Results tagged ‘ Padres ’

Worley Wows While Bats Come To Life in Win Over Cubs

The Phillies offensive was very slow to develop on Tuesday.  But on Wednesday, they got off to a quick start with two runs in the first inning.

In the second inning, the Phillies really made Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster work hard in the 110 degree heat on the field.  But with two outs, no one on base and pitcher Vance Worley coming to the plate, it looked like Dempster was going to get out of the inning.  And then Worley smashed a double in the gap between center and right field.

That double precipitated a big inning for the Phillies.  Jimmy Rollins followed with another double to score Worley.  Then Michael Martinez singled in Rollins and Chase Utley doubled in Martinez.  It was a 3-run chain reaction.

But the fun did not end there.  While Worley mowed down Cubs and did not allow a hit until the 5th inning, the offense kept adding on.  Rollins had a huge day with three hits and two homers, one from each side of the plate.  That has only happened four times in Phillies history and two of the four times, it was Rollins. 

Rollins was so pumped after the first homer, he high-fived a bunch of Phillies fans on his way back to the dugout.  After the second homer, other fans caught on and the high-fives came again, only to a bigger crowd.  After the game, Gary “Sarge” Matthews even interviewed a fan about the high-fives.  Needless to say, he was pretty psyched about travelling all the way to Chicago to get high-fives from Rollins.

Martinez also continued his hot streak with two hits, an RBI and two stolen bases.  Utley had two hits, both doubles, and two RBI.  The only starter without a hit was Shane Victorino who is still looking for his first hit since returning from the DL yesterday.

With the offensive support, Worley was able to pitch without pressure and as a result, he went eight innings, the longest outing of his short career.  Worley allowed only one run on four hits and two walks.  Fans are also getting excited about Worley these days as evidenced by the new tee-shirt being sold by Zoo With Roy.  I assume it is a take-off on the shirt to the right, but why is his name spelled wrong?  Just curious…

 

The 9-1 win capped off a series victory against the Cubs.  Thursday is an off-day while the Phillies prepare for a big 10-game home stand with the Padres, Giants and Pirates.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Sweeps And Strikeout’s Cannot Hide the Stench Of Phillies Offensive Offense

It has been an interesting few days for the Phillies.  On Sunday, they finished off a four-game sweep of the Padres, scoring only 12 runs total in all of those games.  An inside-the-park homer by Shane Victorino helped seal Sunday’s sweep.

That same day, closer Jose Contreras was sent to the DL with a strained right flexor pronator tendon in his elbow.  As a result, Michael Stutes joined the club to fill the roster spot and made his major league debut on Monday.

Also on Monday night, the Phillies five-game win streak ended with a 0-4 shut-out loss to the D-Backs.  Cliff Lee pitched an odd game where he struck out 12 batters but still allowed four runs in seven innings.  However, Lee’s performance was basically rendered obsolete as the Phils offense did absolutely nothing to help out.

The three-hit shutout by the Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy where he struck out 10 batters and did not issue a walk, matched a team record.  Only two other pitchers in team history tossed a shutout while allowing three or fewer hits with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks.  One was Curt Schilling on April 10, 2001 against the Dodgers (2 hits allowed, 10 SO) and the other, Randy Johnson, when he pitched a perfect game on May 18, 2004 at Atlanta (13 SO).

While that feat by Kennedy is very impressive, the Phillies offense certainly made it a little easier on him by swinging at bad pitches and watching good ones fly by.

The Phils offensive offense has not scored more than four runs in 14 consecutive games this season.  They currently rank 28th in baseball for runs scored since April 9th.

The worst offender amongst the starters has been Raul Ibanez, who is hitting just .179.  He should be benched in favor of John Mayberry Jr. until he figures things out.  Maybe at almost 39-year old, Ibanez needs to be in a platoon with Mayberry to get him more rest.

Team leader Jimmy Rollins is also not producing.  He got off to a hot start and has seriously cooled off.  Rollins has not had a multi-hit game since April12th.  He has batted .182 since that time.

 

11A.jpg

But a few players are not to blame.  The entire team is just not hitting, as if they all caught the same virus at once.  If the disease continues to spread, who will be the fall guy?  Last year it was hitting coach Milt Thompson.  Frankly, the players themselves need to be held accountable.  Play the bench guys until the starters find their swings.

While the bench is solid, it is not the long-term solution.  However, maybe benching a few guys will light a fire under them.  Because the Phillies have few other options.

Their payroll is maxed out.  The Phillies will never be a team that decides to pay the luxury tax along with the Yankees.  So as far as getting new blood into the line-up, they are out of options.  Besides, it is only April and no teams are ready to trade anyone yet.

Then again, it is only April.  The team is still winning, despite the offense, thanks to a solid starting staff.  But even the pitchers are going to get weary of the lack of support very soon.

So choose your most relaxing yoga pose and just keep telling yourself, “It’s only April.  Its only April…”

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Win Third In A Row Against Padres In Extras

After not allowing a single run to the Padres in two straight games, the Phillies finally yielded on Saturday night in the first inning.  Joe Blanton got roughed up quickly.  On his first three pitches of the game, he allowed a single and an RBI triple to break the Padres scoreless streak.

But after getting out of the early jam, Blanton settled down and actually pitched very well.  In seven innings, he allowed just two runs on eight hits and two walks.  Blanton finally lowered his ERA below six; it sits at 5.92 right now and hopefully, will get better as the season progresses.

Placido Polanco got the day off at third base, which seemed like an odd choice considering he is the only Phillie really hitting right now.  Wilson Valdez took third and Pete Orr filled in at second.  Both players had one hit each, but overall, the offense suffered again.

Jimmy Rollins and Ben Francisco accounted for the Phillies two runs.  After Rollins walked in the fourth, Francisco tripled to score him.  Then in the sixth, Rollins singled to score Orr who had doubled before him.


Orrs Oars.jpgJust a quick side note, I noticed last week that Orr already has a fan club, Orr’s Oars.  A group of fans have been wielding boat oars in the outfield in Orr’s honor.  Also interesting to note, Orr’s cousin, Nick Boynton, plays for the Flyers.

And yes, that is how sad the offense was in this game.  I was so bored, I made a hockey reference.

Here are just a few examples of the Phillies offensive woes:  Raul Ibanez has not had a hit in 17 at-bats.  Frankly, I think John Mayberry Jr. should get some playing time until Ibanez figures it out.  And Rollins is batting .120 in his last seven games.

The Padres have similar issues and as such, neither team looked good on offense.  That led to extra innings after both teams were unable to score again in a 2-2 tie game.  This would become a battle of the bullpens.

As it turned out, the Phillies bullpen came out on top thanks to an RBI-single by Howard in the 11th.  That hit was huge for Howard as he had struck out in each of his previous four at-bats.  The two runs that scored gave the Phillies a 4-2 lead which Ryan Madson held down for his second save in a row.

The Phillies are up 3-0 in the series with the final game today at 4:05pm.

 

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

Phillies Pitching Wins First Two Games In San Diego

On Thursday night, the Phillies snuck away with a 3-0 win against the Padres even though their offense is still anemic.  Home runs by Ben Francisco and Brian Schneider paved the way for Roy Oswalt to collect his third win of the year.

While Oswalt appeared to have no ill effects from last week’s back issue, he did wind up having to toss a lot of pitches to get through six innings.  It was 106 pitches, to be exact.  The bullpen held the lead despite each reliever allowing one hit and one walk each.


P4178660BO.jpgFriday night, Cole Hamels took the mound and looked great in front of his hometown crowd.  Usually comfy in San Diego, Hamels seemed to be relaxed and in control.  He was even one of the best batters of the night with two hits, although he had a brain freeze and got picked off first base once.

Hamels cruised through eight innings without allowing a run.  The Padres managed only four hits and three walks, one of which was intentional. 

As for the Phillies offense, there has been very little of that lately.  Two walks in the third inning led to a 2-RBI triple by Ryan Howard which accounted for the Phillies only two runs of the game.  Lucky for them, Hamels brought his A-game and kept the Padres off the scoreboard.

The ninth inning was handed to Ryan Madson.  Jose Contreras got a day off since he has pitched a lot lately.  Madson has struggled in the closer role in the past, but tonight he had no issues.  The Phillies went on to win by a score of 2-0.

There are two more games in the series.  Saturday’s game time is 8:35pm and Joe Blanton will pitch.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Salvage A Game Against The Brewers

The Phillies avoided a sweep at the hands of the Brewers this afternoon with a 4-3 win.  The 2-1 series loss was the first series loss of their season.


P4178730CC.jpgThe Phils offense went 17 straight innings in this series without scoring a run.  John Mayberry Jr. got the first hit of the game, but that did not happen until the 5th inning.  Then finally in the sixth, Wilson Valdez (photo) drew a walk and Shane Victorino singled.  Placido Polanco then smacked his second homer of the week to tie the game up at 3-3.

Cliff Lee had a slightly off day, although he kept the team in the game.  Through six innings, Lee allowed two earned runs on eight hits and a walk.  The third run was the result of a Valdez error.

Valdez made up for the error in the ninth, after a Victorino homer gave the Phillies the lead the inning before.  Valdez ran backwards after a fly ball that was over his head, reached out and snagged the ball.  That play saved closer Jose Contreras from a very difficult inning.  Contreras then struck out Ryan Braun to end the game.

The Phillies now travel to the West coast for a 4-game series with the Padres.  Thursday’s game starts at 10:05pm and Roy Oswalt, feeling better since having back issues, will pitch.  Phillies fans, prepare for some late nights in the coming week.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

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*

 

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