In the 5th inning of Tuesday’s Phillies – Reds matchup, Jimmy Rollins doubled for what on any other day would have been just another hit. But this particular hit marked the 2,000th of Rollins’ career making him only the 4th player in team history to reach the milestone. The other 3 players were Mike Schmidt (2,234), Richie Ashburn (2,217) and Ed Delahanty (2,207).
Rollins’ wife Johari and his infant daughter were on hand to witness the event. It was a special moment for Rollins, who will likely be considered the greatest shortstop in Phillies history by the time his career ends. But for now, Rollins says, “It’s great, but 3,000 is better.”
Unfortunately, the moment was slightly marred by a very strange Phillies 2-1 loss in which the umpires once again played a huge role. In the 4th inning, the Phillies had loaded the bases with one out and scored a run on a walk, much to the dismay of Reds pitcher Mat Latos. Latos looked horribly rattled and frustrated, setting up what should have been a huge inning for the Phillies. But just then, horrendous umpiring struck again.
Nate Schierholtz smacked what should have been an RBI-single to center; it was instead called an out even though it was clear to the naked eye, at full speed, that the ball hit the ground before entering the fielder’s glove. A 3-year old could have made the correct call, but not MLB umpires.
The base runners all froze in the confusion and the hit turned into an inning-ending double play instead. The “catch” was one out and the runner caught off 2nd base was the other. Not only did this gigantic blunder cost the Phillies that one run, it probably cost them the game. Because Latos was clearly falling apart and that RBI-single probably would have sent him off the deep end, translating into a big inning for the Phillies.
But that did not even have a chance to play out, thanks to the morons umpiring the game. The Phillies did have other chances to score and failed, but this screw-up really killed their momentum. Those idiots still get their paychecks and go on with their lives as MLB never holds any umpire accountable for blown calls. You know, the usual crap we all have to watch and live with. It is shameful.
The Phillies have one more shot at the Reds early this afternoon. Game time is 12:35pm.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Youth Golf & Academics Program, a nonprofit organization founded by Garry Maddox, is sponsoring a raffle to win brunch for 6 with Garry & Mike Schmidt. The brunch will take place on August 11th at 10:30am, right before that afternoon’s Stephen Starr-Garry Maddox Barbecue Challenge. Tickets are $10 apiece, and all proceeds benefit the Youth Golf & Academics Program.
Visit Garry’s BBQ Challenge web site for details and a link to purchase tickets.
And in case you missed it (and be glad if you did), the Phillies got swept by the Braves today :O( No need to dwell on that right now, so go buy some tickets for a chance to meet Mike Schmidt & Garry Maddox instead! That is a much happier thought, don’t you agree?
The Phillies are off tomorrow and then on to Washington on Tuesday. In the meantime, keep your ears open as the trade deadline looms…
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In an 8-0 win over the American League, 3 Phillies All-Stars made big contributions for the National League. Cole Hamels pitched a perfect 7th inning, probably driving up his free agent value a little bit more. Carlos Ruiz caught the final 4 innings and had one at-bat, a fly-out to left field. And Jonathan Papelbon recorded the final out of the game, sealing the NL victory.
Here are a few MLB photos from the game:
And this next set of MLB photos show Ruiz holding his glove and then the glove R.A. Dickey gave him to use in order to catch his crazy knuckle balls. That glove is almost as big as Chooch! There is also a nice shot of Papelbon and then more adorable Chooch getting a hug from the Nationals teenage rookie, Bryce Harper:
Melky Cabrera of the Cardinals got the MVP award for the game. He had 2 hits, including a homer, and 2 RBI. Some rare events occurred during the game, including 3 triples, 5 rookies playing in the game, and the first shut-out during an All-Star game since 1996, when the game was played in Philadelphia.
The biggest blunder of the game came from 19-year old Harper who lost a routine fly ball in the outfield, which eventually landed behind him. He also got caught leaning too far off base in a fielder’s choice and was tagged out.
So now we wait until the Phillies return on Friday to see if they have any gas left to rescue their dreadful season. Roy Halladay will make a rehab start tomorrow so, hopefully, that means he will be back very soon.
In the meantime, here is a fun blast from the All-Star past. These are a few of my favorite All-Star photos from 2008. The top one will never get old…it is Dan Uggla goosing Chase Utley to the surprise of many around them, as you can see by my marker edits. Below that is Utley and Brad Lidge, who appear to be trying to club David Wright. And then there is Mike Schmidt standing up in a moving vehicle (next to Utley) during the All-Star parade to point me out and say hello. I was one Phillies jersey in a sea of Yankees jersey’s so I was easy to spot and he was clearly excited to see a Phillies fan! Utley yelled out to me right after that as well. And yes, that was one of the highlights of my simple existence ;o)
By the way, I am hoping to have my video interview with Ryan Howard posted in the next few days, so stay tuned for that!
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2012 photos by MLB; 2008 photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Seriously, this was a really boring game. The Phillies mustered only six hits against the Nationals and two of those came in the final inning. Livan Hernandez watched the Phillies batters whiff at his 68mph curve balls so he kept right on throwing them.
In the words of Pedro Serrano, ” I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats.” Well, Jobu did not show up and neither did the Phillies bats.
To make matters worse, Cole Hamels had a very bad day. At one point, it was questionable that he could even thrown a strike with no outs and the bases loaded. Hamels clawed his way through five innings after walking four batters and allowing three runs on six hits. Afterwards, it was revealed that Hamels has a sore shoulder. It does not appear to be serious so far.
But once again, a trend continued for the Phillies. Hunter Pence did not get a hit and the Phillies did not win. It will be fun to see how long this continues to be the case. In 13 games, the Phillies have won 11 where Pence had a hit and lost the two where he did not get a hit.
The 4-2 loss is clearly not the end of the world, but it was still disappointing. The real highlight of the day though was the induction of John Kruk into the Phillies Wall of Fame. The pre-game ceremony included a variety of Phillies alumni including Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Dick Allen and Darren Daulton, among others.
Kruk’s speech was touching and infused with humor that only Phillies fans could appreciate. He spoke about the 1993 season and noted, “We killed a lot of brain cells. But you were right there with us and you all killed a bunch too.”
But the best part was when Kruk addressed everyone who knocks Philly for being a hard place to play. He said, “To those people I say, ‘You didn’t have the guts to succeed here.” And that is exactly why we love John Kruk. Congrats to John…it is a well deserved honor!
Here is the full Photo Album from Friday night. And here is a fantastic breakdown of Michael Stutes’ rookie gear:
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
With Roy Oswalt sent to the DL, the Phillies needed a spot starter tonight against the Braves. They went with Kyle Kendrick and the move paid off.
Kendrick has been in the bullpen all year, so his pitch count was limited. But he managed to get through five innings of scoreless baseball, allowing only two hits and striking out two.
The Phillies offense came up with a few key hits to give the team a 3-0 lead through those five innings. Pete Orr played second and had an RBI-fielder’s choice in the second for the first run of the game. The second run was a historic one.
Ryan Howard smashed his career 260th home run in the fourth, passing Del Ennis for 2nd place in Phillies career home runs. Mike Schmidt is in first place with 548 homers. Howard has a long way to go to match Schmidt, but 2nd place is very impressive.
Ennis’ widow Liz, an avid baseball fan, called the Phillies after the historic homer and had them leave a note of congratulations for Howard. It was a very classy move. During the game broadcast, announcer Tom McCarthy noted that Liz made the call after realizing the telegram was no longer being used. :O)
Anyway, run #3 in the game came from a Shane Victorino triple in the fifth. Earlier in the day, Victorino was in the Majestic Clubhouse Store at the stadium signing copies of his new book, “Shane Victorino: The Flyin’ Hawaiian.” He must have been really pumped up after the turnout. I heard from a source outside the ballpark that fans who showed up an hour early for the signing were told the line was already cut-off and they were turned away.
I am totally off topic here, but I have one last note about the book. In the next week or so, I plan on writing a review of the book. I will also reveal some personal conversations I had with Shane’s parents and also his wife, Melissa, many years back about one of the main talking points of the book, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I was very glad to hear Shane shared this in the book as I am sure it will help many people suffering from the disorder. So, stayed tuned for that…
Back to the game…by the sixth inning, this turned into a battle of the bullpens and a 3-0 Phillies lead. Coming out of the pen for the Phillies was J.C. Romero, Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson. Each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the Phillies win.
With so many questions surrounding the Phillies bullpen this year, it is very good to see everyone stepping up. Especially for young pitchers like Stutes and Bastardo, their performances so far this year have been outstanding.
The series is now split 1-1. Tomorrow the Phillies will send Cole Hamels to the mound as they try to win the series with the Braves. It is another dreadful ESPN 8pm start on a Sunday; the second Sunday in a row. I will be there and return with photos.
FYI – The MLBlogs conversion to WordPress has been postponed until next weekend, 5/13-5/16…shocking, I know. Anyway, just keep stopping by and if there is yet another delay, I will let you know. Thanks!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
After Joe Blanton was sent to the DL yesterday, Vance Worley was called up to fill in against the Mets. Worley definitely proved that he has what it takes to pitch in the majors.
