The Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, collected his 500th victory for the team today with a 4-game sweep of the Rockies. Only two other Phils managers since 1900 have more wins: Gene Mauch, 645 and Danny Ozark, 594.
The game did not start well as pitcher Joe Blanton quickly gave up 2 runs in the first innings to the anxious Rockies who were hoping to salvage one game in this series. But, despite a few walks, Blanton was sharp after the 1st and wound up going 6 innings.
The Phillies offense got them back into the game quickly, which was also a huge help. In order, Ross Gload singled, Greg Dobbs doubled and Brian Schneider tripled. All that was missing was a home run. Instead of the homer, Blanton reached first on a missed catch by Jason Giambi at first.
But then Jimmy Rollins batted and wound up fouling a ball off his foot, sending him to the ground in pain. He limped through the rest of the game and afterwards had an X-Ray. There was no break; he just has a bruise. However, it is still unknown how long he may have to rest his foot before playing again. Here is the sequence, with a nice moment of sportsmanship too:
Things got quiet for a while after that until the Phillies scored 2 more runs in the 6th. Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez each hit RBI-singles to extend the lead. But many players contributed to the offense today, especially Schneider, with the huge triple in the 2nd and he also walked and scored in the 6th. Greg Dobbs went 2 for 4 and Polanco had 2 hits as well. Here are a few shot from the game:
There was some great defense and really amazing efforts on tough plays also:
And then came the heart-stopping 9th inning. You know when I mention heart attacks, Brad Lidge must somehow be involved, right? Well he sure was. It started with a double, but Lidge got two outs after that. With just one out to go, ahead of the batter in the count, Lidge grooved a fastball right over the plate which Seth Smith hammered for a 2-run homer, cutting the lead to 5-4. Two walks and a single later and the bases were loaded…again…just like the day before. But Lidge finally got a ground ball, which he fielded himself for the final out.
While Lidge is totally on my last nerve with these cardiac episode inducing outings, what is the alternative? Do we need a new closer? Probably. But has anyone else in the pen proved they can handle the job? No. This is the proverbial rock and a hard place. Others have tried to close and failed, like Ryan Madson, for example. So sadly, it looks like we are stuck with Lidge for now.
As for the recent trade rumors, Dan Haren went to the Angels so it looks like Roy Oswalt is the final option for the Phils to pick up a starter. But as I talked about on yesterday’s Fightin’ Phillies podcast, Oswalt does not seem interested in coming here and with the no-trade clause, he has final say. But do we really want a guy who is scared of the media and shies away from pressure? I know I don’t. It will be interesting to see if anything happens before the trade deadline.
In the meantime, feel free to check out the Photo Album from today’s game. Thanks to my friend, Audrea, I was in one of the business suites today, which are very, very nice. I put a few photos of that in the album as well.
The D-Backs come to town tomorrow. Game time is 7:05pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The 21st annual Memorial Classic to support the efforts of the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital will take place in Southern Florida on Saturday January 24, 2009 at 1:00pm in the Fort Lauderdale Stadium (Spring home of the Orioles). Tickets to the game are only $5! Many former Phillies will be on hand to participate in the Alumni Game and also the Auction and Player Meet and Greet which will take place the Friday before (1/23) at 7pm. Appearances by Phillies Alumni may include Dick Allen, Jose Cardenal, Doug Clemens, Tony Gonzalez, Darold Knowles, Danny Ozark, Cookie Rojas, Roy Sievers, Tony Taylor and many other baseball legends.
Former participants of the Memorial Classic include Tug McGraw, actors Matt Dillon, Tom Selleck and Steven Baldwin, musician MC Hammer and even President Bill Clinton! And this year promises to be an event to remember!
If anyone is interested in tickets for either Friday or Saturday, please call Craig Cohen (a PHILLIES fan and really nice guy :O); Craig’s direct line is 954-265-7241. And as a special BONUS, mention you saw this ad on Phillies Phollowers and Craig will get you PREFERRED seating! You can also visit the Memorial Classic web site for additional information and to see photos from past events. Here are the specifics for both the Auction and the Game:
Auction and Reception:
Where: Signature Grand
6900 St. Rd. 84 – Davie, FL
When: Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 7:00 PM
Cost: Auction Tickets: $150
Other information: Food is served – hors d’oeuvres/open bar
Attire – dressy/casual
Tickets will go on sale starting January – Only available through the Foundation. Any tickets purchased after January 14 will be held at Will Call or can be picked up at the Foundation office during normal office hours but WILL NOT be mailed.
Where: Fort Lauderdale Stadium
5301 NW 12 Avenue – just north of Commercial Blvd.
When: Saturday, January 24, 2006 @ 1:00 PM
Cost: Reserved Tickets – $5
Bleacher Tickets – $3
Tickets can be purchased at the stadium, MRH- Cashiers office, or Foundation office and pay with a credit card and we mail them. (We can accept checks with the understanding that the tickets will be mailed out as soon as the check is received.) Any tickets purchased after January 14, 2009 will be held at Will Call and WILL NOT be mailed.
Rain??? If it rains, specific alternatives will be determined on day of game. No refunds.
And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod! All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!
Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose, Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!