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Blanton Solid Again, Polanco Hits No. 2,000 in 5-1 Win

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, May 14, 2012 09:47 PM | Comments: 42
2012 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Posts

Galvis had three hits on the evening (AP)

The rain fell, and the first half of the game was like watching grass grow, but the Phillies finally dispatched the Astros in game one of their quick two-game series, 5-1.

SLOWLY EVOLVING OFFENSE

-Boring early, but got moving later. In the fifth inning, slap-hitting sensation Freddy Galvis knocked in a run. He brought home Placido Polanco to make it 1-0. Nice piece of hitting by the kid; he just seems to come up with timely hits. Galvis slapped another single in the sixth, this one to left field, to again knock in Polanco. The inning ended early, however, when Juan Samuel waved home John Mayberry Jr., who was thrown out at the plate by a wide margin. Bad move by Samuel, but I guess when runs are harder to come by, you take chances.

-A note on Freddy: With 25 hits on the season, he has 15 RBI. Not a bad total for hitting just .231 on the season.

-Speaking of timely hits, Carlos Ruiz has done it all year. He singled in Shane Victorino after Shane tripled to deep center field. Then in the bottom of the eighth, he smoked a single to left field and would score on a home run by Placido Polanco. #Vote4Chooch for All-Star Game.

-Speaking of Polanco, the home run was his first of the season, but more importantly, was the 2,000th of his career. Many congrats to Polly.

-Placed in the you-don’t-see-that-everyday file: Placido Polanco drawing a hard-earned walk after fouling a pitch off his foot three times in the same at-bat. One of the more painful bases-on-balls you will see. Polly would remain at first base after John Mayberry Jr. struck out swinging to end the second inning. What a crazy night for Polanco.

BLANTON BRINGS IT AGAIN

-If you want to vote for one of the unsung heroes of this Phillies club, look no further than Joe Blanton. This might be the best he’s pitched as a member of the Phillies. His line: seven-plus innings, six hits, one run (earned), one walk, seven strikeouts. Just can’t get much better.

-His one mistake was to Marwin Gonzalez, who hit his first career home run to right field to put Houston on the board. For you old-heads (and not so old-heads) Marwin was born in 1990.

-To end the top-half of the seventh inning, Blanton threw perhaps his nastiest pitch of the night. A sick slider that broke 10 inches, according to pitch f/x, that locked the legs of Astros catcher Chris Snyder.

-Isn’t this exactly what the Phils need? They continue to rely on the strength of the starting pitching. It’s working.

‘STROS LOOK HAPLESS

-Starting pitcher Lucas Harrell didn’t pitch poorly. He went 5 2/3 allowing three runs, yet his offense could do nothing for him.

-The Astros managed just seven total hits on the evening, three from Carlos Lee.

THE PEN DOES NOT LEAK

-Antonio Bastardo, Chad Qualls, and Jonathan Papelbon cleaned it up for Joe Blanton – just how they drew it up. Things got testy in the ninth as Papelbon jawed with home plate umpire Jerry Layne, who blew three strike calls in one at-bat. Papelbon cooled off and ended the game allowing just a hard-hit single that glanced off of Polanco’s glove.

NOTES:

-Phillies look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 with Cliff Lee on the mound.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1691 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 DCmikey

    PN, just curious, why pitch Paps tonight? Besides the ‘we are paying him $52 million answer.’. Does that mean we cannot use him tomorrow afternoon?

    Thanks guys, love this site as much as I’m loving Chooch’s play and how Galvis deserves the SS nod over JRoll when Chase returns (kidding, sort of).

    Oh yeah…will the Phils ever consider putting Chase in LF? Blanton- trade bait? KK as our 5th, please NO!

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      He was already warmed up because if the Phils hadn’t tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, it would have been a save situation. It would be stressful to have him sit down once he was warm, and it would be stressful for someone else to warm up quickly to pitch instead. I doubt if anyone expected any insurance runs from the Phils’ current offense, so no one would even think about having anyone but the closer warming up.

       
    • Posts: 549 Bruce

      Avatar of Bruce

      It’s funny that you mentioned Blanton as trade bait. Yet there are a few here who expressed that thought. Some wanted prospect(s) for him. One even suggested trading Halladay for a ‘hot” prospect!?! I guess they want a ‘firesale” NOW and give up on this season. Like a baseball fantasy game player, they are excited at the thought of rebuilding the team with youth and a downsized budget that would allow the possibility of signing of a free agent (Hamels?) for next year. Wow!

      I’m not giving up on my team. Let’s go Phillies!

       
  • Posts: 0 David

    Was it really a bad call by Samuel? Blanton is coming up next and there are 2 outs. Even if there was only a 30% chance of Mayberry making it, I would say that mathematically, it’s worth taking the chance. The chances of getting a run with 2 outs and Blanton hitting are maybe 20% at best.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      There’s no other way to spin that. He was out by 15 feet. And the LF didn’t even have to try hard. It was a shallow ball. No matter who is coming up, it’s a bad call to send him there. There was less than a 30% chance of him making it, in my opinion. The left fielder basically had the ball just as Mayberry was getting off of the 3rd base bag.

       
      • Posts: 0 brooks

        I guess it was a worse call then when Vic ran in from third on Werth when in DC – I thought for sure he was pegged. Even with the throw offline, it looked like if the catcher held on he would have been out.

         
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      In that situation, with two out and the pitcher coming up, I like the call — force them to make the play.

       
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        two out- pitcher coming up… fast runner with a big lead from 2nd and the ball on the ground means it’s a wet ball with a chance of slipping ……
        tip your cap to Buck for a strong throw that stayed on target

        In different circumstances, Im guessing Sammy would’ve held him ….. being a 3b coach isn’t an easy gig, lots of variables

         
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    I will be voting for Chooch – probably my only Phillies vote this year.
    Here’s hoping they get tomorrows game in, I know the Stroh’s are only in town once this year. I’ll be waiting for the game to start at Fado’s – as usual..

     
  • Posts: 0 Jaron B

    Why hasn’t Manuel used Deikman, Valdes, Luna, or Fontenot? Aren’t we supposed to give our guys regular rest? Can someone enlighten me?

     
    • Posts: 549 Bruce

      Avatar of Bruce

      Fontenot was used late in the game as a pinchhitter (flied out).You need patience as Manuel will use the players according to game situations and opposing pitchers in the coming days.

      By the way, Congratulations to Polanco for his 2,000 hit milestone by way of a 2-run HR. Wow!
      I remembered a few here who wanted Polanco benched because in their minds, he is “too old” and can’t hit for average any more (chuckles). Now he is hitting .a very respectable .281 and continues to excel on the field with his golden glove. :-)

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Luna has also been used–sort of. He was going to pinch hit a couple of games ago, but when the opposition changed pitchers, Manuel changed pinch hitters, going with match-ups.

        Since Diekman and Valdes arrived, the starters have gone deep into their games, so those two haven’t been needed yet. They weren’t called up to be the late-inning options, but just to replace middle inning flops.

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Im just curious if someone hits a mile stone on a HR ball what is offered to the fan? Do they get tickets, sell the ball to the player, who buys the tickets or who pays, the player or the team?

     
    • Posts: 0 Jaron B

      The fan can choose whether to give the ball to the player or keep it. It pays to give the ball back. To examples from last season – Jeter and Trout:

      Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit was a HR. The fan let Jeter keep the ball and in return, the fan received a new ball autographed by Jeter, postseason tickets, some apparel, etc.

      An Orioles fan caught Mike Trout’s first career HR and gave it back to Mike. In return, the fan got a similar package to the Yanks fan that caught it.

      I wonder whether the fan gave Polly his HR back. CONGRATS, POLLY!

       
      • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

        Avatar of Pat Gallen

        Polly did get the ball. He met the fan outside the clubhouse right after the game and gave him an autographed bat. Funny thing is, he signed the bat with the wrong date. I’ll try to get a picture.

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Thanks Jaron i was just curious i figured it would be something like that.

     
  • Posts: 3020 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Ok, so the report is out there that Cole wants seven years. I say the Phillies should offer him 6 years at whatever 20+ figure you want to assume. Maybe he would be ok with that (??) , knowing he can stay with the Phillies (which he has said he wants to do) and also have a slightly richer contract than Cliff Lee, which to me is completely justified.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chris

    Can we trade Rollins and get a relief pitcher in return? Galvis now has a higher avg than J-Blow.

     
  • Posts: 0 Psujoe

    I believe the 7 years for Hamels implies a 6 year extension, right?

     
  • Posts: 899 schmenkman

    Avatar of schmenkman

    Strange but true:

    The Phillies have the 2nd highest average in the NL with two outs and runners in scoring position.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/split_stats_lg.cgi?full=1&params=clutc%7C2%20outs%2C%20RISP%7CNL%7C2012%7Cbat%7CAB%7C

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    It seems that everyone now hates Rollins, even some of those who wanted him re-signed. He’s started slow, for sure, but he’s been used some in unfamiliar situations.

    He still fields his position with the best, can still steal a few bases, and most likely will improve at the plate. He’s never been a near-Mendoza line hitter. He’s had bad stretches before, and I think people should have a little more patience. Just because Galvis is on a hot streak right now doesn’t mean he’ll finish the year with a higher average than Jimmy.

     
  • Posts: 61 GM

    Avatar of GM

    Rollins issues are more ego than skill. He needs to work the count and get on base, hit line drives and not try to be a home run hitter. Batting Rollins 3rd for the first month may have been one of the worst managerial decisions of the season.

    He still is an excellent fielder, but sometimes needs to be reminded of his role in the team’s offense.

     
    • Posts: 899 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      I would also like Rollins to be more patient, but just FYI, over the past two years he has walked more than any NL team’s leadoff hitters:

      Rollins: 9.6%
      Average NL leadoff hitter: 8.0%
      Highest NL team’s leadoff hitters: MIL – 9.5%
      (All Phillies leadoff hitters – 8.8%)

       
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        I will NEVER understand the Rollins hate by this fan base … the most friendly, and engaging personality on the team …. as good a defensive SS as we’ve ever had – and the Ego/Attitude that so many seem to hate now – was a large part in us having the swagger that started us playing with confidence (Yes, I believe the “team to beat” rally cry was a huge wake-up to this team) …

        Rollins and Polly play superior Defense, but because they haven’t hit the cover off the ball thru 30 games – fans want them gone. . . . . to those fans I say … Worry not, Eagles mini camps are right around the bend

         
      • Posts: 61 GM

        Avatar of GM

        Just FYI, I don’t hate Rollins, but I do get very frustrated when he has poor at bats. I don’t need Rollins to hit the cover off the ball, but I’d like to see him stop popping up the first pitch with runners on base.

        I actually remember you (Don) posting that batting Rollins 3rd was a mistake as well, and that it should be Victorino.

         
    • Posts: 61 GM

      Avatar of GM

      I believe you, and I enjoy the statistics, I’m sure you’ll be able to provide more answers ….

      where does he rank when it comes to # of pitches per plate appearance? and swinging at the first pitch?

       
      • Posts: 899 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        I don’t have these for leadoff hitters specifically, but…

        Swinging at the first pitch:

        career: 22%,
        2010-11: 20%, 19% (so far this year 18%)
        NL avg: 27%
        Out of 66 NL qualifiers last year, he was 10th lowest

        Pitches per PA:

        career: 3.67
        2010-11: 3.70, 3.77 (so far this year 3.75)
        NL avg: 3.80
        Out of 66 NL qualifiers last year, he was 40th

         
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Well, Jimmy’s career avg is .271 …that’s right where it should be for a home run hitter.

     
    • Posts: 61 GM

      Avatar of GM

      Too bad we didn’t sign him to be a home run hitter.

       
    • Posts: 899 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      smh

       
    • Posts: 0 Don M

      Not sure where to find the “average” batting average in MLB history- or the past 3, 5, 10 years, etc . . .

      but RIGHT NOW .. .the League Average batting average is .251 according to Yahoo …….and i’d imagine .250 is probably the standard

      so a guy that plays above average defense, and generally hits above .250 … is still an above average player

       
      • Posts: 899 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        …at a premium position, at that.

        The overall MLB average was .255 last year. .258 in the AL, where it doesn’t get diluted by pitchers.

         
      • Posts: 899 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        Don, for a link, go here:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/

        Pick “Batting” for either National League, or all major leagues, for a list of league stats by year.

         
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        so guys that hit .260 in either league … and “SUCK” according to fans …actually hit for a higher average than the average …….

        which is why when you have a player that hits .270, with 30+ HRs … he doesn’t suck …….

        and I think I read the difference between a .275 hitter and a .300 hitter is one hit per week (something like that, either read it in “Moneyball” or “Three Nights in August”)

         
      • Posts: 61 GM

        Avatar of GM

        In a 500 AB season, each hit is equal to .002 on a batting average. The difference between .258 and .260 is only one hit. The math also works the same at 600 AB’s.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        With 550 ABs, an .025 difference in average is about 14 hits, or a little more than 1 every two weeks.

         
  • Posts: 1007 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I know I am late to game, but did not watch the game until this morning on DVR. First on the Galvis hit I agree with the aggresive decision. It is raining, the pitcher is up next, the feilder has to pick the wet ball up and out of his glove and make a throw. Samuel decided he was going to send JMJ if any ball was hit to any outfield I do not care how much he was thrown out by or how easy the throw was. It still had to be on line and caught and apply the tag. It was the right call.
    It it is nice to see that there is not trade Blanton now calls after another really good game pitched by Big Joe. JMJ has been hitting the ball hard almost everytime it is nice to see him get some continuous playing time. I still think he will end up with 15-20 HR and hit 275 if he plays almost every day. And I like him batting sixth or seventh instead of third or fifth. I would like to see Hunter moved out of the clean up spot, my problem is I do not know who should hit there, can Chooch hit there maybe. or how about Vic I know he does not have the pop of a clean up guy but he does not strike out much. I hate not having answers to my suggestions. But Hunter has to get out of the four hole.
    Good game hope they get the game in today and get a short series sweep. Hope Cliff pitches well and gets some run support

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    I have a lot of problems with Jimmy Rollins. And I know they are not shared by all, but I do know they are shared by some, if not many. He’s not a lead off hitter. He refuses to change his approach or do things necessary to help the team or make himself a better player. He doesn’t run balls out to 1B (drives me insane), he doesn’t show any sense of urgency or frustration. Most of the time he is seen smiling in the dugout whether they are losing or not. Now, do i need him to throw a Gatorade cooler on the field? No. But the perception is that he has his ring and he has his money. It would be nice to win another championship, but if not, it’s all good. Case in point….last week when Manuel berated the team about their play or lack of it, Rollins stands up afterwards and tells everyone it’s not the end of the world. If i was batting .225 on a last place team, I don’t think those would be the words I would choose to utter to the team. I’m not saying that Rollins sucks or is a terrible shortstop. We all know he’s an excellent fielder. But am I wrong with my assessment?

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    See the difference between me and you . is that I think its a good thing that Rollins stays positive and upbeat ………..instead of sulking that they are in last place or that he’s hitting .225 right now

    It’s May 15th, with 120+ games left … no need to panic, no need to sulk …….and good for him for being a clubhouse leader – and while they understand the importance of Charlie’s rant ……….Rollins (first i’m hearing this) tells his young teammates it’s not the end of the World .that either A) they got yelled at by their manager .. or B) that they’re a few games under .500 this early in the season

    both of which are true…

    ….
    and as for the fact that he’s “not a leadoff hitter” ……..I’ve always held that more against the organization than against the player. If they wanted a more true leadoff hitter, they could’ve brought one in and hit Rollins 2nd, 6th, etc over the past few years ….(He would refuse to bat anywhere but leadoff… Really? Not when a GM and a Manager say this is your spot in the order- and its this or the bench)

     
  • Posts: 899 schmenkman

    Avatar of schmenkman

    Don answered much of this already, but since I already typed it here it is…

    “He’s not a lead off hitter.”
    – He’s not the prototypical leadoff hitter, but 1) those are few and far between, and 2) the Phillies have not had players who fit better int he leadoff spot than somewhere else. And, again, over the past two years he walked more than any other NL team’s leadoff hitters, he takes the first pitch more than average, and sees about the average number of pitches.

    “He refuses to change his approach or do things necessary to help the team or make himself a better player.”
    – He’s been gradually getting more patient over time, but what do you want him to do, exactly? I for one would like him to be even more patient, and in particular take more pitches when in 3-1 and 2-0 counts.

    “He doesn’t run balls out to 1B (drives me insane)”
    – I’m not a fan of this either, but when he’s had hamstring/etc. issues, the risk of injury is much, much higher than any potential reward. How often does running full speed in and of itself really lead to a baserunner?

    “, he doesn’t show any sense of urgency or frustration. Most of the time he is seen smiling in the dugout whether they are losing or not. Now, do i need him to throw a Gatorade cooler on the field? No. But the perception is that he has his ring and he has his money.”
    – I have to say, I think this is all in the eye of the “beholder” so to speak. There are all kinds of personalities, and not everyone shows frustration in the same way. I can say that at shortstop I’ve never seen anything that looks like anything less than urgent play. And I don’t think that he’s satisfied with his ring and his money. I think that’s a perspective of fans, who don’t have all that money and assume that once you have it, you would behave differently. I think the money is important to him, but he (and almost any athlete) is also playing for pride.

    “Case in point….last week when Manuel berated the team about their play or lack of it, Rollins stands up afterwards and tells everyone it’s not the end of the world. If i was batting .225 on a last place team, I don’t think those would be the words I would choose to utter to the team.”
    – I hadn’t heard that, and I tried searching for it but couldn’t find it in the articles about the team meeting. I know don’t know if that’s what he said, but if it was, I don’t know what the context was. What he said to reporters later was that the meeting was needed and the message was received.

     
 
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