TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: April 2010

Pitching Non-Existent in Loss

Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez, or David Herndon: take your pick on who was the goat in the Phillies 8-6 loss to Arizona, ultimately losing the series in the desert. Kendrick lasted five innings in the no-decision, allowing five runs on eight hits, four walks, and striking out four.

Kendrick started pitching very well through the first four innings, holding a 3-0 lead. But in a matter of minutes, the game quickly turned into the Diamondbacks’ favor. Pitcher Rodrigo Lopez led off with a single and Kelly Johnson, who killed the Phillies all series, ripped a two-run homer to left field. It wasn’t over yet as Stephen Drew then tripled and Justin Upton walked. Mark Reynolds then hit a three-run bomb that gave Arizona the 5-3 lead.

The Phillies answered rather quickly in the top of the sixth. With Chase Utley on third, Jayson Werth hit a no-out sacrifice fly to score him to make it a 5-4 game. Raul Ibanez followed that up with a double that put runners on second and third. After a Wilson Valdez ground out, Carlos Ruiz hit a two-run single to give the Phillies the 6-5 lead.

But then Baez surrendered the lead in the seventh thanks to John Hester’s RBI double. Arizona then took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth with two runs off of Drew Herndon.

The odd line up for the Phillies produced some offense. Ross Gload led-off and had a pair of hits. Greg Dobbs hit second and homered. Utley, Ryan Howard, Werth, and Ibanez made up the 3-through-6. Wilson Valdez got the start at short and had a pair of hits and a spectacular defensive game where he turned a double play and made a great throw at the plate. Ruiz had two hits as well.

Doubles: Ibanez (5). HR: Dobbs (1)

WP: Rosales (2-0). LP: Herndon (0-1). S: Qualls (4).

Boxscore.

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Longballs Galore!

The Phillies needed only three swings to beat the Diamondbacks on Saturday. Two of those mighty swings belonged to Jayson Werth, who’s two solo homers including his moon shot in the top of the ninth, helped lead the Phillies to a 3-2 win. Raul Ibanez also had a solo homer in the seventh that tied the game up at two-apiece.

Nelson Figueroa (1-1, 2.92) pitched wonderfully for the Phillies, lasting five innings and allowing two runs on five hits, two walks, and striking out four. The two runs came off of a two-run shot by Kelly Johnson in the fifth. Chad Durbin pitched two stellar innings, allowing only a hit and striking out two. Jose Contreras was efficient in the eighth and Ryan Madson closed out the ninth after Werth’s second homer for his fourth save of the season.

Doubles: Castro (2), Ruiz (3). HR: Werth 2 (3), Ibanez (1).

WP: Contreras (1-1). LP: Gutierrez (0-2). S: Madson (4).

Boxscore.

Five HRs Power D’backs

Mark Reynolds is always a threat to hit a home run. Unfortunately for Cole Hamels, his two-run shot in the fourth fueled a five-run inning that led to a 7-4 win for the Diamondbacks. Arizona hit five home runs on the night.

Hamels (2-2, 5.11) was out-pitched by Kris Benson. Hamels went six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out seven. He allowed four homers in the game, three of them in that big fourth inning. Benson (1-1, 3.00) lasted six-plus innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits and striking out five.

The offense never truly got going for the Phillies. Ben Francisco had the only multi-hit game with two hits. Shane Victorino’s triple drove in Hamels after the pitcher doubled in the third inning.

Kelly Johnson went 2-for-4 for the Diamondbacks with two homers. Chris Young had three hits and Josh Upton had a pair of hits to get him over the Mendoza line.

The Phillies got a bizarre run in the top of the fourth inning when Jayson Werth skied a ball deep to center field. As Young caught it, he went to take the ball out of his glove and dropped it. Second base umpire Dale Scott ruled it a drop and Werth, who was hustling the entire way, scored to make it a 2-0 game. The ruling: a four-base error.

They gave it one last go in the ninth inning. Raul Ibanez led off with a walk. Brian Schneider followed up with a strike out. Greg Dobbs pinch-hit and flew out in foul territory in left field. Victorino then hit an RBI single after Ibanez stole second to make it a 7-4 game.

Chad Qualls came into the game to face Placido Polanco. He got Polanco to ground out to seal the game and earn his third save on the year.

Doubles: Hamels (1). Triples: Victorino (2).

WP: Benson (1-1). LP: Hamels (2-2). Save: Qualls (3)

Boxscore.

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On a side note, J.C. Romero made his season debut after rehabbing his elbow. His first opponent was Johnson and he belted a homer to right field, his second fo the night. After he walked Stephen Drew on four pitches, the Phillies yanked him.

It was obvious Romero was rusty, not even coming close to hitting his spots. His fastball was between 88 and 90 MPH, not the full velocity he’s used to. Hopefully he will be fine as he gets back to pitching to major league hitting.

