Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/5/12

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies has waited his entire career to dominate batters with October mastery.  Will Ryan Howard provide Doc, Cliff Lee and Hunter Pence with their first taste of the ultimate bubbly?  Will the red pinstripes revisit the Fall Classic and find a familiar foe?  Will this rival offer an extra incentive for a 2nd parade down Broad Street?





Penthouse Occupancy for the 1-0 triumph: 5

The Crystal Champagne Toast is a salute to the Doctor for 8 scoreless, 2-hit frames.

Chooch Drives In The Lone Run In The 7th

Jonathan Papelbon fired a clean 9th for his 1st save. Chooch Ruiz plated the only run with a sac fly in the 7th and went 3 for 3. John Mayberry Jr. produced 2 knocks and made 2 nice catches. Ty Wigginton long stretched  to record the final out, and scored the lone run with a solid tag-up play.

Greenhouse Cholley grew a 2-out bunt single from Jimmy Rollins in the first. Shane Victorino employed his wheels for a stolen base in the 6th.

The Outhouse was filled with Larry Vanover after his bad call at 1st in the 2nd.

2B Neil Walker landed in the Big House after he robbed Ty Wigginton of a 2nd-inning hit.

Freddy Galvis was found guilty of grounding into 2 double plays in the Kangaroo Court House.

House Cleaning showed up with a 1-2-3 ninth from Cinco Ocho.



I will publish after every battle that is not washed out.  The Phillies finished last summer 42 games over .500, which equaled a year of many positives. I will have many season-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats.

Ty Wigginton Scores The Winning Tally In The 7th










The Rematch:


Eternal hope for a major contender in Philly is a World Championship with floats and a sea of red.  However, each campaign brings a new set of challenges and possibilities.  The 1980 and 2009 seasons were a prime example of victors with a special ingredient.  Both squads had the experienced core and both franchises have that rarity in 2012.  Granted, the 2008-09 club had a nucleus but it was only their 2nd and 3rd summers together.  Don’t underestimate final glory:  You only have to remember the 1983 Phils with the remaining five members of two 70’s hubs.  Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez were those 5 dinosaurs.  This year there are two with a distinctive core:  One is old, and the other has health concerns that are  prematurely closing their window of opportunity.

Big John Ropes In A Long Out In The 5th

The ‘80 champs scored their ring in their 6th-season attempt, and this crew is on their 6th swing at it also. Schmidt and company finished 6.5 games behind the Pirates in 1975, while the ‘07 version overcame a similar deficit. After acquiring Pete Rose, those stars had a disappointing 1979, placing fourth out of 6 teams. Similarly, the Apocalyptic Horsemen were one and done. In other words, a tour of certain triumph ended unceremoniously, but they enjoyed a ‘80 World Series that was easier than getting there. They were not going to be denied. The current nucleus has that same personality trait, which was visible in ’08.

The 1970’s had 4 organizations with this central element: The Phillies, Dodgers, Reds and A’s had dynastic runs. This was a result of the amateur draft that was designed in 1965 to create parity. The Yanks had first pick of all talent before then, and the 2 other New York franchises also benefited due to that biggest-market location. This new recruitment infused quality players into losing clubs, and 3 of them were dynamic exactly 6 summers later. Two of the four had hit rock bottom. The same 6-year pattern occurred in the 90’s for the Braves, while the current locals had a 6-campaign struggle before Jimmy became a 2001 regular.

It's Paps Blue Ribbon Time With Two 9th-Inning Outs

However, free agency had again clouded the equality of big to small-city franchises by then, and now the competitive-balance tax will yield a new kinetic formula. Currently, there are 2 organizations with the dynamic of a hub. The Yankees overspent to bolster Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, which produced 5 rings. The Phils’ method was the attraction of the core: J-Roll, Chase Utley, Ryno and Cole. Halladay, Lee and Papelbon wanted to be here for that specific reason. The ‘08 and ‘09 World Champions are encountering the uncertainty at the end of the line. Posada is gone, while Rivera and Pettitte face their final tour. At the Bank, Utley is standing near a now annual-crossroads question, and Father Time inches ever closer to midnight for many others. These two units are not the Cinderella type or teams of destiny; they are categorized under the last hurrah in the baseball almanac.


The General Gives 2nd-Inning Commands To The Jays In Dunedin On March 22








Cliff Lee:


He dominated in June and August for a combined 10-0 mark with an 0.33 ERA, which opened many record books to uncover HOF names.  He only had 4 bad outings for the entire season, when 6 would have been a sterling result.


STARTERRECORDTEAMSTARTERRECORDDAY & TIME 2LHP Cliff Lee17-8, 2.40 ERA@ PiratesRHP Jeff Karstens09-09, 3.38 ERASaturday, Night 3RHP Vance Worley11-3, 3.01 ERA@ PiratesRHP James McDonald09-09, 4.21 ERASunday, Day 1LHP Cole Hamels14-9, 2.79 ERAMarlinsRHP Anibal Sanchez08-09, 3.69 ERAMonday, Day


Jeff Karstens Pictured On April 1 In Dunedin Against Toronto


Jeff Karstens:


With 2 starters on the DL, he has been pushed into the two slot until A.J. Burnett and Charlie Morton return.  He struggled in August and September–1-4, 6.56 ERA–which means either he tired or the league figured him out after 4 months of excellence.

DELIVERY = PITCHER’S 2011 DEFINITION OF SEASON Over The TopExcellent 3-Quarters Side ArmGood Side ArmAbove Average Short ArmApproximately Average SubmarineBelow Average



Quality number of the pitcher:  1 – 5

Slot on his club:  1 – 5

Ranking is 1 to 5 for the less adventurous.

HURLERCliff LeeJeff Karstens NUMBERA OneA Four CLUB SLOTTwoFour FOR 2011Over The TopSide Arm '11 RANKING1st of 5 Categories4th of 5 Categories




DOC HALLADAY LINE: 8 INN, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 5 K & 92 DARTS


ACEW - LERAINN+CONVCG SOBADINNHRERBBIBBSO Halladay1 - 00.008.01 of 10008.0200005



The preview of the next Nitecap Insight (1st paragraph) will be on Friday at Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook; it is Nitecap Insight: The Arms Race. Join for notification of future glimpses, which will be frequent. You’ll also know immediately when my isportsweb post goes up. It might be worth your while because I have seen delays of 2 hours on feeds.

Check out my previous publication (The Red Nucleus), and the 19 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.

Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. The 2012 MLB 5 will also include the Giants, Halos, Brewers and the Yankees or Cardinals. I will alternate the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked the Phillies page, because feeds are erratic at times.





Philadelphia Phillies storyline: heart of the beast

Philadelphia Phillies

Tal Venada



This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.


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