Results tagged ‘ Manny Ramirez ’

The Phillies continue their visit to lala land, wondering if Blanton will be able to put an end to the Manny Ramirez show.

The Phillies (64-55) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (60-59, 2nd National League West) as they are now looking to play for a split in their series. The game will be played tonight at Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 8, where he threw seven shutout innings, giving up only one hit, in the Phillies’ 2-0 extra-innings lost. Blanton will be looking to continue his present string of quality starts while hoping to give the Phillies their first win on the present road trip while trying to muzzle Manny Ramirez’s hot bat. The Dodgers will counter with Brad Penny (6-9, 5.66), who is coming off a victory over the Giants on August 8, after coming off the disabled list, where he went five innings, giving up just an earned run on one hit and walking three, in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win. He hopes to get his second straight win after returning from the dl which hoping that the Phillies’ bat will continue being inconsistent.

The Phillies hope that the offense will finally come alive, after teasing their fans all season with flashes of how destructive this team can be against other National League teams. Sadly, because of a lack of contact hitters within the bottom part of the line-up, and a seeming refusal, or rather, inability, to play situational/small ball style of baseball when the long ball approach doesn’t work against even the most mediocre of pitchers, seems to hurt the team when the starters, for the most part, have been able to consistantly keep opponents from scoring more than three to four runs a game. For most teams that would easily translate into a win, but with the Phils it usually translate into a lost as the offense is unable to string together several innings in which they can put men across the plate thanks to clutch hitting. That is bad enough when it happens to a pitcher like Adam Eaton, who doesn’t seem to be able to help himself with his pitching, its worth when it occurs when the team’s ace, Cole Hamels, is on the mound, who has now gone seven straight starts without being able to get win number 10. Something has got to give, and soon, else the Phillies will be looking at another post-season looking at the wrong side of the playoff picture.

The Phillies have a game lead on the Mets as they prepare to continue their visit with the Nationals in Washington, and a game and a half lead over the Marlins as the fish continue playing host to the Cardinals. The Phillies’ lead over the once mighty Braves is now at nine games as they have just lost the first game of a day/night doubleheader to the Cubs. The Phillies will be trying to get their first win on their road trip to California while hoping that their opponent won’t do any better themselves.

Bullpen allows one to slip away as Cole Hamels is once again denied win no. 10.

The Phillies’ bullpen allows a win to slip away as another good outing by Cole Hamels is wasted as the Phillies lose to the Dodgers, 4-3. The Phillies would score their first run in the first inning, as Chase Utley, batting second against Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw, would hit a solo shot, his thirtieth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Dodgers would tie the game in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and two outs, Casey Blake would hit a RBI single, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would retake the lead in the second when Cole Hamels would help his own cause by hitting a RBI single, knocking in Chris Coste, who has earlier singled and has gone to third on Eric Bruntlett’s single, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third as Pat Burrell would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled and then stole third, to make it 3-1 Phillies. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Kershaw and Hamels, with Kershaw confounding Phillies’ batters, as he would end up striking out eight Phils and not giving the Phils the clutch hit they needed to increase their lead, before he is finally lifted in the sixth. The Dodgers would make it 3-2 Phillies in their half of the sixth, as, with two men on, and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Juan Pierre, who has gotten on based earlier with a bunt single and has moved to second on Kemp’s single, while Kemp moved to second. After a Blake ground out, pitcher to first, for the second out of the inning would move the runners to second and third, Hamels would intentionally walk Nomar Garciaparra to load the bases. Hamels would then get out of the inning by getting Russell Martin to line out to Utley. After getting a 1-2-3 seventh, Hamels would be lifted for a pitch hitter in the eighth, handing the ball over to the normally spot on bullpen which, before last night’s game, had only blown eight save opportunities, the best in the National League. Well, the bullpen would blow their ninth save opportunity, as Chad Durbin would, with no one out, load the bases via a single (Kemp), a walk (Jeff Kent) and a hit batman (Ramirez). He would then give up a sacrifice fly to Blake, for the inning’s first out, scoring Kemp and leaving runners on first and second, tying the ballgame. He would then end the inning by getting Garciaparra to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. In the ninth, J.C. Romero, pitching in place of Durbin, would lead the inning off by hitting Martin on the foot. James Loney would then move Martin over to second as he grounds out, first to the pitcher, for the first out of the inning. Andre Ethier would then end the game with a walk-off single to left, scoring Martin, and giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory.

Cole Hamels gets a no-decision as he is for the seventh straight start denied victory number 10. He would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out seven Dodgers. Chad Durbin receives his third blown save of the year as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. J.C. Romero would take the lost as he goes a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a hit batter. His record is now 4-4 with an ERA of 2.30. Clayton Kershaw would also get a no-decision as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, while striking out eight. Joe Beimel would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would get the win, as he pitches two innings, giving up no hits and no runs. His record is now 4-2 with an ERA of 1.70.

Once again the Phillies’ offense has hurt the team as it is unable to do anything after scoring its third run in the third. It didn’t do anything in the middle innings, and blew an opportunity with a runner on second and one man out in the sixth to do further damage. The lack of a pure contact hitter within in the bottom part of the line-up keep hurting them when they need such a hitter the most. Although the bullpen will be the one that folks will be pointing the finger at for the lost, the real culprit will be the still inconsistant offense.

The Phillies (64-55) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (60-59, 2nd National League West) as they now look to split the series. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 8, where he threw seven shutout innings, giving up only one hit, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. Blanton will be looking to continue his present string of quality starts while hoping to give the Phillies their first win on the road trip while trying to muzzle Manny Ramirez’s hot bat. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Brad Penny (6-9, 5.66), who is coming off a win against the Giants on August 8, after coming off the disabled list, where he went only five innings, giving up an earned run on one hit and walking three, in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win. He hopes to get his second straight win after coming off the dl which hoping the Phillies’ bat will continue being inconsistent.

With the lost, the Phillies’ lead over the Met shranked to one game, as they defeated the Nationals, and to one and a half games over the Marlins as they beat the Cardinals. The Phillies’ lead over the Braves is presently at eight and a half thanks to a rain out, but they are now playing a day/night doubleheader with the Cubs and are presently trailing them in the first game, 4-0 in the top of the fourth. The Phillies hope to come back from their second straight defeat to the Dodgers and try to salvage a series’ split while hoping that their opponents will not get any closer.

Kendrick unable to escape the Dodgers’ offense as the Phillies lose the series opener, 8-6.

Kyle Kendrick’s Houdini act gets panned in  L.A. as the Dodgers would score seven runs off of him before they are able to hold off a Phillies’ offensive revival as the Phillies drop the series’ opener, 8-6. The Dodgers would erupt for six runs in the third off of Kendrick, who was no longer in command of his pitches. After Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe would lead off the inning with a ground out, short to first, Matt Kemp would get on base with an infield single that almost took out Jimmy Rollins. After Kemp steals second, Andre Ethier would get on base with a walk. Kendrick would then hit Jeff Kent, loading the bases for Manny Ramirez. Ramirez would hit a two-run double, scoring Kemp and Ethier, and putting Kent on third, giving the Dodgers a quick 2-0 lead. James Loney would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Kent and Ramirez, making it 4-0 Dodgers, while Loney would go to second on the throw to the plate. Russell Martin would follow him with a single to right, but Jayson Werth would then proceed to cut down Loney at home, tagged out by Carlos Ruiz, as he successfully blocks the plate, for the inning’s second out. Casey Blake would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, scoring Martin, increasing the Dodgers’ lead to 6-0. The inning would finally end with Angela Berroa flying out to center. The Phillies would make the score 6-1 in the fourth as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI ground out, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, and got to third on Chase Utley’s double. The Dodgers would get the run back in their half of the fourth, making it 7-1, when, with two men on, and one out, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Kemp, who has earlier singled, ran to second base as Ethier was being walked for the second time by Kendrick, and then went to third on Ruiz’s needless throwing error to second. After Kendrick walks Ramirez, Charlie Manuel would replace him with Les Walrond, who would then Houdini his way out of the inning by striking out both Loney and Martin. The Phils would make it 7-2 in the sixth as Howard would hit his second RBI ground out, this time scoring Rollins, who has singled, moved to second on Victorino’s walk and went to third on Utley’s ground out, second to first. After Walrond Houdini’s his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the six by striking out Blake and getting Berroa to hit into a force out, short to second, the Phillies would get closer in the top of the seventh. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, who has earlier doubled and stole third, to make it 7-3 Dodgers. Rollins would then follow with a RBI triple, on a ball that right fielder Ethier would somehow missed in the lights, scoring Jenkins, to make it a 7-4 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers would increase their lead to 8-4 in the eighth, as, with two men on, and no one out, Loney would hit a RBI double off of Rollins’ glove, scoring Pablo Ozuna, who has singled, and sending Ramirez to third. Then Clay Condrey would perform his own Houdini stunt after intentionally walking Martin. He would get Blake to hit the ball to Rollins, who would throw home for the force out, as Ruiz would tag the plate to force out Ramirez for the inning’s first out. Condrey would then get Berroa to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with no further damage. The Phillies would then try to attempt a rally in the ninth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Utley would hit a two-runs single on a pop up that drops behind the shortstop Berroa, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has singled, and Ruiz, who has walked, and moving Victorino, who has also singled off of Berroa’s glove, to second, making it 8-6 Dodgers. But Howard would then end the game with a ground out, his fifth ground out of the game, second to first.

