Results tagged ‘ Ross Gload ’

Ibanez and Brown Highlight A Win In Miami

In the first half of the 2010 season, it looked like Raul Ibanez may be on the down side of an otherwise solid career.  But in the second half, he has returned with the new life, similar to that he showed early in 2009. 
Miami Vice Ibanez Brown.jpg
Tonight against the Marlins, Ibanez continued his hot streak with 2 hits, 2 RBI, a walk and 2 runs scored.

In his quest to conquer Miami, Ibanez was joined by a rookie 16 years his junior.  In fact, biologically speaking, Ibanez is old enough to be Domonic Brown’s father.  Brown is showing off his many talents early in his Phillies career; he had a hit and 3 RBI tonight plus his very first assist in right field.  Brown threw a bullet to home plate in the 3rd, allowing catcher Carlos Ruiz to easily tag out Gaby Sanchez trying to score.

The 1-2 punch of Ibanez and Brown tonight conjured images of the 80′s Miami Vice crime fighting duo.  The difference is, they are way more fun to watch than Crockett and Tubbs.  And better dressed as well; Philadelphians prefer pinstripes ;o)

But many players contributed to the thumping of the Marlins tonight.  Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco each had 2-hit nights; Rollins collected 2 walks as well and had a run-saving catch in the 5th.  Ross Gload did a very nice job at first base, making some difficult defensive plays as well as walking twice, getting a hit and an RBI. 

Jayson Werth still looked confused at the plate as he struck out for the 7th consecutive time in 2 games.  4 times in one game is the called the Golden Sombrero, which he did yesterday.  But 7 times in a row?  The only word I know of for that feat is “BAD.”  Werth did finally make contact in the 9th inning with a single to left.  Hopefully, that will be the hit that breaks the slump.  Werth had been 0 for his last 24 before that.

The pitching held up nicely tonight too.  Kyle Kendrick had 6 solid innings with 5 strikeouts and 2 runs allowed on 8 hits.  The bullpen held down the lead and Brad Lidge was brought into the bottom of the 9th with a 7-2 score.  The lack of pressure suited him well as he mowed down the Fish in order.  But Lidge in a tight situation is still questionable.  Luckily, we did not have to watch another heart stopping 9th tonight, thanks to the offense.

So what began as a rough road trip now has some potential.  If they can sweep the Marlins tomorrow, the Phillies can return home with a 4-2 road trip; not too shabby.  Roy Oswalt will get his second shot at impressing Philly fans tomorrow; game time is 7:10pm.

 

Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Big Man Down: Howard To The DL


Phillies titanic.jpgThe Phillies 2010 season is beginning to resemble the sinking of the Titanic.  Ryan Howard was placed on the DL today with a left ankle sprain.  So it is official; every single infield starter for the Phils has been on the DL this year.  The only two team starters who have escaped a DL trip so far are Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez.  That makes player #15 on the DL this year.  Take a look:

1B

Ryan Howard

DL

8/3 – now

Starter

CF

Shane Victorino

DL

7/28 – now

Starter

P

Jamie Moyer

DL

7/21 – now

Starter

2B

Chase Utley

DL

6/29 – now

Starter

3B

Placido Polanco

DL

6/26 – 7/17

Starter

C

Carlos Ruiz

DL

6/22 – 7/10

Starter

P

Chad Durbin

DL

6/2 – 7/15

Relief pitcher

P

Antonio Bastardo

DL

6/17 – 7/15 to AAA

Relief pitcher

C

Brian Schneider

DL

5/9-5/24

Back-up

P

Ryan Madson

DL

4/29 – 7/8

Relief pitcher

P

JA Happ

DL

4/16 – 7/6 to AAA

Starter

SS

Jimmy Rollins

DL

4/13-4/17, 5/22-6/22

Starter

P

Joe Blanton

DL

3/26-5/3

Starter

P 

Brad Lidge

DL

3/26-4/30, 5/10-5/31

Closer

P

JC Romero

DL

3/26-4/22

Relief pitcher

 

Is this a sign that 2010 is just not the Phillies year?  I hope not.  Filling in at first base likely will be Ross Gload and maybe Cody Ransom.  John Mayberry Jr. was called up to fill the roster spot and will be used off the bench.

Howard and Chase Utley are the Phillies biggest producers; having them both out of the line-up is going to make an already struggling offense even less effective.  Not to mention, the Phillies bullpen is still suspect.  Manager Charlie Manuel has no idea what to expect from the pen from day to day.  And with fewer runs being scored, odds are good that the pen is going to decide the outcome of a lot of games.  This is not good news.

If you are looking for some good news, Roy Halladay is pitching tonight in Miami.  Even better news; the last time this match-up occurred, Halladay threw a Perfect Game.  The Marlins may be more prepared this time out, but anytime Halladay pitches, you have to like this team’s chances.

Lidge Blows Another Save

After last night’s disappointing Roy Oswalt debut plus a serious lack of offense, the Phillies were hoping to bounce back today against the Nationals.  Oswalt threw one pitch and gave up a triple. 
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Tonight, Joe Blanton threw 3 pitches and the singles started coming.  Blanton had 2 base runners with 2 outs in the 1st inning and from there, allowed 3 runs to score with a total of 5 singles in the inning.

Settling down after the first, Blanton pitched 4 clean innings but allowed another run in the 6th.  He escaped the 6th with just one run thanks to an amazing diving catch by rookie Domonic Brown and then a double play after that.  So it was 6 innings and 4 runs for Blanton; not great.

The Phillies bats did little to help early on, not scoring their first run until the 4th inning on a Wilson Valdez single.  Carlos Ruiz hit a solo homer in the 6th and then Raul Ibanez had the big knock in the 7th.  His two run homer tied the game up at 4-4.  Ibanez has been the Phillies hottest hitter of late, which is nice to see after he struggled the entire first half of the season.  In his last 10 games before tonight, Ibanez is hitting .438.

On the other side of the spectrum, Ryan Howard is suddenly not hitting at all.  He got his very first day off of the year today as a result.  Manager Charlie Manuel thought a little rest could do him some good.   Howard had only 2 hits in his last 5 games.  Cody Ransom got a start at first base in his place.

Things were quiet again until the 9th inning when Jayson Werth walked.  Ross Gload bunted him over; Brown moved him to third on a ground ball out.  But the big hero was Ruiz who, with his 3rd hit of the night, singled to score Werth, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead.  It was also Ruiz’s 2nd RBI of the game.


P8306049 Lidge2.jpgBut no lead is big enough when Brad “Heart Attack” Lidge is about to come into the game.  He used to be “Light’s Out” Lidge, but I have renamed him; more appropriate, I think.  The first batter Lidge faced singled and a bunt moved him to 2nd.  Then he walked the next batter.  Get out the
nitroglycerin; I feel an episode coming on.  Yes, there it is…Ryan Zimmerman + fast ball down the middle = 3 run homer + Nationals win.

Let us give Lidge a few more nicknames…why?  Because it will make me feel better.  How about Brad “Please go back on the DL” Lidge?  Or Brad “Blown Save” Lidge.  It could be “BS” for short.  And then there is Brad “I Suck Big Time” Lidge.

Hey Ruben Amaro Jr., you have about an hour and a half to find us a closer.  WE ARE DONE WITH LIDGE!  Bring Vance Worley back up if you have to.  This cannot continue to happen.  This team battled their as*ses off to get back in this game and Lidge BLEW IT.  We, the fans, have had ENOUGH.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Manuel Wins #500; Phillies Sweep Rockies

The Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, collected his 500th victory for the team today with a 4-game sweep of the Rockies.  Only two other Phils managers since 1900 have more wins: Gene Mauch, 645 and Danny Ozark, 594. 

The game did not start well as pitcher Joe Blanton quickly gave up 2 runs in the first innings to the anxious Rockies who were hoping to salvage one game in this series.  But, despite a few walks, Blanton was sharp after the 1st and wound up going 6 innings.

0726 Blanton.jpg

The Phillies offense got them back into the game quickly, which was also a huge help.  In order, Ross Gload singled, Greg Dobbs doubled and Brian Schneider tripled.  All that was missing was a home run.  Instead of the homer, Blanton reached first on a missed catch by Jason Giambi at first. 

But then Jimmy Rollins batted and wound up fouling a ball off his foot, sending him to the ground in pain.  He limped through the rest of the game and afterwards had an X-Ray.  There was no break; he just has a bruise.  However, it is still unknown how long he may have to rest his foot before playing again.  Here is the sequence, with a nice moment of sportsmanship too:

0726 rollins.jpg

Things got quiet for a while after that until the Phillies scored 2 more runs in the 6th.  Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez each hit RBI-singles to extend the lead.  But many players contributed to the offense today, especially Schneider, with the huge triple in the 2nd and he also walked and scored in the 6th.  Greg Dobbs went 2 for 4 and Polanco had 2 hits as well.  Here are a few shot from the game:

0726 other.jpg

There was some great defense and really amazing efforts on tough plays also:

0726 Defense.jpg

And then came the heart-stopping 9th inning.  You know when I mention heart attacks, Brad Lidge must somehow be involved, right?  Well he sure was.  It started with a double, but Lidge got two outs after that.  With just one out to go, ahead of the batter in the count, Lidge grooved a fastball right over the plate which Seth Smith hammered for a 2-run homer, cutting the lead to 5-4.  Two walks and a single later and the bases were loaded…again…just like the day before.  But Lidge finally got a ground ball, which he fielded himself for the final out.

0726 Lidge.jpg

While Lidge is totally on my last nerve with these cardiac episode inducing outings, what is the alternative?  Do we need a new closer?  Probably.  But has anyone else in the pen proved they can handle the job?  No.  This is the proverbial rock and a hard place.  Others have tried to close and failed, like Ryan Madson, for example.  So sadly, it looks like we are stuck with Lidge for now.

As for the recent trade rumors, Dan Haren went to the Angels so it looks like Roy Oswalt is the final option for the Phils to pick up a starter.  But as I talked about on yesterday’s Fightin’ Phillies podcast, Oswalt does not seem interested in coming here and with the no-trade clause, he has final say.  But do we really want a guy who is scared of the media and shies away from pressure?  I know I don’t.  It will be interesting to see if anything happens before the trade deadline.

In the meantime, feel free to check out the Photo Album from today’s game.  Thanks to my friend, Audrea, I was in one of the business suites today, which are very, very nice.  I put a few photos of that in the album as well.

The D-Backs come to town tomorrow.  Game time is 7:05pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Firing Of Hitting Coach Lights a Fire Under The Offense

The Phillies returned home today after a very bad road trip hoping to turn things around against the Rockies.  For starters, they fired their hitting coach, Milt Thompson and replaced him with Greg Gross.  Thompson is the fall guy for this severely underachieving offense.  But would this slap to the face be the wake-up call the Phillies are certainly in need of?

At first, it looked like the same old routine of hitting into double plays and leaving the bases loaded.  But in the 5th inning, the offense woke up and figured out how to score some runs.  Three straight hits, including an RBI double from Raul Ibanez, got things started. 
P6254147 Gload.jpg
Ryan Howard even stole a base, as his teammates giggled in the dugout after seeing the big man scamper to second.  Jayson Werth hit a sac fly and then Ross Gload, getting a rare start in the outfield, smacked a 2-run homer for his second hit of the night.

The only starter who did not contribute tonight was Wilson Valdez who went 0 for 4.  Everyone else, even the pitcher, got a hit.  Ibanez finally looks like RAUUUUUULLL again!  He had 3 hits and 3 RBI tonight.  Ibanez likes hitting 3rd, as I mentioned yesterday.  Jimmy Rollins, back in the lead-off spot as I also suggested yesterday, seems to have found his groove as well.  J-Roll collected 2 hits and a walk.

On the mound, Roy Halladay returned to his usual dominating form after allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in his last outing.  Tonight, he pitched extremely well, allowing only 5 hits and no runs over 8 innings.  Oddly enough, the hitting was a bigger story today than 8 shut-out innings from Halladay.  Because we expect Halladay to be good; but the offense has been so bad, seeing the Phillies score 6 runs was more exciting. 

JC Romero pitched an easy 9th inning and looked very sharp.   He hit the leadoff batter, but was lights-out after that.  The Phillies won by a score of 6-0 and Halladay finally experienced some run support.  Hopefully, this win will be a much needed boost for the team.

The starting pitching for the rest of the weekend has finally been announced.  Kyle Kendrick will be brought up to pitch Saturday as Jamie Moyer is placed on the DL.  And on Sunday, JA Happ will get his first start since 4/15/10 when an injury sent him to the DL.

As for Moyer, the news is not good.  An MRI showed that he has both a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor pronator muscle; those injuries are to the left forearm and elbow.  The two injuries may require surgery and this may also signal the end of Moyer’s career.  He is going for another exam early next week and should know for sure after that.  Either way, the injuries are more serious than what Happ had this year and Happ missed more than 3 months.

Moyer is in the last year of his contract with the Phillies and it is unlikely that a team would sign a 48-year old pitcher fresh off multiple injuries and possibly surgery.  So Moyer may have pitched his last inning.  Then again, if anyone can bounce back after such damage, it would be Moyer.  I wish him luck :O)

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

An Ugly Win; But Still A Win

Before the Phillies – Cubs game today, Placido Polanco returned from the DL.  Juan Castro, who has not contributed too much lately, was released to make room.  It is good to have Polly back!  But instead of giving the team a spark, they kept playing like they were in a coma.

By the 9th inning, down 0-1, it looked like the sleeping Phils were about to lose their 3rd straight to the Cubs.  But then a miracle occurred; the Cubs bullpen took pity on them and walked two batters.  Then with two outs, Polly came through with a base hit and Brian Schneider tried to score.  He should have been out by a mile, but the very kind Cubbies took pity again; an off-line throw home kept Schneider safe. 

However, the Cubs bullpen was not fully satisfied with their charity.  Pitcher Carlos Marmol tossed a wild pitch and Ross Gload scored.  Then Marmol intentionally walked Ryan Howard and not-so-intentionally walked Jayson Werth to score another run for the Phillies. 
Pinella platter.png
Pitcher James Russell wanted in on this charitable action!  So he gave up a single to Raul Ibanez, which scored the 4th run of the inning.  Ok, maybe Ibanez had a little to do with the hit…

Actually, Ibanez had two hits in the game, as did Werth and Shane Victorino.  But they left many, many men on base through 8 innings and could not score a run.  Of course, the Phillies will take a win anyway they can get it, even if it is handed to them on a silver platter.

So they went on to win by a score of 4-1.  However, something still seems to be very wrong with the Phillies.  Is it a lack of enthusiasm?  Or perhaps it is just another slump?  No, I think not.  Based on the evidence, I am going to have to say it must be brain damage.  Take a look at the facts from today’s game:

- Victorino got thrown out at second base…twice.  Once, he was stealing and once he was trying to stretch a single into a double.  Conclusion: brain damage.


Phillies brain.jpg- Ibanez stole second base and then somehow, with his super-slow motion running abilities, thought, hey, I’ll steal third!  Nope…he was out.  Conclusion: brain damage.

- Wilson Valdez forgot to cover first base on a Cubs bunt and allowed the runner to get safely to first while a run scored.  And later in the game, Valdez dropped a pop-up.  Conclusion: brain damage.

- Cole Hamels pitched an AMAZING game, allowing only 1 run in 7 innings.  Yet, the offense did NOTHING to help him out.  He got a no decision.  Conclusion: brain damage.

- The Phillies lost the first two games of this series to a team that sucks.  Sorry Cubs fans, no disrespect, but this team is not good and is now 10 games under .500.  Conclusion: You guessed it, brain damage.

So the question now remains, will this 9th inning comeback today be the cure for their brain damage?  They swept the Reds going into the All-Star break, with 3 of the 4 wins coming in extra innings.  They returned from the break and dropped two to the Cubs.  So the Reds series did not have a huge impact.  Will today’s game propel them forward?  We shall see…

Roy Halladay will be the next Phillies pitcher to pray for some runs.  Game time tomorrow is 8:05pm.

 

Howard & Pinella 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 Wins Away Game At Home

The Phillies played an away game at home in Philly for the first time ever, against the Blue Jays.  Because of the G-20 Summit in Toronto, the 3-games series was move to Philadelphia.  The team wore their grey road uniforms, batted first, used the DH and even took batting practice second.  The Canadian Mountaineers even made several appearances with the Phanatic:
0625 Phanatic.jpg 

But the really fun part was seeing Roy Halladay pitch against his old team for the first time in his career.  And Halladay came out with his usual serious, mow-them-down attitude.  After 7 shut-out innings, Halladay walked off the mound with his 9th win of the year.

0625 Halladay.jpg

The Phillies offense, which in previous Halladay starts had not helped him out much, finally scored some runs for him.  Ross Gload got a rare start at first base since Ryan Howard served as the DH and Gload took full advantage.  He went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI in the game.  Jayson Werth was also on base a lot, with 2 hits and 2 walks.  Chase Utley and Shane Victorino scored 2 RBI a piece and Jimmy Rollins walked 4 times.  J-Roll hit that walk-off homer the day before and now no one wants to pitch to him?  Strange.

0625 offense.jpg

Defensively, the Phils were solid as well.  A very odd run-down double play happened in the 3rd inning where both Utley and Gload had to chase down runners and tag them out:

0625 rundown.jpg

So with all the Phillies offense, the crowd was actually a little bored by the 6th inning.  By the 7th inning, restless crowd began the wave.  It was probably the longest sustained wave I have ever seen:

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Victorino woke up the crowd in the 8th inning by smashing a homer to left center field, adding to the already huge Phillies lead.  Victorino, and really the whole team, were in good spirits before the game and it translated into a whole lot of scoring:

0625 Shane.jpg

When it was finished, the Phillies took away a 9-0 win for their 7th shut-out of 2010.  They will play the Jays this afternoon at 4:05pm with Cole Hamels on the mound.  Here is the full Photo Album from Friday’s game, which includes the 76ers 1st round draft pick, Evan Turner, hanging out before the game and also throwing the 1st pitch.

Do not forget to keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  Here are the team links for the Phillies Phollowers All-Star campaign:

Chase Utley    Ryan Howard    Raul Ibanez    Placido Polanco

Carlos Ruiz    Jayson Werth    Shane Victorino    Jimmy Rollins

Vote up to 25 times per day, per email address.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Bullpen Blows Five Run Lead

The Phillies scored only 22 runs in the latter half of May, from the 18th to the 31st.  But in the last 4 games, the Phillies have exploded to the tune of 31 runs.  Today against the Twins, they scored 9 runs, had a 5-run lead in the 8th inning, and still lost the game.

The Phillies hit five home runs in the game.  Here is a recap of the first four: The usual suspects, Ryan Howard and Werth, nailed two of those homers.  Not as common was a blast from Raul Ibanez, who was on base three times.  Even less common was a homer from Wilson Valdez, who had his only other big league homer in 2006.  Yes, 4 years ago.  If Valdez can smack a homer, then the stars must really be aligning for the Phillies, right?  Maybe not…

Cole Hamels got off to a bad start in the first inning, giving up 3 runs.  A passed ball by catcher Brian Schneider and a bad throw to second by Hamels added fuel to the fire.  But the offense immediately picked Hamels back up by getting those 3 runs right back in the bottom of the inning.  Chase Utley led the way with a 2-run triple and Jayson Werth hit a sac fly to score Utley.

Every starter in the game, including Hamels, had at least one hit today.  On the mound, Hamels later allowed a solo home run to Justin Morneau and ended the day with 4 runs allowed over 7 innings.  If you forget about the first inning mishap, Hamels had a great day.

But, as has been a common story line this year, the Phillies bullpen blew a FIVE run lead.  In the 9th inning, former-Phil, Jim Thome hit a 2-run homer off Jose Contreras.  As it was then a save situation, Brad Lidge was brought into the game.  P8248770 Durbin.jpgAnd Lidge proceeded to blow the save and the remaining 3-run lead.  He gave up an RBI-single and a 2-run homer to Twins catcher, Joe Mauer.

With a 9-9 tied game in the bottom of the 9th, the Phils got 2 hits but still failed to score and win the game.  Howard and Werth both struck out.  Chad Durbin came in for the 10th inning and as soon as I saw him on the mound, I thought, “Oh crap, he is going to give up a homer to the first batter.”  Why do I think this?  Because he has done it many times in the exact same situation.  How many times, I do not know except to say that I have nightmares about it.  Sure enough, 1st batter: homer.

The inning ended with a tag out at the plate, which normally would have been very exciting.  But at that point, who cares?  The Phillies are losing 9-10 with the bottom of the batting order coming up.  Do you think Valdez can hit his 3rd homer in 4 years to win the game?  No?  Neither do I…

Valdez did not get a chance.  Greg Dobbs popped out, Schneider grounded out and Ross Gload pinch hit for Valdez.  Now, Gload did a homer with 2 outs to tie the game again.  But again, no need to get excited because Danys Baez was going to pitch the 11th inning.  Baez has been awful and today did not change that.  He gave up THREE runs in the 11th just to make sure the Phillies had NO chance at a win.

The Phillies went down in the 11th.  It was a pathetic end to a pathetic loss.  The final score was 10-13 and the Phils now have one game left against the Twins.  If Roy Halladay can get back on his game after allowing 6 runs in his last outing, the Phils could maybe salvage a series win.  Game time is 1:35pm and I will return with photos.

In other news, Carlos Ruiz will get a few days off after being nailed in the head with a broken bat while behind the plate yesterday.  He will not need a trip to the DL, which is great news.  Scott Mathieson was designated for assignment to make room for catcher Dane Sardinha who will back-up Schneider until Ruiz is healthy.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Hitting The Skids…Again

The first inning of today’s Phillies – Padres match-up was a microcosm of the issues that have been plaguing the Phils since the middle of May.  The offense started off with two hits, then they loaded the bases with one out and Jayson Werth hit a weak grounder into a double play to end the inning.  sad_bunny.jpgTwo batters before that, Chase Utley had popped out with 2 men on base. 

Werth and Utley, previously two of the teams’ best hitters, are quickly becoming the poster-children for killing rallies.  Phillies fans everywhere are losing patience waiting for the two sluggers to find their swings again.  Fans used to look forward to seeing them bat.  Now, all you can do is cringe when they step to the plate and begin counting the different ways they might kill an inning; will it be a double play?  A pop-up?  A strike-out?  Or maybe the bat will spontaneously combust due to lack of use, rendering him helpless at the plate…the possibilities are endless.

Once again, the real victim of this disgusting and seemingly unending offensive slump is the starting pitcher. 
Thumbnail image for P6216391 Hamels.jpg
Cole Hamels had a no-hitter working through 6 innings.  He finally surrendered back-to-back homers in the 7th to end the streak, but with just those two runs allowed, Hamels more than did his job.  It is just one more outstanding pitching performance gone to waste by the Phils offensive offense.

Eight full innings and just 3 hits later, Hamels found himself still without any assistance from his teammates.  The pinch hitters failed again in the bottom of the 8th with both Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload going down in flames.  Danys Baez pitched the 9th and put the Phillies in a deeper hole by giving up a homer to Adrian Gonzalez, his second of the night.

