Tagged: Iron Pigs

Phils Pummel Padres

In the make-up game tonight against the Padres, the Phillies brought out the big guns.  Both Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz each had 3 hits and 1 RBI a piece.  P4170305.jpgEvery other position starter had at least one hit with Raul Ibanez collecting 2 RBI and Jimmy Rollins with 2 hits, 2 runs scored and 1 RBI.

Cole Hamels was not spectacular, but he did put in a quality start.  Hamels got through 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.  Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone for Hamels to get back to his MVP form.  The Phillies won the game, 9-4 and will start a 3-game series tomorrow with the Cardinals.

Helmet Saves A Life

Many coaches, including ex-Phillies manager Larry Bowa, have grumbled over having to wear batting helmets while on the field coaching 1st or 3rd base during a game.  This action was taken when minor league coach, Mike Coolbaugh, was killed after being struck in the head with a foul ball in July of 2007.  Well tonight, the rule saved a life.  Padres 1st base coach, Rick Renteria, was hit directly in the helmet with a hard line drive off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez.  The crowd gasped as Renteria hit the ground, but thanks to the helmet, he was fine and went right on coaching.  Whew!  A very tense moment, to say the least.

Injuries

Both JC Romero and Chad Durbin, big pieces of the Phillies bullpen, were placed on the 15-day DL today.  Romero is having a minor forearm strain and should be quick to return.  Durbin, on the other hand, has apparently been suffering from a back injury for a month now and neglected to tell anyone.  But after giving up 3 runs in a game last night which killed any shot the team had at a rally, Durbin finally fessed up.  Ugh.

So, Tyler Walker returns from the Iron Pigs to fill one of the spots and Drew Carpenter gets the second spot.  It is Carpenter’s 2nd stop to the team this year and his 3rd trip to the majors overall.

Perfection

And congrats to Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox who threw a perfect game today against the Tampa Bay Rays!  And then, Buehrle got a congratulatory call from President Obama.  And then, I mentioned him in MY blog!  What a lucky, lucky guy :O)

Photo by Jenn

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Will The Real Cole Hamels Please Stand Up?

Where has the NLCS and the World Series MVP gone?  Certainly, he is not the same pitcher who is currently 4-5 with a 4.98 ERA?  Oh heck, make it an even 5.00.  And tonight, his problems were more magnified than ever; Cole Hamels pitched only 4+ innings and allowed 7 earned runs as the Phillies went down 1-11.  Seven runs against an Atlanta team that everyone said had NO offense; well, I guess they were just waiting for the Phillies to come to town.Hamels 0709.jpg

But what is the problem with Hamels?  First, he is leaving way too many pitches up in the zone.  This is not his typical style, but suddenly, it has become a real issue.  Second, he is pitching frustrated.  In recent days, the previously cool and confident Hamels has become a whiny crybaby with the umpires and has a general look of dissatisfaction on his face all the time.  But why?  For a guy who has had this much success at a young age, he has no reason to pout…with the exception maybe of his last several outings.  He was the 2008 World Series MVP…he bought a brand new luxury condo in Philly…his wife is expecting their first child…everyone worships him.  So, what is the issue?  Where did the smile go?

Then again, this entire team has seemingly lost their Mojo over the past month.  Just ask Jimmy Rollins; in fact, the only guy who’s Mojo appears untouchable is Chase Utley who is still batting .301 despite his team’s struggles.  And where has Ryan Howard’s big bat disappeared to?  He has not hit a home run since June 20th (that is 32 at-bats) and is hitting .240 overall this past month.  The most feared offensive team in the league has turned into a welcome relief to opposing pitchers who are now anxious to mow the Phillies down.

This is where Charlie Manuel’s short comings will come to light.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Charlie.  He has been the manager that this team has needed and he performed THE miracle by bringing the World Series Championship home.  And Charlie is a super nice guy; but that is exactly the issue.  He is too nice sometimes.  Sorry Charlie, but it is time to start banging heads together in that clubhouse.  The “nice” approach worked for two games, and now, they are right back in a funk. 

Not only that, but he should manage without worrying about making everyone happy.  When asked why he started Paul Bako at catcher tonight, a career bench guy, Manuel said he felt that because Bako was there with the team, he needed to play sometime.  I hate to disagree, but as the manager, Manuel does not owe anyone anything.  It is not Manuel’s job to soothe ego’s; it is his job to win games.  And no offense to Bako, but he is hardly the spark plug this team needs right now.  Forget about getting guys their playing time; play the guys who will produce.  And if Rollins cannot hit, move him down in the line-up.  There is no sense in him getting 5 at-bats a game when other players are hitting better.  No one cares how unhappy it makes Rollins, and neither should Charlie.  Get him out of the funk, then move him back.  Jimmy should be willing to do what is best for the team, and he knows that.  A little tough love is in order here.  The rest of the NL East is creeping right up on top of the Phillies and they will be out of first place this week if nothing changes.

The New Starter?

Rodrigo Lopez will, at least for now, occupy the hole left in the line-up by Brett Myers who is down for the season after hip surgery.  Lopez pitched for the Rockies in 2007, then had Tommy-John surgery.  Coming back from his injury, he signed a minor league deal with the Phils in March and has gone 5-4 with a 3.91 ERA in 13 starts this season with the AAA Iron Pigs.

Most expected to see Carlos Carassco in this spot, but that is not the way it will pan out.  However, this move may be a sign that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has a trade in the works and did not want to bring up a young gun for a spot start.  If you are going to bring in a guy like Carassco, you are probably thinking that he will be in long term.  Since they did not do that, it leads me to think there may be something cooking.  Let us hope so…

Last Day To Vote

One day left; please keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars.  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET tomorrow, Thursday, July 2, 2009.

Hamels Photos by Jenn

Eminem by http://graphicshunt.com

 

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

 

Phinally – A Series Win

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.

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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)

Pigs (28).jpgYesterday, 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!

Up Next

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.

VOTE

The clock is ticking…please keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, July 2, 2009.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

A Lot Of K’s And A “Foul” Ball


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There was so little contact with the ball in last night’s Phillies-Red Sox match-up, that for most of the game, the fielders looked like this:

The Phillies pitchers struck out 14 batters and the Sox struck out 20 batters.  Phillies starter Joe Blanton had a great game, giving up just 2 solo homers in 7 innings.  But Jon Lester of the Sox out-pitched him by 1 run.  It was a classic pitcher’s duel, but left many fans at the park were left wondering if they should have brought their pillows.

The greatest excitement for most of the game was watching the emotional JC Romero pitch against the team that let him go in 2007 (thank you, Sox!).  In his usual style, Romero was all over the zone, but effective.  He pitched part of the 8th and the entire 9th while allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk.  JC, we are SO happy to have you back!

Phillies fans were woken from their slumber though in the bottom of the 9th when Ryan Howard hit a solo home run to tie the game at 2-2.  Extra innings followed, for the 3rd game in a row, but the Phillies were robbed of the win from the umpire (in my opinion anyway). 

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Greg Dobbs
hit what should have been a 2-run homer that was called a foul ball in the 11th inning.  Jim Joyce, who called it foul, refused to check the replay after manager Charlie Manuel requested it.  Tell me why then do we have Instant Replay?  Wasn’t the entire purpose to check on game changing calls? 

Look at the photo to the right; I freeze framed the video right as the ball passes the pole.  If the pole were taller, the ball would have hit it.  Therefore, it is a fair ball – game over.  But either Joyce is a Red Sox fan or he just likes staying up all night into extra innings.  At the very least, he should have reviewed it.  If he did so and still called it foul, fine.  I can live with that.  But the fact that he just flat out refused?  Unacceptable.

But as we all know, umpires can screw with games as often as they like and suffer no consequences.  So, on to the 12th inning they went…

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Kyle Kendrick
was recalled from the minors today after Scott Eyre was placed on the 15-day DL before the game with a calf strain.  This is a big shot to the Phillies bullpen.  Eyre has been great this year with a 2.57 ERA in 25 games.  And Kendrick trying to replace him, clearly was not up to the challenge.  He did fine in the 12th but then allowed 3 runs to the Sox in the 13th, losing the game for the Phillies.

So despite the amazing pitching (except Kendrick), and the 2-run homer that was called foul from Dobbs, the Phillies went down 5-2 in this first game of three.  I am getting ready to go to the game tonight and will be packing an extra set of glasses for Mr. Joyce.  Oh, and if I could somehow impart some common sense and decency onto him, I would gladly do that as well.

In the meantime, keep VOTING for our Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Kitty – funnyanimalphotos.com

Kendrick – Jenn

Foul or Fair? – mlb.com

 

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.

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Utley photo: Phillies.com

Meet Antonio Bastardo

Everyone loves to see young guys get a break and make it to the Majors; but the journey for Antonio Bastardo, 23, begins with a season-ending injury to the Phillies #2 starting pitcher, Brett Myers.  Antonio Bastardo JZD.jpgMyers will have hip surgery and Bastardo will have some very big shoes to fill.  Is he up to the challenge?

