Tag Archives: Philadelphia Phillies

Short and Not So Sweet

1 May

Believe it or not I will turn to Cleveland Indians manager, and former Phillies manager, Terry Francona for my response to last night’s game.

After spending four dismal losing seasons at the helm of the Phils, Francona offered this as explanation:

“Philadelphia may not want to hear this, but it’s almost like having a mulligan.”

OK, so we’ll give the boys in red last night as their mulligan.

Of course, I hope the Phillies realize something Mr. Francona clearly did not.  You can only use a mulligan for one game, not four seasons.

Philadelphia Phillies: A Strange Start

8 Apr

I’ve been watching baseball for a long time now.

This is where you say “How long ?”

And I say, “None of your bleepin’ business.”

Sorry.  But let’s just say I know my way around the ball park.  And in all those years I can’t remember a beginning to a season as strange as this one has been.

We win when we should lose; we lose when we should win.

Our ace pitchers are giving up runs like it’s their job.

Our normally dead offense is hitting and scoring runs.  But only in the first inning and the last, in between the bats go silent.  ‘You can hear a pin drop’ silent.

The Phillies have scored 8 runs in the ninth inning of the last two games and I don’t know about you but after being shocked about their comeback Saturday night, I firmly expected them to pull yesterday’s game out.

Tonight Roy Halladay takes the hill for his second start and with all my baseball watching experience behind me do you want to know what I think will happen?

This is where you say, “Yes, tell us what will happen?”

And I say, “I have no bleepin’ idea.”

Sorry.  Can anyone lend me a quarter?

Isn’t It Love-Lee?

5 Apr

Whew!  OK.  Everyone breathe.

The Phillies are winless no longer thanks to one Clifton Phifer Lee. Looking like he was in mid-season form, Lee pitched 8 shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves last night.  He gave up only two hits and had eight strikeouts in a dominating performance.

After two nights where Phillies pitchers got bombed early, Lee was in complete control of this one.  And not only did he keep the Braves bats quiet, he also silenced that incredibly annoying (is it just me??) and politically incorrect tomahawk chant.

And Lee didn’t just win the game with ease, he seemed to be having a great time doing it.  And that my friends is a message for all of us:  LIGHTEN UP!!!  Come on, this is baseball. It’s a game; it’s supposed to be fun.  To play and to watch (and to blog about.)

So try to remember that, OK?  I’m mostly speaking to myself, here, but if the cleat fits…

A couple of quick  Priend Phacts:

Last year, Cliff Lee did not win his first game until July 4th, JULY 4th!

And for those who were apoplectic after the first two losses (and you know who you are, Hal) the Phillies also started 0-2 in 2007, 2008 and 2009.  All of those seasons ended with NL East championships, two with NL pennants and there was that other year, you remember  2008, yep, that year the Phils won it all.

So just be happy they didn’t sweep the Braves.

Now get ready for the Phils home opener and have fun, dammit!

The Phillies Phlounder in Atlanta

4 Apr

The best decision I made last night was  that I would paint my son’s bathroom while I listened to the Phillies game.  I figured I might need a distraction while listening to Roy Halladay’s way over-hyped first start of the season.

Well I would have needed to paint my entire house to distract myself from last night’s 9-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.  But I’m still not quite sure what to make of Halladay’s outing.  It was actually one of the strangest pitching performances I’ve seen.  He struck out 9 batters in the 3 1/3 innings he pitched.  That’s 9 strikeouts in 11 outs.  In fact, Halladay become the first pitcher since 1916 to strike out nine in less than 3 2/3 innings.

The problem was that in between all those strikeouts, Halladay gave up six hits, five runs, three walks and two home runs.

Not the pitching performance we were hoping for but unfortunately what many were expecting. It’s not what Halladay is hoping for either.  He knows what he wants to do, what he used to be able to do and the lack of results is understandably taking its toll.

“I’m frustrated. I should have gotten deeper than that. Not aggressive enough early in the count and went deep counts, and that’s the most frustrating part, really. I’m going to clean that up and be more aggressive. I’ve got to be more aggressive getting ahead of guys and putting guys away…   But I felt good, felt good in the bullpen and felt good on the mound.”

It’s hard not to root for the Doc to get his mojo back or at least figure out how to pitch without it. I think we need to at least see a couple more outings to fairly judge what he’s got left but it’s unlikely he’ll be the dominating pitcher he once was.  Baseball can be a cruel game.

It’s still way too soon to panic.  We’re talking about 2 games and it is a long season.  But the team’s goal was to get off to a quick start so the Phillies don’t dig too deep a hole like they did last year.  So far, not so good.

In other notes, Chase continued to hit driving in the Phillies only 2 runs with a double and J-Roll and Domonic Brown each had 2 hits which was a good sign.

And after having 2230 hits with the Texas Rangers, Michael Young got his first hit as a Phillie last night. Let’s hope it’s the first of many.

Ryan Howard, however, is still looking for his first hit.

And the Phils had the all too familiar problem of hitting with runners in scoring position.  They were a dismal 1-11 in that key stat.

On the pitching front, it was great to see Mike Adams get his first action and  he looked great as advertised recording two strikeouts in his one scoreless inning of work.  However, Jonathan Papelbon, not so much.  No, it wasn’t a save situation when he entered the game but it was even less of a save situation when he left.

So Cliff Lee gets his first start tomorrow so maybe, just maybe he can pitch the Phillies to their first win.

Of course, the weather forecast for Atlanta is for all day and night rain so we might all get a break and a night off.

That way I can put the second coat of paint on my son’s bathroom in peace.

One Game Does Not A Season Make

2 Apr

OK, come on, you can’t win ’em all.  Like that positive spin?

Actually there were some positive signs for the Phillies even in a 7-5 Opening Day loss to the Atlanta Braves.  For a team that struggled to score runs much of last year (just ask Cliff Lee!) five runs seems like a landslide.  And if you spot Cole Hamels those 5 runs, it would be a good bet ( you can take the girl out of Vegas but…) that the Phils would win 9 out of 10 of those games.

Well, last night was that one in ten.

But the most positive sign for the Phillies was certainly Chase Utley. The man who hasn’t played on Opening Day since 2010 looked like a little kid on the first day of Little League.  But he played like Chase “the man” Utley, like the Chase of old, the guy we thought we might never see again.

Yes, it was just one game but Utley had 3 hits, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI.  He had a home run, his 200th, a single and a triple where he motored around second looking like anything but a guy with chronically injured knees.

In fact, the Phillies had 10 hits in all, the same number as the Braves.  Unfortunately for the boys in red and Cole Hamels, 3 of the Braves 10 hits were home runs hit off the Phils left-hander making the first Opening Day start of his career.

To summarize:

The Phils lost.

Chase was the man,

Cole was not.

161 more to go.

It’s Here

1 Apr

◊          ♦          ◊

Last year swept away

There will be no more foreplay

It’s Opening Day

♦          ◊          ♦ 

baseball is back

Viva the Phillies! (Or What I Did On My Spring Vacation)

30 Mar

Spring Break took us to Vegas which inspired this little ditty

Since baseball still consumed my thoughts even in  sin city

Now the Vegas strip boasts sights that are larger than large

skyline

But so do the the ‘Fightin Phils’ as they’re called by ‘the Sarge.

Like the “Big Piece” Ryan Howard, back this Spring with all his power

But could a Howard home run blast sail over the Eiffel Tower?

Image

Nothing says Las Vegas like an all-you-can-eat buffetbuffet

But a ball park frank with mustard will do it for me any day.

Just like desert cactus, every season will get prickly

cactus

This year already has its thorns with the “Doc” a little sickly.

Many go to Vegas to roll the dice or spin the wheel

wheel

While Ruben Amaro’s game is called “Let’s make a deal.”

And when you need some quiet, Red Rock Canyon is the place

canyon

Let’s hope the climb is not so steep for the Phillies’ pennant chase.

The weather sure was balmy heading west for our spring trip

It’s what’s called “hittin’ weather” by the man they call ‘the Skip.’

And when the sun goes down neon lights up the night

harrahs

And I know we’re one day closer to baseballs taking flight.

In baseball like Vegas you roll the dice and hope for the best

dice

That maybe this year your team will be better than the rest.

With Opening Day upon us I know I’m all in

With visions of all the games this Phillies team can

wynn

But the highlight of our Vegas trip was our delightful hosts.

So with love to Erin, Al and Mar I dedicate this post.

♥          ♥          ♥

But I can’t tell you everything; you know what they say

If it happens in Vegas, in Vegas it will stay.

What Was That Last Night?

9 Jun
Win  (win)

v. wonwin·ningwins
v.intr.

1. To achieve victory or finish first in a competition.
2. To achieve success in an effort or venture: struggled to overcome the handicap and finally won.

It has been so long since we’ve  heard that word, I thought a little refresher course was in order.  Let me use it in a sentence for you:

Cliff Lee had to ask Joe Blanton what it was like to win a game.

There, does that help?

I don’t know about you, but until the final out was recorded last night, I still wasn’t convinced the Phillies were going to win that game.  (Hey, that’s a bonus sentence for you.)   In fact, it’s painful to even watch my favorite team play this year.  And I don’t think I’m alone.  So in an effort to find some perspective to get us through these tough times, I turn to some experts for help.  And who better to start with than the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers.  He knows a thing or two about winning.

Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.                                                                                                                                           Vince Lombardi

OK, that’s not exactly the kind of inspiration I was looking for, Coach.  Believe me, no one knows losing better than we do.  Our Phillies just lost 6 in a row in every way imaginable.   What happened to the old “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”  mentality.  I always liked that one.

If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?                                                                                                        Vince Lombardi

OK, OK, I get your point.  It’s clear Mr. Lombardi won’t offer us much comfort this morning.  Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place.  Perhaps a politician will offer a more PC point of view.

Winning may not be everything, but losing has little to recommend it.                      California Senator, Dianne Feinstein

Et tu, Dianne?  And I always liked Ms. Feinstein.

But there must be someone who can help.  Let’s give an expert in the world of business a try.

Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.                                                                                                              Malcolm Forbes

Now, that’s more like it.  And if that’s the case, last night’s win was sweeter than Manischewitz wine (replace with cotton candy if your wine cellar does not include that Passover favorite.)

But for the last word on the subject, there is really only one man to ask:

“Winning.”

“The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning.”

Yep, you guessed it, those pithy little phrases come from none other than the  patron saint of winning, Charlie Sheen.  And I can’t believe I’m saying this but that’s the one addiction Charlie and I share.

Let’s hope our Phillies do, too.

Fact For the Day

7 Jun

Last year on August 24th, (that’s August 24th!,) a certain baseball team from St. Louis  was 10 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central Standings and 10.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves (and in third place) for the NL Wild Card.  At the time that team’s odds of making the playoffs?     1.3%

Yes, that team was the St Louis Cardinals and you know the rest.

Enjoy the beautiful day!

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Kyle Kendrick and Rain Delays

2 Jun

Well, we were “sittin’ in the rain, just sittin’ in the rain”  and it was kind of a “glorious feeling” for an inning or two but when the mist turned to a steady drizzle which began to affect the consistency of my hot dog bun, I headed for cover almost knocking over Phillies sideline reporter David Murphy in my haste, though I did take a moment to tell him I enjoyed his work.  Credit goes to my daughter and her friend who sat it out until the rain became nothing short of a downpour and the dreaded tarp was rolled out.

Thus ended our night at the ballpark.  No we weren’t there after the 48-minute rain delay  since according to my husband’s usually reliable Weather Channel iPhone app, the radar picture looked bleak.  Even Larry Anderson was skeptical about finishing this one.  But I guess even iPhones and ex-relief pitchers turned entertaining color commentators can be wrong sometimes.

By the time Hunter Pence hit his two-run homer in the fifth, we were pulling into our driveway.  So let me offer my humble apologies to Kyle Kenrick.  It wasn’t his pitching that did us in last night but some ill-timed rain and to Kyle’s credit he even came back after the delay and though he promptly gave up a lead-off double, he pitched his way out of  the fifth  inning without allowing a run, earning him the win.

Other highlights, many watched from the dry comfort of our den, included a rare 5 out save by under appreciated closer Jonathan Papelbon bringing him to a perfect 15-15 in save opportunities.  As for the suddenly resurgent Phillies offense, their 2, 3 and 4 batters each had three hits apiece including, Placido Polanco, Hunter Pence and the ridiculously hot Carlos Ruiz who ended the game leading all of Major League Baseball in hitting with  a .381 average.  As my son said, “that is just sick.”

But it was my damp but undaunted daughter who wrapped up the evening perfectly.  “We had hot dogs and cheese fries and the Phillies won so that’s what I call a successful night.”  And how right she was.  See, I knew that college education would be worth something.  Thanks, Drew!

Don’t forget that today’s game has a 4:05 start .  With Cole Hamels on the hill, going for his league-leading ninth win it will be must see tv.  By the way, Cole only has one loss this season to these very same Miami Marlins way  back on April 9th.  You wanna talk about “sick.”

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