Results tagged ‘ Phanatic ’
The Phillies played an away game at home in Philly for the first time ever, against the Blue Jays. Because of the G-20 Summit in Toronto, the 3-games series was move to Philadelphia. The team wore their grey road uniforms, batted first, used the DH and even took batting practice second. The Canadian Mountaineers even made several appearances with the Phanatic:
But the really fun part was seeing Roy Halladay pitch against his old team for the first time in his career. And Halladay came out with his usual serious, mow-them-down attitude. After 7 shut-out innings, Halladay walked off the mound with his 9th win of the year.
The Phillies offense, which in previous Halladay starts had not helped him out much, finally scored some runs for him. Ross Gload got a rare start at first base since Ryan Howard served as the DH and Gload took full advantage. He went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI in the game. Jayson Werth was also on base a lot, with 2 hits and 2 walks. Chase Utley and Shane Victorino scored 2 RBI a piece and Jimmy Rollins walked 4 times. J-Roll hit that walk-off homer the day before and now no one wants to pitch to him? Strange.
Defensively, the Phils were solid as well. A very odd run-down double play happened in the 3rd inning where both Utley and Gload had to chase down runners and tag them out:
So with all the Phillies offense, the crowd was actually a little bored by the 6th inning. By the 7th inning, restless crowd began the wave. It was probably the longest sustained wave I have ever seen:
Victorino woke up the crowd in the 8th inning by smashing a homer to left center field, adding to the already huge Phillies lead. Victorino, and really the whole team, were in good spirits before the game and it translated into a whole lot of scoring:
When it was finished, the Phillies took away a 9-0 win for their 7th shut-out of 2010. They will play the Jays this afternoon at 4:05pm with Cole Hamels on the mound. Here is the full Photo Album from Friday’s game, which includes the 76ers 1st round draft pick, Evan Turner, hanging out before the game and also throwing the 1st pitch.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Today’s Phillies – Twins match-up was both surprising and painful:
The surprises were:
– Roy Halladay was not sharp for the second game in a row. Not horrible by any means, but he did allow 4 runs (1 was unearned) over 8 innings. But the 11 hits he gave up was most surprising.
– Another shocker, the only run of the game for the Phils came on a homer run by Wilson Valdez. That is two days in a row for Valdez, now up to his 3 career homers in 4 years.
– Shane Victorino got sloppy and threw a ball away which led to a run.
– The offense, after 4 straight games of scoring at least 6 runs, went back to sleep.
The painful parts? Everything else.
After a horrible loss last night with the bullpen blowing a 5-run lead, this loss hurt that much more. The Phillies are now 5.5 games back of 1st place in the NL East and show no signs of busting out.
Here is some photographic evidence of how bad the Phillies are going. Normally, it is very, very difficult to get a moving ball in a photo, especially when I am shooting from the stands, around bouncing heads and other obstacles. I do a pretty good job at it most of the time. But if I get a player hitting with the ball in the shot 3 times in 3 different at-bats, that usually means that player is not hitting the ball too hard. Check out Jayson Werth today in 3 separate at-bats:
This is another telling shot; either Justin Morneau is playing leap frog and trying to tag himself out, or someone made a very bad throw:
And how about one more “Oh crap!” moment:
In fact, this game was so bad, the Phillies pulled some odd entertainment out of their collective backsides just to distract the fans:
Is this Big Foot? Seriously, what the hell is this? Oh, ok….they say it is a groundhog, like in Caddyshack. See, the Phanatic is golfing…on the ball field. Ok then. Distraction noted…thanks.
Maybe they should hand a bat to Mr. Big Foot/Groundhog? He cannot do much worse than the Phillies and the opposition will surely be confused by the move. It’s official. I am a genius. Send in the Big Foot!
If anyone else has a better idea, I mean besides kidnapping Joe Mauer and putting him in red pinstripes, please call the Phils and let them know. Thanks.
So here is the Photo Album from today’s disastrous 1-4 loss. Think of it as another fun distraction and then go pour yourself a stiff drink. I know I will.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Three solo home runs were the difference in a 5-3 win over the Braves. Placido Polanco, Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino all went long in the game. Werth had two RBI on the day and Raul Ibanez collected one as well. Here are a few game highlights:
Cole Hamels started the game and look great through 3 innings. In the 4th, the bottom began to fall out as he walked the first two batters. After escaping that near-disaster unharmed, Hamels came back out in the 5th and started again with a walk. Four singles in a row followed to give the Braves 3 runs. Hamels worked out of the inning again, but the 5th would be his last inning.
