Results tagged ‘ Brad Lidge ’
The Phillies started the postseason with 2 pitchers named Roy in the first 2 games. In each of those games, the 2 Roy’s were polar opposites in terms of performance and results. Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter in his first ever playoff game. Roy Oswalt on the other hand, with prior playoff experience, did not pitch well at all. But all is well that ends well as the Phillies went on to win anyway.
At the start of the game, Oswalt looked pretty bad. He threw balls right down the middle of the plate and the Reds did not miss them. Oswalt surrendered 3 earned runs and 1 unearned on 5 hits and a walk. Chase Utley made 2 throwing errors in the 2nd inning, which is very odd for Utley, and that cost Oswalt the unearned run.
Between the errors, ineffective pitching and lack of hitting, things looked grim for the Phillies early on. They were not able to scratch out any runs until the bottom of the 5th when 2 Reds errors plus an Utley single scored 2 runs. Utley redeemed himself and, making him feel even better, the Reds equaled his screw-ups. Even better, one of the errors was from ex-Phillie Scott Rolen, which the fans enjoyed a lot. Rolen has been booed mercilessly these past two games. No love lost between him and Philadelphia…
Things got stranger in the 6th; Carlos Ruiz was hit in the knee with a pitch by another ex-Phillie, Arthur Rhodes. Ruiz seemed to be fine and Rhodes was lifted from the game. Pitcher Logan Ondrusek replaced Rhodes and only 3 pitches later, he nailed pinch-hitter Ben Francisco in the head to load the bases. Luckily for Francisco, he moved his head quick enough that the ball hit the brim of the helmet. So although it looked very scary, he was okay. Shane Victorino walked next to score a run.
So while all this was pretty entertaining, the Phillies were still down 4-3 going into the 7th. Utley was hit by a pitch for the 3rd erroneous toss by a Reds pitcher. Things began to go seriously downhill for the Reds when, with 1 out, they brought in their flame throwing rookie, Aroldis Chapman. With 100+ mph balls flying, it was the Reds fielders who got rattled instead of the Phillies batters…
missed a fairly easy fly ball off the bat of Jimmy Rollins and then Brandon Phillips dropped the relay throw, allowing 2 runs to score. Ruiz hit into a fielder’s choice a little later, but it scored another run. Also in this inning, Mike Sweeney made his postseason debut as a pinch hitter and singled to left. Having waited 16 years to reach the playoffs, that hit had to feel amazing for Sweeney. By the way, join us at my “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” Facebook page for more Sweeney fun :O)
So the Reds had 4 errors through 7 innings in this game, which the Phillies then led by a score of 6-4. Ryan Madson erased the Reds in the top of the 8th. In the bottom half, Utley singled and stole a base, still determined to erase the errors from everyone’s minds. Jayson Werth knocked him in to add on an insurance run for a 7-4 lead.
That set up the 9th for Brad Lidge. Despite walking the first batter he faced and making the fans grumble, Lidge buckled down and got the next 3 batter out to put the Phillies up 2 games to none in the NLDS. The Phillies are one win away from advancing! Cole Hamels will pitch in Cincinnati on Sunday at 7:00pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies announced today who will be on the 25-man roster for the NLDS and there are really no surprises. Those notable players who did not make it include Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez and David Herndon. Here is the breakdown:
Going with 10 pitchers instead of 11 allows the Phillies to add more fire power to the bench. They expect the 3 starters to go deep into games so extra long men in the pen will likely not be necessary. Blanton will fill the role if needed.
As for Ruiz and Romero, manager Charlie Manuel says both players are fine and ready to play after suffering minor injuries on Sunday.
If you are going to the game tomorrow, here is the information about pre-game festivities and other highlights:
2:00 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Party begins on Citizens Bank Way. Features music by Mr. Greengenes; Highlights include an inflatable obstacle course for children, face painters, an extreme rock wall climb and a Velcro race.
Ashburn Alley opens.
All gates open. Rally towels for all fans, compliments of StubHub.
3:30 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Rally on Citizens Bank Way! Special guests include former Phillies Scott Eyre and Greg “The Bull” Luzinski, Comcast SportsNet analyst Ricky Bottalico, the Phillie Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls. Music provided by Mr. Greengenes; Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs, will emcee.
4:40 p.m. – On-field pre-game ceremony begins.
4:44 p.m. – Introduction of Cincinnati Reds.
4:48 p.m. – Introduction of Philadelphia Phillies.
4:54 p.m. - National Anthem: Sung by country singer Catherine Raney, niece of Tim McGraw, who will be representing the Tug McGraw Foundation.
4:56 p.m. - Color Guard introduced.
4:58 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Phillies alumnus Scott Eyre.
5:07 p.m. - Play ball! Phillies vs. Reds game begins.
5th Inning – “Lady PhaPha” makes her postseason debut.
7th Inning – God Bless America: Sung by national recording artist Lauren Hart, a Philadelphia native whose songs have been heard on television series and soap operas.
See you there!
My day at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies final home game today against the Mets started off a bit dreary. It was rainy and cold. But soon after entering the park, two Phillies players walked right past me; Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. I said, “Hey Dom Brown!” and he said hello back and waved. I then proceeded to follow them through the park. They stopped at the first base gate and began handing out rally towels to fans coming through the turnstiles as part of the Fan Appreciation Day surprises.
Once the crowd died down and Brown looked bored, I asked an usher if I could go up close and take a photo. He said I could so I walked over, said hi and asked Brown to take a photo with me.
I held up the camera and pushed the button; as I did, two security guards started yelling at me to stop and go away. I turned my head to see what they were yelling about and the shot to the right is the result. Well, at least we are both in it…lol I thanked Dom as I ran off before I got yelled at some more.
So while that was fun, the rest of the day was not. Cole Hamels did not pitch well and allowed 5 runs over only 4 innings while looking visibly frustrated at both himself and many of the umpires’ ball-strike calls. As a result, there were a lot of pitchers used in the game, including rookie Vance Worley who pitched a scoreless inning:
Down 5-0 in the 5th, things look grim for the Phillies who were getting beat by a very average pitcher in Pat Misch. They finally scored when Chase Utley smashed a 3-run homer. But that was the only highlight of the game as the Phillies went on to leave 9 men on base and were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
Defensively, they did at least embarrass Jose Reyes one more time. In all 3 games this series, Reyes was picked off base. Today, he was thrown out at home and also caught stealing third base; Shane Victorino got the assist on the out at home. The Phillies defense also turned one double play while Carlos Ruiz hit into a double play to end a scoring threat in the 4th.
This loss was disappointing on many levels. First, the Braves lost which means, had the Phillies won, they could have clinched the NL East at home and the fans, myself included, would have been able to participate in the celebration.
Also, it was Fan Appreciation Day which means after the game, the players traditionally would toss t-shirts and signed Nerf-like balls into the stands. But since they lost, they all went to the clubhouse instead of thanking the fans who stayed to the end. The ball girls were left to handle the duty. As the bullpen members walked in, a few of them, like Brad Lidge and JC Romero, stopped and helped out the ball girls, which was nice. But overall, it was a very disappointing day and a letdown for the fans.
The good news is, the magic number is now just ONE. So the Phillies only need one more win or one more Braves loss to clinch. Right now, the worst they can do it tie with the Braves for the NL East title.
The Phillies go to DC now for 3 games against the Nats; tomorrow’s game time is 7:05pm and Roy Halladay will pitch. Here is the full Photo Album from the game.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Scoreboard watching is officially in high gear in Philadelphia. With a magic number of 4 to start the night, fans were intently watching both the Phillies game and the scoreboard report on the Braves – Nationals match-up as well. The 4-1 Nationals lead was of great interest as the Phillies led tonight over the Mets 3-2 going into the 8th.
