Posts Tagged ‘Placido Polanco’

Kemp’s Walkoff Ends Phils’ Streak

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, July 18, 2012 07:44 PM Comments: 13

Cliff Lee needed to be great today and he certainly was that. The only problem, Clayton Kershaw was pretty awesome, as well. The two dueled until they could duel no more, but in the end Lee got yet another no-decision in the 5-3 loss.


-Let’s start with Lee, who was as efficient as ever. After eight innings, he was pulled for a pinch hitter, but could have easily gone 12 or 13 frames today. Over the eight, he allowed just two hits, one run, and struck out four while walking one. Sixty-four of his 89 pitches went for strikes. About as good as can be.

-According to ESPN Stats, Lee received less than two runs of support for the 8th time in 16 starts. That’s just the kind of season he’s going through.

-Clayton Kershaw showed why he’s a Cy Young winner, too. It took him 120 pitches, but he also worked eight innings, allowing just one run. Kershaw fanned seven and left with a no-decision as well.

-It may not have ended the way Phillies fans wanted it to, but either way it was a hell of a pitching matchup. Just went the wrong way.

Continue reading Kemp’s Walkoff Ends Phils’ Streak


Hamels Leads Phillies to Series Win Over Rockies

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, July 15, 2012 05:45 PM Comments: 16

Hamels was Hamels on Sunday. (AP)

The Phillies started off their six-game, post-all-star break road trip by winning the opening series against the Rockies. On Sunday, Cole Hamels shut down Colorado, leading the Phillies to a 5-1 victory. It was the first series victory for the Phillies since they beat Colorado at home nearly a month ago – June 19, 20, and 21.


-Cole Hamels is being watched. He doesn’t seem to mind much, because he turned in an excellent performance as scouts reportedly looked on in Denver. Hamels held the Rockies to one run and six hits over eight innings, grabbing his 11th win of the season – one that could be his final as a Phillie. Over his 111 pitches, Hamels threw 71 strikes – he fanned seven and walked one.

-Not to be overly-dramatic, but there is a real possibility that the Phillies deal Hamels before the July 31 deadline.

Early on, Hamels struggled to keep the Rockies off the basepaths, but came away unscathed. His best inning was likely the fourth when it took just four pitches to get through. After 23 pitches in the first, Hamels settled down to get through eight. That’s what the greats do.

-In the eighth inning, he was still at his best. He allowed the leadoff hitter to get aboard, but ran through the next three hitters, including Carlos Gonzalez, getting the all-star to strike out.

-Antonio Bastardo finished off the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, needing just seven pitches, all strikes, to end it. As Ryan Lawrence pointed out via twitter, Bastardo entered the game with a 5.34 ERA in 34 games this year; through 34 games last year, he had a 0.87 ERA. They need him to recapture that 2011 magic if they want to hold off some teams in the late innings down the stretch.

-That’s exactly the kind of game the Phillies envisioned throughout this season; the ace goes eight and hands it off to a worthy bullpen, who seals it. That hasn’t been the case, but Sunday in Denver was just what they wanted to see.

Continue reading Hamels Leads Phillies to Series Win Over Rockies


All-Star Break Grades: The Bench

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, July 10, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 3

Mike Fontenot has filled in admirably at second and third for the depleted 2012 Phillies. Photo (AP)

Welcome to the first of five of our All-Star Break assessments. Today we tackle: The Bench.

The Surprises:

Mike FontenotThe seven year Major League veteran was a free agent after being cut from the Giants at the conclusion of the Cactus League but has been a valuable bench piece, splitting time at 2nd and 3rd and posting a .325/.364/.386 triple-slash in 24 games since being called up on May 13. His .388 BABIP and career triple-slash .267/.334/.405 suggests this pace is an abnormality and I won’t disagree. However, I will say that this value off the bench is being wasted in a down year for the Phils; I can’t help but imagine what even his normal production could have done to help the team last year, being able to spell Placido Polanco in the playoffs. Grade: A

Pete OrrThe player Fontenot essentially replaced was having a fine bench year in his own right (.286/.302/.429) but got squeezed off the roster when the Phils activated Jim Thome. Orr performed when put in the game and that is about as much as you can ask for a bench player. Because Fontenot graded at an A as the most valuable piece of the bench, Orr, who was slightly less productive, must be ranked a little lower, but not that much. Grade: B+

Continue reading All-Star Break Grades: The Bench


Brooms Absent As Phils Fall To Rockies

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Thu, June 21, 2012 10:11 PM Comments: 12

Worley made one mistake tonight, but it would cost him (AP.

The bats were nowhere to be found tonight as the Phillies fell to the Colorado Rockies 4-1 in a game marked by offensive ineptitude.


- The Phillies made Jeff Francis, who had a career 10.80 ERA pitching at Citizens Bank Park, look like a young Tom Glavine tonight. Well if Glavine was forced to adhere to a 75-pitch pitch count due to his manager’s change in philosophy, anyway.

- During his five innings on the mound, the Phillies were only able to amass six hits off Francis, but only two balls were hit hard. Of the 15 outs Francis recorded, 11 never left the infield, and three more came on a strikeout. When he left after the fifth, the score was 1-0. The Phillies should’ve battered this guy, and they didn’t. Their inability to do more damage against Francis wasted Worley’s third straight outstanding effort and cost the team the sweep.

- After Francis came out of the game, the Rockies bullpen, which ranks 28th in baseball with a 6.05 ERA, continued the dominance, holding the Phils’ bats scoreless.


- Economical Vance Worley was not, at least not early on. He labored through four innings, throwing 69 pitches. He would be able to settle in, however, and make it through the seventh inning.

- In that seventh inning, Worley would give up a two-run home run to Chris Nelson, which gave the Rockies the lead. The shot to left center was particularly deflating because it came with two outs, after Worley had battled to get himself into a position to pitch seven scoreless. It was a mistake. But it was the only mistake Worley made during an outstanding outing. This loss was entirely on the offense.

- If there is one knock on Worley (and it’s a small blemish on what has been an otherwise fantastic start to a career), it’s his inability to pitch deep into ball games. He can almost always get you into the sixth or seventh inning with a great effort, but he’s pitched into the eighth inning just twice in his 34 career starts, and hasn’t yet this season. If there’s one area where you’d like to see him improve as he matures, it’s his ability to get guys out quicker and go the distance.


- Last night, when Hunter Pence came up with Ty Wigginton on second base and the Phillies down by one, Pence was able to rip a double down the leftfield line to tie the game and open the door for the Phils first walk-off victory of the night. Tonight, Pence would once again come up with the Phils down one and Wigginton on second. This time, it was not meant to be. Pence would strikeout in an at-bat where he looked very overmatched by Matt Belisle.


- The lone run for the Phils came in their first at-bat of the game, when Jimmy Rollins laced a changeup into the left field seats for the 175th home run of his career. It was also the 39th career lead-off home run for Rollins. That makes him second on the active list behind Alfonso Soriano (54).


- The Phillies have now lost all four games Worley has started since returning from the DL on June 4th. In those games, Worley has a 2.25 ERA.

- The Phillies have yet to sweep a three-game series this season.

- The Phillies return to inter-league play tomorrow when the Tampa Bay Rays come to town. Cliff Lee (0-3, 3.48) takes the mound for the Phils while James Shield (7-4, 3.72) gets the start for Tampa.


It Happened! The Phillies Win in Walkoff Fashion, 7-6

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, June 20, 2012 10:32 PM Comments: 40

Mini Mart helped the cause tonight.

I was about to write that it was another wasted opportunity – another woulda, coulda, shoulda-type evening. Instead, the Phillies did something they had not done all year, and that’s come back in the ninth inning when they did not have a lead. They did so in the 7-6, come-from-behind victory over the Rockies to give them two wins in a row


-You saw that coming right? The error on Rockies shortstop Marco Scutaro off the bat of Placido Polanco was improbable, especially since the Phillies have struggled mightily in those types of situations. Nevertheless, a win is a win. And they’ll take it anyway they can get it.

-Michael Martinez supplied the power early in the game, but for a while it was more of the same with the Phils being shut down the second half of the game. The final inning felt like a Phillies game from 2007, 2008, or 2009 – a blast from the past. It was that never say die attitude that the fans fell in love with.

-If you can believe it, all of the madness in the ninth inning came with two outs. I know, right? The Phillies were previously 0-28 heading into their final at-bat when trailing in the ninth inning so far this year. Make that 1-28.


-Joe Blanton was back to his old self – giving up home runs and being inconsistent. He allowed five runs in seven innings, all of them coming on three home runs by the Rockies. Not the type of effort that anyone hoped for.


Again, Jonathan Papelbon just couldn’t get it done in a non-save situation. With a tie game in the ninth, he allowed the Rockies to take the lead. Papelbon entered Wednesday night’s game with 0.00 ERA in 17 save opps and a 5.79 ERA in 10 non-save opportunities. In tie games this season, opponents are hitting .545 (6-for-11) with 4 extra-base hits off the closer. Just weird. Really no way to explain it.


-We can no longer question Manuel’s moves. If he doesn’t bring in Papelbon in a tie game from now on, now you know why.


