Tagged: Pedro Feliz

The Walking Wounded

Is there a doctor in the house?  Apparently, there are a few very busy doctors in the Phillies clubhouse since the season ended.  It had already been disclosed that Scott Eyre was pitching the latter half of the season with bone chips in his elbow, so the fact that he will have surgery tomorrow is no surprise.  Eyre performed admirably despite the injury and ended the regular season with a 1.50 ERA in 42 appearances and a 2.08 ERA in the post-season.  His future is uncertain though; the Phillies may offer him a spot if surgery goes well, but he also may simply choose to retire and be home with his family.  It will be a while before any decisions are made.Phillies ER 1109.jpg

But the fact that Raul Ibanez was hurt the entire second half of the year was not disclosed until Sports Illustrated broke the story in late October that Ibanez was playing through both a sore groin and an abdominal tear.  Ibanez will have surgery Monday as well for a sports hernia.  But this begs the question, had the Phillies carried on without Ibanez and gave the playing time to a healthy Ben Francisco, would that have helped their chances to win the World Series?

Ibanez was hitting .312 before the All-Star break; afterwards, he hit only .232.  And in the post-season, he managed only a .259 average and a .481 slugging percentage.  Whether or not Francisco could have been a bigger producer if he was given the playing time prior to the post-season, we will never know.  But the Phillies had other options and instead left Ibanez in; it appears that may have hurt the team’s chances.  We all admire Ibanez for his determination, but the decision is questionable based on the results.

And then the big X-Factor, Brad Lidge.  The decision to keep Lidge on as the closer for the post-season may have single handedly destroyed the Phillies repeat hopes.  Because as it turns out, Lidge also had serious injuries for most of the year.  He will have surgery on Wednesday to remove loose bodies from his elbow and may also have damage to his right flexor tendon.  Whether or not the Phillies were aware of this before or during the playoffs has not been announced.  But it does raise eyebrows.

The Phillies were on the verge of a huge comeback in Game 4 of the World Series when Pedro Feliz knocked a game-tying homer in the 8th inning.  Had they won the game, the Phillies would have been tied 2-2 with the Yankees and momentum would have been on their side, especially with Cliff Lee pitching the next day.  But Lidge blew any chance of that happening when he allowed 3 runs in the 9th and dashed the Phillies hopes.  I strongly believe that was the turning point that handed the series over to the Yankees.

So the question then is, with such injuries plus his entire 2009 history, why was Lidge allowed to pitch?  Obviously, Lidge knew something was wrong.  If he did not tell, then shame on him.  If he did and the Phillies choose to let him go out there anyway, shame on the management.  Either way, the Lidge experiment, along with the Cole Hamels experiment and other injuries, took down the Phillies this year. 

And the real shame here is that there were other pitchers who could have filled in; JA Happ for Hamels, Ryan Madson or Chan Ho Park for Lidge.  You know the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?”  Well, what is it IS broke?  That is a question the Phillies will be asking themselves all off-season.

In other news, Brett Myers was told he will not be with the Phillies next year.  He is currently a free agent.  Pedro Feliz is still in limbo with the status of his contract option.

Player photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phillies 2009 Year In Review

2009 was an outstanding season for the Philadelphia Phillies in many ways.  Not only did they return to the World Series for the second consecutive year, but when you look at everything they had to endure to do so, the feat becomes that much more impressive.  Here is a look at the obstacles the team overcame in 2009 and also some of the season highlights:

 

Obstacles Overcome

 

  • The loss of our beloved Harry Kalas

  •  
    Thumbnail image for Kalas.jpgThe 2008 World Series hangover
  • Injuries to every member of the bullpen
  • Losing the #2 starter (Brett Myers) at the beginning of the year
  • Watching the #1 starter, Cole Hamels, go through weird injuries, bad luck and a very bad season

  • Hamels Myers.jpgJC Romero’s
    unwarranted 50-game suspension
  • Lack of production from the bench players
  • The June Swoon (11-15 record)
  • The struggles and eventual season ending injury of Jamie Moyer
  • The injury to Raul Ibanez right before the All-Star break; Ibanez went from super hot to totally not afterwards.
  • Offensive slumps throughout the year
  • A down year and very slow start from the offensive engine, Jimmy Rollins
  • Brad Lidge going from first to worst among closers

 

 

Highlights

 

  • The Ring Ceremony

  • P4088732.JPGThe White House visit

  • n23409805_46913024_2198875.jpgEric Bruntlett’s
    game-ending, unassisted triple play
  • Cliff Lee – a gift from Heaven (and Ruben Amaro Jr.)


