Tagged: David Wright

Double Dip




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While doubleheaders can be draining for teams, two wins in one day makes it worth the effort.  Last night, Pedro Martinez pitched 8 amazing shut-out innings against his former team, the New York Mets.  Martinez looks like he has been sipping from the fountain of youth; he threw 130 pitches, which is his longest outing since May 1, 2001. 

Charlie Manuel almost pulled his starter from the game with 2 outs recorded in the 8th inning, but Martinez convinced him he could get the final out.  Carlos Ruiz helped by tossing David Murphy out at 3rd base as he attempted to steal, which ended the inning.  Martinez is now 5-0 as a Phillie with a 2.87 ERA. Whatever magic potion he is drinking, please pass the cup this way.091309a.jpg

As far as offense, there pretty much wasn’t any.  Chase Utley hit a long RBI single in the first inning to score Jimmy Rollins.  After that, it was 8 innings of nothing but pitching.  Ryan Madson got the save, although it was another eventful one as he allowed a 1-out hit and fans quickly began biting their nails.  But Madson pitched out of it and all is well with the world again.  The Phillies won by a score of 1-0.

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Brad Lidge
saved the day game of the doubleheader and his outing was way more intense than Madson’s.  With a 3-run lead, Lidge gave up 2 runs in the inning on 3 hits.  Lidge finally managed to squeak out of the inning, giving the Phillies a 5-4 victory.  But the bullpen has been so scary in the second half of the season, it is making tummies turn on a daily basis.  Here is a photo I took of a bench inside the Phillies bullpen on Saturday:

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They had better buy stock in that company if this is what we are in for the rest of the year.

9th inning drama aside, Kyle Kendrick got the start in this game due to JA Happ being out with a strained oblique; it was Kendrick’s first start in the majors this year.  Kendrick had been sent back to the minors after a bad run in 2008 but appears to have improved quite a bit since that time.  In the day game, Kendrick went 7 1/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on a homer right before he was pulled out of the game.  Prior to that homer though, he looked pretty sharp and was finally working a much needed change-up into his routine.  What the future holds for Kendrick is unclear, but for now he has a least given the Phillies something to think about.

So the Phillies took 3 of 4 games from the Mets this weekend and bumped their lead in the NL East up to 6 ½ games.  They also officially eliminated the Mets from playoff contention with the Martinez win last night.  Only the Marlins and Braves are potential contenders now.  The Phillies will need to be careful not to get lazy these last few weeks and take bad teams, like the Nationals, too lightly. 

It is an off day today, but tomorrow the Phils start a 3-game series with those pesky Nats.  For now, feel free to check out the Photo Album from last night’s 1-0 win over the Mets!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Bullpen Blows 4 Run Lead


Thumbnail image for 0912 Moyer.jpgThis game got off to an ominous start when Jamie Moyer allowed 4 runs before he even recorded an out in the 1st inning.  Things were not looking good.  But the Phillies offense battled back and by the 6th inning, they had an 8-4 lead over the Mets.  Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz and Raul Ibanez all homered to give the team a lift.

And yet, despite 12 hits, including the 3 homers, 3 doubles and a triple (Rollins), the bullpen blew the game for the Phillies.  Even Moyer battled back after a terrible start and wound up with 5 runs allowed over 7 innings.  It appeared as if the planets would align and the Phillies would overcome the bad start.  But when Ryan Howard struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th, fans began to wonder if that would come back to haunt them.


091209.jpgLet the haunting begin…the bad start came full circle and turned into a bad ending as well.  Brett Myers and Chan Ho Park combined in the 8th inning to give the Mets 3 more runs, making the score 9-8.  With a precarious 1 run lead, Ryan Madson took the mound in the 9th and gave up a two run homer to David Wright with 2 outs in the inning, his second homer plus 6 RBI’s on the night.  Madson, in for the struggling Brad Lidge, has now blown his 6th save of the season.  Madson and Lidge together have 16 blow saves on the year.

