Results tagged ‘ Braves ’

Home Field Clinched Despite Another Loss

Even though they lost 4-3 to the Cardinals on Monday night, the Phillies still managed to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs thanks to the Braves losing to the Cubs.  This team is so good, it seems they can literally do nothing and succeed.

However, this series with the Cardinals also showed that the Phillies have some work to do on offense.  They clinched the NL East title against the Cards, but lost the other three games.  On Monday night, Roy Halladay did not have his best stuff and the Phillies bats did nothing to help him out.

Halladay wound up spotting the Cards two runs in the first inning as his pitch location was off.  He gave up two more runs for four total over eight innings.  Halladay also walked four batters, which is unusual for the potential Cy-Young candidate.

While it was not Roy’s day, it was not a good day for the bats either.  The Phillies only run through eight innings was basically handed to them after a Cardinals error.  They left the bases loaded with less than two outs…again.  In total, 10 men were left on base.

The Phillies attempted a rally in the 9th inning, which was nice to see, but they still fell short.  A double from Carlos Ruiz followed by a triple from Jimmy Rollins led to two more runs.  The triple was the 100th of Rollins’ career. 

But the rally ended after Hunter Pence grounded out with Chase Utley on first.  The fact that the team did not give up until the final out was refreshing, but there are still some lingering questions about this offense being unable to score with runners on base.

Ryan Howard is out of the line-up, probably for most of the week after getting a cortisone shot in his ankle.  Shutting him down now instead of in the playoffs is wise.  Hopefully, he come back rested and feeling better after dealing with bursitis in his foot and ankle all year.

Howard’s return should be a boost for the offense, but the Phillies really have nothing left to play for.  The division is wrapped up, home field is wrapped up and they have 10 games to go.  However, it would be nice to see them win 100 games and even better if they can break the franchise record of 101 wins in a season, set in 1976 & 1977.

The Phillies could reach 100 games today with wins over the Nationals in the doubleheader.  Game 1 begins at 1:05pm.

Extra-Inning Bummer as Phillies Wait to Clinch

Against the Cardinals, Phillies rookie pitcher Vance Worley had another adventurous, yet effective, outing.  Through 6 innings, the Vanimal allowed one run on six hits and three walks.  The run was issued on a bases loaded walk.  Worley seems to have a knack for allowing base runners which elevates his pitch count.  He gets out of the jams, but cannot go deep into games as a result.

But Worley limited the damage, giving the Phillies a chance.  The offense however, took that chance and sat on it.  This turned out to be the 8th straight game where the Phillies scored three runs or less.

Once again, one of the few Phillies in the line-up able to hit was John Mayberry Jr. who went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.  In the field, Mayberry was not so sharp, bobbling or missing three balls at first base.  He was charged with one official error, although none of the goofs really hurt the team.

What actually hurt the team was the lack of hitting, which also resulted in extra innings.  The first four hitters in the line-up combined to go 0-for-18 through 11 innings.  As a team, the Phillies tallied only seven hits, left the bases loaded with one out and left eight men on base.

Losing 2-1, the Phillies tied the game up in the 9th.  After a Ryan Howard pinch-hit double, Carlos Ruiz sent a fly ball to right, which was dropped by the fielder.  But then in the 11th, the 2-2 tie was broken after rookie pitcher Michael Schwimer allowed two runs, giving the Cards a 4-2 lead.  So yesterday Schwimer got his first major league win and today, his first loss.  His ERA has ballooned to 4.82.
 

In the bottom of the 11th, the Phillies got a single from Placido Polanco, but did nothing else.  John Bowker, who is now 0-7 as a Phillie, made the final out for the 4-2 loss.

The offense, which was cooking earlier this month, has suddenly stalled.  The good news is that the Mets are currently spanking the Braves by a score of 11-2 in the 8th inning.  If that score holds, the Phillies need only one game to clinch the NL East.

Division Magic # – 2 games (at time of posting)

Home Field Advantage Magic # – 4  games

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Sweep Braves With a Walk-Off Win

Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt took a no-hitter into the 6th inning against the Braves tonight before they finally got to him.  Ex-Phillie Michael Bourn doubled and then Chipper Jones knocked him in for their first run, and first two hits, of the game.

