Results tagged ‘ Cody Ransom ’

A Difficult Sweep In Miami

Part two of the Roy Oswalt – Philadelphia experience tonight went a tad better than the first part.  After allowing 4 earned runs in his Phillies debut, Oswalt handled the Marlins pretty well.  533px-Roy_Oswalt_2010_crop.jpgHe struggled with his control at times, which elevated his pitch count, but the end result was positive.  Oswalt went 6 1/3 innings allowing 3 hits, 4 walks and 2 runs.

The 2 runs however, scored after JC Romero came in to relieve Oswalt in the 7th.  Romero allowed an RBI double and then walked the 2nd run home on 4 straight balls.  Those runs were both charged to Oswalt.  Now, I love JC for his spirit and for the person that he is.  But the manager has to know that he gets wild in these situations sometimes.  Two runners on and one out is not a good situation for Romero.  Then again, with the Phillies bullpen as up and down as it has been, who to bring in and when remains a head-scratcher.

Jose Contreras was up next in the 7th and did not fare much better.  He immediately allowed a 2-run single.  Those two runs were charged to Romero.  So the cycle of crap rolling down hill continued as the Phillies lost a 2-0 lead and turned it into a 4-2 deficit in 1 inning.

As for the offense, Oswalt did not get much run support in Houston and so far with the Phillies it has not been too different.  With the bases loaded in the first and one out, Jayson Werth hit a weak pop fly to strand the runners.  Domonic Brown struck out next, but putting that pressure on the rookie is just unfair.  Werth should have been able to hit a sacrifice with only 1 out.

More opportunities came in the 3rd inning, but again, Werth stranded 2 more runners and grounded out to end the inning.  Carlos Ruiz finally came up with a big 2-out hit in the 6th to score Brown and Raul Ibanez, but no one else stepped up after that, even after Oswalt drew a walk to load the bases.


Mayberry Ransom.jpgMike Sweeney
saw his first action as a Phillie in the 8th as a pinch-hitter and drew a walk.  Nice job!  Cody Ransom was designated for assignment earlier today to make room for him instead of sending John Mayberry Jr. back down.  Ransom did not play very well, batting only .190 since being called up from AAA.

So the Phillies entered the 9th down by two runs.  And then the offense started to show signs of life again.  Placido Polanco reached on a error which was followed by a Ross Gload single and an RBI-double from the super-hot Ibanez.  Werth stepped to the plate again in a good hitting situation and finally came through.  A single tied the game at 4-4. 

But then, just to totally ruin his shining moment, Werth wandered too far off second base and got picked off!  A few pitches later, Brown followed in Werth’s not so nimble footsteps and got caught stealing!  He was probably trying to make up for Werth’s bone-head move.  What a mess…inning over.

Ryan Madson held the tie down.  Then in the 10th, Ruiz played the hero again and smashed his 2nd homer of the season to give the Phils a 5-4 lead.  But no sooner could Phillies fans rejoice than we saw Brad Lidge step to the mound with only a 1-run lead.  Oh crap….not again.  But by some act of God, Lidge got the job done…whew!  A SWEEP in Miami!  Nice.

The Phillies head back home now to play the Mets tomorrow at 7:35pm.  Joe Blanton will pitch.  Good night all!

 

Mayberry and Ransom photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

Oswalt photo by Wikimedia Commons

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

 

Getting Hot In Miami


P7255676 RuizA.jpgA couple of Phillies were getting hot, hot, hot in Miami tonight.  At the plate, Carlos Ruiz ended the game only a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.  Not only was his bat hot, but he got big hits with 2 outs and in key situations, collecting 2 RBI’s and scoring 2 runs.  Ruiz had 4 hits on the night against the Marlins!

Ben Francisco was nipping at Ruiz’s heels all night too.  Both players hit solo homers in the 2nd inning, back-to-back.  Francisco ended with 3 hits, an RBI and 2 runs scored.  Wilson Valdez contributed 2 hits as well.  With Ryan Howard being sent to the DL today and Chase Utley already on the DL, the Phillies needed other players to step up and add some pop to the line-up.  Ruiz, Francisco and Valdez did just that.

