Results tagged ‘ Blue Jays ’

Happy Juice

During the official introduction of Roy Halladay yesterday, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. explained further why he chose to ship Cliff Lee off to Seattle.  He backed off the idea of not being able to sign him past one year and moved on to replenishing the farm system.  Amaro admitted this move was a risk, but one he was willing to take in order to keep the franchise winning for years to come, rather than just putting all their eggs into the 2010 basket.

As for the fans, we are all very excited to see Roy Halladay in a Phillies uniform!  But many wish the ultimate pitching dream of Halladay & Lee could have been a reality.  Here is a synopsis of how it all went down for the Lee fans:

5 Stages of Grief In Losing Cliff Lee:

- Denial:  This cannot be happening!  Lee was the only pitcher to win a game for us in the World Series!

- Anger:   Noooooo!  Ruben Amaro Jr., you stink!

- Bargaining:   Hey Ruben, how about we keep both Halladay AND Lee?  Come on….please?  I’ll be your best friend :O)

- Depression:  I am going to crawl in a hole; wake me in the Spring.

- Acceptance:  Oh, ok.  I guess it was a good business decision.  I still love you Ruben :O)  Thank you for a Happy Halladay!

Amaro drunk.jpgMr. Amaro may be the happiest person on the planet right now; he has wanted Halladay for a very long time and finally got his wish.  During the press conference, Amaro referred to the acquisition of Halladay as “intoxicating.”  Well, that does explain a lot about the trade I suppose.  Clearly, he was drunk on Halladay Juice and made some very creative decisions.  I’ll give him an A+ on getting Halladay.  As for letting Lee go in exchange for the prospects, the jury is out until we see how he handles the hangover. ;o)

Well, it is the Halladay Season, so drink up Mr. Amaro!  Just sober up in time for Spring Training.

By the way, the This Year In Baseball awards are in and some Phillies, plus a few of their fans, won awards.  Ruben Amaro Jr. was voted Best Executive; J.A. Happ, who should have gotten the Rookie of the Year award will have to settle for the TYIB Best Rookie prize; Jayson Werth won Best Unsung Star; and the father-daughter pair who were shown all over TV after Dad caught a ball and his daughter tossed it back, were named the season’s Best Oddity.

Congrats to all!

Amaro photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Halladay Shopping Is Done For The Phillies

The Phillies made it official this afternoon; Cy Young award winning pitcher Roy Halladay is now a Phillie :O)  Some say he is the best pitcher in baseball.  This is a huge pick up for the Phillies and an exciting day for the fans.  Halladay has signed a 3-year extension, keeping him in red pinstripes through 2013 for around 20 million a year after his 1-year Jays contract is fulfilled in 2010.

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So the Phillies have swapped one Cy Young winner for another and three prospects for 3 different prospects.  The casualties for the Phillies include Cliff Lee, who went to Seattle plus 3 of our top 4 prospects; pitcher Kyle Drabek, outfielder Michael Taylor and catcher Travis d’Arnaud who all went to the Jays.  In return, the Phillies will get 3 prospects from Seattle to restock the farm system; pitchers Phillipe Aumont, J.C. Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies. 

The Cliff Lee trade is disappointing, but it makes sense from a business perspective as the Phillies were nearing their payroll limit and they knew for sure that Lee would be only a 1-year pitcher, testing the market after 2010.  From a fan perspective, it is sad to see Lee go and one cannot help but wish we could have had both Lee and Halladay even for just the one year.

And to all the yahoo’s out there who want to shout obscenities and declare that Phillies fans do not appreciate Roy Halladay, get over yourselves.  It has nothing to do with appreciating Halladay and everything to do with losing Cliff Lee.  If the Yankees got Halladay and had to ship off CC Sabathia to do so, tell me Yankee fans would not be shouting from the rooftops?  It is the same thing.  And yes, Lee and Sabathiha have comparable stats.

We are very, very happy to have Halladay and excited to see him pitch in a Phillies uniform.  But it does seem sad to lose other good players in the process, especially Lee and the three prospects.  You feel like a kid at Christmas that got exactly what you always wanted, but had to give back all your other presents to do so.

I have personally spoken to Michael Taylor, as an example, and he is not only a great player, but a great person as well.  One cannot help but feel disappointed to see these guys leave.  And I saw Lee pitch his first game with the Phillies in San Francisco; he pitched a complete game and made it look easy.  We are entitled to be upset over losing our best pitcher, as I am sure Jays fans are upset over losing theirs.  Are we getting a better pitcher in return?  Absolutely.  But wouldn’t both be so much nicer?

That being said, Phillies fans are thrilled to finally get the big prize!  Happy Halladay’s to everyone in Philly!  I cannot wait until Spring Training :O)

 

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

D-Back Series Starts With a Win

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Last night, the Phillies took game 1 against the D-Backs in Arizona with Jamie Moyer pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings.  They were not easy innings; Moyer worked his way in and out of trouble again and again.   But Moyer has been doing this a long time and knows how to make adjustments when he needs to. 

The offense took a while to wake up after the long haul out to the West Coast, but finally in the 4th, Ryan Howard got things rolling with a 2-run home.  Raul Ibanez had 2 hits and 1 RBI in the game as well. 

Ryan Madson did allow 2 runs in the 8th, but the Phillies still went on to win 6-2.  With the 6 hits and 4 walks allowed by Moyer, the D-Backs left 11 runners on base and committed 2 errors in the field.  You have to wonder if ace pitcher Dan Haren was looking on and wondering what it might be like to play in Philadelphia?  Haren is one of 3 pitchers that the Phillies are rumored to be interested in adding to the club and he will face Cole Hamels tonight in the 2nd game of the series at 9:40pm.

However, the most likely names on the horizon as the trade deadline approaches are Roy Halladay of the Jays and Cliff Lee of the Indians.  The Jays reportedly rejected an offer from the Phillies which included JA Happ, Michael Taylor, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald so, it is looking less and less like a deal for Halladay may be realistic.  But, stranger things have happened.

The countdown to July 31st continues!  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Victorino’s Final All-Star Bid With Walk-Off Win

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Tonight the Phillies faced the Reds in game 3 of this 4-game series and drama ensued.  Homer Bailey started the game for the Reds and true to his name, gave up a homer to Jayson Werth in the 6th inning, Werth’s 19th of the season.  What a horrible name for a pitcher…Homer.  Poor guy.  But for most of the game, he was very good and kept the Phillies hitters off balance.

The home plate umpire, Ron Kulpa, created a lot of controversy with his rather large strike zone; 20 strikeout’s were recorded in the game and 14 of those batters went down looking.  And so the game remained very tight throughout.

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The Phillies entered the 9th inning with a 2-2 tie and needed a hero to nail this one down.  With 2 outs and 2 on, The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Shane Victorino, stepped to the plate and solidified his campaign for an All-Star roster spot.  Shane singled into centerfield and Pedro Feliz scored to win the game, 3-2!
 VOTE FOR SHANE! 

Rules of Engagement

One of the more entertaining aspects of tonight’s game, as I mentioned earlier, was watching the Reds hitters argue and scream and cuss at the home plate umpire, Ron Kulpa.  To sum it up, basically every pitch was bound to be called a strike.  But he called it the same way for both side.  Yet, no less than 3 Reds players got right up in his face and yelled about strike calls.  It makes you wonder, why were none of these players thrown out of the game?  Not that I like watching guys get tossed, but how much grief is any umpire supposed to take?  Granted, this was one of the worst umpiring jobs I have seen in a long time, but the Phillies maintained controlled and did not try to rip his head off like the Reds did.  In fact, it is a rule that no one is allowed to argue balls and strikes (Official baseball rules section 9.02(a)).  After the first or second player, the ump needs to start ejecting guys.  Just sayin’…

Pitching Possibilities

Rodrigo Lopez did a great job through 5 innings tonight, but was removed from the game early with right shoulder inflammation.  That is certainly not good news.  However, maybe the push to get a quality starting pitcher like Roy Halladay of the Jays will reach a new level with the possibility of Lopez no longer being available. 

The Phillies front office has been insistent that certain minor league prospects are “untouchable” but frankly, that attitude will not get them far when competing with other teams who are more flexible.  Understanding the value of prospects in the farm system, teams need also be reminded of the value of winning, and winning right now.  With the Phillies core players in place, coming off a World Championship, the window of opportunity to win it again will likely only remain open for a few years.  So, if they need to give up 2-3 big prospects to get another ring, it seems like a fair trade off.

If the Phillies can get a #1 starter like Halladay, they would be foolish to let him go to another team.  Last year, they did miss out on CC Sabathia and even Manny Ramirez, and yes, they still won it all.  But the 2009 team has run into pitching trouble after losing Brett Myers, who was a big part of the World Series win.  The bullpen has been overworked and their production is way down from 2008.  This is a different team; the Phillies need a big starter if they are to have a shot at repeating.

Keep Voting!

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The clock is ticking!  Shane Victorino has a chance to go to the All-Star game in St. Louis but he needs our help!  Gizmo the Chinchilla has been typing away all day long, but his little paws are getting tired.  Won’t you please help him out?  You can
VOTE as many times as you are able to!  Humans and rodents alike have until tomorrow at 4pm to get Shane in! 

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Phinally – A Series Win

The Phillies wrapped up the series with the Blue Jays today and also ended interleague play for the year…finally!  As usual, interleague play was not kind to the Phillies and most are happy it is over.

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However, there were a few highlights, including JA Happ’s first career complete game shut-out yesterday.  Happ allowed only 5 hits in the game and gave the bullpen a much needed rest.  The Phillies offense found their bats after a spanking from manager Charlie Manuel in a closed door meeting, and the team racked up ten runs in the game for Happ.  The very Happ-Y pitcher is now 5-0 on the season with a 3.00 ERA.

Today, the Phillies sent Jamie Moyer to the mound and he allowed 4 runs in 5 innings, including 3 home runs.  After the 5th, Manuel decided to take advantage of his rested pen and sent Chan Ho Park in who pitched 2 scoreless, hitless innings.  It is nice to see Park finally settling into his role and feeling good after getting hit with a batted ball two days ago.       

With the Phillies up 5-4 in the 8th, Ryan Madson was set up to have an easy inning; he got the first out, Scott Rolen hit a single, but then a routine double play ball to Eric Bruntlett turned into a disaster.  Bruntlett, filling in for Jimmy Rollins the last 3 days, dropped the ball leaving 2 runners on with only 1 out.  Poor Madson was sweating by the time he got to the 3rd out, but he got there and Pedro Feliz snagged a pop-up to end the threat.

Brad Lidge came in to get the save and, as usual, it was an adventure.  A bunt single, then a walk and hearts were racing again.  But Lidge got a pop-out, another out on a run down and finally capped it off with Bruntlett snagging a grounder and tossing to Ryan Howard for the final out.  Whew!  Finally…a series win.  Time to exhale…

Iron Pigs (AAA)

Pigs (28).jpgYesterday, I attended an Iron Pigs game and saw Drew Carpenter pitch.  Carpenter has been a highly touted player in the minors and he did pitch a shut-out through 8 innings.  However, his fastball tops out at around 80mph (or at least it did last night).  Solid pitcher, but I am not sure the Phillies need another Jamie Moyer in the rotation.  Carlos Carassco and Kyle Drabek (AA) may still be possibilities to fill the hole left by Brett Myers.  Going outside the organization to get an experienced arm would be much better, but there are still very few pitchers available.  We shall see…

Mike Cervenak (photo) is doing very well after suffering a broken wrist last month; he was 2 for 5 in the game and is batting .313.  Mike Spidale (OF) led the pack with 3 hits and is batting .353; and Lou Marson (C) has been doing better of late – he had 2 hits and 2 RBI last night. 

Here is a PHOTO ALBUM from the Iron Pigs game, including shots from the fireworks show afterwards and even a 3-D fireworks shot!  I held the camera up to the 3-D glasses and it actually worked…check it out!

Up Next

The Phillies have the day off tomorrow to travel to Atlanta for a 3 game series before returning home on July 3rd to face the Mets.  Joe Blanton will pitch on Tuesday; game time is 7:00pm.

VOTE

The clock is ticking…please keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, July 2, 2009.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Circling The Drain

The Phillies season is slowly, but surely, circling the drain.  With 11 losses in 13 games, injuries piling up and even the steady Cole Hamels beginning to lose his cool, this season is quickly working its way into the crapper.

Hamels had a very bad 5th inning against the Jays, but the umpire did him no favors with the inconsistent strike zone.  Still, after giving up 3 runs in the 5th and 1 prior to that in the 4th, Hamels was at the end of his rope.  Charlie Manuel pulled him from the game and as he walked off the mound, he gave an earful to the home plate ump who tossed him from the game.  It was the 1st player ejection for the Phillies of the season, although technically, he was out of the game already.

