Results tagged ‘ Mike Cervenak ’

Houston: We Have A Problem

And the problem is that you have beaten the Phillies 3 games in a row; the first one was a blow-out, the second one is on Brad Lidge, the worst closer in baseball and yesterday’s loss came at the hands of Cole Hamels who got little help from his offense.  While this mission has been a total failure, much like the Apollo 13, the Phillies have one more chance at a small amount of redemption this afternoon in Game 4 of the series with the Astros.

Hamels Houston.jpgHamels pitched 6 innings in the loss and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks.  The most damage was done by ex-Phillie, Michael Bourn who went 2 for 4, stole 2 bases and scored twice.  Hamels had Bourn picked off both times he stole but the first time, Jimmy Rollins dropped the ball and the second time, Bourn was milliseconds too fast.  It was a very frustrating day for Hamels as the Astros wiped their backsides with him all game long.

Rollins led the game off with a homerun, but it was mostly downhill from there for the offense.  The only bright spots at the plate came from the Rollins homer, a solo shot from Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 and looks like he might be ready to break out of his slump.  Jayson Werth also hit a solo homer that looked like a fan reached out and grabbed it; the umpires called it a homer and no one argued.  It would not have mattered anyway as the Phillies went down 3-4.

A few more September call-ups were added yesterday, although it remains to be seen how much help they will be.  John Mayberry Jr. and Kyle Kendrick flew in from Allentown, PA late on Saturday after the Iron Pigs game.  Here they are at about 7pm that evening getting ready for the Pigs game:

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Personally, I was hoping they would call up Mike Cervenak instead of Mayberry; Cervenak is batting .307 and currently ranks 6th in batting in the International League.  Plus, he was the Phillies during the playoff run last season.  Mayberry only batted .256 in AAA this year.

So the Phillies final chance to avoid total humiliation at the hands of the Astros will be at 2:05pm this afternoon.  JA Happ gets the start – good luck to him!

Photos by Jenn

 

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Series Win Gives Phillies 8 Game Lead

With a 3-2 victory over the Braves last night to win the series 2 game to 1, the Phillies will have an 8-game lead in the NL East over both the Braves and the Marlins going into September.  Joe Blanton pitched another beautiful game and got through 7 innings of one run ball; the only run came off a solo homer from Martin Prado in the first inning.  Blanton looked a bit shaky through those first few innings, but settled in well and only gave up 3 hits.

 

And for the 2nd night in a row, Chase Utley went yard; his solo shot to right field in the 4th was the only run for the Phillies until Carlos Ruiz stepped up in the 7th.  In honor of the Ruiz backpack night, a giveaway for kids 14 and under, Ruiz smacked a double to left to score Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz.  Ruiz went 3 for 3 on the night; it was his 5th 3-hit game of the year.  Maybe the Phillies should give away a Ruiz bobble head next?


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In the not-so-great offensive category, the Phillies are still struggling with runners in scoring position.  They left 14 men on base and again, had the bases loaded with no outs and failed to score.  Blanton hit a line-drive to first base and Ruiz was double off after the catch.  Jimmy Rollins then hit a weak grounder to end the inning.  The offensive outage is concerning, but thanks to great pitching, they came out on top.

 

Defense was a big part of the win as well.  Ryan Madson, who is entering Brad Lidge-bad territory, got into a huge jam in the 8th inning again.  He hit the first batter he faced and then gave up back-to-back singles which scored a run for the Braves.  Without recording an out, he was removed from the game and Scott Eyre took over. 

 

Brain McCann then hit a sharp grounder to Utley, who fielded it perfectly and flipped to Rollins who threw to Feliz at third; Feliz tagged Chipper Jones for the unusual 4-6-5 double play.  Having eliminated the lead runner, Eyre saved the Phillies from disaster and gave Lidge a 3-2 lead to work with.  Amazingly, Lidge nailed down the save with relative ease; it was his second save in a row.  Whew!


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By the way, did anyone see the actor, Paul Rudd (movies: “I Love You, Man”; “Anchorman”; “Knocked Up”), sitting in the 10th row behind home plate last night? He was just a few sections over from me so I took a few photos.  The woman next to him (right side, dark brown hair) is none other than Jen Utley, Chase’s wife.


