Tagged: Matt Stairs

Blanton Knocks Out Marlins

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Joe Blanton had a great turn around to his season tonight as he shut out the Marlins through 7 innings of 5 hit ball.  Blanton did his best Rocky impersonation and punched out 11 Fish; the 11 strikeouts mark a career high for Blanton in one game.  After the game, Blanton was quoted as saying, “Yo Adrian!  I did it!”   Ok, not really… ;O)

Ryan Madson pitched the 8th and did his usual; no hits, no runs.  Chad Durbin, on the other hand, came in for the 9th with a 5-0 lead and began to unravel.  After the 1st out, Durbin gave up a walk, a hit and another walk.  Scott Eyre was called in to clean up the mess but Ryan Howard committed his first error of the season on a ground ball that he threw into left field instead of to Jimmy Rollins; 2 runs scored.  Yikes!   

Brad Lidge then got the call to save the game and we all took a deep breath and swallowed a bottle of Tums.  Lidge walked the first batter he faced to re-load the bases.  Feeling ill, I quickly laid my head down on a pillow and prayed for mercy.  The next batter grounded out, but another run scored.  2 outs and the score was then 5-3.  Dizzy…SO dizzy…please make the room stop spinning!  Could Lidge finally get out of an inning without blowing a save and making me lose my dinner?  YES!  He struck out former teammate Wes Helms and relief washed over me like rainbows and sunshine :O)  Ahhhhhh!

Relief also found Shane Victorino today, who made amends for his base running gaffe in the 9th last night, where he was picked off trying to steal with Matt Stairs poised to try to tie the game up.  Tonight, Victorino went 4 for 5 with an RBI and all is right with the world again. 

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Pedro Feliz
continues to rack up the hits with runners in scoring position, adding 2 more hits and 2 RBI to his totals.  If Blanton was Rocky Balboa tonight, Feliz was Oscar De La Hoya.  Nice.

The Florida series is now ties 1 game apiece; game 3 will kick off tomorrow at 7:05pm with Brett Myers pitching.

In All-Star voting news, Chase Utley is in the lead for 2nd basemen in the NL again; Howard and Rollins are in 3rd place at their positions.  Raul Ibanez, who is VERY deserving, is in 6th place among outfielders – only the top 3 outfielders get to start the game so keep VOTING !!!  You can VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Head Shots by Jenn

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#250 Eludes Moyer

Jamie Moyer is still waiting to notch his 250th win…he did not get it tonight against the Marlins, a team he usually beats.  The umpire did him no favors; Moyer threw an obvious strike to former Phillie Wes Helms in the 4th which should have been strike 3, but it was called a ball.  Multiple replays showed the bad call over and over.  Next pitch:  Helms hit his first homer of the year for 3 runs.  And there went the game…

In the 8th inning, Chan Ho Park tossed a 3rd strike to another former Phillie, Ronny Paulino.  Paulino swung and missed as the ball bounced and he ran to first base where catcher Carlos Ruiz threw him out.  However, the umpire decided that Paulino, despite admittedly missing the ball as he ran to first, said Paulino fouled it off!  OMG.  What an idiot.  Park did strike him out (for the 2nd time) on the next pitch, but seriously, how much bad umpiring do we need to put up with?

Ok, so you can’t really blame the game on an umpire; Moyer could have pitched better; the offense could have scored more runs.  Of course, that does not make the bad calls any easier to swallow.

P5244243.jpgSpeaking of offense, what is going on with Jayson Werth?  Anybody?  He has had 2 hits in his last 7 games and his batting average is quickly dropping.  Ryan Howard had been slumping a bit, but he came out tonight and nailed 2 home runs.  Not enough to win the game though, which the Phillies lost 5-3.  And on top of that, Chase Utley got hit by a pitch on the same foot he got hit on a few weeks back.  It was a nasty one too…hoping he is ok!  He kept playing, but you know how Utley is…it would take  a stretcher and handcuffs to drag him off the field…hmmmm…that gives me some ideas.  Oh sorry, inner monologue leaking out… ;O)

And continuing to ruin my evening, Shane Victorino got thrown out attempting to steal 2nd base in the 9th inning, killing a comeback rally for the Phillies.  What was he thinking?  Matt Stairs, home run hitter extraordinaire, was at bat to try to tie the game, so why would Shane even attempt a steal there?  Bad, bad baseball right there.  Very bad.

