Results tagged ‘ Chris Coste ’

Sloppy Second

The second place Phillies had the lead by one run in tonight’s game up until the 8th inning when Ryan Madson stepped to up to the mound.  To give yCbbaseballpowou an idea of how that went, here is an illustration for you (right).   When Madson left the game, the Phillies were down by one run.  Not good.  In fact, I’ll let Charles Schultz describe how I feel about Madson’s outing in the form of his Peanuts cartoon:

Schroeder: “One finger will mean a fastball which
isn’t very fast anyway. Two fingers will be your
curve which doesn’t curve at all. Three fingers
will be your changeup which hasn’t fooled anyone yet.
Four fingers is a pitchout, but we won’t use that one.”

Charlie Brown: “Why not?”

Schroeder: “Because everything you throw looks like a pitchout.”

But really, this game can’t be laid on Madson.  Nor can it be blamed on Jamie Moyer, who was once again spectacular, giving up only 1 earned run over 6 2/3 innings.  Both the offense and the defense played poorly tonight.  A Chase Utley throwing error in the 6th inning gave the Nationals their first run of the game.  He tried to make up for it by hitting an RBI single in the bottom of the inning that scored Jayson Werth, but in the end it was not enough.  Once again, the only ones producing were Victorino who went 2 for 4, Utley going 2 for 3 with the RBI and Greg Dobbs pinch hit and collected an RBI on a sacrifice.  The only big surprise was a rare home run by Carlos Ruiz in the 7th. 

AughEveryone else simply failed to hit in key situations or at all.  Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard both went 0 for 4.  Burrell, with one hit on the night, left 2 men on base when he hit into a double play in the 8th to end that inning.  And once again, the last man standing was Victorino; he was left on third base in the 9th as he led off the inning with a single and stole a base.  But could anyone bring him home?  No.  Eric Bruntlett stood there and watched as strike  three went by; Ruiz grounds out; Chris Coste grounds out – game over.  Can I get a collective “AAUGH!” please!  The Mets won their game tonight and the Phillies fall further and further behind…  Can they turn this mess around before it is too late?  Your guess is as good as mine.

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Kendrick Helps Phils Shut Out The Marlins

Going a full 6 innings without giving up a run, Kyle Kendrick improved his overall record to 10-5 with tonight’s P7306493 kendrick cr.jpg5-0 win over the Florida Marlins.  As is Kendrick’s usual style, he had quite a few base runners, including 5 walks, but pitched his way out of jams when he needed to.  Chad Durbin went 2 scoreless innings as well, looking extremely sharp and Ryan Madson finished them off in the 9th.  J-Roll Smurf was also very excited about the pitching performances and he celebrated by bashing a Fish senseless J  Later tonight, he will have a stiff drink and prepare for tomorrow’s Fishy Voodoo…

The other great news is that the offense came back tonight.  Last night, they had 8 hits and scored only 2 runs.  Tonight, they had 9 hits, but scored 5 runs.  The difference is situational hitting and driving runs in when P7306699 cervenak cr.jpgthere are runners in scoring position.  Chase Utley hit his 30th double of the year for an RBI; Ryan Howard smashed home run #32; Even Eric Bruntlett who usually has a quiet bat, went 2 for 3 with an RBI.  The rookie Mike Cervenak got his very first major league hit and first RBI in his 3rd pinch hit appearance.  Here is a photo of him for those wondering who he is…another Independent League product, much like Chris Coste was.  I had a chance to talk to him in Spring Training…very nice guy, hard working…really great to see him finally get a break in the Bigs J

Gotta take this series!  Everyone get out your favorite Fish bashing sticks or fire up the grill and get ready to FRY some!  Don’t let the Smurf do all the work now…  After all, he is only 3 apples high…  He’ll do his best for a little guy J  1:05pm start tomorrow…Go Phillies!

It’s Raining Home Runs

After a nearly 2 hour rain delay today, the Phillies finally beat Atlanta by a score of 12-10 in a battle that included 7 home runs; 5 from the Phillies and 2 from the Braves.  Joe Blanton only pitched 2 innings before the skies opened up.  He allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits and a walk and saw his ERA jump to 5.13.  After the rain delay, both the Phils and Braves began to pour on the runs.

