Tagged: Adam Dunn

As The Ankle Turns

The soap opera that is the Curse of Cole Hamels continues…  First, he hurts his left elbow in Spring Training and misses his Opening Day start; then in his last start, he gets hit in his pitching shoulder (left arm) with a line drive; and yesterday, he turns his left ankle while fielding a bunt that he knew ahead of time was going to be coming.  The batter turned and squared to bunt before Hamels threw a pitch.  So, is this man made of glass or is he just cursed on the left side of his body?  Will he ever finish a game in 2009?  Maybe we should cover him up in bubble wrap and then seal him in a hermetic chamber.  Just a thought…Hamels ankle.jpg

Cole tossed one warm-up pitch after the turned ankle and then, in obvious frustration, he tossed the ball at manager Charlie Manuel and walked off the field in dramatic fashion.  Cue the cheesy soap opera music…  The good news is, the MRI’s were negative and it appears to be only a sprain.  Hamels told the media he expects to be ready for his next start, but that remains to be seen.  After being very disappointed last year when he did not make the All-Star team, it looks like this year will be no different after this roller coaster start to the season.

The real shame of it all is that Hamels was off to a great start in these last few outings, only to be pulled due to injury.  Last night, he had only given up 4 hits and not surrendered a run before leaving in the 5th with only 1 out recorded.  Chad Durbin came in to take over for Hamels though and pitched a superb 3 2/3 innings of 1-run ball.  That run, an Adam Dunn solo shot, was the only hit recorded off Durbin.  Kudos to Durbin for saving the day!  What an effort to pick up his teammate!

Also doing a lot of the heavy lifting last night was Chase Utley; Utley took his revenge on John Lannan, the same pitcher who broke his hand 2 years ago.  In the 3rd, Utley took Lannan deep for a 2-run shot and then completed the humiliation with a solo shot in the 5th.  That’s what you get for breaking this super-star’s hand!

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Pedro Feliz hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd, continuing his hot streak.  Feliz is now batting .333.  And Raul Ibanez is relentless in his pursuit to call Philly his new home, blasting a solo home run in the 8th.  Ibanez and Utley are now tied for first place in home runs in the majors with Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez; all four players have 7 homers.

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Congrats also to Jimmy Rollins who finally recorded his first stolen base of the season last night!  J-Roll was 1 for 4 at the plate and seems to be in the midst of waking up offensively and getting his batting average out of the gutter; it currently stands at .195, which should change very soon.

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And now on to our Fan of the Game:  This is Buddy from Philadelphia and he is a big Phillies fan.  Buddy was especially high on Raul Ibanez, as I heard chants of “Pat who?” echo throughout the outfield.  Well, we do still miss Pat Burrell, but Ibanez has left no doubt that not only will that role be filled, but he will give us a more consistent bat and so far, great defense as well.  Let’s hear it for RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!

I have posted a Photo Album from the game; these will be a bit different than what you usually see from me as I had a seat in straight away centerfield at the top of the section last night.  A different, and much more distant, perspective for sure.

Romero Sues

JC Romero is suing the company of the supplement he took that was tainted with an unlisted ingredient which caused him to test positive for steroids and resulted in a ridiculous 50-game suspension.  He is also suing the manufacturer and one of the people named in the law suit is Patrick Arnold, a chemist who has already spent time in jail after the BALCO scandal.  Just a few things to note here: Supplements are not regulated by the government and therefore, even if MLB approves of a supplement, it can still cause a player to test positive if it has been tainted in the manufacturing process.  Romero did get an ok from the MLBPA to take the supplement, but did not call some 800# to check again, and so MLB decided he was negligent.  He got the same suspension as would a person who actually took steroids.  Disgusting.

I have been thinking this over for the last few days now and trying to put those thoughts into words.  This has been an emotional ride for JC, his family, his teammates, and his fans.  As for myself, I know personally what an honest and forthright human being JC is and can tell you that not only is he innocent, but he is a victim here.  I hope he takes these people for all that they have and that this sets a precedent for other players who may be victimized by this system.  MLB needs to revisit their policies and create a fair regulation process.

