Of course, I am not referring to an actual wolf…this wolf was Brewers pitcher and former Phillie, Randy Wolf. Although, had it been an actual wolf that devoured the Phillies, that would have been way more interesting.
But as it stands, Randy Wolf pitched 6 2/3 strong innings against his former team, allowing just 2 runs. For the Phillies, Kyle Kendrick basically stunk up the place. Kendrick started the game with a 3-run homer to Prince Fielder. He threw one pitch, missed his spot and Fielder gobbled up the cookie tossed his way. By the end of 4, Kendrick allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and a walk.
The worst part is that the Phillies have a doubleheader with the Marlins tomorrow so pitching was already at a premium. With Kendrick not able to get past 4 innings, many bullpen pitchers had to be used which means less pitching and/or tired pitching for tomorrow. Kendrick has been on a serious downhill slide since early August and seems to be getting worse instead of better as each start goes by.
Add in the fact that the Phillies offense is still struggling to score runs and this is another really disappointing loss. The only two runs scored by the Phils today came on a Carlos Ruiz double in the 2nd inning. After that, the offense had only 2 hits; one from Chase Utley and one from Jimmy Rollins. Of 7 hits on the day, 2 were from Utley.
As for some of the young Phillies arms, Scott Mathieson and Antonio Bastardo are back up from AAA and each pitched an inning. Bastardo looked sharp; Mathieson still lacks control and walked 2 batters. He did work out of the jam, but the big question mark still looms above Mathieson’s head. He can throw 97mph, but that is only helpful if he can throw strikes. So far, it is not looking that way.
The Braves lost their game today as well, so the Phillies missed out on the opportunity to put themselves in a tie for first. They still stand 1 game behind the Braves.
In the doubleheader tomorrow, Vance Worley will be called up to start the day game, probably with Nate Robertson in tow as a back-up/bullpen piece. Roy Oswalt will start the night game. The Marlins are on a role playing spoiler as they took 2 of 3 from the Braves this week so this will not be an easy series. The Phillies had better find their bats!
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game. Enjoy.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Against the Brewers tonight, the Phillies came away with another win in another very close game. But early on, it was not looking like a Happy Halladay weekend for Roy Halladay. For the first time in his career, Halladay gave up 4 home runs in one game. The good news is that they were all solo shots. Halladay appeared to struggle with his command all night long and seemed visibly annoyed by many calls from the home plate umpire.
In Halladay’s last three starts combined, he has allowed 10 runs in 21 innings; that calculates to an ERA of 4.29. Granted, this is not terrible by any means, but it is also not typical Halladay. This brings a few questions to mind; has Halladay been overused and are the number of innings pitched catching up with him? With 7 innings pitched tonight, he is up to 221 innings for the year so far. That is more innings than any pitcher in all of baseball. The 33-year old reached a career high in 2003 with 266 innings pitched and is on pace to pass that record.
Although Halladay’s arm is unlikely to fall off anytime soon, the workload is very heavy for a pitcher at his age and with as much mileage as he has on that arm. Everyone keeps referring to Halladay as a “workhorse.” I hate that reference. Because when a horse goes lame, we all know what happens next. While no one is going to put a pitcher out of his misery, the Phillies need to watch Halladay carefully and be sure he stays healthy.
However, Halladay’s rough outing tonight was backed up by some great defense and even a little offense. Both Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit solo homers in the 2nd inning and Chase Utley drove in a run in the 3rd. Utley tried to destroy 2nd base after that during a steal attempt. But both the base and the Brewers won the battle as he was tagged out.
Down 4-3 going into the 7th, the Phillies took the lead with a few unusual runs. Wilson Valdez worked out a walk to load the bases and then made a great base running play. Carlos Ruiz scored on a sac fly and Valdez, reading the play quickly, saw the ball sail past home plate and he slid in behind Ruiz safely in a very close play. The aggressive move gave the Phils a 5-4 lead.
The Phillies bullpen, including Ryan Madson, JC Romero and Brad Lidge, held down the lead. Halladay got the win despite getting roughed up a bit and Lidge earned another save. The Braves won today, so the Phils are still just one game behind them.
The final game of the series is tomorrow afternoon at 1:35pm. Kyle Kendrick will face former Phillie Randy Wolf. I will return with photos!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies won their 4th game in a row tonight with an amazing start from Cole Hamels. The Brewers did not get a hit off Hamels until the 5th inning as he mowed down hitter after hitter. He walked 3 batters, gave up just 3 hits and struck out 7.
Most impressive with Hamels tonight was his demeanor. Even thought the Phils have not scored for him basically all year long, he did not let it bother him that the offense gave him only one run to work with…again. Hamels got into some trouble in the 7th when he issued a lead-off walk and then a single but he worked out of the jam.
Although it did not appear to affect him, Hamels must be wondering what he has done to offend his teammates. In his last 6 games, including tonight, the Phils offense scored 2 runs or less for him in five of those games, with two of them being shut-outs. Perhaps he needs to change deodorants?
Whatever the reason, runs seem to be impossible to come by when Hamels is on the mound. The one run scored tonight was after a 2nd inning Shane Victorino double; Raul Ibanez moved him to third and Carlos Ruiz grounded out to score him. But after that…nothing. The Phillies even left the bases loaded with NO outs in the 4th and did not score. Ibanez struck out and Ruiz hit into a line-drive double play, catching Jayson Werth off the bag. As a team, the Phillies went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
Despite the offensive struggle, the Phillies went on to win 1-0 and Ryan Madson got the save in the 9th. Roy Halladay will pitch tomorrow; game time is 7:05pm.
A few roster moves were made today also; Greg Dobbs was brought up from AAA and Ross Gload was activated off the DL after a groin injury last month. A few more moves will be made in the next few days as the Monday double-header approaches and an extra pitcher will be needed. No word yet on who will be called upon, but it may be Vance Worley who pitched very well in AAA and pitched one scoreless inning for the Phils in July. Other possibilities may be Nate Robertson or Drew Carpenter. We shall see.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies had a single make-up game against the Rockies today in Colorado before heading home. The first 6 innings of the game were a disaster with careless plays and missed scoring opportunities. Until the 7th inning, you had to think there was no way the Phils were going to win this game. But this is baseball…never say never.
Here is a quick recap of the sloppy seconds that dominated the game through 6 innings:
– The 2nd place Phillies made their 2nd trip this year to Colorado today.
– The 2nd run of the game for the Phillies was scored on a sloppy slide from pitcher Joe Blanton.
– After 1 run scored in the 5th inning, Jimmy Rollins had the bases loaded with 1 out. He grounded into a sloppy and hugely disappointing double play to end the inning without scoring a 2nd run.
– Catcher Brian Schneider had a runner easily picked off at 2nd base in the 6th inning but Rollins dropped the ball.
The 6th inning got worse as the first base umpire called a runner safe that was out. Then a ball hit up the middle for what should have been an easy double play was deflected off the glove of pitcher Antonio Bastardo. Instead of getting out of the inning, another run scored.
Earlier in the 6th, Mike Sweeney was hit in the hand while checking his swing and let out a painful scream. The bases were loaded so a run scored, but Sweeney looked hurt. Everyone is hoping he will be alright. Feel free to join my Facebook group, I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney, and show your support :O)
But down 7-3 going into the 7th, someone flipped a light switch on. The Phillies managed to climb back into the game with a double by Placido Polanco, an Utley single and a 2-run homer from Ryan Howard. Not to be outdone, Jayson Werth followed with a solo homer to tie the game at 7-7. A single by Ben Francisco then gave the Phillies the 8-7 lead.
But the Phillies were not done yet in the 7th. With 2 outs and the bases loaded, Utley made up for his 2nd inning error with a GRAND SLAM! Wow. Phillies led at that point, 12-7 after scoring 9 runs in the 7th.
While a 5-run lead is nice, the Rockies were not done yet either…they scored 3 runs off Chad Durbin in the bottom of the 7th. So entering the 9th with a score of 12-10, Brad Lidge came in for the save attempt. And here comes the “sloppy” again…the first batter hit an easy ground ball to first but Howard dropped it! That dropped ball turned into an unearned run, cutting the lead to one run.
Lidge gave up a single next and one out later, walked Todd Helton. Phillies fans started getting nauseous. But Lidge worked out of the mess; he struck out Clint Barmes and the next batter hit a ball to Polanco at third. Polly made a tough play and stepped on third for the force out to end the game. And……exhale…..whew! This was a huge win for the Phils!
Since the bullpen was pretty much used up tonight, I hope the Phillies are prepared to bring up a few pitchers from the minors before tomorrow’s game against the Brewers. The only September call-up so far has been catcher Paul Hoover. Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm and Cole Hamels will pitch.
#1 Phillies Fan
Autotrader.com is running a contest to find the #1 Phillies Fan. I am constantly teased about being an obsessive Phillies fan and all my friends complain they never see me during baseball season. So, I decided to enter the contest. If you agree that I am a huge Phan, please feel free to VOTE for me :O) Your support is appreciated!
Nyjer Morgan: Poster Child For Anger Management
Nyjer Morgan of the Washington Nationals has issues. On August 21st, Morgan was accused of purposely throwing a ball at a fan in Philadelphia after being heckled. The fan was hit in the head and did not see the throw coming. MLB suspended Morgan for 7 games, which he is currently appealing.
As if that were not bad enough, on Wednesday night, Morgan charged the mound with his fist in the air after a pitch from the Marlins Chris Volstad sailed behind him. Morgan swung and the benches cleared. Worse than that, Morgan showboated after the brawl ended as he walked off the field, proud of his bad behavior. Check out the video:
Morgan’s behavior this year has been reprehensible. Even his own manager has benched him for prior bad behavior. He does not deserve to wear a major league uniform; here’s hoping MLB takes appropriate action.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
While the Brewers have not been playing well, having lost an entire home stand and all of their last 8 games, the Phillies did not take pity. Instead, they put a beating on the Brew Crew, winning all 3 games of the series.
