Tagged: Brian Schneider

All Pitching, No Offense In 14 Inning Loss

On paper, Cliff Lee had a good night against the Mets on Sunday.  He went seven innings, allowing just one run.  But he did walk two batters, which is not usual for Lee, and gave up eight hits.

A tough first inning where Lee had to throw 34 pitches to get out of it probably cut his day a bit short.  But it did not matter too much as neither offense felt like playing.

Chris Young was very good for the Mets and allowed just two hits to the Phillies.  His wind-up is similar to that of ex-Phillie, J.A. Happ, as he hides the ball behind his leg before releasing, which probably keeps the hitter guessing.

 

While the offense was sleepy, the defense had a few nice plays.  It seems that Pete Orr, filling in at second base, has a penchant for going airborne:

 

The outfielders looked good too, unless they were at the plate, of course.  No one looked good on offense:

 

In fact, Raul Ibanez is still mired in a huge slump and is now 0-34.  He had chances to break out and propel the team to a win but he struck out in the seventh with two runners on.  And in the eighth, Ibanez had the bases loaded with two outs in a tie game and he hit a weak ground ball to end the inning.

The Phillies left the bases loaded earlier in the game, too.  Brian Schneider struck out on a check swing in the seventh, which was a late call from the 3rd base ump and prompted Charlie Manuel to get himself tossed out of the game.

Eventually, Kyle Kendrick gave up the winning run in the 14th inning, handing the Mets a 2-1 win.

But there were still a few special moments during the game.  People began to get word of Osama bin Laden’s demise via smartphone and chants of “USA! USA!” rang throughout the ballpark before even the players knew what had happened.

It was a touching moment where all fans, Phillies and Mets together, could celebrate something together.  So the next time someone rags on Philly fans and goes on about some 40-year old Santa Claus crap, show them this video.  These fans far outnumber the select few morons who simply cannot conduct themselves in a proper manner in public.

So a loss for the Phillies was still a win for America.  I am more than okay with that.

FYI – Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

 

***Important Blog FYI:  The entire MLBlogs community is going to be switched to a WordPress format beginning on Friday, May 6.  The transition may last through Monday night, May 9.  All MLBlogs writers will be unable to post and you will be unable to access any MLBlogs during this transition.  So do not panic if this and other blogs suddenly disappear during that weekend…we will be back :O)***

Go Phillies!

 

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Starter Joe Blanton is the Latest Injury Bug Victim

Players are dropping like flies in Philadelphia.  Joe Blanton is the latest victim of this injury virus which seems to be spreading quicker than both the Swine and Bird Flu combined.

The diagnosis is medial impingement of the right elbow, which is Blanton’s throwing arm.  Treatment for this injury can vary from rest and medication to surgery.  There is no word yet on how Blanton’s treatment will play out.

Blanton now joins fellow teammates on the DL, including shortstop Chase Utley, closer Brad Lidge, back-up closer Jose Contreras, relief pitcher JC Romero and outfielder Domonic Brown.

Catcher Carlos Ruiz is also going to be inactive for several days while he recovers from a back issue.  For now, he will not be placed on the DL and Brian Schneider will fill in.


122A.jpgVance Worley
has been called up from the AAA Iron Pigs to start tomorrow’s game against the Mets in place of Blanton.  In four starts this year, Worley is 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA and 9.9 K/9.  In 13 innings last year with the major league club, Worley was impressive with a 1.38 ERA and 12 strikeouts.

While this is a great opportunity for a young prospect, the news for Blanton is surprising.  Blanton is coming off two straight quality starts after having a rough start to the season.  He showed no signs of elbow issues Saturday against the Padres.  Just when things were looking up for Blanton, the crap has suddenly hit the fan.

What was once a very experienced pitching staff for the Phillies has just gotten a whole lot younger very quickly.  Having to depend on younger arms both in the starting staff and in the bullpen is a little nerve racking.

How a younger pitcher will respond to a stressful situation is the great unknown.  Although in Worley’s case, he showed very good poise last year in his short time with the big club.  That is a plus.

But this is a new year with new pressures, including having to keep pace with four of the best starters in the game in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.  If Worley can stick to competing with himself, instead of the rest of this veteran staff, he should be just fine.

For Phillies fans, the way to look at all this carnage is simple.  Perhaps the team is getting all the injuries out of the way early so everyone will be healthy late in the season.  Or, is that too optimistic?  Time will tell.

In the interim, just keep sending out that positive, happy energy and hope for the best.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Pitching Wins First Two Games In San Diego

On Thursday night, the Phillies snuck away with a 3-0 win against the Padres even though their offense is still anemic.  Home runs by Ben Francisco and Brian Schneider paved the way for Roy Oswalt to collect his third win of the year.

While Oswalt appeared to have no ill effects from last week’s back issue, he did wind up having to toss a lot of pitches to get through six innings.  It was 106 pitches, to be exact.  The bullpen held the lead despite each reliever allowing one hit and one walk each.