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A very welcome off-day is upon us as the Phillies offense needs to rest and charge up for the September charge.  Watch for September call-up’s which may include pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Jack Taschner and Rodrigo Lopez; infielders Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy; outfielders John Mayberry Jr. and Jason Ellison; and we will likely see a catcher added – maybe Paul Hoover.  Those are my guesses anyway.

 

A lot of moves will be made as the Phillies are also anticipating the return of Brett Myers, JC Romero and Clay Condrey to the bullpen plus Greg Dobbs.  All four have been on the DL and are very close to coming back.

 

And finally, here is the complete Photo Album from last night’s Phillies – Braves game.  Tomorrow, the San Francisco Giants come to town for 3 games and some serious pitching battles will ensue.  You may remember the Phillies were stomped in San Fran back in July, losing 3 out of 4 games.  The Giants are tied for a wildcard spot right now so this will be a very tough match match-up.  Cole Hamels starts it off tomorrow at 7:05pm.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Phinally – A Series Win

The Phillies wrapped up the series with the Blue Jays today and also ended interleague play for the year…finally!  As usual, interleague play was not kind to the Phillies and most are happy it is over.

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However, there were a few highlights, including JA Happ’s first career complete game shut-out yesterday.  Happ allowed only 5 hits in the game and gave the bullpen a much needed rest.  The Phillies offense found their bats after a spanking from manager Charlie Manuel in a closed door meeting, and the team racked up ten runs in the game for Happ.  The very Happ-Y pitcher is now 5-0 on the season with a 3.00 ERA.

Today, the Phillies sent Jamie Moyer to the mound and he allowed 4 runs in 5 innings, including 3 home runs.  After the 5th, Manuel decided to take advantage of his rested pen and sent Chan Ho Park in who pitched 2 scoreless, hitless innings.  It is nice to see Park finally settling into his role and feeling good after getting hit with a batted ball two days ago.       

With the Phillies up 5-4 in the 8th, Ryan Madson was set up to have an easy inning; he got the first out, Scott Rolen hit a single, but then a routine double play ball to Eric Bruntlett turned into a disaster.  Bruntlett, filling in for Jimmy Rollins the last 3 days, dropped the ball leaving 2 runners on with only 1 out.  Poor Madson was sweating by the time he got to the 3rd out, but he got there and Pedro Feliz snagged a pop-up to end the threat.

Brad Lidge came in to get the save and, as usual, it was an adventure.  A bunt single, then a walk and hearts were racing again.  But Lidge got a pop-out, another out on a run down and finally capped it off with Bruntlett snagging a grounder and tossing to Ryan Howard for the final out.  Whew!  Finally…a series win.  Time to exhale…

Iron Pigs (AAA)

Pigs (28).jpgYesterday, I attended an Iron Pigs game and saw Drew Carpenter pitch.  Carpenter has been a highly touted player in the minors and he did pitch a shut-out through 8 innings.  However, his fastball tops out at around 80mph (or at least it did last night).  Solid pitcher, but I am not sure the Phillies need another Jamie Moyer in the rotation.  Carlos Carassco and Kyle Drabek (AA) may still be possibilities to fill the hole left by Brett Myers.  Going outside the organization to get an experienced arm would be much better, but there are still very few pitchers available.  We shall see…

Mike Cervenak (photo) is doing very well after suffering a broken wrist last month; he was 2 for 5 in the game and is batting .313.  Mike Spidale (OF) led the pack with 3 hits and is batting .353; and Lou Marson (C) has been doing better of late – he had 2 hits and 2 RBI last night. 

Here is a PHOTO ALBUM from the Iron Pigs game, including shots from the fireworks show afterwards and even a 3-D fireworks shot!  I held the camera up to the 3-D glasses and it actually worked…check it out!

Up Next

The Phillies have the day off tomorrow to travel to Atlanta for a 3 game series before returning home on July 3rd to face the Mets.  Joe Blanton will pitch on Tuesday; game time is 7:00pm.

VOTE

The clock is ticking…please keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!  Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, July 2, 2009.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Fried Fish & Iron Pigs

This team sure loves playing from behind; all 8 wins this year so far have been comeback wins, including yesterday’s 10-inning 6-4 win over the Marlins.  Losing 3-4 in the 9th inning, Eric Bruntlett stepped in to pinch hit and hit a chopper up the third base line well enough to score Jayson Werth from third and tie up the game.  In the 10th, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Werth all singled, plus a stolen base from Victorino, and the Phillies took the lead, 6-4.  Brad Lidge tried to give us all a tummy ache in the bottom of the 9th as he loaded the bases full of Fish, but managed to escape unscathed.

Chan Ho Park had a better game this time around; he started off red-hot, but cooled a bit in the 4th inning when he gave away back-to-back home runs.  The first was a 3-run homer to Jorge Cantu and then a solo shot to Dan Uggla.  But Park did keep the Phils in the game and even accidentally ran into an opposite field home run of his own in the 3rd inning.  It was Park’s first home run since 2000.

The bullpen including Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson held the game at 4 runs for the Fish and ultimately, gave the Phillies an opportunity to come back and win.  Great job from the pen! 

Speaking of pens, I was actually sitting in the “pig pen” at Coca-Cola Park watching the Phils game on my phone while watching our AAA club, the Iron Pigs play the Pawtucket Red Sox.  And yes, everything in this park is “pig” themed.  From the mascots, to the game program, which is called “Pork Illistrated.”  Besides the “oinking” from the crowd and other silliness, the park is beautiful, has comfortable seating and it was a really entertaining time overall.

The Pigs game actually mirrored the Phillies game through the 9th inning; both clubs were tied 4-4 and went 1 extra inning!  Sadly, the Pigs game had a different result, as they lost to the Sox, 5-4.  But I did get to check out Carlos Ruiz in his first rehab assignment.  Ruiz was the DH; he went 0-3 at the plate, walked twice and scored a run.  The good news is, he looked ok swinging the bat.Kendrick Ruiz Pigs.jpg

I also saw former major leaguer, Kyle Kendrick pitch; Kendrick went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.  Not good.  He looked like a minor league pitcher and appears to have a long way to go before cracking the majors again.  We wish him luck!

Spring training stand-outs John Mayberry Jr. and Jason Donald each smacked a home run in the game and were impressive defensively as well.  Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy collected the other 2 RBI’s, which were hard to come by as they faced pitchers who were throwing in the 40′s and 50′s.  I am so not kidding; it looked like a tee-ball game.  One pitcher for the Sox was being clocked regularly at around 41mph!  Wow.  Most AAA players are not used to such slow deliveries and it will mess up their timing.  Hey, maybe the Sox would like to sign me up?  Pretty sure I can top 41mph.

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Here is the Photo Album of the Iron Pigs game; I have included more shots of Ruiz, Kendrick, Coca-Cola park, the mascots and many others!

Back to the majors: Don’t forget to VOTE for your All-Star’s today!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address. 

And tune in now to the Phillies-Marlins 3rd game of the series which had a very early start at 12:10pm.

Photos by Jenn

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Ring Ceremony Photos & News

As promised I have put together a Photo Album from the World Series Ring Ceremony!  You can see all the players, plus a few coaches getting their rings.  The quality is a tad lower than I normally like, but I was VERY far away when shooting these…thank goodness for ZOOM lenses :O)  I have also included shots from the miraculous 12-11 come from behind victory over the Braves that occurred after the ceremony.

There have been some questions recently about whether 2008 first-time Major Leaguers like
P2264190 Cervenak.jpgMike Cervenak, Andy Tracy and Lou Marson would be receiving a World Series Ring, since their names were not announced at yesterday’s ceremony.  I can tell you that I have received confirmation from Cervenak’s agent that he will receive his ring tonight!  I can only assume from this that the other players mentioned, plus possibly TJ Bohn, Brad Harman and a few others, may also be getting a ring.  It was my thought that anyone who was on the roster in 2008 and played in a game should qualify, so I am very happy to hear that this should be the case.  Congrats to all and best of luck to the Iron Pigs, who will open their season tonight with Kyle Kendrick on the mound!

