Ryan, Raul, Ruiz, and Roy

21 May

Yes, they had to put two more regulars on the DL.  Yes the other Ryan and several of his teammates are still mired in horrific slumps.  Yes they only managed 4 hits last night but it’s another 4 we celebrate today, the 4 R’s.  On the first sunny day in a week, (No, ‘It’s Not Always Sunny In Philadelphia.’) I think we could all use some positivity.  So here we go.

I actually started this post with 3 R’s.  What else is there to say about Roy?  I mean, I even honored the man with Haiku!  But Roy Halladay was ‘the man’ again last night.  After a dicey first inning Halladay settled down to give the Phils eight innings strong.  He improved his record to 6-3 with a 2.21 ERA.  Even on this star-studded pitching staff, Halladay still shines.  He did, however, give up one more run in the eighth setting up our next R.

If anyone has been unsung this year, it is closer Ryan Madson.  In fact, I bet you wondered why I even had ‘Ryan’ in the headline because you were thinking of that other Ryan.  (Come on, admit it.)  That’s how unsung he is.  But Ryan Madson has grabbed on to the closer’s role, one he has struggled with mightily in the past, and won’t let go.  He is 8 for 8 in saves.  In 18 innings pitched he has 23 strikeouts and his ERA is a ridiculous .50.  I hope both Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras are healthy enough to come back this season but in my book Ryan Madson is this team’s closer. Period.

Rauuuuuul!  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I root for Raul Ibanez.  He seems like an incredibly decent man, he never makes excuses, he’s quiet and humble.  OK, I just like the guy.  So it was especially gratifying to see him blast a home run last that ended up being the game-winner.  Yes, kudos to Ben Francisco who hit a big one, too.  (Could it be that Dominic Brown played a role in last night’s game just sitting on the bench?  Two of the outfielders he could replace had home runs.  I’m just saying.)

That brings me to R number 4, the one usually called ‘Chooch’ (but that wouldn’t work in the headline.) Catcher Carlos Ruiz got off to a rough start last night first allowing a steal of home and then uncharacteristically questioning the calls of the home plate umpire both as catcher and hitter!  He even threw thew the ball to third once, assuming a strikeout before it was called.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that.  At one point I thought he might get thrown out of this game.

But it’s a good thing he didn’t because in the 9th he threw out David Murphy trying to steal second for the critical final out.  Funny how this game works.  In the first inning, it was Ruiz’s throw to second that cost his team a run when it allowed the Rangers Elvis Andrus to steal home.  But in the 9th it was that very same throw to second that won the game for the Phillies.

So we have the fifth R, redemption.

And that, my friends, is why I love this game.


6 Responses to “Ryan, Raul, Ruiz, and Roy”

  1. Hal Rosenbluth May 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Ok, you’re RIGHT about Ryan Madson, you’re RIGHT about Ruiz, but, just like he bats, and the position he plays, you’re still out in LEFT field when it comes to Raooooooooooooooo. Word has it he has adjusted his grip, my god, it took spring training and a month and a half of MAJOR LEAGUE baseball to figure out how to grip the bat. if i remember correctly, you take your RIGHT hand and place it on the bottom of the bat, then your LEFT on top of your RIGHT, after that, there’s nothing LEFT. i hope Raoooooooooplays well again tonight, maybe he’s hearing footsteps with Brown back and the chance that Jojn Maytbeberry, or Ben Phrancisco could Phil in in LEFT.

    • girlsbestphriend May 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      Hello, my Raul-hating friend and first let me thank you for your comment. Believe it or not, I LOVE getting comments whatever their content. As for Raooo (as you call him,) since May 3rd he is only 21-56, batting .375 so he (and I) will be “out in Left field” for many days to come!

      Oh, and by the way, love the ‘Phrancisco’ and ‘Phil’ but you could use a little spellcheck on John Mayberry!

      • Hal Rosenbluth May 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

        Spellcheck doesn’t help when you can’t even see that you need it. I now have my glasses on, hence John “MayBEberry” (let’s hope so.) Just turned on the pre-game show and there is a Little League coach showing Raooooooo how to hold the bat. He has this technique he uses whereby he takes a magic marker and draws Raul’s fingers on the wood. All Raooooo needs to do is place his fingers inside the lines of the marked fingers on the bat and he’s good. If you’ve noticed, i have removed 3 o’s from Raooooo’s name based on his current hitting. So from this point on, starting at 5 o’s, I will add an o for every out and remove one from his name for every hit. Hoping that tomorrow we can read about Raoo.

  2. girlsbestphriend May 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    There is only one problem with your very clever ‘adding an o’ plan and I will let Hall Of Famer Ted Williams explain it:

    “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”

    So with this in mind, even the best hitter would have many an ‘o’ added after their name.

    • Hal Rosenbluth May 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

      Actually, while awaiting your response I did have a similar thought and came up with a more equitable approach to it. For every homer we remove 4 o’s, a triple 3, and so on. For every out we add an o. Therefor, when Raoooooooo hits for the cycle tonight I’ll remove 10 o’s and he’ll have two in the bag for tomorrow’s game. On the other hand, a groundout to second (I think he leads the league in that category) is worth two o’s. Here’s hoping my third finger from the LEFT, on my RIGHT hand, the one that hits the o key, doesn’t go on the DL along with half the Phillies.

      • girlsbestphriend May 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

        Well, all I can say to that is my fondest wish is that Raul will have the night off tonight! (For both of us.)

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