Tagged: Pedro Martinez

Series Tied Up

The World Series is now tied at 1 game each as the Yankees came up with a 3-1 win over the Phillies last night.  Starting pitchers Pedro Martinez and AJ Burnett both pitched well, but Burnett did a bit better.  Burnett was trying to do his best Cliff Lee impersonation and except for 2 hits and a run in the 2nd inning, he did just that.

Thumbnail image for Martinez Burnett.jpg

Martinez allowed 3 runs over 6 innings, but the 3rd run probably should not have happened.  Martinez looked like he was done after 6 innings, but Charlie Manuel sent him out for the 7th where he allowed 2 hits with no outs and then had be to taken out.  With a bullpen full of fresh arms that had not pitched in 8 days, plus the fact that Martinez has been sick for several days, he never should have started that inning.  A one run lead may have been possible to overcome against the Yanks closer, Mariano Rivera, but two runs were insurmountable.  Chan Ho Park allowed that 3rd run to score when he came in to relieve Martinez.

Several Phillies have been taken ill these last few weeks.  Greg Dobbs was sent back to Philly early as he has the flu; Scott Eyre and Shane Victorino have both been battling illnesses as well.  Eyre was in the hospital Thursday night with the flu.  So with Martinez catching the bug as well, why push him?

The Phillies did get to Rivera, who was sent in for a two inning save.  They managed 2 hits and a walk, proving that Mo is not untouchable.  But the decision to not send the runners with two on and two strikes on Utley, who usually makes contact, cost them.  The Yankees turned a double play to end the inning, although the replay showed Utley was safe at first.

Prior to that, Matt Stairs had the only RBI for the Phillies after a Raul Ibanez double.  The Phillies never figured out Burnett and Ryan Howard even struck out 4 times.  3 of the top 4 hitters did not get a hit and as a team, the Phillies had 6 hits total.

So the good news is, we do not have to see Burnett again for a while and hopefully, not at all.  The other good news is the Phillies are headed home where they have played extremely well this post-season.  Cole Hamels will pitch on Saturday, which is Halloween.  I think Cole should dress up for Halloween as “Hamels: Version 2008.”  Hopefully, he can scare the Yanks right out of that game.

Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phils Take Game 1 With Lee’s Complete Game

The Phillies got off to a great start with a 6-1 win in game 1 of the World Series against the Yankees.  P8195426 Lee.jpgCliff Lee was a magician on the mound, going the distance and not allowing any earned runs.  The 1 Yankees run came on a Jimmy Rollins error.  Lee dominated; he struck out 10 batters and looked like a giddy kid tossing a little league game, running in and out of the dugout and fielding balls with youthful nonchalance.  A few waves of the Lee magic wand, and the Yanks were sunk.

A few waves of Chase Utley’s bat worked a little magic as well.  Utley hit 2 home runs off CC Sabathia, putting the Phillies up 2-0 in the 6th inning, with the first homer coming in the 1st inning.  The pitching duel continued until Raul Ibanez knock 2 runs in with a single in the 8th to pad the lead.  The Phillies added 2 more runs in the 9th on singles by Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard.  Victorino was thrown out at the plate right after Rollins scored, but the score was 6-0 at that point so the aggressive move to send Victorino made sense.

The Phillies have now taken the Home Field advantage away from the Yankees and silenced doubters who thought the Yanks would walk all over this team.  Clearly, the Yankees have some trouble in their bullpen which will be an advantage for the Phillies who did a great job working Sabathia’s pitch count up to get to their pen.

In addition, I personally cannot wait to see what the New York media decides to post after this loss. 

Victorinoxx.jpg
Before the series began, the NY media took shots at the Phillies and their players that resembled high school bullying. 

This cover of Shane Victorino is just one example of how New York is taking this team way too lightly.  Shane thought it was funny but ultimately, it is irresponsible journalism, if you can even call it journalism.  But that is fine; the Phillies showed them what this team is made of.  They should be afraid….very afraid.

Game 2  is tonight with Pedro Martinez  on the mound!  Another media spectacle, for sure, but it will be a very entertaining game.  Go Phillies!!!  And for the Cliff Lee fans….Go PhilLEEs!!!!!

Lee photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

A Tough Loss

The Phillies took a tough loss today against the Dodgers to tie this NLCS series 1 game each.  Pedro Martinez was brilliant through 7 innings where he allowed only 2 hits and no runs.  You could not have asked for more out of him.  But Martinez was pulled before the 8th inning in favor of a pinch-hitter and that proved to be a costly move as the bullpen could not hold down the 1-0 lead.

The pen has been the Achilles heel of this team all year.  Yesterday, they pulled through; today, they did not.  Manager Charlie Manuel went through five pitchers in the 8th inning and they combined to blow the lead.  Chan Ho Park, who was amazing yesterday, started the inning and gave up two base hits with no outs.  But it looked like he may escape the jam when Russell Martin hit an easy double play ball to third.  No such luck…

In a rare and truly scary move, Chase Utley, for the second night in a row, overthrew first base which allowed the tying run to score and left 2 men on with 1 out.  Last night, the slow feed from Jimmy Rollins and off-balance throw appeared to blame.  But tonight, Utley just plain blew it.  He rushed the throw when he had plenty of time and killed any chance Park had of getting out of the inning unscathed.P8195352 Utley.jpg

Utley is human, of course.  And you cannot blame the loss on him when the only scoring the Phillies did all game was a solo homer by Ryan Howard.  But it was a terrible waste of a great performance by Martinez and an even bigger waste of the opportunity to go up 2-0 in what will be a very tough series for this team. 

JA Happ allowed the winning run to score for the Dodgers when he walked Andre Ethier with the bases loaded.  The run was charged to Park.  Chad Durbin got them out of the inning, but in the 9th, they offense went down 1-2-3.  And to add insult to injury, Utley made the last out of the game by flying out to Ethier in right.  I am betting that right now, Utley needs a hug; or maybe a big bowl of ice cream.  Stiff drink anyone?  Ugh.

This loss was depressing on a number of levels.  But the good news is that we now have 3 games in Philly, starting on Sunday night.  With any luck, and some sort of miracle in the bullpen, the Phillies can use the home field to get themselves back on track.

Photo by Jenn

Happy Bunny by Jim Benton

 

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

 

Phillies Take Game 1


The Phillies hopped on board the Chooch Train last night and rode it to a win over the Dodgers; Thumbnail image for P9129082 CR.jpgCarlos Ruiz smashed a 3-run homer in the 5th inning to give the Phillies a lead that they would never relinquish.  Raul Ibanez hit a 3-run shot of his own in the 8th to pad that lead.  That Ibanez guy is not too shabby either.

It was not all sunshine and roses though for the Phillies.  Cole Hamels looked like the pitcher of old for 4 innings but then, after Chooch’s 3-run shot and Ryan Howard’s 2 RBI in the 5th blasted the Phillies to that big 5-1 lead, Hamels began to unravel.   The Cardinal Sin in baseball – to give the other team a boost after you just put a hurting on them. 

Hamels allowed a lead-off double, a single and then appeared to have a double play ball hit to Jimmy Rollins.  The ball got stuck in his glove so the feed to Chase Utley was late and Utley overthrew to first in his haste.  But Hamels still had a 3 run lead and 2 outs.  Instead of focusing on that, he showed up his teammate by throwing his hands up in disgust at Utley, putting his hands on his hips and shaking his head.  Cardinal Sin #2 – showing up your teammate.  Hamels could not concentrate after that and gave away a 2-run homer to Manny Ramirez.

The Phillies got the win, but the gestures and attitude of Hamels is disgusting.  How many times have his teammates bailed him out of bad situations?  And this is the thanks they get?  No double play is ever a sure thing.  Besides, if Hamels had not put two men on base, he would not have been in that situation to begin with.  Utley was not pitching, as near as one can tell; Hamels was.  Hamels should be ashamed for the lack of respect he showed his team.

Ok, let us not dwell…we did win the game :O)  The most pleasant surprise of the night was Chan Ho Park, who in his first relief appearance since 9/16/09 after an injury, came back looking sharp as ever.  He pitched a scoreless, hitless inning and had a lot of movement on his pitches.  Welcome back Chan Ho!

Six relievers were used in all and everyone did their job, except Ryan Madson who had a 4 hit, 2 run 8th inning.  Madson has not looked good this post-season at all and it is beginning to be a real concern.  Luckily, he had a 4 run lead and Brad Lidge was able to close out the game in the 9th with the 2 run lead he was left with.  Lidge seems to have his confidence back, which is good to see, but Madson appears to be going to opposite direction.  He did get Ramirez out to end the 8th, but how reliable is Madson going to be from now forward?

And how about that bad umpiring…again.  The Dodgers decided to pinch run for Jim Thome in the 6th inning, but Randy Wolf was not ready; he did not have his spikes on.  The umpire actually let the Dodgers get away with a delay of several minutes while Wolf changed his shoes in the clubhouse!  JA Happ stood on the mound pacing, waiting for the game to resume.  Sorry ump – BAD call.  You cannot let the other team’s pitcher stiffen up while you wait for someone to change shoes.  If they are not ready to go, too bad for them.  Game on.

Game 2 will kick off this afternoon at 4:07pm with former Dodger, Pedro Martinez facing former Phillie, Vincente Padilla.  This should be another good one!  Go Phillies!!!!

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Game On

It is finally Thursday!  Just a few short hours until the Phillies and Dodgers begin the battle for the NLCS title!  The final roster decisions have been made and few were interesting; Chan Ho Park did indeed make the roster and Kyle Kendrick did not, as I thought would happen.  But in a surprise move, Brett Myers was also left off and Eric Bruntlett added.  So, 11 pitchers instead of 12 and 1 more bench player.

Myers was very unhappy with the news, but maybe not entirely shocked.  His one outing in Game 2 of the NLDS did not go well; he walked two batters and hit another.  After to injuries this year, it appears Myers is not able to find his control yet.

As for the starters, it will be Cole Hamels tonight and Pedro Martinez tomorrow…maybe.  Martinez told reporters he has not gotten enough work in and that his BP session was “erratic.”  Either he does not feel ready, or this is some mental game he is playing with the Dodgers.  Whatever the case, it makes you a bit nervous, doesn’t it?

Some other fun notes about this series:

– The Phillies will be facing lots of old Phillies!  Larry Bowa, former player and manager, is the Dodgers 3rd base coach.  Pitchers Randy Wolf and Vincente Padilla are both former Phils as well as slugger, Jim Thome.

Manny Ramirez used to play for Charlie Manuel in Cleveland and Manuel says he is “like a son” to him.

Chan Ho Park, Pedro Martinez, Paul Bako and Jayson Werth are all former Dodgers.

– Both teams each have 8 players who were born in 1975 or earlier.  LOTS of experience :O)

– This is the fifth time the Phillies and Dodgers have met in the NLCS; they are split 2-2 lifetime.

– At 21 years old, pitcher Clayton Kershaw is the youngest player on either roster and will start the game for the Dodgers tonight.

Game time is 8:07pm….Get the rally towels going in your living room!PA071279.jpg

Go Phillies!!!!

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

NLCS Roster Decisions

Nothing has been made officially yet, but expect a similar roster for the NLCS against the Dodgers as the Phillies had in the NLDS.  It looks likely that Cole Hamels will pitch game one since he is on full rest.  Plus, with the birth of his son and some time home with the wife and child, he should now be ready to focus on baseball.  Hamels has done exceptionally well against the Dodgers.  He threw a shut-out against them this past June and also beat them twice in last year’s NLCS.

Cliff Lee will remain a starter as well with JA Happ, Pedro Martinez and Joe Blanton being juggled around again from the pen to the starters spot.  The bullpen however may see a change with Chan Ho Park returning from injury.  He is travelling to LA with the team, so he may be in position to take a roster spot away from Kyle Kendrick.

The bullpen is still making many people very nervous.  Brad Lidge did save 2 games, but still does not look super sharp.  Ryan Madson, the other potential closer, blew 2 saves in the series in the 8th inning.  And Brett Myers, who has done the job before, played only 2/3 of an inning and walked 2 batters.  This is a huge weak spot, especially when compared to the Dodgers bullpen which is much better.   

As for the bench players, this will probably stay the same; Greg Dobbs, Matt Stairs, Ben Francisco and Miguel Cairo.  However, with 8 at-bats between these 4 in the NLDS, there was not a hit among them.  Stairs did walk once in a critical situation, but Cairo and Dobbs both went 0 for 3.  Could this open the door for Eric Bruntlett to step in for Cairo?  Probably not, but the bench players are still a concern.

Then again, when you have the big guns like Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth to bail the team out when they run into trouble, you have to like the Phillies chances.   So, here is the schedule:

Gm 1

PHI @ LAD

Thu

Oct. 15

8:07 PM

Gm 2

PHI @ LAD

Fri

Oct. 16

4:07 PM

Gm 3

LAD @ PHI

Sun

Oct. 18

8:07 PM

Gm 4

LAD @ PHI

Mon

Oct. 19

8:07 PM

Gm 5*

LAD @ PHI

Wed

Oct. 21

8:07 PM

Gm 6*

PHI @ LAD

Fri

Oct. 23

8:07 PM

Gm 7*

PHI @ LAD

Sat

Oct. 24

8:07 PM

 

And just for fun, let me introduce to you our newest family member and Phillies fan, Chase Utley Kitten.  He is a Blue Point Ragdoll:Chase kitten.jpg

Yes, I named him Chase Utley….I fully expect him to pick up a ball and glove by 3 years.  At 2 ½ months, we will have to settle for the jersey.

Go Phillies!

Happ Will Pitch; Fans Will Gobble Up No-Doze

Bust out the No-Doze folks; tonight’s 10:07pm start time will be a real challenge for us East-Coasters with jobs to get up for on Monday.  But the good news is, JA Happ will start the game instead of Pedro Martinez since yesterday’s game was postponed due to bad weather.  Happ has gotten an extra day to rest and recover from being hit just below the knee with a line drive in Game 2.  He only faced that one batter so should be fresh and ready to go tonight.PA040202.jpg

Not that Martinez was a bad idea, but his recent neck/shoulder injury and the fact that he has not pitched a full game in a month were factors in the decision.  Plus, Happ is a lefty and the Rockies have struggled against left-handed pitching.  Happ has also been the most consistent starter for the Phillies all year long.  In fact, if you look at the numbers, there is no doubt:

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

J Happ

12

4

2.93

35

23

3

2

166

149

55

54

20

56

119

C Lee

7

4

3.39

12

12

3

1

79.2

80

35

30

7

10

74

P Martinez

5

1

3.63

9

9

0

0

44.2

48

18

18

7

8

37Bottom of Form

J Blanton

12

8

4.05

31

31

0

0

195

198

89

88

30

59

163

C Hamels

10

11

4.32

32

32

2

2

193

206

95

93

24

43

168

 

Happ has the best W-L record, the best ERA and is tied for the most complete games and shut-outs.  Lee and Martinez were not with us the whole year so some stats are hard to compare, but if you boil it down to ERA alone, Happ has been the most dependable.

All that is left now is for the fans to stay awake long enough to see if Happ can lead the team to a win.  Here are a few suggestions on how to stay up until wee hours of the morning:

·        No-Doze

·        SUGAR – sour-patch kids are great for this.  You will be bouncing off the walls in no time.

·        Smack your neighbor every time a Phillies batter strikes out  you will probably get hit back, keeping you alert.

·        Scream “Bulls…t!” really loud every time a TBS announcer gets something wrong.  Of course, this may happen a lot, so be careful you do not lose your voice.

·        Run around your living room in circles while chewing gum and rubbing your belly…send me video ;o)  I am trying to stay awake too.

·        Ice cubes in odd places…use your imagination.

·        Every time an umpire blows a call, write an angry letter to Bug Selig.  While bomb threats are probably not appropriate, do feel free to use your favorite cuss words.  And keep a stack of paper on hand…the letters may start to pile up.

·        When the announcers mention Manny Ramirez (which should happen approximately 5.6 times per non-Dodgers broadcast), drink another RedBull.

·        And if none of that works, draw up a plan to sue Ryan Howard for no particular reason and teach your children a valuable lesson in extortion techniques.

Good luck to everyone out there in their quest to defy this ridiculous MLB scheduling!  Remember, we will all be suffering together :O)  Go Phillies!

Photo by Jenn

 

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