Tagged: Matt Holliday

Phillies Lose A Legend But Win The Game In His Honor

The Phillies pulled out a win today, although it was with heavy hearts.  One of the best Phillies pitchers of all time, Robin Roberts, passed away today at age 83 of natural causes.   Roberts played for the Phillies from 1948 – 1961 and in his entire career he had a 3.41 ERA over 676 games which included 305 complete games. 
Roberts was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976 and has been a regular around the Phillies for all these years.  Roberts returned to Philly every year for annual induction ceremonies, special events and attended Spring Training each year as well.

Actually, Roberts was scheduled to attend a golf and dinner outing in honor of Harry Kalas in just a few weeks, along with many other Hall of Famers.  I have been invited to the event and was very much looking forward to seeing him and having the opportunity to chat with him.  But more than being very saddened by this news for that reason, I am terribly sorry for his family and the entire Phillies organization.  My heart goes out to everyone who knew him.  He was a very special individual.

But the game went on today despite the sad news and the Phillies won it for him.  With the 1950 pennant hung at half mast and a black drape around Robert’s Wall of Fame plaque, Roy Halladay took the mound and was a true professional, as usual.  Against the Cardinals, he pitched 7 innings and allowing only 1 earned run, Halladay was not super sharp, but still extremely effective. 

Halladay walked 3 batters and had a lot of base runners; in the 7th inning with two outs and 2 men on, it even looked like manager Charlie Manuel may pull him from the game.  Manuel went out to the mound but with a stern look on his face, Halladay convinced him that he could finish the inning.  And with that, it only took one pitch to Matt Holliday to end it.  This guy is amazing.

Jayson Werth had a special connection to Roberts as they grew up in the same town and spoke about that often; Werth channeled his grief into a huge game at the plate.  He hit 2 doubles and a 3-run homer in the game.  Werth did commit an error in right field when the wind and sun helped him drop a fly ball, but no one was complaining after his offensive output.

Carlos Ruiz had a 3-hit day as well with Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard collecting 2 hits each.  Ibanez hit a solo homer in the 5th for the 900th RBI of his career.  The opposing pitcher, Kyle Loshe, lasted only 4 innings and allowed 5 of the Phillies 7 runs, although 2 were unearned due to errors.  Actually, it was a sloppy game all around defensively with each team committing 2 errors a piece.

The umpires did not have a clean game either.  Andy Fletcher, who played the villain in Game 1 of this series, had another blooper today.  While trying to turn a double play, the Cards Albert Pujols had to jump off first base to catch the ball for the 3rd out of the inning.  Replay showed that as Wilson Valdez crossed the bag, Pujols was in mid-air and not on the bag.  Valdez was called out by Fletcher who refused to argue with Manuel after the play and walked away.  The home plate umpire had some questionable calls as well, but Halladay handled him with a quick chat after the 5th inning.

So the Phillies walk away with a 3 games to 1 series victory over the Cardinals, the best team in the National League.  Although now, the Phillies have just 1 less win than the Cards and hold a 2 game lead for first place in the NL East.  Tomorrow at 7:05pm, they will begin a 3-game series with the Braves and Jamie Moyer will pitch.  The Phillies will begin wearing #36 patches on their jersey’s tomorrow as well in honor of Robin Roberts.


Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography


*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*



J-Roll Smurf Brings Phillies Luck

Since Friday night’s game did not go well, I decided that it was time for J-Roll Smurf to intervene and add a little Phillies Smurf magic to the equation.  So, before the game on Saturday against the Cardinals, J-Roll Smurf enjoyed visiting personally with many of the Phillies players.  The real J-Roll was excited to see his old buddy again and Ryan Howard laughed out loud as he thinks J-Roll Smurf is too awesome for words.  Also rubbing the luck from J-Roll Smurf yesterday was Brad Lidge, JA Happ, Chad Durbin, Pedro Feliz, Scott Eyre, Clay Condrey, John Mayberry, Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Walker.  And although a few Phillies, like Chan Ho Park and Jamie Moyer, seemed confused by the little blue mascot, J-Roll Smurf rubbed his luck upon them anyway :O)  You’ve gotta LOVE Photo Day:

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And the Smurfy magic paid off with wins both Saturday and today for a series win over the Cards!  In fact, the original J-Roll Smurf, Jimmy Rollins, nailed a GRAND SLAM on Saturday and then a 2-run homer today!  There is no stopping him now!

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In fact, during the last two games, the Phillies did a whole lot of this:

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And the Cardinals did a whole lot of this:

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Christmas really did come in July for the Phillies!

All these wins and entertainment too!  On Saturday, some crazy guy tried to interrupt the game with a laser pointer to distract the Cards hitters and a very drunk guy named, “Sully” distracted the entire outfield crowd later on:

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Sully was thrown out, but did receive an standing ovation.

Here is the Photo Album from the entire 3-game series!

So the Phillies will hit the road for 3 games against the D-Backs and then 4 with the San Francisco Giants.  I will be in San Francisco for all 4 – hope to see you there!

Photos by Jenn


*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*


Soggy Game, Soggy Play

The Cardinals walked away last night after putting a beating on the Phillies in an 8-1 loss.  JA Happ took his first loss after giving up 5 runs in 6 innings. P7249651.JPGThe 48 minute rain delay did him no favors, but the bigger issue was that softly hit balls just kept dropping into holes all around the field where no one was standing.  Add to the, the Cardinals acquired Matt Holliday that same day who went 4 for 5 with his brand new team.  Holliday was complaining before the game while shagging balls in batting practice that his new cleats did not fit right; well, looks like he did fine with them after all.

But Happ could have given up 30 runs and it would not have mattered.  The Phillies were simply not hitting the ball.  In fact, their only run of the game came on a wild pitch; Jayson Werth walked home on the play and that was the end of the scoring. 

Shane Victorino came up lame after a play in the wet outfield grass, but after being checked by the Phillies trainer, he stayed in the game and appears to be fine.  Disaster averted…whew!

This will be a short one today; as it turns out, I will be at every game this weekend so computer time and access will be limited.  But I will compile all my photos from the weekend and try to post them Sunday night when I get home. 

Today is Photo Day at the ballpark and, unlike previous years, this year the Phillies are limiting the number of people who will get on the field to take photos of the players.  I will let you know how that goes.  And please, pray for clear skies…I am officially tired of rain!  Go Phillies!

Utley & Lidge Are All-Stars

Chase Utley and Brad Lidge will represent the Phillies in the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on July 15th, 2008.  Utley earned the top number of votes among all National League players and was just barely edged out at the last minute from being the top vote getter in all of baseball by the American League’s Alex Rodriguez.  Still a great honor though, Utley will start at second base and attend his third All-Star game in a row.  Lidge too is having quite a day.  Today, in addition to being named an All-Star, the Phillies locked him up for another 3 years with an extension worth 37.5 million dollars, a club option for 2012 and performance incentives.  Lidge is one of two major league full-time closers, along with Mariano Rivera of the Yankees, who has not blown a save yet this year.

We still have one more shot at getting another Phillie into the All-Star game! 
P4208090 pat cr.jpgPat Burrell can make it if we VOTE him in!  You have until this Thursday at 5pm to cast your VOTES as many times as you can and here is how to do it:  Either on-line by using THIS FORM or from your cell phone, text the word VOTE to 36197 and reply with “Pat Burrell” as your choice.  Your regular text messaging rates will apply.  Anyhow, VOTE FOR PAT!!!!  He should have been in there in the first place!

But, we all know how nepotism works…Clint Hurdle, manager of the Colorado Rockies, got to pick the pitchers and the reserve players (a few were by players votes too).  Now sure, every team needs a representative so I expected either a Rockies pitcher OR Matt Holliday, but certainly not BOTH for a FOURTH PLACE team.  But I guess he figured he could get away with it, and really, who’s to stop him.  So, he took Matt, which erased all possibility of Pat getting picked and then took his own Aaron Cook, which killed Cole Hamels’ chances.  However, if you compare the numbers on these guys, he really should have gone with either Cole or Pat for one of these spots:





































































































The only spot where Holliday shines above Burrell is average…he gets more hits; but Burrell hits for way more power and in more key situations.  As for Hamels and Cook, Hamels has twice as many strike outs, more innings and gives up fewer hits overall.  I think this one is a real shame.  Those couple of no decisions where the Phillies offense didn’t score for Cole really hurt him here, because Mr. Hurdle will use # of wins as a crutch to back his pick, but the rest of the numbers do not substantiate his obviously going with his own team, regardless of making the correct call.

In other news, the Phillies are still in a rain delay with the Mets leading 1-0 in the 8th inning.  You have to hope they can find a way to pull this one out after a terrible loss last night, where the usually dependable bullpen really let them down.  The offense is showing signs again of a slumber as they have been unable to score runs and move runners in key situations.  I hope they are using the rainy time to find a way to kick start their bats!    To be continued…  Go Phillies!