Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: June 2010

Jay’s Day

After the spectacular catch he made in the top of the second inning in which he followed-up with a base hit in the bottom half, it seemed like it was going to be Jay Bruce’s day. Bruce went 2-for-4, including the two-run blast that ultimately won the game for the Reds by a score of 4-3. Halladay pitched a complete game loss.

Bruce’s two runs followed up Joey Votto’s solo shot in the sixth and Orlando Cabrera’s RBI single in the seventh off of Doc. Votto’s homer was his 18th as he’s trying to make a case for himself to fans and opposing manager Charlie Manuel that he should be an all star.

Halladay once again didn’t get any run support from his offense. He pitched all eight innings, allowing four runs on 13 hits, two of which were home runs, no walks and 10 strike outs. Doc fell to 9-7, mostly due to a lack of run support.

Dane Sardinha hit a three-run bomb in the fourth that gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead on Aaron Harang. Shane Victorino had a two-hit day for the Phillies. Johnny Gomes and Brandon Phillips had two-hit days as well for the Reds.

HR: Sardinha (2).

WP: Rhodes (3-2). LP: Halladay (9-7). S: F. Cordero (21).


Phils Outlast Reds In Extra Innings

Phillies 1B Ryan Howard slides into second. Photo by Al Behrman/AP

On the same day that Chase Utley and Placido Polanco were placed on the disabled list, the Phillies overcame adversity once again.  Brad Lidge surrendered a three-run home run to Joey Votto in the bottom of the ninth inning.  The Phillies rallied back in the 10th inning to score three runs off Arthur Rhodes.  JC Romero came on to record the save for the Phillies in a 9-6 win in 10 innings.

Joe Blanton pitched well for the Phillies, going 7.2 innings giving three runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.  Blanton got the no-decision in this game because of the blown save by Brad Lidge.  Blanton has improved tremendously in his last three starts.  He has kept the ball down, which seemed to be a problem for him early on in the season.

The Phillies responded offensively in the 10th inning, putting up three runs on the board.  Ryan Howard got the inning started with a leadoff double. Jayson Werth followed with a walk.  Raul Ibanez, Ben Francisco, and Wilson Valdez had RBI hits in the inning. Valdez had a great night at the plate, going two-for-four with a home run and four RBIs.

It was a shame to see Brad Lidge blow a three run lead in the ninth inning.  It was only Lidge’s 2nd blown save of the season.  He hasn’t receive a lot of work lately, which certainly doesn’t help his cause.  It was good to see Joe Blanton have another good outing.  In his last three starts, Blanton has been at least six innings and given up only three runs.  He seems to be coming around, which is a great sign with JA Happ slated to come back from the disabled list anyday now.

2B: Howard (15), Ibanez (15).  HR: Schneider (2), Valdez (3)

WP: Lidge (1-0). LP: Rhodes (2-2). S: Romero (3).


Utley, Polanco to DL

Green heads and black flies aren’t the only insects biting hard this season in the Tri-State area. The injury bug has been sinking it’s teeth into the Phillies this year, most recently getting a hold of Chase Utley and Placido Polanco. They were sent to the DL and in their places, Greg Dobbs was recalled and Brian Bocock will be getting his first action as a Phillie.

Polanco struggled with his left elbow for a few weeks prior before receiving his second cortisone shot of the season days ago. The elbow problem was not going away and the Phillies opted to put him on the DL. Utley injured his right thumb when attempting to stretch a single into a double in the fourth inning. He played until the ninth and had Juan Castro pinch-hit for him because he was having troubles gripping the bat.

Utley, who made it clear that if he is injured, he won’t play, was obviously in pain. He’s the toughest player on the team, playing through an injured hip during the 2008 season and knee pain this season thus far.

“But for him to leave a game … that’s the last guy that’s going to take himself out of a game,” Shane Victorino said. “He’s obviously hurting. I hope he’s not seriously hurt.”

Dobbs has been a mystery for the Phillies this year. He was sent down when Jimmy Rollins got healthy to get AB’s in Lehigh but his presence in the line up will be needed with the injury to Utley. The struggling third baseman was only hitting .222 in 66 at-bats for the Phillies. He now has a second chance to redeem himself and stay with the Phillies once Polanco and Utley return.

Bocock is only batting .179 in Lehigh this year. It’s a complete surprise the Phillies called him up. Melvin Dorta, another middle infielder like Bocock, would’ve been a better choice seeing as he’s batting .312 in 173 AB’s.

Reds Hand Phillies; Kendrick Huge Blow

Reds 3B Scott Rolen hits a two-run home run in the fourth inning. AP Photo/Al Behrman.

Kyle Kendrick is hit or miss for the Phillies. He proved that again tonight as he got blown up by the Reds’ two leaders, Scott Rolen and Joey Votto. Rolen hit a two run homer and Votto had three hits as the Reds beat Philadelphia 7-3 Monday night in Cincy.

Kendrick is probably the most inconsistent starting pitcher on the Phillies staff. He got rocked for six run, five earned, on eight hits. Johnny Cueto pitched well to earn his eighth win of the year, allowing only one run on six hits and two walks in eight innings.

The Phillies got somewhat of an offensive spark in the ninth inning. Raul Ibanez hit a two-run shot off of Billy Bray that made it a 7-3 game. Ibanez also drove in all three runs for the Phillies. Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth each had a pair of hits in the loss.

Kendrick proved why the Phillies desperately need J.A. Happ back in the rotation. With Jamie Moyer pitching as well as he has and Joe Blanton having the talent to shake himself out of his funk, Kendrick is the obvious odd man out. It will be interesting to see what the Phillies do but that will be discussed when it comes to that.

2B: Howard (14). 3B: Howard (3). HR: Ibanez (6).

WP: Cueto (8-2). LP: Kendrick (4-3).


Series Preview: Reds

Phillies (40-33; 3rd in NL East) at Cincinnati Reds (42-34; 1st in NL Central)

Where: Great American Ball Park (Cincy, OH)
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Mon: Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 4.71) vs. Johnny Cueto (7-2, 3.97)
Tues: Joe Blanton (3-5, 6.53) vs. Mike Leake (5-1, 2.92)
Wed: Roy Halladay (9-6, 2.29) vs. Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.07)

Mon: 7:10, CSN
Tues: 7:10, CSN
Wed: 12:35, CSN
*all games on 1210 AM

Hot (last 7) – Chase Utley: .360 (9-for-25), 4 R, 4 RBI.
Not: Phils are winners of 5-of-6 and 8-of-11, there isn’t anyone consistently struggling.

Player to Watch – Scott Rolen: He has been a phenomenal story this year. The former Phillies all star third baseman is enjoying a nice season after battling shoulder and back problems the past few years, preventing him from being the power-hitting gold glover he was in Philadelphia and on the world champion Cardinals. Rolen’s batting .300 with 16 homers and 50 RBIs. He’s also slugging his highest (.571) since 2004. Though it will be hard for me to root against him seeing as he’s a boy-hood idol of mine. Sorry Scotty but you’re the enemy for three days (though for other fans, he’s an enemy 365 days of the year).

Series Overview: The Phillies are rolling and are two games down to the Braves and Mets, considerable ground gained from over a week ago… Cincy is throwing out two of their better pitchers on the mound, including Mike Leake, a rookie phenom who is having the attention from him taken away by a certain Stephen Strasburg… Cincy is a lot stronger at home (25-18) while the Phillies are 50/50 on the road (18-17)… Phils won last year’s series 5-2… The Phillies are starting a seven-game road trip.

Happy Birthday to Me

On a day where we celebrate the birth of my awesome self, the Phillies and Jamie Moyer felt it appropriate to kick Toronto’s butt on my birthday. So yea, I’m saying I’m the reason the Phillies won today 11-2 over the Blue Jays, taking two-of-three in the road series at home.

Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Ben Francisco each had three hits in the afternoon hitting affair. Two of Francisco’s hits were doubles as he also drove in two runs. Rollins and Dane Sardinha also drove in a pair of runs each.

Toronto’s defense shot themselves in the foot several times today, making four errors. That was their highest total since 2007 on the same day.

Moyer (9-6) gave the Phillies even quality innings where the only two runs he allowed came off of a two-run shot by Vernon Wells. That homer was the 506th home run hit off of the 47-year-old lefty, putting him in sole possession of first on the all-time list of dingers given up. Moyer also completed his 4,000 inning in the second, becoming the 40th player in major league history to do so. It was also the third time in his career he had nine wins before the all star break.

The Phillies finished 10-8 in interleague play, the most wins they had in eight years. It was also the Phillies’ fifth win in their last six games as they still trail the Braves and Mets. But the Phillies have a few games in hand and it’s only June. not a worried bone in this body.

2B: Sardinha (1), Howard (13), Victorino (10), Francisco 2 (6).

WP: Moyer (9-6). LP: Cecil (7-5).


Long Ball Buries Phils

The long ball wasn’t kind to Cole Hamels today.  Toronto touched up Hamels for three home runs in this afternoon’s contest, as the Phillies fell to the Blue Jays 5-1.  The loss snapped the Phillies’ four-game winning streak.

Hamels only went four innings allowing five runs on seven hits, while striking out three and walking three.  Hamels gave up three home runs throughout the afternoon to  John Buck, Aaron Hill, and Alex Gonzalez.  They accounted for all five of Toronto’s runs which raised Hamels’ ERA to 4.08 on the season.

The Phillies offense only managed five hits off of  Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum. Marcum pitched six solid innings to shut down the Phillies.  The only blemish on his record was a solo home run to Ryan Howard in the 6th inning.  Chase Utley also continued his hot streak, going two-for-four in the ballgame.

Hamels wasn’t at his best today, but he didn’t receive much run support either.  Hamels really has had a strong season so far.  As of late, the lefty has been consistently good for the Phillies, finally snapping his 10-start streak of allowing three or fewer earned runs.

Placido Polanco was scratched from today’s lineup due to elbow discomfort.  Polanco missed six games earlier this season after he was hit by a pitch on April 28th against the Atlanta Braves.  This move is just being cautious on the Phillies’ part.  They need to make sure Polanco is as healthy as possible going down the stretch.

Doubles: Gload (3).

WP: Marcum (7-3). LP: Hamels (6-6).


Doc, Bats Silence Jays

Phils ace Roy Halladay mows down his former teammates Friday night. Photo by Tim Shaffer.

The Phillies are officially on a roll. Roy Halladay dominated his former team and the offense exploded as they beat Toronto 9-0 in Philadelphia using American League rules. It was the Phillies’ fourth-straight win as they improved their interleague record to 9-7, a rare plus-.500 effort.

Halladay went seven strong innings of scoreless ball, allowing only six hits and a walk while striking out four. That effort dropped Doc’s ERA to 2.29 and improved him to 9-6, his first win since June 4. Jesse Litsch wished he had half as good a start as Halladay as he got pummeled for six runs in four innings.

Jayson Werth continued on his tear with a 2-for-3 night and three runs scored. Ross Gload had himself a great game, driving in four runs and getting three hits. Jimmy Rollins, who is known for swinging at the first and/or second pitch, drew four walks and scored a run. Shane Victorino hit a meaningless solo homer in the eighth.

In the last four games, the Phillies have won by a margin of 30-10. The pitching has been there and the offense is finally heating up. Another stat that has really stood out is the fact they struck out only 12 times in the last five games. They are taking pitches and putting the ball in play.

Doubles: Gload (2). Triples: Werth (1). HR: Victorino (12).

WP: Halladay (9-6). LP: Litsch (0-2).


Brown to AAA Lehigh

Phillies phenom Domonic Brown got promoted from AA Reading to AAA Lehigh. Brown was hitting .318 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI when he was with the R-Phils. Brown will also represent the organization in the 2010 Futures Game in Anaheim during the All Star Break.

I would love to make a trip to Lehigh to see this kid play. He’s an absolute monster from the left side of the plate. The perfect scenario would be to sign Jayson Werth and work Brown into left field for next season, forcing Raul Ibanez into a bench role.

Series Preview: Blue Jays

Phillies (38-32; 3rd in NL East) at Toronto Blue Jays (39-34; 4th in AL East)

Where: Citizens Banks Park
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Roy Halladay (8-6, 2.43) vs. Jesse Litsch (0-1, 6.75)
Saturday: Cole Hamels* (6-5, 3.75) vs. Shaun Marcum (6-3, 3.24)
Sunday: Jamie Moyer* (8-6, 4.43) vs. TBA

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05: CSN
Saturday, 4:05: CSN
Sunday, 1:35: MyPHL17
All Games on 1210 AM

Hot (last 7) – Jayson Werth: .409 (9-for-22), 4 R, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Not (last 7) – Shane Victorino: .192 (5-for-26); not hitting but has been scoring runs (7).

Player to Watch – Vernon Wells: The all star centerfielder is enjoying himself a nice season so far. Though he’s second in team batting, homer, and RBIs, his .285/18/45 are very good numbers. He’s been Toronto’s offensive leader for years and he has always been a player that can do it all, especially in the field. His bat has pop (.573 slugging) and he can still motor around the bases.

Series Overview: Roy Halladay is pitching against his former team tonight. It was supposed to be a home coming in Toronto but the G20 Summit forced the series to be moved to Philadelphia… The Blue Jays will be the home team despite the games being played in Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies will wear their road greys during the series… The Phils are riding momentum after sweeping the Indians. They face another team within reach of first of their division in Toronto as they climb their way back towards first place… Chase Utley is also hot for the Phillies, batting .394 (13-for-33) since the start of the Yankees series. He’s scored eight runs, belted a homer, and driven in eight runs in that nine-game span, quelling any thoughts of a knee injury… The Phillies have won seven of their last 10 while Toronto has been inconsistent… Phillies are 20-15 at home and Toronto is 19-17 on the road but who knows if that will mean anything this series.