Archive for September, 2012

Gameday: Nationals (93-60) vs. Phillies (77-76)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, September 25, 2012 06:22 PM Comments: 14

Washington Nationals (93-60) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (77-76)

Ross Detwiler (10-6, 3.10) vs. Cole Hamels (15-6, 3.05) 

Time: 7:05 PM, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 65
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Just nine games remain for the Phillies before they head home for what will surely be a long winter. They’ll finish out their home schedule with three games against the Washington Nationals, who can clinch a division title this week. Their magic number is five.

As for the Phillies, Roy Halladay will likely make a start on Saturday, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee. Doc will throw a bullpen session tomorrow and if it goes off without a hitch, he’ll make that final start of the season. Whether or not that’s the way to go is for another time.

Still no word yet on if or when Chase Utley will get a start at third base. Everyone seems pretty serious about this happening, so keep an eye out for it. Charlie Manuel said it’s completely up to him on whether or not he feels comfortable enough to take the hot corner, something he hasn’t done since his days in the minor leagues.

Your Gameday BeerDogfish Head Punkin’ Ale

Cant say it’s my favorite pumpkin beer in the world, but you could do worse. Beer Advocate rates it an 88, which is quite high. It’s a little too spicy for my liking, but many friends of mine swear by it. Truly, it gives me heartburn and I can’t drink more than one. But if pumpkin and spice are your thing, this is for you. – Pat Gallen



The Beginning of the End for the Phillies

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, September 25, 2012 01:12 PM Comments: 5

Was it over before it began because of a missing Howard? (PHOTO: AP)

…Or maybe the beginning of the end was really nine days ago when the Phillies lost three-of-four to the worst team in the NL, the Houston Astros. Maybe it was the beginning of the end when Carlos Ruiz went down with a foot injury and missed the dog days of summer. Maybe it was the beginning of the end when Roy Halladay tried to fight through shoulder trouble (as Corey Seidman mentions here) and ended up on the DL for nearly two months.

That occurred in late May, so perhaps the beginning of the end was before that even; you could pinpoint the abhorrent bullpen as a main culprit to a lost season, a good, but not great, Jonathan Papelbon as a squeaky wheel, or from the beginning, the lack of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the middle of the lineup killing their chances.

It all comes into play, but just ahead for the Phillies; the final nine games of a Wild Card chase that has no positive ending. They stand five games behind the St. Louis Cardinals to be the second team for a one-game elimination challenge. They’ll fight to the finish, however, no good will come from it.

Continue reading The Beginning of the End for the Phillies


Phillies Nation TV: Things That Went Right/Wrong in ’12

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, September 25, 2012 10:48 AM Comments: 13

On Phillies Nation TV this week, Corey and I give you the three things that went wrong this season as well as a few things that ended up right for the Phillies. (Note: we could have gone on all day about what went wrong, but for the sake of time, we had to cut it at three).

Some of the things that went wrong: Halladay’s shoulder, the bullpen, and the injuries to Utley/Howard.

The right: Chooch’s season, Cole Hamels contract, and the trades made at midseason.

We also answer reader comments and questions, see if your name made it in the show. And we discuss the Cody Ross rumor and Domonic Brown’s season. Enjoy!


Phils Drop Series, Wild Card Chances are Bleak

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, September 23, 2012 05:23 PM Comments: 35

Just two hits by the offense and some lackluster defense led to another loss on Sunday, as the Phillies dropped the series finale to the Braves, by a score of 2-1.

Roughly a year following the Phillies contributing to Atlanta’s historic collapse down the stretch and missing the playoffs in 2011, it seemed to be the Braves that did in the Phils this time around, as the team that is primed to lock down a Wild Card spot took two of three games this weekend in south Philly.

