Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Phillies are among only a few teams to play on Halloween



The 1980 Phillies won the first championship ever by the Phillies on October 21, 1980 - here is how Tug closed it out for the Phillies thanks to MLB's Baseball's Best


The baseball season was starting to get long in the past couple of years, the World Series usually always ended in the middle of October but with the many schedule adjustments over the years, and rainouts, we've seen the baseball season extended to November on several occasions.

 The World Series has only seen 3 games played with the teams actually playing on Halloween. Two of those three times have come in the last couple years. The Phillies were one of the teams that have played on Halloween. This game of course coming in 2009 when the Phillies were playing the New York Yankees for Game 3 in the series. The Phillies went on to lose this game 8-5.

The game was in Philadelphia and the temperature at game time was a comfortable 70 degrees, what a difference between then and now isn't it? The other times that teams played on Halloween was in 2010 just last year, with the Texas Rangers playing the San Francisco Giants. Before that we have to go back to 2001 for the Yankees vs. the Diamondbacks in the World Series that year, the Dbacks won that series in 7 games.



Here is a list of MLB players born on Halloween (thanks to Baseball-Reference):

Rk Born Yrs From To
1 Yamaico Navarro 1987 2 2010 2011
2 Javy Guerra 1985 1 2011 2011
3 Andy Parrino 1985 1 2011 2011
4 Anthony Varvaro 1984 2 2010 2011
5 Luis Mendoza 1983 5 2007 2011
6 Alex Hinshaw 1982 2 2008 2009
7 Jared Wells 1981 1 2008 2008
8 Mike Napoli 1981 6 2006 2011
9 Steve Cox 1974 4 1999 2002
10 David Dellucci 1973 13 1997 2009
11 Tim Byrdak 1973 10 1998 2011
12 Chris Clemons 1972 1 1997 1997
13 Steve Trachsel 1970 16 1993 2008
14 Oreste Marrero 1969 2 1993 1996
15 Damon Mashore 1969 3 1996 1998
16 Ed Taubensee 1968 11 1991 2001
17 Brian Keyser 1966 2 1995 1996
18 Steve Rosenberg 1964 4 1988 1991
19 Fred McGriff 1963 19 1986 2004
20 Mike Smith 1963 2 1989 1990
21 Matt Nokes 1963 11 1985 1995
22 Mike Gallego 1960 13 1985 1997
23 Paul Zuvella 1958 9 1982 1991
24 Ray Soff 1958 2 1986 1987
25 Dave Freisleben 1951 6 1974 1979
26 Mickey Rivers 1948 15 1970 1984
27 John Hoffman 1943 2 1964 1965
28 Bill Voss 1943 8 1965 1972
29 Fred Klages 1943 2 1966 1967
30 Dave McNally 1942 14 1962 1975
31 Ed Spiezio 1941 9 1964 1972
32 Ed Stroud 1939 6 1966 1971
33 Jim Donohue 1938 2 1961 1962
34 Dave Tyriver 1937 1 1962 1962
35 Carl Boles 1934 1 1962 1962
36 Ken Keltner 1916 13 1937 1950
37 Warren Huston 1913 2 1937 1944
38 Ray Treadaway 1907 1 1930 1930
39 Allyn Stout 1904 6 1931 1943
40 Ray Flaskamper 1901 1 1927 1927
41 Tony Rego 1897 2 1924 1925
42 Leo Dickerman 1896 3 1923 1925
43 Ray O'Brien 1894 1 1916 1916
44 Ken Crawford 1894 1 1915 1915
45 Bill Herring 1893 1 1915 1915
46 Ed Burns 1887 7 1912 1918
47 Alex Malloy 1886 1 1910 1910
48 Bert Daniels 1882 5 1910 1914
49 Ed Fisher 1876 1 1902 1902
50 Harry Smith 1874 10 1901 1910
51 Dan Bickham 1864 1 1886 1886
52 Hardie Henderson 1862 6 1883 1888
53 Kick Kelly 1856 1 1879 1879
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/30/2011.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Connie Mack, 15,000 days since the last game





Got this article from Chris Jaffe over at Hardball Times, a very cool baseball blog. It covers the 'last day' of baseball in Connie Mack Stadium where the Phillies played baseball for many years. So many fans associate a team with the stadium where they play. For me, it was primarily Vet's Stadium before the Phillies moved in 2004 to the 'new' Citizens Bank Park - can you believe that next season will be the 9th season there already?


Here is the link to the article for the 'last day' at Connie Mack - now over 15,000 days ago.




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Phillies let Lidge and Oswalt explore market

 

 

Mad Dog Madson Ruiz 2011 NL Clinch

  The Phillies free up some money for Ryan Madson, who may be the closer in 2012

 

 

 

The Phillies declined the options on Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt. The Phillies still have to pay them but it won’t be what they were going to earn in the 2012 season. Lidge will $1.5M and Oswalt $2M from the Phillies just because the Phils didn’t pickup their contracts.

 

It’s possibly the end of an era for Lidge after he finished the record setting 2008 season for the Phillies, he just was never able to live up to that standard again. He also had a couple of injuries that added to his problems.

 

Roy Oswalt came to the Phillies to win a championship, he felt he had the best chances to win here, and of course that didn’t happen this year. He’ll have to make some decisions in the off-season if he wants to remain pitching after some nagging injuries forced him to the DL again this past season. He never really garnered the fan support in his short time in a Phillies uniform. Oswalt was 9-10 this past season for the Phils.

 

This may be the start of changes for the Phillies, even though it’s been said that they still may make a deal with one of these players, that appears unlikely.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Manuel’s last press conference of season says Phils are “old”

 
 
 

 

 

 

The ‘Dream Team 2011’ is a team that Charlie Manuel managed in 2011, a team that failed to accomplish their goal to get to the World Series. In the last public press conference on OFightin Manuel 2011ctober 12th, 2011 that Manuel spoke at, he obviously was upset that the Phillies didn’t go further in the playoffs. This team did win 102 games though on the year, and that was an amazing accomplishment.

 

Charlie Manuel could have glazed this conference over with a few whimsical remarks that the season didn’t go as planned in the postseason, but he delved deep into the ‘dark side’ of what the Phillies are becoming. He said the ‘core’ of the team is 31-34 years old and they are at the top but on the ‘back side’ of their careers for the most part. He was right in saying that the team is getting older, and with that ‘oldness’ you lose a step or two. He could have also have been covering his own failings with the team by blaming the players like he did in the above sound bite.

 

Manuel could have done things differently, he didn’t say too much of the failure fell on his shoulders. Yes, the offense did not come through for the team. Manuel doesn’t change as the game starts to change sometimes. He doesn’t make too many countermoves from the dugout and when the team is struggling, he doesn’t try to make things happen from the bench most times. He could try to sacrifice bunt more to move runners, and try other things to get this offense going when it sputters.

 

Greg Gross, Phillies hitting coach, should have been fired immediately after the season, and that didn’t happen. The hitting on the offense falls on Greg’s shoulders, and they really failed when it was needed. I am sure Gross tried to help spark some offense but in the end, it didn’t happen. GG should go, and go fast. It was a situation where the players didn’t rise to the occasion but it was an epic proportion on how bad some players did in the NLDS that should have spelled the end for Gross.

 

No changes in the coaching staff effectively means that ownership was pleased with the way the season went. We can look to the Boston Red Sox to see what their ownership thought of what’s been happening there. Is this the same case with the Phillies?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Phillies Talk Podcast: Season's End - our look at the 2011 season





Listen to our wrap up of the 2011 Phillies season tonight on Phillies Talk, want to win a DVD?