No one appreciated the effort more than Roy Halladay, who has suffered from a lack of run support in games past.  In fact, during the 4th inning, it looked like the Phils would let him down again when they had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.  Cody Ransom got ahead in the count and then on the 2-0 pitch, he popped out, leaving the runners stranded.  After an intentional walk to Valdez, Halladay decided to get the job done himself.  A 2-out hit down the 3rd base line is just what the Doc ordered.  Halladay collected 2 RBI and now has 3 RBI this year.

Not only was Halladay hot at the plate, but he looked like he was yielding a flame thrower on the mound.  In 7 innings, the only run he allowed was a solo homer to Dan Uggla.  He gave up 5 hits, 1 walk and struck out 9 batters.  Halladay left the game drenched in sweat and with a 6-1 lead.

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Chad Durbin was called upon to finish the game with 2 innings to go.  He had a fairly quick 8th inning and ran into some trouble in the 9th.  But Durbin buckled down and got the job done without allowing a run.  For a bullpen that has been up and down all year, Durbin supplied a much needed boost of confidence.

So, who was not hot tonight?  Jayson Werth got the Golden Sombrero by striking out 4 times.  He has done that twice now this season; the last time was 5/30/10.  Ransom went hitless and popped out twice.  Raul Ibanez struck out twice, but did have one hit and a walk.  Placido Polanco went 1 for 5.  But they all picked a good day to have a bad day; with Halladay on the mound and their teammates picking them up, all is well that ends well.

Kyle Kendrick will pitch tomorrow against the Fish; game time is 7:10pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Big Man Down: Howard To The DL


Phillies titanic.jpgThe Phillies 2010 season is beginning to resemble the sinking of the Titanic.  Ryan Howard was placed on the DL today with a left ankle sprain.  So it is official; every single infield starter for the Phils has been on the DL this year.  The only two team starters who have escaped a DL trip so far are Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez.  That makes player #15 on the DL this year.  Take a look:

1B

Ryan Howard

DL

8/3 – now

Starter

CF

Shane Victorino

DL

7/28 – now

Starter

P

Jamie Moyer

DL

7/21 – now

Starter

2B

Chase Utley

DL

6/29 – now

Starter

3B

Placido Polanco

DL

6/26 – 7/17

Starter

C

Carlos Ruiz

DL

6/22 – 7/10

Starter

P

Chad Durbin

DL

6/2 – 7/15

Relief pitcher

P

Antonio Bastardo

DL

6/17 – 7/15 to AAA

Relief pitcher

C

Brian Schneider

DL

5/9-5/24

Back-up

P

Ryan Madson

DL

4/29 – 7/8

Relief pitcher

P

JA Happ

DL

4/16 – 7/6 to AAA

Starter

SS

Jimmy Rollins

DL

4/13-4/17, 5/22-6/22

Starter

P

Joe Blanton

DL

3/26-5/3

Starter

P 

Brad Lidge

DL

3/26-4/30, 5/10-5/31

Closer

P

JC Romero

DL

3/26-4/22

Relief pitcher

 

Is this a sign that 2010 is just not the Phillies year?  I hope not.  Filling in at first base likely will be Ross Gload and maybe Cody Ransom.  John Mayberry Jr. was called up to fill the roster spot and will be used off the bench.

Howard and Chase Utley are the Phillies biggest producers; having them both out of the line-up is going to make an already struggling offense even less effective.  Not to mention, the Phillies bullpen is still suspect.  Manager Charlie Manuel has no idea what to expect from the pen from day to day.  And with fewer runs being scored, odds are good that the pen is going to decide the outcome of a lot of games.  This is not good news.

If you are looking for some good news, Roy Halladay is pitching tonight in Miami.  Even better news; the last time this match-up occurred, Halladay threw a Perfect Game.  The Marlins may be more prepared this time out, but anytime Halladay pitches, you have to like this team’s chances.

