Tagged: Jayson Werth

Phillies 42 Games Over .500 Makes History

With a 5-3 win over the Marlins tonight, the Phillies added another record to the franchise books.  And here is how it transpired:

Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt made the start tonight.  Since coming off the DL, he has produced one really good start, a couple of okay starts and one bad start.  The bad start was against the Marlins last week.  This week, facing the same team, he had another sort of up and down day.

While the results were not awful, Oswalt just did not look solid out there.   He gave up three runs in 6.1 innings, so it could have been worse.  But the Marlins hitters helped a lot by getting themselves out.  Oswalt’s control was not great and his pitches were all over the place.  Oddly enough, against this Marlins team, it seemed to work.

Oswalt’s inconsistent play is starting to raise some questions about whether or not he should pitch in the post-season.  With experience and a solid history on his side, the Phillies won’t yet count him out.  Hopefully, his next few starts will really show what he has left in the tank.

In the meantime, the Phillies offense helped Oswalt out with some runs in this game.  Shane Victorino started it off with a triple and Placido Polanco hit a sac fly to score him.  Most of the additional damage was done later by John Mayberry Jr. who also had a sac fly, plus a 2-run homer in the game.

Mayberry’s sudden emergence since his trip back to Triple-A in June has been amazing to watch.  He fixed his batting stance, worked on his defense and is now clicking on all cylinders.  There are no more Phillies fans complaining about the team not resigning Jayson Werth in the off-season.  Adding Hunter Pence has been a big boost as well.

Speaking of Werth, if you compare his numbers to Mayberry’s this year, the results are night and day.  Their home run and RBI numbers are very close, however, Werth has had more than twice the number of at-bats that Mayberry has gotten.  Werth has 269 more at-bats, to be precise.  That is a whole lot of production from Mayberry in a very short time.  Mayberry is simply “werth” more than Werth.

With the three RBI from Mayberry tonight and some bullpen help, the Phillies took a 5-3 lead into the 8th inning.  Antonio Bastardo, who seems to be untouchable this year, pitched another superb inning.  In fact, Bastardo is on the verge of making baseball history.  If Bastardo continues at his current pace, which had batters hitting only .112 against him coming into this game, he could wind up with the lowest BA against a reliever in all of baseball, ever.  Yes, EVER.  Wow.

As we await those results, the Phillies made another kind of history with today’s win.  Now at 42 games over the .500 mark, this is the best mark in Phillies franchise history.  No other Phillies team has ever had such a great record.  There is still a lot of baseball to go, but this team has the potential to be the greatest Phillies ballclub ever.

And as you let that sink in, remember to tune in again tomorrow night at 7:10pm.  Cole Hamels will pitch in game 2 against the Marlins.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Rebound Against the Nats Behind Oswalt & Mayberry

If there were any questions about Roy Oswalt not pitching after the rain delay on Friday, those questions were answered tonight.  With a fresh start and no interruption in his routine, Oswalt was very sharp.

Oswalt tossed eight innings of shut-out baseball against the Nationals, allowing eight hits and a walk.  He began to look tired near the end of the eighth, but manager Charlie Manuel stuck with his man after a quick conversation on the mound.  Oswalt looked fantastic and best of all, the back issues do not seem to be bothering him anymore.

Another guy who had an outstanding night was John Mayberry Jr.  He had two hits and a walk tonight plus a huge play in the field.  In the fourth inning, Ryan Zimmerman tried to go 2nd to home on a Jayson Werth single.  Mayberry fielded the ball and fired.  It was a perfect, one-hop throw to catcher Carlos Ruiz that nailed Zimmerman at the plate.

 

Mayberry’s play recently is prompting questions about whether Raul Ibanez should even be in the starting line-up.  At the very least, this has already turned into a platoon with Mayberry starting against lefties.  But as Mayberry continues to out-perform Ibanez, how long will Manuel keep his loyalty to Ibanez?  That remains to be seen.

Several other players had multi-hit night’s as well including Ruiz and Jimmy Rollins.  And once again, Wilson Valdez was right in the middle things with a huge triple that scored the Phillies first two runs in the fourth inning.  And in the sixth, Hunter Pence hit his 14th of the year and fourth as a Phillie.

