Results tagged ‘ Marlon Byrd ’

I’m Back – Can the Same Be Said for the Phillies?

After a very long vacation from blogging, I’m back. I have just a quick list of excuses for my absence. For starters, I have experienced a complete life “do-over.” After some hair-raising experiences including the deaths of 3 friends/family, I changed jobs, relationships, bought a house and am going back to school to work on my Master’s degree. Change is good. Trust me on this one.

Change for the Phillies thus far this offseason, however, has been minimal. It was less change and more resurrecting history when the Phils signed Marlon Byrd, Bobby Abreu (minor league deal), Larry Bowa (bench coach) and Charlie Manual, rehired as an advisor. Not to mention dumping Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews in favor of Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer in the broadcasting booth. And don’t forget Mike Schmidt on air for Sunday games. It’s a reunion!

Did you realize there are now no less than 4 Phillies managers back with the 2014 team? The current manager, obviously, is Ryne Sandberg. Former managers on staff also include Manual, Bowa and Dallas Green (front office). That is incredible. If you want to be with a team for life, sign with the Phillies!

With all of these blasts from the past, the season will at the very least be interesting to watch. But my initial impressions so far in watching Spring Training games are not too encouraging. The offense is still in hiding, as it has been for about 3+ years now. Ok, I know it is only Spring Training, but the Braves have no problem putting up 8-9 runs a game right now so why can’t the Phils? Also, many pitchers, like Cole Hamels, are already or still hurt. But hey, the defense looks pretty good J

Of the few moves the Phillies did make this offseason, I actually like the return of Marlon Byrd. He did well with the Pirates last year, he has been open about his previous suspension and above all, he has something to prove. I love his attitude so far and he appears to have at least brought some smiles back to camp.

Beyond that, not much stands out. Ryan Howard has proclaimed his perfect health. That is nice, but we will have to wait to see if results follow. Howard will be under even more pressure this year now that he and the team are adamant that he is 100%. If he falters early, I shudder to think of the reaction from the press and the fans. They will tear the Big Piece into little pieces. I do not envy his position.

I have begun counting the days until the first real pitch of the season to see what this team really has to offer. Is the winning team back or just a rerun of last year? More thoughts on Spring Training to come…stay tuned.

Cubs Slaughter The Phillies…Twice

In the first game of the Phillies – Cubs series last night, it started well for the Phils with a two-run homer from Ryan Howard in the first inning.  But right away, pitcher Jamie Moyer gave those runs back.  By the end of 3 innings, Moyer gave up 6 runs on 5 hits and had to be pulled from the game.

The Phillies wound up using 7 different pitchers in the game.  The worst of those were Jose Contreras, allowing 5 more runs and Danys Baez adding one more to the thumping.  The offense did nothing after the Howard homer until the 9th inning. 
Cubs Phillies.jpg
By that time, the Phils were down 12-2 so the 4 runs they scored in the 9th made little difference.  Although, Howard hit bookend homers in the game; the 2-run shot in the 1st and another 2-run shot in the 9th.

Coming into today’s game having lost the first, Howard tried again to spark his team.  After Shane Victorino homered in the 4th, Howard hit another 2-run bomb in the 6th, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead.  But as was the case the day before, the starting pitcher gave those 2 runs right back again.

Joe Blanton looked like he might have a good outing until in the 5th, with the bases loaded, he walked the opposing pitcher.  And then in the 6th after the Howard homer, Blanton gave up a 2-run homer to former Phillie Marlon Byrd to tie the game.  And to make matters worse, all 3 of those runs scored with 2 outs in the inning.

Ryan Madson ran into the same 2-out trouble in the 8th inning.  Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer, giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead.  The Phillies did nothing to help themselves in the 9th.  Jayson Werth struck out looking for the 3rd time in one game and he has no hits in the series so far.  Ben Francisco also struck out looking 3 times.  As a team, the Phillies struck out fourteen times!  Disgusting.

The Phillies offense, except for Howard, looks pathetic right now and the pitching has not been good.  While we are only 2 games out of the All-Star break, this is very concerning.  The good news is, Cole Hamels pitches tomorrow and Roy Halladay on Sunday.  But as far as the good news goes, that is it.

So let us have a little fun for a moment.  Is it just me, or did anyone else think that the Cubs catching gear looks a bit like R2D2?


R2D2 catcher.jpgMaybe this is Cubs secret pitching weapon?  It sure would explain a lot about the last 2 games.  *SIGH*

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