Results tagged ‘ Chad Durbin ’
For the second consecutive day, the Phillies bats took a vacation. After pounding out 12 runs on Saturday, the Phils offense has since scored only 1 run in each of the last two games. The real victims of this offensive offense have been starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Jamie Moyer. Both pitched great games, allowing only 2 runs to the opponents but got not support from the batters.
Last night against the Cubs, Moyer was very sharp and worked the strike zone in all directions. With 7 strike outs in 7 innings and only 1 walk allowed, Moyer deserved a win, as did Halladay the day before. Chad Durbin did not help matters when he loaded the bases in the 9th. His pitches were so wild and so far out of the strike zone, I began to wonder if someone had spiked his Gatorade between innings. When JC Romero took over for Durbin, he almost held it down but with 2 outs, a ground ball found a hole and 2 runs scored.
The score was 1-4 and that is how it ended as the Phillies could not muster a rally in the 9th. Cubs pitching smacked them around and made Phillies hitters look like they were defending themselves against a bear attack. Jayson Werth went hitless and with each swing, he nearly screwed himself into the ground. Shane Victorino has suddenly cooled off in the lead-off spot with no hits last night and only 1 the game before that. All together, the Phillies had 5 hits in the game, 3 walks and left 9 men on base.
The final game against the Cubs will be this afternoon at 1:05pm. Joe Blanton will be the third pitcher this week to pray for some offense. Best of luck to him!
Player photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Three solo home runs were the difference in a 5-3 win over the Braves. Placido Polanco, Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino all went long in the game. Werth had two RBI on the day and Raul Ibanez collected one as well. Here are a few game highlights:
Cole Hamels started the game and look great through 3 innings. In the 4th, the bottom began to fall out as he walked the first two batters. After escaping that near-disaster unharmed, Hamels came back out in the 5th and started again with a walk. Four singles in a row followed to give the Braves 3 runs. Hamels worked out of the inning again, but the 5th would be his last inning.
There does not appear to be any rhyme or reason to the sudden change in Hamels’ performance. He simply lost his command and forgot where the strike zone was. Luckily, the bullpen bailed him out. Chad Durbin pitched 2 innings and Jose Contreras took the 8th. Both did an amazing job as their families looked on. Before the game, both players greeted their moms and wives on the field for Mother’s Day; even the Phanatic brought his mom to the game:
Brad Lidge earned his first save of the year when he retired the final 3 Braves batters. The first two batters hit long fly balls that barely stayed in the park, but they turned into outs. And we cannot expect zero drama from Lidge, can we? A win is a win; we’ll take it.
Also in honor of Mother’s Day on this day, most of the players used pink bats and wore other pink accessories to mark the occasion and show their support for Breast Cancer research. Chase Utley went all out…look at the photo. He used the pink bat, wore pink batting gloves, 2 pink necklaces, a pink wristband and a pink ribbon pin. Who says real men don’t wear pink? Not I.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game.
In injury news, back-up catcher Brian Schneider has been placed on the DL with a left achilles strain. Paul Hoover, who spent a short time with the team last year, has been recalled from AAA and will take Schneider’s place.
So the Phillies closed out this home stand with a series win and will be off to Colorado to face the Rockies on Monday night. Kyle Kendrick will pitch and the game begins at 8:40pm.
Also, be sure to check out my interviews with Dallas Green, Gary “Sarge” Matthews and Virginia Ventura Marina of the former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League if you missed it yesterday.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Could the Cole Hamels of 2008 really be back? In his start tonight against the Cardinals, it certainly looked like it. Hamels pitched 8 innings of shut-out ball, even getting out of a bases-loaded jam against the amazing Albert Pujols.
Well, at least for today, Hamels has earned his wings back. The real test will be his next start and whether or not he can show consistency and repeat an outstanding performance.
Hamels had to be outstanding as the Cards pitcher was equally as impressive. The Phillies managed to squeeze out one run against Adam Wainwright. After a Raul Ibanez triple, Carlos Ruiz hit a long sac fly to score the only run of the game. And Jayson Werth was able to extend his streak of reaching base safely in every game this year, which has not been done by a Phillie since 1920.
