Results tagged ‘ Albert Pujols ’

Home Run Derby 2009

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The St. Louis crowd loves Ryan Howard.  But when Albert Pujols made his entrance, the fans officially went nuts.  Both sluggers were favorites to win the 2009 Home Run Derby; Pujols playing for the Cardinals and Howard, a St. Louis native, both had a lot of support going into the contest.

The first round results, which put Pujols into a swing-off with Joe Mauer and Carlos Pena, ended with both Pujols and Howard making the second round along with Prince Fielder and Nelson Cruz.  Pujols ended round #2 with 11 total homers and Howard wound up hitting 15.  Cruz stepped in for his turn and out-did Howard by just one home run for 16 total.  Howard’s last hope was that Fielder, the final batter in round 2, would not surpass his 15 homers.  Sadly for Phillies fans, Fielder wound up hitting 17, knocking Howard out of the contest.  Ryan seemed relieved though, as exhaustion set in and he was likely happy to be done.


It was a nice effort all around, although not as exciting as last year’s derby where Josh Hamilton put on a show that will probably never been repeated.  Hamilton hit 28 homers in the first round, many of which disappeared from sight in old Yankee Stadium.  Although he went on to take 2nd place to Justin Morneau, those of us who witnessed the amazing display of power and grace will not soon forget it.  I had a feeling this year’s derby would pale in comparison, but how could it not?

But the derby is always an entertaining event that I look forward to seeing every year.  And the 2009 champion is Prince Fielder, who hit 6 in the final round to Cruz’s 5.  Congrats to Fielder!

Tune in for the All-Star Game tomorrow night at 8pm on FOX.  Tim Lincecum will start for the NL and Roy Halladay for the AL.  As for your Phillies, Chase Utley gets the start at 2nd, Raul Ibanez in left and Shane Victorino in center.  Howard and Jayson Werth will be available on the bench.

My predictions for the game are as follows:

- The NL will finally break the curse of 11 straight AL wins (plus 1 tie) and win the game!

- Chase Utley will look FABULOUS, even if he strikes out multiple time.  I guarantee it.

- Tim Lincecum will be asked by at least 15 fans if he is the teenage son of one of the other players.

- St. Louis fans will chant “RAUUUUUUL!” even if they do not know why they are doing it.

- The broadcasters for FOX will screw up simple facts at an approximate rate of 2.3 times per inning.

- The FOX broadcast will also be boring, redundant and completely void of any redeeming value…sorry to have to break it to you.  But, enjoy the game…with the volume turned down :O)

Photos by Jenn

 

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Phils Sweep The Cards

Pitcher Brett Myers did not look happy with his performance today as Charlie Manuel pulled him in the 6th after he gave up a hit and an RBI to the opposing pitcher.  Myers lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up 5 run on 9 hits, including 2 home runs.  Luckily, the offense bailed him out and the Phillies went on to a 10-7 victory over the Cardinals.

P2232834 Victorino.jpgShane Victorino continued his 14-game hitting streak today by going 4 for 5 with 3 RBI and ended up just a triple short of the cycle.  His only blunder of the day was getting picked off at first base when the pitcher faked to 3rd and then came back to 1st.  Victorino is very aggressive on the bases so this is bound to happen occasionally. 

Jayson Werth, with his family in attendance, hit another home run today; this one was 3-runs.  Yesterday, he hit a 2-run homer.  Werth also had a sac fly in the game, which gives him 4 RBI on the day.  A base running mistake on the sac fly by Werth may have cost the Phillies a few extra runs as Raul Ibanez got doubled up; he apparently thought it was going to be a hit and wandered way off 2nd base. 

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Ibanez also fumbled a ball in left field; he may have been able to throw a runner out at home had he not let the ball slip away.  And then he got tagged out at home plate in the 9th.  But really, it was Ibanez’s first “bad” day as a Phillie.  So, we totally forgive him :O)

Brad Lidge was sent in for the 9th in a non-save situation and immediately gave up a home run to Albert Pujols.  Lidge may have experienced some bad flashbacks about Pujols taking him deep in the NLCS of 2005.  However, he bounced right back and sent the next 3 batters down in order to end the game.  In fact, Pujols was almost non-existent in this 2-game series, save for that one home run, which was his only hit in the series.

Chase Utley was not in the line-up today; Manuel decided to sit him down after he suffered from a sore foot last night as a result of getting hit by a pitch days earlier.  Reports are that Utley is fine and was rather annoyed that he was scratched from the line-up.  He should be good to go tomorrow for the start of another short, 2-game series against the Mets.  Chan Ho Park will take on Johan Santana.  Do I really need to watch or can I just assume this one will be a lost cause?  Park has been awful and is probably only still in the rotation due to concerns about Cole Hamels getting well after an ankle sprain.  Cole – PLEASE get better!!!

Don’t forget to get on-line and VOTE for your All-Stars!  Get the Phillies to the game in St. Louis!

Photos by Jenn

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As The Ankle Turns

The soap opera that is the Curse of Cole Hamels continues…  First, he hurts his left elbow in Spring Training and misses his Opening Day start; then in his last start, he gets hit in his pitching shoulder (left arm) with a line drive; and yesterday, he turns his left ankle while fielding a bunt that he knew ahead of time was going to be coming.  The batter turned and squared to bunt before Hamels threw a pitch.  So, is this man made of glass or is he just cursed on the left side of his body?  Will he ever finish a game in 2009?  Maybe we should cover him up in bubble wrap and then seal him in a hermetic chamber.  Just a thought…Hamels ankle.jpg

Cole tossed one warm-up pitch after the turned ankle and then, in obvious frustration, he tossed the ball at manager Charlie Manuel and walked off the field in dramatic fashion.  Cue the cheesy soap opera music…  The good news is, the MRI’s were negative and it appears to be only a sprain.  Hamels told the media he expects to be ready for his next start, but that remains to be seen.  After being very disappointed last year when he did not make the All-Star team, it looks like this year will be no different after this roller coaster start to the season.

The real shame of it all is that Hamels was off to a great start in these last few outings, only to be pulled due to injury.  Last night, he had only given up 4 hits and not surrendered a run before leaving in the 5th with only 1 out recorded.  Chad Durbin came in to take over for Hamels though and pitched a superb 3 2/3 innings of 1-run ball.  That run, an Adam Dunn solo shot, was the only hit recorded off Durbin.  Kudos to Durbin for saving the day!  What an effort to pick up his teammate!

Also doing a lot of the heavy lifting last night was Chase Utley; Utley took his revenge on John Lannan, the same pitcher who broke his hand 2 years ago.  In the 3rd, Utley took Lannan deep for a 2-run shot and then completed the humiliation with a solo shot in the 5th.  That’s what you get for breaking this super-star’s hand!

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Pedro Feliz hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd, continuing his hot streak.  Feliz is now batting .333.  And Raul Ibanez is relentless in his pursuit to call Philly his new home, blasting a solo home run in the 8th.  Ibanez and Utley are now tied for first place in home runs in the majors with Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez; all four players have 7 homers.

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Congrats also to Jimmy Rollins who finally recorded his first stolen base of the season last night!  J-Roll was 1 for 4 at the plate and seems to be in the midst of waking up offensively and getting his batting average out of the gutter; it currently stands at .195, which should change very soon.

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And now on to our Fan of the Game:  This is Buddy from Philadelphia and he is a big Phillies fan.  Buddy was especially high on Raul Ibanez, as I heard chants of “Pat who?” echo throughout the outfield.  Well, we do still miss Pat Burrell, but Ibanez has left no doubt that not only will that role be filled, but he will give us a more consistent bat and so far, great defense as well.  Let’s hear it for RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!

I have posted a Photo Album from the game; these will be a bit different than what you usually see from me as I had a seat in straight away centerfield at the top of the section last night.  A different, and much more distant, perspective for sure.

Romero Sues

JC Romero is suing the company of the supplement he took that was tainted with an unlisted ingredient which caused him to test positive for steroids and resulted in a ridiculous 50-game suspension.  He is also suing the manufacturer and one of the people named in the law suit is Patrick Arnold, a chemist who has already spent time in jail after the BALCO scandal.  Just a few things to note here: Supplements are not regulated by the government and therefore, even if MLB approves of a supplement, it can still cause a player to test positive if it has been tainted in the manufacturing process.  Romero did get an ok from the MLBPA to take the supplement, but did not call some 800# to check again, and so MLB decided he was negligent.  He got the same suspension as would a person who actually took steroids.  Disgusting.

I have been thinking this over for the last few days now and trying to put those thoughts into words.  This has been an emotional ride for JC, his family, his teammates, and his fans.  As for myself, I know personally what an honest and forthright human being JC is and can tell you that not only is he innocent, but he is a victim here.  I hope he takes these people for all that they have and that this sets a precedent for other players who may be victimized by this system.  MLB needs to revisit their policies and create a fair regulation process.

There have been some questions about why Romero is not suing MLB.  What may not be widely known is that when he first tested positive, he was offered a reduced suspension, 25 games to begin immediately, if he agreed to waive his rights to an appeal.  However, he would have missed out on playing in the World Series if he took the deal.  Not wanting to let down his team and knowing he was innocent, he turned down the deal and chose his TEAM over his own personal well-being.  He knew that if he lost the appeal, he would get the 50 game suspension and lose out on more than a million dollars in salary.  And still, Romero did the right thing and should be commended for that.  This is a man who always does the right thing and yet, MLB punished him for it.  The reason he is not suing MLB is probably because as another term of going to appeal, he most likely had to waive his rights to future litigation.  A very sad an unfortunate set of circumstance; so again, I hope he slaughters these companies in court.

Next Up

So the Phillies will work on their 2nd straight sweep tonight, trying to beat the Nationals again starting at 7:05pm.  While you are watching the game, log on to VOTE for your All-Stars!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.  Get the Phillies to St. Louis!!  And as always, feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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Trading Places

Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols have swapped MVP titles:  In 2006, Howard was the MVP winner for the National League while the Phillies missed the playoffs by one game and Pujols was a World Champion.  This year, Pujols snagged the MVP and Howard went home with the World Series ring, coming in 2nd in the MVP voting.  A little ironic though that Pujols won this year, because in 2006, he stated that a player should not get the MVP award if his team did not make the playoffs.  Well, Pujols is now eating those words as his team finished FOURTH in their division and were obviously, nowhere near going to the playoffs.  And still, he won the award.  On the flip side, Howard carried the Phillies into the playoffs during the month of September where he batted .352 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs.  For the season, Howard had a Major League leading 48 home runs and 146 RBI.  But Howard came out on the losing end, likely due to his batting average.  Frankly, I do not care what his average is if he is hitting in key situations.  He was there when this team needed him the most and that, I do believe, is the definition of an MVP.  Nothing taken away from Pujols though; he is also a great player.  And apparently, the voters had a few other players in mind too.  Here is how the voting played out:

2008 NL MVP Award Voting

Player, Club

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

Points

Albert Pujols, STL

18

10

2

1

 

 

1

 

 

 

369

Ryan Howard, PHI

12

8

6

 

1

1

2

 

 

1

308

Ryan Braun, MIL

 

2

3

5

5

2

2

3

2

1

139

Manny Ramirez, LAD

 

2

4

7

2

3

2

 

1

2

138

Lance Berkman, HOU

 

2

4

4

1

3

3

4

1

1

126

CC Sabathia, MIL

 

4

5

1

2

2

3

 

1

2

121

David Wright, NYM

 

2

1

4

3

3

2

5

2

1

115

Brad Lidge, PHI

2

 

2

 

4

3

2

3

1

2

104

Carlos Delgado, NYM

 

 

5

1

2

5

 

2

3

 

96

Aramis Ramirez, CHC

 

 

 

2

4

1

1

4

3

1

66

Hanley Ramirez, FLA

 

 

 

2

2

2

1

2

2

5

55

Chipper Jones, ATL

 

1

 

 

 

2

4

1

2

2

44

Geovany Soto, CHC

 

 

 

3

1

 

3

 

1

 

41

Johan Santana, NYM

 

1

 

1

 

1

1

 

2

1

30

Chase Utley, PHI

 

 

 

1

1

1

1

 

3

2

30

Ryan Ludwick, STL

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

1

17

Brandon Webb, ARI

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

1

 

14

Adrian Gonzalez, SD

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

1

4

13

Matt Holliday, COL

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

1

 

1

13

Prince Fielder, MIL

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

1

1

1

11

Derrek Lee, CHC

 

 

 

 

1

 

1

 

 

 

10

Carlos Beltran, NYM

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

 

1

10

Tim Lincecum, SF

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

2

9

Jose Reyes, NYM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

3

Jose Valverde, HOU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

3

Stephen Drew, ARI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

2

Nate McLouth, PIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

Brad Lidge came in 8th place, and I am happy to see him get some recognition.  Chase Utley got some votes and ended up in 15th place.  Some VERY odd choices to even be on this list…Nate McLouth, for instance.  And there are FIVE Mets on the list, which is truly baffling.  This team chokes again and still has 5 potential MVP’s?  Just goes to show you how the New York area is still considered THE big market amongst media people.  So, what are your thoughts?

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Utley Wins Third Straight Silver Slugger

MLB announced yesterday that Chase Utley, who had the highest home run total of all second basemen in the majors this year, has been awarded his third consecutive Silver Slugger award.  Of course, this is just icing on the cake after the World Series win, but still a great honor.  Utley led all NL second basemen in hits (177), runs (113), RBIs (104), on-base percentage (.380), slugging percentage (.583) and extra-base hits (78).  His major leading home run total was 33 and he also racked up 100 RBI’s for the 4th season in a row.  And in those 4 seasons, he has accumulated more homers (112), RBI’s (404), hits (702) and runs scored (433) than any other second baseman in the majors.


P4208109 Utley.jpgUtley joins fellow teammates Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino in the post-season awards-fest.  Rollins and Victorino picked up Gold Gloves for their 2008 Championship season last week.  Ryan Howard was not chosen for a Silver Slugger this year, coming in second to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals.  This may be a trend; the NL MVP award will be announced on Monday and many expect that Howard will lose out to Pujols again.  If Howard were to win, it would be the third time in a row that the Phillies took home the award, with Howard winning it twice and Rollins once.  Wishful thinking, but we will find out on Monday!

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

The Elder Moyer Schools The Fish

46 year-old Jamie Moyer taught another pitching lesson last night to the Fish, who floundered under his tutelage for the 9th time in 9 tries since 2006.  Moyer reeled in another win against the Marlins, going 8 solid shut-out innings with only 2 hits surrendered, 1 walk and 3 strikeouts.  Another amazing performance from the pitching master on this staff!  So amazing in fact, that even the opposing pitcher, Scott Olsen, who openly HATES the Phillies, had nothing but praise for Moyer after the game.  Olsen said, “He does a very good job locating the pitch he wants, where he wants. He gets you to swing at his pitch. He’s ahead of the count a majority of the times, and you’re on the defensive with him. He does such a good job mixing speeds that you can’t sit on anything.”

 

Isn’t this the same guy who bashes Phillies in the press all the time?  Wow.  Yeah, if I remember correctly, Olsen is the one who yelled at Chase Utley last year for taking his base on ball four during a game in May.  Was he supposed to NOT take his base?  Hmmmm…  And I mean, we are talking about Utley, the most mild-mannered guy in baseball.  He is like the Clark Kent of the baseball world.  See the resemblance? 
utley clark kent cr.jpg


Ya think Olsen may have blown that a bit out of proportion?  Now he is dousing praise on Jamie Moyer…maybe he has finally graduated to Big Boy pants
J  How cute.  Isn’t it nice to see them grown up right in front of you…  Either that, or he’s secretly hoping Jamie will adopt him J

 

On to St. Louis where the Cards are missing the great Albert Pujols!  Darn!  I will now observe a personal moment of silence as I mourn his absence from the line-up. …Ok, I am over it now. J  Go Phillies!

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