Last night’s game against the Marlins was postponed due to rain. The rescheduled date has not been announced, but it may take place in September when the Fish return to Philly. So the Roy Halladay – Josh Johnson rematch will take place tonight instead; game time is 7:05pm.
Likely due to the recent offensive slump, many Phillies are falling out of the All-Star race. Chase Utley and Placido Polanco are still in first place at their positions, but others will need some extra help.
MLB is trying something new this year where you can “campaign” for your favorite players. I made a campaign for each of the Phillies on the ballot. You supposedly earn “points” every time someone votes for your player through a special link. Then you move up through the ranks from a volunteer to a coordinator to a manager, etc…
They are not giving prizes or anything other than the satisfaction of knowing you helped out. So, let’s think of this as an interesting experiment…click on one of the links and cast your votes. I will give periodic updates as to how many “points” we are accruing and see if it really makes a difference. Remember you can vote up to 25 times a day, per email address. Have fun!
The Phillies have reportedly agreed to terms with Philly-local and first round draft pick, left-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle. The specific terms have not been announced, but it is safe to say he will be in Phils farm system instead of going off to college.
Here are the rest of the draft results:
2nd round – RHP Perci Garner, Ball State
3rd round – Catcher Cameron Rupp, University of Texas
4th round – LHP Tennessee Volunteer Bryan Morgado
5th round – RHP Scott Frazier, Upland High School
The first inning of today’s Phillies – Padres match-up was a microcosm of the issues that have been plaguing the Phils since the middle of May. The offense started off with two hits, then they loaded the bases with one out and Jayson Werth hit a weak grounder into a double play to end the inning. Two batters before that, Chase Utley had popped out with 2 men on base.
Werth and Utley, previously two of the teams’ best hitters, are quickly becoming the poster-children for killing rallies. Phillies fans everywhere are losing patience waiting for the two sluggers to find their swings again. Fans used to look forward to seeing them bat. Now, all you can do is cringe when they step to the plate and begin counting the different ways they might kill an inning; will it be a double play? A pop-up? A strike-out? Or maybe the bat will spontaneously combust due to lack of use, rendering him helpless at the plate…the possibilities are endless.
Once again, the real victim of this disgusting and seemingly unending offensive slump is the starting pitcher.
Cole Hamels had a no-hitter working through 6 innings. He finally surrendered back-to-back homers in the 7th to end the streak, but with just those two runs allowed, Hamels more than did his job. It is just one more outstanding pitching performance gone to waste by the Phils offensive offense.
Eight full innings and just 3 hits later, Hamels found himself still without any assistance from his teammates. The pinch hitters failed again in the bottom of the 8th with both Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload going down in flames. Danys Baez pitched the 9th and put the Phillies in a deeper hole by giving up a homer to Adrian Gonzalez, his second of the night.
The Phillies tried to battle back in the bottom of the 9th; Placido Polanco singled, followed by another Utley out. Ryan Howard drove Polanco in but then Werth stepped to the plate and, as has been the trend, he struck out. The Phillies lose 1-3, but I suppose the good news is that at least it was not another shut-out.
Besides the huge disappointment today in the Phillies majors, the minor leagues reported one more bit if depressing news. The “big” prospect the Phillies got in the Cliff Lee trade, pitcher Phillipe Aumont, was demoted to single-A ball after sporting a 10.61 ERA in AA-ball. Remember back in Spring Training when the same guy gave up 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning in an exhibition game against a college team in his first Phillies action? And afterwards, he blamed it on the pressure of being traded for Cliff Lee? Oh yeah, that guy.
So, we get our first peek at how beneficial that trade really was. If Aumont cannot handle pressure, what good is he? And do you really think the Mariners were unaware of this when they sent him packing? I doubt it. Talent and potential are great, but I am pretty sure in the life-game of rock, paper, scissors, that mental toughness trumps both. But hey, Lee will be available again at the trade deadline this year; think the Mariners will take Aumont back? Ha, ha…I crack myself up ;o)
The draft took place tonight and the Phillies have selected a local; Jesse Biddle, a left-handed pitcher, from Philly. Best of luck to the young pitcher!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Happy Bunny by Jim Benton
Having blown six saves already this season amidst various complaints of a sore knee, Brad Lidge recently insisted that his knee troubles were in the past. However, he was placed on the 15-day DL today, which will be retroactive back to June 7th. Does this explain his 7.27 ERA? Maybe. But placing him on the DL may very well be a combination of the knee issue plus his bad performance. Perhaps the knee, which may well be feeling better, threw off his mechanics and now he needs time to straighten things out. Lidge was looking better his last few outings, but is still not the Lidge of last season.
Ryan Madson will take over the closers role in Lidge’s absence and a new face was added to the club to fill the hole. Paul Bako, 36, has been called up from AA. Bako is a catcher who hit .357 in 10 games so far this year with the R-Phils. One can only assume he will be used as an additional bat off the bench, as we do not need two 30-something year old catchers (Coste), plus a starter (Ruiz). This still seems an odd choice though, as Bako bats lefty. I would love to look into my crystal ball to see what the Phillies are thinking here. Then again, if I could read minds, I would be making a lot more money ;O)
The draft is upon us and word has it that the Phillies will take a high school prospect for their first pick (75th overall). They had a first round pick, but that went to the Mariners in the Raul Ibanez deal. We are all fine with that though, I assume :O) The draft kicks off at 6pm.
Yes, it is back. The Mets voodoo is ON! J-Roll Smurf and friends have prepared the hex for this 3-game series which kicks off tonight at 7:10pm. Power of the mind, people – get out your pins and take a stab to help out J-Roll Smurf!
Photo by Jenn