Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Colorado Rockies

Game 70: Making Up Ground

Phillies C Carlos Ruiz and SS Jimmy Rollins celebrate after Ruiz’s two-run homer in last night’s 7-2 over the Rockies. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies find themselves in a position they haven’t been in for a very long time: last place in June.

Sitting five games under .500 (32-37) and eight games behind the first place Nationals, the Phillies are looking to gain some ground heading into the All-Star Break.

Talking with one of the TTB writers yesterday, Dan MacNeal, we both feel the Phillies have a little bit of a run in them. Perhaps if the team can win 70% of its next 18 games (13-5 record) they could find themselves maybe four or five games out of first and with a 45-42 record heading into the break.

In that time, Chase Utley will have returned to the line up and more news on the progress of Ryan Howard will be made (hopefully in an official rehab stint by the break).

The 18 games remaining start with nine more home games on this 10-game homestand. The Phillies have two more with the Rockies before hosting one of the best teams in the American League, Tampa Bay, and the Pittsburgh Pirates who are currently playing some good baseball.

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High Note: Phils Cap Off Bad Day With Win

Phillies RF Hunter Pence drives in a run on a ground out in the 7th inning. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Phillies 7, Rockies 2
WP – Cole Hamels (10-3, 3.25)
LP – Josh Outman (0-3, 8.41)

PHILADELPHIA — As posted earlier, injury and suspension news started off what was looking to be another bleak day in an already awful season for the Phillies.

But the team put all of that stuff behind them as well as a three-game losing streak to beat the Rockies, 7-2, Tuesday night.

The bats backed Cole Hamels, who allowed less than four runs for the first time since May 23. He went eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out seven.

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Series Preview: vs Colorado Rockies

PHI: 31-37, 5th in NL East; COL: 25-40, 4th in NL West

When: June 19-21
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: Cole Hamels (9-3, 3.34) vs Josh Outman (0-2, 8.44)
Wednesday: Joe Blanton (6-6, 4.93) vs Alex White (2-5, 5.56)
Thursday: Vance Worley (3-3, 2.80) vs Jeff Francis (0-1, 12.46)

Broadcast Info
Tuesday, 7:05, PHL 17
Wednesday, 7:05, CSN
Thursday, 7:05, CSN
All Games on 94.1 FM

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Season Preview: NL West

Expectations: San Francisco’s payroll may top $130 million in order to pay for Brian Wilson’s beard dye.
Key Addition: OF Melky Cabrera (acquired from Kansas City)
Key Loss: SP Jonathan Sanchez (traded to Kansas City)
Projected Record: 93-69
Summary: The Giants are looking to get back on top of the National League after a disappointing 2011 campaign. The Giants went 86-76, missing the wild card by four games to the Cardinals, who won the World Series.

The Giants are hoping Madison Bumgarner fills in big as the number three pitcher after the Giants dealt Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera. They still have Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain at the front of their rotation, boasting one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.

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Howard stays hot; Phils sweep again

Phils closer Brad Lidge celebrates with catcher Carlos Ruiz after closing out the Phils 8-6 win over Rockies. It was Lidge's 100th career save as a Phillie. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

There is a runaway train running through the majors called the Philadelphia Phillies and it is not about to stop.

And the conductor of that train is the home run hitting first baseman Ryan Howard. The Big Piece knocked another home run out this series, his third in the last two games, as he had another big day to lead the Phils over the Rockies, 8-6, and complete the sweep.

It was the sixth straight win for the Phils, who still hold an eight-game lead on the 2nd place Braves.

Howard went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBIs. You can attribute some of that success to the arrival of Hunter Pence. Since Pence was traded to the Phillies and inserted behind Howard in the line up, Howard is hitting .409(9-for-22) in five games with three doubles, four homers and nine RBIs.

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Kendrick deals in Phils 5th straight win

Phillies 1B Ryan Howard watches his 4th inning solo bomb leave the park off Aaron Cook. It was the first of Howard's two home runs. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Kyle Kendrick quite possibly made his last start on the season for the Phils, barring any sort of set-back by a pitcher.

With Roy Oswalt ready to take his spot back in the rotation, Kendrick wanted to give the Phils one more little treat before he likely retakes his seat back in the Phillies bull pen. The right-hander was dealing as the Phils shut out the Rockies, 5-0, to take the series from Colorado.

Tonight’s win was the 70th win on the season for the Phils, who at 70-39, boast the best record in baseball. With the Braves falling to the Nationals for a second straight time, the Phillies expanded their division lead by eight games.

Kendrick got some support in the 1st. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Shance Victorino. Rollins was driven in by Chase Utley on a ground out to make it a 1-0 game. Two batters later, Hunter Pence ripped a double into the gap in left-center, scoring Victorino to make it 2-0.

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Late homers complete come back

Phillies starter Cole Hamels allowed two runs in six innings while striking out five in his no decision on Monday. (Chris Schneider/AP Photo)

Shane Victorino knew it was gone once it left his bat.

The switch-hitting All-Star, who was flipped to his right side – the stronger of the two – ripped a solo home run to lead off the 10th, capping a come back win over the Rockies. The 4-3 win expanded the Phils winning streak to four games, starting the 10-game road trip off with a win.

John Mayberry’s two-run blast off closer Huston Street in the 9th inning tied the game up at 3-apiece. Street’s blown save was his fifth on the season, erasing the chance at a huge win over a hot Phillies team. After sitting down the first two batters, Street gave up a two-out double to Carlos Ruiz before Mayberry’s two-run blast.

Hamels was strong in his six innings of work, allowing two runs, both on a mistake to the Rockies Seth Smith. He even worked his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the 5th inning as he gave up six hits and a walk while striking out five in the no-decision.

The lack of run support early erased an opportunity for the left-hander to get his 13th win. Instead, he was slated with the no-decision.

The left-handed hitting Smith for the Rockies got the scoring going in the 2nd, when he took Hamels’ 2-1 offering into the centerfield grass to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead. It was only his 9th home run of the season.

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Series Preview: at Colorado Rockies

PHI: 68-39, 1st in NL East; COL: 51-57, 3rd in NL West

When: August 1-3
Where: Coors Field (Denver, CO)

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Cole Hamels (12-6, 2.61) vs Jhoulys Chacin (8-8, 3.50)
Tuesday: Kyle Kendrick (5-5, 3.52) vs Aaron Cook (2-5, 5.05)
Wednesday: Roy Halladay (13-4, 2.44) vs Jason Hammel (6-10, 4.65)

Broadcast Info
Monday, 8:40, CSN
Tuesday, 8:40, CSN
Wednesday, 3:10, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

Player to Watch – Troy Tulowitzki: In the last 30 days (22 games), Tulo is hitting .356 with four homers and 18 RBIs. He brought his average up to a .289 while still leading the Rockies with 20 homers and 73 RBIs.

We all know Tulo is one of the best players in baseball so there isn’t any more I really need to say about him.

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A career worth consideration?

Only Todd Helton will know when he'll decline. But for now, he's still on top of his game. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

Stemming from a conversation Tom McCarthy, Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews were having on the Phils broadcast last night, I want to take a little time to talk about a certain Colorado Rockies star who I’ve seen tearing it up in baseball for the past 14 years.

Todd Helton has been an absolute force in baseball. You would think the aging first baseman would lose a step at the beginning of each season but instead would find himself in midseason All-Star discussions and in the top 15 in batting average each season.

In his 15th season in the majors, Helton is hitting .323 with 10 doubles, six homers and 20 RBIs heading into tonight’s game against the Phillies.

Many can attribute those stats to the fact he’s played 50% of his career games in Denver’s Coors Field. The high altitude and thin air have made that park notorious for inflating players’ career numbers, but that shouldn’t be the case for Helton and his path to Cooperstown. Read more of this post

Hamels makes most of two runs

Placido Polanco applies the tag on Colorado's Alfredo Amezaga, who tried to go from first to third on Carlos Gonzalez's single. John Mayberry gunned him out. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

You have to be damn near perfect the way the Phillies anemic offense has been of late.

Cole Hamels was as good as you can expect him to be, pitching too good for the Phillies offense to squander his gem in their 2-1 win Wednesday night.

The Phillies started off their nine-day home stand with a win, despite it’s lack in the pretty department.

The Phillies struck first in the fifth. With one out, Raul Ibanez singled and Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch. Both moved into scoring position on a passed ball during Wilson Valdez’s at-bat. Valdez took advantage, singling in Ibanez on the next pitch to make it a 1-0 game. Read more of this post