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Posts Tagged ‘Baseball Season’

Week In Review: To hit or not to hit

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, May 15, 2011 07:47 PM Comments: 46

This is not raising the red flag, just merely raising awareness.

It’s almost one fourth of the way into the 2011 Major League Baseball season and all seems well atop the National League East standings.

Right?

The Phillies are in first place.  They are leading the division by two games over the Florida Marlins.  And even after dropping two of three in Atlanta, they still hold a 3.5 game lead over the Braves.  The Phillies were the first team to 25 wins, and have the second best winning percentage (.641) in the majors.

So again I ask, all is well in Philadelphia right?

Continue reading Week In Review: To hit or not to hit

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Follow Our Phillies Friends Across the Country

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, March 15, 2011 08:00 PM Comments: 2

It’s something ever baseball fan dreams of. Driving cross-country, taking in the scenery of this beautiful land, and watching baseball, of course. Well, two friends of Phillies Nation are doing just that this summer.

Tim Malcolm, the former main man here at Phillies Nation (and still one of our biggest behind-the-scenes supporters), will be taking a 13-day road trip and visiting 11 different stadiums this spring.

Tug Haines, formerly a contributor/wise ass over at TheFightins.com, and now the man behind for “I Don’t Give a Schmidt” is making this a summer job. Over the course of the 2011 baseball season, Haines will travel through 27 states while taking in 113 games. It’s a journey that will stretch thousands of miles, all in his 2006 Honda Accord.

Follow both gentlemen on their journey as they visit dozens of stadiums, meet thousands of fans, and live the dream. To keep up with Tim and Tug on their separate trips, here are their respective websites. Give the guys your support:

Tim Malcolm, “The Road to Home Plate”

Tug Haines, The Casual Fan”

Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

Hershel Green Stadium, Home of the Nashville Sounds

  • 2 Comments
 

Week in Review: 2/7 – 2/13

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Mon, February 14, 2011 11:00 AM Comments: 7

Welcome to baseball season, Nation.

It brings goosebumps to your skin. Baseball is here.

By Todd Zolecki’s count there are 33 pitchers and catchers in camp, all ready to go yesterday. The only pitcher not quite there is Antonio Bastardo who is still feeling discomfort in his elbow coming out of the winter league.

While the Phillies will be welcoming players to Clearwater all this week, we here at Phillies Nation have also welcomed in a fresh face. Dash Treyhorn joins the PN team and is sure to bring charm and his statistic superiority  to the site. I mean, they do go hand in hand. Treyhorn, according to his twitter page, is a sports junkie and fedora enthusiast. For those of you who might be thinking his name sounds familiar, you are right! Dash was a regular contributer for The Fightins before it unexpectedly vanished; similar to the Met’s postseason hopes. Welcome Dash! Continue reading Week in Review: 2/7 – 2/13

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So Close, Yet So Far Away- By Phils Prospect Jake Borup

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, January 10, 2011 12:50 PM Comments: 6

The following is a PhoulBallz.com/PhilliesNation exclusive guest post by Phillies pitching prospect Jake Borup. From time to time, Jake, who was selected in the 23rd round of the 2010 amateur draft by the Phillies out of Arizona State University, will join us to share his thoughts on his life as minor leaguer.  To check out my previous interview with Jake, click here.

It’s January 10, and spring training is less than 2 months away. It feels like yesterday I was in Williamsport, getting my first experience as a pro, with guys like Eric Pettis, Garret Claypool, Cameron Rupp.  Now as the season approaches I’m excited to get back to Clearwater and be around baseball again. It’s been almost three months since I was last around a clubhouse, a field, or any sort of baseball. My life for the past few months has consisted of working part-time at a nearby golf course in Arizona, golfing, hanging out with family, and enjoying college football and the NBA (Go Suns). And with a great deal of anticipation, I can say that I’m ready for baseball season to start already!

That being said, I still feel like I have a ton to get done. Everyone knows that Spring Training, especially for minor league guys, is a huge competition. For me, I look at it as a competition against myself. I need to be in the best possible shape I can be, so that I can perform and prove that I can pitch. Many of you might not know, but I threw close to 160 innings combined with ASU and Williamsport last year. That is 152 more innings that I had the previous year. Needless to say, I needed a long break to let my arm recover from the burdens of a long year. My plan was to start throwing on December 16th, 2010, but after further evaluation I decided it would be best to wait ‘til after the new year to start throwing. This past week was the first time since October 16th that I threw a baseball. I definitely have a long way to go. If I stick to my daily schedule then I should be good to go by spring training. The best words of advice I have ever received regarding baseball… “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”.  As spring training approaches, that is how I’m treating it. I treat every day as a small stepping stone to get me to where I wanna be.

I am very excited to head out to Clearwater and get things going. I got a little taste during the Florida Instructional League in the fall and I enjoyed every second of it. I feel like I have learned so much over the past year and am excited to learn so much more from not only big league guys, but minor league guys who have been around for a while. Pitching is my life. There is no greater feeling than toying with a batter and knowing that you are in control of the at bat. I look forward to building upon my short year last year, with the Crosscutters, and hope all the fans will enjoy watching me pitch. If any of you want to get in touch with me, follow me on twitter @JakeBorup or submit them here. I enjoy responding to questions and if you have one, feel free to ask.  Talk to you guys soon.  Go Phillies!

  • 6 Comments
 

PN Writer's Roundtable: Jayson Werth

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, December 02, 2010 10:00 AM Comments: 22

QUESTION: Now that he’s a free agent, where do you think Jayson Werth will end up and how much will he get?

Nick “The Beerman” Staskin: Not many people hate the Red Sox more than the Yankees, however I do. In a few weeks, I expect to hate them a lot more.

I’m expecting Werth to sign a 5 yr deal worth about $94 million with the BoSox.

Boston wisely let Victor Martinez go, and I am expecting them to fill his spot in the lineup with a much better option in Werth. The Red Sox outfield is like the Island of Misfit Toys (see what I did there, implementing the holidays?) and Werth can step right in and give them a 5-tool option at a price that they can easily afford.

Jeff Nelson: If the Phillies can’t resign Jayson Werth, I sure hope Detroit can.  Despite already inking former Cleveland Indian and Boston Red Sox backstop, Victor Martinez to a 4-year $50MM deal, the Tigers would forfeit their 2011 first round pick to Philadelphia, not Boston, if they sign Jayson Werth.  That being said I think he’ll wind up with Boston.  I’ve had a gut feeling since the end of the 2010 baseball season, Werth would end up there.  If Adrian Beltre wants too many years or becomes too pricey for what Theo Epstein & company want to offer, they’ll desperately need another impact bat, especially from the right side.  I know Boston’s OF would be crowded if they sign Werth, but they could possibly move one of Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron or maybe even J.D. Drew if they eat some of his salary.

Outside of Werth and Carl Crawford, there aren’t many viable options for Boston that make sense for them.  You can cross off V-Mart and Manny for obvious reasons.  If Beltre doesn’t return and Kevin Youkilis gets moved to the hot corner, they have a potential need for a first basemen.  But If you look further own the road, three high profile first basemen might hit free agency a year later (Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez and Prince Fielder), which probably increases the chance they plug someone at 1B for one year and take a shot with one of those guys.  In other words they may kick the tires on Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn but they ain’t coming to Beantown on a one-year deal.

Which brings us back to Werth and Crawford.  I highly doubt those two get what they and their agents are asking for.  But I do think the Angles are desperate enough and will overpay to land Crawford.  Again, this would leave the Red Sox desperate for a middle of the order bat and Werth would be a great fit for that lineup.  I’m guessing Boston will sign Werth to a 5-year deal.  I don’t think he gets the $100+MM he’s seeking, but he’ll get more than the Mets gave Jason Bay last year.  My prediction: 5-year $90MM deal.

Kieran Carobine: There a lot of teams showing ‘interest’ in Jayson Werth, while many of the suitors may just be trying to cherry pick. The majority of the teams that look in contention to acquire Werth all come out of the American League. That is, unless you still count the Phillies in this. My guess right now is that the Boston Red Sox have the upper hand. They have been courting Carl Crawford heavily this offseason as well and it could down to numbers for these guys. It seems Crawford wants an eight year deal while Werth is looking for five or six. Either way if the Red Sox sign one of these guys, it will be one of the biggest deals Boston has signed under their new management.

Some other teams in the mix are Detroit, the Yankees, Texas and possibly the Angels. I think Detroit is mainly focused on determining the value for Magglio Ordonez right now and could likely resign him. The Yankees are always a threat to make a big splash in free agency but like Texas, they may be pushing all their chips in on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes.

Then again, Werth could come back to Philly on a smaller deal (in years) but its very unlikely. My best bet is he will be the right fielder for the Red Sox next season. Bring on the Hammer!

Paul Boye: It’s hard to get a feel for this, especially since Carl Crawford isn’t close to signing yet. Crawford will dictate how this market will play out, and until we know anything about his destination and contract, Werth’s future is just as murky. I will say that I expect Detroit and Boston to be the favorites, and if neither lands Crawford – say, the Angels do instead – I’m sure their attention will be on Jayson. In the end, I like Boston by a bit, but Detroit should be in it until the end.

Pat Gallen: The obvious teams angling for the services of Jayson Werth include Boston, Detroit, and the Los Angeles Angels. I’m going in a different direction. With Paul Konerko coming off the books and likely headed elsewhere, the Chicago White Sox will have some money to spend. Instead of spending $15 million per season on the aging Konerko, I expect them to do their best to get Werth.

As an Illinois boy, so it would be a homecoming of sorts for the midwestern boy. The ChiSox have $82 million locked up for next year and those who know General Manager Kenny Williams know he will not shy away from making a big splash. Although their payroll has only been around $100 million the past few seasons, if Williams can get owner Jerry Reinsdorf to get that into the 110′s, they may be able to afford him.

Bringing in Werth would push Carlos Quentin either to DH or out of Chicago. He’s a name the Phillies have balked at as a replacement for Werth – Jayson Stark of ESPN.com has reported the asking price to be Dom Brown. That to me says the White Sox are trying to upgrade. This a bold prediction, but absolutely feasible. I see Chicago giving Werth a four-year deal worth $72 million dollars with a fifth year mutual option that could be based on incentive clauses. By the time that fifth year rolls around, Werth will be nearing 37, so an option year will offset his aging and likely decline.

  • 22 Comments
 

Mets Cry Foul? Gimme a Break

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, September 25, 2010 03:11 PM Comments: 0

Chase Utley is a hard nosed player and a guy who plays the game the right way (I know some of you hate that cliche, so I brought it out just for you). He has no track record of dirty play in his past, which is what makes this strange. David Wright has a problem with the way Utley slid into second base to break up a potential double play ball. Wright, the unofficial leader of the Mets, said it was unwarranted and borderline. Disagree? Me too.

I’ll preface this argument by saying I respect the hell out of Wright – more than most other MLB players, too. He’s one of those guys you wish you had, even though he resides in a city you may loathe during baseball season. This is seemingly out of character for him. If Wright hadn’t been so outspoken about the hard slide, it would have gone down as just another play. Yes, the Phillies announcers took note of it, but in my opinion, it looked like a good hard slide. Utley was well within the basepath and slid just as he got to the base, a more than legal play.

The Mets seem to want to “handle” this situation tonight, whatever that means. They’ll likely hit Utley, which has happened several times before. But it makes little sense.

Ruben Tejada, the Mets second baseman that took the brunt of the hit, seemed OK with it after last night’s game, which should tell you something. Perhaps Wright is teeming from his teams inability to win games. Frustration may have boiled over, which is understandable. But to call out Utley on a play that is well within the rules of the game is absurd.

I will ask this: if you were on the other side, would it have looked clean to you? Try to approach it as a Mets fan or player. Would you stand for that if it was the other way around? Tough call, but in the end no one was injured, so chalk it up as a gritty play by a guy that just want to win, and will at any cost.

So, as he usually does, Chase Utley will take first base after being hit by a pitch. He’ll run up the first base line and if the situation occurs again, you’d better believe he’ll take out the second baseman just as he was taught to.

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Gameday: Phillies (1-0) at Nationals (0-1)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, April 07, 2010 05:45 PM Comments: 133

Philadelphia Phillies (1-0) at Washington Nationals (0-1)

Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Jason Marquis, RHP

Time: 7:05, Nationals Park
Weather: Clear/Warm, 80
TV: Comcast Network
Twitter: Phillies Nation

It’ll be hard to duplicate what happened on Opening Day, but the Phillies certainly will give it a shot tonight.  After an off day that gave us time to reflect on the exceptional Roy Halladay performance, Cole Hamels will look to turn over a new leaf of his own.

Hamels will look to put 2009 behind him as he steps to the rubber for the first time since the World Series a year ago.  Everyone knows this season is a huge part of the maturation process for Cole. Can he put those demons behind him?  Only time will tell.  It is known, however, that the Phillies need him to be Doc’s right hand man in the rotation.

Jason Marquis is the Game 2 starter for the Nats.  The 30-year old righty is 5-3 lifetime against the Phils, and is coming off of a 15-win season a year ago with the Rockies.  As our own Corey Seidman eluded too yesterday, the Nats are putting a lot of pressure on Marquis to be their man main after giving him a hefty contract to come to D.C. He’s probably, at best, a number three starter, but that’s the pitching situation in Washington.

Offensively, the Phillies put on a show and gave Doc plenty of run support in their opening game.  The surprise came from Placido Polanco who flexed his muscle early and often.  His grand slam proves just how sweet it must be to hit behind Jimmy Rollins and in front of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

One guy to keep an eye on is Raul Ibanez.  He slumped badly this spring, but did notch a hit and crossed the plate twice on Monday.  Raul is 1-for-6 lifetime against Marquis, but overall has hit .386 lifetime against Nats pitching.  Look for a quick breakout from Ibanez.

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

KenzingerYour Gameday Beer – Hoegaarden Witbeer

On what will be a very warm evening up and down the I-95 corridor, it’s best to drink something lighter and refreshing, without giving up taste.  In comes Hoegaarden with its citrusy, light-bodied flavor that is infused with some coriander spice and hints of orange peel. The Wheat Beer is unfiltered, but it does not affect the taste. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s like Blue Moon, but in my opinion, slightly better. Enjoy. - By Pat

GO PHILLIES!

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Gameday: Phillies at Nationals, Opening Day

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, April 05, 2010 12:00 PM Comments: 119

Philadelphia Phillies (0-0) at Washington Nationals (0-0)

Roy Halladay, RHP  vs. John Lannan, LHP

Time: 1:05, Nationals Park
Weather: Sunny, 80
TV: MyPHL 17
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Holy smokes, it’s time to go. Baseball season is upon us and Phillies Nation is down in Washington D.C. to celebrate the opening day festivities.  President Barack Obama.  Roy Halladay on the mound.  A new season in the making.  It’s all happening at Nationals Park.

It’s Roy Halladay’s first start as a Philadelphia Phillie. Opposing him is John Lannan for the Nationals.  Last season, Halladay was one of the finest pitchers in all of baseball, as he went 17-10 for the Toronto Blue Jays.  He took on the finest in the American League East and will go to the improves NL East.  His first opponent is the lowly Nationals who won just 59 games a season ago.  It appears as though they will be a tick better in 2010, but are they any match for Doc and the vaunted Phillies lineup?

Lannan went 9-13 a year ago for Washington, but did have a very respectable 3.88 ERA.  His first line of business is to deal with Rollins, Polanco, Ultey, Howard….good luck.  On top of that, thousands of Phillies fans will be taking over the stadium to make his job that much harder.

It’s opening day – it’s what you’ve been waiting for all winter.  Enjoy the festivities and sit back and relax: Phillies baseball is here.

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

KenzingerYour Gameday Beer – Yuengling Traditional Lager

We’ll be drinking this at the tailgate in D.C., so you should have one too (provided you aren’t at work or if 1 pm isn’t too early for you).  It’s a staple of Philadelphia tailgates and regional bars.  It’s LA-GAH YEOOO! You just ask for a Lager and you get a Yuengling. Nuff said.  Enjoy it with a hot dog and baseball. It’s all you need. – By Pat

GO PHILLIES!

  • 119 Comments
 

Whom Can We Trust?

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, February 05, 2010 02:46 PM Comments: 44

I’m not that easily shocked, but something happened to me Wednesday night that I think bears repeating here. I was at a bar with a couple friends, when, realizing that the famed “Pitchers and Catchers” was only a couple weeks away, I let out a sigh and said, almost without thinking, “God, I’m ready for baseball season to start again.”

Three tables away, a man overheard my comment, came over my table, and almost without warning launched into a three-minutes of some of the most hateful invective I’ve ever heard about one Cole Hamels. I began offering some counter-arguments (“Cole was distracted with the new wife and baby” and “Cole was unlucky with his high BABIP”), but this man was hearing nothing of it. He didn’t hear me, because he was screaming so loud and not stopping to breathe, and even if he had, I don’t think he would have cared much about the fact that Cole allowed two more hits per 9 innings in 2009 than 2008, despite almost all other peripheral stats remaining the same.

It occurred to me that the Phillies’ ascendancy in 2007 and 2008 was due in large part to three players who, for whatever reason, were all just abject disappointments in 2009. These three–Jimmy Rollins, Hamels, and Brad Lidge, will all be back in prominent roles in 2010. I don’t think it’s fair to blame these three for the failure to repeat (after all, a lot of things went wrong in that World Series), but I do think it would help if the Phillies had a leadoff hitter with an OBP over .300, a No. 2 starter who’s somewhat more consistent than two-hit shutout one night, then 7 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings five days later, and a closer who’s not having literally the worst year ever for a full-season closer.

So from these three stalwart Phillies, what can we expect? Whom can we trust?

Continue reading Whom Can We Trust?

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A Look Ahead: Light at the End of the Tunnel

Posted by Jason Bintliff, Mon, September 21, 2009 10:10 PM Comments: 37

Sometimes, during the course of 162 games, we as fans get tired, fatigued even, as our boys trudge along in search of a chance at October glory. Late July and early August are dubbed,”The dog days of summer,” for a reason. We get bored, we get angry, we see joy, we feel pain. We witness heroes emerge just as easily as we see great men fail. A pressure situation here, a tough loss there. A six month baseball season can be a long and stressful amount of time. There are great times. A walk-off home run. An extra-innings thriller. Sometimes 162 games can bring sheer exhilaration.

There are now 14 games left to play. The payoff for the gamble of investing your time, energy, and emotion is within reach. However, like most gamblers, we need not count what is not in our hands. As quickly as the reward may come, just as quick could it be snatched from us.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel that is a 162 game season. If the Phillies take care of business in their next week, there is a good possibility that the small needle of light in the tunnel will become the lights of center-stage, as they casually stroll into their third straight post-season appearance.

The Phillies start their journey in Miami for a three-game set with the second-place Marlins. The series kicks off with a double header on Tuesday and concludes Wednesday. The Fish sit eight games back of the Phils and a sweep of the Phillies put the Fish in a good position to make a run at the division. However if the Phillies sweep, the Phillies will eradicate the Marlins from a chance at the Eastern Division crown.

Series probables for the Marlins include staff ace, Josh Johnson who enters with a 15-4 record and a 3.01 ERA. He is 1-0 with a no-decision in two starts this year against the Phils. Also pitching for the Fish will be Annibal Sanchez and Rick VandenHurk. Sanchez hasn’t won a game since August 21st but hasn’t been terrible.

The Phillies counter with Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, and Cole Hamels. Blanton, although not impressive, still held the Nationals scoreless over six innings. Blanton has hands down been the most consistent starter this season. Moyer has been rejuvenated from the sting of his demotion to the pen and Hamels has finally found his stride.

Following the divisonal showdown, the Phillies head to the cheese and beer capital of the U.S. to take on the Brewers. Despite being far from playoff bound, the Brewers have been one of the hottest team in baseball, going 8-2 over their last ten.

The Brewers will start the series with Jeff Suppan on the hill. Yovani Gallardo, the young ace for Milwaukee was pulled from the rotation and will not make his scheduled start on Friday. Instead, the Phillies will face rookie Josh Butler. Butler will make his major league debut, but was impressive in the minors for the Brewers.

The Phillies will send J.A. Happ and Pedro Martinez on Thursday and Friday, despite both pitchers leaving their last starts early with injury. Both appear to be ready and healthy, however, should the Phillies wrap up the division by then, don’t be surprised to see one or both of these starters to get a day off.

The Phillies could very well clinch the division by weeks end. Going 4-3 or better will almost assure them the Eastern title. 3-4 or worse will certainly make the last week of the season more interesting.

Time to take care of business. The prize is within reach.

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