Round Two with Justin Klugh of “That Ball’s Outta Here”


Back in May, my Phillies counterpart at “That Ball’s Outta Here” Justin Klugh and I swapped questions for the Rox/Phils series.

Well, my schedule says we’re playing the Phillies again (Oh great), so why don’t we delve into the mind of a Phillies writer again. It’s okay – I’m scared, too.

First up are the questions I asked Justin, with his answers, followed up by the questions he asked me with my answers below. (Note: These questions were exchanged during last night’s game, so if they seem a little outdated, that’s why.) Enjoy!

1) The Phillies are one of, if not the best team in the NL right now. The Rockies are one of , if not the most disappointing teams in the NL right now. What is the Phillies’ biggest worry going into this series?

“Do we have enough Hunter Pence shirseys in stock?”
“Will Jim Tracy notice Mick Billimeyer’s new travel-sized binoculars?”
“When will Satan come for the soul of Raul Ibanez?”

2) As Rockies fans continue to mourn the loss of our ace, are you glad you don’t have to face Ubaldo Jimenez?
…I really am not as scared of Ubaldo as I used to be.  He looked more hittable this year than ever.  Or maybe I am just desensitized to good pitching because I live in Philadelphia.  Yeah, that’s probably it. 

3) Because of the acquisition of Hunter Pence, the offense gets a much-needed upgrade. Is this the key to the NL Pennant (which everyone knows you’re going to win) or is there something else the team needs?
I honestly didn’t even think we needed Hunter, but I’ll take him.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t happy to see Singleton, Cosart, Zeid, and whoever else the Astros want go.  If the Astros are tearing it up in 2016 I will be I am going vomit all over my robo-butler.

But come on.  You’re talking to a guy who watched The Mighty Phillies get scatterfucked by the Giants, right out of the playoffs.  Now I know how the ’93 Braves felt.  You can make a team as perfect as you want, but the truth is, this is baseball, and literally anything can happen.  It’s bullshit.

4) The Phillies are starting to pull away in the NL East, thanks of course to your pitchers and Raul Ibanez, who has apparently has forgotten how not to hit the ball. Who’s been the MVP of the team so far?

Mike Stutes!

Who is he?  Why, the very young, shaggy-haired wastrel who populates the 6th, 7th, or 8th inning with such surprisingly solid pitching nobody even noticed Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge were not even close to around.

But also Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Chooch, Juan Samuel, Scott Franzke… you know, everybody.

5) Cole Hamels (12-6) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (8-8); Aaron Cook (2-5) vs. Kyle Kendrick (5-5); and Roy Halladay (13-4) vs. Jason Hammel (6-10). What’s the matchup you’re most concerned about?

6) Any chance Reuben Amaro Jr. will put the Phanatic on the waiver wire so the Rockies can dump Dinger and upgrade our mascot?

That’s not funny.  Don’t even fucking joke about that.  What Dinger needs is a nice dose of lysine contingency.

1)  So, Ty Wigginton just singled and stole a base.  Is there anything he can’t do?  Yes.  Please list them.

Um, hit with runners on? Yeah, he can’t do that. So when he does it, one of two things happens. One, it’s either a solo homer, or he gets on with no one on, then nobody behind him can bring him in. It’s something we pride ourselves on, actually. Worked hard on it in Spring Training.

2)  Congratulations!  The Rockies have signed Jorge Cantu!   Do you see him filling the void left by Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Gonzalez, and Jason Giambi?

Yes, Jim Tracy said the plan for him as of now is to take the mound for 7+ innings every fifth day, tracking down fly balls in center he may give up, then hit 1000-foot home runs in the ninth inning coming off the bench. We’re all quite happy.

3)  The Denver Post concluded that the Rockies just aren’t “clicking.”  What sounds HAVE the Rockies been making?  I imagine loud “clanks” and “thuds.”

I actually heard some sputtering in there, too. Our pitchers have been hissing a little bit. I think their mechanics may be off. Pun intended.

4)  The Mountain Time Zone has been oft-referred to as “The Bitch Time Zone.”**  How accurate is this description? (**by me, just now)

That’s okay, we in the Mountain Time Zone refer to Eastern Time the same way, so I’d say pretty accurate.

5)  Troy Tulowitzki just threw out Jimmy Rollins on a dumb play that was pretty good.  Why do I hate Tulo’s face so much?

Oh, that’s because during the All-Star Game in Phoenix, Tulo got ahold of one of Brian Wilson’s beard hairs, which instantly sent his ‘awesome’ level through the roof. He already had plenty coming from his rat tail (I kid you not), so the beard hair made him half man, half cyborg. We here in Colorado love it.

6.  First Jimmy gets it at second, then Shane can’t score on Chase’s hit.  What is it about playing in Denver that slows everybody down?  It obviously wasn’t because Seth Smith fielded the ball perfectly…

I could use the ‘high altitude’ argument, but I’m assuming I’d be drawn and quartered for that, so I’ll refrain. I’ll go with the fact that whenever we’re at home and someone from our bullpen isn’t in the game, we actually kinda know how to play baseball. So it wasn’t so much the Phillies slowing down as it was the Rockies actually playing well. That, or the high altitude really did get to Shane Victorino.