Results tagged ‘ Danys Baez ’

Kendrick: Zero To Hero


Kendrick hero.jpgIn tonight’s start against the Cardinals, Kyle Kendrick went from zero to hero.  Kendrick pitched well in Spring Training, but since the season began he has had just one good start.  After a clean 7 innings today with no runs, 6 hits and 2 walks, can this Superhero hold onto his cape?  Or will Kendrick morph into an evil villain for his next start?

Consistency is the key.  Right now, Kendrick is a one-hit wonder.  He is going to need to repeat this success next time out if the Phillies are going to buy into the Superhero façade.

The offense gave Kendrick some runs to work with, but they did not start churning them out until the 4th inning.  Placido Polanco smashed a 2-run homer and Shane Victorino hit a solo shot in the 6th.  Their 4th run came after Juan Castro singled and Greg Dobbs drove in Wilson Valdez, the pinch runner, with a long double.  The bad news is, Castro limped off the field and that is why Valdez was put in.  No word yet on how serious the injury may be, but it appears to be a hamstring strain.

After the 7th inning, the game was left to the Phillies bullpen.  The pen has not been good so far this year.  Danys Baez pitched a clean 8th and Jose Contreras was handed the 9th.  With his mother in the stands whom he had not seen since 2003, Contreras had some inspiration.  They had been separated since Contreras defected from Cuba and until this home stand, she had never seen her son play in person.

So it was a special night for Contreras, being able to close out the game, and he rose to the occasion.  He sent the Cards down in order to hand the 4-0 shut-out victory to the Phillies.  It was also Kendrick’s first win of the year.

It will be a quick turn-around for the Phillies as tomorrow’s 4-game finale starts at 1:05pm.  Roy Halladay will face ex-Phillie Kyle Loshe.  Halladay will be pitching for a series win and his 6th individual win of the season. 

 

Head shot by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

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

 

Hamels Is Back In Win Over Cards

Could the Cole Hamels of 2008 really be back?  In his start tonight against the Cardinals, it certainly looked like it.  Hamels pitched 8 innings of shut-out ball, even getting out of a bases-loaded jam against the amazing Albert Pujols. 
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Well, at least for today, Hamels has earned his wings back.  The real test will be his next start and whether or not he can show consistency and repeat an outstanding performance. 

Hamels had to be outstanding as the Cards pitcher was equally as impressive.  The Phillies managed to squeeze out one run against Adam Wainwright.  After a Raul Ibanez triple, Carlos Ruiz hit a long sac fly to score the only run of the game.  And Jayson Werth was able to extend his streak of reaching base safely in every game this year, which has not been done by a Phillie since 1920.

However, the 9th inning took an interesting turn.  Hamels was primed and ready to close out this ballgame himself when a fan did the unthinkable in such an important and tense situation.  Another idiot ran onto the field for the second day in a row to delay the start of the inning and it threw Hamels right off his game.  Hamels had to throw warm-up pitches while he waited for the moron to be dealt with.  By the time he got started with the real pitches, Hamels allowed two doubles in a row to tie up the game 1-1.

I hope the Philly police tasered this guy too.  And maybe later, the real fans can all get together and plan a proper tar and feathering for this bonehead.  This behavior is just shameful and gives the good fans a bad rap.

So Hamels was pulled without recording an out in the 9th and the Phillies would have to rely on Brad Lidge to maintain the 1-1 tie.  Lidge actually got the job done, putting to rest questions about how he would perform after a long stint on the DL.  On to the bottom of the 9th…

Ryan Howard walked, which is awesome.  But Werth struck out on a very bad pitch…not awesome.  Ibanez flew out to center and then Juan Castro stepped to the plate.  Castro was not good tonight at the plate; he was 0-3 at this point, having grounded into a double play and leaving 4 men on base.  Well, make it 0 for 4 as he grounded out to send the game into extra innings.


1 Pre-game.jpgBut just when things were looking dreary, thank goodness for CHOOOOCH!!!  Carlos Ruiz popped a wall-off homer to center to win it in the 10th!  Whooo Hooo!!!!  Shane Victorino and Greg Dobbs put the exclamation mark on the evening with double shaving cream pies to the face of Ruiz.  :O)

Game 3 with the Cardinals starts tomorrow night at 7:05pm.  Kyle Kendrick will be pitching for his Major League life.  If he has another horrible outing, the Phillies may be forced to look for another solution.  Cross your fingers!

Here is a quick injury update:  Ryan Madson and his self-inflicted broken toe will be out for a minimum of 2 months.  The break was so bad, the doctor had to operate and insert pins to stabilize the fracture.  For a bullpen that is already in bad shape, this is not good.  Starter JA Happ is also not expected back very soon; it will be the end of May at the earliest.  Same goes for Jimmy Rollins.  May should be another interesting month.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

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

 

A Tale Of Two Innings

The Phillies reclaimed their spot in first place last night after an 11-5 win over the Mets.  Let us begin with the Tale of Two Teams: Before the game, people like Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino had their game faces on.  Jimmy Rollins, still on the DL, was relaxed and posing for me and Jose Reyes was busy fixing his hair.  A foretelling of things to come perhaps?
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As for the game itself, most of it can be summed up in two innings.  In the first inning, things did not look good for pitcher Jamie Moyer and the Phillies.  Moyer got the first two outs but after allowing a few singles and then a home run to David Wright, he was in a big hole quickly.

Moyer’s performances this year have had one huge flaw; he always seems to have one bad inning where he gives up a bunch of runs.  In the top of the 4th, he allowed 2 more runs on a Rod Barajas homer.  Barajas has done serious damage to the Phillies every time he has played his ex-team.  Although, Placido Polanco did manage to tag Barajas out going to third:


050210b.jpgBut the bottom of the 4th inning blew the game wide open for the Phillies.  The Mets ace, Johan Santana, had been mowing down Phillies batters, except for solo homers from Polanco and Howard in the 1st.  After a Chase Utley double, Santana got the next two batters out, but things then spun wildly out of control.

Raul Ibanez singled to score Utley and Carlos Ruiz walked after that.  The bases were loaded with 2 outs for the pitcher, Moyer.  You had to imagine Moyer would just make the last out and that would be that.  But once Moyer ran the count 2-0, the crowd exploded with anticipation of what might happen next.

On their feet and screaming, “Johan! Johan!” the fans rattled Santana and Moyer, will amazing discipline at the plate, drew the walk to force in a run.  Everyone began having flashbacks to Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS when Brett Myers and the crowd did the exact same thing to pitcher CC Sabathia. And who should step to the plate but the same hero from that NLDS game, Shane Victorino.

Back in October of 2008, Victorino followed up the Myers walk with a Grand Slam.  Last night, history repeated itself as Victorino, with the crowd cheering him on, hit another Grand Slam!  It was the 2nd of his career and I have been present for both of those slams.  Shane may want to send me some tickets as it appears I am his good luck charm ;o)

But the inning did not end there.  Polanco singled and then Utley homered; and with that, Santana was finally run out of the game.  The Mets bullpen gave up one more run after that making it a grand total of 9 runs in the inning.  Santana was responsible for 8 of those, which is more runs that he gave up in the entire month of April.  And the 10 runs total marks the most runs ever allowed by Santana in a single game for his career.


050210c.jpgThe Phillies batted around plus 4 in the inning and the outburst seemed to give Moyer new life on the mound.  He pitched two scoreless innings after that and even got a hit in the 5th inning.  Chad Durbin pitched the 7th and 8th innings without allowing a hit and Danys Baez, feeling comfy with a 6-run lead, closed out the game.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.  Tonight, the Phillies will begin a new series against the Cardinals with Joe Blanton finally returning from the DL.  Game time is 7:05pm.  Best of luck to Blanton in his season debut! 

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

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

 

Madson Meets His Match; Phillies Choke Against Mets

Since tonight’s Phillies-Mets game totally sucked, unless you are a Mets fan, let us begin with the really humorous news from the day.  Seriously, get ready to giggle.  It turns out that Ryan Madson has a rather large skeleton in his closet.  No, not the kind that involves hot pink 3-inch heels and a lace thong….the real shocker is that Ryan Madson HATES chairs.  No really, he hates chairs….and blown saves, of course.

Despite the fact that chairs are both inanimate and inherently non-threatening, Madson holds incredible, furious anger towards these raised sitting surfaces. 
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After his blown save in San Francisco against the Giants on Thursday, this pent up rage finally got the best of poor Ryan.  He reared back and with all his might,
kicked a clubhouse chair right where it hurts; in the leg.

But the chair battled back in an effort to defend its honor as a useful household item.  Apparently, the chair stood tall against Madson, who found himself walking away with a broken toe and a 15-day stint on the disabled list.  That chair was not going down without a fight.  Madson, on the other hand, is now down and out, having embarrassed himself and let down his teammates. 

Damn those pesky chairs!  Oh, and I suppose the blown save did not help either.  But certainly, we do not expect Madson to take this humiliation sitting down.  Have I perhaps taken the clever analogies too far?  Maybe…but then again, I do have a strong hatred for boring and uncreative writing.  Lucky for me, this anger management issue is unlikely to result in a broken toe.

However, tonight’s mega-choke against the Mets is likely to cause serious brain injury.  Yes, I have a major headache after watching Kyle Kendrick crush all my hopes and dreams of a happy evening.  On 5 hits and a walk, Kendrick allowed 4 runs, including 3 homers in just 5 innings.

As if that were not bad enough, the bullpen struck again.  Danys Baez was unimpressed with those 4 runs in 5 innings and said, hey, I can do that in just ONE inning!  And so he did.  Take that Kendrick!  But wait, there is more…Brad Lidge returned from the DL and the first batter he faced smacked a home run to left.  The third batter singled to right.  And that ended the evening for Lidge.

You are waiting to hear about the offense, but do not hold your breath…there was no offense.  The Phillies scored a totally amazing ONE run!  Awesome.

I know what you are thinking; this must be April fool’s day, right?  It cannot possibly be THAT bad.  Sorry to disappoint; this is not a joke.  The only good news for this team is that April is over.  Because the last few weeks have been an absolute nightmare and tonight’s 1-9 loss was the month-old, rotting icing on the moldy cake.  Let us hope the April Showers really do produce May Flowers…

 

Madson photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

The See-Saw Ride From Hell

Have you ever noticed how a player on your favorite team seems like an Angel in the right uniform?  
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But when he goes to another team, he becomes the Devil.  Such is the case with Rodrigo Lopez who pitched for the Phillies last year and went to the Diamondbacks for 2010.  Lopez started the game against the Phillies today and pitched 6 innings, allowing 6 runs.  So, while we thank him for the 6 runs, sadly, he would only have earned his wings back if he gave us about 15 runs.

Because it looked like the Phillies were going to need 15 runs to win this one.  Kyle Kendrick started out pitching really well, but that only lasted 4 innings.  By the 5th, Kendrick had returned to his old ways, leaving balls way up in the hitter’s happy-zones and before you knew it, 5 runs had crossed the plate.  Kendrick was pulled after 5 innings and his outing turned into a huge disappointment.

The offense tried to keep pace and by the top of the 6th, they had gone ahead of the D-Backs by a score of 6-5.  Greg Dobbs hit a 2-run homer in the first, Ross Gload had 2 hits and an RBI and Carlos Ruiz gave them the lead with a 2-out, 2-run single. 

The line-up tonight was a bit odd, with Gload and Dobbs in the 1 & 2 spots and Wilson Valdez at short stop.   Juan Castro is still nursing a sore hamstring;  Shane Victorino sat in order to re-group as he has not been hitting lately; and Dobbs took 3rd base for Placido Polanco.  Polly has not looked the same since getting hit in the elbow with a pitch.

So if the Phillies were going to pull out a series win, they were going to have to depend on the back-up players and also hope that the pitching would hold up.  The back-ups did their job; the pitchers did not.

