Results tagged ‘ Jimmy Rollins ’

I Give My Thanks to Ben Francisco

If not for Ben Francisco’s leadoff homer in the top of the 12th, I would have been doing this today

BangingHeadAgainstKeyboardStreetSig.gif Banging Head on Computer Keyboard image by TheKen08

as I sat writing about Brad Lidge’s seventh blown save of the season.

The Nose Knows

Things had looked bleak back in the sixth, with the Phils down 2-0. I was already envisioning doing the head-banging thing, as Rich Harden had been perfect through 5 1/3. But then Carlos Ruiz walked with one out. J.A. Happ then made a pathetic attempt at a sacrifice bunt, popping out to Derrek Lee and failing to advance Ruiz. So with two outs, Jimmy Rollins comes to the plate, and my husband announced he could “smell” a two-run homer.

Sure enough, Jimmy came through to tie the game!

The Phils went up 3-2 in the eighth, when Ryan Howard walked with the bases loaded. Thank you Ryan, for not striking out!

But darn it, Brad Lidge came on in the bottom of the ninth. Unlike last year, he has been anything but “lights out” this year. As mentioned earlier, he allowed the Cubs to tie the score, for his seventh blown save. Ready…to…tear…hair…out! Guess it’s a good thing Charlie doesn’t have too much of his own hair left, because if he felt like I did, he’d have been yanking it out by the handful.

Fast forward to the top of the 12th, and Francisco’s homer puts the Phils ahead. Heading into the bottom of the 12th, I commented that thankfully Lidge couldn’t come in again to blow another save. Chad Durbin entered the game and did what Lidge could not, preserve a one-run lead to get the save.

Give Me An ‘O’!

Today’s Inquirer had a good write-up about prospect Domonic Brown, who was recently promoted to AA-Reading. According to the story, Brown remains a shy prospect despite the recent attention cast on him by various trade-deadline rumors, and only recently informed the Phillies that they have been spelling his name wrong ever since he was drafted.

So I looked in the 2009 Media Guide, and sure enough it was spelled “Dominic”. I also noted that he had been drafted in 2006! A mere three years ago. Better late than never, I guess.

This Sunday we’ll be heading to Reading for the game, so I hope to get a good look at (and some good photos of) Brown in action.

Dreaded Headwear of Gold

Following his appearance in Tuesday’s All-Star game, Jayson Werth had the rather ignominous distinction of striking out four times last night in the first game of the second half.

golden sombrero.jpgYup, he earned the infamous Golden Sombrero. Jayson, please do not do this again this season!

[Interesting tidbits: striking out 5 times is called a platinum sombrero, and if you manage to strike out 6 times, it's called a titanium sombrero. This has only ever occurred eight times, and only in extra inning games.]

On a personal note, I seem to be having a bit of a mid-season blogging slump, and it’s going to persist at least through the next week, as we’re headed off tomorrow on a family vacation. Not much blogging opportunity there.

So for now, I’ll leave you with the latest…

Strange Photo of the Week

victorino butt grab.jpg

Just what is Jimmy Rollins doing to Shane Victorino? Seeing if his waistband is stretchy? Getting ready to give him a wedgie? Allowing noxious fumes to escape?

Maybe he’s seeing if Shane could use a little of this:
butt bath.jpg

I’m sure it would leave him fresh as a daisy!

(photo by Ron Cortes/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Aaaaaargh!!!

“She’s mean and she’s evil, like that little old boll weevil…”

Yep, I’m feeling pretty mean and evil right about now. Despite hitting four home runs off Johan Santana, the Phillies fell to the Mets by a score of 6-5. Too bad three of the homers were the solo variety. :-(

I was hoping that the Phillies could take advantage of the Mets’ depleted lineup, what with Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado out with injuries, and the bullpen without J.J. Putz. But the baseball gods apparently had other ideas last night.

 

“Doctor, doctor, give me the news…”

Brad Lidge has been place on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right knee. According to this morning’s newspaper, recent MRI exams have shown no structural damage. Maybe he also needs to get his head straightened out?

To take Lidge’s spot on the roster, the Phillies have called up Paul Bako from double-A Reading. Here he was on a recent Sunday:

bako.jpg

The Phillies are now Bako’s 11th team during his major-league career! The move will allow the Phillies to use Chris Coste as a right-handed bat off the bench, while having Bako available as a backup catcher.

 

“Hey now, you’re an all-star…”

The most recent NL voting update shows Raul Ibanez leading all-star voting for outfielders. Ryan Braun and Carlos Beltran are in second and third, respectively. I’m OK with that. But why is Manny Ramirez still hovering around at fifth?? What knuckleheads out there are actually voting for him?? I know voting began prior to Manny’s suspension, so I can understand some votes in the early going, but why would anyone cast their vote for him now??

Other Phillies currently leading at their positions are Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. I’ll agree on Chase, but as much as I like Jimmy, he is definitely not having an all-star calibre year so far. (I know, Jenn, I should bite my tongue and/or fingers for speaking/typing such heresy)

I myself have not voted yet, I tend to be a last minute voter, but rest assured I will be casting my ballot(s) soon.

