Results tagged ‘ Clayton Kershaw ’
It is a real shame when the focus of any baseball game becomes the umpires instead of the actual plays. But this seems to be an ever increasing trend as MLB continues to sweep bad umpiring under the rug.
After a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers last night, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon got all bent out of shape about the performance of home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn. Papelbon told reporters, “I thought he sucked. It’s that simple.”
Reyburn is a Triple-A umpire who was filling in. When given this information, Papelbon said, “Doesn’t surprise me. He probably needs to go back to Triple-A.” Papelbon also noted that Reyburn was bad throughout the game, for both teams, including Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw.
It is easy to understand Papelbon’s frustration. Phillies starter Vance Worley had a hard time with the ball-strike calls in his first inning coming off the DL. That certainly did not help his recovery. Kershaw was equally frustrated and the both the Dodgers’ bench coach and manager were ejected by Reyburn as a result.
Then in the 9th inning, Papelbon had Dee Gordon struck out, but Reyburn missed the call. Gordon went on to hit a triple and score the winning run for the Dodgers.
While the ultimate outcome of the game cannot be blamed on Reyburn, he did certainly affect it. Still, the Phillies had their chances and blew it. But Papelbon makes a good point. And he did so knowing fully that there would be repercussions to his statements, likely to include a hefty fine. But it was really nice to see a guy willing to take a stand; I now have a new respect for Papelbon.
But the Phillies are really not doing a lot to help themselves here. They had only 8 hits in the game and left 6 runners on base in situations where the opportunity to score was high. The Phils wasted a Jimmy Rollins triple in the 5th by having him run on contact from third during Placido Polanco’s at-bat. Rollins was a dead duck at home plate when Polanco hit a hard grounder to short.
Then in the 7th, the Phillies hit 3 singles to load the bases, but Freddy Galvis was held at third by coach Juan Samuel on a ball bobbled by the Dodgers. He should have scored there. Hunter Pence came up and grounded out to end the inning. Pence has been awful with runners in scoring position, having successful in only 2 of his last 33 chances.
This loss puts the Phillies back at .500 baseball and 4 games out of first, dead last in the division. The Dodgers are a great team; if the Phillies do not pick it up in the next 3 games, they are going to find themselves in buried even further in the standings.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
As I had predicted, none of the Phillies got any of the top awards this off-season, but many came close. The Cy Young voting was at least interesting; 3 Phillies made the top 5 in voting with Roy Halladay coming in 2nd, Cliff Lee 3rd and Cole Hamels 5th. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw took home the award.
Kershaw was very deserving, although Halladay was a close runner-up. But having 3 Phillies in the top 5 is also quite an impressive feat.
Another Phillies pitcher came close to taking home some hardware as well. Vance Worley landed in 3rd place for Rookie of the Year behind two Braves, closer Craig Kimbrel and first baseman Freddie Freeman. I thought Freeman would be the winner, but 2nd place is not too shabby.
And of course, neither is 3rd place. Worley should be proud that on a staff with 4 ace starters, he not only held his own, he also got plenty of attention for a spectacular rookie season.
Also as I predicted, Charlie Manuel was overlooked for Manager of the Year…again. Yes, despite a Major League leading 102 wins, 5 straight division titles and a World Series, Manuel came in 4th place. The D-Backs skipper, Kirk Gibson, took first place.
Even crazier, Joe Maddon of the Rays won for the American league, making it TWO Manager of the Year awards in 4 years. Don’t get me wrong, I like Maddon. He is actually from the Philly area. And certainly, he deserves the honor. But it does seem like a real shame that Manuel cannot get any respect in the National League like Maddon does in the AL. Manuel beat Maddon in the 2008 World Series and has accomplished more overall.
But as is usually the case, Manuel just keeps getting shunned.
In other news, Brian Schneider will be the back-up back-stop once again in 2012. The one-year deal is worth $800,000. There is still no word on a deal for Jimmy Rollins. Stay tuned…
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
After scoring 8 runs yesterday, the question remained as to whether or not the Phillies could repeat the offensive performance. Jimmy Rollins started off the game with a home run, which was a good sign. In the 2nd, Shane Victorino led off that inning with a home run as well. But facing a good Dodgers pitcher in Clayton Kershaw, the Phils offense still had some issues.
Luckily, Roy Oswalt was on the mound for the Phillies to keep the game in hand. Although he was very wild, walking 6 batters, Oswalt got through 6 1/3 innings allowing only 1 hit and no runs. Oswalt also struck out 6 batters and collected his 10th win of the year.
The Phillies did not score off Kershaw after the 2 homers and went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. However, they did take a few more runs from the Dodgers bullpen. Chase Utley doubled Rollins home in the 7th; Utley had 3 doubled in the game off 3 different pitchers which he has never done before. This is a great sign from Utley who has been very rusty since coming off the DL.
There was a comedic moment in the 9th inning that led to a few more runs. Rookie Domonic Brown was put in as a pinch hitter and hit a ground rule double to left. But Brown either thought the ball was foul or failed to realize it was a ground rule double as he ran back towards first base. Ryan Howard and the rest of the team in the dugout broke up in laughter at the young players’ expense. Brown finally went back to 2nd and wound up scoring on a Rollins single. Utley’s 3rd double then scored Rollins.
The Phillies went on to win by a score of 5-1 and won the Dodgers series 2 game to 1. They will now travel to Denver for a single make-up game against the Rockies tomorrow before returning home. Tomorrow’s game time is 7:10pm and Joe Blanton will pitch.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
It appears that the Phillies bats have cut their vacation short. Perhaps they ran out of those froofy umbrella drinks and decided to leave the island that they were apparently hiding on. Whatever the case, it is nice to see them again.
No one was happier than Ryan Howard who had not hit a home run the entire month of August. Finally last night, he blasted a 3-run shot to left center. Back-up catcher Brian Schneider also hit a 3-run homer in the 2nd inning to give the team an early lead, which is another thing they have not had much of lately. Most starters had at least one hit in the game except for Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, although Victorino walked twice.
With a 6-4 lead going into the 7th inning, the Phillies sent Carlos Ruiz in to pinch hit for Schneider and Joe Torre countered with pitcher Jonathan Broxton. Ruiz and Broxton have quite a history; on August 12th this year, the Phillies rallied back against the Dodgers from a 9-2 deficit and a Ruiz double off Broxton capped the victory at 10-9. Last night, Ruiz smacked Broxton around again, this time for a 2-run single to give the Phillies a nice 8-4 cushion.
As for starter Kyle Kendrick, he ended the month of August with yet another unimpressive outing. In 6 starts for the month, Kendrick allowed 21 earned runs, pitching at an ERA of 5.79. Last night’s start consisted of 4 earned runs over only 5 innings.
The bullpen pitched the final 4 innings and held the Dodgers down. Chad Durbin, JC Romero, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge capped off the 8-4 victory. Even former Phillie Rod Barajas, who is hitting over .500 against the Phillies since 2008, was held to just one hit.
This afternoon at 3:10pm is the final game of the series and Roy Oswalt will face Clayton Kershaw. If the Phillies can hit Kershaw tonight, we may be able to announce the official return of the Phillies offense. If not, then last night will be chalked up to bad pitching by the Dodgers. The Phillies are 3 games behind the Braves going into September. Now is the time to put their collective feet on the gas pedal and not let up.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Roy Oswalt’s first home start in Philly went very, very well against the Dodgers tonight. He did not surrender a run while allowing 5 hits and 2 walks. Oswalt was finished after 7 innings with a really good strike-ball ratio of 73-36. It looked so easy, one may have thought that Oswalt could have pitched this game in his sleep. Yawn!
But as has been the case for Oswalt this year with both the Astros and the Phillies, he got very little run support. Domonic Brown collected the first run of the game in the 4th inning with a bases-loaded RBI ground-out. Raul Ibanez extended his hit streak to 18 games with an RBI-double in the 6th. However, in that same inning, the Phillies lost Ross Gload. He hit a double down the right field line and came up limping halfway to second base. Gload has been diagnosed with a groin strain.
If Gload goes on the DL, he will be the 16th Phillies player this year to land there. And he would be the 5th player on the DL right now, along with Ryan Howard, whom Gload was replacing at first base. Mike Sweeney took over for Gload tonight and may wind up playing a lot more than anyone expected.
With a 2-0 lead, the Phillies would now have to lean on their 8-9 combination of Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. Getting a few extra runs would have been nice too, but that did not happen. In fact, the Phillies wasted a Wilson Valdez lead-off triple at one point and left runners on third base with less than 2 outs twice. It began to look more and more like this game would come down to the Phils bullpen.
And it did come down to the pen. Madson pitched a scoreless 8th and looked pretty solid. Lidge came in for the 9th with the same 2-0 lead and quickly got three outs for the save. Oswalt got his first win as a Phillie behind Lidge’s save, just as they both used to do for the Astros. Teammates once again, Lidge had to be thrilled to help out his friend.
The final game with the Dodgers will be at 7:05pm tomorrow night. The pitching match-up should be Joe Blanton vs. Clayton Kershaw. Blanton did well in his last outing; a solid follow-up performance would be nice.
In other news today, Chase Utley has been approved by his doctor to start swinging a bat again since the surgery on his thumb. Utley has been running drills and fielding balls so this is one more step towards getting him ready to play again. Utley expects to be back in the line-up either at the end of August or early September.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
So, did we all thoroughly enjoy the Phillies TBS TV coverage this post-season? No? Oh, come on now, they were mildly entertaining, right? Let us examine some of the broadcasting highlights:
- These guys are brilliant; just check out this quote about Raul Ibanez: “He’s not 37 because he started his career late.” Really? Wow…the true fountain of youth; late bloomers.
- On a 2-base hit: “It’s an inside-the-park double.” You know, as opposed to the out-of-the-park double.
- During Game 1 of the NLDS, 2nd inning: “There has been great defense in this ballgame and in this series.” Yes, all 2 innings of it.
- About the catcher: “All the game calling is to make the pitcher comfortable.” The catcher calls pitches to make the pitcher comfy? Not to get outs? Ok then. Genius. Sheer genius.
- During a bunt to the pitcher with a runner on first: “He is thinking about second base because it is right behind the mound.” Is it? I never would have noticed…thanks, TBS! Baseball geography lesson 101.
- On Clayton Kershaw after he gave up a 3-run homer, allowed to 2 more runners on base and was then pitching to Ryan Howard: “This is a grow-up moment (for Kershaw).” No more little league for you buddy!
But wait, there’s more! Did you see the main sponsor for TBS during commercial breaks? Avocados. Yes, the disgusting, slimy, green fruit is THE big money maker for this station. Awesome.
And how about the commercials for the new TBS series “Men of a Certain Age.” It is October – this series is set to begin in December. Not only will we have forgotten about it by December, but with the thousands of previews shown, we have already seen the series in its entirety. No need to tune in then in December….we already know that Ray Romano plays a moron with a dirty mind; Scott Bakula is a man-sl*ut; and Andre Braugher is sad because he cannot live up to his daddy’s high expectations. Think that about covers it.
So how about some media video highlights! Here ya go; let us begin with Buck Martinez, who has NO idea which team he is watching…he mentions the Yanks and the Red Sox before he figures out it is the Phillies:
Chase Utley is also annoyed with the media coverage…watch his reaction as a media member pulls a Kanye West:
And my favorite clip of the Comcast Sportsnet coverage…Ricky Botallico flips out during the Jimmy Rollins 9th inning game winning hit in Game 4 of the NLCS:
Hope you all enjoyed these broadcasts as much as I did :O)
By the way, if anyone is looking to sell a ticket (1) to Game 3 of the World Series (the Saturday game, home opener), please email me. I cannot afford the Stub Hub prices so I am looking for anyone to take pity on me and sell me a ticket at face value or just above it. I cannot do standing room, but am open to other seating arrangements. Thank you and Go Phillies! :O)
It is finally Thursday! Just a few short hours until the Phillies and Dodgers begin the battle for the NLCS title! The final roster decisions have been made and few were interesting; Chan Ho Park did indeed make the roster and Kyle Kendrick did not, as I thought would happen. But in a surprise move, Brett Myers was also left off and Eric Bruntlett added. So, 11 pitchers instead of 12 and 1 more bench player.
Myers was very unhappy with the news, but maybe not entirely shocked. His one outing in Game 2 of the NLDS did not go well; he walked two batters and hit another. After to injuries this year, it appears Myers is not able to find his control yet.
As for the starters, it will be Cole Hamels tonight and Pedro Martinez tomorrow…maybe. Martinez told reporters he has not gotten enough work in and that his BP session was “erratic.” Either he does not feel ready, or this is some mental game he is playing with the Dodgers. Whatever the case, it makes you a bit nervous, doesn’t it?
Some other fun notes about this series:
- The Phillies will be facing lots of old Phillies! Larry Bowa, former player and manager, is the Dodgers 3rd base coach. Pitchers Randy Wolf and Vincente Padilla are both former Phils as well as slugger, Jim Thome.
- Manny Ramirez used to play for Charlie Manuel in Cleveland and Manuel says he is “like a son” to him.
- Chan Ho Park, Pedro Martinez, Paul Bako and Jayson Werth are all former Dodgers.
- Both teams each have 8 players who were born in 1975 or earlier. LOTS of experience :O)
- This is the fifth time the Phillies and Dodgers have met in the NLCS; they are split 2-2 lifetime.
- At 21 years old, pitcher Clayton Kershaw is the youngest player on either roster and will start the game for the Dodgers tonight.
Photo by Jenn
The Phillies offense did indeed show signs of life today as they whipped the Dodgers for a second straight game, winning 9-2. The run barrage began with Jimmy Rollins, the first batter for the Phillies, getting hit with a pitch. Maybe Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is a closet Phillies fan? Because I sure know a few of those who lately, would have been tempted to hit Rollins with a pitch J Anyway, Chase Utley came up next to single and Pat Burrell knocked them both in with a 3 run blast to left field. Burrell would go 3 for 5 in this game and pick up a career high 5 RBI in the game. Ryan Howard also knocked in 2 runs with a double in the 5th inning; Shane Victorino singled in the 6th inning to pick up 2 RBI of his own. But what really stood out in this offensive explosion was that the Phillies managed to get runners on base, move them over and then knock them in; something they have been terrible at all year. Finally today, it worked.
Then of course, Cole Hamels was great again, giving up only a 2 run homer in the 3rd over the course of 7 innings. In fact, Phillies pitching the last 2 games has made the Dodgers offense look like the Phillies offense the last couple of weeks! It’s like someone took the whammy off of the Phils and nailed it to the Dodgers instead, because with only 5 hits in this game, they have picked up right where our bad offense left off. A complete 360 for both teams. I will SO take that.
The Phillies have 2 games left with the Dodgers; I am hoping they can turn this mini-burst of offense into an all out explosion! I will be at the game tomorrow night, where Joe Blah! – nton will take the mound. If he pitches a good game, I promise to spell his name correctly tomorrow J For now, I will leave you with this…I was driving through South Philly today and saw a sign outside a bar that read, “Tell J-Roll to stop hanging out with TO!” Let me say this – first, thanks for the laugh! Second, I know many are still sore with Jimmy and his comments, but can’t we all just get along? J Go Phillies!
And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod! All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!
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