Results tagged ‘ Jayson Werth ’

Are Rumors Werth Listening To?

In the digital age, rumors fly much quicker than they used to.  It literally takes only seconds to post a rumor online and create a huge buzz over basically nothing.  The same applies to Phillies free-agent  right fielder, Jayson Werth. 
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Early this morning, a talk-show radio host mentioned that the Phillies had offered Werth a contract and that it was good enough for him to possibly sign.  Should you give credence to this rumor?  The simple answer is “No.”

Black Friday came and went and no “sale” on outfielders was ever advertised.  Tomorrow is Cyber Monday; for those awaiting a holiday miracle and second-chance sale on Werth, put it out of your mind.  It is not going to happen.  The odds of Werth returning to Philly are about the same as the possibility of a meteor landing on your house; for the record, those adds are about 182,138,880,000,000 to 1.

Did you know there is even a web site page on eHow.com dedicated to helping people determine if rumors are true?  One of the suggestions says, “Send at text to (CHA CHA) 242 242 with any rumor questions and they might be able to answer your question in just a few minutes.”  Is this not the basic equivalent to shaking a Magic 8-ball?

So if you prefer logic to magic text messages, just look at the facts.  The Phillies already have $143 million dollars committed to 2011 salaries.  Werth is going to aim for an average of $15 million a year.  Nearing the $160 million dollar mark does not leave room for improvements elsewhere, like in the bullpen.  Plus, while Domonic Brown may not be ready to take over full-time in right field, he is close enough.  The Phillies can find help elsewhere for the one year or so until Brown is ready.

Now think about some of the moves GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has already made.  If Amaro was not willing to pay to keep Cliff Lee, $15 million a year for Werth seems even more like a huge, unsustainable amount.  The Phillies are also not afraid to platoon players to fill the spot, as evidenced by previous pairings like Werth and Geoff Jenkins.  While this will not improve the position at all, it is possible that the Phillies will settle for a platoon of Ben Francisco and Brown if all else fails.

Players will wait to get the best offer.  Remember after the 2007 season when the Phillies gave a solid 3-4 offer to Aaron Rowand to return?  The Giants came in with a 5-year deal and Rowand walked.  It will be the same with Werth; even if the Phillies offer a very good deal, odds are that another team will outbid them.

And if all that has not quelled your suspicions that this weekend’s rumor might be true, take it from Werth himself.  CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Werth said via text message about being close to signing, “Not at all. It’s very early. I will make an informed decision in due time.”  So you can choose to believe the magic CHA CHA eHow text message or the verified text message sent to Salisbury.  Magic or logic; you decide.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Samuel Returns To Philly

The Phillies have hired ex-Phillie Juan Samuel to fill the void left when first base coach Davey Lopes walked after failed contract negotiations.  Samuel started his 16-year big league career with the Phillies, playing second base from 1983 to part of 1989. 
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Later in his career, Samuel played both second base and outfield positions and was known as an extremely versatile player.  More recently, he  coached third base for the Orioles and also served as interim manager when Dave Trembley was fired in June.

Samuel will take over as third base coach and outfield instructor for the Phillies while Sam Perlozzo moves to first base.  When asked about returning the Philadelphia, Samuel told reporters, “I couldn’t be happier.  I’m ecstatic going back and joining an elite group of players and manager.  It’s a dream come true.”  Samuel was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2008 and has always been a fan favorite.  It will be nice to have him back.

In other news, the Phillies have made a small flurry of insignifigant moves in the past week or so.  They have signed Pete Orr, 31, to a minor league deal.  The infielder has spent much of his baseball career lingering in the minors where he hit .264.

In the catcher category, the Phils re-signed Dane Sardinha who hit .205 in his time with the Phils last year and .207 in the minors.  They also picked up Erik Kratz, 30, who hit .274 in the Pirates AAA system.


Bonine-Adult.jpgContinuing to add minor-league pitching, Eddie Bonine, 29, was added as well after spending time in the Tigers bullpen last year.  Bonine had a record of 4-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 47 appearances and one start in 2010.  His name indicates that he is good at preventing nausea, however, his stats indicate otherwise.  Yuck.  Well, at least they picked up one guy under 30….barely.

As for Jayson Werth, there is still little news.  He and his super-agent Scott Boras are out and about trying to see who is willing to get serious about overpaying the outfielder.  The odds of Werth returning to the Phillies lessen as each day passes.  But truthfully, the odds may have been close to 1% to begin with.  Don’t hold out hope…it is very unlikely that Werth will be back in red pinstripes.

 

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

2010 Phillies Photo Tribute

I normally do not have this video done before Christmas, but it is amazing how much extra time that the lack of a World Series provides ;o)  For those who have missed it previous years, at the end of every season, I pick out my favorite Phillies photos from that year and put them into a video slideshow.  These photos were all taken by me and my giant zoom lens, from the stands, at both home and away games throughout the season.

In the 2010 season, I attended 27 games and 7 Phillies-related special events, like the Phestival and the Phillies Cruise.  Yes, it was down year for me due to a lack of funds ;o)   Going through the digital files on my computer, I calculate that I shot more than 18,000 photos at Phillies games this year.  If you add in the special events, the total is over 25,000.  Of those, I picked out and published around 5,000.  The slideshow contains the best of the game shots for a total of 257 photos. 

I am eternally grateful for the invention of the digital camera.  Remember the days when we had to use film?  That was one expensive habit.  Well, here it is…enjoy!

 

 

Thank you for stopping by!

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Utley and Rollins 2010 Analysis

Continuing my series on the 2010 player breakdown, today I will analyze the season’s of second baseman Chase Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins.  Here is a quick look at some of their key stats for the last 5 seasons:

Utley

SEASON

G

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

2006

160

658

203

40

4

32

102

.309

.379

.527

2007

132

530

176

48

5

22

103

.332

.410

.566

2008

159

607

177

41

4

33

104

.292

.380

.535

2009

156

571

161

28

4

31

93

.282

.397

.508

2010

115

425

117

20

2

16

65

.275

.387

.445

Rollins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEASON

G

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

2006

158

689

191

45

9

25

83

.277

.334

.478

2007

162

716

212

38

20

30

94

.296

.344

.531

2008

137

556

154

38

9

11

59

.277

.349

.437

2009

155

672

168

43

5

21

77

.250

.296

.423

2010

88

350

85

16

3

8

41

.243

.320

.374

 

Both players have been in a steady decline; some of it has been due to injury and some of it is more mysterious.  The downward trend of their power numbers, as reflected in the slugging percentage, is concerning.  This means both players are getting fewer extra-base hits overall and less production.


b BP and warmups (4).jpgMost of Utley’s issues have been the result of injuries piling up; a broken hand in 2007; hip surgery after the 2008 season; and surgery on a sprained thumb this year.  Rollins, on the other hand, has had fewer injuries.  After winning the MVP award in 2007, he sprained his ankle in 2008 but it was not very serious.  This year, Rollins had a strained calf and later, a hamstring issue, which made it a very bad season for J-Roll.

Questions have arisen about Rollins’ off-season preparation as he gets older combined with a heavy work load.  Among all active players, Rollins, age 31, ranks 32nd in career at-bats with 6291.  Among players 31 years of age or younger, he has the 2nd most career at-bats behind only Adrian Beltre with 6874 at-bats.  So a new off-season routine may be in order.

For the most part, both players are still clutch performers as indicated by the 2010 situational stats below:

UTLEY

AVG

SLG

ROLLINS

AVG

SLG

Bases Empty

.246

.426

Bases Empty

.214

.315

Runners On

.315

.470

Runners On

.304

.500

RISP

.333

.521

RISP

.329

.557

RISP w/2 Outs

.371

.714

RISP w/2 Outs

.375

.700

Bases Loaded

.600

1.200

Bases Loaded

.200

.500

 

As an example of a polar opposite, right fielder Jayson Werth hit only .186 with runners in scoring position; Utley and Rollins hit .333 and .329 respectively.

It was not a great year for either middle infielder.  It does seem that the work load, which has included 4 straight seasons of extra work due to post-season play, is taking a toll.  And as they get older, it will only get more complicated to find a way to endure a 162+ game season.

But after getting slapped around in the NLCS and knowing the strong work ethic of Utley and Rollins’ drive to succeed, I predict both players will make the adjustments and come out swinging in 2011.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Amaro Discusses The Near Future

In a press conference today, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. discussed many issues including free agents, the “age” issue and the disappointing offense this year. 
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The hot topic of discussion centered around right fielder, Jayson Werth.  Amaro did not close the door on the issue by any means, but it certainly seems like a long shot for Werth to return.

Werth stated in a later press conference that he was “looking forward to the experience of being a free agent” and that “Philly is one of the teams in consideration.”  He also hired monster agent Scott Boras in September; the only reason to do this is if he is looking for a huge contract, which the Phillies likely cannot afford.

Amaro was quick to point out Werth’s struggles this year: “It wasn’t an extraordinary year. He had a tough time with men in scoring position. It wasn’t as productive a year as he’s had in the past.”  In fact, Werth batted only .186 in these situations which ranks 215th out of 218 qualified players.

My gut feeling is that Werth will not be back.  I predict he will be in Yankees pinstripes soon; New York is geographically in the same area plus his stepfather, Dennis Werth, played for the Yankees from 1979-1981.  Not to mention that the Yanks may be one of the few teams who can afford to pay him what he wants.

As for the aging Phils, Amaro did not seem overly concerned saying that the team’s core players are “very productive players and they’re not beyond their prime years.”  He also added that an injection of youth may be a good thing as well.  If Domonic Brown takes over for Werth, that is one step towards getting younger.

While it was not discussed today, my thought is that moving Raul Ibanez who is owed $11.5 million next year is a good way to clear up payroll space as well as get a little younger.  We love Rauuuuul…however, he has been streaky at best and will turn 39 in June.  Then again, it will not be easy to move an declining player with a hefty salary so, this may not even be possible.

Also up for discussion was the lack of offensive production which prompted many questions about a possible shake-up.  Amaro seems happy with the core of the team but did note that they “just didn’t have the right approach” at the plate.  He also stated that, “Some guys may be looking at preparing a little differently for the 2011 season as they get older.”  Amaro noted Jimmy Rollins in this category and said all the innings he has played over the years may be taking a toll.

I looked it up; among all active players, Rollins, age 31, ranks 32nd in career at-bats with 6291.  Among players 31 years of age or younger, he has the 2nd most career at-bats behind only Adrian Beltre with 6874 at-bats.  So yes, Rollins may need a different off-season routine to keep up this pace.

Mike Sweeney Needs A Hug

One of the most difficult moments after Saturday’s loss was watching veteran Mike Sweeney give a post-game interview.  He was nearly in tears as he discussed the end of the season and contemplated his future:

Prior to the interview, Sweeney could be been seen in the background of a Ryan Madson interview, standing for a long time, still in uniform, with his head resting against his locker.  After a while, he sat, clearly downtrodden, and put his head in his hands.

Sweeney after game.jpg

This was a heartbreaking scene.  Sweeney has been praised by nearly everyone for his team spirit, positive attitude and for been an amazing and kind human being.  His long, productive career aside, this is a quality guy and it was painful to see him in such agony after the loss, especially when he had only one at-bat the whole post-season.  He did make the most it though, with a pinch hit in the NLDS.

If you would like to offer a virtual HUG to Mr. Sweeney, please visit my Facebook page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” and share your thoughts.  I am going to see if I can get someone to direct him to the page in the hopes that our messages of support might lift his spirits.

Thank you to all the Sweeney supporters already out there for stopping by!

 

Werth photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Season Over Too Soon

The Phillies lost Game 6 of the NLCS to the Giants last night, prematurely ending their season.  The Giants will go on to face the Texas Rangers in the World Series while the Phils sit at home and watch.  Having made it to the World Series two straight years, this loss was tough to take.

The game ended, perhaps fittingly, on a Ryan Howard strike out with 2 men on base.  Howard struck out 12 times in 22 at-bats and had zero RBI the entire series.  This performance was a microcosm of entire Phillies playoff run where the big producers did very little.  Chase Utley hit .182 with only 1 RBI; Shane Victorino batted .208 with only 2 RBI; Carlos Ruiz hit .167 with only 1 RBI…you get the picture.

