Results tagged ‘ Eric Bruntlett ’

Roster Ramblings

The post-season roster has not been set for the Phillies; they have until 10am tomorrow to make the final decision.  The central core is not in question, with 6 current and former All-Stars in starting roles.  roster.gifHowever, the pitching rotation, bullpen and bench players are going to be tough decisions.

 

Manager Charlie Manuel seems to favor Eric Bruntlett on the bench because he runs well and can play almost every position in the field.  However, Bruntlett has not hit well and ended the year with 18 hits in 105 at-bats for a .171 average.  Miguel Cairo has performed much better and can play most of the infield spots; he ended the season batting .267 and went 7 for his last 19 including a triple and a home run in the final game.

 

While Cairo should get the nod over Bruntlett, it may not happen that way.  Bruntlett was with the team last year and Manuel tends to favor guys he is most familiar with.  Both could make the team, but only if they sacrifice a bullpen spot.  Ben Francisco, Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs should all be locks for the roster, despite the facts that Dobbs has been playing hurt and Stairs batted only .194 this year with 5 homers in 103 at-bats.

 

The pitching is even more complicated.  Most likely Cliff Lee will start game 1 as Cole Hamels would only have 3 days rest.  However, Lee has been mostly awful in his last 7 starts, allowing 27 runs in 39 2/3 innings.  That is an ERA of about 6.13.  Not good.  The Phillies hope he will turn things around for his first post-season appearance.

 

Hamels was equally inconsistent, ending the season with a record of 10-11 and a 4.32 ERA.  Pedro Martinez has been dealing with a sore neck, so his ability to pitch deep into a game effectively is in serious question.  Joe Blanton and JA Happ have been the only two good, consistent arms in the rotation all year and now Happ may get bumped to the bullpen due to a lack of lefties.  That would be a real shame though, because Happ has the best record of the starting staff with 12 wins, 4 losses and an ERA of 2.93.  Honestly, I think they need to keep Happ as a starter and take their chances with the lefty situation in the pen.  Happ is more valuable for 6-7 innings than he would be for only a few batters.

 

That brings us to the pen, which is basically a mess.  Every regular bullpen pitcher has suffered at least one injury this year, except Ryan Madson.  Right now, JC Romero, Jamie Moyer and Chan Ho Park are still hurt and will not play in the NLDS; Moyer is done for the year.  That leaves Scott Eyre as the only experienced lefty, and he is pitching through a sore elbow.  Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, Brad Lidge and Madson are on the roster for sure.  That leaves Tyler Walker, Kyle Kendrick, Brett Myers and the 2 rookies, Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo to fill the remaining spots.

 

Escalona and Bastardo are both lefties but lack experience and have exhibited a lack of pitching control at times as well.  It would be tough to add one of them to the roster, even though lefties are needed.  Kendrick spent most of the year in the minors, but pitched fairly well for the big club in September until his last outing where he gave up 3 runs.  And Myers has suffered two injuries which kept him out almost the whole year and he still does not look quite right.  That leaves Tyler Walker whose 3.06 ERA is 3rd best in the pen, behind Eyre and Condrey.

 

But with all the injuries, the Phillies options are limited.  My best guess is this: Madson, Lidge, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Walker and Myers with Pedro Martinez added to the list instead of Happ.  That makes 12 pitchers total, including the 4 starters: Happ, Lee, Hamels and Blanton.  Although, if one lefty in the pen looks problematic, they may keep Bastardo instead of Walker.  Of course, I may be totally off.  We shall see.

Lidge: 11 Strikes, And He’s Out…Or Is He?


The Phillies needed a win last night to bury the Florida Marlins and end any chance they may have at the playoffs.  Cole Hamels pitched 7 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits.  Not a great day for Cole, but it kept the team in the game.

The team took a 6-4 lead into the 8th inning last night and after a 45 minute rain delay, Ryan Madson pitched the 8th.  Madson gave up a single, hit the next batter and eventually gave up one run to make it a 6-5 game.  Ok, fine.  They should still win the game, right?  Wrong.

P8306049 Lidge.jpgEnter (again) Brad Lidge: a double, a walk and 2 singles later, not only does Lidge blow the save, but he loses the game for the Phillies…again. 

