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Opposing Views


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In review

It was Bobby Abreu and Mike Lieberthal day in the papers today. Since Monday's HR derby are of no consequence to the Marlins, let's focus on Mike Lieberthal...

 

Lieberthal, who struggled in the season's first half, said he watched Bobby Abreu win the Home Run Derby in Detroit on Monday and tried to emulate some of his habits. "I looked at the visualization of how he approaches each pitch. He's special to watch, and his balance is unbelievable," Lieberthal said.

The catcher said his stance wasn't as open and he wasn't as crouched last night. "I had been pulling off the ball and jumping at it, and I didn't do that tonight," he said. "I had a good BP [batting practice] and it carried over." /---/ PI

 

Brett Myers gave up a flowerbed homer to Paul Lo Duca to start the second inning, eliciting an expletive from Myers concerning the ease with which hitters can hit homers at Citizens Bank Park. Myers walked No. 8 hitter Alex Gonzalez, who stole second, and gave up a two-out single to left to Juan Pierre. Burrell tried to field it and throw out Gonzalez at the plate, but botched it, allowing the run to score. Pierre scored when Myers balked and it was 3-0. /---/ PDN {The Inquirer beat write Sam Carchini thinks Myers said 'joke of a park'}

 

"You never want to give them extra outs," Burrell said. "I let that ball go by. I was probably a little too aggressive trying to make a play at the plate, and it went over my glove. The guy got to third and there was a balk, so it was a two-run transition there. Against a team like this, with the guy they have throwing, you don't want to get down by three." /---/ MLB

 

After Florida tied it at 4 on a tracer of a third-inning homer by Miguel Cabrera - not many parks would have held it - the Phils took a 6-4 lead by manufacturing a pair of fifth-inning runs.

Jimmy Rollins walked to start the inning and raced to third on Kenny Lofton's single to right. Lofton promptly stole second. The hustling Chase Utley then was barely retired on a slow tapper to second, but a run scored and Lofton cruised into third. /---/ PI

 

"I realized that I didn't have my best stuff, but tried to make pitches in key situations and try to get the offense back in the dugout as quickly as possible," Myers said. "It was one of those nights where you make bad pitches and they hit him." /---/ MLB

 

 

Critical point of the season

With the trade deadline looming in 2 weeks, there was a distinct feeling of the season being saved right then, right there.

"It was huge," Burrell said. "This is... It comes right down to this."

"It's the same situation every year. We're on the bubble," Lieberthal agreed. "You've got to make your run right now." /---/ PDN

 

"These games are not only big for us, but for a few teams out there in our position," Lieberthal said. "You’re either going to fall back or stay in it. If we play well, maybe they’ll make some moves to help us. If they don’t play well, obviously it will go the other way and we might get rid of players." /----/ DCDT

 

It's no secret that the Phillies need a good showing against the Marlins if they're to regain momentum and stay relevant in the National League East. Thursday's win moved them to 18-25 vs. the East, a record that has been a source of frustration for the team and Manuel. /---/ MLB

 

The importance of this series is evident in the rotation Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee have laid out. A quick glance at Sunday shows Vicente Padilla penciled in and Robinson Tejeda set to miss a start. However, that's just an option depending on how the series goes, especially with an off day set for Monday.

"More than likely Padilla on Sunday," Manuel said. "It depends if we use (Tejeda) out of the bullpen long the next couple of games. It's an option. I will use him to keep us in the game. That's how big this series is. All these games the rest of the way are big for us. We're behind, we need to catch up. We need to beat teams in our division. We all know that." /---/ CP

 

The Philly Daily News' John Smallwood hops back on the bandwagon.

 

 

 

 

Personnel changes

Manuel said he batted lefty hitter Chase Utley third and moved Burrell from fourth to fifth to make Marlins starter A.J. Burnett face four straight lefties before Burrell, then two more after him (even though Burnett was holding lefties to a .215 average, with righties hitting .262). /---/ PDN

 

David Bell reported back to work with his periodically balky back in spasm again. Manuel saw that and did not hesitate to start switch-hitter Tomas Perez in Bell's place. After all, Bell is hitting .191 against righthanders and was 2-for-18 against Burnett. Manuel said Bell should start tonight. /---/ PDN

 

Thome, who was placed on the disabled list July 1 with tendinitis in his right elbow, said he's felt better over the past few weeks, though he doesn't know when he might resume baseball-related activities. /---/ MLB

 

 

Jim Thome on the chopping block?

As reported by the USA Today's Hal Bodley

Some reactions: The Inquirer's beat writer Sam Carchidi, Courier Post, Philly Burbs, Phila Phans (#1), Phila Phans (#2), Baseball Think Factory members

 

Asked about the report Thursday, Phillies GM Ed Wade said: "I don't comment on trade rumors." That is obviously not a denial. Certainly Wade could have shot this down, and chose not to. /---/ CP

 

"I kept getting asked questions about it," Wagner said. "With you guys, you've got to answer the questions or you write what you want to write. What I said was, they asked me if I was up for a trade. I said I love Philly and like playing for Philly, but if they trade me, I'll go where they want me to go."

Wagner is no fool. He sees what is going on around the league and understands that he is a much needed and rare commodity. He also understands, that with the Wild Card in play, anything can happen, especially in the National League East.

"Each team is trying to catch an edge on the other," Wagner said. "It's a stacked division and going to be the toughest one. Everybody's trying to find a way to counter-move everybody else." /---/ CP {Interesting take. Most of Philly has been pissed at Wagner for his comments}

 

 

Blog Spotlight

The Good Phight analyzes the NL East

Chuck Darrow recaps last night's game and answers some readers' questions

Mike at A Citizens Blog profiled Brett Myers before yesterday's contest

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. AJ Burnett watch

Interested teams include Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Anaheim Angels, Texas Rangers (Am I missing anyone?)

P.P.S. Leiter watch

Interested teams include the New York Yankees (Things are so desperate the infamous NYC media is speculating if the Yankees might trade a PTBNL for him) and Boston Red Sox

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