In last night’s game, the Phils had plenty of chances to turn things around and force a Game 7; they simply did not do it.  Roy Oswalt pitched a great game while Jonathan Sanchez did not.

1023 pitching.jpg

The Phillies took advantage of Sanchez early in the 1st inning; after a walk and a wild pitch, Utley doubled, Howard singled and Jayson Werth hit a sac fly.  Two runs scored and it looked like the Phils were in control.
1023 offense.jpg

It started out similar in the bottom of the 3rd inning too; Sanchez walked  Placido Polanco and then hit Utley in the upper back.  As Utley ran to first, the ball bounced to him; he caught it and underhanded it to Sanchez who then started spewing cuss words at Utley.  If you read his lips, Utley said, “What?  What’s bulls*it?” And then the benches cleared…

Here are some photos I took and I have marked where a few interesting things are going on in the group.  You can see Carlos Ruiz getting pretty angry; Utley running in while Polanco tries to restrain a Giants player; Pat Burrell right in the middle of the argument having words with his old friends; JC Romero trying to hold back Sanchez:

1023 benches clear2.jpg

Utley and Sanchez have a history; Sanchez threw at his head on 7/30/09, to which Utley said nothing. Later, Utley called time out during his at-bat and Sanchez got mad about when he called it.  Utley then took him deep for a homer to right.  Apparently, Sanchez has issues with Utley.

Anyway, after the near-brawl on the field, Sanchez was pulled; the Phillies had two free base runners with NO outs and still failed to score.  That may have been the moment that changed the entire season for the Phillies.  Because in the top of the inning, everything had gone wrong for the Phils defensively.  Getting a run after that may have made the difference.

The 3rd started with a hit by the pitcher Sanchez which Utley should have fielded and did not.  A single and a sac bunt were followed by this missed fly ball to Victorino:

1023 Victorino dropped ball.jpg

On the very same play, Victorino threw home and Ruiz made the tag to save a run:

1023 Ruiz defense.jpg

The Phils could have escaped with just the one run scored but Polanco got a ground ball and was charged with a throwing error as Howard did not make the catch at first.  Frankly, it looked like a ball he should have caught.  Another run scored on the error to tie the game 2-2.

It was a virtual stalemate after that for a while.  The Phillies had chances to score, like in the 5th when Howard doubled but the 3rd base coach held Jimmy Rollins at third.  With two outs and little offense working, he should have been sent home.

In the 6th, Raul Ibanez doubled and Ruiz moved him to third with a bunt.  But pinch hitter Ben Francisco went down on strikes instead of hitting a much needed sac fly.  No scoring…again.  In all, the Phillies left 11 men on base and went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.  It was a lackluster effort, just like most of this series was for the Phillies.

Werth did make a heroic catch in foul territory, which was one of the few highlights:

1023 Werth catch.jpg

But in the 8th, forced to pitch his 2nd inning of the night, Ryan Madson gave up a solo homer to Juan Uribe which broke the tie.  The Phillies could not manage a rally, down by only one run and with many base runners.  They lost 3-2 and sent the Giants to the World Series.

I would like to congratulate the Giants and their fans for the victory.  They are a great team who fought hard and earned it.  The Phillies did not play like the team we all know and that is the most disappointing part.  But to have made it this far is still an accomplishment as 26 other teams did not.

In the coming days, I will be analyzing the aftermath and looking ahead to what next season might bring.  For today, I will quietly mourn the end of the 2010 Phillies season and try to look on the bright side later.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.  It includes game shots, pre-game, Darren Daulton tossing the 1st pitch, Kane Kalas singing God Bless America and more…

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Staying Alive; Phillies Pull Out A Win And Head Back To Philly

Everyone expected Roy Halladay to come out firing tonight with the Phillies season on the line.  Instead, he walked the first batter he faced and allowed a run to score.  The entire 6 innings he pitched were uncomfortable, at best.  He did only allow 2 runs total; the second one, of course, off the bat of Cody Ross with an RBI-double.  But he never looked settled, fell behind in counts and ended with 2 walks and only 5 strike outs.PA163444AR.jpg

While Halladay’s entire outing was a nail biter, he did battle through it and kept the Phils in the game.  Tim Lincecum only had one bad inning through 7 and that was the 3rd.  The Phillies scored 3 runs in a very odd sequence of events.  Raul Ibanez, back in the line-up after being sat yesterday, singled to start the inning.  That was his first hit this entire series.

Lincecum then hit Carlos Ruiz to put two men on base with no outs.  Halladay bunted what looked like a foul ball but the umpire, much to everyone’s surprise, called it fair.  The base runners moved up as Pablo Sandoval at third missed the bag while Ibanez slid in.  Halladay just stood at home looking confused as he was thrown out at first on a foul ball.

But it worked out for the Phillies as an error by Aubrey Huff allowed both Ibanez and Ruiz to score.  Placido Polanco singled to score another run.  But then with runners on first and second, needing a simple sac fly to score again, Ryan Howard struck out…again.  Howard has zero RBI’s this series.  Jayson Werth flied out to end the inning, stranding 2 runners.

You had to wonder if these stranded runners would cost the Phillies both the game (again) and the season.  They headed into the 7th clinging to the slim 3-2 lead.  Jimmy Rollins singled and then stole 2 bases to land on 3rd with Ruiz on 1st and only one out.  But again, the Phillies failed to score.  Pinch hitter Ross Gload hit a line drive right to 1st.  Huff caught the ball and stepped on 1st for the easy double play.

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In the middle of the 7th, the Giants sent this strange thing out to sing God Bless America; I think that is a small village on her head?  Weird.

So it would be up to the bullpen to keep the series going and send it back to Philly.  Jose Contreras and JC Romero took care of the 7th.  Ryan Madson was tossing 95mph bullets in the 8th, despite having pitched the last two games.  He struck out the side, including our old friend Pat Burrell.  Remember when a Burrell strike out was SO frustrating?  Not so much anymore ;o)

Giving the Phillies a little extra breathing room in the 9th, Werth hit a monster homer over the huge right field wall.  Brad Lidge had a 4-2 lead to work with and got the first out quickly with a shallow fly ball.  Next out, an easy ground ball. (Biting my nails…) Pinch hitter, whose name no one can pronounce…Travis Ishikawa…IsHeWaWa?  IshiMama?  IdunnoA?  Whatever.    He struck out, so who cares.  Phillies win, 4-2!!!  LIDGE gets it DONE!

With the win tonight, the NLCS series heads back to Philadelphia with the Phils trailing 2 games to 3.  They have an off-day tomorrow for travel and will play Game 6 on Saturday, either at 3:57pm or 7:57pm, depending on the Rangers – Yankees series results tomorrow.  I assume Roy Oswalt is still slated to pitch; we should know for sure tomorrow.  Whatever happens, I am excited to go to the game on Saturday; this team may still have life in them yet.

UPDATE: Halladay apparently pulled his groin early in the game last night during either the 1st or 2nd inning.  Manuel said 2nd, but also said it was during the Buster Posey at-bat, which was in the 1st.  At any rate, he pitched basically the whole game injured.  Halladay will have an MRI today to determine how bad the pull is.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies One Game Away From Elimination

The Phillies seem determined to lose this NLCS series; they did everything they could think of to hand it over the Giants tonight to go down 3 games to 1.  Lose tomorrow and they will go home.  There are many ways to describe the Phillies effort this series, such as pathetic, disgusting or downright ugly.  It appears they already have their bags packed.

Not to take anything away from the Giants who are a great team with an amazing pitching staff.  But the effort they have gotten from Phillies so far in no way properly emulates the talent on this team.  The offense has been minimal to non-existent and the pitching has varied from great (Roy Oswalt, Game 2) to unexpectedly lackluster (Roy Halladay, Game 1) to horrible (Joe Blanton plus Chad Durbin, Game 4).

Tonight, Blanton was not good.  He allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk in only 4 2/3 innings.  All 3 runs were scored with two outs in the inning and one of those came after two wild pitches in the first inning.  Worse than that, after the offense squeezed out 4 tough runs in the 5th for him, Blanton could not manage a shut-down inning and gave a run right back.

The 4 runs they managed came after a string of singles and a double by Placido Polanco.  A hit batter loaded the bases but Jimmy Rollins swung at ball 4 to end the inning instead of adding on runs.  The addition of Ben Francisco in place of Raul Ibanez was an improvement as Francisco actually hit the ball a few times.  But in the end, not much else went right for the Phillies.


