The Phillies are an All Star Team……

Well 5 of them anyway, so Jayson Werth was selected to go by Charlie and the league agreed, I’m with Todd Zolecki on this one, Todd wrote:Wow.”

I am very surprised, Yes i know i said earlier that I thought Kemp should be the pick, still do truth be known, but when you have your favorite team being represented by 5 players at the All Star game, that’s special.

So now it is posible for the NL All Star Team to have the Phillies outfield on the field all at the same time, will that happen, we’ll have to wait and see if Charlie can pull that one off.

Now all the claims of having an All Star Outfield are fact not fiction or pipe dreams, another day the Phillies have something to be proud of….

With what seemed to be an unfair quantity of blogs about how Victorino should NOT have won the final vote, I am sure this news will resenate through and cause more unrest towards the Philadelphia Phillies, maybe this is the year, maybe we will get Halladay too.

 


Phillies take series from Reds, set new club record

Jayson Werth went deep to record his 20th home run of the season making him the 4th player to be on 20 home runs or more before the All Star Break, a first for the Phillies franchise and only the second MLB team to accomplish this feat. Werth has put up impressive numbers in the first half of this season and has more than proved that he can be an everyday player, I personally thought he would struggle as an everday outfielder, so well done Jayson, you are on a season setting personal best. Jayson’s name has been thrown in the mix for the All Star Game, since Beltran is injured, is Werth worthy of an All Star pick, well he has certainly put up the numbers, however I believe there are others who are a little more deserving, if it’s an outfielder they need then I would have to go with Kemp, he has better numbers this year, if it’s just any position player then there are a number to choose from and everyone will have there own personal favorite.

Chase Utley, in a ball park that is suposed to allow almost anyone to go deep, showed everyone last night that you dont need to hit the ball over the fence to get a home run, his second inside the park home run against the reds. This one came in the 3rd inning and it was Utley’s 20th homer of the year, although there wasn’t a play at the plate this time, he needed some recovery time to catch his breath, who wouldn’t.

Jamie Moyer pitched through 5 innings giving up 6 runs on 8 hits, since the offence took the lead in the bottom of the 5th Jamie was the pitcher of record giving him, his 254th career win. Jamie gave up two home runs, not unusual for Jamie, all in all a good outing for him.

Chan Ho Park gave another stellar performance from the bullpen, 3 scoreless innings, giving up 1 walk, with 4 strike outs.

Brad Lidge continues to make everyone nervous in the 9th inning, after getting the 1st two batters he gave up a walk, but came back nicely to close out the game with a scoreless inning.

Even though the Phillies have taken six of seven in this home stand, they still have a below .500 record at home this season, a sweep of the Pirates would put them still 1 game shy of the .500 mark. We all know that sweeping the Pirates is a huge task, they have played well against NL East teams this year, I for one am glad we have Blanton, Hamels and Happ to face them this weekend.

Victorino won the vote for the final spot on the All Star team, he is more than deserving of his place, he again last night picked up a couple of walks, a hit and a couple of RBI’s and continues to play gold glove quality defense in the outfield. Well Done Shane!!

To the Pirates, welcome to Philadelphia, the in state rivalry isn’t quite as intense as some would think, but still it will make for a good weekend, especially if the Phillies keep up this excellent home stand performance.

RAUL IBANEZ will he return today or will they wait till tomorrow, I think he will probably be here today, but my gut tells me they should probably wait till tomorrow.


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 give it up in the Ninth

It was the inevitable anti-climax, a roller coaster coming off it’s tracks at the high point, and then there’s the ‘what if’s’, like they had got the Mayberry call right.

So I watched the game last night with the Reds TV or FSN Ohio or FSOH, something like thatit’s one of those low budget Fox Sports things, here’s hoping noone gets offended, cause lets face it, the Reds don’t have the market other teams do, and that’s why it’s a lower budget station. I am going to be brutally honest here, it was somewhat dificult to follow and I don’t remember the commentators names, so I cheated and looked them up, George Grande and Chris Welsh and I can tell you the pre game show was done by Jeff Piecord. I am not going into the blow by blow of how they did it, and these events may not be in order.

As a general rule they were very complimentary of the Philly players and staff, and the pre game show did part of an historical tour of Philadelphia and a spot remembering HK. They were amused that we refer to the Mets as the Muts even in the press.

