Tagged: Jack Taschner

J-Roll Returns; Pirates Walk The Plank

Blowout wins are fun, although the Pirates were certainly not singing Yo-ho-ho in celebration after they lost 12-2 to the Phillies.  Rather, they were probably cursing the Phillies as scallywags who buried them in Davey Jones’ Locker, deep at the bottom of the sea. 
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The swashbucklin’ good time for the Phillies was made even sweeter by the return of Jimmy Rollins

Ok, I am done with the Pirate references…for now ;o)  So, J-Roll is back off the disabled list, having removed his peg-leg and replaced it with a shiny new athletic one (sorry, could not help myself).  He wasted no time getting back in the swing of things with a sacrifice for an RBI in his first at bat.  Rollins finished the game with two hits and a walk, including a double where he showed off his speed around the bases.

Rollins batted 3rd in place of the ill Chase Utley who stayed home with flu-like symptoms; or, maybe it was “scurvy?”  Nahhh…  Anyway, Shane Victorino stayed in the lead-off spot, but this will probably change once Rollins is at full-speed.

The Phillies offense hijacked runs from the Pirates left and right.  Jayson Werth smacked a 3-run homer in the 3rd inning and ended the game with 4 RBI on 2 hits.  The main thief of the night was Ryan Howard who had 6 RBI on 3 hits, including his 9th career Grand Slam.  By the time that happened in the 8th inning, Howard was basically just adding insult to injury and off a former Phillie, no less.  Poor Jack Taschner was tagged for 4 hits and those 4 runs in less than 2 innings.

Kyle Kendrick started the game, but his solid outing was overshadowed by the offensive brutality.  Kendrick pitched 8 innings, a career high, and allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits with 12 ground ball outs, showing the effectiveness of his slider.  Antonio Bastardo, still a very young lefty, showed flashes of brilliance in the 9th inning with 2 very convincing strike-outs and a pop-up to end the game.  He made the Pirates look lily-livered at the plate.

The Phillies have one more game with the Bucos tonight at 7:05pm, if the rain holds off enough to get the game in.  Roy Halladay will pitch on Roy Halladay bobblehead night!  So, the rain had better behave at least long enough for me to get my new toy and see some fine Halladay pitching.  Wish me luck!  I’ll see you there…

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Series Win Gives Phillies 8 Game Lead

With a 3-2 victory over the Braves last night to win the series 2 game to 1, the Phillies will have an 8-game lead in the NL East over both the Braves and the Marlins going into September.  Joe Blanton pitched another beautiful game and got through 7 innings of one run ball; the only run came off a solo homer from Martin Prado in the first inning.  Blanton looked a bit shaky through those first few innings, but settled in well and only gave up 3 hits.

 

And for the 2nd night in a row, Chase Utley went yard; his solo shot to right field in the 4th was the only run for the Phillies until Carlos Ruiz stepped up in the 7th.  In honor of the Ruiz backpack night, a giveaway for kids 14 and under, Ruiz smacked a double to left to score Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz.  Ruiz went 3 for 3 on the night; it was his 5th 3-hit game of the year.  Maybe the Phillies should give away a Ruiz bobble head next?


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In the not-so-great offensive category, the Phillies are still struggling with runners in scoring position.  They left 14 men on base and again, had the bases loaded with no outs and failed to score.  Blanton hit a line-drive to first base and Ruiz was double off after the catch.  Jimmy Rollins then hit a weak grounder to end the inning.  The offensive outage is concerning, but thanks to great pitching, they came out on top.

 

Defense was a big part of the win as well.  Ryan Madson, who is entering Brad Lidge-bad territory, got into a huge jam in the 8th inning again.  He hit the first batter he faced and then gave up back-to-back singles which scored a run for the Braves.  Without recording an out, he was removed from the game and Scott Eyre took over. 

 

Brain McCann then hit a sharp grounder to Utley, who fielded it perfectly and flipped to Rollins who threw to Feliz at third; Feliz tagged Chipper Jones for the unusual 4-6-5 double play.  Having eliminated the lead runner, Eyre saved the Phillies from disaster and gave Lidge a 3-2 lead to work with.  Amazingly, Lidge nailed down the save with relative ease; it was his second save in a row.  Whew!


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By the way, did anyone see the actor, Paul Rudd (movies: “I Love You, Man”; “Anchorman”; “Knocked Up”), sitting in the 10th row behind home plate last night? He was just a few sections over from me so I took a few photos.  The woman next to him (right side, dark brown hair) is none other than Jen Utley, Chase’s wife.


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A very welcome off-day is upon us as the Phillies offense needs to rest and charge up for the September charge.  Watch for September call-up’s which may include pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Jack Taschner and Rodrigo Lopez; infielders Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy; outfielders John Mayberry Jr. and Jason Ellison; and we will likely see a catcher added – maybe Paul Hoover.  Those are my guesses anyway.

