Tagged: Jon Lester

A Lot Of K’s And A “Foul” Ball

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There was so little contact with the ball in last night’s Phillies-Red Sox match-up, that for most of the game, the fielders looked like this:

The Phillies pitchers struck out 14 batters and the Sox struck out 20 batters.  Phillies starter Joe Blanton had a great game, giving up just 2 solo homers in 7 innings.  But Jon Lester of the Sox out-pitched him by 1 run.  It was a classic pitcher’s duel, but left many fans at the park were left wondering if they should have brought their pillows.

The greatest excitement for most of the game was watching the emotional JC Romero pitch against the team that let him go in 2007 (thank you, Sox!).  In his usual style, Romero was all over the zone, but effective.  He pitched part of the 8th and the entire 9th while allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk.  JC, we are SO happy to have you back!

Phillies fans were woken from their slumber though in the bottom of the 9th when Ryan Howard hit a solo home run to tie the game at 2-2.  Extra innings followed, for the 3rd game in a row, but the Phillies were robbed of the win from the umpire (in my opinion anyway). 

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Greg Dobbs
hit what should have been a 2-run homer that was called a foul ball in the 11th inning.  Jim Joyce, who called it foul, refused to check the replay after manager Charlie Manuel requested it.  Tell me why then do we have Instant Replay?  Wasn’t the entire purpose to check on game changing calls? 

Look at the photo to the right; I freeze framed the video right as the ball passes the pole.  If the pole were taller, the ball would have hit it.  Therefore, it is a fair ball – game over.  But either Joyce is a Red Sox fan or he just likes staying up all night into extra innings.  At the very least, he should have reviewed it.  If he did so and still called it foul, fine.  I can live with that.  But the fact that he just flat out refused?  Unacceptable.

But as we all know, umpires can screw with games as often as they like and suffer no consequences.  So, on to the 12th inning they went…

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Kyle Kendrick
was recalled from the minors today after Scott Eyre was placed on the 15-day DL before the game with a calf strain.  This is a big shot to the Phillies bullpen.  Eyre has been great this year with a 2.57 ERA in 25 games.  And Kendrick trying to replace him, clearly was not up to the challenge.  He did fine in the 12th but then allowed 3 runs to the Sox in the 13th, losing the game for the Phillies.

So despite the amazing pitching (except Kendrick), and the 2-run homer that was called foul from Dobbs, the Phillies went down 5-2 in this first game of three.  I am getting ready to go to the game tonight and will be packing an extra set of glasses for Mr. Joyce.  Oh, and if I could somehow impart some common sense and decency onto him, I would gladly do that as well.

In the meantime, keep VOTING for our Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Kitty – funnyanimalphotos.com

Kendrick – Jenn

Foul or Fair? – mlb.com



Food For Thought

Although the Phillies outhit the Red Sox today and racked up 7 walks, they lost the game 3-1 as a result of having 12 men left on base.  The 4th inning was a great example of the trouble the Phils had closing the deal; Raul Ibanez singled off Jon Lester, followed by a Pedro Feliz double.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, John Mayberry popped out.  Keeping the inning alive, Chris Coste earned a walk to load the bases; but then Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino went down in order to end the threat.

The good news is that the Phillies made a habit out of this last year and still won the World Series.  The bad news is, lightning usually does not strike twice in the same place.  Not to say they cannot repeat, because they are more than capable, but the offense needs to solve the issue of leaving men on base to add to their chances.  Plus, many Phillies hitters are behind schedule from where they would normally be this time of year because of injuries like those of Coste, Feliz and Chase Utley.  Rollins and Victorino are also behind in the number of at-bats they should have because of the WBC.  Just a few thoughts for our offense to chew on.

Cole Hamels is also running behind, not only due to the elbow injury, but his rehab was further delayed today when the minor league game he was set to pitch in was reportedly cancelled due to rain.  The rest of the Phillies pitchers however, appear to be right on track. 

Joe Blanton has pitched very well this spring and gave up only 4 hits and 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings today against a strong Red Sox line-up.  We are all waiting now to see the new Phillie, Jack Taschner get into a game so we can see what he has to offer.  Aside from that question mark, the regulars in the pen look ready to go.

P7306527 Lidge.jpgAnd since we are on the subject of food, I just read an article about big league food in the MLB Insiders magazine by Jeremiah Sullivan.  According to Lance Berkman, the major leaguer with the biggest appetite is his former teammate, Brad Lidge.  “Brad Lidge will eat any and everything in sight,” says Berkman.  “It doesn’t matter what it is, he constantly crushes food.  He eats more than any other human being that I’ve seen in my entire life.  And everything has Tabasco sauce on it.”  Ok, gross.  P2222396 Utley.jpgSo what sort of food does All-Star Chase Utley like best?  “Sushi day is definitely my favorite,” says Utley.  “It is only served once every few home stands – that isn’t often enough.”  Raw fish; good to know.  Between that and the Tabasco sauce, I may never eat again.

