Tagged: NLDS

Phillies Advance To NLCS With Sweep Of The Reds

The third game of the NLDS between the Phillies and the Reds was not terribly action packed.  Both teams pitched well and hits were at a premium.  But while the game was not super exciting, the outcome certainly was.  With a victory, the Phillies swept the Reds right out of the playoffs.

As the chosen starter for game 3, Cole Hamels was anxious to show what he could do after an unbelievable no-hitter by Roy Halladay in Game 1.  Hamels pounded the strike zone all night and sent Reds back to the dugout one by one.  He allowed 5 hits while striking out 9 batters for a complete game shut-out.  No quite a no-hitter, but Hamels was amazing.  Plus, the final out was made by ex-Phillie Scott Rolen; icing on the cake.

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As for the offense, the Phillies got off to an early lead thanks to another Reds error.  As a team, the Reds have committed 7 errors in 3 games of this NLDS.  Tonight it was an Orlando Cabrera throwing error after Jayson Werth put the ball in play that cost them a run.  Cabrera had a sore rib cage and was not supposed to play.  But after some magic massages today, Cabrera was in the line-up.

About the massages, Cabrera said, “The guy’s name is Andy. I don’t know his last name.”  Do you think afterwards Cabrera left a few dollars on the bedside table and left?  Poor Andy must feel cheapened by the encounter ;o)  But we are all thankful that Cabrera felt well enough to play.  Thanks, Andy…you deserve some credit as well.

The other run for the Phillies came off the bat of Chase Utley who sent the ball to right center; it snuck over the wall for a homer.  Replay was used to verify the homer as the Reds claimed a fan interfered but ultimately, the run counted.

With Hamels holding down the Reds, the two runs were all they needed.  With the 2-0 win, the Phillies will advance to the NLCS against either the Giants or the Braves, depending on the outcome of that series.  The Giants currently lead the series, 2-1.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Oswalt Falters But Phillies Pull Off The Comeback Win

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The Phillies started the postseason with 2 pitchers named Roy in the first 2 games.  In each of those games, the 2 Roy’s were polar opposites in terms of performance and results.  Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter in his first ever playoff game.  Roy Oswalt on the other hand, with prior playoff experience, did not pitch well at all.  But all is well that ends well as the Phillies went on to win anyway. 

At the start of the game, Oswalt looked pretty bad.  He threw balls right down the middle of the plate and the Reds did not miss them.  Oswalt surrendered 3 earned runs and 1 unearned on 5 hits and a walk.  Chase Utley made 2 throwing errors in the 2nd inning, which is very odd for Utley, and that cost Oswalt the unearned run.

Between the errors, ineffective pitching and lack of hitting, things looked grim for the Phillies early on.  They were not able to scratch out any runs until the bottom of the 5th when 2 Reds errors plus an Utley single scored 2 runs.  Utley redeemed himself and, making him feel even better, the Reds equaled his screw-ups.  Even better, one of the errors was from ex-Phillie Scott Rolen, which the fans enjoyed a lot.  Rolen has been booed mercilessly these past two games.  No love lost between him and Philadelphia…

Things got stranger in the 6th; Carlos Ruiz was hit in the knee with a pitch by another ex-Phillie, Arthur Rhodes.  Ruiz seemed to be fine and Rhodes was lifted from the game.  Pitcher Logan Ondrusek replaced Rhodes and only 3 pitches later, he nailed pinch-hitter Ben Francisco in the head to load the bases.  Luckily for Francisco, he moved his head quick enough that the ball hit the brim of the helmet.  So although it looked very scary, he was okay.  Shane Victorino walked next to score a run.

So while all this was pretty entertaining, the Phillies were still down 4-3 going into the 7th.  Utley was hit by a pitch for the 3rd erroneous toss by a Reds pitcher.  Things began to go seriously downhill for the Reds when, with 1 out, they brought in their flame throwing rookie, Aroldis Chapman.  With 100+ mph balls flying, it was the Reds fielders who got rattled instead of the Phillies batters…

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Jay Bruce
missed a fairly easy fly ball off the bat of Jimmy Rollins and then Brandon Phillips dropped the relay throw, allowing 2 runs to score.  Ruiz hit into a fielder’s choice a little later, but it scored another run.  Also in this inning, Mike Sweeney made his postseason debut as a pinch hitter and singled to left.  Having waited 16 years to reach the playoffs, that hit had to feel amazing for Sweeney.  By the way, join us at my “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” Facebook page for more Sweeney fun :O)

So the Reds had 4 errors through 7 innings in this game, which the Phillies then led by a score of 6-4.  Ryan Madson erased the Reds in the top of the 8th.  In the bottom half, Utley singled and stole a base, still determined to erase the errors from everyone’s minds.  Jayson Werth knocked him in to add on an insurance run for a 7-4 lead.

That set up the 9th for Brad Lidge.  Despite walking the first batter he faced and making the fans grumble, Lidge buckled down and got the next 3 batter out to put the Phillies up 2 games to none in the NLDS.  The Phillies are one win away from advancing!  Cole Hamels will pitch in Cincinnati on Sunday at 7:00pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Halladay’s Historic No-Hitter Opens Phillies Postseason

After 13 years in the big leagues, Roy Halladay finally got his first taste of postseason play today against the Reds.  He wasted no time taking full advantage of the opportunity.  Halladay pitched a no-hitter and ended just 1 walk shy of his second perfect game of the season.  The no-no was only the second ever in baseball history to be thrown in the postseason.  And Halladay also became the first pitcher to ever throw a no hitter in both the regular season and the postseason.

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Prior to the game, there were face painters, games, food and music from Mr. Greengenes:

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That was followed by batting practice, player introductions and the ceremonial first pitch thrown by former Phillies pitcher, Scott Eyre.  And of course, rally towels:

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As the game began, Halladay relied on his defense as he followed the lead of Carlos Ruiz, who called an amazing game behind the plate.

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Halladay was so good in this game, that he actually had more hits in the game than the Reds batters did.  With two outs and two men on in the 2nd, Halladay smashed an RBI-single to left.  Shane Victorino followed that up with 2 more RBI before Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was pulled from the game with less than 2 innings pitched.  With one run in the first on a Chase Utley sac fly, these four runs total were all Halladay needed.

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After mowing down Reds hitters, both Halladay and the Phillies walked away with a huge win in Game 1 of the NLDS.  The no-hitter was the icing on the cake.

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I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to witness this extraordinary feat.  It is a game I will never forget.  The energy and excitement in the stadium was so thick you could feel it on your skin like thousands of goosebumps.  Strangers celebrated with each other uninhibited, as if they were long time friends.  I personally high-fived more people after the game then I ever have in my entire life combined.  A woman later showed me her hands, which were bright red, and said she had high-fived so many people that her hands actually hurt.  Of course, she was not that upset about it.

Today was an amazing start to the Phillies postseason, but there are still 10 more wins ahead to reach the ultimate goal.  The team will be off tomorrow to soak in this win and then it is back to work again on Friday.  Roy Oswalt gets the ball next; he has a very tough act to follow.

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.  And this is a few shot video clips from the 9th inning, basically to show how loud it was in there.  Sorry about the head…had some 6’5″ dude in front of me and I could not reach too well over him.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

NLDS Roster Announced


6a00e5513d181b8834013487fe1fcf970c-350wi.pngThe Phillies announced today who will be on the 25-man roster for the NLDS and there are really no surprises.  Those notable players who did not make it include Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez and David Herndon.  Here is the breakdown:

Pitchers

Roy Halladay

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton

Brad Lidge

Ryan Madson

Jose Contreras

 J.C. Romero

Chad Durbin

Antonio Bastardo

 

Catchers

Carlos Ruiz

Brian Schneider

 

Infielders                            Outfielders

Ryan Howard

Jayson Werth

Chase Utley

Shane Victorino

Jimmy Rollins

Raul Ibanez

Placido Polanco

Ben Francisco

Wilson Valdez

Ross Gload

Mike Sweeney

Domonic Brown

Greg Dobbs

 

 

Going with 10 pitchers instead of 11 allows the Phillies to add more fire power to the bench.  They expect the 3 starters to go deep into games so extra long men in the pen will likely not be necessary.  Blanton will fill the role if needed.

As for Ruiz and Romero, manager Charlie Manuel says both players are fine and ready to play after suffering minor injuries on Sunday.

If you are going to the game tomorrow, here is the information about pre-game festivities and other highlights:

2:00 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Party begins on Citizens Bank Way. Features music by Mr. Greengenes; Highlights include an inflatable obstacle course for children, face painters, an extreme rock wall climb and a Velcro race.

