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Posts Tagged ‘Fastball’

Phillies win on back-to-back walk-off; Howard and Ruiz MRIs

Posted by Brian Michael, Sun, May 19, 2013 05:56 PM Comments: 20

walkoff2
The Phillies took an otherwise boring game and brought some excitement to those who remained in Citizens Bank Park on this dreary Sunday. With the team trailing 2-1, just having snapped their 16-inning scoreless streak, the Phils were staring down the barrel of Aroldis Chapman. Undeterred, Erik Kratz tied the game with a homer and Freddy Galvis won it with a line-drive shot that just cleared the left field wall.

The Ninth Inning

Delmon Young led off the ninth and promptly drew a four pitch walk from the flame-throwing Chapman. As we all know, D. Young is not the fleetest-of-foot; but still the choice to pinch-run with Cliff Lee is always a questionable one. Lee got caught in a rundown after Chapman attempted a pick-off. It was a poor baserunning move and Cliff knew it. He was visibly frustrated in the dugout as Erik Kratz stepped to the plate. After Chapman threw a few of his signature high-90s fastballs, Kratz zeroed in on one and delivered it to the left field seats. The crowd celebrated, but Lee’s pickoff was still fresh in their minds. Lee’s reaction said it all after the Kratz homer – he knew that would have been the win. Continue reading Phillies win on back-to-back walk-off; Howard and Ruiz MRIs

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Tempering Expectations on Pettibone

Posted by Alex Lee, Thu, May 16, 2013 03:06 PM Comments: 10

Jonathan Pettibone has been a revelation for the Phils.  How long can it continue? (AP Photo).

Jonathan Pettibone has been a revelation for the Phils. But how long can it continue? (AP Photo).

As I wrote in my recap on Tuesday night, Jonathan Pettibone deserves a lot of credit.  He has started five games so far this year and the Phillies have won four.  He has shown a veteran’s ability to battle through jams.  He has displayed a pretty good fastball, which at least through his first three starts, he routinely threw for strikes and forced opposing batters to put the ball in play.  But before we all get carried away, it’s important to note that Pettibone is not the first marginal Phillies pitching prospect in recent years to enjoy immediate success upon his big league promotion.

Consider the statistics for the following Phillies starters, past and present, compared to Pettibone through five starts:

Jonathan Pettibone:  3-0, 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 5.3 K/9 in 29 IP

Vance Worley:         2-2, 2.09 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 7.7 K/9 in 27 IP

J.A. Happ:                1-1, 3.57 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 6.5 K/9 in 27.2 IP

Kyle Kendrick:        3-0, 4.40 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.9 K/9 in 30.2 IP

While the numbers are different, each former farmhand was able to have a certain level of success right away.  Pettibone’s rookie predecessors were also able to sustain their effectiveness beyond their first start.  Worley was a huge part of a playoff team in 2011.  Ditto for Happ in 2009 and Kendrick in 2007.

Continue reading Tempering Expectations on Pettibone

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The Colbert Hamels Report: Not Good in Loss to Indians

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, May 15, 2013 04:09 PM Comments: 13

After a disastrous trip to Cleveland two weeks ago, the Phillies could have exacted revenge with a quick two-game sweep. Instead, they were blown out on Wednesday afternoon, losing 10-4 to the Indians. Starter Cole Hamels was rocked and the bullpen followed suit.

BAD COLE’d:

-After six consecutive starts throwing six innings or more and allowing three runs or less, Hamels was rocked by the Indians in the series finale. He allowed five runs on six hits in five innings and labored from the start. His record is now 1-6.

-His pitch count was an issue from the get-go, reaching 51 pitches through just two innings. His fastball is also a problem. Going into Wednesday’s game with Cleveland, Hamels’ 4-seam fastball had been getting tagged at a .330 clip. The Indians hit several hard hit fastballs off him in this start, including Mike Aviles’ home run and Jason Kipnis’ double. Mark Reynolds doubled on a cutter that scored two runs and Nick Swisher hit a two-run shot in the fifth on it, something Hamels has shied away from more recently. However, his change up and occasional curveball are still fooling hitters as much as ever.

-With the fastball, the location is certainly lacking. Hamels is walking guys at a ridiculous rate, so clearly something is up. Matt Gelb tweeted some speculation that perhaps the shoulder ailment he had over the winter is affecting him. Of course, no one from the Phillies, Hamels included, has mentioned it. But keep that one nearby.

-The bullpen struggled again today. Chad Durbin has to be on a short leash. He got the first two men out, then walked the pitcher Cory Kluber and gave up a single to the next batter Drew Stubbs. Durbin then gave way to Jeremy Horst, who allowed two runs to score on a hard-hit single up the middle. Horst can’t seem to string good games together, either.

-Phillippe Aumont got through his inning with a double-play, but Raul Valdes got tagged for three runs in his inning of work. Just when you think the pen is turning a corner they allow the game to get out of reach.

PHILS STRUGGLE WITH KLUBER

-Just call him Kluber Lang. Corey Kluber is a pitcher the Phillies have never seen before. He also entered play Wednesday with a 5.64 ERA. And yet he’s another middling pitcher who skates by. You’d think that because the Phillies have not seen him, they’d allow themselves to take some pitches and see what the guys has. Not so. Again they swing away instead of making the pitcher work. Kluber went six innings, allowing three runs and striking out five.

-Jimmy Rollins kept it close with a two-run double in the fifth inning, scoring John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz. Rollins has been struggling to stay near .250 recently, but he smashed a rope down the line and finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBI.

-The middle of the order was a big problem today. Utley, Young, Howard, Young, and Brown combined to go 2-for-19, with both hits going to Delmon.

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Minor League Notes: the Hot, the Cold, the Injured and the Departed

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, May 12, 2013 09:45 AM Comments: 0

In the latest rundown of developmental notes, we’ll take a glance at some top performers, several guys who aren’t doing too well, a couple sidelined prospects and a group of former Phillies minor leaguers…

The Hot List- 

Lakewood pitcher Nic Hanson

Lakewood righty Nic Hanson has not been scored upon in two outings (11 total innings) since moving from the BlueClaws’ bullpen to their starting rotation. A 16th round pick in last year’s draft out of Golden West College, Hanson, 21, has a 1-0 record with a save and a 3.38 ERA in eight games.

Class A Advanced Clearwater outfielder Cameron Perkins has been performing extremely well this month.  In 10 games, the 22-year-old has posted a .385 average with six doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBI.  Perkins was selected in the 6th round of the 2012 draft out of Purdue University.

Dominican hurler Gabriel Arias has looked great for the Clearwater Threshers, going 4-1 with a 1.25 ERA through nine outings (four starts).  The 23-year-old has regularly had his fastball clocked at 95 MPH over the past year.

Double-A Reading catcher Cameron Rupp, whose batting average had been as low as .211 this past week, decided to shave his goatee for a change of luck.  Since going bald faced, the 24-year-old has gone 5-for-12 with three home runs and five RBI in three contests.  Rupp was drafted out of the University of Texas in the 3rd round in 2010. Continue reading Minor League Notes: the Hot, the Cold, the Injured and the Departed

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Phils Add LHP Greg Smith

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, May 06, 2013 02:35 PM Comments: 0

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/.e1d/img/4.0/global/baseball/mlb/players/8217.jpgPer confirmation from Fightins Director of PR Eric Scarcella, the Philadelphia Phillies have signed LHP Greg Smith. Smith, 29, is a 6’1″ lefty from LSU who spent parts of 2008 and 2010 in the Majors with the Oakland A’s and Colorado Rockies. In MLB 229.1 IP, Smith has a 4.51 ERA with 1.28 K/BB. Smith stays in the mid-to-high 80s and relies on precision from his fastball, change-up, curve, and slider.

In 2012, Smith posted a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League with a 1.258 WHIP. Smith is scheduled to start tonight’s game for the Fightins against the Portland Sea Dogs.

Analysis: A solid pick-up, particularly considering how many arms the Phillies seem to be going through right now. Smith will fill in well for the Phils in both Double-A and Triple-A this year as needed as some of their prospects get a look.

Has #BiddleWatch officially begun? After further review, not likely. This move, to me, does not necessarily indicate to me that the Phillies anticipate using either a starter from Triple-A and promoting a Double-A player to backfill or, less likely, promoting a Double-A pitcher to fill Doc’s spot.

Reading just lost Tom Cochran to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and was using Hector Neris, primarily a reliever, as another starter. Brody Colvin is fresh off the DL and pitching well. This move was more likely in support of the Reading rotation rather than choreographing any other future move.

 

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Who Fills in For Doc?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, May 06, 2013 10:00 AM Comments: 25

With Roy Halladay likely headed to the the disabled list, the Phillies will have a vacant spot in the rotation that needs to be filled. There are really only three candidates to replace him and our selection may surprise you.

Quick notes: whoever replaces Halladay, as Matt Gelb points out, will have a hard time pitching worse than Halladay has in 2013. Our Eric Seidman pointed out last week that Halladay’s biggest comparable over the last calendar year has been Joe Blanton – unfortunately for Halladay, with his last two outings, that ship has sailed as well.

Finally, for the purposes of this article, Jesse Biddle, despite his strong start, is not included here because, frankly, myself and many others would like to see slightly more out of him in Double-A, and perhaps Triple-A, before considering him for a promotion to MLB but also because his addition would require him being added to the 40-man roster – a move that would be almost wasted should Doc’s expected DL stint last for only 15 days.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-5169fc91/turbine/mc-morgan-adam-jpg-20130413/600/480x600Adam Morgan

Pros: Dynamite secondary pitches, great location on fastball, started the year with two truly great starts (1.29 ERA, 9 Ks in 14 IP against a very good Syracuse club), most complete/polished pitcher of the three available at this time.

Cons: Just 23 years old – why rush? Has struggled in last three starts (6.75 ERA, 3 HR allowed) and has struggled keeping pitch count low. Has only gone past the sixth inning once. Is not on the 40-man roster.

Continue reading Who Fills in For Doc?

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Minor League Notebook: Morandini Quotes Galore

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, May 05, 2013 10:50 PM Comments: 0

It’s our weekly rundown of notes from the minor leagues.  For the most part, I’ll serve up some quotes from Class A Lakewood manager Mickey Morandini, as I spoke with him on Sunday.

On his BlueClaws team, that sports a 9-20 record, as a whole:

“Even though the record’s not where we want it to be, we’re still seeing a lot of good out there, out of the young kids, so, that’s the main thing here, is getting these kids better and having them progress as best they can.”

On Australian right-hander Josh Warner (1-3 record, 7.50 ERA in six starts), who was demoted to extended spring training on Sunday:

“We just wanted to get Josh down there and get his confidence back.  We’re gonna make a few adjustments with where he’s standing on the rubber and things, so we just wanted him to go down there and work on that.

He’s only 20-years old.  He’s got a good breaking ball, a good change up.  He just got in a situation where he was leaving his fastball out over the plate.  And like I said, we’re gonna make some changes down there on the rubber, try to get a little more deception, especially against right-handers.  We like Josh a lot, he’s had a lot of success, he just went through a rough spell here, so we just thought is was best to get him back down there and work on a few things, then hopefully get him back up here.”  Continue reading Minor League Notebook: Morandini Quotes Galore

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Kendrick Leads Phillies to 7-2 Win Over Miami

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, May 02, 2013 09:56 PM Comments: 20

After a disappointing two-game series in Cleveland, the Phillies quickly put it behind them and battled past the Marlins, 7-2, on Thursday night.

KENDRICK BATTLES FOR A WIN

-After 96 pitches, 67 of them for strikes, in seven innings, Kyle Kendrick’s night was complete. He allowed seven hits and two walks, but kept the damage to a minimum by giving up just the two runs to the Marlins. Kendrick added five strikeouts.

-What Kendrick has done a solid job of all season is keeping runners on base. His strand rate coming into the game was 85 percent, 7th best in the National League. That number went up, as Kendrick left runners on base in the second, third, and fourth innings without allowing any damage on the scoreboard. In the third, he held the bases loaded, and that ability to keep teams from scoring in tight situations has catapulted him into a new stratosphere as a starting pitcher.

-Although his line was solid, Kendrick was lucky to come away with this sort of performance. What the numbers don’t really show was that Kendrick was not at his best. He left many pitches up in the zone and would have been hurt much more by a better hitting ball club. Alas, a win is a win, but Kendrick will have to do better next time.

-Great inning from Mike Adams. Hit 92 on the fastball, struck out two, threw 14 pitches, 12 strikes.

HOWARD HOT/BROWN’S BOMB

-Over his last 12 games, Ryan Howard is hitting .326 (14-for-43) with 4 doubles, 3 homers and 12 RBIs. The only problem is his lack of walks. With his eighth inning walk, Howard reached first base by way of bases on balls for the first time since April 12, a stretch of 16 games.