  •  

    Thumbnail image for Lee in heaven3.jpgJayson Werth
    becomes a solid, productive everyday player
  • Pedro Feliz had off-season back surgery, recovered well and became a real contributor offensively
  • JA Happ emerged as rookie sensation with 12 wins and the lowest team ERA among starters (2.93)
  • Jamie Moyer wins career game #250
  • The Phillies visit with J-Roll Smurf (more of a personal highlight, but a highlight nonetheless)


  • smurfs phillies.jpgChase Utley
    – enough said
  • Ryan Howard becomes the fastest player ever to reach 200 career home runs
  • Ryan Howard knocks the most grand slams in Phillies history

  • Howard Utley.jpgA 3-game sweep of the Mets in July
  • The 10 game winning streak, July 8-21
  • The two Old Goats, Jamie Moyer & Pedro Martinez, combine to win 2 games in August that were split up by rain delays

  • 2 goats.jpg5 Phillies players, plus all coaches, go to the All-Star game
  • Jayson Werth steals home against Dodgers
  • Franchise record set for attendance and sellout games; 3,600,693 fans and 73 sellouts in 81 home games, finishing 3rd in baseball for total and average attendance
  • Return to World Series


PA040710.jpg 

Congratulations to the 2009 National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies! 

 

In other news:

 

  • The 2009 coaching staff have all been invited to return next year. 
  • Cliff Lee’s 8 million dollar club option was picked up (no surprise here) for 2010.
  • Raul Ibanez, Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge will all be seen by team doctors this weekend to determine if surgeries will be needed.  Eyre has loose bodies in his elbow and Lidge may have the same.  Ibanez has a tear in his abdomen and a hip issue.
  • No word yet on Pedro Feliz’s club option, but it will be decided by Monday.
  • Photos by Jenn, except White House

     

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

 

Disappointment For Phillies; Exuberance For Yankees

 

Disappointment:  The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest.  It is a source of psychological stress.  Synonyms: failure, defeat, frustration (courtesy of Wikipedia).

disappointment.jpg
And disappointment is what Philadelphia is left with after their failure to repeat as World Champions.  Instead, with a 3-7 Phillies loss tonight, the Yankees brought home their 27th World Series title.  The Phillies are left with the consolation prize as National League Champs.

After winning Game 1, the Phillies looked poised for a repeat.  Game 2 went to the Yankees in a relatively fair battle.  Game 3 was the real turning point as Cole Hamels did not perform well and the offense could not bail him out.  But things got much worse in Game 4 where Brad Lidge gave up 3 runs in the 9th after the Phillies had battled to tie up the game prior to that.  The Hamels and Lidge killer combo made for two gut-wrenching losses and a serious turn in the tide.

Cliff Lee won his second game of the series in Game 5 and kept the Phillies alive for one more day, along with the bat of Chase Utley which appeared unstoppable.  But back in New York for Game 6, Utley and the Phillies were stopped.

epic-failure.jpg
 

Pitching wins ball games and the Yankees had better pitching.  Andy Pettitte was spectacular on only 3 days rest.  Pedro Martinez, on the other hand, had a full 5 days rest and still gave up 4 runs in 4 innings.  All 4 of those runs, plus 2 more later in the game, came off the bat of Hideki Matsui.  After hitting a homer off Martinez in Game 2 and then again tonight in the 2nd inning, why Martinez was left in the game to pitch to Matsui again in the 3rd is a mystery.  JA Happ was up and ready in the bullpen, but Charlie Manuel left Martinez in to pitch to a guy who clearly had his number.  That mistake was the back-breaker as Matsui  hit a 2-run single.

The bullpen gave up 3 more runs and the 7-1 deficit looked to be near impossible to erase for the Phillies.  The offense attempted to battle back; Ryan Howard knocked a 2-run homer in the 6th but then Pedro Feliz left his 5th base runner of the night stranded as he grounded out to third base.  In the 7th, the previously clutch Chase Utley struck out with 2 outs and 2 men on base.  That put the nail in the coffin.

So the Phillies came up short, which just plain sucks.  But they put up a good fight and overall, the season was a great success.  To have made it back to the World Series two years in a row is quite an accomplishment.  And while that does not make us feel any better right now, remember you will not be suffering alone.  It’s me, you, a bottle of Vodka and a tiny dancing bear wearing a pink tutu…oh sorry, I digress…  Just find your happy place, go there and do not come out until Spring Training.  At least that is what the voices in my head keep telling me…

Congratulations to the Yankees and their fans, especially my Yankee friends here in the MLBlogs community.  Enjoy the moment.

