Results tagged ‘ Padres ’

Manuel’s Contract & Spring Update

Earlier today, the Phillies finally got the deal done with manager Charlie Manuel.  The two-year extension will take him through the 2013 season.

In a press conference, Manuel expressed his desire to stay with the Phillies until he leaves baseball.  Manuel discussed other teams he has worked with and then stated, “I’m a Phillie. If I cut my arm it’s going to be red blood, not blue.”


Thumbnail image for Manuel phillie.jpgWell, unless Charlie is a horseshoe crab or an octopus, I am pretty sure he bleeds red.  But seriously, it is great to have a guarantee for Charlie before the season starts.

During Manuel’s time in Philly, the team has the best record in the National League.  Manuel has won 544 games with the Phillies plus four division titles, one league title and , of course, the 2008 World Series Championship.

Spring Training Update

The Phillies are plugging along through spring training despite losing both Chase Utley and Domonic Brown to injuries.  Utley is still out indefinitely.  Brown had successfully surgery to remove the hamate bone in his hand and is expected to play again in four to six weeks.

Today, Roy Halladay pitched six scoreless innings against the Yankees, allowing only four hits.  Halladay was sharp and used his curve ball more than usual in preparation for the season. 

While winning by a score of 7-0, the Phillies saw contributions from several lesser-known players.  One of those players, Josh Barfield, went 2 for 3, including a triple today.   He is hitting .538 in 13 at-bats so far this spring.  Barfield is a second baseman who spent parts of four seasons in the majors with the Indians and Padres.  He hit .294 with 36 RBI last year in the Indians AAA club.

Barfield has been impressive, which may be of great importance now that Utley’s future is uncertain.  Wilson Valdez is an option as well, but it could not hurt to have an extra infielder right now.

 

Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Division Series Schedule

As you may know already, the Phillies will be playing the Reds in the NLDS.  The Phillies won 5 out of 7 games against the Reds this year in the regular season; 3 of those in July all went to extra innings and ended in spectacular walk-off fashion for the Phillies.  So while the Phils have a slight edge, it is sure to be a well played series.

With the 8 playoff teams finally decided, TBS and MLB announced some of the start times for both the AL and NL Division series.  Here is the schedule so far:

Series

Teams

Day/Date

Time ET

ALDS Game 1

Rangers @ Rays

Wed. Oct. 6

1:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 1

Reds @ Phillies

Wed. Oct. 6

5 p.m.

ALDS Game 1

Yankees @ Twins

Wed. Oct. 6

8:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 2

Rangers @ Rays

Thurs. Oct. 7

2:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 2

Yankees @ Twins

Thurs. Oct. 7

6 p.m.

NLDS Game 1

Braves @ Giants

Thurs. Oct. 7

9:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 2

Reds @ Phillies

Fri. Oct. 8

6 p.m.

NLDS Game 2

Braves @ Giants

Fri. Oct. 8

9:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 3

Rays @ Rangers

Sat. Oct. 9

5 p.m.

ALDS Game 3

Twins @ Yankees

Sat. Oct. 9

8:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 3

Phillies @ Reds

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

NLDS Game 3

Giants @ Braves

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*ALDS Game 4

Rays @ Rangers

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*ALDS Game 4

Twins @ Yankees

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*NLDS Game 4

Phillies @ Reds

Mon. Oct. 11

TBD

*NLDS Game 4

Giants @ Braves

Mon. Oct. 11

TBD

*ALDS Game 5

Rangers @ Rays

Tues. Oct. 12

TBD

*ALDS Game 5

Yankees @ Twins

Tues. Oct. 12

TBD

*NLDS Game 5

Reds @ Phillies

Wed. Oct. 13

TBD

*NLDS Game 5

Braves @ Giants

Wed. Oct. 13

TBD

 

As I expected, the Phillies, despite have the BEST record in baseball, still got screwed out of the Prime Time slot in favor of the Yankees…again.  So for the 3rd year in a row, I will have to take a day off work to go to get to the stadium in time to find parking and see the pre-game festivities.

Now I realize there are 22 other teams out there whose fans would love to have this problem so it is hard to complain.  But when is a team, other than the Yankees, going to get some much deserved respect?  The Phillies have certainly earned it.   

