TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Mark Teixeira

Spankee’d

Roy Halladay was spanked mercilessly by the Yankees on Tuesday night. The veteran righty, who statistically was a Yankee killer, got roughed up for six runs as the Yankees won 8-3.

C.C. Sabathia bested Doc with his strong seven-inning, three-run performance in which he sat-down seven Phillies. He only gave up five hits and three walks, all coming in his final four innings. Halladay only lasted six innings, allowing his six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out five.

Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Brett Gardner each had a pair of hits. Granderson, Swisher, and Mark Teixeira all homered tonight, the latter barely leaving the yard. Chase Utley had the only mult-hit game for the Phillies. The entire Phillies line-up mustered only five hits and none were for extra bases.

The Phillies got all three runs in the fourth inning to make it a 5-3 game before Sabathia bore down. The Phillies couldn’t say the same for Halladay who allowed two runs in the second inning thanks to a Gardner triple before giving up a solo homer and two-run shot the following inning. Tex then hit his sissy pop-fly homer down the first base line that barely left the 314-foot mark in the fifth to make it 6-3.

I would have written more but I’m trying to forget about witnessing an ass kicking in person. You’ll hear more about how over rated Yankee Stadium is within a couple days.

WP: Sabathia (7-3). LP: Halladay (8-5).

Boxscore.

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Jimmy Rollins went 0-for-3 in his first rehab start with Clearwater on Tuesday. The All-Star shortstop is rehabbing his strained calf while on his second stint on the DL with the same injury. Todd Zolecki added to the report that Rollins is expected back this weekend. Hopefully that short time frame isn’t too short as the reason Rollins was back on the DL was because the Phillies rushed him back.

5 Teams to Watch in the AL

Yankees – They’re the 2009 World Series champions and still kept intact the solid nucleus that got them there. They traded top prospects to land centerfielder Curtis Granderson, a much better defensive asset than Johnny Damon. They also traded Melky Cabrera to the Braves for Javier Vazquez to bolster the starting rotation. With guys like C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Brunett, and Andy Pettitte, the Yankees boast a very good pitching unit. Mariano Rivera is still the best closer in the game and the aging offense led by Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira can still put a ton of runs up on the score board. If things go right, they could have another parade down Broadway.

Red Sox – The pitching is truly phenomenal. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Daisuke Matsuzaka form the best top-four in baseball. The offense is led by top young stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Marco Scutaro is hoping to end the revolving door at the short stop position and Adrian Beltre is an offensive upgrade at third. Offensive depth is the only thing that should concern the Sox but they have the pitching to get the job done. David Ortiz is a shell of his old self but it still the DH.

Twins – It’s safe to say that Joe Mauer is the scariest hitter in the AL. The reigning MVP is one of the reasons Minnesota is buzzing prior to the 2010 season. Along with a new outdoor park and a very dangerous lineup featuring Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer, the fans and Twins have high expectations for this year. The only problem with them this year though is pitching. If their starters can have decent years, they could beat out Detroit for the division.

Mariners – Seattle is truly going to be a serious contender in the AL. The addition of Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins, and Milton Bradley will revamp a pitching staff and offense in need of fire power. Lee became a hot pitcher again after his last season transformation with the Phillies and will look to create a formidable 1-2 punch with Felix Hernandez. Figgins will add speed and Bradley will look to add power to a Mariners lineup that hit 160 homer (12th in the AL) last season.

Angels – Surely they make their case for a serious playoff contender every year but there has to be a breaking point. They improved an already solid lineup with Hideki Matsui and bolstered their bull pen with Fernando Rodney but the team still doesn’t jump out at anyone. The core of the offense is aging in Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, and Matsui and they lost Figgins to the division rival Mariners. Jared Weaver, Joe Saunders, and newly acquired Joel Pineiro will need to have season like 2009 to give the Mariners a fighting chance in an AL crowded with contenders.

East: Yankees
Central: Twins
West: Mariners
Wild Card: Red Sox

Pennant: Yankees over Mariners

Hamels Blasted; Phils Win

It was one of those games where both teams were thankful that their pitchers are still trying to work things out in Spring Training. Both Hamels and A.J. Burnett were knocked around in their starts. The Phillies came back from a 7-5 deficit to win 9-7 over the Yankees on Monday thanks to a two-run walk-off homer by Wilson Valdez, his second walk-off hit of the Spring against the Yankees.

Hamels allowed seven runs, six earned in five innings. He walked one and allowed nine hits while striking out two. It was Hamels’ first bad outing of the spring. Burnett gave up five in the first inning alone and lasted four innings totaled.

Placido Polanco hit a two-run homer in the first inning, Ryan Howard had a pair of hits, and Ben Francisco homered in the fifth off of Phil Hughes. Catcher Dane Sardinha had a monster game where he doubled, homered, and drove in four runs. Mark Teixeira went 4-4 with a homer for the Yankees. Sardinha was in for the Carlos Ruiz, who had the flu.

Boxscore.

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Though no roster decisions were made final by Charlie Manuel, he did say that the Phillies will carry 12 pitchers and 13 players. That was expected with the Phillies having eight starters and five bench players.

“We’re still looking at guys,” Manuel said after a 9-7 victory over the Yankees at Bright House Field. “We’ve got guys here, but we’re still looking at them. We’ll continue looking at them. We don’t give away jobs. You’ve got to get them.”

An Infield Debate for the Ages

After the Phillies let go Pedro Feliz and signed Placido Polanco to fill his position at third, the Phillies found themselves with a complete infield. Almost too complete as a matter of fact.

We have all heard the argument between Yankees and Phillies fans: Who has the better infield in baseball?

Clearly both teams are heads and shoulders the best in their respective leagues. Both hit over 100 homers last season (112-107 – using Polanco’s totals and not Feliz’s) and the Phillies drove in more RBI’s at 393-373. Both also featured two Gold Glovers as Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira earned theirs for the Yankees and Jimmy Rollins won his for the Phillies while Polanco was a winner at second with Detroit.

But I want to be fair on this. I don’t want you guys looking at this site and seeing a biased Phillies fan opinion without hearing the other side. In the red corner will be myself, John Russo. Opposing me in the blue corner will be a die-hard Yankees fan and fellow staff writer on the Whit and Gloucester County Times, Matt Shanley. We are going to discuss the catcher and infield of our respective teams; starters only. The paragraphs written on Yankees players was written by Shanley.

C: Carlos Ruiz vs. Jorge Posada

Ruiz: Chooch has the defensive advantage over Jorge in my opinion. He’s got great reactions and a special presence behind the plate that puts him above a lot of other guys in the league. He came into his own offensively last year in the playoffs, batting .341 with two homer and nine RBI’s. Ruiz had averaged 110 games the past three years at catcher, largely due to the Phillies hoping to keep him healthy and fresh. It worked well in the playoffs like a stated earlier. Adding Brian Schneider will certainly help keep him fresh so he can have another excellent Chooch-tobre.

Posada: Posada is easing more and more into the idea that he may not be an everyday catcher anymore. He’s patched up a questionable relationship with the team’s number two starter A.J. Burnett and, at age 38, Posada hopes to play well with every start he makes as the Yankees’ signal caller while understudy Francisco Cervelli continues to improve. In 111 games last season, Posada accumulated 109 hits, 81 RBIs and 22 home runs.

1B: Ryan Howard vs. Mark Teixeira

Howard: Howard is one of the most exciting baseball players in the National League. He brings to the plate (literally) what very few do – 45+ homers and 130+ RBI’s a season. After shedding some more weight and working on his patience (rose his average 30 points from 2008-2009), Howard could very well be on the verge of a second MVP-season. His glove has also tremendously improved and I hope to see a Gold Glove from him in the future.

 Teixeira: Teix is the third-highest paid player in the Yankees infield, yet, this season, might be the best. Though he faced what some might call a slump last fall, stellar regular season numbers have become routine for the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket. He led the American League in home runs (29) and RBIs (122) in 2009 and finished second in the league’s MVP voting behind Twins catcher Joe Mauer. He’s going into this season in hopes of winning his third Gold Glove and fourth Silver Slugger, and with the American League lacking in first base talent, who’s to say both can’t happen?

2B: Chase Utley vs. Robinson Cano

Utley: There is so much I could say about the best two-bagger in the game today. Utley is one of those players people go to the park to watch. He’s a player that will bring attendance when the Phils hit the road. He has tremendous range in the field and the second prettiest swing in baseball behind Ken Griffey, Jr. His career 162-game averages are .295, 29, 109.

Cano: After a poor excuse for a season in 2008, Cano revitalized his play in ’09. He hit .320 with 204 hits, 24 home runs and 85 RBIs (All career highs). Cano’s durability has been a question in the past, but after leading the Majors in games played with 161 last season, a utility player at second base isn’t the necessity it once was for the Yanks. The biggest issue for Cano this year may be the departure of his long-time best friend Melky Cabrera from the Bronx. Cabrera was traded to Atlanta in the offseason for starting pitcher Javier Vasquez.

SS: Jimmy Rollins vs. Derek Jeter

Rollins: Jimmy brings more to the team than most people think. He’s the best fielding SS in the NL and has had some big seasons in the past. He’s also the resident psychic but offers no predictions this year. He does have high expectations for himself in 2010 as he expects to hit .300 (never done before), commit three or less errors (career low is six), steal 50 bases (47 is highest), and score 150 runs (139 is his highest). Lofty expectations from Young James. Anything close to those numbers could put the Phillies on the road to a third straight pennant.

Jeter: What can possibly be said about Jeter that hasn’t been said before? He’s “The Captain,” the hits king, and this year, he’s playing for a new contract. Yankees majority owner Hal Steinbrenner has publicly said that the Yankees don’t negotiate in-season and Jeter won’t get any special treatment. Coming off a career year in which he had the third-highest batting average in the American League (.334), the second-most hits in Major League Baseball (212), and won his fifth World Series ring, it’s safe to say that the 35-year-old shortstop isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Placido Polanco vs. Alex Rodriguez

Polanco: I’m not even going to argue for Polly to be better than A-Rod. But I will say what Polly brings to the Phils is much greater than what they had with Pedro Feliz. Sure Feliz is a better fielder with the best arm in the game from third but Polanco is a gold glover as well and can hold his own at third. But Polly brings a bat to the hot corner, filling in the only hole the Phillies had last year. He’s always on base and strikes out significantly less. He’ll hit in the two spot. Not many teams can say their first four hitters are infielders.

Rodriguez: The monkey is off his back. A-Rod finally accomplished the unthinkable; he won his first World Series title, and, surprisingly, had a large role in doing so. Last October, the Yankees third baseman batted .250 with a .423 on-base percentage. In fifteen postseason games, he batted in 18 runs, smacked six homers and reached the plate for fifteen runs of his own. Going into 2010 with no lingering hip problems or steroid allegations can only help the three-time American League Most Valuable Player.

Phils Stay Alive, Head Back to NY

For the Phillies, every game is a must win game. After taking the first game of the series, they fell three straight to the Yankees. After last night’s offensive outburst, the Phillies got back into this series, only trailing 3-2. The bats came alive and Cliff Lee pitched well enough to win as the Phillies fought off a late Yankees rally to win 8-6.

Lee went 7 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out three. Though he gave up five runs, his ERA is an incredible 1.56 in five post season starts and boasts a 4-0 record. His counterpart, AJ Burnett was bounced in the third inning with no outs, only lasting two innings, allowing six runs on four hits and four walks, striking out two.

The offense got going early after the Yankees managed to score a run in the first inning. The Phillies responded the only way they know how to: a lead off single by Jimmy Rollins, a scary hit-by-pitch taken by Shane Victorino, and a no-out three-run homer by Chase Utley. Victorino got hit in the hand and it affected him all game but he will be fine. It’s only a contusion and not a break or fracture.

