Last night the Phillies faced the Marlins in what was to be first of four games in 48 hours with the Fish. As rain poured onto the field, delaying the start of the game, the hours dwindled down. But after the one hour and 20 minute delay, the game finally began.
And although Cole Hamels allowed on run in the first inning, the offense got that run and more right back for him in the bottom half of the inning. Ryan Howard smashed a two-run homer, which was to be the first of many on the night.
Hamels took the 2-1 lead and ran with it. Over 7+ innings, Hamels filleted the Fish with six strikeouts, allowing only three hits and the one run. He left the game early in the seventh when his back tightened up, but all reports say he will be fine to make his next start. David Herndon pitched the final two innings without allowing a run.
As for the home runs, they just kept on coming. Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins all hit 2-run homers in the game. Not to be left behind in the home run barrage, rookie Domonic Brown smashed TWO solo shots, one of which went far into the second deck in right field.
Just to recap, that is five home runs for a total of eight of the Phillies nine runs in the game.’
This break-out game was amazing for a number of reasons. First, the top four in the batting order, including Shane Victorino who had three hits in the game, are all clicking for the first time this season. Second, the rookie Brown looks like a legit big leaguer now. Also, nine runs in a game is what this team is capable of and they are finally living up to their true potential.
I actually felt sorry for Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad by the fifth inning. This poor guy was getting the crap beat out of him and his manager, probably trying to save the pen for the doubleheader today, just left him out there to dry. Volstad was finally pulled mid-way through the sixth inning, but this spanking is going to hurt for a while.
So the big doubleheader is set to kick off at 1:05pm with Kyle Kendrick on the mound. The second game starts at 7:05pm and Roy Halladay will pitch against Marlins ace Anibal Sanchez. Should be a great day for baseball!
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
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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
The Phillies Joe Blanton and the Marlins’ Chris Volstad battled today for King of the Hill. Each gave up one hit and struck out 3 with the only differences being that Blanton pitched 2 more innings (6) than Volstad (4) and the only hit off Blanton was a bunt single. Winner: Blanton. And the Phillies went on to win the game, 5-1.
Chris Coste, who has been struggling to get back in the swing of things since his hamstring injury, officially got his first hit and first RBI of the Spring today. Coste probably breathed a big sigh of relief after that; in an interview with Scott Palmer earlier this month, Coste told Palmer that he believes “hitting is so mental” and talks about his “mental and physical bat speed.” The home run he refers to at the beginning was during a scrimmage. See what Coste has to say about coming back from his injury:
Most Phillies fans are pulling for Coste to keep his job as the back-up catcher to Carlos Ruiz, so this is a good step forward. The other option is Ronny Paulino who the Phils picked up from the Pirates in the off-season, but Paulino does not appear to have the consistency at the plate that Coste does; Paulino is batting only a .200 so far this Spring. Lou Marson could step in, but he is probably better off staying in the minors one more year to gain experience and get his at-bats.
All eyes are on Cole Hamels as he begins to throw after a sore elbow sidelined him a few days ago. Hamels did some long-tossing with Jamie Moyer today and reported afterwards that he felt good; no more soreness except at the site he received the cortisone injection.
And as fascinated as we are with the arm, more people seem to be interested in what the World Series MVP is driving these days. Check out this photo from The 700 Level:
Yes, that is a minivan you see him driving. Not very macho, you say? Well then, add this to it:
Cole also owns a small, white, fluffy yip-yip dog. Last Spring Training, I watched as his wife drove him out of the stadium; Hamels had her stop the car so he could say hello. As he rolled down the window, the yipping dog put his tiny paws on the window sill and bounced around in Cole’s lap. While I was too stunned to grab my camera, the photo to the right shows approximately what the dog looked like.
You may have varying opinions on the subject, but any man who is so unconcerned with his image that he drives around with a fuzzy ankle biter in his lap while traveling in a grocery getter, has got to be very secure in his own self-image; oh, and it also probably means he is filthy rich. When you have that much money, really, who cares what anyone else thinks? Just my opinion :O)
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