Tagged: All-Star

No Offense For The Phillies…Again

As more players continue to drop like flies, manager Charlie Manuel was also forced to miss today’s game against the Pirates due to a suspension.  On Thursday night, Manuel bill-butted the umpire with the brim of his hat as he argued a call.  Manuel has been ejected 3 times in just over a week, obviously frustrated with how this season is going.  This suspension was just one more blow to this already limping Phillies team.

The Phillies went down against the Pirates today with their anemic offense again giving no run support to the pitcher.  The final score was 2-3 and the Phils had only 8 hits.  Wilson Valdez hit a solo homer and the 2nd run was unearned due to a Pirates throwing error.  Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez both went hitless. 

Ibanez has had one hit in his last 8 games and 34 at-bats.  The Phillies need to put Ben Francisco in left and be done with it already.  Ibanez has not contributed in any significant way in a long time.  In fact, in the month of June, Ibanez had 5 hits…total.  That is the entire month.  Francisco had 11 hits in 37 at-bats compared to 5 hits in 96 at-bats for Ibanez.  This is a NO brainer.

So another good pitching performance was wasted by the Phils offense.  Cole Hamels allowed 3 runs in 7 innings and deserved a win.  Instead, he gets another loss and to a last-place team no less.  But sadly, that was not the only drama tonight. 

Just when you thought, after having 7 players on the DL and Chase Utley going in for surgery today, things could not get worse…they did.  Back-up catcher Brian Schneider got hit in the hand with a pitch and has a hyper-extended left thumb and had to leave the game.  No word yet on how serious it is, but if he goes on the DL too, the Phillies will be left with a 3rd string catcher and have to call up a 4th from the minors.  My head hurts.

And by the way, Utley’s recovery time has been changed from the original 6 weeks reported to 8 weeks.  By tomorrow, who knows?  They may go with 3 months.  But realistically, this kind of surgery can have widely varying recovery times based on the extent of the damage and how the surgery went.

As for Placido Polanco, he has 3-4 weeks before he can return due to bone chips in his elbow.  And catcher Carlos Ruiz was examined in Pittsburgh today and the tests for his concussion apparently did not go well.  That means he may be out even longer than 15 days.  The Phils may as well open their own ER at this rate.

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Will GM Ruben Amaro Jr. find a quality infielder to help out?  This will be interesting.  We already know Amaro screwed up when he traded Cliff Lee and probably every team in the league wants to get Lee now.  I have heard many fans say they think we can get him back to Philly.  Stop right there.  Here is the one reason that will never happen: to bring Lee back would mean Amaro would be admitting he made a mistake by trading him in the first place. 

Some men admit when they are wrong, like umpire Jim Joyce admitted he blew the call that cost Armando Galaraga a perfect game.  And when Andy Pettitte admitted he did steroids and was obviously ashamed.  But Amaro?  It will never happen.  Put it out of your minds and move on.

And now the infield is a bigger concern than the pitching.  The Phillies will have at least a month without their 2 All-Star infielders and then an additional month without Utley.  They need help and Amaro has to go make something happen.  Right now, I really don’t want his job.

 

Player photos and photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Falter Against Reds


Kendrick rope.jpgIt was another bad night for Kyle Kendrick.  Against the Reds, Kendrick pitched 6 1/3 innings while allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits, including a 2-run homer to ex-Phillie Scott Rolen.  Chase Utley committed an error at the start of the 6th inning which gave Kendrick a little extra rope to hang himself with. 

Kendrick still seems to have trouble buckling down and making pitches after something bad happens, like an error that puts the opposing team’s pitcher on base.  No pitcher is happy when this occurs, but the good ones do not let it bother them and proceed to work out of the mess.  Some days, Kendrick looks sure of himself on the mound; and other days, he looks out of place.  But the Phillies have few other options with JA Happ still not recovering well from his injury.

Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto is similar to Kendrick in the consistency department.  He will have a few really bad games, then some really good ones.  Unfortunately for the Phils, tonight Cueto had a good game and the offense sputtered against him.  Phillies batters had a few opportunities to pounce on Cueto, but they came up short each time, going only 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position.  In all, they left 4 men on base and had 8 hits.

Utley got tossed out trying to stretch a single into a double and both Raul Ibanez and Brian Schneider hit into double plays.  Although on replay, Ibanez should have been called safe.  Ryan Howard had 2 hits in the game, including a triple, and he scored one of only two runs in the game for the Phillies.  Ibanez hit a solo homer in the 9th with two outs.

The bullpen did not help out either; David Herndon gave up a hit which allowed one of Kendrick’s base runners to score and in the 8th inning, Mike Zagurski allowed a run on one hit and a walk.  In all, it was an evening to forget as the Phillies lost by a score of 7-2.

In injury news, Placido Polanco did not play again today after getting another cortisone injection in his sore elbow on Sunday.  He may play tomorrow but it looks like this will be an on-going issue for the rest of the season.  Polanco will play through the pain and possibly have surgery in the off-season.  That makes one wonder how productive he will be the rest of the year, but all we can do is wait and see.  But a slightly banged up Polanco is probably better that leaving Wilson Valdez at third all year.

I have also just heard that Utley was pulled in the 9th inning because he hurt his thumb sliding into 2nd base.  He will have an MRI tomorrow…cross your fingers.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Series Win; Moyer Makes More Records

In the final game of the series against the Blue Jays who served as the home team in Philly this weekend, the Phillies walked away with an 11-2 win.  The 47-year old pitcher, Jamie Moyer, walked away with his 9th win of year and a few more entries in the baseball record books.

Moyer gave up a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning which propelled him past former Phillie Robin Roberts for the most home runs allowed by any pitcher.  The 506 record breaking home runs were allowed to a total of 322 different batters in 42 different ballparks.  There has been some debate over whether or not Moyer should be proud of such a record.  But this type of record simply means that he has been pitching for a very, very long time.  Not too many other players have been around this long.

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Adding to that thought, Moyer broke another record today.  He became only the 40th player in history to have pitched 4,000 innings.  This is another testament to the longevity of Moyer’s career.  And to still be pitching, and being successful, at his age is just amazing.  He went 7 innings against the Jays on Sunday and that 2-run homer mentioned earlier was the only scoring he allowed.

Jimmy Rollins helped jump start the offense with a single in the first at-bat of the game.  Rollins ended with 3 hits, each hit to a different part of the ballpark; one down each baseline and one up the middle.  Rollins plus Ben Francisco and Dane Sardinha each had 2 RBI a piece.  Francsico looked good in left and was 3 for 5 at the plate.  Could this be the end of Raul Ibanez as an everyday player?  If Ibanez does not start hitting, it very well could.

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So the bats were popping and some great defensive plays highlighted the win as well.  Both Rollins and Jayson Werth were all over the place snagging balls out of the air:

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The Phillies were ahead 7-2 by the 7th inning and that is when the bottom really fell out for the Jays.  The play on the field began to resemble a long series of sight gags that The Three Stooges may have attempted in one of their comedy bits.  Throws by Jays fielders sailed into no-man’s land, balls were mishandled and there was even a passed ball at the plate.  By the end of the 7th, the Jays had committed 3 errors, 4 total for the game, and the Phillies had scored a total of 6 unearned runs in the 11-2 win.

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Wilson Valdez, who is officially the Master at hitting into double plays, tried to do so twice in this game only to have his attempts foiled by the Jays sloppy defense.  Darn those errant throws!  Wilson is clearly going for some sort of DP record and they may have ruined his chances. (Please note the sarcasm in the above paragraph)

The series win went to the Phillies with 2 out of 3 games.  To commemorate this unique occasion of playing an American League game in a National league ballpark while giving home field to the AL team (did you follow all that?), I have put together a short “Canadian’s In Philly” montage:

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Is it just me, or does the woman hugging both the Blue Jays stuffed toy and the Phanatic stuffed toy seem confused?  Or perhaps a tad conflicted?  We wish her well.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Halladay Wins Away Game At Home

The Phillies played an away game at home in Philly for the first time ever, against the Blue Jays.  Because of the G-20 Summit in Toronto, the 3-games series was move to Philadelphia.  The team wore their grey road uniforms, batted first, used the DH and even took batting practice second.  The Canadian Mountaineers even made several appearances with the Phanatic:
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But the really fun part was seeing Roy Halladay pitch against his old team for the first time in his career.  And Halladay came out with his usual serious, mow-them-down attitude.  After 7 shut-out innings, Halladay walked off the mound with his 9th win of the year.

