Results tagged ‘ MLBlogs ’
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
I have very little to say today; Brad Lidge blew another save today as the Phillies lost to the Braves, 3-4 in what should have been a 3-2 win. Yes, the offense should have scored more runs. However, what is a closer for if not to save tight games?
Lidge has proven that he cannot get the job done this year; it is time for a change. In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.
Lidge saved a game? Whew! Please excuse my sarcasm…Brad Lidge, who has been just awful this year, saved a very close game tonight. With 2 men on base, Lidge got the final batter out on a long fly ball to left field. Another nail biter, but the 3-2 win over the Braves is ultimately what counts.
Shane Victorino had an interesting game as well. While Victorino only had 1 hit in the game and popped up with 1 out and a man on third, he made up for offensive outage with 2 amazing catches in deep centerfield. On the first one, he jumped in the air and shot backwards into the outfield wall as he saved an extra base hit. The second one was equally impressive as he caught the ball behind him while running at full speed. Nice job Shane! Those two grabs absolutely saved the game for the Phillies.
The only real offense in the game was a 2-run homer from Chase Utley in the 4th inning to tie the game up. After that, things got eerily quiet for a long time. But Ryan Howard broke the silence, and the tie, with a solo home run to lead off the 8th inning. That turned out to be all the Phillies needed.
But the pitching was the real story; Joe Blanton continues to amaze as he went 7 strong innings with only 1 earned run allowed. The other run was unearned after a Pedro Feliz error at third base, his 11th error of the year. Ryan Madson pitched the 8th and only needed 6 pitches to silence the Braves. And you already know how Lidge did.
But frankly, Lidge is still a BIG concern for this team. He cannot get through an inning without base runners and without getting hit hard. He got out of it tonight, but again, it was not pretty. With 7 blown saves on the season and the highest ERA among NL closers, Lidge makes everyone’s tummy turn.
But all is well that ends well and this one did just that. The Phillies have a huge opportunity here to BURY the Braves and end their season if they can get at least 2 out of 3 in this series. The battle continues tomorrow at 4:00pm. Go Phillies!
Photo by Jenn
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God said, Let there be Lee: and so Lee was deposited into the lap of the Phillies. And God saw Lee, and it was good. Then on the seventh day, he created a sweep of the Cubs; and it was also good. He then rested and boarded a flight to Atlanta…
A little Biblical humor for you; however, I am sure the Cubs saw nothing funny about the 3-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies. Cliff Lee, who may indeed be a gift from the heavens, pitched 8 full innings of 1 run ball in the finale this afternoon. And just to put an exclamation point on the win, he struck out 8 batters and went 1 for 3 at the plate with a double; it was Lee’s 2nd double as a Phillie. In fact, Lee now has 3 hits as a Phillie and has given up a total of only 3 runs in 24 innings pitched. Stick a halo on the man’s head – he is officially an angel.
The bats continued their bid for sainthood today as well; even Ryan Howard has been resurrected and is beginning to hit again. Today, Howard went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI on a home run in the 4th inning. And after showing off his new speedy moves yesterday when he hit a triple, today he continued to amaze as he stole a base. Howard’s 5th stolen base of the year is a career high for him, and an impressive sight to behold from such a large and cumbersome looking man.
Pedro Feliz looked like he had his bat blessed by a higher power as well; Feliz had 3 hits in the game and 2 RBI, including a solo homer. Chase Utley and Shane Victorino had 2 hits each and are now hitting .299 and .311 respectively.
Can the Phillies offense continue to perform like they are playing on hallowed ground? A trip to Atlanta will give us the answer. Tomorrow night Joe Blanton will face the man named after a lotion, Jair Jurrjens (or is it Jergens?), who is a slippery opponent and generally, the Phillies hate facing him. The weekend series begins at 7:30pm. Go Phillies!
Lee photo by Jenn
While many of us are more offended by the waste of a good beer than anything Pedro Martinez might have done last night against the Cubs, the main story was still pitching. Martinez put forth the effort that many expected; he had 4 very strong innings in his Phillies debut and began to tire in the 5th inning. But even though he loaded the bases with no outs, Martinez did manage to work out of the jam with only 2 runs scoring.
Overall, Martinez’s fastball velocity was very good, ranging from 88-93mph and he had good movement on the ball. With a variety of pitches working as well, it looks like Pedro is here to stay. The more he pitches, the stronger his arm will get and that means he may be able to go further into games, which is the ultimate goal. The final line was 5 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 5 strikeout’s and 1 walk, which was in the 5th and to the opposing pitcher. And the final score was 12-5 after Chad Durbin gave up a few runs in the 9th.
The offense did their best to impress Mr. Martinez with their bats. After a LONG hitting drought, the bats finally exploded last night to the tune of 12 runs on 14 hits including home runs by Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Rauuuuuuul Ibanez! Every staring position player had at least one hit in the game, with Chase Utley leading the pack with 3 hits, 2 runs scored and 1 RBI. Rollins & Ibanez each picked up 3 RBI on their homers.
The other star of the game was Chan Ho Park; coming in to relieve Martinez, Park pitched a mini-no hitter of 3 innings in length :O) As bad as Park was at the beginning of the season as a starter, he has been the polar opposite in the bullpen. Kudos to Park for continuing to thrive in his bullpen role!
And then the moment you have all been waiting for – the beer. It always makes me laugh when people criticize Phillies fans and then I see something like this; check out the VIDEO.
Yes, a retarded Cubs fans threw a full beer in the face of Shane Victorino right as he was catching a fly ball in deep centerfield. To the idiot’s credit, he had perfect aim and timing. But what an awful, unsportsmanlike and just plain stupid thing to do; I think the man should be thrown in jail, tied to a chair and forced to watch Cirque de Soleil videos all night long while also having buckets of ice water thrown down his pants by a large, hairy man named Gus. Cubs – feel free to use that idea. You have my full permission.
Phillies will go for the sweep of the Cubs this afternoon at 2:20pm – hopefully, beer free.
Photo by Jenn