Tagged: Michael Stutes

Walk-Off Win After Long Rain Delay

It has been a long while since Phillies fans have been able to shout, “RAUUUUUUUL!” with any real gusto.  Raul Ibanez is hitting just .239 with a .287 on-base percentage this year.  But Philly still loves Ibanez, and last night, he gave them extra reason to cheer.

After a two-hour rain delay, multiple roll-outs of the tarp on the field and double warm-ups for both starting pitchers, the Phillies – Braves series finally got under way.

So it took almost five hours total, 10 innings and one Ibanez walk-off homer for the Phils to defeat the Braves.  Roy Halladay battled Brave Brandon Beachy (say that three times fast) on the mound.  The battle ended up in a draw as both pitchers allowed two runs and left with a tie game.

It was then up to the bullpens, where it seemed the Braves had the advantage.  But Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Juan Perez combined for three scoreless innings to keep the Phillies in the game.

 In fact, Perez, a newcomer to the Phils, accomplished a feat that has not been done in 20 years of Phillies history.  He struck out the side in the 10th on exactly nine pitches, the bare minimum; nine pitches, nine strikes, three outs.

Ibanez rewarded Perez by smashing the game-winning homer in the bottom of the 10th.  The 32-year old lefty earned his first major league win thanks to Ibanez and the nine-pitch inning he tossed.

So the Phillies 3-2 win puts them in a great position for the rest of the weekend.  I will be at both games Saturday and Sunday and return with photos and, hopefully, two more wins.

Game time today is 4:10pm and Cliff Lee will pitch.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

No Sweep As Phils Stumble Against the Fish

On Tuesday night, the Phillies pounded the Marlins to the tune of 14 runs, their highest run total for a single game this year.  The Phils played solid baseball while winning the first two games of this series.  But tonight was a different story.

Sloppy play and mental mistakes highlighted Wednesday night’s game.  Chase Utley got caught in a run down after wandering too far off first base after getting a hit in the first.  John Mayberry Jr. dropped a ball in center that hit the webbing of his glove.  Domonic Brown let an easy ball bounce right past him in left, allowing two runs to score in the third.  And Michael Stutes made a throwing error on a pick-off attempt in the eighth.

In the midst of all the errors, Brown was called out after a triple; the umpire says he did not touch the base.  In the replay, it looks like the umpire, who did not get in proper position to make such a call, screwed up.  Frankly, if the ump is too lazy to get into position, he has no business making these calls.

There were still a few highlights.  Mayberry had his first multi-home run game of his career with two homers and three RBI on the night.  Jimmy Rollins hit a homer as well  and has six hits in the last two games.

But the pitching tonight was not great.  Even with six runs scored, the Phils could not hang onto the lead.  Kyle Kendrick gave up three runs in five innings; David Herndon allowed two runs in 2/3 of an inning.  Then Andrew Carpenter collected a blown save in the seventh, allowing the Fish to tie the game, 6-6.  And the final blow came from Danys Baez who allowed a game winning homer in the 10th to Mike Stanton.

The Phillies have Thursday off to get their heads back on straight before facing the Braves on Friday.  That will be a huge series as the Braves are right on the Phillies heels for first place in the NL East.

Neither Shane Victorino or Placido Polanco are available to play right now either, which complicates the situation.  Victorino has a mild thumb sprain and Polanco is going to see a back specialist.  More on that later…good night, all!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Offense Sleeping with the Fish; Young Pitching Bails Them Out

The Phillies started a 3-game series tonight with the Fish and both offenses seemed to be floundering.  If you had decided to take a nap and did not wake up until the seventh inning, you would have missed practically nothing.

Vance Worley started for the Phillies and was very sharp.  He pitched seven innings total, allowing only two hits, two walks and no runs.

But while Worley held his own, the Phillies offense could not seem to manage any action.  Domonic Brown was the only hitter with a big night that included two hits and he scored the Phillies’ only run on a Michael Martinez single in the seventh.

As for the scoring, that was it.  Worley had a chance to move runners on first and second over with a bunt in the seventh, but he struck out.  Worley seriously needs to work on his bunting.

So the bullpen took over after that.  Michael Stutes was fantastic as usual, pitching a scoreless, hitless eighth.  And then Antonio Bastardo saved the game, winning by a score of just 1-0.  It was a combined 2-hitter for three rookies / young players in Worley, Stutes and Bastardo.  The fountain of youth takes one for the team…nice.

Game two with the Marlins kicks off tomorrow night at 7:10pm.

By the way, Happy Fourth of July everyone!  Enjoy your evening :O)

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Worley Shows Big League Stuff in Win Over the Red Sox

The rookie Vance Worley faced a difficult task this evening against the Red Sox.  Not only was he pitching against a great offense, Worley also had to follow an amazing performance from Cliff Lee the night before.  Not to mention, Worley is a young, inexperienced pitcher who had yet to go more than six innings in a major league game.

Worley got the job done.  He even pitched a full seven innings for the first time in the majors.  The only run Worley allowed was knocked in by the opposing pitcher, John Lackey, who surprised everyone with an RBI-double.

But Worley maintained his composure throughout the game.  His final line included only five hits, two walks and one run.

The offense did little to help Worley out, scoring only one run through the sixth inning on a Raul Ibanez RBI-single.  With the score tied 1-1 in the seventh, Ibanez finally gave the Phillies the lead with a solo homer.  This also put Worley in line for the win.

It would be up to a very young bullpen after that to hold down the slim lead.  Fans got a sneak peak at what the near future holds for a pen with three closers on the DL.  Michael Stutes served as the set-up man in the eighth inning and sent the Sox down in order.

