Archive for August, 2009

Gameday: Phillies (71-50) at Mets (57-67)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, August 24, 2009 12:10 PM Comments: 181

Philadelphia Phillies (71-50) at New York Mets (57-67)

Cliff Lee (11-9, 2.72 ERA) vs. Bobby Parnell (3-5, 4.74 ERA)

Time:1:10 p.m at Citi Field
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 81
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

In the final game of a four game stint, the Phillies will look to take three out of four from the New York Mets.  Thus far, the games have been close and exciting between these two rivals.

Cliff Lee has been outstanding since joining the Phillies.  He is 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA and opponents are batting .161 against him.  With Lee on the mound, the Phillies expect him to go deep into the game and get a win.

Lee will be opposed by Bobby Parnell, who is making his fourth start since moving from the bullpen.  Parnell is coming off a poor start in which he allowed nine runs in three innings versus the Braves. Against the Phillies, Parnell is 0-2 and gave up a game-winning home run to Chase Utley.

The Mets will likely be without Jeff Francouer, who was taken to the hospital for an MRI on his thumb.  After going 3-for-5 and completing an unbelievable, game-ending unassisted triple play, Eric Bruntlett will get another start.  Today, he will give Jimmy Rollins a rest at shortstop.

Today’s lineup: Victorino (CF)/ Werth (RF)/ Utley (2B)/ Howard (1B)/ Ibanez (LF)/ Feliz (3B)/ Bruntlett (SS)/ Bako (C)/ Lee (P).

Delirium TremensYour Gameday Beer – Delirium Tremens
This afternoon’s beer is named for the sensation caused by the withdrawal from alcohol. Quite possibly, it may have been the intention of its Belgian brewers to make a beer that would keep people drinking – this Pale Ale is delicious. The taste contains sweet fruits with a dry finish but is rather light considering its hefty 8.5% ABV. Look for it in a big white bottle decorated with pink elephants and have some grilled salmon with it. – By Brian



Photos and Video from Bus Trip to NY

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, August 24, 2009 10:28 AM Comments: 15

On Saturday, Phillies Nation and PhillyTailgate.com teamed up to host a road trip to CitiField. Before the game we gave NY a taste of Philly with a Mummers Parade Phillies-style through the streets of Queens. 250+ Phillies fans danced outside of CitiField in their red before the Phils victory. Check out the photos (in no particular order) and this cool video from the event. If you experienced this awesome day first-hand and have your own photos, please shoot us an email, and we’ll post them too.


Commentary: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, August 23, 2009 08:30 PM Comments: 59

It’s a question that will never be answered with yes; especially when it pertains to the Phillies and Mets rivalry.  Between two teams that have a genuine dislike for each other, it gives the feel of hockey hatred, not baseball animosity.

As we enjoy back-to-back wins for the Phillies (and hopefully three in a row on Monday afternoon) it pains me to jump back into a sore subject.  Not trying to be the buzz kill.

On Saturday night in Queens, the Phillies got a superb effort out of J.A. Happ once again.  He fought hard through seven innings, giving up eight hits, but only one run, en route to a 4-1 Phils victory.  While Happ fought on the mound, the fighting in the stands came to a head.

Undoubtedly you’ve either seen the live broadcast, the YouTube video, or heard through the grapevine that two parties – one rooting for the Phillies, the other for the Mets – got into fisticuffs in the seats, leading to ejections and the like.  There was beer spilling and haymakers, all in what intends to be a family-friendly environment.

It is yet another black eye for our fan base.  Maybe it wasn’t the Phillies fans fault, perhaps it was the New York group egging them on. But nonetheless, it adds to the already incessant negativity tossed our way.

I’m here to say the machismo has gone far enough. Whatever Mets fans do is their own business.  If they want to brawl in the stands and act like jerks, then so be it.  But lets be better than this, Phillies Nation.  I’m as sick as you are of having to hear that our town is filled with bullies and thugs.  That we care only about drinking and fighting, more so than what goes on within the diamond. That our crime rate reflects on our baseball-loving supporters. That our education system breeds incompetence and unsportsmanlike behavior.

