Results tagged ‘ AJ Burnett ’

Moyer Magic

Just when it looks like Jamie Moyer might fold, like after allowing 9 runs in one inning in his last start, he comes out firing again.  In 8 innings against the Yankees tonight, Moyer gave up two solo homers, a single, a walk and that is all; no other hits and no other base runners. 
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The 47-year old Moyer simply does not let a bad start get him down.  It is a really amazing thing to see.

Moyer’s great performance came on the anniversary of his major league debut, June 16, 1986.  Yankee batters had an eye-popping experience as they were mowed down by Moyer’s slow-motion pitches.

AJ Burnett pitched for the Yanks and as his history dictates, he either runs hot or cold.  Luckily for a sleepy Phils offense, Burnett was running cold tonight.  They took advantage and scored six runs off him.

There were many things that occurred tonight which Phillies fans have not seen in a long time:

- Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit homers.

- Those homers were of the back-to-back variety.

- A triple!  A’la Shane Victorino :O)

- Raul Ibanez stole a base; last time that happened was May 2009.

- Greg Dobbs got a hit – Dobbs has only 10 hits all season so far.

- Wilson Valdez avoided hitting into a double play; Valdez has grounded into 10 double plays this year in only 25 games started and 34 games played total.

- Jamie Moyer pitched at least 8 innings for only the 3rd time this year in 13 starts.

- Smiles from the Phillies players.

- I watched a Phillies game through 8 innings without screaming cuss words at the TV or downing a bottle of Tums.  This is a real accomplishment.  However, I do not want to talk about the 9th inning…

And I suppose a win is something we have not seen much of this past month either so, hallelujah for that!  The 6-3 win was capped off by Brad Lidge in the 9th who ran into some trouble, allowing a run in the inning.  He also managed to get two runners on base and bring the tying run to the plate with two outs.  But finally, he struck out Jorge Posada and ended it.  Whew!

Kyle Kendrick will pitch in the finale of the series tomorrow night at 7:05pm.  If he can gather some inspiration from Moyer’s comeback and the offense can pick it up, a win is possible.  Cross your fingers and toes…

 

Jeter photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Disappointment For Phillies; Exuberance For Yankees

 

Disappointment:  The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest.  It is a source of psychological stress.  Synonyms: failure, defeat, frustration (courtesy of Wikipedia).

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And disappointment is what Philadelphia is left with after their failure to repeat as World Champions.  Instead, with a 3-7 Phillies loss tonight, the Yankees brought home their 27th World Series title.  The Phillies are left with the consolation prize as National League Champs.

After winning Game 1, the Phillies looked poised for a repeat.  Game 2 went to the Yankees in a relatively fair battle.  Game 3 was the real turning point as Cole Hamels did not perform well and the offense could not bail him out.  But things got much worse in Game 4 where Brad Lidge gave up 3 runs in the 9th after the Phillies had battled to tie up the game prior to that.  The Hamels and Lidge killer combo made for two gut-wrenching losses and a serious turn in the tide.

Cliff Lee won his second game of the series in Game 5 and kept the Phillies alive for one more day, along with the bat of Chase Utley which appeared unstoppable.  But back in New York for Game 6, Utley and the Phillies were stopped.

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Pitching wins ball games and the Yankees had better pitching.  Andy Pettitte was spectacular on only 3 days rest.  Pedro Martinez, on the other hand, had a full 5 days rest and still gave up 4 runs in 4 innings.  All 4 of those runs, plus 2 more later in the game, came off the bat of Hideki Matsui.  After hitting a homer off Martinez in Game 2 and then again tonight in the 2nd inning, why Martinez was left in the game to pitch to Matsui again in the 3rd is a mystery.  JA Happ was up and ready in the bullpen, but Charlie Manuel left Martinez in to pitch to a guy who clearly had his number.  That mistake was the back-breaker as Matsui  hit a 2-run single.

The bullpen gave up 3 more runs and the 7-1 deficit looked to be near impossible to erase for the Phillies.  The offense attempted to battle back; Ryan Howard knocked a 2-run homer in the 6th but then Pedro Feliz left his 5th base runner of the night stranded as he grounded out to third base.  In the 7th, the previously clutch Chase Utley struck out with 2 outs and 2 men on base.  That put the nail in the coffin.

