Tagged: Derek Jeter

Phils Take Game 1 With Lee’s Complete Game

The Phillies got off to a great start with a 6-1 win in game 1 of the World Series against the Yankees.  P8195426 Lee.jpgCliff Lee was a magician on the mound, going the distance and not allowing any earned runs.  The 1 Yankees run came on a Jimmy Rollins error.  Lee dominated; he struck out 10 batters and looked like a giddy kid tossing a little league game, running in and out of the dugout and fielding balls with youthful nonchalance.  A few waves of the Lee magic wand, and the Yanks were sunk.

A few waves of Chase Utley’s bat worked a little magic as well.  Utley hit 2 home runs off CC Sabathia, putting the Phillies up 2-0 in the 6th inning, with the first homer coming in the 1st inning.  The pitching duel continued until Raul Ibanez knock 2 runs in with a single in the 8th to pad the lead.  The Phillies added 2 more runs in the 9th on singles by Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard.  Victorino was thrown out at the plate right after Rollins scored, but the score was 6-0 at that point so the aggressive move to send Victorino made sense.

The Phillies have now taken the Home Field advantage away from the Yankees and silenced doubters who thought the Yanks would walk all over this team.  Clearly, the Yankees have some trouble in their bullpen which will be an advantage for the Phillies who did a great job working Sabathia’s pitch count up to get to their pen.

In addition, I personally cannot wait to see what the New York media decides to post after this loss. 

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Before the series began, the NY media took shots at the Phillies and their players that resembled high school bullying. 

This cover of Shane Victorino is just one example of how New York is taking this team way too lightly.  Shane thought it was funny but ultimately, it is irresponsible journalism, if you can even call it journalism.  But that is fine; the Phillies showed them what this team is made of.  They should be afraid….very afraid.

Game 2  is tonight with Pedro Martinez  on the mound!  Another media spectacle, for sure, but it will be a very entertaining game.  Go Phillies!!!  And for the Cliff Lee fans….Go PhilLEEs!!!!!

Lee photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

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World Series Game 1 Break Down

The Phillies – Yankees World Series is just a day away.  Wednesday night at 7:57pm in New York, the fun begins!  Let us examine the position by position match-up based on 2009 post-season results:

Starting Pitchers:  Cliff Lee vs. CC Sabathia

The match-up of two former Cy Young winners who played together in Cleveland is a dream pitching duel.  h4ti1eczjwyhrg0woeh381gj2.gifStatistically, this is a close one to call.  Lee led all team in ERA with a 0.74 this post-season and Sabathia pitched at a 1.19 ERA.  Lee has been lights out in the post-season, but did have a few struggles in September.  However, this appears to be a non-issue for him in big games.  Sabathia, on the other hand, has been just as good, but the Phillies have an advantage; they beat up on Sabathia last post-season and therefore have at least a mental edge in the situation.  It is a new year and a new team for Sabathia though, so how much this will factor in remains to be seen.  I am calling this one a draw.

Closers: Brad Lidge vs. Mariano Rivera

This one goes easily to Rivera, who is possibly the best closer ever in baseball.  Lidge appears to be past his struggles, but there is still a shadow of doubt hanging over him.

Catchers: Carlos Ruiz vs. Jorge Posada

As far as ability to call a game, these two are evenly matched.  At the plate, Ruiz has been hot, hot, hot this October.  Add his youth to the equation and he has the advantage.  Ruiz batted .346 this post-season with 7 RBI vs. Posada’s .258 average and 3 RBI.  Winner: Ruiz

First Base: Ryan Howard vs. Mark Teixeira

While Tex has the advantage defensively, in terms of sheer wrecking power, Howard wins it hands down.  Howard batted .355 with 14 RBI compared to Tex’s .205 and 5 RBI.  While the low numbers are not typical of Tex, Howard is clearly in the zone.