Phillies faithful are often thought of as some of the most passionate and knowledgeable in all of sports.  But they also let their blood spill onto the canvas more than most, and it’s a trend that needs reversing.

As for Saturday, the long, hot day, on top of the alcohol, added to the heated conflict that has been brewing for nearly three seasons. People will fight – it’s nature.  We witnessed this recently in our own backyard as a Phillies fan was killed in the CBP parking lot over a spilled beverage.

However, this shtick is growing tired, and its time for us all to do something about it.  I’m not here to tell people how to live or how to react to a confrontation.  But I can say that I hope we all grow up enough to realize that we are rooting for a team, a band of brothers, and that our own agendas should be set aside for the betterment of those around us.

The black eye continues to grow.  And while some believe they are simply backing their hometown team by fighting for them, in actuality it hurts us as a whole. Unfortunately, it’s the few who believe their masculinity is more important than being a decent person that have pushed this issue to a new level. Let’s use our best judgment from here on out, because the fact is we are the best fans in sports, and we do put forth the most passion and we are the most well informed baseball followers.  But the extra-curricular activities are barbaric and just plain disgusting.

We can at least try to get along.


Hated to Hero

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, August 23, 2009 05:48 PM Comments: 40

Baseball is a crazy game.  The totally unexpected happened from an unlikely source during the Phillies 9-7 win over the New York Mets.  Eric Bruntlett had quite the eventful day, including a game ending unassisted triple play.

Before Pedro Martinez could take the mound, the Phillies threw up a six spot.  Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz each hit three run home runs in the first inning against Oliver Perez. 

Bad Ollie showed up.  After allowing six earned runs on four hits and two walks in 2/3 of an inning, Jerry Manuel had enough.  He pulled Perez in the middle of an at-bat, after falling behind 3-0  to Martinez.

Pedro wasn’t completely dominant either– at least to start.  Angel Pagan led off with an inside the park home run.  Unsure about Citi Field’s ground rules, Shane Victorino raised his hand after the ball wedged under the padding.  The umpires did not make a call, and Pagan rounded the bases.  Raul Ibanez picked up the ball and threw it in, but it was too late.  Even though it was beneath the padding, the ball was in play, according to the official rules.  The Mets added another run on Jeff Francouer’s RBI triple. 

The Phillies tacked on runs with Martinez’s RBI single, Jimmy Rollins’ sacrifice fly, and a run scored by Matt Stairs on a couple wild pitches.  But, the Mets kept adding on runs as well.  Pagan homered again (this time over the fence), Daniel Murphy hit a RBI single and Anderson Hernandez’s double kept it a close game, 9-6.

Pedro allowed four earned runs in six innings.  He allowed seven hits, walked one, and struck out five of his former teammates.  Pedro settled down after a rough first few innings; he retired the last six batters he faced.

With Chase Utley getting a regular day off, Eric Bruntlett got the start at second base.  Not much is expected from Bruntlett, who entered today with a .128 average.  He started off by going 3-for-3 and made some solid defensive plays.

In the top of the ninth, Bruntlett was robbed of his fourth hit.  Jeff Francouer made a diving catch, but the umpire originally called it a trap.  Heads up, Bruntlett hustled his way to third for a triple, but the play was overruled by third base umpire.  It would have been a new career high for Bruntlett for most hits in a game.

Coming off a 1-2-3 save last night, Brad Lidge looked to make it back-to-back.  Pagan grounded a single through the legs of Ryan Howard.  On the error, Pagan advanced to third.  Then, Bruntlett committed an error which scored Pagan.  Next, Murphy grounded a single up the middle, booted by Bruntlett.  Both of Bruntlett’s miscues were plays that Utley would’ve made easily.  The Mets were down two with two men on base and nobody out.  With Lidge’s struggles, the Mets were on their way to winning this thing.

On the 2-2 pitch, Castillo and Murphy were off.  Covering second, Francouer lined a drive right at Bruntlett.  Bruntlett stepped on second base for out number two.  With Murphy on his way to second, Bruntlett applied the tag for the third out.  An unbelievable, game-ending, unassisted triple play!

The last Phillie to turn an unassisted triple play was Mickey Morandini in 1992.  Bruntlett’s was the first in National League history that ended the game.  The last game ending unassisted triple play was turned by Johnny Neun in 1927.

The Mets keep finding new ways to lose and today was no different.  Eric Bruntlett went from hated, to hero, back to hated and hero again.  Who knows, maybe he can do something shocking again tomorrow.  After all, Charlie Manuel has already stated he’ll play tomorrow giving Jimmy Rollins a break.


Dobbs to DL; Cairo Called Up

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, August 23, 2009 04:34 PM Comments: 1

Greg Dobbs was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a minor tweak to his right calf.  Miguel Cairo was called up from Triple-A.  To make room for Cairo on the 40-man roster, Antonio Bastardo was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

In other injury news, Brett Myers’ rehab appearance was delayed because of rain.  J.C Romero and Clay Condrey are scheduled to throw tomorrow.


Gameday: Phillies (70-50) At Mets (57-66)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, August 23, 2009 12:15 PM Comments: 168

Philadelphia Phillies (70-50) at New York Mets (57-66)

Pedro Martinez (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Oliver Perez (3-3, 6.06 ERA)

Time:1:10 p.m at Citi Field
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 78
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Pedro Martinez will be making his first start against his former team.  Martinez spent four season in New York, winning 32 games and posting a 3.88 ERA.  Pedro’s last outing was cut short due to a rain delay.

Pedro will be opposed by Oliver Perez.  Perez is 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 13 starts against the Phillies.  Sometimes Oliver Perez will dominate.  Other times he will get lit up.  Perez faced the Phillies earlier this year and lasted 1/3 of an inning.  He gave up four runs on five hits and six walks.

Chase Utley will not be in today’s lineup, recieving a day off against the left-hander.  Lefties are hitting .205 against Perez this season.  Eric Bruntlett will start at second base.

Philadelphia Original LagerYour Gameday Beer – Philadelphia Original Lager
Brewed by Red Bell Brewery out of the Brewerytown neighborhood of Philadelphia, this beer is a classic microbrew lager. It’s a bit heavier than Yuengling, with more of a roasted malt flavor and some sweet coffee and caramel hints. Its supreme drinkability coupled with a pour that looks like iced tea means you can sneakily house several of these bad boys. Sundays are pasta days so have your favorite strand with some marinara sauce and a few Philly Lagers. – By Brian



Weekly Wrap: Staying Hot

Posted by Jason Bintliff, Sun, August 23, 2009 09:01 AM Comments: 10

It was another productive week in the books for your Philadelphia Fightin’ Phillies.

After the off day on Monday, the Phillies hosted the D-Backs for a three game set. Arizona came into the series seemingly out of playoff contention and they sure did play like it.

Tuesday, The Phillies goat a combined one-run effort from both Pedro Martinez and Jaime Moyer. Martinez allowed a D-Backs lead-off homer but settled in, pitching three strong innings. Then the rains came, forcing the teams into a delay too lengthy for Martinez to return. Moyer entered the game after the delay and pitched six scoreless and the Phils took the opener, 5-1.

On Wednesday, the Phillies faced Arizona’s ace Dan Haren for the second time this season. Just like their previous meeting, the Phillies forced Haren to throw pitches early and tagged the Cy Young candidate up for six runs in five innings of work. Cliff Lee notched his second complete game win as a Phillie, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning, giving up just one unearned run via a Pedro Feliz error and a couple of sacrifices.

