Posts Tagged ‘Roy Halladay’

The Decline of Jonathan Papelbon

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, April 03, 2014 12:14 PM Comments: 12

PHOTO: AP / Jim Cowsert

Last night, Jonathan Papelbon blew his first save opportunity of the season, surrendering three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in Texas. This has been somewhat of a theme for Papelbon recently. As Todd Zolecki noted last night, Paps has pitched poorly over his last 39 appearances–4.46 ERA, and eight blown saves. His infamous “I didn’t come here for this.” quote also came during that span.

Another thing to note, though, is over that same period of time, his fastball velocity has decreased. Last night, his fastball averaged 91.62 MPH. On June 24 of last year–the date that Zolecki used–his fastball averaged 93.44 MPH. In 2012, he was in the 93-96 range all year, and in 2011 he was up near 95-97.

Of course, a decline in velocity for a 33 year-old isn’t unexpected–but another thing to consider is his arm slot, which has steadily decreased (Credit to Bill Baer and John Stolnis for that find).

The question is–will this continue? Or is Papelbon simply in a pitching slump? The answer isn’t simple. It’s easy to expect more of the same old “Papelblown”, especially from a guy that seems to be extremely easy to hate by Phillies fans. But he’s gone through slumps like this before, too. In 2009, he had a 1.85 ERA with 3 blown saves–followed by a 2010 season where he had a 3.90 ERA with eight blown saves. He knows adversity.

However, if his dropping arm slot and velocity are effects of an injury, that’s a different story. We’ve seen this kind of reduction in velocity and effectiveness before. See: Roy Halladay. Halladay didn’t drop his arm slot like Paps is doing, but the drop in velocity and decrease in effectiveness is similar. Halladay labored a lot more than Papelbon is now, as well. So I’m not saying that Jonathan Papelbon has a bum shoulder, or that he’ll retire next year, but it is definitely something to watch. 33 is not terribly old for a closer–but Jonathan Papelbon is a crazy man. Not an ordinary closer. Still, there’s always a chance he gets past this.

And for our sake, I hope he bounces back.


Halladay on Rivera: “What he did for me was unbelievable”

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, September 26, 2013 04:34 PM Comments: 2

Mo leaves the game still pitching at a high level. (Photo: Brandon Steiner)

Roy Halladay isn’t a man of many words. But in this Sports Illustrated article about Mariano Rivera written by Tom Verducci, Halladay says a meeting with Rivera at an All-Star Game event changed his career.

The piece contains quotes from various people around baseball as they pay their respects to a legend leaving the sport. It’s a must-must-read. Having not covered the Yankees, I was unaware just how awesome Rivera was. All of the anecdotes included bring that to light.

Here is what Halladay said about Mo:

During batting practice before the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, in 2008 [when Halladay was a 20-game winner for the Blue Jays], I went up to him in the outfield and asked him, “Man, how do you do it? How is that cutter so consistent?”

He told me he was playing catch one day [in 1997] and it just came to him, he found this grip and started using it and all of a sudden it was something he could throw all the time. I said, “If you don’t mind, can you show me how you hold it?”

Well, his fingers are so much longer than mine, so I can’t hold it exactly like he holds it. Nobody can. It’s like Pedro Martinez. Their fingers and hands are so big they can do stuff with the ball other people just can’t do. But the biggest thing was his finger placement and how his thumb was under the ball. I was throwing a cutter, but it was inconsistent. Once he told me about the thumb, it became a big pitch for me. You’re so used to playing catch and four-seaming the baseball that your hand wants to go to that natural position. You have to keep reminding yourself, thumb underneath, thumb underneath.

After that meeting I took a baseball and marked it with my finger and thumb placement for the cutter. If the pitch was ever off, I could go back to the baseball and hold it. I still have that ball.

What he did for me was unbelievable. It’s something you want to pass down. That to me is what great players do: They leave marks on the game, an impression that is about who they are and not just about their numbers and accomplishments. My favorite players of all time have done that — left a mark based on their character: Derek Jeter, Chase Utley and Mariano Rivera. I wish more people could talk to Mariano because he’s probably one of the best things to ever happen to baseball.

After the All-Star Game that year, I pitched against the Yankees [three times] and beat them each time. I found out later that they fined Mariano in kangaroo court for me beating them with the cutter he taught me.


The Phillies Should Avoid Bautista

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, September 26, 2013 06:00 AM Comments: 3

My colleague Corey Seidman is a man of many talents: he is a fantastic writer, one of the hosts of Phillies Nation TV, and an emerging Fantasy Football expert. He’s also incredibly patient when I need multiple takes to get together my thoughts on my appearances on PNTV. But his most recent idea, that the Phillies should acquire Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista, is not my cup of tea.


