Results tagged ‘ DL ’

Oswalt Handles The Dodgers

2 Roy Oswalt (3).jpg

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

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

 

Firing Of Hitting Coach Lights a Fire Under The Offense

The Phillies returned home today after a very bad road trip hoping to turn things around against the Rockies.  For starters, they fired their hitting coach, Milt Thompson and replaced him with Greg Gross.  Thompson is the fall guy for this severely underachieving offense.  But would this slap to the face be the wake-up call the Phillies are certainly in need of?

At first, it looked like the same old routine of hitting into double plays and leaving the bases loaded.  But in the 5th inning, the offense woke up and figured out how to score some runs.  Three straight hits, including an RBI double from Raul Ibanez, got things started. 
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Ryan Howard even stole a base, as his teammates giggled in the dugout after seeing the big man scamper to second.  Jayson Werth hit a sac fly and then Ross Gload, getting a rare start in the outfield, smacked a 2-run homer for his second hit of the night.

The only starter who did not contribute tonight was Wilson Valdez who went 0 for 4.  Everyone else, even the pitcher, got a hit.  Ibanez finally looks like RAUUUUUULLL again!  He had 3 hits and 3 RBI tonight.  Ibanez likes hitting 3rd, as I mentioned yesterday.  Jimmy Rollins, back in the lead-off spot as I also suggested yesterday, seems to have found his groove as well.  J-Roll collected 2 hits and a walk.

On the mound, Roy Halladay returned to his usual dominating form after allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in his last outing.  Tonight, he pitched extremely well, allowing only 5 hits and no runs over 8 innings.  Oddly enough, the hitting was a bigger story today than 8 shut-out innings from Halladay.  Because we expect Halladay to be good; but the offense has been so bad, seeing the Phillies score 6 runs was more exciting. 

JC Romero pitched an easy 9th inning and looked very sharp.   He hit the leadoff batter, but was lights-out after that.  The Phillies won by a score of 6-0 and Halladay finally experienced some run support.  Hopefully, this win will be a much needed boost for the team.

The starting pitching for the rest of the weekend has finally been announced.  Kyle Kendrick will be brought up to pitch Saturday as Jamie Moyer is placed on the DL.  And on Sunday, JA Happ will get his first start since 4/15/10 when an injury sent him to the DL.

As for Moyer, the news is not good.  An MRI showed that he has both a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor pronator muscle; those injuries are to the left forearm and elbow.  The two injuries may require surgery and this may also signal the end of Moyer’s career.  He is going for another exam early next week and should know for sure after that.  Either way, the injuries are more serious than what Happ had this year and Happ missed more than 3 months.

Moyer is in the last year of his contract with the Phillies and it is unlikely that a team would sign a 48-year old pitcher fresh off multiple injuries and possibly surgery.  So Moyer may have pitched his last inning.  Then again, if anyone can bounce back after such damage, it would be Moyer.  I wish him luck :O)

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

A Turning Point

Not many would have guessed at the beginning of the season that a 4-game series against the worst team in the National League and 2nd worst in all of baseball would be such a huge turning point for the Phillies.  But this series with the Pirates has become just that.  With 7 players and major contributors on the DL, a banged-up back-up catcher and 2 losses to the Bucos already behind them, the Phillies next two games could make or break their season.

The Phillies are five games behind the Braves after last night’s 0-2 shut-out loss to the Pirates.  They do have a series with the Braves next, but if they lose 3 or even 4 games in this Pirates series, they will not have much left to bring to the Braves series.  Getting whipped by a last place team will mean that they have allowed the injuries to win.

Plus, last night this team looked like it was sleep-walking.  Like the energy and confidence has been sucked right out of them.  The only player who still looked determined was Jamie Moyer, who pitched six solid innings and allowed only one earned run.  Moyer has been rock solid in his last several starts.  The rest of the team looks like runny oatmeal.


P6274820 Valdez.jpgOddly enough, the only position player showing some life is back-up Wilson Valdez.  Even Jimmy Rollins said after the game about Valdez, “My man right here, he’s got some swag.”  Last night was the 3rd multi-hit game for Valdez in his last 4 games.  He has also hit 2 home runs in those games.  While it is great to see a bench guy step-up like this, where is the rest of the team?

Charlie Manuel said yesterday that he moved Raul Ibanez to the 2-spot in the lineup because “he is a high on-base percentage guy.”  Really?  Because every starter on the team has a higher OBP than Ibanez who is in 11th place at .322.  Not to mention, Ibanez had only 5 hits in 96 at-bats in the month of June.  What part of this screams 2-hole hitter?

It is moves like this that make people wonder.  It appears that Manuel is grasping at straws trying to get his team back into action.  What the Phillies really need is a bucket of ice down the pants to wake them up.

The team did get a small bit of good news.  Back-up catcher Brian Schneider has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb; yes, the exact same injury Chase Utley was said to have.  Except, Utley wound up with a torn ligament where Schneider says he just needs a few days to rest and can play in an emergency.  Schneider is one of the tough guys; you have to love that.

So it boils down to these next few games.  Will the Phillies fold under the pressure or come out swinging?  They have overcome a lot in years past so there is no reason to think they cannot do it.  But this time, if they cannot get back on track fast, it may be too big a hill to climb later.  Game time tonight is 7:05pm.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Voodoo And A Series Win

Scoring runs against the veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte of the Yankees is no small feat.    The Phillies did a descent job hitting him tonight, although they let several opportunities pass by.  A Ryan Howard single scored Shane Victorino in the 4th inning.  Then in the 5th, Victorino hit a 2-run homer.

