Tagged: Randy Wolf

Dodgers Freeze In Chilly Philly

The Phillies bats came alive tonight early in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers in an 11-0 win.   In the first inning, it appeared the Phils were taking batting practice off a rusty Hiroki Kuroda, who had not pitched in a while due to injury.  Ryan Howard drove in 2 runs with a triple and Jayson Werth followed with a 2-run homer to center.  That hit by Howard broke yet another record for the slugger; Howard became the 1st player ever to drive in runs in 7 straight post-season games within the same year.

The Phils tacked on 2 more runs in the 2nd with doubles from Carlos Ruiz and Jimmy Rollins plus an RBI ground out from Howard.  chooch1.jpgRuiz has been the unsung hero this post-season.  Hitting in the 8-hole, Ruiz has come up with clutch hits in nearly every game.  Ruiz is 9 for 21 so far with 7 RBI; 2 of those hits and 1 RBI came in tonight’s game.  This team has been riding the Chooch Train all October.

The overall offensive highlights included 2 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs.  11 hits and 7 walks combined for 11 runs.  Every Phillie in the line-up except Raul Ibanez, who was struggling a bit, had at least one hit.  It was a total team effort.

Chase Utley bounced back after a shaky defensive performance in the first 2 games.  He appeared to be back to normal in the field and continued to produce at the plate.  Utley’s 1st inning single helped kick off a big inning for the team; he had another hit and a walk as well.

The impressive offensive output tonight was matched by superb pitching from Cliff Lee.  Lee tossed an 8 inning, 3 hit shut-out and even had a single at the plate.  This man could do no wrong and the excited crowd cheered him on all night long.  Hate to repeat myself but, thank-you Cleveland!  Chad Durbin pitched the 9th despite the opportunity for a Lee complete game as it was more important to preserve Lee’s arm for future games.  Durbin sent the Dodgers down in order.

With the 11-0 win tonight, the Phillies go up 2 games to 1 in the series.  Joe Blanton will pitch tomorrow at 8:07pm in chilly Philly against a familiar face, Randy Wolf.  I will be there in full winter gear and, assuming my hands do not freeze and fall off, I should be back with photos!  Go Phillies!

Ruiz photo by Jenn

 

*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*

 

 

Wolf Devours Phils; Baseball 101 For Women

Since the game against our old pal Randy Wolf and the Dodgers was awful, let’s begin today with something fun!  Here is a recap of the Baseball 101 event for women held before the game yesterday:

P5133337 Werth.jpgThis now twice annual event included a behind the scenes tour, coaching from the Phillies staff, many guest speakers and an appearance by Jayson Werth.  Werth walked into the room and you would have thought it was Tom Cruise, judging from the reaction.  Women screamed and flash bulbs popped.  Werth talked openly to the group of 140 female fans and was surprisingly comical.  He talked about stealing home in Tuesday nights’ win over the Dodgers (turns out, it was all his idea and the 3rd base coach had no clue what was happening); Werth also gave us an overview of what it is like to travel as a Major League player, how he felt at the World Series parade, his baseball heritage and what it means to play as a team.  He was very impressive.

We also heard from Phillies broadcaster, Chris Wheeler, who walked us though his embarrassment of the strange dance he did behind Harry Kalas as he called the World Series win.  Wheels said he had no idea that he had actually looked that nuts until an hour and half later when he saw the replay.  Mitch Williams was also exceptionally informative, and very, very funny.  Williams should be a stand-up comic.  He had the room almost in tears as he discussed how we have not lived until we’ve seen John Kruk naked, how he (Williams) does not wear pants during his broadcasts and a variety of other topics.  And Larry Andersen, another former player and current broadcaster, was equally entertaining with his tales of Kalas and honest expressions of dislike for umpires.

Below, you will see Williams, Andersen and a very surreal moment as well; Tom Burgoyne, friend of the Phanatic, with the Phanatic!  A true “out of body” experience :O)

051309a.jpg

At one point, all the women broke into teams and travelled around the stadium, with stops in the bullpen, the batting cages and on the field to run the bases and work on throwing and fielding with the Phillies coaching staff.  Sam Perlozzo and Davey Lopes directed us on the field; Milt Thompson and Pete Mackanin let us swing away in the cages; and Rich Dubee and Mick Billmeyer let us throw pitches off the mound in the pen.  They gave us the inside scoop, just like we were real major leaguers.  My favorite coach comment of the day came when I asked what changes we could expect to see when JC Romero returns to the team.  Billmeyer chimed in immediately with, “We will get better!”  Well said :O)

And a first for Baseball 101 was the behind the scenes tour of the player areas:  the clubhouse, their kitchen and even the training room.  I can tell you several things from this experience.  First, Chad Durbin has a sweet tooth and likes crossword puzzles; some players seem to have a shoe fetish; Ryan Howard uses the same baby powder that I do; and doing laundry for the Phillies is a very interesting job!  Here are a few sights from the clubhouse:

051309b.jpg
I took tons of photos and was surprised by a few things I saw just “hanging” around.  I heard myself mutter as I peered into lockers, “Is that…(you fill in the blank)???  Oh my, yes it is.”  Use your imagination.  Nothing out of the baseball realm, but still a bit weird to see up close ;O)

P5133432 Moyer.jpg
So after the all-day event which began at 8:45am, we sat down to watch the game which started at 7:05pm.  Sleepy, but it was worth it.  We had a good 3 innings and Jamie Moyer looked like he may knock out every Dodger that faced him, but come the 4th inning, the bottom dropped out and it all went downhill from there.  7 runs allowed in only 4 1/3 innings and Moyer still cannot find his 250th win.  However, I think that was the least of his worries last night.  With the struggles in this starting rotation, I would not be surprised to see some changes very soon.  Charlie Manuel has announced that JA Happ will start one of the games of the double-header on Saturday against the Nats; no word on what will happen after that.  Happ may be pitching that day for his chance to win a spot in the rotation.

On again to more pleasant things:  Here is the Photo Album from my day in baseball-land which includes the photos in this post and more.  And don’t forget to tune in to the game this afternoon, which is an early start of 1:05pm to finish the Dodgers series.  Hoping the Phillies can pull out a winning series!

Photos by Jenn

First Place, Slipping Slumps & More Photo  Fun…

Starting off the month right in first place, the Phillies can exhale a sigh of relief.  After the first few weeks of April were not looking so hot, they finished off with a bang.  And the bang came off the bat of Ryan Howard to slide him right on out of this awful slump he’s been in.  It’s about time too!  Poor thing…that was just getting painful to watch.  Much more so for him, no doubt.

 

So in other news, Chase Utley is up for player of the month honors and if he does not get it, then whoever is voting must have their heads, well, let’s just say, in a very dark and cavernous place.  Somewhere where they are apparently impervious to any and all baseball information.  Chase is still leading the league with 11 homers, batting .357 (5th place) with 23 RBI’s and a slugging percentage of .748 (1st place)!  If that’s not enough, how about 86 total bases (1st place) and 41 hits (tied for 2nd).  I mean, why bother voting?  Just hand it over already!  Not that I am biased or anything… :o)

 

Skipping around a bit here, let’s get to today’s photo fun!  It actually has to do with yesterday’s game.  I was excited to see Randy Wolf return to Philadelphia for the first time, but my only disappointment was that Geoff Jenkins did not get an at bat against him.  Now, the line-up was great and, as it should have been.  However, for extremely, and admittedly, very silly reasons on my part, I was hoping to see the Wolf-Jenkins match-up at least once.  You see, every time I see Jenkins, I mistakenly think he is Randy Wolf and go through this weird flashback thing in my head and have to correct myself.  For example, I saw a bit on Comcast Sportsnet the other day, Jenkins walked past in the background and I am going, “Hey, what the heck is Randy Wolf doing in the locker room?” And then I am going, “Duh!  That’s Geoff Jenkins you airhead.” (meaning me, of course)  So, to see if I have totally gone crazy, I was just hoping for one at bat so that maybe they would show a split screen of the two of them and maybe someone else would point out the resemblance so I would not feel so dumb :o)  But, no such luck.  So, here is my very own split screen!  What do you think?  Brother’s or not?  Or am I just yearning to have Randy Wolf back… :o)
Wolf Jenkins cr.jpg