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Chris Wheeler and Tom McCarthy went off on one of the dumbest tangents I have ever heard. They spent an entire inning talking about these two guys dressed like Rey Mysterio’s fat cousins. These guys truly are clowns and make me miss Harry Kalas even more and wish Scott Franzke and Larry Anderson get off the radio and do TV.

Series Preview: Diamondbacks

Phillies (10-5) at Arizona Diamondbacks (6-9)

 

Where: Chase Field

Pitching Probables
Fri:
 Cole Hamels (2-1, 3.86) vs. Kris Benson (0-1, 3.00)
Sat: Nelson Gigueroa (1-1, 2.45) vs. Ian Kennedy (0-1, 5.65)
Sun: Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 7.24) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 3.50)

Broadcast
Fri: 9:40, CSN
Sat: 8:10, MyPHL17
Sun: 4:10, MyPHL17

Hot (last 7 games) – Juan Castro: .423 (11-for-26), 2 R, 6 RBIs
Not (last 7 games) – Ryan Howard: .194 (6-for-31), 0 HR, 5 K, 1 BB

Player to watch: Stephen Drew. Though he isn’t the best player on the team, he’s been the best this year so far. Mark Reynolds is a threat to hit home runs but he strikes out. Josh Upton has had a shockingly terribly season thus far batting .186. Drew brings a few different tools to the D’backs. He’s a very solid fielder and a good hitter. Many think he can have a break-out season this year. He gets on base (.383 OBP) but the rest of his team doesn’t. Shutting him down will make for a very easy series.

Series overview: This should be a very easy series for the Phillies. The Diamonbacks aren’t offering any scary pitchers at all and the Phillies offense is still firing without Jimmy Rollins… Kendrick will look to make his second straight quality start on Sunday… Castro has been phenomenal for the Phillies in place of Rollins… Howard needs a good series. He hasn’t homered in 10 games (45 at-bats)… Phillies will sweep.

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.

Happ to DL

J.A. Happ was placed on the 15-day DL Thursday with a strained forearm reported Charles Odum of the AP. Happ’s spot in the rotation was skipped on Wednesday in favor of Roy Halladay, who threw a complete game shut out against the Braves. Nelson Figueroa will take Happ’s next scheduled  start on Saturday against Arizona. Happ hasn’t allowed an earned run in 10 1/3 innings pitched in his first two starts

“We think we caught it at a good time,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “I feel very positive that it won’t be a tremendously extended period.”

I will be thoroughly happy if the Phillies can make it through the next few weeks in the situation they are in. My friend, who is interning with the Philadelphia Inquirer, had the opportunity to talk to Joe Blanton and he said he felt fine with no discomfort and like us all, is hoping to be back soon. If Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick weren’t just one-night wonders their last starts, the Phillies pitching situation may not be in as bad shape as originally assumed.

Unbe-Doc-able

Yea it doesn’t ring as nice as if it were someone else’s name but let’s face it, Cliff Lee is no Roy Halladay. Why do you ask? Because Doc can pitch when the Phillies want him to and Doc can go out and throw nine shutout innings five days after throwing nine complete innings. Halladay’s masterful performance along with a couple runs led the Phillies to a 2-0 win over the Braves Wednesday night.

I was forced to miss another phenomenal gem by Halladay thanks to responsibilities. Doc (4-0, 0.82) only allowed five hits and a walk while striking out seven. He got offensive support from Raul Ibanez’s RBI ground-rule double in the second and Jayson Werth’s RBI double in the sixth.

Halladay’s counterpart, Tim Hudson, pitched a good game as well. He lasted six innings, allowing two runs on six hits, two walks and fanning five batters.

There really isn’t much more you can say about Halladay’s performance. He just goes out there and does what everyone expects him to do: go after batters, throw strikes, and get people out. The game lasted 2 hours and 28 minutes. He threw 113 pitches, 71 for strikes. He is the definition of perfect and is the greatest pitcher to pitch during my life time.

One thing I will say on the negative side is that the offense really needs to pick it back up. Eight strike outs is way too many. Granted five of their seven hits were doubles, the offense is slacking recently and that can’t happen when guys like Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick are giving the Phillies stellar starts as of late.

Doubles: Werth 2 (9), Ibanez (4), Utley (4), Ruiz  (2).

WP: Halladay (4-0). LP: Hudson (1-1).

Madson Blows Game in 9th

It wasn’t long before the nightmares of last season resurfaced for Phillies fans. Ryan Madson blew the first true save after Kyle Kendrick’s eight stellar innings and Nate McClout hit a walk-off off of Jose Contreras to win it for the Braves, 4-3.

In eight innings, Kendrick allowed no runs on four hits, two walks, and two strike outs. Chase Utley had a nice game, going 2-for-5 with a couple RBIs.