It is official – this team has NO closer.  If the Phillies cannot close out games, they have no shot at success in the post-season, if they even get that far.  Unless a miracle occurs and Lidge can figure out what is ailing him, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, we are so totally screwed.  I had a few other choice words in mind to express that feeling, but I will refrain for now.  Feel free to add your own “color” to that sentence.


gloves 091209.jpgFrustration
is another good word – frustration, disappointment and downright exasperation.  So, just to make myself feel better, here is a small piece of comic relief.  At batting practice today, I watched a Mets player using what appears to be a child’s glove to shag balls.  It is tiny and quite colorful.  Check out the comparison between a real glove and the baby-glove:

I have had my fun for the day then :O)  The Phillies have a double-header tomorrow night with Kyle Kendrick pitching the 1:05pm game and Pedro Martinez at 8:05pm.  I will be at the night game praying for a win!  For now, here is the Photo Album from today’s game.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

All-Star Game 2009 – The Curse Continues

The curse continues for the National League as they lost their 12th consecutive All-Star Game tonight against the American League.  And poor Charlie Manuel became the first Phillies manager in history to lose the All-Star game :O(  Phils now hold a record of 6-1.  No worries Charlie…just bring us another Championship and all will be forgotten :O)

The first inning did not exactly kick the game off right for the National League as Tim Lincecum struggled and allowed one earned run.  An unearned run also scored in the inning after an error.  Yes folks, as Albert Pujols booted a ball at first base, an angel lost its wings…and the American League took a 2-0 lead.  It’s ok though…we still love Albert :O)

The NL battled back and scored 3 in the 2nd inning thanks to hits by David Wright, Shane Victorino (yeah!) and Yadier Molina.  After that, offense all around was fairly quiet until the 8th inning.  Curtis Granderson tripled, Victor Martinez was given the intentional walk and then Adam Jones hit a sac fly to score Granderson and give the AL a 4-3 lead.   The NL got their shot in the bottom half of the inning; Ryan Howard was sent in to pinch hit with 2 outs and 2 on in the 8th and he went down on strikes to end the threat.  Ugh.  The ever-adorable Mariano Rivera closed out the game for the AL in the 9th and so, the curse goes on.

As for the rest of the Phillies, Chase Utley went hitless, but had several stellar defensive plays.  Victorino ended up 1 for2 with a run scored; Jayson Werth struck out after a great at-bat against Jonathan Papelbon and later, made an amazing running catch in centerfield; P5314810 Ibanez.jpgand Raul Ibanez went 0 for 2, but looked thrilled anyway just to be playing.  It was his first All-Star appearance in his 14th major league season at 37 years of age.  Congrats to Raul for finally getting there!

As for the broadcast, FOX was annoying as usual.  I think I heard more about Taco Bell and Domino’s Pizza than I did about the game.  And while it was nice to hear the President Obama in the broadcast booth, was it really necessary to see him?   Don’t get me wrong;  I love Obama and all that, but I already know what he looks like.  I’d have been just as happy to hear him speak while the game was showed in its entirety on the TV screen, instead of the annoying flashes back and forth from individual pitches to a visual of Obama in the booth.

Pedro – Say It Ain’t So!

Much to the dismay of Phillies fans everywhere, Pedro Martinez passed his physical and has been signed by the Phillies.  Pedro will get 1 million plus another possible 1.5 million in incentives.  He will need about 3 weeks of rehab and minor league work to be ready.  The good news is that the price is cheap; however, we are all familiar with the saying “you get what you pay for.”  If Martinez has some magic left in that arm, then this deal will turn out to be a real bargain; if not, at least they did not overpay. 

Personally, I worry more about the clubhouse chemistry being disrupted than anything else.  Martinez is notorious for his sandpaper-like personality and penchant for creating controversy.  If he does not pitch well, no biggie.  It was a small investment.  But if he wreaks havoc on the peaceful and serene Phillies-vibe, then the deal will not have been worth the risk.  We shall see how it goes…

A Day Without Baseball?

So no baseball tomorrow…except for the Double-A All-Star Game in Trenton, NJ.  I will be risking life and limb as I venture into Trenton, the dregs of Jersey, but will be attending the game anyway. ;O)  Four Phillies prospects will be in the game, with Michael Taylor participating in the Home Run Derby. I will return (I hope) with photos and all body parts still in place.  Wish me luck :O)

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Ibanez Rocks New York

Raul Ibanez brought the pain to the New York Mets last night with a 3-run shot into the bullpen in the 10th inning.  The Phillies win the series in New York, 2 games to 1 and come home with a 7-3 record on this most recent road trip.

Ibanez has been the biggest surprise of the year for this team, bringing the defense to match his offense.  In the 4th, Ibanez played a hot shot off the wall and nailed David Wright at 2nd who was trying for a double.  From all the way back on the warning track, not only did Ibanez get the ball to Chase Utley without a hop, he placed the toss perfectly so Utley could make an easy tag. 
Thumbnail image for Ibanez Hulk.jpgThis guy has been like the Incredible Hulk for the Phillies (or the Ibanez Hulk), tossing opponents around as if they were small woodland creatures instead of professional ball players.  While leading the majors with 58 RBI’s, slugging percentage (.674) and he is also second in homers with 21, Ibanez has put this team on his back and intends to carry them to the promise land.  Could chants of “MVP!” from the fans at the ball park be far behind?  Just wait; it’s coming.

And the starting pitching continues to improve as well.  Jamie Moyer had another quality start against the Mets, going 6 innings with 3 runs on 8 hits and did not walk anyone.  He looked a bit frustrated at times, but he is the master at buckling down and getting it done.  The bullpen had another great outing too.  Clay Condrey continues to turn heads with his 2.27 ERA and last night he pitched 2 scoreless and hitless innings.  Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre took care of business in the 9th and Ryan Madson saved the game in the 10th.

But just when everything is about to click….the Phillies are getting ready to butt heads with the Boston Red Sox who are coming off a 3-game sweep of the Yankees.  The Phillies have been extraordinarily bad in inter league play historically; will 2009 be different?  Or will the Sox derail the train in Philly?  We shall see…

Save A Pet


Thumbnail image for utley_150x180.jpgIf you are going to the game tonight, stop by the Save A Pet charity booth which will be located at the first base gate and run by the Phillies Wives.  You can adopt an animal in need, donate toys and blankets, and/or purchase a calendar for which the proceeds go to benefit the SPCA.  Phillies players were photographed with either their own animals or adoptable pets from the SPCA and the result is a very adorable calendar.  You can also
buy the calendar online if you are not able to get to the game.  I may need to get about 10 copies… :O)

“Minor” Steroid Issue

Pablo Ozuna signed a Minor League contract with the Phillies on Jan. 22 and has since been playing 2nd base for the AAA Iron Pigs.  Yesterday, he was suspended 50 games for violating the league’s drug policy with an elevated testosterone level.  Prior to this year, he spent a short time with the Dodgers in 2008 and 3 years with the White Sox before that.  The Phillies are the 5th team he has played for.

VOTE

Keep VOTING for our Phillies All-Stars, especially RAUUUUUUUL, Utley & Howard!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Utley photo: Phillies.com

Win Streak Down The Toilet

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The Phillies lost the game tonight after 5 wins in a row, but at least Jamie Moyer had a quality start.  He did give up 3 runs, but went 6 innings and this was a huge improvement over his last several outings.  And although Moyer kept them in the game, the offense did not score and Chad Durbin gave up another 2 runs in the 7th inning.  That was pretty much the nail in the coffin.

The only score of the day for the Phillies was a solo home run by Raul Ibanez, his 14th of the year.  But while Ibanez continues to hit consistently, the rest of the line-up took a nap today.

Since this game was a tad depressing, here is some comic relief:  According to the New York Post, a Mets fan got her hand stuck in a toilet bowl at Citi Field on Tuesday.  Perhaps she thought David Wright was down there?  Either way, there would be plenty of flushing in Flushing that day.  No one is sure how long she was left screaming for mercy before the plumber arrived to “relieve” her, but the action drew a crowd of curious fans around the bathroom. 

