Archive for the ‘ MLB ’ Category

The Phillies Offense Drops in for a Visit

Hello, Phillies offense!  So nice to see you; it has been a while.  After a dreadful showing in the past many weeks, the Phillies bats came alive (mildly, anyway) against the Braves today.  The offense had been so bad, they were 29th in the league coming into today’s game; only the Braves were worse.

It is fitting then that the Phillies collected their largest margin of victory on the year, 5 runs, against the Braves.  Cameron Rupp had a monster game with a homer and 2 singles.  Both Tyler Goeddel and Freddy Galvis collected triples, while Maikel Franco finally picked up the pace with 2 hits.  And Peter Bourjos lifted his batting average over the Mendoza line with 2 hits today.
2015.05.22 OF

Jerad Eickhoff had one of his best games of the year, pitching 7 scoreless innings.  The Braves hitters looked confused at the plate most of the night.
2015.05.22 Eickhoff

And let’s hear it for no errors in the game!  Whooo hoooo!
2015.05.22 misc

Believe it or not, even with the Phillies anemic offense, they are still only 2 games out of first place behind the Nationals and Mets.  Who saw this coming at the start of the year?  Not I, that’s for sure.  The team has some interesting matches coming up now, including 3 games each against the Tigers and Cubs this week.  By the end of May, we should have a good idea of what the summer will bring.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Drop Finale Against Reds

The Phillies had won 3 games in a row coming into today’s game.  That streak ended with a horrible effort against the Reds, who beat the Phillies by a score of 4-9.   Just about everything went wrong, including pitching and defense.

Before the game, spirits seems high with players smiling and even an appearance by Darren Daulton, who has been battling brain cancer.
051516 pregame

It all went downhill after Adam Morgan took the mound.  One example of just how bad he was happened in the 4th inning.  He loaded the bases as the opposing pitcher, who has no hits this year, stepped up to the plate.  Morgan proceeded to walk him on 4 pitches to bring a run in.  Shortly after that, Eugenio Suarez hit a 3-run homer.
051516 Morgan

The defense was equally pitiful.  There were 2 “official” errors in the game, but Maikel Franco missed a few balls at 3rd base that would normally not have gotten past him and Tyler Goeddel bobbled a ball in left field.  It was just sloppy all around.
051516 Defense

And of course, this offense has not been setting the world on fire, but today was especially bad.  In the first 5 innings alone, the Phillies went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.  They also left 16 men on base total.
051516 Offense

And don’t even get me started with Reds 1st baseman Joey Votto!  Several times, he motioned that he may toss a baseball to the fans and then smirked as he chose not to.  Even if the fake-out was meant for the adults, some of those fans were children who you can bet didn’t get the joke.  Well, he got what was coming to him; no hits in the series and 3 strikeouts today.  And that was the highlight of the day😉

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Two Sweeps in a Row!

Where did this Phillies team come from?  It looked early on like another bad, rebuilding season was upon us.  But this young team has now won 9 of their last 10 games, sweeping both the Nationals and Indians in the last week.  Crazy.

Before the big win, the Phillies hosted their annual Mother’s Day celebration which began with Cameron Rupp’s mom tossing him the first ball; that was adorable.  And, of course, the Phanatic’s mom was around later in the game as well.
2016.05.01 Rupp

Vince Velasquez started the game in the rain and miserable cold.  Still, he pitched well without allowing any runs over 6 innings.
2016.05.01 VV

There was not much offense in the game; it was certainly not hitting weather today.  But the Phillies managed a few hits and scored twice in the 3rd inning.
2016.05.01 hitting

Some adventurous plays in the field were also on the schedule.  Darin Ruf had the highlight of the game with a diving catch in left field.  When did Ruf suddenly become Mr. Super-outfielder?  And then Maikel Franco turned a routine pop-up into a dare-devil grab:
2016.05.01 fielding

So the Phillies walked away with a 2-1 win.  They are back on the road tomorrow after this brief home stand, playing St. Louis on Monday night.  Can they keep the win streak alive?  We shall see…

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Walk-Off on Papelbon

Revenge is sweet.  After losing badly in the first two games against the Nationals, the Phillies came back with a walk-off win in 10 innings by beating ex-Phillie Jonathan Papelbon.  As most fans are aware, Papelbon had nothing nice to say about Philadelphia when he left (and before he left, too).  So it was great to hand him his first blown save of the year.