Well, the Florida series will continue tomorrow at 7:05pm…Joe Blanton gets his turn to try to fry some fish.  Hope he has better luck than Moyer did today!  In the meantime, keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address! 

And if you missed it earlier today, here is the PHOTO ALBUM from Sunday’s game including photos of new Yankee Stadium!

Photo by Jenn

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Myers Goes Medieval; Phils Still Lose

Yes, Brett Myers was determined to take down the Braves – literally.  Braves players and even their bats were strewn all over the field as a result of Myers’ penchant for Medieval  warrior-type violence:051009a.jpg

The first guy was hit near the head; the second, the Braves pitcher, attempted to dodge a wicked and way inside ball and wound up fouling it off…into his own face.  Both batters were fine, but Myers left his mark.    Six innings pitched and only one run given up led Myers to his best start of the season.  But alas, the offense sputtered again and still no win for the much-deserving Myers.

In fact, the only real offense of the day came from the two big men; Ryan Howard had 2 doubles and scored the only 2 runs for the Phillies.  And Matt Stairs, in a rare start, went 2 for 2 with 2 walks and 1 RBI.  The big problem is that the top of the line-up is not hitting.  They are doing WAY too much of this:

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Swinging at pitches clearly out of the zone.  Does anyone in this line-up remember how to work a count?  Can someone please tell Jimmy Rollins to stop popping the ball up?  And then tell Pedro Feliz he is NOT allowed to swing at the first pitch – ever.

And how many men exactly does it take to catch a pop-up?  Let’s see…

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These guys just seem to be forgetting how to communicate, on all sides of the ball.  Yes, they caught the balls, but this is just another example of how this team is not clicking.

Still, the Phillies may have won the game had Jack Taschner not given up the lead in the 7th.  He loaded the bases and then gave up 2 runs.  But Taschner is sporadic like that; once in a while, he gets lucky and comes away clean; then there are the days when it all goes wrong.  Charlie Manuel should know this; he was the same way with the Giants too.  So, in a 1 run ballgame where you need to keep the lead, why is Taschner sent in?  He serves his purpose on occasion, but he is certainly NOT your go to guy in tight situations.

So the Phillies go on to lose the game, 4-2, dropping 2 out of 3 to the Braves in pathetic fashion.  And if that were not bad enough, Jayson Werth did not get to have his very exciting “blanket” day!  The manufacturer messed up the design for the Mother’s Day giveaway and we all got coupons instead to pick up the blanket at the end of July! 

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What a major Mother’s Day bummer. :O(  And poor Scott Eyre – his whole family came out for the Mother’s Day celebration and he didn’t even get to pitch!  The photo to the right shows Scott holding his daughter with his mom and wife.  Will have more photos of that later…

The Phillies will get tomorrow off to reflect on their lack-luster play of late.  Then on Tuesday, the Manny-less Dodgers come to town.

In the meantime, even if you really don’t feel like it after this weeks’ sad play, go on-line and VOTE for your All-Stars.  You can grumble and moan while you do it if you must.  Permission granted. 

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game as promised.  Hope you enjoy them!  Now, have a Happy Mother’s Day!

Photos by Jenn

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Mets Mutilate Moyer

Jamie Moyer has historically not done well against the Mets; today, however, was a total massacre.  I’m talkin’ a George Romero, Stephen King, Wes Craven-type massacre.  Call it the “Nightmare on 126th Street.”  krueger baseball.jpgPulled after only 2 1/3 innings, Moyer gave up 7 earned runs on 7 hits, 3 of which were home runs.  And in the new Citi Field, home runs are hard to come by.  But the Mets looked like they were taking batting practice off Moyer as balls flew over the high outfield wall.  Apparently, Moyer did not attend the Charlie Manuel Spanish Inquisition.