By the way, as luck would have it, there was an article printed about me in the local newspaper today about my Phillies-fandom.  So, not only do the Phillies lose today, but the reporter totally spelt my name wrong.  What does this mean?  Tomorrow, total strangers who recognize me from the paper will either console or harass me over this loss.  If you see me wandering about with that target on my back, please be kind ;O)  Thank you in advance…

 

2:00am Heroics Put Phillies One Win Away

The Phillies are 1 win away from advancing to the NLCS against the Dodgers after beating the Rockies last night 5-4.  They hold a 2-1 advantage in the series and also have the chance today to win 2 post-season games on the same day; last night’s game ended at 2:15am this morning and tonight will be a 6:07pm start time.  The Phillies finally got a prime time slot, since everyone else is done with their NLDS series.  Gee thanks, MLB, she says as she holds her eyes open with toothpicks…

This win was a true team effort with contributions up and down the line-up.  Chase Utley hit a solo homer in the 1st inning and the Rockies answered with 2 runs later that inning.  The Phillies took the lead again in the 4th with 3 runs.  It may have been more, but Pedro Feliz hit into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs.  But Carlos Ruiz picked his teammate up and knocked an RBI single to give the Phillies the lead again. 

The two teams traded runs again in the 6th and 7th innings, but the Phillies took the lead for good in the 9th with some small ball.  Jimmy Rollins led off with a hit and Shane Victorino bunted him over.  Chase Utley hit a dribbler for a single and moved Jimmy to third; Ryan Howard knocked him in with a sac fly.  So the Phillies gave the ball to Brad Lidge who, despite making us all bite our fingernails again, got the save.



P9213509 Lidge.jpgLidge seems to have his confidence back, which is great news.  If the Phillies are going to win, they need him.  The pitching overall on both sides was shaky, but bad umpiring did not help either.  JA Happ got squeezed at the plate for his short 3 innings of work where he allowed 3 runs and was prematurely pinch hit for in the 4th when the potential to add on runs arose.  Happ throws pitches that move a lot in a diagonal pattern across the plate.  The ball passes over the plate and ends up in the catcher’s mitt towards the back corner of the plate.  The ump last night was watching where the ball ended up instead of where it crossed the plate and missed tons of calls.

But the ump did that on both sides and both starters were forced out of the game in under 4 innings.  Blown calls have been the story of this entire NLDS, not just the Phillies and the Rockies.  It even started with the Twins-Tigers 1 game playoff where a batter was clearly hit with a pitch but no one called it.  And it continued last night with the ball-strike calls and even the “dribbler” Utley hit in the ninth.  If you watch the replay, the ball hit Utley in the leg and therefore should have been foul.  Instead, it was a hit.  But both the Phillies and Rockies were victims of bad calls, so I guess in the end it evened out.

It does make you wonder though, how are these umpires continually allowed to affect the outcome of such important games?  Did you write your letters to Bug Selig last night as I suggested?  If so, it was a VERY big pile.  Anyone else out there tired of the bad calls and no accountability here?  Feel free to vent in the comments.

But the Phillies won the game and that is what really matters.  And they did it in the most awful conditions; game time temperature was 35 degrees, which ties for the coldest post-season game on record.  The game also took 4 hours and 6 minutes.  Yikes!  No sleep for me, but at least I am not grouchy ;O)

In other news, Scott Eyre was hurt in the game; he twisted his ankle coming off the mound.  No word yet on his condition, but we hope he is ok!

Cliff Lee gets the ball tonight and hopefully, he can repeat the amazing performance he had in Game 1.  Go Phillies!

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

NLDS Roster Announced


Thumbnail image for 208910.jpgThe Phillies announced their playoff roster today and there were a few surprises.  Here is how it played out (courtesy of Phillies.com):

Catchers (2): Paul Bako and Carlos Ruiz

Infielders (6): Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley

Outfielders (5): Ben Francisco, Raul Ibanez, Matt Stairs, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth

Pitchers (12): left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Scott Eyre, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Cliff Lee and right-handers Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Pedro Martinez and Brett Myers

Miguel Cairo was the right decision over Eric Bruntlett.  And the rest of the bench players are what I expected.

