2009 Recaps

Phillies Can’t Win on Harry’s Night

“Harry never swung a bat or threw a pitch, or wore a uniform, but most likely, he had a more profound effect on Phillies baseball than any of us,” Michael Jack Schmidt said in a beautiful pre-game ceremony inducting Harry Kalas into the Wall of Fame.

Thanks to technology and video archives, Kalas’ own voice introduced Phillies legends as they walked onto the field. The start of Alumni Weekend brought out many former Phillies stars, but it didn’t bring out the current Phillies bats.

The Florida Marlins jumped on Joe Blanton early. Larry Bowa’s nephew, and newly acquired Marlin, Nick Johnson, homered to give the Fish a 1-0 lead. In the same inning, Raul Ibanez misplayed Dan Uggla’s double which drove in another run. An inning later, Cody Ross homered and the Marlins were up by three.

After his early struggles, Blanton settled down. Those were the only three runs he allowed in 6.2 innings. He allowed eight hits, walked one, and struck out four.

The Phillies had a perfect opportunity to score after Ryan Howard led off the second inning with a double. Ibanez singled, and Howard was waved by Sam Perlozzo. For whatever reason, Howard stopped at third even though he clearly could have scored since Hanley Ramirez bobbled the ball. Ricky Nolasco got the next two batters, Ben Francisco and Greg Dobbs. Then, he unintentionally-intentionally walked Carlos Ruiz to get to Blanton and load the bases. Nolasco escaped without damage.

Francisco, who started in place of Shane Victorino (quad), made it a ballgame again with a left field home run into the flower bed. Before he homered, Francisco threw a runner out at home plate.  It wasn’t enough as the hitting woes continued. With two on and one out in the eighth, Howard struck out and Ibanez grounded out. The Phils left six men on base and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The Phillies were lucky that the bullpen kept the game close. With a runner on second in the ninth inning, Scott Eyre struck out Chris Coghlan on a wild pitch, but  Ruiz failed to throw to first for the final out. It led to a bases loaded jam. Thankfully, Tyler Walker struck out Hanley Ramirez, avoiding further damage.

It took Leo Nunez five pitches to convert the save, securing the Marlins 3-2 win. It was a great night to honor the legacy of Harry Kalas, but the game did not go the way the Phillies would’ve liked.

Click to comment


  1. MaxB

    August 8, 2009 at 12:18 am

    before many people read this … TYPO – The start of the Alumni brought out many former Phillies stars, but it did NOT bring out the current Phillies bats.
    … Im guessing thats what you meant to say Amanda… cause 2 runs is hardly good batting.

  2. Jeff

    August 8, 2009 at 1:17 am

    CSN Philly did a poll. What Philadelphia athlete could you not live without on your team. Utley 50 percent of the votes, Mccnab 40 percent,
    Mike Richards 5 percent and Howard 5 percent. Howard is a waste oid.

  3. phils_ftw

    August 8, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Phils just can’t seem to get it done after ceremonies. They have some serious issue with focusing it would seem.

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  5. Gavin

    August 8, 2009 at 9:25 am

    phils-ftw, I came here to say the exact same thing. Someone at PN needs to look up what their record is if there is a pregame ceremony at home.

    The Phils offense continues to struggle b/c of a distrurbing trend. If they dont homer, they dont score. There’s no reason with this offense that they cant start getting guys in from 3rd with less than 2 outs or get a few more hits with RISP.

    Thats a bigger problem for this team than the rotation issue right now. HR can cover up that they arent a good situational team right now.

  6. joedad

    August 8, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Don’t overreact. Nolasco has one of the best curveballs in the game and was throwing it at will on the black at the knees. The Phils pitching was excellent but the Marlins was better. On to the next game.

  7. Hawk4grace

    August 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I went to the game, enjoyed the tribute, and was hoping for a walk off victory in the 9th, but you can’t beat being at the Park on a beautiful summer night.

    Nice people all around us, except for a stuck up young lady who left before the 9th and as she left berated a real nice guy seated next to us, telling him, “Next time leave the baseball commentary to yourself”. This guy was just talking in a normal tone to his girlfriend, nothing out of line at all. I think she must have been a Marlin or Mets fan…

  8. Mr. Phil

    August 8, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I had the same concerns about how the offense would do because of the ceremonies. It just has seemed that way this year. The crowds in those festive occasions have been starving for a good showing. I looked at the batting averages of the starting nine and I thought, uh, oh.

    Does anything else cringe when Howard is at the plate? I know he gets his share of homers and rbi’s, but he is not a good hitter and he strikes out prolifically.

  9. Tracey

    August 8, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I was at that game last night. Great tribute to Harry; awful game.

    Howard wasn’t perfect, but pinning the Jeltz on him is a bit harsh. He’s one of only three batters who got a hit at all last night — a double to start off the second. You seem to think that Perlozzo waved Howard home when Ramirez bobbled, but my impression while at the game was that Perlozzo held him up, and the Phillies website backs that up. With no outs, was it really such a bad move to hold him at 3rd? Hindsight is 20/20, but it wasn’t so obvious at the time that Ramirez was going to drop the ball repeatedly, and not be able to recover it in time to beat a slow runner to the plate. If he had run and been thrown out at the plate, you’d be giving him the Jeltz for running. It was also not so obvious, with no outs and runners at the corners, that the next four batters wouldn’t be able to produce that run.

    Other than that failure to run that looks like a mistake only in hindsight… Yeah, Howard struck out his next 3 times at bat. But Rollins went 0-for-4, and Werth and Utley only got on base with walks. There’s plenty of blame to go around. Even Ibanez terribly misplayed a ball that turned a fly-out into a double that later scored on another double in Ibanez’s direction, but we’ll let him off the hook because he’s the only guy who got more than one hit, and he scored one of the game’s two runs.

  10. karen

    August 8, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I was sorta expecting a loss because of the emotional toll of this ceromony. It is just an extra weight on the team. BUT, I am very worried about Howard. I know we were worried about JRoll earlier but Howard is striking out way toooooooo much. We need more than one base hit a game

  11. Mr. Phil

    August 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Howard is not a good hitter. I give him credit for improving his defense immensely from past years (although he’s still got a mental block about throwing to second on grounders). I used to cringe whenever the ball was hit to him, and I still tense up at times. It’s his approach at the plate that bothers me. He doesn’t get the same number of walks any more because he chases pitches out of the zone. It seems like so long ago when I was excited to see him coming to bat in clutch situations. Now it frustrates me because the chances are great that he will strike out. I don’t fault him for not scoring on that ball last night with no out. Unfortunately the other guys didn’t get the job done (Dobbs’ shot was right at the 3rd baseman). But the strikeouts are killing me.

  12. Philly Texan

    August 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Lay off Howard, Mr. Phil.

    Not a good hitter?

    Sure, the guy who leads ALL OF BASEBALL in home runs the past three years isn’t a “good hitter.”

    Where’s the criticism of Ibanez? The guy butchered a routine fly ball in the first inning into a double. THat misplay cost the them a run — in a one-run game. He also came up in the 8th with two on and grounded out. And yes, Howard struck out right before him.

    Now, you”l have to explain to me how the strike outs are killing you. Was Howard’s strike out any different than Ibanez’s weak grounder to second? I don’t think so. The only time a strike out matters is when you need to advance a runner. Otherwise, they’re the same as any other out.

    Howard hits a lot of homers and drives in a ton of RBIs and he also strikes out a lot. That’s just who he is. Always has been, always will be. I for one like those homers and RBIs a lot.

    When Howard gets hot, Mr. Phil, I want to see back on this site saying that Howard is a good hitter, that you were wrong.

  13. Phan in TN

    August 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Amen and glory, mister Philly Texan!

    (can i get a witness?)

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  15. j reed

    August 8, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    finally, some people to defend this guy…..not only did he receive the jeltz for last night’s game he also did for Hamels piss poor performance against the giants…I find it hard to fault Howard’s baserunning with no outs. If there’s any indecision with no outs, play it safe. And to add to Philly Texan’s assesment Of Ibanez was his horrid first swing 2 outs out against Linececum that stranded Blanton on 3rd. With that caliber of pitcher you have to capitalize on these chances but even more so when its your pitcher on 3rd who ironically advanced there on Howard’s single… I like Ibanez but for a guy who I didn’t see in the parade he gets alot more love than Howard who I did see in the parade and who was instrumental in getting us there when he put the team on his back last September. Look the guy isn’t Albert Pujolis or Texeria….Howard’s becoming Philly’s version of A-Rod and you know what I say to Yankees fans who complain about him? I’d take him which is what alot of fans of other clubs would say to us when we complain about Howard. Oh and by the way, until last night A-Rod hadn’t hit a HR in 72 ABs…assuming he averages 4 AB a game, that’s 18 games….or half a month.

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