The Phillies tried to battle back in the bottom of the 9th; Placido Polanco singled, followed by another Utley out.  Ryan Howard drove Polanco in but then Werth stepped to the plate and, as has been the trend, he struck out. The Phillies lose 1-3, but I suppose the good news is that at least it was not another shut-out.

Besides the huge disappointment today in the Phillies majors, the minor leagues reported one more bit if depressing news.  The “big” prospect the Phillies got in the Cliff Lee trade, pitcher Phillipe Aumont, was demoted to single-A ball after sporting a 10.61 ERA in AA-ball.  Remember back in Spring Training when the same guy gave up 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning in an exhibition game against a college team in his first Phillies action?  And afterwards, he blamed it on the pressure of being traded for Cliff Lee?  Oh yeah, that guy. 

So, we get our first peek at how beneficial that trade really was.  If Aumont cannot handle pressure, what good is he?  And do you really think the Mariners were unaware of this when they sent him packing?  I doubt it.  Talent and potential are great, but I am pretty sure in the life-game of rock, paper, scissors, that mental toughness trumps both.  But hey, Lee will be available again at the trade deadline this year; think the Mariners will take Aumont back?  Ha, ha…I crack myself up ;o)

The draft took place tonight and the Phillies have selected a local; Jesse Biddle, a left-handed pitcher, from Philly.  Best of luck to the young pitcher!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Happy Bunny by Jim Benton

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

 

Win Streak Over

While it was only a 2-game win streak, it was nice while it lasted.  The Phillies lost by a score of 5-6 to the Padres today in 10 innings.  Placido Polanco made a huge blunder in the 9th inning, getting thrown out at third base, which was followed by a Ryan Howard single that would have scored him to tie the game.  However, this loss is not his fault. Polly had 3 hits in the game, 2 RBI and until that moment, was the star of the game.  Howard also had 2 hits and 3 RBI.

The biggest mistake in this game in my opinion was when Charlie Manuel sent Joe Blanton back out to pitch the 5th inning.  Blanton had already given up 4 runs on 10 hits in just 4 innings and looked like he may self-destruct at any moment.  Chad Durbin was already warming up in the pen during the 4th and would have been ready to go.  Sure enough, Blanton goes back out, throws one pitch and Nick Hundley shot it right over the left field wall.  That one run was the difference in the game.


Blanton 060610.jpgBlanton has been bad, or Blah-anton-like, since coming off the DL.  He now has a 1-4 record with 2 no decisions and a 6.07 ERA.  He has not allowed less than 3 earned runs in ANY start this year and has made it through 7 innings only 2 times.  The first 5 starts or so looking like he was just behind in his conditioning after returning from the injury.  But he should be on track by now and clearly is not.  If he is still hurt, the Phillies had better figure it out quick.

Another mystery is Chase Utley; he has not hit a home run since May 20th and has just 6 hits in his last 12 games.  While we all know Utley will never admit to being hurt, maybe it is time for someone to sneak up behind him with a syringe, knock him unconscious and force him through and MRI machine?  Because this is an unprecedented slump for Utley who hit better in 2008 with a bum hip.


060610a.jpgJayson Werth
has been just as bad with 3 hits in 10 games.  He has 16 strike outs in those same 10 games, with 3 tonight. The biggest one came with 2 men on base in the 10th to end the game.  Ok, run him through the MRI too; it couldn’t hurt.

The bench players have been awful as well.  Here are the batting averages: Greg Dobbs, .145; Ross Gload, .200; Ben Francisco, .233.  I do not want to hear the excuse about lack of playing time anymore.  Other pinch hitters and bench guys on other teams are getting it done, so why aren’t the Phils?  Travis Ishikawa of the Giants is 5 for 10 in pinch hits.  Even former Phillies, Wes Helms is batting .277 for the Marlins.  What is up with the Phillies bench?

This was a frustrating loss as the Phillies finally scored some runs despite various slumps, but the pitching did not hold.  They have one more game with the Padres tomorrow night at 7:05pm with a well rested Cole Hamels on the mound as his last outing was rain-shortened.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

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