Tagged: JC Romero

Phillies Overcome 7 Run Deficit To Beat The Dodgers

Before today’s game against the Dodgers, Shane Victorino was activated off the DL and lefty Antonio Bastardo was sent to AAA to make room.  Victorino did not start the game as Charlie Manuel had already told Ben Francisco he would start tonight.  Victorino did pinch hit in the 8th and drew a walk.  Francisco had a much more interesting game…more on that shortly.


P7260632 Blanton2.jpgPitcher Joe Blanton started the game and sadly, had another Blah-anton-type outing.  He allowed 3 runs right off the bat in the first inning.  After 5 2/3 innings, Blanton had walked 4 batters, allowed 8 hits and 4 runs total.  The hole was dug deeper by relief pitcher Chad Durbin who did not provide any relief.  Durbin allowed a 2-run homer in the 7th to put the Phillies down 6-2.

But the damage did not end there.  JC Romero pitched the 8th inning and while Romero has had trouble of late, this time it was the defense that let him down.  Mike Sweeney missed a ground ball at first to start the inning.  Carlos Ruiz had an error as well and two unearned runs scored.   Jose Contreras came in to relieve Romero and gave up another run.

Down 9-2 going into the bottom of the 8th, it looked like this game was over.  Then suddenly, the hits started coming.  It began with 4 straight hits: singles from Placido Polanco, Sweeney, Jayson Werth and a double from Francisco.  Wilson Valdez got another hit for the 4th run of the inning.  The 9-6 score seemed a tad more manageable.


4 Pre-Game (13).jpgThe Dodgers sent their closer in for the 9th, Jonathan Broxton.  The same 4 players that ignited the 8th inning rally started another one in the 9th.  Polanco was hit by a pitch; Sweeney and Werth both walked.  Francisco got on base after an error and 2 runs scored.  Just like that, the bases were loaded with no outs for Carlos Ruiz with a 9-8 score.  Ruiz smashed a walk-off double to win the game!

The Phillies came back from a 7 run deficit to win the game and take 2 of 3 games in the series.  When asked how he felt after the game, Ruiz told Gary Matthews, “I’m happy, I’m so happy.”  Well Chooch, we are SO happy too!  Werth then ran up behind him and dumped a bucket of Gatorade over Ruiz’s head.  I supposed shaving cream pies are out of fashion now.

Next up: the Mets in New York for the weekend.  Game time tomorrow is 7:10pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Dodgers Feast On Phillies Pitching

The Dodgers came to town today and the in-flight food service must have been seriously lacking on their way to Philly.  Because they were really hungry by the time the game started.  They snacked on Phillies pitchers like they had been starved for weeks.

The tastiest morsel was Kyle Kendrick; he allowed 5 earned runs on 8 hits and 2 walks.  A 6th run was unearned on the first of Jimmy Rollins’ two errors tonight.  When things start to go bad, things really go bad.  For instance, Rollins tripped over second base and fell over during what should have been a sure out.  Dodgers say, “Yum, yum! Me love scoring runs!”

Cookie Kendrick.jpg

The snack turned into a 7-course meal when David Herndon gave up 4 runs in the 6th after the Phillies offense had finally scored 3 runs the prior inning.  Herndon pitched a perfect 5th inning, but lost his command in the 6th.  Prior to that, Antonio Bastardo allowed a run of his own.  The lefty Bastardo was just added to the roster after outfielder John Mayberry was sent back to AAA.


The count.jpgAfter the 7-course meal in the 6th, the Dodgers were still hungry in the 7th when Danys Baez came in to pitch.  They ate him up to the tune of 2 more runs.  I suppose that was desert.  With a 13-5 lead, the Dodgers were bordering on pure gluttony.  Even The Count was tired of counting runs at that point.

Former Phillie Vincente Padilla handled the Phillies offense well until he met Ross Gload.  He was the one Phillies player who tried to join in on the feast.  Going 3 for 5 in the game, Gload hit not one, but two 2-run homers.  He was a one man wrecking crew. 