To the TV people it is all about ratings, and I suppose it is their prerogative.  But guess which team brings in more fans based on stadium capacity?  The Phillies – 103.5%.  It is over 100% due to standing room only tickets that are sold to accommodate more fans.  The Phillies sold out EVERY game this season.  Where do the Yankees rank?  They are 7th in baseball with 88.9%.  If the Phillies had a bigger stadium like the Yankees do, they would no doubt have sold all those seats as well.  Just sayin’…

Not to mention that the TBS coverage of the games, in general, is horrible.  The announcers have NO clue about the teams they are watching and tend to be biased towards particular teams.  The coverage has been historically so bad that there is even a section on Wikipedia dedicated to how bad they suck.  The TBS slogan is “very funny” but we are not laughing.

Phillies End Season With Best Record In Baseball

The Phillies ended the 2010 regular season today with the best record in baseball for the first time in franchise history.  Their 97-65 record is even more impressive when all of the injuries they suffered this year are added to the equation.  Unfortunately, the injuries do not appear to be behind them yet.

In the 8-7 loss to the Braves today, catcher Carlos Ruiz was plunked on the elbow by a Tim Hudson pitch.  He appeared to be in a great deal of pain and eventually, he left the game.  There has been no word yet about how serious it may be.

Another potential huge loss heading into the playoffs may be JC Romero.  After throwing a pitch in the 6th inning, Romero signed to the coaches that he was hurt.  Reports are that he is suffering from left lower back soreness.  If he cannot play, it looks like lefty Antonio Bastardo will be a lock for the postseason roster.  Having only one lefty in the pen may not be a great idea, but the Phils may have no choice.

The only real highlights early in today’s game were 2-run homers by both John Mayberry Jr. and Jayson Werth.  Also, Cole Hamels pitched very well for 2 innings in his postseason warm-up.  Everyone else had issues getting desperate Braves hitters out.  Even Roy Oswalt gave up a run in one inning of work.  Joe Blanton allowed 2 runs and the big damage was done by Danys Baez.  Baez allowed 4 runs in only 2/3 of an inning, likely cementing his new roll as a cheerleader instead of a spot on the postseason roster.


Baez cheerleader.jpgBut as the Phillies are known to do late in games, the offense started cooking again in the 8th inning.  With 2 outs, Jimmy Rollins singled and Mike Sweeney reached base on a Braves error.  Wilson Valdez hit an RBI single and Ben Francisco doubled in 2 more runs.  The game got a lot closer, with the Phillies trailing by a score of 8-7.  But in the 9th, they were unable to score and the Braves went on to win.

While the Braves won, their playoff hopes are still in the hands of the Padres, who are playing the Giants right now.  They will know more in a few hours.

In the meantime, congratulations to the Phillies, officially the BEST team in baseball right now!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies: The Grim Reaper Of Playoff Dreams

The Atlanta Braves must feel like they have been unknowingly cast in a bad horror flick.  With their playoff hopes on the line, the Phillies have now beat them 2 days in a row with only one game left in the season.  In the meantime, their Wild Card foe, the Padres, keep winning.


Worley reaper of Braves.jpgYielding a large axe, rookie pitcher Vance Worley did his best impersonation of the Grim Reaper today against the Braves.  They did not manage a single hit off Worley until the 4th inning.  Worley went 5 innings, allowing only the one hit and looked like a seasoned veteran.  The only reason he was pulled after 5 innings was because there was a runner on third and the Phils chose to pinch hit for him.

Actually, the Phillies offense had runners on 3rd with only 1 out twice and failed to score.  That finally changed in the 7th inning when a walk by Jimmy Rollins kick started some scoring.  A Braves fielding error followed by a bunch of Phillies singles ended in a 4-run inning.  Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino all picked up RBI’s.

Placido Polanco returned to the field today after having a cortisone shot in his elbow earlier this week.  Polly went 2 for 4 at the plate, which is a very good sign.  He did have one error at third early in the game, but he is probably still shaking the rust off.  It is good to see Polly feeling better though!

The Phillies bullpen pitchers were scary as well.  Antonio Bastardo, Danys Baez, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras continued to stab Braves hitters through the heart, sending them back to the dugout, one by one.  The horror continued for the Braves as the Phillies tacked on more runs in the 8th and 9th for a 7-0 lead.  And that was the final score.

With the Braves loss and a Padres win, the Wild Card race is a dead tie going into the final day of the regular season tomorrow.  As a result, who the Phillies will play in the NLDS is still uncertain.  What is certain is that, no matter the outcome tomorrow, the Phils will end the season with at least 97 wins and the best record in all of baseball!

The final game of the regular season tomorrow starts at 1:35pm.  Cole Hamels will start the game.

Victorinos.jpgBy the way, I would like to send congratulations to Shane and Melissa Victorino on the birth of their baby boy, Kingston Shane Victorino, this past Thursday.  The 7 lb. 8 oz. slugger is the second child for the couple; they have a daughter names Kali’a and Melissa has a teenage boy, Keenan, as well.  Shane & Melissa are great people; I wish them much happiness!