And today marks 1 week until Opening Night in Philadelphia!  Whoo Hooo!  But until then, grapefruit league action will continue with the Phillies taking on Mr. Berkman and his Astros at 1:05pm tomorrow.

(All Photos by Jenn)


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Pitching Shuts Down Phils Offense

The Phillies offense struggled tonight, having to face a much tougher pitcher tonight in Jon Lester, and they just did not get the job done.  Jamie Moyer had a decent start again, although he was only able to go 5 innings as his pitch count mounted with Red Sox’s hitters being very patient at the plate, drawing walks and making the most of the 4 hits they got off him.  Jamie
P4137091 kitty Moyer cr.jpgonly gave up 2 runs, both of which came off a 2 run homer from Coco Crisp, who also scored the 3rd Sox run of the game in the 6th off Ryan Madson after stealing 2 bags.  Not bad for a guy who sounds more like a breakfast cereal than a baseball player.  Really, Moyer did his part…only 4 hits allowed is great, especially considering the tight strike zone the home plate umpire gave him to work with.  The Sox were simply not swinging and the walks kept coming…five in all.  It was as if Moyer were tossing cute little kitty cats up to the plate and the Sox did not want to swing and hurt the poor kitties.  How nice of them!  Well, extra points to the BoSox for being such animal lovers.

As for the Phillies offense, they were not quite as patient.  Four strikeouts for Ryan Howard on the night after last night’s amazing 3 for 5 performance…wow.  Burrell had 3 on the night.  As a team, the Red Sox racked up 10 strike outs total and gave up only 7 hits.  A few missed opportunities as well by our offense did not help.  Carlos Ruiz had 2 identical chances to get the Phillies going with 2 men on base in 2 different innings…both times he grounded to third base; once for a double play, once for the final out as there were already 2 outs.  And Chase Utley had a huge shot at getting the Phillies on the board in the 8th with Rollins on 3rd base and 2 outs, but he continues his slump and struck out on a bad pitch.  I believe he is now 0 for his last 16.  Yikes!  Clearly, he was seeing adorable kitty cats at the plate too J  Give credit however to Jon Lester tonight…he was great and pitched all sides of the plate and changed speeds effectively.  This guy is the real deal.

Well, we’ve got one more shot at the World Champs tomorrow afternoon and hopefully, the bats come out swinging hard!  Also, remember to keep VOTING for the Phillies to go to All-Star game!  Chase Utley still leads all Major league players in votes!  Pat Burrell has moved back up to 6th place in outfield votes, Rollins is in 4th at short stop and Howard is in 5th at first base…so, we need MORE votes to get these guys in there with Chase!  Go Phillies!

Bouncing Back Against The BoSox

Cole Hamels led the Phillies to an 8-2 win over the World Champion Red Sox tonight, going 7 innings and giving up only 2 runs that came off 2 solo home runs.  Cole struck out 5, walked 2, gave up a total of 7 hits and his record improves to 7-4.  More importantly, he kept the Phillies in the game, looked calm and in control and even laid down a sacrifice bunt and singled in the game to aid his own cause.  This was exactly the shot in the arm this pitching staff needed after a sad performance by Brett Myers yesterday.

Add to that, the offense came back to life against Boston’s Bartolo Colon.  Jimmy Rollins got the party started with a lead-off home run, essentially whacking his way out of a hitting slump as he wound up going 3 for 5 with 3 RBI on the night.  Ryan Howard had another huge night with 3 more hits, 2 of which were home runs, 4 RBI’s and increased his batting average to .224.  Pat Burrell and Shane Victorino also contributed with 2 hits each.  A much bigger challenge awaits tomorrow with Jon Lester scheduled to pitch for the Red Sox, who pitched a no hitter last month against the Royals.

Samuel.jpgIn other news, Juan Samuel has been named to the Phillies Wall of Fame and will be inducted in a ceremony to be held at Citizens Bank Park before the game on August 8, 2008.  Sammy joined the Phillies broadcasting staff in the booth during the game tonight and expressed his joy and appreciation at being chosen for this honor.  Sammy will be the 30th member of the Wall.  Samuel player 6 ½ years with the Phillies and he became the first player in Major League history to reach double digits in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases in each of his first four seasons.  Congrats to Sammy on this well deserved honor!