Bastardo was signed by the Phillies after he was not drafted in 2007.  With a 9-0 record and 1.87 ERA at the Lakewood Blue Claws that year, Bastardo was moved to Clearwater to start 2008.  Impressive again, Bastardo pitched his way to the Reading Phillies after a 2-0 record and 1.17 ERA with the Threshers.  In 2009, Bastardo earned a spot in the Phillies Spring Training camp where he continued to work on his pitches.  Ultimately, he ended up with Reading Phillies (AA) where his 2-2 record and 1.82 ERA earned him a promotion to the Iron Pigs (AAA).

After only 2 games with the Pigs, Bastardo now finds himself readying to face big league hitters.  Whether the youngster will show off his stuff or crack under the pressure is yet to be determined.  What we do know is that the Phillies need an arm to fill the void left by Myers and if Bastardo does not work out, the Phils may find themselves in a heap of trouble.  Or maybe he will be a surprise like Kyle Kendrick was in 2007.  Bastardo gets his first start on Tuesday in San Diego against Jake Peavy and the Padres.  Best of luck to him!

Just For Fun

I shot some video before yesterday’s game of Jayson Werth warming up in the Phillies batting cages; the footage is possibly a bit…interesting?  For lack of a better word anyway; but hey, I did not go down there and make him show off his belly…although if requested, I am happy to oblige ;O)

 

Race Weekend

And also just for entertainment’s sake, I thought I would share with you the hell that is NASCAR race weekend in Dover.  The Monster Mile attracts thousands of fans from all over the country and literally shuts down the town for 3 days.  You cannot go to the Mall, the grocery store or pretty much anywhere.  All businesses rent out their parking lots exclusively for the race fans cars, trailers and campers and local residents are trapped inside their houses for the weekend.  If you live in the neighborhood, you even have to show ID to get to your own house!  Here is just a sampling of what I had to drive through to get to the Phillies game yesterday:

I just keep telling myself, it is good for the economy and only happens two times a year.  Now if I could just avoid the toxic fumes, engines noises, beer can-strewn roads and drunk folks wandering about aimlessly…  Hmmmm…maybe next time ;O)

And in case you missed it yesterday, here is the Photo Album from the Phillies sweep of the Nats and historic win #250 for Jamie Moyer!

Photos & videos 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! 

WALK-Off Win

P4211429 Ibanez.jpgLiterally.  Manager Charlie Manuel decided to shake up the line-up today, moving lead-off hitter Jimmy Rollins to the six hole.  Shane Victorino led off and Raul Ibanez slid into the 2 hole.  The move paid off, as Victorino led off the game with a triple and hit a double his next time up.  Ibanez nailed a solo homer in the 6th inning to tie the game up 5-5.  And then in the 10th inning, Victorino stepped up to the plate again with 2 outs and the bases loaded and drew the walk!  Literally, a walk-off win for the Phillies.

Jamie Moyer started the game and pitched well until the 6th inning when he surrendered back to back homers to the Mets.  Scott Eyre, coming in to relieve him with 2 outs, allowed another run in the inning (charged to Moyer) and failed to get the final out.  P4191052 Condrey.jpg

Clay Condrey got the Phillies out of the inning, but the damage was done.  Condrey has been great so far this season and currently has a 1.26 ERA which leads the team.  Brad Lidge made a 1 inning appearance today in the 9th, coming back after a right knee injury, and he got through it without allowing a run.  Sadly, the Phillies did not score in the bottom of the 9th, forcing the game into extra innings.

Pitcher Jack Taschner got into trouble in the 10th, but Pedro Feliz started an around the horn double play to end the inning and prevent the runner on 3rd from scoring.  Whew!  That allowed the Phillies to load up the bases in the bottom of the 10th for Victorino who walked in the winning run.

Carlos Ruiz was back today from his rehab assignment after a strained oblique.  Ruiz was 0 for 2 in the game, but did draw 2 walks.  Lou Marson was sent back to the Iron Pigs where he will get a chance to play every day and continue to improve his already impressive skills.

In other injury news, Cole Hamels will most likely not be ready to start on Monday.  His bullpen session was moved back 1 day to today and afterwards, he reported some discomfort in his ankle.  JA Happ seems to be the probable candidate to start in his spot and this also likely keeps Chan Ho Park in the rotation with the Phillies being short an arm.  Not good news for the Phils; the starters will all have to pick up the slack.

The final game of the Mets series will start tomorrow at 1:35pm.  Joe Blanton will take the mound and we hope, start a good run for our starting pitching which has been very, very shaky.  The Phillies need this game to win the series.

And again, don’t forget to VOTE your Phillies into the All-Star game!  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!