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Posts Tagged ‘Fastball’

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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Harvey Dominates, Doc Sputters in 7-2 Phils Loss

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, April 08, 2013 10:04 PM Comments: 87

The wheels again fell off for Doc in his second start of the season. Photo: AP

The young Matt Harvey was impressive in seven innings, striking out nine while scattering five base runners, setting up a 7-2 Mets win. Harvey is the second Mets pitcher with consecutive starts of 7+ IP and 3 or fewer hits to start a season. The other was Nolan Ryan in 1970.

Halladay Hits the Wall

In his second start of the season, Halladay fell off track early again, allowing a three-run home run to John Buck in the third. Halladay threw 99 pitches, just 59 for strikes, allowing three walks, six hits, and seven runs, all earned. Hitters routinely took advantage of hitters’ counts and Halladay exited the game in the fifth with runners on first and third. Doc’s fastball sat around 89 for most of the night but left it over the plate too often.

Durbin Was Durbin

Chad Durbin entered the game in a tough spot, with two runners on, but allowed both to score. My favorite fictitious baseball player ever is Wally Bunting, the Quad-A type player who Rick Moranis’s wife leaves him for in the 1990 film My Blue Heaven. In the movie, a radio announcer very calmly says “Fans, what are we going to do with Wally Bunting?” I’m starting to get this feeling regarding Durbin – you don’t want to penalize him for allowing the inherited runners to score in a tough spot but Durbin compounded his situation by walking Lucas Duda. Ruben Tejada sealed the deal by singling in a pair and closing the book on Doc.

What are we going to do with Chad Durbin?

Did Howard Leave His Bat in Clearwater?

Ryan Howard went 0-3 with 2 Ks, lowering his average to .154. The progress Howard made in Spring has seemingly been erased – Howard chased one up the ladder near the letters and down and out of the strike zone.

Were There Any Positives?

There were a few – Michael Young fielded his position about as well you could ask for and Jeremy Horst had two solid innings. Raul Valdes also threw two scoreless innings.

The Phils are in action again tomorrow against the Mets and have Cliff Lee taking the hill.

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PN Scouting Report – Adam Morgan

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, April 06, 2013 08:19 PM Comments: 0

Adam Morgan had a fine Triple-A debut for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs tonight. Photo by: Jay Floyd.

Date: 4/6/2013

Location: Coca Cola Park, Allentown, PA

Opponent: Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A, Washington Nationals)

Conditions: 6:35 PM start – 46 degrees, 6 MPH wind blowing across field

Final Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. 85 pitches, 60 strikes.

Who is he? Adam Morgan is 23 year old lefty who is pitching in just his second season of Minor League baseball. He has rapidly ascended prospect ranks after posting a 3.29 ERA and 140 Ks in 123 IP for Clearwater and a 3.53 ERA and 29 Ks in 35.2 IP for Reading in 2012. Keith Law ranked Morgan ahead of Jesse Biddle, the consensus top Phillies prospect, in his most recent rankings.

Continue reading PN Scouting Report – Adam Morgan

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How Much Does Doc Miss Chooch?

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, April 05, 2013 09:00 AM Comments: 19

Utley got off on the right foot in the Phillies loss. (AP)

Carlos Ruiz has guided Roy Halladay through many memorable games. Is his absence hurting the Good Doctor? (AP)

Everyone’s got a theory for what’s wrong with Roy Halladay.

The prevailing argument is Halladay is a victim of the unrelenting perpetual forward motion of time, and the effect it has on the body. That, physically, he is no longer the person he once was.

Rich Dubee and Halladay himself have come up with a bevy of excuses as to why Doc has not been himself. Everything from a wet mound to a stomach virus has been thrown out there as a reason for the lack in results. Just yesterday, Dubee pinned Halladay’s shaky start on Wednesday on a lower arm slot.

Whatever ails the once preeminent pitcher, one thing is clear: He is struggling mightily to adapt to his new-found deficiencies. What once was considered a strength for Halladay–the ability to think ahead of hitters–is now something he is lacking.

Everyone can see that Halladay has lost a few ticks on his velocity, yet he continues to pitch with the same strategy as the guy who once could touch 94 on the radar gun. Maybe it’s sheer stubbornness. But without his dominant fastball, he seems lost.

Continue reading How Much Does Doc Miss Chooch?

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Phillies Drop Forgettable Game To Braves

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Wed, April 03, 2013 10:36 PM Comments: 119

Utley got off on the right foot in the Phillies loss. (AP)

The Phillies were hoping for a better debut from Roy Halladay. (AP)

On a rain-soaked night, the Phillies lost an ugly one to the Braves, 9-2, in a game that left them with more questions than answers about the once vaunted Roy Halladay.

WHAT’S UP, DOC?

-The wet conditions tonight didn’t make for an ideal stage to evaluate Halladay (remember the wet mound from a couple weeks ago?), but evaluate we must. So what are the returns after his first start of 2013? Not great. Somebody file a missing persons report, because the Roy Halladay of lore is still nowhere to be found.

-Halladay’s first inning got off to a great start. He recorded a strikeout using a nasty splitter on an 0-2 count. But it went all downhill from there. Jason Heyward reached on a broken bat single to right and Justin Upton followed with a two-run dinger. The control issues Halladay exhibited during the Spring resurfaced, as he followed up Upton’s home run by issuing a walk to Freddie Freeman. It’d be the first of two walks in the inning. Halladay would allow another run before finally retiring the side. The 40-pitch inning certainly didn’t do anything to help quell the uneasiness Phillies fans are feeling about the righthander. However, Halladay would improve from there. Slightly.

-He got through the second using 16 pitches and cruised through the third. Remarkably, his first eight outs were recorded by strikeout. He ran into some more trouble in the fourth, allowing another home run and a single before getting pulled with one out. His final line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, x ER, 3 BB, 9 K. The strikeouts were encouraging. The three walks and four runs were not. His velocity on his fastball was between 88-92 MPH.

-It’s notable that Halladay struggled in the first inning, as it was notoriously problematic for him last season (He had a 6.48 ERA in the first in 2012, his highest in any inning). If you take that away, he actually looked pretty good. Problem is, you can’t take that away. There’s still a lot of uncertainty about exactly what this team will get from Doc this season. He’s struggled, but his main problem area–fastball command–is something that can seemingly be fixed. Whether he is able to do that or not remains to be seen. So far, he has not adjusted.

Continue reading Phillies Drop Forgettable Game To Braves

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