Adam Eaton gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in his 2 innings of work during his second appearance as a reliever.  Lucky for him, the offense came right back with a huge 5 run inning in the bottom of the forth led by home runs from Chris Coste and Shane Victorino.  As the battle of the bullpens continued, the Phillies continued to dominate.  Pat Burrell
P7265636 burrell cr.jpgsent his 26th of the year out of the park in the 5th and Jayson Werth followed suit in the 6th.  The hit parade continued into the 7th when Jimmy Rollins joined the party with a solo blast.

This game looked like a laugher by the 8th inning, but Rudy Seanez struggled, giving up a run and committing a fielding error; he was replaced by Ryan Madson who did not fare much better.  By the time Madson was through, 4 more runs would score and the Phillies now only led by 2 runs instead of 7.  But as usual, Brad Lidge came in and knocked them down for his 24th consecutive save.  Actually, I had forgotten to mention it, but Lidge had passed the old Phillies record yesterday for number of consecutive saves; it was 22, held by Billy Wagner.  Well, now it is 24 by Lidge.  Somewhere, Wagner is complaining and no one is listening…  Well, that is a daily event for him anyway J

Off day tomorrow for the Phillies Phestival to benefit ALS.  See you there if you are going!  Next up…The Nats in DC; 7/29 7:10pm; Brett Myers scheduled to start.  Let’s see if we can dig them a bigger hole into last place…Go Phillies!

Phillies Photo Day 2008

Yesterday, the Phillies held their annual Photo Day at the park where they allow fans on the field to take pictures of the players.  Occasionally, the players will also stop and take photos with you.  It is by far, one of my favorite events every year and one that I was really looking forward to.  I actually got 10 players to stop this year and pose with me, and probably could have gotten a few more but was busy snapping the camera.  9 of the 10 photos actually came out…the one that didn’t was the one with Chase Utley! UGH!  And he was SO nice and had a HUGE smile on his face for me too…I am SOOOO depressed, I cannot even tell you.  I just can’t even talk about it…too sad L

Well, let’s talk about the happy ones…I’ll post a couple of them here.  I am usually opposed to photo’s of myself, but the P7261023 5x7.jpgplayers look awfully cute, so I am going to go ahead and grin and bear it…no pun intended.  Please excuse my bad hair day and goofy smiles…I had been standing in the hot sun for hours and was melting!  First of all, this one of Brad Lidge is hysterical!  Does the man have no concept of exactly how tall he is?  Most guys bend down so they are on you level, but it was his first Photo Day so he is excused.  Now mind you, I am not short…I am 5’7″ which is average for a woman, and he is slouching in the picture.  Scary tall.

Here we have Chris Coste…just a cutie.  We make a nice couple I think J  Hee!  And then below that one, there is Jimmy Rollins withCoste Rollins.jpg his huge grin…he said something silly and I was trying not to laugh.  I also got pictures with Geoff Jenkins, JC Romero, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Eric Bruntlett and Adam Eaton…there was not a huge demand for poor Adam so I figured I’d bug him J  I almost got Pat Burrell but he just put his arm around me, pat me on the back, asked how I was doing and kept going.  I was happy with that though J  I have also posted a bunch of other photos HERE on my photobucket site for you to see just of the players, coaches and broadcasters as they were walking past me or saying hello.  There are a few pretty funny ones in there…some of these guys give you some really cheesy smiles at this event.  Check out the shot of Clay Condrey…he gets the prize for the most Cheese ever in a pose.

That’s a wrap on Photo Day!  The Phillies are currently in a Rain Delay with the Braves, down 2-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  It was Joe Blanton’s home debut which I assume now, will be cut short.  Hoping they will get the rest of this game in soon and of course, come away with the win!  More later…Go Phillies!

