Tag: Danys Baez

Roy Oswalt Has Back Strain: Have No Fear, Philadelphia Phillies Fans

In Friday night’s series opener against the Florida Marlins, Roy Oswalt pitched four innings of no-hit baseball and looked magnificent. After allowing a solo home run to Logan Morrison to lead off the fifth inning, he still pitched well, allowing only one more run through six innings of work.

However, at the start of the seventh inning, something was wrong.

Roy Oswalt was warming up when he called over trainer Marc Andersen and manager Charlie Manuel to tell them that something was wrong. After some brief discussion, Oswalt was taken out of the game and reliever J.C. Romero was called from the bullpen to take over.

From here, the game went downhill. Romero only pitched to one batter, Logan Morrison, and allowed a single before Danys Baez took over for him, and then the nightmare began.

To start, Baez walked Gaby Sanchez, which sent him to first and Morrison to second. Next, he allowed a single to John Buck, which loaded the bases. Although Daniel Murphy popped up in the next at-bat, a pinch hitter came up to the plate and gave the Marlins the lead.

That pinch hitter was none other than Greg Dobbs, one of the Phillies’ worst clutch hitters in recent memory. After the Phillies chose not to resign him this past offseason, the Marlins swooped in and signed him to a minor league contract.

The same Greg Dobbs, who more often than not failed to deliver when the Phillies needed him most, actually hit a two-run single to score Morrison and Sanchez.

The same Greg Dobbs gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead over the Phillies in the seventh inning.

The same Greg Dobbs won the game for the Marlins after neither team scored following his two-RBI single off Baez, who was given the loss.

There are two points to make here: one, that Greg Dobbs actually bothered to do something good for his team after he left the Phillies; and two, that Oswalt most likely would have won the game had he not left following his injury.

Oswalt’s injury was officially diagnosed as a lower back strain and he is currently day-to-day, but he hopes to make his next start. However, Oswalt himself said that it’s more a middle back injury and that he could have pitched the seventh, though he felt it was best to leave before he messed up the game himself. Ironically, it was his fill-ins who did just that.

In the past, Oswalt has spent time on the DL for lower back strains. In 2006 and 2008, Oswalt spent time on the DL due to hip and back problems, and he missed two starts in 2009 because of a lower back strain, which resulted in him being placed on the DL on September 16 of that year, causing him to miss the rest of the season.

Oswalt also said in the same interview mentioned above that he had suffered back spasms through the fifth and sixth innings and his back tightened up after he bunted a ball and ran to first in the bottom of the sixth, something he hadn’t experienced before.

This calls for an obvious question: should Phillies fans be worried about their “ace of clubs“?

Since he has been on the DL many times due to back issues, could this be an addition to an already-long list of DL stints for Oswalt?

Personally, I don’t think there is much to worry about. Since Oswalt has spent time on the DL for these back issues, I would like to think that he would know the severity of a back issue. Then again, there’s always a chance the issue could be more than meets the eye, especially since, as previously stated, Oswalt has not had back spasms nor a “middle back strain” as he claims.

However, Oswalt does expect to move past this quickly and make his next start Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Although there is a chance that this could be a long-term issue, I believe it is slim and that this is a more precautionary move than anything else. Then again, I could be wrong.

I believe, Phillies fans, that this is minor and will quickly pass. Oswalt will start on Wednesday and that is that.

Phillies fans, do not be alarmed.

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Phillies Are a Box of Chocolates: You Never Know What You Will Get

Remember Forrest Gump?  If he wasn’t fictional, he would have a blast watching the Phillies. We are, “like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get.” And that is the way it goes for Phillies fans.

Last night, Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, Blanton, delivered in innings two through five.  As expected he did not perform in the first or the sixth (Uncle Charlie, why did you not pull him after the fifth?) He allowed four runs on eight hits and four walk.

That was my clue to exit the room to save the game. I often write about my nerves and superstition. If I walk away—we pull it out. Even my husband, a PhD in Statistics, and totally rational, cannot explain how I do this—but it works.  I do, however, keep an ear on the game.

