Tagged: Dan Uggla

Phillies Pull Out A Wet One

Everything was looking great for the Phillies last night until the rain came.  Cole Hamels appeared to be slowly returning to form; he pitched 5 innings before the delay and allowed one solo home run, 4 hits and struck out 5.  The offense too, seemed ready to pounce on the Marlins for a second day in a row.  In the 1st inning, Jimmy Rollins started the game off with a double and Chase Utley hit a home run to drive them both in.  They scored 2 more runs in the 4th with singles by Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth; then Pedro Feliz doubled and the Phillies went up  4-1.

But Mother Nature thought it would be fun to interrupt the momentum and a downpour stopped the game in the middle of the 6th inning.  sleepy Phillies.jpgAfter a 1 hour 18 minute rain delay, the game resumed and the Phillies looked like they had not woken from the nap they took in the clubhouse.  Chan Ho Park allowed 1 run over 2 innings of work, which is not too bad.  And Park has been very solid out of the pen lately.  But then Ryan Madson came in for the 8th and could not make it through a whole inning; he did record 2 outs, but also gave up 2 more runs to tie the game at 4-4. 

Both JC Romero and Chad Durbin wound up pitching in the same inning, which seemed like it would never end as ex-Phillies players put a hurting on the pen.  Ronny Paulino, who was with the Phils in Spring Training, obviously has a chip on his shoulder when playing the team who let him go.  Having gone 0 for his last 13 at-bats, Paulino rallied for 3 hits, 1 RBI, 3 runs scored and a walk against the Phils.  Even Wes Helms got in the action with a hit and an RBI.

Once it went into extra innings, the potential outcome appeared bleak as the Phillies began to run out of players. 

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The umpire was no help in this game either; Mark Wegner, a 10 year veteran, did not have a good game behind the plate.  His strike zone was all over the place and both teams argued with him all night.  Then, with the potential go-ahead run on 3rd base for the Phillies, the Marlins pitcher balked – an obvious balk.  But all 4 umpires missed it so the extra innings continued.  All I can figure is that the umpires brought their sleeping bags and were content to make this game go all night long.

But the Phillies finally woke up in the 12th inning as singles from J-Roll, Utley and Werth turned into 2 runs and put the Phillies up 6-4.  Brad Lidge came in to close it out, and it was another ugly, ugly turn of events.  Stomaches churned as Lidge walked 2 batters in a row and then uncorked a wild pitch to score a run.  With the tying run on 3rd and the winning run at the plate, Lidge finally got Dan Uggla to ground out and end the game; final score 6-5, Phillies.  And all in Phillies-land rejoiced as we staggered sleepily to our beds after the 4 hour ordeal.

And we will do it all over again tonight!  Same time, same place; Joe Blanton will take the mound at 7:10pm in Land Shark Stadium (formerly Dolphins Stadium).  We all hope the Phillies can win it in NINE innings tonight.  Please and thank you. ;O)

Howard Photo by Jenn

 

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Fried Fish & Iron Pigs

This team sure loves playing from behind; all 8 wins this year so far have been comeback wins, including yesterday’s 10-inning 6-4 win over the Marlins.  Losing 3-4 in the 9th inning, Eric Bruntlett stepped in to pinch hit and hit a chopper up the third base line well enough to score Jayson Werth from third and tie up the game.  In the 10th, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Werth all singled, plus a stolen base from Victorino, and the Phillies took the lead, 6-4.  Brad Lidge tried to give us all a tummy ache in the bottom of the 9th as he loaded the bases full of Fish, but managed to escape unscathed.

Chan Ho Park had a better game this time around; he started off red-hot, but cooled a bit in the 4th inning when he gave away back-to-back home runs.  The first was a 3-run homer to Jorge Cantu and then a solo shot to Dan Uggla.  But Park did keep the Phils in the game and even accidentally ran into an opposite field home run of his own in the 3rd inning.  It was Park’s first home run since 2000.

The bullpen including Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson held the game at 4 runs for the Fish and ultimately, gave the Phillies an opportunity to come back and win.  Great job from the pen! 

Speaking of pens, I was actually sitting in the “pig pen” at Coca-Cola Park watching the Phils game on my phone while watching our AAA club, the Iron Pigs play the Pawtucket Red Sox.  And yes, everything in this park is “pig” themed.  From the mascots, to the game program, which is called “Pork Illistrated.”  Besides the “oinking” from the crowd and other silliness, the park is beautiful, has comfortable seating and it was a really entertaining time overall.

