Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phils earn Memorial Day win in DC

 

mlbMemorialHats2010

The Phils wore their special holiday caps yesterday, which are changing designs every year, these are from last season.

 

 

 

 

The Phillies got hit around on Sunday in New York, it was a game I’d rather forget. Memorial Day in Washington, the team got hit around too, as Charlie Manuel has said, “This is hitter’s weather.” The Nationals took out their bats and swatted 10 H and 4 R off of Roy Halladay.

The Phillies answered back with 10 hits of their own, and Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez combined for 4 RBI’s on the day each getting 2, add Domonic Brown’s RBI and the Phillies earned their 34th win of the season and Halladay’s 7th win so far this year.

 

It was a different game in DC, the Phillies were at ‘full strength’ having all of their top players on the field, unlike the final game in New York where we saw a team that can still compete, but are not the players that make up the core of the Phillies All-Star team.

 

It’s Cliff Lee (4-4) tonight in DC at 7:05 PM vs Jason Marquis who has carved out a 5-2 record so far with the Nationals.

 

Jason Werth had one hit yesterday with 4 AB’s, his season average for the Nationals is at .255 so far.

 

Chase Utley is at .208 with 2 BB as he tries to get back into the groove of playing in the MLB everyday. Jimmy Rollins is at .265 on the year going 0-5 yesterday. Ryan Howard is making things happen at times for the Phillies, his hits are winning games for the Phils. Howard is a .252 on the season. 





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Monday, May 30, 2011

Phils rest stars and lose chance for sweep in New York

 

 

Happy Memorial Day to all the readers of FightinPhillies.com, hope you are having a great weekend and remember who we honor on this day. Now, my story about the game in New York yesterday.

 

  It was my first trip to Citi Field, and what a stadium it is. We travelled to Queens to see the Phillies take on the New York Mets. It was bit of a surprise when the Phillies lineup didn’t include Ryan Howard or Chase Utley on this Sunday afternoon game with a chance for the team to sweep the Mets and continue on with their road trip down to Washington DC.

 

  Not that the Phillies didn’t have a good team on the field on Sunday, but how can you decide to rest two players that are both making a big salary and should be playing as much as possible. These players don’t need a whole lot of rest, they want to be on the field and playing.

 

  The game started out bad for the Phillies, Vance Worley gave up an earned run, then Jimmy Rollins booted a ball that led to 3 more runs by the Mets overall in the first inning. Not a good start to the game. The Phillies just lacked spark in this game. They did come back with a little rally but it was far too little and too late for any real threat. It was one of those games that you don’t want to see a replay of. The Phillies pitching staff getting beat up with 17 hits against them, and Jose Reyes going 4-5 against you with a pair of triples.

 

I was very surprised at how baseball friendly the Citi Field is. The stadium had a lot of features that I really liked. The Mets had a nice brick lined area that had some fans who purchased a brick with their saying about the Mets on them, in the center of these bricked areas had a important piece of Mets history that was done in black granite that looked cool. The stadium itself featured a lot of nice areas to eat. Our ticket allowed us entry into a few of them, even though our seats were in the first level in left field. A nice feature for sure, the Caesars Club was a real nice place to have a lunch, and if you followed my twitter feed, I tweeted a lot of pictures from the ballpark yesterday. You can still see them if you follow @fightingphillies on twitter.

 

  The road trip continues in Washington, DC on Memorial Day. It’s a 1:05 PM game with Livan Hernandez  (3-6 3.71 ERA) taking on Roy Halladay (6-3 2.35 ERA). Halladay is looking for his 7th win on the season. Hopefullly, we’ll see the ‘real’ Phillies today on the field.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Late rallies puts Phillies in position to sweep Mets

 

 

manSweepingFloorAnimated

 

The Phillies have made an interesting series so far in New York. They have rallied late in the game in both games of the series to come up with victories. On Friday night, the Phils were down 3-2 when in the 8th inning, the Phils scored to tie the game and then in the 9th, the team combined a few hits to scoring 3 runs to win. Last night was no different, the Phillies couldn’t do much against Met’s pitcher Mike Pelfrey, but scored 3 times in the 8th inning and once more in the 9th to seal a victory in that game.

 

The Mets team is just recovering from a scathing verbal attack from the owner of the team, Fred Wilpon. He named names, and had some tough comments to make about some of the players that he has signed the checks for. He was probably right on a few comments. You don’t often hear about this type of comment from an owner though, and it may be good that we don’t. I think Wilpon can look in the mirror though and find one of the biggest problems of the Mets, himself. He’s the person who hired the GM and manager that lasted years longer than they should have.

