Results tagged ‘ AAA ’

How the Phillies Spell Relief: P-I-R-A-T-E-S

After a dreadful Sunday during which the Phillies lost two games to the Rays in spectacularly bad fashion, this team needed a break.  And that break came in the form of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  How do you spell relief?  P-I-R-A-T-E-S!

The 8-3 win was a welcome sight, even if it did come at the expense of what appeared to be a little league team.  Thankfully though, the Bucos took the pounding like men and no tears were shed.

The first inning set the tone as the Pirates fielders tossed the baseball all over the place, as if they were blindfolded at a child’s birthday party while trying to whack a piñata.  The ball bounced all around, smacking dirt, bases and the infield walls.  Still, no candy prizes fell from the sky.  Instead, the Pirates were given 3 errors in the inning, which lead to a 4-0 lead for the Phillies.

The party continued for the Phillies offense, which exploded for 4 more runs.  Jimmy Rollins nailed a home run to right that nearly made it to the second deck of seats.  Carlos Ruiz continued his All-Star campaign, going 3-for-5 and 3 other Phils had a multi-hit night.  This was apparently the precursor to the post-game fireworks that were planned.

On the downside, the Phillies are still struggling with runners in scoring position.  They loaded the bases with no outs in the 7th and only managed one run, which resulted from a walk to Ty Wigginton.  The next 3 batters all struck out.

Starting the game, Joe Blanton pitched pretty well.  He went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 of which were earned.  But still, in the 8th inning, after the offense failed to add on in the 7th, you could feel the doubt in the air as the bullpen took over.  Could a 5 run lead really not be sufficient here?

It was enough on this day.  But in the past, that has very often not been the case for this team.  And this fact still leaves Phillies fans anxious about what might happen in a similar situation the next time.

The Pirates are a bad team that the Phillies should really beat up on over the next 3 games.  If they can manage to do that, there may be hope for this team yet.

Speaking of hope, it looks like Chase Utley should be back with the team on Wednesday.  He is playing for Triple-A Lehigh Valley tonight.  I will temper my enthusiasm until I see it for myself…

In the meantime, game 2 with the Pirates begins tonight at 7:05pm.

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

Phillies 42 Games Over .500 Makes History

With a 5-3 win over the Marlins tonight, the Phillies added another record to the franchise books.  And here is how it transpired:

Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt made the start tonight.  Since coming off the DL, he has produced one really good start, a couple of okay starts and one bad start.  The bad start was against the Marlins last week.  This week, facing the same team, he had another sort of up and down day.

While the results were not awful, Oswalt just did not look solid out there.   He gave up three runs in 6.1 innings, so it could have been worse.  But the Marlins hitters helped a lot by getting themselves out.  Oswalt’s control was not great and his pitches were all over the place.  Oddly enough, against this Marlins team, it seemed to work.

Oswalt’s inconsistent play is starting to raise some questions about whether or not he should pitch in the post-season.  With experience and a solid history on his side, the Phillies won’t yet count him out.  Hopefully, his next few starts will really show what he has left in the tank.

In the meantime, the Phillies offense helped Oswalt out with some runs in this game.  Shane Victorino started it off with a triple and Placido Polanco hit a sac fly to score him.  Most of the additional damage was done later by John Mayberry Jr. who also had a sac fly, plus a 2-run homer in the game.

Mayberry’s sudden emergence since his trip back to Triple-A in June has been amazing to watch.  He fixed his batting stance, worked on his defense and is now clicking on all cylinders.  There are no more Phillies fans complaining about the team not resigning Jayson Werth in the off-season.  Adding Hunter Pence has been a big boost as well.

Speaking of Werth, if you compare his numbers to Mayberry’s this year, the results are night and day.  Their home run and RBI numbers are very close, however, Werth has had more than twice the number of at-bats that Mayberry has gotten.  Werth has 269 more at-bats, to be precise.  That is a whole lot of production from Mayberry in a very short time.  Mayberry is simply “werth” more than Werth.

With the three RBI from Mayberry tonight and some bullpen help, the Phillies took a 5-3 lead into the 8th inning.  Antonio Bastardo, who seems to be untouchable this year, pitched another superb inning.  In fact, Bastardo is on the verge of making baseball history.  If Bastardo continues at his current pace, which had batters hitting only .112 against him coming into this game, he could wind up with the lowest BA against a reliever in all of baseball, ever.  Yes, EVER.  Wow.

As we await those results, the Phillies made another kind of history with today’s win.  Now at 42 games over the .500 mark, this is the best mark in Phillies franchise history.  No other Phillies team has ever had such a great record.  There is still a lot of baseball to go, but this team has the potential to be the greatest Phillies ballclub ever.

And as you let that sink in, remember to tune in again tomorrow night at 7:10pm.  Cole Hamels will pitch in game 2 against the Marlins.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Pence Debuts & Howard Reaches Another Milestone in Win Over Pirates

The Phillies newest, shiny toy arrived at the ballpark today.  Right fielder Hunter Pence pumped his fists as he entered the tunnel under the stadium, looking excited to explore his new home.

The excitement is understandable; Pence just got traded from a team with 35 wins to a team with 66 wins and the best record in baseball.  The fans shared his exuberance as they cheered him during batting practice and gave Pence a standing ovation when he arrived in right field to start the game against the Pirates.  Pence waived to the fans cheerfully in appreciation.

Even his first at-bat was exciting; Pence ran out what should have been an infield hit but was called out by the umpire.  The replay showed he was clearly safe as fans watched manager Charlie Manuel argue with the ump in defense of his newest player.

It took Pence until the eighth inning to finally get a hit in the game.  Regardless, he had to be relieved with the RBI-single he finally put in the books.  Now that his first Phillies hit is on record, it should be business as usual for Pence.

As for Ryan Howard, the business was not so usual, but certainly good.  Having Pence in the five-hole behind him had to be a welcome sight.  Hitting without any real protection all year, Howard finally has a solid hitter to back him up.  Taking full advantage, Howard went just a triple short of the cycle and had three RBI on four hits.

 

Most notably, Howard’s second hit of the game, an RBI-single in the fourth inning, was his 1,000th career hit.  Congratulations to Ryan!

As for the pitching, Cliff Lee started the game hoping he could bounce back from an awful outing on Monday against the Padres.  In that game, Lee lasted only four innings after allowing five runs.

Tonight, Lee did well through seven innings where he gave up only two runs.  But Lee was left in the game too long and he ran into trouble in the eighth.  The hits kept coming for the Pirates and two more runs crossed the plate, bringing the Bucos closer to a comeback with a 6-4 score.

Reliever Antonio Bastardo was brought in with two runners on base and two outs.  In his usual form, Bastardo shut down the Pirates by striking out Pedro Alvarez to end the inning.

The run added by Pence in the eighth gave the Phillies a little more cushion with a 7-4 lead.  That was plenty for Ryan Madson who closed out the game for another Phillies victory.

Game three with the Pirates is Sunday at 1:35pm; Vance Worley will pitch.  In Worley’s last start, he pitched a complete game against the Giants.  It will be interesting to see how he responds after tossing 114 pitches in that start.

Check back Sunday night for game photos…see you there!

Roster Move Update:

Domonic Brown and Andrew Carpenter were sent to Triple-A to make room for Pence and Placido Polanco, who came off the DL today.  Brown will begin to work at left field, which is where the Phillies project he will be next season.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

A Hot Win In D.C. For The Phillies

Hot may not be an accurate word to describe the Phillies day in D.C. where they beat the Nationals by a score of 5-4.  Perhaps scorching, boiling or searing would be appropriate terminology.

But despite the 95 degree heat, Roy Halladay kept pushing for a win.  He did not have an easy time either.  Through seven innings, Doc gave up four runs, three of which were solo homers.  But this time, the offense helped Halladay out.

 

Balls went flying off the bats like grenades in the sweltering heat:

 

The Nationals kept pace as the Phillies gained and lost the lead in the game like a see-saw.  But not even ex-Phillie Jayson Werth could stop this Raul Ibanez homer.  Ryan Howard hit one as well.  The other photo is Werth striking out, just for fun:

 

The Phillies also showed a lot of hustle on the base paths.  Although Placido Polanco is out by just a step in the photo below, he ran the play out hard:

 

And Chase Utley was all over the field.  It looks like he is going full throttle at second, jumping, leaping and diving to make plays.  One of the key defensive plays in the game came in the seventh.  Halladay had put runner on first and third with no outs and managed to pick off Alex Cora, who wandered too far off third on a fielder’s choice.

That play probably saved the game for the Phillies.  And here are a few other nice ones as well:

 

Once Halladay was out of the game, the bullpen did a nice job holding the 5-4 lead for him.  Antonio Bastardo and Jose Contreras took the eighth and Ryan Madson closed it in the ninth:

 

Here is the full Photo Album from the game Tuesday afternoon.  It includes a lot of nice pre-game shots, the President’s race and more. 

Game two with the Nats is Tuesday night at 7:05pm.  Cliff Lee will pitch.

Also as a side note, Vance Worley has been sent back to Triple-A to get more innings under his belt.  No word yet on a replacement, although it is possible that the Phillies add a bullpen piece and use Kyle Kendrick as a starter.

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Add More Non-Roster Invitees

In mid-November, the Phillies invited 12 players to Spring Training as non-roster invitees.  Today they announced seven more NRI’s will join the group for a total of 19.

The previous 12 announced are as follows:

  • Josh Barfield, INF
  • Eddie Bonine, RHP
  • Tagg Bozied, INF/OF
  • Ryan Feierabend, LHP
  • Erik Kratz, C
  • Jeff Larish, INF
  • Dan Meyer, LHP
  • Matt Miller, OF
  • Brandon Moss, OF
  • Pete Orr, INF
  • Juan Perez, LHP
  • Dane Sardinha, C

The additional seven will be:

  • Brian Bass, RHP
  • Tuffy Gosewisch, C
  • Joel Naughton, C
  • Robb Quinlan, INF
  • Michael Schwimer, RHP
  • Michael Stutes, RHP
  • Delwyn Young, INF/OF

Of these seven, Bass, Young and Quinlan had some time in the majors in 2010.  None of the three had much success, although Young finished third in the majors with 16 pinch hits.

Naughton.jpgAs for the minor leaguers, Gosewisch is invited every year to help with catching duties and then sent back to the minors.  The other three have much in common.   Naughton, Schwimer and Stutes, are all 24-years old and they all have great potential.

Naughton hit .308 with five homers and 31 RBI in 51 games for single-A Clearwater in 2010.  He is good with runners in scoring position, hitting .426 in that situation.  But he is also injury-prone, having been on the DL twice in 2010.

Schwimer pitched for both between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2010.  His combined ERA was 2.85 in 48 games and of those, 36 were scoreless appearances.

As for Stutes, between Reading and Lehigh Valley in 2010, he collected three saves, a record of 7-1 and a 3.42 ERA in 53 games.  His career ERA is 3.36 over 93 games with a 22-11 record.

 

Naughton photo by lakelandlocal on Flickr

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

 

Contreras and Sandberg On Board


140a.jpgThe Phillies worked out a 2-year, $5.5 million dollar contract on Monday with bullpen pitcher Jose Contreras.  In 2010, Contreras served a variety of roles on the bullpen, including filling in for Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson when they were injured.  Contreras appeared in 64 games and ended the season with a 3.34 ERA.

The only real concern with this signing might be Contreras’ age; he is 38 now and will be 40 by the end of his contract.  But the Phillies have had some good luck dipping into the senior player pool in the past (Jamie Moyer, for one) so it may be a non-issue.

The Phillies also added Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg to the organization; he will manage the AAA Iron Pigs team.  Sandberg was originally drafted by the Phillies in 1978 but played only 13 games for the Phils in 1981 before they traded him in the off-season to the Cubs in what remains one of the worst trades in baseball history.  Sandberg went on to have an amazing 15-year career with the Cubs, landing him in the Hall of Fame.

Almost 29 years later, Sandberg is back where he belongs.  After the Cubs declined to give him the job as team manager since Lou Piniella retired, Sandberg made his way back to Philly.  The Cubs may have made a huge mistake.  While that does not really make up for the disastrous trade back in 1982, their loss will still be our gain.  And when Charlie Manuel retires, who knows?  It could be Sandberg at the helm.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Wolf Feasts On Phillies Hitters

Of course, I am not referring to an actual wolf…this wolf was Brewers pitcher and former Phillie, Randy Wolf.  Although, had it been an actual wolf that devoured the Phillies, that would have been way more interesting.

But as it stands, Randy Wolf pitched 6 2/3 strong innings against his former team, allowing just 2 runs.  For the Phillies, Kyle Kendrick basically stunk up the place.  Kendrick started the game with a 3-run homer to Prince Fielder.  He threw one pitch, missed his spot and Fielder gobbled up the cookie tossed his way.  By the end of 4, Kendrick allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and a walk.
0905 wolf kendrick.jpg 

The worst part is that the Phillies have a doubleheader with the Marlins tomorrow so pitching was already at a premium.  With Kendrick not able to get past 4 innings, many bullpen pitchers had to be used which means less pitching and/or tired pitching for tomorrow.  Kendrick has been on a serious downhill slide since early August and seems to be getting worse instead of better as each start goes by.

Add in the fact that the Phillies offense is still struggling to score runs and this is another really disappointing loss.  The only two runs scored by the Phils today came on a Carlos Ruiz double in the 2nd inning.  After that, the offense had only 2 hits; one from Chase Utley and one from Jimmy Rollins.  Of 7 hits on the day, 2 were from Utley.
0905 misc.jpg

As for some of the young Phillies arms, Scott Mathieson and Antonio Bastardo are back up from AAA and each pitched an inning.  Bastardo looked sharp; Mathieson still lacks control and walked 2 batters.  He did work out of the jam, but the big question mark still looms above Mathieson’s head.  He can throw 97mph, but that is only helpful if he can throw strikes.  So far, it is not looking that way.

0905 bastardo mathieson.jpg

The Braves lost their game today as well, so the Phillies missed out on the opportunity to put themselves in a tie for first.  They still stand 1 game behind the Braves. 

In the doubleheader tomorrow, Vance Worley will be called up to start the day game, probably with Nate Robertson in tow as a back-up/bullpen piece.  Roy Oswalt will start the night game. The Marlins are on a role playing spoiler as they took 2 of 3 from the Braves this week so this will not be an easy series.  The Phillies had better find their bats!

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.  Enjoy.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

 

The Phillies Are Down, But Not Out

Despite having two of their best players sent to the DL today in Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, the Phillies still came out swinging against the Reds.  More importantly, it was the back-up players who made the biggest impact on the game.  This gives Phillies fans hope that even with 7 players on the DL, they can still produce.

P6254156bi.jpg

At the very bottom of the line-up, both Brian Schneider and Wilson Valdez hit 3-run homers in the 9-6 win over the Reds.  Schneider went above and beyond, with three hits in the game and scored on the Valdez homer.  The homer by Valdez was his 3rd of the year and only his 4th since 2004.

Joe Blanton kept the Phillies in the game, allowing just one run until the dreaded 6th inning.  That has been his Achilles heel all year long.  With 2 outs in the 6th, Blanton gave up a single, a walk and then a 2-run double.  He did finish with 7 2/3 innings allowing just those 3 runs, so this is progress for Blanton. 

But leave it Brad Lidge to try and throw away all that hard work and momentum for the Phils.  With two outs in the 9th and a 3-run lead, Lidge gave up a walk, a single and then a 3-run homer to Joey Votto to tie the game and send it to extra innings.  It was his 2nd blown save of the year in 7 opportunities.

So the depleted Phillies offense would have to rally yet again, and they did.  In the 10th they faced Arthur Rhodes, a former Phillie, who had not allowed a run in 33 consecutive innings this year.  Ryan Howard doubled, Jayson Werth walked and then Raul Ibanez stepped to the plate. 

The home plate ump had a moving strike zone all night long and when a low 0-1 pitch was called a strike on Ibanez, manager Charlie Manuel finally lost his mind.  He jumped out of the dugout and ripped CB Bucknor a new one, getting him tossed out of the game.  But the managerial fireworks sparked the Phils in a big way.  Ibanez took the very next pitch to center for an RBI double.  Ben Francisco, another bench player, hit a single to score Werth and then Valdez struck again with a bunt that scored Ibanez.

And just like that, the 3-run lead that Lidge blew was back with a 9-6 score.  JC Romero was called on for the second save attempt and got the job done without issue.  Thank goodness for JC!  You are my hero :O)  Please tell Lidge that he owes you, big time.

The Phillies will play the Reds again tomorrow with a quick turnaround at 12:35pm.  Roy Halladay will pitch and try to sneak the Phils out of town with a series win.

More Injury News

To replace Utley and Polanco, Greg Dobbs was brought back and is clearly still having issues.  He had only 2 hits in 17 at-bats during his short time in AAA and went hitless tonight in 3 attempts.  Brian Bocock was also added to the roster.  At AAA this year, Bocock hit only .177 in 209 at-bats so I cannot imagine he brings much to the table either.  But at this point, beggars cannot be choosers.  The options are limited.

The Phillies are going to have to rely on their bench players if they are going to contend.  They did it in 2007 as Tadahito Iguchi and others filled in admirably for players who went down, like Utley who got hit with a pitch, breaking his hand.  Can they do it again in 2010?  We shall see.

 

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: Who Is In, Who Is Out

Jimmy Rollins was officially activated off the DL today for the second time this year and will play tonight against the Indians.  The Phillies are hoping that J-Roll will kick-start this team and give them a much needed boost of energy. 

Both Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez, who filled for Rollins, were rewarded for their solid performances by being kept on the roster.  Instead, the Phillies designated Greg Dobbs for assignment.  Dobbs was only 1 for 25 pinch hitting this year and is batting just .152, so this is not a huge shock.  If Dobbs clears waivers and no one claims him, he will probably be sent to AAA to try to find his swing again.


107 Zagurskia.jpgCatcher Carlos Ruiz was supposed to be out for only a few days after being hit in the head with a broken bat on Friday.  But after a series of tests, the Phillies decided to put him on the DL, retroactive to June 19th.  This freed up another roster spot which was given to LHP Mike Zagurski.  In 2007, Zagurski pitched in 25 games for the Phillies and after that, he underwent Tommy John surgery.  Working his way back to the majors, Zagurski has an ERA of 2.35 pitching for AAA this year in 30.2 innings of work.

Right-hander Scott Mathieson was optioned to AAA Lehigh Valley after just 2/3 of an inning for the Phillies where he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits.


P6012370b.jpgIn other news, former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton will be inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame on Friday, August 6 before that evening’s game.  Daulton played 14 years for the Phils, went to 3 All-Star games and is the only catcher in Phillies history with two 100-RBI seasons.  Congratulations to Darren; he is very deserving!

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Fireworks In Philly – How FOX Sports Tried To Ruin The 4th Of July

Before I get to FOX Sports, I have a game re-cap for you.  Jamie Moyer, the oldest player in the major leagues, took the mound today against the New York Mets for his 600th career start!  P5314936 Moyer.jpgCongratulations Jamie!  What a milestone!  Moyer was outstanding in his effort and allowed only 1 run in 6 1/3 innings.  Not only is Jamie an amazing baseball player, he is an even more amazing human being.  Jamie dedicates countless hours to charity work with The Moyer Foundation and is ever-present in the community; a true role model for children and people of all ages.  It is refreshing to see such success come to a person who really deserves it.

Jamie got the win by a score of 4-1.  Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz were the Phillies offensive stars of the game today; Victorino went 3 for 4 with an RBI; Feliz had 3 hits as well.  Even Jimmy Rollins joined the party and collected 2 RBI on a double.  SO nice to see Jimmy creeping back to life!  It is also a big relief to see Ryan Madson begin to pitch his way back to normal.  In to relieve JC Romero, he recorded 2 quick outs to retire the Mets in the 8th inning.  Then Brad Lidge came in for the 9th, saved the game, and all is as it should be…at least for today ;O)

This gives the Phillies a series win at home for a change, and more importantly, an opportunity to sweep the Mets!  I will be at the game tomorrow and bring back news and photos.

Trade??

In some very odd news, Paul Bako, our back-up, back-up catcher (not a typo) has started 3 of the last 4 games.  This has given me some reason to speculate.  Could Carlos Ruiz be on the trading block with the Phillies desperately seeking pitching?  If they are in the middle of negotiating with another team, it makes sense to sit Ruiz as they would not want him to get hurt while making decisions.  With Chris Coste as a solid back-up and Lou Marson waiting in AAA, this may not be such a strange move.  Another possibility is that Ruiz is hurt again and no one is talking.  Then again, maybe Charlie Manuel was just feeling a bit silly this week?  We shall see as the week progresses.

Why FOX Sports Sucks

Can someone please explain to me WHY my Phillies – Mets game today was interrupted multiple times so that FOX sports could should gratuitous footage of Manny Ramirez at bat in San Diego?  It was Manny’s 2nd game back with the Dodgers since serving a 50-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy.  Can I get a big “WHO CARES??” from the peeps, please?  Thank you.

Manny explosion.jpg
Seriously, it was not Manny setting some amazing record; not Manny greeting aliens from a spaceship for our first extraterrestrial encounter; not even the President of the United States giving an important speech…Manny’s 2nd game back after a STEROID suspension.  Heck, not even the 1st game back (even so, I would not have cared to see that either).  Has FOX Sports reached an all-time low in trying to get ratings?  You betcha.  It was like them interrupting a blessing from Jesus Christ himself to show a drive-by shooting.  What exactly were they expecting to happen?  That Manny’s head would explode?  Or, he was going to announce the cure for cancer?  Now THAT would have been news.

And yet, on this most important day in America where we celebrate the freedom of our great country, we are subjected to this ridiculous, infantile Mannywood hype by FOX Sports.  On the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig retiring from baseball while suffering from a fatal disease…we get Manny-Insanity.  On the day Jamie Moyer celebrates his 600th career start as a pitcher, are we shown historical footage of the eldest current player in baseball…a person who is a great humanitarian as well?  No…we get dreadlock fever.  

 Truly disgusting.  FOX Sports – you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Moyer & Manny Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 477 other followers