Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

Phillies Will Meet The Giants In The NLCS

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Braves last night to advance to the NLCS against the Phillies.  This match-up promises to be a hard-fought duel to the death between two great pitching staffs.  The season series between the two teams ended in a draw with 3 wins each out of 6 games.  These teams are very closely matched.

The real drama will unfold in Game 1 on Saturday when two Cy Young winners face off.  Tim Lincecum of the Giants has won the award the past two years and Roy Halladay of the Phils is the favorite to win the award this year.  Halladay already has won the award once before.


Halladay Lincecum.jpgIn 2010, Halladay finished the year with a 21-10 record and a miniscule 2.44 ERA.  Lincecum went 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA, a disappointing year by Lincecum standards.  But in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, Lincecum pitched a complete game 2-hitter.  He was outdone only by Halladay who pitched a no-hitter in his postseason debut against the Reds.  A slight edge goes to Halladay with this match-up, but only by a hair.  The deciding factor is likely to be the offense of both teams.

Here are some stats for the last 5 years of Phillies batters vs. Lincecum and Giants batters vs. Halladay:

VS. Lincecum

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Dobbs, Greg

.200

5

0

0

Gload, Ross

.400

5

0

0

Howard, Ryan

.250

16

2

4

Ibanez, Raul

.143

7

0

0

Polanco, Placido

.500

2

0

0

Rollins, Jimmy

.167

18

0

0

Ruiz, Carlos

.250

8

0

0

Schneider, Brian

.000

5

0

0

Utley, Chase

.118

17

1

1

Victorino, Shane

.222

18

1

2

Werth, Jayson

.500

6

1

1

 

VS. Halladay

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Burrell, Pat

.333

18

0

1

Fontenot, Mike

.333

3

0

0

Huff, Aubrey

.238

42

0

2

Renteria, Edgar

.286

7

0

0

Ross, Cody

.250

4

0

1

Sanchez, Freddy

.333

3

0

0

Uribe, Juan

.167

12

0

0

 

For the Phillies, Jayson Werth and Placido Polanco have the best shot at rattling Lincecum.  And for the Giants, our old pal Pat Burrell has done well against Halladay in 18 at-bats.  However, several big guns for the Giants like Pablo Sandoval and rookie Buster Posey have never faced him.  So, there is no telling how they may fare.

Another possible factor in the game is the lengthy lay-off before the series begins.  However, both teams will be dormant for almost the same amount of time; the Phillies ended their NLDS on Sunday and the Giants ended on Monday.  The same concern was expressed back in 2008 and the Phils won the World Series that year.  Also, I think the time-off will be good for the Phils who have a lot of banged up players like Polanco with his bum elbow and Jimmy Rollins, who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

My biggest personal concern is the Phillies having to play 3 games in San Francisco.  They lost 2 of 3 there this year and 3 of 4 the year before, with their only win coming in Cliff Lee’s Phillies debut.  I was there for the entire series and can tell you, this team does not like playing in AT&T Park.  It is bitterly cold, windy, the ballpark is huge with odd dimensions and the bullpens are uncomfortably close to the field.  Not to mention the visitor’s clubhouse is cramped and awkward…I know; I have been in there.  In short, it is a hostile environment.


P9213064 Burrell2.jpgThe Phillies will need to use the home field advantage to jump on the Giants quickly.  Fans can help out by bringing their usual fervor and enthusiasm to the ballpark.  Feel free to give Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand their proper welcome back, but after that, all bets are off. 

Burrell should not be allowed to get too comfy coming back home because he can really hurt the Phillies; he loves hitting in Citizens Bank Park.  And yes, it pains me to think of heckling Burrell; he helped bring us the 2008 championship.  But fans need to suck it up and treat him like the enemy!  After the series, we can all give him a group hug to make up for it ;o)

 

 

Photo and head shots by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies Advance To NLCS With Sweep Of The Reds

The third game of the NLDS between the Phillies and the Reds was not terribly action packed.  Both teams pitched well and hits were at a premium.  But while the game was not super exciting, the outcome certainly was.  With a victory, the Phillies swept the Reds right out of the playoffs.

As the chosen starter for game 3, Cole Hamels was anxious to show what he could do after an unbelievable no-hitter by Roy Halladay in Game 1.  Hamels pounded the strike zone all night and sent Reds back to the dugout one by one.  He allowed 5 hits while striking out 9 batters for a complete game shut-out.  No quite a no-hitter, but Hamels was amazing.  Plus, the final out was made by ex-Phillie Scott Rolen; icing on the cake.

P7115073x.jpg

As for the offense, the Phillies got off to an early lead thanks to another Reds error.  As a team, the Reds have committed 7 errors in 3 games of this NLDS.  Tonight it was an Orlando Cabrera throwing error after Jayson Werth put the ball in play that cost them a run.  Cabrera had a sore rib cage and was not supposed to play.  But after some magic massages today, Cabrera was in the line-up.

About the massages, Cabrera said, “The guy’s name is Andy. I don’t know his last name.”  Do you think afterwards Cabrera left a few dollars on the bedside table and left?  Poor Andy must feel cheapened by the encounter ;o)  But we are all thankful that Cabrera felt well enough to play.  Thanks, Andy…you deserve some credit as well.

The other run for the Phillies came off the bat of Chase Utley who sent the ball to right center; it snuck over the wall for a homer.  Replay was used to verify the homer as the Reds claimed a fan interfered but ultimately, the run counted.

With Hamels holding down the Reds, the two runs were all they needed.  With the 2-0 win, the Phillies will advance to the NLCS against either the Giants or the Braves, depending on the outcome of that series.  The Giants currently lead the series, 2-1.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Oswalt Falters But Phillies Pull Off The Comeback Win

Polar Opposites.jpg

The Phillies started the postseason with 2 pitchers named Roy in the first 2 games.  In each of those games, the 2 Roy’s were polar opposites in terms of performance and results.  Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter in his first ever playoff game.  Roy Oswalt on the other hand, with prior playoff experience, did not pitch well at all.  But all is well that ends well as the Phillies went on to win anyway. 

At the start of the game, Oswalt looked pretty bad.  He threw balls right down the middle of the plate and the Reds did not miss them.  Oswalt surrendered 3 earned runs and 1 unearned on 5 hits and a walk.  Chase Utley made 2 throwing errors in the 2nd inning, which is very odd for Utley, and that cost Oswalt the unearned run.

Between the errors, ineffective pitching and lack of hitting, things looked grim for the Phillies early on.  They were not able to scratch out any runs until the bottom of the 5th when 2 Reds errors plus an Utley single scored 2 runs.  Utley redeemed himself and, making him feel even better, the Reds equaled his screw-ups.  Even better, one of the errors was from ex-Phillie Scott Rolen, which the fans enjoyed a lot.  Rolen has been booed mercilessly these past two games.  No love lost between him and Philadelphia…

Things got stranger in the 6th; Carlos Ruiz was hit in the knee with a pitch by another ex-Phillie, Arthur Rhodes.  Ruiz seemed to be fine and Rhodes was lifted from the game.  Pitcher Logan Ondrusek replaced Rhodes and only 3 pitches later, he nailed pinch-hitter Ben Francisco in the head to load the bases.  Luckily for Francisco, he moved his head quick enough that the ball hit the brim of the helmet.  So although it looked very scary, he was okay.  Shane Victorino walked next to score a run.

So while all this was pretty entertaining, the Phillies were still down 4-3 going into the 7th.  Utley was hit by a pitch for the 3rd erroneous toss by a Reds pitcher.  Things began to go seriously downhill for the Reds when, with 1 out, they brought in their flame throwing rookie, Aroldis Chapman.  With 100+ mph balls flying, it was the Reds fielders who got rattled instead of the Phillies batters…

P8177631AW.jpg
Jay Bruce
missed a fairly easy fly ball off the bat of Jimmy Rollins and then Brandon Phillips dropped the relay throw, allowing 2 runs to score.  Ruiz hit into a fielder’s choice a little later, but it scored another run.  Also in this inning, Mike Sweeney made his postseason debut as a pinch hitter and singled to left.  Having waited 16 years to reach the playoffs, that hit had to feel amazing for Sweeney.  By the way, join us at my “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” Facebook page for more Sweeney fun :O)

So the Reds had 4 errors through 7 innings in this game, which the Phillies then led by a score of 6-4.  Ryan Madson erased the Reds in the top of the 8th.  In the bottom half, Utley singled and stole a base, still determined to erase the errors from everyone’s minds.  Jayson Werth knocked him in to add on an insurance run for a 7-4 lead.

That set up the 9th for Brad Lidge.  Despite walking the first batter he faced and making the fans grumble, Lidge buckled down and got the next 3 batter out to put the Phillies up 2 games to none in the NLDS.  The Phillies are one win away from advancing!  Cole Hamels will pitch in Cincinnati on Sunday at 7:00pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Halladay’s Historic No-Hitter Opens Phillies Postseason

After 13 years in the big leagues, Roy Halladay finally got his first taste of postseason play today against the Reds.  He wasted no time taking full advantage of the opportunity.  Halladay pitched a no-hitter and ended just 1 walk shy of his second perfect game of the season.  The no-no was only the second ever in baseball history to be thrown in the postseason.  And Halladay also became the first pitcher to ever throw a no hitter in both the regular season and the postseason.

1006 Halladay.jpg

Prior to the game, there were face painters, games, food and music from Mr. Greengenes:

1006 greengenes.jpg

That was followed by batting practice, player introductions and the ceremonial first pitch thrown by former Phillies pitcher, Scott Eyre.  And of course, rally towels:

1006 pregame.jpg

As the game began, Halladay relied on his defense as he followed the lead of Carlos Ruiz, who called an amazing game behind the plate.

1006 defense.jpg

Halladay was so good in this game, that he actually had more hits in the game than the Reds batters did.  With two outs and two men on in the 2nd, Halladay smashed an RBI-single to left.  Shane Victorino followed that up with 2 more RBI before Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was pulled from the game with less than 2 innings pitched.  With one run in the first on a Chase Utley sac fly, these four runs total were all Halladay needed.

1006 offense.jpg

After mowing down Reds hitters, both Halladay and the Phillies walked away with a huge win in Game 1 of the NLDS.  The no-hitter was the icing on the cake.

1006 celebration.jpg

I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to witness this extraordinary feat.  It is a game I will never forget.  The energy and excitement in the stadium was so thick you could feel it on your skin like thousands of goosebumps.  Strangers celebrated with each other uninhibited, as if they were long time friends.  I personally high-fived more people after the game then I ever have in my entire life combined.  A woman later showed me her hands, which were bright red, and said she had high-fived so many people that her hands actually hurt.  Of course, she was not that upset about it.

Today was an amazing start to the Phillies postseason, but there are still 10 more wins ahead to reach the ultimate goal.  The team will be off tomorrow to soak in this win and then it is back to work again on Friday.  Roy Oswalt gets the ball next; he has a very tough act to follow.

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.  And this is a few shot video clips from the 9th inning, basically to show how loud it was in there.  Sorry about the head…had some 6’5″ dude in front of me and I could not reach too well over him.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

NLDS Roster Announced


6a00e5513d181b8834013487fe1fcf970c-350wi.pngThe 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:

Pitchers

Roy Halladay

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton

Brad Lidge

Ryan Madson

Jose Contreras

 J.C. Romero

Chad Durbin

Antonio Bastardo

 

Catchers

Carlos Ruiz

Brian Schneider

 

Infielders                            Outfielders

Ryan Howard

Jayson Werth

Chase Utley

Shane Victorino

Jimmy Rollins

Raul Ibanez

Placido Polanco

Ben Francisco

Wilson Valdez

Ross Gload

Mike Sweeney

Domonic Brown

Greg Dobbs

 

 

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.

2:35 p.m.
Ashburn Alley opens.

3:05 p.m.
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!

Division Series Schedule

As you may know already, the Phillies will be playing the Reds in the NLDS.  The Phillies won 5 out of 7 games against the Reds this year in the regular season; 3 of those in July all went to extra innings and ended in spectacular walk-off fashion for the Phillies.  So while the Phils have a slight edge, it is sure to be a well played series.

With the 8 playoff teams finally decided, TBS and MLB announced some of the start times for both the AL and NL Division series.  Here is the schedule so far:

Series

Teams

Day/Date

Time ET

ALDS Game 1

Rangers @ Rays

Wed. Oct. 6

1:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 1

Reds @ Phillies

Wed. Oct. 6

5 p.m.

ALDS Game 1

Yankees @ Twins

Wed. Oct. 6

8:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 2

Rangers @ Rays

Thurs. Oct. 7

2:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 2

Yankees @ Twins

Thurs. Oct. 7

6 p.m.

NLDS Game 1

Braves @ Giants

Thurs. Oct. 7

9:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 2

Reds @ Phillies

Fri. Oct. 8

6 p.m.

NLDS Game 2

Braves @ Giants

Fri. Oct. 8

9:30 p.m.

ALDS Game 3

Rays @ Rangers

Sat. Oct. 9

5 p.m.

ALDS Game 3

Twins @ Yankees

Sat. Oct. 9

8:30 p.m.

NLDS Game 3

Phillies @ Reds

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

NLDS Game 3

Giants @ Braves

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*ALDS Game 4

Rays @ Rangers

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*ALDS Game 4

Twins @ Yankees

Sun. Oct. 10

TBD

*NLDS Game 4

Phillies @ Reds

Mon. Oct. 11

TBD

*NLDS Game 4

Giants @ Braves

Mon. Oct. 11

TBD

*ALDS Game 5

Rangers @ Rays

Tues. Oct. 12

TBD

*ALDS Game 5

Yankees @ Twins

Tues. Oct. 12

TBD

*NLDS Game 5

Reds @ Phillies

Wed. Oct. 13

TBD

*NLDS Game 5

Braves @ Giants

Wed. Oct. 13

TBD

 

As I expected, the Phillies, despite have the BEST record in baseball, still got screwed out of the Prime Time slot in favor of the Yankees…again.  So for the 3rd year in a row, I will have to take a day off work to go to get to the stadium in time to find parking and see the pre-game festivities.

Now I realize there are 22 other teams out there whose fans would love to have this problem so it is hard to complain.  But when is a team, other than the Yankees, going to get some much deserved respect?  The Phillies have certainly earned it.   

To the TV people it is all about ratings, and I suppose it is their prerogative.  But guess which team brings in more fans based on stadium capacity?  The Phillies – 103.5%.  It is over 100% due to standing room only tickets that are sold to accommodate more fans.  The Phillies sold out EVERY game this season.  Where do the Yankees rank?  They are 7th in baseball with 88.9%.  If the Phillies had a bigger stadium like the Yankees do, they would no doubt have sold all those seats as well.  Just sayin’…

Not to mention that the TBS coverage of the games, in general, is horrible.  The announcers have NO clue about the teams they are watching and tend to be biased towards particular teams.  The coverage has been historically so bad that there is even a section on Wikipedia dedicated to how bad they suck.  The TBS slogan is “very funny” but we are not laughing.

Phillies Sweep Padres Behind Hot Hamels

The San Diego Padres came into today’s game against the Phillies tied with the Reds for the best fielding percentage in the National League.  They also lead the league in defensive efficiency ratio, which is basically how many times they turn a batted ball into an out.  But facing the Phils and trying to defend against a 3-game sweep, the Padres committed 4 errors today.