P8248770 Durbin platter.jpgTrying to hand the game over on a silver platter, Chad Durbin and Carlos Ruiz combined to take a 4-3 Phillies lead in the 6th inning and turn it into a 4-5 deficit.  Durbin led the inning off by walking Pat Burrell.  Then, apparently leaving his brain back in Philadelphia, Ruiz called for inside fastballs to Cody Ross who has gobbled those same pitches up this series to the tune of 3 homers and 4 RBI.  Well, he did it again with a double and eventually scored along with Burrell.

I hate to criticize Ruiz, who has been fabulous all year, but this was the 5th time he made the same mistake to Ross this series.  FIVE times!  WHEN will it end?  And that was not the only mistake; Ruiz called for a high fastball to Pablo Sandoval that same inning, which led to a 2-RBI double.  I was screaming at the TV, “Keep the ball down!” because I knew he wanted a high fastball.  If I know this, WHY doesn’t Ruiz??  Sandoval took a ridiculous swing at a low curve ball earlier in the at-bat and missed badly.  Plus, if you have EVER seen Sandoval hit, you know he likes them high.  Hello???  Am I some sort of baseball genius or was this just a bonehead move by the pitcher and catcher?  Hint: Bonehead move!!

I do not think “frustration” begins to cover the range of emotions I am experiencing right now, along with thousands of other Phillies fans.  As just another example of this, why in that same 5th inning we discussed earlier did the 3rd base coach send Ruiz home from 2nd on a ball hit to very shallow center? 
Head-Explosion.jpg
He was nailed at the plate by a mile.  And why on that same play is Shane Victorino, who hit the ball, still standing on first base instead of advancing to 2nd during the play at home?  Did he have a brain freeze?  Whatever the issue, it was about to induce a brain aneurism as my head felt like it might explode.

In the 8th inning, doubles from Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth tied the game up.  But is it just me, or did this not just seem to delay the inevitable?  So going into the 9th inning and running out of pitchers that manager Charlie Manuel felt he could trust, he brought in starter Roy Oswalt on TWO days rest.  I kid you not.  He still had Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge and JC Romero in the pen, but went with Oswalt.

That turned out to be a huge disaster.  Oswalt gave up two singles and a sac fly that scored the winning run for the Giants.  Not Oswalt’s fault by any means; what did they expect from him on two days rest and off his usual routine?

Game 5 tomorrow – Roy Halladay will attempt to keep the series alive.  Is it possible for the Phillies to win the next 3 games?  Anything is possible I suppose.

 

Durbin photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Series Tied 1-1 As Phillies Offense Returns

After last night’s disappointing loss to the Giants in Game 1 of the NLCS, it was a huge relief to see the offense return for the Phillies in Game 2 tonight.  The Phillies have done very badly against pitcher Jonathan Sanchez in the past.  But now they can put those performances exactly there…in the past.




P8248836 Rollins cr2.jpgWhile it was not a major explosion at first, the Phils took advantage of Sanchez’s wildness in the first inning where he loaded the bases and Jimmy Rollins took a walk for an RBI.  They scratched out 2 more runs off Sanchez, although one was unearned.  But with a little patience, they drew 3 walks, forced his pitch count up and chased Sanchez out of the game early in the 7th inning.

When the Giants bullpen took over in the 7th, so did the Phillies.  Pitcher Roy Oswalt singled off Sanchez which is what brought on the pen.  Another single from Placido Polanco plus a double steal from Polanco and Chase Utley kept things moving.  Jayson Werth was intentionally walked and then Jimmy Rollins had another chance to get back in the swing of things.  J-Roll whacked a bases clearing double!  Finally, Rollins looks like the light has turned on in his head.

Oswalt was brilliant on the mound, as well as at the plate.  In fact, through 8 innings, the only run he allowed was from the Phillies new nemesis, Cody “The Devil” Ross.  Ross has no idea that this is his new nickname as I have not-so-anonymously assigned it to him.  But I think it fits.  In 2 games, Ross has seen 3 fastball sent middle-in to him; all 3 times, he sent the ball out of the yard.  Two homers were off Roy Halladay yesterday and one off Oswalt today.  So it is official…he is the devil.

