Nobody Said It Would Be Easy

18 May

Roy Halladay was on the hill, game face on.  The Phillies had lost his last five starts and he hadn’t had a win since April 16th.  April 16th!  That’s over a month that the best pitcher in baseball (editorial comment intended) hasn’t won a game.  And this was the same park that made the “Doc” sick, literally forcing him to leave a game early suffering from heat prostration.  Did he want this one?  Big time.

Did he get it?  Yep.  Was it the laugher it seemed to be when Halladay left the game after pitching eight strong innings, his Phillies leading 8-3?  Let’s just say I’m glad my Tylenol PM kicked in last night and I fell asleep in the eighth.  Unfortunately so did rookie reliever Jake Diekman.

After a great debut a couple of nights ago resulting in his first major league win, Diekman‘s  second outing?  Not so good. He struggled mightily in the 9th, turning the Phillies 8-3 lead into a save opportunity for Jonathan Papelbon who came in to get the final out and his 11th save.

See, I told you it wouldn’t be easy.

But here’s the good news.  And there’s lots of it for a change.

The Phillies have now won five a row, a feat that seemed nearly impossible a couple of weeks ago.

At 20-19, they are above .500 for the first time since Opening Day!

Halladay looked more like the “Doc” pitching eight strong innings while  improving his record to 4-3.

And I saved the best for the last.  The Phillies may have several aces on the mound but the biggest reason they are winning right now is their one ace in the hole, catcher Carlos Ruiz.

As my about to be confirmed son said as he was watching the game highlights this morning, “Chooch is just sick.”   (For those not living with a teenager, that’s a good thing.)  I couldn’t have said it better.

Ruiz went 4-for-5 last night with three RBI giving him 27 for the season tied for the team lead with Hunter Pence.  It was the first time a Phillies player has had four hits in a game this season.

He leads the Phillies with 41 hits and is batting a torrid .363 good for third best in the National League.

He’s also eighth in the league in on-base percentage and fifth in slugging percentage.

Not to mention that he has been flawless in his day job of handling the Phillies ace-filled pitching staff.

In short, Carlos Ruiz is making it look easy this season.

Now I try not to demand too much of you, my readers.  Believe me, I’m just glad you’re reading but today I feel compelled to assign some homework.  Go to the Phillies website and take thirty seconds to vote for “Chooch” to make his first all-star game.  I’ll make it even easier.  Here’s the link:

All-Star Voting

If you want extra credit, vote 25 times, the imposed limit!

And if you don’t want to do it for me, you should always listen to your “Doc”-tor.

“He’s the best catcher in the National League right now,” Halladay said. “We’ve said it for years. Unfortunately you have to really hit to get that notoriety, and he’s doing that right now. Hopefully people take notice.”

Got it? So make 25 votes and call me in the morning.

2 Responses to “Nobody Said It Would Be Easy”

  1. Natalie May 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Does it count that at the last game we went to (DC) my son completed 20 all star ballots during the game but refused to deposit them in DC so we will be putting them in the box at the Ballpark this weekend

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