Gameday 2009

Gameday: Phillies (89-65) at Brewers (77-78)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, September 27, 2009 01:16 PM Comments: 158

Marlins Philadelphia Phillies (89-65) at Milwaukee Brewers (77-78)

Joe Blanton (11-7, 3.82) vs. Dave Bush, RHP (5-8, 6.22)

Time: 2:05 p.m. at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 63 (retractable roof)
Twitter: Phillies Nation

After dropping the last two games to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Phillies will try to rebound with Joe Blanton on the mound.  However, even if Blanton pitches well, the back end of the bullpen is still a major question mark.

Blanton will try to extend his 13 consecutive scoreless innings streak.  Blanton started the 2009 season poorly, but May 21 was his turning point.  Since that date, Big Joe Blanton is 9-4 with a 2.78 ERA in his last 21 starts.  Blanton pitched a quality start in his last outing against the Brew Crew.

Conestoga graduate Dave Bush will make his second start against the Phillies this season.  On April 23, the right-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning.  Matt Stairs homered to break up the no-no and the shutout.  In his last start, Bush gave up five earned runs in 1.1 innings.

This is a big game for the Phillies as they try to split the series.  With the Braves and Marlins still in the picture, Blanton can put the Phillies in better position to clinch this week.  The Brewers have nothing to lose.  All they have to do is player spoiler.

Hitachino Nest White AleYour Gameday Beer – Hitachino Nest White Ale
I tried this beer the other day and the first thing I thought was that my glass was not properly rinsed. When I drank it straight from the bottle and still got the same soapy taste, I realized I was initially mistaken. Fortunately the soapy flavor fades the more you drink this effervescent white ale from Japan. The first impression did not preclude me from enjoying this exotic treat of citrus, ginger and spice. I enjoyed it alongside some Kobe steak and wild mushrooms. – By Brian



Gameday: Phillies (89-64) at Brewers (76-78)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, September 26, 2009 06:30 PM Comments: 216

Marlins Philadelphia Phillies (89-64) at Milwaukee Brewers (76-78)

Kyle Kendrick (2-1, 2.70) vs. Braden Looper, RHP (13-7, 5.12)

Time: 7:05 p.m. at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI
Weather: Cloudy, 65 (retractable roof)
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Pedro can’t go because of a stiff neck, so Kyle Kendrick steps in for a spot start this evening.

Kendrick will make his second start with the Phillies this season, two weeks after shutting down the Mets in the opening game of a double header.  In that game, KK went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs.  In addition, Kendrick has seen action five times out of the bullpen, with four of those being scoreless outings.  He’s been able to locate his pitches and keep hitters off balance, which is an important part of his maturation.  The Phillies need yet another steady performance from him as they try to push that magic number even lower.

Braden Looper will be the starter for the Brewers tonight.  His father, Benny, just happens to be an assistant GM for the Phillies.  The 12-year veteran has seen his fair share of the Phillies during his career, facing the team 60 times with four different teams.  Only three of those 60 have come as a starter, and overall the numbers aren’t pretty.  He’s 3-6 with a 5.10 ERA and has allowed  16 home runs to the Phillies, the most by any opponent.  But as we saw last night with Manny Parra, you shouldn’t put too much stock in the lifetime stats.

Ryan Howard is one Phillie who absolutely owns Looper.  In just six career at bats, The Big Piece has four jacks and five RBI. He’s never struck out against him and has been walked four times. Jimmy Rollins is 9-for-33 lifetime against looper and Chase Utley is 5-for-14.

Odd stat: The Phillies are 32-19 in starts made by Kendrick during his career.  Let’s keep that trend going.

Also, Raul Ibanez is back in the starting lineup after missing the last two games with a stomach virus.

LINEUP: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibanez LF, Feliz 3B, Bako C, Kendrick P

Snow BeerYour Gameday Beer – Snow Beer
Snow Beer is brewed by the communist-sounding China Resources Breweries Limited brewery out of Beijing, China. The style is European Pale Lager which helps make it better than most domestic Chinese beers, including the more popular Tsingtao. Bubbles permeate the light grassy, vegetable taste (ok, Chinese beers are not the best in the world). Have it with some spicy Szechuan cuisine like Kung Pao chicken. – By Brian


Gameday: Phillies (88-62) at Marlins (81-71)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 23, 2009 06:15 PM Comments: 275

Marlins Philadelphia Phillies (88-62) at Florida Marlins (81-71)

Cole Hamels (10-9, 4.07) vs. Rick Vandenhurk, RHP (2-2, 4.24)

Time: 7:10 p.m. at Land Shark Stadium in Miami
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 83
Twitter: Phillies Nation

With three games in two days, the onus is on the Phillies to brave the swelter of South Florida and fight through the fatigue that comes with 150-plus games.  Yesterday, in splitting a double header, they kept the Marlins at arms length.

Tonight, Cole Hamels looks to continue his upward trend moving toward the postseason.  Overall, it hasn’t been the kind of year that was expected from Hamels, but lately he is changing that. He goes for win number 11 tonight, coming off of an eight inning, 10-strikeout performance against the Nats on September 17.  His lifetime numbers against the Marlins do not stand out (2-5, 4.19 ERA), however, he has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his five career starts at Land Shark Stadium.  This start could go a long way toward being the number one starter when the playoffs come around.

Henricus “Rick” Vandenhurk will oppose Hamels.  The 6-foot-5 righty hails from the Netherlands, and is just 24 years old.  In nine starts this year he’s been average, but the Phillies cannot sleep on him.  He’s given up nine homers in those starts, so if the Phillies can get the longball working once again, this could be over quickly.  With the game time temperature in the 80′s, along with the humidity, hopefully the Phils can wear him out with some early damage.

This evening, keep an eye on Cody Ross.  The Marlins centerfielder has smashed three home runs against Hamels in his career, including the game winner on August 8th when it appeared Hamels would be victorious.  Hanley Ramirez has also been a pain, hitting .310 against the lefty.

Good news today out of the bullpen as Scott Eyre has been deemed ready to pitch once again, according to Rich Dubee. J.C. Romero is getting close as well after yesterday’s 50-pitch bullpen session.  He will face live hitters tomorrow in an instructional league assigment.

Old MilwaukeeYour Gameday Beer – Old Milwaukee
Old Milwaukee, believe it or not, is brewed by Blue Ribbon winner Pabst’s which is based out of Illinois. Don’t worry though, it’s still an authentic mid-west macrobrew that is best served ice cold. The flavor is light, kinda grainy, kinda corny, but not too bitter – overall drinkable. Grill some flavored chicken sausages to with it. – By Brian


Gameday: Phillies (87-61) at Marlins (80-70)

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, September 22, 2009 04:18 PM Comments: 262

Marlins Philadelphia Phillies (87-61) at Florida Marlins (80-70)

Game 1: Joe Blanton (10-7, 3.97) vs. Josh Johnson, RHP (15-4, 3.01)

Game 2: Jamie Moyer (12-9, 5.05) vs. Anibal Sanchez, RHP (2-7, 4.50)

Time: Game 1, 4:10 p.m. and Game 2, 7:35 p.m at Land Shark Stadium in Miami
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 83
Twitter: Phillies Nation

It is hard to overstate the importance of this series against the Marlins, beginning with tonight’s doubleheader. Only a Marlins sweep would give the Phils a reason to be concerned heading into the penultimate weekend of the regular season. On the flip side, a Phillies sweep or series win would put Charlie Manuel in a better position to rest his team that lately has been pretty banged up.

The numbers are on the Phillies side with a 6-0 record in Miami this year. They also have the best road record in the Majors. In two starts against the Fish this season, Joe Blanton is 1-1 with a paltry 1.98 ERA, 3-1 against them in his career. The Marlins do have a team average of .299 against him, lead by Nick Johnson with seven hits in 13 ABs.

Josh Johnson will take to the hill for the Marlins. Talk about Phillie-killer – the righty was nasty in two starts against the Phils this season, going 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13 innings. In his career versus the Phillies, he is 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA in seven starts. Pedro Feliz has struck out seven times against him in 14 ABs. He throws mostly fastballs and sliders and opposing batters are just 30-for-150 (.200) veruss Johnson with runners in scoring position this season. It might be a go long or go home game for the twi-night part of this doubleheader.

On paper, the Phillies are in for a much less intimidating pitcher in Anibal Sanchez with his 2-7 record. Although his ERA is lower than Jamie Moyer’s, who would you rather have pitching? It’s been a month since Sanchez’s last win despite having a decent performance in his last start against Cincinnati.

Since Jamie Moyer was officially demoted to the bullpen, he has made three appearances in relief and tonight will be his third consecutive appearance starting. As Dipsy implied earlier today, there might be a case brewing for Jamie Moyer to be a playoff starter.

Jimmy Rollins is one stolen base away from his sixth straight season with 30 or more steals. Chone Figgins is the only other active player with a streak as long.

Troegenator Double BockYour Gameday Beer – Troegenator Double Bock
Troegenators…mount up! This doppelbock by our friends at Troegs has a cool brown-red color that foretells its flavors. The taste is sweet, like maple syrup, with toffee and caramel – no real hops presence. There’s alcohol, though, and plenty of it at 8.2% ABV. Have it with some gamey meat like venison or bison as steaks or burgers.



Gameday: Phillies (86-61) at Braves (79-69)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, September 20, 2009 12:25 PM Comments: 152

Philadelphia Phillies (86-61) at Atlanta Braves (79-69)

Cliff Lee (14-11, 3.00) vs. Tommy Hanson (10-3, 2.65)

Time: 1:30 p.m at Turner Field in Atlanta
Weather: Rain, 72
Twitter: Phillies Nation

The Phillies and Braves face each other for the final time of the 2009 season.  The Braves won the season series, but the Phillies would like to add one more win with their ace on the mound.  The Phillies are 7-10 against their division rivals.

Cliff Lee rebounded from a few shaky outings, throwing a complete game shutout against the Washington Nationals.  Lee would like to carry over his success, however one of his poor outings was against the Braves.  In five innings, Lee allowed six earned runs on ten hits.

Lee will be opposed by the rookie phenom, Tommy Hanson.  Hanson can help his Rookie of the Year campaign, especially since his main competitor, J.A Happ, missed a couple starts.  Hanson has allowed only two runs in the last 24 innings he has pitched.  Hanson was tacked with the loss in his rain-shortened start against the Phillies in August.  Ryan Howard homered off him.

Coors LightYour Gameday Beer – Coors Light
I hope you’re thirsty. The Silver Bullet ranks up there as one of the best tailgate beers. That’s probably where the superlatives end, as this might be the least flavorable beer around. It’s brewed with Rocky Mountain water and it certainly tastes like it. As you’re flipping between the Phillies and Eagles this Sunday afternoon, have a few with some wings. – By Brian



Gameday: Phillies (85-60) at Braves (78-68)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, September 18, 2009 06:45 PM Comments: 183

Philadelphia Phillies (85-60) at Atlanta Braves (78-68)

J.A. Happ (10-4, 2.77) vs. Tim Hudson (1-0, 3.63)

Time: 7:30 p.m at Turner Field in Atlanta
Weather: 60% chance of showers, 71
TV: MyPHL 17
Twitter: Phillies Nation

The Phillies embark on a 10-game road trip that starts tonight in Atlanta, and will move them through Miami and Milwaukee thereafter. They will try to follow up yet another outstanding performance by a starting pitcher, the latest from Cole Hamels.

Hamels fanned 10 over eight strong innings, even taking a perfect game into the sixth inning.  Tonight, J.A. Happ returns from a strained oblique muscle to face the Braves for the third time this year as a starter. He has also faced them once as a reliever.  His numbers are fantastic against Atlanta in ’09, as Happ stands 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA over 16 innings of work (two starts).  All told, he’s faced the Braves as a starter four times, (five times overall) with a 2-0 record and an ERA just a shade above two.  One would think Happ will be put on some sort of pitch limit, being his first appearance in 16 days.

Tim Hudson takes the hill for the 15th time in his career against the Phillies.  His track record is decent, going 4-5 with a 3.79 ERA.  This year has been a short one for the diminutive hurler as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery. He can still be lights out, although his best days were certainly with the Oakland A’s.  A few Phils have great lifetime stats against Hudson. Ryan Howard has a .323 average against him, with three bombs (all coming in one game), and Raul Ibanez has seen plenty of Hudson in the AL.  He’s slammed 13 hits in 38 at-bats, including a homer.  Shane Victorino has two homers and six RBI in 25 career AB’s, but is out with gastrointestinal problems. Ben Francisco will start in his place.

The Braves will come out with all they have tonight as they attempt to make a late run at the NL Wild Card.  Will J.A. Happ be up to the challenge?

Grand Slam Baseball BeerYour Gameday Beer – Manayunk Brewpub’s California Dreamin’
Here in Philly, it turned into a beautiful Friday, so celebrate by sitting out by the Schuylkill with a California Dreamin’.  The summer is nearly complete, so enjoy the weather a little bit more, and enjoy this 8.5 ABV brew down at the Brewpub. Their interpretation of CD is “orange-gold in color, lightly bitter but highly hoppy with a firm malt backbone.” Have a few and dream about the Phillies and where they might be in October. -by Pat



Gameday: Nationals (50-94) at Phillies (83-60)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 16, 2009 06:15 PM Comments: 184

Washington Nationals (50-94) at Philadelphia Phillies (83-60)

Livan Hernandez (8-10, 5.30) vs. Joe Blanton (9-7, 4.11)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Overcast, chance of showers, 64
Twitter: Phillies Nation

BREAKING NEWS: Greg Dobbs has been activated from the disabled list after missing nearly a month with a calf strain.

In tonight’s follow up to Cliff Lee’s masterpiece, Joe Blanton and Livan Hernandez square off once again.  It was just six days ago that the two met down in D.C., with the Hernandez getting the better of Blanton.  Big Joe had his worst performance in nearly two months, allowing eight earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. In eight career starts against the Nats, he has struggled mightily, posting just a 1-3 record and a 7.46 ERA. Ouch.

Hernandez tossed 7 1/3 solid innings against the Phils on September 10, allowing two earned over six hits, grabbing his eighth win of the year.  The 6’2, 240 pound pitcher has done quite well against the Phillies during his 13 seasons.  He is 11-9 with a 3.62 ERA in 26 starts. Here at Citizens Bank Park, however, it’s a different story, as his ERA is nearly seven in Philly.  Let’s hope the Phillies can capitalize on his penchant for allowing the long ball.  Hernandez has given up eight in six starts at the Bank.

A few questions for tonight: Will we see the bullpen?  The relievers have been relieved of their duty as of late, tossing just 4 2/3 innings over the last four games.  Will Ryan Howard find his late-season groove again?  He’s hitting just .167 over the last week, with no home runs.  Will Joe Blanton throw 130 pitches?  Just kidding.  Enjoy the game.

Grand Slam Baseball Beer
Your Gameday Beer – Yards Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale
I recently had this beer in a mixed six-pack and was pleasantly surprised by it’s bittersweet strength.  It goes down relatively easy for being 8% ABV, packing a punch, but tasting rather lemony.  It’s dark golden complexion and satisfying aroma made for an enjoyable experience.  Last night, the Phillies decided to play small ball. Tonight, let’s drink to them going “Yards”.  -By Pat



Gameday: Nationals (50-93) at Phillies (82-60)

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, September 15, 2009 06:32 PM Comments: 83

Washington Nationals (50-93) at Philadelphia Phillies (82-60)

Garrett Mock (3-7, 5.75) vs. Cliff Lee (6-2, 3.11)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly cloudy, 77
Twitter: Phillies Nation

The Phillies open a three game series at home with Washington Nationals tonight.  After taking the Mets series three games to one, the Phils look to put themselves in good position to end this homestand before embarking on a 10-game, 10-day road trip.  There are no more off days.

Ace Cliff Lee takes to the hill and he is a big reason the Phillies have the 2nd lowest ERA among starters since the All-Star break.   He and Garrett Mock faced off last week in DC with Lee allowing four earned runs on 10 hits en route to a 6-5 Phillies win.  In Lee’s last three starts he has allowed 10, 9, and 10 hits and 6,6, and 5 earned runs, easily his worst stretch all season.  This makes tonight’s start an important step in Cliff’s journey back to super-stardom. Cristian Guzman is 7-17 (.412) against Lee in his career while Adam Dunn has recorded 6 strikeouts in 18 at bats.

Garrett Mock has less of a storied career than the Phillies starter.  He was recalled mid-July from Syracuse (the Nats AAA-affiliate) after spending some time in the Nationals bullpen earlier in the year.  This will be his 12th start of the season, and the 15th of his career.  Lefties eat him him up, hitting .346 against him, but he has given up more home runs to right-handed batters (5 compared with 2).  The Phillies have yet to hit one out against him though.  He throws mainly fastballs and curves with an occasional changeup and slider mixed in.

