Results tagged ‘ Mike Sweeney ’
Before we get into the game tonight, here is an update on all the recent injuries and roster moves. On Wednesday night, pitcher Nate Robertson gave up 6 runs in less than 1 inning; when that happened, he signed his exit papers. Robertson was designated for assignment and the Phillies claimed righty Caesar Carrillo off waivers from the Padres to take his spot.
Another righty, Scott Mathieson, was placed on the DL with a back issue. Danys Baez was taken off the DL to fill that spot. Baez has not had a very good year so putting him back in the bullpen sort of feels like a non-event. Oh well…
Jimmy Rollins is out, probably for the weekend, with a tight hamstring. The injury does not appear to be serious, but after two stints on the DL with a calf injury, the Phils are going to be extra careful with him.
And as for Placido Polanco, he does NOT have a broken elbow, contrary to several reports yesterday. Polanco advised Comcast Sportsnet that he told a reporter from the Dominican Republic about the bone spur in his elbow, which will be operated on after the season ends. Somehow, this reporter translated that into a broken bone. Polly is from the Dominican Republic, so how this miscommunication occurred between two men speaking the same language is strange. But the good news is, no broken bones :O)
That about covers the news from the Thursday off-day; now on to tonight’s game…
What began as a pitcher’s duel on the mound between Roy Halladay and Mets rookie Jenrry Mejia, turned into a duel of the pitcher’s bats in the 3rd and 4th innings. Halladay was cruising until he gave up a single to pitcher Mejia in the 3rd. A double scored Mejia and later, a 2-run homer added to the damage.
Down 3-2 going into the 4th, Halladay returned the favor. With the bases loaded and 2 outs, Halladay smacked a bouncing single up the middle for a hit; two runs scored and Mejia looked stunned. Ryan Howard had homered before that and later, a Shane Victorino single scored the 4th run of the inning.
The Phillies had a big 7th inning as well. Chase Utley started the fun with a solo homer and Howard doubled behind him. With two outs, Raul Ibanez was walked intentionally by pitcher Sean Green. Carlos Ruiz then drew an unintentional walk and Green followed that up by plunking Wilson Valdez with the bases loaded, walking in a run.
Things got a little scary with Halladay at the plate next; after a 1-0 count, Green uncorked another wild one and almost hit Halladay. Mets manager Jerry Manuel immediately took Green out, mid-batter. Manuel gets a tip of the cap for that move which may have saved Halladay from a possible injury. Green was out of control and since the Mets were down 8-3, there was no point in risking an embarrassing mistake like hitting an opposing pitcher.
The Phillies went on to win the game 8-4 and Halladay collected his 18th win of the year. He also reached 200 strikeouts on the season for the second year in a row. Although Halladay allowed 4 runs tonight, he still went 7 2/3 and the offense helped him out.
Tomorrow, Kyle Kendrick will be given yet one more chance to prove himself, although many feel he does not deserve another shot after 4 straight bad games. Rookie Vance Worley was the other option, but since Kendrick did well against the Mets last month, they decided to give him the start. Game time is 4:10pm; this should be an interesting one.
By the way, feel free to check out my new Facebook community page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney.” And when you are done there, hop over to the Phillies #1 fan contest and VOTE for me! You can vote up to 25 times a day :O) Thank you for the support!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Win some, lose some…the Phillies could not have done so today in a more upside down fashion. Two games; two very different results:
Vance Worley made his first start in the majors today against the Marlins and did a pretty good job. Certainly it was good enough to de-throne Kyle Kendrick from the 5th starters spot. Kendrick has been awful and the Phillies pitching coach, Rich Dubee, was really upset about his performance yesterday. Worley went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs; he was only pulled after 5 because the offense was sleeping and Charlie Manuel put in a pinch hitter. Worley did his job; the offense did not.
The Phils offense had just 1 hit through 8 innings and that was a Brian Schneider single in the 2nd. They were facing another pitcher making his starting debut, Adalberto Mendez. Rather than beat up on the rookie, the Phillies swung at junk and popped up balls that were right down the middle. They made a first-timer look like a Cy Young winner.
Just as disgusting as the offense was sloppy play in the field. Raul Ibanez made two very bad throws in the 1st inning. Later in the game, Placido Polanco watched a Dan Uggla double sail past him down the 3rd base line. That was just a good hit. But later, with Uggla at the plate again, Polanco was playing off the line…again. Result? Same thing; a double down the line. Why was Polanco playing off the line when he had just gotten burned there in Uggla’s last at bat? Ugh.
A lot about this game was inexplicable, much like the Phillies magical vanishing offense all year long. When you see this team play like this, it makes you wonder how they have stayed in the NL East race all year.
There were some other revelations in the last few days as well. Clearly, Mike Zagurski is not going to make it in the Bigs. This kid has been up, down, multiple injuries, up and down again and today, with yet another chance to show what he has, he failed miserably. 3 runs allowed on 2 hits and a walk…it was bad. Scott Mathieson did the same thing yesterday when he walked 2 batters and showed a serious lack of control. I feel for these guys, but maybe the Phillies need to move on?
Ok, so let’s see if they are still asleep for game two…
Oh, here are the bats! Game 2 was the polar opposite of Game 1. Much like a mental patient suffering from multiple personality disorder, the Phillies played two totally different games today. The Game 2 persona is certainly the one Phillies fans would like to see more of.
A five run 2nd inning got this game off to a good start. Jimmy Rollins, batting from the 5-hole, led off the inning with a single. Raul Ibanez followed his lead and then Domonic Brown walked. With the bases loaded, Carlos Ruiz worked out a walk for an easy RBI. Later that same inning with 2 outs, Placido Polanco hit a 2-run double and then Chase Utley singled to score Polanco.
It was a very upside down kind of day for Utley. He did not have a hit in the first game, but for Game 2, Utley racked up 2 hits, 2 RBI and he was also hit by a pitch. Brown got a rare start as Jayson Werth was rested and he managed to work out 2 walks. But having sat on the bench for a while, Brown looks rusty. Hopefully, this start will get him back into the “swing” of things.
Starting the game was pitcher Roy Oswalt who had some issues with the long ball. He allowed 3 homers for 4 runs in the first 5 innings. This seems to be a “Roy” issue this week; Roy Halladay gave up 4 runs on 4 homers on Saturday against the Brewers. Luckily, the Phillies bats were heating up tonight to bail Oswalt out of trouble, as they also did on Saturday for Halladay.
With a 7-4 lead, Ryan Madson took care of the 8th inning after JC Romero walked the first batter. Brad Lidge pitched the 9th and recorded the save! Lidge has been super lately…keep it up, Brad!
Tomorrow night at 7:05pm, Joe Blanton will pitch in game 3 of this series with the Fish. The Braves lost today so with one win and one loss today, the Phillies are 1/2 game behind them in the NL East.
And a few reminders: Do not forget to check out my new Facebook community page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney.” And when you are done there, hop over to the Phillies #1 fan contest and VOTE for me! You can vote up to 25 times a day :O) Thank you to all for your support!
Worley photo by CBSsports.com; Utley photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies had a single make-up game against the Rockies today in Colorado before heading home. The first 6 innings of the game were a disaster with careless plays and missed scoring opportunities. Until the 7th inning, you had to think there was no way the Phils were going to win this game. But this is baseball…never say never.
Here is a quick recap of the sloppy seconds that dominated the game through 6 innings:
- The 2nd place Phillies made their 2nd trip this year to Colorado today.
- The 2nd run of the game for the Phillies was scored on a sloppy slide from pitcher Joe Blanton.
- After 1 run scored in the 5th inning, Jimmy Rollins had the bases loaded with 1 out. He grounded into a sloppy and hugely disappointing double play to end the inning without scoring a 2nd run.
- Catcher Brian Schneider had a runner easily picked off at 2nd base in the 6th inning but Rollins dropped the ball.
