Seriously, this was a really boring game. The Phillies mustered only six hits against the Nationals and two of those came in the final inning. Livan Hernandez watched the Phillies batters whiff at his 68mph curve balls so he kept right on throwing them.
In the words of Pedro Serrano, ” I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats.” Well, Jobu did not show up and neither did the Phillies bats.
To make matters worse, Cole Hamels had a very bad day. At one point, it was questionable that he could even thrown a strike with no outs and the bases loaded. Hamels clawed his way through five innings after walking four batters and allowing three runs on six hits. Afterwards, it was revealed that Hamels has a sore shoulder. It does not appear to be serious so far.
But once again, a trend continued for the Phillies. Hunter Pence did not get a hit and the Phillies did not win. It will be fun to see how long this continues to be the case. In 13 games, the Phillies have won 11 where Pence had a hit and lost the two where he did not get a hit.
The 4-2 loss is clearly not the end of the world, but it was still disappointing. The real highlight of the day though was the induction of John Kruk into the Phillies Wall of Fame. The pre-game ceremony included a variety of Phillies alumni including Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Dick Allen and Darren Daulton, among others.
Kruk’s speech was touching and infused with humor that only Phillies fans could appreciate. He spoke about the 1993 season and noted, “We killed a lot of brain cells. But you were right there with us and you all killed a bunch too.”
But the best part was when Kruk addressed everyone who knocks Philly for being a hard place to play. He said, “To those people I say, ‘You didn’t have the guts to succeed here.” And that is exactly why we love John Kruk. Congrats to John…it is a well deserved honor!
Here is the full Photo Album from Friday night. And here is a fantastic breakdown of Michael Stutes’ rookie gear:
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
In the first 7 innings of tonight’s game, fans were wondering, where have the Phillies bats gone? Several of them are on the DL, but how about the rest? Did the plane carrying the bats from Miami back to Philadelphia crash on a deserted island, leaving the bats stranded and hopeless? Can we please get a rescue team together to go find them? Please?
The Phillies had opportunities to score early in this game against the Mets. With the bases loaded and 2 outs in the first, Carlos Ruiz began to cool off from his recent hot streak; he struck out to end the inning. One run scored in the inning, but they should have had more. The Phils did get a number of 2 out hits, but they were mostly with no one on base.
But then it was Ruiz and most of his teammates in the 8th inning who finally found the bats again. 5 straight singles followed. Yes, the bats have been rescued! Everyone got in on the action; Mike Sweeney started the inning off with his first hit as a Phillie; Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Ruiz and Wilson Valdez followed suit. Ross Gload walked with the bases loaded to score another run and Jimmy Rollins singled in the 4th run of the inning.
Later that same inning, Sweeney got another hit; his second hit as a Phillie also added his first RBI as a Phillie. By the end of the 8th, the Phillies had sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 6 runs to put them up by a score of 7-2 over the stunned Mets.
So, maybe the bats just had jet lag and it took until the 8th inning to wake them up? Whatever the deal, it was very nice to see them again. Someone else who was happy to see the bats was starting pitcher Joe Blanton, who had a good outing. He lasted 7 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits without walking a batter. Sadly for Blanton, he was out of the game before the run barrage started.
So while Blanton could not get the win, the team certainly could. Danys Baez pitched the 9th and got the first two outs. JC Romero was brought in with 2 runners on base and, just for some added drama, he gave up a 3-run homer. With a now close 7-5 game, Romero was pulled and Brad Lidge came into what was then a save situation. He struck out the final batter to end the game; whew!
The Phils have two more games with the Mets this weekend; tomorrow’s game starts at 7:05pm with Cole Hamels pitching.
By the way, congratulations to former catcher Darren Daulton who was inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame before today’s game. Daulton is widely thought to be one of the best catchers and best leaders in Phillies history. He is well deserving of the honor. In his acceptance speech, he referred to Phillies fans as his family and said we were all invited to his house for dinner on Sunday night. Hey Darren, you forget to give us your address. Please pass on the info…I’ll be there ;o)
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Cliff Lee was welcomed to Philadelphia today by the fans. In his second start for the team, his first at home, Lee pitched extremely well. He went 7 innings and allowed only 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk. While not as spectacular as his first start in San Francisco where he went a full 9 innings, today’s start was more than acceptable and exactly what the Phillies were hoping to get out of the 2008 Cy Young winner.
Lee had some help; Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 4 at the plate and was just a home run short of the cycle. J-Roll also scored 2 of the 3 Phillies runs. Paul Bako, the Phillies back-up catcher, hit a solo home run in the game; it was his first homer since June of last year.
There were also several miscues in the game including an error by Lee, a ball missed by Ryan Howard that should have been an error, but was not scored as such, and J-Roll also missed a ball up the middle that he normally gets to. On top of that, the young Ben Francisco drew a walk in the 7th, only to get himself picked off at 1st base. Whoops! But through all the blunders, Lee remained calm and pitched through it. That, more than anything else, was very impressive.
Earlier today, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. announced that JA Happ will stay in the rotation. How this will happen has not been disclosed, although Ruben did mention getting “creative” to solve the dilemma. Could “creative” mean he likes my 5 ½ man rotation idea?? Hmmmmm…..
Whatever the case, good news for Happ! Likely what happens next is Jamie Moyer starts against the Marlins this week and after that, the real fun of juggling these guys begins.
The Fish are coming to town! Tomorrow’s 7:05pm game start time has been pushed back to 7:35pm in order to hold a special ceremony to induct our beloved Harry Kalas into the Phillies Wall of Fame. It is sure to be an emotional day for all as Harry’s sons, friends and family of fans pay tribute to a Philly legend one more time. We still miss you, Harry!
And finally, here is the full Photo Album from today’s Phillies – Rockies match-up and Cliff Lee’s 2nd start.
Photos by Jenn