Tagged: President Obama

Opening Day Starts With A Bang For The Phillies

The Phillies began 2010 with a huge spanking to the Washington Nationals, winning by a score of 11-1.  And as far as drama goes, this game had all that and more.  The Phillies fans outnumbered the Nat fans by a wide margin and if you were inside the stadium, it felt like a home game for the Phils.  Screams from excited fans may even have stunned the players a bit.  During the Phillies introductions, hitting coach Milt Thompson turned around, looked at the crowd, eyes wide open, and his mouth moved in the shape of what appeared to be “Wow!”

Yes, Phillies fans were ready for the season to start.  More than 5,000 of them boarded buses from Philly together and travelled to the game, taking up most of the right-center field seats.  And that was just one group.

Fans who travelled to DC were not disappointed; the day began with President Obama tossing the first pitch, as sharp shooters climbed the rooftops and Secret Service swarmed around the field.  The President grinned at the reception he was given, pleasantly surprised by the excited crowd.


Obama 040510.jpgSoon after the Presidential excitement, Roy Halladay made his Phillies debut and was as advertised.  He allowed one run over 7 innings and even scored his second career RBI on a swinging bunt single in the 4th inning.  In short, he was fantastic!


Halladay 040510.jpgAdd 11 runs to the pitching performance and we all bore witness to a small massacre.  Ryan Howard wasted no time with his bat, blasting a 2-run homer in the 4th inning and he ended with 2 hits on the day.  Placido Polanco then put any doubts to rest about his return to Phillies; Polly whacked a Grand Slam in the 7th, one of his 3 hits of the day and 6 RBI total.  Both Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz walked 3 times each in the game and each had one hit as well.  Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a single and later tripled.  Overall, it was an amazing offensive effort.


040510a.jpgThe players were in good spirits and happy to be back to work.  Before the game, Raul Ibanez walked out with the pitching staff for pre-game warm-ups.  The position players were not out yet.  On his way back to the dugout, I asked him, “Hey Raul, are you pitching today?”  He responded with a huge belly laugh and gestured yes to me.  Later, a friend playfully told Greg Dobbs I was his biggest fan and Greg then tossed me his warm-up ball. Thanks, Greg…you are awesome!

Today was a good day to be a Phillies fan.  Having broken their 4 year Opening Day loss streak, it also looks like 2010 I going to be another great year to be a Phillies fan.  Action resumes on Wednesday in DC.  

Here is the PHOTO ALBUM from the game and all preceeding ceremonies….enjoy! 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Spring Ends On A High Note

The Phillies prevailed over the Pirates today by a score of 4-3 in the final spring exhibition game.  This win brings their Spring Training record to 15 wins, 12 losses and 1 tie.  Spring numbers do not mean a whole lot, however, so we will all be very glad to see the real games begin on Monday.

JA Happ started the game today and pitched 3 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits.  In the second inning, Happ loaded the bases with no outs and still only managed to give up the one run, thanks in part to some nice defense.


P4036015.jpgOne thing that has stood out the past 3 springs is the effort this team puts forth, even in games that do not mean anything.  Phillies players give 100% effort even in Spring Training.  It is refreshing to see that they do not hold back and always play the game the right way.  Here are just a few of the highlights from today’s game:


040310.jpgIn addition to the field acrobatics, a few players stood out at the plate as well.  Jayson Werth hit a solo homer in the 4th inning and both Chase Utley and Shane Victorino had 2 hits and 1 RBI each.  Raul Ibanez had a rough Spring overall, but he did collect one more hit today to improve his average to .130.  The low average is due to his very slow start, but Ibanez looks more comfortable at the plate now and hopefully, he is ready to compete.

The roster is nearly set now; after the game, the following players were assigned to AAA – catcher Paul Hoover, infielders Cody Ransom and Wilson Valdez and outfielder Dewayne Wise.  That leaves Juan Castro, Ross Gload, Ben Francisco and Greg Dobbs as the bench players, as well as back-up catcher Brian Schneider.

Three pitchers were placed in the DL retroactive to March 26; Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge and JC Romero.  These are not surprises.  There are 11 pitchers left on the active roster after these moves, which leaves one spot open for a bullpen pitcher after losing Blanton and moving Kyle Kendrick to the starting rotation.  Who the #12 guy will be has not yet been announced, although it is expected to be right-hander Andrew Carpenter.

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.  I will also be at the Opener in DC on Monday and will bring back photos from that one as well.  President Obama will toss the first pitch…see you there!

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Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phils Pummel Padres

In the make-up game tonight against the Padres, the Phillies brought out the big guns.  Both Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz each had 3 hits and 1 RBI a piece.  P4170305.jpgEvery other position starter had at least one hit with Raul Ibanez collecting 2 RBI and Jimmy Rollins with 2 hits, 2 runs scored and 1 RBI.

Cole Hamels was not spectacular, but he did put in a quality start.  Hamels got through 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.  Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone for Hamels to get back to his MVP form.  The Phillies won the game, 9-4 and will start a 3-game series tomorrow with the Cardinals.

Helmet Saves A Life

Many coaches, including ex-Phillies manager Larry Bowa, have grumbled over having to wear batting helmets while on the field coaching 1st or 3rd base during a game.  This action was taken when minor league coach, Mike Coolbaugh, was killed after being struck in the head with a foul ball in July of 2007.  Well tonight, the rule saved a life.  Padres 1st base coach, Rick Renteria, was hit directly in the helmet with a hard line drive off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez.  The crowd gasped as Renteria hit the ground, but thanks to the helmet, he was fine and went right on coaching.  Whew!  A very tense moment, to say the least.

Injuries

Both JC Romero and Chad Durbin, big pieces of the Phillies bullpen, were placed on the 15-day DL today.  Romero is having a minor forearm strain and should be quick to return.  Durbin, on the other hand, has apparently been suffering from a back injury for a month now and neglected to tell anyone.  But after giving up 3 runs in a game last night which killed any shot the team had at a rally, Durbin finally fessed up.  Ugh.

So, Tyler Walker returns from the Iron Pigs to fill one of the spots and Drew Carpenter gets the second spot.  It is Carpenter’s 2nd stop to the team this year and his 3rd trip to the majors overall.

Perfection

And congrats to Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox who threw a perfect game today against the Tampa Bay Rays!  And then, Buehrle got a congratulatory call from President Obama.  And then, I mentioned him in MY blog!  What a lucky, lucky guy :O)

Photo by Jenn

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

 

All-Star Game 2009 – The Curse Continues

The curse continues for the National League as they lost their 12th consecutive All-Star Game tonight against the American League.  And poor Charlie Manuel became the first Phillies manager in history to lose the All-Star game :O(  Phils now hold a record of 6-1.  No worries Charlie…just bring us another Championship and all will be forgotten :O)

The first inning did not exactly kick the game off right for the National League as Tim Lincecum struggled and allowed one earned run.  An unearned run also scored in the inning after an error.  Yes folks, as Albert Pujols booted a ball at first base, an angel lost its wings…and the American League took a 2-0 lead.  It’s ok though…we still love Albert :O)

The NL battled back and scored 3 in the 2nd inning thanks to hits by David Wright, Shane Victorino (yeah!) and Yadier Molina.  After that, offense all around was fairly quiet until the 8th inning.  Curtis Granderson tripled, Victor Martinez was given the intentional walk and then Adam Jones hit a sac fly to score Granderson and give the AL a 4-3 lead.   The NL got their shot in the bottom half of the inning; Ryan Howard was sent in to pinch hit with 2 outs and 2 on in the 8th and he went down on strikes to end the threat.  Ugh.  The ever-adorable Mariano Rivera closed out the game for the AL in the 9th and so, the curse goes on.

As for the rest of the Phillies, Chase Utley went hitless, but had several stellar defensive plays.  Victorino ended up 1 for2 with a run scored; Jayson Werth struck out after a great at-bat against Jonathan Papelbon and later, made an amazing running catch in centerfield; P5314810 Ibanez.jpgand Raul Ibanez went 0 for 2, but looked thrilled anyway just to be playing.  It was his first All-Star appearance in his 14th major league season at 37 years of age.  Congrats to Raul for finally getting there!

As for the broadcast, FOX was annoying as usual.  I think I heard more about Taco Bell and Domino’s Pizza than I did about the game.  And while it was nice to hear the President Obama in the broadcast booth, was it really necessary to see him?   Don’t get me wrong;  I love Obama and all that, but I already know what he looks like.  I’d have been just as happy to hear him speak while the game was showed in its entirety on the TV screen, instead of the annoying flashes back and forth from individual pitches to a visual of Obama in the booth.

Pedro – Say It Ain’t So!

Much to the dismay of Phillies fans everywhere, Pedro Martinez passed his physical and has been signed by the Phillies.  Pedro will get 1 million plus another possible 1.5 million in incentives.  He will need about 3 weeks of rehab and minor league work to be ready.  The good news is that the price is cheap; however, we are all familiar with the saying “you get what you pay for.”  If Martinez has some magic left in that arm, then this deal will turn out to be a real bargain; if not, at least they did not overpay. 

Personally, I worry more about the clubhouse chemistry being disrupted than anything else.  Martinez is notorious for his sandpaper-like personality and penchant for creating controversy.  If he does not pitch well, no biggie.  It was a small investment.  But if he wreaks havoc on the peaceful and serene Phillies-vibe, then the deal will not have been worth the risk.  We shall see how it goes…

A Day Without Baseball?

So no baseball tomorrow…except for the Double-A All-Star Game in Trenton, NJ.  I will be risking life and limb as I venture into Trenton, the dregs of Jersey, but will be attending the game anyway. ;O)  Four Phillies prospects will be in the game, with Michael Taylor participating in the Home Run Derby. I will return (I hope) with photos and all body parts still in place.  Wish me luck :O)

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

World Champs Go To The White House

In case you missed it yesterday, here is the “official” White House video of President Obama addressing the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies:

The President is a true class act.  He acknowledged players by name and had all his facts straight.  Super impressive!  Congrats again to the Phillies for a great year and a fun visit to the White House!