Second Base: Chase Utley vs. Robinson Cano

Utley had a few brain farts in the NLCS on defense and his bat seemed to be up and down, but with the week off, Utley should be back to top form.  Cano batted .229 and had a few more RBI and extra base hits than Utley; but Utley still batted .303 despite the struggles and continues to find ways to get on base.  Utley is one of the best overall hitter in all of baseball; this one goes to him.

Short Stop: Jimmy Rollins vs. Derek Jeter

Last year and even in Spring Training this year, Rollins had a clear advantage over Jeter.  He got more playing time and performed better in the World Baseball Classic and had a better 2008 season overall.  But J-Roll has been in and out of a funk all year long in 2009.  Jeter has been solid and continually finds ways to makes plays.  Both are stellar on defense, but Jeter’s bat has been a lot hotter than Rollins lately.  Winner: Jeter

Third Base: Pedro Feliz vs. Alex Rodriguez

Ok, duh.  Just hand this one over to A-Rod and be done with it.  12 RBI vs. 2 and .438 average vs. .161 – no brainer.  Feliz is looking sluggish; and while he has a slight edge defensively, this is no competition.  A-rod all the way.

Right Field: Jayson Werth vs. Nick Swisher

Another no-brainer, but this one favors the Phillies.  Werth can be streaky, but his .281 average, 5 home runs and 10 RBI blows away Swishers .125 and 1 RBI.  Winner: Werth

Center Field: Shane Victorino vs. Melky Cabrera

The Flyin’ Hawaiian vs. The Melk Man: Shane wins on the cooler nickname alone.  Ok, seriously, this one is a little closer than some.  The batting averages are both good; .361 for Victorino and .314 for Cabrera.  But Victorino’s 26 total bases and 7 RBI beats Cabrera who had 13 bases and 4 RBI in the post-season.  Victorino’s speed is also a huge plus; Shane takes this competition.

Left Field: Ben Francisco vs. Johnny Damon

Francisco is a bench player who will take left field in game 1 while Raul Ibanez serves as the DH.  His lack of experience in the field this year and few at-bats may be a detriment, although he does have more speed in the outfield than Ibanez.  Damon is a solid veteran who should do well under the pressure of the familiar World Series lights; he got his ring in 2004 with the Red Sox.  The winner here is Damon, based on experience and a solid 2009 season.

Designated Hitter: Raul Ibanez vs. Hideki Matsui

Both hitters have had a similar down post-season; Ibanez is batting .226 and Matsui is at .233.  Each has 1 homer and 7 hits.  Ibanez has driven in 4 more runs than Matsui, but has also been playing hurt.  Sports Illistrated reported last week that Ibanez has been playing since June with a torn abdominal muscle, which does explain his second half slump.  But Ibanez, a 14-year veteran, is excited for his first World Series and will not let the injury slow him down.  For his determination alone, I am giving a slight edge in this battle to Ibanez.

The tally then is Phillies, 6 and Yankees 4, not counting the starting pitchers, which appears to be a tie.  So it looks good for the Phillies on paper, but the game is played on the field.  We shall see how it goes!

Comment Corner

I asked all my readers to let me know what their dream World Series would be and here is what we know:

Peter of Outside the Phillies Looking In prefers a Phillies – Cleveland series for geographical reasons.  He lives near the home of the Tribe.

Buz of Yesterday’s Hitter agrees that the Phillies – Yankees are the dream match-up because of all the talent on both sides!

And a few other interesting comments:

Jeff of Red State Blue State is rooting for the Phillies for the first time ever!  Congrats Jeff…you have finally come to your senses ;o)

 Jane of Confessions of a She-Fan already has a tummy ache just thinking about the Lee-Sabathia match-up; don’t we all!

Go Phillies!

Bring On The Yankees

During Spring Training this year, I predicted a Phillies – Yankees World Series.  It was more of a wish than a realistic thought at the time, but nonetheless, I have gotten my wish :O) Apparently, Jimmy Rollins made the very same prediction; what can I tell you?  Great minds think alike.

Not only will this be an epic battle of David and Goliath – the Yanks with 26 World Championships and the Phillies with only 2 – but it has been my lifelong dream to witness these two teams do battle on the grandest stage in baseball.  You see, I have two favorite teams in every sport – one NL and one AL.  These are my two teams!  This about sums up how I feel right now:

The Phillies are my #1 of course, and you can read why on the About Me page.  But I grew up in central NJ and the Yanks were always on TV.  If I asked for a Phillies hat for Christmas, I got a Yankees hat.  So while it was forced upon me at first, I grew to enjoy watching Reggie Jackson whack balls out of the park.  And the crazy facial hair of Goose Gossage made me giggle.  Lou Piniella, Thurman Munson, the 1977-78 World Series…classic stuff.  And then in the 90’s, it was all about Derek Jeter…

This is also why I love Spring Training…I get to see moments like Jeter & Utley sharing a man-hug.  And Jeter & Rollins joining forces on Team USA:Phils Yanks.jpg

I am SO excited!!  How about everyone else out there?  What is YOUR dream World Series and why?  Feel free to share in the comments and you may be in my next blog!

In the meantime, Go Phillies! (and a slightly less enthusiastic, Go Yanks :O)

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phils Win Series, Despite Lidge’s 2 Blown Saves

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The bloom has definitely fallen off the rose; Brad Lidge is our fallen hero who gave us perfection in 2008 and now nothing but headaches in 2009.  Sorry Brad, but it is time to surrender your cape.  With a 2-run lead in yesterdays’ game, Lidge gave up 3 runs in the 9th and handed over the win to the Yankees.  Tonight, he gave up 1 run in the 9th to tie up the game, but Clay Condrey emerged as the unlikely hero to bail him out.  Condrey managed 2 scoreless innings and the Phillies won 4-3 in 11 innings.

But what has happened to Lidge?  He swears he is not injured, so what are we to think?  I know what I thought in the 9th today – that I was going to leap out onto the field, grab him by the shoulders and shake him violently until the sludgy alien-oil that has obviously taken over his brain came oozing out and gave us our hero back.  It really is an X-Files kind of mystery what has become of Mr. Perfect these days.

But a win is a win and 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.  Shane Victorino gave CC Sabathia fits today at the plate; both he and Carlos Ruiz had a 3 hit night.  And Ryan Howard shocked the crowd when he laid down a slap-bunt towards third base for a hit; there’s something you won’t see every day.  Hey, whatever works!

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Cole Hamels
had it working too through 6 innings of 2-run ball.  He did fall behind in counts quite a bit, but recovered nicely, although you could tell he wanted to smack Eric Bruntlett in the 4th after an error that extended the inning.  Hamels smack his fist into his glove as he arrived at first base and realized Bruntlett would not be throwing over as he dropped the ball.

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And here is my “Shame On You” for the day:  after striking out rookie John Mayberry in the 8th to end the inning, CC Sabathia hollered and pumped his fist as the strode off the mound, as if he had just won the game in grand fashion.  His showboating was less than appropriate for several reasons; he had just struck out a rookie in his 2nd major league game and, the Yankees were losing the game 3-2 at that point.  Much ado about nothing?  I’d say so.

So how was my first, and probably my only visit to new Yankee Stadium?  Pretty good.  It is a very nice stadium; almost identical to the old one, only bigger, nicer seats and it doesn’t smell like cat pee :O)  The seats in the lower level from foul pole to foul pole have waiter service, which was convenient, but they could certainly benefit more from lowering the cost of those seats and skipping the waiters.  A bit excessive, I thought.  Loved the padded seats, Monument Park was nice, huge team store with a great variety of stuff and TONS of employees everywhere you turn to direct people and answer questions.  The concourse even had a fresh fruit stand.  I was not impressed with the murky, drab gray underground tunnel system which you have to walk through to get to Monument Park and the centerfield gate.  It reminded me of Veterans Stadium; dark, creepy and nothing to look at.  Literally…nothing.  Blank, gray walls.  But overall, it is a very nice place; just WAY overpriced and excessive in a lot of areas it does not need to be.

