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Are you nervous?

Yes, the Padres lost. The Mets lost too. The Phillies are now tied for the Wild Card spot and two back in the division with six games to play. We all understand the stakes here and we all know the Phillies history – both recent and ancient. Still, I find myself genuinely nervous. That queasy feeling you get when you think too much about something that you know you shouldn’t. Take my anticipation for tonight’s game, it’s not a “must-win” but it feels like one. That’s why you celebrate so heartily after each victory in the final two weeks of the season. Because if the game matters, that’s all that matters. The games this week against the Braves definitely matter and will be extremely hard-fought. Here are the probables:

Chuck James, LHP (11-10, 4.11) v. Jamie Moyer, LHP (13-11, 5.01)
Tim Hudson, RHP (16-9, 3.34) v. Kyle Lohse, RHP (8-12, 4.71)
John Smoltz, RHP (14-7, 2.95) v. Adam Eaton, RHP (10-9, 6.33)

You read that right, both Hudson AND Smoltz stand in the way between the Phillies and the playoffs. Perhaps a Tim Hudson fastball is just what Ryan Howard needs to seize his opportunity…lest we forget the three-homer game Ryan had against him last September. However the Braves weakness is not their pitching, rather their inability to provide support for these All-Star pitchers.

In other news, Pat Gillick announced that next year will be his last as the Phillies General Manager. After the three-year term of his contract expires after next season, Gillick intends to move back West and spend more time with his family. The announcement comes at an important time for Phillies executives. Ruben Amaro, Jr. who is Gillick’s heir-apparent, has been testing the GM waters recently and perhaps Pat was instructed to make his decision known early so that Dave Montgomery can guarantee Amaro a promotion and keep him on staff. Word is that Ruben was eagerly anticipating the Houston job that went to Ed Wade and there is a strong possibility he will receive an offer from Pittsburgh. Although I would very much like to see Ruben as a GM in Philly, maybe it would be better to let him gain experience elsewhere before giving him the Phillies checkbook.

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  1. Mookie Wilson

    September 25, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Yup, good game last night for my Metsies…we’re giving you some wiggle and San Diego is giving you enough room to burst through the door. But wait…who else is knocking on the door? The Bravinos? Three games back of you with wait…three games left to play??? Oh boy!

    The Braves 3 starters ~ 41-26 with a 3.47 ERA
    The Phillies 3 starters ~ 31-32 with a 5.35 ERA

    Hmmm, the Mets might only have to win two more games in the final six to clinch if I know anything about the Braves. You can’t deny that they have been playing some pretty good ball the last week and a half.

    This is going to be a crazy week…stock up on Yuengling Philly fans!

    PS – Good luck guys…it’s all in good fun. Honestly though, I hope you lose! Be good & enjoy it!

  2. bobby

    September 25, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Mook, I will say, you have a hell of a nerve crowin’ right now. If the Phils do what they’ve been doing recently, your boys will need to win 4 of these last 6 to clinch, and that may not even do it. But I have to say, they do not look like a team that can do better than split at this point. Phillies go 2-1 against the Braves and sweep the Nats.

    Game, set, division.

  3. bobby

    September 25, 2007 at 11:49 am

    One more thing, mook. Yes, this is all in good fun, and us Phils fans are lovin’ it, but to say that, you must not really be from NY! 🙂

  4. Brian Michael

    September 25, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Those combined ERAs that Mookie quoted are not accurate. You can’t just average something that already is an average. Regardless, I think the point that the Braves have better starters was made…

  5. bobby

    September 25, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Looks like Rube missed out on the Pittsburgh job as well. A few more turn-downs and he’ll be utterly qualified to replace Gillick in 2 years. Which brings us to the question of Charlie Manuel…

    Personally, although I can agree with all those who abhor his in-game moves, I would have to say bring him back. Why? He’s part of the fabric of this team. Part of what makes them fun to watch and cheer for. And yes, part of that fun is questioning his strategy or lack thereof!

    My biggest complaint about Mr. Manuel is his most vulnerable issue, the one that may still cost them the playoffs again this year: the Phillies’ horrible 2007 start. Losing 11 of the first 15 games was a killer, especially in light of past years’ bad starts. Can we blame that on Charlie? Well, I think you can make as good a case as any that the manager is responsible for having the team ready to play on opening day. Oh, but what we wouldn’t give for just 2 or 3 of those losses now!

