Monthly Archives: April 2009

Phils look to continue success against the Mets

PHILADELPHIA–  April is finally over. The Phils escaped this year’s notably treacherous month with an 11-9 record, ranking them second in the NL East, a half game behind Florida.

The Phillies have proven to never be out of games, frequently mounting comebacks in the latter innings.  They’ve certainly been fun and exciting to watch so far.

The Phils have the momentum, as they welcome the team everyone loves to hate, the New York Mets (9-12), to the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park.  The Mets just dropped two of three to Florida, and are in fourth place in the division.

The chokers will throw the undefeated Mike Pelfrey at Chan Ho Park and the Phils tomorrow at 7:05.  The series between this brewing rivalry rarely disappoint.  Expect some good, exciting baseball at The Bank this weekend.

Ruiz continues rehab

Carlos Ruiz is set to continue his rehab assignment tomorrow in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  Ruiz was set to rejoin the club this week, after being placed on the 15-day disabled list, straining his oblique catching a foul ball in Colorado, April 10.  The Phillies are anxious for Ruiz to return, as Chris Coste has been struggling at the plate, and Lou Marsonhasn’t been getting many AB’s

Hamels sprains ankle

Cole Hamels sprained his ankle fielding Tuesday night.  Hamels threw one warm-up pitch to test the ankle but immediately left the game.  He’ll throw a bullpen tomorrow to test it for his scheduled start on Monday.  We’ll know more later.

Is Rollins back?

For the better part of April, Jimmy Rollins was dormant at the plate.  Rollins is hitting a horrific .207 with an OBP of only .241 at the moment.  In the last week however, Rollins has looked much more comfortable up there, raising his average above the Mendozza Line.  And Rollins, who claims to be “retired” from the predicting business, just can’t help it.  Rollins says he’ll hit .400 in May.



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Romero sues manufacturer of banned supplement

J.C. Romero is suing Ergopharm Inc. and Proviant Technologies, for mislabeling the products in the supplement, 6-OXO, that caused him to test positive to Major League Baseball’s random drug testing.

When contacted by the Philadelphia Daily News, the lead attorney representing Romero in his lawsuit against the manufacturer and distributors of 6-OXO Extreme said the Phillies left-hander felt he had been “duped” by the various parties.

“He was led to believe the supplement he was taking was not a banned substance, and that’s really the basis of the complaint,” Attorney Jeffrey Craig said.

“Major League Baseball is not a party here. He was duped by the drug manufacturer who mislabeled the product and the retail store that sold the product.”

Romero also released a statement:

“Testing positive and being suspended from baseball was one of the most painful experiences in my life and robbed me of the joy of winning the World Series and damaged my reputation in the process,” Romero said in a statement. “I purchased an over-the-counter supplement that I was told and believed would not cause me to test positive. These events have hurt me deeply and placed a cloud over my career, accomplishments and family. It is my hope that I can finally start to put this event behind me and protect the interests of others who rely on manufacturers and retailers to be honest about their products. I look forward to rejoining the Phillies and my teammates at the end of my suspension.”

The penalty cost Romero a fifty-game unpaid suspension, causing him to lose $1.4 million in salary.

Romero is suing the parties for:

1) The loss of past income and earning capacity
2) The loss of income and earning capacity which Romero can reasonably be expected to have enjoyed in the future.
3) Past and future pain, suffering and humiliation.
4) Loss of enjoyments of life, past and future.

Romero is alleging negligence, breach of implied warranties, strict product liability, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, violation of the New Jersey consumer fraud act, punitive damages against all defendants.

Romero also named corporate owners of the two nutritional stores where he purchased 6-OXO Extreme as defendants, alleging sales clerks assured him it would not cause a positive test for a banned substance.


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Phils sweep Marlins behind Moyer’s gem

(Photo: AP)

(Photo: AP)

MIAMI–  It seems that the Phillies are finally beginning to break out of their April funk.  The recent success starts with the guy on the Pitchers mound.

Yesterday, that guy was Jamie Moyer.  Moyer allowed one run in six innings of work Sunday, leading the Phils to a 13-2 victory over the Marlins at Dolphin Stadium.

“Let me tell you something,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “As long as we get pitching, we’re going to win games.”

Quality pitching was something the Phils enjoyed little of before this weekend, they were 6-8 and carried a 6.31 ERA into the series, the worst mark in the NL. They had just four quality starts, the fewest in all of baseball.

“As long as we’re winning games, I don’t care how we pitch,” Moyer said. “You want to pitch well and win games, but it’s a process and it’s a long season. We’re starting to put one foot in front of the other and find a little more consistency.

“We’re swinging the bats well. We’re staying in the game. That’s important, too.”

And the Phillies did swing the bats Sunday, scoring twelve runs.  It all got started in the first, when Shane Victorino, who was batting lead-off for the struggling Jimmy Rollins, and Eric Bruntlett drew walks to start the game and later scored on a single by Ryan Howard and a sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez.

Then, in the seventh, the Phils began to pile it on, leading 4-1 at the time thanks to a Chase Utley RBI single.  The Phillies scored four in the seventh and five in the eight, batting around both innings.

