Tagged: Rockies

Blue Jays Make Worm Meal out of Phillies in 3-Game Sweep

The Blue Jays pecked apart the Phillies in all aspects of the game throughout a 3-game sweep.  Today’s 6-2 loss was the bloodiest of the 3 as the Phillies seem to have laid down and accepted their fate.

Pitcher Kyle Kendrick started the game out by giving up back to back doubles to the Jays who took a 2-run lead in the 1st inning.  The massacre continued with Kendrick allowing 5 runs total over 6.1 innings.  Kendrick simply cannot repeat good pitches.  At one point, he had Jose Bautista down in an 0-2 count on two very sharp pitches.  But then he threw 4 straight balls and walked him.  There is no consistency and both Kendrick and the Phillies paid the price.

The only offense for the Phillies was 2 solo homers; one from Jim Thome and one from John Mayberry Jr.  Thome hit 4 homers during this road trip and Mayberry smashed 3.  Still, the rest of the team did little to help.  Of 8 hits today, 3 were Mayberry’s.  And Shane Victorino had 2 hits.  The excitement ends there.

Right now, the Phillies are a team with no answers.  They cannot hit; they cannot pitch; and with 11 errors on this 3-6 road trip, they cannot play defense either.  Yes, 11 errors in 9 games; you are not crazy, you read that right.

This has been about as much fun to watch as a 20-car pile-up on the freeway.  The Phillies have crashed and burned…repeatedly.

Monday is an off-day when, perhaps, some of these players can relax and clear their heads.  Tuesday they begin a 3-game series against the Rockies who are one of the few teams doing worse than the Phillies right now.  So that may be a small glimmer of hope…very, very small considering how things are going.  Cross your fingers…

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Kendrick photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

Former Phillie Moyer Still Breaking Records

While I have never been a Rockies fan, it does not matter what uniform Jamie Moyer puts on.  I will always root for him.  At 49-years old, Moyer is lined up to become the oldest pitcher in history ever to win a major league game when he faces the Astros tonight.  He is already the oldest starting pitcher to make an Opening Day roster.

Despite having already accomplished the ultimate goal of winning a World Series with the Phillies in 2008, Moyer still presses on.  Why?  My guess is because he can.  And because he has a passion and love for the game of baseball that drives him to continue.

Jamie, we wish you all the best!  Good luck tonight :O)

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

Mile High Sweep for the Phillies

Balls were flying all over Coors Field today.  Luckily for the Phillies, more balls bounced their way then they did for the Rockies.

Pitching in his hometown, Roy Halladay looked a little tired today.  But as usual, he battled through and pitched a solid game.  Over seven innings, Halladay surrendered four earned runs on eight hits and a walk.

 

Halladay also had a hit in the game and later scored from third base on a wild pitch.  Phillies fans held their collective breath as Halladay slide awkwardly between the catcher’s legs and was safe.  Seeing your star pitcher slide is never a joyous moment, but Halladay did just fine.

Ryan Howard took advantage of the thin Denver air again with a double, a homer and four RBI.  He did not have the best start to the game though.  Howard struck out with no outs and the bases loaded in the first inning.  In the latter half of the inning, he bungled an easy ground ball and then threw the ball away for the second error in one play.

But Howard’s bat made up for the first inning.  Chase Utley got in on the action as well with two hits, scoring twice.  Hunter Pence now has a five game hitting streak as a Phillie and added a sac fly RBI as well.

With an 8-6 lead going into the ninth inning, the Phillies sent another Denver local to the mound, Brad Lidge.  It was his first save attempt since coming off the DL and more importantly, it was a shot at 100 career saves as a Phillie.  With Ryan Madson absent because his wife was in labor, Lidge was the guy.  And although Lidge likely will not close many games anymore, he got the job done tonight.

This win completes back-to-back 3-game sweeps of the Rockies and Pirates, which is great timing as the Phillies will face the defending World Champs next.

The return of Roy Oswalt from the DL (yet to be made official) sets up the rotation like this against the GiantsCliff Lee on Thursday, Vance Worley on Friday, Cole Hamels on Saturday and Oswalt on Sunday.

