TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: May 2010

Phils Fall Out of First

The Atlanta Braves have been on a role and they used that momentum to carry them into first place of the NL East. They did so by beating Philadelphia 9-3 to take a half-game lead in the division.

Troy Glaus continued on his tear, going 2-for-3 with a three-run homer in the seventh. Chipper Jones homered in the first inning and drove in two runs and Yunel Escobar and Eric Hinske each drove in two runs. Phenom Jason Heyward went 0-5.

The Phillies scored three runs in the top of the seventh to make it 6-3 before Glaus’ three-run bomb. With two outs, Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz, Wilson Valdez, and Ben Francisco each doubled one after another to score three.

Joe Blanton (1-4, 5.68) has just been awful this season. He got hit around today, giving up six runs, four earned, in six innings of work on eight hits and a walk while striking out two. Chad Durbin allowed the three-run homer in the seventh though two of the runs weren’t credited to him.

Tommy Hanson allowed a run on three hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out two in the effort to improve his record to 5-3.

The Phillies haven’t scored more than three runs since May 21 against Boston, a 5-1 victory. Since then, they’ve score 10 total runs, been shut out in five, and are 2-7.

Doubles: Ibanez (10), Ruiz (6), Valdez (7), Francisco (3).

WP: Hanson (5-3). LP: Blanton (1-4).

Boxscore.

Series Preview: Braves

Phillies (28-21; 1st in NL East) at Atlanta Braves (28-22; 2nd in NL East)

Where: Turner Field (Atlanta, GA)
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Joe Blanton (1-3, 5.63) vs. Tommy Hanson (4-3, 4.06)
Tuesday: Cole Hamels* (5-3, 3.82) vs. Tim Hudson (5-1, 2.24)
Wednesday: Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 5.04) vs. Derek Lowe (7-4, 4.86)
*Lefty

Broadcast Info
Monday, 1:05: CSN
Tuesday, 7:10: CSN/ESPN
Wednesday, 1:05: CSN

Player to Watch – Troy Glaus: Though Jason Heyward is turning into an early stud, Glaus has had one helluva May. After batting a horrible .194 in April, Glause is batting .323 with five homers and 25 RBIs during the month of May. Glaus isn’t much more past the plate. His glove isn’t what it used to be and he’s not a threat on the bases. If the pitching has him in check, the Braves will have to rely on their rookie Heyward.

Series Overview: The Phillies lead the season series 4-2… The Phillies are 15-11 on the road and the Braves are 16-6 at home… The Braves are sitting only a half-game behind the Phillies, who are desperately looking to find their offense. With Placido Polanco’s health uncertain and the Jimmy Rollins still out, it’s going to be tough… The Phillies haven’t hit a home run in 56 innings, their last six games… Atlanta has been on a tear, winning their last five and are 8-2 in their last 10 games… Cole Hamels is looking to continue on his path back towards being a great #2 pitcher as he faces Tim Hudson on Tuesday… If the Braves win this series, they will find themselves in first place.

Shut Out Again

The Phillies were shut out once again on this road trip, the fourth time in six games and the fifth in the last eight. The Marlins got a run in the sixth as the offense spoiled a great outing by Jamie Moyer as the Phillies dropped this one 1-0.

The amazing part is that the Phils still won the series despite scoring four runs. They are also homer-less in their last 54 innings. The last home runs hit was a pinch-hit two-run homer by Ross Gload on May 22 against Boston in the ninth.

Moyer lasted six innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks while striking out two. David Herndon pitched two scoreless innings to hold the Marlins but the offense couldn’t get the job done.

The Phillies managed only four hits in the loss, two of them coming from lead-off hitter Shane Victorino. The team struck out 11 times in the poor showing.

In the bottom of the sixth with two outs, Hanley Ramirez stole second to put himself into scoring position. Two batters later, Ronny Paulino worked his ex-Phillies magic and drove in Ramirez for the game’s only run.

One week ago, the Phillies had six of their regulars batting above .300. Now they have two (Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco who are both hurt).Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth have been the most disappointing thus far.

Werth struck out four times today, bringing him to a total of 49. Howard leads the team with 52 strike outs. Utley got cold fast, batting .087 (2-for-23)  in his past six games. Howard hasn’t homered since May 21.

Double: Victorino (7)

WP: Sanchez (5-2). LP: Moyer (5-5). S: Nunez (10).

Boxscore.

Historic Halladay

Phillies ace Roy Halladay hugs catcher Carlos Ruiz and is congratulated by first baseman Ryan Howard after his perfect game against Florida Saturday night. AP Photo.

Phillies fans knew there was going to be a no-hitter. But not many were expecting that Roy Halladay would be perfect. It’s almost fitting that it happened in Philadelphia where Halladay, a championship-starved pitcher, finally landed himself on a true contender.

Doc faced 27 batters and showed each one of them to their seats on the bench as he pitched the 20th perfect game in major league history and the second this season. The Phillies won the game 1-0 over the Marlins in Florida.

It was the second perfect game of the season (Oakland’s Dallas Braden threw one a couple weeks ago) and the second in Phillies history (Jim Bunning was the first on Father’s Day in 1964). The last no-hitter for the Phillies was Kevin Millwood in 2003.

Halladay got the lone run he needed in the third inning. Chase Utley hit a fly ball to center field that got misplayed by Cameron Maybin. Wilson Valdez was hustling the whole way and scored to make it 1-0.

One run was all that was needed for the 32-year old ace. He struck out 11 in the effort to see his ERA drop to a 1.99 and his record to improve to 7-3.

Florida thought they could thwart Doc’s efforts in the ninth with a couple of pinch hitters who have a history with the Phillies. They must have known ex-Phillies kill the Phightins, obviously leaving fans nervous. With one out, former Phillie Wes Helms struck out looking. Then former catcher Ronny Paulino hit a ground ball to third baseman Juan Castro who threw out Paulino to clinch history.

Josh Johnson was no slouch either in his effort against Halladay. He allowed one unearned run on seven hits and a walk in seven innings pitched.

The Phillies are winners of two straight and are hoping to build on the momentum. Though the offense has only scored four runs the last two games, the winning is all that matters. The offense will come.

Doubles: Valdez (6), Castro (5).

WP: Halladay (7-3). LP: Johnson (5-2).

Boxscore.

*********************

In a classy gesture, the Marlins are going to dig up the pitching rubber and give it to Doc as a souvenier. From ESPN.com:

The Marlins said they would give Halladay the pitching rubber as a souvenir, leading to a slightly surreal scene. The lights at Sun Life Stadium went out and fireworks began exploding two minutes after the game ended, with the field crew preparing for a postgame concert behind second base.

Working in the dark, four men went to work on the mound, digging up the slab where Halladay made history.

Phils Not Only Score, They Win

It was a frustrating past five games for the Phillies and their fans. The Phillies finally shook off the slump and scored their first run in the fourth inning and eventually went on to win 3-2 over Florida.

The Phillies snapped a five game losing streak and 30-inning scoreless drought.

Kyle Kendrick pitched a commendable game, allowing two un-earned runs on five hits while striking out one in six innings. Jose Contreras battled in the ninth to earn his third save of the season.

Wilson Valdez and Ryan Howard each had a pair of hits for the Phils. Raul Ibanez’s RBI triple in the fourth inning broke the drought to make it a 2-1 game. The Phillies then tied it up in the next inning on a Howard RBI single and then scored the go-ahead run in the seventh off a Chase Utley ground out.

It’s such a nice sight seeing this team win games again. I hope the trend continues as they can regain the lost ground in the terrible drought they suffered.

Triples: Ibanez (3).

WP: Kendrick (3-2). LP: Volstad (3-6). S: Contreras (3).

Boxscore.

Series Preview: Marlins

Phillies (26-20; 1st in NL East) at Florida Marlins (24-24; 4th in NL East)

Where: Pro Player Stadium Dolphins Stadium Land Shark Stadium Joe Robbie Stadium Sun Life Stadium (Miami, FL)
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.66) vs. Chris Volstad (3-5, 4.31)
Saturday: Roy Halladay (6-3, 2.22) vs. Josh Johnson (5-1, 2.43)
Sunday: Jamie Moyer (5-4, 4.55) vs. Anibal Sanchez (4-2, 3.23)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:10: CSN
Saturday, 7:10: CSN
Sunday, 1:10: MyPHL17

Hot (last 7) – Placido Polanco: .296 (8-for-27), 4 R, 3 2B.
Not (last 7) – Carlos Ruiz: .053 (1-for-19), 4 K.

Player to Watch – Hanely Ramirez: Despite being cocky and immature, he is the best short stop in the National League and one of the top five best players in the league. Talk about your all-around player. Ramirez’s bat has pop (eight homers this season) and he’s a regular .300-.400-.500 hitter, a stat that defines great players. He’s batting .309 with 22 RBIs and is 5-for-8 in the stolen bases category. He’s 4-for-12 against the Phillies this year so far.

Series Overview: I think the Phillies need to score runs before they want to think about snapping this five-game losing streak in which they’ve only scored three runs, all in one inning, and have been shut out four times. The Marlins losers of six of their last 10. Both teams are cold so the Phillies have a chance to wake back up against the Marlins and re-establish themselves as the team to beat in the division. Saturday’s match-up will be key as Roy Halladay will go up against Florida’s ace, Josh Johnson.

The Frustration Mounts

Jobu must be angry because there is seriously something wrong with the Phillies offense. They were shut out for a third straight time and the fourth in five days as they lost to the Mets, 3-0, to finalize a rare series shut-out.

Mike Pelfrey pitched seven shut out innings, allowing only three hits but five walks while striking out five. Cole Hamels had another great start wasted as he gave up three runs, two earned, on nine hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings pitched. He also struck out three.

The Mets got a run in the first inning off an RBI by Jason Bay and then two more runs in the seventh on a two-run double by Jose Reyes. Shane Victorino had three of the Phillies’ four hits, which were all singles.

The Phillies have not scored in 46 of their last 47 innings and 27 straight. They have lost five straight and are just terrible right now. They haven’t scored against a starter in five straight games.

The last time the Phillies were shut-out three games in a row was 1983. The 1968 Chicago Cubs went over four games without scoring a run, amassing 48 scoreless innings. That is the major league record. In 1969, the Mets shut-out the Phillies in a three-game span.

WP: Pelfrey (7-1). LP: Hamels (5-3). S: Rodriguez (9)

Boxscore.

The Bats Have Gone Silent

Home plate is not seeing any red cleats crossing it lately. The Phillies offense has been dead silent, like a Marlins game in June. The recent struggles of the Phillies are becoming a thing to worry about, especially with the current string of series against the division and American League in which they habitually struggle.

The Phillies have put up goose eggs in 37 of their last 38 innings. They’ve been shut-out in three of the last four games, scoring only three runs in that span that came in the ninth inning of an 8-3 loss to Boston.

Thanks to that cold spell, the Phillies have lost four straight and are on the verge of being swept for the first time this season. In that span, they’re 4-for-30 with runners in scoring position.

The Phillies held a players only meeting earlier today after Charlie Manuel held one last night. Usually when Manuel closes the doors to talk to the team, good things ensue. Hopefully that will be the case tonight as Cole Hamels goes up against Mike Pelfrey in what could be a great pitcher’s duel.

Phils Shut Out Again

18 innings of baseball and not one runner has crossed home plate. It was another sad display by the offense as they lost 5-0 to the Mets Wednesday night.