The Phillies starting pitcher, Joe Blanton, did a great job keeping the game close. He struggled with 2 outs, allowing a single and a homer in the 4th plus two doubles with 2 outs in later innings. But Blanton made it through 7 innings with just the 2 runs allowed on 6 hits and a walk.
The defense played well behind Blanton, keeping extra runs off the board. Raul Ibanez made a sliding grab in left that save a 2-out run from scoring. Even Blanton got in on the act. In the 7th, he dove for a short roller towards first and flipped the ball with his glove to Ryan Howard for the out. Face down in the dirt, Blanton looked like he had just done a belly flop into a pool.
He even needed a towel afterwards to clean up, as his teammates broke up in laughter over the play. While Blanton will not get any style points for the dive, it got the job done.
Shane Victorino led the game off with a solo homer against knuckleballer RA Dickey. Victorino had an RBI-double as well in the 2nd inning. The go ahead run was scored by Ibanez in the 4th, who was singled in by Carlos Ruiz. Placido Polanco had a good night as well, with 2 hits. However, the offense as a whole was fairly quiet, as they have been in the past against Dickey and other knuckleballers. The 3 runs they scratched out would have to be enough.
Things got pretty tense in the 9th inning as Brad Lidge tried to save the game with that slim 1-run lead. Lidge has been amazing this month, so expectations were high. With two outs and a runner on third, Lidge pitched around and walked rookie catcher Josh Thole. What happened next is hard to imagine…
Lidge went into his windup and the third base umpire, Hunter Wendelstedt, suddenly called time out for the Mets to put in a pinch runner. With the pitch already delivered, the batter grounded out and the game should have been over. Instead, after much arguing, it was a do over.
Charlie Manuel was nearly tossed from the game sticking up for his team, and who could blame him. It was another ridiculous, unprofessional act by yet another major league umpire. You cannot call time out when the pitcher is already in his windup! Unbelievable. But even this moron could not stop the Phillies. Lidge struck the batter out and collected the save.
The Braves are down 6-1 in DC in the top of the 7th as I write this. If they go on to lose, the magic number will be down to TWO! That means the Phillies could clinch the division either Saturday or Sunday. I am SO ready for October!!
UPDATE: The Braves lost; the Phillies Magic Number is now TWO!!!
Blanton photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Four games ahead in the division, the Phillies were poised to deliver a serious gut punch to the Braves tonight. A victory would ensure a series win and reduce the Phillies magic number to 6. With Roy Halladay set to pitch, the Phillies had to feel pretty good about their chances.
In the first inning, Halladay looked like he was firing bullets out of his arm. He set the Braves down in order on only 6 pitches. But after that, the struggles began and Halladay had issues with his control. But in typical Halladay style, he worked in and out of jams to keep the game close.
Despite the difficulties, Halladay made it through 7 innings while allowing 3 runs. It was enough to earn him his 20th win of the season; no pitcher has reached that mark in the National League since 2005. For the Phillies, the last time was in 1982 when Steve Carlton had 23 wins.
So while tonight was not Halladay’s best effort, the poor man does look awfully tired after pitching 241 2/3 innings so far this year. And with 20 wins, it is hard to complain. With any luck, the Phillies can clinch the division early and give the Doc some much needed rest.
The offense was a little sluggish as well tonight, leaving 12 men on base. But for the 2nd time this week, Jayson Werth came through at just the right time with a 3-run homer in the 3rd inning. An even bigger clutch hit came with a 3-2 score in the 6th inning; Raul Ibanez smashed a 2-run double with 2 outs. That gave the Phillies a bit more cushion to work with.
The defense was key to the team’s success as well. Just like last night, the Phillies turned 3 great double plays to help out their pitchers. Wilson Valdez almost had another one in the 5th, but Rick Ankiel charged 2nd with his hands up and Valdez hit him in the arm with the attempted throw to first. It probably could have been called interference as Ankiel did not go straight for the bag, but the Phils had to settle for one out there.
