Results tagged ‘ Raul Ibanez ’

Yes, They’ve Clinched, But I Still Don’t Like It When They Lose

As I predicted in my last post, the Phillies did indeed clinch the NL East over the weekend, prior to my attending of Monday night’s game against the Cardinals. By the looks of things during the game, you would have thought they were still hung over two days after the celebration.

It’s not that they didn’t have baserunners all night; in fact, they had the bases loaded in the bottom of the third with one out, but both Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco struck out to eliminate any threat of scoring.

Then, after lulling the crowd into a semi-stupor, the Phils mounted just enough of a comeback in the bottom of the ninth to get our hopes up, only to fall just short of victory (or at least tying the game). Deja vu, this kind of thing happened the last time I was here, on August 26!

Bottom line, Phils lose, 4-3. Bleh!

A few Random Thoughts occurred to me during the game:

  • of the four games I’ve attended this season (a pitiful stat in itself), the Phils are 1-3. The only time they won was when I didn’t have my camera with me, due to rain. Probably just coincidence, but still annoying that my camera seems to bring bad luck.
  • I am never so fortunate as to have a small child seated in front of me; rather, they tend to be taller than average adults (sometimes excessively so).
  • Unlike me, most people seem to be incapable of sitting in their seat for the duration of the game. These people will inevitably step in front of me at the very moment I’m trying to take a picture.
  • With the exception of the people seated in front of me. They never move.

But the evening was not without some pluses. For one thing, I was able to satisfy my desire for more bobbleheads (yeah, I’m a sucker for them).

The newest addition to my bobblehead collection. I'm not sure it really resembles Polanco, though; the head's not nearly round enough. :-)

Due to an apparent surplus of Placido Polanco bobbleheads, one was given away free with each 2011 Phillies Yearbook purchased. Wouldn’t you know, I had gotten a yearbook last time. After some thought, I decided I’d probably be willing to pay 10 bucks for a bobblehead anyway, so I bought it. I now have a brand new 2011 yearbook for sale, a $10 value, half price if anyone’s interested. :-)

But enough of my ranting and raving. Forthwith, my photos from the game.

This Bud's For You - Speaking of Polanco, what's he doing out there with Albert Pujols? Granted, Polanco did spend some time with the Cards, so maybe he and Albert are "buds", as the ad on the outfield wall proclaims. But must he fraternize with the opposition right there in the middle of the field before the game?

"Everybody hands go up" - Shane Victorino seems to be acting out the lyrics to the DJ Khaled song "All I Do Is Win", which has frequently been heard this season at the stadium and during broadcasts. Problem is, they haven't won much lately, dropping 8 of their last 12 games, including four straight since clinching the division.

Update: Phinally! The Phils beat the Mets yesterday to break an eight game (!) losing streak.

The Passing of the Boa - Michael Schwimer is no longer the new kid in the 'pen, and Justin DeFratus now has the honor of wearing the boa-draped backpack. Watch out, Justin, it looks like the Phanatic's eyeing you up!

Shake and Bake - While on the basepaths, Rafael Furcal sported what looked like an oven mitt, presumably intended to protect his previously injured thumb. He shook things up enough, leading off the game with a double, moving to third on a passed ball, and scoring on Nick Punto's groundout. All this within the span of five pitches!

When Pigs Fly - Pigs weren't necessarily flying, but dogs were (hot dogs, that is). For the last Hatfield Dollar Dog night of the season, the Phanatic has help from Hatfield's Smiley the Pig on his mission to bombard the crowd with jet-propelled hot dogs. Look out, Chase!

"Vanna, I'd like to buy a vowel" - if I actually tried to pronounce the last name of St. Louis reliever Marc Rzepczynski out loud, I may very well sprain my tongue!

And finally - lest you think there was no game action, here's a shot of Jimmy Rollins sliding into third with an RBI triple in the bottom of the ninth, while Daniel Descalso awaits the throw. Carlos Ruiz scored on the play, and Rollins would score on a Shane Victorino ground out, but that would be it for the scoring, as Hunter Pence grounded out with two men on to end the game. Aaargh!

(all photos by me)

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!

