Ibanez Leads Way to Sweep of Pirates

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, July 31, 2011 05:39 PM | Comments: 38

With the addition of Hunter Pence, the offense is expected to ignite.  Last night, Ryan Howard saw more pitches in the zone, with Pence providing protection.  The talk is all about Pence, but Raul Ibanez is showing that there is no need for him to ride the pine.  Known as a streaky hitter, Ibanez is in the midst of a hot streak.

Ibanez  finished the day 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs.  He started the action with a solo shot in the first inning.  The one run was enough for starter Vance Worley, until the fifth inning.

Worley came back to earth, allowing four runs over six innings.  He struck out seven, but allowed a go-ahead home run to Lyle Overbay in the sixth inning.  The Pirates added a run in the seventh on Garrett Jones‘ double, leading 5-3.  It looked as if the Pirates would salvage a game from the series, but Ibanez had other ideas.

After doubling, Ryan Howard made a huge baserunning mistake on a fielder’s choice, and it looked like Joe Biemel would see his way out of the jam.  Clint Hurdle decided to stay with the righty against the lefty, and it proved costly.  Ibanez jacked his second home run of the game into the left field seats.  The game would be even at five.

With two runners on base, Chase Utley had the perfect opportunity to win the game.  However, he flied to deep center, ending the inning.  It was time for free baseball.

Antonio Bastardo tossed a 1-2-3 tenth inning, giving it a chance for the offense to win it.  Hunter Pence doubled, getting into scoring position for the red-hot Ibanez.  He didn’t disappoint, lining a base hit to right field.  Pence rounded third, and scored easily to give the Phillies a 6-5 victory.

The offense is heating up at the right time.  Ibanez, Howard, Utley, and Jimmy Rollins are all swinging the bat better.  With Pence in the fifth spot, the offense is that much scarier.  The pitching has been great all year, and now it is time for the offense to do the same.

Avatar of Amanda Orr

About Amanda Orr

Amanda Orr has written 713 articles on Phillies Nation.

Amanda has been writing for Phillies Nation since 2009.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Good for Raul and the Phillies.

    This is a good team. Best Phillies team ever.
    The Bullpen stepping up does that.
    And they didnt really need another arm.

    Adding Pence. Much like adding Pete Rose in 1980 is huge.
    It will be more than jsut the stats. Its the intangibles they add.

    This is an interesting west coast trip. Especially the Giants series.

    If Howard hits this team is an unstopable juggernaut. An all time great team. Like the 1927 Yankees. A dynysty. One for the record books.

    When he doesnt? They lose a series to the Giants.

  • Posts: 0 bart shart

    What are you smoking, Andrew? An all-time great team? A dynasty? WHEW!!!! You must be high on a Phillies exciting victory. I used to be that way before I became old and decrepit.
    Keep that positive attitude. And pass the joint , please.

    • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

      andrew is right on the money. that’s no exaggeration. if this team closes the deal this year then this era of phillies baseball and this 2011 squad in particular will certainly go down of one of the true great powerhouses in baseball history. we will be right up with with names like the big red machine, the bash brothers teams, the gashouse gang, and the early 50′s yankees.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    The staff is all time great. The bullpen has stepped up to be one of the best in the majors.
    Utley is a .300 hitter again. Pence adds the intangibles that were so shockingly missing from this lineup. If Howard gets no RBI in the playoffs again. No they wont win. But I dont think he will.
    They scored the most runs in the NL in July.
    This is an all time great team. Win your 106 games then win a world series.
    And thats a fact.

  • Posts: 5365 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Great series sweep, 29 games over 500, and 6 games up on the Braves. A decent cushion for a trip out west.

    We needed to fill a hole in the lineup after Jayson Werth left. It took long time, but I think we’ve got our guy. Pence and Werth in terms of stats are not that far apart for their careers, Pence just 12 points lower OPS. But Hunter is 4 years younger.

    In terms of personality, they seem to be polar opposites. Only a few really know what Jayson was like off the field, but on it, he did not show the enthusiasm and energy and electricity that Hunter Pence seems to bring. These intangibles can’t be measured, but are invaluable to winning. Two days in, and I already think the guy is going to bring a huge lift to the club.

    • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Who’s Jayson Werth??? Name sounds kinda familiar but I just can’t place it. Oh, and……………


      That was for you, Dipsy. …… Friend, fellow poster and Phillies fan extraordinaire.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Ive agreed with Dipsy all year.
    I assume he will agree with me that for now Raul deserves to ride this hot streak out every day in LF.

    This is a better site having him here. So lets be kind.

    Raul was bound to get hot.
    So is the big contract. Which will have me eating crow,.

    But remember I am sure the Dipsy was cheering on Raul today as I am the big contract every day. Hoping he does well. But being realistic about his performance.

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    There are times where Ibanez drives me crazy but, I got to give it to him, no one gets hot like he does. If he could only get into one of these hot streaks for the playoffs then we will be in really good shape.

  • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I am sure Dipsy as cheering for Raul as he is a Phillies fan through and through…..even if he still probably thnks that he sucks. Whatever. It’s a good day to be a Phillies fan. Tomorrow will be tough. That long plane ride out West after a successful homestand always seems to get the Phillies.. Wouldn’t be surprised if they come out flat in the first game.

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Very true. I just wrote on the other thread that I am glad to eat it when Raul has a great game and of course he must play when he’s hot and while he’s hot. I was at the game today and it was hot and I was talking shit before the game with my guys how Raul sucks and I got it all game while he knocked the crap out of the ball. I just smirked and clapped. Good for him. I WILL get back on him when he earns it though :)

    Go Phils.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Really great to see Raul make me eat crow. I’ll be the first to admit it, I might even write about it tomorrow. I think (and still do) that Brown should be here but if Raul continues this tear, then so be it. I just fear for the super hot, then super cold streaks.

    • Posts: 1096 betasigmadeltashag

      Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

      RReally Pat You still think raul should be on the bench in favor of Dom, I know it is one game or maybe a week or two of pretty good play. At this point on this team Raul is by far the better player. Brown needs to figure out how to play defense, and go for balls that he can get and lay back on singles, and get his arm under control. I even think that you will see JMJ platooning against some lefties just to keep Raul on the righties. JMJ is a better player then Dom is right now, next year or two probably not. But Right NOw I would rather see JMJ out there over dom

  • Posts: 49 bacardi

    Avatar of bacardi

    I figured Dipsy you was left scratching your head about Rauuuuuuuuullllllllll. I also feel your sentiments to a degree. However the ol man had a good game. He still is the streaky hitter he is known to be. The problem lies that those hot streaks are shorter than years past. Then he hits cold streaks then some periods where he isnt hot but isnt awufl either. Unless he goes into a huge slump I dont think Cholly will bench him. This sweep means a lot i dont recall the last time they swept a series. Especially this upcoming road trip.

  • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Raul’s streakiness (is that even a word?) is a pain in the a$$…..no doubt about it. I get as frustrated as anyone when he can’t catch up to a certain pitch or shows us his wet noodle for an arm. But no one can deny that….for now….he belongs here. I really hope he continues this right to a WFC ….and then decides to retire….on top. THAT would be a fitting ending for this old war horse and all around good guy.

  • Posts: 2002 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    LOL Pat – a there was a bunch of crow eating today! When we see performances like this one, so reminiscent of the memorable glory days from the first half of 2009, its almost hard to believe that we could be looking at a very frustrating, weak month long futile display starting as early as tomorrow.

    Yes, Raul makes it very difficult to dislike him. He can carry the team and will on occasion do just that. But, starting tomorrow…

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Guess Ruben has no clue what he is doing. The team and city love the trade. Pence brings energy and a solid bat. Big hit in the tenth. We noe just need the new eagle to break a leg. Go g men

  • Posts: 6 Billy M

    Avatar of Billy M

    I was definitely a little disappointed to see Brown get sent down, if Ibanez is going to play every day in left than it makes sense for Brown to go down and get regular ab’s but a very large part of me is itching to see a regular pence, victorino, brown outfield (especially when you factor in ibanez’s -15 defensive runs saved) but if Ibanez can stay hot through August until Brown is inevitably back up in September than I really can’t complain, especially with a 6 game lead over atlanta and a virtual cakewalk into the playoffs.

    and as far as Pence is concerned, I’m falling more in love with the trade every time i see him in red pinstripes. at first notice i thought they were giving up too much, Cosart and Singleton sounded too steep let alone more but the overall impact he’s going to have can’t be overstated and its showing right away. I think howard is about to explode, in large part because of Pence, and Cosart and Singleton are both years away from contributing at a major league level

    all in all, this is just a great time to be a Phillies fan

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    I know it seems like 3 days ago I was sullen and now I am not.
    Thats not the case. I thought the Phillies had the best talent in baseball 3 days ago.
    And also in 2010 BTW
    But I also thought they would have the best regular season record and lose in the playoffs.

    I didnt think they sucked and all of the sudden are great.

    I believe that the Pence move gives this team a title. More so than the Lee sigining or any of the other trades. Not that its any more important. Because it isnt. But it is the move that puts them over the top IMO.

    Pence is not Babe Ruth but he is the player this team needed more than any other.

    Its like you are baking some chili and you are missing that one ingredient.
    The phillies ingredient was Hunter Pence.
    RAJ must have a deal with the devil. He won the lottery of luck.

    • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

      I’m no Ed Wade fan either but I wouldn’t go so far as to call him the devil.

      • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

        ….more like a deal with the dunce.

        3 of em as a matter of fact.

      • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

        The Astros made a good deal.
        I am not saying the astros are the devil. Or a bad deal even.

        I m saying Ruben poops 4 leaf clovers.
        He came out smelling like roses.
        Like with the Lee deal, Halladay, Oswalt and now Pence deal.

        He won the lottery. The astros also dealt Bourne. But he does nothing for the Phillies.
        Pence is the player. Even more so than if the Senators wanted to deal Werth and pay all his salary.
        Ill take Pence.

  • Posts: 0 Fatalotti

    Trying to get the word out there to kill the meme that the Phillies offense has “struggled” this year, and based on the last line of this post: “The pitching has been great all year, and now it is time for the offense to do the same.”, it seems that many here have undervalued the offense, so here come some facts.

    The Phillies are sixth in the NL this season in runs/game. What’s amazing about that is that through May 22nd, the Phillies were averaging an anemic 3.82 runs/game, which was well below the NL average. How have they come all the way back?

    Since the return of Chase Utley on May 23rd, this team has scored 291 runs over 61 games, good for 4.77 runs per game. The only NL team to score more runs is the New York Mets who have scored 300 runs over 62 games, or 4.84 runs per game. Since May 23rd, the Phillies have been the second best offense in the NL. Let this fact ring in your head. (During this same span, we rank 6th in the majors, but there are 4 AL teams ahead of us, and since they have the DH, no direct comparison is contextually relevant).

    Fact is, this offense is a very good to elite offensive unit, and they just got better with Pence. Add that to the already amazing pitching this team possesses, and you easily have the best team in the NL and maybe the best team in the majors (though arguments could ahd should be made for the Red Sox and Yankees).

    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      Fact. is the offense has struggled alot in close series/games against good pitching.

      Fact. is they have come around. The staff is ubber elite. The offense was ubber stinko for a long time. Before July.

      Fact. I am buying in now. Ill bet the Phils have the best record in the majors from this point forward.

      Fact. Ryan Howard doesnt even have to be elite. He just needs to be a good first baseman. If he is a 0 like last years playoffs it may sink them.

      The Giants won a title last year paying Zito 128 million and Rowand 60 million to not be on the roster or sit on the bench.

      They overcame the stigma of the contracts to bench them and win a title.

      • Posts: 41 Greg

        Avatar of Greg

        “If he is a 0 like last years playoffs it may sink them.”

        You do realize that Ryan Howard had a .298 average and over .380 OBP in the 2010 playoffs, right?

        Just throwing that out there.

      • Posts: 2002 Brooks

        Avatar of Brooks

        Greg don’t get him started!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Posts: 2002 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Aye Billy – best time ever to be a Phillies fan!

  • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    See…this is what gets me about you Andrew…. “I am buying in now”. Bandwagon fans make me crazy. Why does it have to be a big acqusition and a simultaneous series sweep that lines people up? What’s gonna happen with the next series loss that the Phillies endure ??(cause there’s probably gonna be at least one).

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Wait. “I’m buying in now”? What does that mean? Does that mean you root for the Phils now or does that mean that you are “buying into” the notion that they have what it takes to win the WS? IMO Its ok to be a critical (doesn’t mean you’re not right), cynical fan (I’m one), but you always have to be a fan, no? Personally speaking, within the confines of my posts, I am sure I sound like a hard to please fan who is quick to point out perceived warts on a mostly wonderful team. But thats just the type of fan I am. I think the getting Pence makes them a real threat to go all the way, much moreso than before the trade. Is this the idea you are “buying into”? I think “buying into” is just a bad phrase to use in general when you are talking to hard core fans. But if thats the way you feel, so be it. Just know that I am still with you over here on the militant-realist wing of the fan base.

    The Dispy

  • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Maybe I read it and took it wrong. Maybe what Andrew meant is that he’s “buying into” the notion that they now have all the pieces in place. And maybe they do. But I think they could have won it all WITHOUT the acquisition of Pence. Who really knows for sure. I do know I am glad he’s here. I think the “threat” factor has just gone up considerably with his presence on the field, in the lineup and in the locker room. (Although trying to compare him to Pete Rose is a bit of a stretch).

    Soooo….Dipsy…..are we in a agreement that Raul only sucks SOME of the time and not ALL of the time?? Hey, the Democrats and Republicans struck a deal. No reason that two middle-aged Phillies fans can’t.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    When you can stick a Raul in a 6 th or 7 th spot is sick. What a lineup. You couldn’t add a better fit then pence. Plays hard. Hits. Fields. Lots of energy. Provides protection for ryno. Fits in with these guys. As good as Beltran is he would not of fit. This team is alot of fun to watch. I was very happy for Raul. Brown needs alot of work and needs time. This is not the time to learn on the job.

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Yes. I will agree to that with the proviso that we reconvene in 6 weeks to determine whether a joint commission should be assembled to determine whether Raul should start in the post season or not. I need to talk to my base.

    The Dipsy

    • Posts: 0 lou possehl

      Unless you agree to all my points – the most important being that Raul Ibanez is better than Ted Williams – then there is no deal and I will not allow the rest of the season to continue.

      I understand your reference and, like you, I am an acolyte of the admired, exalted and trustworthy Congress of the U S of A.

  • Posts: 1110 Manny

    Avatar of Manny


    The Force.

  • Posts: 41 JakeyJ

    Avatar of JakeyJ

    Raul is one of the Phils that still hasn’t got a WS ring and I’m sure he knows this is his last good shot. It sure would be a boost if he could contribute good offensive output to finish this season because,as others have already pointed out, we would be better off defensively with Mayberry or Brown in left. Brown is still a work in process,so if Raul goes into a slump, I would lean toward Mayberry filling in, so it is just as well that Brown spends the rest of the regular season in Lehigh to sharpen up if he is needed for the playoffs. The Pence trade only improves the possibility of a better offense through the playoffs.

  • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I disagree that Brown would necessarily be better defensively……RIGHT NOW. Faster ….yes. But his problems arise more from taking good routes to actually GET to the ball. He has a better arm but I’m more concerned with how he approaches the play.

    Mayberry. I agree that he’s better defensively. So use him as a late inning defensive replacement in games where the Phillies have a nice lead and can trust the bullpen to shut it down. Or start him against tough lefties.

    It’s nice to have options…

  • Posts: 1096 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I like your thinking Chuck, I see JMJ would be a good replacement in LF, and could see JMJ in the outfeld agaist tough lefties, especially if they have a comfortable lead in August. I know I argue with Dispy now and then and come across like I think he is a bad dude, he is as frustrating as the Philliles offense sometimes, like Ryan swinging at a curve ball in the dirt. But I never doubted his fandom nor his wisdom and logic, though we may disagree. Now I would just like to say if you go back to post before the season started I said the Bastardo would be the closer of the future and the first lefty out of the pen, I am almost psycotic, or psysic or something, I love being right. And Dipsy I was at the game Yestarday, and drove back to VT. so I got a late start today. Good game, Lidge struggled, but the rest of the pen is just plain nasty

  • Posts: 41 JakeyJ

    Avatar of JakeyJ

    Good point about how Brown appears awkward approaching balls hit to him in the outfield sometimes. He does have the arm and speed. Hopefully this is a problem he can fix with more time in the minors and it doesn’t become a major flaw.

  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Shameless plug… http://baseballjunkies.blogspot.com has a great trade deadline recap piece.

    I said it before… you ride Raul while he’s hot because he’s capable of carrying us. Every one of us would be willing to eat crow if he carries this hot streak into September but if he flames out like he has done, I think you have to be ready to make the switch to Dom when rosters expand. It’s the age old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” We’ve seen him go through these streaks – it’s not that we don’t think he’s talented but when he’s hot he’s hot and when he’s cold, he’s frozen. We can all tell when he’s cold so it’s just a matter of having the right man available when that happens.

    By the way… I’m not sold on JMJ every day but the kid has done a decent job of stepping up and pinch hitting or spot starting and he could be an asset down the stretch, no doubt.

Leave a Comment

>> Create a new Phillies Nation account.
>> Already registered with Phillies Nation? Log in here.
>> Comment without logging in:

Please ensure your comments comply with our Comment Policy.