So JA Happ took over for Moyer and totally shut the Mets down.  Oh yeah, tell me again WHY Happ is not a starter?  Please excuse the sarcasm ;O)  Happ racked up 3 2/3 innings, not allowing any runs.  A job well done!  Could the offense come back to reward Happ for his effort?  Ummmmm…no.   :o{

Shane Victorino extended his hitting streak to 16 games today, but the offense was mostly quiet again.  Ryan Howard hit a home run in the 4th that went about 420 feet, which was nice, but then the team went silent once more.  Jayson Werth woke everyone up in the 8th with a 2-run bomb; it was his 4th hit of the night and brought the Phillies closer, then trailing the Mets 7-5.  In his perfect night, Werth was 4 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.  The score held into the 9th inning but Pedro Feliz stepped to the plate and flied out on the 1st pitch.  The 1st pitch!  UGH!  Feliz swings at the 1st pitch probably about 80% of the time – pitchers know this.  Can someone give him a clue, please!  So then Miguel Cairo grounded out, Matt Stairs walked and Jimmy Rollins popped out to end the game.

If the offense could have pulled out a few runs last night, they would have won that game.  But tonight, when Moyer puts them in a 7-1 hole, they finally score, but not enough to overcome the deficit.  This short 2-game series was a real disappointment and another blown opportunity against a division foe.

Manny Being…A Moron?

So, I do not want to dwell on this.  Frankly, I am sick of the whole steroid issue.  Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50-games for taking the female fertility drug, human chorionic gonadatropin.  Ramirez says it was prescribed by a doctor for an undisclosed medical condition.  Well folks, the only reason a doctor would prescribe this drug to a man, would be to treat a lack of testosterone.  And what is the #1 reason among athletes for a lack of testosterone?  Steroid use.  So, enough said on that topic, although I would be curious to see if Ramirez can produce an actual prescription slip.

The Big Apple Has Gone Big-Time Nuts

Today, I logged on to the New York Yankees site to see about getting a ticket to the Phillies series at the new stadium.  I have been anxious to see the stadium; the Yankees are my “other” team so I was really hoping to get a look at what would someday be my dream World Series match-up as well.  However, I was shocked, appalled and utterly disgusted by what I found.  A basic seat beyond row 5, behind home plate in Citizens Bank Park in Philly costs $80.  It is the second most expensive seat in the ballpark.  The exact same seating location at the new Yankee Stadium is $900.  No, this is NOT a mistype – $900 dollars.  That is more than 11 times more expensive!  So, just for kicks, I looked up the same seat at the Mets new Citi Field: $695.  Holy Crap!

Ok, it gets better…the Handicapped seating in Yankee stadium: $375.  Wow!  Talk about raping the disabled.  How about the limited view seating?  toadily-insane.jpgMind you – you cannot see the whole field – $125.  OMG.  The bleacher seats, which are FAR away in centerfield, in CBP are $18.  Same seat for the Yankees: $125.  The Mets – $70.  And the most expensive seat in Yankee stadium – $2,625.  For ONE ticket!  STOP the insanity!  Oh, and by the way, these prices are actually reduced from what they were charging at the beginning of the season…no one was showing up to games, so the Yankees lowered the prices.  These are the NEW prices I have given you.

Seriously, where do these money-hungry, greedy, morally-defunct people get off charging these prices?  Is the state of New York on some higher plane of existence than the rest of the world?  And you know how I hate to cuss, but, WTF!  I am actually ANGRY over this right now.  Because now, unless I hit the lottery or some rich person takes pity on me, I may NEVER see the inside of new Yankee stadium!  And frankly, that is SO unfair to the millions of fans all over who just cannot afford these ridiculous prices.  Please join me in a collective, “ARRRRGGGHHHH!”

VOTE

Now join me in taking out your anger on your keyboard…get typing!   Log-on to elect the Phillies to the All-Star game!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Insane Toad – http://www.frog.co.nz/images2/toadily-insane.jpg

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Phillies’ Bats: Lost and Found

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Please help the Phillies find their bats!  Last seen on Tuesday during the 11-4 win over the Brewers, the bats disappeared after that game, never to be seen again.  The bats are an average height of 33 inches, beige in color and may be found crying for their mommies as they are lost and apparently, afraid of strangers.