Hisanori Takahashi pitched six shut-out innings, only allowing five runs and striking out six. Joe Blanton, in turn, lasted only 5 1/3 and allowed five runs on six hits and four walks while striking out three.

Jose Reyes went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a homer in the third inning. Ex-Phillie Rod Barajas also drove in three runs. Placido Polanco and Ben Francisco both had a pair of hits for the Phillies.

The Phillies are losers of four straight and have scored only three runs, all on Sunday, during that losing streak. The offense is officially cold and it’s going to be a matter of time when it will warm back up.

Doubles: Francisco (2).

WP: Takahashi (4-1). LP: Blanton (1-3).

Boxscore.

The Greatest Job in the World

It’s a job that doesn’t require any athletic ability. You don’t need a college degree and you don’t need to be a genius. You don’t need to study, work out, or prepare yourself like anyone else. There are only two skills required: a love for baseball and a love for making people happy.

That’s where Tom Burgoyne comes in. He, in fact, has a job that many Philadelphia fans envy yet adore: the Phillie Phanatic. If there are any eight-year olds reading this blog, Mr. Burgoyne is a “friend” of the Phanatic. Phanatic’s first “friend” was David Raymond, the first person to have the greatest job in the world.

“He’s green and his dancing on the dugout has been known to (screw) up an expensive view or two,” said Bill Prendergast of Cinnaminson, NJ.

What puts the Phanatic above every other mascot in the game is how personal his interactions with the fans are. You look at the big guy and you see a part of you in him. You may not be green and fury but as a Philadelphia sports fan, you’re a little zany… a little nuts.

I know I am. I would love to mess with David Wright of the Mets during pre-game warm-ups and then have him steal my ATV. I would love to beat the snot out of a Tommy Lasorda doll or destroy a Mets helmet with a sledgehammer. I think all of us have a piece of the Phanatic in us and that’s what makes him so damn special.

“There are so many moments that we as fans get to share with the Phanatic,” said Anthony Fulginiti of Clementon, NJ. “Whether he’s doing his best Roberto Benigni impression in the stands, getting a clap started on the home dugout, shooting out charred hot dogs into the crowd, kissing a smokin’ hot MILF, or smashing a Mets helmet to the tune of New York, New York, that lovable overweight green goofball never fails to make us smile and laugh and just enjoy the game experience that much more.”

The Phanatic makes other mascots look like amateurs. He puts his emotion, heart, and soul into every Phillies game. While others are there for the appearance and appeal, the Phanatic performs. It’s as if the hundreds of lights illumining the field aren’t there for the players. They’re there for the Phanatic.

“He is different from Mr. Met, who only makes appearances on the field to shoot T-Shirts after the fifth inning and the seventh inning stretch,” said another fan, Charles Butler of New York, NY. “However, when one comes to a Phillies game, they have no idea what the Phanatic will do for his skit after the fifth inning or what section he will pop up at in the third inning.”

It all started in 1978 when he debuted at the Vet. Since then, the Phanatic made his way into the hearts of fans. The 32-year old phenom pulled stunts such as messing with the great Dodgers coach Lasorda, parachuting in the game ball on opening day, and was the first mascot to drive an ATV onto the field. He was voted the best mascot in all of sports by athletes in Sports Illustrated and children in Sports Illustrated for Kids. Raymond was also the founder of the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Phanatic was inducted in as a charter member along with the San Diego Chicken and The (Phoenix) Suns Gorilla of the NBA.

The Phanatic is a one-of-a-kind mascot. He’s his own person and his own personality. There isn’t a single mascot in the league that will ever be able to compare to him. Phillies fans are proud to call him theirs. Whether it’s taking a popcorn bath from the Phanatic, receiving a big smooch, or dancing on the dug out with him, he’s our green buddy and we love him.

“He’s just too damn lovable,” said Fulginiti. “There’s not too many mascots in this league, or any other sport for that matter, that you could make the same case for. He is as great as it gets. He is the best.”

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