Tagged: Padres

See-Saw Battle Ends in Phillies Win

This team is never dull, although sometimes, I wish they were.  The Phillies see-saw battle with the Padres today was a real tummy-turner with lots of ups and downs.

UPChase Utley smashed a 3-run homer in the first inning.  The Phillies held onto the 3-run lead through 5-innings as Kyle Kendrick looked pretty good on the mound.  But as with all good things, they must soon end…

DOWN – Kendrick lost his mojo in the 6th inning, giving up two home runs for three RBI total.  With the game tied 3-3, Michael Stutes took over on the mound for the next four outs.  Despite getting into trouble in the 7th, it looked like Stutes was about to get out of the mess when a Cameron Maybin single put the Padres ahead, 4-3.

UP – As the Phillies bats had laid dormant for five straight innings, a comeback seemed like a remote possibility.  Enter, Ryan Howard.  Given the day off to try and work on his hitting, Howard was called upon to pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th.  It took just one pitch and Howard homered to re-tie the game, 4-4.

 

The homer was followed by a pinch hit double from Ross Gload and a Jimmy Rollins walk.  Then the improbable happened again; rookie Michael Martinez hit his second career homer to add on three more runs.  Utley homered again later the same inning to make it an 8-4 Phillies lead.

DOWN –  Antonio Bastardo had his first really bad day of the year as he loaded the bases with two outs in the 8th inning.  Then things got really wild as Bastardo literally began throwing the ball anywhere but over the plate.  After two straight wild pitches, the Padres finally scored again.

In another improbable and frankly, unbelievable move, the Phillies sent David Herndon to the mound to clean up the mess.  Herndon has been less than reliable all year so this was a shocker.  Not shocking was watching Herndon walk a run home.  But he did manage to escape the inning with the Phillies still leading, 8-6.

UPRyan Madson closed the game out in the 9th where he allowed one hit, but struck out two batters for the save.  And despite allowing a run, Stutes got the win.

UP x2 – The Phillies have won four straight and go for five tomorrow with Roy Halladay on the mound.  The Braves lost today, extending the Phillies lead to five game in the NL East.

Game time on Sunday is 1:35pm; I will return with photos.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Hamels Returns to Dominance on 80’s Retro Night

After a horrible start in New York where he gave up seven runs in 4.1 inning, Cole Hamels needed a bounce-back game.  And there was no better time to bounce-back than in a throw-back, 1980’s retro night game.

Wearing the maroon pinstripe uniform from 1984, Hamels found his old-self against the Padres.  Through eight innings, Hamels gave up only one run on three hits while striking out 10 batters.  It was 120 degrees on the field at game time, but the Padres biggest issue was the heat on Hamels’ fastball, not the heat on the field.

Some of the 1980’s player intro’s also added to game intensity:

 

Chase Utley was hot on the scoreboard and hot at the plate with two hits tonight.  Carlos Ruiz and John Mayberry Jr. added an RBI-double each which, along with one unearned run, was plenty for Hamels to work with.

To close the game, Ryan Madson came out in the 9th for his first save attempt since returning from the DL.  He sent the Padres down in order to record the 3-1 victory.  It was Madson’s 16th save and Hamels’ team-leading 12th win of the year.

Earlier today, the Phillies activated pitcher Brad Lidge from the DL; he is expected to be broken in slowly in non-crucial situations until he gets settled in after missing the entire first half.  A roster move had to be made and that wound up being Danys Baez.  If Baez is not picked up by another team, he will likely play for Triple-A.

Many fans celebrated the move, as Baez has been inconsistent and mostly ineffective both this year and last.  His 6.25 ERA over 36 innings was not helping his case.

But while this was clearly the best business decision for the team, Baez was well-liked in the clubhouse and is an all-around nice guy.  He is the only player I have never seen ignore a fan or refuse an autograph.  Baez had a smile and for everyone, despite what must have been a really tough year for him.  In that respect, it is a bit sad.

Charlie Manuel also had a difficult time with the decision as he has know Baez for a long time.  He said in an interview on SportsNite that Baez came to his office a week ago to talk about his situation and Baez all but offered himself up.  He told Charlie he would understand if he needed to make a move for the betterment of the ballclub.  So while his pitching was not great, I am impressed with the way he has handled himself and wish him all the best.

 

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Photos from Comcast SportsNet Broadcast

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

Worley Wows While Bats Come To Life in Win Over Cubs

The Phillies offensive was very slow to develop on Tuesday.  But on Wednesday, they got off to a quick start with two runs in the first inning.

In the second inning, the Phillies really made Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster work hard in the 110 degree heat on the field.  But with two outs, no one on base and pitcher Vance Worley coming to the plate, it looked like Dempster was going to get out of the inning.  And then Worley smashed a double in the gap between center and right field.

That double precipitated a big inning for the Phillies.  Jimmy Rollins followed with another double to score Worley.  Then Michael Martinez singled in Rollins and Chase Utley doubled in Martinez.  It was a 3-run chain reaction.

But the fun did not end there.  While Worley mowed down Cubs and did not allow a hit until the 5th inning, the offense kept adding on.  Rollins had a huge day with three hits and two homers, one from each side of the plate.  That has only happened four times in Phillies history and two of the four times, it was Rollins. 

Rollins was so pumped after the first homer, he high-fived a bunch of Phillies fans on his way back to the dugout.  After the second homer, other fans caught on and the high-fives came again, only to a bigger crowd.  After the game, Gary “Sarge” Matthews even interviewed a fan about the high-fives.  Needless to say, he was pretty psyched about travelling all the way to Chicago to get high-fives from Rollins.

Martinez also continued his hot streak with two hits, an RBI and two stolen bases.  Utley had two hits, both doubles, and two RBI.  The only starter without a hit was Shane Victorino who is still looking for his first hit since returning from the DL yesterday.

With the offensive support, Worley was able to pitch without pressure and as a result, he went eight innings, the longest outing of his short career.  Worley allowed only one run on four hits and two walks.  Fans are also getting excited about Worley these days as evidenced by the new tee-shirt being sold by Zoo With Roy.  I assume it is a take-off on the shirt to the right, but why is his name spelled wrong?  Just curious…

 

The 9-1 win capped off a series victory against the Cubs.  Thursday is an off-day while the Phillies prepare for a big 10-game home stand with the Padres, Giants and Pirates.

 

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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*

Sweeps And Strikeout’s Cannot Hide the Stench Of Phillies Offensive Offense

It has been an interesting few days for the Phillies.  On Sunday, they finished off a four-game sweep of the Padres, scoring only 12 runs total in all of those games.  An inside-the-park homer by Shane Victorino helped seal Sunday’s sweep.

That same day, closer Jose Contreras was sent to the DL with a strained right flexor pronator tendon in his elbow.  As a result, Michael Stutes joined the club to fill the roster spot and made his major league debut on Monday.

Also on Monday night, the Phillies five-game win streak ended with a 0-4 shut-out loss to the D-Backs.  Cliff Lee pitched an odd game where he struck out 12 batters but still allowed four runs in seven innings.  However, Lee’s performance was basically rendered obsolete as the Phils offense did absolutely nothing to help out.

The three-hit shutout by the Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy where he struck out 10 batters and did not issue a walk, matched a team record.  Only two other pitchers in team history tossed a shutout while allowing three or fewer hits with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks.  One was Curt Schilling on April 10, 2001 against the Dodgers (2 hits allowed, 10 SO) and the other, Randy Johnson, when he pitched a perfect game on May 18, 2004 at Atlanta (13 SO).

While that feat by Kennedy is very impressive, the Phillies offense certainly made it a little easier on him by swinging at bad pitches and watching good ones fly by.

The Phils offensive offense has not scored more than four runs in 14 consecutive games this season.  They currently rank 28th in baseball for runs scored since April 9th.

The worst offender amongst the starters has been Raul Ibanez, who is hitting just .179.  He should be benched in favor of John Mayberry Jr. until he figures things out.  Maybe at almost 39-year old, Ibanez needs to be in a platoon with Mayberry to get him more rest.

Team leader Jimmy Rollins is also not producing.  He got off to a hot start and has seriously cooled off.  Rollins has not had a multi-hit game since April12th.  He has batted .182 since that time.

 

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But a few players are not to blame.  The entire team is just not hitting, as if they all caught the same virus at once.  If the disease continues to spread, who will be the fall guy?  Last year it was hitting coach Milt Thompson.  Frankly, the players themselves need to be held accountable.  Play the bench guys until the starters find their swings.

While the bench is solid, it is not the long-term solution.  However, maybe benching a few guys will light a fire under them.  Because the Phillies have few other options.

Their payroll is maxed out.  The Phillies will never be a team that decides to pay the luxury tax along with the Yankees.  So as far as getting new blood into the line-up, they are out of options.  Besides, it is only April and no teams are ready to trade anyone yet.

Then again, it is only April.  The team is still winning, despite the offense, thanks to a solid starting staff.  But even the pitchers are going to get weary of the lack of support very soon.

So choose your most relaxing yoga pose and just keep telling yourself, “It’s only April.  Its only April…”

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Win Third In A Row Against Padres In Extras

After not allowing a single run to the Padres in two straight games, the Phillies finally yielded on Saturday night in the first inning.  Joe Blanton got roughed up quickly.  On his first three pitches of the game, he allowed a single and an RBI triple to break the Padres scoreless streak.

But after getting out of the early jam, Blanton settled down and actually pitched very well.  In seven innings, he allowed just two runs on eight hits and two walks.  Blanton finally lowered his ERA below six; it sits at 5.92 right now and hopefully, will get better as the season progresses.

Placido Polanco got the day off at third base, which seemed like an odd choice considering he is the only Phillie really hitting right now.  Wilson Valdez took third and Pete Orr filled in at second.  Both players had one hit each, but overall, the offense suffered again.

Jimmy Rollins and Ben Francisco accounted for the Phillies two runs.  After Rollins walked in the fourth, Francisco tripled to score him.  Then in the sixth, Rollins singled to score Orr who had doubled before him.


Orrs Oars.jpgJust a quick side note, I noticed last week that Orr already has a fan club, Orr’s Oars.  A group of fans have been wielding boat oars in the outfield in Orr’s honor.  Also interesting to note, Orr’s cousin, Nick Boynton, plays for the Flyers.

And yes, that is how sad the offense was in this game.  I was so bored, I made a hockey reference.

Here are just a few examples of the Phillies offensive woes:  Raul Ibanez has not had a hit in 17 at-bats.  Frankly, I think John Mayberry Jr. should get some playing time until Ibanez figures it out.  And Rollins is batting .120 in his last seven games.

The Padres have similar issues and as such, neither team looked good on offense.  That led to extra innings after both teams were unable to score again in a 2-2 tie game.  This would become a battle of the bullpens.

As it turned out, the Phillies bullpen came out on top thanks to an RBI-single by Howard in the 11th.  That hit was huge for Howard as he had struck out in each of his previous four at-bats.  The two runs that scored gave the Phillies a 4-2 lead which Ryan Madson held down for his second save in a row.

The Phillies are up 3-0 in the series with the final game today at 4:05pm.

 

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

Phillies Pitching Wins First Two Games In San Diego

On Thursday night, the Phillies snuck away with a 3-0 win against the Padres even though their offense is still anemic.  Home runs by Ben Francisco and Brian Schneider paved the way for Roy Oswalt to collect his third win of the year.

While Oswalt appeared to have no ill effects from last week’s back issue, he did wind up having to toss a lot of pitches to get through six innings.  It was 106 pitches, to be exact.  The bullpen held the lead despite each reliever allowing one hit and one walk each.


P4178660BO.jpgFriday night, Cole Hamels took the mound and looked great in front of his hometown crowd.  Usually comfy in San Diego, Hamels seemed to be relaxed and in control.  He was even one of the best batters of the night with two hits, although he had a brain freeze and got picked off first base once.

Hamels cruised through eight innings without allowing a run.  The Padres managed only four hits and three walks, one of which was intentional. 

As for the Phillies offense, there has been very little of that lately.  Two walks in the third inning led to a 2-RBI triple by Ryan Howard which accounted for the Phillies only two runs of the game.  Lucky for them, Hamels brought his A-game and kept the Padres off the scoreboard.

The ninth inning was handed to Ryan Madson.  Jose Contreras got a day off since he has pitched a lot lately.  Madson has struggled in the closer role in the past, but tonight he had no issues.  The Phillies went on to win by a score of 2-0.

There are two more games in the series.  Saturday’s game time is 8:35pm and Joe Blanton 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*

 

Phillies Salvage A Game Against The Brewers

The Phillies avoided a sweep at the hands of the Brewers this afternoon with a 4-3 win.  The 2-1 series loss was the first series loss of their season.


P4178730CC.jpgThe Phils offense went 17 straight innings in this series without scoring a run.  John Mayberry Jr. got the first hit of the game, but that did not happen until the 5th inning.  Then finally in the sixth, Wilson Valdez (photo) drew a walk and Shane Victorino singled.  Placido Polanco then smacked his second homer of the week to tie the game up at 3-3.

Cliff Lee had a slightly off day, although he kept the team in the game.  Through six innings, Lee allowed two earned runs on eight hits and a walk.  The third run was the result of a Valdez error.

Valdez made up for the error in the ninth, after a Victorino homer gave the Phillies the lead the inning before.  Valdez ran backwards after a fly ball that was over his head, reached out and snagged the ball.  That play saved closer Jose Contreras from a very difficult inning.  Contreras then struck out Ryan Braun to end the game.

The Phillies now travel to the West coast for a 4-game series with the Padres.  Thursday’s game starts at 10:05pm and Roy Oswalt, feeling better since having back issues, will pitch.  Phillies fans, prepare for some late nights in the coming week.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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