And the Phillies certainly challenged him in the first inning. Both Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins committed rare errors in the first to extend the inning. But Worley did not get rattled and eventually coaxed a double play ball to end the inning.
That inning increased Worley’s pitch count, but he still managed to go six innings while allowing only two hits. Despite four walks, Worley shut-out the Mets and got his first major league win of the year. Worley also singled in the game, which was his first major league hit.
However, most of the fireworks at the plate were provided by Ryan Howard who is now tied for 2nd with Del Ennis for Phillies all-time home runs. Howard’s 259 home runs are second only to Mike Schmidt who ended his career with 548.
It took Howard two homers to match the record tonight. The first shot went into the second deck in right field for 2-RBI. The second was a grand slam in the sixth inning, which is the 10th slam of Howard’s career.
Howard came up again in the seventh with the bases loaded, but back-to-back slams were just not meant to be. Sadly, he struck out.
But Ben Francisco helped out in the game as well with two hits and two RBI in the game. And Rollins had another two-hit game, officially announcing his emergence from an early season slump. Raul Ibanez, on the other hand, has not had a hit in 30 consecutive at-bats.
Another record was set tonight as well. Polanco recorded his 39th hit in the month of April, setting a new Phillies team record. Chase Utley held the previous record with 38 hits in April of 2008. And Polly is not done yet…still one more game to go in April.
The bullpen, including newcomer Michael Stutes, held down most of the Phillies huge lead and they went on to win by a score of 10-3. Game two is Saturday at 1:10pm and Roy Halladay will pitch.
***Important Blog FYI: The entire MLBlogs community is going to be switched to a WordPress format beginning on Friday, May 6. The transition may last through Monday night, May 9. All MLBlogs writers will be unable to post and you will be unable to access any MLBlogs during this transition. So do not panic if this and other blogs suddenly disappear during that weekend…we will be back :O)***
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Happy Opening Day! And what an unusual Opening Day it was for the Phillies.
The Phillies sent Roy Halladay to the mound to face ex-Phillie Brett Myers of the Astros. What initially looked like it might be a bad day despite great pitching, the Phillies pulled out a win in walk-off fashion to open the 2011 season.
The first hit off Halladay came off the bat of Myers. And from there, more drama ensued. In fact, Myers wound up with two of the five hits Halladay allowed through six innings. Myers allowed only three hits and one earned run through seven innings.
But for the Phillies offense, hits were few and far between making fans wonder if all the hard work assembling this amazing pitching staff was going to pay off. If Halladay only allows one run but the offense cannot score any runs, wins will be hard to come by.
Only Ryan Howard and Wilson Valdez got any hits through the first six innings. The Valdez hit was a double in the third inning, but they were unable to score him. A bad call at first base where Halladay was called out did not help the situation.
Also not a huge help were a strange variety of Phillies mistakes. Ben Francisco missed a fly ball in right early in the game, prompting chants of, “Bring back Werth!” from the crowd. Valdez let a ball slip right between his legs and Shane Victorino got caught stealing. Later, poor Carlos Ruiz took a bouncing relay to the plate in what looks like an uncomfortable position:
None of this was good news for the Phillies. But in the seventh, Myers started to tire and the Phils finally manufactured a few runs. By the ninth inning, down 4-2, the Phillies probably started to imagine the backlash if they were to lose on Opening Day after Halladay pitched a great game. Suddenly, the hits started coming.
Jimmy Rollins started off the inning with a single to inspire the team. Howard, Francisco and Ruiz followed suit. The hit for Francisco was especially huge as it redeemed him from the previous error in the eyes of the crowd.
Valdez stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Visions of the 20 double plays Valdez hit into last year began to haunt the crowd who held their collective breath. But perhaps the DP curse is over, because Valdez nailed and RBI single to tie the game.
All the Phillies needed now was a hit or a sac fly from John Mayberry Jr. With his father, former major leaguer John Mayberry Sr., and mother looking on, Mayberry Jr. smashed a 2-2 fastball to center field, over the head of former Phillie Michael Bourn. Francisco scored and Mayberry had his first major league walk-off hit in his first game ever as an Opening Day roster player.
The walk-off win was the first on Opening Day since May 6, 1974, when Mike Schmidt hit a two-run home run against Tug McGraw to beat the Mets at Veterans Stadium. But with the high expectations for this 2011 team, this walk-off victory will go down as one of the most memorable in Phillies history.
The stunned Astros team will probably have nightmare’s tonight knowing they face Cliff Lee on Saturday. Game time is 7:05pm.
Here is the full Photo Album from Opening Day.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography