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Posts Tagged ‘Game’

Is Asche Ready for The Show?

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Sat, July 13, 2013 12:00 PM Comments: 0

Cody

Cody Asche, photo- Jay Floyd

We all know that Cody Asche has had a strong 2013 season from an offensive standpoint — .293/.351/.460 with 10 HRs, 35 XBH, 45 runs, 56 RBI, and even 10 stolen bases in 91 games for the AAA-Iron Pigs — but the casual fan wants to know if his all-around game is strong enough to make him a mainstay at the big league level.

It’s true that Asche has made a fair few errors this year at third base this year for Lehigh Valley, but I think that number masks how good of a defensive third baseman Cody Asche really is.

When a third baseman makes plays deep behind the bag and throws out the runner, barehands a slow bouncer up the line or dives to cut a ball off in the third base-shortstop hole, it always goes down as a 5-3. The number’s don’t dictate how many balls a player gets too and makes the play on that most third basemen in the league do not make. That’s certainly the case with Asche. Sure, he makes some bad errors, but he also might make an error on an errant throw on a ball that there is no way he should have even gotten too in the first place. He might have 10 errors, but he also easily has at least 15 or 20 plays that other third basemen might not have made, so despite the error number being high, he is actually making more plays than most of the third baseman in the International League.

The other thing to consider is that this is only his second full season in minor league ball as a third baseman, and first at Triple-A, where the game gets even faster. He came from second base, where the ball is not hit to you as hard nor do you have a far throw to first. I think as he gets more and more time playing at third he will grow into it even more. Personally I think he is as close as you can get to big league ready in the field and at the dish.

-Don McGettigan also contributed to this post.

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Phils Hold On to Beat Braves, 5-4

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, July 05, 2013 09:58 PM Comments: 0

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Cliff Lee, who had thrown six innings of shutout baseball, exited Friday after giving up a three run home run that put the Braves within two runs. They would get one more in the inning but the Phillies held on to beat the Braves 5-4. J.C. Ramirez cleaned up the mess that Lee made in the seventh.

The offense was able to put up five runs on Braves starter Paul Maholm, and Ryan Howard–yes that Ryan Howard–hit the first home run by a lefty off of Maholm this year. He has also been holding lefties to a .188 average prior to tonight’s game. Continue reading Phils Hold On to Beat Braves, 5-4

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Phillies best first place Pirates with 3-1 win

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Tue, July 02, 2013 10:25 PM Comments: 9

Richie Ashburn Award: Jonathan Pettibone

The Phillies ended the Pirates nine game winning streak on Tuesday with a 3-1 win over the Bucs in the opener of their three game series.

A three run sixth and a strong combined effort from the starting pitching and relief helped the Phils to the win after a rough weekend in Los Angeles.

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

Jonathan Pettibone allowed just one run in 5 1/3 innings against Pittsburgh on Tuesday. (AP Photo)

Another stellar outing for Pettibone

The young right-hander dazzled again on Tuesday, this time against the top team in baseball. Pettibone lasted 5 2/3 innings, and held Pittsburgh scoreless until a solo home run from Garrett Jones put the Pirates on the board. He allowed just the one run on three hits and struck out six in the game. Three walks contributed to a higher pitch count, which is why he was ousted in the sixth, but nonetheless he still dominated Pirates hitters.

This is Pettibone’s third straight outing of three or fewer runs, and his tenth such start of 14 this year. His ERA is once again under four, sitting at 3.99 after today’s start.

Continue reading Phillies best first place Pirates with 3-1 win

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Amaro: No Mandate to Shed Payroll

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, July 02, 2013 11:30 AM Comments: 0

From Matt Gelb’s piece in the Inquirer today comes some uncharacteristically earnest quotes from Ruben Amaro Jr. and an unusually candid series of quotations from the GM.

