Results tagged ‘ Steve Carlton ’

Braun Puts a Roid Rage Hurting on Phils Opening Day

Do not make Ryan Braun angry.  You won’t like him when he’s angry.  The Phillies found that out the hard way during Tuesday’s 1-day delayed Home Opener.  First it rained (Monday), then it poured (Braun).

The day must have been cursed from the start as Chase Utley was sent home with the flu before the game.  But aside from that, the day started off so nice, who would have guessed it would turn into a massacre?  The pre-game festivities, as always, were colorful:
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Of course, for the umpteenth, the Navy parachuters jump was cancelled due to wind.  I seriously do not know why the Phillies bother scheduling this every year.  It almost never happens.

Instead, we got 2008 World Championship pitcher and current broadcaster, Jamie Moyer to toss the first pitch with his baseball idol, Steve Carlton looking on.  He had a nice reunion with Carlos Ruiz as well:
040814 Moyer

And then the game started and it was all downhill from there.  In his typical inconsistent behavior, Kyle Kendrick followed up a good 1st start with a horrible one on Tuesday.  Adding insult to injury, he pitched against former Phillie Kyle Loshe and gave up the first 2 of Braun’s 3 home runs.
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A former All-Star, Braun is actually best known for his steroid use and overall bad behavior.  He got away with a positive test by blaming the Fed Ex man, who was then fired from his job after Braun’s adamant denials.   But then Braun did finally get caught afterwards and was suspended 65 games.  The number of people Braun hurt with his lies is what makes him, in my opinion, one of the worst offenders in baseball.  It is also what prompted all of the boo’s and chants of “Cheater!” throughout the ballpark.

But those chants did nothing but fuel Braun’s fire to beat the Phils.  He even killed a Phillies rally in the 2nd inning with a diving catch in right field that would have scored 2 runs.

The Phillies did manage to scatter some hits throughout the day and made a few nice plays in the field.
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All of the good plays were unfortunately overshadowed by 3 errors and some head scratching misreads in the outfield.  The worst of the day was Ben Revere in deep center, who had the ball lined up to catch and then just missed it.  The 3rd photo below is the most interesting as you can see Revere’s head and face smashed into the fence.  That pretty much sums up the day:
040814 Revere

That misplay put another run on the board for the Brewers.  Then in the next inning, Braun hit his third homer of the day.  He finished with 7 RBI and single-handedly crush the Phils.  I seriously hope someone checked his urine after the game (insert your own sarcastic remarks here).

The 4-10 loss was a disappointment, to put it mildly.  But today is another day and maybe the Phillies can bounce back with a strong start from Roberto Hernandez.  Game time is 7:05pm.

Here is the full Photo Album from the Home Opener, including batting practice, pre-game festivities and more.

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

Phillies Breeze Through Four Game Sweep of Reds

With two days off before this series began due to Hurricane Irene, the Phillies did not skip a beat in their total dominance over the Reds this week.  This win made it only the third time in franchise history that the Phillies have been 41 games over .500. They did it twice in 1976.

Rookie pitcher Vance Worley is also knocking on the record books.  With a 10-1 record, the Phillies have won each of his last 13 starts.  That is the best streak since Steve Carlton pitched the Phillies to 15 consecutive wins in 1972.

 

In this game against the Reds, Worley was great through six innings, allowing just one run.  He ran into trouble in the seventh when he allowed a 3-run homer.  At that point, Worley was done.  But he walked away with the lead and even an RBI on a single in the 2nd inning.

The offense had already spotted Worley six runs by the time the bullpen took over.  Ryan Howard hit a solo homer for his 104th RBI of the year.  Filling in for Placido Polanco, Michael Martinez blasted a 2-run shot to right, which was his 3rd homer of the year.  Shane Victorino and Wilson Valdez had two hits in the game as well.

So September started with a bang for the Phillies.  They currently hold an 8-game lead in the division and will play 3 games in Miami next.  Game 1 against the Marlins is Friday night at 7:10pm with Roy Oswalt pitching.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Halladay Gives Up Lead in 9th As Phillies Fall to the D-Backs

The Phillies began a 3-game series tonight with the Arizona Diamondbacks who currently hold first place in the NL West.  As expected, it was a very tight game between two very good teams.

With Roy Halladay coming in to the game with two extra days of rest due to a rain out and an off-day, things looked good for the Phillies.  But while Halladay was solid through eight innings, he was unable to hold down a slim 2-1 lead in the ninth.

Halladay has completed so many games and held down so many leads in the past, it probably seemed right to hand him the opportunity again.  But with no outs in the ninth, Halladay gave up two straight singles.  Then Lyle Overbay, in only his second game with the D-Backs, smacked a bases clearing double to take a 3-2 lead.  Overbay was a one-man wrecking crew, going 3-for-4 in the game with 3 RBI.

Prior to this, the Phillies had given away many opportunities on offense, which really put them into this jam.   While most Phillies struggled at the plate, Halladay contributed two hits, including his first career extra-base hit with a double to right.  But both times, Halladay advanced to third and was left stranded.

Chase Utley had three hits, but two of those came with two outs in the inning and all three times either Ryan Howard or Hunter Pence struck out after each of his hits.  Pence left the bases loaded in the third inning for what was the Phillies best shot at breaking the game open.

In the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Ruiz walked and Michael Martinez bunted him over to start the inning for a potential comeback.  But pinch hitter Ross Gload, who has not had a hit since July 28, struck out.  Jimmy Rollins then struck out to end the game with a 3-2 loss.

Halladay has come through for this team too many times to be counted.  It was a real shame that his teammates could not bail him out the one time he needed the help.

The Pence streak was also broken today.  Previously, if Pence did not hit the Phillies did not win and vice versa.  Tonight, Pence had a hit, but the Phillies did not win.  Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Before the game today, the Phillies unveiled the new Harry Kalas statue outside of Harry The K’s at the ballpark.  The unveiling was originally scheduled for this past Sunday, but the game was rained out.

 

Jimmy Rollins and former Phillies ace, Steve Carlton, presided over the unveiling.  The memorial sculpture was requisitioned by and paid for by Phillies fans and given as a gift to the Phillies in Harry’s honor.   It features Harry holding a microphone while leaning on a baseball bat and he is wearing his 2008 World Series ring.

The statue is a testament to how loved and respected Kalas was in Philadelphia and the impact he had on many lives.  While he will always be missed, this sculpture is a beautiful way to keep Harry in both our hearts and in the ballpark, right where he belongs.

 

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Photo: Phillies.com

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

Phillies Snooze & Lose In Opener Against Nats

Seriously, this was a really boring game.  The Phillies mustered only six hits against the Nationals and two of those came in the final inning.  Livan Hernandez watched the Phillies batters whiff at his 68mph curve balls so he kept right on throwing them.

In the words of Pedro Serrano, ” I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats.”  Well, Jobu did not show up and neither did the Phillies bats.

 

To make matters worse, Cole Hamels had a very bad day.  At one point, it was questionable that he could even thrown a strike with no outs and the bases loaded.  Hamels clawed his way through five innings after walking four batters and allowing three runs on six hits.  Afterwards, it was revealed that Hamels has a sore shoulder.  It does not appear to be serious so far.

 

But once again, a trend continued for the Phillies.  Hunter Pence did not get a hit and the Phillies did not win.  It will be fun to see how long this continues to be the case.  In 13 games, the Phillies have won 11 where Pence had a hit and lost the two where he did not get a hit.

The 4-2 loss is clearly not the end of the world, but it was still disappointing.  The real highlight of the day though was the induction of John Kruk into the Phillies Wall of Fame.  The pre-game ceremony included a variety of Phillies alumni including Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Dick Allen and Darren Daulton, among others.

Kruk’s speech was touching and infused with humor that only Phillies fans could appreciate.  He spoke about the 1993 season and noted, “We killed a lot of brain cells.  But you were right there with us and you all killed a bunch too.”

 

But the best part was when Kruk addressed everyone who knocks Philly for being a hard place to play.  He said, “To those people I say, ‘You didn’t have the guts to succeed here.”  And that is exactly why we love John Kruk.  Congrats to John…it is a well deserved honor!

Here is the full Photo Album from Friday night.  And here is a fantastic breakdown of Michael Stutes’ rookie gear:

 

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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

Cliff Lee Is Not Feeling The Love From The Phillies Bats

While Phillies fans have certainly shown their support of Cliff Lee since his return, his teammates are a bit lacking in that department.  In Lee’s last three starts, the Phils have scored a grand total of ONE run for him.

Last night, the huge “zero” on the board amounted to a very odd outcome.  Lee struck out a career-high 16 batters in the 5-0 loss to the Braves.  This tied Steve Carlton for the most strikeouts over nine innings by a lefty in Phillies history.

 

The third inning was not great for Lee, as he allowed three runs.  But aside from that inning, Lee was lights out, keeping pace with Derek Lowe who had a no-hitter going into the seventh.

But if you allow just three runs over seven innings, you are supposed to get a win, right?  Sadly, that did not happen.  Instead, the Phillies offense continues to be a dark cloud over Lee’s head.

The most frustrating offense came in the seventh after Shane Victorino broke up the no-hitter with a single to left.  Placido Polanco knocked a ground rule double, which as the ball hopped over the fence in center, actually prevented Victorino from scoring.

With two men in scoring position and no outs, the Phillies bats failed again.  Lowe left the game with an injury and Eric O’Flaherty replaced him. 

Facing O’Flaherty should have been a relief after Lowe had mowed the Phils down in six straight innings.  Instead, the next three batters, Ryan Howard, Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez, all struck out swinging.  Not one of them could even make contact.

And that continues to be the Achilles heel of this team.  These severe hot and cold streaks at the plate are going to catch up to the Phillies eventually.  The team’s 21 wins behind a stellar pitching staff is covering the multitude of offensive sins right now.  But that cannot last for long.

The Phillies bats will need to get serious very, very soon.

Injury Update

Roy Oswalt came back from his tour of duty in the Mississippi tornado sector, but apparently, his lower back did not come with him.  He is now on the DL, retroactive for 10 days, which means he could return on Friday.  Oswalt has a history of back issues, so this is potentially very bad news.  Stay tuned…

Catcher Carlos Ruiz is also still on the shelf with a strained lower back and he remains day to day.  The Phils may place him on the DL, but if they do, it will have to be sometime today so they can backdate it.

 

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Go Phillies!

 

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

 

Slam Dunk: Halladay Nabs Unanimous Cy Young

If there was ever a question that Roy Halladay should indeed be the 2010 National League Cy Young award winner, then clearly you have not been paying attention.  With a both perfect game and playoff game no-hitter to his record this year, Halladay was the hands-down winner, garnering all 32 first-place votes for a unanimous decision.

This is Halladay’s second Cy Young; he won the first with the Blue Jays in 2003.  He is the 5th player ever to recieve the award in both leagues, joining Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.  Halladay is also the 4th Phillie to win, joining Steve Carlton (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982), John Denny (1983) and Steve Bedrosian (1987).

Finishing the season with a 21-10 record and a 2.44 ERA, Halladay had a career year and was the indisputable favorite for the award.  In short, it was slam dunk.


Halladay slam dunk.jpgAs we near the holiday season, this award made me wonder, what do you get for the person who has nearly everything?  He has a perfect game, a no-hitter, more than 20 wins, millions of dollars and now a second Cy Young award.  With this in mind, I put together a list of ideas for anyone shopping for Mr. Halladay this season.

What To Get Roy Halladay For The Holiday’s

1. A World Series Championship (Duh)

2. His very own “Most Interesting Man In The World” beer commercial

3. A World Series Championship (can we get one in gift card form to redeem in 2011?)

4. A spaceship so he can visit other planets when he gets bored with Earth

5. A World Series Championship (did I already say that??)

6. An I-Pod Dock Toilet Paper Holder – For tunes while you toot.  Several web sites recommend this…seriously.

7. A World Series Championship (in case I forgot to mention it earlier)


Halladay rainbow.jpg8. A
Solar-Powered Rainbow Maker – Have you ever just been sitting around thinking, gee, I’d love to see a cheery rainbow right now?  Yeah, me too.  Besides, Halladay already has the pot of gold to go with it.

9. His very own country – call it “Happy Halladayville”

10. If you are still online shopping for the TP holder, maybe I was not clear the first 4 times…get Roy Halladay a World Series Championship!!!

 

Roy Halladay thanks you in advance ;O)

 

Photoshopping 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 #20; Phillies Extend Division Lead

Four games ahead in the division, the Phillies were poised to deliver a serious gut punch to the Braves tonight.  A victory would ensure a series win and reduce the Phillies magic number to 6.  With Roy Halladay set to pitch, the Phillies had to feel pretty good about their chances.

In the first inning, Halladay looked like he was firing bullets out of his arm.  He set the Braves down in order on only 6 pitches.  But after that, the struggles began and Halladay had issues with his control.  But in typical Halladay style, he worked in and out of jams to keep the game close.
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Despite the difficulties, Halladay made it through 7 innings while allowing 3 runs.  It was enough to earn him his 20th win of the season; no pitcher has reached that mark in the National League since 2005.  For the Phillies, the last time was in 1982 when Steve Carlton had 23 wins. 

So while tonight was not Halladay’s best effort, the poor man does look awfully tired after pitching 241 2/3 innings so far this year.  And with 20 wins, it is hard to complain.  With any luck, the Phillies can clinch the division early and give the Doc some much needed rest.

