Results tagged ‘ Orioles ’
After being swept by the Marlins today, the Phillies are 10.5 games back in the division with a 36-45 record. It is their worst effort through 81 games since 1997.
It is the halfway point of the season; time to count the bodies and see exactly how big the hole is that the Phillies are digging. Let’s begin with Jim Thome. He was traded to the Orioles in exchange for 2 prospects: Class A catcher Gabriel Lino and right-hander Kyle Simon, both of whom will report to Class A Lakewood. So the Phillies did not even get a player who could help out right now.
If the Phillies were actually contending, Thome might still be here. But it is the best move for Thome, who will actually get some playing time in the American League. I wish him the best.
And how about Cliff Lee…when Phillies beat reporter Todd Zolecki asked pitching coach Rich Dubee about Lee’s struggles, Dubee basically pleaded the 5th. The response given multiple times was, “I’m not going into it.” Lee appears healthy, no mechanical issues were mentioned. That leads one to believe that Lee, winless in 13 starts, has thrown in the towel. I hope that is not the case, but Lee has not seemed right in a long time now.
And the bodies continue to mount. Jimmy Rollins’ hot streak is over; he is hitless in his last 11 at-bats. Placido Polanco is 2 for his last 15. Antonio Bastardo has allowed 6 runs in his last 4 2/3 innings in relief.
The next head on the block might actually be Cole Hamels. Just announced as an All-Star this year along with Carlos Ruiz and Jonathan Papelbon, it is rumored that the Phillies are shopping Hamels to other teams. If team management feels Hamels will walk once he hits free agency and this 2012 team is down for the count, Hamels may be gone soon.
That would be a terrible shame, but if the Phillies do not pick themselves up and start winning, Hamels will not be the only casualty.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Losing their second straight game to the Orioles, the Phillies leave town today 8 games behind in the NL East and in last place. But today’s loss was special. It sucked more than most.
The Phillies had the bases loaded 3 times with Carlos Ruiz as the batter and scored only 1 run on a wild pitch. When your best player cannot get a hit 3 consecutive times with the bases loaded, you know it is going to be a very bad day.
But worse than that, Cliff Lee still does not have a win, even after 10 starts. Although today, it was actually his own doing. Lee blew a 3 run lead by giving up a 3-run homer in the 4th inning. As a result, Lee’s ERA finally floated above 3.00; he is currently at 3.18.
So not only did the offense and pitching suck, the defense was bad again too. After 9 errors this season, including a big one today, Ty Wigginton should not be playing 3rd base…ever. His huge error in the 10th cost the Phillies the game.
However, with Placido Polanco sidelined with a bad wrist, Wiggy keeps getting the nod. They could put Michael Martinez at 3rd, but then you are stuck with Mike Fontenot at 2nd and his defense has been worse than anyone expected. We are talking little league level here…bad.
The pickings are slim and so therefore are the Phillies chances at recovering from this disaster. It may be too early to give up just yet, but it is a tempting thought. Why not bring up some more Triple-A guys and see who rises to the challenge? I am sure Domonic Brown would agree.
Here is a small piece of good news: Michael Schwimer found his groove in 3 innings of scoreless relief today. Sorry though, that is all I have on the good news side.
Monday is an off-day as the battered Phils fly to Minnesota to take on the Twins for 3-games. Oh wait, that might be good news…the Twins suck about as bad as the Phillies do. See, it is the little things that make us happy. Or, not…
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The Phillies rallied on Friday night for 9 runs and a win that broke their 6-game losing streak. Then Saturday afternoon, they went right back to losing with a 6-4 defeat to the Orioles in 12 innings.
The combination of losing, errors, injuries and bad play may be the straw that breaks the Phillies’ collective backs. Speaking of broken backs, Freddy Galvis has one of those…literally. The acrobatic rookie second baseman was diagnosed with a pars fracture in his back.
This injury is an insult to an already depleted team now on their 3rd string 2nd baseman, Mike Fontenot, who committed 2 official errors in today’s loss and 1 that did not show up in the box score. Those errors cost the Phillies a few runs and probably the game. By the way, it was Fontenot’s 32nd birthday…what a way to celebrate.
Galvis will get a second opinion, but the outlook is bleak. A back fracture means a minimum of 6 weeks in a brace and then a very slow rehab process. Galvis was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dim season for the Phillies. And now, that small bit of joy is gone too.
