TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Buster Posey

2012 World Series Preview: Detroit Tigers vs San Francisco Giants

Detroit: 88-74; 1st in AL Central
San Francisco: 94-68; 1st in NL West

Schedule – 8 PM, EST; FOX
Game 1: Oct. 24: Justin Verlander (17-8, 2.64) at Barry Zito (15-8, 4.15)
Game 2: Oct. 25: Doug Fister (10-10, 3.45) at Madison Bumgarner (16-11, 3.37)
Game 3: Oct. 27: Anibal Sanchez (9-13, 3.86 vs Ryan Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37)
Game 4: Oct. 28: Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.74) vs Matt Cain (16-5, 2.79)
Game 5*: Oct. 29: DET vs SF
Game 6*: Oct. 31: DET at SF
Game 7*: Nov. 1: DET at SF

Rosters

Rotation: D. Fister, A. Sanchez, M. Scherzer, J. Verlander.

Bullpen: A. Albuquerque, J. Benoit, P. Coke (CL), O. Dotel, R. Porcello, D. Smyly, J. Valverde.

Catchers: A. Avillia, G. Laird.

Infield: M. Cabrera, P. Fielder, O. Infante, J. Peralta, R. Santiago, D. Worth.

Outfield: Q. Berry, A. Dirks, A. Garcia, A. Jackson, D. Kelly, D. Young (DH).

Rotation: M. Bumgarner, M. Cain, R. Vogelsong, B. Zito.

Bullpen: J. Affeldt, S. Casilla, G. Kontos, T. Lincecum, J. Lopez, J. Mijares, G. Mota, S. Romo (CL).

Catchers: B. Posey, H. Sanchez

Infield: J. Arias, B. Belt, J. Crawford, A. Huff, P. Sandoval, M. Scutaro, R. Theriot.

Outfield: G. Blanco, X. Nady, A. Pagan, H. Pence.

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Phillies Win With Jimmy Rollins Walk-Off In 12th

Phillies 2B Chase Utley heads for third on an RBI triple in the 1st. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

Phillies 4, Giants 4 (12 innings)
WP – Kyle Kendrick (4-8, 4.57)
LP – Brad Penny (0-1, 3.88)

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies had a little bit of extra-innings magic in them this afternoon.

Jimmy Rollins’ RBI single in the bottom of the 12th drove home the winning run as the Phillies prevented the sweep with the win, taking down the Giants, 4-3, in 12 innings.

Carlos Ruiz worked a one-out walk and Laynce Nix singled to move Ruiz to third and set up the winning run by Rollins.

The Giants struck first only three pitches into the game. Nate Schierholtz hit a solo homer off Joe Blanton to lead off the game, giving San Francisco an early 1-0 lead.

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Giants Win in Extras; Beat Phillies In Possibly Hamels’ Last Start At Home

Giants 6, Phillies 5
WP – Sergio Romo (3-1, 0.64)
LP – Jonathan Papelbon (2-4, .349)
SV – Santiago Casilla (24)

PHILADELPHIA — Gregor Blanco knew he messed up the suicide squeeze.

What could have been the go-ahead run, Blanco whiffed on a suicide squeeze that could have scored Buster Posey and given the Giants a 6-5 lead. But Posey was caught dead in his tracks and the rally ended.

Blanco made up for it in the 10th inning, driving in Melky Cabrera with an RBI single, giving the Giants the 6-5 win.

What was billed to be a pitcher’s battle turned into a bit of a slugfest between Cole Hamels and Matt Cain.

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Series Preview: vs San Francisco Giants

PHI: 41-52, 5th in NL East; SF: 51-41, 1st in NL West

When: July 20-22
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Vance Worley (5-5, 3.47) vs Tim Lincecum (3-10, 5.93)
Saturday: Cole Hamels (11-4, 3.07) vs Matt Cain (10-3, 2.56)
Sunday: Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.79) vs TBA

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, PHL 17
Saturday, 4:05, FOX
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 94.1 FM

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Phils Offense Sputters Again

Phillies 3B Placido Polanco argues with 3B umpire Marty Foster after he failed to tag out Buster Posey on a stolen base in the 5th inning. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Phillies offense fell back to earth, sputtering in their struggle to get above .500.

It was Madison Bumgarner who kept the Phillies hitting at bay this time as the Giants went on to win, 4-2, in San Francisco.

Madison Bumgarner out-dueled Blanton in his first start since signing a contract extension with the Giants. He went six-plus innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out two.

Joe Blanton wasn’t good by any means but he pitched well enough for a number-five starter. He lasted five innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits while striking out two.

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Adressing the Posey play

I appologize for those who are tired of the Buster Posey play that happened over a week ago being beaten to death. You don’t have to read this. But now is my turn to beat the dead horse.

It’s a bang-bang play we see a thousand times. A runner flying around third with only one thing on his mind: being safe at all costs. A catcher who’s eyes are on the outfield waiting for the ball to reach him, praying the runner is sliding in.

The plate is blocked but there was room on the outside to slide in. The runner opted to blow up the catcher, guaranteeing him not being tagged out.

The throw was behind the catcher and from right field. Being from right field is dangerous enough. But when you factor in the throw was behind the catcher, it exposes him to more danger.

The result of the play was a collision that will ultimately change the catcher’s season and the season for his team.

Now insert the names of the players involved and this scenario, which is like many others, now stands out more significantly than the rest. Scott Cousins was the bench player for the Florida Marlins who ran over one of the best young players in the game and the San Francisco Giants’ prized possession in Buster Posey.

But this piece isn’t addressing a rule change in baseball or for the head of Cousins. Instead, it’s addressing the people who want to see catchers get put on the same wussy pedestal as quarterbacks and goalies.

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Faceoff: Future Stars

Question: Who is the best player in the majors under 25-years-old?

In the fourth installment of our “Face Off” segment, site founder John Russo is going to square off with a writer from a different blog. In the first ever inter-blog face off, Russo will take on another John, John Shields from “The Philly Phans.”

Shields chose a pitcher, Clayton Kershaw (even though the instructions said position player) of the Dodgers and Russo took Giants catcher Buster Posey.

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Giants Win World Series

The Rangers needed a stellar performance from Cliff Lee to keep their hopes alive. Instead they got six shut-out innings from him before Edgar Renteria’s three-run bomb in the seventh helped lead the Giants to a 3-1 win.

It was the first time the Giants won the World Series since 1954 when they were still in New York.

Giants closer Brian Wilson celebrates his World Series-winning strike out of Nelson Cruz. It's the first World Series for the Giants since moving from New York to San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Tim Lincecum pitched beautifully, his only blemish being a solo shot by Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the seventh. Lincecum went eight innings, allowing only a run on three hits, two walks, and striking out 10. Brian Wilson notched the save by striking out Cruz to win the game.

Former Phillies Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand won their second titles, respectively. Burrell’s first came with the Phils in 2008 and Rowand’s in 2005 with the White Sox.

The Rangers’ Bengie Molina will still receive a ring despite playing on the losing side. He played 61 games this season with San Francisco, qualifying him as a member of their championship team.

It’s also the second straight year Lee has made it to the World Series but left empty handed. He led the Phillies to the Fall Classic last season but fell to the New York Yankees in six games.

Congratulations Burrell, Rowand, and the rest of the Giants for winning the World Series. Way to bring it back to the NL!

And on a side note, so glad to see Buster Posey win. Hard to not root for that kid.

Giant Walk-Off For Uribe

Roy Oswalt’s offering appeared to hit Juan Uribe in the hand. But home plate umpire Wally Bell said it hit the handle of the bat, extending Uribe’s at-bat. A couple pitches later and he hit a sacrifice fly to left, winning the game for the Giants, 6-5.

With Oswalt pitching the ninth in a tie-game situation, the Giants too advantage of the right-hander, who was pitching on two days rest.

Giants short stop Juan Uribe celebrates after hitting a sacrifice fly deep enough to score Aubrey Huff from third to give the Giants a 6-5 win and 3-1 lead in the NLDS. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

With one out, Aubrey Huff singled just out of the reach of a diving Ryan Howard. Buster Posey then ripped a double into right field to put Huff on third. Uribe, sore left wrist and all, followed with the clutch sacrifice fly to score Huff.

San Francisco and Philadelphia had their number-four’s going in this game and both didn’t get through the fifth inning. Both starters went 4 2/3 innings pitched while giving up three runs. Madison Bumgarner struck out six and Joe Blanton sat down three.

The Giants got on the board in the first inning with an RBI single by Buster Posey, who had himself a fantastic game. Posey went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and made a great defensive play in the fifth inning when he blocked the plate to keep Carlos Ruiz from scoring.

San Fran then made it 2-o in the third inning when again Posey came up with an RBI hit, this one a double to deep center field.

But the Phillies erupted on Bumgarner, getting four runs in the fourth thanks to an RBI single by Shane Victorino, an RBI double by Placido Polanco, and a wild pitch with the bases juiced and two outs. After the hit batter and runners on second and third, Jimmy Rollins swung at ball four to end the threat.

San Fran got a run back in the fifth thanks to an RBI single by Huff. Pablo Sandoval’s two-run double in the sixth gave the Giants a 5-4 lead before Howard and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back doubles in the eighth to tie the game at five.

It’s bad enough the Phillies have to overcome a 3-1 deficit. What makes it even harder is now the Phils have to beat Tim Lincecum in San Francisco, take the series back to Philadelphia, and beat Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain.

2B: Polanco (2), Howard (3), Werth (1).

WP: B. Wilson. LP: Oswalt.

Boxscore.

NLCS Preview: Phillies vs. Giants

Phillies 97-65; 1st in NL East                      Giants: 92-70; 1st in NL West

Pitching Probables – (Likely to change).
Game 1: Tim Lincecum (16-10, 3.43) @ Roy Halladay (21-10, 2.44)
Game 2: Jonathan Sanchez (13-9, 3.07) @ Roy Oswalt (13-13, 2.76)
Game 3: Cole Hamels (12-11, 3.06) @ Matt Cain (13-11, 3.14)
Game 4: TBA
Game 5*: TBA
Game 6*: TBA
Game 7*: TBA

Broadcast
Game 1: Oct. 16, FOX – 7:30 PM
Game 2: Oct. 17, FOX – 8:00 PM
Game 3: Oct. 19, FOX – 4:00 PM
Game 4: Oct. 20, FOX – 7:30 PM
Game 5*: Oct. 21, FOX – 7:30 PM
Game 6*: Oct. 23, FOX – 3:30 PM
Game 7*: Oct. 24, FOX – 7:30 PM

Three Phillies to Watch

Phillies slugger Ryan Howard waits during batting practice, Tuesday. Howard hit just .273 in the NLDS while striking out five times. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Roy Halladay: Once again, he will be the Phillies game one starter, going up against the Giants’ ace, Lincecum. With one career post season start under his belt, a no-hitter last Wednesday, Halladay will look to continue to be the dominate, big-game pitcher the Phils acquired him to be. The Giants offense isn’t very potent and Halladay should have no problem dominating again.

Jayson Werth: Werth was a part of their biggest problem last series, going 2-for-12 in the three-game series with five K’s. As one of Philadelphia’s best hitters, for both power and average, Werth needs to have the typical post season he enjoyed the last two seasons.

Ryan Howard: Howard is another hitter who should be dominating in this time of the season. But like Werth, Howard didn’t do too much in the NLDS, going 3-for-11 and striking out five times. Jonathan Sanchez is a tough on left-handers and with the possibility of seeing Madison Bumgarner as well, Howard could have a tough time against the Giants if he doesn’t figure out Lincecum and Cain either.

Three Giants to Watch
Tim Lincecum: He’s the Freak. He’s the best young pitcher in baseball. Arguably pitching the best performance of the NLDS (yes even better than Halladay’s no-no) with a two-hit, 14-strike out effort in game one, Lincecum can decimate any offense. But against the Phillies in Philadelphia, he has been solid at best in his career.

-June 3, 2007 — 6.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (ND)
-May 4, 2008 — 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (ND)
-September 3, 2009 — 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 B, 11 K (L)

It will be interesting to see how he does in his first career postseason. The Phillies offense is not anything that resembles the Braves.

Matt Cain: Cain is the jelly to Lincecum’s peanut butter (and you know how much stoners love PB&J). Cain had a very similar season to his Cy Young-candidate performance last season, posting a 13-11 year with a 3.14 ERA while striking out 177 batters. Cain is a very tough pitcher who is hard on both lefties and righties (opponents batted .211 right-handed and .225 left-handed this season against Cain).

Giants catcher Buster Posey celebrates with Giants closer Brad Wilson after beating the Padres to get into the playoffs. (MSN FOX)

Buster Posey: Posey should be the NL Rookie of the Year. He batted .305 with 18 homers and drove in 67 RBIs. The catcher, who is drawing comparison’s to Joe Mauer, is considered San Francisco’s best offensive weapon, which is honestly not saying much. He’s the only one really producing at a high level but his numbers alone cannot support a weak-hitting line up. The Phils could pitch around him, or even through him, and get away with it.

Starters

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley circles the bases after hitting a solo homer in the fifth inning of game three, Sunday night. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Phillies: Mike Sweeney, Halladay, and Wilson Valdez have the three highest post season batting averages so far. That says a lot on how much the Phillies bats struggled in the NLDS. San Francisco poses much better pitching than Cincy (arguably the best staff in the majors) and could easily shut down the Phils offense if the dry spell continues.

The Phillies 3-4-5 of Chase Utley, Howard, and Werth went a combined 8-for-34 (.235 average) in the NLDS, striking out 12 times. Utley drove in four of the trio’s five runs and hit the team’s lone home run of the series.

No batter in the starting eight had more than three hits while the offense as a whole scored 13 runs but six of those runs came off of Reds errors. Another power outage like that could force the Phils into a pitcher’s duel with the Giants and that could be a very scary scenario.

Giants: The Giants offense struggled in the NLDS too. Twice they were challenged by the Braves to come back and they did so, taking games three and four in Atlanta to close out the series.

Posey is the best offensive threat this team has and that’s just about it. Pat Burrell will be the Scott Rolen of this series. He did really well in the regular season back in Philadelphia, mashing a pair of homers. If the crowd cheers him at all, they’re nuts.

The rest of their line up is filled with misfits and castaways from other teams such as Aubry Huff, Cody Ross, Juan Uribe, and Freddy Sanchez. Pablo Sandoval has had a terrible year this season but can still pose a threat.

Giants ace Tim Lincecum is the future of the Giants success.

Rotation
Phillies: What the Giants have in talent, the Phillies matched in experience. Halladay is still considered the best pitcher in baseball by many. Hamels is pitching the best season of his career, even better than his NLCS/WS MVP 2008 season. Roy Oswalt’s acquisition put this rotation over the top, giving the Phils that extra push needed to be a World Series favorite. Joe Blanton has been either great or bad for the Phils. Game 4 could swing heavily in SF’s favor because of this.

Giants: With Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner, the Giants absolutely silenced the Braves offense. Lincecum is arguably the best young pitcher in the game and is pitching the best he has in 2010. Cain and Sanchez are also high up in the talks for young pitchers. If San Francisco can keep this trio intact long-term, Bobby Cox’s trio of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz in the 1990′s could be challenged for the greatest rotation of the last 25 years.

Bullpen
Phillies: The pen only pitched four innings this postseason so far thanks to complete games by Halladay and Hamels. Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero are their right-handed and left-handed specialists respectively. Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge form a lights-out 8th/9th inning tandem.

Giants: Brian Wilson has a silly mohawk/terrorist beard combo going. But don’t let the silly get-up fool you as he’s been very good thus far in the post season closing out games. He did blow a save though but hadn’t allowed an earned run in four innings of work. The pen also has Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla, who also enjoyed great seasons pitching in the Giants pen.

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