Results tagged ‘ Jose Contreras ’

Fish Drown Phillies in Series Loss

The Phillies dropped two out of three games against the Marlins this weekend, with the ugliest of the 3 games coming in a 5-1 loss today.  Joe Blanton pitched 6 innings, giving up 5 runs, including two home runs, one of which came off the bat of the opposing pitcher.  Blanton has now allowed 24 runs in his last 4 games.

For the Marlins, Carlos Zambrano had a good day, including a bunt base-hit and a home run.  The Phillies offense did a great job helping him out with only 6 hits in the game and 8 runners left on base.  3 of those 6 hits belonged to Juan Pierre.  Zambrano has certainly improved since leaving the Cubs, but the Phillies made him look like All-Star material.

Offensively, this game was so boring, a 20-something year old guy sitting next to me fell asleep in the 4th inning.  I am not kidding.  His friends were laughing about it and poking him but even that did not wake him.  He finally woke when it started to rain.

So since I have nothing much nice to say today after a very disappointing loss, I have decided instead to hand out some awards.  The winner of the “I Plastered Myself Against The Outfield Wall, But It Was A Home Run Anyway” award goes to Juan Pierre:

And Placido Polanco wins the award for the “Silliest Face Of The Day” on a play at third:

The “Oops, I Did It Again” award was a tie between Blanton (for 5 runs or more in his last 4 games) and  Hector Luna:

The “At Least The Bullpen Didn’t Totally Suck Award” goes to the bullpen:

The “I Came All This Way And Did Not Even Get To See My Son Play” award goes to former Major Leaguer, John Mayberry Sr. and Mrs. Mayberry:

And finally, the “Nothing Wrong With A Little Man-Love” award goes to Jimmy Rollins and Greg Dobbs:

The Phillies begin a 4-game series with the Dodgers tomorrow and hopefully, Vance Worley will be off the DL and pitching.

By the way, my condolences to Jose Contreras who is done for the year with a complete tear of the flexor pronator tendon in his right elbow…again.  At 40 years of age, it looks like this may be the end of his career :O(  That had to be devastating news for him, poor guy.  I wish him the best of luck.

And in other news, Chase Utley is finally headed to Clearwater to push forward with his recovery.  No clue when he will be back, but do not hold your breath.

Instead, enjoy my Photo Album from the game today.  Unlike the game, the album does not suck.  ;o)

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

Hitting Rock Bottom

You may have thought that the Phillies hit rock bottom days ago.  It was hard to imagine things getting much worse.  And yet, it did get worse.  After getting swept in 3 games by the Mets yesterday, I think we can officially say, here it is; rock bottom.

And it is not because they were swept by the Mets that this is rock bottom.  It is because of the manner in which they were beaten, or slaughtered, if you prefer a stronger term.  Murphy’s Law even entered the equation last night.  Anything that could go wrong did.

Through the first six innings, we saw a glimmer of hope.  The offense was hitting, Cliff Lee was pitching well in his first start off the DL; he even collected an RBI for himself.  But not wanting to push Lee too hard in his return, he was pulled after 6 innings.  From the time the 7th inning began, it was clear that the Phillies bullpen would pull out all the stops to LOSE the game.

Let me begin by saying I have never been impressed with Kyle Kendrick as a pitcher.  I am sure he is a fine human being, but his pitching usually leaves a lot to be desired.  He is inconsistent, he gets rattled easily and he wanders about with that awful, sad puppy look on his face.

And last night, he managed to impose the sad puppy face upon every Phillies fan watching the game.  With a 4-2 lead to start the inning, before he recorded a single out, Kendrick gave up a double, 2 walks and then hit the 4th batter to force in a run.  By the time the inning ended, the Mets had 3 more runs and a 5-4 lead.

But Kendrick was not done yet.  He gave up 2 more runs in the 8th without recording an out.  Jose Contreras helped him out and added a run of his own.  Then Brian Sanches gave up a solo homer in the ninth.  That is 8 runs out of the bullpen, 7 of them earned runs, which led to an embarrassing 10-6 loss.

The defense added to the humiliation as Shane Victorino dove for a ball which wound up flying right by him.  And Hunter Pence dropped an easy fly ball that was right in his glove.

Manager Charlie Manuel was so disgusted after the game, he finally ripped into the team.  Manuel said they needed to play better and prepare better.  The preparation bit is what was alarming.  Are these guys just strolling into the ballpark without getting ready physically and mentally?  That sure is what it seems like.

That would also confirm my theory that this team is not focused and an overall sense of complacency has set in.  Complacency or apathy could be occurring for a variety of reason including past success, arrogance about one’s abilities, off-field distractions, making a ton of money and the fact that many of these guys have already won the big prize.

While I would hate to think that about this Phillies team, the reality is that all of those factors may be playing a part.  As an example, you know who is the opposite of complacent?  A guy like Freddy Galvis, who is working his behind off.  Galvis was a homer short of the cycle last night, plus his defense and intensity are off the charts.  Why?  Because he has something to prove.  He is trying to stick in the majors, make a good impression and someday, get his payday.

Look around this team.  Are there guys who look a bit less focused than others?  You know how they say hitting is contagious?  Well, so is complacency.

I would say a number of changes are coming this team’s way in the very near future.  They have already sent reliever Joe Savery back to the minors.  Michael Schwimer went as well.  Here is what I think they should do:  If someone is not doing their job, like the entire bullpen, for instance, then bring in someone who will get it done or at least give you a complete effort.

I do not care if they stock this team full of rookies.  Because if they are going to suck, I’d rather see players out there who are giving it 100% and living up to their potential.  This team has spent way too much money on talented players to be this bad.  They need a shake up…fast.

Thursday is an off-day, which many of the players will spend at a Chase Utley charity event this evening.  But on Friday, the Padres come to town and they need to be ready.  Cross your fingers…

 

 

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Player photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

Doc Disassembled: Roller Coaster Game Ends in Disaster

After a 4-2 win over the Braves on Tuesday night, the Phillies felt good entering Wednesday’s game.  The offense was finally starting to score runs and they would have ace pitcher Roy Halladay on the mound.  Even better, they took a 6-0 lead into the 5th inning.

Placido Polanco just kept getting hits and Shane Victorino road his coat tails.  Then Laynce Nix smashed a bases-clearing, 3-run double in the 3rd.  Things were going very, very well.

Then the impossible happened…Halladay got hammered.  If you try saying out loud, “Halladay blew a 6-run lead,” it may actually seem like you are speaking Greek.  Add to that, “Halladay gave up 8 runs in less than two innings,” and you now have the equivalent of an extra-terrestrial language never before spoke on planet earth.

But that is exactly what happened.  The Braves disassembled the Doc like he was a faulty robot that short circuited.  The beating even included a Grand Slam, just to add a little more salt to the wound.  Ouch.

Halladay has not looked like his old self in a few games now and the questions about his health are bound to pile up like a mound of steaming dog poo.  Whatever is going on, it does not smell good.

If you think about the way the Phillies offense has played so far this year, just as unthinkable as Halladay getting hit for 8 runs is this team coming back after those 8 runs.

And yet, the temporary reassembly of this Phillies game began with a 3-run homer off the bat of Carlos Ruiz in the 7th inning.  Chooch was determined to get his pitcher off the hook, because in the 8th inning, he added 3 more runs with a bases-clearing double.  That gave him a total of 7 RBI on the night.  Insane.

With a 12-8 lead in the 8th, the insanity was not yet over.  As hard as Ruiz worked to get the Phillies ahead, the bullpen seemed to work just as hard to blow it.  By the time Jose Contreras was pulled, he had allowed a run and loaded the bases, thanks in part to a huge error by Jimmy Rollins.

Michael Schwimer came in to pitch and walked in a run on 4 pitches.  And of course, the next batter singled in 2 more runs to tie the game…again.  This time, it was 12-12.  But that did not last long.  Schwimer gave up a sac fly and Braves took a 13-12 lead.

You could not have scripted a weirder game.  And I could not have shouted any more cuss words at my TV.  Not because I could not think of any…because I lost my damn voice.  If you ever find yourself asking the question, “How do you blow a huge lead…multiple times?,” just watch a replay of this game.  Disgusting.

Think the Phillies had a second comeback in them?  Well, they did tie it up…again…13-13 in the 9th, sending the game to extra innings.  But relief pitcher Brian Sanches, on the roster for David Herndon who is on the DL, gave up a 2-run homer to Chipper Jones in the 11th.  The walk-off win for the Braves wasted the only solid offensive effort from the Phils all year.  Just sickening.

If you can stomach it, game 3 with the Braves starts early on Thursday at 12:10pm.

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Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

Phillies Find Runs in Arizona

After 3 straight ugly losses, the Phillies finally found some runs in the Arizona desert against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.  Like a dying man searching for water, each player drug his tired body to the plate and kept trying until they succeeded.

The offensive outburst included 8 runs with 3 home runs, a double and a triple.  That is a far cry from the pitiful one-run or no run games the Phillies have been producing lately.  But the question now is, was this run explosion the real deal or just a desert mirage?

A quick look at the stats show the Phillies are not out of trouble just yet.  For example, Jimmy Rollins went hitless…again.  And half of the Phillies hits and 5 of 8 RBI’s were collected by bench players.  Laynce Nix had a huge night with 2 hits and 3 RBI, including a home run; and Pete Orr went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.

But some of the regulars stepped up as well.  Hunter Pence missed the last game with a sore shoulder.  But on Tuesday night, he smashed a 2-run homer.  Maybe he should hurt his shoulder more often?  Ok, maybe not…

As for the pitching, Vance Worley was spectacular again.  He went 6 innings allowing only 1 run.  The bullpen, on the other hand, had some issues.  Jose Contreras bombed in the 7th, allowing 3 runs right after the Phillies had a 3-run inning.  That is the equivalent of a mortal sin in bullpen terms.

Then in the 8th, Chad Qualls committed the same sin, allowing one run after the Phillies had just scored one in the top of the inning.  It was the first run Qualls has allowed so far this year, so he is forgiven ;o)

Regardless, a win is a win and this one was HUGE for a struggling team that is trying to dig themselves out of a hole early in the season.  Game 3 with the D-Backs is early today; 3:40pm.  Cole Hamels will pitch.

 

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Two Blow-Outs and a Blow-Up

On Monday, the Phillies blew-out the Mets in a 10-0 shut-out victory.  Then after Tuesday’s east coast earthquake, the Phillies shook the Mets down with another big win, 9-4.  But on Wednesday, the earth stopped shaking things up, and so did the Phillies.

With a big error only nine pitches into the game, Michael Martinez set the tone.  He bobbled a ground ball, putting two men on base with no outs to start the game.  After that, pitcher Kyle Kendrick imploded.

Although the four runs the Mets score in the 1st were unearned due to the error, Kendrick had a chance to pitch out of the jam with little damage but was unable to do so.  Through four innings, Kendrick gave up two more runs on seven hits and a walk.

The Phillies rallied in the 2nd, scoring three runs.  And four players had multi-hit games, including Chase Utley with three.  But all together, the Phillies left 12 men on base and were unable to capitalize on opportunities.

The Phillies still won the series 2 games to 1, but a sweep sure would have been nice when you look at the way the Braves are playing.  The Phillies lead in the division, once at 9 games, has dwindled to 6.  And with a win tonight, the Braves can cut it to 5.5.

With an off-day tomorrow, the Phillies will have a chance to recharge their batteries before the weekend Marlins series.  So, get some rest guys.  There is still a ways to go before claiming the division.

Also, FYI: Jose Contreras is having surgery on his elbow…he is done
for the year :O(

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Cliff Lee Rocks The Sox in 3rd Consecutive Complete Game Shut-Out

Cliff Lee must be wishing that the month of June would never end.  Because he has been insanely good in each of his five starts this month.

Today’s 5-0 win over the Red Sox marked Lee’s 32nd consecutive scoreless inning pitched.  With only two hits allowed, this game was Lee’s third consecutive complete game shut-out.  The last Phillie to accomplish that feat was  Robin Roberts in 1950.

For the month, Lee went 5-0 and had only one run allowed in 42 innings.  The man is simply amazing.

But Lee did not just pitch well, he also collected an RBI with a sac fly.  And while Lee dealt on the mound and at the plate, the Phillies offense pounded Josh Beckett.  A pair of two run homers, one from Domonic Brown and the other from Shane Victorino, highlighted the scoring.  Brown also had a double on the night.

With this victory, the Phillies became the first team in the majors to reach 50 wins this season.

Vance Worley will pitch tomorrow.  And after Lee’s performance tonight, he has very big shoes to fill.  Game time is 7:05pm.

Injury Update

The Phillies placed closer Ryan Madson on the DL before today’s game.  After getting whacked in the hand with hit ball back in May, Madson has had issues off and on and finally needed a cortisone shot to reduce the chronic swelling.

This means that the Phillies are now on their fourth closer of the season, which will likely be Antonio Bastardo.  Each of the first three closers, Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras and Madson, are all on the DL now.  Drew Carpenter was brought up from Triple-A to fill the roster spot.