Shane Victorino led the charge, with four RBIs during the two innings.  Pedro Feliz also broke out of his o-14 slump, with a 3-5 day.

With the Phillies lead a very comfortable 13-2, they were able to give Utley a rest and Miguel Cairo a rare at-bat against Marlins’ right-fielder Cody Ross, who had warmed up to make his first career pitching appearance.

The Phils went scoreless against Ross, and called on J.A. Happ to finish the game in his second inning of work.  Happ completed the sweep, sending the bewildered Marlins to the airport, where they’ll fly to New York to attempt to end their six game losing streak against John Maine and the Mets.

The Phillies are back in Philadelphia, where they’ll look to continue their success against the last place Nationals tonight at Citizens Bank Park.  But, Phillies fans are already looking ahead to the Mets, who come to town Friday night for the first meeting of the two rivals this season.*

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LIVE BLOG: Phillies in Florida for game two

Chan Ho Park is set to take on Chris Volstad tonight from Dolphins Stadium in Miami. The Phillies will look to climb back to the .500 mark, after a dramatic win last night.  The Phillies will look to carry over their explosive offense, and the Fish will look for another stellar outing from their starting pitcher.

Please feel free to drop questions or comments in the chat.

Click Here to launch the chat.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who stopped by it was a lot of fun. We’ll do it real soon, I’ll designate a time later this week on my blog.   Hopefully we will have a special guest answer your questions for an inning.   Thanks again everyone.   Phillies win, Phillies win, Phillies win!


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Phils win with seven-run ninth

Victorino is greeted at the plate by teammates after his ninth-inning grand slam. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan)

Victorino is greeted at the plate by teammates after his ninth-inning grand slam. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan)

MIAMI–  It seemed like it would be yet another night where the Phils would disappoint, and again, struggle offensively.  Brett Myers gave up three first-inning runs, on a homer by Dan Uggla and the offense remained silent through eight.

But, in the ninth, in front of 29,032 fans and 1, 540 dogs at the Marlins’ annual “Bark in the Park Night,” the Phils battled all the way back, scoring seven times in the inning on two out, back-to-back home runs by Shane Victorino, a grand-slam putting the Phillies ahead, and Chase Utley, a solo-shot for the seventh run of the inning.

The salami was officially the first of Victorino’s career, but Phillies fans remember the one when it counted most, off C.C. Sabathia in game two of the NLCS.

“Both of them won games,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told reporters. “He hit one right-handed and one left-handed. It doesn’t matter which one he hit the best. They all got the same result. It’s not how far, it’s how many.”

The hitting outburst punctured a string of continued struggles at the plate for the Phillies offense, hopefully putting them back onto the right track.

“We know we can hit, and we’re going to hit,” Manuel said. “Innings like tonight, that’s a big boost when we haven’t done anything and we put a seven-spot in the ninth. That’s good. We definitely needed that kind of inning.”

Brett Myers also offered a decent effort, settling in to allow just three hits and two walks in the next five innings he pitched, after giving up the homer to Uggla.

“Myers stayed in there,” Manuel said. “He made pitches when he had to. But you know what was good about Myers? We got him to [119] pitches. He was in trouble and he kept wiggling out of it. We’ve been using our bullpen this week really hard. He kept us at 3-0.”

The Phillies win wasn’t typical, but at this point, after a slow start in April, they’ll take wins however they come.

What’s Next?

The Phils continue their three game series in Miami tonight, when Chan Ho Park takes the hill, against Chris Volstad.  The Phillies will look to climb back up to the .500 mark with a win tonight.  More later…

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Phillies home-stand wrapup

PHILADELPHIA- The Phillies wrapped up a seven-game home-stand today at Citizens Bank Park.  Miss any of the games?  Here is a complete recap:

Game one- The Phillies made their first stop home after losing legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas, to take on the Padres.  After an emotional tribute on the field, the Phillies looked to Cole Hamels to put the Phillies above the .500 mark for the first time this season.  The offense gave Hamels a five run lead in their half of the first, but Hamels was unable to put the Padres away.  They inched their way back into the game and then capitalized on a poorly pitched eighth inning by Ryan Madson.  Madson blew a two-run lead, allowing three Padres to score in the inning.  There was no further scoring, and the Phillies lost 8-7.

Game two- After a public memorial service for Harry Kalas at Citizens Bank Park, that included over 9,000 mourners and all of the 2009 Phillies, the Phils took on the Padres in game two of their four game series.  After briefly going ahead, 5-4, in the eighth, the Phils called on Mr. Perfect himself, Brad Lidge, to attempt to convert his forty-eighth consecutive regular season save.  It just wasn’t to be, as the Padres proved Lidge human, scoring four runs in the ninth sending Lidge off the mound, after blowing his first save in his last forty-eight attempts, to a standing ovation from the sell-out crowd of 45,007.  The Phils lost another heart-breaker, 8-5.

Game Three- The Padres built a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning, but the Phillies slowly chipped back on a Chase Utley two-run homer to right field in the sixth to make it 4-2, and a Jimmy Rollins pinch-hit homer to right in the eighth, after Rollins sat out to work in the indoor cage on his hitting, to make it 4-3.  Padres’ closer Heath Bell was unavailable,  so Edwin Moreno stepped onto the mound in the ninth inning.  That’s when all of the drama started.  Ryan Howard hit a blooper to center for a lead-off single to get things going.

Then, new Phillie, and Raul Ibanez, who is rapidly becoming a fan favorite, stepped into the batter’s box, and Moreno quickly ran the count to 2-0. Moreno, just trying to hit the strike-zone, served up a change-up over the plate that Ibanez crushed to right field to win it, in walk-off fashion.

Game four- Postponed (due to rain) to July 23 at 7:05 PM, EST.

Game five- The Phillies welcomed the Milwaukee Brewers to town, Tuesday.  The Phils jumped all over the Brew-crew, including a four run first and a five run fifth.  But, in the top of the seventh inning, with the Phillies holding an 11-3 lead and everything going well, the rains came, beginning a 1-hour, 18-minute delay.  Play eventually resumed, and the Brewers were able to tack on one more on a Ryan Braun RBI dribbler, the forth hit in Braun’s five-for-five, two home run, four RBI game.  It wasn’t enough though, as the Phillies beat the Brewers 11-4 to take the first game in the three game series.

Game six- Starter Joe Blanton did what he does best, gave the Phillies a chance to win, giving up three runs over six effective innings, but the offense never got on track against Braden Looper and the Brewers’ bullpen, with Jayson Werth’s solo shot producing the Phils’ only run. “You can sense you will get it going,” Blanton told reporters, who fell to 0-2 after allowing eight hits and three earned runs in six innings. “It’s like that car that won’t quite start. It just needs a kick to get going.”  The Phils ‘pen held the Brewers scoreless, but the Phillies fell 3-1.

Game seven- Just when things looked like maybe they were going well for Cole Hamels, he was plagued with even more bad luck.  Hamels, who after struggling early this season, recovering from elbow inflammation, retired nine of the first eleven batters he faced, but then all the bad news began when Ryan Braun hit a two-run home run to left field with one out in the fourth inning and Prince Fielder followed Braun, ripping a line drive off the back of Hamels’ left shoulder, forcing him to leave the game.  Hamels says he’s fine and expects to start, as scheduled, on Tuesday.  On the offensive side, the Phils were no-hit through 7 1/3, by Conestoga High School product Dave Bush.  Matt Stairs broke the no-no with a pinch-hit home run in the eight, hitting high off the right field foul pole.  Stairs’ shot wasn’t enough though, and the Phillies fell to the Brew-crew 6-1.

The Phillies finished 2-4 on the home-stand, with one game being postponed.


  • Courtesy of the Phillies media relations staff. Catcher Carlos Ruiz will begin his rehab assignment Saturday in Lehigh Valley. Manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday he expected the assignment to last four days, which means Ruiz could be back with the Phillies by next Wednesday.
  • Lou Marson will return to Triple-A once Ruiz is called up.
  • Shane Victorino has been selected as the recipient of the 2008 Lou Gehrig Award, presented annually by Phi Delta Theta Fraternity to the Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig.
  • Charlie Manuel expressed concern that he has seen differences in some players since the Phillies won the World Series.

What’s ahead?

The Phillies travel to Miami, tonight to take on the Florida Marlins in a three-game series.  After that it’s back home, to Ctizens Bank Park.  It’ll be Brett Myers taking on Josh Johnson tomorrow from Dolphins’ Stadium.

One more note… My apology for the lack of content last week.  Things were really crazy here.  Expect regular updates from now on.


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Details on Saturday’s Kalas memorial announced

The Kalas family and the Phillies have released some details on Saturday’s memorial service at Citizens Bank Park:

Beginning at 8:00 a.m., on a first come, first served basis, fans will have the opportunity to pay their respects on the field as they pass by Kalas’ casket, which will be located behind home plate. To accommodate as many fans as possible, the starting time of the memorial tribute program has been moved back to 1:30 p.m.

Fans will pass by the casket until approximately 12:45 p.m. at which time all persons in attendance will be directed to seats. Beginning at approximately 1:00 p.m., current and former players — some of whom are traveling great distances to be here to pay their final respects — broadcasters, front office employees, and friends and family members will pay their final respects before the on-field tribute begins at 1:30 p.m.

Fans will be directed to enter Citizens Bank Park through the Third Base Gate at Pattison Avenue and Citizens Bank Way and will be asked to leave the ballpark through the First Base Gate. Although fans are not being asked to bring flowers or other mementos, if they choose to do so such items should be left in the area of the Mike Schmidt statue prior to entry at the Third Base Gate.

Parking will be free. Fans are encouraged to park in the lots on the west side of the ballpark, located on the site of the former Veterans Stadium. Limited concession stands will be open.

All fans in attendance will receive a commemorative program, an 8″x10″ photograph of Harry and a poem written by him in 2002 as a fan tribute.

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