Results tagged ‘ Aaron Rowand ’

Worley’s 1st Complete Game Highlighted By Homers

 

Tuesday night’s Phillies – Giants game was one of the most exciting games I have been to in a long time.  And the excitement started before the game even began.  About an hour before the start time, the Giants announced that Barry Zito would pitch in place of ace Tim Lincecum, who had the flu.

At first, this was disappointing.  Seeing Lincecum pitch is really fun with his odd delivery and demeanor on the mound.  But with Zito, there was certainly a better chance for the Phillies to win the game.

Vance Worley started for the Phillies and did an amazing job.  He kept his pitch count low and used all sides of the plate with good location to confuse the Giants.  Zito did not fare as well; perhaps his super-tight pants were cutting off his circulation?  You be the judge:

Worley was backed by some great Phillies offense, including four home runs.  Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr. and Chase Utley all took part in the home run parade.  The defense was hot as well, with many great leaping plays, especially the one from Ibanez (top right) who scaled the wall in the ninth inning to help out Worley:

 

But the biggest homer of the night was of the inside-the-park variety from Utley.  He smashed a ball into center which kicked around enough that Utley never stopped running.  It was a close play, but he was safe.  And another rare thing occurred right afterwards; Utley smiled…during  a game.  Yes, shocking, I know.  Here is some of the sequence from the homer:

 

Former Phillie Aaron Rowand made a short appearance in the game as a pinch hitter in the 8th.  He strutted to the plate looking determined to show how much he loves hitting in this ballpark.  I told the guy next to me, “Watch…one pitch and he’ll homer.”  No kidding…it happened.  Must be that “interesting”…ahem!…stance of his:

 

But as Rowand enjoyed his time travel to the past, Worley was not phased.   That run made the score 6-2 and in the bottom of the inning, Howard’s homer bumped the lead to 7-2.

Worley finished the game with just two runs allowed on three hits with 114 pitches.  He and catcher Brian Schneider celebrated his 1st career complete game and afterwards, even Roy Halladay shared an appreciative laugh with the young pitcher:

 

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

Game #2 is Wednesday at 7:05pm.  Cole Hamels will face a mystery pitcher for the Giants…no word on that yet. 

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Phillies Historical 2011 Opening Weekend Sweep

Sitting among the second largest crowd in Citizen Bank Park’s history to witness another historical feat was amazing.  All in attendance saw the Phillies open a season at home 3-0 for the first time since 1970 and open a season at home with a three-game series sweep for the first time since 1899.  Yes, 1899.

The one-two-three punch of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt proved to be too much for the Houston Astros to handle.  Oswalt was great today, pitching six innings and allowing just two runs on five hits against his former ball club in the 7-3 win.

It was Oswalt’s first start against his old team in his first start of the season.  But there were many first’s in this game.  Ryan Howard hit his first homer of the season while collecting a team-high four RBI in the game.  Michael Martinez made his first major league start in place of Shane Victorino in center.  Martinez later collected his first major league hit and first RBI in the same at bat.

 

Ben Francisco also smacked his first home run of the season today and made a huge first impression as the starting right fielder this weekend.  With three hits in this game, all he had left to prove was that he could play hard in right.  Francisco accomplished that with an amazing catch in right where he crashed into the wall hard, knocking the “SD” out of the out of town scoreboard.

 

As Francisco gave up his body to make the play, the fans jumped to their feet and screamed his praises.  It was Francisco’s very own “Aaron Rowand moment.”  Remember back in 2006 when Rowand smashed face-first into the center field wall to make a game-saving catch?  He was a home town hero after that.

And while Francisco did not leave the field bloodied and battered, the effort was very much the same.  And just like that, Jayson Werth is a distant memory.

Victorino sat today to rest his sore calf, but was able to pinch-hit later in the sixth and then stayed in the game.  He saw exactly one pitch in his first at-bat and sent it to right for an RBI single.  Looks like the calf is just fine.

The Phillies are off on Monday and start a three game series with the Mets on Tuesday.  Cole Hamels will pitch and game time is 7:05pm.

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

 

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Will Aaron Rowand Return To The Phillies?

The Phillies made two moves on Tuesday that may indicate a few deals are in the works at the Winter Meetings.  Pitchers Jesus Sanchez and Yohan Flande were released from the 40-man roster, likely to make room for a few additions.  One of those additions is rumored to be ex-Phillie Aaron Rowand.


29 Rowand Runs (1)A.jpgRowand has two more years and $24 million left on his contract with the Giants.  After a down year in 2010 and losing his starting spot, the Giants have implied that Rowand is no longer in their plans going forward.  If the Giants are willing to eat most of his salary, Rowand could possibly return to Philly.

Best known for smashing his face against the centerfield wall at Citizens Bank Park to make a game-saving catch in 2006, Rowand was also the leader in the clubhouse and well loved by players and coaches alike.  He was never afraid to call out a teammate who was slacking. This kind of fire is what Charlie Manuel loves about Rowand.  It may also be motivation to bring him back.

In 2007, Rowand had a career year with the Phillies, batting .309 with 27 homers and 89 RBI.  He also made the All-Star team that year.  Since departing for San Francisco, Rowand’s numbers have steadily declined.  At the time, critics said the move to a  larger ballpark might affect his production and that appears to be the case.  On the flip side, a return to the smaller confines of Citizens Bank Park may give new life to Rowand’s bat.

In addition, Rowand will have something to prove wherever he lands.  This is a guy who plays the game hard and takes pride in his performance.  Losing his starting job may have been the kick in the backside he needed. 

Another upside is that Rowand can play either center or right field, just as Jayson Werth was able to.  Neither Domonic Brown or Ben Francisco would likely be effective in center in the event that Shane Victorino is hurt or needs a break.  And right now, Victorino is the only true centerfielder on the roster.  Even if it is just coming off the bench, Rowand could fill that role while Brown and Francisco patrol right field.

Whether or not the Phillies decide to work out a deal with the Giants for Rowand is still unknown.  But if the price is right, Rowand could be a real asset and maybe inject new life into this Phillies team.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Werth Signs With The Nationals


34B.jpgIn a shocking move, Jayson Werth has signed a 7-year deal with the last place Washington Nationals, snubbing higher-profile teams like the Red Sox.  After losing Adam Dunn to the White Sox and star rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg to Tommy John surgery, the Nats needed a seat-filler.  Attendance in DC has been pathetic over the years due to a lack of success for the team and very high ticket prices. 

In the last two years, the Nats ranked 24th and 23rd place for attendance out of 30 teams.  The acquisition of Werth should produce a spike in season ticket plans, not to mention a spike in team batting average and runs scored.  The exact terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed, but it is in the area of $126 million dollars.

The real shock is that Werth chose to sign with a last-place team.  The Nats are trying to build a winner, but realistically, this will not happen overnight.  In fact, their biggest obstacle may be the Phillies who have won the division 4-straight years now.  But Werth has his ring already so maybe winning is now lower on his list than money and stability.

As for the Phillies, they now have a huge, gaping hole in right field to be filled.  With Domonic Brown leaving Winter Ball early today due to being “tired and sluggish,” big questions remain as to his ability to fill the spot.  Worst case scenario is that the left-handed  Brown will have to platoon with righty Ben Francisco.
Brown Francisco.jpgAnother right-hander who may be able to platoon with Francisco or even Ross Gload is John Mayberry Jr.  In 11 games with the big club in 2010, Mayberry batted  .333 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI.  He has been working on his stroke in AAA and, if Brown is not ready, Mayberry might be a better option.

There is a list of free agents as well that may also be able to fill the hole.  The top choice for Charlie Manuel is probably Matt Diaz.  The two men live in the same neighborhood and spend time together in the offseason.  Diaz is a lifetime .301 hitter who got little playing time with the Braves last season.  However, Diaz did find time to tackle a rouge Phillies fan on the field back in September.  He is almost a folk-hero in Philly already after that feat.

A few other options include Jeff Francoeur, Carlos Quentin or Scott Hairston.  With a little more creativity, the Phillies may wish to consider former Phillie Aaron Rowand.  The Giants have indicated that Rowand is not in their plans going forward and may be willing to eat his huge salary just to get rid of him.  Rowand struggled last year at AT&T Park.  Perhaps the smaller, friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park can revive his bat?

A few other long-shot free-agents might be Willie Bloomquist, Joe Inglett or Jose Guillen.  Whichever way the Phillies decide to go, it is clear that Werth has left very big shoes to fill.  He will be missed.

Are Rumors Werth Listening To?

