Howard Heating Up / All-Star Update
Ryan Howard hit 2 more home runs and added 3 more RBI’s to his league-leading totals in the 4-1 win against the Cardinals today. If things stand as they are, Howard will be the first player in 60 years to lead the league in both home runs and RBI’s at the break and NOT make the All-Star team. Having gotten off to a slow start may have contributed to the lack of votes, but still a sad state of affairs, indeed. Add to that the also much deserving Pat Burrell was unable to make the cut via fan voting today, coming in third place behind Cory Hart of the Brewers and David Wright of the Mets. There is still a small chance another Phillie can land on the All-Star roster as Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs has dropped out due to injury and has to be replaced. That selection however, has to be determined by Rockies manager, Clint Hurdle, and well, as much as I would like to think he’d do the right thing, I am not holding my breath. And so we wait…
Jamie Moyer pitched a great game today going 7 innings and giving up only 1 earned run on 7 hits and striking out 4. He moved the ball in and out of the zone and looked like the Jamie we all love. Nice to see great pitching finally rewarded with a win for a change. The offense had 10 combined hits, still looking a bit rusty, but showing small signs of life. They are really going to have to step it up for this next series with the D-Backs who have a much tougher pitching staff.
The Phillies sent rookie pitcher JA Happ back to AAA today, but don’t get all excited now…he should be back after the All-Star break. The only reason they did it was so that he would stay in a normal rhythm until after the break. If they kept him up, he would be going more than a week and a half without pitching which may hamper all the progress he has made. The other good new there is, with a roster spot open for now, the Phillies were able to call up Mike Cervenak (see photo), infielder for AAA, who is currently batting .308 with 50 RBI and 7 home runs on the year in the minors. Cervenak is 31 years old and, much like Chris Coste did, has paid his dues for a long time in the minors and is finally getting his first shot at the bigs. Also like Chris Coste, Cervenak spent a short time in the Independent Leagues. I met him in Spring Training and he is a very friendly and engaging guy and will fit well in this clubhouse. He is also very determined and I hope to see him get some playing time this week so we can all see what he can do.
Well, all we can do now folks is keep our fingers crossed for another Phillies All-Star to join the group! Thanks to everyone who helped with the voting J Go Phillies!