The Blue Jays pecked apart the Phillies in all aspects of the game throughout a 3-game sweep. Today’s 6-2 loss was the bloodiest of the 3 as the Phillies seem to have laid down and accepted their fate.
Pitcher Kyle Kendrick started the game out by giving up back to back doubles to the Jays who took a 2-run lead in the 1st inning. The massacre continued with Kendrick allowing 5 runs total over 6.1 innings. Kendrick simply cannot repeat good pitches. At one point, he had Jose Bautista down in an 0-2 count on two very sharp pitches. But then he threw 4 straight balls and walked him. There is no consistency and both Kendrick and the Phillies paid the price.
The only offense for the Phillies was 2 solo homers; one from Jim Thome and one from John Mayberry Jr. Thome hit 4 homers during this road trip and Mayberry smashed 3. Still, the rest of the team did little to help. Of 8 hits today, 3 were Mayberry’s. And Shane Victorino had 2 hits. The excitement ends there.
Right now, the Phillies are a team with no answers. They cannot hit; they cannot pitch; and with 11 errors on this 3-6 road trip, they cannot play defense either. Yes, 11 errors in 9 games; you are not crazy, you read that right.
This has been about as much fun to watch as a 20-car pile-up on the freeway. The Phillies have crashed and burned…repeatedly.
Monday is an off-day when, perhaps, some of these players can relax and clear their heads. Tuesday they begin a 3-game series against the Rockies who are one of the few teams doing worse than the Phillies right now. So that may be a small glimmer of hope…very, very small considering how things are going. Cross your fingers…
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Kendrick photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
In the month of June, Cliff Lee was untouchable. After five starts, he allowed only one run and threw 3-consecutive complete game shut-outs. But today, it was apparent that the magical month of June was officially over for Lee.
Prior to the game, the vibes were nothing but positive. The Phillies were so loose and happy that they laughed and chatted with the mass of fans standing behind the dugout, most of whom had travelled great distances to see their team play in Toronto. Many bantered with a particularly exuberant fan a few feet away from me who was shouting their names one after another.
The Phillies are always great with the fans, but today there was a level of interaction that I have never seen before during warm-ups. Everyone was smiling and laughing, even the Blue Jays fans and stadium employees. Nothing but hugs and smiles, literally:
So when the game began, it felt like nothing could quell the excitement. The Phillies offense got off to a hot start, scoring four runs in the second inning. It looked like the bats were going to be hot all day.
But perhaps the Phillies were a bit too relaxed going into this one. Because after the second inning, the offense went right to sleep.
However, with Cliff Lee pitching, it seemed like four runs should get the job done. But through seven innings, Lee had allowed three runs narrowing the Phils lead to 4-3. Multiple stolen bases and balls finding holes put the Jays back in the game.
Shane Victorino added to the drama of the day when he got his cleat stuck in the astro turf and jammed his thumb. He was eventually fine and stayed in the game. But then in the eighth after hitting a double, Victorino got picked off leaning too far off base.
Then in the bottom of the eighth inning, the wheels completely fell off. On the first pitch of the inning, Eric Thames took Lee deep to centerfield to tie the game. And the horror did not end there. Jose Bautista homered next, as he did in each game of this series. An Adam Lind single was followed shortly after by the third home run of inning, this time from Edwin Encarnacion.
And just like that, Lee was lifted from the game and the Phillies were down by a score of 7-4.
So while they did not sweep, the Phillies still won 2 out of 3 in this series to end Interleague play for the year. The Marlins are up next starting tomorrow night at 6:10pm.
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game. Once I return home at the end of the week, I will also post photos from the rest of my trip to Canada for anyone who is curious. Check back for that.
The All-Stars have been announced. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Placido Polanco will be representing the Phillies!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
We are sorry for ruining your holiday. Perhaps next year, you can play the Mets on Canada Day instead. Sincerely,
So yes, the Phillies pulled off an improbable 7-6 comeback win today against the Blue Jays, amidst holiday festivities. Canadians take this day very seriously; everything was closed and parties were all over the place. Even Wal-Mart was closed. Know you know how important this day was for Canada. No Wal-Mart…I shudder at the thought.
The festivities also included a pre-game celebration:
And then former Blue-Jay Roy Halladay was asked to present the line-up card for the Phillies and go over the ground rules, like the coach normally does. The Toronto fans gave him a loud standing ovation.
One fan told me the reason they love Halladay so much was not because he is an awesome pitcher, but because he always gave 110% even when the team sucked for all those years. He never slacked off, even though they were not winning.
Also part of the celebration, all players and even the mascots wore jerseys that said “Canada” on the back instead of their names:
The match-up of Kyle Kendrick and Ricky Romero looked ominous as Kendrick plunked the first batter he faced. Yunel Escobar wound up having to leave the game with a badly bruised hand and Kendrick proceeded to give up a bunch of runs.
But while Kendrick faltered, the Phillies offense battled back and by the seventh inning they had a 5-4 lead after a Shane Victorino triple and then a sac fly from Ben Francisco scored two runs.
The defense on both sides was a bit sloppy, but the Phillies were able to recover.
The Jays then landed what looked like a knock-out blow in the bottom of the seventh. With a 5-4 lead and 2 outs, Kendrick made a huge mistake to slugger Jose Bautista who deposited the ball over the fence in left.
With the air out of the balloon and now losing by 6-5, it looked like Kendrick had blown the game. But the Phillies mustered a comeback in the ninth. Placido Polanco walked, Chase Utley doubled and then Ryan Howard served up a 2 RBI-single to give the Phils a 7-6 lead.
Antonio Bastardo sent the shell-shocked Jays down in order in the bottom of the ninth for the save. And now, they Jays have to contend with Halladay and Cliff Lee in the next two games. I like the chances for the Phillies.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game. More photos to come after tomorrow’s game as well!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography