The Phillies win streak has ended at 4 games after an awful 6-1 loss to the Braves in Atlanta last night. After a lead-off single from Jimmy Rollins in the 1st inning, the Phillies scored their only run of the game. It all went downhill from there.
Pitcher Cole Hamels had one of the worst starts of his career immediately after signing a huge $144 million contract. He walked a career high 6 batters, 3 of which came in the 2nd inning and led to 2 runs for the Braves.
Of course, those 2 runs could have been avoided if Mike Fontenot had not made a gigantic error at 3rd base. He missed a routine ground ball that would have ended the inning without a run scored. Third base has been a total nightmare for the Phillies with Placido Polanco’s constant back issues over the past 2 seasons. Polly is on the DL again and neither Fontenot nor Ty Wigginton are able to handle the hot corner. 20% off all Phillies errors this year have happened at 3rd base.
The Phillies have had many 3rd base troubles over the years since after Scott Rolen departed. Think about this: David Bell, Pedro Feliz and Polanco. What do they all have in common? You guessed it…back problems. And if next year the Phillies decide to try Freddy Galvis at 3rd, he and his back fracture will fit right in:
So the troubles at 3rd continue as do the trouble with playing error-free baseball, starting pitching woes and a sluggish offense. The other problem the Phillies are facing? How about Brian McCann. This guy is a 1-man Phillies wrecking crew.
In 6 games against the Phillies just this year, McCann has hit a home run in EVERY single game, including 1 grand slam. He has 16 RBI against the Phillies in 2012…so far. So my question then is, why are the Phillies still pitching to this guy? Walk him! Hit him with a pitch! Throw darts at him! I don’t care…just please stop pitching to the guy!
Tune in tonight at 7:10pm to see if the McCann curse continues…ugh.
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Phillies photos by Jenn Zambri Photography; McCann photo courtesy of MLB.com
The Astros were looking for their first win of the year today against the Phillies. In the 3rd inning, it looked as though they may just get that win. Jamie Moyer made it to 2 outs in the 3rd before all hell broke loose. He took a 4-0 lead and turned it into a 4-5 deficit in the blink of an eye.
For a few minutes, many wondered if they were watching a baseball game or a boxing match, as Moyer took blow upon blow from the Astros bats. With 2 outs in the inning, the right and left hooks began, starting first with the Astros pitcher who whacked a double to get the rally started. Here is the remainder of the beating, which even included a single from former teammate, Pedro Feliz: 2-run homer, a walk on 4 pitches, 2-run homer (yes, again), 4 singles in a row to score the 5th run of the inning. It was a total knockout.
Or, maybe not…the Phillies rallied back in the 7th inning and took the lead again on a Ryan Howard 2-run homer. Howard also tripled and walked with the bases loaded for an RBI earlier in the game. Shane Victorino, who has been very unlucky of late, finally got in on the action with an RBI single in the 7th. In the 9th, Victorino hit a 2-run homer to give the Phillies a 9-5 lead. And then he breathed a sigh of relief…whew!
As for the bullpen, Chad Durbin mowed down the Astros in the 7th inning. Danys Baez followed suit in the 8th and then Ryan Madson came in for the 9th with 4 runs to play with. He gave back one run but still escaped with a 9-6 win.
So the question now remains, how effective will Moyer be in future starts? The one big inning nearly killed him, but the Phils bats bailed him out. But no team can be expected to score 9 runs every game. Well, it was only his first start, so we will have to wait and see how his next start goes.
Also of note, the Phillies kept their streak of at least 10 hits in a game going tonight. Yes, all 5 games played so far have featured at least 10 hits and a minimum of 5 runs scored. They are averaging over 8 runs a game…scary. Can they keep up this pace? We hope so :O)
The Phillies will finish the series with the Astros Sunday at 2:05pm. It will be a battle of the Roy’s; Halladay vs. Oswalt. The Astros are still looking for their first win, so do not expect them to just lie down and give up. It should be a good game….Go Phillies!
Head shots by Jenn
After another solid start from pitcher Kyle Kendrick on Thursday against the Astros, the competition for the 5th starters spot is getting more interesting by the day. Kendrick pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing just 1 earned run on 5 hits and 2 walks. His spring ERA stands at 1.37.
Jamie Moyer has only pitched in one “A” game so far and a bunch of “B” games, but he will face the Yankees tonight in his final bid for the 5th spot. Moyer’s one regular spring outing ended with a 1.80 ERA for 1 run over 5 innings of work. Tonight’s game then will likely be the deciding factor.
If Moyer does well, it looks like the spot may be his. However, if he gets beat up by the Yanks, he still may get the nod anyway. Although Kendrick has more than earned the spot and personally, I feel it should be his, the Phillies will probably go with experience over youth. Poor Kyle has all kinds of factors working against him; his youth, Moyer’s huge $8 million dollar salary and the fact that Moyer has never been a bullpen pitcher.
Moyer did work from the pen a little last year when Pedro Martinez arrived, but only for extended innings, like after rain delays. So essentially, he was still being used more as a starter than a bullpen piece. Manager Charlie Manuel seemed very hesitant to put Moyer in for only a few batters which tells you that they were not confident about his ability to pitch out of the bullpen.
My prediction is that the Phillies will go with Moyer and put Kendrick in the pen. After Moyer has a few bad outings, they will probably switch, just like Chan Ho Park and JA Happ did last season. Then again, as with most predictions, anything can happen.
The Phillies were reunited yesterday with former teammate Brett Myers who was the starting pitcher for the Astros. Myers made Philly his home for 11 years, with the same team who drafted him.
Seeing him another uniform was strange. Then again, considering how many ex-Phillies are with the Astros, including Myers, Pedro Feliz, Jason Michaels, Michael Bourn, and Gary Majewski, maybe we should all be Astros fans too? Or maybe not…
Myers left the game early with a strained left groin, but it appears to be minor. Afterwards, Myers spoke about the Philly fans saying, “I felt appreciated when I came out of the game and they all stood up and clapped for me. That was very respectful. Philly fans get a bad rap, but they’re loyal to the guys that played there and have done things for the organization. I really appreciated that. That was classy.” Myers will be missed by many Philly fans and we wish him well…unless he is playing against the Phillies, of course ;o)
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Photos by Jenn
Shakespeare once posed the question, “What’s in a name?” In baseball, a player’s nickname can stick like glue, whether they like it or not. Here is a rundown of some of the Phillies player’s nicknames, past and present.
2010 Phillies Players
Brad “Light’s Out” Lidge
Ben Francisco – Scoots
Carlos Ruiz – Chooch
Charlie Manuel – Chuck
Chase “The Man” Utley or The Model (given to him by J-Roll) or Chutley
Cole Hamels – Hollywood Hamels
Greg Dobbs – Dober (he actually doesn’t like it, but everyone calls him this anyway!) or Roy Hobbs, from “The Natural”
Jayson Werth – J-Dub or Werewolf
Jimmy Rollins – J-Roll or Papa Smurf (I know this one is accurate because Jimmy told me himself that this is what he was called “back in the day.”)
Juan Carlos Romero – JC (did anyone even know his real name was Juan Carlos or did you read this and go, who is this guy??)
Juan Castro – “Manos de Oro” (means gold hands)
Milt Thompson (current coach)- Uncle Milty
Plácido Polanco – Polly
Roy Halladay – Doc
Ryan Howard – The Big Man or Rhino
Ryan Madson – Mad Dog
Shane Victorino – The Flyin’ Hawaiian
Previous Phillies Players:
Antonio Alfonseca – El Pulpo or The Octopus (because he has 6 fingers on each hand….seriously…I have photos)
Bake McBride – Shake n’ Bake
Bobby Abreu – El Comedulce (means The Candy Eater)
Chris Coste – Chris Clutch
Chuck Klein – The Hoosier Hammerer
Curt Schilling – Schill
Darren Daulton – Dutch
Dick “Don’t call me Richie” Allen
Ed Delahanty – Big Ed, Human Grasshopper
Garry Maddox – The Secretary of Defense
Gary “Sarge” Matthews
Geoff Jenkins – Jenks or Brett Favre (he is his long-lost twin :o)
Greg Luzinski – The Bull
Grover Cleveland “Old Pete” Alexander
John Kruk – Krukker
John Titus – Silent John
John Vukovich – Vuk
Juan Samuel – Sammy
Kevin Saucier – Hot Sauce
Larry Bowa – Gnat (does this mean he is annoying?)
Lenny Dykstra – Nails
Mickey Doolan – Doc
Mickey Morandini – Dandy Little Glove Man (Is it just me, or is this like the gayest nickname ever?)
