Results tagged ‘ Matt Diaz ’

Werth Signs With The Nationals


34B.jpgIn a shocking move, Jayson Werth has signed a 7-year deal with the last place Washington Nationals, snubbing higher-profile teams like the Red Sox.  After losing Adam Dunn to the White Sox and star rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg to Tommy John surgery, the Nats needed a seat-filler.  Attendance in DC has been pathetic over the years due to a lack of success for the team and very high ticket prices. 

In the last two years, the Nats ranked 24th and 23rd place for attendance out of 30 teams.  The acquisition of Werth should produce a spike in season ticket plans, not to mention a spike in team batting average and runs scored.  The exact terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed, but it is in the area of $126 million dollars.

The real shock is that Werth chose to sign with a last-place team.  The Nats are trying to build a winner, but realistically, this will not happen overnight.  In fact, their biggest obstacle may be the Phillies who have won the division 4-straight years now.  But Werth has his ring already so maybe winning is now lower on his list than money and stability.

As for the Phillies, they now have a huge, gaping hole in right field to be filled.  With Domonic Brown leaving Winter Ball early today due to being “tired and sluggish,” big questions remain as to his ability to fill the spot.  Worst case scenario is that the left-handed  Brown will have to platoon with righty Ben Francisco.
Brown Francisco.jpgAnother right-hander who may be able to platoon with Francisco or even Ross Gload is John Mayberry Jr.  In 11 games with the big club in 2010, Mayberry batted  .333 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI.  He has been working on his stroke in AAA and, if Brown is not ready, Mayberry might be a better option.

There is a list of free agents as well that may also be able to fill the hole.  The top choice for Charlie Manuel is probably Matt Diaz.  The two men live in the same neighborhood and spend time together in the offseason.  Diaz is a lifetime .301 hitter who got little playing time with the Braves last season.  However, Diaz did find time to tackle a rouge Phillies fan on the field back in September.  He is almost a folk-hero in Philly already after that feat.

A few other options include Jeff Francoeur, Carlos Quentin or Scott Hairston.  With a little more creativity, the Phillies may wish to consider former Phillie Aaron Rowand.  The Giants have indicated that Rowand is not in their plans going forward and may be willing to eat his huge salary just to get rid of him.  Rowand struggled last year at AT&T Park.  Perhaps the smaller, friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park can revive his bat?

A few other long-shot free-agents might be Willie Bloomquist, Joe Inglett or Jose Guillen.  Whichever way the Phillies decide to go, it is clear that Werth has left very big shoes to fill.  He will be missed.

Hamels Hammers The Braves

Cole Hamels was walking a very tight rope tonight against the division rival Braves.  Both team battled and runs would be hard to come by.  Luckily, the runs were more difficult for the Braves.

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Hamels pitched 8 amazing innings, shutting down Braves hitters.  He struck out 6, walked 1 and allowed only 1 run all night.  But there were many highlights in this game.  Here are just a few:

-  Cole Hamels!  Duh.

-  A key 2-out RBI double from Carlos Ruiz in the 2nd inning.

-  3 double plays turned with the help of Wilson Valdez’s cannon of an arm and Chase Utley’s acrobatics.

-  RBI’s by Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez.


Diaz bionic foot.jpg-  Another idiot ran onto the field during the game; but instead of the taser gun, the Phils used their secret weapon, Braves left fielder, Matt Diaz.  Using his super-bionic foot, Diaz tripped up the moron and security teams swept in to collect the stunned fan.  Take that, taser gun!  You have been foiled by Matt Diaz ;o)

-  A super SAVE by Brad Lidge and a 3-1 win!

-  The Phillies are now FOUR games ahead of the Braves in the NL East!

Not only are the Phils up by four games, they have decreased their magic number to 8!  With Roy 2.0, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, set to pitch the next two games, things look good for the Phillies.  Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm….Go Phillies!

 

Hamels photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Take 2 of 3 From The Braves

While not without drama, the Phillies did manage to take 2 games in this 3-game series from the Atlanta Braves, dampening their playoff hopes.  P9087999 Lee.jpgRain also dampened the afternoon with a 2-hour delay taking Cliff Lee out of the game after only 4 innings of work.  Lee was on pace to pitch another great game, but on this day, it would be up to the bullpen.