Listen to the show tonight for the 'secret phrase' to mail in for your chance to win. Mail all entries to rich @fightinphillies.com - for your chance at the Wrigley Field game video that MLB Productions just released!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wrigley Slugfest Phillies video now available!

 

 

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BASEBALL’S GREATEST GAMES WRIGLEY FIELD SLUGFEST DVD MAY 17, 1979 THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES WIN THIS WRIGLEY FIELD CLASSIC FEATURING THE POWER OF DAVE KINGMAN AND MIKE SCHMIDT

http://shop.history.com/baseballs-greatest-games-1979-wrigley-field-slugfest-dvd/detail.php?p=300737&v=aetv_subject_sports

The Phillies, having won the prior day’s game at Wrigley 13-0, jumped out on top 21-9. With the Chicago faithful straining for hope--lo’ and behold, in one of the wildest Wrigley Field slugfests of all time--the Cubbies stormed back to knot the score at 22! The stage for this scoreboard jamming contest was set in the first stanza. The Cubs starting pitcher recorded only one out, allowing six runs, while the Phillies starter--who homered in the first inning, also exited after recording only one out and allowing five runs! The two lineups were filled with stars: Mike Schmidt (2 home runs), Larry Bowa (5 hits), Bob Boone (5 RBI), Bill Buckner (7 RBI), and Dave Kingman (3 home runs). Yes, the wind was blowing out that day at Wrigley.

 

Direct from the Major League Baseball archives, this rare and extraordinary television broadcast includes the quintessential making of a Wrigley classic, mind-boggling offense and one unforgettable baseball game. A special DVD audio feature allows fans to watch the television broadcast and listen to the radio play-by-play!

 

You can win a copy for your very own, just listen to our podcast that will be recorded tomorrow night called "Season's End, the 2011 Season review", there you will hear a special phrase during the show to email in to rich @ fightinphillies.com and you'll be entered to win one of these great DVD's of this game. All drawings are random based upon the correct answer once you listen to the podcast and email the winning phrase to fightinphillies.com, best of luck to you!

The next post will have the podcast posted on Tuesday night for you to listen to, so listen up and win a free copy of this awesome video.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Resigning Rollins, will the “5 year deal” make us see the last of Jimmy

 

 

 

  A few weeks have passed since the Phillies bowed out of the playoffs early in the first round of the 2011 Division Series. The success of the postseason just wasn’t there this year and the Dream Team of 2011 has to contend with a winter of feeling like they have let themselves down.

 

Veteran players now of the Phillies are no longer the hungry group that they were in 2008. This team is now almost entirely comprised of highly paid superstars that are making a great living playing baseball in front of the Phillies fans. The 2011 season was one that held great expectations. Nothing short of a World Series appearance would have been fit for this group, and now we are all too aware that this didn’t happen.

 

Many Phillies won’t be back next year, and among them is one of the best shortstops the Phillies have ever put in the position. Jimmy Rollins is a player that has the longest tenure of any player on the field with the team. He’s been with the Phillies since 2000, when he played in 14 games as a 21 year old.

 

Jimmy’s next season was his first full season with the team in 2001. Rollins burst onto the MLB stage and hit an incredible 13 triples, and stole 46 bases on the season. He finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting in ‘01. Jimmy also started off his career as an All-Star in his first full season. Since 2001, Rollins has been an ‘All-Star’ two other times, in 2002, and 2005. In 2007, Rollins was voted as MVP of the National League. In the ‘07 season Rollins hit 30 HR and 94 RBI, 20 3B, and 38 2B hits.

 

At 32 years old, Rollins career is hardly over, he still has a lot of baseball to play in his career. How much of it will be rivaling his early part of his career is up to debate. In 2010, Jimmy only appeared in 88 games, and this past season Rollins was in 142 games. Rollins doesn’t strike out much though, in the past 8 years, Rollins never struck out 100 times or more in a season despite having seasons with over 700 AB, and 778 AB in 2007.

 

Rollins has reportedly said that he wants a 5 year deal. Such a deal would keep Rollins a Phillie for a total of 17 years if that happens. Some factors such as contract amount and this 5 year request may keep that from happening. We’ll see what happens as the winter months unfold. The Phillies reportedly want to retain Rollins, we’ll see how bad they want to keep him within the next few months.

 

NLCS notes:

 

The Cards and the Brewers may have made their hometown fans very happy, but for the TV ratings it is one of the worst televised NLCS series ever. The series is only averaging 2.3% rating across the country. In comparison, the Phillies vs LA Dodgers in 2009 had a 20% rating across the country for that series.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

We’ll get ‘em in ‘12– the ode of the Phillies fans the day after


2008 Lidge
    The 2008 Phillies team was special, you can’t buy that kind of success


  We were all sad and kind of tired today, a bleary eyed bunch of fans that stayed up the whole game last night to see their team lose by a score of 1-0 to the Wild Card team that got into the playoffs by making a historic run just as the Phillies had done in 2007 by storming back to take the NL East from the Mets and winning it on the last day of the season.

Yes, fans were still mad today, just like the players on the Phillies who thought they were going to the World Series. Of course everyone on that team wanted that, not just the 4 Aces and other players who are in the $10M plus range per year and more. For the replacement players on the team, they deserved a little bit better than to sit on the bench and watch what was going on in this series. Some regular players were playing so badly, they should have been pulled but they weren’t.

I remember how a lot of people felt about 3rd baseman, Pedro Feliz, who batted .174 in the 2009 World Series. Pedro got only 2 hits in 23 AB’s with 2 RBI’s in the Series. He was run out of town on a rail, let us not forget he was also on the 2008 World Series winners team when he batted .333 in the World Series in ‘08. Flash back to last night, and Placido Polanco in this series, he had 2 hits in 19 AB’s with 0 RBI. Oh yes in 2010, Polly was 1-9 with a BA of .111 with 0 RBI’s in that NLDS.  

Ryan Howard spun his wheels on the last AB of the year last night, he may have torn an ACL in the process. The tests are being analyzed, but let’s look at what he did in this series. Howard had 2 hits in 19 AB’s for a paltry .105 BA. He’s one of the highest paid players in the game. That is just inexcusable. Is he on the decline? In a word, yes. I hope he gets better as the Phillies are to be paying him for many more years at $20M plus per season.

The team will be back in 2012, they’ll be talked about and compared to and prognosticated about. The Phillies will be back, and the fans will be there. It’s only one day after and still baseball goes on. It’s proved this year, that you can’t buy success in the postseason, and that’s a good thing. Baseball somehow transcends money sometimes, it’s about heart, hustle, and making things happen.

Like that special Phillies team that did it in 2008, they weren’t the same team on the diamond last night as back in ‘08, but they’ll be back again in 2012 with yet another team and a different combination, will this be the team that wins the World Series or gets closer to that goal?

Fall from the Dynasty, Phillies falter in Game 5 – season over for 2011

 

Dynasty Fall 2011

Howard pulls up lame from final at bat in 2011, Phils season ends for postseason

 

Is the Phillies dynasty over? That is the question after the loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS tonight. The team had everything, but failed to accomplish the most basic need to win a game, that is score a couple runs. Yes, you have to give Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals credit. We’ve seen this type of ‘fail’ from the Phillies a various times of the season this year. Yes, the team set a new season long record for wins, but at what expense?

 

Roy Halladay only gave up one run on the night, that was enough for this moribund Phillies offense that couldn’t get anything going in Game 5. Ryan Howard made the last out again, and fell to the earth. Is the dynasty over? Don’t blame a .133 BA coming into this game on anything other than failure in the postseason though Ryan. You’re being paid one of the biggest salaries in baseball and you failed to deliver the goods.

 

The offensive drought that dogged various players on the team will always happen in a season. What happens in the postseason is supposed to be different and the Phillies got super efforts from two players, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley. There were others that had good contributions but the list is short. On the other side of the spectrum, Ryan Howard and Placido Polanco were totally inept when something was needed. Yes, Howard did have 6 RBI in the series, but he wasn’t clutch at all most of the time.

 

In post game radio show, Phillies announcer, Jim Jackson pointed the finger at Cliff Lee, saying he wasn’t able to hold that lead and that was in his opinion the turning point in the series. Yes, he has a point, but the bigger change was the Phillies offense did nothing to counter the Cards, and Charlie Manuel let them play on, choosing again not to make any dramatic or subtle moves in the games like bringing in some of the replacement players that helped the Phillies have such a great regular season.

 

It’s just too fresh after this loss to give a complete post-mortem of this playoff series. There will be changes next year for the Phillies but should there be some major changes now that the dynasty is on the decline? The Phillies were expected to at least make it to the World Series, and they should have. They didn’t though and good season or not this team was built for the playoffs, and collapsed like a house of Cards.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Halladay and the Phillies need win tonight to advance to NLCS






He went 19-6 in the regular season this year with 8 CG in 32 starts, and tonight might be the biggest game of his career. Roy Halladay has put the Phillies into the playoffs with his great pitching, along with the efforts of the other pitchers and offense that this team has had all season.

 The Phillies now need one more win to continue their playoff run in 2011, or the season of dreams will be over for them. This group of players have been through a lot this year. There was injuries, great moments, not so great times, but it's probably the last time the team will play together this year or ever again if they do not win today.

 Some Phillies players will not be back next year, Raul Ibanez is in the final year of his contract, and veteran Jimmy Rolllins is also in the last year of his contract. Rollins has only been a Phillies player for his whole career, he has been with the Phils since 2000, when he was 21 years old.

 The game is a hot ticket naturally with the fans tonight. Two days ago there were over 5,600 tickets on StubHub and this morning there is over 2,500 still remaining still there. The cheapest seat was being sold for over $110 each. The fans should be loud and rowdy tonight wanting a win in the worst way. The crowd for Game 2 of the NLDS in Philly was unusually quiet during most of the game and it was noticed by viewers at home and even Jimmy Rollins mentioned it in a press conference. That won't be the way it is tonight there. A lot of what makes the crowd quiet at times can be turned around by the operators of the scoreboards and music. Remember the old Vet Stadium when they used to play the organ and get people clapping and happy? That isn't being done too effectively at Citizen's Bank Park. It's something that needs to be looked at and fixed by Phillies management.

  The other Phillies teams that have won over 100 games, didn't make it to the World Series. Both 1976 and 1977 teams both had 101 wins but couldn't make it past the NLCS in those years. The 'Big Red Machine' stood in the Phillies way in 1976 and the LA Dodgers beat the Phils in the NLCS in 1977. Let's hope this 2011 team can reverse that trend, again they need to win tonight to get to the NLCS this year. The NY Yankees lost their final home game of the year, Game 5 last night against the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees will not be in the World Series this year, in the AL it will be either the Tigers or the Rangers going to the World Series from that league. The looks on the Yankees faces in the dugout after their loss said it all, the Tigers built an early lead and held it for their first appearance in the ALCS since 2006 when the Tigers lost to the Cardinals in the World Series. There is also another Game 5 that starts at 5 PM tonight with the Diamondbacks and Brewers. One of those two teams will advance to the NLCS along with the winner of the Phillies and Cards game tonight at 8:37 PM.

  The Phils were said to be loose at the workout at Citizen's Bank Park yesterday. The Cardinals also were said to be loose in a workout that was optional for the players. This game will be won by the team tonight that makes the least mistakes and capitalizes on scoring chances.

 Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter will be throwing from the mound in perhaps the most important games of their careers yet. The Phillies guy that has been known as "Mr. October" has yet to make his mark in the series, Carlos Ruiz has been clutch in the Phillies postseason runs. Chooch is now a veteran of 10 postseason series and he has had 36 hits in those series with 8 doubles and 15 RBI. Another player for the Phillies who is due is Ryan Howard. Howard has also been in 10 playoff series during his career with the Phillies, he has 44 hits and 33 RBI's on those series which includes this one. In this NLDS though, Howard is only batting .133 with 2 hits in this NLDS series. Those two hits have been big though, producing 6 RBI. Can he carry this Phillies team to victory?

 Read why Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News calls this game the 'Most important Game in Phillies History" here

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Loss for Phillies brings season to a Game 5 tomorrow


 Win or go home is what Manuel says about Game 5



Game 4 could have been a happy time for the Phillies and their fans, one more win would have meant a pass into the NLCS for the Fightins. Now that pass must come from the final game of the NLDS in Game 5 as the series now moves back to Philadelphia.

The Cardinals have now pushed their Wild Card spot into a possible trip to the NLCS themselves with only one more win. Last night, the Cards hit Roy Oswalt for 6 well placed hits that resulted in 5 runs and David Freese was the guy who drove in 4 RBI's (3-4) for the St. Louis team.


The series now moves to Philly with a situation that the Phillies haven't found themselves in, they must win this game or else the series and further playoff hopes are over. It will be Roy Halladay for the Phillies and the game will be at 8:37 PM on Friday night.

This isn't the only Game 5 in the NLDS, the D-backs and Milwaukee Brewers are going to be playing a Game 5 as well, as the Brewers couldn't finish off Arizona. The only team in the playoffs that has advanced to the ALCS so far is Texas, who beat the Rays in their series. The Yankees and the Tigers will play a Game 5 tonight at 8:00 PM in New York.

It has been said that the Phillies have an edge in this Game 5. Jimmy Rollins, who has had a great series so far, talked about Roy Halladay last night in a message on Twitter. "You get your big boy on the bump. This was the reason why he was brought here, when you have games like this, for him to come out and be the man. Be Doc. Go out there and perform a little surgery."


The Phillies need to score more runs than the Cardinals too, that will continue their season deeper into the playoffs. We'll see what happens in this pivotal game.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A little luck and a new postseason hero for Phillies

Game 3 of the NLDS between the Phillies and the Cards was a hard fought battle. The last time Cole Hamels pitched in an NLDS game, the Phillies won 1-0 last year. We were about on that pace to win it yesterday when the Phils and Cards were locked in a terrific pitcher's duel, until the Phillies snapped the scoreless game with a 3-run home run.

 Another postseason hero was made from a player who is not an everyday player, and another famous postseason home run can be added to the list. The last one of course was probably Matt Stairs, who launched a rocket of a home run in LA on October 13, 2008 in the NLCS. This home run was courtesy of a move by Tony La Russa, who walked the Phillies previous postseason 'go to guy' Carlos Ruiz, to get to utility outfielder Ben Francisco. Normally, this would be a good move. Not a good move in this game, as it opened the door for opportunity for Ben to make his mark on this series.

Tonight's game at 6 PM local Philly time, can bring the Phillies closer to their goal. They would advance into the NLCS that at this point looks like it will have Milwaukee who needs only one more win against the D-backs, we can close out this series tonight.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Phillies now in a best of 3 game series

Rollins says what a lot of people at home watching knew, the fans were too quiet at Game 2 in the NLDS

The Phillies failed to take advantage of their home field advantage. The team lost Game 2 of the NLDS at home and now the series shifts to St. Louis, where the series now becomes a best of 3 series. Many fans at home commented how quiet the fans were at Game 2 of the NLDS, perhaps the stadium wasn't filled with the die-hard fans but newer fans who didn't know how important it was to keep the volume high for the home team.

The difference in this series now is the Cardinals have 2 of the 3 possible games in this series at home.  The Phils did take 2 of 3 from the Cards in St. Louis this year during the regular season.

The weather in St. Louis will be nice and warm with the temperature reaching 80 degrees and sunny for the 5 PM EST start today. It’s quite a change from the chilly first two games of the series in Philadelphia.

Cole Hamels gets the start today for the Phillies, he hopes to do better than Cliff Lee who gave up 12 hits in the game on Sunday night in Philly. Before that game from Lee, Cliff was flawless going 3-0 in NLDS games with a 1.11 ERA during 4 starts.

In the NLDS games that he has pitched, Hamels is 2-2 with a 2.20 ERA. Cole’s last NLDS start was in 2010 vs. the Cincinnati Reds and he got the win with 9 SO and pitching a complete game by a score of 1-0.

This game later this afternoon is crucial for the Phillies to win, they don’t want to be down 2-1 in this series with 2 games to play. We’ll see if the team can come up with some winning hits in St. Louis.

Press notes of note:

Phillies 5:
Entering tonight’s game, Ryan Howard (1B), Jimmy Rollins (SS), Carlos Ruiz (C), Chase Utley (2B) and Shane Victorino (RF/CF) have started 41 consecutive postseason games together for the Phillies (26-15 record) … According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the longest such streak of consecutive starts for one team by five players in MLB history ... The streak began on October 6, 2007 in Game 3 of the NLDS at Coors Field.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Cards storm back, tie series at 1-1

 

 

 

The Cardinals looked like they were going to be down in this series early in the game last night in Philly. The crowd at Citizens Bank Park was loud and rowdy as the game started. They liked what they saw from the Phillies early on in the game as the Phils scored 3 times in the first inning with some hits that were flying off the right field fences.

 

Phils jumped on Carpenter early, then couldn’t get much offense

Early on, Cliff Lee looked sharp too, after the 3 runs the Phils scored in the early part of the game, it looked as he would cruise to an easy victory as well. Lee held the Cards scoreless until the 4th inning, and then the Cards stormed back to a Phillies lead of 4-3. A pivotal moment during the game in the 4th was when a Cliff Lee pitch that was clearly a strike, was called a ball. Cliff Lee wasn’t the same pitcher after that. Jerry Meals, who was the home plate umpire, had a number of dubious pitch calls both for the Phillies and the Cards.

 

The Cardinals stormed back to take a 5-4 lead in the game and never looked back. The Phillies dropped the second game at home and essentially lost the home field advantage that came with it.

 

Press hounds Rollins about Phillies legacy

The baseball press hounded Jimmy Rollins yesterday, they asked him to describe his legacy as a Phillies player, and whether or not he would be back next year. He didn’t need to deal with such philosophical questions during this series. He handled the questions well though, and could have just told them ‘no comment’ on that.

 

Series shifts to St. Louis and Busch Stadium on Tuesday

The series now shifts to St. Louis on Tuesday night at 5:00 PM EST. It’ll be game 3 of the series from Busch Stadium. Two other Division Championship series are tied up at 1-1 along with the Phillies/Cards series. The Yankees/Tigers, Rays'/Rangers, and Phillies series are all knotted up at 1-1.

 

Cliff Lee accepted responsibility for the loss last night saying, "I take full responsibility. Anytime you give a starting pitcher a four-run lead in the first two innings, he's in a pretty good spot."

 

Lee didn’t do that bad though striking out 9 on the night, it was a few well placed hits for the Cardinals and they came through when they needed to. This wasn’t the Cliff Lee we’ve grown accustomed to see in the playoffs, and I hope he gets another chance to prove that in the NLCS, if the Phillies advance.

 

It was nice of Lee to accept the blame for the loss, but the Phillies offense didn’t capitalize much after the first inning. It was like they scored a few runs very early and then went cold with the bats, so it’s more of a team game when they lose too. We’ll see how the offense looks on Tuesday night when the series continues. Cole Hamels gets the ball for the Phillies against Jamie Garcia for the Cardinals.