Results tagged ‘ Rockies ’

Game 3 Preview / Bad Parenting 101

UPDATE 12pm:  Game 3 has been postponed due to the bad weather in Colorado.  It will now be played Sunday night at 10:07pm EST, 8:07pm MT.  Game 4 then is moved to Monday, but no time has been announced yet.

AM blog: The most important game in the series, beginning with the Phillies and Rockies tied at 1 game each, will be played under the worst of conditions.  P9139620 Pedro.jpgSnow, sleet and freezing temperatures will likely be the most talked about part of this game which is scheduled for 9:37pm EST, 7:37pm Mountain time.  The late start is likely to add to the chill.

Pedro Martinez will start the game and it is a huge opportunity for him to officially make a comeback at 37 years of age.  Pedro pitched in Boston, so he is used to the cold, but snow may be another thing altogether.  Plus, he has not pitched a full game in almost a month; his last start beyond 4 innings was on 9/13/09.  Then again, Pedro has experience and a good post-season record on his side.  Which Pedro will show up?  The former Cy Young winner or the aging, injury-prone pitcher of the last several years?

As for the offense, anyone who has seen this team play in April knows, they do not like hitting in cold weather.  But the playoffs are a different animal and the Phillies tend to step it up in October.  But will they be swinging at snowflakes or at strikes?

If nothing else, this should be a very interesting game, should Mother Nature allow it to unfold without interruption.  Best of luck to the Phillies!

It’s A Boy!

Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, welcomed their first child into the world yesterday morning.  Caleb Michael Hamels arrived at 9am on Friday morning.  Caleb is a cute name, but most are just happy the poor kid did not get stuck with “Colbert” like his dad ;O)  And no, I am not making that up…his full name is Colbert Michael Hamels.  So congratulations to the Hamels family and best wishes for a healthy, happy baby!

Bad Parenting 101

Speaking of parenting, this kids parents get the Bad Parenting of the Year Award: 12-year old Jennifer Valdivia ended up with Ryan Howard’s 200th home run ball at a game in Miami.  As is the baseball tradition, she was ushered to the clubhouse and exchanged the ball for an autographed one.  ALL players do this and ALL teams do this for milestone balls, it is not an unusual practice.

However, when the girl returned home, her parents decided their child was taken advantage of and sued Ryan Howard to get the ball back.  They were upset that she was given what they termed a $100 ball” in exchange for one worth “thousands.” 

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That’s right folks, way to teach your kid how to extort money!  Not to mention, why were a 12-year old girl and her 15-year old brother at a ball game without an adult?  I am sure the opinions here vary, but I can assure you, if my kids were that age, there is NO way they would be on their own.  A ballpark is NOT a safe place to let your kids run free as far as I am concerned. 

And then they have the nerve to complain.  Here’s a question for those parents: what if you child was kidnapped or attacked in the bathroom, or anything of that nature?  Were you going to sue the ballpark for YOUR neglect?  Just sayin’…

Ms. Valdivia was probably thrilled to get an autographed ball, until her parents convinced her otherwise.  At that age, I know I would have been…and still to this day.  The only reason it mattered to them was because of the money.  So, if this kid really is going to keep the ball, like they profess, then why does the money make a difference?  Unless you are going to sell it, the personally autographed ball is a great souvenir.  Maybe they should have thrown in a bat as well or something, but again, the parents sent their kids in there alone, so they obviously felt their kids were old enough to handle any situation that may arise.  If they do not feel that way, then they never should have sent them without an adult.

That ball meant a lot more to Howard than it would to anyone else, unless money was the only objective.  With that 200th home run, Howard became the fastest player in Major League history to reach that milestone.  If the girl’s parents felt she should have been given more in exchange, then ASK.  They would have been happy to send the girl a signed bat, photo or whatever she wanted.  But, no.  These jerks decided to sue.  And rather than argue, the Phillies gave the kid the ball and moved on.

