Results tagged ‘ Miguel Cairo ’

Schneider Saves The Day

Catcher Brian Schneider grew up a Phillies fan.  He realized his dream of playing for his home town team this year and today, he became the savior of his team in a tough, extra innings game.  More on that in a minute…

Before tonight’s game against the Reds, the big news revolved around Shane Victorino.  0625 Shane2.jpgApparently, he had a few strong words for the fans of Philadelphia.  He said, “I’m hearing fans yelling, ‘Victorino, you’re horrible; you stink,'” during last night’s loss to the Braves.  Victorino went on to say, among other things, “It’s frustrating when you hear those things from your own fans.”

A few things to note here:  the games are still selling out.  And for the small 4 or 5% of fans that are yelling insults, the rest are still cheering the team on.  Victorino is right to be frustrated, but that should be directed at the way the team has been playing, not at the fans.  But don’t worry Shane; we are still behind you.

Victorino took his frustrations out on the ball in the 1st inning when he hit a home run to silence the doubters.  He also hit an RBI-single in the 3rd inning which turned out to be a very strange play.  Victorino collided with Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto at first and his glove flew off; Cueto dropped the ball, which rolled to Joey Votto who tossed it back to the bare-handed Cueto.  He dropped the ball again and Jimmy Rollins scored.  The game was then delayed as Cueto appeared to have the wind knocked out of him.  He was fine though and the game went on.

For the Phillies, Kyle Kendrick pitched very well, allowing only 1 run on 3 hits in 6 2/3 innings.  Having left Jamie Moyer in too long last night, manager Charlie Manuel was not going to make the same mistake again.  He pulled Kendrick and had JC Romero get the final out of the 7th inning.

But more drama was yet to come.  Fresh off the disabled list, Ryan Madson saw his first game action since April in the 8th inning.  He allowed two singles and then with two outs in the inning, he surrendered the one run lead on another very odd play.  Brandon Phillips struck out on a wild pitch which sailed past catcher Brian Schneider.  Phillips ran to first as both Schneider and Madson went after the ball, not realizing until it was too late that Drew Stubbs was running home and no one was covering.  Stubbs scored and tied the game 2-2.

In the bottom half of the inning, Wilson Valdez led off with a triple.  Rollins hit a sac fly to score him and give the Phils a 3-2 lead going into the 9th inning.  But that meant that it was Brad Lidge time. 

A one run lead and Lidge in the 9th has not been a sure thing for a very long time.  And right away, Lidge gave up a hit and a walk.  It looked like he may get out of it when the next batter hit into a double play.  But Miguel Cairo, who was with the Phils last year, hit an RBI-double on the 2nd pitch he saw to tie the game again.  And just like that, Lidge earned yet another blown save.

The Phillies could not score in the 9th so off to extra innings they went.  In the 12 inning, the drama continued as Jayson Werth had a small confrontation with a very dumb fan.  With two outs, a foul ball went just above the wall in right field and Werth was right there to catch it.  Unfortunately, the dumb fan snagged the ball right before it went into Werth’s glove.  Werth had a few choice words for the guy.  But all was well as pitcher Nelson Figueroa got the batter to ground out.

Figueroa pitched two amazing innings and was on deck to bat and go for three when Brian Schneider finally ended the game.  Schneider crushed a ball which sailed over the right field wall to give the Phillies a 12 inning, walk-off 4-3 win over the Reds.  Way to go, Brian!  You rock!

Condolences

The Phillies family lost another beloved member today.  Maje McDonnell, who would have been 90 years old later this month, passed away today.  McDonnell spent his entire life with the Phillies.  He grew up in Philly and served with the Phillies as a batting practice pitcher, coach, scout, instructor and a Veterans Stadium tour guide in his 57 years with the team.  He had just retired last year.

McDonnell was also a war hero, having served in World War II, earning a combat badge, five battle stars and a Bronze Star.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Maje.  He will be missed.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Holiday Sale 2009

The Phillies held their annual Holiday Sale this weekend at the ballpark and as usual, it was an interesting event.  Phillies Charities holds the event each year, selling game-used merchandise, autographed items, left over programs and books, photos, etc…  Although, this year was not nearly as crowded as last year because of the World Series loss. 

This means less money for Phillies Charities, which is sad.  In fact, the people selling many of the charity items were actually haggling to get rid of merchandise.  A Scott Eyre signed jersey marked $125 went for $100 after the buyer decided $125 was too much and decided to walk away.  Now that is something I have never seen in all the years I have attended.  But plenty of other items raked in big bucks, like game used bats, balls, street banners and empty Champagne bottles from the playoff celebrations.

I picked out a locker name plate grab bag for $30 and wound up with Carlos Ruiz, Miguel Cairo and Mick Billmeyer (bullpen coach).  The Ruiz plate was worth the $30, so I was happy with that.  I have also been working on a collection of signed 2008 World Series balls and am trying to get every player on the team.  But some players who have gone, like So Taguchi, may be impossible to get now.  So I decided to try to buy a Taguchi signed regular ball, which they had a box of there, but by the time I got up front in the line, they were sold out.  Yes folks, an entire box of Taguchi signed balls, gone.  Did everyone else have the same idea I had or are there just huge numbers of Taguchi fans out there that I do not know about?  I can tell you, he was not popular here in Philly at all, so I thought that was a bit weird.  Maybe because they were only $5 people didn’t care who signed it ;o)

While there were not any players there, everyone did have a chance to meet with broadcasters Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler, who was signing his new book, “View From the Booth.”  I think Dickie Noles was there too, but I did not see him.  And Milt Thompson was scheduled to sign copies of a hitting DVD he put out later that day.  I ran into Tom in the clubhouse store and chatted with him for a while, then got my book signed by Chris.  Here I am below with Wheels, plus a shot of a Holiday tree and Phanta Claus, who was entertaining the kids:

holiday sale.jpg
It was a dreary day outside, which may have kept some shoppers home.  Rain, slush and snow also dampened the Philadelphia Santa Claus parade, which made its way around the ballpark with fire engines, sirens and bright lights, although the only people silly enough to be outside were those of us waiting in line to get into the Holiday Sale.  Not sure if the Phillies tree lighting went off as planned as I cut out early, but here is a photo of the tree taken from inside the Hall of Fame club:

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I also walked around the concourse a bit to see what the off-season ballpark looked like.  Turns out, they wrap the mobile concession stands with giant tubes of Saran Wrap.  This is either to protect them from the elements, or the stands have been put on some weird plastic wrap weight-loss plan:cling film.jpg

Maybe they can shrink the prices while they are at it?  Just a thought ;o) 

So, did anyone else go to the sale?  What did you think about it?  Feel free to comment below :O)

Catch & Toss

The Phillies found a back-up catcher today when they signed Brian Schneider to a $2.75 million, 2 year deal.  Schneider spent the last 2 years with the Mets and the previous 8 seasons with the Nationals/Expos.  The best news here is that Schneider was notorious for being a Phillie killer; pitching to him has been a 10 year nightmare.  Overall, Schneider is  a .251 hitter and should fit nicely into the back-up spot vacated by Paul Bako and Chris Coste before that.

And in a very odd twist to the situation, Coste has just been signed by the Mets!  P6216152 CCoste.jpgCoste started the 2009 season with the Phillies before being tossed and subsequently picked up off waivers by Houston in July.  The self-proclaimed 33-year old rookie is now in enemy threads which is sure to send shockwaves throughout Philadelphia.  Coste was well loved in Philly and many were unhappy with his departure.  Not to mention, many would rather see him retire than play in a Mets uniform.  It is a sad, sad day for Coste fans.  But look at the bright side; at least we will get to see him a lot next year :O)

As for the other holes in the line-up, like third base, no word yet except that midnight tonight is the deadline for all teams to offer salary arbitration to their free agents.  The Phillies are likely to offer arbitration to Chan Ho Park as they have stated they want him back next year.  Park may decline and decide to look around for a starting pitching spot as several teams have seemed interested in him.  If he accepts, he will be with the Phillies for 2010 and probably get a raise.  As for the other free agents, Bako and Eric Bruntlett are out of the picture with their replacements already signed in Brian Schneider and Juan CastroBrett Myers has already been shown the door, as has Jack TaschnerPedro Feliz, Pedro Martinez, Matt Stairs and Miguel Cairo are also unlikely, although Stairs and Cairo may be offered minor league deals. 

