The Phillies wrapped up the series with the Blue Jays today and also ended interleague play for the year…finally! As usual, interleague play was not kind to the Phillies and most are happy it is over.
However, there were a few highlights, including JA Happ’s first career complete game shut-out yesterday. Happ allowed only 5 hits in the game and gave the bullpen a much needed rest. The Phillies offense found their bats after a spanking from manager Charlie Manuel in a closed door meeting, and the team racked up ten runs in the game for Happ. The very Happ-Y pitcher is now 5-0 on the season with a 3.00 ERA.
Today, the Phillies sent Jamie Moyer to the mound and he allowed 4 runs in 5 innings, including 3 home runs. After the 5th, Manuel decided to take advantage of his rested pen and sent Chan Ho Park in who pitched 2 scoreless, hitless innings. It is nice to see Park finally settling into his role and feeling good after getting hit with a batted ball two days ago.
With the Phillies up 5-4 in the 8th, Ryan Madson was set up to have an easy inning; he got the first out, Scott Rolen hit a single, but then a routine double play ball to Eric Bruntlett turned into a disaster. Bruntlett, filling in for Jimmy Rollins the last 3 days, dropped the ball leaving 2 runners on with only 1 out. Poor Madson was sweating by the time he got to the 3rd out, but he got there and Pedro Feliz snagged a pop-up to end the threat.
Brad Lidge came in to get the save and, as usual, it was an adventure. A bunt single, then a walk and hearts were racing again. But Lidge got a pop-out, another out on a run down and finally capped it off with Bruntlett snagging a grounder and tossing to Ryan Howard for the final out. Whew! Finally…a series win. Time to exhale…
Iron Pigs (AAA)
Yesterday, I attended an Iron Pigs game and saw Drew Carpenter pitch. Carpenter has been a highly touted player in the minors and he did pitch a shut-out through 8 innings. However, his fastball tops out at around 80mph (or at least it did last night). Solid pitcher, but I am not sure the Phillies need another Jamie Moyer in the rotation. Carlos Carassco and Kyle Drabek (AA) may still be possibilities to fill the hole left by Brett Myers. Going outside the organization to get an experienced arm would be much better, but there are still very few pitchers available. We shall see…
Mike Cervenak (photo) is doing very well after suffering a broken wrist last month; he was 2 for 5 in the game and is batting .313. Mike Spidale (OF) led the pack with 3 hits and is batting .353; and Lou Marson (C) has been doing better of late – he had 2 hits and 2 RBI last night.
Here is a PHOTO ALBUM from the Iron Pigs game, including shots from the fireworks show afterwards and even a 3-D fireworks shot! I held the camera up to the 3-D glasses and it actually worked…check it out!
The Phillies have the day off tomorrow to travel to Atlanta for a 3 game series before returning home on July 3rd to face the Mets. Joe Blanton will pitch on Tuesday; game time is 7:00pm.
Photos by Jenn
Every year, the Phillies struggle during interleague play and this year is proving to be no different. After getting walloped by the Jays in extra innings last night, it was more of the same again tonight.
Plus, it was wet, chilly, rainy and there was no offense anywhere to be found. Only the Jays fans had reason to stay awake. The rest of us were killing time with a Phillies-hangover.
Jamie Moyer struggled early and gave up three runs in the 1st inning, two of which came with no outs. 6 innings and 5 runs later, Chad Durbin took over and promptly gave up a 2-run homer. And the only Phillies offense in the game was a Jayson Werth home run. Hey, thanks Jayson…at least the poor folks sitting in the cold rain all night had a small moment to cheer.
One more shot at the Jays will come tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm. Joe Blanton gets the start and, we hope, the win…cross your fingers everyone!
Photo – http://www.gamespot.com
Can you say “nightmare”? Well, wake me when it is over…oh, wait a minute…you say it is over? Whew! Thank goodness, because I could not take this interleague play even one second longer! Posting the worst record for interleague play in all of baseball, the Phillies went 4-11 and have now lost their last 6 series since sweeping the Braves way back at the beginning of June. The only good news is that the next series is back in Atlanta where, hopefully, they can get comfortable again and back to their winning ways.
I honestly don’t know what to say about the last two games. Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer both pitched well, as expected. The offense decided to play for Cole, but not for Jamie. I thought for sure the pitcher the Phillies faced last night, who was younger and inexperienced was a guy they definitely should have hit. But again, they were impatient at the plate; they swung at bad pitches and then did not protect the plate with 2 strike counts. It’s like they were hitting backwards: Swinging like mad with 0-1 strikes at any old crap and then standing there looking stupid watching strike 3 sail on by. And how many times are these guys going to are argue balls and strikes with the home plate umpire? This gets you nowhere! If the pitch is close, especially with 2 strikes, you HAVE to swing. If you don’t like it, you try to foul it off…what else can you do? All this yapping is going to do nothing but get a lot of these players a bad rep with the umpires, and they will not be likely to see borderline calls go their way in the future. Just one of those things that irks me…
So, I guess the All-Star voting is almost done (ends 7/2, midnight). Here is your last chance to get your VOTE in there! Remember what I said a few weeks ago now…I taught my cat how to use the computer so he could vote in my absence, so NO excuses now! In fact, my cat Tony is so smart, he in turn showed his brother, Fuzz the cat, how to use the laptop and he is also assisting in the process. Fuzz prefers to wear his Phanatic slippers while voting, although sometimes they make typing difficult. Or, at least that is his excuse for why he keeps “accidentally” voting for players on the Tigers roster. It’s a feline thing I guess… Ok, so keep voting…we need Phillies at the All-Star game!!!!