So another Opening Day has passed and the Phillies are on their way to global dominance…or, something like it anyway ;o) If you missed my photos from the event, check out the PHOTO ALBUM which includes Opening Day ceremonies, President Obama’s first pitch and game action.
And now it is time to start the season off right and introduce yourselves to the newest members of the 2010 Phillies. The first one is easy…if you do not know who Roy Halladay is, you are clearly not a Phillies fan. No worries though…only one game has passed; you have time to catch up . Here is Mr. Halladay on the right with his very, very serious pre-game face on. This former Cy Young winner goes by the nickname “Doc” and he is pretty amazing. Enough said.
The few players you may not know well include pitchers Danys Baez, Jose Contreras and David Herndon; outfielder Ross Gload, infielder Juan Castro and catcher Brian Schneider, pictured here in that order from left to right, top to bottom:
Both Baez and Contreras are Cuban defectors; Baez is in his 9th major league season, pitched last for the Orioles and has a name that defies normal spelling rules. Contreras, not as hard to spell, is in his 7th season and helped the Yankees coin the term “Evil Empire” when they signed him over the Red Sox back in 2002. In other words, the Sox were pissed….end of story.
Herndon was in the Angels minor leagues last year and this will be his first shot at the bigs. Ladies, he is single and plays the guitar…go get him! I kid…
As for Gload, this is his 9th season in the majors and his 6th team. He is a lifetime .283 hitter and should be a solid bench player for the Phillies. Castro is another veteran going into his 16th season; he will be 38 in June and may start taking the same youth-inducing vitamins Jamie Moyer does ;o) He is not a power hitter, but will be a good defensive back-up for the infield. Schneider, formerly of the Mets and Nationals, is very familiar with the Phillies. And as a former Phillies-killer, we are glad to have him on our side now. His 11th season will be served as back-up to Carlos Ruiz.
And as a bonus, here are a few guys who are not really new, but you may not know them. Pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Drew Carpenter are still rookies who spent a very short time with the Phillies last year. They spent most of 2009 in the Phillies minors.
And then there is Placido Polanco, who returns to the Phillies after almost a 5 year absence; he was traded in 2005 to the Tigers. But after his record-setting performance of 6 RBI in one game yesterday, the most by any Phillie on Opening Day, I am confident you now know who he is. Welcome back, Polly!
Cole Hamels will take the mound against the Nationals in game 2 tomorrow at 7:05pm…Go Phillies!
Photos by Jenn
After the Phillies day off on Thursday, it seems the Phillies offense is taking the rest of the week off. John Mayberry Jr. had the only hit for the Phils in a 2-0 loss to the Orioles on Friday. Then in a 3-0 loss today against the Tigers, they scratched out just 4 hits. But is any more appropriate time for a slump than Spring Training? Besides, we are all anxious for the real games to begin!
The pitching slumped a bit as well; Roy Halladay had a rough day against the Tigers. To start the second inning, he hit the first batter, walked the second batter and gave up a 2-run double to the third batter. A few more hits and another walk later and he had a 3-run inning. Then again, a bad day for Halladay is a spectacular day for most pitchers.
Kyle Kendrick started Friday’s game and gave up 2 runs over 5 innings bringing his spring ERA to 1.29. While Kendrick has clearly out pitched Jamie Moyer so far this year, it is still up in the air as to who will win the 5th starter’s roll. Moyer has way more experience and a much bigger paycheck, which may influence the decision.
But Kendrick should not have too much to worry about as it appears he will make the team either way. Lefty Sergio Escalona was sent back to the minors, indicating that Antonio Bastardo will get the one lefty spot in the pen. The remaining bullpen pieces are right-handers Danys Baez, Jose Contreras, Chad Durbin, David Herndon and Ryan Madson. That leaves the 7th spot for either Kendrick or Moyer. Mike Zagurski, another lefty, may also be in the mix but he has made only 1 appearance all Spring. The Phillies appear to be nursing Zagurski along after he missed all of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery.