You might think that now that my kids have been back in school for almost two weeks, that I might have found some time to finally post pictures from my latest trip to the ballpark, way back on August 26th. Sadly, you would be mistaken. Inevitably, each day managed to have something else crop up.

Except for today.

So, finally, here is my photographic coverage of that game against the Marlins. The Phillies lost, 6-5, so I won’t go into a whole game recap. That sort of thing is available elsewhere, if you’re so inclined to read it.

I'd always known that there was a marker commemorating the location of Veterans Stadium's home plate somewhere in the parking lot of Citizens Bank Park, but had never actually seen it. Now I know why - it's in the middle of a traffic lane, and sort of looks like a utility cover from a distance.

Unveiled just 10 days prior, this statue of the late Harry Kalas stands on the concourse just outside Harry the K's restaurant. It is amazingly detailed, right down to the "P" on Harry's World Series ring.

"Hey Dave, does this boa make me look fat?" Even if it does, who would actually want to say so to the 6'8", 240 lb Michael Schwimer?

Chase Utley leaps for the high throw as Emilio Bonifacio promptly steals second after singling to lead off the first inning. He ended up scoring the first run of the night for the Marlins, although it was unearned due to a throwing error by Wilson Valdez.

Hope sprang up briefly, and Valdez redeemed himself slightly, when he hit a solo homer in the third to tie the score at 1-1. The Marlins scored again in the fourth, and from that point the Phillies trailed the rest of the game.

Roy Oswalt had a rough night on the mound, giving up 6 runs (5 earned) in 5.2 innings of work. Four of those runs came on a John Buck grand slam, after the Marlins loaded the bases with three straight singles to start the top of the 6th.

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of tracking Chase Utley as he runs down a pop fly in foul territory, until...

...just before making the catch, he appears to be running into The Mist (or The Fog, depending on your horror movie preferences). In reality, the person seated in front of me had decided to stand up at that exact moment.

Not wanting to be left out of the action, this vendor stepped into my viewfinder just as Carlos Ruiz puts the ball in play. It was one of those kind of nights.

I'm really liking the style of newest Phillie Hunter Pence. He chokes up on the bat! He wears his socks high! He gets nice and dirty! He got two hits!

Michael Stutes displays the dreaded Inverted W. The jury is still out on whether it is truly "dreaded". Go ahead, Google it and see - some people think it is a harbinger of injuries to come, others think it makes no difference. Let's just check back on Stutes in a few years and see.

What the heck is Cliff Lee doing? I don't really know, and it appears neither does Gaby Sanchez. Lee was inserted as a pinch runner for Raul Ibanez in the bottom of the ninth.

While waiting for the hubby to make a pit-stop after the game, I noticed this little warning at the back of the right field seats. Balls? Well, maybe. But bats? I don't think so.

So the Phillies have now clinched a postseason berth, and could very well clinch the division before my next foray to South Philly on Monday night. Let’s hope I can get those photos posted in a more timely fashion. :-)

(all photos by me)

My Spring Training Adventure – Part 3

Before I get into my coverage of our final two games, you may recall me mentioning in my last entry that I thought Ed Smith Stadium looks like a motel. Well, I dug through my old photo albums, and found a photo from our visit in March 2000. At the time, it was the spring home of the Reds. Since then, the Reds have relocated to Arizona for Spring Training, and Ed Smith is now home to the Orioles. Here it is:

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Unless it’s been refurbished in the past 10 years, this is what the exterior of the part behind home plate looks like. All those railings and doors look just like a motel to me.

 

March 16 – Day 6

After yet another mouth-watering breakfast at the Inn at the Bay, we made our way to Bright House Field for today’s Phillies-Tigers game. If I haven’t already mentioned it, the Inn at the Bay serves the most awesome breakfasts. We’ve stayed there five times, and we’ve almost never had the same breakfast twice. They are so filling, most days we don’t even need lunch!

Once again, we arrived when the gates opened. New Tiger Johnny Damon signed some autographs (for Phillies fans!) during batting practice. I’m still not too happy with Johnny over that stolen-base-thing last October:

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Cole Hamels was on the mound for the Phillies, going five innings with 2 hits, 1 run, and 4 stikeouts. He was looking pretty good this day:

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Detroit’s Justin Verlander didn’t have such a great day, giving up home runs to Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard. Overall, he went 3 1/3 innings, with 4 runs on 3 hits:

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Speaking of Howard’s homer (his first of the spring), it came on the swing immediately following this shot:

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During a pitching change, Johnny Damon, Adam Everett, and Brandon Inge discuss the fly ball that got lost in the sun and just dropped into the Bermuda Triangle of turf between all three of them for a hit. They all appear to have sunglasses – guys, weren’t you using them?

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Phil Coke came on in relief of Verlander, and proceeded to give up Domonic Brown’s second homer of the day, a two-run shot. Phil’s pants look like they have enough extra fabric at the bottom for a whole ‘nuther pair:

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Domonic Brown had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two homers and an RBI single. As thanks, he got reassigned to the minor league camp after the game:

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New Phillie Danys Baez came on to pitch a scoreless inning in relief:

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Greg Dobbs, playing third in place of the injured Placido Polanco, makes contact. Dobbs went 1-for-3 and scored a run:

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Jimmy Rollins stops to sign some autographs on his way to the clubhouse. This may have been a mistake, as he was stuck there for the next 10 minutes while fans continued to flock down the aisle. Jimmy is actually one of the most fan-friendly Phillies, so he didn’t seem to mind:

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Something I hadn’t seen before was a post-game batting practice. After the final out, the cage was wheeled back on the field, and Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz, and Shane Victorino took additional BP. Shane seemed to be working on his bunting. Afterwards, Raul Ibanez and his son walk to the clubhouse with Charlie Manuel:

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On the way out, we stopped for a photo of me in front of the entrance to the ballpark. Since I’m always the one taking the pictures, we need visual proof I was actually on this vacation:

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March 17 – Day 7

St. Patrick’s Day dawned rather gray and dreary. On our way to the ballpark, it even rained a little bit. This had me concerned, because our “seats” for today were on the berm, the grassy area beyond the outfield fence. I wasn’t looking forward to sitting on soggy sod.

Not to fear though. By gametime, the skies had cleared and it turned into a sunny, pleasant afternoon for our final day in Florida.

During Phillies BP, Charlie Manuel had a chance to check out the mini-sized Charlie Manuel bat that will be given out to kids on July 6:

manuel bat.JPGRandy Winn and Brian Schneider are loitering behind the batting cage. Something has made Winn grin, though Schneider looks like he just ate a bug:

winn schneider.JPGThis trio of trouble is yukking it up at the expense of their fellow fielder, who just muffed a grounder during pre-game warmups:

trouble trio.JPGMark Texiera and Alex Rodriguez wait their turns in the batting cage. Just what is that huge wad hiding in A-Rod’s cheek? Gum? Sunflower seeds? Some chew? His ego?

tex arod.jpgPhillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler was on hand to sign copies of his book, “View From The Booth.” Yes, I bought one. There are some who don’t really like Wheels as a broadcaster, but I’ll be interested to read his take on things:

wheels.JPGJust before the game started, I met up with Confession of a She-Fan‘s Jane Heller and got interviewed by her on the She-Fan Cam. Click here to read Jane’s coverage of the game, and see the video clip.

In between BP and game time, the Phillies changed from their usual red and white uniforms to their bright green St. Patty’s day jerseys. Joe Blanton took to the mound for the Phillies. Blanton had a Blanton-like outing, going 5 innings, scattering 7 hits and giving up 2 runs:

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The last time my husband and I came to Spring Training, in 2007, we saw the Phillies host the Yankees on St. Patrick’s Day, and Andy Pettitte started for the Yankees. Three years later, we are seeing the Phillies host the Yankees on St. Patrick’s Day, and Andy Pettitte is starting for the Yankees. Deja vu!

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Randy Winn scores for the Yankees, as the throw to Carlos Ruiz is late:

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Ryan Howard tosses the ball to first to get the out:

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The Flyin’ Hawaiian can’t fly quite far enough, as this ball got past Shane Victorino for an extra-base hit:

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The Phillie O’Phanatic get a bit, um, friendly with the third-base umpire. The mind shudders to imagine the offspring that would result from such an unholy union:

irish phanatic.JPGThe luck of the Irish was with Jayson Werth as he lauched a three-run homer, which sealed the outcome of the game in favor of the Phillies:

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Final score: Phillies 6, Yankees 2

Later that evening, we met up for dinner with Jane and her husband Michael, as it turned out that they were staying just three blocks away from us in St. Petersburg. We all enjoyed a delicious meal, and great conversation. The time flew by, and since we all had flights home the next day, finally had to bid each other good night.

Our flight home was much better than the first – no turbulence, and my husband and I actually got to sit next to each other this time.

(all photos by me, except the one of me, which was taken by my husband)

Oh….My….God!!!

Last night’s NLCS Game 4 was just a little too stressful for my tastes. After jumping out to an early lead in the first inning via a Ryan Howard long ball (which I missed, by the way, while helping my young procrastinator finish a school project which was due today), the Phils’ bats went silent as Randy Wolf found his groove for the next several innings.

Joe Blanton, on the other hand, started out strong, but then began to falter the second time through the Dodgers’ lineup. The Dodgers took a 4-2 lead, and I began to resemble this:

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Yep, I was giving some serious hairy eyeballs to the Dodgers, particularly when ManChild, oops I mean ManRam, was for once not “being Manny” in the outfield, as he ran in to make a shoestring catch on an Ibanez liner to end a Phillies scoring threat.

The Phils did manage to cut the margin to 4-3, but the Dodgers still held a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. But now it was payback time. Last Friday, it was the Phillies who blew the one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth to lose, 2-1, when their pitching began to unravel.

Jonathon Broxton, last night was your turn.

Broxton retired Ibanez for out number one. Matt Stairs came in to pinch hit, and worked a walk; Eric Bruntlett came in to pinch run. After Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch to put two men on base, Greg Dobbs came in to pinch hit and was retired on a humpback liner to third.

Two outs, I’m starting to imagine how bad my mood will be today.

Up to the plate comes Jimmy Rollins, who was only hitting .167 so far in the NLCS (not good, Jimmy). Miraculously, Jimmy smoked a liner to the gap in right to score both Bruntlett and Ruiz. Happiness ensued! I felt like doing this:

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but unfortunately I don’t live near a beach (must change that situation!).

In the postgame interview, Rollins looked like he was doing his best Etta James impersonation:

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Love the look, Jimmy – I hope we see it again this season!

The Joy of the NLCS Schedule (she says sarcastically)

So why is it that during the regular season, teams can play eight, nine, even ten games in a row, but come the postseason, they can’t seem to play more than two days in a row?? Why exactly do we need an off-day in the middle of the three games being played in Philadelphia? I’m sure it has something to do with TV and advertising revenues, but I don’t like it.

The Joy of Technology

It seems that StubHub experienced an “email glitch”, and accidentally sent messages to fans of the Mets that said,

“Be there alongside your New York Mets as they chase baseball immortality. Go to StubHub, where you’ll find a fantastic selection of tickets to every playoff game — so you experience the championship chase live and in person.”

Hee hee! I wonder if there were any dimbulb Mets fans who got confused and actually tried to order tickets?

Apparently fans of a few other non-playoff teams also got erroneous messages (see full story here), but I always take secret glee in the travails of Mets fans. Sorry, but I can’t help it :-).

Whew! Game 1 Is Done and Phils Won!

The lucky shirt’s power continues. I almost forgot to put it on – we turned on the TV just as the game was beginning, and there it was lying nicely folded on my bed, next to all the other laundry currently being folded. I quickly changed and all was (eventually) right with the world.

The game was a nail-biter (metaphorically speaking, thankfully that is not one of my bad habits), but we did not have to resort to actually turning the TV off at any point.

I’m not going to recap the whole game – that info is out there elsewhere if you want it – but I will share some of my random thoughts from the game.

- Here we are in the entertainment capital of the world, and the best they can do for the National Anthem is Billy Ray Cyrus!?!? The guy best known at the moment as Hannah Montana’s, um, I mean Miley Cyrus’s dad? Why not at least have them do a duet? It’s not like he’s even a native of SoCal – wait, is anyone actually a native of SoCal? Hopefully this Kentucky native’s heart wasn’t too achy-breaky after the Dodgers dropped Game 1.

