The WILD WEST Trip…

It was a night that saw the Phillies produce 3 errors and give up 4 unearned runs in a 7-2 loss to the Giants.

The Phillies weren’t the only ones to commit errors last night,
it seems the 2nd base umpire needed something to help him see clearer….

How do you get this…

 
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from this….

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I am sure there is a special lesson at umpire school that tells them how to determine if a player is out, because the ball beat them to the bag, or if there safe when they are tagged before they reached the bag, probably some reverse logic to keep them in the highlight reels.

Now instead of nobody on with 1 out, there’s a runner in scoring position with no outs, then Velez, hits the ball deep to right field, okay a regular fly ball, Werth has this so we should be okay…. wrong…. it slides in and out of Werths glove then rolls to the base of the wall, Werth struggled to pick it up and throw it back in, so now instead of 2 out nobody on we have Torres scoring and Velez on third with nobody out…Cliff Lee hanging over the rail in the dug out must be thinking……I am in a nightmare is this the Indians in Phillies uniforms…….Okay so maybe he wasn’t thinking that, but it was looking like it… the Giants hit a sack fly to put 2 on the board in the bottom of the 1st and take a 2-1 lead from there they never looked back..

The WILD WEST show didn’t stop there after Sandoval hit a bomb into the bay in the 3rd inning to put the Giants up 3-1, the phillies continued on with the show, maybe to make Lee feel at home, who knows….

We somehow manage to get to the bottom of the 4th inning and with 1 out and 1 on, Feliz goes for the double play,

Utley didn’t agree…

error.jpg the ball flips off Utleys glove into the outfield, now you have 2 on at 2nd and 3rd and only one out, more timely hitting by the Giants and instead of being out of the inning they now have a 7-1 lead.

For the most part Lopez pitched okay, except for the extra pitches he had to throw due to the errors, but he only gave up 3 earned runs, the bull pen went to work in the 5th inning and shut the Giants down. The WILD WEST show didn’t end there though, top of the 6th Chase Utley at the plate, now to me Utley has given up and error been involved the error with Feliz, so all in all he’s kind of helped the Giants, what happens in the 6th…..

the WILD PITCH show….

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Sanchez got wild with his pitches, this one was headed straight for Utleys head, normally very composed and used to being hit with balls, Utley was a little shaken, turn and glared at Sanchez, took the next pitch, then stepped out of the box as he was about to deliver the next one, Sanchez tossed a slow roller to the plate, the tension was mounting and you could tell there was a little animosity had developed between Utley and Sanchez in just 3 pitches…. well Sanchez obviously wanted to show he was boss and threw an 88mph and 89mph fast balls for strikes,
then a 90mph fast ball,

that Utley sends deep…..
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home run… Chase Utley

That was almost the end of the WILD WEST show, although no more runs were scored, the bottom of the 7th inning with 2 outs and Garko at the plate Walker dings Garko on the shoulder, in what was clearly a payback pitch for the incident at Utley’s head, both teams get warned.

The question is will both team move on from this or will it generate more tension and create an interesting weekend….

Cliff Lee goes tonight, his first start for the Phillies here’s hoping the bats come to life and the errors dissapear…..

 

 

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D-Backs Freeze Phil’s Bats….

It was another hot night in Phoenix, with the news of the days trading activities that brought Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco into the Phillies organization, it was an opportunity for the team to show the new arrivals how good they really are with a sweep in Arizona.victorinodive.jpg Unfortunately this was not to happen, Petit who started this game for the D-Backs was 0-5 on the year, but to watch him pitch tonight you would think he had been 5-0, he kept the Phillies hitters off balance and swinging wildly at the plate, the only 2 Philly players that even was remotely succesful off him was Howard and Ibanez, both picking up 2 hits off him.

Victorino, was shut down completely, in a rare shortened game for him. The bottom of the 1st inning with a runner on first Victorino made an unbelieveable diving catch in the outfield, somewhere it appeared a spike got caught, then his glove under victorinopain.jpghis body, regardless he held onto the ball for the 2nd out of the inning, however as he started to come to his feet you could see some pain showing in his expression. As with team mates Werth came over to check him out, but Shane was definately walking with a slight limp as he moved back towards center field. He would leave later in the game and is now listed as day to day.

The very next hitter, Upton, launched a ball to left field just clearing the fench and missing Ibanez’s glove for a 2 run home run. That was all Happ would allow the D-backs for the 6 innings he pitched, Happ may not have
victorino-werth.jpgbeen the winner today, but showed maturity and quality with every pitch after the home run holding the D-Backs to just 1 more hit.

The Phillies bullpen also gave up 2 runs, giving the D-Backs a 4-0 shut out over the reigning World Series champions.

The Phillies head to San Francisco for a 4 game set and to meet up with their new team mates, it was reported yesterday on MLB Network, from other media sources that Lee would wear #34, since Lopez had the #31 shirt, but who knows that could change and Francisco would wear the #10, they also reported that Lee would start Saturday, but as yet that is unconfirmed, as reports say Charlie hasn’t decided yet.

In other news, the AP are reporting that New York is offering free airline tickets to anywhere in the world for homeless people, there are obviously some provisions attached, I am just speculating but could this seriously affect the Mets fan base, or this an attempt by the Yankees to try and strong arm the Mets team out of New York, only time will tell. AP further reports that this practice has been going on since 2007 and some 550 families have been sent somewhere else in the world, because their homeless and New York would rather they weren’t in New York…. Watch out Florida, they may be sending some new Marlins or Rays fans your way…


Phillies and the Tribe, Do the Deal of the Year……(UPDATED)

I have decided to update this entry, having had more time to consider everything, not much more, but some more, while this update is still in the state of flux awaiting the physicals, which I am told is just a routine thing now, I have added the update at the end of this entry…..

 

The Phillies get left handed, Cy Young winnerCliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco from the Indians, they also get to keep JA Happ and Drabek. In return thleecliff.jpge Phillies are sending prospects, Jason Knapp (RHP), Carlos Carrasco (RHP), Jason Donald (SS), and Lou Marson (catcher) to Cleveland.

This will definately make the Phillies rotation a left handed ‘DOMINATION ROTATION’ depending on how they line the guys up, the Phillies now have an over abundance of starters, once Martinez gets through his rehab work, it could also line the bull pen with fresh strong arms, something the Phillies are in need of on the road to the post season.

As good as this deal is, it does not guarantee the Phillies a post season, hard work and continued strong team play is what will get them there.

Well done Ruben Amaro, Jr, I think your first big trade deadline deal is a good one and the fans should be very happy with the outcome.

What of Halladay, well I have said all along I didn’t think the Jays were serious, but who knows, I say go at it, let the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox get into a bidding war if they want him.

With Lee out in LA the chances are he will join the Phillies when they hit San Francisco.

 

UPDATE: 

This update is nothing more than further considerations of what this deal really means, or what we gave and what we got. Many of the comments on the main news story blogs, both Philadelphia and Cleveland are calling this a one sided trade, and initially it looked like that even to me, but consider this, it only appears one sided because it didn’t include Drabek or Happ, thats it, that the bone of contention from everyone. Now the names Drabek and Happ were thrown around by the media and the Jays as must haves for the Phillies to land Halladay. Look at the Phillies counter offer, this is what the Phillies thought Halladay was worth.. whats the difference between that and this trade, Happ and Knapp plus Marson and Taylor, so when you look deep at this it really was much of a price drop in the eyes of the Phillies front office to get Lee… I hope I have made this clear enough to at least generate some consideration that this wasn’t such a one sided deal….


Hamels ‘A’ce Game Returns…

With the trade deadline approaching, and more people are asking is Hamels the Ace we all wanted or was he a flash in the pan. Last night he showed everyone why he has been the Ace of the Phillies pitching staff. On a night more than any other this year he needed his ‘A’ game and he delivered.

The Haren vs Hamels game had been headlined as a make or harenhit.jpgbreak for Cole, days before, the Philly fans are looking to see if management delivers another Ace to the starting rotation, the fans were also looking to see if Cole could deliver them a sign that he is the Ace.

The first inning Hamels gave up, what became a complimentary homerun to Roberts, from then on he pounded the strike zone through 8 innings, he threw a total of 112 pitches, 79 of them for strikes. He gave up a hit to his counterpart, Haren, who singled in the 3rd inning. Since Cole out pitched Haren he certainly didn’t want to be out done by him at the plate, so in the 5th inning Hamels returned the favor, only instead of a single Hamels
hamelshit.jpgcrushed a double to left center, splitting the gap in the outfield, Hamels cruised into 2nd standing,eventually Hamels crossed the plate to break the tie and put the Phillies in front, and from there they never looked back.

Victorino, had tied the ball game with a solo homerun in the 3rd inning keeping his hot streak alive and well.

The D-Back errors didn’t start until the 5th inning last night, it was like boredom set in so the players just lost concentration. Rollins hit a ball hard, causing a miss play by the D-Backs, Utley’s smart base running to 1st base caused an error on a throw to home plate, mix in some other miss plays and the D-Backs had another game of errors turns into opposition runs.

You had to feel bad for Haren, he pitched very well, with almost any other defense behind him he would have probably won that game, there was more than once you could tell from the look on his face, he wished he were somewhere else. The Phillies offense really did well last night working the count and getting Haren to throw as many pitches as they could, he ended up throwing 117 pitches in 5 innings of work.

The only real shadow of doubt for the Phillies last night was the 9th inning, Lidge with a save opportunity came in to close out the game and ended up giving up 2 runs, before finally finishing off the D-Backs, I for one am glad it was NOT a 1 run game.

It all happens again tonight with Happ going against Petit, if he hasn’t been traded by then of course, if Happ is on the mound, here’s hoping Happ has recovered from his first loss and puts on another dynamic display of pitching.


Phillies Take D-Backs to School….

Philadelphia, Phillies showed the D-Backs how to play professional baseball last night in Arizona.

Yes, this may seem harsh, but the Phillies took a clear advantage of the D-Backs errors, errors which would have been hard to find in a triple ‘A’ game, and there was Jamie Moyer, who pitched himself into trouble twice in the first 3 innings,
moyer.jpgloading the bases at one point, with nobody out, his experience, his self control and excellent defence, from his infield that knows no limits and definately knows how to support their team mate in times of trouble got him through the struggles.

Moyer, moved on from his struggles and pitched with control and poise through another 3 2/3 innings, shutting the door on the D-Backs. In total Moyer pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up 6 hits, 4 walks and striking out 5, giving him his 256th career win and closing out July with a 3.30 ERA his best month this year.

Side Bar: During this ‘will he, won’t he’ couple of weeks on Halladay, it has been noted that a number of people have been commenting on blogs, calling for Moyer to retire, last night was just another reason why he shouldn’t, right now he’s pitching very well, and he’s got 10 wins on the year, giving him 13 seasons with double digit wins, I know wins dont mean anything in a pitchers stats, but as I’ve said before, it’s wins that get you to the post season. (end side bar).

D-Backs defense for 8 innings looked like a group of guys on a Sunday morning throwing a ball around not really caring where it went, or if someone could catch what was thrown at them. With Feliz on 1st, (now you have to understand Feliz has 0 (zero) stollen bases this year), the pitcher, Garland, is acting like it’s J-Roll or Victorino over there, so he ends up throwing the ball past the 1st baseman which ultimately puts it up the right field line, Feliz, who seemed like a diferent person on the bases last night, ended up going from 1st to 3rd. Another one was, Utley on 1st a base hit fumbled in the shift off of Howards bat, allowed Utley to get to 3rd, after beating the 3rd baseman in a foot race to 3rd base, that should have been a double play or at least got Howard at 1st. There were other simple plays in the infield that should have resulted in outs that didn’t and although the Phillies played hard last night, those infield mistakes are the main reason for 4 extra runs the Phillies scored. Of course the ‘Howard Homer’, a 2 run shot in the 4th was all Howard.

