Results tagged ‘ John Mayberry ’

This Week At Phillies Camp

The big news out of Phillies camp this week was Roy Halladay throwing live batting practice to a few of his teammates yesterday.  Although they were only tracking pitches, it did give Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez a chance to see Halladay in action.  Another player who stood in was outfield prospect Dominic Brown.  Brown told the media afterwards that because he was almost traded for Halladay, he felt compelled to take a few hacks off him.  He did not have much success, but it may be safe to assume it was a personal victory for the young player.

It appears also that besides Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick, there is one more competitor for the 5th starters spot in the rotation.  Ryan Vogelsong, 32, began his big league career with the Giants in 2000 and was then traded to Pittsburgh the following year.  In his 6 years floating between the majors and minors, Vogelsong’s record stood at 10-22 with a 5.86 ERA in the majors with 315 innings pitched.  After leaving the Pirates in 2006, he travelled to Japan in an attempt to improve and make a few dollars.  Vogelsong grew up in the Philadelphia area and played ball at Kutztown University so he is thrilled to put on the Phillies uniform.  His chances of making the team are likely slim, but as in baseball and life, anything is possible.

As Spring Training progresses, a sign that games are not far away is the Phillies annual Phan Fest, which will be held tonight at Bright House field in Clearwater.  If you are in the Clearwater area, be sure to check out this event.  Gates will open at 5:30pm and admission is free.  There will be 2 sets of players there to sign autographs.  The cost is only $15 per table for three players.   The first table will have pitchers Kyle Kendrick, newcomer Danys Baez and the runner-up for Rookie of the Year, JA Happ.  The second table has another newcomer, catcher Brian Schneider plus outfielders Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr.


Thumbnail image for ST Phan Fest.jpgHaving attended Phan Fest for the last two years, I can tell you it is well worth the trip.  Aside from the autograph tables, there is a play area for kids, a photo booth which will be with Darren Daulton this year, a silent auction, opportunities to buy game-used merchandise, the Phanatic and a fireworks display to end the evening.  Last year, a few of the players including Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and Brett Myers, brought their kids to the event and sat on the field to watch the fireworks.  Of those three, only Chad was there for the autographs; the others came on their own to spend time with their families which was very touching to watch.

And the countdown continues…

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Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Regular Season Ends With A Walk-Off Win

The regular season is over for the Phillies and they closed it out with a win against the Marlins for a final season record of 93-69.  And as usual, it was not without high drama; oh, and extra innings too.  If we have learned anything over the years, it is that the Phillies do nothing the easy way.

Most of the bench players and rookies got some time in today to make their final bid for a post-season roster spot.  Miguel Cairo made his case, going 2 for 4 with 1 RBI and a triple that tied up the game when he scored after a throwing error by the Fish.  Ben Francisco went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a walk, however, he was picked off trying to steal THREE times.  No kidding.  Another thing we learned today?  Francisco is not allowed to attempt a steal…ever.


100409a.jpgThe pitching was a bit trickier.  JA Happ was only allowed to pitch 2 innings to save his arm for the post-season.  Sadly, he allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning which bumped his ERA up to 2.93 for the season.  Still, that and his 12 wins were an amazing feat for the rookie.

Kyle Kendrick may have pitched his way off the roster as he allowed 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings.  The lefty Sergio Escalona looked a little shaky too as he allowed a runner to score, although it was charged to Brett Myers.


100409b.jpgBut the real drama unfolded in the 10th inning.  Jayson Werth stepped to the plate with a runner in scoring position and 1 RBI needed to reach 100 for the season.  In a shallow and classless act, the Marlins manager intentionally walked Werth, taking away any shot he had at the milestone.  This game was meaningless to both teams, except for possibly a moral victory.  The Marlins had nothing to gain or lose.  In that case, an intentional walk is uncalled for and ruins the spirit of competition. 

Add to that, the Marlins pitcher who was told to walk Werth was Dan Meyer, a Philadelphia-area native who grew up in a nearby town, rooting for the Phillies.  He likely had tons of friends and family there to watch him, and what did they get to see?  Their hometown hero boo’ed mercilessly by an upset crowd who wanted to see the game played out the way it was meant to.  Poor Meyer!  This kid did not deserve to be put in that position.  Manager Fredi Gonzalez, you should be ashamed of yourself!

So Werth went without the 100 RBI mark, but the Phillies ended on a positive note.  Some guy named Paul who?…I mean, Paul Hoover, the 3rd catcher who spent the whole year in the minors, got the winning, walk-off infield single to score John Mayberry Jr. and end the game with a final score of 7-6.  The crowd exploded and the Phillies pummeled Hoover in adulation.


walk-off.jpgAfterwards, the players ran around the field tossing balls and t-shirts to the crowd in thanks for their support.  Shane Victorino threw a ball all the way to the upper deck, into the broadcast booth and announcer, Tom McCarthy caught it on the fly.

The celebration is over now and the real work begins.  The Phillies will take on the Rockies Wednesday; game time has been announced and it is 2:37pm…yuck!  Hey, thanks again MLB…right in the middle of the day while most normal people are at work.  Just sayin’.

Here is the Photo Album from today’s game.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Houston: We Have A Problem

And the problem is that you have beaten the Phillies 3 games in a row; the first one was a blow-out, the second one is on Brad Lidge, the worst closer in baseball and yesterday’s loss came at the hands of Cole Hamels who got little help from his offense.  While this mission has been a total failure, much like the Apollo 13, the Phillies have one more chance at a small amount of redemption this afternoon in Game 4 of the series with the Astros.

Hamels Houston.jpgHamels pitched 6 innings in the loss and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks.  The most damage was done by ex-Phillie, Michael Bourn who went 2 for 4, stole 2 bases and scored twice.  Hamels had Bourn picked off both times he stole but the first time, Jimmy Rollins dropped the ball and the second time, Bourn was milliseconds too fast.  It was a very frustrating day for Hamels as the Astros wiped their backsides with him all game long.

Rollins led the game off with a homerun, but it was mostly downhill from there for the offense.  The only bright spots at the plate came from the Rollins homer, a solo shot from Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 and looks like he might be ready to break out of his slump.  Jayson Werth also hit a solo homer that looked like a fan reached out and grabbed it; the umpires called it a homer and no one argued.  It would not have mattered anyway as the Phillies went down 3-4.

A few more September call-ups were added yesterday, although it remains to be seen how much help they will be.  John Mayberry Jr. and Kyle Kendrick flew in from Allentown, PA late on Saturday after the Iron Pigs game.  Here they are at about 7pm that evening getting ready for the Pigs game:

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Personally, I was hoping they would call up Mike Cervenak instead of Mayberry; Cervenak is batting .307 and currently ranks 6th in batting in the International League.  Plus, he was the Phillies during the playoff run last season.  Mayberry only batted .256 in AAA this year.

So the Phillies final chance to avoid total humiliation at the hands of the Astros will be at 2:05pm this afternoon.  JA Happ gets the start – good luck to him!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Series Win Gives Phillies 8 Game Lead

With a 3-2 victory over the Braves last night to win the series 2 game to 1, the Phillies will have an 8-game lead in the NL East over both the Braves and the Marlins going into September.  Joe Blanton pitched another beautiful game and got through 7 innings of one run ball; the only run came off a solo homer from Martin Prado in the first inning.  Blanton looked a bit shaky through those first few innings, but settled in well and only gave up 3 hits.

 

And for the 2nd night in a row, Chase Utley went yard; his solo shot to right field in the 4th was the only run for the Phillies until Carlos Ruiz stepped up in the 7th.  In honor of the Ruiz backpack night, a giveaway for kids 14 and under, Ruiz smacked a double to left to score Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz.  Ruiz went 3 for 3 on the night; it was his 5th 3-hit game of the year.  Maybe the Phillies should give away a Ruiz bobble head next?


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In the not-so-great offensive category, the Phillies are still struggling with runners in scoring position.  They left 14 men on base and again, had the bases loaded with no outs and failed to score.  Blanton hit a line-drive to first base and Ruiz was double off after the catch.  Jimmy Rollins then hit a weak grounder to end the inning.  The offensive outage is concerning, but thanks to great pitching, they came out on top.

 

Defense was a big part of the win as well.  Ryan Madson, who is entering Brad Lidge-bad territory, got into a huge jam in the 8th inning again.  He hit the first batter he faced and then gave up back-to-back singles which scored a run for the Braves.  Without recording an out, he was removed from the game and Scott Eyre took over. 

