Results tagged ‘ Team USA ’

Happ-Y Days Ahead?

In yesterday’s game against the Tigers, JA Happ tried to back up my claim that he would be the winner of the 5th spot in the rotation.  Happ pitched 3 scoreless innings, striking out 7 batters with a mean fastball.  He allowed only 2 hits.  Things are looking Happ-Y for JA who is battling Kyle Kendrick, Chan Ho Park and Carlos Carrasco for the starters spot this year.  But, it is still early…

Also feeling the love is John Mayberry Jr., who has been keeping pace with Ryan Howard this spring.  Both Mayberry and Howard hit 3-run homers in the game, propelling the Phillies to an 8-2 win over the Tigers.  Mayberry continues to impress and, as a right-hander with power, he may be the leading candidate for a bench spot to even out the heavy left-handed line-up.

Jayson Werth saw his first official action of spring and went 1 for 2 with a walk.  Think Werth read my call for action yesterday?  Here’s hoping!  Geoff Jenkins, also aware of his own precarious situation, collected an RBI in the game on a sacrifice. 

Phillies in the WBC

Team USA won their World Baseball Classic opener yesterday against Team Canada, 6-5.  Shane Victorino P3035753.JPGgot the start in center and went 2 for 4 at the plate.  Jimmy Rollins came in as relief for Derek Jeter at short and hit 1 for 2 in the game.  The big blasts for Team USA came from Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn and Brian McCann, who each hit home runs in the game.  For Team Canada, Matt Stairs started in right field and went hitless in 3 at bats with 2 strikeouts.

Team Panama lost to Team Puerto Rico, 7-0 yesterday; Carlos Ruiz started at catcher, going 1 for 2 with a walk, but was pulled from the game early due to a neck strain after a collision.  Reports so far are that it is not serious, but no word yet on whether Ruiz will play in today’s game against the Dominican Republic. 

 

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Team USA Beats The Phillies

Watching Team USA with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino playing against the Phillies was strange, to put it mildly.  Although, who to root for was easy – both!  Yet, the sight of Victorino sliding into base with a Phillies glove coming at him did feel wrong somehow; but even more confusing was watching Victorino and Rollins team up with rival New York Met, David Wright, Atlanta Brave, Chipper Jones and Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia.  Here are 4 of them celebrating after a Jones homer run plus, Victorino sliding into second and Rollins letting everyone know that he is working hard:

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Victorino and Rollins each had one hit for Team USA today and minor league Phillie, Joe Bisenius pitched for Team USA, giving up 1 run on three hits in his one inning of work.  Also for Team USA, Derek Jeter went hitless in his 6 innings, but showed off defensively, as usual.  Chipper Jones and Red, Adam Dunn led the charge against the Phillies, collecting 3 RBI a piece.  Below, see Jeter make a great leaping throw; Mike Cervenak slides into second trying to break up a double play, forcing Pedroia to jump over him; and J-Roll swings and misses:

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On the Phillies side, Eric Bruntlett and Cervenak each earned an RBI and Jason Donald woke from his slumber, hitting a solo homer in the 6th.  Catcher Lou Marson was the only Phillie with a multi-hit game, going 2 for 4.  The big score came from Ryan Howard, who knocked a 3 run homer in the 5th.  However, Howard had a very strange day.  In the first inning, Howard dropped a routine feed from Donald, allowing the runner to reach base.  Then, in the third inning, he got whacked in the helmet with a pitch, but appeared to be fine.  Later, Howard dropped a routine pop-up off the bat of Victorino and then also dropped a pick-off toss to first as Victorino slid back in safely, although, that looked to be a bad throw by Kyle Kendrick.  Here are a few photos of the events at hand; note where the ball is in the top 2 photos; the bottom photo is the home run shot:

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Aside from Howard’s fumbles, the big story of the day appears to be Kyle Kendrick who did not look good.  In 2 2/3 innings, he surrendered 5 hits and 4 runs, including the 3 run shot by Jones, which, by the way, I called as it happened.  As shaky as Kendrick was and seeing he could not keep the ball down or his emotions in check, once Chipped stepped to the plate, I told my neighbor what was about to happen and, wham!  3-run home run.  Kendrick has a lot of work to do if he is going to compete for the 5th starters’ position. 

Equally unimpressive was the outing of Antonio Bastardo, who gave up 5 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks.  Regulars Clay Condrey and Ryan Madson got some work in also and each looked ok, although Madson did walk 2.  In the end, the Phillies went down by a score of 9-6.

And now for the Photo of the Day – Team USA united!P3056461.JPG

The Phillies have both an A and a B game tomorrow against the Blue Jays; the B game is at 2pm at Bright House field and the A game is in Dunedin at 7pm.  Sadly, my time in Florida has come to a close and I will be hopping a plane back to the deep freeze of the Philadelphia area tomorrow.  I will continue my coverage from home, although be terribly depressed about it :O(  I know, I know…poor me.  Hee!  It was fun while it lasted!

 

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Team Canada Feels The Chill

Another chilly day in Florida today where Team Canada went down in flames against the World Champions; final score, 9-2.  Thumbnail image for P3046122.JPGThis is what happens when you stock your team with guys named…well, see for yourself: 

 
You can’t make this stuff up.  So many jokes…so little time.  What were his parents thinking?  And the Canadian team was also made up of guys like Matt Stairs, Justin Morneau of the Twins and this kid…the littlest Canadian:

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Maybe he is Stubby Jr.?   Well, Stairs and Morneau aside, it is no wonder Team Canada struggled against the Phillies.

Anyway, before the game, John Mayberry Sr., former Kansas City Royal, and father of new Phillie, John Mayberry Jr., wandered over to say hello to Charlie Manuel and the gang.  He was a proud papa today, watching his son move closer to making the 25-man roster.  Mayberry Jr. smacked another home run and went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI on the homer.  If Mayberry keeps this pace up, it will be difficult to send him to the minors come April.

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Cole Hamels made his first start of spring training today and pitched 2 innings, giving up 2 hits and a walk.  He started off looking a bit shaky, but settled in and did not allow any runs.  Scott Eyre also pitched an inning and was much sharper than his last outing.  Eyre sent them down in order, striking out 2 batters.  Below, you will see Hamels, Eyre and Greg Dobbs sliding into 2nd; Dobbs, who went 1 for 4, also made an amazing solo double play during the game; he made a diving grab, threw himself at 1st base, sliding forward to tag the bag with his glove before the runner could get back.  Nicely done :O)

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Rookie Jason Donald had a rough day, and has been having a less than spectacular spring at the plate overall.  Today he went 0 for 3.  Donald is getting a lot of playing time to see if he can handle 3rd base should they need him to step in for Pedro Feliz, who is still recovering from back surgery.  But Donald seems to be pressing at the plate and is not producing so far.  Andy Tracy tried to cheer him up after he exited the game today…you will also see Lou Marson fouling off a pitch and Miguel Cairo sliding into home:

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As for the competition for the back-up catchers position, Chris Coste has only made one start so far due to a hamstring injury, which is giving Ronny Paulino an opportunity to snag the job.  Paulino has not been too impressive, which is good news for Coste, but he’ll need to get back on the field if he is going to keep the job.  Coste did take batting practice today and looked solid, so it looks like he should be up and running soon. 

And now for the Photo of the Day – Chase Utley warming up for batting practice; take a look at the reflection in his sunglasses:P3045954.JPG

The Phillies will take on Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Team USA tomorrow at 12:05pm!

 

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Team USA Gets Started Against The Yankees

Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino joined Team USA yesterday in their first exhibition game of 2009 against the New York Yankees at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.  Team USA emerged victorious by a score of 6-5 and Victorino saw a few innings of playing time.  Rollins deferred to Jeter and sat the game out, but did warm up and take batting practice with the team.  You will notice that neither Phillie wore their usual number; Rollins was #1 (appropriate) and Victorino, a last minute replacement, wore #50.  Here are a few Victorino highlights from the game:

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Derek Jeter played against his own team and got off to a rocky start, hitting into a double play.  But once the nerves wore off, the game turned into the Derek Jeter Show.  Jeter wound up going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and wowed the crowd with his acrobatics at short stop.  Here is Rollins warming up with Jeter and a few other Jeter moments:

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You gotta love Jeter.  Actually, as some reading may be aware, I am a closet Yankees fan and I LOVE Derek Jeter.  But not as much as another women who was at the game; everytime Jeter was in view, she screamed at the top of her lungs, “We Love you Derek Jeter!  USA! USA!”  Patriotic?  Yes.  Slightly warped?  Also, yes.  Because not only did she scream and jump around, but she changed seats every inning and her cries could be heard from all over the park.  At one point, she sat directly next me and began asking me if I knew the Phillies fan in the parking lot who had the big white truck, that was decked out in Phillies gear.  I felt like telling her that, yes, there were so few of us Phillies fan that we do all know each other, but thought I’d keep the sarcasm to a minimum so she would go away. :O)  She left after one inning, and continued her screams from elsewhere.  Never a dull moment.

At any rate, I was very excited to see the Yankees spring training home and the architechture did not disappoint.  The park mirrors the old Yankee stadium in many ways and was visually impressive.  Here is a shot of the fountains outside near the practice fields and one of the hair-challenged ducks who makes his home there:030309c.jpg

Beyond the visuals though, I must say it was very unpleasant, having to deal with the employees of this stadium.  The place is run like a Nazi prison camp.  From the rough security getting in, to the ushers, with their sense of entitlement and lack of people skills, I’ll just stick to Bright House field in Clearwater.  I got yelled at for sitting in a seat during batting practice; mind you, NO one was there, and I surely would have moved had someone come for the seat.  I was allowed to stand in front of the seat, but sitting was out of the question.  Guess he didn’t like my Phillies jacket.  Well, the same idiot that yelled at me, let some other women into the 100 level who did NOT have a ticket for that area, which in this stadium, is strictly enforced.  She told him she was going to sit in some guys seat who had left until he returned and then she would come back.  So, he let her go. 

You know what’s coming next, right?  I decided to get routy with the usher, since he bent the rules for her and yelled at me for sitting quietly and bothering no one.  I confronted him about letting her into the no-no zone and told him he needed to give me the same courtesy.  He lied right to my face and said she had a ticket.  I called him on it, repeating what she said, and he just yelled at me some more.  I threw a few choice words at him and wandered off.  I know this was not going to get me anywhere, but felt someone needed to call him on it.  And it was the same story all over the park…rudeness abounds.  Needless to say, I will not be going back there.

So back to Bright House field today!  The Phillies take on Team Canada at 1:05pm…see you there!

 

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Eaton’s Outta Here

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Dumb Luck

The Phillies released Adam Eaton today, still owing him $9.15 million dollars.  No other teams will likely be dumb enough to sign him before he clears waivers, avoiding having to pay his huge, ridiculous contract.  If anyone does pick him up after that, they will only be required to pay the Phillies $400,000.  Ouch.  But what would be more painful, is having to keep Eaton around any longer.

Eaton has got to be the luckiest idiot on the planet; he’s a millionaire, he gets a World Series ring and what did he do for it all?  Nothing.  Perhaps he could teach that trick to a few of us?  It’s the least he can do for the two years of pathetic baseball he pitched for the Phillies fans.  Glad as we are to end the Eaton-era, my question is, who will we pick on now?? :O)

Team USA

A Blue Jays fan asked me at the game on Thursday if Shane Victorino was going to play for Team Hawaii.  No kidding; he was very serious.  I calmly explained to him that Hawaii was part of the United States and that, at that time, only Jimmy Rollins was scheduled to play for Team USA.  I was tempted to see if he had ever heard of the state of Delaware, but was afraid I’d get the “Dela-where?” question.  Canadians are fun.  Anyway, it was announced today that Victorino would play for Team USA after all, replacing Grady Sizemore who is nursing an injury.  Nice of them to include Shane as a real American :O)

Phillies Lose To Reds

The Phils went down to the Reds today, 10-3.  However, the bats are beginning to wake up; Victorino went 2 for 3; Raul Ibanez and Greg Dobbs each went 1 for 2 with 1 RBI apiece; and former LA Dodger, Pablo Ozuna went 2 for 3 with 1 RBI.  JC Romero pitched 2 solid innings and Ryan Madson pitched 1 scoreless.  The loss went to rookie Andrew Carpenter who gave up 4 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks to start the game without recording an out.

The Phillies take on the Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow at 1:05pm in a World Series reunion.  Pat Burrell has chosen to make the trip to see his old teammates.  Pictures to come!  The game is sold out and should be the highlight of 2009 Spring Training to date.

 

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