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Category Archives: Chad Durbin

Why the Phantastic Phour may not be enough

There is a team in the National League that looks really good this season.

They have four great pitchers, two of which are Cy Young winners. They have had clutch hitting in the playoffs, and a great closer who has recently locked up a World Series. However, this team is not the Philadelphia Phillies. This team is the San Francisco Giants.

Forget about that team? I can’t point fingers at you. When the Phillies went out and acquired Cliff Lee this off season I too forgot about the defending champions.

I, just like many other baseball fans, automatically put the Phillies in the World Series this year. How couldn’t you? They had three of the games best pitchers last year and now they have four. The Phillies should be a lock to win their second World Series in four years, right? Not so fast.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, you cannot win with just starting pitching, even if your rotation is as prolific as the Phillies. If you don’t believe me, you can ask the Atlanta Braves. From ’91-’05 the Braves won 14 straight division titles, went to five World Series, and had three different pitchers win the Cy Young award from ’91-’96. With all of that said, the Braves only had one championship to show for it. If you want to look even more recently, you can ask the 2010 Philadelphia Phillies.

The problem with the Phillies is they didn’t address any of their weaknesses this offseason. Their bullpen, which faced the fewest innings in the National League last season, was 18th in the majors.

The bullpen doesn’t look much better this season. Most recently the Phillies lost key middle reliever Chad Durbin to the Cleveland Indians. Durbin has played a big role for the Phillies these last few years, eating up a lot of innings when called upon.

The Phillies were able to resign left hander J.C. Romero, but his ERA went up nearly a whole run from 2009 to 2010 and has had control issues. The only other lefty in the bullpen is 25-year-old Antonio Bastardo. Nothing against Bastardo, but let’s just say hitters aren’t shaking in their cleats in fear of facing him.

Another area the Phillies didn’t address in the offseason is hitting. The Phils hitting was very streaky last year, and the loss of Jayson Werth will not help. Not only do the Phillies lose his 27 home runs and 85 RBI’s, but they lose a big right-handed bat which makes their line-up even more left-hand dominant. Perhaps Werth’s biggest asset was the ability to protect Ryan Howard in the line-up. Now opposing pitchers have the luxury of intentionally walking Howard if they don’t feel like striking him out.

Listen, I am a big Phillies fan and I hope I am wrong about everything. However, when I see a team with such high expectations that has so many glaring weaknesses, I see a recipe for disappointment and disaster.

The Phillies will still win the NL East and probably a playoff series too, but the problem I see with the “Phantastic Phour” is it allows us as fans to ignore too many things. We ignore a bullpen with not enough quality lefties, and a batting lineup with too many. We ignore a team that is getting older, and a window of opportunity that is getting smaller. And perhaps worst of all, we have ignored the biggest problem facing the Phillies this season… The San Francisco Giants.


Durbin signs with Indians; Phils v. Yanks

As reported on Twitter last night, the Cleveland Indians have reportedly signed former Phillies relieve Chad Durbin to a one-year deal.

Durbin was a possible candidate to return to the Phillies bull pen this season but the Indians pried him away. The deal is worth $800,000 with $1 million in incentives.

The 33-year-old was 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA in 64 appearances last season with the Phillies. He will fill one of the glaring holes in the Indians bull pen.

Phils/Yanks today on MLBN — The Phillies will travel to Tampa today and play the New York Yankees to open Grapefruit League play. The game will be at 1:05 and aired live on the MLB Network. Today’s line ups:

Phillies: Rollins SS Gload DH Ibanez LF Howard 1B Francisco CF Brown RF Larish 3B Schneider C Valdez 2B Hamels P.

Yankees: Jeter SS, Swisher RF, Teixeira 1B, Rodriguez 3B, Cano 2B, Posada DH, Granderson CF, Cervelli C, Gardner LF, Colon P.

Tomorrow’s game against the Yankees will also be shown on MLBN at 8 PM.

2010 Moment: #6 Broxton Meltdown Part III

To the Phillies fans, it was a game to remember. For Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, it was a night from hell.