So the Phillies came up short, which just plain sucks.  But they put up a good fight and overall, the season was a great success.  To have made it back to the World Series two years in a row is quite an accomplishment.  And while that does not make us feel any better right now, remember you will not be suffering alone.  It’s me, you, a bottle of Vodka and a tiny dancing bear wearing a pink tutu…oh sorry, I digress…  Just find your happy place, go there and do not come out until Spring Training.  At least that is what the voices in my head keep telling me…

Congratulations to the Yankees and their fans, especially my Yankee friends here in the MLBlogs community.  Enjoy the moment.

By the way, as luck would have it, there was an article printed about me in the local newspaper today about my Phillies-fandom.  So, not only do the Phillies lose today, but the reporter totally spelt my name wrong.  What does this mean?  Tomorrow, total strangers who recognize me from the paper will either console or harass me over this loss.  If you see me wandering about with that target on my back, please be kind ;O)  Thank you in advance…

 

The Ut-Lee Show Keeps Phillies Alive

If this were the circus, the Ut-Lee Show might replace Ringling Brothers as the Greatest Show On Earth.  For the second time in this World Series against the Yankees, Cliff Lee and Chase Utley have joined forces to win a crucial game for the Phillies.  Game 5 was a must win as a loss would have sent them home empty handed.  The Phillies pulled off an 8-6 win and this series will head back to New York for Game 6.

Chase Utley set the tone in the first inning.  Jimmy Rollins led off with a single and then Shane Victorino took a wicked hit to his hand with a pitch that got away from AJ Burnett.  Utley made the Yankees pay by smacking a 3-run homer off Burnett on the first pitch he saw.  Utley homered again in the 7th inning and ended with 4 RBI, 2 hits, a walk and 3 runs scored.  And those 2 homers gave Utley 5 total for this World Series, a total previously matched only by Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Utley did it in one less game.  Move over, Mr. October!


110209a.jpgAs for the non-Utley offense, Raul Ibanez woke from his slumber and hit a solo shot in the 7th.  Ibanez had another RBI on a single earlier in the game too.  But Ryan Howard is still slumping; he walked twice and did not have a hit in the game.  Then there is Cliff Lee, who has the highest average on the team for this series; he had another hit last night and is batting .333.

On the mound, Lee became the first Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton in 1980 to win two games in the same World Series with his performance last night.  Lee allowed only 2 runs over 7 innings, although he got into trouble in the 8th and 3 more runs scored.  But Lee probably should not have been sent out for the 8th at all if the Phillies were considering using Lee on short rest for a possible Game 7.  And in the post-game conference, Charlie Manuel and Lee indicated that the Game 7 scenario was a possibility.


110209b.jpgThe move to leave Lee in is telling; first, it shows confidence in Lee.  But more importantly, it also shows that Manuel is still unsure about his bullpen, which is not surprising.  Brad Lidge blew a tie in Game 4, which the Phillies then lost.  Ryan Madson has been shaky and allowed 3 hits and 1 run before saving the game last night in a nail biter of an inning.

The rest of the starters have been inconsistent as well.  No one is sure what to expect from Pedro Martinez tomorrow; Joe Blanton has not had a good post-season; and Cole Hamels will likely not pitch again after several disasters and his diarrhea-of-the-mouth episode in which he wished for the season to be over.  Lee cannot pitch every game so Martinez will need to come up big if the Phillies are to have a shot at repeating.

The good news is, the Phillies have momentum with the win last night.  The bad news is, the Yankees are not going to give in and will have their home town crowd to support them.  Andy Pettitte will be on 3 days rest, but Pettitte is better on 3 days rest than many pitchers on full rest.  And so the battle begins at 7:57pm on Wednesday night.

Here is the full Photo Album from Game 5; the last game of the year at Citizens Bank Park.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Series Tied Up

The World Series is now tied at 1 game each as the Yankees came up with a 3-1 win over the Phillies last night.  Starting pitchers Pedro Martinez and AJ Burnett both pitched well, but Burnett did a bit better.  Burnett was trying to do his best Cliff Lee impersonation and except for 2 hits and a run in the 2nd inning, he did just that.