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But as we all know, the Devil does not always win.  And tonight, it was Oswalt and the Phillies offense that came out on top.  Rollins collected 4 RBI and his first 2 hits of the series.  Polanco had 2 RBI, Ryan Howard had 2 hits and Utley walked twice.  The only batters who looked totally lost at the plate today were Raul Ibanez and Werth who both struck out twice.

Ryan Madson pitched the 9th inning and kept the 6-1 score intact.  So the series is tied at 1 game each and both teams will travel to San Francisco for the next 3 games.  Monday is an off-day with the series resuming on Tuesday.  Cole Hamels will pitch against Matt Cain; game time is 4:00pm.

 

Rollins photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

NLCS Game 1: Disappointment For The Phillies

I feel like I have a hangover, but I did not have anything to drink.  The Phillies 4-3 loss to the Giants last night was the kind of life-sucking let down that leaves you wishing you had stayed in bed.  Where was the big comeback?  Where was the timely hitting?  And more importantly, where was the pitcher’s duel we were promised?  The raucous crowd used all their energy to try and will this team to a victory.  But when Shane Victorino struck out to end the game, all the air went out of the balloon.

Neither Roy Halladay nor Tim Lincecum pitched very well and both were visibly annoyed by the home plate umpire, Derryl Cousins, who had a moving strike zone.  Cousins only called hitters out on strikes twice all night and one of those was Lincecum.  Although, if you count the time he tried to call Jimmy Rollins out when he only had 2 strikes on him, I suppose he went for 3.
101610 PITCHING.jpg  Ex-Phil Pat Burrell was out in the 6th inning on a strike right down the middle, but the idiot in blue didn’t call it, which led to 2 more runs.  Of course, Raul Ibanez probably should have caught this ball that Burrell hit; and there was no need to scale the wall like he did either:

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The Phillies offense had opportunities to score but did not capitalize.  Ryan Howard led off the 2nd inning with a double and then never moved until the inning was over.  In the 3rd, Carlos Ruiz tied the game with a homer.  Halladay then singled and it looked like the Phillies had a real shot at rattling Lincecum.  But then Victorino stepped to the plate and grounded into a double play to kill all the momentum.  Still, Placido Polanco and Chase Utley kept the inning going only to have Howard strike out to end it.

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It was that kind of up and down drama that never materialized into runs.  Jayson Werth, the only Phillies batter with 2 hits in the game, nailed a 2-run homer in the 6th to give the Phillies a chance at a comeback.  But despite the defensive efforts and pitching to keep it a 4-3 game, the Phils offense never stepped up and got it done.

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For the Giants, Cody Ross was getting it done.  I never liked Ross when he was a Marlin and last night’s game certainly has not changed that as Ross hit not one, but two home runs off Halladay.  In fact, I now believe that Ross is pure evil; the spawn of Satan.  I swear he is the brother of Chucky, the most despicable of all Satanic spawn.  He must be stopped before he steals our souls.  Exorcism, anyone?  Ugh.

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By the way, has anyone else noticed that despite Rollins’ claims he is healthy that he looks like he could not hit the broad side of a barn right now?  I hope Charlie Manuel watches film of his at-bats and holds him out of the game if he is not right.  It is the playoffs; they do not have time for Rollins to work his way back.  Love ya Jimmy, but please do not hurt the team by trying to tough it out.

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PA163801CU.jpgOne fun note from the game was the whistling and catcalling directed at Lincecum and his long hair.  Some fans shouted that he looked like a girl and then the whistling began, as if being directed at a pretty girl.  Lincecum was asked if he noticed and he said, “I was thinking I must have a really nice butt.”  Sorry Timmy, you actually have no butt at all.  I have photographic evidence.

And here is the full Photo Album from the game, which includes pre-game ceremonies, a shot of VP Joe Biden in the crowd and some Phanatic fun to cheer you up.

So tonight the Phillies will lean on Roy Oswalt to get a win.  They will also try to do something they have never done before; hit Jonathan Sanchez.  Cross your fingers…game time is 8:00pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

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