Tagged: Reds

Halladay & Howard Hammer the Reds

 

After having multiple starts either cut short or moved back due to the horrible east coast weather this month, Roy Halladay had to be anxious to finally get in a solid start.  He did that and more in a 9-0 win over the Reds on Tuesday night.

Through seven innings, Halladay allowed only two hits and two walks without a run crossing the plate.  But that is not all.  Halladay did damage at the plate as well.  In the sixth inning with the sacks packed, Halladay smashed a bases-clearing double and ended the game in a tie for a team-leading 3-RBI.

That’s right, move over Brad Pitt; we have Roy Halladay and he can do it all.  Halladay would not just have rescued that woman, he would have rescued a litter of puppies, pitched a no-hitter in the woman’s honor, donated bone marrow to save her ailing child and then named his next kid after her.


Ryan Howard elected to play hero in this game as well.  He hit a 2-run homer in the fourth to begin the Phillies offensive outburst.  Those two RBI put Howard at 101 for the season, setting a Phillies record for 6 straight seasons with at least 100 RBI.  And in the ninth, just for good measure, he hit another homer for RBI #102.

And the home runs kept coming, as if they were contagious.  Hunter Pence had a solo shot in the sixth and then Raul Ibanez went yard for 2-RBI in the seventh. 

The Phillies walked away with an impressive 9-0 win over the Reds behind the red-hot Halladay and Howard.  Game 3 will be played Wednesday night at 7:10pm; Cliff Lee will pitch.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Hamels Sharp in 1st Game Off the DL

The Phillies began a stretch of 33 games in 31 days today in Cincinnati against the Reds.  With the schedule shuffling due to Hurricane Irene, the Phils lost their final off-day of the regular season and also have two doubleheaders in September.

Today was an especially important day for pitcher Cole Hamels.  It was his first start since coming off the DL with some shoulder soreness.  Hamels did not skip a beat as he began quickly mowing down Reds hitters.
 

Hamels was perfect through three innings when an outfield blunder ended the streak in the fourth.  Hunter Pence overran a routine fly ball, then slipped and fell trying to go back to make the catch.  The hit was recorded as a triple, which gave the Reds a 1-0 lead soon after.

Probably mortified my the mistake, Pence looked for redemption early with a single to start the fifth.  Carlos Ruiz then singled and Wilson Valdez drove Pence home with a very timely double.

Hamels was able to shake off the earlier mistake and with a 1-1 tie game, he continued pitching very well.  Through six innings, Hamels allowed just the one run on two hits and struck out seven.

The pitchers battle continued as the Reds’ Homer Bailey kept confusing Phillies hitters.  Valdez seemed to be the only one able to hit Bailey and he started the eighth off with a single.

Michael Martinez was then sent up to bunt, which was a minor disaster.  I sincerely hope this is the last time Martinez will be counted on to lay down a bunt, because he looked like he had no clue what he was doing.  He bunted two balls straight up into the air; the first was foul and the second was caught for a very ugly out.

Lucky for Martinez, Shane Victorino stepped up to the plate and finally saw a pitch he liked.  One hanging curve ball  later and Victorino had himself a 2-run homer.  The Phillies then had a 3-1 lead.

That lead dwindled a little in the bottom half of the inning as the struggles of Michael Stutes continued.  He gave up one run on three hits, cutting the lead to 3-2.

In that inning, Placido Polanco missed a hard hit ball and made a throwing error.  Polanco also struck out three times at the plate, which is very out of character for him.  Normally a contact hitter, Polanco did not look like himself today both at the plate and in the field.  This leave one wondering just how badly he is being bothered by the sore hip and back.

After that odd inning, the Phillies were unable to score again.  That meant the game was in the hands of Ryan Madson with a miniscule 1-run lead.  Coming into this game, Madson was 23 for 25 in save opportunities.

Unlike Polanco tonight, Madson was on top of his game.  After allowing a lead-off single, he buckled down and recorded the final three outs of the game.

Tuesday night, Roy Halladay will finally take the mound after getting pushed back with all the crazy weather and game cancellations earlier this week.  Game time is 7:10pm.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Hurricane Irene Weekend Photos

The following are some photos I took while bored at the ballpark on Saturday and also some shots from my neighborhood showing some hurricane damage.

To start with, I finally saw the new Harry Kalas statue.  It was nice being able to take photos without a huge crowd:
 

And here are some nice rainy shots of the tarp, wet fans, a bunch of bird taking over the wet field and the flag poles, minus most flags as a wind precaution:
 

Next, I went to see the new John Kruk Wall of Fame plaque and also stared at empty seats for a while for lack of anything else to do:
 

Once the game was finally called, I drove south into Delaware to get home through Hurricane Irene flood warnings, tornado warnings and some pretty impressive downpours.  Here are some sights from my neighbor in the aftermath, including a small lake in my front yard, very large trees tipping sideways, a sink hole in the yard and some fallen tree branches:
 

Aside from some water in the basement though, all went pretty well down here.  So, how about you?  Tell me in the comment section where you live and what the damage was from the hurricane.

The tomorrow, with any luck, Phillies baseball will resume again.  Game time in Cincinnati is 7:10pm with Cole Hamels pitching.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Cliff Lee Helps Himself to a Win

Just a short 12 hours after a stunning 19-inning victory, the Phillies won again, making it two wins in one day.  The 10-4 victory today gave the Phils a 3-1 series win over the Reds.

 The Phillies hoped that starting pitcher Cliff Lee could go deep into the game as nearly the entire bullpen was worked hard in the previous game.  Lee did not disappoint, going eight innings.  He did allow four runs on 10 hits and a walk, but he kept his team in the game in more ways than one.

Lee himself accounted for two of the Phillies 13 hits and he drove in three runs, two on a double and one more later on a single.  There have been a number of role reversals in the past two days.  Lee was the big slugger today and infielder Wilson Valdez was the winning pitcher in the game before.

Not so backwards was a three-run homer by Raul Ibanez in the third inning.  Chase Utley also hit his first home run of the year today.  Utley has now doubled and homered since coming off the DL on Monday and all is right with the world again.

Utley did appear to twist his right ankle / leg on a play today, which was a bit scary.  However, he kept playing and it looks like we all have to wait until tomorrow to see if Utley bounces back okay.

As for the rest of the offense, some of the younger players are starting to hit, which is a good sign.  The Reds starter Homer Bailey only lasted five innings and then rookie Daryl Thompson took over, making his major league debut.  However, Domonic Brown and Michael Martinez each had a hit off Bailey, so it was not like they were just abusing the rookie.  They hit a solid, veteran pitcher as well.

If the younger guys can keep stringing hits together like this, things may soon look-up for the Phillies offense.

And if injured players keep returning, like Jose Contreras did today, that is another big positive.  Contreras pitched a scoreless ninth inning today and looks like he is ready to pick up where he left off, although Ryan Madson will remain the closer.  And David Herndon was sent back to Triple-A to make room on the roster.

The Phillies will embark on a 9-game road trip next.  They play the Mets in New York Friday night at 7:10pm; Roy Oswalt will pitch.

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Valdez & Baez Lead Phillies to 19-Inning Victory

As far as headlines go, the one above is not what Phillies fans generally expect to see.  But it was a back-up player and a much maligned bullpen pitcher who saved the day for the Phillies on Wednesday night against the Reds.

It took more than six hours and nine pitchers, but the Phillies finally pulled out a 5-4, 19-inning win.  Both offenses struggled to score runs and for the Phils, this has been problematic all season.

I have two words rattling around my brain in regards to the Phillies offense: frustrating and painful.  This team has been painful to watch most of the season so far.  And they keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, which is incredibly frustrating.

For example, Raul Ibanez led off the sixth inning with a triple.  So with NO outs and a man on third, what should happen just doesn’t.  Carlos Ruiz swung at the first pitch and popped out.  John Mayberry Jr. watched a called-strike three go by.  And then Wilson Valdez is walked intentionally to get to the pitcher.  Result: NO run, when all they needed was a sac fly or some form of contact with the ball that did not turn into a pop-up.

And this is exactly the sort of thing that is plaguing the Phillies offense.  They faced a Reds pitcher who was off his game and they did not take advantage.  Instead, they got themselves out by being impatient and swinging at bad pitches.

So just like Tuesday night, with a 3-1 lead, the Phillies watched the Reds come back to tie the game, 3-3 by the seventh inning.  They got hurt, again, by Jay Bruce with two outs and the bases loaded.  He hit a two-run single off Roy Halladay, who had a few issues tonight.  However, the defense behind him did little to help.

But once the game entered the wee hours of the morning, many forgot that Halladay had even started the game.  The bullpen took over for a total of 12 innings.

Danys Baez, who has taken a lot of abuse from Phillies fans for his lack of consistency, was one of the hero’s in this game.  He pitched a career-high five innings and 73 pitches to carry the Phils through the 18th inning.  He allowed only one hit, one walk and zero runs.

Last year, Baez was so bad that many hoped he would be cut.  And this year has been up and down for him.  But rest assured that after an effort like this, Baez is keeping his job.

After Baez exited, the unexpected happened.  Wilson Valdez stepped onto the pitcher’s mound.  And he was tasked with facing the heart of the Reds line-up in Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce, who had absolutely been killing the Phils all series long.

But Valdez gave a valiant performance, even clocking over 90mph on the radar gun.  He got Votto to fly out to deep center, hit Rolen with a pitch and then two more fly-outs to end the inning.  As he exited the field, the crowd went crazy cheering for him.

Valdez is the first player to start in the field and move on to pitching since Babe Ruth.  Seriously.  He is also the first Phillies position player to pitch since Tomas Perez did it in 2002.  The game win went to Valdez and afterwards he told Comcast Sportsnet, “I like to win,” in response to why he agreed to pitch.  He also joked that he could have gone three or four more innings.

Raul Ibanez hit a sac fly to score Jimmy Rollins for the win in the 19th inning.  In a game where an infielder pitched, a catcher (Carlos Ruiz) played third base and the team left 16 men on base, this win has to be a huge boost for the Phillies.

The last game with the Reds comes quick after this one; Thursday afternoon at 1:05pm.  Cliff Lee will pitch.

Injury Updates

Ross Gload is not playing right now due to a slight muscle tear in his hip.  This is same sort of injury that Chase Utley played through in 2008, which eventually required surgery.  Gload is expected to play through it as well.

Jose Contreras should return to the team sometime this week.  Odds are good that David Herndon will be sent down to make room.

Chase Utley got a day off today, except for a pinch-hitting appearance, in what appears to be an effort to err on the side of caution by not pushing him too hard, too soon.  He should play again Thursday.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Madson Has a Bad Day in Loss to Reds

Ryan Madson had been plowing down hitters, allowing just one run all season until Tuesday night.  The Phillies lost to the Reds by a score of 6-3 after a hairy ninth inning.

Rookie Vance Worley started the game and was a little rusty after being switched from starter to reliever to the minors and back to starting again as Joe Blanton made his second trip to the DL this month.  Worley was still pretty good, considering the way he has been bounced around lately.

 

Over five innings, Worley allowed three runs on six hits and four walks.

Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz carried the offense as both players are suddenly on fire.  Ibanez went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Ruiz was 2-for-3, also with an RBI. 

 

Chase Utley was in the line-up again since returning from the DL.  He was hitless on Monday, but finally got a hit Tuesday night.  That single turned out to be a momentum shift in the game, only not in the right direction.

 

Juan Samuel waived home Jimmy Rollins from second on the play for no apparent reason and he was a dead duck at home plate by about a mile.  There had been only one out in the inning at the time and losing that run seemed to kill the Phillies offense.

Utley was involved in a number of odd plays in the field as well, which sent him scrambling all over the place to track down balls hit into no-man’s land.  Here are a few of those plus some other plays:

 

But in the end, the game came down to the bullpen.  After a 13-inning scoreless streak, Ryan Madson finally had a bad day.  With one out in the ninth, Madson made a bad throw to first and things snowballed from there.

After loading the bases, Madson gave up a 3-run double to Jay Bruce.  The Reds had a 6-3 lead and the Phillies offense was unable to come back in the bottom of the inning.  Hopefully, Madson can start a new streak tonight.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.  The third game with the Reds is tonight at 7:05pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

 

Utley Returns and it Rains Runs for the Phillies

The crowd went wild as Chase Utley stepped to the plate for his 2011 debut tonight against the Reds.  After missing the start of the season with knee issues, the Phillies have anxiously awaited the return of their leader.  It was so thrilling to see Utley back in the line-up, fans everywhere felt like skipping joyously through a field of wildflowers.

The overwhelming exhilaration poured onto the field and bled over into the Phillies recently dreadful offense.  Runs began to pour out like rain drops.  The Phils scored ten runs tonight, which equaled the run total of their last seven games combined.

Oddly enough, the only starter in the line-up, including the pitcher, to not have a hit was Utley.  He went 0-5.  But just his presence alone was motivation for this struggling offense.

Domonic Brown got his first hit since being called up.  Carlos Ruiz racked up three hits.  Both Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco had two hits and two RBI each.  And Jimmy Rollins put a charge into his bat with two hits, including a three-run homer.

Cole Hamels started the game and did well until he allowed a three-run homer in the fourth to Jay Bruce.  Hamels went six innings, allowing five hits.  Because of the huge Phillies lead, he was able to come out of the game early and take a little break.

Phillies fans had a blast tonight, cheering for Chase and finally seeing some offense.  As an added bonus, they were able to boo Scott Rolen, which was the icing on the cake.  The Phillies won by a score of 10-3.

The question now is can this offense take the huge momentum that Utley provided and carry it over from game to game?  I will be at the ballpark Tuesday night to find out and I shall return with photos.

Game time is 7:05pm; Vance Worley gets the start.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography