It was another bad night for Kyle Kendrick. Against the Reds, Kendrick pitched 6 1/3 innings while allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits, including a 2-run homer to ex-Phillie Scott Rolen. Chase Utley committed an error at the start of the 6th inning which gave Kendrick a little extra rope to hang himself with.
Kendrick still seems to have trouble buckling down and making pitches after something bad happens, like an error that puts the opposing team’s pitcher on base. No pitcher is happy when this occurs, but the good ones do not let it bother them and proceed to work out of the mess. Some days, Kendrick looks sure of himself on the mound; and other days, he looks out of place. But the Phillies have few other options with JA Happ still not recovering well from his injury.
Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto is similar to Kendrick in the consistency department. He will have a few really bad games, then some really good ones. Unfortunately for the Phils, tonight Cueto had a good game and the offense sputtered against him. Phillies batters had a few opportunities to pounce on Cueto, but they came up short each time, going only 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position. In all, they left 4 men on base and had 8 hits.
Utley got tossed out trying to stretch a single into a double and both Raul Ibanez and Brian Schneider hit into double plays. Although on replay, Ibanez should have been called safe. Ryan Howard had 2 hits in the game, including a triple, and he scored one of only two runs in the game for the Phillies. Ibanez hit a solo homer in the 9th with two outs.
The bullpen did not help out either; David Herndon gave up a hit which allowed one of Kendrick’s base runners to score and in the 8th inning, Mike Zagurski allowed a run on one hit and a walk. In all, it was an evening to forget as the Phillies lost by a score of 7-2.
In injury news, Placido Polanco did not play again today after getting another cortisone injection in his sore elbow on Sunday. He may play tomorrow but it looks like this will be an on-going issue for the rest of the season. Polanco will play through the pain and possibly have surgery in the off-season. That makes one wonder how productive he will be the rest of the year, but all we can do is wait and see. But a slightly banged up Polanco is probably better that leaving Wilson Valdez at third all year.
I have also just heard that Utley was pulled in the 9th inning because he hurt his thumb sliding into 2nd base. He will have an MRI tomorrow…cross your fingers.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies wrapped up the series with the Blue Jays today and also ended interleague play for the year…finally! As usual, interleague play was not kind to the Phillies and most are happy it is over.
However, there were a few highlights, including JA Happ’s first career complete game shut-out yesterday. Happ allowed only 5 hits in the game and gave the bullpen a much needed rest. The Phillies offense found their bats after a spanking from manager Charlie Manuel in a closed door meeting, and the team racked up ten runs in the game for Happ. The very Happ-Y pitcher is now 5-0 on the season with a 3.00 ERA.
Today, the Phillies sent Jamie Moyer to the mound and he allowed 4 runs in 5 innings, including 3 home runs. After the 5th, Manuel decided to take advantage of his rested pen and sent Chan Ho Park in who pitched 2 scoreless, hitless innings. It is nice to see Park finally settling into his role and feeling good after getting hit with a batted ball two days ago.
With the Phillies up 5-4 in the 8th, Ryan Madson was set up to have an easy inning; he got the first out, Scott Rolen hit a single, but then a routine double play ball to Eric Bruntlett turned into a disaster. Bruntlett, filling in for Jimmy Rollins the last 3 days, dropped the ball leaving 2 runners on with only 1 out. Poor Madson was sweating by the time he got to the 3rd out, but he got there and Pedro Feliz snagged a pop-up to end the threat.
Brad Lidge came in to get the save and, as usual, it was an adventure. A bunt single, then a walk and hearts were racing again. But Lidge got a pop-out, another out on a run down and finally capped it off with Bruntlett snagging a grounder and tossing to Ryan Howard for the final out. Whew! Finally…a series win. Time to exhale…
Iron Pigs (AAA)
Yesterday, I attended an Iron Pigs game and saw Drew Carpenter pitch. Carpenter has been a highly touted player in the minors and he did pitch a shut-out through 8 innings. However, his fastball tops out at around 80mph (or at least it did last night). Solid pitcher, but I am not sure the Phillies need another Jamie Moyer in the rotation. Carlos Carassco and Kyle Drabek (AA) may still be possibilities to fill the hole left by Brett Myers. Going outside the organization to get an experienced arm would be much better, but there are still very few pitchers available. We shall see…
Mike Cervenak (photo) is doing very well after suffering a broken wrist last month; he was 2 for 5 in the game and is batting .313. Mike Spidale (OF) led the pack with 3 hits and is batting .353; and Lou Marson (C) has been doing better of late – he had 2 hits and 2 RBI last night.
Here is a PHOTO ALBUM from the Iron Pigs game, including shots from the fireworks show afterwards and even a 3-D fireworks shot! I held the camera up to the 3-D glasses and it actually worked…check it out!
The Phillies have the day off tomorrow to travel to Atlanta for a 3 game series before returning home on July 3rd to face the Mets. Joe Blanton will pitch on Tuesday; game time is 7:00pm.
Photos by Jenn
It was a bad, bad, bad day for the Phillies; Raul Ibanez was put on the 15-day disabled list to start it off. He has a strained left groin. Then, a not-so-fun mix of bad pitching and sleepy defense led to a sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays. What’s next? The players get eaten by a swarm of locusts? It’s a famine and plague of biblical proportions.
John Mayberry Jr. was called up to replace Ibanez and he had an interesting day; a home run, an assist to nail a runner at the plate, but he also made a huge mistake by taking his eyes off Scott Rolen who turned a single into a double on the goof and wound up scoring as a result. Then again, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley did the exact same thing earlier in the game to help a Blue Jay advance to second after a walk. And even worse than that, Pedro Feliz committed his 4th error of the year on what should have been an easy double play ball in the 8th inning. That turned Clay Condrey’s day into a real nightmare; Condrey allowed 1 earned run and 1 unearned on 3 hits and a walk without even recording an out. Ouch!
Aside from all that, Joe Blanton continued the trend of Phillies starters totally sucking…he lasted only 5 1/3 innings and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits and a walk. And so the bullpen was sent out there once again to blow the small, one run lead. With their “job” completed and the Jays now having a 7-5 lead, the Phillies came to bat in the bottom of the 8th with the locusts still swarming…
Greg Dobbs, who apparently has no fear of insects, smacked a solo home run to get the game within 1 run. Dobbs passed the torch to Rollins, who hit a double and then Shane Victorino drove him in – game tied, 7-7.
But hey, have no fear Jay’s fans…the bullpen WILL blow it AGAIN! Ryan Madson gave up a solo home run to Rod Barajas, the first batter of the 9th inning, after having him in a 0-2 hole in the count. So the Phillies entered the 9th inning down 8-7.
Utley walked; Ryan Howard (give ya 3 guesses and the 1st two don’t count)….yup! Struck out! Jayson Werth flied out and then Feliz got a base hit. That brought Mayberry to the plate with a chance for the rookie to play the hero – but no such luck. He popped out and that ended an excruciating day for the Phillies. I have nothing left to say except – AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH! Now please excuse me while I get horribly drunk and pass out…
Dobbs Photo – Jenn
In this 3-game series against a very good Red Sox team, the Phillies managed to escape with one win yesterday. The game did not start out great, as JA Happ struggled in the 2nd inning and gave up 4 runs, including back-to-back homers. But Happ went to his Happ-Y place and recovered nicely; although he walked 6 and allowed 5 runs total, Happ still managed to pitch though almost 6 innings to give the bullpen a much needed rest.
The Phillies offense battled back and scored 4 runs in the 5th and then 6 in the 7th inning. Singles by Pedro Feliz, Chris Coste and Chase Utley and a double from Ryan Howard led the charge in the 5th. Then in the 7th, Jimmy Rollins emerged from his slump and hit a lead-off home run. The rest of the team jumped on his back, decided to Hang Ten and ride the wave for 6 more runs which included 2 of those runs scored after Sox pitching hit J-Roll in his 2nd at-bat of the inning and then issued a walk to Shane Victorino all with the bases loaded to force in runs. The game ended with a score of 11-6; the exact same score of the previous day’s game, but this time, it was in the Phillies favor.
So the Phillies get a break from baseball today, but Jamie Moyer and many other players will do their part for charity tonight at the Philly Celebrity Waiters Dinner at the ballpark. Benefiting the Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin, which assists children in distress, many players will don aprons and serve food and drink to Philly locals in an effort to raise money for the cause. It is always nice to see athletes using their free time to help the community. Now just try not to drop a serving tray on anyone’s head… ;O)
Tuesday night, the Phillies will host the Toronto Blue Jays for some more nerve-wracking interleague play. Cole Hamels will take the mound at 7:05pm and Phillies fans will get to say hello to a few old friends; Scott Rolen and Rod Barajas. So I know how Philly fans feel about Rolen, who publicly criticized the team years ago when he left, but he is still a cutie. Please try to be gracious and not boo him…asking too much? Oh well.
Last night, the MLB Network premiered its new reality TV series, “The Pen,” which will follow the Phillies bullpen from Spring Training all the way to the All-Star break this year. Last night’s episode gave a behind the scenes look at how pitchers are evaluated in Spring Training, how the 5th starter was chosen, what some of the players do in their free time with their kids and family, the impact of losing Harry Kalas and everything in between. They even showed the agony that JA Happ went through when he had to call home to tell his family that Chan Ho Park was given the 5th spot and that he was unsure if he would make the team. Cameras followed him as he sat on his bed in the hotel and made the phone call. Gut wrenching, emotion stuff. It was absolutely outstanding and after the hour was up, I was sad that it had to end. But luckily, a new episode will air every Sunday night. Make sure to tune in!
Rollins Photo – Jenn