Results tagged ‘ Cole Hamels ’

Phils Take Game 1!

Some quick thoughts on yesterday’s game, before I settle in to watch Game 2 on TV. No visual aids today.

The “August” version of Cliff Lee was in the park yesterday, going the distance as the Phils beat the Rockies 5-1. Thank goodness it wasn’t “September” Lee that showed up! Today Cole Hamels takes the mound – let’s hope we get “2008 Postseason” Cole, and not the inconsistent 2009 version.

Though it looked like a nice sunny day, the gusting, swirling winds made for some entertaining fielding. On one pop-up, the ball must have taken a U-turn while in flight, as Jimmy Rollins first ran out to short left, then abruptly ran back towards third base before making the catch. The wind also robbed Jayson Werth, and possibly Ryan Howard, of homers.

I can breathe a little easier with the Phillies victory yesterday, but if they can win today I will definitely feel more comfortable.

Speaking of TV, I despise the coverage by TBS. They seemed to be having some sort of technical difficulties yesterday, as the sound kept cutting out. I also have it on good authority from Jenn of Phillies Phollowers, who was there in person, that the crowd was REALLY LOUD. You would not have known that from the broadcast – the crowd sounds were buried in the mix, leaving the announcers all too easy to hear. Maybe I should try muting the TV and listening to the local radio broadcast :-).

Happiness Abounds

In my last entry, I was a bit pessimistic about the Phillies’ chances against the Mets. In the wake of their being swept by the Braves, I was happy that they’d at least won the first game to avoid being swept again. In retrospect, what was I worried about? This time, the cleat was on the other feet, and the Mets were the ones being swept!!

It does my heart good to see the Mets looking as frustrated as this:
frustratedmet copy.jpg Tom Mihalek/AP

The Mutts, oops, Mets were only able to muster a grand total of 3 runs over the 3-game sweep, as the Phillies won by scores of 7-2, 4-1, and 2-0.

Last night, the Phils opened a 4-game series against the Reds by absolutely erupting
                                              erupting baseball.jpg
for 22 runs, 10 of which came in the first inning! I almost felt a teeny bit bad for Johnny Cueto, who gave up 9 of those runs in a mere 2/3 of an inning. Amazingly, 8 of the 10 runs came after there were two outs and no one on base!

Cole Hamels gave up a solo homer to Jonny Gomes, but that was it for the Reds. Things got so bad for them, they brought infielder Paul Janish in to pitch the bottom of the eighth, his second such appearance this year. Apparently the first outing was less than stellar, as he gave up 5 runs. This time would be no different, as Janish coughed up six runs, including a Jayson Werth grand slam. Poor Janish now has an ERA of 49.50 to show for his efforts.

Now for tonight. More often than not, it seems that after the Phillies have an outburst like this, the next night they are asleep at the wheel. I hope that this time they can continue with the offensive heroics, and keep their winning streak going.

Minor Matters

On Sunday, we took the kids to the Reading Phillies for Kids Club Game #2, where they were happy to receive their Crazy Hot Dog Vendor pillowcases.
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There was also a pre-game Mascot Meet and Greet – the R-Phils have no less than 5 mascots! I can understand mascots with names like Blooper, Change-Up, and Screwball (a dog, turtle, and mutant Mr. Red/Met combo, respectively), but I’m not so sure about Quack (duck) and Bucky (beaver). I think it’s just so they have enough to complete the Mascot Band, which performs live before Saturday games.

Yohan Flande was on the mound for the R-Phils, making his second start at AA since being called up from Clearwater.

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The Connecticut Defenders (S.F. Giants affiliate) countered with prospect Tim Alderson.

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The Defenders would come out on top, winning by a score of 12-5. They ran rampant on Flande and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, stealing six bases altogether, including two double-steals in the second inning, resulting in two runs scored. Here is one of those runs:

playatplate.jpgThough it looks like the baserunner should be out, the ball was knocked loose on the play.

One more favorite shot from the game – in this one, Connecticut shortstop Sharlon Schoop’s bubble bursts, both literally and figuratively, as he is unable to make a play on a hard ground ball that had caused him to stumble while fielding it.

brokenbubble.jpg

More Things That Make You Go “Hmmm”

On the way home from Reading, we passed a restaurant that was advertising a “Bridal Tasting” later this month. One assumes/hopes that this is a chance for brides and grooms to sample menu options available for rehearsal dinners or receptions. Otherwise, the choice of wording leads to some unusual mental images.

(all photos by me except where noted; erupting baseball is the logo for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes)

Things That Make Me Go “Hmm”

Thank goodness interleague play is over, as the Phillies were a rather disapointing 6-12 against AL East opponents. Did I say “disappointing”? I think “dreadful” might be a better word.

Anyway, today is an off day, and tomorrow they return to action against their familiar NL East foe, Atlanta.

In the meantime, here are a few stray thoughts that struck me over the past week or so.

While paging through the 2009 Phillies Yearbook (one of the goodies that we picked up at last week’s Phestival), I noticed that some of the player profiles included an entry for “Last book you read”. As quite a few of the profiles did not even include this particular item, I can only assume that they haven’t actually read a book in recent memory. I did note that both Scott Eyre and Cole Hamels had the same answer to this one: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.

 

Huh? Really?

Last time I checked, this book (and its sequels) had a target audience of teenage girls. It is a vampire love story, after all. As they used to say on Laugh-In, “Verrry interesting.”

Speaking of Cole Hamels, a column in the Inquirer last week noted that he and his wife Heidi are expecting their first child, and that it will be a boy. The couple still plans on adopting a child from Africa, with Hamels quoted as follows:

“We’re going to adopt a girl, and it will be great for her to grow up with a brother. They’ll be like twins.”

Cole is apparently using a different definition of the word “twins” than I am familiar with. Nonetheless, best wishes go out to the expectant parents.

Finally, this shout-out goes to Julia at Julia’s Rants, who correctly identified 5 of the 6 lyrical snippets used in my last entry. For the record, the answers are:

“Bakin’ potatoes, bakin’ in the sun…” – Rock Lobster, The B-52’s

“The way the beach is kissed by the sea…” – Love, Reign O’er Me - though I was thinking of the classic version by The Who, this song was also covered by Pearl Jam

“Don’t know much about history…” – Wonderful World, Sam Cooke

“Here comes the rain, here she comes again…” – Rain, The Cult

“You make me laugh, give me your autograph…” – Supersonic, Oasis

“School’s out for the summer…” – School’s Out, Alice Cooper

Sweet Victory

In between folding laundry and preventing the kids from seriously maiming each other, I periodically checked the Phillies/Mets game last night. Suffice it to say that Cole Hamels was not sharp. I mean, giving up a lead-off double to the pitcher?? Of course, this led to a run being scored. Thankfully, Chase Utley tied it up in the next inning, with a solo home run.

OK, so far I’m pretty calm. But then Hamels immediately gives a run, and more, right back, by allowing the Mets to score three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Now I’m not a happy camper, and with apologies to CCR, I felt a bad mood on the rise.

Lo and behold, the Phillies tie the game back up with three runs of their own in the top of the seventh. My mood was beginning to brighten. After scoreless eighth, ninth, and tenth innings, who should be leading off the 11th but Chase Utley. In answer to the prayers of Phillies phans everywhere, he obligingly deposited another ball in the right field seats to give the Phils a 5-4 lead. Ryan Madson, in his new role as closer of the moment, recorded a 1-2-3 bottom of the 11th for a save.

Like SpongeBob says, it’s sweet, sweet victory, yeah!

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(OK, I’ve got two kids, I’ve seen waaay too much SpongeBob)

 

A fool and his money are soon parted

Is there actually a Mets fan out there who has $35,000 lying around that he/she doesn’t know what to do with? We’ll find out in two days, when bidding ends on eBay item 290322027654, the Shea Stadium Wrecking Ball.

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Just how does one display a wrecking ball in their home? There are so many better things to do with $35,000  – they could always just send some to me, I would put it to good use! :-)

 

So how many songs did you know?

Kudos to Julia, who identified all the songs my subheadings came from yesterday. For the record, they were:

“She’s mean and she’s evil, like that little old boll weevil…” – Little Sister, Elvis Presley;

“Doctor, doctor, give me the news…” – Bad Case of Lovin’ You (Doctor, Doctor), Robert Palmer;

“Hey now, you’re an all-star…” – All-Star, Smashmouth (an easy one);

“More, more, more…” – I was thinking of More, More, More by Andrea True Connection (yeah, I used to listen to disco back in the day) but my husband pointed out it could have come from Rebel Yell by Billy Idol (a college favorite, so I’m surprised I didn’t think of that myself);

“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hands wet on the wheel…” – Radar Love, Golden Earring;

“But you don’t really care for music, do you?…” – Hallelujah. There are several different artists for this one. Leonard Cohen wrote it and recorded it first, though I prefer the version by Jeff Buckley. There is also a version by Rufus Wainwright, which appears in the movie Shrek.

