Tagged: Maikel Franco

Farewell to The Big Piece

The Phillies did right by Ryan Howard on Sunday by honoring his 13 years in Philadelphia before the final game of the season.  Everyone entering the stadium received Howard’s head on a stick for full participation in the ceremony.  Mike Schmidt also made an appearance.
2016.10.02 Howard

This all had the potential to be quite awkward considering Howard still has an option left on his contract which it is obvious will not be picked up.  But the Phillies and the fans did a great job honoring the former MVP and All-Star.  Howard spoke to the crowd and got pretty choked up; a lone tear could be seen streaming down his cheek as he realized his time in Philly was done.
2016.10.02 Howard heads

Howard did not have the final game he envisioned, though.  He went hitless in the game, but the Phillies still beat the Mets so I am sure that made his final goodbye a bit easier.  Several guys went hitless as well, but Maikel Franco and Andres Blanco finished strong with 4 and 3 hits, respectively.
2016.10.02 hitting

Plus, Jerad Eickhoff pitched very well, allowing only 1 run over 6 innings.
2016.10.02 Jerad

So the Phillies finish a very up and down season in 4th place with a record of 71-91.  The Phillies offense finished dead last in all of baseball with only 610 runs scored.  As such, and as is seemingly a Phillies tradition, Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson got the ax right after the game.

There may be more fallout in the days to come.  In the meantime, here is the full Photo Album from the game and pre-game ceremonies.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri

July 4th Offensive Fireworks

The Phillies celebrated Independence Day on Monday afternoon with an 8-2 win over the Braves.  The game included a 7-run 2nd inning and plenty of celebrations.
2016.07.04 Offense

Both Odubel Hererra and Maikel Franco homered in the inning.  And today, Herrera made the 2016 All-Star team; as of this moment, it looks like he will be the only Phillies player in attendance.

Jerad Eickhoff had another great start, allowing 2 runs in 7.2 innings while striking out 8 batters.  And the defense played a clean game behind him.
2016.07.04 PitchD

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

The Phillies are playing game 2 against the Braves right now and are leading 3-0 in the 5th inning.  Go Phillies!

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Take Series Against Defending World Champs

With a 7-2 win today, the Phillies collected the series win against the defending World Champion Royals.  The fun began even before the game started as the Phanatic tormented Royals player Salvador Pérez by dumping a bucket of confetti on him.  Perez tried to fight back by tossing water, but the Phanatic used a small child as a human shield to avoid the soaking.  Eventually, Perez stole the Phanatic’s car keys and then they made up.
2016.07.03 Phanatic vs Perez

More excitement ensued in the first inning when, after only 5 pitches, the manager, pitching coach, team trainer and half the team made a visit to the pitching mound to check on starter Vince Velasquez.  His velocity was down around 85-90mph, which triggered panic, especially since Velasquez is fresh off an injury.  But Velasquez pitched well, despite the slow down of his fastball.  He went 6 innings and allowed only 2 runs.
2016.07.03 Velasquez

In the bottom of the 1st, Cameron Rupp kick-started the offense with a 3-run homer.  The Phillies went on to score 7 runs on 3 homers and 11 total hits.  Cody Asche and Maikel Franco also hit long balls.
2016.07.03 Rupp

Asche also shattered his bat during another plate appearance, sending Royals scrambling for cover.  Luckily, no one was hurt.
2016.07.03 Asche

The bullpen was able to hold down the lead after Velasquez left the game.  Edubray Ramos, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez finished out the game strong with little drama.
2016.07.03 Relief

So after a very bad month-long stretch where seemingly nothing went right, it looks like the Phillies are finally back on track.  Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

The Phillies begin a series tomorrow against the Braves at 4:05pm.  Happy Independence Day, everyone!

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri

The Phillies Offense Drops in for a Visit

Hello, Phillies offense!  So nice to see you; it has been a while.  After a dreadful showing in the past many weeks, the Phillies bats came alive (mildly, anyway) against the Braves today.  The offense had been so bad, they were 29th in the league coming into today’s game; only the Braves were worse.

It is fitting then that the Phillies collected their largest margin of victory on the year, 5 runs, against the Braves.  Cameron Rupp had a monster game with a homer and 2 singles.  Both Tyler Goeddel and Freddy Galvis collected triples, while Maikel Franco finally picked up the pace with 2 hits.  And Peter Bourjos lifted his batting average over the Mendoza line with 2 hits today.
2015.05.22 OF

Jerad Eickhoff had one of his best games of the year, pitching 7 scoreless innings.  The Braves hitters looked confused at the plate most of the night.
2015.05.22 Eickhoff

And let’s hear it for no errors in the game!  Whooo hoooo!
2015.05.22 misc

Believe it or not, even with the Phillies anemic offense, they are still only 2 games out of first place behind the Nationals and Mets.  Who saw this coming at the start of the year?  Not I, that’s for sure.  The team has some interesting matches coming up now, including 3 games each against the Tigers and Cubs this week.  By the end of May, we should have a good idea of what the summer will bring.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Drop Finale Against Reds

The Phillies had won 3 games in a row coming into today’s game.  That streak ended with a horrible effort against the Reds, who beat the Phillies by a score of 4-9.   Just about everything went wrong, including pitching and defense.

Before the game, spirits seems high with players smiling and even an appearance by Darren Daulton, who has been battling brain cancer.
051516 pregame

It all went downhill after Adam Morgan took the mound.  One example of just how bad he was happened in the 4th inning.  He loaded the bases as the opposing pitcher, who has no hits this year, stepped up to the plate.  Morgan proceeded to walk him on 4 pitches to bring a run in.  Shortly after that, Eugenio Suarez hit a 3-run homer.
051516 Morgan

The defense was equally pitiful.  There were 2 “official” errors in the game, but Maikel Franco missed a few balls at 3rd base that would normally not have gotten past him and Tyler Goeddel bobbled a ball in left field.  It was just sloppy all around.
051516 Defense

And of course, this offense has not been setting the world on fire, but today was especially bad.  In the first 5 innings alone, the Phillies went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.  They also left 16 men on base total.
051516 Offense

And don’t even get me started with Reds 1st baseman Joey Votto!  Several times, he motioned that he may toss a baseball to the fans and then smirked as he chose not to.  Even if the fake-out was meant for the adults, some of those fans were children who you can bet didn’t get the joke.  Well, he got what was coming to him; no hits in the series and 3 strikeouts today.  And that was the highlight of the day 😉

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri

Two Sweeps in a Row!

Where did this Phillies team come from?  It looked early on like another bad, rebuilding season was upon us.  But this young team has now won 9 of their last 10 games, sweeping both the Nationals and Indians in the last week.  Crazy.

Before the big win, the Phillies hosted their annual Mother’s Day celebration which began with Cameron Rupp’s mom tossing him the first ball; that was adorable.  And, of course, the Phanatic’s mom was around later in the game as well.
2016.05.01 Rupp

Vince Velasquez started the game in the rain and miserable cold.  Still, he pitched well without allowing any runs over 6 innings.
2016.05.01 VV

There was not much offense in the game; it was certainly not hitting weather today.  But the Phillies managed a few hits and scored twice in the 3rd inning.
2016.05.01 hitting

Some adventurous plays in the field were also on the schedule.  Darin Ruf had the highlight of the game with a diving catch in left field.  When did Ruf suddenly become Mr. Super-outfielder?  And then Maikel Franco turned a routine pop-up into a dare-devil grab:
2016.05.01 fielding

So the Phillies walked away with a 2-1 win.  They are back on the road tomorrow after this brief home stand, playing St. Louis on Monday night.  Can they keep the win streak alive?  We shall see…

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri

Halfway through 2015: Down the Rabbit Hole

A recent article in The New Yorker described going down the rabbit hole as “a bizarre and disorienting alternate reality.”  That perfectly describes how many Phillies fans feel at the halfway point of the 2015 season.  We followed the Phillies here and have now fallen into the proverbial, Alice in Wonderland-esque rabbit hole.

This team is such a departure from that of the 2008-2011 teams that watching them really does feel like a bad acid trip.  The Phillies are dead last in all of baseball with a 29-62 record.  Their closer, Jonathan Papelbon, cannot stop yelling to the media about how badly he wants to be traded.  Cole Hamels is pitching like a man who has given up on life.  And their manager, Ryne Sandberg, ran screaming from his duties, despite the obvious detriment to his career by doing so.

Sad Phillies (2)But the most depressing part of the season has been the lightning fast decline of Chase Utley’s career.  According to the general manager, Utley is no longer the starting second baseman, even after he comes off the disabled list.  This is officially the end of Phillies baseball as we knew it.  Indeed, an alternate reality that is painful to watch.

But even with Utley’s downfall, there was no reason to think the Phillies would be THIS bad, as in 62 losses bad, the worst half way mark in team history.  There is a lot of young talent here, like Maikel FrancoBen Revere is hitting .297 with 21 stolen bases and 45 runs scored.  Ryan Howard has hit 15 home runs and has 45 RBI, which is really pretty good considering he is on the tail end of his career.  Papelbon has been perfect in saves, although he has had limited opportunities.    But most of the pitching has be atrocious.  Even so, this team should have won more than 29 games, given their talent.

Perhaps Pat Gillick’s pre-season declaration about this team not being able to compete for several years has created a culture of losing?  And not only that, but the team seems to have accepted this.  They are not showing any fight, maybe because they simply expect to lose.  They are just collecting their fat paychecks and then going home.  And if this attitude continues, attendance will continue to drop to levels where you can hear crickets chirping.  Hopefully, the Phillies will emerge from their slumber in the second half and at least put on a good show.  Then again, that could just be the psychedelic acid talking.

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri