Tagged: Cy Young

Slam Dunk: Halladay Nabs Unanimous Cy Young

If there was ever a question that Roy Halladay should indeed be the 2010 National League Cy Young award winner, then clearly you have not been paying attention.  With a both perfect game and playoff game no-hitter to his record this year, Halladay was the hands-down winner, garnering all 32 first-place votes for a unanimous decision.

This is Halladay’s second Cy Young; he won the first with the Blue Jays in 2003.  He is the 5th player ever to recieve the award in both leagues, joining Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.  Halladay is also the 4th Phillie to win, joining Steve Carlton (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982), John Denny (1983) and Steve Bedrosian (1987).

Finishing the season with a 21-10 record and a 2.44 ERA, Halladay had a career year and was the indisputable favorite for the award.  In short, it was slam dunk.


Halladay slam dunk.jpgAs we near the holiday season, this award made me wonder, what do you get for the person who has nearly everything?  He has a perfect game, a no-hitter, more than 20 wins, millions of dollars and now a second Cy Young award.  With this in mind, I put together a list of ideas for anyone shopping for Mr. Halladay this season.

What To Get Roy Halladay For The Holiday’s

1. A World Series Championship (Duh)

2. His very own “Most Interesting Man In The World” beer commercial

3. A World Series Championship (can we get one in gift card form to redeem in 2011?)

4. A spaceship so he can visit other planets when he gets bored with Earth

5. A World Series Championship (did I already say that??)

6. An I-Pod Dock Toilet Paper Holder – For tunes while you toot.  Several web sites recommend this…seriously.

7. A World Series Championship (in case I forgot to mention it earlier)


Halladay rainbow.jpg8. A
Solar-Powered Rainbow Maker – Have you ever just been sitting around thinking, gee, I’d love to see a cheery rainbow right now?  Yeah, me too.  Besides, Halladay already has the pot of gold to go with it.

9. His very own country – call it “Happy Halladayville”

10. If you are still online shopping for the TP holder, maybe I was not clear the first 4 times…get Roy Halladay a World Series Championship!!!

 

Roy Halladay thanks you in advance ;O)

 

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 Will Meet The Giants In The NLCS

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Braves last night to advance to the NLCS against the Phillies.  This match-up promises to be a hard-fought duel to the death between two great pitching staffs.  The season series between the two teams ended in a draw with 3 wins each out of 6 games.  These teams are very closely matched.

The real drama will unfold in Game 1 on Saturday when two Cy Young winners face off.  Tim Lincecum of the Giants has won the award the past two years and Roy Halladay of the Phils is the favorite to win the award this year.  Halladay already has won the award once before.


Halladay Lincecum.jpgIn 2010, Halladay finished the year with a 21-10 record and a miniscule 2.44 ERA.  Lincecum went 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA, a disappointing year by Lincecum standards.  But in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, Lincecum pitched a complete game 2-hitter.  He was outdone only by Halladay who pitched a no-hitter in his postseason debut against the Reds.  A slight edge goes to Halladay with this match-up, but only by a hair.  The deciding factor is likely to be the offense of both teams.

Here are some stats for the last 5 years of Phillies batters vs. Lincecum and Giants batters vs. Halladay:

VS. Lincecum

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Dobbs, Greg

.200

5

0

0

Gload, Ross

.400

5

0

0

Howard, Ryan

.250

16

2

4

Ibanez, Raul

.143

7

0

0

Polanco, Placido

.500

2

0

0

Rollins, Jimmy

.167

18

0

0

Ruiz, Carlos

.250

8

0

0

Schneider, Brian

.000

5

0

0

Utley, Chase

.118

17

1

1

Victorino, Shane

.222

18

1

2

Werth, Jayson

.500

6

1

1

 

VS. Halladay

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Burrell, Pat

.333

18

0

1

Fontenot, Mike

.333

3

0

0

Huff, Aubrey

.238

42

0

2

Renteria, Edgar

.286

7

0

0

Ross, Cody

.250

4

0

1

Sanchez, Freddy

.333

3

0

0

Uribe, Juan

.167

12

0

0

 

For the Phillies, Jayson Werth and Placido Polanco have the best shot at rattling Lincecum.  And for the Giants, our old pal Pat Burrell has done well against Halladay in 18 at-bats.  However, several big guns for the Giants like Pablo Sandoval and rookie Buster Posey have never faced him.  So, there is no telling how they may fare.

