Archive for April, 2009

Grandest Game: Howard, Ibanez, Win

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, April 27, 2009 10:38 PM Comments: 33

“There’s a new hero in town.”


Down four in the eighth, the Phillies needed a miracle. A few hits and walks later, and the Phils had the bases loaded for Raul Ibanez.


Ibanez’s grand slam won it, 13-11. Ryan Howard hit a grand slam before that to tie the game at 6-6. This despite the Phils pitching giving up home run after mammoth home run. The ball positively flew out of Citizens Bank Park. This, my friends, was a game for the ages. And at this point, nobody can ever count the Phillies out of any game. These guys can win anything.

The best moment came after Ibanez’s shot, when fans bowed in appreciation, unworthy of the newest Phillie’s talents. Ibanez has accomplished what took Pat Burrell eight years to do, and that is pretty amazing.

The numbers: Ibanez went 3-for-5 with a home run, double, two runs and four RBI. Howard went 1-for-3, but walked twice and hit the other granny. Jimmy Rollins went 3-for-5 and scored twice. Shane Victorino and Chase Utley each collected two hits.

Pitching wasn’t great for the most part. Joe Blanton allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks in 4.1 innings, and Scott Eyre couldn’t buy an out, giving up four runs in the process. But Clay Condrey (1.1 IP, 0 ER), Jack Taschner (1.1 IP, 1 ER), JA Happ (1 IP, 0 ER, W) and Ryan Madson (1 IP, 0 ER, SV) did the job. Happ was poised despite being handed Eyre’s mess, while Madson’s fastball blazed into the zone in the high-90s; when the Phils need a backup closer (like tonight), Madson truly does the trick. Ultimately, the bullpen’s ability to close it out won the game.

But really, it was “Ribbie,” the new hero in town.


Ruiz Scratched From Rehab Start

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, April 27, 2009 10:23 PM Comments: 2

Carlos Ruiz took batting practice on Monday, but felt discomfort in his strained right oblique.  He was scratched from the Triple-A IronPigs lineup.

Ruiz was eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday, but he continued to rehabbing, catching nine innings with the IronPigs.

Ruiz will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.


Gamenight: Nationals (4-13) At Phillies (9-8)

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, April 27, 2009 05:31 PM Comments: 161

Washington Nationals (4-13) at Philadelphia Phillies (9-8)
Shairon Martis (2-0, 4.11 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (0-2, 7.31 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia.
Weather: Sunny, 86
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Sweep. A nice word, really. The Phillies took their first one of those this weekend in Miami, breaking the Marlins with two comebacks and a wipeout. They got good (enough) pitching, got good (enough) hitting and … well they did field spectacularly. Now the Phillies return home and get a visit from the lowly Nationals, a team coming off its first road win of 2009 (a win yesterday over Oliver Perez and the Mets).

And the Nats will throw out there the Phils first repeat ball-thrower: Shairon Martis. He gave up just two runs in 6.1 innings, defeating the Phillies April 16 in Washington. Lou Marson and Raul Ibanez collected two hits off Martis in that game, while Chase Utley had the other. For a rookie he has been effective this season.

The Phils bring out Joe Blanton, who was the opposing pitcher in that April 16 game. He gave up three runs in six frames. Those three runs came from an Adam Dunn home run, a cannonball that practically destroyed some seats in Nationals Park. Blanton is 0-2 this season, coming off a six-inning, three-run start against Milwaukee.

Your gamenight beer: I’m on a boat. Are you? Get some Shipyard Export Ale from the Shipyard Brewing Co. This American pale is a decent try and light on the palate. It makes for a nice change of pace from your usual bitter APAs, especially on a hot night such as this. Stay away from the pork and have some roast beef.

Go Phillies!


Romero Sues Parties Over Positive Testing

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, April 27, 2009 02:38 PM Comments: 21

JC RomeroJC Romero has filed a lawsuit against Ergopharm Inc. and Proviant Technologies, who manufactured the supplement 6-OXO, and the companies that own and operate the Vitamin Shoppe and GNC. More from David Murphy:

The lawsuit claims the following damages have been incurred, the amounts of which will be proven at trial:

  • The loss of past income and earning capacity
  • The loss of income and earning capacity which Romero can reasonanbly be expected to have enjoyed in the future.
  • Past and future pain, suffering and humliation.
  • Loss of enjoyments of life, past and future.

Here’s Romero’s statement:

“Testing positive and being suspended from baseball was one of the most painful experiences in nmy life and robbed me of the joy of winning the World Series and damaged my reputation in the process. I purchased an over-the-counter supplement that I was told and believed would not cause me to test positive. These events have hurt me deeply and placed a cloud over my career, accomplishments and family. It is my hope that I can finally start to put this event behind me and protect the interests of others who rely on manufacturers and retailers to be honest about their products. I look forward to rejoining the Phillies and my teammates at the end of my suspension.”


Vote Phillies For The 2009 All-Star Game

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, April 27, 2009 12:52 PM Comments: 15

With the Phillies returning home for a homestand against the Nationals and Mets, it’ll give fans a chance to vote for the National and American League All-Star teams. Vote Phillies? Yes you should.

Most years, teams with high visibility rule the balloting. Last year it was the Cubs. This year, let’s make it the world champs.

Of course, be within reason. If you’re voting All-Star, I suggest punching in these names wouldn’t seem outrageous (read Fukudome, Kosuke, 2008):

1B – Ryan Howard – .290 / 3 HR / 11 RBI
2B – Chase Utley – .317 / 5 HR / 16 RBI
OF – Raul Ibanez – .324 / 5 HR / 12 RBI / 3 SB
OF – Shane Victorino – .268 / 2 HR / 13 RBI / 3 SB
OF – Jayson Werth – .290 / 2 HR / 10 RBI

Of the five, I can absolutely see Utley and Ibanez winning their respective position votes. Utley was the leading vote-getter last season in the National League; no reason to think he shouldn’t be again.

Vote now by visiting here.


Could Marson Supplant Coste And Ruiz Soon?

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, April 27, 2009 10:49 AM Comments: 23

If you noticed this weekend, it was Lou Marson playing the Friday and Saturday games, while Chris Coste stepped in as day-game-after-night-game backup. A sea change at catcher?

The numbers will prove that might be possible:

Chris Coste: 6-for-33, 2 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K
Lou Marson: 4-for-14, 2 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K

Small sample sizes aside, Marson has been the better offensive catcher. And Coste’s struggles go beyond standing at the plate – look no further than his misguided throw to second on a bunt attempt yesterday. That throw resulted in no outs and became the lone run given up by Jamie Moyer. A catcher who attempts to do more than required usually fails.

Should Marson get the lion’s share of time behind the plate against the Nationals, we’ll be seeing the transition in effect. When Carlos Ruiz returns from his injury (he went 1-for-3 behind the plate Sunday for the IronPigs), it’s possible Marson could stay north (though unlikely still); most evident, however: The probability of losing maybe Ruiz after this season could be higher.


Opinion: Moyer’s Formula Easy To Decipher

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, April 27, 2009 07:54 AM Comments: 29

Three things occurred yesterday that comforted us as we soaked in the sun:

  • The Phillies didn’t hit a home run in their 13-2 win. That’s good — they can score without knocking one out of the park.
  • Pitching didn’t allow a home run for the first time all season.
  • The Phillies never trailed.

Those are great things — sure comebacks and rallies are thrilling, but coasting out early and holding the lead is another facet to winning that the 2008 Phillies perfected by mid-summer. One of those reasons was Jamie Moyer, who seemed to pitch one- to two-run games regularly last season. He did it again Sunday.

Moyer was on, earning easy strikeouts early, inducing ground outs in the middle of his shift and working out of jams late. It’s indicative of the Marlins young offense — against a group of more talented, experienced hitters, those late jams might’ve worked out differently. But Moyer can master green hitters.

Look no further than rookie outfielder Cameron Maybin. He struck out his first at bat, grounded out his second and struck out his third, all against Moyer.

Moyer also perfected his strike zone Sunday. He pounded the outsider corner regularly, soon giving himself the spot because he was on point with it. Meanwhile, Marlins starter Graham Taylor threw all over the place, demolishing any chance for a defined strike zone. That’s the difference between six walks and four runs, and one walk and one run.

Yet again, the ageless wonder spun some magic against the Fish, and it was all the old tricks.


Phillies Barrage Marlins For Road Sweep

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sun, April 26, 2009 03:56 PM Comments: 82

Thanks to 12 hits and 11 walks, the Phillies rounded the bases with ease, beating the Marlins to a pulp, 13-2. The win secured a sweep of first-place Florida, pushing the Phils a game over .500 and pulling them to 1.5 games in back of the Fish.

The Phillies scored four runs off starter Graham Taylor, making his major league debut. Highly touted because of his superb control, Taylor was blindsided by the big lights of the big show, walking six in his 3.2 innings. For a while the game was tight enough — starter Jamie Moyer waved aside small Marlin rallies en route to a six-inning, one-run performance — but the Phils broke it open in the seventh.

In that inning, the Phils capitalized off bad defense from left fielder Jeremy Hermida. With the bases loaded, Shane Victorino (2-for-5) drilled a two-RBI single. The Phils packed on another five in the eighth — they loaded the bases again and Victorino, again, struck with a two-RBI double. Pedro Feliz had two RBI as part of a 3-for-5 performance.

The Phils cleaned up with nice work by Chad Durbin and JA Happ. The Marlins shuttled Cody Ross to the mound for the ninth. Bringing in a position player to pitch is the truest form of submission. This seemed too easy.


Gameday: Phillies (8-8) At Marlins (11-6)

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sun, April 26, 2009 11:15 AM Comments: 85

Philadelphia Phillies (8-8) at Florida Marlins (11-6)
Jamie Moyer (2-1, 6.35 ERA) vs. Graham Taylor

Time: 12:10 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium, Miami.
Weather: Windy, 79
TV: MyPhl 17, TBS
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Two ninth-inning comebacks, two wins over the Marlins. The Phillies can now sweep the Fish at Dolphin Stadium with a win today against a rookie. Jamie Moyer takes the hill, and his almost flawless record against Florida will be put to the test.

Moyer lost his first contest to the Marlins last season, but overall he is 11-1 with a 2.95 ERA for his career against Florida. Chalk that up to inexperience on behalf of the Marlins, but this team is the real deal offensively. And they have hit Moyer — Hanley Ramirez has scorched Moyer at .355 with four homers; Jorge Cantu is hitting .319 against him.

Meanwhile, Graham Taylor is making his major league debut. Taylor is a slow thrower with amazing control, a la Moyer. He attempts to paint corners and usually succeeds — he walked only 66 in 420.2 innings of minor league baseball. He’s the kind of starter the Phils might have trouble against.

One nice note: The Phils bullpen again was superb Saturday, as Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combined for three innings of three-hit, two-walk, scoreless ball.

Your gameday beer: It’s summer, suddenly. We’re hitting 90 degrees on this Sunday afternoon, and the barbecues will be blazing all day. Meanwhile, our world champs will be on the tube, fighting for an over .500 record yet again. Drink down Southern Tier’s Hop Sun, their summer drink of choice. Light with a touch bitterness, it’s buoyed by a lace of citrus in the pour. It’s perfect with some grilled chicken. Get to it, sunshine, make us feel alright.

Go Phillies!


Minor Leagues: Flande A Find, Heating Up In Florida

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sun, April 26, 2009 08:14 AM Comments: 3

Yesterday it was Mike Stutes. Today, here’s a new name for you: Yohan Flande.

Flande, 23, is a left-hander from the Dominican Republic who pitched two years in the Dominican summer league. After strong showings there, he was bumped to the Gulf Coast League, where he dominated with a 2.19 ERA last season. Now he’s in Clearwater, and he’s his current line: 18 IP, 0 ER, 12 H, 17 K, 6 BB. Yup, that’s a 0.00 ERA.

Obviously the K/BB rate isn’t Drabek-like, but it’s very good. And he’s too old for his level. But another couple starts should find him in AA Reading, where he’ll be greatly tested by the 21 and 22 year olds in the Eastern League. Hopefully they’ll see that … well … you don’t mess with the Yohan.

Previous Page Next Page