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Phils Salvage a Win in Arizona After Oswalt, Ruiz Depart

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, April 27, 2011 08:10 PM | Comments: 31
2011 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

(Photo: AP)

Roughly an hour after announcing that Roy Oswalt had taken a leave of absence to be with his family in tornado-torn Mississippi, the Phillies decided to leave behind him without their tail between their legs.

That tail can wag freely after Cole Hamels stymied the Diamondbacks, keeping the Phils from being swept for the first time this year. Hamels wasn’t dominant, but was close enough as he went seven innings, allowing three runs, while striking out eight batters. For once, Hamels was actually helped by his offense; one that had been in a serious funk for quite a while.

It seems like light years ago when eight runs was simply adequate for the Phillies. Now, it’s only looked at as a possible stepping stone to a breakthrough. The eight runs were the most for the Phillies since April 10 against Atlanta when they tallied 10.

Jimmy Rollins was – finally – one of several catalysts on Wednesday afternoon. For Rollins, it had been 11 games since he last notched an extra base hit. On Wednesday afternoon, Rollins provided two of those; a first inning double scoring Shane Victorino and a fifth inning, two-run home run, both off Arizona starter Joe Saunders. There’s no telling whether this is a spark, but it is at least a start for the struggling number three hitter.

Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard homered as well, making this the first three-homer day for the Phillies since they put up 10 runs against the Mets on April 6. Ben Francisco knocked in two more runs with a first inning double.

Placido Polanco hit the ball everywhere except over the fence. Polanco’s 4-for-5 day raised his team-leading average to a gaudy .389, now tops in the National League. Quietly, he has been the team’s Most Valuable Player through the first 24 games. Polly wouldn’t have it any other way – he stays low-key and unassuming, although his numbers suggest otherwise.

The only blip for the offense (and defense) was the loss of Carlos Ruiz. Chooch left the game with lower back pain, which he felt after his first inning at-bat. Ruiz told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he is worried about it the ailment. Team physicians will examine him in Philadelphia on Thursday.

The departure of Ruiz did little to the psyche of Cole Hamels. He continued to dominate on the road, pushing his record to 7-1 in his last 10 road starts. In those 10 games, Hamels has only allowed 10 earned runs. Long gone are the days that Hamels would show frustration, specifically in a foreign ballpark.

While it was a win in the standings, losing Oswalt and Ruiz in the same day is a tough pill to swallow. Still, for a struggling offense, it is a building block.

————–

BROWN IS BACK

Domonic Brown smacked a long home run in his first rehab game since breaking his right hand. Brown went 2-for-4 with a bomb that reportedly cleared the batters eye in centerfield. Could Brown be called up in a few days after his rehab assignment, or will the Phillies keep him in Triple-A to get at bats? Should be an interested few days regarding Dom Brown sometime early next week.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1709 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Ruiz to the DL
    Really hurts.
    2 weeks with Schneider is ok but not longer.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Hasnt happened just yet. Fingers crossed, but not looking great preliminarily.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Back is a very scarey thing for a catcher. For obvious reasons.

    IMO after big Roy he is the most important player on the team.

    Schneider is maybe even a better hitter than chooch but its still a big loss

     
  • Posts: 0 njriverman

    Chooch is out? yikes!

    btw bloggers needed at penn jersey forums.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dan Dunbar

    phillies need some depth in thier line-up like the Flyers do. So it wouldnt matter if one of the starters go down with an injury, the back-up will fill the spot just fine.(i’m not saying that the Phillies dont have good back-up players, just not the depth the Flyers have)

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    You cant replace chooch unless you reincarnate Bench from the 70s or Ivan Rodriguez from the 90s.
    Been my favorite thing to watch with this team the last 5 or so years.

    The way Halladay talks about him with such reverence should tell you all you need to know.

     
  • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    Losing Chooch can definitely be a bad thing! Keep in mind, Oswalt left to check on his family, not necessarily missing his next start (correct me if I am wrong, but I believe I am correct). Now to Cole Hamels. Uggh, I can’t deal with the inconsistancy anymore. Cole really needs to buckle down. He goes out and throws a horrible game against the Mets nd throws 2.2 innings, and should have the energy to throw a CG, but can’t muster it, and goes out and throw 7-8 IP in each of the last 4 starts, and giving up 3 or less ER’s. WTF? Ok, so before I get ridiculed for being a moron, that was complete Sarcasm! I simply dont understand how ESPN still does not consider him an Ace. Really? WTF? Seriously, in his last 4 starts the Phillies are 4-0 (he is 3-0) with 7-8 innings per game, 2 of which were shut outs. His “mediocre starts” are not 7 IP with 2-3 ER’s. Last time I checked 3 ER in 6 IP is considered a “Quality Start”. While this was a game on the road, I sure hope the Bars in Philly were cheering just as loud, if not louder for Cole’s last 4 performances. We all know Cole will go out and have another bad game at some point. You can’t expect him to throw like that EVERY game he starts for the entire season, its bound to happen. While I dont necessarily advocate booing, I dont have a problem with it, HOWEVER, if you boo, you sure as HELL better cheer just as loud if not louder. Cole has been AWESOME recently, not just the last 10 road starts, but even a dating back to last season for the last nearly half of the season. Cole Hamels ERA prior to the All-Star break from 3.78, Post All-Star break was 2.23, MORE than an entire point lower. Even this season, his ERA is over 3 based solely on 1 single HORRIBLE start. Cole Hamels has matured, which is a great thing. Why? Not sure anyone knows. Maybe it was his mediocre at best 2009? Maybe it was Brett Meyers calling him out in the clubhouse after 2009? Who cares, he has matured. Is he the Ace of the Phillies staff? I don’t know if I would go all that far, but he is an Ace.

     
    • Posts: 3084 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Cole’s performance since that stinker against the Mets is exactly why he never should have been booed in the first place.

       
      • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        You are so funny Chuck. The entire paragraph devoted to how Cole Hamels has been a beast since the All-Star break LAST SEASON, and should be considered an Ace, and you only get 1 word out of the entire thing…”Boo”. LOL

         
      • Posts: 3312 Tracey

        Avatar of Tracey

        Eh, maybe the fear of another booing is what motivated him to perform so well since then! :D

         
      • Posts: 0 Lefty

        IMO The booing didn’t affect him. — Now the magic goatee? We may have something there.

         
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Gee Andrew, you sure do like Chooch a lot.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Just bring brown up for the weekend. I mean, c’mon. Lets not micromanage this. We need a spark.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Brown is not quite ready yet, and he is hitting against A-ball pitching right now too, so give him some time. Maybe they’ll push him up the ladder a few games at a time. A few days in Single-A, a few more in Reading, LV, etc.

      My guess is we’ll see him soon, but I’ve been wrong before. They want to make sure they’re doing the right thing for the club and for him, so won’t rush into anything.

       
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Chooch to the DL would be tough but I’m excited to see what Erik Kratz can do here… For those of you that might not know Kratz, he’s a local Chris Coste type… Has battled through a long minor league career and stuck with it through a lot of doubts. He got his first MLB call up last year with the Pirates at the MiLB AS game and was in tears. I work with his grandfather… Hes a good kid; a solid defensive backstop. He has never really hit well but he has improved over the past few years and he’s doing well with the Iron Pigs.

     
  • Posts: 193 bfo_33

    Avatar of

    I’m also a fan of Chooch, but comparing to Bench or Pudge II? He’s a key contributor, great at balls in the dirt, passable arm, has clutch hits here and there, but I’d hold off on the HOF plaque.

    I think the injury to Brown may have helped him clear his head. Bring him up only if you are going to play him at least in a true platoon at a minimum, otherwise, leave him down to get some consistency.

    As bad as the O has looked at times, still only 1 win away from the franchise highest win total in April.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      BFO you SOB, I was in the process of writing something about the record for wins. Incredible. Look for it later, I guess.

       
      • Posts: 193 bfo_33

        Avatar of

        Pat, I’m sure you’ll provide a whole lot more detail, looking forward to it. Hasn’t been the worst thing I’ve been called today, and it’s not even 9:00 am yet.

         
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Ibanez didn’t play yesterday… I think he’s going to keep losing playing time until he shows some signs of life. Mayberry will fill in but he is what he is. Does anyone feel like he’s a full time starter? He’s a stopgap until D-Bro is ready. ETA- mid May to early June. But once he’s here, there’s no looking back… He’s gotta be the starter. The worse Ibanez plays, the easier it is to make that commitment.

     
  • Posts: 1092 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    Looks like Ben Fran got another lucky hit for an RBI and is only batting like ,350 in his last five games just lucky. Nice to see Ryan and Jimmy going yard. Mayberry showed good plate disipline. I think Dom needs to stay in AAA until he listens and gets the his hands down, He has proven it is good enough for the minors but he has to get the loop out of his swing to hit major league pitching. Hopefully Chooch does not have to go on the DL Schnider looked pretty bad swinging against the lefties he faced, but defensivly is pretty close has a nice arm and does block the ball in the dirt well. Bastardo look good except for the one fastball he did not get up out of the strike zone.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Disagree slightly about Mayberry – he’s still having trouble with the breaking pitch. Struck out on a curve in the 1st and a slider in the 7th, but did walk in the game, too, seeing a healthy does of off-speed stuff, which is good.

      I’ll agree that he did show discipline in working longer counts, also a good thing in a lineup of free swingers.

       
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    BFO didn’t mean to call you an SOB, it just worked there. I’ll see what I can come up with.

     
    • Posts: 193 bfo_33

      Avatar of

      Pat, I hope I don’t come across as easily offended. I don’t think there is anything that could make it through the screeners that would bother me much.

      I haven’t seen any moves to the roster yet – with Schneider’s history, I’d assume that even if Ruiz is only going to sit a few days, they’d bring up Sardinha. Does that mean Orr would go down?

       
  • Posts: 193 bfo_33

    Avatar of

    Re: Mayberry vs Ibanez – Sometimes you step up to the bar looking for a Guinness, but the taps are out. Your choice is Yuengling Black/Tan, or Lite. It’s not Guinness, but I’ll take the Black/Tan (Mayberry) over the Lite every time. While i do think Ibanez will recover, right now I feel like every at bat against a lefty will result in a weak grounder to 2nd base, where I think Mayberry at least has a shot at doing something. He’s also a plus fielder with a good arm, so even if the offense about the same, no more punts from left field.

     
    • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Thats a pretty good analogy! Any analogy which includes beer is always good. LOL. I have been a big Ibanez fan since he got here, but sadly, I just dont see the tread left on those tires. He had a hell of a run in the first half of 2009, had some ups and downs in ’10, but ’11 across the board has been downright painful. It seems his range, arm and offense are all down. :( Sad, but hey, he is 39). That was the problem with signing him for 3 years instead of 2.

       
  • Posts: 3084 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    @ Brian Sr. of CO….

    I “got” exactly what you said. All I was saying was that Cole’s performance since his bad game vs the Mets….and really because of most of last season….

    ….is exactly why he shouldn’t be booed in the first place.

     
  • Posts: 0 Savannah PhilliesPhan

    Did anyone notice that after Rollins hit his HR he was slapping hands with everyone and it seemed to me that he purposely avoided slapping hands with Charly Manual? Seemed to me he was a bit pissed and even avoided making eye contact with him. Because Charlie turned around to get a hand slap after Rollins passed him and he still didn’t make contact.
    He also did a fast interview and he said something like the media only cares about the four aces. Did someone say something to him….ya think?

     
    • Posts: 0 Lefty

      I noticed the same thing. It had me curious enough to replay it, and found there were a couple of seconds where the view was blocked, and the camera may have just missed it. I wouldn’t make anything of it. Besides, if he’s getting on his guys for not producing and that ticks them off a bit, well, that’s his job.

       
    • Posts: 3312 Tracey

      Avatar of Tracey

      I just rewatched that play. Charley was on Jimmy’s left side, and it looks like Jimmy’s left hand did slap Charley’s left hand down low as he was walking down the stairs. Charley’s hand is below the frame, but you can see Jimmy’s left hand coming down in the general vicinity of where Charley is. Jimmy does look angry later, but that could be just a result of having Arizona afternoon sun in his eyes.

       
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    OOOH. Some detective work going on here. Rollins has a ton of respect for Charlie. He should anyway, he’s put up with a lot Jimmy’s bad outings over the past few years.

     
  • Posts: 0 SavannahPhilliesPhan

    I wasn’t suggesting a thing….just saying. Maybe it was totally unrelated and he was pissed at something else…..maybe a phan booed him…..who knows.

     
 
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