In the digital age, rumors fly much quicker than they used to.  It literally takes only seconds to post a rumor online and create a huge buzz over basically nothing.  The same applies to Phillies free-agent  right fielder, Jayson Werth. 
30a.jpg
Early this morning, a talk-show radio host mentioned that the Phillies had offered Werth a contract and that it was good enough for him to possibly sign.  Should you give credence to this rumor?  The simple answer is “No.”

Black Friday came and went and no “sale” on outfielders was ever advertised.  Tomorrow is Cyber Monday; for those awaiting a holiday miracle and second-chance sale on Werth, put it out of your mind.  It is not going to happen.  The odds of Werth returning to Philly are about the same as the possibility of a meteor landing on your house; for the record, those adds are about 182,138,880,000,000 to 1.

Did you know there is even a web site page on eHow.com dedicated to helping people determine if rumors are true?  One of the suggestions says, “Send at text to (CHA CHA) 242 242 with any rumor questions and they might be able to answer your question in just a few minutes.”  Is this not the basic equivalent to shaking a Magic 8-ball?

So if you prefer logic to magic text messages, just look at the facts.  The Phillies already have $143 million dollars committed to 2011 salaries.  Werth is going to aim for an average of $15 million a year.  Nearing the $160 million dollar mark does not leave room for improvements elsewhere, like in the bullpen.  Plus, while Domonic Brown may not be ready to take over full-time in right field, he is close enough.  The Phillies can find help elsewhere for the one year or so until Brown is ready.

Now think about some of the moves GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has already made.  If Amaro was not willing to pay to keep Cliff Lee, $15 million a year for Werth seems even more like a huge, unsustainable amount.  The Phillies are also not afraid to platoon players to fill the spot, as evidenced by previous pairings like Werth and Geoff Jenkins.  While this will not improve the position at all, it is possible that the Phillies will settle for a platoon of Ben Francisco and Brown if all else fails.

Players will wait to get the best offer.  Remember after the 2007 season when the Phillies gave a solid 3-4 offer to Aaron Rowand to return?  The Giants came in with a 5-year deal and Rowand walked.  It will be the same with Werth; even if the Phillies offer a very good deal, odds are that another team will outbid them.

And if all that has not quelled your suspicions that this weekend’s rumor might be true, take it from Werth himself.  CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Werth said via text message about being close to signing, “Not at all. It’s very early. I will make an informed decision in due time.”  So you can choose to believe the magic CHA CHA eHow text message or the verified text message sent to Salisbury.  Magic or logic; you decide.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Free Agent News

Earlier this week, the Phillies declined the option on JC Romero’s contract, thus rendering him a free agent.  Romero can still return, but it would have to be at a price both parties agree on.  Left-handed- relievers are not growing on trees, so hopefully, they can work something out.  Romero’s control should be much improved next year as his arm, which was operated on last off-season, has more time to gain strength.

As for Greg Dobbs and Jamie Moyer, it is likely the end of the line.  Neither were offered contracts and both opted for free agency. 
P7265926_dobbs_hr.jpgDobbs had a few good years with the Phillies off the bench but his numbers declined this year with his lack of playing time.  Dobbs is a super-nice guy and his personality will be missed…plus, the team just got a little bit uglier without him around ;o)

Moyer missed most of this year with an injury and has had multiple surgeries between last off-season and this year.  Add his age to that, 48 next month, and it may be hard for Moyer to find a new home.  Moyer is a class act and I wish him luck.

Today, Placido Polanco will have surgery on his elbow due to bone fragments and tendinitis, which he played with most of the year after getting hit by a pitch.  The expected recovery time is 8-10 weeks, so he should be good to go by Spring Training.  Polly hit .298 this year, despite playing through immense pain and enduring 4 cortisone injections.  I cannot wait to see what he does when he is healthy.

So, have you all been watching the World Series?  Actually, it has been less of a series and more of a tar and feathering of the Texas Rangers so far.  Cliff Lee got absolutely destroyed by the Giants in Game 1, allowing 7 runs over 4 2/3 innings.  Before that game, Lee said about the Phillies, “I didn’t mind seeing them get beat, either, just because they got rid of me.”  Call it baseball karma if you like.  I admire the man for being honest, but the comments certainly did not help him on the mound.

The Giants walked, lirerally, all over the Rangers again in Game 2 and won by a score of 9-0.  The Rangers bullpen allowed 4 walks in a row in the 8th inning…that has to be some kind of World Series record.  Former Phillie Aaron Rowand had a big hit in that inning after the walks with a 2-run triple.  The Rangers are down 2 games to none; Game 3 is on Saturday.

Does this make Phillies fans feel a little better about being pounded by the Giants?  Ok, maybe a little.  I guess I have to revise my initial prediction though….Lee will NOT be the MVP.  And it looks more like Giants in 6 than Rangers in 6.  Although, stranger things have happened.  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 One Game Away From Elimination

The Phillies seem determined to lose this NLCS series; they did everything they could think of to hand it over the Giants tonight to go down 3 games to 1.  Lose tomorrow and they will go home.  There are many ways to describe the Phillies effort this series, such as pathetic, disgusting or downright ugly.  It appears they already have their bags packed.

Not to take anything away from the Giants who are a great team with an amazing pitching staff.  But the effort they have gotten from Phillies so far in no way properly emulates the talent on this team.  The offense has been minimal to non-existent and the pitching has varied from great (Roy Oswalt, Game 2) to unexpectedly lackluster (Roy Halladay, Game 1) to horrible (Joe Blanton plus Chad Durbin, Game 4).

Tonight, Blanton was not good.  He allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk in only 4 2/3 innings.  All 3 runs were scored with two outs in the inning and one of those came after two wild pitches in the first inning.  Worse than that, after the offense squeezed out 4 tough runs in the 5th for him, Blanton could not manage a shut-down inning and gave a run right back.

The 4 runs they managed came after a string of singles and a double by Placido Polanco.  A hit batter loaded the bases but Jimmy Rollins swung at ball 4 to end the inning instead of adding on runs.  The addition of Ben Francisco in place of Raul Ibanez was an improvement as Francisco actually hit the ball a few times.  But in the end, not much else went right for the Phillies.


P8248770 Durbin platter.jpgTrying to hand the game over on a silver platter, Chad Durbin and Carlos Ruiz combined to take a 4-3 Phillies lead in the 6th inning and turn it into a 4-5 deficit.  Durbin led the inning off by walking Pat Burrell.  Then, apparently leaving his brain back in Philadelphia, Ruiz called for inside fastballs to Cody Ross who has gobbled those same pitches up this series to the tune of 3 homers and 4 RBI.  Well, he did it again with a double and eventually scored along with Burrell.

I hate to criticize Ruiz, who has been fabulous all year, but this was the 5th time he made the same mistake to Ross this series.  FIVE times!  WHEN will it end?  And that was not the only mistake; Ruiz called for a high fastball to Pablo Sandoval that same inning, which led to a 2-RBI double.  I was screaming at the TV, “Keep the ball down!” because I knew he wanted a high fastball.  If I know this, WHY doesn’t Ruiz??  Sandoval took a ridiculous swing at a low curve ball earlier in the at-bat and missed badly.  Plus, if you have EVER seen Sandoval hit, you know he likes them high.  Hello???  Am I some sort of baseball genius or was this just a bonehead move by the pitcher and catcher?  Hint: Bonehead move!!

I do not think “frustration” begins to cover the range of emotions I am experiencing right now, along with thousands of other Phillies fans.  As just another example of this, why in that same 5th inning we discussed earlier did the 3rd base coach send Ruiz home from 2nd on a ball hit to very shallow center? 
Head-Explosion.jpg
He was nailed at the plate by a mile.  And why on that same play is Shane Victorino, who hit the ball, still standing on first base instead of advancing to 2nd during the play at home?  Did he have a brain freeze?  Whatever the issue, it was about to induce a brain aneurism as my head felt like it might explode.

In the 8th inning, doubles from Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth tied the game up.  But is it just me, or did this not just seem to delay the inevitable?  So going into the 9th inning and running out of pitchers that manager Charlie Manuel felt he could trust, he brought in starter Roy Oswalt on TWO days rest.  I kid you not.  He still had Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge and JC Romero in the pen, but went with Oswalt.

That turned out to be a huge disaster.  Oswalt gave up two singles and a sac fly that scored the winning run for the Giants.  Not Oswalt’s fault by any means; what did they expect from him on two days rest and off his usual routine?

Game 5 tomorrow – Roy Halladay will attempt to keep the series alive.  Is it possible for the Phillies to win the next 3 games?  Anything is possible I suppose.

 

Durbin 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 Offense Non-Existent In Game 3 Loss

The Phillies travelled to San Francisco for Game 3 of the NLCS but apparently, they did not take their bats with them.  They did the same thing back in April when they scored only 3 runs in the first 2 games of that series.  And last year, the Phils lost 3 of 4 against the Giants in San Fran.  The Phillies lack of offense and extended slumps throughout the year were a big concern going into the postseason and it is easy to see why.

