Results tagged ‘ Pedro Martinez ’

Slam Dunk: Halladay Nabs Unanimous Cy Young

If there was ever a question that Roy Halladay should indeed be the 2010 National League Cy Young award winner, then clearly you have not been paying attention.  With a both perfect game and playoff game no-hitter to his record this year, Halladay was the hands-down winner, garnering all 32 first-place votes for a unanimous decision.

This is Halladay’s second Cy Young; he won the first with the Blue Jays in 2003.  He is the 5th player ever to recieve the award in both leagues, joining Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.  Halladay is also the 4th Phillie to win, joining Steve Carlton (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982), John Denny (1983) and Steve Bedrosian (1987).

Finishing the season with a 21-10 record and a 2.44 ERA, Halladay had a career year and was the indisputable favorite for the award.  In short, it was slam dunk.


Halladay slam dunk.jpgAs we near the holiday season, this award made me wonder, what do you get for the person who has nearly everything?  He has a perfect game, a no-hitter, more than 20 wins, millions of dollars and now a second Cy Young award.  With this in mind, I put together a list of ideas for anyone shopping for Mr. Halladay this season.

What To Get Roy Halladay For The Holiday’s

1. A World Series Championship (Duh)

2. His very own “Most Interesting Man In The World” beer commercial

3. A World Series Championship (can we get one in gift card form to redeem in 2011?)

4. A spaceship so he can visit other planets when he gets bored with Earth

5. A World Series Championship (did I already say that??)

6. An I-Pod Dock Toilet Paper Holder – For tunes while you toot.  Several web sites recommend this…seriously.

7. A World Series Championship (in case I forgot to mention it earlier)


Halladay rainbow.jpg8. A
Solar-Powered Rainbow Maker – Have you ever just been sitting around thinking, gee, I’d love to see a cheery rainbow right now?  Yeah, me too.  Besides, Halladay already has the pot of gold to go with it.

9. His very own country – call it “Happy Halladayville”

10. If you are still online shopping for the TP holder, maybe I was not clear the first 4 times…get Roy Halladay a World Series Championship!!!

 

Roy Halladay thanks you in advance ;O)

 

Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Age Battles Youth

After another solid start from pitcher Kyle Kendrick on Thursday against the Astros, the competition for the 5th starters spot is getting more interesting by the day.  Kendrick pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing just 1 earned run on 5 hits and 2 walks.  His spring ERA stands at 1.37.

 


Moyer J.jpgJamie Moyer
has only pitched in one “A” game so far and a bunch of “B” games, but he will face the Yankees tonight in his final bid for the 5th spot.  Moyer’s one regular spring outing ended with a 1.80 ERA for 1 run over 5 innings of work.  Tonight’s game then will likely be the deciding factor.

 

If Moyer does well, it looks like the spot may be his.  However, if he gets beat up by the Yanks, he still may get the nod anyway.  Although Kendrick has more than earned the spot and personally, I feel it should be his, the Phillies will probably go with experience over youth.  Poor Kyle has all kinds of factors working against him; his youth, Moyer’s huge $8 million dollar salary and the fact that Moyer has never been a bullpen pitcher.

 

Moyer did work from the pen a little last year when Pedro Martinez arrived, but only for extended innings, like after rain delays.  So essentially, he was still being used more as a starter than a bullpen piece.  Manager Charlie Manuel seemed very hesitant to put Moyer in for only a few batters which tells you that they were not confident about his ability to pitch out of the bullpen.

 

My prediction is that the Phillies will go with Moyer and put Kendrick in the pen.  After Moyer has a few bad outings, they will probably switch, just like Chan Ho Park and JA Happ did last season.  Then again, as with most predictions, anything can happen.

 

Reunion

 

The Phillies were reunited yesterday with former teammate Brett Myers who was the starting pitcher for the Astros.  Myers made Philly his home for 11 years, with the same team who drafted him. 
myers phils.jpg
Seeing him another uniform was strange.  Then again, considering how many ex-Phillies are with the Astros, including Myers, Pedro Feliz, Jason Michaels, Michael Bourn, and Gary Majewski, maybe we should all be Astros fans too?  Or maybe not…

 

Myers left the game early with a strained left groin, but it appears to be minor.  Afterwards, Myers spoke about the Philly fans saying, “I felt appreciated when I came out of the game and they all stood up and clapped for me. That was very respectful. Philly fans get a bad rap, but they’re loyal to the guys that played there and have done things for the organization. I really appreciated that. That was classy.”  Myers will be missed by many Philly fans and we wish him well…unless he is playing against the Phillies, of course ;o)

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Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Catch & Toss

The Phillies found a back-up catcher today when they signed Brian Schneider to a $2.75 million, 2 year deal.  Schneider spent the last 2 years with the Mets and the previous 8 seasons with the Nationals/Expos.  The best news here is that Schneider was notorious for being a Phillie killer; pitching to him has been a 10 year nightmare.  Overall, Schneider is  a .251 hitter and should fit nicely into the back-up spot vacated by Paul Bako and Chris Coste before that.

