Results tagged ‘ Mother's Day ’

Hamels Returns to Help Phillies Win Series

The 5-game suspension Cole Hamels received for smacking Nationals rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch last week turned out to be sort of a joke.  With the off day on Thursday, the Phillies were able to rearrange the rotation, pitching Roy Halladay yesterday and Hamels today.  So as it turns out, Hamels did not even miss a start.

And the Phillies are sure glad he did not.  Hamels was solid in the 3-2 win over the Padres, allowing just 1 run and 5 hits over 7 innings.

The offense was a little stale, as usual, but they managed 3 runs.  This time, that turned out to be enough.  Jimmy Rollins got it started in the 1st with a leadoff homer.  Brian Schneider gave Carlos Ruiz most of the day off and helped out with 2 hits and an RBI.  Juan Pierre collected 2 hits, 1 RBI and continues to be the Phillies best hitter with a .351 average.  I am not sure anyone saw that coming when he won a spot on the team out of spring training.  But we’ll take it.

Hunter Pence, on the other hand, continues to struggle.  Pence looks lost at the plate.  He is still swinging at bad pitches, although he showed a little more patience today.  But he is pulling off balls; his body goes one way and the bat goes another way…it is very awkward.  And it is more awkward than his usual approach, which is almost hard to believe.

The bullpen finally held a lead in this one, although Jose Contreras did give up a run in the 8th making the situation very tenuous.  But Antonio Bastardo got him out of the inning without further damage.  And Jonathan Papelbon finally got to pitch for a save; it was his first save attempt since May 1st.

Before the game, the Phillies celebrated Mother’s Day.  Pierre’s mom, wife and son were greeted on the field and Pierre coddled and played with the infant, which was adorable.

And luckily, the warm fuzzies before the game translated into a win as the Phillies took 2 of 3 from the Padres.

The schedule for the remainder of May gets a little weird now.  The Phils will play 2 against the Astros then fly to Chicago for 2 games with the Cubs and return home again to face the Red Sox and Nationals before hitting the road again.  Game 1 with the Astros starts at 7:05pm Monday night.

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game and pre-game warm-up’s and ceremonies.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

Homers Hurt Hamels; Offense Cannot Bail Him Out

In two out of three games in this Braves series, the Phillies bats left their pitchers hanging.  They did not score at all for Cliff Lee on Friday.  On Sunday, they got some hits for Cole Hamels, but only two runs.

 

The 12 hits from the Phils offense was certainly better than two on Friday.  However, the hits were not timely and caused little damage.  Here is just one frustrating example.  Wilson Valdez smacked a two-out double in the second inning with no one on base.  Later in the sixth, with runners at the corners and one out, Valdez hit a weak ground ball for an inning-ending double play, leaving a runner stranded on third.

Hitting without clutch hitting is practically useless, especially in a close game.

And Hamels really could have used some clutch hitting.  He went seven innings, striking out nine batters, but allowed three runs on two homers.  Still, it was a quality start and one that he should expect to win.

 

The youngsters in the bullpen did not help the situation either, which is the opposite of what happened in Saturday’s win.  Michael Stutes entered the game not having surrendered a run in 6.1 innings this year.  But in 1/3 of an inning on Sunday, he walked two batters and allowed a two-run homer.

Stutes looked like he had never even heard of a strike zone.  He was that far off, throwing only two strikes to three batters.  This was also the first time the Phillies used him in back-to-back games.  You can be sure they will not do that again anytime soon.

 

As for Scott Mathieson, he took over for Stutes and gave up a hit, but exited the inning unscathed.  But then to start the ninth, Mathieson began to unravel.  After a hit, a sac bunt and two walks on five pitches each, Danys Baez was brought in to bail Mathieson out.

When your savior for the night is Danys Baez, you know you are having a very bad day.  Baez has been unreliable at best since last season, but on Sunday night he was able to coax an inning ending double play.

I will say this for Baez; he is always great with the fans and a very nice guy.  Last night, he was headed to the clubhouse after warm-ups and an elderly lady next to me over the dugout asked him to sign a ball.  Most players are in full-out game concentration mode at this point and do not stop.  But Baez smiled, had her toss the ball over the dugout and he signed it for her and even waved to everyone standing there.

So with no ninth inning rally in sight, the Phillies went on to lose the game by a score of 5-2 and lost the series 2-1.  Heading to Miami tonight, first place in the division is on the line for this series as the Marlins are only two games back now.

Joe Blanton is back on the roster and will pitch tonight at 7:10pm.  Carlos Ruiz was put on the DL yesterday, so no one had to be bumped to add Blanton back.  The DL move was backdated to 4/28, so Ruiz could return in about five days or so if his back is feeling better.

Also, Sunday was the Phillies annual Mother’s Day celebration where a players has his mother flown in for the weekend at the Phillies’ expense to spend time with their son and see him play.  A different player is chosen each year, although there were two in 2010.  I have attended these particular games every year since 2006 so here is a photo gallery of all six years with the player, mom and sometimes other family members as well.  The only person I cannot remember is who is in the 2006 photo.  I think it is Jon Lieber, but I am not sure.  If you know, please let me know :O)

 

And here is the full Photo Album from Sunday’s game.

 

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

 

 

No Charlie, No Offense, No Win

Today’s  4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves was disappointing.  With an offense that looked to be getting back on track, the Phillies bats took a little nap today.  While they collected 9 hits and 4 walks, the Phils simply could not score those runners.   Shane Victorino had the only RBI of the day.  Leaving  9 men on base is just not going to get the job done.

With two errors committed in the first inning alone, things looked scary early on.  But Joe Blanton did escape the inning, even after hitting a batter.  He lasted 6 innings and allowed 3 runs total, which is a quality start.  But the offense gave Blanton no support so he walked away with his second loss in his second start of the year.

 Four relief pitchers were used and Danys Baez gave up the final Braves run in the 9th.  The line-up was a little odd today; Chase Utley got the day off and Placido Polanco moved to second with Greg Dobbs at third.  Manager Charlie Manuel was absent from the game as well for “personal” reasons.  Pete Mackanin managed in his place.  Maybe the players were just missing Charlie today and decided to give the bats a rest?  Who knows…

But they will get another shot at the Braves tomorrow with the very fashionable pink bats, in honor of Mother’s Day.  I will be there and hope to have some awesome photos when I return ;o)  Game time is 1:35pm.

National Train Day

I attended National Train Day at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station today and had the opportunity to interview Dallas Green, Gary “Sarge” Matthews and Virginia Ventura Marina of the former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  Those interviews will be posted shortly.

In the meantime, here is a quick look at the event.  There was a historical display of baseball memorabilia as it related to the time when rail travel was prevalent for these events.  Here is a bit of that:


BB stuff train day.jpgThere were also model trains on display and some interactive exhibits, like this digital photo fun where you and your family could be put on cartoon trains:


TD stuff.jpgOverall, the event was very well organized and jam packed with interested people looking for some free entertainment.  And let’s face it, how many times each year can you amuse the kids for free?  A job well done :O)  Big thanks to the staff for inviting me!

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

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

 

Myers Goes Medieval; Phils Still Lose

Yes, Brett Myers was determined to take down the Braves – literally.  Braves players and even their bats were strewn all over the field as a result of Myers’ penchant for Medieval  warrior-type violence:051009a.jpg

The first guy was hit near the head; the second, the Braves pitcher, attempted to dodge a wicked and way inside ball and wound up fouling it off…into his own face.  Both batters were fine, but Myers left his mark.    Six innings pitched and only one run given up led Myers to his best start of the season.  But alas, the offense sputtered again and still no win for the much-deserving Myers.

In fact, the only real offense of the day came from the two big men; Ryan Howard had 2 doubles and scored the only 2 runs for the Phillies.  And Matt Stairs, in a rare start, went 2 for 2 with 2 walks and 1 RBI.  The big problem is that the top of the line-up is not hitting.  They are doing WAY too much of this:

051009 batting.jpg

Swinging at pitches clearly out of the zone.  Does anyone in this line-up remember how to work a count?  Can someone please tell Jimmy Rollins to stop popping the ball up?  And then tell Pedro Feliz he is NOT allowed to swing at the first pitch – ever.

And how many men exactly does it take to catch a pop-up?  Let’s see…

051009 popups.jpg

These guys just seem to be forgetting how to communicate, on all sides of the ball.  Yes, they caught the balls, but this is just another example of how this team is not clicking.

Still, the Phillies may have won the game had Jack Taschner not given up the lead in the 7th.  He loaded the bases and then gave up 2 runs.  But Taschner is sporadic like that; once in a while, he gets lucky and comes away clean; then there are the days when it all goes wrong.  Charlie Manuel should know this; he was the same way with the Giants too.  So, in a 1 run ballgame where you need to keep the lead, why is Taschner sent in?  He serves his purpose on occasion, but he is certainly NOT your go to guy in tight situations.

So the Phillies go on to lose the game, 4-2, dropping 2 out of 3 to the Braves in pathetic fashion.  And if that were not bad enough, Jayson Werth did not get to have his very exciting “blanket” day!  The manufacturer messed up the design for the Mother’s Day giveaway and we all got coupons instead to pick up the blanket at the end of July! 

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What a major Mother’s Day bummer. :O(  And poor Scott Eyre – his whole family came out for the Mother’s Day celebration and he didn’t even get to pitch!  The photo to the right shows Scott holding his daughter with his mom and wife.  Will have more photos of that later…

The Phillies will get tomorrow off to reflect on their lack-luster play of late.  Then on Tuesday, the Manny-less Dodgers come to town.

In the meantime, even if you really don’t feel like it after this weeks’ sad play, go on-line and VOTE for your All-Stars.  You can grumble and moan while you do it if you must.  Permission granted. 

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game as promised.  Hope you enjoy them!  Now, have a Happy Mother’s Day!

Photos by Jenn

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