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More game and stadium photos are coming!  I will post those tomorrow at some point, but for now, I am nursing a wicked bad sunburn (ouch!) and dragging after a long 3 ½ hour drive home.  So, off to bed for me!  Must find the aloe…

UPDATE: Here is the PHOTO ALBUM from the game including photos of new Yankee Stadium!

Keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  Florida series starts tomorrow at 7:05pm…Jamie Moyer will try to fry some fish ;O)

Photos by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

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*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

Phillies Love New Yankee Stadium

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Jimmy Rollins and Derek Jeter met again for the first time since sharing shortstop duties for Team USA this spring; Rollins greeted Jeter and company with a home run on the first pitch of the ballgame tonight.  In all, the Phillies walked away with 4 home runs in the game and 6 of their 7 runs scored on those blasts.  Jeter and 2 other Yankees also homered in the game, but all were solo shots.  Looks like the Phillies are loving this new Yankee Stadium.

Brett Myers especially was feeling the love tonight; he pitched a one run ballgame up until the 8th inning when 2 more homers gave the Yankees a bit of life.  Myers baffled the Yanks who walked somberly away from the plate while glancing back in awe and surprise at the Phillies pitcher.  Myers allowed those 3 solo home runs, 8 hits, had 7 strikeouts and did not walk anyone.  All this in a full 8 innings of work gave him the 7-3 win. 

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AJ Burnett
of the Yankees, on the other hand, had a rough night trying to stave off the Phils big bats.  Annoyed at the first pitch home run to Rollins, Burnett proceeded to plunk Chase Utley with a pitch immediately afterwards.  Myers, sticking up for his teammate, threw behind Jeter in the Yanks next at-bat and warnings from the umpire ensued.  The warnings had no effect on the game from that point and these 2 teams just went at it like scheduled. 


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Carlos Ruiz
had a big night for the Phillies with 3 hits, 2 RBI on a home run and he even stole a base.  Ruiz gave us all a scare though in his last at-bat when he showed some discomfort after a swing, but he continued playing and appears to be ok.  After the oblique injury he suffered earlier this year, it was a tense moment seeing him cringe.  For now though, all is well.

JA Happ will get his first start of the season tomorrow in the 4:10pm start in New York.  After that, Cole Hamels will take the ball on Sunday afternoon and I will be there to cheer on…well….everybody I guess!  I will get see my dream World Series match-up as well as a much heralded new stadium.  Cannot wait to go!  I was able to find an affordable ticket after much effort, but am not sure about the view I will have.  Fingers crossed!  I will be back with photos :O)

Don’t forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Photos by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

 

Lidge Saves A Nail Biter

Brad Lidge allowed 2 base runners with only 1 out in the bottom of the 9th in a 4-3 game tonight; just as Phillies fans everywhere were ready to throw in the towel again, Lidge buckled down and got the next 2 batters out to save the game.  Whew!  Does he have to make every save a tummy-turner?  Oh well, at least he got the job done.

Cole Hamels did his job too; 6 innings pitched and 3 runs allowed.  Not super, but good enough to win the game.  And the offense only had 7 hits in the game, including a Ryan Howard solo home run, but it was also enough to win the game.  They faced a very tough pitcher, so we will take it.

And while Hamels is our pitching Angel, Chan Ho Park has been the Devil.hamels park.jpgAfter Spring Training, many thought JA Happ should have been given the 5th starters spot, but instead, the Phillies went with Park.  That turned out to be a big mistake as Park limped through April and the first part of May with a lousy 7.08 ERA.  The Phils finally came to their senses and sent him to the pen where he belongs.  Happ will take over the 5th spot starting this Saturday against the Yankees.  Talk about a trial by fire…this poor kid has to be shaking in his boots.  He finally gets the job he deserves and now he has to face A-Rod and Jeter.  We wish him luck!