There was one surprise with the pitchers, however.  Clay Condrey and Tyler Walker were left off the roster in favor of Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo.  I did say earlier that Bastardo may be picked over Walker, so that is not too shocking considering the lack of lefties in the pen.  But Kendrick over Condrey, I am a bit surprised about.  Kendrick did pitch well in September, but Condrey is more consistent and has a lot more experience.  I think the nagging back injury did him in; the team must not be convinced that Condrey is healthy.

I also predicted that the Game 1 starter would be Cliff Lee, and that is correct.  Cole Hamels will get Game 2 and Game 3 has yet to be decided.  My feeling is that it should be JA Happ as the Phils want to overload the Rockies with lefties.  But all Charlie Manuel would say is that Happ, Joe Blanton and even Pedro Martinez will be “available” in the pen for the first two games.  I suppose then whoever does not get used will start Game 3.

This may also be a strategic move.  This gives less preparation time to the Rockies since they will not know who to prepare for.

So, if you are actually home tomorrow at game time, tune in at 2:37pm for the first pitch.  The game time still disgusts me.  I understand all teams need air time, but how exactly is it that the reigning World Champions do not get one of the prime time slots?  I’ll tell you why…because MLB cares only about the Yankees and the Red Sox.  It has been and probably will always be about these teams, whether deserving or not.  I root for the Yankees too, so it is not personal.  It is a matter of respect.

Not to mention, normal people have jobs, kids have school and 2:37pm does not allow ANY of these people to enjoy the game, unless they call out sick or skip school.   And how about the poor Rockies fans?  The game time for them is 12:37pm! (Mountain time)  That is just wrong.  But hey, if you are a Yankees or Sox fan, I’ll bet you are happier than a pig in mud, right?  Must be nice. 

Well, best of luck to everyone tomorrow (except the Rockies, of course)!  Go Phillies!

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

One Win Away

After sending Phillies fan everywhere into panic mode with some really bad baseball, the Phillies finally got their act together last night. 
P9026431 Feliz.jpgThey beat the Astros 7-4 behind the pitching of rookie JA Happ and a Grand Slam from Pedro Feliz.

Happ won his 12th game of the year, which leads all rookie pitchers.  He had a lot of base runners, but worked out of jams by remaining calm and throwing strikes.  In 5 2/3 innings, Happ allowed 3 earned runs on 9 hits and 1 walk.  An interference error by Paul Bako behind the plate gave the Astros one additional run, which was unearned.  But once again, it was a Happ-Y day for the rookie.

Jamie Moyer pitched 1 1/3 after Happ left the game and did a great job.  But on the last pitch of the inning, he strained a groin muscle and the extent of the injury is still unknown.  Everyone is crossing their fingers that Moyer will recover quickly.

Ryan Madson pitched a 2-inning save and it looks like we have a new closer.  And the offense finally came to life with 11 hits, the biggest of those being the slam by Feliz in the 4th inning.  It was the Phillies 11th Grand Slam of the year.  Jayson Werth also helped out with a 2-run shot in the 5th to break the game open for the Phils.

Add this win to a loss by the Braves and the Phillies need only one more win or one more Braves loss to clinch their 3rd consecutive NL East title.  Bring a camera if you are headed to the game tonight because today may be the day!  Pedro Martinez will pitch and, if he is healthy, it should be a good game.  Go Phillies!

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Strange Brew

P7260632 Blanton.jpg

While I am not sure whether or not Charlie Manuel took advantage of my suggestions to wake this Phillies team up, they did still manage to steal a win today in strange fashion against the Brewers.  Joe Blanton had a horrible game; he gave up 5 runs in 5 2/3 innings with 7 hits and 4 walks.  Then, while the Phillies offense jumped all over the Brew Crew in the first 2 innings, they went back to sleep after that and watched a 6-1 lead become 6-5.

The Phils left the bases loaded 3 times without scoring and had 14 runners left on base total.  Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz had 2 RBI a piece in one at-bat each, but struggled the rest of the game.  Feliz even hit into an inning ending double play with 2 runners on at one point.  Jimmy Rollins had 3 hits in the game, including a lead-off homer, the 33rd of his career.  But Rollins only scored that one time as no one could knock him in after that.

But for a change, the bullpen held the small lead down and the Phillies won the game.  Ryan Madson got a 4-out save and it looks like he will officially replace Brad Lidge in that spot.  This team has to be relieved to be heading back home to Philly where they now need 3 wins out of 7 remaining games to win the NL East for the 3rd year in a row.

Cole Hamels will take the mound for the first of a 4-game series against the Astros tomorrow night at 7:05pm.  The Phils were swept by the Astros in Texas earlier this year, so this will be a tough series for them.

Photo by Jenn

 

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