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Archive for August, 2011

Gameday: Mets (60-66) at Phillies (81-44)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Mon, August 22, 2011 05:49 PM Comments: 35

New York Mets (60-66) at Philadelphia Phillies (81-44)

Dillon Gee, RHP (11-4, 3.92) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (13-7, 2.82)

Time: 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Weather: Sunny, 75
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Tonight, Cliff Lee and Dillon Gee
Oppose each other at CBP
We’ll see the opening game of three
The Mets will spend in Philly.

The lineup facing Dillon Gee
Will be without a starter or three
Instead, Exxon and Mayberry
Will start, if they are willing.

Rollins, at short, and Ibanez
Have pulled their groins (Zolecki says)
But Polly’s back, so Martinez
Continues to ride the bench.

It matters not, for Hunter Pence
And his ilk ought to provide offense
Abundant for tonight’s starting arm…
One Cliff Lee–what a mensch!

Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Pence RF, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Valdez SS, Lee P

Continue reading Gameday: Mets (60-66) at Phillies (81-44)

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Rollins Hits DL With Groin Strain, Polanco Activated

Posted by Corey Seidman, Mon, August 22, 2011 02:30 PM Comments: 10

J-Roll hits the DL and it puts a big dent in the Phillies lineup.

UPDATE, 3:36 pm: In a press release from the Phillies, they have officially placed Jimmy Rollins on the DL and have activated Placido Polanco from the DL. Expect to see plenty of Wilson Valdez at shortstop with some Michael Martinez sprinkled in.

Nobody needs to tell you that the Phillies are a worse team without Jimmy Rollins.

You’re well aware of that, even if you still hold the baseless feeling that he’s in a continuous decline.

The Phillies will be without his services for a few weeks, as Rollins will go on the 15-day DL for a mild Grade 2 strain of his right groin. As a frame of reference, the similarly positioned and built Orlando Hudson spent 24 days on the DL earlier this year with a Grade 2 right groin strain.

In a year where offense has plummeted league-wide, Rollins has hit .269/.343/.403 in 120 games. That .743 OPS is actually 3% better than league average. In 2008, when Rollins OPSed .786, that was 3% better than league average. So relatively speaking, Jimmy’s having a fine year.

His defense and base stealing ability are still as impressive as ever. Of NL shortstops with at leas 800 innings played, only Troy Tulowitzki ranks higher in advanced defensive metrics. And 19 of Rollins’ first 20 stolen base attempts were successful. He has hit a bit of a lull, getting thrown out in six of his last 15 attempts, but an 80% success rate is still elite.

There is a precipitous dropoff between Rollins and the combo of Michael Martinez and Wilson Valdez … one that would likely prevent the Phillies from traveling deep into the playoffs. Continue reading Rollins Hits DL With Groin Strain, Polanco Activated

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Did Jered Weaver Set the Price for Cole Hamels?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, August 22, 2011 09:32 AM Comments: 25

Jered Weaver is a rich man - when will Cole Hamels follow suit? (PHOTO: AP)

Both men are having Cy Young-caliber seasons and one just got paid. Jered Weaver inked a five-year, $85 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday – is Cole Hamels next?

It’s a topic of discussion that will not subside until Hamels is his given his due. He’s working on the final year of a three-year, $20.5 million deal he signed after the parade in ’08. He followed that up with a clunker in ’09 but has finally become one of the top 10 pitchers in all of baseball over the last two seasons to live up to, and play above, that deal.

Earlier this season when broaching this subject, many said a $95 to 100 million deal was fair value at some point in the near future for Hamels. That may not be far off after Weaver struck his deal.

Weaver is about as close a comparison that can be made to Cole Hamels throughout the majors. At 28, Weaver is slightly older, but other than the age, the on-the-field numbers are in the same ballpark.

Continue reading Did Jered Weaver Set the Price for Cole Hamels?

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Bullpen Blows Another to End Weird Weekend

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, August 21, 2011 06:30 PM Comments: 51

For the better part of this 2011 season, the Phillies have gotten through games unscathed and with relative ease. They’d blown

Chooch and Raul were celebrating. But the fun didn't last. (PHOTO:AP)

few games in the ninth inning up until this past week, so consider me, and many others I’m sure, a little shocked by what has transpired.

