Archive for the ‘ Philadelphia Phillies ’ Category

Farewell to The Big Piece

The Phillies did right by Ryan Howard on Sunday by honoring his 13 years in Philadelphia before the final game of the season.  Everyone entering the stadium received Howard’s head on a stick for full participation in the ceremony.  Mike Schmidt also made an appearance.
2016.10.02 Howard

This all had the potential to be quite awkward considering Howard still has an option left on his contract which it is obvious will not be picked up.  But the Phillies and the fans did a great job honoring the former MVP and All-Star.  Howard spoke to the crowd and got pretty choked up; a lone tear could be seen streaming down his cheek as he realized his time in Philly was done.
2016.10.02 Howard heads

Howard did not have the final game he envisioned, though.  He went hitless in the game, but the Phillies still beat the Mets so I am sure that made his final goodbye a bit easier.  Several guys went hitless as well, but Maikel Franco and Andres Blanco finished strong with 4 and 3 hits, respectively.
2016.10.02 hitting

Plus, Jerad Eickhoff pitched very well, allowing only 1 run over 6 innings.
2016.10.02 Jerad

So the Phillies finish a very up and down season in 4th place with a record of 71-91.  The Phillies offense finished dead last in all of baseball with only 610 runs scored.  As such, and as is seemingly a Phillies tradition, Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson got the ax right after the game.

There may be more fallout in the days to come.  In the meantime, here is the full Photo Album from the game and pre-game ceremonies.


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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Home, Not-So-Sweet Home

The Phillies probably cannot wait to hit the road.  They simple cannot score runs or win in their home ballpark as evidenced by yet another homestand sweep (0-6) this season.  It was only the fourth time in history the Phillies have been swept during a homestand where they played more than one team.  Today’s 0-2 loss to the Braves sealed the historic mark.

In fact, the most exciting thing that happened all day was the pre-game wrestling match between the Phanatic and Braves catcher, Anthony Recker.  First, there was taunting.  And then a challenge:

2016.09.04 wrestle1

Then the fight began:

2016.09.04 wrestle2

And Recker declared victory, much to the delight of his teammates.

2016.09.04 wrestle3

It was the first of two Braves wins on the day.  The second began with the sound of bats whiffing.

2016.09.04 Offense

And when the Phillies did make contact, not much happened.  There was yet another opportunity to score in the 5th inning, but as has been the case many, many times this year, 3rd base coach Juan Samuel held the runner, Freddy Galvis, at third on a Peter Bourjos double.  When a team is struggling this badly to score, you have got to take a shot there.  Because the odds of the next batter or two getting that run in are very slim, based on this offensive’s past behavior.  So it was just another frustrating inning.

All the while, pitcher Jake Thompson pitched extremely well, despite the lack of run support.  He allowed only one run, a Matt Kemp solo shot, over 7 innings.

2016.09.04 Thompson

By the way, where was that hurricane we were supposed to get?  Oh wait, it was just the Braves blowing through town taking the Phillies dignity with them…sigh.

Super depressing, right?  Just to cheer you up, here are a few “fun” shots from the game.  One looks like Darin Ruf is giving birth to a baseball😉  Tommy Joseph: “Check, please!”  Galvis: “Pleeease can we get a win?  I’ll be your best friend!”

2016.09.04 Fun

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Weekend Series Ends on a Downer

The Phillies Saturday and Sunday games this past weekend against the Cardinals were very different.  Saturday started out on a great note; there were smiles, puppies, babies and Kane Kalas, paying tribute to his late Dad, Harry.

The happiness continued as the game began.  Jeremy Hellickson pitched well, Caesar Hernandez opened the game with a lead-off home run and the team went on to a solid 4-2 victory.
2016.08.20 misc

And then I made the mistake of going to Sunday’s game….

Vince Velasquez was awful, as has been the case in his last 3 starts.  Is it just me or should this guy be closing, not starting?  He seems to be conserving energy in an effort to pitch multiple innings.  As a closer, he could just let it fly for one inning.  Just a thought….
2016.08.21 Vince

Anyway, Velasquez gave up 5 runs in 6 innings, including 2 long balls.  Not a good day.  The offense also had a bad day with many swings and misses and confused looks on players’ faces as they failed to reach base.
2016.08.21 Offense

But no one had a worse day than Frank Herrmann (who??).  This guy hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 with the Indians and it showed.  He did have Tommy John surgery in 2013 so this outing was a great opportunity for him to show what he could do.  Unfortunately, it did not go well; Herrmann lasted 2/3 of an inning and allowed 4 runs.  He may want to think about how best to put his Economics degree from Harvard to better use.
2016.08.21 Herrmann

The one bright spot in the game was an amazing leaping catch from Odubel Hererra:
2016.08.21 Odubel

Other than that, it was a very sad, sloppy 0-9 loss.