So having seen all that go on imagine the surprise when in the top of the 9th a bloop hit, which had it been earlier in the game would have scored 2 runs, is caught by Roberts with a spectacular dive to end the inning.

The Phils bull pen went to work in the 7th inning Park came into the game in releif of Moyer and got the 1 guy he faced, 8th inning Madson came in, experienced some struggles, gave up a couple of runs on 3 hits, and struck out 2. Lidge was set to come in for the 9th, a non-save situation, so there was obviously a few nerves, but Madson had struggled so maybe Lidge would be okay, well he was, 3 up, 3 down, with a strike out thrown in there. Phillies end up taking the first of three from a struggling Arizona, 6-2.

Room for thought:  Why did Charlie use Bruntlett in the 9th and not Dobbs, that confused me, tonight we do it all again Hamels vs Haren, now I know Haren has a pretty good contract with the D-Backs, but could it be possible when the Phillies go to San Francisco that Haren goes with them…..


Phils take series finale from Cards 9-2, Jays reject Phillies counter offer…

For me the important part of today was another win, which in reality is what gets you to another post season, and without getting to the post season you can’t win another World Series.

In a game that had a freaky 1st inning, yes for me it was freaky, it’s not often you see the top of the 1st score a run and move a runner from 1st to 2nd on a fly ball, well it happened, but that wasn’t the freaky part, the bottom of the 2nd, it all happened again, exactly the same, it was like one of those if you can do it so can wee things from the movies. it looked as though it would be a very nail bitting game, by the end of the top of the 5th inning. It was just 3-2 Phillies, but the bottom of the 5th inning produced the 2nd 2 run homer from the Phillies by way of a deep to centerfield shot that hit the top of the center blanton.jpgfield batters-eye wall from Ryan Howard, at that point I felt with Joe Blanton on the mound the Phils were on there way to a victory. The game had the Phillies hitting 4, 2 run homers from Utley, Howard, Rollins and Ibanez….coupled with the first inning run it gave the Phillies another hard hitting win.

Even with the long balls and the double plays, for me the guy that made today was Joe Blanton he came into todays game with an ERA of just 0.83 for the month of July, and today he showed us why, he continued to get his pitches in the right location, keeping hitters off the bases. He went a solid 8 innings, giving up just 7 hits and 2 runs, while walking 1 and striking out 6…. The last 3 batters he faced just put an exclamation point on his perfomance, striking out in order, Lugo, Pujols and Holliday to end the top of the 8th. This is the type of trade deadline acquisition that has helped the Phillies. He’s not a media man, he’s not a look at me type guy, he goes out there and gets the job done and he works hard between his starts. I am not saying he’s better or worse than anyone else, my point is as far as acquiring someone, this guy was one of the better mid-season acquisitions the Phillies have made over the past few years. Well Done Joe keep it going through August….

 

So the Blue Jays turned down the counter offer the Phillies made for Roy Halladay, that is understandable, you see there are other teams still making offers and they want to get the maximum they can for him, the fact is other teams now know what they won’t except, so they have a lead role to offer something better than the Phillies offered. There are also reports that the Angels recieved a list of demands from the Jays for Halladay to go to them, it is reported that they like the Phils believe the asking price is too high.

I have read a lot of comments on blogs lately regarding this subject, me personally I am at the point where I say if they don’t like what we are prepared to give then walk away from the deal. Lots of people think Halladay is going to bring us another World Series, well he won’t, it’s a team thing, yes he does have the stats that say he will help the Phillies in acheiving that goal, but for me any trade is risky, regardless, some say the risk is minimal for the Phillies, on paper that maybe, but in reality, no one knows for sure, because there are no guarantees.

It would be nice to add to our starting rotation, in a manner that will improve it, not just add to it with more #4 and #5 rotation pitchers. I would like to see a serious consideration given to Lee at Cleveland, no he’s not Halladay, but he’s more affordable and would still increase our chance of another World Series.

So for all those commenters on the Halladay stories that say the Phillies blew it by rejecting the Jays outlandish request, I say this —- now you’ve got more days to whine, complain, attack management and continuously comment as if it was your discision and that you believe you are the almanac and crystal ball of baseball, and when others dont agree with you, you still have time to turn your frustrations out on them and start bad mouthing each other in the comments of a news story that most people have read and moved on from, sometimes days, but definately hours before you’ve started insulting each other.