There does not appear to be any rhyme or reason to the sudden change in Hamels’ performance. He simply lost his command and forgot where the strike zone was. Luckily, the bullpen bailed him out. Chad Durbin pitched 2 innings and Jose Contreras took the 8th. Both did an amazing job as their families looked on. Before the game, both players greeted their moms and wives on the field for Mother’s Day; even the Phanatic brought his mom to the game:
Brad Lidge earned his first save of the year when he retired the final 3 Braves batters. The first two batters hit long fly balls that barely stayed in the park, but they turned into outs. And we cannot expect zero drama from Lidge, can we? A win is a win; we’ll take it.
Also in honor of Mother’s Day on this day, most of the players used pink bats and wore other pink accessories to mark the occasion and show their support for Breast Cancer research. Chase Utley went all out…look at the photo. He used the pink bat, wore pink batting gloves, 2 pink necklaces, a pink wristband and a pink ribbon pin. Who says real men don’t wear pink? Not I.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game.
In injury news, back-up catcher Brian Schneider has been placed on the DL with a left achilles strain. Paul Hoover, who spent a short time with the team last year, has been recalled from AAA and will take Schneider’s place.
So the Phillies closed out this home stand with a series win and will be off to Colorado to face the Rockies on Monday night. Kyle Kendrick will pitch and the game begins at 8:40pm.
Also, be sure to check out my interviews with Dallas Green, Gary “Sarge” Matthews and Virginia Ventura Marina of the former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League if you missed it yesterday.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
On behalf of Cole Hamels, can I get a collective “Arrgghhhh!” please? Thank you. This poor guy pitched like a real ace today against the Marlins and has nothing to show for it. His first two outings this year stunk, but the offense scored 8 and 7 runs for him, respectively. Today, Hamels allowed just 2 runs over 8 innings, striking out 8 batters and did not issue any walks. And this game, he loses by a score of 0-2. Ugh.
There were a few moments in the game where it looked like Hamels may revert to his 2009 ways and lose his cool. The home run to Dan Uggla in the 2nd inning was one, but he just kept on pitching as if it did not happen. The second instance was huge; with no outs in the 3rd, the inning began with a double to centerfield from the Marlins pitcher. Allowing hits to the opposing pitcher, especially extra base hits, is usually the one thing you can count on to mess with a pitchers head. But instead, Hamels struck out the next 2 batters and got the 3rd on a ground ball. Bravo, Cole! This is the guy we had all been missing.
But even after the huge effort put forth by Hamels, the offense came up with a great big ZERO. The Phillies had opportunities, including 3 walks in the 2nd inning to Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz, but they still failed to score. Incidentally, those same 3 players accounted for 3 of the 4 Phillies hits tonight. The 4th was Placido Polanco. So while Charlie Manuel apparently took my hint yesterday about player Francisco in place of Raul Ibanez, Francisco’s walk and double were wasted by those who batted after him.
Here are a few photos from the game:
In that same 2nd inning, Werth could have scored on the fly out by Juan Castro but did not. He tagged up and started to run from third base, but for some reason he stopped and went back. With Werth’s speed, he had a chance to make it. Plus, there were 2 outs in the inning and the pitcher, Hamels, was due up next. It was worth the risk. And as luck would have it, the throw home sailed past the catcher, meaning Werth would have scored easily. Another wasted opportunity.
For their final chance in the 9th, three pinch hitters were sent in; Ross Gload, Ibanez and Greg Dobbs all went down without a fight, faster than fans could run to the parking lot. And there you have it; the Phillies first shut-out of the year and first lost series of the year. They are now only ½ game in front of the Marlins for first place.
The Phillies have the day off tomorrow to collect themselves, but more bad news may be on the horizon. JA Happ is suffering from a sore forearm and his scheduled Wednesday start is uncertain as a result. They are already missing Joe Blanton from the rotation; if Happ is forced to the DL as well, the Phillies may be in big trouble. Nelson Figueroa can probably fill in as a starter, but the pitching is starting to look awfully thin. Please think Happ-Y thoughts this week and perhaps we can all will him to health :O) It is worth a shot…
So, here is the full Photo Album from today’s game, which includes the always entertaining Phanatic Birthday celebration. Check out the stuffed Clam, Clammy Sosa, eating and then spitting out an umpire…classic.
Photos by Jenn
I almost forgot to show everyone my favorite photo from the cruise! It is me, wearing Ryan Madson’s World Series ring :O) Ryan was amazing on the cruise; friendly, shaking hands with everyone and chatting away like we were all old buddies. And he gets extra bonus points for this:
If anyone missed my slideshows or Photo Albums from the trip, check out THIS entry for all that fun as well :O)
And now for the video! The first one is the player introductions from the first day of the cruise, an appearance by the Phanatic and part of movie day, which had a few hitches. They could not get the movie to play (Phillies 09 Yearbook), so Tom Burgoyne, friend of the Phanatic, took the stage, more than once, to entertain the crowd during the delay:
The next 2 videos are the Q & A session where Greg Luzinski, JC Romero, Shane Victorino, Ryan Madson and Tom/Phanatic answered questions from the fans:
And finally, this video is the Farewell cocktail party and dinner. The players and a few of the wives each spoke to the fans during the party and the dinner consisted of a waiter parade, “rally towels,” “Let’s go Phillies!” chant and the singing of “Take me out to the Ballgame.”
And for those who have been following the earthquake in Haiti, you may be interested to know that right before the quake, our cruise ship was sailing from Grand Turk to Puerto Rico, right past the island, on the eastern most side closer to the Dominican Republic. DR is the east side of the same island that Haiti is on. That night, the sea was a bit rough, which may have been an indicator of what was about to hit the area.
In a related story, Jimmy Rollins and his fiancée are currently on the island of Grand Cayman, where an earthquake hit this morning. They had to evacuate their hotel for a short time but Rollins texted the Phillies to say they were ok and that the wedding, scheduled for 4pm on Saturday, is still on. If you ask me, there were far too many Phillies far too close to natural disasters this week.
I would like to send my best wishes to Jimmy and Johari; may their wedding go off without a hitch…or an earthquake ;o) On a more serious note, my thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti. This terrible tragedy reminds us all that we need to take better care of our planet and all the people in it. If anyone is able to donate to the cause, please visit UNICEF for details.
One final note regarding Phillies arbitration; Chad Durbin signed a one-year, $2.125 million contract, ensuring he will avoid the hearing next month. No word yet on whether deals were done with the other 3 eligible players, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz.
And if anyone from the former Duck Pond fan group is reading, you will happy to know that your favorite player is back. Brandon Duckworth signed a minor league deal to bring him back to the Phillies organization. They also signed Jason Standridge and Nate Bump to similar deals; none of the 3 will be invited to Spring Training, but do not let that stop you from quacking with delight :O)
Photos / Video by Jenn
I have arrived home from the Phillies Phantastic Voyage and have sorted through most of my photos. Joining me on the cruise were 270 Phillies fans, JC & Erin Romero, Shane & Melissa Victorino, Ryan & Sarah Madson, Greg & Jean Luzinski, Scott Palmer, the Phanatic, the friend of the Phanatic, Tom Burgoyne and his wife and Phillies Sales Manager, Scott Nickle and his wife, Jenny. Everyone had a blast!
I put together a slide show of some key moments from the trip as well as some island shots. In addition, there are also Photos Albums which include these photos plus many more. I put together a Phillies Events album and also an Island Events album, which is non-baseball in nature. Click on either name to view each album.
To view the Photo Slideshow CLICK HERE and it will take you to the video.
As you can see, everyone, even the Smurf, had a great time. I will be posting video later today or tomorrow in addition to the photo slideshows where you will get to listen to the players talk during the Q&A session and the cocktail parties, plus much more!
A few other notes; while I was away, Scott Eyre announced his retirement. He will be missed :O( I wish Scott the best in his future endeavors!
Next up, Brad Lidge had knee surgery…again. He had some loose bodies and debris removed and is expected to make a full recovery within 2-3 weeks. No word on whether he will be ready for opening day or not.
This past Friday, four players filed for arbitration; Joe Blanton, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Shane Victorino. Really all this means is they will negotiate their salaries with the team and if no consensus is reached, they will have a hearing to decide the amount next month. Last year, the Phillies avoided arbitration with all 10 players who filed.
Next I would like to address a question I was asked a few times while I was away in regards to JC Romero and his arm surgery. JC is recovering well; he looked healthy and happy all week on the cruise. As for his recovery time, it is too soon to tell. Until he begins a regular throwing routine to see how the arm reacts, it will be difficult to make any educated guesses. However, when he had the surgery in October, he was given a 5-6 month recovery window. This means he likely will not be ready until after the season begins. But as with most injuries and surgeries, anything is possible.
Photos by Jenn
It is day 6 of the Phillies Phantastic Voyage and we are sailing around the Caribbean on our way to the Bahamas. Yesterday, after a sunny day on the island of St. Thomas, the Phillies group engaged in a trivia competition. Here are a few of the questions we were asked…see how many you can answer! I will post the answers at the end of this entry.
1. How many times in his Phillies career did Steve Carlton strike out 300 batters or more in a single season?
2. What 3 team names have the current Phillies team gone by?
3. Which Phillies pitcher struck out 300 batters or more in a season, 2 seasons in a row?
Today the Phillies held the autograph session for the fans. Shane Victorino, Greg Luzinski, Tom Burgoyne (Phanatic’s friend), Ryan Madson, Scott Palmer (broadcaster) and JC Romero all signed:
At the end of the autograph line, a few of the AAA reps, Holland America staff and JC’s wife Erin got in line to get autographs for themselves. When Erin Romero reached JC who was at the end of the autograph line, she handed her husband several items to sign. In the photos below, you will see her handing him a head shot to sign. After that, he leans forward to sign HER instead. Her reaction is in the photo below:
JC & Erin are not only the cutest couple, they are super nice and lots of fun. We have all been blessed to have them aboard with us :o)
And here are a few photos of what I have been up to besides the baseball stuff. The photo to the left is the rainforest in Puerto Rico (El Yunque); then you will see a close-up shot of an iguana and a photo of me and two others preparing to scuba dive in St. Thomas:
That is all for now! More photos and video are to come…tomorrow we are in the Bahamas and then Saturday we are heading home. Talk to you all again soon!
Photos by Jenn
1 – One
2 – Phillies, Blue Jays, Quakers
3 – Curt Schilling
As the Phillies Phantastic Voyage continues, we are currently on our way to San Juan, Puerto Rico. On Sunday, each Phillies fan was treated to a photo session and Q&A with the players. Everyone had a group photo taken and then individuals with each person which included JC Romero, Ryan Madson, Shane Victorino, Greg Luzinski, Scott Palmer (broadcaster) and the Friend of the Phanatic, Tom Burgoyne.
Here are some photos of the guys getting ready for photos:
After the pictures were done, everyone sat down for a question and answer session. Some of the questions people asked were a bit surprising. For instance, one person asked Shane why he had a tendency to swing at the first pitch. Ryan Madson interjected some humor by saying Shane was stepping to the plate already down with an 0-2 count ;o) Ryan later gave his opinions on how umpires should be “sent to the minors” just like players when they perform badly. Funny stuff…
I will post video of the Q&A and a few other events once I get home. For now, here are some photos of the Q&A session. The one with the jersey in mid-air is my favorite. They were raffling off a Victorino jersey and JC was not so impressed; he tossed the jersey on the floor behind him!
Yesterday, we all gathered for a screening of the Phillies 2009 Video Yearbook. Due to a technical issue with the ships DVD player, there were a few breaks in the action. Tom Burgoyne was gracious enough to hop on stage and entertain the crowd during the pauses. He even performed the Phanatic belly roll for us, sans costume. Again, I will post video when I get home.
Later that evening, a bunch of us sat down to watch magician James Cielen perform. The show was outstanding and included some Phillies fun as well. JC, Shane and their wives were sitting in the front row when Mr. Cielen brought two toy poodles on stage to help with some of his magic. At one point, the magician picked up a dog, pointed him at the front row and, I assume using a water pistol, made the dog appear to pee on the JC, Shane and their wives. Mr. Cielen then ran off the stage and wiped them all off with a silk scarf, although it looked more like he was trying to buff the top of JC’s head. Everyone had a nice laugh over that. These guys all have great senses of humor and enjoyed the prank. In fact, at the end of the show, Shane was the first person out of his seat to give Mr. Cielen a standing ovation.
So today we will land in San Juan and I will go explore the rainforest :O) Tomorrow night, we will have a Phillies Trivia event and then on Thursday, the players will sign autographs for us. I will post another update when I get a chance.
The Phillies held their annual Holiday Sale this weekend at the ballpark and as usual, it was an interesting event. Phillies Charities holds the event each year, selling game-used merchandise, autographed items, left over programs and books, photos, etc… Although, this year was not nearly as crowded as last year because of the World Series loss.
This means less money for Phillies Charities, which is sad. In fact, the people selling many of the charity items were actually haggling to get rid of merchandise. A Scott Eyre signed jersey marked $125 went for $100 after the buyer decided $125 was too much and decided to walk away. Now that is something I have never seen in all the years I have attended. But plenty of other items raked in big bucks, like game used bats, balls, street banners and empty Champagne bottles from the playoff celebrations.
I picked out a locker name plate grab bag for $30 and wound up with Carlos Ruiz, Miguel Cairo and Mick Billmeyer (bullpen coach). The Ruiz plate was worth the $30, so I was happy with that. I have also been working on a collection of signed 2008 World Series balls and am trying to get every player on the team. But some players who have gone, like So Taguchi, may be impossible to get now. So I decided to try to buy a Taguchi signed regular ball, which they had a box of there, but by the time I got up front in the line, they were sold out. Yes folks, an entire box of Taguchi signed balls, gone. Did everyone else have the same idea I had or are there just huge numbers of Taguchi fans out there that I do not know about? I can tell you, he was not popular here in Philly at all, so I thought that was a bit weird. Maybe because they were only $5 people didn’t care who signed it ;o)
While there were not any players there, everyone did have a chance to meet with broadcasters Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler, who was signing his new book, “View From the Booth.” I think Dickie Noles was there too, but I did not see him. And Milt Thompson was scheduled to sign copies of a hitting DVD he put out later that day. I ran into Tom in the clubhouse store and chatted with him for a while, then got my book signed by Chris. Here I am below with Wheels, plus a shot of a Holiday tree and Phanta Claus, who was entertaining the kids:
It was a dreary day outside, which may have kept some shoppers home. Rain, slush and snow also dampened the Philadelphia Santa Claus parade, which made its way around the ballpark with fire engines, sirens and bright lights, although the only people silly enough to be outside were those of us waiting in line to get into the Holiday Sale. Not sure if the Phillies tree lighting went off as planned as I cut out early, but here is a photo of the tree taken from inside the Hall of Fame club:
I also walked around the concourse a bit to see what the off-season ballpark looked like. Turns out, they wrap the mobile concession stands with giant tubes of Saran Wrap. This is either to protect them from the elements, or the stands have been put on some weird plastic wrap weight-loss plan:
Maybe they can shrink the prices while they are at it? Just a thought ;o)
So, did anyone else go to the sale? What did you think about it? Feel free to comment below :O)
Yesterday, it was Fish Fry with a 3-game sweep of the Marlins in Miami. Tonight, it was a cub clubbing in Philly. Perhaps Animal Control needs to issue a citation to the Phillies for animal cruelty? On second thought, nah…
To continue their assault on nature, the Phillies uprooted Ted Lilly of the Cubs and put 9 runs on the board during Lilly’s short 4 innings of work. The delicate flower was no match for the bashing of the Phillies’ bats; especially that of Raul Ibanez who plucked Lilly’s petals with a 3 run homer in the 1st inning. And that homer came with two outs and two strikes on Ibanez after Ryan Howard failed to score any runners by striking out in the previous at-bat. Just when it looked like Lilly may live to bloom another day, Ibanez went in for the kill.
The offense did not end there: Carlos Ruiz joined in later and nailed a 2 run homer and had 3 RBI in the game; Shane Victorino went 2 for 4 and in the 8th, Howard made up for a few bad at-bats with a solo home run. Chase Utley was 1 for3 and also had an RBI in the game.
Rodrigo Lopez finally got another start after leaving early in his last outing with a sore shoulder. Looks like the shoulder is doing well; Lopez got through 6 innings and allowed just one run. Chad Durbin was handed the ball next and given an opportunity for a save by going the final 3 innings. Durbin did the job and notched the Phillies 9th win in row!
Jack Nicholson attended the game tonight and sat behind home plate wearing a Yankees hat. The Phanatic tried to convert him to a Philly-Phaithful by doing his best Joker impersonation, but the hat remained. So here is a little help from Photo Shop to convert Mr. Nicholson:
How about JA Happ? This kid is making a case for Rookie of the Year, without a doubt. He notched his 7th win yesterday in the 5-0 win over the Marlins and his ERA is now 2.68 with no losses recorded. Happ has allowed only 6 runs in his last 5 starts. And last night, Pedro Feliz did his best to lose the game for Happ by committing 2 official errors and had one other ball fly off his glove that should have been, but was not counted as an error. Feliz helped load the bases at one point, on what should have been an easy double play ball, but Happ never rattled and pitched out of the jam. His command and above all, his poise on the mound, make it hard to believe he is a rookie. Happ has the ultimate poker face; you never know what he is thinking or feeling.
And that composure is exactly why the Phillies would be insane to trade him, even for the likes of Roy Halladay, as has been rumored. Happ has pitched as well as Halladay since being promoted to the starting rotation. I agree with going after Halladay, but not if the trade involves Happ. And so this is my plea to the Phillies as the trade deadline draws closer…please, please, please – KEEP JA HAPP! It would be a monumental mistake to let him go. Mark my words.
Utley Photo by Jenn