Results tagged ‘ Brett Myers ’

Slaughter in San Francisco

So much for the presence of Cliff Lee taking some of the pressure off Cole Hamels; you can officially take that theory and flush it down the toilet.  And down the toilet is exactly where this four game series went today as Hamels was destroyed by the Giants in a 7-3 loss.  The Phillies lost 3 of 4 here in the city by the bay.


Thumbnail image for P8024045 Hamels.jpgIt all began to unravel in the 5th inning when, with 2 outs in the inning, Giants pitcher Barry Zito nubbed a good luck broken bat single up the middle.  Instead of taking it for what it was, a stroke of luck, Hamels let the hit get into his head and chaos ensued.  3 runs later, the Giants moved onto the 6th inning with Hamels still annoyed about the previous disaster and 3 more runs scored in that next inning. 

Hamels is looking more and more like a mental patient on the mound instead of an MVP.  Can someone please call Dr. Phil?  This guy needs a serious sit down.  It does not matter how good a pitchers arm is; if he cannot handle the pressure, he will crack.  And Hamels is cracking to the point of breaking.  Let me ask you this; when Pedro Martinez arrives and one of the starters is going to get bumped to the bullpen, can the Phillies justify doing this to JA Happ when he has outpitched Hamels?

Think I am nuts?  Look at the numbers:  Hamels has a 7-6 record with a 4.68 ERA.  Happ, in 17 fewer innings due to a season start in the pen, has a record of 7-2 with a 2.97 ERA.  Hamels is averaging 5 2/3 innings pitched per game for the season; Happ is averaging 6 2/3 in his last 10 starts (could not use games he pitched from the pen, so went with last 10) and therefore, going deeper into games. 

Is Cole the staff “ace”?  Supposedly.  And there is no denying the job he did last season.  But why hurt the team while he gets his head on straight?  Brett Myers knew that was the wrong thing to do last year when he accepted a minor league assignment in order to straighten himself out.  Will Hamels ever follow suit?  That is doubtful.  Then it is up to the manager to make the decision for him.  I am not saying he should be demoted to the minors, but Hamels needs to show this team that he can handle pressure and adjust in tight situations.  If he cannot turn things around, I think a “spanking” of some sort is in order here.

And there is my Hamels rant for the day.  The rest of the team did not do much this series to help out either.  The offense was lacking and defense was sloppy, as evidenced by a Ryan Howard goof today that cost the team another run.  In fact, the biggest hit of the day, besides a Jimmy Rollins solo shot, was a double off the bat of Eric Bruntlett that went deep into left field.  When the standout star of the day is Eric “I am batting below .150″ Bruntlett, you know it is going to be a very bad day.


080209.jpgAside from the blunders, the best entertainment of the day was watching Pedro Feliz try to wrestle the Giants mascot, Lou Seal and then Jayson Werth stole the poor critters hat:

But tomorrow is another day and the Phillies are still in first place.  A three game series with the Rockies may be just what the doctor ordered Tuesday night beginning at 7:05pm. 

I will be taking a tour of AT & T Park tomorrow morning and flying home tomorrow evening.  I hope to post a review of San Francisco, both the city and the ballpark, sometime on Tuesday.  I will also be posting a Photo Album from the entire West Coast trip and all 4 games with the Giants.  For now, let’s see if the Phillies return home can spark some offense!  Go Phillies!

 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

The Old Hamels Is Back; The Old Lidge Is Still MIA



P7098599 Hamels.jpgCole Hamels
returned to MVP form last night against the Diamondbacks in a 4-3 win.  Everyone was a little nervous in the 1st inning when Hamels allowed a solo home run, but after that, he settled in and did not allow another run.  Even better than that, Hamels pitched all the way through 8 full innings, allowed only 4 hits and struck out nine batters.  Welcome back, Cole!  We missed you.

Shane Victorino led the offensive attack with 3 hits, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.  The D-Backs helped out the Phillies offense as well with 2 key errors in the game, much like they did on Monday night.  But those errors and the extra run the Phillies scored because of the errors turned out to be the difference in the game.

Going into the 9th with a 4-1 lead, the Phillies sent Brad Lidge to the mound and he immediately got into big trouble.  Lidge walked the leadoff batter and then gave up a 2-run homer to the next batter to cut their lead to 1 run.  By what must have been some act of God, Lidge managed to get the 3 outs and end the game without blowing the save.

But fans everywhere are now officially worried about Brad Lidge.  No one expected perfection like last season, but a record of 0-4, 6 blown saves, 24 walks in 38 innings and an ERA of 7.11 was not expected either.  The Phillies will not go far in the playoffs with a closer posting these numbers.  Either Lidge needs to get his act together, or could Brett Myers return to the closer role in August, which is when he may return after hip surgery?  Does this seem farfetched?  Maybe.  But Lidge cannot continue to hurt the team.  Last night, he got lucky.  Going forward, it will not always be the case.

And is this some sort of weird Phillies curse?  You get a great season out of a guy, like Lidge in 2008; you sign him to a huge contract and mayhem ensues.  Remember Pat Burrell?  Burrell had a breakout season in 2002; then in 2003, the Phillies gave him a monster contact of 6 years, $50 million dollars and guess what happened next?  Burrell struggled for years and did not fulfill his true potential until he led the Phillies to the playoffs in 2007 and then to the World Series in 2008.  But from 2003-2006, it was not always pretty.  Is Lidge suffering from the post-contract blues?  Whatever the case, with 3 years invested in Lidge, the Phillies need to get him back on track and fast.

The Phillies have one more game against the D-Backs tonight at 9:40pm with JA Happ on the mound.  I am in San Francisco right now awaiting their arrival on Thursday for a 4-game series against the Giants.  And while I am very excited to see Giants pitchers like Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito, disappointment set in this morning when it was announced that Randy Johnson has a torn rotator cuff and will be out for at least 3 weeks.  Johnson is a future Hall of Famer, so I was hoping to see him pitch.  I even tried to see his 300th win in DC back in June, but the game was rained out and I could not go the next day.  And such is my luck…oh well!  I still get to see my Phillies and hang out in California for a week, so it’s all good :O) 

Off topic, I would like to send out my condolences to the family and friends of former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson.  Johnson lost his battle with cancer yesterday at the age of 68.  May he rest in peace.

Photo 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

 

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Will The Real Cole Hamels Please Stand Up?

Where has the NLCS and the World Series MVP gone?  Certainly, he is not the same pitcher who is currently 4-5 with a 4.98 ERA?  Oh heck, make it an even 5.00.  And tonight, his problems were more magnified than ever; Cole Hamels pitched only 4+ innings and allowed 7 earned runs as the Phillies went down 1-11.  Seven runs against an Atlanta team that everyone said had NO offense; well, I guess they were just waiting for the Phillies to come to town.Hamels 0709.jpg

But what is the problem with Hamels?  First, he is leaving way too many pitches up in the zone.  This is not his typical style, but suddenly, it has become a real issue.  Second, he is pitching frustrated.  In recent days, the previously cool and confident Hamels has become a whiny crybaby with the umpires and has a general look of dissatisfaction on his face all the time.  But why?  For a guy who has had this much success at a young age, he has no reason to pout…with the exception maybe of his last several outings.  He was the 2008 World Series MVP…he bought a brand new luxury condo in Philly…his wife is expecting their first child…everyone worships him.  So, what is the issue?  Where did the smile go?

Then again, this entire team has seemingly lost their Mojo over the past month.  Just ask Jimmy Rollins; in fact, the only guy who’s Mojo appears untouchable is Chase Utley who is still batting .301 despite his team’s struggles.  And where has Ryan Howard’s big bat disappeared to?  He has not hit a home run since June 20th (that is 32 at-bats) and is hitting .240 overall this past month.  The most feared offensive team in the league has turned into a welcome relief to opposing pitchers who are now anxious to mow the Phillies down.

This is where Charlie Manuel’s short comings will come to light.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Charlie.  He has been the manager that this team has needed and he performed THE miracle by bringing the World Series Championship home.  And Charlie is a super nice guy; but that is exactly the issue.  He is too nice sometimes.  Sorry Charlie, but it is time to start banging heads together in that clubhouse.  The “nice” approach worked for two games, and now, they are right back in a funk. 

Not only that, but he should manage without worrying about making everyone happy.  When asked why he started Paul Bako at catcher tonight, a career bench guy, Manuel said he felt that because Bako was there with the team, he needed to play sometime.  I hate to disagree, but as the manager, Manuel does not owe anyone anything.  It is not Manuel’s job to soothe ego’s; it is his job to win games.  And no offense to Bako, but he is hardly the spark plug this team needs right now.  Forget about getting guys their playing time; play the guys who will produce.  And if Rollins cannot hit, move him down in the line-up.  There is no sense in him getting 5 at-bats a game when other players are hitting better.  No one cares how unhappy it makes Rollins, and neither should Charlie.  Get him out of the funk, then move him back.  Jimmy should be willing to do what is best for the team, and he knows that.  A little tough love is in order here.  The rest of the NL East is creeping right up on top of the Phillies and they will be out of first place this week if nothing changes.

The New Starter?

Rodrigo Lopez will, at least for now, occupy the hole left in the line-up by Brett Myers who is down for the season after hip surgery.  Lopez pitched for the Rockies in 2007, then had Tommy-John surgery.  Coming back from his injury, he signed a minor league deal with the Phils in March and has gone 5-4 with a 3.91 ERA in 13 starts this season with the AAA Iron Pigs.

Most expected to see Carlos Carassco in this spot, but that is not the way it will pan out.  However, this move may be a sign that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has a trade in the works and did not want to bring up a young gun for a spot start.  If you are going to bring in a guy like Carassco, you are probably thinking that he will be in long term.  Since they did not do that, it leads me to think there may be something cooking.  Let us hope so…

Last Day To Vote

One day left; 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 tomorrow, Thursday, July 2, 2009.

Hamels Photos by Jenn

Eminem by http://graphicshunt.com

 

*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*

 

Day Dreamin’ In Tampa

The past few days have left Phillies fans wondering who turned the lights out.  The mental mistakes, lack of concentration and outright wackiness of this team begs the question, where have the Phillies head’s gone?  Did they drink too many Slurpee’s in the hot weather and are suffering from severe brain freeze?  Or, are they day dreaming of midget clowns, fire eaters and candy?  Hmmmm….dreaming.jpg

At the plate, they appear to be asleep; weak swings at bad balls, staring like a deer in headlights at strikes down the middle of the plate and base running that brings back memories of their little league days.  Tonight, Pedro Feliz killed an inning that had real potential by forgetting how many outs there were.  1 out in the 6th, Pedro on 1st and Matt Stairs on 3rd, Eric Bruntlett did his job and hit a sac fly to center.  Feliz, however, thinking there were two outs, ran all the way to second and got doubled up at 1st before Stairs could score.  The run did not count and the threat was over.

But this is only one of several examples of spontaneous stupidity displayed by the team this week.  It has made most fans wish they really were living in la-la-land, as the Phillies appear to be.  At least in la-la-land, the rest of the NL East catching up to the Phils may not factor in.  However, in the real world, the Phillies have run themselves into big trouble.

And trouble rolls downhill, starting with the starters.  Antonio Bastardo was given a 4 run lead to start the game and immediately gave 3 runs right back to the Rays in the bottom of the 1st inning.  And as expected, it all went downhill from there.  Maybe if Bastardo more closely resembled another Antonio, I would be able to cope with his lack of control:

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Put Banderas on the mound and I don’t care if he walks in 12 runs…at least he would look good doing it ;O)  But Bastardo still needs work before he is major league ready.  And he may have taken that decision out of the manager’s hands anyway tonight, as he left the game early with a left shoulder strain.  The Phillies need a starting pitcher – real bad.  The hole in the rotation left by Brett Myers continues to haunt the team, with no answer yet in sight.  And even worse, because the Phillies have let so many teams in the NL catch up to them over these last few weeks, most teams are not ready to give up and start unloading talent.  They all still have a shot at the Wildcard, thanks to the Phillies bad play.  And therefore, the pickings are slim for starting pitchers.  Talk about shooting themselves in the foot…ouch!

Hey, maybe Antonio Banderas IS available?  I have no idea if he has ever picked up a baseball, but I am willing to give him a shot.  Hey Tony…call me ;O)

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

Player photos by Jenn

 

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

 

A Sweep In San Diego / Hip Injuries On The Rise

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Greg Dobbs is a magician.  Just ask JA Happ.  While Happ pitched very well in last night’s 5-1 win over the Padres, he gives credit to Dobbs for turning his night around after a dicey 2nd inning.  Dobbs made a running, over the shoulder grab in right field to get Happ out of an inning where he had given up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases.  After the game, Happ said, “Dobber really turned the game around and gave me some confidence and made me focus in there more.”  Ultimately, Happ got through 7 scoreless innings with only 4 hits total surrendered.  He now has a record of 4-0 and a 2.48 ERA.

JC Romero returned to the mound tonight after that ridiculous 50-game suspension.  JC, welcome back!  We missed you!  Romero pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up 2 hits, a walk and one unearned run.  He was likely very emotional in his return, but he got the job done.  It must be a huge relief for him to finally get that first game out of the way.  By the way, Happy Birthday to JC who turns 33 today!

As for the offense, Ryan Howard belted a 2-run homer in the 1st to get the game off to a great start.  And Dobbs was a magician at the plate, as well as in the field, with 2 hits, including a double.  Pedro Feliz, Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth each knocked in a run and Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 8 games.  Every starting position player had a hit in the game except Chris Coste, but he walked twice.

This win in San Diego marks the Phillies 2nd sweep and 6th victory in a row!

Shooting From The Hip

The New York Times did an article this week on the recent rise in hip injuries, which have included Phillies’ Chase Utley, Brett Myers and now, Shane Victorino, who left the game last night with a left hip problem. 

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Other big names like Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and Carlos Delgado of the Mets have suffered the same injuries this year to their hip labrums.  Are they putting something in our water or is there another explanation?

While the theories vary, it seems many doctors think it may be a combination of kids who start playing at young ages before their bones are fully developed and strength training that focuses on knees and other areas, thereby putting more strain on the hips.  In my own personal experience, I can tell you both may be true.  I was diagnosed with the same hip injury over a year ago.  I chose to avoid surgery (for now) because it is very risky and in my case, it was possible that it may make things worse.  Being that I do not have a physical job like a professional athlete, I can get away with hobbling around when I need to.

In my case, I started playing baseball when I was 6 years old; plus, I have an underlying genetic bone deformity that is not helping the situation.  But I played anyway, because I wanted to feel like a normal kid.  Doctors were always worried about my knees and sure enough, a knee injury ended my playing days half way through high school.  In the years that passed, I spent countless hours building leg strength to protect my knees, as instructed by the doctors.  Now you can use my calf muscles to hold up a coffee table, but my hips are shot.  Coincidence?  They say hindsight is always 20-20.

When you focus on one part of the body, how can you expect the rest not to suffer?  This seems to be the case here.  Ten years from now, we may have the answer.  For the time being, all that can be done is to treat the issues as they arise.  I will keep you updated on Shane’s condition as the information is published.

Up Next

The weary eyes of all those intent on following this west coast trip will get no rest this week.  The play continues tonight in Los Angeles, which begins a 4-game series with the Dodgers.  And no sleep in sight for the East Coast fans…

But since you will be awake anyway, why not keep VOTING for our Phillies All-Stars?!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Dobbs Photo by Jenn

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Meet Antonio Bastardo

Everyone loves to see young guys get a break and make it to the Majors; but the journey for Antonio Bastardo, 23, begins with a season-ending injury to the Phillies #2 starting pitcher, Brett Myers.  Antonio Bastardo JZD.jpgMyers will have hip surgery and Bastardo will have some very big shoes to fill.  Is he up to the challenge?

Bastardo was signed by the Phillies after he was not drafted in 2007.  With a 9-0 record and 1.87 ERA at the Lakewood Blue Claws that year, Bastardo was moved to Clearwater to start 2008.  Impressive again, Bastardo pitched his way to the Reading Phillies after a 2-0 record and 1.17 ERA with the Threshers.  In 2009, Bastardo earned a spot in the Phillies Spring Training camp where he continued to work on his pitches.  Ultimately, he ended up with Reading Phillies (AA) where his 2-2 record and 1.82 ERA earned him a promotion to the Iron Pigs (AAA).

After only 2 games with the Pigs, Bastardo now finds himself readying to face big league hitters.  Whether the youngster will show off his stuff or crack under the pressure is yet to be determined.  What we do know is that the Phillies need an arm to fill the void left by Myers and if Bastardo does not work out, the Phils may find themselves in a heap of trouble.  Or maybe he will be a surprise like Kyle Kendrick was in 2007.  Bastardo gets his first start on Tuesday in San Diego against Jake Peavy and the Padres.  Best of luck to him!

Just For Fun

I shot some video before yesterday’s game of Jayson Werth warming up in the Phillies batting cages; the footage is possibly a bit…interesting?  For lack of a better word anyway; but hey, I did not go down there and make him show off his belly…although if requested, I am happy to oblige ;O)

 

Race Weekend

And also just for entertainment’s sake, I thought I would share with you the hell that is NASCAR race weekend in Dover.  The Monster Mile attracts thousands of fans from all over the country and literally shuts down the town for 3 days.  You cannot go to the Mall, the grocery store or pretty much anywhere.  All businesses rent out their parking lots exclusively for the race fans cars, trailers and campers and local residents are trapped inside their houses for the weekend.  If you live in the neighborhood, you even have to show ID to get to your own house!  Here is just a sampling of what I had to drive through to get to the Phillies game yesterday:

I just keep telling myself, it is good for the economy and only happens two times a year.  Now if I could just avoid the toxic fumes, engines noises, beer can-strewn roads and drunk folks wandering about aimlessly…  Hmmmm…maybe next time ;O)

And in case you missed it yesterday, here is the Photo Album from the Phillies sweep of the Nats and historic win #250 for Jamie Moyer!

Photos & videos by Jenn

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Phinally! Moyer Gets #250

It took 6 tries, but the Washington Nationals proved to be the magic potion for Jamie Moyer who today became the oldest major leaguer in history to record 250 wins.  Moyer is exactly 46 years and 194 days old today.  The only run Moyer surrendered in 6 innings of work this afternoon was a solo home run to Josh Willingham, who hit 2 on the day; the second was off reliever Clay Condrey.  Incidentally, Randy Johnson of the San Francisco Giants will also go for a career milestone against the Nationals this Wednesday; Johnson is looking for win #300.  I am actually going to that game in DC to see if I can catch two historical events in one week :O)  Wish me luck…

By the way, Moyer is a saint!  Look at how he takes the time to show this little girl how to pitch right before the game and then gives her both the ball he signed and the pitched ball she threw:



Moyer 053109 ed.jpgAnd maybe that sporty new buzzed haircut helped him out today too :O)

As for the rest of this afternoon’s events, the 4-2 win over the Nats completed a 3-game sweep for the Phillies.  Lending a helping hand towards this victory was Chase Utley who seems to have taken up a personal mission to make Nats pitcher John Lannan’s life a living hell; Lannan is the same pitcher who broke Utley’s hand 2 years ago and since then, Utley has made him pay for it.  Utley went 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI in the win.  Chris Coste helped out, while making the most of a rare start; Coste hit a home run, a single and had 2 walks.  And Ryan Howard, hot off his grand slam yesterday, nailed an RBI triple in the 7th to give his team some cushion going into the late innings.

Some photos for you -  Howard tosses to first; Utley slides in safe; Howard slides in for a triple; Victorino runs the bases:



053109 ed.jpgAnd welcome back Brad Lidge!  “Light’s Out” Lidge has now notched 3 saves in a row, after a very rough start to the season with 4 blown saves.  He is throwing his slider for strikes, cutting down on the walks and starting to look like the Mr. Perfect of 2008 once again.  One more “Phinally!” on the day :O)

Here is the Photo Album from today’s win and historic #250 for Moyer!

The Phillies now head off to the West Coast to begin a 10-day road trip which will include the Padres, Dodgers and Mets.  A step up from playing the Nationals, but the Phillies have been hot on the road this year.  So the anticipation mounts as rookie Antonio Bastardo prepares to make his first major league appearance on Tuesday night against the Padres, in place of the injured Brett Myers.  But first, Joe Blanton takes the mound tomorrow night at 10:05pm (yikes!).  So much for getting any sleep this week…

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Photos by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

 

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