2:35 p.m.
Ashburn Alley opens.

3:05 p.m.
All gates open. Rally towels for all fans, compliments of StubHub.

3:30 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Rally on Citizens Bank Way! Special guests include former Phillies Scott Eyre and Greg “The Bull” Luzinski, Comcast SportsNet analyst Ricky Bottalico, the Phillie Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls. Music provided by Mr. Greengenes; Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs, will emcee.

4:40 p.m. – On-field pre-game ceremony begins.

4:44 p.m. – Introduction of Cincinnati Reds.

4:48 p.m. – Introduction of Philadelphia Phillies.

4:54 p.m.  – National Anthem: Sung by country singer Catherine Raney, niece of Tim McGraw, who will be representing the Tug McGraw Foundation.

4:56 p.m.  – Color Guard introduced.

4:58 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Phillies alumnus Scott Eyre.

5:07 p.m.  – Play ball! Phillies vs. Reds game begins.

5th Inning – “Lady PhaPha” makes her postseason debut.

7th Inning – God Bless America: Sung by national recording artist Lauren Hart, a Philadelphia native whose songs have been heard on television series and soap operas.

See you there!

Division Series Schedule

As you may know already, the Phillies will be playing the Reds in the NLDS.  The Phillies won 5 out of 7 games against the Reds this year in the regular season; 3 of those in July all went to extra innings and ended in spectacular walk-off fashion for the Phillies.  So while the Phils have a slight edge, it is sure to be a well played series.

With the 8 playoff teams finally decided, TBS and MLB announced some of the start times for both the AL and NL Division series.  Here is the schedule so far:

Series

Teams

Day/Date

Time ET

ALDS Game 1

Rangers @ Rays

Wed. Oct. 6

1:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 1

Reds @ Phillies

Wed. Oct. 6

5 p.m.

ALDS Game 1

Yankees @ Twins

Wed. Oct. 6

8:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 2

Rangers @ Rays

Thurs. Oct. 7

2:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 2

Yankees @ Twins

Thurs. Oct. 7

6 p.m.

NLDS Game 1

Braves @ Giants

Thurs. Oct. 7

9:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 2

Reds @ Phillies

Fri. Oct. 8

6 p.m.

NLDS Game 2

Braves @ Giants

Fri. Oct. 8

9:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 3

Rays @ Rangers

Sat. Oct. 9

5 p.m.

ALDS Game 3

Twins @ Yankees

Sat. Oct. 9

8:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 3

Phillies @ Reds

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

NLDS Game 3

Giants @ Braves

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*ALDS Game 4

Rays @ Rangers

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*ALDS Game 4

Twins @ Yankees

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*NLDS Game 4

Phillies @ Reds

Mon. Oct. 11

TBD

*NLDS Game 4

Giants @ Braves

Mon. Oct. 11

TBD

*ALDS Game 5

Rangers @ Rays

Tues. Oct. 12

TBD

*ALDS Game 5

Yankees @ Twins

Tues. Oct. 12

TBD

*NLDS Game 5

Reds @ Phillies

Wed. Oct. 13

TBD

*NLDS Game 5

Braves @ Giants

Wed. Oct. 13

TBD

 

As I expected, the Phillies, despite have the BEST record in baseball, still got screwed out of the Prime Time slot in favor of the Yankees…again.  So for the 3rd year in a row, I will have to take a day off work to go to get to the stadium in time to find parking and see the pre-game festivities.

Now I realize there are 22 other teams out there whose fans would love to have this problem so it is hard to complain.  But when is a team, other than the Yankees, going to get some much deserved respect?  The Phillies have certainly earned it.   

To the TV people it is all about ratings, and I suppose it is their prerogative.  But guess which team brings in more fans based on stadium capacity?  The Phillies – 103.5%.  It is over 100% due to standing room only tickets that are sold to accommodate more fans.  The Phillies sold out EVERY game this season.  Where do the Yankees rank?  They are 7th in baseball with 88.9%.  If the Phillies had a bigger stadium like the Yankees do, they would no doubt have sold all those seats as well.  Just sayin’…

Not to mention that the TBS coverage of the games, in general, is horrible.  The announcers have NO clue about the teams they are watching and tend to be biased towards particular teams.  The coverage has been historically so bad that there is even a section on Wikipedia dedicated to how bad they suck.  The TBS slogan is “very funny” but we are not laughing.