Up by a score of 5-3 in the 8th, it was up to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge to finish off the win. Madson benefited from one of the double plays in the 8th, helping to get him out of the inning. And Lidge pitched another great 9th inning to save the game.
So to recap, the Phillies are FIVE games ahead in the division with the magic number of 6 to win the division! Game 3 with the Braves is tomorrow at 7:05pm…let’s go for the SWEEP!!!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Cole Hamels was walking a very tight rope tonight against the division rival Braves. Both team battled and runs would be hard to come by. Luckily, the runs were more difficult for the Braves.
Hamels pitched 8 amazing innings, shutting down Braves hitters. He struck out 6, walked 1 and allowed only 1 run all night. But there were many highlights in this game. Here are just a few:
- Cole Hamels! Duh.
- A key 2-out RBI double from Carlos Ruiz in the 2nd inning.
- 3 double plays turned with the help of Wilson Valdez’s cannon of an arm and Chase Utley’s acrobatics.
- RBI’s by Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez.
- Another idiot ran onto the field during the game; but instead of the taser gun, the Phils used their secret weapon, Braves left fielder, Matt Diaz. Using his super-bionic foot, Diaz tripped up the moron and security teams swept in to collect the stunned fan. Take that, taser gun! You have been foiled by Matt Diaz ;o)
- A super SAVE by Brad Lidge and a 3-1 win!
- The Phillies are now FOUR games ahead of the Braves in the NL East!
Not only are the Phils up by four games, they have decreased their magic number to 8! With Roy 2.0, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, set to pitch the next two games, things look good for the Phillies. Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm….Go Phillies!
Hamels photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
If there is one team out there that pitcher Kyle Kendrick should be able to handle, you would probably pick the Nationals. However, in the first inning tonight it did not look good. Kendrick gave up a run and loaded the bases. But after chatting with pitching coach, Rich Dubee, Kendrick calmed down and got out of the jam.
Kendrick has been the big unknown all year long; as in, no one knows what he might do in any given start. He has given up no less than 4 runs in each of his last 4 starts while pitching no more than 6 innings in any of those game. But tonight, he handled the Nats and allowed only 2 runs over 6 inning.
The offense got Kendrick a descent lead with some homers and a few other timely hits. Both Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez had 3-hit nights and they each collected an RBI. Shane Victorino had 2 hits and a walk in the leadoff spot. Valdez, filling in for the still lame Jimmy Rollins, tripped going around the bases in the 3rd inning and looked like he was hurt. Luckily, he shook it off and kept playing. But with all the injuries this year, that was a scary moment.
Also in the 3rd, Ryan Howard broke some more Phillies records. With a 2-run homer, Howard became the first Phillie ever to record 5 straight 30 home run, 100 RBI seasons. Chuck Klein had done it 4 straight seasons. Howard’s 252nd career homer also put him into third place all-time for home runs by a Phillie. He passed Pat Burrell who had 251 homers.
In the 7th, there was a bit of a counting mix-up involving the Nats lead-off hitter, Danny Espinosa. After he watched 2 strikes go by and swung and missed at the 3rd pitch, Espinosa hung around, waiting for another pitch. From the Phillies dugout, Roy Oswalt held up 3 fingers for him, hoping he would get a clue. Instead, Espinosa stood there and proceeded to argue the strike count with the umpire. Poor kid; maybe he took counting lessons on Sesame Street with the Mets alumni? :
Later in the 8th, Ryan Madson came in to pitch with a 5-2 lead and got himself into big trouble. After a fly ball out, he walked the next 2 batters and gave up a single to load the bases with one out. A 3-run lead for the Phillies these days is not a sure thing by any means. But Madson found where he had hidden his fastball location and got the next two outs.
Brad Lidge came in for the 9th and recorded his 23rd save of the year and did so with only 8 pitches. Not to be outdone by Howard’s accomplishments, Lidge moved past Tug McGraw on the Phillies all-time saves list with 95.
Tomorrow afternoon at 1:35pm, the Phillies will try to sweep the Nats with Joe Blanton on the mound. I shall return with photos and hopefully, a win :O)
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
With a 3-game sweep of the Marlins completed tonight, the Phillies have increased their NL East lead to 3 games over the Braves. Roy Halladay picked up his 19th win of the year while allowing 3 runs over 6 innings. Halladay does appear to be tiring as we near the end of the regular season, but is still pitching effectively. If the Phils can add to their 3-game lead over the Braves, perhaps Halladay can get some much needed rest before the potential playoff run.
Another big event tonight besides #19 for Halladay involved Shane Victorino. He completed a quadruple double for the season; with a triple tonight, he now has double digits in steals (32), doubles (24), triples (10) and home runs (17). Victorino had 2 hits total tonight plus and RBI.
Other big contributors to the 10-5 win were Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez who each had 3 hits and 2 RBI. Ryan Howard reached base 3 times by drawing walks and Chase Utley hit a long homer to right field. After scoring only 2 runs last night, a 10-run explosion was fun to watch.
The Phillies have the day off tomorrow before starting a 9-game home stand; 3 games each with the Nationals, Braves and Mets. The Braves series will be pivotal in determining the 2010 Phillies fate. The Phils have shuffled their pitching rotation to have the big 3 go against the Braves; Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. But the next game with be with the Nats on Friday at 7:05pm; Oswalt will pitch.
Since there is an off-day tomorrow, I have a special off-day blog planned. Yesterday, I spent time with former Phillies catcher, Darren Daulton, at the 97.5 FM The Fanatic studios during his radio show. I will tell you all about that and have photos to post from my tour of the station as well. Check back for that!
Also feel free to check out my new Facebook community page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney.” You can join the group and add your own thoughts and photos. Remember, real men hug. ;o)
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
How do the Phillies score 11 runs on a Monday and then look like they have never lifted a bat on a Tuesday? The short answer is, that’s baseball. However, the Phillies hitters have gone through very odd stretches of offensive offense this year. For example, when they go 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position like tonight, it is a real head scratcher.
More difficult to bear than the lack of production was watching Cole Hamels pitch another gem while wondering why this team cannot squeeze out some runs for him. Hamels was not incredibly sharp tonight, but he was still very effective. In 6 2/3 innings, Hamels allowed only one run while striking out 13 Marlins batters.
The two runs managed by the offense came from a Placido Polanco double in the first and a Jayson Werth ground out in the 5th that scored Shane Victorino. Overall, the Phillies had only 5 hits, left 12 men on base and grounded into double plays twice. Wilson Valdez hit in double play #19 on the year which, for under 300 at-bats, has to be some sort of record. Of course, Valdez has done an admirable job filling in for Jimmy Rollins this year and had one of the 5 hits tonight.
So with the offense stuttering, the Phillies bullpen would have to hold down a very slim 2-1 lead. Chad Durbin closed out the 7th and Ryan Madson handled the 8th, despite putting 2 runners on base. But all the bullpen drama this year is taking its toll on my health. Let me paint a picture for you with a quick quiz:
“Watching the Phillies bullpen pitch in a close, 1-run game makes me want to…”
A – Vomit
B – Consult a psychiatrist to determine why the bullpen is making me insane.
C – Crawl in a dark hole and bang my head against the wall until I pass out.
D – All of the above
If you guessed D, you are either a genius or a Phillies fan….or, perhaps both. ;o)
On that note, we move on to the 9th inning; it was Brad Lidge time. After swallowing a bottle of Tums and debating how many glasses of wine would make this inning easier for me to get through, I finally glued myself to the couch and prepared for the inevitable roller coaster ride.
And yet, the ride was more of a carousel than a roller coaster. Lidge plowed through the Fish, earning the save and give the Phillies the 2-1 win. Also, the Braves lost tonight which means the Phils are 2 games ahead of the Braves!
Roy Halladay will go for the sweep tomorrow night…game time is 7:10pm!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Win some, lose some…the Phillies could not have done so today in a more upside down fashion. Two games; two very different results:
Vance Worley made his first start in the majors today against the Marlins and did a pretty good job. Certainly it was good enough to de-throne Kyle Kendrick from the 5th starters spot. Kendrick has been awful and the Phillies pitching coach, Rich Dubee, was really upset about his performance yesterday. Worley went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs; he was only pulled after 5 because the offense was sleeping and Charlie Manuel put in a pinch hitter. Worley did his job; the offense did not.
The Phils offense had just 1 hit through 8 innings and that was a Brian Schneider single in the 2nd. They were facing another pitcher making his starting debut, Adalberto Mendez. Rather than beat up on the rookie, the Phillies swung at junk and popped up balls that were right down the middle. They made a first-timer look like a Cy Young winner.
Just as disgusting as the offense was sloppy play in the field. Raul Ibanez made two very bad throws in the 1st inning. Later in the game, Placido Polanco watched a Dan Uggla double sail past him down the 3rd base line. That was just a good hit. But later, with Uggla at the plate again, Polanco was playing off the line…again. Result? Same thing; a double down the line. Why was Polanco playing off the line when he had just gotten burned there in Uggla’s last at bat? Ugh.
A lot about this game was inexplicable, much like the Phillies magical vanishing offense all year long. When you see this team play like this, it makes you wonder how they have stayed in the NL East race all year.
There were some other revelations in the last few days as well. Clearly, Mike Zagurski is not going to make it in the Bigs. This kid has been up, down, multiple injuries, up and down again and today, with yet another chance to show what he has, he failed miserably. 3 runs allowed on 2 hits and a walk…it was bad. Scott Mathieson did the same thing yesterday when he walked 2 batters and showed a serious lack of control. I feel for these guys, but maybe the Phillies need to move on?
Ok, so let’s see if they are still asleep for game two…
Oh, here are the bats! Game 2 was the polar opposite of Game 1. Much like a mental patient suffering from multiple personality disorder, the Phillies played two totally different games today. The Game 2 persona is certainly the one Phillies fans would like to see more of.
A five run 2nd inning got this game off to a good start. Jimmy Rollins, batting from the 5-hole, led off the inning with a single. Raul Ibanez followed his lead and then Domonic Brown walked. With the bases loaded, Carlos Ruiz worked out a walk for an easy RBI. Later that same inning with 2 outs, Placido Polanco hit a 2-run double and then Chase Utley singled to score Polanco.
It was a very upside down kind of day for Utley. He did not have a hit in the first game, but for Game 2, Utley racked up 2 hits, 2 RBI and he was also hit by a pitch. Brown got a rare start as Jayson Werth was rested and he managed to work out 2 walks. But having sat on the bench for a while, Brown looks rusty. Hopefully, this start will get him back into the “swing” of things.
Starting the game was pitcher Roy Oswalt who had some issues with the long ball. He allowed 3 homers for 4 runs in the first 5 innings. This seems to be a “Roy” issue this week; Roy Halladay gave up 4 runs on 4 homers on Saturday against the Brewers. Luckily, the Phillies bats were heating up tonight to bail Oswalt out of trouble, as they also did on Saturday for Halladay.
With a 7-4 lead, Ryan Madson took care of the 8th inning after JC Romero walked the first batter. Brad Lidge pitched the 9th and recorded the save! Lidge has been super lately…keep it up, Brad!
Tomorrow night at 7:05pm, Joe Blanton will pitch in game 3 of this series with the Fish. The Braves lost today so with one win and one loss today, the Phillies are 1/2 game behind them in the NL East.
And a few reminders: Do not forget to check out my new Facebook community page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney.” And when you are done there, hop over to the Phillies #1 fan contest and VOTE for me! You can vote up to 25 times a day :O) Thank you to all for your support!
Worley photo by CBSsports.com; Utley photo by Jenn Zambri Photography