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2012 Game Recaps

Lee Continues To Cement His Awesomeness

Posted by Eric Seidman, Wed, April 10, 2013 09:15 AM Comments: 15

I’ll never forget Cliff Lee‘s first start with the Phillies.

He was just acquired from the Indians amidst a flurry of rumors that had the Phillies close to getting Roy Halladay. While his arrival carried excitement, many fans couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed for missing out on Doc. I was one of those fans, having only seen Lee from afar, and having considered him more of a good pitcher with a great season rather than a great pitcher.

His July 31, 2009 start against the Giants quieted all nerves. Lee ran out to the mound in his own patented fashion, did that bizarre fake pitch to the outfield that we learned was part of his routine, and prepared to face leadoff man Randy Winn.

First pitch was right over for a called strike. Winn then swung and missed at Lee’s second offering. In what felt like rapid fire succession, Lee then caught Winn looking with a fastball perfectly placed on the inside corner. It wasn’t a debatable pitch or one an ump usually calls a ball on an 0-2 count. It was just a flat out perfect pitch. My friend and I turned to each other with wide eyes. We had never seen anything like this before.

Lee rules so hard.

Sure, Cole Hamels was the World Series MVP the year before, but his ace-ness seemed built more on finesse. Lee was aggressive, worked quickly, and after three pitches had me convinced he was going to be the best pitcher I ever watched on a routine basis. Keep in mind I wasn’t alive when Steve Carlton pitched and I was too young to appreciate Curt Schilling during his heyday here.

Lee tossed a complete game that night and even settled for a double after coming close to a home run. He was dominant then, he remains dominant today, and over the last five seasons he has proven himself to be one of the very best pitchers in baseball. Watching him over these first two starts of 2013 has reminded me of what it was like watching him in his first outing with the Phils.

Yet, even with a Cy Young award and a lucrative contract under his belt, I can’t help but feel that Lee is underrated, even in this city. To help shake that feeling, let’s take a look at his brilliant time with the Phillies to put things in perspective.

Continue reading Lee Continues To Cement His Awesomeness

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Phillies End 2012 Season with Loss to Nationals

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, October 03, 2012 04:35 PM Comments: 3

It’s not the ending you conjured up in your head some seven months ago. As pitchers and catchers reported, expectations were tempered following a 2011 season that saw the Phillies win 102 games and make the playoffs for a fifth straight season. But nobody could have believed a 21-game dropoff was in store as baseball began in Clearwater.

Alas, here we are on October 3, 162 games in the books, the Phillies complete their 2012 year split right down the middle, at 81-81 following a 5-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.

This game marked the final time Cliff Lee would be killed by his own teammates. All season long, Lee was given little run support, and that continued today as he allowed three runs in six innings while striking out seven. And for the 10th time in ’12, Lee allowed no walks.

After 30 starts, Lee finishes with a 3.16 ERA and a 6-9 record. As impossible as that seems, it’s the hard truth. Cliff Lee won just six games in 2012. This tweet from our own Corey Seidman sums it up:

Unbelievable.

A few positives to take from this game and the end of the season. Darin Ruf looks like he might be able to play a little in this league. He hit two home runs yesterday and drove a run in today. If he can figure how to play an adequate outfield, he could be quite useful next year.

Kevin Frandsen could be a very nice bench option for the Phillies in 2013. Not sure he’s an everyday player, but he showed flashes of being very good at the plate, finishing with a .338 average.

Unfortunately, Jonathan Papelbon ended on a sour note, giving up a two run home run to Mike Morse and recorded just one out. It was an odd season for Papelbon, who’s numbers look to be alright at first glance. A 2.44 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 39 saves are all well and good, but the guy struggled mightily when asked to keep games tied or pitch from behind. He’ll need to be better next year.

Chooch, Cole, Ryan, Chase, and Domonic will be primed for a bit 2013. Others will not be back, and we wish them well. It will certainly be an interesting offseason and spring training.

And just like that, a string of five straight Octobers with playoff baseball is over. It seems like only yesterday that it all began, with Brett Myers tossing his glove up in the air, tackled by Pat Burrell.

As Boyz 2 Men once said, it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. And we say goodbye to 2012. See you next season.

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Phillies lose, but Ruf homers twice

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, October 02, 2012 10:02 PM Comments: 28

The Phillies will have to wait about 15 more hours if they want their 10th straight winning season.

The Phils fell to the Nationals 4-2 in Game 161 of the 2012 season. Darin Ruf accounted for both runs with a pair of solo homers. He’s been a bright spot over the last week, hitting in eight straight games and slugging .774 with two doubles, a triple and two homers in his 11-game major-league career. Of the 7 runs the Phillies have scored in the past three games against the Nationals, Ruf has driven in all 7.

B.J. Rosenberg started for the Phillies and allowed just one run over four solid innings. Josh Lindblom was roughed up in the sixth, he allowed two runs on a solo homer, two other hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. The rest of the bullpen filled in the gaps with Antonio Bastardo giving up a Nats insurance run in the eighth.

Kevin Frandsen hit two doubles to raise his batting average to .337 from the lead-off spot tonight. For all of the warranted talk of Frandsen not being an everyday third baseman, he never slowed down over the final two months with the Phillies.

The season ends tomorrow afternoon as Cliff Lee (6-8, 3.12) takes on Edwin Jackson (9-11, 4.13) at 1:05 p.m.

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Phils Win, But Nats Still Clinch NL East

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Mon, October 01, 2012 09:54 PM Comments: 44

Kendrick stymied the Nationals tonight. (PHOTO: AP)

A lights out performance from Kyle Kendrick, a two-run triple from Darin Ruf, a spectacular late-inning catch by centerfielder John Mayberry to save some runs, and a big strike out from Jeremy Horst to help the Phillies win a game with the NL East on the line. That’s exactly how you drew it up when you looked ahead to this first game against Washington in the final series of the season, isn’t it?

Probably not. But that’s how things went down tonight at Nationals Park in the Phillies 2-0 victory. Sure, the Nats won the division because the Braves lost. But they didn’t do it by beating us, damn it! With everything else in this 2012 season a lost cause, at least we’ll still have that.
Continue reading Phils Win, But Nats Still Clinch NL East

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Hamels Picks Up 17th Win, Phillies Down Marlins

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, September 30, 2012 04:21 PM Comments: 30

What a season for Cole Hamels.

He was clearly one of the few bright spots for the entirety of the year in Philadelphia, and that continued today as he fanned eight over seven innings in the Phillies 4-1 win. The victory gave him 17 on the season, a new career high. And with those eight strikeouts, he reaches 216 for the season, also a new high.

It’s been a season of lows for a Phillies team scratching to stay above the .500 mark, but Hamels has been a constant bright spot. Can you imagine if the Phillies had not signed him at midseason? Phillies fans would be freaking out as the season comes to a close. At least the fans can rest easy that he’ll be here a long time.

Carlos Ruiz had three hits and knocked in his 68th run of the season. Hamels was the MVP of the pitchers, Ruiz obviously the MVP on the offensive side.

Domonic Brown didn’t have any hits, but he did knock in a run and showed off his arm as he gunned down Giancarlo Stanton at home plate.

Now the question becomes, can the Phillies finish the season over .500 as they play the final three games in Washington.

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Gameday: Nationals (94-61) vs. Phillies (78-77)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, September 27, 2012 06:07 PM Comments: 11

Washington Nationals (94-61) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (78-77)

Gio Gonzalez (20-8, 2.84) vs. Tyler Cloyd (2-1, 3.86)

Time: 7:05 PM, Citizens Bank Park
TV: CSN
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 60
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Hey look, it’s Gio Gonzalez! The former Phillies farmhand is now a frontrunner to be named NL CY Young winner. He’ll go for his 21st win of the season against an organization he once was a part of. The lefty has stiff competition in R.A. Dickey, Craig Kimbrel, and Aroldis Chapman. However, getting to 22 wins on the season certainly would stand out.

Tyler Cloyd gets the ball in the final game at Citizens Bank Park this season. We’re so used to playoff baseball, so this kind of sneaks up on you. Regardless, I hope there is a solid turnout tonight for what has been a tough season. But that’s where the real, honest fans come into play and pack the place knowing that there will not be baseball until next season.

The Nationals magic number is down to four after last night’s win, so it’s nice that they will not win the division on CBP turf.

Your Gameday BeerPumking by Southern Tier

Gotta get all these pumpkin beers in now, since there is no October baseball on the horizon for this team. Pumking is one of the better pumpkin beers on the market. It’ll kick you between the legs, too, with an 8.6 ABV. There is a real pumpkin presence in it and there is even a hint of graham cracker, which I love. Enjoy this one with a nice rare steak and potatoes.  – Pat Gallen

GO PHILLIES!

  • 11 Comments
 

Ruf Hits First Major-League HR in Phillies’ Win

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, September 25, 2012 10:19 PM Comments: 14

Cole Hamels lasted just five innings but won his career-high 16th game.

Starting for the first time since being called up to the Phillies, Darin Ruf homered in his first at-bat for his first major-league hit and home run. He was completely ignored in the dugout by his teammates for the next 10 minutes in one of the funnier moments of the Phillies’ season, only being congratulated after the inning finally ended.

The Phils (78-76) won, 6-3, despite getting only five innings out of Cole Hamels.

Hamels needed 99 pitches to get through five laborious frames, but the reward was his career-high 16th win. Hamels improved to 16-6 with a 3.11 ERA.

The major blow for the Phillies was Carlos Ruiz‘ three-run homer, which gave the Phillies a comfortable 5-1 cushion in the third inning. Ruiz is hitting .327 with 16 homers and 65 RBI.

Domonic Brown crushed a ball to right field in the sixth for a solo shot, his fifth of the season. Brown is just 8-for-34 (.235) over his last 10 games, but three of the hits are home runs and one was a double.

The Phillies’ bullpen shut the Nationals down for four innings. Josh Lindblom pitched a scoreless sixth, Antonio Bastardo and Justin De Fratus combined for a 1-2-3 seventh and Phillippe Aumont tossed a perfect eighth. Jonathan Papelbon finished it off in the ninth, striking out two to pick up his 37th save. He has a 2.26 ERA.

The series continues Wednesday night with Kyle Kendrick against the infamous John Lannan, who is 2-12 with a 5.79 ERA in his career against the Phillies.

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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

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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

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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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