Friday night’s Phillies game against the Diamondbacks was utterly awful. The only entertainment of the game turned out to be a young fan who ran onto the field, stripped off his shirt and danced around, much to the dismay of security officers chasing him. The run down took quite a while, but security eventually tacked him. It was pretty amusing; even the arresting officer was seen grinning as he escorted the fan off the field.
And yes, that was the highlight of the game, unfortunately. The 10-2 loss was ripe with struggling bats, bad base running and many errors. The Phillies managed only 7 hits and both RBI came off the bat of Cameron Rupp, who had a single and a triple. Although, the triple would have been an inside-the-park home run had Rupp actually been running instead of doing the home run trot around first base.
In the field, Cesar Hernandez was flat out awful. He had 2 errors in the game, making it a total of 7 already this year. Tommy Joseph had an error as well and his batting average has dipped down to .250 as he went 0-3 in the game. Joseph has had 2 hits in his last 27 at-bats.
But the worst player of the game has to go to pitcher Adam Morgan. He allowed 7 runs, 4 earned, in 4.1 innings and now has an ERA of 6.49. Later in the game, Elvis Araujo gave up 3 runs, including back-to-back homers in the 7th inning.
The Phillies started out the year with pretty good pitching; that has suddenly gone way downhill with 4 out of 5 starters getting blown out in the last week. The offense is still awful and the defense seems to get worse by the day. On the bright side, maybe another person or a small animal will run out onto the field again today. We seriously need some entertainment.
Here is the full Photo Album from Friday’s game.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri
Everyone entered the ballpark on Sunday worried about a wash out. Huge, violent storms were predicted to start close to game time. But instead of rainstorms, the Phillies provided thunder with their bats in the final game against the Brewers.
It was another Retro Night at the ballpark, so the Phillies wore 1970’s uniforms. They also brought Mike Schmidt and Greg “The Bull” Luzinski to toss first pitched in honor of the 70’s. And of course, no 70’s revival is complete with the streaking Phanatic.
Aaron Nola started the game and, despite getting into some rough spots, he pitched very well. Nola did not allow a run over 6 innings, striking out 9 Brewers. The defense pitched in, as well, to keep runs off the board.
And then the Phillies bats suddenly came to life. Odubel Herrera had his 4th 4-hit game of his career. The only Phillies position player without a hit was Freddy Galvis, but he did collect an RBI on a sacrifice.
In the 5th inning, things really heated up. Tommy Joseph hit what appeared to be a 3-run homer, which was called back as a double due to fan interference. Here are the three idiots who nearly ruined a good inning, celebrating as they got tossed out:
For the record, real fans do not risk losing runs for their team just to snag a baseball. Rant over…
Luckily, newcomer Jimmy Paredes took over and hit a no-doubt-about-it 3-run homer. Not to be left out, Cameron Rupp smashed a solo shot right after that. The Phillies scored 5 runs in the inning, which is their highest total in an inning this year.
The Phillies went on to win the game easily by a score of 8-1. They were able to split the 4-game series with the Brewers, which is great considering how sluggish this offense has been lately.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri
Now that the dust has settled on baseball’s trade deadline, there is a lot of information to absorb and process. And for the Phillies and their fans, there are a lot of emotions involved as well. I think Ryan Howard summed it up best when he told beat writer Todd Zolecki, “Shane’s been here for a long time. Like I said, (he) was a very big part of this club. It is weird not seeing his face. It’s weird not seeing Hunter. But that’s how baseball works sometimes.”
“Weird” is an excellent description. Everyone expected major change because of this backwards Phillies season, but it is still strange to see a guy like Shane Victorino in another uniform after being such an integral part of this team for so long. He was indeed the “personality” of the team as well during their better days; loose, fun and fiery.
Shane was also open, honest and easily approachable, something many fans really appreciated. I had the great pleasure of spending time with him and his wife Melissa on several Phillies Cruise’s and can tell you they are wonderful, generous people. I wish Shane and his family all the best; they will be missed.
As for Hunter Pence, his energy will be missed. But honestly, I won’t miss his free-swinging and awkward plate approach; it totally stressed me out! But I am sure he will be a big help to the Giants; best of luck to him!
So what did the Phillies really get in return for all these moves? Well first, they dumped some salary which will help keep them under the luxury tax this year. They also got 5 new players; 2 major leaguers and 3 prospects.
The 2 major leaguers who will join the Phillies today are right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and outfielder Nate Schierholtz. Lindblom has a 3.02 ERA in 48 games this year and should be able to help out the bullpen right away. Schierholtz is a platoon player and lifetime .270 hitter. He will be a huge defensive upgrade over Pence, but an offensive downgrade.
The 3 prospects are right-handed relief pitcher Ethan Martin, catcher Tommy Joseph and right-hander Seth Rosin. Martin was the #7 prospect in the Dodgers top 20 and a former 1st round pick. He is probably a few years away from the majors.
Joseph is an interesting prospect; he was #5 in the Giants top 20 and a 2012 Futures Gamer. He is highly touted as a power-hitting run producer with a strong arm. He will likely either take over for Carlos Ruiz after the 2013 season or be used as trade bait in the off-season. Ruben Amaro Jr. has already gotten calls from other teams about him.
And finally, Rosin was #19 in the Giants top 20 with a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90’s. He has a 4.31 ERA so far this season.
These are obviously not mind-blowing pick-ups, but Amaro seems to have gotten as much as would be expected by these moves. So now we get to see if Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. have what it takes to be everyday players. How these 2 guys play will determine many off-season moves for the Phillies.
In the meantime, this team still will keep on playing. Oddly enough, yesterday’s moves seem to have given the Phillies a little spark as they routed the 1st place Nationals 8-0. Now that the pressure is off and they are not expected to climb out of this huge hole, we may see some better baseball.
Mayberry looked like a new man last night with 2 hits and a walk. New Phillie Kevin Fransden played amazing defense at 3rd base and whacked a 2-run homer. And Juan Pierre had 3 hits, although that is not unusual for him.
But the most exciting play of the game was a 2-run inside-the-park homer from Jimmy Rollins. He sped around the bases so fast, he scored standing.
All of a sudden, the Phillies had everything working. Even the pitching was going well as Cliff Lee finally notched his 2nd win of the year with 7 scoreless innings. Now that is the Lee we have been missing lately.
So here are the new Phillies…for now. Wouldn’t it be nice if, just for spite, they could sweep the Nationals? Ok, maybe I am dreaming…but still hoping for better baseball ahead!
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography