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Phils Snatch Victory From Braves

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, September 06, 2013 09:22 PM | Comments: 12
2013 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Richie Ashburn Award: Cody Asche
Hamels has been a victim of poor run support all season. (Photo: AP)

Cliff Lee was brilliant tonight. (Photo: AP)

For a long time, it seemed like the Phillies were going to lose tonight, and then, just like that, they didn’t.

A quick swing of Cody Asche’s bat, and a great effort from Cliff Lee, and the Phils found themselves a 2-1 victory over the first place Braves.

OUR HERO, CODY ASCHE

- For a long time, it looked bleak tonight. Not much happened. Mike Minor was in control, and the Phils were his obeyers, looking like they’d go quietly into the night. they didn’t even get a hit until the fourth inning. And when that first came off the bat of Jimmy Rollins, he got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. They’d get just one hit in four innings after that. And then a hero came along. A brash youngster, full of talent and expectations. It took Cody Asche to turn things around.

- Asche came to the plate in the seventh with two outs and a runner on first. Darin Ruf had singled before him to keep the inning alive, but it still appeared like Minor, facing the left-handed Asche, could see his way out of the inning with the lead intact. But Asche had other ideas. He came to the plate looking for a fastball, and when Minor gave him one on the first pitch of the at-bat, he didn’t miss it. The home run gave the Phillies the lead, and a cruising Cliff Lee didn’t waste it. Lee wouldn’t waste it.

CLIFF DAZZLES

-The absolute worst aspect of watching a bad offense is when it is  squandering a great effort by the starter. Cliff Lee was victimized by the floundering bats for the first six innings tonight. He surrendered his first and only run when Andrelton Simmons sent one into the seats in left in the third. And that was it. At one point, Lee retired thirteen batters in a row. He was pitching brilliantly, and there’s no two ways about it. It was a pitcher’s duel all the way, and Lee more than held up his end. After Asche’s home run,

- Dominant is pretty much the only way to describe Lee tonight. He struck out ten and didn’t walk a single batter. He completely owned the Braves tonight.

HERNANDEZ CONTINUES TO IMPRESS IN CENTER

- I’ll tell ya, for having never played center field before a few weeks ago, Cesar Hernandez has sure taken to it. He made a few nice plays again tonight. I’ve been most impressed by his closing speed. Though he sometimes gets a bad jump (though he usually doesn’t, quite surprisingly), he’s been able to make up for it by running a good route and using his speed. The kid may have a future as a super utility man, and the Phillies are in need of a backup centerfielder who can contribute more at the plate. At the very least, Hernandez’s emergence in the outfield gives the team more options going forward.

UP NEXT

-The Phils and Braves continue their series tomorrow. Kyle Kendrick (10-12, 4.51) battles Alex Wood (3-3, 3.15).

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: 0 Ken Bland

    I have a question for someone who posted a message on here the other night.

    It was the game Asche made an error on a routine play. You know, the sort that even Billy Cox and Brooks Robinson made on rare occasion. Even the best of ‘em, Usually, you play the ball, sometimes it plays you.

    Anyway, this rocket scientist said Asche’s got to male that play (the routine grounder). Kinda like Schmidt going 3-4, 2 rips, but striking out to end the game.

    So here’s my question for you. There’s a home game coming up that’s the last Dollar Dog Night, last one of the year. The question is how much do the Phils charge for dogs on Dollar Dog Night.

    What an imbicylic loony tune.

     
    • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

      hahahahahahahahah! good one Ken! And you are right Ken. Even the good and the great ones make errors from time to time to time.

       
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I believe in Cliff Lee. I believe in Cody Asche. I hope Asche becomes a great player for the Phils. We need it.

    As much as I like and appreciate Cliff Lee, I do believe he could bring us a king’s ransom during the trading season. He should go to a serious contender as he deserves a shot at a ring. I would even eat half of his salary for the contract’s duration if we get a good deal on solid young players.

    The Phils are not going anywhere in 2014. Time to rebuild.

     
    • Posts: 5400 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Bart, No doubt about it, Lee is their strongest trade chip, and I’m all for a trade that could bring back a kings ransom. I like Cliff, but the team comes first.

      However, one thing in your comment made me respond to you.

      Cliff Lee CHOSE to play here. For that reason, I can’t buy in to the idea that he somehow “deserves” to play for a contender. Again, you are right, It is time to rebuild, and I agree 100% that trading Lee is a good idea. But IMO, Cliff Lee does not “deserve” to do anything but pitch and collect his millions. It’s always a risk when a player chooses a team in FA, always a risk when a team chooses to trade for/ draft a player. Just life in the big city.

       
  • Posts: 0 Whatever

    Cliff Lee is good….real good. Keep him … and let him be one of the mentors for the younger Phillies players. Almost every Phillie fan….well maybe actually every Phillies fan I know wants Cliff Lee to remain a Phillie!

     
    • Posts: 0 hk

      Everyone posting on here knows Cliff Lee is real good and no one is suggesting that the team trades him in a pure salary dump. However, many of us Phillies fans – like Bart who commented above – recognize that this team is not real good and may not be real good until after Lee’s contract ends or until Lee stops being real good. Therefore, all Phillies fans should at least acknowledge the possibility that Lee has greater value to the franchise in a trade for multiple good, young, cost-controlled players than he does pitching for a mediocre team and mentoring the young pitchers…if he even does mentor them.

       
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    I see freedom of speech is taking another nosedive this morning. last night, after Jimmy Rollins made an ineffective and short term potentially costly effort that wound up costing him a stop on 2nd base, he drew criticism for it, and wound up triggering ridiculous rhetoric from a few folks that demonstrated little clue of which they spoke.

    And I see their are anxious to demonstrate their views in similar non productive fashion on the subject of Cliff Lee.

    At least Bart Shart starts the conversation off wisely enough.

    “As much as I like and appreciate Cliff Lee, I do believe he could bring us a king’s ransom during the trading season.”

    But even Bart might be missing the larger, and more real point.

    It’s true, and indisputably so in fact that if the Phils dealt Cliff Lee, what they’d be looking for is another guy who pitches like Cliff Lee. Think the Pirates haven’t searched long and hard for a replacement for Joey Bautista?

    But the problem is that fame, success, effectiveness are short lived more often than not. After the Giants did WC1 in ’10,they had a poor 2011. I made a comment to someone that they missed Juan Uribe. Not unfairly, he pointed out how poorly Uribe was playing in 2011. And while that was true, and a fair comment in reply to my point, it was irrelevant to what I really meant. My point was they missed the effectiveness of a player having the success of Uribe in a magical 2010 title year. My comment didn’t necessarily mean Uribe himself.

    Lee, of course, is still an overall really terrific pitcher. But as recently as 3 years ago, with youth more on his side more than now, Lee was quite available (from Cleveland) for half of a 9.5 million dollar wage for half a season. How long a line was there for him? Not very. Now, eith a lot of positives added to an already impressive resume, he’s closer to the end. How much would a team give up in what seems a more salary conscious environment when they would inerit the steep financial obligation that Cliff carries.

    It’s not impossible Cliff pitches well, and terrifically at times through his contract, and maybe just a little less so even beyond.

    But Cliff is NOT as tradeable as he once was, and the retuen isn’t likely as strong as it once was, or might have been in the eyes of hallucagenic fans. In the spirit of reality, as opposed to the pessimism this might sound like, after last night’s more typical than not Lee effort, he’s a step closer to his downside than not. The fact that his overall ERA hovers around 3 with some masterful performances tells you that there are some lesser results to be considered.

    Trade Cliff? Maybe. Expect a King’s ransom for a very good, but emotionally foundated to a good degree product? That leans to the fantasy side. Especially since if there’s one thing the game has taught us this year, there are a wide array of young, and still relatively inexpensive pitchers around who clubs can improve with either internally, or by deal.

    You could do a lot worse than be stuck with Vintage for a couple more years even if the great, or even good outings become less consistent. But no matter how good some of those outings are, make no mistake, Cliff’s future, the thing that trades are supposed to be about is not in front of him. All it takes is one mistaken soul to make a deal and overpay for a too optimistic projection than reality is likely to offer. But what in the market place tells us that such an animal is easy to find? Not a great deal. The Phils may have missed the boat already on this one.

     
    • Posts: 5400 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I agree KB, but I think the more important point is that if you look at the 25 man roster, consider who’s just been extended, or has a likely un-tradeable long term contract, you come up with less than a handful of names that could bring you back anything close to a “kings ransom”, and one of them would be Mr. Lee.

       
    • Posts: 0 hk

      “Lee, of course, is still an overall really terrific pitcher. But as recently as 3 years ago, with youth more on his side more than now, Lee was quite available (from Cleveland) for half of a 9.5 million dollar wage for half a season. How long a line was there for him? Not very. Now, eith a lot of positives added to an already impressive resume, he’s closer to the end. How much would a team give up in what seems a more salary conscious environment when they would inerit the steep financial obligation that Cliff carries.”

      Ken,

      You make some good points although I would disagree that this is a more salary conscious environment than 2009. June 2009 was merely months after the financial crisis and just about every team in baseball except our beloved Phillies was reducing payroll or at least keeping their payrolls the same. The Phillies 2011 payroll was 67% higher than their 2008 payroll. The average 2011 payroll of the other 29 teams was 2% than the average 2008 payroll of the other 29 teams. Since 2011, especially with the influx of TV money in some of the smaller markets, salaries are on the rise again.

      Having said that, for the Phillies to really get a “king’s ransom” for Lee, they will probably have to pick up a decent portion of his remaining contract because it is so back-loaded and paying part will increase the potential number of teams in the bidding for him. Of course, RAJ has already stated that competing in 2014 is the team’s mandate, so this debate is most likely irrelevant until next July any way.

       
      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        Yeah, I don’t like that I used that comparison of economics, but I was more speaking to what seemed available bidders, but that’s a more fluid cycle than I allowed for, and when a club, like the Cardinals doesn’t spend on a certain move by choice, it’s silly to assoiate it with an economic tie in.

        The only point I really intended was this Cliff for a king’s ransom seems so old, you think it’s gonna last forever. Time’s moved on, even if his pitching skills to this point, and however longer he’s great, and his value might have, or will pass by without folks realizing it. But if you’re only as good as your last game, it’s much adieu about nothing. For now.

         
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    So much for the Johnny Vander Meer conviction. He used to be the answer to the question of baseball’s least likely record to be broken until I just ran across breaking news that 106 years ago today, Walter Johnson rang up his 3rd shutout in 4 days. Let’s see some sucker throw 4 in 4 days.

    About the only thing I could compare to that would be if the Phils beat 3 lefties in a row. They took a minor step toward that last night, with Alex Wood, and Paul Maholm on deck. So how does he master juggler of lineups handle it?

    First of all, Cody Asche fced Gio Tuesday night. That he did well became a story, although the real story was that Rynorested the semi folk hero on Monday night because it was his “scheduled” off day against a righty instead of playing him then, and passing on V Gio.
    So we can take from that that Cody is a victim of “scheduled” off days. Would have been nice to let him face 3 lefties in a row, and I don’t know who he’d hit better (I’d guess Wood, more conventional stuff), but Asche probably gets a night or day off out of the next 2. No, this isn’t the same team without him.

    This isn’t that ambitious a project that I’m checking the probably expansive Utley V Maholm history to guess on Utley’s next day off, but rest assured, he’ll hit 3rd. Joy to the World on that etched in stone likelihood. But I’ll bet he gets at least 1 hit to avoid slipping under .200 V lefties for the year.

    Obviously, Ruiz isn’t going 2 in a row on a short turn. Kratz’ll get the other start. Hell if I know which catcher I’d pair with which pitcher,(KK, Cole), but this Rupp preview should finally see some time in this so highly anticipated Padre set.

    Any way you look at it, it’s gonna be tough beating 2 lefties in a row the rest of the weekend. But it’d be a cool accomplishment/

     
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    This is pretty close to producing Bob Ryan level shock as a result of the Vegas line tonight. I would maybe have guessed the Braves as about a 115/100, maybe 12/100 favorite.

    No, sireeee. You gotta lay about 160 to win 100. Obviously, they place a premium on Kendrick’s consistent struggles, but it also might speak to the confidence of Wood bouncing back from his Marlin whupping, helped by a n extra day off.

    Does that entice the drive to pick the underdog at a nice home dog reward?

    I think the Tribe, home against Niese by putting up a 100 tin about 1405 would be more appealing. Especially since the Phils have to beat the Braves pen to win the ballgame.

    The preceding was strictly for educational purposes. Ya gotta love education.

     
 
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