Philadelphia Phillies – Road To The Unknown

Tonight the Phillies are going into the 3rd game of a 3 game series against the Washington Nationals in which they will intend for a sweep.  More importantly than the Nats are the uncoming series against some of the Phightins toughest competitors.  The Phils start off with another 4 game series against the Dodgers, but this time it is at home on our turf at Citizen Bank Park.  Next we have a 2 game series with the Mets at home and then we go on the road to Chicago.  In Chicago we face off against the Cubs in Wrigley Field which is one of the toughest divisions this year.  However, if we can remain close to the Mets for the remainder of August we have a chance at taking over 1st place in September.  The Phillies have an extremely weak schedule in September except for a series with the Mets and Brewers.  The remainder  of the month consists of mostly the Marlins, Nationals, and Braves.

The Pitching match-up tonight is Jamie “the ace” Moyer against Tim Redding.  Redding a pitcher whom is usually lethal against the Phillies line-up was waxed last time against the Phightins in DC.  Redding allowed 7 runs in just 4 innings against the Phillies on July 30th.

On a side note catcher David Ross will not be joining the Phillies for the division run.  He has decided to accept an offer from Boston.  Pat Gillick remains optimistic that they will be able to acquire another bat.  He had said it would more likely be a bench player as opposed to a position player.  Gillick said that they feel comfortable with Jayson Werth in right field.  In addition, I would expect to see Lou Marson in the wing when they are allowed expand on their roster.

Philadelphia Phillies – Overboard

Last night the Phillies were hanging over the side of the S.S. Citizen’s Bank creating their own chum wake.  The Florida Marlins knocked around Jamie Moyer trying to make up for the previous 10 losses and then proceeded to spank young J.A. Happ just to ensure he does not follow in the elder’s footsteps.  The pain staking 8-2 loss was only over shadowed by the fact that Victorino’s 2 run homerun was actually foul.  So, those of you who are following along that means that the Phightins were actually shutout in my book.

The offense was able to accrue 8 hits last night, but it does not help when all of those hits were spread out over 9 innings.  In addition to the offense failure to make it happen was Ryan Howard’s ground ball that went between his legs.  Let’s put this in perspective . . . . .  If you were to fail this much at your normal everyday job you would probably be fired, but he still is able to keep his job and make 10 million a year.  Would someone please tell Ryan Howard that defense is also part of his job description and Philly does not except a doctor’s note to sit out on the defense.  Oh, thank you Geoff Jenkins for your web gem catch !!

Tonight Krazy “K” takes the mound with his mighty sinker ball trying to get his double digit win bringing him to 10 for the season.  Kendrick (4.59 ERA) will face off against Anibal “Anakin” Sanchez (3.18 ERA) trying to bring down the death star known as the Marlins.  Kendrick – Please do not embarass us !!

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 4 1 2 0 1 0 1 .266
Victorino, CF 5 1 2 2 0 0 3 .288
Utley, 2B 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 .292
Howard, 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .242
Burrell, LF 3 0 1 0 1 2 1 .278
Jenkins, RF 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 .244
  d-Werth, PH-RF 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .265
Bruntlett, 3B 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 .224
  b-Dobbs, PH-3B 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .301
Ruiz, C 3 0 1 0 1 1 2 .216
Moyer, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .114
  a-Cervenak, M, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Condrey, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Walrond, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Madson, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  c-Taguchi, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .224
  Happ, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  e-Coste, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .277
Totals 32 2 8 2 5 7 22  
 
image from phillies.com

Philadelphia Phillies – Approaching The Fishing Hole

The Philadelphia Phillies have that night off while transitioning back into Citizen Bank Park.   The Phillies had just came off of a 6 game road trip in which they swept the Nationals and won 2 out of 3 against the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Phils offense is just starting to heat up by accrueing 48 hits over the recent road trip.  The Phightins have a 6 game homestand where they will play against the Fish and the Bucs.  The Marlins are the Phillies closest competitor in the N.L. Eastern Division.  They currently sit on 2.5 games back behind the division leading Phillies.  The Phillies lead the Marlins in HR, AVG, OBP, SLG, and hits even after coming off of their 2 offensive slumps.  However, the folks at the Bright Orange Seats think that the Florida Marlins will be there with us at the end of September.  Yeah, and I think the Nationals will win the N.L. Eastern Division.  Seriously though with the good looks of Cody Ross and Jorge Cantu as well as the girlish looks of Scott Olsen and the actual marlin looking Dan Uggla they may have a chance . . . . . .

           Ross                          Cantu                          Olsen                       Uggla

        

Philadelphia Phillies – Cleaning House In The East

The Philadelphia Phillies won last night completing their sweep of the Washington Nationals.  In addition to their victory the Phightins pushed the New York Mets of of their perch that they held temporarily for the Phillies.  Kyle Kendrick pitched 6 2/3 innings while allowing only 7 hits and 2 runs while striking out 4 on his 9th win of the season.  Kendrick also hit 2 batsmen which in turn had the opposition hit Victorino and Utley.  Both benches were warned by the homeplate umpire after Colome struck Chase Utley and began to approach homeplate as though to get into an altercation with Utley.  Lannan who was the starter for the Nationals tonight was responsible for Chase Utley’s broken hand last year at Citizen Bank Park.

The Phillies offense has remained strong through the series accrueing 31 hits over 3 games.  They were once again vibrant last night with 11 hits bringing the final score to 8-4.  The longball was administered last night by Jayson Werth and Jimmy “The MVP” Rollins.  Rollins was able to take advantge of a foul tip that was not contolled by the Nationals catcher and allow Kendrick to make his way onto base due to a throwing error.  This set-up Rollins for a 2 run blast out into the left field seats.  The Phillies’ Fans were out in droves through the series cheering on their team including the bunch known as the “Flying Hawaiians” on the day Victorino hit a homerun.

The Phils are headed off to St. Louis to face off the Cardinals and add to their current 5 game win streak.  Cole “The Ace” Hamels is looking to rebound from last games 9 run disaster inning against the Braves.  Hamels (3.27 ERA) takes the mound in search of his 10 win against the former Philly Kyle Lohse (3.68 ERA).

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 4 2 2 3 1 0 1 .272
Victorino, CF 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 .289
Utley, 2B 3 1 1 0 1 1 2 .293
Howard, 1B 5 0 2 1 0 2 4 .239
Burrell, LF 3 0 1 1 2 0 2 .279
  Seanez, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Durbin, C, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167
Werth, RF-LF 5 1 1 1 0 3 4 .271
Bruntlett, 3B 5 1 1 0 0 1 2 .232
Ruiz, C 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 .217
Kendrick, P 3 1 0 0 0 2 0 .125
  Condrey, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Jenkins, RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .242
Totals 36 8 11 6 4 10
image from phillies.com

Philadelphia Phillies – July 6th Mets Game Pics

I just wanted to share some pics of my Dad and I attending the July 6th game of the Phillies vs Mets.  The game was awesome until the 8th inning when the thunder showers started causing 2.5 hr rain delay.

 

Philadelphia Phillies – Atlanta Not So Brave

    

     The Philadelphia Phillies brought down the tee-pee in the Atlanta Braves series last night.  The Phillies defeated the Braves in a 4-1 victory while displaying their prowess in their division by sweeping the Braves both times they met this year in Atlanta.  Cole Hamels showed his ace status by pitching 8-2/3 innings while allowing 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and administering 7 strikeouts.  The Phillies offense also showed up for the 3rd consecutive day placing 8 hits on the board with 3 of those hits being homeruns from Chase Utley (24), Ryan Howard (22) and Pedro Feliz (10).  Some other notables are Pat Burrell going 2-4 and Pedro Feliz 3-4 while both of these players are breaking through a hitting slump.  The Phillies are hoping for the reversal of the overall offensive slump that they accrued after sweeping the Braves the 1st time.  Sweeping them the 2nd time around should place them back on track to dominating the N.L. Eastern Division once again.

     Tonight starts the 4 game series with the Phillies hosting the Mets at Citizen Bank Park.  J.A. Happ the rookie sensation will pitch tonight away from his normal home at Coca Cola Park and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  Happ (3.54 ERA) which had started for 1 game last year against the Mets is hoping that his new bag of tricks will help defeat his rival Johann Santana (3.01 ERA) which he faces on the mound tonight.  J.A. Happ has proven himself at the AAA level with 3.54 ERA, 38 BB, 104 strikeouts over 101.2 innings pitched.  You can check out more J.A. Happ stats as well as Kris Benson and Brett Myers here.

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .276
Victorino, CF 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .265
Utley, 2B 4 1 1 1 0 1 1 .300
Howard, 1B 4 1 1 1 0 1 1 .219
Burrell, LF 4 1 2 0 0 1 0 .278
  Werth, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .268
Jenkins, RF 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .239
Feliz, 3B 4 1 3 2 0 0 0 .267
Ruiz, C 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .208
Hamels, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 .279
  Gordon, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 34 4 8 4 1 8 11
Image from phillies.com

Inter-Divisional Rivals Face-Off Questions

 I was approached by Dave Doyle of the metsreport.com with a crossblogging opportunity.  We presented questions to one another about each of our respective teams.  I have posted my questions below along with his answers.  You can view my answers to his questions about the Philadelphia Phillies at metsreport.com.
With the firing of Willie Randolph does there seem to be a change in the Mets club house?  Will the Mets finish the remainder of the 2008  season with Jerry Manuel at the helm?  If not, are they seeking out a new skipper?
  Jerry Manuel has been told by Omar Minaya that he’s the manager for the entire season. No doubt about it. They very well may seek out another manager at the end of the year though. Early rumors are that they’re interested in Yankees third base coach Tony Pena for 2009. There’s also been some radio talk show banter about bringing in Larry Bowa. But if Manuel makes it to the playoffs, he’s pretty much guaranteed to return next year and beyond. There has been a change in the clubhouse. You’ll see a few tangible things this weekend. Randolph ran a really tight ship, and Manuel has relaxed the rules for the players. Now the players can have facial hair. They couldn’t under Randolph. Also, Manuel started a new thing where pitchers that get pulled from the game wait on the mound and hand the ball to the incoming pitcher as a show of support. Manuel doesn’t take the ball from the pitcher. The Mets used to do pre-game stretching within their small groups (relief pitchers, starters, infielders, etc.) and Manuel changed that so everyone stretches together. There are little things like that to promote team unity. Manuel also isn’t averse to calling out veterans in the media that aren’t performing. He’s had plenty of comments about Luis Castillo and his inability to play every day.
 How do the Mets fans feel about Jose Reyes?  He has enormous potential to be an oustanding shortstop and a large contributer to the team, but has his level of maturity affected his game
  Mets fans have had a lot to say about Reyes’ outbursts on the field. Jerry Manuel has made it a point to address those situations immediately with him. Randolph benched Reyes in Houston last season for one of his outbursts and their relationship wasn’t very good after that. Manuel has taken a more big brother/fatherly type of role with Reyes. We’ll see what happens with that. But Mets fans generally haven’t liked what they’ve seen from Reyes when his childish tantrums erupt on the field. Manuel has made it a point to try to get Reyes to keep his head in the game when things go wrong for him but that’s a work in progress. I wrote a post on my blog about this topic. He’s such a talented and dynamic player that these behavioral indiscretions are tolerated much more than if anyone else did it.
 Do the Mets have anyone in mind as the trade deadline approaches?  If so are they seeking pitching or a position player to replace Castillo or Alou?
  You’re right on with that. The Mets have been hurt badly by Moises Alou’s absence this season. He’s an incredible hitter when he’s in the lineup but he’s hurt so often he’s like a ghost for the Mets. The Mets would love to get their hands on a right-handed hitting outfielder that can also play some first base. They talked to the Tigers about Marcus Thames before the season but couldn’t agree on a deal. Mets fans really want Xavier Nady back. He was a fan favorite in his short time here and would be a perfect fit for the Mets this season.  Don’t get me started about Luis Castillo… But we’re stuck with him for the next three and a half years. He’s not going anywhere unfortunately. Damion Easley has played a good second base off the bench though. We’ll be seeing plenty of him in the lineup. Castillo’s contract is consistently discussed by Mets fans as evidence that Omar Minaya hasn’t put together the right players for this team.  Starting pitching could be a need as well. Pedro Martinez has been terrible since he missed two months with a hamstring injury. Oliver Perez has struggled badly for most of the season as well. The Mets have been linked to Freddy Garcia would could be ready to play next month. They’ve already had multiple starts from Nelson Figueroa, Claudio Vargas, and Tony Armas, Jr. Those aren’t pitchers that you want to see on the mound in the second half of the season. I guess they’re still holding out hope that El Duque will be back at some point but I think that’s a long shot.
 Have the players rebounded from last year’s meltdown?  They seem to play as though something is weighing heavily on their mind.  Not sure if it was last year or the departure of Willie Randolph?
  “The Collapse” has absolutely carried over into this season. The daily speculation about Willie Randolph’s job security was a distraction as well. Randolph consistently said that “The Collapse” was behind the team. But Jerry Manuel has said that it’s impacted the team into this season and the only way to get the monkey off their backs is to win. The home fans have boo’d the Mets excessively at times this season, even Johan Santana in his first start. To me, that’s the carry over from last season. Since the debacle occurred at the end of the year, we didn’t get to completely express our displeasure. So it’s being displayed this season. We may be beyond that now. But it was clearly evident for the first two months of the season. Randolph was boo’d mercilessly in his last few weeks as manager. His firing was a major step in the direction of letting go of last season.
 Is there any sadness about the loss of Shea Stadium?  or are the Mets fans just looking forward to the new Citi Field and all of it’s ammenities? 
 That’s a great question. I think most Mets fans, myself included, have some terrific memories of Shea. The ’86 team and for some older fans the ’69 team are the top of the list. Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry electrifying the stadium in the 80’s as well are unforgettable. But let’s face it. Anyone that’s been to Shea knows that it’s the worst stadium in baseball now that RFK is gone. Everyone is curious to see how Citi Field is going to play though. Nobody wants it to play like Citizen’s Bank Park. I’m not sure how Phillies fans feel about that. But Mets ownership has publicly said they want Citi Field to be a pitchers park like Shea is. That was a major factor in their design of the stadium.