Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Monster Eighth Sends Giants to 2-0 lead

The Giants expanded on their 2-0 lead in the eighth with seven runs to win, 9-0, on Thursday.

C.J. Wilson pitched good enough for the win but the Rangers offense didn’t show up again. Matt Cain pitched 7 2/3 of shut-out, four-hit ball.

The series heads straight to Texas now with the Rangers in a 2-0 hole. Still a chance to revive the bats in their own park in a town that hasn’t seen a championship.

But this is a Giants offense that has woken up since game six of the NLCS. Should be an interesting three-game trip to Arlington.


Phils Cut Ties With Moyer, Dobbs

The Phillies let 47-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs test the free agency market, likely ending their terms in a Phillies uniform.

After a season-ending elbow injury hit Moyer, who turns 48 next month, and two straight poor years at the plate for Dobbs, the Phillies took the next step of their make-over.

Moyer had a lot of great moments as a Phillie, including winning his first championship in 2008. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Moyer enjoyed five wonderful seasons with the Phillies, winning over a fifth of his 267 games with the Phillies. He went 56-40 with a 4.66 ERA.

2008 was magical year for both players. Moyer went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA and Dobbs hit .301 with nine homers and 40 RBIs in 240 plat appearances.

“I really enjoyed playing here,” Moyer said Saturday, when the Phillies lost to the Giants in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series to end their season. “If it’s over, it’s over. I’ve really enjoyed my teammates. I’ve enjoyed playing for [manager] Charlie [Manuel]. Winning here was the pinnacle of my career. And doing it where I grew up was pretty special. But it may be over. It may not be over. It’s all good.”

Moyer, who is from the area, won his first World Series in 2008 with the Phillies. It was a dream come true for the lefty, who made his major league debut against the Phillies and Steve Carlton in 1986 with the Chicago Cubs.

This past season, Moyer had one more achievement to put on his shelf. In early May, he became the oldest pitcher in the Major League history to throw a complete game shut out at 47-years, 170-days. It was a two-hit gem against the Braves as the Phillies won, 7-0.

Moyer was also one of my favorite players on the Phils. He proved time and time again that he still had it in him to win ball games. Hopefully Moyer will find a buyer and will have a successful 2011 season though I think he’s finally reached his peak. With needing 33 wins until 300, he will have the extra motivation to go after one of baseball’s elite groups.

Uribe Blast Lifts Giants

Cliff Lee was humanized in last night’s 11-7 drubbing by the Giants in game one of the World Series. For those of you who thought the Giants making it were a fluke, you got silenced.

Juan Uribe put the game way out of reach, hitting a three-run homer to cap-off a six-run fifth inning that gave San Fran an 8-2 lead.

Lee gave up seven runs, six earned, in only 4 2/3 innings. He was chased after giving up three runs in the fifth with two of Uribe’s three RBIs off his homer being credited to Lee. It snapped Lee’s seven-game winning streak in the post season.

Do the Giants really have what it takes to beat the Rangers, who were seemingly favored in this World Series?

Will They Stay or Will They Go?

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

So the fun begins. With a handful of big-name free agents set to test the waters after the season concludes, I couldn’t help but wonder: Where will they land next year? Or will they stay put in their home town?

It’s already been said that Tampa Bay doubts they could hold onto Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, or Rafael Soriano. And at the same time, The Rangers and Phillies have a goal to hold onto Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth respectively.

So I’m going to evaluate a couple free agents and give you my guess on where they’ll land:

Jayson Werth – Boston Red Sox: Let’s face it, Werth will want a change of scenery. In his presser on Monday, he basically said he enjoyed his time in Philly and said he will never see a group of fans like ours again. So who would want Werth? Basically in the race between the Yankees and Red Sox each off season, they acquire big-name guys. So if the Yankees go after Crawford, that means the Sox will get their hands on Werth, where he will instantly make them a serious contender in the toughest division in baseball.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Cliff Lee – Texas Rangers: I think he stays in Texas. If he does, it will be the biggest splash in free agency as Lee is the league’s most prized possession this off season. Yankee fans didn’t help their cause in landing Lee after their harassment of his wife and he said he enjoyed watching the Phillies lose to the Giants. And with the team they have in Texas, he would be absolutely stupid to walk away from a young, talented team in which he would become the face of. As a pitcher, the Rangers haven’t had that since a certain Nolan Ryan. I’m sure Ryan will use all of his persuasive powers to keep Lee in the Lone Star State.

Derek Jeter – New York Yankees: As the captain of the Yankees, I don’t see him going anywhere else but staying in New York. He will demand a lot of money probably and put the Yankees in a tough spot: drop the cash on an aging short stop with decreased range and pop in his bat or cut ties with one of the greatest Yankees to ever wear the pinstripes. They can’t piss-off the masses. Jeter stays as a Yankee for life and wraps up his Hall of Fame career in the Bronx.

(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Carl Crawford – New York Yankees: So the Yankees don’t get Werth. They will have to “settle” with Crawford, arguably the most enticing position player in the free agent market. He’s fast, can play a mean center field, and is a lifetime .300 hitter that can give you 15 homers and drive in about 70 runs. He hit career highs last season with 19 homers, 90 RBIs, and a .307 average along with a high in OPS (.851). Crawford will make the Yankees very happy next season and should allow them to stay ahead of the Red Sox and knock the Rays back out of the talks.

Carlos Pena – Seattle Mariners: Pena is a DH. The guy is a defensive liability. He struggled much of last season with injuries but will look to bounce back in a new team. Seattle is a perfect fit for him. Same type of laid-back fans and with the team looking to add a true power bat, they could start to build an offense around Pena. He’s just a building block to launch the Mariners into contention with the Rangers, who could be the best team in baseball if they win the World Series.

Jonny Gomes – Philadelphia Phillies: This is more like wishful thinking. With Werth likely gone in Philly, they will be looking to fill not only a hole in the outfield but also that important right-handed bat to protect Ryan Howard. Gomes would be a good replacement, that is assuming the Reds don’t pick up his $1.75 million option for next season. Gomes hit .266 with 18 homers and 86 RBIs last season. Similar numbers like that would be a fine replacement. Only problem is that he’s a worse defensive option than Raul Ibanez could ever have a nightmare to be. A two-year contract will be fine if Ruben Amaro, Jr. doesn’t over-pay.

Phils Decline Romero’s Option

Let the make-over begin. The Phillies denied left-handed reliever J.C. Romero’s club option for 2011 worth #4.5 million.

The news doesn’t come to much of a surprise to the Twitter world. Romero has been a walk machine the past two seasons, never getting back to his dominant 2007 and 2008 forms.

In 2010, Romero was 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 60 appearances. He walked 29 batters and struck out 28 in 36 2/3 innings of relief. As a lefty specialist, walk totals like that couldn’t happen.

It was the reason Romero only pitched one inning in two relief stints in the post season, none coming in the NLCS loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Will the Phillies attempt to bring Romero back for cheaper? It will be interesting.

Or did they like what they saw in left-hander Antonio Bastardo? Bastardo got one more appearance than Romero in the post-season but also had a strong end of the regular season.

Either way, the Phillies are already planning to field a different team next season in hopes to win a fifth straight division title and earn their way back to the World Series.

Phils Don’t Expect Werth Back

The end looks to be near for Jayson Werth as a Phillie.

Some of the players on the Phillies don’t think that Jayson Werth will be back in Philadelphia reported Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman on Twitter.

Whether it’s Werth not wanting to come back or suggesting the front office won’t spend big money on Werth, some of the players have their doubts, and rightfully so. Werth signed with Scott Boras in the end of September a day after hitting a walk-off homer, though Werth said that had nothing to do with it.

Werth said on Monday, Sept. 2o that he had decided to sign with Boras a week in advanced and was waiting for a good time to announce it. Coincidentally, it happened after that game-winning homer.

But Ruben Amaro, Jr. said that the Phillies will want to sign Werth back. He said they have the money to sign him but it depends on the asking price of Werth.

“What is going to drive the bus is Jayson and Scott,” Amaro said of the time frame. “Typically these things don’t move particularly quickly…

“Jayson had a good year. It wasn’t an extraordinary year,” Amaro said. “He had a tough time with men in scoring position. It wasn’t as productive a year as he had in the past. If he is not with us, there are players that we can acquire and or we have in our own organization that can help us be as consistent.”

Losing Werth along with Raul Ibanez’s age catching up to him, Jimmy Rollins on the decline, and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley both well over 30 could spell the start of a decline for the Phillies.

With Domonic Brown waiting in the wings to make his impact on the Phillies roster, the Phillies line up next year could experience a make over. Expect the roller coaster of events to start after the World Series.

MORE FROM RUBE — The Phils held a press conference today at noon in which Amaro and Werth were both a part of (Roy Halladay spoke too but it was unrelated to Werth’s situation).

In it, Amaro touched on a few things with Werth while the star himself refused to answer questions on his situation, actually lashing out a bit at Randy Miller. In turn, Werth said he enjoyed his tenure in Philly (a scary indication of it being over?) and thanked the fans in right field, saying that no other team in baseball has fans like that.

But in Amaro’s 30 minutes at the podium, he said this (transcript courtesy of Todd Zolecki on his blog):

On Werth’s price:
I have not had any discussions with Scott (Boras) yet. I obviously will (talk to him) over the next 48 hours or so. We’ll make contact. I guess the follow up question are, do we have enough money to do it? And would we like to bring him back? I think the answers to both questions are yes. However that will depend on what the ask is and ultimately how that will affect us with other possible moves we would have to make to do that.

On if Brown would be handed the job if Werth doesn’t come back:
We have not given the job to Domonic Brown in right field. And he’s been told that flat out. He’s going to have to earn a spot on our club next year. He is going to Winter Ball. A lot of it will depend on the status of Jayson, but he has been by no means promised a job. He has been promised an opportunity, but he’s going to have to earn it.

Those are the two answers that stood out to me. Amaro did answer a few more questions on Werth and I suggest reading Zo’s post. That’s a lot of work to write out a transcript of an entire presser.

Uribe Leads Giants to World Series

It’s always a tough pill to swallow. Brad Lidge knows it and now Ryan Madson knows it.

This is the swing that ended the Phillies season. Juan Uribe's solo homer in the eighth inning gave the Giants the 3-2 lead and eventual win in game six, sending them to the World Series. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Juan Uribe took Madson deep with two outs in the eighth inning to make it a 3-2 game. Then San Francisco’s bull pen held the lead to give the Giants their first trip to the Fall Classic since 2002 when they lost to the then Anaheim Angels in seven games.

It was the end to a weird season for the Phillies, who battled injuries and an ugly offensive slump and rode a ridiculous September to earn a fourth straight NL East title and the best record in baseball.

The Giants went to game one and five starter, Tim Lincecum, as the set-up man for closer Brian Wilson. But after striking out Werth, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back singles to chase Lincecum and force Wilson to have to make a five-out save.

After two pitches to Carlos Ruiz, Wilson got him to line out to Aubrey Huff, who flipped to second to get Victorino to end the scoring threat.

Ross Gload led-off the top of the ninth with a ground out. Rollins then worked a full count walk to bring up Placido Polanco with one out. Polanco then hit a grounder to Uribe who flipped to second but couldn’t get the double play turned.

It all came down to Chase Utley. Wilson pitched around him to get to Ryan Howard, who had not driven in a run the entire post season after having 17 last year.

With the count full, Howard looked at a pitch at the knees for strike three to end the Phillies season.

Roy Oswalt pitched an admirable game, allowing two runs, one earned, on nine hits and five strike outs in six innings of work.

The Phillies chased Jonathan Sanchez after two-plus innings. Sanchez was rattled early, giving up two runs in the first and putting batters on again in the third.

In the first, the Phils got runs from a Utley RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Werth to give them an early 2-0 lead. But the Giants got those runs back in the top of third thanks to some small hits and a Polanco error.

After walking Polanco to lead off the third, Sanchez hit Utley with a pitch. As Utley was jogging down the first base line, he picked up the ball and flipped it back to Sanchez. Sanchez didn’t like it, starting yelling at Utley and both teams’ benches cleared.

The Giants pulled Sanchez after that and let their bull pen pitch six scoreless innings to earn them the win as they represent the NL in the World Series.

2B: Utley (1), Ibanez (1).

WP: J. Lopez. LP: Madson. S: Wilson.


Rally Time 2.0

It’s Rally Time!

The Phillies are continuing on their come back in the NLCS. Down, 3-2, in the series, the Phillies will have Roy Oswalt on the mound tonight to face San Francisco’s left-hander Jonathan Sanchez. Game time was moved to 7:30 PM and is still on FOX.

One game at a time, folks!

Rangers Win AL Pennant

Congratulations to Cliff Lee for leading the Texas Rangers to their first ever World Series appearance with a 6-1 win in game six over the New York Yankees.

The winner of the Phillies/Giants NLCS will play Texas.

With the Rangers winning, the Phillies game tomorrow will be moved from 3:30 PM to 8:00 PM still on Fox.

One game at a time, folks.

BREAKING: Doc Pulls Groin in Game 5

Charlie Manuel informed the reporters in his post game press conference that Roy Halladay suffered a mild groin pull in the second inning of game five on Thursday.

Halladay pitched four more innings after the groin pull en route to his second playoff win. But Halladay said it was a similar injury to what he suffered last year but isn’t as serious. Manuel said that he could be available for a game seven relief appearance.