Archive for April, 2009

Rollins Out Of Retirement

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, April 29, 2009 01:00 AM Comments: 38

Whether it was the “team to beat” or “100 wins,” we’ve all heard Jimmy Rollins’ predictions over the years.  Earlier in the season, Rollins said he retired from the predicting business, but he is back.

Rollins predicted that he would bat .400 in the month of May.

In September of 2005, Rollins predicted he would bat .400. He hit .402, which started his 38 game hitting streak that ended in April of 2006.


Hamels Sprains Ankle, Might Be OK

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, April 28, 2009 10:35 PM Comments: 27

UPDATE (10:35 p.m.): Scott Lauber reports (via Twitter) that Cole Hamels may very well not miss a start.


Cole Hamels sprained his ankle attempting to field a John Lannan bunt Tuesday night against the Nationals. He hadn’t given up a run in four-plus innings. No word yet on how long he may be out.


Utley Powers Phils Despite Hamels’ Setback

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, April 28, 2009 09:33 PM Comments: 12

Utley0428Cole Hamels can’t buy a break. Luckily, the Phillies can’t buy a loss.

The Phillies won their fifth straight game, an easy 7-1 win over the Nationals. With the win, the Phillies assured at least a momentary tie for first place in the National League East.

The big story, obviously, was Hamels’ sprained ankle, suffered on a fielded bunt in the fifth inning. Up until then, Hamels had been cruising. He gave up just four hits and two walks, striking out four in 4.1 innings. It seemed there was no reason to think he’d have any setbacks. Now this injury might set him back a start or two, but it remains to be official.

Otherwise it was an all-positive win for the Phils. Chase Utley powered things with two home runs off John Lannan. Pedro Feliz launched a three-run home run in the third; Raul Ibanez added his seventh in the eighth.

Give big props to Chad Durbin, who kept his bullpen buddies rested after Hamels’ injury. Durbin gave up only an Adam Dunn home run in his 3.2 innings. Clay Condrey secured the game with a scoreless ninth.


Gamenight: Nationals (4-14) At Phillies (10-8)

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, April 28, 2009 05:16 PM Comments: 216

nationalslogoWashington Nationals (4-14) at Philadelphia Phillies (10-8)
John Lannan (0-2, 4.43 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (0-2, 9.69 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia.
Weather: Mostly sunny, 83
TV: The Comcast Network
Twitter: Phillies Nation

A Prince Fielder line drive struck Cole Hamels Thursday, taking him out of what was becoming a very effective start. Though he had given up a home run to Ryan Braun, Hamels had struck out almost every batter he had faced. The flesh wound seemed like a huge ordeal at first; now it’s child’s play considering what the Phils might go through with Brad Lidge. Needless to say, it’s still a scary world out there.

Hamels, still looking for his first win of the season and an ERA that isn’t showing a run per inning, will face the Nationals, a team he has defeated soundly in his past (5-3, 2.04 ERA). In fact, Hamels has practically mastered everyone in the Nats lineup, save Ryan Zimmerman, who is only hitting .270 against Hamels, but with two home runs. Adam Dunn, by the way, is 1-for-8 against Hollywood.

The Phillies offense, meanwhile, has a checkered past with Washington starter John Lannan. He’s the one who hit Chase Utley in the hand back in 2007. Of course, Utley is hitting .455 against the hand hunter. Jimmy Rollins is at .417. Ryan Howard is at .364. And each member of the Phrontrunner Bros. has a homer against Lannan. To be short, the lefties have and can hit him.

That bodes well coming off one of the most thrilling wins in recent Phillies history. For those who missed last night’s proceedings, Howard tied the game with an sixth-inning grand slam, then Raul Ibanez swatted an eighth-inning grand slam to hand the Phils the eventual 13-11 win. Ibanez’s homer pulled him into third place in the NL home run race. He’s seventh in the league in hits and third in runs, and yes, he leads the league in slugging percentage with a .685 clip, four hundredths above Albert Pujols.

Your gamenight beer: Last night we got a double shot of grand slam madness, so tonight we celebrate with a Dubbel. How about Bornem Dubbel? This Belgian brew has a cherry/raspberry taste – a little different for the composition of a Dubbel, but nobody ever said you had to follow rules. This sweet and bitter beer would go well with oysters and fries. Belgian style.

Go Phillies!


Ibanez Enjoying Phruits Of His Labor

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, April 28, 2009 12:44 PM Comments: 37

IbanezPCBack to last night: Honestly, has any Phillie ever captured the fanbase this strongly and so quickly than Raul Ibanez?

After slamming the Phillies into the 13-11 lead, Ibanez ventured to the outfield, where he was greeted by not merely a standing ovation, but a full crowd display of the Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar “We’re not worthy!” gesture. Chants of “Rauuuuuul!” were mixed among the cheers. Ibanez spoke after the game about the ovation:

“I’m definitely appreciative of that. My feet barely hit the ground when I ran back to the outfield. I was floating.”

Floating. It took Pat Burrell years to feel that. It took Ibanez 18 games. Of course, when you hit a game-winning home run, provide consistent all-fields offense, make awesome plays in left field and knock a go-ahead grand slam all in your first 18 games, you too could be floating.

Many of us questioned the pickup of Raul Ibanez – he’s a lefty, he’s old, he’s an American League hitter, his home run totals will evaporate. So far (and yes, it’s very early), we doubters have pie in our faces. Ibanez has been the team’s MVP so far. And already, he’s Philadelphia’s new favorite athlete.


NY Mets Bus Trip Waitlist

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, April 28, 2009 11:03 AM Comments: 20

Since the Phillies play the Mets in their new stadium just one weekend this season (August 21-23), tickets are going to be hard to come by. Single-game tickets are not yet on sale, but we are thinking about hosting a bus trip to CitiField on Saturday August 22. In talking with Mets ticket representatives, it appears that they will be unlikely to accommodate most group ticket requests because there are so many. The only tickets that are definitely available are about $100 (bottom bowl, along foul line) and renting a bus to NYC is more expensive than to DC; therefore if we run a trip, it will be close to $150 per person.

Since that is more expensive than our previous trips, I wanted to see if fans are interested in shelling out that kind of money to see the Phillies humiliate the Mets. There are only enough tickets for one bus, so only about 50 people could attend. If you or your friends are interested in going, please fill out the form below and when the details are finalized, you will be among the first contacted to reserve spots.


Lidge Not Greatly Concerned About Knee

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, April 28, 2009 09:51 AM Comments: 2

LidgeFollow-ups are coming in on Brad Lidge and his knee inflammation.

According to Comcast SportsNet’s John Finger, Lidge said he wasn’t concerned about the inflammation because the MRI came up negative:

“I’m concerned on a small level because it’s not feeling great and I want to get back there as soon as possible. But I think if we nip it in the bud right now, hopefully it will be something I won’t have to worry about for the rest of the year.”

He added he re-aggravated the knee in his last outing.

“It causes some discomfort when I pitch, especially when I throw 35 pitches in an inning. I’ve done that a couple times this year.”

You’re seeing with Lidge – and to an extent Cole Hamels and Co. – the problem with workhorsing your team into and through the postseason. The wear has built up. Add on Lidge’s slow return to normalcy during spring training, and you have a potential recipe for disaster. It’s looking evident Lidge will have to join the 15-day disabled list, merely for rest and rehabilitation. Considering JC Romero is still 30+ games from returning, and there’s no true organization in middle relief, the Phils need to address their bullpen, and quickly.


Opinion: Relieve The Bullpen

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, April 28, 2009 07:00 AM Comments: 28

CondreyEighteen games into the 2009 season and the Phillies have just two seven-inning outings.

The Phils bullpen has been taxed so far, mainly because of downright horrendous starting pitching. Just last night Charlie Manuel had to point to the pen starting in the fifth inning; he brought in five pitchers, three of whom did more than exceptional work keeping the Nationals off the scoreboard. Combined, the bullpen has thrown 62.2 innings, or almost 40 percent of the time. That’s unacceptable.

The bullpen needs relief. Look at Brad Lidge, who is suddenly suffering from knee problems once again. Look at the innings mounting for Clay Condrey, who has been promoted to crucial swingman. Look at the inconsistent play from Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson, who were more consistent than not in 2008.

It’s easy to look at starting pitching and say “shape up.” Truly, Cole Hamels — tonight’s starter — needs to channel his inner ace and dominate Washington like he has done before. An eight-inning performance would be roundly appreciated. But if he can’t do it (then who can?), what can be done?

I recommend the Phils bring up Gary Majewski, who has thrown 11 innings with a 0.82 ERA for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Slot him into the bullpen with Condrey and Durbin, allowing the three to trade off appearances. Let the relievers breathe a little. Oh, who to send down? How about Miguel Cairo — his .000 average in seven at bats is just taking up space.

Hopefully, though, the best relief will be a huge start by No. 35.


In Case You Missed It: Big Win, Ruiz

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, April 27, 2009 11:14 PM Comments: 1

For more on the Phillies’ unbelievable comeback win, click here, and for more on Carlos Ruiz’s setback tonight, click here. Or you can scroll down the frontpage.


Lidge Day-To-Day With Knee Inflammation

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, April 27, 2009 10:50 PM Comments: 3

Brad Lidge, unavailable in Monday’s win over the Nationals, has inflammation in his knee and is day-to-day, according to manager Charlie Manuel.

More, from Scott Lauber:

Our man, Geoff Mosher, was in the Phillies’ clubhouse tonight when Lidge admitted he got a cortisone shot last week. If Lidge is having knee trouble, that would explain his mechanical problems and his flawed control. Few saves have been easy for Lidge lately. On Saturday night, he loaded the bases before white-knuckling his way to a 34-pitch save.

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