The Pigs game actually mirrored the Phillies game through the 9th inning; both clubs were tied 4-4 and went 1 extra inning!  Sadly, the Pigs game had a different result, as they lost to the Sox, 5-4.  But I did get to check out Carlos Ruiz in his first rehab assignment.  Ruiz was the DH; he went 0-3 at the plate, walked twice and scored a run.  The good news is, he looked ok swinging the bat.Kendrick Ruiz Pigs.jpg

I also saw former major leaguer, Kyle Kendrick pitch; Kendrick went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.  Not good.  He looked like a minor league pitcher and appears to have a long way to go before cracking the majors again.  We wish him luck!

Spring training stand-outs John Mayberry Jr. and Jason Donald each smacked a home run in the game and were impressive defensively as well.  Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy collected the other 2 RBI’s, which were hard to come by as they faced pitchers who were throwing in the 40’s and 50’s.  I am so not kidding; it looked like a tee-ball game.  One pitcher for the Sox was being clocked regularly at around 41mph!  Wow.  Most AAA players are not used to such slow deliveries and it will mess up their timing.  Hey, maybe the Sox would like to sign me up?  Pretty sure I can top 41mph.

Jason Donald HR.jpg

Here is the Photo Album of the Iron Pigs game; I have included more shots of Ruiz, Kendrick, Coca-Cola park, the mascots and many others!

Back to the majors: Don’t forget to VOTE for your All-Star’s today!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address. 

And tune in now to the Phillies-Marlins 3rd game of the series which had a very early start at 12:10pm.

Photos by Jenn

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A Happy Buttday

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Thanks to my friend Sue at Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts, it has indeed been a Happy Buttday.  Check out her birthday gift to me.  Great stuff…Thanks Sue!  Chase Utley wanted to wish me a Happy Birthday too, but he was busy being harassed by Dan Uggla.  So, I offer this photo tribute, in keeping with the Buttday theme ;O)

Sadly, Cole Hamels was also unable to participate in my birthday celebration, as he is on his way back to Philadelphia to have his head….errrr, I mean his elbow, examined.  Although, he may want to consider the head exam while he is at it :O)  Seriously, Hamels has been experiencing soreness in his elbow, not while pitching, but apparently afterwards.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. seems to think it is not serious, but they are being very careful with the staff ace.  After pitching more innings in 2008 (227.3) than he had in his entire minor league career (201 IP from 2003-2006), Hamels may just need some extra time to get ready for the season.  Fingers crossed…

Kyle Kendrick got another spring start today, as he struggles to stay afloat in the battle for the 5th starters spot.  He did not fair very well.  Kendrick did get out of some jams, as Phillies fans have gotten used to with him; but he also got into situations where he could not bail himself out.  Kendrick wound up surrendering 5 runs and 3 walks in 4 innings.  It looks more and more like Kendrick may have punched his ticket back to the minors.

Currently in the 6th inning, the Phillies are losing 6-0 to the Yankees.  Joba Chaimberlain got the start for New York and gave up only 2 hits in 3 innings.  If there are any significant game developments, I will update them here later.

WBC Highlights

Jimmy Rollins led the charge for Team USA yesterday as they ran the Netherlands out of the classic; Rollins went 2 for 4 with 4 RBI, including a 2-run homer.  Helping him out was Brian Roberts who just joined the team to replace the injured Dustin Pedroia; Roberts ended the game 1 home run short of the cycle with 3 hits, 2 walks and 1 RBI.

Although the USA took a convincing lead early and won 9-3, the game was not without drama.  USA pitcher, Matt Lindstrom took exception to Dutchman, Bryan Engelhardt’s  lolly-gagging around the bases after hitting a home run off him in the 8th; Lindstrom took aim in retaliation at the next batter, Vince Rooi, and tossed the ball at his rear-end.  Obviously, he was just preparing to celebrate my Buttday, along with everyone else.  But Engelhardt and the rest of the Netherlands apparently did not get the Buttday memo; the benches nearly cleared as the Dutch shouted out at Lindstrom in anger.  The fray was over before it began and the game went on; all butt’s still intact ;O)

More Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who voted for my blog on The Max’s “Max Madness” bracket challenge.  I have made it past the 1st round by defeating NL East rival blog, Pick Me Up Some Mets.  In round 2, I fully expect to go down in flames, as I have been pitted against super-blogger, Julia’s Rants.  But if I have to lose to anyone, I do not mind losing to Julia…she is a sweetheart :O)  So, thanks again for your votes and maybe I’ll get a couple in round 2, so I am not totally embarrassed when I crash and burn ;o)

Next up for the Phillies

Tuesday at 1:05pm, the Phillies will take on the Reds at Bright House field in Clearwater, FL.

