Results tagged ‘ MLBlogs ’

Phillies Mowed Down By Cy Young Winner

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Yesterday, our Cy Young winner, Cliff Lee, stole the show.  Today, it was the Giants turn.  Tim Lincecum looked like he was yielding a weed whacker as he mowed down Phillies hitters and pitched his team to a 2-0 win.

The Phillies had their shots at him though.  They even left the bases loaded at one point.  But every time runners got on base, the usual heroes like Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard either struck out or nubbed a slow grounder.  It was not a pretty site.

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Joe Blanton
held up his end of the deal and matched Linceum through 4 innings.  But Blanton ran into trouble in the 5th when he booted a routine grounder which extended the inning and turned into a run for the Giants.  Aaron Rowand slid into home past the tag of catcher Paul Bako on a Juan Uribe sac fly.  Uribe hit another sac fly in the 7th to give the Giants an extra run.

But no blame can be placed on Blanton; he went 7 innings and allowed only those 2 runs on 7 hits and did not issue any walks.  It was a well pitched game overall; now, the Phillies just need to find some offense going into tomorrow’s finale.

Before the game, fans were entertained by the Giants Family Softball Game; it was also Dog Day at the park.  The cute quotient was sky high:

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So, at least I had some entertainment tonight.  Tomorrow’s afternoon match features Cole Hamels for the Phils and Barry Zito for the Giants.  Youth vs. Age; or, a bit nutty vs. totally insane?  If you do not know what I am talking about, check out
Barry Zito’s Twitter page.  My favorite tweet is, “What would you do with a Klondike bar? At this hour I can think of a few things, what gets melted ice cream out of the carpet anyways?”  This guy has serious issues.  Anyway, game time is 4:05pm EST.  Enjoy!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

In Phillies Debut, Lee Pitches Complete Game

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We can all get over the disappointment of no Roy Halladay.  Cliff Lee has filled the rotation spot admirably.  In his first start for the Phillies, Lee went the distance, allowing only 4 hits over 9 innings and claimed a 5-1 victory.  Even more incredible, Lee went 2 for 4 at the plate with a single and a double.  He is now batting .500 in the National League :O)

 As for the offense, I am a true believer in Karma.  I ran into Jayson Werth today in downtown San Francisco and said hello; he actually paused and said hello back.  Then before the game, Werth spotted me in the crowd and waved hello.  He then proceeded to hit a solo home run in the 2nd and also drove in two more runs in the 7th.  So, because Werth was kind to little ole’ me, he had a very nice game.  That is what I think anyway… :O)

Oh, I also saw the newest Giant downtown today; Freddy Sanchez was acquired from the Pirates earlier in the week and today, he was wandering around checking out his new home town.  I did not speak to him though and we all see how that worked out for his team :O)

One other Giants note for the day; Aaron Rowand, former Phillie who I am still pathetically very attached to, hit his 1,000 career hit in the game tonight off Lee.  I believe that deserves a short photo montage:

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Congrats to Aaron!

So tomorrow Joe Blanton will face the Giants ace, Tim “I am so adorable you want to pinch my cheeks” Lincecum.  And yes, I am told that is his official nickname ;O)  Game time is 9:05pm.  I will be there again, freezing my backside off in chilly San Francisco.  Think warm thoughts for me :O)

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Comedy of Errors

While it was not very funny, the Phillies committed 3 errors in a 7-2 loss to the Giants tonight.  That, combined with a serious lack of offense for the second consecutive day, contributed to the loss.  Myself and many other Phillies fans endured harassment from the Giants crowd who were more than pleased about their team running all over the defending World Champs like a 16 wheel tractor trailer.  It was an ugly night in San Francisco.  Let us recount the errors:

1st inning:  Jayson Werth misses what should have been a routine fly ball.  He misjudged it, ran the wrong way and could not recover.  That error led to a run for the Giants.

P7302126 copy.jpg4th inning:  Former Giant, Pedro Feliz, fielded a ground ball that he should have tossed to first base; instead, he tried to get the lead runner going to 2nd and threw the ball away.  That led to a 4-run inning.

7th inning: Chase Utley committed an error, but no harm was done that inning.

Utley did have an interesting game though.  He took exception to Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, throwing a pitch at his head.  Utley had words for Sanchez and then proceeded to tick off the pitcher by stepping out of the batters box and shortly after that, hitting a home run.

But the bigger story here was the lack of offense and failure of the Phillies hitters to make good contact with the ball.  In the 3rd inning, Jimmy Rollins was left stranded on 3rd base with no outs; Utley struck out; Werth popped the ball up; and then Ryan Howard grounded out softly.  This sort of play is not going to win games, obviously.

