Tagged: Scott Eyre

Win Streak Ends Along with Alumni Weekend

The Phillies have been on quite a roll lately, winning their last 3 games against the Braves and 12 out of 14 since the All-Star break.  But today, the Phils momentum puttered out as they lost to the Braves, 2-6.  Rookie Adam Morgan started the game and went 5 innings allowing 4 runs with 7 hits and 3 walks.  He did not look awful except for all the walks and the big 3-run homer, but that was all it took today.
2015.08.02 MorganMorgan certainly kept the outfielder’s busy.  Defense was mostly very good but a lot of balls kept squeezing through the infield. 2015.08.02 Defense

And the super-hot Phillies offense was certainly cooled off by Julio Teheran, who apparently only pitches well against the Phillies.  There were many swings and misses and dull grounders tossed about, with the exception of a few solid hits in the 2nd and 5th innings.  Cody Asche and Odubel Herrera accounted for the only two RBI in the game.
2015.08.02 OffenseThere were many Alumni on hand over the weekend, so at least that was entertaining.  Today I saw Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Brad Lidge, Matt Stairs, Nick Punto, Mike Lieberthal, Scott Eyre, John Kruk and Mariano Duncan.  They all appeared to be having a good time. 2015.08.02 Alum

Probably Burrell had the most fun.  He was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame yesterday and I got a good look at the plaque today.  I also got a good look at Pat celebrating by smoking….eh…something?  You be the judge.  Clearly, he is unaware of the advent of the zoom lens.  But this whole episode does go a long way towards explaining the purse he was seen carrying around all weekend.  Ok, the Phillies claim it is a “satchel.”  Whatever the case, I guess he really needed it to carry his….eh….important stuff?  How is that for investigative reporting?  LOL!
2015.08.02 BurrellAnd here is my Photo of the Day:  Justin DeFratus, pre-game, pretending to karate kick a small child.  This will make me laugh for days … P8023873AE

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game and pre-game Behind the Pinstripes taping.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri except “Purse” photo, via Twitter, @Phillies

Halladay’s Historic No-Hitter Opens Phillies Postseason

After 13 years in the big leagues, Roy Halladay finally got his first taste of postseason play today against the Reds.  He wasted no time taking full advantage of the opportunity.  Halladay pitched a no-hitter and ended just 1 walk shy of his second perfect game of the season.  The no-no was only the second ever in baseball history to be thrown in the postseason.  And Halladay also became the first pitcher to ever throw a no hitter in both the regular season and the postseason.

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Prior to the game, there were face painters, games, food and music from Mr. Greengenes:

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That was followed by batting practice, player introductions and the ceremonial first pitch thrown by former Phillies pitcher, Scott Eyre.  And of course, rally towels:

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As the game began, Halladay relied on his defense as he followed the lead of Carlos Ruiz, who called an amazing game behind the plate.

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Halladay was so good in this game, that he actually had more hits in the game than the Reds batters did.  With two outs and two men on in the 2nd, Halladay smashed an RBI-single to left.  Shane Victorino followed that up with 2 more RBI before Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was pulled from the game with less than 2 innings pitched.  With one run in the first on a Chase Utley sac fly, these four runs total were all Halladay needed.

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After mowing down Reds hitters, both Halladay and the Phillies walked away with a huge win in Game 1 of the NLDS.  The no-hitter was the icing on the cake.

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I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to witness this extraordinary feat.  It is a game I will never forget.  The energy and excitement in the stadium was so thick you could feel it on your skin like thousands of goosebumps.  Strangers celebrated with each other uninhibited, as if they were long time friends.  I personally high-fived more people after the game then I ever have in my entire life combined.  A woman later showed me her hands, which were bright red, and said she had high-fived so many people that her hands actually hurt.  Of course, she was not that upset about it.