I have a few other fun photos to share with you; if you were unable to pick up a copy of the Phillies 1st 2009 Official Magazine, here is what you missed: 

A cover spread of 12 of our World Champions in Tuxedos:

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And then most of the World Series Team, all dressed up, in a centerfold.  I took the book apart and scanned the images, fitting them together at the center with a little help from Photoshop; even still, they managed to cut part of Charlie Manuel’s head off, plus part of the trophy, in the middle.  Fixed the trophy (it’s magic!), but left Manuel’s head alone :O)

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Every player had a different and unique reaction to seeing their World Series Rings; Brad Lidge testified that he would sleep with his; Jamie Moyer noted that his was a bit large, but that he would grow into it; And Cole Hamels…well, see for yourself:

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My, oh my, that boy is seriously whipped.  Oh sorry, what I meant to say was, how cute is it that Cole loves his wife SO much ;O)  Yeah, that’s it….

The Phillies are on their way to Colorado!  Game 1 of the series with the Rockies will air at 4:10pm tomorrow with Mr. Hamels on the mound in his season debut.

 (Photos by Jenn except Tuxedo shots)

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Team USA Beats The Phillies

Watching Team USA with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino playing against the Phillies was strange, to put it mildly.  Although, who to root for was easy – both!  Yet, the sight of Victorino sliding into base with a Phillies glove coming at him did feel wrong somehow; but even more confusing was watching Victorino and Rollins team up with rival New York Met, David Wright, Atlanta Brave, Chipper Jones and Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia.  Here are 4 of them celebrating after a Jones homer run plus, Victorino sliding into second and Rollins letting everyone know that he is working hard:

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Victorino and Rollins each had one hit for Team USA today and minor league Phillie, Joe Bisenius pitched for Team USA, giving up 1 run on three hits in his one inning of work.  Also for Team USA, Derek Jeter went hitless in his 6 innings, but showed off defensively, as usual.  Chipper Jones and Red, Adam Dunn led the charge against the Phillies, collecting 3 RBI a piece.  Below, see Jeter make a great leaping throw; Mike Cervenak slides into second trying to break up a double play, forcing Pedroia to jump over him; and J-Roll swings and misses:

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On the Phillies side, Eric Bruntlett and Cervenak each earned an RBI and Jason Donald woke from his slumber, hitting a solo homer in the 6th.  Catcher Lou Marson was the only Phillie with a multi-hit game, going 2 for 4.  The big score came from Ryan Howard, who knocked a 3 run homer in the 5th.  However, Howard had a very strange day.  In the first inning, Howard dropped a routine feed from Donald, allowing the runner to reach base.  Then, in the third inning, he got whacked in the helmet with a pitch, but appeared to be fine.  Later, Howard dropped a routine pop-up off the bat of Victorino and then also dropped a pick-off toss to first as Victorino slid back in safely, although, that looked to be a bad throw by Kyle Kendrick.  Here are a few photos of the events at hand; note where the ball is in the top 2 photos; the bottom photo is the home run shot:

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Aside from Howard’s fumbles, the big story of the day appears to be Kyle Kendrick who did not look good.  In 2 2/3 innings, he surrendered 5 hits and 4 runs, including the 3 run shot by Jones, which, by the way, I called as it happened.  As shaky as Kendrick was and seeing he could not keep the ball down or his emotions in check, once Chipped stepped to the plate, I told my neighbor what was about to happen and, wham!  3-run home run.  Kendrick has a lot of work to do if he is going to compete for the 5th starters’ position. 

Equally unimpressive was the outing of Antonio Bastardo, who gave up 5 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks.  Regulars Clay Condrey and Ryan Madson got some work in also and each looked ok, although Madson did walk 2.  In the end, the Phillies went down by a score of 9-6.

And now for the Photo of the Day – Team USA united!P3056461.JPG

The Phillies have both an A and a B game tomorrow against the Blue Jays; the B game is at 2pm at Bright House field and the A game is in Dunedin at 7pm.  Sadly, my time in Florida has come to a close and I will be hopping a plane back to the deep freeze of the Philadelphia area tomorrow.  I will continue my coverage from home, although be terribly depressed about it :O(  I know, I know…poor me.  Hee!  It was fun while it lasted!