While the errors helped, as 2 of the Phillies 5 runs were unearned, the bigger factor in the game was the Phillies pitching.  Cole Hamels was outstanding on the mound; he did not allow a run through 8 innings and struck out 6 batters.  It looked like he was slinging gas-powered rockets up there.  In the entire 3-game series, Phillies starting pitching allowed just 2 runs.

P8198655 Hamels rocket.jpg

Hamels was in such a groove today, he did not want to come out of the game after the 8th inning.  In the dugout, he even refused to shake his pitching coaches’ hand for a few seconds, hoping that Rich Dubee would change his mind and let him pitch the 9th.  But with a 4-0 lead at the time and Hamels having thrown 115 pitches, there was no need to take a chance that Hamels might get hurt.

The defense was sharp behind Hamels as well.  Placido Polanco made several tough plays at third base.  Mike Sweeney, giving Ryan Howard the day off, made a great running catch on a pop-up and handled many difficult throws at first base. 

Sweeney contributed on offense as well; he smacked his first home run as a Phillie in the 7th inning; it was a 2-run shot.  Sweeney ran around the dugout afterwards hugging everyone he could get his hands on.  This guy is pure positive energy…you have to love that.

Later in the 8th, Jayson Werth hit a solo homer, which had to feel good.  It was just his 3rd homer in August, which has been a month full of ups and downs for Werth.  Jimmy Rollins also had an RBI in the game and Carlos Ruiz was the only Phillie with multiple hits.

Ryan Madson pitched the 9th inning and slammed the door for the Phillies 16th shut-out of the year.  The 5-0 win went to Hamels who finally got some run support from his teammates.  The Padres, for the first time all year, have now lost 4 games in a row.

The Phillies will take a short ride from San Diego over to Los Angeles tonight and start a 3-game series with the Dodgers tomorrow night.  Roy Halladay will pitch and game time is 10:10pm.  Break out the No-doze, East Coast fans.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Phillies 2010 First Half Review

Here is a summary of the Phillies 2010 first half, according to Jenn:

Best Off-Season Move – Acquiring Roy Halladay

Worst Off-Season Move – Trading Cliff Lee (duh!)


Thumbnail image for Halladay 1b.jpgBiggest Win
– 7/9/10: The Phillies overcame a 7-1 deficit in the 9th inning against the Reds to win the game in the 10th; it was the second walk-off homer win in a row, giving the Phillies a huge confidence boost.

Biggest Loss – When the bullpen blew a 5 run lead; Phillies lose to the Twins by a score of 10-13 on 6/19/10

Best Series Win – The 4-game sweep of the NL Central 1st place team, the Reds, 7/8-7/11

Worst Series Loss – Losing 3 out of 4 to the worst team in the National League, the Pirates, 7/1-7/4

Biggest Surprise – Jamie Moyer: At 47-year old, the combination of Moyer’s age and 3 off-season surgeries left many doubting he could be an effective pitcher.  But Moyer has performed beyond anyone’s expectations.  But at the half, Moyer has 9 wins and 2 complete games, one of which was a shut-out.

Biggest Disappointment – Raul Ibanez:  Batting only .243 with 7 homers at the half, Ibanez is on pace to hit only 14 homers, which would be his worst power outage since 2001.  He has also only driven in 39 runs, and is therefore on pace for 78 RBI, which would be his worst since 2004.  Ibanez gave his all in the first half of 2009, but since then, it has been mostly downhill and his age is starting to show.  With another entire year left on his contract, this is looking like another bad move by the Phillies.


Thumbnail image for Utley casta.jpgBiggest Question Mark
– Brad Lidge:  Sometimes Lidge looks like Mr. Perfect from 2008 and sometimes he looks like a little leaguer.  The Jekyll and Hyde routine is getting old.  Lidge needs to step up his game if the Phillies are to have success.

Best Moment of the First Half – Roy Halladay’s Perfect Game, 5/29/10 (again, duh!)

Worst Moment of the First Half – Chase Utley’s thumb injury. Noooooo!  Not Utley!!  Then there are the rest of the major injuries that have plagued this team: Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, JA Happ, Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin, etc…  The combined impact of these star players going down have combined for the Worst Moments of the year so far.


Thumbnail image for crystalball_468x317.jpgJenn’s Crystal Ball

– Will Jayson Werth be with the Phillies next year? – No.  Sorry, ladies.  He may even be gone sooner than that…

– Will the Phillies make a trade before the deadline? – Yes.

– Which position will they upgrade? – Pitching

– Will Jenn continue to let her sanity slip slowly away as each day without Chase Utley passes? – Sadly, yes.  Please come back soon, Chase!

– And finally, will the Phillies win the NL East again? – My crystal ball broke due to being overworked when I asked this question.  But I will step out on a limb here and say, yes.  I mean, YES!  Let’s be positive people ;o)

Jamie Moyer will take the mound tonight in Chicago against the Cubs to kick off the 2rd half.  Game time is 8:05pm.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography; except Crystal Ball by http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

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

 

Hamels Shines As Phillies Sweep Reds

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:

071110a.jpg 

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:

071110b.jpg

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:

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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

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

 

11 Inning Stalemate Ends In 3rd Walk-Off Win In A Row

Phillies fans everywhere are experiencing a weird, but very pleasant, case of déjà vu.  In three games with the Reds, the Phillies have gone extra innings 3 times and won 3 times with 3 walk-off hits; 2 homers and today, an RBI-single.

At the start of the game, people were wondering, who in the world is this Travis Wood kid pitching for the Reds?  When he first stepped on the mound, I guessed that maybe one of the Reds players was pulling a fast one by putting his 12-year old son out there with some stick-on facial hair, disguised as a big-leaguer.  I thought, oh how cute, this little boy is “playing” pitcher.  Isn’t he adorable?

pitchers 071010.jpgBut once he started pitching, he was not so cute anymore.  Wood is 23 years old and today’s game was only his 3rd appearance as a major league pitcher.  He gave up 2 runs in his first game and 3 in the second.  Against the Phillies, he got through 8 full innings without a base runner.

But the Phillies were certainly helping him out.  They were not patient at the plate, swinging at first pitches and balls, swinging when ahead in the count and basically just looking awful.  Shane Victorino had 2 balls and no strikes on him at one point and swung at the very next pitch, a high fastball, popping it up.  WHY?

Now everyone is thinking, can this kid throw a perfect game?  And even more perplexing, can Roy Halladay actually lose to a 12-year old?  Oh, I mean a 23-year old; my bad. 

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Halladay was nearly as good as Wood and the game was a total stalemate through 8 innings for both pitchers.  Neither team had scored, although Halladay did give up some hits.  But after 9 innings, Halladay had his shut-out intact.

Unfortunately for Wood and his perfect game attempt, Carlos Ruiz was activated off the DL today.  He stepped to the plate at the start of the 9th and 4 pitches later, Wood’s perfect game was gone as Ruiz doubled to centerfield.  Wilson Valdez tried to ruin the moment by bunting into mid-air; that ball was caught for the first out.  Raul Ibanez hit a sac fly to move Ruiz to 3rd, but Jimmy Rollins popped out to end the inning.

So Halladay, despite a 9-inning shut-out, could no longer qualify for the win.  That is a tragedy.  But the Phillies would make up for it by winning the game in extra innings.  Yes, for the 3rd consecutive night, the Phillies and Reds went to extra innings.

More déjà vu occurred in the 11th inning, and in more ways than one.  Ruiz doubled…again.  And then Rollins had yet another chance to get Ruiz home.  In the 9th inning, he popped out.  But this time, base hit!  And, AGAIN, the Phillies won the game on a walk-off!  That is 3 extra inning games in a row and 3 walk-off wins in a row!  I said it yesterday, I will say it again: Unbelievable!!!

The finale of the 4-game series will be tomorrow at 1:35pm with Cole Hamels pitching.  I am hoping to witness a sweep (pretty please?).  Either way, I will return with photos.  Go Phillies!

 

Halladay photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Wood photo from CBSsports.com

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

 

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