Morning Wood: 10 Mas

Raul_shanePhoto: Drew Hallowell, Getty, Phillies.com… full gallery here

Screen Shot 2011-10-02 at 10.25.28 AM

I wanted to wait until Ryan Howard’s home run landed before writing the Wood today. – looks around - Fine, I’ll just start now and cross my fingers that it lands before we’re done here.

Reader Alex thinks this should be called The Big Piece Game. I like the sentiment, A-train, but the name is a bit simplistic. Let’s try Insert Here Game:

Any game in which the Phillies are sorely lacking runs. Not even a myriad aces can solve the problem. All the slap hitting, walk drawing, doubles driving, sabermetrically inclined hitters in the world aren't enough to produce what’s needed for victory: runs.

Insert The Big Piece here.

Boom: runs. Lots of runs. Runs come quickly.

He may not always make solid contact, but when he does, he prefers majestic blasts. 

See also: Get me to the plate, boys.

The sixth inning was like home from college sex (I wouldn’t know, because unlike some of you, I wasn’t dumb enough to leave behind a high school sweetheart when I went to college- didn’t you see Road Trip?). After months – a semester – apart, you finally have a chance to re-consummate the relationship. And it’s glorious. Rapid, near angry bumping leads to a climax usually reserved for KY commercials. Yesterday, five innings of pent-up frustration came to a head when the Phillies exploded for five runs to take a 6-3 lead. Later, they spurted on five more for good measure, but the real euphoria came in the sixth. They just unloaded. all. over. Kyle. Loshe, who has now given up a grand slam, three-run homer, and two-run homer in his last two playoff appearances at CBP. 

I was at the game, and it was difficult to follow along on Twitter thanks to AT&T's signal. Here are some Tweets I’m guessing were sent to me just as Howard’s home run – irony here – got lost somewhere near the… AT&T sign. Less bars in more places.

Jason:

BET THAT REALLY HURT HIS FUCKING WAR.#SABRNERD #GOPHILS

Ryan:

Howard just made up for last year #letsgoeat

Tommy:

where are the Howard haters now?

Ben:

please make a joke at the exepnse of sabermatricians please.

Cole:

WAR what is it good for?

Terry:

yeah but he's 20th in WAR #sabrnerds

Shawn:

SABR nerds are panicking on how they can prove Howard's "true worth"

John:

Ryan Howard strikes out too much #125million

Michael:

was that Ryan Howard homer SABR nerd approved? #Phillies #postseason #mlb

Joe:

what is the sabermetric stat for go ahead hr's in the playoffs?

 

I’m guessing some of the SABR idiots stayed up all night searching for an equation to explain Howard coming all over the Cards (and making a lovely diving play at first). We’ll assume they never found that equation. Here’s mine: 11-6. 

Let’s not forget about Roy Halladay, though. Lance Berkman’s first inning home run, which delivered a gut punch to 46,000+, was completely shrugged off by Doc. He would later go on to retire 21 consecutive batters. Hey, here’s a stat: [ESPN’s amazing stats blog]

Roy Halladay once again put himself in the same sentence as Don Larsen — after a rough first inning he retired the last 21 batters he faced. According to Elias, Larsen was the last pitcher to retire at least 21 consecutive batters in a single postseason game when he threw his World Series perfect game in 1956.

 

That’s right, he didn’t even do that last year… when he threw a no-hitter.

More:

After Halladay allowed two hits and a home run to the first seven batters, the next 20 Cardinals hitters couldn’t get the ball out of the infield. He's 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four career postseason starts and the Phillies have won seven of their past eight Game 1s.

Halladay has started Game 1 of the NLDS twice now and he’s allowed three earned runs in 17 innings and has separate streaks of 13, 14 and 21 consecutive batters retired.

 

Here’s Doc talking about it:

Also, let is not go unnoticed that Berkman, while being showered with a chant of his own name from the left field fans, stopped and put his glove to his ear to taunt the crowd. The Phillies were up six runs at the time. You douche, Lance. You douche.

But he did compliment Doc: [Phillies.com]

"If you get three runs in less than nine innings against the guy, you've actually made him do worse than he normally does," Berkman said. "That's how good he is. That's why he's making $22 million a year, and that's why people consider him the best in the game."

 

MLB won’t let us embed most of these, but this page has all the highlights you’re looking for.

David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal wrote an excellent piece about the dichotomy between Doc and Cliff Lee, who will be sprinkling the mound with his excellence tonight. A very highly recommended read.

Finally, a pictorial representation of Doc from reader Tiffany: 

Halladay_centaur

I would have included his swinging dick whacking a forlorn cardinal, but this works. 

Oh, Howard's home run just landed.

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10 Responses

  1. Yknow, Berkman is a hell of a guy, and I don’t disrespect him at all. Doc made a mistake and he made him pay. What followed is a testament to Doc’s ability to take that frustration out on 23 of the next 24 batters he faced. As everyone else states, the man’s a machine.
    On another note, I was at the game, too, and the energy from when Howard got to the plate with two men on, to when Polanco got out was intense. 46,500 fans at their feet the whole time, and every hit getting progressively more energized.
    I was worried for Ibanez because the crowd was SO intense at his at-bat, that anything less than crushing the ball may have been devastating. He did not disappoint.
    Hell of a game to be at. Took my dad to his first game at CBP (he used to take me to Vet games). He was floored.

  2. I do hope your readers appreciate the wonderful usage of the literary device, allusion, in this piece: “college sex…bumping…climax…exploded…spurted…unloaded.” Classic. If I were your English teacher, you’d totally get an “A.” LOL!

  3. Berkman is one douche bag among many in that third base dugout. I just pray the Phils keep it up and eliminate them as quickly as possible from this postseason.
    Oh, and Lance? Your statement’s not entirely accurate. Yes, Halladay is the best pitcher in the game. But he makes $20 million a year (not $22). I forgive you for the error, though. It’s still hard for me to believe that Halladay accepted a trade and contract that’s at least $60 million less than what he could have fetched in free agency from the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox and even the Cardinals in order to play in “baseball heaven.”

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