Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’
The Phillies started a 3-game series tonight with the Fish and both offenses seemed to be floundering. If you had decided to take a nap and did not wake up until the seventh inning, you would have missed practically nothing.
Vance Worley started for the Phillies and was very sharp. He pitched seven innings total, allowing only two hits, two walks and no runs.
But while Worley held his own, the Phillies offense could not seem to manage any action. Domonic Brown was the only hitter with a big night that included two hits and he scored the Phillies’ only run on a Michael Martinez single in the seventh.
As for the scoring, that was it. Worley had a chance to move runners on first and second over with a bunt in the seventh, but he struck out. Worley seriously needs to work on his bunting.
So the bullpen took over after that. Michael Stutes was fantastic as usual, pitching a scoreless, hitless eighth. And then Antonio Bastardo saved the game, winning by a score of just 1-0. It was a combined 2-hitter for three rookies / young players in Worley, Stutes and Bastardo. The fountain of youth takes one for the team…nice.
Game two with the Marlins kicks off tomorrow night at 7:10pm.
By the way, Happy Fourth of July everyone! Enjoy your evening :O)
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
In the month of June, Cliff Lee was untouchable. After five starts, he allowed only one run and threw 3-consecutive complete game shut-outs. But today, it was apparent that the magical month of June was officially over for Lee.
Prior to the game, the vibes were nothing but positive. The Phillies were so loose and happy that they laughed and chatted with the mass of fans standing behind the dugout, most of whom had travelled great distances to see their team play in Toronto. Many bantered with a particularly exuberant fan a few feet away from me who was shouting their names one after another.
The Phillies are always great with the fans, but today there was a level of interaction that I have never seen before during warm-ups. Everyone was smiling and laughing, even the Blue Jays fans and stadium employees. Nothing but hugs and smiles, literally:
So when the game began, it felt like nothing could quell the excitement. The Phillies offense got off to a hot start, scoring four runs in the second inning. It looked like the bats were going to be hot all day.
But perhaps the Phillies were a bit too relaxed going into this one. Because after the second inning, the offense went right to sleep.
However, with Cliff Lee pitching, it seemed like four runs should get the job done. But through seven innings, Lee had allowed three runs narrowing the Phils lead to 4-3. Multiple stolen bases and balls finding holes put the Jays back in the game.
Shane Victorino added to the drama of the day when he got his cleat stuck in the astro turf and jammed his thumb. He was eventually fine and stayed in the game. But then in the eighth after hitting a double, Victorino got picked off leaning too far off base.
Then in the bottom of the eighth inning, the wheels completely fell off. On the first pitch of the inning, Eric Thames took Lee deep to centerfield to tie the game. And the horror did not end there. Jose Bautista homered next, as he did in each game of this series. An Adam Lind single was followed shortly after by the third home run of inning, this time from Edwin Encarnacion.
And just like that, Lee was lifted from the game and the Phillies were down by a score of 7-4.
So while they did not sweep, the Phillies still won 2 out of 3 in this series to end Interleague play for the year. The Marlins are up next starting tomorrow night at 6:10pm.
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game. Once I return home at the end of the week, I will also post photos from the rest of my trip to Canada for anyone who is curious. Check back for that.
The All-Stars have been announced. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Placido Polanco will be representing the Phillies!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
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
The last time the Phillies won seven games in a row in the month of June was in 1982. In 2011, they have done it again…finally. And they also swept the Marlins in a four game series.
Cliff Lee was on fire today, only in a good way, not in a call the fire department way. He was no-hitting the Fish until Mike Stanton singled with 2 outs in the 5th. Still, Lee wound up pitching a complete game shut-out in the 3-0 win.
In addition, Lee was hot at the plate as well. He had two hits in the game, the second of which was an RBI-double off the right-center field wall. He missed a home run by only a few feet.
And that one run, the first of the game, turned out to be all Lee needed to win the game. But just for good measure, Ryan Howard added on with a solo homer in the 5th and Jimmy Rollins knocked in the third run in the 6th with a double.
The Phillies are now on their way to Seattle where they will begin a 3-game series with the Mariners Friday night at 10:10pm. Roy Oswalt will pitch and Cole Hamels will start on Sunday.
Due to the doubleheader yesterday, the Phillies were in need of a spot starter for Saturday, which is going to be rookie Vance Worley. That brings us to the sad news of the day…
To make room for Worley, the Phillies chose to designate J.C. Romero for assignment. They have 10 days to trade him, release him or place him on waivers. Romero could be offered a minor league deal if no one takes him, but the odds are slim that he would accept that deal.
While Romero has struggled since having elbow surgery before the 2010 season, the emergence of lefty Antonio Bastardo has also made it difficult for Romero to get innings. Romero will always be remembered in Philadelphia for his contributions to the 2008 World Series championship plus a League Championship and two NL East titles.
On a personal note, I have had the privilege of being able to spend some time with J.C. and his family over the last 3+ years and I will miss them. The Romero’s are generous, kind people who contributed much more than just baseball to the city of Philadelphia and other communities in need.
I wish them the very best.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Phillies pitchers Kyle Kendrick and Roy Halladay each started one game of a double header against the Marlins today. So while the stats show that Game 2 should have been a win and game one was a toss-up, that is not exactly what happened.
The Marlins got off to a good start in Game 1 with a run against Kendrick, same as they did on Tuesday night. But also the same as Tuesday night’s 9-1 win, the Phillies came charging back quick, scoring two runs in the first two innings.
Wilson Valdez wound up being the game hero, going 3-for-4 with a bases loaded triple in the third. Jimmy Rollins had two hits, including a 3-run homer.
But the real surprise was Kendrick, who pitched seven innings without allowing another run after the first inning. The Phillies went on to win Game 1 by a score of 8-1.
But in Game 2, the earth must have stopped spinning on its axis’ because as Kendrick did his best Halladay impersonation, Halladay suddenly turned in a Kendrick-like performance. This is an alternate reality for Phillies fans who watched confused as Halladay got hit around by the Fish.
Someone should write a guide book for these situations as I was at a loss of how to cope with it. Oh wait, someone did write a manual…
So after allowing two runs in the first inning, it looked like Halladay might reel in the Fish after that. But in the fourth inning, the Fish stopped taking the bait. Former Phillies, Greg Dobbs smacked a double to get things started and two more hits later, the Phillies were down by a score of 4-1.
Kendrick outpitched Halladay today? What craziness is this? And four runs for Halladay is like a freak accident; it simply should never happen. This was only the third time all year that Halladay gave up more than three runs in a game.
For the Marlins, pitcher Anibal Sanchez was on point. He allowed only two runs over seven innings, forcing the Phillies to try for a comeback in the ninth inning.
With two outs in the ninth and two men on base, Shane Victorino came through with a two-run single to ties up the game at 4-4. He then stole second and landed on third after a bad throw. But Chase Utley was not able to score Victorino as he flew out to left and sent the game into extra innings.
But in the 10th, Ryan Howard got hit by a pitch and Domonic Brown walked. Carlos Ruiz then reversed the Phillies fortunes and smacked a walk-off single that scored Howard for a 5-4 win!
The Phillies have taken 3 straight from the Fish! The earth has returned to its normal rotation and the universe is as it should be. Game 4 is tomorrow at 1:05pm.
Kendrick Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Last night the Phillies faced the Marlins in what was to be first of four games in 48 hours with the Fish. As rain poured onto the field, delaying the start of the game, the hours dwindled down. But after the one hour and 20 minute delay, the game finally began.
And although Cole Hamels allowed on run in the first inning, the offense got that run and more right back for him in the bottom half of the inning. Ryan Howard smashed a two-run homer, which was to be the first of many on the night.
Hamels took the 2-1 lead and ran with it. Over 7+ innings, Hamels filleted the Fish with six strikeouts, allowing only three hits and the one run. He left the game early in the seventh when his back tightened up, but all reports say he will be fine to make his next start. David Herndon pitched the final two innings without allowing a run.
As for the home runs, they just kept on coming. Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins all hit 2-run homers in the game. Not to be left behind in the home run barrage, rookie Domonic Brown smashed TWO solo shots, one of which went far into the second deck in right field.
Just to recap, that is five home runs for a total of eight of the Phillies nine runs in the game.’
This break-out game was amazing for a number of reasons. First, the top four in the batting order, including Shane Victorino who had three hits in the game, are all clicking for the first time this season. Second, the rookie Brown looks like a legit big leaguer now. Also, nine runs in a game is what this team is capable of and they are finally living up to their true potential.
