Remember a couple years back when Michael Bourn scored all the way from second on a Berkman sac-fly to deep center? I thought that outside of Wandy hitting a homer, that nothing could possibly be more absolutely kewl – well, maybe if Michael reached on error, then went to second on a WP, went to third on a balk then stole home. But this afternoon, I watched Michael reach on a ball hit off the pitcher’s glove (somehow, when the pitcher went to chase the ball, his shoe fell off – really, I swear it), get picked off but steal second anyhow and slide under the tag, and when Anderson Hernandez hit a chopper to third, Polanco picked it up, threw to first, not in time to get Hernandez – a little high, then he turned on the afterburners, flew home and slid in ahead of Ryan Howard’s perfect throw to Ruiz.
This is what makes Michael so exciting. I mean besides all the great fielding. He went 8 fer 20 with a HOMER!!! 4 runs, 2 RBI and 4 SB. And he really should have had another RBI but they held Castro at third when he could have scored – guess they figured Anderson Hernandez would drive him in?
Wandy didn’t have his best stuff today, but somehow he kept on mowin em down – gave up no hits until Werth singled to lead off the 5th. He went to 3rd on an Ibanez double, then tried to score on a fly ball to shallow center – but Pence was coming forward as he caught it and made a perfect throw to Castro and Werth was dead meat. I suppose he could have played Pete Rose to Ray Fosse, but he didn’t.
Wandy finally gave up a run in the 7th – Ben Francisco singled, then Jimmy Rollins hit a smash to third – CJ made another really great play, threw to Hernandez, who again couldn’t complete the DP. He’s not exactly a very nimble guy for a middle infielder – reminds me of Jeff Kent, except that Kent, for all his statue-like-ness was really good at turning the DP. I see why other Organizations keep getting tired of him – they’d usually put up with the lowe BA/OBP/SLG if he was a great glove, but he’s not. Anyway, Utley hit a ball into the RF corner and Rollins scored standing up and slowing as he reached the plate.
Since Castro started catching Wandy on June 24, Wandy hasn’t pitched fewer than 6 innings. He’s pitched 3 games giving up 0 runs, 6 games giving up 1 run (and has ND in 3 of those), 1 game with 2 runs, 1 with 3 and 1 with 5. I think the difference is that Castro is MUCH better framing pitches than Quintero – his weakness is blocking balls in the dirt, but he’s much better with the curve because it is slower and Wandy doesn’t throw a slider. Wandy’s ERA has gone from 6.09 to 3.87. His post ASB ERA is something like 1.70. Of course nobody notices…
And speaking of Castro, he singled and he doubled down the LF line today – good. I hope this might could get him hitting.
Brett Wallace is looking completely lost. His timing is off – he pops up, has weakass grounders, looks like Pedro Feliz (not good) except he is good at walking and getting HBP.
Angel Sanchez is not nearly as good with the glove as Manzella – I’d rather see him at second and Manz at short until Kepp gets back. I have no idea why Mills is playing Hernandez so much.
CJ was ofer again – at least he only swung at 1 pitch out of the zone and it wasn’t strike 3. He made 2 really REALLY good plays, and I mean good. I think his errors are him getting overeager to try to get an out, especially on a ball which really shouldn’t be thrown anyway because infield singles happen.
No stupid ump stuff – the HP ump only missed 1 pitch and there weren’t any close calls, except for Wandy getting thrown out at second on a WP – looks to me as if he was safe and he got his foot in ahead of hte tag, but the ball beat him and he’s a pitcher and well, that’s how things go. wandy was on first because he’d smashed a hanging breaker of some kind off the RF wall and unfortunately, it rolled straight to Werth and Wandy ain’t Michael.
Fulchino pitched a 1,2 walk, 3 8th.
Fernando Abad came in to mop up the 9th, got 2 quick outs, then gave up a single that Sanchez couldn’t get to (that Manzella would have had – I saw him make that play twice last night), then a single to left. And with a righty coming up to pinch hit, I fully expected Mills to pull him and send in some righty, but to my surprise, Arnesberg went out and Abad stayed in (although Lyon started warming up).
That AB took like FOREVER because Abad didn’t want to pitch what Castro wanted, or he couldn’t understand the signs, but he kept stepping off – and Castro went out to the mound THREE times before Ruiz finally flew out to Bourn.
But this was a 4 game sweep of the Phils – we kick ASS at their park, for some reason – they swept us back in April at the Box.
We’re off to see the Mets and Pelfrey (who gived us a whuppin a week ago) and we’ll see if Nelson Figueroa can beat his old team. Looks as if Figgy is gonna be our new Moehler, who re-injured his groin/abdomen – pulled muscle, bad tendon – something – and needs season ending surgery. I’ll go for that – he seems to be about the same kind of pitcher, only shorter and cheaper. My favorite kind…