Results tagged ‘ Chris Coste ’

Blanton Mows Down The Marlins


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The Phillies Joe Blanton and the Marlins’ Chris Volstad battled today for King of the Hill.  Each gave up one hit and struck out 3 with the only differences being that Blanton pitched 2 more innings (6) than Volstad (4) and the only hit off Blanton was a bunt single.  Winner: Blanton.  And the Phillies went on to win the game, 5-1.

Chris Coste, who has been struggling to get back in the swing of things since his hamstring injury, officially got his first hit and first RBI of the Spring today.  Coste probably breathed a big sigh of relief after that; in an interview with Scott Palmer earlier this month, Coste told Palmer that he believes “hitting is so mental” and talks about his “mental and physical bat speed.”  The home run he refers to at the beginning was during a scrimmage.  See what Coste has to say about coming back from his injury:

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Most Phillies fans are pulling for Coste to keep his job as the back-up catcher to Carlos Ruiz, so this is a good step forward.  The other option is Ronny Paulino who the Phils picked up from the Pirates in the off-season, but Paulino does not appear to have the consistency at the plate that Coste does; Paulino is batting only a .200 so far this Spring.  Lou Marson could step in, but he is probably better off staying in the minors one more year to gain experience and get his at-bats.

Cole Watch

All eyes are on Cole Hamels as he begins to throw after a sore elbow sidelined him a few days ago.  Hamels did some long-tossing with Jamie Moyer today and reported afterwards that he felt good; no more soreness except at the site he received the cortisone injection.

And as fascinated as we are with the arm, more people seem to be interested in what the World Series MVP is driving these days.  Check out this photo from The 700 Level:Cole minivan.jpg

Yes, that is a minivan you see him driving.  Not very macho, you say?  Well then, add this to it: 

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Cole also owns a small, white, fluffy yip-yip dog.  Last Spring Training, I watched as his wife drove him out of the stadium; Hamels had her stop the car so he could say hello.  As he rolled down the window, the yipping dog put his tiny paws on the window sill and bounced around in Cole’s lap.  While I was too stunned to grab my camera, the photo to the right shows approximately what the dog looked like.

You may have varying opinions on the subject, but any man who is so unconcerned with his image that he drives around with a fuzzy ankle biter in his lap while traveling in a grocery getter, has got to be very secure in his own self-image; oh, and it also probably means he is filthy rich.  When you have that much money, really, who cares what anyone else thinks?  Just my opinion :O)

 

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Friday the 13th?

It was a real Friday the 13th today for pitcher Blaine Neal, who likely pitched his way into the minors forever, losing the Phillies’ 2 run lead in the 9th against the Pirates.  The Phillies lost 6-5 and Neal, who has not seen action in the majors since 2005, likely will not again.  But really, that is the least of the worries for the Phils.

For the second day in a row, the Phillies could not muster any offense until the 6th inning, when it exploded into a 5 run gain.  Prior to that, it was nappy-nap time for the Phils.  Jason Donald and Ryan Howard led the mini-stampede; Donald went 2 for 5 in the game and Howard whacked a 2 run homer in the 6th.  For the most part though, the offense has been quiet; they are obviously saving it up for April.  Chris Coste, however, needs to get the monkey off his back and soon; Coste has not gotten a hit yet in grapefruit league action.

Injury News

Great news at 3rd base!  Pedro Feliz is back in action and said he is ready to go.  So, Opening Day?  No problem!  And no Friday the 13th woes here either.  As for Chase Utley, he began sliding drills today and so far, so good.  He hopes to get in a live game next week sometime.

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And in former-Phillie Pat Burrell news, Burrell took out a full-page ad in both The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News today to thank the Philadelphia organization and the fans for his 9-year run.  And if you did not love Pat before, you have got to admire him now.  A very classy move; hopefully, once he decides to retire, he will return to Philadelphia and go out as a Phillie, like Mike Lieberthal did last year.  The ad is in the photo to the right; click on it to enlarge and read the whole thing.  Best of luck, Pat!

