The Phillies probably cannot wait to hit the road. They simple cannot score runs or win in their home ballpark as evidenced by yet another homestand sweep (0-6) this season. It was only the fourth time in history the Phillies have been swept during a homestand where they played more than one team. Today’s 0-2 loss to the Braves sealed the historic mark.
In fact, the most exciting thing that happened all day was the pre-game wrestling match between the Phanatic and Braves catcher, Anthony Recker. First, there was taunting. And then a challenge:
Then the fight began:
And Recker declared victory, much to the delight of his teammates.
It was the first of two Braves wins on the day. The second began with the sound of bats whiffing.
And when the Phillies did make contact, not much happened. There was yet another opportunity to score in the 5th inning, but as has been the case many, many times this year, 3rd base coach Juan Samuel held the runner, Freddy Galvis, at third on a Peter Bourjos double. When a team is struggling this badly to score, you have got to take a shot there. Because the odds of the next batter or two getting that run in are very slim, based on this offensive’s past behavior. So it was just another frustrating inning.
All the while, pitcher Jake Thompson pitched extremely well, despite the lack of run support. He allowed only one run, a Matt Kemp solo shot, over 7 innings.
By the way, where was that hurricane we were supposed to get? Oh wait, it was just the Braves blowing through town taking the Phillies dignity with them…sigh.
Super depressing, right? Just to cheer you up, here are a few “fun” shots from the game. One looks like Darin Ruf is giving birth to a baseball 😉 Tommy Joseph: “Check, please!” Galvis: “Pleeease can we get a win? I’ll be your best friend!”
Here is the full Photo Album from the game.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri
The Phillies were swept by the Braves today in a depressing 4-3 loss. There was not even a little comic relief, as in Saturday’s loss when Hunter Pence bowled over 3rd base coach Juan Samuel while rounding the bases towards home. That bit had everyone except Samuel laughing to the point of tears.
The only laughs today came before the game started:
After that, absolutely nothing was funny. Even the presentation of All-Star jersey’s to Carlos Ruiz, Jonathan Papelbon and Cole Hamels was somehow lacking in enthusiasm.
And then fans learned that Shane Victorino was pulled from the line-up at the last moment, prompting rumors of a possible trade or injury. But what actually happened, according to Charlie Manuel, was that Shane was feeling “down” and had “a lot on his mind…” And so, Charlie took him out in favor of Jason Pridie.
That turned out to be the only good move of the day. Pridie hit a 2-run homer and a double, which accounted for all 3 Phillies runs in the game.
Vance Worley battled through 6 innings, allowing 3 runs, which was a nice improvement over his last start where he have up 6 runs in 4 innings. But despite the quality start, not much was going the way of the Phillies.
There were some nice defensive plays:
But the offense was lackluster, despite having both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the line-up. The top 4 in the line-up went 1-for-16 collectively, although Jimmy Rollins did go 3-for-3 in pop-fly outs. I am not sure that is a stat to be proud of, but at least he is consistent (note my sarcasm, in case you missed it).
Ultimately, Raul Valdes gave up a solo homer to who else, but Brian McCann, giving the Braves a 1-run lead that the Phillies failed to overcome.
So the Braves had a nice visit to Philly, complete with attempts to steal young Phillies fans. Here is ex-Phil Chad Durbin and Dan Uggla before the game playing nice with one of the kids chosen for the traditional Sunday Starting 9:
Actually, it was very sweet. But Durbin was always that kind of guy; his presence is still missed on this ballclub.
So the Phillies go into the All-Star break in the midst of a complete disaster. They have won only 1 of their last 12 games and sit in dead last in the NL East, 14 games out of first. Get ready fans; I am afraid change is coming, and not the good kind.
For a pleasant distraction, check out my Photo Album from the game; just pretend they win and the photos look even better!
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Ryan Madson had been plowing down hitters, allowing just one run all season until Tuesday night. The Phillies lost to the Reds by a score of 6-3 after a hairy ninth inning.
Rookie Vance Worley started the game and was a little rusty after being switched from starter to reliever to the minors and back to starting again as Joe Blanton made his second trip to the DL this month. Worley was still pretty good, considering the way he has been bounced around lately.
Over five innings, Worley allowed three runs on six hits and four walks.
Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz carried the offense as both players are suddenly on fire. Ibanez went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Ruiz was 2-for-3, also with an RBI.
Chase Utley was in the line-up again since returning from the DL. He was hitless on Monday, but finally got a hit Tuesday night. That single turned out to be a momentum shift in the game, only not in the right direction.
Juan Samuel waived home Jimmy Rollins from second on the play for no apparent reason and he was a dead duck at home plate by about a mile. There had been only one out in the inning at the time and losing that run seemed to kill the Phillies offense.
Utley was involved in a number of odd plays in the field as well, which sent him scrambling all over the place to track down balls hit into no-man’s land. Here are a few of those plus some other plays:
But in the end, the game came down to the bullpen. After a 13-inning scoreless streak, Ryan Madson finally had a bad day. With one out in the ninth, Madson made a bad throw to first and things snowballed from there.
After loading the bases, Madson gave up a 3-run double to Jay Bruce. The Reds had a 6-3 lead and the Phillies offense was unable to come back in the bottom of the inning. Hopefully, Madson can start a new streak tonight.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game. The third game with the Reds is tonight at 7:05pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies added one more alumni back to the organization this week. Former Phils All-Star 2nd baseman, Mickey Morandini has been assigned to manage Class A Williamsport next season. He had been coaching High School baseball and also helped out the Phillies during Spring Training over the past several years as well. Morandini joins other former teammates hired this offseason in coaching roles including Juan Samuel and Ryne Sandberg.
Earlier this week as well, the Phillies picked out 5 young players to add to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from being selected in the Rule-5 draft. This is the current roster below with those 5 players highlighted in blue and I added their fielding positions as well:
In addition to these players, 12 non-roster players have been invited to Spring Training:
- Josh Barfield, INF
- Eddie Bonine, RHP
- Tagg Bozied, INF/OF
- Ryan Feierabend, LHP
- Erik Kratz, C
- Jeff Larish, INF
- Dan Meyer, LHP
- Matt Miller, OF
- Brandon Moss, OF
- Pete Orr, INF
- Juan Perez, LHP
- Dane Sardinha, C
Most of these players have a good amount of major league experience and if they do not make the team, they will probably help fill up the AAA roster. It is thought that if southern Jersey native Dan Meyer is healthy, he may have a shot at a bullpen spot. And Pete Orr could end up as a utility man since he plays multiple positions. The rest are long shots.
This list of players also means we have likely seen the last of Mike Sweeney, which is very sad. Many had hoped he would at least get an invitation to spring training as he was a powerful positive force in the clubhouse since arriving in Philly. He may choose to retire; whatever he does, we wish him the best! Sweeney’s team spirit and upbeat attitude will be missed.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies have hired ex-Phillie Juan Samuel to fill the void left when first base coach Davey Lopes walked after failed contract negotiations. Samuel started his 16-year big league career with the Phillies, playing second base from 1983 to part of 1989.
Later in his career, Samuel played both second base and outfield positions and was known as an extremely versatile player. More recently, he coached third base for the Orioles and also served as interim manager when Dave Trembley was fired in June.
Samuel will take over as third base coach and outfield instructor for the Phillies while Sam Perlozzo moves to first base. When asked about returning the Philadelphia, Samuel told reporters, “I couldn’t be happier. I’m ecstatic going back and joining an elite group of players and manager. It’s a dream come true.” Samuel was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2008 and has always been a fan favorite. It will be nice to have him back.
In other news, the Phillies have made a small flurry of insignifigant moves in the past week or so. They have signed Pete Orr, 31, to a minor league deal. The infielder has spent much of his baseball career lingering in the minors where he hit .264.
In the catcher category, the Phils re-signed Dane Sardinha who hit .205 in his time with the Phils last year and .207 in the minors. They also picked up Erik Kratz, 30, who hit .274 in the Pirates AAA system.
Continuing to add minor-league pitching, Eddie Bonine, 29, was added as well after spending time in the Tigers bullpen last year. Bonine had a record of 4-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 47 appearances and one start in 2010. His name indicates that he is good at preventing nausea, however, his stats indicate otherwise. Yuck. Well, at least they picked up one guy under 30….barely.
As for Jayson Werth, there is still little news. He and his super-agent Scott Boras are out and about trying to see who is willing to get serious about overpaying the outfielder. The odds of Werth returning to the Phillies lessen as each day passes. But truthfully, the odds may have been close to 1% to begin with. Don’t hold out hope…it is very unlikely that Werth will be back in red pinstripes.
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.
In 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!