I Hate My Sinuses!

Today’s entry is going to be a short one, because right now I’m developing a wicked headache. I’m not sure if I’m getting a cold, or my allergies are acting up, but all I know is that my sinuses are doing something which is resulting in post nasal drip, which is causing me to sneeze and cough. The coughing is now unfortunately giving me a headache.

Anyway, a few quick thoughts from the holiday weekend.

Phils Take 2 of 3 From Yankees

Brett Myers pitched well on Friday to lead the Phillies to a 7-3 win, which I recounted in my last entry.

On Saturday, J.A. Happ went 6 innings and would have been in line to get the win, as the Phillies were up 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth. Then Brad Lidge entered the game and all hell broke loose. Johnny Damon walked to lead off the inning, and then with one out, A-Rod homered to tie it up. Robinson Cano then singled and subsequently stole second, so that Melky Cabrera’s bloop into short center allowed him to score the winning run. Yanks win, 5-4.

The way the Yankees reacted, you’d have thought they just won the World Series. Heck, even a come-from-behind-in-the-ninth win should be old news for them, as they lead the majors with 17 come-from-behind wins, with nine of those coming in the final at-bat.

Sunday, Cole Hamels allowed two runs in six innings of work. The Phillies had a slim 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, and once again, Brad Lidge blew the save. This time the game went into extra innings, with Carlos Ruiz knocking in the game-winning run in the top of the 11th, giving the Phillies a 4-3 victory.

John Mayberry, Jr. Makes His Debut

Mayberry made his major-league debut in Saturday’s game, and made a splash by hitting a 3-run homer for his first big-league hit. He also added a double, to go 2-for-3 on the day.

Why, just last Tuesday I saw John taking some big cuts at the Lehigh Valley IronPigs game:

mayberry.jpgCongratulations John!

What Is Up With Lidge?

Brad Lidge blew two consecutive save opportunities this weekend. Is his knee more of a factor than he and the Phillies are letting on? Is the pressure of living up to the expectations that resulted from last season’s perfection getting into his head? Is it something else entirely? Whether the issue is physical or mental, I hope the Phillies and Lidge soon figure out what is wrong, and please, please, please take steps to remedy the problem. We need a healthy and effective Lidge!

Monday of the Marlins

Other than Ryan Howard, the Phillies offense was lackluster yesterday in a 5-3 loss to the Marlins. Howard provided all the offense, with a two-run homer in the first, and a solo shot in the sixth. Jamie Moyer allowed 4 runs, with three of them coming on a home run by Wes Helms in the fourth, after Moyer walked the first two batters of the inning. Helms went 3-for-4 on the day with 4 RBIs.

Hey Wes, how come you never had games like that when you were a Phillie?

The Phillies and Marlins meet again tonight, with Joe Blanton facing off against Andrew Miller. Come on, guys, let’s get back on the winning track!

(photo by me)

Too Much Time On My Hands

Since the Phillies lost on Wednesday night to the Nationals in rather uninspiring fashion, I didn’t really feel moved to write about it yesterday. Yesterday was also an off day, so I had plenty of free time to let my mind wander.

Today’s blog is a culmination of that wandering.

Some of you out there may watch “Desperate Housewives.” As I watched the most recent episode this past Sunday, I was struck by the similarities in hairstyle between the character Orson Hodge (played by Kyle McLachlan) and our own Phillie, Cole Hamels. See for yourself:

hairtwins.jpg

They’re even dressed similarly, with sport coat and open collared shirt! Are they both reading the same men’s fashion magazines? Do they share a stylist? Just something to mull over…

Recalling a mention of oddly shaped heads in one of Jane’s recent She-Fan entries, my mind next wandered to the pairing of Placido Polanco and Phil Collins:

melonheads.jpg

I can’t decide which produce item they more closely resemble. Is it:

 

cantaloupe.jpgthe cantaloupe?

 

watermelon.jpgthe watermelon?

 

pumpkin.jpgor the pumpkin?

For what it’s worth, the first two are members of the melon family, while the pumpkin is a gourd.

Also for what it’s worth, the title of today’s entry is also the title of a really bad Styx song from the 1981 album “Paradise Theatre”, which I hesitate to admit I actually owned way back in high school. My taste in music was really bad then.

Tonight, the Phillies take on the Mets at Citizen’s Bank Park. C’mon guys, let’s kick some Met butt! Make me a happy girl!

Has Hamels Offended the Baseball Gods?

What is going on here? I’m beginning to think someone is using one of these on Cole Hamels:

voodoodoll2.jpgEither that, or it’s the *gasp!* SI cover curse.

Hamels+SI+cover.jpg

First it was the sore elbow in Spring Training, then he was hit by a liner off the bat of Prince Fielder last week, forcing him from the game. Last night, he turned his ankle while fielding a bunt by Washington pitcher John Lannan, and again had to leave the game. Just when he was starting to look like the Hamels of last October, too – pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings with 4 hits and 4 strikeouts. His velocity and control were back last night, as well.

Fortunately, x-rays were negative and the injury was deemed a “mild sprain.” With tomorrow’s off day, there will be an additional day between starts, so the team is optimistic that he will not have to miss a start.

The Phillies won the game, 7-1, with Chase Utley hitting two home runs, and Pedro Feliz and Raul Ibanez each adding a homer as well.

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Back to that voodoo doll. If some evil person out there (probably a Mets fan) is using one on Cole, they obviously have a better doll than I do. For example, if I wanted to give, say, Johan Santana a sore elbow before his start today, all I’d succeed in giving him would be this:

hinniseebow.jpg

“hinnis eebow”

 

If I wanted to sully the image of Grady Sizemore or Jacoby Ellsbury, to the consternation of many of the female bloggers, I could try to give them hairy ears, but end up giving them this:

hairyeaps.jpg

“hairy eaps”

 

Or if I wanted to attack Manny’s manhood, I’d have somewhat the opposite effect:

importenci.jpg

“importenci”

 

For the record, I bought this doll many years ago in the BK days, while strolling through the French Market in New Orleans. If you’ve never been there, the French Market is a sort of open-air farmer’s market/flea market. Of course, I decided I needed a voodoo doll (doesn’t everyone who visits New Orleans buy one?) but obviously didn’t look at it too carefully. It wasn’t until later that I noticed it was filled with typographical errors. I guess there was not a lot of proofreading or quality control going on where this was made.

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As I promised in yesterday’s comments, here is the other “fishy” picture of the Marlins, taken mere moments before Cody Ross gazed lovingly at his hands.

buttchecking.jpg

Note how the other players are dutifully stretching, while Dan Uggla is doing Lord-knows-what to Ross’s butt. Something needed adjusting? Was there a little TP hanging out? I’m just going to stop right now.

(all photos (except SI cover, obviously) by me)

We Want a Pitcher…

…who won’t be inducing the indigestion I’ve been experiencing lately while watching the Phillies. I think I’m going to be buying these:

tums.jpgby the caseload, if things continue this way.

Last night, Cole Hamels looked pretty good against the Padres through the first four innings, giving up one run on a solo homer to Luis Rodriguez in the third. At the end of four, the Phillies held a 7-1 lead.

After that, things went to h*ll in a handbasket pretty darn quick. Hamels gave up a two-run shot to Scott Hairston in the fifth, and another two-run shot to Nick Hundley in the sixth. But he still left the game with a 7-5 lead. Not great, but a lead nonetheless.

Unfortunately, the Padres’ bullpen held the Phillies scoreless after they’d scored 7 off of starter Chris Young. On the other side, normally reliable Ryan Madson gave up 3 runs to give the Padres a 8-7 lead. The Phils, unable to rally in the bottom of the ninth, took the loss after blowing a 6 run lead.

Aargh!

Their record now stands at 4-5. Last year, their record after nine games was also 4-5, and things didn’t turn out so bad.

However – in those nine games last year, the Phillies scored 39 runs, and gave up 48. This year through nine games, they’ve scored more runs, 49, but they’ve given up 62!

Egads!

The Phillies have a chance to redeem themselves tonight, as Brett Myers faces Shawn Hill. I’m hoping that this afternoon’s memorial service for Harry Kalas, being held at the ballpark, does not prove too much of an emotional distraction.

C’mon, win another one for Harry!

Elbow Optimism

After finishing my latest ballpark quest entry on Wrigley Field, I decided I’d better get off my butt and get a little exercise. Since it’s a pretty nice day here (though still all depressing and brown), I went for a walk.

I must have looked pretty conflicted – I was wearing my Phillies World Series sweatjacket over a Detroit Tigers t-shirt, topped off with a Corpus Christi Hooks cap (it’s a bad hair day).

Anyway, upon my return, I saw an update on Cole Hamels’ elbow. Up till now, I have been avoiding mentioning it in my blog, employing my best “don’t think about it and maybe it will go away” tactics.

The bottom line is that there is no structural damage. There is, however, inflammation, for which Hamels received an injection. He will also not throw for two days. Whether or not he will pitch Opening Day on April 5 is up in the air at this point.