P4178660BO.jpgFriday night, Cole Hamels took the mound and looked great in front of his hometown crowd.  Usually comfy in San Diego, Hamels seemed to be relaxed and in control.  He was even one of the best batters of the night with two hits, although he had a brain freeze and got picked off first base once.

Hamels cruised through eight innings without allowing a run.  The Padres managed only four hits and three walks, one of which was intentional. 

As for the Phillies offense, there has been very little of that lately.  Two walks in the third inning led to a 2-RBI triple by Ryan Howard which accounted for the Phillies only two runs of the game.  Lucky for them, Hamels brought his A-game and kept the Padres off the scoreboard.

The ninth inning was handed to Ryan Madson.  Jose Contreras got a day off since he has pitched a lot lately.  Madson has struggled in the closer role in the past, but tonight he had no issues.  The Phillies went on to win by a score of 2-0.

There are two more games in the series.  Saturday’s game time is 8:35pm and Joe Blanton will pitch.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

A Tale Of Two Games In Atlanta

In Friday’s game against the Braves, Cliff Lee had his first bad start of the year.  The Phillies gave Lee an early 3-0 lead, which he proceeded to give right back to the Braves.


Victorino Shane.jpgShane Victorino
later missed a fly ball which glanced off his glove and led to three more runs for a Braves 6-3 lead.  In the fifth inning with the bases loaded and one out, Ryan Howard tried to check his swing which turned into a dribbling double play ball to end the threat.

In short, Friday was not a good night for the Phillies.  They went on to lose by the 6-3 score, leaving people scratching their heads as three of the Phillies five starters have now each had an awful game in the first week of play.

On Saturday afternoon, Roy Oswalt knew the team was counting on him to turn around their luck.  And the offense knew they needed to score some runs.  Saturday was a better day for the Phillies.

And if you were a Phillies catcher, it was a great day.  Back-up Brian Schneider smacked a two-run homer in the fourth inning, his first home run of the year.  With a 3-2 lead in the seventh, John Mayberry Jr. came in to pinch hit for Schneider and then Carlos Ruiz pinch hit for Oswalt.  Chooch proceeded to smash a ball to left field with the bases loaded for his first home run and first grand slam of the year.

The slam gave the Phillies a 7-2 lead and they continued to add on after that.  Ruiz had another hit and another RBI in the eighth, giving him a career-high five RBI in one game.

As for Oswalt, he left the game after six innings and two runs allowed.  He and Roy Halladay are the two Phillies starters who have yet to experience a bad game in 2011.  Today, the Phillies went on to get Oswalt his second win of the year by a score of 10-2.

Another bright spot in the Braves series so far has been the bullpen, which continues to hold down the opponent.  On Friday, 25-year old Antonio Bastardo allowed just one hit over two innings and then proceeded to strike out the next six batters in order.  No ground outs, no pop-ups, all six outs were K’s as Bastardo consistently hit 94mph on the radar gun and located the ball well.

ant bastardo.jpg

Bastardo’s performance matched a Phillies franchise record as he became only the third Phillies relief pitcher to ever strike out six batters in a row.

Also, Victorino seems to have found his groove as the leadoff man.  Today, he went 4-for-5 at the plate with an RBI.  Jimmy Rollins had two hits as well and is batting .333 in the 3-hole.

The final game of the Braves series is tomorrow afternoon at 1:35pm.  Cole Hamels will need to rebound from his first start where he lasted less than three innings, giving up three runs.  If the Phillies win, it will be their third consecutive series win to start the 2011 season.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

2010 Phillies Photo Tribute

I normally do not have this video done before Christmas, but it is amazing how much extra time that the lack of a World Series provides ;o)  For those who have missed it previous years, at the end of every season, I pick out my favorite Phillies photos from that year and put them into a video slideshow.  These photos were all taken by me and my giant zoom lens, from the stands, at both home and away games throughout the season.

In the 2010 season, I attended 27 games and 7 Phillies-related special events, like the Phestival and the Phillies Cruise.  Yes, it was down year for me due to a lack of funds ;o)   Going through the digital files on my computer, I calculate that I shot more than 18,000 photos at Phillies games this year.  If you add in the special events, the total is over 25,000.  Of those, I picked out and published around 5,000.  The slideshow contains the best of the game shots for a total of 257 photos. 

I am eternally grateful for the invention of the digital camera.  Remember the days when we had to use film?  That was one expensive habit.  Well, here it is…enjoy!

 

 

Thank you for stopping by!

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

NLDS Roster Announced


6a00e5513d181b8834013487fe1fcf970c-350wi.pngThe Phillies announced today who will be on the 25-man roster for the NLDS and there are really no surprises.  Those notable players who did not make it include Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez and David Herndon.  Here is the breakdown:

Pitchers

Roy Halladay

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton

Brad Lidge

Ryan Madson

Jose Contreras

 J.C. Romero

Chad Durbin

Antonio Bastardo

 

Catchers

Carlos Ruiz

Brian Schneider

 

Infielders                            Outfielders

Ryan Howard

Jayson Werth

Chase Utley

Shane Victorino

Jimmy Rollins

Raul Ibanez

Placido Polanco

Ben Francisco

Wilson Valdez

Ross Gload

Mike Sweeney

Domonic Brown

Greg Dobbs

 

 

Going with 10 pitchers instead of 11 allows the Phillies to add more fire power to the bench.  They expect the 3 starters to go deep into games so extra long men in the pen will likely not be necessary.  Blanton will fill the role if needed.

As for Ruiz and Romero, manager Charlie Manuel says both players are fine and ready to play after suffering minor injuries on Sunday.

If you are going to the game tomorrow, here is the information about pre-game festivities and other highlights:

2:00 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Party begins on Citizens Bank Way. Features music by Mr. Greengenes; Highlights include an inflatable obstacle course for children, face painters, an extreme rock wall climb and a Velcro race.

2:35 p.m.
Ashburn Alley opens.

3:05 p.m.
All gates open. Rally towels for all fans, compliments of StubHub.

3:30 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Rally on Citizens Bank Way! Special guests include former Phillies Scott Eyre and Greg “The Bull” Luzinski, Comcast SportsNet analyst Ricky Bottalico, the Phillie Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls. Music provided by Mr. Greengenes; Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs, will emcee.

4:40 p.m. – On-field pre-game ceremony begins.

4:44 p.m. – Introduction of Cincinnati Reds.

4:48 p.m. – Introduction of Philadelphia Phillies.

4:54 p.m.  – National Anthem: Sung by country singer Catherine Raney, niece of Tim McGraw, who will be representing the Tug McGraw Foundation.

4:56 p.m.  – Color Guard introduced.

4:58 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Phillies alumnus Scott Eyre.

5:07 p.m.  – Play ball! Phillies vs. Reds game begins.

5th Inning – “Lady PhaPha” makes her postseason debut.

7th Inning – God Bless America: Sung by national recording artist Lauren Hart, a Philadelphia native whose songs have been heard on television series and soap operas.

See you there!

Walk-Off Win Maintains Phillies NL East Lead

Until the 9th inning today, it looked like the Phillies may lose a game in the standings, where they lead the Braves by 3 games.  Down 6-3 against the Nationals, a win and a 3-game sweep look unlikely.  But if you have ever seen this Phillies team play, you know never to say never.

Joe Blanton appeared to be cruising right along at the start of the game.  But that dreaded 6th inning came creeping up on him and Blanton did his Jekyll and Hyde routine and became Blah-anton.  With 2 outs in the inning, he allowed a 3-run homer to give the Nats a 4-3 lead.  So close, yet so far….Blanton has had issues in the 6th inning of games all year long.

0919 Blanton.jpg

The Phillies had some issues hitting Yunesky Maya, a rookie whom they have never faced.  Generally, this offense struggles against new pitchers.  It took until the 4th inning for them to figure him out when a Brian Schneider double scored their first 2 runs.  Then a Jayson Werth single scored Placido Polanco in the 5th.

0919 offense.jpg

But drama unfolded in the 6th when Shane Victorino struck out on a check swing.  He got upset and tossed his helmet and bat.  3rd base umpire Angel Hernandez either did not like the outburst or maybe Victorino said something and he threw Victorino out of the game.  For now, the details are unclear.  Victorino’s reaction, on the other hand, was easy to spot:

0919 Victorino.jpg

Victorino pushed past the home plate ump and ran towards Hernandez.  3rd base coach Sam Perlozzo had to restrain him while manager Charlie Manuel ran out to see what was going on.  No one knows yet what the consequences will be for Victorino, but it was a bonehead move on his part.  Victorino should have controlled himself.  Now we wait to see what happens next…

The Phils offense went to sleep for 2 innings after that while the bullpen gave up 2 more runs.  The 6-3 deficit looked insurmountable based on the way the Phils were playing…until the 9th inning.  Polanco singled, Chase Utley doubled and Ryan Howard singled to score both runners.  Howard was hitless to that point, so it was a huge boost for both him and the whole team.  Werth stepped to the plate and smashed a walk-off home run, giving the Phillies an improbable 7-6 win.

0919 other.jpg

With this win today and the Braves also winning, the Phillies maintain their 3-game lead over the Braves in the NL East.  The real fun begins tomorrow night when the Phils start a 3-game series with the Braves that has massive playoff implications.  With 12 games to go, the Phillies need a combination of wins and/or Braves losses equal to 10 to clinch.  These next 3 games are HUGE.

In the meantime, check out the Photo Album from today’s game which includes the game, the Philadelphia Zoo at the ballpark and the Paul Owens minor league awards presentation.  Scott Mathieson won the Best Pitcher award and Domonic Brown won the Best Player award.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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