Going a full 6 innings without giving up a run, Kyle Kendrick improved his overall record to 10-5 with tonight’s 5-0 win over the Florida Marlins. As is Kendrick’s usual style, he had quite a few base runners, including 5 walks, but pitched his way out of jams when he needed to. Chad Durbin went 2 scoreless innings as well, looking extremely sharp and Ryan Madson finished them off in the 9th. J-Roll Smurf was also very excited about the pitching performances and he celebrated by bashing a Fish senseless J Later tonight, he will have a stiff drink and prepare for tomorrow’s Fishy Voodoo…
The other great news is that the offense came back tonight. Last night, they had 8 hits and scored only 2 runs. Tonight, they had 9 hits, but scored 5 runs. The difference is situational hitting and driving runs in when there are runners in scoring position. Chase Utley hit his 30th double of the year for an RBI; Ryan Howard smashed home run #32; Even Eric Bruntlett who usually has a quiet bat, went 2 for 3 with an RBI. The rookie Mike Cervenak got his very first major league hit and first RBI in his 3rd pinch hit appearance. Here is a photo of him for those wondering who he is…another Independent League product, much like Chris Coste was. I had a chance to talk to him in Spring Training…very nice guy, hard working…really great to see him finally get a break in the Bigs J
Gotta take this series! Everyone get out your favorite Fish bashing sticks or fire up the grill and get ready to FRY some! Don’t let the Smurf do all the work now… After all, he is only 3 apples high… He’ll do his best for a little guy J 1:05pm start tomorrow…Go Phillies!
As the offense continues their slumber, Jamie Moyer, normally an automatic Fish-Fryer, takes his first career lost against the Marlins tonight, losing by a score of 8-2. His record lifetime against Florida now stands at 10-1. Of course, he did only give up 2 runs in 5 innings, which is not his normal superb effort, but certainly enough to deserve a win. However, for the 3rd game in row, the offense did not produce and this time, the lack of runs came back to bite them.
The only scoring by the Phillies was a 2-run homer by Shane Victorino which, when watching the replay, was actually a foul ball. So if you want to get picky about it, they really did not score at all. They did have 8 hits, but also hit into 3 double plays to erase many of the base runners. All I have to say is, this was one UGLY game.
And for those of you who were oh so anxious to see JA Happ back in action, well, there ya go. Tough day for the rookie as he was put into a position he is not used to as a reliever…he pitched 2 innings and gave up 4 earned runs on 4 hits; he walked 2 batters and struck out 1. Yikes!
Ok, all I can say is, it is time for J-Roll Smurf to do some Fish bashing! Yes, he is back…the amazing Voodoo Smurf has officially returned to wreak havoc on the Marlins! And, as you can see, he has recently received the blessing of Jimmy Rollins himself.
There is no stopping him now! J-Roll Smurf will not be denied. Now darn you Phillies! Pick up those friggin’ bats and hit the ball!!! Thank you in advance for your cooperation J
It was a beautiful, sunny day yesterday for the Phillies Phestival, the annual charity event held at the ballpark with all funds raised going to towards fighting ALS or “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” This year, the event raised a record-setting $758, 540 in its 19th year running. I have posted some PHOTOS here on my photobucket site from the event and have a few to share with you here as well. I apologize for the grainy ones…combo of a very bad back lit situation and the wrong setting on my camera…oops! Oh well…it was hot and my brain was fried. Anyway, first I have a collage I threw together with Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Chad Durbin, Chase Utley and right in the middle, Jimmy Rollins with your favorite web site voodoo mascot and mine, J-Roll Smurf! And figuring we’ve all seen enough photos of me, I was kind enough to cover that part up J I have a fun story about that photo though…
So I walk over to Jimmy for the picture and he is already cracking up over the Smurf and starts telling me, “You know, I like smurfs too…” And I start telling him I knew that, and that is why I dressed him up like that… Then he proceeds to tell me with a huge grin on his face, “You know what they used to call me, back in the day? Papa Smurf.” Now I am cracking up! I showed him the back of the uniform where I had ironed on his name and number and he was very impressed. He said he liked it and that it was “very original.” So, I think J-Roll Smurf will be attending a few more games for luck J I don’t mind making a fool of myself; it’s all in good fun. J
Here’s another fun photo for the ladies! Should we play the “Guess Who’s Better Side This Is?” game or should I just tell you? Hee! Well, I shouldn’t say “better side,” the man doesn’t really have a bad side. It’s all good. Ok, ok, I won’t keep you in suspense…it’s Chad Durbin. And probably 50 or 60 people cracked up laughing while I took this picture as I turned to the line of people waiting for his autograph and said, “Ok, you know I have to do this, right?” Sorry, couldn’t help myself…he bent over right in front of me…it was like a bulls eye!