I’d rather see him miss Opening Day but be healthy for the rest of the season. Opening Day is just one game. He will have plenty of other chances to be the Opening Day starter in his career.

Take care of that elbow, Cole!

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(Hamels photo mine)

20 Stadiums in 20 Days – Wrigley Field

Aah, Wrigley Field, one of the most hallowed of major-league ballparks. After our extra-inning night in Milwaukee, we attended a day game in the Friendly Confines on August 22, 1997.

wrigleysign.jpgAnd what a day – beautiful, sunny, comfortable, a great view from the front of the upper deck:

wrigleyfield.jpg

What’s not to like? The outfield ivy was in full greenery. The hand-operated scoreboard in center field showed that this was the only day game going on at the moment:

wrigleyscoreboard.jpgWe saw Harry Carey doing his traditional rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch:

harrycarey.jpg

Little did we know that we were lucky to be there in 1997, as sadly, Harry would pass away during the off-season, on February 18, 1998. There is now a statue honoring him outside the ballpark:

careystatue.jpgOh, yeah, there was a ballgame going on that day. The Cubs were playing the Montreal Expos. Dustin Hermanson was on the mound for the Expos, and pitching for the Cubs that day was the Human Rain Delay, Steve Trachsel. Oddly enough, this game clocked in at a relatively brisk 2:31.

Sammy Sosa hit a two-run homer for the Cubbies in the seventh. Doug Strange hit a solo shot for the Expos in the eighth. [Strange - ha! Another name that could provide ample opportunity for merciless teasing during childhood.] The Cubs would tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, and hold on to win 3-1.

Also playing for the Cubs that day was Doug Glanville, who would later become a Phillie. Doug is shown here waiting on deck with Shawon Dunston:

glanville.jpg

In actuality, this should have been our second visit to Wrigley, rather than our first. In 1994, we were visiting friends in Chicago and had tickets to see the Cubs play the Phillies on September 10. How perfect! Except a little thing called the players strike, which began August 12, got in the way of my plans. Here we are in front of Wrigley holding our useless tickets, instead of seeing a game:

strike.jpg

Oddly, my husband looks happy about this. One of the ticket windows was open, so at least we were able to get our money back that day.

We have been back to Wrigley since, to see three games (out of a four game series) between the Phillies and the Cubs in August 2006. We decided to try out three different seating areas of the ballpark.

For the first game, August 21, we gave the left-field bleachers a try. The bleachers in Wrigley are totally separated from the rest of the seating areas, and there is even a separate entrance:
bleacherentrance.jpg

The view from the bleachers is pretty nice. This photo was taken in the top of the first – it seems that there were a lot of late arriving fans that night:

bleacherview.jpg

This game featured home runs by Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley for the Phils, and Jacque Jones for the Cubs. This is also the game when Aaron Rowand broke his ankle after colliding with Chase Utley on a fly ball to shallow center field.

The Phils held on to win 6-5. Jon Lieber got the win, and Arthur Rhodes the save. Rich Hill took the loss for the Cubs.

The next night, August 22, we had seats in the lower level behind home plate. This is probably the only area I wouldn’t want to sit in again – the seats are really tight together, there are those annoying support beams that all old ballparks are blessed (cursed) with, and on a hot, humid night the air under there is very stagnant.

Jamie Moyer was making his first start for the Phillies – here is a shot of his first pitch:

moyer.jpg

No home runs this night, though Jimmy Rollins did hit a triple. The Phils would win 6-3, with Moyer getting the win and Ryan Madson the save. Ryan O’Malley took the loss for the Cubs.

The next night, August 23, we were again in the upper level to see Brett Myers take the mound for the Phils, and Angel Guzman for the Cubs. Here is a photo of Myers that night. He has a weird habit of not looking towards the plate as he releases the pitch:

myers2.jpgHomers were hit by Ryan Howard for the Phils, and Matt Murton for the Cubs. The Phils would win again, this time by a score of 2-1. Myers got the win, and Geoff Geary got the save this night. Three saves, three different pitchers. Bob Howry would end up with the loss.

We would leave Chicago the next day, and thankfully not see Cole Hamels give up nine (!) runs in only two innings of work, though only five were earned. ;-) It would later be revealed that Hamels had cut the index finger on his left (pitching) hand with a Swiss Army knife while trying to cut a plastic zip tie  in the days prior to the game, and he was unable to properly grip his change-up.

Note to Cole: stay away from cutting implements! Let Heidi do all the cutting!

Coming up next, Turner Field.

(all photos mine)

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