The regular season is over for the Phillies and they closed it out with a win against the Marlins for a final season record of 93-69. And as usual, it was not without high drama; oh, and extra innings too. If we have learned anything over the years, it is that the Phillies do nothing the easy way.
Most of the bench players and rookies got some time in today to make their final bid for a post-season roster spot. Miguel Cairo made his case, going 2 for 4 with 1 RBI and a triple that tied up the game when he scored after a throwing error by the Fish. Ben Francisco went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a walk, however, he was picked off trying to steal THREE times. No kidding. Another thing we learned today? Francisco is not allowed to attempt a steal…ever.
The pitching was a bit trickier. JA Happ was only allowed to pitch 2 innings to save his arm for the post-season. Sadly, he allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning which bumped his ERA up to 2.93 for the season. Still, that and his 12 wins were an amazing feat for the rookie.
Kyle Kendrick may have pitched his way off the roster as he allowed 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings. The lefty Sergio Escalona looked a little shaky too as he allowed a runner to score, although it was charged to Brett Myers.
But the real drama unfolded in the 10th inning. Jayson Werth stepped to the plate with a runner in scoring position and 1 RBI needed to reach 100 for the season. In a shallow and classless act, the Marlins manager intentionally walked Werth, taking away any shot he had at the milestone. This game was meaningless to both teams, except for possibly a moral victory. The Marlins had nothing to gain or lose. In that case, an intentional walk is uncalled for and ruins the spirit of competition.
Add to that, the Marlins pitcher who was told to walk Werth was Dan Meyer, a Philadelphia-area native who grew up in a nearby town, rooting for the Phillies. He likely had tons of friends and family there to watch him, and what did they get to see? Their hometown hero boo’ed mercilessly by an upset crowd who wanted to see the game played out the way it was meant to. Poor Meyer! This kid did not deserve to be put in that position. Manager Fredi Gonzalez, you should be ashamed of yourself!
So Werth went without the 100 RBI mark, but the Phillies ended on a positive note. Some guy named Paul who?…I mean, Paul Hoover, the 3rd catcher who spent the whole year in the minors, got the winning, walk-off infield single to score John Mayberry Jr. and end the game with a final score of 7-6. The crowd exploded and the Phillies pummeled Hoover in adulation.
Afterwards, the players ran around the field tossing balls and t-shirts to the crowd in thanks for their support. Shane Victorino threw a ball all the way to the upper deck, into the broadcast booth and announcer, Tom McCarthy caught it on the fly.
The celebration is over now and the real work begins. The Phillies will take on the Rockies Wednesday; game time has been announced and it is 2:37pm…yuck! Hey, thanks again MLB…right in the middle of the day while most normal people are at work. Just sayin’.
Here is the Photo Album from today’s game. Go Phillies!
Photos by Jenn
The Phillies went down in flames last night against the Marlins, who are officially out of the post-season race. While the Phils have already clinched, home field advantage is still up for grabs but the team has been playing like they are not worried about home field. They looked tired and lifeless in a 2-7 loss last night. The team does play well on the road, with a 48-33 record this year. However, nothing beats the 10th man advantage at home.
Ryan Howard gave the Phils their only jolt of energy in the 1st inning when he blasted a 2-run homer. But pitcher Joe Blanton had a bad game, allowing 4 runs in the first 2 innings, which seemed to put the team right back to sleep. Overall, Blanton allowed 5 runs in 6 innings and took the loss. Several relief pitchers got some work and looked pretty good; Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey and Scott Eyre did not allow any runs in their outings and all 3 are recently recovered from injuries, so that is good news.
On the other hand, the rookie lefty Sergio Escalona, did not do well. He allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in 1 inning and now has a 5.25 ERA for the year. Escalona was the only lefty possibility out of the pen besides Eyre now that JC Romero is hurt. JA Happ may wind up in the bullpen as a result, because at this point, the Phillies cannot afford to put Escalona on the post-season roster.
If the Phillies can win their final 2 games, home field may still be possible. They own the tiebreaker over the Cardinals, but not the Dodgers. The Dodgers would need to lose their final 2 games. So at 4:10pm today, the Phillies will try to beat the Marlins and then tomorrow at 1:35pm. I will be at the last game and return with photos!
Congress & Steroids
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is looking into a possible Congressional inquest to see whether the regulations on dietary supplements should be revised by Congress. The inquiry is a result of over-the-counter supplements being tainted with steroids and illegal substances and Specter became interested in the subject due to JC Romero’s 50-game suspension this year.
Romero took an over-the-counter supplement after getting approval from the Major League Baseball Players Association but the supplement was illegally tainted. Romero sued the supplement manufacturer, but MLB refused to over-turn his ridiculous suspension. The CBS article on the topic goes into greater detail, but essentially these companies need to be held accountable. They are putting people’s lives at risk and it needs to stop. Best of luck to Senator Specter!
Photo by Jenn
The Phillies lost against the Astros last night by a score of 3-5 behind the obviously tired arm of Cliff Lee.
Lee has pitched a career high 231 2/3 innings this year and is showing signs of fatigue. Yesterday, he allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings and was all over the strike zone, seemingly unable to command his fastball. In fact, Lee has allowed 27 runs in his last 7 games after allowing only 3 runs in his first 5 games with the Phillies. This is not good news for the guy who is likely to be our #1 pitcher in the playoffs.
While Lee seems to be healthy though, other are not. JC Romero experienced soreness in his previously injured forearm after only 1 game back. Romero will seek a second opinion this week, but it does not look good for our #1 lefty in the pen.
Jamie Moyer, who has been wonderful in middle/long relief since being sent to the pen, is out for the year and will have surgery on 2 groin and 1 one abdomen muscles that he tore in the game on 9/29. Moyer will be sorely missed in October.
Another long reliever who did a great job in the pen is Chan Ho Park. Park is also out with an injury. He attempted to pitch in an Instructional League game in Clearwater a few days back and felt a pull in the injured hamstring which means, his recovery time is still uncertain.
Add to that, Scott Eyre is pitching through a bone chip in his elbow. He was effective in the clinching game on Wednesday, but how long can he go with that sort of pain? That leaves the pen with only 1 lefty who is healthy and that is the rookie, Sergio Escalona.
That means it is more and more likely that JA Happ will be moved to the bullpen for the post-season to add a lefty arm. And that is really unfortunate, especially since he and Joe Blanton are the only 2 starters who have been consistent all year. In fact, they are the only 2 starters who have recorded wins since 9/21/09 – the last 11 games.
Brett Myers is back, but he is rusty and will need some work to be ready for the post-season. The Phillies need to get their pitching staff back on track and healthy if they are to go far in the playoffs. We will see how it plays out over the last 3 regular season games; the Marlins are up…game time tonight is 7:05pm.
Photo by Jenn
The Phillies played back-to-back games in Miami yesterday against the 2nd place Marlins and split the series. Here is a recap:
Joe Blanton pitched 7 scoreless innings while the Phillies offense played some small ball and squeaked out 4 runs off the Marlins ace, Josh Johnson. They blew the game wide open though with a 5-run 8th inning. Every starting position player had at least one hit and 5 different players collected RBI’s.
Miguel Cairo got a rare start at 3rd base while Pedro Feliz took a break; Cairo went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored. Ryan Howard led the team in RBI’s with 3, none of which came off home runs. He got it done with base hits, sacrifices and some really good base running. Out of 9 runs scored in the 9-3 win, only 1 came off a homer; Raul Ibanez hit a solo shot in the 8th.
The pen ran into trouble in the bottom of the 8th with rookie Sergio Escalona allowing 3 runs on 2 hits. Tyler Walker allowed a hit as well, but eventually got the final 2 outs of the inning. Clay Condrey pitched a hitless 9th inning; it is great to see Condrey back after a long stint on the DL!
The Phillies looked a bit sleepy in game two.
In fact, the bats took a little nap for 9 innings and they lost the game 0-3. The only 2 hits in the game came from Chase Utley who hit a single and a double. I guess they were exhausted after a 9-run game earlier? Because the Marlins pitcher, Anibal Sanchez is certainly not their best; his 2-7 record and ERA of 4.50 going into the game should be evidence enough.
Jamie Moyer did his job and pitched 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk, which is basically what the Phillies expected from him. But the lack of offense did them in.
So, having split the doubleheader, the Phillies will need to concentrate on winning the final game of the series tonight. Cole Hamels gets the ball at 7:10pm.
The magic number is now 5!
Cairo photo by Jenn
While not without drama, the Phillies did manage to take 2 games in this 3-game series from the Atlanta Braves, dampening their playoff hopes. Rain also dampened the afternoon with a 2-hour delay taking Cliff Lee out of the game after only 4 innings of work. Lee was on pace to pitch another great game, but on this day, it would be up to the bullpen.