There have been some questions about why Romero is not suing MLB.  What may not be widely known is that when he first tested positive, he was offered a reduced suspension, 25 games to begin immediately, if he agreed to waive his rights to an appeal.  However, he would have missed out on playing in the World Series if he took the deal.  Not wanting to let down his team and knowing he was innocent, he turned down the deal and chose his TEAM over his own personal well-being.  He knew that if he lost the appeal, he would get the 50 game suspension and lose out on more than a million dollars in salary.  And still, Romero did the right thing and should be commended for that.  This is a man who always does the right thing and yet, MLB punished him for it.  The reason he is not suing MLB is probably because as another term of going to appeal, he most likely had to waive his rights to future litigation.  A very sad an unfortunate set of circumstance; so again, I hope he slaughters these companies in court.

Next Up

So the Phillies will work on their 2nd straight sweep tonight, trying to beat the Nationals again starting at 7:05pm.  While you are watching the game, log on to VOTE for your All-Stars!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.  Get the Phillies to St. Louis!!  And as always, feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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Nats Thank The Phillies For Their First Win

 

After a horrendous 0-7 start, the Washington Nationals were bound to win a game eventually; enter, the Phillies.  Hey Nats, will you be our best friend now?  Gee, thanks.

Although Joe Blanton notched the first “quality start” for the Phillies today, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs, the Phils still lost the game 8-2.  All 3 of Blanton’s runs came in the first inning when he sent a pitch right down the middle for the Nat’s Adam Dunn who repaid him by knocking it out of the ballpark and collecting 3 RBI.  But after that, Blanton settled in and held them to those 3 runs.  Of course, then the bullpen made their grand entrance and let the Nats run away with the game.  Chad Durbin gave up a solo homer and new Phillie, Jack Taschner gave up 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 2/3 of the 8th inning.  Excuse me while I vomit…

P4139481.jpgFeeling better now, as I rest my head on the cool toilet bowl, and think happy thoughts about rookie catcher Lou Marson; making the game slightly bearable, Marson had an outstanding day in his first start of 2009, and only the 2nd start of his major league career.  Marson did not let a ball get past him, even though he had to block a lot of pitches thrown in the dirt.  He even threw out a National’s runner trying to steal in the 7th inning; Chase Utley made the grab and tagged the runner.  And as if his defense were not impressive enough, he went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and a run scored.  I was very impressed with Marson when I watched him play in Spring Training and felt he had tremendous potential.  He calls a good game, he is mobile behind the plate, swings for contact and has excellent base running skills.  Today, Marson showed all that and more.  That’s the good news…

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But aside from Marson, 2 more hits from Raul Ibanez with 1 RBI and one hit from Utley, our anemic offense looked like they needed a blood transfusion.  Jimmy Rollins continues to struggle, hitting only .111 on the year so far and Shane Victorino is at .219.  If the top of the order doesn’t wake up tomorrow, it is going to be a long night for me at the ballpark.

Update on Saturday’s Memorial:

A memorial tribute for Harry Kalas will be held at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, April 18 as announced by the Kalas family and the Phillies.  Details were announced today as follows:

– Beginning at 8 am, on a first come, first served basis, fans will have the opportunity to pay their respects on the field as they pass by Kalas’ casket behind home plate.

– Fans will walk by the casket until approximately 12:45 p.m., when everybody will be directed to seats. Beginning at approximately 1 p.m., current and former players, broadcasters, front-office employees, friends and family members will pay their final respects before the on-field tribute begins at 1:30 p.m.

– Please enter CBP through the Third Base Gate at Pattison Avenue and Citizens Bank Way and leave through the First Base Gate.

– Fans bringing flowers or mementos should leave them in the area of the Mike Schmidt statue outside the ballpark.

– Parking is free, and fans are encouraged to park in the lots west of the ballpark.

– Fans in attendance will receive a commemorative program, an 8×10 photograph of Kalas and a poem written by him in 2002 as a fan tribute. 

The plans for tomorrow night’s pre-game memorial can be found here.  The game is sold out and fans should arrive early.  As I mentioned before, I will be attending the game and will bring back photos.  Cole Hamels will get the start for the Phillies.

 

Photos by Jenn

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Spring Training Photo Fun


Since the Phillies have the day off today, I thought I would share some more Spring Training photos with you.  These fall under the categories of weird stuff, accidents and a whole lotta Shane Victorino.

Let’s start with Shane!  1st photo: Note that his glove has a special engraving, “Kaipo” – in Hawaiian, this means “Sweatheart.”  How cute is that?  2nd photo: A Yankees fan taunts Shane after catching a home run ball:

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Fans with possible brain damage – This first one is what happens when you have had one too many beers and a home run ball decides to visit:

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And this one is not so funny; good news though, after getting beamed with a foul ball, this kid was ok!

