Results tagged ‘ Michael Martinez ’

Halladay Beats The Heat & The Padres

After his last start was shortened due to heat exhaustion, Roy Halladay looked determined to go deep into today’s game against the Padres.  And this game was not much cooler than his last; game time temperature was 94 degrees with a heat index around 105.  But after giving up one run in the first inning, Halladay settled in and looked pretty good.

Then things got a bit hairy in the fourth inning when a fielding error by Ryan Howard gave the Padres two base runners with only one out.  The Padres scored twice in the inning.  But after that, Halladay allowed only one more hit all the way through the eighth inning.  He was visibly more relaxed as witnessed by the photo below where he joked around with an umpire while standing at second base.

 

The Phillies got Halladay runs early, scoring twice in the first and three times in the third inning.  Howard made up for his fielding error with two hits in the game and he also scored twice.

 

Raul Ibanez also seemed more lively today; he drove in two runs on two hits and played well in the outfield.

 

Later,  in the seventh inning, Ibanez hit what should have been a two-run homer.  Instead, back-up center fielder Chris Denorfia robbed Ibanez, leaping up and making the grab as the ball started to fly over the fence.  It was such an impressive catch that even some Phillies fans  gave Denorfia a round of applause.  Denorfia was in the game only because Cameron Maybin was pulled after an injury in the fourth inning.

There was very little offense after the Phillies scored in the third.  Luckily, five runs were enough.  Chase Utley was clearly frustrated after he flied out in the sixth and ended the day without a hit.  If only he had glanced over at Michael Martinez on base later in the game, it may have cheered him up a bit.  What is up with this kids hair anyway?

 

So the Phillies are on a roll now with five straight wins and another series win.  The final of four games with the Padres is tomorrow at 1:05pm and the Phillies have a chance to sweep with Cliff Lee on the mound.  They have won 10 straight games against the Padres, dating back to the 2010 season.  Gotta love San Diego ;o)

Here is the full Photo Album from the game which includes some pre-game shots of some members of the Italian World Cup Soccer Team exchanging jerseys with Ryan Howard.  Ladies, the first two guys (left to right) are mighty fine.  Italian guy #3 – not so much.  But do enjoy the 1st two ;o)

 

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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*

See-Saw Battle Ends in Phillies Win

This team is never dull, although sometimes, I wish they were.  The Phillies see-saw battle with the Padres today was a real tummy-turner with lots of ups and downs.

UPChase Utley smashed a 3-run homer in the first inning.  The Phillies held onto the 3-run lead through 5-innings as Kyle Kendrick looked pretty good on the mound.  But as with all good things, they must soon end…

DOWN – Kendrick lost his mojo in the 6th inning, giving up two home runs for three RBI total.  With the game tied 3-3, Michael Stutes took over on the mound for the next four outs.  Despite getting into trouble in the 7th, it looked like Stutes was about to get out of the mess when a Cameron Maybin single put the Padres ahead, 4-3.

UP – As the Phillies bats had laid dormant for five straight innings, a comeback seemed like a remote possibility.  Enter, Ryan Howard.  Given the day off to try and work on his hitting, Howard was called upon to pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th.  It took just one pitch and Howard homered to re-tie the game, 4-4.

 

The homer was followed by a pinch hit double from Ross Gload and a Jimmy Rollins walk.  Then the improbable happened again; rookie Michael Martinez hit his second career homer to add on three more runs.  Utley homered again later the same inning to make it an 8-4 Phillies lead.

DOWN –  Antonio Bastardo had his first really bad day of the year as he loaded the bases with two outs in the 8th inning.  Then things got really wild as Bastardo literally began throwing the ball anywhere but over the plate.  After two straight wild pitches, the Padres finally scored again.

In another improbable and frankly, unbelievable move, the Phillies sent David Herndon to the mound to clean up the mess.  Herndon has been less than reliable all year so this was a shocker.  Not shocking was watching Herndon walk a run home.  But he did manage to escape the inning with the Phillies still leading, 8-6.

UPRyan Madson closed the game out in the 9th where he allowed one hit, but struck out two batters for the save.  And despite allowing a run, Stutes got the win.

UP x2 – The Phillies have won four straight and go for five tomorrow with Roy Halladay on the mound.  The Braves lost today, extending the Phillies lead to five game in the NL East.

Game time on Sunday is 1:35pm; I will return with photos.

 

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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*

Worley Wows While Bats Come To Life in Win Over Cubs

The Phillies offensive was very slow to develop on Tuesday.  But on Wednesday, they got off to a quick start with two runs in the first inning.

In the second inning, the Phillies really made Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster work hard in the 110 degree heat on the field.  But with two outs, no one on base and pitcher Vance Worley coming to the plate, it looked like Dempster was going to get out of the inning.  And then Worley smashed a double in the gap between center and right field.

That double precipitated a big inning for the Phillies.  Jimmy Rollins followed with another double to score Worley.  Then Michael Martinez singled in Rollins and Chase Utley doubled in Martinez.  It was a 3-run chain reaction.

But the fun did not end there.  While Worley mowed down Cubs and did not allow a hit until the 5th inning, the offense kept adding on.  Rollins had a huge day with three hits and two homers, one from each side of the plate.  That has only happened four times in Phillies history and two of the four times, it was Rollins. 

Rollins was so pumped after the first homer, he high-fived a bunch of Phillies fans on his way back to the dugout.  After the second homer, other fans caught on and the high-fives came again, only to a bigger crowd.  After the game, Gary “Sarge” Matthews even interviewed a fan about the high-fives.  Needless to say, he was pretty psyched about travelling all the way to Chicago to get high-fives from Rollins.

Martinez also continued his hot streak with two hits, an RBI and two stolen bases.  Utley had two hits, both doubles, and two RBI.  The only starter without a hit was Shane Victorino who is still looking for his first hit since returning from the DL yesterday.

With the offensive support, Worley was able to pitch without pressure and as a result, he went eight innings, the longest outing of his short career.  Worley allowed only one run on four hits and two walks.  Fans are also getting excited about Worley these days as evidenced by the new tee-shirt being sold by Zoo With Roy.  I assume it is a take-off on the shirt to the right, but why is his name spelled wrong?  Just curious…

 

The 9-1 win capped off a series victory against the Cubs.  Thursday is an off-day while the Phillies prepare for a big 10-game home stand with the Padres, Giants and Pirates.

 

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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*

Come From Behind Win After Slow Start For Phillies Offense

The Cubs pitcher, Matt Garza, had a no-hitter going against the Phillies into the 5th inning tonight.  The only Phillie to get a hit through two outs in the 7th inning was Domonic Brown, who hit Garza twice with a double and a single.

In all, Garza only allowed four hits and one run, with the help of his bullpen who allowed the run to score after he was pulled.  It was yet another disgusting, impatient and painful performance from the Phils offense.

In the meantime, Cliff Lee had a rough start to the game, allowing a 2-run homer in the first.  But after the first few innings, Lee settled down and was his usual, amazing self.  But for the second straight Lee start in a row, his biggest problem was the Phillies offense.

In two starts, all Phillies players combined, except for Lee, did not score a single run while Lee was on the mound.  The only run in the last game was a home run, which Lee hit himself.

Only after Lee was pulled for a pinch hitter and Michael Stutes pitched the 7th, did the offense decide to score.  In the 8th, Jimmy Rollins and Michael Martinez singled, then Chase Utley drove them in with a double.  Utley later got thrown out at the plate and the game was left in a 2-2 tie.

This anemic offense is frustrating to watch, especially when you know the potential of the hitters who are simply not living up to expectations.   With that in mind, here is a short list of annoying things that I would rather be doing instead of watching the Phillies offense suck:

- Play the movie “The Sound of Music” over and over and over.

- Ride the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disney World with the demonic puppets that sing like nails going down a chalk board.

- Clean the litter box.

- Watch Jose Reyes of the Mets do the home run trot while signaling “#1″ with his finger.

- Eat peas.

- Spel thungs rong on porpuse.

That last one was painful, much like watching the Phillies offense.

Back to the game…Stutes wound up pitching both the 7th and 8th innings and kept the score tied.  But while the pitching hung in there, what would the offense do?

Lucky for me, they finally decided to stop sucking, thereby saving me from having to perform one of the annoying tasks on my list.

With two outs in the 9th, Ben Francisco and Rollins hit back-to-back singles.  And then, saving the day once again, Martinez doubled to score both runners for a 4-2 lead.  And although he was thrown out going to third, Martinez is still the hero.

Antonio Bastardo served as the closer again, as the Phillies are still taking it slow with Ryan Madson since coming off the DL.  And again, Bastardo was lights-out for his 7th save of the year.

With the win today, the Phillies have a chance to win the series now.  Game three with the Cubs is Wednesday afternoon at 2:20pm; Vance Worley will pitch.

 

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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*

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*

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*

Phillies Enter All-Star Break With a Bang

It seems to be feast or famine with this Phillies team lately.  Saturday, Cliff Lee homered for the only Phillies run of the game.  Sunday, the offense exploded to the tune of 14 runs behind pitcher Cole Hamels.

It was evident early in this game that Hamels was on top of his game.  Over eight innings, Hamels allowed only one run on three hits and struck out six Braves.  His command was spot-on and the Braves looked a bit silly swinging at his pitches.

 

This was also a huge game for many Phillies batters as well.  Raul Ibanez, who struggled most of the first half, led the offense today with six RBI on two hits, including a three run homer.  He also made several great plays in the outfield, including a home-run saving catch in the eighth.

 

John Mayberry Jr. also found his swing against Derek Lowe and the Braves bullpen.  His three hits were all doubles and he collected four RBI as well.  Mayberry also made some nice plays in center field.

