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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Adam Dunn

Season Preview: AL Central

Chicago White Sox

Expectations: Ozzie Guillen tweets every lineup change from the dugout.
Key addition: 1B/OF Adam Dunn (.260, 38 HR, 103 RBI with Washington)
Key loss: RP Bobby Jenks (1-3, 27 Saves, 4.44 ERA)
Projected record: 92-70

Summary: Most of the puzzle pieces remain from last year’s team, with a power addition of Adam Dunn.  The team has speed (Juan Pierre, Alex Rios), power (Dunn, Paul Konerko) and pitching (John Danks, Mark Buherle).  Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Carlos Quentin are all solid ballplayers. The White Sox have a question mark in the bullpen, as they will have Chris Sale or Matt Thornton closing.  Jake Peavy’s injury concerns are troublesome, but as an end of the rotation guy, he won’t be relied on as an ace.

Minnesota Twins

Expectations: Increased amount of man-crushes on all-star catcher Joe Mauer.
Key addition: 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka (.260, 14 HR, 41 RBI with Chiba of the Japanese League.
Key loss: 2B Orlando Hudson (.268, 6 HR, 37 RBI)
Projected record: 89-73

Summary: Mauer leads the Twins, who are bitter after two straight first round exits to the Yankees.  The core of the team returns, although key component 1B Justin Morneau missed the second half of last year with a concussion, and has only played six spring training games thus far.  The Twins rotation is decent; no stud ace, but some solid pitchers to get the job done.  One of the biggest question marks is the bullpen.  Joe Nathan is coming off Tommy John surgery, and if he is the Joe Nathan of old, the Twins will be fine.  If not, Matt Capps will be their go-to guy.

Detroit Tigers

Expectations: Leading the league in DUI arrests.
Key addition: C/1B Victor Martinez (.302, 20 HR, 79 RBI with Boston)
Key loss: OF Johnny Damon (.271, 8 HR, 51 RBI)
Projected record: 85-77

Summary: The Tigers underachieved last season going 81-81, finishing 13 games behind the first place Twins.  They added Boston’s Victor Martinez, who is a .225 career hitter at Detroit’s Comerica Park.  Will Martinez continue his struggles at his new spacious home?  He will likely DH for the team, hitting behind Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez, so RBI opportunities will be there.  Detroit’s pitching is good with Justin Verlander, Matt Scherzer and Rick Porcello.

Cleveland Indians

Expectations: The Indians beg Pedro Cerrano and Rick Vaughn to come back and play for the team.
Key addition: OF Austin Kearns (.263, 10 HR, 49 RBI with Cleveland and New York AL)
Key loss: Uhhhh…. I guess 3B Andy Marte (.229, 5 HR, 19 RBI)
Projected record: 70-92

Summary: Carlos Santana has recovered from a knee injury he suffered last August, only two months after being called up to the major league club.  The Tribe are going to rely on their young catcher and OF Shin Soo-Choo, who hit .300 last year, with 22 HR and 90 RBI.  Other offensive weapons, Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore, have had trouble staying healthy in recent years.  Pitcher Fausto Carmona had a good year last season (3.77 ERA), despite losing 14 games.

Kansas City Royals

Expectations: Could contend for the AAA Championship.
Key addition: OF Jeff Francoeur (.249, 13 HR, 65 RBI with New York NL and Texas)
Key loss: SP Zach Greinke  (10-14, 4.17 ERA, 181 K)
Projected record: 65-97

Summary: The Royals fortunately have a deep minor league system, stocked up from many years of top draft picks.  However, that won’t help them this year.  They do have 1B Billy Butler, who hit .318 last year.  Top prospect 3B Mike Moustakas is ready for a promotion, and might get one this season.  Unfortunately the Royals traded away their best player, SP Zach Greinke for a boatload of prospects.  It’ll be a while before Kansas City is a competitor again.

Phils Lose Meaningless Game

With half of their starters in the field playing and Roy Oswalt going only five innings, the Phils lost, 2-1, to Washington Tuesday night a day after clinching the NL East.

Oswalt pitched exceptionally well in the no-decision, allowing only a run on two hits and a walk in five innings while striking out three. Jose Contreras was pitted with the loss.

Adam Dunn hit a monster bomb in the bottom of the ninth, snapping a 1-1 tie and winning the game for Washington. Dunn finished the night 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

Raul Ibanez hit a solo home run for the Phils in the fourth, providing the only offense of the night for them. Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco added two hits apiece for the Phils, who got nine hits on the night but stranded nine and was a terrible 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

HR: Ibanez (16).

WP: Storen (4-4). LP: Contreras (6-4).

Boxscore.

Series Preview: Nationals

PHI: 86-61, 1st in NL East
WAS: 62-84, 5th in NL East
Where: Citizens Banks Park (Philly, PA)
DiscussionLiberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Jason Marquis (2-8, 6.60) vs. Roy Oswalt (12-13, 2.94)
Saturday: Jordan Zimmermann (0-1, 5.29) vs. Kyle Kendrick (9-9, 4.85)
Sunday: Yunesky Maya (0-2, 6.55) vs. Joe Blanton (7-6, 5.00)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, CSN
Saturday, 7:05, CSN
Sunday, 1:35, MyPHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

Hot (last 7)
Shane Victorino:
.394 (13-for-33), 9 runs, 3 doubles, triple, 4 RBIs.
Chase Utley: .333 (8-for-24), 7 runs, 3 homers, 4 RBIs.
Ryan Howard: .308 (8-for-26), 6 runs, double, 2 homers, 11 RBIs.

