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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Whatever: Just another game for Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee pitched 8 2/3 shut out innings against the Reds. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

If you could describe tonight’s performance by Cliff Lee, it would be “whatever.”

The effortless way Lee retires hitters. The fact that this was just another game for the left-hander, who has bigger things on his mind. Sniffing a ring the last two years has had Cliff Lee breezing through each team he faces this season, especially with October around the corner.

Lee shrugged his shoulders through another team, this time making the Reds the victim of his nonchalant ways as the Phils shut out the Reds for the second straight time, 3-0.

Lee cruised through 8 2/3 shutout innings, scattering only six hits and a walk while striking out seven. He hasn’t allowed a run in 30 2/3 straight innings on the road. Yea, whatever.

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Blanton may still pitch in 2011

He’s alive!

Well this comes as fantastic news for those, including a handful of my friends, who love Joe Blanton.

Blanton may be a bull pen option in the playoffs. I personally don’t want him to rush back, especially since he doesn’t really provide the Phillies with anything special in the pen.

The Phillies are pretty set with pitching in the pen, plus their starters go seven innings. There are about 4-5 options I’d rather see pitching in the 8th and 9th inning over a less-than 100% Blanton anyway. I take this with a grain of salt.

Kee & Roose: Phillies should move to a 6-man rotation

The Philly Phans founder Kevin Kee and Team to Beat founder John Russo teamed up on both sites to discuss the possibility of the Phillies switching to a 6-man rotation during their final 33 games in 31 days.

SP Kyle Kendrick (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

There have been recent talks by fans that the Phillies should move to a 6-man rotation, and we totally agree.

On Monday the Phillies entered the last 31 days of the season, with 33 games left. Yes you heard right, the Phillies have a few double headers approaching and no rest for the everyday starters. A 6-man rotation will help give extra rest to the starters while setting up a rotation set for the double headers they have coming up.

There is also a situation in which Kyle Kendrick (who is currently in the bullpen as a long reliever) and his wife, Stephenie, are having a baby. This would give Kendrick few days off for paternity leave – he would be the third Phillies player to take it this season – but won’t affect the Phillies bullpen, as Kendrick would be the 6th starter.

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Phils add Bowker

The Phillies made a move on trade waivers to acquire left-handed hitter John Bowker from the Pittsburgh Pirates after their 9-0 win over Cincinnati last night.

To make room for Bowker, the Phils sent reliever Michael Schwimer back down to Lehigh.

In 561 career at-bats, Bowker is hitting .237 and has 17 homers. As a pinch hitter, he’s hitting .301 with six extra-base hits in 73 plate appearances, the role he would fill here.

I don’t really see the need for this guy unless they don’t think Dom Brown would have a place on the post season roster or Ross Gload doesn’t figure himself out. But again, it doesn’t hurt to have options.

Halladay has day at the dish, on the hill

What do Dan Uggla, Chase Utley, Hunter Pence and Jose Bautista among a handful of others have in common?

Each of the four sluggers have fewer RBIs with the bases loaded this season than Roy Halladay. Yes, Roy Halladay. Halladay’s three-run double in the 6th inning highlighted another superb start for the Cy Young candidate in the Phillies 9-0 win over Cincinnati.

On the first pitch of Halladay’s 6th inning at-bat, he lined starter Bronson Arroyo’s first pitch down the right field line, driving in all three men on base to give the Phillies a 6-0 lead. They were the first runs driven in this season by Halladay, who forced his foe, Arroyo, out of the game with one swing.

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Victorino’s late blast lifts Phils

Phillies CF Shane Victorino breaks a 1-1 ties in the 8th inning with his two-run homer of Reds starter Homer Bailey. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

Shane Victorino may not be high in the discussions for NL MVP but he certainly has been the Phillies most valuable weapon this season. And it showed again in the 8th inning of the Phils 3-2 win last night.

Even with hits being scarce against the Reds, that didn’t stop Wilson Valdez from getting things started. Valdez singled to lead off the eighth inning for his second hit of the night. He went two-for-three with an RBI double.

Michael Martinez came up looking to bunt but popped one up in foul territory that was caught by Joey Votto. The pressure was on Victorino to come through with a clutch hit and salvage the inning.

Victorino sat back and pounded a curveball for a two-run home run into the right field seats at Great American Ballpark to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead.

Victorino is now hitting .308 on the season and could even be an MVP candidate.

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Bengel: Should the Phillies pursue Berkman?

Lance Berkman could be a huge addition to the Phillies playoff hopes. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman cleared waivers today. So now the question becomes: should the Phillies be interested?

After a down year splitting time between the Astros and Yankees, Berkman has re-emerged as the power hitter that he once was. He is hitting .289 with 30 home runs and 81 RBIs in 118 games.

The Phillies have already added a bat in Hunter Pence but could Berkman have a place in this lineup?

The answer is yes.

Raul Ibanez is pretty much finished and has hovered around a .240 average all season. I think he would be more suited for a bench role. John Mayberry Jr. has enjoyed a very hot month of August. He is hitting .355 with two home runs and 10 RBIs. Mayberry has been the Phillies’ everyday left-fielder as of late. But over the stretch of a season, Mayberry never has seemed to put it together.

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Phils letting Moyer rehab in Clearwater

The Phillies are going to let Jamie Moyer begin his rehab from Tommy John surgery at Brighthouse Field in Clearwater, reported Todd Zolecki.

“We’re providing him our space in Clearwater and our expertise,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Before people jump to drastic conclusions, this is pretty much a favor Amaro is doing for Moyer, who has been a huge asset to the Phillies success in 2007 and 2008.

I wish the 49-year-old Moyer a lot of luck and a speedy recovery in his return from this injury. Many have to wonder what type of team will run the risk in signing Moyer. Is he on the Phillies radar? I sure hope not. But that doesn’t mean Moyer’s continued presence in the Phillies organization isn’t welcomed.

 

Series Preview: at Cincinnati Reds

PHI: 83-46, 1st in NL East; CIN: 67-66, 3rd in NL Central

When: August 29-September 1
Where: Great American Ballpark (Cincy, OH)

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Cole Hamels (13-7, 2.62) vs Homer Bailey (7-5, 4.44)
Tuesday: Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.56) vs Bronson Arroyo (8-10, 5.02)
Wednesday: Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.71) vs Dontrelle Willis (0-3, 4.10)
Thursday: Vance Worley (9-1, 2.65) vs Mike Leake (11-8, 4.04)

Broadcast Info
Monday, 7:10, CSN
Tuesday, 7:10, PHL 17
Wednesday, 7:10, CSN
Thursday, 12:35, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

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Phils on board with “It Gets Better”

This is always a comforting thing to read, especially with the latest wave of not-so-pleasant news: the Phillies getting on board with a wonderful cause.

The Phillies players released their own version of the “It Gets Better” videos that are posted on the website each day by anyone. It Gets Better is an organization that helps young teens growing up dealing with bullying and other life problems that have led to so many teen suicides.

The group’s main focus is for homosexual children who are bullied in school. We have seen these bullyings result in some terrible tragedies such as the Rutgers student who killed himself almost two years ago.

Once again, I am proud that the Phillies are on board with something as meaningful as this. Video of the Phillies’ message after the jump.

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