After Kendrick’s disastrous 5th inning, Danys Baez could not hold the lead.  He gave up 1 run in the 7th to tie the game at 6-6.  David Herdon got into trouble in the 8th; with no outs, Raul Ibanez threw a runner out going home and Ruiz held onto the ball for the out.  Herndon got a second chance, but he blew it.  A 1-out double scored the go-ahead run and then the hits kept coming.  By the end of the inning, the Phillies were down by a score of 6-8 and only 1 inning left to get back in it.

And as expected with this suddenly unpredictable offense, the Phillies fell short in the 9th and went down 6-8.  Having lost this series 1 game to 2, the Phillies have a lot of issues to address, not the least of which is starting pitching.  One man does not a rotation make and Roy Halladay can only win 1 game every five days.   Kendrick and Cole Hamels need to get their act together…fast.  Joe Blanton and JA Happ had better get well soon and Jamie Moyer is holding his own in the 5th spot.

see-saw ride.jpgAn even bigger issue is the bullpen; their performance has varied from inconsistent to just plain awful.  A lot of the pen pitchers, like Baez, seem to have a one game on, one game off thing going on.  It is like the see-saw ride from hell.  You just never know which end is going to be up or down and when.

And now the Phillies are heading to San Francisco to face the Giants red-hot pitching staff.  With all the injuries and inconsistent performances, the Phillies may be headed into big, big trouble.  And Trouble is called Jonathan Sanchez and Tim “I have 2 Cy Youngs” Lincecum.  The first game of the series starts tomorrow at 10:15pm.  Bust out the bottle of Tums; this is going to be interesting.

 

Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography except Lopez as a D-Back; MLB.com

 

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

 

Phillies Win Series In Atlanta

Two old dudes battled it out tonight in Atlanta; the Braves Derek Lowe, 36, and the Phillies Jamie Moyer, 47.  When I say I old, I am talking in baseball terms, of course.  Jamie Moyer2.jpgThe elder Moyer out-dueled Lowe allowing just 4 hits and no earned runs in 6 innings.  Lowe fell victim to the powerful Phillies offense which ran him out of the game after only 5 innings and racked up 5 runs.

Moyer continues to amaze and defy the laws of time with every victory.  And tonight, he did something I had never seen before; in the 2nd inning, he hit the Braves rookie Jason Heyward with a pitch.  That was not the fun part though.  As the ball left Moyer’s hand, you could hear him yell to Heyward, “Look out!” as the pitch ran too far inside.  Moyer is a true gentleman.  Of course, the ball was only travelling about 74 mph so I think Heyward will be okay ;o)

The defense behind Moyer was pretty good, although Chase Utley did have one adventurous inning.  Right after announcer Tom McCarthy commented on how much Utley has improved and that he has a shot at a Gold Glove one day, Utley’s ears must have been burning because he committed two errors in the 5th inning. 

While trying to turn a double play, Utley bobbled the feed from Juan Castro, dropped the ball twice and a run scored.  The very next play, he tried another double play but threw the ball wide to 1st, which flew past Ryan Howard and allowed another run to score.  So it is official; no one is allowed to talk about Gold Gloves in relation to Utley for the rest of the year.  Clearly, it was a jinx.

Utley’s offense has not been affected by a jinx though, as he has now reached base safely in every game so far this year.  He had one hit and 2 walks tonight.  Greg Dobbs did a great job filling in for Placido Polanco; he went 2 for 3.  Castro went 3 for 5 and had 1 RBI, making it 5 for 8 from the back-up starters.

Actually, the only other jinx I can see for this team is the bullpen, which has been fairly awful.  Roy Halladay avoided that jinx yesterday by pitching all 9 innings himself.  Moyer only went 6, which is about average from him so sadly, the pen had to be counted on.  Chad Durbin worked his way into a bases loaded jam with 1 out in the 7th and then ran a 3-0 count to the next batter.  Fans everywhere had to be saying, “Oh crap…here we go again…”

Durbin got a sac fly out of that one and thanks to the Braves generosity in swinging at balls, he escaped the inning having allowed just the one run.  But there was no one exhaling just yet.  The Phillies had an 8-3 lead, but still 2 more innings of scary bullpen work to get through.

This bullpen could totally blow a 5-run lead….I have seen it happen.  But tonight, Danys Baez rebounded from his last disastrous outing and got through the 8th inning with no damage.  In the 9th, rookie David Herndon pitched and things got hairy with a few base runners.  But Herdon worked through it and the Phillies won, 8-3.

JC & Happ.jpg
There was a bit of bad news today before the game began; pitcher JA Happ has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 16th.  The left forearm strain that was revealed after an MRI is apparently a bigger issue than the Phillies first anticipated.  Nelson Figueroa will take Happ’s place in the starting rotation for now and his spot in the bullpen will be taken over by JC Romero, who was removed from the DL today.  Welcome back, JC!  We missed you!

So it is a bit of good news with a bit of bad news.  As for 3rd baseman, Placido Polanco, he was left out of the line-up tonight after being hit by a pitch in the elbow yesterday.  Polanco told the media today that he should be ready to play again tomorrow night.  Assuming this is the case, that is very good news.  Losing another starter right now could be a small disaster.

And yes, it is already that time again…All Star Voting.  Why they start this so early in the season always puzzles me, but nonetheless, VOTING began yesterday.  Let’s get a head start; VOTE for your Phillies today!

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And Happy Earth Day everyone!  Remember to recycle and conserve energy…for Phillies fans, that might mean drinking a beer from a recycled can and lazing on the couch to conserve energy.  But hey, every little bit helps. :O)

 

Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

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

 

Phils Bullpen Blows Their First Game Of The Year


NLC ring.jpgThe afternoon started out sunny, with the Phillies receiving their National League Championship rings before the game against the Nationals.  While it was a tad anticlimactic when compared to last year’s World Series ring unveiling, it was still a nice celebration of a very good 2009 season.  The ring is made of 14 carat white gold with rubies and diamonds, showing the NL trophy on one side and 2008, 2009 pennant flags on the other side.  A baseball diamond on front has the Phillies script logo across it.  Charlie Manuel’s ring is seen here to the right.

Today’s game was started by JA Happ who still seems to be struggling with his pitch location, although he only allowed 1 unearned run over 5 1/3 innings.  But his pitch count was mounting as he had issues throwing strikes and fell behind a lot of batters.  He should be going deeper into games; expect this to improve over his next few starts.  In all, he got the job done by keeping runs off the board.

The Nationals pitching staff kept the red hot Phillies offense at bay for most of the game. 
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They did manage to score 3 runs in the 6th inning thanks to a Juan Castro 2-out, 2-run single.  Castro had 3 hits on the day and is doing an admirable job filling in for the injured Jimmy Rollins.  Greg Dobbs drew a bases loaded walk later that same inning.  And earlier, Chase Utley hit a solo home run in the first inning; it was his 3rd homer in 2 games. 

So with a decent 4-1 lead going into the 7th inning, the Phillies would have to rely on the bullpen.  This was their first real test of the year with a small lead and sadly, they failed.  Antonio Bastardo gave up 1 run in the 7th, but the real damage came in the 8th with Danys Baez on the mound. 

Baez gave up a solo homer to Adam Dunn on one pitch to start the inning, which was not a good omen.  He got one out, but then walked a batter and allowed a 2-run homer from pinch hitter Ryan Zimmerman.  Those 3 runs put the Phils in a 4-5 hole.  Ryan Madson tried to hold the Nats to just the one run lead in the 9th, but he too faltered, giving up 2 more runs.

Shane Victorino led off the bottom of the 9th with a solo homer, giving the Phils hope.  Placido Polanco then got his 2nd hit of the game to give them a base runner.  But Chase Utley struck out and then Ryan Howard flied out.  Jayson Werth was their last chance and he flew out to center, sending the crowd home very unhappy with a 5-7 loss.

All of the recent wins and big numbers being put up by this Phillies offense have spoiled us a bit so this loss is tough to swallow.  I am feeling a bit annoyed about it, frankly; this is the second time the Phillies have lost a game to the Nationals that they should have won.  And this is also very bad news for the bullpen; if they cannot hold a lead against the lowly Nats, how will they perform against a real team?  Ugh.

But tomorrow is a new day… (she said with a tinge of sarcasm ;o)… and Roy Halladay will make his Philly debut against the Florida Marlins.  Game time is 7:05pm.

 

Castro photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Phillies Win Home Opener

The day began with promise as the Phillies players warmed up and took batting practice on a mild, sunny day.  There were smiles all around; fans and players were happy to be back in Philly for a new season.  Roy Halladay had extra reason to smile today; he was named the NL Player of the Week for his 2 wins and sparkly clean 0.56 ERA.


041210a.jpgThe Opening Ceremonies went off without a hitch; fans lined the red carpet in centerfield to greet the players; the 2009 NL Championship flag was hoisted and the Navy Seals jumped out of an airplane to deliver the game ball:


041210b.jpgAnd then, the drama began.  The Phillies took the field, but for some reason, Jimmy Rollins looked a bit like Juan Castro at short stop.  Oh wait, it is Juan Castro…what?? 
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Like the game, “Where’s Waldo?”, fans everywhere chatted about “Where’s J-Roll?”  He was announced as a starter; what is going on here?  Turns out, Jimmy strained his calf muscle during the pre-game warm-ups, right after the Opening Ceremonies.

Rollins will have an MRI tomorrow and his Red Bull / Guinness World Record for the longest batted ball  event has been postponed.  Jayson Werth was also injured today, although his issue appears to be less serious.   He left before the 6th inning with soreness in his left hip…no MRI is schedule for Werth.

As for the game, things looked a bit dicey as Cole Hamels allowed 4 runs in the first four innings.  He settled in and would have gotten through 6 total if not for an error by Castro to extend the 6th inning.  But Castro did pull through at the plate with a double in the 5th that led to a huge 5 run inning, so we forgive him. 

Placido Polanco made a big splash that same inning, singling in 2 runs.  Chase Utley put the exclamation mark on the inning by then smashing a 2-run homer to right that bounced off the foul pole net.  Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth also collected RBI’s on the day to rally their team to a 7-4 win over the Nationals.  Here is some of the game action:


041210c.jpgThe bullpen did a great job as well; 4 pitchers combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings.  Danys Baez looked shaky at first, throwing 7 straight balls before he got an out.  But he got out of the jam and then Ryan Madson closed the game, looking very sharp.  And it is a good thing too as Brad Lidge’s recovery is not looking promising right now.

And here is just one more fun moment from the day; near the very end of the National Anthem, Chase Utley was so anxious to get the game started, he bolted for the dugout before it was over, realizing after a few seconds that no one else was following him.  Funny stuff:


P4128646.jpgYou have to love the man’s enthusiasm.  Here is the full Photo Album of the game and ceremonies.  Off day tomorrow…back at the Nats on Wednesday :O)

 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Boxing Match or Baseball Game?

The Astros were looking for their first win of the year today against the Phillies.  In the 3rd inning, it looked as though they may just get that win.  Jamie Moyer made it to 2 outs in the 3rd before all hell broke loose.  He took a 4-0 lead and turned it into a 4-5 deficit in the blink of an eye.


Thumbnail image for Moyer boxing.jpgFor a few minutes, many wondered if they were watching a baseball game or a boxing match, as Moyer took blow upon blow from the Astros bats.  With 2 outs in the inning, the right and left hooks began, starting first with the Astros pitcher who whacked a double to get the rally started.  Here is the remainder of the beating, which even included a single from former teammate, Pedro Feliz: 2-run homer, a walk on 4 pitches, 2-run homer (yes, again), 4 singles in a row to score the 5th run of the inning.  It was a total knockout.

Or, maybe not…the Phillies rallied back in the 7th inning and took the lead again on a Ryan Howard 2-run homer.  Howard also tripled and walked with the bases loaded for an RBI earlier in the game.  Shane Victorino, who has been very unlucky of late, finally got in on the action with an RBI single in the 7th.  In the 9th, Victorino hit a 2-run homer to give the Phillies a 9-5 lead.  And then he breathed a sigh of relief…whew!

