Results tagged ‘ NLDS ’

NLDS Roster Announced

Thumbnail image for 208910.jpgThe Phillies announced their playoff roster today and there were a few surprises.  Here is how it played out (courtesy of

Catchers (2): Paul Bako and Carlos Ruiz

Infielders (6): Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley

Outfielders (5): Ben Francisco, Raul Ibanez, Matt Stairs, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth

Pitchers (12): left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Scott Eyre, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Cliff Lee and right-handers Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Pedro Martinez and Brett Myers

Miguel Cairo was the right decision over Eric Bruntlett.  And the rest of the bench players are what I expected.

There was one surprise with the pitchers, however.  Clay Condrey and Tyler Walker were left off the roster in favor of Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo.  I did say earlier that Bastardo may be picked over Walker, so that is not too shocking considering the lack of lefties in the pen.  But Kendrick over Condrey, I am a bit surprised about.  Kendrick did pitch well in September, but Condrey is more consistent and has a lot more experience.  I think the nagging back injury did him in; the team must not be convinced that Condrey is healthy.

I also predicted that the Game 1 starter would be Cliff Lee, and that is correct.  Cole Hamels will get Game 2 and Game 3 has yet to be decided.  My feeling is that it should be JA Happ as the Phils want to overload the Rockies with lefties.  But all Charlie Manuel would say is that Happ, Joe Blanton and even Pedro Martinez will be “available” in the pen for the first two games.  I suppose then whoever does not get used will start Game 3.

This may also be a strategic move.  This gives less preparation time to the Rockies since they will not know who to prepare for.

So, if you are actually home tomorrow at game time, tune in at 2:37pm for the first pitch.  The game time still disgusts me.  I understand all teams need air time, but how exactly is it that the reigning World Champions do not get one of the prime time slots?  I’ll tell you why…because MLB cares only about the Yankees and the Red Sox.  It has been and probably will always be about these teams, whether deserving or not.  I root for the Yankees too, so it is not personal.  It is a matter of respect.

Not to mention, normal people have jobs, kids have school and 2:37pm does not allow ANY of these people to enjoy the game, unless they call out sick or skip school.   And how about the poor Rockies fans?  The game time for them is 12:37pm! (Mountain time)  That is just wrong.  But hey, if you are a Yankees or Sox fan, I’ll bet you are happier than a pig in mud, right?  Must be nice. 

Well, best of luck to everyone tomorrow (except the Rockies, of course)!  Go Phillies!

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

Roster Ramblings

The post-season roster has not been set for the Phillies; they have until 10am tomorrow to make the final decision.  The central core is not in question, with 6 current and former All-Stars in starting roles.  roster.gifHowever, the pitching rotation, bullpen and bench players are going to be tough decisions.


Manager Charlie Manuel seems to favor Eric Bruntlett on the bench because he runs well and can play almost every position in the field.  However, Bruntlett has not hit well and ended the year with 18 hits in 105 at-bats for a .171 average.  Miguel Cairo has performed much better and can play most of the infield spots; he ended the season batting .267 and went 7 for his last 19 including a triple and a home run in the final game.


While Cairo should get the nod over Bruntlett, it may not happen that way.  Bruntlett was with the team last year and Manuel tends to favor guys he is most familiar with.  Both could make the team, but only if they sacrifice a bullpen spot.  Ben Francisco, Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs should all be locks for the roster, despite the facts that Dobbs has been playing hurt and Stairs batted only .194 this year with 5 homers in 103 at-bats.


The pitching is even more complicated.  Most likely Cliff Lee will start game 1 as Cole Hamels would only have 3 days rest.  However, Lee has been mostly awful in his last 7 starts, allowing 27 runs in 39 2/3 innings.  That is an ERA of about 6.13.  Not good.  The Phillies hope he will turn things around for his first post-season appearance.


Hamels was equally inconsistent, ending the season with a record of 10-11 and a 4.32 ERA.  Pedro Martinez has been dealing with a sore neck, so his ability to pitch deep into a game effectively is in serious question.  Joe Blanton and JA Happ have been the only two good, consistent arms in the rotation all year and now Happ may get bumped to the bullpen due to a lack of lefties.  That would be a real shame though, because Happ has the best record of the starting staff with 12 wins, 4 losses and an ERA of 2.93.  Honestly, I think they need to keep Happ as a starter and take their chances with the lefty situation in the pen.  Happ is more valuable for 6-7 innings than he would be for only a few batters.


That brings us to the pen, which is basically a mess.  Every regular bullpen pitcher has suffered at least one injury this year, except Ryan Madson.  Right now, JC Romero, Jamie Moyer and Chan Ho Park are still hurt and will not play in the NLDS; Moyer is done for the year.  That leaves Scott Eyre as the only experienced lefty, and he is pitching through a sore elbow.  Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, Brad Lidge and Madson are on the roster for sure.  That leaves Tyler Walker, Kyle Kendrick, Brett Myers and the 2 rookies, Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo to fill the remaining spots.


Escalona and Bastardo are both lefties but lack experience and have exhibited a lack of pitching control at times as well.  It would be tough to add one of them to the roster, even though lefties are needed.  Kendrick spent most of the year in the minors, but pitched fairly well for the big club in September until his last outing where he gave up 3 runs.  And Myers has suffered two injuries which kept him out almost the whole year and he still does not look quite right.  That leaves Tyler Walker whose 3.06 ERA is 3rd best in the pen, behind Eyre and Condrey.


But with all the injuries, the Phillies options are limited.  My best guess is this: Madson, Lidge, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Walker and Myers with Pedro Martinez added to the list instead of Happ.  That makes 12 pitchers total, including the 4 starters: Happ, Lee, Hamels and Blanton.  Although, if one lefty in the pen looks problematic, they may keep Bastardo instead of Walker.  Of course, I may be totally off.  We shall see.

A Storm Is Brewing

I got my playoff tickets in the mail yesterday; NLDS, NCLS and World Series. The seats I was assigned are nothing short of awesome. This makes me very, very nervous. Why, you may ask? It is the “buy a snow shovel and it will not snow” theory…I have great seats to the playoff, so does this mean either the Phillies will not make it or get swept out of the 1st round a’la 2007? Hmmmm…

But the bad play of this Phillies team recently just adds more fuel to the fire swirling around my nervous brain. Brad Lidge has been an absolute disaster; we have NO closer. Half the pitching staff is injured.
funny-pictures-cat-with-invisible-snow-shovel.jpgOur catcher is down with a sprained wrist and it is unclear when he will return. Many of our starting pitchers look like they are throwing little league games. This is a snow storm of epic proportions but the Phillies forgot to but a shovel.

Cliff Lee piled on more concern last night when he allowed 7 runs on 9 hit in 6 innings to the Brewers and looked really bad doing it. It was as if the ball were attached to the opponents bat with an invisible string and they just could not help but get hits. Lee started out looking like the Cy Young winner of 2008 and in his last 6 starts, he is 2-3 with a 6.35 ERA. Yuck!

And Lidge? He was put in to get some work in the 7th inning and still cannot manage to get through a clean inning. Lidge allowed 1 run on 2 hits and a stolen base. Ugh.

The offense was facing a very bad Brewers pitcher with an ERA well over 6 and still, they only managed 1 earned run off the guy in 7 innings. Where were the bats? Ryan Howard had 2 hits and 3 RBI in the game, but the rest of the team basically took the night off.

In fact, this entire team looks like it is plans on taking the rest of the regular season off and hope that somehow, magically, it will all work out in the end. I have got news for them: the Braves are breathing down your necks. Take nothing for granted. Now go out there, and play ball! I am not ready for winter to come early. Thank you, Phillies in advance for your cooperation.

PS: Magic number remains at 4.

Higher Ticket Prices Changing The Fan Base

Ticket Prices.jpg

The Phillies announced that they will increasing ticket prices for the 2009 season, as demand for tickets is on the rise after the World Series win.  Most seats will cost $2-$3 more, and premium seats will go up $6 each, costing $50 a piece and lower infield seats go from $50 to $60, a $10 increase.  Season ticket packages will range from $1,300 to $ 4,100.  Phillies vice president of sales and ticket operations, John Weber, stated that while they are trying to mirror prices in similar markets, they did keep the current economy in mind.  “I think we could’ve increased it even further based on the demand we have,” Weber said. “I think we definitely kept it (down), keeping the economy and everything in mind.”  He also said that many seats have been the same price since 2004, as further justification.

It could be worse.  Look at the Nationals for example; their ticket prices for some seats are 50% higher than similar seats at Citizens Bank Park, and the Nats are a last place team.  However, while it is true that prices for a Phillies ticket have generally been lower than some other similar markets, this does not soften the blow.  Major League Baseball, in general, has been slowly but surely alienating the average fan.  The ticket prices have gone sky high and when you factor in the cost of ballpark food, drink, souvenirs and parking (and for some of us, gas costs), a family of four will spend anywhere from a minimum of $138 for nose bleed seats without buying any “extras” (4 tickets $88, parking $10, food & drink for 4 – $40 minimum, souvenirs optional) to $250 for decent seats; again, no “extras” (4 tickets $200, parking $10, food & drink for 4 – $40 minimum, souvenirs optional).  Add in the cost of toys for the kids, maybe a hat or tee shirt and other items, and you’ve dropped about $300 on ONE game.  Go to 2 games and you’ve spend the average Joe’s entire paycheck.  Your normal, everyday, hardworking blue collar people simply can’t afford this.  And a team that prides itself on being down to earth, blue-collar types, should be more sensitive to the plight of the average fan.

It was never more evident to me that baseball prices have gone WAY out whack than it was during the playoff run this year.  I was lucky enough to attend at least one game of every series this October at CBP, including game 4 of the World Series.  What I noticed was, as the playoffs progressed, the demographics of the crowd began to change.  The Division series against the Brewers was some of what you’d expect at a Phillies game; lots of families, college kids and generally a nice, friendly atmosphere, with some of the stiff  corporate movers thrown in.  Moving on to the League Championship series and then the World Series, I saw the crowd change even more.  Fewer families, fewer young people and more Corporate-types in suits.  Plus, there were LOTS of people who knew NOTHING about the game or any of the players and were just people with money ready to jump on the bandwagon.  And if you know anything about Philly fans, they KNOW their team.  But those fans are the ones who can’t afford $250 for ONE World Series ticket; and that is if they were lucky enough NOT to get robbed on E-Bay or by other on-line scalpers who were charging anywhere from $500 for a standing room only ticket to thousands of dollars for an actual seat. 

During the World Series game I attended, one man in a suit actually clobbered me, trying to reach over my head during batting practice to get a foul ball for his kid.  The kid asked his Dad who tossed the ball (it was Ryan Howard) and neither the kid nor the Dad knew who he was!  The Dad then instructed the kid (he looked about 10 years old) to climb over the seats and push me out of the way so he could get closer!  So there I am, trying to take pictures, and I have stuck-up, spoiled 10 year old kid kicking at my legs to try to get me to move.  Unbelievable.  You’d all be proud of me though; I didn’t budge.  Now, I let kids in front of me all the time…I am pretty tall and can usually shoot pictures over their heads.  But this behavior was just disgusting.  I looked down at him and told him that he needed to quit kicking me and go back to his father.  The stern look on my face got his attention and he finally moved on.

I am sure that could happen at any game, but the main point is that they were not REAL fans.  These are not the people who follow the team all year long and keeping coming back whether the team is winning or losing.  These people had no idea who Ryan Howard was!  And that was only one of many, many situations I found myself in and conversations I overheard.  People sitting around me were unfriendly and paid more attention to their PDA’s and cell phones than they did to the game.  Usually, I meet really great people and have fun conversations about the game with them, but these crowds were cut from a different cloth.  During the League Championship series, I even saw a woman 2 rows in front of me playing solitaire with a deck of cards on top of the food tray she flipped over onto her lap.  This was right in the middle of the game. 

There were still some of the usual fans, like me, wandering around, but we were sorely outnumbered; those fans who either saved up the money, called in favors or simply made good friends with their credit card companies (guilty!) to buy tickets.  But the invasion of the upper-class, “casual” fan was very apparent.  The prices of a post-season ballgame have driven away the die-hard fans who just can’t manage the finances and invited in Corporate America to take their places and regular-season ticket prices are heading in the same direction.  Big companies buy up tickets and hand them out as gifts or incentives for employees.  The result?  A large population of game-goers who arrive in the 2nd inning and leave in the 7th.  Sound familiar?  The LA Dodgers have followed this model for years.  They attract more casual fans than real ones, because the real fans can’t afford the prices.  Does Philly really want to mirror big cities like LA?  I should hope not. 

And it is not just Philly, it is all of Major League Baseball.  Fans everywhere are being shut-out from their favorite pastime and are forced to choose between a day at the ballpark or feeding their family.  Guess which one will win every time?  No contest.  So, drive us away, but remember, if you alienate enough of us, you run the risk of having long-time, loyal fans become resentful of a team they once loved.  And ultimately, it is the team, the city and the sport of baseball that will suffer the consequences.

By: Jenn Zambri-Dickerson

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

Best Moments of the 2008 World Champs!

In chronological order, here are my Best Moments of the 2008 season for our World Champion Philadelphia Phillies:

·         April 17 – 21:  Chase Utley goes on his first of two 5 game home run hitting streaks, hitting 6 homers in 5 games and earning the National League’s Player of the Month Award for April.

·         Jayson Werth hits 3 home runs in one game on 5/16/08 vs. Toronto, tying a Phillies record with a career-high 8 RBI in one game.

·         Phillies score 35 total runs between two games from 5/25-5/26.  They beat the Astros 15-6 and then followed it up with a win over the Rockies by a score of 20-5.

·         5/28 – 6/2:  Chase Utley goes on another 5 game home run hitting streak and he also hits 7 homers total in 8 games (5/25-6/2).  Utley won the National League Player of the Week Award during this run.

·         Phillies send 2 players to the All-Star Game in mid-July:  Chase Utley and Brad Lidge.

·         After a bad start to the season, Brett Myers returns from a voluntary stint in the minor leagues on 7/23/08.  He goes 8-4 with a 3.06 ERA for the rest of the regular season after getting off to a 3-9 start with a 5.84 ERA.

·         Greg Dobbs sets the all-time Phillies single season pinch hit record on 7/26/08 with 21 total pinch hits.  The last person to do it was Doc Miller in 1913, almost a century ago.

·         After being swept by the LA Dodgers in a four game series in early August, the Phillies come back and return the favor later that month.  They sweep the Dodgers in their four game series at home in Philly.

·         Phillies Complete a Road Season Series Sweep of the Braves in Atlanta on 9/18/08.

·         Phillies win the NL East, ending the game on an amazing double play to preserve the save for Brad Lidge.  Jimmy Rollins makes a diving grab for the ball, flips to Chase Utley and then Utley completes the throw to Ryan Howard at first base to end the game.

·         Ryan Howard becomes the first Phillie ever with 3 consecutive 40 home run seasons.  Howard is also now the 3rd player ever for the Phillies to have at least 120 RBI’s in one season; the last time it happened was 1933.

·         Shane Victorino hit the first Grand Slam in Phillies post-season history during Game 2 of the NLDS on 10/2/08 against CC Sabathia of the Brewers.

·         Brett Myers’ batting performance in the same game, Game 2 of the NLDS, against CC Sabathia of the Brewers – Myers went 1 for 2 and also had a key 9-pitch walk in the 2nd inning to help set up the Victorino Grand Slam.

·         10/15/08:  Phillies beat the LA Dodgers 4 games to 1 in the NLCS behind the rocket arm of series MVP, Cole Hamels.  They clinch their 6th opportunity ever in franchise history to compete in the World Series.

·         Jamie Moyer pitches Game 3 of the World Series on 10/25/08 while sick with the stomach flu.  His wife says he was up all night getting sick and sweating through a fever.  Despite this, he pitches 6 1/3 innings of 3 run ball.  The Phillies go on to win the game.

·         Brad Lidge gets the final out, striking out Eric Hinske of the Rays, to clinch the 2008 World Championship!  He goes 48 for 48 in save opportunities this year.  And all this came after injuring his knee on the very first pitch he threw in Spring Training. Lidge comes back from surgery and has the perfect season.

·         And my #1 moment:  Phillies win the World Series and become “World F*#@ Champions!”  Well spoken, Mr. Utley. J

So that’s a wrap!  Please add any of your favorite moments in the comments section below to share with everyone.  Phillies are World Champions!!!!!!!!!!  Celebrate!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

Phillies Will Go To The National League Championship Series!

PA010420 crowd.jpgAnd the fans go wild!!!  Today marks the Phillies first post-season series win since the 1993 team.  They beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2.  Jimmy Rollins got the game started off on the right note by slamming a lead-off home run over the right field wall to silence the Milwaukee crowd.  But the big bangs in the game came off the bat of Pat Burrell who hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd inning and a solo homer in the 8th.  Burrell wound up going 3 for 4 with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored.  These were Burrell’s first hits in this 4 game series.  Greg Dobbs also did not disappoint as he was given the start over Pedro Feliz.  Dobbs had 2 hits in 3 at bats and did his job on defense.  Jayson Werth also had one hit and one RBI in the game and he continues to be a solid, everyday player.

P8207965 Blanton.jpgWhat really kept the Phillies in the game today was starter Joe Blanton, who was outstanding; he has finally lived up to his hyped reputation.  Blanton gave the Phillies 6 solid innings, allowing only 5 hits and one run that came off a home run from Prince Fielder in the 7th before Blanton was pulled.  He pitched to contact and also had 7 strikeouts.  The Brewers threw the kitchen sink at him, even going so far as to have starting pitcher CC Sabathia pinch hit in the 3rd inning.  Blanton responded and struck out Sabathia.  In fact, Blanton handled their entire line-up well and never looked rattled.  The bullpen did their job, allowing only 1 more run which was charged to Ryan Madson.  Brad Lidge pitched the 9th in a non-save situation and did not disappoint.  He sent the Brewers into the off-season on 16 pitches.

As you may be aware, the Phillies will face the LA Dodgers in the NLCS which will start on Thursday, October 9th.  For now, the Phillies have 3 days to rest and prepare for the challenge ahead.  All I can say now is….yeah!!!!!!!!  Go Phillies!

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

Phillies Gag On The Milwaukee Brew

Sorry Phillies fans…you can put away the brooms.  Never mind a sweep…this was a game full of missed opportunities tonight for the Phillies.  Perhaps they were all indulging in that famous Milwaukee brew before the game?  The offense certainly looked drunk at the plate and the umpiring was equally horrid.  The Phillies had the lead-off hitter get on base 4 innings in a row, from the 3rd through the 6th, and only came away with one run in the 6th.  Many hitters looked anxious and swung too many times at first pitches and pitches out of the zone. 

Jamie Moyer had a rough day as the home plate umpire did not give him any consistency and was calling balls and strikes seemingly depending on his mood.  The strike zone was all over the place; an environment which does not favor Moyer’s pitching style, or anyone else’s for that matter.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that the umpire was so bad, it looked like he was paid off by Bud Selig
Bud Selig.jpg the MLB Commissioner who is also the previous OWNER of the Brewers and native of Milwaukee; Selig just happened to be in attendance tonight.  Oh, and by the way, the MLB Commissioner essentially signs these guys pay checks.  Hmmm…Food for thought.  Anyway, Moyer lasted only 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks.  By the end of the 4th, Moyer had thrown 90 pitches.  Clay Condrey was put in as relief in the 5th and also struggled.  He gave up one run on 2 walks and a hit.  Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre combined for a scoreless, although adventurous, 6th inning, but Eyre came back in for the 7th and gave up a run. 

The only Phillies who appeared slightly interested in winning this game were Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth.  Werth was great in the field, even gunning down Corey Hart at first base as Hart singled but wandered too far off the bag.  At the plate, he was 2 for 4 and scored a run.  Howard had the only RBI in the game and Victorino showed his usual hustle.  The rest of the group did not make productive outs, they did not swing at good pitches and in all, they left 7 men on base.  The only positive I can see is that maybe, after having their collective butts kicked tonight, this will be a wake-up call for the team, especially the offense.  They did win the first 2 games, but scored in only one inning in each of those wins.  This has not been the explosion of offense that we all know this team is capable of.  Werth, Victorino and Howard have been carrying these guys this last month and it is about time that everyone else pitched in.

The Phillies attempted a rally in the ninth, but Pedro Feliz hit into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs.  Ryan Howard scored on the play.  But then, the Brewers manager came out to complain that Victorino didn’t slide into second base and the umpires then took the run away and sent Howard back to 3rd!  Then Carlos Ruiz proceeds to ground out for the last out of the game.  So, let me just understand this – if you complain, you get a call in your favor that was NOT originally called by the umpires?  Wow.  That decision has to come from the ump immediately after the play; not just because a manager complained that it was not called.  Not to mention, Shane DID attempt to get out of the way of the fielder – he did not interfere.  According to the rules, all the runner has to do is attempt to get out of the way.  You are not required to slide.  That was a horrible call either way.  Between this and the home plate ump’s strike zone, this was the worst umpired playoff game I have ever seen.

This 4-1 loss leaves the series record at 2-1 in favor of the Phillies, but they need to take care of business tomorrow.  As much as I like attending playoff games, I’d rather not have to see the Brewers force a Game 5.  Tomorrow’s game is at 1:07pm and I assume we will be starting Joe Blanton, although no official announcement has been made as of yet.  These guys had better stay off the sauce and get back to form!  The NLCS awaits them…all they have to do is perform to their abilities.  I will be biting my nails along with all of you tomorrow afternoon.  Go Phillies!

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!