Schmidt Invokes Last September – Inspires Phillies

Phillies’ Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt wrote an inspirational letter to Charlie Manuel.  He had asked Charlie to post it on locker room door for all of the players to read prior to the game against the Mets.  I have it posted below:

Guys,
One pitch, one at-bat, one play, one situation, think ‘small’ and ‘big’ things result. Tough at-bats, stay up the middle with men on base, whatever it takes to keep the line moving. Hot offense. 27 outs on defense. The Mets know you’re better than they are. They remember last year. You guys are never out of the game. Welcome the challenge that confronts you this weekend. You guys are the best.
Good luck,
#20

The Phightins took the 1st game of the series last night with Brett Myers shutting down the Mets’ offense.  Myers pitched a full 8 innings while allowing 3 hits and 2 walks and no earned runs.  Myers was dominating on the mound by striking out 10 hitters by having excellent control with his fastball and knockout punch of the curveball.  Brad Lidge entered in the 9th inning accruing his 34th consecutive save with a less than smooth outing.

Offensively the Phillies were stagnant against Mike Pelfrey after the 1st inning.  Then clutch hitter Greg Dobbs came up to the plate in the 7th inning.  Dobbs smoked a pitch off of Pelfrey into right field with Ryan Church just missing a snow cone catch as the ball continued over the outfield wall for a 2 run homer.

The game scheduled for Saturday was postponed due to Tropical Storm Hanna coming to town.  The Phillies will play a day / night double header on Sunday with the 1st game beginning at 2:15pm E.T. and the 2nd game starting at 8:05 pm E.T. being televised on ESPN.

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .273
Victorino, CF 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 .281
Utley, 2B 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 .291
Howard, 1B 2 1 0 0 2 1 0 .235
Burrell, LF 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 .255
  Bruntlett, LF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .217
Werth, RF 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 .276
Dobbs, 3B 3 1 2 2 0 0 0 .297
  Feliz, 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250
Coste, C 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .272
  Ruiz, C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .221
Myers, P 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .039
  Lidge, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 30 3 4 3 2 6 5
image from phillies.com
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Cole “Hardluck” Hamels – Slippery Slope

Last night Cole Hamels suffered another devastating loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers increasing his non winning streak to seven games.  This was only one in a string of many losses from Hamels as of late which is very similiar to the issues that the Mets’ ace Johann Santana is facing this season.  You can view his recent loss as a failure of the Phillies bullpen to sustain the lead or as a failure of the offense to put more runs on the board.  If you ask the Phillies’ skipper Charlie Manuel he would say the biggest need right now is to have a break in their offensive woes.  You cannot rely that heavily on just pitching to take you to the post season.  The Phillies started the season with one of the most feared offensive line-ups with very little weaknesses other than the 8th and 9th hole.  They were on a tear last year beating up their opponents with hopes of stacking up the runs to cover over any poor pitching efforts.  This year’s line-up is even more lethal as the early high scoring games of the season proved that theory.  However, the bats have silenced as of late and are still building the momentum.  Greg Dobbs has been quoted as saying ” the team is on the verge of busting out of this offensive slump, it’s just waiting on that one hit”.  Well as a diehard Philadelphia Phillies Phan I am also waiting for that one hit.  Hopefully it shows up before October . . . . . .   Go Phightins !!

I have posted Cole Hamels stats for the last 7 consecutive non winning streak games below:

Philadelphia Phillies: Planked The Scurvy Dogs

Last night Brett Myers had the Bucs walk the plank in his 7 2/3 inning outing sinking the Jolly Rogers with a score of 4-2.  Myers allowed 5 hits, 1 BB, 1 run while striking out 6 Pirates and providing some post celebration fireworks with Manager Charlie Manuel.  Myers had a little scurvy  on the brain by challenging Manuel when he approached the mound to bring in J.C. Romero to finish the inning.  Later there was a confrontation between Manuel and Myers in the dug-out in which Rich Dubee and Milt Thompson were seen holding back Manuel as Myers disappeared into the tunnel.  Later during the press conference Manuel addressed the press by saying that it was just two strong willed people disagreeing and their differences had been worked out.

The Phillies offense were able to cash in on their booty to accrue 10 hits against Pittsburgh.  Although, there were several highlights during the game, the most impressive was Jimmy Rollins.  Short stop Jimmy Rollins went 4-4 last night including 2 runs, 2 singles and an impressive 2 triples.  Rollins was hitting the ball hard last night with those triples just missing for homeruns.  It seemed as though the Jimmy of last year came to pay us a visit with his great defense and his addictive offense.

Tonight Jamie Moyer (3.78 ERA) takes the mound against the Pirates Jason Davis (2.57 ERA) who has recently been moved to the starting rotation from the bullpen.  Moyer will looking to add onto his wins while sinking the Bucs in the final game of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Series.

 

 
Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 4 2 4 0 0 0 0 .277
Victorino, CF 3 1 2 2 1 0 1 .289
Utley, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 2 6 .286
Howard, 1B 3 0 1 1 1 0 0 .240
Burrell, LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .268
  Jenkins, RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .241
Werth, RF-LF 3 1 1 0 1 1 0 .265
Dobbs, 3B 3 0 2 1 1 0 0 .304
  1-Bruntlett, PR-3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .222
Coste, C 4 0 0 0 0 1 5 .271
Myers, P 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .054
  Romero, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Cervenak, M, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .250
  Durbin, C, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143
Totals 32 4 10 4 4 5 16  
 
image from phillies.com

 

Philadelphia Phillies – MVP Attitude

     The saying lead by example does not come to mind when speaking of Jimmy Rollins recently.  Rollins was benched again today in the final series against the New York Mets.  Jimmy missed the team bus to Shea and decided to drive himself, but the traffic and lights hindered his transit.  Rollins did not make it to Shea until 1 hr prior to the game start.  He was quickly summoned to the Manager’s office and scratched off of today’s line-up.  Jimmy was replaced by the hard working Eric Bruntlett that went 3-4 with 2 doubles.  Bruntlett covered the short stop position for the reigning MVP while he was injured earlier in the year.  Other than having a rough 1st outing Bruntlett has proven himself worthy to fill the shoes of some of the most difficult positions on the field.

     Rollins is not new to contraversy when he was benched on June 5th by Charlie Manuel for failure to run out a routine fly ball that dropped.  Jimmy was also questioned recently about his strolling run into 3rd base that may have resulted in a run scoring if he would have given Steve Smith (3rd Base Coach) some hustle.  This is another report that Jimmy see differently than the coaching and managing staff.

     I’m not sure what city Jimmy thinks that he is playing for, but he has been highly disappointing this year with his lack of production and more importantly his “MVP” attitude.

Philadelphia Phillies – Fishing Trip

 

     Last night the ageless Jamie Moyer accrued his 9th win of the season by stringing up the fish.  The Florida Marlins were once again perplexed by Jamie Moyer in which he allowed 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk with 3 strikeouts over 6 innings.  Brad Lidge was able to come in last night and toss the anchor over to solidify the Phillies on top of the N.L. East with his 21st consecutive save.

     Ryan Howard picked up where he left off prior to the All Star break by crushing the 2nd pitch of the 2nd inning out of Dolphin Stadium.  Also, Geoff Jenkins was able to connect to a homerun ball that exited in the deepest part of the stadium in center field.  The Phillies offense as a whole looked as the though the 4 day lay-off help to right their ship.  The Phillies strung up 8 hits in their 4-2 win against the Marlins.  Some other offensive notables were Chase Utley going 2-3 and Geoff jenkins hitting 2 out of 3 against the Righty Ricky Nolasco.

     The Phillies were able chum up the Marlins which places them alone ontop of the N.L. East with the Mets succumbing to the Reds ending their 10 game winning streak.  Jimmy Williams the Phillies bench coach received the win last night since Charlie Manuel was ejected after disagreeing with a call which led to Shane Victorino getting plugged at the plate while showing a bunt.

     Tonight the Phillies sinker ball pitcher Kyle Kendrick (4.47 ERA) takes the mound also in search of his 9th win against the Marlins Scott Olsen (3.77 ERA).