First there was Matt Stairs, who crushed the go-ahead homer in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS in Los Angeles off Broxton that eventually helped them win the series. Then in Game 4 of the NLCS the following year, Jimmy Rollins’ walk-off two-run double lifted the Phillies again over Broxton.

First it was Matt Stairs. The Jimmy Rollins. Now Carlos Ruiz became the third Phillies in three years to victimize Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton.

There wasn’t anything on the line in this game. It was August, not October. Broxton was entering the ninth with a three-run lead against an offense that was hot and cold all year. Surely he would fail to record an out and let the Phillies steal another one from the Dodgers.

It was an ugly game from the start for the Phillies. Joe Blanton took the hill and allowed three runs in the first inning. By the time Blanton was pulled with two outs in the sixth, the Dodgers had a 4-2 lead. LA then feasted on an at-the-time struggling bull pen. They got five runs, three earned off of Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero, and Jose Contreras in the next 2 1/3 innings.

Leading 9-2 built off of a monster game by Matt Kemp, the Dodgers were set to put the Phillies away. But heading into the eighth inning, the Phillies offense took life. Placido Polanco and Mike Sweeney hit back-to-back singles and moved up on a wild pitch by Ronald Belisario. Jayson Werth, hit a two-run single with the runners in scoring position to make it a 9-4 game. Ben Francisco then doubled in Werth and later scored on a Wilson Valdez single to bring the Phils to within three.

After a 1-2-3 inning by Danys Baez, Broxton entered the game to close out the Phillies. He was greeted by the loud fans of Philadelphia, very well aware of Broxton’s post season success, or lack there of, against the Phillies. Broxton, who’s control issues cost him Game 4 of 2009, couldn’t hit the plate again. He hit Polanco with a pitch and then walked Sweeney and Werth.

Francisco then stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. He hit a hard double-play ball to third baseman Casey Blake, but Blake let the ball scoot between his legs and into left field, scoring Polanco and Sweeney. The score was 9-8 and Carlos Ruiz, who is no stranger to clutch hitting, stepped up to the plate. He sent Broxton’s 1-1 offering over the head of Kemp in center field to score Werth and Francisco for the walk-off double.

*moment submitted by (@DealNCali)
Top 10
10. Chooch’s walk-off HR against St. Louis
9. Taser bro
8. Moyer’s CG/SHO
7. Hamels dominates Reds

Phillies, Reyes part ways

A week ago it appeared the Phillies and left-handed reliever Dennys Reyes had agreed to a contract. But both parties hit a snag in their talks.

“We hit a snag,” said Oscar Suarez, who is Reyes’ agent. “So we just decided to push back.”

Asked if it was health-related, Suarez said, “It just didn’t work out. We’re back on the market. I don’t want to get into details why.”

This could mean a return of Chad Durbin or even J.C. Romero, whose option for 2011 was denied back in October. Amaro said he never ruled out a possible return for Romero.

No Surprise: Werth Offered Arbitration

The Phillies figured they will get something out of Jayson Werth this off season. With it highly unlikely they will sign the free agent right fielder, the Phils offered arbitration in hopes of getting something for him.

Werth is a Type A free agent which means the Phils will get the top pick and another of the team who signs Werth.

In other arbitration news, Chad Durbin was not offered arbitration. As Todd Zolecki said in his post, it was a move similar to what the Phils did in 2008 with Jamie Moyer. They are afraid Durbin will demand more money and with the good season he had in 2010, he could get a raise. They’ll take their chances in signing him as  free agent instead.

Phils Split Double Header


The Phillies couldn’t do a damn thing against the Marlins’ rookie pitcher Adalbert Mendez, who was making his major league debut. The rookie pitched six innings of one-hit ball before injuring himself running out his first career base hit in a 7-1 win.

Vance Worley took the hill for the Phillies, allowing two runs in five solid innings of work. He allowed six hits and a walk while striking out five. One of the runs he allowed was a solo home run to Chad Tracy in the second.

Chad Durbin gave up a two run homer in the eighth and Mike Zagurski got roughed up for three runs in only 2/3 of the ninth inning.

The only hit the Phillies got off of Mendez was a base hit by Brian Schneider. Ryan Howard doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth and Jayson Werth drove him in on a single for the Phillies’ only three hits and run of the game.

2B: Howard (19).

WP: Mendez (1-0). LP: Worley (0-1).



After watching the offense manage one run on three hits in the earlier game, Roy Oswalt had to have had some worries in the back of his head. But the right-hander breathed a sigh of relief after the Phils five-run second inning as they went on to win 7-4.

Oswalt breathed a little too easy as he allowed four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven in seven innings. He allowed three homers, tied for a career high. A three-man bull pen held off the Marlins to preserve the 7-4 win and move the Phillies to only 1/2 a game behind the Braves.

Chase Utley and Placido Polanco sparked the offensive surge with two RBIs each. Shane Vcitorino got three hits from the lead-off spot and Raul Ibanez had two hits including an RBI double in the win.

The offensive surge started in the second when Jimmy Rollins and Ibanez had back-to-back singles. Domonic Brown, starting in place of Jayson Werth, walked to lead the bases. Carlos Ruiz followed that up with a walk to bring in Rollins to tie the game at one.

After Oswalt flew out, Victorino hit a liner to right to score Ibanez but Brown was thrown out at home. Polanco followed up with a two-run double down the line that was touched by a fan to score two more to make it a 4-1 game. Utley then singled in Polanco to cap off the inning in which the Phils batted around.

Oswalt got too comfortable with that lead as he allowed a two-run homer to Hanley “my hair looks stupid” Ramirez in the third. He then gave up a solo home run to Cameron Maybin in the fifth that made it a 5-4 game.

They added a two-spot in the fifth with an Utley RBI single and Ibanez RBI double to give them some breathing room with a 7-4 lead.

2B: Polanco (25), Ibanez (29). 3B: Polanco (2).

WP: Oswalt (11-13). LP: Sanchez (11-9). S: Lidge (21).


Huge Inning Propels Phils

Well it’s been said before: the Phillies are never out of a game.  They proved that once again in Colorado tonight.  The Phillies exploded for nine runs in the seventh inning en route to a 12-10 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

The Phillies had one of their biggest innings of the season in the seventh inning.  They sent 10 hitters to the plate during the inning.  Chase Utley was two-for-two during the offensive outburst.  Utley had an RBI single to score Placido Polanco to start off the inning.  He later sent a grand slam off Matt Reynolds in the right field seats to make the score 12-7.  Jayson Werth also added a solo home run and Ben Francisco had an RBI single in the huge inning.

Joe Blanton had been pitching well in his last few starts.  Blanton was hit around by the Rockies in this outing.  In four and a third innings, he gave up six runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts.  Blanton did give up his usual first inning runs, but he fell victim to a three run home run courtesy of catcher Chris Iannetta.

The bullpen made things interesting late in the game.  In the seventh inning, Chad Durbin gave up three runs on four hits.  Contreras loaded up the bases in the eighth inning but was able to get Eric Young Jr. to ground into a fielder’s choice.  Lidge allowed Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez to reach base on back-to-back singles to lead off the inning.  The Rockies were able to score a run off Lidge on a fielder’s choice groundout.  But Placido Polanco made a nice play at third base to get the out there and give the Phillies the victory.

The Phillies certainly didn’t get off to a good start but the offense bailed them out.  The offense seems to be coming around.  In their last four games, they have scored 25 runs.  The offense has been hot and cold throughout the entire season and has been responsible for some of their struggles.  If the offense is here to stay, that makes the Phillies one of the most dangerous teams in October.  The Phillies now sit two games back in the NL East because the Mets defeated the Braves tonight.