Sinking Fast, Phillies Still Have Options To Right The Ship

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Tue, June 19, 2012 09:00 AM Comments: 49

Cliff Lee isn't the only one hanging his head in the Phillies dugout these days after a frustrating 31-37 start has the team nine games out of 1st place. (AP)

The 2012 version of the Phillies has so far been unrecognizable. The team has lost its swagger, and they’re playing poorly in all facets of the game. Suddenly, a team that never lost late, never faced a deficit it couldn’t overcome, has become an unintimidating bunch of louts who make mistakes in the clutch.

However, the season is still early, and hope, though diminished, should not be entirely lost.

The team needs a shake up, something to light a spark. They need something to get people feeling good, not only for the team today, but also for the team tomorrow.

Here are three potential moves the Phillies could make to get the ship righted not only for this season, but for seasons to come:

1) Forget Youkilis, Trade For Chase Headley:

Trading for Kevin Youkilis seems to be all the rage these days. But the Phillies shouldn’t buy into the hype. Youkilis is on the decline and owed a lot of money. He may bring some value, but he’d be a short-term gain at the cost of more prospects in a depleted farm system.

If the Phillies are going to once again dip into their minor league resources, they must acquire someone who will make this team better short-term and long-term. Padres third baseman Chase Headley would do that.  According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, trading Headley is doable for the Padres.

Headley is currently 28, under team control for two more seasons after 2012, and, with a contract valued at $3.48M, would come at about a quarter the cost of Youkilis. He would give the Phillies a switch-hitting third baseman with excellent plate discipline, and, because he can play left field, Headley would provide Charlie Manuel the option to play him and Placido Polanco in the same lineup once Chase Utley returns.

Headley’s power and patience numbers compare favorably to Phillies left fielders, making the idea of playing him there feasible. Take a look:

  • Headley:  32 R 62 H, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 8 SB, .261/.372/.416 124 OPS+
  • Phillies left fielders:  34 R, 87 H, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 12 SB .313/.352/.417 114 OPS+

While Phillies left fielders have hit for a higher average (mainly because of Juan Pierre), Headley has hit more home runs and has a higher on-base percentage. Those power numbers would only increase moving out of spacious Petco Park. He could conceivably hit 20 home runs playing at CBP.

Because he’s primarily a third baseman, Headley wouldn’t force the Phillies to remove Pierre from the lineup entirely either. He could slide to third on days when Manuel wants to get Pierre in the lineup.

There’s only one caveat to trading for Headley: The Padres aren’t in a position where they need to trade him, so they’d have the power at the bargaining table. Still, it’s an avenue the Phillies should pursue if they want to add a bat to the lineup.

Continue reading Sinking Fast, Phillies Still Have Options To Right The Ship


Phils Extra-Inning Woes Continue As They Fall To Jays

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, June 16, 2012 04:46 PM Comments: 65

It's June 16, and Cliff Lee is still without a win. (AP)

For the third time in a row, the Phillies were able to get a lead with Cliff Lee on the mound, and for the third time in a row, they’d end up losing the game. This time, it was a painful loss in extra innings, as the Blue Jays prevailed 6-5 in ten innings. Defense was the coup de grace today for a Phillies team that can’t seem to get things going back in the right direction.

It’s June 16th, And Cliff Lee’s Still Winless:

- I understand that wins are a virtually meaningless statistic for pitchers, but it’s June 16th, Lee has thrown very well, and he still doesn’t have a win. It’s getting a little ridiculous. It’s actually a perfect example of why the win statistic needs to be thrown out. Still, you can tell the guy is frustrated by it.

- Lee wasn’t his usual sharp self today. He  allowed five earned runs in 7+ innings, though three of them were probably more on the defense than Lee (more on that later). But it was a battle as he allowed a season-high twelve hits. He worked out of jams in the third, fourth, and sixth innings. In the third he was helped out by some poor baserunning by the Blue Jays and in the fourth a ground rule double prevented a run from scoring. It looked like he may be able to get to Jonathan Papelbon with the lead by himself as he entered the eighth inning, but then…

Continue reading Phils Extra-Inning Woes Continue As They Fall To Jays


Phils Pull Out a Win Versus Twins

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, June 14, 2012 12:14 AM Comments: 68

Cole Hamels- AP

Nothing comes easy these days for the Phillies, as the National League East division’s last place club went down to the wire on Wednesday night to notch a victory over the Twins by a score of 9-8.

Behind a less-than-sharp Cole Hamels, the Phils were able to lock down a win in a month when such results aren’t very common.  The game marked just the third time the 2012 Phillies did not lose in June.

Even the “Good” Games Leave You Feeling Badly:

-Hamels, who was charged with six earned runs in 6 innings of work,  has a 6.07 ERA in his past four starts, while his ERA in the nine starts that preceded those was 2.17.

-Amazingly, in a contest where the opposing starting pitcher, P.J. Walters, didn’t record an out and when the Phillies grabbed a six-run lead in the opening frame, it wasn’t an easy win, as Minnesota battled and made the visiting team sweat in the late innings.

-Despite striking out the side in the 8th inning, a wild pitch on the 3rd K by Chad Qualls allowed the tying run to reach base in the bottom of the 8th inning.  Manager Charlie Manuel then went to Jonathan Papelbon for the four-out save.  Papelbon allowed no additional runners and locked down his 17th save of the season.

-The Phillies missed a golden opportunity to pad their slim 9th inning lead when they loaded the bases with no outs and failed to plate a run. Placido Polanco, John Mayberry Jr. and Michael Martinez were the culprits who let the offense down in a critical spot.

-Placido Polanco, who was missed by the Phils, especially on defense, over the past week, since he was sidelined after being spiked on his glove hand last week, returned to action and went 0-for-5. Continue reading Phils Pull Out a Win Versus Twins


Gameday: Phillies (29-34) at Twins (25-35)

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Wed, June 13, 2012 07:05 PM Comments: 80

Philadelphia Phillies (29-34)
vs. Minnesota Twins (25-35)

Cole Hamels (8-3, 2.93) vs. P.J. Walters (2-1, 4.42)

Time: 8:10, Target Field
Weather: Partly cloudy, 71
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Update: Placido Polanco returns to the lineup after missing six games with a laceration to his left index finger.


With their win over the Toronto Blue Jays today, the Washington Nationals now sit a cushy ten games above the Phillies in the N.L. East standings. That is the furthest back the Phillies have been since 2006 when they finished 12 games behind the Mets. A big reason for the widening gap between the Phils and the first-place Nationals has been the porous play since the calendar flipped to June. Since June 1st, the Phils have gone just 1-9. The major culprit for the Phillies skid, despite popular belief,  has been faulty performances on the mound, both from the starters. Combined they’ve posted a 4.93 ERA during the month of June, which is more than a run higher than the 3.77 ERA the staff posted during the first two months of the season.

The loss of Roy Halladay certainly hasn’t help the staff, but the results on the field haven’t been there either. Exhibit A: Tonight’s starter, Cole Hamels. After dominating the National League for two months, Hamels has not looked himself in his two starts during the season’s third month. He’s thrown 12.2 innings, which is decent for two starts, but has allowed eight earned runs–good for a 5.68 ERA. He has been slightly victimized by a .324 BABIP in those starts. But, bad luck stats aside, the fact is this team needs a win right now, and Hamels needs to be the guy to give it to them. Hamels has faced the Twins once before in 2010. He got a no decision in that start, allowing three earned runs over seven innings pitched.

Starting for Minnesota will be 27-year old, P.J. Walters. After getting 2012 off to a very good start, Walters has come back to earth in his last two starts, allowing nine runs over 9.1 innings pitched. Walters has never faced the Phillies.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Pierre LF, Pence RF, Thome DH, Victorino CF, Ruiz C, Polanco 3B, Mayberry 1B, Martinez 2B

GAMEDAY BEER: Flying Dog Dogtoberfest

Perhaps it’s the rich amber color, the smooth and sweet taste, or the Hunter S. Thompson quote on the label, but something about this beer really does it for me. It’s been one of my absolute favorites since the first time I had it. It has a complex taste, with elements of sweet and bitter, but also goes down incredibly smooth, without being too abrasive to the palette. Despite the name drawing inferences to Autumn, the Dogtoberfest is actually a perfect summertime beer. Have it with some traditionally grilled food. -By Ryan

Go Phillies!


Kendrick, Bullpen Awful in Loss to Twins

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, June 12, 2012 11:37 PM Comments: 37

In a barnburner at Target Field, the Phillies lost yet again. They move to 2-9 in June with an 11-7 loss to the Twins.


-It’s really a coin flip anymore as to what Kyle Kendrick you’ll get. On Tuesday, it was bad Kendrick. Giving up five runs over the first two innings is just about the worst thing you can do while trying to protect this Phillies offense.

-His final line: four innings, eight hits, six runs, two walks, two strikeouts. That’s just not going to get it done, but really, what choice do the Phillies have but to ride the Kendrick Coaster.

-This young Phillies bullpen is shaky. Joe Savery, B.J. Rosenberg, Jake Diekman, and Chad Qualls all tried to keep it close and could not. All told, the pen wasn’t very mighty, allowing five runs runs on nine hits in four innings of work. As Todd Zolecki pointed out in a tweet during the seventh, the offense hasn’t been the issue – it’s clearly the arms.

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