Results tagged ‘ Astros ’

Shameful Sweep In Texas

The Phillies were swept out of Houston yesterday in a horrible 4-game series.  In fact, this team is playing so badly, I am running out of adjectives to describe it. 
bunny.jpg
Let us consult the Thesaurus: BAD - awful, terrible, dreadful, appalling, ghastly (a personal favorite), dire, unpleasant (does not really scratch the surface, but we’ll use it), evil (now we are getting somewhere!), wicked, corrupt, depraved, reprehensible, cruel (are you feelin’ me?), shameful….

I could go on, but I think you get the point.  And “shameful” is a good one to end on.  Jamie Moyer pitched a great game in the absence of JA Happ who is out with an oblique strain, but should be back very soon.  Moyer went 6 innings and allowed only 2 runs.  But the offense was (insert favorite Thesaurus term here)…again…and even the bullpen joined in the debauchery (yes, I looked that one up too…thank me later).  Chan Ho Park, who has been the most consistent in the pen gave up two runs in the 7th inning; one of those, he actually walked in with the bases loaded.  It was an abysmal performance when this team really, really, needed a lift.

The Phillies could not muster any runs after that and went down with a 3-4 loss, their 4th loss in a row all at the hands of a mediocre team.  Any bright spot here?  Well, I guess we have all had our grammar lesson for the day, but that is really the only bright spot I can see.

Today, Pedro Martinez is schedule to pitch in DC against the Nats.  You will never guess what is in the forecast?  RAIN – lots of it.  Could this be his 3rd rain shortened start in his very brief Phillies career?  Let us hope not – this team needs a win and I need to sit through a game without having to BOO or get soaked!  If the game actually happens and I can keep the camera dry, I will be back with photos.  Wish me luck!

Happy Bunny by Jim Benton

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Houston: We Have A Problem

And the problem is that you have beaten the Phillies 3 games in a row; the first one was a blow-out, the second one is on Brad Lidge, the worst closer in baseball and yesterday’s loss came at the hands of Cole Hamels who got little help from his offense.  While this mission has been a total failure, much like the Apollo 13, the Phillies have one more chance at a small amount of redemption this afternoon in Game 4 of the series with the Astros.

Hamels Houston.jpgHamels pitched 6 innings in the loss and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks.  The most damage was done by ex-Phillie, Michael Bourn who went 2 for 4, stole 2 bases and scored twice.  Hamels had Bourn picked off both times he stole but the first time, Jimmy Rollins dropped the ball and the second time, Bourn was milliseconds too fast.  It was a very frustrating day for Hamels as the Astros wiped their backsides with him all game long.

Rollins led the game off with a homerun, but it was mostly downhill from there for the offense.  The only bright spots at the plate came from the Rollins homer, a solo shot from Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 and looks like he might be ready to break out of his slump.  Jayson Werth also hit a solo homer that looked like a fan reached out and grabbed it; the umpires called it a homer and no one argued.  It would not have mattered anyway as the Phillies went down 3-4.

A few more September call-ups were added yesterday, although it remains to be seen how much help they will be.  John Mayberry Jr. and Kyle Kendrick flew in from Allentown, PA late on Saturday after the Iron Pigs game.  Here they are at about 7pm that evening getting ready for the Pigs game:

Mayberry Kendrick.jpg
Personally, I was hoping they would call up Mike Cervenak instead of Mayberry; Cervenak is batting .307 and currently ranks 6th in batting in the International League.  Plus, he was the Phillies during the playoff run last season.  Mayberry only batted .256 in AAA this year.

So the Phillies final chance to avoid total humiliation at the hands of the Astros will be at 2:05pm this afternoon.  JA Happ gets the start – good luck to him!

Photos by Jenn

 

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Lidge Blows His Tenth Save

The Phillies had a lot of things working against them last night.  Roy Oswalt, the Astros ace, was sure to pitch a good game; the Phillies offense has been slumbering lately; and Chase Utley was out of the line-up with a bruised foot.  What the Phillies did not count on working against them was their own teammate, Brad Lidge.  P8306049 Lidge.jpgBut that has been the story all year long and still, manager Charlie Manuel refuses to do anything about it.

The patience has run out with Lidge, who took a 4-3 lead in the 9th inning and then proceeded to hand the Astros a 5-4 victory.  It was his 10th blown save of the season, which leads ALL closers in the majors, as does his 0-7 record and disgusting 7.15 ERA.  Only Matt Capps of the Pirates has more losses, but also has more wins: 3-8 record.  This makes Brad Lidge officially the WORST closer in baseball.  Lidge has gone from first in 2008, to worst in 2009.

There are no more excuses that can be made for him; Lidge is DONE.  Give the job to Brett Myers, who incidentally, pitched a scoreless, hitless 8th inning last night in his first appearance back since hip surgery.  Maybe Lidge can come back next year, but for 2009 in a playoff push, the Phillies cannot afford to wait for him to find his pitches.  BENCH HIM NOW!

So a nice offensive breakout by the Phillies was totally wasted.  A good performance by Joe Blanton who pitched 6 innings of 3 run ball was wasted.  A nice job by our bench players to fill in for Utley , like Miguel Cairo who went 2 for 4 with a double – wasted.  And the Phillies lead in the NL East has now dwindled to 6.5 games.

This afternoon, the Phillies will lean on Cole Hamels to right the ship.  Game time is 2:05pm.

Photo by Jenn

 

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Welcome To Hell – UnbeLEEvable!

Just when the Phillies though Cliff Lee was an angel sent from heaven, over his last two starts, Lee has broken his halo and lost his wings.  Lee in hell.jpgA lousy 3 inning, 6 run outing tonight caps off the 2-game slide into hell.  But let us not dwell; everyone is entitled to a bad day.  We just hope Lee has now gotten all of his bad days out of his system and will return to Cy Young form next week.

Also taking a long dip in the fiery pit of eternal damnation is the Phillies offense.  Clearly, they have been judged and sentenced to wallow in their pathetic-ness for all eternity…well, at least for the last few weeks anyway.  Losing 0-7 against the Astros, the Phils bats only mustered 8 hits and Carlos Ruiz had 3 of those.  Not to mention they scored ZERO runs.  They left the bases loaded once again with less than 2 outs and struck out 9 times.  Why, oh why have they forsaken us? 

Ok, reality check: the Phillies are still up 8 games in the division.  However, if they keep playing like this, that lead can and will be squashed quickly.  Ryan Howard won NL Player of the Month for August, but his bat has slowed in September.  Raul Ibanez was benched today after a very, very bad couple of months.  Chase Utley is still good at getting hit with pitches, but do we really want him getting beat up when NO ONE can knock him in?  It has been an all-around bad few weeks.  A trip straight to hell, indeed.

The Phillies will attempt to redeem themselves tomorrow in Houston at 7:05pm with Joe Blanton facing (gulp!) Roy Oswalt.  It pains me to think about Oswalt right now, so I am going to just pretend this is not happening.  Think happy thoughts people…happy, delusional, fantastical thoughts ;O)

Lee photo by Jenn

 

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Age Trumps Youth As Martinez Regains Old Form

With 2 rain-shortened games for Pedro Martinez in his first 4 starts, he had to be wondering when he might get a real shot at showing the Phillies what he has left in the tank.  Wonder no more; Pedro is back to the Pedro of old.  The 3-time Cy Young award winner beat out the Giants ace, reigning NL Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum.  Take a look at the stats comparison: 

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Martinez, P (W, 3-0)

7

5

1

1

0

9

1

3.52

Lincecum (L, 13-5)

7

4

2

2

1

11

1

2.34

 

Martinez Lincecum copy.jpgIt was a really, really close match up, but Martinez came out on top.  The only big mistake he made all night was the very first pitch of the game which the Giants Eugenio Velez sent into the outfield seats.  After that, it was lights out from Martinez.

Lincecum made a few more mistakes and the Phillies made him pay.  Jayson Werth sent a hanging slider into the second deck of the left field seats in the 2nd inning.  Then in the 6th, Chase Utley was hit by a pitch.  A visibly annoyed Lincecum then had to face the big man, Ryan Howard and Howard took advantage.  Howard smashed a fastball into centerfield for a double which scored Utley.   Those were the only two runs for the Phillies, but with the great pitching, it was all they needed. 

The back-end combination of Ryan Madson in the 8th and Brad Lidge in the 9th finally worked the way it was meant to.   Madson sent the Giants down in order and Lidge got the save, although it was another eventful one.  With 2 outs, he gave up a hit, a walk and two stolen bases.  But Lidge buckled down and to the relief of everyone, finally got the third out.  Whew!

In other news, Brett Myers is back!  He will be activated tonight when the Phillies travel to Houston to start a 4-game series.  Myers has made an amazing comeback from a very serious hip surgery that looked like it may have him out for the entire year.  But Myers worked hard to get back into shape and the Phillies can really use him in the pen, especially if Lidge had another melt down.

A few other September call-up include pitcher Jack Taschner, who was with the Phillies a good part of the year.  And Paul Hoover, a 33-year old career minor league catcher, has been called up as well.  We should also be seeing JC Romero back soon; I saw him working out with the team on Wednesday, which is a very good sign.

Tune your TV in to Phillies baseball tonight at 8:05pm; Cliff Lee will try to bounce back from a bad start his last time out against the Astros.  Go Phillies!

Photoshopping by Jenn

 

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

 

 

The Stars Are Out For The Phillies

It has been a very weird day for the Phillies.  For starters, Raul Ibanez returned to the team and is expected to play the next two games before the All-Star Break.  Then, Chris Coste was let go and picked up by the Houston Astros.  Coste has not had a great year off the bench and apparently, the Phillies prefer Paul Bako’s skills behind the plate as the back-up; neither Coste nor Bako have performed well offensively, so the defense was the deciding factor.  Coste is a great guy and has been a huge part of this team; he will be missed :O(

P7099034.jpgAnd then to round out the day of weirdness, Charlie Manuel chose his outfield replacement for the All-Star game – it is Jayson Werth.  Many have questioned the selection as Werth’s batting average is below many others who could have been picked, like Matt Kemp, but it is Charlie’s team and he gets to make the decision.  The Phillies have gotten screwed several times in the past with All-Star picks, like Pat Burrell last year, so I guess what comes around, goes around.  But Werth has been great and his power numbers are excellent; many players deserve to go and he is certainly one of them.  Either way, the Phillies now have 5 players headed to St. Louis :O)

Then tonight the Phillies began a series with the Pirates.  Joe Blanton had another great start and pitched through 7 1/3 innings, allowing just 1 run, a solo homer.  It was a great job by Blanton and a real boost to the starting rotation.

The offense did not score much, but got just enough to win the game for Blanton.  Werth rewarded Manuel for his All-Star decision by smacking a 2-run double in the 3rd inning.  Shane Victorino did the same for the fans who voted him in by going 3 for 4 on the night.  And Chase Utley, Mr. All-Star himself, had 1 hit, 1 walk and scored a run.  Final score was 3-2 with Brad Lidge getting the save, although another nerve-wracking one after he gave up a solo homer.  But, a win is a win :O)  We’ll take it.

By the way, for anyone who has been following the Friday Night Phever game on CSNPhilly.com  with Ricky Bottallico, I just won!  Whoo Hoo!

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Phillies Opening Day Preview

Quick recap of the last 2 Spring games:  The Phillies beat the Rays yesterday, 3-2, thanks in part to a Jason Donald walk of RBI single.  Today, they lost 9-7.  Cole Hamels, still rehabbing his sore elbow, pitched 5 innings, allowing 6 hits, 6 runs and a walk.  Not a great outing, but he got his work in and should be able to start against the Rockies next week.  Pat Burrell led the game off for the Rays in his only appearance today, greeting former teammate Hamels with a shot to left field that, even against the strong wind, flew into the seats.  A nice exit from Philly for Burrell who was visibly emotional after the rousing applause he received from Phillies fans over the past two days.  We will miss him!

Tomorrow the REAL games begin!!  So, have you seen the Phillies Opening Day/Night Schedule?  Here are the highlights:

5:05 p.m. – All gates open

5:28-6:28 p.m. – Phillies batting practice

6:28 – 7:18 p.m. - Braves batting practice

7:23 p.m.Cardinal O’Hara High School marching band will perform as the 2009 Phillies enter the ballpark, greeted by Mayor Nutter and Charlie Manuel.

7:38 p.m. – America the Beautiful will be sung by the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Men’s Chorale, directed by Jeffrey R. Smith, as members of the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard unfurl the American Flag. State Flags will be carried onto the field by the Philadelphia Police and Fire Department personnel.

7:42 p.m. – Introductions start

7:53 p.m. – National Anthem: Will be performed by Katie Stam, Miss America 2009.

7:56 p.m.U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Parachute team will parachute onto the field (weather permitting), bringing the first balls.

8:00 p.m.NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, who wore a Phillies jersey in space, will present the jersey to Charlie Manuel.

8:01 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Will be thrown by former Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick and Ben Lo, representing Modell’s Sporting Goods.

8:09 p.m. – Play Ball!

seal.jpgLet me just note a few things here:  The Phillies, the reigning WORLD CHAMPIONS, are having the Philadelphia Boys Choir sing America The Beautiful, like they do every year.  We will then have Miss America sing the National Anthem; but seriously, should I be excited about a pageant queen?  Maybe some of the men are happy, but I just don’t get it.  The Boston Red Sox, according to our friend Julia at Julia’s Rants are getting Grammy Award winner, Seal, to sing for them on Opening Day!  SEAL!  Where, or where, have the Phillies gone wrong??  I am so depressed. 

Now let us move on to the first pitch:  Former GM, grumpy man and Nationals mascot look-alike, Pat Gillick, Gillick mascot.jpgwill toss the first pitch.  Is this seriously the best the WORLD F*@%# CHAMPIONS could do?  I had heard rumors all week that maybe President Obama would visit Philly for the occasion, but he will toss the first pitch on Wednesday in DC when the Phillies take on the Nationals in their home opener. But what about Will Smith, who is a huge Phillies fan?  Or even Jamie Foxx, who was just in Philly filming a new movie?  Heck, I would settle for Patti LaBelle at this point.  But noooooo…we get Pat freakin’ Gilick!  Don’t get me wrong, I love Grumpy Gillick and all, but this is not exactly a treat for Phillies fans; we see him every day!  We want… no, we deserve, a special treat for Opening Day!  The Phils had no issue with raising the ticket prices, but could not be bothered to get anyone more interesting to toss a pitch??  Again, Gillick brought us a World Championship, but I think even he would agree that his sheer entertainment value is a tad less than Seal.  UGH!

Ok, maybe I am over-reacting.  You know how we redheads get sometimes.  But take a look at a few other teams, who did NOT win the World Series, and see what they are doing for Opening Day:  Both the Yankees and the SF Giants have HERO Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully landed a plane in New York’s Hudson River this past January, saving the lives of everyone on board, to toss their first pitch.  The Reds have musician and former husband of Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey to throw their first pitch.  And they are in OHIO, folks!  That’s right, Ohio out-did Philly.  The Houston Astros have 4-time Grammy winner, Lyle Lovett, to sing the National Anthem.  And of course, the Nats get the Prez.  Okay, I think you get the picture.

Philly will have the traditional Army Parachute Team and the NASA astronaut is a nice touch as well; but is it asking too much to add a little pizzazz to the ceremonies?  Well, if it has to be Pat Gillick, how about we at least dress him up a bit?  You know, just to add some Philly flavor to the guy:

Rapper Gillick.jpg

And then, let’s invite this cute rapper kitty to handle the music for the National Anthem.  Not a Grammy winner, but still entertaining:

KittyRapper.jpg

Well, the show must go on, with or without the Rappin’ Cat, and so it will.  Sunday night, first pitch at 8:09pm – I will be back with photos!  See you there!

Photo Credits:

Seal – http://www.arjanwrites.com/arjanwrites/images/2007/09/22/arjanwrites_seal2.jpg

Gangsta Dude – http://hoppingintopuddles.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/hip-hop_gangsta-rap_lil_john.jpg

Kitty – http://media.photobucket.com/image/rapper/boo_boo221/KittyRapper.jpg

 

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Talking Trash / Paulino Traded

trash can.jpg

The Phillies have revealed a new line of ballpark merchandise, food and other items; one of those items was a talking trash can.  Phil The Can,” a recyclable fan, is a talking robot / trash can.  Apparently, his job is to encourage fans to keep the ballpark clean and, of course, to recycle.  If you attempt to throw a plastic bottle away, rumor has it that “Phil” will clamp down on your arm and hold you hostage until the Green Police arrive to whip you with a wet soybean.  And if a non-Phillies fan walks near “Phil The Can”, this trash tracker will begin to trash talk the unsuspecting fan with Cole Hamels-like taunts of “choke artist!” and the like.  Vicious little guy; and he looks so innocent.  Go figure.

Going Green

In addition to the crazy talking trash can, the Phillies have stepped up their Green efforts for the 2009 season.  The park facilities manager, Global Spectrum, has committed to increasing recycle efforts at the park from 15% to 20-25% this year.  The Phillies have also added a new line of organic merchandise which will include tote bags made from recycled materials and a clothing line with hats, tees and socks.

Going Gold

gold jersey.jpgThe Phils revealed the new gold trimmed jerseys that they will be wearing only on Opening Night, April 5th, which include a gold

trimmed World Series patch.  After that night, the jerseys will be auctioned off for charity and the boys will wear their regular, non-Royalty like jerseys with the regular World Series patch the rest of the year.  Fans willing to shell out about $185 can buy a replica of the fancy jerseys and act out their own King of the Hill fantasies :O)

Going Blue

The Phillies have switched the batting helmets to be worn with their alternate home jerseys from red to blue.  The new blue helmets feature a red brim; replica’s of the helmet will be given out to kids 14 and under at the May 31st game.

Going Yard

Jayson Werth and Matt Stairs each smacked a home run today in the Phillies 6-5 loss to the Astros.  Eric Bruntlett, Pedro Feliz, Shane Victorino and Werth each had a 2 hit game, with Chris Coste collecting an RBI on a sac fly.  Brett Myers gave up 1 home run to the Astros Miguel Tejada; Myers lasted 5 1/3 innings and also surrendered 8 hits and 4 runs. 

Going To San Francisco

Ronny Paulino has been traded to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for left-handed reliever, Jack Taschner, 37, according to beat-writer Todd Zolecki.  With the Giants for 4 years, Taschner has a lifetime ERA of 5.01 in 140 innings pitched with 8 saves and an 8-4 record.  Hopefully, he can help fill the 50-game left-handed void left by JC Romero’s ridiculous suspension.

Phillies travel to Bradenton, FL tomorrow to take on the Pirates at 1:05pm.  The game will air on Comcast Sportsnet – tune in!

(Photos – Phillies.com)

 

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Madson Sticks Up For Romero

Early in March, Ryan Madson called into the Preston & Steve radio show on WMMR and gave a very entertaining interview.  I managed to snag a clip from that interview; the segment you will hear begins with Madson defending teammate JC Romero for what most have come to see for what it is; a totally bogus and ridiculous 50 game suspension.  Madson shares his thoughts on the subject.  After that, you will hear a very funny story about how Madson celebrated his World Series victory at a TGI Friday’s in Southern NJ.  I am not kidding; apparently, he is there so often, that he even hangs out and plays video games with the staff.  You will have to hear it for yourself:

http://webjay.org/flash/dark_player

In other news, the Phillies took a pounding today from the Yankees in grapefruit league action; but on the upside, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard went back to back with the long ball in the first inning.  Sadly, the scoring ended there. 
Thumbnail image for P3046240 Eyre.jpg
Carlos Carrasco got some work in; he pitched 5 innings, gave up 6 hits, 4 runs and a walk.  Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless inning and looks like he is ready to go, injury free.  Poor Scott Eyre had what one might term as an “off” day, surrendering 5 runs in 1 inning, 3 of which came off home runs.  It was looking like the inning that may never end for Eyre; he probably couldn’t wait to get out of there.  Relax though…it’s only Spring Training!  Take 2 and call me in the morning…

Another player who may have been experiencing a somewhat long day was Ronny Paulino.  Rumor has it that Paulino is up for grabs and the Phillies will be trying to showcase him to other teams in the next week or so. 
P3045944 Coste.jpg
As such, Paulino played all 9 innings today.  Paulino had 1 hit in today’s game, bringing his average to .194, but that is certainly not a lot of bait to reel in many potential suitors.  Regardless, this is good news for Chris Coste who now appears to be a lock for the back-up catching spot.  Phillies fans everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief for Coste :O)

The Phillies will travel to Kissimmee, FL tomorrow, right next door to one of the happiest places on earth, to take on the Houston Astros at 1:05pm.  If anyone returns wearing Mouse ears, I hope someone will send me a photo.  Thank you in advance :O)

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Utley Gets In The Game


CUtley.jpg
Chase Utley
played 4 innings in a minor league Spring training game today and, according to Todd Zolecki, Phillies beat writer, all went well.  Utley went 2 for 4 at the plate with a double.  He reported no pain and says as long as he feels good tomorrow, things are looking up; Utley anticipates being ready for Opening Day.  Phillies fans everywhere are anxious to see the All-Star 2nd baseman back in action!

The rest of the Phillies played in regular grapefruit league action today, beating the Astros by a score of 5-2.  Greg Dobbs drove in 2 runs on 2 hits; Jayson Werth collected 2 RBI on a home run; and Pablo Ozuna led the offense with 3 hits in the game and 1 RBI.

While it was nice to see a steady offensive output, all eyes today were really on Carlos Carrasco, who is trying to make the team as the 5th starter.  Carrasco did his part to impress the team with 3 innings pitched with 1 earned run on 4 hits and a walk.  A pretty decent outing for the young pitcher, who’s ERA stands at 6.30 for the spring so far.  Veteran Chan Ho Park will get his turn tomorrow when the Phillies face ex-Phil, Kyle Loshe and the cardinals tomorrow at 1:05pm.

World Series Trophy Meets Ben Franklin

Trophy.jpg
Earlier today, the World Series Trophy made another stop in the Philly area; it arrived at the feet of Ben Franklin in the Franklin Institute where a crowd of Phillies fans awaited their chance to get an up-close look.  The Phanatic wow’ed the kids and flirted with the girls and Phillies PA announcer, Dan Baker kept the peace; or at least tried to.  Happy to report, most people were well behaved and Baker did not have to spank anyone…I assume he was relieved, but I could be wrong  :O)

I dragged my good friend Kimmie along for the trip and she was a real trooper.  Kimmie, I am pretty sure, does not even know what a baseball looks like.  But as soon as I told her the trophy was made by Tiffany’s, she was eager to line-up and have her photo taken with it :O)  And so, she is now a part of history, whether she likes it or not.  This is the same friend who drew a bit of attention to me in front of Chase Utley as I was waiting for his autograph one day; her job was to take a picture.  But as we got close to him, Kimmie looked around and then asked me, out loud, which one was Chase Utley.  Everyone around looked at us as if we had two heads.   But she is awesome and a true friend; even if she can’t tell a baseball from a shovel.  ;o)

 

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