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YMCA Oddity:  Apparently, the ground crew at Yankees Spring Training are required to do the YMCA for the fans between innings.  The music started and here is what happened next:

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And as soon as Victorino got on base after witnessing the YMCA insanity, here is what happened after that:

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So how many of you are singing “YMCA” right now?  :O)

Another fun baseball event; the breaking of the bat.  Adam Dunn, Team USA, demonstrates.  Note the bat handle in the first shot:

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Thumbnail image for P3035904 Jeter Wright.jpgAnd finally, Derek Jeter and David Wright, brought together by the weirdness that is the World Baseball Classic.  After a game win, the two were caught fist bumping; but not without a safety divider.  Adam Dunn steps in to keep the weirdness from getting out of hand.

I hope you enjoyed the photos!  The Phillies will be back on the diamond tomorrow at 1:05pm to face the Yankees.

 

 (All Photos by Jenn)

 

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USA Eliminated Despite Rollins’ Perfect Game


P3056801.JPGNo one can say that Jimmy Rollins did not do his part to help Team USA advance in the World Baseball Classic; but despite his best efforts, the USA was eliminated by Japan last night.  Rollins, in the DH role yesterday, went 4 for 4 at the plate, including a triple; he also stole a base, had 1 walk and scored a run.  But in all 5 times Rollins was on base, only one time was he able to score.  The other 4 times, he was left stranded.  J-Roll ended his stint in the Classic with a .417 batting average, putting him 3rd place overall for the USA.

Some rather controversial moves by the USA manager, Davey Johnson, also seem to have contributed to the loss.  At times, it seemed more like Johnson was trying to make everyone happy, rather than trying to win the game.  This is an unfortunate consequence of the presser put upon Johnson by Major League coaches to only use their players in certain ways, at certain positions.  For example, pitcher Roy Oswalt was left in the game too long; he should have been pulled earlier in the 4th inning, before the 5 run explosion by Team Japan.  But, likely because Johnson felt a duty to Oswalt’s team, the Astros, he was left in to stretch out his arm in preparation for the upcoming MLB season.  By the time Oswalt got his pitch count in, the damage was done.

Another issue arose in the 8th inning when, with the USA down 6-4, Shane Victorino stood in the on deck circle to pinch hit with a runner on 3rd and 1 out; at the last minute,
Thumbnail image for P3056631.JPGJohnson pulled Victorino and sent Evan Longoria to the plate.  Johnson was obviously hoping for a long ball from Longoria, but the problem was that Longoria, being right handed, was going to have to face a right handed pitcher and monster winds that were blowing towards right field.  Victorino, who is a switch hitter and could have batted left-handed, had a much better shot at getting a hit off the righty and could have used the wind to his advantage.  So, why would Johnson put Longoria in?  One possible reason is that Longoria was a late addition to the team and had not yet gotten an at-bat.  Johnson likely felt indebted to Longoria for making the trip out and decided he should at least get one at-bat out of the trip.  While this is very nice and thoughtful of Johnson, it was not in the best interest of Team USA.  Longoria struck-out, Brian Roberts grounded out and that was the end of the threat.

Defense also hindered the Americans from advancing; with 3 errors in the game, Mark DeRosa playing first base, where he had never started before, and Adam Dunn in right field, Team USA was just not able to keep pace with Japan.  Dunn, put in the game for his bat even though he is a below average fielder, wound up going hitless in 5 at-bats with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts.  In the future, if the USA intends to compete, they are going to have to prepare much earlier for this tournament; plus, players and managers will have to understand that these are real games and that they will be expected to play accordingly.  Will this ever actually happen?  Your guess is as good as mine.

So the good news for the Phillies is that J-Roll and Victorino will be returning to camp.  After a 3-0 loss to the Red Sox yesterday, the Phils will be hoping that J-Roll can kick start the offense for them.  Jamie Moyer gets the start today against the Yankees at 1:05pm.  Less than 2 weeks until Opening Day…things are going to get a lot more interesting the closer we get to April 5th.  More on that later…

(All Photos by Jenn)

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Happ-Y Days Ahead?

In yesterday’s game against the Tigers, JA Happ tried to back up my claim that he would be the winner of the 5th spot in the rotation.  Happ pitched 3 scoreless innings, striking out 7 batters with a mean fastball.  He allowed only 2 hits.  Things are looking Happ-Y for JA who is battling Kyle Kendrick, Chan Ho Park and Carlos Carrasco for the starters spot this year.  But, it is still early…

Also feeling the love is John Mayberry Jr., who has been keeping pace with Ryan Howard this spring.  Both Mayberry and Howard hit 3-run homers in the game, propelling the Phillies to an 8-2 win over the Tigers.  Mayberry continues to impress and, as a right-hander with power, he may be the leading candidate for a bench spot to even out the heavy left-handed line-up.

Jayson Werth saw his first official action of spring and went 1 for 2 with a walk.  Think Werth read my call for action yesterday?  Here’s hoping!  Geoff Jenkins, also aware of his own precarious situation, collected an RBI in the game on a sacrifice. 

Phillies in the WBC

Team USA won their World Baseball Classic opener yesterday against Team Canada, 6-5.  Shane Victorino P3035753.JPGgot the start in center and went 2 for 4 at the plate.  Jimmy Rollins came in as relief for Derek Jeter at short and hit 1 for 2 in the game.  The big blasts for Team USA came from Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn and Brian McCann, who each hit home runs in the game.  For Team Canada, Matt Stairs started in right field and went hitless in 3 at bats with 2 strikeouts.

Team Panama lost to Team Puerto Rico, 7-0 yesterday; Carlos Ruiz started at catcher, going 1 for 2 with a walk, but was pulled from the game early due to a neck strain after a collision.  Reports so far are that it is not serious, but no word yet on whether Ruiz will play in today’s game against the Dominican Republic. 

 

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Team USA Beats The Phillies

Watching Team USA with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino playing against the Phillies was strange, to put it mildly.  Although, who to root for was easy – both!  Yet, the sight of Victorino sliding into base with a Phillies glove coming at him did feel wrong somehow; but even more confusing was watching Victorino and Rollins team up with rival New York Met, David Wright, Atlanta Brave, Chipper Jones and Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia.  Here are 4 of them celebrating after a Jones homer run plus, Victorino sliding into second and Rollins letting everyone know that he is working hard:

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Victorino and Rollins each had one hit for Team USA today and minor league Phillie, Joe Bisenius pitched for Team USA, giving up 1 run on three hits in his one inning of work.  Also for Team USA, Derek Jeter went hitless in his 6 innings, but showed off defensively, as usual.  Chipper Jones and Red, Adam Dunn led the charge against the Phillies, collecting 3 RBI a piece.  Below, see Jeter make a great leaping throw; Mike Cervenak slides into second trying to break up a double play, forcing Pedroia to jump over him; and J-Roll swings and misses:

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On the Phillies side, Eric Bruntlett and Cervenak each earned an RBI and Jason Donald woke from his slumber, hitting a solo homer in the 6th.  Catcher Lou Marson was the only Phillie with a multi-hit game, going 2 for 4.  The big score came from Ryan Howard, who knocked a 3 run homer in the 5th.  However, Howard had a very strange day.  In the first inning, Howard dropped a routine feed from Donald, allowing the runner to reach base.  Then, in the third inning, he got whacked in the helmet with a pitch, but appeared to be fine.  Later, Howard dropped a routine pop-up off the bat of Victorino and then also dropped a pick-off toss to first as Victorino slid back in safely, although, that looked to be a bad throw by Kyle Kendrick.  Here are a few photos of the events at hand; note where the ball is in the top 2 photos; the bottom photo is the home run shot:

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Aside from Howard’s fumbles, the big story of the day appears to be Kyle Kendrick who did not look good.  In 2 2/3 innings, he surrendered 5 hits and 4 runs, including the 3 run shot by Jones, which, by the way, I called as it happened.  As shaky as Kendrick was and seeing he could not keep the ball down or his emotions in check, once Chipped stepped to the plate, I told my neighbor what was about to happen and, wham!  3-run home run.  Kendrick has a lot of work to do if he is going to compete for the 5th starters’ position. 

Equally unimpressive was the outing of Antonio Bastardo, who gave up 5 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks.  Regulars Clay Condrey and Ryan Madson got some work in also and each looked ok, although Madson did walk 2.  In the end, the Phillies went down by a score of 9-6.

And now for the Photo of the Day – Team USA united!P3056461.JPG

The Phillies have both an A and a B game tomorrow against the Blue Jays; the B game is at 2pm at Bright House field and the A game is in Dunedin at 7pm.  Sadly, my time in Florida has come to a close and I will be hopping a plane back to the deep freeze of the Philadelphia area tomorrow.  I will continue my coverage from home, although be terribly depressed about it :O(  I know, I know…poor me.  Hee!  It was fun while it lasted!

 

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