I actually felt sorry for Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad by the fifth inning. This poor guy was getting the crap beat out of him and his manager, probably trying to save the pen for the doubleheader today, just left him out there to dry. Volstad was finally pulled mid-way through the sixth inning, but this spanking is going to hurt for a while.
So the big doubleheader is set to kick off at 1:05pm with Kyle Kendrick on the mound. The second game starts at 7:05pm and Roy Halladay will pitch against Marlins ace Anibal Sanchez. Should be a great day for baseball!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
After a dismal, 12-inning, 2-1 loss to the Pirates last night, the Phillies are now a frightening 12-31 lifetime at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. They simply cannot win in this ballpark. Could it be cursed? This place is like a haunted house of horrors for the Phils.
Even with the entire line-up together for the first time all season, the Phillies still looked like zombies out there. Shane Victorino came off the DL and with the whole gang all together again, one might think it would break the sleep spell on this dreadful offense.
That simply did not happen.
The biggest victim of the night was pitcher Cole Hamels. This poor guy left it all on the field, pitching eight innings of one-run ball. And what did he get to show for it? Nothing. His team left him hanging.
The offense came out of 12-innings of play with a measly six hits. And two of those six hits were courtesy of the pitcher, Hamels. So they gave Cole only four hits and one run to work with. This should be a criminal offense ;o}
Let us count the 0′fers: Victorino, 0-for-5. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Domonic Brown, Carlos Ruiz…all 0-for-4. As a team, they complied 40 at-bats, six hits and left seven men on base. Disgusting.
Last year, in a similar slump, the Phillies fired hitting coach and all around nice guy, Milt Thompson. So is Greg Gross next to go? Because if this keeps up, the team is going to be looking for another fall guy. But they only one to blame are the players themselves.
No one seems to be getting too worked up over all this as they are still in first place, thanks to the pitching. But the Marlins and Braves are creeping up closer and something is going to hit the fan when the Phillies drop out of first because they cannot score more than one or two runs in a game. As I gaze into my crystal ball, I see the disaster coming.
But the disaster can easily be averted. This team need to get back to the basics. Stop swinging for the fences, stop swinging at bad pitches and for heaven’s sake, would someone please inform this line-up that they need to adjust their swing when a pitcher is tossing all kinds of off-speed crap at them? They cannot just stand up there and pray for a fastball. Pitchers have this teams’ number now and they need to adjust.
In the league, the Phillies rank #2 in fly-ball outs. If there was a stat specifically in short pop-ups, I am pretty sure they would be #1 in all of baseball. Also of note, they rank 19th in the majors in runs scored and batting average. For a first place team, this is pathetic.
So the house of horrors continues tonight. Kyle Kendrick will start and game time is 7:05pm. Bust out your four-leaf clovers, rabbit’s foot (artificial, of course), horseshoe, crucifix, #7 pendant, voodoo doll, lucky jersey or whatever you have and start praying for the curse to be lifted!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Who was that pitcher on the mound for the Phillies Tuesday night? Certainly it could not be Cliff Lee. At least not the one we are used to. He must be an imposter!
After a careful review of the statistics, the mystery Lee went only 5.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits to a last place Nationals team. He also walked three batters and gave up two home runs.
Upon witnessing this disastrous outing, I can come to only one conclusion: Cliff Lee has been abducted by aliens. They are conducting a number of probing experiments on him in order to clone the near-perfect pitcher. This totally explains why an imposter was sent in his place to give up six runs in less than six innings.
Perhaps many do not agree with my assessment. However, I assure you that the alternative is much more difficult to swallow. Cliff Lee had a horrible game? Against a crappy team?? No way. Aliens…I tell you, it must be aliens.
On the other hand, many pitchers sucked without alien intervention. Danys Baez has been returned to earth after a spectacular five innings in last week’s 19-inning marathon. On this night, Baez coughed up three runs in just one inning.
And then lefty Mike Zagurski, called up to take Vance Worley’s roster spot, walked the opposing pitcher, gave up one run and another walk in just one inning. Zagurski has been given a plethora of chances in the Bigs over the years. But each time, despite doing well in the minors, he tanks as soon as he is called up.
The offense took the night off as well, apparently refusing to play with imposter aliens. The only excitement was when Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. smacked back-to-back homers in the fifth.