CBP tornado.jpgBut the frustration from Hamels was just a microcosm of how the past several weeks have panned out for this team.  Bad breaks, bad hitting and even worse mental mistakes have led the Phillies down a dark and treacherous path.  Fans everywhere are waiting for a tornado to tear down the stadium; that is simply how bad it has been.

The Phillies offense did not record a hit until the 7th inning when Chase Utley singled.  Right before that, they saw yet another pitcher run out of the game early with an injury.  Chan Ho Park appeared to get hit by a batted ball in the knee and went down screaming in pain.  It was not pretty:

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With Clay Condrey and Scott Eyre still on the DL; Brett Myers lost for the season and Brad Lidge just returning, Park going down is a serious kick in the gut.  Not to mention, still no Raul Ibanez and Jimmy Rollins continues sit on the  bench for a “mental” break.

Well, speaking of Lidge, Manuel decided to get him some work today, despite being down 0-4.  Lidge, in the non-save situation, did not fare well.  He gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks in only 1/3 of an inning. Welcome back, Brad??  Ugh.  Just one more bummer in an already disastrous situation.

And the road to hell continues in Canada again tomorrow.  JA Happ will take the mound at 1:07pm and pray for a miracle…

Reminder:  Despite the disgusting play of late, please keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address! 

TV photos by Jenn

 

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

 

The Black Cloud

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Yesterday, the Blue Jays became a plague of locusts, nibbling away at the Phillies one by one.  Tonight, the black cloud remained over Citizens Bank Park as the Baltimore Orioles strolled into town and picked up where the Jays left off.  Will the curse of interleague play ever end?  Not soon enough; definitely not soon enough.

Last year, the Phillies won 3 games in interleague play.  So far this year?  3 games.  Fans have been left wondering if a curse has been placed upon the Phillies.  Despite a decent performance from rookie pitcher, Antonio Bastardo, the Phillies could not muster a win.  Bastardo allowed 4 runs in 7 innings, but at least one of those runs was not his fault.  John Mayberry Jr., a rookie playing for the injured Raul Ibanez, missed a ball in left field that should have been caught which scored the 4th run. 

But Mayberry had an ok day at the plate, going 2 for 4, so that made up a bit for the defense.  The rest of the offense though did little to help Mayberry out in his quest to get on base.  Jayson Werth had two hits, but any other form of production was few and far between.  In fact, there were only 2 other hits and 5 walks from the Phillies offense in the entire game.

Jack Taschner pitched the 8th and 9th and gave the O’s a little more cushion when he allowed a solo homer in the 9th.  And that was followed by 2 more runs on a couple of singles with 2 outs in the inning.  When it rains, it pours.  And so the Phillies continue to circle the drain, losing this one by a score of 7-2.

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Is this team doomed to fail in interleague play or is this run of 6 losses in 7 games simply the darkness before the dawn?  I hope the sun comes out soon…real soon.

Well, if you are still in the mood, go ahead and VOTE for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address.  Let’s get these guys to St. Louis to provide just a small ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark and dreary day.

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

A Very Bad Day


locusts.jpgIt was a bad, bad, bad day for the Phillies; Raul Ibanez was put on the 15-day disabled list to start it off.  He has a strained left groin.  Then, a not-so-fun mix of bad pitching and sleepy defense led to a sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays.  What’s next?  The players get eaten by a swarm of locusts?  It’s a famine and plague of biblical proportions.

John Mayberry Jr. was called up to replace Ibanez and he had an interesting day; a home run, an assist to nail a runner at the plate, but he also made a huge mistake by taking his eyes off Scott Rolen who turned a single into a double on the goof and wound up scoring as a result.  Then again, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley did the exact same thing earlier in the game to help a Blue Jay advance to second after a walk.  And even worse than that, Pedro Feliz committed his 4th error of the year on what should have been an easy double play ball in the 8th inning.  That turned Clay Condrey’s day into a real nightmare; Condrey allowed 1 earned run and 1 unearned on 3 hits and a walk without even recording an out.  Ouch!

Aside from all that, Joe Blanton continued the trend of Phillies starters totally sucking…he lasted only 5 1/3 innings and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits and a walk.  And so the bullpen was sent out there once again to blow the small, one run lead.  With their “job” completed and the Jays now having a 7-5 lead, the Phillies came to bat in the bottom of the 8th with the locusts still swarming…


Thumbnail image for P5103192 Dobbs.jpgGreg Dobbs
, who apparently has no fear of insects, smacked a solo home run to get the game within 1 run.  Dobbs passed the torch to Rollins, who hit a double and then Shane Victorino drove him in – game tied, 7-7.

But hey, have no fear Jay’s fans…the bullpen WILL blow it AGAIN!  Ryan Madson gave up a solo home run to Rod Barajas, the first batter of the 9th inning, after having him in a 0-2 hole in the count.  So the Phillies entered the 9th inning down 8-7.

Utley walked; Ryan Howard (give ya 3 guesses and the 1st two don’t count)….yup!  Struck out!  Jayson Werth flied out and then Feliz got a base hit.  That brought Mayberry to the plate with a chance for the rookie to play the hero – but no such luck.  He popped out and that ended an excruciating day for the Phillies.  I have nothing left to say except – AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!  Now please excuse me while I get horribly drunk and pass out…

Dobbs Photo – Jenn

 

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

 

 

Wake Me When Interleague Play Is Over

Every year, the Phillies struggle during interleague play and this year is proving to be no different.  After getting walloped by the Jays in extra innings last night, it was more of the same again tonight. 
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Plus, it was wet, chilly, rainy and there was no offense anywhere to be found.  Only the Jays fans had reason to stay awake.  The rest of us were killing time with a Phillies-hangover.

Jamie Moyer struggled early and gave up three runs in the 1st inning, two of which came with no outs.  6 innings and 5 runs later, Chad Durbin took over and promptly gave up a 2-run homer.  And the only Phillies offense in the game was a Jayson Werth home run.  Hey, thanks Jayson…at least the poor folks sitting in the cold rain all night had a small moment to cheer.

One more shot at the Jays will come tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm. Joe Blanton gets the start and, we hope, the win…cross your fingers everyone!

Remember to keep VOTING for our Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Photo – http://www.gamespot.com

 

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

 

Frustrating Night For The Pen

Usually, when Cole Hamels is on the mound for the Phillies, most feel pretty confident about their chances to win.  However, the last few times Hamels has taken the mound it had been more of an adventure and less of a slam-dunk.  Tonight against the Blue Jays, Hamels went 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks.  On paper, it looks pretty good; but watching the game was an up and down drama.  Hamels struggled with his command, but the Jays were not able to take advantage.

Jimmy Rollins led the game off with a double and after Chase Utley knocked him in to score the first run of the game, the offense appeared to be cooking.  But after that, the engines stalled and the Phillies did not score again until Jayson Werth hit a 2-run homer in the 6th.

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The 8th inning then turned into a roller coaster ride with a 3-2 lead and JC Romero on the mound.  Romero walked the bases loaded, but despite his struggles, he came away unscathed thanks to a nice pop-up from former Phillie, Rod Barajas and a base running mistake by the Jays.  The Phillies had no luck scoring in the bottom of the 8th so it was Ryan Madson time.  Madson quickly got in a jam with the bases loaded and NO outs.  Buckle up, Phils fans – the ride is not yet over.

What goes up, eventually, must come down.  And so it went…  Madson struck out the next batter but then walked in the tying run after that; another blown save for the Phillies. Well, at least this time it wasn’t Brad Lidge who blew it.  So, Barajas came to the plate, and for the 3rd time in the game, he popped the ball up in the middle infield.  Thank you, Rod!  The next batter struck out and it was on the bottom of the 9th with the game tied, 3-3.

The Phillies failed to score again and the game went into extra innings.  Condrey horse.jpgClay Condrey, who has been great this season, began to self-destruct in the 10th.  He allowed 3 singles in a row to score a run and then walked another one in with the bases loaded.  Then poor Tyler Walker was sent to the mound for his Phillies debut – with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 10th; not the way he imagined breaking into the bigs, I imagine.  Walker allowed a sac fly and a double to Barajas, giving the Jays an 8-3 lead.  This kid has got to be wondering what he did wrong in a previous life…

So that was the end of that; the Phillies did not score…again; and they lost the game 8-3 after having a 3-2 lead going into the 9th.  Another frustrating loss.  But the pen cannot dwell on this one…when you fall down, you should get up, and get back on horse.  And the Phillies will attempt to do that tonight when they begin game 2 of the Jays series.

Remember to keep VOTING for our Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Player Photos – Jenn

 

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

 

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