Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Due to a ton of travel since the start of baseball season, I've watched all of about 2 or 3 Phillies games so far this season. That's making things difficult for me at this moment in time to be truly inspired to post on here. This is not my official resignation or anything, so don't get too worried about that just yet. I am posting now, though, to let you know that I will be continuing to suck at this for the next few days. On Thursday or Friday, I will be posting Male Bag: Volume II.I in lieu of a series preview against the Cubs. It's all a total cop-out, and I'm very OK with that right now. This has nothing to do with the fact that the Phillies kind of suck right now, it's only that I kind of suck right now. See you soon! Let's go Phils!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wedding Weekend

Because I'm in California right now and was very busy this week, I'm not going to be posting anything other than this for this weekend's series. I had planned to type up a Male Bag before I left and then post it today, but that didn't work out at all. You can expect a Male Bag sometime at the beginning of next week. Let's go Phils!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Giants Preview: Western Standard Time

Tonight the Phillies begin a road trip that will have them playing in Western Standard Time for the next 7 games before traveling to Arizona and then back home.

If you saw nothing wrong with that first sentence, it's because you're normal. If you thought it was weird that I said "Western Standard Time" instead of "Pacific Standard Time," it's because you care way too much about the West Coast*. Let's not pretend like that time zone is at all relevant.

Oh sure, they might do some significant things out there that we should actually care about (and can I please stress the word "might"), but that doesn't mean that we should actually acknowledge that time works in a different way out there. It's not like anyone else does. Even the people out there barely do.

I mean let's just look at the facts:

- If they want to watch a football game that starts at 1:00 on the East Coast, they have to skip church. Not that those heathens would probably go to church anyway.

- I plan on recording How I Met Your Mother tonight at 8:00. By the time you read this, that will have already happened. I will also have a chaynce to watch that about 5 or 6 times before it is ever on in California. And that's with me not even watching it when it's actually scheduled.

- New Year's Day, 2000. Who knew that Y2K was a majoke before anyone else in this country? Us.

- When watching Nickelodeon as a kid (and probably anything else, but this channel stands out most to me), they would tell me that The Secret Life of Alex Mack was on at 8/7 Central. So even when different time zones are given some type of love, they only go as far as the next one over.

- The Super Bowl is in the afternoon on the West Coast. They don't care about sports, so I guess that doesn't really matter to them, but I know I'd be furious.

- Saturday Night Live isn't live there. Read that sentence again.

If you're concerned that these facts are only really about sports and television, then please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Cameron, and I'm excited to have you reading the blog for the first time despite the fact that you have never met me nor heard anything about me.

So the real question here is: Why the heck do we have to stay up until 1:00 in the morning to watch the Phillies when they play against these teams? Can't they just move all the games so they are played at 4:00 locally, and we can watch them at normal time? Sure, it's nice to be able to watch Jeopardy! and have more time to write a series preview, but it's mostly just annoying. Why are we catering to those liberal yahoos who don't get my sense of humor?

This series, though, has a special benefit to it. This weekend, those liberal yahoos that don't get my sense of humor will actually be catering to ME. I fly into Orange County Wednesday night for Paul's wedding on Saturday. This means that our series tonight with the Giants could not come at a better time. Sorry, jet lag, but you will have little to no effect on this guy, other than allowing me to sleep in every day I'm out there. HA! System: beaten. (Also, I'm going to be in Vegas Thursday night, so we can pretty much throw out any type of sleep schedule for that anyway.)

So, without further ado, here is a preview of the most convenient West Coast series in recent memory!

Game 1: Roy Halladay (2-0, 0.60 ERA) vs. Tim Lincecum (0-1, 12.91 ERA)
Seriously, though, what is going on with Lincecum so far this season? It is very unlike him to start out the season so shaky. His 2 starts this year are a 5-4 loss and a 17-8 loss, and somehow the actual loss on his record came in the former. His last outing lasted just 2.1 innings after giving up 8 hits and 6 runs. I think we need to jump on this possible lapse in confidence and get to him early. Juan Pierre is 6 for 12 in his career against him with 2 triples, and he'll be leading off tonight. Halladay has not been great against the Giants in his career, but there are really no hitters here who scare me against him. Maybe to prove that he doesn't care about the past, he'll just throw a perfect game tonight?
Prediction: Phillies 3 Giants 0
Keep an eye out for: Halladay's first complete game shutout of the season. Yes, we're doing this again this season.

Game 2: Joe Blanton (1-1, 2.35 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (1-1, 3.97 ERA)
Madison Bumgarner came into this season as one of the more hyped-up number 3 starters that I can remember. Everyone was predicting big things for him, and I really have no reason to think that he won't be very SUCCESSful this season and in the foreseeable future. Hopefully, though, he can put off that dominance for at least one more start. If we use the right lineup, I think we can do some damage against Bumgarner. We don't have a ton of experience against him but the little that we is pretty good. Rollins, Victorino, Polanco, Pence, and Mayberry have all gotten at least one hit off of him in only 3 or 4 at bats. As for Joe Blanton, it will be interesting to see which Blanton shows up. He has had a knack for starting the season slow since being a Philly, but he looked great in his last start. Angel Pagan will be the scariest hitter for him to face, as he is 6 for 12 in his career with 2 home runs. And that is the last time I will ever type "Angel Pagan will be the scariest hitter for him to face" (I even copied and pasted it just now just so I wouldn't type it again).
Prediction: Giants 5 Phillies 4
Keep an eye out for: a home run from John Mayberry, who has one off of Bumgarner and hit 3 off of the Giants last season.

Game 3: Cliff Lee (0-1, 3.46 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
There's no denying that Matt Cain is a great pitcher, but the Phillies have done their best to deny that over the years. He is just 1-4 with a 4.17 ERA against us. Most of the players to have done that damage, though, appear to be gone or injured. Rollins has had plenty of SUCCESS against Cain, batting .412 with 2 doubles, 3 triples, a home run, and 5 RBI. Hunter Pence and Laynce Nix stand out as newer Phillies who have hit him around though, batting .333 and .400 against him, respectively. Cliff Lee, on the other hand, has complete dominated the Giants in his career. He is 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA against them. One of my favorite Cliff Lee memories was his first start as a Philly. It was against the Giants, and he threw 109 pitches in a complete game 5-1 win. He also went 2-for-4 with a double in that game.
Prediction: Phillies 4 Giants 0
Keep an eye out for: Jimmy hitting for the cycle. People always complain about the cycle and say it's really overrated. "Wouldn't you rather have 4 home runs?" Yeah, obviously, but it doesn't mean it's not cool to do. And do you know the last Phillies player to hit for the cycle? David Bell. No offense, Kevin Petzold, but that needs to change.

*If the weirdness you saw was actually in the use of "standard" instead of "daylight," then you just care way too much about time zones

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mets Preview: What a Difference a Game Makes

So after that Pirates series and the first game of the Marlins series, I was feeling the worst I've felt in a very long time about our beloved Phillies. We knew coming into this season that runs might be hard to come by, but I really did not expect it to feel as bad as it did. I was up in Pittsburgh for a long weekend with Kelli, and there was some serious concern on her part over how to deal with me over the course of a season that would include countless 0- and 1-run efforts by the Phils. I honestly felt pretty bad for her knowing how bad of a mood I can be in after a bad game. I don't even want to think about what kind of mood I would be in after a bad month or 2.

But that all changed with Wednesday night's game. I know that one game shouldn't completely reverse my opinion on our offense, but I can't help it. It's not just about the 5-run inning...that stuff can happen for any team. It's not just that every starter had a hit...they're all bound to get hits at some point. It's not just because we were facing Josh Johnson...every pitcher has an off day.

No, it is much more than that. Our offense actually looked like a real offense to me. It looked like one that could last for more than just one inning or game or series. And the main reason for all of this? Get ready for it...

Juan Pierre.

Seriously? Yes, seriously. It has been well-documented in the past that I am not a huge fan of Jimmy Rollins as our leadoff hitter. I preferred Shane Victorino, sure, but even he wasn't that great as a leadoff guy. Juan Pierre, though, is wonderful. The number one thing I love about Pierre is that he simply puts the bat on the ball. He hits mostly line drives and grounders, and they may not always be hit the hardest or in the best spot, but they are at least giving him a chaynce. Every time he puts the bat on the ball, there is a chaynce he ends up on base. That's the type of optimism I want to have when it comes to our leadoff hitter. Polanco does much of the same out of the 2-spot. Then we get to Rollins, Pence, and Victorino, and they are the only 3 players that most would agree we can rely on in some way. After that we have Mayberry, and there are rumors circling that I actually have a giant homosexual crush on him. Then Chooch bats 7th, and he has proven that he can be a solid bat at the back of our lineup. Round out that batting order with Freddy Galvis, the greatest offensive 2nd baseman since Chase Utley, and I don't feel bad about our team at all. We can hit! We can run! We can score!

Now here's hoping that Uncle Chuck decides to actually use that lineup more often than not, and this weekend against the 4-2 Mets would be a great time to start.

Game 1: R.A. Dickey (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
R.A. Dickey still has a hilarious name, and for that reason I cannot take him all that seriously as an opponent. That and the fact that he plays for the Mets. (Do you like how I referred to them as the "4-2 Mets" as if that might imply that they are in any way good or threatening? It just adds to the suspense of the blog. No, suspense is not the right word, but it's late and I'm trying to get this done.) Cliff Lee only had 2 starts against the Mets last season, but he went 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA. Jason Bay and David Wright pose the biggest threats to him in their lineup (.273 and .286 averages, respectively), but Bay is batting just .158 so far this year and Wright has missed a few games with an injury. Probably still recovering from drowning in his own tears when he didn't get traded to the Phillies this offseason.
Prediction: Phillies 5 Mets 1
Keep an eye out for: Shane Victorino hitting for the cycle. He needs to get started on leading the league in triples, and his 3 hits against Dickey are all for extra bases.

Game 2: Jonathon Niese (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
There is just so much stuff to make fun of about the Mets, and their starting pitchers are right at the top of that list. Jonathon Niese is most famous for starting to go by Jon instead of Jonathon after I made fun of the spelling of his first name so heavily that he actually peed his paynce. He also can't handle The Cit, going 0-3 with a 10.05 ERA there last year. Worley, on the other hand, pitched very well against the Mets last season. He appeared in 5 games, 4 of them starts, and compiled a 3-1 record with a 3.13 ERA. He also struck out 22 in 23 innings. Expect much of the same from both of them.
Prediction: Phillies 6 Mets 3
Keep an eye out for: a home run for John Mayberry. He hit 3 against the Mets last season, and 2 of them were off of Jonathon.

Game 3: Mike Pelfrey (0-0, 4.76 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (0-1, 5.06 ERA)
Pelfrey also sucks pretty hard against us. There was almost a time when people thought this majoke was good, but it he made it very clear over the course of many starts against us that that is just not anywhere close to true. Unfortunately, Hamels does not exactly love facing the Mets. His ERA against them last year was up close to 7.00, and they have a few guys that can hit the ball around on him pretty well. It's rare that Hamels strings together several bad starts in a row, but I think this is our best chaynce at a loss in this series.
Prediction: Phillies 6 Mets 5
Keep an eye out for: early exits from both pitchers but solid outings from the bullpens. (Scoring runs AND good bullpen innings? This is NOT the Phillies we watched in the first 4 games this season)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Marlins Preview: Home Opener

When I think back on the last 5 seasons and all of our NL East championship teams, I would like to think that the team has remained largely intact. They've all experienced the rigors of a long season and anything and everything that comes with it. Starting the season by losing a series in Pittsburgh shouldn't phase these guys...they've been through tough times, and they've been through them all together.

Except that's not really true at all. To preview the home opener, I decided to look back on each of the last 5 home opening series' and see how we did. I wanted to highlight the stats of all the players that we've kept over those 5 years. Well, it did not take as long as I anticipated. The only guys playing this week who were on that 2007 team are Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Cole Hamels. I could give you some stats about those guys over the past 5 home openers, but it'd honestly be pretty pointless. The whole process has me a little depressed thinking about how much we've changed over the years, and I certainly do NOT want to start diving into that topic this early in the season.

So rather than focus on the little that has been constant for us or the massive changes we've gone through, I'm going to look at how ridiculously different the Marlins are in order to make me feel better about the Phillies.

The Marlins seem to have changed everything. Let's start with some things about the overall team and not individual players.

- They are now known as the Miami Marlins. This is mostly just an annoying change because they've always played in Miami but now we just have to call them something different. More on this in this season's first Male Bag, though.
- They got a new logo. In my humble opinion, this logo bites. I mean, it's probably better than their old one, but it just doesn't make sense to me artistically. I just don't understand how they chose where to put the colors around the outside of the M in this new logo. Shouldn't they have had it so it was like orange light was shining on the letter from one side and yellow from the other maybe? I don't really know how to explain this, but it just seems like the outline sucks. Like the colors should be serving as shading in some way, but they just aren't at all. Sorry for having no idea what I'm saying
- New uniforms to go with the new logo/colors. I'm still kind of up in the air on whether or not I like these, but I really don't think they needed to change up those old ones. Especially the black, I had a real thing for them.

Beyond changes to the location and appearance of the team, they also have some serious personnel changes.

- Ozzie Guillen is their new manager. He's insane.
- Heath Bell is their new closer. He was one of the most coveted players at the trade deadline last season, and he will surely help the team out in a spot where Leo Nunez could sometimes be crazy
- Hanley Ramirez is now playing third. The face of this franchise (whenever he decides to show up) is now being moved around willy-nilly for any majoke they want to bring in to play shortstop instead of him.
- Mark Buehrle is their number 2 starter. The Marlins have long had a rotation that scares the living daylights out of me as a Phillies fan (except Chris Volstad. Wow that guy was hilarious to face. We'll miss you in the East, Chris!), but with the addition of Buehrle they are now even more dangerous. Mark Buehrle is especially dangerous to this blog because I have to look up how to spell his name every single time I type it, and Google Blogger is really effing with my head right now by only red-squiggly-underlining his name two out of three times that I've typed it.
- Mike Stanton now goes by Giancarlo Stanton. Why? Your last name is Stanton, not Gutierrez or Martinez or Calcetines. And your first name used to be Mike. Where does Giancarlo come from? Are you even Spanish? Because it feels like that's what you're trying to pull off here, but I'm pretty sure Giancarlo is actually an Italian name. None of this makes any sense. He was really good when he was Mike Stanton. Now he's just kind of an idiot.

The final major move that the Marlins made was one that was definitely the most surprising. They signed Jose Reyes in the offseason. I find this very interesting because I don't know why a team with so much potential would decide to make such a foolish commitment to losing for the foreseeable future.

Game 1: Anibal Sanchez (0-0, --.-- ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (0-0, -.-- ERA)
I hate home openers because the emotions generally seem to run way too high and we end up blowing it. It's nice to have a series away first to sort of get our feet wet, and it's nice that we have nothing to be proud of from last year for fans to go all crazy about during pre-game festivities. I think it was a smart move to save Hamels for this game rather than have him start the last game in Pittsburgh. Let the Hamels Contract Year Love-Fest begin!
Prediction: Phillies 3 Marlins 1
Keep an eye out for: a big day from Jimmy Rollins. I think he's going to have an amazing year this year to show his appreciation for staying in Philadelphia. He also hit .310 against the Marlins last year with 4 home runs, and he is a .333 hitter against Sanchez with one home run.

Game 2: Josh Johnson (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Halladay-Johnson matchup has becomes a staple of nearly every Marlins-Phillies series, and it rarely disappoints. The last 3 times these two started against one another, the results were 2-1, 2-0, and 1-0. That 1-0 game you may remember as Roy Halladay's perfect game. The other 2 were losses for us. Since we will need to win every single game Halladay pitches 1-0, and I made a habit of predicting Halladay complete game shutouts last season, I think this is a rather obvious prediction.
Prediction: Phillies 1 Marlins 0
Keep an eye out for: Halladay's first complete game shutout of the season. Seriously, who only pitches 8 innings? Grow up, Roy.

Game 3: Mark Buehrle (0-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
To say the least, I do not have a very good feeling about this game. Joe Blanton has not given us anything to be excited about at all since maybe 2010, and Mark Buehrle is someone that we don't really have any experience against. The good news? Buehrle is left-handed, and we actually have a righty-heavy lineup for the first time since 'Nam. Along with that, Blanton is pretty good against the Marlins in his career, even though we've already established that this is a much different Marlins team.
Prediction: Marlins 7 Phillies 1
Keep an eye out for: a multi-hit game for Polanco, a career .400 hitter against Buehrle. Blanton should exit this game relatively early. You know, 'cause he sucks.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Good Ol' Uncle Chuck

Usually I just question the lineups, decisions, and strategies. I don't usually mention him by name or say how much I can't stand what he does. There have usually been players (one in particular comes to mind) who I could blame things on, while our manager just continued getting away with everything because of 2008. I didn't like him before we won the World Series, and I have, for the most part, avoided saying anything like that since then, at least publicly. He's a players' manager, and that's all that should really matter in baseball, right? Well, I'm pretty much done hiding it now.

I don't like Charlie Manuel.

I know that is tough to really comprehend. But it's not that I'm saying I hate him. I just don't like him. He almost seems too stupid to hate, and I say that with the utmost respect. And not stupid like you may think (and like he displayed the last 2 games), but more the uneducated type of stupid. He did help us win a World Series, and we've now won 5 straight NL East titles with him. So we can look at all of the good and say, "How could you possibly not like him?!"

We can also look at what he hasn't done, which becomes tougher to ignore with each passing season. In case anyone hasn't noticed, we've been getting worse as our team has been getting better. If you look at our last 4 seasons, 2008 should not have been the championship. Jamie Moyer was our 3rd starter. Our ace was Cole Hamels, who is now our 3rd starter. Our 3rd baseman was Pedro Feliz, not Placido Polanco. Carlos Ruiz was a solid defensive catcher and nothing more.

I have students who are failing every class, and it's because every teacher hates them. Or they sit next to someone annoying. Or the teacher lost their paper. They've got every excuse in the book, and I say that those are fine reasons for failing a class. The problem is: it's not just one class, it's every class. I tell them that with one class I might question the circumstaynces, but with every class I have to question the student.

So in 2009 we can question the circumstaynces. We didn't have the bullpen we had before, despite our starting pitching being better. In 2010 we could do the same thing. Same with 2011. But at some point we stop questioning the circumstaynces, and we need to question the student.

Charlie Manuel is the constant through all of this, and what is he doing to make this team better or get them to where they need to be? We hear every year about how limited our window is to win championships. We've put together teams to do it, but we aren't doing it. It's tough to complain about having only one championship in Philadelphia, but it's even tougher to come out of this era of Phillies baseball with that as the result.

While this series with the Pirates was not a championship series by any stretch of the imagination, it did a great job of showing some of the areas that Uncle Chuck just sucks at managing. Here are a few things I noticed:

Saturday night:
Situation: 1-1 game in the 9th inning. Hunter Pence walks to lead off the inning. Laynce Nix is then sent up there to bunt. Nix pops out. Jim Thome pinch hits for John Mayberry, and Pence steals 2nd during this at-bat. Thome strikes out, Ruiz walks, Galvis strikes out. Inning over, runners left on first and second.
What's wrong with it: I understand Nix going up there to bunt because that puts someone in scoring position. But does he know how to bunt? Evidently not. You know who does know how to bunt? Juan Pierre. And the ensuing substitutions saw Laynce Nix move into left field (replacing Mayberry, the better outfielder), when it would've been a better move (if you have to take out Mayberry) to have Pierre out there, especially when you compare the reliability to lay down a bunt. And if you're going to have Pence steal a base anyway, why not just make all of those moves one batter sooner? You have Thome hit for Nix (he can stay at first), and you keep Mayberry in the game (a player who can actually hit and play defense).
What I will do when given the job as Phillies manager and must face the same exact situation: I pinch-hit for Nix with Thome. I realize that he's going to be more prone to a double play, but I'd rather take my chaynces of a double play into a funky shift. But I don't really worry about a double play because if I think Pence can steal, I have him steal here. Sure it's risky, but I like risking a steal more with nobody out than with one out. I think the risk is lower against the shift, too. Also, as manager, I've been telling Jim Thome all Spring to secretly practice his bunting. If and when they put the shift on, Pence ends up at 3rd because Thome can push one down the third base line that ends up in the outfield. No matter what, I don't take John Mayberry out of the lineup at this point just because I can't get over what hand a guy throws a baseball with. If I'm trying to set something up, I want the guys best suited for their roles in the right position. If I bunt, it's with Pierre. If I want Thome put in the game, I pinch-hit with him at a position he can actually play after this inning and keep my best defensive outfield on the field in a tie game that might not end until Tuesday at this rate.

Situation: 9th and 10th innings, Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo, and Joe Blanton pitch.
What's wrong with it: Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo, and Joe Blanton pitched.
What I will do when given the job as Phillies manager and must face the same exact situation: I want to give my team the best chaynce to get another at-bat. Can we all agree that my closer is my best relief pitcher? Yes? Yes we can? OK good. Then I put Papelbon in the bottom of the 9th inning because I don't want to lose then. Then in the 10th I put in Michael Stutes because I think he's my next best option. If we get to the 11th (which we do), I start having all of the majokes in my bullpen play Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who gives me my first heart attack of the night due to their general inability to play baseball. And if Antonio Bastardo wins that contest, I tell him to shut up and learn how to throw strikes again before ever stepping onto a pitcher's mound again.

Sunday afternoon:
Situation: 9th inning, tie game, David Herndon pitches
What I will do when given the job as Phillies manager and must face the same exact situation: I realize we don't have a great bullpen. I didn't realize it really until the past 2 games happened. Now, however, it is very clear to me. But that still doesn't mean that we should choose to have Joe Blanton and David Herndon lose games for us. If Joe Blanton and David Herndon lose games for us, it should be because we've exhausted all other options. Let me say this again: I want our best pitcher available pitching in the 9th inning and beyond. If we are winning and it's a save situation, that's fantastic. If we're tied, that works as well. If we're down by one or two runs, probably still a good idea. So Jonathan Papelbon pitches the 9th in a close game. Who gives a crap about him getting a save, other than his agent? If we get a one-run lead, I'd rather have Joe Blanton or David Herndon give up a run at that time rather than when we are tied and a run means everyone walks off of the field because we lose. That's what walk-off means. Someone please tell Uncle Chuck.

Situation: Herndon on the mound, 2 outs, runner on 3rd, Andrew McCutchen at the plate. Herndon pitches to him and gives up a walk-off double
What's wrong with it: With 2 bases open, we are choosing to pitch to their best player with our worst pitcher
What I will do when given the job as Phillies manager and must face the same exact situation: WALK HIM!! Is that not obvious to EVERYONE?! I probably walk Neil Walker, too. Even though he doesn't have many hits, I'd rather not face Walker on the left side of the plate when he's been hitting the ball well. Bring up Garrett Jones with the bases loaded. You have the option of forcing Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, or Garrett Jones to win a game for you. Who do you choose? This is so easy! This didn't really happen today, did it? I would ask what Uncle Chuck is thinking, but I'm confident that he's not. Although, if he weren't thinking, he probably would've made the right decision, considering that decision should require no thought whatsoever.

I know it's early to be calling for Manuel's head or anything like that, and that's not what I'm doing. But it is definitely looking like it could be a long season of Uncle Chuck stupidity, and I want you to know from the beginning what we may be in for this year in terms of how I react to things. I don't want anyone to be surprised by my negative opinion of his managing. If we move to the American League, I'd love to have Charlie Manuel as my manager. But as long as we have real decisions to make throughout a game, I'd say I'm a little frustrated with the person making them.

One final thought: Can we do that whole Clockwork Orange treatment on Antonio Bastardo, only with footage of JC Romero? Please learn to throw a strike again. He was the best reliever in baseball the first half of last year, and now he sucks. I hate JC Romero, and I completely blame him for forcing Bastardo to travel the same Phillies career path that he did.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pirates Series

I know you're all wondering why I still haven't posted any type of reaction to our first game of the season. The reason is that I plan on saving any and all reactions to this until the entire series is over. Despite a short turnaround time, I will be posting some type of recap tomorrow night before previewing our series with the Marlins that starts Monday at 1:35.

I will be at the game tonight in Pittsburgh, and hopefully my phone will cooperate well enough to allow me to be tweeting throughout. Be sure to follow @PhilsHighHopes

As a mini-preview: I'm taking the over for Cliff Lee's strikeouts at 6.5, and I think Jimmy and Pence do some good work tonight against a pitcher they've had a lot of SUCCESS against in Jeff Karstens. With us being 1-0 right now, our winning percentage is 1.000. According to the Baseball Theory, it's impossible for us to lose this game because our winning percentage would dictate we have a 100% chance of winning. So you can look forward to those things.