Posts Tagged ‘Ibanez’

Ibanez Leads Way to Sweep of Pirates

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, July 31, 2011 05:39 PM Comments: 38

With the addition of Hunter Pence, the offense is expected to ignite.  Last night, Ryan Howard saw more pitches in the zone, with Pence providing protection.  The talk is all about Pence, but Raul Ibanez is showing that there is no need for him to ride the pine.  Known as a streaky hitter, Ibanez is in the midst of a hot streak.

Ibanez  finished the day 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs.  He started the action with a solo shot in the first inning.  The one run was enough for starter Vance Worley, until the fifth inning.

Continue reading Ibanez Leads Way to Sweep of Pirates


Polanco Back in the Lineup for Game 2

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, October 08, 2010 02:08 PM Comments: 19

Placido Polanco is back in his rightful spot in the number two slot of the Phillies order. He had been dealing with back issues during the early part of the week, but felt better yesterday. He was able to take BP and fielding practice, so it’s a go for Polly today. Here is the early Phillies order.

Phillies lineup: Victorino 8, Polanco 5, Utley 4, Howard 3, Werth 9, Rollins 6, Ibanez 7, Ruiz 2, Oswalt 1.

UPDATE, 4:00 pm — Pregame Quotes:

-Charlie Manuel on Jimmy Rollins being able to run: “I think it’s a day-to-day thing. I think it’s a confidence thing…I think that once something happens in the game where he gets confident, once he tests it, I feel like that will tell him…something about how good a shape he’s in and how good his leg feels.”

Manuel on Polanco in the lineup: “He’s feeling very good. He said he feels a lot better. I took it that he’s going to play the game just like he always has.”

Dusty Baker on facing Roy Oswalt tonight: “I think that’s the most important thing here. Get on the board with a win…A chance to go home 1-1 and maybe celebrate at home.”

Baker on the crowd being involved: “…I mean, the crowd means a lot. The noise level, you can feel the energy and the spirit of the crowd energizing your team. So, the crowd means a lot. These guys perform better and play well in a big crowd.”

-More Halladay Fun Facts:

  • The matchup between Roy Halladay and Edinson Volquez ws the fourth in major-league postseason history between a starting pitcher who won more than 20 games that season against a starting pitcher who won fewer than five games. The last time was the 2001 World Series between the Diamondbacks Curt Schilling (22-6) and the Yankees Orlando Hernandez (4-7). In each of the previous four games, the team with the starting pitcher with fewer wins won the game.
  • Halladay agreed to donate his No. 34 jersey to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Gameday: Rockies (51-44) at Phillies (49-46)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, July 23, 2010 07:20 PM Comments: 210

CardinalsColorado Rockies (51-44) at Philadelphia Phillies (49-46)

Aaron Cook, RHP (4-5, 4.56 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay, RHP (10-8, 2.40 ERA)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 92
Twitter: @PhilliesNation

LINEUP: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Ibanez LF, Howard 1B, Werth CF, Gload RF, Ruiz C, Valdez 2B, Halladay P.

Your Gameday Beer: Coors Original

Sam Elliot is the voice of Coors Beer.  Nuff said.

Go Phillies!


Phormula: June Swoon

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, June 23, 2009 11:37 AM Comments: 0

Why does this happen every June?

Since 2007 ushered in this current era of over-the-hump, successful Phillie-dom, the inaugural summer month has been one to forget.

In ’07, they entered the month two games under .500 and left one game over. But they floundered in the middle of the month and spent the last three days of June getting beat by the Mets.

Last season, the Phillies suffered their only sub-.500 month in June, going 12-15 and struggling to do anything offensively after a 20-2 victory in St. Louis on June 13.

This June? How about four straight wins followed by back-to-back crushing blown saves that possibly derailed the Phillies from running away with the NL East very early in the season. Due to poor play and devastating injuries, the Mets could have been deemed irrelevant had the Phillies not slowed down to take a detour.

Obviously, the one commonality every June is interleague play.

We all know the Phillies have struggled in recent years when facing the junior circuit. But do we really know just how awful they have been?

Can’t Hit

Excluding the series at Yankee Stadium in May, the Phillies are 1-8 against the AL, averaging four runs a game while giving up close to seven.

Their team batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage in June are all lower than April and May, and the Phillies already have more strikeouts at the plate this month (142) than they did in all of April (118.)

Four regulars have compiled on-base percentages under .300 in June (Rollins, Feliz, Ruiz, Ibanez.) No Phillie has walked more than he has struck out in the month. Jimmy Rollins is hitting .205 with one stolen base and three GIDP’s.

While these may seem like cherry-picked numbers, atrocious plate discipline and lack of production from the leadoff spot have been two key factors during this pathetic run of losing winnable game after winnable game.

Can’t Pitch

Let’s not place all the blame on the recent woes of the starting lineup, though, because that would be unfair to the pitching staff.

Four guys have pitched well this month: Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.C. Romero, and Chan Ho Park. That’s it. Hamels and Blanton have been the only starters to man the mound past the sixth inning twice in June.

Romero continues to get himself in and out of jams with consistency and Park has finally gotten accustomed to the bullpen by using his plethora of movement to confuse hitters.

But the compliments end there.

J.A. Happ is starting to look human (14 BB in his last 17 IP) and Jamie Moyer continues to show that he is just as capable of giving up six runs in three innings as he is of giving up three in six.

Antonio Bastardo followed his first poor outing with a decent one against the Orioles, mixing in more offspeed pitches and throwing many more strikes, but took the L due to a lackluster offense.

With the starting rotation struggling to get deep into games, the bullpen has been taxed. Injuries and ineffectiveness have been the results. Clay Condrey has come crashing back to Earth, which could have been expected. Chad Durbin and his middling stuff haven’t been able to secure the late-inning role vacated by Ryan Madson, who, after pitching brilliantly for the first three months of the season, has hit a snag in the closer’s role.

Why the June Swoon?

In trying to figure out why the Phillies play so poorly in June, you must first understand that all three June’s are completely independent of one another.

In 2007, the Phillies were 6-6 against the AL in June. They lost two of three to the Tigers, Indians, and the lowly Royals. But that team struggled out of the gate and sputtered until mid-August. They did not yet have the confidence or swagger of a playoff team, nor the identity that developed in the later months.

Last June, the interleague struggles were mainly offensive, as the entire lineup stopped hitting at the same time. They batted .232 for the month, a season low, with less homers and total bases than any other month. And as it usually goes, once a team starts to struggle at the plate, bad luck rears its ugly head. The Phils’ .266 BABIP in June was seventeen points lower than its season average.

This year, it’s been a combination of injuries and players regressing to their true skill set (Happ, Condrey, Durbin.) Entering June, the Phillies were the least injured team in all of baseball, with Brett Myers being the lone Phillie injured for an extended period of time and Carlos Ruiz being the only regular to take a trip to the 15-day DL.

Then June hit, and two big pieces of the bullpen went down, as did Raul Ibanez. Then Ryan Howard went down for two games of the Orioles series. When a team not known for manufacturing runs is forced to play without its two biggest power threats, the results are not pretty. Since Ibanez went down, the Phillies are 0-4 with a .223 BA and .297 OBP.

But the Phils haven’t been merely beating themselves, they’ve been facing viable competition.

AL Beast

To the common observer, the Blue Jays and Orioles are inferior to the Phillies. The Jays lack a big-time power threat and have been ravaged by injuries to the starting rotation. The Orioles have the third-worst ERA in baseball and only Texas, Washington, and Pittsburgh have struck out fewer batters.

But the flaws of these teams are enhanced by the fact that the Blue Jays and Orioles play in the best division of the superior league. The Orioles have already faced the Yankees nine times this season. Think their high ERA/low strikeout numbers have anything to do with that? Think those numbers would look any different if they played four series’ with the Nationals?

On its standings page, Baseball Prospectus features a stat called Hit-List Rank, which ranks teams 1-30 based on a combination of three different Pythagorean formulas that help to determine the overall quality of a team:

  1. Runs scored vs. runs allowed
  2. Equivalent Runs scored vs. allowed (this takes stats such as hits, walks, total bases, stolen bases, etc. to determine how many runs scored and allowed a team SHOULD have.) This also factors in the dimensions of stadiums and league scoring levels.
  3. Adjusted Equivalent Runs scored vs. allowed (this is the same as #2, except it includes strength of schedule.)

The Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, and Yankees rank 2, 3, 4, and 5 respectively. Enough said.

Last year, the blame was on the Phillies. They couldn’t hit and lost two of three to the A’s and Rangers, teams they were clearly superior to.

This June, it was moreso the timing of injuries and unsustainable effectiveness of members of the pitching staff.

Or just blame it on the AL East.


Today’s Lineup: Rollins, Werth Swap Spots

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, May 12, 2009 03:46 PM Comments: 24

Today’s lineup, courtesy Scott Lauber, is:

Victorino / Utley / Werth / Howard / Rollins / Ibanez / Feliz / Ruiz / Park.

Jimmy Rollins is in the 5-hole, or a prime RBI position. You know, since he really allows opportunities to bring home runners.


So Far, Ibanez Vs. Burrell

Posted by Amanda Orr, Fri, May 01, 2009 07:00 AM Comments: 11

When the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez, many were unsure how he would fill the shoes of a fan favorite, Pat Burrell.  So far, there have been no complaints; just chants of “Rauuuuuuul!”

Traveling back a year ago, Burrell batted .326 with eight home runs and 21 runs batted in.  He struck out 18 times, but had a 1.135 on-base plus slugging percentage in April of 2008.  Not too many people thought you could get much hotter than Burrell.

So far this season, Ibanez batted .359 with 7 home runs, and 17 RBI.  His on base percentage is .433 and he slugged .718, giving him a 1.151 OPS.  He has come up clutch with a walk off home run and a late-inning grand slam.  The numbers are close, but Ibanez is off to a better start than Burrell was last season. 

In 2009, Burrell is batting .254 with with just one home run and eight runs batted in.  His on base percentage is .370, but he is slugging a low .343, totaling a .714 OPS.  He has struck out 14 times compared to Ibanez’s 10.

There were question marks surrounding Ibanez’s base running and defense, but so far he has been superb in the field and on the base paths.  He isn’t the greatest defender, but he has made some spectacular catches and his arm is stronger than originally thought to be.  He isn’t a track star, but he hustles, and is a better running option than Burrell. 

Because of the upgrade in speed and defense, the Phillies do not have substitute him for a defensive replacement or pinch runner.  An extra bat in the lineup in the later innings has proved to be a difference as the Phillies are among leaders in all of baseball in runs scored after the seventh inning.

If Ibanez can continue to be the consistent hitter that he is, he is going to put up very good numbers.  Ibanez played at Safeco Field last season, a pitcher’s park.  Moving to a hitter friendly park will only benefit him.  Burrell, on the other hand, moved from a hitter’s park that fitted him well.

As long as he continues to produce, the “Rauuuuuuul!” cheers will live on.