    But still I say bring him back, with one caveat: the onwership of this team has to cough up enough money to bring in 2 quality starting pitchers and a reliever. Otherwise, we’re just playing the same old game.

    My biggest question on the Charlie Manuel issue is this: How will Pat Gillick be able to sleep at night if he does indeed let Charlie go?

  6. Mookie Wilson

    September 25, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    I’m not from NY…I’m from Jersey…My parents are from Brookly & Queens.

    And I’m not crowing…I’m distracting myself from the pain of watching my team kill themselves. Actually the team has done okay. It’s the starters and bullpen…but I guess you guys know what that feels like…

    We’ll win 4 of the last 6 and eliminate you on the last day of the season. I’ll have a heart attack, die and miss watching my team win the World Series. But it will all be worth it.

  7. Greg

    September 25, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Aaron Rowand says: “It’s not daunting it’s exciting.” Good attitude, but I’m nervous to say the least. I guess the best attitude for a fan, is that if they get it done, then they deserve it, if they don’t, then they don’t.

  8. Mookie Wilson

    September 25, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Good points Greg…if they don’t get it done, will you take Mota off our hands for a sack of balls?

  9. JDM

    September 26, 2007 at 8:16 am

    To paraphrase the great blogger of last year Tacony Lou (i-love-misery.blogspot.com), Bend Over ‘Cause Here It Comes Again. Team Schizzo will play out the drama like before. 3 and 3 to finish out I say.

  10. mike1360

    September 26, 2007 at 11:45 am

    its not looking promising but you gotta believe it will work out in the next 5 days with us in the playoffs

  11. Sean P.

    September 26, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Just like it does every year….

  12. Mookie Wilson

    September 26, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    What do you guys only post when you win??? Come on now, you’re not giving up after one loss are you!?

  13. JDM

    September 26, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Not giving up. In fact, tickets are in hand. Its more like beaten wife syndrome. We keep coming back, ’cause we think things will change. But these are our ever-lovin Fightin/Flailin’s we’re talkin about. All the analysis in the world can’t overcome basic instinct.

  14. Sean P.

    September 26, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Has anyone won the raffle for potential playoff tickets?? I put entries for my parents, my sister, and myself and no of us won. I was wondering if this raffle is a sham or people are actually getting the chance to buy postseason tickets?

    BTW i’m so happy MLB has signed up with Stub Hub b/c you know whenever you go through stub hub you can feel safe you are getting a fair deal, NOT!

  15. George M.

    September 27, 2007 at 8:01 am

    At least with StubHub you have some sort of guarantee that, if you get fake tickets, you’ll get your money back.

    Anybody in the DC area know of a good place to watch the game on Sunday, preferably with a bunch of Phans? I have a bad feeling I won’t be getting it (I have a Slingbox hooked up in NEPA where, for whatever reason, they don’t broadcast the Sunday games on CW).

  16. Joe

    September 27, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    HELP!!! I’m going to Cooperstown for the weekend, and I need a place to watch the Phils…I’ve called about 5 bars already, and I can’t find one that has the MLB Extra Innings package. We’ve had this trip booked for months, so it’s definitely still on. Saturday’s game is on Fox, so I’ll be cool with that. HELP!!!

  17. Mdefl

    September 27, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    hey mookie…shhhhhh…. BOO!!!!!!

  18. Mdefl

    September 27, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Joe,

    That is a tough one. Have you thought of purchasing a sling box? If you have a lap top you can connect the sling box to your computer and get your home tv channels. It only cost $300 and you will be able to use it over and over. Google slingbox and you can get the details.

  19. Joe Giuliano

    September 27, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    That’s right boys…We’re tied for the Division lead with 3 games left!!!

  20. Brian Michael

    September 27, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    George, I’ll watching the game somewhere in DC for sure. Send me an email.

  21. Peter

    September 27, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    is there a gathering of transplant Phillies fans here in DC to watch Cole tomorrow night? Or anyone know a good bar?

  22. LC

    September 28, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    THE PHILLIES WILL SWEEP THE NATIONALS THIS WEEKEND. ITS 3 AUTOMATIC WINS. BET THE HOUSE ON IT. SEE YOU AT THE PLAYOFFS

    LC

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    December 29, 2009 at 10:40 am

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    Very fast, boots up quickly, does not crash, reliable.
    Really good battery life, lasts upto 5 hours.
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