The celebration, however, began early with the Phanatic’s annual birthday bash.  All the usual suspects were present.
2016.04.17 Phanatic

As the game began, it was clear quickly that Charlie Morton was about to have another solid game.  Nats hitters looked confused at the plate.  Morton allowed only 1 run in 6 innings and struck out 6 batters.
2016.04.17 Morton

But the offense was not doing much, as has been the theme this year so far.  The Phillies scored only 1 run through 9 innings and that was a solo home run from Carlos Ruiz.  It was his second of the year, which by the way, was his home run total in 2015.
2016.04.17 OF

So the Phillies defense had their work cut out for them.  Also the replay monitors got quite a workout.  The Phillies challenged 3 calls and won two of them.  Those would turn out to be huge decisions.
2016.04.17 DF

Then in the 10th inning, Peter Bourjos doubled and then scored on a single from Andres Blanco to tie the game and watch Papelbon squirm as he blows the save.  That brought Freddy Galvis to the plate, who smacked a double for the walk-off win, as Blanco scored.  Check out the video from MLB:

And here is the full Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Home Opener Photo Blog

Final Score: Phillies 3, Padres 4

SIGHTS:
2016.04.11 sights

SMILES:
2016.04.11 smiles

AARON NOLA:
2016.04.11 Nola

SMASHING:
2016.04.11 smash

FIELDING:
2016.04.11 catch

Full Photo Album 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Bullpen Woes Ruin Opening Day

The Phillies took a 2 – 1 lead into the 8th inning against the Reds yesterday in their first game of the season.  And then, the wheels fell off.  Much criticism has been heaped onto the Phillies bullpen this offseason.  While most of the team looks promising, this is going to be a sore spot.

Of course, the rest of the team was not setting the world on fire, either.  With only 6 hits in the game, including a 2-run Freddy Galvis homer, the Phillies offense was mostly silent.  And the defense started off badly with a huge error from veteran Ryan Howard in the 1st inning which led to an early run for the Reds.  Howard also did not have a hit in the game and left 3 men on base.

Hernandez wall of shame But while Howard should be elected to the Opening Day Wall of Shame, he was beat out by David Hernandez for the title.  Hernandez allowed 3 runs in the 8th inning on a hit and 2 walks, sinking the Phillies ship for good.  He did not record a single out.  James Russell was not much better, allowing 2 more runs.  In all, the bullpen 8th inning follies ended in a 6 – 2 win for the Reds.

The real shame of this is that Jeremy Hellickson pitched a heck of a game.  I am still not sure why he was pulled after only 6 innings and 70 pitches.  Manager Pete Mackanin could have let him go one more inning and put Jeanmar Gomez in for the 8th inning.  The 9th inning may still have been a mess, but at least with only 3 outs left, he would have had more wiggle room to mix and match pitchers.  But that is only my humble opinion.

The Phillies are off today and will try again on Wednesday; game time is 7:10pm and Aaron Nola will pitch.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies vs. Future Phillies

Yesterday, the Phillies took on “Future Phillies” in a pre-season exhibition game at Citizen’s Bank Park.  Before the game, several current and future players wandered around the ballpark signing autographs and taking photos with fans.  I managed to snag 5 autos and 2 photos with players.  I also met both Opening Day starters; Jeremy Hellickson, who will start the official Opening Day tomorrow and Aaron Nola, who will get the home opener.
2016.04

It was strange having to root for both teams playing, but entertaining.  The youngsters keep the game very close and both sides appeared to be having a good time.
2016.04.02 happy

Pitcher Charlie Morton did not look very sharp, as the future players collected 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks over 4 2/3 innings.  But the game didn’t really count, so no worries.
2016.04.02 Morton

Two other pitchers who looked really sharp were Brett Oberholtzer and James Russell.  Both guys are large and intimidating, and Russell just made this team a bit hairier.  As a side note, Oberholtzer is from Delaware; he spent parts of the last 3 seasons with the Astros.  And Russell is a 6-year veteran who spent most of his time with the Cubs.
2016.04.02 relievers

Some other newbies also seem promising.  Tyler Goeddel is a Rule 5 player, just like Odubel Hererra was last year; he went 2 for 5 and stole a base.  And Cedric Hunter, who has been languishing in the San Diego minors for 6 years, is going to get a real shot at the big leagues.  It was announced today that he made the team, 10 long years after being drafted and playing only 6 games in the majors during that time.
2016.04.02 Hunter Goeddel

So the full roster is going to look like this:

P4027670CFPitchers (12): Right-handers Jerad Eickhoff, Jeanmar Gomez, Jeremy Hellickson, David Hernandez, Dalier Hinojosa, Charlie Morton, Hector Neris, Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez, and left-handers Brett Oberholtzer, James Russell and Daniel Stumpf

Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Cameron Rupp

Infielders (7): Andres Blanco, Emmanuel Burriss, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf

Outfielders (4): Peter Bourjos, Tyler Goeddel, Odubel Herrera and Cedric Hunter

The team is not going to be great, with all the young players, but they may not be as bad as everyone thinks.  It will at least be an interesting season, full of growing pains and likely a few nice surprises.  Here is the Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Offseason in Review So Far

Good

  • Pete Mackanin as manager – The guys like Pete and he is smart baseball man; I think he will do as well as can be expected with a team full of average players.

P2263638AB

  • Micky Morandini as the new first base coach – A welcome blast from the past.
  • The end of the Domonic Brown experiment – I was really at the end of my rope with this guy. Sorry, he will not be missed.

 

Bad

  • Ken Giles – Seriously, Giles was the ONLY reason I though watching the 2016 would be bearable, and now he is gone. Who else am I supposed to root for (maybe Aaron Nola)?  And this is a clear sign the Phillies are still many years away from competing.
  • No more Jeff Francour? WTH?  It is not official, but with the addition of so many new outfielders, one can surmise that Frenchy will not be back.  He was the only other entertaining guy on this roster…boo!!
  • We are still stuck with Ryan Howard’s salary – I don’t mind Howard himself, I just wish the Phillies didn’t still owe him like a bazillion dollars.

 

Not Sure Yet

  • New GM Matt Klentak – I thought this was a good idea until the Giles trade, which reeks of a move Ruben Amaro Jr. would have made. Is this younger, hipper guy just Ruben 2.0 in disguise?  That may be a bit harsh; we shall see.
  • New President Andy MacPhail – I hesitate to be excited about this because of the above mentioned issue with Klentak. But also, frankly, because the guy’s name includes the word “PHAIL (fail).”  Not to mention that MacPhail has not seen any major success since the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991.

 

Who Cares

  • Everyone picked up in the Ken Giles trade – these do not appear to be impact players and could be a waste of time.
  • Adding Peter Bourjos (wait, who?) – Outfielder Bourjos hit .241 in two seasons in the majors.
  • The signing of 32-year old righty Charlie Morton – meh.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Fans New Year’s Resolutions

Happy-New-Year-Banner-Png-09

Is it just me, or is everyone glad 2015 is over?  This was a rough year for Phillies fans, and unfortunately, 2016 does not look much more promising.  But perhaps making a few New Year’s Resolutions will help set the tone in a more positive direction.  These are my own personal resolutions, but they are open to all Phillies fans who wish to join me!

 

  • I promise not to cry every time I look over at second base and realize Chase Utley is not there….ok, maybe I will cry just a few times.

 

  • No matter how hard someone pushes me, I will not take performance enhancing drugs to improve my Phillies baseball viewing experience in what looks to be another bad year.  Unless Valium counts, because I will need that to suppress my Utley crying episodes.

 

  • I will learn the names of all the new players…unless they suck.  Then I make no promises.

 

  • I will attempt to keep my complaints about the new, extended protective netting at the ballpark to a minimum.  I mean, WHY can’t people just pay attention to the game?  Why do I have to suffer with my pictures being blocked by this annoying webbed crap?  Ok, I think I broke that resolution already…

 

  • I will try not to make ageist remarks about the new GM, Matt Klentak.  Is this guy even out of diapers yet?  Oh, sorry…do-over:  At least he is old enough to drink; he will be very thankful for that this year.

 

  • I will throw a party every time ex-Phillie Jonathan Papelbon gets into a fight with one of his new Nationals teammates (or whatever team he gets traded to next).  There will be open bar if the brawl involves Bryce Harper.  This is going to be a super-fun year!!

 

Happy New Year, everyone!

 

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The Phillies 2015 Night Before Christmas

usp-phillie-phanatic-santa_0

Twas the night before Christmas, when all over the field,

Not a player was stirring, as the 2015 season had been sealed.

The bats were stacked in the clubhouse with care,

In hopes that a winning season someday would be there.

The Phillies were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of trophies danced in their heads.

And Pete Mackanin, with a managerial contract tucked under his cap,

Had just settled down for a long off-season nap.

When outside of his house, there arose such a clatter,

Pete sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window he stumbled, half asleep,

Having woke from a nightmare of a 2015 repeat.

The man in the moon stared down in discontent,

As he wondered what the crazy Ken Giles trade really meant.

When what to his weary eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh filled with many kegs of beer.

With many little pint glasses, so shiny and thick,

He knew in a moment, this would do the trick.

More rapid than the trade deadline, forward all the new no-name players came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and attempted to call them by name!

“Now, Marion! I mean Morton! Now, wait, what was your name?!

Hey, old guy! Hey, player I’ve never heard of! Why are you here?!

To the top the roster! To the bottom of the league!

Now run away! Run away! And have a drink on me!”

And then, in a twinkling, Pete heard, “Should I pitch or just warm the bench?!”

From the shouting of drunken, no-name players recently dug out of a trench.

As he drew in his head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney, Phanta Claus came with a bound.

He was dressed all in pinstripes, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

With a bundle of coal baseballs he had flung on his back,

It looked a lot like it may be time for some fans to deliver payback.

Phanta Claus spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

Handing out balls to the fans, who have grown tired of players not doing their homework.

And with thunderous joy, the fans tossed the balls,

And yelled, “Practice!  Please, practice! Before this team hits another wall!”

Phanta Claus then sprang to the sleigh, and to the team and fans gave a call,

“Hang in there everyone, pretty soon, I think we will have better baseball!”

But they heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

 

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Photo from http://www.csnphilly.com/

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