Tagged: World Series

Analyzing Ryan Howard’s Season

The final out of the Phillies 2010 season will linger in the minds of many fans throughout the off-season.  In Game 6 of the NLCS on a pitch that was borderline, Ryan Howard stood and watched as strike three was called, officially ending the Phillies year.  Whether it was a ball or a strike does not matter; it was close enough that Howard probably should have swung to protect the plate and at least try to foul it off to stay alive.  But that is how the season went for this team – they were so close to breaking out and just never got it done.

Injuries plagued the team all year, including Howard who missed 16 games with a sprained ankle.  So while Howard’s numbers were down significantly from 2009, how much better could he have produced if he played those 16 games?

This is a chart that shows Howard’s numbers in 2009 and 2010.  The numbers in red bold are projections if 16 games, which is roughly 12% more at-bats, were added in.  Take a look:

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

TB

BB

SO

SLG

AVG

2009

616

105

172

37

4

45

141

352

75

186

.571

.279

 

616

97

170

26

6

35

121

311

66

176

.505

.276

2010

550

87

152

23

5

31

108

278

59

157

.505

.276

 

From the data, it appears that Howard had a similar season to 2009, although his power numbers are clearly declining.  Even with the adjustment, on average, Howard would still be hitting 10 fewer home runs and have 20 fewer RBI’s than in 2009. 
P2241224 Howard2.jpg
Back in 2007, the year of the MVP award, Howard hit 47 homers in only 529 at-bats.  In 2008, it was 48 homers in 610 at-bats.  So the years 2007 – 2010 show a steady and consistent decline in power.

It is also worth noting that with the power outage, Howard’s batting average has not improved.  Howard has been getting more singles and fewer extra-base hits.  So while the average remains steady, they are not paying him around $25 million dollars a year to hit singles.

The high strikeout count for Howard has also been an issue since he arrived.  He had 157 this year, an improvement over 186 in 2009.  But if you average in 12% more at-bats, that number rises to 176, only 10 fewer than 2009.  So he is striking out at about the same rate but seeing less production in extra base hits, homers, runs scored, walks and RBI’s.

One positive may be that Howard’s defense has improved, something he has worked very hard at.  While he had the same number of errors this year and last with 14, sometimes the numbers do not accurately reflect the overall performance.  Howard was able to get to balls this year that he may not have last year and seemed to put more effort into diving for balls that he may have given up on before.

All this amounts to is that Howard had a disappointing season and did not come through in clutch situations during the playoffs.  In fact, the same can be said for most of the team; many had down years.  That makes the age of the Phillies’ key players a bit more concerning overall.  But Howard, 31, should be in his prime, which is why his steady decline in power is alarming.  His numbers are not bad by any means; I just think the Phillies expected more from him when they gave him a huge extension.  Howard is signed through 2016 with an option and $10 million dollar buyout for 2017.  The Phillies will have Howard for at least 6 more years so, they had better hope he comes out of the gate swinging next year.

I will be examining other Phillies players as well throughout the next few weeks while we await word on free agency and other off-season moves. 

The World Series begins tonight (without the Phils….*SIGH*).  Who are you rooting for and what are your predications?  Please let me know in the comment section below.  My crystal ball says Rangers in 6.  The MVP will be Cliff Lee.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Season Over Too Soon

The Phillies lost Game 6 of the NLCS to the Giants last night, prematurely ending their season.  The Giants will go on to face the Texas Rangers in the World Series while the Phils sit at home and watch.  Having made it to the World Series two straight years, this loss was tough to take.

The game ended, perhaps fittingly, on a Ryan Howard strike out with 2 men on base.  Howard struck out 12 times in 22 at-bats and had zero RBI the entire series.  This performance was a microcosm of entire Phillies playoff run where the big producers did very little.  Chase Utley hit .182 with only 1 RBI; Shane Victorino batted .208 with only 2 RBI; Carlos Ruiz hit .167 with only 1 RBI…you get the picture.

In last night’s game, the Phils had plenty of chances to turn things around and force a Game 7; they simply did not do it.  Roy Oswalt pitched a great game while Jonathan Sanchez did not.

1023 pitching.jpg

The Phillies took advantage of Sanchez early in the 1st inning; after a walk and a wild pitch, Utley doubled, Howard singled and Jayson Werth hit a sac fly.  Two runs scored and it looked like the Phils were in control.
1023 offense.jpg

It started out similar in the bottom of the 3rd inning too; Sanchez walked  Placido Polanco and then hit Utley in the upper back.  As Utley ran to first, the ball bounced to him; he caught it and underhanded it to Sanchez who then started spewing cuss words at Utley.  If you read his lips, Utley said, “What?  What’s bulls*it?” And then the benches cleared…

Here are some photos I took and I have marked where a few interesting things are going on in the group.  You can see Carlos Ruiz getting pretty angry; Utley running in while Polanco tries to restrain a Giants player; Pat Burrell right in the middle of the argument having words with his old friends; JC Romero trying to hold back Sanchez:

1023 benches clear2.jpg

Utley and Sanchez have a history; Sanchez threw at his head on 7/30/09, to which Utley said nothing. Later, Utley called time out during his at-bat and Sanchez got mad about when he called it.  Utley then took him deep for a homer to right.  Apparently, Sanchez has issues with Utley.

Anyway, after the near-brawl on the field, Sanchez was pulled; the Phillies had two free base runners with NO outs and still failed to score.  That may have been the moment that changed the entire season for the Phillies.  Because in the top of the inning, everything had gone wrong for the Phils defensively.  Getting a run after that may have made the difference.

The 3rd started with a hit by the pitcher Sanchez which Utley should have fielded and did not.  A single and a sac bunt were followed by this missed fly ball to Victorino:

1023 Victorino dropped ball.jpg

On the very same play, Victorino threw home and Ruiz made the tag to save a run:

1023 Ruiz defense.jpg

The Phils could have escaped with just the one run scored but Polanco got a ground ball and was charged with a throwing error as Howard did not make the catch at first.  Frankly, it looked like a ball he should have caught.  Another run scored on the error to tie the game 2-2.

It was a virtual stalemate after that for a while.  The Phillies had chances to score, like in the 5th when Howard doubled but the 3rd base coach held Jimmy Rollins at third.  With two outs and little offense working, he should have been sent home.

In the 6th, Raul Ibanez doubled and Ruiz moved him to third with a bunt.  But pinch hitter Ben Francisco went down on strikes instead of hitting a much needed sac fly.  No scoring…again.  In all, the Phillies left 11 men on base and went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.  It was a lackluster effort, just like most of this series was for the Phillies.

Werth did make a heroic catch in foul territory, which was one of the few highlights:

1023 Werth catch.jpg

But in the 8th, forced to pitch his 2nd inning of the night, Ryan Madson gave up a solo homer to Juan Uribe which broke the tie.  The Phillies could not manage a rally, down by only one run and with many base runners.  They lost 3-2 and sent the Giants to the World Series.

I would like to congratulate the Giants and their fans for the victory.  They are a great team who fought hard and earned it.  The Phillies did not play like the team we all know and that is the most disappointing part.  But to have made it this far is still an accomplishment as 26 other teams did not.

In the coming days, I will be analyzing the aftermath and looking ahead to what next season might bring.  For today, I will quietly mourn the end of the 2010 Phillies season and try to look on the bright side later.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.  It includes game shots, pre-game, Darren Daulton tossing the 1st pitch, Kane Kalas singing God Bless America and more…

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Will Meet The Giants In The NLCS

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Braves last night to advance to the NLCS against the Phillies.  This match-up promises to be a hard-fought duel to the death between two great pitching staffs.  The season series between the two teams ended in a draw with 3 wins each out of 6 games.  These teams are very closely matched.

The real drama will unfold in Game 1 on Saturday when two Cy Young winners face off.  Tim Lincecum of the Giants has won the award the past two years and Roy Halladay of the Phils is the favorite to win the award this year.  Halladay already has won the award once before.


Halladay Lincecum.jpgIn 2010, Halladay finished the year with a 21-10 record and a miniscule 2.44 ERA.  Lincecum went 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA, a disappointing year by Lincecum standards.  But in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, Lincecum pitched a complete game 2-hitter.  He was outdone only by Halladay who pitched a no-hitter in his postseason debut against the Reds.  A slight edge goes to Halladay with this match-up, but only by a hair.  The deciding factor is likely to be the offense of both teams.

