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Writer’s Roundtable: Memorable Home Runs

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, July 15, 2013 02:02 PM Comments: 0

This one is all about the Home Run, mostly because MLB’s Home Run Derby is upon us, but also because “Chicks dig the long ball!”

What is the most memorable Home Run that you got to see in person? What you say is the most memorable Phillies HR ever? Is there a non-Phillies HR that helped get you hooked on baseball growing up?

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Don McGettigan: I was lucky enough to be at 2008 NLDS Game 2… where with the Phillies already holding a 1-0 advantage in the series, the most unimaginable things occurred against one of baseball’s best pitchers, C.C. Sabathia. With a runner on 2nd, Brett Myers worked a 9-pitch Walk, followed by Jimmy Rollins free pass on four-straight balls. The bases now loaded, Shane Victorino stepped to the plate and hit a Grand Slam into the seats in left field to give the Phillies a lead they would not surrender. It was at that moment I realized the Phillies could beat any pitcher that postseason and that winning the World Series could actually happen.

I think the most memorable Phillies HR ever would have to be Mike Schmidt’s 500th… because I’m not sure we’ll ever see it happen to any other Phillies player.

There isn’t one specific HR that got me hooked as a kid, but watching Ken Griffey Jr. highlights all the time always left me wanting more, and ESPN Sports Center around the clock was about the only way a kid could get his Mariners’ fix. The other one that sticks out a lot is Kirk Gibson’s Game 1 game-winner off of Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series. Since I was born in 1983 that play was shown over and over along with Kirby Puckett’s 1991 WS Game 6 game-winning HR, and some guy in Toronto who hit one to win something in 1993, but I don’t want to talk about it.

Eric Seidman: For me, the most memorable Phillies home run belongs to Matt Stairs. The go-ahead two-run homer in the 2008 NLCS was the moment that I really felt, holy shit, the Phillies could actually win the World Series. It was just such a majestic home run that I get goosebumps just thinking about it. The most memorable homer I saw in person was kind of a random one, from early on in the 2001 season. The Phillies were losing to the Braves and Kevin Jordan hit a grand slam in what was a 5-6 run inning and they moved ahead to win the game. While I was a fan prior to that season, that 2001 team was the first one where I really started watching 162 games per season and being in attendance at that game, it felt like a special Phillies team.

Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable: Memorable Home Runs

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Gameday: Phillies (45-46) vs Nationals (46-44)

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Wed, July 10, 2013 06:03 PM Comments: 9

adz8otx6xektaq3eszfoq5ecjPhiladelphia Phillies (45-46) vs Washington Nationals (46-44)

Cliff Lee (10-2, 2,73) v. Gio Gonzalez (6-3, 3.14)

TIME: 7:00, Citizens Bank Park
TV: 
CSN
Weather:
Media: Twitter and Facebook

The Phillies will turn to Cliff Lee tonight, and the All-Star lefty will try to bounce back after his last two shaky starts. He’s given up seven earned runs over his last 13.1 innings. His last outing against the Braves was going smoothly until a rough sixth inning where he gave up a three run home run to Dan Uggla. The only out he recorded in the inning was a bunt groundout. He still received the win thanks to a solid performance by the Phils bullpen. It was the first time that he had not pitched at least seven full innings since May 1.

For the Nats, Gio Gonzalez will get the start, and he’s been pitching pretty well lately. Over his last seven starts, he has an ERA of just 2.11. He’s gone at least six innings each time, and hasn’t given up more than 3 ER. Runs for both teams will come at a premium tonight.

Lineup:

GAMEDAY BEER: Sweetwater Blue

SweetWater Blue is a unique light-bodied ale with a hint of fresh blueberries. It begins with an appealing blueberry aroma and finishes as a surprisingly thirst-quenching ale. It’ll certainly be hard to find in the Philly region, but if you know of one of those crazy 6-pack stores that has EVERYTHING, look for this, or at least ask about it. It’s an Atlanta-based brewing company. And while I’m not particularly fond of fruity beer, a hint I don’t mind. Get out that chicken and the Sweet Baby Rays and make this a sweet night.  -By Pat

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ESPN’s Law Gives Sobering Scouting Report on Franco

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, July 09, 2013 06:55 AM Comments: 0

Franco is a fast riser - but how high has he gone?We’ve all fallen in love with the Phillies farm system while witnessing several players tear it up this season. Maikel Franco, Cody Asche, and Jesse Biddle are the new faces of the minors, and rightfully so. Each has given you something to look forward to for the future.

