Tagged: AAA

The Phillies Are Down, But Not Out

Despite having two of their best players sent to the DL today in Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, the Phillies still came out swinging against the Reds.  More importantly, it was the back-up players who made the biggest impact on the game.  This gives Phillies fans hope that even with 7 players on the DL, they can still produce.

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At the very bottom of the line-up, both Brian Schneider and Wilson Valdez hit 3-run homers in the 9-6 win over the Reds.  Schneider went above and beyond, with three hits in the game and scored on the Valdez homer.  The homer by Valdez was his 3rd of the year and only his 4th since 2004.

Joe Blanton kept the Phillies in the game, allowing just one run until the dreaded 6th inning.  That has been his Achilles heel all year long.  With 2 outs in the 6th, Blanton gave up a single, a walk and then a 2-run double.  He did finish with 7 2/3 innings allowing just those 3 runs, so this is progress for Blanton. 

But leave it Brad Lidge to try and throw away all that hard work and momentum for the Phils.  With two outs in the 9th and a 3-run lead, Lidge gave up a walk, a single and then a 3-run homer to Joey Votto to tie the game and send it to extra innings.  It was his 2nd blown save of the year in 7 opportunities.

So the depleted Phillies offense would have to rally yet again, and they did.  In the 10th they faced Arthur Rhodes, a former Phillie, who had not allowed a run in 33 consecutive innings this year.  Ryan Howard doubled, Jayson Werth walked and then Raul Ibanez stepped to the plate. 

The home plate ump had a moving strike zone all night long and when a low 0-1 pitch was called a strike on Ibanez, manager Charlie Manuel finally lost his mind.  He jumped out of the dugout and ripped CB Bucknor a new one, getting him tossed out of the game.  But the managerial fireworks sparked the Phils in a big way.  Ibanez took the very next pitch to center for an RBI double.  Ben Francisco, another bench player, hit a single to score Werth and then Valdez struck again with a bunt that scored Ibanez.

And just like that, the 3-run lead that Lidge blew was back with a 9-6 score.  JC Romero was called on for the second save attempt and got the job done without issue.  Thank goodness for JC!  You are my hero :O)  Please tell Lidge that he owes you, big time.

The Phillies will play the Reds again tomorrow with a quick turnaround at 12:35pm.  Roy Halladay will pitch and try to sneak the Phils out of town with a series win.

More Injury News

To replace Utley and Polanco, Greg Dobbs was brought back and is clearly still having issues.  He had only 2 hits in 17 at-bats during his short time in AAA and went hitless tonight in 3 attempts.  Brian Bocock was also added to the roster.  At AAA this year, Bocock hit only .177 in 209 at-bats so I cannot imagine he brings much to the table either.  But at this point, beggars cannot be choosers.  The options are limited.

The Phillies are going to have to rely on their bench players if they are going to contend.  They did it in 2007 as Tadahito Iguchi and others filled in admirably for players who went down, like Utley who got hit with a pitch, breaking his hand.  Can they do it again in 2010?  We shall see.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

Phillies: Who Is In, Who Is Out

Jimmy Rollins was officially activated off the DL today for the second time this year and will play tonight against the Indians.  The Phillies are hoping that J-Roll will kick-start this team and give them a much needed boost of energy. 

Both Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez, who filled for Rollins, were rewarded for their solid performances by being kept on the roster.  Instead, the Phillies designated Greg Dobbs for assignment.  Dobbs was only 1 for 25 pinch hitting this year and is batting just .152, so this is not a huge shock.  If Dobbs clears waivers and no one claims him, he will probably be sent to AAA to try to find his swing again.


107 Zagurskia.jpgCatcher Carlos Ruiz was supposed to be out for only a few days after being hit in the head with a broken bat on Friday.  But after a series of tests, the Phillies decided to put him on the DL, retroactive to June 19th.  This freed up another roster spot which was given to LHP Mike Zagurski.  In 2007, Zagurski pitched in 25 games for the Phillies and after that, he underwent Tommy John surgery.  Working his way back to the majors, Zagurski has an ERA of 2.35 pitching for AAA this year in 30.2 innings of work.

Right-hander Scott Mathieson was optioned to AAA Lehigh Valley after just 2/3 of an inning for the Phillies where he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits.


P6012370b.jpgIn other news, former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton will be inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame on Friday, August 6 before that evening’s game.  Daulton played 14 years for the Phils, went to 3 All-Star games and is the only catcher in Phillies history with two 100-RBI seasons.  Congratulations to Darren; he is very deserving!

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Fireworks In Philly – How FOX Sports Tried To Ruin The 4th Of July

Before I get to FOX Sports, I have a game re-cap for you.  Jamie Moyer, the oldest player in the major leagues, took the mound today against the New York Mets for his 600th career start!  P5314936 Moyer.jpgCongratulations Jamie!  What a milestone!  Moyer was outstanding in his effort and allowed only 1 run in 6 1/3 innings.  Not only is Jamie an amazing baseball player, he is an even more amazing human being.  Jamie dedicates countless hours to charity work with The Moyer Foundation and is ever-present in the community; a true role model for children and people of all ages.  It is refreshing to see such success come to a person who really deserves it.

Jamie got the win by a score of 4-1.  Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz were the Phillies offensive stars of the game today; Victorino went 3 for 4 with an RBI; Feliz had 3 hits as well.  Even Jimmy Rollins joined the party and collected 2 RBI on a double.  SO nice to see Jimmy creeping back to life!  It is also a big relief to see Ryan Madson begin to pitch his way back to normal.  In to relieve JC Romero, he recorded 2 quick outs to retire the Mets in the 8th inning.  Then Brad Lidge came in for the 9th, saved the game, and all is as it should be…at least for today ;O)

This gives the Phillies a series win at home for a change, and more importantly, an opportunity to sweep the Mets!  I will be at the game tomorrow and bring back news and photos.

Trade??

In some very odd news, Paul Bako, our back-up, back-up catcher (not a typo) has started 3 of the last 4 games.  This has given me some reason to speculate.  Could Carlos Ruiz be on the trading block with the Phillies desperately seeking pitching?  If they are in the middle of negotiating with another team, it makes sense to sit Ruiz as they would not want him to get hurt while making decisions.  With Chris Coste as a solid back-up and Lou Marson waiting in AAA, this may not be such a strange move.  Another possibility is that Ruiz is hurt again and no one is talking.  Then again, maybe Charlie Manuel was just feeling a bit silly this week?  We shall see as the week progresses.

Why FOX Sports Sucks

Can someone please explain to me WHY my Phillies – Mets game today was interrupted multiple times so that FOX sports could should gratuitous footage of Manny Ramirez at bat in San Diego?  It was Manny’s 2nd game back with the Dodgers since serving a 50-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy.  Can I get a big “WHO CARES??” from the peeps, please?  Thank you.

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Seriously, it was not Manny setting some amazing record; not Manny greeting aliens from a spaceship for our first extraterrestrial encounter; not even the President of the United States giving an important speech…Manny’s 2nd game back after a STEROID suspension.  Heck, not even the 1st game back (even so, I would not have cared to see that either).  Has FOX Sports reached an all-time low in trying to get ratings?  You betcha.  It was like them interrupting a blessing from Jesus Christ himself to show a drive-by shooting.  What exactly were they expecting to happen?  That Manny’s head would explode?  Or, he was going to announce the cure for cancer?  Now THAT would have been news.

And yet, on this most important day in America where we celebrate the freedom of our great country, we are subjected to this ridiculous, infantile Mannywood hype by FOX Sports.  On the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig retiring from baseball while suffering from a fatal disease…we get Manny-Insanity.  On the day Jamie Moyer celebrates his 600th career start as a pitcher, are we shown historical footage of the eldest current player in baseball…a person who is a great humanitarian as well?  No…we get dreadlock fever.  

 Truly disgusting.  FOX Sports – you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Moyer & Manny Photos by Jenn

 

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Fried Fish & Iron Pigs

This team sure loves playing from behind; all 8 wins this year so far have been comeback wins, including yesterday’s 10-inning 6-4 win over the Marlins.  Losing 3-4 in the 9th inning, Eric Bruntlett stepped in to pinch hit and hit a chopper up the third base line well enough to score Jayson Werth from third and tie up the game.  In the 10th, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Werth all singled, plus a stolen base from Victorino, and the Phillies took the lead, 6-4.  Brad Lidge tried to give us all a tummy ache in the bottom of the 9th as he loaded the bases full of Fish, but managed to escape unscathed.

Chan Ho Park had a better game this time around; he started off red-hot, but cooled a bit in the 4th inning when he gave away back-to-back home runs.  The first was a 3-run homer to Jorge Cantu and then a solo shot to Dan Uggla.  But Park did keep the Phils in the game and even accidentally ran into an opposite field home run of his own in the 3rd inning.  It was Park’s first home run since 2000.

The bullpen including Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson held the game at 4 runs for the Fish and ultimately, gave the Phillies an opportunity to come back and win.  Great job from the pen! 

Speaking of pens, I was actually sitting in the “pig pen” at Coca-Cola Park watching the Phils game on my phone while watching our AAA club, the Iron Pigs play the Pawtucket Red Sox.  And yes, everything in this park is “pig” themed.  From the mascots, to the game program, which is called “Pork Illistrated.”  Besides the “oinking” from the crowd and other silliness, the park is beautiful, has comfortable seating and it was a really entertaining time overall.

The Pigs game actually mirrored the Phillies game through the 9th inning; both clubs were tied 4-4 and went 1 extra inning!  Sadly, the Pigs game had a different result, as they lost to the Sox, 5-4.  But I did get to check out Carlos Ruiz in his first rehab assignment.  Ruiz was the DH; he went 0-3 at the plate, walked twice and scored a run.  The good news is, he looked ok swinging the bat.Kendrick Ruiz Pigs.jpg

I also saw former major leaguer, Kyle Kendrick pitch; Kendrick went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.  Not good.  He looked like a minor league pitcher and appears to have a long way to go before cracking the majors again.  We wish him luck!

Spring training stand-outs John Mayberry Jr. and Jason Donald each smacked a home run in the game and were impressive defensively as well.  Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy collected the other 2 RBI’s, which were hard to come by as they faced pitchers who were throwing in the 40’s and 50’s.  I am so not kidding; it looked like a tee-ball game.  One pitcher for the Sox was being clocked regularly at around 41mph!  Wow.  Most AAA players are not used to such slow deliveries and it will mess up their timing.  Hey, maybe the Sox would like to sign me up?  Pretty sure I can top 41mph.

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Here is the Photo Album of the Iron Pigs game; I have included more shots of Ruiz, Kendrick, Coca-Cola park, the mascots and many others!

Back to the majors: Don’t forget to VOTE for your All-Star’s today!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address. 

And tune in now to the Phillies-Marlins 3rd game of the series which had a very early start at 12:10pm.

Photos by Jenn

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