Lidge Blows Another Save

After last night’s disappointing Roy Oswalt debut plus a serious lack of offense, the Phillies were hoping to bounce back today against the Nationals.  Oswalt threw one pitch and gave up a triple. 
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Tonight, Joe Blanton threw 3 pitches and the singles started coming.  Blanton had 2 base runners with 2 outs in the 1st inning and from there, allowed 3 runs to score with a total of 5 singles in the inning.

Settling down after the first, Blanton pitched 4 clean innings but allowed another run in the 6th.  He escaped the 6th with just one run thanks to an amazing diving catch by rookie Domonic Brown and then a double play after that.  So it was 6 innings and 4 runs for Blanton; not great.

The Phillies bats did little to help early on, not scoring their first run until the 4th inning on a Wilson Valdez single.  Carlos Ruiz hit a solo homer in the 6th and then Raul Ibanez had the big knock in the 7th.  His two run homer tied the game up at 4-4.  Ibanez has been the Phillies hottest hitter of late, which is nice to see after he struggled the entire first half of the season.  In his last 10 games before tonight, Ibanez is hitting .438.

On the other side of the spectrum, Ryan Howard is suddenly not hitting at all.  He got his very first day off of the year today as a result.  Manager Charlie Manuel thought a little rest could do him some good.   Howard had only 2 hits in his last 5 games.  Cody Ransom got a start at first base in his place.

Things were quiet again until the 9th inning when Jayson Werth walked.  Ross Gload bunted him over; Brown moved him to third on a ground ball out.  But the big hero was Ruiz who, with his 3rd hit of the night, singled to score Werth, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead.  It was also Ruiz’s 2nd RBI of the game.


P8306049 Lidge2.jpgBut no lead is big enough when Brad “Heart Attack” Lidge is about to come into the game.  He used to be “Light’s Out” Lidge, but I have renamed him; more appropriate, I think.  The first batter Lidge faced singled and a bunt moved him to 2nd.  Then he walked the next batter.  Get out the
nitroglycerin; I feel an episode coming on.  Yes, there it is…Ryan Zimmerman + fast ball down the middle = 3 run homer + Nationals win.

Let us give Lidge a few more nicknames…why?  Because it will make me feel better.  How about Brad “Please go back on the DL” Lidge?  Or Brad “Blown Save” Lidge.  It could be “BS” for short.  And then there is Brad “I Suck Big Time” Lidge.

Hey Ruben Amaro Jr., you have about an hour and a half to find us a closer.  WE ARE DONE WITH LIDGE!  Bring Vance Worley back up if you have to.  This cannot continue to happen.  This team battled their as*ses off to get back in this game and Lidge BLEW IT.  We, the fans, have had ENOUGH.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Home Stand Sweep


Broom.jpgWhile the big news of the day was the trade of Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, there was still a game to be played amidst all the hoopla.  And tonight, the Phillies were looking for a 7-game home stand sweep. 

Kyle Kendrick started against the D-Backs and did very well through 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one run.  Kendrick did walk one batter in each of the first 3 innings, but settled in after that.  With JA Happ gone in the trade today, the rotation spot belongs to Kendrick and he will need to keep up the solid pitching.

The Phillies offense, which has been on fire this entire home stand, finally sputtered a bit tonight.  Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI double in the 5th to score Cody Ransom.  The next inning, Raul Ibanez hit a solo homer to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.  But the offense ended there.  They did have 9 hits off Joe Saunders, but could not score.  Saunders had a very bad year with the Angels and was just traded to the D-Backs.  He looked ripe for the picking, but the Phillies let him off the hook.

Chad Durbin finished pitching the 7th and Ryan Madson had a very good 8th inning.  But manager Charlie Manuel left Madson in for the 9th.  One can only assume this is because his confidence in Brad Lidge with a slim 1-run lead is just not there.  And who could blame him.  But Madson has not pitched more than an inning since coming off the DL and he quickly got into trouble, giving up a lead-off double to start the 9th.

JC Romero took over and allowed a single; a ground out then scored the runner from third, which was charged to Madson. With the game then tied, the drama continued.  After an intentional walk and an unintentional walk, the bases were loaded for Romero.  Gerardo Para stepped to the plate and grounded into his second double play of the night.  Para was so upset, he slammed his helmet to the ground and was ejected by the first base umpire, Adrian Johnson.

The bad luck for Para seemed like good luck for the Phillies who entered the bottom of the 9th with a chance to win the game.  But Jayson Werth, Ransom and Ruiz went down in order and the game headed into extra innings.  In the 10th, Lidge was “Light’s Out” finally, sending the D-Backs down in order.  So if they had put him in for the 9th, this game may have been over already.  Go figure.  But you just don’t know what you are going to get out of Lidge these days.

The Phillies loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with 2 outs.  Ryan Howard, who was 0 for 4 on the night to that point, had a chance to redeem himself.  But in the past few games, Howard has started to look very, very confused at the plate.  And that translated into a strike out in the 10th to end the inning.  During this home stand, Howard is hitting only .185 including the 0 for 5 tonight.

But more bottom of the order heroics were on the way.  Ransom, Ruiz and Wilson Valdez, the 6, 7 and 8-hole hitters accounted for 7 of the Phillies 12 hits tonight.  So it was only fitting that in the 11th, the same three guys would finally win the game for their team.  Ransom walked, Ruiz singled and Valdez knocked in the winning run with a liner to centerfield.  The final score was 3-2 which completed a 7-game home stand sweep.

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By the way, the Braves lost tonight so the Phillies picked up one more game in the standings.  They are now 2.5 games out of first place in the NL East.

Tomorrow there will more high drama surrounding the Phillies as Roy Oswalt takes the mound in pinstripes for the first time.  He will face the Nationals in DC; game time is 7:05pm.  That game marks the first in a 6-game, 7 day road trip; 3 with the Nats and 3 with the Marlins in Miami after the off day on Monday.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Home Runs Propel Phillies Past D-Backs

It has been a while since Phillies fans have been treated to a home run barrage.  Tonight, the Phillies embraced the long ball, knocking three 2-run homers out of the ballpark; once each in the 5th, 6th and 7th innings.  Jayson Werth got the first one, which had to be a big relief for him.  Werth has not hit a homer in over a month, since June 23rd.  Ryan Howard and Cody Ransom collected the other two bombs.

P7265842R Howard.jpg

Cole Hamels had a bit of a rough outing, so the homers were a welcome sight.  In the 1st inning with two outs, Hamels allowed a single, hit a batter and walked two more, which walked a run home.  In 5 innings, Hamels walked 4 batters, hit two batters and allowed 3 runs.  So while he was not at his best, he did still keep the team in the game.

David Herndon pitched one inning in relief and had some trouble as well.  With one run already across, it looked like Herndon had a ground ball double play to end the inning.  Placido Polanco fielded the ball, tagged the runner and tossed to first.  But the runner going to second was called safe, despite insistence from both Polanco and manager Charlie Manuel that he did indeed tag the runner.  The ump did not see it and another run scored.

But the home runs kept coming and the Phillies took the lead right back.  Then in the 7th, Shane Victorino caught what appeared to be a routine fly ball but was wincing in pain before the ball even arrived.  He called the trainer over and was taken out of the game.  The report is that Victorino has a left oblique strain.  Oblique strains are tricky so if he lands on the DL, it would not be shocking. 

What is shocking is that the Phillies cannot seem to catch a break with all the injuries.  Yesterday, Jimmy Rollins got hurt when he fouled a ball off his foot.  He seems to be feeling better, but may still miss another game or two.   Now Victorino; plus Chase Utley is still recovering from his thumb injury and at one point, the Phils had seven players on the DL all at once. 

The injuries are getting old; but the current win streak, despite the injuries, is certainly not getting old.  After sweeping the Rockies in 4 games, they beat the D-Backs tonight by a score of 9-5 for their 6th straight win.  The rookie Herndon picked up his first major league win.  In addition, the Braves lost tonight so the Phillies gain a game on them.  The Phils are now 3.5 games out of first.

There are two more games with the D-Backs left before the Phillies hit the road again.  As for Victorino, we should know more tomorrow.  If he lands on the DL, the Phils will probably call up either Domonic Brown or John Mayberry to take his spot.  I know everyone will be rooting for Brown, but Mayberry may get the nod because he has already been in the majors and they may not want to start the clock on Brown’s options just yet.  But my vote is that Victorino is okay…here’s hoping.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Four Wins In A Row For The Phillies

The Phillies beat the Rockies again today in a close, and at times dramatic, 4-3 game.  It was the Phillies annual Christmas in July promotion, but instead of snow, the Phils saw on-field temperatures over 100 degrees for 6 innings followed by an hour and 39 minute rain delay.  Although the ball girls did not let the weather ruin their day:

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In the stands, everyone was sweltering.  When the rain finally started in the 5th inning, many kicked back and enjoyed the refreshing rain.  Others heard thunder and ran screaming.  Needless to say, I am still wringing water out of my hair, but was happy to escape the oppressive heat.

It was also a very good ball game.  JA Happ came back to the bigs for the first time since mid-April when an injury sent him to the DL.  He looked sharp through 2 innings, but then he started to lose the strike zone and began relying too much on the fast ball.  The Rockies started to figure him out, but he did go 5 innings with 3 runs scored; for his first start back, this is not too bad.  Once he knocks the rust off, Happ should be just fine.

0725 Happ.jpg

The defense played well behind Happ and the bullpen, which was a big help.  Ryan Howard absolutely sold out on two different plays where he dove and slid into the ground.  He missed the foul ball, but it was not for lack of effort.  When he got up, he was covered in mud.  Shane Victorino also made a great running catch in center to get Happ out of the 3rd inning.

0725 catch.jpg

Ben Francisco got a start in left field today and took full advantage; he smacked a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning and went 2 for 3 with a walk on the day.  Both Jayson Werth and Jimmy Rollins also had 2 hits.  In the 5th inning though, the Phils had runners on first and third and failed to score.  Victorino popped up; Placido Polanco hit a liner but it was right to the 3rd baseman.  Then Howard flied out.

0725 hitting.jpg

So this was not an easy game, but thanks in part to a double by Wilson Valdez and then a single from Rollins and a wild pitch, the Phils took the lead in the 7th after the delay.  Brad Lidge got the save, but it was not without incident.  Lidge loaded the bases with 2 outs, making everyone nervous, and finally struck out Ian Stewart to get out of it.  Whew!

By the way, the graphics used on the big screen for Christmas in July were priceless.  You do have to feel sorry for Francisco and Cody Ransom though; take a look:

Xmas in July Phillies.jpg

If the Phillies can pull out a win tomorrow (1:05pm), they will have 5 wins in a row and a sweep of the Rockies.  I am going to the game again and hope to get some more photos.  I am sitting a bit higher than usual tomorrow, but it is in one of the company suites, so I will not complain ;o)

Also, be sure to check out the podcast I did today as a guest of Rich Baxter and his Fightin’ Phillies podcast.  We chatted with another blogger about the Trade Deadline and our predictions of things to come.  Thanks to Rich for the invitation!

And of course, here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

11 Inning Stalemate Ends In 3rd Walk-Off Win In A Row

Phillies fans everywhere are experiencing a weird, but very pleasant, case of déjà vu.  In three games with the Reds, the Phillies have gone extra innings 3 times and won 3 times with 3 walk-off hits; 2 homers and today, an RBI-single.

At the start of the game, people were wondering, who in the world is this Travis Wood kid pitching for the Reds?  When he first stepped on the mound, I guessed that maybe one of the Reds players was pulling a fast one by putting his 12-year old son out there with some stick-on facial hair, disguised as a big-leaguer.  I thought, oh how cute, this little boy is “playing” pitcher.  Isn’t he adorable?

pitchers 071010.jpgBut once he started pitching, he was not so cute anymore.  Wood is 23 years old and today’s game was only his 3rd appearance as a major league pitcher.  He gave up 2 runs in his first game and 3 in the second.  Against the Phillies, he got through 8 full innings without a base runner.

But the Phillies were certainly helping him out.  They were not patient at the plate, swinging at first pitches and balls, swinging when ahead in the count and basically just looking awful.  Shane Victorino had 2 balls and no strikes on him at one point and swung at the very next pitch, a high fastball, popping it up.  WHY?

Now everyone is thinking, can this kid throw a perfect game?  And even more perplexing, can Roy Halladay actually lose to a 12-year old?  Oh, I mean a 23-year old; my bad. 

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Halladay was nearly as good as Wood and the game was a total stalemate through 8 innings for both pitchers.  Neither team had scored, although Halladay did give up some hits.  But after 9 innings, Halladay had his shut-out intact.

Unfortunately for Wood and his perfect game attempt, Carlos Ruiz was activated off the DL today.  He stepped to the plate at the start of the 9th and 4 pitches later, Wood’s perfect game was gone as Ruiz doubled to centerfield.  Wilson Valdez tried to ruin the moment by bunting into mid-air; that ball was caught for the first out.  Raul Ibanez hit a sac fly to move Ruiz to 3rd, but Jimmy Rollins popped out to end the inning.

So Halladay, despite a 9-inning shut-out, could no longer qualify for the win.  That is a tragedy.  But the Phillies would make up for it by winning the game in extra innings.  Yes, for the 3rd consecutive night, the Phillies and Reds went to extra innings.

More déjà vu occurred in the 11th inning, and in more ways than one.  Ruiz doubled…again.  And then Rollins had yet another chance to get Ruiz home.  In the 9th inning, he popped out.  But this time, base hit!  And, AGAIN, the Phillies won the game on a walk-off!  That is 3 extra inning games in a row and 3 walk-off wins in a row!  I said it yesterday, I will say it again: Unbelievable!!!

The finale of the 4-game series will be tomorrow at 1:35pm with Cole Hamels pitching.  I am hoping to witness a sweep (pretty please?).  Either way, I will return with photos.  Go Phillies!

 

Halladay photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Wood photo from CBSsports.com

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

 

Comedy or Tragedy? Another Walk-Off Answers The Question

The start of tonight’s Phillies – Reds match-up was anything but funny.  The game began with a fielding error by Jimmy Rollins on the very first batter Joe Blanton faced. 
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Blanton went on to allow a single and then Jonny Gomes smacked a 3-run homer.  While ahead in the count, Blanton threw Gomes a fast ball right down the middle of the plate.  Was it Gomes’ birthday or something?  Because I just cannot see any reason for the generous gift from Blanton.

The very next batter was the recipient of yet another Phillies error, as Ryan Howard over-threw Blanton who was running to cover first base.  The bottom half of the 1st inning was no better.  Rollins hit a single, which was great, but then he got picked off at first while leaning off base too far.  Rollins may have been able to score on the Raul Ibanez double that followed, but he was no longer on base.  Inning over; no score for the Phils.

The insanity did not end there.  Greg Dobbs missed a ball at third that he should have caught and that would have ended the 2nd inning.  Instead, another run scored.  Then Howard got tagged out trying to stretch a single into a double in the 4th inning.  The Phils did score one run that inning on a sac fly by Jayson Werth, but in the 5th, the Phils gave the Reds two more runs.

Blanton was pulled after 5 ½ innings after allowing 12 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), 2 walks and 2 hits to the opposing pitcher.  Blanton has been struggling all year, but this was perhaps the most disturbing outing so far.  Usually, he has several good innings and starts to give up runs in the 5th or 6th when he tires.  But today, he was bad almost the entire time.  Add in the hits allowed to the pitcher and giving up big hits while he was ahead in the count and it was definitely not a comedy; tragedy is more like it.


padded room.jpgAlthough, with how things have gone so far this season, it is plausible to think that many fans may still not be sure whether to laugh or cry about it.  While little is funny here, the bad play does conjure images of fans wrapped with tiny white coats in a padded room while cackling hysterically as their sanity slowly drips away.  Are they coming to take me away yet?  Now that actually would be funny ;o)

To make matters worse, the Phillies looked like they had given up by the time they were down 6 runs to 1.  They did not hit at all and in the 9th, JC Romero gave up another run.  He also gave up another hit to Mike Leake, the Reds pitcher.  It was Leake’s 3rd hit of the night!  So, not only did he totally mow over the Phils with his pitching, but he hurt them with the bat as well.

And then something very weird happened.  The Phillies offense suddenly woke up.  But in the bottom of the ninth, down 7-1, would it be too little too late?  Shane Victorino doubled and Howard singled to drive him in. 
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Werth singled next and then Greg Dobbs performed a miracle; he hit a 3-run homer!  With one out and the score now 7-5, Leake was finally pulled out of the game and it became a save situation for the Reds.

Francisco Cordero came in to pitch and Brian Schneider hit a ball well, but it was right to the center fielder.  Ben Francisco drew a pinch hit walk and then with two outs, down two runs, Cody Ransom stepped to the plate with a chance to be the hero.  And just like that, BAM, a HOME RUN to tie the game!  Are you kidding me??  The Reds could not believe what was happening; the Phils fans were going nuts in the stands; and the poor Reds pitcher, Mike Leake, looked like he might cry while watching from the dugout.

And he had reason to cry…because in the 10th inning, Ryan Howard smashed a walk-off 2-run homer to win the game!  Unbelievable.  Down 7-1 in the 9th, the Phillies come back to win by a score of 9-7.  It was the second extra innings game in a row with a walk-off homer two nights in a row.  Comedy or tragedy?  Keep laughing, Phils fans…that was an INSANE win!  Whoo Hooo!

 

Dobbs photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Early Independence Day Fireworks For The Phillies

The Phillies have been playing an unusual and frustrating game of hide and seek with their offense for well over a month now.  Tonight against the Pirates, play time ended in the 3rd inning when the offense finally came out and yelled, “Here we are!” while scoring 5 runs.

The Phillies scored in 6 out of 9 innings tonight, making some wish they had saved a few runs for the next game.  But the early Independence Day offensive fireworks display was long overdue.  After scoring just 8 runs in their last 3 games, the Phils exploded tonight to the tune of 12 runs.

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Every starter in the game had at least one hit.  Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins each collected 3 RBI on 2 and 3 hits, respectively.  Shane Victorino also had 3 hits and 1 RBI.  Cody Ransom was called up from the minors and took the place of Brian Bocock on the roster.  Ransom, right off the airplane, contributed immediately with 2 hits and an RBI.

Last year, Ransom filled in at 3rd for the Yankees when Alex Rodriquez was hurt.  A knee injury this year delayed his call up to the Phils big club until today, but Ransom is healthy now and will fill need to a big hole as Placido Polanco recovers on the DL.  But Ransom’s defense came into question tonight when he dropped an easy pop-fly in the 8th inning.  The 10-run lead made it less of an issue, but Ransom had better shape up quick.  This team needs him to be solid at 3rd.

Ben Francisco started in place of Raul Ibanez who has just not been hitting.  Francisco looked rusty his first few at-bats, but after a couple nice swings, he belted his first home run of the year and collected 2 RBI.  The job in left field should be his for the taking if he continues to hit.

The only player who still looked perplexed at the plate tonight was Jayson Werth.  He did hit an RBI double in the 4th that almost went for a homer, but he looked terrible in every other at-bat.  Werth is taking strikes and swinging at balls.  He struck out in his first at-bat on a ball in the dirt.

But with most everyone else hitting, Werth’s struggles do not make a huge impact.  Plus, Kyle Kendrick pitched a very good game, allowing just 3 earned runs in the 12-4 win.  And for the first time in his major league career, he pitched a complete game.  Congrats to Kendrick!

Having lost the first two games to a very bad team, the Phillies really need to come away with a split here and build momentum going into the Braves series which starts Monday.  Joe Blanton will pitch in the finale tomorrow; game time is 1:35pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

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