So, way to go Valdivia family; you have not only taught your kids that it is all about the money but now they know, in a sue-happy country, they can get whatever they want in life if they just yell loud enough.  Forget about doing the right thing, it is all about getting your way.  Forget about who you hurt, as long as you claim the cash.  Nicely done.  It is no wonder this country is quickly descending into the dark pit of hell where morals are thrown out the window.  This youth is our future, America.  Start praying.

UPDATE: The above facts were as presented by The Miami Herald and ESPN.  A new report from CNN says the girl’s grandfather was with her, but decided NOT to accompany her to the clubhouse.  So, he chose to let her go alone.  Add bad grandparenting to the story then as well.  The family was also offered VIP ticktes to the next Florida series and they turned it down.  And the law suit was for the amount of $15,000.  Yes, that is 15 thousand dollars.  And this was NOT about the money?  Enough said.

Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Rocky Mountain Headache

Well, that sucked.  Oh sorry, in case you missed it, the Phillies fell just short by a score of 4-5 in Game 2 against the Rockies today.  They will head to Colorado with a 1-1 series tie, which is not great news.  The weather forecast in Denver is calling for sleet, snow and freezing temperatures.  If you follow the Phillies, you know how they perform in cold weather; not good.

P6216387 Hamels.jpgSo now instead of a Rocky mountain high, we all have a Rocky mountain headache.  Cole Hamels started the game for the Phillies and…just a second…I will not say bad things about Cole Hamels, I will not say bad things about Cole Hamels, I will not say bad things about Cole Hamels…ok, maybe I just cannot help myself.  What the heck, Cole??  Well, he was not awful, but he was not good either.  4 runs allowed in 5 innings is not what you expect from the reigning World Series MVP.

But Hamels has not been himself all year, and you have to ask yourself now, can he be counted on going forward if the Phillies advance this post-season?  Granted, there were extenuating circumstances today, with his wife’s pregnancy running late.  In fact, Hamels is at the hospital right now; Heidi went into labor sometime during the game and he left before the game ended.  But then again, he has not been consistent all year.

Two other starters were wasted in this game as well.  Joe Blanton pitched just over an inning in relief and would up costing the Phillies a run.  And then in a very odd move, manager Charlie Manuel put in our other starter, JA Happ to clean up Blanton’s mess in the 7th.  On the first batter Happ faced, he was drilled in the knee with a hit ball and had to leave the game to have X-rays.  Luckily, nothing is broken, but how long have we now lost Happ for remains to be seen.  Plus, the only option to start on Saturday now is Pedro Martinez, who is not a sure thing after suffering a neck / upper rib injury in September.

Why Manuel did not lean on our well rested and experienced bullpen to begin with is beyond comprehension.  He risked 2 of our best starters and it back fired. 

The offense struggled in this game and did not score until the 6th inning.  Shane Victorino had 3 hits, but was unable to pull another one out in the 9th with 2 outs and 2 runners on.  Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard had 2 hits each, but no hits and just 1 walk out of 5 bench players hurt.  Jayson Werth hit a solo homer in the 8th to bring the team within 1 run and that was the end of the scoring.

It is not impossible for the Phillies to win in chilly Colorado, but it is not going to be easy.  I do hope they pack and dress accordingly:

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That should take care of it!

And I do wish Cole and his wife Heidi all the best with the labor and their new baby, whenever he or she arrives.  Cole, you make me nuts, but I still love ya ;O)

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

 

Lee Rocks The Rockies

Cliff Lee had an up and down month of September, but with a clean slate in October, all is well again.  Lee pitched a complete game and led the Phillies to a 5-1 win in Game 1 of the NLDS over the Rockies.  He had a shut-out going into the 9th inning. 

In a post-game interview, Lee admitted to getting distracted when he took a moment to soak in the crowd and the atmosphere, which led to a Troy Tulowitzki double to score a run with two outs in the inning.  While both Lee and the crowd were disappointed about the lost shut-out, that disappointment lasted only a few moments as Lee stuck out Garret Atkins to end the game.100709 Lee.jpg

The first 4 innings were tense as the Phillies hitters were shut down by pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.  But in the 5th, they figured him out and pounded out 5 runs in two innings.  High winds kept a few balls in the park and the field was littered with bags, wrappers and a small dust storm, but they managed to hit through it.  Every player in the line-up, including Lee, had at least one hit in the game.  The middle of the line-up, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez, had 2 hits apiece and combined for 4 RBI.  The Phillies also racked up 3 doubles, 1 triple by Werth and 3 stolen bases.

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Shocking everyone, including manager Charlie Manuel, Cliff Lee stole one of those 3 bases.  The man did everything tonight; he hit, he ran and he pitched the entire game.  Looking around the ballpark, I actually saw a t-shirt that said “Thank-you, Indians.”  I think we can all agree with that sentiment.

So Cole Hamels will pitch Game 2 tomorrow and he will have a LOT on his mind.  Not only is he starting a play-off game, but his wife is pregnant with their first child and she is due right NOW.  Seriously, she could pop at any second.  We should all say a collective prayer that she can hold that baby in until at least Friday.

I just read an interesting article about Hamels as well.  It seems that he too is cheesed over the crappy start times for this series that we all got stuck with.  Beat writer Todd Zolecki quoted Hamels as saying, “Being the defending world champs, I think it’s kind of a little weird that we kind of get both games at 2 o’ clock. I don’t think it’s fair. I definitely don’t think it’s fair for the fans because this is all about the home-field advantage or just baseball in general.”  For once Cole, I completely agree.

Not only did thousands of people have to ditch work to attend the game, but thousands of kids skipped school as well.  Sadly, the education system took a big hit today and probably will again tomorrow.  In fact, today’s game was host to the largest crowd in the history of Citizens Bank Park: 46,452.  We will see if that is surpassed tomorrow.  Game time is 2:37pm….ugh. 

Here is the full Photo Album from the game today.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

NLDS Roster Announced


Thumbnail image for 208910.jpgThe Phillies announced their playoff roster today and there were a few surprises.  Here is how it played out (courtesy of Phillies.com):

Catchers (2): Paul Bako and Carlos Ruiz

Infielders (6): Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley

Outfielders (5): Ben Francisco, Raul Ibanez, Matt Stairs, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth

Pitchers (12): left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Scott Eyre, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Cliff Lee and right-handers Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Pedro Martinez and Brett Myers

Miguel Cairo was the right decision over Eric Bruntlett.  And the rest of the bench players are what I expected.

There was one surprise with the pitchers, however.  Clay Condrey and Tyler Walker were left off the roster in favor of Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo.  I did say earlier that Bastardo may be picked over Walker, so that is not too shocking considering the lack of lefties in the pen.  But Kendrick over Condrey, I am a bit surprised about.  Kendrick did pitch well in September, but Condrey is more consistent and has a lot more experience.  I think the nagging back injury did him in; the team must not be convinced that Condrey is healthy.

I also predicted that the Game 1 starter would be Cliff Lee, and that is correct.  Cole Hamels will get Game 2 and Game 3 has yet to be decided.  My feeling is that it should be JA Happ as the Phils want to overload the Rockies with lefties.  But all Charlie Manuel would say is that Happ, Joe Blanton and even Pedro Martinez will be “available” in the pen for the first two games.  I suppose then whoever does not get used will start Game 3.

This may also be a strategic move.  This gives less preparation time to the Rockies since they will not know who to prepare for.

So, if you are actually home tomorrow at game time, tune in at 2:37pm for the first pitch.  The game time still disgusts me.  I understand all teams need air time, but how exactly is it that the reigning World Champions do not get one of the prime time slots?  I’ll tell you why…because MLB cares only about the Yankees and the Red Sox.  It has been and probably will always be about these teams, whether deserving or not.  I root for the Yankees too, so it is not personal.  It is a matter of respect.

