TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: July 2009

Lee’s Debut Moved Up

Cliff Lee was originally scheduled to pitch tomorrow versus San Francisco’s ace, Tim Lincecum. The Phillies had other plans as they wanted to debut him tonight and have Joe Blanton pitch Saturday versus the young phenom. Also Cole Hamels will pitch in Sunday’s game in place of Jamie Moyer.

Lee is 12-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 22 starts in his career versus the NL. He is also 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA vs. the Giants. He will face Ryan Sadowski (2-3, 4.81 ERA) tonight. Game time is 10:15 ET.

Remaining Probables:
Saturday: Joe Blanton (7-4, 4.11); Tim Lincecum (11-3, 2.30)
Sunday: Cole Hamels (7-5, 4.42); Barry Zito (6-10, 4.54)

Despite Shut Out, Phils Remain Hot

I don’t have time to write my detailed recap and preview for the Phillies series but I will write a brief one. I’ll be at the Bank tonight for the Billy Joel/Elton John Face2Face concert tonight.

Vs Arizona:
7/27 – Phillies won 6-2
7/28 – Phillies won 4-3
7/29 – D’Backs won 4-0

Next Series: Phillies (58-41; 31-16 on the road) @ San Francisco Giants (55-46; 34-15 at home)

-First meeting between two teams this year
-Giants won 3 straight; Phils won 4 of last 5
-Saturday’s match up will be the marquee matchup with Tim Lincecum vs newly acquired Cliff Lee

Pitching Probables:
7/30: Rodrigo Lopez (3-0, 3.09) vs. Jonathan Sanchez* (3-9, 4.92)
7/31: Joe Blanton (7-4, 4.11) vs. Ryan Sadowski (2-3, 4.81)
8/1: Cliff Lee* (AL: 7-9, 3.14) vs. Tim Lincecum (11-3, 2.30)
8/2: Jamie Moyer* (10-7, 5.32) vs. Barry Zito* (6-10, 4.54)

Phils Land Lee in Trade

Well the Phillies had their eyes set on Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays would not budge so the Phillies went straight to plan B. They nabbed another former Cy Young award winner in Cliff Lee from the Indians for a package of prospects. In the trade, the Phillies got the 2008 Cy Young winner and outfielder Ben Francisco for four prospects: Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Knapp.

Cliff Lee is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and a 6.34 K/9 this year. He has come back to form in his last five starts, pitching at least six innings and allowing no more than three runs. He also has thrown two complete games in that span. In four games versus the NL this year, he went 1-0 and didn’t allow more than three runs and went at least six innings, nothing four quality starts. He also had a complete game shut out versus St. Louis.

The Phillies were likely frustrated with the Blue Jays’ demands and gave up on Halladay so they went with the next best guy. Not only is Lee a great pitcher but he will add to the Phillies already solid rotation. The Phillies also succeeded in getting a great pitcher without coughing up Kyle Drabek and JA Happ.

I love this move for the above reasons. The Phillies now have a rock solid rotation along with Pedro Martinez and Rodrigo Lopez as back up plans. Also Brett Myers could be back but a bull pen spot is more likely than the rotation. With the addition of Lee, the rotation now probably looks like this going by when each respective pitcher has thrown:

Hamels
Happ
(Lopez is scheduled for tomorrow)
Lee
Blanton
Moyer

Overall this is a great trade and the Phillies are now instantly the best team in the National League in my opinion.

RIP Jim Johnson

Philly Inquirer

The Philadelphia sports world lost another true legend today as the Eagles defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson, passed away today. He was 68. He has been battling a cancerous tumor on his spine and took a turn for the worse today.

He has been the master mind behind so many Eagles’ defenses in his 10 years of tenure for the Birds. He will truly be missed.

RIP J.J.

Selig Considering Rose’s Reinstatement

Bud Selig is “seriously considering” reinstating Pete Rose to baseball so he would be eligible for a Hall of Fame nomination. Rose was banned after being accused of betting on baseball. If Rose is allowed back into baseball, he would make his first appearance on the ballot. 65 members of the Hall’s selection committee can mull over whether or not he should be inducted and Rose will be allowed on the ballot for 15 years. If he isn’t inducted in 15 years, Rose will be permanently left out.

Rose is considered to be one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. He played from 1963-1986, mostly with the Cincinnati Reds and partial for the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos. During his career, he batted .303 with 4256 hits, the most in the history of the game. Rose has also been selected to the All Star game 17 times, won three World Series rings (two with the Reds and one with the Phillies), and earned the ROY award (1963) and NL MVP (1973).

Rose should never have been banned from baseball in the first place. Even though he bet on baseball during his time as a manager and probably a player, that should never have hindered his accolades on the field. As a player and manager, Rose is one of the greatest ever. Selig should reinstate him, the first good thing he has done for baseball in his tenure as commissioner.

Next step: Reinstating Shoeless Joe Jackson.

EDIT! : Selig denied any claim that he was considering reinstating Rose. The link above was updated by ESPN. Here is what was originally written:

MLB commissioner Bud Selig appears to be “seriously considering” reinstatement for Pete Rose nearly 20 years after the hit king was banned from baseball for gambling on the sport, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

It’s All in the Cards

The red birds were left feeling blue after their little visit to Philly. After being swept by the Astros, the Cardinals came into this big series a little hungry. They even gained a big bat in Matt Holliday in a trade prior to the series. They also took command of game one, beating up JA Happ en route to an 8-1 victory. But that was it. The Cardinals awoke the angry beast known as the Phillies’ offense and they completely dominated the Cards to win the next two games.

Friday – Cardinals won 8-1: The Cardinals finally solved the young phenom, JA Happ. He was pitching well until the sixth inning, where he saw his last action, giving up five runs in six innings pitched. Holliday made his presence known with a four-hit night.

Saturday – Phillies won 14-6: When Jimmy Rollins hits, everyone hits. J-Roll went 2-5 with a grand slam and Shane Victorino had a four-hit night as Rodrigo Lopez pitched a solid outing to give the Phillies the boost they needed to right the ship that sunk the previous night.

Sunday – Phillies won 9-2: The Phillies powered their way to a big win with four homers coming from Rollins, Victorino, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez. Joe Blanton pitched a brilliant gem, going eight strong innings and allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk.

Series MVP’s:
Shane Victorino: 8-13, 5 runs, double, homer, 3 RBI’s
Joe Blanton: 8 IP, 7 H, BB, 2 ER, 6 K
Ryan Howard: 6-12, 2 runs, 2 doubles, homer, 5 RBI’s

Next Series: Philadelphia Phillies (56-40, 29-15 on road) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (43-56, 23-31 at home)

This should be a cake series as the Diamondbacks pretty much stink. This is the first meeting of the season for the two teams. Much like San Diego, the D’Backs have only one real bright spot in Josh Upton, who’s batting .296 with 18 homers. Mark Reynolds leads the team in homers with 26.

The Phillies are the best team on the road. The D’Backs are 14th in batting in the NL while the Phillies are 5th. As far as scoring, the Phillies own the top spot with Arizona at 6. Phillies are easily the better team. They should and will sweep.

Pitching Probables:
7/27: PHI: Moyer (9-7, 5.65), ARI: Garland (5-9, 4.41)
7/28: PHI: Hamels (6-5, 4.66), ARI: Haren (10-5, 2.14)
7/29: PHI: Happ (7-1, 2.97, ARI: Petit (0-5, 7.68)

Pitching Moves

Clay Condrey was put back on the 15-day DL and Andrew Carpenter was dropped back to AAA. In there places comes Steve Register (who pitched last night) and, sit down before reading this,…. Kyle Kendrick.

This should really inspire our rotation to pitch well enough to go seven innings every start.

Back From Hershey

Well I’m back from my adventure to Hershey Friday. Got to the park around 12:30, did a few rides until 3:30 when the clouds opened up on us. Ate, tailgated for the Dave Matthews Band concert, got the show’s poster, then headed in to enjoy three hours of music. Then we journeyed home so I could work from three until ten.

So I get back and the two things that stick out the most to me were a murder in the parking lot during the game from a fight in McFadden’s and some assclown with a laser pointer shining it on Albert Pujols of the Cardinals while Standing in the batter’s box. I’m just dumb founded at some of the idiots that attend Phillies games. Read the articles because I’m too ashamed to go into detail.

Back to Work

The Phillies got back to work as they pounded the Padres with their bats, winning 9-4. Every starter got a hit for the Phillies except for Cole Hamels, who pitched a solid game minus a rough fourth inning where he gave up three runs. In that inning he also allowed a two-run homer to Kyle Blanks. Hamels (6-5) finished the game going seven innings and allowing three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six.

Jayson Werth had the big game, going 3-5 with two doubles and an RBI while scoring twice. Pedro Feliz also added three hits and Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino had a pair. Chan Ho Park pitched the last 1 1/2 innings to finish it up.

The Phillies play St. Louis starting tomorrow.

Cards Are Next Up For Phillies

St. Louis Cardinals (55-46*; 25-25* on road) @ Philadelphia Phillies (53-39*; 24-24* at home)
*records prior to 7/23 games

I am going to write the series preview now and I’ll write a brief on the tonight’s game when it ends. But for now, I will set up the series starting tomorrow versus the St. Louis Cardinals. The Phillies have won 14 of their last 16 going into tonight’s game versus San Diego and don’t show any signs of cooling down. The Cardinals have lost three straight going into tonight’s game. The Phillies lead the season series 2-0. All numbers talked about are prior to tonight’s games.

The Cardinals feature the best player in baseball, Albert Pujols, along with an offense that’s sixth in the NL in runs scored and 12th in average. The Phillies are first in runs scored and sixth in average. Pujols is tearing up the league with his .328 average, 34 homers, and 90 RBI’s through 96 games.

The pitching is a different story. The Cardinals are fourth in the NL in ERA and fifth in fewest runs allowed. The Phillies are 13th in ERA and ninth in fewest runs allowed.

The Cardinals also have two of the league’s best pitchers this year in Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. Fortunately for the Phillies, they won’t be seeing either of them this series. In fact, of the three pitchers the Phillies face, none of them impress or show any signs of being a threat outside of maybe Joel Piniero. For the Phillies, they have their three hottest guys on the mound. See probables at the bottom for pitchers, records, and ERA.

Overall, the Phillies are a better team but once again, the Cardinals have been carried by some steady offense including Pujols’ tremendous play. Another series win is expected but I am going with the sweep.

Pitching Probables:
7/24: STL: Pineiro (8-9, 3.09), PHI: Happ (7-0, 2.68)
7/25: STL: Lohse (4-6, 4.21), PHI: Lopez, Ro (2-0, 2.60)
7/26: STL: Wellemeyer (7-8, 5.68), PHI: Blanton (6-4, 4.24)

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