Before we get into the game tonight, here is an update on all the recent injuries and roster moves. On Wednesday night, pitcher Nate Robertson gave up 6 runs in less than 1 inning; when that happened, he signed his exit papers. Robertson was designated for assignment and the Phillies claimed righty Caesar Carrillo off waivers from the Padres to take his spot.
Another righty, Scott Mathieson, was placed on the DL with a back issue. Danys Baez was taken off the DL to fill that spot. Baez has not had a very good year so putting him back in the bullpen sort of feels like a non-event. Oh well…
Jimmy Rollins is out, probably for the weekend, with a tight hamstring. The injury does not appear to be serious, but after two stints on the DL with a calf injury, the Phils are going to be extra careful with him.
And as for Placido Polanco, he does NOT have a broken elbow, contrary to several reports yesterday. Polanco advised Comcast Sportsnet that he told a reporter from the Dominican Republic about the bone spur in his elbow, which will be operated on after the season ends. Somehow, this reporter translated that into a broken bone. Polly is from the Dominican Republic, so how this miscommunication occurred between two men speaking the same language is strange. But the good news is, no broken bones :O)
That about covers the news from the Thursday off-day; now on to tonight’s game…
What began as a pitcher’s duel on the mound between Roy Halladay and Mets rookie Jenrry Mejia, turned into a duel of the pitcher’s bats in the 3rd and 4th innings. Halladay was cruising until he gave up a single to pitcher Mejia in the 3rd. A double scored Mejia and later, a 2-run homer added to the damage.
Down 3-2 going into the 4th, Halladay returned the favor. With the bases loaded and 2 outs, Halladay smacked a bouncing single up the middle for a hit; two runs scored and Mejia looked stunned. Ryan Howard had homered before that and later, a Shane Victorino single scored the 4th run of the inning.
The Phillies had a big 7th inning as well. Chase Utley started the fun with a solo homer and Howard doubled behind him. With two outs, Raul Ibanez was walked intentionally by pitcher Sean Green. Carlos Ruiz then drew an unintentional walk and Green followed that up by plunking Wilson Valdez with the bases loaded, walking in a run.
Things got a little scary with Halladay at the plate next; after a 1-0 count, Green uncorked another wild one and almost hit Halladay. Mets manager Jerry Manuel immediately took Green out, mid-batter. Manuel gets a tip of the cap for that move which may have saved Halladay from a possible injury. Green was out of control and since the Mets were down 8-3, there was no point in risking an embarrassing mistake like hitting an opposing pitcher.
The Phillies went on to win the game 8-4 and Halladay collected his 18th win of the year. He also reached 200 strikeouts on the season for the second year in a row. Although Halladay allowed 4 runs tonight, he still went 7 2/3 and the offense helped him out.
Tomorrow, Kyle Kendrick will be given yet one more chance to prove himself, although many feel he does not deserve another shot after 4 straight bad games. Rookie Vance Worley was the other option, but since Kendrick did well against the Mets last month, they decided to give him the start. Game time is 4:10pm; this should be an interesting one.
By the way, feel free to check out my new Facebook community page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney.” And when you are done there, hop over to the Phillies #1 fan contest and VOTE for me! You can vote up to 25 times a day :O) Thank you for the support!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
After last night’s tummy turning, see-saw circus act, a nice old-fashioned blow-out would have been a welcome event. And through 7 innings tonight, it was so very nice and relaxing. The Phillies offense swung the bats like a starving man who was just tossed a cracker. They scored against the Marlins in every inning except the 6th and the 8th.
Ryan Howard led the fish feast with 6 RBI, including a 3-run homer to the opposite field. Chase Utley was hungry too; he went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, a walk and was hit by a suspicious pitch in the 7th. The 9-0 lead at the time and ball thrown near his head made people wonder if the Marlins pitcher, Jose Ceda, was expressing his displeasure at the routing. Luckily, it hit him in the upper shoulder area and Utley looked to be okay.
Jimmy Rollins had two hits in the game before having to leave with a tight right hamstring. Leslie Gudel reported on Twitter that J-Roll was not feeling well and was dehydrated before the game, even skipping batting practice. Why he then started the game is a mystery. Hopefully, the injury is not serious.
As the runs were piling on, Cole Hamels kept right on pitching as if it were a tie game, which later on, turned out to be a really good thing. Hamels went 7 strong without allowing a run and striking out 5. Marlins batters were feeling the heat as Hamels kept right on cooking.
A former Fish, Nate Robertson, was called on in the 8th inning to pitch to his former team. However, Robertson was the one who got cooked this time. In 2/3 of an inning, Robertson walked two batters and allowed 6 runs, including a 3-run homer. If Robertson was looking to revive his career, he did himself no favors tonight.
Entering the 8th inning with a 10-0 lead, manager Charlie Manuel put in a bunch of back-ups to give them some playing time. Ross Gload at first has issues handling an Utley throw; catcher Paul Hoover dropped a pop-up and later dropped a ball after a collision at home. Had he held it, the inning would have been over. Instead, the 5th run of the inning scored.
The 10-0 blowout at the start of the 8th turned into a 10-6 “holy crap-fest” real fast. David Herndon, who finished off the 8th inning, came in again to pitch the 9th. He got one out, walked the next batter and them forced the managers hand…Ryan Madson, who should have had this day off, was forced to come in to pitch and prevent further damage. Madson got the final two outs for a 10-6 final score. Whew!
So tomorrow is an off-day for the Phillies for some much needed rest after a LONG stretch of 23 games and no off-day. On Friday, they will return in New York to face the Mets for 3 games. Brad Lidge, who says his elbow is sore, should be back for that game. And with any luck, J-Roll will be back and well rested.
In the meantime, feel free to check out my new Facebook community page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney.” And when you are done there, hop over to the Phillies #1 fan contest and VOTE for me! You can vote up to 25 times a day :O) Thank you for the support!
Hamels photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Of course, I am not referring to an actual wolf…this wolf was Brewers pitcher and former Phillie, Randy Wolf. Although, had it been an actual wolf that devoured the Phillies, that would have been way more interesting.
But as it stands, Randy Wolf pitched 6 2/3 strong innings against his former team, allowing just 2 runs. For the Phillies, Kyle Kendrick basically stunk up the place. Kendrick started the game with a 3-run homer to Prince Fielder. He threw one pitch, missed his spot and Fielder gobbled up the cookie tossed his way. By the end of 4, Kendrick allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and a walk.
The worst part is that the Phillies have a doubleheader with the Marlins tomorrow so pitching was already at a premium. With Kendrick not able to get past 4 innings, many bullpen pitchers had to be used which means less pitching and/or tired pitching for tomorrow. Kendrick has been on a serious downhill slide since early August and seems to be getting worse instead of better as each start goes by.
Add in the fact that the Phillies offense is still struggling to score runs and this is another really disappointing loss. The only two runs scored by the Phils today came on a Carlos Ruiz double in the 2nd inning. After that, the offense had only 2 hits; one from Chase Utley and one from Jimmy Rollins. Of 7 hits on the day, 2 were from Utley.
As for some of the young Phillies arms, Scott Mathieson and Antonio Bastardo are back up from AAA and each pitched an inning. Bastardo looked sharp; Mathieson still lacks control and walked 2 batters. He did work out of the jam, but the big question mark still looms above Mathieson’s head. He can throw 97mph, but that is only helpful if he can throw strikes. So far, it is not looking that way.
The Braves lost their game today as well, so the Phillies missed out on the opportunity to put themselves in a tie for first. They still stand 1 game behind the Braves.
In the doubleheader tomorrow, Vance Worley will be called up to start the day game, probably with Nate Robertson in tow as a back-up/bullpen piece. Roy Oswalt will start the night game. The Marlins are on a role playing spoiler as they took 2 of 3 from the Braves this week so this will not be an easy series. The Phillies had better find their bats!
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game. Enjoy.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies won their 4th game in a row tonight with an amazing start from Cole Hamels. The Brewers did not get a hit off Hamels until the 5th inning as he mowed down hitter after hitter. He walked 3 batters, gave up just 3 hits and struck out 7.
Most impressive with Hamels tonight was his demeanor. Even thought the Phils have not scored for him basically all year long, he did not let it bother him that the offense gave him only one run to work with…again. Hamels got into some trouble in the 7th when he issued a lead-off walk and then a single but he worked out of the jam.
Although it did not appear to affect him, Hamels must be wondering what he has done to offend his teammates. In his last 6 games, including tonight, the Phils offense scored 2 runs or less for him in five of those games, with two of them being shut-outs. Perhaps he needs to change deodorants?
Whatever the reason, runs seem to be impossible to come by when Hamels is on the mound. The one run scored tonight was after a 2nd inning Shane Victorino double; Raul Ibanez moved him to third and Carlos Ruiz grounded out to score him. But after that…nothing. The Phillies even left the bases loaded with NO outs in the 4th and did not score. Ibanez struck out and Ruiz hit into a line-drive double play, catching Jayson Werth off the bag. As a team, the Phillies went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
Despite the offensive struggle, the Phillies went on to win 1-0 and Ryan Madson got the save in the 9th. Roy Halladay will pitch tomorrow; game time is 7:05pm.
A few roster moves were made today also; Greg Dobbs was brought up from AAA and Ross Gload was activated off the DL after a groin injury last month. A few more moves will be made in the next few days as the Monday double-header approaches and an extra pitcher will be needed. No word yet on who will be called upon, but it may be Vance Worley who pitched very well in AAA and pitched one scoreless inning for the Phils in July. Other possibilities may be Nate Robertson or Drew Carpenter. We shall see.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography