Philadelphia Phillies

The Full Count: Philadelphia likes to hit the ball, a lot

1. Bring on the Hit Parade: Baseball can be a strange sport sometimes. Going into to Tuesday’s game against the Phillies, the Dodgers had a five-game winning streak going and the best record in the NL. But Philadelphia made them look like a Triple-A team with a 15-3 blowout win. The Phils recorded 26 hits, including five each by Shane Victorino and Aaron Rowand. Ryan Howard hit to homeruns to give him 24 on the year. Chase Utley had three RBIs to increase his league-leading total to 79. Even Phillies starter JD Durbin, who gave up one run in six innings, added three hits. Dodgers starter Mark Hendrickson was crushed for 11 hits and 7 runs in three innings, and reliever Eric Stults gave up eight hits and four runs. The Phillies now have 499 runs on the year, ranking them first in the National League and third overall in the majors.

2. The Yankees Get Closer: The Yankees are now closer to the division-leading Boston Red Sox than they’ve been in a while. With a comeback 3-2 win over Toronto combined with Boston’s loss to the Royals, the Yanks are now eight games back in the division. That’s still a lot, but for a while the lead has been double-digits. Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo issued a balk in the ninth inning that tied the game, which the Yankees won in the tenth inning off a Robinson Cano RBI single. Alex Rodriguez notched his 90th RBI of the year as New York won their fourth game in a row. In Boston, the Royals teed off on Tim Wakefield for six runs in their 9-3 win. The Yankees’ upcoming schedule has been noted for its lack of winning teams, though the Red Sox don’t exactly have a murderer’s row either. They face the Devil Rays and Orioles a combined five times over the next month, so if they take care of business, it will be hard for the Yankees to catch up.

3. The Collapse Continues: The biggest losing streak in baseball right now belongs to the A’s, who have dropped nine games in a row. They are now 12 games back in the division and barely ahead of the lowly Rangers, who beat Oakland again on Tuesday. Texas’ 11-4 win was fueled by a 5-5 performance by Michael Young in addition to multiple errors by the A’s. Oakland starter Chad Gaudin, who used to be among the AL leaders in ERA, was rocked for his second straight start. This is the longest losing streak for the A’s since 1998, according to They are virtually eliminated from playoff contention already.

Player of the Day: Aaron Rowand, Phillies: 5-6, 3 doubles, HR (13), 2 RBIs in a win over the Dodgers.

MLB General

Full Count for Fri May 12 2006: Now that’s a sacrifice hit

1. Rowand wins over the Philly fans: Yesterday was possibly one of the rainiest days in MLB history, as games were called off in Baltimore, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Though it was also drizzling in Philadelphia, they played anyway, but only for five innings. The Phillies took advantage of the shortened game, winning the game and the series against New York. The only two runs of the game were off a Chase Utley homerun and David Bell’s RBI single. But the play of the day was made by Aaron Rowand in centerfield, who made an unbelievable catch while crashing into the wall with the bases loaded. Rowand was sent to the hospital because he was broke his nose after the collision against the wall. But we’re sure he’s fine–his catch saved the game against the Mets.

2. Are we sure he didn’t get hurt again?: Ken Griffey Jr. is back for the Reds, and no one could have asked for anything more out of him in Thursday’s 5-4 win over the struggling Nationals. Through 8 innings this was a one-run game, but a sacrifice fly in the ninth sent this contest to extras. In the 11th, everything went wild. The Nationals scored three runs in the top of the inning, but the Reds answered back against their bullpen. First Felipe Lopez hit an RBI single, and then it was Griffey’s turn with two on base. Naturally, Griffey hit a 413-foot shot, winning the game and keeping the Reds in first place at 22-13. before the extra inning craziness, Bronson Arroyo had another superb start for Cincy, allowing no runs in 8 innings.

3. It’s Peavy time: Jake Peavy, the Padres’ ace, has struggled throughout most of this season. In fact, he had a losing record coming into last night’s game against the Brewers. Well, his struggles are over now, as he shut out the Brew Crew through seven innings and fanned 13 batters. Peavy (3-3) was even successful at the plate–he went 2-3 and drove in two runs. However, the Padres bullpen almost blew the game, despite being given an 8-run lead with two innings left. Dewon Brazelton, possibly the worst pitcher in the majors, allowed 4 runs and didn’t record and out. Thankfully for Peavy, the Padres still came out on top, 8-5.

4. Double Blow: The Yankees did not have a good day at all on Thursday. They lost to the Red Sox, surrendering the division lead and giving the Red Sox the series win at Yankee Stadium. Mark Loretta went 4-6 and drove in 3 runs, including a go-ahead two-run single in the 7th. Tim Wakefield pitched well for the Sox, striking out nine in 6 innings, and Jonathan Papelbon picked up his league-leading 13th save. Both teams now have 13 losses, though the Red Sox have two more wins. But here’s the worst news for Yankees fans: Hideki Matsui broke his wrist in the first inning and will be out for three months.

5. Cut off: What is it with these ESPN personalities? Rick Sutcliffe, a former Cy Young winner and now a baseball analyst for You-Know-Who, got his mic cut off after a rambling interview during the local TV broadcast of the Padres-Brewers game. The manager of Channel 4 called the interview “embarrassing” and said Sutcliffe used “remarkably poor judgment.” Sutcliffe, a former announcer for Channel 4, joined Matt Vasgersian and Mark “Mud” Grant in the booth during Thursday’s game. The interview started out fine but then Sutcliffe began to talk random topics. He said his daughter was going to Africa “like George Clooney” and asked Vasgersian why he was broadcasting Padres games when he could be working for ESPN. Then his mic was cut off. At least this isn’t the only controversial thing that happened with announcers at Petco Park. I’m sure the name Keith Hernadez reminds you guys of something…