Jack McKeon is not coming back next year. Apparently he would rather spend his days quietly descending into age related insanity than put up with the crap associated with managing Hanley Ramirez. Perhaps he will spend his time learning the ins and outs of Twitter giving him the ability to reach out to Logan Morrison and threaten him into not using the site anymore. Perhaps he is tired of watching these bunch of sucks sucking around and sucking.
There are a very few things to worry about with this version of the Phillies. One of the things that is concerning pitched tonight: Roy Oswalt. Little Roy’s last couple of starts brought both jubilation and panic. Today’s start had some disconcerting elements coupled with some encouraging pitching. Oswalt gave up eight hits in 6 1/3 innings allowing three runs while striking out seven. His fastball reached 93 MPH and he got a few swings and misses at the pitch leading one to believe that last start may have been more of an aberration than the norm. This may be a case of expecting Oswalt, fresh from the disabled list, to be what the other aces are right now. He is not quite there yet, but today looked like he is making strides toward getting there.
The Marlins countered Roy Oswalt with double A call up Brad Hand. He has some major league experience this season, but based on the fact that was 1-4 with an ERA hovering around four and the fact that he has not actually stuck around in the majors leads one to believe that Mr. Hand is not all that good. He actually pitched pretty well today. He allowed a first inning run, but settled in to hold the Phillies at bay until John Mayberry Jr. clubbed a two run shot in the top of the fifth inning. Once Hand had been through the line-up a few times, it looked like the Phillies began to figure him out.
John Mayberry Jr. was the offensive star of today’s game. He hit his 13th home run of the season and added an insurance sac fly to bring his RBI total to 44. I know that not all of Mayberry’s starts have been in left field, but if you combine his numbers with those of Raul Ibanez, the output from left field matches that of the first baseman, Ryan Howard. The two people playing left field would account for 100 RBI and over 30 home runs giving everyone another reason that this is one of the best seasons in Phillies history,
The bullpen took over for Oswalt after he allowed a pinch hit single to Mike Cameron. Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson allowed two base-runners and struck out three. 5-3 Phillies win. Madson earned his 27th save of the year.
Cole Hamels will be opposed by Ricky Nolasco tomorrow as the Phillies look to win their sixth straight contest. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we will get to hear McKeon freak out about how terrible the Marlin pitchers are at pitching.