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Category Archives: Ben Francisco

Phillies send Francisco to Toronto

The Phillies recent moves in the outfield squashed Ben Francisco further and further down the totem poll.

With it still understood the Phillies aren’t done signing position players, the Phillies have traded Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for reliever Frank Gailey.

Gailey was born in Philadelphia and drafted by the Blue Jays in the 23rd round of the 2007 amateur draft.

The 26-year-old has never made it to the big leagues, making it as high as Double-A ball last season. Last season he was 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA and 61 strike outs in 74 innings.

In two and a half major league seasons with the Phillies, Francisco batted .259 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs. He was the opening day starter in right field last season for the Phillies but the emergence of John Mayberry, Jr and the trade for Hunter Pence immediately made Francisco’s value seem replaceable to the Phils.

Francisco’s biggest shining moment in red pinstripes came during Game 3 of the NLDS last October. His three-run pinch-hit homer off Jaime Garcia gave the Phils a 3-0 lead en route to a 3-2 win and 2-1 series lead against the eventual champion St. Louis Cardinals.


2011 Phillies Moments: #6 An unlikely hero

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Jaime Garcia had the Phillis foiled, and it seemed they couldn’t do a single thing against the Cardinals left-hander.

That is, until they pinch-hit Ben Francisco in the 7th inning in hopes of sparking something for the offense. Francisco provided more than just a spark; he single-handedly won the game for the Phillies.

Though the post season was short lived, it didn’t lack in the memory department. Francisco’s blast is one of two moments that made this Top 10 list.

Garcia was cruising through the first six innings, allowing only a trio of singles. If the Phils couldn’t strike, who knew how long Cole Hamels and their bull pen could contain the eventual World Champion Cardinals powerful line up.

Shane Victorino led off the inning with a single, only his team’s fourth hit of the evening. With John Mayberry at the plate, sure-gloved catcher Yadier Molina let a pitch get past him and Victorino scampered safely to second. Mayberry and Placido Polanco proceeded to record outs, causing fans to worry Victorino was going to be stranded at second with no outs.

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2011 Moment: #9 Opening Day Heroics

Phils pinch hitter John Mayberry drives in the game-winning run with a single to score Ben Francisco. (Photo by John Russo)

The fans knew it was over as soon as the ball left John Mayberry Jr’s bat.

Perhaps it was the fact the Phils had the bases loaded with one out that forced Astros center fielder Michael Bourn to play shallow. But the moment Mayberry ripped a screamer to center with the game tied 4-4 in the 9th, the fans knew it was over Bourn’s head and the game was over.

Mayberry’s winner wouldn’t have been made possible if it weren’t for the Phils showing resiliency in their first action of the 2011 season.

Brett Myers had been dominating the Phils through the first seven innings, holding them two only two runs on three hits.

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Francisco’s heroics put Cardinals on brink of elimination

Phils pinch-hitter Ben Francisco hits a three-run home run in the 7th inning. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Phillies put their right-handed outfielder into tonight’s line up in hopes to solve Jaime Garcia.

Except, that right-handed outfield wasn’t John Mayberry Jr., who was 0-for-3 through the first seven innings. Instead, it was little used Ben Francisco that came through in a big way against the Cardinals soft-throwing lefty.

Prior to the 7th, Garcia had allowed only three hits and a walk in six shut out innings. Things looked glum for the Phillies offense, who were giving Garcia short at-bats and preserving his chances at an eight or nine-inning outing.

Cole Hamels bought the Phillies as much time as possible. Though he lasted only six innings, throwing a grueling 118 pitches, not a single runner crossed the plate as Hamels surrendered only fives hits and three walks while striking out eight.

Unfortunately for Garcia, that bought time caught up to him.

After Garcia walked Carlos Ruiz to take his chances on the pinch-hitter, he was forced to pay dearly for the mistake. An 89-MPH fastball was left over the plate for Francisco, who blasted the pitch into the left field bull pen to give the Phils a 3-0 lead.

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Falling down the slippery slope of meaningless games

Phils starter Vance Worley pitches in what could be his last start of the 2011 season before making the switch to the bull pen. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s really hard to gauge if this recent string of play from the Phillies is something worry about or if it will all go away once October baseball starts.

Whatever it is, the Phillies have lost for the fifth straight time, a first in 16 months. The score was 7-5 and the result was the same as it was this past weekend: disappointing.

Vance Worley took the mound for the Phillies, scattering four runs in six innings of work. He allowed six hits, three walks and struck out four.

Worley held a 3-2 lead heading into the 6th but Danny Espinosa tapped him for a two-run bomb to give the Nats a permanent lead.

Ben Francisco had a three-hit game for the Phils while getting the rare start. John Mayberry also had three hits, capped off with a two-run bomb in the 8th inning. Raul Ibanez’s two hits gave the Phillies outfield an eight-hit performance.

HR: Mayberry (15).

WP: Lannan (10-13). LP: Worley (11-3). S: Rodriguez (1).


Worley man-handles Mets

Phils starter Vance Worley throws with intensity. It allowed him to throw another gem, allowing a run on five hits in seven innings while striking out a career-high nine. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

It was a very relaxed night for Vance Worley and the Phils.