11 blown saves later, a disgusting 7.48 ERA which leads all closers in baseball and what does manager Charlie Manuel have to say about it?  In a Forrest Gump moment, Manuel tells the media, “I’ve got confidence in him. I keep sending him back out there and hopefully he does the job. That’s about all I can say.”  Really?  Is that ALL you have to say about that???  OMG.

Ok, let me throw a cushion out there for a second – we all love Manuel and we all appreciate Lidge for what he did last year.  And as people, they are both very nice, dedicated and all-around good guys.  That being said, here come the pins in the cushion.  Lidge is DONE as this team’s closer, at least for 2009.  Manuel, as loyal as he is, needs to put the TEAM first and personal feelings aside.  He cannot continue to let Lidge hurt this team!

I sound like a broken record again, I know.  But how many more disasters does the rest of this team have to put up with?  They play their hearts out every game to win only to be let down by BOTH Lidge and Manuel.  Lidge clearly has issues and maybe he can work them out in the off-season and come back next year renewed.  But for 2009, he should be benched and if the team makes the playoffs, he should not even be on the post-season roster.

Note I said “if” the team makes the playoffs.  With a 6.5 game lead, it should be a lock.  However, if Manuel keeps throwing Lidge out there, I’d say the chances are closer to 50/50.  Give the closers role to Madson or Brett Myers, if he gets healthy or even JC Romero if he returns soon.  I would rather see Eric “unassisted triple play” Bruntlett (Phillies utility player) on the mound than Lidge at this point.  It is THAT bad.  So, why does everyone see this except for Manuel?

Charlie: I love ya, but if this team goes down in flames because of your loyalty to Lidge, the Philadelphia fans, media and maybe even the team management will tear you to pieces.  And how are the other players going to feel when their hard work goes down the toilet as a result?  I would not want to be in your shoes when this happens.

And so the Magic Number stays at 5 since the Phillies lost their series to the Fish, 1-2.  Up next, the Phils will play a 4-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers starting tonight at 8:05pm.  I wish them luck and a “Lidge-Free” day.

Photo by Jenn

 

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Under The Big Top

 

After the oddities involved in yesterday’s Phillies-Mets match-up, including a game-ending unassisted triple play, the circus act continued into the beginning of today’s game.  Yesterday, the Phillies hit two 3-run homers in the first inning; today, they only managed one 3-run homer in the first inning, but still an amazing feat.  Ryan Howard provided the power after Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch and Chase Utley walked.  Victorino also stole second and then wound up on third base after a throwing error that same inning, leaving the Mets looking like a pack of clowns.

But the spectacle got even weirder in the bottom half of the 1st; Chase Utley must have taken up juggling in his spare time, because that is exactly what he did with a routine pop-up from the first hitter for the Mets, Angel Pagan.  Utley dropped the ball as Pagan sped around the bases and then proceeded to join the Mets clown troop by throwing the ball away into left field.  The double error allowed Pagan to round the bases and score.  Pagan is the same Met who wound up with an inside-the-park homer in the 1st inning of yesterday’s game after Victorino became confused over the Citi Field ground rules and did not field a ball that got stuck under the outfield wall padding.

Next, Jayson Werth put on his clown suit as he over ran a ball to right field, stumbled around trying to catch it on a hop and looked absolutely ridiculous doing it.  Gary Sheffield wound up with a triple and eventually scored.  And this was only the 1st inning.

Oh yes, the circus has indeed come to town.  But Sheffield, despite his triple, was next in line to receive his badge of silliness as in the 2nd inning, he too dropped a routine pop-up which came off the bat of Phillies catcher, Paul Bako

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I suppose he did not Utley to feel alone in his humiliation.  Hey thanks, Gary!

But after the 2nd inning, things began to calm down and Cliff Lee was amazing, yet again.  Ignoring the shoddy defense at the start of the game, he buckled down and pitch 7 solid innings, allowing 6 hits and NO earned runs.  Both Mets runs were unearned due to the Utley errors.  Lee is now 5-0 as a Phillie and has yet to even walk a batter!  Lee is the anti-clown; just amazing.

Howard hit another homer (say that 5 times fast) in the 3rd inning and the 2-run shot plus the 3-run shot earlier was all the offense Lee needed to notch the win.  But just for fun, Raul Ibanez knocked in one more in the 9th inning on a double to left that scored Utley.

Chan Ho Park and Brad Lidge took the 8th and 9th inning respectively and shut down the Mets.  Lidge looked good which is excellent news, especially considering he went into a non-save situation and still got the job done cleanly.

Player of the Week

Jayson Werth has been on fire!  Whatever has been lit under his backside recently has earned him Player of the Week honors for the National League.  Werth led the majors with 5 home runs and 29 total bases plus he hit .440 for the week.  Today, he did not have a hit in the game, but did walk three times.  Congrats to Jayson!

Unlikely Hero

Eric “I am only hitting .158″ Bruntlett has been asked to send his jersey to the Hall of Fame.  Yesterday, Bruntlett turned an unassisted, game-ending triple play after a horrible start to the inning where he committed 1 official error and bobbled another ball that was eventually scored a hit.  But redemption is sweet as Bruntlett not only saved the game, but he made history in the process.

This will actually be the 2nd item for Bruntlett in the Hall; last year, he donated his “Elmer Fudd” cold-weather, ear-flap cap from the World Series.

Next Up

The Phillies are on their way to Pittsburgh to begin a 3-game series with the Pirates tomorrow.  Joe Blanton will take the mound for the Phillies; game time is 7:05pm.

 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

 

The Twilight Zone: Unassisted Triple Play

If you missed this game, I pity you.  Complete insanity.  But let us begin at the beginning:

Going back to New York for the first time since leaving the Mets, Pedro Martinez had an eventful day on the mound. 

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However, his start on the mound was actually preceded by his first turn at the plate.  The Phillies absolutely destroyed Mets starter Oliver Perez taking him deep twice in the 1st; both Jayson Werth’s and Carlos Ruiz’s homers scored 3 runs each.  Down 6-0 with 2 outs, Perez had to face his old teammate and Martinez stood at the plate while Perez tossed three straight balls to him.  With that 3-0 count, the Mets manager sprung from the dugout and took Perez out of the game mid-batter.  To sum up the inning for Perez: total humiliation.

But the bottom of the 1st inning was no less eventful.  The first batter of the game for the Mets hit what looked like a ground rule double to centerfield.  As the ball jammed itself under the outfield padding, Shane Victorino threw his arms up in the air to tell the umpires that the ball was unplayable.  Raul Ibanez saw that the umpires did not react and quickly snagged the ball and threw home, but the throw arrived too late and Angel Pagan wound up with an inside-the-park home run.  Apparently, Victorino was unaware of the ground rules in the new Citi Field and balls stuck under the padding are still considered playable.

Both sides must have felt like they were entering the Twilight Zone after the weird start to the game.  Martinez looked uncomfortable on the mound and was missing his spots badly.  He allowed 4 runs in the first 3 innings but just when it looked like it was going to be a very bad day for him, Martinez settled in and pitched lights out for the next 3 innings.  He was so good the last two innings, it looked like he might go out for the 7th, but Charlie Manuel decided to go to the bullpen.  The Phillies are probably trying to continue to ease Martinez into longer outings little by little and did not want to risk an injury.

The Phillies scored a few more runs in the game and even Martinez helped himself to a hit and an RBI in the game.  Bruntlett TZ.jpgVictorino took a career high 3 walks in the game and Eric Bruntlett had 3 hits in a rare start at second base.  But the insanity continued into the 9th inning and most of it had to do with Bruntlett.

Bruntlett hit a line drive to right field in the 9th and it was just barely caught by the outfielder; the umpire ruled he trapped the ball and it looked like Eric had a triple.  But the Mets argued and the officials overturned the call; a call that, by the way, was NOT reviewable.  Replays showed he did make the catch but he did not show the transfer from glove to hand to the umpire. 

Then in the bottom of the ninth Brad Lidge took the mound and all hell broke loose.  Ryan Howard missed a ball that rolled past him and gave the Mets a triple when it should have been the first out.  The next batter hit the ball to Bruntlett who bobbled it for error #2; the run scored and still no outs.  Daniel Murphy hit a single to make it 1st and 2nd, still no outs.  And then the unbelievable happened; Jeff Francour, the same Met who caught the Bruntlett liner in the top of the 9th, hit a line drive to guess who?  Eric Bruntlett.  The runners were off on the pitch so Bruntlett caught the ball for one out, stepped on second for the next out and then tagged Murphy to complete the unassisted triple play!  The unassisted triple play to END the game no less.  OMG!