Michael Stutes took over for the Phillies in the ninth inning and had a nice outing.  His last appearance was not great, so this had to be a relief for Stutes to get in a clean inning.  The Phillies went on to win by a 5-0 score.

The finale of this 3-game series is scheduled for Sunday at 1:35pm with Roy Halladay pitching.  Sadly, it appears more rain is also on the schedule.  So cross your fingers & toes; with any luck, I will return from D.C. with photos.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Ugly Loss As Madson Blows 2nd Save

So it is only one game, but last night’s Phillies loss to the Nationals was very bad on a number of levels.  First, the inept Nats staff decided to start the game with a huge storm nearby.  That lasted all of five minutes as four batters into the first inning, the game had to be stopped due to heavy rain.

For the second straight night, the Phillies had to endure a rain delay of more than two hours.  It was 2:17 on Thursday and 2:22 last night.  The game probably never should have been started last night, which put the Phillies into another jam with their starting pitchers.

While the Nats starter Livan Hernandez went back out after the delay, Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt was held out as a precaution due to his bad back.  Oswalt had not even thrown a single pitch in the game, but because he warmed up and then cooled down, the Phillies moved Kyle Kendrick up a day to start.

So the game resumed with a 1-1 count on Ryan Howard who drew a 2 hour, 22 minute walk.  That has to be some kind of record or at least an amazing exercise in patience ;o)

In their last outing against Hernandez, the Phillies could not hit him at all.  This time it took until the third inning, but they finally started to figure him out.  With one out, Jimmy Rollins doubled and then John Mayberry Jr. tripled to start the scoring.  That was followed by a parade of hits, including a Chase Utley double.

By the end of the inning, the Phillies had scored four runs.  In the meantime, Kendrick was pitching well and made it through six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk.  Considering the short notice and extreme circumstances, Kendrick did an outstanding job.

The offense tried to tack on, but to no avail.  So they took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning, where it all fell apart.  Ryan Madson had only blown one save this year, but it was clear after a 10-pitch at-bat to Jayson Werth where eventually Werth singled that Madson was not himself.

 

Three singles, two of which were softly hit bloops into no-man’s land, plus a bunt and a walk later, and Ryan Zimmerman came to the plate with the bases loaded and a tie score.  Madson fell behind and soon after it was a full count.

Madson knew he had to throw a strike or he would walk the winning run home.  Zimmerman knew this as well and was ready.  He smashed the pitch into deep left field for a walk-off grand slam.  Ouch.

This was a tough loss to swallow as under usual circumstances, the 4-2 lead would have been as close to a sure win as you can get for this Phillies team.  But Madson was off his game and the blown save wasted a great performance from Kendrick.

While it is just one game, this one stung.  Hopefully, the Phillies will have a little extra motivation tonight to get revenge.  Game time tonight is 7:05pm and since he did not pitch last night, Roy Oswalt will get the start.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

A Hot Win In D.C. For The Phillies

Hot may not be an accurate word to describe the Phillies day in D.C. where they beat the Nationals by a score of 5-4.  Perhaps scorching, boiling or searing would be appropriate terminology.

But despite the 95 degree heat, Roy Halladay kept pushing for a win.  He did not have an easy time either.  Through seven innings, Doc gave up four runs, three of which were solo homers.  But this time, the offense helped Halladay out.

 

Balls went flying off the bats like grenades in the sweltering heat:

 

The Nationals kept pace as the Phillies gained and lost the lead in the game like a see-saw.  But not even ex-Phillie Jayson Werth could stop this Raul Ibanez homer.  Ryan Howard hit one as well.  The other photo is Werth striking out, just for fun:

 

The Phillies also showed a lot of hustle on the base paths.  Although Placido Polanco is out by just a step in the photo below, he ran the play out hard:

 

And Chase Utley was all over the field.  It looks like he is going full throttle at second, jumping, leaping and diving to make plays.  One of the key defensive plays in the game came in the seventh.  Halladay had put runner on first and third with no outs and managed to pick off Alex Cora, who wandered too far off third on a fielder’s choice.

That play probably saved the game for the Phillies.  And here are a few other nice ones as well:

 

Once Halladay was out of the game, the bullpen did a nice job holding the 5-4 lead for him.  Antonio Bastardo and Jose Contreras took the eighth and Ryan Madson closed it in the ninth:

 

Here is the full Photo Album from the game Tuesday afternoon.  It includes a lot of nice pre-game shots, the President’s race and more. 

Game two with the Nats is Tuesday night at 7:05pm.  Cliff Lee will pitch.

Also as a side note, Vance Worley has been sent back to Triple-A to get more innings under his belt.  No word yet on a replacement, although it is possible that the Phillies add a bullpen piece and use Kyle Kendrick as a starter.

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Worley Whips The Nats

Game two against the Nationals was a very good day for young pitcher Vance Worley.  Filling in for the injured starter, Joe Blanton, Worley made his second start of the year tonight and notched his second win. 

Through six innings, Worley allowed only one run on four hits with one hit batter.  He also smacked a single into left and later scored in the fifth inning.  Worley has been so good, some may be wishing that Blanton really takes his time coming back.

By the way, have you all seen the new Vance Worley fan club?  They call themselves “Worley’s Warriors.” So is it just me, or do they look less like warriors and more like a Mariachi Band? 

 

Anyway, the offense did their job tonight as well.  Raul Ibanez put the final touches on a newly busted slump, going 3 for 4 with a solo homer.  While his batting average will take some time to recover, currently at .194, the hitting funk is officially over.

Jimmy Rollins had a nice day as well, relishing his return to the lead-off spot with two hits, an RBI and a walk.  Also with two hits, Brian Schneider continues to fill in for the ailing Carlos Ruiz.  And Shane Victorino collected two RBI.

The best part of the offense tonight was watching the Phillies go around the diamond one base at a time in the sixth inning to score four runs.  The small ball is back and the Phillies are scoring again.

Another return tonight was that of J.C. Romero, fresh off a rehab assignment.  Romero pitched a clean seventh inning and appears to be in very good shape.  Upon being added to the roster, pitcher David Herndon, who has been struggling, was optioned to AAA.

The Phillies went on to win by a score of 7-4 after Danys Baez allowed a 3-run homer in the 9th.  Ugh.

FYI – Our old buddy Jayson Werth has had only one hit in the series so far. 

The final game of the series is Thursday night at 7:05pm.  Roy Halladay will pitch.

Side note: Matt Stairs, now with the Nationals, got his 100th career pinch hit tonight.  Congrats, Matt!

 

***Important Blog FYI:  The entire MLBlogs community is going to be switched to a WordPress format beginning on Friday, May 6.  The transition may last through Monday night, May 9.  All MLBlogs writers will be unable to post and you will be unable to access any MLBlogs during this transition.  So do not panic if this and other blogs suddenly disappear during that weekend…we will be back :O)***

 

Go Phillies!

Hamels Hammers Nats as Werth Returns to Philly

As the Washington Nationals came to town, so did Jayson Werth.  In his first return to Philly since departing for “greener” pastures, Werth stepped to the plate amidst some boo’s from the fans.  But within seconds, the cheers silenced the boo’s and Werth was welcomed back with the thanks he deserved for helping to bring Philly a World Championship in 2008.

 

Werth earned a little more love after the tip of his cap as he misplayed a ball that ended up as a triple for Jimmy Rollins.  He subsequently made an off-line throw home, allowing Rollins to score on a Placido Polanco sac fly.

Rollins led off today, with Shane Victorino and then Polanco to follow.  Shaky up the line-up a bit and putting J-Roll back in his comfort zone was likely meant to spark the offense, which has been sleepy for a while.

Raul Ibanez finally broke his hitless streak tonight which ended at 0-35.  He hit a double in the fourth inning.  That streak tied as second worst hitless streak for a Phillie; Joe Morgan went 0-35 in 1983 and Desi Relaford still holds the #1 spot with his 0-36 in 1998.

Although the streak was broken, Ibanez still left the bases loaded in the fifth inning.  He swung at the first pitch after Nats pitcher Livan Hernandez had just walked the previous batter.  But Ibanez was redeemed in the seventh with an RBI-double.  Those two hits had to feel really good after an 0-35 stretch.

But luckily for the Phillies, Cole Hamels was not just pitching tonight; he was hitting as well.  Hamels whacked a two-out triple in the third.  Rollins then knocked him in for the first run of the night.

In the fourth, another odd thing happened.  The Nationals intentionally walked Pete Orr, who had batted .154 in his previous four games, to load the bases.  Then with a 2-0 count in his favor, catcher Brian Schneider swung and gave the Nats the double play they were hoping for.

But Hamels kept the team in the game, allowing only four hits in his first seven innings.  In the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies added on a few runs for a 4-1 lead.  Then in the eighth, Hamels smacked his second hit of the night, a single.  Yes, the pitcher was a mere homer and double away from hitting for the cycle ;o)

But Hamels did not need to hit for the cycle to impress.  He stayed in for the ninth and got his first complete game of the year, while only allowing one run.  But I am willing to bet he is still prouder of the two hits ;o)

Roy Oswalt was supposed to start today, but he is still in Mississippi taking care of tornado damage at his house.  The Phillies had enough days off to move the rotation up a day, which worked out just fine for Hamels.  FYI – Oswalt will be back for his next start.

But first, Vance Worley will make his second start of the year tomorrow.  Game time is 7:05pm.

 

***Important Blog FYI:  The entire MLBlogs community is going to be switched to a WordPress format beginning on Friday, May 6.  The transition may last through Monday night, May 9.  All MLBlogs writers will be unable to post and you will be unable to access any MLBlogs during this transition.  So do not panic if this and other blogs suddenly disappear during that weekend…we will be back :O)***

Go Phillies!

 

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

 

Oswalt Gets Hurt; Baez Blows The Lead

The Phillies bullpen returned from their 2-day vacation tonight.  Due to some amazing starting pitching, the pen had not been used since Tuesday.  Many are wishing that the vacation had never ended.

Roy Oswalt was lights-out for four innings and finally gave up a hit in the fifth, a solo homer.  He then allowed one more run after back-to-back doubles by the Marlins in the sixth.

After a bunt in the bottom of the sixth inning, Oswalt grabbed his left side as he crossed first base.  Uh-oh.  While he walked to the mound to start the seventh, Charlie Manuel and the Phillies trainer quickly ran out after him and removed him before he threw a pitch.  The diagnosis was a lower back strain.

Oswalt has a history of back issues, while was one of the main concerns when he was traded to the Phils last year.  How serious this particular issue is has yet to be determined.

With the injury to Oswalt, the bullpen’s vacation was officially over.  JC Romero came in for one batter and on a hopping ground ball, he could not resist the urge to attempt to field it as it bounced over his head.  The ball glanced off his glove and spun away from Pete Orr at second base giving Logan Morrison an infield single.


Baez trust0415.jpgBad luck for Romero turned into a disaster for Danys Baez.  He quickly issued a walk and a single to load the bases.  Then instead of bringing in lefty Antonio Bastardo to face ex-Phillie Greg Dobbs, Manuel left Baez in.  Big mistake.  Dobbs greeted the undeserved boos from the crowd with a 2-run single.  The boos came before the hit.

Dobbs was an amazing pinch hitter for the Phils in 2008 when he helped them win the World Championship.  He had a bad year last year, but that was certainly not deserving of such a reception.  In addition, Dobbs is one of the nicest players I have ever met.  Genuinely nice, not just putting on a show.  He always had time to chat, time for autographs and did some great charity work with disabled children in the Philly area.  Those who booed him should be ashamed.

But I digress…those two runs Dobbs knocked in gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead.  But what it also did was give Phillies fan one more reason to dislike Baez.  He looked better than last year early in the year and in the spring, but clearly, he cannot be trusted in a close game.

While the rest of bullpen held, the offense could not come though.  Orr swung at the first pitch in the ninth inning and flew out.  John Mayberry Jr. drew a walk, but both Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco flew out as well.

This was a depressing game to lose, but the Phillies have made a habit early this year of losing the first game of a series and then winning the next two.  Let’s hope that trend continues.

In the meantime, here is a little comic relief.  It is a make-believe conversation between Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth.  Warning: If cuss words offend you or small children are around, do not play the video.  Otherwise, enjoy ;o)

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*