Ticket Prices

So, have we all looked at our season ticket invoices yet?  This is not a huge shock, but Phillies ticket prices went up again this year by $2- $4 per ticket.  Not only that, but some season ticket holders received worse seat assignments.  Someone I know got bumped backwards 2 rows in the same section.  So, we are now paying more for less?  While 2 rows is not earth shattering, traditionally, season ticket holders have been rewarded for their loyalty with better seats from year to year, not punished.

So yes, the World Series win in 2008 plus the return trip in 2009 do affect the prices, unfortunately.  But that does not make it any easier to swallow.  The money does not go towards improving the team or free agency; it is just more in the pockets of the owners.   And with the team winning now, they do it simply because they can.

Prices over the recent years have increased tremendously.  A seat that cost $42 in 2004 is now $58 for 2010.  The last year of the vet for the same seat was $26.   What I am wondering though is what happens when the team sucks again?  Do we become the Nationals with a stadium that is only 25% full?  I follow the team win or lose, but I will not pay those prices to see them lose when I can do that at home for free.  Then again, maybe they will never suck again…one can dream ;o)

So, did anyone else get there ticket invoice and wonder what happened?  Did you get the same seats or did you get bumped back?  What do you think about the prices?  Let me know in the comment section below.

Coste photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Will There Be An Early Christmas Halladay For The Phillies?

Oh yes, here we go again…  It is only mid-November and the Roy Halladay rumor mill is already in full swing.  While the Phillies were unable to strike a deal with the Blue Jays in July for the star pitcher and instead wound up with Cliff Lee (and we are all ok with that, of course), the Jays may still be looking for a chance to get Halladay off their payroll.

If the Phillies can manage a deal for Halladay, odds are they will have to pay much less for him than they would have in July since now he is only good for one potential post-season instead of two.  begging cat.jpgBut the Jays are probably still interested in the Phillies top prospect, Kyle Drabek, whom the Phillies are unlikely to part with.  In an interesting twist however, it has also been rumored that the Jays might be willing to take Cole Hamels.  Can I get a Hallelujah and an Amen to that possibility?!!

Although Hamels is six years younger than Halladay, he had a terrible season for the Phillies and most fans are sick of his emotional issues, media faux pas and lack of composure on the mound.  Odds are, not many people would be sad about such a trade.  Sadly, if this were rumored last season, there may have been riots in the street full of angry fans unwilling to let the World Series MVP go.  But now?  Not so much…

Besides upgrading the pitching staff, it appears the Phillies now need a third baseman as Pedro Feliz did not have his option picked up.  The Phillies can still sign him as agree agent if they come to an agreement, but it looks more likely that the Phils will look elsewhere. 

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Feliz had a decent season, but I think he really screwed himself in the playoffs where he hit only .167, made unproductive outs in crucial situations and hit into double plays that killed rallies.  Plus, he is 34 years old, which does not help his case.

The top prospects for third base right now are Chone Figgins, Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa and former Phillie, Placido Polanco.  Figgins would be the best choice, although fans loved Polanco when he was here and many were upset when Chase Utley took his job.  Hind sight, as they say, is 20/20. 

Back in 2005 when Polanco went to the Tigers, many Phillies fans felt he should have been moved to 3rd base to keep him on the team, myself included.  As it turns out, had the Phillies done so, Polanco would likely still be with us.  Up to that point, he had moved back and forth from 2nd to 3rd base for years.  But after going to the Tigers, it was 2nd base all the way.  The question then with Polanco is, could he transition back to 3rd after more than 4 years steady at 2nd?  That may be too big a question for the Phillies to consider taking him.

So, third base is wide open right now and several other Phillies have filed for free agency; Chan Ho Park, Matt Stairs, Paul Bako, Pedro Martinez and Miguel Cairo.  The Phillies will not likely sign Martinez again, as he will command too hefty a salary and they need a more consistent arm.  Park is a possibility, Cairo and Bako will probably not be back and Stairs I am not too sure about.  My feeling was that he might retire, but since he has filed, I now do not know what is on his mind.  But this leaves the Phillies with the need for a back-up catcher, a right handed bat off the bench and a variety of pitching needs.

As for our walking wounded, both Scott Eyre and Raul Ibanez had successful surgeries yesterday and are expected to make recoveries before Spring Training.  Eyre may or may not decide to retire so his future is uncertain.  Ibanez, we hope, will be back to 2009 first-half form.  Brad Lidge will have surgery tomorrow.  What exactly is wrong with him will be an interesting revelation.  We should have more information in the days to come.

Feliz photo by Jenn

 

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

 

NLCS Roster Decisions

Nothing has been made officially yet, but expect a similar roster for the NLCS against the Dodgers as the Phillies had in the NLDS.  It looks likely that Cole Hamels will pitch game one since he is on full rest.  Plus, with the birth of his son and some time home with the wife and child, he should now be ready to focus on baseball.  Hamels has done exceptionally well against the Dodgers.  He threw a shut-out against them this past June and also beat them twice in last year’s NLCS.

Cliff Lee will remain a starter as well with JA Happ, Pedro Martinez and Joe Blanton being juggled around again from the pen to the starters spot.  The bullpen however may see a change with Chan Ho Park returning from injury.  He is travelling to LA with the team, so he may be in position to take a roster spot away from Kyle Kendrick.

The bullpen is still making many people very nervous.  Brad Lidge did save 2 games, but still does not look super sharp.  Ryan Madson, the other potential closer, blew 2 saves in the series in the 8th inning.  And Brett Myers, who has done the job before, played only 2/3 of an inning and walked 2 batters.  This is a huge weak spot, especially when compared to the Dodgers bullpen which is much better.   

As for the bench players, this will probably stay the same; Greg Dobbs, Matt Stairs, Ben Francisco and Miguel Cairo.  However, with 8 at-bats between these 4 in the NLDS, there was not a hit among them.  Stairs did walk once in a critical situation, but Cairo and Dobbs both went 0 for 3.  Could this open the door for Eric Bruntlett to step in for Cairo?  Probably not, but the bench players are still a concern.

Then again, when you have the big guns like Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth to bail the team out when they run into trouble, you have to like the Phillies chances.   So, here is the schedule:

Gm 1

PHI @ LAD

Thu

Oct. 15

8:07 PM

Gm 2

PHI @ LAD

Fri

Oct. 16

4:07 PM

Gm 3

LAD @ PHI

Sun

Oct. 18

8:07 PM

Gm 4

LAD @ PHI

Mon

Oct. 19

8:07 PM

Gm 5*

LAD @ PHI

Wed

Oct. 21

8:07 PM

Gm 6*

PHI @ LAD

Fri

Oct. 23

8:07 PM

Gm 7*

PHI @ LAD

Sat

Oct. 24

8:07 PM

 

And just for fun, let me introduce to you our newest family member and Phillies fan, Chase Utley Kitten.  He is a Blue Point Ragdoll:Chase kitten.jpg

Yes, I named him Chase Utley….I fully expect him to pick up a ball and glove by 3 years.  At 2 ½ months, we will have to settle for the jersey.

Go Phillies!

NLDS Roster Announced


Thumbnail image for 208910.jpgThe Phillies announced their playoff roster today and there were a few surprises.  Here is how it played out (courtesy of Phillies.com):

Catchers (2): Paul Bako and Carlos Ruiz

Infielders (6): Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley

Outfielders (5): Ben Francisco, Raul Ibanez, Matt Stairs, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth

Pitchers (12): left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Scott Eyre, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Cliff Lee and right-handers Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Pedro Martinez and Brett Myers

Miguel Cairo was the right decision over Eric Bruntlett.  And the rest of the bench players are what I expected.

There was one surprise with the pitchers, however.  Clay Condrey and Tyler Walker were left off the roster in favor of Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo.  I did say earlier that Bastardo may be picked over Walker, so that is not too shocking considering the lack of lefties in the pen.  But Kendrick over Condrey, I am a bit surprised about.  Kendrick did pitch well in September, but Condrey is more consistent and has a lot more experience.  I think the nagging back injury did him in; the team must not be convinced that Condrey is healthy.

