Results tagged ‘ Wes Helms ’

Circus Act Puts Phillies In First Place

Game 3 with the Marlins today turned into a Big Top Circus act.  Both teams battled and drama ensued…


Phillies circus.jpgTo start with, it was not an awful game for Joe Blanton tonight.  But there was certainly some excitement.  The 3rd inning in particular had a little bit of everything, much like a circus; a couple hits, an error, a minor injury, a deflected ball and a few runs.  And Blanton was involved in all of it.  He gave up the hits, committed the error, got nailed in the leg with a hit ball and later deflected a sure double play ball, ruining the opportunity for Chase Utley who could then only get one out.  The only thing missing from this inning was a juggling clown.

But after Blanton survived the 3rd inning weirdness, he did fairly well.  It was not pretty, but it kept the Phillies in the game.  Blanton ended up with 6 1/3 innings pitched, 2 earned runs, 2 unearned runs, 2 walks and 5 strike outs.

The offense worked out some runs to help Blanton out as well.  The middle of the line-up was productive with Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins getting 2 hits each; 1 RBI for Howard and 2 for Rollins.  Raul Ibanez had a huge night with 3 hits and 3 RBI; Ibanez, Howard and Shane Victorino each hit solo home runs as well.

But all that offense was about to be erased by the Phillies bullpen.  Oh yes, the circus has come back to town…and not in a good way.  Antonio Bastardo allowed one of Blanton’s runners to score in the 7th.  But the 8th inning was nearly the killer as the bullpen got into serious hot water…


Hot water.jpgJose Contreras
looked like he had never pitched in the majors before; he started off with a home run and a double.  A Jayson Werth throwing error later allowed another run to score and Contreras wound up with 3 earned runs.  With 2 outs, JC Romero came in and balked, moving the Marlins runner to 3rd base.  He then walked Logan Morrison on 4 pitches.

However, it was not over yet…Ryan Madson came in and tossed a wild pitch, which probably should have been handled my Carlos Ruiz.  Instead, the runner on 3rd scored to tie the game.  So the Phillies bullpen took a 7-4 lead and blew it.  And 2 of those 3 runs scored with 2 outs in the inning.  Disgusting.

With a 7-7 tie in the bottom of the 8th, Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco put the “T” in team; Victorino singled and stole second.  Then Polly singled to score Victorino.  And that all happened with 2 outs; what a way to pick-up your teammates!

In the 9th, it would be in the hands of Madson to save this see-saw game.  He got 2 outs quickly and then walked a batter.  Then facing ex-Phillie Wes Helms with a runner on, Madson struck out his old teammate.  This 8-7 win, plus a Braves loss tonight = FIRST PLACE!  The Phillies also became the first team in the National League to reach 80 wins.  Again, it wasn’t pretty…but we’ll take it.  You may now exhale…whew!

 

Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*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*

 

Phillies Pull Out A Wet One

Everything was looking great for the Phillies last night until the rain came.  Cole Hamels appeared to be slowly returning to form; he pitched 5 innings before the delay and allowed one solo home run, 4 hits and struck out 5.  The offense too, seemed ready to pounce on the Marlins for a second day in a row.  In the 1st inning, Jimmy Rollins started the game off with a double and Chase Utley hit a home run to drive them both in.  They scored 2 more runs in the 4th with singles by Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth; then Pedro Feliz doubled and the Phillies went up  4-1.

But Mother Nature thought it would be fun to interrupt the momentum and a downpour stopped the game in the middle of the 6th inning.  sleepy Phillies.jpgAfter a 1 hour 18 minute rain delay, the game resumed and the Phillies looked like they had not woken from the nap they took in the clubhouse.  Chan Ho Park allowed 1 run over 2 innings of work, which is not too bad.  And Park has been very solid out of the pen lately.  But then Ryan Madson came in for the 8th and could not make it through a whole inning; he did record 2 outs, but also gave up 2 more runs to tie the game at 4-4. 

Both JC Romero and Chad Durbin wound up pitching in the same inning, which seemed like it would never end as ex-Phillies players put a hurting on the pen.  Ronny Paulino, who was with the Phils in Spring Training, obviously has a chip on his shoulder when playing the team who let him go.  Having gone 0 for his last 13 at-bats, Paulino rallied for 3 hits, 1 RBI, 3 runs scored and a walk against the Phils.  Even Wes Helms got in the action with a hit and an RBI.

Once it went into extra innings, the potential outcome appeared bleak as the Phillies began to run out of players. 

sleepy ump.jpg
The umpire was no help in this game either; Mark Wegner, a 10 year veteran, did not have a good game behind the plate.  His strike zone was all over the place and both teams argued with him all night.  Then, with the potential go-ahead run on 3rd base for the Phillies, the Marlins pitcher balked – an obvious balk.  But all 4 umpires missed it so the extra innings continued.  All I can figure is that the umpires brought their sleeping bags and were content to make this game go all night long.

But the Phillies finally woke up in the 12th inning as singles from J-Roll, Utley and Werth turned into 2 runs and put the Phillies up 6-4.  Brad Lidge came in to close it out, and it was another ugly, ugly turn of events.  Stomaches churned as Lidge walked 2 batters in a row and then uncorked a wild pitch to score a run.  With the tying run on 3rd and the winning run at the plate, Lidge finally got Dan Uggla to ground out and end the game; final score 6-5, Phillies.  And all in Phillies-land rejoiced as we staggered sleepily to our beds after the 4 hour ordeal.

And we will do it all over again tonight!  Same time, same place; Joe Blanton will take the mound at 7:10pm in Land Shark Stadium (formerly Dolphins Stadium).  We all hope the Phillies can win it in NINE innings tonight.  Please and thank you. ;O)

Howard Photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Blanton Knocks Out Marlins

Blanton Rocky.jpg

Joe Blanton had a great turn around to his season tonight as he shut out the Marlins through 7 innings of 5 hit ball.  Blanton did his best Rocky impersonation and punched out 11 Fish; the 11 strikeouts mark a career high for Blanton in one game.  After the game, Blanton was quoted as saying, “Yo Adrian!  I did it!”   Ok, not really… ;O)

Ryan Madson pitched the 8th and did his usual; no hits, no runs.  Chad Durbin, on the other hand, came in for the 9th with a 5-0 lead and began to unravel.  After the 1st out, Durbin gave up a walk, a hit and another walk.  Scott Eyre was called in to clean up the mess but Ryan Howard committed his first error of the season on a ground ball that he threw into left field instead of to Jimmy Rollins; 2 runs scored.  Yikes!   

Brad Lidge then got the call to save the game and we all took a deep breath and swallowed a bottle of Tums.  Lidge walked the first batter he faced to re-load the bases.  Feeling ill, I quickly laid my head down on a pillow and prayed for mercy.  The next batter grounded out, but another run scored.  2 outs and the score was then 5-3.  Dizzy…SO dizzy…please make the room stop spinning!  Could Lidge finally get out of an inning without blowing a save and making me lose my dinner?  YES!  He struck out former teammate Wes Helms and relief washed over me like rainbows and sunshine :O)  Ahhhhhh!

Relief also found Shane Victorino today, who made amends for his base running gaffe in the 9th last night, where he was picked off trying to steal with Matt Stairs poised to try to tie the game up.  Tonight, Victorino went 4 for 5 with an RBI and all is right with the world again. 

Feliz delahoya.jpg
Pedro Feliz
continues to rack up the hits with runners in scoring position, adding 2 more hits and 2 RBI to his totals.  If Blanton was Rocky Balboa tonight, Feliz was Oscar De La Hoya.  Nice.

The Florida series is now ties 1 game apiece; game 3 will kick off tomorrow at 7:05pm with Brett Myers pitching.

In All-Star voting news, Chase Utley is in the lead for 2nd basemen in the NL again; Howard and Rollins are in 3rd place at their positions.  Raul Ibanez, who is VERY deserving, is in 6th place among outfielders – only the top 3 outfielders get to start the game so keep VOTING !!!  You can VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Head Shots by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

 

#250 Eludes Moyer

Jamie Moyer is still waiting to notch his 250th win…he did not get it tonight against the Marlins, a team he usually beats.  The umpire did him no favors; Moyer threw an obvious strike to former Phillie Wes Helms in the 4th which should have been strike 3, but it was called a ball.  Multiple replays showed the bad call over and over.  Next pitch:  Helms hit his first homer of the year for 3 runs.  And there went the game…

In the 8th inning, Chan Ho Park tossed a 3rd strike to another former Phillie, Ronny Paulino.  Paulino swung and missed as the ball bounced and he ran to first base where catcher Carlos Ruiz threw him out.  However, the umpire decided that Paulino, despite admittedly missing the ball as he ran to first, said Paulino fouled it off!  OMG.  What an idiot.  Park did strike him out (for the 2nd time) on the next pitch, but seriously, how much bad umpiring do we need to put up with?

Ok, so you can’t really blame the game on an umpire; Moyer could have pitched better; the offense could have scored more runs.  Of course, that does not make the bad calls any easier to swallow.

P5244243.jpgSpeaking of offense, what is going on with Jayson Werth?  Anybody?  He has had 2 hits in his last 7 games and his batting average is quickly dropping.  Ryan Howard had been slumping a bit, but he came out tonight and nailed 2 home runs.  Not enough to win the game though, which the Phillies lost 5-3.  And on top of that, Chase Utley got hit by a pitch on the same foot he got hit on a few weeks back.  It was a nasty one too…hoping he is ok!  He kept playing, but you know how Utley is…it would take  a stretcher and handcuffs to drag him off the field…hmmmm…that gives me some ideas.  Oh sorry, inner monologue leaking out… ;O)

And continuing to ruin my evening, Shane Victorino got thrown out attempting to steal 2nd base in the 9th inning, killing a comeback rally for the Phillies.  What was he thinking?  Matt Stairs, home run hitter extraordinaire, was at bat to try to tie the game, so why would Shane even attempt a steal there?  Bad, bad baseball right there.  Very bad.

Well, the Florida series will continue tomorrow at 7:05pm…Joe Blanton gets his turn to try to fry some fish.  Hope he has better luck than Moyer did today!  In the meantime, keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address! 

And if you missed it earlier today, here is the PHOTO ALBUM from Sunday’s game including photos of new Yankee Stadium!

Photo by Jenn

***Visit the Phillies Phollowers Online Shop today!***

(Store is non-profit, but lots of fun!  I hope you enjoy our artwork!)

*Read more about the Phillies at MY OTHER HOME PAGEPhillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Remember also to check out the homepage, My Team Rivals and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!

 

Jorge Cant-U Leave Us Alone!

For the second straight night, Jorge Cantu of the Florida Marlins took advantage of Phillies pitching.  Last night, in an otherwise superb outing by Cole Hamels, Cantu got the only 2 runs of the game for the Fish with 2 solo homers until the 9th inning, when Dan Uggla won it with a walk-off grand slam off Tom Gordon.  Cole went 8 full innings with 13 strikeouts, walking only 1 batter, but had no offense in the game to back up his great performance.

 

The Phillies had their only chance to pull out the win in the 9th inning when Marlins closer Kevin Gregg began to lose his cool.  After Eric Bruntlett was able to steal third and subsequently, he scored the tying run when Utley grounded into a force out, Gregg started to become unglued with the thought of blowing the save opportunity.  The very next pitch, he nails Pat Burrell in the arm to load the bases with two outs.  Now, I have said this many, many times over.  These are the situations when good hitters know it is time to take advantage of a pitcher.  Why?  Because he is a time bomb ready to blow.  He could uncork a wild pitch at any moment or groove one right down the middle for you.  And Gregg’s body language on the mound spoke EXACTLY to that point.  His head was whipping back and forth, he was sweating like crazy, arms flailing about…he was a man on the edge.  So, the fact that Jayson Werth chose to bunt here really disappoints me.  I totally understand the element of surprise; I understand he saw Wes Helms playing way back at third.  You can argue both sides.  But Jayson is a damn good hitter and just the day before, got a hit off of this very SAME pitcher!  He must have known that and I am sure Gregg knew that!  One more reason for Gregg to be extra nervous pitching to him in this situation.  But instead, he bunts it right to Gregg, who throws him right out and is let off the hook. 

 

Had the Phillies gotten one more run out of that inning, either with a hit, a walk or run scored on a wild pitch, I believe they win the game.  Because then Brad Lidge comes in and shuts it down.  Instead, we have Tom Gordon who winds up having an awful night.  But you can’t blame him.  DSCF5145 uggla cr.jpgThe bullpen can’t bail out this team every time.  And the offense can’t expect not to play and then throw it on the shoulders of the pitchers.  So, Dan Uggla comes out looking like a hero, when really all he did on that last pitch was take batting practice.  At that point, Gordon had two choices…risk walking the run home, or give him something to hit and pray he missed it.  Well, I do not discount Uggla …he is a great hitter and he did not miss it.  So, Mr. Uggla has earned my Photo of the Day…this one is from April of last year at CBP and, surprise, surprise…J-Roll Smurf and his handy voodoo bat have decided to join us for the last game of the series J  No more grand slams for Mr. Uggla!  Let’s see if some Smurfy magic can salvage one game of this yucky series…Go Phillies!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 477 other followers