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Posts Tagged ‘Pitchers’

Gameday: Phillies (50-57) vs Giants (47-59)

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Thu, August 01, 2013 06:00 PM Comments: 0

Philadelphia Phillies (50-57) vs San Francisco Giants (47-59)giants

Cole Hamels (4-13, 4.09) vs Matt Cain (6-6, 4.79 ERA)

Time: 7:05 Citizens Bank Park

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Weather: 79, storms possible

Media: Twitter and Facebook

The Phillies still have a chance to win their three game series with the Giants on Thursday in a rubber match that features two very good but underperforming pitchers.

Left hander Cole Hamels will take the baseball for the Phillies, looking for his fifth win of the season. Hamels was the tough luck loser his last time out against the Tigers, where he allowed just two runs in seven innings of work but got only one run from the offense in support. Hamels’ last start against San Francisco was last season, where interestingly enough, he squared off against Matt Cain and the two homered off each other. Hamels allowed five runs in 7 2/3 innings in that game, and overall in his career is 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA against San Francisco.

Cain comes into the game for the Giants coming off one of his best starts of the season, in which he allowed just a run and struck out seven over seven innings against the Cubs, but also lost due to poor run support. Despite the strong start last week, he has allowed 14 earned runs in 15 innings in his four starts in July.

Chase Utley has hit exceptionally well of Cain in his career, with a team leading four homers and eight RBI in 26 at bats against the Giants righty. Jimmy Rollins and Laynce Nix also have both homered off Cain, and Nix holds the highest average against him (.348) of any current Phillie with ten or more at bats.

Lineup: Rollins SS, M. Young 1B, Utley 2B, Ruf LF, Asche 3B, Mayberry CF, Nix RF, Ruiz C, Hamels P.

download (1)Gameday Beer: Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier

This strange beer brings out the classic blackberry flavor with hints of citrus. The blackberry flavor is fairly strong and very unique, especially paired with the fact that it is not brewed with traditional hops, but with coriander instead. When the team isn’t going too well maybe it is time to shake things up and try something unconventional.

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BlueClaws Quotables: Morandini, Fultz, Carmona, Greene Speak

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, July 29, 2013 07:30 AM Comments: 0

Prior to Lakewood’s 4-3 walk-off victory over Greenville on Sunday, I spoke with a couple of the team’s coaches and a pair of players. Manager Mickey Morandini shared his thoughts on several of his players, while pitching coach Aaron Fultz talked about how big confidence is for pitchers and injured hurler Yoel Mecias. Corner infielder Willie Carmona and outfielder Larry Greene Jr. each discussed their improvements at the plate.

Read ahead for all the exclusive quotes straight from Lakewood.

Mickey Morandini

On guys like Mitch WaldingChace Numata and Art Charles having trouble keeping their batting averages in respectable ranges-

I mean, the averages aren’t good overall. Take Willie (Carmona) out of the mix, I mean, throughout the lineup the averages aren’t where they want them to be. In Art’s defense, he’s hit a lot of balls hard, right at people, so I don’t think his average is truly reflective of how he’s hit. The other guys are pretty much where they should be, based on what they’ve done, but, you know, I think their goal is to get to that .250 mark. If they can get to that .250 mark, I think it’ll be a successful season for most of them.

On Carmona and his progress at the plate of late-

Yeah, early in the year he was taking a lot of pitches and wasn’t very aggressive in the strike zone. We talked to him numerous times about being more aggressive and being a run producer. And about early May, mid-May, he started being more aggressive in the strike zone and started having success with it. And now, heck, he’s squaring up to at least two balls a game, driving balls, driving in runs, hitting some home runs. Obviously, he’s been a big part in the middle of our offense. Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Morandini, Fultz, Carmona, Greene Speak

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Gameday: Phillies (49-50) at Cardinals (59-37)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, July 23, 2013 07:26 PM Comments: 35

Philadelphia Phillies (49-50) at St. Louis Cardinals (59-37) 

Jonathan Pettibone (5-3, 3.89) vs. Shelby Miller (9-6, 2.92)

Time: 8:15 PM EST, Busch Stadium
Weather:  Partly Cloudy, 82
TV: PHL 17
Media: Twitter and Facebook

After an off day, the Phillies will try to get back to the .500 mark.  They face a big test in this upcoming series against the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that is well in first place.

Tonight’s matchup will feature two young right-handed pitchers.  Shelby Miller, 22, is doing very well in his first full Major League season.  Miller throws a hard fastball in the mid-to-late 90s, and has a curveball and changeup to go along with it.  Miller’s counterpart, 23-year old Jonathan Pettibone, has struggled on the road, having a 5.65 ERA away from Citizens Bank Park.

GO PHILLIES!

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Morosi, Olney, Amaro (!): Phillies Are Buyers

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, July 10, 2013 06:10 PM Comments: 5

Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports says that the Phillies should be looking to add, not subtract, a reliever by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Morosi notes that the Phillies, whose 4.65 bullpen ERA ranks second last in baseball, is their weakest spot in the midst of a hot streak headed into the All-Star break. Morosi uses some interesting logic defending his opinion: the Phillies could trade for a player like John Axford or Jim Henderson of the Brewers, Addison Reed of the White Sox, or Steve Cishek to be a set-up-like reliever now while holding on to a trade chip like Jonathan Papelbon for the actual trade deadline.

From Morosi:

But even if the Phillies slip in the standings and sell at the deadline, it makes sense for them to add a reliever. One of the aforementioned pitchers could close for the Phillies in 2014, if not this year. And that’s a significant statement because Papelbon — the current closer, with a contract through at least 2015 — may become available if Amaro decides to sell.

The Phillies would save money by trading Papelbon and acquiring a cheaper replacement. And the decision on Papelbon may wait until August, since his $13 million salary in each of the next two years could help him clear trade waivers after the July 31 deadline.

And if wild speculation isn’t good enough for you, how about this Ruben Amaro quote from Todd Zolecki when asked about trading for a piece before the deadline: “Yeah, I think we’ll try to do that.” This is perfectly in line with the Buster Olney tweet from early this morning, who has heard that the Phillies are buyers.

One player we learned that the Phillies are not pursuing, however, is reliever Joba Chamberalin. Chamberlain was rumored to be a moving piece in any potential deal that would send Michael Young and/or Carlos Ruiz to the Yankees. Ken Rosenthal, however, says that the Phillies are not among the teams pursuing Chamberlain at this time.

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Prospect Jam at the Hot Corner for Phillies

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, July 06, 2013 09:55 AM Comments: 20

MaikelFranco

Maikel Franco is on the rise, image- Jay Floyd

Third base has been a troublesome offensive spot for the Phillies over the last decade. A homegrown prospect hasn’t graced the hot corner for the Fightins since 2002, when the club dealt former second-round pick Scott Rolen. In the years since that swap, Phillies third basemen have lacked the usual power that comes from third base.

During a period when the big league team enjoyed five straight division titles and a couple of World Series bids, the void at third base didn’t stand out very much because of all the offense posted by nearly every other position on the field. But as players around the diamond have declined, the lack of pop from the hot corner has been more apparent.

Over the past decade the Phillies for the most part used Placido Polanco, David Bell and Pedro Feliz — a group that posted weak stat lines compared to MLB averages from 3B over the same stretch.

Since the Phils traded away Rolen, the 29 other teams have roughly averaged a .262 batting average, while tallying 261 homers and 1,119 RBI from their third basemen. The Phils’ talent at that position has delivered a .256 average with just 150 total home runs and 927 total RBI.

On the way to the rescue is a pair of prospects that have swiftly risen through the Phillies’ developmental ranks. With Triple-A All-Star Cody Asche and Futures Game representative Maikel Franco pounding opposing pitchers for their respective teams, the Phils could soon be faced with a problem they’ll enjoy hashing out — having two ascending stars make a push for a starting role at the big-league level at once.

But, will the Phillies, as a precaution, make a move to prevent any crowding at third base?

“Right now, I don’t think so,” Reading manager Dusty Wathan said of the possibility of the Phillies forecasting a change of positions for either Asche of Franco, to prevent a conflict at the position at the top level of the Phils’ organization. Continue reading Prospect Jam at the Hot Corner for Phillies

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PN Interview: Phillies OF Prospect Carlos Tocci

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, July 01, 2013 09:00 AM Comments: 1

Carlos Tocci, photo- Jay Floyd

One of the most raved about prospects in the Phillies system is 17-year-old Carlos Tocci. Praised for his superior defense and excellent quickness along with an ability to hit to all fields, the Venezuelan born outfielder opened the season as the youngest player in Lakewood BlueClaws history in the Class A South Atlantic League.

Tocci was signed by the Phillies at the age of 16 for a reported $750,000 in August of 2011.

Thus far in 73 games with Lakewood, the 6-foot-2 160-pounder has posted a .231 with 13 doubles, 15 RBI and five steals. Those numbers may not seem too impressive, but Tocci has definitely shown offensive improvements, as he has batted .249 since he posted a .192 mark in April.

With the help of teammate Willie Carmona, who translated for us, I spoke with Carlos this past weekend. The youngster shared thoughts about his progress this year, what attracted him to signing with the Phillies and plenty more. Read ahead for the full interview.

- How has the transition to this level been for you this year? Has it been easier or more difficult than you thought?

One of the hardest things was, at the beginning of the year, it was really, really cold. I had never played in any type of cold, so it was a shock to me. The pitching is a lot better here too. It’s not easy like rookie level ball, where pitchers were predictable. Here, it’s a lot more difficult. Continue reading PN Interview: Phillies OF Prospect Carlos Tocci

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Cafardo on Papelbon: Not Available? Don’t Believe It

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, June 23, 2013 12:57 PM Comments: 0

Jonathan Papelbon - Philadelphia PhilliesNick Cafardo weighed in on the availability of Jonathan Papelbon in his Sunday column for the Boston Globe today. He had the following to say:

The Phillies declared last week that Jonathan Papelbon was not available. Don’t believe it. Papelbon didn’t do himself any favors when he scolded teammates, saying, “To be able to win and be in the forefront of the playoff race, you have to play good fundamental baseball and do the little things, and the little things are before the pitches are thrown. There’s 150 pitches thrown by our pitchers, and before every one of those we have to make sure we’re putting ourselves in a position to be the best we can before each pitch. I’m seeing some of the same mistakes. I think for us we have to make the fundamental plays we’re supposed to make.”

Cafardo’s beliefs are in direct conflict with what Ruben Amaro Jr. said just two days ago; Amaro, at that time, declared that both Papelbon and Cliff Lee were not available.

With his third blown save of the season, and week for that matter, yesterday, you have to wonder if some of the trade talk is wearing on Papelbon. At the same time, it is refreshing to know that outside the Phillies’ bubble, others believe that Papelbon would be available should the Phillies fall out of contention. Entering today, the Phillies are 6.5 games out, the closest they have been since May 29 when they were 5.5 games out after a win at home against Boston.

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Cliff Lee: 2013 Cy Young Candidate?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, June 19, 2013 07:00 AM Comments: 0

Lee wants to win but may be smiling just like this if he picks up NL Cy Young hardware in 2013.

Cliff Lee picked up his ninth win of the year last night, holding the Nationals to a pair of solo homers, striking out nine, and walking none. Lee baffled Nats hitters all night and did so while pitching with a blister on his hand. Lee’s ERA decreased to 2.53 and his xFIP fell to 3.15. Lee’s excellence has put him in firmly in the 2013 NL Cy Young Race. Traditional stats indicate Lee is among the best pitchers in the National League – Lee is ranked ninth in the NL in ERA, sixth in the NL in Ks, and tied for second in the (meaningless) wins category. The advanced stats hold up well, too: Lee ranks third in BB/9 IP, 18th in K/9 IP, second in K/BB, third in FIP, and seventh in xFIP.

Right now, Adam Wainwright (10-3, 2.37 ERA) and Matt Harvey (6-1, 2.15 ERA) are far and away in the top tier of contenders for the Cy Young and lead Lee in most of the standard and advanced categories. In Lee’s class are Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.28 ERA) and Jordan Zimmerann (9-3, 2.44 ERA) – but Lee has more strikeouts, less walks per 9 IP, and has done so as being the workhorse of the NL, currently tied with Wainwright for most innings pitched.

Your thoughts? Is this Cliff Lee’s year to win the Cy Young?

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BlueClaws Hosting SAL All-Star Events

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, June 18, 2013 11:45 AM Comments: 0

When the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws host the South Atlantic League All-Star game on Tuesday night, the club will be represented by four players on the North division roster.  Initially, just catcher Chace Numata and pitcher Steven Inch were selected as All-Stars, but due to other pitchers’ availability, two more BlueClaws hurlers were selected to represent the resident team in the game with lefty Yoel Mecias and right-hander Delvi Francisco now selected to fill voids on the roster.

The North division team will also include Lakewood manager and former Phillies All-Star Mickey Morandini, who will serve as a coach.

“It’s fun.  It’s always exciting when you get to host an All-Star game.  I know the organization here has really worked hard to do as much as they can for everybody coming in, with the events going on, so my hat’s off to all the people that have busted their butt to make this thing happen,” Morandini stated.  Continue reading BlueClaws Hosting SAL All-Star Events

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Phillies squander late lead en route to fifth straight loss

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Wed, June 12, 2013 11:30 PM Comments: 35

The Phillies took a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning Wednesday, but were unable to hold on as Minnesota surged back to win the ballgame 4-3.

The Phillies have now lost a season-high five straight games as they fall to 31-35 on the season.

Wednesday’s game was the same type of nightmare they experienced the day before. Their starting pitching was okay, but labored and could not go deep enough. The offense got the team out to a lead but fell silent in the middle and late innings, and the bullpen just could not get the job done with the lead.

Bullpen woes continue

Who can you count on? There seems to be a finite number of pitchers that keep getting opportunities to pitch in big spots and none can ever get the job done. With Cloyd leaving after five innings, the Phillies needed help from the bullpen and did not get it.

Continue reading Phillies squander late lead en route to fifth straight loss

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