Here are some of the highlights from the piece:

  • “Amaro does not need to trade anyone. He said there is no mandate from ownership to shed payroll, even as the team has experienced an average decrease of 5,871 fans per game this season at Citizens Bank Park.”
  • Amaro believes he will get a significant return for either Cliff Lee or Jonathan Papelbon without having to take on salary while cautioning “I don’t anticipate (trading Lee or Papelbon)”
  • Amaro is open, however, to taking on salary for the right deal, citing the decision making process in the 2005 Jim Thome trade when the Phillies assumed $24 million of the traded slugger’s contract.
  • Most importantly to Phillies fans, Amaro says he has not been ordered to shed payroll: “It’s about making baseball deals, not monetary deals. I haven’t been mandated to go and shed payroll. I’ve never had that mandate.”

The piece from Gelb is a good read and considers the possible effects of trading marquee names like Chase Utley, Lee, and Papelbon on the estimated $4-5 billion TV deal that will arrive after the 2015 season.

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Led by Kendrick, Phillies rebound from tough loss

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Wed, June 26, 2013 01:20 AM Comments: 15

Richie Ashburn Award: Kyle Kendrick

One night after perhaps the most devastating loss of their sub-par season, the Phillies were clicking on all cylinders as timely hitting, lights-out starting pitching, and crisp fielding led the Phils to a 6-2 win over the Padres.

The Phillies have now won 22 of their last 29 games against the Padres, and have won 13 of their last 16 at Petco Park.

Brown crushes 20th homer, drives in four

Since his last home run on June 8, Brown had been hitting just .189 and had driven in only three runs over those 14 games. He matched those numbers with one swing of the bat on Tuesday, as he took Jason Marquis deep for a three-run shot in the fourth that helped the Phillies to a 3-2 lead.

Continue reading Led by Kendrick, Phillies rebound from tough loss

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Reports: Adams Done for Season with Shoulder Injury

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, June 25, 2013 08:11 PM Comments: 8

mike-adamsAfter signing him to what was thought to be one of the best deals of the winter at two years, $12 million, the Phillies assumed they’d put their 8th inning woes behind them by bringing in Mike Adams. Now, they’re searching for a stopgap again.

According to both CSN Philly and The Philadelphia Inquirer, Adams will likely miss the remainder of the season as an exam in Los Angeles showed three tears in his shoulder. He will either have surgery or go the rehab route, but regardless, his season is almost certainly over.

The Phillies thought they were paying for the best set-up man in the game, who had a 1.66 ERA in four seasons with the Padres, before being dealt to the Rangers. All they acquired was damaged goods.

After offseason surgery to have a rib removed and thoracic outlet syndrome relieved, Adams dealt with numerous injuries from the start of this season and has been a shell of himself.

Unfortunately, I noticed a stark change in his velocity during a seemingly easy outing in April. He was cruising, but his velocity numbers were off. From that point on, it was all downhill.

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Phillies Blow Lead, But Win in Walk-Off Fashion

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, June 22, 2013 07:36 PM Comments: 14

The Big Piece hit two home runs Saturday afternoon. (PHOTO: AP)

The Big Piece hit two home runs Saturday afternoon. (PHOTO: AP)

The Phillies were sitting pretty with a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning, thanks in part to two home runs by Ryan Howard, but an injury forced Jonathan Pettibone to be relieved and the bullpen nearly imploded in the 7th inning. The bleeding was stopped by Jake Diekman after four runs crossed the plate. But then in the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon gave up the lead with the help of some shoddy defense behind him, and the game went to the bottom of the ninth where Kevin Frandsen led off the inning with a walk-off home run.

HEART OF THE LINEUP DELIVERS

The Phillies went with a lineup that had Michael Young batting third, followed by Ryan Howard and then Domonic Brown. Young was 2-4 with 2 runs and an RBI, Howard was 3-4 with four RBI thanks to two home runs, and Brown was 2-4 with two doubles. Those three were involved in six of the the eight scoring plays. Brown is now slugging .550, and Howard .496.

PETTIBONE INJURED

Jonathan Pettibone pitched six great innings, giving up just one run and scattering five hits. However, he left the game with what was later called “lower back tightness on the right side”. There is no more information at this time. Michael Stutes came in for relief for him, which brings me to my next point…

STRUGGLING STUTES

Mike Stutes did not look good today. He ended up giving up four runs, and nearly threw as many balls as strikes. When he was pulled, he showed some discomfort in the dugout of his right shoulder, however nothing was formally announced yet.

He hasn’t looked all that good recently, and a shoulder injury could be an explanation. It would be a huge loss for the already diminished Phils bullpen, which looks like the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs bullpen right now.

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Franco Promoted to Double-A Reading

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, June 19, 2013 04:32 PM Comments: 6

The same day he was named in FanGraphs’ “Fringe Five” of prospects to watch, third baseman Maikel Franco was promoted to Double-A Reading. Franco, who turns 21 in August, was a Florida State League All-Star for the Clearwater Threshers this year, hitting .299/.347/.576 with a Phillies system-leading 16 HR with 42 runs, and 52 RBIs.

The news was first reported by Mitch Rupert below:

Update, 5:22: Crosscutters manager Chris Truby told our own Jay Floyd this about Franco today:

“Maikel has worked his tail off and improved his game in all areas. At the plate he has a better idea of the strike zone and is able to do impressive damage when he gets a pitch to hit. He is using the whole field and driving the ball to all fields. On defense he is just as impressive. He can make all the plays. He works extremely hard and is very motivated to reach the highest level. He is just an impressive all around talent that has the desire to get better.”

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Lee leads Phils to second straight win over Nats

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Tue, June 18, 2013 10:49 PM Comments: 25

Richie Ashburn Award: Cliff Lee

It’s funny how fast things can change. Just two days after finishing up an atrocious road-trip against three bad teams, the Phillies have won two straight against the Nationals, with a chance to sweep the series on Wednesday.

Cliff Lee allowed a solo home run to Jayson Werth in the fourth, but the Phillies came back to score four straight runs, which was all they would need in their 4-2 victory. The Phillies have now won six straight games at home.

Lee dazzles again

PHOTO: AP

Lee tossed eight strong innings, striking out nine and walking none en route to his ninth win. PHOTO: AP

It seems like every start is the same. He works fast, pounds the strike zone, racks up the punchouts, and exits having only improved his season numbers. Yea he gave up a few mistakes (solo homers to Werth and Jeff Kobernus) but he was still flat out dealing tonight.

Lee tossed eight strong innings, giving up just the two runs on five hits while striking out nine. It’s his third nine strikeout game in his last four starts, and his ERA is sitting at 2.53. He threw 110 pitches, 82 for strikes and walked none.

Frandsen provides knockout punch in sixth

Kevin Frandsen has quietly been one of the most consistent hitters on the Phillies when he plays. In the sixth inning, after Domonic Brown and Delmon Young both struck out with the bases loaded and less than two outs, Frandsen came through with a clutch two-RBI single to give the Phils a nice three run cushion.

Frandsen, who has to deal with sometimes not playing for two, three or four days or only having one at bat per game, has an average of .286 after play tonight. He is also hitting .300 with six RBI with two outs and runners in scoring position, and in the month in June his average is .375 with an OBP/OPS of .464/.923

Howard tripled? And Young doubles thrice

I thought it was at least worth noting that with his triple tonight, Howard now has more triples than he did in his 2006 MVP season when he was young and spry (sort of). Who would have thought.

Michael Young smashed three doubles tonight, and drove in a run. It took Young 29 games to get his first three doubles of the season.

Up Next…

Wednesday provides the Phillies a chance to sweep the series, but they will have to do it against the reigning N.L. wins leader Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies. He will be opposed by Kyle Kendrick, who has pitched well for the Phillies this year, but is coming off his worst outing of the year in which he gave up seven runs on ten hits to Colorado. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

 

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Horst to 15-Day DL

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, June 17, 2013 03:50 PM Comments: 3

In a bit of a shocker, lefty reliever Jeremy Horst is headed to the 15-day disabled list with an elbow strain. The corresponding move is the activation of starter John Lannan for tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals.

Analysis: This one came out of left field. On Saturday, I wrote that I anticipated Joe Savery to head back down to Lehigh Valley today. Instead, it is Horst heading to the DL. Horst’s effectiveness has varied this year: for instance from May 8 to May 27, Horst did not allow a run in ten appearances but from May 30 to June 15, Horst’s BAA was .429/.500/.679.

In his last outing, Horst threw 41 pitches in Saturday’s outing, the only time he has topped 40 pitches this year. The high pitch count likely played a big part in his strain.

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