Results tagged ‘ Mike Sweeney ’
Roy Oswalt’s first home start in Philly went very, very well against the Dodgers tonight. He did not surrender a run while allowing 5 hits and 2 walks. Oswalt was finished after 7 innings with a really good strike-ball ratio of 73-36. It looked so easy, one may have thought that Oswalt could have pitched this game in his sleep. Yawn!
But as has been the case for Oswalt this year with both the Astros and the Phillies, he got very little run support. Domonic Brown collected the first run of the game in the 4th inning with a bases-loaded RBI ground-out. Raul Ibanez extended his hit streak to 18 games with an RBI-double in the 6th. However, in that same inning, the Phillies lost Ross Gload. He hit a double down the right field line and came up limping halfway to second base. Gload has been diagnosed with a groin strain.
If Gload goes on the DL, he will be the 16th Phillies player this year to land there. And he would be the 5th player on the DL right now, along with Ryan Howard, whom Gload was replacing at first base. Mike Sweeney took over for Gload tonight and may wind up playing a lot more than anyone expected.
With a 2-0 lead, the Phillies would now have to lean on their 8-9 combination of Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. Getting a few extra runs would have been nice too, but that did not happen. In fact, the Phillies wasted a Wilson Valdez lead-off triple at one point and left runners on third base with less than 2 outs twice. It began to look more and more like this game would come down to the Phils bullpen.
And it did come down to the pen. Madson pitched a scoreless 8th and looked pretty solid. Lidge came in for the 9th with the same 2-0 lead and quickly got three outs for the save. Oswalt got his first win as a Phillie behind Lidge’s save, just as they both used to do for the Astros. Teammates once again, Lidge had to be thrilled to help out his friend.
The final game with the Dodgers will be at 7:05pm tomorrow night. The pitching match-up should be Joe Blanton vs. Clayton Kershaw. Blanton did well in his last outing; a solid follow-up performance would be nice.
In other news today, Chase Utley has been approved by his doctor to start swinging a bat again since the surgery on his thumb. Utley has been running drills and fielding balls so this is one more step towards getting him ready to play again. Utley expects to be back in the line-up either at the end of August or early September.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
In the first 7 innings of tonight’s game, fans were wondering, where have the Phillies bats gone? Several of them are on the DL, but how about the rest? Did the plane carrying the bats from Miami back to Philadelphia crash on a deserted island, leaving the bats stranded and hopeless? Can we please get a rescue team together to go find them? Please?
The Phillies had opportunities to score early in this game against the Mets. With the bases loaded and 2 outs in the first, Carlos Ruiz began to cool off from his recent hot streak; he struck out to end the inning. One run scored in the inning, but they should have had more. The Phils did get a number of 2 out hits, but they were mostly with no one on base.
But then it was Ruiz and most of his teammates in the 8th inning who finally found the bats again. 5 straight singles followed. Yes, the bats have been rescued! Everyone got in on the action; Mike Sweeney started the inning off with his first hit as a Phillie; Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Ruiz and Wilson Valdez followed suit. Ross Gload walked with the bases loaded to score another run and Jimmy Rollins singled in the 4th run of the inning.
Later that same inning, Sweeney got another hit; his second hit as a Phillie also added his first RBI as a Phillie. By the end of the 8th, the Phillies had sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 6 runs to put them up by a score of 7-2 over the stunned Mets.
So, maybe the bats just had jet lag and it took until the 8th inning to wake them up? Whatever the deal, it was very nice to see them again. Someone else who was happy to see the bats was starting pitcher Joe Blanton, who had a good outing. He lasted 7 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits without walking a batter. Sadly for Blanton, he was out of the game before the run barrage started.
So while Blanton could not get the win, the team certainly could. Danys Baez pitched the 9th and got the first two outs. JC Romero was brought in with 2 runners on base and, just for some added drama, he gave up a 3-run homer. With a now close 7-5 game, Romero was pulled and Brad Lidge came into what was then a save situation. He struck out the final batter to end the game; whew!
The Phils have two more games with the Mets this weekend; tomorrow’s game starts at 7:05pm with Cole Hamels pitching.
By the way, congratulations to former catcher Darren Daulton who was inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame before today’s game. Daulton is widely thought to be one of the best catchers and best leaders in Phillies history. He is well deserving of the honor. In his acceptance speech, he referred to Phillies fans as his family and said we were all invited to his house for dinner on Sunday night. Hey Darren, you forget to give us your address. Please pass on the info…I’ll be there ;o)
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Part two of the Roy Oswalt – Philadelphia experience tonight went a tad better than the first part. After allowing 4 earned runs in his Phillies debut, Oswalt handled the Marlins pretty well. He struggled with his control at times, which elevated his pitch count, but the end result was positive. Oswalt went 6 1/3 innings allowing 3 hits, 4 walks and 2 runs.
The 2 runs however, scored after JC Romero came in to relieve Oswalt in the 7th. Romero allowed an RBI double and then walked the 2nd run home on 4 straight balls. Those runs were both charged to Oswalt. Now, I love JC for his spirit and for the person that he is. But the manager has to know that he gets wild in these situations sometimes. Two runners on and one out is not a good situation for Romero. Then again, with the Phillies bullpen as up and down as it has been, who to bring in and when remains a head-scratcher.
Jose Contreras was up next in the 7th and did not fare much better. He immediately allowed a 2-run single. Those two runs were charged to Romero. So the cycle of crap rolling down hill continued as the Phillies lost a 2-0 lead and turned it into a 4-2 deficit in 1 inning.
As for the offense, Oswalt did not get much run support in Houston and so far with the Phillies it has not been too different. With the bases loaded in the first and one out, Jayson Werth hit a weak pop fly to strand the runners. Domonic Brown struck out next, but putting that pressure on the rookie is just unfair. Werth should have been able to hit a sacrifice with only 1 out.
More opportunities came in the 3rd inning, but again, Werth stranded 2 more runners and grounded out to end the inning. Carlos Ruiz finally came up with a big 2-out hit in the 6th to score Brown and Raul Ibanez, but no one else stepped up after that, even after Oswalt drew a walk to load the bases.
Mike Sweeney saw his first action as a Phillie in the 8th as a pinch-hitter and drew a walk. Nice job! Cody Ransom was designated for assignment earlier today to make room for him instead of sending John Mayberry Jr. back down. Ransom did not play very well, batting only .190 since being called up from AAA.
So the Phillies entered the 9th down by two runs. And then the offense started to show signs of life again. Placido Polanco reached on a error which was followed by a Ross Gload single and an RBI-double from the super-hot Ibanez. Werth stepped to the plate again in a good hitting situation and finally came through. A single tied the game at 4-4.
But then, just to totally ruin his shining moment, Werth wandered too far off second base and got picked off! A few pitches later, Brown followed in Werth’s not so nimble footsteps and got caught stealing! He was probably trying to make up for Werth’s bone-head move. What a mess…inning over.
Ryan Madson held the tie down. Then in the 10th, Ruiz played the hero again and smashed his 2nd homer of the season to give the Phils a 5-4 lead. But no sooner could Phillies fans rejoice than we saw Brad Lidge step to the mound with only a 1-run lead. Oh crap….not again. But by some act of God, Lidge got the job done…whew! A SWEEP in Miami! Nice.
The Phillies head back home now to play the Mets tomorrow at 7:35pm. Joe Blanton will pitch. Good night all!
Mayberry and Ransom photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Oswalt photo by Wikimedia Commons
With Ryan Howard on the DL, the Phillies look to bolster their line-up by adding first baseman Mike Sweeney, 37. He comes to Philly from the Mariners for either cash or a player to be named later. While Sweeney has not gotten a lot of work this year in Seattle, he is batting .263 with six home runs and 18 RBI in 30 games, including three starts at first base.
Sweeney is a 5-time All-Star, having been selected each year from 2000-2005 while playing for the Royals, who drafted him in 1991. Sweeney set a Royals record for RBIs in a season with 144 in 2000. He is a lifetime .298 hitter with 901 RBI’s and 213 homers.
Some more interesting notes about Sweeney: His wife, Shara, is the daughter of Jim Nettles and her uncle is Graig Nettles, both former major leaguers and brothers. There is also a Philadelphia connection; Sweeney’s first major league home run in 1996 was off of Phillies pitcher, Jamie Moyer.
While Sweeney is in the latter years of his career and has had some back issues, he appears healthy now and should be a nice addition at first base for the Phillies while Howard is out. On his Sweeney Family Foundation web site, Sweeney’s wife lists one of his life goals as “learning to put the toilet seat down.” He will need that sense of humor to play in Philadelphia…I wish him luck :O)
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images