The first inning however, did not bode well for the Phils; Shane Victorino got tossed out of the game for arguing with an umpire after he was tossed out stealing second. Victorino slammed his helmet to the ground and then said a few choice words to the ump. Shane needs to watch himself; with his second ejection this year, he now has a reputation with the umps of being a hot-head. In the bottom of the first inning, Jimmy Rollins dropped the ball trying to tag out Matt Diaz who was caught between bases and a run scored on the play. The run would have scored anyway, but the ejection followed by the missed ball made things look grim. Ben Francisco took over for Victorino and hit an RBI double in the third to tie the game and give the Phillies a lift. In the 4th, a double by Raul Ibanez and a single by Pedro Feliz put two more runs on the board. The rain came and a 2-hour delay ensued. After the delay, Chase Utley nailed an RBI triple to make the score 4-1 and the bullpen took over. Tyler Walker pitched 2 innings with Sergio Escalona and Clay Condrey sharing the 7th. Ryan Madson returned to his 8th inning role and took the 4-1 lead into the 9th. Brad Lidge still looks like crap, but with a 3-run lead, manager Charlie Manuel gave him the ball anyway. As expected, Lidge got into trouble with 2 outs and gave up a run. He finally struck out the last batter and all Phillies fans breathed a collective sigh of relief. Tomorrow is an off day and then a double-header on Tuesday with the Fish! The magic number is now 6! Photography Phun A few weeks ago, I attended a Photo Workshop at an Iron Pigs game (Phillies AAA club). I experimented with different lenses and camera settings in a very low-light environment. It was great fun and our group had access to the photo pit before the game right next to the Pigs dugout. I got some great close-up shots of the players! Here is the full Photo Album from the game; you will notice a lot of different light environments…this is a result of changing lenses, camera settings and just plain fooling around :O) Some of them are really awesome, and some are just a tad off, but I promise you, all of them were FUN! We even got the Mets AAA team to pose for us:
Photos by Jenn
The 9th inning drama needs to stop! Seriously. Ok, we won and I am happy, of course. But are we really going to have to go through this EVERY game? And what if the Phillies only have a 1-run lead? You can NOT trust a 1-run lead to Lidge anymore. Luckily, the Phillies have a nice 8-game pad in the division to figure this out, but with 3 games against the Marlins up next, they had better think quick!
Hope you enjoy the pictures!
The first inning however, did not bode well for the Phils; Shane Victorino got tossed out of the game for arguing with an umpire after he was tossed out stealing second. Victorino slammed his helmet to the ground and then said a few choice words to the ump. Shane needs to watch himself; with his second ejection this year, he now has a reputation with the umps of being a hot-head.
In the bottom of the first inning, Jimmy Rollins dropped the ball trying to tag out Matt Diaz who was caught between bases and a run scored on the play. The run would have scored anyway, but the ejection followed by the missed ball made things look grim.
Ben Francisco took over for Victorino and hit an RBI double in the third to tie the game and give the Phillies a lift. In the 4th, a double by Raul Ibanez and a single by Pedro Feliz put two more runs on the board. The rain came and a 2-hour delay ensued.
After the delay, Chase Utley nailed an RBI triple to make the score 4-1 and the bullpen took over. Tyler Walker pitched 2 innings with Sergio Escalona and Clay Condrey sharing the 7th. Ryan Madson returned to his 8th inning role and took the 4-1 lead into the 9th. Brad Lidge still looks like crap, but with a 3-run lead, manager Charlie Manuel gave him the ball anyway. As expected, Lidge got into trouble with 2 outs and gave up a run. He finally struck out the last batter and all Phillies fans breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Tomorrow is an off day and then a double-header on Tuesday with the Fish! The magic number is now 6!
A few weeks ago, I attended a Photo Workshop at an Iron Pigs game (Phillies AAA club). I experimented with different lenses and camera settings in a very low-light environment. It was great fun and our group had access to the photo pit before the game right next to the Pigs dugout. I got some great close-up shots of the players! Here is the full Photo Album from the game; you will notice a lot of different light environments…this is a result of changing lenses, camera settings and just plain fooling around :O) Some of them are really awesome, and some are just a tad off, but I promise you, all of them were FUN! We even got the Mets AAA team to pose for us:
Photos by Jenn
The losing streak, 6 long, depressing games, is finally over! And the cure to what ails the Phillies? You guessed it – Road Trip! Landing in Tampa to play their 2008 World Series foes, the Phillies rolled right over the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. Notching 6 runs in the first half of the 1st inning set the tone for the game. Some good pitching, lots of hitting, a few home runs and a trio of Rays errors got the job done.
Jamie Moyer put forth a great effort tonight and allowed just one run in 6 innings of work; he struck out 4, walked 3 and allowed 5 hits. Former Phillie, Pat Burrell, was mystified by his old teammate, going 0-2 with a walk against Moyer. Sorry Pat – and yes, we still miss your presence :O(
As for the offense, Chase Utley was on fire tonight! He went 3 for 5 with a single, double and a home run, driving in 4 runs. Shane Victorino joined the Utley-Show with 2 hits, 2 walks and an RBI. The rookie, John Mayberry, stood out tonight as well with a 3-run homer. Yesterday at the Phillies Phestival, Mayberry was told by a fan, “I am glad to see you here in the big leagues!”; Mayberry responded with, “So am I.” He showed his gratitude tonight. Mayberry is now batting .292 with 3 homers and 7 RBI in 24 at-bats.
A few more rookies / new Phillies were given the opportunity to shine tonight, as more players are down with injuries (Condrey put on DL today; Lidge & Eyre still out; Ibanez still out with groin strain). Tyler Walker pitched 2 scoreless innings and then Sergio Escalona handled the 9th; Escalona nailed down the final 3 outs and the Phillies went on to win, 10-1.
In other injury / illness news, Ryan Howard did join the team today after an infection that sidelined him for a few days. Howard served as the DH and went 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Great to see Ryan feeling better!
Be sure to check out my PHOTO ALBUM from yesterday’s Phillies Phestival in case you missed it earlier today.
Photos by Jenn
The Phillies held their annual Phestival yesterday to raise money for the search in finding a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Players, their wives, broadcasters and Phillies staff were on hand to sign autographs, play games for prizes with the fans and auction off items for the charity. The Phillies Wives sold grab bags for $20 each which contained a variety of goodies; I wound up with a PILE of fun stuff including a Chase Utley signed hat, given out by Mrs. Utley herself, a Phanatic bobblehead, a few signed balls, a yearbook and other cool items. In addition, I had some of my photos signed by the players to add to my collection.
Cole Hamels wins my Photo of The Day award. He was gracious enough to pose for me, as were many others.
PHOTO ALBUM from the day to see more!
Check out my
PHOTO ALBUM from the day to see more!
The player in highest demand yesterday was none other than RAUUUUUUL Ibanez! And Ryan Howard was absent from the event due to his recent illness, which has been termed “acute sinusitis.” While some fans were disappointed to miss out on a rare Howard autograph, most were more concerned for his health and wished him well. Howard did not travel with the team last night to Florida, but he may fly in before the game tonight. It will depend on how he is feeling.
Overall, the Phestival was a huge success. The money raised surpassed any previous year’s total with $867,670 going to the ALS cause. And as you may imagine, with a World Championship last year, more and more fans were interested in attending. It was crowded as usual, but ran very smoothly, in slight contrast to the previous year, which was a little more hectic. The only real criticism I have is that the Phillies need to put a limit on the number of tickets each person can buy. I saw several people in line to exchange autograph tickets before the gates opened who had stacks of tickets 3 inches high. 2 people told me they had bought 75 tickets and 80 tickets, respectively! So, it is no wonder that many fans this week were complaining about not being able to get autograph tickets…a few greedy people bought them all!
What really burns me up about this is not only that they took away opportunities for more fans to support the charity, but that these people who hoard the autograph tickets are only doing so to make money. They get bunches of autographs and then sell them on E-bay, depriving REAL fans of their chance to meet a few players and get some souvenirs. This year, The Phillies did finally limit the number of tickets you could exchange at the ticket window to 1 per player signing station, which helped. But, they really need to limit the number of tickets sold to one person when they go on sale. 5,500 people showed up, but how many more would have if the tickets were spread out amongst more people? More people = more money for the charity. Maybe next year, they will rethink that part of it.
In other news, Clay Condrey has been placed on the 15-day DL to punch another hole in our already beleaguered bullpen. Condrey has an oblique strain, which may account for his recent struggles. Sergio Escalona will be called up again to take his spot. Condrey was at the Phestival though, signing for the fans, even though he appeared to be just a little bummed out. I wish him a speedy recovery!
Your daily reminder: Be sure to elect the Phillies to the All-Star game! VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!
Photos by Jenn