Rookie Domonic Brown had 4 RBI on a sac fly and then his very first major league home run.  He got the final 2 RBI in the 9th on a double.  The homer was not as exciting as it should have been considering the 13 runs on the board for the Dodgers.  Also, Brown has not played well in the outfield and needs a LOT of work on his fielding and hitting the cut-off man.

But back to the Dodgers; 13 runs would just not suffice.  JC Romero came in to pitch the 9th inning and the Dodgers began to salivate again.  Romero hit the first batter and gave up a 2-run homer to the 3rd batter.  With one huge 2-run chunk already taken out of his back side, Romero let the Dodgers have another nibble.  He walked the pitcher, George Sherrill.  It was Sherrill’s very first at-bat in his career.  Not that is embarrassing.  Wow.

Out of 7 Phillies pitchers tonight, only Jose Contreras and Chad Durbin did not allow a run.  The final score of this vomit-inducing nausea-fest was 15-9.  Good news?  9 runs.  Bad news?  Phillies pitching.

Roy Oswalt will pitch tomorrow night.  Hopefully, in his first outing at home in a Phillies uniform, Oswalt can tame the ravenous Dodgers.  Game time is 7:05pm.

 

Kendrick photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Sesame Street characters by Jim Henson

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

 

Late Rally Gives Phillies The Win

In the first 7 innings of tonight’s game, fans were wondering, where have the Phillies bats gone?  Several of them are on the DL, but how about the rest?  Did the plane carrying the bats from Miami back to Philadelphia crash on a deserted island, leaving the bats stranded and hopeless?  Can we please get a rescue team together to go find them?  Please?

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The Phillies had opportunities to score early in this game against the Mets.  With the bases loaded and 2 outs in the first, Carlos Ruiz began to cool off from his recent hot streak; he struck out to end the inning.  One run scored in the inning, but they should have had more.  The Phils did get a number of 2 out hits, but they were mostly with no one on base.


Thumbnail image for found.jpgBut then it was Ruiz and most of his teammates in the 8th inning who finally found the bats again.  5 straight singles followed.  Yes, the bats have been rescued!  Everyone got in on the action; Mike Sweeney started the inning off with his first hit as a Phillie; Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Ruiz and Wilson Valdez followed suit.  Ross Gload walked with the bases loaded to score another run and Jimmy Rollins singled in the 4th run of the inning.

Later that same inning, Sweeney got another hit; his second hit as a Phillie also added his first RBI as a Phillie.  By the end of the 8th, the Phillies had sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 6 runs to put them up by a score of 7-2 over the stunned Mets.

So, maybe the bats just had jet lag and it took until the 8th inning to wake them up?  Whatever the deal, it was very nice to see them again.  Someone else who was happy to see the bats was starting pitcher Joe Blanton, who had a good outing. He lasted 7 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits without walking a batter.   Sadly for Blanton, he was out of the game before the run barrage started.

So while Blanton could not get the win, the team certainly could.  Danys Baez pitched the 9th and got the first two outs.  JC Romero was brought in with 2 runners on base and, just for some added drama, he gave up a 3-run homer.  With a now close 7-5 game, Romero was pulled and Brad Lidge came into what was then a save situation.  He struck out the final batter to end the game; whew!

The Phils have two more games with the Mets this weekend; tomorrow’s game starts at 7:05pm with Cole Hamels pitching.

