Gameday 2009

NLDS Gameday: Phillies at Rockies, Game 3

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, October 11, 2009 09:07 PM Comments: 687

Philadelphia Phillies (1-1) at Colorado Rockies (1-1)

J.A Happ, LHP (0-0) vs. Jason Hammel, RHP (0-0)

Time: 10:07 p.m at Coors Field
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 35
Twitter: Phillies Nation

There has been much anticipation for the third game of the series, and the wait is finally over.  Originally scheduled for Saturday night, snow postponed the National League Division Series.  Play returns tonight with better weather conditions.

Cole Hamels’ hanging curveball to Yorvit Torreabla is the main reason why this series is locked at one.  The Phillies had an opportunity to take advantage of their home turf, but now they’ll have to carry their road success into the postseason.  The Phillies were a National League (tied with the Los Angeles Angels for MLB) best 48-33 away from The Bank this season.

Pedro Martinez was originally scheduled to pitch game three, but thanks to the postponement, J.A Happ will be handed the ball.  Happ was struck in the knee during a relief appearance on Thursday, forcing him to exit the game.  Happ suffered from a contusion, but insisted on being fine.  The rookie, who won 12 games with a sub-3 ERA, will make his first postseason start.  On August 5, Happ tossed a complete game shutout against the Rockies.  In that outing, he struck out ten.

The Rockies opted to go with Jason Hammel, who came over from the Tampa Bay Rays at the very beginning of the season.  Hammel went 10-8 with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP this season.  He started the year in the bullpen, but spent the majority of the season as a starter.  Hammel pitched 9.1 innings against the Phillies, including one start.  He allowed five earned against the Phillies, whose collective lineup batted .359 against him.   Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez each homered off him.

Tonight’s game is the most important one yet.  A victory would give the Phillies some breathing room, but a loss will make their chances of repeating much more difficult.

Tonight’s Lineup: Rollins (SS), Victorino (CF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (LF), Ibanez (LF), Feliz (3B), Ruiz (C), Happ (P).

Natural IceYour Gameday Beer – Natural Ice
Nothing says “brrrrrr” like a cold Natty Ice. If you’re looking to get after it and are light on cash, this is the beer for you. There’s not too many other reasons to drink this Bud product; the 5.9% ABV really comes through in its fizzy, watery taste. Enjoy it with a late night pizza run. – By Brian



NLDS Gameday: Rockies at Phillies, Game 2

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, October 08, 2009 01:37 PM Comments: 473

Colorado Rockies (0-1) at Philadelphia Phillies (1-0)

Phillies lead series 1-0

Aaron Cook, RHP (0-0) vs. Cole Hamels, LHP (0-0)

Time: 2:37 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Sunny, 65
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Less than 24 hours after a complete game dazzler from Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and the Phillies will take to the field looking for a 2-0 series lead.  There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Lee’s outing on Tuesday, but you know how it went.  Save the ninth, it was everything the Phillies hoped for, and more.

Hamels will attempt to match that start in a game where the winds should not be a factor.  After a shaky regular season, this is the time of year Hamels has been known to dominate; his track record speaks for itself.  Last season, Hamels blew through the Brewers, Dodgers, and Rays to capture the World Series MVP award, plus all of the fame that comes with it.  Now one of the most recognizable Phillies, Hamels needs to rekindle that 2008 showing and step one is beating the Rockies to make this a lopsided series.

Aaron Cook opposes Hamels, in what will be just his second career postseason start.  He previously pitched against the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 World Series, were he tossed six innings, allowing just three earned in a hard luck loss.  Cook spent the early part of this season on the DL, but came back to post a decent stat line: 11-6, 4.16 ERA, 175 hits, 158 innings.  His mediocre WHIP (1.405) means he will allow base runners, so look for the Phils to capitalize today.

Yesterday, every starter in the Phillies order had at least one hit, Lee included.  That offensive balance, paired with the outstanding pitching performance made for an awesome Game 1. Today, look for the bats to stay hot, as Cook has struggled mightily against the Phils. He’s just 1-5 lifetime with an ERA pushing six.  In 21 at-bats against Cook, Chase Utley is hitting .381 with a HR and an amazing 11 RBI.

Today’s Lineup: Rollins (SS), Victorino (CF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (LF), Ibanez (LF), Feliz (3B), Ruiz (C), Hamels (P).

Hollywood BlondeYour Gameday Beer – Hollywood Blonde
Today’s beer selection is of course in honor of the Phillies flashy starting pitcher. This Blonde beer is a good introduction to the category as its taste is not overpowering. It has a faint citrus flavor with hints of flowers and grass…a real hippie taste from this California Brewery (Great Bear Company). Enjoy it with a pulled pork sandwich topped with some Cole slaw. – By Brian



NLDS Gameday: Rockies at Phillies, Game 1

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, October 07, 2009 02:07 PM Comments: 314

Colorado Rockies (0-0) at Philadelphia Phillies (0-0)

Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP (0-0) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (0-0)

Time: 2:37 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Sunny, Windy, 65
Twitter: Phillies Nation

And now, for what you have all been waiting for.  The Philadelphia Phillies start their run to repeat at 2:37 today.

Cliff Lee makes his first career postseason start in Game 1, and will face off against Ubaldo Jimenez, the man who helped close out a sweep against the Phillies in 2007.  Lee may be a newcomer, but his credentials speak for themselves in the regular season – let’s hope it translates to October baseball.  In August, Lee faced the Rockies in his second start with the team, and did quite well. He held the Rox to just one run over seven innings while fanning nine.  The Fightin’s fans will surely take a similar effort today.

Jimenez pitched 6 1/3 innings back in ’07 against the Phils and struck out five while giving up just one run.  The silver lining there is he walked four batters, and he’s been known to do that a lot.  With some patience, the Phillies can get to Jimenez early and often.

Couple that with the winds today, and we could have an exciting offensive match up.  The wind is blowing from left field out to right, giving the slew of lefty bats for the Phillies some leverage.  Let’s hope the jet stream grabs an Utley fly ball, helping him to get moving here in the early goings of the playoffs.

Be prepared Phillies fans…this is October.

Today’s Lineup: Rollins (SS), Victorino (CF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (LF), Ibanez (LF), Feliz (3B), Ruiz (C), Lee (P).

Post Road Pumpkin AleYour Gameday Beer – Post Road Pumpkin Ale
Oktoberfests aren’t the only beers appropriate for the month of October – you’d be surprised how you can make a beer that tastes like pumpkin but isn’t gross. The Brooklyn Brewery secret for this beer is to mask most of the pumpkin flavor with spices such as cinnamon, brown sugar, clove and nutmeg. Though not the best pumpkin beer out there, it is definitely one worth trying on this crisp afternoon of playoff baseball. Have it with some roast turkey, like in one of those Gobbler sandwiches from WaWa. – By Brian



Gameday: Marlins (87-74) at Phillies (92-69)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, October 04, 2009 12:31 PM Comments: 111

Florida Marlins (87-74) at Philadelphia Phillies (92-69)

Josh Johnson (15-5) vs. J.A Happ (12-4)

Time: 1:35 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 64
Twitter: Phillies Nation

This is it.  Game number 162.   The final game of the regular season.  It will be the Phillies final tuneup before facing the Colorado Rockies in the National League Division Series on Wednesday.

J.A Happ will make his final campaign for the Rookie of the Year Award, but he may also be pitching for a spot in the postseason rotation.  “When I think about it, you want him in [the rotation] because he is a starter, but missing [J.C] Romero … if [Happ] pitches one inning in three days, he could come back and pitch on his regular turn. I’m not saying we’re going to do that, but that does enter my mind,” Charlie Manuel said.

It is unlikely Happ will pitch more than six innings today.  He’ll pitch long enough so he doesn’t become rusty, but short enough to avoid an injury.  It will also allow relievers to audition for a spot on the playoff roster.  Happ pitched seven shutout innings when he last faced the Marlins.

Happ will be opposed by the Marlins’ ace, Josh Johnson.  Johnson is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA against the Phillies this year.  In 18 innings, Johnson has struck out 24 Phillies.  Phillies hitters are batting .212 against him.

It is Fan Appreciation Day at Citizens Bank Park.  The fans would really appreciate a win, ending the season on a positive note.  Being swept is not a good way to enter the postseason.