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography except baby photo by CSN

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

 

Phillies Smack Braves Around Some More

After sweeping the Braves in 3-games just over a week ago, the Phillies added insult to injury tonight by smacking the Braves around some more.  The Braves and Padres are battling for the NL Wild Card spot and the Padres were trailing by 2 games before the game today.  If the Phillies win one or both of the final 2 regular season games against the Braves, it will have major implications in the Wild Card race.


Atlanta voodoo cr - Copy.jpgJust because they have won the NL East does not mean the Phils will let up on the Braves.  Because several players are competing for either a spot on the postseason roster or possibly a spot with the team next year.  Kyle Kendrick is one of those players.  After a very inconsistent season, Kendrick needed to have a good outing tonight.  He did a pretty good job, allowing 2 runs over 5 innings, although he walked 3 batters, including the opposing pitcher.

The Phillies scored 5 runs in the 6th with a Jimmy Rollins grand slam and Domonic Brown walked to force a run in.  The big lead took Kendrick out of the game and gave a few more pitchers an opportunity to show off their skills…or lack thereof.  Four pitchers, Antonio Bastardo, JC Romero, Chad Durbin and Jose Contreras, all pitched well. 

Mike Zagurski, on the other hand, probably ended his career prospects tonight after giving up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning in the 9th.  The 11-2 lead he started with was cut down to 11-5.  Zagurski pitched well in AAA but in his 7 appearances with the big club this year, he has allowed 8 runs in 6 2/3 innings for a 10.80 ERA.  David Herndon had to come in to get the final out…after walking one batter, just so Zagurski did not feel too bad ;o)

Tomorrow will be no easier for the Braves.  Rookie Vance Worley will get the start and he will be anxious to prove he can pitch in the big leagues.  His future with the club can be given a huge boost with a solid performance tomorrow.  Game time is 4:10pm.

By the way, the Phillies starting pitchers 70-50 record is the best for the team since 1980…the same year they won their first World Series Championship.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Sweep Padres Behind Hot Hamels

The San Diego Padres came into today’s game against the Phillies tied with the Reds for the best fielding percentage in the National League.  They also lead the league in defensive efficiency ratio, which is basically how many times they turn a batted ball into an out.  But facing the Phils and trying to defend against a 3-game sweep, the Padres committed 4 errors today.

While the errors helped, as 2 of the Phillies 5 runs were unearned, the bigger factor in the game was the Phillies pitching.  Cole Hamels was outstanding on the mound; he did not allow a run through 8 innings and struck out 6 batters.  It looked like he was slinging gas-powered rockets up there.  In the entire 3-game series, Phillies starting pitching allowed just 2 runs.

P8198655 Hamels rocket.jpg

Hamels was in such a groove today, he did not want to come out of the game after the 8th inning.  In the dugout, he even refused to shake his pitching coaches’ hand for a few seconds, hoping that Rich Dubee would change his mind and let him pitch the 9th.  But with a 4-0 lead at the time and Hamels having thrown 115 pitches, there was no need to take a chance that Hamels might get hurt.

The defense was sharp behind Hamels as well.  Placido Polanco made several tough plays at third base.  Mike Sweeney, giving Ryan Howard the day off, made a great running catch on a pop-up and handled many difficult throws at first base. 

Sweeney contributed on offense as well; he smacked his first home run as a Phillie in the 7th inning; it was a 2-run shot.  Sweeney ran around the dugout afterwards hugging everyone he could get his hands on.  This guy is pure positive energy…you have to love that.

Later in the 8th, Jayson Werth hit a solo homer, which had to feel good.  It was just his 3rd homer in August, which has been a month full of ups and downs for Werth.  Jimmy Rollins also had an RBI in the game and Carlos Ruiz was the only Phillie with multiple hits.

Ryan Madson pitched the 9th inning and slammed the door for the Phillies 16th shut-out of the year.  The 5-0 win went to Hamels who finally got some run support from his teammates.  The Padres, for the first time all year, have now lost 4 games in a row.

The Phillies will take a short ride from San Diego over to Los Angeles tonight and start a 3-game series with the Dodgers tomorrow night.  Roy Halladay will pitch and game time is 10:10pm.  Break out the No-doze, East Coast fans.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

More Good Pitching; Another Win

Very little happened in today’s Phillies – Padres match-up until the 5th inning.  Both pitchers were dealing and hits were few and far between.  Then Padres starter Jon Garland started the 5th off by hitting Jayson Werth with a pitch.  Raul Ibanez moved him over with a grounder and a single from Shane Victorino allowed Werth to score.

With a run finally on the board, Phillies starter Joe Blanton got into trouble later that same inning.  A walk and a couple of singles allowed tied the game.  But Victorino showed his defensive skills, throwing Nick Hundley out at the plate trying to score.

The Flyin’ Hawaiian was all over this game; Victorino smacked a triple in the 7th to score Werth again, who had walked earlier.  Then after an intentional walk to Carlos Ruiz, Mike Sweeney was put in to pinch hit for Blanton.  Sweeney hit a ground ball that was almost a double play.  Instead, he legged it out and Ruiz barreled into 2nd with a take-out slide; Sweeney was safe and Victorino scored. 

P8177636 sweeney.jpg

The Padres paid little attention to Sweeney on first as he is not known for speed.  As a result, with a little prodding from first base coach Davey Lopes, Sweeney swiped his first bag in 4 years.  Sweeney’s enthusiasm and hustle are just what this team needs.  He fits in very well with the Phillies club.

Blanton ended his outing with just one run allowed in 6 innings; it was a great effort from Blanton.  After Blanton was pulled in the 7th, the 3-1 game was turned over to the Phillies bullpen.  Jose Contreras pitched a perfect 7th and Ryan Madson followed suit in the 8th.  You know what that means, right?  You guessed it….Brad Lidge time. (Gulp!)

After a horrible outing yesterday where Lidge balked in the tying run with 2 outs in the 9th, tonight was a different story.  With a strike-out, a pop-up and a fly ball, Lidge closed the game successfully, handing the Phillies a 3-1 win.

Game 3 with the Padres begins at 4:05pm tomorrow afternoon.  Cole Hamels will pitch and hopefully, put a 3-game sweep of the Padres in the bag.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Overcome Another Lidge Disaster To Win In 12

Every time someone mentions the name “Brad Lidge” now, I instantly feel sick to my stomach.  It has become a Pavlovian response.  And while I am not a dog, I do get a tad bitchy around the “Lidge” references.  The last two years of the Phillies-Lidge experiment have been a rollercoaster ride…and not a pleasant one.

Pavlov pitching.jpg

Last night, the Phils managed to squeak out 2 runs against the Padres amazing pitching staff while Roy Oswalt held their offense to just one run.  Oswalt had an amazing game; the kind of game everyone hoped he would bring to Philly.  But leave it to Lidge to try to sour the evening.

The 9th inning save attempt turned into another Lidge disaster.  Former Phillie Matt Stairs singled to start the inning and a pinch runner came in.  But Lidge got the first two outs without a problem after that.  And then, the wheels fell off the wagon.

After an intentional walk to slugger Adrian Gonzalez, Lidge was ahead 0-2 to Ryan Ludwick.  Yes, ahead in the count.  So what does Lidge do on the next pitch?  He hits Ludwick to load the bases.  As if that were not bad enough, Chase Headly steps to the plate and Lidge BALKS a run home.  And it was not one of those picky balk calls; it was blatantly obvious and without explanation.  Lidge was not holding anyone on base; the bases were loaded!  WHAT was he thinking?  Wow.  That was blown save #5 for Lidge this year.

The then tied 2-2 game went into extra innings.  Thanks to Jimmy Rollins and Chad Durbin, the Phillies pulled out a win.  Rollins led off the 12th with a double and scored on a Placido Polanco single.  It was a scary play as Rollins danced around the tag at home plate and just barely got his hand on the plate to score safely.  And Durbin pitched 2 scoreless innings to record the 3-2 win.

But runs were not easy to come by in the game and the Phillies still have issues hitting, especially with runners in scoring position.  In the 3rd, singles by Rollins, Polanco and Chase Utley scored the 1st run but, with two men on base, Ryan Howard struck out…again.  Shane Victorino had a chance to add on in the 8th with one out and the bases loaded.  A sac fly would have been nice, but instead, Victorino swung at the first pitch; the weak grounder was thrown home for the force out. 

Jayson Werth grounded into a double play in the 12th with 2 men on base, which blew a prime opportunity for an insurance run.  Werth went 0-5 with 2 strikeouts and in an odd twist, he even fell down the dugout stairs after a bad at-bat.  He appeared to be ok afterwards.  I hate to keep picking on Werth as I have all week, but his lack of focus is simply astounding.  He is not the only one, but he has been the most obvious about it.

So while a win is a great thing, especially after losing 4 straight to the Astros, the Phillies bats had better wake up today before this road trip takes a turn for the worst.  They did gain one game on the Braves with the win, so this is the time to step on the gas pedal and getting moving.  Game 2 with the Padres is this afternoon at 4:10pm.

By the way, pitcher Danys Baez was placed on the DL yesterday with back spasms.  Lefty Antonio Bastardo was called up to take his place.

 

Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Dis-ASTROS-ous Series Ends In A Sweep


1-Electric-Bill.jpgDid the Phillies forget to pay their electric bill this month?  Because they are suffering from a serious and prolonged power outage.  When sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley finally came off the DL in mid-late August, everyone was relieved to finally see the Phillies line-up back in order.  But the relief was short lived as the team has been on a downward spiral ever since. 

And now, the Phillies have lost ground in the NL East race, falling 3 games behind the Braves and missing key opportunities to catch up.  This 4-game sweep at the hands of the Astros may come back to haunt them in September.

Howard has only 3 hits in his last 10 games and has struck out 20 times.  In 16 at-bats for the Astros series, Howard got only 1 hit.  Utley has had only 7 hits in his last 34 at-bats since coming off the DL.  Other key players during the Astros 4-game series did not hit either; Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco had just 3 hits each.  They have consistently failed to hit with runners in scoring position too, with the worst offender being Jayson Werth.

So was the firing of hitting coach Milt Thompson in July really necessary?  Apparently not, because they are still not hitting.  Right now, the Phillies batters could not hit the side of a barn. 
hitting a barn.jpg


They have lost their fire and their intensity.  That was no more evident than today in the 5th inning when Werth tried to tag and score on a shallow fly to right.  Not only did Werth not even bother to slide, he never even touched the plate.  Werth should have slid hard and tried to take out the catcher to get that run.  Instead, he gave up and basically accepted defeat.

Kyle Kendrick looked half asleep on the mound too.  Ever since JA Happ was shipped to the Astros, Kendrick had relaxed more and more each start, to the point where he is just not present on the mound.  Maybe he figures there is no one left to take his job so why bother kicking it up a notch?  Kendrick has allowed 15 runs in his last 4 starts, with 4 of those runs coming in 6 innings tonight.

However, the real offenders this series were the Phillies hitters who got absolutely nothing done.  Except maybe for getting picked off on the base paths multiple times, failing to gets bunts down and not bothering to slide in order to score.  The way they have played is disgraceful.

If the Phillies take this sort of attitude and performance into San Diego tomorrow, they are going to be crushed.  They have 3 games with the Padres, 3 with the Dodgers and then a make-up in Denver against the now hot Rockies.  Cross your fingers.  Game time tomorrow is 10:05pm.

 

Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Another Pitching Duel

While it was delayed by one day due to rain, the rematch of Roy Halladay and Josh Johnson finally took place tonight in Philly.  Their last meeting was in Miami for Halladay’s perfect game on 5/29 where the Phillies won by a score of 1-0.  The same score stood tonight through 8 innings, except it was in favor of the Marlins.


P5231690v.jpgBoth starters pitched through those same 8 innings and Johnson did not budge.  He allowed just 3 hits while Halladay got into trouble in the first inning.  Halladay loaded the bases with no outs and still, escaped with only one run allowed.  After that, he did not budge either.  Stalemate.

Then came the 9th inning; Danys Baez has been hit or miss for the Phillies bullpen all year.  He had a bad April, a really good May and now in June, he has allowed a run in each of his last 3 games pitched.  Tonight it was a homer to put the Phillies in an 0-2 hole that seemed insurmountable.

Sure enough, the Phillies offense could not get anything done in the 9th and went down to the Fish by those 2 runs.  Yes, another shut-out; it was their 6th time being shut-out in the last 17 games.  At least this time, it was against one of the best pitchers in the National League so, it is not as shocking.

Rescheduled Game

Yesterday’s rain-out has been rescheduled for Labor Day on September 6th as part of a split doubleheader at 1:05pm.  Tickets from Wednesday’s rain-out are good for that day and time.  The regularly scheduled 7:05 pm game will go on as planned.

All-Star Staff

Charlie Manuel will coach the NL All-Star team again this year and has just announced his staff.  The Phillies coaches will all be going, as this is the usual tradition.  In addition, Manuel has named Padres‘ manager Bud Black and Giants manager Bruce Bochy as his coaches.    Sean Cunningham, head athletic trainer of the Marlins, and Keith Dugger, head athletic trainer of the Rockies, will also join the team.

The players will be announced on July 4th after voting ends on July 1st at midnight, with 4 more days to cast the final vote for the one extra player on each team after that.  So do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address. 

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

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