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


Back To Winning Ways, Phils take Padres 9-4

This was the make-up game that was PPD because of rain back on April 20th, before we get into the game itself, I think we need to give a thought to the San Diego Padres, who when this game was PPD was a winning team and playing very well, busoverloaded.jpgso the benefit with this has gone to Philadelphia, who’d have thought back then. In addition to that the Padres are in Washington this weekend, so the Padres bosses thought it would be beneficial to help their team out by flying into Washington late, then getting the bus to Philadelphia to play this game, then getting the bus back to Washington, and if anyone has ever travelled between Washington and Philly then you’ll know it’s not the best of times even in a vehicle you can kick back and relax in. We can at this point only assume that the Padres arrived at the ball park not very well relaxed and ready to play ball, however, I will say this the players played like they wanted to win, the problem was they were playing a team who is not only hot at the moment, but wanted to prove that yesterday’s afternoon game against the Cubs was an error on their part.

The Philadelphia Phillies of yesterday, literally, the team of Sloppy Joe’s (no offence to Joe)
EXPIREDsloppygiftcard.jpgwas nothing more than a day game following a night game where all the players were just sluggish and what seemed hung over.

A different story today, not just because they won, not because they won with authority, but because they played like they wanted to win and acted like they wanted to be there playing baseball. They just looked different, they had a spring in there step, even Utley who against the Cubs yesterday, looked as though he may be suffering, from some sort of injury, acted like he’d just come off a weeks rest, without any sign of an injury. The team was swinging the bat better, running the bases better, and more importantly today they were pitching better.

Cole Hamels came out throwing strikes, he had command of all his pitches and was showing all the elements he had as the 2008 ACE that we saw during the speed-bump.jpgWorld Series, he hit a minor speed bump in the top of the 4th inning where he gave up 3
runs on 3 hits. Hamels ended the day with a solid 7 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks with 6 strike outs. Carpenter who had just been re-introduced to the big’s today came in, in relief of Hamels to start the 8th inning managed to get a batter out on a fly ball, then gave up a couple of hits, with a run and a walk, Manuel not wanting to let this slip away, nipped this in the bud early and went to the pen again for Chan Ho Park who has been nothing but exceptional from the pen. It didn’t even seem to phase him, 1 pitch and he was out of the 8th inning, it did take a very unusual double play by Feliz and Utley, a  5-4-5 double play. I am not sure what the base runner was thinking, but it certainly put a smile on the face of Utley and Feliz as they ran to the dug out, even as late in the game as this was, it was just another sign that the Phillies were here to play, they were having fun out there. Park came out in the top of the 9th to finish the game off, he did it as calm as he started with 3 outs, he ended up pitching 1.2 shut out innings.

The Offence went to work in the bottom of the 2nd inning and never looked back, by the end of the 4th inning everybody, except Ruiz and Hamels had had a hit and there were 8 runs on the board, they continnued to threaten with more but never quite got across the plate until the 7th inning when Ruiz, not to be left out hit a solo home run to left field. Feliz and Werth each went 3 for 5 with an RBI each and Werth also scored a couple of runs, excellent work from the 6 and 7 spot of the batting order, both managed to raise there averages to respectable levels.

As I said at the begining, excellent show by the Phillies, but spare a thought for the Padres who had to endure that bus ride to Philadelphia after getting off a plane ride…. Okay thought over, I know the Padres are struggling, but I don’t feel that sorry for them.

The only damper on the game, was again the Phillies commentators, unfortunately I watch via MLBTV and since I am in BFE, OH. I can not get the radio station for the Phillies so have to put up with the TV commentary, and after reading a blog post today at How ‘Bout Them Phils  it just emphasized how they comment on the most obvious things, and seem to talk and joke about things that unless you have been with them all day would have no idea and not get the humor of it, enough of that, read the entry “Phillies Need a New TV Team” from the above blog and you’ll hopefully get it.

The weekend is on us, almost and we have the St. Louis Cardinals in town, so since I showed sign of pity for the Padres do I show signs of pity for the Cards, you see today they flew in to Washington from Texas, have a night game with the Nats, which has overloadedtrain.jpgalready had a rain delay and I think at this time they are in another rain delay and it’s only the top of the 7th inning, you know, I know you have to be fair to all but the Cards are going to catch the
train from Washington to Philly, not sure if the plan is tonight or tomorrow, well the way the game is going there now it will be tomorrow regardless, but surely it’s not going to affect the Nats and the Cards have a 4-1 lead, you’d think they’d call the game and give it to the Cards. Back to the question should I have pity on the Cards for these  unfortunate occurances that could be detrimentle to their stay in Philly, well I thought about this for all of a minute, I know to long, shouldn’t hesitate, but I don’t think so.

I am sure the Cards fans wouldn’t have any sympathy for the Phillies if the tables were turned, we even did them a favor by issuing 2 loses to the Cubs, what more could they want. Nope sorry no sympathy, enjoy your stay in Philadelphia, you know the ‘City of Brotherly Love’,

UPDATE:

Since I wrote this at around 11:30 pm last night the Cards and Nats game was called early, around 1 am this morning I think, so the ump’s did the Cards a favor, so they could get the train to Philly. We are bound to see their newly acquired Lugo in Philly this weekend, I am sure some Cards fans are thrilled with this and others not so happy, we’ll see if it makes a difference in Philly this weekend.


Pitching, Luck, a Dive & a Homer, give Phils 10  straight

This game had it all, and took 13 innings to make it happen.

PITCHING –

Starters Blanton for the Phillies and Harden for the Cubs were outstanding last night, neither gave up more than 1 run and both went 7 solid inning, batter after batter was retired with no sign of any real threat from either offence. Then it was time for both bullpen’s to take over and take over they did, both bullpens were as dominating as the starters had been, going 5 innings, it was the bottom of the 13th with 2 on and 2 out, Werth drove the ball deep to left field for a 3 run walk off home run.

LUCK-

Has Brad Lidge been watching David Beckham at work?

Top of the 9th Lidge is in to hold the 1-1 tie, he ding’s Ramirez
lidgebeckham.jpgwith a ball to put 1 on, gets an out, then with some fancy foot work, normally seen on a soccer field, with a ball hit back up the middle, Lidge turns and flicks the ball with his heel straight to J-Roll at 2nd base, who throws to 1st to get the double play… definately a highlight reel playback

DIVE-

This was simply perfection from Ibanez, you could almost see his cape flapping in the wind behind him as Raul ‘superman’ Ibanez ran to his right, left his feet and flew to catch a line drive that would almost definately have been a double, possibly a triple and set up a chance for a Cubs winning run.

HOMER-

The walk off kind of homer that everybody loves, Werth at the plate, 2 on 2 out, extra innings with both pens about to run out of pitchers, a slight hanger of a pitch and BOOM there it is in some lucky fans glove up in the stand in left field.

Another series comes down to a possible sweep…


Phillies Offence WIN this one in extra’s……….

Utley had a very good night from the start, others warmed up as the game went on, with J-Roll leading off in the first with a base hit, Utley went deep to give the Phils a 2 run lead, which they needed.

Hamels started off slow, gave you the impression that this was going to be one of those short games for him, after the first inning he settled in, it wasn’t a stellar performance, you just didn’t expect it to be a rain delay that knocked him out of the game. He went 5 innings giving up a solo homer in the first, along with 3 other hits and a walk in his 5 innings of work. We will definately need more from Cole as we get closer to post season play, the shame of it is, he works really hard and deserves better.

Werth started off the night as he had finished the day before, strugling to get comfortable at the plate, that changed as he warmed up, as if it wasn’t hot enough last night in Florida, picking up a couple of clutch hits, both drove in runs and more importantly the opne turned out to be the key insurance run the Phillies needed to win in the 12th inning.

Rollins has more than settled down now, on base a couple of times last night and each time he crossed the plate to score runs.

Howard and Ibanez were both continuing their, you throw it, we’ll hit it, campaign as they both picked up a couple of hits and scored a run each.

RAIN DELAY – During the 1hour 18 minute rain delay,
bigbenrain.jpg I decided to click around the other games on MLBTV, watched some of the Tampa Bay game, which the Rays looked as though they could come back, but weren’t quite doing it (they did in the end), had to have a look in at the Braves trashing the Muts (Mets), that was just funny, and since I am blacked out for the Tribe, I couldn’t see any of that game, but was dissapointed to see Huff didn’t get a win last night.

Rain delay over, no Hamels (understandably), so we went to the bullpen, which was back to full strength, unfortunately the continued strain that is being put on them showed last night, they allowed the Marlins to claw their way back into this game sending it to extra innings. Lidge came away with a save, but it was touch and go, as seems to be the norm recently.

Phillies Offence really gave us the win, back at it tonight, a little tougher game with the 8-2 Johnson on the mound for the Fish, but never fear ’cause Blanton is here, the Phillies work horse should keep it close and hopefully allow the Phillies get their 8th straight win….

 


Pitchers Duel goes to Philadelphia…

It was nothing more than pure speed on the mound tonight, as both Blanton and Duke were quick through each inning, Blanton pitched 7 1/3 innings giving up a solo homer in the first, he allowed just 3 other hits keeping the Pirates bats quiet.

Duke pitched an outstanding game for the Pirates giving up just 3 runs, in 8 innings, all the Phillies runs came in the 3rd inning, the only Phillies batter that seemed to be consistent against Duke was All Star, Victorino who tapped him for 3 hits. Both Utley and Werth got a hit each off Duke during the three run 3rd.

Romero came in to relieve Blanton and got the 3 batters he faced, setting it up for Lidge to get the final 2 outs in the top of the ninth.

Lidge again made the fans sweat and their hearts race, needing just 1 out in the top of the ninth, he gave up a solo homer to Moss, then a single to Wilson and somehow still managed to get the PH to swing through and get himself out, it took Lidge 20 pitches to save the game and a lot of stress and worry for the fans, who went from cheering to crossing their fingers.

I don’t normally single a player out as a player of the game, but today I think I have to give this one to the Pirates pitcher Duke, that was a tough one for him to lose. Imagine what his stats would be like behind the offence the Phillies can produce….. just a thought, while we’re looking for starters…..


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.


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.

 


Bloopers, Loops and Homers…..

What a diference a day makes, or was it the
team chat that Charlie had after last nights game. It was
good to see Happ pitch nine scoreless innings and for Werth
to be just short of the cycle. It was also good to hear that
the Phillies players haven’t been complaining about the
umpires, even though they have good reason too. Today was a
day to build on and move forward, hopefully tomorrow will be
as good if not better, the rest of the season starts
here….. Well I have a week of where I have complained and
just so I dont dissapoint, just one more thing… does Gary
Matthews get some kind of hand out from Cadilac… just
curious why he keeps calling homers a cadilac moment… maybe
I am used to HK calling the homers, but cadilac time or
moment just doesn’t cut it and it’s irritating to me
anyway…. okay thats the whine today… positive thinking
now, unless something else really irritates me… GO
PHILLIES… take the rubber match
tomorrow….