Results tagged ‘ Lance Berkman ’

Happy Hangover Hampers Hamels & Phils

After Saturday night’s NL East title celebration, both the Phillies and the fans came out a little sluggish on Sunday against the Cardinals.  The crowd was quiet and so were the Phillies bats.  After the late night champagne shower, everyone looked a little hung over.

A few bad pitches from Cole Hamels put the Phillies into an early 2-0 hole when Albert Pujols smacked a 2-run homer in the first inning.  Hamels seemed to bounce back quickly after that, but the offense did nothing to help him.  Then in the sixth inning, Hamels gave up another 2-run homer.

With only eight hits in the game, all of them singles, the Phillies did not have too many opportunities to score.  But the few times they did have runners on base, they hit into double plays.  Hunter Pence, Raul Ibanez and Ross Gload all hit into double plays, ending any possible offensive threat.

Three of the Phillies’ eight hits came off the bat of Chase Utley, which was one positive in the game.  Utley has struggled to find his swing again since getting hit in the head with a pitch.  That sort of shot would scramble anyone’s brain.  But it appears that Utley has found all his marbles and got his timing back at the plate.
 

Down 4-0, the Cardinals padded their lead in the eighth with a solo shot off pitcher Joe Blanton.  It was Blanton’s second appearance since coming off the DL and one he is sure to want to forget.

On the other hand, Justin DeFratus made his major league debut which was almost spoiled by Lance Berkman.  DeFratus’ first pitch was destroyed by Berkman, but the ball landed in Shane Victorino’s glove inches from the center field fence.  DeFratus managed to escape the inning without allowing a hit.

Slightly more exciting than the actual game was batting practice, where I spotted all of the newest members of the Phillies:

And even more exciting than that was the community mural painting which I participated in.  The new Phillies Mural will be eight stories high, facing the Schuylkill River.  It should be done by next summer.  In the meantime, the Phillies are allowing fans to help paint with large chunks of the mural drawn out in pencil like a paint-by-number.  Here I am painting part of the Phanatic:

Game 4 with the Cardinals starts tonight at 7:05pm.  And here is the full Photo Album from the game, including pre-game ceremonies.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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Phillies Win NL East For 3rd Consecutive Year

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Pop the champagne Phillies fans; for the 3rd year in a row, this team has won the NL East and will be playing in the post-season.  In a game that included at least one RBI from every starting position player except lead-off hitter Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies powered their way to a 10-3 mashing of the Astros to win the title.  Rollins did have 2 hits in the game though, plus a walk and he scored twice.

A true team effort, the win included back-to-back triples by Rollins and Shane Victorino, a massive 2-run homer by Raul Ibanez, a sac fly, a stolen base and 3 doubles.  Pedro Martinez pitched only 4 innings and allowed 3 runs, but his teammates picked him up with their hitting and some great relief pitching.  Kyle Kendrick, who spent nearly the whole year in the minors, pitched 3 innings of scoreless ball allowing only 2 hits.  Chad Durbin picked up the 8th; Scott Eyre got the 1st 2 outs in the 9th and, believe it or not, Charlie Manuel put Brad Lidge in to finish the game.  Lidge got his old buddy Lance Berkman out on 1 pitch.

So, it is time to rejoice!  Since I was not able to attend the game tonight, I broke out some old photos from the 2007 NL East clinching game.  Here are a few ways the Phillies may now be celebrating:

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Here at home, the Phillies unofficial mascots, J-Roll Smurf and Chutley Smurf are also partying hard.  A drink and a victory lap:

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Now just take a deep breath and exhale…ahhhhhh!  Time to relax…for now.  Home field advantage is still up for grabs.  That challenge will begin with tomorrow night at 7:05pm in the last game of 4 against the Astros.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

Except champagne photo by: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/t

 

 

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Panic Time?

The Phils got swept in 4 games against the Astros earlier this season and were looking for revenge last night.  The problem is, they need to look a lot harder.  In a horrible 2-8 loss, Cole Hamels allowed 6 runs in 6 2/3 innings.  5 runs were scored by Houston in the 7th inning with 2 outs and NO ONE on base.  Tyler Walker gave up 2 runs of his own, plus allowed 2 for Hamels that same inning with runners he left on base.

The offense did no better.  Their only 2 runs came on a sac fly and a balk call.  And all this against a pitcher that they should have beat the crap out of; Yorman Bazardo was with the Phillies in Spring Training and had a 9.55 ERA coming into last night’s game.  So, the Phillies knew exactly what to expect from him and still only managed 2 hits off Bazardo.

The only real highlight of the game was when Paul Bako blocked home plate as Lance Berkman tried to score.  Berkman missed the plate and Bako ran him down on the dirt track behind home plate to tag him out.

Ok, I lied; 1 more highlight: JC Romero returned to the Phillies last night after a long DL stint with a torn muscle in his forearm.  JC – we missed you!  SO glad to see Romero healthy again.  He pitched 1 inning, allowing 2 hits and no runs.  Romero will need to shake some rust off, but overall, he looked great.  Welcome back!

panicButton.jpgWith the loss last night and a win by the Braves, the magic number is STILL at 3 and the division lead, once at 8.5 games, has dwindled down to 4.  Time to panic yet?  Well, do not push that button just yet…however, if the Phillies do not win tonight, go right ahead.  The pitcher they will face today, Wilton Lopez, is making his first major league start.  Again, the Phillies should beat the pants off this guy…”should” being the critical word.

