Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

Umpires Become the Story Once Again in Phillies Loss

It is a real shame when the focus of any baseball game becomes the umpires instead of the actual plays.  But this seems to be an ever increasing trend as MLB continues to sweep bad umpiring under the rug.

After a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers last night, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon got all bent out of shape about the performance of home plate umpire D.J. ReyburnPapelbon told reporters, “I thought he sucked. It’s that simple.”

Reyburn is a Triple-A umpire who was filling in.  When given this information, Papelbon said, “Doesn’t surprise me. He probably needs to go back to Triple-A.”  Papelbon also noted that Reyburn was bad throughout the game, for both teams, including Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw.

It is easy to understand Papelbon’s frustration.  Phillies starter Vance Worley had a hard time with the ball-strike calls in his first inning coming off the DL.  That certainly did not help his recovery.  Kershaw was equally frustrated and the both the Dodgers’ bench coach and manager were ejected by Reyburn as a result.

Then in the 9th inning, Papelbon had Dee Gordon struck out, but Reyburn missed the call.  Gordon went on to hit a triple and score the winning run for the Dodgers.

While the ultimate outcome of the game cannot be blamed on Reyburn, he did certainly affect it.  Still, the Phillies had their chances and blew it.  But Papelbon makes a good point.  And he did so knowing fully that there would be repercussions to his statements, likely to include a hefty fine.  But it was really nice to see a guy willing to take a stand; I now have a new respect for Papelbon.

But the Phillies are really not doing a lot to help themselves here.  They had only 8 hits in the game and left 6 runners on base in situations where the opportunity to score was high.  The Phils wasted a Jimmy Rollins triple in the 5th by having him run on contact from third during Placido Polanco’s at-bat.  Rollins was a dead duck at home plate when Polanco hit a hard grounder to short.

Then in the 7th, the Phillies hit 3 singles to load the bases, but Freddy Galvis was held at third by coach Juan Samuel on a ball bobbled by the Dodgers.  He should have scored there.  Hunter Pence came up and grounded out to end the inning.  Pence has been awful with runners in scoring position, having successful in only 2 of his last 33 chances.

This loss puts the Phillies back at .500 baseball and 4 games out of first, dead last in the division.  The Dodgers are a great team; if the Phillies do not pick it up in the next 3 games, they are going to find themselves in buried even further in the standings.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

No ROY, No Cy, No Surprise

As I had predicted, none of the Phillies got any of the top awards this off-season, but many came close.  The Cy Young voting was at least interesting; 3 Phillies made the top 5 in voting with Roy Halladay coming in 2nd, Cliff Lee 3rd and Cole Hamels 5th.  Not surprisingly, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw took home the award.

Kershaw was very deserving, although Halladay was a close runner-up.  But having 3 Phillies in the top 5 is also quite an impressive feat.

Another Phillies pitcher came close to taking home some hardware as well.  Vance Worley landed in 3rd place for Rookie of the Year behind two Braves, closer Craig Kimbrel and first baseman Freddie Freeman.  I thought Freeman would be the winner, but 2nd place is not too shabby.

And of course, neither is 3rd place.  Worley should be proud that on a staff with 4 ace starters, he not only held his own, he also got plenty of attention for a spectacular rookie season.

Manue and umplAlso as I predicted, Charlie Manuel was overlooked for Manager of the Year…again.  Yes, despite a Major League leading 102 wins, 5 straight division titles and a World Series, Manuel came in 4th place.  The D-Backs skipper, Kirk Gibson, took first place.

Even crazier, Joe Maddon of the Rays won for the American league, making it TWO Manager of the Year awards in 4 years.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Maddon.  He is actually from the Philly area.  And certainly, he deserves the honor.  But it does seem like a real shame that Manuel cannot get any respect in the National League like Maddon does in the AL.  Manuel beat Maddon in the 2008 World Series and has accomplished more overall.

But as is usually the case, Manuel just keeps getting shunned.

In other news, Brian Schneider will be the back-up back-stop once again in 2012.  The one-year deal is worth $800,000.  There is still no word on a deal for Jimmy Rollins.  Stay tuned…

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Phillies Overcome 6-Run Deficit To Sweep Dodgers

Before today’s game against the Dodgers, the Phillies rookie pitcher Vance Worley was hearing his name tossed around in the same sentence as “Rookie of the Year.”  But after allowing five runs in the first inning, Worley looked more like a regular rookie than an award-winning one.  The Vanimal lost a bit of his bite today.

Still, Worley picked himself up after the disastrous 1st inning and went back to pitching like usual.  He surrendered one more run in the 3rd, but for the most part, he settled down.  Being able to bounce back in the face of adversity  is a very good sign from a very young pitcher.

