Results tagged ‘ Brad Lidge ’
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
Against the Brewers tonight, the Phillies came away with another win in another very close game. But early on, it was not looking like a Happy Halladay weekend for Roy Halladay. For the first time in his career, Halladay gave up 4 home runs in one game. The good news is that they were all solo shots. Halladay appeared to struggle with his command all night long and seemed visibly annoyed by many calls from the home plate umpire.
In Halladay’s last three starts combined, he has allowed 10 runs in 21 innings; that calculates to an ERA of 4.29. Granted, this is not terrible by any means, but it is also not typical Halladay. This brings a few questions to mind; has Halladay been overused and are the number of innings pitched catching up with him? With 7 innings pitched tonight, he is up to 221 innings for the year so far. That is more innings than any pitcher in all of baseball. The 33-year old reached a career high in 2003 with 266 innings pitched and is on pace to pass that record.
Although Halladay’s arm is unlikely to fall off anytime soon, the workload is very heavy for a pitcher at his age and with as much mileage as he has on that arm. Everyone keeps referring to Halladay as a “workhorse.” I hate that reference. Because when a horse goes lame, we all know what happens next. While no one is going to put a pitcher out of his misery, the Phillies need to watch Halladay carefully and be sure he stays healthy.
However, Halladay’s rough outing tonight was backed up by some great defense and even a little offense. Both Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit solo homers in the 2nd inning and Chase Utley drove in a run in the 3rd. Utley tried to destroy 2nd base after that during a steal attempt. But both the base and the Brewers won the battle as he was tagged out.
Down 4-3 going into the 7th, the Phillies took the lead with a few unusual runs. Wilson Valdez worked out a walk to load the bases and then made a great base running play. Carlos Ruiz scored on a sac fly and Valdez, reading the play quickly, saw the ball sail past home plate and he slid in behind Ruiz safely in a very close play. The aggressive move gave the Phils a 5-4 lead.
The Phillies bullpen, including Ryan Madson, JC Romero and Brad Lidge, held down the lead. Halladay got the win despite getting roughed up a bit and Lidge earned another save. The Braves won today, so the Phils are still just one game behind them.
The final game of the series is tomorrow afternoon at 1:35pm. Kyle Kendrick will face former Phillie Randy Wolf. I will return with photos!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Very little happened in today’s Phillies – Padres match-up until the 5th inning. Both pitchers were dealing and hits were few and far between. Then Padres starter Jon Garland started the 5th off by hitting Jayson Werth with a pitch. Raul Ibanez moved him over with a grounder and a single from Shane Victorino allowed Werth to score.
With a run finally on the board, Phillies starter Joe Blanton got into trouble later that same inning. A walk and a couple of singles allowed tied the game. But Victorino showed his defensive skills, throwing Nick Hundley out at the plate trying to score.
The Flyin’ Hawaiian was all over this game; Victorino smacked a triple in the 7th to score Werth again, who had walked earlier. Then after an intentional walk to Carlos Ruiz, Mike Sweeney was put in to pinch hit for Blanton. Sweeney hit a ground ball that was almost a double play. Instead, he legged it out and Ruiz barreled into 2nd with a take-out slide; Sweeney was safe and Victorino scored.
The Padres paid little attention to Sweeney on first as he is not known for speed. As a result, with a little prodding from first base coach Davey Lopes, Sweeney swiped his first bag in 4 years. Sweeney’s enthusiasm and hustle are just what this team needs. He fits in very well with the Phillies club.
Blanton ended his outing with just one run allowed in 6 innings; it was a great effort from Blanton. After Blanton was pulled in the 7th, the 3-1 game was turned over to the Phillies bullpen. Jose Contreras pitched a perfect 7th and Ryan Madson followed suit in the 8th. You know what that means, right? You guessed it….Brad Lidge time. (Gulp!)
After a horrible outing yesterday where Lidge balked in the tying run with 2 outs in the 9th, tonight was a different story. With a strike-out, a pop-up and a fly ball, Lidge closed the game successfully, handing the Phillies a 3-1 win.
Game 3 with the Padres begins at 4:05pm tomorrow afternoon. Cole Hamels will pitch and hopefully, put a 3-game sweep of the Padres in the bag.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Every time someone mentions the name “Brad Lidge” now, I instantly feel sick to my stomach. It has become a Pavlovian response. And while I am not a dog, I do get a tad bitchy around the “Lidge” references. The last two years of the Phillies-Lidge experiment have been a rollercoaster ride…and not a pleasant one.
Last night, the Phils managed to squeak out 2 runs against the Padres amazing pitching staff while Roy Oswalt held their offense to just one run. Oswalt had an amazing game; the kind of game everyone hoped he would bring to Philly. But leave it to Lidge to try to sour the evening.
The 9th inning save attempt turned into another Lidge disaster. Former Phillie Matt Stairs singled to start the inning and a pinch runner came in. But Lidge got the first two outs without a problem after that. And then, the wheels fell off the wagon.
After an intentional walk to slugger Adrian Gonzalez, Lidge was ahead 0-2 to Ryan Ludwick. Yes, ahead in the count. So what does Lidge do on the next pitch? He hits Ludwick to load the bases. As if that were not bad enough, Chase Headly steps to the plate and Lidge BALKS a run home. And it was not one of those picky balk calls; it was blatantly obvious and without explanation. Lidge was not holding anyone on base; the bases were loaded! WHAT was he thinking? Wow. That was blown save #5 for Lidge this year.
The then tied 2-2 game went into extra innings. Thanks to Jimmy Rollins and Chad Durbin, the Phillies pulled out a win. Rollins led off the 12th with a double and scored on a Placido Polanco single. It was a scary play as Rollins danced around the tag at home plate and just barely got his hand on the plate to score safely. And Durbin pitched 2 scoreless innings to record the 3-2 win.
But runs were not easy to come by in the game and the Phillies still have issues hitting, especially with runners in scoring position. In the 3rd, singles by Rollins, Polanco and Chase Utley scored the 1st run but, with two men on base, Ryan Howard struck out…again. Shane Victorino had a chance to add on in the 8th with one out and the bases loaded. A sac fly would have been nice, but instead, Victorino swung at the first pitch; the weak grounder was thrown home for the force out.
Jayson Werth grounded into a double play in the 12th with 2 men on base, which blew a prime opportunity for an insurance run. Werth went 0-5 with 2 strikeouts and in an odd twist, he even fell down the dugout stairs after a bad at-bat. He appeared to be ok afterwards. I hate to keep picking on Werth as I have all week, but his lack of focus is simply astounding. He is not the only one, but he has been the most obvious about it.
So while a win is a great thing, especially after losing 4 straight to the Astros, the Phillies bats had better wake up today before this road trip takes a turn for the worst. They did gain one game on the Braves with the win, so this is the time to step on the gas pedal and getting moving. Game 2 with the Padres is this afternoon at 4:10pm.
By the way, pitcher Danys Baez was placed on the DL yesterday with back spasms. Lefty Antonio Bastardo was called up to take his place.
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Houston Astros, otherwise known as the Phillies-B team, are in town. The former Phils include Brett Myers, JA Happ, Michael Bourn, Nelson Figueroa, Jason Michael, Ed Wade (former GM) and Brad Mills (former Bench Coach, now Astros manager).
Myers started the game for the Astros with a huge chip on his shoulder since the Phillies dismissed him after last season. Not resigning Myers turned out to be a mistake as he has found his groove and is pitching very well for the Astros. Myers had an 8-7 record with a 3.11 ERA coming into tonight’s game.
The Phillies tried to chip away at Myers who, in the 2nd, struck out Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez all in a row. Plowing through the meat of the line-up, he finally allowed a solo homer to Carlos Ruiz in the 3rd and another run on a Chase Utley single.
On the other side, Joe Blanton was having a good game as well. Although Blanton is still having issues getting through the 1st inning of nearly every ballgame he pitches in. Tonight, he escaped with only 1 run allowed in the 1st thanks to some timely defense which bailed him out of big trouble. Utley threw a runner out at home and Werth caught a tough fly ball that was sailing away from him.
But after the rocky 1st, Blanton was solid. He ended up going 7 innings, another rarity for his this year. In 21 games this year, Blanton has gone 7 innings or more only 8 times, including tonight. 6 hits, 1 run and 9 strike-outs later, Blanton left with a 2-1 lead.
But that lead was put in jeopardy when Ryan Madson came in for the 8th and drama ensued. Michaels singled and then Bourn bunted for what looked like an out. Howard tagged him and Bourn seemed to have run out of the baseline but the umpire ruled that Howard missed the tag and Bourn did not go out of the base line until after the tag attempt. Both Utley and manager Charlie Manuel argued the call heatedly, but to no avail. Manuel was tossed from the game.
And that play did wind up costing the Phillies the lead. Madson struck out Hunter Pence but then allowed a 2-run single to Carlos Lee to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. The Phillies then had to play from behind going into the bottom of the 8th.
With the lead gone, Werth was probably having very bad flashbacks to the 6th inning when he fell asleep at 2nd base. Myers was intentionally walking Ruiz to get to Wilson Valdez, who had a huge hit the last time a pitcher did that. But Valdez did not get a shot as Werth hung his head and was quickly thrown out wandering like a zombie off 2nd base. It was a huge opportunity lost.
Fast forward to the 9th and Brad Lidge kept the score steady; the Phils had one last chance to make something happen. Well, nothing happened, except the Phillies lost the game. No scoring in the 9th and the 3-2 score held up.
I will be going to Game 2 of this series tomorrow night to collect the Carlos Ruiz bobblehead doll which will be given away. My seat location sucks, but I hope to get a few photos to post on Wednesday. Game time is 7:05pm and Cole Hamels will pitch for the Phillies.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Against the Nationals tonight, the Phillies would face a pitcher who has not been great. Jason Marquis pitched in 5 games this year before tonight, lost all five games and gave up no less than 5 runs in each of those games. Two of those 5 games were against the Phillies. Marquis’ ERA was 14.33 going into this game.
Although the Phillies clearly had this guy’s number early in the year, tonight was another story. The offense managed only 1 run and 4 hits off Marquis in 5 innings. Raul Ibanez collected the lone run with an RBI-double in the 3rd inning to score Chase Utley. As a team, the Phillies left 7 men on base and went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position against Marquis.
When the Nats bullpen took over, the Phillies did not fare any better. Joel Peralta pitched two innings without allowing a base runner. The good news was that Roy Halladay was pitching for the Phils. Halladay got off to a tense start as he and the home plate umpire were not seeing eye to eye. Despite walking a season high 3 batters, Halladay plowed through 7 innings of no-run ball.
Ryan Madson pitched the 8th inning and gave up a lead-off single. But after some sharp defense behind him and a couple ground outs, Madson got through the 8th safely. In 22 games since coming off the DL in July, Madson has allowed just 4 runs total.
Brad Lidge has also managed a massive turn-around in his past 7 games since blowing a save in Washington DC on July 31st. He collected his last 6 save in 6 opportunities and has not allowed a run since then. When Lidge came into the 9th tonight with no margin for error in a 1-0 game, fans had reason to be optimistic. And Lidge did not disappoint; his 7th save in a row gave Halladay his 16th win of the year.
Game 2 of this series is tomorrow at 7:05pm and the Phillies will face the Nats big gun, Stephen Strasburg, for the first time. Kyle Kendrick pitches for the Phillies.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Over the last several years, manufacturing runs and playing small ball has not been the Phillies forte. Predominantly a power hitting line-up, they are suffering from a major power outage with both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the DL. But a little small ball tonight helped them crank out some runs to beat the Mets.