 

The Phillies are in position to sweep the series from the Mets. This rivalry between the Phillies and the Mets has definitely been more quiet than in previous years. The ‘war of words’ that existed between the two clubs in previous years hasn’t taken place. The New York papers haven’t jumped all over Phillies players for saying something about the Mets or anyone else for that matter. It’s been sort of like a deflated balloon from the way it used to be.

 

I think the Mets franchise would have benefited from a totally new owner. Someone that has the best interest of the team at heart and makes the moves to relate to that. The Wilpon era should be over in New York, the fans should demand his ouster as well.

 

The Phillies go with Vance Worley for his first start in New York. Worley has been fairly solid for the Phils with a 2-0 record and 2.14 ERA. He’ll face Jonathan Niese for the Mets who is 3-5 with a 4.33 ERA. Worley pitched 1.0 innings last year on September 26 2010 against the Mets in Philadelphia.

 

Cole Hamels earned his 7th win for the Phillies last night, and Chase Utley went 2-3 with 1 RBI. Ryan Howard had 2 RBI on the night as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Was the Mets owner Wilpon right about what he said?

 

<a href="http://video.msn.com?mkt=en-us&amp;brand=foxsports&amp;playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:5da99e09-a71e-4853-bc8b-11c76728c495&amp;showPlaylist=true&amp;from=IV2_en-us_foxsports_videosearch&amp;fg=RAMP" target="_new" title="Rosenthal: Mets&#39; Wilpon woes">Video: Rosenthal: Mets&#39; Wilpon woes</a>

 

 

 

The Phillies and the Mets used to have a simmering rivalry over the course of a few seasons. The Mets added some names to the team way back in anticipation of being competitive and possibly contending for a division title.

 

The other day, Mets owner Fred Wilpon went on a tirade. He named players and said they were overpaid, they weren’t producing, and just a whole list of things that you don’t usually hear an MLB team owner saying. Was Wilpon right?

 

Maybe Fred Wilpon should be maddest at a guy who used to be his GM. Omar Minaya is his name, and any other owner in baseball would have cut this GM off way earlier than the Mets did. Minaya is the guy to blame for bringing the Mets a bunch of players that on paper looked good, but when it came down to team baseball, all the players Minaya brought in failed miserably to rise to the top of their game.

 

Minaya signed a lot of players to the kind of contracts that make you take a second look. He shared the Mets wealth with players named Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, just to name a couple. Minaya’s tenure with the Mets is the real reason they are in the mess that they are in. Wilpon didn’t mention this though, at least to the press like he did the players.

 

A look at players and contracts that Omar Minaya landed for the Mets all of these players have had long stints on the DL and never blossomed for the team and have been paid very high salaries:

 

Johan Santana P  
Carlos Delgado OF  
Jason Bay OF  
Francisco Rodriguez P  
Carlos Beltran OF  
Luis Castillo 2B  
     

 

There have been many other players who have failed to produce all signed by Minaya. It’s just a culmination of events that have been adding up for years with the Mets to get them to this point.  The past 4 years all added up to one of the worst stretches of time for the Mets over the course of their history. All this at a time when the Mets moved to a brand new stadium in Queens.

 

The Mets are in a state of deconstruction, and that is probably the plan by Wilpon. Make the players want to leave New York, so he can get his payroll down, and start again from a more comfortable level. Will the fans be on board with this though? I think if I were a Mets fan, I would seriously look at all that has happened and take it all for what it is. You can be a fan of baseball, and follow another team!  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It could’ve lasted all night, Phils won in 19







It could have lasted all night, in fact the game pretty well did. Six hours and 11 minutes after the game started, and a combined 28 hits later, the Phillies emerged from this game against the Reds with their 30th win of the year by a score of 5-4 in a 19 inning marathon.

Roy Halladay started this game and went 7.0 innings, in what did not appear to be a normal Halladay start, as he game up 11 H and 3 R on 6 SO during the game. After Halladay was pulled, the Phillies went through just about every relief pitcher available for the game in extra innings.

Wilson Valdez, yes that Wilson, ended up with his first win of the season as the Phillies sent up 8 pitchers to the mound before going to Valdez. The Phillies had a total of 65 AB (at bats) during the game, and the Reds had 70.

Jay Bruce of the Reds was quoted after the game, "It's definitely the strangest game I've ever been a part of," Bruce said. "All that effort and time and you lose. It's tough."

I doubt either team will have batting practice today, as the Phils and the Reds wrap up their 4 game series today at 1:05 PM for a Businessperson’s Special game at Citizen’s Bank Park. They probably won’t see a 19 inning game like 45,706 that paid to get in last night did, but that’s the beauty part of baseball, is that you never know what will happen during a game, and it’s not controlled by time.

It’s Cliff Lee on the mound for the Phillies, looking to build from his last start.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

'Phillies Talk' - Interview with Fran Zimniuch author







The book is called "Armed and Dangerous - The Best Pitching Staff Ever Assembled" - An Inside look at a team poised to return to the World Series by Fran Zimniuch. We talk with Fran about the book and the Phillies team on the 'Phillies Talk' webcast/podcast.


Buy the book at your favorite bookseller or from the link just below for the best price!




   

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nice to see the Phillies offense back in impressive win





As bad as it looked for the Phillies in the past few games, we found out last night that the Phillies are indeed a good team and are still in firm command of first place in the NL East. It was the return of Chase Utley, and the largest crowd ever at CBP in Philly. Chase didn't have any hits but maybe his presence help spark the Phillies to break out the bats.

Ruben Amaro issued his stern warning that we've heard before from him. "Things will change if the offense doesn't start reappearing" or similar words to that effect. I am not sure if that puts his warning back on the shelf with what happened last night or he just keeps that phrase handy when things start to go wrong with the team.

It's the anniversary of the first night game ever in the MLB, it happened way back in 1935 on May 24th. The game was in Cincinnati and the Reds won over the Phillies by a score of 2-1 way back in 1935.

Tonight's game is the second of 4 games with Cinncy at home. It features the Phillies up and coming star pitcher, Vance Worley and the Red's Johnny Cueto. Cueto has faced the Phils before and he has been tough against us. Cueto was 12-7 with a 3.64 ERA last year overall.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Phillies bookshelf: ‘Armed and Dangerous: An inside look at a team poised to return to the World Series’

 

 

Armed and Dangerous Phillies book

   The book is called ‘Armed and Dangerous’ and the Phillies have been living up to that expectation with the pitching in the first two months of the season.

   Author Fran Zimniuch has assembled a nice book for the Phillies fan for a summer read.

 

  The book is full of color photos and stories. We start off with the story from last year and the defeat that the Phillies incurred courtesy of the San Francisco Giants.

Find the book here or your favorite bookseller.

 

        Fran will be talking with us on ‘Phillies Talk’ Podcast right here on fightinphillies.com on Tuesday night (5/24) at 6:30 PM. If you can’t make it to the show live, you can listen to the show on this website, or iTunes or Android podcasts. We’d love to have you stop by and say hello

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Phillies poised to sweep interesting series from Texas

 

manSweepingFloorAnimated

 

 

The Phillies offense is bubbling under like a volcano waiting to explode. After the awesome start to the 2011 season, the team has settled down from a roar to a peep in the last 8 days, they started off last Saturday (5/14) with a loss that extended to 4 losses in a row really quickly before winning these last 2 games at home with the Rangers.

 

Rare steal of home against the Phillies

The series with Texas has been very interesting. Not only is this interleague play and we don’t see Texas all that much, but the games have been tough and we’ve seen some plays that you don’t normally see the Phillies involved in. In game 1 of the Rangers series, the Rangers stole home right in the first inning. I was at the game but we were still finishing up a nice McFadden’s pre game meal and totally missed the play!

 

Phillies take first two games of the series with Texas

The Phils hung on to beat Texas 3-2 in the first game of the series on Friday. Ryan Madson closed out his 8th save of the year in this game, and the fans were on their feet at the end of the game to see Madson possibly strikeout the Rangers last batter, the game instead ended on an attempted steal of second base by Rangers left fielder, David Murphy. It’s been said that the last time the Phillies were in a game with a steal of home, and a CS or caught stealing to end the game was 1981, so that is kind of rare.

 

Aces start to churn up strikeouts and wins

Roy Halladay notched his club leading 6th win on Friday, and then Cliff Lee did the same to get to 4 wins on the season on Saturday night with a win and it was probably bitter sweet against his old team, the Texas Rangers. Halladay struck out 7 on Friday night, and Lee had 10 strikeouts last night.

Now, Roy Oswalt looks to go out and make it three in a row and possibly sweep the Rangers in the final game of the weekend matchup with the American League West first place team.

 

The Phillies are 5-5 in their last 10 games, only the Cleveland Indians have a better PCT (Win Percentage) than the Phillies, the Indians are at 28-15 or .651 and the Phillies are 28-17 or .622 so far in the season. It’s scary to think that we haven’t seen the best from the Phillies and they still are up at the top of the teams in the MLB in the overall record category.

 

Offense remains quiet

The Phillies offense is not producing all that much lately, the team has slipped to 23rd in the MLB of 30 teams with R (Runs) – they have scored 176. The OBP, On Base Percentage, is .313 which is 22nd in the MLB, and their Slugging Percentage is .368 which is 22nd in the league.

 

Brown returns to the Phillies starting lineup in right

We saw the return of Domonic Brown to the Phillies last night. What I noticed first about him was the first catch he made out in the field. He kind of did an extra move that you don’t see too much by major league players, and that move was a showboating that I don’t think adds to Brown’s game at all. After Brown caught the ball in the first inning, he made movement with his glove that reminded me of what you might see on a magic act or something, a sort of ‘Walllaaaa” – look what I’ve got. I hope the Phillies try to encourage Brown to change this about his game. On offense Brown did nothing to contribute to the victory, going 0-4 in his return.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rockies blast Phils leave town and some memories





A lot of fans don't remember the Phillies losing like they have been and not scoring too much in games. Charlie Manuel was asked about the hitting slump just yesterday and he said a few things about it on csnphilly and I started thinking about the times when the Phillies weren't that good, they didn't have the staff or payroll they had today.

The Phillies have come a long way from the days of Veteran's Stadium. Yes, there were winning years, but in between there was a lot of tough times. What's been happening to the Phillies in the past week or so has reminded me of those tougher times.

Some younger fans have maybe only been familiar with the last 5 years or so of Phillies baseball, they know the Phillies for being in the thick of things and going to the playoffs and generally having a moment in time where it looks as if the Phillies are on top of the MLB world. It wasn't always this way. Slumps, losing streaks, losses, and bad things on the baseball diamond are something that the older fans of the Phillies are well accustomed to.

If you're a true fan of the team, you ride through the bad times with a team, this is one of those times for the 2011 Phillies. As great as they came out of the gate this year, becoming the best team in baseball and taking the NL East by storm is now being replaced by today's story of 'What happened to the Phillies?"

It's the same group of players on the field, how can this happen to them?

Baseball happens. It's a long season, a tough 162 games of ups and downs, peaks and valleys. We haven't seen the end to the Phillies winning streaks and their greatness for 2011, but these are the times you just don't want to remember. Jason Giambi came into last night's game as a replacement for Todd Helton, who wasn't feeling good. Up to that point in the season, Giambi was in 14 games and only had 3 hits on the season in what is probably his last appearance in a major league uniform for his career. He stepped up and had a career night at 40 years old. He'll remember this night for the rest of his life, but Phillies fans would rather forget it.


The Texas Rangers now move into town to face a beleaguered team that just needs a good game to regroup. It's time for interleague play, and now the Phillies find themselves still in first place at 26-17 (.605) as we start to near the end of May. No time to panic, and even sound any alarms. It's baseball and I think the Phillies will work their way out of this slump and turn it up again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Phils break 4 game losing streak, with win vs Rockies


 The Phillies squeaked in a win last night by a slim 2-1 margin, but a win is a win and we'll take it. The Rockies arrived into town for a quick two-gamer and tonight is the end of the fast series with them before we welcome the Texas Rangers into town for the weekend.

 The Phillies played tough and played for runs with the 'small ball' theory as nothing else has been working lately for them. Read a story by Matt Gelb here from the game last night at Citizens Bank Park, Matt is of course from the Philly Inquirer.

Can the Phils make it two in a row tonight? It's Joe Blanton on the mound for the Phils, and it's going to be humid out there with the threat of heavy weather also, so that should make it interesting. Blanton is making his 7th start of the season tonight, and he is 1-2 with a lofty 5.50 ERA.

Here is Joe's game log (courtesy of baseball-reference.com)



RkGtmDateTmOppRsltInngsDecSOERA
15Apr 6PHINYMW,10-7GS-5614.54
210Apr 12PHI@WSNL,4-7GS-6L(0-1)410.45
315Apr 18PHIMILL,3-6GS-747.27
420Apr 23PHI@SDPW,4-2GS-735.92
MayTmOppRsltInngsDecSOERA
534May 9PHI@FLAW,6-4GS-5W(1-1)25.83
638May 14PHI@ATLL,3-5GS-5L(1-2)55.50
PHI245.50
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/19/2011.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Phillies come home looking for offense and a win

 

 

The rare two-game series continues tonight, it’s the Rockies in for a cup of coffee and a short series in Philly. The Phillies are in a funk, it’s a 4 gamer at the moment with no end in sight.

The Rockies just took a quick two-game series from San Francisco at home in Colorado, and now they are looking for to do the same to the Phils. The Rocks aren’t invincible though, they’ve gone through a spate of losing in the last 12 games also.

