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Archive for May, 2011

Romero Comments on Bastardo’s Progress

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, May 24, 2011 07:55 AM Comments: 5

Ask anyone that knows a little something about the Phillies and they’ll likely agree that the premiere left-hander out of the team’s bullpen has become Antonio Bastardo. In recent years that title could have gone to JC Romero, but not any longer.

As the 25-year-old Bastardo has matured, he has developed into a go-to guy on the Phillies pitching staff. As Romero, who turns 35-years-old at the end of next week, has aged, he has lost velocity and his ability to dominate opposing batters.

Romero held opponents to a .191 batting average in his first 4 seasons with the Phillies, from 2007-2010. This year, things are much different as Romero has served up a .283 batting average against in 17 appearances.

Prior to the 2011 season, Bastardo had held opponents to a .264 batting average in 31 Major League games over 2 seasons. But in 17 games this year, batters have posted a significantly lower .145 average against the Dominican Republic native.

When Romero stopped through Lakewood a couple weeks back, prior to being activated from the disabled list, I asked him for his thoughts on Bastardo’s progress. Check out the media player below to hear exclusive audio of what JC had to say about that as well as other topics.


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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

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Offense Locates Bats, Takes Opening Game

Posted by Michael Baumann, Mon, May 23, 2011 09:55 PM Comments: 68

Did Chase Utley's presence help the Phils put up 10 runs?

It appears that the Phillies have spent the past few weeks just screwing with us, as a comprehensive team effort led to a 10-3 blowout of the Reds at Citizens Bank Park. The damage started almost immediately–a two-run homer by Placido Polanco in the bottom of the first was nothing more than an appetizer for a phenomenal third inning for the Phillies’ offense: 10 batters sent to the plate and seven runs scored, six with two outs, including three on a towering home run by Jimmy Rollins. Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was chased after 2 2/3 with 10 hits and nine runs on his record. In fact, Chase Utley was the only Phillies starter who didn’t get a hit through three innings. Utley went 0-for-5, but the rest of the offense picked up the veteran second baseman.

Cole Hamels, for his part, allowed three runs, all on Jay Bruce’s fourth inning home run, and after that inning, both offenses calmed down and did not score from the fifth inning on. It didn’t matter, however, because the Phillies tagged Arroyo and three relievers for 14 hits, three of them doubles and three of them home runs.

The offensive explosion and 10 runs ties the most run support Hamels has had in a game since the Phillies staked him to a 22-1 win against the Reds in June 2009. Hamels goes to 6-2, Arroyo drops to 3-5. Johnny Cueto faces Vance Worley tomorrow evening in Game 2.

Continue reading Offense Locates Bats, Takes Opening Game

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Gameday: Reds (25-22) at Phillies (28-18)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Mon, May 23, 2011 05:17 PM Comments: 94

Cincinnati Reds (25-22) at Philadelphia Phillies (28-18)

Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 4.11 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (5-2, 2.92 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m. Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 74
TV: CSN
Twitter: Phillies Nation

So I read something over Twitter today that had that disturbing juxtaposition of “Joe Blanton” and “Dr. James Andrews.” I also read something on Twitter this afternoon about the Reds sending Edinson Volquez–the former 17-game winner who started Game 1 of last year’s NLDS–to AAA Louisville.

I don’t care. Because Jesus may not have come back, contrary to predictions…

BUT CHASE UTLEY HAS! Continue reading Gameday: Reds (25-22) at Phillies (28-18)

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VIDEO: Chase Utley Back and Ready

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, May 23, 2011 04:52 PM Comments: 1

Who’s excited? I bet you are. Chase Utley is back in the lineup batting second, the first time he’ll see game action this year. The city, media, and fans are all abuzz over tonight’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Manager Charlie Manuel is also stoked. He says Utley “definitely makes us better” and there is no denying that statement. Utley’s presence should instantly rejuvenate what has been a lackluster offense for all but two weeks this season.

Utley himself will try to take it day by day, but said he’s struggling with knowing when to take days off. As you’re well aware, Chase Utley was thought to be a machine, but we’ve since learned that is not the case. “This has been a learning experience for me,” Utley said about the two month-stint on the disabled list.

It’s been a lesson learned for Ruben Amaro Jr., who said today that if changes aren’t made on the field, he’ll make them for the team. “”I don’t think we can survive getting two runs a game for the next 100 games,” Amaro stated.

Continue reading VIDEO: Chase Utley Back and Ready

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The Triple Gold Club of Baseball

Posted by Michael Baumann, Mon, May 23, 2011 03:31 PM Comments: 3

Last weekend, as you probably know, was the running of the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing. This weekend, as you probably know, is Memorial Day Weekend, which, as you probably know, means the Indianapolis 500 runs this weekend. What you might not know is that motor racing has its own triple crown of three races: the Indy 500, the Monaco Grand Prix and either the Daytona 500 or the 24 Hours of Le Mans, depending on whether you ask an American or a European. Likewise in hockey, where the Stanley Cup, the World Championship, and the Olympic gold medal comprise the Triple Gold Club.

This got me wondering: what if there were something similar in baseball. This would require a combination of events contested in different countries at what is considered to be the highest possible level. Of course, this conversation has just about nothing to do with the Phillies, or Chase Utley‘s imminent return, so by all means, feel free not to follow to the jump.

Continue reading The Triple Gold Club of Baseball

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Phillies-Mets Rivalry Outdone by Mets-Mets Disdain

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, May 23, 2011 01:26 PM Comments: 3

Philadelphians loathe the New York Mets, and the same holds true for the Mets ownership. You read that correctly, the Mets are feuding in-house, and it’s led by owner Fred Wilpon.

Wilpon took parting shots at his own club in a recent article in “The New Yorker”, throwing guys like Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and even David Wright, under the bus. It’s been a trying time for Wilpon as he deals with the ongoing lawsuits stemming from the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. Wilpon is being sued for $1 billion by Irving H. Picard, the trustee for the victims of Madoff’s fraud.

The latest quotes from The New Yorker seem like a Steinbrenneresque bitchslap on his own – perhaps as a way to push them, but also as a way to voice his displeasure with an underachieving club. *If you want to learn why Madoff is in hot water with the trustee for the Madoff victims, the article in the New Yorker talks about it.

Continue reading Phillies-Mets Rivalry Outdone by Mets-Mets Disdain

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Chase Utley Returns to Lineup Tonight

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, May 23, 2011 10:48 AM Comments: 33

Chase Utley, you are the man! We’ve longed to hear something, anything close to that phrase first uttered by Harry Kalas. It doesn’t quite resonate the same way coming from Tom McCarthy or Scott Franzke, however, when they announce the lineup tonight and Utley is batting in his familiar third spot, all will seem right in the world for that moment. That’s how much Chase Utley means to the fans, the city, and a porous batting order.

While no one knows which Utley we will see on the field and at the plate, it matters little. He is head and shoulders above the other players they have that can play at second base – that much everyone can agree on. Will the knee respond to a full workload? How many days will Charlie Manuel set aside for him to take off?

You can be sure Utley will get his fair share of days to rest, at least in the short term, to keep that knee healthy and ready for the stretch run. Who will we see? Which Chase Utley will we get?

The one that was the best second baseman in the game less than two season ago? Or the aging, wiser Utley that has lost a step, yet one that still can contribute?  We asked about Dom Brown over the weekend, and we’ll do the same with Chase Utley today:

What do you expect from Chase Utley for the remainder of 2011?

View Results

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Lakewood’s Buchanan Shining in the SAL

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, May 23, 2011 08:10 AM Comments: 1

Lakewood starting pitcher David Buchanan is off to a tremendous start in the 2011 season. Through 9 starts, the right-hander has prevailed as the premiere hurler on the Phillies Class A BlueClaws staff.

Buchanan, a 7th round draft pick of the Phillies in last year’s amateur draft, has used his fastball, his slider and his sinker to dominate South Atlantic League batters. Following his victory against the West Virginia Power on Sunday, Buchanan leads the league in ERA (2.21) and innings pitched (57) and is tied for the league lead in wins (6).

Earlier this month, Buchanan threw a complete game and got the win against the Yankees affiliate Charleston RiverDogs. It was the BlueClaws’ first 9 inning complete game since 2007, when Carlos Monasterios achieved the feat.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound Buchanan is humble and credits the team and coaches behind him for helping him achieve early success in his first full season of professional baseball.

“I’ve got great guys behind me,” Buchanan stated. “I’m a ground ball pitcher and after I pitch, you don’t see too many errors on the board, if any, and that says a lot about the defense. I just go out there and do my job and trust them to make the plays and we win as a team.”

“Every game I’ve gone out there, I’ve just had the same approach, and that’s to get strike one and take things pitch by pitch,” Buchanan added. “That technique is straight from my pitching coach Steve Schrenk. Continue reading Lakewood’s Buchanan Shining in the SAL

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Harrison, Rangers Avoid Sweep; Utley Back Monday

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sun, May 22, 2011 04:03 PM Comments: 59

This was really what we expected when the Phillies put together this rotation: that the Phillies would go into a weekend series and have three starting pitchers give up a combined three earned runs over 23 innings in three days. The formula worked the past two nights, but Rangers lefty Matt Harrison matched Roy Oswalt as the Rangers beat the Phillies 2-0 to avoid a sweep and maintain their position in first place in the AL West. Oswalt suffered his first home defeat in a Phillies uniform.

Oswalt, in only his second start back from his DL stint, was effective if not particularly sharp, scattering twelve baserunners over seven innings while only allowing one earned run on a Mitch Moreland double in the sixth, but those hobgoblins of the 2011 season–offensive ineptitude and bizarre bullpen management–prevented the Phillies from winning their third straight. Continue reading Harrison, Rangers Avoid Sweep; Utley Back Monday

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Gameday: Rangers (23-23) vs. Phillies (28-17)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, May 22, 2011 12:12 PM Comments: 60

Texas Rangers (23-23) at Philadelphia Phillies (28-17)

Matt Harrison (3-4, 4.27 ERA) vs. Roy Oswalt (3-1, 3.09 ERA)

Time: 1:35 p.m. Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Cloudy, 69
TV: MyPHL 17
Twitter: Phillies Nation

UTLEY WATCH!

Chase Utley could be back in the Phillies lineup tomorrow. It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! If Utley does return to the lineup, either Pete Orr, Wilson Valdez, or Michael Martinez will get the boot, with Orr being the most likely. We shall see what happens. All rejoice.

DOM BROWN DEBUT

After an 0-for-4 debut, Domonic Brown will ride the bench this afternoon. Not sure why, you can’t bring this kid up, call him the future of the franchise, and not play him. You need help for a lineup that hasn’t been scoring runs (no more than 3 in a game since last Saturday), yet you continue to trot the same lineup out there? Ok.

PHILLIES LINEUP:

Rollins SS, Valdez 2B, Polanco 3B, Howard 1B, Francisco RF, Ibanez LF, Mayberry CF, Sardinha C, Oswalt P.

Your Gameday Beer- Yuengling

Yuengling Lager has never done anyone wrong. It’s a Philadelphia staple, and will continue to be, especially because it’s just known as “lager.” It’s inexpensive, tasty, and can be had on a warm day or a chilly one. It pretty much goes with any sort of food, but today we’ll be cooking up chicken sausages and baked beans along with a Phillies sweep. -by Pat

GO PHILLIES

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