As it turns out, the Mets fan had dropped her gold tooth into the toilet and reached in to try to recover it.  Seriously?  Would you ever actually put that thing back in your mouth after it had been in a public toilet?  All I can say is, it was a Mets fan. :O)

So tomorrow afternoon, the Phillies will try to get a series win against the Reds.  Game time is 12:35pm and Joe Blanton will pitch; he will also try not to totally suck like he did the last time out!  Fingers crossed…

So, here is your daily reminder to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  And please, avoid putting any limbs into toilet bowls…consider that my public service announcement for the day.

 

Photo by Jenn

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Spring Training Photo Fun


Since the Phillies have the day off today, I thought I would share some more Spring Training photos with you.  These fall under the categories of weird stuff, accidents and a whole lotta Shane Victorino.

Let’s start with Shane!  1st photo: Note that his glove has a special engraving, “Kaipo” – in Hawaiian, this means “Sweatheart.”  How cute is that?  2nd photo: A Yankees fan taunts Shane after catching a home run ball:

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Fans with possible brain damage – This first one is what happens when you have had one too many beers and a home run ball decides to visit:

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And this one is not so funny; good news though, after getting beamed with a foul ball, this kid was ok!

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YMCA Oddity:  Apparently, the ground crew at Yankees Spring Training are required to do the YMCA for the fans between innings.  The music started and here is what happened next:

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And as soon as Victorino got on base after witnessing the YMCA insanity, here is what happened after that:

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So how many of you are singing “YMCA” right now?  :O)

Another fun baseball event; the breaking of the bat.  Adam Dunn, Team USA, demonstrates.  Note the bat handle in the first shot:

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Thumbnail image for P3035904 Jeter Wright.jpgAnd finally, Derek Jeter and David Wright, brought together by the weirdness that is the World Baseball Classic.  After a game win, the two were caught fist bumping; but not without a safety divider.  Adam Dunn steps in to keep the weirdness from getting out of hand.

I hope you enjoyed the photos!  The Phillies will be back on the diamond tomorrow at 1:05pm to face the Yankees.

 

 (All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Phillies and Mets Unite!

Ok, well not really.  But Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino did participate with David Wright of the Mets yesterday to advance Team USA to the semi-final round of the World Baseball Classic.  In fact, all three Phillies that were still involved with the Classic had a hand in the victory along with Wright.  JC Romero, playing for Team Puerto Rico, did not exactly get the outcome he wished for, but he did play a role in this very exciting game.

By the bottom of the 9th inning, Team USA was losing by a score of 5-3 to Puerto Rico.  Enter, Shane Victorino; Victorino smacked a single down the 1st base line off his own Phillies teammate, Romero, to start the comeback.  Victorino played a huge part in the entire game, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Next up, Brian Roberts singled; Victorino then tagged on a Jeter long fly ball to move to 3rd base.  Enter Rollins, who was issued his 2nd walk of the night to load the bases.  Romero was lifted from the game, shaking his head as he walked off the mound, having given up a hit and a walk to his own Phillies teammates.

Fernando Cabrera came in to relieve Romero, but then proceeded to walk a run in (Victorino), making the score 5-4.  Wright then took over, whacking a 2 run walk-off single, on which Rollins and Roberts scored.  Game over – Team USA wins, 5-6.  See video of the final hit and celebration HERE.

But the most fascinating part of the win for me was seeing Wright, Rollins, Victorino, and even Mike Schmidt, not only get the job done together, but then watching them celebrate together afterwards.  As heated as the Phillies – Mets rivalry has become over the past several years, you never would have known it watching these NL East opponents working together to attain a common goal.  Here is a still shot from the video of the last hit and the celebration:Team USA.jpg

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?  Ok, well, perhaps that is going a bit far… ;o)

Team USA will travel to the west coast after tonight’s game against Team Venezuela, which will determine the top seed.  Team Korea will join them in Los Angeles as well, to prepare for the next round of the Classic.  The final team has yet to be decided; Japan and Cuba will battle tonight for that remaining spot.

 

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