The 6th inning got worse as the first base umpire called a runner safe that was out. Then a ball hit up the middle for what should have been an easy double play was deflected off the glove of pitcher Antonio Bastardo. Instead of getting out of the inning, another run scored.
Earlier in the 6th, Mike Sweeney was hit in the hand while checking his swing and let out a painful scream. The bases were loaded so a run scored, but Sweeney looked hurt. Everyone is hoping he will be alright. Feel free to join my Facebook group, I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney, and show your support :O)
But down 7-3 going into the 7th, someone flipped a light switch on. The Phillies managed to climb back into the game with a double by Placido Polanco, an Utley single and a 2-run homer from Ryan Howard. Not to be outdone, Jayson Werth followed with a solo homer to tie the game at 7-7. A single by Ben Francisco then gave the Phillies the 8-7 lead.
But the Phillies were not done yet in the 7th. With 2 outs and the bases loaded, Utley made up for his 2nd inning error with a GRAND SLAM! Wow. Phillies led at that point, 12-7 after scoring 9 runs in the 7th.
While a 5-run lead is nice, the Rockies were not done yet either…they scored 3 runs off Chad Durbin in the bottom of the 7th. So entering the 9th with a score of 12-10, Brad Lidge came in for the save attempt. And here comes the “sloppy” again…the first batter hit an easy ground ball to first but Howard dropped it! That dropped ball turned into an unearned run, cutting the lead to one run.
Lidge gave up a single next and one out later, walked Todd Helton. Phillies fans started getting nauseous. But Lidge worked out of the mess; he struck out Clint Barmes and the next batter hit a ball to Polanco at third. Polly made a tough play and stepped on third for the force out to end the game. And……exhale…..whew! This was a huge win for the Phils!
Since the bullpen was pretty much used up tonight, I hope the Phillies are prepared to bring up a few pitchers from the minors before tomorrow’s game against the Brewers. The only September call-up so far has been catcher Paul Hoover. Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm and Cole Hamels will pitch.
#1 Phillies Fan
Autotrader.com is running a contest to find the #1 Phillies Fan. I am constantly teased about being an obsessive Phillies fan and all my friends complain they never see me during baseball season. So, I decided to enter the contest. If you agree that I am a huge Phan, please feel free to VOTE for me :O) Your support is appreciated!
Nyjer Morgan: Poster Child For Anger Management
Nyjer Morgan of the Washington Nationals has issues. On August 21st, Morgan was accused of purposely throwing a ball at a fan in Philadelphia after being heckled. The fan was hit in the head and did not see the throw coming. MLB suspended Morgan for 7 games, which he is currently appealing.
As if that were not bad enough, on Wednesday night, Morgan charged the mound with his fist in the air after a pitch from the Marlins Chris Volstad sailed behind him. Morgan swung and the benches cleared. Worse than that, Morgan showboated after the brawl ended as he walked off the field, proud of his bad behavior. Check out the video:
Morgan’s behavior this year has been reprehensible. Even his own manager has benched him for prior bad behavior. He does not deserve to wear a major league uniform; here’s hoping MLB takes appropriate action.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Yes, the Phillies bats are off somewhere on vacation…still. Perhaps they have landed on some tropical island in a remote area of the Pacific? I suppose I can understand why they do not want to return home, but have they not been gone long enough? Well bats, have a drink for me, preferable something with a paper umbrella and fruit slices…I need one.
The Phillies remained hitless against Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda until part way into the 7th inning when Shane Victorino got the first, and only, Phillies hit of the night. And while Kuroda did a fine job, the Phillies should have been able to get at him…at least a little bit. But as has been the case all year, the Phillies have not been hitting good pitching when they should be.
Amidst the vacationing bats, Roy Halladay had another solid outing wasted. He went 7 innings and allowed 3 runs. The 2 runs he allowed in the first inning were off some very odd bloop hits and a few defensive misses.
Of course, then Rod Barajas nailed Halladay for a homer in the 5th. Barajas has been a Phillie killer since leaving the team after the 2007 season where he did basically nothing for the Phils. He batted .230 with 4 homers. He has 45 homers since 2008 and 9 of those (20%) have been against the Phils. I’ll bet the Dodgers took a look at those stats and quickly sent word that they needed Barajas for this series. Because yesterday was his first game in a Dodgers uniform. Nicely done, Dodgers.
So the Phillies lost Game 1 of the series 3-0 and will send Kyle Kendrick to the mound tonight at 10:10pm. With any luck, the bats will be back soon…
And in case you missed it yesterday, I have created a Facebook page in Mike Sweeney’s honor. Join “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” by clicking on the “LIKE” button on the page. The page is dedicated to his awe-inspiring man-hugs. Yes, real men hug. You go, Sweeney!
Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography
Who doesn’t want a hug from Mike Sweeney? The man is a giant teddy bear. Well, whether you wanted one or not, if you are within arms reach of Sweeney, odds are that you are getting a hug.
In honor of Sweeney’s man-hugginess, I have created a Facebook page in his honor. Join “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” by clicking on the “LIKE” button on the page.
Feel free to share your own Sweeney photos and/or thoughts there. It is a community page open to all Facebook members. There were several pages made in dedication to Jayson Werth’s Beard earlier in the year so I felt it was only fair to honor the super sweet Sweeney and his raw, positive emotions. I will be including photos, quotations, video and anything else I can dream up on the page.
Sweeney is one of a kind; Phillies fans are overjoyed to see a player with such a great attitude and enormous enthusiasm for this team, his teammates and the city of Philadelphia. We love all our players, of course, but this guy is unique and brings a special spark to the clubhouse. Check out the post-game interview after last night’s win:
And here is the radio interview as well:
All about the positive energy, Sweeney is not afraid to share the love. Cheers to Mr. Sweeney for inspiring us all and for letting us know that real men hug. :O)
The San Diego Padres came into today’s game against the Phillies tied with the Reds for the best fielding percentage in the National League. They also lead the league in defensive efficiency ratio, which is basically how many times they turn a batted ball into an out. But facing the Phils and trying to defend against a 3-game sweep, the Padres committed 4 errors today.
While the errors helped, as 2 of the Phillies 5 runs were unearned, the bigger factor in the game was the Phillies pitching. Cole Hamels was outstanding on the mound; he did not allow a run through 8 innings and struck out 6 batters. It looked like he was slinging gas-powered rockets up there. In the entire 3-game series, Phillies starting pitching allowed just 2 runs.
Hamels was in such a groove today, he did not want to come out of the game after the 8th inning. In the dugout, he even refused to shake his pitching coaches’ hand for a few seconds, hoping that Rich Dubee would change his mind and let him pitch the 9th. But with a 4-0 lead at the time and Hamels having thrown 115 pitches, there was no need to take a chance that Hamels might get hurt.
The defense was sharp behind Hamels as well. Placido Polanco made several tough plays at third base. Mike Sweeney, giving Ryan Howard the day off, made a great running catch on a pop-up and handled many difficult throws at first base.
Sweeney contributed on offense as well; he smacked his first home run as a Phillie in the 7th inning; it was a 2-run shot. Sweeney ran around the dugout afterwards hugging everyone he could get his hands on. This guy is pure positive energy…you have to love that.
Later in the 8th, Jayson Werth hit a solo homer, which had to feel good. It was just his 3rd homer in August, which has been a month full of ups and downs for Werth. Jimmy Rollins also had an RBI in the game and Carlos Ruiz was the only Phillie with multiple hits.
Ryan Madson pitched the 9th inning and slammed the door for the Phillies 16th shut-out of the year. The 5-0 win went to Hamels who finally got some run support from his teammates. The Padres, for the first time all year, have now lost 4 games in a row.
The Phillies will take a short ride from San Diego over to Los Angeles tonight and start a 3-game series with the Dodgers tomorrow night. Roy Halladay will pitch and game time is 10:10pm. Break out the No-doze, East Coast fans.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Very little happened in today’s Phillies – Padres match-up until the 5th inning. Both pitchers were dealing and hits were few and far between. Then Padres starter Jon Garland started the 5th off by hitting Jayson Werth with a pitch. Raul Ibanez moved him over with a grounder and a single from Shane Victorino allowed Werth to score.
With a run finally on the board, Phillies starter Joe Blanton got into trouble later that same inning. A walk and a couple of singles allowed tied the game. But Victorino showed his defensive skills, throwing Nick Hundley out at the plate trying to score.
The Flyin’ Hawaiian was all over this game; Victorino smacked a triple in the 7th to score Werth again, who had walked earlier. Then after an intentional walk to Carlos Ruiz, Mike Sweeney was put in to pinch hit for Blanton. Sweeney hit a ground ball that was almost a double play. Instead, he legged it out and Ruiz barreled into 2nd with a take-out slide; Sweeney was safe and Victorino scored.
The Padres paid little attention to Sweeney on first as he is not known for speed. As a result, with a little prodding from first base coach Davey Lopes, Sweeney swiped his first bag in 4 years. Sweeney’s enthusiasm and hustle are just what this team needs. He fits in very well with the Phillies club.
Blanton ended his outing with just one run allowed in 6 innings; it was a great effort from Blanton. After Blanton was pulled in the 7th, the 3-1 game was turned over to the Phillies bullpen. Jose Contreras pitched a perfect 7th and Ryan Madson followed suit in the 8th. You know what that means, right? You guessed it….Brad Lidge time. (Gulp!)
After a horrible outing yesterday where Lidge balked in the tying run with 2 outs in the 9th, tonight was a different story. With a strike-out, a pop-up and a fly ball, Lidge closed the game successfully, handing the Phillies a 3-1 win.
Game 3 with the Padres begins at 4:05pm tomorrow afternoon. Cole Hamels will pitch and hopefully, put a 3-game sweep of the Padres in the bag.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Well, it was nice thought, but ultimately, the Phillies could not sweep the Giants tonight. When the game started off with Cole Hamels giving up 3 runs in the first inning, some thought that maybe this was just the starting pitchers new style. Both pitchers in the first two games of the series gave up first inning runs too, but the Phillies came back to win those games. Not tonight…
Hamels looked about as bad as we have seen him. He lasted only 5 innings, allowed 5 runs and looked like his pitch control was on vacation for the day. Knowing that he has gotten little to no run support this year, giving up 3 runs in the first must have seemed like an insurmountable hole from which Hamels could not climb out.
On the other side, Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez wiped the infield dirt with Phillies batters. He allowed only 2 hit in 8 innings of work and both hits came off the bat of Shane Victorino, who also played well on defense.
No one else could touch him. Knowing that Sanchez leads the leagues in walks issued, one might think the Phillies batters would have been patient at the plate. But many players swung early and swung often…at bad pitches. Thus, 2 hits in 8 innings.
The offense did attempt a 9th inning rally, something that has been common with the Phillies lately. But although Mike Sweeney knocked in 2 runs to avoid the shut-out, the rally ended there and the Phils took the 5-2 loss. Here are a few more shots from the game:
The Braves lost today as well so the Phillies still sit 2.5 games back in the NL East and lead the Wild Card race over the Giants by 1 game. A 3-game series with the Nationals starts tomorrow at 7:05pm.
And as a side note, today’s game marked the 100th consecutive sell-out at Citizens Bank Park. Manager Charlie Manuel came out before the game to speak to the crowd and thank the fans for their support. After that, the players waved and tipped their caps to the crowd. The 45,449 people in attendance also marked the largest crowd of the 2010 season so far.
Phillies, you are welcome :O)
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
There were many reunions tonight at the Phillies-Giants game. Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand came back to Philly again in Giants uniforms. And Chase Utley returned to the Phillies line-up, making a super-speedy recovery from thumb surgery. You could feel the love:
And more importantly for the ladies, it was a visual treat. Pat the Bat and other legendary backsides were welcomed with open arms:
Oh, you were expecting a game recap, right? Sorry…got sidetracked. So the game was very nice as well. Roy Oswalt got off to a rocky start, allowing 2 runs in the first inning.
One of those runs was Burrell’s first at-bat; clearly, he is right at home in Philly. The standing ovation he received while stepping to the plate died down quickly once that ball left the yard.
But Oswalt rebounded and allowed only 1 more run, another solo shot, through 7 total innings pitched. He finally got some offensive support as well.
Placido Polanco had a 4-hit night; Jimmy Rollins collected 3 RBI; Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz had 2 RBI each. By the way, Victorino’s wife Melissa is pregnant! Check out the baby bump. Congrats to them both!
With a 4-3 lead going into the 8th, the offense exploded in a very odd inning. With the bases loaded and no outs for Ruiz, he nailed a 2-run double. Later, the Giants pitcher balked to send another run home and send manager Bruce Bochy to the showers early as he was tossed for arguing the call. A wild pitch followed by a fielding error scored Rollins and the Utley was picked off going to third to end the inning. 5 more runs scored that inning and the Phils won by a score of 9-3.
By the way, Mike Sweeney has not exactly been lighting up the ballpark at the plate, but this guy shows some serious hustle out there.
At one point, he went into the crowd trying to catch a foul ball. I got this shot of it, not too in focus, but take a look at his glove and the ball next to it, surrounded by fans. That is a brave man.
So the rest of the photos will be up later. I have to get some sleep, prep for tomorrow’s game and do it all over again! Check back for more later.
UPDATE: Here is the full Photo Album from the game!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Before today’s game against the Dodgers, Shane Victorino was activated off the DL and lefty Antonio Bastardo was sent to AAA to make room. Victorino did not start the game as Charlie Manuel had already told Ben Francisco he would start tonight. Victorino did pinch hit in the 8th and drew a walk. Francisco had a much more interesting game…more on that shortly.
Pitcher Joe Blanton started the game and sadly, had another Blah-anton-type outing. He allowed 3 runs right off the bat in the first inning. After 5 2/3 innings, Blanton had walked 4 batters, allowed 8 hits and 4 runs total. The hole was dug deeper by relief pitcher Chad Durbin who did not provide any relief. Durbin allowed a 2-run homer in the 7th to put the Phillies down 6-2.
But the damage did not end there. JC Romero pitched the 8th inning and while Romero has had trouble of late, this time it was the defense that let him down. Mike Sweeney missed a ground ball at first to start the inning. Carlos Ruiz had an error as well and two unearned runs scored. Jose Contreras came in to relieve Romero and gave up another run.
Down 9-2 going into the bottom of the 8th, it looked like this game was over. Then suddenly, the hits started coming. It began with 4 straight hits: singles from Placido Polanco, Sweeney, Jayson Werth and a double from Francisco. Wilson Valdez got another hit for the 4th run of the inning. The 9-6 score seemed a tad more manageable.
The Dodgers sent their closer in for the 9th, Jonathan Broxton. The same 4 players that ignited the 8th inning rally started another one in the 9th. Polanco was hit by a pitch; Sweeney and Werth both walked. Francisco got on base after an error and 2 runs scored. Just like that, the bases were loaded with no outs for Carlos Ruiz with a 9-8 score. Ruiz smashed a walk-off double to win the game!
The Phillies came back from a 7 run deficit to win the game and take 2 of 3 games in the series. When asked how he felt after the game, Ruiz told Gary Matthews, “I’m happy, I’m so happy.” Well Chooch, we are SO happy too! Werth then ran up behind him and dumped a bucket of Gatorade over Ruiz’s head. I supposed shaving cream pies are out of fashion now.
Next up: the Mets in New York for the weekend. Game time tomorrow is 7:10pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography