Tagged: Eric Bruntlett

Team USA Beats The Phillies

Watching Team USA with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino playing against the Phillies was strange, to put it mildly.  Although, who to root for was easy – both!  Yet, the sight of Victorino sliding into base with a Phillies glove coming at him did feel wrong somehow; but even more confusing was watching Victorino and Rollins team up with rival New York Met, David Wright, Atlanta Brave, Chipper Jones and Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia.  Here are 4 of them celebrating after a Jones homer run plus, Victorino sliding into second and Rollins letting everyone know that he is working hard:

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Victorino and Rollins each had one hit for Team USA today and minor league Phillie, Joe Bisenius pitched for Team USA, giving up 1 run on three hits in his one inning of work.  Also for Team USA, Derek Jeter went hitless in his 6 innings, but showed off defensively, as usual.  Chipper Jones and Red, Adam Dunn led the charge against the Phillies, collecting 3 RBI a piece.  Below, see Jeter make a great leaping throw; Mike Cervenak slides into second trying to break up a double play, forcing Pedroia to jump over him; and J-Roll swings and misses:

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On the Phillies side, Eric Bruntlett and Cervenak each earned an RBI and Jason Donald woke from his slumber, hitting a solo homer in the 6th.  Catcher Lou Marson was the only Phillie with a multi-hit game, going 2 for 4.  The big score came from Ryan Howard, who knocked a 3 run homer in the 5th.  However, Howard had a very strange day.  In the first inning, Howard dropped a routine feed from Donald, allowing the runner to reach base.  Then, in the third inning, he got whacked in the helmet with a pitch, but appeared to be fine.  Later, Howard dropped a routine pop-up off the bat of Victorino and then also dropped a pick-off toss to first as Victorino slid back in safely, although, that looked to be a bad throw by Kyle Kendrick.  Here are a few photos of the events at hand; note where the ball is in the top 2 photos; the bottom photo is the home run shot:

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Aside from Howard’s fumbles, the big story of the day appears to be Kyle Kendrick who did not look good.  In 2 2/3 innings, he surrendered 5 hits and 4 runs, including the 3 run shot by Jones, which, by the way, I called as it happened.  As shaky as Kendrick was and seeing he could not keep the ball down or his emotions in check, once Chipped stepped to the plate, I told my neighbor what was about to happen and, wham!  3-run home run.  Kendrick has a lot of work to do if he is going to compete for the 5th starters’ position. 

Equally unimpressive was the outing of Antonio Bastardo, who gave up 5 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks.  Regulars Clay Condrey and Ryan Madson got some work in also and each looked ok, although Madson did walk 2.  In the end, the Phillies went down by a score of 9-6.

And now for the Photo of the Day – Team USA united!P3056461.JPG

The Phillies have both an A and a B game tomorrow against the Blue Jays; the B game is at 2pm at Bright House field and the A game is in Dunedin at 7pm.  Sadly, my time in Florida has come to a close and I will be hopping a plane back to the deep freeze of the Philadelphia area tomorrow.  I will continue my coverage from home, although be terribly depressed about it :O(  I know, I know…poor me.  Hee!  It was fun while it lasted!

 

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Phillies Power Past The Jays

The Phillies powered past the Blue Jays in Dunedin today by a score of 12-7.  Ryan Howard provided some pop with a 2 run homer in the 6th inning and rookie Jeremy Slayden added a home run of his own while going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI.  Raul Ibanez and Eric Bruntlett also collected 2 RBI a piece.  Photos:  Charlie Manuel slaps hands with the fans; Bruntlett makes a running grab;  Ibanez gets a hit:

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The Pitching Duel

Carlos Carrasco and JA Happ continued the battle for the 5th starter position today; advantage: Happ.  Happ went 3 innings with 3 hits and 2 runs surrendered.  Carrasco, on the other hand, struggled in the 5th inning, ultimately giving up 5 runs on 3 hits, 2 of which were homers.  Only 3 of the runs were earned due to an error on a dropped fly ball by Bruntlett.  Overall, Happ had better control and poise on the mound, where Carrasco’s inexperience showed a bit.  Still, Happ needs to work on keeping the ball down.  Also pitching today, former Cincinnati Red, Gary Majewski who made it through 2 scoreless innings.

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More Highlights

Ibanez and Howard celebrate after Howard’s 2-run shot; Miguel Cairo makes an amazing play on a short grounder; Ibanez demonstrates his lack of grace while sliding into home:

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Wildlife Meets Baseball:

Left:  This sunbather clearly did not get the memo about the 55 degree temperatures in Western Florida today.  Bottom Left:  This behind belongs to a man who proposed to his girlfriend during the game.  He did not own a pair of non-holey jeans for this special occasion?  Right:  Baseball lights put to good use: Birds make a home in Dunedin Stadium.030209c.jpg

And that brings us to the Photo of the Day:  I did mention the Phillies won by a score of 12-7, right?  The Blue Jays staff, apparently, thought wishing makes it so; check out the run total column.  Is that 2 runs for the Phils, or possibly 12?  Hmmmmm…

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The Phillies are OFF tomorrow!  Next game, Wednesday, 1:05pm against Team Canada at Bright House field.  Cole Hamels is scheduled to start.  See you there!

 

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As The Weather Turns

The Phillies took on the Atlanta Braves today in Orlando and won, 7-3.  As for me, I was taking the day off from baseball and the crappy weather today…not to mention skipping the 2 hour drive to Orlando.  Instead of sitting in the rain, I decided to go scuba diving with sharks and other critters at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  In the video, you will see a lady behind me with a big stick shooing the sharks away as they got too close.  The other guy is the dive master – his job was to rescue me should something try to make dinner out of me :O)  Happy to say, I still have all my fingers and toes.  There were reef sharks, white tips, sand sharks, nurse sharks and others…check it out:

So while I was off tempting fate, the Phillies were braving the nasty weather.  It was cold, windy and rainy today, yet the Fightin’s prevailed.  Marcus Giles stole the show with 2 hits, 2 steals and 1 RBI; Eric Bruntlett collected 2 hits as well and swiped one bag. 

The real fun though was the battle for the 5th starter position which continued today when Chan Ho Park took the mound for 3 innings.  Park gave up 4 hits and a solo homer, leaving with a 3.0 ERA and he got the win.  Tomorrow both JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco will get their next turn at making a good impression. 

A few injuries on the home front:  Jayson Werth has not played yet in Spring Training due to what he says was a slow start after a less than productive off-season.  Is that a nice way of saying he sat on his butt and ate Ben & Jerry’s for 3 months?  Hmmm…  Werth is scheduled to start tomorrow; we will see how it goes.  I’ll be on the lookout for love handles :O)  Brad Lidge and Chad Durbin are also in a holding pattern; Lidge has a sore shoulder and Durbin has a sore right hamstring.  I am guessing this is baseball related, not ice cream related.  Then again, fill up that spoon and lift…it can be quite tasking.

See you in Dunedin tomorrow; game time 1:05pm vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

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Spring Training Games Begin In Controversy

Today’s first Spring Training game got off to a rather odd start; while the players were stretching on the field before the game, suddenly, almost all of the Phillies broke out in applause, mid-stretch.  Everyone looked around to see what the fuss was about and then noticed Jimmy Rollins running on to the field – late.  The applause was to congratulate J-Roll on actually showing up.  He was in such a rush to get onto the field, he had forgotten to remove the bling from his ears; realizing this, J-Roll removed the earrings and stuffed them in his pocket.  Rollins began to stretch and Charlie Manuel strode over to confront Rollins.  J-Roll pointed to the nearby highway and tried to explain his tardiness.  Manuel, looking less than pleased, must have been having bad flashbacks to last season when Rollins was benched for being  late.  After Manuel finished scolding Rollins, Ryan Howard attempted to comfort his buddy:

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Rollins was not benched after the incident, but there may be fall-out later for him to deal with.  I will keep you posted.  And on to the game:

The Good

– Jamie Moyer continues to age in reverse; he pitched 2 strong, scoreless innings and chased after a foul ball like an 11 year-old kid on the playground, which brought cheers from the crowd.

Raul Ibanez got his first pre-season hit as a Phillie.

Mike Koplove pitched well; could he be a piece to the bullpen?  That remains to be seen.

The Bad

Minor league pitcher Joe Bisenius was all over the strike zone; his wildness cost the Phillies 4 runs in one inning and led to the 8-2 loss; Scott Nestor was no better, allowing 3 runs in one inning.  It does not look like either pitcher will be seeing time in the majors in the near future.

The Ugly

The first two innings for the Phillies batters seemed to echo ghosts of dysfunctional innings of the past; It began with J-Roll popping out, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard striking out and Eric Bruntlett hitting into a double play with one out and the bases loaded.

Below, you will see Moyer pitching, Howard striking out and JJ Furmaniak trying to pick off a runner:

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The Weird

Birds!  Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, birds swarmed the Pirates stadium, with many of them hanging out in the outfield during the game.  Greg Dobbs nearly lost his head:P2253560.JPG

Poor guy.  Happy to report, aside from the possibly birdy bomb, no one was seriously injured.  Tomorrow the Phillies take on the Blue Jays for the first home game of Spring Training.  Game time is 1:05pm.

 

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Tales From The Strange Side…

Pajama Party

The highlight of today’s final Spring Training practice came when the players dressed in front of the crowd.  Each fielder donned a black or blue pair of Slip-N-Slide-type nylon pants and tossed their cleats aside, wandering about in only their red socks.  It looked like they were all wearing footy pajamas and having a sleep-over.  Here is a look featuring Eric Bruntlett pulling up his pants:

The outfits, as it turns out, were part of a base sliding drill.  Interesting as it was to see them sliding around, the socks and baggy pants were the real entertainment.

