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Phils Extend Win Streak To Five With Sweep Of Cubs

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Thu, May 17, 2012 11:16 PM | Comments: 29
2012 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Posts

Roy Halladay pitched well tonight, earning his first win since April 16th (AP)

For the first time since April 5th when they were 1-0, the Philadelphia Phillies are on the right side of .500. It took 38 games, six blown opportunities to get above .500, and a five-game win streak, including a two-game sweep over the Cubs to get there, but the Phils finally seem to be gaining some traction as we move towards the end of May. Tonight, they won by a score of 8-7 behind another solid Roy Halladay outing.

Halladay Finally Gets A Win:

-Halladay hasn’t gotten a win in his last five starts (four of them not his fault), but tonight he seemed intent on making sure that streak didn’t extend to six. He pitched with a purpose, allowing three runs over eight innings with four strikeouts and no walks. He was economical, throwing 99 pitches. It was also his first ever win at Wrigley Field.

- Doc did allow two solo home runs tonight, tripling his season total for home runs allowed (it now sits at three). They would be the only blemish on an otherwise spotless performance.

The Offense Continues To Roll

- Carlos Ruiz drove in a run in the first, Halladay scored on a Shane Victorino ground out in the second, Hunter Pence drove in two more later in that inning, Chooch drove in another run in the fifth, two more runs were tacked on in the eighth when Blake Parker went all Matt Garza on a routine throw to first, Ruiz got yet another RBI, and the Phillies offense continued to put runs on the board throughout the game. For the bats, the month of May stands in stark contrast to April, as they’ve done a complete 180. They ranked third in total runs and hits since May 1st going into tonight’s game. Plating eight runs will no doubt help those rankings. Even Halladay joined in tonight, collecting two hits.

Chooch Does It Again:

- Ruiz had another humdrum night, going 4-for-5 with three RBI and a stolen base. Long yawn. Nights like these are so routine for Chooch at this point, it’s almost boring. All four of his hits were hard-hit, as everything he’s gotten the bat on lately has been. Since May 1st,  he’s hitting .417, with four home runs and seventeen RBI. For the season, his OPS sits at 1.024. Oh, and by the way, he’s one of the best defensive catchers in the game. Whatever.

- In case you couldn’t tell, the lack of enthusiasm in the above paragraph is sarcasm. Carlos Ruiz is seriously the man. He’s locked in, and he’s crushing the ball. If you haven’t maxed out at least one email account voting for him as an NL All Star, you should be ashamed of yourself.

-During the broadcast tonight, Tom McCarthy asked Sarge if it’d be crazy to move Ruiz into the clean-up spot. I say, why stop there? This guy is clearly the best hitter on the team right now, and the best hitter on the team should be hitting third. Flip flop Chooch and the scuffling Victorino, and ride out Chooch’s hot streak for as long as it lasts.

Late-Inning Runs:

- After scoring six runs in the ninth inning of yesterday’s game, the Phils scored three insurance runs in the eighth inning tonight. After watching this team get a few runs early in games, and fail to tack on late, the sight of late-inning runs is a welcome one. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come. It would turn out they’d need every last one of those eight runs tonight, as:

The Diek Struggles:

- After retiring all four of the batters he faced–three on strikeouts–over two innings in Tuesday’s game, Jake Diekman looked like a different man in tonight’s tilt. He got himself into some trouble by walking two and hitting one to load the bases with two outs. The Cubbies would plate three on a Castillo double and one more off Jonathan Papelbon before he was able to slam the door.

- Diekman is a hard-throwing, side-winding left-hander, and there is a lot of excitement about what he could bring to this bullpen. His fastball consistently hits 94, and tops out at 96, while his change up drops down to the low-80s, and his slider has a nasty bite to it. His wildness tonight could be a sign of his youth. He almost made the team out of Spring Training, but management thought he should go down to Triple-A to work on his control and secondary pitches. His control was the major issue tonight, and unfortunately, it almost cost the team a win when Papelbon allowed another run before closing it out. The Diek turned a laugher into a nail-biter, but a win is a win.

Pierre Redeems Himself:

- Juan Pierre was upset with himself after he dropped an easy fly ball, leading to a run yesterday. Tonight, he’d have redemption, making two very difficult diving catches to help out Halladay. Pierre’s defense, is, shall we say, sub-par. His range isn’t great and his arm is even worse. But those weaknesses didn’t show tonight as his diving catch in the bottom of the seventh was the play of the night. He also continues to get on base at a very high clip. He is behind only Carlos Ruiz for the team lead in on-base percentage among batters with at least 10 plate appearances.

Game Notes:

-The Phillies return to Philadelphia tomorrow for a weekend series against their AL rivals when Cole Hamels (5-1, 2.28) returns to the mound to face Daniel Bard (3-4, 4.30) and the Boston Red Sox.

Avatar of Ryan Dinger

About Ryan Dinger

Ryan Dinger has written 125 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ryan stated writing for Phillies Nation in 2012.

 
 
  • Posts: 5121 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    They just had to make it interesting at the end didn’t they! Doc must have been wondering what he had to do to get a win. But he got it, that’s what counts.

    Chooch is amazing this season so far. Hope he can keep it up for just a while longer.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Ruiz is foinf whatever he can to win.
    Thats what he does.

    Just hope the move up in the lineup doesnt affect his real job. Handling the staff. Any hitting he ever does is just a bonus.

    Got to love the coverage its all better now for winning 5 in a row vs skells But you can only beat the teams in front of you.
    Remember that 24 of the 39 games so far have been vs the Mets, Padres, Astros and Cubs.

    These are the 4 worst teams in the NL. Even if the Mets now have a winning record.
    Interesting to see where the next 24 games leave them.

     
  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    I know Andrew, I know but they have to beat these teams right?
    A hot Sox team coming to town – I’ll be there tomorrow night to see Cole for the second time this season – the first time was an ugly loss.. yep Home opener.

     
    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      Have a good time Brooks and have a beer for me.

      At least with this bullpen its always interesting.

       
  • Posts: 0 delearyous

    amazing what a 5 game win streak brings from the fans. this forum makes me sick bc a few days ago everyone was done with this team (you writers included).

    now i’ll be the one to say (AGAIN)… there’s still more than 120 games left. don’t get to excited yet everyone. they beat the cubs, SD, and houston. i’m not saying i’m not thrilled they’re finally pulling games out because i’ve been saying that even before the 5 straight. hell they have a better record than the tigers. who has counted them out? no one! ONE HUNDRED TWENTY PLUS games!

     
    • Posts: 0 Stuart

      Yeah I totally agree with you. I have not been coming to this blog anymore because of how fast moods change and you said it, not just the fans, the writers too. Just a few days ago everyone is ready to sell the house and move onto the future. This team was done, this team was over the hill. So many things were said, so many things were predicted. The main reason I come to this site is quick game recaps, I live in NY so I cant watch all the games so its my best way of finding out what happened. But man, the people on here change their moods and attitudes like their underwear.

       
      • Posts: 2981 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Fo a lot of people I think that’s just human nature. Especially with sports teams it seems. We put so much of ourselves and our emotions into that it’s not easy sometimes to just think rationally about it.

         
      • Posts: 0 Stuart

        Yeah but Chuck I think part of being a good writer is being fair, not just playing the fair weather, not just changing moods. If you are a writer for a team you have to have a good outlook until it is really bad. Starting off the season badly is not a reason to start writing articles in a negative light and start writing articles about getting rid of players. And I as a fan get very upset and mad when they play the way they have, but I have not been calling for heads. People forget there is a reason we have won 5 straight divisions, we have a good group of guys. Give them time, dont throw them under the bus and act like you could run this team better because they had a bad start.

         
    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      i’m one who bashed them! i hope i’m wrong. i’m never off the wagon i just know they’re better than they have show up to the win streak.m this is more like how they should play. i bash out of frustration more than anything. but you are so right still 120 games to go! i predicted i don’t know maybe in feb. or march that even if they fell off last years pace which i thought they should have won 110 games and had a 10 game drop off that they’d still get close or over 100 wins with these starters. if howard or utley or both come back and even if they’re not what they were 2 or 3 years ago but close. i see lots of wins cause it will torally stabilize the line up and take some pressure off some guys and they coild take off. GO-PHILS!

       
  • Posts: 0 delearyous

    as for ruiz…. we’ve heard the petitions to ruiz as an all star. i’m going to take that a step further. chooch currently has a slash line of .363/.405/.619 with 7 HR and 27 RBI. How is that not an automatic all star?

    I’m officially (prematurely) starting the petition for NL MVP. where would this team be without chooch? they’re in the basement with him. imagine their record without his clutch hitting this season. it’d be ugly!

    CHOOCH FOR MVP!

     
    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      yea man i’m watching chooch last night and every time he came up i had the same feeling i had when rollins won it in 07. if he keeps it up which barring injury i think he can. i say that because he’s hitting smart, he’s taking what the pitcher gives him according to the count and does’nt try do to much and hits the pitch where it is ( ie outside to right etc) and he’s hammering the mistakes! that’s what good smart hitters do. i wish rollins would take notes! he’s had a few hits lately but they were more of the excuse me hits he had a good line drive hit but they’re to far and few between. he still has a lot of lousey ab’s s.o. looking last night on a fastball and a pop up again. yea he walked but the cubs pitching is so bad………you get the picture. anh CHOOCH MVP

       
      • Posts: 0 delearyous

        j roll popping up to the middle infield on the first or 2nd pitch? that’s unheard of

         
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        I think people seriously forget that Rollins scored 3 runs last night …… but of course there is a comment pointing out that he popped-up a pitch in the INF

        People steadily bash Rollins, Dom Brown, Kendrick, etc…… yet also express their outrage that “Jayson Werth didn’t show any loyalty” . . . shouldn’t that go both ways?

        Shouldn’t fans stop knit-picking on every Rollins failure……… it’s baseball, he’s going to get out at least 7-of-10 ABs ……

         
      • Posts: 0 delearyous

        i don’t care if he scored 3 runs last night. jroll is not a leadoff guy. leadoff hitters do not have an obp under .300

         
  • Posts: 0 Tom

    Should have let Doc close it out. With an 8-3 lead and only 99 pitches, why make the move? How many times have they left him out there in the 9th with 115+ pitches? Hope Diekman’s confidence isn’t too shaken, and he learns from this experience! Chooch is en fuego and should be on the All-Star team even if he doesn’t get voted in! We face tougher teams in the next month starting with Boston, so they will be challenged! No one expects Chooch to hit .360 the whole year, so the rest of the O better step it up!!

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      Just because Halladay sometimes throws 115 pitches doesn’t mean he should always do it. When a team has a five run lead, that’s always the best time to give even your strongest pitcher a break; he may not be able to get one in September.

      Even with a shaky ‘pen, the Phils won the game, so I don’t see a problem at all with pulling Halladay.

       
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Great roll, let’s enjoy it. But the fact is this team’s offense is suspect and just waiting for another injury. The bullpen is very weak. Solid closer but what else have we got, maybe Bastardo. Anyone else you really want to see walk out of the bullpen? I laugh at the games when some reliever is struggling. Some bozos start screaming “Take him out Charlie” and I ask “and bring who in?” I see no help coming in the bullpen and it will remain our biggest weakness. STILL hoping for 85. Right now we are on pace for 84.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Good winning streak. The Phils need to win these game against bad or sub .500 teams. That and at least a .500 record against the team might just do it. This team is flawed right now delaryous i think most everyone realize’s that. Under performing Stars, Pence, Rollins and Shane. A shaky bullpen which is banking on a40+ yo Contreras to be the anchor. With Cole, Doc, Lee and the way Vanimal is pitching. We only really need a closer and someone to step up for the 8th, and another serviceable guy.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    9th almost killed me but I suppose that it is for the best for Diekman to work through his control issues with a big lead. I am glad that we are finally building some momentum and are back over .500. Chooch has been amazing this year. He has been the one offensive player who has stepped up to the challenge of producing without Utley and Howard throughout the entire year so far.

    Lets keep this up! Almost out of the cellar!

     
  • Posts: 0 Phillies fan from Germany

    Wow, Chooch amazes me. What a clutch player! But how about the NL East? Phillies above .500 and still in last place… I still believe in 90 wins plus!

     
  • Posts: 0 Johnnyboy

    Why can’t Jimmy Rollins get on base like Juan Pierre? Jimmy should have almost as much speed, why doesn’t he bunt more and try to sprint to 1st base? JP is hitting .345 because of doing the small things like hitting bunts and getting infield singles. Why can’t JRoll do that?

     
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Jimmy Rollins does not get on base because he does NOT think team first. He does have some power and tries to use it ALL THE TIME to hit one out of the park. He also does not hit to the opposite field very often, does not bunt. Basically he is a very selfish hitter with a
    power hitters attitude. He is a guy who could have been a lifetime .300 hitter if he learned small ball essentials and could have been a genuine HOF candidate. But NO, not Jimmy. He thinks he’s a power hitter. And he probably is totally uncoachable at the plate.

     
    • Posts: 0 Don M

      Uhhhm… what?

      Rollins is a career .271 hitter, who averages 65 extra-base hits per year……

      Pierre is a career .297 hitter, who average 30 extra-base hits per year ….

      They are different players, with different skill sets. The arguement should probably be – why isn’t Rollins batting 2nd… or 5th… (Pierre, Vic, Pence, Ruiz, Rollins,)

       
    • Posts: 0 lew

      big big amen to bart. should have let rollins go. it will be downhill from now on with a few minor ups. galvis gives better AB consistently

       
      • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

        While it was a risk I think we should have let Rollins go. He has been declining and that will continue. Right now Galvis is the better defender and as bad a batting avg. Does not have Rollins power but Amaro could do a lot with that $13 million like holding it for next year and get a power third baseman or keep Victorino. We need to keep more focus on future rather than the back of baseball cards – they only see the past.

         
    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      when i read your comment bart and you ended it with ( but NO, not jimmy) i busted up laughing cause it reminded me of the sienfeld episode, the one where that guy refers to himself as jimmy! as in jimmy don’t do this! jimmy don’t do that!

       
  • Posts: 0 new to the board

    Utley is one of my favorite player. I also understand there is pain in what he has. Come on man. I work in a warehouse for UPS loading trucks all day. I have two issues with my back that drs say surgery might or might not work. Find a different job. I make good money and have been doing it for 13 years. I come home to pain medication and a warm hot tub. I go back to work everyday to provide for my family. There are days were I cant get out of bed. Whats nice about Chase is he does not have to play ever again because he is rich. Hockey players are tough. These guys play with broken bones. I heard Chase say there is a little discomfort. Need to slow it down. NO YOU NEED TO MAN UP YOU LITTLE P U S S Y…

     
  • Posts: 0 new to the board

    Yes, Juan is doing well and made a couple of nice plays. The problem is he throws like Dipsy on this board. Thats a problem. He could never throw a runner out at the plate.

    New trade. Cliff Lee, Dom Brown, and Vance the Pance for Josh Hamilton..Maybe a couple of bullpen guys. Do it Jr now…now

     
    • Posts: 0 Don M

      Good idea … only problem is that you want to trade two of our Top 4 starters… for a player that is going to be a Free Agent at the end of the season …… a player that, if we resign, means that we can’t keep Hamels …

      oh, and Blanton is a FA after this year too .. so your starting rotation next year would consist of Halladay, Kendrick, …..

       
 
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