-Domonic Brown is also heating up a bit. Over his last eight games, Brown’s average has risen 60 points, from .206 on April 23 to .266 after Thursday’s game. Brown went yard in the second inning in an estimated time of 3.1 seconds according to Chris Wheeler, who happened to tell me that in the mens room after the inning. Too much? Brown also singled in the fourth inning and again in the eighth, a very good sign. “On pace” means little, but regardless, Brown is on pace for 22 home runs and a line of .266/.333/.426.

-Very productive fifth inning. Erik Kratz lead off with an 11-pitch walk and eventually scored on a Chase Utley sacrifice fly. It was made possible by an error on second baseman Donovan Solano off the bat of Jimmy Rollins. J-Roll then scored the fourth Phillies run on a passed ball. Great way to take advantage of a miscue and tack on some important insurance runs.

-Jimmy Rollins is struggling. He’s just 1-for-15 over the last four games. His average has dipped to .243.

-The Phillies added three insurance runs in the eighth inning. No matter the opponent, it’s been a struggle for them to add any runs late. Another positive.

 

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Phils Mash Mets In Saturday Matinee

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, April 27, 2013 04:13 PM Comments: 56

The Big Piece can still dazzle us with his monster home runs. (PHOTO: AP)

The Phillies offense had the right amount of zen against the Mets today. (PHOTO: AP)

Behind the power of 12 hits, including back-to-back home runs, and stellar pitching from the bullpen, the Phillies slugged their way to an easy 9-4 victory over the Mets today. The win was their fifth straight at Citifield, and the first of rookie Jonathan Pettibone’s career.

PASSABLE PETTIBONE

- In his second career start, the 22-year old Pettibone wasn’t flawless, but he had the luxury of pitching with a lead, and he did a great job of limiting the damage through five innings.

- He started the game by putting two men on, first hitting Mike Baxter with an inside slider, and then walking Ruben Tejada. However, a timely 6-4-3 doubleplay–he’d get two of them on the day–and a strikeout of David Wright would allow Pettibone to escape the inning without any damage.

- The Mets broke through in the second after back-to-back, two-out doubles–one a line drive that glanced off the glove of Jimmy Rollins–made it 1-0. They put the pressure on Pettibone again in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. But, just like in the second, he limited the damage by allowing one run. He’d allow one more run in the fifth before being pulled from the game. Continue reading Phils Mash Mets In Saturday Matinee

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Gameday: Phillies (8-11) vs. Pirates (10-8)

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, April 22, 2013 06:15 PM Comments: 23

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_R2yHiPgsajA/Si048xOKYNI/AAAAAAAABg0/Zr2Ct92C2ok/s400/pirates+logo.gifPhiladelphia Phillies (8-11) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (10-7)

Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 0.00) vs  A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63)

TIME: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV:
Comcast SportsNet
Weather: 51, mostly cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Jonathan Pettibone makes his Major League debut tonight against the cross-state rival Pittsburgh Pirates. Pettibone, 22, is the youngest Phillie starting pitcher to make his debut with the team since Vance Worley started as a 22 year old in 2010. Pettibone’s AAA stats this year are a bit misleading: Pettibone has a 9.64 ERA with a 4.88 BB/IP in 9.1 IP against a 2.55 ERA in 42.1 IP last year for Lehigh Valley after a late season call-up.

Crashburn Alley’s Eric Longenhagen says Pettibone: has terrific control but spotty command, meaning he throws a ton of strikes because his mechanics take him directly toward the plate but he doesn’t always throw them where he wants. He left several pitches up in the zone which he won’t get away with tonight if it continues. Pettibone, per Longenhagen, sits in the low 90s with his fastball and has a low 80s change-up.

The Phillies will face A.J. Burnett tonight, who in 164 PA, current Phillies are hitting .255/.355/.462. Chase Utley is hitting a career .296/.406/.593 against Burnett in 32 PA. Burnett and the Phillies have some history: Burnett defeated the Phillies in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series while the Phillies got some revenge in Game 5 by chasing him in the third.

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

http://res.cloudinary.com/ratebeer/image/upload/w_120,c_limit,q_80,d_beer_def.gif/beer_15956.jpgGAMEDAY BEER: 8.5 Pirate

I’m going to be honest – I have never heard of this beer before tonight, but this Belgian import sure has a cool can with a simple but awesome name. Hopefully the Phillies put up 8.5 or more runs tonight and avenge the Western PA sailors. Argh matey!

Go Phillies!

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