Ryan Zimmerman.

Player to Watch – Ryan Zimmerman: Zimmerman is turning into one of the best young third basemen in the game. He’s going to be the corner stone to Washington’s success in the near future if they build with the right parts around him. Zim’s .302 average leads the team as he’s second in homers and RBIs behind Adam Dunn. Though he isn’t the home run machine Dunn is, he strikes out half as much, drives in runs, and gets on base for Dunn.

Series Overview: The Phillies lead the series 7-5 and this is their last series at home against Washington (playing in Washington in the next-to-last series of the season).

The Phillies have won eight of their last nine games and are holding a very strong three-game lead over the struggling Atlanta Braves, who struggled against the Nationals last series.

Philadelphia has established a comfort in their own ball park, boasting a 47-28 record at the Bank. Washington has struggled greatly on the road, going 27-48.

The Phillies swapped Roy Oswalt and Kyle Kendrick’s starts so they line up Monday to pitch Oswalt and the other two aces against Atlanta. Oswalt will pitch Friday against Jason Marquis.

Kendrick will be doing something rare: pitching against someone with a higher ERA. In fact, Jordan Zimmermann’s 5.29 ERA is the lowest of the three starters Washington is tossing at Philadelphia.

Sunday’s match up will feature Joe Blanton against another guy I never heard of before. Blanton is trying to let the Phils know he deserves at least one start in the playoffs. He’ll definitely be a long arm out of the pen but who knows if more.

If the Phils can win at least two games against the Nats, they will force Atlanta to do the same thing with the Mets. Despite New York being a terrible team, they will relish in any chance to play spoiler to Atlanta.

Series Preview: Nationals

Phillies (56-46, 2nd in NL East) at Washington Nationals (44-58, 5th in NL East)

Where: Nationals Park (Washington D.C.)
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Roy Oswalt (6-12, 3.42) vs. Craig Stammen (2-4, 5.50)
Saturday: Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.85) vs. Ross Detwiler* (0-1, 0.00)
Sunday: Cole Hamels* (7-7, 3.48) vs. TBA
*Lefty

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05: CSN
Saturday, 7:05: CSN
Sunday, 1:35: MyPHL17
All Games on 1210 AM

Hot (last 7) – Raul Ibanez: .458 (11-for-24), 7 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 BB. He is also on an 8-game hitting streak.

Player to Watch – Roy Oswalt: This isn’t usually a segment for Phillies players but this is Oswalt’s debut as a Phillie and he is the player to watch. It also doesn’t help that the Nats have no one worth watching. Oswalt is 6-12 on the season with a 3.41 ERA. He’s a top-of-the-rotation pitcher on any team and will give the Phillies the depth they need in their rotation. Another Phillies Roy (Halladay) made his debut in Washington as well, breezing through the Nats order. Oswalt is a competitor so expect big things from him to start the series.

Series Overview: The Phillies lead the season series 4-2… The Phils are going into Washington on a complete tear, winning eight straight to put themselves in prime position to retake first in the division. The Nats took two-of-three from Atlanta to help the Phils but now stand in their way… The Phillies have been awful on the road (22-28) while Washington has been much better at home (27-22)… The Phillies are still rolling and with no Adam Dunn or Stephen Strasburg in the line up/rotation for Washington this weekend, things are lined up for a third-straight sweep.

Series Preview: Nationals

Phillies (0-0) at. Washington Nationals (0-0)

When: April 5-8
Where: Nationals Park

Probable Pitchers
Mon:
 Roy Halladay vs. John Lannan
Wed: Cole Hamels vs. Jason Marquis
Thurs: J.A. Happ vs. Craig Stammen

Player to watch: Adam Dunn. Dunn is a big-time power hitter. The left-handed slugging first baseman hit 38 homers last season and has put up some good games against the Phillies. But he strikes out a ton, which will be seen a lot this series against two strike-out pitchers for the Phillies in Halladay and Hamels. Dunn isn’t a great fielder at all (like many first basemen) so hitting hard balls his way could create some offense. Dunn, in late innings, is a threat to go yard and the pitchers will need to keep the ball down on him.

Series outlook: Opening Day couldn’t come any sooner for the Phillies or the fans. With expectations running higher than ever, the Phillies hope to start the season off with a bang and work their way towards another NL pennant. A lot of fans are making the trek down to D.C. so a lot of Phillies red will be filling the usually empty seats of the beautiful Nationals Park. The Nationals are possibly the worst team in baseball and anything less than a sweep will be to the result of early season jitters. A series loss will be a let-down and a loss or bad outing by Doc will leave the fans thoroughly upset.

Game chat.

Losing Streak Finally Over

The Phillies used their version of small ball, five solo homers, to beat the Nationals 5-3. Raul Ibanez had two homers, and Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, and Carlos Ruiz had one. Even more interestingly is that with Ibanez’s two and Utley’s one, they gave the Phillies four 30-home run hitters, the 12th time in MLB history it has been done and the first time since the 2006 White Sox.

Also, Brad Lidge loaded the bases with one out with the 5-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth. Charlie Manuel, who stated the other day that “Lidge is out closer,” walked out and yanked Lidge, putting in Ryan Madson. Mad Dog struck out Ryan Zimmerman and got Adam Dunn to ground out to end the game. I wonder if Madson or Brett Myers will close in the future or if Lidge will remain the closer.

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