Lots of stuff to get to. . .
1) Those of you who actually pay attention to by-lines have already realized that I'm not in Houston. Paul Hagen is spot-starting in my place, giving me an opportunity to get some much-needed personal stuff in order here in Philly. It's funny how life works - every time you think you are just about caught up, something else catches up with you. Two nights ago, that came in the form of a brick thrown through my passenger side window. Thankfully, because I am a sports writer, I don't have much in the way of earthly possessions, so the unfortunate burglar went through all that trouble and came away with a couple of dollars in small bills and a Florida Driver's License. What a haul. But if that unfortunate burglar happens to be a regular reader of High Cheese, I'll throw this offer out there: return my driver's license, and not only will I not ask for the loose change back, I'll double it, no questions asked. There are a number of ways I'd like to spend my day, and standing in line at the DMV catching dirty looks from a frustrated government employee who is working through her lunch break is not one of them.
Anyway, here I sit, listening to Allison Krauss' greatest hits and waiting for my friendly neighborhood auto glass installer to drop by and bandage my poor girl up.
And while I sit, I ruminate. . .
2) Paul sets up tonight's game nicely in his notebook today. The question he addresses: has Adam Eaton officially returned to the pitcher he was last season? Charlie Manuel doesn't exactly give the veteran righty a vote of confidence in the story. The Phils are 4-5 in games Eaton has started this season. He's still waiting for his first win. He looked good in his first few starts, but has since fallen well short of the expectations placed on him when he signed that 3-year, 24.5 million dollar deal. In his last six starts, he's giving up almost a touchdown per nine innings. Not good.
3) Is there any hope for Eaton? Or is what you see what you are going to get all season?
4) Ryan Howard is still only batting .207, but compared to what the number has been most of the season, it might as well be .307. That's big. But to me, even bigger has been the play of Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz. Those two spots in the batting order are key to the Phils success this season. When those two are swinging, the line-up is actually a line-up, and not just a collection of three or four guys who have the capability of winning a game by themselves.
5) I ate lunch today at Campo's at 2nd and Market. Great Italian Hoagies. Unfortunately, I picked up a copy of the Other Paper and had the misfortune of reading about Maurice Cheeks' bout with gout. Word to the wise: don't read about gout while eating lunch.