Saturday, May 06, 2006

For a second straight night, the Giants PR department was left to say Barry left without a word, even though he muscled a pop-fly single in between three flailing Phils in the second game of this series.

But after a 4-1 win that was the Phillies' seventh in a row ... (Charlie Manuel, Manager of the Year?) ... Bonds is stuck at 712, he seems to be getting tired of the media attention he's trying to ignore, and the fan reaction to him hasn't really relented.

Then again, it's been only vocal reaction. So far.

Anyway, the fans did manage to sell Citizens Bank Park out tonight with a huge walk-up crowd that promptly froze under a sudden north wind ... which was responsible for Barry's lone hit.

One more night here to make history ... or leave everyone without a word again.

By the way, the Phillies' 3, 4 and 5 hitters were a combined 0-for-11 tonight. So Barry's not the only one that's cold.

Ah, sweet justice for the Bonds booers, as with runners at first and second and none out, a sharply hit grounder by Steve Finley hits Bonds on the foot as he was trying to jump over the ball.

The judges gave him a 6 for technical achievement and a 3 for artistic embellishment. The ump gave him an out.

Weirder yet was the next play, as a shot to short popped out of Jimmy Rollins' glove, but he picked the ball up to force Finley at second, then threw to third to get Pedro Feliz in a rundown.

All in all, it got Artie Rhodes out of trouble and left Bonds chuckling wryly in the dugout as he tried to back up the steps to trot to left.

Bonds then closed the Phillies' eight by shrugging off the Barry S(tinks) chants and catching a long fly by David Bell, which of course elicited boos.
But they quickly died down when Bonds flipped the ball into the crowd.

Mercenaries.

Rhodes starts Bonds with a fastball at the knees for a strike.

He misses with a slider, then fires one at his chin and Bonds tips it while trying to bail out of the way.

For a 1-2 serving ... there it is! Another botched play by the Phillies!

Man it's been a good game or two since they allowed a pop up to drop between three fielders like that. Mark that pop to center as a single for Bonds, who is now 1 for 6 with two walks in the series.

Time to get tough on Barry again.

The Phils go from one more solid inning by reliever Rheal Cormier -- who allowed a runner to score only by a wild pitch -- to fellow lefty Arthur Rhodes in the eighth, as Bonds awaits on deck and the Phils leading by 4-1.

Even the booing has died down, but a groan goes up as leadoff hitter Pedro Feliz singles up the middle.

Oh, check that ... there's that familiar Philly sound.

Charlie sez...

Madson was good and plenty

Charlie sez...

Felt like it was time for Frenchy.

Charlie sez...

All those pitchin' problems are a thing of the past, we've risen up fast, on our way to seven in a row with just a couple more innings to go.

(The editors would like to apologize for allowing this blog entry to run. It not only promotes the use of bad nicknames for relief pitchers, but also makes clear why the use of poetry in a sports thread is never a smart idea).

Thank you.

On the heels of a terrific catch by Pat Burrell into the heel of his glove, Barry Bonds comes up with none on and two outs in the fifth. Madson starts him with a strike, which is rare for this game.

A couple of curves miss badly, and then ...
Bonds just misses hitting one.

A straight fastball that he pulled the trigger on, and seemed to just get under it a bit. Still went deep to left, but Burrell caught it.

Great thing was the reaction when Bonds swung. More than a few fans yelled, "Get out! Get out!"

Front-running fans.

Pat the Bat strikes again, and swings the Phillies out of a big inning.

Two singles, a hit batsman and a walk has one run in for the Phils, the bases loaded and Jamey Wright on the verge of imploding. Along comes Burrell, and doesn't he swing at the first pitch he sees?

Bang ... 5-4-3 DP.

You can't teach that, you know.

At least he knocked a run in with his act of impatience, leaving the old Giants looking up at a 3-0 deficit.

Giants are down by yet another Chase Utley homer when Bonds approaches in the third.

One pitch later, he has grounded into his second double play in two nights, this one a 6-5-3 by the shifted Phils defense, with Rollins far over on the right side of the bag.

That leaves it at 1-0 Phillies, though Madson has been wild and keeps threatening to walk the Giants into a big inning.

The Giants are a riot to watch. A bunch of old guy regulars with a couple of kid pitchers sprinkled in.

Among the starters last night were Omar Vizquel (39 years old), Barry Bonds (41), Steve Finley (41) and Mike Matheny (35). Maybe this is done to make Bonds feel in his element in the clubhouse.

Anyway, this is a team that needs an adrenaline boost; a double shot of get-up-and-go.

Or a couple of trades. But it's typical that with elder stars, a team would be geared toward winning now. Which is why San Francisco's 6-11 record over the last 17 games is of such prime concern, especially with Moises Alou (39 years old, by the way) out indefinitely with the ankle injury.

First two pitches from Ryan Madson miss. Bonds measured a called strike on the third pitch, then ran the count to 3-1.

And there's ball four, an actual walk instead of the intentional kind Bonds is accustomed to.

Cue the crowd, Mr. Citizens Bank Park conductor...

BOOOOOOOO!

Guess who's up?

No, not Charlie Manuel.

It's Barry Bonds, of course.

Actually, he isn't up yet. He's just on-deck. That's all it takes, just a Barry sighting to stir up a typical Philadelphia sound storm.

Thanks to second-base umpire Charlie Reliford, who just said Phils rookie Carlos Ruiz threw out Randy Winn at second -- a blown call against the Giants is always a nice way to start a career -- it appeared the Phils would get out of the first without seeing Bonds.

Forget it. A bloop single later, here he is...

Can anyone hear it out there?

Welcome to Eye on Barry, Part II.

It's kind of like waiting all night in a maternity ward. Only the pain is greater.

Everyone seems to be hurting for quotes here. Waiting for Barry to say anything, or do anything, that will make this "great chase" somewhat interesting. But since Barry talked in Milwaukee on Wednesday ... he's acting like he's wearing the Conehead of Silence.

Apparently, the latest plan for him and the Giants to handle the media horde here is "if Barry does anything in the game, he'll speak afterward."

Last night: 0-for-3 with a walk. Everyone took a mad dash to the Giants clubhouse, but Barry was OUTTAHERE by the time the Phillies were done congratulating themselves on the field.

Here's an actual quote by a smiling young man who identified himself as a Giants PR guy: "Elvis has left the building."

Maybe he meant Costello, or even Stojko, because he didn't look old enough to be Presley's great grandkid.

Anyway, it was Barry beaming out the old silent treatment again before the game tonight, though newly appointed Giants starter Steve Finley -- a solid veteran who probably didn't think he was joining the circus when he signed with San Francisco -- took pleasure in talking about how he'll have to hit behind Barry today.

Back to back 41-year-olds in that jumping Giants lineup.

Finley's there because Moises Alou, second in the National League in hitting before wrecking his ankle last night, is out indefinitely with an ankle blown up like a balloon. Now it figures Bonds won't have as many pitches to hit without Alou behind him.

Right Steve?

"Heck no," he said. "That's just more of an opportunity for me to drive in runs."

As for Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who gave Bonds one intentional pass last night, apparently he still isn't afraid to pitch to Bonds.

"His timing is off a little bit," Manuel said of Bonds. "Hopefully, he won't find it until he gets out of here."