Brandon Beachy also pitched very well for the Braves; only Raul Ibanez touched him through five innings with a solo homer.  That home run was #250 for Ibanez in his career.

The 1-1 tie held until a ball took a bad hop on Chase Utley in the seventh to score a run for the Braves.  Utley had an interesting night.  The inning before that hop, he was hit square in the back of the head with a pitch.  Utley barely flinched and calmly took first base, probably thanking his helmet on his way down the line.

The Phillies had a chance to break the game open in that same inning.  There was a controversy on a ball hit by Placido Polanco which the umpire called a catch.  On replay, it was clear the ball was trapped by Jason Heyward.  The umpires chatted for a bit and finally ruled it a hit.

The Utley noggin’ assault happened right after Polly’s outfield adventure, which loaded the bases with two outs for Ryan Howard.  Sadly, Howard struck out and the Phillies were left in a 2-1 hole.

Another guy having an odd day was John Mayberry Jr.  Prior to the game, the New York Post broke a story about Mayberry that was fairly humiliating.  Apparently, someone leaked an email where his agency made a plea to another agency to set up a date for Mayberry with an actress he likes.  The email even stated, “I hate to even be sending you this e-mail, and I’m quite embarrassed to say the least…”  Ouch.

As it turns out, the actress Antoinette Nikprelaj is married and has a kid.  Worse than that, Mayberry’s own teammate got on him about the debacle.  On his Twitter page, HunterPence3, Pence posted, “So does anybody want a date with Mayberry?….He’s Stanford educated….”  Double ouch.

But Mayberry put the incident behind him when he was called upon to pinch hit in the 8th.  Mayberry led off the inning with a single to right and later, Polanco knocked him to tie the game up at 2-2.  But again, instead of taking the lead, Howard struck out with two men still on base to end the inning.

No worries, Ryan.  The 9th inning was still to come.  Ibanez made another contribution by walking and then Carlos Ruiz singled.  All the Phillies needed was a little magic off the bat of Ross Gload, who has struggled lately with a hip issue.  But tonight, Gload came through with an RBI-single to give the Phillies a 3-2 walk-off win.

That hit sent the Braves home crying as the Phillies completed the sweep of this 3-game series.  It should be a fun plane ride to Milwaukee.  Game time Thursday night against the Brewers is 8:10pm.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Worley Wins Again

After nearly two hours of a rain delay, the second game of this Phillies – Braves series finally got underway.  And for Vance Worley especially, this was a very good thing.

In the last 14 starts by Worley, the Phillies have won every game.  The Phillies record for consecutive team wins with one starter was set by Steve Carlton in 1972.  Worley is on pace to tie that mark.
 

Although his starts never seem to be without a few troubles, Worley has developed into a pitcher who does not get rattled, as evidenced by the bases loaded, no out jam he pitched himself into in the 6th inning.  But still unshaken, Worley weaved his way out of the inning having allowed only one run to tie the game, 2-2.

The offense kept plugging away at the Braves as well.  Chase Utley homered in the 1st to start the scoring.  Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence did some damage as well.  But the big bat on this night was Raul Ibanez , who went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI, including a double that bounced off the outfield wall, missing a homer by about an inch.

The resurgence of Ibanez has been encouraging.  Either he realizes that with John Mayberry Jr. in the mix, his job is in jeopardy or the time off is allowing him to stay fresh between starts.  Either way, this semi-platoon in left field is working.

This 6-3 win put the Phillies 9.5 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East.  With this commanding lead, any hopes the Braves had of catching the Phillies went out the window.  It also put the Phillies at the 90-win mark with 18 games to go.

Game 3 is scheduled for 7:05pm, weather permitting, and Roy Oswalt will pitch.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Pulverize Braves To Win 1st Game of Series

In the first of a 3-game series with the Braves tonight, the Phillies were out to send a message to their division rival.  With a brutal 9-0 beating, the Braves definitely received the message.

Leading the assault was pitcher, Cliff Lee, who has now not allowed a run in 29.2 consecutive innings.  Tonight, he dominated the Braves in his 6th complete game shut-out of the year.  He basically took Atlanta’s signature hatchet and turned it around against them.

After a lack of offense in Sunday’s game against the Marlins, the Phillies finally found their bats again and seriously punished pitcher Derek Lowe.  Four starters had a multiple-hit game, including Ryan Howard with a homer and Chase Utley with a triple.  Hunter Pence led the team with three RBI; his one-out RBI-single in the first inning set the tone for the game.

The defense played well behind Lee as well.  Howard ran down a foul ball pop-up near the fence along the 1st base line.  In a sliding grab, the ball slid out of his glove and Howard caught it with his bare hand.  That was the sort of effort that was seen all night long by the Phillies.

But before the Phillies can officially send the Braves crying home to their mommies, there are still two games to go.  Vance Worley will face Tim Hudson on Tuesday night at 7:05pm.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Lose After Playing Under Protest

Well, there went five hours of my life I wish to forget.  The Phillies said goodbye to SunLife Stadium in Miami today with a gut-wrenching 14-inning 5-4 loss to the Marlins, played under protest from the Phillies.  It was another wasted Roy Halladay start.

The big controversy began when umpire Joe West decided to make up the rules as he went along.  In the 6th inning, Hunter Pence hit a double that should have left the Phillies with two men on base and no outs.  Instead, West decided to use instant replay on a ball that he himself ruled a double.  Replay, according to the baseball rules, is only to be used on potential home runs.

West came back after 13 minutes of “reviewing” and ruled Pence out due to fan interference.  While those idiot fans did attempt to interfere, the play should not have been reviewable in the first place.  The other problem is that West assumed the ball would have been caught had the fans not intruded.  But on the video replay, it is far from a sure thing that outfielder Bryan Petersen would have caught it.  In fact, his glove was already closed by the time the ball reached him.

The Phillies then announced a formal protest of the game and manager Charlie Manuel was ejected for arguing.  After the game, Manuel stated the same point, that the ball would not have been caught (per Ryan Lawrence, DelCo Times).  West claims Manuel asked for a replay; Manuel sternly denies this.

So now it is a game of he said (Manuel), she said (West, running from the press afterwards ;o).  If MLB determines that a rule was broken by West, the game could be restarted with the Pence double at a later date.  But seriously, odds of that happening are like ZERO.  MLB has refused to hold umpires accountable for anything and I do not see that changing now, sad as that may be.

The rally was killed after that call, but the Phillies did score two runs on a Ryan Howard single in the 7th to take the lead.  That lead was promptly erased as rookie Michael Schwimer got tossed into the fire at the bottom of the 7th.  I feel sorry for Schwimer; this was not a situation where a rookie should have been sent in to hold a slim 4-3 lead after all the drama of the previous inning.  The pressure had to be immense and Schwimer wound up giving up the tying run.

What happened next is what the Phillies should really be ashamed of.  They played seven straight innings of scoreless baseball, dragging the game through 14 innings.  As a team, the Phillies left 11 men on base, went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and totaled only 10 hits in 14 innings.

Worse than that, the bullpen kept them in the game and the offense did nothing to support them.  The biggest victim was David Herndon, who imploded on Saturday night and handed the game to the Marlins.  But tonight, he pitched almost four full innings with an amazing effort.  He worked in and out of jams and kept pitching tough even as he tired.  Herndon escaped bases loaded jams twice, five intentional walks and a badly fielded ball at third that would have shortened his outing.

 

Still, Herndon persisted and redeemed himself from Saturday’s disaster.  That his offense could not score him one single run during all that was ridiculous.  Chase Utley went 0-for-7; Pence ended 0-for-6, although he was robbed of a double; Shane Victorino had only one hit and a walk in six at-bats.  And most of that was against the Marlins sub-par bullpen.  Yuck :O(

The game ended with another bases loaded jam for Herndon who walked the winning run in just as his arm was about to fall off.  And that happened after some questionable calls from the home plate ump who seemed to decided that 14 innings were enough for him.

While all that really sucked…a lot…tomorrow is a new day and the Braves are coming to town.  These next three days are the time for the Phillies to drop the hammer on the NL East.  So perhaps the offense tonight was saving up the hits for the Braves?  Hope so….game 1 begins at 7:05pm Monday night!

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Herndon Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography, West photo by MLB.com

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Two Blow-Outs and a Blow-Up

On Monday, the Phillies blew-out the Mets in a 10-0 shut-out victory.  Then after Tuesday’s east coast earthquake, the Phillies shook the Mets down with another big win, 9-4.  But on Wednesday, the earth stopped shaking things up, and so did the Phillies.

With a big error only nine pitches into the game, Michael Martinez set the tone.  He bobbled a ground ball, putting two men on base with no outs to start the game.  After that, pitcher Kyle Kendrick imploded.

Although the four runs the Mets score in the 1st were unearned due to the error, Kendrick had a chance to pitch out of the jam with little damage but was unable to do so.  Through four innings, Kendrick gave up two more runs on seven hits and a walk.

The Phillies rallied in the 2nd, scoring three runs.  And four players had multi-hit games, including Chase Utley with three.  But all together, the Phillies left 12 men on base and were unable to capitalize on opportunities.

The Phillies still won the series 2 games to 1, but a sweep sure would have been nice when you look at the way the Braves are playing.  The Phillies lead in the division, once at 9 games, has dwindled to 6.  And with a win tonight, the Braves can cut it to 5.5.

With an off-day tomorrow, the Phillies will have a chance to recharge their batteries before the weekend Marlins series.  So, get some rest guys.  There is still a ways to go before claiming the division.

Also, FYI: Jose Contreras is having surgery on his elbow…he is done
for the year :O(

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

43 Games to Go

After Sunday’s rain-out, the Phillies have 43-games to go in the regular season, including the make-up game on 9/20 at 1:05pm as part of a split-doubleheader.  As of today, the Phillies still lead all of baseball with 78 wins and are nine game in front of the Braves in the NL East.

With all of the injuries suffered by the Phillies this year so far, it is even more impressive that they have been this dominant.  Four starting position players, two starting pitchers and three relievers have all spent time on the DL and some of them made multiple trips.

They have also used four different closers because of the injuries and two spot / replacement starters.

 

And while Placido Polanco, the starting third baseman, is not technically on the DL right now, he has not played since August 6th due to a sports hernia.  After receiving an injection, Polanco is expected to decide by Tuesday whether or not to have surgery which could put him out nearly the rest of the regular season.

Still, the Phillies keep finding ways to win.  Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels have been terrific on the mound.  While the pitching seems to have carried the team through the first half of the year, the recent addition of Hunter Pence has jump-started the offense.  And once again late in the season, Ryan Howard is heating up.

By the way, am I the only person without a Pence jersey or tee-shirt yet?  The ballpark has been stacked with them in all varieties.

Jimmy Rollins is having his best year since the 2008 season.  And while hitting .265 is not spectacular, he is taking more pitches, drawing more walks and has been healthy all year.

And since coming off the DL with major knee issues, Chase Utley appears to be back to his old self…almost.  Shane Victorino is also having a great year despite two trips to the DL, batting .313.

But the younger role-players have also been key to the Phillies success so far.  Michael Martinez, Wilson Valdez and John Mayberry Jr. have all made big contributions filling in for injured players.  The young pitchers Antonio Bastardo, Michael Stutes and Vance Worley have been slightly overused for guys at their level of experience, but they have all responded very, very well.

The point is, this team is winning and shows no signs of slowing down.  This is a very special time to be a Phillies fan.  We could very well be witnessing something historic right now.  The season is far from over, but I like their chances.

While the team is off today, think about it.  Sit still for a moment and soak it all in.  Then, take a deep breath.  Can you smell it? 

…43 games to go.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Oswalt a Little Rusty in Return from DL

Pitcher Roy Oswalt made his first start back from the DL today in the series finale against the Giants.  Looking a little rusty, Oswalt allowed three runs, although it could have been worse.  Over six innings, Oswalt gave up 12 hits, but still stranded 10 runners.

For the Giants, Tim Lincecum was his usual, amazing self, limiting the Phillies to just one run on seven hits.  However, someone should inform the baby-faced Lincecum that he does not need to attempt to grow the world’s smallest goatee in order to be intimidating.  Although, it is awfully cute.

Watching the Phillies score only one run was not so cute.  Chase Utley had the lone RBI.  And for the first time as a Phillie, Hunter Pence did not have a hit in the game.  So both Pence’s hit streak and win streak ended on the same day.

The Phillies win streak as a team ended at nine; with Pence, they won eight straight.  And as it turns out, Pence does not hit, the Phillies do not win.  Pence must feel like he has entered the Twilight Zone, finally losing  a game with his new team.

There were a few interesting moments in the game, aside from the lack of offense.  Carlos Ruiz made two great plays, giving up his body to get outs.  In the 4th, Ruiz dove to tag out Aubrey Huff by smashing him right in the face with the baseball (see photo).  And then in the 5th, Ruiz ran down Jeff Keppinger who wandered too far of third and jumped on top of him right before he reached third to get the out.

Later in the 8th, Utley was clearly distracted by Lincecum’s adorable baby facial hair as he fouled off a ball and his bat went flying to the mound, hitting Lincecum in the knee.  Utley went to check on little Timmy to make sure he was ok and Timmy handed him the bat back, indicating he was fine.  It was a nice display of sportsmanship by both players.

The 3-1 loss leaves the Phillies still with a wide margin in the NL East, leading the Braves by 8.5 games.  Plus, taking 3 of 4 games from the Giants is very big for their momentum and confidence as the leaders in the league.

Monday night, the Phillies begin a 3-game series with the DodgersRoy Halladay will pitch and game time is 10:10pm.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos from Getty Images

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

See-Saw Battle Ends in Phillies Win

This team is never dull, although sometimes, I wish they were.  The Phillies see-saw battle with the Padres today was a real tummy-turner with lots of ups and downs.

UPChase Utley smashed a 3-run homer in the first inning.  The Phillies held onto the 3-run lead through 5-innings as Kyle Kendrick looked pretty good on the mound.  But as with all good things, they must soon end…

DOWN – Kendrick lost his mojo in the 6th inning, giving up two home runs for three RBI total.  With the game tied 3-3, Michael Stutes took over on the mound for the next four outs.  Despite getting into trouble in the 7th, it looked like Stutes was about to get out of the mess when a Cameron Maybin single put the Padres ahead, 4-3.

UP – As the Phillies bats had laid dormant for five straight innings, a comeback seemed like a remote possibility.  Enter, Ryan Howard.  Given the day off to try and work on his hitting, Howard was called upon to pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th.  It took just one pitch and Howard homered to re-tie the game, 4-4.

 

The homer was followed by a pinch hit double from Ross Gload and a Jimmy Rollins walk.  Then the improbable happened again; rookie Michael Martinez hit his second career homer to add on three more runs.  Utley homered again later the same inning to make it an 8-4 Phillies lead.

DOWN –  Antonio Bastardo had his first really bad day of the year as he loaded the bases with two outs in the 8th inning.  Then things got really wild as Bastardo literally began throwing the ball anywhere but over the plate.  After two straight wild pitches, the Padres finally scored again.

In another improbable and frankly, unbelievable move, the Phillies sent David Herndon to the mound to clean up the mess.  Herndon has been less than reliable all year so this was a shocker.  Not shocking was watching Herndon walk a run home.  But he did manage to escape the inning with the Phillies still leading, 8-6.

UPRyan Madson closed the game out in the 9th where he allowed one hit, but struck out two batters for the save.  And despite allowing a run, Stutes got the win.

UP x2 – The Phillies have won four straight and go for five tomorrow with Roy Halladay on the mound.  The Braves lost today, extending the Phillies lead to five game in the NL East.

Game time on Sunday is 1:35pm; I will return with photos.

 

“LIKE” us on Facebook for more updates & photos!

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 465 other followers