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 5 1 1 0 0 1 1 .273
Victorino, CF 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .276
Utley, 2B 3 0 2 1 0 0 0 .294
Howard, 1B 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 .234
Burrell, LF 4 1 1 0 0 1 4 .274
  Bruntlett, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .232
Jenkins, RF 3 1 2 2 0 0 0 .243
  b-Werth, PH-RF 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .270
Feliz, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 4 1 .266
Ruiz, C 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .203
Moyer, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .129
  a-Taguchi, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .209
  Durbin, C, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167
  Romero, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  c-Dobbs, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .319
  Lidge, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 35 4 8 4 1 10 13  
 

Image from phillies.com

Philadelphia Phillies – Moyer Hung Out To Dry

 

    The Philadelphia Phillies lost again tonight against the Oakland Athletics in a 5-2 final.  Jamie Moyer pitched an exceptional 1 hit game up to the 6th inning.  He then proceeded to drop another 4 hits in the 6th inning with 1 of those hits being a 3 run homerun.  So, you ask yourself why would would Charlie Manuel allow a 45 year starter who probably pitched some of the best 5 innings of his career to continue?  The Phillies Bullpen is well rested and they also rank # 1 in the Majors for ERA.  The Phillies need a win bad to break through this slump and though Moyer pitched well he is no Cole Hamels with longevity.  Tonight’s DH was Geoff Jenkins since Charlie had another one of his mystical feelings that he was going to do well with his .244 batting average.  Hey Charlie, Here’s a news flash – Jenkins went o-4 tonight . . .

     In addition to the need for starting pitching and a lefty in the bullpen, I hope the Phils are looking to improve upon their catching and right field position.  Carlos Ruiz and Geoff Jenkins are just not playing to the level needed to move us into World Series contention.  I will not reiterate my thoughts on So Taguchi, but I do feel that they are under utilizing Eric Bruntlett.  The Phightins have dropped 6 games in a row and somehow they remain in 1st place in the N.L. Eastern Division.  That says a lot about our competition this year.  Non-Existent . . . . .

Tonight Kyle Kendrick (5.06) takes the mound against Oakland’s Greg Smith (3.51) in hopes of accrueing his 7th win and the Phillies 1st win in 6 games.

Starting pitching on the market

Relief pitching on the market

Catchers on the market

Philadelphia Phillies – Subway Series Philly Style

Shibe Park/ Connie Mack Stadium
Capacity: 33,000
Dimensions: L-334, C-410, R-329
Early Major League baseball park opened in 1909. Renamed, 1953. Home to Athletics, 1909-1954; Phillies, 1938-1970. Site of three Negro L
eague World Series; five A’s World Series victories. Among first to host night games. Razed, 1976. (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission)

 

The struggling Philadelphia Phillies brush themselves off for a renewed series against the Oakland Athletics.  The Phillies will clash with the Athletics whom they kicked out of Shibe Park / Connie Mack Stadium and sent to Kansas City in 1955.  The Phillies have persevered some offensive issues as of late as well as their number one starter finding himself unable to perform.  However, it is inevitable that the Phillies woes will be silenced with the sound of the boomsticks filling the air.  All teams go through slumps during the coarse of a season.  The Phightins should consider themselves fortunate that their slump should come sooner than later unlike last year’s flailing Mets and their historic end of the year collapse.  Even though it is hard to swallow right now Charlie Manuel is right in saying that “We are just too good of a team for this to continue much longer”.  The Phillies are currently sitting on a 20-17 road record which is better than it’s homestand.  Maybe with the day off and them being back on the road the Phightins can kick it into high gear when they match up with their days of ole’ crosstown A.L. competitor the “Philadelphia” Athletics.  The Athletics are currently in 2nd place in the A.L. West with a winning Pct of .547 which is almost equivalent to the Phils .545 Pct.  The Phillies heavily out weigh the competition in the following stats: RBI, OBP, AVG, SLG, HR, SB.  However, the Athletics dwarf the Phillies in pitching in the following categories: SO, ERA and the FPCT.  It will be a test to see if the Phillies bats are able to match-up with A.L. big guns of pitching.  If the Phillies are able to make through this road trip and remain in 1st place in the N.L. East then I will be looking forward to watching them in the post season with my rally towel ready . . . . Go Phightins !