Results tagged ‘ Jeff Francour ’

Phillies Beat Marlins to Avoid 100 Loss Season

The Phillies have 99 problems but 100 losses ain’t one.  Sorry, could not resist.  So yeah, the Phillies escaped the dreaded 100 loss season today by the skin of their teeth with a 7-2 win over the Marlins that included many odd and interesting moments.  For starters, Roy Halladay made an appearance on Phantavision with his stuffed Chooch pillow to congratulate Carlos Ruiz on being honored for the four no-hitters he has caught for the Phillies.  Charlie Manuel joined Chooch on the field to celebrate.

100415 Chooch

A few not-so-great moments occurred once the game began.  For example, Jeff Francour missed what appeared to be a routine fly ball to give the Marlins a lead.  And as if so disgusted by his play, a bird apparently committed suicide and had to be carted off the field by Phillies security personnel.

100415 Frenchy

But things began to brighten up when it started looking like David Buchanan might actually get a win.  Not only did he pitch well, he also had 2 hits in the game and scored a run.

100415 Buchanan

Suddenly, players began smiling and sliding into bases and collecting extra base hits.  When you sit through a 99-loss season, seeing this in the last game of the season was somewhat miraculous.

100415 Misc

But the strangest part of the day had to be seeing future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki make his major league pitching debut in the 8th inning.  Apparently, it was a long-time dream of Ichiro’s to pitch so he asked his manager to put him in.  It was a treat for the crowd as well.  Ichiro gave up 1 run to the Phillies on 2 doubles; he tossed a total of 18 pitches.

100415 Ichiro

So after a very bad season, the Phillies end on a high note.  And they also get the 1st round draft pick as well for being so awful.  Bonus.  Here is the Photo Album from the game.  Also, here is another album for anyone who is interested; I took a tour of Petco Park in San Diego last month.  There was a charity event that day so the field was littered with stationary bikes, but the view is still cool.

I also took some video today of Halladay’s speech, Cody Asche addressing the crowd and a few other things.  I hope to have that uploaded in the next week or so.  Goodnight for now!

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Phillies Sweep for Christmas in July

Instead of coal in their stockings, the Phillies received a 3-game sweep of the Marlins for their Christmas in July celebration today.  Considering they started the second half of the season as the worst team in baseball, this is nothing short of a miracle.  Please wake me if I am dreaming…

It looked like a sure win today early on as the Phils exploded for 5 runs in the second inning.  There was a lot of staring at home runs (Ryan Howard and Freddy Galvis) and celebrating.  Even Cole Hamels had a hit in the inning.
071915 offenseBut the warm fuzzies wore off quickly as Hamels bombed in the 3rd inning.  The fielders were awfully busy while Hamels struggled to get by. 071915 fielding

Ultimately, Hamels took the 3-run lead the Phillies spotted him and handed those runs right back to the Marlins.  By the end of the inning, Hamels had 76 pitches and would not return to the game.
071915 HamelsIn his defense, it was hotter than hell today.  The temperature was 93 degrees at game time and got hotter as the game went on.  It even looked for a minute like we may lose the home plate umpire, who needed assistance getting cool. 071915 umps

So it would take 5 bullpen arms to finish the game after Hamels’ early exit.  Both Elvis Araujo and Luis Garcia pitched perfect innings.
071915 pen

But then Ken Giles blew a save in the 8th inning, where the Marlins took a 7-6 lead.  Giles was all over the place which sent many of the few fans in attendance streaming towards the exits, myself included.  I was melting by then and not sure if I’d make it to the car if I stayed much longer anyway.

But luckily for the Phillies, Jeff Francour decided to play Santa Claus today and unwrap a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Phillies an 8-7 win.  I enjoyed the hit from the comfort of my air-conditioned car, which made finding the energy to celebrate a bit easier ;)

The Phillies take on the Rays tomorrow.  Game time is 7:05pm.

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.

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Phillies’ Sunday Doubleheader – A Tale of Two Teams

The first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Nationals featured a team that could not string together hits and guys who looked like little leaguers on the field, dropping balls and missing bases.  The second game showcased a group of young players having a good time playing baseball and smacking the ball all over the field.  It is too bad that most of the crowd left after the first game; they missed a pretty fun offensive explosion.

