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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Derek Lowe

Switch. Flipped: Phils offense explodes in Atlanta

Phils RF Hunter Pence winds up his swing against the Braves. He homered in the 5th. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

That magical switch that I talked about yesterday is officially on.

And hopefully, no one goes near the damn thing for another month.

The Phils blasted the Atlanta Braves, who are clinging onto a second straight Wild Card berth by only one game, in a 7-1 route.  Their 101st win tied the franchise record set in 1976 and 1977. A win tomorrow and this team stands alone.

Charlie Manueal also tied Gene Mauch’s Phillies franchise record of 645 wins. He will easily beat that record either tomorrow or very early next season. Mauch reached that number in 1,331 games. Manuel did it in 1,133.

Roy Oswalt was on his best stuff in a very long time. The right-hander, who will be the Phillies number 4 starter in the post season, pitched six shut out innings. He allowed only three hits and a walk, and struck out four batters in his final start of the regular season.

Oswalt’s fastball was hitting it’s usual 93-94 MPH. His final pitch, a swinging strike out to Dan Uggla to end the 6th, was 95 MPH of fury.

Read more of this post

Phils embarass Braves; inch closer to clinching

Phils starter Cliff Lee pitches his 6th shut out of the season. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

The Tomahawk Chop has officially found it’s way to Philly, and that’s not a good thing for the Braves.

For the second straight time in Philadelphia, an embarrassing butt-whuppin’ by the hand of the Phillies led to a mock chop by the fans. The chop came in the 8th innings of the Phils, 9-0 lead, a slap in the face to a team that is now 8.5 games out of first place.

Cliff Lee was excellent once again, riding his ridiculous August in which he posted a 0.45 ERA into September. He pitched his 6th complete game shut out of the season, scattering five hits through nine innings with six strikeouts to win his 7th straight start.

Lee’s six shut outs are the most in the majors since Randy Johnson pitched six in 1998 for Seattle and Houston. Lee also passed the 200 strike out mark on the season for the first time in his career.

Another sick Lee stat: he hasn’t allowed a run in 29 2/3 innings. Back in June, Lee went 34 straight innings without allowing a run. He has a good shot at breaking that mark in his next start.

The Phils scored early and often on Atlanta starter Derek Lowe. Hunter Pence’s two-out, two-run single in the 1st got things going. The Phils tacked two more on in the 4th on a two-run single by MVP candidate (in our hearts) Shane Victorino to make it 4-0.

Things blew up in the 5th when Pence hit an RBI double and Carlos Ruiz hit a two-run single to blow the game open at 7-0. Ryan Howard also hit his 31st home run of the season in the 6th, a solo shot.

2B: Pence (32). 3B: Utley (6). HR: Howard (31).

WP: Lee (16-7). LP: Lowe (9-13).

Boxscore.

Series Preview: vs Atlanta Braves

PHI: 55-33, 1st in NL East; ATL: 53-36, 2nd in NL East

When: July 8-10
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philly, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.44) vs Brandon Beachy (3-1, 3.23)
Saturday: Cliff Lee (9-6, 2.92) vs Tommy Hanson (10-4, 2.52)
Sunday: Cole Hamels (10-4, 2.40) vs Derek Lowe (5-6, 4.21)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, CSN
Saturday, 4:10, FOX
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

Player to Watch -Craig Kimbrel: With the series likely to be low scoring and tight, the Braves may have to rely on their rookie closer. Kimbrel’s 27 saves shattered the previous record of 18 saves for a rookie before the All-Star Break and he has an incredible 70 strike outs. But he’s also blown five already this season and his 2.40 ERA in 45 innings shows he is vulnerable to getting hit.

Series Overview: This is going to turn out to be a huge series for both teams. With the Phils holding a 2.5 lead in the NL East on the Braves, they are looking to expand on that lead and not allow the Braves to get any closer heading into the All-Star Break. Read more of this post

Lee dominant but Phils bats fall silent

It was a career night for Cliff Lee, who still couldn’t come away with the win.

The Phillies bats were bested by Derek Lowe and the Atlanta Braves shut out the Phillies, 5-0, evening the season series up.

Lee struck out a career high 16 batters, shattering his old mark of 13 that was recently matched earlier this season. It was the most strike outs by a Phillies pitcher since Curt Schilling’s 16 in 1997. Read more of this post

Phils Swept and Fall 2.5 Behind

It was another frustrating day for the Phillies as they managed to only score one run and spoil a great start by Kyle Kendrick. The Braves got the go-ahead run in the eighth off Jose Contreras to win 2-1 Wednesday afternoon, sweeping the Phillies and pulling to a 2.5 game lead in the division.

Kendrick and Braves starter Derek Lowe battled it out as Lowe bested Kendrick. Lowe went eight innings, allowing a run on six hits and a walk, striking out seven. Kendrick was almost as impressive, allowing a run in seven innings. The young righty, who is battling to remain in the rotation when J.A. Happ returns, allowed five hits and a walk while striking out four.

Atlanta got on the scoreboard early when Chipper Jones hit into an RBI double-play. Philadelphia answered in the third with a Jayson Werth RBI single to tie the game at one-apiece.With Contreras in the game, the Braves got a run in the eighth to take the 2-1 lead. Billy Wagner closed out the ninth to earn his ninth save of the season.

Omar Infante, who went 2-for-2 in place of Jones, had the game-winning hit. Martin Prado also added two hits to improve his average to .324. The Phillies managed only six hits with Werth getting the lone RBI.

Contreras was not good at all in the eighth. He struggled to hit his spots and got behind batters in the count. With two outs and Nate McClouth on second, Contreras opted to intentionally walk rookie phenom Jason Heyward to set up an at-bat against Infante. Infante lined a single over Chase Utley’s head to score McClouth.

WP: Lowe (8-4). LP: Conteras (2-2). S: Wagner (9).

Boxscore.

Series Preview: Braves

Phillies (17-11; 1st in NL East) vs. Atlanta Braves (12-15, 5th in NL East)

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Pitching Probables
Fri: Jamie Moyer (3-2, 5.70) vs. Derek Lowe (4-2, 5.18)
Sat: Joe Blanton (0-1, 5.30) vs. Jair Jurrjens (0-3, 6.38)
Sun: Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.42) vs. TBA

Broadcast
Fri: 7:05 pm, CSN
Sat: 3:10 pm, FOX
Sun: 1:35 pm, MyPHL17, TBS

Hot (7 games) – Jayson Werth – .462 (12-for-26), 8 R, 4 doubles, 2 HR, 7 RBI.
Not (7 games) – Placido Polanco – .133 (4-for-30), 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI.

Player to Watch: Jason Heyward -The rookie sensation is coming off of a torrid April. He’s cooled down a bit but is still batting .286 with eight homers. He strikes out a lot but that’s typical of a hot rookie who is anxious and swinging at everything. He may go down on strikes a lot but he will do some damage when he makes contact.

Series Overview: Philadelphia leads the season series 2-1… The Braves are reeling and the Phillies should be able to take advantage of that… Derek Lowe got tattooed his last start against the Phillies… The Phillies are on a three-game winning streak and have won five of their last seven games… Phillies can easily sweep this series as they have all the pitching match-ups and the offense has seemed to gotten a bit more consistent.

Phils Rough Up Lowe

  Starting Pitcher Jamie Moyer #50 Of The Philiadelphia Phillies Pitches

Photo by Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images.

Derek Lowe has had success against the Phillies in recent history but tonight proved that maybe that success is over. The Phillies wound up whacking Lowe around handedly Thursday to win the rubber match of the series, 8-3.

Lowe (3-1, 5.24) allowed five runs, four earned, in five innings of work. He gave up six hits and two walks while striking out three. ERA was a problem this year so far like I said and the Braves needed to score in this game to support Lowe.

The Phillies got six good innings out of Moyer (2-1, 5.00) as once again this season, the only runs per game he gave up came in one innings. In his six innings, he allowed two runs, none earned, on four hits and two walks, striking out four.

Juan Castro had himself a nice night for the Phightins. He went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Greg Dobbs batted second tonight in place of Placido Polanco and had a pair of hits, one being a double. Carlos Ruiz added two hits as well. Martin Prado had three hits for Atlanta.

The Phillies got on the board right away in the first when Greg Dobbs was driven in by a Ryan Howard single and then Chase Utley scored on a sacrifice fly by Jayson Werth to make the score 2-0.

They then had a three-run third off of a double, a couple walks, and a throwing error.

Doubles: Dobbs (2).

WP: Moyer (2-1). LP: Lowe (3-1).

Boxscore.

Series Preview: Braves

Phillies (8-4) @ Atlanta Braves (7-5)

Where: Turner Field

Pitching Probables
Tue:
Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 17.47) vs. Tommy Hanson (1-1, 2.38)
Wed: Roy Halladay (3-0, 1.13) vs. Tim Hudson (1-0, 2.84)
Thur: Jamie Moyer (1-1, 7.50) vs. Derek Lowe (3-0, 4.67)

Hot (last 7 games): Chase Utley – .320 (8-for-25), 8 R, 5 HR, 8 RBI. 
Not (last 7 games): Raul Ibanez – .095 (2-for-21), 6 K.

Players to watch:
Derek Lowe. There is something about Lowe that the Phillies have always had trouble with. The expert sinker-baller has killed the Phillies in the past and will be two steps ahead of the Phillies with being a groundball pitcher in the spacious Turner Field. Lowe’s ERA of 4.67 is high so it will be tough for his offense to keep up with the Phillies if he gets behind like he has his first three starts.

Jason Heyward. I won’t be often I do this but it’s hard to ignore another guy on the Braves: Heyward. The 20-year-old rookie is off to a tremendous start, batting .302 with three homers and 15 RBIs. He has struck out a lot though already (16 times) but that’s what every rookie on a tear does. They get hot and want to keep swinging and impressing. Halladay could have a field day on him Thursday. In three years he will be the scariest player on this team and one of the scariest in the league.

Series overview: The Braves will be throwing probably their three best pitchers at the Phillies… The Phillies are hoping to rebound offensively after poor showings the last two games… Halladay v. Hudson is going to be the premier match-up of this series… The Braves and the Marlins are both on the Phillies’ heals early this season… Happ will get skipped in the rotation after he injured his arm last start. Click here to read more… Kendrick will be in desperate need to shake off his first two awful starts with a good showing against Atlanta.

NL East Preview

Philadelphia Phillies

Last year’s record/place: 93-69, 1st
Key acquisitions: C  Brian Schneider, 3B Placido Polanco, IF Juan Castro, OF Ross Gload, SP Roy Halladay, RP Danys Baez, RP Jose Contreras.
Key losses: 3B Pedro Feliz, OF Matt Stairs, IF Eric Bruntlett, SP Cliff Lee, Pedro Martinez, SP Brett Myers.
Player to watch: Roy Halladay - When you trade top-tier prospects and let a pitcher like Lee go, all eyes will be on this prize of a pitcher the Phillies acquired. Halladay has dominated the NL his entire career while pitching in the AL. Imagine what a year will do for him in the weak NL East.
Season outlook: It’s very simple for the Phillies: defend their division and NL pennant. The reigning three-time East and two-time NL champions are poised to do so after a lucrative offseason in which they got Halladay, Polanco, and Baez to lead the way of a ton of moves that improved the rotation, already stellar line up, and struggling bull pen and bench. The Phillies should improve upon their excellent 2009 season and find themselves as the heavy favorites to win the World Series.

Atlanta Braves

Last year’s record/place: 86-76, 3rd
Key acquisitions: 1B Troy Glaus, IF Eric Hinske, RP Billy Wagner, RP Takashi Saito.
Key losses: 1B Adam LaRoche, SP Javier Vazquez, RP Rafael Soriano, RP Mike Gonzalez.
Player to watch: Chipper Jones – He’s been the Braves best position player for the past 15 years. He had a down year last year, finally showing signs of aging. But Jones wants to prove there is still plenty left in the tank and will look to bounce back this year. The Braves still rely on him and will need a good year from him to contend for a playoff spot.
Season outlook: The Braves want to send Bobby Cox off with a bang. Winning the division and making a playoff push would certainly do that. They can compete with the Phillies but a Wild Card berth seems to be more plausible. They do have a secret weapon that has frustrated the Phillies in the past: Derek Lowe. Offensively they have some legit weapons in Jones and Brian McCann. One of the players I’m excited to see is rookie Jason Heyward. He’ll start in RF and should give the Braves a new player to be excited about since Jones in 1995.

Florida Marlins

Last year’s record/place: 87-75, 2nd
Key acquisitions: none.
Key losses: 1B Nick Johnson, OF Ross Gload, P Scott Proctor.
Player to watch: Hanley Ramirez – Ramirez is one of the most exciting young players in the game and it’s shocking Fish fans don’t come out to the park to see him play. He can field, hit for average and with a little power, and can swipe bases with the best of them. If you had to start a franchise with a short stop, it would be Ramirez.
Season outlook: They are that team who always seems to surprise. Like mosquitos, they never go away and are always hungry to win. With a very solid young corps of Ramirez, Cody Ross, and Dan Uggla, the Fish have the ability to give the Phils and Braves some problems. But their inability to make any big moves is what dropped them to third. They were also able to resign Josh Johnson, the team’s ace and one of the best pitchers in the NL. If they can surround him with more pitching talent, the Marlins will be even more dangerous in a couple years.

New York Mets

Last year’s record/place: 70-92, 4th
Key acquisitions: C Rod Barajas, C Chris Coster, LF Jason Bay, , CF Gary Matthews, Jr., RP Josh Fogg, RP Kelvim Escobar.
Key losses: C Brian Schneider, 1B Carlos Delgado, OF Gary Sheffield, SP Oliver Hernandez, RP J.J. Putz.
Player to watch: Jose Reyes – After being injured for over half a season last year, Reyes will look to be healthy and take his spot back among the best short stops in baseball. With an early set-back with a thyroid problem this spring, Mets fans are praying for Reyes to be fine and their team to not be as humiliating as last year’s team.
Season outlook: When healthy the Mets have good players but they aren’t healthy. Reyes is already battling injuries and Carlos Beltran will need to have a bounce-back year. Adding Bay was great offensively for the Mets if he’s healthy. He’s aging, has knee problems, and not that great of a fielder. Johan Santana is still one of the greatest pitchers of our time.

Washington Nationals

Last year’s record/place: 59-103, 5th
Key acquisitions: C Ivan Rodriguez, IF Eric Bruntlett, SP Chien-Ming Wang, SP Jason Marquis, RP Matt Capps, RP Scott Olsen, RP Tyler Walker.
Key losses: C Josh Bard, IF Dimitri Young, OF Austin Kearns, SP Livan Hernandez.
Player to watch: Stephen Strasburg – Not often you see a pitching prospect as good as Strasburg. Though starting in the minors is a much wiser choice, the last-place Nationals may put him on the opening day roster to put fans in the seats… or will that be because they open the season against the Phillies?
Season outlook: They don’t have much to really look forward to. We know the Nats are a bad team and there’s no need to rub that in. They did that for us by signing Bruntlett. But all kidding aside. Strasburg gives them something to look forward to and build off of in the future. Hopefully he pans out for their sake.

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