Another possible factor in the game is the lengthy lay-off before the series begins.  However, both teams will be dormant for almost the same amount of time; the Phillies ended their NLDS on Sunday and the Giants ended on Monday.  The same concern was expressed back in 2008 and the Phils won the World Series that year.  Also, I think the time-off will be good for the Phils who have a lot of banged up players like Polanco with his bum elbow and Jimmy Rollins, who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

My biggest personal concern is the Phillies having to play 3 games in San Francisco.  They lost 2 of 3 there this year and 3 of 4 the year before, with their only win coming in Cliff Lee’s Phillies debut.  I was there for the entire series and can tell you, this team does not like playing in AT&T Park.  It is bitterly cold, windy, the ballpark is huge with odd dimensions and the bullpens are uncomfortably close to the field.  Not to mention the visitor’s clubhouse is cramped and awkward…I know; I have been in there.  In short, it is a hostile environment.


P9213064 Burrell2.jpgThe Phillies will need to use the home field advantage to jump on the Giants quickly.  Fans can help out by bringing their usual fervor and enthusiasm to the ballpark.  Feel free to give Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand their proper welcome back, but after that, all bets are off. 

Burrell should not be allowed to get too comfy coming back home because he can really hurt the Phillies; he loves hitting in Citizens Bank Park.  And yes, it pains me to think of heckling Burrell; he helped bring us the 2008 championship.  But fans need to suck it up and treat him like the enemy!  After the series, we can all give him a group hug to make up for it ;o)

 

 

Photo and head shots by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Meet The Newbie’s

So another Opening Day has passed and the Phillies are on their way to global dominance…or, something like it anyway ;o)  If you missed my photos from the event, check out the PHOTO ALBUM which includes Opening Day ceremonies, President Obama’s first pitch and game action.


1-warm ups (38).jpgAnd now it is time to start the season off right and introduce yourselves to the newest members of the 2010 Phillies.  The first one is easy…if you do not know who Roy Halladay is, you are clearly not a Phillies fan.  No worries though…only one game has passed; you have time to catch up .  Here is Mr. Halladay on the right with his very, very serious pre-game face on.  This former Cy Young winner goes by the nickname “Doc” and he is pretty amazing.  Enough said.

The few players you may not know well include pitchers Danys Baez, Jose Contreras and David Herndon; outfielder Ross Gload, infielder Juan Castro and catcher Brian Schneider, pictured here in that order from left to right, top to bottom:


newbies.jpgBoth Baez and Contreras are Cuban defectors; Baez is in his 9th major league season, pitched last for the Orioles and has a name that defies normal spelling rules.  Contreras, not as hard to spell, is in his 7th season and helped the Yankees coin the term “Evil Empire” when they signed him over the Red Sox back in 2002.  In other words, the Sox were pissed….end of story.

Herndon was in the Angels minor leagues last year and this will be his first shot at the bigs.  Ladies, he is single and plays the guitar…go get him!  I kid…

As for Gload, this is his 9th season in the majors and his 6th team.  He is a lifetime .283 hitter and should be a solid bench player for the Phillies.  Castro is another veteran going into his 16th season; he will be 38 in June and may start taking the same youth-inducing vitamins Jamie Moyer does ;o)  He is not a power hitter, but will be a good defensive back-up for the infield.  Schneider, formerly of the Mets and Nationals, is very familiar with the Phillies.  And as a former Phillies-killer, we are glad to have him on our side now.  His 11th season will be served as back-up to Carlos Ruiz.

And as a bonus, here are a few guys who are not really new, but you may not know them.  Pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Drew Carpenter are still rookies who spent a very short time with the Phillies last year.  They spent most of 2009 in the Phillies minors.

And then there is Placido Polanco, who returns to the Phillies after almost a 5 year absence; he was traded in 2005 to the Tigers.  But after his record-setting performance of 6 RBI in one game yesterday, the most by any Phillie on Opening Day, I am confident you now know who he is.  Welcome back, Polly!


AB DC PP.jpgLeft to right: Bastardo, Carpenter, Polanco   

Cole Hamels will take the mound against the Nationals in game 2 tomorrow at 7:05pm…Go Phillies!

 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Game 3 Preview / Bad Parenting 101

UPDATE 12pm:  Game 3 has been postponed due to the bad weather in Colorado.  It will now be played Sunday night at 10:07pm EST, 8:07pm MT.  Game 4 then is moved to Monday, but no time has been announced yet.

AM blog: The most important game in the series, beginning with the Phillies and Rockies tied at 1 game each, will be played under the worst of conditions.  P9139620 Pedro.jpgSnow, sleet and freezing temperatures will likely be the most talked about part of this game which is scheduled for 9:37pm EST, 7:37pm Mountain time.  The late start is likely to add to the chill.

Pedro Martinez will start the game and it is a huge opportunity for him to officially make a comeback at 37 years of age.  Pedro pitched in Boston, so he is used to the cold, but snow may be another thing altogether.  Plus, he has not pitched a full game in almost a month; his last start beyond 4 innings was on 9/13/09.  Then again, Pedro has experience and a good post-season record on his side.  Which Pedro will show up?  The former Cy Young winner or the aging, injury-prone pitcher of the last several years?