Not to mention, normal people have jobs, kids have school and 2:37pm does not allow ANY of these people to enjoy the game, unless they call out sick or skip school.   And how about the poor Rockies fans?  The game time for them is 12:37pm! (Mountain time)  That is just wrong.  But hey, if you are a Yankees or Sox fan, I’ll bet you are happier than a pig in mud, right?  Must be nice. 

Well, best of luck to everyone tomorrow (except the Rockies, of course)!  Go Phillies!

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

Regular Season Ends With A Walk-Off Win

The regular season is over for the Phillies and they closed it out with a win against the Marlins for a final season record of 93-69.  And as usual, it was not without high drama; oh, and extra innings too.  If we have learned anything over the years, it is that the Phillies do nothing the easy way.

Most of the bench players and rookies got some time in today to make their final bid for a post-season roster spot.  Miguel Cairo made his case, going 2 for 4 with 1 RBI and a triple that tied up the game when he scored after a throwing error by the Fish.  Ben Francisco went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a walk, however, he was picked off trying to steal THREE times.  No kidding.  Another thing we learned today?  Francisco is not allowed to attempt a steal…ever.


100409a.jpgThe pitching was a bit trickier.  JA Happ was only allowed to pitch 2 innings to save his arm for the post-season.  Sadly, he allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning which bumped his ERA up to 2.93 for the season.  Still, that and his 12 wins were an amazing feat for the rookie.

Kyle Kendrick may have pitched his way off the roster as he allowed 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings.  The lefty Sergio Escalona looked a little shaky too as he allowed a runner to score, although it was charged to Brett Myers.


100409b.jpgBut the real drama unfolded in the 10th inning.  Jayson Werth stepped to the plate with a runner in scoring position and 1 RBI needed to reach 100 for the season.  In a shallow and classless act, the Marlins manager intentionally walked Werth, taking away any shot he had at the milestone.  This game was meaningless to both teams, except for possibly a moral victory.  The Marlins had nothing to gain or lose.  In that case, an intentional walk is uncalled for and ruins the spirit of competition. 

Add to that, the Marlins pitcher who was told to walk Werth was Dan Meyer, a Philadelphia-area native who grew up in a nearby town, rooting for the Phillies.  He likely had tons of friends and family there to watch him, and what did they get to see?  Their hometown hero boo’ed mercilessly by an upset crowd who wanted to see the game played out the way it was meant to.  Poor Meyer!  This kid did not deserve to be put in that position.  Manager Fredi Gonzalez, you should be ashamed of yourself!

So Werth went without the 100 RBI mark, but the Phillies ended on a positive note.  Some guy named Paul who?…I mean, Paul Hoover, the 3rd catcher who spent the whole year in the minors, got the winning, walk-off infield single to score John Mayberry Jr. and end the game with a final score of 7-6.  The crowd exploded and the Phillies pummeled Hoover in adulation.


walk-off.jpgAfterwards, the players ran around the field tossing balls and t-shirts to the crowd in thanks for their support.  Shane Victorino threw a ball all the way to the upper deck, into the broadcast booth and announcer, Tom McCarthy caught it on the fly.

The celebration is over now and the real work begins.  The Phillies will take on the Rockies Wednesday; game time has been announced and it is 2:37pm…yuck!  Hey, thanks again MLB…right in the middle of the day while most normal people are at work.  Just sayin’.

Here is the Photo Album from today’s game.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Phils Get Home Field

Even though the Phillies lost, again, to the Marlins yesterday, a loss by the Cardinals gave them home field advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs.  They will face the Rockies starting on Wednesday in Philly.  The Dodgers get the Cardinals.

Despite the loss, a few good things came out of the game yesterday. 

·        Jayson Werth now stands at 99 RBI for the season with 1 game left. 

·        Antonio Bastardo, who was with the team earlier in the season but got hurt, is now back and pitched a scoreless 7th inning.  Bastardo is a lefty, so this may be good news for the pen.