I also predicted that the Game 1 starter would be Cliff Lee, and that is correct.  Cole Hamels will get Game 2 and Game 3 has yet to be decided.  My feeling is that it should be JA Happ as the Phils want to overload the Rockies with lefties.  But all Charlie Manuel would say is that Happ, Joe Blanton and even Pedro Martinez will be “available” in the pen for the first two games.  I suppose then whoever does not get used will start Game 3.

This may also be a strategic move.  This gives less preparation time to the Rockies since they will not know who to prepare for.

So, if you are actually home tomorrow at game time, tune in at 2:37pm for the first pitch.  The game time still disgusts me.  I understand all teams need air time, but how exactly is it that the reigning World Champions do not get one of the prime time slots?  I’ll tell you why…because MLB cares only about the Yankees and the Red Sox.  It has been and probably will always be about these teams, whether deserving or not.  I root for the Yankees too, so it is not personal.  It is a matter of respect.

Not to mention, normal people have jobs, kids have school and 2:37pm does not allow ANY of these people to enjoy the game, unless they call out sick or skip school.   And how about the poor Rockies fans?  The game time for them is 12:37pm! (Mountain time)  That is just wrong.  But hey, if you are a Yankees or Sox fan, I’ll bet you are happier than a pig in mud, right?  Must be nice. 

Well, best of luck to everyone tomorrow (except the Rockies, of course)!  Go Phillies!

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

Roster Ramblings

The post-season roster has not been set for the Phillies; they have until 10am tomorrow to make the final decision.  The central core is not in question, with 6 current and former All-Stars in starting roles.  roster.gifHowever, the pitching rotation, bullpen and bench players are going to be tough decisions.

 

Manager Charlie Manuel seems to favor Eric Bruntlett on the bench because he runs well and can play almost every position in the field.  However, Bruntlett has not hit well and ended the year with 18 hits in 105 at-bats for a .171 average.  Miguel Cairo has performed much better and can play most of the infield spots; he ended the season batting .267 and went 7 for his last 19 including a triple and a home run in the final game.

 

While Cairo should get the nod over Bruntlett, it may not happen that way.  Bruntlett was with the team last year and Manuel tends to favor guys he is most familiar with.  Both could make the team, but only if they sacrifice a bullpen spot.  Ben Francisco, Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs should all be locks for the roster, despite the facts that Dobbs has been playing hurt and Stairs batted only .194 this year with 5 homers in 103 at-bats.

 

The pitching is even more complicated.  Most likely Cliff Lee will start game 1 as Cole Hamels would only have 3 days rest.  However, Lee has been mostly awful in his last 7 starts, allowing 27 runs in 39 2/3 innings.  That is an ERA of about 6.13.  Not good.  The Phillies hope he will turn things around for his first post-season appearance.

 

Hamels was equally inconsistent, ending the season with a record of 10-11 and a 4.32 ERA.  Pedro Martinez has been dealing with a sore neck, so his ability to pitch deep into a game effectively is in serious question.  Joe Blanton and JA Happ have been the only two good, consistent arms in the rotation all year and now Happ may get bumped to the bullpen due to a lack of lefties.  That would be a real shame though, because Happ has the best record of the starting staff with 12 wins, 4 losses and an ERA of 2.93.  Honestly, I think they need to keep Happ as a starter and take their chances with the lefty situation in the pen.  Happ is more valuable for 6-7 innings than he would be for only a few batters.

 

That brings us to the pen, which is basically a mess.  Every regular bullpen pitcher has suffered at least one injury this year, except Ryan Madson.  Right now, JC Romero, Jamie Moyer and Chan Ho Park are still hurt and will not play in the NLDS; Moyer is done for the year.  That leaves Scott Eyre as the only experienced lefty, and he is pitching through a sore elbow.  Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, Brad Lidge and Madson are on the roster for sure.  That leaves Tyler Walker, Kyle Kendrick, Brett Myers and the 2 rookies, Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo to fill the remaining spots.

 

Escalona and Bastardo are both lefties but lack experience and have exhibited a lack of pitching control at times as well.  It would be tough to add one of them to the roster, even though lefties are needed.  Kendrick spent most of the year in the minors, but pitched fairly well for the big club in September until his last outing where he gave up 3 runs.  And Myers has suffered two injuries which kept him out almost the whole year and he still does not look quite right.  That leaves Tyler Walker whose 3.06 ERA is 3rd best in the pen, behind Eyre and Condrey.

 

But with all the injuries, the Phillies options are limited.  My best guess is this: Madson, Lidge, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Walker and Myers with Pedro Martinez added to the list instead of Happ.  That makes 12 pitchers total, including the 4 starters: Happ, Lee, Hamels and Blanton.  Although, if one lefty in the pen looks problematic, they may keep Bastardo instead of Walker.  Of course, I may be totally off.  We shall see.

Regular Season Ends With A Walk-Off Win

The regular season is over for the Phillies and they closed it out with a win against the Marlins for a final season record of 93-69.  And as usual, it was not without high drama; oh, and extra innings too.  If we have learned anything over the years, it is that the Phillies do nothing the easy way.

Most of the bench players and rookies got some time in today to make their final bid for a post-season roster spot.  Miguel Cairo made his case, going 2 for 4 with 1 RBI and a triple that tied up the game when he scored after a throwing error by the Fish.  Ben Francisco went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a walk, however, he was picked off trying to steal THREE times.  No kidding.  Another thing we learned today?  Francisco is not allowed to attempt a steal…ever.


100409a.jpgThe pitching was a bit trickier.  JA Happ was only allowed to pitch 2 innings to save his arm for the post-season.  Sadly, he allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning which bumped his ERA up to 2.93 for the season.  Still, that and his 12 wins were an amazing feat for the rookie.

Kyle Kendrick may have pitched his way off the roster as he allowed 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings.  The lefty Sergio Escalona looked a little shaky too as he allowed a runner to score, although it was charged to Brett Myers.


100409b.jpgBut the real drama unfolded in the 10th inning.  Jayson Werth stepped to the plate with a runner in scoring position and 1 RBI needed to reach 100 for the season.  In a shallow and classless act, the Marlins manager intentionally walked Werth, taking away any shot he had at the milestone.  This game was meaningless to both teams, except for possibly a moral victory.  The Marlins had nothing to gain or lose.  In that case, an intentional walk is uncalled for and ruins the spirit of competition. 

Add to that, the Marlins pitcher who was told to walk Werth was Dan Meyer, a Philadelphia-area native who grew up in a nearby town, rooting for the Phillies.  He likely had tons of friends and family there to watch him, and what did they get to see?  Their hometown hero boo’ed mercilessly by an upset crowd who wanted to see the game played out the way it was meant to.  Poor Meyer!  This kid did not deserve to be put in that position.  Manager Fredi Gonzalez, you should be ashamed of yourself!

So Werth went without the 100 RBI mark, but the Phillies ended on a positive note.  Some guy named Paul who?…I mean, Paul Hoover, the 3rd catcher who spent the whole year in the minors, got the winning, walk-off infield single to score John Mayberry Jr. and end the game with a final score of 7-6.  The crowd exploded and the Phillies pummeled Hoover in adulation.


walk-off.jpgAfterwards, the players ran around the field tossing balls and t-shirts to the crowd in thanks for their support.  Shane Victorino threw a ball all the way to the upper deck, into the broadcast booth and announcer, Tom McCarthy caught it on the fly.

The celebration is over now and the real work begins.  The Phillies will take on the Rockies Wednesday; game time has been announced and it is 2:37pm…yuck!  Hey, thanks again MLB…right in the middle of the day while most normal people are at work.  Just sayin’.

Here is the Photo Album from today’s game.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phils Get Home Field

Even though the Phillies lost, again, to the Marlins yesterday, a loss by the Cardinals gave them home field advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs.  They will face the Rockies starting on Wednesday in Philly.  The Dodgers get the Cardinals.

Despite the loss, a few good things came out of the game yesterday. 

·        Jayson Werth now stands at 99 RBI for the season with 1 game left. 

·        Antonio Bastardo, who was with the team earlier in the season but got hurt, is now back and pitched a scoreless 7th inning.  Bastardo is a lefty, so this may be good news for the pen.

