August 20th, 2010
Against the Nationals tonight, the Phillies would face a pitcher who has not been great. Jason Marquis pitched in 5 games this year before tonight, lost all five games and gave up no less than 5 runs in each of those games. Two of those 5 games were against the Phillies. Marquis’ ERA was 14.33 going into this game.
Although the Phillies clearly had this guy’s number early in the year, tonight was another story. The offense managed only 1 run and 4 hits off Marquis in 5 innings. Raul Ibanez collected the lone run with an RBI-double in the 3rd inning to score Chase Utley. As a team, the Phillies left 7 men on base and went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position against Marquis.
When the Nats bullpen took over, the Phillies did not fare any better. Joel Peralta pitched two innings without allowing a base runner. The good news was that Roy Halladay was pitching for the Phils. Halladay got off to a tense start as he and the home plate umpire were not seeing eye to eye. Despite walking a season high 3 batters, Halladay plowed through 7 innings of no-run ball.
Ryan Madson pitched the 8th inning and gave up a lead-off single. But after some sharp defense behind him and a couple ground outs, Madson got through the 8th safely. In 22 games since coming off the DL in July, Madson has allowed just 4 runs total.
Brad Lidge has also managed a massive turn-around in his past 7 games since blowing a save in Washington DC on July 31st. He collected his last 6 save in 6 opportunities and has not allowed a run since then. When Lidge came into the 9th tonight with no margin for error in a 1-0 game, fans had reason to be optimistic. And Lidge did not disappoint; his 7th save in a row gave Halladay his 16th win of the year.
Game 2 of this series is tomorrow at 7:05pm and the Phillies will face the Nats big gun, Stephen Strasburg, for the first time. Kyle Kendrick pitches for the Phillies.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Is it just me, or does the Phillies off-season Cliff Lee trade look worse and worse every day? The cherry on the crap sundae came today when Tyson Gillies, one of the 3 players sent to Philly in the Lee trade, was arrested for cocaine possession, according to Philly.com.
The incident allegedly took place this past June in Pinellas County, Florida.
I am guessing the Reading Phillies commercial starring Mr. Gillies will be pulled. Check it out before it is gone forever…Gillies is asked by a kid if he is “fast” and Gillies brags about his base stealing speed. Yeah, he is fast alright. Cocaine will do that.
The incident took place in Clearwater while Gillies was participating in a rehab assignment for a hamstring injury that has bothered him most of the year. He was batting only .238 in 26 games for Double-A Reading.
Another player from the Cliff Lee trade, Phillippe Aumont, has severely underperformed since coming to the Phillies organization. He pitched at a 7.43 ERA in Reading and was then demoted to Clearwater in June. Aumont has publically stated that he is feeling the immense “pressure” on him, having been traded for Lee. He seemed quite worried about living up to expectations. So, we started with a head case and now we have a coke head among the group.
The third player in the trade was righty JC Ramirez whose ERA is 5.18 in 12 games for Reading. While it is still early to tell how he or Aumont ultimately will perform, right now, things do not look promising.
And are we to believe the Mariners had no knowledge of these issues before they shipped these players over to Philly? I think they knew full well what they were doing. As a result, the Phillies have been punk’d. I will be curious to see what, if anything, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has to say about the recent events. What a mess.
Photo by MLB.com
Well, it was nice thought, but ultimately, the Phillies could not sweep the Giants tonight. When the game started off with Cole Hamels giving up 3 runs in the first inning, some thought that maybe this was just the starting pitchers new style. Both pitchers in the first two games of the series gave up first inning runs too, but the Phillies came back to win those games. Not tonight…
Hamels looked about as bad as we have seen him. He lasted only 5 innings, allowed 5 runs and looked like his pitch control was on vacation for the day. Knowing that he has gotten little to no run support this year, giving up 3 runs in the first must have seemed like an insurmountable hole from which Hamels could not climb out.
On the other side, Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez wiped the infield dirt with Phillies batters. He allowed only 2 hit in 8 innings of work and both hits came off the bat of Shane Victorino, who also played well on defense.
No one else could touch him. Knowing that Sanchez leads the leagues in walks issued, one might think the Phillies batters would have been patient at the plate. But many players swung early and swung often…at bad pitches. Thus, 2 hits in 8 innings.
The offense did attempt a 9th inning rally, something that has been common with the Phillies lately. But although Mike Sweeney knocked in 2 runs to avoid the shut-out, the rally ended there and the Phils took the 5-2 loss. Here are a few more shots from the game:
The Braves lost today as well so the Phillies still sit 2.5 games back in the NL East and lead the Wild Card race over the Giants by 1 game. A 3-game series with the Nationals starts tomorrow at 7:05pm.
And as a side note, today’s game marked the 100th consecutive sell-out at Citizens Bank Park. Manager Charlie Manuel came out before the game to speak to the crowd and thank the fans for their support. After that, the players waved and tipped their caps to the crowd. The 45,449 people in attendance also marked the largest crowd of the 2010 season so far.
Phillies, you are welcome :O)
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography