Results tagged ‘ Phanatic ’
I feel like I have a hangover, but I did not have anything to drink. The Phillies 4-3 loss to the Giants last night was the kind of life-sucking let down that leaves you wishing you had stayed in bed. Where was the big comeback? Where was the timely hitting? And more importantly, where was the pitcher’s duel we were promised? The raucous crowd used all their energy to try and will this team to a victory. But when Shane Victorino struck out to end the game, all the air went out of the balloon.
Neither Roy Halladay nor Tim Lincecum pitched very well and both were visibly annoyed by the home plate umpire, Derryl Cousins, who had a moving strike zone. Cousins only called hitters out on strikes twice all night and one of those was Lincecum. Although, if you count the time he tried to call Jimmy Rollins out when he only had 2 strikes on him, I suppose he went for 3.
Ex-Phil Pat Burrell was out in the 6th inning on a strike right down the middle, but the idiot in blue didn’t call it, which led to 2 more runs. Of course, Raul Ibanez probably should have caught this ball that Burrell hit; and there was no need to scale the wall like he did either:
The Phillies offense had opportunities to score but did not capitalize. Ryan Howard led off the 2nd inning with a double and then never moved until the inning was over. In the 3rd, Carlos Ruiz tied the game with a homer. Halladay then singled and it looked like the Phillies had a real shot at rattling Lincecum. But then Victorino stepped to the plate and grounded into a double play to kill all the momentum. Still, Placido Polanco and Chase Utley kept the inning going only to have Howard strike out to end it.
It was that kind of up and down drama that never materialized into runs. Jayson Werth, the only Phillies batter with 2 hits in the game, nailed a 2-run homer in the 6th to give the Phillies a chance at a comeback. But despite the defensive efforts and pitching to keep it a 4-3 game, the Phils offense never stepped up and got it done.
For the Giants, Cody Ross was getting it done. I never liked Ross when he was a Marlin and last night’s game certainly has not changed that as Ross hit not one, but two home runs off Halladay. In fact, I now believe that Ross is pure evil; the spawn of Satan. I swear he is the brother of Chucky, the most despicable of all Satanic spawn. He must be stopped before he steals our souls. Exorcism, anyone? Ugh.
By the way, has anyone else noticed that despite Rollins’ claims he is healthy that he looks like he could not hit the broad side of a barn right now? I hope Charlie Manuel watches film of his at-bats and holds him out of the game if he is not right. It is the playoffs; they do not have time for Rollins to work his way back. Love ya Jimmy, but please do not hurt the team by trying to tough it out.
One fun note from the game was the whistling and catcalling directed at Lincecum and his long hair. Some fans shouted that he looked like a girl and then the whistling began, as if being directed at a pretty girl. Lincecum was asked if he noticed and he said, “I was thinking I must have a really nice butt.” Sorry Timmy, you actually have no butt at all. I have photographic evidence.
And here is the full Photo Album from the game, which includes pre-game ceremonies, a shot of VP Joe Biden in the crowd and some Phanatic fun to cheer you up.
So tonight the Phillies will lean on Roy Oswalt to get a win. They will also try to do something they have never done before; hit Jonathan Sanchez. Cross your fingers…game time is 8:00pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies announced today who will be on the 25-man roster for the NLDS and there are really no surprises. Those notable players who did not make it include Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez and David Herndon. Here is the breakdown:
Going with 10 pitchers instead of 11 allows the Phillies to add more fire power to the bench. They expect the 3 starters to go deep into games so extra long men in the pen will likely not be necessary. Blanton will fill the role if needed.
As for Ruiz and Romero, manager Charlie Manuel says both players are fine and ready to play after suffering minor injuries on Sunday.
If you are going to the game tomorrow, here is the information about pre-game festivities and other highlights:
2:00 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Party begins on Citizens Bank Way. Features music by Mr. Greengenes; Highlights include an inflatable obstacle course for children, face painters, an extreme rock wall climb and a Velcro race.
Ashburn Alley opens.
All gates open. Rally towels for all fans, compliments of StubHub.
3:30 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Rally on Citizens Bank Way! Special guests include former Phillies Scott Eyre and Greg “The Bull” Luzinski, Comcast SportsNet analyst Ricky Bottalico, the Phillie Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls. Music provided by Mr. Greengenes; Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs, will emcee.
4:40 p.m. – On-field pre-game ceremony begins.
4:44 p.m. – Introduction of Cincinnati Reds.
4:48 p.m. – Introduction of Philadelphia Phillies.
4:54 p.m. – National Anthem: Sung by country singer Catherine Raney, niece of Tim McGraw, who will be representing the Tug McGraw Foundation.
4:56 p.m. – Color Guard introduced.
4:58 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Phillies alumnus Scott Eyre.
5:07 p.m. – Play ball! Phillies vs. Reds game begins.
5th Inning – “Lady PhaPha” makes her postseason debut.
7th Inning – God Bless America: Sung by national recording artist Lauren Hart, a Philadelphia native whose songs have been heard on television series and soap operas.
See you there!
The Phillies have taken the first two games of this three game series with the Giants. Last night, Jimmy Rollins led the pack, coming just a double short of hitting for the cycle. His 3 RBI came on a 3-run homer in the 4th inning off Giants pitcher Matt Cain. The Phillies tagged Cain for 5 runs and then kept right on rolling through the Giants bullpen.