While they are not completely done, the Phils now sit 4 1/2 games out of the second National League Wild Card spot with just nine games remaining on their schedule.  And as you’ve heard endlessly for weeks, with three teams (St. Louis, Milwaukee and Los Angeles) in front of them for that coveted post-season berth, much cooperation will be necessary if the five-time defending NL East division champs are to make the playoffs once again.  Atlanta is nine games ahead of  St. Louis, who currently rank third in NL Wild Card standings.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee surrendered a run in the second inning, when outfielder David Ross slugged a homer to deep center.  In the top of the 3rd, two singles and a fielding error by Lee loaded the bases with no outs.  This set the stage for Atlanta to pad their lead, but they mustered just a lone run on a sacrifice fly by Dan Uggla.

The Phillies plated their run in the 7th frame, when Chase Utley drove in Jimmy Rollins with a sac fly of his own.  Lee’s sacrifice bunt that pushed John Mayberry Jr. to second base in the third inning was the only other Phillie runner to advance past first base in the contest.

Following the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel acknowledged that the team still had life, although not much.

“The noose is getting tighter, but we’re still there.  We’re still breathing,” said Manuel. Continue reading Phils Drop Series, Wild Card Chances are Bleak


Gameday: Braves (87-65) at Phillies (77-75)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, September 23, 2012 12:35 PM Comments: 5

Atlanta Braves (87-65) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (77-75)

Tim Hudson (15-6, 3.77) vs. Cliff Lee (6-7, 3.27)

Time: 4:05 PM, Citizens Bank Park

Weather: Clear, 70

Media: Twitter and Facebook

Saturday was not pretty for the Phillies. They must rebound today and try to take the final game of the series.

Cliff Lee has been terrific lately. He’s 4-0 with a 1.63 ERA in his last 7 starts. He will be opposed by Tim Hudson, who is 9-9 with a 3.92 ERA in his career against Philadelphia.

Your Gameday BeerHoegaarden

I’ve always like Hoegaarden, which can be enjoyed in small sips with good food. It flows smooth and tastes like citrus. Have some barbecue chicken with it. – By Tim



Doc Falters Again In Crucial Loss

Posted by Eric Seidman, Sat, September 22, 2012 09:46 PM Comments: 36

This has been a very confusing and frustrating season for Roy Halladay. After posting six straight seasons of 31 starts, 220 innings, and at least 6 WAR, Halladay is on pace to finish with 163 innings over 25 starts and, the way he has thrown lately, perhaps not even 3 WAR to his line. Many of his numbers are where we would expect them to be, but his ability to strand runners has regressed to the mean and his home run rate is over twice what it was a year ago. Put those two ingredients together and it’s understandable how the man whose ERA and FIP haven’t been above 2.79 and 3.01, respectively, since 2008 suddenly has respective marks 4.40 and 3.67.

He hasn’t felt right, health-wise, all season, and hasn’t been able to get in a groove after returning from his recent disabled list stint. He has certainly shown flashes of the Halladay from 2007-11, but in his 13 starts since returning, he has six good to great games, two mediocre games (the literal quality start of 6 IP, 3 ER), and five absolute clunkers. At a time when the Phillies desperately need the Halladay they know, he is pitching inconsistently, and has fallen into the boom-or-bust category. It’s almost as if he and Kyle Kendrick have a Freaky Friday playing out.

Unfortunately, Halladay didn’t deliver in a game that may have broken the Phillies season. Now four games back with only 10 left to play, it will take a minor miracle for the Phillies to find themselves playing in the wild card play-in game.

Continue reading Doc Falters Again In Crucial Loss


Gameday: Braves (86-65) at Phillies (77-74)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, September 22, 2012 03:50 PM Comments: 62

Atlanta Braves (86-65) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (77-74)

Mike Minor (9-10, 4.31) vs. Roy Halladay (10-7, 4.03)

Time: 4:05 PM, Citizens Bank Park
Clear, 85
Media: Twitter and Facebook

What a huge win for the Fightin’ Phils on Friday night.  They have to continue the momentum all weekend long.

This hasn’t been Roy Halladay’s best season, struggling with injuries and consistency for most of the season.  Regardless of his performance this year, it’s always good to have a guy like Doc pitch in a big game like this.  Even with his struggles, Phillies fans still have faith in Roy Halladay.

Ryan Howard has a reputation for being Mr. September, but he hasn’t quite lived up to that name this year.  But could he slowly be starting to heat up?  The Big Piece has 3 home runs in as many games.

Beck'sYour Gameday Beer – Beck’s
Beck’s, a classic German Brewery, provides tonight’s beer like a present wrapped neatly in tin foil. It’s certainly not the best German beer but it is popular and widely available. Like similar mass-produced pilsners it has that traditional rice and corn beer taste, though not has strong as a Bud or Miller product. It of course goes well with Wiener Schnitzel otherwise known as veal cutlets. – By Brian

Go Phillies!


Letting it Ride on Pierre Against Righties

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, September 22, 2012 02:00 PM Comments: 2

Charlie Manuel has put Pierre in the right spots to succeed in 2012. Could Pierre lead them into the playoffs? Photo: AP

In playing blackjack, there is a way to decrease the house advantage. This way of playing, basic strategy, limits the house advantage from somewhere around 0.64% for a six deck game to nearly even. The plays feel a little funny sometimes (hitting a hard 16 against a dealer’s seven up-card or a hard 12 against a dealer’s two) but there is a mathematical advantage to doing so, often used not to improve winnings but to mitigate the risk of losing. Juan Pierre, and his basic strategy skill set, has helped the Phillies to a 14-5 record in September, and has kept their playoff hopes on life support for the greater part of the month.

Like in blackjack, baseball has expected outcomes. Much like the cards “have a memory”, previous plays in baseball create outcomes that, by mathematical computation, have certain odds of occurring. For instance, Ryan Howard, in back-to-back games no less, hit two home runs off of left-handed relievers. Yet, even including those home runs, Howard, for his career, is only hitting .127 against them, with a home run in about 1 in 100 at bats. The home runs were certainly unexpected outcomes. Yet, Pierre in the second half, and the entire month of September, has been predictable as a clock, which is exactly what the Phillies have needed.

Continue reading Letting it Ride on Pierre Against Righties


Oh Yeah, You’ll Miss Chipper Jones

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, September 22, 2012 11:33 AM Comments: 7

The Phillies presented Chipper with a Dick Perez painting. (Photo by Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network)

As Chipper Jones makes his final jaunt into Philly this weekend, it brings back awful memories of him tearing the Phillies a new one through all the years. The headline is written with a degree of sarcasm, it also rings true.

Hearing “Larry” come from the stands as he played left field at the Vet (remember those days) is a lasting memory I’ll have of Jones and the Braves/Phillies rivalry. Just kidding, there was no rivalry until Chipper was on the back nine of his career. The late 90′s-early 00′s were dominated by the Chipper-led Braves squad, making it hell on a kid like me. I just wanted them to win a damn series against them.

Anyway, Jones will leave Philadelphia after Sunday’s game, never to return in a Braves uniform. With him go the memories of the 1993 Phillies pennant winning team, the 14 division titles, and some really good baseball from Jones. Going into the series, Chipper killed the Phillies to the tune of .332 with 49 career home runs and an OPS of 1.041 in 243 games. He just owned the Phillies for such a long period of time that we should be glad to see him go. Ride off into the sunset, Chipper – please!

On the flip side, it is sad to see a part of my youth fade away. As much as I “hated” Chipper growing up, it impossible not to respect the hell out of his body of work. Him getting old is making me feel old, too, and that sucks.

So, while we’ll finally get rid of Chipper Jones, we’ll also miss the Larry screams and seeing one of the best switch-hitters ever to play the game.


Phillies Gain a Game With Win Over Braves

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Fri, September 21, 2012 10:25 PM Comments: 23

As the Phillies continue their hot ways, so does Ryan Howard.  Howard hit his third home run in as many nights tonight to help lead the way against the Braves.  The Phillies used four long balls and some good pitching from Kyle Kendrick to win 6-2 and move up another game in the Wild Card hunt.

Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, Kevin Frandsen chipped in with solo home runs of their own and the Phillies are only three games back behind the Cardinals, who lost tonight.  Frandsen is hitting .329 since taking over for Placido Polanco at third base.

Continue reading Phillies Gain a Game With Win Over Braves

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