Mike Lieberthal – Lieby
Mike Schmidt – Iron Mike or Schmidty
Mitch Williams – Wild Thing and Mitchy-Poo (Harry Kalas coined that one)
Otto Knabe – Dutch
Pat “The Bat” Burrell
Pat Corrales (manager) – Ike
Pedro Feliz – Pete Happy (literal translation of his name)
Pete Rose – Charlie Hustle
Richie Ashburn – Whitey
Rudy Seanez – Action Traction (I have NO idea what this is about)
Steve Bedrosian – Bedrock
Steve Carlton – Lefty
Todd Jones – Roller Coaster
Von Hayes – Five-for-One
Willie Jones – Puddin’ Head
Have any more to add to the list? Leave your favorites in the comments :O)
Photos by Jenn
The Phillies found a back-up catcher today when they signed Brian Schneider to a $2.75 million, 2 year deal. Schneider spent the last 2 years with the Mets and the previous 8 seasons with the Nationals/Expos. The best news here is that Schneider was notorious for being a Phillie killer; pitching to him has been a 10 year nightmare. Overall, Schneider is a .251 hitter and should fit nicely into the back-up spot vacated by Paul Bako and Chris Coste before that.
And in a very odd twist to the situation, Coste has just been signed by the Mets! Coste started the 2009 season with the Phillies before being tossed and subsequently picked up off waivers by Houston in July. The self-proclaimed 33-year old rookie is now in enemy threads which is sure to send shockwaves throughout Philadelphia. Coste was well loved in Philly and many were unhappy with his departure. Not to mention, many would rather see him retire than play in a Mets uniform. It is a sad, sad day for Coste fans. But look at the bright side; at least we will get to see him a lot next year :O)
As for the other holes in the line-up, like third base, no word yet except that midnight tonight is the deadline for all teams to offer salary arbitration to their free agents. The Phillies are likely to offer arbitration to Chan Ho Park as they have stated they want him back next year. Park may decline and decide to look around for a starting pitching spot as several teams have seemed interested in him. If he accepts, he will be with the Phillies for 2010 and probably get a raise. As for the other free agents, Bako and Eric Bruntlett are out of the picture with their replacements already signed in Brian Schneider and Juan Castro. Brett Myers has already been shown the door, as has Jack Taschner. Pedro Feliz, Pedro Martinez, Matt Stairs and Miguel Cairo are also unlikely, although Stairs and Cairo may be offered minor league deals.
So, have we all looked at our season ticket invoices yet? This is not a huge shock, but Phillies ticket prices went up again this year by $2- $4 per ticket. Not only that, but some season ticket holders received worse seat assignments. Someone I know got bumped backwards 2 rows in the same section. So, we are now paying more for less? While 2 rows is not earth shattering, traditionally, season ticket holders have been rewarded for their loyalty with better seats from year to year, not punished.
So yes, the World Series win in 2008 plus the return trip in 2009 do affect the prices, unfortunately. But that does not make it any easier to swallow. The money does not go towards improving the team or free agency; it is just more in the pockets of the owners. And with the team winning now, they do it simply because they can.
Prices over the recent years have increased tremendously. A seat that cost $42 in 2004 is now $58 for 2010. The last year of the vet for the same seat was $26. What I am wondering though is what happens when the team sucks again? Do we become the Nationals with a stadium that is only 25% full? I follow the team win or lose, but I will not pay those prices to see them lose when I can do that at home for free. Then again, maybe they will never suck again…one can dream ;o)
So, did anyone else get there ticket invoice and wonder what happened? Did you get the same seats or did you get bumped back? What do you think about the prices? Let me know in the comment section below.
Coste photo by Jenn
If all that glitters is gold, Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino have enough bling to go around. Both players were awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in their respective positions yesterday. For the shortstop Rollins, it is his third Gold Glove in a row; for centerfielder Victorino, this makes two in a row. Rollins had only 6 errors all year, which was the best among all qualifying players. Victorino had a .997 fielding percentage, 2nd best in the NL among outfielders, and 5 assists.
On the injury front, Brad Lidge had surgery yesterday to repair his right flexor tendon as well as remove loose bodies from his elbow. It was not known before the surgery if the tendon was damaged, but it appears Lidge was worse off than anyone let on. That fact has caused quite a stir among fans who are very disappointed about the whole situation. Tell me again why Lidge was pitching with serious injuries, especially in the World Series?
But everyone must look forward now and it appears that Lidge will not be ready for the start of Spring Training. As a result, the Phillies have been reportedly looking for another / back-up closer. They need bullpen help anyway, so this is no surprise.
As for the Roy Halladay / Cole Hamels rumors, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. insists this will not happen. Again, not much of a surprise as such a trade was a long shot at best. In fact, the Jays demands are still very high, so it is possible that Halladay may not go anywhere.
Thank you everyone for the comments yesterday on this topic :O) And to clarify, I have not given up on Hamels. Odds are that he will rebound and have a better year. However, the thought of a Cliff Lee – Roy Halladay combo, two proven veterans, is an exciting thought. Think about it this way: The Phillies window to win another championship is closing. We will probably have Lee only for 1 more year as he is going to command Yankees-type money, which the Phillies historically are unwilling to pay. They may strike a deal with him, but do not hold your breath. The core of the team is intact for a while, but the pitching overall has been shaky down the stretch. If the Phillies can get a quality third baseman, improve the pen and add or develop a solid starter, they could be unstoppable in 2010. In my humble opinion, they need to toss everything, including the kitchen sink, at this 2010 team.
But sadly, the Phils do not have the payroll of many other teams; the Phillies rank 7th, which is very high, but still $88,445,143 less than the Yankees, as an example. That equals almost 4 CC Sabathia’s and nearly 8 Chase Utley’s. I don’t know about you, but I would take 8 Chase Utley’s anyday. And no, I am not jumping on the “buying a Championship” bandwagon which I hear a lot about the Yankees. I believe they still have to play the game, regardless of income. And this year, the Yanks played better than anyone else. But would an additional $88 million be a BIG boost for the Phillies or any other team…obviously, the answer is “yes.”
But that is just a dream and the Phillies will need to do the best with what they have. Hopefully, that will include a few more quality pitchers.
Photo by Jenn
Oh yes, here we go again… It is only mid-November and the Roy Halladay rumor mill is already in full swing. While the Phillies were unable to strike a deal with the Blue Jays in July for the star pitcher and instead wound up with Cliff Lee (and we are all ok with that, of course), the Jays may still be looking for a chance to get Halladay off their payroll.
If the Phillies can manage a deal for Halladay, odds are they will have to pay much less for him than they would have in July since now he is only good for one potential post-season instead of two. But the Jays are probably still interested in the Phillies top prospect, Kyle Drabek, whom the Phillies are unlikely to part with. In an interesting twist however, it has also been rumored that the Jays might be willing to take Cole Hamels. Can I get a Hallelujah and an Amen to that possibility?!!
Although Hamels is six years younger than Halladay, he had a terrible season for the Phillies and most fans are sick of his emotional issues, media faux pas and lack of composure on the mound. Odds are, not many people would be sad about such a trade. Sadly, if this were rumored last season, there may have been riots in the street full of angry fans unwilling to let the World Series MVP go. But now? Not so much…
Besides upgrading the pitching staff, it appears the Phillies now need a third baseman as Pedro Feliz did not have his option picked up. The Phillies can still sign him as agree agent if they come to an agreement, but it looks more likely that the Phils will look elsewhere.
Feliz had a decent season, but I think he really screwed himself in the playoffs where he hit only .167, made unproductive outs in crucial situations and hit into double plays that killed rallies. Plus, he is 34 years old, which does not help his case.
The top prospects for third base right now are Chone Figgins, Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa and former Phillie, Placido Polanco. Figgins would be the best choice, although fans loved Polanco when he was here and many were upset when Chase Utley took his job. Hind sight, as they say, is 20/20.
Back in 2005 when Polanco went to the Tigers, many Phillies fans felt he should have been moved to 3rd base to keep him on the team, myself included. As it turns out, had the Phillies done so, Polanco would likely still be with us. Up to that point, he had moved back and forth from 2nd to 3rd base for years. But after going to the Tigers, it was 2nd base all the way. The question then with Polanco is, could he transition back to 3rd after more than 4 years steady at 2nd? That may be too big a question for the Phillies to consider taking him.
So, third base is wide open right now and several other Phillies have filed for free agency; Chan Ho Park, Matt Stairs, Paul Bako, Pedro Martinez and Miguel Cairo. The Phillies will not likely sign Martinez again, as he will command too hefty a salary and they need a more consistent arm. Park is a possibility, Cairo and Bako will probably not be back and Stairs I am not too sure about. My feeling was that he might retire, but since he has filed, I now do not know what is on his mind. But this leaves the Phillies with the need for a back-up catcher, a right handed bat off the bench and a variety of pitching needs.
As for our walking wounded, both Scott Eyre and Raul Ibanez had successful surgeries yesterday and are expected to make recoveries before Spring Training. Eyre may or may not decide to retire so his future is uncertain. Ibanez, we hope, will be back to 2009 first-half form. Brad Lidge will have surgery tomorrow. What exactly is wrong with him will be an interesting revelation. We should have more information in the days to come.
Feliz photo by Jenn