Other players with multiple hit nights were Carlos Ruiz, Jayson Werth and Chase Utley, who got his first hits since coming off the DL on Tuesday. One was a dribbler down the 3rd base line, but the other was a solid line drive into right field for a double. The Phillies hit a bunch of triples as well; Rollins, Ruiz and Raul Ibanez each collected one.
Phillies starter Joe Blanton had a good night as well. Blanton allowed only 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings without walking a batter. Both runs were solo homers; one was in the first at-bat of the game and then ex-Phil Pat Burrell hit one later. Since Burrell has hit a homer in each game of the series, I would expect another tonight just for good measure. He does love this ballpark.
Here are my Photos of the Day: Before the game, the Phanatic assaulted the Giants players while they warmed up. He goosed Burrell and made fun of Pablo Sandoval’s figure:
The Giants were very gracious and had fun playing with the furry green mascot.
Here are a few more shots from the game:
Here is the full Photo Album from the game. Cole Hamels will pitch tonight in the final game of the series at 7:05pm. I should have photos from that one tomorrow as well. Let’s hope for a SWEEP!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies beat the Reds today to complete a 4-game sweep and head into the All-Star break. And for the first time this week, they did not need extra innings or a walk-off hit to beat them. And although the 1-0 victory was a very tight game, it felt more like the Phillies were in the driver’s seat the whole game.
Most of that had to do with the performance, and confidence, of pitcher Cole Hamels. He finally looked like the 2008 World Series MVP again. Not only was Hamels making his pitches, but he looked determined on the mound. More importantly, he was never rattled by bad calls or bad plays; and there were plenty of those to go around.
For instance, Ryan Howard dropped a pop-up. In his defense, it was a tough play. Also the first base umpire called a runner safe when replay showed he was out by a good amount. And then there was the home plate umpire who had a strike zone most of the day that was about the size of a pea. As the weather got hotter though, it looked like he expanded it a little. See here as a pitch to Carlos Ruiz is called a strike; note that the ball crosses the plate at his elbow. And here is the Howard play as well:
But despite the miscues, Hamels kept right on pitching with fervor. After Howard dropped the ball and the ump blew the call at first, in both cases Hamels got a double play to erase the mistakes. You cannot ask for more than that from your pitcher; well done. Here are a few more photos:
Not so well done was the following: TWO fan interference calls which necessitated TWO booth reviews on balls that looked like home runs. Ruiz hit the first one, but on replay it was a double and the fan really did not affect it too much.
The next one was a hit by Jayson Werth where the fan reached over the wall and snagged the ball. While it also was not a homer, had the ball been left alone, it would have bounced off the wall. Centerfielder Drew Stubbs was jumping up for the ball, which then would have bounced far away from him, possibly enabling Werth to go to third base or even score an inside-the-park homer. But because of the fan, it was a ground rule double and we will never know what could have been.
Ok people, I am officially putting Stupid Fans ON NOTICE. Not all Phils fans; just the STUPID ones (you know who you are). One day soon, if this trend continues, like the fan who took a pop-up away from Werth on Thursday, a fan is going to cost this team a game. Mark my words: it will happen. Today it did not; Thursday it did not; but it is coming. If you are lucky enough to have a seat in the front row of a section and simple cannot or will not pay full attention to the game and its rules, give your seat to someone who will.
And the Phillies need to start cracking down on this behavior. Anyone who leans into the field of play or interfere’s with a player should be ejected and fined. The Phils “say” they will do this, but more times than not, I see the same idiot fan still in his seat, waiting to ruin another play. Let’s put it this way, follow the rules and respect the game otherwise, I will suggest to the Phillies that they have Jayson Werth run around the stadium and cuss out the entire front row. You know he will do it ;o)
And no, I do not condone Werth’s language during the incident on Thursday. It did make me sad for that poor kid. But he did have a point. If you are a fan of the game, act like one. PAY ATTENTION. Thank you.
And now back to the game :O) Sorry for the rant interlude…
The Phillies offense had only 4 hits and 1 run as both pitchers were doing well. Jimmy Rollins had 2 of the 4 hits plus the lone RBI; the other two hits were the fan-interference doubles. Hamels wound up pitching 7 2/3 innings without allowing a run. Jose Contreras ended the 8th and JC Romero got the first out of the 9th.
Romero looked like he was on fire as he mowed down his one hitter. So when Charlie Manuel came out of the dugout to bring in Brad Lidge for the save, most of the crowd began hollering and boo’ing. Not only did Romero look great, but Lidge has been anything but great this year. With only 5 save in 8 attempts, Lidge makes people nervous. But Manuel is determined Lidge will get better and today, he did. Two quick outs and the save was intact, plus a win for Hamels. Whew!
Here is the full Photo Album from the game.
Closing out the first half of 2010 with a 4-game sweep was a much needed boost to this Phillies team that has struggled most of the year with injuries, slumps and sloppy play. This series could be the engine that propels them into a great second half.
But for now, All-Star fever is upon us. Before today’s game, the coaching staff and players were given their All-Star jerseys. Even the Phanatic got one; he was very excited. And All-Star Mickey Mouse made an appearance at the stadium as well:
Here is the All-Star schedule of events:
July 11: Taco Bell All-Star Sunday at Angel Stadium featuring: XM All-Star Futures Game & Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game; All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run
July 12: Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Angel Stadium featuring: State Farm Home Run Derby
July 13: 11:30 a.m. – Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet (Parade Route: along Convention Way and Harbor Blvd. ending in Disney Way)
8:00pm – 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
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.
Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.
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