Results tagged ‘ Florida State ’

Highs and Lows of Spring

Here are some highlights from the last 2 Phillies Spring games:

3/7 vs. Tampa Bay; final score 5-3, Tampa:  JA Happ started the game and went 2 1/3 scoreless innings; he did walk 2 batters, but overall looked good.  But even better news was that newbie Phillipe Aumont recovered from his Phillies debut, which was a 5-run pounding in less than inning against Florida State.  Against the Rays, he went 2 2/3 scoreless innings with 1 walk and 2 hits.  Time for Aumont to exhale; he is back in top prospect form.

Joe Savery, on the hand, has a rough inning where he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits.  Savery is a former first round draft pick of the Phillies but sadly, The 6’3″ lefty has never looked comfortable on the mound.  He has a 4.14 ERA in 3 years of minor league play.

The polar opposite of Savery has been young outfield propect Domonic Brown; he continues to impress this Spring and went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI against the Rays.  He also threw a runner out at home, just for good measure.  New bench piece Ross Gload also went 3 for 5 in the game in the DH role.

3/8 vs. Yankees; final score 7-5, Yanks:  Kyle Kendrick is putting the pressure on Jamie Moyer in competition for the 5th starters spot.  Kendrick went 3 solid innings allowing just one hit and no runs.  But more than that, he looked comfortable and confident.  I suppose sporting that Roy Halladay look-alike beard has given him an ego boost ;o)


Kendrick Halladay.jpgAnd then in the opposite category, Jose Contreras looked horrible today.  He could not seem to throw a first pitch strike, worked behind almost every batter in the count and as a result, he allowed 6 runs on 3 walks and 6 hits over only 1 2/3 innings.  Luckily, the Phillies have very little invested in the righty so if he does not shape up, no big deal.  Then again, Contreras was supposed to be an upgrade over the departed Chan Ho Park; do I smell a huge disappointment on the horizon?  Hmmmm….

Incidentally, Contreras began his career with the Yankees and his signing in 2002 is what precipitated the Yankee nickname, “Evil Empire.”  It is said that the Red Sox were so intent on signing Contreras that they booked every hotel room in the area of Cuba where Contreras was to keep the Yanks away.  In the end, they still lost out to the Yankees and the Sox owner allegedly threw a chair through a window in anger.  This is just a rumor, of course :O)

As for the bat today, Ryan Howard finally got his first, and then second, hit of Spring against the Yankees.  Whew!  But the big blast of the day came off the bat of Jimmy Rollins.  Pitcher Javier Vazquez made his return to the Yankees today since departing in 2005 and his very first pitch was taken out of the park by Rollins.  1 pitch, 1 homer – nice. 

Rollins had 2 hits in the game as did Howard, Chase Utley and John Mayberry Jr., who knocked the second Phillies homer of the game in the 6th inning.  But while the bat were popping, the outing by Contreras put the Phils in a hole they could not climb out of.

Shane Victorino was still missing from the line-up, but it appears he may make his Spring debut tomorrow against the Braves at 7:05pm.  His sore shoulder has been an issue so far this Spring and the Phillies are playing it safe with him.  But hopefully the Flyin’ Hawaiian will take flight again tomorrow night.

And congratulations to reader “blueferret” who was the first person to find the mistake on the new Cliff Lee Topps trading card from Saturday’s blog.  Topps photoshopped an old Phillies card to change the Phillies uniform to a Mariners uniform but they forgot to remove the “HK” patch from the new Mariners version.  The “HK” patch was a Phillies-only items that the team wore in 2009 in honor of the late Harry Kalas.

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Photos by ESPN.com

 

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

 

Phillies Beat The Yanks In First Spring Action

The first official Spring Training game for the Phillies ended with a 3-2 win over their World Series foes, the New York Yankees.  Not that spring games mean anything, but it was fun to watch.  mlb_i_rhalladay2_400.jpgRoy Halladay pitched two innings and lived up to the hype.  He did not allow a hit in 2 innings and threw 21 of 24 pitches for strikes.  It did not look like even one of those pitches came near the middle of the plate.  He had amazing movement on the ball, pinpoint control and he painted the corners, making it look effortless.

Kyle Kendrick and new pick-up Jose Contreras impressed as well.  Each threw 2 innings and looked solid.  Kendrick appears to be serious about grabbing the 5th starters’ spot.  Kendrick spent extra time this off-season working out to prepare and during camp, has been following Halladay around like a lost puppy.  The extra effort appears to be paying off.

Another anxiously awaited debut was that of former 2nd baseman, Placido Polanco at third base.  The first batter of the day hit it right to him and Polly handled it well.  Later that same inning however, he made a fantastic scoop but overthrew to first for the first error of spring.  It was basically smooth sailing after that minus a pop-up that the wind took away.   Polanco started his career at third and it is expected that he will progress quickly in his return to the position.

So it was all positives for the Phillies in their 1st official spring game.  Yesterday’s exhibition against Florida State however was a bit more challenging for one new Phillie.  Top prospect Phillipe Aumont who was acquired in the Cliff Lee trade had a memorable outing on the mound, although it won’t be a good memory for the young pitcher. 

Obviously shaken by the pressure to show he was worth the trade, Aumont gave up 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning including 3 walks and a 3-run homer.  Previously touted for his excellent control, that skill went right out the window as nerves got the better of him.  And all that was against a college team…ouch.  This poor kid needs a hug….bad.  The Phillies still won 13-6 so no worries.  Besides, things can only get better from here.  Aumont should bounce back now that he has purged the nervous energy.  I wish him luck!

So the Phillies will play a game every day until their one day off of the month on March 18th.  Tomorrow they face the Blue Jays in Dunedin and Halladay will make his first visit back to his old spring stadium.  Cole Hamels is scheduled to start and we will also see J.C. Ramirez, Ryan Vogelsong and Antonio Bastardo in action as well.  Game time is 1:05pm.

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Photo from ESPN.com

 

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

 

Spring Games Set To Begin

The Phillies take to the field tonight for the first real action of Spring Training in an exhibition game against Florida State.  JA Happ will be the starting pitcher followed by Phillippe Aumont, Yohan Flande, Drew Naylor, Joe Savery, Jesus Sanchez and David Herndon.  All eyes will be on Aumont as he was one of the prospects the Phillies got in the Cliff Lee trade.  Many are anxious to see if the risk will pay off.

Shane Victorino has been left off the starting line-up for precautionary reasons. 
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Victorino has been suffering from a sore shoulder and the team will likely not want to push him.  It does not seem serious, but it is usually better to be safe than sorry.  John Mayberry Jr. will fill in at center and Greg Dobbs gets the nod as the DH.  But as is usual in Spring games, the starters will probably not play long, giving the team a chance to look at some prospects.  Game time is 7:05pm.

The game everyone is waiting for though is tomorrow’s match up against the Yankees with Roy Halladay on the mound.  It will be the team’s first look at their off-season prize in live game action.  The talk about Halladay’s work ethic, poise and electric arm has been non-stop since he signed.  Finally, it is time to see some results.  Tomorrow’s game starts at 1pm and will be carried on Comcast Sportsnet and then replayed on The MLB Network at 7pm.

And now for the disturbing news of the week:  Phillies fans know Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning as the man who pitched the only perfect game in Phillies history on June 24, 1964 which happened to be Father’s Day as well.  Considered one of the best Phillies players in history, Bunning is also one of only six pitchers ever to throw both a perfect game and a no-hitter in his career.  So as a baseball player, Bunning gets two thumbs up.  As a politician, not so much…

Bunning has served in the Kentucky State Senate since 1998 and in 2006, Time magazine dubbed him one of “America’s Five Worst Senators.”  He routinely misses Senate floor votes and on Christmas Eve 2009, he was the only senator to skip the vote on the historic health care reform bill.  Adding more fuel to the fire this month, Bunning single-handedly blocked a 30-day extension of federal unemployment benefits when more than 200,000 unemployed Americans were set to lose benefits.  The proposal of unanimous consent on any legislation like this is generally reserved for situation where no one is going to object.  Essentially, the proposal is thought to be a no-brainer….that is, for everyone on the planet except Jim Bunning.

The Senate was attempting to avoid a massive hit to the economy and considered the extension an emergency.  After receiving public spankings from both Democrats and Republicans, Bunning finally relented on Tuesday night and the legislation was passed, but not before Bunning made a total as*s out of himself.   Wait a second, I though the “as*s” was the symbol of the Democratic party?


PB023558 Bunning.jpgWe still love you in Philly Jim, but please, do America a favor and get out of politics while you still have some dignity left.  Let us all remember you as the guy who tossed the only Phillies perfect game and not the guy who tried to make 200,000 angry, unemployed people storm his house, tie him and up and force him to watch tape of the 1964 Phillies collapse; they dropped 10 consecutive games at the end of the season and lost the Division after being in first place with a 3-game lead.  This type of torture is cruel and unusual punishment.  Please, don’t make us do it…we don’t want to remember that year either.

 

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Photos 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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