2B: Polanco (24)  HR: Utley (12), Howard (25), Werth (19)

WP: Bastardo (1-0). LP: Delcarmen (0-1).  S: Lidge (19)


Patient Phils Edge Padres In Extras

As Tom Petty once said, “waiting is the hardest part.” The Phillies were a little more selective at the plate tonight and had to play extra innings against the Padres. Despite a blown save they worked Padres pitching and won a close contest 3-2 in 12 innings in San Diego

Roy Oswalt turned in another fine pitching performance. Oswalt went eight superb innings giving up only one run on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks. He stayed ahead of the Padres hitters and didn’t allow many base runners.

Oswalt was helped out by some incredible defense courtesy of Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz caught both Ryan Ludwick and Chase Headley stealing in the second inning. This allowed the Phillies to avoid having the Padres put runners in scoring position.

The Phillies lineup played small ball to win this game. Jimmy Rollins had two hits tonight including a two out single in the third inning. Placido Polanco followed it with another single and Chase Utley singled once again to bring in Rollins.

Patience paid off once again in the eighth inning. Utley worked a one out walk and Ryan Howard looked good at the plate in notching a single. Jayson Werth followed it up with a big walk to load the bases for Raul Ibanez. Ibanez slapped a line drive in shallow right field that allowed Utley to score to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

Brad Lidge had been pitching phenomenal lately but his luck ran out tonight. He blew the save opportunity and it sure wasn’t pretty. Lidge started off the ninth inning by allowing a leadoff single to former Phillies hero Matt Stairs. He also hit Ludwick right on the hand to load up the bases with two outs. He had two strikes on Chase Headley when he balked which allowed the tying run to score and tie the game.

The game went to extra innings and the Phillies offense was looking stagnant. But in the 12th inning Rollins led off by a double to right field. Polanco followed with an RBI single where Rollins slid around the tag of Yorvit Torrealba to score the winning run.

Chad Durbin pitched two scoreless innings of relief and was credited with the win.  Durbin had two strikeouts in his two innings of work and was able to shut the door on the Padres.  The Phillies win coupled with a Braves loss moves the Phillies two games behind Atlanta in the NL East.  Joe Blanton takes the hill tomorrow for the Phillies.

2B: Rollins (12)

WP: Durbin (4-1). LP: Frieri (0-1)


Oswalt Roughed Up in Debut

Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt gets roughed up in his debut. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Well it wasn’t the start that everyone anticipated from Roy Oswalt tonight. In a matter of hours, Oswalt went from a highly-praised acquisition to a complete mystery on the mound. The Washington Nationals just went off on Oswalt as they crushed the Phils, ending their winning streak at eight with an 8-1 inning.

Oswalt allowed five runs, four earned, off of seven hits and two walks while striking out four in six innings. Chad Durbin got blown up for three runs in the seventh inning to knock the game out of reach.

Craig Stammen pitched 6 1/3 brilliant innings for the Nationals. He allowed a run on five hits and a walk while striking out five.

Raul Ibanez continued on his tear with another two hit game. Jayson Werth and Domonic Brown each added a pair of hits with one of Werth’s being a solo homer, as that was the only offense the Phils could muster.

Washington jumped on Oswalt early. Nyjer Morgan led-off the game with a triple and scored on the next batter. They added four more before the seventh when Werth homered. After that, the rest was history.

HR: Werth (15).

WP: Stammen (3-4). LP: Oswalt (6-13).


Pen Gets Boost with Durbin Return

The bull pen woes have been sickening. With the Phillies playing tight games throughout the series against Cincy, fans bit their nails and cried for mommy when one of the four starters were lifted. But with Chad Durbin’s return, the held breath can be let out slowly. Though the pen woes will still linger until they prove us otherwise, the situation is much better.

Durbin will be available to pitch tonight against the Cubs. To make room for Durbin, the Phillies have designated Nelson Figueroa for assignment. They also demoted Antonio Bastardo to Lehigh after activating him from the DL.

It will be the first time this year that the entire bull pen will be healthy. With the returns of Chase Utley and J.A. Happ within a month’s time and Placido Polanco on Saturday, the Phillies will have their complete 25-man roster intact to make a serious run at the playoffs to defend their two-time NL crown.