Archive for August, 2011

Lee Narrowly Misses CG in Another Phillies Shutout

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, August 31, 2011 11:23 PM Comments: 22


I could put down 1,000 words about how great Cliff Lee is and how amazing he has been, especially lately, but you already know it. I dont need to tell you that Lee finished August 5-0, just like he was June, which was one of the most incredible pitching spectacles ever witnessed.

There is really no need because when Cliff Lee is on, like he was Wednesday night against the Reds in the Phillies 3-0 win, his actions speak for themselves. As awesome as Roy Halladay is, and as fantastic as Cole Hamels has been,  there is something more enthralling about the way Lee dominates other teams. Halladay seems to do it quietly, without notice. Lee’s domination is louder, more pronounced.

In this game, he was unable to finish as he ran into trouble in the ninth, likely running out of gas. Still, 8 2/3 with seven strikeouts is plenty. He did his job and the Phillies are now one win away from a sweep. It was their 18th shutout of the season.

Hunter Pence provided another offensive spark with an opposite-field home run to right center field that had to reach 400 feet. It was basically the same spot as Tuesday’s nights bomb, a sign of pure strength.

With Atlanta’s win, the Phillies stay 7.5 up in the division, and with Milwaukee’s loss, it’s the same margin in the NL.

(Photo; AP)


Gameday: Phillies (85-46) at Cincinnati Reds (67-68)

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, August 31, 2011 06:16 PM Comments: 13

Philadelphia Phillies (85-46) at Cincinnati Reds (67-68)

Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.71) vs. Dontrelle Willis (0-3, 4.10)

Time: 7:10 p.m., Great American Ballpark
Weather: Clear, 66º
Media: Twitter and Facebook

After a close win Monday and a laugher Tuesday, the Phillies look to win a four-game series in Cincinnati early tonight by riding Cliff Lee to victory.

Lee is on a roll again, a winner in each of his last five starts and holder of a 0.58 ERA in August. This Reds team, though, could present some problems.

Combined, this collection of Reds have hit .345/.373/.571 off Lee. Miguel Cairo, batting fifth tonight, is 8-for-16 against Lee with two doubles and a triple.

One Red who has killed Lee won’t be in the lineup, though. Scott Rolen (8-for-17, four XBH) has been limited to 65 games this year due to shoulder problems.

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (85-46) at Cincinnati Reds (67-68)


News and Notes: Bowker, Schwimer, Biddle

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, August 31, 2011 11:15 AM Comments: 9

Phils acquire Bowker, option Schwimer-

The Phillies have acquired left-handed batting outfielder John Bowker from the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Details released on Wednesday state that the Phillies will send a player to be named or cash considerations to complete the deal at a later date.

The 28-year-old Bowker had gone 4-for-17 (.235 avg) in 19 games this year for the Pirates.   In 106 games with Triple A Indianapolis this season, Bowker batted .306 with 15 homeruns and 76 RBI.  Bowker, who has played in parts of five Major League seasons, is a former 3rd round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants.

Bowker’s career Major League batting line (.237/.289/.390) is not an improvement over the numbers produced by current Phils lefty hitting reserve outfielder Ross Gload (.280/.325/.408).

Bowker will wear number 16 for the Phillies and will be eligible for the post-season roster.

In an effort to clear a 25-man roster spot, the Phillies optioned Michael Schwimer to Triple A Lehigh Valley following Tuesday night’s victory over Cincinnati.  The 25-year-old Schwimer is expected to return to the big league roster at some point after the rosters expand on September 1st.  Jose Contreras, out for the year with a right elbow injury, was moved to the 60-day disabled list, to make room on the 40-man roster.

Biddle’s season ends early with knee injury-

In game 1 of the Lakewood BlueClaws’ Tuesday night double header against the Hickory Crawdads, lefty pitching prospect Jesse Biddle left a tied contest in the 5th inning with a right knee injury. Continue reading News and Notes: Bowker, Schwimer, Biddle


Howard Approaching Another 30 HR,100 RBI Season

Posted by Don M, Wed, August 31, 2011 08:51 AM Comments: 67

Ryan Howard already made Phillies history on Tuesday. He can add to that soon (PHOTO: AP)

This is not an article to try to sway anyone in an argument for or against Ryan Howard. Those who like him, like him…and those that don’t, don’t. Of course there are things he could improve upon, but all too often we focus on the shortcomings of our Philadelphia athletes instead of enjoying then for what they are.

Not every player can be Albert Pujols, or Alex Rodriguez, players who, when they call it a career, will be considered among the greatest to ever play the game. Baseball is a game often measured by milestones. Whether they are season marks or career achievements, reaching certain numbers has always been the barometer against which we measure success. Only in recent years have we seen the measuring stick include new categories with the shift from “baseball card stats” to “saber stats,” as sabermetrics gain popularity and credibility.

When did the 30 HR, 100 RBI season become something unappreciated in Major League Baseball? Only 15 players tallied those totals during the 2010 season. How is it that a player who joins that club can be said to have a bad season, or that they are not a good player?

For a long time, such numbers were the benchmarks of a prolific season, then we got into the smaller ballparks, and the steroid-era… and it has now become clear that the years of multiple player hitting 40, 50, 60+ home runs have passed.  Ryan Howard likely isn’t ever going to hit the 45 HR, 145 RBI plateaus that some people think he should reach again, so what does it take to be consider to be a great home run hitter anymore?

Continue reading Howard Approaching Another 30 HR,100 RBI Season


Halladay Cruises, Howard Slams 2 in Phillies Win

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, August 30, 2011 10:37 PM Comments: 18

Is Howard heating up? (PHOTO: AP)

Mistakenly, I posted after the first inning on the comments section of our Gameday chat that Roy Halladay didn’t look all that crisp early on. But even when he doesn’t, he’ll still come away having proven you wrong over the course of a game. Halladay did just that on Tuesday night on eight days rest, holding the Reds to two hits over seven innings in the Phillies 9-0 win.

Not only was it the Phillies 18th shutout of the season as a team, but they moved to 7 1/2 games up over the Atlanta Braves thanks to Halladay’s arm and Ryan Howard’s bat.

Starting with Halladay, he had an 18-pitch first inning, and had little issue after that. At one point, he sat 17 Reds down in succession – in all, he fanned nine and walked two, tossing 108 pitches. After a rain-shortened start and another start washed away because of Hurricane Irene last weekend, it would have been OK had Halladay been rusty. We said the same before Monday’s game with Cole Hamels coming off the DL, and it didn’t happen. Didn’t happen with the Doc, either.

Continue reading Halladay Cruises, Howard Slams 2 in Phillies Win


Gameday: Phillies (84-46) at Reds (67-67)

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, August 30, 2011 06:20 PM Comments: 47

Philadelphia Phillies (84-46) vs. Cincinnati Reds (67-67)

Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.56) vs Bronson Arroyo (8-10, 5.02)

Time: 7:10 p.m., Great American Ballpark
TV: PHL 17
Weather: Broken clouds, 74
Media: Twitter and  Facebook

In the second game of this four game series, the Phillies will send Roy Halladay to the mound; he hopes to have the same success against the Reds as he did last postseason when he threw a no-hitter. He’s coming off an outing that was cut short due to rain in which he tossed five innings, giving up two runs. Before that, he blew the lead in the ninth inning of a game against Arizona. It’d be nice if he could bounce back with a solid outing tonight.

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (84-46) at Reds (67-67)


Jesse Biddle Answers Questions From the Phillies Nation

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, August 30, 2011 12:00 PM Comments: 3

This season lefty pitching prospect Jesse Biddle has become one of the Phillies’ fastest rising prospects. The 19-year-old was the organization’s 1st round draft choice in 2010 and after just over a year as a professional, Biddle has begun to prevail as a power pitcher. In 11 outings since the South Atlantic League All-star break, Biddle has posted a 1.75 ERA. Overall this season for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Biddle has a 7-8 record with a 2.94 ERA and 123 strike outs in 128 2/3 innings.

This week Jesse took time to answer some questions submitted by Phillies fans. Check out the media player below to listen and see if your question made the cut.


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


Understanding Roster Expansion

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, August 30, 2011 08:00 AM Comments: 6

Justin De Fratus could get the call. But would he even pitch?

Yesterday, Pat Gallen took a look at some of the players who could be recalled from the minor leagues when rosters expand September 1.

I agree with Pat’s list but wanted to touch briefly on the deeper issues of September roster expansion. The truth is, the process that begins Thursday is one often misconceived by the common fan.

A team can call on fifteen additional players to fill out a September roster, but oftentimes will only take about a handful.


Well, for practical reasons, such as dugout and clubhouse space, playing time and need. Is it worth it to add Josh Barfield to the 40-man if he would only serve as backup to the backup to the backup to the backup? Or how about Phillippe Aumont? It would be intriguing, but would he actually pitch? Continue reading Understanding Roster Expansion


Victorino’s Homer Backs Hamels Solid Outing

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, August 29, 2011 10:28 PM Comments: 20


Man, does he own the Cincinnati Reds. Cole Hamels did not get the win in Monday’s 3-2 Phillies victory, but he certainly deserved it as he came back from a DL stint with a vengeance.

After Hamels left, Shane Victorino smashed a two-run home run to right field to give the Phillies a two run lead, which ended up being just enough. Hamels’ counterpart, Homer Bailey, was nearly as exceptional on the mound, but he made one mistake that cost his team the game.

Hamels went six innings, giving up just two hits – one of which was a triple by Brandon Phillips that could should have been caught on the warning track in right field – and struck out seven Reds hitters, lowering his ERA to 2.58 in the process. Rust can sometimes play a factor when a pitcher hasn’t been in a game situation in 17 days, but for Hamels, that wasn’t an issue. His fastball had great life and his breaking pitches were crisp. Hamels tossed 76 pitches, 50 of them for strikes, including 10 in a row to start the game. The first nine batters of the game (on both sides) went down in order. Ryan Hanigan was responsible for the other base hit, a single to right field in the sixth.

Continue reading Victorino’s Homer Backs Hamels Solid Outing


Gameday: Phillies (83-46) vs. Reds (67-66)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, August 29, 2011 05:53 PM Comments: 48

Philadelphia Phillies (83-46) vs. Cincinnati Reds (67-66)

Cole Hamels (13-7, 2.62) vs. Homer Bailey (7-5, 4.44)

Time: 7:10 p.m., Great American Ballpark
Weather: Sunny, 72
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Thank God, some effing baseball…finally! The Phillies now hit the road for the start of a seven-game road trip and will do so with a healthy Cole Hamels, who starts tonight.

He threw a bullpen late last week which Rich Dubee called “fantastic.” That’s always a good sign. Hamels has also been fantastic against the Reds during his career. They just can’t hit Cole; he’s 7-0 with a 1.43 ERA in the regular season, having given up just 33 hits in 56 innings. Ridiculous. And that doesn’t even take into account his shutout in Game 3 of last years NLDS in Cincinnati.

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (83-46) vs. Reds (67-66)

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