Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’

Lee’s Dominance Results in Clean Sweep of the Marlins

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

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

Pitching Role Reversal & Two Wins

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

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

Big Bats Cookin’ at Phillies Fish Fry

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

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

The Nightmare at PNC Park Continues

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

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

Cliff Lee Imposter Tanks Against Nats?

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

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

Halladay Loses With a Complete Game

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.

Will Injuries Derail The Phillies Season?

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.

Late Rally Pulls Phillies Ahead of Marlins

As the lack of run support curse for Cliff Lee and other pitchers continues, the Phillies are somehow still winning games.  Wednesday night, the beat the Marlins by a score of 5-3 and lee wound up with a no-decision.

Through six innings, Lee allowed three runs, although a few of those may have been due to defense and field positioning.  At the plate, Lee smacked a single that should have scored Brian Schneider.  But as he rounded third base, Schneider grabbed his leg and limped back to third base.

Adding to already long list of Phillies injuries, Schneider was lifted from the game and may end up on the DL.  The good news is that Carlos Ruiz should be coming off the DL and the two can swap places on Friday before the Braves series.


The Phillies were down 3-0 going into the seventh inning.  But a the Phillies bench came to the rescue just in time.  Pete Orr was the star, hitting two doubles, one in the seventh and one in the ninth.  A home run by Shane Victorino tied the game in the eighth and also extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

As Jimmy Rollins stepped to the plate in the ninth with two outs and two men in scoring position, I held my breath.  Rollins had come to the plate three times with two outs in this game already and made the last out each time, leaving men stranded on base all three times as well.

In this case, the fourth time was the charm.  J-Roll singled, which scored two runs and gave the Phillies the 5-3 lead.  Ryan Madson closed the game out and is now 5-for-5 in save opportunities.

The Phillies are off on Thursday as they travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves Friday night at 7:35pm.



Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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



Tough Loss For Halladay With No Offensive Support

Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels probably looked and Roy Halladay after Tuesday night’s unwarranted loss to the Marlins and thought, “Welcome to the club.”  What club is that?  The one where they each pitch a great game and come out with a loss due to a lack of offense.

Halladay outpitched his opponent, Josh Johnson, going eight innings with only one earned run allowed on five hits and still lost the game.  Halladay did make one mistake; he walked a pitcher for the first time in his career.  That walk turned into a run for the Fish.

But the Phillies offense had the bases loaded twice, in both the second and third innings, and did not score.  The worst offender was Dane Sardinha who had bases loaded with no outs in the second.  Knowing the pitcher was on deck, he could not even make contact.  Even a double play would have scored a run.  Instead, he struck out.

In the eight, another crucial error gave the Marlins the 2-1 lead that eventually won the game for them.  Jimmy Rollins bobbled a ground ball and threw offline to Ryan Howard, pulling him off the bag.  A ground out advanced the runner and a single scored it.

This lack of offense is becoming a running theme with the Phillies, which is magnified as a serious issue when you have pitchers going eight innings, allowing one run and still losing the game.  That should not happen.

Perhaps the starting pitchers should get together for their first “club” meeting and decide on how to proceed.  They cannot really go on strike, but maybe they could take turns smacking each of the starters around while yelling, “Wake up and score me some freaking runs!”  Too much?  Just a thought ;o)

The Phillies have one more game in Florida tonight at 7:10pm.  Cliff Lee is coming off a loss where he struck out 16 batters.  Now there is a solid oxymoron for you.  Perhaps he should carry a picket sign out to the mound with him…just in case.


Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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


Phillies Win A Wild One In Miami

Call it a game if you must, but tonight’s Phillies – Marlins match-up looked more like batting practice for both teams.  It featured the Phillies worst starter, fresh off a DL stint, in Joe Blanton and the Marlins worst starter, Javier Vazquez.  As hitters walked to the plate, they were literally salivating like a pack of ravenous hyenas standing over a fresh kill.

No one was more excited than Ross Gload, who has gotten very little playing time as a bench player this year.  With a rare start in right field, Gload finally had an opportunity to do some damage.  He took full advantage with two hits and two RBI.

A lot of Phillies had multi-hit games against the struggling Vazquez and some of the Marlins’ bullpen.  Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and even Raul Ibanez came up with at least two hits in the game, along with Gload.

The pitching was another story.  Knowing he had the youngster Vance Worley nipping at his heels, Blanton must have been in a rush to get back to the team after going on the DL.  He did not even pitch in a rehab game.

In his race to get healthy, Blanton looked like a guy seriously out of practice.  But the defense bailed him out a number of times and he wound up with five innings, three runs allowed, two walks and eight hits.

Worley did wind up pitching in the game, taking over in the sixth.  He got though two scoreless innings and then in the eight, allowed a solo homer to Gaby Sanchez.  After Worley’s three innings of work, the score was then 6-4, surprisingly low for the number of hacks taken during the game.

The Phillies went on to win by the same score, with Ryan Madson collecting the save.  Roy Halladay will pitch Tuesday night.  Game time is 7:10pm.



Photo 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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