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Gameday 67: Cubs vs. Phillies

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, June 15, 2014 12:58 PM Comments: 35

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Chicago Cubs (26-39) at Philadelphia Phillies (29-37)

Starting Pitchers:
CHI: Travis Wood (6-5, 4.95)
vs.
PHI: AJ Burnett (4-5, 4.24)

Time: 1:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV: CSN
Weather: Sunny, 81
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Jimmy Rollins is now the all-time hit king for the Phillies. So now what? Well, now they try and win back to back series with a win over the Cubs. They can do so if AJ Burnett can pitch much the same way he did against the Padres earlier in the week.

Lineup: Revere CF / Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Byrd RF/ Ruiz C / Brown LF / Mayberry 1B / Cedeno 3B / Burnett P

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Jimmy Rollins, Phillies All-Time Hit Leader

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, June 14, 2014 05:26 PM Comments: 12

Jimmy Rollins passed Mike Schmidt on the Phillies all-time hit list with no. 2,235 in the fifth inning. Congrats to the Phillies new hit king.

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Rollins Ties Record, Phillies Lose to Cubs

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, June 13, 2014 09:59 PM Comments: 8

Jimmy Rollins tied Mike Schmidt on the Phillies all-time hit list, but the effort was not enough as the Cubs shut down the Phillies, 2-1. It is already the 9th time the Phillies have been shutout this season.

-Roberto Hernandez was hanging in there, as he usually tries to do every fifth day. His evening was cut short by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger after plunking Starlin Castro in the sixth inning. Castro homered earlier in the evening, so Ripperger decided it was time for a quick hook. From Hernandez’s reaction, it certainly didn’t seem intentional. Ryne Sandberg took exception, he too was shown the door.

-Hernandez went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs while striking out five. However, the Cubs aren’t very good.

-Antonio Bastardo was outstanding in two innings of work. For much of this season, walks have killed Bastardo, but recently he’s curbed that issue. Tonight he allowed no walks, no hits, and struck out three Cubs on just 21 pitches.

-Offensively, nothing really to celebrate other than Jimmy Rollins. He tied Mike Schmidt on the Phillies all-time list hit list, doubling down the right field line in the ninth inning.

The fans gave J-Roll a roaring round of applause when the big screen showed the accomplishment. Deservedly so.

-Dom Brown knocked in the only run in the game, in the ninth, his 32nd RBI of the season.

 

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Injury News: Ruf, MAG, Adams, Lee

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, June 13, 2014 09:16 PM Comments: 0

-Darin Ruf has a hairline fracture in his left wrist, Ruben Amaro said Friday. He should be able to resume playing in games in about three weeks. “When it heals, it’ll be playable,’ said the GM. I’d like to see Ruf get another look at the majors, but we probably won’t see that for at least a few weeks.

-Amaro said that Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez threw a bullpen on Thursday and registered 93-94 on the radar. MAG had been shut down with a sore shoulder. We won’t be seeing the $12 million Cuban any time soon.

-Mike Adams was slated to have a cortisone shot in his ailing right arm today, according to Amaro. He’s been dealing with inflammation in his surgically repaired shoulder, but Amaro said that if all goes well they could have him back in early July.

-Freddy Galvis could be playing in games next month after breaking his collarbone.

-Cliff Lee threw again on Friday, the third time in four days he was able to do so. Amaro, however, did not elaborate on a timeline for Lee.

 

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Who, or What, is Reid Brignac?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, June 13, 2014 10:30 AM Comments: 5

Can Brignac be more than a nice bench piece in Philadelphia?

Who, or what, is Reid Brignac was a question I had posed to me Wednesday night after Brignac’s ninth inning, walk-off homer to send the last-place Padres, well, further into last place in the NL West. Brignac used his magic once again yesterday, hitting a two-run, pinch-hit sixth inning double to put the Phils ahead for good. The “who” was easy to answer. After the person was not satisfied with my “he’s a bipedal Homo sapien that is a professional baseball player”, I decided to write this little piece and dedicate it to them.

For those not familiar with Brignac, he was one of only a handful of players to ever have the distinction of being a four-time Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus Top 100 prospect. Through his ages 21-24 seasons, Brignac was a power-hitting Minor League shortstop. In his age 24 season, 2010, he received his first extended playing time in the Majors and hit .256/.307/.385 with 8 HR and 3 SB for the Rays in an AL East-winning season.

Brignac battled injuries in 2011 as a 25-year old and lost the shine of a top prospect after winning the Rays starting shortstop job out of camp for the first time. Brignac bounced around Tampa in 2012 before spending time in the Rockies and Yankees systems last year, in addition to spending time with their big league clubs. Brignac’s .222/.265/.314 Major League line suggests that Brignac hasn’t been very good, but with inconsistent playing time due to injury in his second full season and after, who, or what, is Brignac?

Amazingly, nobody seems to know the answer to that question. Now a third baseman with the Phillies, Brignac is hitting just .233/.313/.372. The good news in that line? He walks about 10% of the time. The bad news that is not in that line? He has struck out about 36.7% of the time.

The Phillies have brought in former top prospects thought to be done before with varying degrees of success. The Jayson Werth experiment worked incredibly well while there is evidence to suggest the Brandon Moss experiment could have worked pretty decently as well. On the flip side, the Delmon Young era ended with the thud of a car slamming into a PA Turnpike barrier and Brad Lincoln has been stuck in IronPig purgatory for most of this season.

Unfortunately with Brignac, there is little evidence to suggest he is much better than his line currently stands. In 49 plate appearances, Brignac has been worth 0.0 WAR meaning that he hasn’t provided anything that your average AAAA-type player couldn’t provide. Over his short, but already complicated career, Brignac has succeeded in smashing mistake fastballs but has been fooled by just about everything else. When Brignac misses, he misses hard but he certainly has appeal as a powerful infield bench bat that can turn on a mistake.

The verdict? Brignac is better than the Michael Martinezes and the Miguel Cairos of the past and may even have a little bit more potential left in him. But, for the most part, what you see is what you get, and what you get with Reid Brignac is an above-average defensive infielder that can smash a mistake every once in a while.

 

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Notes: Rollins, Lee, Giles

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, June 12, 2014 05:23 PM Comments: 21

-Soon, Jimmy Rollins will hold the Phillies all-time hits record. It should be within a day or two, barring a slump. With that, he’ll pass Mike Schmidt, the greatest Phillie of all-time, in a fairly important statistical category. And how does that make everyone feel?

I’ve gotten some interesting responses on twitter as to the feelings people will have and it seems mixed. It’s not like he’s shocking anyone by doing this, we’ve been tracking it for some time. Yet, some still play the hater role when it comes to Rollins. Will you be happy, sad, indifferent, when he breaks the record? Does it matter?

-Cliff Lee tossed again on Thursday and could throw again tomorrow. He told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he felt good after 40-45 tosses on flat ground. Lee went on the DL on May 20 and picked up a ball for the first time on Tuesday. But it’s likely we won’t see him for at least the next three weeks. That gets us into July before he makes another major league start, and  you know what that does to a mans trade value.

-Ken Giles was about as nervous as any major leaguer I’ve ever seen after his first appearance. A few things: he seems like a shy kid, not that it mattes one way or another. But he doesn’t have the nutty closer in him, at least not yet. Giles also isn’t very big. Just looks like a normal dude who can somehow throw 100. He also seems to understand what it’s going to take. When asked about how important his slider is to becoming a full-time major leaguer, he agreed it was paramount. As you saw on the home run by Grandal, having a good fastball is not nearly enough. With a wipeout slider, as he called it, Giles becomes a force. But only if he can harness it.

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Mayberry Homers, Giles Appears as Phillies Sweep Padres

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, June 12, 2014 04:17 PM Comments: 3

Ken Giles made his major league debut and John Mayberry Jr. hit a home run in a rain soaked, 7-3 win over the Padres. It was just the Phillies second sweep of the season.

Kendrick Settles In

-It hasn’t been pretty for Kyle Kendrick in the first inning and today was no different as he allowed the Padres to open up with two runs. Heading into the game, KK had allowed 13 first inning runs this season.

-Overall, he calmed down and got through six innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out five.

Rollins Nears Record

-With his first inning RBI single, Jimmy Rollins moved to within one of Mike Schimdt’s franchise hit record. If I’m doing the math correctly, with two hits he’ll pass him for all-time lead.

-Dom Brown also slapped an RBI single, knocking in the Phillies second run of the day.

-The bigger blow came in the sixth when, you guessed it, Reid Brignac, doubled to left-center knocking in two runs to put the Phillies ahead 4-2. Earlier in the inning, the leading run could have scored but John Mayberry was called out on a bang-bang play at the plate. Upon review, Mayberry’s front leg never touched home, although he beat the throw to the plate.

-Mayberry made up for it later, hitting a monster three-run home run in the seventh inning.

Ken Giles Appears

-Giles made his first career appearance with two outs in the ninth inning and hit 100 mph on the stadium gun in with his first pitch. However, Yasmani Grandal went yard in the at-bat, making it a 7-3 game. He’d finish off with a strikeout. One to remember I suppose.

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Phillies Nation – Episode 10 – Draft, Matt Stairs, Chasing Dreams exhibit

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, June 11, 2014 08:07 PM Comments: 0

This week Pat and Corey discuss Ken Giles’ promotion, analyze the Phillies draft and offer their perspective on the upcoming schedule. Speaking of the draft, Rudy Mezzy interviews Neumann-Goretti star Josh Ockimey who was recently drafted by the Boston Red Sox.

Natalie returns with the second part (of three) of her interview with Phillies broadcaster Matt Stairs. Tommy Greene explains the conditioning needed for pitchers to last a full nine innings. And, Ryann moderates Batters Inbox featuring fan questions.

Finally, we have an exclusive tour of the Chasing Dreams exhibit on immigrants and baseball at the National American Jewish History Museum in Philadelphia.

Phillies Nation is presented by BQ Basement Systems and was filmed on location at Shibe Vintage Sports.

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Efficient Burnett Helps Phillies to Win Over Padres

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, June 10, 2014 10:37 PM Comments: 16

AJ Burnett shook off a few ugly starts to pitch 7+ innings, leading the Phillies to a 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Good Burnett

-All year it has been Jekyll and Hyde with AJ Burnett. Tonight, we got the proper version. Burnett needed just 89 pitches to throw 7 1/3 innings, a breeze by his standards. He allowed just two runs while striking out three and walking two. I’d caution, however; the Padres aren’t good.

-Jake Diekman came in and lit up the gun. He hit 100 mph once, much to the delight of the crowd. Ken Giles who?

-Jonathan Papelbon closed it out, but not before loading the bases and throwing 28 pitches. Jayson Stark said on our Monday show that execs around the league have no idea how he’s getting by with his stuff. Wonder if there will be a market for him?

It was also career save No. 300 for Paps.

Byrd Flies

-Marlon Byrd hit his 10th home run of the year, a three-run blast in a four-run fourth inning. Consider me shocked that Marlon has become a bit of a power hitter.

-Three other Phillies (Revere, Utley, and Howard) posted two hits a piece.

Clever Jimmy

-Great play by Jimmy Rollins in the 8th inning to dodge a tag by Evereth Cabrera, which allowed Chase Utley to make it to first base. The Phillies didn’t score, but I was very much a fan of that heads up play. Jimmy doesn’t get enough credit for things like that. If that were Chase, it would have been the smartest, bestest play ever.

 

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The Hopeless Phillies of 2014 and Beyond

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, June 09, 2014 02:30 PM Comments: 56

Recently, I was fortunate enough to take a wonderful vacation with my wife to Orlando, FL and New Orleans, LA to visit family. On the trip, I met my newest nephew for the first time and played golf at a level not unlike Sinbad in House Guest. My wife and I did the trip by car, going, by our estimation, over 3,200 miles round trip, seeing parts of the country we had never seen before.

With rest and relaxation on my mind, I had almost quite literally forgotten about the Phillies. When we left, they were just a few games out of the race and, even though I pegged them as a 64-win team in the offseason, I did not think they would fall into a tailspin this season or at least this early in it. When we returned to Glenside, PA, I started to think that maybe forgetting about them was the best thing that could have happened.

It has been difficult to write or think about the Phillies and I wanted to hold off writing something extremely negative until they won a few games. Seeing as they have lost eight of nine, I am not sure that day will come soon. Still in a vacation haze, Buster Olney successfully snapped me out of it with one sentence uttered during ESPN’s draft coverage. I am unable to find the footage and do not want to misquote Olney but it was to the effect of:

The Phillies are in trouble and not just in trouble this year but for a long, long time.

Continue reading The Hopeless Phillies of 2014 and Beyond

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