However, the 9th inning took an interesting turn. Hamels was primed and ready to close out this ballgame himself when a fan did the unthinkable in such an important and tense situation. Another idiot ran onto the field for the second day in a row to delay the start of the inning and it threw Hamels right off his game. Hamels had to throw warm-up pitches while he waited for the moron to be dealt with. By the time he got started with the real pitches, Hamels allowed two doubles in a row to tie up the game 1-1.
I hope the Philly police tasered this guy too. And maybe later, the real fans can all get together and plan a proper tar and feathering for this bonehead. This behavior is just shameful and gives the good fans a bad rap.
So Hamels was pulled without recording an out in the 9th and the Phillies would have to rely on Brad Lidge to maintain the 1-1 tie. Lidge actually got the job done, putting to rest questions about how he would perform after a long stint on the DL. On to the bottom of the 9th…
Ryan Howard walked, which is awesome. But Werth struck out on a very bad pitch…not awesome. Ibanez flew out to center and then Juan Castro stepped to the plate. Castro was not good tonight at the plate; he was 0-3 at this point, having grounded into a double play and leaving 4 men on base. Well, make it 0 for 4 as he grounded out to send the game into extra innings.
But just when things were looking dreary, thank goodness for CHOOOOCH!!! Carlos Ruiz popped a wall-off homer to center to win it in the 10th! Whooo Hooo!!!! Shane Victorino and Greg Dobbs put the exclamation mark on the evening with double shaving cream pies to the face of Ruiz. :O)
Game 3 with the Cardinals starts tomorrow night at 7:05pm. Kyle Kendrick will be pitching for his Major League life. If he has another horrible outing, the Phillies may be forced to look for another solution. Cross your fingers!
Here is a quick injury update: Ryan Madson and his self-inflicted broken toe will be out for a minimum of 2 months. The break was so bad, the doctor had to operate and insert pins to stabilize the fracture. For a bullpen that is already in bad shape, this is not good. Starter JA Happ is also not expected back very soon; it will be the end of May at the earliest. Same goes for Jimmy Rollins. May should be another interesting month.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies reclaimed their spot in first place last night after an 11-5 win over the Mets. Let us begin with the Tale of Two Teams: Before the game, people like Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino had their game faces on. Jimmy Rollins, still on the DL, was relaxed and posing for me and Jose Reyes was busy fixing his hair. A foretelling of things to come perhaps?
As for the game itself, most of it can be summed up in two innings. In the first inning, things did not look good for pitcher Jamie Moyer and the Phillies. Moyer got the first two outs but after allowing a few singles and then a home run to David Wright, he was in a big hole quickly.
Moyer’s performances this year have had one huge flaw; he always seems to have one bad inning where he gives up a bunch of runs. In the top of the 4th, he allowed 2 more runs on a Rod Barajas homer. Barajas has done serious damage to the Phillies every time he has played his ex-team. Although, Placido Polanco did manage to tag Barajas out going to third:
But the bottom of the 4th inning blew the game wide open for the Phillies. The Mets ace, Johan Santana, had been mowing down Phillies batters, except for solo homers from Polanco and Howard in the 1st. After a Chase Utley double, Santana got the next two batters out, but things then spun wildly out of control.
Raul Ibanez singled to score Utley and Carlos Ruiz walked after that. The bases were loaded with 2 outs for the pitcher, Moyer. You had to imagine Moyer would just make the last out and that would be that. But once Moyer ran the count 2-0, the crowd exploded with anticipation of what might happen next.
On their feet and screaming, “Johan! Johan!” the fans rattled Santana and Moyer, will amazing discipline at the plate, drew the walk to force in a run. Everyone began having flashbacks to Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS when Brett Myers and the crowd did the exact same thing to pitcher CC Sabathia. And who should step to the plate but the same hero from that NLDS game, Shane Victorino.
Back in October of 2008, Victorino followed up the Myers walk with a Grand Slam. Last night, history repeated itself as Victorino, with the crowd cheering him on, hit another Grand Slam! It was the 2nd of his career and I have been present for both of those slams. Shane may want to send me some tickets as it appears I am his good luck charm ;o)
But the inning did not end there. Polanco singled and then Utley homered; and with that, Santana was finally run out of the game. The Mets bullpen gave up one more run after that making it a grand total of 9 runs in the inning. Santana was responsible for 8 of those, which is more runs that he gave up in the entire month of April. And the 10 runs total marks the most runs ever allowed by Santana in a single game for his career.
The Phillies batted around plus 4 in the inning and the outburst seemed to give Moyer new life on the mound. He pitched two scoreless innings after that and even got a hit in the 5th inning. Chad Durbin pitched the 7th and 8th innings without allowing a hit and Danys Baez, feeling comfy with a 6-run lead, closed out the game.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game. Tonight, the Phillies will begin a new series against the Cardinals with Joe Blanton finally returning from the DL. Game time is 7:05pm. Best of luck to Blanton in his season debut!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Last seen on April 16, 2010 in Philadelphia, PA, the Phillies bats have mysteriously gone missing. Weighing around 33 ounces and measuring about 40 inches in length, these large wooden sticks may be seen in either a tan or black color with the “Phillies” name engraved in them. If you happen to see these missing bats, please notify authorities at 1-888-WECANTHIT.
The Phillies have gone from the best offense in the league during the first 10 days of the season to one of the worst. Where, oh where, have those little bats gone? Even a very hittable pitcher with an 8.16 ERA like the Giants Todd Wellemeyer could not cure the slump. The Phils managed only 2 runs in the game and went only 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
Ryan Howard had two hits in the game, but one was spoiled as he did not hustle on his way to second, did not slide and got tagged out in an embarrassing play. For the rest of the starters only Chase Utley and Jayson Werth had a hit with Raul Ibanez picking up an RBI on a sacrifice. The rest of the evening was more of the same: nothing.
There was one spectacular defensive play in the game; Juan Castro and Utley turned a double play like you have probably never seen before. Castro dove for a ball that was ready to scoot past him up the middle, but he snagged it and in the same motion, while lying on the ground, he tossed the ball with his glove up to Utley. Utley barehanded the ball and threw to first in time for the second out. Amazing.
But sadly, that was the end of the “amazing” for the day. Jamie Moyer did what we normally expect of him and allowed 4 runs on 10 hits over 6 innings. Chad Durbin gave the Giants two more insurance runs in the 7th inning on a walk and 2 hits. Last time out, Durbin was great. We just never know what to expect from this bullpen. Although, JC Romero did come back strong from his last outing and pitched a scoreless, hitless 8th inning.
But the pitching did not really matter; with no offense, they cannot be expected to win. And having to face Tim Lincecum this afternoon is not going to help bust the slump either. The Phillies dropped out of first place for the first time this year with no signs of improvement on the horizon. Look for a sweep by the Giants in San Francisco today…bust out your sense of humor. You will need it.
Photoshopping by Jenn
The big question going into tonight’s Phillies – Diamondbacks match-up was how spot-starter Nelson Figueroa was going to fare. Overall, he did a great job. Although he had quite a few base runners and ran some deep counts, Figueroa mostly did very well, allowing just 2 runs in 5 innings. Considering he was not very stretched out having been in the bullpen, Figueroa gave an excellent effort.
Another question mark lately has been the Phillies offense which went from red-hot during the first 10 games of the season to stone-cold this past week. In fact, the only two bats that showed up today were Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez. Werth hit two monster home runs to centerfield; one came in the 2nd inning and the other gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the 9th. Werth also made two great catches in the outfield and collected his first assist of the year, throwing a runner out at second.
Ibanez hit a home run in the 7th to tie the game up; it was his first home run of the year. Ibanez has been struggling so far this season but finally looks like he may break out of the slump. He also singled in the 9th, bringing his average up above the Mendoza line at .222.
Right after the Ibanez homer, Wilson Valdez stepped to the plate in place of Juan Castro and Phillies fans everywhere started to get that all too familiar twinge of panic. Castro has been outstanding in place of the injured Jimmy Rollins and there was no apparent reason to pull him out early. It was announced shortly after that Castro is suffering from mild left hamstring soreness.