The offense was a little sluggish as well tonight, leaving 12 men on base.  But for the 2nd time this week, Jayson Werth came through at just the right time with a 3-run homer in the 3rd inning.  An even bigger clutch hit came with a 3-2 score in the 6th inning; Raul Ibanez smashed a 2-run double with 2 outs.  That gave the Phillies a bit more cushion to work with.

The defense was key to the team’s success as well.  Just like last night, the Phillies turned 3 great double plays to help out their pitchers.  Wilson Valdez almost had another one in the 5th, but Rick Ankiel charged 2nd with his hands up and Valdez hit him in the arm with the attempted throw to first.  It probably could have been called interference as Ankiel did not go straight for the bag, but the Phils had to settle for one out there.

Up by a score of 5-3 in the 8th, it was up to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge to finish off the win.  Madson benefited from one of the double plays in the 8th, helping to get him out of the inning.  And Lidge pitched another great 9th inning to save the game.

So to recap, the Phillies are FIVE games ahead in the division with the magic number of 6 to win the division!  Game 3 with the Braves is tomorrow at 7:05pm…let’s go for the SWEEP!!!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

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

 

Kalas Memorial / Lidge Blows A Save

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The Phillies held a memorial service at the ballpark today for Harry Kalas, which they shared with the fans, as well as Harry’s friends and family.  Fans were able to pass by Harry’s casket, which sat on the field behind home plate, and were then seated to watch the services.  This beautiful and extremely moving program included speeches from Mike Schmidt, Richard Ashburn, Mayor Michael Nutter, Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, and many other friends of Harry.  The entire Phillies team attended the memorial, first passing by the casket to pay their respects, and then sitting in the stands behind home plate.  Phillies of the past were also in attendance, including Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski, Larry Christianson, Garry Maddox, Robin Roberts and many more.

 

The big tear-jerker of the day came when all Phillies players, past and present, were asked to take the field; they lined up two by two and literally lifted Harry’s casket and passed it down the line through each others hands until they reached the hearse.  Those players at the end of the line, including Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Brett Myers, Carlos Ruiz and others, gently placed the casket into the rear of the hearse and everyone watched as Harry was driven out of the ballpark.  Many were unable to contain their emotions and tears flowed freely.  When I saw Shane Victorino crying, who just lost his grandmother in October, my heart sunk.  To think what all these players have gone through this week, as well as everyone who knew Harry, is just heartbreaking.

 

What a tragic start to the 2009 season for the Phillies, who all seem to be downtrodden by this turn of events.  All we can hope now is that they can filter those emotions into a positive, and dedicate their season to Harry’s memory.

 

The Phillies have lost 3 in a row now with tonight’s 8-5 loss to the Padres, despite a great outing from Brett Myers.  Myers notched a quality start with 6 2/3 innings pitched and 3 runs allowed; he even contributed with a double at the plate and a run scored.  But for the 2nd night in a row, Ryan Madson came in and gave the Padres the lead with one run allowed in the 8th.  Chase Utley tied the game up again in the bottom of the inning with a lead-off home run to right. 

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Raul Ibanez
followed with single and then his amazing base running landed him on 3rd base after a Jayson Werth single.  With one out, Pedro Feliz collected the RBI on sac fly and Ibanez crossed home plate, giving the lead to the Phillies, 5-4.  But that lead would not hold for long.

 

Brad Lidge, as expected, pitched the 9th inning, hoping to remain perfect in save opportunities.  After receiving his award before the game for that perfect 2008 record, Lidge finally blew a save tonight, ending his streak of 47 in a row.  And he didn’t just blow it; he really, really blew it.  In 2/3 of an inning, Lidge gave up 4 runs, the majority of which came on a Kevin Kouzmanoff 3-run homer.  That inning really took the wind out of the sails for the Phillies, and they went down easily in the bottom of the 9th.

 

Tomorrow’s game against the Padres will begin at 1:35pm with Chan Ho Park on the mound.  I will be there, and hopefully, the Phillies can get things back on track.  Maybe the Phanatic’s birthday celebration will lighten the mood?  One can only hope…

 

 

Photos by Jenn

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Steroids: Look On The Bright Side

Before I get to the steroids fun, just a quick update on Chase Utley’s hip surgery recovery; Comcast Sportsnet reported that Utley began fielding grounders and doing some light running in Clearwater yesterday.  This means he is ahead of the projected recovery schedule and could be ready for Opening Day.  I will be in Clearwater in only 8 days and will continue updating his progress for you from there.

And now for some fun!  In this very sad and depressing time with roid rage running rampant, I felt some good cheer was in order.  Watch and listen:

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