 

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Colorful Phillies News

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Cole Hamels had his second outing of spring yesterday against the Reds in a 8-4 loss.  Looking a bit un-Cole like, he gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and one homer in 2 2/3 innings.  After the game, Hamels told Comcast SportsNet that “the fastball’s not there” and that his changeup “doesn’t really have that deception that it normally has during the season.”    Well, where ever those pitches are hiding, I hope he finds them before Opening Day.  Maybe the new blonde highlights have gone to his head?  Ok, so I am really not worried; but if he dyes his hair red next, I may have to consult a counselor.

And in Ryan Howard news, I have a Phillies Phollowers exclusive for you!  Ryan got a new tattoo this week…what is it?  You will have to stay tuned to find out; I am awaiting word on a photo.  A friend of mine knows the guy who did the tattoo and brought her son to meet Howard while he was getting it done.   Reportedly, Howard designed the new ink himself.  And I am guessing it brought him luck, as Howard went 2 for 3 with a solo home run in yesterday’s game against the Reds.  And the ink news continues: Brett Myers got a new tattoo of his own this week.  Will it bring him luck as well?

The luck does appear to have rubbed off on Jason Donald, who is on fire at the plate suddenly!  Donald went 3 for 4 in the game which he played at 3rd base and has brought his spring average to .320 with 8 hits in 25 at-bats, 6 walks and 2 RBI.  If he keeps this pace up, he may be a shoe-in to fill in for Pedro Feliz or Chase Utley if they are not ready for Opening Day.  Plus, he is adorable and very friendly.  I give out extra points for those qualities :O)

Speaking of Utley, here is what he had to tell Comcast SportsNet yesterday about the progress of his recovery:

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Chris Coste, who has been nursing an injury, played a few innings yesterday and looked like he was feeling good.  Also getting back to form, Chad Durbin, Brad Lidge and Feliz are expected to see their first spring action tomorrow at 1:05pm against the Atlanta Braves.

And the sad news of the day; six Phillies rookies were sent to the minors yesterday; pitcher Yorman Bazardo; infielders Ozzie Chavez, Anthony Hewitt and Terry Tiffee; and outfielders Jeremy Slayden and Chris Walker.  This narrows down the roster a bit.  I wish them all good luck!

WBC Highlights

Team Italy beat out Team Canada yesterday, knocking them out of the classic.  Looks like Matt Stairs will return to the Phillies shortly.  Later today, Italy will play Venezuela to see who will face Team USA tomorrow.  Personally, as an Italian-American, I am voting for an Italy-USA match-up.  Of course, I may have just doomed Italy to failure by stating that… :O)

And in yesterday’s win over the Netherlands, Phillie JC Romero pitched 1 1/3 innings of 1 hit ball, getting the win for Team Puerto Rico.  You go JC!

 

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Team Canada Feels The Chill

Another chilly day in Florida today where Team Canada went down in flames against the World Champions; final score, 9-2.  Thumbnail image for P3046122.JPGThis is what happens when you stock your team with guys named…well, see for yourself: 

 
You can’t make this stuff up.  So many jokes…so little time.  What were his parents thinking?  And the Canadian team was also made up of guys like Matt Stairs, Justin Morneau of the Twins and this kid…the littlest Canadian:

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Maybe he is Stubby Jr.?   Well, Stairs and Morneau aside, it is no wonder Team Canada struggled against the Phillies.

Anyway, before the game, John Mayberry Sr., former Kansas City Royal, and father of new Phillie, John Mayberry Jr., wandered over to say hello to Charlie Manuel and the gang.  He was a proud papa today, watching his son move closer to making the 25-man roster.  Mayberry Jr. smacked another home run and went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI on the homer.  If Mayberry keeps this pace up, it will be difficult to send him to the minors come April.

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Cole Hamels made his first start of spring training today and pitched 2 innings, giving up 2 hits and a walk.  He started off looking a bit shaky, but settled in and did not allow any runs.  Scott Eyre also pitched an inning and was much sharper than his last outing.  Eyre sent them down in order, striking out 2 batters.  Below, you will see Hamels, Eyre and Greg Dobbs sliding into 2nd; Dobbs, who went 1 for 4, also made an amazing solo double play during the game; he made a diving grab, threw himself at 1st base, sliding forward to tag the bag with his glove before the runner could get back.  Nicely done :O)

