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Archive for May, 2013

Five Runs Not Enough in Loss to Brewers

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, May 31, 2013 10:52 PM Comments: 13

DomBrewers

Two home runs by Dom Brown weren’t enough against the Brew Crew. (PHOTO: AP)

The Phillies, who were averaging just 3.4 runs per game coming into tonight’s contest,  put up five runs on Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo–but lost the game 8-5. Domonic Brown launched two home runs, but was outdone by Jonathan Lucroy who hit two homers along with a double en route to a 5-5 night at the plate. Cole Hamels gave up seven runs (six earned), and took his ninth loss on the season.

DOWNTOWN DOM BROWN

How about Domonic Brown? He launched two home runs Friday night for a total of four RBI. His slash line is now .272/.306/.549 and he has fifteen home runs on the season. He is turning out to be the Phillies best offensive player this year, and it is a fantastic thing to see after all the undeserved bashing he got.

HAMELS TAKES ANOTHER LOSS

Cole Hamels had yet another tough outing. He surrendered six earned runs in just five innings of work. He allowed twelve hits and only struck out three. He raised his season ERA up to 4.86. It’s shaping up to be a tough year for Hamels, but he’s more mature than he was in 2009, so I think he will bounce back at some point.

THE UNSTOPPABLE LUCROY

Jonathan Lucroy, have yourself a night! It was hittin’ weather–as Charlie Manuel would say–as the Brewers catcher went 5-5 with two home runs, a double, four RBI, and three runs scored. The Phillies simply did not have an answer for him. He hasn’t been a great hitter this year, so when he has a night like this, you know the Brewers will put up runs.

The Phillies are back at it tomorrow afternoon at 4 PM, with Tyler Cloyd on the mound for the Phillies, and Mike Fiers on the mound for the Brewers.

 

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Gameday: Phillies (26-28) vs Brewers (19-33)

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, May 31, 2013 07:09 PM Comments: 20

Milwaukee_Brewers_Alternate_Logo.svgPhiladelphia Phillies (26-28) vs Milwaukee Brewers (19-33)

Cole Hamels (1-8, 4.43) vs. Yovani Gallardo (3-5, 4.79)

TIME: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV: 
Comcast Sportsnet
Weather: 86, Partly Cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Cole Hamels will look to improve on his 1-8 start this year tonight in the scorching heat against the Brewers. The problem is, the Brewers have a very good offense. They have four players with an OPS of .899 or higher in Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura, Ryan Braun, and Aramis Ramirez. Outside of those four, however, the offense isn’t nearly as potent. So all Hamels needs to do is get through those guys, and he’ll be fine. Way easier said than done.

For the Brewers, Yovani Gallardo will get the call, and his season has been similar to Hamels. He hasn’t gotten the run support, but also hasn’t been pitching all that well. He is dominant against the Phillies in his career, going 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA.

Lineup: Revere CF, Hernandez 2B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Brown LF, Young RF, Galvis 3B, Quintero 2, Hamels P

GAMEDAY BEER: Yuengling Lager

You know it, and you know it well. You call for it simply by saying “I’ll have a lager.” It’s a staple of the Philadelphia region and really never lets you down. From time to time I’ll order one if a beer list isn’t tickling my fancy. It’s just there. It never wows you. It’s like the Juan Pierre of beers. He won’t blow you away, doesn’t hit for power, but always gives a decent showing when you need him. -Pat Gallen

GO PHILLIES!

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Robles, Abreu Headed to Lehigh Valley, Gonzalez to Reading

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, May 31, 2013 10:21 AM Comments: 13

http://l.yimg.com/iu/api/res/1.2/mCgtymLJ2S_fCptFr3mG.w--/YXBwaWQ9eXZpZGVvO2NoPTg2MDtjcj0xO2N3PTY1NztkeD0yO2R5PTE7Zmk9dWxjcm9wO2g9ODU7cT0xMDA7dz02NQ--/http://l.yimg.com/j/assets/i/us/sp/v/mlb/players_l/20130405/8899.1.jpgAccording to the IronPigs’ Director of Media Relations Matt Provence, LHP Mauricio Robles and INF Miguel Abreu are headed to Allentown. Robles, 24, was selected off waivers from Seattle in the offseason and is a member of the 40-man roster. Robles has a 2.77 ERA with 37 Ks in 26 IP for Double-A Reading. Abreu, 28, was hitting .230/.269/.405 with 3 HR for the Reading Fightins. Abreu has played all infield positions except for catcher this year and has experience in the outfield.

In a corresponding move, LHP Bobby Bramhall was assigned to Reading. Bramhall, 27, was quietly signed by the Phillies earlier in the month after being let loose by the Washington Nationals organization. The lefty had a 6.39 ERA in 12.2 IP in long relief work for the Pigs.

In a separate move reported overnight by MLB Daily Dish, the Phillies signed former White Sox, Indians, and Marlins infielder Andy Gonzalez to a minor league deal. Gonzalez, according to Anthony Burkhart of the Republican-Herald, will report to the Reading Fightins. Gonzalez, 31, was a former fifth-round pick of the White Sox in 2001. He appeared at every position in the field except for catcher in 2007 with the White Sox and has a career Major League line of .182/.281/.258. He last played for the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League earlier in 2013 where he hit .273/.337/.312 in 86 PA.

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De Fratus Proclaims Himself Papelbon’s Protege

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, May 31, 2013 07:30 AM Comments: 1

Justin De Fratus

Justin De Fratus, image- AP

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus joined me and my co-host Tug Haines as our guest.  Among the topics of discussion was the type of impact that veteran teammates have had on him thus far in his big league career.

While sharing his thoughts on Phils closer Jonathan Papelbon, the 25-year-old De Fratus, who is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in seven games this season,  declared that he has inserted himself into the role of the five-time All-Star’s protege.

From episode 28 of the PhoulBallz Podcast, De Fratus said:

“Well, to be honest, my first encounters with Pap and Mike Adams were, you know, I kind of just stayed away from them.  I just kind of let them do their thing and tried to observe. But, really recently, in the last two weeks, or so, in my time up here, I feel at least my relationship with Pap has really taken off as far as, like, I really feel like he’s a mentor to me…teaching me about, you know, everything, like what it takes to be a closer or a successful major leaguer.  He’s a closer, so he’s gonna talk to me on what it takes to be a closer and I just really enjoy listening to what he has to say. He talks to me about being aggressive and about being prepared to throw every day…But as far as the preparation and the mindset of what it takes to be a dominant major leaguer and, you know, so we’ll sit in the bullpen and he’ll just fill me with all this knowledge…it’s awesome for me. I’m kind of just making myself…or self-proclaiming that I’m going to be his protege kind of thing. That’s what I’m looking for and that’s why I’m trying to get everything from him as much as I can.”

“Obviously, at the end of the day what’s important is pitching in the big leagues, staying in the big leagues and making sure your team is winning. Continue reading De Fratus Proclaims Himself Papelbon’s Protege

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Phils Fail To Get To .500 Once Again In Loss To Boston

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Thu, May 30, 2013 10:22 PM Comments: 20

Hamels has been a victim of poor run support all season. (Photo: AP)

The game of baseball finally caught up with Jonathan Pettibone tonight. (Photo: AP)

The Phillies just can’t seem to make it over the hump. They had another opportunity to get back to .500 tonight, but as has happened every time they’ve had that chance since April 14–the last time they were even–they squandered it.

Jonathan Pettibone put the Phils in an early hole, and the offense wasn’t up the task of an uphill battle, as the hometown nine fell to the Red Sox 9-2. They’ll try to reach the .500 plateau once again this weekend.

PERCENTAGES CATCH UP WITH PETTIBONE

- Through seven starts, Pettibone has been about as good as can be expected from a 22-year old during his first stint in the big leagues. But he’s also been very lucky with men on base, stranding 85.3% of baserunners, which is about 15% more than the league average. Tonight, his luck would finally give out, and fast. He gave up four runs in the first, allowing all but one of the baserunners who reached to score. Remarkably, he’d prevent the Red Sox from scoring after the first, despite allowing a baserunner in each of his five innings.

- Pettibone clearly wasn’t sharp tonight. He struggled with his control big time. He walked four and worked six three-ball counts. Given the amount of baserunners Pettibone allowed (with the 6 hits, his WHIP was an even 2.00), it’s pretty uncanny he only allowed four runs. It was the bullpen that imploded.

Continue reading Phils Fail To Get To .500 Once Again In Loss To Boston

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Gameday: Phillies (26-27) vs. Red Sox (32-22)

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Thu, May 30, 2013 05:45 PM Comments: 27

Boston Red Sox (32-22) at Philadelphia Phillies (26-27)

Franklin Morales (0-0, 0.00) vs. Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.21)

TIME: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV:
Comcast Sportsnet
Weather: 86, Partly Cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

For the second time this series, the Phillies will catch a break by missing an ace-caliber pitcher. On Monday, it was Clay Buchholz who the BoSox held back due to shoulder soreness. Tonight, Boston will push back Jon Lester to take Buchholz’s scheduled start tomorrow. Pitching in Lester’s wake will be the versatile Franklin Morales, who is expected to be a reliever for the Sox over the long haul. Morales, 27, has yet to make an appearance this season. Over the course of his career, Morales has made five appearances against the Phils, with his lone start coming way back in 2007 as a member of the Rockies. In other words, he’s a pitcher the Phils haven’t really seen, and that usually spells trouble. Among the hitters starting tonight, only Jimmy Rollins has faced Morales more than five times. No one has yet faced him ten times.

As for Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone, many of us are still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Pettibone has gotten great results so far, but the numbers seem hollow. He’s got a 3.21 ERA, but a 4.51 xFIP. That is largely due to an 85.3 LOB%. As our own Corey Seidman tweeted earlier, opponents are hitting .330 against Pettibone when the bases are empty, but just .206 with runners on base. Those numbers aren’t sustainable. Eventually, Pettibone is going to come back to earth. This could spell bad news with a potent Red Sox offense that is third in the AL in runs scored and fourth in OPS. Consider that the Red Sox have an OPS of .818 versus righthanders (compared to a .684 against lefties), and it could be the first rocky outing of Pettibone’s young career.

A couple lineup notes: Cesar Hernandez makes his first big league start after being recalled from Lehigh Valley yesterday in place of the bereaved Michael Young. It should be a short stay for Hernandez, but fans will get a glimpse of what the 23-year old brings to the table. Ryan Howard sits, likely in need of the rest because of a balky knee. Domonic Brown moves up in the order, but Manuel curiously opts not to bat him cleanup in lieu of the resting Howard.

Lineup: Revere CF, Hernandez 2B, Rollins SS, D. Young RF, Brown LF, Frandsen 1B, Kratz C, Galvis 3B, Pettibone P

Your Gameday Beer: Sam Adams Boston Ale

Boston’s most famous brewer is Sam Adams. When people go with Sam’s standard offerings, the most popular is the Boston Lager. I’ve always been more of a fan of the Boston Ale, however. The taste starts off with a combination of sweetness and malts, but finishes heavy on the hops, leaving drinker’s with a taste much more complex than its lager counterpart. While the lager may be the casual Sam drinkers selection, the Boston Ale is the beer drinker’s beer. Have it with a steak, some vegetables and some cheeses to get in touch with your Colonial America self. -RD

GO PHILLIES!

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Domonic Brown on 97.5 the Fanatic

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, May 30, 2013 03:20 PM Comments: 4

brownIn case you missed it, the hottest player in the majors joined the Jon & Sean Show on 97.5 the Fanatic today. That would be Domonic Brown, who has 10 home runs in the month of May.

Here is the interview, give a listen.

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Lackey’s Contractual Quirk and Phillies Deals

Posted by Eric Seidman, Thu, May 30, 2013 10:13 AM Comments: 10

John Lackey wasn’t at his best Wednesday night but he has pitched effectively for the Red Sox this season. Lackey, signed to a five-year, $82.5 million contract prior to the 2010 season, had a rocky start to his Boston tenure. After posting solid peripherals with poor run prevention marks in 2010, he posted a 6.41 ERA in 2011 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He missed the entire 2012 campaign and is now finally combining the solid peripherals and run prevention the Red Sox expected when doling out the lucrative contract.

However, the Red Sox understood that Lackey, like all pitchers for that matter, represented an injury risk. In order to hedge against that risk the Sox included a clause in Lackey’s contract that, if he underwent Tommy John surgery, an option for 2015 would automatically trigger at the league-minimum salary. With five years and $82.5 million on the table, that clause might not have seemed all that important to Lackey’s camp, as he is guaranteed that money regardless of his health status. But now, with the surgery on the backburner, that 5-yr/$82.5 million deal effectively became a 6 yr/$83 million deal.

There are two implications here that impact, or could have impacted the Phillies in their subsequent big-ticket free agent signings.

First, if Lackey remains effective beyond next season, the Red Sox could have a league-average or better pitcher at a pittance. Second, the automatic triggering of the option reduced the average annual value of the contract. Most option years are not included in the average annual value calculation for luxury tax purposes, but if a future vesting option is triggered before the existing deal expires, the contract itself changes.

The original contract carried a $16.5 million AAV while the “new” deal has a $13.8 million average annual value. That reduction would prove significant if the Sox were up against the luxury tax threshold.

It’s impossible to know how contract negotiations with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels went down without having first-hand knowledge, so we’ll never know if similar clauses were discussed. But for a team consistently concerned about the luxury tax because of large annual sums paid to players at an inherently risky position, that type of creative clause could have gone a long way towards hedging risk.

Continue reading Lackey’s Contractual Quirk and Phillies Deals

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PN Interview: Gorm Heimueller Talks Phils Pitching Prospects

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, May 30, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 0

GormH

Gorm Heimueller

I spent some time this week chatting with the Phillies minor league pitching coordinator Gorman Heimueller, who offered his thoughts on several talented young hurlers in the Phils’ system.

Heimueller, who has been the Phils’ minor league pitching coordinator since 2002, pitched 14 seasons as a pro, including parts of two with the Athletics. Prior to his current position, Heimueller was a pitching coach at the Double-A and Triple-A level for the Phillies.

Gorm shared his opinions on several prospects including Brody Colvin, Austin Wright, Shane Watson, Jake Diekman and he even danced around a question about when Phils fans might expect to see Phillippe Aumont back with the big club after his recent demotion to Triple-A.  Read ahead for the full interview.

- Austin Wright’s been a guy that missed some time with an injury and has allowed a lot of runs in his two starts (0-2, 22.22 ERA) with Reading since being activated.  Is there much concern with him after those difficult outings?

Actually, he started spring training in great shape, throwing the ball really good.  Then he complained of a little shoulder tightness and he went up to Reading, and I think it was bothering him a little more, so we brought him down to Clearwater.  He’s healthy now.  He’s gonna get back to where he was the last couple years.  He was looking forward to a really good year in Reading, which, there’s still a lot of time and the bottom line now is he’s healthy, so we’ll get him back to where he was.

- I wanted to ask you about Brody Colvin.  I know last year he was switched to the bullpen for a short stretch, just to work on some things or straighten things out mentally, then returned to the rotation.  This year, he’s back to relieving.  What is the future for Brody?

Well, Brody is by far, I mean he’s much improved over last year…his command of all three of his pitches.  He came into camp in great shape and was throwing the ball real well.  And I think it was his groin or hamstring that he strained and missed some time and we wanted to get him back pitching.  At the time, there was no room to start then, but he pitched four innings the other day and we know he’s there to start and it’s a long season, but we wanted to get him back up there to Double-A and start pitching at that level and contributing and he’s pitched real well since he’s come back. Continue reading PN Interview: Gorm Heimueller Talks Phils Pitching Prospects

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Four blasts lead Phils to second straight win over Sox

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Wed, May 29, 2013 11:32 PM Comments: 37

Richie Ashburn Award: Domonic Brown

The Phillies (26-27) broke out the power bats on Wednesday, slugging four solo homers in their 4-3 victory over Boston (32-22) at Citizen’s Bank Park. With the win, the Phillies are guaranteed at least a split in their four-game, home-and-home series against the A.L. East leading Red Sox.

Four runs seems to be the success marker for the Phils this season. When they score four runs or more in a game, they are an incredible 18-5, as opposed to just 8-20 when scoring three runs or less.

Kyle Kendrick did not have his best stuff, but was strong throughout six innings as he earned his fifth win of the year. He allowed just two runs on four hits in his six innings of work, and was backed by a rare power display from the offense.

Brown continues surge, now among league leaders

Brown blasted his 12th and 13th homers of the year on Wednesday against Boston. (Photo: AP)

Brown blasted his 12th and 13th homers of the year on Wednesday against Boston. (Photo: AP)

Left fielder Domonic Brown took home his first ever National League Player of the Week award last week, so what does he do to start this week? How about four home runs in three games, including two solo bombs to right field today. His first home run gave the Phillies the 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, and his second, which came in the eighth, proved to be a crucial bit of insurance for the team come the ninth.

Continue reading Four blasts lead Phils to second straight win over Sox

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