Archive for June, 2009

Prado Wears Out Phillies

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, June 30, 2009 11:20 PM Comments: 31

Gregor Blanco and Martin Prado weren’t supposed to be in the Braves’ lineup. Due to injuries, they were given an opportunity to start and they did not disappoint. They went a combined 7-for-10 with four runs batted in, a walk, and three runs scored.

Prado and Blanco’s performances were the opposite of Jimmy Rollins’, who received his first start in four days. As usual, Rollins provided Gold Glove defense. But Braves fans chanted Rollins’ average, and each time he stepped to the plate, the number chanted became lower and lower. Rollins finished the night 0-for-5.

The Phillies opened the scoring in the third inning on Ryan Howard’s ground-rule double. The bounce over the fence proved to cost the Phillies. If it stayed in the yard, Chase Utley would have scored easily. Instead, he was forced to stop at third.

Utley homered to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead, but Prado responded with a solo home run of his own to tie it up. The Braves took a 3-2 lead on a ground-out in the fifth inning.

Joe Blanton pitched five innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out three. Derek Lowe was a little better. In seven innings, he gave up two runs on seven hits and three walks.

With two outs in the eighth inning, John Mayberry Jr. was called to pinch hit and answered with a game tying home run. If that wasn’t exciting enough, Pedro Feliz followed with a long home run, giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth with two outs and a runner on first, Ryan Madson attempted a pick-off throw, only for it to hit the runner and scoot toward the Braves dugout. The runner advanced, then scored on Prado’s double down the line, making it a 4-4 game. If it didn’t hit the runner, Howard would have held the runner on and the Phillies could have seen their way out of the inning.

In the bottom of the tenth, Prado haunted the Phillies once again. With two on and one out, Prado hit a line drive over the head of Mayberry. Game over. Braves win, 5-4.


Gameday: Phillies (39-34) At Braves (35-40)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, June 30, 2009 05:45 PM Comments: 338

Philadelphia Phillies (39-34) at Atlanta Braves (35-40)

Joe Blanton (4-4, 5.06 ERA) vs. Derek Lowe (7-6, 4.53 ERA)
Time: 7:00 p.m at Turner Field
Weather: Sunny, 90
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

The Phillies are happy interleague play is over after posting a 6-12 record against the American League.  They head to Turner Field, where they were a perfect 9-0 last season.  They’ll have to extend their win streak against Derek Lowe, who shutout the Phillies in eight innings back in April.

Joe Blanton was roughed up by the Braves earlier this year.  In 12 innings, his ERA is 9.75 and Braves hitters are batting .321 against him this season.

Jimmy Rollins is back in the starting lineup, and out of all the Phillies hitters, Rollins has the most success against Lowe.  He is batting .304 against Lowe in his career. On the other hand, Brian McCann is 6-for-7 with 2 home runs and six RBI against Blanton.

With Rollins back in the lead-off spot, the rest of the lineup looks like this: Rollins (SS)/ Victorino (CF)/ Utley (2B)/ Howard (1B)/ Werth (RF)/ Dobbs (LF)/ Feliz (3B)/ Ruiz (C)/ Blanton (P).

Red Rocket AleYour Gameday Beer- Today’s beer is Red Rocket Ale.  Careful, this Amber/Red Ale is on fire. Its deep cinnamon color makes for a beautiful pour so be sure to release it from the bottle. Its hoppy, caramel malt flavor comes from a complex recipe of five different grains. If you can, roast a chicken with all the fix-ins. -By Brian

Go Phillies!


Happ To Start Thursday

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, June 30, 2009 05:08 PM Comments: 25

Todd Zolecki reports (via Twitter) that J.A Happ will start on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves.  A pitcher that has yet to be announced will pitch on Friday against the New York Mets.  Originally, the call-up was slated for Thursday.


Phillies Acquire Mazone

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, June 30, 2009 02:33 PM Comments: 10

The Phillies acquired Brian Mazone from the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Mazone, a former Phillies farm hand, is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in Triple-A this season. 

The move could fill a hole in Lehigh Valley’s rotation after somebody is promoted to the majors.  It can also prevent a Double-A player from being promoted to Triple-A.


Flande Promoted to AA

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, June 30, 2009 12:50 PM Comments: 39

Starting pitcher Yohan Flande was promoted from Single-A Clearwater to Double-A Reading yesterday.  He will make his first start with the Reading Phillies tonight.

In Clearwater, Flande was 7-1 with a 2.52 earned run average.

The move could also indicate a promotion for two other players in the farm system.  The Phillies need a starter on Thursday, so a player will be called up from Triple-A or Double-A.  There could also be a Double-A to Triple-A promotion.


Romero Could Be Charged With Battery

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, June 30, 2009 12:26 PM Comments: 31

The St. Petersburg Police Department filed a complaint against J.C Romero to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s office and he may be charged with battery.

“Remember, this is a simple battery,” George Kajtsa said. “No weapon was used. There were no injuries to the victim whatsoever, except as he says in the report he was embarrassed because it happened in front of other fans and his family. This is a very minor incident so the state’s attorney will probably concentrate on more serious matters, but it will be up to the state’s attorney to make the determination.”

