Why do the Umpires Hate the Phillies…

What can anyone say about a game that your team gets demolished 12-3 to complete a sweep, in your own ball park, by a team that just got swept by the Washington Nationals. Just about the same as has been said for the last couple of weeks, offense, defense and pitching, without these you don’t have a ball club. A little unfair to Jamie Moyer, since he put in a good performance, held the Marlins at bay, between a couple of bad located pitches and some bad located fielders, the Marlins edged a small lead and Moyer was replaced by the bullpen. Not so bad 2 runs down the Phillies have come back from worse. So with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd and a runner on 1st, who else but Ryan Howard could come to the Phillies rescue, he’s been the hottest hitter the last couple of days, so now the Phillies have a chance, one big hit and it’s back in the lead, or he could walk then we would have bases loaded for Ibanez, almost as good, you would think….

That’s when the home plate umpire, Ed Rapuano decided the Marlins needed some assistance, so he called Howard out on strikes, wrong call, okay I am biased, so you decide…

The home plate umpire had been having issues with his strike zone depending who was on the mound and who was in the batters box, but that wasn’t it, this was a critical call and he got it wrong (in my opinion), the interesting thing was before Howard came up to the plate, you could hear the audible of Ed saying to Howard “it’s hot out here big fellow” I’m sorry but out of context that sound bite could be very damaging for Ed

You’d think that would be the end of it, ‘in Philadelphia’ I hear you saying, okay so the crowd probably won’t let him forget it, but they didn’t get the chance. With the Marlins now batting and Helms at the plate and Lopez on the mound the sequence of balls and strikes went something like this…

You guessed it the crowd went absolutely crazy, as you can imagine the Phillies players weren’t that impressed either…

Rollins shows his displeasure…

Look closely in the back ground behind Feliz you can see Victorino, who also shows his displeasure…

And then… it can only be described as all hell breaking loose, I may have only been watching baseball for 24-25 years, but I have never seen an outfielder be ejected for raising his arms, and needless to say it upset Victorino…

 

He came racing in from the outfield, almost threw Bako to the ground to get at the umpire, fortunately for Victorino, Howard is bigger and stronger and man-handled Victorino to the dugout, otherwise he would have surely ended up with a suspension.

That sort of put a damper on things, the Marlins went on to score 6 runs in that inning, and yes you guessed it, the crowd let Ed know of their displeasure at every opportunity. The Phillies managed to scrap back just 2 runs and the Marlins went on to add another 3 runs in the 9th.

So to finish a brief message to Ed Rapuano, stay out of Philadelphia, the fans have long memories, and if the league have any sense they will not assign him a game with the Phillies for sometime or this poster could become the norm around the City of Brotherly Love.

 

 The Phillies go on the road to Chicago, they have a day off Monday, which if they are wise, it will be used to find their missing offense and defense. Then on Tuesday we will find out if the fact that, “Jesus hates the Cubs”  according to the book of Psalms, or was that RSBS, I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between them, they are on occasion both full of useless, but humorous information. The point being we will find out if the umpires take pity on them for the curse cast upon them by this #2 blogger, yes it’s true and fortunately for everyone here, we would never live it down if there wasn’t a she fan with a confession to keep the combined efforts of a lonely Tigers fan and a (insert your own word here) Cardinal fan in their place.

 


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…

 
umpsafe.jpg

from this….

outtag.jpg

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…..

 

 


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 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


Phillies go NINE straight, Cubs get cooled off…

Well the HOT Chicago Cubs found out tonight how HOT, HOT really is when the Phillies put 10 runs on the board, via 3 home runs and a couple of RBI hits.

HOT.jpgThe Phanatic was playing Batman for Jack Nicholson while Rollins and Victorino were doing there impression of the dynamic duo at the top of the line up, Victorino got an education on ‘where to’ and ‘where not to’ run when stealing a base, from the umpires.

Ibanez of course was playing superman again, with a 3 run homer in the 1st with 2 outs and 2 strikes on him. Even as cold as Ruiz has been at the plate, he felt the heat of the team as he hit a 2 run homer in the 2nd and then hit an RBI double in the 4th inning.

Rollins and Utley both  picked up RBI’s in the 4th to make this a 9 run game.

Lopez did not have his best stuff tonight, was fishing around the strike zone, giving up 3 walks, even so, he only allowed 1 run through 6 innings of work and 1 extra base hit.

Howard not to be out done by Ibanez struck a typical ‘Howards Hompiniellabatteries.jpger’ in the 8th inning to make it a 10-1 game.

Durbin came out of the pen in the bottom of the 7th to earn a save the old fashioned way, 3 innings of shut out work, even in a 10-1 game gave Durbin the save, and he earned it allowing just 1 hit in those 3 innings he gave the rest of the pen a night to rest up and have fun.

The Cubs looked like a team with a ‘For Sale’ sign hanging over them, even Lou Piniella looked as though he was in the middle of a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode, either that or someone placed a robot version of him in the Cubs dugout and forgot to read the warning label  ‘Batteries Not Included’.

 


Victorino gives, NOW give back to Victorino

The headlines around MLB say it all, the race for the #33 All Star pick is a tight one, since Victorino and Sandoval are playing cat and mouse in the NL ballot, the campaigning is reaching new heights never before seen in an All Star ballot.

Victorino added to his case last night with a walk off RBI to give the Phillies a 3-2 win over the Reds, this was definately the highlight of the game.

Lopez, had another good start, although he only went 5 innings, due to a sore shoulder (last reports), his pitch count was low and he held the Reds to just  2 runs on 5 hits. Rest up Lopez your fast becoming an asset in the starting rotation.

BullPen was again outstanding last night, Madson’s speed was up, location was good, both Durbin and Romero also had good outings. Although for me the best activity from the bullpen was without a doubt Chan Ho Park, the sandwich boards campaigning for Victorino votes, was terrific, I wonder if he lost a bet or won a draw to do that, hopefully we’ll find out on The Pen on MLB Network, whenever that returns.

The Phillies have teamed up with the Detroit Tigers to try and double the voting capacity for each of our respective players, wow, politics in baseball, colaborations between parties, who’d have thought it would come to this, who knows next year they may have to call in the people from American Idol to get telephone voting too.

The only soar note on last nights game was the strike zone, seemed to be a little too flexible when the chance of a called third strike loomed, maybe the home plate umpire was auditioning for an upcoming movie, or maybe a chance to grab a headline and get himself noticed.

All that really matters is that Victorino gave to us last night with the walk off RBI, now it’s our turn to give back and vote him in the All Star game. Voting ends at 4pm EST today, hopefully we will be celebrating during tonights game and Detroit will be celebrating too, which will just go to show the NL and AL can work together for the good of the fans.


Phillies beat up on Mets

You all knew at some point the guys were going to have a game like this at home, and it just happened to be the Mets on the recieving end, couldn’t have happened at a nicer time or against a better opponent. With the traumatic road trip and the recent sweeps against the Phils, this was what the fans needed, no time for the boobirds to anounce themselves, straight out of the gate players were swinging and hitting an opposing starter. The free for all ended when the Mets bullpen took over, but even so some nice encouraging things were seen.

Rollins was swinging good aswell as being patient about what pitches he chose to swing at, okay 2 games of hits doesn’t always mean the slump is over, but he looked comfortable at the plate for the first time in a long time, it was like his season was just begining.

Lopez, under what must have been a stress filled day of returning to the majors, gave an excellent performance, while pitching strikes and keeping the hitters of balance, the type of game you hope you are going to get from all your starting rotation, now if he can produce that performance again and again, then maybe we have found a fill-in for Myers.

It was good to see Madson have a relaxed 9th inning, hopefully it will help towards getting his confidence back and giving us the same type of performances we enjoyed last year.

As much as I would like to think it was a dominant Phils team that put the Mets and their fans into a silent stuper, I have to admit that they themselves did everything they could to help the Phillies and the Philly Fans enjoy a long awaited win at home, so for that we should thank the Mets and hope they continue to be supportive in todays game.

The only thing I am still waiting for is Howard to start hitting long balls again, maybe he needs a clubhouse vacation like J-Roll got recently. So today we hope and prey that Jamie Moyer has another good start and goes deep into the game, keeping the Mets off balance and swinging through his off-speed pitches and completely missing his slow/fast ball.

Lets make this a happy 4th of July with another win against the Mets and then maybe we can dream of a sweep of our own.