Tagged: Ross Gload

Late Rally Gives Phillies The Win

In the first 7 innings of tonight’s game, fans were wondering, where have the Phillies bats gone?  Several of them are on the DL, but how about the rest?  Did the plane carrying the bats from Miami back to Philadelphia crash on a deserted island, leaving the bats stranded and hopeless?  Can we please get a rescue team together to go find them?  Please?

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The Phillies had opportunities to score early in this game against the Mets.  With the bases loaded and 2 outs in the first, Carlos Ruiz began to cool off from his recent hot streak; he struck out to end the inning.  One run scored in the inning, but they should have had more.  The Phils did get a number of 2 out hits, but they were mostly with no one on base.


Thumbnail image for found.jpgBut then it was Ruiz and most of his teammates in the 8th inning who finally found the bats again.  5 straight singles followed.  Yes, the bats have been rescued!  Everyone got in on the action; Mike Sweeney started the inning off with his first hit as a Phillie; Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Ruiz and Wilson Valdez followed suit.  Ross Gload walked with the bases loaded to score another run and Jimmy Rollins singled in the 4th run of the inning.

Later that same inning, Sweeney got another hit; his second hit as a Phillie also added his first RBI as a Phillie.  By the end of the 8th, the Phillies had sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 6 runs to put them up by a score of 7-2 over the stunned Mets.

So, maybe the bats just had jet lag and it took until the 8th inning to wake them up?  Whatever the deal, it was very nice to see them again.  Someone else who was happy to see the bats was starting pitcher Joe Blanton, who had a good outing. He lasted 7 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits without walking a batter.   Sadly for Blanton, he was out of the game before the run barrage started.

So while Blanton could not get the win, the team certainly could.  Danys Baez pitched the 9th and got the first two outs.  JC Romero was brought in with 2 runners on base and, just for some added drama, he gave up a 3-run homer.  With a now close 7-5 game, Romero was pulled and Brad Lidge came into what was then a save situation.  He struck out the final batter to end the game; whew!

The Phils have two more games with the Mets this weekend; tomorrow’s game starts at 7:05pm with Cole Hamels pitching.

By the way, congratulations to former catcher Darren Daulton who was inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame before today’s game.  Daulton is widely thought to be one of the best catchers and best leaders in Phillies history.  He is well deserving of the honor.  In his acceptance speech, he referred to Phillies fans as his family and said we were all invited to his house for dinner on Sunday night.  Hey Darren, you forget to give us your address.  Please pass on the info…I’ll be there ;o)

 

Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

 

A Difficult Sweep In Miami

Part two of the Roy Oswalt – Philadelphia experience tonight went a tad better than the first part.  After allowing 4 earned runs in his Phillies debut, Oswalt handled the Marlins pretty well.  533px-Roy_Oswalt_2010_crop.jpgHe struggled with his control at times, which elevated his pitch count, but the end result was positive.  Oswalt went 6 1/3 innings allowing 3 hits, 4 walks and 2 runs.

The 2 runs however, scored after JC Romero came in to relieve Oswalt in the 7th.  Romero allowed an RBI double and then walked the 2nd run home on 4 straight balls.  Those runs were both charged to Oswalt.  Now, I love JC for his spirit and for the person that he is.  But the manager has to know that he gets wild in these situations sometimes.  Two runners on and one out is not a good situation for Romero.  Then again, with the Phillies bullpen as up and down as it has been, who to bring in and when remains a head-scratcher.

Jose Contreras was up next in the 7th and did not fare much better.  He immediately allowed a 2-run single.  Those two runs were charged to Romero.  So the cycle of crap rolling down hill continued as the Phillies lost a 2-0 lead and turned it into a 4-2 deficit in 1 inning.

As for the offense, Oswalt did not get much run support in Houston and so far with the Phillies it has not been too different.  With the bases loaded in the first and one out, Jayson Werth hit a weak pop fly to strand the runners.  Domonic Brown struck out next, but putting that pressure on the rookie is just unfair.  Werth should have been able to hit a sacrifice with only 1 out.

More opportunities came in the 3rd inning, but again, Werth stranded 2 more runners and grounded out to end the inning.  Carlos Ruiz finally came up with a big 2-out hit in the 6th to score Brown and Raul Ibanez, but no one else stepped up after that, even after Oswalt drew a walk to load the bases.


Mayberry Ransom.jpgMike Sweeney
saw his first action as a Phillie in the 8th as a pinch-hitter and drew a walk.  Nice job!  Cody Ransom was designated for assignment earlier today to make room for him instead of sending John Mayberry Jr. back down.  Ransom did not play very well, batting only .190 since being called up from AAA.

So the Phillies entered the 9th down by two runs.  And then the offense started to show signs of life again.  Placido Polanco reached on a error which was followed by a Ross Gload single and an RBI-double from the super-hot Ibanez.  Werth stepped to the plate again in a good hitting situation and finally came through.  A single tied the game at 4-4. 

But then, just to totally ruin his shining moment, Werth wandered too far off second base and got picked off!  A few pitches later, Brown followed in Werth’s not so nimble footsteps and got caught stealing!  He was probably trying to make up for Werth’s bone-head move.  What a mess…inning over.

Ryan Madson held the tie down.  Then in the 10th, Ruiz played the hero again and smashed his 2nd homer of the season to give the Phils a 5-4 lead.  But no sooner could Phillies fans rejoice than we saw Brad Lidge step to the mound with only a 1-run lead.  Oh crap….not again.  But by some act of God, Lidge got the job done…whew!  A SWEEP in Miami!  Nice.

The Phillies head back home now to play the Mets tomorrow at 7:35pm.  Joe Blanton will pitch.  Good night all!

 

Mayberry and Ransom photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

Oswalt photo by Wikimedia Commons

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

 

Ibanez and Brown Highlight A Win In Miami

In the first half of the 2010 season, it looked like Raul Ibanez may be on the down side of an otherwise solid career.  But in the second half, he has returned with the new life, similar to that he showed early in 2009. 
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Tonight against the Marlins, Ibanez continued his hot streak with 2 hits, 2 RBI, a walk and 2 runs scored.

In his quest to conquer Miami, Ibanez was joined by a rookie 16 years his junior.  In fact, biologically speaking, Ibanez is old enough to be Domonic Brown’s father.  Brown is showing off his many talents early in his Phillies career; he had a hit and 3 RBI tonight plus his very first assist in right field.  Brown threw a bullet to home plate in the 3rd, allowing catcher Carlos Ruiz to easily tag out Gaby Sanchez trying to score.

The 1-2 punch of Ibanez and Brown tonight conjured images of the 80’s Miami Vice crime fighting duo.  The difference is, they are way more fun to watch than Crockett and Tubbs.  And better dressed as well; Philadelphians prefer pinstripes ;o)

But many players contributed to the thumping of the Marlins tonight.  Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco each had 2-hit nights; Rollins collected 2 walks as well and had a run-saving catch in the 5th.  Ross Gload did a very nice job at first base, making some difficult defensive plays as well as walking twice, getting a hit and an RBI. 

Jayson Werth still looked confused at the plate as he struck out for the 7th consecutive time in 2 games.  4 times in one game is the called the Golden Sombrero, which he did yesterday.  But 7 times in a row?  The only word I know of for that feat is “BAD.”  Werth did finally make contact in the 9th inning with a single to left.  Hopefully, that will be the hit that breaks the slump.  Werth had been 0 for his last 24 before that.

The pitching held up nicely tonight too.  Kyle Kendrick had 6 solid innings with 5 strikeouts and 2 runs allowed on 8 hits.  The bullpen held down the lead and Brad Lidge was brought into the bottom of the 9th with a 7-2 score.  The lack of pressure suited him well as he mowed down the Fish in order.  But Lidge in a tight situation is still questionable.  Luckily, we did not have to watch another heart stopping 9th tonight, thanks to the offense.

So what began as a rough road trip now has some potential.  If they can sweep the Marlins tomorrow, the Phillies can return home with a 4-2 road trip; not too shabby.  Roy Oswalt will get his second shot at impressing Philly fans tomorrow; game time is 7:10pm.

 

Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Big Man Down: Howard To The DL


Phillies titanic.jpgThe Phillies 2010 season is beginning to resemble the sinking of the Titanic.  Ryan Howard was placed on the DL today with a left ankle sprain.  So it is official; every single infield starter for the Phils has been on the DL this year.  The only two team starters who have escaped a DL trip so far are Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez.  That makes player #15 on the DL this year.  Take a look:

1B

Ryan Howard

DL

8/3 – now

Starter

CF

Shane Victorino

DL

7/28 – now

Starter

P

Jamie Moyer

DL

7/21 – now

Starter

2B

Chase Utley

DL

6/29 – now

Starter

3B

Placido Polanco

DL

6/26 – 7/17

Starter

C

Carlos Ruiz

DL

6/22 – 7/10

Starter

P

Chad Durbin

DL

6/2 – 7/15

Relief pitcher

P

Antonio Bastardo

DL

6/17 – 7/15 to AAA

Relief pitcher

C

Brian Schneider

DL

5/9-5/24

Back-up

P

Ryan Madson

DL

4/29 – 7/8

Relief pitcher

P

JA Happ

DL

4/16 – 7/6 to AAA

Starter

SS

Jimmy Rollins

DL

4/13-4/17, 5/22-6/22

Starter

P

Joe Blanton

DL

3/26-5/3

Starter

P 

Brad Lidge

DL

3/26-4/30, 5/10-5/31

Closer

P

JC Romero

DL

3/26-4/22

Relief pitcher

 

Is this a sign that 2010 is just not the Phillies year?  I hope not.  Filling in at first base likely will be Ross Gload and maybe Cody Ransom.  John Mayberry Jr. was called up to fill the roster spot and will be used off the bench.

Howard and Chase Utley are the Phillies biggest producers; having them both out of the line-up is going to make an already struggling offense even less effective.  Not to mention, the Phillies bullpen is still suspect.  Manager Charlie Manuel has no idea what to expect from the pen from day to day.  And with fewer runs being scored, odds are good that the pen is going to decide the outcome of a lot of games.  This is not good news.

If you are looking for some good news, Roy Halladay is pitching tonight in Miami.  Even better news; the last time this match-up occurred, Halladay threw a Perfect Game.  The Marlins may be more prepared this time out, but anytime Halladay pitches, you have to like this team’s chances.

Lidge Blows Another Save

After last night’s disappointing Roy Oswalt debut plus a serious lack of offense, the Phillies were hoping to bounce back today against the Nationals.  Oswalt threw one pitch and gave up a triple. 
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Tonight, Joe Blanton threw 3 pitches and the singles started coming.  Blanton had 2 base runners with 2 outs in the 1st inning and from there, allowed 3 runs to score with a total of 5 singles in the inning.

Settling down after the first, Blanton pitched 4 clean innings but allowed another run in the 6th.  He escaped the 6th with just one run thanks to an amazing diving catch by rookie Domonic Brown and then a double play after that.  So it was 6 innings and 4 runs for Blanton; not great.

The Phillies bats did little to help early on, not scoring their first run until the 4th inning on a Wilson Valdez single.  Carlos Ruiz hit a solo homer in the 6th and then Raul Ibanez had the big knock in the 7th.  His two run homer tied the game up at 4-4.  Ibanez has been the Phillies hottest hitter of late, which is nice to see after he struggled the entire first half of the season.  In his last 10 games before tonight, Ibanez is hitting .438.

On the other side of the spectrum, Ryan Howard is suddenly not hitting at all.  He got his very first day off of the year today as a result.  Manager Charlie Manuel thought a little rest could do him some good.   Howard had only 2 hits in his last 5 games.  Cody Ransom got a start at first base in his place.

Things were quiet again until the 9th inning when Jayson Werth walked.  Ross Gload bunted him over; Brown moved him to third on a ground ball out.  But the big hero was Ruiz who, with his 3rd hit of the night, singled to score Werth, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead.  It was also Ruiz’s 2nd RBI of the game.


P8306049 Lidge2.jpgBut no lead is big enough when Brad “Heart Attack” Lidge is about to come into the game.  He used to be “Light’s Out” Lidge, but I have renamed him; more appropriate, I think.  The first batter Lidge faced singled and a bunt moved him to 2nd.  Then he walked the next batter.  Get out the
nitroglycerin; I feel an episode coming on.  Yes, there it is…Ryan Zimmerman + fast ball down the middle = 3 run homer + Nationals win.

Let us give Lidge a few more nicknames…why?  Because it will make me feel better.  How about Brad “Please go back on the DL” Lidge?  Or Brad “Blown Save” Lidge.  It could be “BS” for short.  And then there is Brad “I Suck Big Time” Lidge.

Hey Ruben Amaro Jr., you have about an hour and a half to find us a closer.  WE ARE DONE WITH LIDGE!  Bring Vance Worley back up if you have to.  This cannot continue to happen.  This team battled their as*ses off to get back in this game and Lidge BLEW IT.  We, the fans, have had ENOUGH.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Manuel Wins #500; Phillies Sweep Rockies

The Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, collected his 500th victory for the team today with a 4-game sweep of the Rockies.  Only two other Phils managers since 1900 have more wins: Gene Mauch, 645 and Danny Ozark, 594. 

The game did not start well as pitcher Joe Blanton quickly gave up 2 runs in the first innings to the anxious Rockies who were hoping to salvage one game in this series.  But, despite a few walks, Blanton was sharp after the 1st and wound up going 6 innings.

0726 Blanton.jpg

The Phillies offense got them back into the game quickly, which was also a huge help.  In order, Ross Gload singled, Greg Dobbs doubled and Brian Schneider tripled.  All that was missing was a home run.  Instead of the homer, Blanton reached first on a missed catch by Jason Giambi at first. 

But then Jimmy Rollins batted and wound up fouling a ball off his foot, sending him to the ground in pain.  He limped through the rest of the game and afterwards had an X-Ray.  There was no break; he just has a bruise.  However, it is still unknown how long he may have to rest his foot before playing again.  Here is the sequence, with a nice moment of sportsmanship too:

0726 rollins.jpg

Things got quiet for a while after that until the Phillies scored 2 more runs in the 6th.  Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez each hit RBI-singles to extend the lead.  But many players contributed to the offense today, especially Schneider, with the huge triple in the 2nd and he also walked and scored in the 6th.  Greg Dobbs went 2 for 4 and Polanco had 2 hits as well.  Here are a few shot from the game:

0726 other.jpg

There was some great defense and really amazing efforts on tough plays also:

0726 Defense.jpg

And then came the heart-stopping 9th inning.  You know when I mention heart attacks, Brad Lidge must somehow be involved, right?  Well he sure was.  It started with a double, but Lidge got two outs after that.  With just one out to go, ahead of the batter in the count, Lidge grooved a fastball right over the plate which Seth Smith hammered for a 2-run homer, cutting the lead to 5-4.  Two walks and a single later and the bases were loaded…again…just like the day before.  But Lidge finally got a ground ball, which he fielded himself for the final out.

0726 Lidge.jpg

While Lidge is totally on my last nerve with these cardiac episode inducing outings, what is the alternative?  Do we need a new closer?  Probably.  But has anyone else in the pen proved they can handle the job?  No.  This is the proverbial rock and a hard place.  Others have tried to close and failed, like Ryan Madson, for example.  So sadly, it looks like we are stuck with Lidge for now.

As for the recent trade rumors, Dan Haren went to the Angels so it looks like Roy Oswalt is the final option for the Phils to pick up a starter.  But as I talked about on yesterday’s Fightin’ Phillies podcast, Oswalt does not seem interested in coming here and with the no-trade clause, he has final say.  But do we really want a guy who is scared of the media and shies away from pressure?  I know I don’t.  It will be interesting to see if anything happens before the trade deadline.

In the meantime, feel free to check out the Photo Album from today’s game.  Thanks to my friend, Audrea, I was in one of the business suites today, which are very, very nice.  I put a few photos of that in the album as well.

The D-Backs come to town tomorrow.  Game time is 7:05pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Firing Of Hitting Coach Lights a Fire Under The Offense

The Phillies returned home today after a very bad road trip hoping to turn things around against the Rockies.  For starters, they fired their hitting coach, Milt Thompson and replaced him with Greg Gross.  Thompson is the fall guy for this severely underachieving offense.  But would this slap to the face be the wake-up call the Phillies are certainly in need of?

At first, it looked like the same old routine of hitting into double plays and leaving the bases loaded.  But in the 5th inning, the offense woke up and figured out how to score some runs.  Three straight hits, including an RBI double from Raul Ibanez, got things started. 
P6254147 Gload.jpg
Ryan Howard even stole a base, as his teammates giggled in the dugout after seeing the big man scamper to second.  Jayson Werth hit a sac fly and then Ross Gload, getting a rare start in the outfield, smacked a 2-run homer for his second hit of the night.

The only starter who did not contribute tonight was Wilson Valdez who went 0 for 4.  Everyone else, even the pitcher, got a hit.  Ibanez finally looks like RAUUUUUULLL again!  He had 3 hits and 3 RBI tonight.  Ibanez likes hitting 3rd, as I mentioned yesterday.  Jimmy Rollins, back in the lead-off spot as I also suggested yesterday, seems to have found his groove as well.  J-Roll collected 2 hits and a walk.

On the mound, Roy Halladay returned to his usual dominating form after allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in his last outing.  Tonight, he pitched extremely well, allowing only 5 hits and no runs over 8 innings.  Oddly enough, the hitting was a bigger story today than 8 shut-out innings from Halladay.  Because we expect Halladay to be good; but the offense has been so bad, seeing the Phillies score 6 runs was more exciting. 

JC Romero pitched an easy 9th inning and looked very sharp.   He hit the leadoff batter, but was lights-out after that.  The Phillies won by a score of 6-0 and Halladay finally experienced some run support.  Hopefully, this win will be a much needed boost for the team.

The starting pitching for the rest of the weekend has finally been announced.  Kyle Kendrick will be brought up to pitch Saturday as Jamie Moyer is placed on the DL.  And on Sunday, JA Happ will get his first start since 4/15/10 when an injury sent him to the DL.

As for Moyer, the news is not good.  An MRI showed that he has both a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor pronator muscle; those injuries are to the left forearm and elbow.  The two injuries may require surgery and this may also signal the end of Moyer’s career.  He is going for another exam early next week and should know for sure after that.  Either way, the injuries are more serious than what Happ had this year and Happ missed more than 3 months.

Moyer is in the last year of his contract with the Phillies and it is unlikely that a team would sign a 48-year old pitcher fresh off multiple injuries and possibly surgery.  So Moyer may have pitched his last inning.  Then again, if anyone can bounce back after such damage, it would be Moyer.  I wish him luck :O)

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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