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The Phillies offense, which in previous Halladay starts had not helped him out much, finally scored some runs for him.  Ross Gload got a rare start at first base since Ryan Howard served as the DH and Gload took full advantage.  He went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI in the game.  Jayson Werth was also on base a lot, with 2 hits and 2 walks.  Chase Utley and Shane Victorino scored 2 RBI a piece and Jimmy Rollins walked 4 times.  J-Roll hit that walk-off homer the day before and now no one wants to pitch to him?  Strange.

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Defensively, the Phils were solid as well.  A very odd run-down double play happened in the 3rd inning where both Utley and Gload had to chase down runners and tag them out:

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So with all the Phillies offense, the crowd was actually a little bored by the 6th inning.  By the 7th inning, restless crowd began the wave.  It was probably the longest sustained wave I have ever seen:

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Victorino woke up the crowd in the 8th inning by smashing a homer to left center field, adding to the already huge Phillies lead.  Victorino, and really the whole team, were in good spirits before the game and it translated into a whole lot of scoring:

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When it was finished, the Phillies took away a 9-0 win for their 7th shut-out of 2010.  They will play the Jays this afternoon at 4:05pm with Cole Hamels on the mound.  Here is the full Photo Album from Friday’s game, which includes the 76ers 1st round draft pick, Evan Turner, hanging out before the game and also throwing the 1st pitch.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Survive Near Tornado To Sweep Indians

Early in the final game of the Phillies – Indians series today, things got very, very weird.  And just when you thought it could get any stranger, a gigantic storm, which looked like a hurricane and tornado all in one, hit the stadium in the 8th inning.

But early in the 2nd inning, many already thought that this game was going to resemble an episode of The Twilight Zone.  3 straight singles loaded the bases and then Dane Sardinha hit a grounder to third base.  The catcher missed the throw to home plate and 2 runs scored.  Next, the Phillies pitcher, Joe Blanton, got hit with a pitch. 

The oddities continued as Shane Victorino was called out for going out of the baseline on his way to first base.  Charlie Manuel was so angry over the call, he got himself thrown out.  Blanton was later allowed by the Indians centerfielder to tag up at third and score, even though Blanton did not move until he realized the fielder was paying him no mind.  And the Indians left fielder was almost injured badly when he ran for a foul ball and smashed leg first into the wall.  As he bounced around, his head hit the wall next and he then began wandering around the field like he did not know where he was.


P6203445 Sardinha.jpgSo to recap the 2nd inning; 5 runs scored on 4 hits, an official error, a mental error and 2 sacrifices plus, the manager is ejected, the Phils pitcher is hit with a pitch and a freak injury.  Could this game get any weirder…oh yes, it can…

The Phillies went on a hitting spree after that, scoring 7 more runs.  Placido Polanco had 4 hits and 2 RBI; both Chase Utley and Jayson Werth had 3 hits each and Wilson Valdez had 2 hits.  The only position player to go hitless was Ryan Howard, although he did collect an RBI.  And Sardinha, in his first start as a Phillie, hit his first major league home run in the 6th inning.

In light of the recent offensive woes, the hitting spree was a nice surprise.  But it was by far the biggest surprise of the day.  With 2 outs in the 8th inning, Mother Nature paid an unpleasant visit to Citizens Bank Park.  The rain poured down in buckets and the wind made things begin to swirl wildly in a circular motion, like a tornado.  The tarp was half-way whipped up off the field, taking a field vehicle with it!  The car was supposed to be holding the tarp down, but the winds were so strong it moved the car!  Check out the video from CSN Philly.  I have never seen anything like this…ever:

http://www.csnphilly.com/common/CSN/csnphi/csnphiembedplayer.swf

 

Here is another good one shot by a fan, which gives a really good view of the car being moved around:

 

So the rain delay lasted for an hour and 37 minutes with the Phillies in the lead by a score of 12-3.  They came back and finished the game…nothing changed.  The Phillies sweep the Tribe in 3 games.  Blanton had a good game, going 7 2/3 before the storm hit and allowing just 3 runs on 6 hits.  Nelson Figueroa was called up from AAA and pitched a scoreless 9th.  Figueroa takes Chad Durbin’s place as he is now on the DL with a strained hamstring.

Starting tomorrow night, the relocated series with the Blue Jays will begin.  It was supposed to be in Toronto, but had to be moved to Philly for security reasons related to the G20 Summit.  So the Jays will be the home team in Philly for 3 games.  Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

 

 

Rollins Announces His Return With A Walk-Off Homer

Jimmy Rollins officially announced his return to the Phillies tonight with a 2-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th against the Indians. 
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It was J-Roll’s only hit in two games since coming off the DL.  Things looked grim going into that inning as Rollins was just 0 for 4 before that homer, but he hit it when it counted the most and gave his team a 7-6 victory.  Welcome back, Jimmy!

Prior to that, the Phillies offense did score some runs, but they still seem to be butting heads with the usual problems; leaving men on base, hitting into double plays and swinging at bad pitches.  Both Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez hit into double plays, the worst of which was by Ibanez in the 6th inning.  With two runners on and no outs, Ibanez tapped one back to the mound and they did not score that inning.

But Howard had 2 hits on the night and Jayson Werth had 3, including a homer. Brian Schneider hit his first homer of the year in the 7th and there were a couple extra base hits in the game as well.  The Phillies went only 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position, but with J-Roll playing the hero, it was enough to win the game.

The pitching was also interesting as the magical see-saw adventures of Kyle Kendrick continued tonight. 
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When Kendrick steps to the mound, you just never know what tricks he might pull out of his hat next.  This evening’s tricks included allowing two 2-run homers to Shin-Soo Choo.  Kendrick lasted just 4 innings with 5 runs allowed, although 1 run was unearned after a Chase Utley error.

With Kendrick, the only thing that has been consistent is his inconsistency.  And with rumors floating that the Phillies are looking for a starting pitcher, it appears they are growing impatient with not only Kendrick, but JA Happ as well.  Happ has not been progressing as quickly with his rehab as the Phillies would like.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told the Courier Press, “”It’s the first time he’s ever had this time off, and (he needs to) come back and cut it loose and get back to that old form. He’s going to have to get to that point or he can’t perform here.”  Those are strong words from an obviously frustrated GM.

Another player was injured tonight as well; Chad Durbin came up with a right hamstring strain at the beginning of the 9th inning.  According to Charlie Manuel after the game, the injury is “pretty serious.”  Not good news; all we can do is hope he will be okay.

In other news, Greg Dobbs did clear waivers and has been sent to AAA to work on his swing.  Hopefully, Dobbs can get back into shape and help out later in the year.  I know a lot of people have been complaining about Dobbs, and not without cause, but I am rooting for him to return to his 2008 form when he was probably the best pinch hitter in the league.  I have been fortunate to speak with Greg on a number of occasions and he is as nice a guy as you could ever hope to meet.  He is great with the fans, unselfish when giving his time and has a good heart.  For all those reasons, I wish him well and hope we might see him again soon.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Another Pitching Duel

While it was delayed by one day due to rain, the rematch of Roy Halladay and Josh Johnson finally took place tonight in Philly.  Their last meeting was in Miami for Halladay’s perfect game on 5/29 where the Phillies won by a score of 1-0.  The same score stood tonight through 8 innings, except it was in favor of the Marlins.


P5231690v.jpgBoth starters pitched through those same 8 innings and Johnson did not budge.  He allowed just 3 hits while Halladay got into trouble in the first inning.  Halladay loaded the bases with no outs and still, escaped with only one run allowed.  After that, he did not budge either.  Stalemate.

Then came the 9th inning; Danys Baez has been hit or miss for the Phillies bullpen all year.  He had a bad April, a really good May and now in June, he has allowed a run in each of his last 3 games pitched.  Tonight it was a homer to put the Phillies in an 0-2 hole that seemed insurmountable.

Sure enough, the Phillies offense could not get anything done in the 9th and went down to the Fish by those 2 runs.  Yes, another shut-out; it was their 6th time being shut-out in the last 17 games.  At least this time, it was against one of the best pitchers in the National League so, it is not as shocking.

Rescheduled Game

Yesterday’s rain-out has been rescheduled for Labor Day on September 6th as part of a split doubleheader at 1:05pm.  Tickets from Wednesday’s rain-out are good for that day and time.  The regularly scheduled 7:05 pm game will go on as planned.

All-Star Staff

Charlie Manuel will coach the NL All-Star team again this year and has just announced his staff.  The Phillies coaches will all be going, as this is the usual tradition.  In addition, Manuel has named Padres‘ manager Bud Black and Giants manager Bruce Bochy as his coaches.    Sean Cunningham, head athletic trainer of the Marlins, and Keith Dugger, head athletic trainer of the Rockies, will also join the team.

The players will be announced on July 4th after voting ends on July 1st at midnight, with 4 more days to cast the final vote for the one extra player on each team after that.  So do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address. 

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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