Results tagged ‘ Reds ’
Tonight’s final game against the Braves was very important for the Phillies. A loss would bury them 6 games behind the Braves with only 4 games until the All-Star break and no chance to play the Braves again until September. In this situation, you would expect the game to be managed as if it was extremely important; a must-win. That did not happen.
While everyone respects what Jamie Moyer has been able to accomplish this year and over his entire career, this should not give him extra leeway in such an important game. The man is 47 years old and tonight, he had to pitch in 100 degree heat; kudos to Moyer for being able to do this. But the manager has to recognize when a pitcher is simply done for the day.
In the 6th inning, Moyer got an out and then proceeded to have all kinds of trouble. He gave up a home run and a single right away and was visibly exhausted. But does Charlie Manuel even get the bullpen up at this point? No. Moyer continued on, allowing a double, a walk and finally a 3-run double. Four runs had scored and still, Moyer is allowed to keep pitching as sweat poured down his face. Clearly, he could no longer locate his pitches.
The very next batter whacked a 2-run homer and just like that, the Braves were handed a 6-run inning. Danys Baez was finally called in to end the inning. So what should have been a nice, productive outing for Moyer was turned into a demoralizing slaughter because Manuel did not pull him when it was logical to do so.
Manuel is obviously lacking in confidence where the bullpen is concerned as evidenced by his bad habit of leaving starting pitchers in too long. And this lack of confidence is not without cause, however, the lack of work for the bullpen is adding to the rust among that group of pitchers, which also does not help. And tonight, this uncertainty cost Moyer and the entire team.
The offense showed some signs of life with Jimmy Rollins collecting a few hits, Ryan Howard homered for the first time in 10 games and Shane Victorino hit a home run as well. Wilson Valdez had a hit, but also grounded into his 14th double play of the year. This seems to be a daily event for Valdez. But that awful 6th inning put the Phillies into a hole that they could not climb out of. They scored a few more runs, but eventually went down by a score of 5-7.
And now the red-hot Reds come into town for a 4-game series to finish up the first half of the year. Already back 6 games in the division, this Reds series has the potential to bury the Phillies. Kyle Kendrick will pitch tomorrow night at 7:05pm. Cross your fingers, Phillies fans.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
It is simple math, right? Well tonight’s Phillies – Braves match-up boiled down to that very simple math.
Pitcher’s Cole Hamels and Jair Jurrjens battled fairly evenly, each allowing just 3 runs. Hamels went 7 innings and Jurrjens was pulled after 6 plus. Hamels did a nice job, but would the offense come through for him?
The Phillies managed only 2 hits of Jurrjens, one of which was a 2-run homer from Raul Ibanez in the 1st inning. The other hit came in the 7th when Ryan Howard tied the game up 3-3 with a triple to score Ibanez, who had drawn a walk. But with no outs and Howard on third, they failed to score again.
Jayson Werth stood at the plate and watched strike three go by. All he had to do was make contact and he just stood there like a deer in headlights. Then Ben Francisco hit what could have been a sac fly, but either Howard, the third base coach or both decided not to tag up as it was a shallow hit ball.
Here is my issue with this: they had to know Wilson Valdez was coming up with 2 outs. Did they expect him to be the hero and get a 2-out hit? I know I certainly did not. While Howard is no speed demon, he has one advantage: size. He should have tagged and if the ball beat him, why not go old-school and knock the catcher over? I would have taken that risk over expecting a 2-out hit from Valdez.
That decision looked like it might come back to haunt them when the bullpen took over in the 8th. Jose Contreras quickly got into trouble with men on first and third and no outs. But Chipper Jones got jammed in between third and home and Dane Sardinha made a great toss to trap and tag him out. Eventually, with help from JC Romero, they escaped the inning unscathed.
With no scoring in the 8th for the Phils, Brad Lidge came into a tie game in the 9th. It was his first game since last week when he blew a save against the Reds. Lidge sent the Braves down in order, but with no scoring from the Phils in the bottom of the 9th, this would be a battle of the bullpens.
Sadly, in a battle of the bullpens, the Phillies were likely to come out on the losing end. David Herndon did a great job in the 10th, but finally surrendered the lead in the 11th after a single and a double. With the offense totally stalled, the 3-4 deficit looked insurmountable. In fact, for many months now, the lack of hitting has made these very small deficits look like impossible obstacles to overcome.
But Mike Zagurski came into the game and made things even worse. He looked great striking out the first two hitters, but made one very big, very costly mistake. Eric Hinske took that mistake and tossed it over the right field wall for a 2-run homer. The Phillies entered the bottom of the 11th down 3-6.
Watching these self-destructive games are very sad, especially in light of the talent this team possesses. They just cannot seem to conjure it up at the most crucial moments. The main players, like Jimmy Rollins and Werth, went hitless as they have many, many times this week. The bottom of the lineup did absolutely nothing. You cannot expect to win games with only three hits.
Add to that the fact that the bullpen cannot hold a tie game down. It is all a recipe for disaster. And so it was; a 3-6 disastrous loss. Jamie Moyer will try to win one tomorrow, but without any offense, how will he fare? Not well is my guess.
Pitcher JA Happ came off the DL today but instead of going to the majors, he was optioned back to AAA. The Phillies are not happy with how he has pitched in his rehab, but they are hoping he will bounce back after some time in the minors.
As for catcher Carlos Ruiz, he will begin a rehab assignment this week, which is good news. The concussion has healed to the point where he can start playing again. Get well soon, Carlos!
By the way, we have now entered Day 8 of my Chase Utley withdrawal. I am not doing too bad so far. I have no fingernails left and I am stuttering a little, but all in all, it has been a mostly sanity-intact week. Of course, we have about 7 weeks left to go so do say a short prayer for me. Thanks…you guys rock.
Zagurski photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies squandered an opportunity for a series win today, losing to the Reds by a score of 3-4. Roy Halladay has now lost 6 of his last 9 games, even though he has pitched at a 3.19 ERA during those 9 games. He did not have his best stuff today, allowing 2 big homers and 13 hits in an 8-inning complete game. But as has been the case all year, the offense did little to help him out.
It looked like the back-up players might carry the team for the second day in a row when 3rd string catcher Dane Sardinha hit a 3-run homer in the 4th inning. Wilson Valdez had 2 hits again and Greg Dobbs had a hit and a walk. But with both Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez going 0 for 4, no Chase Utley or Placido Polanco, the offense did not get anything else done.
Games like these are when the Phillies are going to feel the full effect of having 7 players on the DL. The injuries are out of control and as a result, this is going to be a very rough ride for the rest of the season.
Yesterday, Brad Lidge said that the Phillies players were going to have to “step-up” during this trying time. I found that comical after Lidge became the only player yesterday who did not step-up. However, he has a point. The question remains though, can these bench guys get the job done?
Once the team has a better idea of how long Utley and Polanco will be out, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is going to have some very serious decisions to make. Can they go out and get a descent infielder while still adding to the pitching depth? All Phillies fans can do right now is hang in there and hope that this team can weather the storm.
The Phillies are on their way to Pittsburgh now for a 4-game series. The first game is Thursday night at 7:05pm and Cole Hamels will pitch.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Despite having two of their best players sent to the DL today in Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, the Phillies still came out swinging against the Reds. More importantly, it was the back-up players who made the biggest impact on the game. This gives Phillies fans hope that even with 7 players on the DL, they can still produce.
At the very bottom of the line-up, both Brian Schneider and Wilson Valdez hit 3-run homers in the 9-6 win over the Reds. Schneider went above and beyond, with three hits in the game and scored on the Valdez homer. The homer by Valdez was his 3rd of the year and only his 4th since 2004.
Joe Blanton kept the Phillies in the game, allowing just one run until the dreaded 6th inning. That has been his Achilles heel all year long. With 2 outs in the 6th, Blanton gave up a single, a walk and then a 2-run double. He did finish with 7 2/3 innings allowing just those 3 runs, so this is progress for Blanton.
But leave it Brad Lidge to try and throw away all that hard work and momentum for the Phils. With two outs in the 9th and a 3-run lead, Lidge gave up a walk, a single and then a 3-run homer to Joey Votto to tie the game and send it to extra innings. It was his 2nd blown save of the year in 7 opportunities.
So the depleted Phillies offense would have to rally yet again, and they did. In the 10th they faced Arthur Rhodes, a former Phillie, who had not allowed a run in 33 consecutive innings this year. Ryan Howard doubled, Jayson Werth walked and then Raul Ibanez stepped to the plate.
The home plate ump had a moving strike zone all night long and when a low 0-1 pitch was called a strike on Ibanez, manager Charlie Manuel finally lost his mind. He jumped out of the dugout and ripped CB Bucknor a new one, getting him tossed out of the game. But the managerial fireworks sparked the Phils in a big way. Ibanez took the very next pitch to center for an RBI double. Ben Francisco, another bench player, hit a single to score Werth and then Valdez struck again with a bunt that scored Ibanez.
And just like that, the 3-run lead that Lidge blew was back with a 9-6 score. JC Romero was called on for the second save attempt and got the job done without issue. Thank goodness for JC! You are my hero :O) Please tell Lidge that he owes you, big time.
The Phillies will play the Reds again tomorrow with a quick turnaround at 12:35pm. Roy Halladay will pitch and try to sneak the Phils out of town with a series win.
More Injury News
To replace Utley and Polanco, Greg Dobbs was brought back and is clearly still having issues. He had only 2 hits in 17 at-bats during his short time in AAA and went hitless tonight in 3 attempts. Brian Bocock was also added to the roster. At AAA this year, Bocock hit only .177 in 209 at-bats so I cannot imagine he brings much to the table either. But at this point, beggars cannot be choosers. The options are limited.
The Phillies are going to have to rely on their bench players if they are going to contend. They did it in 2007 as Tadahito Iguchi and others filled in admirably for players who went down, like Utley who got hit with a pitch, breaking his hand. Can they do it again in 2010? We shall see.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
It was another bad night for Kyle Kendrick. Against the Reds, Kendrick pitched 6 1/3 innings while allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits, including a 2-run homer to ex-Phillie Scott Rolen. Chase Utley committed an error at the start of the 6th inning which gave Kendrick a little extra rope to hang himself with.
Kendrick still seems to have trouble buckling down and making pitches after something bad happens, like an error that puts the opposing team’s pitcher on base. No pitcher is happy when this occurs, but the good ones do not let it bother them and proceed to work out of the mess. Some days, Kendrick looks sure of himself on the mound; and other days, he looks out of place. But the Phillies have few other options with JA Happ still not recovering well from his injury.
Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto is similar to Kendrick in the consistency department. He will have a few really bad games, then some really good ones. Unfortunately for the Phils, tonight Cueto had a good game and the offense sputtered against him. Phillies batters had a few opportunities to pounce on Cueto, but they came up short each time, going only 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position. In all, they left 4 men on base and had 8 hits.
Utley got tossed out trying to stretch a single into a double and both Raul Ibanez and Brian Schneider hit into double plays. Although on replay, Ibanez should have been called safe. Ryan Howard had 2 hits in the game, including a triple, and he scored one of only two runs in the game for the Phillies. Ibanez hit a solo homer in the 9th with two outs.
The bullpen did not help out either; David Herndon gave up a hit which allowed one of Kendrick’s base runners to score and in the 8th inning, Mike Zagurski allowed a run on one hit and a walk. In all, it was an evening to forget as the Phillies lost by a score of 7-2.
In injury news, Placido Polanco did not play again today after getting another cortisone injection in his sore elbow on Sunday. He may play tomorrow but it looks like this will be an on-going issue for the rest of the season. Polanco will play through the pain and possibly have surgery in the off-season. That makes one wonder how productive he will be the rest of the year, but all we can do is wait and see. But a slightly banged up Polanco is probably better that leaving Wilson Valdez at third all year.
