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Posts Tagged ‘Fastball’

Young, Frandsen Key Comeback Win For Phils

Posted by Alex Lee, Fri, August 30, 2013 05:34 PM Comments: 6

Michael Young provided the game-winning hit on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Michael Young provided the game-winning hit on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

The Phillies stormed back from a five-run deficit to beat the Cubs 6-5 at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon in Ryne Sandberg‘s managerial debut in his old stomping grounds.  Michael Young had the decisive hit, a two-out flare into right field in the ninth inning that scored Roger Bernadina and put the Phillies up for good.  The go-ahead single was the exclamation point on a great day for Young.  Starting at third, Young tallied four hits, two RBIs and scored a run.  It was the second time this season the Phillies have come from five behind to win, the first time being on June 14 in Colorado.

The Cubs jumped on a wild and ineffective Roy Halladay early to take a 5-0 lead.  The Phillies offense, behind two big Kevin Frandsen hits, came to life in the sixth and seventh innings while the bullpen shut down the Cubs over the game’s final four innings to seal the win.  Jonathan Papelbon nailed down his 23rd save of the season in the ninth.

DOC ALL OVER THE PLACE AT WRIGLEY

- In short, Halladay looked awful on Friday afternoon in an outing that was very reminiscent of the worrisome starts we saw from him in March and April.  For the day, Doc lasted only five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks.  He lacked command with all of his pitches, and his fastball sat between 85-87 miles-per-hour throughout the start.  He threw 77 pitches, only 48 of which went for strikes.  Not good.

- While he only gave up one run in the first three innings – an Anthony Rizzo wind-aided home run in the first – Doc was more effectively wild than he was effective in the early going.  Eventually it would catch up with him, as Nate Schierholtz hit a screaming liner over the right field fence to lead off the fourth to make it 2-0.  The Cubs added five more hits and a walk in the next two innings – the biggest of which was a two-run Starlin Castro double – to make it 5-0 through five. Continue reading Young, Frandsen Key Comeback Win For Phils

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Lee and Asche Lead Phils Over Mets

Posted by Alex Lee, Mon, August 26, 2013 10:07 PM Comments: 16

Cliff Lee got his 11th win of 2013 on Monday night in New York. (AP Photo)

Cliff Lee got his 11th win of 2013 on Monday night in New York. (AP Photo)

The Phillies beat the Mets, 2-1, at Citifield on Monday night behind a stellar outing from Cliff Lee and a two-run triple by Cody Asche.  Lee was brilliant against a depleted New York lineup that was without third baseman David Wright, earning his 11th win of the season.  He was economical with his pitches (at least until the eighth) and fielded his position well, recording five outs himself on ground balls back to the pitcher.

The Phils’ bats struggled against rookie phenom Zack Wheeler, but Asche’s first career triple provided all the offense Lee would need.  After a Michael Young single and a Darin Ruf walk, Asche launched a 1-0 high fastball into the gap in right field.  It rolled all the way to the fence and Asche ended up on third base.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 22nd save on the year.  It was only the third save opportunity for Papelbon since the All-Star break.  The Phils have now won seven of nine.

VINTAGE CLIFF LEE

- Lee had his best start since May on Monday night, tossing eight innings and allowing only one earned run on five hits.  He faced three batters in six of his first seven innings and retired 10 consecutive hitters heading into the eighth inning.  Lee threw 121 pitches on the night, 84 of which went for strikes.  He struck out seven Mets.  It was Lee’s first win in his last nine starts. Continue reading Lee and Asche Lead Phils Over Mets

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Projecting the 2014 Starting Rotation

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, August 23, 2013 03:00 PM Comments: 18

http://l.yimg.com/iu/api/res/1.2/HF5iifnX9ej7tQKcmEeO1Q--/YXBwaWQ9eXZpZGVvO2NoPTg2MDtjcj0xO2N3PTY1NztkeD0yO2R5PTE7Zmk9dWxjcm9wO2g9ODU7cT0xMDA7dz02NQ--/http://l.yimg.com/j/assets/i/us/sp/v/mlb/players_l/20130405/8053.1.jpgKyle Kendrick had the Rockies on their heels last night through the first five innings, allowing just one earned by locating his fastball and getting hitters to make weak contact on his cutter. The wheels came off for Kendrick in the sixth: he allowed three runs without getting an out. A three-run shot by Wilin Rosario was the knockout blow.

