After another solid start from pitcher Kyle Kendrick on Thursday against the Astros, the competition for the 5th starters spot is getting more interesting by the day. Kendrick pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing just 1 earned run on 5 hits and 2 walks. His spring ERA stands at 1.37.
Jamie Moyer has only pitched in one “A” game so far and a bunch of “B” games, but he will face the Yankees tonight in his final bid for the 5th spot. Moyer’s one regular spring outing ended with a 1.80 ERA for 1 run over 5 innings of work. Tonight’s game then will likely be the deciding factor.
If Moyer does well, it looks like the spot may be his. However, if he gets beat up by the Yanks, he still may get the nod anyway. Although Kendrick has more than earned the spot and personally, I feel it should be his, the Phillies will probably go with experience over youth. Poor Kyle has all kinds of factors working against him; his youth, Moyer’s huge $8 million dollar salary and the fact that Moyer has never been a bullpen pitcher.
Moyer did work from the pen a little last year when Pedro Martinez arrived, but only for extended innings, like after rain delays. So essentially, he was still being used more as a starter than a bullpen piece. Manager Charlie Manuel seemed very hesitant to put Moyer in for only a few batters which tells you that they were not confident about his ability to pitch out of the bullpen.
My prediction is that the Phillies will go with Moyer and put Kendrick in the pen. After Moyer has a few bad outings, they will probably switch, just like Chan Ho Park and JA Happ did last season. Then again, as with most predictions, anything can happen.
The Phillies were reunited yesterday with former teammate Brett Myers who was the starting pitcher for the Astros. Myers made Philly his home for 11 years, with the same team who drafted him.
Seeing him another uniform was strange. Then again, considering how many ex-Phillies are with the Astros, including Myers, Pedro Feliz, Jason Michaels, Michael Bourn, and Gary Majewski, maybe we should all be Astros fans too? Or maybe not…
Myers left the game early with a strained left groin, but it appears to be minor. Afterwards, Myers spoke about the Philly fans saying, “I felt appreciated when I came out of the game and they all stood up and clapped for me. That was very respectful. Philly fans get a bad rap, but they’re loyal to the guys that played there and have done things for the organization. I really appreciated that. That was classy.” Myers will be missed by many Philly fans and we wish him well…unless he is playing against the Phillies, of course ;o)
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Photos by Jenn
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.
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.
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Welcome to Jenn’s next edition of “Strange Baseball.” Today we will pull out of the closet Baseball’s Most Embarrassing Moments and discover why some of these players belong in Baseball’s Hall of Shame:
– When I first saw Bob Uecker in the movie “Major League,” I thought he was just some wacky sportscaster/actor. When I was informed he actually used to play in the Majors, the following did not shock me at all: On September 7, 1967, “Mr. Baseball” did everything wrong that a catcher could possibly do in one game. He committed one throwing error, had 2 passed balls and was even called for catcher’s interference. His manager, Billy Hitchcock, later said that he was afraid to leave Uecker in the game, having pulled him in the 7th inning, because he thought Uecker may actually “invent a few more bad things.”
– “Bo Knows…” Remember the popular saying coined by athlete, Bo Jackson back in the eighties? Well, on this day, apparently Bo didn’t know baseball: On September 17, 1986, Jackson got a lesson on what a “balk” was. Having already had an awful season for the Royals that year, batting .207 and striking out 34 times in 25 games, what happened next was still a bit surprising. At the plate with a 1-2 count, on the next pitch, the umpire called the pitcher for a balk. Jackson dropped his bat and ran down to first base. He later admitted that he had confused “balk” with “walk.”
– May 26, 1992: On a Carlos Martinez long fly ball, Jose Canseco’s attempt to field the hit turned into a classic blooper reel. The ball fell right on top of Canseco’s head and bounced over the fence for a home run. Embarrassed, Canseco tried to play it off like it hit his glove, but the replay never lies.
– July 10, 2001 All-Star Game: Vladimir Guerrero’s at- bat turned into another blooper that will never get old. Guerrero swung at a pitch from Mike Stanton and his bat splintered apart; the barrel of the bat flew towards Tommy Lasorda, who was coaching third base and whacked him on the hip. Lasorda fell heels over head, performing a backwards somersault. He arose unharmed and Barry Bonds ran out on to the field and tried to put a catcher’s chest protector on him.