Today’s Lineup: Cairo 2B, Dobbs 3B, Werth RF, Stairs LF, Francisco CF, Tracy 1B, Bruntlett SS, Bako C, Happ P

Birra MorettiYour Gameday Beer – Birra Moretti
We’re going with an easy drinker for what hopes to be an easy Sunday. This Italian Pilsner has a crisp golden pour and similarly light flavor. It’s both bubbly and hoppy and since neither are overwhelming it makes for a nice party in your mouth. Keep it going with your favorite hoagie. – By Brian



Gameday: Marlins (86-74) at Phillies (92-68)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, October 03, 2009 03:15 PM Comments: 111

Florida Marlins (86-74) at Philadelphia Phillies (92-68)

Anibal Sanchez, RHP (3-8, 4.10 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels, LHP (10-10, 4.25 ERA)

Time: 4:10 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather:  Cloudy, 69
Twitter: Phillies Nation

The regular season is quickly coming to a close.  The Phillies already clinched, but it will still be an intense series at The Bank.  In game 161, the Phillies continue to fight for home field advantage.  The Phillies dropped last night’s game to the Marlins, so this is a “must win” in order to win to keep their home field hopes alive.

Cole Hamels will make his last tuneup before the postseason.  Hamels would like to end his roller coaster season on a positive note.  Against the Marlins this season, Hamels is 0-1 with a 4.67 ERA in 17.1 innings.  Marlins hitters are batting .254 against him.  Chris Coghlan is 4-for-7 with two home runs against Hamels.

Hamels will be opposed by Anibal Sanchez.  In the second game of a double header, Sanchez tossed eight scoreless innings against the Phillies.  If Sanchez is on, he can be really good.  However, if he is off, he can be very wild.

Today’s lineup: All the regulars are in.  On a side note, the Phillies added some pitching depth, recalling Antonio Bastardo.

Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Werth RF, Feliz 3B, Ruiz C, Hamels P.

Bud Light Golden WheatYour Gameday Beer – Bud Light Golden Wheat
I just picked up a six pack of this new offering from Budweiser out of sheer curiosity. It’s not often you see variations of a light beer. This one is intended for a mass audience so it’s not as strong a Wheat as Pyramid’s, Leinenkugels or even Blue Moon. I would say it’s like Bud Light with a little more flavor – the packaging says coriander and citrus peels but it’s hard to pinpoint them among all the bubbles. Today have dinner in front of the TV, a Phillies win and spaghetti and meatballs sounds like a plan. – By Brian



Gameday: Marlins (85-74) at Phillies (92-67)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, October 02, 2009 06:05 PM Comments: 104

Florida Marlins (85-74) at Philadelphia Phillies (92-67)

Rick Vandenhurk, RHP (2-2, 4.44 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton, RHP (12-7, 3.95 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 61
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

It’s the final weekend of what has been a roller coaster ride of a season for the Philadelphia Phillies.  Just three games remain between the Phils and the start of the postseason, so enjoy regular season baseball while it lasts.

To kick off the weekend festivities, Joe Blanton will try to give his team a push for home field in the playoffs tonight.  Blanton scorched through the summer months, but has since hit a bit of a lull. After back-to-back appearances without allowing an earned run, Big Joe gave up five earned against Milwaukee last weekend, but still came away with the win.  Against the Marlins, Blanton is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in five career starts.  If he can continue the torrid trend against the Fish, home field for the duration of the NL Playoffs could be in their sights.  Keep an eye on the Rockies and Dodgers match up as well.

Rick Vandenhurk sees the Phillies once again.  His last start was against Philly on September 23, when he gave up four earned over six innings of work in the Marlins 7-6 victory. It’s just his 11th start of the season.  The Phillies would love to pounce on the youngster and push the stakes higher, as the Dodgers sit one game up in the standings, while the Cardinals and Rockies are one behind the Phils.

Bad news: J.C. Romero is feeling pain again in his forearm, and is likely done for the year.  According to Todd Zolecki, Romero said, “I’m done bro. I’m done.”

LINEUP: Victorino (CF), Cairo (SS), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Francisco (LF), Dobbs (3B), Ruiz (C), Blanton (P)

Lagunitas Lucky 13 Mondo Large Red AleYour Gameday Beer – Lagunitas Lucky 13 Mondo Large Red Ale
For whatever reason, I like to think of red ales as fall beers. This offering from Lagunitas comes in a 22-ounce bottle and certainly fits into that autumn category. Its rich amber flavor is thickened by apples and syrup while also containing a strong hops body. It has a traditional dry finish – common in IPAs. Have it with some pork chops and applesauce.



Gameday: Astros (73-85) at Phillies (92-66)

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, October 01, 2009 06:26 PM Comments: 79

Houston Astros (73-85) at Philadelphia Phillies (92-66)

Felipe Paulino, RHP (2-11, 6.51 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (14-12, 3.19 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 56
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Whew! After a September scare, the Phillies and their fans can both exhale; and hopefully enjoy these next four games.  That said, there is still a lot to play for, like home-field advantage and a roster spot for some guys.

For Cliff Lee tonight will be a chance to fine tune for the playoffs and end the season on a high note.  He has been inconsistent after an electric start since coming to the Phillies.  In his last outing, he coughed up seven runs in six innings against the Brewers.  After tallying that start, his 226 innings this season led all major league pitchers.  Maybe Charlie Manuel will encore last night’s dramatic pitching change with Brad Lidge by pulling Lee earlier than usual.

The Astros meantime counter with 2-11 Felipe Paulino who has been the victim of poor run support (among other things) all season long.  Paulino has a 8.37 ERA on the road and 8.42 at night which means another sellout crowd in brisk conditions might spell trouble for the 25-year old righty.  He is mainly a fastball, curve, slider pitcher and has given up 120 hits in 92.2 innings this season.

As for the lineup, look for a usual starter or two to take a seat on the bench for the majority of tonight’s game. Charlie Manuel said he knows some of his players could use a rest. “I think I can do it. It’s not like I’m going to take three or four out of the lineup at the same time.” In the past five season, he has led the Phillies to an NL-best 217-143 record in the second half of the season – so he might know what he’s doing.

Imperial Pumpkin AleYour Gameday Beer – Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Happy October folks! One of the benefits of playoff baseball is that your beer stays cold at that game. A cold, but not frosty, pumpkin ale is a great way to enjoy prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. This hearty Pennsylvania brew come full of sweet nectar, spiced flavors. Have it with some roast beef and sweet potatoes. – By Brian



Gameday: Astros (73-84) at Phillies (91-66)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 30, 2009 06:09 PM Comments: 249

Houston Astros (73-84) at Philadelphia Phillies (91-66)

Brian Moehler, RHP (8-11, 5.21 ERA) vs. Pedro Martinez, RHP (5-1, 3.32 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 54
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

On this crisp, autumn evening, all it takes is a victory. A win tonight, and the Phillies will clinch their third straight NL East crown, and in the process give their players some much needed rest.

Pedro Martinez is the man that will lead them tonight.  He has not pitched since September 19 because of a stiff neck, but the kinks are out and he’s ready to throw.  Martinez suffered his only loss of the season in that outing against Atlanta, going three innings, while allowing three runs before he was lifted with the neck strain.  Before that, he had been spectacular, winning five of his previous seven outings.

He hasn’t faced the Astros since August 2008, and overall his numbers aren’t pretty. Pedro is 6-7 with a 4.03 ERA lifetime in 16 starts against Houston.  But tonight, throw the numbers away, because Pedro is known to do big things in big spots.

Brian Moehler opposes Pedro tonight.  The Phillies have hit him hard, as his 6.19 ERA indicates.  He’s started eight times against the Phils, giving up 60 hits and 33 earned runs.  This give the Fightin’s a surefire opportunity to clinch tonight.

The champagne is chilling, the plastic tarps are ready, now there’s only one thing left to do.  Win.

NOTES: Carlos Ruiz is back in the lineup and Brett Myers is available out of the bullpen if needed.

Tonight’s lineup: Rollins (SS), Victorino (CF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Ibanez (LF), Werth (RF), Feliz (3B), Ruiz. (C), Martinez (P).

Beck'sYour Gameday Beer – Beck’s
Beck’s, a classic German Brewery, provides tonight’s beer like a present wrapped neatly in tin foil. It’s certainly not the best German beer but it is popular and widely available. Like similar mass-produced pilsners it has that traditional rice and corn beer taste, though not has strong as a Bud or Miller product. It of course goes well with Wiener Schnitzel otherwise known as veal cutlets. – By Brian



Gameday: Astros (73-83) at Phillies (90-66)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, September 29, 2009 06:21 PM Comments: 307

Houston Astros (73-83) at Philadelphia Phillies (90-66)

Wilton Lopez, RHP (0-0, 8.44 ERA) vs. J.A Happ, LHP (11-4, 2.79 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy & Windy, 69
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

The Houston Astros always seem to torture the Phillies in September, but don’t jump off the bandwagon yet!  The beauty of baseball is that there is always a tomorrow.  After a painful loss on Monday, the Phillies will try to rebound.

Last night, the Phillies struggled against Yorman Bazardo.  Once again, they’ll be seeing a new face.  Wilton Lopez is making his first major league start.  In 10.2 innings in relief, the rookie has struggled mightily.  He has allowed 20 hits and his ERA is over eight.  Over the course of the year, the Phillies’ bats have been silent against young pitchers that they’ve never faced before, even if they own high ERA’s.

J.A Happ will try to help his case for the 2009 Rookie of the Year Award.  The left-hander is seeking his twelfth win of the year.  Opponents have batted .236 against him this season.  Happ has been the stopper.  He is a perfect 7-0 after Phillies losses.

Charlie Manuel did most of the talking during a closed-door meeting this afternoon.  Hopefully that will pump up the team and get them back on the right track.  Manuel later said to the media: “Ever since I’ve been in baseball, I’ve been a fighter and I’ve come to whip your [butt] every day.”  So let’s whip some Astro-butt tonight.

Tonight’s lineup: Rollins (SS), Victorino (CF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Ibanez (LF), Werth (RF), Feliz (3B), Bako (C) and Happ (P).

STORM KING STOUT Your Gameday Beer – Storm King Stout
There’s a storm a brewin’ and only the Phillies will decide which way it blows. We’re staying local tonight with a full and flavorful stout from Victory Brewing Co. Dark and rich with roasted malts that do not overpower its Pacific Northwest hops, this beer is a lip smacker.a Storm King is best paired with the sweet taste of victory. – By Brian



Gameday: Astros (72-83) at Phillies (90-65)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, September 28, 2009 06:24 PM Comments: 202

Houston Astros (72-83) at Philadelphia Phillies (90-65)

Yorman Bazardo, RHP (0-2, 9.55 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels, LHP (10-9, 4.11 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Sunny, 69
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

BREAKING NEWS: According to Meredith Marakovitz of 950 ESPN, J.C. Romero has been activated from the DL.  She also reports that Carlos Ruiz could be back as early as Wednesday.

This could be the deciding series for the Fightin’ Phils.  With their magic number at three, the Phillies could clinch as early as Tuesday depending on the Braves’ outcome.  The Phillies need to take care of their own business by beating the Houston Astros, who swept them in four games at the beginning of September.

When the games get bigger, Cole Hamels gets better.  In his last six starts, Hamels is 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA.  He struggled against Houston, allowing four earned runs in six innings.

Hamels will be opposed by Yorman Bazardo, who his seeking his first win of 2009.  Bazardo is making his fourth start of the season.  He has not lasted more than five innings in any of his starts.  Bazardo allows a lot of base runners, 2.08 walks and hits per innings pitched.  Opponents are batting .341 against him.

The offense has been better lately, and they should be able to handle Bazarado.  However, they have a tendency to struggle against pitchers they’ve never faced before.  The “RISP” stat will be a key stat to look at during tonight’s game.

The Phillies were unable to clinch on the road, but it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise if they can clinch in front of the home crowd.  The rally towels will be out tonight, and the rest of the series.

Miller Genuine DraftYour Gameday Beer – Miller Genuine Draft
Good ole MGD, it always surprises when you can get this beer cheaper than Miller Lite, though it’s definitely not Miller’s best offering. It is heavily carbonated and has simple grain and corn flavoring. You know what you’re getting with this one – it’s an easy drinker. I like it with cheese (wiz) fries – By Brian


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