Gameday 2009

Gameday: Marlins (85-74) at Phillies (92-67)

Florida Marlins (85-74) at Philadelphia Phillies (92-67)

Rick Vandenhurk, RHP (2-2, 4.44 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton, RHP (12-7, 3.95 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 61
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

It’s the final weekend of what has been a roller coaster ride of a season for the Philadelphia Phillies.  Just three games remain between the Phils and the start of the postseason, so enjoy regular season baseball while it lasts.

To kick off the weekend festivities, Joe Blanton will try to give his team a push for home field in the playoffs tonight.  Blanton scorched through the summer months, but has since hit a bit of a lull. After back-to-back appearances without allowing an earned run, Big Joe gave up five earned against Milwaukee last weekend, but still came away with the win.  Against the Marlins, Blanton is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in five career starts.  If he can continue the torrid trend against the Fish, home field for the duration of the NL Playoffs could be in their sights.  Keep an eye on the Rockies and Dodgers match up as well.

Rick Vandenhurk sees the Phillies once again.  His last start was against Philly on September 23, when he gave up four earned over six innings of work in the Marlins 7-6 victory. It’s just his 11th start of the season.  The Phillies would love to pounce on the youngster and push the stakes higher, as the Dodgers sit one game up in the standings, while the Cardinals and Rockies are one behind the Phils.

Bad news: J.C. Romero is feeling pain again in his forearm, and is likely done for the year.  According to Todd Zolecki, Romero said, “I’m done bro. I’m done.”

LINEUP: Victorino (CF), Cairo (SS), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Francisco (LF), Dobbs (3B), Ruiz (C), Blanton (P)

Lagunitas Lucky 13 Mondo Large Red AleYour Gameday Beer – Lagunitas Lucky 13 Mondo Large Red Ale
For whatever reason, I like to think of red ales as fall beers. This offering from Lagunitas comes in a 22-ounce bottle and certainly fits into that autumn category. Its rich amber flavor is thickened by apples and syrup while also containing a strong hops body. It has a traditional dry finish – common in IPAs. Have it with some pork chops and applesauce.




  1. Phan in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I bet you all are wondering why I called you here today. We need to work together and throw rotten fruit at any imbecile who pretends to be a deceased announcer. admit it

    its just creepy

    Go Phillies!

  2. The Hoffmann Capping Company

    October 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Would like to see Howard hit 45 homers this year and lead the league in RBI’s — both goals withing reach. Let’s see Big Joe Blanton pitch like a world champ tonight !!!

  3. The Hoffmann Capping Company

    October 2, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    When will we have an Eric Bruntlett bobble-head day? I really dig the dude and feel he represents the apex of utility players.

  4. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Is it possible to have a game where our starter doesn’t put us behind the 8ball out of the gun? Christ.

  5. The Hoffmann Capping Company

    October 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Let’s not lose the winning touch. We are stumbling into the post-season. Are we burnt out??? We need CHONE FIGGINS and a reliable CLOSER to compete in 2010

  6. The Hoffmann Capping Company

    October 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    My toenails are really looking bad. Nerves, Nerves, Nerves. I am getting shorter by the minute and my hairline is really receeding. Where is the damn Hair Club For Men when you need them. Nerves, Nerves, Nerves.

  7. Phag in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    You go guuuuuuuuuuuuurl

  8. The Cow

    October 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm


  9. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    One more Hoffmann and Big Brown has his 45 bombs.

  10. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm


  11. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    The roration is looking like they did at the beginning of the season


  12. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Dang j reed, don’t say that.

  13. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I think that thing will land in the Netherlands in a few minutes

  14. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    For anyone that says Howard isn’t clutch, consider this…Howard’s average is 50 points lower than Pujols and yet he has 6 more RBI than Pujols.

    Great hitter…maybe not. Clutch, absolutely.

  15. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Sorry joedad….Freudian slipa

  16. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    slipa =slip

  17. mikeB

    October 2, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Too bad for reliever J. C. Romero. Finished for the year now with that forearm pain. Started the regular season with that 50 games suspension for PED use. Wonder if he tried to do too much at some point after he returned in June and injured himself?

  18. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Howard has had a great year…improved avg.. fielding and without compromising power. Not to mention carrying us in late August and Sept. I’ll take it anyday.

  19. teejvee

    October 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    um, has anybody noticed that every starter has been lit up the last few times through the rotation?

  20. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I agree j-reed. By comparison, Howard is having the best season of his career from an all around stand point.

  21. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Only anyone who watches the games.

  22. mikeB

    October 2, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    In Blanton’s case tonight, he is throwing the ball right down Broadway.

  23. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Wow might joe looks like mighty blows

  24. The Hoffmann Capping Company

    October 2, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    I get the feeling that we can expect another bomb from Big Ryan tonight. And yes, Howard may not be Pujols, but he is on the road to the Hall of Fame, especially if he keeps this up and stays healthy. Great player and a real good guy — both Puljos and Howard.

  25. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    j reed, imagine if he could figure it out earlier in the year? He would blow by Bonds single season mark.

  26. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Alright he at least managed to reduce the aterial bleed out

  27. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    joedad – though I hate how broadcaster abuse the word, Howard has the “athletism” to do it. His flexibility has also improved this year…look at how much more stretch he gets catching throws to first. I don’t see how he can’t improve on a yet another mvp-like year with the right direction.

    bleed out to Blanton not Howard

  28. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    ….you go Cairo…

  29. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    orange and black up 2-0

  30. mikeB

    October 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Yeah, all the HRs and RBIs are quite a feat themselves but you have to admire the way Howard has raised his BA into the 270s. Has really improved at the plate the last couple of months. Has improved his selection of pitches to swing at which has led to more walks and a slowdown of his strikeout rate.

  31. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    what happen to that nasty change-up blanton had?

  32. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    95 pitches through 5….fantastic.

  33. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Okay. The Phillies clearly don’t give a crap about home field advantage. They drop another one to the lowly Astros yesterday and now Blanton’s pitching a crap game. Romero, Moyer are done for the season. Park’s missing the first round. Lidge stunk all year. The bullpen is a mess. The team isn’t hungry or we would be dominating this last week. Despite clinching the division, September was not a strong month for the Phils, and I am VERY concerned about whether we are ready for the playoffs this year. I don’t see the hunger to repeat. It may be an early exit. I hope I’m wrong.

  34. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    mike B. – a good thing too…imagine what the team strike out total would look like had he been striking at his previous rates. I think if this particular team stat improves we’ll see a lift in the team’s RISP number

  35. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    DC, you’ll feel better when they come back to win this game.

  36. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    With the exception of Happ, the starters have not looked good at all the last couple of weeks.

  37. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Ed R. – philly’s favorite canadiens are winning, that should ease the pain.

  38. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Joedad – if they comeback, I will feel better. However, that is the difference between this year’s team and last year’s. Last year, didn’t they have like 10 comeback wins or something (in innings 8 or 9). I feel like this year they had like one. That one against the Pirates.

  39. Jeff

    October 2, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Horrible performance tonight. The Marlins are playing out the string. You go out there and put your foot down there throat. Home field adv. will cost us. There are good teams this year in the playoffs. poor job. no excuse.

  40. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Haven’t we lost 5 out of the last 7 against the Marlins? For division champs, that is unacceptable.

  41. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    the Marlins bp this season is setting new standards on how to blow a lead…remember that series with the Nats…it was like every game the nats were down and came back to win. Remember when we came back from what, 7 in the 9th. not to worry….yet.

  42. Jake

    October 2, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Come on chasey get out there and play baby. I know all that money is rough you make and its so hard to play a game that my son plays. you can do it baby. i just got off a 15 hour shift. going back at 2am. only making 19 per hour. you make that when you take a squirt. tired of these athletes today. doesnt matter this year anyway. no pen, no closer, starters are average and offense struggles. first round exit against a hungry team. bye bye

  43. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    The Phillies jus keep leaving runners on base. I really hope they recharge for the playoffs. If you look at their September, you could easily say they’ll be gone after the first round.

  44. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    J-reed – I hope you are right. I am not confident about the playoffs. I really want to be convinced this week that we are ready to go. It doesn’t look good

  45. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    At least we don’t have to deal with the Peskiest Team on the Planet – the Twins. Imagine what it’s like for Tigers fans

  46. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    DC, you forget the beginning of the year. They had many come from behind wins because their starters were horrible. I think they might be near the league lead in come from behind wins

  47. Michael Stubel

    October 2, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Who would have guessed that the difference between Howard’s and Utley’s AVG would be so small

  48. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    it does j-reed, a little.

    Utley is in the middle of a 7/46 slump…152 average. That is horrible. Reminds me of 2007 when he just went into the tank at the end of the year and in the series vs the Rockies.

    I’m feeling a 2 run bomb by Werth.

  49. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    nice hit Werth…that must have been gas I was feeling.

  50. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I just can’t believe the Phillies went 0-3 against the Orioles this year and 2-6 against the Astros.

  51. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    loud out by Frisco. Son of a B.

  52. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    DC – this team’s psychological make-up…it’s unflappability and its talent albeit steaky makes it capable of anything but the BP problems have been there for awhile. Can they catch fire… who knows. one thing that makes the team strong is how they compensate for one another when they are not firing on all cylinders….but compensating for a bad bull pen is very hard in the post season. Sit back and enjoy.

  53. teejvee

    October 2, 2009 at 8:58 pm


    When they played the Orioles they were hitting like they are now.

    Which is to say nobody was hitting.

    And remember Madson blew a save every night that week.

    This is a wildly inconsistent offense prone to brutal slumps.

    Like Utley, Werth, and Ibanez are doing as we speak

  54. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    J-reed – I’m with you. The bullpen is a problem. They need to address that in the offseason. We’re stuck with Lidge, no one will want him after the season nor take on his salary for two more years. Maybe need to consider trading Madson, Condrey or Durbin to try and get some proven bullpen arms. Tyler Walker isn’t bad, but they could find someone better. They should look at free agents too. Romero should probably staty. Eyre will probably retire which kind of stinks because he was rather consistent. They should lock up Park for another year (or is he in the middle of a two year deal).

  55. Jeff

    October 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Sorry but everyone who thinks they are repeating are nuts. They are not good enough this year. Now we will lose all of home adv. This is a horrible division this year. Lucky we play in it.

  56. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    After this month. The team is not ready nor hungry for the playoffs. We could very well get swept by the Marlins this weekend. How’s that for momentum going into the playoffs? Wake up Phillies!

  57. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    be careful condrey

  58. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Come on! Lets get out of this jam!

  59. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Our bullpen sucks. They can’t get anybody out.

  60. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Bullpen is totally unreliable. Phils are done in the first round.

  61. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I’m mad

  62. Karen

    October 2, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I certainly hope the phillies are trying to look dead. Definately no drive for home field. :(. Wed was awesome but will the real phillies identify themselves????

    Happ deserves to be a 2 or 3 on the starting rotation….if not the 1. Unfortunately they are relying on last year and lee to win. I almost wish happ would have been traded to a team who would use him as the great starting pitcher he is. He is my Philly MVP

  63. The Hoffmann Capping Company

    October 2, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    The only hitter that has been really producing since Sept. has been Ryan Howard. The rest of the team is baked, cooked and exhausted. Three days off should help, hopefully.

  64. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    We are lucky the Phils managed to string together two victories against the lowly Astros otherwise I am convinced we would of certainly collapsed like 1964

  65. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I hope Charlie plays everyone tomorrow, see if the line up can actually do something before they all just slump.

  66. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    If the team is exhausted whose fault is that? Charlie’s right? Does that mean he doesn’t properly rest the players during the season? The Yankees don’t have this problem, and right now the trophy is theirs unless one of the NL teams catches fire into the World Series

  67. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    You forget D.C. Atlanta lost 2 to the Marlins and are losing tonight.

  68. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Settle down folks. They don’tt have J Roll, Feliz and Raul playing tonight or 1/3 of their starting lineup. You know what this game feels like? It feels kind of like a tune up game for the playoffs.

  69. karen

    October 2, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I am going to go out on a limb that certainly will not be used but I would have Happ be the starter in game 1. He is about the only one who has his head in the game and isn’t all caught up into the whatever everyone else seems to be in. And I would take Cairo and Tracy for the bench…..Tracy was awesome in AAA and I am sick of matt stairs.

  70. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I’m predicting a Wes Helms homer here.

  71. karen

    October 2, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I just see no spark….honestly, I feel for the fans……the crowd is dead but can you blame them? Thats why I would take some “new blood” like cairo and/tracy.

  72. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Big surprise…Wes Helms gets a hit against the Phils. Isn’t he like 20 for 20 since against the Phils since they dumped him.

  73. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    To say the team is dead is an understatement. They are playing with no fire, and clearly don’t care about homefield advantage despite what Charlie says.

  74. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Oh look … another Phils bullpen arm puts two men on base. This has been the story all season. There is no 1-2-3 with our bullpen. This is why we will not repeat.

  75. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I’m so annoyed. They look like garbage tonight

  76. Phan in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    its like they are sleep walking or something.

    can they just flip that switch after Sunday and suddenly try?

  77. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Escalona is not ready for the majors but everyone else is injured so I guess we have no choice but to keep him on the roster.

  78. The Hoffmann Capping Company

    October 2, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    The Phils will not lose a single game in the playoffs. They are getting all their shitty play out of the way during the last part of the season. They will come out next week like musketeers on a mission….hit, hit, hit, pitch, pitch, pitch and will win it all again. GET READY TO PARTY!! Yes, I have just smoked someting special !!!!

  79. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Escalona sucks. I’m sorry. He is soooo inconsistent

  80. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Phils are getting their asses kicked tonight

  81. Phan in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    any idea who we are playing in the first round?

  82. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Is it me or does Charlie leave in the pitchers too long. I mean..shouldn’t he have taken Escalona out of the game when he loaded the bases.

  83. mikeB

    October 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I do not see anything in this young pitcher Escalona, not at this time anyway.

  84. DC

    October 2, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Escalona sucks. Okay. Escalona has given up two runs and Charlie has yet to take him out. I’m sorry. Poor managing

  85. Ed R.

    October 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    If we finish in the top 2, which after tonight we will be tied with St.Louis but be number 2 based on tie breaker. So if we finish number 2 we host Colorado. If we finish number 3 we start in LA.

  86. mikeB

    October 2, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    We as fans and posters suffer thru this boring game tonight and now Charlie treats us to Chad Durbin as the final pitcher to be brought in, hopefully.

  87. Jeff

    October 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I have watched every game this year. I will not watch til the post season. You give me this garbage. watched the flyers play. Atleast they show heart. We will be knocked out in the first round. I promise you this. Cards just moved ahead of us. I hope we GET SWEPT IN THE FIRST ROUND.

  88. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    And let the sky is falling, all is lost bitching begin again.

  89. Phan in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    i’m wondering if they will show the fox game tomorrow here in TN. I am also wondering if they will put in the third string players and perhaps a nice knuckleballer to pitch.

  90. mikeB

    October 2, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    The bullpen next spring is probably going to be the big interest thing as to who might be added thru trades or free agency and who wins jobs there next season.

  91. Phan in TN

    October 2, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    dagnabbit…i forgot I can watch the Flyers tonight.

  92. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Look, I understand this board is for venting but, wow, there not “playing with fire….no heart….aren’t hungry” Did that come from the Philadelphia Sports Fan Handbook under the heading “when in doubt resort to cheap psychological explanations” Or should they put a little more Balboa into it. It’s so tired. How many come back wins this year? I believe the offense rescued this team in April and May. Without that performance we would have made it to the post season. Sorry but i respect our champions enough to give them benefit of the doubt before resorting to Oprahed pop pyschological speculation. A sport with the greatest statisical database ever and that’s where you go first. unbelievable. THEY PLAY 162 GAMES FOR A REASON. The element of chance being the primary one.

  93. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Here comes Batalico…proving why he won’t ever be a coach in MLB.

  94. Jeff

    October 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Sorry J reed ricky is right. you cant play like this before the big games start. Team is sleepwalking against a horrible team. You pound them and pound them. Show them who is the team to beat. we just lost home field.

  95. nm

    October 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    happ or hamels as the game 1 starter… with the way lee has been pitching, he better not start game 1

  96. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    that’s “Without that early season performance we wouldn’t have made the post season”

  97. joedad

    October 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I don’t usually watch post game live after Phils losses. Is Botallico always this bipolar?

  98. karen

    October 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    If the Phillies want to keep their fans somewhat in the game, they need to show some life. Happ would be the perfect game 1 starter….he would also be going 2 extra days rest…but charlie is a rituals man

  99. j reed

    October 2, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Joedad – it’s been getting worse and increasingly disrespectful to the team. If I was Blanton I’d feel justified in punching the guy. It’s not the WIP morning show. Very unprofessional. I can’t think HK would approve of this unprofessionalism. Bad form Batalico, bad form.

  100. j reed

    October 3, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Jeff – can you field harder when the ball isn’t hit to you…can will a base hit…if your not hitting your spots should you throw harder? sounds like a receipe for disaster to me. How about swing harder? Can you will conditioned muscle memory to suddenly change when your reacting to a 90 mph projectile…why do you think it takes awhile for players to correct their swings or pitching mechanics.
    Is there any evidence of these guys partying excessively except the night after they clinched. Do you know if any of them suffer from psychological/behavioral problems. Because barring the aforementioned, what evidence was there that they didn’t play hard tonight…did they not run out every hit, not slide when they should of, not dive for a flyball, not block a groundball with their bodies, get thrown out of the game….would it be better for them to slam their bats into the ground after a strike out or argue about mistakes with each other on camera… maybe hit someone with a pitch for no reason. If they are sleep walking it still might be fatigue. I explained the different concepts of sports related fatigue in response to a comment you made regarding resting players in last night’s post game comments if your interested.
    As to Batilico, at what point does his utter lack of objectivity stop. It’s downright unprofessional and disrepectful to the team. I don’t think criticism is wrong but did he really back his claims tonight because I had to change the channel out of disgust. And if he was dishing out warranted criticism which wasn’t the case tonight, he should do so with a modicum of self control unless in a format that welcomes this approach like AM talk radio.

  101. karen

    October 3, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Hmmmm….somehow I am thinking I missed some post game show with botallico. darn it 🙂

  102. mikeB

    October 3, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Maybe Botalico has it in for the Phillies from years past.

  103. Pingback:

  104. Georgie

    October 3, 2009 at 11:06 am

    RickyBo is trying to follow Mitch Williams’ recipe to land a job at MLBN, be ANYTHING but boring, the more controversial, the better his chances of moving on up….to the East side, we finally got a piece of the pie…
    (sorry, loved The Jeffersons!)

    Hoffman Capping Co-were you watcing DNL by any chance yesterday????

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