By the way, congratulations to former catcher Darren Daulton who was inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame before today’s game.  Daulton is widely thought to be one of the best catchers and best leaders in Phillies history.  He is well deserving of the honor.  In his acceptance speech, he referred to Phillies fans as his family and said we were all invited to his house for dinner on Sunday night.  Hey Darren, you forget to give us your address.  Please pass on the info…I’ll be there ;o)

 

Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

 

A Difficult Sweep In Miami

Part two of the Roy Oswalt – Philadelphia experience tonight went a tad better than the first part.  After allowing 4 earned runs in his Phillies debut, Oswalt handled the Marlins pretty well.  533px-Roy_Oswalt_2010_crop.jpgHe struggled with his control at times, which elevated his pitch count, but the end result was positive.  Oswalt went 6 1/3 innings allowing 3 hits, 4 walks and 2 runs.

The 2 runs however, scored after JC Romero came in to relieve Oswalt in the 7th.  Romero allowed an RBI double and then walked the 2nd run home on 4 straight balls.  Those runs were both charged to Oswalt.  Now, I love JC for his spirit and for the person that he is.  But the manager has to know that he gets wild in these situations sometimes.  Two runners on and one out is not a good situation for Romero.  Then again, with the Phillies bullpen as up and down as it has been, who to bring in and when remains a head-scratcher.

Jose Contreras was up next in the 7th and did not fare much better.  He immediately allowed a 2-run single.  Those two runs were charged to Romero.  So the cycle of crap rolling down hill continued as the Phillies lost a 2-0 lead and turned it into a 4-2 deficit in 1 inning.

As for the offense, Oswalt did not get much run support in Houston and so far with the Phillies it has not been too different.  With the bases loaded in the first and one out, Jayson Werth hit a weak pop fly to strand the runners.  Domonic Brown struck out next, but putting that pressure on the rookie is just unfair.  Werth should have been able to hit a sacrifice with only 1 out.

More opportunities came in the 3rd inning, but again, Werth stranded 2 more runners and grounded out to end the inning.  Carlos Ruiz finally came up with a big 2-out hit in the 6th to score Brown and Raul Ibanez, but no one else stepped up after that, even after Oswalt drew a walk to load the bases.


Mayberry Ransom.jpgMike Sweeney
saw his first action as a Phillie in the 8th as a pinch-hitter and drew a walk.  Nice job!  Cody Ransom was designated for assignment earlier today to make room for him instead of sending John Mayberry Jr. back down.  Ransom did not play very well, batting only .190 since being called up from AAA.

So the Phillies entered the 9th down by two runs.  And then the offense started to show signs of life again.  Placido Polanco reached on a error which was followed by a Ross Gload single and an RBI-double from the super-hot Ibanez.  Werth stepped to the plate again in a good hitting situation and finally came through.  A single tied the game at 4-4. 

But then, just to totally ruin his shining moment, Werth wandered too far off second base and got picked off!  A few pitches later, Brown followed in Werth’s not so nimble footsteps and got caught stealing!  He was probably trying to make up for Werth’s bone-head move.  What a mess…inning over.

Ryan Madson held the tie down.  Then in the 10th, Ruiz played the hero again and smashed his 2nd homer of the season to give the Phils a 5-4 lead.  But no sooner could Phillies fans rejoice than we saw Brad Lidge step to the mound with only a 1-run lead.  Oh crap….not again.  But by some act of God, Lidge got the job done…whew!  A SWEEP in Miami!  Nice.

The Phillies head back home now to play the Mets tomorrow at 7:35pm.  Joe Blanton will pitch.  Good night all!

 

Mayberry and Ransom photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

Oswalt photo by Wikimedia Commons

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

 

Big Man Down: Howard To The DL


Phillies titanic.jpgThe Phillies 2010 season is beginning to resemble the sinking of the Titanic.  Ryan Howard was placed on the DL today with a left ankle sprain.  So it is official; every single infield starter for the Phils has been on the DL this year.  The only two team starters who have escaped a DL trip so far are Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez.  That makes player #15 on the DL this year.  Take a look:

1B

Ryan Howard

DL

8/3 – now

Starter

CF

Shane Victorino

DL

7/28 – now

Starter

P

Jamie Moyer

DL

7/21 – now

Starter

2B

Chase Utley

DL

6/29 – now

Starter

3B

Placido Polanco

DL

6/26 – 7/17

Starter

C

Carlos Ruiz

DL

6/22 – 7/10

Starter

P

Chad Durbin

DL

6/2 – 7/15

Relief pitcher

P

Antonio Bastardo

DL

6/17 – 7/15 to AAA

Relief pitcher

C

Brian Schneider

DL

5/9-5/24

Back-up

P

Ryan Madson

DL

4/29 – 7/8

Relief pitcher

P

JA Happ

DL

4/16 – 7/6 to AAA

Starter

SS

Jimmy Rollins

DL

4/13-4/17, 5/22-6/22

Starter

P

Joe Blanton

DL

3/26-5/3

Starter

P 

Brad Lidge

DL

3/26-4/30, 5/10-5/31

Closer

P

JC Romero

DL

3/26-4/22

Relief pitcher

 

Is this a sign that 2010 is just not the Phillies year?  I hope not.  Filling in at first base likely will be Ross Gload and maybe Cody Ransom.  John Mayberry Jr. was called up to fill the roster spot and will be used off the bench.

Howard and Chase Utley are the Phillies biggest producers; having them both out of the line-up is going to make an already struggling offense even less effective.  Not to mention, the Phillies bullpen is still suspect.  Manager Charlie Manuel has no idea what to expect from the pen from day to day.  And with fewer runs being scored, odds are good that the pen is going to decide the outcome of a lot of games.  This is not good news.

If you are looking for some good news, Roy Halladay is pitching tonight in Miami.  Even better news; the last time this match-up occurred, Halladay threw a Perfect Game.  The Marlins may be more prepared this time out, but anytime Halladay pitches, you have to like this team’s chances.

Home Stand Sweep


Broom.jpgWhile the big news of the day was the trade of Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, there was still a game to be played amidst all the hoopla.  And tonight, the Phillies were looking for a 7-game home stand sweep. 

Kyle Kendrick started against the D-Backs and did very well through 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one run.  Kendrick did walk one batter in each of the first 3 innings, but settled in after that.  With JA Happ gone in the trade today, the rotation spot belongs to Kendrick and he will need to keep up the solid pitching.

The Phillies offense, which has been on fire this entire home stand, finally sputtered a bit tonight.  Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI double in the 5th to score Cody Ransom.  The next inning, Raul Ibanez hit a solo homer to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.  But the offense ended there.  They did have 9 hits off Joe Saunders, but could not score.  Saunders had a very bad year with the Angels and was just traded to the D-Backs.  He looked ripe for the picking, but the Phillies let him off the hook.

Chad Durbin finished pitching the 7th and Ryan Madson had a very good 8th inning.  But manager Charlie Manuel left Madson in for the 9th.  One can only assume this is because his confidence in Brad Lidge with a slim 1-run lead is just not there.  And who could blame him.  But Madson has not pitched more than an inning since coming off the DL and he quickly got into trouble, giving up a lead-off double to start the 9th.

JC Romero took over and allowed a single; a ground out then scored the runner from third, which was charged to Madson. With the game then tied, the drama continued.  After an intentional walk and an unintentional walk, the bases were loaded for Romero.  Gerardo Para stepped to the plate and grounded into his second double play of the night.  Para was so upset, he slammed his helmet to the ground and was ejected by the first base umpire, Adrian Johnson.

The bad luck for Para seemed like good luck for the Phillies who entered the bottom of the 9th with a chance to win the game.  But Jayson Werth, Ransom and Ruiz went down in order and the game headed into extra innings.  In the 10th, Lidge was “Light’s Out” finally, sending the D-Backs down in order.  So if they had put him in for the 9th, this game may have been over already.  Go figure.  But you just don’t know what you are going to get out of Lidge these days.