 

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World Series Hangover

The Phillies lost their Spring Training home opener today to the Blue Jays, 6-2.  This makes 2 straight losses to open the pre-season; World Series hangover perhaps?  The big boys like Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez went 0-3, each leaving 2 men on base, and the only two runs scored were knocked in by Jimmy Rollins and Greg Dobbs who each went 1-3.  Carlos Carrasco and JA Happ began the pitching duel today, battling it out for the 5th starter position.  Both pitched two scoreless innings with only Happ giving up a hit; although Carrasco was helped out by John Mayberry in right field who used his 6’5″ frame to scale the wall and snag what was surely a home run shot.  Here is Mayberry making the catch along with another shot of him getting hit by a pitch; below that, you will see Jeremy Slayden playing a ball off the centerfield wall.

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In other great pitching news, Gary Majewski, previously of the Reds, pitched two scoreless innings as well.  But much like yesterday’s game, two other pitchers gave the game away for the Phillies; Justin Lehr gave up 2 back to back home runs in his one inning of work and Blaine Neal gave up 4 runs in only 2/3 of an inning.

More encouraging was the play of rookie Mayberry and Jason Ellison, a 6-year veteran previously with the Rangers.  Ellison got a hit in the 3rd inning and proceeded to steal second base:

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Also on the ball today was 3rd baseman Mike Cervenak, who helped save a hit by making a great play on a ball that took a nasty short hop.  Cervenak also drew a walk in his only at-bat.  Here he is making the catch and also trying to break up a double play that Jeremy Slayden hit into:

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Although the Phillies have dropped the first two games, keep in mind that at this point in Spring Training, less emphasis is placed on winning games and more on examining rookies and deciding who will make the final roster.  So, not to worry Phillies fans! 

In other news for the worriers, you will be happy to know that prior to the game, Chase Utley took batting practice on the field.  He took some light swings and looked like he was not too far from seeing game action.  Also before the game, Army air paratroopers parachuted into the stadium, one of them carrying the World Series flag which was then hung in the stadium.  And that is our Picture of the Day:
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Spring Training Practices Winding Down


P2232834.JPGSo far, the mood in Phillies practice has been very upbeat.  Shane Victorino was all smiles as he tossed balls to children in the crowd earlier today.  Cole Hamels returned to the team, having taken care of his “personal issues” and spirits were high.  There are a few story lines causing some stress among the natives , including the battle for the 5th starting position.  Kyle Kendrick threw a good session today and Scott Eyre helped him keep the mood light.  Either that, or Eyre has mistaken Kendrick for a cute little baby…

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Other developing story lines include the competition among the rookies trying to make the team. 
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Jason Donald, who may replace Chase Utley if he has a setback and is not ready to go for Opening Day, is keeping pace with the big boys.  Lou Marson, understanding the team is heavy on catchers, keeps up his hard work in the hopes that he makes an impression for future call-ups.  And Mike Cervanek , who made his major league debut last year after 10 years in the minors and independent leagues, has been hustling to get some attention.  Cervenak could be the right-handed bat the Phillies need, plus he is able to play 3rd, 2nd and 1st bases.  Having been a member of the World Series squad, the coaches already know Cervenak, but this will be a case of perseverance on his part to make the team.

P2232753.JPGWith so many good looking men wandering about the practice fields, it makes you wonder where a few of these guys are getting their hair style advice.  Women do seem to love the beard, but Eric Bruntlett may want to consider a trim.  It’s hair gone wild!  And then in the plain “hair has gone away” category, new Phillie Raul Ibanez may want to consider a new look.  Here are a few for him to “try on.”

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Only one day left of practice before the games begin on Wednesday; the Phillies will take on the Pirates in Bradenton, FL for the Spring Training opener at 1:05pm.  Stay tuned for game coverage!