Here are some stats for the last 5 years of Phillies batters vs. Lincecum and Giants batters vs. Halladay:

VS. Lincecum

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Dobbs, Greg

.200

5

0

0

Gload, Ross

.400

5

0

0

Howard, Ryan

.250

16

2

4

Ibanez, Raul

.143

7

0

0

Polanco, Placido

.500

2

0

0

Rollins, Jimmy

.167

18

0

0

Ruiz, Carlos

.250

8

0

0

Schneider, Brian

.000

5

0

0

Utley, Chase

.118

17

1

1

Victorino, Shane

.222

18

1

2

Werth, Jayson

.500

6

1

1

 

VS. Halladay

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Burrell, Pat

.333

18

0

1

Fontenot, Mike

.333

3

0

0

Huff, Aubrey

.238

42

0

2

Renteria, Edgar

.286

7

0

0

Ross, Cody

.250

4

0

1

Sanchez, Freddy

.333

3

0

0

Uribe, Juan

.167

12

0

0

 

For the Phillies, Jayson Werth and Placido Polanco have the best shot at rattling Lincecum.  And for the Giants, our old pal Pat Burrell has done well against Halladay in 18 at-bats.  However, several big guns for the Giants like Pablo Sandoval and rookie Buster Posey have never faced him.  So, there is no telling how they may fare.

Another possible factor in the game is the lengthy lay-off before the series begins.  However, both teams will be dormant for almost the same amount of time; the Phillies ended their NLDS on Sunday and the Giants ended on Monday.  The same concern was expressed back in 2008 and the Phils won the World Series that year.  Also, I think the time-off will be good for the Phils who have a lot of banged up players like Polanco with his bum elbow and Jimmy Rollins, who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

My biggest personal concern is the Phillies having to play 3 games in San Francisco.  They lost 2 of 3 there this year and 3 of 4 the year before, with their only win coming in Cliff Lee’s Phillies debut.  I was there for the entire series and can tell you, this team does not like playing in AT&T Park.  It is bitterly cold, windy, the ballpark is huge with odd dimensions and the bullpens are uncomfortably close to the field.  Not to mention the visitor’s clubhouse is cramped and awkward…I know; I have been in there.  In short, it is a hostile environment.


P9213064 Burrell2.jpgThe Phillies will need to use the home field advantage to jump on the Giants quickly.  Fans can help out by bringing their usual fervor and enthusiasm to the ballpark.  Feel free to give Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand their proper welcome back, but after that, all bets are off. 

Burrell should not be allowed to get too comfy coming back home because he can really hurt the Phillies; he loves hitting in Citizens Bank Park.  And yes, it pains me to think of heckling Burrell; he helped bring us the 2008 championship.  But fans need to suck it up and treat him like the enemy!  After the series, we can all give him a group hug to make up for it ;o)

 

 

Photo and head shots by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Smack Braves Around Some More

After sweeping the Braves in 3-games just over a week ago, the Phillies added insult to injury tonight by smacking the Braves around some more.  The Braves and Padres are battling for the NL Wild Card spot and the Padres were trailing by 2 games before the game today.  If the Phillies win one or both of the final 2 regular season games against the Braves, it will have major implications in the Wild Card race.


Atlanta voodoo cr - Copy.jpgJust because they have won the NL East does not mean the Phils will let up on the Braves.  Because several players are competing for either a spot on the postseason roster or possibly a spot with the team next year.  Kyle Kendrick is one of those players.  After a very inconsistent season, Kendrick needed to have a good outing tonight.  He did a pretty good job, allowing 2 runs over 5 innings, although he walked 3 batters, including the opposing pitcher.

The Phillies scored 5 runs in the 6th with a Jimmy Rollins grand slam and Domonic Brown walked to force a run in.  The big lead took Kendrick out of the game and gave a few more pitchers an opportunity to show off their skills…or lack thereof.  Four pitchers, Antonio Bastardo, JC Romero, Chad Durbin and Jose Contreras, all pitched well. 

