Tagged: Raul Ibanez

Aaaaaargh!!!

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

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

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

 

“Doctor, doctor, give me the news…”

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

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

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

 

“Hey now, you’re an all-star…”

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

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

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

 

“More, more, more…”

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

(photo by me) 

Feeling Fine on Friday

Bombs Away in the Bronx

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

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

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

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

Phils win, 7-3. Yay!

Flushed Away in Flushing

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

Dogs__Stuck_in_toilet_prv1.gif hebergeur 69 image by Bourriquet_album

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

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

I Need Your Opinion

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

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

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

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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

Clean Sweep in D.C.

Weekend Roundup

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

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

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

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

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

So How About Those Starters?

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

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

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

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

Again, infer what you want from this information.

Jackie Robinson, Rain Maker?

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

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

It rained.

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

Minor Matters

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

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

Up Next

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

Has Hamels Offended the Baseball Gods?

What is going on here? I’m beginning to think someone is using one of these on Cole Hamels:

voodoodoll2.jpgEither that, or it’s the *gasp!* SI cover curse.

Hamels+SI+cover.jpg

First it was the sore elbow in Spring Training, then he was hit by a liner off the bat of Prince Fielder last week, forcing him from the game. Last night, he turned his ankle while fielding a bunt by Washington pitcher John Lannan, and again had to leave the game. Just when he was starting to look like the Hamels of last October, too – pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings with 4 hits and 4 strikeouts. His velocity and control were back last night, as well.

Fortunately, x-rays were negative and the injury was deemed a “mild sprain.” With tomorrow’s off day, there will be an additional day between starts, so the team is optimistic that he will not have to miss a start.

The Phillies won the game, 7-1, with Chase Utley hitting two home runs, and Pedro Feliz and Raul Ibanez each adding a homer as well.

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Back to that voodoo doll. If some evil person out there (probably a Mets fan) is using one on Cole, they obviously have a better doll than I do. For example, if I wanted to give, say, Johan Santana a sore elbow before his start today, all I’d succeed in giving him would be this:

hinniseebow.jpg

“hinnis eebow”

 

If I wanted to sully the image of Grady Sizemore or Jacoby Ellsbury, to the consternation of many of the female bloggers, I could try to give them hairy ears, but end up giving them this:

hairyeaps.jpg

“hairy eaps”

 

Or if I wanted to attack Manny’s manhood, I’d have somewhat the opposite effect:

importenci.jpg

“importenci”

 

For the record, I bought this doll many years ago in the BK days, while strolling through the French Market in New Orleans. If you’ve never been there, the French Market is a sort of open-air farmer’s market/flea market. Of course, I decided I needed a voodoo doll (doesn’t everyone who visits New Orleans buy one?) but obviously didn’t look at it too carefully. It wasn’t until later that I noticed it was filled with typographical errors. I guess there was not a lot of proofreading or quality control going on where this was made.

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As I promised in yesterday’s comments, here is the other “fishy” picture of the Marlins, taken mere moments before Cody Ross gazed lovingly at his hands.

buttchecking.jpg

Note how the other players are dutifully stretching, while Dan Uggla is doing Lord-knows-what to Ross’s butt. Something needed adjusting? Was there a little TP hanging out? I’m just going to stop right now.

(all photos (except SI cover, obviously) by me)

Phils Win in Grand Fashion

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

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

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

 

Happy stuff

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

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

 

Not so happy stuff

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

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

 

In case you were wondering

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

 

Photo fun: something fishy going on

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

marlinlove.jpg

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

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

(photo by me)

Friday Night Fish Fry

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

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

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

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

crotchtag.jpg

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

– OR –

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

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

(photo by Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Rainy Days and Mondays

Well, I’m going to try not to let them get me down, but when they coincide like today, it can be a bit dreary.

Good news yesterday, though. After dropping the first two games of a four-game series to the Padres, the Phillies managed to pull out a win in dramatic fashion. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, new Phillie Raul Ibanez hit a walk-off two-run homer for the first Phillies’ victory since last Monday.

Hopefully some momentum will carry into tonight, though Mother Nature would not seem to be cooperating. Last time I checked, the game was still on for tonight, even though current conditions are rainy, windy, and chilly. I’m guessing they’ll try to get it in somehow, as it’s the last game of the series, and the Padres don’t come to Philly again this season.

***Update: tonight’s game has been postponed, with no make-up date announced yet.***

Quite frankly, this is why I almost never buy advance tickets to early spring games. With temperatures in the 40’s, it is not exactly my idea of a good time. I’ll watch on TV from the comfort of my home, thank you.

Earlier today, my mind was wandering a bit, and I was thinking about Padres left-fielder Chase Headley. I’m sorry, but that name cracks me up!

For whatever reason, the first time I heard his name, I thought of that old TV show from the 1980’s with the character Max Headroom. Headley, Headroom, they’re kind of similar. Then, while listening to radio coverage of yesterday’s game, one of the announcers noted that it reminded him of former Phillie Dave Hollins, whose nickname was Headley, due to his big head (this does not refer to his ego, he really has a physically large head).

hollins_headley_headroom.jpgSo do they resemble each other? Yeah, a little bit.

Anyway, my best baseball moment of the weekend had nothing to do with the Phillies. I’m going to use the forum of this blog to have my proud parent moment out there for the blogosphere to read.

My son plays baseball, and in his league the teams are made up of mostly 9- and 10-year-olds (he is 10). At his game Saturday afternoon, he came up to bat with the bases loaded. He roped a liner into the left/centerfield gap, and ended up with a triple! Mind you, he is not blessed with Rollins/Victorino-type speed, he lumbers around the bases more in the vein of Burrell or Howard. Still, it was a thing of beauty! And, his team won, so happiness all around.