·        Brett Myers pitched a scoreless 6th inning and felt no pain since the hip surgery and shoulder injury.

·        Ryan Howard blasted home run #45 for the season.

·        Miguel Cairo went 1 for 3 and is making a good case as a bench player on the post-season roster.

·        Brad Lidge looked like he may have his mojo back – he pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning and looked sharp for the first time in a LONG time.  Maybe it was the change in music?  Lidge dumped Drowning Pool’s “Soldiers” in favor of Linkin Park’s “No More Sorrow” as his intro song.  I’d say that is fitting.

JA Happ will pitch today in the final game of the regular season and try for lucky win #13 to make his case for Rookie of the Year.  Game time is 1:35pm.

Congress & Steroids Revisited

Yesterday, I posted some information on a CBS article that covered a possible Congressional inquest to see whether the regulations on dietary supplements should be revised by Congress.  Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter was made aware of the issue because of JC Romero’s suspension when he took a supplement that was illegally tainted.  Some felt that Congress should not worry about such issues and here is my response:

Senator Specter was made aware of the issue because of baseball, which is always in the limelight, but that is NOT the big picture.  This is beyond baseball.  It is about innocent people everywhere going to stores like GNC, which is in almost every major shopping mall in the country, and buying their vitamins and supplements and getting more than they bargained for.  I am one of those people.

I take a variety of vitamins and supplements which my doctor advised for various medical conditions.  These pills are not properly regulated by the FDA, which means you cannot know for sure what you are taking.   We all try to buy from reputable sources, but the bottom line is, companies can and will taint their products with illegal and dangerous substances either to save a buck or get you hooked so you will buy more.  I hope the only thing in my Vitamin C pill is Vitamin C, but do I know that for sure?  No.

These companies are putting people’s lives at risk.  Personally, I do not want steroids or anything else that could hurt or kill me in my supplements, do you?  So while the steroid issue in baseball may have been the catalyst for looking into the matter, it is not the main issue.  Congress does have plenty of issues to tend to, but regulating these drug companies is important as well.  Remember that the next time you take some Ginkgo Biloba, Glucosamine and Chondroitin or any other supplement which is unregulated.

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

Lee Greets Philly Fans With A Win

Cliff Lee was welcomed to Philadelphia today by the fans.  In his second start for the team, his first at home, Lee pitched extremely well.  He went 7 innings and allowed only 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk.  While not as spectacular as his first start in San Francisco where he went a full 9 innings, today’s start was more than acceptable and exactly what the Phillies were hoping to get out of the 2008 Cy Young winner.

Lee had some help; Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 4 at the plate and was just a home run short of the cycle.  J-Roll also scored 2 of the 3 Phillies runs.  Paul Bako, the Phillies back-up catcher, hit a solo home run in the game; it was his first homer since June of last year.080609a.jpg

There were also several miscues in the game including an error by Lee, a ball missed by Ryan Howard that should have been an error, but was not scored as such, and J-Roll also missed a ball up the middle that he normally gets to.  On top of that, the young Ben Francisco drew a walk in the 7th, only to get himself picked off at 1st base.  Whoops!  But through all the blunders, Lee remained calm and pitched through it.  That, more than anything else, was very impressive.

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Happ-Y Days

Earlier today, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. announced that JA Happ will stay in the rotation.  How this will happen has not been disclosed, although Ruben did mention getting “creative” to solve the dilemma.  Could “creative” mean he likes my 5 ½ man rotation idea??  Hmmmmm…..

Whatever the case, good news for Happ!  Likely what happens next is Jamie Moyer starts against the Marlins this week and after that, the real fun of juggling these guys begins.

Up Next

The Fish are coming to town!  Tomorrow’s 7:05pm game start time has been pushed back to 7:35pm in order to hold a special ceremony to induct our beloved Harry Kalas into the Phillies Wall of Fame.  It is sure to be an emotional day for all as Harry’s sons, friends and family of fans pay tribute to a Philly legend one more time.  We still miss you, Harry!

