Results tagged ‘ Mets ’

Cliff Lee is Effortless in Rout of Mets

After losing two of three to the Nationals and enduring three rain delays in four games, seeing the Mets come to town had to be a relief for the Phillies.  And they wasted no time taking out their frustrations on this fourth place team.

Pitcher Cliff Lee continued his incredible month of August by tossing seven innings of shut-out ball.  The Mets managed only three hits off the lefty and struck out seven times.  Those K’s put Lee well above his career high 185 strike-outs in a season; he now has 191 with 36 games to go, which is about seven more starts.

Lee also had some fun at the plate.  He singled in the second inning and hit two other balls very hard that missed going out of the park by only a few feet.  Lee was having so much fun with the bat, that manager Charlie Manuel actually let him hit in the bottom of the seventh instead of a pinch hitter, knowing he was not going back out to pitch the next inning.  There is something you do not see every day.

Of course, having a 10-0 lead made giving Lee another at-bat an easy decision.  Because prior to the seventh inning, the Phillies offense smacked around Mets pitching like they were a minor league team.

Both John Mayberry Jr. and Hunter Pence hit two-run homers in the game.  Mayberry led the team with three RBI.  Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino had two RBI apiece as well.  And in his first game back off the DL without making a single rehab start, Placido Polanco had two hits and a walk.  The only starter without a hit was Chase Utley, who was taken out of the game before the seventh along with Ryan Howard to give them some extra rest.

The Phillies held onto the 10-0 lead with David Herndon pitching the final two innings. And the Mets tread wearily back to the clubhouse, knowing there were still two games to go in this series.

Injury Update

Rollins and Polanco swapped spots on the DL Monday night.  Also, Mayberry played left field on Monday because Raul Ibanez had a sore groin.  This prompts the question, what exactly is going on with all the groin injuries?

Rollins is out with a right groin strain.  Polanco had a sports hernia, also related to the groin area.  Now Ibanez has a sore groin too?  And let us not forget poor Carlos Ruiz who sat out several games after getting hit with a foul ball in the groin.

This is a disturbing trend.  Perhaps an investment in some iron underwear would help?  Or maybe the Phillies need to call a witch doctor to exorcise the demon that has seemingly cursed the Phillies’ groins.

Ok, so it is likely just a weird coincidence and groin strains are a common sports injury.  It is just odd to see them all happen in the span of only two weeks.  With any luck, Rollins and Ibanez will be feeling better very soon.


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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Hamels Returns to Dominance on 80′s Retro Night

After a horrible start in New York where he gave up seven runs in 4.1 inning, Cole Hamels needed a bounce-back game.  And there was no better time to bounce-back than in a throw-back, 1980′s retro night game.

Wearing the maroon pinstripe uniform from 1984, Hamels found his old-self against the Padres.  Through eight innings, Hamels gave up only one run on three hits while striking out 10 batters.  It was 120 degrees on the field at game time, but the Padres biggest issue was the heat on Hamels’ fastball, not the heat on the field.

Some of the 1980′s player intro’s also added to game intensity:


Chase Utley was hot on the scoreboard and hot at the plate with two hits tonight.  Carlos Ruiz and John Mayberry Jr. added an RBI-double each which, along with one unearned run, was plenty for Hamels to work with.

To close the game, Ryan Madson came out in the 9th for his first save attempt since returning from the DL.  He sent the Padres down in order to record the 3-1 victory.  It was Madson’s 16th save and Hamels’ team-leading 12th win of the year.

Earlier today, the Phillies activated pitcher Brad Lidge from the DL; he is expected to be broken in slowly in non-crucial situations until he gets settled in after missing the entire first half.  A roster move had to be made and that wound up being Danys Baez.  If Baez is not picked up by another team, he will likely play for Triple-A.

Many fans celebrated the move, as Baez has been inconsistent and mostly ineffective both this year and last.  His 6.25 ERA over 36 innings was not helping his case.

But while this was clearly the best business decision for the team, Baez was well-liked in the clubhouse and is an all-around nice guy.  He is the only player I have never seen ignore a fan or refuse an autograph.  Baez had a smile and for everyone, despite what must have been a really tough year for him.  In that respect, it is a bit sad.

Charlie Manuel also had a difficult time with the decision as he has know Baez for a long time.  He said in an interview on SportsNite that Baez came to his office a week ago to talk about his situation and Baez all but offered himself up.  He told Charlie he would understand if he needed to make a move for the betterment of the ballclub.  So while his pitching was not great, I am impressed with the way he has handled himself and wish him all the best.


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Photos from Comcast SportsNet Broadcast

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

Phillies Win Mets Series After 8th Inning Adventure

After getting spanked by the Mets on Saturday in an 11-2 loss, the Phillies needed a win today.  Kyle Kendrick, sometimes a starter, sometimes a reliever, came through for the team and pitched very well.

Over seven innings, Kendrick allowed only one run on six hits and three walks.  He did not strike anyone out, but got ground balls when he needed to, keeping the Phillies in line for a win.

Kendrick was also one of four Phillies who had a multi-hit game today.  Kendrick’s two singles matched two hits from Brian Schneider and Raul Ibanez with Jimmy Rollins adding three hits of his own.

But the big bang came off the bat of rookie Michael Martinez who hit his first major league home run against Mets pitcher Mike Pelfry with two men on base.  He added a fourth RBI later with a sac fly, so it was a big day for Martinez.

The emergence of Martinez has been great timing for the Phillies.  They will need to lean on him a lot in the coming weeks as Placido Polanco is still having back issues and no one is sure when he will return.  The more Martinez plays, the more he hits, which may force Charlie Manuel to keep putting him out there.

The Phillies kept adding on until they had an 8-1 lead after the top of the eighth.  But in the bottom of the eighth, things got a little hairy for the Phils.

Lefty Juan Perez loaded the bases with Mets on three straight walks without recording an out.  Ryan Madson was called in to clean up the mess.  Madson got two outs, although two runs did score as he gave up a few hits and a walk.  The Phillies wound up bringing Antonio Bastardo in to get the final out and also to pitch the ninth.

Bastardo got out of a wild eighth inning, but wound up allowing a run in the ninth.  It was the first run he allowed since May 25th.  And although the lead was cut down to 8-5, Bastardo finished the game, earning the save.

The Phillies will travel to Chicago next to play three games against the Cubs.  The first is Monday night at 8:05pm with Roy Halladay pitching.


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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Mets Massacre Phils In 11-2 Spanking

On paper, the Phillies have the best team in baseball.  But on the field today, they basically sucked.  The Phillies took an 11-2 spanking from the Mets who played without four of their regular starters, three of whom are All-Star caliber players.

The massacre began in the first inning when a horrible mistake caused pitcher Cole Hamels to lose his cool.  With two outs in the first inning, Hamels allowed a double but then coaxed an infield pop-up from David Murphy to get out of the inning…or so he thought.  Ryan Howard apparently called Chase Utley off the pop-up and then had a brain freeze as the ball dropped between them with Howard looking confused.

Hamels was visibly upset and, if you can read lips, it looks like he yelled, “Oh come on!” and followed it up with a few indistinguishable unhappy words.  You cannot blame Hamels for his annoyance, as a run scored and the pop-up was scored a single since no one touched the ball.  However, after that incident, Hamels was just not the same pitcher.

Manager Charlie Manuel had to pull Hamels from the game after only 4.1 innings where he gave up a career-high seven runs on eight hits and four walks, including a walk to the opposing pitcher.

The Phillies had a chance to catch up in the seventh inning, but Jimmy Rollins coughed up a double play ball with no outs and the bases loaded to kill the rally.  The Phillies scored only two runs despite the hits and multiple fielding flubs by the Mets.

And then Danys Baez put the nail in the coffin in the bottom of the seventh.  Baez began the game with a 5.35 ERA but apparently, he did not feel that was horrible enough.  After he gave up four runs on four hits, including a 3-run homer, Baez seemed more satisfied with the 6.25 ERA that followed. (Editor’s note: The previous paragraph involved “sarcasm,” in case anyone missed it.)

The Phillies still have a chance to win the series tomorrow, however, since Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are getting some extra time off, they will have to win with Kyle Kendrick on the mound.  Game time is 1:10pm.


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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Phillies Open Second Half With a Win Over the Mets

Although the day began with the Phillies placing Placido Polanco on the DL, it ended well.  Polanco, battling back pain, should be back around July 20.

All of the recent injuries have given many young players big opportunities.  Michael Martinez started at third again and John Mayberry Jr. started in center and had a huge day at the plate.  In the 7-2 win over the Mets, Mayberry accounted for five of those runs with a single and a bases-clearing double.

Having struggled in his last trip to the majors earlier this year, it looks like Mayberry has finally made the adjustments he needed in order to get his swing straight.  If Mayberry keeps up this pace, the Phillies may not to need any further for a powerful right-handed bat.

Vance Worley also had a nice day on the mound.  He allowed only one run through 5.1 innings.  The only issue was that Worley walked four batters and had a high pitch count early.  He still has some work to do, but so far, Worley is fitting right in to this rotation.

When Worley was called back up today, Ryan Madson joined him as well, coming off the DL after dealing with a bruised hand.  The two roster spots were cleared by Polanco’s DL trip and Scott Mathieson was sent down.

Madson pitched the seventh inning and it appears that he has not skipped a beat.  His command was good and he had zip on his fastball.  Michael Stutes, on the other hand, looked rusty after the All-Star break and he gave up a homer in the eighth.

One other item of note today was the performance of Raul Ibanez.  His bat is suddenly on fire and as a result, he was named the National League Player of the Week.  The week before the All-Star game, Ibanez hit .310 with three homers and 13 RBI.  He hit another home run tonight and also singled.  Congrats to RAUUUUUUL!

Game 2 with the Mets is Saturday afternoon at 4:10pm.  Cole Hamels will pitch with Kyle Kendrick on Sunday.  The top two aces, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, are getting a break after pitching almost two innings each in the All-Star game on Tuesday.


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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Chase Utley Begins To Settle In

After coming off the DL on Monday, Chase Utley is now beginning to get into a rhythm at the plate.  He helped the Phillies to a 5-2 win over the Mets on Saturday night using his bat, his legs and his defense.

Utley had two hits, one RBI, a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base in the game.  He did a little bit of everything, even making some great plays on defense.  The bum right knee was really put to the test and it passed with flying colors.

This was especially great news for Cole Hamels who has suffered, along with the other starters, from a lack of run support.  When he exited the game after pitching seven innings, Hamels and the Phillies were down by a 2-1 score.  But Utley and Jimmy Rollins led a comeback in the eighth inning where three runs scored.  Rollins singled, stole a base and Utley drove him in.  Then Ryan Howard smacked a two-run double, putting the Phillies ahead 4-2.

The lead gave Hamels the opportunity to collect a win.  And although Hamels struggled early, allowing a career-high five stolen bases, he settled down and allowed only two runs. The Phillies then had to depend on the bullpen to preserve the win.

Jose Contreras tossed a scoreless eighth inning in his second appearance since returning from the DL.  And Ryan Madson took the ninth.  This year, he has been a closing machine.   Madson collected his 11th save in 11 opportunities to send the Phillies to bed with a 5-2 win.

The Phillies have taken the first two games in the series and will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon at 1:10pm.  Vance Worley will get his fourth start of the year.


Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Comedy of Errors Turns Into a Win For the Phillies

It was not pretty, but the Phillies pulled out at 6-4 win over the Mets on Friday night.  The Phillies committed three errors and the Mets had two.

 The real circus act occurred between Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.  With two outs in the fifth inning, a pop-up to short center turned into a small disaster.  Utley was over-aggressive and crossed past his side of second base, slamming into Rollins and the ball dropped between the two of them after a little juggling.

Then in the seventh inning, it appeared a throw-over was put on by the bench.  Michael Stutes turned and threw to second, but no one was covering.  Either Rollins or Utley missed the call.  That blooper cost the Phils another run.

Meanwhile, Roy Oswalt saw his pitch count rise as the Phillies error’s extended his day.  He went six innings, allowing one earned and one unearned run.  He also hit an RBI-single in an attempt to keep pace with the hitting of Cliff Lee in the previous game.

The game was tied 3-3 by the eighth inning, but the Phillies bounced back against the Mets closer, Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. Historically, the Phillies have had no success against Rodriguez, never scoring a run against him.  But in a non-save situation, they finally got to K-Rod.

Five singles and a sac fly later, the Phillies jumped to a 6-3 lead.  Domonic Brown and Placido Polanco both hit key RBI-singles that inning.  Brown went two-for-two after coming into the game in the eighth, although one hit was a gift from Mets first baseman who missed the easy grounder.  And Rollins collected three RBI in the game.

John Mayberry Jr. continues to impress as well.  He had a hit, a walk, a stolen base and scored two runs.  And his defense in center while standing in for the injured Shane Victorino has been outstanding.  Mayberry’s long strides make difficult balls look easy to get to.

So although the game was a real adventure, a win makes all the mistakes fade away.

Cole Hamels will pitch tomorrow in game two with the Mets which starts at 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*

Cliff Lee Helps Himself to a Win

Just a short 12 hours after a stunning 19-inning victory, the Phillies won again, making it two wins in one day.  The 10-4 victory today gave the Phils a 3-1 series win over the Reds.

 The Phillies hoped that starting pitcher Cliff Lee could go deep into the game as nearly the entire bullpen was worked hard in the previous game.  Lee did not disappoint, going eight innings.  He did allow four runs on 10 hits and a walk, but he kept his team in the game in more ways than one.

Lee himself accounted for two of the Phillies 13 hits and he drove in three runs, two on a double and one more later on a single.  There have been a number of role reversals in the past two days.  Lee was the big slugger today and infielder Wilson Valdez was the winning pitcher in the game before.

Not so backwards was a three-run homer by Raul Ibanez in the third inning.  Chase Utley also hit his first home run of the year today.  Utley has now doubled and homered since coming off the DL on Monday and all is right with the world again.

Utley did appear to twist his right ankle / leg on a play today, which was a bit scary.  However, he kept playing and it looks like we all have to wait until tomorrow to see if Utley bounces back okay.

As for the rest of the offense, some of the younger players are starting to hit, which is a good sign.  The Reds starter Homer Bailey only lasted five innings and then rookie Daryl Thompson took over, making his major league debut.  However, Domonic Brown and Michael Martinez each had a hit off Bailey, so it was not like they were just abusing the rookie.  They hit a solid, veteran pitcher as well.

If the younger guys can keep stringing hits together like this, things may soon look-up for the Phillies offense.

And if injured players keep returning, like Jose Contreras did today, that is another big positive.  Contreras pitched a scoreless ninth inning today and looks like he is ready to pick up where he left off, although Ryan Madson will remain the closer.  And David Herndon was sent back to Triple-A to make room on the roster.

The Phillies will embark on a 9-game road trip next.  They play the Mets in New York Friday night at 7:10pm; Roy Oswalt will pitch.

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

All Pitching, No Offense In 14 Inning Loss

On paper, Cliff Lee had a good night against the Mets on Sunday.  He went seven innings, allowing just one run.  But he did walk two batters, which is not usual for Lee, and gave up eight hits.

