Results tagged ‘ Harry Kalas ’

PSWA Banquet 2010

On Monday night, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association held their 106th annual awards banquet in Cherry Hill, NJ.  The PSWA honors athletes in every sport around the Philadelphia area.  The event is usually hosted by the great Harry Kalas, but sadly, he is no longer with us.  This same event last year was the last time I spoke with Harry.  This year, the PSWA invited his son, Todd Kalas, who spoke with great affection and admiration about his father.  I have video of the speech that you can watch below. 

The photos below show the empty seat that was left in Harry’s honor right next to the podium, Todd Kalas speaking and a friend of Harry’s who sung “High Hopes.”PSWA Harry.jpg

The tone of the banquet was still very upbeat and in usual PSWA style, many great athletes and coaches from the area were honored in grand fashion.  The Phillies were awarded “Team of the Year” which was accepted by Charlie Manuel and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. accepted the award for “Executive of the Year.”  Former Phillie and current advisor, Dickie Noles was given the “Humanitarian” award and Von Hayes was there also as a guest.

The next set of photos are of Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr., me with broadcasters Scott Franzke and Tom McCarthy and Phillies PA announcer, Dan Baker.

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The following video shows speeches from Todd Kalas, Amaro and Manuel.  Note the “jokes” about the Cliff Lee trade; Amaro playfully blamed it on Charlie.  Sorry Ruben, I fail to see the humor.  Ok, don’t get me started on that…here’s the video:

http://www.facebook.com/v/285597867858

There were plenty of other sports icons in attendance, including the 76ers Willie Green who got the “Good Guy” award, Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Eagles player Brent Celek who was named the “Outstanding Professional Athlete” of 2009:

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We also heard from Andrew Bailey who was given the “Native Son” award; Bailey grew up in the Philly area and won Rookie of the Year for the American League in 2009 as the closer for the Oakland A’s.  Ruben asked who his agent was and tried to steal him away…no success I’m afraid. 

The MVP of the Army Navy Game, Ricky Dobbs, was also honored as well as Jay Wright, head coach of Villanova basketball, Fran Dunphy of Temple basketball , the 1960 Eagles and many others.  The full list of honorees can be seen at the PSWA web site.  I also put together a Photo Album from the event which shows many of these people as well.

The highlight of the night may have been comedian Joe Conklin who does impressions of his favorite Philly sports figures.  His Cole Hamels impersonation is hysterical.  Take a look:

http://www.facebook.com/v/286085147858

And finally, here is clip of a program that will air this Thursday at 11pm on 6-ABC Philadelphia.  The show is about the Phillies Off-Season and will include some photos that I took during the 2010 Phillies Cruise last month :O) 

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If you live in the Philly area, set the DVR or tune in at 11pm on 2/4/10.

Photos by Jenn

 

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2009 Phillies In Photos

Here is moment you have all been waiting for!  My end of the year video slideshow!  Ok, well, maybe you were not quite on the edge of your seats, but here it is anyway ;o)

These are all photos that I took during the 2009 season.  It includes a tribute to Harry Kalas, Opening Day and Ring Ceremony photos, tons of player photos, the Phanatic, away games in DC, San Francisco, etc…  And yes, all photos were taken by me from the stands.  I get asked that a lot…no, I don’t have field access (I wish!).  So, I do the best I can between peoples bobbing heads, waving arms and enthusiastic children…I think it turned out pretty good :O)

http://www.facebook.com/v/183407537858

Feel free to leave your comments, questions, or whatever below!

Photos & Video by Jenn

 

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No Fish Fry Tonight

Entering tonight’s game, the Phillies had won 2 in a row and the Marlins had just been swept in 3-games by the Nationals.  But none of that mattered as the game quickly went down the drain for the Phils.  Mistakes and missed opportunities sent them away with a 2-3 loss. 

One of those missed opportunities took place in the 2nd inning when the Phillies had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs and failed to score.  Managing only 2 hits in the game through 6 innings, the Phillies batters looked like they were swatting at flies…and missing.


Thumbnail image for ben fran.jpgThe only offense in the game came from a recent addition to the Phillies.  Ben Francisco started in right field tonight while Shane Victorino gave his bum knee a rest; The Frisco Kid tried to play cowboy in the 7th inning and wrangle the Fish.  First, he threw out a runner at home plate to end the 1st half of the 7th.  Then, when he stepped to the plate for the 2nd half of the inning, Francisco hit a 2-run homer, putting the Phillies within 1 run of catching those slippery Fish.

But Francisco could not play hero in the bottom of the 9th, as he struck out to start the inning in what was still a very close game.  Greg Dobbs hit a long fly ball to left for out #2.  Then, Matt Stairs put on his cowboy hat and stepped to the plate.  He kicked his spurs, reached back and….grounded out softly to 1st base to end the game :O(

Before the game, Harry Kalas was honored and officially inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame.  As his three sons watched, the Phillies introduced previously inducted members of the Hall to the field by playing Harry’s voice, using previously taped announcements for each of those former players.  Mike Schmidt seemed especially moved upon hearing Harry call him to the field one last time.  The entire ceremony was very touching and a genuine tribute to the man who represented Phillies baseball for almost four decades.  Too bad the Phils could not pull out a win for Harry, but that is baseball.  Tomorrow is another day…

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Lee Greets Philly Fans With A Win

Cliff Lee was welcomed to Philadelphia today by the fans.  In his second start for the team, his first at home, Lee pitched extremely well.  He went 7 innings and allowed only 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk.  While not as spectacular as his first start in San Francisco where he went a full 9 innings, today’s start was more than acceptable and exactly what the Phillies were hoping to get out of the 2008 Cy Young winner.

Lee had some help; Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 4 at the plate and was just a home run short of the cycle.  J-Roll also scored 2 of the 3 Phillies runs.  Paul Bako, the Phillies back-up catcher, hit a solo home run in the game; it was his first homer since June of last year.080609a.jpg

There were also several miscues in the game including an error by Lee, a ball missed by Ryan Howard that should have been an error, but was not scored as such, and J-Roll also missed a ball up the middle that he normally gets to.  On top of that, the young Ben Francisco drew a walk in the 7th, only to get himself picked off at 1st base.  Whoops!  But through all the blunders, Lee remained calm and pitched through it.  That, more than anything else, was very impressive.

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Happ-Y Days

Earlier today, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. announced that JA Happ will stay in the rotation.  How this will happen has not been disclosed, although Ruben did mention getting “creative” to solve the dilemma.  Could “creative” mean he likes my 5 ½ man rotation idea??  Hmmmmm…..

Whatever the case, good news for Happ!  Likely what happens next is Jamie Moyer starts against the Marlins this week and after that, the real fun of juggling these guys begins.

Up Next

The Fish are coming to town!  Tomorrow’s 7:05pm game start time has been pushed back to 7:35pm in order to hold a special ceremony to induct our beloved Harry Kalas into the Phillies Wall of Fame.  It is sure to be an emotional day for all as Harry’s sons, friends and family of fans pay tribute to a Philly legend one more time.  We still miss you, Harry!

And finally, here is the full Photo Album from today’s Phillies – Rockies match-up and Cliff Lee’s 2nd start.

Photos by Jenn

 

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Phillies Take One From The BoSox

In this 3-game series against a very good Red Sox team, the Phillies managed to escape with one win yesterday.  The game did not start out great, as JA Happ struggled in the 2nd inning and gave up 4 runs, including back-to-back homers.  But Happ went to his Happ-Y place and recovered nicely; although he walked 6 and allowed 5 runs total, Happ still managed to pitch though almost 6 innings to give the bullpen a much needed rest.

JROLL surf 2.jpgThe Phillies offense battled back and scored 4 runs in the 5th and then 6 in the 7th inning.  Singles by Pedro Feliz, Chris Coste and Chase Utley and a double from Ryan Howard led the charge in the 5th.  Then in the 7th, Jimmy Rollins emerged from his slump and hit a lead-off home run.  The rest of the team jumped on his back, decided to Hang Ten and ride the wave for 6 more runs which included 2 of those runs scored after Sox pitching hit J-Roll in his 2nd at-bat of the inning and then issued a walk to Shane Victorino all with the bases loaded to force in runs.  The game ended with a score of 11-6; the exact same score of the previous day’s game, but this time, it was in the Phillies favor.

Moyer Foundation

So the Phillies get a break from baseball today, but Jamie Moyer and many other players will do their part for charity tonight at the Philly Celebrity Waiters Dinner at the ballpark.  Benefiting the Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin, which assists children in distress, many players will don aprons and serve food and drink to Philly locals in an effort to raise money for the cause.  It is always nice to see athletes using their free time to help the community.  Now just try not to drop a serving tray on anyone’s head… ;O)

Up Next

Tuesday night, the Phillies will host the Toronto Blue Jays for some more nerve-wracking interleague play.  Cole Hamels will take the mound at 7:05pm and Phillies fans will get to say hello to a few old friends; Scott Rolen and Rod Barajas.  So I know how Philly fans feel about Rolen, who publicly criticized the team years ago when he left, but he is still a cutie.  Please try to be gracious and not boo him…asking too much?  Oh well.

“The Pen”

Last night, the MLB Network premiered its new reality TV series, “The Pen,” which will follow the Phillies bullpen from Spring Training all the way to the All-Star break this year.  Last night’s episode gave a behind the scenes look at how pitchers are evaluated in Spring Training, how the 5th starter was chosen, what some of the players do in their free time with their kids and family, the impact of losing Harry Kalas and everything in between.  They even showed the agony that JA Happ went through when he had to call home to tell his family that Chan Ho Park was given the 5th spot and that he was unsure if he would make the team.  Cameras followed him as he sat on his bed in the hotel and made the phone call.  Gut wrenching, emotion stuff.  It was absolutely outstanding and after the hour was up, I was sad that it had to end.  But luckily, a new episode will air every Sunday night.  Make sure to tune in!

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Rollins Photo – Jenn

 

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Wolf Devours Phils; Baseball 101 For Women

Since the game against our old pal Randy Wolf and the Dodgers was awful, let’s begin today with something fun!  Here is a recap of the Baseball 101 event for women held before the game yesterday:

P5133337 Werth.jpgThis now twice annual event included a behind the scenes tour, coaching from the Phillies staff, many guest speakers and an appearance by Jayson Werth.  Werth walked into the room and you would have thought it was Tom Cruise, judging from the reaction.  Women screamed and flash bulbs popped.  Werth talked openly to the group of 140 female fans and was surprisingly comical.  He talked about stealing home in Tuesday nights’ win over the Dodgers (turns out, it was all his idea and the 3rd base coach had no clue what was happening); Werth also gave us an overview of what it is like to travel as a Major League player, how he felt at the World Series parade, his baseball heritage and what it means to play as a team.  He was very impressive.

We also heard from Phillies broadcaster, Chris Wheeler, who walked us though his embarrassment of the strange dance he did behind Harry Kalas as he called the World Series win.  Wheels said he had no idea that he had actually looked that nuts until an hour and half later when he saw the replay.  Mitch Williams was also exceptionally informative, and very, very funny.  Williams should be a stand-up comic.  He had the room almost in tears as he discussed how we have not lived until we’ve seen John Kruk naked, how he (Williams) does not wear pants during his broadcasts and a variety of other topics.  And Larry Andersen, another former player and current broadcaster, was equally entertaining with his tales of Kalas and honest expressions of dislike for umpires.

Below, you will see Williams, Andersen and a very surreal moment as well; Tom Burgoyne, friend of the Phanatic, with the Phanatic!  A true “out of body” experience :O)

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At one point, all the women broke into teams and travelled around the stadium, with stops in the bullpen, the batting cages and on the field to run the bases and work on throwing and fielding with the Phillies coaching staff.  Sam Perlozzo and Davey Lopes directed us on the field; Milt Thompson and Pete Mackanin let us swing away in the cages; and Rich Dubee and Mick Billmeyer let us throw pitches off the mound in the pen.  They gave us the inside scoop, just like we were real major leaguers.  My favorite coach comment of the day came when I asked what changes we could expect to see when JC Romero returns to the team.  Billmeyer chimed in immediately with, “We will get better!”  Well said :O)

And a first for Baseball 101 was the behind the scenes tour of the player areas:  the clubhouse, their kitchen and even the training room.  I can tell you several things from this experience.  First, Chad Durbin has a sweet tooth and likes crossword puzzles; some players seem to have a shoe fetish; Ryan Howard uses the same baby powder that I do; and doing laundry for the Phillies is a very interesting job!  Here are a few sights from the clubhouse:

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I took tons of photos and was surprised by a few things I saw just “hanging” around.  I heard myself mutter as I peered into lockers, “Is that…(you fill in the blank)???  Oh my, yes it is.”  Use your imagination.  Nothing out of the baseball realm, but still a bit weird to see up close ;O)

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So after the all-day event which began at 8:45am, we sat down to watch the game which started at 7:05pm.  Sleepy, but it was worth it.  We had a good 3 innings and Jamie Moyer looked like he may knock out every Dodger that faced him, but come the 4th inning, the bottom dropped out and it all went downhill from there.  7 runs allowed in only 4 1/3 innings and Moyer still cannot find his 250th win.  However, I think that was the least of his worries last night.  With the struggles in this starting rotation, I would not be surprised to see some changes very soon.  Charlie Manuel has announced that JA Happ will start one of the games of the double-header on Saturday against the Nats; no word on what will happen after that.  Happ may be pitching that day for his chance to win a spot in the rotation.

On again to more pleasant things:  Here is the Photo Album from my day in baseball-land which includes the photos in this post and more.  And don’t forget to tune in to the game this afternoon, which is an early start of 1:05pm to finish the Dodgers series.  Hoping the Phillies can pull out a winning series!

Photos by Jenn

Today In Phillies Land


Greg_House.jpgI am still in Gregory House-type withdrawal after an off-day yesterday.  Sad, I know.  But the Phillies will start a 3-game series with the Dodgers tonight, and without Manny Ramirez.  Chan Ho Park is going to do his best not to lose his starting job; JA Happ will secretly wish Park screws up (kidding!); Jimmy Rollins will try to remember how to hit a baseball (line drives Jimmy; think line drives…none of this air-ball crap!); Brad Lidge will pray for a save opportunity which have been few and far between so far; Chase Utley will continue his bid for a 4th straight All-Star appearance; and me?  I will be screaming at the TV.

Baseball 101

Then tomorrow I will attend, for the 4th year in a row, the Phillies Baseball 101 event for women.  100 plus ladies will wander the field, toss a few balls, hit in the cages and even throw a pitch in the bullpen, all under the tutelage of the Phillies coaching staff.  It is an all-day and all-night event as we will stay for the 7:05pm game afterwards.  And since I will not get home until oh, probably one in the morning, I will post photos and a diary of the day on Thursday once I am conscious.

Mr. Manuel Goes To Washington

In other news, the Phillies have rescheduled their visit with President Obama at the White House for this coming Friday while they are in town to play the Nats.  The previous date was cancelled after the passing of our friend, Harry Kalas.   Will Obama dare wear a White Sox hat at the meeting?  Will the Phanatic frighten the new white house dog?  Oh, the drama.

Tonight’s Line-Up

J-Roll has been bumped down to the 5 hole.  Hope it helps!

1.     Shane Victorino, CF

2.     Chase Utley, 2B

3.     Jayson Werth, RF

4.     Ryan Howard, 1B

5.     Jimmy Rollins, SS

6.     Raul Ibanez, LF

7.     Pedro Feliz, 3B

8.     Carlos Ruiz, C

9.    Chan Ho Park, P

First pitch is 7:05pm…Go Phillies!

 

Photo: http://www.youthglue.com/photos/members/5011/Greg_House.jpg

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Rainy Days & Mondays


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The Monday night game against the Padres has been postponed due to Mother Nature.  With everything that has happened to the Phillies in the first 2 weeks of the season, it makes you wonder, what is it all about?  The World Series celebration continuing, getting the rings, the passing of our friend Harry Kalas, and so far, two games rained out; is this an omen of sorts?  Could it be one huge set-up for a repeat victory?  Or maybe just a sign that this is going to be a very long, sad season?  Time will tell…

Hoping to see life return to normal for the Phillies, there is a new series set to begin tomorrow night against the Brewers.  The pitching will all get bumped back a day so Jamie Moyer will start tomorrow at 7:05pm, barring any more weather related incidents.  If you are going to the game, like I am, be forewarned; the Flyers will be playing across the street at the Wachovia center and parking will be a nightmare!  Get there early!

Dr.jpgSpeaking of Mr. Moyer, The Philadelphia Daily News reported today that Jamie will be dubbed Dr. Moyer on April 30th.  Saint Joseph’s University is giving him and his wife, Karen both honorary doctorates; specifically, they will each receive a degree as a Doctor of Public Service for their charitable work with the Jamie Moyer Foundation.  Jamie graduated from St. Joe’s in 1985 and is a 1999 inductee in their athletic Hall of Fame.  Now when he has a bad game he can just tell Charlie Manuel, Damn it Chuck, I am a doctor, not a pitcher!”

Now, just think how much more fun that quote would have been if Jim Fregosi was still our manager?  Oh well, we do love our Charlie :O)

 

Moyer Photo by Jenn

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Let The Healing (And The Winning) Begin!

After a highly emotional week with the passing of our beloved Harry Kalas, the Phillies showed signs of recovering today as they pulled out a 5-4 win over the Padres in dramatic fashion.  Raul Ibanez did his version of the “laying on of hands” by smacking a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning.  And as payment for this great, selfless act of guru-like healing, Ibanez got a shaving cream pie in the face.  Perhaps he would have preferred a bouquet of flowers?  Actually, I am sure he did not mind too much; the pie to the face is much like a fraternity initiation; after taking Pat Burrell’s spot on the club, he is now officially a member.  Ibanez has won over the fans and more importantly, his teammates.  Still miss ya Pat, but Ibanez is getting the job done.Ibanez walk-off.jpg

Also getting things done around here is Ryan Howard, who had, and seriously, I never imagined writing this….he had an amazing day defensively!  Stop rubbing your eyes; Howard’s glove has arrived!  And not a moment too soon for the grieving Phils who desperately needed a win.  Howard made 3 incredible plays today including a J-Roll-style diving grab and a running catch in foul territory.  Last year, he would not have made those plays.  This year, the missing 20 pounds plus the extra effort spent working on his the fielding has paid off.  Not only that, but his bat is red hot!  Howard went 3 for 4 today, including the hit that set up Ibanez for the walk-off.

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The other hitter to watch this week is Chase Utley; he has now hit a home run in each of the last 3 games, including today’s 2-run shot in the 6th.  Looks like Utley is locked in a ready to do some serious damage….I hope!  Jimmy Rollins had the day off as Eric Bruntlett stood in, but he made one pinch-hit appearance and that would up being a solo shot in the 8th.  It was his first career pinch-hit home run and only his 2nd successful pinch-hit in 14 tries.  Perhaps the wheels are back on for J-Roll?  We shall see…

As for the pitching, JA Happ was the star of the day, coming in on relief for Chan Ho Park and pitching 3 scoreless innings.  Park had another rough outing and lasted just 5 innings, giving away 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk.  Makes you wonder, how many more sub-par outings will the Phillies allow from Park before they stick him in the pen and give the spot to Happ?  Frankly, I felt Happ earned the spot in Spring, but the powers that be figured he would be thrilled to make the club either way, whereas Park made a VERY big deal out of being a starter.  Not wanting to lose Park mentally may have factored into the decision.  Park did perform very well in Spring, but if you look beyond stats, Happ was equal or better and it made more sense from a management standpoint to give the 5th spot to Happ.  So, I am just going to pull a Forrest Gump here and say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Today was also a celebration of the Phanatic’s Birthday, which is always a treat for the fans.  This year, many of the Phanatic’s friends joined the party as well a magician, Michael Grandinetti.  The magician did a few tricks with the Phanatic, including making him appear out of nowhere…impressive.  And there was a birthday cake made entirely out of Tastycakes…Mmmmm!  Here are some photos from those events:

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The Phillies conclude their series with the Padres tomorrow night at 7:05pm with the elder, Jamie Moyer on the mound.  In the meantime, enjoy the Photo Album from today’s game.

Photos by Jenn

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Kalas Memorial / Lidge Blows A Save

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The Phillies held a memorial service at the ballpark today for Harry Kalas, which they shared with the fans, as well as Harry’s friends and family.  Fans were able to pass by Harry’s casket, which sat on the field behind home plate, and were then seated to watch the services.  This beautiful and extremely moving program included speeches from Mike Schmidt, Richard Ashburn, Mayor Michael Nutter, Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, and many other friends of Harry.  The entire Phillies team attended the memorial, first passing by the casket to pay their respects, and then sitting in the stands behind home plate.  Phillies of the past were also in attendance, including Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski, Larry Christianson, Garry Maddox, Robin Roberts and many more.

 

The big tear-jerker of the day came when all Phillies players, past and present, were asked to take the field; they lined up two by two and literally lifted Harry’s casket and passed it down the line through each others hands until they reached the hearse.  Those players at the end of the line, including Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Brett Myers, Carlos Ruiz and others, gently placed the casket into the rear of the hearse and everyone watched as Harry was driven out of the ballpark.  Many were unable to contain their emotions and tears flowed freely.  When I saw Shane Victorino crying, who just lost his grandmother in October, my heart sunk.  To think what all these players have gone through this week, as well as everyone who knew Harry, is just heartbreaking.

 

What a tragic start to the 2009 season for the Phillies, who all seem to be downtrodden by this turn of events.  All we can hope now is that they can filter those emotions into a positive, and dedicate their season to Harry’s memory.

 

The Phillies have lost 3 in a row now with tonight’s 8-5 loss to the Padres, despite a great outing from Brett Myers.  Myers notched a quality start with 6 2/3 innings pitched and 3 runs allowed; he even contributed with a double at the plate and a run scored.  But for the 2nd night in a row, Ryan Madson came in and gave the Padres the lead with one run allowed in the 8th.  Chase Utley tied the game up again in the bottom of the inning with a lead-off home run to right. 

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Raul Ibanez
followed with single and then his amazing base running landed him on 3rd base after a Jayson Werth single.  With one out, Pedro Feliz collected the RBI on sac fly and Ibanez crossed home plate, giving the lead to the Phillies, 5-4.  But that lead would not hold for long.

 

Brad Lidge, as expected, pitched the 9th inning, hoping to remain perfect in save opportunities.  After receiving his award before the game for that perfect 2008 record, Lidge finally blew a save tonight, ending his streak of 47 in a row.  And he didn’t just blow it; he really, really blew it.  In 2/3 of an inning, Lidge gave up 4 runs, the majority of which came on a Kevin Kouzmanoff 3-run homer.  That inning really took the wind out of the sails for the Phillies, and they went down easily in the bottom of the 9th.

 

Tomorrow’s game against the Padres will begin at 1:35pm with Chan Ho Park on the mound.  I will be there, and hopefully, the Phillies can get things back on track.  Maybe the Phanatic’s birthday celebration will lighten the mood?  One can only hope…

 

 

Photos by Jenn

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

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