By the way, Brett Myers started Game 1 of today’s doubleheader – Phils are ahead 5-1; Andrew Carpenter was called up from AAA to pitch the 2nd game and Miguel Cairo was sent down to make room.

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No O, No D, No Win

That’s a lot of no’s.  Where the offense and defense for the Phillies are hiding is a mystery.  And one which needs to be solved – quick.  This team has sunk into a funk.  The real shame of it is that Cole Hamels pitched an outstanding game and has nothing to show for it.  Hamels nailed down 7 full innings, giving up only 1 earned run.  Another run scored in the 3rd inning as a result of a Jimmy Rollins error on a routine play that should have ended the inning; instead, the ball hit off his glove and Casey Blake scored from 3rd.  But this was just one of the many brain freezes the Phillies experienced on the day.

 

In the 5th inning, Hamels did not help his own cause; he did manage to get to first base after a bunt and a Dodgers error which moved Carlos Ruiz to 3rd base.  But right after that, he wandered too far off 1st base and got caught in a run down; Ruiz saw Hamels floundering and broke for home, but he was cut down and tagged out.  Losing the runner in scoring position killed the rally and the Phillies did not score.

 

Later, in the 9th inning, Raul Ibanez joined the mental-lapse party and dove for a ball that he had no shot at in left field.  The ball rolled past him and what should have been a long single or a double, turned into a triple for the Dodgers.  The next batter nailed a sac fly to score the run, putting the Dodgers up 3-1.

 

And although the Phillies rallied in he bottom of the 9th to tie the game 3-3, those 2 runs scored by the Dodgers on errors proved to be fatal.  Chad Durbin pitched the 10th inning and gave up 2 runs; the Dodgers won 5-3.

 

SHUTTLE.jpgWhile Durbin’s failure to hold down the tie was a huge disappointment, an even bigger problem in this last week has been the lack of offense.  Rollins was 1 for 5 on the day with a solo home run and is batting a measly .200 on the year.  The entire top of the line-up is just not hitting.  Ruiz was 2 for 2 with 2 walks and 2 RBI; Ibanez had 2 hits and a walk and that was it; 5 hits on the day.  The rest of the players looked like they were off visiting another planet and had never seen a baseball before.  If they do not get it together soon, Charlie Manuel may toss them all into a space shuttle and send them to Jupiter.  Philadelphia: We have a problem.

 

 





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The Phillies will begin a 10-day road trip today; after visiting President Obama in the White House this morning, they will kick off a 4-game series with the Nationals, including a double-header tomorrow.  If all goes well, maybe Obama can offer a few words of inspiration.  If not, maybe he can recruit some players for the Space Program. ;O)


Player Photo by Jenn

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Today In Phillies Land


Greg_House.jpgI am still in Gregory House-type withdrawal after an off-day yesterday.  Sad, I know.  But the Phillies will start a 3-game series with the Dodgers tonight, and without Manny Ramirez.  Chan Ho Park is going to do his best not to lose his starting job; JA Happ will secretly wish Park screws up (kidding!); Jimmy Rollins will try to remember how to hit a baseball (line drives Jimmy; think line drives…none of this air-ball crap!); Brad Lidge will pray for a save opportunity which have been few and far between so far; Chase Utley will continue his bid for a 4th straight All-Star appearance; and me?  I will be screaming at the TV.

Baseball 101

Then tomorrow I will attend, for the 4th year in a row, the Phillies Baseball 101 event for women.  100 plus ladies will wander the field, toss a few balls, hit in the cages and even throw a pitch in the bullpen, all under the tutelage of the Phillies coaching staff.  It is an all-day and all-night event as we will stay for the 7:05pm game afterwards.  And since I will not get home until oh, probably one in the morning, I will post photos and a diary of the day on Thursday once I am conscious.

Mr. Manuel Goes To Washington

In other news, the Phillies have rescheduled their visit with President Obama at the White House for this coming Friday while they are in town to play the Nats.  The previous date was cancelled after the passing of our friend, Harry Kalas.   Will Obama dare wear a White Sox hat at the meeting?  Will the Phanatic frighten the new white house dog?  Oh, the drama.

Tonight’s Line-Up

J-Roll has been bumped down to the 5 hole.  Hope it helps!

1.     Shane Victorino, CF

2.     Chase Utley, 2B

3.     Jayson Werth, RF

4.     Ryan Howard, 1B

5.     Jimmy Rollins, SS

6.     Raul Ibanez, LF

7.     Pedro Feliz, 3B

8.     Carlos Ruiz, C

9.    Chan Ho Park, P

First pitch is 7:05pm…Go Phillies!

 

Photo: http://www.youthglue.com/photos/members/5011/Greg_House.jpg

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!