A tough first inning where Lee had to throw 34 pitches to get out of it probably cut his day a bit short.  But it did not matter too much as neither offense felt like playing.

Chris Young was very good for the Mets and allowed just two hits to the Phillies.  His wind-up is similar to that of ex-Phillie, J.A. Happ, as he hides the ball behind his leg before releasing, which probably keeps the hitter guessing.


While the offense was sleepy, the defense had a few nice plays.  It seems that Pete Orr, filling in at second base, has a penchant for going airborne:


The outfielders looked good too, unless they were at the plate, of course.  No one looked good on offense:


In fact, Raul Ibanez is still mired in a huge slump and is now 0-34.  He had chances to break out and propel the team to a win but he struck out in the seventh with two runners on.  And in the eighth, Ibanez had the bases loaded with two outs in a tie game and he hit a weak ground ball to end the inning.

The Phillies left the bases loaded earlier in the game, too.  Brian Schneider struck out on a check swing in the seventh, which was a late call from the 3rd base ump and prompted Charlie Manuel to get himself tossed out of the game.

Eventually, Kyle Kendrick gave up the winning run in the 14th inning, handing the Mets a 2-1 win.

But there were still a few special moments during the game.  People began to get word of Osama bin Laden’s demise via smartphone and chants of “USA! USA!” rang throughout the ballpark before even the players knew what had happened.

It was a touching moment where all fans, Phillies and Mets together, could celebrate something together.  So the next time someone rags on Philly fans and goes on about some 40-year old Santa Claus crap, show them this video.  These fans far outnumber the select few morons who simply cannot conduct themselves in a proper manner in public.

So a loss for the Phillies was still a win for America.  I am more than okay with that.

FYI - Here is the full Photo Album from the game.


***Important Blog FYI:  The entire MLBlogs community is going to be switched to a WordPress format beginning on Friday, May 6.  The transition may last through Monday night, May 9.  All MLBlogs writers will be unable to post and you will be unable to access any MLBlogs during this transition.  So do not panic if this and other blogs suddenly disappear during that weekend…we will be back :O)***

Go Phillies!



Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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


Doc Dominates The Mets

The Phillies offense cooled off today after a 10-run barrage on Friday night.  But no worries, Roy “Doc” Halladay was on the mound and ready to operate.

Doc operation copy.jpgHalladay pitched a complete game for the 60th time in his career.  In the 2-1 win over the Mets, Halladay allowed seven hits, one walk and one earned run.  The win is the fourth for Halladay this season and also marked a new franchise record for the most wins in April.  The Phils went 18-8 this month.

Yesterday, Placido Polanco set a new Phillies record for the most hits in April with 39.  Today, he extended that number to 41 and also had a sac fly in the seventh, giving the Phillies the 2-1 lead in the game.

The first run was scored on a John Mayberry Jr. homer to left in the same inning.  Those were the only two runs scored, but it was all the Phillies needed.  Mayberry was in the game in place of the struggling Raul Ibanez and had two hits total in the game.

Tomorrow, the Phillies hope to start May off with a 3-game sweep of the Mets.  Cliff Lee will face Chris Young, who is working his way back from both and injury and a bout of the flu.  In his first start back, Young allowed three runs in less than five innings.

Lee is coming off a sub-par start in Arizona where he allowed four runs.  Lee generally does not falter two game in a row.

If you have a ticket to the game, remember it has been changed to an 8pm start (thanks, ESPN….you suck).  I will be there and hope to post photos sometime Monday afternoon.

***Important Blog FYI:  The entire MLBlogs community is going to be switched to a WordPress format beginning on Friday, May 6.  The transition may last through Monday night, May 9.  All MLBlogs writers will be unable to post and you will be unable to access any MLBlogs during this transition.  So do not panic if this and other blogs suddenly disappear during that weekend…we will be back :O)***

Go Phillies!


Photoshopping 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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