Tag Archives: Chooch

Ruiz, Hamels and Papelbon – All-Stars!

2 Jul

Phillies Cole HamelsJonathan Papelbon and Carlos Ruiz will suit up for the National League in this year’s All-Star Game, to be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. Carlos Ruiz, elected as a reserve at catcher, is a first-time All-Star and is currently leading the NL in batting average (.358). Hamels (10-4, 3.08 ERA) is going to his third All-Star Game and Papelbon (18 saves) his fifth.

I feel it’s a travesty that our fans couldn’t get Chooch into the game as the starter.  If we had spent a little less time complaining and instead of voting, Chooch would have been behind the dish to start the game.

I’m just glad he’s going, as he really deserved it.

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Chooch Needs Your Support! Keep Voting!

3 Jun

UUClick on the picture to Vote!

UPDATE:

Carlos Ruiz, who leads all NL catchers in multiple offensive categories, including batting average, OPS and RBIs (tied), is looking to make is first All-Star team this season. But, as of today’s balloting update, he currently sits in fourth place among NL catchers, trailing Yadier Molina (Cardinals), Buster Posey, (Giants) and Brian McCann (Braves).

Carlos Ruiz needs your help!

Here are the tallied votes so far…

  • Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 1,000,048
  • Buster Posey, Giants: 707,508
  • Brian McCann, Braves: 707,508
  • Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: 562,021

He’s currently the #2 hitter in the the National League in hitting at .371, but as we all know the All-Star game is popularity contest, and he’s got to contend with Brian McCann and Yadier Molina in the NL.

McCann has been ill with the flu lately, but is hitting . 323 with seven home runs and 28 RBI.

Molina is tough competition, too.  Ruiz has the highest batting average, highest slugging percentage, and highest OPS among NL catchers, but is tied with Molina in homers and RBI.

Click on the picture of Chooch on the right, and VOTE!

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Great Read!

14 Jul

In case you didn’t see this yet, the regional edition of Sports Illisturated has Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz on the cover this week. Besides the cover shot, there is a great story about Chooch by Gary Smith, who has been profiling the Phillies all season.

You may remember his piece on the four aces at the beginning of the season.

Pick it up on the way home from work tonight.  It’s a really great read.

The Struggle Continues

18 May

The Phillies have now dropped four games in a row.  The issues continue to mount as the team struggles as a whole to hit, and score runs.  The pitching continues to be strong, but the offense is killing them.

There is plenty of chatter this morning about Charlie Manuel‘s use of the bullpen last night.  I’m totally displeased with the end result, but let’s remember that there were not too many options left in the shortened bullpen.  Danys Baez should have been left in the game since we’re begining to see that J.C. Romero is pretty much the same player he last season.  Ryan Madson was not sent into the game because he was being held for a possible save situation.

I keep saying that when you’re not scoring runs every other aspect of the game needs to be perfect, and it hasn’t been.  John Mayberry’s throw home was a good one, and Dane Sardinha miss played it.  Once that ball lands in his glove he needs to be in front of the plate.  He most definitely could have tagged Lance Berkman, he just didn’t.  Chooch, and Brian Schneider would have made that play, and that’s why Dane is a third stringer.

The Phillies need to score runs.  It really is that simple. Their last two games were both very winnable games, but the Phillies haven’t been able to make it happen.  The offense is putting a heavy strain on the bullpen similar to the way they did in 2010, and we all know how that turned out.

Bright Side- 

Kyle Kendrick - After a loss like that it’s easy to overlook what a great job Kyle Kendrick did out of the pen.  Kyle came in after Michael Stutes left the game with a muscle strain.  Kyle pitched two innings and allowed just one hit, and one walk.

Roy Oswalt - Roy Oswalt threw more pitches then expected on Tuesday.  He appeared to quickly establish himself, and was effective.  There was a little issue with the radar gun in St. Louis, so his velocity is still kind of a question, but his fastball appeared to have a little bit of it’s “zip” back. It’s a very good sign.

John Mayberry - John continues to show his versatility as a player.  He only had one hit last night, but he managed to steal another bag, and his throw home in the bottom of the 4th should have been an outfield assist.