The Phillies loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with 2 outs.  Ryan Howard, who was 0 for 4 on the night to that point, had a chance to redeem himself.  But in the past few games, Howard has started to look very, very confused at the plate.  And that translated into a strike out in the 10th to end the inning.  During this home stand, Howard is hitting only .185 including the 0 for 5 tonight.

But more bottom of the order heroics were on the way.  Ransom, Ruiz and Wilson Valdez, the 6, 7 and 8-hole hitters accounted for 7 of the Phillies 12 hits tonight.  So it was only fitting that in the 11th, the same three guys would finally win the game for their team.  Ransom walked, Ruiz singled and Valdez knocked in the winning run with a liner to centerfield.  The final score was 3-2 which completed a 7-game home stand sweep.

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By the way, the Braves lost tonight so the Phillies picked up one more game in the standings.  They are now 2.5 games out of first place in the NL East.

Tomorrow there will more high drama surrounding the Phillies as Roy Oswalt takes the mound in pinstripes for the first time.  He will face the Nationals in DC; game time is 7:05pm.  That game marks the first in a 6-game, 7 day road trip; 3 with the Nats and 3 with the Marlins in Miami after the off day on Monday.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Firing Of Hitting Coach Lights a Fire Under The Offense

The Phillies returned home today after a very bad road trip hoping to turn things around against the Rockies.  For starters, they fired their hitting coach, Milt Thompson and replaced him with Greg Gross.  Thompson is the fall guy for this severely underachieving offense.  But would this slap to the face be the wake-up call the Phillies are certainly in need of?

At first, it looked like the same old routine of hitting into double plays and leaving the bases loaded.  But in the 5th inning, the offense woke up and figured out how to score some runs.  Three straight hits, including an RBI double from Raul Ibanez, got things started. 
P6254147 Gload.jpg
Ryan Howard even stole a base, as his teammates giggled in the dugout after seeing the big man scamper to second.  Jayson Werth hit a sac fly and then Ross Gload, getting a rare start in the outfield, smacked a 2-run homer for his second hit of the night.

The only starter who did not contribute tonight was Wilson Valdez who went 0 for 4.  Everyone else, even the pitcher, got a hit.  Ibanez finally looks like RAUUUUUULLL again!  He had 3 hits and 3 RBI tonight.  Ibanez likes hitting 3rd, as I mentioned yesterday.  Jimmy Rollins, back in the lead-off spot as I also suggested yesterday, seems to have found his groove as well.  J-Roll collected 2 hits and a walk.

On the mound, Roy Halladay returned to his usual dominating form after allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in his last outing.  Tonight, he pitched extremely well, allowing only 5 hits and no runs over 8 innings.  Oddly enough, the hitting was a bigger story today than 8 shut-out innings from Halladay.  Because we expect Halladay to be good; but the offense has been so bad, seeing the Phillies score 6 runs was more exciting. 

JC Romero pitched an easy 9th inning and looked very sharp.   He hit the leadoff batter, but was lights-out after that.  The Phillies won by a score of 6-0 and Halladay finally experienced some run support.  Hopefully, this win will be a much needed boost for the team.

The starting pitching for the rest of the weekend has finally been announced.  Kyle Kendrick will be brought up to pitch Saturday as Jamie Moyer is placed on the DL.  And on Sunday, JA Happ will get his first start since 4/15/10 when an injury sent him to the DL.

As for Moyer, the news is not good.  An MRI showed that he has both a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor pronator muscle; those injuries are to the left forearm and elbow.  The two injuries may require surgery and this may also signal the end of Moyer’s career.  He is going for another exam early next week and should know for sure after that.  Either way, the injuries are more serious than what Happ had this year and Happ missed more than 3 months.

Moyer is in the last year of his contract with the Phillies and it is unlikely that a team would sign a 48-year old pitcher fresh off multiple injuries and possibly surgery.  So Moyer may have pitched his last inning.  Then again, if anyone can bounce back after such damage, it would be Moyer.  I wish him luck :O)

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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