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Tomorrow, Cliff Lee will make his Phillies debut.  I got a few shots of Lee in his new red uniform during batting practice today.  I also took a few shots of new Phillie, Ben Francisco who filled in for Shane Victorino tonight.  Shane is day to day with swelling in his knee.

And let me just say this about San Francisco; it is COLD here, people!  Yikes!  Hoping for warmer weather tomorrow!  Start time is 10:15pm EST again.

FYI – I will be posting a Photo Album from my entire trip when I get home; stay tuned for that next week :O)

 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Cliff Lee Joins The Phillies

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No more worries about Roy Halladay, trade deadlines and who is going where…the Phillies sealed the deal today with Cy Young award winning pitcher, Cliff Lee.  Lee comes to the Phillies from the Indians sporting a 7-9 record and a 3.14 ERA; his record is tainted though due to lack of run support from a struggling Indians team.  And last year, Lee won the AL Cy Young.  Without giving away either JA Happ or Kyle Drabek, the Phillies made the trade and also received outfielder Ben Francisco who will likely take John Mayberry’s spot on the bench and help to relieve Raul Ibanez.  Off to the Indians are pitcher Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald and pitcher Jason Knapp. 

While I am thrilled with this deal, and even more thrilled that we did not lose Happ or Drabek, I will miss Marson and Donald.  I had the opportunity to chat with them both over the last few years and they are really nice, down to earth guys.  Not to mention, they are both adorable :O)  Ok, so I guess I will get over it. ;o)

A few more reason this is a GREAT trade; Lee will cost considerably less than Halladay next year; his option is 9 million, where Halladay’s is 15.75 million.  In addition to keeping Happ and Drabek, the Phillies also retained top prospects Dominick Brown and Michael Taylor.  Essentially, the farm system will not suffer.

And a few more odd reasons this is a good trade:

-         Lee’s name is easy to spell.

-         Cole Hamels will get less attention from the media, thus, we do not have to hear as many weird things come out of his mouth.

-         Our bullpen will have someone new to play with :O)  Not sure who that will be yet…

-         Lee looks good in red.

-         Lee is from Arkansas!  Actually, I am not sure why that is good, but maybe he knows President Clinton?  Just a thought…

The final game of the D-Backs series is about to begin…Go Phillies!

Photo: umpbump.com

 

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

 

The Old Hamels Is Back; The Old Lidge Is Still MIA



P7098599 Hamels.jpgCole Hamels
returned to MVP form last night against the Diamondbacks in a 4-3 win.  Everyone was a little nervous in the 1st inning when Hamels allowed a solo home run, but after that, he settled in and did not allow another run.  Even better than that, Hamels pitched all the way through 8 full innings, allowed only 4 hits and struck out nine batters.  Welcome back, Cole!  We missed you.

Shane Victorino led the offensive attack with 3 hits, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.  The D-Backs helped out the Phillies offense as well with 2 key errors in the game, much like they did on Monday night.  But those errors and the extra run the Phillies scored because of the errors turned out to be the difference in the game.

Going into the 9th with a 4-1 lead, the Phillies sent Brad Lidge to the mound and he immediately got into big trouble.  Lidge walked the leadoff batter and then gave up a 2-run homer to the next batter to cut their lead to 1 run.  By what must have been some act of God, Lidge managed to get the 3 outs and end the game without blowing the save.

But fans everywhere are now officially worried about Brad Lidge.  No one expected perfection like last season, but a record of 0-4, 6 blown saves, 24 walks in 38 innings and an ERA of 7.11 was not expected either.  The Phillies will not go far in the playoffs with a closer posting these numbers.  Either Lidge needs to get his act together, or could Brett Myers return to the closer role in August, which is when he may return after hip surgery?  Does this seem farfetched?  Maybe.  But Lidge cannot continue to hurt the team.  Last night, he got lucky.  Going forward, it will not always be the case.

And is this some sort of weird Phillies curse?  You get a great season out of a guy, like Lidge in 2008; you sign him to a huge contract and mayhem ensues.  Remember Pat Burrell?  Burrell had a breakout season in 2002; then in 2003, the Phillies gave him a monster contact of 6 years, $50 million dollars and guess what happened next?  Burrell struggled for years and did not fulfill his true potential until he led the Phillies to the playoffs in 2007 and then to the World Series in 2008.  But from 2003-2006, it was not always pretty.  Is Lidge suffering from the post-contract blues?  Whatever the case, with 3 years invested in Lidge, the Phillies need to get him back on track and fast.

The Phillies have one more game against the D-Backs tonight at 9:40pm with JA Happ on the mound.  I am in San Francisco right now awaiting their arrival on Thursday for a 4-game series against the Giants.  And while I am very excited to see Giants pitchers like Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito, disappointment set in this morning when it was announced that Randy Johnson has a torn rotator cuff and will be out for at least 3 weeks.  Johnson is a future Hall of Famer, so I was hoping to see him pitch.  I even tried to see his 300th win in DC back in June, but the game was rained out and I could not go the next day.  And such is my luck…oh well!  I still get to see my Phillies and hang out in California for a week, so it’s all good :O) 

Off topic, I would like to send out my condolences to the family and friends of former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson.  Johnson lost his battle with cancer yesterday at the age of 68.  May he rest in peace.

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

D-Back Series Starts With a Win

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Last night, the Phillies took game 1 against the D-Backs in Arizona with Jamie Moyer pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings.  They were not easy innings; Moyer worked his way in and out of trouble again and again.   But Moyer has been doing this a long time and knows how to make adjustments when he needs to. 

The offense took a while to wake up after the long haul out to the West Coast, but finally in the 4th, Ryan Howard got things rolling with a 2-run home.  Raul Ibanez had 2 hits and 1 RBI in the game as well. 

Ryan Madson did allow 2 runs in the 8th, but the Phillies still went on to win 6-2.  With the 6 hits and 4 walks allowed by Moyer, the D-Backs left 11 runners on base and committed 2 errors in the field.  You have to wonder if ace pitcher Dan Haren was looking on and wondering what it might be like to play in Philadelphia?  Haren is one of 3 pitchers that the Phillies are rumored to be interested in adding to the club and he will face Cole Hamels tonight in the 2nd game of the series at 9:40pm.

However, the most likely names on the horizon as the trade deadline approaches are Roy Halladay of the Jays and Cliff Lee of the Indians.  The Jays reportedly rejected an offer from the Phillies which included JA Happ, Michael Taylor, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald so, it is looking less and less like a deal for Halladay may be realistic.  But, stranger things have happened.

The countdown to July 31st continues!  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

 

J-Roll Smurf Brings Phillies Luck

Since Friday night’s game did not go well, I decided that it was time for J-Roll Smurf to intervene and add a little Phillies Smurf magic to the equation.  So, before the game on Saturday against the Cardinals, J-Roll Smurf enjoyed visiting personally with many of the Phillies players.  The real J-Roll was excited to see his old buddy again and Ryan Howard laughed out loud as he thinks J-Roll Smurf is too awesome for words.  Also rubbing the luck from J-Roll Smurf yesterday was Brad Lidge, JA Happ, Chad Durbin, Pedro Feliz, Scott Eyre, Clay Condrey, John Mayberry, Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Walker.  And although a few Phillies, like Chan Ho Park and Jamie Moyer, seemed confused by the little blue mascot, J-Roll Smurf rubbed his luck upon them anyway :O)  You’ve gotta LOVE Photo Day:

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And the Smurfy magic paid off with wins both Saturday and today for a series win over the Cards!  In fact, the original J-Roll Smurf, Jimmy Rollins, nailed a GRAND SLAM on Saturday and then a 2-run homer today!  There is no stopping him now!

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In fact, during the last two games, the Phillies did a whole lot of this:

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And the Cardinals did a whole lot of this:

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Christmas really did come in July for the Phillies!

All these wins and entertainment too!  On Saturday, some crazy guy tried to interrupt the game with a laser pointer to distract the Cards hitters and a very drunk guy named, “Sully” distracted the entire outfield crowd later on:

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Sully was thrown out, but did receive an standing ovation.

Here is the Photo Album from the entire 3-game series!

So the Phillies will hit the road for 3 games against the D-Backs and then 4 with the San Francisco Giants.  I will be in San Francisco for all 4 – hope to see you there!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Soggy Game, Soggy Play

The Cardinals walked away last night after putting a beating on the Phillies in an 8-1 loss.  JA Happ took his first loss after giving up 5 runs in 6 innings. P7249651.JPGThe 48 minute rain delay did him no favors, but the bigger issue was that softly hit balls just kept dropping into holes all around the field where no one was standing.  Add to the, the Cardinals acquired Matt Holliday that same day who went 4 for 5 with his brand new team.  Holliday was complaining before the game while shagging balls in batting practice that his new cleats did not fit right; well, looks like he did fine with them after all.

But Happ could have given up 30 runs and it would not have mattered.  The Phillies were simply not hitting the ball.  In fact, their only run of the game came on a wild pitch; Jayson Werth walked home on the play and that was the end of the scoring. 

Shane Victorino came up lame after a play in the wet outfield grass, but after being checked by the Phillies trainer, he stayed in the game and appears to be fine.  Disaster averted…whew!

This will be a short one today; as it turns out, I will be at every game this weekend so computer time and access will be limited.  But I will compile all my photos from the weekend and try to post them Sunday night when I get home. 

Today is Photo Day at the ballpark and, unlike previous years, this year the Phillies are limiting the number of people who will get on the field to take photos of the players.  I will let you know how that goes.  And please, pray for clear skies…I am officially tired of rain!  Go Phillies!

Phils Pummel Padres

In the make-up game tonight against the Padres, the Phillies brought out the big guns.  Both Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz each had 3 hits and 1 RBI a piece.  P4170305.jpgEvery other position starter had at least one hit with Raul Ibanez collecting 2 RBI and Jimmy Rollins with 2 hits, 2 runs scored and 1 RBI.

Cole Hamels was not spectacular, but he did put in a quality start.  Hamels got through 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.  Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone for Hamels to get back to his MVP form.  The Phillies won the game, 9-4 and will start a 3-game series tomorrow with the Cardinals.

Helmet Saves A Life

Many coaches, including ex-Phillies manager Larry Bowa, have grumbled over having to wear batting helmets while on the field coaching 1st or 3rd base during a game.  This action was taken when minor league coach, Mike Coolbaugh, was killed after being struck in the head with a foul ball in July of 2007.  Well tonight, the rule saved a life.  Padres 1st base coach, Rick Renteria, was hit directly in the helmet with a hard line drive off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez.  The crowd gasped as Renteria hit the ground, but thanks to the helmet, he was fine and went right on coaching.  Whew!  A very tense moment, to say the least.

Injuries

Both JC Romero and Chad Durbin, big pieces of the Phillies bullpen, were placed on the 15-day DL today.  Romero is having a minor forearm strain and should be quick to return.  Durbin, on the other hand, has apparently been suffering from a back injury for a month now and neglected to tell anyone.  But after giving up 3 runs in a game last night which killed any shot the team had at a rally, Durbin finally fessed up.  Ugh.

So, Tyler Walker returns from the Iron Pigs to fill one of the spots and Drew Carpenter gets the second spot.  It is Carpenter’s 2nd stop to the team this year and his 3rd trip to the majors overall.

Perfection

And congrats to Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox who threw a perfect game today against the Tampa Bay Rays!  And then, Buehrle got a congratulatory call from President Obama.  And then, I mentioned him in MY blog!  What a lucky, lucky guy :O)

Photo by Jenn

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

 

Win Streak Ends

The Cubs took revenge on the Phillies last night after being clubbed over their tiny bear heads the last few days.  So the Phils did not sweep and their win streak came to an end at 10 games.  But if they win every 10 out of 11 games, I think most fans will be more than happy with that. :O)

Although you cannot win every time, there were a few concerning aspects of the game.  Chase Utley does not look quite right.  In the entire series, Utley managed only 1 hit in 13 at-bats and struck out 5 times, which is not usually his style.  Utley also had an error in the field last night and just looks uncomfortable.  While you hate to speculate, it was this same time last year that Utley’s hip began to really bother him.  So, is he injured again or is this just a slump and maybe some fatigue after the rat race of the All-Star events?  We shall see…

Another player who is showing signs of trouble is Brad Lidge.  No one expects the perfection he displayed last year, of course.  And his struggles at the beginning seem to stem from the injury to his knee.  But now?  P7058522.jpgLidge claims to be healthy but has given up 5 runs in his last 5 2/3 innings.  That equates to an ERA of 7.94.  And his ERA for the season stands at 7.20 which closely mirrors his last 7 games.

Lidge has been put into games several times in non-save situations, and as baseball lore tells us, this is usually not a good thing for any closer.  It is said that the adrenaline and intensity are not the same in those situations, so many closers struggle.  Frankly, I do not buy it.  Do I see it happen all the time?  Yes.  But it should not happen.  These guys should be able to pump themselves up no matter the situation; it is what they get paid for.  If Lidge were truly “lights-out” when he does come in for saves, then the non-save problems would be easier to accept.  But he struggles even in the save situations now, allowing too many hits and too many walks.  Lidge did much of the same last year, but not to this extent.  Should we be worried?  Maybe.  Lidge needs to step it up and start looking like the closer that everyone knows he has the potential and ability to be.  But I am sure I do not need to tell him this; he already knows.

And that is my rant for the day :O)  So, today was supposed to be an off-day, but thanks to earlier April Showers, the Padres will come to town tonight for the one game make-up date.  Cole Hamels will need to do his best to rest our very weary bullpen.  Start time is 7:05pm and it is dollar dog night at the ballpark.  Enjoy!

Lidge Photo by Jenn

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

 

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