Results tagged ‘ All-Star ’

Cubs Slaughter The Phillies…Twice

In the first game of the Phillies – Cubs series last night, it started well for the Phils with a two-run homer from Ryan Howard in the first inning.  But right away, pitcher Jamie Moyer gave those runs back.  By the end of 3 innings, Moyer gave up 6 runs on 5 hits and had to be pulled from the game.

The Phillies wound up using 7 different pitchers in the game.  The worst of those were Jose Contreras, allowing 5 more runs and Danys Baez adding one more to the thumping.  The offense did nothing after the Howard homer until the 9th inning. 
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By that time, the Phils were down 12-2 so the 4 runs they scored in the 9th made little difference.  Although, Howard hit bookend homers in the game; the 2-run shot in the 1st and another 2-run shot in the 9th.

Coming into today’s game having lost the first, Howard tried again to spark his team.  After Shane Victorino homered in the 4th, Howard hit another 2-run bomb in the 6th, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead.  But as was the case the day before, the starting pitcher gave those 2 runs right back again.

Joe Blanton looked like he might have a good outing until in the 5th, with the bases loaded, he walked the opposing pitcher.  And then in the 6th after the Howard homer, Blanton gave up a 2-run homer to former Phillie Marlon Byrd to tie the game.  And to make matters worse, all 3 of those runs scored with 2 outs in the inning.

Ryan Madson ran into the same 2-out trouble in the 8th inning.  Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer, giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead.  The Phillies did nothing to help themselves in the 9th.  Jayson Werth struck out looking for the 3rd time in one game and he has no hits in the series so far.  Ben Francisco also struck out looking 3 times.  As a team, the Phillies struck out fourteen times!  Disgusting.

The Phillies offense, except for Howard, looks pathetic right now and the pitching has not been good.  While we are only 2 games out of the All-Star break, this is very concerning.  The good news is, Cole Hamels pitches tomorrow and Roy Halladay on Sunday.  But as far as the good news goes, that is it.

So let us have a little fun for a moment.  Is it just me, or did anyone else think that the Cubs catching gear looks a bit like R2D2?


R2D2 catcher.jpgMaybe this is Cubs secret pitching weapon?  It sure would explain a lot about the last 2 games.  *SIGH*

National League Wins All-Star Game, Ending The American League Streak

The National League entered today’s All-Star Game not having won against the American League since 1996.  That win took place in Philadelphia.  Manager Charlie Manuel and the Phillies coaching staff had a huge task on their hands for the second consecutive year, trying to win World Series home field advantage for the NL.

P6253786a.jpgTwo Phillies took part in the game today; Chase Utley stayed home as he is recovering from surgery on his thumb.  Ryan Howard served as the DH and went 0 for 2; but hits were difficult to come by in this game.  Through 6 innings, the both teams had only 4 hits each.  Two of the hits for the AL came off Phillie Roy Halladay, although one hit was a pop-up that landed in the middle of nowhere and ex-Phillie Marlon Byrd could not quite get to it.

The AL struck first in the 5th as Dodger’s pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo allowed an unearned run after a costly error where he overthrew 1st base on an easy grounder.  He had already walked a batter, then the error gave the AL two runners and a sac fly scored Evan Longoria. 

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But the NL fought back in the 7th.  Another ex-Phillie, Scott Rolen, singled followed by a Matt Holliday single.  Rolen’s aggressive base running put him on third base.  Byrd walked with 2 outs and then Braves catcher, Brian McCann, hit a bases-clearing double to give the NL the lead.  Two runs were charged to Yankee Phil Hughes and another to White Sox Matt Thornton.

In the bottom of the 7th, Holliday took a bad route to a ball in left and it went off his glove, giving Blue Jay John Buck a double instead of an out.  Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals was pitching but Holliday could not help out his teammate.  Shane Victorino could have caught that ball from either left or center…just saying ;o) 

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But to Wainwright’s credit, he worked out of the inning without allowing a run.  Whew!  So the NL went into the 8th inning with a 3-1 lead.  The NL did not score in the 8th and Giants closer, Brian Wilson, erased the AL batters in the bottom of the inning.  Personally, I think the mohawk is his secret weapon.

So it would come down to the 9th inning.  The NL did not score and Manuel brought in another Dodger, Jonathan Broxton, to try and nail down the save and the win for the NL.  Broxton gave up a hit right away to the Home Run Derby champ, David Ortiz.  He struck out the next batter but gave up a single to Buck.  However, with Big Papi Ortiz running, Byrd was able to throw him out at second from right field.  That was an amazing, heads-up play by Byrd!

The next batter flew out and the National League won it!!  FINALLY!  A win for the NL!  Way to go, Charlie!  Now, let see if the Phillies can actually use the home field advantage this year; that, of course, would require a third straight trip to the World Series.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

 

Hamels Shines As Phillies Sweep Reds

The Phillies beat the Reds today to complete a 4-game sweep and head into the All-Star break.  And for the first time this week, they did not need extra innings or a walk-off hit to beat them.  And although the 1-0 victory was a very tight game, it felt more like the Phillies were in the driver’s seat the whole game.

Most of that had to do with the performance, and confidence, of pitcher Cole Hamels.  He finally looked like the 2008 World Series MVP again.  Not only was Hamels making his pitches, but he looked determined on the mound.  More importantly, he was never rattled by bad calls or bad plays; and there were plenty of those to go around.

For instance, Ryan Howard dropped a pop-up.  In his defense, it was a tough play.  Also the first base umpire called a runner safe when replay showed he was out by a good amount.  And then there was the home plate umpire who had a strike zone most of the day that was about the size of a pea.  As the weather got hotter though, it looked like he expanded it a little.  See here as a pitch to Carlos Ruiz is called a strike; note that the ball crosses the plate at his elbow.  And here is the Howard play as well:

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But despite the miscues, Hamels kept right on pitching with fervor.  After Howard dropped the ball and the ump blew the call at first, in both cases Hamels got a double play to erase the mistakes.  You cannot ask for more than that from your pitcher; well done.  Here are a few more photos:

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Not so well done was the following: TWO fan interference calls which necessitated TWO booth reviews on balls that looked like home runs.  Ruiz hit the first one, but on replay it was a double and the fan really did not affect it too much. 

The next one was a hit by Jayson Werth where the fan reached over the wall and snagged the ball.  While it also was not a homer, had the ball been left alone, it would have bounced off the wall.  Centerfielder Drew Stubbs was jumping up for the ball, which then would have bounced far away from him, possibly enabling Werth to go to third base or even score an inside-the-park homer.  But because of the fan, it was a ground rule double and we will never know what could have been.

Ok people, I am officially putting Stupid Fans ON NOTICE.  Not all Phils fans; just the STUPID ones (you know who you are).  One day soon, if this trend continues, like the fan who took a pop-up away from Werth on Thursday, a fan is going to cost this team a game.  Mark my words: it will happen.  Today it did not; Thursday it did not; but it is coming.  If you are lucky enough to have a seat in the front row of a section and simple cannot or will not pay full attention to the game and its rules, give your seat to someone who will. 

And the Phillies need to start cracking down on this behavior.  Anyone who leans into the field of play or interfere’s with a player should be ejected and fined.  The Phils “say” they will do this, but more times than not, I see the same idiot fan still in his seat, waiting to ruin another play.  Let’s put it this way, follow the rules and respect the game otherwise, I will suggest to the Phillies that they have Jayson Werth run around the stadium and cuss out the entire front row.  You know he will do it ;o)

And no, I do not condone Werth’s language during the incident on Thursday.  It did make me sad for that poor kid.  But he did have a point.  If you are a fan of the game, act like one.  PAY ATTENTION.  Thank you.

And now back to the game :O)  Sorry for the rant interlude…

The Phillies offense had only 4 hits and 1 run as both pitchers were doing well.  Jimmy Rollins had 2 of the 4 hits plus the lone RBI; the other two hits were the fan-interference doubles.  Hamels wound up pitching 7 2/3 innings without allowing a run.  Jose Contreras ended the 8th and JC Romero got the first out of the 9th.

Romero looked like he was on fire as he mowed down his one hitter.  So when Charlie Manuel came out of the dugout to bring in Brad Lidge for the save, most of the crowd began hollering and boo’ing.  Not only did Romero look great, but Lidge has been anything but great this year.  With only 5 save in 8 attempts, Lidge makes people nervous.  But Manuel is determined Lidge will get better and today, he did.  Two quick outs and the save was intact, plus a win for Hamels.  Whew!

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

Closing out the first half of 2010 with a 4-game sweep was a much needed boost to this Phillies team that has struggled most of the year with injuries, slumps and sloppy play.  This series could be the engine that propels them into a great second half.

But for now, All-Star fever is upon us.  Before today’s game, the coaching staff and players were given their All-Star jerseys.  Even the Phanatic got one; he was very excited.  And All-Star Mickey Mouse made an appearance at the stadium as well:

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Here is the All-Star schedule of events:

July 11: Taco Bell All-Star Sunday at Angel Stadium featuring: XM All-Star Futures Game & Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game; All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run

July 12: Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Angel Stadium featuring: State Farm Home Run Derby

July 13: 11:30 a.m. – Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet (Parade Route: along Convention Way and Harbor Blvd. ending in Disney Way)

8:00pm – 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Moyer Left In Too Long; Phillies Lose Series

Tonight’s final game against the Braves was very important for the Phillies.  A loss would bury them 6 games behind the Braves with only 4 games until the All-Star break and no chance to play the Braves again until September.  In this situation, you would expect the game to be managed as if it was extremely important; a must-win.  That did not happen.

While everyone respects what Jamie Moyer has been able to accomplish this year and over his entire career, this should not give him extra leeway in such an important game.  The man is 47 years old and tonight, he had to pitch in 100 degree heat; kudos to Moyer for being able to do this.  But the manager has to recognize when a pitcher is simply done for the day.P6274580 Moyer.jpg

 

In the 6th inning, Moyer got an out and then proceeded to have all kinds of trouble.  He gave up a home run and a single right away and was visibly exhausted.  But does Charlie Manuel even get the bullpen up at this point?  No.  Moyer continued on, allowing a double, a walk and finally a 3-run double.  Four runs had scored and still, Moyer is allowed to keep pitching as sweat poured down his face.  Clearly, he could no longer locate his pitches.

The very next batter whacked a 2-run homer and just like that, the Braves were handed a 6-run inning.  Danys Baez was finally called in to end the inning.  So what should have been a nice, productive outing for Moyer was turned into a demoralizing slaughter because Manuel did not pull him when it was logical to do so.

Manuel is obviously lacking in confidence where the bullpen is concerned as evidenced by his bad habit of leaving starting pitchers in too long.  And this lack of confidence is not without cause, however, the lack of work for the bullpen is adding to the rust among that group of pitchers, which also does not help.  And tonight, this uncertainty cost Moyer and the entire team.

The offense showed some signs of life with Jimmy Rollins collecting a few hits, Ryan Howard homered for the first time in 10 games and Shane Victorino hit a home run as well.  Wilson Valdez had a hit, but also grounded into his 14th double play of the year.  This seems to be a daily event for Valdez.  But that awful 6th inning put the Phillies into a hole that they could not climb out of.  They scored a few more runs, but eventually went down by a score of 5-7.

And now the red-hot Reds come into town for a 4-game series to finish up the first half of the year.  Already back 6 games in the division, this Reds series has the potential to bury the Phillies.  Kyle Kendrick will pitch tomorrow night at 7:05pm.  Cross your fingers, Phillies fans.

 

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 Follies: Losing 3 of 4 To The Pirates

Realizing the season is not quite even halfway over, it is hard to say that the Phillies are done.  But after losing 3 out of 4 games to the worst team in the league this weekend, it sure does feel that way.  Murphy’s Law has ruled this team for about 2 months now where anything that can go wrong does.  Massive injuries to star players, a serious and prolonged offensive slump, pitching and hitting never going well on the same day and now this; 3 loses to the Pirates.

The one win in this series came on an offensive explosion of 12 runs.  But if the Phillies need to score 12 runs every time to win a game, then I guess their season really may be over. 
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5 runs on 9 hits today did not cut it.  Dane Sardinha, the Phils 4th string catcher, getting two hits and a home run did not help.  Greg Dobbs, who is in the worst hitting slump of his career, got a hit and an RBI; no matter though.  It also did not help.

The big boys like Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins did absolutely nothing in this game.  And besides the solo home run by Sardinha in the 7th, the Phillies offense gave up after the 3rd inning.  And then there was the pitching…

While Joe Blanton looked solid through most of the game today, he began to fall apart quickly after 6 innings.  He threw 3 pitches at the start of the 7th inning which ended up like this: home run, single, double.  Blanton left with one out and Jose Contreras came in with two runners on base.  Contreras picked up the disaster right where Blanton left off, allowing a double, a single and 3 more runs to give the Pirates a 6-5 lead.  So the Phils entered the 7th with a 3-run lead and the pitching blew it.

It only got worse when Mike Zagurski came in for Contreras and allowed two more runs to score on a 2-out single.  So Blanton’s final line was 5 runs over 6 1/3 innings.  He was fine through 6 innings, but when Blanton starts to fall apart, he really goes down hard.  Then the bullpen totally ruins the day by allowing a 3-run lead to turn into a 3-run deficit…against a last place team.  Disgusting.

So the Phillies went on to lose by a score of 5-8.  If the Braves win today, the Phillies will enter tomorrow’s 3-game series with the Braves down by 6 games.  That means, even if they win the series, they will still be a minimum of 3 games back with only 4 to play before the All-Star break.  Or worse, they will lose ground and dig a hole too deep to emerge from. 

Does anyone out there think the Phils can sweep the Braves?  After losing 3 of 4 to the Pirates, they do not stand a chance.  I will be happy to eat those words if they do, but the odds are certainly not in their favor.

Phillies All-Stars


ALL-STAR roster 2010.jpgWith all the recent injuries, many Phillies, like Placido Polanco, dropped off in the All-Star voting late.  As a result, the only Phillie to make it in via fan vote was Chase Utley.  Utley cannot play due to his recent surgery and will be replaced by Martin Prado of the Braves.

Two more Phillies were added to the roster; Roy Halladay won the player’s vote and Ryan Howard was added by manager Charlie Manuel. Both are very deserving.  Halladay’s dominant performances plus the Perfect Game he pitched this year make him an obvious choice. Howard is one of the league leaders in RBI’s with 58 and was batting .296 coming into today’s game.

Earlier today, MLB.com posted the starting rosters for each league.  Take a look at the list.  Notice anything wrong?  Either the writer just got used to typing the word “Yankees” over and over or Evan Longoria was just involved in some weird, mysterious trade.  No need to panic Rays fans; Longoria is still in Tampa.

By the way, I hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July, despite the Phillies being a major bummer.  This is one of my favorite photos that I have ever taken and it always makes me feel better:

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Happy Independence Day!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz

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

 

No Offense For The Phillies…Again

As more players continue to drop like flies, manager Charlie Manuel was also forced to miss today’s game against the Pirates due to a suspension.  On Thursday night, Manuel bill-butted the umpire with the brim of his hat as he argued a call.  Manuel has been ejected 3 times in just over a week, obviously frustrated with how this season is going.  This suspension was just one more blow to this already limping Phillies team.

The Phillies went down against the Pirates today with their anemic offense again giving no run support to the pitcher.  The final score was 2-3 and the Phils had only 8 hits.  Wilson Valdez hit a solo homer and the 2nd run was unearned due to a Pirates throwing error.  Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez both went hitless. 

Ibanez has had one hit in his last 8 games and 34 at-bats.  The Phillies need to put Ben Francisco in left and be done with it already.  Ibanez has not contributed in any significant way in a long time.  In fact, in the month of June, Ibanez had 5 hits…total.  That is the entire month.  Francisco had 11 hits in 37 at-bats compared to 5 hits in 96 at-bats for Ibanez.  This is a NO brainer.

So another good pitching performance was wasted by the Phils offense.  Cole Hamels allowed 3 runs in 7 innings and deserved a win.  Instead, he gets another loss and to a last-place team no less.  But sadly, that was not the only drama tonight. 

Just when you thought, after having 7 players on the DL and Chase Utley going in for surgery today, things could not get worse…they did.  Back-up catcher Brian Schneider got hit in the hand with a pitch and has a hyper-extended left thumb and had to leave the game.  No word yet on how serious it is, but if he goes on the DL too, the Phillies will be left with a 3rd string catcher and have to call up a 4th from the minors.  My head hurts.

And by the way, Utley’s recovery time has been changed from the original 6 weeks reported to 8 weeks.  By tomorrow, who knows?  They may go with 3 months.  But realistically, this kind of surgery can have widely varying recovery times based on the extent of the damage and how the surgery went.

As for Placido Polanco, he has 3-4 weeks before he can return due to bone chips in his elbow.  And catcher Carlos Ruiz was examined in Pittsburgh today and the tests for his concussion apparently did not go well.  That means he may be out even longer than 15 days.  The Phils may as well open their own ER at this rate.

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Will GM Ruben Amaro Jr. find a quality infielder to help out?  This will be interesting.  We already know Amaro screwed up when he traded Cliff Lee and probably every team in the league wants to get Lee now.  I have heard many fans say they think we can get him back to Philly.  Stop right there.  Here is the one reason that will never happen: to bring Lee back would mean Amaro would be admitting he made a mistake by trading him in the first place. 

Some men admit when they are wrong, like umpire Jim Joyce admitted he blew the call that cost Armando Galaraga a perfect game.  And when Andy Pettitte admitted he did steroids and was obviously ashamed.  But Amaro?  It will never happen.  Put it out of your minds and move on.

And now the infield is a bigger concern than the pitching.  The Phillies will have at least a month without their 2 All-Star infielders and then an additional month without Utley.  They need help and Amaro has to go make something happen.  Right now, I really don’t want his job.

 

Player photos and photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Falter Against Reds


Kendrick rope.jpgIt was another bad night for Kyle Kendrick.  Against the Reds, Kendrick pitched 6 1/3 innings while allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits, including a 2-run homer to ex-Phillie Scott Rolen.  Chase Utley committed an error at the start of the 6th inning which gave Kendrick a little extra rope to hang himself with. 

Kendrick still seems to have trouble buckling down and making pitches after something bad happens, like an error that puts the opposing team’s pitcher on base.  No pitcher is happy when this occurs, but the good ones do not let it bother them and proceed to work out of the mess.  Some days, Kendrick looks sure of himself on the mound; and other days, he looks out of place.  But the Phillies have few other options with JA Happ still not recovering well from his injury.

Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto is similar to Kendrick in the consistency department.  He will have a few really bad games, then some really good ones.  Unfortunately for the Phils, tonight Cueto had a good game and the offense sputtered against him.  Phillies batters had a few opportunities to pounce on Cueto, but they came up short each time, going only 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position.  In all, they left 4 men on base and had 8 hits.

Utley got tossed out trying to stretch a single into a double and both Raul Ibanez and Brian Schneider hit into double plays.  Although on replay, Ibanez should have been called safe.  Ryan Howard had 2 hits in the game, including a triple, and he scored one of only two runs in the game for the Phillies.  Ibanez hit a solo homer in the 9th with two outs.

The bullpen did not help out either; David Herndon gave up a hit which allowed one of Kendrick’s base runners to score and in the 8th inning, Mike Zagurski allowed a run on one hit and a walk.  In all, it was an evening to forget as the Phillies lost by a score of 7-2.

In injury news, Placido Polanco did not play again today after getting another cortisone injection in his sore elbow on Sunday.  He may play tomorrow but it looks like this will be an on-going issue for the rest of the season.  Polanco will play through the pain and possibly have surgery in the off-season.  That makes one wonder how productive he will be the rest of the year, but all we can do is wait and see.  But a slightly banged up Polanco is probably better that leaving Wilson Valdez at third all year.

I have also just heard that Utley was pulled in the 9th inning because he hurt his thumb sliding into 2nd base.  He will have an MRI tomorrow…cross your fingers.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Series Win; Moyer Makes More Records

In the final game of the series against the Blue Jays who served as the home team in Philly this weekend, the Phillies walked away with an 11-2 win.  The 47-year old pitcher, Jamie Moyer, walked away with his 9th win of year and a few more entries in the baseball record books.

Moyer gave up a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning which propelled him past former Phillie Robin Roberts for the most home runs allowed by any pitcher.  The 506 record breaking home runs were allowed to a total of 322 different batters in 42 different ballparks.  There has been some debate over whether or not Moyer should be proud of such a record.  But this type of record simply means that he has been pitching for a very, very long time.  Not too many other players have been around this long.

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Adding to that thought, Moyer broke another record today.  He became only the 40th player in history to have pitched 4,000 innings.  This is another testament to the longevity of Moyer’s career.  And to still be pitching, and being successful, at his age is just amazing.  He went 7 innings against the Jays on Sunday and that 2-run homer mentioned earlier was the only scoring he allowed.

Jimmy Rollins helped jump start the offense with a single in the first at-bat of the game.  Rollins ended with 3 hits, each hit to a different part of the ballpark; one down each baseline and one up the middle.  Rollins plus Ben Francisco and Dane Sardinha each had 2 RBI a piece.  Francsico looked good in left and was 3 for 5 at the plate.  Could this be the end of Raul Ibanez as an everyday player?  If Ibanez does not start hitting, it very well could.

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So the bats were popping and some great defensive plays highlighted the win as well.  Both Rollins and Jayson Werth were all over the place snagging balls out of the air:

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The Phillies were ahead 7-2 by the 7th inning and that is when the bottom really fell out for the Jays.  The play on the field began to resemble a long series of sight gags that The Three Stooges may have attempted in one of their comedy bits.  Throws by Jays fielders sailed into no-man’s land, balls were mishandled and there was even a passed ball at the plate.  By the end of the 7th, the Jays had committed 3 errors, 4 total for the game, and the Phillies had scored a total of 6 unearned runs in the 11-2 win.

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Wilson Valdez, who is officially the Master at hitting into double plays, tried to do so twice in this game only to have his attempts foiled by the Jays sloppy defense.  Darn those errant throws!  Wilson is clearly going for some sort of DP record and they may have ruined his chances. (Please note the sarcasm in the above paragraph)

The series win went to the Phillies with 2 out of 3 games.  To commemorate this unique occasion of playing an American League game in a National league ballpark while giving home field to the AL team (did you follow all that?), I have put together a short “Canadian’s In Philly” montage:

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Is it just me, or does the woman hugging both the Blue Jays stuffed toy and the Phanatic stuffed toy seem confused?  Or perhaps a tad conflicted?  We wish her well.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Halladay Wins Away Game At Home

The Phillies played an away game at home in Philly for the first time ever, against the Blue Jays.  Because of the G-20 Summit in Toronto, the 3-games series was move to Philadelphia.  The team wore their grey road uniforms, batted first, used the DH and even took batting practice second.  The Canadian Mountaineers even made several appearances with the Phanatic:
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But the really fun part was seeing Roy Halladay pitch against his old team for the first time in his career.  And Halladay came out with his usual serious, mow-them-down attitude.  After 7 shut-out innings, Halladay walked off the mound with his 9th win of the year.

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The Phillies offense, which in previous Halladay starts had not helped him out much, finally scored some runs for him.  Ross Gload got a rare start at first base since Ryan Howard served as the DH and Gload took full advantage.  He went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI in the game.  Jayson Werth was also on base a lot, with 2 hits and 2 walks.  Chase Utley and Shane Victorino scored 2 RBI a piece and Jimmy Rollins walked 4 times.  J-Roll hit that walk-off homer the day before and now no one wants to pitch to him?  Strange.

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Defensively, the Phils were solid as well.  A very odd run-down double play happened in the 3rd inning where both Utley and Gload had to chase down runners and tag them out:

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So with all the Phillies offense, the crowd was actually a little bored by the 6th inning.  By the 7th inning, restless crowd began the wave.  It was probably the longest sustained wave I have ever seen:

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Victorino woke up the crowd in the 8th inning by smashing a homer to left center field, adding to the already huge Phillies lead.  Victorino, and really the whole team, were in good spirits before the game and it translated into a whole lot of scoring:

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When it was finished, the Phillies took away a 9-0 win for their 7th shut-out of 2010.  They will play the Jays this afternoon at 4:05pm with Cole Hamels on the mound.  Here is the full Photo Album from Friday’s game, which includes the 76ers 1st round draft pick, Evan Turner, hanging out before the game and also throwing the 1st pitch.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Survive Near Tornado To Sweep Indians

Early in the final game of the Phillies – Indians series today, things got very, very weird.  And just when you thought it could get any stranger, a gigantic storm, which looked like a hurricane and tornado all in one, hit the stadium in the 8th inning.

But early in the 2nd inning, many already thought that this game was going to resemble an episode of The Twilight Zone.  3 straight singles loaded the bases and then Dane Sardinha hit a grounder to third base.  The catcher missed the throw to home plate and 2 runs scored.  Next, the Phillies pitcher, Joe Blanton, got hit with a pitch. 

The oddities continued as Shane Victorino was called out for going out of the baseline on his way to first base.  Charlie Manuel was so angry over the call, he got himself thrown out.  Blanton was later allowed by the Indians centerfielder to tag up at third and score, even though Blanton did not move until he realized the fielder was paying him no mind.  And the Indians left fielder was almost injured badly when he ran for a foul ball and smashed leg first into the wall.  As he bounced around, his head hit the wall next and he then began wandering around the field like he did not know where he was.


P6203445 Sardinha.jpgSo to recap the 2nd inning; 5 runs scored on 4 hits, an official error, a mental error and 2 sacrifices plus, the manager is ejected, the Phils pitcher is hit with a pitch and a freak injury.  Could this game get any weirder…oh yes, it can…

The Phillies went on a hitting spree after that, scoring 7 more runs.  Placido Polanco had 4 hits and 2 RBI; both Chase Utley and Jayson Werth had 3 hits each and Wilson Valdez had 2 hits.  The only position player to go hitless was Ryan Howard, although he did collect an RBI.  And Sardinha, in his first start as a Phillie, hit his first major league home run in the 6th inning.

In light of the recent offensive woes, the hitting spree was a nice surprise.  But it was by far the biggest surprise of the day.  With 2 outs in the 8th inning, Mother Nature paid an unpleasant visit to Citizens Bank Park.  The rain poured down in buckets and the wind made things begin to swirl wildly in a circular motion, like a tornado.  The tarp was half-way whipped up off the field, taking a field vehicle with it!  The car was supposed to be holding the tarp down, but the winds were so strong it moved the car!  Check out the video from CSN Philly.  I have never seen anything like this…ever:

http://www.csnphilly.com/common/CSN/csnphi/csnphiembedplayer.swf

 

Here is another good one shot by a fan, which gives a really good view of the car being moved around:

 

So the rain delay lasted for an hour and 37 minutes with the Phillies in the lead by a score of 12-3.  They came back and finished the game…nothing changed.  The Phillies sweep the Tribe in 3 games.  Blanton had a good game, going 7 2/3 before the storm hit and allowing just 3 runs on 6 hits.  Nelson Figueroa was called up from AAA and pitched a scoreless 9th.  Figueroa takes Chad Durbin’s place as he is now on the DL with a strained hamstring.

Starting tomorrow night, the relocated series with the Blue Jays will begin.  It was supposed to be in Toronto, but had to be moved to Philly for security reasons related to the G20 Summit.  So the Jays will be the home team in Philly for 3 games.  Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

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Photo 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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