In the 3rd inning, Worley helped his own cause with an RBI-single.  The Phillies cut the 6-0 lead in half that inning, scoring three runs with the Worley hit and a Hunter Pence 2-run homer.

After four innings, the bullpen took over and so did the Phillies offense.  The Phils kept tacking on runs and the Dodgers scored one more off Kyle Kendrick.

But in the 6th, Chase Utley came through big to tie the game with a 2-RBI single.  The next batter, Ryan Howard, put an exclamation point on the inning with a 2-run homer to give the Phillies a 9-7 lead.

The Phillies took the lead into the 9th inning where, for the second night in a row, Ryan Madson tried to give us all heart failure.  After the first batter got on base, a run scored on a force out.  With two outs and one on, Madson, for the second night in a row again, struck out ex-Phillie Rod Barajas to end the game.

This 3-game sweep of the Dodgers gives the Phillies a 9-1 record on the 10-game road trip.  It is the first ever 9-1 road trip for the franchise.

This has been an amazing run for the Phillies and especially for Hunter Pence.  In 12 days and 12 games with his new team, Pence has lost only one game and that was also the only game he did not have a hit in.

The energy Pence has brought with him is a huge boost for an already outstanding Phillies team.  And while it is unrealistic, this run gives the Phillies a feel of being almost unstoppable.

So enjoy the off-day tomorrow!  The Nats come to town on Friday; game time is 7:05pm and Cole Hamels will pitch.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Lee Does It All in Win Over Dodgers

The new Phillies definition for “multi-tasking” is “Cliff Lee.”  The man does it all.  He pitches, he hits, he fields the ball, he bunts and he covers first base like a blanket.  Cliff Lee is amazing.

 

Through eight innings, Lee shut-out the Dodgers, allowing only four hits and two walks while striking out 10 batters.  As if that were not enough, Lee was spectacular in every other baseball aspect as well.

Several times, Lee had to cover first base as Ryan Howard fielded bunts or short-hop hits, racing to the bag to beat out even the Dodgers fastest runner, Dee Gordon.  On one play, Lee caught Howard’s ball toss with his bare hand while twisting sideways and still running for the base.

Then in the seventh inning with a tight score of 1-0, Lee decided a little more offense was in order.  So he went ahead and did what no other Phillies hitter seemed to be able to do against Dodger’s pitcher Ted Lilly; he hit a home run.  That bomb was his second of the year and second of his career.

Lee handed the game over to Ryan Madson in the 9th with that 2-0 lead he helped build.  Madson tried to give us all a small heart attack when he allowed a run on two hits.  But Madson worked out of the jam, striking out Andre Ethier to end the game with a 2-1 victory.

The Phillies have won two straight over the Dodgers and will play the final game Wednesday afternoon at 3:10pm.  Vance Worley will pitch and help the Phillies attempt to get a sweep in L.A.

 

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Head shot and photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Victorino Was Key in Phillies Win Over Dodgers

After being suspended for three games, Shane Victorino was still able to play tonight against the Dodgers as he appealed the ruling.  And that turned out to be a very good thing for the Phillies.

Going 3-for-5 in the game, Victorino scored three times and hit a key home run in the 8th inning to give the Phillies a 2-run lead late in the game.

The energy Victorino brought to the game was crucial on a night where both starter Roy Halladay and the Phillies bullpen encountered some issues.  While Halladay allowed only one run, he struggled to get through 6 1/3 innings and had a lot of baserunners.

The bullpen took over with a 4-1 lead that quickly dwindled down to just a 4-3 lead by the end of the eighth inning.  Michael Stutes allowed two runs and also committed a throwing error before Brad Lidge was brought in to take over.  Lidge was shaky as well, walking one batter and giving up a hit.  But he redeemed himself by fielding a tough bunt and making a glove toss to first to end the inning.

In that same inning, the Dodgers were called for interference as Juan Rivera ran Chase Utley over who was trying to field a ground ball.  They may have had a double play, but it did not matter once Lidge made the final out.

After the Victorino homer, the Phillies were leading by a score of 5-3 in the ninth.  Ryan Madson was brought in for the save, but Madson had not pitched since 8/1 as he left the team to see the birth of his fourth child.  Madson was a bit rusty, but he nailed the save.

Game two with the Dodgers is another late one; 10:10pm Tuesday night with Cliff Lee on the mound.

FYI – Placido Polanco had an MRI today and was diagnosed with a mild sports hernia.  He will receive and injection, but may still require surgery.  I will have more on that as the news comes.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Oswalt a Little Rusty in Return from DL

Pitcher Roy Oswalt made his first start back from the DL today in the series finale against the Giants.  Looking a little rusty, Oswalt allowed three runs, although it could have been worse.  Over six innings, Oswalt gave up 12 hits, but still stranded 10 runners.

For the Giants, Tim Lincecum was his usual, amazing self, limiting the Phillies to just one run on seven hits.  However, someone should inform the baby-faced Lincecum that he does not need to attempt to grow the world’s smallest goatee in order to be intimidating.  Although, it is awfully cute.

Watching the Phillies score only one run was not so cute.  Chase Utley had the lone RBI.  And for the first time as a Phillie, Hunter Pence did not have a hit in the game.  So both Pence’s hit streak and win streak ended on the same day.

The Phillies win streak as a team ended at nine; with Pence, they won eight straight.  And as it turns out, Pence does not hit, the Phillies do not win.  Pence must feel like he has entered the Twilight Zone, finally losing  a game with his new team.

There were a few interesting moments in the game, aside from the lack of offense.  Carlos Ruiz made two great plays, giving up his body to get outs.  In the 4th, Ruiz dove to tag out Aubrey Huff by smashing him right in the face with the baseball (see photo).  And then in the 5th, Ruiz ran down Jeff Keppinger who wandered too far of third and jumped on top of him right before he reached third to get the out.

Later in the 8th, Utley was clearly distracted by Lincecum’s adorable baby facial hair as he fouled off a ball and his bat went flying to the mound, hitting Lincecum in the knee.  Utley went to check on little Timmy to make sure he was ok and Timmy handed him the bat back, indicating he was fine.  It was a nice display of sportsmanship by both players.

The 3-1 loss leaves the Phillies still with a wide margin in the NL East, leading the Braves by 8.5 games.  Plus, taking 3 of 4 games from the Giants is very big for their momentum and confidence as the leaders in the league.

Monday night, the Phillies begin a 3-game series with the DodgersRoy Halladay will pitch and game time is 10:10pm.

 

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Photos from Getty Images

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Ibanez Powers Phillies to 3-Game Sweep of Pirates

The Phillies completed a sweep of the Pirates this afternoon in 10 innings by a score of 6-5.  The newest member of the Phillies, Hunter Pence, had a hand in the 10th inning rally after a rough start where he misread a ball in the outfield.  Here is a quick look at the day for Pence:

The ball he missed came in the first inning, but pitcher Vance Worley bounced back quickly.  It was not until the fifth and sixth innings where Worley ran into trouble.

 

While it was not his best outing, Worley still went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.  He made one bad pitch in the sixth to Lyle Overbay who slammed a 2-run homer.

But the Phillies kept plugging away at the Pirates with a few timely hits and nice defense:

 

Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-4 with two RBI to continue his recent hot streak.  But Raul Ibanez was the one player who came up big all game long.  After a solo homer in the first inning, Ibanez hit a massive  2-run homer in the eighth when the Phillies were still trailing.  That hit tied the game and kept hope alive for the Phillies.

 

As a quick side note, it appears that I may be Raul’s good luck charm.  If you look at the chart below of this entire home stand, you will see that Ibanez hit .500 with three homers and nine RBI in games that I attended.  When I was not there, he hit only .174, no homers, 2 RBI:
 

Ok, so maybe it is just a weird coincidence.  On the other hand, Raul may want to hurry up and buy me a plane ticket to Denver ;o)

Back to the game:  After Ibanez tied things up, the Phillies had to rely on the bullpen to keep it that way.  Brad Lidge had already allowed the fifth run in the seventh, but then four other guys combined to hold down the Pirates.  The photo below shows Juan Perez, David Herndon and Lidge:

 

Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo also pitched one scoreless inning each.  Then in the 10th inning, Pence doubled to put the Phillies in position for the win.  All they needed was one more big hit from Ibanez who delivered with the game winning double to score Pence.

The walk-off win capped a three hit, four RBI game for Ibanez who ended the month of July on a hot streak, batting .284 with 25 RBI.

A very tough road trip is up next for the Phillies, starting in Denver against the Rockies.  They will also face the Giants in a 4-game series and the Dodgers for three games.

It all begins Monday night at 8:40pm; Cole Hamels will pitch.

And here is the full Photo Album from Sunday’s game.  Enjoy!

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Cole Hamels In Top Form Against Dodgers

In eight shut-out innings against the Dodgers, pitcher Cole Hamels was absolutely dominant.  In 95 degree temperatures, it seemed like Hamels did not even break a sweat.

After the game, Charlie Manuel said about Hamels’ development, “He’s bigger than he used to be.  Ya know, if you see him with his shirt and stuff off he’s, ya know, he’s developing into a man.”

Besides Hamels’ manly physique, his pitching has grown as well.  Hamels allowed only six hits while striking out nine batters in the 2-0 win Wednesday night.

He got a little help from the offense, but only a little.  Luckily, it was all he needed.  Ryan Howard blasted a solo home run in the sixth inning, the first home run for the Phillies in 65 innings of play.  Howard’s last blast was on May 30.

They almost had a run before that in the fifth when Michael Martinez hit the first triple of his career.  Hamels then drew a walk.  With two outs, the Phillies needed a wild pitch or a hit from Shane Victorino.  They got the wild pitch, which sailed all the way to the back stop, but Martinez froze and did not go.  The goof did not come back to haunt them though, thanks to the pitching.

Another run scored in the seventh on a Domonic Brown fielder’s choice after Victorino had tripled.  Ryan Madson stepped in for the ninth and closed the game for his 14th save of the year.  Madson is still perfect in saves so far this season.

The Cubs come into town next.  Kyle Kendrick will start tonight and game time is 7:05pm.

And the Winner Is…

The winner of the contest for a ticket to the Phillies Phestival on Monday is Jeff from Clifton Heights, PA.  Congrats and see you there!

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Sloppy Loss As Phillies Continue to Struggle to Score

Whatever is being put into the Phillies Gatorade needs to stop, because this looks like a team with a serious hangover.  In a sad 6-2 loss to the Dodgers Tuesday night, the Phils offense, once again, could not come through in the clutch.

The Dodgers put a rookie pitcher on the mound, Rubby De La Rosa, who was wild and wound up walking five batters in the first two innings.  The Phillies had the bases loaded in the 2nd inning with NO outs and got only ONE run out of it on another walk.  That just cannot happen if this team expects to keep winning.

De La Rosa handed this game to the Phillies on a silver platter, but instead of taking advantage, they passed.  It was as if they were being offered the black jelly beans instead of the red ones and they just did not want it.

The only other score for the Phillies was on an RBI-triple from Chase Utley in the seventh.  But Utley had a bad game overall, as did most of this team.  He threw away an easy double play ball in the third inning.

That same inning, pitcher Roy Oswalt also committed a throwing error, which allowed another Dodger run to score.  Oswalt looked just as hung over and sleepy as the offense did.  He gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings.  He started the third inning by walking the pitcher, which came back to haunt him as three runs scored.

Michael Stutes gave up a two-run homer in the eighth inning, which was basically the nail in the coffin for the Phillies who lost 6-2.

This game was sloppy and an ugly loss.  Here is hoping that Cole Hamels can put things back in order on Wednesday night for the final game of the series.  First pitch is at 7:05pm.

In the meantime, do not forget to enter to win an admission ticket to the Phillies Phestival right here!  Entries will be accepted until TODAY (Weds) at 6pm.  Enter today…good luck!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

Cliff Lee Back on Track In Win Over Dodgers

The Dodgers are in town!  In the first game of an 11-game home stand tonight, the Phillies came away with a victory.

Cliff Lee was coming off a bad start where he allowed 6 runs in 5.1 innings.  Lee has had a rough start to the year, wavering on and off his usual solid game.  But against the Dodgers, he found his stride once again.

Through seven innings, Lee did not allow a run and struck out 10 batters.  So frustrated were some of the Dodgers that Casey Blake wound up getting tossed from the game after apparently arguing balls and strikes.

And while the Phillies offense is still not setting the world on fire, they did manage a few runs.  In the third inning, Wilson Valdez led off with a double and Lee bunted him to third.  Singles from Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard plated two runs.

In the eighth, Carlos Ruiz doubled home Chase Utley for a 3-0 lead.  It was Ruiz’s second hit of the night.  Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson held down the lead in the eighth and ninth, giving Lee his fifth win of the year.

Although, Madson’s outing was an adventure.  Former Phillies closer Tom Gordon looked as his son, Dee Gordon, scored the first run of his major league career off Madson.  But Madson got the job done and the Phils won by a score of 3-1.

As for the walking wounded, Jimmy Rollins had an MRI on the knee he fouled a ball off of on Saturday and it was negative.  So J-Roll may be back in action very soon.

On the other hand, Brad Lidge is having more issues.  After reporting shoulder soreness a few days ago, Lidge now also has soreness in his pitching elbow.  When his arm finally falls off, I will let you all know.  In the meantime, the bullpen is moving on without Lidge.

The next game against the Dodgers is tomorrow night at 7:05pm.  Roy Oswalt will pitch.

In the meantime, do not forget to enter to win an admission ticket to the Phillies Phestival right here!  Entries will be accepted until Wednesday at 6pm.  Enter today…good luck!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

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