Tagged: Raul Ibañez

The Fightin’ Phillies Off to the Bronx for Game 6. Utley Chase-ing again.

Chase.jpgChase Utley’s bat seems to be on fire during the third inning.

On
Game 5 of the World Series against the New York Yankees, the Fightin’
second baseman hit a home run in the right field. He did the same in
Game 1. But the difference with the home run in the third inning of
Game 5 were the two men on bases- Jimmy Rollins who got a base hit and
Shane Victorino who was hit by pitch as he tried to bunt the first
pitch.

Of course, the pitcher was no longer the big leftie CC
Sabathia but the right-handed AJ Burnett who was starting for the
Yankees on short 3-day rest.

AJ Burnett gave up a back to back
walk to Utley and Howard in the third inning. The home run hitter Utley
stole second base while Howard was batting and reached home plate on
Jayson Werth’s base hit. No Phillies was retired to the dugout yet.

With
Raul Ibañez’ base hit, Ryan Howard scored widening the gap with the
Yankees; 5-1 on board for the Phillies. Burnett, who was dominant in
and won Game 2, was chased in the third inning and  replaced by David
Robertson.

The Phillies were not done fightin’. Ibañez was out
at second base but Carlos Ruiz stayed in first base while Jayson Werth
gave the Phillies another run. 6-1 on board.

The Bronx Bombers
were first to have a run in the first inning before Utley hit his 3-run
homer. Johnny Damon scored on A-Rod’s double. The Yanks had their
second run in the fifth inning. Johnny Damon grounded out to Ryan
Howard but the first baseman missed the throw  to home plate allowing
Eric Hinske, who was pinch hitting for David Robertson and was walked
by Lee with just one strike, to score safely.

Brett Gardner,
replacing Melky Cabrera in Game 5 as centre fielder, kept Jayson Werth
from having extra bases with his speedy and golden catch on a flyball
in the centre field wall in the fifth inning. Werth, not sure if the
ball was caught, kept moving until Gardner who was taking some time to
recover from hitting the wall showed the ball safe in his glove.

It
was the first out for Alfredo Aceves, the second reliever for AJ
Burnett, in the fifth inning. Aceves retired the next two batters on
ground outs.

History seems to repeat itself, in a very quick
fashion. Chase Utley in the seventh inning in Game 4 with two strikes
hit a solo homer off CC Sabathia. Chase Utley, again, with two strikes
in the seventh inning in Game 5 hit a solo home run but off Phil Coke,
Burnett’s third reliever. It was the second homer of the night and the
fifth home run in the series for the Phillies’ second baseman.

Chase
Utley just tied Reggie Jackson for a World Series record with
multi-home runs. The Phillies were still on lead with 7 runs against
the Yankees’ 2 runs.

With two outs, the Phillies had another
home run in the seventh inning. It was off the bat of Raul Ibañez. Phil
Hughes then had to replace Phil Coke.

Hughes may have allowed a
back to back walk in the eight inning of Game 1 and gave up a solo
homer in Game 3, but the young pitcher had his command back in Game 5.
He struck out Pedro Feliz on three consecutive strikes for the final
out of the seventh inning.

Carlos Ruiz had a base hit in the
eight inning but he grounded into a double play along with Matt Stairs
who was pinch hitting for Chan-Ho Park. Phil Hughes retired the last
batter, Jimmy Rollins, on a ground out.

The Yankees line up in
the eight inning was back on top but with Johnny Damon leading. Again,
the left fielder kept the line moving. Damon singled and reached third
base on Mark Teixeira’s double. A-Rod hit the first pitch and earned a
2-run double, as well as a cheer from Kate Hudson, sending Johnny Damon
and Mark Teixeira at home plate. The Yankees were 4-7 on board against
the Phillies.

Cliff Lee may not be as impressive as he was in
Game 1 but he still earned cheers from the Phillies fans as he was
retired to the dugout and replaced by Chan-Ho Park.

A-Rod
reached home plate on Robinson Cano’s sacrifice fly. The slugger who
calls himself an “underdog” in the World Series gave the Yankees their
fifth run.

Not giving up, the Yankees rallied some hits in the
ninth inning. With Posada leading the line up, he hit a double and
reached third base on Hideki Matsui’s base hit. The veteran catcher
reached home plate for another run but Derek Jeter grounded into a
double play. Hideki Matsui was out at second base.

The ninth
inning of Game 4 has become historical. It all began with Johnny Damon,
who on two out and two strikes hit a single on a battle against Brad
Lidge. With Mark Teixeira batting, Damon stole second then third base
that was left uncovered. Teixeira earned a base on hit by pitch. Damon
scored in that inning on A-Rod’s double.

Yet again, Damon on two
out and two strikes singled on a line drive to keep the line moving in
the last inning of Game 5. But the Phillies were on guard to keep the
wheels of Johnny Damon from going any further. With Teixeira in the
batter’s box, Ryan Madson made sure that the game would be closed. And
he did as Mark Teixeira struck out swinging.

The Philadelphia Phillies won Game 5 with 8-6 on board for the last game in Citizens Bank Park.

AJ Burnett and Cliff Lee both wear #34 on their uniform, but the Phillies’ ace was the prevailing pitcher of Game 5.

The
Fightin’ Phillies are pushing the World Series to Game 6 in Yankee
Stadium for a battle against the Bronx Bombers who are one win away for
their 27th World Series Championship title.

Also posted in Bleacher Report.

34 must be a lucky number in the World Series.

AJ Burnett.jpgGame 1 winning pitcher Cliff Lee wears #34 in his Phillies uniform. AJ Burnett is also wearing #34 in his Yankees uniform.

And who will forget Nolan Ryan and Rollie Fingers?

AJ Burnett pitched for the Yankees in World Series Game 2  with a blast. The Yankees beat the Phillies on 3-1, tying the series on Thursday night in Yankee Stadium.

The Pie-Man of the Bronx was able to keep his goal for the game. “I won’t change anything as far as my plan or my attack, just maybe not be so careless from the get go — just throwing balls over the middle to get strike one,” Burnett said.

The right-handed pitcher allowed 4 hits, 2 walks and just one run in seven innings. The run was from Raul Ibañez, who hit a double, driven by Matt Stairs’ single, a ground ball to left field that was deflected by Alex Rodriguez in the second inning.

If the Phillies had a lot of runs in Game 1 on Wednesday, Thursday night gave them a lot of strikes and strikeouts. Burnett struck out  Raul Ibañez twice and Ryan Howard thrice. He struck out four other Phillies.

Burnett’s favoured catcher was outstanding, not just in helping him with his pitches. Jose Molina, also a Puerto Rican, kept a runner from staying in the fourth inning. Jayson Werth hit a single on a full count but while Ibañez was batting, he was picked off by Molina at first base on a throw to Mark Teixeira. AJ Burnett only faced three batters in the fourth inning.

The Bronx Bombers hit two solo home runs. The Yankees’ first homer in the World Series came off the previously shy bat of Mark Teixeira over the fence in the right centre field in the fourth inning. It was his first career World Series home run.

The other solo homer was provided my Hideki Matsui on a fly ball in the right field in the sixth inning. It was Godzilla’s second career World Series home run.

When Jorge Posada was announced to pinch hit for Jose Molina in the seventh inning, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel left the dugout to get the ball from Pedro Martinez, the Phillies starter, and summoned Park Chan-Ho to face Posada who went 0-for-7 against him.

Pedro Martinez pitched for 6 innings and left the mound with 4.50 ERA. He struckout eight Yankees but allowed 6 hits and 3 runs.

A.J. Burnett may opt for Jose Molina to catch for him, but he was the number one cheerleader of Jorge Posada when the veteran catcher hit a single on a line drive to centre field driving in Brett Gardner, who was pinch running for Jerry Hairston, Jr., for another run. The run was charged to Pedro Martinez.

The Philadelphia Phillies were able to keep the remaining Yanks off the plate when Johnny Damon lined into a double play. Posada was out off first. They also caused a gathering of the umpires to discuss the play and call, which was questioned by Joe Girardi.

The Phillies were trying to rally more runs, but the goal seemed impossible as they had to face Mariano Rivera in the eight inning. Posada stayed in the game to replace Jose Molina.

The eight inning was quite a battle against The Sandman who drew the third walk for the Phillies with just one out. Shane Victorino, batting next, was able to hit a single on a ground ball to right field. The Old Guard closer was able to stay out of trouble when Chase Utley grounded into double play, Robinson Cano to shortstop Derek Jeter to Mark Teixeira. Shane Victorino was out at second base.

Ryan Howard was batting first in the ninth inning, but he never had the chance to have a base hit as he was struck out on 0-3 count by Mariano Rivera. The first baseman of the Phillies was totally shut out by Burnett and Rivera in his four at-bats.

After 38 pitches, Mariano Rivera struck out the eighth batter he faced on 2-2 count for the final out of the game.

The Yankees are off to follow the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park for Game 3 on Saturday night. Andy Pettitte will start for the Yankees who will face Cole Hamels.

Also posted in Bleacher Report.

It’s Home Sweet Home in Philadelphia.