The announcers said that this was the first time ever that an unassisted triple play ended a game; but it is actually the 2nd time.  Johnny Neun did it on 5/31/27 for the Tigers.  But in all of baseball history, it was only the 15th time the unassisted triple play has ever happened.  Two of those have now been completed by Phillies; Mickey Morandini did it on 9/20/92 for the Phils.  You just saw history people; more rare than the no-hitter or even the perfect game; the unassisted triple play – AMAZING. 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Slaughter in San Francisco

So much for the presence of Cliff Lee taking some of the pressure off Cole Hamels; you can officially take that theory and flush it down the toilet.  And down the toilet is exactly where this four game series went today as Hamels was destroyed by the Giants in a 7-3 loss.  The Phillies lost 3 of 4 here in the city by the bay.


Thumbnail image for P8024045 Hamels.jpgIt all began to unravel in the 5th inning when, with 2 outs in the inning, Giants pitcher Barry Zito nubbed a good luck broken bat single up the middle.  Instead of taking it for what it was, a stroke of luck, Hamels let the hit get into his head and chaos ensued.  3 runs later, the Giants moved onto the 6th inning with Hamels still annoyed about the previous disaster and 3 more runs scored in that next inning. 

Hamels is looking more and more like a mental patient on the mound instead of an MVP.  Can someone please call Dr. Phil?  This guy needs a serious sit down.  It does not matter how good a pitchers arm is; if he cannot handle the pressure, he will crack.  And Hamels is cracking to the point of breaking.  Let me ask you this; when Pedro Martinez arrives and one of the starters is going to get bumped to the bullpen, can the Phillies justify doing this to JA Happ when he has outpitched Hamels?

Think I am nuts?  Look at the numbers:  Hamels has a 7-6 record with a 4.68 ERA.  Happ, in 17 fewer innings due to a season start in the pen, has a record of 7-2 with a 2.97 ERA.  Hamels is averaging 5 2/3 innings pitched per game for the season; Happ is averaging 6 2/3 in his last 10 starts (could not use games he pitched from the pen, so went with last 10) and therefore, going deeper into games. 

Is Cole the staff “ace”?  Supposedly.  And there is no denying the job he did last season.  But why hurt the team while he gets his head on straight?  Brett Myers knew that was the wrong thing to do last year when he accepted a minor league assignment in order to straighten himself out.  Will Hamels ever follow suit?  That is doubtful.  Then it is up to the manager to make the decision for him.  I am not saying he should be demoted to the minors, but Hamels needs to show this team that he can handle pressure and adjust in tight situations.  If he cannot turn things around, I think a “spanking” of some sort is in order here.

And there is my Hamels rant for the day.  The rest of the team did not do much this series to help out either.  The offense was lacking and defense was sloppy, as evidenced by a Ryan Howard goof today that cost the team another run.  In fact, the biggest hit of the day, besides a Jimmy Rollins solo shot, was a double off the bat of Eric Bruntlett that went deep into left field.  When the standout star of the day is Eric “I am batting below .150″ Bruntlett, you know it is going to be a very bad day.


080209.jpgAside from the blunders, the best entertainment of the day was watching Pedro Feliz try to wrestle the Giants mascot, Lou Seal and then Jayson Werth stole the poor critters hat:

But tomorrow is another day and the Phillies are still in first place.  A three game series with the Rockies may be just what the doctor ordered Tuesday night beginning at 7:05pm. 

I will be taking a tour of AT & T Park tomorrow morning and flying home tomorrow evening.  I hope to post a review of San Francisco, both the city and the ballpark, sometime on Tuesday.  I will also be posting a Photo Album from the entire West Coast trip and all 4 games with the Giants.  For now, let’s see if the Phillies return home can spark some offense!  Go Phillies!

 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phinally – A Series Win

The Phillies wrapped up the series with the Blue Jays today and also ended interleague play for the year…finally!  As usual, interleague play was not kind to the Phillies and most are happy it is over.