Utley’s Rehab

Prior to the sliding drill, players worked with Davey Lopes on base running techniques, running from home to 3rd, 1st to 2nd, 1st to 3rd, etc…  Chase Utley participated in the runs at full speed and looked very comfortable.  He is turning corners without hesitation, running through the bases and seems to have gotten most of his flexibility back.  Good news for Phillies fans!

Photo Highlights

Utley and the rest if the group were in high spirits again; here are a few highlights from the day during batting practice and fielding with Utley, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard:

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And a few shots of the pitchers; Chan Ho Park, Chad Durbin and Brett Myers, who appears to be measuring something??  You decide:

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A Tall Tale?

Speaking of Utley, I received some information today from a fellow fan about the “World F*@ Champions” debacle after the World Series parade.  Keep in mind that this is third party information and not confirmed; according to fan accounts, Pat Burrell has been sharing his Parade tale while at Rays camp with anyone who cares to listen.  Rumor has it, Pat told fans that prior to the Parade speeches, Utley asked him if he thought he should let the F-Bomb fly or not.  Utley was under the impression that it would not be live TV and tried to confirm that through Burrell.  Burrell claimed ignorance, and the fun ensued.  If you watch the tape back, you will see that right before Utley blurted out the cuss word, it appears that he turned and looked directly at Pat Burrell.  True or not, I cannot be positive; but either way, an interesting story.  Utley is the only one who really knows what happened.  I do still think it was very funny, whether planned or not :O)  Anyway, this one will get filed with the myth of the Chupacabra for now – no one knows for sure if it really existed ;O)

 

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Spring Training Practices Winding Down


P2232834.JPGSo far, the mood in Phillies practice has been very upbeat.  Shane Victorino was all smiles as he tossed balls to children in the crowd earlier today.  Cole Hamels returned to the team, having taken care of his “personal issues” and spirits were high.  There are a few story lines causing some stress among the natives , including the battle for the 5th starting position.  Kyle Kendrick threw a good session today and Scott Eyre helped him keep the mood light.  Either that, or Eyre has mistaken Kendrick for a cute little baby…

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Other developing story lines include the competition among the rookies trying to make the team. 
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Jason Donald, who may replace Chase Utley if he has a setback and is not ready to go for Opening Day, is keeping pace with the big boys.  Lou Marson, understanding the team is heavy on catchers, keeps up his hard work in the hopes that he makes an impression for future call-ups.  And Mike Cervanek , who made his major league debut last year after 10 years in the minors and independent leagues, has been hustling to get some attention.  Cervenak could be the right-handed bat the Phillies need, plus he is able to play 3rd, 2nd and 1st bases.  Having been a member of the World Series squad, the coaches already know Cervenak, but this will be a case of perseverance on his part to make the team.

P2232753.JPGWith so many good looking men wandering about the practice fields, it makes you wonder where a few of these guys are getting their hair style advice.  Women do seem to love the beard, but Eric Bruntlett may want to consider a trim.  It’s hair gone wild!  And then in the plain “hair has gone away” category, new Phillie Raul Ibanez may want to consider a new look.  Here are a few for him to “try on.”

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Only one day left of practice before the games begin on Wednesday; the Phillies will take on the Pirates in Bradenton, FL for the Spring Training opener at 1:05pm.  Stay tuned for game coverage!

And on to the Photo of the Day…it’s an unusually chipper Mike Schmidt:
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Spring Training Fan Fest

The Phillies held their annual Fan Fest tonight in Clearwater, FL at Bright House Field.  There was a silent auction, photos with the World Series trophy, game used jersey’s for sale, autographs, a moon bounce and, of course, the Phanatic.  Sorry to report that I missed out on the moon bounce, but I think I can live with that.  I did get autographs from the following Phillies, pictured below from top to bottom, left to right:  Joe Blanton, Eric Bruntlett, Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs.

Clay Condrey wandered though the crowd for a minute before the signings…I stopped him and yelled out for him to give me a high five.  He stopped, turned and yelled back, “I gotcha right here!” and slapped me five.  He is a funny guy.  I also spoke to Scott Nickle (Phillies marketing) for a while; he remembered me from the cruise and stopped me to talk.  He is going to try to plan another Phillies Cruise for next year :O)

At the end of the night, the Phillies planned a fireworks display; Brett Myers and Ryan Madson, who were not scheduled to appear, showed up with their families to see the show, along with Chad Durbin’s wife and child.  Here are some shots of the guys on the field playing with the kids.  I love the one of Madson tossing his kid into the air!
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We all watched the fireworks and headed out.  I’ll be attending practices over the next few days and will report back on that soon!

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