Sunday, after another rain delay, and just one strike from victory, the Nationals fought back to win 5-4 in 10 innings. It wasn’t quite a meltown, which Ryan Madson went through on Friday. Antonio Bastardo gave up a two out, two-strike home run to Ian Desmond to tie the game at four. In the 10th, Brad Lidge allowed two hits, a walk, and plunked Jonny Gomes with the bases loaded to send home the winning run, and leave everyone scratching their heads.

Bastardo has pretty much been flawless in ’11, so chalk this up as a blip in an otherwise ridiculous campaign for the young lefty. It’s just how it’s all happening right now that is head-scratching.

Continue reading Bullpen Blows Another to End Weird Weekend

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Gameday: Phillies (81-43) vs. Nationals (60-64)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, August 21, 2011 12:32 PM Comments: 47

Philadelphia Phillies (81-43) at Washington Nationals (60-63)

Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.53) vs. Chien Ming Wang (2-2, 4.22)

Time: 1:35, Nationals Park
TV:
MyPHL 17
Weather: 84, Cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

This is what teams now have to fear. If Roy Oswalt is indeed back to 100 percent, or very close, the Phillies now have five formidable starting pitchers that will make it very hard to beat them in a series of any length.

Really great to see Oswalt back on his game last night. His fastball popped and had plenty of life and he had swagger on the hill, something that was lacking. Love seeing that Oswalt smirk – it means he’s feeling good.

Today, its Roy H for the series win, which would make it a 13-4 August so far for the Phillies. But let’s hope they get it in. Scattered thunderstorms are once again in the forecast – hope the beat writers aren’t thinking of taking their own lives with all of this rain holding things up.

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (81-43) vs. Nationals (60-64)

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MiLB Notes: Greene, Quinn, Podsednik & More

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, August 21, 2011 08:00 AM Comments: 3

On Saturday morning, supplemental first round draft pick, Larry Greene Jr., dressed and took part in baseball activities as a Phillie for the very first time. Along with second round draft choice Roman Quinn, Greene took batting practice in Clearwater at the Gulf Coast Phillies facility. The two youngsters are sharing schedules for practice, trainer sessions and more.

Reports from multiple pitchers who were present at BP stated that Greene was driving balls for great distance during his first day on a pro diamond. Australian right-hander Josh Warner claimed that Greene nearly hit one over the light tower beyond the outfield fence.

At this stage, it is unclear when Greene or Quinn will see game action with the GCL Phillies, but both players look forward to the opportunity to face suitable competition. Both players could be expected to take part in instructional ball from mid-September through mid-October in order to play more and to be evaluated further.

Greene, an 18-year-old Georgia native, agreed to terms with the Phillies late Sunday night and traveled to Philadelphia on Thursday, where he signed his first professional contract and met current players and team personnel, prior to their game against the Diamondbacks. The Phillies gave Greene, a power hitting outfielder, a $1 million signing bonus.

Quinn agreed to terms just prior to the deadline to notify the commissioner’s office, at midnight, Monday. The 18-year-old infielder was widely regarded as the fastest player in this year’s draft. Quinn, a native of Florida, signed for a $775,000 bonus. Continue reading MiLB Notes: Greene, Quinn, Podsednik & More

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Oswalt Strong In 5-0 Win

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, August 20, 2011 10:24 PM Comments: 14

Richie Ashburn Award: Roy Oswalt

Prior to tonight’s game, there were growing concerns about Roy Oswalt‘s ongoing battle with a cranky back.

After his performance tonight, those concerns were put to rest. He pitched eight shutout innings, with an average fastball velocity of just over 92 mph–more than one full mph increase over his season average before tonight. He struck out nine over those eight innings, both season highs. It’s safe to say this was his best start of 2011.

On the other side of the ball, the Phils offense put up five runs over nine hits and drew seven walks. The game was scoreless until the top of the 4th when a Wilson Valdez triple knocked in John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz. Mayberry was caught stealing earlier in the inning, but Ian Desmond literally and figuratively dropped the ball, allowing Mayberry to reach 2nd. Ruiz then walked, which was followed by the Valdez triple.

Later in the top of the 6th, three straight hits to start the inning signaled the end of lefty John Lannan‘s night. In came Collin Balestar to replace him, and he recorded two quick outs before surrendering a single to Jimmy Rollins that knocked in Ruiz and Valdez to push the lead to 5-0.

The rest of the game went smoothly for the Phils, who recorded their 16th shutout this season.

The player of the game is none other than the man who held the Nats in check all night. It was great to see Oswalt back to form, especially the increase in velocity. With the aces pitching as well as they are, having Oswalt return to form is a huge plus.

The two teams square off in the rubber match tomorrow afternoon with Roy Halladay pitching for the Phillies, and Chien-Ming Wang going for the Nationals.

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Gameday: Phillies (80-43) at Nationals (60-63)

Posted by Corey Seidman, Sat, August 20, 2011 06:30 PM Comments: 23

Philadelphia Phillies (80-43) at Washington Nationals (60-63)

Roy Oswalt (5-7, 3.84) vs. John Lannan (8-8, 3.55)

Time: 7:05, Nationals Park
TV:
CSN
Weather: 85, Sunny
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Ryan Madson‘s collapse last night is made acceptable by the fact that the Phillies have had only two ninth inning blown saves the entire year. This is a team that’s held on to the leads it has been given over and over and over again, so if the baseball gods sought some sort of sacrifice to even things out, so be it.

I’m also willing to bet that a majority of you just wanted the game to end. For the second straight night, the Phillies suffered a loooong rain delay. Thursday it was 2 hours, 17 minutes; Friday it was 2 hours, 22 minutes.

One loss doesn’t really hurt a team in as comfortable a position as the Phils. (It’s nice to be able to say that, huh?) A 7.5 game lead compared to an 8.5 game lead is far less important than the affect Madson’s six-run outing will have on his future contract negotiations. Entering the game, his ERA was 2.06. When he left, it was 3.25, and he may have cost himself a million or two in the open market.

Collapses aside, the Phillies look to get right back in the win column tonight, sending out last night’s would-be starter Roy Oswalt to face our old pal, John Lannan. Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (80-43) at Nationals (60-63)

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Madson Owes Kendrick A Solid Next Time

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sat, August 20, 2011 01:18 AM Comments: 16

Rain should of stayed. Phillies suffer tough loss.

Mother Nature tried to do it.  She rained and rained but gave after two hours before the Phillies and Nationals finally got back under way after two outs in the first inning.

Kyle Kendrick was called on for the ‘spot’ start after the rain delay.  Kendrick pitched well in his six innings of work allowing only two runs on five hits.  His ERA is actually down to a respectable 3.24 with over 97 innings pitched this season.

The Phillies scored their four runs in the third inning with a run scoring triple from John Mayberry and an RBI double from Chase Utley.  Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz added RBI singles to put the Phils up 4-0.

Continue reading Madson Owes Kendrick A Solid Next Time

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Gameday: Phillies (80-42) vs. Nationals (59-63)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, August 19, 2011 06:30 PM Comments: 67

Philadelphia Phillies (79-42) at Washington Nationals (59-63)

Roy Oswalt (5-7, 3.84) vs. Livan Hernandez (7-11, 4.21)

Time: 7:05, Nationals Park
TV:
CSN
Weather: Poss. T-Storms, 82
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Per usual, Phillies Nation is set to invade the Nation’s Capital with a bevy of tailgates and loud cheering. We friggin’ own that place. Tomorrow night, if you’re not busy and are in the D.C. area, stop out and hang with us at Lot W – 7th and M Sts, SE. Should be a lot of fun!

For tonight, let’s hope Roy Oswalt can get himself a win. He only has two of them since April, including last weekend victory over this very same unit. Oswalt is regaining the confidence he once had way back when he was not stricken with a back injury. He says the fastball is regaining its steam, an important facet of his repertoire.

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (80-42) vs. Nationals (59-63)

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