Tagged: Jeremy Hellickson

Weekend Series Ends on a Downer

The Phillies Saturday and Sunday games this past weekend against the Cardinals were very different.  Saturday started out on a great note; there were smiles, puppies, babies and Kane Kalas, paying tribute to his late Dad, Harry.
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The happiness continued as the game began.  Jeremy Hellickson pitched well, Caesar Hernandez opened the game with a lead-off home run and the team went on to a solid 4-2 victory.
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And then I made the mistake of going to Sunday’s game….

Vince Velasquez was awful, as has been the case in his last 3 starts.  Is it just me or should this guy be closing, not starting?  He seems to be conserving energy in an effort to pitch multiple innings.  As a closer, he could just let it fly for one inning.  Just a thought….
2016.08.21 Vince

Anyway, Velasquez gave up 5 runs in 6 innings, including 2 long balls.  Not a good day.  The offense also had a bad day with many swings and misses and confused looks on players’ faces as they failed to reach base.
2016.08.21 Offense

But no one had a worse day than Frank Herrmann (who??).  This guy hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 with the Indians and it showed.  He did have Tommy John surgery in 2013 so this outing was a great opportunity for him to show what he could do.  Unfortunately, it did not go well; Herrmann lasted 2/3 of an inning and allowed 4 runs.  He may want to think about how best to put his Economics degree from Harvard to better use.
2016.08.21 Herrmann

The one bright spot in the game was an amazing leaping catch from Odubel Hererra:
2016.08.21 Odubel

Other than that, it was a very sad, sloppy 0-9 loss.

Photo Albums: Saturday, Sunday

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

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Fashion Fail + Loss = Sad Holiday for Phillies

Feel bad for Jeremy Hellickson; this poor guy pitched one of his best games and came away with nothing to show for it last night against the Nationals.  Hellickson allowed only 1 run over 7 innings with 8 strikeouts and no walks.  Taking him out with only 79 pitches was questionable, but then again the end of the Phillies bullpen has been very solid.
2016.05.30 Hellickson

Alas, neither the Phillies offense nor bullpen did well on this night.  Not even the bland, murky camouflage Memorial Day uniforms could inspire this team.  The painfully weak Phils offense mustered only 6 hits, going 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position.  Freddy Galvis hit a solo homer in the 6th inning and Hellickson executed an awesome squeeze bunt in the 2nd, which scored Cesar Hernandez.  And that was mostly the end of the batting excitement.
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The real blow came in the 8th inning, when with 2 outs and ex-Phillie Ben Revere at bat, Hector Neris became obsessed with the runner at first base.  Multiple throw overs and even a pitch out seemed to totally break his concentration, which is something you absolutely cannot do with a guy batting around .170 at the plate.  His only concern should have been Revere, who has been a very easy out lately.  Instead, Neris walked the light-hitting Revere and then put two more on base.  That left him to face super-hot Daniel Murphy, who is batting almost .400 and already had a double and a homer in the game.  As expected, Murphy singled in the second run of the inning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven so, the Phillies almost got to closer Jonathan Papelbon in the 9th.  They scored one running, making it a 3-4 ballgame with no outs.  But then instead of pinch hitting Andres Blanco, who has a number of big hits off Papelbon, the Phillies put in rookie Tommy Joseph, who has never faced Papelbon. Hello???  Of course, he struck out, as did Hernandez after him.  And then Tyler Goedell lined out to end the game.  Blanco was left on deck and never made it to the plate.

This was one frustrating loss; the Phillies have now lost 8 of their last 10 games thanks to a weak offense and some very bad moves.  Hopefully, they can rebound tonight!

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Bullpen Woes Ruin Opening Day

The Phillies took a 2 – 1 lead into the 8th inning against the Reds yesterday in their first game of the season.  And then, the wheels fell off.  Much criticism has been heaped onto the Phillies bullpen this offseason.  While most of the team looks promising, this is going to be a sore spot.

Of course, the rest of the team was not setting the world on fire, either.  With only 6 hits in the game, including a 2-run Freddy Galvis homer, the Phillies offense was mostly silent.  And the defense started off badly with a huge error from veteran Ryan Howard in the 1st inning which led to an early run for the Reds.  Howard also did not have a hit in the game and left 3 men on base.

Hernandez wall of shame But while Howard should be elected to the Opening Day Wall of Shame, he was beat out by David Hernandez for the title.  Hernandez allowed 3 runs in the 8th inning on a hit and 2 walks, sinking the Phillies ship for good.  He did not record a single out.  James Russell was not much better, allowing 2 more runs.  In all, the bullpen 8th inning follies ended in a 6 – 2 win for the Reds.

The real shame of this is that Jeremy Hellickson pitched a heck of a game.  I am still not sure why he was pulled after only 6 innings and 70 pitches.  Manager Pete Mackanin could have let him go one more inning and put Jeanmar Gomez in for the 8th inning.  The 9th inning may still have been a mess, but at least with only 3 outs left, he would have had more wiggle room to mix and match pitchers.  But that is only my humble opinion.

The Phillies are off today and will try again on Wednesday; game time is 7:10pm and Aaron Nola will pitch.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies vs. Future Phillies

Yesterday, the Phillies took on “Future Phillies” in a pre-season exhibition game at Citizen’s Bank Park.  Before the game, several current and future players wandered around the ballpark signing autographs and taking photos with fans.  I managed to snag 5 autos and 2 photos with players.  I also met both Opening Day starters; Jeremy Hellickson, who will start the official Opening Day tomorrow and Aaron Nola, who will get the home opener.
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It was strange having to root for both teams playing, but entertaining.  The youngsters keep the game very close and both sides appeared to be having a good time.
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Pitcher Charlie Morton did not look very sharp, as the future players collected 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks over 4 2/3 innings.  But the game didn’t really count, so no worries.
2016.04.02 Morton

Two other pitchers who looked really sharp were Brett Oberholtzer and James Russell.  Both guys are large and intimidating, and Russell just made this team a bit hairier.  As a side note, Oberholtzer is from Delaware; he spent parts of the last 3 seasons with the Astros.  And Russell is a 6-year veteran who spent most of his time with the Cubs.
2016.04.02 relievers

Some other newbies also seem promising.  Tyler Goeddel is a Rule 5 player, just like Odubel Hererra was last year; he went 2 for 5 and stole a base.  And Cedric Hunter, who has been languishing in the San Diego minors for 6 years, is going to get a real shot at the big leagues.  It was announced today that he made the team, 10 long years after being drafted and playing only 6 games in the majors during that time.
2016.04.02 Hunter Goeddel

So the full roster is going to look like this:

P4027670CFPitchers (12): Right-handers Jerad Eickhoff, Jeanmar Gomez, Jeremy Hellickson, David Hernandez, Dalier Hinojosa, Charlie Morton, Hector Neris, Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez, and left-handers Brett Oberholtzer, James Russell and Daniel Stumpf

Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Cameron Rupp

Infielders (7): Andres Blanco, Emmanuel Burriss, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf

Outfielders (4): Peter Bourjos, Tyler Goeddel, Odubel Herrera and Cedric Hunter

The team is not going to be great, with all the young players, but they may not be as bad as everyone thinks.  It will at least be an interesting season, full of growing pains and likely a few nice surprises.  Here is the Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri