Before the game tonight, 3 Phillies players received their Gold Glove awards for 2009; Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco. Polly’s award was from his time at 2nd base with the Tigers. The transition to third this year with the Phillies has been no problem, especially where his bat is concerned. Polanco was hitting at an average of .444 coming into tonight’s game; he was also leading the entire league in hits with 20 and tied for 1st in runs with Chase Utley and the Dodgers Matt Kemp.
JA Happ was also honored tonight; as a rookie in 2009, he came in 2nd place for the Rookie of the Year voting. But he did receive the rookie award that is voted on by the players, The Players Choice Award for the 2009 National League Outstanding Rookie.
Fellow starting pitcher, Jamie Moyer, started tonight’s game against the Marlins and got off to a very bad start. He allowed 5 runs in the first inning, including a Ronny Paulino 3-run bomb. Paulino was down in the count 1-2 and nailed the cutter that Moyer threw, which was right in his happy hitting place, down and in.
To his credit, Moyer did settle into the game and went 5 more innings without allowing a run, but the damage had been done. The Phillies are having a lot of issues with their pitching right now as both Moyer and Kyle Kendrick have gotten beaten up in their first 2 starts of the year. Add to that the bullpen disasters of the last few games and things are getting scary.
On the hitting side, the Phils offense had been unstoppable until tonight. They had only 5 hits and scored just one run. Ryan Howard had a big opportunity to bail them out in the 6th inning with 2 outs and the bases loaded, but he grounded out to end the inning.
Raul Ibanez is a real issue too; he is hitting a pathetic .179 right now. Not only is he not hitting, he is causing damage by doing things like hitting into double plays at crucial moments to kill the offensive momentum. Raul had better try something soon; maybe make a sacrifice to the Gods by burning these obviously cursed bats? Frankly, I do not care how he finds his Mojo again, as long as he does find it. And until the curse if lifted, maybe Charlie Manuel should put in Ben Francisco for a while? Just a thought…
Jayson Werth helped the Phillies avoid the shut-out by hitting a homer in the 9th, his first of the year. But Ricky Nolasco did pitch a complete game for the Fish and did the job well. The Phillies lost by a score of 1-5.
The Phillies can still win the series if Cole Hamels keeps his head on straight tomorrow; oh, and finding the strike zone might be good too ;o) Game time is 1:35pm; if you are going, bundle up, it might be chilly. I’ll be the one on the first base side wearing 6 layers and shivering like it is January….I hate cold. So, if I do not turn into an ice cube, I should be back with photo.
Moyer photo by Jenn