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However, there were a few highlights, including JA Happ’s first career complete game shut-out yesterday.  Happ allowed only 5 hits in the game and gave the bullpen a much needed rest.  The Phillies offense found their bats after a spanking from manager Charlie Manuel in a closed door meeting, and the team racked up ten runs in the game for Happ.  The very Happ-Y pitcher is now 5-0 on the season with a 3.00 ERA.

Today, the Phillies sent Jamie Moyer to the mound and he allowed 4 runs in 5 innings, including 3 home runs.  After the 5th, Manuel decided to take advantage of his rested pen and sent Chan Ho Park in who pitched 2 scoreless, hitless innings.  It is nice to see Park finally settling into his role and feeling good after getting hit with a batted ball two days ago.       

With the Phillies up 5-4 in the 8th, Ryan Madson was set up to have an easy inning; he got the first out, Scott Rolen hit a single, but then a routine double play ball to Eric Bruntlett turned into a disaster.  Bruntlett, filling in for Jimmy Rollins the last 3 days, dropped the ball leaving 2 runners on with only 1 out.  Poor Madson was sweating by the time he got to the 3rd out, but he got there and Pedro Feliz snagged a pop-up to end the threat.

Brad Lidge came in to get the save and, as usual, it was an adventure.  A bunt single, then a walk and hearts were racing again.  But Lidge got a pop-out, another out on a run down and finally capped it off with Bruntlett snagging a grounder and tossing to Ryan Howard for the final out.  Whew!  Finally…a series win.  Time to exhale…

Iron Pigs (AAA)

Pigs (28).jpgYesterday, I attended an Iron Pigs game and saw Drew Carpenter pitch.  Carpenter has been a highly touted player in the minors and he did pitch a shut-out through 8 innings.  However, his fastball tops out at around 80mph (or at least it did last night).  Solid pitcher, but I am not sure the Phillies need another Jamie Moyer in the rotation.  Carlos Carassco and Kyle Drabek (AA) may still be possibilities to fill the hole left by Brett Myers.  Going outside the organization to get an experienced arm would be much better, but there are still very few pitchers available.  We shall see…

Mike Cervenak (photo) is doing very well after suffering a broken wrist last month; he was 2 for 5 in the game and is batting .313.  Mike Spidale (OF) led the pack with 3 hits and is batting .353; and Lou Marson (C) has been doing better of late – he had 2 hits and 2 RBI last night. 

Here is a PHOTO ALBUM from the Iron Pigs game, including shots from the fireworks show afterwards and even a 3-D fireworks shot!  I held the camera up to the 3-D glasses and it actually worked…check it out!

Up Next

The Phillies have the day off tomorrow to travel to Atlanta for a 3 game series before returning home on July 3rd to face the Mets.  Joe Blanton will pitch on Tuesday; game time is 7:00pm.

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Photos by Jenn

 

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Day Dreamin’ In Tampa

The past few days have left Phillies fans wondering who turned the lights out.  The mental mistakes, lack of concentration and outright wackiness of this team begs the question, where have the Phillies head’s gone?  Did they drink too many Slurpee’s in the hot weather and are suffering from severe brain freeze?  Or, are they day dreaming of midget clowns, fire eaters and candy?  Hmmmm….dreaming.jpg

At the plate, they appear to be asleep; weak swings at bad balls, staring like a deer in headlights at strikes down the middle of the plate and base running that brings back memories of their little league days.  Tonight, Pedro Feliz killed an inning that had real potential by forgetting how many outs there were.  1 out in the 6th, Pedro on 1st and Matt Stairs on 3rd, Eric Bruntlett did his job and hit a sac fly to center.  Feliz, however, thinking there were two outs, ran all the way to second and got doubled up at 1st before Stairs could score.  The run did not count and the threat was over.

But this is only one of several examples of spontaneous stupidity displayed by the team this week.  It has made most fans wish they really were living in la-la-land, as the Phillies appear to be.  At least in la-la-land, the rest of the NL East catching up to the Phils may not factor in.  However, in the real world, the Phillies have run themselves into big trouble.