In today’s game, the Phillies left 7 men on base and went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.  They had hit Giants pitcher Matt Cain very well in previous meetings, but not today.  Cain blanked them through 7 innings despite hitting 2 batters and walking 3; that is 5 free base runners that the Phillies did absolutely nothing with. 


throw up - Copy.jpgChase Utley
was the worst offender, leaving 3 on base and hitting a bunch of weak grounders.  He also missed a ground ball which led to runs, although it was officially not scored an error.  Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino left 2 on base and Raul Ibanez left 3.  Ibanez looked ridiculous at the plate, swinging at pitches well out of the strike zone, even grounding into a double play to end the game.  Early in the year, Ibanez suffered from prolonged slumps that took weeks and months to emerge from.  The Phillies do not have time for him, or anyone else, to break out of it.  I admire Charlie Manuel for sticking by his guys, but it is time for a wake-up call here.

So the Phillies offense wound up with only three hits the entire game.  And although Cole Hamels was not at his best, it really didn’t matter what he did.  Three hits are not going to win any ball games.  Hamels had a quality start with 3 runs allowed in 6 innings, but I am sure even Hamels is not happy with that result.  But he certainly did not get any help.

The two ex-Phillies on the Giants roster had a hand in the damage.  Pat Burrell walked with 2 outs in the 4th to set up Cody “The Devil” Ross, who singled in a run.  Burrell then scored on an Aubrey Huff single.  Then Aaron Rowand led off the 5th with a double and eventually scored.  I am sure Burrell and Rowand had a nice time sticking it to the team who sent them packing.

While this is a best of 7 series, the Phillies are now in big trouble.  Joe Blanton was set to pitch tomorrow, but that game is now a must-win.  It is possible that Manuel may ask his 3 ace’s all to pitch on 3 day’s rest.  Blanton has not pitched since 9/24. 

However, I am not so sure that short rest will be a good thing for any of these 3 starters, especially when you consider the number of innings they all pitched in the regular season.  Roy Halladay pitched 250 2/3 innings this year, 2nd most in his career.  Roy Oswalt pitched 211 2/3 and Hamels has never pitched on short rest.  In fact, Hamels would be most affected as he has been very vocal in years past about being able to stick to his usual routine.

But even more concerning is the lack of energy and production out of this Phillies offense.  They look lethargic and complacent.  Right now, I feel like I am writing an obituary instead of a blog entry.  No, they are not dead yet, but it is getting close.  I would love to be wrong on this.  Game 4 tomorrow: 7:30pm.

UPDATE: In
a post-game interview, Charlie Manuel said Blanton will start tomorrow.

 


Happy Bunny by Jim Benton

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

 

Phillies Will Meet The Giants In The NLCS

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Braves last night to advance to the NLCS against the Phillies.  This match-up promises to be a hard-fought duel to the death between two great pitching staffs.  The season series between the two teams ended in a draw with 3 wins each out of 6 games.  These teams are very closely matched.

The real drama will unfold in Game 1 on Saturday when two Cy Young winners face off.  Tim Lincecum of the Giants has won the award the past two years and Roy Halladay of the Phils is the favorite to win the award this year.  Halladay already has won the award once before.


Halladay Lincecum.jpgIn 2010, Halladay finished the year with a 21-10 record and a miniscule 2.44 ERA.  Lincecum went 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA, a disappointing year by Lincecum standards.  But in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, Lincecum pitched a complete game 2-hitter.  He was outdone only by Halladay who pitched a no-hitter in his postseason debut against the Reds.  A slight edge goes to Halladay with this match-up, but only by a hair.  The deciding factor is likely to be the offense of both teams.

Here are some stats for the last 5 years of Phillies batters vs. Lincecum and Giants batters vs. Halladay:

VS. Lincecum

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Dobbs, Greg

.200

5

0

0

Gload, Ross

.400

5

0

0

Howard, Ryan

.250

16

2

4

Ibanez, Raul

.143

7

0

0

Polanco, Placido

.500

2

0

0

Rollins, Jimmy

.167

18

0

0

Ruiz, Carlos

.250

8

0

0

Schneider, Brian

.000

5

0

0

Utley, Chase

.118

17

1

1

Victorino, Shane

.222

18

1

2

Werth, Jayson

.500

6

1

1

 

VS. Halladay

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Burrell, Pat

.333

18

0

1

Fontenot, Mike

.333

3

0

0

Huff, Aubrey

.238

42

0

2

Renteria, Edgar

.286

7

0

0

Ross, Cody

.250

4

0

1

Sanchez, Freddy

.333

3

0

0

Uribe, Juan

.167

12

0

0

 

For the Phillies, Jayson Werth and Placido Polanco have the best shot at rattling Lincecum.  And for the Giants, our old pal Pat Burrell has done well against Halladay in 18 at-bats.  However, several big guns for the Giants like Pablo Sandoval and rookie Buster Posey have never faced him.  So, there is no telling how they may fare.

Another possible factor in the game is the lengthy lay-off before the series begins.  However, both teams will be dormant for almost the same amount of time; the Phillies ended their NLDS on Sunday and the Giants ended on Monday.  The same concern was expressed back in 2008 and the Phils won the World Series that year.  Also, I think the time-off will be good for the Phils who have a lot of banged up players like Polanco with his bum elbow and Jimmy Rollins, who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

My biggest personal concern is the Phillies having to play 3 games in San Francisco.  They lost 2 of 3 there this year and 3 of 4 the year before, with their only win coming in Cliff Lee’s Phillies debut.  I was there for the entire series and can tell you, this team does not like playing in AT&T Park.  It is bitterly cold, windy, the ballpark is huge with odd dimensions and the bullpens are uncomfortably close to the field.  Not to mention the visitor’s clubhouse is cramped and awkward…I know; I have been in there.  In short, it is a hostile environment.


P9213064 Burrell2.jpgThe Phillies will need to use the home field advantage to jump on the Giants quickly.  Fans can help out by bringing their usual fervor and enthusiasm to the ballpark.  Feel free to give Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand their proper welcome back, but after that, all bets are off. 

Burrell should not be allowed to get too comfy coming back home because he can really hurt the Phillies; he loves hitting in Citizens Bank Park.  And yes, it pains me to think of heckling Burrell; he helped bring us the 2008 championship.  But fans need to suck it up and treat him like the enemy!  After the series, we can all give him a group hug to make up for it ;o)

 

 

Photo and head shots by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Reunions Abound In Win Over Giants

There were many reunions tonight at the Phillies-Giants game.  Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand came back to Philly again in Giants uniforms.  And Chase Utley returned to the Phillies line-up, making a super-speedy recovery from thumb surgery.  You could feel the love:

0817 love.jpg

And more importantly for the ladies, it was a visual treat.  Pat the Bat and other legendary backsides were welcomed with open arms:

0817 butts.jpg

Oh, you were expecting a game recap, right?  Sorry…got sidetracked.  So the game was very nice as well.  Roy Oswalt got off to a rocky start, allowing 2 runs in the first inning. 
0817 Oswalt.jpg
One of those runs was Burrell’s first at-bat; clearly, he is right at home in Philly.  The standing ovation he received while stepping to the plate died down quickly once that ball left the yard.

But Oswalt rebounded and allowed only 1 more run, another solo shot, through 7 total innings pitched.  He finally got some offensive support as well. 
P8177421G.jpg
Placido Polanco had a 4-hit night; Jimmy Rollins collected 3 RBI; Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz had 2 RBI each.  By the way, Victorino’s wife Melissa is pregnant!  Check out the baby bump.  Congrats to them both!

With a 4-3 lead going into the 8th, the offense exploded in a very odd inning.  With the bases loaded and no outs for Ruiz, he nailed a 2-run double.  Later, the Giants pitcher balked to send another run home and send manager Bruce Bochy to the showers early as he was tossed for arguing the call.  A wild pitch followed by a fielding error scored Rollins and the Utley was picked off going to third to end the inning.  5 more runs scored that inning and the Phils won by a score of 9-3.

0817 action.jpg

By the way, Mike Sweeney has not exactly been lighting up the ballpark at the plate, but this guy shows some serious hustle out there. 
P8177859 sweeney.jpg
At one point, he went into the crowd trying to catch a foul ball.  I got this shot of it, not too in focus, but take a look at his glove and the ball next to it, surrounded by fans.  That is a brave man.

So the rest of the photos will be up later.  I have to get some sleep, prep for tomorrow’s game and do it all over again!  Check back for more later.

UPDATE: Here is the full Photo Album from the game!

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

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