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Posts Tagged ‘Fastball’

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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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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Phils Rally Falls Short in 4th Straight Loss

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, April 18, 2013 10:01 PM Comments: 30

After experience major pains in Cincinnati earlier this week, an extension of the offensive troubles in Miami, the Phillies lit up the board with 13 hits, but still fell short against the Cardinals, 4-3.

Hamels Returning to Form

-Cole Hamels looked closer to the Hamels of old, as he struck out eight Cardinals in seven innings. He allowed five hits, two walks, and three runs, but looked to have better command of the strike zone, something that has plagued him in the early going.

Adams OK?

-Mike Adams gave up a solo home run to Carlos Beltran and also walked Allen Craig in the eighth inning. On the surface, it would look like a small blip. However, on the home run to Beltran, Adams hit just 90 mph on the gun. His average fastball this season is below 90, a 2 mph drop from 2012 and a 3 mph drop from 2011. Adams is coming off a surgery where a rib was permanently removed, so it could be a rebuilding of strength. Regardless, it’s something to keep an eye on.

Offense gets to Wainwright

-The offense didn’t torch him, but the Phillies did “explode” for nine hits against a pitcher who was coming off a 12-strikeout shutout of the Brewers last week. All told, they managed 13 hits against Cards pitching.

-The issue wasn’t the base hits, but the lack of pitches taken. The Phillies did not walk and haven’t taken a BB since Sunday in Miami. As Ruben Amaro stated before the game, that is unacceptable. Wainwright threw just 28 pitches that were not strikes. Yes, he’s one of the best in the game at pounding the strike zone. However, the Phillies could only work two three-ball counts against the St. Louis starter. It’s not going to get any better unless they find better ways to get guys aboard.

 

That stat from Jayson Stark is insane.

-Freddy Galvis is going to be a fan favorite soon. Not only was he in the lineup for the first time in his career as left fielder, but he belted a double deep to left-center field and finished the game 2-for-4 with a few hard hit balls. Charlie Manuel spoke very highly of him before the game. Could he be the spark? It’s going to be hard to keep him out of the lineup if he continues to have solid at-bats.

Ninth Inning Heroics Fall Short

-In the ninth, Ben Revere jump aboard with a single up the middle, then moved to third on an Erik Kratz bloop single. Frandsen moved Kratz up to second on a ground out. But that’s where it would end as Jimmy Rollins struck out and Galvis grounded out to end the threat.

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Lannan To 15-Day DL With Strained Tendon

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, April 18, 2013 02:30 PM Comments: 3

http://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/i/headshots/mlb/players/full/28834.png&w=350&h=254The Phillies announced John Lannan was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee. Lannan attributed his knee troubles to tendonitis to reporters after last night’s game.

There has been no corresponding move made yet but Adam Morgan is making quite the impression in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Morgan has thrown five innings, giving up one earned in today’s start and now has an ERA of 1.42 in three starts.

Analysis: Will Morgan be called up to replace Lannan? Tough to say but probably not. Morgan was pulled today after five effective , but long (100 pitches) innings, not because of any news related to Lannan. He is not on the 40-man roster while each of the other IronPigs starters (Tyler Cloyd, Jonathan Pettibone, B.J. Rosenberg, and Ethan Martin) are. Morgan has outperformed all four pitchers and is among the best in the International League right now but Morgan did pitch today and Lannan’s next turn is Monday, which means Morgan would go on slightly short rest if he gets the call.

When I scouted him on April 6, Morgan used a fastball, change-up, and a slider to challenge hitters and induce weak contact. Morgan has Major League stuff, no doubt about it. The only flaw I found was his out pitch (slider) always came on 0-2 or 1-2 from 1-1. He varied his pitches early but looked to the slider away against righties every time the count when in his favor.

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Phils Drop Pitchers’ Duel Late to Reds 4-2

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, April 15, 2013 09:46 PM Comments: 29

On a day filled with sadness for so many, baseball played on. On Jackie Robinson Day, and only a few hours after the horrifying explosions in Boston, the Phillies and Reds’ starters went toe-to-toe in a terrific pitcher’s duel. Unfortunately, the Phillies came up on the losing end of a 4-2 outing to the Reds.

THE CATCH

Above is one of the greatest catches I have ever seen. It might be one of the greatest any of us have ever seen. Keep your eyes on it. It’s just as incredible the 100th time you watch it as it is the first.

It’s Ben Revere laying out completely to rob Todd Frazier of an RBI and extra bases, turning a sure double into a double play.

It’s up there with the likes of Griffey, Mays, Edmonds, and some of the greatest plays ever made in center field.

As for the game itself….

Continue reading Phils Drop Pitchers’ Duel Late to Reds 4-2

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Who Will Halladay Become?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, April 10, 2013 11:55 AM Comments: 5

halladay-no-hitter6Reinvented is the chic term in Philadelphia. It’s being used to describe what people believe will be the saving grace in the career of Roy Halladay: reinvention. Can Doc learn to pitch with decreased velocity, honing his off-speed pitches when his fastball lacks the same pop it did during a decade-long run as the best pitcher in the world?

No one knows. And quitting and failure aren’t in Halladay’s vernacular, so we’ll be left to take a wait and see approach. Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro are doing the same, they said so themselves on Tuesday. Amaro told reporters that they would give Halladay as long as he would need to become the pitcher they all believe he can still be.

But what kind of pitcher is that, exactly?

Father Time’s win streak will stay intact, but in the case of Halladay, he hopes to push him off just a little longer. Some in the business were able to do it (with or without PED’s) better than others.

Continue reading Who Will Halladay Become?

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Lee Continues To Cement His Awesomeness

Posted by Eric Seidman, Wed, April 10, 2013 09:15 AM Comments: 15

I’ll never forget Cliff Lee‘s first start with the Phillies.

He was just acquired from the Indians amidst a flurry of rumors that had the Phillies close to getting Roy Halladay. While his arrival carried excitement, many fans couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed for missing out on Doc. I was one of those fans, having only seen Lee from afar, and having considered him more of a good pitcher with a great season rather than a great pitcher.

His July 31, 2009 start against the Giants quieted all nerves. Lee ran out to the mound in his own patented fashion, did that bizarre fake pitch to the outfield that we learned was part of his routine, and prepared to face leadoff man Randy Winn.

First pitch was right over for a called strike. Winn then swung and missed at Lee’s second offering. In what felt like rapid fire succession, Lee then caught Winn looking with a fastball perfectly placed on the inside corner. It wasn’t a debatable pitch or one an ump usually calls a ball on an 0-2 count. It was just a flat out perfect pitch. My friend and I turned to each other with wide eyes. We had never seen anything like this before.

Lee rules so hard.

Sure, Cole Hamels was the World Series MVP the year before, but his ace-ness seemed built more on finesse. Lee was aggressive, worked quickly, and after three pitches had me convinced he was going to be the best pitcher I ever watched on a routine basis. Keep in mind I wasn’t alive when Steve Carlton pitched and I was too young to appreciate Curt Schilling during his heyday here.

Lee tossed a complete game that night and even settled for a double after coming close to a home run. He was dominant then, he remains dominant today, and over the last five seasons he has proven himself to be one of the very best pitchers in baseball. Watching him over these first two starts of 2013 has reminded me of what it was like watching him in his first outing with the Phils.

Yet, even with a Cy Young award and a lucrative contract under his belt, I can’t help but feel that Lee is underrated, even in this city. To help shake that feeling, let’s take a look at his brilliant time with the Phillies to put things in perspective.

Continue reading Lee Continues To Cement His Awesomeness

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