In the 3rd inning, Jimmy Rollins singled and then stole both second and third bases with 2 outs in the inning. Shane Victorino doubled to drive Rollins home for their first run of the game. It was Victorino again in the 5th who singled with two outs and stole second. Placido Polanco singled to send Victorino home. Then in the 6th, Jayson Werth led off with a triple and Carlos Ruiz singled him in.
Both Werth and Victorino had a multiple hit night; 2 for Werth and 3 for Victorino. Polanco was hit by a pitch in the hand early in the game but kept playing. Nothing else was said about it so hopefully, he is fine. Although, at the time, it looked painful.
Kyle Kendrick started the game for the Phils and went 6 2/3 innings allowing just one run; it was a home run from Jose Reyes. Kendrick walked only one batter and struck out 4. His last time out, Kendrick allowed 5 runs in only 3 1/3 innings, so this was a great improvement.
With a 3-1 lead, Ryan Madson pitched the 8th without allowing a run. And then Brad Lidge, who has never blown a save against the Mets in his career, came in for the 9th. Lidge kept that streak alive by retiring the Mets in order. The Phillies are now tied for the Wild Card lead and 2 games behind the Braves in the NL East.
In injury news, it appears that Utley may be back with the team as early as Tuesday after having surgery on his thumb for a torn ligament on July 1. He is already playing in rehab games in Clearwater. If Utley does return that soon, we can officially dub him Superman. Either that, or World’s Fastest Healer. Howard may also be back around the same time. That will be a huge boost for the Phillies!
The Phillies have a day off tomorrow before the Giants come to town for a 3-game series starting on Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, I should be at all three games. As usual, I shall return with photos :O)
Pelfrey photo from AP; Werth photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Roy Oswalt’s first home start in Philly went very, very well against the Dodgers tonight. He did not surrender a run while allowing 5 hits and 2 walks. Oswalt was finished after 7 innings with a really good strike-ball ratio of 73-36. It looked so easy, one may have thought that Oswalt could have pitched this game in his sleep. Yawn!
But as has been the case for Oswalt this year with both the Astros and the Phillies, he got very little run support. Domonic Brown collected the first run of the game in the 4th inning with a bases-loaded RBI ground-out. Raul Ibanez extended his hit streak to 18 games with an RBI-double in the 6th. However, in that same inning, the Phillies lost Ross Gload. He hit a double down the right field line and came up limping halfway to second base. Gload has been diagnosed with a groin strain.
If Gload goes on the DL, he will be the 16th Phillies player this year to land there. And he would be the 5th player on the DL right now, along with Ryan Howard, whom Gload was replacing at first base. Mike Sweeney took over for Gload tonight and may wind up playing a lot more than anyone expected.
With a 2-0 lead, the Phillies would now have to lean on their 8-9 combination of Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. Getting a few extra runs would have been nice too, but that did not happen. In fact, the Phillies wasted a Wilson Valdez lead-off triple at one point and left runners on third base with less than 2 outs twice. It began to look more and more like this game would come down to the Phils bullpen.
And it did come down to the pen. Madson pitched a scoreless 8th and looked pretty solid. Lidge came in for the 9th with the same 2-0 lead and quickly got three outs for the save. Oswalt got his first win as a Phillie behind Lidge’s save, just as they both used to do for the Astros. Teammates once again, Lidge had to be thrilled to help out his friend.
The final game with the Dodgers will be at 7:05pm tomorrow night. The pitching match-up should be Joe Blanton vs. Clayton Kershaw. Blanton did well in his last outing; a solid follow-up performance would be nice.
In other news today, Chase Utley has been approved by his doctor to start swinging a bat again since the surgery on his thumb. Utley has been running drills and fielding balls so this is one more step towards getting him ready to play again. Utley expects to be back in the line-up either at the end of August or early September.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography