Results tagged ‘ Cy Young ’

Game 3 Preview / Bad Parenting 101

UPDATE 12pm:  Game 3 has been postponed due to the bad weather in Colorado.  It will now be played Sunday night at 10:07pm EST, 8:07pm MT.  Game 4 then is moved to Monday, but no time has been announced yet.

AM blog: The most important game in the series, beginning with the Phillies and Rockies tied at 1 game each, will be played under the worst of conditions.  P9139620 Pedro.jpgSnow, sleet and freezing temperatures will likely be the most talked about part of this game which is scheduled for 9:37pm EST, 7:37pm Mountain time.  The late start is likely to add to the chill.

Pedro Martinez will start the game and it is a huge opportunity for him to officially make a comeback at 37 years of age.  Pedro pitched in Boston, so he is used to the cold, but snow may be another thing altogether.  Plus, he has not pitched a full game in almost a month; his last start beyond 4 innings was on 9/13/09.  Then again, Pedro has experience and a good post-season record on his side.  Which Pedro will show up?  The former Cy Young winner or the aging, injury-prone pitcher of the last several years?

As for the offense, anyone who has seen this team play in April knows, they do not like hitting in cold weather.  But the playoffs are a different animal and the Phillies tend to step it up in October.  But will they be swinging at snowflakes or at strikes?

If nothing else, this should be a very interesting game, should Mother Nature allow it to unfold without interruption.  Best of luck to the Phillies!

It’s A Boy!

Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, welcomed their first child into the world yesterday morning.  Caleb Michael Hamels arrived at 9am on Friday morning.  Caleb is a cute name, but most are just happy the poor kid did not get stuck with “Colbert” like his dad ;O)  And no, I am not making that up…his full name is Colbert Michael Hamels.  So congratulations to the Hamels family and best wishes for a healthy, happy baby!

Bad Parenting 101

Speaking of parenting, this kids parents get the Bad Parenting of the Year Award: 12-year old Jennifer Valdivia ended up with Ryan Howard’s 200th home run ball at a game in Miami.  As is the baseball tradition, she was ushered to the clubhouse and exchanged the ball for an autographed one.  ALL players do this and ALL teams do this for milestone balls, it is not an unusual practice.

However, when the girl returned home, her parents decided their child was taken advantage of and sued Ryan Howard to get the ball back.  They were upset that she was given what they termed a $100 ball” in exchange for one worth “thousands.” 

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That’s right folks, way to teach your kid how to extort money!  Not to mention, why were a 12-year old girl and her 15-year old brother at a ball game without an adult?  I am sure the opinions here vary, but I can assure you, if my kids were that age, there is NO way they would be on their own.  A ballpark is NOT a safe place to let your kids run free as far as I am concerned. 

And then they have the nerve to complain.  Here’s a question for those parents: what if you child was kidnapped or attacked in the bathroom, or anything of that nature?  Were you going to sue the ballpark for YOUR neglect?  Just sayin’…

Ms. Valdivia was probably thrilled to get an autographed ball, until her parents convinced her otherwise.  At that age, I know I would have been…and still to this day.  The only reason it mattered to them was because of the money.  So, if this kid really is going to keep the ball, like they profess, then why does the money make a difference?  Unless you are going to sell it, the personally autographed ball is a great souvenir.  Maybe they should have thrown in a bat as well or something, but again, the parents sent their kids in there alone, so they obviously felt their kids were old enough to handle any situation that may arise.  If they do not feel that way, then they never should have sent them without an adult.

That ball meant a lot more to Howard than it would to anyone else, unless money was the only objective.  With that 200th home run, Howard became the fastest player in Major League history to reach that milestone.  If the girl’s parents felt she should have been given more in exchange, then ASK.  They would have been happy to send the girl a signed bat, photo or whatever she wanted.  But, no.  These jerks decided to sue.  And rather than argue, the Phillies gave the kid the ball and moved on.

So, way to go Valdivia family; you have not only taught your kids that it is all about the money but now they know, in a sue-happy country, they can get whatever they want in life if they just yell loud enough.  Forget about doing the right thing, it is all about getting your way.  Forget about who you hurt, as long as you claim the cash.  Nicely done.  It is no wonder this country is quickly descending into the dark pit of hell where morals are thrown out the window.  This youth is our future, America.  Start praying.

UPDATE: The above facts were as presented by The Miami Herald and ESPN.  A new report from CNN says the girl’s grandfather was with her, but decided NOT to accompany her to the clubhouse.  So, he chose to let her go alone.  Add bad grandparenting to the story then as well.  The family was also offered VIP ticktes to the next Florida series and they turned it down.  And the law suit was for the amount of $15,000.  Yes, that is 15 thousand dollars.  And this was NOT about the money?  Enough said.

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

A Storm Is Brewing

I got my playoff tickets in the mail yesterday; NLDS, NCLS and World Series. The seats I was assigned are nothing short of awesome. This makes me very, very nervous. Why, you may ask? It is the “buy a snow shovel and it will not snow” theory…I have great seats to the playoff, so does this mean either the Phillies will not make it or get swept out of the 1st round a’la 2007? Hmmmm…

But the bad play of this Phillies team recently just adds more fuel to the fire swirling around my nervous brain. Brad Lidge has been an absolute disaster; we have NO closer. Half the pitching staff is injured.
funny-pictures-cat-with-invisible-snow-shovel.jpgOur catcher is down with a sprained wrist and it is unclear when he will return. Many of our starting pitchers look like they are throwing little league games. This is a snow storm of epic proportions but the Phillies forgot to but a shovel.

Cliff Lee piled on more concern last night when he allowed 7 runs on 9 hit in 6 innings to the Brewers and looked really bad doing it. It was as if the ball were attached to the opponents bat with an invisible string and they just could not help but get hits. Lee started out looking like the Cy Young winner of 2008 and in his last 6 starts, he is 2-3 with a 6.35 ERA. Yuck!

And Lidge? He was put in to get some work in the 7th inning and still cannot manage to get through a clean inning. Lidge allowed 1 run on 2 hits and a stolen base. Ugh.

The offense was facing a very bad Brewers pitcher with an ERA well over 6 and still, they only managed 1 earned run off the guy in 7 innings. Where were the bats? Ryan Howard had 2 hits and 3 RBI in the game, but the rest of the team basically took the night off.

In fact, this entire team looks like it is plans on taking the rest of the regular season off and hope that somehow, magically, it will all work out in the end. I have got news for them: the Braves are breathing down your necks. Take nothing for granted. Now go out there, and play ball! I am not ready for winter to come early. Thank you, Phillies in advance for your cooperation.

PS: Magic number remains at 4.

Welcome To Hell – UnbeLEEvable!

Just when the Phillies though Cliff Lee was an angel sent from heaven, over his last two starts, Lee has broken his halo and lost his wings.  Lee in hell.jpgA lousy 3 inning, 6 run outing tonight caps off the 2-game slide into hell.  But let us not dwell; everyone is entitled to a bad day.  We just hope Lee has now gotten all of his bad days out of his system and will return to Cy Young form next week.

Also taking a long dip in the fiery pit of eternal damnation is the Phillies offense.  Clearly, they have been judged and sentenced to wallow in their pathetic-ness for all eternity…well, at least for the last few weeks anyway.  Losing 0-7 against the Astros, the Phils bats only mustered 8 hits and Carlos Ruiz had 3 of those.  Not to mention they scored ZERO runs.  They left the bases loaded once again with less than 2 outs and struck out 9 times.  Why, oh why have they forsaken us? 

Ok, reality check: the Phillies are still up 8 games in the division.  However, if they keep playing like this, that lead can and will be squashed quickly.  Ryan Howard won NL Player of the Month for August, but his bat has slowed in September.  Raul Ibanez was benched today after a very, very bad couple of months.  Chase Utley is still good at getting hit with pitches, but do we really want him getting beat up when NO ONE can knock him in?  It has been an all-around bad few weeks.  A trip straight to hell, indeed.

The Phillies will attempt to redeem themselves tomorrow in Houston at 7:05pm with Joe Blanton facing (gulp!) Roy Oswalt.  It pains me to think about Oswalt right now, so I am going to just pretend this is not happening.  Think happy thoughts people…happy, delusional, fantastical thoughts ;O)

Lee photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Age Trumps Youth As Martinez Regains Old Form

With 2 rain-shortened games for Pedro Martinez in his first 4 starts, he had to be wondering when he might get a real shot at showing the Phillies what he has left in the tank.  Wonder no more; Pedro is back to the Pedro of old.  The 3-time Cy Young award winner beat out the Giants ace, reigning NL Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum.  Take a look at the stats comparison: 

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Martinez, P (W, 3-0)

7

5

1

1

0

9

1

3.52

Lincecum (L, 13-5)

7

4

2

2

1

11

1

2.34

 

Martinez Lincecum copy.jpgIt was a really, really close match up, but Martinez came out on top.  The only big mistake he made all night was the very first pitch of the game which the Giants Eugenio Velez sent into the outfield seats.  After that, it was lights out from Martinez.

Lincecum made a few more mistakes and the Phillies made him pay.  Jayson Werth sent a hanging slider into the second deck of the left field seats in the 2nd inning.  Then in the 6th, Chase Utley was hit by a pitch.  A visibly annoyed Lincecum then had to face the big man, Ryan Howard and Howard took advantage.  Howard smashed a fastball into centerfield for a double which scored Utley.   Those were the only two runs for the Phillies, but with the great pitching, it was all they needed. 

The back-end combination of Ryan Madson in the 8th and Brad Lidge in the 9th finally worked the way it was meant to.   Madson sent the Giants down in order and Lidge got the save, although it was another eventful one.  With 2 outs, he gave up a hit, a walk and two stolen bases.  But Lidge buckled down and to the relief of everyone, finally got the third out.  Whew!

In other news, Brett Myers is back!  He will be activated tonight when the Phillies travel to Houston to start a 4-game series.  Myers has made an amazing comeback from a very serious hip surgery that looked like it may have him out for the entire year.  But Myers worked hard to get back into shape and the Phillies can really use him in the pen, especially if Lidge had another melt down.

A few other September call-up include pitcher Jack Taschner, who was with the Phillies a good part of the year.  And Paul Hoover, a 33-year old career minor league catcher, has been called up as well.  We should also be seeing JC Romero back soon; I saw him working out with the team on Wednesday, which is a very good sign.

Tune your TV in to Phillies baseball tonight at 8:05pm; Cliff Lee will try to bounce back from a bad start his last time out against the Astros.  Go Phillies!

Photoshopping by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Penny Gives Phillies His 2 Cents

After being shut-out 1-0 on Tuesday, the Giants were looking for revenge and they got it in the form of new acquisition, Brad Penny.  Penny struggled with the Red Sox and had an ERA near 6.00, but the move to the National League seems to be the cure.  Phillies hitters looked ridiculous all night long and managed only 5 hits in the game, all singles.

 

But this is nothing new; the Phillies have been in an offensive slump for a while now and there are no signs that it will end anytime soon, especially with Tim Lincecum pitching for the Giants tonight.  When things are going bad, a Cy Young winner is the last person you want to see.  But they have no choice and will need to figure out where the bats have disappeared to.

 

JA Happ has pitched well all year, but is getting no run support at all.  Happ has the third lowest run support of any pitcher in the NL with more than 100 innings and he has still has managed a 2.77 ERA and a 10-4 record.  Last night, he made a few mistakes, including allowing back-to-back homers in the 6th inning which tallied 3 runs for the Giants.  Happ still pitched a good game with just the one bad inning that did him in; but again, no runs = no win.

 

And while it is always nice to see Aaron Rowand back in Philly, he did hit one of those home runs.  And what was this all about exactly?  See Carlos Ruiz pointing?


 

Sorry, could not resist.  It does kind of look like he might pee on the plate, but he hit a home run instead.  Just as effective, I suppose.

 

Here are few non-offensive shots from the game:


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Charlie Manuel needs to start smacking some heads together in that clubhouse.  The inability to score runs, especially those in scoring position, is becoming a major issue in what is usually a breakout month for this team.  Raul Ibanez has not been able to hit the side of a barn since the All-Star break, after what was an amazing first half.  Now, Ibanez is hitting into double plays all the time which is killing the offense. 

 

But everyone is guilty; since the Atlanta series, Shane Victorino has 2 hits in his last 20 at-bats; Jayson Werth is 4 for 16; Jimmy Rollins is 4 for 20.  And just for fun, Ibanez is 1 for his last 21 at-bats.  Ugh.  Someone please find the offense…now!

 

On to more fun topics:  Before the game, Cole Hamels was awarded with the Roberto Clemente award for his community service.  His wife Heidi joined him on the field and if you were not sure before if she was pregnant, it is pretty obvious now.  How cute are these two with all their aspirations to adopt like 500 African babies, plus popping out a few of their own?  All together now…”Awwww!”

 

Here is a Photo Album with more pictures from last nights very depressing game.  It was Latino Heritage night and there are some shots from that as well as the pre-game activities.  Enjoy!

 

 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Another Happ-Y Day

Even though there is still a lot of baseball left to play, JA Happ is definitely making a case for Rookie of the Year.  P8195152 Happ.jpgTonight, he took the Phillies through 7 solid innings of 1 run ball.  This win gives him a record of 10-2 on the year plus an outstanding ERA of 2.59.  Happ is the first rookie of the year to reach 10 wins even after starting his year in the bullpen – amazing.  If I could reach through the TV and bear hug him, I totally would.  He has made a lot of Phillies fan very, very Happ-Y this year!

Chase Utley added to the happiness in the 6th inning when he finally got the Phillies on the board with a 2-run homer.  Until that moment, the offense was shut down by Tim Redding of the Mets in his 5 innings of work; Redding is a very below average pitcher but every time he faces the Phillies, he looks like a Cy Young candidate.  Thank goodness Redding is old and can’t get much past 5 innings, because he is a Phillies nightmare.

After the Utley bomb, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz went back to back with doubles to score one more run.  The final RBI came off a sac fly from Carlos Ruiz.

Hoping for a small amount of redemption, Brad Lidge was given yet another save opportunity in the 9th inning.  He struck out the first batter he faced to notch his 700th career strikeout, and get off to a good start.  The next batter grounded out and the final batter struck out for #701.  That’s right Phillies fans – Lidge saved a game and did it without a base runner!  Is this a sign of things to come?  Let us hope so.

We now go from 2 night games with the Mets in which the Phillies are 1-1, to 2 day games starting tomorrow at 1:10pm.   Pedro Martinez will face his old team for the first time and face Oliver Perez of the Mets.  After Martinez had a rain shortened outing his last time out, this is going to be a big game for him on a number of levels.  Good luck to him!

Happ photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Lee Greets Philly Fans With A Win

Cliff Lee was welcomed to Philadelphia today by the fans.  In his second start for the team, his first at home, Lee pitched extremely well.  He went 7 innings and allowed only 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk.  While not as spectacular as his first start in San Francisco where he went a full 9 innings, today’s start was more than acceptable and exactly what the Phillies were hoping to get out of the 2008 Cy Young winner.

Lee had some help; Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 4 at the plate and was just a home run short of the cycle.  J-Roll also scored 2 of the 3 Phillies runs.  Paul Bako, the Phillies back-up catcher, hit a solo home run in the game; it was his first homer since June of last year.080609a.jpg

There were also several miscues in the game including an error by Lee, a ball missed by Ryan Howard that should have been an error, but was not scored as such, and J-Roll also missed a ball up the middle that he normally gets to.  On top of that, the young Ben Francisco drew a walk in the 7th, only to get himself picked off at 1st base.  Whoops!  But through all the blunders, Lee remained calm and pitched through it.  That, more than anything else, was very impressive.

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Happ-Y Days

Earlier today, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. announced that JA Happ will stay in the rotation.  How this will happen has not been disclosed, although Ruben did mention getting “creative” to solve the dilemma.  Could “creative” mean he likes my 5 ½ man rotation idea??  Hmmmmm…..

Whatever the case, good news for Happ!  Likely what happens next is Jamie Moyer starts against the Marlins this week and after that, the real fun of juggling these guys begins.

Up Next

The Fish are coming to town!  Tomorrow’s 7:05pm game start time has been pushed back to 7:35pm in order to hold a special ceremony to induct our beloved Harry Kalas into the Phillies Wall of Fame.  It is sure to be an emotional day for all as Harry’s sons, friends and family of fans pay tribute to a Philly legend one more time.  We still miss you, Harry!

And finally, here is the full Photo Album from today’s Phillies – Rockies match-up and Cliff Lee’s 2nd start.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phillies Mowed Down By Cy Young Winner

P8013596 TL.jpg

Yesterday, our Cy Young winner, Cliff Lee, stole the show.  Today, it was the Giants turn.  Tim Lincecum looked like he was yielding a weed whacker as he mowed down Phillies hitters and pitched his team to a 2-0 win.

The Phillies had their shots at him though.  They even left the bases loaded at one point.  But every time runners got on base, the usual heroes like Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard either struck out or nubbed a slow grounder.  It was not a pretty site.

P8013608 Blanton.jpg
Joe Blanton
held up his end of the deal and matched Linceum through 4 innings.  But Blanton ran into trouble in the 5th when he booted a routine grounder which extended the inning and turned into a run for the Giants.  Aaron Rowand slid into home past the tag of catcher Paul Bako on a Juan Uribe sac fly.  Uribe hit another sac fly in the 7th to give the Giants an extra run.

But no blame can be placed on Blanton; he went 7 innings and allowed only those 2 runs on 7 hits and did not issue any walks.  It was a well pitched game overall; now, the Phillies just need to find some offense going into tomorrow’s finale.

Before the game, fans were entertained by the Giants Family Softball Game; it was also Dog Day at the park.  The cute quotient was sky high:

giants pregame.jpg
So, at least I had some entertainment tonight.  Tomorrow’s afternoon match features Cole Hamels for the Phils and Barry Zito for the Giants.  Youth vs. Age; or, a bit nutty vs. totally insane?  If you do not know what I am talking about, check out
Barry Zito’s Twitter page.  My favorite tweet is, “What would you do with a Klondike bar? At this hour I can think of a few things, what gets melted ice cream out of the carpet anyways?”  This guy has serious issues.  Anyway, game time is 4:05pm EST.  Enjoy!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Cliff Lee Joins The Phillies

Lee.jpg

No more worries about Roy Halladay, trade deadlines and who is going where…the Phillies sealed the deal today with Cy Young award winning pitcher, Cliff Lee.  Lee comes to the Phillies from the Indians sporting a 7-9 record and a 3.14 ERA; his record is tainted though due to lack of run support from a struggling Indians team.  And last year, Lee won the AL Cy Young.  Without giving away either JA Happ or Kyle Drabek, the Phillies made the trade and also received outfielder Ben Francisco who will likely take John Mayberry’s spot on the bench and help to relieve Raul Ibanez.  Off to the Indians are pitcher Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald and pitcher Jason Knapp. 

While I am thrilled with this deal, and even more thrilled that we did not lose Happ or Drabek, I will miss Marson and Donald.  I had the opportunity to chat with them both over the last few years and they are really nice, down to earth guys.  Not to mention, they are both adorable :O)  Ok, so I guess I will get over it. ;o)

A few more reason this is a GREAT trade; Lee will cost considerably less than Halladay next year; his option is 9 million, where Halladay’s is 15.75 million.  In addition to keeping Happ and Drabek, the Phillies also retained top prospects Dominick Brown and Michael Taylor.  Essentially, the farm system will not suffer.

And a few more odd reasons this is a good trade:

-         Lee’s name is easy to spell.

-         Cole Hamels will get less attention from the media, thus, we do not have to hear as many weird things come out of his mouth.

-         Our bullpen will have someone new to play with :O)  Not sure who that will be yet…

-         Lee looks good in red.

-         Lee is from Arkansas!  Actually, I am not sure why that is good, but maybe he knows President Clinton?  Just a thought…

The final game of the D-Backs series is about to begin…Go Phillies!

Photo: umpbump.com

 

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

 

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