Results tagged ‘ MLBlogs ’
After Joe Blanton was sent to the DL yesterday, Vance Worley was called up to fill in against the Mets. Worley definitely proved that he has what it takes to pitch in the majors.
And the Phillies certainly challenged him in the first inning. Both Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins committed rare errors in the first to extend the inning. But Worley did not get rattled and eventually coaxed a double play ball to end the inning.
That inning increased Worley’s pitch count, but he still managed to go six innings while allowing only two hits. Despite four walks, Worley shut-out the Mets and got his first major league win of the year. Worley also singled in the game, which was his first major league hit.
However, most of the fireworks at the plate were provided by Ryan Howard who is now tied for 2nd with Del Ennis for Phillies all-time home runs. Howard’s 259 home runs are second only to Mike Schmidt who ended his career with 548.
It took Howard two homers to match the record tonight. The first shot went into the second deck in right field for 2-RBI. The second was a grand slam in the sixth inning, which is the 10th slam of Howard’s career.
Howard came up again in the seventh with the bases loaded, but back-to-back slams were just not meant to be. Sadly, he struck out.
But Ben Francisco helped out in the game as well with two hits and two RBI in the game. And Rollins had another two-hit game, officially announcing his emergence from an early season slump. Raul Ibanez, on the other hand, has not had a hit in 30 consecutive at-bats.
Another record was set tonight as well. Polanco recorded his 39th hit in the month of April, setting a new Phillies team record. Chase Utley held the previous record with 38 hits in April of 2008. And Polly is not done yet…still one more game to go in April.
The bullpen, including newcomer Michael Stutes, held down most of the Phillies huge lead and they went on to win by a score of 10-3. Game two is Saturday at 1:10pm and Roy Halladay will pitch.
***Important Blog FYI: The entire MLBlogs community is going to be switched to a WordPress format beginning on Friday, May 6. The transition may last through Monday night, May 9. All MLBlogs writers will be unable to post and you will be unable to access any MLBlogs during this transition. So do not panic if this and other blogs suddenly disappear during that weekend…we will be back :O)***
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
For the Phillies offense, scratching out a few runs against the Braves starter Derek Lowe was not going to be an easy task. So Hamels knew he had to be sharp. As expected, a pitcher’s duel broken out in Atlanta.
Hamels was on a mission. Through seven strong innings, he allowed only four hits, no runs and struck out eight batters. Even better, Hamels looked relaxed and in control, able to work out of what little trouble he got into.
The offense did manage to post a few runs for Hamels, mostly due to a spectacular game from Shane Victorino. Going 3-for-4 at the plate, Victorino hit two singles and a home run. The other run scored when Jimmy Rollins hit into a double play with no outs, allowing Victorino to score in the fourth.
Carlos Ruiz also continued his hot streak with two hits. Then in the ninth inning, Rollins got his first hit of the game, a double that landed him on third base after a Braves error. Ryan Howard was able to get Rollins home on a ground ball out, giving the Phillies an insurance run and a 3-0 lead.
Jose Contreras entered in the ninth to save the game in what would be a very good test of his skills as a closer. With rookie second baseman Michael Martinez making a few nice defensive plays plus good pitching, Contreras got the job done.
The Phillies won the series with the Braves two games to one. After a day off on Monday, the Phillies will take on the Nationals in D.C. on Tuesday.
You Be The Judge
Totally off topic, have you seen the new MLB campaign “Always Epic“? Released on March 31, 2011, Giants closer Brian Wilson stars in a video series that covers various adventures inside Wilson’s beard.
The video with the tiny ninja’s is especially interesting. Follow the link to watch it.
Back on February 22, 2011, I posted that exact idea on this MLBlogs site, except I used the beard of Raul Ibanez. I was making a joke about the magical powers of the Ibanez beard and decided tiny ninja’s would be funny. Apparently, MLB liked it as well:
So, coincidence or did MLB totally rip off my idea? You be the judge.