The line-up busted out the whooping sticks against Haren, totaling four bombs in the game, including two from Jayson Werth.

Thursday, Joe Blanton got the nod for the Phils and had been red-hot over the last seven weeks. Over that span however, run support had been hard to come by for Blanton.  That is, until the series finale.

Although Blanton didn’t put forth his best outing, the Phillies bats carried Blanton to a 12-3 victory, completing the sweep of the Diamondbacks.

Blanton ate his innings, going eight strong, allowing three earned. It was a strong effort by Blanton, but the ten hits he surrendered showed that he looked shaky at times. The offense was the antithesis of shaky as they once again erupted at the dish scoring 12 runs on 12 hits. Even more amazing is despite the 12 runs the Phils scored, they still left seven men on base. Werth again provided the power, going deep again and was joined by Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard.

Friday the Phillies went north to embark on a seven-game road trip that kicked off in New York.

It was obvious from the start that despite the Mets free-fall into obscurity there was absolutely no love lost between the two clubs. Pitchers were throwing heat inside all-night, and Cole Hamels even managed to plunk counterpart Mike Pelfry, forcing Pelfry to weave a  fine tapestry of obscenities en-route to his free bag.

Unfortunately for Hamels, that was the only productive thing he managed Friday as he surrendered four earned on his way to his eighth loss of the season.

Hamels looked frustrated early and never really found his rhythm as the Mets tagged him for ten hits including a Jeff Francoeur moon-shot deep to left field. His location was off all night, and when the umpires weren’t giving Hamels the strike calls, it appeared to affect him. The offense never really showed up either and the Mets clawed out the win against their division foes.

Saturday, the Phillies turned the table on the Mets, beating them 4-1. Although Mets starter Tim Redding befuddled the Phils through the first five innings, he was pulled to start the sixth and the Phillies instantly got to the Mets dreadful middle-relief. Chase Utley homered to give the Phillies a 2-1 advantage in the sixth and the Phillies never looked back.

Phillies starter J.A. Happ looked solid again, giving up just one earned run in seven innings of work. More impressive was that Happ walked just two batters, a welcome change from his previous two starts where he combined to walk ten.

He earned his 10th win of season and is looking every bit the part of a Rookie of the Year. The real unfortunate thing for Happ is that if he had a few more starts to begin the season, we may also be mentioning him in the Cy Young conversation. His ERA lowered to a ridiculous 2.59 in the win.

The Phillies will face the Mets on Sunday and Monday before heading to Pittsburgh for three.

Despite their 4-1 record this week and 8-2 record in their last ten, there is cause for slight concern.

Raul Ibanez is still struggling mightily at the plate. He had a double last night, but as of Saturday had just seven hits in his last 45 at bats. He is hitting just .228 in his last 30 days.

Also, Matt Stairs has been as cold as Saskatchewan in January, having taken the doughnut in his last 21 at-bats. He hasn’t registered a hit in the last month. Couple that with a slight calf strain from Greg Dobbs and that spells troubles for your left-handed bats off of the bench. Dobbs’ injury appears to be minor, but a claf injury can be tricky so stay tuned for more information on that.

It was a good week for the Phillies, don’t get me wrong, however, there were some alarming trends that continued over the week, including Hamels poor performance, that if the Phillies don’t find a remedy for, it will be a short lived October. Timely hitting is key and the Phillies are still having problems in that department.


Utley’s Homer Diminishes Redding’s Outing

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, August 22, 2009 11:34 PM Comments: 11

The most home runs a Met has at Citi Field is five (Gary Sheffield, David Wright, and Fernando Tatis).  Chase Utley, a visiting player, now has four.  Chase’s home run into “Utley’s Corner” put the Phillies ahead after Tim Redding continued his dominance against the Phillies.

In the second, the Mets took a 1-0 lead on Omir Santos’ RBI single.  J.A Happ was not electric, but that was all he allowed in seven innings.  He gave up eight hits and walked two, but stranded runners.  The Mets abandoned seven men on base and were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, thanks to Happ’s composure and poise.  He does not get ruffled when batters reach base.

While Happ stranded runners, Redding barely allowed any.  Redding has killed the Phillies over the years, including shutouts and one-hitters.  He was just as controlling today. In five scoreless innings, he allowed one hit and walked three.  Because of a high pitch count (81) and a previous injury, Jerry Manuel decided to pull him after five.  It worked out for the Phillies.

Pat Misch, who replaced Redding, walked Shane Victorino to lead off the sixth  inning.  He left a 1-1 fastball middle-in to Utley, who knocked it into the right field seats. The two-run shot gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead, and they didn’t look back.

The Phillies extended the lead on back-to-back doubles by Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz.  Carlos Ruiz’s sacrifice fly in the eighth inning made it 4-1.

With a three-run lead headed into the bottom of the ninth, it was Brad Lidge time.  Blowing eight saves and having an earned run average over seven this season, save situations haven’t been easy for Lidge.  But, Lidge showed his 2008 form with a 1-2-3 save, his 24th of the year.  To start the inning, Lidge struck out Daniel Murphy; it was his 700th career strikeout and it set the tone. 

Cory Sullivan chased a slider in the dirt and Ruiz fired to first on the drop third strike to end the game.  The Phillies took game two of the series, 4-1.  There were plenty of Phillies fans in attendance to witness the victory, including Phillies Nation’s buses of fans, who represented Philadelphia well with plenty of “Let’s go Phillies!” chants.


Gameday: Phillies (69-50) At Mets (57-65)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, August 22, 2009 06:00 PM Comments: 203

Philadelphia Phillies (69-50) at New York Mets (57-65)

J.A Happ  (9-2, 2.66 ERA) vs. Tim Redding (1-4, 6.53 ERA)

Time:7:25 p.m at Citi Field
Weather: Scattered T-Storms (40% chance of rain), 84
Twitter: Phillies Nation

As shown in game one of the four game series, the Mets aren’t a team to take lightly, even though they are 13.5 games out and depleted with injuries.  It’s a true rivalry, and both teams want to beat each other.

The Phillies Nation crew took a bus trip to Citi Field with 250 of our closest friends.  We bring the rain with us.  During our bus trip to D.C, the game was shortened due to rain.  At a game we attended at Citizens Bank Park, there was a rain delay.  Now,  it’s been raining most of the day in New York, with a chance of rain during game time.  Let’s hope we can get this one in.  The Phillies have enough double headers scheduled as it is.

Speaking of rain, Happ’s last start started two hours late because of it.  In that outing against the Braves, Happ pitched 7.2 innings.  He allowed three hits, but walked six.  No Phillies starter has walked a batter since Happ on Sunday.

Happ will be opposed by Phillie-killer, Tim Redding.  In the last two seasons, Redding is 3-1 with a 3.50 earned run average against the Phils.  That ERA is high– he only had one bad outing against them.  He has shut them out twice, including a one-hitter against them.

SchaeferYour Gameday Beer- Schaefer
Today is not for messing around – we’re kicking it old school on the bus ride to New York. After World War 2, Schaefer was the main beer in the NYC area and if you’re old enough, you’ll remember its jingle, “Schaefer IS THE one beer to have when you’re having more than one…” Nowadays it’s owned by Pabst and has a similar classic American lager taste. Have a few hot dogs with it. – By Brian



The SI Jinx?

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, August 22, 2009 12:32 PM Comments: 12

Is it the SI jinx?  With Cole Hamels’ struggles, you have to wonder what is wrong with the NLCS and World Series MVP.  As I pointed out in last night’s recap, it is his location.  He is missing his spots and leaving pitches out over the plate.  “Come on Cole, keep poundin’ the corner!”

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