Adding to the depressing vibe, the Phils sent lefty Raul Valdes to the minors and called up rookie B.J. Rosenberg. Valdes was actually doing a good job, but with too many lefties in the pen, he was the odd man out. Rosenberg had one very good inning in his big league debut but then got thrown to the wolves, forced to pitch a second inning in his very first game. Rosenberg gave up a walk-off 2-run homer, handing the O’s the win.
The only good news today was Jim Thome getting back into the swing of things with 5 hits and a homer over the past 2 games. And Chad Qualls pitched 2 scoreless innings, which based on his recent performance, was a small miracle. Qualls also provided comic relief as he slipped on the mound for no apparent reason and landed flat on his backside.
But that was the end of the smiles for the day as the Phillies lost yet another winnable game. They will try again tomorrow; game time is 1:35pm. The still winless Cliff Lee will go for it yet again…wish him luck!
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The list right now has 12 pitchers, although the Phillies could add David Herndon and go with 13. Kyle Kendrick has not had a good spring, but the Phils are paying him too much to send him back to AAA. It could happen, as Herndon has been pretty good, but it is unlikely.
What is more probable is that the Phillies will choose to carry an extra infielder or utility player because of the Chase Utley situation. Odds are very good that Utley will start the season on the disabled list with Wilson Valdez filling in at second base. However, this still leaves an extra roster spot open.
The list above includes Michael Martinez, who has played well enough to earn a spot and he plays multiple positions. Plus, Martinez is a Rule 5 player. If the Phillies do not put him on the roster, they have to offer him back to the Nationals. With the way Martinez has played, the Nationals would probably take him back.
That leaves one bench spot for either Pete Orr, Josh Barfield or Delwyn Young. Barfield has been very good at the plate, hitting .355 with three doubles and a triple. He is also speedy, which is a plus.
But Barfield’s main weakness appears to be defense. While he has not committed any “official” errors, Barfield has fumbled the ball more than once. In Saturday’s match-up with the Orioles, Barfield dropped an easy double play ball, did not get any outs and left Cole Hamels hanging. Hamels was having a rough day to begin with, so this did not help.
As for Orr, he is experienced and can play second, third and a little outfield. Orr is batting .343 with three doubles and three triples this spring. Orr also strikes out less than Barfield and Young, but his fielding is average.
That leaves Young, who is intriguing because he can play almost anywhere. However, his fielding is not very good. A lifetime .258 hitter, Young is batting .298 with one home run, seven RBI and two doubles this spring. He is probably the least likely to make the team.
However, there are still nine games left in Florida and two exhibition games in Philadelphia before the season begins. Each player still has time to make a big push towards earning a roster spot.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Anyone who says size does not matter has clearly missed out on some key moments in baseball history.
In the early 1900′s, President Roosevelt borrowed an old African proverb by stating, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” And while he may not necessarily have been referring to baseball, the saying seems to have made impact on the sport anyway.
The following is a list of the top 10 “big” moments, statistics and feats in baseball throughout the years.
The Biggest Bat
Babe Ruth played in the major leagues for 22 seasons, from 1914 to 1935. The 714 home runs he hit in that time span were smacked using the biggest bat in baseball history.
The 52 ounce bat swung by Ruth is the largest recorded bat size ever. Most players today use bats that average around 34-36 ounces in weight.
The Biggest Paycheck
The 10-year, $275 million contract broke A-Rod’s previous record of $252 million.
The Biggest Stature
The tallest player in Major League history is relief pitcher Jon Rauch, who measures six-feet, eleven inches in height.
Currently a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Rauch first took the field on April 2, 2002. This year, Rauch will be competing for the closer role with the Jays.
The Biggest Mass
In 2005, first baseman Walter Young crushed the competition, weighing in at a whooping 322 pounds with a body mass index of 38.2, also the biggest in baseball.
Officially the heaviest player ever to grace a major league field, Young played only 15 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 and batted .303.
Young played in the minor leagues until 2009. Currently, Young serves as a shift sergeant at the county jail for the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department in his home state of Mississippi.
The heaviest current MLB player is pitcher CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees who weighs in at 290 pounds.
The Biggest Home Run
Considered “the longest home run ever,” this ball is estimated to have travelled around 643 feet and was hit against the Detroit Tigers at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan.
However, the longest verifiable home run distance is about 575 feet, which was hit by Babe Ruth on July 18, 1921, to straightaway center field at Tiger Stadium (then called Navin Field). It landed across the intersection of Trumbull and Cherry.
