Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Sanchez ’

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.

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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.
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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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*

 

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*

 

NLCS Rotation Announced

Manager Charlie Manuel has announced the Phillies starting rotation for the NLCS which is set to begin on Saturday.  There are really no surprises here:

Game 1:  Roy Halladay

Game 2:  Roy Oswalt

Game 3:  Cole Hamels

Game 4:  Joe Blanton

Game 5:  Roy Halladay

Game 6:  Roy Oswalt

Game 7:  Cole Hamels

Manuel could have switched Oswalt and Hamels, but there should not be much difference.  Also, Hamels usually pitches well on the road.  The Giants have named their first 3 starters: Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain. Lefty Madison Bumgarner is penciled in as the 4th starter.

I was thinking about the Game 1 match-up of Halladay and Lincecum and realized, if you look beyond the stats, these are two very different individuals.  Take a look at the comparison:

Halladay

Lincecum

Age – 33

Age – 26

230 pounds

170 pounds soaking wet

Short, cropped hair

Long, wild hippie hair

Is an awesome Daddy

Has an awesome Daddy

Super polite

Drops F-Bombs on camera

Loves kids

Is a kid

Thinks “pot” is something you cook noodles in

Thinks about “pot” and wants to eat lots of noodles

Has a web page dedicated to him called “I Want To Go To The Zoo With Roy Halladay.”

Has a baby monkey named after him at the SF zoo (see photo)

Nickname – “Doc”

Nickname – “The Freak”

Most spoken phrase/word – “Win”

Most spoken phrase – “I don’t know”  In 1 Q&A session, he said it 8 times.

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And if you enjoyed that, here is another fun tidbit.  During the NLDS against the Reds, the Phillies players were so relaxed, that even the usually serious Roy Oswalt had a little fun in front of the camera’s during an in-game interview with pitching coach Rich Dubee:

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Yes, that is Oswalt cheesing it up for the viewing public.  Nicely done, Roy 2.0.

 

Zoo 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 Cannot Pull Off A Sweep Against The Giants

Well, it was nice thought, but ultimately, the Phillies could not sweep the Giants tonight.  When the game started off with Cole Hamels giving up 3 runs in the first inning, some thought that maybe this was just the starting pitchers new style.  Both pitchers in the first two games of the series gave up first inning runs too, but the Phillies came back to win those games.  Not tonight…

Hamels looked about as bad as we have seen him.  He lasted only 5 innings, allowed 5 runs and looked like his pitch control was on vacation for the day.  Knowing that he has gotten little to no run support this year, giving up 3 runs in the first must have seemed like an insurmountable hole from which Hamels could not climb out.

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On the other side, Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez wiped the infield dirt with Phillies batters.  He allowed only 2 hit in 8 innings of work and both hits came off the bat of Shane Victorino, who also played well on defense. 
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No one else could touch him.  Knowing that Sanchez leads the leagues in walks issued, one might think the Phillies batters would have been patient at the plate.  But many players swung early and swung often…at bad pitches.  Thus, 2 hits in 8 innings.

The offense did attempt a 9th inning rally, something that has been common with the Phillies lately.  But although Mike Sweeney knocked in 2 runs to avoid the shut-out, the rally ended there and the Phils took the 5-2 loss.  Here are a few more shots from the game:

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The Braves lost today as well so the Phillies still sit 2.5 games back in the NL East and lead the Wild Card race over the Giants by 1 game.  A 3-game series with the Nationals starts tomorrow at 7:05pm.

Here are the full Photo Albums from the last 2 Giants games as promised:  August 18, 2010 and August 19, 2010.

And as a side note, today’s game marked the 100th consecutive sell-out at Citizens Bank Park.  Manager Charlie Manuel came out before the game to speak to the crowd and thank the fans for their support.  After that, the players waved and tipped their caps to the crowd.  The 45,449 people in attendance also marked the largest crowd of the 2010 season so far.

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Phillies, you are welcome :O)

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Hamels Steals A Base And A Win

It was a tight one, but Cole Hamels pitched the Phillies to a 1-0 win; a complete game shut-out against the Giants.  He has not only found his Mojo, but Hamels also found his curveball and even his fastball location.  Towards the end of the game, Hamels retired 21 batters in a row. 

By the 9th inning, he had a 1 hit shut-out going when Rich Aurilia knocked a single and it looked like things might get scary.  But then Hamels busted out his new and improved pick-off move and nailed the pinch runner trying to steal second base.  He nailed down the final two outs and sent the crowd home happy.P6216377 Hamels.jpg

In 9 innings, Hamels struck out 9 batters and gave up only 2 hits and 1 walk.   All that and he even stole a base in the game; it was the first stolen base of his career.  Is Hamels back?  It certainly looks that way.

Both pitchers were dealing tonight and Jonathan Sanchez shut down the Phillies offense.  Ryan Howard managed to knock in the only run for the Phillies after Shane Victorino singled, stole a base and advanced on a Chase Utley sacrifice.  Howard had 2 hits in the game, but the rest of the offense was mostly anemic.  But all is well that ends well and the Phillies take Game 1 of this series.

Up Next

The series continues with the Giants tomorrow at 7:05pm with JA Happ on the mound.  Tim Lincecum was originally scheduled to start for the Giants, but with the new acquisition of Brad Penny off waivers from the Red Sox, it looks like Penny will get the nod; Lincecum will go on Thursday night.  I will be at the game tomorrow hoping for the Happ-Y outcome :O)

Accolades

Ryan Howard has been named NL Player of the Week right on the heels of Jayson Werth receiving the same honor last week.  Howard batted .393 with 5 homers and 12 RBI.  September is here and Howard is all warmed up!

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Phillies – Giants Series Photos

I have finished the Photo Albums from the 4-game Phillies – Giants series in San Francisco.  The first one covers all around AT&T Park, inside and out.  The second album is of all 4 games.  Here is a quick summary of what you will see:

Game 1, July30th: Police Appreciation Day; Rodrigo Lopez starts for the Phillies and Jonathan Sanchez for the Giants.

Game 2, July 31st:  Cliff Lee’s first game with the Phillies vs. Ryan Sadowski for the Giants; Aaron Rowand’s 1,000 career hit.  There is also a photo of an A’s World Series Ring that appears to be a very good replica.

Game 3, Aug. 1st: Giants Family Softball Game; Dog Days at the park; Olympic Gold Medalist Peggy Fleming in a pre-game ceremony; Joe Blanton starts for the Phillies and Tim Lincecum for the Giants.

Game 4, Aug. 2nd: Cole Hamels starts for the Phillies and Barry Zito for the Giants; there is one photo of the Phillies tour group looking very unhappy in the stands.  FYI – I was not on the official tour; I went on my own but did talk to many people on the tour who had a great time, except for all the losses :O(

I will be posting more photos from the non-baseball events in a few days and will put up a link to that when it is done for anyone who wants to see the sights from San Francisco.  It will include whale watching, the zoo, aquarium, sea lions, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, different areas in the city, Sausalito, a few parks and more.

All photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Comedy of Errors

While it was not very funny, the Phillies committed 3 errors in a 7-2 loss to the Giants tonight.  That, combined with a serious lack of offense for the second consecutive day, contributed to the loss.  Myself and many other Phillies fans endured harassment from the Giants crowd who were more than pleased about their team running all over the defending World Champs like a 16 wheel tractor trailer.  It was an ugly night in San Francisco.  Let us recount the errors:

1st inning:  Jayson Werth misses what should have been a routine fly ball.  He misjudged it, ran the wrong way and could not recover.  That error led to a run for the Giants.

P7302126 copy.jpg4th inning:  Former Giant, Pedro Feliz, fielded a ground ball that he should have tossed to first base; instead, he tried to get the lead runner going to 2nd and threw the ball away.  That led to a 4-run inning.

7th inning: Chase Utley committed an error, but no harm was done that inning.

Utley did have an interesting game though.  He took exception to Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, throwing a pitch at his head.  Utley had words for Sanchez and then proceeded to tick off the pitcher by stepping out of the batters box and shortly after that, hitting a home run.

But the bigger story here was the lack of offense and failure of the Phillies hitters to make good contact with the ball.  In the 3rd inning, Jimmy Rollins was left stranded on 3rd base with no outs; Utley struck out; Werth popped the ball up; and then Ryan Howard grounded out softly.  This sort of play is not going to win games, obviously.

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Tomorrow, Cliff Lee will make his Phillies debut.  I got a few shots of Lee in his new red uniform during batting practice today.  I also took a few shots of new Phillie, Ben Francisco who filled in for Shane Victorino tonight.  Shane is day to day with swelling in his knee.

And let me just say this about San Francisco; it is COLD here, people!  Yikes!  Hoping for warmer weather tomorrow!  Start time is 10:15pm EST again.

FYI – I will be posting a Photo Album from my entire trip when I get home; stay tuned for that next week :O)

 

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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