And on to the Photo of the Day…it’s an unusually chipper Mike Schmidt:
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Kendrick Helps Phils Shut Out The Marlins

Going a full 6 innings without giving up a run, Kyle Kendrick improved his overall record to 10-5 with tonight’s P7306493 kendrick cr.jpg5-0 win over the Florida Marlins.  As is Kendrick’s usual style, he had quite a few base runners, including 5 walks, but pitched his way out of jams when he needed to.  Chad Durbin went 2 scoreless innings as well, looking extremely sharp and Ryan Madson finished them off in the 9th.  J-Roll Smurf was also very excited about the pitching performances and he celebrated by bashing a Fish senseless J  Later tonight, he will have a stiff drink and prepare for tomorrow’s Fishy Voodoo…

The other great news is that the offense came back tonight.  Last night, they had 8 hits and scored only 2 runs.  Tonight, they had 9 hits, but scored 5 runs.  The difference is situational hitting and driving runs in when P7306699 cervenak cr.jpgthere are runners in scoring position.  Chase Utley hit his 30th double of the year for an RBI; Ryan Howard smashed home run #32; Even Eric Bruntlett who usually has a quiet bat, went 2 for 3 with an RBI.  The rookie Mike Cervenak got his very first major league hit and first RBI in his 3rd pinch hit appearance.  Here is a photo of him for those wondering who he is…another Independent League product, much like Chris Coste was.  I had a chance to talk to him in Spring Training…very nice guy, hard working…really great to see him finally get a break in the Bigs J

Gotta take this series!  Everyone get out your favorite Fish bashing sticks or fire up the grill and get ready to FRY some!  Don’t let the Smurf do all the work now…  After all, he is only 3 apples high…  He’ll do his best for a little guy J  1:05pm start tomorrow…Go Phillies!

Werth Wins It In The 12th

Jayson Werth won the game for the Phillies, knocking in the winningP4208136 Werth cr.jpg run with a single in the bottom of the 12th inning!  Final score was 6-5.  A very long, very strange game, indeed, full of wild pitches, stolen bases, pick-offs, dropped balls and Ryan Howard being unsure of the count on him, still standing at the plate waiting to hit after he had been walked.  Mike Cervenak got his first major league at bat; he slammed a ball out to far left field, but it was unfortunately right at the fielder.  A great at bat though for his first time up and he showed a lot of power.  In other offensive news, both Werth and Shane Victorino had 3 hit nights; Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins had 2 a piece, with Howard adding yet another home run to the pile.

Kyle Kendrick still looks like he needs a lot of work against the left-handers.  He gave up 4 earned runs in 6.1 innings on 9 hits with 4 strikeouts.  Most of his trouble though was against the lefties.  Our bullpen was back in tip-top shape, giving up only 1 earned run between all 6 pitchers who appeared in relief.

And now for my rant of the day…David Wright of the Mets was announced today as the replacement for the open spot on the All-Star roster by Clint Hurdle, making me want to HURL!  No offense to Wright, but the man has committed 12 ERRORS so far this season.  I just don’t see that as being All-Star worthy, and I don’t care how long and luxurious his eyelashes are…get over it people!  He is not THAT cute.  So, guess how many errors Pat Burrell has made?  NONE.  Pat has a much higher Slugging percentage and On-base percentage than Wright; Also, Pat is nearly the same in total bases, even though he gets fewer innings with Charlie Manuel constantly pulling him late in games to run for him.  This was SO obviously the wrong choice.  SHAME on Clint Hurdle for holding a grudge against the Phillies for losing against them in the 1980 World Series.  Grow up already!

Well, I feel a tad better having vented there.  And after a Phillies win, who can be too sad J  Incidentally, I will be going to New York this weekend for the All-Star events and am looking forward to that!!  Going to check out Fan Fest, the Home Run Derby with CHASE UTLEY!!!, the Red Carpet Parade on 6th Ave.  and then watch the game on TV (had to pick one or the other…decided HR’s would be more fun!).  So, stay tuned for photos after those events which I’ll try to post as soon as I recover from all the hoopla and trying to figure out the subways again which I have not had to do since high school.  Yikes!  Hey, anybody else going?  Feel free to E-Mail me!

2 more games to go with the D-backs!  Go Phillies!

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