In the first game, pitcher Kevin Correia was the victim of the Phillies sloppy defense.  He gave up 3 runs in 5.1 innings, but only 1 of those runs was earned.  Two Phillies errors helped the Nats with the other runs.

062815 Correia

And the offense did little to help; the Phillies had only 5 hits in the game.  Both RBI’s were courtesy of Jeff Francour (who also had one of the errors in the game) who homered in the 2nd inning and singled a run home in the 6th.
062815 Frenchy

The Phillies could not recover from the 2-3 deficit, even though 4 bullpen players pitched the final 3.2 innings without allowing a run.
062815 GM1 pitch

The second game was a very different story.  Rookie pitcher Severino Gonzalez collected both his 3rd major league win and his first major league hit and RBI with a sacrifice in the 2nd and a single in the 4th.  He allowed 4 runs over 5.1 innings, which was not super, but still pretty good for a rookie pitching to a good offensive team.
062815 Gonzalez

And after only 5 hits in the first game, the Phillies’ bats suddenly came to life. The team scored 4 runs in both the 2nd and 4th innings.  Cesar Hernandez had an amazing game with 4 hits and Maikel Franco collected 3 RBI on 2 hits.  Odubel Hererra had 3 hits and an RBI and both Cody Asche and Domonic Brown had 2 hits each.  It was almost as if the anemic crowd made them all less nervous.  They were finally able to relax and just swing away.
062815 GM2 O

And you could even see the change in their faces.  Players smiled and laughed running out to their positions and for once, actually appeared to be having a good time.  You have to wonder, was it the crowd, the departure of their manager finally sinking in or just the result of a group of guys playing with other guys they actually feel comfortable with?  I know this will cause controversy, but I think it is important to note that 6 of 9 starting players in game 2 were Hispanic (Game 1 had 3).  And with many of them being so young, perhaps they are simply more comfortable playing with guys who speak their language, literally and metaphorically?

I think this is great, especially for younger players who need to find ways to fit in.  And as they get older, they will adapt more easily and expand their friendships.  But right now, maybe the camaraderie is helping?  I could be wrong; this is just an observation of how players reacted to one another on the field.  It was obvious to me that, for whatever reason, they were more relaxed and comfortable in the second game.  Of course, maybe interim manager Pete Mackanin said something magical to them in between games?  Who knows; anything is possible.

Speaking of the interim manager, I would like to add my comments on Ryne Sandberg’s resignation last week.  As I stated in my last post, I felt Sandberg had lost the clubhouse and was not long for this position.  Apparently, he came to same conclusion.  And while I do think his departure is for the best, I do not agree with just quitting.  That is just my personal feeling; I think he should have stuck it out until he was fired.  If he couldn’t handle the pressure, he was clearly not the man for the job, which is unfortunate.  I cannot imagine Sandberg getting another job in the majors, especially as a manager, after bailing on his team.  So that is sad for him as well.

Here is the Photo Album from both games of the Doubleheader…enjoy!

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

Giles Gets a Win on His Giveaway Day

Today I wondered if the following scenario has ever happened in baseball before: A middle relief pitcher gets a game win on the same day that a tee shirt with his name, number and face on it is given away to fans.  That is what occurred today in a 6-4 Phillies win over the San Francisco Giants for reliever Ken Giles.  Giles pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out 3 Giants to keep the Phillies in line for the victory.
2015.06.07 Giles

Sean O’Sullivan started the game and actually, despite his struggles, did fairly well.  He allowed 3 runs in 6 innings for a quality start and also helped at the plate with a sacrifice bunt.  The Phanatic tried to help out before the game by squatting on top of Giants players, but the molestation turned out to be unnecessary.  Although, the Phanatic gets an A for effort.
2015.06.07 O'Sullivan

The Phillies actually found some offense today, which was a nice change.  After hitting a grand slam last night, Jeff Francour followed that up with a 2-run pinch-hit triple today.  Both Maikel Franco and Odubel Hererra hit solo homers.  And Cody Asche also collected 2 RBI in the game.
2015.06.07 offense

Once Giles got the Phillies through the 7th and 8th innings, Jonathan Papelbon came in for the save.  After he committed an error to extend the inning and gave up 1 unearned run, Papelbon did finally shut the door on the Giants to salvage one game in this series.

The Phillies head to Cincinnati next for a 3-game series with the Reds.

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri

The Twilight Zone: Unassisted Triple Play

If you missed this game, I pity you.  Complete insanity.  But let us begin at the beginning:

Going back to New York for the first time since leaving the Mets, Pedro Martinez had an eventful day on the mound. 

P8094583 Martinez.jpg
However, his start on the mound was actually preceded by his first turn at the plate.  The Phillies absolutely destroyed Mets starter Oliver Perez taking him deep twice in the 1st; both Jayson Werth’s and Carlos Ruiz’s homers scored 3 runs each.  Down 6-0 with 2 outs, Perez had to face his old teammate and Martinez stood at the plate while Perez tossed three straight balls to him.  With that 3-0 count, the Mets manager sprung from the dugout and took Perez out of the game mid-batter.  To sum up the inning for Perez: total humiliation.

But the bottom of the 1st inning was no less eventful.  The first batter of the game for the Mets hit what looked like a ground rule double to centerfield.  As the ball jammed itself under the outfield padding, Shane Victorino threw his arms up in the air to tell the umpires that the ball was unplayable.  Raul Ibanez saw that the umpires did not react and quickly snagged the ball and threw home, but the throw arrived too late and Angel Pagan wound up with an inside-the-park home run.  Apparently, Victorino was unaware of the ground rules in the new Citi Field and balls stuck under the padding are still considered playable.

Both sides must have felt like they were entering the Twilight Zone after the weird start to the game.  Martinez looked uncomfortable on the mound and was missing his spots badly.  He allowed 4 runs in the first 3 innings but just when it looked like it was going to be a very bad day for him, Martinez settled in and pitched lights out for the next 3 innings.  He was so good the last two innings, it looked like he might go out for the 7th, but Charlie Manuel decided to go to the bullpen.  The Phillies are probably trying to continue to ease Martinez into longer outings little by little and did not want to risk an injury.

The Phillies scored a few more runs in the game and even Martinez helped himself to a hit and an RBI in the game.  Bruntlett TZ.jpgVictorino took a career high 3 walks in the game and Eric Bruntlett had 3 hits in a rare start at second base.  But the insanity continued into the 9th inning and most of it had to do with Bruntlett.

Bruntlett hit a line drive to right field in the 9th and it was just barely caught by the outfielder; the umpire ruled he trapped the ball and it looked like Eric had a triple.  But the Mets argued and the officials overturned the call; a call that, by the way, was NOT reviewable.  Replays showed he did make the catch but he did not show the transfer from glove to hand to the umpire. 

Then in the bottom of the ninth Brad Lidge took the mound and all hell broke loose.  Ryan Howard missed a ball that rolled past him and gave the Mets a triple when it should have been the first out.  The next batter hit the ball to Bruntlett who bobbled it for error #2; the run scored and still no outs.  Daniel Murphy hit a single to make it 1st and 2nd, still no outs.  And then the unbelievable happened; Jeff Francour, the same Met who caught the Bruntlett liner in the top of the 9th, hit a line drive to guess who?  Eric Bruntlett.  The runners were off on the pitch so Bruntlett caught the ball for one out, stepped on second for the next out and then tagged Murphy to complete the unassisted triple play!  The unassisted triple play to END the game no less.  OMG!

The announcers said that this was the first time ever that an unassisted triple play ended a game; but it is actually the 2nd time.  Johnny Neun did it on 5/31/27 for the Tigers.  But in all of baseball history, it was only the 15th time the unassisted triple play has ever happened.  Two of those have now been completed by Phillies; Mickey Morandini did it on 9/20/92 for the Phils.  You just saw history people; more rare than the no-hitter or even the perfect game; the unassisted triple play – AMAZING. 

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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