Mike Zagurski, on the other hand, probably ended his career prospects tonight after giving up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning in the 9th.  The 11-2 lead he started with was cut down to 11-5.  Zagurski pitched well in AAA but in his 7 appearances with the big club this year, he has allowed 8 runs in 6 2/3 innings for a 10.80 ERA.  David Herndon had to come in to get the final out…after walking one batter, just so Zagurski did not feel too bad ;o)

Tomorrow will be no easier for the Braves.  Rookie Vance Worley will get the start and he will be anxious to prove he can pitch in the big leagues.  His future with the club can be given a huge boost with a solid performance tomorrow.  Game time is 4:10pm.

By the way, the Phillies starting pitchers 70-50 record is the best for the team since 1980…the same year they won their first World Series Championship.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Announced

Earlier today, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2010.  This 7th class for the Hall will be officially inducted during a ceremony which will take place on Thursday, November 11. 2010.  These chosen athletes have had exceptional careers in their particular sport, either with a Philadelphia team or having grown up in the Philadelphia area and gone on to an outstand sports career elsewhere.

Here are the inductees:

P7145426.JPG

Several inductees were present at the press conference and spoke with the media.  Closer Tug McGraw played 10 years with the Phillies and is best known for recording the final out of the 1980 World Series.
P7145453k.jpgSadly, McGraw passed away in 2004 from a brain tumor.   His son, Mark McGraw, who currently works as an actor, was there to speak on his behalf. 

Mark McGraw said, “Well I think you all know how much my Dad loved the city of Philadelphia and especially the fans.  And to be honored into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame is an honor for our family, it’s an honor for our Tug McGraw Foundation and Team McGraw which continues on Tug’s legacy and (pause), excuse me, it’s a bit emotional for me, and a very proud moment for Tug if he was here.  And we’re very excited to be honored and representing our father and Tug McGraw into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and we thank them very much.”


P7145439c.jpgFormer Philadelphia Eagles receiver, Mike Quick, also spoke at the press conference.  Quick played 9 seasons for the Eagles and still lives in the area.  He noted that he has been in Philadelphia for 30 years now, which is longer than his time in North Carolina where he grew up.  “To me now, this (Philadelphia) is really home,” Quick said, “My kids grew up here, I became a man here and I am very pleased that the Hall of Fame had decided to invite me as one of the inductees.”


P7145444e.jpgPhil Jasner
is a writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and currently covers the 76ers.  He is to be awarded the “Legacy of Excellence” award and induction into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame for an outstanding career as a sports journalist.  Jasner also grew up in the area and graduated from Temple University.  Always entertaining, Jasner did not disappoint today saying, “I asked Marcia, my life partner, if she’d still love me when I’m old and miserable.  And she said, ‘Of course I do.'”

But the real highlight of the day for me personally was having the opportunity to speak with former Phillie, Dick Allen.  Allen played for the Phillies from 1963-1969 and 1975-1976.  He earned the NL “Rookie of the Year” award in 1964 and was a 3-time All-Star with the Phillies.  His early career in Philadelphia was marred by several personal incidents.

Allen played during a time when racism was still prominent in America and certainly, in baseball.  Allen was subjected to racial slurs and taunting by both fans and fellow players.  In 1965, he got into a fight with a white teammate, Frank Thomas.  Thomas hit Allen in the shoulder with a bat and was released the next day.  Fans blamed Allen for the dismissal of Thomas and his problems were only exasperated by his own temper and demeanor, which were often seen as negative.

However, when I spoke with Allen today after the press conference, I saw a kind, gentle human being with a great sense of humor.  Allen asked if I was going to take his picture and I told him I would.
P7145461n.jpgHe then pinched me on the arm, winked and told me, “You are such a pretty girl, I should be taking your picture.” Ok, so I’ll take flattery wherever I can get it.  But that aside, Allen stayed to speak with reporters for an extended time after the press conference and was gracious and forthcoming with everyone he spoke to.