Battery.jpgAfter losing the first two games of
the NLCS in the Dodger Stadium, the Phillies are back at home in
Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

The whole universe must’ve
conspired together for the defending World Series champions. Perhaps it
was just Cliff Lee. And the Phillies.

Starting pitcher Cliff Lee was quick
to retire three Dodgers with a strike out to the third man on plate in
the top of the first inning.

The bottom of the first inning
may have started with a fly out in the right field, but it was followed
by successful hits and a rally of runs.  Ryan Howard started the rally
with 2-run triple RBI that brought Shane Victorino, who hit a single,
and Chase Utley, who hit a double, to the home plate.

As if
that was not enough, Jayson Werth hit a 2-run homer off Hiroki Kuroda’s
93 MPH fastball. The Phillies earned two more runs from Howard and
Werth. As the right fielder  stepped on the plate, the Phillies were
4-0 on board.

Bottom of the second. Cliff Lee was out on a
sacrifice bunt to advance Carlos Ruiz from second base to the third.
After Jimmy Rollins  hit  double, Ruiz gave the Phillies another run.
Joe Torre had to replace Hiroki Kuroda with Scott Elbert. It was two
short but terrible innings for the Japanese starter.

The Phillies haven’t ran out of luck
yet. Scott Elbert gave them a back to back walk and caused Rollins to
move to third base on a wild pitch to Chase Utley. Shane Victorino was
on second base and Chase Utley on first.

With Ryan Howard grounded out on
first, Rollins gave his team another run. The Phillies were leading
with 6-0. With another run earned by the Phillies, Manager Torre was
back in the mound for his third pitcher. Chad Billingsley replaced
Elbert, and ended the inning with a strike out.

Cliff Lee kept
dominating the mound with two strikeouts in the 3rd inning, one in the
4th, 5th and 6th, two in the 7th and 8th. A total of 10 stike outs
including the third batter in first inning. He only gave up 3 hits, one
for Belliard and two for Ramirez.

Chad Billingsley also struck
out Phillies; he had Jayson Werth twice and Cliff Lee. the great The
last two were both on the fifth inning. It was the same inning that the
Phillies earned another runs, one from Raul Ibañez on Pedro Feliz’
triple who also scored on Carlos Ruiz’ line drive single in the right
centre field.

The Dodgers were not able to make any runs, yet, and the Phillies were not yet done running to the home plate.

Shane
Victorino, who was 1-3 (single, walk, strike out), homered on a fly
ball to the right field. He scored the batterymen. Ruiz was walked
earlier followed by Cliff Lee who hit a single on a ground ball in the
centre field. They sealed 11 runs on board for the defending champions.

Five
Dodgers pitched for the game giving up a total of 11 runs and 11 hits
while the Phillies only had Cliff Lee and Chad Durbin. The closer had 3
up, 3 down. No chance for a run.

The NLCS Game 3 was for the Phillies. They won the Sunday night game with 11-0 on board. It was a no walk, no run game.

Cliff Lee earned 2-0 record, 0.74 ERA, and more fans this post-season.

The Phillies still lead the NLCS with 2-1, but anything can happen in Baseball. You just have to beLEEve.

Also posted in Bleacher Report.

MLB Warning: Walking is Dangerous to Your Team

AP.jpgThe
Dodgers may have drawn the first blood in the second inning, but the
visiting Phillies won Game 1 of the NLCS last Thursday night in the
Dodger Stadium. It was 8-6 on board.

The results would have been
different if not for the walks given up by the Dodgers. Half of the
total runs of the Phillies all began with bases earned on balls, also
known as walks.

The first walk that made the Phillies lead was
given up by Clayton Kershaw to Pedro Feliz in the fifth inning. He only
had one strike. Next to bat was Carlos Ruiz who hit a 2-run homer off
Kershaw’s 93 MPH fastball.

The next batter, Philles starter Cole
Hamels, also earned a walk from Kershaw. Hamels was out at second base,
but he was not the last Phillies to earn a walk in the fifth inning.
Chase Utley also had a base earned on balls followed by Ryan Howard who
doubled on a flyball to the right field, sending Jimmy Rollins and
Chase Utley to the home plate. The Phillies nailed 5 runs in the fifth
inning.

Ibanez.jpgIn
the eight inning, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth went on back to back
walks from reliever George Sherrill. Both had only one strike. The next
batter was Raul Ibañez. The first baseman only hit one pitch from
Sherrill, a 74 MPH slider that homered a fly ball to the right field.
It was a 3-run homer in the eight inning, and 8 runs on board for the
Phillies.

Without the walks, the Phillies would’ve just had 4 runs and the Dodgers would’ve won the game with their 6 runs.

Also posted in Bleacher Report.