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Rookie Jason Donald had a rough day, and has been having a less than spectacular spring at the plate overall.  Today he went 0 for 3.  Donald is getting a lot of playing time to see if he can handle 3rd base should they need him to step in for Pedro Feliz, who is still recovering from back surgery.  But Donald seems to be pressing at the plate and is not producing so far.  Andy Tracy tried to cheer him up after he exited the game today…you will also see Lou Marson fouling off a pitch and Miguel Cairo sliding into home:

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As for the competition for the back-up catchers position, Chris Coste has only made one start so far due to a hamstring injury, which is giving Ronny Paulino an opportunity to snag the job.  Paulino has not been too impressive, which is good news for Coste, but he’ll need to get back on the field if he is going to keep the job.  Coste did take batting practice today and looked solid, so it looks like he should be up and running soon. 

And now for the Photo of the Day – Chase Utley warming up for batting practice; take a look at the reflection in his sunglasses:P3045954.JPG

The Phillies will take on Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Team USA tomorrow at 12:05pm!

 

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Utley Update and Practice Highlights

It is easy to see by the sheer volume of fans at Phillies Spring Training practice today that this team has just won a World Championship.  Fans of all ages descended upon the Carpenter Complex in droves to get a glimpse of the team in action.  The World Series trophy also made an appearance today and eager fans snapped photos.

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The real excitement though, came when Chase Utley stepped in the batter’s box.  While he did not actually swing at anything, it was exciting to see him getting back to form.  He took grounders, pop-ups and did the normal stretching with the team.  He was feeling so well in fact, he let Greg Dobbs use him as a stretching post :O) 

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All that remains to accomplish for Utley, it seems, is a solid swing of the bat.  Watching pitches today should help with his timing once he is ready to be let loose.

Pedro Feliz also took the field for everything today, except the batting.  He was all smiles and it appears, although he is not as far along as Utley, that he should not be too far behind.  Another interesting development is the progress in the battle for back-up catcher.  Chris Coste supporters yelled out their words of encouragement to him, but on the other side of the complex, Ronny Paulino was knocking the crap out of the ball.  Paulino seems to want to make his case for the job, as line drive after line drive was pounded to the fence.  It is still very early to tell, but Paulino does have power.  On the other hand, Coste has been consistent, reliable and is the fan, and probably the team, favorite.

And on to the photo of the day:  P2211710.JPG

 

What exactly does this mean?  Is the car for sale by a player or is this a cruel joke on a rookie?  I may call the number and find out… :O)

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Phillies Players – Strange, Fun & Unique Nicknames

It has always been a tradition in baseball to assign players a nickname.  Whether that be a descriptive one, a play on words, or just plain weird, most guys seem to get one at some point that winds up sticking with them.  I have compiled a list of nicknames for the 2008 Phillies that I could find and then other Phillies from years past.  I tried to avoid any media-given names and just stick to the stuff the players use amongst themselves.  I also put years by some of the older or more obscure player names.  Hope you enjoy it…have a Happy Holiday!!!

2008 Phillies Players

Brad “Light’s Out” Lidge

Carlos Ruiz – Chooch

Charlie Manuel – Chuck

Chase “The Man” Utley or The Model (given to him by J-Roll) or Chutley (ya know, like my Chutley Smurf :O)PA260205 Smurf.jpg

Chris Coste - Chris Clutch

Cole Hamels – Hollywood Hamels

Geoff Jenkins – Jenks or Brett Favre (he is his long-lost twin :o)

Greg Dobbs – Dober (he actually doesn’t like it, but everyone calls him this anyway!)

Jamie Moyer – Grand Pappy or Dyno (for Dinosaur – given to him by J-Roll)

Jayson Werth – J-Dub or Werewolf

Jimmy Rollins – J-Roll or Papa Smurf (I know this one is accurate because Jimmy told me himself that this is what he was called “back in the day.”)

Juan Carlos Romero – JC (did anyone even know his real name was Juan Carlos or did you read this and go, who is this guy??)

Milt Thompson – Uncle Milty

Pat “The Bat” Burrell

Pedro Feliz – Pete Happy (literal translation of his name)

Rudy Seanez – Action Traction (I have NO idea what this is about)

Ryan Howard - The Big Man or Rhino

Ryan Madson – Mad Dog

Shane Victorino – The Flyin’ Hawaiian

Previous Phillies Players:

Antonio Alfonseca – El Pulpo or The Octopus (because he has 6 fingers on each hand….seriously…I have photos)

Bake McBride (1973-83) – Shake n’ Bake

Bobby Abreu – El Comedulce – The Candy Eater

Chuck Klein (1928-44) – The Hoosier Hammerer

Curt Schilling – Schill

Darren Daulton (1983-97) – Dutch

Garry Maddox – The Secretary of Defense

Gary “Sarge” Matthews

Greg Luzinski - The Bull

John Titus – Silent John

Juan Samuel (1983-98) – Sammy

Kevin Saucier – Hot Sauce

Larry Bowa – Gnat (does this mean he is annoying?)

Lenny Dykstra – Nails

Mickey Doolan (1905-18) – Doc

Mickey Morandini – Dandy Little Glove Man (Is it just me, or is this like the gayest nickname ever?)

Mike Lieberthal - Lieby

Mike Schmidt – Iron Mike or Schmidty

Mitch Williams - Wild Thing and Mitchy-Poo (Harry Kalas coined that one)

Otto Knabe (1905-16) – Dutch

Pete Rose – Charlie Hustle

Plácido Polanco – Polly

Steve Bedrosian (1981-95) – Bedrock

Steve Carlton – Lefty

Todd Jones – Roller Coaster

Von Hayes (1981-92) – Five-for-One

Willie Jones – Puddin’ Head

 

And as always, feel free to add your own here in the comments :o)

Marlins Make 1st Place Magically Disappear

A little wave of the magic bat, and POOF!  Just like that, 1st place is gone.  With the awful 14-8 loss tonight, combined with a Mets win over Atlanta, the Phillies sink to 2nd place again in the NL East, trailing by ½ a game.  P9192371 The Marlins bats were so magically that they even stood up on their own, as if to beckon its owner to pick it up and get a hit.  See how Chris Coste looks puzzled by this?  Well, he is not the only one.  Brett Myers absolutely self-destructed in this game; perhaps as a result of his last outing being on only 3 days rest?  He was responsible for TEN runs in only 4 innings.  Yikes!  Well, the bullpen did no better as Rudy Seanez surrendered a run, Les Walrond got hit for 2 runs and Kyle Kendrick, in his 1st relief appearance, gave up a solo homer.  In all, it was a pitching disaster.  In fact, the most entertaining part of the game was when the Marlins male dancers came out and shook their groove thang.  P9192303There are so many things that are disturbing about this photo, I simply cannot begin to express it…it is just wrong on multiple levels J 

Tonight was also a terrible waste of a solid offensive performance.  Ryan Howard hit his 46th homer of the year; Greg Dobbs was 2 for 2 with a home run before being pulled in a double switch; Jimmy Rollins went 2 for 4 as well.  Scoring 8 runs is usually enough to win a game, but not tonight.  Well, if you can stomach it, here are some more photos from the game tonight.  Top row:  J-Roll tags out a Fish trying to nab second base and Jayson Werth slides safely into home.  Bottom row:  J-Roll is about to miss this ground ball…not good; and another J-Roll shot as he fouled a ball of his toe and hit the ground, in obvious pain.  I hope he is ok, because he was still limping into the bottom half of the inning.091908

So tomorrow I have the pleasure of seeing Joe Blanton pitch.  Ugh.  Well, you all know how I feel about him.  The good news is, I saw him taking BP today and the boy can hit!  He sent one ball about 420 feet into the deep part of center field.  I guess the practice may pay off… we shall see.  I am more concerned about his pitching…the Phillies cannot afford to lose this series.  Let’s hope the Fish leave their magic wands at home.

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Missed Opportunities

The Phillies blew a great opportunity tonight to really take the steam out of the Mets’ sails as they lost 6-3, after leading the game by a score of 3-2 until the 8th inning.  Right now, I am feeling like I ate some very bad Chinese food.  This is just sickening.  Yesterday I mentioned how many scoring opportunities the Phils squandered away, yet still came away with the win.  Tonight, they were not so lucky.

Here’s the ugly breakdown:  5th inning, with men on 1st & 2nd, Chase Utley grounds out to end the inning; 6th inning, Pat Burrell hits a lead-off double and then Ryan Howard walks – Shane Victorino proceeds to strikeout, Jayson Werth pops out and Pedro Feliz strikes out.  Lead-off double and a walk wasted; 7th inning, Chris Coste hits a lead-off single, but Greg Dobbs grounds into the double play to wipe them both out.  Still, they had more chances here…Rollins walked, Utley was intentionally walked, but Burrell grounded out to end the inning.

So why then, with a one run lead, do we allow Rudy Seanez to pitch to Carlos Delgado, who had already homered once in the game?  Frankly, I do not understand this “not available” crap with the pitchers.  Coaches treat these guys like porcelain dolls instead of the athletes they are.  JC Romero should have handled that batter, no question.  Even so, Seanez gets the nod and Rich Dubee, pitching coach, even came out to the mound to talk to him and Coste before they pitched to Delgado.  So, exactly how is it that Seanez comes out immediately tossing low balls to Delgado?  EVERYONE knows that Delgado hits the crap out of the low ball!  I mean, don’t they?  Every home run this guy has hit off us has been on a low pitch!  How do they miss that?  And it wasn’t a mistake that they threw him low either…Coste was set up low so it was obviously intentional.  UGH!  And that home run in the 8th inning that tied up the game is the one that totally turned the ball game over to the Mets.  Then Charlie Manuel puts Brad Lidge in for the last out of the 8th, in what is then a non-save situation, and of course, they hit the pants off of him too.  Next thing you know, a 3-2 lead turns to a 6-3 disaster.  And people wonder why I have an ulcer after watching this team play…

Screaming And because I feel like screaming right now, let me continue…  Did Manuel NOT think this game was crucial?  We have a 4 game series against the 1st place Cubs coming up who are just crushing teams right now; the Phils needed this win to take some of the pressure off them going into the Chicago series.  So again, why are any of our pitchers not available?  Sure, they are all tired.  Sure, they had a rough night last night.  But it is nearing September and the time for rest is over…everyone should want to get in the game every day and Manuel needs to stop babying these players.  They are not going to make the playoffs with this kind of approach.  This is the time to bear down, suck it up and earn your friggin’ millions!

Now excuse me for a moment while I try desperately to find my “happy place” so I can get some sleep tonight…  Ahhhhh….  Think, puppies & rainbows; kitties & wildflowers… J  Ok, I think I have meditated my way from furious to mildly annoyed.  And how are all of you doing out there in baseball hell?  Feel free to drop me a line and let me know!  We should not suffer alone. J

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Lucky Number 13

Well, I have a knot in my stomach the size of a grapefruit and I am beginning to think that baseball may be hazardous to my health.  J  The Phillies escaped tonight in the 13th inning with a huge comeback win over the Mets; final score 8-7 and the Phillies overtake first place in the NL East.  This was a very strange game with some serious creativity coming off the bench.  To start with, Jamie Moyer had a rare bad appearance, lasting only 3 innings and giving up 6 earned runs on 9 hits.  The bullpen did an amazing job holding the Mets down, although I am sure their arms are all hanging low tonight.  They got a serious workout.

It did not look good early on, as the Phillies were down 7-0 by the 4th inning.  The Phillies offense wasted many, many scoring opportunities, starting in the very first inning.  With 2 men on and no outs, Ryan Howard struck out swinging, Pat Burrell flied out and Shane Victorino went down swinging.  Then in the 3rd inning, Jimmy Rollins got on base for the 2nd time tonight and stole 2nd base, but Chase Utley popped out and Pat Burrell struck out looking to end the inning.  Just a few examples, but you get the point.  They left a lot of runners on base tonight…18 to be exact.  Then, a horrible call by the 3rd base umpire in the 3rd inning led to 3 runs for the Mets – With runners on 1st and 3rd and no outs, Fernando Tatis hit a ball up the line at 3rd base which, clearly on replay, was a fair ball – the ball hits the runner on third base, Pedro Feliz picks it up and throws out Tatis.  So, it should have been a double play, but instead the umpire called it a foul ball.  So what does Tatis do with the new life he was given?  He hit a 3 run homer.  It never should have happened.

And still, with all this weighing against them, they pulled out the win.  Let’s take a look at what else they had going against them: Ryan Howard, aside from the home run he hit in the 5th inning, looked horrible at the plate all night.  He went 1 for 6 and struck out 2 times.  Howard continues to be undisciplined at the plate and constantly has trouble making contact; of course, swinging at bad pitches hasn’t helped that.  Pat Burrell also had a nightmare of an evening, going 0 for 7 and striking out 4 times!  But Rollins, going 5 for 7 with 3 RBI’s, and Jayson Werth who was 3 for 5, carried the offense most of the night.  P4208166_bruntlett_cr Eric Bruntlett came in to tie up the game in the 9th inning with a double that scored Werth…it was his first hit since August 15th.  He wound up with 2 hits before the game was over.  Chris Coste came in for Carlos Ruiz at catcher in the 8th as Ruiz moved to third base for an inning!  Talk about getting creative…  Well, Coste went 4 for 4 and hit the game winning single in the 13th to score Victorino.

The moves off the bench tonight were amazing; Ruiz at third base?  Wow;  Great management of the bullpen; And then using Brett Myers the way they did in the 13th, after the Mets intentionally loaded the bases with no outs – Myers was obviously told to look like he was anxious to swing, but not to move a muscle.  Hoping for the walk, but willing to take the strikeout just to avoid hitting into the double play so Coste could come up to bat with only 1 out.  And it worked!  Coste nails the single; game over!  An improbable comeback and an entertaining game all around!  So, if the Phillies can sweep this short 2 game series, it will solidify their spot in first place.  Kyle Kendrick will pitch tomorrow night and the Phils had better hope he’s got some innings in him, because the bullpen is wiped out!  Fingers crossed…Go Phillies!

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Groovy Win For The Phils

It was 70′s night at the ballpark tonight and Chris Coste and Greg Dobbs emerged as the Disco Kings!  In fact, give a great big Disco cheer to the entire bottom of the line-up!  They all contributed in this 8-1 win over Greg Maddux and the Dodgers.  Kyle Kendrick, coming off two straight horrible starts, also did his part tonight, allowing just one solo home run over 5 2/3 innings.  Chad Durbin was back to his normal, groovy self, pitching 1 1/3 shut-out innings.  And then Ryan Madson had the opportunity to redeem himself after last night’s disaster by pitching in the 8th tonight and he did so without incident.  With a 7 run lead, Scott Eyre got some work by pitching a scoreless 9th to close out the game.

The scoring began with a 2 run homer by Ryan Howard in the 4th to put the Phillies in the lead.  Howard however, who has not been hitting of late, remained quiet the rest of the game.  The 5th inning started off with a surprise bunt single from Greg Dobbs, who continues to make it difficult to leave him out of the line-up.  He just makes things happen.  Jayson Werth followed with a base hit; Dscf9931_costeChris Coste followed with another hit to score Dobbs.  Kendrick, hoping to assist in his own cause, laid a sac bunt down to advance the runners.  So with 2nd & 3rd occupied and the top of the line-up coming up, we are in business!  Right?  …Wrong.  Jimmy Rollins, who is now 3 for his last 37 at bats, popped out!  Then Chase Utley goes down watching strike 3 pass him by.  Not cool.  These guys are like totally killing my happy disco vibe at this point.

But that’s okay…let’s go to the 6th inning which began with 3 singles in a row!  Pat Burrell, Shane Victorino and Greg Dobbs load the bases.  Werth steps up and hits a sac fly to score Burrell.  Then Coste comes on to smack a 3-run homer and blow the game wide open.  After the game, Coste donned a 70′s style wig for his post-game interview (see photo) and blamed his 3rd inning bad at-bat, during which he grounded into a double play, on being distracted by the hysterical 1970′s outfit he was shown wearing on the big screen at the ballpark.  Ok, the man had 4 RBI on the night; we’ll excuse the double play.P4177825_dobbs_cr

And back to Greg Dobbs…things just continue to happen when he is in games!  And since  Rollins is not hitting, here is what I suggest:  leave Dobbs at third, put Pedro Feliz at short.  Feliz has played there before both with the Phillies and the Giants.  This offense needs a spark plug.  It used to be Rollins, but how long ago does that seem now?  I say Dobbs is the man.  He’s positive, upbeat, likeable and oh yeah, he’s hitting .304.  Really, at this point, I don’t care how Charlie Manuel gets him in the line-up, just make it happen!  This team needs a leader…Dobbs for President!!!!!! J

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