After getting himself in a couple jams in the 1st and 2nd innings, Worley settled down tremendously, both on the hill and at the plate. Another good game for him was put in the books and the Phils cruised to a 9-4 pounding to the lowly Mets.

Worley pitched seven fantastic innings, allowing only a run on five hits and a walk while striking out a season and career-best nine. He also had a nice day at the dish, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

He left the game with a 9-0 lead, thanks to big days by Shane Victorino, John Mayberry and Ben Francisco. Victorino homered and tripled while driving in three runs. Mayberry had a three-run homer in the 3rd inning.

But most surprisingly, Francisco went 3-for-3 with a double and a walk. It was his first start in 31 games and he pretty much proved to Charlie Manuel that he can still contribute on this team.

Mayberry was playing first base today to give Ryan Howard another rest day. Francisco was in left field for the injured Raul Ibanez, who received a shot to his strained groin today.

The Mets got their final three runs in the 8th and 9th inning off Michael Stutes. Stutes wasn’t that sharp in his outing, allowing three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer to Lucas Duda in the 8th.

2B: Valdez (11), Francisco (10). 3B: Victorino (14). HR: Victorino (14), Mayberry (12).

WP: Worley (9-1). LP: Niese (11-11).


Welcome to the Mini Mart

The Phils Chase Utley is gunned down at home in the 8th inning by Starlin Castro. Cubs catcher Geovany Soto blocked the plate. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Michael Martinez is turning into the 2011 version of Wilson Valdez.

Martinez’s two-out, two-run double in the top of the 9th gave the Phils a 4-2 lead and come-from-behind win over the Cubs Tuesday night. It was the second clutch hit for Martinez in the past week, slowly turning the groans to cheers in the Philadelphia crowd.

With two outs, Ben Francisco and Jimmy Rollins hit back-to-back singles before Martinez’s blooping double down the first base line. The ball got caught up in the Phillies bull pen, allowing Rollins to score from first base and add an extra run to the already go-ahead hit.

Before the 8th inning, it was Chicago’s game. They were hitting the cover off the ball all game but could only muster two runs in the 1st and none after. Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena all had multi-hit games for the Cubs.

But, despite Utley and Martinez’s heroics, the night belonged to a certain young short stop for the Cubs.

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Doc pitches fifth complete game; earns 10th win

Phils SS Jimmy Rollins doubles off the right-center field wall in the bottom off the 2nd. It was the second of four hits for Rollins. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

There should be no doubt who the best pitcher in red pinstripes is.

Roy Halladay was at his best once again, proving why he’s the best pitcher on the Phillies roster, let alone the best in Major League Baseball.

Halladay pitched his fifth complete game of the season, picking up his 10th win as well in the Phils 3-1 win over Oakland Sunday afternoon.

Halladay had another low strike out total but he lowered his ERA in the process. The only run he let cross home was on a bloop single and he scattered eight hits throughout the game.

The right-hander once again put the Phils in the best possibly position to win as the Phillies have won all of Doc’s last eight starts.

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Surprising hero walks it off for Phils

The love/hate relationship the fans have with Ben Francisco turned to all love for one night.

Francisco, who found himself an almost permanent spot on the bench with Domonic Brown an everyday player, had the game-winning hit in the Phils 1-0 win Saturday night.

His hit was only the fourth hit for the Phils and the sixth on the night between the two teams. Heading into the bottom of the 9th, each team only had two hits. But a walk by Shane Victorino, a single by Brown and ground out by Brian Schneider moved the runners in scoring position.

With two down, Francisco pinch-hit for the pitcher, and grounded a ball between second and short to score Victorino easily and win the game.

Vance Worley pitched six innings of one-hit ball. He walked four and tallied four strike outs.

Only David Herndon allowed a hit in his 1 2/3 innings of work. Juan Perez’s 1/3 in the 8th and Michael Stutes’ 9th cleaned up the game for the Phils.

A’s starter Guillermo Moscoso went seven innings of two-hit ball while walking three and striking out two.

NOTES – Before the game, the Phillies placed Roy Oswalt on the 15-day DL and called up right-hander Scott Mathieson. They also activated catcher Brian Schneider and optioned Dane Sardina to AA Reading.

WP: Stutes (3-0). LP: Fuentes (1-8).


Fold: Cards bullpen collapses in 8th

We’ve seen some¬† bizarre moments in this 2011 Phillies season. Tonight’s game was no different.

The Cardinals sent five different relievers to the mound in the eighth inning against the Phillies.  They gave up nine runs as the Phillies cruised to a 10-2 victory.

Cardinals reliever Jason Motte reacts after hitting Ryan Howard and loading the bases in the 8th inning. The Phils, trailing 2-1 heading into the inning, scored nine runs and won 10-2. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The eighth inning began looking very bleak for the Phillies as the Cardinals had just taken the lead on a Skip Schumaker sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead.

Jimmy Rollins led off the inning with a fly out to Matt Holliday. Then the Phillies luck drastically changed.

Shane Victorino singled off Trever Miller and Chase Utley followed with a walk. Ryan Howard and Placido Polanco were hit by pitches which forced in the tying run.

As the Cardinals had a left-handed reliever in the game, Charlie Manuel pulled back would-be pinch hitter Domonic Brown and instead went with Ben Francisco. Francisco did not disappoint as he singled home Utley to give the Phillies the lead.

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