After a very long dry spell where the Phillies were shut-out in 4 out of 10 games, the Phillies offense finally woke up this weekend against the Reds. On Saturday, they pounded the Reds by a score of 12-1 and Cole Hamels finally got win #100 of his career. Then on Sunday, it was an 8-3 win that sent fans home happy.
Cliff Lee had an interesting outing, ultimately pitching 6.2 innings and allowing 2 runs. After he walked the first batter of the game and gave up 2 runs in the 1st inning, it was obvious we were in for a battle.
But immediately, the Phillies got those 2 runs back. Jimmy Rollins and Will Nieves went deep with back-to-back homers to start the game in the Phillies half of the 1st.
The game remained tied until the 5th inning when Lee took matters into his own hands offensively, leading off the inning with a single. Rollins moved him over the second after Todd Frazier bobbled the ball at third and failed to throw Lee out. Then Nieves dropped a sac bunt to move them over and Chase Utley knocked in Lee with a ground out to first.
And the hits kept coming. Marlon Byrd hit a solo homer in the 6th and then Cody Asche smacked a 3-run homer in the 8th to give the Phillies ample breathing room with an 8-2 lead. Byrd, Asche and Nieves each had 2 hits in the game and Rollins and Ryan Howard each walked twice. It was a full team effort at the plate.
It was also the Phanatic’s annual birthday bash on Sunday, which added to the festive vibe with the powered-up offense, 4 home runs and 2 wins in a row! Add a bunch of silly mascots, the Zooperstars and some dude who paints with his hands, and it was a real party.
The Phillies are off tomorrow for the Phillies Phestival. After that, they travel to Miami for a short 3-game series and then back home again.
In the meantime, here is the full Photo Album from the game and birthday celebration.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The 2011 Phillies Phestival to benefit the ALS Association raised $893,033 this year with a record crowd of 6,800 fans. The Phestival included player autographs, games, prizes, grab bags and photo opportunities.
Here are a few photos I snapped while getting autographs. Here is Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley and Antonio Bastardo:
Before the autographs began, the players wandered around the field meeting the event sponsors and their families. Something odd I noted was that many Phillies players were wearing plaid shirts, in various colors. It made me wonder, was this a planned theme, a coincidence or is plaid back in style and I am just late getting the news?
So, what do you think? Weird, right? Or maybe it is just me ;o)
Anyway, the Phillies did a fine job as usual putting together a great event. And it is always nice to see an entire team come out on their off-day to support a worthy cause.
But tonight, it is back to baseball. The Phillies will face the Marlins at 7:05pm.
Here is the full Photo Album from the Phestival. Enjoy!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies won three of their last four games against the Cubs thanks in part to the big bats of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The fourth game in the series today ended with a 4-3 victory.
Roy Oswalt got off to a rough start, allowing three runs in the first inning. But after he calmed down, Oswalt wound up going seven innings and did allow another run after the first.
However, Oswalt was involved in a little controversy after being called out on strikes in the sixth. The pitch looked like ball four and Charlie Manuel shouted from the dugout at the home plate umpire. He was quickly ejected which led to a few fireworks:
Manuel had reason to be upset. Prior to this incident, he watched his ball club load the bases twice with one out and score only one run each time. The bases were even loaded with the exact same players in both the first and third innings; Utley, Howard and Ben Francisco. Francisco drew a walk each time.
Coming away with only one run in the exact same situation twice had to be frustrating. It was just another reminder of how the Phillies offense has struggled to score runs.
But the memory was just that….a memory. Because in the seventh inning, Utley and Howard combined to set things straight. Utley doubled and then a single from Howard drove in two runs. Howard had three hits and three RBI in the game. Utley ended with two hits, a walk and two runs scored.
Utley also made what was probably a game-saving catching to end the game in the ninth inning. Ryan Madson allowed a single with two outs. Then Geovany Soto, who hit the game tying homer against Madson on Thursday, hit a fly ball into no-man’s land. Somehow, Utley got to the ball and the game was over. Whew!
By the way, today was the annual Father’s Day celebration and catcher Brian Schneider brought his mom and dad. Dad tossed out the first pitch.
The Phillies are off tomorrow, although they will all be at the Phillies Phestival which starts at 5pm Monday night. Hope to see you there!