Still recovering from off-season surgery, it looks like both Brad Lidge and JC Romero will start the season on the DL. However, they should not be too far behind schedule; both are throwing now to live batters and Lidge pitched in a minor league game on Thursday. Lidge says his command is off and he still needs to work on arm speed. But both players feel physically fine, which is great news.
Third baseman Placido Polanco is also feeling much better after a right calf sprain and was scheduled to play in a minor league game today. Chase Utley has recovered from his respiratory issues and played in both games after the off-day. If everyone else can stay healthy now, we should be looking at a nice start to the season.
And just for fun, I came across this Jayson Werth baseball card and thought I would share it with you. This is one of the shots taken during Photo Day in Spring Training from last year. Each player gets their “standard” shots for cards, programs, yearbooks and other team items on this day. The way it works is the photographer has them hold up their name / locker plate for the first photo so they know who they are shooting. They put the name plate down and then continue with the regular photos.
However, Werth decided to be silly and rather than put his name plate away, he stuck it through his belt loops. So my question is, did the photographer not notice this or did he just think it was funny and keep right on shooting? Either way, it is pretty interesting. Maybe that is why Werth let his hair and beard grow wild this spring? Could he have been trying to top last year’s bizarre photo session? We may never know…
if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget(‘23806c5d-27e5-4f04-a300-94a868417e13’);
Photo by Jenn
Today the Phillies agreed to terms with 32-year old right-handed relief pitcher Danys Baez, formerly of the Orioles. Pending the physical exam, Baez will be given a 2-year contract. He went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 games last year, did not pitch in 2008 due to ligament surgery on his right pitching elbow and had a dismal 2007 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 games. Baez does have closing experience, which might be helpful if Brad Lidge is not ready to pitch in 2010.
However, this move is still a bit of a head scratcher. Baez had two good seasons; his rookie year in 2001 and with Tampa Bay in 2005. But his lifetime ERA is 4.04 with a record of 35-49. Charlie Manuel managed him from 2001-2001 when he played for the Indians, which we all know means that Chuck likes him a bunch, as he does most of his ex-players. It is easy to assume that played a factor in the decision.
Also, Baez is a righty, and the pen is in desperate need of lefties with only JC Romero signed and a few rookie possibilities. Scott Eyre’s future is still uncertain. So, this move tells us a few things: #1 – The Phillies are not confident that Lidge will be game-ready in April. #2 – The Phillies are willing to take their chances with the left-handed rookies, Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo. #3 – Although we do not know the contract amount yet, it is safe to assume Baez came cheap. That means, the Phillies have blown their payroll and this will be the last big move, aside from handing out a few raises.
Another pitcher whose status is uncertain is Jamie Moyer. He has had 2 surgeries already since September, 3 hospital visits, 2 blood infections, a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, at least there was a little holiday cheer thrown in for him. All that and he is now scheduled for surgery #3 in January on his right knee to repair his meniscus. At 47 years of age, one has to wonder if Moyer will be able to recover from such an ordeal and come back to pitch effectively. Then again, if anyone can defy the laws of aging, it would be Moyer. I wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery!
I would also like to take this time to wish everyone out there a very Happy New Year! Be safe :O)
Photo by Jenn
Could the Mets be the cure for the bad baseball bug that has bitten the Phillies lately? Today’s 7-2 win that rocked Citizens Bank Park was definitely a good start. Another good start today was that of new Phillies pitcher, Rodrigo Lopez, who stunned Philadelphia fans with his excellent ball control and ability to throw strikes. Throwing strikes does seem to be the object of the game, but not many Phillies pitchers have given that a try recently. So Lopez’s emergence from AAA after his recovering from Tommy-John surgery is a welcome surprise.
