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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Houston Astros

Singleton, d’Arnaud, Gose Among Amaro’s Mistakes

Former Phillies prospect Jonathan Singleton (Astros AA) is tagged out at second by Jean Segura (Angels AA) during the Futures Game on July 8. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Hindsight is and always will be 20/20 for the viewer.

A look back at four of the biggest trades Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has made will raise two opinions: 1) Amaro pulled some seriously big names from Cleveland, Toronto and Houston; 2) Amaro also depleted the Phillies farm system so much that it ranks near the bottom of baseball currently.

Let’s cut to the point: Jonathan Singleton (23), Travis d’Arnaud (19) and Anthony Gose (38) rank in the top 50 in Baseball America’s prospect list. The Phillies have none on that list.

For a while it’s bothered me that those three names are very close to being every day Major Leaguers with the potential to be very good mainstays in the bigs. It wasn’t until Matt Gelb went to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City to watch the Phillies past and future prospects play and wrote a fantastic piece this morning that I had to at least say something about it beyond an occasional tweet.

Let’s break down Gelb’s report.

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Polanco’s 2,000th Hit A Special One

Only 268 other players in Major League Baseball history had done what Placido Polanco had done.

The bat signed by Placido Polanco he gave to the fan who caught his 2,000th hit. (Photo via Ryan Petzar/97.3 ESPN).

But not many did it the way Polanco did last night.

In the 8th inning of the Phillies 5-1 win over Houston, Polanco took Astros pitcher David Carpenter deep to left-center field for his first home run of the season. It was also hit number 2,000 for Polanco.

One lucky fan (via PhilliesNation.com) got to share a piece of the history created from Polanco’s bat. Ryan McCoy of Pottstown, PA caught Polanco’s historic ball, and immediately gave the ball back to Polanco.

Polanco wasn’t going to let the fan walk away empty-handed, signing a bat for him (but with the wrong date on the barrel, as seen in the photo).

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Series Preview: vs Houston Astros

PHI: 16-19, 5th in NL East; HOU: 15-19, 4th in NL Central

When: May 14-15
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Joe Blanton (3-3, 3.24) vs Lucas Harrell (2-2, 4.58)
Tuesday: Cliff Lee (0-1, 2.17) vs TBD

Broadcast Info
Monday, 7:05, CSN
Tuesday, 1:05, CSN
All Games on 94.1 FM

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Mayberry Shines in Back-to-Back Opening Days

Phillies LF John Mayberry makes a catch at the wall in the 5th inning off the bat of Pittsburgh's Clint Barmes. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Since 2009 when John Mayberry got his first taste as a Phillie he knew that he would do whatever it would take to get back on the big league roster.

A few seasons removed from that, Mayberry has found himself a lock for the Opening Day roster the last two seasons. And he’s starting to make a trend of coming big in those first games of the season.

In the 2011 opener at home, Mayberry completed a three-run 9th inning come back when he ripped a pinch-hit walk-off single over the head of Astros centerfielder Michael Bourn.

There were no late-game heroics yesterday but Mayberry made his presence in the line up known throughout the game.

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Season Preview: NL Central

Co-written by John Russo and Chris Bengel

Expectations: No Pujols, no problem…. wait, you mean we have to rely on Matt Holliday now? Oh crap!
Key Addition: OF Carlos Beltran (signed from San Francisco)
Key Loss: 1B Albert Pujols (signed with LA Angels)
Projected Record: 90-72
Summary: St. Louis knows they lost a huge bat in Albert Pujols to the Angels. They also know they are expecting a lot out of Lance Berkman to have a repeat performance of last season as well as Matt Holliday to be the leader of the offense.

That is why St. Louis brought in Carlos Beltran to take some of the strain off Holliday and Berkman this season, hoping the 34-year-old can stay healthy and revive his career in St. Louis.

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Horst can’t hold extra-innings lead

–Even the guy in charge of the stadium music needs Spring Training.–

Domonic Brown was having a helluva bad game defensively in left field. Clearly frustrated again this spring with the high expectations people have for him, he was able to shake off the doubt in timely fashion.

With the scored locked 3-3 heading into the 10th, and most likely final inning, Brown crushed a ball into the wind for a tie-breaking home run with one out. The Phillies tacked on one more and it looked like Brown was going to be a Spring Training hero.

But Jeremy Horst decided to fail probably his only test as a closer, blowing a two-run lead in the bottom half, ultimately giving up the game-winning three-run homer to Brian Bixler as the Astros won, 6-5 at their own complex.

But Horst’s bad pitch aside, it didn’t erase what Brown was able to do at the plate. For it is the plate where Brown’s high expectations come from and not his glove.

Brown finished the day 2-for-5 with the home run in the 10th inning. In the field, Brown was credited for a throwing error on a ball that missed the cut-off man and he also took a poor route to a ball.

Pitching didn’t show up in Phillies loss

 

Dontrelle Willis and Pat Misch have two things in common today: luck wasn’t on their side.

The two lefties were shelled for a combined eight runs, five earned in their combined 2 2/3 innings of work today. The rest was written in the books as the Phillies dropped to the Houston Astros, 10-3.

Vance Worley made his debut. Hoping to avoid a sophomore slump, Worley wasn’t off to as good a start as the Phillies hoped.

Worley allowed two runs on five hits and a walk without striking out a batter. He threw 40 pitches in his outing.

The Phillies offense was practically non-existent. They were shut out until the 8th inning when Lou Montanez drove in two runs on a double. Hector Luna led off the 9th with a solo home run.

Phils, Pence avoid arbitration

The Phillies are going to head into the arbitration period without a thing on their mind.

Hunter Pence became the last Phillie to avoid arbitration, agreeing on a one-year, $10.4 million deal, according to Jim Salisbury.

The Phillies avoided arbitration with Kyle Kendrick, Wilson Valdez (then traded him to Cincinnati) and Cole Hamels in the past two weeks.

Pence originally wanted $11.8 million and the Phillies offered $9 million. The two parties met in the middle.

In 54 games last season, Pence hit .324 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs after he was traded from Houston for a deal centered around a handful of top prospects.

The Perfect Season: Lidge will always be defined by 2008

Brad Lidge, who like Tugger, will be remembered for his iconic celebration to close the final game of only the 2nd championship in 130 years of Phillies baseball. (mlb.com/Mary Schwalm)

The phrase “what have you done for me lately” has become somewhat of an anthem for Philadelphia fans.

And rightfully so it may seem, the sense of nostalgia and gratitude come to mind when referencing some of Philadelphia’s most notable athletes.

A little over three years ago, though recent, hardly counts under “lately” but in the case of Brad Lidge, it doesn’t really matter.

What Lidge did during the 2008 season, especially in the closing month of October, will always define his four-year tenure in Philadelphia, regardless how the final three years here played out.

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Phils hire Wade

The secret agent of the Philadelphia Phillies has returned home.

Former Astros GM Ed Wade, who pretty much dealt three of the organizations top players at the time to the Phillies during his tenure, was hired by the Phillies.

His role in Philadelphia will be a special consultant in the Phillies operations department. That will include some scouting and assisting in the arbitration negotiations.

Seeing as one remark was already technically made, Wade had this to say to his skeptics who felt the Phillies fleeced Wade in their deals for Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence.

“I’m prepared for the remarks that I only traded with the Phillies so Ruben (Amaro, Jr.) would give me a job if I got fired,” Wade said.

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