The nicest thing I can say about today’s Phillies – Cubs game is that the weather was beautiful. Unfortunately, that is where the joy ends.
Even the Phillie Phanatic’s birthday celebration was toned down from previous years. There were fewer mascots, no Zooperstars except a generic monkey and the cake was less than half the size it usually is. See for yourself…it appears the recession has finally reached the Phanatic birthday bash:
In fact, maybe the entire organization is suffering from a recession. They accidentally give away runs to other teams for free and cannot score any of their own. That is a recipe for going broke fast.
Today’s match-up featured Kyle Kendrick vs. Matt Garza. Guess who won?
Garza sucked what little life was left in the Phillies offense and spat them out like garbage. The only action the Phillies bats saw was a parade of foul balls:
Jimmy Rollins got a hit to start the game and that was it for the whole team until the 9th inning when Hunter Pence added a bookend hit. The only run they scored was also in the 9th and came from a bases-loaded walk.
The defense was just as awful. Here is Laynce Nix impersonating a really bad first baseman:
I say impersonating because he is an outfielder who played a total of 9 games at first base in a 9-year career before joining the Phillies.
And Pence added to the mayhem by overrunning another ball in right field which led to a run for the Cubs. That is 3 straight games that Pence has made the same mistake. I am confused by this…how about you?
And here is a play at the play where, according to my photo, it appears Brian Schneider tags the runner about a foot before the plate. I did not see the TV replay, so maybe the photo is deceptive, but who knows:
Either way, it was just one more crappy moment in another crappy Phillies game. This was officially one of the worst Phillies games I have ever seen in person. The 5-1 loss also guarantees the Phils a losing record in April after dropping 2 out of 3 games so far to the second WORST team in the entire national league. Depressed yet?
No worries…there is always tomorrow (please note my sarcasm here). Feel free to add your own sarcastic comments as well. At least we can all vent together ;O)
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game. I assure you, my photos are more entertaining than this team is right now. You’re welcome.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Cubs pitcher, Matt Garza, had a no-hitter going against the Phillies into the 5th inning tonight. The only Phillie to get a hit through two outs in the 7th inning was Domonic Brown, who hit Garza twice with a double and a single.
In all, Garza only allowed four hits and one run, with the help of his bullpen who allowed the run to score after he was pulled. It was yet another disgusting, impatient and painful performance from the Phils offense.
In the meantime, Cliff Lee had a rough start to the game, allowing a 2-run homer in the first. But after the first few innings, Lee settled down and was his usual, amazing self. But for the second straight Lee start in a row, his biggest problem was the Phillies offense.
In two starts, all Phillies players combined, except for Lee, did not score a single run while Lee was on the mound. The only run in the last game was a home run, which Lee hit himself.
Only after Lee was pulled for a pinch hitter and Michael Stutes pitched the 7th, did the offense decide to score. In the 8th, Jimmy Rollins and Michael Martinez singled, then Chase Utley drove them in with a double. Utley later got thrown out at the plate and the game was left in a 2-2 tie.
This anemic offense is frustrating to watch, especially when you know the potential of the hitters who are simply not living up to expectations. With that in mind, here is a short list of annoying things that I would rather be doing instead of watching the Phillies offense suck:
– Play the movie “The Sound of Music” over and over and over.
– Ride the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disney World with the demonic puppets that sing like nails going down a chalk board.
– Clean the litter box.
– Watch Jose Reyes of the Mets do the home run trot while signaling “#1” with his finger.
– Eat peas.
– Spel thungs rong on porpuse.
That last one was painful, much like watching the Phillies offense.
Back to the game…Stutes wound up pitching both the 7th and 8th innings and kept the score tied. But while the pitching hung in there, what would the offense do?
Lucky for me, they finally decided to stop sucking, thereby saving me from having to perform one of the annoying tasks on my list.
With two outs in the 9th, Ben Francisco and Rollins hit back-to-back singles. And then, saving the day once again, Martinez doubled to score both runners for a 4-2 lead. And although he was thrown out going to third, Martinez is still the hero.
Antonio Bastardo served as the closer again, as the Phillies are still taking it slow with Ryan Madson since coming off the DL. And again, Bastardo was lights-out for his 7th save of the year.
With the win today, the Phillies have a chance to win the series now. Game three with the Cubs is Wednesday afternoon at 2:20pm; Vance Worley will pitch.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Jayson Werth had quite an interesting game tonight, and not all in a good way. The odyssey in the outfield began with a few leaping and diving catches in right field which Werth made look easy. But then in the 4th inning, Werth lost his mind a bit at the plate. After Matt Garza of the Rays walked the bases loaded with NO outs, Werth stepped in and swung at the first pitch. He hit into a 5-2-3 double play which left the Phillies scoreless in the inning.
When the opposing pitcher walks 3 batters in a row and begins to unravel, why do you swing at the first pitch? That should not happen. Garza’s jugular was exposed; he was shaking in his boots. That is the time to go in for the kill. And in this instance, the kill should have been to take at least one strike to put pressure on the pitcher. Instead, Werth made everyone wonder what planet he thought he was playing on by hitting a short ground ball to 3rd on the first pitch. And in one swing of the bat, Werth settled Garza back into his rhythm and gave momentum to the Rays.
But the alien adventure did not end there; in the 6th, Werth missed a ball hit to right field that he probably should have caught. But, in keeping with the weird and wacky theme of the day, Carl Crawford tried to stretch the double into a triple and, due to poor base running, he was tagged out at third by Pedro Feliz.
And still, Werth was not finished. In the 7th, Werth hit a line drive to right field which just barely stayed fair and exited the yard inches beyond the foul pole for a solo homer to bring the Phillies within 1 run. Never a dull moment…
In fact, Joe Blanton was one of the few players who had a relatively “normal” day; he went 7 solid innings, giving up only a 2-run homer to our old pal, Pat Burrell. Aside from that long ball, Blanton was in control all night.
However, the stability would end there. JC Romero came in for the 8th and gave up a single. But then Romero got a good double play ball, giving him 2 outs in the inning. What happens next? He hits a batter and then walks the next one to load the bases. Chan Ho Park had to come into the game to try to get the 3rd out. Park got Burrell to hit a weak ground ball to Jimmy Rollins, but Rollins took his time and underhanded to Chase Utley at 2nd instead of tossing Burrell out at first and the runner was called safe – a run scored instead of ending the inning. Yikes! The next batter hit a pop-up that landed in no man’s land, scoring 2 more runs. Double yikes! Another 2 runs scored on a single after that. Dare I say it?… Triple yikes!
And that pretty much put the nail in the coffin for the Phillies who went down to the Rays by a score of 7-1. It was a huge waste of a great pitching performance from Blanton. Mistakes and mental errors turned this odyssey into an alien disaster of epic proportions.
Werth photo by Jenn