Slacking Offense Wastes Another Great Pitching Performance

Once again, this team could not have asked for a better job out of their starting pitcher, and still they could not manage to win the game.  Losing to the Mets 3-1 and dropping out of first place in the NL East for the first time since May 31st, the Phillies managed to fall apart behind an amazing performance by
P6221999 moyer cr.jpg45 year-old Jamie Moyer.  Moyer went 7 full innings and gave up only 1 run on 2 hits, 3 walks and struck out 6.  You could not have asked the man to do more, unless of course you were expecting him to pull a rabbit out of a hat or an elephant out of his butt!  And for all that effort, what does he get?  One home run by Jayson Werth.  That’s it.  Geez.  I hope they brought some lubricant for the elephant trick…

The other 2 runs were surrendered by JC Romero in the 8th inning, but really, what can you say about that?  The offense should have put some runs on the board…period.  With a bullpen that has been stellar all year, I cannot in good conscious bash them here.  Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both struck out 3 times; Chris Coste twice.  The ONLY guy who produced today was Eric Bruntlett, who replaced Jimmy Rollins at the last minute for reasons yet unknown; he had 3 hits on the day, 2 doubles and a single.  With 7 hits for the offense, those 3 were 43% of the total on the day.  Sad.  (…UPDATE, 7/24 PM: Rollins was late to the game and thus, was benched for breaking the team rule.  Read about it HERE in the Phillies official release.)

So now you have just created a situation that you really did not need…in the Mets, you have now created a monster.  The Phillies have just lit a fire under them.  Look out now…this is not good.  This is going to play out one of two ways; A – The Phils will cower under the pressure and continue on this downslide, in which case, kiss this season goodbye! OR B – Falling out of first place will turn out to be the kick in the butt they needed to get back on track and start winning again.  Let us all hope for Plan B…

Howard Heating Up / All-Star Update

Ryan Howard hit 2 more home runs and added 3 more RBI’s to his league-leading totals in the 4-1 win against the Cardinals today.  If things stand as they are, Howard will be the first player in 60 years to lead the league in both home runs and RBI’s at the break and NOT make the All-Star team.  Having gotten off to a slow start may have contributed to the lack of votes, but still a sad state of affairs, indeed.  Add to that the also much deserving Pat Burrell was unable to make the cut via fan voting today, coming in third place behind Cory Hart of the Brewers and David Wright of the Mets.  There is still a small chance another Phillie can land on the All-Star roster as Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs has dropped out due to injury and has to be replaced.  That selection however, has to be determined by Rockies manager, Clint Hurdle, and well, as much as I would like to think he’d do the right thing, I am not holding my breath.  And so we wait…

Jamie Moyer pitched a great game today going 7 innings and giving up only 1 earned run on 7 hits and striking out 4.  He moved the ball in and out of the zone and looked like the Jamie we all love.  Nice to see great pitching finally rewarded with a win for a change.  The offense had 10 combined hits, still looking a bit rusty, but showing small signs of life.  They are really going to have to step it up for this next series with the D-Backs who have a much tougher pitching staff.

The Phillies sent rookie pitcher JA Happ back to AAA today, but don’t get all excited now…he should be back after the All-Star break.  The only reason they did it P2283516 cr.jpgwas so that he would stay in a normal rhythm until after the break.  If they kept him up, he would be going more than a week and a half without pitching which may hamper all the progress he has made.  The other good new there is, with a roster spot open for now, the Phillies were able to call up Mike Cervenak (see photo), infielder for AAA, who is currently batting .308 with 50 RBI and 7 home runs on the year in the minors.  Cervenak is 31 years old and, much like Chris Coste did, has paid his dues for a long time in the minors and is finally getting his first shot at the bigs.  Also like Chris Coste, Cervenak spent a short time in the Independent Leagues.  I met him in Spring Training and he is a very friendly and engaging guy and will fit well in this clubhouse.  He is also very determined and I hope to see him get some playing time this week so we can all see what he can do.

Well, all we can do now folks is keep our fingers crossed for another Phillies All-Star to join the group!  Thanks to everyone who helped with the voting J  Go Phillies!

Atlanta: Looks An Awful Lot Like Philly

Is this team at home in Atlanta, or what?  Talk about being comfortable, the Phillies walk away tonight with their 5th straight win on Atlanta’s home turf this year…they may as well be playing in Philly, the way they look in this ballpark.  What exactly are they feeding our players over there anyway, Mom’s home cooking?  I’ll say this, Georgia sure is a mighty hospitable state and the Phillies will be glad to return again anytime.