Last night’s performance by Kendrick was a microcosm of his season: flashes of him taking the next step followed by moments of hard regression. Kendrick, by any measure, is having a career year: likely to reach a career high in innings pitched, Kendrick has career lows in BB/9 IP, HR/9 IP, HR/FB, FIP, and xFIP for full seasons, has already reached a career-high 1.6 fWAR, and is averaging almost a half strikeout more per nine innings pitched versus his career average. Entering June, Kendrick appeared to be a fringe All-Star candidate. Exiting July, a non-tender candidate. After last night? Who knows.

Kendrick’s performance is especially important when making decisions related to 2014. Kendrick is arbitration eligible after 2013, making $4.5 million this year and likely due for a raise in 2014. Kendrick is joined by John Lannan, who is also arbitration eligible after this season and is currently making $2.5 million, and Roy Halladay as pitchers the Phillies relied on to be in the starting rotation for 2013 who have a large series of question marks surrounding them.

Continue reading Projecting the 2014 Starting Rotation

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Phillies Find Themselves Back in the Loss Column

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, August 20, 2013 11:59 PM Comments: 3

It was a nice winning streak while it lasted (a whole two games).  The Colorado Rockies defeated the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 5-3 on Tuesday.

The Rockies got to Tyler Cloyd quickly.  Troy Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario homered off him in the first and third innings respectively.  Cloyd lasted six innings, surrendering five earned runs.  Cloyd settled down after the third, but the Rockies provided the damage early.

The Phillies made some noise in the bottom of the third inning, but it wasn’t nearly enough as Jorge De La Rosa limited them to three runs (two earned).

The good news was that Zach Miner and Cesar Jimenez threw a combined three scoreless innings out of the Phillies bullpen.

Halladay Makes Rehab Appearance

Roy Halladay pitched six innings in Class-A Lakewood.  He allowed two runs (one earned) and seven hits.  He walked three and struck out four.   Halladay averaged 87 mph on his fastball, but touched 89 mph early on.  Out of his 90 pitches, 52 were strikes.

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Phils Interested in Roger Bernadina

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, August 20, 2013 07:54 AM Comments: 13

According to CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, the Phillies are interested in signing recently released former Washington Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina. Bernadina, 29, had a career year last year, hitting .291/.372/.405 in 261 PA for the Nats with five homers and 15 steals but stumbled out of the gate in 2013 and never really got going. Bernadina’s .178/.247/.270 line in 2013 are career lows as is his .233 weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) while his 26.3% K rate is a career high.

Bernandina is a lefty but does not have particularly strong platoon splits for his career, hitting righties at just a .244/.313/.367 clip. Berandina would provide versatility as a back-up outfielder and has been of a net-positive value in left and right field for the Nationals in the defensive metric Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR).

Analysis: Signing “The Shark” would be like signing a left-handed version of Casper Wells. Bernadina makes the plays in left and right and can fake it in center while Wells plays a touch better defense and has more potential to run into a fastball every once in a while. Bernadina has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining so adding him this year could have some value but I would much rather see a player like Leandro Castro added to the 40-man roster for September or Tyson Gillies have a cup of coffee with his improved swing that has led him to a .314/.364/.451 line in August.

His nickname, however, has lead to one of the most unique stadium give-a-ways of all time and some interesting memes.

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Phillies hang on for 5-4 victory

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, August 19, 2013 10:15 PM Comments: 22

ethan-martin2The Phillies lineup showed flashes of power tonight and it was enough to propel Ethan Martin to his second career win. It was also the Phils first back-to-back win since July 19th.

Offensively, the Phillies showed signs of improvement. They took an early 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a fielder’s choice by Cody Asche. It was Asche’s ninth career RBI in 57 at bats. Not soon after, John Mayberry, Jr. blasted his ninth homer of the season with two men on base. Carlos Ruiz added a solo shot in the fifth to give the Phils a 5-0 lead. Chooch benefited from hitting in the two-hole this evening, going 2-4. Ryne Sandberg mentioned prior to the game that he wanted to take advantage of his Ruiz’s situational hitting by moving him up in the batting order. He also spoke at length about his focus on getting Jimmy Rollins going offensively – i.e. seeing more pitches, getting on base and scoring runs.

Ethan Martin pitched well tonight, going 6.1 innings with 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. This represented the longest outing in the 24-year old’s budding career. Although he had trouble escaping the seventh inning and allowed 2 runs, Justin DeFratus’s relief minimized the damage. Martin started the game with a strong 12-pitch first inning which allowed him to go longer than previous games, but he still had trouble during his third time through the opponent’s lineup. Still, it was an encouraging start for the righty auditioning for a spot in the 2014 rotation.

Luis Garcia took the mound in eighth inning and coughed up 2 runs on 2 singles and 2 walks before being yanked for Jake Diekman. After a strikeout to record the second out, Diekman was called for a balk on an odd play during Nolan Arenado‘s at bat. Arenado seemed to shiver after Carlos Ruiz moved behind the plate and Jake Diekman thought time had been called. It had not, and after a short argument by the new Phillies skipper, Diekman recovered quickly to strikeout Arenado with a 99-mph fastball. The drama of the eighth inning certainly energized the CBP crowd of 35,000+. Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth, earning his 21st save on the season and first since July 11. Unfortunately during the inning, Carlos Ruiz took a hard pitch off the facemask.

Tyler Cloyd makes his return to the Phillies to start tomorrow at 7:05pm.

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Halladay Tosses 6 Innings with GCL Phillies

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, August 15, 2013 03:01 PM Comments: 11

halladayRoy Halladay took a huge leap forward in his progression following shoulder surgery three months ago to the day. In Clearwater, with the Gulf Coast League Phillies, Halladay tossed six innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out four, throwing 87 pitches.

There has been no word on what kind of velocity was behind his fastball, although I’m sure we’ll know that information in the coming hours. According to Chris Branch of the Wilmington News Journal, some onlookers tweeted he was mostly in the mid-80′s.

If Halladay and the Phillies are happy with the start, the next move could be to Lehigh Valley as they will be home when his turn in the rotation takes place Tuesday. The Phillies have said Halladay could need as few as two starts before returning to the major leagues. That said, if he’s only in the 80′s with his fastball against teenagers in the GCL, maybe a few more starts to get his endurance back to normal levels wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

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The Quietly-Improving Jake Diekman

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, August 14, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 4

This will get very statsy very quick, please hang in here with me. I’ll start with the end first: Jake Diekman has become a solid relief option for the Phillies in 2013 and should be one of the few arms they should pencil in on the 2014 roster, despite a reduced strikeout rate.

Here’s the strikeout rate, click to enlarge:

Jake  Diekman K9 IP

 

 

 

Diekman’s bread and butter, and the calling card that got him to the Major Leagues, was his ability to strike batters out using his mid-90′s fastball out his his 6.5/8ths arm slot. He has sacrificed that this year in the name of control and the results have been favorable, click to enlarge:

Jake  Diekman BB9 IP

 

 

 

Diekman has reduced the number of walks he issues per nine innings by nearly two. While he is still issuing a free pass more often than once every two innings pitched, Diekman has demonstrated more control at the Major League level in 2013 and has posted BB/9 IP numbers similar to what he had posted in the Minors.

Diekman has reduced his walks and has seen his strikeouts fall with it but this is a trade-off I would take. Diekman’s .356 BABIP indicates he has been a bit unlucky and has been rewarded with about a 53-point adjustment when comparing his ERA to his FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching. His 3.44 FIP puts him in the sixtieth percentile of qualifying relievers, meaning he’s been an above average reliever in a small, 22.2 inning sample.

Diekman’s improvement has been one of the under-the-radar, quality performances on a Phillies team that lacks such things. If he can continue to improve his control, reduce walks, and slowly find more strikeouts, Diekman can be a very powerful bullpen weapon for the Phillies in 2014 and beyond.

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Gameday: Phillies (51-62) vs Cubs (50-63)

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Thu, August 08, 2013 12:00 PM Comments: 22

Philadelphia Phillies (51-62) vs Chicago Cubs (50-63) 39212-cubs

Ethan Martin (0-1, 12.46 ERA) vs Jeff Samardzija (6-10, 3.78 ERA)

Time: 1:05, Citizens Bank Park

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Weather: 90, chance of storms

Media: Twitter and Facebook

The Phillies have another crack at a series win on Thursday afternoon when they take on the Cubs in the rubber match of their three game series.

Rookie right-hander Ethan Martin will be making just his second career in the big leagues. Martin allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings in his debut against the Braves, but did show some encouraging signs. Martin allowed only one run in the first four innings before the Braves roughed him up for five in the fifth. His fastball was touching 96-97 and he racked up six strikeouts despite his short outing.

Martin will be opposed by Jeff Samardzija, who has been solid all year and exceptional of late. Samardzija has gone 13 innings in his last two starts, and has allowed only three combined runs while striking out 16 batters. However, the former Notre Dame football standout has not fared well against the Phillies in his career, posting a 9.00 ERA in seven games (one start).

Despite his lack of success against them, no current Phillie has especially enjoyed facing Samardzija. Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins all have an RBI off him, but are a combined 3-for-16 with four strikeouts. Today’s lineup definitely has a different feel to it, as Ruiz has moved up to the two spot,  Michael Martinez is playing in place of Rollins at short and Kevin Frandsen is leading off and playing first after Michael Young was scratched due to hamstring tightness.

Lineup: Frandsen 1B, Ruiz C, Utley 2B, Brown LF, Ruf RF, Asche 3B, Mayberry CF, Martinez SS, Martin P

Gameday Beer: Yuengling Lager

You know it, and you know it well. You call for it simply by saying “I’ll have a lager.” It’s a staple of the Philadelphia region and really never lets you down. From time to time I’ll order one if a beer list isn’t tickling my fancy. It’s just there. It never wows you. It’s like the Juan Pierre of beers. He won’t blow you away, doesn’t hit for power, but always gives a decent showing when you need him. -Pat Gallen

 

 

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Phils Fall To Braves In Extras

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, August 03, 2013 08:17 PM Comments: 25

Hamels has been a victim of poor run support all season. (Photo: AP)

Jimmy Rollins did his part to help the offense today. It wasn’t enough. (Photo: AP)

Since the All Star break, the Phillies have become particularly skilled at finding new and embarrassing  ways to lose baseball games. Tonight, they squandered four runs and 6.2 scoreless innings from the bullpen en route to a 12-inning, 5-4 defeat against the Braves.

The decisive run came on a Dan Uggla groundball with one out and the bases loaded. The ball was hit softly and it would be tough to turn two. The throw from second on the turn appeared to beat Uggla to the bag, but Kevin Frandsen came off, letting what could have been an inning-ending doubleplay instead become a game-winning fielder’s choice. Remarkably, the run came around to score without the Braves recording a single hit in the inning. Another loss, this one coming on a first baseman coming off the bag and the Braves not getting a hit. The Phillies keep it varied at least.

ROLLINS AND MAYBERRY PRODUCE THE RUNS

- You’ve heard it a million times. As Jimmy Rollins goes, so goes the Phillies offense. Today, it looked like Rollins might power the Phils to a win. He manufactured a run in the first by singling, stealing second, advancing to third on an overthrow, and scoring a ground ball. In the second inning, John Mayberry hammered a fastball into the seats in left for a two-run dinger. Things really seemed to be going well early, and a struggling-to-get-back Brandon Beachy looked like he would be giving the Braves more of the same. And then as soon as it came everything stopped for a while. Like water rushing from a faucet that is suddenly turned off, the bats disappeared.

- That was before the seventh. This time, it was Mayberry who would start it with a single. He’d advance to second on a sac bunt, and come around to score on a Rollins double to tie the game. The offensive faucet turned back off after that, as the Phils barely even threatened after the seventh. Continue reading Phils Fall To Braves In Extras

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