It’s off to Arizona for the Phillies, and then onto the west coast for a road trip that will take us into August and past the trade deadline, so who will join the Phillies on the road, anyone or no one???


Phillies Slam Cards, Tie Series 1-1…

Yesterday the Phillies posted 14 runs, but the Cards out hit the Phillies 14-15. It is clearly evident the Cards are team on a mission, and that mission is to get to the post season.

The bottom of the 1st is when the Phillies started the onslaught, driving in 3 runs off Kyle Lohse, the former Philly. The Cardinals, like the Phillies never give up without a fight, top of the 2nd inning they started their come back run at the Phightins, Lopez was able to hold them to just 1 run, the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings saw the Cardinals post runs to the board giving them a 4-3 lead, it caould be that something was said in the dougout, or could be that the Phils players just get their jroll.jpggroove back, bottom of the 6th with a hit and a couple of walks the bases were loaded for J-Roll, who had been running an O-fer with bases loaded this year, today would be different, with his short swift swing, Rollins launched the ball to right field and it just kept going over the fence and into the stands…. GRAND SLAM HOME RUN JIMMY ROLLINS… things were going right for the Phillies and when J-Roll is hot the Phillies are hot, Motte had that,’Ican’t believe I threw that pitch’ look upon his face… a fiercesome looking pitcher that Motte is, pitched to Victorino, while Jimmy was still taking his congratulatory cheers from the crowd, and then the unthinkable happened, Victorino lauched the ball deep to right center field for back to back home runs off Motte, the Cards somehow managed to quieten the Phils bats and get out of the inning leaving the Phils with a 4 run lead.

Top of the 7th with Chan Ho Park on the mound and Lugo at the plate, some one in the stands decided to play the fool and shine a green laser pointer at Lugo, this is one of the worst things you can do to a hitter, take his clear vision away,
greenlight.jpgthe results can be nothing more than deadly
Lugo was eventually struck out on a good breaking ball from Park, but it certainly doesn’t take away the fact that there would have been some part of him still looking for that green light. It didn’t stop there, with Pujols at the plate the light re-appeared, this time the umps put a halt to the game and confered with the Phillies dugout who had security trying to locate the fan responsible… This does nothing more than add to the already tainted reputation of Philadelphia fans, regardless of the sport, not only should this person be barred from sporting events in Philadelphia, but anyone with him that allowed it to happen should suffer the same fate. My suprise was that with all the cameras there, and the fact that Lugo had made people aware of it, was that no one was able to spot who was doing it, the search seemed to have the effect of stopping this person from doing it anymore, still they should be found and punished.

The Cardinals did manage to score another run in the top of the 7th, but the bottom half of the 7th brought on another onslaught from the Phillies, with hits a plenty the Phils drove in another 6 runs making it 14-5.

St. Louis tried to start a comeback in the 9th, but was finally held to just 1 run, giving the Phillies a 14-6 victory.

There were moments in this game when, personally I thought Ankiel
 
ankiel.jpgwas going to single handedly prevent the Phillies from winning this game, he made 2 tremendous catches, 1 tight against the outfield wall and the other where he saved a home run off the bat of Werth. Following the last series between with Cards and Phils, we all know how hard he plays.

As usual both Holliday and Lugo hit the Phillies well, if the Phils hadn’t recieved some of the same luck the Cardinals experienced Friday, they could have very easily lost this one.

The Phils and Cards go at it again today, and to be honest, it’s anybodys game. Wellemeyer is on the mound for St. Louis looking for his 8th win to give him a .500 record on the year, while the Phillies have the workhorse Blanton starting and he’ll be trying to keep the Phil’s with an above .500 record at home this year, while looking to remain unbeaten in July. He is currently running a 0.83 ERA in the month of July through 21.2 innings of work.

With less than an hour to first pitch, it’s time for me to get ready for the ball game, lets hope it’s another Phillies win