Phillies End Season With Best Record In Baseball

The Phillies ended the 2010 regular season today with the best record in baseball for the first time in franchise history.  Their 97-65 record is even more impressive when all of the injuries they suffered this year are added to the equation.  Unfortunately, the injuries do not appear to be behind them yet.

In the 8-7 loss to the Braves today, catcher Carlos Ruiz was plunked on the elbow by a Tim Hudson pitch.  He appeared to be in a great deal of pain and eventually, he left the game.  There has been no word yet about how serious it may be.

Another potential huge loss heading into the playoffs may be JC Romero.  After throwing a pitch in the 6th inning, Romero signed to the coaches that he was hurt.  Reports are that he is suffering from left lower back soreness.  If he cannot play, it looks like lefty Antonio Bastardo will be a lock for the postseason roster.  Having only one lefty in the pen may not be a great idea, but the Phils may have no choice.

The only real highlights early in today’s game were 2-run homers by both John Mayberry Jr. and Jayson Werth.  Also, Cole Hamels pitched very well for 2 innings in his postseason warm-up.  Everyone else had issues getting desperate Braves hitters out.  Even Roy Oswalt gave up a run in one inning of work.  Joe Blanton allowed 2 runs and the big damage was done by Danys Baez.  Baez allowed 4 runs in only 2/3 of an inning, likely cementing his new roll as a cheerleader instead of a spot on the postseason roster.


Baez cheerleader.jpgBut as the Phillies are known to do late in games, the offense started cooking again in the 8th inning.  With 2 outs, Jimmy Rollins singled and Mike Sweeney reached base on a Braves error.  Wilson Valdez hit an RBI single and Ben Francisco doubled in 2 more runs.  The game got a lot closer, with the Phillies trailing by a score of 8-7.  But in the 9th, they were unable to score and the Braves went on to win.

While the Braves won, their playoff hopes are still in the hands of the Padres, who are playing the Giants right now.  They will know more in a few hours.

In the meantime, congratulations to the Phillies, officially the BEST team in baseball right now!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies: The Grim Reaper Of Playoff Dreams

The Atlanta Braves must feel like they have been unknowingly cast in a bad horror flick.  With their playoff hopes on the line, the Phillies have now beat them 2 days in a row with only one game left in the season.  In the meantime, their Wild Card foe, the Padres, keep winning.


Worley reaper of Braves.jpgYielding a large axe, rookie pitcher Vance Worley did his best impersonation of the Grim Reaper today against the Braves.  They did not manage a single hit off Worley until the 4th inning.  Worley went 5 innings, allowing only the one hit and looked like a seasoned veteran.  The only reason he was pulled after 5 innings was because there was a runner on third and the Phils chose to pinch hit for him.

Actually, the Phillies offense had runners on 3rd with only 1 out twice and failed to score.  That finally changed in the 7th inning when a walk by Jimmy Rollins kick started some scoring.  A Braves fielding error followed by a bunch of Phillies singles ended in a 4-run inning.  Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino all picked up RBI’s.

Placido Polanco returned to the field today after having a cortisone shot in his elbow earlier this week.  Polly went 2 for 4 at the plate, which is a very good sign.  He did have one error at third early in the game, but he is probably still shaking the rust off.  It is good to see Polly feeling better though!

The Phillies bullpen pitchers were scary as well.  Antonio Bastardo, Danys Baez, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras continued to stab Braves hitters through the heart, sending them back to the dugout, one by one.  The horror continued for the Braves as the Phillies tacked on more runs in the 8th and 9th for a 7-0 lead.  And that was the final score.

With the Braves loss and a Padres win, the Wild Card race is a dead tie going into the final day of the regular season tomorrow.  As a result, who the Phillies will play in the NLDS is still uncertain.  What is certain is that, no matter the outcome tomorrow, the Phils will end the season with at least 97 wins and the best record in all of baseball!

The final game of the regular season tomorrow starts at 1:35pm.  Cole Hamels will start the game.

Victorinos.jpgBy the way, I would like to send congratulations to Shane and Melissa Victorino on the birth of their baby boy, Kingston Shane Victorino, this past Thursday.  The 7 lb. 8 oz. slugger is the second child for the couple; they have a daughter names Kali’a and Melissa has a teenage boy, Keenan, as well.  Shane & Melissa are great people; I wish them much happiness!

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography except baby photo by CSN

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