Ecstasy of Gold, June 6-12

As a former swimmer, I appreciate pitchers.  Swimming, believe it or not, is less about you versus other people than it seems.  You see the Olympics, and you watch Michael Phelps go up against people around the world.  However, there is alot more to that.  This is you against water, you against the clock, you against yourself.  When you dive in and the race starts, there is no roaring crowd.  There are no jeers or audible encouragements from your teammates.  All you hear is rushing water......and silence.  You and your thoughts.  Take it from someone who did it for twenty plus years, I have found no truer meaning of inner peace than that.

When I watch a baseball game, the facet which fascinates me most is watching the pitchers.  They are on that pile of dirt by themselves.  That is their pool.  On that island they are alone with their thoughts, where their biggest enemies are their doubts and minds.  On that pile of dirt, the only people who can disrupt their game is themselves.  This is the reason Roy Halladay is my favorite player.

Watching Roy Halladay is fascinating to me mainly from the standpoint I try to figure out what exactly is he thinking.  He personifies the one guy who is always in the zone.  The one guy who does not let himself beat himself.  How does it go?  How does he do it?

Roy catches the ball from Carlos Ruiz, then steps on the rubber.  From there, he looks at Ruiz.  There are no other distractions.  He knows what to throw, but Carlos goes through the signals.  Curveball?  Cutter?  Fastball?  Ok, thats what he's throwing.

That's when the dive in the pool comes.  The world grows more silent.  The volume at the Bank went from 10 to 1.  All he sees is the look in the eyes of the batter.  There is noone else in this world but Roy Halladay and the man in the white box.  The moment of inner peace has taken over.  It's a very brief moment, but that's how Roy works: quick and efficient.  It is effective.  He sees exactly where to place the ball, exactly how fast he wants it to go, and exactly what direction he wants the ball to spin.  The windup and the pitch......volume goes back up.  Strike one.  Throwback, repeat. 

This process continues game after game.  The mentality is extremely important to the pitcher and Roy shows how its done.  With a rock solid mentality, he turns down the sound and his focus is unparallelled.. Think of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  When the final duel occurs, there is no sound.  There is only The Ecstasy of Gold.

(Resume goofiness)

All Games at the Bank this week

MONDAY- LA Dodgers came to town, and Cliff Lee gave them a great welcome, striking out ten and helping the Phillies start the week out on a good note.  Phillies win 3-1

TUESDAY- Two rookies started today, and then proceeded to perform on the level of seasoned vets.  Oswaltimus Prime pitched tonight, but was not his usual self.  He been in kinda funk lately, so it was slightly dismaying to see him still kinda funky.  Dodgers Dominate Phils 6-2

WEDNESDAY- Cole Hamels is just money.  Absolutely Money.  I don't need to go on.  Cole Hamels beats the Dodgers, 2-0Phils first series win of the month of June. 

THURSDAY- First rain delay of the year, probably the main contributor to the extra inning loss to the CubsThanks for the shitty birthday present.  Cubs win 4-3.

FRIDAY- Roy Halladay, 'nuff said.  But Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero decided they wanted to make the game close so they gave the Cubs 5 runs.  Then Stutes and Bastardo restored order.  Inner Peace. 7-5 Phillies.  In an unrelated story, Carlos Zambrano wears women's underwear.

SATURDAY- Cliff Lee continues the superb pitching from Friday by shutting down the Cubs further.  And a good show by the offense to make this game unreachable for the Cubs.  The Cliff Lee Show 7-1 Phillies

SUNDAY- Roy Oswalt started shakily by giving up 3 runs, but then settled down.  Ryan Howard had a good day getting 3 hits.  Phils win 4-3!  Finish the week 5-2!


In my last pitch, I stressed how important it was to get some wins this week in preparation for the upcoming week.  The Phillies were able to capitalize on this by going five and two.  Now its going to be a difficult week.

After a well deserved off-day tomorrow, the Marlins come to town.  I don't believe Josh Johnson will be pitching this week.  And with the Marlins playing like absolute crap right now, the Phils look to be in position to pick up some extra Ws.  I believe Hanley Ramirez is also getting off the DL.

Then, interleague play starts on Friday against the Seattle Mariners, and I'm stoked cause I'll be at the Saturday night game!!  Friday night will be a big test to see how well they do considering they will have to get on a plane right after their day game vs the Marlins to fly right across the country to Seattle.  But Saturday.....

According to ESPN, Saturday night is going to be a gem.  While it's not Roy Halladay vs King Felix, it seems to arguably be the second best thing right now with King Felix vs Cole Hamels.  I really can't wait to see this.  Next week's review, I'll give yall the lowdown of Safeco Field and hopefully some good pics :)

Now this weekend will also be the first time this year Charlie Manual gets to play with the DH in his lineup.  So I pose this question to TGP Nation: What is the DH Shuffle gonna look like?  Right away, I can guess Raul Ibanez to DH and Ben Francisco to LF.  Although this is the one of two SCHEDULED series this year where the Phils will be playing around with the DH (@ Toronto first weekend in July).

I'm out till next week, have a  good week everyone!  Go Phillies!


LOOGY- Lefty One-Out GuY    This is what JC Romero is.

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