Results tagged ‘ Pirates ’

Phillies Opening Day: One Game, One Win

In the 10th straight opening day start of his career, Roy Halladay was nearly perfect.  Through 8 innings against the Pirates, he allowed only 2 hits, both of which came in the 1st inning.  After the 1st, he was unhittable.

And it is a very good thing, too.  Because the Phillies offense got off to a bit of a slow start with a few exceptions.  Carlos Ruiz went 3 for 3 and drove in the only run of the game in the 7th inning.  John Mayberry Jr.  help set up Chooch with 2 hits and made several key plays in left field.

The only other offense was a bunt single from Jimmy Rollins and a single from Mr. Fantastic himself, Halladay.  There was little else the Phils could have asked from Halladay today.

The sad story of the day was rookie Freddy Galvis.  In his first major league game, Galvis started his career with 2 straight double play balls.  His third at-bat would have been a double play as well if there had been a runner on 1st at the time and less than two outs.  For the finale, Galvis struck out.

It was not pretty, but give the rookie some time.  Hopefully, he will bounce back in game 2.

Not wanting to drain his ace too early, manager Charlie Manuel pulled Halladay after the 8th and gave their new closer a shot in the 9th.  Jonathan Papelbon was as advertised.  He reached 95 on the gun and sent the Bucos down in order.

The Phillies sauntered off with a slim 1-0 win over the Pirates.  If this is any indication of the season to come, hang on Phillies fans, it is going to be a nail-biting 161 games remaining!

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

John Bowker Hits the Baseball Lottery

After two dismal years from 2008 – 2009 in San Francisco, John Bowker was traded halfway through 2010 to the Pirates.  Yes, just as the Giants were heading towards a World Series win, Bowker got dumped.

And while he still technically qualified for a ring, Bowker sat at home last October watching his old team win it all without him.  That had to suck.

This year, Bowker spent a little time with the Pirates and a lot of time in the minors.  A lifetime .237 hitter, even the lowly, fourth place Pirates finally decided they did not want him anymore.  Bowker was designated for assignment on Thursday.

But then a miracle occurred.  One day before the end of August with only a month left in the regular season, John Bowker won the lottery.  And oddly enough, he has the Phillies to thank.

To recap, Bowker got sent away from a World Series-bound team in 2010, dumped by one of the worst teams in baseball in 2011 and now, by some weird act of God, he has landed a spot with a playoff-bound team, the Phillies.

Some guys have all the luck.

The Phillies apparently acquired Bowker as an extra left-hander off the bench.  Why, I am not quite sure.  Maybe they lost a bet?  Or with all the success this year, perhaps they were in a charitable mood.

But seriously, Bowker had a nice run in Triple-A this year so I am sure the Phillies are hoping he can feed off that success and contribute to a World Series run.

So welcome to Philly, Mr. Bowker!  You still cannot believe your luck, can you?  Don’t worry; it will all sink in right about the beginning of October.

 

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Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Mile High Sweep for the Phillies

Balls were flying all over Coors Field today.  Luckily for the Phillies, more balls bounced their way then they did for the Rockies.

Pitching in his hometown, Roy Halladay looked a little tired today.  But as usual, he battled through and pitched a solid game.  Over seven innings, Halladay surrendered four earned runs on eight hits and a walk.

 

Halladay also had a hit in the game and later scored from third base on a wild pitch.  Phillies fans held their collective breath as Halladay slide awkwardly between the catcher’s legs and was safe.  Seeing your star pitcher slide is never a joyous moment, but Halladay did just fine.

Ryan Howard took advantage of the thin Denver air again with a double, a homer and four RBI.  He did not have the best start to the game though.  Howard struck out with no outs and the bases loaded in the first inning.  In the latter half of the inning, he bungled an easy ground ball and then threw the ball away for the second error in one play.

But Howard’s bat made up for the first inning.  Chase Utley got in on the action as well with two hits, scoring twice.  Hunter Pence now has a five game hitting streak as a Phillie and added a sac fly RBI as well.

With an 8-6 lead going into the ninth inning, the Phillies sent another Denver local to the mound, Brad Lidge.  It was his first save attempt since coming off the DL and more importantly, it was a shot at 100 career saves as a Phillie.  With Ryan Madson absent because his wife was in labor, Lidge was the guy.  And although Lidge likely will not close many games anymore, he got the job done tonight.

This win completes back-to-back 3-game sweeps of the Rockies and Pirates, which is great timing as the Phillies will face the defending World Champs next.

The return of Roy Oswalt from the DL (yet to be made official) sets up the rotation like this against the GiantsCliff Lee on Thursday, Vance Worley on Friday, Cole Hamels on Saturday and Oswalt on Sunday.

Game time on Thursday is 10:15pm – welcome to another late-night West Coast series.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Ibanez Powers Phillies to 3-Game Sweep of Pirates

The Phillies completed a sweep of the Pirates this afternoon in 10 innings by a score of 6-5.  The newest member of the Phillies, Hunter Pence, had a hand in the 10th inning rally after a rough start where he misread a ball in the outfield.  Here is a quick look at the day for Pence:

The ball he missed came in the first inning, but pitcher Vance Worley bounced back quickly.  It was not until the fifth and sixth innings where Worley ran into trouble.

 

While it was not his best outing, Worley still went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.  He made one bad pitch in the sixth to Lyle Overbay who slammed a 2-run homer.

But the Phillies kept plugging away at the Pirates with a few timely hits and nice defense:

 

Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-4 with two RBI to continue his recent hot streak.  But Raul Ibanez was the one player who came up big all game long.  After a solo homer in the first inning, Ibanez hit a massive  2-run homer in the eighth when the Phillies were still trailing.  That hit tied the game and kept hope alive for the Phillies.

 

As a quick side note, it appears that I may be Raul’s good luck charm.  If you look at the chart below of this entire home stand, you will see that Ibanez hit .500 with three homers and nine RBI in games that I attended.  When I was not there, he hit only .174, no homers, 2 RBI:
 

Ok, so maybe it is just a weird coincidence.  On the other hand, Raul may want to hurry up and buy me a plane ticket to Denver ;o)

Back to the game:  After Ibanez tied things up, the Phillies had to rely on the bullpen to keep it that way.  Brad Lidge had already allowed the fifth run in the seventh, but then four other guys combined to hold down the Pirates.  The photo below shows Juan Perez, David Herndon and Lidge:

 

Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo also pitched one scoreless inning each.  Then in the 10th inning, Pence doubled to put the Phillies in position for the win.  All they needed was one more big hit from Ibanez who delivered with the game winning double to score Pence.

The walk-off win capped a three hit, four RBI game for Ibanez who ended the month of July on a hot streak, batting .284 with 25 RBI.

A very tough road trip is up next for the Phillies, starting in Denver against the Rockies.  They will also face the Giants in a 4-game series and the Dodgers for three games.

It all begins Monday night at 8:40pm; Cole Hamels will pitch.

And here is the full Photo Album from Sunday’s game.  Enjoy!

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Pence Debuts & Howard Reaches Another Milestone in Win Over Pirates

The Phillies newest, shiny toy arrived at the ballpark today.  Right fielder Hunter Pence pumped his fists as he entered the tunnel under the stadium, looking excited to explore his new home.

The excitement is understandable; Pence just got traded from a team with 35 wins to a team with 66 wins and the best record in baseball.  The fans shared his exuberance as they cheered him during batting practice and gave Pence a standing ovation when he arrived in right field to start the game against the Pirates.  Pence waived to the fans cheerfully in appreciation.

Even his first at-bat was exciting; Pence ran out what should have been an infield hit but was called out by the umpire.  The replay showed he was clearly safe as fans watched manager Charlie Manuel argue with the ump in defense of his newest player.

It took Pence until the eighth inning to finally get a hit in the game.  Regardless, he had to be relieved with the RBI-single he finally put in the books.  Now that his first Phillies hit is on record, it should be business as usual for Pence.

As for Ryan Howard, the business was not so usual, but certainly good.  Having Pence in the five-hole behind him had to be a welcome sight.  Hitting without any real protection all year, Howard finally has a solid hitter to back him up.  Taking full advantage, Howard went just a triple short of the cycle and had three RBI on four hits.

 

Most notably, Howard’s second hit of the game, an RBI-single in the fourth inning, was his 1,000th career hit.  Congratulations to Ryan!

As for the pitching, Cliff Lee started the game hoping he could bounce back from an awful outing on Monday against the Padres.  In that game, Lee lasted only four innings after allowing five runs.

Tonight, Lee did well through seven innings where he gave up only two runs.  But Lee was left in the game too long and he ran into trouble in the eighth.  The hits kept coming for the Pirates and two more runs crossed the plate, bringing the Bucos closer to a comeback with a 6-4 score.

Reliever Antonio Bastardo was brought in with two runners on base and two outs.  In his usual form, Bastardo shut down the Pirates by striking out Pedro Alvarez to end the inning.

The run added by Pence in the eighth gave the Phillies a little more cushion with a 7-4 lead.  That was plenty for Ryan Madson who closed out the game for another Phillies victory.

