Archive for the ‘ MLB ’ Category

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.
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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.
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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:
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SMILES:
2016.04.11 smiles

AARON NOLA:
2016.04.11 Nola

SMASHING:
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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.
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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.

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  • 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

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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

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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/

Phillies Fan Appreciation Day Video Clips

Here are a few video clips from the 10/4/15 game including Jerome Williams playing catch with a young fan; Roy Halladay congratulating Carlos Ruiz on his no-hitters caught (with his special Chooch pillow); and Cody Asche thanks the fans:

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Beat Marlins to Avoid 100 Loss Season

The Phillies have 99 problems but 100 losses ain’t one.  Sorry, could not resist.  So yeah, the Phillies escaped the dreaded 100 loss season today by the skin of their teeth with a 7-2 win over the Marlins that included many odd and interesting moments.  For starters, Roy Halladay made an appearance on Phantavision with his stuffed Chooch pillow to congratulate Carlos Ruiz on being honored for the four no-hitters he has caught for the Phillies.  Charlie Manuel joined Chooch on the field to celebrate.

100415 Chooch

A few not-so-great moments occurred once the game began.  For example, Jeff Francour missed what appeared to be a routine fly ball to give the Marlins a lead.  And as if so disgusted by his play, a bird apparently committed suicide and had to be carted off the field by Phillies security personnel.

100415 Frenchy

But things began to brighten up when it started looking like David Buchanan might actually get a win.  Not only did he pitch well, he also had 2 hits in the game and scored a run.

100415 Buchanan

Suddenly, players began smiling and sliding into bases and collecting extra base hits.  When you sit through a 99-loss season, seeing this in the last game of the season was somewhat miraculous.

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But the strangest part of the day had to be seeing future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki make his major league pitching debut in the 8th inning.  Apparently, it was a long-time dream of Ichiro’s to pitch so he asked his manager to put him in.  It was a treat for the crowd as well.  Ichiro gave up 1 run to the Phillies on 2 doubles; he tossed a total of 18 pitches.

100415 Ichiro

So after a very bad season, the Phillies end on a high note.  And they also get the 1st round draft pick as well for being so awful.  Bonus.  Here is the Photo Album from the game.  Also, here is another album for anyone who is interested; I took a tour of Petco Park in San Diego last month.  There was a charity event that day so the field was littered with stationary bikes, but the view is still cool.

I also took some video today of Halladay’s speech, Cody Asche addressing the crowd and a few other things.  I hope to have that uploaded in the next week or so.  Goodnight for now!

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Choose Their 2016 Manager

Today the Phillies chose their 53rd manager by promoting Pete Mackanin from Interim Manager to the permanent role…at least for the next year.  Pete played for the Phillies in the late 1970’s and is now the 8th person to have managed, coached and played for the team.  Larry Bowa, who is the current bench coach, is also a member of that club.

This move is not a surprise.  The team really began to come to life after Mackanin took over when Ryne Sandberg ran off.  While youth, trades and injuries have made it impossible for them to win much, the Phillies have at least looked like a team that is trying since Mackanin was put in charge.  He has also kept the youngsters in line, like when he benched Odubel Herrera this past Sunday for throwing a tantrum after an at-bat.  Herrera seems to have taken the lesson to heart and apologized to Mackanin earlier today.  This is a good sign that Mackanin can bridge the gap with this team from awful to, hopefully, competing again in a few years.

So, totally off topic, I recently went to Los Angeles to a Dodgers game to see Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins play in blue uniforms.  I took a tour of the stadium before hand, which was very interesting.  The stadium itself is huge and not easy to find your way around, but Emma from Dodger Blue World was nice enough to give me a quick tour of the upper deck, which was very cool.  The view from above is amazing!  Thank you, Emma!

DSCN0562BMThe game itself was a very strange one.  The guy sitting next to me said he had been going to Dodgers games for 30 years and that day was the first time it had rained while he was there.  Yes, I went all the way to L.A. to get rained on.  So by the 4th inning, the camera was put away for good as I did not bring my usual Philly rain gear.  But I did manage to get some pictures before the 16 INNING ordeal ended.  Yes, 16 innings….and the Dodgers lost.  But I had photos to Chase and J-Roll to cheer me up!  I also saw Davy Lopes and….believe it or not…GREG DOBBS!  I have no idea why he was there watching the game, but I got a shot of him too.  It was an ex-Phillies reunion. 2015.09 Dodgers game

If anyone is interested, here is the full Photo Album from the pre-game tour and the start of the game.  I also visited Petco Park in San Diego, but am still working on those photos; I will post those in the next week or so.  In the meantime, it looks like the Phillies might actually win a game tonight….shhhh!  I should not say that too loudly.  Cross your fingers that the Marlins stay quiet.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

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