melissa! Then it happened, a bloop single to right field that scored Brian Roberts and Jimmy Rollins! I was jumping up and down like a fool, and every trace of exhaustion had left my body. I was ecstatic. Does it feel like the playoffs to you guys? 
The Red Sox
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They call it a “ferocious swing” so it looks like Dustin Pedroia’s injury wasn’t as bad as we thought it could be, but I’m glad that there was some concern. He was back in the lineup today against Pittsburgh, and went 1-2 with an RBI single. Maybe I will see him tomorrow at Spring Training (oh yes, that means pictures). 
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The biggest news I think, is that the Red Sox released Josh Bard. At first, I was very skeptical of this. ‘Why would they do that??’ I thought. He was hitting something like .429 and was doing a pretty nice job behind the plate. Doesn’t it seem right that he would catch Wakefield? 
Well, instead of just dwelling on stats, as we all normally tend to do (just out of our crazy baseball fan nature), we have to look at why we acquired Bard in the first place. The Red Sox got Bard over a month before re-signing Jason Varitek. I think that the Red Sox picked up Josh Bard as a safety net– in case agreements with Jason could not be made. 
From Bard’s perspective though, it must be though being let go– again. He is now where Ivan Rodriguez was just last week. I think that he would still serve as a great backup catcher for another team, and I wish him luck in his endeavor to find a job. 
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So, who is the backup catcher now? Who is catching Wakefield? The candidate most likely to fill those shoes is George Kottaras, who went 2-2 today against Pittsburgh with a double. He is young, and was out of minor league options (I don’t even know what that means?). Now, he is getting the chance of a lifetime. 
He did a decent job of catching Wakefield against the Yankees. Apparently, the trick is to let the knuckleball come to you, not try to go get the knuckleball. I can’t imagine how hard that must be to catch– or hit for that matter. It has no spin, and it’s already hard enough to hit a baseball. His hitting is a bit mediocre, I think he had something like a .243 average in Pawtucket. But, as we all know, a catcher’s important comes behind the plate, not next to it. Though, I don’t think Erin minds Joe Mauer’s numbers. 
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Kevin Youkilis is having this problems with his left ankle– including Achilles tendonitis (whatever that means). I don’t think it’s something to worry about. I think it’s more of a small injury that comes with getting back into the groove. I don’t blame the Classic at all, and neither do any of the injured players. 
I know that the Classic comes at an annoying time, but to be honest with you, I LOVE it. I love the pride that these players feel in representing their country, I think that’s really important, and it provides an opportunity for some of the forgotten veterans to say, ‘Hey, I’m still here!’. This is the case of Ivan Rodriguez, who signed a deal with the Houston Astros. I am really happy for him, he really deserved this deal after his astounding performance in the Classic. 
Around the League
Well, with the entire USA team basically becoming an accident waiting to happen, a few other members have been added to the roster. This includes Evan Longoria, Derek Lee, Ryan Ludwick, and AJ Pierzynski. These are all great additions to the roster, and they will provide strong depth as the US heads into the semi-finals. The first matchup is going to be incredible: Oswalt vs Dice-K!
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It looks like Chase Utley is making a very speedy recovery, much speedier th
an most expected. He could very well be ready for Opening Day. It’s great when guys like this recover successfully from surgery. Hamels being ready for Opening Days, is uncertain, as is Joe Mauer’s situation. 
Baseball in my Life
This week was a great week for talking about baseball for me. The day after the epic WBC game, everything productive that came out of my mouth was about the World Baseball Classic. And on Wednesday, my math teacher and I had a long discussion about the Red Sox and Yankees and how their lineups and pitching staff looked. 
In my debate class, I am writing a piece on the problem with steroids, and how we can fix the problem (plus, I’m relating it to school). Basically, I just get to rant for ten minutes about steroids, it should work for me.
The most important thing though, is that I got my research paper back. No grade though (my teacher doesn’t role that way), but lots of nice comments! He thought that my thesis statement was ‘great’, and he loved the quotes, and I got lots of ‘goods’ and ‘interestings’ and checkmarks. Most importantly, he liked the way that I was able to draw the parallel ideas between baseball and America, though maybe I was ranting a little bit at the end.
For the re-write, I’m going to organize it thematically rather than chronologically. Wish me luck for the game tomorrow, I’m going to have to go there and get tickets since I can’t find any online! 
-Elizabeth

A Phantastic End, to a Phantastic Year

After various delays that prevented the completion of Game 5, the weather was finally cooperative Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Couple of things

1) Did you see that Chase Utley play? Getting out Bartlett at the plate was HUGE, the biggest play of the World Series.
2) Brad Lidge had a perfect season, that’s pretty sick. Having him strike out Hinske for the final out (at 0-2 nonetheless) and just hearing the roar of that Philadelphia crowd was so exhilarating. 
3) Cole Hamels. I don’t know if there is much more to say about him, but I was so happy that he won the MVP. Even though he didn’t get the win in Game 5, he still had four postseason wins, which is remarkable. 
4) The Rays. I guess the Cinderella story didn’t end the way they wanted it to. Everyone thought they were going to do it, I mean, look how far they had come! From worst, to almost first! The AL East is going to be even tighter than it was before. They had a great year, and if they keep building on top of that, it won’t be long until they are in the World Series again.
The saddest part about the World Series ending is that baseball season is over. What do I do now? The offseason is so awkward, there’s nothing to talk about except for trade rumors, and what has happened in the past. Whether it this past season (and I’m going to be hearing a lot about Ellsbury going 0-20, and the Sox not making it to the World Series, but I can deal), or the years before that. Everyday I hear about Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone, Bill Buckner, Babe Ruth, anything and EVERYTHING that Red Sox haters can come up with. I may not be blogging as often, but I’ll still blog. After all, I’ve barely had this blog for a month, not even yet! I’ll be around, but if you’re looking for a solid, good, baseball discussion please e-mail me. elizabethxsanti@aol.com
Congratulations again Phillies!!! 

Playing in Puddles

Everyone was really excited for Game 5; Cole Hamels, and Scott Kazmir were pitching, and it was a potential clinching game (in Philadelphia nonetheless). Kazmir got racked in the first inning, pegging Chase Utley in the ribs. Has anyone noticed how close he stands to the box, and how he actually steps into the box? No wonder he’s the single batter who has gotten hit by pitches the most. KInd of like how Jason Bartlett totally leaned into a pitch in Game 7 of the ALCS. Then, Shane Victorino comes up and hits a two run single. Cole Hamels is pitching well, until the Rays start stringing some runs together, and finally one came off of a hit by Evan Longoria. It took long enough.

My question is this. So, a baseball game is official after 5 1/3 innings right? So, if the Phillies had still led 2-1 after the bottom of the sixth, well, would they have won? What a cheap and sucky win that would’ve been! I would’ve been so annoyed. So now, game 5 is going to continue with the Phillies coming up in the bottom of the sixth. The Rays got SO lucky because now Cole Hamels isn’t going to be pitching anymore. I wonder if the teams are going to continue to their next starters, or just use the bullpen. According to Selig, he would’ve just kept the game in a rain delay until it was appropriate to resume play. I like that idea, and I think everyone should too. No one wants to win a World Series due to a rain delay. If it had gone less than official game standards, by the rules, it would’ve started over. So this is the first time in history that a World Series game has ever been suspended, that’s pretty sick. I can’t wait until I find out what’s going to happen with the rotations and what not. I’m sure the Fox announcers will address this topic until it dies. 
On another note, the Sox picked up Virgil Velazquez on irrevocable waivers issued by the Tigers. He’s had somewhat of a rocky start of his career, and he didn’t see any playing time with the Tigers this past season. So, hopefully, the Sox will see what he can do in Spring Training, and then proceed to put him in the bullpen (most likely)
-Elizabeth

Cole Hamels Once Threw a Curveball so well, that the batter’s children struck out

I should be getting twenty sites for my research project (due tomorrow) for debate, but I realized that this is more important to me. Before we get started, I think we should all just take a minute to note how lame I can be: Today in home room, we were handed this blue sheet, and we’re supposed to fill out our after school activities. Guess what I put? BLOGGING. 

So Game 1 was yesterday, it was a pretty tight game throughout. Was anyone else thinking during the national anthem *God this is *****, and I totally thought the Backstreet Boys broke up*. Kazmir had a shaky first inning, giving up a home run to Chase Utley. He settled down nicely though after that, and pitched a great game. There’s a reason why Cole Hamels is pretty much the ace of the Phillies staff. His breaking ball, his curveball, his pitching in general! Did anyone else notice that he’s good looking, I just love watching him pitch. He got so lucky with that balk too. It really came down to the opinion of the umpire. It was 50/50. Phillies did a good job striking out BJ Upton with the bases loaded. The Rays came fighting back though, scoring two, but Philly scored once more, to make it 3-2. Brad Lidge, who has had a perfect season, came in and got the save. The Rays looked a little nervous, but I think that they’ll adjust. Tonight it’s James Shields vs. Brett Myers. Hopefully, Shields will actually be able to get some run support this time. I wasn’t really rooting for anyone last night, it was nice just watching. 
On another note, the Sox re-signed basically their entire coaching staff, except for first base coach Alicea. I’m glad that they decided to keep almost everyone. 
Can the Rays even up the series like they did in the ALCS?
-Elizabeth
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