Tagged: Jack Taschner

Nats Thank The Phillies For Their First Win

 

After a horrendous 0-7 start, the Washington Nationals were bound to win a game eventually; enter, the Phillies.  Hey Nats, will you be our best friend now?  Gee, thanks.

Although Joe Blanton notched the first “quality start” for the Phillies today, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs, the Phils still lost the game 8-2.  All 3 of Blanton’s runs came in the first inning when he sent a pitch right down the middle for the Nat’s Adam Dunn who repaid him by knocking it out of the ballpark and collecting 3 RBI.  But after that, Blanton settled in and held them to those 3 runs.  Of course, then the bullpen made their grand entrance and let the Nats run away with the game.  Chad Durbin gave up a solo homer and new Phillie, Jack Taschner gave up 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 2/3 of the 8th inning.  Excuse me while I vomit…

P4139481.jpgFeeling better now, as I rest my head on the cool toilet bowl, and think happy thoughts about rookie catcher Lou Marson; making the game slightly bearable, Marson had an outstanding day in his first start of 2009, and only the 2nd start of his major league career.  Marson did not let a ball get past him, even though he had to block a lot of pitches thrown in the dirt.  He even threw out a National’s runner trying to steal in the 7th inning; Chase Utley made the grab and tagged the runner.  And as if his defense were not impressive enough, he went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and a run scored.  I was very impressed with Marson when I watched him play in Spring Training and felt he had tremendous potential.  He calls a good game, he is mobile behind the plate, swings for contact and has excellent base running skills.  Today, Marson showed all that and more.  That’s the good news…

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But aside from Marson, 2 more hits from Raul Ibanez with 1 RBI and one hit from Utley, our anemic offense looked like they needed a blood transfusion.  Jimmy Rollins continues to struggle, hitting only .111 on the year so far and Shane Victorino is at .219.  If the top of the order doesn’t wake up tomorrow, it is going to be a long night for me at the ballpark.

Update on Saturday’s Memorial:

A memorial tribute for Harry Kalas will be held at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, April 18 as announced by the Kalas family and the Phillies.  Details were announced today as follows:

– Beginning at 8 am, on a first come, first served basis, fans will have the opportunity to pay their respects on the field as they pass by Kalas’ casket behind home plate.

– Fans will walk by the casket until approximately 12:45 p.m., when everybody will be directed to seats. Beginning at approximately 1 p.m., current and former players, broadcasters, front-office employees, friends and family members will pay their final respects before the on-field tribute begins at 1:30 p.m.

– Please enter CBP through the Third Base Gate at Pattison Avenue and Citizens Bank Way and leave through the First Base Gate.

– Fans bringing flowers or mementos should leave them in the area of the Mike Schmidt statue outside the ballpark.

– Parking is free, and fans are encouraged to park in the lots west of the ballpark.

– Fans in attendance will receive a commemorative program, an 8×10 photograph of Kalas and a poem written by him in 2002 as a fan tribute. 

The plans for tomorrow night’s pre-game memorial can be found here.  The game is sold out and fans should arrive early.  As I mentioned before, I will be attending the game and will bring back photos.  Cole Hamels will get the start for the Phillies.

 

Photos by Jenn

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Whew! SO Happ-Y!

Relief washed over me as I read the news that Gary Sheffield is NOT coming to Philly.  Whew!  Instead, he will be hanging with our rival New York Mets and frankly, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :O)  For various reasons I mentioned earlier this week, I was not happy about the prospects of the problem-child Sheffield joining our currently relaxed and serene Phillies clubhouse.  Sheffield is at best a distraction and at worst the destroyer of all things peaceful; he should fit right in with the Mets ;O)  You have to wonder though; did the Phillies fake interest in Sheffield just to get the Mets to take him?  Hmmmm…

I am also Happ-Y today because JA Happ has made the 25-man roster as a relief pitcher; the boy pitched his butt off this spring and deserved a spot.  P3024925 JA Happ.jpgJack Taschner, recently acquired from the Giants, will fill the last bullpen spot.  That means there is no room left at the inn for Gary Majewski, who will start the year in the minors.

The Phillies are currently in the 3rd inning against the Rays in pre-season action; score is 1-0, Rays, thanks to a

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Pat Burrell RBI single.  The Phillies honored Burrell’s previous 9-year run with the Phillies today by handing out a commemorative Burrell photo to all fans in attendance and they also showed a Burrell tribute video before the start of the game.  I have yet to see the video, but will try to get my hands on it eventually.  Nice move by the Phils all around.  Burrell will also be in attendance on Wednesday for the World Series Ring Ceremony!

There is one game left in this On Deck Series tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm and then, it is on to the real thing Sunday night!

(Photos by Jenn)

 

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Phillies Fan Tossed Out Of Mets Citi Field

No, this is not an April Fools joke.  Reed Frazier, a Phillies fan who was working as a cameraman at the Mets new home, Citi Field, was told he could either remove his Phillies rain jacket or leave the building.  stomp jacket.jpgFrazier, told by his boss to wear rain gear, did not see a problem with his jacket. 

It wasn’t even a Mets game; it was the stadiums opening game with the Red Storm vs. Georgetown.  Despite pleading his case that the jacket did not affect his job in anyway, he was still asked to leave. 

Personally, I think he should sue for discrimination.  If they were not going to provide him with a uniform or company rain gear, they had no right to tell him what logo he could and could not have on his jacket.  Poor guy.  Well, just let the Mets try to tell opposing fans who paid ridiculous prices for a ticket that they cannot come inside.  In fact, I’d be happy to go to a Mets-Phillies game at Citi Field, dressed in all Phillies gear, just to see what would happen.  But I am not going to pay more than 3x’s the price to see the Phils play in New York as compared with my ticket price in Philly.  If anyone else would like to pay for me to go though, that’s fine :O)  Just remember hospital bills may factor in… :O)

In other news, RHP Bobby Mosebach has been offered back to the Angels and they decided to take him.  That leaves 3 relief pitchers and 2 spots to fill; JA Happ, Jack Taschner and Gary Majewski will battle for those spots.  Happ pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief today against the Yankees and did not fair too well; he gave up 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.  Happ may have difficulty adjusting to the pen as this is a role he is not used to.  Taschner and Majewski each pitched a scoreless inning in yesterday’s rout of the Blue Jays. 

I am still crossing my fingers and toes that Gary Sheffield does not land in Philly.  There have been rumors about Andruw Jones as well, but again, this guy is also way past his prime.  In 2007, Jones hit .222 and far worse in 2008 with an average of .158 as mostly a pinch hitter.  P2222328 cairo.jpgThe Phillies need a pinch hitter, but not one batting .158.  We already have Miguel Cairo who has performed pretty well this Spring and can still play the field; he is also versatile and can play multiple positions.  If it were up to me at this point, I would go with Cairo.  You still have Matt Stairs for power and Greg Dobbs for, well, just about everything!  Chris Coste can be use off the bench too.

But of course, nothing is up to me…Mr. Amaro needs to work it out.  Unless he would like a consultant…if so, I am available.  Call me ;O)

(Cario photo & graphic design by Jenn)

 

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Outta Here!

Many baseballs left the ballpark today, as well as many players.  Marcus Giles, who batted only .167 this spring, was given his release today.  This was the best option for Giles who would not see a lot of action in the minors; this way, he has a chance to move on to another team.  P2222389 Mayberry.jpgJohn Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Carrasco were both optioned back to the minors.  Mayberry started off hot in camp this year, but struggled as the pitching became more difficult.  He needs some more work to be big league ready, as does Carrasco.  Three other players were told officially they would not make the team’s 25-man roster, but they will stay with the Phils until Saturday to give Charlie Manuel a few more options during the On Deck Series.  The three players are Philadelphia native, Mike Koplove, RHP; 2nd baseman Pablo Ozuna; and outfielder Jason Ellison.

This leaves Miguel Cairo as the only extra right-handed bat, unless a trade is pulled off in the next few weeks.  Cairo has not hit as well as Ozuna this spring, but he can play multiple positions and has a great deal of experience.  Also, the Phillies are required to release Cairo if he does not make the 25-man roster, which may play into the decision.  Rumor has it also that Matt Stairs and Geoff Jenkins are up for grabs; however, the Phillies are going to have a hard time getting rid of either as Stairs is nearing retirement and Jenkins is well over-paid.

Also still up in the air is the 5th starter’s spot.  Chan Ho Park has made this a very difficult decision; today he pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up 6 hits, 1 walk and only 1 earned run.  Park also struck out 7 and now has an ERA of 2.53 in 21 1/3 innings.  Lefty JA Happ currently stands at 20 innings with a 3.15 ERA.  Things being fairly even, Happ is still the best choice to start as Park has a proven track record as a reliever and Happ is not so comfortable in that role.  Plus with the addition of lefty Jack Taschner, there is less need for Happ, also a lefty, in the pen.  Park would be horribly disappointed in the decision if it goes that way, especially since he gave up pitching in the WBC this year, so does his mental status play into this as well?  That remains to be seen…

The Phillies bats are heating up in preparation for Opening Night as evidenced by four home runs today from Jimmy Rollins, Eric Bruntlett, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. 

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7 of the Phillies 13 runs in the 13-3 victory over the Astros came off the long ball.  And Bruntlett in particular had a fun day against his former team, going  3 for 4 with 4 RBI.  With all this power unleashed, it makes you wish these guys would save a bit for the real thing.  Only 6 days left!

Brett Myers, now scheduled to start on opening day, will pitch tomorrow against the Blue Jays at 7:05pm.  Cole Hamels got into a minor league game today and said he felt no discomfort.  Hamels is tentatively scheduled to start with the Phillies on April 10th against the Rockies.

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Food For Thought

Although the Phillies outhit the Red Sox today and racked up 7 walks, they lost the game 3-1 as a result of having 12 men left on base.  The 4th inning was a great example of the trouble the Phils had closing the deal; Raul Ibanez singled off Jon Lester, followed by a Pedro Feliz double.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, John Mayberry popped out.  Keeping the inning alive, Chris Coste earned a walk to load the bases; but then Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino went down in order to end the threat.

The good news is that the Phillies made a habit out of this last year and still won the World Series.  The bad news is, lightning usually does not strike twice in the same place.  Not to say they cannot repeat, because they are more than capable, but the offense needs to solve the issue of leaving men on base to add to their chances.  Plus, many Phillies hitters are behind schedule from where they would normally be this time of year because of injuries like those of Coste, Feliz and Chase Utley.  Rollins and Victorino are also behind in the number of at-bats they should have because of the WBC.  Just a few thoughts for our offense to chew on.

Cole Hamels is also running behind, not only due to the elbow injury, but his rehab was further delayed today when the minor league game he was set to pitch in was reportedly cancelled due to rain.  The rest of the Phillies pitchers however, appear to be right on track. 

Joe Blanton has pitched very well this spring and gave up only 4 hits and 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings today against a strong Red Sox line-up.  We are all waiting now to see the new Phillie, Jack Taschner get into a game so we can see what he has to offer.  Aside from that question mark, the regulars in the pen look ready to go.

P7306527 Lidge.jpgAnd since we are on the subject of food, I just read an article about big league food in the MLB Insiders magazine by Jeremiah Sullivan.  According to Lance Berkman, the major leaguer with the biggest appetite is his former teammate, Brad Lidge.  “Brad Lidge will eat any and everything in sight,” says Berkman.  “It doesn’t matter what it is, he constantly crushes food.  He eats more than any other human being that I’ve seen in my entire life.  And everything has Tabasco sauce on it.”  Ok, gross.  P2222396 Utley.jpgSo what sort of food does All-Star Chase Utley like best?  “Sushi day is definitely my favorite,” says Utley.  “It is only served once every few home stands – that isn’t often enough.”  Raw fish; good to know.  Between that and the Tabasco sauce, I may never eat again.

And today marks 1 week until Opening Night in Philadelphia!  Whoo Hooo!  But until then, grapefruit league action will continue with the Phillies taking on Mr. Berkman and his Astros at 1:05pm tomorrow.

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Blown Away

The Phillies fought through 30 mph winds today in Bradenton against the Pirates; winner?  The wind.  Many, many balls had some help flying over the outfield fence and others simply blew right past the outfielders grasp unexpectedly.  A few guys looked like they may lose their jersey’s as they were blown about in the stiff gusts of wind.  But the only thing the Phillies lost today was the game, 10-4.

Jamie Moyer was not thrilled about the weather conditions as he gave up 11 hits, 7 runs and 1 walk and was even called for a balk when his glove flinched, likely because of the high winds.  Moyer argued with the ump, but to no avail.  Even Brad Lidge ran into trouble when Garrett Jones hit a long fly ball that the airstream helped carry over the fence for a 3-run blast.

P3024896 Howard.jpgRyan Howard did not mind the situation too much; Howard hit a bomb to straight away center field in the 4th inning that some estimate travelled over 500 feet.  It went so far, the ball was completely out of sight; the cameras never picked it up as it went out of the park.  Right before that, Howard had hit a screaming foul ball towards the Phillies dugout, which nailed Geoff Jenkins in the leg as he waited in the on-deck circle.  A brutal shot, Jenkins jumped up and down in pain.  He shook it off and looked to be ok.  As Howard trotted home after the 500 footer, he stopped to greet Jenkins at home plate, gave him a big teddy-bear hug and apologized for whacking him with the foul ball. 

In the 6th inning, some confusion ensued as Eric Bruntlett and Marcus Giles could not seem to decide between the two of them who was covering what area.  A routine ground ball turned into a base hit for the Pirates, as Moyer was not in time to cover first base during the turmoil.  That inning turned into 4 runs for the Pirates and the Phillies fielding resembled something like this:

Today’s Phillies Word of the Day is: Doo-Doo.  Yes, thanks to pitcher Scott Eyre, Phillies fans everywhere were treated to a barrage of “Doo-Doo” remarks in the 7th inning during an interview by Phillies broadcaster, Tom McCarthy.  When asked about his rough outing against the Yankees a few days ago, Eyre responded with, “It was a day where I warmed up and felt like doo-doo and so I pitched like doo-doo.”  And it didn’t end there, folks.  He used the doo-doo remark again when discussing what his next outing may look like.  Let us hope doo-doo does not make any future appearances, unless it is by The Police:

 

Paulino cart.jpg
Fun Fact of the Day
:  Ronny Paulino, who was just yesterday traded to the Giants in exchange for lefty Jack Taschner, has been traded yet again!  The Giants sent Paulino to our NL East rivals, the Florida Marlins, presumably so Phillies fans would not miss him too badly.  Although, Paulino may want to keep the wheels on his cart for now, just in case…

The Phillies will take on the Red Sox tomorrow at 1:05pm!  The game will be broadcast on My PHL 17 – check your local listings.

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Talking Trash / Paulino Traded

trash can.jpg

The Phillies have revealed a new line of ballpark merchandise, food and other items; one of those items was a talking trash can.  Phil The Can,” a recyclable fan, is a talking robot / trash can.  Apparently, his job is to encourage fans to keep the ballpark clean and, of course, to recycle.  If you attempt to throw a plastic bottle away, rumor has it that “Phil” will clamp down on your arm and hold you hostage until the Green Police arrive to whip you with a wet soybean.  And if a non-Phillies fan walks near “Phil The Can”, this trash tracker will begin to trash talk the unsuspecting fan with Cole Hamels-like taunts of “choke artist!” and the like.  Vicious little guy; and he looks so innocent.  Go figure.

Going Green

In addition to the crazy talking trash can, the Phillies have stepped up their Green efforts for the 2009 season.  The park facilities manager, Global Spectrum, has committed to increasing recycle efforts at the park from 15% to 20-25% this year.  The Phillies have also added a new line of organic merchandise which will include tote bags made from recycled materials and a clothing line with hats, tees and socks.

Going Gold

gold jersey.jpgThe Phils revealed the new gold trimmed jerseys that they will be wearing only on Opening Night, April 5th, which include a gold

trimmed World Series patch.  After that night, the jerseys will be auctioned off for charity and the boys will wear their regular, non-Royalty like jerseys with the regular World Series patch the rest of the year.  Fans willing to shell out about $185 can buy a replica of the fancy jerseys and act out their own King of the Hill fantasies :O)

Going Blue

The Phillies have switched the batting helmets to be worn with their alternate home jerseys from red to blue.  The new blue helmets feature a red brim; replica’s of the helmet will be given out to kids 14 and under at the May 31st game.

Going Yard

Jayson Werth and Matt Stairs each smacked a home run today in the Phillies 6-5 loss to the Astros.  Eric Bruntlett, Pedro Feliz, Shane Victorino and Werth each had a 2 hit game, with Chris Coste collecting an RBI on a sac fly.  Brett Myers gave up 1 home run to the Astros Miguel Tejada; Myers lasted 5 1/3 innings and also surrendered 8 hits and 4 runs. 

Going To San Francisco

Ronny Paulino has been traded to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for left-handed reliever, Jack Taschner, 37, according to beat-writer Todd Zolecki.  With the Giants for 4 years, Taschner has a lifetime ERA of 5.01 in 140 innings pitched with 8 saves and an 8-4 record.  Hopefully, he can help fill the 50-game left-handed void left by JC Romero’s ridiculous suspension.

Phillies travel to Bradenton, FL tomorrow to take on the Pirates at 1:05pm.  The game will air on Comcast Sportsnet – tune in!

(Photos – Phillies.com)

 

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