Photo Albums: Saturday, Sunday

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Chase Utley is Still the Man

There is no denying it; Philadelphia still loves Chase Utley, despite the blue uniform.  I heard on the news this morning that someone said Utley could “punch my mom in the face” and they would still root for him.  After what I witnessed last night, that sounds about right.
2016.08.16 Welcome

The ovation as he stepped to the plate was ridiculously long, as I expected.  Utley tipped his capped to everyone in the ballpark, including his old teammates.
2016.08.16 Intro

Cameron Rupp understandably took the time to anoint his hand with the special blessings of the Utley rump:
2016.08.16 Rupp

Grown men fought back tears (seriously, I saw this) and women tried to snap photos with trembling hands (ok, that was me).  Between that and the dreaded netting behind home plate, some shots are a tad blurry, but I got what I came for; lots and lots of Mr. Utley.
2016.08.16 Lots

Watching Utley on the bases interact with his former teammates warmed the heart.  But I have say, after the home run he hit in the 5th inning, I did not see the curtain call coming.  I have never seen that in an opposing team’s ballpark.  It was magical.
2016.08.16 Chase and Howie

Then another curtain call came after the Grand Slam he hit in the 7th inning!  Despite watching their home team get trampled, Phillies fans cheered him on anyway.  Their love for Chase simply knows no bounds; I can personally attest to that.
2016.08.16 slam

Of course, the game would have been much improved if, for example, Elvis Araujo did not walk in 3 runs (1 hit batter) in the 7th inning.  And it would have been nice if the Phillies offense did better than 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position.  And maybe the entire bullpen could, just thinking out loud here, not suck.

But since none of those wishes came true, we all settled for the Utley euphoria.  And I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Here is the full, Utley-tastic Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Sweep the Rockies

The Phillies swept the Rockies yesterday, collecting their 4th straight win and prompting “Wild Card” talk around town (Don’t hold your breath though…the Dodgers are up next). The day started out on a positive note. Placido Polanco signed with the team for the day so he could retire and then threw out the game’s first pitch. Later, fellow alumni Randy Wolf helped the Phanatic shoot hot dogs at the fans.

2016.08.14 Alumni

Once the game began, the intense heat appeared to be baking player brains. It was a sloppy affair, for sure. Odubel Hererra gave a clinic on how not to catch a baseball:

2016.08.14 Hererra

Cesar Hernandez missed an easy tag in the 3rd, which led to a run for the Rockies. And Adam Morgan, recently called back up due to an injury to Zac Eflin, was not terribly sharp. He racked up a high pitch count early and then managed to get whacked in the arm with a line drive. Morgan exited after only 3 innings and then Severino Gonzalez took over. Gonzalez immediately balked runners into scoring position (*sigh*).

2016.08.14 Morgan

But the Rockies had their share of heat-induced blunders as well, which the Phillies took advantage of. And Hererra made up for his earlier gaff with a home run saving catch later in the game.

2016.08.14 defense

The offense scored in every inning from the 2nd to the 6th, which was nice to see. Also very nice to see was some Ryan Howard hustle around the bases. He seems to have new life suddenly.

2016.08.14 Howard Rupp

Buy the big bangs of the day came from an unexpected source, Jimmy Paredes. He went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI and raised his average from below .200 to .226 in one game.

The 9th inning, however, was quite an adventure. Jeanmar Gomez gave up 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs making it a very close game at 7-6. Luckily, he got out alive and the Phillies held on for the win. We will chalk that up to the heat as well.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

By the way, CHASE UTLEY returns to Philly on Tuesday night!! And I will be there, right behind home plate, cheering him on (sort of…lol). I shall return with photos 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Beat-Down for Phillies; Snooze-Fest for Fans

I cannot remember the last time I was as bored at a Phillies game as I was today. Literally, I could have slipped into a coma. Between the excessive heat and lack of any Phillies offense, it was basically nap time. The only thing that kept me awake was my disdain for the cheering Mets fans. And the only good news of the day is that all the Mets fans have gone home.

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom blew through the Phillies line-up with ease; as if the Phillies players were asleep, along with the fans. Maybe the Mets spiked the Phillies Gatorade with Ambien? It is he only logical explanation for the total lack of activity from Phillies bats.
2016.07.17 offense

The only Phillies hit of the day came from the pitcher, Zach Eflin, who now has a higher batting average (.231) than Ryan Howard (.159), Freddy Galvis (.229) and Jimmy Paredes (.228). And he pitched pretty well; not his best outing, but still a quality start.
2016.07.17 Eflin

Alas, Eflin was all alone out there. Some fielding did occur behind him, but nothing exciting. And the total lack of hitting by the rest of his teammates made for a very boring and pathetic loss.
2016.07.17 defense

So the Mets are gone, having won 2 of 3 games in the series, and the Marlins are coming in next for four games.

Here is the full Photo Album from the final Mets game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

July 4th Offensive Fireworks

The Phillies celebrated Independence Day on Monday afternoon with an 8-2 win over the Braves.  The game included a 7-run 2nd inning and plenty of celebrations.
2016.07.04 Offense

Both Odubel Hererra and Maikel Franco homered in the inning.  And today, Herrera made the 2016 All-Star team; as of this moment, it looks like he will be the only Phillies player in attendance.

Jerad Eickhoff had another great start, allowing 2 runs in 7.2 innings while striking out 8 batters.  And the defense played a clean game behind him.
2016.07.04 PitchD

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

The Phillies are playing game 2 against the Braves right now and are leading 3-0 in the 5th inning.  Go Phillies!

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Take Series Against Defending World Champs

With a 7-2 win today, the Phillies collected the series win against the defending World Champion Royals.  The fun began even before the game started as the Phanatic tormented Royals player Salvador Pérez by dumping a bucket of confetti on him.  Perez tried to fight back by tossing water, but the Phanatic used a small child as a human shield to avoid the soaking.  Eventually, Perez stole the Phanatic’s car keys and then they made up.
2016.07.03 Phanatic vs Perez

More excitement ensued in the first inning when, after only 5 pitches, the manager, pitching coach, team trainer and half the team made a visit to the pitching mound to check on starter Vince Velasquez.  His velocity was down around 85-90mph, which triggered panic, especially since Velasquez is fresh off an injury.  But Velasquez pitched well, despite the slow down of his fastball.  He went 6 innings and allowed only 2 runs.
2016.07.03 Velasquez

In the bottom of the 1st, Cameron Rupp kick-started the offense with a 3-run homer.  The Phillies went on to score 7 runs on 3 homers and 11 total hits.  Cody Asche and Maikel Franco also hit long balls.
2016.07.03 Rupp

Asche also shattered his bat during another plate appearance, sending Royals scrambling for cover.  Luckily, no one was hurt.
2016.07.03 Asche

The bullpen was able to hold down the lead after Velasquez left the game.  Edubray Ramos, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez finished out the game strong with little drama.
2016.07.03 Relief

So after a very bad month-long stretch where seemingly nothing went right, it looks like the Phillies are finally back on track.  Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

The Phillies begin a series tomorrow against the Braves at 4:05pm.  Happy Independence Day, everyone!

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Father’s Day Fail

The Phillies could not manage a win today and got for the 3 time in a row by the Diamondbacks with a 1-5 loss.  The D-Backs had basically the same record as the Phillies going into the series; not so much anymore.  Even Aaron Nola’s dad tossing out the first Father’s Day pitch could not bring this team luck.
2016.06.19 Nola

The really sad part is that rookie Zach Eflin, in only his second major league game, pitched pretty well.  He allowed only 2 runs over 5.2 innings, which was huge, considering in his first start last week he gave up 8 earned runs in under 3 innings.  Eflin was pulled from the game in the 6th, a move that was a head scratcher to most.
2016.06.19 Eflin

Despite keeping the game close, the Phillies offense was nowhere to be found again.  At one point, they finally had 2 runners on base with 1 out and the pitcher on deck.  Freddy Galvis had a 2-0 count and it was obvious the D-Backs were pitching around him to get to the pitcher.  But Galvis swung at the next pitch anyway and popped-out.  That is a great example of how the Phillies are keeping themselves down.  And they are the only ones who can pick themselves back up again.
2016.06.19 Offense

But as the frustration and loosing continues, can they recover?  Even the defense is falling down the same rabbit hole; there was another ridiculous error in the game, a dropped routine fly ball by Jimmy Paredes.  And even Peter Bourjos, one of the better defenders, dropped to his bottom trying to field a ball.
2016.06.19 Defense

So it was another pathetic and very ugly game.  If the Phillies can manage to take just 1 game of this 4 game series, it will be a miracle.  Game time on Monday is 1:05pm.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Fan Running on the Field = Best Play of the Game

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.
2016.06.17 runner

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.
2016.06.17 offense

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.
2016.06.17 Defense

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.
2016.06.17 Morgan

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