This Phillies team is beginning to resemble a MASH unit instead of a ball club. The constant flow of injuries is alarming. They are already down 2 starting pitchers, 1 closer and a short stop. If Castro is really hurt and they are forced to go to the 3rd string short stop in Valdez, this could get ugly. Cross your fingers…
So, the bullpen had to keep the game close tonight as Figueroa was done in after the 5th inning. Chad Durbin was spectacular in 2 innings where he struck out 3 and allowed only 1 hit and no runs. Jose Contreras also struck out 3 in the 8th and the Ryan Madson came in for the 9th. Madson has not looked great as the team’s closer in place of the injured Brad Lidge, but tonight with a 1-run lead, he redeemed himself. He allowed 1 hit, no runs and struck out two for his 4th save of the year.
The 3-2 win tonight ties up the series in Arizona. The Phillies will send Kyle Kendrick to the mound tomorrow in search of his first win this year. Game time is 4:10pm. Go Phillies!
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Two old dudes battled it out tonight in Atlanta; the Braves Derek Lowe, 36, and the Phillies Jamie Moyer, 47. When I say I old, I am talking in baseball terms, of course. The elder Moyer out-dueled Lowe allowing just 4 hits and no earned runs in 6 innings. Lowe fell victim to the powerful Phillies offense which ran him out of the game after only 5 innings and racked up 5 runs.
Moyer continues to amaze and defy the laws of time with every victory. And tonight, he did something I had never seen before; in the 2nd inning, he hit the Braves rookie Jason Heyward with a pitch. That was not the fun part though. As the ball left Moyer’s hand, you could hear him yell to Heyward, “Look out!” as the pitch ran too far inside. Moyer is a true gentleman. Of course, the ball was only travelling about 74 mph so I think Heyward will be okay ;o)
The defense behind Moyer was pretty good, although Chase Utley did have one adventurous inning. Right after announcer Tom McCarthy commented on how much Utley has improved and that he has a shot at a Gold Glove one day, Utley’s ears must have been burning because he committed two errors in the 5th inning.
While trying to turn a double play, Utley bobbled the feed from Juan Castro, dropped the ball twice and a run scored. The very next play, he tried another double play but threw the ball wide to 1st, which flew past Ryan Howard and allowed another run to score. So it is official; no one is allowed to talk about Gold Gloves in relation to Utley for the rest of the year. Clearly, it was a jinx.
Utley’s offense has not been affected by a jinx though, as he has now reached base safely in every game so far this year. He had one hit and 2 walks tonight. Greg Dobbs did a great job filling in for Placido Polanco; he went 2 for 3. Castro went 3 for 5 and had 1 RBI, making it 5 for 8 from the back-up starters.
Actually, the only other jinx I can see for this team is the bullpen, which has been fairly awful. Roy Halladay avoided that jinx yesterday by pitching all 9 innings himself. Moyer only went 6, which is about average from him so sadly, the pen had to be counted on. Chad Durbin worked his way into a bases loaded jam with 1 out in the 7th and then ran a 3-0 count to the next batter. Fans everywhere had to be saying, “Oh crap…here we go again…”
Durbin got a sac fly out of that one and thanks to the Braves generosity in swinging at balls, he escaped the inning having allowed just the one run. But there was no one exhaling just yet. The Phillies had an 8-3 lead, but still 2 more innings of scary bullpen work to get through.
This bullpen could totally blow a 5-run lead….I have seen it happen. But tonight, Danys Baez rebounded from his last disastrous outing and got through the 8th inning with no damage. In the 9th, rookie David Herndon pitched and things got hairy with a few base runners. But Herdon worked through it and the Phillies won, 8-3.
There was a bit of bad news today before the game began; pitcher JA Happ has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 16th. The left forearm strain that was revealed after an MRI is apparently a bigger issue than the Phillies first anticipated. Nelson Figueroa will take Happ’s place in the starting rotation for now and his spot in the bullpen will be taken over by JC Romero, who was removed from the DL today. Welcome back, JC! We missed you!
So it is a bit of good news with a bit of bad news. As for 3rd baseman, Placido Polanco, he was left out of the line-up tonight after being hit by a pitch in the elbow yesterday. Polanco told the media today that he should be ready to play again tomorrow night. Assuming this is the case, that is very good news. Losing another starter right now could be a small disaster.
And yes, it is already that time again…All Star Voting. Why they start this so early in the season always puzzles me, but nonetheless, VOTING began yesterday. Let’s get a head start; VOTE for your Phillies today!
And Happy Earth Day everyone! Remember to recycle and conserve energy…for Phillies fans, that might mean drinking a beer from a recycled can and lazing on the couch to conserve energy. But hey, every little bit helps. :O)
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The second game in the series against the Nationals tonight did not start out well. It was Kyle Kendrick’s second start this year; both starts have been against these Nats. In his first start, he got beat up pretty good. Tonight, the Nats completely destroyed him.
Kendrick gave up 3 runs right away in the 1st inning but in the bottom of that same inning, the Phillies bats bailed him out with 4 runs to take the lead. So what does Kendrick do in the 2nd inning? He gave up 3 more runs and handed the lead right back. Kendrick was pulled after only 1 2/3 innings and his ERA soared to a shocking 17.47.
The most disturbing part of Kendrick’s start to the season is that both outings were against the Nationals, probably the worst team in the league. So I have to ask, where is the Kendrick from February and March who gave up only 2 runs in all of spring training? You may have an easier time finding that pesky Waldo then finding the Kendrick of spring. Oh wait, I see him…he is being charcoaled on the grill…
But the Nationals could not keep this team down; the Phils took that 2nd inning lead right back from the Nats in their half of the inning, scoring 3 more runs to make it a 7-6 game. Nelson Figueroa did a great job filling in as the long man, allowing just 1 run in his 3 1/3 innings. The Phillies bats scored a bunch more runs for him too, lining Figueroa up to be the winning pitcher. Figueroa went 2 for 2 at the plate as well, with a single and a double. Chad Durbin pitched 2 scoreless innings after that and Antonio Bastardo took over in the 8th. David Herndon finished off the 9th; in all, the pen allowed just the one run.
A few of the offensive highlight tonight included 4 hits and 5 RBI from Shane Victorino, who had been struggling at the plate until tonight. His 7th inning bases clearing, 3-run triple was just what everyone had been waiting to see. Victorino is batting lead-off now that Jimmy Rollins is on the DL with a calf strain. J-Roll’s recovery time may be anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
While J-Roll will be sorely missed, the offense did not skip a beat without him tonight. Wilson Valdez was called up to fill the bench spot. Juan Castro should do a fine job filling in at shortstop in the meantime, even if his bat is not very impressive; he went 0-4 tonight at the plate.
But the rest of the team is hitting, so all is well. Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard had 2 hits each and Chase Utley hit 2 home runs in the game; one was a 3-run homer in the 2nd to give the lead back to the Phils and the other was a solo shot into the second deck of right field. Utley looked more like he was wielding a sledgehammer than a bat.
So the Phillies walk away with a 14-7 win and still have only had one game this year where they scored fewer than 5 runs in a game. Tomorrow at 3:05pm, JA Happ will start. Roy Halladay’s first home start has been moved up to Friday to keep him on his normal rest schedule after Tuesday’s day off. Jamie Moyer will pitch on Saturday.
Photos by Jenn
The Astros were looking for their first win of the year today against the Phillies. In the 3rd inning, it looked as though they may just get that win. Jamie Moyer made it to 2 outs in the 3rd before all hell broke loose. He took a 4-0 lead and turned it into a 4-5 deficit in the blink of an eye.
For a few minutes, many wondered if they were watching a baseball game or a boxing match, as Moyer took blow upon blow from the Astros bats. With 2 outs in the inning, the right and left hooks began, starting first with the Astros pitcher who whacked a double to get the rally started. Here is the remainder of the beating, which even included a single from former teammate, Pedro Feliz: 2-run homer, a walk on 4 pitches, 2-run homer (yes, again), 4 singles in a row to score the 5th run of the inning. It was a total knockout.
Or, maybe not…the Phillies rallied back in the 7th inning and took the lead again on a Ryan Howard 2-run homer. Howard also tripled and walked with the bases loaded for an RBI earlier in the game. Shane Victorino, who has been very unlucky of late, finally got in on the action with an RBI single in the 7th. In the 9th, Victorino hit a 2-run homer to give the Phillies a 9-5 lead. And then he breathed a sigh of relief…whew!
As for the bullpen, Chad Durbin mowed down the Astros in the 7th inning. Danys Baez followed suit in the 8th and then Ryan Madson came in for the 9th with 4 runs to play with. He gave back one run but still escaped with a 9-6 win.
So the question now remains, how effective will Moyer be in future starts? The one big inning nearly killed him, but the Phils bats bailed him out. But no team can be expected to score 9 runs every game. Well, it was only his first start, so we will have to wait and see how his next start goes.
Also of note, the Phillies kept their streak of at least 10 hits in a game going tonight. Yes, all 5 games played so far have featured at least 10 hits and a minimum of 5 runs scored. They are averaging over 8 runs a game…scary. Can they keep up this pace? We hope so :O)
The Phillies will finish the series with the Astros Sunday at 2:05pm. It will be a battle of the Roy’s; Halladay vs. Oswalt. The Astros are still looking for their first win, so do not expect them to just lie down and give up. It should be a good game….Go Phillies!
Head shots by Jenn
In his much anticipated start to 2010, Cole Hamels had a fairly good day in an 8-4 win over the Nationals. He only managed to get through 5 innings with 2 earned runs and one unearned, but for his first start of the year, it was not bad. When he led off the game by walking the first batter on 4 pitches, fans cringed for a moment. But Hamels bounced back and did not have trouble again until the 3rd inning; he walked 2 more batters with 2 outs then allowed an RBI single. 2 runs scored that inning and his pitch count began to rise.
It did appear that the home plate umpire was squeezing the pitchers on both sides, which did not help matters. So with 103 pitches thrown by the end of the 5th, Hamels was done for the day. His arm speed looked good today, but his control still needs some work. Overall, it was a good first effort and hopefully the next start for Hamels will be even more productive.
Ryan Howard extended the 4th inning for Hamels a bit with an error on a ball to first that probably should have ended the inning. But Howard made up for the blunder by smashing a 2-run homer in the 5th. That is 2 games and 2 home runs for Howard; and for good measure, he hit an RBI double as well. Chase Utley had 2 hits, a walk and an RBI, in typical Utley style. Even Hamels joined the RBI party with a single to score Shane Victorino in the 4th.
After Hamels left the game, Chad Durbin did an outstanding job and went 2 scoreless innings. Danys Baez did not fare as well in the 8th, allowing 2 hits and a run in 1/3 of an inning. Antonio Bastardo came in to get the 2nd out and Ryan Madson struck out Ian Desmond for the 3rd out. Madson got the ball for the 9th as well and closed out the game for his first save of the year.
In these 1st two games of 2010, the Nationals pitchers have walked 17 Phillies batters. As our fearless TV announcer Gary “Sarge” Matthews said, “You don’t want to walk batters.” That is our Sarge; King of the Obvious. If the Nats can keep up this streak tomorrow, the Phils may just sweep this first 3-game series.
Roster Moves and Injury Updates
The Phillies also made a pitching move today, picking up Nelson Figueroa off waivers after the Mets let him go. He went 3-8 with a 4.09 ERA in 16 games last year for the Mets. Figueroa pitched for the Phils in 2001 and according to GM Ruben Amaro Jr., he will join the club tomorrow and a roster move will be made to make room. Look for Andrew Carpenter to be sent to AAA; Figueroa will take the long-man role in the pen.
In injury news, JC Romero is going to make a rehab appearance Thursday in Clearwater. Brad Lidge is not as far along, but he will toss a bullpen session tomorrow. Joe Blanton threw 60 pitches today from flat ground, which went well, but his recovery time is still projected to be about 3-6 weeks.
So tomorrow the Phillies will finish up in DC at 4:35pm with Kyle Kendrick starting in place of the injured Blanton. Then they are off to Houston for 3 games. There is no official word yet on who will start the Phillies Home Opener on the 12th, but if they follow the regular rotation, it looks like it will be Hamels.
Photo by Jenn