Since 1982, when the technology for accurately measuring home runs was put in place, the longest homer stands at 535 feet. That ball was hit by Adam Dunn against Jose Lima of the Dodgers on August 10, 2004.
The Biggest Dollar Amount Ever Shelled Out For A Baseball
Mark McGwire’s 70th home run baseball, which was hit on September 27, 1998 off pitcher Carl Pavano, fetched a gigantic $3,054,000 dollars at Guernsey’s auction house in New York City.
Sold on January 12, 1999 to action figure and comic book creator Todd McFarlane, his collection also includes McGwire’s #1, 63, 67, 68 and 69 home run Balls, along with Sammy Sosa’s #33, 61 and 66 home run balls.
The over $3 million dollar payment is the most money ever shelled out for a baseball.
The Biggest Payroll
In the year 2010, the New York Yankees continued their streak of breaking the bank with a total team payroll of $206,333,389.
The next closest payroll was that of the Boston Red Sox at $162,447,333. That is a difference of almost $44 million dollars.
The Biggest Arm
Prior to the 2010 season, the fastest reliable recorded speed which a baseball had ever been pitched was 100.9 mph by Nolan Ryan of the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium in California on August 20, 1974.
Since that time, Ryan’s record was broken by Reds rookie Aroldis Chapman on September 24, 2010 at PETCO Park in San Diego. That pitch was clocked at 105.1 mph.
The Biggest Hitting Streak
Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees began an unprecedented hitting streak on May 15, 1941. 56 games later on July 16, the streak ended. This record still stands today.
The only other player who came close was Pete Rose in 1978. His 44 games hit streak lasted from June 14 to August 1, just 12 games short of the record set by DiMaggio.
The Biggest Determination
He is not called the “Iron Man” for no reason. Third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr. set the record for the most consecutive games ever played with 2,632. The streak lasted from May 30, 1982 until September 19, 1998, spanning 16 seasons.
This feat blew away the previous record which was set by Lou Gehrig from 1925 to 1939 with 2,130 consecutive games.
Ripken played his entire career with the Orioles and retired after the 2001 season.
A-Rod photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Mantle photo by Wikimedia Commons
The Phillies have hired ex-Phillie Juan Samuel to fill the void left when first base coach Davey Lopes walked after failed contract negotiations. Samuel started his 16-year big league career with the Phillies, playing second base from 1983 to part of 1989.
Later in his career, Samuel played both second base and outfield positions and was known as an extremely versatile player. More recently, he coached third base for the Orioles and also served as interim manager when Dave Trembley was fired in June.
Samuel will take over as third base coach and outfield instructor for the Phillies while Sam Perlozzo moves to first base. When asked about returning the Philadelphia, Samuel told reporters, “I couldn’t be happier. I’m ecstatic going back and joining an elite group of players and manager. It’s a dream come true.” Samuel was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2008 and has always been a fan favorite. It will be nice to have him back.
In other news, the Phillies have made a small flurry of insignifigant moves in the past week or so. They have signed Pete Orr, 31, to a minor league deal. The infielder has spent much of his baseball career lingering in the minors where he hit .264.
In the catcher category, the Phils re-signed Dane Sardinha who hit .205 in his time with the Phils last year and .207 in the minors. They also picked up Erik Kratz, 30, who hit .274 in the Pirates AAA system.
Continuing to add minor-league pitching, Eddie Bonine, 29, was added as well after spending time in the Tigers bullpen last year. Bonine had a record of 4-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 47 appearances and one start in 2010. His name indicates that he is good at preventing nausea, however, his stats indicate otherwise. Yuck. Well, at least they picked up one guy under 30….barely.
As for Jayson Werth, there is still little news. He and his super-agent Scott Boras are out and about trying to see who is willing to get serious about overpaying the outfielder. The odds of Werth returning to the Phillies lessen as each day passes. But truthfully, the odds may have been close to 1% to begin with. Don’t hold out hope…it is very unlikely that Werth will be back in red pinstripes.
Once again, things did not go well for the Phillies tonight. The way they have been playing, most expected them to struggle against the Yankees. But with Roy Halladay on the mound, you had to figure tonight would be their best chance at a win. No such luck…
In the first of a 3-game series in New York, the Phillies went down in flames by a score of 8-3. Halladay had a very bad day, allowing 6 runs, including 3 homers. Halladay has only given up 3 homers in a game nine times in his career; the last 3 times have been against the Yankees. Visably upset at the home plate umpire in the second inning,
Halladay nearly imploded while giving up a triple that scored 2 runs. The next inning was worse as he surrendered 2 homers and 3 runs. Halladay had trouble containing his emotions tonight and it hurt him.
The Phillies offense did not help either as they put forth a real effort in only one inning. With the bases loaded and no outs in the 4th inning, the Phils scraped 3 runs off CC Sabathia with a bunch of singles and a force out that scored a run. They should have scored more, but Juan Castro was fanned on a 96mph fastball and Carlos Ruiz followed up with a weak ground out. And after that inning, the offense went right back to sleep.
Manager Charlie Manuel tried to shake up the lineup by flip-flopping Placido Polanco and Chase Utley, with Utley batting second. Utley did have 2 hits in the game, but still does not look like his old self. Todd Zolecki tweeted today, “”Asked Chase Utley before the game if he’s healthy. “As far as I know I’m healthy, yes,” he said. “That’s cryptic,” I said. He did not laugh.”” Read what you would like into that, but it does seem that Utley may be having another mystery issue.
The bottom line here is, the offense has shown no signs of life. The Phils have been so awful, I think they may have better success with brain surgery than hitting a baseball. And the pitching has suddenly taken a crap, as witnessed tonight and also by the 9 runs each allowed by Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer in their last starts. And when Halladay is allowing 6 runs a game, you know that things are very, very bad.
Even worse, the next two starters scheduled to pitch are Moyer and the wildly inconsistent Kyle Kendrick…against the Yankees. If it were the Orioles, maybe they might stand a chance. Instead, this match-up looks like a disaster waiting to happen. Hope that the veteran Moyer can rebound and inject some life into this team! Game time Wednesday night is 7:05pm.
Happy Bunny by Jim Benton
So another Opening Day has passed and the Phillies are on their way to global dominance…or, something like it anyway ;o) If you missed my photos from the event, check out the PHOTO ALBUM which includes Opening Day ceremonies, President Obama’s first pitch and game action.
And now it is time to start the season off right and introduce yourselves to the newest members of the 2010 Phillies. The first one is easy…if you do not know who Roy Halladay is, you are clearly not a Phillies fan. No worries though…only one game has passed; you have time to catch up . Here is Mr. Halladay on the right with his very, very serious pre-game face on. This former Cy Young winner goes by the nickname “Doc” and he is pretty amazing. Enough said.
The few players you may not know well include pitchers Danys Baez, Jose Contreras and David Herndon; outfielder Ross Gload, infielder Juan Castro and catcher Brian Schneider, pictured here in that order from left to right, top to bottom:
Both Baez and Contreras are Cuban defectors; Baez is in his 9th major league season, pitched last for the Orioles and has a name that defies normal spelling rules. Contreras, not as hard to spell, is in his 7th season and helped the Yankees coin the term “Evil Empire” when they signed him over the Red Sox back in 2002. In other words, the Sox were pissed….end of story.
Herndon was in the Angels minor leagues last year and this will be his first shot at the bigs. Ladies, he is single and plays the guitar…go get him! I kid…
As for Gload, this is his 9th season in the majors and his 6th team. He is a lifetime .283 hitter and should be a solid bench player for the Phillies. Castro is another veteran going into his 16th season; he will be 38 in June and may start taking the same youth-inducing vitamins Jamie Moyer does ;o) He is not a power hitter, but will be a good defensive back-up for the infield. Schneider, formerly of the Mets and Nationals, is very familiar with the Phillies. And as a former Phillies-killer, we are glad to have him on our side now. His 11th season will be served as back-up to Carlos Ruiz.
And as a bonus, here are a few guys who are not really new, but you may not know them. Pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Drew Carpenter are still rookies who spent a very short time with the Phillies last year. They spent most of 2009 in the Phillies minors.
And then there is Placido Polanco, who returns to the Phillies after almost a 5 year absence; he was traded in 2005 to the Tigers. But after his record-setting performance of 6 RBI in one game yesterday, the most by any Phillie on Opening Day, I am confident you now know who he is. Welcome back, Polly!
Cole Hamels will take the mound against the Nationals in game 2 tomorrow at 7:05pm…Go Phillies!
Photos by Jenn
After the Phillies day off on Thursday, it seems the Phillies offense is taking the rest of the week off. John Mayberry Jr. had the only hit for the Phils in a 2-0 loss to the Orioles on Friday. Then in a 3-0 loss today against the Tigers, they scratched out just 4 hits. But is any more appropriate time for a slump than Spring Training? Besides, we are all anxious for the real games to begin!