And in a very odd twist to the situation, Coste has just been signed by the Mets!  P6216152 CCoste.jpgCoste started the 2009 season with the Phillies before being tossed and subsequently picked up off waivers by Houston in July.  The self-proclaimed 33-year old rookie is now in enemy threads which is sure to send shockwaves throughout Philadelphia.  Coste was well loved in Philly and many were unhappy with his departure.  Not to mention, many would rather see him retire than play in a Mets uniform.  It is a sad, sad day for Coste fans.  But look at the bright side; at least we will get to see him a lot next year :O)

As for the other holes in the line-up, like third base, no word yet except that midnight tonight is the deadline for all teams to offer salary arbitration to their free agents.  The Phillies are likely to offer arbitration to Chan Ho Park as they have stated they want him back next year.  Park may decline and decide to look around for a starting pitching spot as several teams have seemed interested in him.  If he accepts, he will be with the Phillies for 2010 and probably get a raise.  As for the other free agents, Bako and Eric Bruntlett are out of the picture with their replacements already signed in Brian Schneider and Juan CastroBrett Myers has already been shown the door, as has Jack TaschnerPedro Feliz, Pedro Martinez, Matt Stairs and Miguel Cairo are also unlikely, although Stairs and Cairo may be offered minor league deals. 

Ticket Prices

So, have we all looked at our season ticket invoices yet?  This is not a huge shock, but Phillies ticket prices went up again this year by $2- $4 per ticket.  Not only that, but some season ticket holders received worse seat assignments.  Someone I know got bumped backwards 2 rows in the same section.  So, we are now paying more for less?  While 2 rows is not earth shattering, traditionally, season ticket holders have been rewarded for their loyalty with better seats from year to year, not punished.

So yes, the World Series win in 2008 plus the return trip in 2009 do affect the prices, unfortunately.  But that does not make it any easier to swallow.  The money does not go towards improving the team or free agency; it is just more in the pockets of the owners.   And with the team winning now, they do it simply because they can.

Prices over the recent years have increased tremendously.  A seat that cost $42 in 2004 is now $58 for 2010.  The last year of the vet for the same seat was $26.   What I am wondering though is what happens when the team sucks again?  Do we become the Nationals with a stadium that is only 25% full?  I follow the team win or lose, but I will not pay those prices to see them lose when I can do that at home for free.  Then again, maybe they will never suck again…one can dream ;o)

So, did anyone else get there ticket invoice and wonder what happened?  Did you get the same seats or did you get bumped back?  What do you think about the prices?  Let me know in the comment section below.

Coste photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Will There Be An Early Christmas Halladay For The Phillies?

Oh yes, here we go again…  It is only mid-November and the Roy Halladay rumor mill is already in full swing.  While the Phillies were unable to strike a deal with the Blue Jays in July for the star pitcher and instead wound up with Cliff Lee (and we are all ok with that, of course), the Jays may still be looking for a chance to get Halladay off their payroll.

If the Phillies can manage a deal for Halladay, odds are they will have to pay much less for him than they would have in July since now he is only good for one potential post-season instead of two.  begging cat.jpgBut the Jays are probably still interested in the Phillies top prospect, Kyle Drabek, whom the Phillies are unlikely to part with.  In an interesting twist however, it has also been rumored that the Jays might be willing to take Cole Hamels.  Can I get a Hallelujah and an Amen to that possibility?!!

Although Hamels is six years younger than Halladay, he had a terrible season for the Phillies and most fans are sick of his emotional issues, media faux pas and lack of composure on the mound.  Odds are, not many people would be sad about such a trade.  Sadly, if this were rumored last season, there may have been riots in the street full of angry fans unwilling to let the World Series MVP go.  But now?  Not so much…

Besides upgrading the pitching staff, it appears the Phillies now need a third baseman as Pedro Feliz did not have his option picked up.  The Phillies can still sign him as agree agent if they come to an agreement, but it looks more likely that the Phils will look elsewhere. 

PA312135 Feliz.jpg
Feliz had a decent season, but I think he really screwed himself in the playoffs where he hit only .167, made unproductive outs in crucial situations and hit into double plays that killed rallies.  Plus, he is 34 years old, which does not help his case.

The top prospects for third base right now are Chone Figgins, Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa and former Phillie, Placido Polanco.  Figgins would be the best choice, although fans loved Polanco when he was here and many were upset when Chase Utley took his job.  Hind sight, as they say, is 20/20. 

Back in 2005 when Polanco went to the Tigers, many Phillies fans felt he should have been moved to 3rd base to keep him on the team, myself included.  As it turns out, had the Phillies done so, Polanco would likely still be with us.  Up to that point, he had moved back and forth from 2nd to 3rd base for years.  But after going to the Tigers, it was 2nd base all the way.  The question then with Polanco is, could he transition back to 3rd after more than 4 years steady at 2nd?  That may be too big a question for the Phillies to consider taking him.

So, third base is wide open right now and several other Phillies have filed for free agency; Chan Ho Park, Matt Stairs, Paul Bako, Pedro Martinez and Miguel Cairo.  The Phillies will not likely sign Martinez again, as he will command too hefty a salary and they need a more consistent arm.  Park is a possibility, Cairo and Bako will probably not be back and Stairs I am not too sure about.  My feeling was that he might retire, but since he has filed, I now do not know what is on his mind.  But this leaves the Phillies with the need for a back-up catcher, a right handed bat off the bench and a variety of pitching needs.

As for our walking wounded, both Scott Eyre and Raul Ibanez had successful surgeries yesterday and are expected to make recoveries before Spring Training.  Eyre may or may not decide to retire so his future is uncertain.  Ibanez, we hope, will be back to 2009 first-half form.  Brad Lidge will have surgery tomorrow.  What exactly is wrong with him will be an interesting revelation.  We should have more information in the days to come.

Feliz photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Phillies 2009 Year In Review

2009 was an outstanding season for the Philadelphia Phillies in many ways.  Not only did they return to the World Series for the second consecutive year, but when you look at everything they had to endure to do so, the feat becomes that much more impressive.  Here is a look at the obstacles the team overcame in 2009 and also some of the season highlights:

 

Obstacles Overcome

 

  • The loss of our beloved Harry Kalas

  •  
    Thumbnail image for Kalas.jpgThe 2008 World Series hangover
  • Injuries to every member of the bullpen
  • Losing the #2 starter (Brett Myers) at the beginning of the year
  • Watching the #1 starter, Cole Hamels, go through weird injuries, bad luck and a very bad season

  • Hamels Myers.jpgJC Romero’s
    unwarranted 50-game suspension
  • Lack of production from the bench players
  • The June Swoon (11-15 record)
  • The struggles and eventual season ending injury of Jamie Moyer
  • The injury to Raul Ibanez right before the All-Star break; Ibanez went from super hot to totally not afterwards.
  • Offensive slumps throughout the year
  • A down year and very slow start from the offensive engine, Jimmy Rollins
  • Brad Lidge going from first to worst among closers

 

 

Highlights

 

  • The Ring Ceremony

  • P4088732.JPGThe White House visit

  • n23409805_46913024_2198875.jpgEric Bruntlett’s
    game-ending, unassisted triple play
  • Cliff Lee - a gift from Heaven (and Ruben Amaro Jr.)


  •  

    Thumbnail image for Lee in heaven3.jpgJayson Werth
    becomes a solid, productive everyday player
  • Pedro Feliz had off-season back surgery, recovered well and became a real contributor offensively
  • JA Happ emerged as rookie sensation with 12 wins and the lowest team ERA among starters (2.93)
  • Jamie Moyer wins career game #250
  • The Phillies visit with J-Roll Smurf (more of a personal highlight, but a highlight nonetheless)


  • smurfs phillies.jpgChase Utley
    – enough said
  • Ryan Howard becomes the fastest player ever to reach 200 career home runs
  • Ryan Howard knocks the most grand slams in Phillies history

  • Howard Utley.jpgA 3-game sweep of the Mets in July
  • The 10 game winning streak, July 8-21
  • The two Old Goats, Jamie Moyer & Pedro Martinez, combine to win 2 games in August that were split up by rain delays

  • 2 goats.jpg5 Phillies players, plus all coaches, go to the All-Star game
  • Jayson Werth steals home against Dodgers
  • Franchise record set for attendance and sellout games; 3,600,693 fans and 73 sellouts in 81 home games, finishing 3rd in baseball for total and average attendance
  • Return to World Series


PA040710.jpg 

Congratulations to the 2009 National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies! 