 

For Michael Martinez, it was a career day.  There has been much debate over the Phillies keeping this Rule-5 utility player on the roster this year as he has not been productive.  Today, he earned the job with four hits, a career high.  Martinez also showed heart and hustle when he flipped over the Braves dugout railing catching a foul ball.

 

It seems a little playing time was all Martinez and Mayberry needed to get them going.  And thanks to a ton of Phillies injuries, they are getting that time.

The Phillies went on to wipe the floor with the Braves in a 14-1 win, matching their biggest run total of the year and racking up 20 hits, a season high.  They maintain the best record in all of baseball at 57-34 to enter the All-Star break.

Before the game today, the Phillies All-Stars were handed their All-Star jersey’s and Shane Victorino thanked a fan who voted for him over 10,000 times in the final vote.  I am guessing they later awarded him with a tee-shirt that said, “I have no life.”  10,000 votes?  I love Shane, but please, someone give this man a real job.

 

Both Victorino and Placido Polanco will go to Arizona, but due to their injuries, neither will play in the All-Star game.  Hamels will also not pitch because he started today.

Here is the full Photo Album from the Sunday game.

 

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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 Offense Sleeping with the Fish; Young Pitching Bails Them Out

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

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

Cole Hamels In Top Form Against Dodgers

In eight shut-out innings against the Dodgers, pitcher Cole Hamels was absolutely dominant.  In 95 degree temperatures, it seemed like Hamels did not even break a sweat.

After the game, Charlie Manuel said about Hamels’ development, “He’s bigger than he used to be.  Ya know, if you see him with his shirt and stuff off he’s, ya know, he’s developing into a man.”

Besides Hamels’ manly physique, his pitching has grown as well.  Hamels allowed only six hits while striking out nine batters in the 2-0 win Wednesday night.

He got a little help from the offense, but only a little.  Luckily, it was all he needed.  Ryan Howard blasted a solo home run in the sixth inning, the first home run for the Phillies in 65 innings of play.  Howard’s last blast was on May 30.

They almost had a run before that in the fifth when Michael Martinez hit the first triple of his career.  Hamels then drew a walk.  With two outs, the Phillies needed a wild pitch or a hit from Shane Victorino.  They got the wild pitch, which sailed all the way to the back stop, but Martinez froze and did not go.  The goof did not come back to haunt them though, thanks to the pitching.

Another run scored in the seventh on a Domonic Brown fielder’s choice after Victorino had tripled.  Ryan Madson stepped in for the ninth and closed the game for his 14th save of the year.  Madson is still perfect in saves so far this season.

The Cubs come into town next.  Kyle Kendrick will start tonight and game time is 7:05pm.

And the Winner Is…

The winner of the contest for a ticket to the Phillies Phestival on Monday is Jeff from Clifton Heights, PA.  Congrats and see you there!

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

Phillies Option John Mayberry Jr. Was This the Right Move?

With center fielder Shane Victorino coming off the disabled list, the Phillies had to make a move.  Their choice was to send John Mayberry Jr. back to Triple-A.

Mayberry is an excellent outfielder, who can also play first base.  His defensive skills are nearly comparable to Victorino’s and he was the only solid center field back-up option.  But Mayberry struggled at the plate, hitting only .231 with three homers and 12 RBI this year.

The other players the Phillies could have moved were Michael Martinez, Ben Francisco or Ross Gload.  They were not going to send down a pitcher, as manager Charlie Manuel seems to like having 12 pitchers on the roster.

Martinez seemed like a logical move, but a few issues have kept him in place.  First, he is a Rule-5 player and the Phillies will likely lose him if he is placed on waivers.  Second, with Chase Utley’s knee still a sticky situation, Martinez is now the only real back-up infielder behind Wilson Valdez.

On the other hand, Martinez is a far inferior defensive player in both the infield and outfield.  He has also been unimpressive at the plate, hitting only .184 with three RBI in 49 at-bats.

Francisco won the right field job out of spring training, but has since been in a downward spiral.  His defense is not up to par and his bat has gone to sleep since hitting .308 in the first 10 games of the season.  In May, Francisco hit only .167.

And Francisco still has a minor league option available.  The deterrent, however, seems to be his $1.175 million salary.

As for Gload, he is playing with a muscle tear in his right hip and it appears that he cannot run.  The last two times he reached base as a pinch-hitter, a pinch-runner was sent in for him.  Gload is a great pinch-hitter, but can the Phillies really afford to carry a player on the roster who cannot run or play the field?

The only fix for Gload’s hip is surgery, which would end his season.  He has no options, but the Phillies could have placed him on the DL to buy time.

So with all of this, plus a lack of production at the plate, Mayberry finds himself back in Triple-A.  In the long-run, it may be the best move for him as he will get more at-bats.  However, if Raul Ibanez begins to cool off, the Phillies may question this decision later.

In my opinion, I believe Martinez should have been the one to go.  Aside from being a Rule-5 player, he had the least amount of upside.

Then again, with more playing time, maybe Mayberry will return later with a renewed energy and more life in his bat.

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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