It took a torrential downpour to start the game, 4 runs, 11 innings and 4 ½ hours, but the Phillies finally pulled off a win against the Reds for a series split. The win also vaulted them into 3rd place in the division. Imagine being happy about 3rd place back in April…this has been a crazy year.
One person who was not happy about the rain to start the game was Cole Hamels. He stated after the game, “We have these things called radar detectors and if you can’t read them correctly I don’t know what’s going on.” After getting into trouble and allowing a run in the 1st while it poured, Hamels was probably having bad flashbacks to Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. Officials did not call that game until after Hamels relinquished 2 runs to tie the game due in part to the sloppy field conditions.
But that game turned out pretty well, although not until several days later. The start of Thursday’s game was not delayed as it should have been, so his frustration is easy to understand. But the extra-inning affair also worked out in the end. Hamels went 6 innings and allowed 3 runs.
The offense had some issues as well. It looked like no one could hit Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto until the 6th inning when the Phils finally scored 2 runs. But once they got the game tied up at 3-3, things got every stranger.
The Phillies started getting on base, but there appear to be a brick wall at 3rd base that no one could pass. In both the 8th and 9th innings, the Phillies had the bases loaded with only 1 out and did not score. In the 9th Domonic Brown hit into a double play to end the inning, adding to the frustration. They left 2 men on base with 1 out in the 10th as well. In all, the Phillies stranded 16 runners and went only 4-14 with runners in scoring position.
Throughout those many irritating innings though, the bullpen did an excellent job of holding the Reds at bay. 5 pitchers went 5 scoreless innings, including Phillippe Aumont who made his major league debut. He tossed a scoreless 8th inning.
Aumont had been called up to replace Jeremy Horst who was on paternity leave. But Horst returned, and also pitched, last night. Aumont stayed and instead, Michael Schwimer was very quietly sent back to Triple-A. So it appears the Phillies will get a longer look at Aumont to see what he can do.
With the bullpen’s solid effort, the table was set yet again for the Phillies in the 11th inning. Finally, someone got a hit with the bases loaded. John Mayberry Jr. singled to left to score Chase Utley for the walk-off victory. After the game, Charlie Manuel expressed his frustration about all the previously stranded runners by saying, “I feel drained. Really. I kept waiting for somebody to come home.” Everyone laughed, which is certainly a lot easier when you have won the game.
And now the 1st place Nationals come to town. There is just something very wrong about that previous sentence…sigh. Game time tonight is 7:05pm.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Catcher Brian Schneider grew up a Phillies fan. He realized his dream of playing for his home town team this year and today, he became the savior of his team in a tough, extra innings game. More on that in a minute…
Before tonight’s game against the Reds, the big news revolved around Shane Victorino. Apparently, he had a few strong words for the fans of Philadelphia. He said, “I’m hearing fans yelling, ‘Victorino, you’re horrible; you stink,'” during last night’s loss to the Braves. Victorino went on to say, among other things, “It’s frustrating when you hear those things from your own fans.”
A few things to note here: the games are still selling out. And for the small 4 or 5% of fans that are yelling insults, the rest are still cheering the team on. Victorino is right to be frustrated, but that should be directed at the way the team has been playing, not at the fans. But don’t worry Shane; we are still behind you.
Victorino took his frustrations out on the ball in the 1st inning when he hit a home run to silence the doubters. He also hit an RBI-single in the 3rd inning which turned out to be a very strange play. Victorino collided with Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto at first and his glove flew off; Cueto dropped the ball, which rolled to Joey Votto who tossed it back to the bare-handed Cueto. He dropped the ball again and Jimmy Rollins scored. The game was then delayed as Cueto appeared to have the wind knocked out of him. He was fine though and the game went on.
For the Phillies, Kyle Kendrick pitched very well, allowing only 1 run on 3 hits in 6 2/3 innings. Having left Jamie Moyer in too long last night, manager Charlie Manuel was not going to make the same mistake again. He pulled Kendrick and had JC Romero get the final out of the 7th inning.
But more drama was yet to come. Fresh off the disabled list, Ryan Madson saw his first game action since April in the 8th inning. He allowed two singles and then with two outs in the inning, he surrendered the one run lead on another very odd play. Brandon Phillips struck out on a wild pitch which sailed past catcher Brian Schneider. Phillips ran to first as both Schneider and Madson went after the ball, not realizing until it was too late that Drew Stubbs was running home and no one was covering. Stubbs scored and tied the game 2-2.
In the bottom half of the inning, Wilson Valdez led off with a triple. Rollins hit a sac fly to score him and give the Phils a 3-2 lead going into the 9th inning. But that meant that it was Brad Lidge time.
A one run lead and Lidge in the 9th has not been a sure thing for a very long time. And right away, Lidge gave up a hit and a walk. It looked like he may get out of it when the next batter hit into a double play. But Miguel Cairo, who was with the Phils last year, hit an RBI-double on the 2nd pitch he saw to tie the game again. And just like that, Lidge earned yet another blown save.
The Phillies could not score in the 9th so off to extra innings they went. In the 12 inning, the drama continued as Jayson Werth had a small confrontation with a very dumb fan. With two outs, a foul ball went just above the wall in right field and Werth was right there to catch it. Unfortunately, the dumb fan snagged the ball right before it went into Werth’s glove. Werth had a few choice words for the guy. But all was well as pitcher Nelson Figueroa got the batter to ground out.
Figueroa pitched two amazing innings and was on deck to bat and go for three when Brian Schneider finally ended the game. Schneider crushed a ball which sailed over the right field wall to give the Phillies a 12 inning, walk-off 4-3 win over the Reds. Way to go, Brian! You rock!
The Phillies family lost another beloved member today. Maje McDonnell, who would have been 90 years old later this month, passed away today. McDonnell spent his entire life with the Phillies. He grew up in Philly and served with the Phillies as a batting practice pitcher, coach, scout, instructor and a Veterans Stadium tour guide in his 57 years with the team. He had just retired last year.
McDonnell was also a war hero, having served in World War II, earning a combat badge, five battle stars and a Bronze Star. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Maje. He will be missed.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
It was another bad night for Kyle Kendrick. Against the Reds, Kendrick pitched 6 1/3 innings while allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits, including a 2-run homer to ex-Phillie Scott Rolen. Chase Utley committed an error at the start of the 6th inning which gave Kendrick a little extra rope to hang himself with.
Kendrick still seems to have trouble buckling down and making pitches after something bad happens, like an error that puts the opposing team’s pitcher on base. No pitcher is happy when this occurs, but the good ones do not let it bother them and proceed to work out of the mess. Some days, Kendrick looks sure of himself on the mound; and other days, he looks out of place. But the Phillies have few other options with JA Happ still not recovering well from his injury.
Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto is similar to Kendrick in the consistency department. He will have a few really bad games, then some really good ones. Unfortunately for the Phils, tonight Cueto had a good game and the offense sputtered against him. Phillies batters had a few opportunities to pounce on Cueto, but they came up short each time, going only 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position. In all, they left 4 men on base and had 8 hits.
Utley got tossed out trying to stretch a single into a double and both Raul Ibanez and Brian Schneider hit into double plays. Although on replay, Ibanez should have been called safe. Ryan Howard had 2 hits in the game, including a triple, and he scored one of only two runs in the game for the Phillies. Ibanez hit a solo homer in the 9th with two outs.
The bullpen did not help out either; David Herndon gave up a hit which allowed one of Kendrick’s base runners to score and in the 8th inning, Mike Zagurski allowed a run on one hit and a walk. In all, it was an evening to forget as the Phillies lost by a score of 7-2.
In injury news, Placido Polanco did not play again today after getting another cortisone injection in his sore elbow on Sunday. He may play tomorrow but it looks like this will be an on-going issue for the rest of the season. Polanco will play through the pain and possibly have surgery in the off-season. That makes one wonder how productive he will be the rest of the year, but all we can do is wait and see. But a slightly banged up Polanco is probably better that leaving Wilson Valdez at third all year.
I have also just heard that Utley was pulled in the 9th inning because he hurt his thumb sliding into 2nd base. He will have an MRI tomorrow…cross your fingers.
Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Stop rubbing your eyes; yes, the Phillies scored ten runs in the first inning of the ballgame tonight against the Reds. Pitcher Johnny Cueto was responsible for 9 of those. The ten run inning tied a franchise record for the Phillies, making the 4th time in history it had been done. The last time was 6/2/02 against the Expos.
And the brutality did not end there; the smokin’ hot offense burned Reds pitching for a total of 22 runs on 21 hits. While the Reds felt like they were walking in bare feet over hot coals all night, the Phillies players enjoyed the equivalent of a relaxing day at the spa, complete with a soothing foot rub and a Frangipani scalp massage. Ahhhhh….this is the life.
Here is just a sampling of tonight’s treats:
Chase Utley: 3 for 3 with 4 RBI and a 3-run homer = Aromatherapy European Facial
Shane Victorino: 4 for 5, 4 RBI and a 2-run homer = Mineral Seaweed Body Wrap (plus a trip to the All-Star game??)
Greg Dobbs: 4 for 6 and 2 RBI on a homer = Deep Tissue Massage
Jimmy Rollins: 3 for 4, 1 RBI, 2 walks and a revival of his season = Manicure & Pedicure
Jayson Werth: GRAND SLAM, 2 hits, 5 RBI = Honey Papaya Scrub & Hot Stone Massage
Cole Hamels: 7 innings pitched, 1 run allowed, 2 for 4 and 2 RBI at the plate = Chakra Crystal Healing
REDS Pitching – Full Body Wax…ouch!
Ryan Howard will participate in the Home Run Derby for the Phillies! In 2006, Howard won the event and in 2009, he will try it again. But this time, he will be in his home town of St. Louis. Good luck, Ryan!
The Phillies centerfielder, Shane Victorino, also has a chance to go to St. Louis. He is one of 5 candidates to fill the final roster spot which will be voted on by the fans. You can VOTE as many times as you are able to! No more 25x limit…so, go for it! VOTE FOR SHANE!
Dobbs photo by Jenn
Spa photo: manchestergrand.hyatt.com