The wheels fell off for Madson with two outs in the ninth. After walking Chipper Jones with one out and getting Brian McCann to fly out, Troy Glause ripped a two-run shot. Rookie Jason Heyward followed that up with a solo homer to tie it. McClouth then sent Contreras’ 2-2 pitch over the right field wall to end it.

I said this earlier today, Contreras is awful and needs to be the first man gone once someone gets healthy. He has been a huge disappointment in the spring and it has carried over into the season already. Who knows: I may be an idiot and he pans out as the season goes on.

I will say one thing: Kendrick impressed the hell out of me from a boxscore-standpoint. I missed the entire game as I went to the Flyers game four at the last minute and thoroughly enjoyed it. I bet he looked good though seeing he went eight innings. The Phillies need to see that more often than just from Roy Halladay.

Doubles: Werth (7), Utley (3), Polanco (5).

WP: Wagner (1-0). LP: Contreras (0-1).

Boxscore.

5 Q’s Heading Into the Braves Series

This is a little something I will be doing when I feel that there are a few things to be addressed heading into a big series. First off, I want to say I am pleased with how well the offense has played to start the season and how amazing it really is to watch Roy Halladay. Second off I want to express concern for the rest of the rotation (sorta) and the early injuries sustained. So here are five questions to be answered after 12 games:

Is Kyle Kendrick a big-league starter? The way he has pitched in the role the last few years, no. He turned into a very good bull pen arm late last season, which earned him a shot to start. And despite being lights-out in the spring, it was only the spring. This start today versus Atlanta is going to be huge for him. If he doesn’t pitch a quality start, he may be the automatic odd man out when Joe Blanton returns.

Is Cole Hamels back to form? His last start was fantastic, no doubt. But it was only one start. He looked really good though and appeared to have total control of his stuff. That confidence is exactly what Hamels needs if he wants to return to 2008 form and be the dominant lefty the Phillies would love to pair-up with Roy Halladay.

What will happen when guys get healthy and where will they pitch? The Phillies currently have Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge, and J.C. Romero on the DL. When Blanton returns, he will most likely replace Kyle Kendrick in the rotation and Kendrick will fall back into the bull pen.

But when Lidge and Romero return, the Phillies will be in a bind. Drew Herndon is an obvious choice to drop to the minors. With Romero being a lefty, Antonio Bastardo could be replaced but that will leave the Phillies with only one lefty still. Jose Contreras has not been impressive at all so far and could be put on waivers. It will also be interesting with Nelson Figueroa seeing as he pitched well but he was signed as a replacement. I personally want to see Figueroa stay in the pen all season.

Is Raul Ibanez turning into a bust? Ibanez has been absolutely terrible this year. I don’t even know where to begin: batting .171 with no homers, and five RBIs. He has struck out ten times and has only three extra base hits, all doubles. The bigger problem with Ibanez is that he is signed through next season so the Phillies are stuck with him. Dom Brown better get to the bigs soon and the Phillies need to pray they can keep Jayson Werth because Ibanez is not getting the job done.

How serious could J.A. Happ’s injury really be? No one knows. The Phillies are banking on Happ being fine after taking an extra five days off. But it’s really hard to know at this point until he lets the Phillies brass know how he feels. If he isn’t okay to go, Figueroa’s name has been thrown around to make a spot start and the Pedro Martinez talks make pick up.

A Plea to All Fans

By Dan MacNeal

Don’t act like a moron.  That’s all I (and 44,000+ others) ask.

We all heard the story last week about the guy who puked on the father and daughter.  A couple idiots had to get so bombed that they don’t even know what they are doing and end up ruining a game for the people around them.

This plea extends past the Phillies, to all sports, all cities.  We’ve heard about the father and son attacking a Royals first base coach in Chicago.  Or the time the fan threw beer onto Shane Victorino. I can keep going on and on with examples about idiots at games; it happens all the time. 

If the problem is alcohol (and it seems like it is), people either need to know their limits or stop coming to games.  Sure, the vendors say you’re only allowed two beers at a time, but it’s so easy to circumvent that.  Especially when a person goes with a group of friends.  With beers being around $7 or $8, people are dropping a lot of money – not that I care, it’s not mine. But it doesn’t make much sense. 

Personally I have no idea why I’d want to pay $25, $40, $60 for a ticket, spend a ton of money on beer or other alcohol, and not even remember what I saw.  Could you imagine going to a game where Roy Halladay pitches a perfect game and not remembering it at all?

I have no problem with drinking at a game; I love tailgating.  But I know that I’m there to enjoy a game and that others sitting around me want to do that as well.  Sure I don’t mind partying before or after a game but acting the fool is not cool.

I feel lucky that I’ve never really had a problem with people directly near me at any game I’ve been to (except maybe the girl who was so drunk she puked on a girl in front of her on the Flyers bus trip to Jersey, but that’s another story for another day). 

Have a good time at games, but be reasonable and respect others around you.