 

A lot of moves will be made as the Phillies are also anticipating the return of Brett Myers, JC Romero and Clay Condrey to the bullpen plus Greg Dobbs.  All four have been on the DL and are very close to coming back.

 

And finally, here is the complete Photo Album from last night’s Phillies – Braves game.  Tomorrow, the San Francisco Giants come to town for 3 games and some serious pitching battles will ensue.  You may remember the Phillies were stomped in San Fran back in July, losing 3 out of 4 games.  The Giants are tied for a wildcard spot right now so this will be a very tough match match-up.  Cole Hamels starts it off tomorrow at 7:05pm.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

 

The Black Cloud

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Yesterday, the Blue Jays became a plague of locusts, nibbling away at the Phillies one by one.  Tonight, the black cloud remained over Citizens Bank Park as the Baltimore Orioles strolled into town and picked up where the Jays left off.  Will the curse of interleague play ever end?  Not soon enough; definitely not soon enough.

Last year, the Phillies won 3 games in interleague play.  So far this year?  3 games.  Fans have been left wondering if a curse has been placed upon the Phillies.  Despite a decent performance from rookie pitcher, Antonio Bastardo, the Phillies could not muster a win.  Bastardo allowed 4 runs in 7 innings, but at least one of those runs was not his fault.  John Mayberry Jr., a rookie playing for the injured Raul Ibanez, missed a ball in left field that should have been caught which scored the 4th run. 

But Mayberry had an ok day at the plate, going 2 for 4, so that made up a bit for the defense.  The rest of the offense though did little to help Mayberry out in his quest to get on base.  Jayson Werth had two hits, but any other form of production was few and far between.  In fact, there were only 2 other hits and 5 walks from the Phillies offense in the entire game.

Jack Taschner pitched the 8th and 9th and gave the O’s a little more cushion when he allowed a solo homer in the 9th.  And that was followed by 2 more runs on a couple of singles with 2 outs in the inning.  When it rains, it pours.  And so the Phillies continue to circle the drain, losing this one by a score of 7-2.

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Is this team doomed to fail in interleague play or is this run of 6 losses in 7 games simply the darkness before the dawn?  I hope the sun comes out soon…real soon.

Well, if you are still in the mood, go ahead and VOTE for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address.  Let’s get these guys to St. Louis to provide just a small ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark and dreary day.

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

The Interleague Nightmare Continues…

Friday night’s loss after an irresponsible decision by an umpire not to review a home run that was called foul was magnified last night as the Phillies dropped the 2nd game in the series to the Red Sox.  It began to pour as the game began and rookie pitcher, Antonio Bastardo, did not fare well in the rain.  Then again, the defense did little to help him.  The Phillies have had the best defense in baseball thus far, but last night committed 3 errors in the 1st inning.  Between that and the pitching, they were buried in a 5 run deficit after one inning going into a rain delay.061309a.jpg

95 minutes later, play resumed and Chad Durbin took the mound, pitching 3 scoreless innings.  The Phillies offense got the team back in the game, scoring 4 runs.  Chase Utley and Shane Victorino doubled to get 1 in the 3rd and then Raul Ibanez did his usual, knocking a solo shot over the right field wall in the 4th.   Jayson Werth singled next and Pedro Feliz hit a home run behind him to make the score 4-5; it was Feliz’s first home run in 40 games.

But the offensive outburst went for naught as reliever Jack Tashner (or Trashner?) took the mound and quickly gave up 3 more runs to the Sox in one inning.  Rookie Sergio Escalona, who was called up again after Kyle Kendrick was sent back to the minors, pitched 2 innings; Escalona did great in the 6th, but in the 7th got wild and allowed 2 more runs to score.  However, he did nail Phillie-hater, JD Drew very near the head with a pitch, so for that, Phillies fans everywhere thank him ;O) (FYI – this is a JOKE; I do not agree with anyone getting hit…in case that was unclear)

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Werth did hit a solo homer in the 7th, but that would do it for the offense.  The Phillies went down 11-6 in what took 5 hours and 16 minutes with the rain delay.  After 3 games in a row with extra innings, then this delayed game, we can only hope the Phillies can muster the energy today to face Josh Beckett and maybe sneak away with 1 win in the series.  JA Happ will pitch for the Phillies and the tired bullpen is counting on him.  Oh, no pressure man.  No pressure at all…

Here is the Photo Album from the game.  I took some very interesting photos of the dark and ominous Philadelphia skyline during the rain delay, as well as game action.

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

Photos – Jenn

 

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

Nats Cure What Ails The Phillies

Well, they cured the offensive woes anyway.  The Phillies completed a 4-game sweep of the Nationals this afternoon with an 8-6 win and Brad Lidge threw only 2 pitches to get the save.  The starting pitching, however, still has BIG issues, not the least of which is Chan Ho Park.  You know how I hate to repeat myself, but I have been wondering if Park’s last 2 good outings were a fluke; a result of the pressure on him to keep his job.  Once the pressure was seemingly off him today because of those 2 good games, he went right back to stinking up the joint.

Park could have been pulled after one inning, where he gave up 3 runs to the lowly Nationals.  But Charlie Manuel sent him out for a 2nd inning; Park got 1 out and then proceeded to load the bases and walk a run in.  So, that was that.  1 1/3 innings is the official line with 5 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks.  Jack Taschner added the 5th run when he came in on relief and hit the next batter, sending another run home.  Something needs to be done with Park.  It is clear now that, as I suspected, he only pitches well when threatened with losing his job.  We need a starter who is self-motivated.

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The good news amidst all the starting pitching hoopla is that the offense found their bats in this series against the Nats.  Jimmy Rollins had 7 hits in this series and is slowly digging out of an early offensive hole.  Raul Ibanez continues to impress; he had 9 hits and 3 home runs in the last 4 games!  And Pedro Feliz had 7 hits in the series.  Everyone is contributing, and things are beginning to look up.

A few other pitching notes for the series:  P3046225 Carpenter.jpgAndrew Carpenter came up from AA for the day yesterday to pitch the 2nd game of the doubleheader and got the job done.  He gave up 5 runs in 4 1/3 innings, but he gave them the innings they needed and the offense, plus a rain-shortened night, gave the Phils the 7-5 win.  Carpenter went back to AA and Sergio Escalona, 24, was called in to replace him.  Escalona, in his major league debut today, pitched one scoreless inning and earned the win.  Congrats to the rookies!

The Phillies will take tomorrow off and then begin a 3 game series in Cincinnati, continuing the long road trip.  Who will be starting for the Phillies?  Nothing is written in stone right now.  Jamie Moyer had his schedules Tuesday start pushed back to Wednesday; Joe Blanton has been terrible; and I think we all know how Park is doing.  A lot of decisions are going to have to be made soon.

While we wait to see what happens, VOTE for the Phillies and send them to the All-Star game!  VOTE 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!

 

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!

 

Two Grand Slams Save The Phillies Pitching

This is why I love baseball.  Anything can happen.  The Phillies pitching sucked big time, but even bigger, timely hits saved the day!  Phillies beat the Nationals 13-11 and we all LOVE Raul Ibanez!  Get to that in a minute…. 


First, let’s give the pitching a well deserved spanking!  I’m sorry Joe Blanton, but the nickname I gave you last year when you were stinking up the joint is back:  It’s Joe Blah-nton!  As much as I hate to dub anyone with a “BLAH!”, after a horrid start to the season and an 8.41 ERA, it only seems fitting.  Consider it a challenge.  Prove me wrong.  PLEASE.

Blah-anton surrendered 6 runs tonight on 8 hits and 3 walks, including 3 monster home runs; and all this in only 4.1 innings.  Yikes!  But hey, the bullpen did no better.  Jack Taschner chipped in one run and Scott Eyre, entering the “every pitchers nightmare” category, gave up not one, but TWO 2-run home runs in ZERO innings.  He was pulled before he even recorded an out.

But thank goodness for Ryan Howard and RAUUUUUUUUUL Ibanez!  Both players whacked a GRAND SLAM in the game!  The last time the Phillies hit 2 slams in one game was 2003 when Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels did it.  Howard’s slam tied the game up at 6-6.  Later, after the pitching exploded again and the Phils trailed 11-7, Ibanez gave them the lead in the 8th with his salami.  It was Raul’s 3rd hit of the game.  Jimmy Rollins also had a 3 hit game, while attempting to slip out of his slump; looks like he found his mojo again.P4170401 Ibanez.jpg

Ryan Madson got the save in the 9th in the absence of Brad Lidge, who has inflammation in his right knee.  Hopefully, it is not serious; the MRI was clean and he is day-to-day.  Carlos Ruiz was given a rest today in AAA Lehigh Valley; he experienced some discomfort in his injured oblique area during batting practice and was held out of the game.  Looks like Lou Marson and Chris Coste will continue to man the backstop for a while.  Marson looks great behind the plate; he keeps ball in front of him and he has a good arm too.  His hitting will come along as he gets more at-bats.  And Coste is Coste…he’ll get the job done.

So who’s going to get their Charlie Manuel bobblehead tomorrow night?  You know I am!  Hope to see ya there….7:05pm start with Cole Hamels getting the start!

And again, don’t forget to VOTE for your All-Star’s!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 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 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!