The offense didn’t stop there as they tacked on three more runs in the third. After back-t0-back walks by Utley and Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth drove in Utley on an RBI single. Raul Ibanez then drove in Howard on a single and Werth hustled all the way to third. Carlos Ruiz was able to beat out a potential double play ball to allow Werth to score, making it 6-2.

The Yankees were able to add one in the 5th to make it a 6-2 game but the Phillies responded in the 7th with a pair of solo homers by Utley and Ibanez. Utley’s HR was his 5th in the World Series, tying Reggie Jackson’s record in 1977.

This is when it got scary. Lee came in the top of the eighth and was credited with all three runs. Chan Ho Park came in and pitched incredible but it was an 8-5 game. Ryan Madson came out in the 9th and got into early trouble. With runners on 1st and 3rd, he got Derek Jeter to hit into an RBI double play. With an 8-6 score, he walked Johnny Damon and then got Mark Teixeira to strike out to end the game and earn the save.

Utley finished the day 2-3 with three runs, four RBI’s and a pair of HR’s. Rollins had a pair of hits from the lead-off spot and Ibanez also had two hits and two RBI’s and a homer. Lee also had a hit, his 3rd of the post season.

Star of the Game:
Game 1: Cliff Lee
Game 2: AJ Burnett
Game 3: Nick Swisher
Game 4: Johnny Damon
Game 5: Chase Utley

Next Game: Wednesday in New York, 7:57 EST
Series: Yankees lead 3-2
Pitching Probables: Pedro Martinez vs. Andy Pettitte
Gameday Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

The Phillies are still on the ropes but they are punching back. Pedro Martinez is back in New York and back in the spot light. He loves the added attention and I wouldn’t blame him. He has been excellent in his two post season starts and is only win-less because he hasn’t gotten the offensive support he deserved. With the Phillies offense obviously heated back up, he just needs to go out there and pitch like he has.

Andy Pettitte hasn’t pitched on three days rest since 2006. He has a 2.40 ERA in five career starts on that short rest but he is much older now. He will need to stay focused in this outing. He last pitched in game three, giving up four runs in seven innings, allowing five hits and three walks, striking out seven. He certainly is beatable and the Phillies know this.

For extra pumping up, click here.

Phils Fail at Comeback, Yanks Up 3-1

All Brad Lidge had to do was get Johnny Damon out. But he was resilient. Damon fought off every strike-two pitch by Lidge until he got the one he like. After his base hit and steal of second and third, Mark Teixeira walked and Alex Rodriguez drove in Damon to make it a 5-4 game. Jorge Posada tacked on two more with a double to make it 7-4, the final of game four as the Yankees take a commanding 3-1 lead in the World Series. For the record, this was not Brad Lidge’s fault.

Joe Blanton pitched well, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks in six innings of work. He also struck out seven. His counterpart, C.C. Sabathia went 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, three walks, and striking out six. He was yanked after Chase Utley made it a 4-3 game with his solo homer in the 7th. Mariano Rivera pitched a quick 9th to earn his second save of the series.

The Phillies had to come back twice in the game. Down 2-0 in the first, the Phillies added a run in the bottom half. They then got another in the 4th off a Pedro Feliz double that scored Ryan Howard from second. Howard appeared to have never touched home plate but was ruled safe. In the top of the 5th, Blanton gave up two more runs to make it a 4-2 game.

After Utley made it 4-3 in the 7th, Pedro Feliz hit a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the 8th off Joba Chamberlain to tie it up. The the wheels fell off as Lidge had to face the top of a Yankees order that scored the most runs in the majors and 95 more than the Phillies, who were 4th.

Star of the Game:
Game 1: Cliff Lee
Game 2: AJ Burnett
Game 3: Nick Swisher
Game 4: Johnny Damon

Next Game: Monday in Philadelphia, 7:57 EST
Series: Yankees lead 3-1
Pitching Probables: AJ Burnett vs. Cliff Lee
Gameday Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

This is for the Phillies. They are on the ropes. They need to win the next three versus the Yankees, two in New York. An easy task? Hell no. A doable task? Yes it is. Cliff Lee has been incredible this post season and will need to give the Phillies some momentum going into New York. The series isn’t over and the Phillies don’t give up. Not ever!

No matter the out come of this series, I’ll still be writing this blog and I will still be loving the Phillies. This is a team that has been the basis of my sports-loving life since I was five and I have never given up on this team. No matter what happens tonight or Wednesday or Thursday, the real fans will still love this team. Go Phils!

Bats Falter, Series Tied

Runners on first and second for Chase Utley. The swing and a ground ball to Robinson Cano who flips to Derek Jeter and retires Utley to end the inning. The Phillies situational hitting from the regular season returned as they squandered numerous opportunities much like that one as they allow the Yankees to tie the series up, losing 3-1.

Pedro Martinez pitched a quality outing but was not supported at all by the offense, who went 1/5 with runners in scoring position. Martinez lasted 6+, allowing three runs on six hits, two walks, and striking out eight. Two of the runs he allowed were solo homers by Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui.

AJ Burnett looked like a stud in his outing, going seven strong innings and allowing a run on four hits and two walks, striking out nine. His only blemish came off of Matt Stairs’ RBI single scoring in Raul Ibanez. Mariano Rivera pitched the 8th and 9th to get the save.

Those struggles are something that really has to disappear. In a series where both teams should be hitting, struggles at the plate should not be there. Looking at the third strike is also something bad teams do. The Phillies are not a bad team and should not be staring at pitches that close to the plate.

Stars of the Game:
Game 1: Cliff Lee
Game 2: AJ Burnett

Next Game: Saturday in Philadelphia, 7:57 EST
Series: Tied 1-1
Pitching Probables: Andy Pettitte vs. Cole Hamels
Gameday Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Hamels needs to show up this game. The Phillies do not want to be trailing at all to the Yankees this series. They are one of those teams that can get on a roll if the momentum swings their way. Pettitte has been great for the Yankees in the post season.

The Phillies bats need to come back alive. It’s as simple as that. There really is nothing else to write. The Yankees are good and the Phillies are good. Pettitte his clutch and Hamels is nothing like his 2008 form. Hopefully the roles get reversed and Hamels is back to being the World Series MVP he once was.

The Dream Match Up

This is when the blog gets personal. It’s when I put aside being objective and let you look through the eyes of a Phillies fan.

Ever since I was a kid playing “Bases Loaded” for NES, “Roger Clemens Baseball” for Super NES, “All Star Baseball” for Game Boy, “Griffey Slugfest” for N64, and all the way up to “MLB 2K7” for X-Box 360, I would always play the Phillies versus the Yankees. Why you ask? Because to me, that would be the dream World Series for me.

Living in the shadow of New York sports my entire life as a Phillies fan, I always wondered, up until last year, what greatness tasted like. Now I get to watch my Phillies not only defend their championship in the World Series this year but to do it against the Evil Empire. I get to see the Phillies go up against the greatest franchise in not only baseball but in all of sports. It’s David versus Golliath. Team USA versus Team Russia. Buster Douglas versus Mike Tyson.

This is cheese steaks versus cheese cakes. The City of Brotherly Love versus the City that Never Sleeps. It’s “New York, New York” versus “High Hopes.” The Liberty Bell versus the Statue of Liberty. Comcast versus YES. Rocky versus Vito Corleone.

The Phillies have the loveable players like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins. The Yankees have their beloved captain in Derek Jeter, evil Alex Rodriguez, and the new kid in town, Mark Texiera. It’s Joe Girardi and Charlie, two managers that have been under fire from their fans all year but still made it to the big show. Neither park welcomes opposing fans and neither city really likes eachother. This will be the best World Series since 2001.

I have longed for nothing more than beating the Yankees in the World Series. It’s like beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl, the Lakers in the NBA Finals, and the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals. Those are three things Philly has failed to do during my life time.

I say the fourth time’s a charm! Avenge the Whiz Kids of 1950! Let’s go Phillies! Win this one for Harry!

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