Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Espinosa homers twice in Nats win

So far this series, Danny Espinosa has been playing the part of an All-Star.

The Nationals second baseman homered twice tonight in a 10-2 win over the Phillies. Espinosa has homered three times through the first two games of the series.

He was three-for-four with a home run and four RBIs. Espinosa also scored  two runs in the victory.

Cliff Lee had an outing to forget as he gave up five runs in the fifth inning which put the Phillies in a 5-0 hole. Lee pitched 5.1 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and three walks.

Lee fell into a home when the Nationals loaded up the bases with one out.

Jayson Werth and Michael provided RBIs to get the scoring started in the third inning.

Then Espinosa followed with a mammoth three-run home run to make it 5-0. He added a solo shot in the sixth inning.

The Nationals added three runs in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach.

Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. provided the offense as they hit back-to-back solo home runs in the fifth inning. Brown went two-for-three for the Phillies in the loss.

Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz each went two-for-four as well.

The Phillies will send Roy Oswalt to the mound in the series finale on Wednesday in a 1:05 game.

2B: Brown (4). HR: Brown (12), Mayberry (3).

WP: Marquis (6-2). LP: Lee (4-5).



Zagurski recalled, KK starts Saturday

UPDATE: Kyle Kendrick will start on Saturday after the speculations were made.

Last season, Kendrick started twice against Pittsburgh and was the winner in both games. He went 17 combined innings (one complete game) and allowed six runs, five earned.

In his career against Pittsburgh, Kendrick is 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA.

When asked who was starting Saturday, pitching coach Rich Dubee joked: “Pedro Martinez.”

On a serious note, Dubee is not a fan of going with 11 pitchers when Shane Victorino returns on Friday and Mike Zagurski is sent back down, Ryan Lawrence tweeted.

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Worley optioned

The Phillies made a rather interesting move following today’s 5-4 win over Washington.

They optioned their 23-year-old starting pitcher Vance Worley back to Lehigh Valley for a little work.

“We’ll see you shortly,” Worley recalled them saying. “You’re a part of this team. You’ll be back.”

It’s a move that will allow Worley to work on his stuff as a starter. After being dropped to the bull pen in Joe Blanton’s first return, Worley struggled in his next two starts.

He was exhausted in a poor outing last week and then was roughed up against the Mets on Sunday. He pitched a total of eight innings with 18 hits and 12 runs, eight earned.

On the season, Worley is 2-1 with a 3.75 ERA in six appearances, four of which are starts.

The Phillies have an off day on Thursday, which will allow them to skip Worley’s spot in the order.

The Phils will likely call up Scott Mathieson or Mike Zagurski for the next couple days. And when Shane Victorino returns on Friday, one of those pitchers will be sent back down, leaving the bull pen with seven relievers.

Rally Time!: The Phils overcome two Nats leads

Phils slugger Ryan Howard celebrates with catcher Carlos Ruiz after hitting a solo homer in the 4th inning. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The late inning offense has officially arrived for the 2011 campaign.

Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez twice came through in the clutch for the Phils as they combined for four RBIs in the Phils 5-4 win.

It was the third time in four games the Phillies offense surged to take a late lead in the final nine outs of the game.

With the Phillies trailing 2-0 in the 4th, Howard and Ibanez hit back-to-back solo home runs to tie the game. They added another run in the inning after Carlos Ruiz doubled and Domonic Brown drove him in on a single.

But the important rally came in the top of the 7th. After Placido Polanco singled, left-hander Sean Burnett entered to face the three Phillies’ lefties. His first opponent, Chase Utley, drew an important walk. Howard then followed up with a seeing-eye single that found the outfield and scored Polanco to tie the game at 4-4.

Utley did what he does best on the base paths and went first-to-third to get himself in prime scoring position with one out. The very next batter, Ibanez, drove him in on a sacrifice fly and the Phillies were up 5-4.

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Faceoff: Future Stars

Question: Who is the best player in the majors under 25-years-old?

In the fourth installment of our “Face Off” segment, site founder John Russo is going to square off with a writer from a different blog. In the first ever inter-blog face off, Russo will take on another John, John Shields from “The Philly Phans.”

Shields chose a pitcher, Clayton Kershaw (even though the instructions said position player) of the Dodgers and Russo took Giants catcher Buster Posey.

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Series Preview: at Washington Nationals

PHI: 33-20, 1st in NL East; WAS: 22-30, 5th in NL East

When: May 30-June 1
Where: Nationals Park (Washington D.C.)

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Roy Halladay (6-3, 2.35) vs Livan Hernandez (3-6, 3.71)
Tuesday: Cliff Lee (4-4, 3.50) vs Jason Marquis (5-2, 4.26)
Wednesday: Roy Oswalt (3-2, 2.60) vs John Lannan (2-5, 4.40)

Broadcast Info
Monday, 1:05, CSN
Tuesday, 7:05, CSN
Wednesday, 1:05, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

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Off Day: Mets take advantage of Phils bench

New York's Jose Reyes leads off the bottom of the 1st with a triple. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Domonic Brown enjoyed the day off while their back-ups took charge today.

Unfortunately, the only team taking charge was the New York Mets. Phillies starter Vance Worley couldn’t overcome an unfortunate 1st inning full of errors as the Mets went on to win, 9-5.

A misplay by Raul Ibanez and an error by Jimmy Rollins led to three unearned runs in a four-run 1st for the Mets. Jose Reyes led off with a triple that Ibanez didn’t read too well. He then scored on a force play the following hitter.

But after a pair of singles, Rollins poorly fielded a ball hit by Angel Pagan that scored Jason Bay to make it 2-0. The Mets added a couple more and Worley was quickly in a 4-0 hole.

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Grading the Phantastic Phour and Phriends

Through two months of baseball, we’ve pretty much seen from the Phillies what we expected at the beginning of the season.

The starting pitching has been phenomenal, the offense has been shaky with the absence of Chase Utley and Domonic Brown prior to their returns and the bull pen has been hit or miss.

But with the two big bats back and the Phillies getting some great support from young relievers Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo along with a surprise surge from Ryan Madson in the closer’s role, that leaves us with the starting pitching.

Nothing has been off from what we expected out of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton/Vance Worley/Kyle Kendrick. The four aces have been as incredible as ever while Blanton was as shaky as expected. What’s been unexpected is the confidence Vance Worley has shown being thrown into a high-pressure spot of being the Robin to four Batman’s.

Here is a look at how the four aces have done and their revolving door of fifth starters through the first 11 starts barring injury.

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Rally in 8th lifts Phils

Cole Hamels pitches agains the Mets on Saturday. It was his first win in New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The last two nights have been interesting for the Phils. Both times they waited until late before they decided to upend the Mets and twice it has succeeded.

The Phils used a three-run 8th to leap frog the Mets and win Saturday night’s game, 4-2.

The Phils started a two-out rally against the Mets, who used three different pitchers in the inning. Jimmy Rollins singled and stole second to put himself in scoring position for Chase Utley. Utley then proceeded to tie the game up with an RBI single.

Utley then stole second and took third on a throwing error. After Placido Polanco was walked, Ryan Howard came up huge with a two-run double of Mets lefty Tim Byrdak, who Howard was 2-for-14 in his career heading into the AB.

Cole Hamels got the win, his first in Citi Field in his career. He went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out 10 for his team high seventh win on the season.

The Phillies didn’t allow a base runner past the 4th inning. 17 straight Mets were sat down in that stretch.

Utley and Domonic Brown each had a pair of hits. Utley scored twice and Howard had two RBIs.

Jose Reyes and two hits and two runs scored for the Mets.

On Friday’s win, the Phillies tied the game up in the 8th at 3-3. The next inning, they scored three runs in the 9th off Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez as they beat New York, 6-3.

2B: Utley (1), Ibanez (10), Howard (13), Brown (3), Francisco (4).

WP: Hamels (7-2). LP: O’Conner (0-1). S: Madson (11).


Phils add veteran Podsednik

In a move to bolster the veteran depth within the organization, the Phillies signed veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik to a minor league deal.

Podsednik, 35, will play with AAA Lehigh Valley.

Podsednik was a former stolen base champion in 2004 with 70 when with the Milwaukee Brewers. In his 10 seasons, Podsednik had also played for the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Last season, Podsednik hit .297 with six homers and 51 RBIs for the Royals and Dodgers.