Things looked promising in the 7th inning as well while the Phils loaded the bases with only one out.  But scoring runs has been the Achilles heel of this team for an entire month now.  Placido Polanco grounded into a fielder’s choice which erased Carlos Ruiz on his way home.  Then Howard struck out on another low and outside pitch, something he seem to make a habit of.  All the offense could do was pray that this inning would not come back to haunt them.

Kyle Kendrick stepped up to the challenge of pitching against the veteran Pettitte and kept the team in the game.  Through 7 innings, Kendrick allowed one run on 4 hits and 2 walks.  Despite getting himself into a multitude of bad situations, Kendrick kept his composure and did not fold under the pressure.  That, more than his pitching, was the most impressive part of his game.

Utley voodoo.jpgNot as impressive is the still struggling Chase Utley, who went hitless.  Yesterday, Utley resorted to voodoo magic to try to jump-start his swing.  He laid out a pattern on the clubhouse floor using bats, Red Bull and a variety of fruits.  Then today, batting coach Milt Thompson reportedly built a shrine to Jobu, the voodoo doll used in the movie Major League.  Can you say, “desperation”?  Oh my.

I have also been known to practice baseball voodoo from time to time.  However, I am not a major leaguer so if my readers think my noodle has slipped, no one really cares, least of all me.  Normally, I reserve the voodoo J-Roll Smurf magic for the National League East.  But with the Phillies recent struggles against everyone, and in light of Utley’s acceptance of such practices, I made an exception before today’s game.  I think it may have helped:

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The voodoo did seem to work.  The Phillies scored again in the 9th inning after a Ruiz double and a Wilson Valdez single.  Then they loaded the bases and scored two more runs on sac flies by Polanco and Howard.  Then Raul Ibanez smelled the burning Jobu / Smurf incense, woke up and hit an RBI single with two outs.  Ibanez did run into some bad luck after that, getting nicked in the foot with a hit ball.  Apparently, the umpires did not see it, as nothing was called until the Yanks complained.  So they called him out anyway to end the inning.

The defense got a spark earlier as well.  Polanco helped Kendrick get out of a rough inning by diving on top of the rolled up tarp and catching a foul ball that was inches into the stands.  And Jose Contreras snagged a bullet off the bat of Curtis Granderson in the 8th inning to save a hit.  The Phils entered the bottom of the 9th inning with a 7-1 lead. 

Contreras stayed in the game for one more batter; then with one out in the 9th, JC Romero was called in to end the game.  Romero ended it quickly and the Phils won both the game and the series, 2 games to 1.

The Phillies will head home now for a weekend series with the Twins.  They are without lefty Antonio Bastardo who is now on the DL with left elbow ulnar neuritis.  Scott Mathieson was called up to take his spot on the roster.  Mathieson looked like his career might be over after two Tommy John surgeries in 2006 and 2008 but his recovery has been remarkable.  Look forward to seeing him pitch very soon!

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

A-Rod photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Voodoo bats by Getty Images/CSN Philly

*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 Injury Bug Begins To Nibble

The timetable for closer Brad Lidge to return may have just been pushed back.  After multiple off-season surgeries on both his knee and elbow, Lidge is still experiencing pain in the elbow, although no structural damage has been found.  As a result, he was given a cortisone shot.  His doctor reports that the elbow inflammation is unrelated to the surgery.

 

While the team and Lidge are downplaying the seriousness of this issue, a cortisone shot is not a good sign.  The fact that the pain is “unrelated” to the surgery could mean that this is a new issue; either that or they are just not giving us all of the facts.  In addition, the frequency of injuries that Lidge seems to suffer from does not inspire confidence.  Here is a quick review of Lidge’s injury history.

 

- Lidge missed parts of his first four professional seasons with a variety of injuries, including a torn rotator cuff, right shoulder tendinitis and a broken forearm that almost ended his career.

- 2002: strained intercostal muscle near the rib cage

- December 2003: arthroscopic surgery on his left knee

- June – July 2005: shut down with elbow issues

- May 2007: bone bruise on his right femur near his knee

- June – July 2007: left oblique strain

- October 2007: surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee

- February 2008: tore the meniscus in the same knee he just had surgery on during his first pitch off a mound in Spring Training.

- June 2009: sprained right knee and a sore elbow (his flexor pronator tendon).

- January 2010: surgery on both the elbow and the right knee again.

- March 2010: the elbow is still an issue and Lidge gets a cortisone injection.

 

Based on the evidence, are we to conclude that Lidge is made of glass?  Fans grumbled when he came to Philly because of the injury history, but all was quickly forgotten when 2008 turned into the Perfect Season for him.  2009 was a disaster for Lidge and now, 2010 is not looking good either.  Let the grumbling begin…

 

P7306516_Blanton_cr.jpgAnother key Phillies pitcher has recently joined the injury parade; starter Joe Blanton strained his left oblique muscle while throwing in the bullpen on Wednesday.  He has been placed on the 15-day DL, which puts his earliest return around April 20-28.  This type of issue tends to drag on and take a while to heal, which is not good news for the Phillies. 

 

Although, this is good news for Kyle Kendrick who will probably join the rotation now.  And that leaves one bullpen spot open as well.  Pitchers B.J. Rosenberg and Michael Stutes will travel north to Philly tomorrow for the last two exhibition games and it is likely that one of them may make the team now.

 

In other recent pitching disasters, Roy Halladay faced his former team for the first time yesterday.  The Blue Jays, knowing their old teammate well, took advantage and nailed Halladay for 4 runs in the first inning including a 2-run homer.  Halladay recovered and finished off the next two innings without incident.  So maybe not quite a disaster….just another Spring Training game so no one really cares ;o)

 

The Phillies will face the Pirates today and then return to Philly tomorrow for the last few games before Opening Day on Monday in D.C.


  

 

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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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