Ode to Shane, Melissa, and Kingston Shane Victorino

Great news from the Phillies today:
Shane and his woman had a baby yesterday.
A new Victorino for the fall,
A winning experience for all,
I bet “ya know” is the first thing he’ll say.

Shane and Melissa Victorino at the Shane Victorino Charity Fashion Show


The Five Phillies You Loved The Most

The city of Philadelphia has had a lot to be excited about over the past few years.  In 2006 we had the Great Ed Wade Revival which brought the Phillies closer to the post season than anyone ever expected. In 2007 we saw the team achieve a playoff berth for the first time since 1993. The 2008 season had destiny written all over it, and in 2009 the word “dynasty” wasn’t far from anyone’s lips. But 2010 is different; it’s special. The opening day lineup has been intact only a handful of times this year, and that has forced the fans to look more at the individual parts rather than the whole. There appears to be a distinct divide between the guys we’ve always loved (Rollins, Utley, Howard), the ones we love when given a reason to love them (Ibanez, Werth, Victorino), and the ones we’ll remember for that special something they brought to the table during what has arguably be the greatest era in Phillies history to date. With that, I bring you the five 2010 Phillies you loved the most.

#5 – Mike Sweeney

Mike Sweeney came to Philadelphia as part of a post-deadline transaction that was necessary after Ryan Howard was placed on the disabled list with an injured ankle.  Drafted by the Royals in 1991, Sweeney has played 1,451 games in the majors without experiencing the postseason, and can’t stop talking about how grateful he is to finally have that opportunity with Philadelphia. What the fans seem to like the most about him is that while he may not be the scariest player at the plate, he undeniably plays with the most heart.  Every swing, every dive, every tag is approached with 110% effort, and when he’s not on the field, he is the first player at the top of the dugout steps to give out hugs and high-fives to his teammates. Before games he will sign autographs and hold your baby for a picture, and after games he can be found telling Sarge how “it’s a great gift to be a Philadelphia Phillie,” and that he will do whatever it takes to help get the team to their third consecutive World Series. It’s well known that the relaxed and confident clubhouse atmosphere has played a major role in the Phillies success in recent years, but I’m sure that Sweeney’s child-like optimism and gratitude helped keep the team’s spirits afloat as they scratched and clawed their way back atop not only the NL East, but all of baseball. Continue reading

Player Profile: The Passion of the Shane?

My previous three player profiles basically wrote themselves. Something about Chase, Ryan and especially JWerth and that marvelous beard of his that just made words pour out like cheap beer from a McFadden’s tap on game day. But ever since I decided to write this week’s profile on Shane Victorino, I’ve been nursing a raging case of writer’s block. Continue reading

Game Recap 05.15.10: Phillies 10 Brewers 6

AP Photo/Morry Gash

Third time’s the charm for Joe Blanton.

On Saturday afternoon, the Philadelphia Phillies (22-13) beat the Milwaukee Brewers (15-21) 10-6 helping Blanton (1-2, 5.49 ERA) earn his first win of the 2010 season.

After the first of four 1-2-3 innings by Blanton, the Phillies came out swinging in the bottom of the second. With Hoover on first, Blanton laid down a bunt that was poorly played by the Brewers leaving everyone safe. Victorino followed up by hitting a blooper up the middle to drive in the first run of the game putting the Phillies up 1-0. With two men on and two out, Utley ripped a ball to right field that appeared to bounce off the top of the wall, take a hop off of Corey Hart’s foot, and take a funny path back over the wall. The play was scored a ground rule double, which brought a runner home giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead, but the official scorer admitted that it was the wrong call. The Brewers ground rules state that if a ball hits the wall, then hits a player before going back over the wall, the play is to be scored a home run.

By the end of the third inning Brewers pitcher Chris Narveson (L, 3-1, 5.29 ERA) had already tossed out 74 pitches. He would eventually go a Major League leading 130 pitches through 5 2/3 striking out 9 and walking 3. He gave up two more runs in the sixth for good measure on a 2-run jack by Victorino (8) who went 3-6 with 4 RBIs. Victorino, Polanco and Hoover ran the show, combining for 10 of the Phillies season-high 17 hits on the day.

The most damage either team would do came in the 7th. With Claudio Vargas pitching for the Brewers, Jayson Werth and Wilson Valdez each singled and were moved up to second and third on a wild pitch before Hoover doubled them in, bringing the Phillies up 6-2. Blanton helped his own cause by singling to center and Victorino answered with a double of his own driving in two more runs. The hit show didn’t end there, though. Polanco and Utley each drove in a run on a hit and a sacrifice fly, respectively, and the inning would finally come to a close 7 hits, 5 runs, and 2 pitchers later.

The Brewers didn’t waste any time tightening up the Phils’ lead. After letting up a double and a walk, Blanton mailed home a first pitch changeup right over the plate to Corey Hart who returned the favor with a three-run shot to left center bringing the Brewers within four runs of the Phillies. It was Blanton’s third homer allowed of the game and he finished the day with 7 innings pitched, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits, walked one, and struck out five on 104 pitches.

The Phillies made sure to tack on one more insurance run in the 8th before handing the ball to David Herndon to close out the 9th. After allowing three hits and a run with only one out to work with, Cholly brought in Contreras with two men on and a four run lead. After walking the first batter to load the bases, the Phillies held their breath as he worked back to back strikeouts to end the ballgame and earn his first career save.

In related news, it was reported after the game that Brad Lidge would be heading back to the 15-day DL (retroactive to May 10) with inflammation in his elbow. He could receive either a joint lubricant injection of a cortisone shot once the team returns to Philadelphia after tomorrows series finale against the Brewers. Antonio Bastardo has been called up once again to take Lidge’s place on the roster.

Jimmy Rollins also made his first rehab start going 0-3 for the Class-A Clearwater Threshers.

Cole Hamels (3-2, 4.53 ERA) takes the hill against Doug Davis (1-4, 7.56) for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball at 8:05 PM EDT.

Game Recap 05.09.2010 Phillies 5, Braves 3

Kawakami watches Jayson Werth take a home run trot around the bases (AP Photo/H.Rumph, Jr.)

Chicks were diggin’ the long ball today as the Phillies used it to beat the Braves 5-3 and win the series two games to one. Placido Polanco, Jayson Werth, and Shane Victorino all went yard against Braves’ starter Kenshin Kawakami and helped the team overcome a shaky start by Cole Hamels.  Continue reading

Game Recap: 05.05.10 Phillies 4 Cardinals 0

Depending on how you want to look at it, Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.87 ERA) was either brilliant or damn lucky in Wednesday’s 4-0 win against the Saint Louis Cardinals (18-10), with the Phillies (16-11) taking a 2-1 lead in the series.

Kendrick relied heavily on his fastball, which made up for over half of his pitches. It was working for him, though, as he retired 11 of his 27 batters faced with it including 6 ground outs and 2 strike outs. He finished the night with 7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, and no runs, getting his first win of the season. In a collaborative effort, Baez and Contreras assisted in the combined shut out of the Cardinals, each with one inning pitched, no walks, no hits, and one strikeout by Baez in the 8th.

Continue reading

Ode to the Long Ball

We figured since we were on such a roll with the Series Recap by way of Limerick that we would post an Ode to the Long Ball since that’s what we’re all about here!

The Phils offense came out to play.
They made Johan Santana pay.
Out came the big guns,
They hit four home runs,
And the Cadillac drove them away.

AP/Tom Mihalek