Archive for July, 2010

Halladay cruises, Phillies win opener against Rockies 6-0

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Fri, July 23, 2010 11:22 PM Comments: 25

The 1-2 punch of Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay was supposed to rival the leagues’ best starting duos like Lincecum/Cain, Lee/King Felix and Becket/Lester.  Now while the season hasn’t exactly played out the way we all thought, it seems the Phils duo is locking in.  Halladay backed up Hamels’ eight innings of scoreless ball with another eight innings without allowing a run.  Phillies’ pitchers have now thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings.

The offense actually made it a night where Halladay didn’t need to be perfect.  They spotted him five runs in the fifth inning long after the good doctor was in cruise control.  Halladay lowered is ERA to 2.28 and struck out nine batters.  He did throw 116 pitches so I found it a bit odd that Charlie Manuel let him hit in the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs.  Was there a need to have him pitch the eighth inning with a five run cushion already?  Halladay leads the majors with 162 innings pitched.

The Phillies started off the fifth inning with four consecutive hits.  Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco started it off with singles and scored on Raul Ibanez’s double to center.  Ryan Howard moved Ibanez to third with a single who then scored on a Jayson Werth sac fly.  Ross Gload then crushed one into the bullpen for a two-run homer scoring Howard.  The Phillies finished off the inning with a 5-0 lead.

And that was all Halladay would need.  The Phils did add another run in the eighth on an Ibanez RBI single.  Raul finished the game with three hits and three RBIs.

The Phillies have now won 10 of their last 14 games at home and five straight.  The Phillies had 12 hits for a second straight game and Howard stole his first base of the season.

Worth noting: Braves closer just blew his third save of July and the Marlins won in walk off fashion.  The Phillies are now six games back heading into the weekend.


Gameday: Rockies (51-44) at Phillies (49-46)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, July 23, 2010 07:20 PM Comments: 210

CardinalsColorado Rockies (51-44) at Philadelphia Phillies (49-46)

Aaron Cook, RHP (4-5, 4.56 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay, RHP (10-8, 2.40 ERA)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 92
Twitter: @PhilliesNation

LINEUP: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Ibanez LF, Howard 1B, Werth CF, Gload RF, Ruiz C, Valdez 2B, Halladay P.

Your Gameday Beer: Coors Original

Sam Elliot is the voice of Coors Beer.  Nuff said.

Go Phillies!


Phils Fire Hitting Coach Milt Thompson

Posted by Paul Boye, Thu, July 22, 2010 10:35 PM Comments: 106

The Phillies have fired hitting coach Milt Thompson, according to multiple reports from Phillies beat writers.

Thompson, a .274 career hitter in 13 seasons with the Phillies, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Rockies and Dodgers, joined the Philly coaching staff in 2003 as their first base coach, and was promoted to hitting coach the following season. The Phils, who had led the league in runs scored two of the last three seasons, leaves a Phillies team that has endured more offensive futility than it has become accustomed to. The team had hit just .253/.322/.411 entering Thursday, with those average and OBP marks good for only thirteenth and twelfth in the N.L., respectively.

Greg Gross takes over Thompson’s role in the interim.


A Backbreaking Road Trip

Posted by Michael Baumann, Thu, July 22, 2010 08:39 PM Comments: 46

I live in Voorhees Township, in eastern Camden County in South Jersey. Around here, odd as it may sound, the arbiter of our cultural and societal zeitgeist is a chiropractor named William Nicoletto. Dr. Nicoletto is an institution–the sign out in front of his practice, as long as I can remember, has been a running commentary of our shared experience as Voorheesians. Every few days, the message is changed to a different statement on the weather, or current events, or, most often, sports. He’s such a part of the culture that when the township made road signs with movable letters illegal (they’re allowed in Gibbsboro, literally across the street from Dr. Nicoletto’s office), he was allowed an exception.

Earlier this week, with the Phillies seemingly in a free fall from playoff contention, I was driving home from work when I noticed that the sign had been changed. I submit the following without commentary.


Hamels tosses gem, Polly homers in 11th for Phillies win

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Thu, July 22, 2010 05:50 PM Comments: 49

Well well well.  Since Jayson Werth hasn’t taken the bait from all the trade talks to showcase any bit of talent, Cole Hamels decided he would.  A ton of stories are circulating about the Phillies shopping around for a second ace to compliment Roy Halladay.  Hamels took the rubber and showed his team he can handle that role just fine.

Old Hollywood went eight innings allowing only one hit and striking out seven. Hamels didn’t allow a runner to reach second base all game while striking out six of the first eight batters he faced.  For those of you counting at home that is only one earned run in his last 22 and 2/3 innings.  Unfortunately, the Phillies offense provided no back up and Hamels gave way to Ryan Madson in the ninth with the game all tied up 0-0.

The Phillies did have nine hits but were unable to capitalize on any chances. Madson came in and worked a hitless ninth to send the game into extra frames. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin combined for a scoreless 1oth.

Leading off the 11th for the Phillies was old reliable Placido Polanco. Already with two hits on the day, Polly sent a Kyle McClellan pitch over the left field wall for his sixth home run of the season and a 1-0 lead.  Raul Ibanez walked after Shane Victorino grounded out to short.  Ryan Howard then singled for his third hit of the game.  Up came Werth with his new facial hair and doubled in Ibanez.  Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa decided to give Jimmy Rollins an intentional pass to load the bases for Brian Schneider.

Schneider grounded into a fielder’s choice and Howard was out at home.  Cody Ransom then flew out to center.  Going into the bottom half of the 11th the Phillies had a 2-0 lead.  I know, the suspense is killing me too.

Enter The Closer.

Of course Brad Lidge would do his best Martin Scorcese impression directing the drama out on the mound.  Jon Jay walked and stole second.  Two ground outs and a game ending fly-out by Randy Winn and the Phillies take the final game of the series 2-0.

I don’t know about you guys, but this just doesn’t feel like a win should. Hamels pitched an absolute gem and the offense could not do anything. When are they going to learn that their starting pitchers can’t go eight every time and hold teams to under two runs.  I know, I know…a win is a win and at this point of the season I will take it.  The offense needs a wake up call and it needs to come soon.

Worth noting: Werth’s RBI double was his first hit with RISP since June 18.  He was 0 for 18 in that span until that hit today.  Polanco and Howard each had three hits on the day as Howard joined Polly in the .300 club for the year.


Gameday: Phillies (48-46) at Cardinals (54-41)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, July 22, 2010 01:37 PM Comments: 248

CardinalsPhiladelphia Phillies (48-46) at St. Louis Cardinals (54-41)

Cole Hamels, LHP (7-7, 3.63 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP (14-5, 2.02 ERA)

Time: 2:15 p.m., Busch Stadium
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 94
Twitter: @PhilliesNation

I’ll keep this one plain and simple – if the Phillies don’t start winning games soon, they won’t last much longer in this race for either the NL East or the NL Wild Card.  This could be their toughest challenge of the road trip, which ends today. Adam Wainwright pitches for the Cards and he’s one of the best in all of baseball. Cole Hamels goes for the Phillies and he has been damn good lately. Sadly, that hasn’t mattered. The offense can do no right.

Keep up with PhilliesNation.com all day on our Trade Deadline Thread as well as the Gameday for all coverage surrounding Jayson Werth, Roy Oswalt, and any other name being floated about.

And, somehow, try to enjoy today’s game.

LINEUP: Polanco 3B, Victorino CF, Ibanez LF, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Rollins SS, Schneider C, Valdez 2B, Hamels P.

Your Gameday Beer: Tanqueray and Tonic

Forget beer. Give me a TNT on the rocks. Phillies fans need something strong right about now and this is a thirst quenching treat that will rock you after a few of them. Shake it well and drink it slow. You’ll need to. -By Pat

Go Phillies!


Phillies Trade Deadline Thread: July 22

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, July 22, 2010 09:10 AM Comments: 115

8:35 am: This morning on ESPN Radio, Tim Kurkjian talked about the ongoing Roy Oswalt chatter. Kurkjian stated that the Cardinals are talking about Oswalt, because, why wouldn’t they. A top-three of Carpenter, Wainwright, and Oswalt would be virtually unbeatable in the playoffs. However, he sees a Cards/Oswalt union as unlikely because of his contract. Kurkjian believes they have to leave some money available for when Albert Pujols is ready to sign on the dotted line again.

As for the Phillies, he wonders if they, too, can get a deal done because of the finances involved. But the ESPN Insider says Oswalt might have to give up his demands to have his 2012 option picked up before a trade is finalized, if he wants to go to a contending club. Oswalt is owed roughly $6 million this season and $16 million next year before the option year comes into play.

-Late last night, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com said that the Phillies could go without adding a pitcher altogether if they cannot grab a top arm like Oswalt or Dan Haren. Haren is an interesting case. He would cost slightly more than Oswalt as far as prospects are concerned, but his contract is friendlier. He is owed the remainder of his $8.25 million salary this season and $12.5 million in both 2011 and 2012. He has a $15 million option for 2013 or a $3.5 million buyout. There have been indications that the Phils will stretch the budget for the “right” pitcher, per Salisbury.


Phils lose third straight to Cards, possible ground in Oswalt trade talks

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Thu, July 22, 2010 12:17 AM Comments: 44

Trade talks with Roy Oswalt have stalled just a bit; the Phillies are balking at his need for a guaranteed option year.  However, the Phils didn’t do much to help their case in luring the Houston ace to the City of Brotherly Love  losing a third straight game to  the Cardinals and six of their last seven.  Oswalt, who has a full no-trade clause, has made it clear he wants to go to a team that is in the thick of the playoff hunt.

The Phillies think they still are.  The only problem is they aren’t playing like it.

For a second straight game the Phillies have only managed one run.  For the series they have only scored six times.  A huge difference to St. Louis who have put 20 on the board in the first three games.  Joe Blanton (3-6, 6.03) pitched well through the first six innings allowing only one run.  Matt Holliday led off the seventh with a home run that put the Cards ahead for good.  The one extra run was plenty.  Blanton then allowed three runs in the eighth after a lead off single by Aaron Miles followed by an error charged to catcher Carlos Ruiz which allowed Brendan Ryan to reach base.  The next hitter Felipe Lopez hit a two-run double to right field and later scored on a Colby Rasmus sac fly.

Did Charlie Manuel leave him in too long?  Blanton has always been an inning eater but has managed to implode in almost every outing for at least one inning.

Cardinals rookie Jaime Garcia (9-4, 2.21) went seven innings allowing one run and four hits.  The Phillies put some pressure on Garcia with the bases loaded in the seventh but Blanton struck out swinging for the final out.  Again, why not put a pinch hitter in that spot?  The percentage of a ball in play from a bench player would have been greatly higher than allowing Blanton to take swings.

The one bright spot was Ryan Howard hitting his 22nd home run and collecting RBI number 75.  He is tied for 2nd in the NL for home runs and leads the league in RBIs.  He drove in and scored the only run in the 5-1 loss.

The Phillies will send Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.63) to the hill tomorrow to face Adam Wainwrigth (14-5, 2.02).  Game time is 2:15 EST.


Gameday: Phillies (48-45) at Cardinals (53-41)

Posted by Jonathan Fogg, Wed, July 21, 2010 08:22 PM Comments: 184

CardinalsPhiladelphia Phillies (48-45) at St. Louis Cardinals (53-41)

Joe Blanton, RHP (3-5, 6.21 ERA) vs. Jamie Garcia, RHP (8-4, 2.27 ERA)

Time: 8:15 p.m., Busch Stadium
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 90
Twitter: @PhilliesNation


Not a lucky number – not for the 2010 Phillies. Seven is an unforgiving number gauging how frustrating, disappointing and utterly befuddling this season has been. It is how many games the team that was heavily favored to return to the World Series has fallen behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Ten years ago – even five years ago – being seven games back of the Braves might have been regarded as an achievement. Now it is merely cause for fear, loathing and macabre jokes about enduring 25 more years without a title.

So as GM Ruben Amaro works the phones and rumors swirl about Roy Oswalt coming to Philadelphia in another megadeal (it’s worth noting that Oswalt is a year older than Cliff Lee), the only certainty around the 2010 Phillies is injuries. The seemingly indestructible Jamie Moyer suffered an elbow strain Tuesday night, meaning Amaro is going to be at high risk of developing that rare condition known as BlackBerry Ear as he tries to swing a trade for an arm or two.

In the meantime, the Phillies still have ballgames to play, and lately they haven’t been playing them very well. They easily could have lost all six games since the All-Star break, but even their one win Saturday wasn’t much consolation. The task doesn’t get any easier tonight, with Joe Blanton going up against rookie Jamie Garcia. After getting into a handful of games last season, the 24-year-old Garcia has been an outstanding addition to an already loaded Cardinals staff; his 2.27 ERA ranks third in the NL. Blanton has been inconsistent after missing the first month of the season, though his last start, against the Cubs, was one of his sharpest.

Bottom line: Phillies need a win almost as much as they need another starting pitcher.

LINEUP: Polanco 3B, Victorino CF, Francisco LF, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Rollins SS, Ransom 2B, Ruiz C, Blanton P.

Your gamnight beer: I sessioned this Friday night and it wasn’t bad: Steamworks Brewery’s Steam Engine Lager. It calls itself “arguably the best American amber lager in the world.” Heavy words, but it is a good lager. It pours with a golden-to-amber look, like Yuengling, but tastes much sweeter, with hints of yeast and even some fruit: I noted banana, but it might be more citrus. For me it was a session – can’t pound lagers usually – but for those who prefer Yuenglings and the like, seek this out to try. Goes good with pizza.

Go Phillies!


Worley Up, Oswalt Holding Up Deal?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, July 21, 2010 04:26 PM Comments: 3

-In case you hadn’t heard, the Phillies sent down Andrew Carpenter after he made his 2010 debut last night against St. Louis. Worley, 22, was 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 starts for Reading this season. He has pitched 17.0 consecutive scoreless innings over his last two outings, which included his first professional shutout, a three-hitter on July 9 against Harrisburg.  Worley was named the Phillies’ Minor League Pitcher of the Week today.

Randy Miller of the Bucks County Courier Times tweeted that Worley could start this weekend if a deal is not made for another starter.

-Which brings us to this bit of news coming from Jayson Stark of ESPN. Stark says that Roy Oswalt could be holding up this possible deal.  He reportedly wants his 2012 option picked up now before accepting any trade. Stark says the Phillies are balking at that.

Stark also says that this could “blow up” a potential deal between the Astros and Phillies.

-In addition, Stark writes:

Meanwhile, the Phillies were still talking to several teams about outfielder Jayson Werth. But according to an official of one club they spoke with, they’ve made it clear “they’re not going to trade Werth unless they get exactly what they want. They won’t do it just to get rid of him.”

The Rays still appear to be the front-runners to acquire Werth, if he gets dealt. But one source who spoke with them reports the Phillies asked for pitcher Wade Davis or outfielder B.J. Upton, among others. And it’s difficult to foresee Tampa Bay trading either player just to rent Werth for two months, unless the deal was expanded to send other young, controllable players back to Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox, Yankees and Giants are also believed to have interest in Werth. But there were no signs the Phillies had made much progress in their talks with any of those clubs.

According to an official of one club that spoke with the Phillies, they aren’t willing to pay any of the approximately $3.5 million remaining on Werth’s contract. In fact, one of the Phillies’ main motivations in trading Werth, the official said, appears to be “to get rid of all his money.”

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