All this “welcome back, Jimmy Rollins” bullshit, I don’t buy it. I’m not saying he won’t break out of his season-long slump. I’m just saying that a solo home run, while technically “the game-winner,” does not necessarily constitute a slump-breaker. It does bring to light, once again, the fact that the Phillies win around 70% of the games in which young James gets plated. So good for you, J-Roll. Way to kinda-sorta-well-not-actually-do-your-job. Forgive me if I don’t kiss your ass. In fact, I’d rather see Feliz on the scoreboard below. But AP photographers don’t take pictures of players that deserve to be All-Stars, apparently.
Excuse me for sounding like a dick, but while the 3 RBI are appreciated, they just don’t convince me that this man has stepped out from the shadow of his former self. Contact is good, I like the groundout that moved Coste and scored Feliz, but a bases-loaded HBP and a liner over the fence says ‘lucky’ to me. When he starts mixing in consistent leadoff doubles and triples to the gaps and spraying grounders all over, working walks, manufacturing early leads, etc., then maybe I’ll change my tune. But to me this is just a drizzle during a drought.
Pedro Feliz has been terrific this year, and has mostly gone unnoticed. In fact, if I were one of those stat-fags I would use the numbers as compared to Jimmy’s to make the case that Pierre Heureux would be a better leadoff hitter for the 2009 squad. He’s only scored 10 less runs than Rollins in 56 less at-bats. He’s had 9 more hits and 6 more bases on balls. How about his AVG/OBP of .318/.365 versus Rollins’s .217/.254? I know the dynamics are different between a 7-hole hitter and leadoff, but I’m just trying to keep people from going apeshit over Jimmy’s performance. For pete’s sake (no pun intended), he’s only slightly outperforming Big Papi for the season, and that guy’s old and fat and cares more about his facial hair anyway.
As for the rest of the game, Ibanez took the day off to keep his sore achilles tendon fresh, leaving Dobbs playing left field and doing nothing at the plate. Happ earned the no-decision, finishing strong but looking kind of lost against a patient Boston offense. Park continued to whittle away at his ERA with his third straight solid appearance, giving up one unearned run and striking out 3 in 2.1 innings.
And Josh Beckett is still an asshole. It was nice to see him get the loss. He blows a 4-1 lead, homers himself back up to a no decision and blows it again to a guy who hadn’t hit safely all weekend. He called out Baldelli in front of everybody for playing too deep and pulled a Zambrano in the dugout. Fuck you, Joshua, Rocco’s my boy.
Day off tomorrow. Series at home against the Jays starting Tuesday. Game chat for Wednesday night, people. See you then.
P.S. Just wanted to send a shout-out to loyal reader JB, who is in Europe kicking ass right now. Go Phils.