The series with the Reds will continue tomorrow at 7:10pm.  And keep VOTING for your All-Stars!  Utley, Ibanez, Howard, Werth…get them to St. Louis!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Photos by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

 

Geoff Jenkins Released; 5th Starter Determined

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In a surprise move, the Phillies released Geoff Jenkins today, content with eating the over 8 million dollars they owe him.  The Phillies are trying to find another right handed bat to balance out the line-up and Jenkins is a lefty, so he does not fit into the plan for 2009.  However, picking up Jenkins to begin with was not a great move, which I stated way back when that happened.  His numbers were steadily declining with his age and the Phillies more than overpaid for him.  What I did like about Jenkins though throughout 2008 was his personality, his work ethic and they way he fit into a tight knit clubhouse.  Jenkins is a super nice guy with a great sense of humor.  He will be missed.  I have a few photos of Jenkins for you throughout this piece to remember him by.

And now on with my rant; Todd Zolecki has reported that the Phillies may now be interested in Gary Sheffield who was just released by the Detroit Tigers.  Let me state for the record that as much as I opposed picking up Jenkins in 2008, I am even more convinced that Sheffield is a far worse idea. 

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I’d rather have 2 Jenkins’ than one Sheffield.  And here are the numerous reasons why:

In 2 years with the Tigers, Sheffield played in a TOTAL of 18 games in the field.  Yes, 18 out of like 324 games; he served as the team’s DH.  Therefore, at 40 years of age, it is obvious Sheffield can no longer field.  Not to mention Sheffield himself said publicly that he wanted to go to the Rays, an America League team.  Apparently, he knows he can no longer play outfield and thus, prefers the DH role.  So, if the Phillies pick up Sheffield, are we then saying we believe Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, who have been injury prone in the past, will stay healthy ALL year long?  Not to mention Raul Ibanez, who is 36 year old.  Someone please hire us a Geriatric Nurse, quick!

So you say Sheffield can hit?  Sure, 20 years in the majors and he stands at 499 home runs.  Great.  But his numbers in the last 2 years, as he has gotten older, have declined.  He hit .265 in 494 at-bats in 2007 and then hit .225 in 418 at-bats in 2008.  You cannot say he did not get his AB’s, because as the regular DH, he did.  How can the Phillies, or any other team, expect improvement if he gets to hit off the bench only once every 2-3 games?

And then there is my favorite issue: personality.  Sheffield is the same guy who picked fights with Joe Torre and Derek Jeter of the Yankees; two of the MOST respected guys in baseball.  He called Torre a racist and then turned around and said Jeter  “ain’t all the way black.”  Hypocritical, if you ask me.  Not to mention, Joe Torre is one of the best managers in the game and wouldn’t hurt a fly. 

Not convinced yet?  How about the steroid allegations?  Sheffield admitted to using steroids, P2232711 Jenkins.jpgexcept that he says he did not know they were steroids.  How many times have we heard players say that now? 

Do you believe it?  Read the article here about Sheffield’s issues, and former relationship with Barry Bonds, and judge for yourself.  And even if the man is innocent, do the Phillies really need that kind of distraction in their clubhouse?  Again, I’d rather have 2 Jenkins than one Sheffield.

I do hope my rant has been a waste of time and that the Phillies do not go anywhere near the problem child, Sheffield.  But as in life and baseball, stranger things have happened.  Crossing my fingers and toes that this will NOT be the case here…

UPDATE:  The Phillies have contacted Sheffield’s agent.  UGH!  No word yet on what will happen next.

Also, in a day filled with weird news, the Phillies also just announced that Chan Ho Park has won the 5th starters spot!  JA Happ’s future is uncertain except that he, Gary Majewski, Jack Taschner and Bobby Mosebach will now compete for 2 bullpen spots.

 

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!