Archive for July, 2011

Halladay Finally Beats the Heat and the Padres

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, July 24, 2011 05:16 PM Comments: 20

You know Roy Halladay was chomping at the bit to get back on the mound after his last start in Chicago. He didn’t disappoint the fans, or himself,  in Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Padres, securing the Phillies 9th consecutive series victory.

In Halladay’s 12th victory of the season, the 64th of the year for the team, the heat was a non-factor, although the game-time temperature was 94 degrees. It has been well documented how Doc fares when the mercury rises above 90, but today he bucked that trend against a scrappy Padres team to go eight innings, after 91 pitches through the first five. All told, Halladay struck out eight batters, giving up eight hits and three runs (two earned), tossing 116 pitches. Charlie Manuel let him go deeper in the game after a few seven-pitch innings late, plus the fact that his last start was cut short after just 69 pitches in Chicago.

Early on, the Padres bats were aggressive early in the count, which seems to be a way to get at Halladay. In the first, the Padres scored one as Cameron Maybin singled on the game’s first pitch, stole a base, and then came home on a single by Chase Headley. San Diego would get two more in the fourth, and then Halladay settled in.

Continue reading Halladay Finally Beats the Heat and the Padres


Gameday: Padres (44-57) at Phillies (63-36)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, July 24, 2011 12:45 PM Comments: 29

San Diego Padres (44-57) at Philadelphia Phillies (63-36)

Tim Stauffer, RHP (6-6, 2.83 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay, RHP (11-4, 2.57 ERA)

Time: 1:35, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Chance of Rain, 92
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Roy Oswalt threw a 40-pitch bullpen session earlier today and told the media he hasn’t felt this good in a long time. He’s set to go on a rehab assignment Wednesday and legitimately could be back in the Phillies rotation in less than two weeks. That’s basically adding a solid #2 starter to your rotation right at the trade deadline. We really only saw about one good month of Oswalt. Maybe this is the only move the Phillies need to make, is bringing him off the DL. That will move Kyle Kendrick to the bullpen, taking the place of one of the underachievers, making this pitching staff even more solid for the long haul.


Temperatures over 100 degrees did not stop the Phillies from taking the first two games of the four game series against San Diego.  Like the weather, the Phillies are staying hot, and this is the kind of weather the Phillies like to hit in.

Continue reading Gameday: Padres (44-57) at Phillies (63-36)


Gameday: Padres (44-56) at Phillies (62-36)

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, July 23, 2011 02:55 PM Comments: 69

San Diego Padres (44-55) at Philadelphia Phillies (61-36)

Mat Latos, RHP (5-10, 4.02 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick, RHP (5-4, 3.34 ERA)

Time: 4:10, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: 94, Partly Cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

The heat wave is coming to an end! It will only be 94 (with a heat index of 103) at game time tonight. As Charlie Manuel would say: “That’s hittin’ weather!” Frankly, I’m tired of living in an oven for the last few days.

Anyway, Kyle Kendrick will brave the heat tonight and try his best to continue his surprising success this year. Without looking at any peripherals, Kendrick has kept the Phillies in games for the most part — something that is ideal for a guy like Kendrick.

Continue reading Gameday: Padres (44-56) at Phillies (62-36)


In Defense Of Kyle Kendrick

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, July 23, 2011 02:00 PM Comments: 19

I know what you’re thinking. “Defense” and “Kyle Kendrick” only belong in the same sentence if you’re talking about how defenseless he is when pitching, especially to Jason Giambi.

In fact, I’m sure most of you still wish that the prank by Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro telling Kendrick he’d been traded to Japan for “Kobayashi” was true.

Last Sunday, Kendrick pitched 7 innings of one-run ball and got the win. Sure, he walked three and didn’t record a strikeout, but he got the job done. That’s all you can ask for from a spot starter, and that’s all that he is. It doesn’t matter if the success is sustainable, and his peripherals are irrelevant. As long as he gets the job done, we can’t complain.

In 2010, he made 31 starts with the Phillies in which the team went 17-14. If you divide those 31 starts into categories of good (0-3 ER with more than 4.0 IP), meh (4-5 ER or 0-3 ER with less than 4.0 IP), and bad (6+ ER or 5 ER with less than 5.0 IP), Kendrick had “good” starts in over half (16) of them. Six of them were “bad”, and the remaining 9 were “meh.”

Continue reading In Defense Of Kyle Kendrick


Poll: Trade Brown for Pence?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, July 23, 2011 12:16 PM Comments: 28

Photo: AP

It’s a simple question, but one that isn’t easy to answer. Would you trade Domonic Brown to the Houston Astros to get Hunter Pence?

Pence is hitting .311 this season with 11 home runs and 61 runs driven in. He makes $6.9 million this season and is eligible for arbitration in each of the following two seasons. He’s a pretty good defender with a nice arm and is right handed.

Brown is hitting .247 with 5 home runs and 16 RBI. He’s far cheaper than Pence as he’ll be under team control for 5+ seasons. Brown is a good defender as well, using his speed and agility to track down balls, although his route to the baseball is sometimes an odd one. He also has a great arm.

Would you pull the trigger giving up the future for a guy who is a good, but not great, player? VOTE!

Would you trade Domonic Brown for Hunter Pence?

View Results


Gameday: Padres (44-55) at Phillies (61-36)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, July 22, 2011 06:19 PM Comments: 32

San Diego Padres (44-55) at Philadelphia Phillies (61-36)

Cory Luebke, LHP (3-3, 2.57) vs. Cole Hamels, LHP (11-5, 2.71)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: 97, Partly Cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

So, yeah, the heat’s a real pain. The good news is that, judging by the Padres’ performance over recent years, including this year, it ought to be a relatively short game. Here are some of the sphincter-tighteningly bad stats: the Padres are dead last in the National League in home runs, runs scored, batting average, total bases, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Their OPS, as a team, is .637. For comparison, Raul Ibanez, who, according to FanGraphs, is the second-worst player in the National League by wins above replacement. Of course, a lot of Ibanez’s negative value is tied up in his defense and positional adjustment, but the point stands.

As if the clash of one average offense and one unspeakably terrible offense weren’t ordinarily enough to force a quick game, the matchup of starting pitchers ought to be a real treat as well. Cole Hamels, who has bookended a phenomenal season with disastrous starts against the Mets, will oppose 26-year-old lefty Cory Luebke, who will make only the eighth start of his career, but is the owner of a 2.30 FIP and a K/BB ratio of 3.6 in 63 innings this season.

Of course, the real story, this being late July and the Phillies being a team with designs on another World Series title, might be in both bullpens. Padres relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams are on the Phillies’ wish list, though ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Padres are in no hurry to trade Adams. For the Phillies’ part, Brad Lidge will dress for the first time all season, which is a particularly welcome development considering that it came at the expense of longtime bullpen albatross Danys Baez, who was DFA’d. This calls for excited grinning and rubbing together of hands, I’d say.

Update: Oh, and I forgot that it’s Retro 80s night at the ballpark. You can wear legwarmers if you wish, but something tells me your legs will be plenty warm anyway.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Martinez 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Victorino CF, Ruiz C, Francisco LF, Mayberry RF, Hamels P

Your Gameday Beer: Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

I’m an enormous fan of porters and stouts, but if you drink one of those on a day like today, it makes you feel like nothing so much as a particularly viscous batch of molasses. Therefore, we’re going with a beer that would ordinarily be seen as girly, but in the heat is just a pleasant beverage, best enjoyed with a slice of lemon. Gobble it up now, because it’s only available from April to August.– By Michael

Go Phillies!


Bye Bye Baez; Welcome Back Lidge

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, July 22, 2011 02:33 PM Comments: 23

(PHOTO: Getty)

In a statement from the Phillies:

Right-hander Brad Lidge was activated from the disabled list today, Senior Vice President and General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced.  To make room for him on the 25-man roster, right-hander Danys Baez was designated for assignment.

Lidge, 34, has missed the entire season due to a right posterior rotator cuff strain suffered in spring training.  He was originally placed on the disabled list on March 25.  Over an eight-game rehabilitation stint between single-A Lakewood and double-A Reading, Lidge went 0-0 with a 3.52 ERA, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings.  For his career with the Phillies (2008-10), Lidge has gone 3-9 with 99 saves and a 3.99 ERA in 189 games.

Baez, 33, was 2-4 with a 6.25 ERA in 29 appearances this season.  He went 5-8 with a 5.81 ERA in 80 games in his two seasons with the Phillies (2010-11).

Continue reading Bye Bye Baez; Welcome Back Lidge


Dr. Strangeglove: Fairness vs. Excitement

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, July 22, 2011 11:46 AM Comments: 11

One thing it’s important to remember sometimes is that most of us who write for this site have no more access or information than the average fan. Pat and Jay, for instance, do interviews and cultivate sources and might actually learn things about the Phillies before the public. I say “might” because they tend not to pass this information on to me, so I know just as little about potential stretch run acquisitions as the average fan, or, stated better, I am privy to no more information.

But despite that, and not knowing which relief pitcher, or outfielder, or other type of player the Phillies might come away with by either trade deadline. But here’s my suspicion: I think the Phillies would enter the playoffs as the overwhelming favorite no matter what moves they make, and while adding Heath Bell or Carlos Beltran would help, for sure, but not as much as you might think. Here’s why: being the best team isn’t enough, and that’s the point: the playoffs are designed to be unfair.

Continue reading Dr. Strangeglove: Fairness vs. Excitement


Odds and Ends: Heilman, Blanton, Polanco

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, July 21, 2011 06:11 PM Comments: 9

(PHOTO: Getty)

It’s no blockbuster, but it’s a move made by the Phillies. After being let go by the Diamondbacks this past week, the Phillies have scooped up former Met’s reliever Aaron Heilman on a minor league contract. He’ll report to Triple-A, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.

Heilman posted a 6.88 ERA this season, a far fall from his days as a reliable late-inning arm in New York. The Phillies have seen plenty of this guy, so perhaps the familiarity, coupled with the loss of two relievers, Brian Gordon and Jason Grilli, prompted the move. It’s a no-lose situation for the organization. If he figures it out again, the Phillies may have found themselves a guy who can contribute at the major league level, allowing some of the fringe guys to settle back into Triple-A.

For now, he’ll join the minors.

Continue reading Odds and Ends: Heilman, Blanton, Polanco


Phillies Trade Rumors: Cabrera, Pence Available?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, July 21, 2011 01:00 PM Comments: 124

Originally posted Wednesday, July 20 at 7:39 pm.

Update, 5:33 p.m Thursday: The Cleveland Indians are reportedly “working hard” to acquiring either Ryan Ludwick or Josh WIllingham after their star outfielder, Grady Sizemore, went down with an injury. That would take one available righty bat that the Phillies have been inquiring about recently off the market. If that is the first chip to fall, it could be a whirlwind after that of rumors and possibly, deals.

Not a huge fan of either player. If the Phillies are going for it here, they should focus squarely on Beltran or Pence.

Hunter Pence is said to be available. But what would it take to get him? (PHOTO: Getty)

Update, 1:09 p.m. Thursday: Buster Olney tweets that the any trade between the Phillies and Astros surrounding Hunter Pence would be centered around Vance Worley. He makes no mention of Domonic Brown; it was speculated he would be the centerpiece for any Pence-to-Philly swap. The Phillies seem reluctant to give him up in any deal. Read into this tweet what you will.

If Worley is the piece the Phillies are willing to give up, would Worley, May, Singleton for Pence be too much? Not enough?

Update, 9:34 p.m.: Ken Davidoff tweets that the Phillies would not object to trading top prospect Jonathan Singleton. He says Singleton is a name to watch as the trade rumors heat up.

What is your take on Singleton? He’s only 19, so is quite far away from the majors. But if/when he does get there, he projects to be a very strong right-handed force. Many point to the fact that he’s a first baseman and that Ryan Howard is currently blocking his way, and will be for some time. Still, he could be a few years from making a statement on the league. Who would you trade him for? Pence? Beltran?

Continue reading Phillies Trade Rumors: Cabrera, Pence Available?

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