Results tagged ‘ John Kruk ’

Walk-Off In Extras Nails Series Win for Phillies

The Phillies annual Alumni Weekend came to an end today with a huge series win against the World Champion Cardinals.  The 11-inning, 8-7 walk-off win was the cherry on top of a great weekend at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Vance Worley took the mound again, despite needing elbow surgery for bone chips.  The injury appears to be taking a toll on the Vanimal who struggled again, going 5 1/3 innings with 4 runs allowed.

The Phillies offense started off strong with 3 runs in the 1st on a triple from Chase Utley.  In the 4th, Ryan Howard added a solo homer.  But each time the Phils scored, the Cardinals answered and they took a 4-4 tie into the 8th.

With 3 errors in the game, the Phillies still had some nice defensive plays, and others that fell short.  The play at the plate below where Matt Holiday is called safe was a real bummer:

More disappointment was to follow as Michael Schwimer turned a 4-4 game into a 7-4 deficit for the Phils in the 8th, allowing the 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk.

But just when it looked like the game was over, Erik Kratz got up to his new-old tricks again.  With 2 runners on and 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th, he smashed a home run to left to tie the game up again.

But Kratz was not done yet…  In the 11th, he started off the inning with a double.  Sadly, the double was erased when Jimmy Rollins, who had the day off prior pinch hitting in the 8th, hit into a fielder’s choice.  J-Roll later redeemed himself by stealing 3rd, which turned out to be the key to winning the game.  Juan Pierre hustled down the 1st base line to beat out an infield single which scored Rollins for the walk-off win!

Pierre has been one of the few bright spots for the Phillies this year.  It is hard to imagine not resigning him in the offseason, but that drama will play out later…

As for the Alumni in attendance, they had a lot of fun, especially Mike Schmidt who shot hot dogs into the crowd.  You will have to see it to believe it:

There were many other appearances as well, including John Kruk announcing the line-ups,  Dick Allen and Tony Taylor changing bases, and eight former Phillies, including Larry Andersen, Gary Matthews, Ricky Jordan, Ricky Botallico and Von Hayes singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on the field during the seventh-inning stretch.

Botallico, always an amazing sport, even wore the Phanatic’s jersey to entertain the crowd.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

Hurricane Irene Weekend Photos

The following are some photos I took while bored at the ballpark on Saturday and also some shots from my neighborhood showing some hurricane damage.

To start with, I finally saw the new Harry Kalas statue.  It was nice being able to take photos without a huge crowd:
 

And here are some nice rainy shots of the tarp, wet fans, a bunch of bird taking over the wet field and the flag poles, minus most flags as a wind precaution:
 

Next, I went to see the new John Kruk Wall of Fame plaque and also stared at empty seats for a while for lack of anything else to do:
 

Once the game was finally called, I drove south into Delaware to get home through Hurricane Irene flood warnings, tornado warnings and some pretty impressive downpours.  Here are some sights from my neighbor in the aftermath, including a small lake in my front yard, very large trees tipping sideways, a sink hole in the yard and some fallen tree branches:
 

Aside from some water in the basement though, all went pretty well down here.  So, how about you?  Tell me in the comment section where you live and what the damage was from the hurricane.

The tomorrow, with any luck, Phillies baseball will resume again.  Game time in Cincinnati is 7:10pm with Cole Hamels pitching.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Phillies Snooze & Lose In Opener Against Nats

Seriously, this was a really boring game.  The Phillies mustered only six hits against the Nationals and two of those came in the final inning.  Livan Hernandez watched the Phillies batters whiff at his 68mph curve balls so he kept right on throwing them.

In the words of Pedro Serrano, ” I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats.”  Well, Jobu did not show up and neither did the Phillies bats.

 

To make matters worse, Cole Hamels had a very bad day.  At one point, it was questionable that he could even thrown a strike with no outs and the bases loaded.  Hamels clawed his way through five innings after walking four batters and allowing three runs on six hits.  Afterwards, it was revealed that Hamels has a sore shoulder.  It does not appear to be serious so far.

 

But once again, a trend continued for the Phillies.  Hunter Pence did not get a hit and the Phillies did not win.  It will be fun to see how long this continues to be the case.  In 13 games, the Phillies have won 11 where Pence had a hit and lost the two where he did not get a hit.

The 4-2 loss is clearly not the end of the world, but it was still disappointing.  The real highlight of the day though was the induction of John Kruk into the Phillies Wall of Fame.  The pre-game ceremony included a variety of Phillies alumni including Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Dick Allen and Darren Daulton, among others.

Kruk’s speech was touching and infused with humor that only Phillies fans could appreciate.  He spoke about the 1993 season and noted, “We killed a lot of brain cells.  But you were right there with us and you all killed a bunch too.”

 

But the best part was when Kruk addressed everyone who knocks Philly for being a hard place to play.  He said, “To those people I say, ‘You didn’t have the guts to succeed here.”  And that is exactly why we love John Kruk.  Congrats to John…it is a well deserved honor!

Here is the full Photo Album from Friday night.  And here is a fantastic breakdown of Michael Stutes’ rookie gear:

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

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

Beautiful Tribute, Ugly Game

How do you blow a 6 run lead?  Just ask the Phillies.  No doubt, it was an emotional day for all of us in Phillies-land, as Harry Kalas was remembered before the game and pictures and video of Harry were shown in the park between innings.  Kalas Tribute.jpg

His three sons threw out the first pitch and Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  There were numerous salutes to Harry around the park, including the memorial outside the 3rd base gate at the Mike Schmidt statue.  Schmidt was also in attendance at the game and caught one of the pitches from Harry’s sons as did John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins.

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With all the emotions flying about, it just made you wish even more that the Phillies could have pulled this one out for Harry.  I suppose it was just not meant to be.

The game began for me with multiple bad omens, which I happily ignored as the Phillies jumped to a 5 run lead in the first inning.  I was hit in the head twice before the game even started, and not by a baseball. 


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A man above me in the handicapped section actually dropped his 4-foot metal walking brace on my head; what he could have been doing up there to make this happen, I have NO idea.  One minute, I am in my seat reading, the next minute, I am almost knocked unconscious.  After I regained some semblance of lucidity, I handed the metal rod of death up to him; he said he was sorry and that was that.  No one even came over to see if I was ok.  Unbelievable.


As I rubbed my head, now nursing a major headache, another foreign object whacked me in the back of the head, in the same spot!  I looked up and saw a Comcast employee winding up one of those 1 inch thick TV cables, which is what got me the second time.  This jerk did not even blink; he said nothing, pulled the cable away and left!  As you may imagine, I was quite woozy at this point.  I just sat there dazed and confused and, seriously, you won’t believe what happened next.  Some idiot looking for his seat backed up into my row and stood on my foot while he looked around.  He did not move until I lifted my leg and physically removed him from my foot!  I got a very lame, “oh, sorry” as he wandered off.  Clearly, this was not my day.

The game finally began and the Phillies jumped off to 5 run lead with a Chase Utley 3-run homer and a Chris Coste 2-run double.  Perhaps these bad omens were just some sick cosmic joke?  By the 4th inning, the Phils had a 6-run lead.  How could they possible blow this, especially on Harry’s day?  Well, I’ll tell you how; pitching and managing.  Cole Hamels began to self-destruct in the 5th inning, giving up a 2-run home run to the Padres Scott Hairston.  He also allowed 2 more hits and a walk in that inning and was due to bat 2nd in the line-up.  So, did Charlie Manuel remove the tiring Hamels for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 5th?  Nope.  And then he sent Hamels back out for the 6th inning where, as I fully expected, he continued to give the game away; another 2-run home run, just like that.  Now the score is 7-5.

The offense slept through the next few innings as the pen held the Padres down, but then came the 8th inning.  Ryan Madson, who based on last year, appears to be a VERY slow starter, gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk, blowing the save and giving the Padres an 8-7 lead.  This was a disaster and man, did my head really hurt after that.  Greg Dobbs gave us a little hope as he led off the 8th with a single; Rollins bunted him over but then Shane Victorino popped out.  Utley tried to play hero by whacking a single into left field, but then 3rd base coach, Sam Perlozzo, killed the rally by sending the VERY slow Dobbs home, where he was promptly tagged out. 

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Matt Stairs ended the game in the 9th by striking out looking, but to his defense, the last 2 called strikes did not look to be anywhere near the strike zone.


So besides my getting beat up at the game, another Phillies fan had a very similar day; before the game and before the Kalas boys threw their first pitch, an elderly man was invited onto the field to throw a pitch as well.  Just as the announcer told the crowd that this 82-year old man was very brave for attempting to walk out onto the field, obviously because of his health, at that exact moment, this poor guy tripped on the yellow rope the grounds crew laid down for their pre-game preparations and fell flat onto the ground, losing his shoe in the process.


A very scary moment for all of us as we watched him lay there, but he was able to get up with assistance and did still throw the ball, which went about 2 feet.  It was really something to see him even attempt this after such a terrible fall.  Kudos to that fan for toughing it out!  I do hope is okay.  Sorry, I did not catch his name in all the craziness, but I wish him well.man falls on field.jpg


This was a very sad day for the Phillies and their fans all around.  Spirits were lifted though for a while during the 7th inning stretch when all 44,984 people in attendance were invited to sing along to “High Hopes” with Harry Kalas one last time.  The video played on PhanaVision as we all joined in.  It was a beautiful tribute, as I am sure the memorial service will be today as well. 

As promised, here is the photo album from the Harry Kalas tribute on Friday and the game.  There are two pictures that I think you should all see;  Jimmy Rollins was holding Harry’s favorite white shoes and Chase Utley held his blue jacket while Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  I think those shots really sum up the week. 

Photos by Jenn

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Baseball’s Most Embarrassing Moments

Welcome to Jenn’s next edition of “Strange Baseball.”  Today we will pull out of the closet Baseball’s Most Embarrassing Moments and discover why some of these players belong in Baseball’s Hall of Shame:

- When I first saw Bob Uecker in the movie “Major League,” I thought he was just some wacky sportscaster/actor.  When I was informed he actually used to play in the Majors, the following did not shock me at all:  On September 7, 1967, “Mr. Baseball” did everything wrong that a catcher could possibly do in one game.  He committed one throwing error, had 2 passed balls and was even called for catcher’s interference.  His manager, Billy Hitchcock, later said that he was afraid to leave Uecker in the game, having pulled him in the 7th inning, because he thought Uecker may actually “invent a few more bad things.”

- “Bo Knows…”  Remember the popular saying coined by athlete, Bo Jackson back in the eighties?  Well, on this day, apparently Bo didn’t know baseball:  On September 17, 1986, Jackson got a lesson on what a “balk” was.  Having already had an awful season for the Royals that year, batting .207 and striking out 34 times in 25 games, what happened next was still a bit surprising.  At the plate with a 1-2 count, on the next pitch, the umpire called the pitcher for a balk.  Jackson dropped his bat and ran down to first base.  He later admitted that he had confused “balk” with “walk.”

- May 26, 1992:  On a Carlos Martinez long fly ball, Jose Canseco’s attempt to field the hit turned into a classic blooper reel.  The ball fell right on top of Canseco’s head and bounced over the fence for a home run.  Embarrassed, Canseco tried to play it off like it hit his glove, but the replay never lies.

- July 10, 2001 All-Star Game:  Vladimir Guerrero’s at- bat turned into another blooper that will never get old.  Guerrero swung at a pitch from Mike Stanton and his bat splintered apart; the barrel of the bat flew towards Tommy Lasorda, who was coaching third base and whacked him on the hip.  Lasorda fell heels over head, performing a backwards somersault.  He arose unharmed and Barry Bonds ran out on to the field and tried to put a catcher’s chest protector on him.

- Donnell Nixon of the San Francisco Giants had his head hung low after a game against the Cubs in 1988.  Nixon was caught stealing twice in the same inning!  Once, he was nailed at second, and for the finale, he was thrown out trying to steal home.

- In 1994 during the ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week, Larry Walker had the ultimate blonde moment in front of a national audience.  Walker caught a ball with only one out and then, not realizing the inning was not over AND there was a runner on first, he handed the ball to a kid in the stands and started to walk off the field.  When he realized his mistake, he went back to the kid, took the ball back and threw it to the infield.  Too late though; the umpire awarded the runner 2 bases since the ball was technically “out of play.”

- In 1975 during a game in Boston, Milwaukee Brewer Gorman Thomas had possibly the worst day of his career.  Thomas struck-out EIGHT times in a row and even hit into a double play.  The double play earned him a standing ovation from the appreciative Boston fans.  Thomas received an even bigger round of applause and another standing ovation after that as he ran out to centerfield; Thomas  was approached by a free roaming dog who stopped in front of him and proceeded to urinate at his feet.

- During a 1985 Blue Jays game, Jeff Burroughs attempted to slide into second base.  Having some apparent lack of depth perception, his slide stopped short of the base by a full 6 feet and he was tagged out.

- Real-life Wife Swap:  Good friends Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich of the New York Yankees announced during Spring Training of 1973 that they would switch wives, kids and even family dogs.  Peterson remained married to the former Susanne Kekich, but his pitching seemed to suffer and by 1974, he was booed out of New York and traded to the Indians.  Mike Kekich’s union with Marilyn Peterson did not last long; they broke up shortly after the swap.

- On July 27, 1988, Tommy John made THREE errors on ONE play!  The New York veteran pitcher fell apart in a game against the Brewers.  First, he bobbled a slow dribbler to the mound, allowing the runner to take 1st base and another to advance to second; then, he threw the ball to first anyway, which sailed past Don Mattingly’ head; and finally, John cut off the throw from right fielder Dave Winfield that would have nailed an opposing runner at the plate.  And all this happened on 1 play.  John’s explanation for the incident was that there were too many “negative ions in the air” due to an approaching thunderstorm which were interfering with the metal cup he was wearing, thus causing a temporary brain power shortage.

- During a game in 1988, Reds infielder Dave Conception was tossed from the game for blowing kisses at an umpire.

- During batting practice on February 22, 1987, Twins slugger Kirby Puckett was having a great time whacking home runs over the wall at Tinker field, Spring Training home of the Twins.  After a policeman arrived on the scene to demand batting practice stop, it was revealed that the home run balls were landing in a nearby parking lot which was packed due to a tractor pull event.  The balls were smashing windshields and denting cars.  The cop walked over to Puckett and ordered him to stop swinging or he would be arrested.  The Twins were forced to continue practice in a covered cage in the bullpen.

- Mike Schmidt was in a slump during his time with the Phillies in 1988.  After flying out to go 0 for 14, he passed Padres 1st baseman, and future Phillie, John Kruk and exclaimed, “Give me a gun.  I am ready to shoot myself in the head.”  Kruk responded with, “Better not.  You’ll probably miss.”  Ouch.

- And one final Phillies moment:  For the ultimate blooper of 2004, Jason Michaels, in an attempt to catch a long fly ball off the bat of Charles Thomas, instead bobbles the ball and tosses it over the wall, giving Thomas a home run.  He and Jose Canseco should get together and compare notes…

- The 1994 baseball strike which lasted from 8/12/94 until 4/2/95, wiped out the entire 1994 post-season and World Series and even led to the eventual death of the Montreal Expos.  This was the first professional sport ever to lose an entire post-season due to a labor dispute.  Owners were adamant about a salary cap and the players would not stand for it.  A sad time for baseball.

- The Mitchell Report:  The relationship between baseball and steroids was put on display for all to see on December 13, 2007 with the release of the 409-page Mitchell Report.  It disclosed test results and other information on a great number of major league players.  The ramifications of this information have yet to fully play out and may haunt the organization for years to come.

Thank you for reading and as always, please feel free to add your comments below.  What are YOUR favorite “Embarrassing Baseball Moments”? 

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