When asked about his difficulties back in the 60’s, Allen said, “Mother sat me down and had a long talk with me,” and went on to say his mother also taught him about the importance of forgiveness.  Another question arose about the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Many think Allen should be in the Hall, but may have been snubbed because of his earlier temperament.  Allen’s numbers certainly warrant a bid to the Hall.  Allen’s career stats include a batting average of .292, a slugging % of .534, and his on-base % was 378.

When asked about a possible bid for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Allen said, “I don’t even know how that works.  Maybe politics or something like that. I don’t know.  I think everything speaks for itself.  Possibly had I been a little kinder to some of the writers or maybe the right persons along the way, I don’t know.”  But ultimately, he said has always been at peace with everything.  Allen stated, “I played it all and gave it my heart so I am particularly enjoying this,” referring to his Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame induction.

I particularly enjoyed meeting and speaking with Mr. Allen.  I would like to thank him for taking the time to talk to me.  I would also like to thank all the other attendees and especially the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame for inviting me to the press conference.  Congratulations to all the inductees!

For more information on the PSHOF, visit www.phillyhall.org.

 Here is the full Photo Album from the press conference.

Photosby Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

National League Wins All-Star Game, Ending The American League Streak

The National League entered today’s All-Star Game not having won against the American League since 1996.  That win took place in Philadelphia.  Manager Charlie Manuel and the Phillies coaching staff had a huge task on their hands for the second consecutive year, trying to win World Series home field advantage for the NL.

P6253786a.jpgTwo Phillies took part in the game today; Chase Utley stayed home as he is recovering from surgery on his thumb.  Ryan Howard served as the DH and went 0 for 2; but hits were difficult to come by in this game.  Through 6 innings, the both teams had only 4 hits each.  Two of the hits for the AL came off Phillie Roy Halladay, although one hit was a pop-up that landed in the middle of nowhere and ex-Phillie Marlon Byrd could not quite get to it.

The AL struck first in the 5th as Dodger’s pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo allowed an unearned run after a costly error where he overthrew 1st base on an easy grounder.  He had already walked a batter, then the error gave the AL two runners and a sac fly scored Evan Longoria. 

P7143801b McCann.jpg
But the NL fought back in the 7th.  Another ex-Phillie, Scott Rolen, singled followed by a Matt Holliday single.  Rolen’s aggressive base running put him on third base.  Byrd walked with 2 outs and then Braves catcher, Brian McCann, hit a bases-clearing double to give the NL the lead.  Two runs were charged to Yankee Phil Hughes and another to White Sox Matt Thornton.

In the bottom of the 7th, Holliday took a bad route to a ball in left and it went off his glove, giving Blue Jay John Buck a double instead of an out.  Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals was pitching but Holliday could not help out his teammate.  Shane Victorino could have caught that ball from either left or center…just saying ;o) 

P9026205.jpg
But to Wainwright’s credit, he worked out of the inning without allowing a run.  Whew!  So the NL went into the 8th inning with a 3-1 lead.  The NL did not score in the 8th and Giants closer, Brian Wilson, erased the AL batters in the bottom of the inning.  Personally, I think the mohawk is his secret weapon.

So it would come down to the 9th inning.  The NL did not score and Manuel brought in another Dodger, Jonathan Broxton, to try and nail down the save and the win for the NL.  Broxton gave up a hit right away to the Home Run Derby champ, David Ortiz.  He struck out the next batter but gave up a single to Buck.  However, with Big Papi Ortiz running, Byrd was able to throw him out at second from right field.  That was an amazing, heads-up play by Byrd!

The next batter flew out and the National League won it!!  FINALLY!  A win for the NL!  Way to go, Charlie!  Now, let see if the Phillies can actually use the home field advantage this year; that, of course, would require a third straight trip to the World Series.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

Hamels Shines As Phillies Sweep Reds

The Phillies beat the Reds today to complete a 4-game sweep and head into the All-Star break.  And for the first time this week, they did not need extra innings or a walk-off hit to beat them.  And although the 1-0 victory was a very tight game, it felt more like the Phillies were in the driver’s seat the whole game.

Most of that had to do with the performance, and confidence, of pitcher Cole Hamels.  He finally looked like the 2008 World Series MVP again.  Not only was Hamels making his pitches, but he looked determined on the mound.  More importantly, he was never rattled by bad calls or bad plays; and there were plenty of those to go around.

For instance, Ryan Howard dropped a pop-up.  In his defense, it was a tough play.  Also the first base umpire called a runner safe when replay showed he was out by a good amount.  And then there was the home plate umpire who had a strike zone most of the day that was about the size of a pea.  As the weather got hotter though, it looked like he expanded it a little.  See here as a pitch to Carlos Ruiz is called a strike; note that the ball crosses the plate at his elbow.  And here is the Howard play as well:

071110a.jpg 

But despite the miscues, Hamels kept right on pitching with fervor.  After Howard dropped the ball and the ump blew the call at first, in both cases Hamels got a double play to erase the mistakes.  You cannot ask for more than that from your pitcher; well done.  Here are a few more photos:

071110b.jpg

Not so well done was the following: TWO fan interference calls which necessitated TWO booth reviews on balls that looked like home runs.  Ruiz hit the first one, but on replay it was a double and the fan really did not affect it too much. 

The next one was a hit by Jayson Werth where the fan reached over the wall and snagged the ball.  While it also was not a homer, had the ball been left alone, it would have bounced off the wall.  Centerfielder Drew Stubbs was jumping up for the ball, which then would have bounced far away from him, possibly enabling Werth to go to third base or even score an inside-the-park homer.  But because of the fan, it was a ground rule double and we will never know what could have been.

Ok people, I am officially putting Stupid Fans ON NOTICE.  Not all Phils fans; just the STUPID ones (you know who you are).  One day soon, if this trend continues, like the fan who took a pop-up away from Werth on Thursday, a fan is going to cost this team a game.  Mark my words: it will happen.  Today it did not; Thursday it did not; but it is coming.  If you are lucky enough to have a seat in the front row of a section and simple cannot or will not pay full attention to the game and its rules, give your seat to someone who will. 

And the Phillies need to start cracking down on this behavior.  Anyone who leans into the field of play or interfere’s with a player should be ejected and fined.  The Phils “say” they will do this, but more times than not, I see the same idiot fan still in his seat, waiting to ruin another play.  Let’s put it this way, follow the rules and respect the game otherwise, I will suggest to the Phillies that they have Jayson Werth run around the stadium and cuss out the entire front row.  You know he will do it ;o)

And no, I do not condone Werth’s language during the incident on Thursday.  It did make me sad for that poor kid.  But he did have a point.  If you are a fan of the game, act like one.  PAY ATTENTION.  Thank you.

And now back to the game :O)  Sorry for the rant interlude…

The Phillies offense had only 4 hits and 1 run as both pitchers were doing well.  Jimmy Rollins had 2 of the 4 hits plus the lone RBI; the other two hits were the fan-interference doubles.  Hamels wound up pitching 7 2/3 innings without allowing a run.  Jose Contreras ended the 8th and JC Romero got the first out of the 9th.

Romero looked like he was on fire as he mowed down his one hitter.  So when Charlie Manuel came out of the dugout to bring in Brad Lidge for the save, most of the crowd began hollering and boo’ing.  Not only did Romero look great, but Lidge has been anything but great this year.  With only 5 save in 8 attempts, Lidge makes people nervous.  But Manuel is determined Lidge will get better and today, he did.  Two quick outs and the save was intact, plus a win for Hamels.  Whew!

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

Closing out the first half of 2010 with a 4-game sweep was a much needed boost to this Phillies team that has struggled most of the year with injuries, slumps and sloppy play.  This series could be the engine that propels them into a great second half.

But for now, All-Star fever is upon us.  Before today’s game, the coaching staff and players were given their All-Star jerseys.  Even the Phanatic got one; he was very excited.  And All-Star Mickey Mouse made an appearance at the stadium as well:

071110c.jpg

Here is the All-Star schedule of events:

July 11: Taco Bell All-Star Sunday at Angel Stadium featuring: XM All-Star Futures Game & Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game; All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run

July 12: Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Angel Stadium featuring: State Farm Home Run Derby

July 13: 11:30 a.m. – Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet (Parade Route: along Convention Way and Harbor Blvd. ending in Disney Way)

8:00pm – 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*