 

“More, more, more…”

More megapixels, that is. After suffering a prolonged case of pixel envy (even my son’s point-and-shoot had more megapixels than my Canon Rebel!), I have finally upgraded to the Rebel XSi, nearly doubling my resolution from 6.5 to 12.2 megapixels. More is better, right? I’m looking forward to getting out there next week and using it.

 

“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hands wet on the wheel…”

Speaking of next week, my husband and I will be hitting the road for a much-needed vacation, while the kids spend some time at Camp Grandma (otherwise known as my parents’ house). Contrary to the line above, I plan to do our driving during the day. Tentative itinerary has us stopping in Baltimore on Sunday (6/14) to visit Camden Yards (haven’t been there in many years), spending a few days in Myrtle Beach, and then hopefully hitting Washington to check out the Nationals the following Saturday (6/20).

 

“But you don’t really care for music, do you?…”

You may have noticed that all my subheadings are snippets of song lyrics. I guess I was feeling a bit musical this morning. Do you know them all? If you do, you get… well, nothing, except the satisfaction of knowing that you know them. :-)

(photo by me) 

Feeling Fine on Friday

Bombs Away in the Bronx

I was a bit apprehensive about the Phillies’ visit to the new Yankee Stadium, given the way balls have been flying out of it, coupled with the propensity of Phillies pitchers to give up those gopher balls. True to expectations, seven balls left the yard tonight.

Jimmy Rollins set the tone for the night by going deep on the very first pitch of the game. There was no looking back after that, as the Phillies never trailed during this game. How many times has that happened so far this season? Don’t know off the top of my head, but I don’t think it’s a very big number.

Carlos Ruiz, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez joined Rollins in the hit parade, with Ibanez hitting his league-leading 16th long ball. This chick is starting to dig it!

Brett Myers pitched masterfully, going eight strong innings while giving up three runs. All three came on the Yanks’ share of the dingers tonight, but thankfully all three were of the solo variety, by Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira.

Phils win, 7-3. Yay!

Flushed Away in Flushing

You may have already heard about this, but I can’t resist bringing it up. Since it involves a Mets fan and a toilet, I’m surprised the Philadelphia columnists didn’t have a field day with it. Nonetheless, I learned about it on Thursday in a totally non-baseball blog called Lost in Suburbia, written by Tracy Beckerman, published author and fellow Penn Stater. Click HERE to read her take on it.

Dogs__Stuck_in_toilet_prv1.gif hebergeur 69 image by Bourriquet_album

Seems that at a game last week at Citi Field, a female Mets fan lost a gold tooth in the toilet. For reasons known only to her, she tried to retrieve it, getting her arm stuck in the toilet in the process. According to other coverage, the toilet continued flushing over her arm the whole time, which appears to have been rather lengthy, as EMTs were unable to pry her loose and workers from the company that installed the toilets had to be called in to help. She was eventually freed, but the tooth was not recovered.

OK, how does this happen? If you feel a tooth about to fall out, would you lean over the toilet? And even if it is gold, it’s a toilet, for crying out loud! A public toilet in a ballpark, no less. Unlike your home toilet, Lord knows what’s been in there. Just let it go, and make an appointment with your dentist the next day!

I Need Your Opinion

While lamenting my inability to make the Latest Leader’s List in a comment on the community blog, I noticed a comment from another blogger that thought there were too many blogs with the word “rant” in the title.

I’m familiar with, and often visit, Julia’s Rants and the Rockpile Rant, but how many more are there? Just a quick look uncovered Rainiers Rants, Wrigley Rants, Phillies Cheers/Rants, Random Reds Rants, and the daily rant (who I guess doesn’t feel the need for capitalization). And how many more might there be?

So the question I’m now contemplating is whether or not I should change the title of my blog. Maybe all these different rants are confusing to the blog readers. Do I need something clever to catch the eye? Let me know what you think.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I will be incommunicado this weekend, traveling with the family to the Jersey Shore (or as they say in Philly, going “down the shore”) for a visit with relatives. Here’s wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Phils Win in Grand Fashion

In last night’s 13-11 victory over the Nationals, the Phillies hit not one, but two – count ‘em – two grand slams. It’s only the fourth time in team history that two Phillies have hit slams in the same game.

Ryan Howard deposited the first one in the ivy in center field in the fifth inning, to tie the score at 6-6. Each team scored once in the seventh, but in the top of the eighth, Scott Eyre came in and absolutely stunk it up. Eyre gave up four runs without recording a single out – his ERA is now a dismal 10.80. Nats are now up, 11-7.

But did the Phillies give up? No! They recorded 6 runs of their own, capped off by Raul Ibanez’s own slam to put the Phillies up 13-11. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save.

 

Happy stuff

- If nothing else, we’ve learned never to count the Phillies out, even when they’re down late in the game. Other than Sunday’s comfortable win, all their victories have been of the come-from-behind variety.

- Jimmy Rollins is on record in this morning’s paper as stating that “I’m ready to hit .400 for the next month.” Is that a prediction, Jimmy? His powers of prognostication seem pretty good, having accurately called the Phils the team to beat in the NL East in 2007, and calling for 100 wins in 2008 (103 including the postseason). The Inquirer also managed to unearth one from 2005, when Jimmy stated he would hit .400 for the month of September, and then went out and hit .402 for the month with a 36-game hitting streak. Hmm. Maybe I should have Jimmy pick a few lottery numbers for me. :-)

 

Not so happy stuff

- Brad Lidge is experiencing swelling in his right knee, and was unavailable last night. Is this why Lidge has looked a bit shaky so far this season? Let’s hope it clears up soon, and Lidge returns to his 2008 form.

- Pity the poor Nationals. They hit five home runs last night, scored 11 runs, and still lost the game.

 

In case you were wondering

The other three grand slam combos in Phillies history are:
1921 – Ralph Miller and Lee Meadows (never heard of either of them)
1997 – Billy McMillon and Mike Lieberthal (Lieby! I remember him)
2003 – Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels (Tomas’ only career grand slam!)

 

Photo fun: something fishy going on

Yesterday’s photo of Cody Ross examining/admiring his hands is only part of the unusual tableau I captured during pre-game warmups a few years ago at Shea Stadium. Here it is in its full glory:

marlinlove.jpg

Do we really want to know exactly what’s going on here? I’m sure there’s a funny caption lurking here, too. Share your best efforts in the comments!

There’s also a second strange photo from this same game, which I’ll include tomorrow. Gotta keep ya coming back, after all!

(photo by me)

Friday Night Fish Fry

In what has become a disturbing trend so far in this season for the Phillies, starter Brett Myers gave up 3 runs to the Marlins in the first inning tonight on a 3-run homer to Dan Uggla. Cripes, guys, what’s with all the long balls? I’m getting a little tired of it, as I’m sure pitching coach Rich Dubee is, too.

The Fish retained that 3-0 lead through eight innings. Things looked bleak for the Phillies heading into the ninth, as Ryan Howard was retired to start things off. But then Jayson Werth doubled, Raul Ibanez walked, and Matt Stairs singled to drive in a run. Lou Marson walked to load the bases, but then Eric Bruntlett struck out. Next up was Jimmy Rollins, who walked to force in another run, making it 3-2. Shane Victorino picked an opportune time to have his bat awaken, as he then hit a grand slam to give the Phils a 6-3 lead. Chase Utley would add a solo shot of his own for good measure, to make it 7-3.

Ryan Madson took over in the bottom of the ninth, and though he allowed a walk and a double, he retired the side with no further scoring. Phillies win!

—————————————————————————————————————————————

No crotch shots in today’s newspaper – darn! Two worthy captions for yesterday’s photo were submitted, they appear below.

crotchtag.jpg

“No, if you cover it up like this no one can see the stain”

- OR -

“Hey, get that away from my best friend!!!”

Thanks to Julia of Julia’s Rants for the first one, and Stanley of Phillies Red Pinstripes for the second. Thanks for having some fun with me!

(photo by Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Inquirer)

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)

Take Me Out to the Turntable

Yeah, I know, use of the term “turntable” really dates me, but it sounded better than “mp3 player”. When I’m not obsessing about baseball, music is something I hold near and dear. I like listening to all kinds of music – rock, blues, jazz, even a little rap if it’s not a minefield of f-bombs. And there’s even the occasional baseball tie-in.

So I thought it would be fun to create a little quiz, with, appropriately enough, nine questions. Here goes:

1) What musical duo asked the lyrical question, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?”

2) What position does John Fogerty want to play when he sings, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play”?

3) What singer “had a friend was a big baseball player, back in high school”?

4) What Hall of Famer calls play-by-play for Meat Loaf as he tries for a “home run”?

5) Joe Pernice asks what slugger to hit a “moonshot” in a song heard during the closing credits of “Fever Pitch”?

6) “The Phillies got the groove” in a lyrically modified version of this song by McFadden and Whitehead. What is the title?

7) The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates co-opted the song “We Are Family” from what musical group hailing from, ahem, Philadelphia?

8) In addition to playing baseball and predicting the future, Jimmy Rollins has a music production company. What is it called?

9) Which former Yankee recorded a jazz album entitled “The Journey Within”?

Extra Innings (I’ll make this one multiple choice, as it’s a bit obscure):

This famous photo of Babe Ruth, taken by New York Herald Tribune photographer Nat Fein, won a Pulitzer Prize.
1949.jpg It was also used on the cover of an album by what rock group?

a) Black Flag          b) Black Train Jack       c) The Jack Rubies

I’ll post the answers tomorrow.  Until then, hope you have fun with it!

(photo courtesy Nat Fein Estate, found on http://www.hagginmuseum.org/exhibitions/pulitzer/photos.htm)

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