Our Catchers Can Hit

9 Apr

april9.jpgThe Phillies bounced back Saturday against the Braves behind the bats of catchers Carlos Ruiz, and Brian Schneider. The Phillies backstops combined for three hits, three runs, and seven RBI.  Leading the charge was Chooch who started the day on the bench, but came on as a pinch hitter for Roy Oswalt in the top of the 7th as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded, and he made the best of it, hitting a grand slam on an 0-2 fastball. 

Roy Oswalt made his second start of the season, and it was an effective one.  Oswalt, who has never beaten the Braves worked hard through six innings, and survived behind great defense.  Roy ended his outing by working out of a bases-loaded jam with Jayson Heyward at the plate.  The Phillies were clinging to a one-run lead, but Oswalt broke Heyward’s bat with a 0-1 fastball and Polanco made a running snag to ened the inning.

Ryan Howard, Ben Francisco, and Shane Victorino continue to swing hot bats.  This was just the kind of game the Phillies needed after a tough loss to the Braves last night where Cliff Lee struggled to keep his pitches down. 

The Phillies face the Braves again tomorrow behind lefty Cole Hamels who will also look to bounce back after a rough start against the Mets this past Tuesday.  The Braves will send out Derek Lowe who is 1-1 in his first two starts, but has pitched well enough that he should have won both games.

Side Notes -

The Bench – The Phillies pinch hitters continue to hit well.  Michael Martinez, John Mayberry Jr, and Carlos Ruiz all got hits in their pinch hit at-bats.

Danys Baez - They did have a eight run lead, but I wanted to mention that Danys pitched the ninth inning today and still has yet to surrender a run.  It was his 5th appearance of the season.  

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Orlando Cabrera’s Comments Laughable

7 Oct
hallchooch.jpg

Was your smile from ear to ear like mine was all day?

One day after Roy Halladay’s no hitter Philadelphia is still buzzing.  Phillies shirts and hats were everywhere you went.  I called the local Modells just for fun and asked if they sold a lot of Halladay shirts today, and the girl said “Yeah, just a few,” with a laugh.  It was all over the radio, too.  Roy was all anyone could even talk about.  I wonder if anyone even remembers that the Flyers season opener is tonight.  I know I don’t care.

The other topic that people seem to be buzzing about is this quote from Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera.  Cabrera seemed to think that umpire John Hirschbeck had a bit of a large strike zone.  He was kinda right, but he needs to rethink his comments. Give Halladay a little credit for his feat, dude.  

“(Halladay) was basically getting every pitch,” said Cabrera. “We had no chance.”

Roy gave his thoughts on the strike zone, too.  He was a little smarter and took the highroad. 

“I thought (the strike zone) was good,” Halladay said. “I thought really
it was a pretty fair zone. There are going to be cases people aren’t
going to be happy with what’s called.”

Halladay was all class.  Not surprisingly he gave tons of well deserved credit to Chooch.

After the game most of the Reds brass tipped their caps to Halladay and his amazing night.  That’s what you’re supposed to do.  I don’t know if Cabrera thought it might fire his team up after a tough loss, but it just made him look like an ***. 

Last time I checked a no hitter took 27 outs.  A lot of them came as grounders and pop ups.  Plenty of chances were had, so I don’t think that it was a conspiracy. I’m sure that Phillies fans will great Cabrera with a nice chorus of boos on Friday, and they’ll be well deserved.  Shame, Shame…

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The Reds it is!

4 Oct
votto.jpg

The Cincinatti Reds are no joke.  This young team is packed with offensive fire power that has feasted on National League pitching all season long. 

The Reds have hit a ton of homers (144) have a really high team average (.272) and score a ton of runs (790).  Their 1st baseman Joey Votto is very likely to be the National League MVP.  He hits for power (third in the NL in homers) and is an on-base machine (leads the NL in on-base percentage).  Besides Votto, Jay Bruce, Jonny Gomes, Scott Rolen, and Brandon Phillips can all really hit.  It’s always been said that good pitching wins games so it’s going to be up to the Big Three to neutralize this powerful tandem.

Wednesday’s game will feature 21 game winner Roy Halladay who will be opposed by Edinson Volquez (4-3, 4.31 ERA).  Volquez made just 12 starts this season and served a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He’s pitched pretty well against the Phillies in the past, making 2 winning starts against the Phils. 

You have to like the Phillies chances in game 1 as one has to think that Roy Halladay is going to be pretty pumped up for his first ever start in the Postseason.  Halladay has not pitched since last weeks clincher in D.C. so he should be pretty rested.  The Phillies went who went 5-2 against the Reds this season and will start the first two games of the series at home in Citizens Bank Park.  

The weather may be a factor in Wednesday’s game as there is a 30-40% chance of rain at game time and it is supposed to rain pretty much every hour from now until then.

I gotta voice my disgust of the crappy start times that the Phillies have drawn again.  6:07 PM and 5:07 PM?  What the hell?  Why doesn’t a team who has been in the World Series get their props and get the nod for a prime time game.  If you’re like me you’re going to be driving like a maniac to get home in time for these two games. 

Side Notes –

Chooch – Carlos left Sundays game after being hit in the arm by pitcher Tim Hudson.  Ruben Amaro Jr. has said that he thinks that Carlos is “All good” and a go for Wednesday. 

J.C. – Romero is feeling better after abruptly leaving the game mid-batter on Sunday.  It’s possible that J.C. might be left off the NLDS roster in favor of another situational lefty Antonio Bastardo who has been pitching very well.

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Phillies Stay Hot In Atlanta

1 Oct
96wins.jpg

Knowing that you’re already in the playoffs doesn’t mean anything to Charlie Manuel.  He wants to win everyday. 

With the best record in baseball and home field advantage already all locked up and secure the Phillies could have just put the “B Team” out on the field and relaxed in the dugout, but this team wants to stay hot.  Besides the garbage runs that the bullpen allowed at the end it was all Phillies on offense. It was the 96th win of the season for your Phillies. 

Jimmy Rollins did hit the blast that put the Phillies lead out of reach, but Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez have really been hitting great in September.  Chooch went 3-5 with an RBI.  He’s batting over .300 for the season, and is really clutch with runners in scoring position. 

Kendrick made some mistakes, but was sill effective enough to win.  He only went five innings, but I think he might have went longer if he hadn’t been pulled for a pinch hitter in the sixth.

The Phillies have announced their Postseason pitching rotation. 

Roy Halladay – Game 1 NLDS Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.

Roy Oswalt – Game 2 NLDS Friday at Citizens Bank Park

Cole Hamels – Game 3 NLDS Sunday Game 3 At TBA

Halladay and Oswalt would go game four and five.

It’s obvious why Halladay is getting the nod for Wednesday.  The Phillies have chosen Oswalt for game 2 because Oswalt is unbeaten at home (9-0).  Hamels is sick, so he bumped Cole back to Sunday to get him out for a couple innings.  Cole is 3-0 lifetime at Great American Ballpark, so if we’re facing the Reds it makes sense.  Charlie Manual said that he plans to have Roy Oswalt come into Sunday’s game after Hamels just to get him some innings.  Hamels did have a bullpen on Friday and despite his cold Pitching coach Rich Dubee said that Hamels looked “Great.”

I can’t see how the Phillies won’t end up playing the Reds.  The Reds are a powerful team but they’re really young.  I like how the Phillies pitching looks against these guys.  Of the three possible teams they might play the Phillies have played the best against the Reds.  

Side Notes –

Bastardo – Six strikeouts in his last two games…. I think we found a good replacement for J.C. Romero for next year.

Weather – Lots of rain in the forecast for next week.  Do a dance, say a prayer, whatever… NO RAIN!

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Cole Hamels Dominates

4 Sep

_sept311.jpgAt the beginning of the season I don’t think that anyone would have predicted that Cole Hamels would be this good.  Why is that?  He’s been this good before, but just not for this long. Cole in my mind has surpassed the Cole of 2008, at least as far as the regular season is concerned. 

Hamels’ night was as dominate as ever. Cole made the lone run stand, as he breezed to his second straight win and
ran his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 18. He allowed three
hits and struck out seven.  This was coming off a fantastic performance last week in his hometown of San Diego when he allowed four hits in eight scoreless innings.  Hamels pitched 

He’s not a #3 starter in my book.  Cole has continued to pitch strong all season long in many close games where he was the victim of poor run support, but continues to come out and throw amazing.

“It’s grueling,” Hamels said of pitching in close game after close game.
“That’s when you discover who you are and what you are capable of.”

What was the other trend continued for the Phillies on Friday night?  They scored only a single run.  I think that some of that might be due to a little jet lag since Phils flight from Colorado didn’t arrive in Philadelphia until the sun was coming up.  Not to mention that the Phillies killed the ball in their 12-11 win over the Rockies.

Their best scoring chance came in the fourth when they loaded the base off Chris Capuano, but didn’t
score when Raul Ibanez struck out and Ruiz lined into a double play.  Credit to Chooch cause he really hammered it, but it was right to second base where Werth was doubled up.

The Phillies lone run came on a mis-cue from the Brewers outffileders Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain.  They both appeared to have a good chance at catching the routine fly ball Shane Victorino but looked to have some sort of confusion on who actually called it.  I loved when Lorenzo Cain threw his hands up after Braun didn’t catch it.  That was funny.   Victorino, hustling from the instant he made contact, ended up on
second. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on Carlos Ruiz’s
grounder.

Tonight Roy Halladay will face the Brew Crew as he looks to come back from a less thrilling shutout they were handed by the Dodgers.  

Side Notes -

Division Race- The Phillies moved to a season-best 19 games over .500 (77-58) and moved within one game of NL East-leading Atlanta.  The Phillies have a 29-12 record since July 21 which is the best in baseball.

Wild Card – The Giants lost to the Dodgers which gives the Phillies a 3 game cushion.

Roster Moves – The Phillies have activated Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload.  Rumor has it that the Phillies are possibly going to tab Vance Worley for Monday’s double header.  Makes sense to me.  Worley has been sitting guys down left and right.  

Utley Returns – Wild Card in Hand

18 Aug

_aug172.jpgThe fans were already standing in ovation when Chase Utley stepped up to the batters box. Exactly 7 weeks to the day Utley returned to the lineup with the big boys.  Utley went 0-5 but it won’t be long until Utley returns to form.  After the game Utley said that all along his goal was just to get back out there.  He admitted his timing is what he needs to still work on, but like I said it won’t be long. 

I have to admit it.  I didn’t see him returning this quickly at all.  The other day I said that I expected him and Ryan to return around Friday, but with Utley… He always has to surprise you.

Tuesday night’s win was one of the more sound wins the Phillies have had in a while.  The Phillies have this knack for wearing down the starting pitchers and then preying on the bullpen.  Barry Zito held strong for 5 innings but the Phils eventually got to him and he was pulled with 4 runs earned.  The Bullpen took over the the Phillies attacked.  Clutch hits from Jimmy, Shane and Mr. August Carlos Ruiz. 

Chooch‘s bases loaded double gave the Phillies the cushion they needed to seal the victory with comfort.   Carlos is red hot.  Chooch has 13 RBI in the month of August and more importantly he’s doing it when we need him.  Carlos continues to improve and impress the Phillies and fans alike.

It may have gone unnoticed with the Utley/Burrell hoopla going on at the ballpark, but Roy Oswalt pitched a pretty good game on Tuesday.  He was tagged for two runs in the first inning, most notable was the home run from Pat Burrell, but after that Oswalt started to cruise.  Roy pitched 7 strong innings allowing 3 runs and striking out 7.  He also laid down a really great bunt in the 5th that helped get the Phillies on the board.

_aug173.jpgThe three Aces have really been dealing this last week.  Hamels was the hard luck loser over the weekend but our big have combined for some pretty great statistics.

  • 23 innings pitched
  • Four earned runs
  • 22 strikeouts
  • 3 Walks
  • 2 wins
  • Two hits!!! Ha 

If the the Phillies reach the playoffs, and I think they will they have arguably the strongest starting pitching staff of any team.

Yes, yes… Pat Burrell returned.  I really like Pat, he’s a nice guy.  I’m glad he got to have two good years as a Phillie before he departed, because he had some really miserable.  He got a great ovation from the sold out crowd at CBP, and tipped his cap. He proceeded to crush on to left field, and then I think I was ready for him to leave.  We still love ya Pat, but you can go home now.

_aug171.jpgThe Phillies have sole possession of the Wild Card, but don’t expect the Giants to hand it over that easily.  Matt Cain pitches tonight and he has been just as good as Tim Lincecum, probably better.  Thankfully we won’t see Timmy this week.

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P.S. I hate the Mets, but good for them with placing K-Rod on the Disqualified List.  He won’t be paid until he’s able to play again.  They should get some of the contract money back, because it isn’t their fault that he went crazy and punched that poor guy.  K-Rod, if he gets his contractual option for next year will be the highest paid baseball reliever in Major League history. 

  

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