2014 Game Recaps

Seven-Run Eighth Powers Buchanan, Phils to Sweep

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, July 10, 2014 05:21 PM Comments: 11

If you had the Phillies coming into Milwaukee and sweeping the team with the NL’s best record in their own yard after losing nine of their last ten, raise your hand?

After being held hitless until the top of the seventh by Matt Garza, the Phillies exploded for seven runs in the eighth and rewarded a fine effort by rookie David Buchanan and led the Phillies to a 9-1 win and a series sweep against the team with the NL’s best record in their own ballpark.


Buchanan Stymies Brewers

Buchanan earned his fifth win of the season, pulling his record to an even 5-5. Buchanan’s ERA dropped to 4.40 after going seven innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits, striking out five. Buchanan surrendered a sixth inning homer to Carlos Gonzalez which had the feeling of a game-winner in a game strapped for offense. But…

The Offense Comes Out Swinging, Both Barrels Loaded With Two Outs in the Eighth

It looked like one of those all-too-common days where a Phillies pitcher would toss a winnable game only to have the offense not reward them but Cameron Rupp started an offensive onslaught that almost didn’t stop in the eighth inning. Rupp hit a one-out double and was followed by a pinch-hit walk by Cesar Hernandez. Rupp and Hernandez would each move up a base on a Tony Gwynn Jr. ground out.

With two outs, Jimmy Rollins singled home Rupp and Hernandez. Rollins would steal second before a Chase Utley walk. Ryan Howard would follow with a reviewed and up-held ground rule double, scoring Rollins, putting the Phillies up 3-1. Marlon Byrd would be intentionally walked before Cody Asche hit a ground-rule double of his own to make the score 5-1. Domonic Brown would join the party with a two-run single of his own to make it 7-1.

In the ninth, the Big Piece smashed a two-run homer, ending a 20-game homer-less drought, putting the Phillies ahead 9-1. Anotonio Bastardo struck out one in a perfect eighth and Jake Diekman struck out a pair in a perfect ninth to preserve the win.

Well, what now? The Phillies, left for dead, end a difficult road trip 5-5 on a four-game winning streak. With their playoff results improving 12-times over after yesterday’s results, going from 0.1% to 1.2%, each win pulls on your heart strings and makes you think this team has some kind of chance to play, at the very least, fun baseball for the rest of the summer, no?


Hernandez Goes Eight Strong, Phils Win Third in a Row

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, July 09, 2014 10:42 PM Comments: 2

Roberto Hernandez had his finest outing of the 2014 season and one of the finest games of any Phillies pitcher all year, needing an economical 84 pitches to get through eight innings en route to a 4-1 Phillies win.

Timely Hitting Behind Hernandez

Chase Utley started the party with a homer from the three hole off former Phillie Kyle Lohse. Lyle Overbay would knot the game at one with an RBI single in the second but that was about all the damage Hernandez would surrender. Jimmy Rollins would put the Phillies ahead 3-1 in the sixth with a solo shot. Cameron Rupp would hit an RBI single in the seventh to push the lead to 4-1.

Hernandez Effective and Economical

Hernandez wasn’t horribly dominant, striking out only three, but he would only surrender two walks and three hits over eight innings. Jonathan Papelbon converted his 22nd save of the season, striking out one, lowering his ERA to 1.24.

The Phillies look for the four-game, road sweep tomorrow when David Buchanan takes on Matt Garza.


Phillies Bats Awaken, Bail Out Kendrick, Beat Brew Crew 9-7

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, July 08, 2014 11:58 PM Comments: 2

The Phillies went down 5-1 in the first inning to the Brewers via a Scooter Gennett homer and a Lyle Overbay grand slam off of Kyle Kendrick. But the Phillies offense remained patient, with eight out of the first nine hitters reaching base in the second inning to take a 6-5 lead. Domonic Brown would hit a solo homer, his sixth, in the third inning to extend the lead to 7-5 and would double home Ryan Howard and Cody Asche in the fifth to push the lead to 9-5. That would be all the Phillies needed, in spite of a poor effort by Kendrick, as the Phillies would win 9-7.

Revere Stays Hot

Ben Revere started the game with a single and hit a two-run ground rule double in the second, going 2-5 on the night with a pair of runs and RBI. Revere’s average continues to climb closer to .300 and now sits at .294.

Not Kendrick’s Best Night

Kendrick went just 5.2 IP and allowed seven earned runs, allowing three homers.

Bullpen Awesome Again

Luckily for Kendrick, the bullpen was awesome once more. With runners on second and third, Justin De Fratus came in in relief of Kendrick in the sixth with two outs and got Aramis Ramirez to ground out to end the inning.

De Fratus, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon combined for 3.1 scoreless innings as Papelbon picked up his 21st save while the others earned a hold.

With the win, the Phillies moved to 10 games out of first place and sit 10 games back of the Wild Card. Roberto Hernandez will meet Kyle Lohse in game three of the four game set.


First-Inning Utley Homer Helps Power Hamels, Phils Beyond Brewers

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, July 07, 2014 11:57 PM Comments: 3

Ben Revere kick started the first inning with a single up the middle, advanced on an Andres Blanco sac bunt, and stole third base. A pretty exciting sequence events was topped off by a line-drive homer by Chase Utley, his seventh of the season and first since June 26 to put the Phils up 2-0. That was almost all the Phillies needed. Ryan Howard would plate Utley in the third on a single for a 3-0 lead. Cole Hamels cruised for 6 2/3 IP, striking out seven and only really running into trouble via a Cody Asche error in the fifth. The Brewers put two of their own on the board via a pinch-hit Jeff Bianchi single in the fifth but would be held scoreless for the remainder of the game and the Phils hang on to win 3-2.

Feels Weird to Win, Feels Weirder to See Hits

The Phils win, coupled with the Braves loss, puts them just 11 games out of first place and only thirteen games under .500. All three runs came off lefty Marco Estrada. Blanco, Howard, Cody Asche, and Domonic Brown all had one hit while Revere and Utley chipped in with a pair each. In his last 11 games, Revere is 18-46 (.391) with five steals, a double, and a triple. His two-hit game raised his batting average to .292.

Bullpen Locks All Windows and Doors

I hate to steal a line from the terrific Sixers play-by-play man Marc Zumhoff but this bullpen has been virtually impossible to score on. Ken Giles lowered his ERA to 0.77, tossing an inning and a third with one strike out, allowing one hit. Jonathan Papelbon lowered his ERA to 1.31 striking out one in one inning pitched to notch his 20th save of the year.

The Phillies continue their four-game set with the Brew Crew tomorrow when Kyle Kendrick takes the hill against Wily Peralta.


Phillies Drop Finale 6-2, Swept by Pirates

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, July 06, 2014 04:36 PM Comments: 33

The Phillies managed to scrape together just four hits against lefty Jeff Locke, losing 6-2 to the Pirates who completed their sweep of the Phillies.

Losing Ways Continue

The Phillies have now lost 9 of 10 and are 3-12 since winning five in a row. The Phillies have dropped to an NL-worst 14 games under .500, sit just one game ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks to remain above the last place spot in the National League, and are 12 games out of first place.

A lot of the blame must be placed on the offense. After seven solid innings from A.J. Burnett, striking out seven, allowing just three earned, the Phillies could not find any punch at the plate. The Phillies scored early when Marlon Byrd plated Jimmy Rollins via a single. Rollins had reached base due to a throwing error by Pedro Alvarez. The Pirates would fight back and score two of their own in the bottom half of the first. The Pirates would tack on a third run in the third on a Neil Walker sacrifice fly. Byrd would tighten the game in the seventh with a solo homer, his 18th of the year, before the Pirates would add three insurance runs in the eighth following a Cody Asche error at third.

With very few tradeable assets, Byrd has rapidly increased his trade value over the last few games, seemingly the only bat that has been alive. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard received the day off for today’s game. All-Star selections will be announced this evening and it is likely Utley will be announced as a starter in a rare bit of good news for the Phillies.


Phillies Lose Sixth Straight

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, July 02, 2014 10:45 PM Comments: 17

With their 5-0 loss to the Miami Marlins on Wednesday, the Phillies have lost their sixth consecutive game.  The Phillies had a brief run of success in mid-June coming within 3.5 games of the National League East, but have since fallen in a terrible slump leaving them 10.5 games out.  The change happened quickly, within just two weeks.  The Phillies have now lost ten of their last twelve games.

Cole Hamels had trouble with his command, although his line wasn’t horrible.  Hamels finished after five innings, allowing three earned runs.  He walked four, and only struck out three.  Hamels had such a terrific month of June, but he wasn’t able to put up those lights-out numbers on Wednesday.  It was the first time in 11 straight starts that he didn’t make it to the seventh inning.

Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense continues to struggle.  Tom Koehler and the Marlins’ bullpen shut out the Phillies, limiting them to five hits.

The Phillies face the Marlins again on Thursday, looking to avoid the sweep.


Braves Top Phils, 4-2

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, June 27, 2014 10:58 PM Comments: 3

The Phillies dropped the first game of the series with the Braves on Friday night, 4-2. The game started off with a three run home run by Freddie Freeman off of Kyle Kendrick in the first, which ended up being all the Braves would need. The ball was caught by broadcaster Tom McCarthy, who, along with Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs, called the game from center field. T-Mac threw the ball back. The Braves would add another run in the second before the Phillies got two back in the fourth.

Early Struggles For Kendrick Again

This season, Kyle Kendrick has struggled immensely early in the game. It was no different on Friday night, as he surrendered three runs via a home run by Freddie Freeman. He’d end up going a full eight innings, while allowing just one more run. His final line was 8.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 HR with 123 pitches.

For the Braves, Julio Teheran threw seven innings, allowing just two runs (one earned).

Other Notes

The Phillies were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, with three of those outs coming from Jimmy Rollins. Overall, the team is hitting .234 with runners in scoring position. They only left six runners on base, however–compared to the Braves’ eight.

Ben Revere stole his 22nd base of the season. Reliever BJ Rosenberg threw a perfect ninth inning and looked really good.

Up Next: The Phils and Braves are back at it tomorrow in a day-night doubleheader. Roberto Hernandez and Ervin Santana will face off in game one, and Sean O’Sullivan and David Hale will go in game 2.


Burnett Battles Cards, Moths, Phils Win Fifth Straight

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, June 21, 2014 12:06 AM Comments: 16

Photo AP

A.J. Burnett extended the Phillies winning streak to five games, tossing a complete game surrendering just one run and scattering seven hits and one walk en route to a 5-1 win. The Phillies are now just 3.5 games out of first place in the NL East.

Burnett Does it For Grandma

Tonight’s game was extra special for Burnett who noted it was the first time he was ever able to pitch in front of his grandmother in person. Burnett was living in the low 90′s the entire game and credited Chooch with a mid-game adjustment away from the breaking ball to the change-up to improve his effectiveness. Burnett used the change-up effectively, forcing 15 ground balls and lowered his ERA to 3.89.

Bats String Together Hits at Just the Right Time

Burnett surrendered a single to Matt Holliday in the third that allowed Matt Carpenter to score. But Burnett would ensure that the Phillies got the run right back. Burnett smashed a double off the center field wall to drive in John Mayberry, who was on second with a double. Jimmy Rollins would hit a double of his own as the next batter to give the Phillies a 2-1, a lead they would not surrender.

Marlon Byrd would hit his 12th homer in the sixth. Byrd would be followed by a Domonic Brown double, who would be driven in by a Mayberry single. A sac fly by J-Rol ran the score up to 5-1, where it would conclude.

It is worth noting that the game was delayed about an hour for storms in the St. Louis area. There was a giant swarm of moths that appeared late in the game, around the seventh inning.  Oddly, this did not effect the pitchers, at least from a run-scoring perspective.

The Phillies go for their sixth-straight, and series, win tomorrow as they send Cole Hamels to the mound against Adam Wainwright at 4:10 PM.


Four in a Row: Buchanan Tosses A Gem, Phils Win 4-1

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, June 20, 2014 10:22 AM Comments: 14

In each of his last starts, David Buchanan had allowed seven, four, and three earned runs. Last night, he allowed just one through a career-high 7 2/3 as the Phillies spotted him an early 4-0 lead and he never looked back. Buchanan would surrender an RBI single to Matt Carpenter in the eighth to make it a 4-1 game but the suddenly lock-down Phillies bullpen put the game away, retiring all four remaining St. Louis hitters for the 4-1 victory.

Buchanan’s Big Day

The 25-year old righty from Fayetteville, GA had the best game of his young Major League career, going 7 2/3 IP, striking out four, surrendering just four hits, one walk, and one earned run in an economical 105 pitches. While it assumed that Buchanan will be optioned back to Lehigh Valley when Cliff Lee is return to return in a few weeks, Buchanan has wedged himself in an interesting spot against veteran Roberto Hernandez (3-5, 4.52 ERA, 1.548). With Hernadez’s high WHIP and propensity for long pitch counts, it is only a matter of time before he runs into more outings like he did against at Atlanta whereas Buchanan has fared better at keeping runners off base.

Howard Stays Hot

Howard went 2-4 with a homer and a single, driving in three runs. Howard is now hitting .281/.361/.484 in June with 4 HR and 24 Ks in 17 games. We certainly shouldn’t expect this level of production to remain at this high a level for Howard but he is absolutely seeing the ball better now than he has in what feels like years. In a smaller sample, since June 6, Howard is hitting .318/.412/.545 with 3 HR in 51 PA – that’s a pace that wins an MVP award and it is no surprise the Phils have suddenly woke from their slumber during this stretch.

Brignac Out

Reid Brignac injured his left ankle last night in a nasty looking play. Early reports indicate Brignac has a sprained left ankle and no additional roster move is anticipated even if Brignac is placed on the 15-day DL as Cody Asche is set to return tonight.

This was the Phils fourth win in a row and pulled them to within four games of the NL East lead. Last night’s win pulled them a game closer to the third place Marlins, as well as pulling them within 5 of the NL Wild Card. The Phillies look to extend their season-high four game winning streak to five tonight at 8:15 when the Fightins send A.J. Burnett to the hill to face Jaime Garcia. In three days, the Phils playoff odds, per ESPN’s calculations have improved from 3% to 11.4%.


Howard, Kendrick Lead Phillies to Win Over Braves

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, June 17, 2014 10:22 PM Comments: 26

Kyle Kendrick allowed two runs over seven innings and Ryan Howard struck early with a first inning homer as the Phillies beat the Braves, 5-2. The Phillies are 4.5 games behind the Braves and Nationals (as of this writing) in the NL East.

-Ryan Howard hit his 13th homer of the season in the first inning to put the Phillies up quickly. He also walked twice. Howard is on pace for 31 homers and 106 RBI. I know that’s not everything, but it’s also not that bad, I think.

-The offense had some more balance to it, walking seven times and managing five hits.

-Kendrick was badgering the zone all night, throwing 61 of his 90 pitches for strikes. This Braves lineup, known to strike out a bunch, fanned six times.

-Jonathan Papelbon saved his 16th game of the season after blowing it last night. He sports an impressive 1.59 ERA.

-Watch Phillies Nation at 11:30 on Comcast Sportsnet!

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