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Martinez allowed 3 runs over 6 innings, but the 3rd run probably should not have happened.  Martinez looked like he was done after 6 innings, but Charlie Manuel sent him out for the 7th where he allowed 2 hits with no outs and then had be to taken out.  With a bullpen full of fresh arms that had not pitched in 8 days, plus the fact that Martinez has been sick for several days, he never should have started that inning.  A one run lead may have been possible to overcome against the Yanks closer, Mariano Rivera, but two runs were insurmountable.  Chan Ho Park allowed that 3rd run to score when he came in to relieve Martinez.

Several Phillies have been taken ill these last few weeks.  Greg Dobbs was sent back to Philly early as he has the flu; Scott Eyre and Shane Victorino have both been battling illnesses as well.  Eyre was in the hospital Thursday night with the flu.  So with Martinez catching the bug as well, why push him?

The Phillies did get to Rivera, who was sent in for a two inning save.  They managed 2 hits and a walk, proving that Mo is not untouchable.  But the decision to not send the runners with two on and two strikes on Utley, who usually makes contact, cost them.  The Yankees turned a double play to end the inning, although the replay showed Utley was safe at first.

Prior to that, Matt Stairs had the only RBI for the Phillies after a Raul Ibanez double.  The Phillies never figured out Burnett and Ryan Howard even struck out 4 times.  3 of the top 4 hitters did not get a hit and as a team, the Phillies had 6 hits total.

So the good news is, we do not have to see Burnett again for a while and hopefully, not at all.  The other good news is the Phillies are headed home where they have played extremely well this post-season.  Cole Hamels will pitch on Saturday, which is Halloween.  I think Cole should dress up for Halloween as “Hamels: Version 2008.”  Hopefully, he can scare the Yanks right out of that game.

Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phillies Love New Yankee Stadium

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Jimmy Rollins and Derek Jeter met again for the first time since sharing shortstop duties for Team USA this spring; Rollins greeted Jeter and company with a home run on the first pitch of the ballgame tonight.  In all, the Phillies walked away with 4 home runs in the game and 6 of their 7 runs scored on those blasts.  Jeter and 2 other Yankees also homered in the game, but all were solo shots.  Looks like the Phillies are loving this new Yankee Stadium.

Brett Myers especially was feeling the love tonight; he pitched a one run ballgame up until the 8th inning when 2 more homers gave the Yankees a bit of life.  Myers baffled the Yanks who walked somberly away from the plate while glancing back in awe and surprise at the Phillies pitcher.  Myers allowed those 3 solo home runs, 8 hits, had 7 strikeouts and did not walk anyone.  All this in a full 8 innings of work gave him the 7-3 win. 

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AJ Burnett
of the Yankees, on the other hand, had a rough night trying to stave off the Phils big bats.  Annoyed at the first pitch home run to Rollins, Burnett proceeded to plunk Chase Utley with a pitch immediately afterwards.  Myers, sticking up for his teammate, threw behind Jeter in the Yanks next at-bat and warnings from the umpire ensued.  The warnings had no effect on the game from that point and these 2 teams just went at it like scheduled. 


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Carlos Ruiz
had a big night for the Phillies with 3 hits, 2 RBI on a home run and he even stole a base.  Ruiz gave us all a scare though in his last at-bat when he showed some discomfort after a swing, but he continued playing and appears to be ok.  After the oblique injury he suffered earlier this year, it was a tense moment seeing him cringe.  For now though, all is well.

JA Happ will get his first start of the season tomorrow in the 4:10pm start in New York.  After that, Cole Hamels will take the ball on Sunday afternoon and I will be there to cheer on…well….everybody I guess!  I will get see my dream World Series match-up as well as a much heralded new stadium.  Cannot wait to go!  I was able to find an affordable ticket after much effort, but am not sure about the view I will have.  Fingers crossed!  I will be back with photos :O)

Don’t forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Photos by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

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*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

 

Phillies Clean-Up In Cincy

After a non-existent offense last night, the Phillies cleaned up their act today and scored big in a 12-5 win over the Reds to cap off the series win.  Raul Ibanez continued his All-Star bid by whacking home run #15 and now has 40 RBI on the year, which leads the league. 