Bautista, who turns 33 in October, has only played 140 games or more three times in his entire career. Since 2011, Bautista has had just 927 PA, ruled out recently for the rest of the 2013 campaign with a lingering hip issue.

Declining Production

Even though Bautista made the All-Star each of the last two seasons, his combined triple-slash line is .251/.358/.510, very comparable to Darin Ruf‘s .267/.357/.507 career triple-slash line with similarly poor defense. Bautista’s line over the last two years is a deep drop-off from his two year peak from 2010 to 2011: .280/.412/.613 in 1338 PA. Baseball-Reference’s most similar players through age 33, Jay Buhner, Gorman Thomas, and Jeromy Burnitz, absolutely fell off a cliff during and after their age 33 seasons.

Continue reading The Phillies Should Avoid Bautista


Phillies Squeak By Marlins on Two First Inning Runs

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, September 24, 2013 10:51 PM Comments: 3

It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.

The Phillies beat the Marlins, 2-1, with both runs coming in the top of the first inning. Of their five hits on the night, just one came in that first inning. But three consecutive walks, including one to Darin Ruf with the bases loaded, and a Kevin Frandsen ground out, plated the only runs of the evening. It was just enough.

Zach Miner led the bullpen-game effort, tossing the first four innings. The winning pitcher, Michael Stutes, pitched the fifth, and was followed by Ramirez, Diekman, and then Papelbon for the save. It was Stutes’ first appearance since June 22 after a DL stint with a biceps injury.

Saturday’s game will also be a full bullpen game as Roy Halladay will be unable to make his final start of the season due to arm fatigure and an illness he disclosed to the media after yesterday’s debacle.

The Phillies and Marlins will finish out the series tomorrow as Cole Hamels battles Brad Hand. Hamels will look for his ninth win of the year in his final start.


Halladay Injured as Phillies Blanked by Marlins

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, September 23, 2013 10:17 PM Comments: 2

In what could be the final start by Roy Halladay in Phillies pinstripes, the Phillies were shutout by the Miami Marlins, 4-0. The injury was the biggest news of the evening.

Halladay left the game after just 16 pitches – registering one out and walking two batters – with what the team called “arm fatigue.” His velocity peaked at just 83 mph and Doc worked up a healthy lather that should only happen after 160 pitches, not 16. Something is clearly not right and it seems unlikely he’ll make his final start of the season in Atlanta.

Offensively, it was the 14th time in 2013 the Phillies were shutout. Nate Eovaldi was the man who blanked them, working 7 2/3  innings, allowing just three hits while fanning five. The Phillies could muster up just four hits on the evening.


Halladay Leaves in 1st Inning with Arm Fatigue

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, September 23, 2013 07:51 PM Comments: 23

APTOPIX Phillies Marlins BaseballAfter just 16 pitches, Rich Dubee ran to the mound to check on Roy Halladay. There was nothing to be said. Halladay’s night, and possibly his career, was through.

Ryne Sandberg joined Dubee and after a few words spoken between the men on the mound, Halladay walked to the dugout with his head down, his face red, dripping with sweat. The Phillies are calling it right arm fatigue.

From the moment he took the mound, Halladay had little to give. His maximum effort was an 83 mph fastball.

And is there something more to it? Halladay has looked noticeably frail over the past few seasons, starting with his outing in Chicago a few seasons ago when he left with heat exhaustion.

The question becomes, what now? If this is the final time we’ve seen Halladay take the mound, it’s certainly not how he – or Phillies fans for that matter – envisioned the end. But it is a sad reality. Halladay’s arm, with over 40,000 regular season pitches on it, has seem better days.  Are there any more pitches left to be thrown?



Gameday: Phillies (71-83) vs. Marlins (57-99)

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, September 23, 2013 06:51 PM Comments: 3

Miami Marlins logoPhiladelphia Phillies (71-84) vs. Miami Marlins (57-99)
Roy Halladay (4-4, 6.71) vs. Nate Eovaldi (3-6, 3.79)

Time: 7:10Marlins Park
Weather: Overcast, 84
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Either tonight or Saturday could be Roy Halladay’s last start as a Philadelphia Phillie.  Perhaps a strong performance might tilt the scales towards the Phillies resigning him.  He is looking to give the Marlins their 100th loss on an embarassing year.  Yet, it’s safe to say that both teams are already booking their tee times for next week.

Lineup:  Hernandez CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Ruiz C, Brown LF, Ruf 1B, Asche 3B, Bernadina CF, Halladay P

Landshark Lager

Gameday beer: Landshark Lager

This clear-bottled beer is Jimmy Buffet’s answer to Corona.  Speaking of which, when is he going to buy the Marlins?  Anyway the beer is light, airy and bubbly and goes great with a hot summer afternoon.  Just imagine the next time the Phillies return to Florida after this series…it will be Spring Training in Clearwater.

Go Phillies!


Phillies Nation TV: Stanton rumors, fan poll and evaulating predictions

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, September 19, 2013 02:00 PM Comments: 6

This week Phillies Nation TV is coming to you from Growlers Bar at 8th and Fitzwater in South Philly. Pat and Corey start out by giving their thoughts on the rumors that the Phillies have tried to acquire Giancarlo Stanton at least 10 times. Is he a right fit in Philadelphia?

The guys also revisit their off-season plans for the 2013 Phillies. See who picked a better team. Plus, we delve deeper into the fan poll conducted last week to see what you think the 2014 club will look like.

Ryann is along with fan questions and in the By the Numbers segment, Corey breaks down which of Roy Halladay’s pitches are simply not working.


Halladay Beats Marlins in Possible Last Start in Philly

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, September 17, 2013 09:54 PM Comments: 5

Weird to think, but it could be true. We could have witnessed the final start by Roy Halladay in Philadelphia as a member of the Phillies. Over six innings, Halladay gave up just one run on four hits as the Phils beat the Marlins, 6-4

Jonathan Papelbon made it extremely interesting in the ninth, allowing one run on three hits.

Halladay’s fastball was around 85-88 most of the evening and if the opposition were a little bit more apt to hit, it may have been a different outcome.  He’s just not as sharp as he needs to be if he wants to pitch consistently into the sixth, seventh, or even eighth inning. Halladay walked three and struck out just two.

Think about how weird it would be if Halladay never stepped on a mound as a member of the Phils again. Clearly, his skills are eroding, and have done so rapidly. There’s a chance that the Phillies see something in him this offseason that would move the team to bring him back. But he’ll have to show them that his velocity has increased and leveled off somewhere near 90, and that he can control his pitches well enough. It’s a tough road ahead.

However, we have the good times, too. The no-hitter, the perfect game, the overall awesomeness. So if this is his final start here, it’s been a hell of a run.

As an aside, people hit the ball tonight. Chase Utley went bonkers, going 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Jimmy Rollins also finished the night 3-for-4, while Cesar Hernandez and Darin Ruf each had two hits. Carlos Ruiz chipped in with two RBI.


Gameday: Phillies (70-80) vs. Marlins (55-95)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, September 17, 2013 05:50 PM Comments: 6

Philadelphia Phillies (70-80) vs. Miami Marlins (55-95)

Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.28) vs. Bryan Flynn (0-1, 10.13)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Cloudy, 58
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Cliff Lee, one of the few true bright spots of this Phillies team, looks for win #14 tonight. With 1/3 of an inning, Lee will hit the 200 inning plateau for the sixth straight year. He’s been one of the steadiest pitchers in baseball during that time, yet he sort of flies under the radar because of how this team has taken a nosedive.

I know Monday Night Football is on, but do yourself a favor and flip between the Phils and the Bengals/Steelers game. Who knows how much longer Lee will be in his prime and we should take in the fact that he’s still pitching at a supreme level.

Last night, I wrote that. And Cliff Lee certainly did not disappoint. Tonight, can Roy Halladay find at least a shred of his old-self as he takes on the Marlins? It hasn’t been pretty for Halladay, although post-DL has been better than pre-DL. It’s hard to know what to expect exactly.

And will this be Halladay’s final start in Philly?

Ryne Sandberg joked that he wished he had a jersey for Maikel Franco to put on. Franco is visiting the team again today after accepting the Paul Owens award yesterday. I think I’m with Sandberg.

Lineup: Hernandez CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Ruiz C, Brown LF, Ruf RF, Frandsen 1B, Galvis 3B, Halladay P

download (2)Gameday Beer: Rogue Dead Guy Ale

With a hint of chill in the air, go for the thick, chocolaty stuff that reminds me of a cold, winters night in December. Rogue stays as tonights beer, but we move to the Chocolate Stout. Ebony in color with a rich creamy head. The mellow flavor of oats, chocolate malts and real chocolate are balanced perfectly with the right amount of hops for a bitter-sweet finish. Sold. -PG

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