The first inning however, did not bode well for the Phils; Shane Victorino got tossed out of the game for arguing with an umpire after he was tossed out stealing second.  Victorino slammed his helmet to the ground and then said a few choice words to the ump.  Shane needs to watch himself; with his second ejection this year, he now has a reputation with the umps of being a hot-head.

In the bottom of the first inning, Jimmy Rollins dropped the ball trying to tag out Matt Diaz who was caught between bases and a run scored on the play.  The run would have scored anyway, but the ejection followed by the missed ball made things look grim.

Ben Francisco took over for Victorino and hit an RBI double in the third to tie the game and give the Phillies a lift.  In the 4th, a double by Raul Ibanez and a single by Pedro Feliz put two more runs on the board.  The rain came and a 2-hour delay ensued.

After the delay, Chase Utley nailed an RBI triple to make the score 4-1 and the bullpen took over.  Tyler Walker pitched 2 innings with Sergio Escalona and Clay Condrey sharing the 7th.  Ryan Madson returned to his 8th inning role and took the 4-1 lead into the 9th.  Brad Lidge still looks like crap, but with a 3-run lead, manager Charlie Manuel gave him the ball anyway.  As expected, Lidge got into trouble with 2 outs and gave up a run.  He finally struck out the last batter and all Phillies fans breathed a collective sigh of relief.

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The 9th inning drama needs to stop!  Seriously.  Ok, we won and I am happy, of course.  But are we really going to have to go through this EVERY game?  And what if the Phillies only have a 1-run lead?  You can NOT trust a 1-run lead to Lidge anymore.  Luckily, the Phillies have a nice 8-game pad in the division to figure this out, but with 3 games against the Marlins up next, they had better think quick!

Tomorrow is an off day and then a double-header on Tuesday with the Fish!  The magic number is now 6!

Photography Phun

A few weeks ago, I attended a Photo Workshop at an Iron Pigs game (Phillies AAA club).  I experimented with different lenses and camera settings in a very low-light environment.  It was great fun and our group had access to the photo pit before the game right next to the Pigs dugout.  I got some great close-up shots of the players!  Here is the full Photo Album from the game; you will notice a lot of different light environments…this is a result of changing lenses, camera settings and just plain fooling around :O)  Some of them are really awesome, and some are just a tad off, but I promise you, all of them were FUN!  We even got the Mets AAA team to pose for us:


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Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Photos by Jenn

 

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Prevail Despite Injuries

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September baseball can be really entertaining, but it can also drive a fan to drink.  Nerves fray as teams battle for a playoff spot; add a few key injuries to the tension and you may find yourself having to meditate or do some yoga in order to remain calm.  The Phillies seem fairly calm after a 9-4 win in Atlanta last night, despite injuries to pitcher JA Happ, catcher Carlos Ruiz and slugger Ryan Howard.  Although, none of the injuries seem serious, so take a deep breath and exhale…

JA Happ appeared to grimace as he stepped towards first base in the 3 inning but insisted he felt fine.  Happ gave up a solo home run to the next batter and was then lifted from the game at the end of the inning for “precautionary reasons.”  Happ had missed the two previous starts with an oblique strain so the Phillies are not taking any chances that he may aggravate the injury.

Carlos Ruiz sprained his right wrist after blocking home plate as the Braves’ Matt Diaz tried to score in the 2nd inning.  The throw by Raul Ibanez was right on target and Ruiz tagged Diaz out at home.  But in the process, he hurt his wrist and eventually left the game with Paul Bako taking his place.  The injury appears to be mild and the Phillies are hopeful that he will only miss a game or two.

Next victim: Ryan Howard.  Howard destroyed pitched Tim Hudson with 2 home runs for 3 RBI in the game.  But later, relief pitcher Boone Logan nailed Howard in the forearm with a fastball.  Howard continued on to first base, yelping in pain on his way up the baseline.  He appears to be alright and hopefully, will not miss any time.

Shane Victorino also missed the game yesterday with a gastrointestinal illness.  Translation? 

