Results tagged ‘ Eric Bruntlett ’

Lucky Number 13

Well, I have a knot in my stomach the size of a grapefruit and I am beginning to think that baseball may be hazardous to my health.  J  The Phillies escaped tonight in the 13th inning with a huge comeback win over the Mets; final score 8-7 and the Phillies overtake first place in the NL East.  This was a very strange game with some serious creativity coming off the bench.  To start with, Jamie Moyer had a rare bad appearance, lasting only 3 innings and giving up 6 earned runs on 9 hits.  The bullpen did an amazing job holding the Mets down, although I am sure their arms are all hanging low tonight.  They got a serious workout.

It did not look good early on, as the Phillies were down 7-0 by the 4th inning.  The Phillies offense wasted many, many scoring opportunities, starting in the very first inning.  With 2 men on and no outs, Ryan Howard struck out swinging, Pat Burrell flied out and Shane Victorino went down swinging.  Then in the 3rd inning, Jimmy Rollins got on base for the 2nd time tonight and stole 2nd base, but Chase Utley popped out and Pat Burrell struck out looking to end the inning.  Just a few examples, but you get the point.  They left a lot of runners on base tonight…18 to be exact.  Then, a horrible call by the 3rd base umpire in the 3rd inning led to 3 runs for the Mets – With runners on 1st and 3rd and no outs, Fernando Tatis hit a ball up the line at 3rd base which, clearly on replay, was a fair ball – the ball hits the runner on third base, Pedro Feliz picks it up and throws out Tatis.  So, it should have been a double play, but instead the umpire called it a foul ball.  So what does Tatis do with the new life he was given?  He hit a 3 run homer.  It never should have happened.

And still, with all this weighing against them, they pulled out the win.  Let’s take a look at what else they had going against them: Ryan Howard, aside from the home run he hit in the 5th inning, looked horrible at the plate all night.  He went 1 for 6 and struck out 2 times.  Howard continues to be undisciplined at the plate and constantly has trouble making contact; of course, swinging at bad pitches hasn’t helped that.  Pat Burrell also had a nightmare of an evening, going 0 for 7 and striking out 4 times!  But Rollins, going 5 for 7 with 3 RBI’s, and Jayson Werth who was 3 for 5, carried the offense most of the night.  P4208166_bruntlett_cr Eric Bruntlett came in to tie up the game in the 9th inning with a double that scored Werth…it was his first hit since August 15th.  He wound up with 2 hits before the game was over.  Chris Coste came in for Carlos Ruiz at catcher in the 8th as Ruiz moved to third base for an inning!  Talk about getting creative…  Well, Coste went 4 for 4 and hit the game winning single in the 13th to score Victorino.

The moves off the bench tonight were amazing; Ruiz at third base?  Wow;  Great management of the bullpen; And then using Brett Myers the way they did in the 13th, after the Mets intentionally loaded the bases with no outs – Myers was obviously told to look like he was anxious to swing, but not to move a muscle.  Hoping for the walk, but willing to take the strikeout just to avoid hitting into the double play so Coste could come up to bat with only 1 out.  And it worked!  Coste nails the single; game over!  An improbable comeback and an entertaining game all around!  So, if the Phillies can sweep this short 2 game series, it will solidify their spot in first place.  Kyle Kendrick will pitch tomorrow night and the Phils had better hope he’s got some innings in him, because the bullpen is wiped out!  Fingers crossed…Go Phillies!

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Bullpen Blows Lead; Offense Goes Cold Again For Hamels

I think it’s about time someone started a support group for Cole Hamels. 
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How many times is this guy going to be subjected to this kind of mental abuse and torture?  He pitches another great game, and his team comes up short AGAIN.  Seriously…get the man some counseling.  He is going to need it.  7 innings, 5 hits and only 2 earned runs – in any game, that should equal a win.  But not with the Phillies; their bats went quiet again and even the bullpen managed to chip in and blow this one.  Poor Cole…denied win #10 for the 7th time this year. 

And how about that offense?  6 lousy hits, one of which was a solo home run from Chase Utley and another hit was from Hamels.  Sad.  And did we even use our BEST pinch hitter in this game, Greg Dobbs?  Nooooooo…Charlie Manuel let Eric Bruntlett, “Mr. Automatic Easy Ground Ball”, bat in the 9th with a man in scoring position!  And guess what happened?  An easy ground ball for an out without even advancing the runner!  Shocking, I know.  I mean, if you are going to insist on starting Bruntlett (which again, I protest…Dobbs is better!), then you can at least have brains enough to hit for him in these situations!  And then, another great management decision; let’s take Burrell out of the game again for defensive reasons!  So who gets the crucial last play of the game?  So “I can’t throw to save my life” Taguchi.  And yes, there is a play at the plate in the bottom of the ninth…Andre Ethier singles to score Russell Martin and win the game; Taguchi’s throw is late and off-line, thus the Phillies have no shot at a comeback.  But hey, I guess Manuel figured they can’t hit anyway, so why bother?

Does anyone else feel my frustration here?  Oh gee, I almost forgot the bullpen…what happened to my super-awesome, adorably cute Chad Durbin?  Oh please, don’t make me say bad things about him!  My inner demons are right now having a war amongst themselves…it’s getting’ ugly in there!  Oh, but I so love Mr. Durbin!  What in the world was he thinking last night?  He loads the bases on a hit, a walk and a hit batter in the 8th, which eventually leads to the tying run scoring on a sac fly …yuck!  And JC Romero too, hitting the first batter?  Did someone drug them?  Yeah, that must have been it…I choose to believe it was all a terrorist act.  Someone drugged our bullpen and made them do BAD, BAD things.  And when I find out who it is, there will be no mercy. J

I am exhausted.  Let’s all just hope the Phillies can rebound and pull out a win tonight behind newbie, Joe Blanton.  Fingers & toes are crossed…

Phillies Win A Wet One & J-Roll Smurf Tours The Stadium

Well, I drove through a very scary hail storm and sat through a nearly 2 hour rain delay, but eventually, the Phillies pulled out a win for me.  Jamie Moyer logged another quality start today in this water-logged event, going 6 innings of rain-filled fun and giving up 3 runs.  But the highlight of the day was watching the 45 year old Moyer take out umpire Randy Marsh on his way to second base after a throwing error by the Pirates in the 3rd inning.  And when I say he took him out, I mean seriously, he pushed with both arms and THREW the man to the ground to get him out of his way!  And then another throwing error on the same play landed Moyer on third base.  The next batter, Jimmy Rollins, hit a sac fly to left to score Moyer who exhaustedly ran straight from home plate and directly into the dugout to sit down.  After the game, Moyer joked, “There was no oxygen on first or second.  They had the oxygen tank at third.”

P8107515 utley dobbs cr.jpgAnother highlight tonight was watching Greg Dobbs break a record that has stood for 95 years when he hit his 21st pinch hit of the season in the 7th inning.  That double scored Carlos Ruiz and tied the game.  Later that inning, Chase Utley hit a 2 run home run to give the Phillies the lead.  And I am sure he felt a lot better, as earlier in the 5th, he hit into a double play with the bases loaded to end that inning.  Speaking of double plays, Eric Bruntlett is still on a roll; in his 0-4 performance tonight, one of those managed to be a double play, all of them were easy ground balls and NONE of them left the infield.  I’ll say it again…PLAY GREG DOBBS!  Geez!  And to make matters worse, Charlie Manuel is batting Bruntlett in front of Ruiz…??  All I can say is, they won today, despite this and thanks to the pinch hit of Dobbs, home run by Utley, and pitching.  But how many more games should we have to overcome this error in judgment?  Just a thought…