So the Phils went down in flames by a score of 10-2…against the Nationals. Ugh. Well, tomorrow is another day and with any luck, the aliens have returned the real Cliff Lee and maybe will visit the Marlins or Braves next. ;o)
Lee Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Here is something that should never, ever happen. Roy Halladay pitched a three-run, complete game against the Braves today and took a loss. With the rate at which Halladay and other Phillies pitchers, like Cliff Lee, are being hung out to dry by this offense, it may be time to take more drastic measures.
The Phillies were the only team in the majors to not have a starting pitcher lose two games in a row. That streak ended today as Halladay got his second consecutive taste of how bad this Phillies offense sucks right now.
Just because it is Superman himself, Roy Halladay, on the mound, does not mean that he will toss a shut-out every time out. The movie Superman managed to turn back time by rotating the earth backwards on its axis, but do not think he will accomplish this feat whenever he feels like it, even in the movies. There needs to be some basis in reality to keep our attention.
The Phillies batters, however, seem to be hanging around, just waiting for another Halladay or Lee miracle. Tim Hudson pitched for the Braves today and was almost pulled from the game in the fourth inning with a sore hip, but he managed to go seven innings anyway. This means that the Phillies managed only four hits off a Grandpa (in baseball years) with a bad hip!
The only reason that Grandpa lasted seven innings was because the Phillies got themselves out. They swung at bad pitches and were not patient when Hudson began flinging balls all over the place, two feet over their heads or straight into the dirt.
Three of the four hits in the game were from the bench players, Pete Orr, Michael Martinez and John Mayberry Jr. who accounted for the only score with a two-run homer. Mayberry played center in place of the ailing Shane Victorino. Both he and Orr each stole a base as well.
So while the bench guys keep trying to resuscitate this team, where are the starters? Where are the bats of Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez? Come out, come out, wherever you are! This game of hide and seek is getting old.
The 3-2 loss gave the Braves the series win, 2-1. The Braves are now only 3.5 games behind the Phillies in the NL East and the Marlins are two games back.
The Phillies will travel to St. Louis for a short, two-games series next. Cliff Lee pitches tomorrow, unless he decides to go on strike. Game time is 7:05pm.
As of May 13, 2011, the Phillies are 25-13 and two games ahead of the Florida Marlins for first place in the NL East. However, Phillies players are dropping like flies. Can they maintain this pace in spite of all the injuries?
So far the Phillies have lost their starting short stop, both catchers, two starting pitchers, a bunch of relief pitchers and more. Starter Joe Blanton came off the DL but looks like he needs to go back as he is still in pain and losing speed on his pitches. Starter Roy Oswalt is coming back this week, but also looks like he is not 100% after a rehab start on Thursday.
Then in Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Braves, centerfielder Shane Victorino left the game early with a hamstring pull. It ended his 15-game hitting streak.
The Phillies anemic offense managed only three hits in the game, a trend which has continued throughout the season so far. The pitching has helped the Phillies win games, but the loses due to a lack of hitting are starting to pile up.
At the same time, the pitcher’s are now coming up lame. If the injuries continue and the Phillies wind up with both weak pitching and weak hitting at the same time, this spells trouble.
Here is a look at the injuries so far this year:
If Victorino winds up on the DL, the Phillies may have been able to fill the roster spot by calling Domonic Brown back up since he has recovered from hand surgery. However, earlier in the week, Brown sprained the thumb on the same hand he had surgery on and is unavailable to play right now.
Currently in right field, Ben Francisco has been terrible in the month of May. He is hitting just .071 since May 1. Ryan Howard is hitting .217 in May. Placido Polanco’s May numbers are down as well, hitting .234. Brian Schneider’s bat was starting to heat up when he got hurt and was sent to the DL. Carlos Ruiz is back, but rusty, and he is still looking for his first hit this month.
The bench players have filled in admirably where they are able to. But if this trend continues where the offense slumps and the pitching can no longer bail them out, the Phillies could lose their grasp on first place quickly.
The Phillies season is at a crossroads now. Either they will be able to continue to battle through the injuries or they will not.
But this is an issue they have dealt with for many years running now. This Phillies team knows how to carry on when star players hit the skids. Hopefully, knowing that they have overcome injuries in the past will be enough to propel them into the future as a winning team.