As for the bullpen, Chad Durbin mowed down the Astros in the 7th inning.  Danys Baez followed suit in the 8th and then Ryan Madson came in for the 9th with 4 runs to play with.  He gave back one run but still escaped with a 9-6 win. 

So the question now remains, how effective will Moyer be in future starts?  The one big inning nearly killed him, but the Phils bats bailed him out.  But no team can be expected to score 9 runs every game.  Well, it was only his first start, so we will have to wait and see how his next start goes.

Also of note, the Phillies kept their streak of at least 10 hits in a game going tonight.  Yes, all 5 games played so far have featured at least 10 hits and a minimum of 5 runs scored.  They are averaging over 8 runs a game…scary.  Can they keep up this pace?  We hope so :O)

The Phillies will finish the series with the Astros Sunday at 2:05pm.  It will be a battle of the Roy’s; Halladay vs. Oswalt.  The Astros are still looking for their first win, so do not expect them to just lie down and give up.  It should be a good game….Go Phillies!

 

Head shots by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Hamels Gets His First Win In DC

In his much anticipated start to 2010, Cole Hamels had a fairly good day in an 8-4 win over the Nationals.  He only managed to get through 5 innings with 2 earned runs and one unearned, but for his first start of the year, it was not bad.  When he led off the game by walking the first batter on 4 pitches, fans cringed for a moment.  But Hamels bounced back and did not have trouble again until the 3rd inning; he walked 2 more batters with 2 outs then allowed an RBI single.  2 runs scored that inning and his pitch count began to rise.P6216377 Hamels.jpg

It did appear that the home plate umpire was squeezing the pitchers on both sides, which did not help matters.  So with 103 pitches thrown by the end of the 5th, Hamels was done for the day.  His arm speed looked good today, but his control still needs some work.  Overall, it was a good first effort and hopefully the next start for Hamels will be even more productive.

Ryan Howard extended the 4th inning for Hamels a bit with an error on a ball to first that probably should have ended the inning.  But Howard made up for the blunder by smashing a 2-run homer in the 5th.  That is 2 games and 2 home runs for Howard; and for good measure, he hit an RBI double as well.  Chase Utley had 2 hits, a walk and an RBI, in typical Utley style.  Even Hamels joined the RBI party with a single to score Shane Victorino in the 4th.

 After Hamels left the game, Chad Durbin did an outstanding job and went 2 scoreless innings.  Danys Baez did not fare as well in the 8th, allowing 2 hits and a run in 1/3 of an inning.  Antonio Bastardo came in to get the 2nd out and Ryan Madson struck out Ian Desmond for the 3rd out.  Madson got the ball for the 9th as well and closed out the game for his first save of the year.

In these 1st two games of 2010, the Nationals pitchers have walked 17 Phillies batters.  As our fearless TV announcer Gary “Sarge” Matthews said, “You don’t want to walk batters.”  That is our Sarge; King of the Obvious.  If the Nats can keep up this streak tomorrow, the Phils may just sweep this first 3-game series.

Roster Moves and Injury Updates

The Phillies also made a pitching move today, picking up Nelson Figueroa off waivers after the Mets let him go.  He went 3-8 with a 4.09 ERA in 16 games last year for the Mets.  Figueroa pitched for the Phils in 2001 and according to GM Ruben Amaro Jr., he will join the club tomorrow and a roster move will be made to make room.  Look for Andrew Carpenter to be sent to AAA; Figueroa will take the long-man role in the pen.

In injury news, JC Romero is going to make a rehab appearance Thursday in Clearwater.  Brad Lidge is not as far along, but he will toss a bullpen session tomorrow.  Joe Blanton threw 60 pitches today from flat ground, which went well, but his recovery time is still projected to be about 3-6 weeks.

So tomorrow the Phillies will finish up in DC at 4:35pm with Kyle Kendrick starting in place of the injured Blanton.  Then they are off to Houston for 3 games.  There is no official word yet on who will start the Phillies Home Opener on the 12th, but if they follow the regular rotation, it looks like it will be Hamels.

 

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

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