And trouble rolls downhill, starting with the starters.  Antonio Bastardo was given a 4 run lead to start the game and immediately gave 3 runs right back to the Rays in the bottom of the 1st inning.  And as expected, it all went downhill from there.  Maybe if Bastardo more closely resembled another Antonio, I would be able to cope with his lack of control:

A Bastardo.jpg
Put Banderas on the mound and I don’t care if he walks in 12 runs…at least he would look good doing it ;O)  But Bastardo still needs work before he is major league ready.  And he may have taken that decision out of the manager’s hands anyway tonight, as he left the game early with a left shoulder strain.  The Phillies need a starting pitcher – real bad.  The hole in the rotation left by Brett Myers continues to haunt the team, with no answer yet in sight.  And even worse, because the Phillies have let so many teams in the NL catch up to them over these last few weeks, most teams are not ready to give up and start unloading talent.  They all still have a shot at the Wildcard, thanks to the Phillies bad play.  And therefore, the pickings are slim for starting pitchers.  Talk about shooting themselves in the foot…ouch!

Hey, maybe Antonio Banderas IS available?  I have no idea if he has ever picked up a baseball, but I am willing to give him a shot.  Hey Tony…call me ;O)

Reminder:  Despite the brain freezes of the week, please keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address! 

Player photos by Jenn

 

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Offense & Defense Waste Good Pitching

The Phillies had a 3-2 lead going into the 9th inning last night in their 2nd game against the Dodgers, but missed opportunities and shoddy defense gave the game away.  Going 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position, the Phils wasted an outstanding performance by Jamie Moyer.  P5314951 Moyer.jpgMoyer had his longest outing of the year, going 7 innings and only allowing 2 runs on 4 hits with no walks.  You could not have asked for more from the veteran lefty.

But the bats went silent after the 4th inning and of 11 runners left on base, Jimmy Rollins accounted for 4 of those in scoring position, going 0 for 5 in the game.  Rollins is now batting a very sad .219.  Five other Phillies, including Chase Utley with 2 RBI in the game, had 2 hit nights, but most of them were not at key times. 

The big blow came in the 9th when Brad Lidge took over to attempt the save, which started out well.  He retired the first 2 batters quickly, but then gave up a hit and a walk, both coming after having the batters down in the count 1 ball, 2 strikes.  But when Russell Martin stepped up to the plate and hit an easy ground ball to third base, it looked like the Phils had the game in the bag.  One out and they were done.  No one expected Pedro Feliz to let the ball hop off his glove to load the bases, but that is exactly what happened.  Feliz, normally a stellar fielder, missed a routine play that a little leaguer could have handled.  And he cost the Phillies the game.  The next batter smacked a hit down the right field line, 2 runs scored, game over; Dodgers win.

Of course, you cannot blame it all on Feliz; the offense should have scored more runs.  All of the blown opportunities came back to bite them.  Shane Victorino was held out of the line-up again, which does not help, but Eric Bruntlett who replaced him had 2 hits.  So, you cannot say too much about that, except Bruntlett did miss a ball in the outfield that cost Moyer a run earlier in the game.  Add the awful defense together with the sleepy bats and this is the result; a very sad, very disappointing loss in a game that should have been won.

So the 7 game win streak comes to an end and the Phillies will try to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get a win this afternoon.  Joe Blanton will attempt to right the ship; game time is 4:10pm.

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Photo by Jenn

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Phils Win Series, Despite Lidge’s 2 Blown Saves

P5244535 Lidge.jpg

The bloom has definitely fallen off the rose; Brad Lidge is our fallen hero who gave us perfection in 2008 and now nothing but headaches in 2009.  Sorry Brad, but it is time to surrender your cape.  With a 2-run lead in yesterdays’ game, Lidge gave up 3 runs in the 9th and handed over the win to the Yankees.  Tonight, he gave up 1 run in the 9th to tie up the game, but Clay Condrey emerged as the unlikely hero to bail him out.  Condrey managed 2 scoreless innings and the Phillies won 4-3 in 11 innings.

But what has happened to Lidge?  He swears he is not injured, so what are we to think?  I know what I thought in the 9th today – that I was going to leap out onto the field, grab him by the shoulders and shake him violently until the sludgy alien-oil that has obviously taken over his brain came oozing out and gave us our hero back.  It really is an X-Files kind of mystery what has become of Mr. Perfect these days.

But a win is a win and 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.  Shane Victorino gave CC Sabathia fits today at the plate; both he and Carlos Ruiz had a 3 hit night.  And Ryan Howard shocked the crowd when he laid down a slap-bunt towards third base for a hit; there’s something you won’t see every day.  Hey, whatever works!

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Cole Hamels
had it working too through 6 innings of 2-run ball.  He did fall behind in counts quite a bit, but recovered nicely, although you could tell he wanted to smack Eric Bruntlett in the 4th after an error that extended the inning.  Hamels smack his fist into his glove as he arrived at first base and realized Bruntlett would not be throwing over as he dropped the ball.

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And here is my “Shame On You” for the day:  after striking out rookie John Mayberry in the 8th to end the inning, CC Sabathia hollered and pumped his fist as the strode off the mound, as if he had just won the game in grand fashion.  His showboating was less than appropriate for several reasons; he had just struck out a rookie in his 2nd major league game and, the Yankees were losing the game 3-2 at that point.  Much ado about nothing?  I’d say so.

So how was my first, and probably my only visit to new Yankee Stadium?  Pretty good.  It is a very nice stadium; almost identical to the old one, only bigger, nicer seats and it doesn’t smell like cat pee :O)  The seats in the lower level from foul pole to foul pole have waiter service, which was convenient, but they could certainly benefit more from lowering the cost of those seats and skipping the waiters.  A bit excessive, I thought.  Loved the padded seats, Monument Park was nice, huge team store with a great variety of stuff and TONS of employees everywhere you turn to direct people and answer questions.  The concourse even had a fresh fruit stand.  I was not impressed with the murky, drab gray underground tunnel system which you have to walk through to get to Monument Park and the centerfield gate.  It reminded me of Veterans Stadium; dark, creepy and nothing to look at.  Literally…nothing.  Blank, gray walls.  But overall, it is a very nice place; just WAY overpriced and excessive in a lot of areas it does not need to be.

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More game and stadium photos are coming!  I will post those tomorrow at some point, but for now, I am nursing a wicked bad sunburn (ouch!) and dragging after a long 3 ½ hour drive home.  So, off to bed for me!  Must find the aloe…

UPDATE: Here is the PHOTO ALBUM from the game including photos of new Yankee Stadium!

Keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  Florida series starts tomorrow at 7:05pm…Jamie Moyer will try to fry some fish ;O)

Photos by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

Moyer Loves Fish…Mmmm!

Fish Fry Moyer.jpg

Jamie Moyer completed the sweep of the Florida Marlins today by frying the pesky Fish; his record now stands at 12-1 against the Marlins.  This win was a back breaker for the Marlins, who lost 13-2, and even had to use their right-fielder, Cody Ross, to pitch the final inning.  Moyer’s pitching baffled the aggressive young hitters who struck out 6 times and managed only 1 run against Moyer.  Great defense was a help as well, with Raul Ibanez making an unbelievable snag of a long fly ball against the wall in left.  Had he missed it, it would have plated at least 2 more runs for the Fish.  Ibanez continues to impress, silencing all doubters who were upset by the exit of Pat Burrell.

Jimmy Rollins got the day off to reflect on his awful start to the season and Eric Bruntlett filled in nicely, going 1 for 4 with 1 RBI, 1 walk and 2 runs scored.  Pedro Feliz must like fried Fish as well; he had 3 hits, 2 RBI, 1 walk and 2 runs scored.  Yummy!  In fact, all of the Phillies, Moyer included, had at least one hit in the game except Chris Coste.  Coste also had a brain-fart in the 5th inning when he grabbed a bunted ball and threw to 2nd instead of getting the sure out at first base.  Not his day, for sure.  But luckily, the rest of the team was hungry and happy to gobble up the Fishies.  My favorite part of the following video is about 1 min, 15 seconds in…you’ll see why:

The Phillies would love to continue their feeding frenzy tomorrow when they take on the Washington Nationals at home with Joe Blanton on the mound.  Start time is 7:05pm and if you are hungry too, head out to the ballpark; it is dollar dog night!  Not as fun as Fish heads, but still pretty good.

In case you missed it in my earlier blog, I have posted a Photo Album of the Iron Pigs game from yesterday.  You will see shots of Carlos Ruiz rehabbing, Kyle Kendrick pitching, the park, the mascots and much more!  Enjoy :O)

And as usual, don’t forget to VOTE for your All-Star’s today!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.

Photo by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

 

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