The team will break out of this funk, and when they do, all will be forgotten when we look for the answers on why this occurred in the first place. For now though the microscopes are out, the numbers are what they are.

The focus is on the offense at the moment. I’ve been hearing some whispers of a Hunter Pence for ‘someone deal’. That someone was rumored to be Vance Worley. Would you do the deal? We’re stocked full of aces, would you mortgage the future for what we could have now?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Phillies offense hits a rut, first 3 game losing streak of the season

 

 

The Phillies had been sailing along as the top team in baseball for a few weeks now. Now that they’ve got that out of their system, the team has calmed down to a middle ground and suddenly the team has found a rut in the road as they lost last night which brings them to first 3 game losing streak of the season.

The reasons for this are many. I’d like to call it a lack of situational hitting. The Phillies are getting base runners, but can’t score them. Take a look at what the Cardinals did last night. They bunted a runner early in the game, that is my kind of  baseball. Move the runner at any cost. The Phillies never do this, in fact, they hardly bunt at all. Who’s fault is this, and would it help the Phillies break out of this offensive slump?

The moment the good things on the field stop happening, is the moment that there is a microscope put on the whole team and why they aren’t as successful as they should be. This is now one of those times. There will be a lot said about the ballclub that only 10 days ago was unthinkable.

It’s the return of Roy Oswalt to the mound for the Phillies tonight. He’ll give us 60-65 pitches and it will be interesting to see what happens with his start tonight. After his warmup game in Clearwater, Oswalt left Brighthouse Field without speaking to anyone in the press. Why? Here were a group of reporters who were concerned about Oswalt but he wasn’t going to be bothered giving them a statement or two about himself. Hey Roy, how do ya feel? Hey, Roy, nice outing how is everything? No, he just left into a dark Florida night and off he went. Maybe this is how these guys treat one another in the clubhouse and this is just a big team of assembled superstars that have no time for anybody.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Phils trip to Atlanta bears little fruit


peach


The Phillies faced a tough Tim Hudson down in Atlanta yesterday. Hudson stalled the Phillies offense and even though Roy Halladay also pitched a very good game, you can’t win baseball games when you don’t score runs.

The Phils only ended up with 4 hits overall in Sunday’s game. One of the hits was a home run which accounted for the only runs of the game for the Phillies. It was good to see John Mayberry Jr. go deep for the Phillies as he got the start out in right for the Phils.

The Braves made the most out of their opportunities, Halladay didn’t give them too much to work with, but the Braves and Dan Uggla made the most of it. Uggla accounted for scoring all 3 of the Braves runs on this afternoon. Go figure, Uggla has been somewhat of a disappointment so far for the Braves and is only batting .205 on the season. He got the job done yesterday though.

It seems like Chipper Jones injuries may have caught up with him again, he was not in the Braves lineup yesterday. The Braves didn’t need him though to get the victory and take the series from the Phillies.

Roy Halladay’s record falls to 5-3 with the loss and it looks as if none of the aces on the Phillies are running away with the pitching crown so far. It’s not too far into the season, but I thought by now one of the ‘aces’ on the Phils staff would emerge with a better record than the rest.

It was great to see the Phillies in the throwback uniforms yesterday, though the Phillies ‘P’ on the caps was way bigger than we’ve ever seen it. It almost looked like a cartoon with how big it was on the cap.

It’s onto St. Louis for the Phillies, with a game tonight at 7:05 PM. Cliff Lee (2-3 with a 3.78 ERA) is on the mound for the Phils.  It’s a rare two game series there in St. Louis and then the Phillies continue their way back home to Philly for a short two game series with Colorado, and then Texas for the weekend (Fri – Sat – Sun) also at home in Philadelphia. He don’t see too many 2 game series in a season, but the Phillies have them back to game against their next two opponents.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

'Phillies Talk' podcast - the Triple Tune Up Game




      Listen to this show on the 'Phillies Talk' podcast this week, with Rich Baxter and Jim Mulry that have been talking Phillies baseball for years now. It's the 'Triple Play Tuneup' show!

Blanton seeks to keep the winning ways in Atlanta


Blanton is regaining form lately





    Apologies to my readers who were looking for some posts here on the blog in the past two days, my blogging service was offline and not able to accept posts, so for anyone who stopped by, I apologize for the problem. It's been years since I've been with Blogger, and they've only been down a couple times so I can't really complain about it too much, but they are back in business and so am I here on FightinPhillies.com!

  Joe Blanton has had an up and down year so far, and the reason the Phillies wanted to shop him in the off season is because of this inconsistency. Blanton isn't in the league of the other pitchers on the rotation, but he gives you innings and that's what the Phillies need. Every team doesn't have a whole rotation of pitchers that are Cy Young candidates, that is what makes a baseball team.

The Phils won a good battle last night in Atlanta. I was really impressed with Ryan Howard's play on the field. He is morphing into an all around player who is starting to really make a difference, not only just in the home runs that he hits but his hustle all around.


Today it's Blanton (1-1 with a 5.83 ERA) vs. a red hot Jair Jurrigens who is 4-0 on the season with a 1.50 ERA.  1:10 PM start in Atlanta this afternoon.


This is the 10th time that Blanton has faced the Braves since he came to the Phillies. The last time Blanton faced the Braves was 5/30/10, he got the loss in that one.





  

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Comcast says: "Let there be baseball tonight!"

The Phillies are off, but that isn't stopping CSN, Comcast Sports Net from airing tonight's Clearwater Thresher's game from Clearwater, Florida. It'll be Utley, Ruiz, and Oswalt appearing on the Threshers in thier rehab assignments.

Here is the schedule:



6pm SportsNite

6:30pm Phillies Clubhouse

7pm Single A Minor League Baseball: Palm Beach Cardinals @ CLEARWATER THRESHERS (Phillies)

10pm Post Game Live / SportsNite




Thanks Maureen from CSN Philly for the news!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Phillies Memories: Matt Stairs will always be ‘Mr Clutch’ in Phillies fans memories, here’s ‘Talking with Charlie’

 





Charlie Manuel has a bit of a cold in this video, but that doesn’t stop him from really showing some love for Matt Stairs in a recent interview that he did with Stairs when the Nationals were in town.


Stairs will always be welcomed in Philly, and he has hit one of the most famous home runs in Phillies history with his long, fly ball that sailed deep into the LA skies and seemed to sail forever when the Phillies needed a home run off of the Dodgers the most.

Thanks to WPHL 17 for the interview, the ‘Home of the Phillies’ on TV in the Philly area.

And oh yeah, you actually want to see that home run again don’t you?



Forget steroids, is baseball’s Bartolo Colon the bionic man?


Roboto Colon

“This is not hocus-pocus,” Purita said in an interview here. “This is the future of sports medicine, in particular. Here it is that I got a guy back playing baseball and throwing pitches at 95 miles an hour.”

  Those are the words of a doctor in Boca Raton, Florida when he was describing the reemergence of a pitcher named Bartolo Colon, who was considered to be finished as a pitcher by many. His story starts again perhaps with the courtesy of some fancy new age medicine. Some people aren’t so sure it’s medicine though.

Forget about Lee Majors and the Six Million Dollar Man series from years ago, it’s all about money still, but this time it’s professional athletes that want to command those high earning salaries well past their prime, and continue their careers when others have just fallen apart. Here is the story of Bartolo Colon, perhaps the first man who has benefited with what is known about this pioneering field of extending the physical prowess of athletes when all else has failed in the past.

This story reminds me of Barry Bonds when he said he didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong. He didn’t have a clue why he looked like the incredible hulk, and never dawned on his how his physical strength powered him to 73 HR’s in one season. A feat that has never been done since he did it, and may never be broken now that the steroid issue has come to light.

Sports athletes have so much money now, they can afford to try to extend their careers well past the time that they used to be coming to an end. Pioneering or some would say ‘gray market’ technics are being used now by doctors and they seemingly have a never ending supply of patients.

Bartolo Colon has become one of the players who has come into the spotlight for such treatments. Colon received an injection of his own fat and bone marrow stem cells in an effort to regenerate the damage to his elbow and arm that nearly caused the end of his career. His doctor’s name is Joseph R. Purita. This doctor has also used HGH, or the banned steroid in baseball in some of these procedures on other patients but not in Colon’s case, he said.



Not everyone has been a fan of Dr. Purita’s work though, as you can see in this video, the man who was treated by Purita at some point in the past suffered a strange and serious looking wound to his skin. It hardly seems like this is the work of a miracle worker, but just watch this report that aired on a Florida news station about this man’s personal experience.

It is illegal in the MLB to have been treated with unapproved medicines or steroids on the banned list. Colon’s issue has just surfaced and is being looked at by MLB officials and others. The New York Times broke the story on this, and then the GM of the Yankees informed the MLB about Colon’s treatments. This is unusual that the subject wasn’t brought up before by the Yankees, and they did so only after learning of the NY Times story.


Read the article here in the NY Times

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Phillies find winning way against Marlins

 

 

Marlins New stadium

New Climate controlled stadium next year for Marlins

 

The game started off really well for the Phillies last night against the Marlins. Jimmy Rollins hit a long fly to lead off the game that looked as if Mike Stanton would be able to make a play on. The ball sailed through Stanton’s glove and over the fence for a homerun to give the Phils an early 1-0 lead. Rollins now has a leadoff home run in 36 games for the Phillies.

 

The Marlins answered the Phillies hot start off to the game though and scored 3 runs throughout the first two innings to take a 3-1 lead. The Phillies came out in the third with a bit more of what they need to start doing more, that is scoring. Joe Blanton lead it off with a single, followed by a Rollins single. Polanco reached first base, and Ryan Howard lined a hit out to right and scored Blanton. With two outs, former Marlins player Ross Gload hit a single to left field and it scored Rollins and Polanco to give the Phils 3 runs in the third inning.

 

solid perfomance again from the phillies bullpen

The Phils bullpen would save this game for the Phils, as Joe Blanton gave the Phils 5 innings while giving up 8 H and 3 R. Vance Worley got the call in the 5th and pitched 3 innings, and Ryan Madson earned the save finishing off the Marlins 6-4. Worley’s ERA is only at 1.20 while Madson is sailing along with and ERA of .064 and earned his 4th save last night.

 

new stadium for the Marlins in 2012

There was an announced crowd of 11,444 last night in Florida to see their Marlins take on the Philadelphia Phillies. Somehow this doesn’t seem like a place that is going to be getting a brand new stadium to play in soon. The fan support for the Marlins has been in steady decline since the Marlins enjoyed the success of the late 1990’s, but a brand new baseball stadium is on the way.

 

  The new Marlins stadium will be much nicer than the one the Marlins currently play in, and it will have a retractable roof so there will be a better control of the climate and limit the rainouts to zero down in a tropical area of Miami. The new stadium is said to have great views of downtown Miami, and have about 37,000 seats. I can still remember seeing a couple of the Marlins pitchers over the years with sweat just pouring out of them like a faucet during the games in the hot summer down there, but now that will just be a memory as the new stadium will be air conditioned.

 

halladay vs johnson again tonight in florida

 

Tonight it will be Roy Halladay and Josh Johnson. Halladay will revisit the stadium where he pitched a no-hitter, perfect game, last year. In fact, Halladay faced Josh Johnson on May 29, 2010 when he pitched an 11 SO, no-hitter against the Marlins. The Phils won this one by only a 1-0 score. It was performances like this game that earned Halladay a Cy Young award last year for the Phils, let’s see if history can repeat itself tonight in Florida.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Phillies return to Sunday Night Baseball, with memories that will last forever from last week







First, a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there!

The Phillies are on ESPN Sunday Night baseball again tonight. It’s déjà vu from last week when they played the Mets on the night time broadcast of the game. Last week’s result was a loss 2-1 in 14 innings, and anyone that had to be to work the next morning is probably still feeling it this weekend.

The event that occurred on last Sunday will be a memory for many though, not so much for what happened on the field but for the news that filtered through from fans getting phone calls and seeing what had happened and just announced on tv and radio and via text messages.

Fans in Philly finally made the news for some positive spin. During the game, the fans erupted in jubilant bliss, and started chanting, “USA, USA, USA.” It confused the Phillies players on the field, and probably Mets players too. The fans knew what had happened and it seemed like a closure of some sort for many to what had happened on September 11, 2001. The Phillies and the Mets players will remember this game too. It will be etched into their minds the first time they heard the chants and applause of the sold out crowd.

I can’t believe that this September will mark 10 years since one of the worst attacks on US soil that has ever have taken place. It’s a memory that will be forever etched in my mind. It was such a beautiful morning in the Philly/NJ/Del area on September 11, 2001, and to get news of the tragedy that unfolded, was almost surreal. It didn’t seem possible. It forever changed the country.

I happened to be listening to KYW 1060 AM news radio on my way to work on that morning on the way in, it was first announced that ‘a small plane’ has hit the World Trade Center, this was just after the moment that something really bad happened. I thought right away at what a terrible scene that something like that was, and just arrived at my place of employment and told a couple of my co-workers what I had just heard. There were tv’s where we worked, and within minutes everyone was gathered around the set and watching in disbelief as the events unfolded, and that this was not an accident and the sad truth that a jumbo jet liner hit the World Trade Center, and there were ‘more’ planes being hijacked in the air as the news started to unfold.

It’s memories like these that never leave you, nearly everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news of what happened on September 11, 2001. The US finally was able to track down the mastermind of the terrible deed in New York and terrible deeds elsewhere. In reaction, nearly everyone in the world agrees that the world is a better place without him.

The game tonight will probably not have as much of an impact as it did on the fans from last week’s game. The fans tonight will remember a game that they went to and hopefully the Phillies will win.

Last week, the whole world was the winner, a villain who is probably the worst hated person by not only us in this country, but for many of the population of planet earth that just want peace on earth.

On this Mother’s Day, let’s give thanks to Mom and again give thanks to the people who try to make us safe here in the best country in the world, the USA.

Tonight’s pitchers:

Hamels  (4-1 2.66 ERA)
vs.
Jurrjens (3-0 1.52 ERA)

The Phillies lead the season series vs. ATL 3-2 so far

Game time  8:05 PM EDT

Friday, May 06, 2011

Say Hey, it’s Willie Mays 80th birthday

 

5057783160_fcb31f8ba2

photo by number2son on flickr

 

I am in San Francisco for a really exciting birthday party for one of baseball’s legends. Willie Mays was very active in the Atlantic City, NJ area over the 1970’s and 80’s when he worked for Bally’s Casino as a spokesman. Mays appeared in numerous events in the South Jersey/Philly area, and I remember sitting right next to him as a kid at a softball game and he was really cordial and nice and talked to me a little about his baseball career and World Series ring.

 

The word ‘legend’ is not used very often in baseball when you are talking about players who are in the Hall of Fame that are still alive. Willie Mays is one of those legends of baseball, and he is 80 today. The San Francisco Giants are honoring Willie with a special 80th Birthday celebration at AT&T Park tonight.

 

Mays is perhaps most associated with a catch he made in the 1954 World Series, when he ran out towards dead center field with his back to the ball and somehow tracked it down. Willies Mays’ playing career was a star studded and long career. It all started for Willie in 1951 when he was 20 years old. Mays started off cold going 0-12 in his first 12 AB’s. He finished his first season with a respectable 20 homeruns in 121 games. His batting average in his first year finished at .274 and he was the 1951 Rookie of The Year.

 

Just two years after Willie made his debut, he was voted an All Star during the season and then was a key factor in the 1954 World Series, he performed amazingly in the series and he was voted MVP for the season. Mays’ catch out in center is still replayed countless times in baseball highlights and is one of the most famous catches ever in baseball.

 

Mays baseball playing career stretched an incredible 22 years. He ended up as a New York Met in 1973 when he called it a career. He was voted into the Hall of Fame with a 94.7% vote in 1979. Mays ended his career with a .302 BA, and 660 HR which Is currently 4th all time. Alex Rodriguez is the closest active player to Mays HR total with 618.

 

In San Francisco, Willie Mays is honored at the AT&T Park with a huge statue and street named after him called Willie Mays Plaza. In fact, the Giants mailing address is 24 Willie Mays Plaza, of course 24 was Willie Mays number. There are also 24 palm trees planted out in the Plaza to honor Mays around the street for which he named after.

 

Mays remains very active in the baseball world, he offers tips to any Giants player who cares to ask him and he is involved in speaking engagements and his charitable foundation called the Say Hey Foundation. He was given a ‘lifetime’ contract by the Giants owner in 1993, and he asked for an extension! Now that’s a ballplayer. When Mays was asked if he understood that the contract was for ‘life’, he said that he understood that but still wanted an ‘extension’.

 

Check out a Willie Mays photo slideshow from the Mercury News here

How Sweep it is!


How sweep it is! Phillies get their third series sweep of the season so far with the Nationals being swept at home in Philly.

Who say Raul Ibanez is done? The man has a lot more to give the Phillies even though he is in his final year of his three year deal. The terrible slump he has been in is just a distant memory now. It really seems like Raul is playing just as he did when he joined the Phillies. Remember back to the days when steroids were still the talk of baseball, and everyone thought that Raul had a bit of super human power when he burst onto the scene in Philly.

If my posts have been late in arriving, it's because I am away for this week, in San Francisco and waiting for Willie Mays 80th Birthday party that the Giants are celebrating on Friday night out here in the City By the Bay.

    I'll have much more on Willie Mays in a later post on Friday, here on FightinPhillies.com, Mays was a special player, he's part of the 'old guard' in baseball, legends of yesterday that are becoming a rare breed anymore. Time and the passing of generations have not forgotten Mays and his play in baseball.

    Phillies notes from the Nationals series:

  • Roy Halladay becomes the first Phillies pitcher this year with 5 wins
  • The Phils improve to 21-9 on the season or .700 winning percentage
  • The home sellout streak for the Phillies is at 140 now
  • Next up is Atlanta, they are one of the hottest teams in baseball this week, playing one of the hottest teams in the Phillies. Cliff Lee is up first vs. Derek Lowe to kick off the series in Philly