As for the offense, anyone who has seen this team play in April knows, they do not like hitting in cold weather.  But the playoffs are a different animal and the Phillies tend to step it up in October.  But will they be swinging at snowflakes or at strikes?

If nothing else, this should be a very interesting game, should Mother Nature allow it to unfold without interruption.  Best of luck to the Phillies!

It’s A Boy!

Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, welcomed their first child into the world yesterday morning.  Caleb Michael Hamels arrived at 9am on Friday morning.  Caleb is a cute name, but most are just happy the poor kid did not get stuck with “Colbert” like his dad ;O)  And no, I am not making that up…his full name is Colbert Michael Hamels.  So congratulations to the Hamels family and best wishes for a healthy, happy baby!

Bad Parenting 101

Speaking of parenting, this kids parents get the Bad Parenting of the Year Award: 12-year old Jennifer Valdivia ended up with Ryan Howard’s 200th home run ball at a game in Miami.  As is the baseball tradition, she was ushered to the clubhouse and exchanged the ball for an autographed one.  ALL players do this and ALL teams do this for milestone balls, it is not an unusual practice.

However, when the girl returned home, her parents decided their child was taken advantage of and sued Ryan Howard to get the ball back.  They were upset that she was given what they termed a $100 ball” in exchange for one worth “thousands.” 

greed-11.jpg
That’s right folks, way to teach your kid how to extort money!  Not to mention, why were a 12-year old girl and her 15-year old brother at a ball game without an adult?  I am sure the opinions here vary, but I can assure you, if my kids were that age, there is NO way they would be on their own.  A ballpark is NOT a safe place to let your kids run free as far as I am concerned. 

And then they have the nerve to complain.  Here’s a question for those parents: what if you child was kidnapped or attacked in the bathroom, or anything of that nature?  Were you going to sue the ballpark for YOUR neglect?  Just sayin’…

Ms. Valdivia was probably thrilled to get an autographed ball, until her parents convinced her otherwise.  At that age, I know I would have been…and still to this day.  The only reason it mattered to them was because of the money.  So, if this kid really is going to keep the ball, like they profess, then why does the money make a difference?  Unless you are going to sell it, the personally autographed ball is a great souvenir.  Maybe they should have thrown in a bat as well or something, but again, the parents sent their kids in there alone, so they obviously felt their kids were old enough to handle any situation that may arise.  If they do not feel that way, then they never should have sent them without an adult.

That ball meant a lot more to Howard than it would to anyone else, unless money was the only objective.  With that 200th home run, Howard became the fastest player in Major League history to reach that milestone.  If the girl’s parents felt she should have been given more in exchange, then ASK.  They would have been happy to send the girl a signed bat, photo or whatever she wanted.  But, no.  These jerks decided to sue.  And rather than argue, the Phillies gave the kid the ball and moved on.

So, way to go Valdivia family; you have not only taught your kids that it is all about the money but now they know, in a sue-happy country, they can get whatever they want in life if they just yell loud enough.  Forget about doing the right thing, it is all about getting your way.  Forget about who you hurt, as long as you claim the cash.  Nicely done.  It is no wonder this country is quickly descending into the dark pit of hell where morals are thrown out the window.  This youth is our future, America.  Start praying.

UPDATE: The above facts were as presented by The Miami Herald and ESPN.  A new report from CNN says the girl’s grandfather was with her, but decided NOT to accompany her to the clubhouse.  So, he chose to let her go alone.  Add bad grandparenting to the story then as well.  The family was also offered VIP ticktes to the next Florida series and they turned it down.  And the law suit was for the amount of $15,000.  Yes, that is 15 thousand dollars.  And this was NOT about the money?  Enough said.

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

A Storm Is Brewing

I got my playoff tickets in the mail yesterday; NLDS, NCLS and World Series. The seats I was assigned are nothing short of awesome. This makes me very, very nervous. Why, you may ask? It is the “buy a snow shovel and it will not snow” theory…I have great seats to the playoff, so does this mean either the Phillies will not make it or get swept out of the 1st round a’la 2007? Hmmmm…

But the bad play of this Phillies team recently just adds more fuel to the fire swirling around my nervous brain. Brad Lidge has been an absolute disaster; we have NO closer. Half the pitching staff is injured.
funny-pictures-cat-with-invisible-snow-shovel.jpgOur catcher is down with a sprained wrist and it is unclear when he will return. Many of our starting pitchers look like they are throwing little league games. This is a snow storm of epic proportions but the Phillies forgot to but a shovel.

Cliff Lee piled on more concern last night when he allowed 7 runs on 9 hit in 6 innings to the Brewers and looked really bad doing it. It was as if the ball were attached to the opponents bat with an invisible string and they just could not help but get hits. Lee started out looking like the Cy Young winner of 2008 and in his last 6 starts, he is 2-3 with a 6.35 ERA. Yuck!

And Lidge? He was put in to get some work in the 7th inning and still cannot manage to get through a clean inning. Lidge allowed 1 run on 2 hits and a stolen base. Ugh.

The offense was facing a very bad Brewers pitcher with an ERA well over 6 and still, they only managed 1 earned run off the guy in 7 innings. Where were the bats? Ryan Howard had 2 hits and 3 RBI in the game, but the rest of the team basically took the night off.

In fact, this entire team looks like it is plans on taking the rest of the regular season off and hope that somehow, magically, it will all work out in the end. I have got news for them: the Braves are breathing down your necks. Take nothing for granted. Now go out there, and play ball! I am not ready for winter to come early. Thank you, Phillies in advance for your cooperation.

PS: Magic number remains at 4.

Welcome To Hell – UnbeLEEvable!

Just when the Phillies though Cliff Lee was an angel sent from heaven, over his last two starts, Lee has broken his halo and lost his wings.  Lee in hell.jpgA lousy 3 inning, 6 run outing tonight caps off the 2-game slide into hell.  But let us not dwell; everyone is entitled to a bad day.  We just hope Lee has now gotten all of his bad days out of his system and will return to Cy Young form next week.

Also taking a long dip in the fiery pit of eternal damnation is the Phillies offense.  Clearly, they have been judged and sentenced to wallow in their pathetic-ness for all eternity…well, at least for the last few weeks anyway.  Losing 0-7 against the Astros, the Phils bats only mustered 8 hits and Carlos Ruiz had 3 of those.  Not to mention they scored ZERO runs.  They left the bases loaded once again with less than 2 outs and struck out 9 times.  Why, oh why have they forsaken us? 

Ok, reality check: the Phillies are still up 8 games in the division.  However, if they keep playing like this, that lead can and will be squashed quickly.  Ryan Howard won NL Player of the Month for August, but his bat has slowed in September.  Raul Ibanez was benched today after a very, very bad couple of months.  Chase Utley is still good at getting hit with pitches, but do we really want him getting beat up when NO ONE can knock him in?  It has been an all-around bad few weeks.  A trip straight to hell, indeed.

The Phillies will attempt to redeem themselves tomorrow in Houston at 7:05pm with Joe Blanton facing (gulp!) Roy Oswalt.  It pains me to think about Oswalt right now, so I am going to just pretend this is not happening.  Think happy thoughts people…happy, delusional, fantastical thoughts ;O)

Lee photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Age Trumps Youth As Martinez Regains Old Form

With 2 rain-shortened games for Pedro Martinez in his first 4 starts, he had to be wondering when he might get a real shot at showing the Phillies what he has left in the tank.  Wonder no more; Pedro is back to the Pedro of old.  The 3-time Cy Young award winner beat out the Giants ace, reigning NL Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum.  Take a look at the stats comparison: 

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Martinez, P (W, 3-0)

7

5

1

1

0

9

1

3.52

Lincecum (L, 13-5)

7

4

2

2

1

11

1

2.34

 

Martinez Lincecum copy.jpgIt was a really, really close match up, but Martinez came out on top.  The only big mistake he made all night was the very first pitch of the game which the Giants Eugenio Velez sent into the outfield seats.  After that, it was lights out from Martinez.

Lincecum made a few more mistakes and the Phillies made him pay.  Jayson Werth sent a hanging slider into the second deck of the left field seats in the 2nd inning.  Then in the 6th, Chase Utley was hit by a pitch.  A visibly annoyed Lincecum then had to face the big man, Ryan Howard and Howard took advantage.  Howard smashed a fastball into centerfield for a double which scored Utley.   Those were the only two runs for the Phillies, but with the great pitching, it was all they needed. 

The back-end combination of Ryan Madson in the 8th and Brad Lidge in the 9th finally worked the way it was meant to.   Madson sent the Giants down in order and Lidge got the save, although it was another eventful one.  With 2 outs, he gave up a hit, a walk and two stolen bases.  But Lidge buckled down and to the relief of everyone, finally got the third out.  Whew!

In other news, Brett Myers is back!  He will be activated tonight when the Phillies travel to Houston to start a 4-game series.  Myers has made an amazing comeback from a very serious hip surgery that looked like it may have him out for the entire year.  But Myers worked hard to get back into shape and the Phillies can really use him in the pen, especially if Lidge had another melt down.

A few other September call-up include pitcher Jack Taschner, who was with the Phillies a good part of the year.  And Paul Hoover, a 33-year old career minor league catcher, has been called up as well.  We should also be seeing JC Romero back soon; I saw him working out with the team on Wednesday, which is a very good sign.

Tune your TV in to Phillies baseball tonight at 8:05pm; Cliff Lee will try to bounce back from a bad start his last time out against the Astros.  Go Phillies!

Photoshopping by Jenn

 

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