 

In other news:

 

  • The 2009 coaching staff have all been invited to return next year. 
  • Cliff Lee’s 8 million dollar club option was picked up (no surprise here) for 2010.
  • Raul Ibanez, Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge will all be seen by team doctors this weekend to determine if surgeries will be needed.  Eyre has loose bodies in his elbow and Lidge may have the same.  Ibanez has a tear in his abdomen and a hip issue.
  • No word yet on Pedro Feliz’s club option, but it will be decided by Monday.
  • Photos by Jenn, except White House

     

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

 

Disappointment For Phillies; Exuberance For Yankees

 

Disappointment:  The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest.  It is a source of psychological stress.  Synonyms: failure, defeat, frustration (courtesy of Wikipedia).

disappointment.jpg
And disappointment is what Philadelphia is left with after their failure to repeat as World Champions.  Instead, with a 3-7 Phillies loss tonight, the Yankees brought home their 27th World Series title.  The Phillies are left with the consolation prize as National League Champs.

After winning Game 1, the Phillies looked poised for a repeat.  Game 2 went to the Yankees in a relatively fair battle.  Game 3 was the real turning point as Cole Hamels did not perform well and the offense could not bail him out.  But things got much worse in Game 4 where Brad Lidge gave up 3 runs in the 9th after the Phillies had battled to tie up the game prior to that.  The Hamels and Lidge killer combo made for two gut-wrenching losses and a serious turn in the tide.

Cliff Lee won his second game of the series in Game 5 and kept the Phillies alive for one more day, along with the bat of Chase Utley which appeared unstoppable.  But back in New York for Game 6, Utley and the Phillies were stopped.

epic-failure.jpg
 

Pitching wins ball games and the Yankees had better pitching.  Andy Pettitte was spectacular on only 3 days rest.  Pedro Martinez, on the other hand, had a full 5 days rest and still gave up 4 runs in 4 innings.  All 4 of those runs, plus 2 more later in the game, came off the bat of Hideki Matsui.  After hitting a homer off Martinez in Game 2 and then again tonight in the 2nd inning, why Martinez was left in the game to pitch to Matsui again in the 3rd is a mystery.  JA Happ was up and ready in the bullpen, but Charlie Manuel left Martinez in to pitch to a guy who clearly had his number.  That mistake was the back-breaker as Matsui  hit a 2-run single.

The bullpen gave up 3 more runs and the 7-1 deficit looked to be near impossible to erase for the Phillies.  The offense attempted to battle back; Ryan Howard knocked a 2-run homer in the 6th but then Pedro Feliz left his 5th base runner of the night stranded as he grounded out to third base.  In the 7th, the previously clutch Chase Utley struck out with 2 outs and 2 men on base.  That put the nail in the coffin.

So the Phillies came up short, which just plain sucks.  But they put up a good fight and overall, the season was a great success.  To have made it back to the World Series two years in a row is quite an accomplishment.  And while that does not make us feel any better right now, remember you will not be suffering alone.  It’s me, you, a bottle of Vodka and a tiny dancing bear wearing a pink tutu…oh sorry, I digress…  Just find your happy place, go there and do not come out until Spring Training.  At least that is what the voices in my head keep telling me…

Congratulations to the Yankees and their fans, especially my Yankee friends here in the MLBlogs community.  Enjoy the moment.

By the way, as luck would have it, there was an article printed about me in the local newspaper today about my Phillies-fandom.  So, not only do the Phillies lose today, but the reporter totally spelt my name wrong.  What does this mean?  Tomorrow, total strangers who recognize me from the paper will either console or harass me over this loss.  If you see me wandering about with that target on my back, please be kind ;O)  Thank you in advance…

 

The Ut-Lee Show Keeps Phillies Alive

If this were the circus, the Ut-Lee Show might replace Ringling Brothers as the Greatest Show On Earth.  For the second time in this World Series against the Yankees, Cliff Lee and Chase Utley have joined forces to win a crucial game for the Phillies.  Game 5 was a must win as a loss would have sent them home empty handed.  The Phillies pulled off an 8-6 win and this series will head back to New York for Game 6.

Chase Utley set the tone in the first inning.  Jimmy Rollins led off with a single and then Shane Victorino took a wicked hit to his hand with a pitch that got away from AJ Burnett.  Utley made the Yankees pay by smacking a 3-run homer off Burnett on the first pitch he saw.  Utley homered again in the 7th inning and ended with 4 RBI, 2 hits, a walk and 3 runs scored.  And those 2 homers gave Utley 5 total for this World Series, a total previously matched only by Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Utley did it in one less game.  Move over, Mr. October!


110209a.jpgAs for the non-Utley offense, Raul Ibanez woke from his slumber and hit a solo shot in the 7th.  Ibanez had another RBI on a single earlier in the game too.  But Ryan Howard is still slumping; he walked twice and did not have a hit in the game.  Then there is Cliff Lee, who has the highest average on the team for this series; he had another hit last night and is batting .333.

On the mound, Lee became the first Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton in 1980 to win two games in the same World Series with his performance last night.  Lee allowed only 2 runs over 7 innings, although he got into trouble in the 8th and 3 more runs scored.  But Lee probably should not have been sent out for the 8th at all if the Phillies were considering using Lee on short rest for a possible Game 7.  And in the post-game conference, Charlie Manuel and Lee indicated that the Game 7 scenario was a possibility.


110209b.jpgThe move to leave Lee in is telling; first, it shows confidence in Lee.  But more importantly, it also shows that Manuel is still unsure about his bullpen, which is not surprising.  Brad Lidge blew a tie in Game 4, which the Phillies then lost.  Ryan Madson has been shaky and allowed 3 hits and 1 run before saving the game last night in a nail biter of an inning.

The rest of the starters have been inconsistent as well.  No one is sure what to expect from Pedro Martinez tomorrow; Joe Blanton has not had a good post-season; and Cole Hamels will likely not pitch again after several disasters and his diarrhea-of-the-mouth episode in which he wished for the season to be over.  Lee cannot pitch every game so Martinez will need to come up big if the Phillies are to have a shot at repeating.

The good news is, the Phillies have momentum with the win last night.  The bad news is, the Yankees are not going to give in and will have their home town crowd to support them.  Andy Pettitte will be on 3 days rest, but Pettitte is better on 3 days rest than many pitchers on full rest.  And so the battle begins at 7:57pm on Wednesday night.

Here is the full Photo Album from Game 5; the last game of the year at Citizens Bank Park.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Series Tied Up

The World Series is now tied at 1 game each as the Yankees came up with a 3-1 win over the Phillies last night.  Starting pitchers Pedro Martinez and AJ Burnett both pitched well, but Burnett did a bit better.  Burnett was trying to do his best Cliff Lee impersonation and except for 2 hits and a run in the 2nd inning, he did just that.

Thumbnail image for Martinez Burnett.jpg

Martinez allowed 3 runs over 6 innings, but the 3rd run probably should not have happened.  Martinez looked like he was done after 6 innings, but Charlie Manuel sent him out for the 7th where he allowed 2 hits with no outs and then had be to taken out.  With a bullpen full of fresh arms that had not pitched in 8 days, plus the fact that Martinez has been sick for several days, he never should have started that inning.  A one run lead may have been possible to overcome against the Yanks closer, Mariano Rivera, but two runs were insurmountable.  Chan Ho Park allowed that 3rd run to score when he came in to relieve Martinez.

Several Phillies have been taken ill these last few weeks.  Greg Dobbs was sent back to Philly early as he has the flu; Scott Eyre and Shane Victorino have both been battling illnesses as well.  Eyre was in the hospital Thursday night with the flu.  So with Martinez catching the bug as well, why push him?

The Phillies did get to Rivera, who was sent in for a two inning save.  They managed 2 hits and a walk, proving that Mo is not untouchable.  But the decision to not send the runners with two on and two strikes on Utley, who usually makes contact, cost them.  The Yankees turned a double play to end the inning, although the replay showed Utley was safe at first.

Prior to that, Matt Stairs had the only RBI for the Phillies after a Raul Ibanez double.  The Phillies never figured out Burnett and Ryan Howard even struck out 4 times.  3 of the top 4 hitters did not get a hit and as a team, the Phillies had 6 hits total.

So the good news is, we do not have to see Burnett again for a while and hopefully, not at all.  The other good news is the Phillies are headed home where they have played extremely well this post-season.  Cole Hamels will pitch on Saturday, which is Halloween.  I think Cole should dress up for Halloween as “Hamels: Version 2008.”  Hopefully, he can scare the Yanks right out of that game.

Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phils Take Game 1 With Lee’s Complete Game

The Phillies got off to a great start with a 6-1 win in game 1 of the World Series against the Yankees.  P8195426 Lee.jpgCliff Lee was a magician on the mound, going the distance and not allowing any earned runs.  The 1 Yankees run came on a Jimmy Rollins error.  Lee dominated; he struck out 10 batters and looked like a giddy kid tossing a little league game, running in and out of the dugout and fielding balls with youthful nonchalance.  A few waves of the Lee magic wand, and the Yanks were sunk.

A few waves of Chase Utley’s bat worked a little magic as well.  Utley hit 2 home runs off CC Sabathia, putting the Phillies up 2-0 in the 6th inning, with the first homer coming in the 1st inning.  The pitching duel continued until Raul Ibanez knock 2 runs in with a single in the 8th to pad the lead.  The Phillies added 2 more runs in the 9th on singles by Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard.  Victorino was thrown out at the plate right after Rollins scored, but the score was 6-0 at that point so the aggressive move to send Victorino made sense.

The Phillies have now taken the Home Field advantage away from the Yankees and silenced doubters who thought the Yanks would walk all over this team.  Clearly, the Yankees have some trouble in their bullpen which will be an advantage for the Phillies who did a great job working Sabathia’s pitch count up to get to their pen.

In addition, I personally cannot wait to see what the New York media decides to post after this loss. 

Victorinoxx.jpg
Before the series began, the NY media took shots at the Phillies and their players that resembled high school bullying. 

This cover of Shane Victorino is just one example of how New York is taking this team way too lightly.  Shane thought it was funny but ultimately, it is irresponsible journalism, if you can even call it journalism.  But that is fine; the Phillies showed them what this team is made of.  They should be afraid….very afraid.

Game 2  is tonight with Pedro Martinez  on the mound!  Another media spectacle, for sure, but it will be a very entertaining game.  Go Phillies!!!  And for the Cliff Lee fans….Go PhilLEEs!!!!!

Lee photo by Jenn

 

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

 

 

A Tough Loss

The Phillies took a tough loss today against the Dodgers to tie this NLCS series 1 game each.  Pedro Martinez was brilliant through 7 innings where he allowed only 2 hits and no runs.  You could not have asked for more out of him.  But Martinez was pulled before the 8th inning in favor of a pinch-hitter and that proved to be a costly move as the bullpen could not hold down the 1-0 lead.

The pen has been the Achilles heel of this team all year.  Yesterday, they pulled through; today, they did not.  Manager Charlie Manuel went through five pitchers in the 8th inning and they combined to blow the lead.  Chan Ho Park, who was amazing yesterday, started the inning and gave up two base hits with no outs.  But it looked like he may escape the jam when Russell Martin hit an easy double play ball to third.  No such luck…

In a rare and truly scary move, Chase Utley, for the second night in a row, overthrew first base which allowed the tying run to score and left 2 men on with 1 out.  Last night, the slow feed from Jimmy Rollins and off-balance throw appeared to blame.  But tonight, Utley just plain blew it.  He rushed the throw when he had plenty of time and killed any chance Park had of getting out of the inning unscathed.P8195352 Utley.jpg

Utley is human, of course.  And you cannot blame the loss on him when the only scoring the Phillies did all game was a solo homer by Ryan Howard.  But it was a terrible waste of a great performance by Martinez and an even bigger waste of the opportunity to go up 2-0 in what will be a very tough series for this team. 

JA Happ allowed the winning run to score for the Dodgers when he walked Andre Ethier with the bases loaded.  The run was charged to Park.  Chad Durbin got them out of the inning, but in the 9th, they offense went down 1-2-3.  And to add insult to injury, Utley made the last out of the game by flying out to Ethier in right.  I am betting that right now, Utley needs a hug; or maybe a big bowl of ice cream.  Stiff drink anyone?  Ugh.

This loss was depressing on a number of levels.  But the good news is that we now have 3 games in Philly, starting on Sunday night.  With any luck, and some sort of miracle in the bullpen, the Phillies can use the home field to get themselves back on track.

Photo by Jenn

Happy Bunny by Jim Benton

 

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

 

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