·        Brett Myers pitched a scoreless 6th inning and felt no pain since the hip surgery and shoulder injury.

·        Ryan Howard blasted home run #45 for the season.

·        Miguel Cairo went 1 for 3 and is making a good case as a bench player on the post-season roster.

·        Brad Lidge looked like he may have his mojo back – he pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning and looked sharp for the first time in a LONG time.  Maybe it was the change in music?  Lidge dumped Drowning Pool’s “Soldiers” in favor of Linkin Park’s “No More Sorrow” as his intro song.  I’d say that is fitting.

JA Happ will pitch today in the final game of the regular season and try for lucky win #13 to make his case for Rookie of the Year.  Game time is 1:35pm.

Congress & Steroids Revisited

Yesterday, I posted some information on a CBS article that covered a possible Congressional inquest to see whether the regulations on dietary supplements should be revised by Congress.  Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter was made aware of the issue because of JC Romero’s suspension when he took a supplement that was illegally tainted.  Some felt that Congress should not worry about such issues and here is my response:

Senator Specter was made aware of the issue because of baseball, which is always in the limelight, but that is NOT the big picture.  This is beyond baseball.  It is about innocent people everywhere going to stores like GNC, which is in almost every major shopping mall in the country, and buying their vitamins and supplements and getting more than they bargained for.  I am one of those people.

I take a variety of vitamins and supplements which my doctor advised for various medical conditions.  These pills are not properly regulated by the FDA, which means you cannot know for sure what you are taking.   We all try to buy from reputable sources, but the bottom line is, companies can and will taint their products with illegal and dangerous substances either to save a buck or get you hooked so you will buy more.  I hope the only thing in my Vitamin C pill is Vitamin C, but do I know that for sure?  No.

These companies are putting people’s lives at risk.  Personally, I do not want steroids or anything else that could hurt or kill me in my supplements, do you?  So while the steroid issue in baseball may have been the catalyst for looking into the matter, it is not the main issue.  Congress does have plenty of issues to tend to, but regulating these drug companies is important as well.  Remember that the next time you take some Ginkgo Biloba, Glucosamine and Chondroitin or any other supplement which is unregulated.

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Phils Spilt Doubleheader With The Fish

The Phillies played back-to-back games in Miami yesterday against the 2nd place Marlins and split the series.  Here is a recap:

Game 1

Joe Blanton pitched 7 scoreless innings while the Phillies offense played some small ball and squeaked out 4 runs off the Marlins ace, Josh Johnson.  P2211686 Cairo.jpgThey blew the game wide open though with a 5-run 8th inning.  Every starting position player had at least one hit and 5 different players collected RBI’s. 

Miguel Cairo got a rare start at 3rd base while Pedro Feliz took a break; Cairo went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored.  Ryan Howard led the team in RBI’s with 3, none of which came off home runs.  He got it done with base hits, sacrifices and some really good base running.  Out of 9 runs scored in the 9-3 win, only 1 came off a homer; Raul Ibanez hit a solo shot in the 8th.

The pen ran into trouble in the bottom of the 8th with rookie Sergio Escalona allowing 3 runs on 2 hits.  Tyler Walker allowed a hit as well, but eventually got the final 2 outs of the inning.  Clay Condrey pitched a hitless 9th inning; it is great to see Condrey back after a long stint on the DL!

Game 2

The Phillies looked a bit sleepy in game two. 

sleepy bats.jpg
In fact, the bats took a little nap for 9 innings and they lost the game 0-3.  The only 2 hits in the game came from Chase Utley who hit a single and a double.  I guess they were exhausted after a 9-run game earlier?  Because the Marlins pitcher, Anibal Sanchez is certainly not their best; his 2-7 record and ERA of 4.50 going into the game should be evidence enough.

Jamie Moyer did his job and pitched 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk, which is basically what the Phillies expected from him.  But the lack of offense did them in.

So, having split the doubleheader, the Phillies will need to concentrate on winning the final game of the series tonight.  Cole Hamels gets the ball at 7:10pm.

The magic number is now 5!

Cairo photo by Jenn

Bats: http://childprotectionresource.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

 

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