Game three with the Pirates is Sunday at 1:35pm; Vance Worley will pitch.  In Worley’s last start, he pitched a complete game against the Giants.  It will be interesting to see how he responds after tossing 114 pitches in that start.

Check back Sunday night for game photos…see you there!

Roster Move Update:

Domonic Brown and Andrew Carpenter were sent to Triple-A to make room for Pence and Placido Polanco, who came off the DL today.  Brown will begin to work at left field, which is where the Phillies project he will be next season.

 

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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*

Hunter Was The Hunted; Now, He Is A Phillie

July 29th has been a significant day in recent Phillies history.  On July 29, 2009, the Phillies acquired Cliff Lee.  That same day in 2010, they picked up Roy Oswalt.  And this year, Hunter Pence is the big prize.

A report from Phillies Beat Writer Todd Zolecki states that Pence will be sent from the Astros to the Phillies in exchange for Class A first baseman Jonathan Singleton, Class A pitcher Jarred Cosart and two yet unnamed prospects.

The best news of the night is that neither pitcher Vance Worley or outfielder Domonic Brown were included in the deal.  While the two named prospects are highly touted, the Phillies really pulled off an amazing deal without having to give up any major league talent.  This is another huge score for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

Pence, 28,  is a lifetime .290 hitter and 2-time All-Star who combines both power and speed.  Pence hit 25 home runs each year from 2008-2010 and had a career high 91 RBI’s last season.  In addition, Pence cannot become a free agent until the 2014 season, putting the Phillies in control for years to come.

With the addition of Pence and also Placido Polanco returning from the DL this weekend, two moves will have to be made.  My best guess is that Brown will be sent back to Triple-A to work on his game.  The second casualty could be John Mayberry Jr.

While the playoffs and the World Series are promised to no one, the addition of Pence certainly does improve the Phillies’ chances.

And in case you missed it amidst all the excitement, there was actually a game tonight.  The Phillies beat the Pirates by a score of 10-3 with Roy Halladay pitching seven one-hit innings.  Andrew Carpenter allowed three runs in the eighth.

The offensive highlights included Chase Utley coming up just a double short of hitting for the cycle.  His 3-run homer in the second inning put the Phillies far ahead very early. 

Shane Victorino also came close to hitting for the cycle, but missed out on the home run.  Jimmy Rollins smacked a 2-run homer in the seventh, but sadly for Victorino, he was not allowed to share the homer and help out his buddy Shane.

Oddly enough, Rollins hit that home run off pitcher Jason Grilli, who until a week ago was in the Phillies minor league system.  The Pirates picked him up after the Phillies released him on July 20, 2011.

This is now set up to be a very exciting weekend for the Phillies.  When Pence will be in the line-up probably depends on how soon he can get here from Houston.  Add Polanco back into the line-up and the Phillies are set up nicely for a strong run to the playoffs.

Game two with the Pirates is Saturday night at 7:05pm; Cliff Lee will pitch.

 

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Photo by http://blogs.houstonpress.com/

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

Phillies Missed Opportunities = First Series Loss Since Mid-June

The Phillies took an awful loss to the Giants Wednesday night, only scoring one run for Cole Hamels who was outstanding.  Still, no win for Hamels.

This also put the Phillies in an unusual position, having to face Tim Lincecum on Thursday night with a chance to actually lose a series.  They had not lost a series since mid-June.  That streak would end against Lincecum.

Spot starter Kyle Kendrick would take the loss, although he did not deserve it, much like Hamels.  Kendrick pitched well through six innings, allowing just two runs.  But a lead-off walk and an error by third baseman Michael Martinez added one earned and one unearned run to Kendrick’s final statistics.

The Phillies offense had some opportunities to score as Lincecum walked four batters, but they did not take advantage.  Chase Utley alone left five men stranded on base as he popped out once and struck out twice against Lincecum.

The Phils managed one run off the Giants bullpen, but again, missed opportunities were the plague of the day.  As a team, the Phillies recorded only five hits in the 4-1 loss.

This was a disappointing loss for the Phillies who will have to face the Giants again in only one week in  San Francisco.

Friday night’s game will feature Roy Halladay against the Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton.  There has been some talk recently about how Halladay and Morton look alike, but personally, I do not see the resemblance:

 

Oh, wait a second….now I get it:

 

Twins, for sure.

Game time is 7:05pm on Friday.

 

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

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*

More Injuries & a Blow-Out Loss

This has not been a good couple of days in the injury department for the Phillies.  Here is a quick look at the damage:

- Jose Contreras was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season with elbow inflammation.  Lefty Juan Perez was called-up from the Triple-A Iron Pigs to take his roster spot.  Perez played for the Pirates in 2006 & 2007 for a short time, but has spent most of his seven-year career in the minors.

- The Phillie Phanatic suffered an injury as well.  While entertaining atop the first base dugout at an Iron Pigs game, the Phanatic was hit in the neck with a foul ball.  For the Phanatic’s best friend Tom Burgoyne, the neck area was actually Tom’s face.

The Phanatic went to the hospital; I am not sure whether they called a doctor, a veterinarian or an environmental biologist, but the Phanatic will not be joining Contreras on the DL.  He should be ready for the weekend series at CBP.

- And finally, Roy Oswalt was pulled from today’s game against the Cardinals after two innings where he allowed four runs.  After about one out in the second, Oswalt began teetering sideways off the mound after his delivery.  It got worse as the inning went on, where he began hopping and stumbling after pitches while grabbing his lower back.

Why no one else saw this is curious.  I was screaming at the TV, but sadly, no one heard me ;o)  Oswalt was left in to finish the inning and reports are that he has back spasms.

I suppose the spasms are no surprise; Oswalt has a history of back issues and has been on the DL once already this season with the same issue.  In his last four starts, Oswalt has allowed 15 runs in only 21.1 innings.

As for the new bullpen piece, Perez pitched the seventh and walked two batters, but did not allow a run.  Kyle Kendrick pitched the 3rd-6th innings and gave up two runs, adding to Oswalt’s four.

So with 6 runs, the Cardinals were ready to run away with the game as the Phillies offense was lulled to sleep.  It did matter too much though as Danys Baez put the game well out of reach for the Phillies in the 8th inning.  He walked in a run, gave up a 3-run homer and ended up with six earned runs handed over to the Cards.  You could say he added insult to all the injuries.

The Phillies went down in flames by a score of 12-2.  They travel back home tonight to go back to Interleague play.  The Athletics are first on the schedule; Vance Worley will pitch at 7:05pm.

An NL East Update

This has been a weird week overall for the NL East.  First, the Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez suddenly quit after the Fish went on a real bender, losing 18 of 19 games in the month of June.

Not to be outdone, the Nationals manager Jim Riggleman one-upped Rodriguez.  After the Nationals WON 11 of their last 12 games, the opposite of the Marlins month, Riggleman gave the Nats an ultimatum.  He told his GM in a meeting they needed to extend his contract then and there or he would not get on the bus for the Nats next game.

Riggleman quit, just like that.  And just like that, he will probably never work in baseball again.  Who in their right mind would hire a guy who just quits when he does not get his way?  It was unprofessional and just plain stupid.  I do not care how disrespected he felt that his contract was not extended sooner.  If the team felt it should wait until the end of the year, then he should have just waited it out.  Abandoning his team like that is just wrong.   Nats fans should be livid.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Halladay Ends Losing Streak

After a four game losing streak, the longest of the season for the Phillies, Roy Halladay finally led this struggling team to a win against the Pirates.  It seemed like an eternity since the Phillies came out on the winning end.

However, the win was not without drama.  In the fourth inning, down by 2-1, Domonic Brown was all set to tie up the game when an umpire literally stepped in.

With two runners in scoring position, Brown powered a ball straight up the middle that should have shot into center field to score a run.  Instead, second-base umpire Chad Fairchild stepped into the ball while trying to avoid it.  Once the ball hit him, it was a dead ball.  And although Brown was awarded first base, the run was not allowed to score.

The next batter, Wilson Valdez, hit into an inning-ending double play.  After that, things looked grim for the Phillies who had a run stolen from them and lost a chance with the bases loaded.

But the team followed Halladay’s lead and pushed forward.  After allowing a two-run homer in the first, Halladay put it behind him and pitched extremely well after that.  The offense, despite the umpire goof, followed suit.

Chase Utley finally had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a walk and a run scored.  Ryan Howard collected three RBI on two hits and a sac fly.  And Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino and Brown all had two hits in the game as well.

Utley was amazing on defense as well.  He saved Halladay in the seventh when he laid out, Superman-style, diving for a line drive.  The catch ended the inning that otherwise may have been a disaster.

Relief pitcher Jose Contreras gave up his first run of the year in the eighth, but Antonio Bastardo bailed him out, getting the final two outs of the inning.  Ryan Madson shut the door in the ninth and the Phillies pulled out a 7-3 win.

The team is headed home now for a long home stand, starting with the Dodgers tomorrow night at 7:05pm.

In the meantime, do not forget to enter to win an admission ticket to the Phillies Phestival right here!  Entries will be accepted until Wednesday at 6pm.  Enter today…good luck!

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

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