Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: JC Romero

Polanco goes on DL; Madson activated

3B Placido Polanco (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The good news: the Phils got their closer back. The bad: another bat lands on the DL.

Placido Polanco, who had been sitting with a bulging disc since July 5, was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to that date. Taking his roster spot is closer Ryan Madson, which will instantly boost a bull pen that has only two reliable pitchers in it.

Polanco is hitting .274 with four home runs and 39 RBIs in 83 games this season. He was voted as a starter to the All-Star Game but did not participate due to his injury.

Madson’s right-hand contusion is feeling much better. In 31 appearances this season, Madson has a 2.03 ERA and 3-1 record. He’s also tallied 15 saves in 16 chances.

Getting Madson back will be huge for their bull pen. Michael Stutes was starting to show a little fatigue in his past few outings and Antonio Bastardo has remained filthier as ever. Adding Madson will allow the two young arms to share a set-up role as they have become Charlie Manuel’s two most trusted relievers not named Madson.

Read more of this post


Nats building a World Series team… from the past

After being a huge part of the 2007 and 2008 success for the Phillies, J.C. Romero's true colors shone the past 2 1/2 seasons, ending his tenure in Philly. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals are well on their way to building a World Championship team… the 2008 champions that is.

Washington signed former Phillies left-handed reliever J.C. Romero, the third member of the Phillies 2008 championship squad to join the Nationals this season.

In the off season, the Nationals added NLCS hero Matt Stairs to their bench. They then went out and threw a lot of undeserved money to super star Jayson Werth.

Romero, who had winning decisions in two of the 2008 World Series games including the deciding Game 5, became the third member.

Romero was designated for assignment and then released by the Phils. The Nats offered the 35-year-old a minor league deal and sent him to AAA Syracuse.

Romero posted a 3.86 ERA in 16 1/3 innings, walking 12 and striking out 10. His lack of control wound up being his demise, ending his stint hopefully permanently with the Phillies.

With Romero officially gone, I’d like to reflect on my favorite Romero moment that very few of you know.

Read more of this post

Lee shuts out Marlins 3-0 to complete series sweep

Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee rips a two-out, RBI double in the 4th. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

For the third straight start, Cliff Lee was on his game.

Lee provided a complete game shutout, and the offense provided enough run support to give the Phillies the 3-0 win. The win completes a four game sweep of the Marlins and extends the Phillies’ winning streak to seven games. The Phillies finished this most recent home stand with nine wins in eleven games.

Lee went nine innings, allowing no runs on just two hits while striking out four. Lee has now allowed a total of two runs in his last three starts, and has three wins during this home stand.

Instead of piling up the strike outs, Lee was using his breaking pitches to pile up the easy ground ball, pop up and fly outs for his defense. His plan was so effective, it took until Mike Stanton’s two-out single up the middle in the 6th to end his no-hit bid.

Read more of this post

This week in Phillies pitching

The Phillies get to start this week with a day off on Monday. With that day off, it will allow them to better prepare for the four-game series home against Florida.

With a double-header on Wednesday to make up a rain-out in April and a day game on Thursday, the Phillies will play three games withing a 24-hour span.

Making the starts on Wednesday will be Kyle Kendrick in the day game and Roy Halladay in the night cap.

Rich Dubee said the Phils will use a spot starter against the Seattle Mariners this weekend. That means Vance Worley will likely get the call for the day and either David Herndon will be sent down or (prays) J.C. Romero get’s DFA’d.


Pen nearly collapses in Phils win

Domonic Brown hits a two-run homer in the 2nd inning. The blast was his second of the season. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)

7-0 leads are almost insurmountable in the game of baseball.

But if it were men’s recreation softball, a 7-run defecit can erase rather easily. And the Phillies bull pen damn near served up the game like a 12-foot arcing lob pitch.

The bull pen’s leaking finally stopped and the Phillies held on to win, 7-5, and earn Roy Halladay his major league leading ninth win of the season.

Halladay was great as usual through seven innings, scattering six hits and striking out nine without allowing a walk. He’s allowed only 14 walks this season in his 14 starts.