I have also just heard that Utley was pulled in the 9th inning because he hurt his thumb sliding into 2nd base. He will have an MRI tomorrow…cross your fingers.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies got behind early against the Reds last night who scored 3 runs in the 2nd inning, but Chase Utley was not giving up so soon. In the 3rd, Utley hit a ball which bounced off the centerfield wall as he rounded the bases; Utley was so fast that he scored standing and the Reds did not even bother throwing home. Here are a few shots from that home run:
After that, back-to-back doubles from Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth brought the Phillies within a run. Werth also hit a solo homer, the over-the-wall kind, in the 6th; it was his 4th consecutive game with a home run and his 20th of the season. In fact, that home run made history for the Phillies; they are the first National League team ever to have 4 players with 20 home runs before the half way point of the season.
Jamie Moyer struggled last night, but the offense picked him up and even got him the win with a final score of 9-6. Moyer pitched 5 innings and allowed 6 runs on 8 hits and a walk. Chan Ho Park was amazing through 3 innings of relief pitching and did not surrender any hits. Park has really found his groove in the pen and triumphed over his disappointment about not starting. He appears so happy and relaxed that on Wednesday, he danced around the field with a “Vote Victorino” sign and then last night, I watched during batting practice as he played catch with a bunch of kids in the stands for a good 5 minutes. Park has really found a home here in Philly and, more importantly, in the bullpen.
Rumors abound that the Phillies are close to a deal with former Met, Pedro Martinez. Many teams have scouted Pedro, but none have shown any interest. Martinez returned to the Mets in 2008 after a hamstring injury and was simply not the same pitcher after that. No one picked him up in 2009 so he continues to try to prove he can still pitch. In my opinion, this guy is done and the Phillies need not take out the trash. But if you follow the Phillies, you know that they have a penchant for doing just that. It is the trash to treasure mentality. Sometimes it works out (ie: Scott Eyre) and sometimes, it is a disaster (ie: Freddie Garcia…the 10 million dollar disaster). To me, Martinez is a disaster waiting to happen. He is almost 38 years old, appears unable to recover from injury and has a long history of mental issues. Not to mention, can every other team in major league baseball who has passed on him be wrong? It is a scary thought.
Phillies fans united this week and voted Shane Victorino into the All-Star game! Victorino thanked the fans last night as he waved to the crowd during warm-ups. He will join teammates Utley, Ibanez and Howard in St. Louis for his first All-Star experience. Congratulations to Shane!!!!!
And as always, here is a Photo Album from last night’s game. I did not have great seats, so these are not as fun as the ones I usually post, but it is a different perspective :O)
And finally, I would like to dedicate this blog to the memory one of my best friends, Fuzz the cat, who had watched Phillies games with me for the last 15 years. He was a big fan as well and I will miss him very much :O(
Photos by Jenn
Tonight the Phillies faced the Reds in game 3 of this 4-game series and drama ensued. Homer Bailey started the game for the Reds and true to his name, gave up a homer to Jayson Werth in the 6th inning, Werth’s 19th of the season. What a horrible name for a pitcher…Homer. Poor guy. But for most of the game, he was very good and kept the Phillies hitters off balance.
The home plate umpire, Ron Kulpa, created a lot of controversy with his rather large strike zone; 20 strikeout’s were recorded in the game and 14 of those batters went down looking. And so the game remained very tight throughout.
VOTE FOR SHANE!
The Phillies entered the 9th inning with a 2-2 tie and needed a hero to nail this one down. With 2 outs and 2 on, The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Shane Victorino, stepped to the plate and solidified his campaign for an All-Star roster spot. Shane singled into centerfield and Pedro Feliz scored to win the game, 3-2!
VOTE FOR SHANE!