The 7-3 win was not without drama, however, as Ryan Howard threatened to blow the game for Phillies with TWO game extending errors in the bottom of the ninth inning.  The second of the 2 errors loaded the bases to bring up Mark P2241259 cr.jpgTeixeira who almost nailed a grand slam to tie the game, which should have been over 2 errors ago, but luckily, the ball sailed foul.  Brad Lidge did finally strike him out to end the game, after a real nail biter of an inning.

So either Jimmy Rollins is reading my blog or someone lit a fire under him!  Probably the second one…but one can dream J  Tonight, he finally looked like the J-Roll I’ve been waiting to see all year!  He was energized, enthusiastic, talking to all his teammates on the field and in the dugout and on top of that, getting the job done on both sides of the ball.  Jimmy made several outstanding defensive P5230738 smurf.jpgplays and at the plate, went 3 for 4 with 1 RBI, 2 runs scored and a walk.  Basically, he was Smurfy! J  Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz & Chris Coste also had multiple hit nights.

In other super news, Adam Eaton got another win, and it was well deserved!  5 innings and only 2 runs…we’ll take it.  I’d prefer a few less walks next time (5 tonight), but other than that, he did his job.  And how many times can I say how GREAT Chad Durbin is?  LOVE him!  JC Romero has had a few shaky outings now, giving up a lot of walks and some home run balls.  I am beginning to get worried about him a bit….he had that hip injury not long ago and has not seemed the same since then.  I am wondering if he needs a break?  Just a thought…

One more to go in our happy home town…oh, I mean our happy home away from home, Atlanta!  Let’s see if we can sweep em’ twice in one season!  Go Phillies!

Kendrick Accepts Proposal & Ends Phillies Losing Streak!

Well, whatever knowledge Jamie Moyer imparted upon young Kyle Kendrick on Sunday afternoon, I am certainly glad he took it to heart.  In the longest and strongest outing of his short major league career, Kendrick went 8 full innings and 113 pitches to shut out the Oakland A’s, giving up only 4 hits and striking out 4 batters.  Chris Coste did a great job guiding him through it and added 2 hits and 2 RBI to the offense as well, which was a boost sorely needed from the catcher position as Carlos Ruiz has not been producing. 

Charlie Manuel’s line-up looked like he threw darts at names hung on a wall, but it sort of worked.  They are still not without issues.  Ryan Howard’s insistence on swinging for the fences, regardless of circumstance or strike count, continues to be a major detriment to this offense.  I almost hate to say this, but he is just not acting like a “team” player right now and I do not even think he recognizes this.  Your swing with no strikes or 1 strike on you should look different than it does with 2 strikes on you, especially with runners in scoring position.  Once you get to 2 strikes, your job then becomes, more than anything else, make contact, move the runner, get on base!  Be Productive!  But when you watch Ryan and some of these other guys up there, there is no difference between strikes 0-2.  And they are swinging like a fastball is coming every time, without even looking.  I understand the guessing game, but you can’t play that every time and certainly not in crucial game situations, and expect to come away with wins.  It doesn’t work and I think the Phillies have proven that this past week.  Now, could someone please bang it onto their heads?

Chase Utley knows this and came back with a vengeance last night!  4 hits and only one home run short of the cycle…wow!  Pat Burrell did his part with one hit and a sac fly; Pedro Feliz, looking very comfy in his hometown area, nailed down 2 hits, an RBI and was robbed of a near-base hit towards the end.  On the flip side, Eric Bruntlett
P4137496 bruntlett cr.jpglooked like he was waiting for his bat to grow arms, grab the ball and toss it over the centerfield wall for him.  Poor thing.  But I will say this; he did an admirable job playing defense at first base.  It was like a breath of fresh air watching him trot over to make a few outs on his own, rather than cringe at the thought of Ryan Howard throwing the ball away in an awkward attempt to make what should be a simple toss to the pitcher who would be covering first base on ground ball plays near the bag.  Incidentally, Ryan went 0-5 as the DH.  Jimmy Rollins, still looking very uneasy at the plate, had just one hit; Shane Victorino had a very nice drag bunt for a hit, drew a walk and scored a run using his speed; Jayson Werth, going hitless, still contributed with 2 walks and a stolen base.

In all, the win is a HUGE boost for this team and hopefully a spring board towards fixing a lot of very obvious and very correctable mistakes.  Can’t wait to see which darts Manuel throws at the line-up today…  Go Phillies!

Angels Fly Away With Eaton’s Halo

Or rather, smashed it to tiny, tiny bits…  Adam Eaton
P4208298 eaton cr.jpgtakes the loss last night in the Phillies 7-1 dive against the LA Angels.  In what was looking like a turn-around season for Eaton, he gave possibly one of the worst performances of his career, production-wise.  Pitching only 5 innings, he gave up 12 hits, 6 earned runs, which included one home run by Vladamir Guerrero, 3 walks and recorded only one strike out. 

Let’s talk about that offense though for a minute.  Sure, Guerrero is a GREAT hitter, and arguably the best player on the Angels team with Casey Kotchman running a close second; but Vlads 11 homers, 40 RBI’s, slugging .484% and .285 average don’t stack up at all when you compare him to our best players.  Chase Utley (when he’s hitting!) – 22 HR, 63 RBI, .600%, batting .291; Pat Burrell – 18 HR, 47 RBI, .583%, batting .275; Ryan Howard – 19 HR, 63 RBI, .480%, batting .219.  Aside from Ryan’s low average, which he has been bringing up, statistically speaking, we should be beating the pants off this team! 

So, even if you totally ignore Adam Eaton’s lousy outing last night, how is it the Phillies amazing offense only scores one run?  And that one run came from a struggling Utley, still hitless in 23 at bats, lifting a sac fly to score Jimmy Rollins from third base.  The offense produced only TWO hits on the night total, one from Shane Victorino, and one from Chris Coste.  I understand everyone runs into good pitching sometimes…we saw it in the last 3 series.  But sometimes you HAVE TO hit that good pitching.  That is what separates the great teams from the good teams.  In the last 3 series, the Phillies have not done it.  Well, they have two more games against the Angels to see if they can repair their halos.  Go Phillies!

Phils Start Road Trip With A Bang!

You know when the Phillies make the #1 spot on the Top Ten Plays of The Day on SportsCenter, it had to be a hell of a game!  Generally, we are a team ignored by such a market.  Jamie Moyer kept the game close through five innings, giving up only 2 earned runs and Chad Durbin did his usual part in getting him out of a jam.  Our offense struggled yet again, but Tim Hudson looked very good through 7.2 and did not budge, although the strike zone all night, as called by Alfonso Marquez, was all over the place.

 

Right at the top of the ninth inning, it looked like the game was over when Chris Coste, with men on 1st and 2nd and 2 outs, popped up to second baseman, Kelly Johnson.  But no, Johnson, in a lapse of concentration, drops the ball!  Panic ensues, the crowd erupts, Feliz is tagged out at the plate and fans are screaming at the umpires wondering why the game is not over.  What many had not realized is that Eric Bruntlett had been running so fast from 2nd base, he had already scored to tie the game before Feliz was tagged out and was even already in the dugout before anyone had noticed…that is how fast he was going!  The thing I found most entertaining about that entire sequence was that it directly followed the incidence with Jimmy Rollins getting pulled from a game the day before for not hustling and not running out a pop fly, like he should have.  In that same instance on Thursday, the defender dropped the ball as well and it cost Jimmy an extra base.  So, Charlie Manuel made an example of him and benched him.  The timing and the extra reminder by their manager could not have been better, because had all three guys involved in this pop fly by Coste last night not hustled, this game was over and the Phillies walk away with a loss instead of a win.

 


P2241305 cr.jpgAnd to seal the victory, we were treated to an amazing throw and put out by Shane Victorino to nail Gregor Blanco at the plate for the final out of the game, which also prevented the tying run from scoring.  And what a tag by Chris Coste, as if to atone for his pop-up that almost ended the game earlier in the 9th.  The entire play was perfect.  Kudos to Shane and Chris for getting it done and giving this team a HUGE lift on the road!

 

The Phillies are going to need a BIG effort tonight out of Kyle Kendrick as our bullpen is starting to show some wear, especially Brad Lidge.  He NEEDS a break for sure.  His last two appearances have been shaky and it is now only a matter of time before the defense is unable to bail him out if he is pushed beyond what we should expect of him.  He should have a night off.  Our offense waking back up would certainly be a huge help!  Let’s get a giant lead and then let Condrey finish off a game…he could use some work!  I like my plan J  Go Phillies!

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