Of the seven pitchers left in the bullpen, only two have not been in the minors this year and only Danys Baez has more than 71 innings pitched in the majors.  Scary.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

More Injuries & a Blow-Out Loss

This has not been a good couple of days in the injury department for the Phillies.  Here is a quick look at the damage:

- Jose Contreras was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season with elbow inflammation.  Lefty Juan Perez was called-up from the Triple-A Iron Pigs to take his roster spot.  Perez played for the Pirates in 2006 & 2007 for a short time, but has spent most of his seven-year career in the minors.

- The Phillie Phanatic suffered an injury as well.  While entertaining atop the first base dugout at an Iron Pigs game, the Phanatic was hit in the neck with a foul ball.  For the Phanatic’s best friend Tom Burgoyne, the neck area was actually Tom’s face.

The Phanatic went to the hospital; I am not sure whether they called a doctor, a veterinarian or an environmental biologist, but the Phanatic will not be joining Contreras on the DL.  He should be ready for the weekend series at CBP.

- And finally, Roy Oswalt was pulled from today’s game against the Cardinals after two innings where he allowed four runs.  After about one out in the second, Oswalt began teetering sideways off the mound after his delivery.  It got worse as the inning went on, where he began hopping and stumbling after pitches while grabbing his lower back.

Why no one else saw this is curious.  I was screaming at the TV, but sadly, no one heard me ;o)  Oswalt was left in to finish the inning and reports are that he has back spasms.

I suppose the spasms are no surprise; Oswalt has a history of back issues and has been on the DL once already this season with the same issue.  In his last four starts, Oswalt has allowed 15 runs in only 21.1 innings.

As for the new bullpen piece, Perez pitched the seventh and walked two batters, but did not allow a run.  Kyle Kendrick pitched the 3rd-6th innings and gave up two runs, adding to Oswalt’s four.

So with 6 runs, the Cardinals were ready to run away with the game as the Phillies offense was lulled to sleep.  It did matter too much though as Danys Baez put the game well out of reach for the Phillies in the 8th inning.  He walked in a run, gave up a 3-run homer and ended up with six earned runs handed over to the Cards.  You could say he added insult to all the injuries.

The Phillies went down in flames by a score of 12-2.  They travel back home tonight to go back to Interleague play.  The Athletics are first on the schedule; Vance Worley will pitch at 7:05pm.

An NL East Update

This has been a weird week overall for the NL East.  First, the Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez suddenly quit after the Fish went on a real bender, losing 18 of 19 games in the month of June.

Not to be outdone, the Nationals manager Jim Riggleman one-upped Rodriguez.  After the Nationals WON 11 of their last 12 games, the opposite of the Marlins month, Riggleman gave the Nats an ultimatum.  He told his GM in a meeting they needed to extend his contract then and there or he would not get on the bus for the Nats next game.

Riggleman quit, just like that.  And just like that, he will probably never work in baseball again.  Who in their right mind would hire a guy who just quits when he does not get his way?  It was unprofessional and just plain stupid.  I do not care how disrespected he felt that his contract was not extended sooner.  If the team felt it should wait until the end of the year, then he should have just waited it out.  Abandoning his team like that is just wrong.   Nats fans should be livid.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Polanco’s Grand Slam & 100th Homer Help Halladay Win

Third baseman Placido Polanco smacked his 100th career homer in Friday night’s Phillies – Cubs game.  The grand slam not only marked a significant career achievement, it also helped the Phillies win the game.

Roy Halladay was his usual awesome self on the mound and it looked like he would not need much assistance.  Domonic Brown hit a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead.  Then Polly’s slam made it a seven run lead in the seventh.

So after seven innings of no-run ball for Halladay, manager Charlie Manuel decided to give him a little rest and use the bullpen for the final two innings.  That almost wound up being a disaster.

Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero nearly blew the seven run lead, which was especially scary considering how hard it has been for the Phillies to score any runs lately.  Contreras walked two of the first four batters he faced, loaded the bases and had given up two runs by the time he was pulled after recording only one out.

Things got worse when Romero entered and proceeded to walk the first batter he faced on four pitches.  Then back-to-back singles scored three more runs for the Cubs.  Without having recorded an out, Romero was lifted from the game.  The seven run lead had turned into a 7-5 ballgame quickly.

Rookie Michael Stutes was called upon to stop the bleeding, which he did.  Stutes also started the ninth inning  where a strike-out, throw-out double play with a strong toss to second from catcher Carlos Ruiz retired two Cubs in one shot.  Antonio Bastardo then struck out lefty Carlos Pena to earn the save.

While the Phillies won the game 7-5, the performance from Contreras and Romero is raising eyebrows.  Contreras is still struggling with his command since coming off the DL.  Hopefully, time and getting some more work in will correct the issue.  Romero seems healthy, but he is still having serious issues throwing strikes.

The outlook for these bullpen pieces remains to be seen, but it does appear that the back-end of the pen is in the midst of a youth movement.  Both Stutes and Bastardo have outpitched the more experienced Contreras and Romero and will likely be transitioned into the later innings role for the foreseeable future.

Game three with the Cubs is this afternoon at 4:10pm.  Cliff Lee will pitch.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Halladay Ends Losing Streak

After a four game losing streak, the longest of the season for the Phillies, Roy Halladay finally led this struggling team to a win against the Pirates.  It seemed like an eternity since the Phillies came out on the winning end.

However, the win was not without drama.  In the fourth inning, down by 2-1, Domonic Brown was all set to tie up the game when an umpire literally stepped in.

With two runners in scoring position, Brown powered a ball straight up the middle that should have shot into center field to score a run.  Instead, second-base umpire Chad Fairchild stepped into the ball while trying to avoid it.  Once the ball hit him, it was a dead ball.  And although Brown was awarded first base, the run was not allowed to score.

The next batter, Wilson Valdez, hit into an inning-ending double play.  After that, things looked grim for the Phillies who had a run stolen from them and lost a chance with the bases loaded.

But the team followed Halladay’s lead and pushed forward.  After allowing a two-run homer in the first, Halladay put it behind him and pitched extremely well after that.  The offense, despite the umpire goof, followed suit.

Chase Utley finally had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a walk and a run scored.  Ryan Howard collected three RBI on two hits and a sac fly.  And Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino and Brown all had two hits in the game as well.

Utley was amazing on defense as well.  He saved Halladay in the seventh when he laid out, Superman-style, diving for a line drive.  The catch ended the inning that otherwise may have been a disaster.

Relief pitcher Jose Contreras gave up his first run of the year in the eighth, but Antonio Bastardo bailed him out, getting the final two outs of the inning.  Ryan Madson shut the door in the ninth and the Phillies pulled out a 7-3 win.

The team is headed home now for a long home stand, starting with the Dodgers tomorrow night at 7:05pm.

In the meantime, do not forget to enter to win an admission ticket to the Phillies Phestival right here!  Entries will be accepted until Wednesday at 6pm.  Enter today…good luck!

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

A Hot Win In D.C. For The Phillies

Hot may not be an accurate word to describe the Phillies day in D.C. where they beat the Nationals by a score of 5-4.  Perhaps scorching, boiling or searing would be appropriate terminology.

But despite the 95 degree heat, Roy Halladay kept pushing for a win.  He did not have an easy time either.  Through seven innings, Doc gave up four runs, three of which were solo homers.  But this time, the offense helped Halladay out.

 

Balls went flying off the bats like grenades in the sweltering heat:

 

The Nationals kept pace as the Phillies gained and lost the lead in the game like a see-saw.  But not even ex-Phillie Jayson Werth could stop this Raul Ibanez homer.  Ryan Howard hit one as well.  The other photo is Werth striking out, just for fun:

 

The Phillies also showed a lot of hustle on the base paths.  Although Placido Polanco is out by just a step in the photo below, he ran the play out hard:

 

And Chase Utley was all over the field.  It looks like he is going full throttle at second, jumping, leaping and diving to make plays.  One of the key defensive plays in the game came in the seventh.  Halladay had put runner on first and third with no outs and managed to pick off Alex Cora, who wandered too far off third on a fielder’s choice.

That play probably saved the game for the Phillies.  And here are a few other nice ones as well:

 

Once Halladay was out of the game, the bullpen did a nice job holding the 5-4 lead for him.  Antonio Bastardo and Jose Contreras took the eighth and Ryan Madson closed it in the ninth:

 

Here is the full Photo Album from the game Tuesday afternoon.  It includes a lot of nice pre-game shots, the President’s race and more. 

Game two with the Nats is Tuesday night at 7:05pm.  Cliff Lee will pitch.

Also as a side note, Vance Worley has been sent back to Triple-A to get more innings under his belt.  No word yet on a replacement, although it is possible that the Phillies add a bullpen piece and use Kyle Kendrick as a starter.

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