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He has the poops.  Poor Shane!  It is expected that he will play tonight.   But last night, Ben Francisco took his spot in center.  The Ben Francisco-treat went 3 for 5 at the plate with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored, including a solo homer.  He also got caught stealing 3rd base for the first out of the 6th inning, but he made up for it with hitting, so all is forgiven :O)

Jimmy Rollins had 3 RBI in the game and Jayson Werth continues his hot streak with some clutch hitting; Werth went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI on a bases loaded, 2 out single in the 8th.  Also clutch in the game was Kyle Kendrick who took over for the injured Happ and pitched 4 scoreless innings.

So game 1 of this HUGE series is in the books!  If the Phillies can win at least 2 of 3 in this series, they will likely kill any hope the Braves may have had at a playoff run.  The still undefeated Pedro Martinez will take the mound tonight at 7:00pm. 

PS: The Magic Number is now 8!

Francisco / San Fran photos by Jenn

 Meditation photo: hubpages.com

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Walk Away With Rings And The Win

I suppose I had better run out and buy a lottery ticket.  Yesterday, I predicted that Phillies would need to score exactly 12 runs to win today’s game; the final score?  Phillies 12, Braves 11.  Yes, all bow to the great, powerful and all-knowing Jenn; she is a genius.  ;O)  Now, in order for my prediction to be totally accurate, the score had to be 12-11 thus, necessitating 12 total runs for the Phillies.  But by the 9th inning, the score was 12-10 and Brad Lidge was in to close the game; after 1 out was recorded,  I told the guy next to me that Lidge was about to give up a home run to make the final score 12-11 and BAM!  Matt Diaz sent Lidge’s offering over the left field wall.  Lidge got Garrett Anderson out swinging and voila!  Clearly, I am psychic. ;O) 

And yet, this off-the-wall foretelling was not the strangest thing to happen today.  The Phillies were losing the game 10-3 by the seventh inning stretch.  Shane Victorino started the bottom of the 7th by grounding out and it looked like that might me the nail in the coffin for the Phils.  Apparently not.  A series of small miracles occurred for the Phillies starting with a Chase Utley bloop single that fell into no-man’s land and then Ryan Howard was hit by a pitch.  After that, the weirdest string of event I have even personally witnessed in a game, turned a 10-3 deficit into an 11-10 lead.  The Braves bullpen helped out with 5 walks plus the Howard hit-by-pitch; 4 runs scored off those walks.  The other 4 runs were the result of 3 singles and a fielder’s choice.  The Phillies advanced slowly along the base path in 90 foot increments until all 8 runs were in and the inning ended on a Jayson Werth fly ball.  Several words come to mind here:  Unbelievable; incredible; mind-boggling; implausible.  Call it what you will, but in the end, it is the greatest come from behind victory I have ever had the pleasure to witness.

Here are a few game shots; Raul Ibanez scores as Chris Coste tells him not to slide; Rollins tries to knock Feliz in; Utley makes a running grab:040809.jpg

Perhaps the donning of the World Series rings prior to the game had a bit to do with the unorthodox come-back win?  The biggest ring I have ever seen holds 3.84 karats of diamonds; 103 in total, to represent the Phillies 2008 win total.  The base is 14-kt white gold crowned with a Ruby inlay, topped with the Phillies “P” logo.  Take a look:

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Each player was called up one by one to receive their ring, including ex-Phillies Pat Burrell, Geoff Jenkins and yes, even Adam Eaton.  Burrell received a huge ovation and Pat Gillick, formerly known here as Grumpy Gillick, broke down and cried as he hugged Burrell.  Jenkins received a warm welcome also but Eaton was booed mercilessly with chants of “Give us our money back!” heard around the stadium.  Taking it in stride and obviously expecting the greeting, Eaton smiled and waved both arms around in the air in a sarcastic and unaffected manner.  Below, you will see Eaton waving to the crowd; Burrell & Gillick hugging; Chase Utley getting his ring:

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In the next few days, I will put together a photo album with all the Ring Ceremony pictures and a few shots from the game and post it.  I have pictures of ALL the players getting their rings!  Right now, I need to get some sleep :O)  But stay tuned!  More to come…

And now for the Photo(s) of the Day; Shane Victorino was goofing around during his pre-inning catch with Ibanez and nearly whacked himself with the ball in, um, well…I think the picture tells the story:

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Off day tommorow; Phillies take on the Rockies Friday at 4:10pm EST.


(Photos by Jenn, except ring close-ups – Philly.com)

 

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