Robert Eaton asked for an autograph, but Romero ignored him.  Eaton made a comment about steroids and got into screaming match with Romero.  Romero allegedly hit Eaton.


Bastardo Lands on DL

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, June 30, 2009 12:38 AM Comments: 20

According to Todd Zolecki (via Twitter), Antonio Bastardo has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain.  Left-handed relief pitcher Sergio Escalona is recalled.


Ibanez Unlikely To Return Friday

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, June 29, 2009 09:29 PM Comments: 30

Raul Ibanez says that his strained left groin feels better, however it is unlikely he will be activated on Friday, when he eligible to come off the disabled list.

Ibanez will be re-evaluated this week to see if he is physically able to start rehabbing.

On the other hand, Scott Eyre is scheduled to make a rehab appearance tonight with the Gulf Coast League Phillies.  There have been no updates on Antonio Bastardo or Clay Condrey.


Carrasco Comes Calling

Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, June 29, 2009 02:00 PM Comments: 31

Carlos CarrascoFor three years in a row he has been the top-ranked pitcher in the Phillies system. For three years he has given reason to believe that somewhere down the line the team would have a dynamic 1-2 punch in the rotation.

There is plenty left to be seen with Carlos Carrasco, and the results could swing in so many directions, but Thursday night is the one we have been anticipating for three years. If “likely” becomes “definitely” and Carrasco is called up to fill the void Antonio Bastardo’s injury created in the rotation, the long-awaited glimpse of the future will finally arrive.

Carrasco’s development in the minor leagues has been at times dazzling and at times difficult to watch. His was not a smooth transition from one level to the next, constantly growing as a pitcher on a steady plane toward the big leagues. Instead, it included several bumps along the way, several long stretches of starts where nothing seemed to work for the Venezuelan righthander.

But in the middle of his fifth season in the Phillies farm system, Carrasco is about to get his first taste of the spotlight, and it will come against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on Thursday. The pitcher who for three years has carried with him hopes of becoming a No. 2 starter will do just that. He follows the team’s struggling ace, Cole Hamels, who will pitch Wednesday. It seems only right that if Carrasco is successful and sticks in the rotation, it will be behind Hamels.

After working his way through rough patches in April and May, Carrasco’s ERA in June was 4.06 with Lehigh Valley. His last two starts have been stellar, allowing two runs over 13.1 innings and striking out 12. The curveball that Brett Myers taught him in spring training has developed into another out pitch, which coupled with his low-to-mid-90s fastball and devastating changeup should make him a complete starting pitcher. In recent weeks Carrasco has begun to put a slider to use. His further expanded repertoire is essential for the major league level, where it takes multiple out pitches to fool professional hitters.

Carrasco’s pitching coach with the Iron Pigs, Rod Nichols, was glowing after Carrasco’s outing Friday night.

“I used the word ‘electric,’” Nichols said. “His stuff was electric.”

Furthermore, Nichols said that “he does have stuff that would play at the big-league level.” That has always been the key with Carrasco, who despite high ERAs and troublesome outings has always maintained an assortment of quality pitches. Once he’s pitching against Chipper Jones and Brian McCann, it will come down to his mental makeup and ability to use those pitches in the right spots.

Carrasco is equipped right now with the stuff to be a pitcher at the top level of baseball. Reining in all of his talent and directing it all into the most important game of his life will be the next step toward establishing himself.

Thursday night will be special for Phillies Nation. Four seasons ago on May 12, Cole Hamels made his debut in a Phillies uniform, spinning 5 shutout innings of one-hit ball and striking out 7. It was the start of what will be a long and illustrious career for the lefty. But Hamels has spent three seasons as the best pitcher on the staff without a No. 2 anchor behind him. Carrasco has always been that potential second starter, and with the pitching market drying up lately, the Phils might need him to be just that. Thursday he gets his shot.


All Star Balloting: Utley & Ibanez are Safe

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, June 29, 2009 01:27 PM Comments: 12

Raul Ibanez will most likely be headed to his first All Star Game and Chase Utley will likely be headed to his fourth.  With the All Star voting ending on Thursday, it appears that Ibanez and Utley will be playing in the mid-summer classic.

Ibanez leads all outfielders with 2,970,139 votes.  Utley leads all second baseman and is second among all National League players in total votes with 3,510,082.

Other Phillies are going to need a lot of help within the next four days:

  • First Base: Ryan Howard remains second behind Albert Pujols.  Howard trails by about 2 million votes.
  • Third Base: Pedro Feliz remains fourth, almost a million votes behind leader David Wright.
  • Shortstop: Last week, Jimmy Rollins fell to second, but it was still a close race.  Hanley Ramirez extended his lead to 254,000 votes.
  • Catcher: Carlos Ruiz fell out of the top five.
  • Outfield: Shane Victorino remains in fifth place and Jayson Werth remains in ninth place.

Click here to vote for your favorite Phillies or players you think deserve to play in the All Star Game!

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