Perhaps it is simply that great minds think alike. In which case, I expect a job offer from MLB any day now.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
MLBlogs has announced the top blogs for the year 2010 and Phillies Phollowers has been ranked #9 out of all Fan MLBlogs for all teams. In the Beat-Writer category, Todd Zolecki’s Zo Zone ranked #1! And in the Pro category, Larry Shenk’s Phillies Insider landed at #22 for the year. Congrats to Larry and Todd for a great year of blogging!
As for myself, landing in the Top Ten is a huge honor. Out of all the Phillies Fan Blogs on the site, I have had the priveledge of holding the #1 spot for 3 straight years now. That would not be possible without everyone who has stopped by to read my little rants.
I would like to send out a huge “THANK YOU!” to all of my readers! I have made many new friends through this site as well. These amazing people come from all over the world and share my great passion for baseball.
– As a freelance writer and high school English instructor, blogging is a great way to keep your mind fresh and full of new ideas.
– The voices in my head told me to do it.
– I grew tired of yelling, in vain, at the TV set. This seemed more cathartic.
– I just knew I could make the world a better place both with my photography and photoshopping skills :O)
– This is a nice, safe place to vent when my team decides to suck. Misery loves company.
– This is a nice, fun place to celebrate when my team doesn’t suck. Virtual hugs for everyone!
– My Dad doesn’t like baseball. I am such a rebel. Also, it proves I must be adopted ;o)
– Simply, to connect and share with other baseball fans!
– Writing is like hiking through the jungle without a destination in mind. You never know who or what you will meet or where you will end up. It is the ultimate adventure. And just like baseball, anything can happen.
Congratulations to all of the MLBloggers who made the Top 100 of 2010! This takes a lot of time and dedication. Be proud of all you have accomplished!
Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography
If you missed this game, I pity you. Complete insanity. But let us begin at the beginning:
Going back to New York for the first time since leaving the Mets, Pedro Martinez had an eventful day on the mound.
However, his start on the mound was actually preceded by his first turn at the plate. The Phillies absolutely destroyed Mets starter Oliver Perez taking him deep twice in the 1st; both Jayson Werth’s and Carlos Ruiz’s homers scored 3 runs each. Down 6-0 with 2 outs, Perez had to face his old teammate and Martinez stood at the plate while Perez tossed three straight balls to him. With that 3-0 count, the Mets manager sprung from the dugout and took Perez out of the game mid-batter. To sum up the inning for Perez: total humiliation.
But the bottom of the 1st inning was no less eventful. The first batter of the game for the Mets hit what looked like a ground rule double to centerfield. As the ball jammed itself under the outfield padding, Shane Victorino threw his arms up in the air to tell the umpires that the ball was unplayable. Raul Ibanez saw that the umpires did not react and quickly snagged the ball and threw home, but the throw arrived too late and Angel Pagan wound up with an inside-the-park home run. Apparently, Victorino was unaware of the ground rules in the new Citi Field and balls stuck under the padding are still considered playable.
Both sides must have felt like they were entering the Twilight Zone after the weird start to the game. Martinez looked uncomfortable on the mound and was missing his spots badly. He allowed 4 runs in the first 3 innings but just when it looked like it was going to be a very bad day for him, Martinez settled in and pitched lights out for the next 3 innings. He was so good the last two innings, it looked like he might go out for the 7th, but Charlie Manuel decided to go to the bullpen. The Phillies are probably trying to continue to ease Martinez into longer outings little by little and did not want to risk an injury.
The Phillies scored a few more runs in the game and even Martinez helped himself to a hit and an RBI in the game. Victorino took a career high 3 walks in the game and Eric Bruntlett had 3 hits in a rare start at second base. But the insanity continued into the 9th inning and most of it had to do with Bruntlett.
Bruntlett hit a line drive to right field in the 9th and it was just barely caught by the outfielder; the umpire ruled he trapped the ball and it looked like Eric had a triple. But the Mets argued and the officials overturned the call; a call that, by the way, was NOT reviewable. Replays showed he did make the catch but he did not show the transfer from glove to hand to the umpire.
Then in the bottom of the ninth Brad Lidge took the mound and all hell broke loose. Ryan Howard missed a ball that rolled past him and gave the Mets a triple when it should have been the first out. The next batter hit the ball to Bruntlett who bobbled it for error #2; the run scored and still no outs. Daniel Murphy hit a single to make it 1st and 2nd, still no outs. And then the unbelievable happened; Jeff Francour, the same Met who caught the Bruntlett liner in the top of the 9th, hit a line drive to guess who? Eric Bruntlett. The runners were off on the pitch so Bruntlett caught the ball for one out, stepped on second for the next out and then tagged Murphy to complete the unassisted triple play! The unassisted triple play to END the game no less. OMG!
The announcers said that this was the first time ever that an unassisted triple play ended a game; but it is actually the 2nd time. Johnny Neun did it on 5/31/27 for the Tigers. But in all of baseball history, it was only the 15th time the unassisted triple play has ever happened. Two of those have now been completed by Phillies; Mickey Morandini did it on 9/20/92 for the Phils. You just saw history people; more rare than the no-hitter or even the perfect game; the unassisted triple play – AMAZING.
Photos by Jenn
Even though there is still a lot of baseball left to play, JA Happ is definitely making a case for Rookie of the Year. Tonight, he took the Phillies through 7 solid innings of 1 run ball. This win gives him a record of 10-2 on the year plus an outstanding ERA of 2.59. Happ is the first rookie of the year to reach 10 wins even after starting his year in the bullpen – amazing. If I could reach through the TV and bear hug him, I totally would. He has made a lot of Phillies fan very, very Happ-Y this year!
Chase Utley added to the happiness in the 6th inning when he finally got the Phillies on the board with a 2-run homer. Until that moment, the offense was shut down by Tim Redding of the Mets in his 5 innings of work; Redding is a very below average pitcher but every time he faces the Phillies, he looks like a Cy Young candidate. Thank goodness Redding is old and can’t get much past 5 innings, because he is a Phillies nightmare.
After the Utley bomb, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz went back to back with doubles to score one more run. The final RBI came off a sac fly from Carlos Ruiz.
Hoping for a small amount of redemption, Brad Lidge was given yet another save opportunity in the 9th inning. He struck out the first batter he faced to notch his 700th career strikeout, and get off to a good start. The next batter grounded out and the final batter struck out for #701. That’s right Phillies fans – Lidge saved a game and did it without a base runner! Is this a sign of things to come? Let us hope so.
We now go from 2 night games with the Mets in which the Phillies are 1-1, to 2 day games starting tomorrow at 1:10pm. Pedro Martinez will face his old team for the first time and face Oliver Perez of the Mets. After Martinez had a rain shortened outing his last time out, this is going to be a big game for him on a number of levels. Good luck to him!
Happ photo by Jenn
The Phillies lost the first of a 4-game series with the lowly Mets last night behind another sad performance from Cole Hamels. No one knows where the real Hamels is hiding, but I hope someone finds him quickly because this imposter is just not working out. Hamels got roughed up by a Mets team that is so bad, they resemble a minor league ball club. Ten hits, 4 runs and 5 innings later, his night was done.
Hamels has been so bad lately that he is making the pitcher’s mound look like a crime scene. Can someone please call CSI and ask them to dust for prints so we can get rid of this Hamels look-alike? In four starts this month, the imposter Hamels is sporting a 6.75 ERA and a sickening record of 0-3. Quite obviously, there is foul play involved. Arrest this criminal and bring us back the real Cole!
The offense must sense the treachery because they are now refusing to bail out this fake Hamels. Chase Utley went 2 for 4 with a walk and was also hit by a pitch, but still he refused to collect any RBI’s to help out! Jimmy Rollins had two hits as well, but if you thought he was going to step anywhere near home plate, think again. Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz accidentally fell into one RBI each, but they soon realized the error of their ways and that ended the scoring. With 11 men left on base, it is clear this team will not support an imposter!
So until the real Hamels is found, we had all better start rooting for the other 4 starting pitchers. JA Happ will take the mound tonight at 7:10pm so the investigation will have to be postponed for now. But the Phillies need to hire a detective and solve this mystery soon! We are all waiting impatiently.
Hamels photo by Jenn
The Phillies completed a 3-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 12-3 win tonight behind the big bats and big arms of the team. Ryan Howard hit a 3-run homer for the second night in row; Jayson Werth has also gone back to back games with home runs, hitting one tonight and 2 last night. Even Carlos Ruiz brought the big stick with a solo shot in the 6th. Hang onto your hats; it’s an earthquake at Citizens Bank Park!
And then do not forget about the huge bats of Phillies pitchers: Joe Blanton had 2 hits plus a sac fly for an RBI in the game. Cliff Lee had 2 hits in his start last night, starting the streak of hot pitcher’s bats. All that, and they both pitched well too! Tonight, Blanton went 8 innings allowing 3 runs on 10 hits; one of those runs came after Ben Francisco missed an easy fly ball, so maybe that one should not have happened. But Francisco had 2 RBI in the game as well, so all is forgiven.
The Phillies bullpen must be wondering when they will ever be used again. 8 innings tonight from Blanton, a complete game yesterday from Cliff Lee and the day before that, Pedro Martinez and Jamie Moyer pitched all 9 together. And then how about the day before that? It was an off-day. So that is 4 straight days of total boredom for the pen, except for Chad Durbin who pitched the 9th inning tonight. And I am still not counting Moyer as a pen guy since he pitched 6 innings in his relief effort; it was just about the same as a start for him.
So the Phillies will load the bus tonight and travel to New York to begin a long 4-game series with the Mets at Citi Field. Game time tomorrow is 7:10pm with Cole Hamels on the mound. Speaking of Cole, is it just me or….
Photos by Jenn
After four amazing starts for his new team, all of Philadelphia is in love with Cliff Lee. At this point, the man can do no wrong. Lee could start smacking babies and rather than be outraged, the parents would thank him for keeping their kid in line. He is that popular. Having seen in person three of those first four starts, I can see why.
Last night, Lee did it all…again. He pitched a complete game and did not give up an earned run. The only run of the game was unearned due to a Pedro Feliz error. Into the 6th inning, Lee was working a no-hitter when a D-Back finally got lucky and shot one up the middle. But by the end of the game, Lee had given away only 2 hits, no walks and struck out 11 batters. UnbeLEEvable!
And as if that were not enough, Lee went 2 for 4 at the plate and even scored a run. He is now hitting .278. The first hit was a solid shot up the middle and second was a swinging bunt that rolled up the third base line and stayed fair as it hit the bag. The only feat he failed to execute was a stolen base; instead, he executed D-Back hitters all night long.
But Lee was not the only story of the night; the Phillies offense beat up All-Star pitcher Dan Haren to the tune of 9 hits and 6 earned runs in only 5 innings. D-Backs relief pitchers allowed 2 more runs for a final score of 8-1. Chase Utley stared the charge by knocking a 2-run homer in the 3rd inning. Incidentally, Utley hits a home run nearly every time I am at a game…coincidence? Hmmmmm….
Utley’s blast seemed to rattle Haren and after that, the real fun began. In the 5th inning, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth went back to back; Howard knocked in 3 runs with his homer and Werth then took the first pitch he saw deep for a 420-foot homer. Werth is on fire right now; he hit another solo shot later in the game and ended up with 3 hits, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game last night, including batting practice shots. Tonight, the Phillies will go for the sweep of the Diamondbacks at 7:05pm.
Photos by Jenn
To all the critics who said my 5 ½ man rotation idea with Jamie Moyer and Pedro Martinez sharing the 5th starters spot would not work, it is my pleasure to report that in fact, it did work. The Phillies did not enter into the situation purposely as Mother Nature intervened with a long rain delay, but maybe that was a sign from a higher power? Even former pitcher Ricky Botallico said after the game, “These two guys maybe should be our 5th starter together.”
Pedro Martinez pitched 3 very good innings allowing only a lead-off home run; after that, the rain came. Enter Jamie Moyer: True to his word to be ready when the team needed him, Moyer pitched the final 6 innings brilliantly. Without allowing a run, Moyer gave up only 2 hits and at one point, he retired 11 batter in a row. The bullpen was given a much needed rest and the Phillies won the game against the D-Backs 5-1. Anyone care to tell me how that is a bad thing?
After the game, Martinez commented on the situation by saying, “You never know what you’ll get when you put two old goats out there… See what you get? Two for the price of one.” If these two “old goats” can combine for a 1 run, 4-hit game every time, why would you not do that? Even if it means having to use an extra pinch hitter, it is worth it. Will it happen again? That remains to be seen, but Martinez and Moyer are now on the exact same schedule – coincidence or fate? You be the judge.
As for the offense, despite leaving the bases loaded twice, once with no outs and a second time with 1 out, they still got the job done. Jayson Werth hit his career high 25th home run of the year and also had a double that scored another run. Carlos Ruiz was on fire as well, going 3 for 3 with 2 RBI and a solo homer. And the other offensive star? Jamie Moyer. Putting many other Phillies to shame, Moyer went 2 for 3 in the game. Maybe Moyer should have batted with the bases loaded instead of Ryan Howard, who struck out twice in the situation? Ok, maybe not ;O)
Tonight should also be an epic day for pitching as Cliff Lee will face the D-Backs ace, Dan Haren. I will be at the game and report back with photos as usual. Go Phillies!
…Now say that five times fast ;O) JA Happ and Ryan Howard combined for a 1-2 punch last night that sent the Braves away with a 6-game deficit in the NL East as the Phillies took home the 4-1 win. Early on, it looked like rain might put a damper on the evening, but after a 1 hour and 37 minute delay, the game finally got underway.
Happ collected his 9th win of the season as he pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed just 3 hits and 1 solo home run. His command was off and on all game and he did wind up walking 6 batters, but got outs when he needed to. Never rattled by tight situations, Happ continues to be a consistent starter that the Phillies can count on.
Add to that consistency a little Howard power and the result is a win. Howard has struggled in the second half, but these last few days, he looks like he is hitting balls into another solar system. Howard has 4 home runs in his last 4 games, with 2 of them rocketing out of the park last night for the 20th multi-home run game of his career. In fact, Howard did everything last night to win the game, except steal a base. His defense was stellar and he turned two very impressive double plays; at the plate, he notched the two home runs plus a single and a walk. All four Phillies runs in the game were credited to Howard.
In relief, Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre combined to record 3 of the last four outs in the game. Eyre almost had his first save since 2005, but after he walked a batter, Charlie Manuel decided to go to Brad Lidge, perhaps thinking that a one out save might boost his confidence. Lidge did record the save on three pitches, but after a horrible season so far, most still have their doubts about Lidge. It would seem to be time for the Phillies to find a back-up plan, but Manuel still insists Brad is his man. However, the Phillies cannot expect to thrive in the post-season while carrying the worst closer in all of major league baseball; his 8 blown saves and 7.21 ERA are officially the bottom of the barrel for all closers.
Today the Phillies will have a much needed day of rest and I will need to find something else besides baseball to occupy my evening. Suggestions are welcome :O)
And then Tuesday night, Philadelphia will get their first look up close and in person with Pedro Martinez. After a road win against the Cubs last week, the home crowd is anxious to see his progress. Game time is 7:05pm against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Go Phillies!
Howard photo by Jenn