The pitching slumped a bit as well; Roy Halladay had a rough day against the Tigers. To start the second inning, he hit the first batter, walked the second batter and gave up a 2-run double to the third batter. A few more hits and another walk later and he had a 3-run inning. Then again, a bad day for Halladay is a spectacular day for most pitchers.
Kyle Kendrick started Friday’s game and gave up 2 runs over 5 innings bringing his spring ERA to 1.29. While Kendrick has clearly out pitched Jamie Moyer so far this year, it is still up in the air as to who will win the 5th starter’s roll. Moyer has way more experience and a much bigger paycheck, which may influence the decision.
But Kendrick should not have too much to worry about as it appears he will make the team either way. Lefty Sergio Escalona was sent back to the minors, indicating that Antonio Bastardo will get the one lefty spot in the pen. The remaining bullpen pieces are right-handers Danys Baez, Jose Contreras, Chad Durbin, David Herndon and Ryan Madson. That leaves the 7th spot for either Kendrick or Moyer. Mike Zagurski, another lefty, may also be in the mix but he has made only 1 appearance all Spring. The Phillies appear to be nursing Zagurski along after he missed all of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery.
Still recovering from off-season surgery, it looks like both Brad Lidge and JC Romero will start the season on the DL. However, they should not be too far behind schedule; both are throwing now to live batters and Lidge pitched in a minor league game on Thursday. Lidge says his command is off and he still needs to work on arm speed. But both players feel physically fine, which is great news.
Third baseman Placido Polanco is also feeling much better after a right calf sprain and was scheduled to play in a minor league game today. Chase Utley has recovered from his respiratory issues and played in both games after the off-day. If everyone else can stay healthy now, we should be looking at a nice start to the season.
And just for fun, I came across this Jayson Werth baseball card and thought I would share it with you. This is one of the shots taken during Photo Day in Spring Training from last year. Each player gets their “standard” shots for cards, programs, yearbooks and other team items on this day. The way it works is the photographer has them hold up their name / locker plate for the first photo so they know who they are shooting. They put the name plate down and then continue with the regular photos.
However, Werth decided to be silly and rather than put his name plate away, he stuck it through his belt loops. So my question is, did the photographer not notice this or did he just think it was funny and keep right on shooting? Either way, it is pretty interesting. Maybe that is why Werth let his hair and beard grow wild this spring? Could he have been trying to top last year’s bizarre photo session? We may never know…
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Photo by Jenn
Today the Phillies agreed to terms with 32-year old right-handed relief pitcher Danys Baez, formerly of the Orioles. Pending the physical exam, Baez will be given a 2-year contract. He went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 games last year, did not pitch in 2008 due to ligament surgery on his right pitching elbow and had a dismal 2007 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 games. Baez does have closing experience, which might be helpful if Brad Lidge is not ready to pitch in 2010.
However, this move is still a bit of a head scratcher. Baez had two good seasons; his rookie year in 2001 and with Tampa Bay in 2005. But his lifetime ERA is 4.04 with a record of 35-49. Charlie Manuel managed him from 2001-2001 when he played for the Indians, which we all know means that Chuck likes him a bunch, as he does most of his ex-players. It is easy to assume that played a factor in the decision.
Also, Baez is a righty, and the pen is in desperate need of lefties with only JC Romero signed and a few rookie possibilities. Scott Eyre’s future is still uncertain. So, this move tells us a few things: #1 – The Phillies are not confident that Lidge will be game-ready in April. #2 – The Phillies are willing to take their chances with the left-handed rookies, Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo. #3 – Although we do not know the contract amount yet, it is safe to assume Baez came cheap. That means, the Phillies have blown their payroll and this will be the last big move, aside from handing out a few raises.
Another pitcher whose status is uncertain is Jamie Moyer. He has had 2 surgeries already since September, 3 hospital visits, 2 blood infections, a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, at least there was a little holiday cheer thrown in for him. All that and he is now scheduled for surgery #3 in January on his right knee to repair his meniscus. At 47 years of age, one has to wonder if Moyer will be able to recover from such an ordeal and come back to pitch effectively. Then again, if anyone can defy the laws of aging, it would be Moyer. I wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery!
I would also like to take this time to wish everyone out there a very Happy New Year! Be safe :O)
Photo by Jenn