– Donnell Nixon of the San Francisco Giants had his head hung low after a game against the Cubs in 1988. Nixon was caught stealing twice in the same inning! Once, he was nailed at second, and for the finale, he was thrown out trying to steal home.
– In 1994 during the ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week, Larry Walker had the ultimate blonde moment in front of a national audience. Walker caught a ball with only one out and then, not realizing the inning was not over AND there was a runner on first, he handed the ball to a kid in the stands and started to walk off the field. When he realized his mistake, he went back to the kid, took the ball back and threw it to the infield. Too late though; the umpire awarded the runner 2 bases since the ball was technically “out of play.”
– In 1975 during a game in Boston, Milwaukee Brewer Gorman Thomas had possibly the worst day of his career. Thomas struck-out EIGHT times in a row and even hit into a double play. The double play earned him a standing ovation from the appreciative Boston fans. Thomas received an even bigger round of applause and another standing ovation after that as he ran out to centerfield; Thomas was approached by a free roaming dog who stopped in front of him and proceeded to urinate at his feet.
– During a 1985 Blue Jays game, Jeff Burroughs attempted to slide into second base. Having some apparent lack of depth perception, his slide stopped short of the base by a full 6 feet and he was tagged out.
– Real-life Wife Swap: Good friends Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich of the New York Yankees announced during Spring Training of 1973 that they would switch wives, kids and even family dogs. Peterson remained married to the former Susanne Kekich, but his pitching seemed to suffer and by 1974, he was booed out of New York and traded to the Indians. Mike Kekich’s union with Marilyn Peterson did not last long; they broke up shortly after the swap.
– On July 27, 1988, Tommy John made THREE errors on ONE play! The New York veteran pitcher fell apart in a game against the Brewers. First, he bobbled a slow dribbler to the mound, allowing the runner to take 1st base and another to advance to second; then, he threw the ball to first anyway, which sailed past Don Mattingly’ head; and finally, John cut off the throw from right fielder Dave Winfield that would have nailed an opposing runner at the plate. And all this happened on 1 play. John’s explanation for the incident was that there were too many “negative ions in the air” due to an approaching thunderstorm which were interfering with the metal cup he was wearing, thus causing a temporary brain power shortage.
– During a game in 1988, Reds infielder Dave Conception was tossed from the game for blowing kisses at an umpire.
– During batting practice on February 22, 1987, Twins slugger Kirby Puckett was having a great time whacking home runs over the wall at Tinker field, Spring Training home of the Twins. After a policeman arrived on the scene to demand batting practice stop, it was revealed that the home run balls were landing in a nearby parking lot which was packed due to a tractor pull event. The balls were smashing windshields and denting cars. The cop walked over to Puckett and ordered him to stop swinging or he would be arrested. The Twins were forced to continue practice in a covered cage in the bullpen.
– Mike Schmidt was in a slump during his time with the Phillies in 1988. After flying out to go 0 for 14, he passed Padres 1st baseman, and future Phillie, John Kruk and exclaimed, “Give me a gun. I am ready to shoot myself in the head.” Kruk responded with, “Better not. You’ll probably miss.” Ouch.
– And one final Phillies moment: For the ultimate blooper of 2004, Jason Michaels, in an attempt to catch a long fly ball off the bat of Charles Thomas, instead bobbles the ball and tosses it over the wall, giving Thomas a home run. He and Jose Canseco should get together and compare notes…
– The 1994 baseball strike which lasted from 8/12/94 until 4/2/95, wiped out the entire 1994 post-season and World Series and even led to the eventual death of the Montreal Expos. This was the first professional sport ever to lose an entire post-season due to a labor dispute. Owners were adamant about a salary cap and the players would not stand for it. A sad time for baseball.
– The Mitchell Report: The relationship between baseball and steroids was put on display for all to see on December 13, 2007 with the release of the 409-page Mitchell Report. It disclosed test results and other information on a great number of major league players. The ramifications of this information have yet to fully play out and may haunt the organization for years to come.
Thank you for reading and as always, please feel free to add your comments below. What are YOUR favorite “Embarrassing Baseball Moments”?
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