Wait!  This just in: The bats have been located!  It took until the 9th inning tonight against the Marlins to find them, but it turns out they were hiding in the Marlins bullpen in Miami!  With the score 3-0 going into the 9th and one out recorded, it looked as if those pesky bats would be lost forever.  But then Jayson Werth caught a glimpse of them as he doubled; Raul Ibanez walked and Matt Stairs singled to bring 1 run in.  Could the bats have been recovered?  Well, it was only one run.

But wait!  There’s more!  Rookie Lou Marson, who up until this inning, had one of the only 3 hits in the game, drew a walk in the 9th.  Eric Bruntlett tried to crash the homecoming by striking out, but Jimmy Rollins kept hope of finding the bats alive with another walk. 

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Shane Victorino stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and 2 outs and, OMG!  He found the bats!!!!  GRAND SLAM Victorino!  Whoo Hoo!  And just to make sure there was no doubt, Chase Utley followed with another home run! 

The Phillies found the bats and scored 7 runs in the 9th inning!  Their reward?  A win!!!!  Phillies beat the Marlins 7-3!  And Brett Myers, who had a shaky start with 3 runs allowed in the first inning, can hold his head high.  He went 5 more scoreless innings to notch a quality start.  The bullpen held it down, and we have a very happy homecoming for the Phillies bats!  We hope they are here to stay!

Next Up

The Phillies will continue the 3-game series with the Florida Marlins tomorrow.  Game time is 7:10pm with Chan Ho Park on the mound.   Park will attempt to redeem himself after 2 sub-par outings.

And don’t forget to VOTE for your All-Star’s today!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.

Photos by Jenn

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Hamels Disappears Along With The Bats

Prince Fielder of the Brewers played magician today and made Cole Hamels disappear; Fielder nailed him with a line-drive in his pitching arm, just below the shoulder in the 4th inning.  Hamels left the game having given up 2 runs on a Ryan Braun homer, but he also struck out 6 batters and was really on his game for the first time this year.  No word yet on how this injury will affect him.

JA Happ came in for Hamels to get the Phillies out of the inning, but then allowed 3 runs in the 5th on a Fielder bases-clearing double.  Ryan Howard could have saved the Phillies that heartache, but he dropped a sure double play ball that would have ended the 5th before the damage was done.  No matter though; the Phillies only scored 1 run on a Matt Stairs homer that broke up Dave Bush’s no-hitter in the 8th.  The Phillies lost the game 6-1 and had only 2 hits on the day.

So, where, or where, have the Phillies bats gone?  Perhaps they are hiding in Fielder’s huge, baggy pants?  Is he going to pull a rabbit out of that uniform too?  And where is the Phanatic with his new magic act to make the bats reappear?  I do hope they find them soon.magic.jpg

Break Out The Calendar

The April 20 Phillies vs. San Diego Padres rain-out has been rescheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, July 23.  Anyone holding tickets for the 4/20 game can use those tickets for the rescheduled game on July 23 at Citizens Bank Park.  Dollar Dog Night has also been rescheduled for the new game date.

The Phillies vs. Washington Nationals rain-out in Washington on Wednesday, April 15 has been rescheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Saturday, May 16 as part of a split doubleheader.  And just to clarify for those unfamiliar with a “split” doubleheader:  If you have tickets for 4/15, you can use them for the 1:05pm game on 5/16; after that game ends, you will have to leave and need a separate ticket for the 7:05pm game.  Both games are not included.  Bummer, I know.


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All-Star Balloting Continues
 

Click HERE to VOTE!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.  Gizmo the chinchilla needs your help to get the Phillies into the game!  Don’t let him down; he is an endangered species :O(

Next Up

The Phillies will travel to Miami tonight to start a 3-game series with the red-hot Florida Marlins tomorrow.  Game time is 7:10pm with Brett Myers on the mound.

Photos by Jenn

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Beautiful Tribute, Ugly Game

How do you blow a 6 run lead?  Just ask the Phillies.  No doubt, it was an emotional day for all of us in Phillies-land, as Harry Kalas was remembered before the game and pictures and video of Harry were shown in the park between innings.  Kalas Tribute.jpg

His three sons threw out the first pitch and Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  There were numerous salutes to Harry around the park, including the memorial outside the 3rd base gate at the Mike Schmidt statue.  Schmidt was also in attendance at the game and caught one of the pitches from Harry’s sons as did John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins.

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With all the emotions flying about, it just made you wish even more that the Phillies could have pulled this one out for Harry.  I suppose it was just not meant to be.

The game began for me with multiple bad omens, which I happily ignored as the Phillies jumped to a 5 run lead in the first inning.  I was hit in the head twice before the game even started, and not by a baseball. 


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A man above me in the handicapped section actually dropped his 4-foot metal walking brace on my head; what he could have been doing up there to make this happen, I have NO idea.  One minute, I am in my seat reading, the next minute, I am almost knocked unconscious.  After I regained some semblance of lucidity, I handed the metal rod of death up to him; he said he was sorry and that was that.  No one even came over to see if I was ok.  Unbelievable.


As I rubbed my head, now nursing a major headache, another foreign object whacked me in the back of the head, in the same spot!  I looked up and saw a Comcast employee winding up one of those 1 inch thick TV cables, which is what got me the second time.  This jerk did not even blink; he said nothing, pulled the cable away and left!  As you may imagine, I was quite woozy at this point.  I just sat there dazed and confused and, seriously, you won’t believe what happened next.  Some idiot looking for his seat backed up into my row and stood on my foot while he looked around.  He did not move until I lifted my leg and physically removed him from my foot!  I got a very lame, “oh, sorry” as he wandered off.  Clearly, this was not my day.

The game finally began and the Phillies jumped off to 5 run lead with a Chase Utley 3-run homer and a Chris Coste 2-run double.  Perhaps these bad omens were just some sick cosmic joke?  By the 4th inning, the Phils had a 6-run lead.  How could they possible blow this, especially on Harry’s day?  Well, I’ll tell you how; pitching and managing.  Cole Hamels began to self-destruct in the 5th inning, giving up a 2-run home run to the Padres Scott Hairston.  He also allowed 2 more hits and a walk in that inning and was due to bat 2nd in the line-up.  So, did Charlie Manuel remove the tiring Hamels for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 5th?  Nope.  And then he sent Hamels back out for the 6th inning where, as I fully expected, he continued to give the game away; another 2-run home run, just like that.  Now the score is 7-5.

The offense slept through the next few innings as the pen held the Padres down, but then came the 8th inning.  Ryan Madson, who based on last year, appears to be a VERY slow starter, gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk, blowing the save and giving the Padres an 8-7 lead.  This was a disaster and man, did my head really hurt after that.  Greg Dobbs gave us a little hope as he led off the 8th with a single; Rollins bunted him over but then Shane Victorino popped out.  Utley tried to play hero by whacking a single into left field, but then 3rd base coach, Sam Perlozzo, killed the rally by sending the VERY slow Dobbs home, where he was promptly tagged out. 

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Matt Stairs ended the game in the 9th by striking out looking, but to his defense, the last 2 called strikes did not look to be anywhere near the strike zone.


So besides my getting beat up at the game, another Phillies fan had a very similar day; before the game and before the Kalas boys threw their first pitch, an elderly man was invited onto the field to throw a pitch as well.  Just as the announcer told the crowd that this 82-year old man was very brave for attempting to walk out onto the field, obviously because of his health, at that exact moment, this poor guy tripped on the yellow rope the grounds crew laid down for their pre-game preparations and fell flat onto the ground, losing his shoe in the process.


A very scary moment for all of us as we watched him lay there, but he was able to get up with assistance and did still throw the ball, which went about 2 feet.  It was really something to see him even attempt this after such a terrible fall.  Kudos to that fan for toughing it out!  I do hope is okay.  Sorry, I did not catch his name in all the craziness, but I wish him well.man falls on field.jpg


This was a very sad day for the Phillies and their fans all around.  Spirits were lifted though for a while during the 7th inning stretch when all 44,984 people in attendance were invited to sing along to “High Hopes” with Harry Kalas one last time.  The video played on PhanaVision as we all joined in.  It was a beautiful tribute, as I am sure the memorial service will be today as well. 

As promised, here is the photo album from the Harry Kalas tribute on Friday and the game.  There are two pictures that I think you should all see;  Jimmy Rollins was holding Harry’s favorite white shoes and Chase Utley held his blue jacket while Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  I think those shots really sum up the week. 

Photos by Jenn

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