JA Happ will start for the Phillies; Happ will need to be spectacular and show the rest of this pitching staff how it should be done!  Happ and Joe Blanton are the only 2 Phillies starters to have recorded wins in the last 8 games.  The rest of the staff had better step up…fast!  Best of luck to JA Happ tonight!

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Food For Thought

Although the Phillies outhit the Red Sox today and racked up 7 walks, they lost the game 3-1 as a result of having 12 men left on base.  The 4th inning was a great example of the trouble the Phils had closing the deal; Raul Ibanez singled off Jon Lester, followed by a Pedro Feliz double.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, John Mayberry popped out.  Keeping the inning alive, Chris Coste earned a walk to load the bases; but then Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino went down in order to end the threat.

The good news is that the Phillies made a habit out of this last year and still won the World Series.  The bad news is, lightning usually does not strike twice in the same place.  Not to say they cannot repeat, because they are more than capable, but the offense needs to solve the issue of leaving men on base to add to their chances.  Plus, many Phillies hitters are behind schedule from where they would normally be this time of year because of injuries like those of Coste, Feliz and Chase Utley.  Rollins and Victorino are also behind in the number of at-bats they should have because of the WBC.  Just a few thoughts for our offense to chew on.

Cole Hamels is also running behind, not only due to the elbow injury, but his rehab was further delayed today when the minor league game he was set to pitch in was reportedly cancelled due to rain.  The rest of the Phillies pitchers however, appear to be right on track. 

Joe Blanton has pitched very well this spring and gave up only 4 hits and 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings today against a strong Red Sox line-up.  We are all waiting now to see the new Phillie, Jack Taschner get into a game so we can see what he has to offer.  Aside from that question mark, the regulars in the pen look ready to go.

P7306527 Lidge.jpgAnd since we are on the subject of food, I just read an article about big league food in the MLB Insiders magazine by Jeremiah Sullivan.  According to Lance Berkman, the major leaguer with the biggest appetite is his former teammate, Brad Lidge.  “Brad Lidge will eat any and everything in sight,” says Berkman.  “It doesn’t matter what it is, he constantly crushes food.  He eats more than any other human being that I’ve seen in my entire life.  And everything has Tabasco sauce on it.”  Ok, gross.  P2222396 Utley.jpgSo what sort of food does All-Star Chase Utley like best?  “Sushi day is definitely my favorite,” says Utley.  “It is only served once every few home stands – that isn’t often enough.”  Raw fish; good to know.  Between that and the Tabasco sauce, I may never eat again.

And today marks 1 week until Opening Night in Philadelphia!  Whoo Hooo!  But until then, grapefruit league action will continue with the Phillies taking on Mr. Berkman and his Astros at 1:05pm tomorrow.

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Welcome Back Offense…

So, the Phillies offensive finally defrosted today under the warm Philadelphia sun.  Most starters had 2 hits today except Bruntlett who is still not producing and came up empty.  Even the pitcher Myers managed to work a walk.  Chris Coste walked away with the outstanding performance of the day going 4 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBI’s.  I think he has more than earned himself a few more starts with Ruiz struggling at the plate lately.  Also joining the home run parade today were Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell.  In fact, Pat’s home run, his 6th of the year, puts him at 224 for his career and officially moved him into 4th place overall on the Phillies all-time home run leaders list, passing Greg Luzinski.

Speaking of Pat Burrell, I was sitting in the lower level corner section of left field today for the game where I had a great view of Pat all day.  I have to say, the crowd reaction to him today was something I have not seen before and I know it certainly amused him as well.  Every time he made a play, the fans in the outfield sections went absolutely nuts!  Then, when he took the field after his homer in the 6th inning, the outfield fans, in unison, all chanted “MVP! MVP! MVP!” as he ran out to warm up!  And they did it every inning after that as well…  Pat just grinned, shook his head a bit and tossed the ball to Taguchi.  He had to be thinking about how not a year and a half ago, these people HATED him and were cussing him out.  And now they are chanting MVP?  Wow!  Unbelievable.  I mean, not that he is going to complain about it, but funny how that works, right?

So, in other fun news, I was watching the Astros take batting practice from the stands today in centerfield and trying, to no avail, to get one of their pitchers in the outfield to toss me a ball.  They just sorta grin at you and then ignore you…  Well, to hell with them, I caught one myself!  Lance Berkman smacked a line drive home run right at my head!  I threw my hand up and, bam, right in the glove!  Whoo Hooo!  Threw my arms up in the air and celebrated and everything…I was totally psyched!  And I think at least half the Astro’s pitching staff saw the catch too cuz they were all staring at me sorta bug eyed.  I guess they don’t see too many chicks catch home run balls… :o)  Or they just assume we will all scream and run for cover…

So, that was especially funny to me because last year I caught a Pat Burrell homer there standing in the same place but had forgotten my glove…caught it barehanded!  And nearly broke my hand!  I had the nastiest bruise you ever saw… So, I was glad I got a shot at one WITH the glove :o)  That was WAY less painful…

So the other fun at today’s game was seeing all the ex-Phillies…I said hello to Geoff Geary at batting practice.  He was always very friendly to me and so I was sad to see him go…  Saw Michael Bourn of course, and then Tomas Perez, ex-funny man :o)  So many stories about Tomas, so little time… Maybe another day…  So, here is my photo of the game for today…our “new” Geoff with a “G”, Geoff Jenkins, mid-air, as he slides into second:
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