Jimmy Rollins
cleaned-up as well, swiping stolen base #300 for his career.  Rollins has woken up of late and brought his batting average up .034 points to .234 since the start of the Nationals series last week.  He had 4 hits today alone.  And Chase Utley is still on tear; he was just a triple short of the cycle today with 3 hits and 4 RBI.

4 home runs in the game helped, including homers from Utley, Ibanez, Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs, getting a rare start.  Dobbs had a base running blunder early in the game when he was picked off 1st base as he somehow mistook the first baseman’s ankle for the base.  Whoops!  But all was forgiven when he nailed the solo shot in the 3rd.

Joe Blanton pitched well for 4 innings, but fell apart in the 5th and gave up 5 runs.  If he could just duplicate the first 4 innings for say 6 or 7 innings, that would be great.  Obviously, he still has work to do, but those 4 innings were a step in the right direction.  The bullpen, including Chan Ho Park in his first Phillies relief appearance since losing the starting job, held down the Reds for 4 more innings.  Park was a bit shaky and had 2 base runners, but he settled in and got out of the jam.  Everyone is hoping he can turn his season around by given the Phillies some solid innings out of the pen.

It is now on to New York to face the Yankees for a 3-game Memorial Day weekend series.  Tomorrow night, Brett Myers will face AJ Burnett in what should be quite a showdown with the run the Yankees have been on lately.  The Phillies have won 6 of their last 7 games and the Yanks are on an 8-game win streak.  Add a brand new stadium into the mix and this should be a good one.  My 2 favorite teams going at it – always a treat!

And as usual, here is your link to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  Don’t forget Utley, Ibanez and Howard!  And hey, if Rollins keeps this up, we can sneak him in there too :O)

 

Thumbnail image for DSCF1733 Jenn.jpgAnd one last reminder, please vote for me, #8 (Jenn, with 2 n’s), inJane Heller’s of Confessions of a She-Fan contest to see who the biggest fan is!  You can vote until Friday at midnight.  Gizmo the chinchilla and Tony the cat are #1 fans too!

 

Utley Photo by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

 

Where Is The Love?

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Ruben Amaro Jr. is off to a great start; well, a great start in totally confusing and possibly pissing off Phillies fans everywhere!  Amaro & company declined to offer arbitration to ANY of the four eligible players, including Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell.  I expected as much for Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez, but the other two are surprising.  By not offering arbitration to Moyer or Burrell, they have just given every other team in Major League Baseball a super incentive to sign them:  If you sign a player who has NOT been offered arbitration, then you do not have to give up any draft picks when signing that player away from his current team.  And in the same respect, the Phillies will get nothing if another team picks up one of our players.  So I ask then, where is the love for Moyer & Burrell?

The other side of this is that if Moyer or Burrell were actually to go to arbitration, they may have gotten salaries beyond what the Phillies want to pay for them.  I guess after getting burned on Ryan Howard’s arbitration last year where he was awarded 10 million dollars, they did not want to take this risk.  But I also think that not offering the arbitration may be sending a signal to these players that management does not mind so much if they do not return to the Phillies; and that may turn out to be a real issue.  It also makes signing new players more difficult.  For example, both A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe (pitchers) were offered arbitration by their teams.  So, the Phillies will lose draft picks if they decided to sign one of these guys.  And since they now gain nothing for losing Moyer to another team, they will be unlikely to sign a guy to replace him, like Burnett or Lowe, who has been offered arbitration.  If they did that, they lose draft picks and Moyer…it’s a double blow.

Last week, the Phillies did sign veteran reliever Mike Koplove; a 32-year old with a career ERA of 3.82 in the majors.  However, they expect him to spend a lot of time in AAA, as he did for most of his career.  So, why do the Phillies sign a 32-year old minor leaguer?  For the same reason they skipped arbitration for Moyer and Burrell this year – the Phillies management are CHEAP.  I guess they figured we won our World Series and that will be enough for the next 28 years.

Now say it with me everyone…take a deep breath and let it out….UUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

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