We were down nine to two in the eighth.  We were actually luck because after Blanton loaded the bases, Durbin got us out of the sixth. Unfortunately his seventh was not a picnic. 

We found our bats somewhere in the eighth.  Finding our bats when we have good pitching and getting the pitching to work when we have our bats seems to be a problem.  Fortunately something clicked it the Phillies’ collective brains and the Dodgers imploded at the same time.  I began to hear the cheering coming from the TV. 

What happened next is the Phillies hit their way to a 10-9 win thanks to a walk off double by Carlos Ruiz! I guess you could say I got the save, “LOL!”

This three game series was indeed a box of chocolates.  We saw the home debut of Roy Oswalt and  the first home run of Domonic Brown’s promising career.  Kyle Kendrick managed to pitch only three-and-a-third innings and proved to be a split personality pitcher.  Game one was a home run derby that we lost and game two was a shut out.  Game three was like a Hail Mary. 

We took two of three games but need to do better (waiting the return of Victorino, Howard and Utley) to win the division or the wild card.  The series with the Giants will be interesting (I miss Bobble-head Bonds and the screaming insults).  As one of my customers said yesterday, “It’s a great time to be a Phillies fan!”


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Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro’s Offseason Signings Deserve Kudos

After the Philadelphia Phillies fell just short of repeating as World Series Champions, GM Ruben Amaro spent the offseason actively reshaping the club. 

Of course, the biggest news involved the tandem trades of Cy Young hurlers Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Beyond that, Amaro used the free agent talent pool to land a new regular third baseman and essentially perform a makeover on both his bullpen and bench. 

The Phillies GM wasted little time when he inked Placido Polanco to replace Pedro Feliz at the hot corner. The deal came with some fan fare as it brought back a player who had been traded away when the team made a commitment to build around Chase Utley at second base.

Polanco remained in Phillies fans’ consciousness during his five seasons in Detroit by hitting .311 and winning a pair of Gold Gloves at second base. This time around, Amaro decided that they could make room for baseball’s best second sacker in Utley and Polanco by sliding the free agent over to third.

The move appears to be a winner. Polanco has quickly settled into his new position and looks right at home. He has also generated the additional offensive production Amaro was seeking—hitting .274 with 4 HR and 16 RBI after 28 games. 

The other signings were not front page worthy news, but overall appear to have been astute decisions. And, with the wide array of injuries the Phillies have experienced thus far in 2010, the improved depth is making a positive  impact. 

Before pulling up lame with a strained hamstring last evening, Juan Castro has had ample opportunity to show why Amaro wanted him. He is a clear improvement at the plate and in the field over Eric Bruntlett. 

Castro has filled in nicely for the injured Jimmy Rollins— displaying some flashy leather work and surprising pop in his bat. Amaro even had the foresight to stockpile talent by signing Wilson Valdez, who has proven to be a capable backup as well. 

Ross Gload is one of the better left-handed pinch hitters in baseball. And, Brian Schneider is one of the league’s top backup backstops. 

From a financial perspective, the biggest free agent acquisition in the pitching department was right handed reliever Danys Baez. Thus far, the former closer has displayed closer stuff with journeyman command. 

The most impactful bullpen addition, though, appears to be veteran Jose Contreras. After several mediocre years as a starter, the Colorado Rockies moved him into a relief role late last season. 

Apparently Contreras caught the Phillies attention enough for them to take a shot on him—and it appears they nailed it. The big righty still throws gas and has a truly nasty splitter. In 14.2 innings of work, Contreras has a 1.04 ERA with 14 K’s and zero walks.

The performance of Brad Lidge since returning to the big club has been encouraging. Should he falter; however, Contreras and his high 90s splitter appear to be a great backup plan. 

During the winter, news of signing players such as Castro, Gload, Schneider, Valdez and Contreras didn’t exactly light up the sports radio airwaves or blogoshere.

But, a month into the season, it sure looks like kudos are in order for Ruben Amaro. Oh, yeah, and although it wasn’t via free agency—the acquisition of Roy Halladay looks pretty special, too. 

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Philadelphia Phillies Continue Division Skid: Who Ya Gonna Call?

The Phils were desperate for one of two things before they left San Francisco: a win or a day off. They got both—just in time to settle down for a nine inning nap.

After last night’s 9-1 slaughter by the Mets, Charlie took the podium. Usually he recites the team stats, but last night he shifted his hat with a nervous smile and said, “Hey, does anyone have the phone number for Pedro Martinez?”

Actually he didn’t say that, but I dreamed of him mumbling it and ending with a slight stutter on P-P-P-Pedro as if he was selling a Chia Pet.

Hey that’s an idea—a Jayson Werth Chia Pet giveaway. It would grow like mad because Jayson gets his energy from his hair. If that’s really the case, I wish he would’ve shared some locks with his teammates.

What’s the problem? Last week Shane Victorino broke the air speed velocity of the English Swallow by going from first to home on a single. But last night he couldn’t beat a badly jostled ball by Rod Barajas from home to first.

Can you say, “Benchwarmer?”

Even that high-priced pony Ryan Howard is struggling—again.

My dad sent me some calculations. Now, I don’t put a lot of faith into the old man’s figures because the guy can hardly see his calculator through his scratchy lenses, but this is what he said: Howard is paid $41,000 for each at-bat. And based on the average umpire’s salary, the guy behind the plate gets only $9 to call Ryan out on strikes.

But the guy who bought the $5 beer would have called it a ball and the man eating the dollar dog said he could’ve hit that pitch.

My husband said Ryan’s contract isn’t worth the gas that passes from his ass.

But the bats weren’t the only things that smelled. Kyle Kendrick gave up four earned runs on three homers in five innings.

Here’s a hint: those numbers didn’t work for Kyle, so don’t play them in the lottery.

And no one’s said anything about seventh inning wonder, Danys Baez. After a one-two-three sixth, he took the mound in the seventh and almost pitched for the cycle.

He hit the first batter, then allowed an RBI double, a walk, a stolen base, and a two-RBI triple before Charlie Manuel threw little Davey Herndon to the lions.

Herndon couldn’t hold Angel Pagen on third to keep the earned runs for Baez to three, but he was able to minimize the damage so Brad Lidge could make his first major league appearance in 2010.

Before the game, nobody would obligate to saying if or when Lidge would return. But they didn’t have a choice when Ryan Madson broke his toe while Dancing with the Chairs after his blown save on Wednesday.

How do you explain that one? I miscued my Polka kick?

Brad was busy. He gave up a dinger on his third pitch to the anti-Phil, Rod Barajas. Then three batters, two hits, and .1 innings are all it took to give Lidge a nasty ERA.

My husband now calls him Bad Lidge. And my child summed up the game’s intensity: “Mom, our dog has fleas.” So my Yorkie got a bath while the Phils tried to recover from one.

What happened to those exciting games? The ones where Carlos Ruiz assisted the team with a strike-out/throw-out double play. Or when Shane reached over the wall and brought down a snow cone. Or when Juan Castro glove-tossed a ball from the ground to Chase Utley who bare-handed the catch and fired to first for a double play? When’s the last time we saw a double steal, a simple stolen base, or a streaker?

What happened to the team that was so exciting they inspired the old man ball-girl to field a live ball in another team’s stadium?

What’s happened to the real Philadelphia Phillies?

Help, it’s Freaky Friday! The Mets are looking like the Phillies are supposed to and the Phils are performing the way everyone said the Mets should. And for the first time since the new millennium, the Phils are behind the Nationals in the NL East.

Someone, somewhere is finding a way to pin this on the liberals.

But could it really be the Jimmy Rollins curse? When Jimmy’s hitting the Phils are winning. Well, we won’t know tonight. With ol’ Roy Halladay taking the mound, it’ll take a shutout to keep the Phils from getting the win. But stranger things have happened.

Like Jamie Moyer up against Johan Santana on Sunday. Now, if Jamie throws an 80 mph pitch, can it rightly be called a “fast” ball?

We’ll find out tomorrow.

See you at the ballpark.

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