Rules of Engagement
One of the more entertaining aspects of tonight’s game, as I mentioned earlier, was watching the Reds hitters argue and scream and cuss at the home plate umpire, Ron Kulpa. To sum it up, basically every pitch was bound to be called a strike. But he called it the same way for both side. Yet, no less than 3 Reds players got right up in his face and yelled about strike calls. It makes you wonder, why were none of these players thrown out of the game? Not that I like watching guys get tossed, but how much grief is any umpire supposed to take? Granted, this was one of the worst umpiring jobs I have seen in a long time, but the Phillies maintained controlled and did not try to rip his head off like the Reds did. In fact, it is a rule that no one is allowed to argue balls and strikes (Official baseball rules section 9.02(a)). After the first or second player, the ump needs to start ejecting guys. Just sayin’…
Rodrigo Lopez did a great job through 5 innings tonight, but was removed from the game early with right shoulder inflammation. That is certainly not good news. However, maybe the push to get a quality starting pitcher like Roy Halladay of the Jays will reach a new level with the possibility of Lopez no longer being available.
The Phillies front office has been insistent that certain minor league prospects are “untouchable” but frankly, that attitude will not get them far when competing with other teams who are more flexible. Understanding the value of prospects in the farm system, teams need also be reminded of the value of winning, and winning right now. With the Phillies core players in place, coming off a World Championship, the window of opportunity to win it again will likely only remain open for a few years. So, if they need to give up 2-3 big prospects to get another ring, it seems like a fair trade off.
If the Phillies can get a #1 starter like Halladay, they would be foolish to let him go to another team. Last year, they did miss out on CC Sabathia and even Manny Ramirez, and yes, they still won it all. But the 2009 team has run into pitching trouble after losing Brett Myers, who was a big part of the World Series win. The bullpen has been overworked and their production is way down from 2008. This is a different team; the Phillies need a big starter if they are to have a shot at repeating.
VOTE as many times as you are able to! Humans and rodents alike have until tomorrow at 4pm to get Shane in!
The clock is ticking! Shane Victorino has a chance to go to the All-Star game in St. Louis but he needs our help! Gizmo the Chinchilla has been typing away all day long, but his little paws are getting tired. Won’t you please help him out? You can
VOTE as many times as you are able to! Humans and rodents alike have until tomorrow at 4pm to get Shane in!
Photo by Jenn
As is usually the case the day after a team scores big, the following day, runs are difficult to come by. Yesterday, the Phillies gave the Reds a 22-1 spanking. Today, they left 12 men on base, including leaving the bases loaded with no outs in the 3rd. All those squandered opportunities came back to bite them as they lost the game, 3-4.
JA Happ pitched another very good game and should have gotten the win. Happ pitched 7 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and did not walk anyone. But the rest of the team did him no favors. They got hits and ran the bases, but it looked like there was a brick wall in front of home plate for much of the game because no one could manage to score.
After jumping out to an early 2-0 lead on back-to back homers by Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, the offense sputtered. And with the game tied at 3-3 in the 9th, Charlie Manuel made the mistake (again) of sending in Brad Lidge to pitch in a non-save situation. Of course, Lidge gave up the lead and the Phillies entered the bottom half of the inning down 3-4. And in keeping with the theme of the evening, the Phils got a base runner in the 9th, but failed to score again. So, although the Phillies out hit the Reds 10-8, they still lost the game. A frustrating loss…very frustrating.
The Phillies have 2 more games against the Reds to try to find the bats from last night’s win. Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm.
The clock is ticking! Shane Victorino has a chance to go to the All-Star game in St. Louis but he needs our help! Shane is one of 5 candidates to fill the final roster spot which will be voted on by the fans. You can VOTE as many times as you are able to! No more 25x limit…we have until Thursday at 4pm to get him in! VOTE FOR SHANE!
Photo by Jenn
Stop rubbing your eyes; yes, the Phillies scored ten runs in the first inning of the ballgame tonight against the Reds. Pitcher Johnny Cueto was responsible for 9 of those. The ten run inning tied a franchise record for the Phillies, making the 4th time in history it had been done. The last time was 6/2/02 against the Expos.
And the brutality did not end there; the smokin’ hot offense burned Reds pitching for a total of 22 runs on 21 hits. While the Reds felt like they were walking in bare feet over hot coals all night, the Phillies players enjoyed the equivalent of a relaxing day at the spa, complete with a soothing foot rub and a Frangipani scalp massage. Ahhhhh….this is the life.
Here is just a sampling of tonight’s treats:
Chase Utley: 3 for 3 with 4 RBI and a 3-run homer = Aromatherapy European Facial
Shane Victorino: 4 for 5, 4 RBI and a 2-run homer = Mineral Seaweed Body Wrap (plus a trip to the All-Star game??)
Greg Dobbs: 4 for 6 and 2 RBI on a homer = Deep Tissue Massage
Jimmy Rollins: 3 for 4, 1 RBI, 2 walks and a revival of his season = Manicure & Pedicure
Jayson Werth: GRAND SLAM, 2 hits, 5 RBI = Honey Papaya Scrub & Hot Stone Massage
Cole Hamels: 7 innings pitched, 1 run allowed, 2 for 4 and 2 RBI at the plate = Chakra Crystal Healing
REDS Pitching – Full Body Wax…ouch!
Ryan Howard will participate in the Home Run Derby for the Phillies! In 2006, Howard won the event and in 2009, he will try it again. But this time, he will be in his home town of St. Louis. Good luck, Ryan!
The Phillies centerfielder, Shane Victorino, also has a chance to go to St. Louis. He is one of 5 candidates to fill the final roster spot which will be voted on by the fans. You can VOTE as many times as you are able to! No more 25x limit…so, go for it! VOTE FOR SHANE!
Dobbs photo by Jenn
Spa photo: manchestergrand.hyatt.com
After a horrific month of June, the Mets proved to be the cure for what has been ailing the Phillies. Even the great Johan Santana could not hold them down today. With little offense on either side, a pitching duel erupted and Joe Blanton emerged the victor. In perhaps his best outing of the year, Blanton nailed down 7 1/3 scoreless innings of 4-hit ball. Santana was not too shabby either; he allowed only 3 hits. But 2 of those hits won the ballgame for the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins led the game off with a home run and later, in the 6th inning, Chase Utley went deep to give the team a 2-0 lead, which was the final score. There were some spectacular defensive plays as well, which added to the drama. Overall, it was a very entertaining game for both teams.
Also noteworthy, Carlos Ruiz did start the game after a suspicious absence the last few games. I had speculated that he may have been possible trade bait, but he is still with us :O) Maybe Charlie Manuel was just giving him an extra long rest? That remains to be seen…
Before the game, the Phillies hosted their annual Father-Child wiffle ball game which can only be described as adorable! Little ones scattered the field, running amuck while their parents chased them around the bases. We have some awfully good-looking families in the Phillies organization. Take a deep breath; the cute is about to get out of control; (top to bottom, left to right) Ibanez Family; Greg Dobbs & daughter; Brad Lidge & baby; The Romero Family; Chad Durbin & son; Chan Ho Park’s baby:
Also announced today, the Phillies will send at least 3 players to the All-Star game in St. Louis; Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez were voted in as starters and Ryan Howard, as chosen by Manuel, will be a reserve, along with 3 other very deserving 1st basemen (Pujols, Fielder, A. Gonzalez)! Nice to see Charlie did not worry about positions as much as who deserved to be there. That is not usually the case with most managers who are chosen to pick players.
The Phillies centerfielder, Shane Victorino, also has a chance to go to St. Louis. He is one of 5 candidates to fill the final roster spot which will be voted on by the fans. Victorino is batting .300 with 5 homers, 35 RBI and 13 stolen bases so far this year. His defense has been outstanding as well. Please VOTE FOR SHANE! He deserves to be there!
Tomorrow, the Phillies begin a 4-game series with the Reds and Cole Hamels will attempt to put the spring back in his step. Game time is 7:05pm.
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game and also the Father-Child game which includes the photos above and many more! Enjoy!
Photos by Jenn