And finally, here is the full Photo Album from today’s Phillies – Rockies match-up and Cliff Lee’s 2nd start.

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Do NOT Put JA Happ In The Bullpen!

I have been campaigning for JA Happ all year and tonight, he pitched a 4-hit complete game shut-out against the Rockies in a 7-0 win.  It was his second complete game shut-out this year.  On top of that, he hit a double in the game as well.  What else do the Phillies need from this kid? 

P4190940 Happ SM.jpgWith Pedro Martinez lurking in the wings, one of the starters will likely have to go in the pen.  Rumor has it that the Phillies will not do that to Jamie Moyer because of his status in the league; Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Joe Blanton are locks.  So JA Happ appears to be the odd man out when Martinez arrives from his rehab starts, unless they go with a 6-man rotation.

I have the solution.  Go with what I am calling a 5 ½ man rotation; you start Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and on day 5, tell Moyer and Martinez that they will get 4-5 innings a piece and rotate who actually “starts” in the 1st inning each time around the rotation.  With the advanced ages of these two guys, they will benefit from the shortened starts.  This will mean fewer pitches, less fatigue and fewer opportunities for opponents to make adjustments on each of them.

Plus, this gives the Phillies wiggle room if someone gets hurt or if either Moyer or Martinez starts off the game badly.  Pull him out and put in the 2nd guy.  They will always be on the same 5 day schedule so no worries about messing up their rhythm either.  And there will be less stress on the bullpen as they should get used a bit less.  Moyer has gone less than six innings four times in his last 7 starts.  This rotation solves that problem.

Especially after tonight’s performance, there is NO way the Phillies can justify putting Happ in the pen.  They need a solution and here it is.  Now if only someone would actually listen….

Ok, more photos!  I have posted the non-baseball photos from my San Francisco trip on Facebook.  Photo Album #1 contains Alcatraz, the Golden Gate & Bay bridges, the Aquarium and city photos.  Photo Album #2 covers the Farallon Islands whale watch, Marine Mammal Sanctuary, Marin Golden Gate National Park, the Pier & Sea Lions in the city, Seal Rock and the San Francisco Zoo.  Enjoy!

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Slaughter in San Francisco

So much for the presence of Cliff Lee taking some of the pressure off Cole Hamels; you can officially take that theory and flush it down the toilet.  And down the toilet is exactly where this four game series went today as Hamels was destroyed by the Giants in a 7-3 loss.  The Phillies lost 3 of 4 here in the city by the bay.


Thumbnail image for P8024045 Hamels.jpgIt all began to unravel in the 5th inning when, with 2 outs in the inning, Giants pitcher Barry Zito nubbed a good luck broken bat single up the middle.  Instead of taking it for what it was, a stroke of luck, Hamels let the hit get into his head and chaos ensued.  3 runs later, the Giants moved onto the 6th inning with Hamels still annoyed about the previous disaster and 3 more runs scored in that next inning. 

Hamels is looking more and more like a mental patient on the mound instead of an MVP.  Can someone please call Dr. Phil?  This guy needs a serious sit down.  It does not matter how good a pitchers arm is; if he cannot handle the pressure, he will crack.  And Hamels is cracking to the point of breaking.  Let me ask you this; when Pedro Martinez arrives and one of the starters is going to get bumped to the bullpen, can the Phillies justify doing this to JA Happ when he has outpitched Hamels?

Think I am nuts?  Look at the numbers:  Hamels has a 7-6 record with a 4.68 ERA.  Happ, in 17 fewer innings due to a season start in the pen, has a record of 7-2 with a 2.97 ERA.  Hamels is averaging 5 2/3 innings pitched per game for the season; Happ is averaging 6 2/3 in his last 10 starts (could not use games he pitched from the pen, so went with last 10) and therefore, going deeper into games. 

Is Cole the staff “ace”?  Supposedly.  And there is no denying the job he did last season.  But why hurt the team while he gets his head on straight?  Brett Myers knew that was the wrong thing to do last year when he accepted a minor league assignment in order to straighten himself out.  Will Hamels ever follow suit?  That is doubtful.  Then it is up to the manager to make the decision for him.  I am not saying he should be demoted to the minors, but Hamels needs to show this team that he can handle pressure and adjust in tight situations.  If he cannot turn things around, I think a “spanking” of some sort is in order here.

And there is my Hamels rant for the day.  The rest of the team did not do much this series to help out either.  The offense was lacking and defense was sloppy, as evidenced by a Ryan Howard goof today that cost the team another run.  In fact, the biggest hit of the day, besides a Jimmy Rollins solo shot, was a double off the bat of Eric Bruntlett that went deep into left field.  When the standout star of the day is Eric “I am batting below .150″ Bruntlett, you know it is going to be a very bad day.


080209.jpgAside from the blunders, the best entertainment of the day was watching Pedro Feliz try to wrestle the Giants mascot, Lou Seal and then Jayson Werth stole the poor critters hat:

But tomorrow is another day and the Phillies are still in first place.  A three game series with the Rockies may be just what the doctor ordered Tuesday night beginning at 7:05pm. 

I will be taking a tour of AT & T Park tomorrow morning and flying home tomorrow evening.  I hope to post a review of San Francisco, both the city and the ballpark, sometime on Tuesday.  I will also be posting a Photo Album from the entire West Coast trip and all 4 games with the Giants.  For now, let’s see if the Phillies return home can spark some offense!  Go Phillies!

 

Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Happy Bunnies & Big Bats

The Phillies won their first series of the year today by beating the Rockies 7-5.  The long ball, which has been oddly scarce in this first week of play, made its return to the Phils on a very Happy Easter Day.  P2232768 Park.jpgA solid bullpen performance rounded out the win with 5 relievers used and zero runs given up from those relievers, including closer Brad Lidge.

It was not such a great Easter Day for Chan Ho Park; but at least he has chocolate bunnies to console himself.  Park tried to melt the Phillies hopes early by quickly giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning and another in the 2nd.  Park lasted only 3 1/3 innings and, despite his great Spring Training performance, the April showers caught up with him today as he allowed the Rockies to knock him around for 7 hits, 3 walks and those 5 runs.    

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He looked a bit lost out on that mound and was not able to hit any of his spots.  Park gets the Sad Bunny Award for the day.

Then it looked like our offense was intent on stinking up the cold, rainy Coors Field, as they slumbered through much of the game.  But Chase Utley came to the rescue in the 8th inning with a 2 run home run to tie the game, making us all very Happy Bunnies! 

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Pedro Feliz decided to join the Happy Bunny parade by leading off the 9th inning with a double down the edge of the 3rd base line.  Chris Coste laid down a perfect bunt to advance Feliz to 3rd base and then manager Charlie Manuel sent Matt Stairs to the plate.  Stairs absolutely destroyed the offering from the Rockies pitcher and sent the ball over the right field wall, giving him a 2-run pinch hit home run. 

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Matt Stairs hits home runs; it is just what he does.

The Phillies have a potentially huge challenge ahead of them tomorrow as they travel to our Nations capitol to take on the Nats in D.C.  First of all, it is the Nats Home Opener; also, they have President Obama coming to toss the first pitch; and the Nats have yet to win a game this season.  Roll all that up and you have one desperate team on fire, aching to get a win.  I will be there to root them on and as always, I will be back with photos!  Game time is 3:05pm.

UPDATE:  Just read a press release stating that Obama will NOT throw the 1st pitch today after the Nats originally announced he would.  I guess he heard I was going to be there and though, “Gee, how fun would it be to TOTALLY dissapoint these people?”  Ugh!  Ok, so maybe he has better things to do….like the White House Egg Roll, which will take place today.  Hmmmm…

 

Player Photos by Jenn; Happy Bunny by Jim Benton

 

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