Today was an amazing start to the Phillies postseason, but there are still 10 more wins ahead to reach the ultimate goal.  The team will be off tomorrow to soak in this win and then it is back to work again on Friday.  Roy Oswalt gets the ball next; he has a very tough act to follow.

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.  And this is a few shot video clips from the 9th inning, basically to show how loud it was in there.  Sorry about the head…had some 6’5″ dude in front of me and I could not reach too well over him.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

NLDS Roster Announced


6a00e5513d181b8834013487fe1fcf970c-350wi.pngThe Phillies announced today who will be on the 25-man roster for the NLDS and there are really no surprises.  Those notable players who did not make it include Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez and David Herndon.  Here is the breakdown:

Pitchers

Roy Halladay

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton

Brad Lidge

Ryan Madson

Jose Contreras

 J.C. Romero

Chad Durbin

Antonio Bastardo

 

Catchers

Carlos Ruiz

Brian Schneider

 

Infielders                            Outfielders

Ryan Howard

Jayson Werth

Chase Utley

Shane Victorino

Jimmy Rollins

Raul Ibanez

Placido Polanco

Ben Francisco

Wilson Valdez

Ross Gload

Mike Sweeney

Domonic Brown

Greg Dobbs

 

 

Going with 10 pitchers instead of 11 allows the Phillies to add more fire power to the bench.  They expect the 3 starters to go deep into games so extra long men in the pen will likely not be necessary.  Blanton will fill the role if needed.

As for Ruiz and Romero, manager Charlie Manuel says both players are fine and ready to play after suffering minor injuries on Sunday.

If you are going to the game tomorrow, here is the information about pre-game festivities and other highlights:

2:00 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Party begins on Citizens Bank Way. Features music by Mr. Greengenes; Highlights include an inflatable obstacle course for children, face painters, an extreme rock wall climb and a Velcro race.

2:35 p.m.
Ashburn Alley opens.

3:05 p.m.
All gates open. Rally towels for all fans, compliments of StubHub.

3:30 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Rally on Citizens Bank Way! Special guests include former Phillies Scott Eyre and Greg “The Bull” Luzinski, Comcast SportsNet analyst Ricky Bottalico, the Phillie Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls. Music provided by Mr. Greengenes; Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs, will emcee.

4:40 p.m. – On-field pre-game ceremony begins.

4:44 p.m. – Introduction of Cincinnati Reds.

4:48 p.m. – Introduction of Philadelphia Phillies.

4:54 p.m.  – National Anthem: Sung by country singer Catherine Raney, niece of Tim McGraw, who will be representing the Tug McGraw Foundation.

4:56 p.m.  – Color Guard introduced.

4:58 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Phillies alumnus Scott Eyre.

5:07 p.m.  – Play ball! Phillies vs. Reds game begins.

5th Inning – “Lady PhaPha” makes her postseason debut.

7th Inning – God Bless America: Sung by national recording artist Lauren Hart, a Philadelphia native whose songs have been heard on television series and soap operas.

See you there!

Ready To Spring Into Action

With just under 3 days left until the official start of Spring Training, the Phillies are getting ready to make a push for a third consecutive National League pennant.  The position players and the bench players are basically set but the pitching situation has a lot of question marks.  As for the starters, will Cole Hamels bounce back after a disappointing 2009?  Will JA Happ suffer from the sophomore slump?  And who will fill the 5th starters spot?

The rotation currently looks like this: Roy Halladay, Hamels, Joe Blanton and Happ.  The 5th spot looks to be a toss-up between Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer.  Kendrick’s ups and downs plus his lack of diversity in pitch selection do not bode well.  Then again, Moyer is coming off 3 surgeries, lengthy hospital stays and also has his age (47) working against him.  Moyer told Comcast Sportsnet this week that his recovery is basically done and he is ready to try pitching again.  How that will work out remains to be seen.Questions.jpg

Bigger question marks loom in the bullpen.  It appears that the Phillies only solid lefty, JC Romero, may not be ready to go until May after his arm surgery late last season.  Two other solid pen pieces are gone this year; Scott Eyre retired and Chan Ho Park will not return, although, Park has yet to find a team willing to take him on.  Youngsters Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona may fill the lefty void, but at what cost?  Both were wild last year during their travels between the majors and minors and will need to really step up this Spring if they are to be counted on this season.

The closer position is also a big question; will we see the perfect Brad Lidge of 2008 or the first to worst Lidge of 2009?  The injury and surgery history with Lidge do not breed confidence.  However, he should at least be motivated by the thought of redeeming himself after last year.  If he fails to do so, former closer and off-season pick-up Danys Baez may be able to fill the role.  As for the rest of the pen, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin will return as two of the few solid pieces left over from the last few years.

Aside from pitching, there does not seem to be much to worry about.  Placido Polanco may need time to adjust to the move from 2nd to 3rd base, but he has done that before so the issue should be minimal.  He has certainly added a better bat to the line-up. 

Jimmy Rollins will need to get off to a fast start to boost his confidence after a forgettable 2009.  Rollins has stated he will show up to camp with the pitchers and catchers on the first day to get a head start; This will be a nice contrast to his usual routine of being the last player to report in previous years.  As for the Rollins crystal ball, all he would say this year is that Halladay will be a 20+ game winner.  Not a huge leap for Psychic Rollins, but we’ll take it.

As for the rest of the gang, if they can stay healthy, this will be a monster line-up for opponents to deal with.  But first, let’s see how Spring Training goes :O)

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

New Year, New Reliever

Today the Phillies agreed to terms with 32-year old right-handed relief pitcher Danys Baez, formerly of the Orioles.  Pending the physical exam, Baez will be given a 2-year contract.  He went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 games last year, did not pitch in 2008 due to ligament surgery on his right pitching elbow and had a dismal 2007 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 games.  Baez does have closing experience, which might be helpful if Brad Lidge is not ready to pitch in 2010. 

However, this move is still a bit of a head scratcher.  Baez had two good seasons; his rookie year in 2001 and with Tampa Bay in 2005.  But his lifetime ERA is 4.04 with a record of 35-49.  Charlie Manuel managed him from 2001-2001 when he played for the Indians, which we all know means that Chuck likes him a bunch, as he does most of his ex-players.  It is easy to assume that played a factor in the decision.

Also, Baez is a righty, and the pen is in desperate need of lefties with only JC Romero signed and a few rookie possibilities.  Scott Eyre’s future is still uncertain.  So, this move tells us a few things:  #1 – The Phillies are not confident that Lidge will be game-ready in April.  #2 – The Phillies are willing to take their chances with the left-handed rookies, Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo.  #3 – Although we do not know the contract amount yet, it is safe to assume Baez came cheap.  That means, the Phillies have blown their payroll and this will be the last big move, aside from handing out a few raises.


P4137079 jmoyer.jpgAnother pitcher whose status is uncertain is Jamie Moyer.  He has had 2 surgeries already since September, 3 hospital visits, 2 blood infections, a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) and a partridge in a pear tree.  Well, at least there was a little holiday cheer thrown in for him.  All that and he is now scheduled for surgery #3 in January on his right knee to repair his meniscus.  At 47 years of age, one has to wonder if Moyer will be able to recover from such an ordeal and come back to pitch effectively.  Then again, if anyone can defy the laws of aging, it would be Moyer.  I wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery!

I would also like to take this time to wish everyone out there a very Happy New Year!  Be safe :O)

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Bullpen Shopping

With the big trades now out of the way, Phillies fans are still left wondering who will fill the voids in the bullpen for 2010.  Chan Ho Park is unlikely to return as discussions with the club have not been fruitful.  Scott Eyre is still a maybe and those returning from injury, like Brad Lidge and JC Romero, may not be ready to go in April.  There are a number of names being tossed around like the ageless John Smoltz, Bob Howry of the Giants and Kiko Calero of the Marlins.  However, it does not look like the Phils are close to a solution yet.