Game time on Thursday is 10:15pm – welcome to another late-night West Coast series.

 

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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*

Winning: It Just Keeps Happening

The Phillies 5-0 win over the Rockies Tuesday night marked their 5th straight win.  They also became the first team in baseball to reach 70 wins and continue to hold the best record in the game.  As a Phillies fan, life is good.

And the wins keep coming in unexpected ways.  Monday night was a late inning rally and extra inning victory.  Tuesday night, the Phillies watched their spot starter, Kyle Kendrick, absolutely baffle the Rockies hitters.

The word “baffle” is usually not used in the same sentence as the name “Kendrick,” unless it is Kendrick who looks confused, not the opposition.  Kendrick has been an up and down pitcher throughout his career in Philly.  It is that inconsistency that is partly the reason he has not earned a solid spot in the rotation.  The other part is, of course, the rest of the Phillies starting pitchers, who are outstanding.

 

But in this game, Kendrick looked like he could keep pace with the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.  Over eight innings, Kendrick allowed only four hits as he shut-out the Rockies.  Kendrick will go back to his home in the bullpen as a long-man once Roy Oswalt returns, but the value of a guy like Kendrick cannot be overlooked.

While Kendrick has pitched well, he has also benefitted from good run support.   Ryan Howard smacked two solo homers tonight.  Hunter Pence went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Brian Schneider drove in another run on a sac fly.

Back-up catcher Schneider is another example of how important it is to have a solid bench and players who are versatile.  He is not setting the world on fire with his bat by any means, but he calls a good game behind the plate and contributes on offense where he can.

The Phillies have a shot at sweeping this series tomorrow afternoon before what is sure to be a difficult series against the Giants.  Six straight wins would be very nice momentum going into San Francisco.

Game time Wednesday is 3:10pm; Roy Halladay will pitch in his hometown of Denver.

 

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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*

Mayberry Saves the Day in Win Over Rockies

In his previous three starts, the Phillies had scored a grand total of just six runs for pitcher Cole Hamels.  Tonight against the Rockies, the story was very much the same.

Hamels gave up a 2-run homer in the second inning, but nothing at all after that.  He even worked his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the fifth.  Hamels did all he could to keep his team in the game.

But once again, the offense offered Hamels little help.  And they were facing a pitcher, Jhoulys Chacin, who had not won a single game in his previous seven starts.  Still, the Phillies bats made Chacin look like a Cy Young award winner.

The Phillies managed to squeak out a run in the seventh on a Raul Ibanez double that scored Hunter Pence who ran the bases very well.  Pence also struck out in the eighth inning with two men on base.  But such was the theme of the night for the offense….at least through eighth innings.

In the ninth inning, something different happened.  The Phils could not hit Chacin, but the Rockies closer Huston Street was another story.  After a Carlos Ruiz double, John Mayberry Jr. was sent into to pinch hit.  Mayberry, who has not played much lately, made up for lost time with a huge, game-tying 2-run homer.

With a 3-3 score, Antonio Bastardo held the Rockies down to send the game to extra innings for the second Phillies game in a row.  Shane Victorino capitalized on the opportunity with a solo homer in the 10th to put the Phillies ahead, 4-3.

Ryan Madson earned the save in the 10th and Mayberry walked away a hero in this one.  Just when it looked like hope was lost for the struggling Phillies offense, Mayberry put them back in the hunt for the win.

Speaking of hunters, Mr. Pence has played in 3 Phillies games and so far, they have all been wins.  He must be wondering if he died and went to baseball heaven.  To answer his question: Yes…welcome to Philly (aka: Baseball Heaven)!

Game two with the Rockies is Tuesday night at 8:40pm; Kyle Kendrick will pitch.  It will likely be Kendrick’s last start as Roy Oswalt should be back from the DL very soon after two recent rehab starts.

 

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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*

Ibanez Powers Phillies to 3-Game Sweep of Pirates

The Phillies completed a sweep of the Pirates this afternoon in 10 innings by a score of 6-5.  The newest member of the Phillies, Hunter Pence, had a hand in the 10th inning rally after a rough start where he misread a ball in the outfield.  Here is a quick look at the day for Pence:

The ball he missed came in the first inning, but pitcher Vance Worley bounced back quickly.  It was not until the fifth and sixth innings where Worley ran into trouble.

 

While it was not his best outing, Worley still went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.  He made one bad pitch in the sixth to Lyle Overbay who slammed a 2-run homer.

But the Phillies kept plugging away at the Pirates with a few timely hits and nice defense:

 

Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-4 with two RBI to continue his recent hot streak.  But Raul Ibanez was the one player who came up big all game long.  After a solo homer in the first inning, Ibanez hit a massive  2-run homer in the eighth when the Phillies were still trailing.  That hit tied the game and kept hope alive for the Phillies.

 

As a quick side note, it appears that I may be Raul’s good luck charm.  If you look at the chart below of this entire home stand, you will see that Ibanez hit .500 with three homers and nine RBI in games that I attended.  When I was not there, he hit only .174, no homers, 2 RBI:
 

Ok, so maybe it is just a weird coincidence.  On the other hand, Raul may want to hurry up and buy me a plane ticket to Denver ;o)

Back to the game:  After Ibanez tied things up, the Phillies had to rely on the bullpen to keep it that way.  Brad Lidge had already allowed the fifth run in the seventh, but then four other guys combined to hold down the Pirates.  The photo below shows Juan Perez, David Herndon and Lidge:

 

Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo also pitched one scoreless inning each.  Then in the 10th inning, Pence doubled to put the Phillies in position for the win.  All they needed was one more big hit from Ibanez who delivered with the game winning double to score Pence.

The walk-off win capped a three hit, four RBI game for Ibanez who ended the month of July on a hot streak, batting .284 with 25 RBI.

A very tough road trip is up next for the Phillies, starting in Denver against the Rockies.  They will also face the Giants in a 4-game series and the Dodgers for three games.

It all begins Monday night at 8:40pm; Cole Hamels will pitch.

And here is the full Photo Album from Sunday’s game.  Enjoy!

 

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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*

Giambi Picks Apart Weakened Phillies Team as Injuries Continue to Pile Up

People on the internet have been freaking out about Saturday being the end of the world.  For the Phillies, it may actually be true.               

 The first casualties of the week are Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino.  Blanton was on the DL in April and the beginning of May with right elbow soreness.  Upon his return, Blanton said the elbow was still sore, but he could pitch.

My first issue with this is why did the Phillies allow him to go on when he was still sore?  Second, why did Blanton hide how bad the elbow obviously was?  I can maybe answer the second question.  Blanton saw his job in jeopardy with how well Vance Worley pitched in his absence and felt that he need to come back soon.  That is my guess.

Blanton bailed on the Phillies 20 minutes before Thursday night’s game, saying it was too painful to go on.  He then spoke to reporters at Comcast Sportsnet and admitted he came back from the DL too early and that maybe he should have been “more honest” about his condition.

As a result of Blanton’s last minute bail, Kyle Kendrick was forced to start the game with no preparation at all.  He gave up five runs, including two of Jason Giambi’s homers.  Danyz Baez gave up the third.  Shocking, I know (insert your own sarcastic comment here).  The Phillies lost the game, 7-1.

All seven Rockies runs were scored thanks to the three home runs by Jason Giambi, which led me to these thoughts:

You Might Be A Steroid User If:

– You have grey hair and you hit three home runs in one game

– Your batting average was .115 before hitting three home runs in one game

– Your name is “Jason Giambi”

– Your batting average was .115 yesterday and your name is used in the same sentence as “Babe Ruth.”

Yes, Giambi is now one of only four players over the age of 40 to ever hit three home runs in a game.  The others are Babe Ruth, Stan Musial and Reggie Jackson.  While this is an impressive feat, I think that Kendrick and Baez pitching may have had a little to do with it.

So Blanton is headed to the DL and now, so is Shane Victorino.  An MRI revealed that Victorino has a second degree hamstring strain. He will be the 12th Phillie on the DL this year.  The Phillies will announce later who will replace each player.

Hold on to your seats, Phillies fans.  This ride is about to get bumpier.

 

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