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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: April 2012

Polanco’s Two-Run Double Wins It in 8th

Phillies RF Hunter Pence hits an RBI single in the 1st inning. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Late inning heroics: these are the Phillies of old that everyone has missed.

A two-run double by Placido Polanco in the 8th inning gave the Phils a 6-4 win over the Cubs.

Juan Pierre, pinch hitting in the pitcher’s spot, was hit by a pitch. He got to third on a Jimmy Rollins single that saw the Phillies short stop working the count and easily having one of the best at-bats for the Phillies this season.

Vance Worley was fantastic once again, pitching seven strong innings to lead the Phillies to within one game of .500. Worley allowed only one run on five hits and a walk, striking out five.

Worley didn’t allow a run until the 7th inning when he got Geovany Soto to ground into a double play and allowed a run to score. In the last 22 innings Worley has pitched he’s allowed only two runs.

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Game 23: Breaking Even

Phillies RF Hunter Pence takes a terrible swing against the Cubs on April 29, 2012. (Photo by John Russo/TTB)

The Phillies (10-12) will attempt to even up the series with the Cubs (8-14) tonight, capping off a four-game set.

After dropping the first game on Friday, 5-1, they bounced back with a nice offensive showing in a 5-2 win. But the bats went ice cold again, mustering only two hits in a 5-1 loss yesterday afternoon.

It’ll be up to the offense to back Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16) as the Phillies try earn a split against the lowly Cubs and retry their assent over .500, something they haven’t seen since being 2-1 to start the season.

In his last start, an 8-5 win over the Diamondbacks, Worley went six innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk, striking out six. He has been very good to start the season, which saw a career high 11 strikeouts in a win against the Padres the previous start.

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Down On the Pharm: A month into the season

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA)
Record: 13-10 (3rd in North Division)
How the Team is Doing: Lehigh Valley went 2-4 this past week and lost two of three games against Buffalo and Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Dave Bush and Raul Valdes picked up wins in those respective games. Catcher Erik Kratz hit his first two home runs of the season this week.
Featured Prospect Watch – 1B Cody Overbeck:  Overbeck has been one of the best players for the IronPigs in 2012. For the season, he is hitting .304 with a home run and 12 RBIs. Over the past week, Overbeck hit .333 with a pair of RBIs including multi-hit games against Buffalo and Scranton-Wilkes Barre. This is his first full season in AAA and he is off to a great start.

Garza Stymies Phillies

Matt Garza was darn-near unhittable for the Cubs.

One hit, one walk and 10 strike outs; that was the final line for Garza through seven scoreless innings, shutting down the Philles in the Cubs 5-1 win Sunday afternoon.

Philadelphia got 1-2-3 inning out of Kyle Kendrick to start the game and a lead-off single from Jimmy Rollins. But it all went downhill after Juan Pierre reached on a fielder’s choice and was thrown out trying to take second.

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Phils Back Blanton; Beat Cubs

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run single in the 4th inning. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The runs needed to come for Joe Blanton and that they did.

Making his fourth start of the season, Blanton went out and did his job while the offense did theirs, leading the Phillies to a 5-2 win Saturday night. The win evened the four-game weekend series up at one apiece.

It was the fourth time in five games the Phillies scored more than two runs, coming after a 16-game start that saw them do the feat only six times.

Besides pitching a quality start, Blanton did his part at the plate as well. In the 4th inning, Blanton extended the inning for the Phillies with his two-out walk to load the bases.

Jimmy Rollins, who has struggled all season and was already penciled-in as a sure out, came up in the clutch, driving in two on a double to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead.

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Game 21: Supporting Joe

Phillies SP Joe Blanton (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

The last outing for Joe Blanton wasn’t a glamorous one.

The Phillies right-hander was whacked around in a 6-1 loss to the Padres, giving up six runs, three earned, on seven hits. Blanton (1-3, 4.34) will look to bounce back in his fourth start of the season against the Cubs.

Not only is Blanton looking to get a win but he’s looking to re-establish himself as a worthy starting pitcher in baseball as well as this star-studded Phillies rotation. Blanton is in the last year of his contract, making $8.5 million — a lot of money for a fifth starter originally paid to be a number three.

Whether the Phillies will look to trade Blanton at the deadline is a mystery; but a move at the deadline involving a starting pitcher could depend on how Blanton’s season is shaping up to be. Blanton will either be trade bait or help could be sought out if Blanton struggles or someone gets hurt.

That is too far into the future to look, just like an sort of panic button being pushed is too early.

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Bats Go Back In Hiding As Phils Lose to Cubs

Phillies SP Roy Halladay walks back to the mound after Cubs CF Tony Campana scores on a Starlin Castro single in the 4th inning. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

Whatever the Phillies did on their day off yesterday they left their bats at home.

They came back and dropped the first game of the series to the Cubs, 5-1. You could put some blame on home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, who called a terrible game like usual but in the end the bats didn’t show up when it counted most.

Starting in the 1st inning, the Phils squandered a prime scoring chance off Cubs starter Paul Maholm.

Juan Pierre led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and got to third on a Placido Polanco single. But back-to-back pop-ups by Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence and a ground out by Shane Victorino ended the early scoring threat, setting the tone for the offense.

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Game 20: Keep the Bats Rollin’

The Phillies (9-10) would love nothing more than to develop a consistency at the plate.

After an incredibly slow start offensively to the season the Phillies have found themselves scoring 20 runs in the last 19 innings they played. A lot of that can be attributed to Juan Pierre and his .339 batting average from the lead off spot.

Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix are also having solid starts, splitting time at first base. Nix is hitting .348 (8-for-23) and has an OBP of .400 while Wigginton is hitting .304 (14-for-46). Both have homered and driven in six runs.

The Phillies finished their latest road trip with a series win in Arizona, going 5-5 for the 10-game west coast run. Fans back home will rejoice at being able to watch baseball at 7:05 once again starting with the four-game weekend home stand against the Cubs (6-13).

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Series Preview: vs Chicago Cubs

PHI: 9-10, 4th in NL East; CHC: 6-13, 6th in NL Central

When: April 27-30
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Roy Halladay (3-1, 1.50) vs Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36)
Saturday: Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34) vs Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60)
Sunday: Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 9.39) vs Matt Garza (0-1, 3.38)
Monday: Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16) vs Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 4.13)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, CSN
Saturday, 7:05, TCN
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
Monday, 7:05, CSN
All Games on 94.1 FM

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AAA Recap: IronPigs 4, Bisons 3 (Tuesday Night)

TTB Staffer Chris Bengel was in attendance for a AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs game Tuesday night against the Buffalo Bisons (NY Mets) and recapped the game.

IronPigs SP Tom Cochran. (Douglas Kilpatrick / LHV The Morning Call)

The IronPigs came away with a 4-3 win in 11 innings on Tuesday night.

Domonic Brown was one of the guys I was most intrigued to see. Obviously, Brown wasn’t expected to make the Phillies roster and the team wanted to see him get more seasoning at Lehigh Valley.

Brown was impressive against the Buffalo Bisons as he went 1-for-3 with an RBI.

In his first at-bat, Brown was patient. He waited for his pitch and delivered a single into left field.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Brown was up again with a chance to bring Scott Podsednik home. Brown did the job as he skyed a pitch to left field to give the IronPigs a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly.

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