July 5, 2013
It's the Fourth of July, the day we celebrate our government's birth and those who made it possible - even as organizations with patriotic-sounding names urge Americans to treat that government as an enemy to be fought at every turn. Remember the right-wing credo "America, love it or leave it"? Today's tea-party conservatives heap so much criticism on Washington that you could be excused for thinking they're all booking passage to anywhere but the United States. Jul Thompson, a cofounder of Tea New York, quotes the Declaration of Independence's pronouncement that "it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish" any government destructive of "certain unalienable Rights," among them "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
July 4, 2013 |
PITTSBURGH - The Phillies' last best hope to show general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that he should keep the core together probably has arrived. The three games this week at PNC Park against Pittsburgh, the team with the best record in baseball, will be followed by three games at home against Atlanta, the team that leads the National League East. Even manager Charlie Manuel is skeptical that this team can turn things around, but the Phillies did at least get some good news Tuesday on the injury front.
July 2, 2013 |
FREDDIE FREEMAN loved watching Jason Heyward slide hard into second base to break up a doubleplay in the third inning. Without Heyward's hustle and Justin Upton's beating the throw to first base, Freeman wouldn't have had a chance to hit a three-run homer. "It's a testament to what they do," Freeman said. "They never give up. Even when it's an eight-run [lead], they're running hard. " Freeman, Dan Uggla and Brian McCann homered, powering the Atlanta Braves past the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-2, yesterday for a three-game sweep in a matchup of division leaders.
June 2, 2013 |
Baseball will hold its annual draft Thursday through Saturday without much fanfare from ESPN or the rest of the sports world. This draft has always been a light breeze compared to the hurricane winds of its NFL cousin. That does not make it any less significant. For proof, we offer the National League East, the division won by the Phillies from 2007 to 2011. What you probably missed while the good times rolled at Citizens Bank Park was the building of the Washington Nationals, the team that won the NL East last season, and the Atlanta Braves, the team that leads the division this season.
May 29, 2013 |
FOR ATLANTA manager Fredi Gonzalez, there's a lot to like about filling out the lineup card in American League ballparks. Brian McCann hit two home runs, including a solo shot in the 10th inning that lifted the Braves over the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-6, on Tuesday. Freddie Freeman had three hits in the cleanup spot, rookie catcher Evan Gattis homered in the fifth spot and McCann, who started at designated hitter, went deep twice batting in the sixth spot. "That's a pretty big three right there," Gonzalez said.
May 21, 2013 |
EVEN WITHOUT an effective changeup, Julio Teheran still had enough to pitch into the ninth inning. "I decided to just compete with my other pitches," he said. "I know my fastball is good, my two-seamer, so I just tried to command my curve and my slider. " Teheran pitched 8 1/3 strong innings, Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves won their fourth straight game with a 5-1 victory over the struggling Minnesota Twins yesterday. Teheran (3-1) gave up five hits, one run - Josh Willingham's homer in the ninth - and one walk.
May 6, 2013
Washington's Bryce Harper was ejected from Sunday's game against Pittsburgh for arguing with - and showing up - third base umpire John Hirschbeck. It happened in the first inning. Harper tried to hold up on a 2-2 pitch and home plate umpire Bob Davidson pointed to Hirschbeck for help. Hirschbeck signaled strike, at which point Harper stood outside the batter's box, eyeballed the ump, dropped his bat, and got the boot. Didn't matter, as the Nationals won, 6-2. Harper was also tossed Aug. 29, when he spiked his helmet after grounding into a double play against the Mets.
May 3, 2013 |
DAN HAREN pitched eight sharp innings, Denard Span hit a two-run double and the visiting Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves, 3-1, last night. The Nationals, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to Atlanta on Wednesday, allowed their NL East rivals to get only three runners in scoring position over 2 nights. Haren (3-3) won his second consecutive start, giving up four hits and one run with one walk and four strikeouts. Rafael Soriano earned his ninth save in 10 chances by pitching the ninth.
May 1, 2013 |
TIM HUDSON was a dual threat in his 200th career win, combining with Anthony Varvaro on a three-hitter while hitting a homer and a double to lead the Atlanta Braves to an 8-1 win over the visiting Washington Nationals last night. Hudson (3-1) dominated the Nationals through seven innings, striking out six and walking two while giving up one run. One of the three hits he allowed was an infield single by Denard Span. Hudson's bat almost stole the night. He led off the second with a double to leftfield off Gio Gonzalez (2-2)