ESPN’s Keith Law says wait a tick. Law scouted the Reading Fightin’ Phils last week and came away with some interesting things to say about Franco, a 20-year-old third baseman who has been tearing it up since being promoted.

Franco is a right-handed hitter who gets his hands very high and deep at the plate, nearly locking his right elbow right before he brings his hands forward, and his above-average bat speed can only go so far in getting the bat head to the zone in time. He’s very strong and when he gets his hips started early enough he’s got 65 or 70 raw power (on the 20-80 scouting scale), although the timing of his hip rotation varies from pitch to pitch.

His approach, however, is a disaster right now — not only does he struggle to recognize off-speed stuff, especially changeups, but he’s only interested in pitches he can crush, making no adjustments to where the pitch is located or to its type. If you signal that you’re just trying to murder fastballs, you’re not going to see many fastballs in the zone. That approach shows up in his lack of patience, with just one walk in Reading, on June 23, but it will show up soon enough in his batting average, as well.

It’s true, there are flaws in Franco’s game. He’ll need to readjust at each level, but it’s hard to complain about the kid when he’s been tearing it up. Sure, he won’t hit .400 forever, but there are good signs and bad signs, just like with each prospect that laces ‘em up on a daily basis.

Law also gives his thoughts on Kelly Dugan who just made a jump to Reading:

Dugan’s tools are pretty average across the board — he’s a 45-50 runner with a 55 arm and might be a 55 glove in right — but he’s got a good feel to hit thanks to fast wrists that allow him to accelerate his bat very quickly. A left-handed hitter, Dugan has no stride, just raising and lowering his front leg, and crouches more than you’d like to see, but with good hip rotation and solid results so far I wouldn’t argue for reducing any of the noise in his swing until it becomes a problem.

The lack of tools is a little bit of a concern, but his plan at the plate is better than Franco’s and he’s a good enough athlete to stay in right and perhaps end up above average there, making him a potential everyday guy in a system that could use a few more of them.

To read Keith Law’s full post, click here.

If you’d like to read on Jay Floyd’s interview with Phillies director of player development, Joe Jordan, click here.

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Lannan Twirls A Gem In Phils Win

Posted by Alex Lee, Mon, July 08, 2013 09:54 PM Comments: 14

John Lannan was unhittable on Monday night at CBP (Photo: AP).

John Lannan was unhittable on Monday night at CBP (Photo: AP).

Ruben Amaro publicly challenged his players when he decreed this 10-game homestand the tipping point of the 2013 season.  So far so good through four games, as the Phillies topped the Nationals on Monday night, 3-2, to climb within 2.5 games of second place Washington.

John Lannan (2-3, 4.26 ERA) threw eight innings of shutout ball and Ben Revere fueled the offense with his bat and his legs, tallying three hits, a steal and scoring two of the three Phillies runs.  Jimmy Rollins also had a good night, following two Revere hits with singles of his own in innings that led to runs.  Jonathan Papelbon navigated through a rocky ninth – two hits, a few loud outs – to capture his 19th save of the season.

The Phillies are now 4-3 against the Nationals this year and have three more against them this week at Citizens Bank Park.

LANNAN DOMINANT AGAINST FORMER MATES

- Lannan was magnificent in his second outing against his former team.  The lefthander retired the side in order in four of his eight frames, allowing only four hits and a pair of walks.  He induced 12 groundouts in eight innings.  Monday night was unequivocally Lannan’s best start as a member of the Phillies.  He needed only 109 pitches to get through eight, the first time he’s hit triple digits in 24 outings dating back to 2011.  He lowered his ERA to a respectable 4.26 on the season.

Continue reading Lannan Twirls A Gem In Phils Win

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Gameday: Phillies (43-46) vs Nationals (46-42)

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, July 08, 2013 07:26 PM Comments: 0

adz8otx6xektaq3eszfoq5ecjPhiladelphia Phillies (43-46) vs Washington Nationals (46-42)

John Lannan (1-3, 5.15) v. Dan Haren, (4-9, 6.15)

TIME: 7:00, Citizens Bank Park
TV: 
CSN, ESPN
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 81
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Lineup: Revere CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Brown LF, M. Young 3B, D. Young RF, Ruf 1B, Ruiz C, Lannan P.

Your Gameday Beer: Landshark Lager

Not the greatest brew in the world, but it’s probably better than your Millers’ and Coors’ of the world. And a case isn’t too expensive, so enjoy. -Pat Gallen

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Offense Erupts Late, Phils Earn Split With Cards

Posted by Alex Lee, Sun, April 21, 2013 11:48 PM Comments: 8

After striking for two runs in the first, the Phillies offense was unable to get to a very hittable Jake Westbrook through six innings on Sunday night.  Enter the Cardinals bullpen.  The Phils scored five runs in the seventh and eighth – three of which came off a towering three-run shot from Erik Kratz – to notch a 7-3 victory and a series split against St. Louis.  Kyle Kendrick kept his team in it with a gutsy six-inning performance against a potent Cardinals lineup.

Kyle Kendrick was solid again on Sunday for the Phillies.

Kyle Kendrick was solid again on Sunday for the Phillies.

OFFENSE COMES UP BIG WHEN IT COUNTS

- After grounding into a rally-killing double play in the sixth, Ben Revere redeemed himself two innings later when he stung a tie-breaking single up the middle in the eighth off Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs.  Kratz hit the next pitch from Boggs deep into the cold Philadelphia night to blow it open, and the Phillies concluded their nightmarish week on a high note.

- Within that eighth inning, Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games in controversial fashion.  Young hit a routine ground ball that deflected off Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs’ glove into the infield’s no man’s land.  The hometown scorer quickly credited Young with a hit.  Young scored the game-winning run shortly thereafter on Revere’s single.

- It wasn’t all good for the Phillies on Sunday night.  Revere’s double play was one of three in big spots for the Phillies and squandered a bases loaded, one-out opportunity.  An inning later, the Phils couldn’t get Laynce Nix home from second base with no outs after he tied the game with a pinch hit double.  The Phillies left nine runners in scoring position.

PITCHERS DO THEIR JOB

-Kyle Kendrick put together his third consecutive solid start, battling through six innings despite throwing 53 pitches in the first two frames.  Kendrick gave up two runs, eight hits and a walk, striking out six Cardinals in the process.  In his last three starts, Kendrick has given up only four runs in 19 innings, lowering his 2013 ERA to 3.28. Continue reading Offense Erupts Late, Phils Earn Split With Cards

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Gameday: Phillies (7-11) vs. Cardinals (10-7)

Posted by Alex Lee, Sun, April 21, 2013 06:55 PM Comments: 21

CardinalsPhiladelphia Phillies (7-11) vs St. Louis Cardinals (10-7)

Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 3.38) vs Jake Westbrook (1-1, 0.00)

TIME: 8:00, Citizens Bank Park
TV:
ESPN
Weather: 52, mostly cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A day after being shutout and managing only three hits against the Cardinals, the Phillies are tasked with solving Jake Westbrook tonight, who has yet to give up an earned run in 15.2 innings this season.  The Phils counter with fellow sinker baller Kyle Kendrick, who is also off to a solid start in 2013 with an ERA of 3.38.

Westbrook’s sparkling statistics are a little misleading; the 35-year-old has allowed 10 walks in his two starts and was fortunate to have his third start against the Pirates, in which he gave up four runs in the first two innings, washed out due to rain.  Meanwhile, the Phillies are 27th in baseball in walks, with only 39 through 18 games.  Westbrook’s WHIP of 1.34 is just a tad under his career mark of 1.39.  His career ERA, however, is 4.26… much higher than the 0.00 he is sporting at the moment.  In short, something here has to give.

After getting hit with the injury bug late this week, the Phillies have both Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown in the lineup for the first time since Wednesday.  A week ago today, the Phillies clawed their way back to .500 in Miami behind Roy Halladay.  They are 1-5 since, scoring a microscopic seven runs in the five losses.  The Phillies desperately need to salvage a split with St. Louis on Sunday night to try to get back on track.  And they need to get both Howard and Brown going to do so.

Kendrick will have his hands full tonight.  The Cardinals, fifth in baseball in runs (90 in 17 games), are led by Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina.  Beltran has homered in all three games of the series.  Matt Holliday is not in the starting lineup for the Cardinals, but he is essentially being replaced by rookie sensation Matt Adams.  The lefty slugger is hitting .524 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI in only 21 at-bats, all of which adds up to an unconscionable OPS of 1.613.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Mayberry RF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Young 3B, Brown LF, Revere CF, Kratz C, Kendrick P

GAMEDAY BEER:  Busch Heavy

busch_bottle_decal__57144Sticking with the St. Louis theme, let’s switch it to straight up Busch Heavy tonight.  Everybody needs a good night’s sleep on Sundays but with the Phillies playing the late game, that will be a little more difficult tonight.  My solution?  Busch Heavy.

Go Phillies!

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Phillies look to right the ship with eight game home stand, inexpensive tickets available

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, April 18, 2013 04:01 PM Comments: 3

Written by our friend Dan Groob at TiqIQ

TiqIQ has teamed up with ScoreBig to allow you to make an offer on Phillies tickets. If you’re a new customer, use the code TIQIQ10 to save $10 off your purchase. Below is more on the Phillies homestand with ticket data:

Philadelphia Phillies tickets for tonight’s home stand opener currently carries the least expensive average ticket price of any game of the home stand, checking in at $55 dollars. It is by far the cheapest game of the series, with tomorrow’s contest carrying an average price of $67 dollars, Saturday at $82, and Sunday at $72.
Continue reading Phillies look to right the ship with eight game home stand, inexpensive tickets available

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Gameday: Phillies (6-6) vs. Reds (5-7)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, April 15, 2013 05:03 PM Comments: 47

Philadelphia Phillies (6-6) at Cincinnati Reds (5-7)

Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.08) vs. Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 5.25)

Time: 7:10 pm, Great American Ballpark
TV: ESPN, PHL 17
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 68
Media: Twitter and Facebook

First, let us send out thoughts and prayers to the people who may have been affected by the heinous bombings at the Boston Marathon. We certainly hope that if you have friends or family in the area that they are safe and accounted for. After this tragic event, baseball will be played. Jonathan Papelbon: “I used to live right above where one of the bombs went off.” So sad.

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (6-6) vs. Reds (5-7)

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Phillies Should Find a Spot for Borbon

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, April 11, 2013 08:20 AM Comments: 5

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2009/0701/mlb_a_borbon_300.jpg

Borbon, 27, is young and talented enough to get calls from several teams. The Phils should be one of those teams calling. Photo: ESPN

Every once in a while, a team becomes so deep at a particular position that they simply run out of room for a talented player. Last year, the Phillies felt they had enough depth to let Brandon Moss pursue other opportunities and the A’s had the ability to scoop him up and let him simmer in Triple-A until an opening arose. Once called up, Moss hit 21 HR with a triple-slash line of .291/.358/.596, providing more value than any first baseman or outfielder the Phillies had on the roster last season.

This year, the Texas Rangers have seemingly given up on Julio Borbon, a key contributor to their 2010 run to the World Series and they designated him for assignment yesterday. In 746 MLB PA with the Rangers, Borbon has hit .283/.324/.358 with 7 HR and 40 SBs. Just 27 years old, Borbon is a talented outfielder who has plus skills in most tools and would be an upgrade over Ezequiel Carrera and Laynce Nix as a left-handed half of a right field platoon. Borbon has hit .293/.333/.370 v. righties where as Carrera has hit just .254/.297/.367 and Nix .253/.297/.447.

Borbon’s designation comes as a relative surprise as all four outfielders kept on the Rangers’ roster not named Borbon have lower career MLB batting averages and Borbon has comparable OBP to the center fielders who are replacing him (Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin). Borbon fielded center field well, meaning a transition to right could improve his value and he was a plus-base runner in his time in Texas.

Jon Heyman thinks that the Mets and Astros are good fits for Borbon, but in reality, Borbon, at just 27, is a player who still has a lot of potential who could help a lot of teams. His 2012 was spent proving he could still play in Triple-A after a 2011 ankle injury. He would be a definite upgrade for the Phillies and would be worth a flier starting in right field against righties at the very least.

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