Results tagged ‘ Homer Bailey ’

Hamels Sharp in 1st Game Off the DL

The Phillies began a stretch of 33 games in 31 days today in Cincinnati against the Reds.  With the schedule shuffling due to Hurricane Irene, the Phils lost their final off-day of the regular season and also have two doubleheaders in September.

Today was an especially important day for pitcher Cole Hamels.  It was his first start since coming off the DL with some shoulder soreness.  Hamels did not skip a beat as he began quickly mowing down Reds hitters.
 

Hamels was perfect through three innings when an outfield blunder ended the streak in the fourth.  Hunter Pence overran a routine fly ball, then slipped and fell trying to go back to make the catch.  The hit was recorded as a triple, which gave the Reds a 1-0 lead soon after.

Probably mortified my the mistake, Pence looked for redemption early with a single to start the fifth.  Carlos Ruiz then singled and Wilson Valdez drove Pence home with a very timely double.

Hamels was able to shake off the earlier mistake and with a 1-1 tie game, he continued pitching very well.  Through six innings, Hamels allowed just the one run on two hits and struck out seven.

The pitchers battle continued as the Reds’ Homer Bailey kept confusing Phillies hitters.  Valdez seemed to be the only one able to hit Bailey and he started the eighth off with a single.

Michael Martinez was then sent up to bunt, which was a minor disaster.  I sincerely hope this is the last time Martinez will be counted on to lay down a bunt, because he looked like he had no clue what he was doing.  He bunted two balls straight up into the air; the first was foul and the second was caught for a very ugly out.

Lucky for Martinez, Shane Victorino stepped up to the plate and finally saw a pitch he liked.  One hanging curve ball  later and Victorino had himself a 2-run homer.  The Phillies then had a 3-1 lead.

That lead dwindled a little in the bottom half of the inning as the struggles of Michael Stutes continued.  He gave up one run on three hits, cutting the lead to 3-2.

In that inning, Placido Polanco missed a hard hit ball and made a throwing error.  Polanco also struck out three times at the plate, which is very out of character for him.  Normally a contact hitter, Polanco did not look like himself today both at the plate and in the field.  This leave one wondering just how badly he is being bothered by the sore hip and back.

After that odd inning, the Phillies were unable to score again.  That meant the game was in the hands of Ryan Madson with a miniscule 1-run lead.  Coming into this game, Madson was 23 for 25 in save opportunities.

Unlike Polanco tonight, Madson was on top of his game.  After allowing a lead-off single, he buckled down and recorded the final three outs of the game.

Tuesday night, Roy Halladay will finally take the mound after getting pushed back with all the crazy weather and game cancellations earlier this week.  Game time is 7:10pm.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Cliff Lee Helps Himself to a Win

Just a short 12 hours after a stunning 19-inning victory, the Phillies won again, making it two wins in one day.  The 10-4 victory today gave the Phils a 3-1 series win over the Reds.

 The Phillies hoped that starting pitcher Cliff Lee could go deep into the game as nearly the entire bullpen was worked hard in the previous game.  Lee did not disappoint, going eight innings.  He did allow four runs on 10 hits and a walk, but he kept his team in the game in more ways than one.

Lee himself accounted for two of the Phillies 13 hits and he drove in three runs, two on a double and one more later on a single.  There have been a number of role reversals in the past two days.  Lee was the big slugger today and infielder Wilson Valdez was the winning pitcher in the game before.

Not so backwards was a three-run homer by Raul Ibanez in the third inning.  Chase Utley also hit his first home run of the year today.  Utley has now doubled and homered since coming off the DL on Monday and all is right with the world again.

Utley did appear to twist his right ankle / leg on a play today, which was a bit scary.  However, he kept playing and it looks like we all have to wait until tomorrow to see if Utley bounces back okay.

As for the rest of the offense, some of the younger players are starting to hit, which is a good sign.  The Reds starter Homer Bailey only lasted five innings and then rookie Daryl Thompson took over, making his major league debut.  However, Domonic Brown and Michael Martinez each had a hit off Bailey, so it was not like they were just abusing the rookie.  They hit a solid, veteran pitcher as well.

If the younger guys can keep stringing hits together like this, things may soon look-up for the Phillies offense.

And if injured players keep returning, like Jose Contreras did today, that is another big positive.  Contreras pitched a scoreless ninth inning today and looks like he is ready to pick up where he left off, although Ryan Madson will remain the closer.  And David Herndon was sent back to Triple-A to make room on the roster.

The Phillies will embark on a 9-game road trip next.  They play the Mets in New York Friday night at 7:10pm; Roy Oswalt will pitch.

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Victorino’s Final All-Star Bid With Walk-Off Win

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Tonight the Phillies faced the Reds in game 3 of this 4-game series and drama ensued.  Homer Bailey started the game for the Reds and true to his name, gave up a homer to Jayson Werth in the 6th inning, Werth’s 19th of the season.  What a horrible name for a pitcher…Homer.  Poor guy.  But for most of the game, he was very good and kept the Phillies hitters off balance.

The home plate umpire, Ron Kulpa, created a lot of controversy with his rather large strike zone; 20 strikeout’s were recorded in the game and 14 of those batters went down looking.  And so the game remained very tight throughout.

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The Phillies entered the 9th inning with a 2-2 tie and needed a hero to nail this one down.  With 2 outs and 2 on, The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Shane Victorino, stepped to the plate and solidified his campaign for an All-Star roster spot.  Shane singled into centerfield and Pedro Feliz scored to win the game, 3-2!
 VOTE FOR SHANE! 

Rules of Engagement

One of the more entertaining aspects of tonight’s game, as I mentioned earlier, was watching the Reds hitters argue and scream and cuss at the home plate umpire, Ron Kulpa.  To sum it up, basically every pitch was bound to be called a strike.  But he called it the same way for both side.  Yet, no less than 3 Reds players got right up in his face and yelled about strike calls.  It makes you wonder, why were none of these players thrown out of the game?  Not that I like watching guys get tossed, but how much grief is any umpire supposed to take?  Granted, this was one of the worst umpiring jobs I have seen in a long time, but the Phillies maintained controlled and did not try to rip his head off like the Reds did.  In fact, it is a rule that no one is allowed to argue balls and strikes (Official baseball rules section 9.02(a)).  After the first or second player, the ump needs to start ejecting guys.  Just sayin’…

Pitching Possibilities

Rodrigo Lopez did a great job through 5 innings tonight, but was removed from the game early with right shoulder inflammation.  That is certainly not good news.  However, maybe the push to get a quality starting pitcher like Roy Halladay of the Jays will reach a new level with the possibility of Lopez no longer being available. 

The Phillies front office has been insistent that certain minor league prospects are “untouchable” but frankly, that attitude will not get them far when competing with other teams who are more flexible.  Understanding the value of prospects in the farm system, teams need also be reminded of the value of winning, and winning right now.  With the Phillies core players in place, coming off a World Championship, the window of opportunity to win it again will likely only remain open for a few years.  So, if they need to give up 2-3 big prospects to get another ring, it seems like a fair trade off.

If the Phillies can get a #1 starter like Halladay, they would be foolish to let him go to another team.  Last year, they did miss out on CC Sabathia and even Manny Ramirez, and yes, they still won it all.  But the 2009 team has run into pitching trouble after losing Brett Myers, who was a big part of the World Series win.  The bullpen has been overworked and their production is way down from 2008.  This is a different team; the Phillies need a big starter if they are to have a shot at repeating.

Keep Voting!

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The clock is ticking!  Shane Victorino has a chance to go to the All-Star game in St. Louis but he needs our help!  Gizmo the Chinchilla has been typing away all day long, but his little paws are getting tired.  Won’t you please help him out?  You can
VOTE as many times as you are able to!  Humans and rodents alike have until tomorrow at 4pm to get Shane in! 

Photo 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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