And here is the moment you have all been waiting for!  J-Roll Smurf also had a super day at the ballpark, as did everyone who encountered him.  I have never had so many people ask me questions…everyone wanted to know where I got him and how they could get one.  All I can tell you is…E-Bay.  And the clothes are by Build-A-Bear Workshop.  Of course, the players name and number are a “custom” at home job.  J-Roll Smurf got lots of hugs today!  And as I wandered the park, pimping out my stuffie, I took a few PHOTOS J  Below you will see J-Roll Smurf finding things to do during the rain delay, like check out his beloved 2007 NL MVP Award.  In the second photo, he was attempting to save other Smurfs from a blue, fluffy death in those plastic tubs…I explained the joys of cotton candy to him, and he felt better…
Smurf collage 1.jpg 
Finally, the rain ended, and it was on to the game where J-Roll Smurf helped to keep score.  He was very excited to see the Phillies win today and even participated in the wave as it rounded the stadium. 
Smurf collage 2.jpg

If you would like to see the rest of J-Roll Smurfs tour of the stadium, please CLICK HERE to go to my photobucket page and see what other mischief he got into.  There were a few odd incidents with ketchup packets, strangers on elevators and romp in the fluff with multiple Phanatic stuffies…  Worth a look

Well, that’s all for now!  Oh, FYI…the Alumni Batting Challenge was cancelled today due to the rain, in case anyone was unaware, thus no photos of that.  I know, bummer :o(  Anyway, on to LA to face the Dodgers…10:10pm EST tomorrow…yuck!  We are in for some late nights here….Go Phillies!

J-Roll & Myers Combine To End Phillies Offensive Woes

The drought finally ends…whew!  The Phillies beat the Pirates tonight by a score of 4-2, thanks in large part to another outstanding starting pitching performance.  This time, it was Brett Myers who put forth the quality start, going 7 2/3 innings with 1 earned run given up on 5 hits and one walk while striking out 6.  Myers was extremely displeased about being removed from the game late in the 8th inning, but I am guessing Charlie Manuel just wanted to make sure his outing ended on a high note.  JC Romero got the final out that inning and then Chad Durbin pitched a one-run 9th to earn the save, as Brad Lidge was given a night off.

The other half of the puzzle, which has been mysteriously missing for oh, 23 innings or so now, was the offense, which followed the lead of Jimmy Rollins tonight and managed to score a few runs. (see “Happy Dance” below:) 
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J-Roll led off both the 1st and the 7th innings tonight with triples; and both times, Shane Victorino got the job done and was able to knock the run in.  Greg Dobbs, in at third base instead of the “oops, I hit into another double-play” guy, Eric Bruntlett, went 2 for 3 with an RBI – a serious upgrade to the offense, to say the least.  I constantly hear people argue that Bruntlett is better defensively than Dobbs but frankly, I don’t buy it.  I have seen them both play.  If anything, I’d say they are about the same, in which case, you should play the better hitter which clearly is Dobbs.  And just for fun, look at their numbers:  Dobbs has 1 error on the year; Bruntlett has 6, although he has played more games…I’ll give him that.  So, go to lifetime fielding percentage:  Dobbs – .974%, Bruntlett – .964%.  Like I said, not much different.  And Dobbs was originally a third baseman – it is his best position.  Let the man play!

P5230738 smurf.jpgOk, that is my rant for the day J  I will be at the park tomorrow to see the last game of this series and to watch the Alumni Batting Challenge before the game.  I will try to get some photos for everyone!  Also, J-Roll Smurf
 will be in attendance taking a tour of the stadium and talking to the people
J  Say hi if you see him!  He loves cuddles from strangers…  Naughty smurf! J 

Also, I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to IAN who recently wrote to me to let me know that the lady I saw at the Nationals game on 7/30 in DC who was badly injured by a foul ball was ok.  I am so glad to hear it!  Everyone in our section was very worried about her so I am glad to report she made it out of the hospital in one piece and is doing well!  Thanks again Have a great night everyone!