 

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All-Star Bloopers

PHOTOS from mUtley Uggla.jpgy All-Star Week excursion have been posted, but I thought I would highlight a few fun ones for you here as well.  Let’s begin with my favorite of the week!  As you may know, Dan Uggla committed like 3 errors in the All-Star game on Tuesday.  Well, I am calling this one “UGGLA ALL-STAR ERROR #4” and you will see why.  Yes, this is Dan Uggla grabbing Chase Utley’s butt as he walks back to the dugout after getting his award at the Home Run Derby for earning the most All-Star votes in the NL.  He totally gooses him!  Utley uggla long shot.jpgAnd then, check out the on-lookers, who are horrified by what they are witnessing!  Thank goodness it looks like Uggla’s son is sleeping through the ordeal J


Next up….Brad Lidge thinks about whacking David Wright with Chase Utley’s 
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bat…but really, haven’t we all had that thought at one time or another?  Who can blame him?

Red Sox Blooper…Manny Ramirez’s son was running wild on the sideline…  He decides to tackle Kevin Youkilis and, whoops!  The kid knees
  him right in the groin!  OUCH.Youkilis.jpg


 

 
More Utley…I’m calling this one, “Diggin’ For Gold.”  Did he not realize that I was RIGHT THERE!  I mean, if he needed help with this, all he needed to do was ask me.  Geez.  Another opportunity passed me by… 
J  But seriously, what the heck??  He couldn’t go in the dugout which was like 1 foot away to handle this??  OMG.


Utley all-star.jpgParade Blooper – Barrel man:  What is this about anyway?  A man runs out in the middle of the parade wearing a barrel.  Then he gets arrested.  Well, he was a Mets fan…I guess that explains it.


Barrell.JPGAnd finally, we have all heard about the Chase Utley expletive before the Home Run Derby at the introduction Utley Boo.JPG(the “Boo, @#@# You!” remark)…well, here is a photo I took right as he said it.  You can see Dan Uggla’s reaction…he was quite amused
J  And frankly, when I saw it, so was I J  We should all have a sense of humor.  Enough said.

Hope you enjoyed…have a happy day! J

Jorge Cant-U Leave Us Alone!

For the second straight night, Jorge Cantu of the Florida Marlins took advantage of Phillies pitching.  Last night, in an otherwise superb outing by Cole Hamels, Cantu got the only 2 runs of the game for the Fish with 2 solo homers until the 9th inning, when Dan Uggla won it with a walk-off grand slam off Tom Gordon.  Cole went 8 full innings with 13 strikeouts, walking only 1 batter, but had no offense in the game to back up his great performance.

 

The Phillies had their only chance to pull out the win in the 9th inning when Marlins closer Kevin Gregg began to lose his cool.  After Eric Bruntlett was able to steal third and subsequently, he scored the tying run when Utley grounded into a force out, Gregg started to become unglued with the thought of blowing the save opportunity.  The very next pitch, he nails Pat Burrell in the arm to load the bases with two outs.  Now, I have said this many, many times over.  These are the situations when good hitters know it is time to take advantage of a pitcher.  Why?  Because he is a time bomb ready to blow.  He could uncork a wild pitch at any moment or groove one right down the middle for you.  And Gregg’s body language on the mound spoke EXACTLY to that point.  His head was whipping back and forth, he was sweating like crazy, arms flailing about…he was a man on the edge.  So, the fact that Jayson Werth chose to bunt here really disappoints me.  I totally understand the element of surprise; I understand he saw Wes Helms playing way back at third.  You can argue both sides.  But Jayson is a damn good hitter and just the day before, got a hit off of this very SAME pitcher!  He must have known that and I am sure Gregg knew that!  One more reason for Gregg to be extra nervous pitching to him in this situation.  But instead, he bunts it right to Gregg, who throws him right out and is let off the hook. 

 

Had the Phillies gotten one more run out of that inning, either with a hit, a walk or run scored on a wild pitch, I believe they win the game.  Because then Brad Lidge comes in and shuts it down.  Instead, we have Tom Gordon who winds up having an awful night.  But you can’t blame him.  DSCF5145 uggla cr.jpgThe bullpen can’t bail out this team every time.  And the offense can’t expect not to play and then throw it on the shoulders of the pitchers.  So, Dan Uggla comes out looking like a hero, when really all he did on that last pitch was take batting practice.  At that point, Gordon had two choices…risk walking the run home, or give him something to hit and pray he missed it.  Well, I do not discount Uggla …he is a great hitter and he did not miss it.  So, Mr. Uggla has earned my Photo of the Day…this one is from April of last year at CBP and, surprise, surprise…J-Roll Smurf and his handy voodoo bat have decided to join us for the last game of the series J  No more grand slams for Mr. Uggla!  Let’s see if some Smurfy magic can salvage one game of this yucky series…Go Phillies!