Wound up getting 14 autographs by the end of the day and an odd assortment of pictures. I would have done better, but the Chase Utley line alone took me an hour and a half! And what an ordeal that was too. The guy in front of me kept making trouble by trying to let someone cut in; he got caught so then he tried to take that guys stuff for him to get it signed and the ushers wouldn’t let him do that either so he got in trouble again and this time, they pulled him out of the line! And all this happened right as it was my turn at the front of the line so I was already a frazzled mess and then to make it worse, the usher standing next to Chase yells at ME! He points at my camera and says, “Make sure YOU don’t hold up the line by stopping to take a picture. Take it while you are moving!” WHAT??? Mind you, I have been standing by quietly, smiling and behaving the entire 90 minutes and now this guy has the nerve to YELL at me for no reason? I was SO upset I nearly cried and forgot to take the picture at all. Poor Chase saw the look on my face and asked how I was and I was like, “Ok I think” and he signed my photo and gave me one of those “oh you poor thing” smiles. He was already annoyed with how things were going…I had seen him “correct” the ushers a few times before that while I was waiting in line. Earlier, the ushers were telling people they couldn’t take photos at all and Chase looked right at them and said “Yes they can.” By the time I slid over to Jimy Williams (sitting with Chase), I was shaking like a leaf and couldn’t pull his photo out of the sleeve and he was trying to calm me down! He said, “It’s ok, take your time, there’s no hurry.” He’s such a nice man. J Finally, I was out of that line and every other line was fine…no problems at all.
Now, for anyone who has not been to the Phestival, don’t let what you just read discourage you from going. This is NOT typical. I’ve been going every year for 8 years and have NEVER seen this happen or been treated this way. Usually, everyone is very nice and friendly and the event is lots of fun. I have no idea what happened in that one line, but whoever was in charge over there simply blew it. They obviously panicked because they knew there was a high demand for Chase’s autograph and tried to change how things are usually done to try to get the line to move faster. But you can’t tell people not to take pictures or HOW to take them and you certainly shouldn’t be yelling at them.
So, I have certainly not had a lot of luck in the Utley department this week! First the picture that didn’t come out on Photo Day and now this! Geez, when will MY streak end? In other news, the team has officially announced adding JA Happ back to the roster to take Adam Eaton’s spot now that he has accepted a minor league assignment. Do I smell a trade in the air though? Guess we will just have to wait and see… On to DC tonight! Go Phillies!
Cole Hamels is back in All-Star shape after today’s complete game shut-out of the Reds, giving up only 3 hits and 3 walks with 4 strike outs. He looked more than comfortable, even giving a wry smile when Ken Griffey Jr. missed home run #600 by inches off him late in the game, flying out to Shane Victorino in center who caught the long ball right up against the padded wall. Cole wasn’t rattled. He just grinned and kept right on pitching. So, now he can sit back and celebrate a job well done and give his tired arm a well deserved rest J
Bit of a slowdown offensively again, with just 5 hits and 2 earned runs; the other runs came off of errors. One thing to point out though is that Geoff Jenkins has been quietly bringing his average up. He is at a .285 right now and the home run today puts him at 6 for the year, which is an area I think when he was brought in, he was really expected to put up some numbers similar to what Rowand did when he was here. So, this is a good sign that he may have found his comfort zone in this park and with the team. Victorino had another hit today too, which continues his streak of consistent hitting and getting on base. He is batting a .283 right now and has 12 stolen bases. It’s good to see some of these guys that had been struggling look like they have found their groove.
On to Atlanta now to face the Braves who have recently been rocked by the loss of veteran pitcher John Smoltz to surgery. I would pretend to be saddened by this news, but then you might scroll down my blog and see my Braves voodoo doll and realize that I am so not telling the truth J Well, in all honesty, I wish pain and surgery upon no one; but a really good opposing pitcher is welcome to take a vacation from his team any time he likes, especially when they are about to play the Phillies!
And since I forgot to mention it in the previous entry, if anyone has an odd fear of squirrels, stay out of sections 145 and 144 in Citizens Bank Park. That is where my friend the squirrel was wandering about yesterday J But seriously people, they are so cute! Just toss him a french fry and let him be… Have a good one!
As for the rest of the gang, Kendrick looked a bit shaky tonight. His sinker wasn’t really sinking and I think it was good to pull him early and just unfortunate that Durbin could not hold those 2 runs in after he left. The offense did leave a lot of men on base again, which made the game a lot more interesting than it should have been. A strange base running mistake by Pat Burrell in the 5th to get tagged out, leading to a double play, really didn’t help either. But, thanks to 2 great catches by Utley, his 5th night in a row with a home run, and a huge save, yet again, by Lidge, a win is a win!
And as for Chase Utley, deserving as ever, he has been named the National League Player of the Week for the 5th time in his career and the second time this year. After hitting 5 home runs last week which led the Majors, he became the first second baseman ever in Major League history to reach 20 total home runs in one season in fewer than 60 games. Of course, after tonight’s game, bring that total up to 21 homers! He also had a league leading 14 RBI’s and 25 total bases last week with a slugging percentage of 1.087, coming in 2nd place there. Looks like he is well on his way to All-Star game #3 this year, having topped everyone in the NL in votes at last count. Remember to keep voting. You can VOTE 25 times a day! Let’s see if we can get Pat Burrell in there. How about J-Roll and all the rest of the Phillies too! Keep voting…
And can I have a drum roll please… It is the moment you have all been waiting for! Well, maybe just a few of you anyway J I finally broke down and did the voodoo to the Atlanta Braves! My uncle, a lifetime Braves fan, will just have to deal. I don’t think he is reading this anyway J So, here is J-Roll Smurf, yet again, doing the dirty work! Only this time, he has graduated to a big-boy bat and enlisted the help of “Colemit the Frog” who will hold the Braves rally monkey still while J-Roll Smurf whacks him with the big-boy bat:
So, if all this stuffie toy magic does not keep the Phillies a-top the NL East, then I just don’t know what will! So, no Ken Griffey Jr. tonight…the suspense continues… Go Phillies!
In answer to my own question yesterday, Ryan Howard is back! Yeah! I am so happy to see smiling Ryan again :o) The sad pooh-pooh face was just no fun at all. He hit another homer in Houston last night and went 3 for 5 with a total of 2 RBI’s, finally smashing through the Mendoza line! Now batting .207, Howard can relax a little and hopefully get that average up into a respectable area.
Are you all wondering what the voodoo is all about? Don’t worry…we are getting to that…read on though, I have more to cover first. Solid offensive output all around last night. Most everyone pitched in, but they still left a lot of men on base. As for the pitching, Kendrick is obviously still on a learning curve here…he’s making me nervous! Not a bad performance, but kind of shaky with his location being off a lot at times. It will be interesting to see how much he learns from his mistakes from start to start this year. But as usual, great job by the pen and nice to see Lidge have a happy return to Houston!
I am so sick of the Marlins winning! Can this team just go away already? So, I have made my very own Florida Marlins voodoo doll. I am using my J-Roll Smurf stuffie doll to beat him up with:
I think we should all make one. I was going to make a Mets voodoo doll too, but then I realized, they already have one of their very own…he is called “Billy Wagner and His Huge Team Morale Smashing Mouth.” We should put one of those in every opposing clubhouse :o) They just dropped 4 straight to the Atlanta Braves! Johan Santana, the gazillion dollar man, or whatever they pay him, gave up 13 hits, 3 earned runs and only 1 strike out in 7 innings! Wonder what Mr. Wagner had to say about that? Probably something with like 20 cuss words in it and his finger pointed at every one on the team sucking except for him… What a team player…gotta love him!
So, then I was going to make a Braves voodoo doll…but, my Uncle is a Braves fan, and also a minister and so I thought perhaps I might be struck down by a bolt of lightning if I tried it!. Soooooooo…hey, can someone else do it for me? Shhhhh…don’t tell! As for the Nationals, why waste my time, really? Talk to me when they get hot…(and as I say that, I am silently hoping I did not jinx it…)