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Injuries Continue to Mount as Phillies Lose 7-1

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, May 19, 2011 11:12 PM | Comments: 14
2011 Game Recaps, News, Posts

—Citizens Bank Park

Kyle Kendrick didn't have much time to prepare for what happened on Thursday night (PHOTO: Philly.com, Yong Kim)

At 6:55 p.m., the Phillies were doomed. Not only was bad weather looming, but Joe Blanton had just been pulled from his start only minutes before first pitch due to a sore right elbow – the same one he’d been struggling with for weeks. Pile that garbage on top of the foul-smelling Phillies offense, and you’re in for a long evening. After two hours, 55 minutes of hell, the Phils ended their squeeze-week series with the Rockies, losing 7-1.

By the time the rain ended (roughly 8:15 pm), two pitching changes had been made, left fielder Carlos Gonzalez left the game with an injury, enough diamond dry was used to fill a sandbox, and Cliff Lee pinch-hit for the first time in his career, struck out, and completed it with a standing ovation from the soaked, yet sold-out crowd.

Just your typical Thursday evening at the ballpark. Oh, and Jason Giambi used Citizens Bank Park as his own personal launching pad, connecting for three home runs for the first time in his career.

Following the ugly loss, Ruben Amaro made the announcement that both Blanton and Shane Victorino were likely on their way to the DL on Friday. When it rains it pours.

Victorino’s hamstring issue seemed to be healing the last few days, however, an MRI showed between a Grade 1 and Grade 2 strain. And before you get excited, Amaro said Domonic Brown is unlikely to be called up from Lehigh Valley to take Victorino’s spot. No roster moves will be made until tomorrow.

The first two home runs by Giambi came via starter Kyle Kendrick, who was used in Blanton’s spot. They were absolute rockets, landing in the second deck in right field. Giambi’s third home run, also to right field, was given up by Danys Baez. Giambi is the second oldest player in MLB history to hit three homers. He’s now in the record books, right behind Stan Musial.

To be fair, Kendrick was literally told minutes beforehand that he would be starting. To be real, Kendrick flat out stunk. Jason Giambi tortured him, and Baez, accounting for all seven Rockies runs.

If you get queasy easily, look away – Kendrick’s final line is enough to make a man sick: three innings, seven hits, five earned runs, one walk, two strikeouts, and two huge mistakes.

Also vomit-worthy is this thing the Phillies call an offense. To use an unimaginative play on words, it’s downright offensive. If there is any consolation, the team did manage six hits, narrowly missing out on a team record of six straight games with five or fewer hits. Six hits may as well have been one, or none, as the energy was sucked out of the building when Giambi’s first home run landed. It was all downhill from there.

Pinpointing the problem will only give you the spins. Ryan Howard is in deep slump, now 0-for-his-last-20, including six straight games without a hit, a new record for futility for him. Having your only true slugger in this sort of wretched streak only amplifies the issues on offense, which clearly stem from a number of average players playing together. Howard’s average is down to .241, and that hot April seems like eons ago.

With Victorino headed to the disabled list, look for more of the same to continue.

And with Blanton also likely gone for a while, look for the deluge of bad news to continue for at least one more day.

NOTES:

-Thats now five straight games with two runs or fewer for the Phillies. The team record is nine in a row, set in August of 1961.

-Michael Stutes pitched the eighth innings and looked fine. He struck out two and his fastball hit 94 on the radar gun. Looks like his back issue was simply a cramp or spasm.

-Scott Mathieson pitched pretty well in his two innings of work. He gave up three hits, but did strike out three without allowing a run.

UPDATE, Friday 12:40 am: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweets that it’s likely to be Vance Worley taking Joe Blanton’s spot in the rotation and either Ronnie Belliard or Delwyn Young taking Shane Victorino’s place on the roster.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Baseball gods are pissed at the Fightin’s…..Pray my children….

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    please fire ruin tomorrow jr. killed this team. they are done. watching the rangers now. they are fun baby. hamiton back. oh yea.

     
  • Posts: 548 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    No rant from me like the previous poster. The offensive malaise continues..*sigh*
    Now there are likely two more players being added to the DL (Victorino & Blanton). The injury plague has manifest itself from last season. If there is a silver lining to this, I remind myself that Phillies team of 2010 won 97 games going away in winning their 4th consecutive division title.

    I knew it would be a long night when Kyle “Mr. Softee” Kendrick came in unprepared to replace Blanton. It was “show time” for Jason Giambi as he feasted on Kendrick’s pitches. Jason recaptured a little bit of his glory days with Oakland A’s and N.Y. Yankees with those 3 bombs. He became the second oldest player at age 40 to accomplish that feat (Stan Musial was the oldest ).

    The only positive I could find tonight with the Phillies is Raul Ibanez, the much maligned player on this site, continues his hot hitting for the month of May with two more hits (including a double to drive in the only run for the team) . Perhaps, I should mention that Rollins continues to get on base (a walk) and has done so in 41 of 43 games played. Also Stutes came in, looking healthy, and pitched effectively.

    I think it’s a no brainer that Vance Worley will rejoin the team as replacement for the injured Blanton. The question in my mind is who will replace Victorino? Mayberry likely will get more playing time in CF. I would like to see Dominic Brown be call up. However, if one were to believe GM Amaro’s statement about Brown not being ready yet, then are we to rely on the likes of Martinez and Gload to patrol the OF?

     
    • Posts: 0 John L

      Good post Bruce. No reason to panic, but it seems to me that it’s time to get our starting lineup set once and for all for the first time this season. We allowed ourselves to be out bid for J Werth for two reasons. First, he’s good, but not worth what he got. Second, We could afford to let him go because we had an even better player in AAA (DB) with more offense potential. The savings bought Cliff Lee. Now there seems to be something personal with Amaro towards Brown. DB does NOT need more ABs at AAA. Every time I see a quote by Ruben, there’s a new silly reason to keep this guy in the minors. He is the ONLY choice for RF and he is ready to come up NOW.He’s 7 years younger than Francisco, and 12 years younger than Gload. Get serious! Mayberry should be the new LF. 12 years there.

       
  • Posts: 0 Andrew From Waldorf

    Tough times.
    Howard well below .250 now

    Hard to blame him when your the only bat in the lineup that gets respect and attention.

    when you are an older team you get more injuries.

    The phils need to try to win the WS this year. Halladay and Lee not getting any younger.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Brown isnt ready yet but Mini-Mart is… Illogical (in my Spocks voice…)…Lets just say he isnt ready yet i certainly prefer a not so ready Brown to a Martinez…Its up to Rube i guess for some reason an maybe they are right Cholly an Rube have a hard on for Martinez…

     
  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Bruce, unfortunately Dom Brown won’t be coming up, at least thats what Jim Salisbury says, who’s about as insider as it gets. Looking more like Delwyn Young or Ronnie Belliard.

    But that says it all. When you’re going to Ronnie Belliard, there are major issues. Id love to see how this team would fair completely healthy. Or at least 90% healthy.

    Clearly the offense is a MAJOR problem and needs to be reworked somehow.

     
    • Posts: 0 John L

      Pat…
      Did Jim Salisbury allude to why Ruben has a bug up his ass for D Brown??

       
  • Posts: 16 phils_ftw

    Avatar of phils_ftw

    When it rains, it pours, but in Philadelphia the tarp is never brought on the field no matter how much it pours.

    For example, tonight, and game 5 of the 2008 WS.

     
  • Posts: 26 jeff y

    Avatar of jeff y

    The offense is horrible. Howard needs to sit for a few games. He looks lost at the plate. Orr is a utility player at best. The outfield is a mess with Shane out. Raul is shot. Martinez and Francisco are AA ball payers at best. Even Chooch is slumping. I’m still not sold on Mayberry yet. What a mess. Kendrick and Baez both should be mopping floors because they both suck real bad. The only bright spots are the 4 starters, Madson, and Polanco. By the way, where the hell is Worley. The guy is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mike in NJ

    Brown isn’t being called up until sometime in July (forget the exact date) because he would achieve “super 2″ status, making him eligible for arbirtation a year earlier than normal.

    I’m more irritated with how they are handling the injuries. The lastest stupidity was using Shane to PH the other day, when you KNEW he was going to end up on the DL, and now you can’t even make it retroactive to Monday.

     
  • Posts: 0 josh w

    i guess its vance worley time

     
  • Posts: 2 tvoigts

    Avatar of tvoigts

    The problem with the offense isn’t so much the injuries. It’s the performance of the core players who aren’t injured . Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez, Howard .

    They are giving the Phillies nothing.

    The Phillies paid Howard big bucks to carry this offense in times like this.
    To say he is not getting it done is the understatement of the year.
    He is not being pitched around.
    He is getting challenged night in and night out and he is getting
    blown away. Consistently.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    My favorite saber-stat is SIERA. LOVE that stat and learned about it relatively recently (last year or so). Gives you a very good idea of which pitchers are simply awesome and which are not. It makes it easy to identify guys with elite stuff who were sorta flying under the radar until now (think Kershaw, Weaver, Nolasco).

    At the same time, I’m a guy who was/is a big fan of a pitcher like Happ –partly because of the results he got, partly because of his demeanor and poise. I know that advanced stats say that he’s a mediocre pitcher (while “baseball card” stats say he’s pretty decent) but the eye test said so much more in this case…

    All in all, it’s a compromise. Normally I rely on advanced stats, but every now and then I make an exception when I believe that those stats don’t fit well with what I’m seeing with my own eyes.

    PS. I know Valdez is a pretty sub-par player, but I think that all in all he’s better than what advanced stats say he is. ;)

     
 
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