So Bad It Could Be A Horror Film…

That’s 23 straight innings without scoring a run folks…now give me your best horror movie SCREAM!  Yikes!  Yesterday, when asked about the team’s offensive struggles, Charlie Manuel responded with, “We’re inconsistent…but at the same time, we’re still in first place.”  Well, I’ve got news for you Chuck, not for long…

What is happening to this pitching staff is a crime.  Joe Blanton
P7306516 Blanton cred.jpgpitched a one hit shut-out over 7 innings with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks.  And still, he does not get a win.  His opposition, Paul Maholm, also pitched a shut-out through 7 innings with 10 strikeouts but did allow 5 hits and walked 3.  But even with those base runners, the Phillies still could not manage to get a run in.  Eric Bruntlett hit into a double play to end the 2nd inning with 2 runners on and then AGAIN in the 9th to end that inning and send the game into extra innings.  Chase Utley struck out with 2 men on in the 5th inning to end that inning.  It was just one thing after another…like a bad horror film.  Pat Burrell popped out to end the 10th with the bases loaded after TWO intentional walks to Utley and Howard.  It is seriously like The Night of The Living Dead out there. 
living dead.jpg
Just slap a uniform on these zombies; maybe they can score some runs?  They appear to have more life in them than then Phillies do.  Or, perhaps the living dead have in fact eaten their brains and they all forgot how to swing the bats?

Well, the Pirates, unaffected by the zombies, did score 2 runs in the 12th inning with new Phillie, Wes Walrond giving up a couple of doubles and Clay Condrey helping out with a few singles given up.  The Phillies got one last chance in the bottom of the 12th and with 2 runners on and one out, Utley lined out to centerfield with Brandon Moss making an amazing, diving catch; just then, Shane Victorino wandered too far off of first base and got doubled off for the 3rd out to end the game.  A horrific base running error and a terrible way to end the game, losing to the lowly Pirates 2-0.  A bad B-Movie ending, indeed.  I am feeling a bit like a zombie now after witnessing these last 22 innings of mind-numbing baseball.  Time to get some Z’s ….Sleep, that is…I will be avoiding the brain-sucking, bat-bashing zombies for tonight J

Offense Sputters Again; Phils Lose Another Series

It really looks like the wheels are about to come off the wagon.  Is anyone else out there as frustrated with this team as I am?  One day they score 5 runs, the next day, they look like The Bad News Bears.  And if life were a movie and Walter Matthau were still alive today, and someone handed him this Phillies team to coach, I am sure he’d become a raging alcoholic.  Art imitates life, or something like that.  I know I need a drink….BAD.

So poor Cole Hamels
P7306539 hamels cr.jpgmisses out on win #10 AGAIN, losing to the Fish 3-0 after only giving up 2 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.  Disgusting.  Here a just a few lovely examples of how the team let him down, AGAIN:  6th inning – Eric Bruntlett, who played great yesterday, left 2 men stranded on base with 2 outs as he grounded out.  7th inning –  Bruntlett again, bobbles a ball that should have been a double play ball and gets only one out, which extends the inning and then leads into the following…Another Ryan Howard error!  He overthrows a routine ground ball to Jimmy Rollins at second base to load the bases, further extend the inning and also allow the Marlins to tack on an unearned run.  And how about that 8th inning?  Shane Victorino leads off with a double, Pat Burrell would later walk, but teammates Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Geoff Jenkins all manage to either pop out or ground out to strand them on base.

How many of you are cowering under your seats right now, clutching a bottle of (Pick Your Poison and fill in the blank)?  I believe this all boils down to two things:  Inconsistency and lack of fire.  The inconsistency is obvious.  What do I mean by lack of fire?  I mean, they just don’t look fired up.  They don’t look excited or motivated; not like they did last year.  There are far too many laid back, quiet players in this clubhouse and it is high time that some of them started to get LOUD.  Start yelling!  Hell, pick a fight if you need to.  Whatever it takes to WAKE this team up and get them HUNGRY to win!  Because right now, I don’t see it.  Do you?  Feel free to leave feedback and let me know if you agree…and feel free to disagree as well J  I take no offense…and right now, the Phillies have no offense…hee, hee J

Maybe they all just need a great BIG HUG!  As always, I am available for hugs anytime.  Please feel free to have the Front Office call me and I’ll be right over!  Put Chase Utley at the front of the line…he looks most distressed out of everyone J  I’ll even hug Rudy Seanez if I have to…and he scares me…truly. L  But I’ll do it if it helps!  Ok, fresh start tomorrow against the Pirates…let’s see if we can put the wheels back on the wagon!

Kendrick Helps Phils Shut Out The Marlins

Going a full 6 innings without giving up a run, Kyle Kendrick improved his overall record to 10-5 with tonight’s P7306493 kendrick cr.jpg5-0 win over the Florida Marlins.  As is Kendrick’s usual style, he had quite a few base runners, including 5 walks, but pitched his way out of jams when he needed to.  Chad Durbin went 2 scoreless innings as well, looking extremely sharp and Ryan Madson finished them off in the 9th.  J-Roll Smurf was also very excited about the pitching performances and he celebrated by bashing a Fish senseless J  Later tonight, he will have a stiff drink and prepare for tomorrow’s Fishy Voodoo…

The other great news is that the offense came back tonight.  Last night, they had 8 hits and scored only 2 runs.  Tonight, they had 9 hits, but scored 5 runs.  The difference is situational hitting and driving runs in when P7306699 cervenak cr.jpgthere are runners in scoring position.  Chase Utley hit his 30th double of the year for an RBI; Ryan Howard smashed home run #32; Even Eric Bruntlett who usually has a quiet bat, went 2 for 3 with an RBI.  The rookie Mike Cervenak got his very first major league hit and first RBI in his 3rd pinch hit appearance.  Here is a photo of him for those wondering who he is…another Independent League product, much like Chris Coste was.  I had a chance to talk to him in Spring Training…very nice guy, hard working…really great to see him finally get a break in the Bigs J

Gotta take this series!  Everyone get out your favorite Fish bashing sticks or fire up the grill and get ready to FRY some!  Don’t let the Smurf do all the work now…  After all, he is only 3 apples high…  He’ll do his best for a little guy J  1:05pm start tomorrow…Go Phillies!

Howard Obviously Not Happy With His Breakfast…

As the Phillies fell to the Cardinals 6-3 tonight, Ryan Howard went 0 for 3 in his hometown.  My only guess is that mommy did not make his favorite breakfast for him today, as is usually the St. Louis trip tradition. 
Perhaps Green Eggs & Ham were Green_Eggs_and_Ham_small.jpgon the menu instead?  My guess is that Ryan does not like green eggs and ham…he does not like them in a house; he does not like them with a mouse; he does not like them here or there; he does not like them anywhere.

And was Dr. Seuss feeding the entire offense too?  Because their performance was a real tummy turner.  Only 5 hits on the night with the only highlight being the 2 run homer by Pat Burrell in the 6th inning.  A real low point, just so we have something to chat about, was Eric Bruntlett striking out 3 times and looking real bad doing it.  Hey, after 3 straight games of Bruntlett not hitting, can we give Greg Dobbs a shot at third base?  Just a thought…  He was brought up as a third baseman originally ya know…

And what has happened to Cole Hamels these last 2 starts?  Wow.  He has just looked lost out there.  Tonight he went 6 innings and gave up 4 earned runs on 8 hits, 2 of which were home runs, and a walk.  Ryan Madson came on in relief and also gave up a home run in the 8th inning.  He is another guy who lately has not looked very sharp.  Hey guys, I do not like all these home runs being hit off us… I do not like them here or there.  I do not like them ANYWHERE!

So, the good news is, Dr. Seuss and his nasty, runny green eggs also visited our rivals in the NL East today as the Mets and the Marlins both lost their games as well.  The standings then do not change and we start fresh tomorrow with game 2 against the Cards.  And hopefully the team will stop by a local I-Hop to fuel up tomorrow morning J  Go Phillies!