It was the first win of Halladay’s career against the Cubs. He was 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA heading into tonight’s game in his career against the Cubs.

The Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second after Domonic Brown’s two-run homer down the right field line. It was his second home run of the season, snapping an 0-for-12 stretch.

Read more of this post

Berkman walks-off Phils

Lance Berkman slides into home safely, avoiding Dane Sardinha's lazy tag in the 4th inning. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The end was inevitable as it unfolded before our eyes.

Danys Baez loaded the bases and got one out in the bottom of the 9th before being replaced by J.C. Romero. But with Lance Berkman’s RBI single, the Cards pulled off the two-game sweep with a 2-1 win.

The loss extended the Phillies’ losing streak to four games. In their 16 losses this season, they have scored three or fewer runs in 14 games.

There were a lot of encouraging signs for Roy Oswalt, who made his first start since April 26. He was on a strict leash, getting yanked after five innings and 76 pitches. He allowed only one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out three.

Oswalt only drew four swinging-and-miss strikes. But I think that was more of a testament on location and movement rather than velocity, the big concern heading into the game. His fastball was hitting 92-94 MPH, an encouraging sign. Read more of this post

Early bombs set tone for Braves

The Braves' Martin Prado leads off the bottom of the 1st with a solo homer to left. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

Two poorly-placed, low-velocity sinkers were turned into back-to-back lead off homers for the Braves. That set the pace for Atlanta, who beat the Phillies on a night the Negro Leagues were honored, 5-3.

Martin Prado sent Blanton’s first sinker in the mid-80’s over the left field fence to give the Braves a quick 1-0 lead. The next batter, Nate McLouth, took Blanton to dead center for a 2-0 lead.

Blanton, whose velocity is still down after coming off an injury to his right elbow, lasted only five innings for the second straight time. His replacements, J.C. Romero and Kyle Kendrick, did not do so well.

Romero and Kendrick were roughed up for three runs in the 6th off three hits and two walks. That poor inning gave the Braves a 5-1 lead, which ultimately killed the Phillies hopes of getting back in the game.

They followed up Blanton’s two-run effort on five hits, a walk and five strike outs. Though his location was good, his velocity was down and that ultimately hurt him.

With these two starts, people are starting to worry whether or not Blanton is fully healthy. His fastball topped out at 88 MPH, about 2-3 down from his usual average. Read more of this post

Luck on the Phils side

Everybody at Turner Field knew. Everyone sitting at home knew. Shane Victorino knew. Brian McCann knews and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez knew.

It was strike three. It was the pitch that would end the Phillies 7th inning scoring threat and keep them behind Atlanta heading into the bottom half.

But home plate umpire Dave Rackley called Eric O’Flaherty’s 0-2 pitch a ball, prolonging Victorino’s at-bat. Two pitches later, Victorino singled into center, scoring Rollins and tying the ball game at 4-apiece. Read more of this post

Shut Out By Committee

Kyle Kendrick silences the haters in his start Saturday. He pitched five shut out innings as the Phillies beat Atlanta, 3-0. (AP Photo/Barbara Johnston)

You have all heard about “closer by committee.” You know, the thing where a different member of the bull pen will be thrust into the closer’s role depending on match-ups, rest days and other in-game factors.

But have you heard of “Shut out by committee?”

Well you have now. Kyle Kendrick, who has been pretty much converted to a reliever on a Phillies team loaded with aces this off season, making a start. Then the rest of his fellow pen-mates help shut out the Braves, resulting in a 3-0 win for the Phillies.

Kendrick, who has taken a lot of crap this season for absolutely no reason, did a good job to hopefully quiet the haters for a short period of time.

Even the Phillie Phanatic got into the act before the game. When Kendrick’s name was announced in the pregame line ups, he began to pray. Read more of this post

Romero returns

The news has already been out there all day but I figured I’d give a brief recap on the return of J.C. Romero.

Romero strained his calf a few weeks ago when fielding a ground ball. He was immediately put on the DL. Today was his first day from being activated and he was immediately brought back to the Phils.

To much of a relief to the fans, the Phillies optioned struggling righty David Herndon to make room for Romero. Where Herndon goes, no one knows nor cares. Read more of this post