And here is the full Photo Album from the game today. Enjoy!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The 2011 Phillies Phestival to be held on Monday, June 13th starting at 5:00pm sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale. I lucked out in those first few minutes and even wound up with one extra admission ticket. I thought I would share the wealth and give each of my readers a shot at winning the extra ticket.
Here are the details: The ticket (1) is for admission only and does not come with autograph booth tickets. You may attempt to buy or trade for autograph tickets from other fans while you are there, if you wish. However, there are tons of things to do, even if you cannot get autographs. Here are a few ideas:
– Participate in both the live (must buy a ticket and pre-register) and silent auctions (open to all)
– Play a variety of games to win prizes (rolling dice, wheel spins, etc…)
– Purchase Grab Bags which contain lots of cool stuff. In the past, I have gotten autographed balls and hats, bobbleheads, books, etc…
– Wander the ballpark, eat, chat and hang out with other fans
– The Phanatic will be around for photo ops as well
Any money spent goes straight to Phillies Charities to benefit The ALS Association.
How to enter the contest:
You may enter twice!
– One way is by entering your email address into the “Email Subscription” box in the right side panel to sign up for blog posts delivered via email. Just click “Sign Me Up” and follow the instructions.
– Another entry method is to visit my Facebook page and click on the “LIKE” button.
Entries will be accepted through Wednesday, June 8, 2011 until 6pm and the winner will receive either an email or Facebook message on Wednesday night. Just send me your address, and I will mail you the ticket. The winner must live within the USA in order for the ticket to arrive on time (sorry, Canadian Phils fans!)
If for some reason you are unable to attend, you may still join the Email Subscription or Facebook page. If you win, just let me know and I will pick a new winner.
Best of luck to all! Hope to see you at the Phestival!
The Phillies faced a knuckleball pitcher, a very rare breed, for the second game in a row today. This time it was against the Mets.
And for the second game in row, all the Phillies offense got out of the experience was a knuckle sandwich as pitcher R.A. Dickey smacked them around. And here I thought Dickey’s went out of fashion after the 19th Century….who knew?
The Phillies had the bases loaded twice and could not score. Carlos Ruiz hit into a 1-2-3 double play with NO outs and the bases loaded, as one example. And altogether, the Phillies left so many men on base, it began to look like they were doing it on purpose as some sort of weird, confuse the defense-type strategy. You know, like the Mets were going to panic and screw up: “There are runners everywhere! Maybe we are hallucinating? Where should I throw the ball? Oh no….there are just SO many of them to choose from! Crap! I dropped the ball….” It could happen. ;o)
Ryan Howard did his best to help out with 2 hits, one of which nailed the pitcher in his non-pitching elbow. While that had to hurt, it did not affect Dickey’s delivery. Helpful hint, Ryan: hit the OTHER elbow next time. Got it? Ok, thanks.
So while the Phillies enlisted the LSD-offensive technique, the Mets chose simply to hit the crap out of Jamie Moyer’s slow-motion not-so-fast balls. Moyer lasted only 5 short innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks with some lack-luster defense behind him.
So what have we learned this week, Phillies fans? 1 – The Phillies cannot hit knuckle balls. 2 – Leaving men on base, whether it is confusing to the defense or not, is totally NOT helpful. And 3 – If the offense keeps going into mega-slumps like this, it is going to be a very, very long season.
So the Phillies lose game 1 to the Mets, 0-8, with a little extra destruction from our bullpen. Yuck. But enough of that…on to happier things!
In yesterday’s Phillies Phestival report, I told you all about Bryan, a local Cole Hamels look-alike. Bryan was kind enough to send me a copy of his photo with the actual Cole Hamels, shown to the right. They could totally be brothers. You can email Bryan with questions or comments about his life adventures while being mistaken for Cole. Hey, I wonder what he will be for Halloween this year? Let’s hope the costume includes a second World Series ring ;O)
And if you have not seen the results from today’s All-Star balloting report, you should quickly stop having a life and spend more time tracking useless stats, like me. Or….maybe not. So, congrats on having a life, which I plan to someday…but for now, here is the preliminary report:
Essentially, Chase Utley owns the National League ballot. Hey New York, who’s YOUR Daddy? That’s right; it’s Chase Utley. Read it and weep: With 687,724 votes, Utley is the league leading vote-getter so far.
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, third baseman Placido Polanco, center fielder Shane Victorino and right fielder Jayson Werth are all in line to start at their positions with first baseman Ryan Howard and catcher Carlos Ruiz in second place at their spots. Rollins has spent more time on the DL than on the field, but maybe this will make up for previous years when he should have gone and did not.
But balloting does not end until July 1st, so keep VOTING for those Phillies!!
The Phillies held their annual ALS Charity Phestival today which was attended by a huge sold-out crowd.
All of the players, coaches and broadcasters were there to sign autographs, mingle with fans and a few took photos with fans as well. The Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay photo booths were very popular. Halladay was especially friendly, signing extra autographs for fans even though the photo came with his signature.
The staff did a great job handling the large crowd and things ran smoothly. It took less than 1/2 an hour for me to get through the Chase Utley line, which was a small miracle. Here is Utley plus Raul Ibanez, Chad Durbin, Jose Contreras, Ross Gload, and the 2009 NL Champs and 2008 World Series Trophy’s:
The players were in good spirits and with a little help, I walked out with 21 autographs, plus some nice goodies in the grab bags I bought. In the bags, I wound up with an Ibanez signed hat, a Brad Lidge signed ball, some bobbleheads and a ball signed by the entire broadcasting team. Not too shabby.
I also met some very interesting people, like Bryan, who is a Cole Hamels look-alike. He did eventually get a photo with Cole and hopefully, he will be emailing me a copy so I can share it with everyone. This photo here does not do justice to the resemblence, which is amazing. Every person who walked by him said, “Is that Cole Hamels?” Bryan may be changing his name to “Cole” soon ;0)
Another thing I thought was very nice was seeing ALL of the players there to support the charity, even those on the DL. Players not on the active roster can technically bail out on the event, as some have in years past. But Jimmy Rollins, Brad Lidge, JA Happ and Ryan Madson were all there. Kudos to these guys for their dedication!
By the way, back-up catcher Brian Schneider was also there as he has been taken off the DL and Paul Hoover was designated for assignment.
Here is the full Photo Album from the day. By the way, congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers! They are on their way to the Stanley Cup finals! Go Philly!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
With a 3-8 loss to the Red Sox, it was a bad day all around for Phillies fans. First, two of the stars from the movie “The Hangover” were supposed to throw out first pitches, but I guess it got bumped due to time constraints after the rain clean-up and tarp removal. And I really, really wanted a picture of Bradley Cooper. A sad day for women everywhere…
Next, the curse of the Phillies and Interleague play continued… Roy Halladay had a very, very bad day. Worries about his being overworked in his last outing, throwing 132 pitches, are beginning to look justified. Todd Zolecki reported that due to the increased work load, Halladay actually adjusted his routine between starts. Anytime a pitcher is thrown off his usual routine, something is wrong.
And that something is that Halladay is being used and abused and it finally caught up to him. He had given up just 1 run going into the 4th inning but that is where the game took a serious turn for the worse. With the bases loaded and one out, Greg Dobbs missed a ball that looked like a routine double play ball. Instead, it trickled into the outfield and 2 runs scored.
Knowing that would have gotten him out of the jam, Halladay was visibly upset and had to be calmed by pitching coach, Rich Dubee. It all went downhill from there. Halladay ended the game with 7 runs, 6 of them earned, in just 5 2/3 innings. The defense did not help him out as witnessed by the Dobbs blunder and check out this miss, which Shane Victorino almost caught:
By the way, this begs the question, why was Dobbs playing third with a sinker ball pitcher on the mound? There is way too much action at 3rd in this situation and, as a bench player, Dobbs does not get much practice. Placido Polanco could have taken a day off when either Joe Blanton or Cole Hamels were going to pitch. The move made no sense and it cost the Phillies.
What also cost them was the lack of offense…again. The Sox pitcher, Tim Wakefield, had not thrown a shut-out since 1997. But today, it looked like it may happen as he went 8 scoreless innings. The Phillies made this 43-year old pitcher look like a spring chicken.
Once Wakefield was pulled, the Phillies managed to squeak out 3 runs in the 9th with a Ross Gload 2-run homer and doubles from Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez. Here are a few more game shots:
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game which includes these shots and more.
So the Phillies will be holding their annual Phillies Phestival tomorrow and I will report back on those events sometime on Tuesday. After the Phestival, they hit the road and start a series with the Mets at 7:10pm on Tuesday night.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography