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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: June 2009

News 6/30

J-Roll returns to lead off: article

Jimmy Rollins is back in the lead off spot tonight.

Charlie Manuel is freakin’ stubborn. Your offense has found a spark with the absence of Rollins. Even though Shane Victorino has struggled leading off (.133 AVG; .235 OBP in four games), I would have still kept him there.

“I felt it was very important to let him sit over there and kind of get a clear mind when I put him back there so he’s fresh,” Manuel said. “He’s starting all over.”

Utley, Ibanez All Star bound: article

It looks as if the Phillies will have two starters in this year’s mid summer classic in St. Louis. Chase Utley is blowing away all second basemen in voting while Raul Ibanez still holds his outfield lead and it is 99.99% unlikely he will fall out of the top three vote getters to earn a starting spot.

Rollins is now in second (thank God), Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz are in fourth in their positions and Victorino is in fifth in outfielders. All four of them likely will not be playing in the All Star game unless Manuel, who is managing along with Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa decide to take on Ruiz as a back up catcher. He is very deserving of an all star bid.

Ibanez probably missing Mets series: article

It is doubtful whether or not Ibanez will be back by Friday’s game versus the Mets. He is to be re-evaluated by the Phillies trainers. Ibanez injured his groin 2 weeks ago and even though he’s feeling better, the Phillies want to take another look before they start him on his rehab.

Romero could face battery charges: article

If someone gets in your face and accuses you of using steroids, you would shove him out of your face too. The fan was upset JC Romero wouldn’t sign anything so he started to curse at Romero and said something along the lines of “how about you go get me some juice,” in reference to his 50-game suspension. Romero then hit him with an opened-hand.

“Remember, this is a simple battery,” (George) Kajtsa said. “No weapon was used. There were no injuries to the victim whatsoever, except as he says in the report he was embarrassed because it happened in front of other fans and his family.

“This is a very minor incident so the state’s attorney will probably concentrate on more serious matters, but it will be up to the state’s attorney to make the determination.”

What Kajtsa basically means is that the fan is a little bitch and he got what he deserved. Embarrased in front of strangers and family? What was he attemptiong to do by being vulger to another person. Athletes are people too so this nothing more than the fan being an asshole to someone on the street and getting bitch slapped.

Phils Take Series in Toronto

It took 15 games, five series, and 17 days for the Phillies to finally take a series from an American League team during this stretch of inter league play. After dropping the first game to Toronto, the Phillies piled on two big victories to win consecutive games for the first time since the beginning of June.

It started out rocky like the previous four but the Phillies took control in the second game and sparked their offense when they needed it in the rubber match. After a terrible debut in the first game, Brad Lidge notched his first save since June 1. He is 14-20 now.

Friday: It was just one of those days. Hamels got whacked around a bit and then ejected, Chan Ho Park left with a right knee contusion, and the offense had to break up a no hitter in the seventh and couldn’t score until the ninth off Jayson Werth’s sacrifice fly. Lidge made his return, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks in 1/3 inning pitched. The Phillies lost this one 6-1.

Saturday: Happy birthday to me as JA Happ earned a complete game shut out, only allowing five hits, no walks, and striking out four. Werth ripped two homers, going 4-4 with three runs and three RBI’s. Pedro Feliz also added a homer and two RBI’s and Ryan Howard had three hits. Phillies won 10-0.

Sunday: Toronto jumped out to a 4-1 lead but in the fourth, the Phillies piled on four runs to take the permanent lead, 5-4, and wound up winning on that same score. Chase Utley had a double and triple, driving in two runs. Utley’s triple in the fourth drove in the tying and go ahead runs.

Before I cap off the series recap, I want to know where Jimmy Rollins is. I think he has been punished enough for sucking. It’s time to put him back in the line up in the sixth spot. Rollins was benched after his June 24 start and hasn’t played in four games. I think Charlie Manuel let him know that he needs to find himself and I hope that when he makes his return, he’ll be a smarter hitter.

Series MVP’s:
PHI: Jayson Werth: 6-8, 4 runs, double, 2 home runs, 4 RBI’s, 5 walks , .846 OBP
PHI: JA Happ : 9 IP, 0 runs, 5 hits, 0 BB, 4 K’s
TOR: Aaron Hill: 4-14, 3 runs, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 4 RBI’s

Next Series: Philadelphia Phillies (39-34; 26-12 on road) @ Atlanta Braves (35-40; 18-21 at home)

The Phillies will continue their road trip after their Monday off as they travel to Atlanta. The are going into July, the month they usually heat up. With a 2 1/2 game lead on the Mets, this is when the Phillies will hopefully pull ahead for good. After the Braves series, they come home for 10 games that start versus the Mets.

Atlanta leads the season series 4-2 but the Braves have been struggling as of late. The Phillies hopefully seemed to have found their niche for a bit. The offense is still a bit inconsistent but they have always figured out how to put up runs in bunches on a regular basis.

Pitching Probables:
6/30: Blanton (4-4, 5.06), Lowe, D (7-6, 4.53)
7/1: Hamels (4-4, 4.44), Jurrjens (5-6, 2.93)
7/2: Carrasco (0-0, 0.00 ERA), Vazquez (5-7, 3.04 ERA)

No Updates Today

Today is my 21st birthday and I still have to work… oh well. I’m still a bit hung over but that’s typical for a 21st birthday. Hopefully the Phillies will win today for a change. I didn’t even watch the game last night because I wasn’t home but I saw on my phone that they broke a no-hitter in the seventh and scored their first run in the ninth. Wow!

And Brad Lidge sucked in his return which didn’t surprise me. I’m the glad the Phillies let him pitch when the mood already sucked, screwing up his confidence. JA Happ takes the mound tonight versus Toronto and he does not eat up innings. Get ready to see three-four bull pen pitchers.

Well I’m off to work and then play some pool at the bar later. Go Phils!

Farewell Timmy

Tim Malcolm left the Phillies Nation blog today. Here is his fare well post. He was a good writer and I enjoyed reading everything he posted daily. Keep reading the Nation. It’s still a good site and source for Phillies news, recaps, and previews.

Phillies Lose 4th Straight Series

This day totally sucked (outside of my softball team kicking some serious butt to go 7-0). We lost the King of Pop and Ferrah Fawcett and now the Phillies lost their fourth straight series. They are just “Bad.” They’re no “Thriller” on the field. This skid is starting to get “Dangerous” as the Mets won again today to improve to 1/2 game out of first. OK I’m done with the MJ puns. The Phillies lost the series 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tuesday: Coming off their 1-8 home stand, the Phillies offense exploded and Jamie Moyer pitched stellar en route to a 10-1 victory. John Mayberry Jr. and Chase Utley hit homers and Moyer only allowed a solo homer to Pat Burrell.

Wednesday: JC Romero and Chan Ho Park got beat up when the Phillies were only down 2-1 in the eighth. But I won’t put the blame on them as the offense completely disappeared despite Jayson Werth’s solo homer. Phillies lost 7-1.

Thursday: The first inning looked like the Phillies would bust out of their slump when they plated four to start the game. But that was it as Antonio Bastardo got shelled, giving up six runs on seven hit before leaving the game in the fourth inning with a strained shoulder (severity unknown). Phillies lost 10-4.

This series was just plain ugly. My confidence was restored for one whole game and one whole inning on Thursday. The offense was just dead and the pitching was shotty. Despite great starts by Moyer and Joe Blanton, the offense could not support. I really have nothing more to say because I would just be redundant.

Series MVP’s:
Phillies: Joe Blanton: 7 IP, 6 Hits, 2 runs, 10 K’s
Rays: Carl Crawford: 5-11, 2 runs, 3 doubles, 2 RBI’s
Rays: Matt Garza: 8 IP, 3 hits, run, 7 K’s

Next Series: Philadelphia Phillies (37-33; 24-11 on road) @ Toronto Blue Jays (40-34; 23-14 at home)

Jays lead series 3-0. The Phillies suck. The Jays are playing solid ball. The Phillies are still good on the road and the offense is also showing some life in areas. I always expect a series win with this team but right now, I’m not too sure. With the Mets 1/2 a game back, I am afraid the Phillies may be the 2nd place team they are playing out to be. Pick up your game or the magic will run out.

Probables:
6/26: Hamels (4-3, 4.24), Romero, R (4-3, 3.59)
6/27: Happ (4-0, 3.47), Mills (0-0, 9.82)
6/28: Moyer (5-6, 5.97), Tallet (5-4, 4.36)

Twitter Fest

Here are a few things from David Murphy and Todd Zolecki’s Tweets today.

Manuel: Jimmy Rollins will sit at least two days. But when he returns he said he probably will be in the leadoff spot.

Tonight’s lineup in TB: Victorino CF, Dobbs 1B, Utley 2B, Howard DH, Werth RF, Stairs LF, Feliz 3B, Bruntlett SS, Ruiz C.

This is partial good news. I think everyone wanted J-Roll to be benched or knocked out of the lead-off spot. Though it’s likely Charlie Manuel will put him back in the one-hole when he returns, I believe that when Shane Victorino does what needs to be done in the lead off spot, I think Manuel will come to his senses and drop Rollins to the six or seven spot.

Scott Eyre likely to start rehab assignment Monday. Will likely be activated after Braves series

Good news. I can’t wait for the return of our dominant lefty. Though JC Romero is our best lefty reliever, Eyre has been good this year. With Brad Lidge returning today (Sergio Escalona sent down) and Eyre coming back soon, our bull pen should be completely ready to return to dominance.

Drabek, Flande in Futures Game

Kyle Drabek and Yohan Flande are the top two pitching prospects in the Phillies organization. Their efforts will be recognized when they represent the Phillies organization in the USA vs the World’s prospects. The All Star game will be at 2 PM ET in St. Louis on July 12.

Drabek pitched for Single A Clearwater and AA Reading. He went 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts) in Clearwater. He was then promoted to Double-A Reading, where he entered Thursday 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts.

Flande, the 23-year-old left-hander from the Dominican Republic is 6-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 12 starts for Clearwater. Flande has walked 22 and struck out 64 in 77 innings.

Lidge to be Activated Tomorrow

Via David Murphy’s Twitter:

(Brad) Lidge will definitely be activated tomorrow, GM Ruben Amaro Jr says

Good news for a Phillies bull pen that gave up five runs in the eighth to the Rays tonight.

Road Is Where the Heart Is

The Phillies busted out of their six-game losing skid with a six run first inning off phenom pitcher David Price. They then roughed him up in the fifth for four more runs and ultimately beat the Rays 10-1.

Chase Utley got the scoring going with a two-run double in the first which was followed up by Ryan Howard’s RBI double. Later in the innings, John Mayberry Jr. crushed a three-run homer to left field. Jamie Moyer pitched six innings, giving up a run on five hits and three walks and striking out four.

The win snapped an ugly drought during a 1-8 home stand. The 10 runs was also the most Philadelphia had scored since they put up 11 versus Boston on June 14. In other news, the Mets got shut out 3-0 to St. Louis, allowing Philadelphia to increase their lead to 2 1/2 games. The Mets could only muster two hits.

The Phillies must find comfort in the grey jerseys or they just have been feeling a bit pressured in the constantly packed CBP after winning their championship. Right now they are boasting a 24-9 record on the road (13-22 at home). They need to settle down and get comfortable at home. You can’t rely on the road constantly as your scape goat. If this team starts winning at home, they will be unstoppable.

Manuel’s Odd Lineup

Charlie Manuel did a little bit of a line up shake up but not the one I was hoping for. As I stated in my other post, I wanted to see Jimmy Rollins drop down to sixth. After Todd Zolecki posted today’s line up versus Tampa Bay, I was left a bit confused. Here are his Tweets within the past hour:

Tonight’s lineup in TB: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Feliz 3B, Mayberry LF, Coste DH, Ruiz C.

Howard will DH. Coste will play 1B. Manuel changed his mind.

I like the nine hitters we put in but I still don’t want Rollins, who is sporting a .261 OBP, to get things started. I am officially starting the “Lead Off Shane Campaign.” I also think Manuel’s choice of putting Chris Coste at first was interesting but smart. David Price is pitching tonight and as a lefty that throws some serious heat, Greg Dobbs would be more ineffective than Jamie Moyer. Coste can play the corners and catcher. Having Paul Bako also allows the Phils to use both Coste and Carlos Ruiz in the line up.

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