The two young lefties they used a bit last year who may fill some holes are Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona.  Bastardo appeared in only 6 games before being put on the DL with a shoulder injury.  He was very wild in the zone and oddly enough, pitched better to right-handed batters than lefties.  Bastardo shows potential, but there is still a big question mark as to whether he can cut it in the Majors.  Escalona pitched in 14 games and ended with a 4.61 ERA.  Lefties hit only .200 off him.  But at 25 years of age and lacking experience, how much he can help out as a lefty specialist is unknown. 

The bottom line is, the Phillies need bullpen arms.  And the ones they have need to get and stay healthy.  IF GM Ruben Amaro Jr. cannot pull off a decent trade and are forced to rely on youngsters like Bastardo and Escalona, it is going to be another rocky year for the pen.

As for the rest of the team, the Phillies have guaranteed a solid infield for at least the next 2 years as they have picked up the option on Jimmy Rollins’ contract. The 8.5 million dollar option ensures Rollins will stay with the club at least through 2011.
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This move was a no-brainer; Rollins is an integral part of the nucleus of this team.  He is also the best dancer on the team, which in terms of sheer entertainment value, is totally worth the 8.5 million.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Winter Meetings At Half-Way Point

In the first two days of the Winter Meetings, the Phillies have been seeking out bullpen help, so far to no avail.  It now appears unlikely that they will be able to sign back Chan Ho Park due to differences of opinion, although he is not yet ruled out.  Scott Eyre is also in limbo since his elbow surgery.

With the revelations that Brad Lidge, JC Romero and Jamie Moyer may not be ready for Spring Training after their off-season surgeries, the bullpen is becoming more and more of a concern.  Moyer may go back to the starting rotation, but that remains to be seen.  Either way, with these players unavailable, this leaves a big hole in the back end of the pen unless they find players to fill the gap.

Gload.jpgThe Phillies did pick up another bench piece late last night, signing former Marlins outfielder, Ross Gload to a 2-year deal.  Gload hit .261 with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 230 at-bats with the Marlins.  He turns 34 years old in April but the real head scratcher here is that he is a lefty.  With a line-up that is loaded with lefties, it is curious to me that they would not sign a righty.  But as usual, the method to the Phillies madness is not always clear.

It does seem that Baseball America understands the madness to a certain degree.  They named the Phillies the Organization of the Year for 2009, which was announced at the meetings yesterday.  This award is given each year to the organization that excels in both the major leagues and minor leagues with improving their teams and developing talent.  Now let us see how much of that young talent the Phillies can hang onto while attempting to sign players for the 2010 season.

Starting pitcher Roy Halladay seems to still be in the rumor mill for the Phillies as well as several bullpen pitchers.  But Halladay will command a huge salary for 2010 and the Phillies are quickly running out of money.  That means if they choose to go after him, someone else will likely have to go. 

 

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The latest rumor is that Joe Blanton could be moved, but as most rumors, there is no way to know how credible the information is.  My guess is that Halladay, with 1 year and $15.75 million dollars left on his current contract, is not a real possibility.  The expense is too great and there is no guarantee they can sign him past that one year.

It is more likely that any big moves will take place later in the off-season.  However, with two days left of meetings, anything can happen.

By the way, this is my 500th blog entry on MLBlogs!  People often tell me I never shut up, but who knew? 

A few other associations for the number 500 are:

  • Many NASCAR races often use the number 500 at the end of their race names.
  • An Italian car, the Fiat 500.
  • An HTTP status code for Internal Server Error.
  • An SMTP status code meaning a syntax error has occurred due to unrecognized command.

So, I am either a totally awesome Italian race car, or just an annoying computer error.  Either way, thanks for reading! :O)

Blanton photo: Jenn; Gload photo: Miami Herald

 

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