After the Phillies were again unable to score in the eighth, Antonio Bastardo stepped onto the mound in the ninth as closer #4 on the year for the Phillies.  He quickly disposed of the Sox batters to earn the save and award Worley with a win.

The Phillies have taken the first two games of this series, which is very good news.  They play the final game tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm with Cole Hamels on the mound.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Hamels Shines While the Offense Bombs

Cole Hamels must be wondering what he ever did to offend his teammates.  Because they just cannot seem to score any runs for him.  Then again, this Phillies offense has been fizzling on a regular basis without regard to the starting pitching.   Tonight’s game against the A’s was no different.

So, where has the offense gone?  Are the bats hiding or have they been kidnapped?  Maybe Charlie Manuel should make flyers and post them around town to see if anyone can find them.

The Phillies scraped out only one run in this game, thanks to a Carlos Ruiz RBI-single in the second inning.  As a team, they had only four hits.

Poor Hamels pitched another gem, allowing just two runs in eight innings.  He more than earned a win but again, he did not get one.

And then Michael Stutes finally had a bad day.  In the ninth inning, he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk.  The 2-1 deficit was suddenly increased to 4-1.

Another issue which we may hear more about later was rookie Domonic Brown lolly-gagging his way to first base on a ground ball that he assumed was an out.  The lack of hustle cost him as the A’s second baseman bobbled the ball.  Had Brown been running full-speed, he may have beat the play.

Manuel will likely address this with Brown later on, as he should.  This is not a good habit for a rookie to get into.

So the Phillies lost the game by a score of 4-1.  The good news is that Roy Halladay pitches tomorrow. However, this is only good news if the Phillies can find their bats.

I will be there and return with photos.  Game time is 1:35pm.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Polanco’s Grand Slam & 100th Homer Help Halladay Win

Third baseman Placido Polanco smacked his 100th career homer in Friday night’s Phillies – Cubs game.  The grand slam not only marked a significant career achievement, it also helped the Phillies win the game.

Roy Halladay was his usual awesome self on the mound and it looked like he would not need much assistance.  Domonic Brown hit a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead.  Then Polly’s slam made it a seven run lead in the seventh.

So after seven innings of no-run ball for Halladay, manager Charlie Manuel decided to give him a little rest and use the bullpen for the final two innings.  That almost wound up being a disaster.

Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero nearly blew the seven run lead, which was especially scary considering how hard it has been for the Phillies to score any runs lately.  Contreras walked two of the first four batters he faced, loaded the bases and had given up two runs by the time he was pulled after recording only one out.

Things got worse when Romero entered and proceeded to walk the first batter he faced on four pitches.  Then back-to-back singles scored three more runs for the Cubs.  Without having recorded an out, Romero was lifted from the game.  The seven run lead had turned into a 7-5 ballgame quickly.

Rookie Michael Stutes was called upon to stop the bleeding, which he did.  Stutes also started the ninth inning  where a strike-out, throw-out double play with a strong toss to second from catcher Carlos Ruiz retired two Cubs in one shot.  Antonio Bastardo then struck out lefty Carlos Pena to earn the save.

While the Phillies won the game 7-5, the performance from Contreras and Romero is raising eyebrows.  Contreras is still struggling with his command since coming off the DL.  Hopefully, time and getting some more work in will correct the issue.  Romero seems healthy, but he is still having serious issues throwing strikes.

The outlook for these bullpen pieces remains to be seen, but it does appear that the back-end of the pen is in the midst of a youth movement.  Both Stutes and Bastardo have outpitched the more experienced Contreras and Romero and will likely be transitioned into the later innings role for the foreseeable future.

Game three with the Cubs is this afternoon at 4:10pm.  Cliff Lee will pitch.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Comedy of Errors Turns Into a Win For the Phillies

It was not pretty, but the Phillies pulled out at 6-4 win over the Mets on Friday night.  The Phillies committed three errors and the Mets had two.

 The real circus act occurred between Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.  With two outs in the fifth inning, a pop-up to short center turned into a small disaster.  Utley was over-aggressive and crossed past his side of second base, slamming into Rollins and the ball dropped between the two of them after a little juggling.

Then in the seventh inning, it appeared a throw-over was put on by the bench.  Michael Stutes turned and threw to second, but no one was covering.  Either Rollins or Utley missed the call.  That blooper cost the Phils another run.

Meanwhile, Roy Oswalt saw his pitch count rise as the Phillies error’s extended his day.  He went six innings, allowing one earned and one unearned run.  He also hit an RBI-single in an attempt to keep pace with the hitting of Cliff Lee in the previous game.

The game was tied 3-3 by the eighth inning, but the Phillies bounced back against the Mets closer, Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. Historically, the Phillies have had no success against Rodriguez, never scoring a run against him.  But in a non-save situation, they finally got to K-Rod.

Five singles and a sac fly later, the Phillies jumped to a 6-3 lead.  Domonic Brown and Placido Polanco both hit key RBI-singles that inning.  Brown went two-for-two after coming into the game in the eighth, although one hit was a gift from Mets first baseman who missed the easy grounder.  And Rollins collected three RBI in the game.

John Mayberry Jr. continues to impress as well.  He had a hit, a walk, a stolen base and scored two runs.  And his defense in center while standing in for the injured Shane Victorino has been outstanding.  Mayberry’s long strides make difficult balls look easy to get to.

So although the game was a real adventure, a win makes all the mistakes fade away.

Cole Hamels will pitch tomorrow in game two with the Mets which starts at 7:10pm.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*