Phillies Photo Day 2008

Yesterday, the Phillies held their annual Photo Day at the park where they allow fans on the field to take pictures of the players.  Occasionally, the players will also stop and take photos with you.  It is by far, one of my favorite events every year and one that I was really looking forward to.  I actually got 10 players to stop this year and pose with me, and probably could have gotten a few more but was busy snapping the camera.  9 of the 10 photos actually came out…the one that didn’t was the one with Chase Utley! UGH!  And he was SO nice and had a HUGE smile on his face for me too…I am SOOOO depressed, I cannot even tell you.  I just can’t even talk about it…too sad L

Well, let’s talk about the happy ones…I’ll post a couple of them here.  I am usually opposed to photo’s of myself, but the P7261023 5x7.jpgplayers look awfully cute, so I am going to go ahead and grin and bear it…no pun intended.  Please excuse my bad hair day and goofy smiles…I had been standing in the hot sun for hours and was melting!  First of all, this one of Brad Lidge is hysterical!  Does the man have no concept of exactly how tall he is?  Most guys bend down so they are on you level, but it was his first Photo Day so he is excused.  Now mind you, I am not short…I am 5’7″ which is average for a woman, and he is slouching in the picture.  Scary tall.

Here we have Chris Coste…just a cutie.  We make a nice couple I think J  Hee!  And then below that one, there is Jimmy Rollins withCoste Rollins.jpg his huge grin…he said something silly and I was trying not to laugh.  I also got pictures with Geoff Jenkins, JC Romero, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Eric Bruntlett and Adam Eaton…there was not a huge demand for poor Adam so I figured I’d bug him J  I almost got Pat Burrell but he just put his arm around me, pat me on the back, asked how I was doing and kept going.  I was happy with that though J  I have also posted a bunch of other photos HERE on my photobucket site for you to see just of the players, coaches and broadcasters as they were walking past me or saying hello.  There are a few pretty funny ones in there…some of these guys give you some really cheesy smiles at this event.  Check out the shot of Clay Condrey…he gets the prize for the most Cheese ever in a pose.

That’s a wrap on Photo Day!  The Phillies are currently in a Rain Delay with the Braves, down 2-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  It was Joe Blanton’s home debut which I assume now, will be cut short.  Hoping they will get the rest of this game in soon and of course, come away with the win!  More later…Go Phillies!

Slacking Offense Wastes Another Great Pitching Performance

Once again, this team could not have asked for a better job out of their starting pitcher, and still they could not manage to win the game.  Losing to the Mets 3-1 and dropping out of first place in the NL East for the first time since May 31st, the Phillies managed to fall apart behind an amazing performance by
P6221999 moyer cr.jpg45 year-old Jamie Moyer.  Moyer went 7 full innings and gave up only 1 run on 2 hits, 3 walks and struck out 6.  You could not have asked the man to do more, unless of course you were expecting him to pull a rabbit out of a hat or an elephant out of his butt!  And for all that effort, what does he get?  One home run by Jayson Werth.  That’s it.  Geez.  I hope they brought some lubricant for the elephant trick…

The other 2 runs were surrendered by JC Romero in the 8th inning, but really, what can you say about that?  The offense should have put some runs on the board…period.  With a bullpen that has been stellar all year, I cannot in good conscious bash them here.  Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both struck out 3 times; Chris Coste twice.  The ONLY guy who produced today was Eric Bruntlett, who replaced Jimmy Rollins at the last minute for reasons yet unknown; he had 3 hits on the day, 2 doubles and a single.  With 7 hits for the offense, those 3 were 43% of the total on the day.  Sad.  (…UPDATE, 7/24 PM: Rollins was late to the game and thus, was benched for breaking the team rule.  Read about it HERE in the Phillies official release.)

So now you have just created a situation that you really did not need…in the Mets, you have now created a monster.  The Phillies have just lit a fire under them.  Look out now…this is not good.  This is going to play out one of two ways; A – The Phils will cower under the pressure and continue on this downslide, in which case, kiss this season goodbye! OR B – Falling out of first place will turn out to be the kick in the butt they needed to get back on track and start winning again.  Let us all hope for Plan B…