Kyle Kendrick would get the lost, as he did not have good command of his pitches in either the third or fourth innings, as he pitched three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, three walks and a hit batman. His record is now 10-6 with a ERA of 4.74. Les Walrond would pitch two and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits and three strike outs, as he pitched his way out of jams in both the fourth and sixth innings. Clay Condrey would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on fifth hits. Derek Lowe would get the win as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. His record is now 9-10 with a 4.74 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would also pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jonathan Broxton would get his sixth save of the year as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on three hits.

The Phillies’ offense, although rallying late in the game, would be the main contributor to Kyle Kendrick’s lost, as it would not give him any runs support early on, forcing him to try to be almost perfect in his approach, which he would proceed to lose in the third inning as the Dodgers would then proceed to hit his bad pitches, ending up with six runs in the third and a seventh run in the fourth before he would finally be mercifully taken out by Charlie Manuel. It would seems that the Phillies’ batter are starting to realize that they are not producing at the plate as they should be. But, instead of trying to relax and take the pressure off themselves, they are now trying to do too much and thereby pressing themselves to produce. Fellows, do yourselves a favor. Now that you know that things are not working out the way they should be, try to relax and not make things even worst by trying to force things to happen. The remedy that you guys need is already there, but you just won’t use it. Play some small ball for a while. Maybe just trying to make contact and moving runners along might help to get the pressure off of all of you for a while. At least I hope it will. It can’t make things any worst than it is now.

The Phillies (64-54) will continue their four games visit with their old rivals the Dodgers (59-59, 2nd National League West) with another night game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35), who is still looking for his tenth win. He is coming off a lost to the Marlins on August 7, where he went six and a third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 lost. This will be his first start against the Dodgers. He will be hoping that the Phillies will finally give him some runs support, something they have not been doing for him lately. The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.71), who is coming off a win against the Cardinals on August 7, where he pitched seven innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-1 win. He has never faced the Phillies. He will be trying to even his record while hoping that the Phillies’ offense isn’t preparing for a big outburst.

The Phillies are still leading the Mets by two games as they’d lost a make-up game to the Pirates, and two and a half games over the Marlins as the fish lost to the Cardinals, as the Phils failed to take advantage of both teams’ loses. They now lead the Braves by nine games as the Braves had yesterday off. As the Phils continue their series with the Dodgers, the Mets will start a three games series with the Nationals in Washington, while the Cardinals will continue their three games series with the Redbirds in Miami and the Braves will start a three games series with the Cubs in Atlanta. The Phillies will be trying to regroup and try to win the series while once again hoping to either gain or hold their ground against their nearest opponents in the Eastern Division.

Taking a look at the numbers.

It is now the first of August and the start of the dog days of summer, before we enter the period known as the September pennant races. At the moment, the Philles are leading the National League East, holding a slim one game lead over a resurgent New York Mets squad. How are Charlie Manuel’s boys doing it at the moment/ Let’s take a look at the numbers, shall we?

First, by months. Everybody knows that for the last few seasons people have kept saying that this team needed to win games early in the season, to get a quick start, if they wanted to be in contention for the pennant during September. Well, have they? In fact, they have:

March/April: 15-13

May: 17-12

June: 12-14

July: 15-10

As can be seen, the team has won three of the four months, with their best month being May, and their worst being June, which coincided with their bad spell of Interleague play. More on that later.

Another thing that people have said is that you need to win series to stay in contention, and the Phillies so far have also done that. At the moment, they have won 17 series, lost 13 and have tied 4. Of those 17 series wins, they have won all of the games (sweep) in five of them (Colorado (2), Atlanta (2), Washington (1)) while they have been swept only once (Los Angeles (AL)).

Another thing that you need to do is to lead in your division. And the Phillies have also done that, believe it or not. In fact, they have done pretty well against both their own division and the other two divisions in the National League:

National League East: 24-19

National League Central: 17-12

National League West: 14-7

Unfortunately, they have not done well this season against teams from the American League, going 4-11 in Interleague play.

But, how have they done against other clubs in the National League? For the most part, they presently have losing records with only two teams, both of them being in their division:

National League East:

Atlanta Braves: 10-2

Washington Nationals: 6-3

Florida Marlins: 4-5

New York Mets: 4-9

Total: 24-19

It is quite obvious that they would have to beat the pants off of both the Mets and the Marlins, whom they will meet for a total of 14 games during the last two months of the season, for the Phillies to gain complete control of the division. They also have 15 games left with the Nationals and the Braves.

National League Central:

Cincinnati Reds: 5-3

Houston Astros: 4-3

St. Louis Cardinals: 3-3

Chicago Cubs: 2-1

Pittsburgh Pirates: 2-1

Milwaukee Brewers: 1-1

Total: 17-12

The Phillies have one more series each with the Cardinals (this weekend), the Cubs, the Pirates and the Brewers for a total of 14 games, which may be important towards the home stretch, especially the four games series against the Cubs in Chicago at the end of the month and the four games series with the Brew Crew at home in mid-September as part of a seven games home stand.

National League West:

Colorado Rockies: 5-0

Arizona Diamonbacks: 4-3

San Francisco Giants: 3-3

San Diego Padres: 2-1

Los Angeles Dodgers: 0-0

Total: 14-7

Against the West, the Phillies have only three series left, a three games series with the Padres and two four games sets with the Dodgers, that may become important games for both teams in their divisional pennant races later on this month, for a total of 11 games. With the addition of Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers via a deadline trade, the Phillies will probably be trying real hard to get at least a split with the Dodgers.

Last, and certainly not least, the Phillies did not do very well this year in Interleague play. Lets face it, they stank, as they went 2-4 against two teams in the American League East, and 2-7 against three teams from the American League West, while going 1-5 against two of the elite teams in the American League (Boston and Los Angeles Angels):

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 0-3

Toronto Blue Jays: 1-2

Boston Red Sox: 1-2

Oakland Athletics: 1-2

Texas Rangers: 1-2

Total: 4-11

With their record against American League teams in Interleague play, it means that this team, if it makes it to the playoffs and is able to get into the World Series, will have a problem defeating an American League ballclub, unless they are able to get some more pitching to help bolster the bullpen, or another strong bat either among the regulars or on the bench. Of course, that’s just my opinion. I have no idea what the cheapo owners of this team thinks on extra help.

The Phillies overall record of 59-49 is the fourth best in the National League. The Phillies will probably need to win their division to get into the playoffs, since the Cardinals and Brewers have better records than they do as they presently lead the way in the Wild Card race. The best way for the Phillies to win their division is to start winning series with the Mets and the Marlins, especially against the Mets, whom they have five more games left to play, while they have nine more games to play with the fish, starting this coming Tuesday at home. If they can take care of business with those two teams, especially during the September stretch run, the only real team they will have left to worry about afterwards is the Nationals, since the Nationals will at that point be trying to play the spolier role, especially since they will be playing the Phillies in Philadelphia during the last weekend of the season. Keep your fingers crossed people, it’s going to be a real bumpy last two months of the season.

Still playing the best: Phillies-Red Sox, Game 2.

The Phillies (42-30) continue their three games series with the World Champion Red Sox (44-29, 1st American League East) with another night game at Citizens Bank Park. Tonight’s game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (7-3, 4.12), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on June 12, where he pitched eight strong shut out innings, giving up only two hits, in the Phils’ 3-0 win. Moyer has won five of his last six starts, with the Phils winning his other start. In those six starts he would go a combined forty innings, giving up only fourteen earned runs on thirty-four hits, including four quality starts. Lifetime against the Red Sox he is 6-11 in 20 starts, while Manny Ramirez has been a major thorn in his side, as ‘Big Papi’ has hit ten career home runs off of him. Jamie will be trying to improve his record, while trying to keep Manny and the rest of the BoSox offense from taking him downtown. He will be opposed by Jon Lester (5-3, 3.43), who is coming off of a victory over the Baltimore Orioles on June 12, when he pitched seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Red Sox’s 9-2 win. Lester has won his last two starts, where he would give up only three earned on fifteen hits as he pitched a total of thirteen and a third innings. He will be looking to improve his record, while trying to quiet down the Phillies’ bats.

The Phillies will be trying to continue showing that they can stand up with the best that the American League have to offe. The offense will be trying to continue the outburst which they’d shown to a national audience last night, while hoping that Jamie will have better luck pitching against a team that seems to have his number before giving it over to the National League’s best bullpen.

The Phillies are presently leading the second place Marlins by three games, while leading both the Braves and the Mets, who have earlier today fired Willie Randolph, by six and a half game. The Phillies will be looking to once again increase their lead against their divisional rivals.

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