The offense was not as potent last night as the previous two games where they scored 19 runs combined, but the 4 runs yesterday were enough. Starting pitcher Cole Hamels helped himself out at the plate with an RBI double in the second inning. Placido Polanco and Wilson Valdez had one run knocked in each. The 4th run was a bit more unconventional. Chase Utley batted with men on 1st and 3rd in the 8th and swung at an awful, in the dirt pitch, striking out. But the catcher missed the bouncing ball and Utley was safe at first base while Shane Victorino scored from 3rd. Weird.
Because Hamels pitched a good game, those 4 runs brought the Phillies the 4-2 win. Hamels allowed those 2 runs to the Brewers in the 6th inning by giving up 2 solo homers. But before that, he was mowing the batters down with his fast ball-change-up combo. Hamels made it through 6 2/3 innings with the bullpen holding down the lead. JC Romero got the save and looked like he is back in top shape now since his off-season surgery.
The Phillies should get some good news today as it looks like Jimmy Rollins will be coming off the DL. This is sad for Wilson Valdez who has been filling in for both Rollins and the still injured Juan Castro at short stop. Valdez did not start out well, but he ended by going 5 for 15 in this series with 2 RBI. And the 3rd back-up catcher, Paul Hoover, went 5 for 10 with 2 RBI and 6 runs scored in the series. With two 3rd-string players performing so well, it makes you wonder if just putting on the Phillies uniform has some magical powers? Abracadabra, you are a major league player! Poof!
While that may or may not be the case, the Phillies will take this kind of output from their back-ups anyway they can get it. The Pirates are up next for a two game series. Kyle Kendrick pitches tonight and game time is 7:05pm. Go Phillies!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
An explosion of hitting broke out in Milwaukee this weekend. The Phillies beat the Brewers both Friday and Saturday by wide margins with a lot of help from the offense. In these last 2 games, Phillies hitters pounded out 28 hits and 19 runs, including 4 home runs. The biggest bang came from Shane Victorino who collected 6 hits and 7 RBI in the two games combined. And today, Paul Hoover, the 3rd string catcher, showed what he can do with 3 hits and 2 RBI to back pitcher Joe Blanton.
The pitching was not as stellar as the hitting, but both Jamie Moyer and Blanton hung in there.
On Friday in a 9-5 win, Moyer went 6 1/3 innings allowing 4 earned runs and 1 unearned following last week’s historical complete game shut-out. It was 70’s night at the park and the 47-year old Moyer looked quite at home in the old powder blue & magenta retro uniform.
Blanton escaped the embarrassing powder blue spotlight by pitching today in the regular greys, but it did not help his performance at all. He did well through 6 innings, allowing just 2 solo homers, but by the end of the 6th, he looked tired. Blanton has just 3 starts so far as he was on the DL the first month of the season. With that in mind, maybe the Phillies needed to break him in a tad slower? Because when they sent him out for the 7th, he gave up 3 more runs.
The bullpen held the Brewers down on Friday and had a fairly easy time closing the game out. That did not happen today. David Herndon allowed 3 hits and a run in just 1/3 of the 9th inning. With 2 men on base, Jose Contreras came in and loaded the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate. But that’s ok, he struck out the next 2 batters for the first save of career and the Phillies won, 10-6. Whew!
The Phillies have one more game with the Brewers tomorrow night at 8:05pm and are hoping for a sweep. Cole Hamels will pitch.
And in case you had not heard, Pat Burrell was released by the Tampa Bay Rays today. Burrell did not fare well as a designated hitter, batting only .218 since he left the Phillies after the 2008 season. Do not look for the Phillies to do him any favors by taking him back; he cannot play the field effectively anymore and our current bench players are performing well. Maybe in September they can bring him back to retire as a Phillie? In the meantime, I wish him luck in finding a job. Burrell will always be remembered in Philly for helping to bring us a World Championship :O)
UPDATE: This just in…Brad Lidge has been put on the DL with elbow inflammation (can I say now I told you so?). Lefty Antonio Bastardo will be brought back up to take his place on the roster.
Moyer photo by ESPN; Explosion: USDOE
Due to rain and snow in Colorado, Game 2 of yesterday’s scheduled doubleheader was postponed. No date has been announced to play the game and the Phillies are not scheduled to go back to Colorado at all this year. So, it should be interesting to see how they decide to make the game up.
In injury news, Carlos Ruiz has been listed as day to day with a sprained capsular ligament in his right knee. This is a huge loss for the Phillies; Ruiz has been one of their hottest hitters and is leading the league with a .472 on-base percentage. Cross your fingers that he gets well soon.
Jimmy Rollins is getting closer to returning to the team; he went 3 for 6 with two doubles in an extended spring game in Clearwater yesterday. Today, he is scheduled to play short stop which will give a better idea of how the right calf is healing.
As for Brad Lidge, the news is not so sunny. The soreness in his right elbow has lingered for several days now. He is scheduled to see the team doctor today, but soreness usually indicates swelling. Swelling is a sign that something is wrong. While there is no diagnosis yet, my guess is that the Phillies had better start looking for bullpen help.
Today is an off-day for the Phillies; they will travel to Milwaukee next to play the Brewers in a 3-game series starting Friday night at 8:10pm.