Tagged: Brian Schneider

No ROY, No Cy, No Surprise

As I had predicted, none of the Phillies got any of the top awards this off-season, but many came close.  The Cy Young voting was at least interesting; 3 Phillies made the top 5 in voting with Roy Halladay coming in 2nd, Cliff Lee 3rd and Cole Hamels 5th.  Not surprisingly, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw took home the award.

Kershaw was very deserving, although Halladay was a close runner-up.  But having 3 Phillies in the top 5 is also quite an impressive feat.

Another Phillies pitcher came close to taking home some hardware as well.  Vance Worley landed in 3rd place for Rookie of the Year behind two Braves, closer Craig Kimbrel and first baseman Freddie Freeman.  I thought Freeman would be the winner, but 2nd place is not too shabby.

And of course, neither is 3rd place.  Worley should be proud that on a staff with 4 ace starters, he not only held his own, he also got plenty of attention for a spectacular rookie season.

Manue and umplAlso as I predicted, Charlie Manuel was overlooked for Manager of the Year…again.  Yes, despite a Major League leading 102 wins, 5 straight division titles and a World Series, Manuel came in 4th place.  The D-Backs skipper, Kirk Gibson, took first place.

Even crazier, Joe Maddon of the Rays won for the American league, making it TWO Manager of the Year awards in 4 years.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Maddon.  He is actually from the Philly area.  And certainly, he deserves the honor.  But it does seem like a real shame that Manuel cannot get any respect in the National League like Maddon does in the AL.  Manuel beat Maddon in the 2008 World Series and has accomplished more overall.

But as is usually the case, Manuel just keeps getting shunned.

In other news, Brian Schneider will be the back-up back-stop once again in 2012.  The one-year deal is worth $800,000.  There is still no word on a deal for Jimmy Rollins.  Stay tuned…

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Award Season: Which Phillies Made the Grade So Far

Despite an early exit from the playoffs, the Phillies 102 regular season wins and stellar individual performances have earned some players much deserved honors.

Earlier this offseason, Placido Polanco was awarded a Gold Glove for his work at third base.  Polly also won the award playing second base for the Tigers in 2007 and 2009.  He and Darin Erstad are now the only two players in big league history to win a Gold Glove at multiple positions.

MLB.com also handed out awards on Monday.   Ryan Howard was named the club’s Player of the Year, while right-hander Roy Halladay was chosen the team’s Pitcher of the Year.  And rookie right-hander Vance Worley was voted the Breakout Player of the Year.

Not to be outdone, the Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America put its two cents in as well.  Center-fielder Shane Victorino was the winner of the Mike Schmidt Award  for Most Valuable Player and left-hander Cliff Lee received the Steve Carlton Award for Most Valuable pitcher.

The big awards come out next week which will include Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year and the Cy Young award.  It is expect that many Phillies will be considered for these top honors, but realistically, none of them will win.  Charlie Manuel is overlooked every year in the manager category; Worley will probably lose out to Freddie Freeman.  As for the Cy Young, both Halladay and Lee will probably get passed over in favor of Clayton Kershaw who had 21 wins and an almost invisible 2.28 ERA.

Of course, anything can happen.  But those are my predictions…how about you?  Leave your best guess in the comments and we will see who gets it right.

And if anyone missed it, here is my annual Phillies Photo Tribute slideshow.  Enjoy!

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

2011 Phillies Photo Tribute

I just finished my yearly Phillies photo tribute!  I shot all of these photos during the 2011 season which include game photos, every player who was on the big league roster (even if for only a split second), a few alumni shots and other goodies.

The “For Fun” section is my favorite.  I collect funny shots throughout the year, like players with the giggles, guys sticking out their tongues, silly faces and lots more.  Do not worry, they are all family friendly.  The really fun ones I keep to myself ;o)

Enjoy!

 

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Grieving the Phillies 2011 Season – Stage 4: Depression

Has anyone been watching the World Series?  I have not been able to.  Not because my TV blew up or squirrels chewed through my cable lines, but because it is just too depressing.  The 2011 World Series without the Phillies?  *SIGH* :O(

The only thing I think about right now is that there are approximately 124 days, 2,996 hours, 179,761 minutes and 10,785,690 seconds left until players report to Spring Training.  That means I have ahead of me approximately 124 days, 2,996 hours, 179,761 minutes and 10,785,690 seconds of sheer boredom and misery.

Sad Phillies

I know, I should really get a grip.  Perhaps join a 12-step program?  But I simply cannot fathom what those 12-steps might be that would be able to lift me out of this funk.

To make matters worse, there are many impending decisions on the horizon that will greatly impact the future of this Phillies team.  There are seven free agents the Phils have to make decisions on: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge, Raul Ibanez, Brian Schneider and Ross Gload.

My thoughts are that the options on Lidge and Oswalt’s contracts will not be picked up nor will either player be resigned.  Neither lived up to expectations this year and injuries were a huge problem.

Madson’s agent is Scott Boras.  That being said, the Phillies will not be able to afford to resign him.  Plus, rumor has it that Madson’s wife hates Philadelphia.  He is gone.

As for the other four, Gload and Ibanez likely will not be back.  This team needs to get younger and healthier.  The Phils will probably resign Schneider at a discount as his offensive numbers are exactly that – offensive.  And Rollins will hopefully return after some intense negotiations.

And all of that is also depressing.  This team we have all come to know and love will be broken apart with holes likely to be filled with some new faces.  Change is necessary here, especially after the final results of this season with the team ousted way earlier than expected.  But that does not make it less sad :O(

I am currently in the process of peeling myself out of this dark, hopeless abyss where I am blubbering uncontrollably while cowering in a corner.  This disappointing season has been difficult to cope with, but we must all make a commitment to try.

Although, if trying includes watching the Rangers and Cardinals, I may pass for now.  It is just too demoralizing  right now :O( 

Stay tuned for Stage 5…

 

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Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Roster in Place, the Phillies Are Ready for the NLDS

Game 1 of the NLDS is scheduled for a 5:07 start tonight.  Here is the post-season roster for the Phillies:

  • Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider.
  • Infielders (6): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez.
  • Outfielders (6): Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry Jr., Ben Francisco and Ross Gload.
  • Pitchers (11): Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes, Vance Worley, Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton.
  • Extras: Infielder Pete Orr and Catcher Erik Kratz will travel with the team. RHP Justin De Fratus, LHP Joe Savery and outfielder Domonic Brown will work out in Clearwater, FL and Outfielders John Bowker and Brandon Moss and RHP Michael Schwimer have been sent home.

The only slightly interesting move here is that Blanton was chosen for the roster instead of David Herndon, despite missing most of the season with injuries.  The Phillies chose experience over a younger guy, even though Herndon was with the team most of the year.

As for the pitching match-ups in the series, here are the probable starters for the Phillies and Cardinals:

  • Game 1: Roy Halladay vs. Kyle Lohse (ex-Phillie)
  • Game 2: Cliff Lee vs. Chris Carpenter (on 3 days rest)
  • Game 3: Cole Hamels vs. Jaime Garcia

These are some odd moves by Tony LaRussa.  It will either turn out to be genius, or a huge mistake.  The Phillies should be able to handle Lohse and will then get Carpenter on short rest.  That is another situation they can probably take advantage of.

The pitcher the Phils have the most trouble with is Garcia, who was pushed back to Game 3 because his home numbers are much better than his road numbers.

This all seems to add up to a Phillies advantage, however, that remains to be seen.  Also of note, Game 2 has been pushed back to 8:37pm (ugh) on Sunday due to the Yankees – Tigers rain postponement.

I also wanted to share with you an article I just read about how Danys Baez has helped Antonio Bastardo out of his recent pitching funk.  Baez was released by the Phillies in July and was not picked up by another team.  He has been sitting at home in Miami watching and noticed Bastardo, a player he previously mentored, was having problems.  He reached out to Bastardo and helped him find the issues in his mechanics.

Bastardo has bounced back since then and it seems that Baez is the reason.  The story made me a little sad, thinking about how much criticism Baez took while he was in Philly from fans and media.  For him to swallow his pride and reach out to an ex-teammate like that is a sign of true character.  He may not have been the bullpen solution the Phillies hoped for, but he gets huge brownie points in my book for just being a great guy.

Hope to see you all at the game tonight!  Go Phillies!

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Winning: It Just Keeps Happening

The Phillies 5-0 win over the Rockies Tuesday night marked their 5th straight win.  They also became the first team in baseball to reach 70 wins and continue to hold the best record in the game.  As a Phillies fan, life is good.

And the wins keep coming in unexpected ways.  Monday night was a late inning rally and extra inning victory.  Tuesday night, the Phillies watched their spot starter, Kyle Kendrick, absolutely baffle the Rockies hitters.

The word “baffle” is usually not used in the same sentence as the name “Kendrick,” unless it is Kendrick who looks confused, not the opposition.  Kendrick has been an up and down pitcher throughout his career in Philly.  It is that inconsistency that is partly the reason he has not earned a solid spot in the rotation.  The other part is, of course, the rest of the Phillies starting pitchers, who are outstanding.

 

But in this game, Kendrick looked like he could keep pace with the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.  Over eight innings, Kendrick allowed only four hits as he shut-out the Rockies.  Kendrick will go back to his home in the bullpen as a long-man once Roy Oswalt returns, but the value of a guy like Kendrick cannot be overlooked.

While Kendrick has pitched well, he has also benefitted from good run support.   Ryan Howard smacked two solo homers tonight.  Hunter Pence went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Brian Schneider drove in another run on a sac fly.

Back-up catcher Schneider is another example of how important it is to have a solid bench and players who are versatile.  He is not setting the world on fire with his bat by any means, but he calls a good game behind the plate and contributes on offense where he can.

The Phillies have a shot at sweeping this series tomorrow afternoon before what is sure to be a difficult series against the Giants.  Six straight wins would be very nice momentum going into San Francisco.

Game time Wednesday is 3:10pm; Roy Halladay will pitch in his hometown of Denver.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Worley’s 1st Complete Game Highlighted By Homers

 

Tuesday night’s Phillies – Giants game was one of the most exciting games I have been to in a long time.  And the excitement started before the game even began.  About an hour before the start time, the Giants announced that Barry Zito would pitch in place of ace Tim Lincecum, who had the flu.

At first, this was disappointing.  Seeing Lincecum pitch is really fun with his odd delivery and demeanor on the mound.  But with Zito, there was certainly a better chance for the Phillies to win the game.

Vance Worley started for the Phillies and did an amazing job.  He kept his pitch count low and used all sides of the plate with good location to confuse the Giants.  Zito did not fare as well; perhaps his super-tight pants were cutting off his circulation?  You be the judge:

Worley was backed by some great Phillies offense, including four home runs.  Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr. and Chase Utley all took part in the home run parade.  The defense was hot as well, with many great leaping plays, especially the one from Ibanez (top right) who scaled the wall in the ninth inning to help out Worley:

 

But the biggest homer of the night was of the inside-the-park variety from Utley.  He smashed a ball into center which kicked around enough that Utley never stopped running.  It was a close play, but he was safe.  And another rare thing occurred right afterwards; Utley smiled…during  a game.  Yes, shocking, I know.  Here is some of the sequence from the homer:

 

Former Phillie Aaron Rowand made a short appearance in the game as a pinch hitter in the 8th.  He strutted to the plate looking determined to show how much he loves hitting in this ballpark.  I told the guy next to me, “Watch…one pitch and he’ll homer.”  No kidding…it happened.  Must be that “interesting”…ahem!…stance of his:

 

But as Rowand enjoyed his time travel to the past, Worley was not phased.   That run made the score 6-2 and in the bottom of the inning, Howard’s homer bumped the lead to 7-2.

Worley finished the game with just two runs allowed on three hits with 114 pitches.  He and catcher Brian Schneider celebrated his 1st career complete game and afterwards, even Roy Halladay shared an appreciative laugh with the young pitcher:

 

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

Game #2 is Wednesday at 7:05pm.  Cole Hamels will face a mystery pitcher for the Giants…no word on that yet. 

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*