But is Lopez that good or are the Mets just that bad right now? It may be a little of both, but Lopez certainly did show promise. And this guy is no stranger to the big leagues; Lopez pitched 5 years with the Baltimore Orioles and part of 2007 with the Rockies before his injury. The experience showed tonight as he was very poised on the mound and unshaken by the large, raucous crowd. Lopez pitched 6 1/3 innings of 2 run ball and walked only 1 batter. If he can repeat this a few more times, the Phillies will be more than happy to keep him around.
The Phillies offense finally found a groove tonight as well.
The top of the line-up led the charge, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley each collecting at least 2 hits each. Utley & Rollins had 2 RBI a piece as well. Maybe Charlie Manuel finally grabbed these guys by the throat and shook them around until some offense fell out, like coins from a piggy bank? Whatever the case, everyone hopes he did not break the bank in one night.
Ryan Madson, who was sorely in need of a clean inning after a horrific few weeks, pitched the 9th with a 5 run lead. John Mayberry Jr. lent a hand by making a diving grab in the outfield. That out helped get Madson through it and he nailed down a scoreless, hitless inning. Madson can now exhale and hopefully, get things back on track.
With two more games coming up against the rival Mets, there may still be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Phillies if they can continue to play with the same intensity they did today. Jamie Moyer will kick things off tomorrow at 4:05pm on the 4th of July! With any luck, the offense will provide the fireworks.
Rollins & Manuel Photo by Jenn
Lopez photo: http://theoriolereport.com/
Let’s start with the good news: I sat through the game today and it did not rain; Ryan Howard, while not yet in the line-up, is out of the hospital for the second time this weekend; the Mets are losing right along with the Phillies; and the Phillies are about to begin a road trip, which everyone hopes will be the cure to the losing streak.
And now on to the bad: The Phillies lost their 6th straight game today to end the home stand with a record of 1-8. Despite another great pitching performance from Cole Hamels, the Phillies went down again today to be swept by the worst team in the AL, the Orioles.
The game was at least entertaining though and the Phillies pitching and defense performed well. But the offense notched only 4 hits with the lone run being a solo homer from Greg Dobbs. By the 8th inning, an already fed up Charlie Manuel was tossed from the game after Jimmy Rollins was called out at 1st base. Replays showed he was not tagged. Well, at least watching Charlie was fun:
I will have a Photo Album together sometime tomorrow or Tuesday, so check back for that. I will be at the Phillies Phestival all day tomorrow getting autographs and helping to raise money for ALS :O)
Your daily reminder: Be sure to elect the Phillies to the All-Star game! VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!
UPDATE: Here is the PHOTO ALBUM from the game…enjoy!
Photos by Jenn
Yesterday, the Blue Jays became a plague of locusts, nibbling away at the Phillies one by one. Tonight, the black cloud remained over Citizens Bank Park as the Baltimore Orioles strolled into town and picked up where the Jays left off. Will the curse of interleague play ever end? Not soon enough; definitely not soon enough.
Last year, the Phillies won 3 games in interleague play. So far this year? 3 games. Fans have been left wondering if a curse has been placed upon the Phillies. Despite a decent performance from rookie pitcher, Antonio Bastardo, the Phillies could not muster a win. Bastardo allowed 4 runs in 7 innings, but at least one of those runs was not his fault. John Mayberry Jr., a rookie playing for the injured Raul Ibanez, missed a ball in left field that should have been caught which scored the 4th run.
But Mayberry had an ok day at the plate, going 2 for 4, so that made up a bit for the defense. The rest of the offense though did little to help Mayberry out in his quest to get on base. Jayson Werth had two hits, but any other form of production was few and far between. In fact, there were only 2 other hits and 5 walks from the Phillies offense in the entire game.
Jack Taschner pitched the 8th and 9th and gave the O’s a little more cushion when he allowed a solo homer in the 9th. And that was followed by 2 more runs on a couple of singles with 2 outs in the inning. When it rains, it pours. And so the Phillies continue to circle the drain, losing this one by a score of 7-2.
Well, if you are still in the mood, go ahead and VOTE for your Phillies All-Stars! VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address. Let’s get these guys to St. Louis to provide just a small ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark and dreary day.