The Phillies last 9 wins have been by 2 runs or less and their last 5 losses have been by 2 runs or less.  It’s time for a blowout.

Grand Slam Baseball BeerYour Gameday Beer – Grand Slam Baseball Beer
In honor of the need to “get some runs,” we’re bringing out the big gun tonight. Grand Slam Baseball Beer is brewed by the Vermont Pub and Brewery in downtown Burlington (home to a lot of good microbreweries). I sampled this one last year in one of their flight offering. It’s classified as an American Pale Ale, but it’s much weaker than that with just a light hop flavor. Have it with a grilled chicken sandwich with avocado. – By Brian



Gameday: Mets (63-80) at Phillies (81-60)

Posted by Brian Michael, Sun, September 13, 2009 07:30 PM Comments: 71

New York Mets (63-80) at Philadelphia Phillies (81-60)

Tim Redding (2-5, 5.78) vs. Pedro Martinez (4-0, 3.64)

Time: 8:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Clear, 75
Twitter: Phillies Nation

One down, one to go.  After barely surviving another ninth inning scare, the Philllies look to take the series against the “rival” Mets and sweep the Sunday doubleheader.

Phillie-killer Tim Redding will trot out for the Mets tonight sporting a .161 opponent batting average and a 2.00 ERA at Citizen’s Bank Park. In his last start, however, he was a little wild throwing 48% of his pitches for balls. In his words, it was “probably the worst day I’ve ever had with command of the fastball.” (Let’s hope he spoke too soon with that quote.) Chase Utley has had success against the right-hander going 10-for-22.

Opposing Redding on the mound for the Phillies will be Pedro Martinez who is coming off a 119-pitch performance last week against the Nationals. The Phillies are 6-0 in games Pedro has started, and he got the win in his one start against his former team. In that game, he went six innings allowing 4 earned runs on 7 hits including 2 home runs while maintaining a decent groundball-to-flyball ratio (6/14), which he has done all season (26/62). Pay close attention for his matchups against Angel Pagan who has hit 2 home runs in 3 career at bats against Pedro.

With Shane Victorino’s home run in game one, the number of Phillies with double-digit home run tallies now stands at 7. Carlos Ruiz can add to that number with a homer tonight.  Also worth noting: the Phillies last five losses have all been by a single run.

The nightcap will be nationally televised on ESPN with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan calling the game.

Double Dog Double Pale AleYour Gameday Beer – Double Dog Double Pale Ale
We’re doing a daily double of Double beers today with Double Dog Double Pale Ale. This is another beer from the Flying Dog brewery in Maryland which features those gonzo illustrations by Ralph Steadman. Being a Pale Ale, it is naturally infused with hops which give it a citrus aroma and flavor. There are also sweet notes of caramel malts and dark fruit alongside bitter spices which hit you towards the end. Despite its 11.5% ABV, it is fairly drinkable beer. Have it with those leftover steak fajitas.

Go Phillies!


Gameday: Mets (63-79) at Phillies (80-60)

Posted by Brian Michael, Sun, September 13, 2009 12:14 PM Comments: 125

New York Mets (63-79) at Philadelphia Phillies (80-60)

John Maine (5-4, 4.52) vs. Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 5.06)

Time: 1:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Cloudy, 72
TV: MyPHL 17
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Let’s not talk about last night, a sweep of the day/night doubleheader is the only thing that can erase that memory.

John Maine takes to the hill for the Mets in his first game back in three month.  In nine starts against the Phillies he is 5-0 with a 2.54 ERA.  He’ll give up the occasional home run to the Phillies, but not much else.  It could be another one of those long-ball nailbitters.

On the flip side, Kyle Kendrick has gone even longer without a start in the majors.  He has gone 9-7 with a 3.34 ERA in 24 starts for the Iron Pigs and is 1-1 with a decent 2.70 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.

Allagash Double AleYour Gameday Beer – Allagash Double Ale
With the twin bill on tap for today, we going with Double beers which are brewed in the Dubble Belgian dark ale style. This beer from Maine has complex flavors, so here’s the rundown: nice malt flavors, mild yeast spices, a hint of darker fruit up front which gives it a touch of sweetness, all with a sour finish. This afternoon have it with some grilled steak fajitas for lunch. – By Brian

Go Phillies!

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