- At one point during the game, Russell Martin slipped while putting on the brakes after rounding third, and the announcer (not sure which one) mentioned that it had rained the day before. Rain in SoCal – hmm, I guess Albert Hammond lied to us when he sang that “It Never Rains In Southern California”. Well, he is from London, so I guess he can be forgiven for not really knowing.

- Cole Hamels once again lost his composure on the mound, thowing his hands in the air after Rollins and Utley failed to turn an inning-ending double play. This allowed Manny Ramirez to come to the plate and deliver a two-run bomb. Come on Cole, get your head on straight!

hamels hands.jpg- Speaking of Manny’s bomb, is it ever a good idea to throw three straight change-ups, as Cole did to Manny in this at-bat? Isn’t the whole point of a change-up that it is a different speed from the previous pitches? If you throw three in a row there is nothing for it to “change-up” from.

- I would love to sneak up behind ManRam with a big pair of scissors. Like the Biblical Samson, would he lose all his power if I cut off his hair?

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- Is it just me, or does Chan Ho Park truly look like a “deer in the headlights” on the mound while looking in for the signs? Nonetheless, he looked great for having not pitched in almost a month. Way to go, Chan Ho! I’m sorry I doubted you earlier in the season.

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- Choooooch! Rauuuuul! Are there two more fun names to say after a pair of three-run jacks? I think not.

- Lastly, we are still tortured with the announcers on TBS. Thankfully it is not the same crew as the NLDS (they were about as exciting as watching paint dry), but now I must listen to Buck Martinez, who inexplicably reminds me of the (fictional) announcer Jimmy Shorts from my son’s MLB Slugfest 2003 game.

mlb slugfest.jpgGame 2 starts in less than four hours, with Pedro Martinez taking the mound for the Phils against former Phil Vicente Padilla. Should be interesting, to say the least. The lucky shirt is ready.

More Nuggets of Happiness and Fun

Phils Take 3 of 4 From Reds

After Monday’s offensive explosion resulted in a 22-1 demolition of the Reds, as I expected, the Phils sputtered and lost the next game, 4-3. But they bounced back and took the next two, by scores of 3-2 and 9-6. Last night’s victory even included an inside-the-park home run from Chase Utley. He scored standing up, no less! Not even a close play at the plate. Hooray for the Phils and for Chase!

Victorious Victorino

Shane Victorino will be going to the All-Star Game, having overtaken Pablo Sandoval on the final day of voting. Shane will join Raul Ibanez, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard as the Phillies’ representatives next Tuesday in St. Louis. Hooray for Shane!

I’m Going to the Game Tonight!

I get to go to my first Phillies game of the season. Hooray for me! They will be hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are currently in the cellar of the NL Central. Hopefully that translates into a win tonight. Even if there are no offensive fireworks during the game, we will be staying for the fireworks after the game. Though I have to say, tickets for four of us (me, husband, two kids) cost a small fortune – I informed the kids that they’d better enjoy the game no matter what, and there was no way we were leaving early. I demand that I get my money’s worth!

What a Weiner!

And finally, a little tidbit I saw in yesterday’s newspaper, though I don’t think it’s breaking news. The head of the player’s union next year is going to be a real weiner.

hot_dog_2612.jpgActually, not that kind; his name is Michael Weiner, and judging by this article on ESPN.com, he sounds like a likeable, qualified guy. But you just know that name is going to lead to some really bad puns at some point.

“Long Stick Goes Boom”

That would have been ideal entrance music last night when Raul Ibanez came up to bat in the top of the tenth, with the score knotted at 3-3. For the second night in a row, the Phils battled back to tie the game and go to extra innings. Instead of Chase Utley, though, it was Ibanez’s bat that went boom, and sent a 3-run homer into the seats to put the Phils up 6-3. Ryan Madson again held the Mets scoreless in the bottom of the frame to give the Phils the win, and the series, 2 games to 1.

That deserves an encore from SpongeBob: Sweet, sweet victory, yeah!

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eBay update

Still no bids on the Shea Stadium wrecking ball! Bidding ends on June 14 for this truly unique item.

 

Phils host Red Sox in Interleague play

The Phillies open a 3-game weekend series tonight against the Red Sox, who’ve just come off a 3-game sweep of the Yankees. Personally, I am not a huge fan of interleague games. I think the novelty of it has long since worn off. I’d rather see more games against teams from the NL Central and West, some of whom make only one series appearance in Philly the entire season. But since I’m not in charge of these things, I guess I’m stuck with it for now.

 

“Alex, I’d Like to Buy a Vowel”

Here’s a guy whose name recently caught my eye when the New Hampshire Fisher Cats played against the Reading Phillies:

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Pitcher Marc Rzepczynski. I’m not even going to begin to try to pronounce that one. And imagine trying to learn how to spell that as a preschooler! Wonder if he ever dreams about being named Smith or Jones?

 

“Driving South”

Just like the Stone Roses, the hubby and I will be heading south this weekend for a bit of vacation time. I will not be blogging from the road, as I hate typing on a laptop – it just doesn’t feel right to me. We’re hoping to catch some major and minor league action on this trip, and I will be posting coverage of it upon my return next week.

 

(photo from http://www.nhfishercats.com/)

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:

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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!

Clean Sweep in D.C.

Weekend Roundup

The Phillies somehow managed to sweep the Nationals in four games over the weekend, despite more shaky starting pitching.

On Friday, Joe Blanton gave up 4 earned runs in 5 innings, and did not get a decision. However, the Phillies won, 10-6, in extra innings, thanks to a four-run top of the 12th.

In the first game of Saturday’s day-night double-header, Brett Myers turned in the only quality start of the weekend, giving up 2 earned runs in 7 innings to get the win. Incidentally, both runs were the result of solo home runs – only one other hit was recorded off Myers. The bullpen gave up 3 runs in the 8th to make the game a little closer, but Brad Lidge finally had a solid outing to nail down the 8-5 victory.

In the rain-shortened second game, Andrew Carpenter made his major-league debut and proceeded to give up 5 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings, but amazingly earned the win anyway. Carpenter was the lucky beneficiary of a relatively new and little-known rule which allows the win to go to a pitcher who has pitched less than 5 innings if the game itself is shortened to 5. He was also the beneficiary of a two-run Ryan Howard homer and a three-run Raul Ibanez blast, propelling the Phillies to a 7-5 win.

And lastly, Chan Ho Park gave up 5 earned runs in a mere 1 1/3 innings on Sunday. Thanks to the bullpen, the Phillies were able to record a 8-6 victory.

So How About Those Starters?

In my last entry, I took a look at the ERAs of the starting pitchers. So how did the four-game sweep of the Nationals affect their stats? Incredibly, two of the three regular starters made their ERAs worse!

Only Brett Myers improved, lowering his ERA from 4.81 to 4.50. Joe Blanton’s went up ever so slightly, from 6.82 to 6.86. And Chan Ho Park, after two recent good outings, again stunk it up, with the resulting jump in ERA from 6.00 to 7.08.

Even Andrew Carpenter’s performance, despite getting the win, gave him a less-than-stellar 10.38.

Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer did not pitch in this series, so their ERAs remain unchanged (5.04 and 8.15, respectively).

Again, infer what you want from this information.

Jackie Robinson, Rain Maker?

The Phillies and Nationals were originally scheduled to honor Jackie Robinson on April 15, along with the rest of MLB. But that game was rained out.

So as part of the rescheduled game, the players all donned the number 42 for Saturday’s second game. Guess what happened?

It rained.

At least they were able to get five innings in before the skies opened, making for an official, though rain-shortened, game.

Minor Matters

Tomorrow, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have an unusually early day game, scheduled to start at 10:35 in the morning. The weather forecast is calling for a very pleasant day, and since the kids will be in school, my husband is playing hooky from work and the two of us will be enjoying a day at the ballpark.

Although, even though we will be without our own kids, we will likely be surrounded by other people’s kids, as it is Education Day at Lehigh Valley, hence the unusual start time. I’m guessing the park will be full of school groups, though I’m not sure how taking kids to a baseball game instead of school is educational. Maybe there will be statistics lessons between innings?

Up Next

The Phillies are off today. They open a six-game road trip tomorrow night in Cincinnati, and then travel to New York for three interleague games against the Yankees.

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