1st Inning, Taveras on first, they comment on Taveras being so fast he can leave with the pitch and never get caught, – what happened thrown out, I simpathise since the consistant replay showed him safe, they did make comment about the umpire and connected him to the umpires in the Yankees game and reference Foster telling Jeter, you don’t have to be tagged if the ball beats you to the bag, or something like that –

Top 1st, Utley gets caught stealing, no replay, no analyse to see if he was safe or not straight to commercial.

They were surprised at how good Happ pitched, and they were saying Harang was the Reds ace and he needed to do this and this with the ball, then Phillies went back to back and they analysed, did freeze frames of the ball hitting the bat that is, just to show that Harang didn’t hit his spot with the pitches.

I did notice what seemed to be an air of resentment that Chase Utley had been selected to go to the All Star Game, the inference was that since he played infront of 40,000 fans every night it was easier than for say, Phillips who only gets and audience of say 20,000, it’s a popularity contest. They also complained that he didn’t make the top 4 player voting to go, you just have to look at what he has done is about what they said, then there seemed to be a sequence of events where Utley made some gold glove plays, then Utley hit a ball hard straight at Phillips and it hit off his glove, did he chase it down, no he let it trickle into the outfield, consequence, Utley’s on second, I thought that’s why Utley’s an All Star and Phillips isn’t.

Like I said I found it pretty hard to follow with these guys, and I think that is nothing more than familiarity, they had inside jokes and such like, if I watched them everyday I would understand and be able to follow along better.

Then we had the Mayberry out at home, they were so joyous they showed the replays to see how the great a defensive play it was and then you saw it the catchers tag was kind of late, Mayberry’s hand was in and on the plate, Mayberry was safe, silence fell on the commentators and then commercial break, after the break the only that was said I think the Reds got away with one then.

So thats about it really, yes I know they were over joyed that they scored a run off Lidge and won. The almost refused to mention the 22-1 the night before.

You’ll never guess what the Aflac Trivia Question was: okay here goes:

What is the largest margin of victory the Reds have had in the franchise history?

Well I didn’t see that coming.

————————————————–

The game, was without adoubt a game of missed chances, too many missed opportunities with runners in scoring position and less than 2 outs, we cant blame the loss on the umpires for a couple of bad calls just because we couldn’t deliver.

Yes we got a couple of homers and we got at least one run home from third, but it doesn’t excuse the 1 for 12 with RISP

Happ had another outstanding start, Madson delivered in the 8th and somehow Lidge had a location problem in the 9th.

I almost forgot in all the excitment, Howard broke his homerless streak, way to go Ryan.

So today is another day.

VOTE VICTORINO

 


Vote for VICTORINO to the All Star Game

Okay so I am wearing out my keyboard and mouse voting for Victorino, added a widget to Facebook, tried to add one to Windows Live, get an error, trying to figure that out, I am confused why you can customize a button specifically for Victorino and display the vote button on any number fo friend networking sites, yet they failed to let you do it for MLBlogs, DOH!!!, I am sure they think people will do it from the MLB main page, their favorite team website or the MLBlogs main page. Just something I noticed is all…… VOTE VOTE VOTE


BLANTASTIC, Phillies SWEEP Mets

Blanton surpassed all the hopes and expectations of the Philly fans just dreaming of a sweep, he pitched a good seven and a third shut-out innings, having good command of his fast ball and change-up, he kept the Mets of balance and guessing wrong, he gave up just 4 hits and walked 3 and set the phillies bullpen up nicely to clinch the win and the sweep.

The bullpen was again outstanding, not body likes to see a player get hurt and nobody wants to see an extra guy on base, but admit it, when Romero hit Cora I am sure there were a few fans thinking, ‘wish I could have done that’, so that set up Park to come in and get a double play, which just left the ninth. The commenators seemed confused as to if Lidge would pitch or not, then it was confirmed he was stretching in the pen, just 14 pitches today to go 1, 2, 3 in the ninth, was definately scenes from Lidge of ’08.

Rollins has surely quietened down the sceptics just a little, a lead off homer gave the Phillies an early lead, having another multi hit game Rollins is either back or just really likes to stick it to the Mets.

Utley, Mr. Second-Base God, hits another long ball to give Phillies a two zip lead and that’s all they would need, the defense was outstanding, turning double-plays when they were needed, Howard showed his fielding skills and that all the extra pre-season in-field training has paid-off.

With a home stand start like this I find myself looking forward to the next game, in anticipation of what extraordinary feats the team will show off next, bring on the Reds.

Congratulations go to Utley and Ibanez for making the All Star starting line-up and congrats to Howard for making the All Star team.

I realise it is fan based voting, but why wasn’t it a closer race between Feliz and Wright, Feliz is a better defensive third-baseman than Wright and has been above average with offence this year, just a thought.

Don’t forget send Victorino to the All Star Game as the 33rd man voting is open so get to it he deserves to be there: VOTE NOW


Fox Destroys July 4th, Phillies take 2

It seems I am not the only one who has negativity about Fox, So living in Ohio, just 550 miles or so from Philly what does Fox put on my TV, NOT Phillies vs Mets thats for sure, and since it’s blacked out on MLBTV, I have no alternative but to listen to the game on WPHT via MLBTV. So this is the first time this season I have had to do this, so here’s how the highlight are from a radio listners point of view.

First Inning – Jimmy Rollins, doesnt run the play out as hard or intense as he should for a guy in a slump. So Phillies leave men on base, we can’t do that against the Mets and oh yeah, Werth hits an RBI fly ball.

Second and Third Inning – Some pitch by pitch and has Manny Ramirez added longer dredlocks, cause it looks terrible, expalnation that it was meant to look terrible in a baseball uniform and not terrible in general.

Fourth Inning – Couple more runs score, Utley and Ibanez gets congrats for making the All Star Team as starters, then more appologies, cause the selection show is not till Sunday and no one knows who’s ahead in the voting till then, you must be looking at an old list.

Fifth Inning – Moyers pitching better, gives up a run.

Sixth Inning – Victorino RBI with 2 outs, he’s playing well and Atlanta lost, more unimportant drival about Nationals players and Braves players

Seventh Inning – 87 pitches through 6 and a third for Moyer, hopefully the bullpen can save this one for him Durbin in gets a hitter out, hits a hitter, 10 pitches, in comes Romero, lets hope he can find the strike zone, the stikes the next guy out inning over. Fireworks at the Wharf were last week, so probably going to watch the downtown today.

Eigth Inning – Romero resumes gets one out gives up a hit, Madson in – gets 2 out, Lidge is warming up in the bullpen, guess he’ll be in for the ninth wonder if he’s okay hasn’t pitched since Toronto.

Ninth Inning – Lidge 1,2,3 in 13 pitches. So Philly take 2

 

Not the most enjoyable way to spend 4th July, having to listen to nothing and make out what was really happening, at least with TV you can see for yourself your not relying on others to keep you informed.

So thanks Fox for screwing up my 4th of July.

Not a single mention about Jamie’s 600th start – Congrats Jamie, keep em coming.

Dare I say SWEEP today, fingers crossed.

 


Phillies have extras in Atlanta

What a night of swings and roundabouts, ups and downs, highs and lows, whatever you call it, it was good baseball.

Rollins is back in the line-up and batting at the top of the order, regardless of what others may think, it’s good to see him in the line-up, even if he did get an O’fer at the plate, the team just appears to be well adjusted with him there, so welcome back Jimmy.

There was a lot of things that happened tonight,

Victorino went back to back on the Braves pitchers, tough luck Shane, any other night they would have been back to back hits up the middle.

Utley became the first left hander to homer off Lowe this year, way to go Chase, that’s why he is probably the best second-baseman in the majors.

Howards ground-rule double scored Victorino, but had Utley tryin to get the umps to give him home, guess they didn’t hear the umps reviewed one the other night, still he was around third when it went out…. not sure the umps here had a sense of humor with them, Chase obviously did.

Thats when the evening started to have ups and downs, Phillies lead Braves tie, again in the 5th, then the Braves lead into the 6th.

Feliz, I think the best 3rd baseman in the NL, even better than Wright for the Mets, saved a run in the 6th with an unbelieveable play, and then went onto hit a homer as part of back to back homers with Mayberry Jr.

Before the back to back homers, it seemed like some of the hitters were in panic mode, down one, first pitch swinging again, I guess it’s good when the ball fly’s like Pedro’s did.

The bullpen played well tonight, despite the Phillies loosing it in the bottom of the 10th, it was good baseball from both teams, just unfortunate that the 2 Braves players that hurt us, weren’t really regulars, and as they say THAT’S BASEBALL…

Another shot tomorrow, the 9 straight streak at Turner Field ended so its time to start a new one.. GO PHILLIES…..