 

Brain McCann then hit a sharp grounder to Utley, who fielded it perfectly and flipped to Rollins who threw to Feliz at third; Feliz tagged Chipper Jones for the unusual 4-6-5 double play.  Having eliminated the lead runner, Eyre saved the Phillies from disaster and gave Lidge a 3-2 lead to work with.  Amazingly, Lidge nailed down the save with relative ease; it was his second save in a row.  Whew!


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By the way, did anyone see the actor, Paul Rudd (movies: “I Love You, Man”; “Anchorman”; “Knocked Up”), sitting in the 10th row behind home plate last night? He was just a few sections over from me so I took a few photos.  The woman next to him (right side, dark brown hair) is none other than Jen Utley, Chase’s wife.


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A very welcome off-day is upon us as the Phillies offense needs to rest and charge up for the September charge.  Watch for September call-up’s which may include pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Jack Taschner and Rodrigo Lopez; infielders Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy; outfielders John Mayberry Jr. and Jason Ellison; and we will likely see a catcher added – maybe Paul Hoover.  Those are my guesses anyway.

 

A lot of moves will be made as the Phillies are also anticipating the return of Brett Myers, JC Romero and Clay Condrey to the bullpen plus Greg Dobbs.  All four have been on the DL and are very close to coming back.

 

And finally, here is the complete Photo Album from last night’s Phillies – Braves game.  Tomorrow, the San Francisco Giants come to town for 3 games and some serious pitching battles will ensue.  You may remember the Phillies were stomped in San Fran back in July, losing 3 out of 4 games.  The Giants are tied for a wildcard spot right now so this will be a very tough match match-up.  Cole Hamels starts it off tomorrow at 7:05pm.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Cliff Lee Joins The Phillies

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No more worries about Roy Halladay, trade deadlines and who is going where…the Phillies sealed the deal today with Cy Young award winning pitcher, Cliff Lee.  Lee comes to the Phillies from the Indians sporting a 7-9 record and a 3.14 ERA; his record is tainted though due to lack of run support from a struggling Indians team.  And last year, Lee won the AL Cy Young.  Without giving away either JA Happ or Kyle Drabek, the Phillies made the trade and also received outfielder Ben Francisco who will likely take John Mayberry’s spot on the bench and help to relieve Raul Ibanez.  Off to the Indians are pitcher Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald and pitcher Jason Knapp. 

While I am thrilled with this deal, and even more thrilled that we did not lose Happ or Drabek, I will miss Marson and Donald.  I had the opportunity to chat with them both over the last few years and they are really nice, down to earth guys.  Not to mention, they are both adorable :O)  Ok, so I guess I will get over it. ;o)

A few more reason this is a GREAT trade; Lee will cost considerably less than Halladay next year; his option is 9 million, where Halladay’s is 15.75 million.  In addition to keeping Happ and Drabek, the Phillies also retained top prospects Dominick Brown and Michael Taylor.  Essentially, the farm system will not suffer.

And a few more odd reasons this is a good trade:

-         Lee’s name is easy to spell.

-         Cole Hamels will get less attention from the media, thus, we do not have to hear as many weird things come out of his mouth.

-         Our bullpen will have someone new to play with :O)  Not sure who that will be yet…

-         Lee looks good in red.

-         Lee is from Arkansas!  Actually, I am not sure why that is good, but maybe he knows President Clinton?  Just a thought…

The final game of the D-Backs series is about to begin…Go Phillies!

Photo: umpbump.com

 

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

 

J-Roll Smurf Brings Phillies Luck

Since Friday night’s game did not go well, I decided that it was time for J-Roll Smurf to intervene and add a little Phillies Smurf magic to the equation.  So, before the game on Saturday against the Cardinals, J-Roll Smurf enjoyed visiting personally with many of the Phillies players.  The real J-Roll was excited to see his old buddy again and Ryan Howard laughed out loud as he thinks J-Roll Smurf is too awesome for words.  Also rubbing the luck from J-Roll Smurf yesterday was Brad Lidge, JA Happ, Chad Durbin, Pedro Feliz, Scott Eyre, Clay Condrey, John Mayberry, Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Walker.  And although a few Phillies, like Chan Ho Park and Jamie Moyer, seemed confused by the little blue mascot, J-Roll Smurf rubbed his luck upon them anyway :O)  You’ve gotta LOVE Photo Day:

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And the Smurfy magic paid off with wins both Saturday and today for a series win over the Cards!  In fact, the original J-Roll Smurf, Jimmy Rollins, nailed a GRAND SLAM on Saturday and then a 2-run homer today!  There is no stopping him now!

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In fact, during the last two games, the Phillies did a whole lot of this:

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And the Cardinals did a whole lot of this:

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Christmas really did come in July for the Phillies!

All these wins and entertainment too!  On Saturday, some crazy guy tried to interrupt the game with a laser pointer to distract the Cards hitters and a very drunk guy named, “Sully” distracted the entire outfield crowd later on:

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Sully was thrown out, but did receive an standing ovation.

Here is the Photo Album from the entire 3-game series!

So the Phillies will hit the road for 3 games against the D-Backs and then 4 with the San Francisco Giants.  I will be in San Francisco for all 4 – hope to see you there!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Shaking The Bank

Could the Mets be the cure for the bad baseball bug that has bitten the Phillies lately?  Today’s 7-2 win that rocked Citizens Bank Park was definitely a good start.  Another good start today was that of new Phillies pitcher, Rodrigo Lopez, lopez.jpgwho stunned Philadelphia fans with his excellent ball control and ability to throw strikes.  Throwing strikes does seem to be the object of the game, but not many Phillies pitchers have given that a try recently.  So Lopez’s emergence from AAA after his recovering from Tommy-John surgery is a welcome surprise.

But is Lopez that good or are the Mets just that bad right now?  It may be a little of both, but Lopez certainly did show promise.  And this guy is no stranger to the big leagues; Lopez pitched 5 years with the Baltimore Orioles and part of 2007 with the Rockies before his injury.  The experience showed tonight as he was very poised on the mound and unshaken by the large, raucous crowd.  Lopez pitched 6 1/3 innings of 2 run ball and walked only 1 batter.  If he can repeat this a few more times, the Phillies will be more than happy to keep him around.


The Phillies offense finally found a groove tonight as well. 

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The top of the line-up led the charge, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley each collecting at least 2 hits each.  Utley & Rollins had 2 RBI a piece as well.  Maybe Charlie Manuel finally grabbed these guys by the throat and shook them around until some offense fell out, like coins from a piggy bank?  Whatever the case, everyone hopes he did not break the bank in one night.

Ryan Madson, who was sorely in need of a clean inning after a horrific few weeks, pitched the 9th with a 5 run lead.  John Mayberry Jr. lent a hand by making a diving grab in the outfield.  That out helped get Madson through it and he nailed down a scoreless, hitless inning.  Madson can now exhale and hopefully, get things back on track.

With two more games coming up against the rival Mets, there may still be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Phillies if they can continue to play with the same intensity they did today.  Jamie Moyer will kick things off tomorrow at 4:05pm on the 4th of July!  With any luck, the offense will provide the fireworks.

Rollins & Manuel Photo by Jenn

Lopez photo: http://theoriolereport.com/

 

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

 

Dropping The Ball

Both literally and figuratively, the Phillies dropped the ball tonight.  After an off-day yesterday, the team sauntered into Atlanta and looked a bit sluggish, instead of rejuvenated.  Batting against Derek Lowe is generally no picnic, but they had some opportunities.  Chase Utley did his part, going 2 for 5 with a solo home run; and Pedro Feliz had a good night at the plate, playing outstanding defense in the field as well.  Joe Blanton had a so-so start; he went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs.  But most of the game was tight, without much action.

In fact, up until the 8th inning, the most entertaining part of the game was watching Braves pitcher, Mike Gonzalez swoon back and forth on the mound like a weeble-wobble.  No one was sure whether he was going to pitch or break dance.  That is one confused dude.  But his antics on the mound translated into back-to-back solo homers for the Phillies to give them a 4-3 lead.  John Mayberry and Feliz joined forces to knock the silliness right out of the Braves pitcher.

But the Braves tied the game back up in the bottom of the 8th, thanks to a dropped ball by Ryan Howard (bad feed from Madson), which allowed a runner to advance, and then Jayson Werth juggled another ball in the outfield.  Poor Ryan Madson just cannot catch a break lately when he is on the mound.  And these defensive mishaps would cost the Phillies the game.  Chan Ho Park got into trouble in the 10th inning with runners on 1st & 3rd and 1 out; the next batter hit a long fly ball to left field, which sealed the deal.

In addition to the loss, what also rings a few alarm bells around Philadelphia is the performance of Jimmy RollinsRollins kryptonite.jpgAfter being given a 4-game “mental” break / benching, Rollins came back today to resume his leadoff spot.  But frankly, it appears that nothing has changed.  Rollins still swung at bad pitches, very early in his at-bats and he had one shaky play in the field as well, missing a fairly routine ground ball that he normally would have snagged.  J-Roll ended the game without a hit in 5 at-bats and looks no closer to waking up than he did a week ago.  Has someone chained him down with Kryptonite?  Or is this just a phase?  A long, drawn-out, ridiculously bad phase…  Only time will tell.  However, the Phillies are nearing the half-way point of the season and time is a luxury they will not soon have.

Anyway, please keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars.  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, July 2, 2009.

Rollins Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

World Series Rematch – Advantage, Phillies

The losing streak, 6 long, depressing games, is finally over!  And the cure to what ails the Phillies?  You guessed it – Road Trip!  Landing in Tampa to play their 2008 World Series foes, the Phillies rolled right over the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.  Notching 6 runs in the first half of the 1st inning set the tone for the game.  Some good pitching, lots of hitting, a few home runs and a trio of Rays errors got the job done.

P6216523.jpgJamie Moyer put forth a great effort tonight and allowed just one run in 6 innings of work; he struck out 4, walked 3 and allowed 5 hits.  Former Phillie, Pat Burrell, was mystified by his old teammate, going 0-2 with a walk against Moyer.  Sorry Pat – and yes, we still miss your presence :O(

As for the offense, Chase Utley was on fire tonight!  He went 3 for 5 with a single, double and a home run, driving in 4 runs.  Shane Victorino joined the Utley-Show with 2 hits, 2 walks and an RBI.  The rookie, John Mayberry, stood out tonight as well with a 3-run homer.  Yesterday at the Phillies Phestival, Mayberry was told by a fan, “I am glad to see you here in the big leagues!”; Mayberry responded with, “So am I.”  He showed his gratitude tonight.  Mayberry is now batting .292 with 3 homers and 7 RBI in 24 at-bats.

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A few more rookies / new Phillies were given the opportunity to shine tonight, as more players are down with injuries (Condrey put on DL today; Lidge & Eyre still out; Ibanez still out with groin strain).  Tyler Walker pitched 2 scoreless innings  and then Sergio Escalona handled the 9th; Escalona nailed down the final 3 outs and the Phillies went on to win, 10-1.

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In other injury / illness news, Ryan Howard did join the team today after an infection that sidelined him for a few days.  Howard served as the DH and went 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI.  Great to see Ryan feeling better!

Be sure to check out my PHOTO ALBUM from yesterday’s Phillies Phestival in case you missed it earlier today.

And then, make sure you keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

  

The Black Cloud

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Yesterday, the Blue Jays became a plague of locusts, nibbling away at the Phillies one by one.  Tonight, the black cloud remained over Citizens Bank Park as the Baltimore Orioles strolled into town and picked up where the Jays left off.  Will the curse of interleague play ever end?  Not soon enough; definitely not soon enough.

Last year, the Phillies won 3 games in interleague play.  So far this year?  3 games.  Fans have been left wondering if a curse has been placed upon the Phillies.  Despite a decent performance from rookie pitcher, Antonio Bastardo, the Phillies could not muster a win.  Bastardo allowed 4 runs in 7 innings, but at least one of those runs was not his fault.  John Mayberry Jr., a rookie playing for the injured Raul Ibanez, missed a ball in left field that should have been caught which scored the 4th run. 

But Mayberry had an ok day at the plate, going 2 for 4, so that made up a bit for the defense.  The rest of the offense though did little to help Mayberry out in his quest to get on base.  Jayson Werth had two hits, but any other form of production was few and far between.  In fact, there were only 2 other hits and 5 walks from the Phillies offense in the entire game.

Jack Taschner pitched the 8th and 9th and gave the O’s a little more cushion when he allowed a solo homer in the 9th.  And that was followed by 2 more runs on a couple of singles with 2 outs in the inning.  When it rains, it pours.  And so the Phillies continue to circle the drain, losing this one by a score of 7-2.

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Is this team doomed to fail in interleague play or is this run of 6 losses in 7 games simply the darkness before the dawn?  I hope the sun comes out soon…real soon.

Well, if you are still in the mood, go ahead and VOTE for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address.  Let’s get these guys to St. Louis to provide just a small ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark and dreary day.

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

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