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Category Archives: Kelly Johnson

Halladay Dominates Again

Determination is in the eyes of Domonic Brown as he hustles during his Major League debut. "To get here to the Major Leagues, well, it's just the best thing that has ever happened to me," said Brown. (David M Warren/Philly Inquirer)

Roy Halladay was not going to be overlooked on a day he pitches. Not even for rookie phenom Domonic Brown’s debut. He tossed another complete game as Brown, Jayson Werth, and the rest of the offense backed him up in the Phillies’ 7-1 win. It was their seventh straight win and 10th straight at home.

Halladay went the distance for the eighth time this season. He allowed his only run in the ninth inning when Brown dove for the ball and missed resulting in an RBI double for Kelly Johnson. Halladay went on to strike out nine while allowing a run on six hits and no walks.

Brown went 2-for-3 in his debut with two RBIs and two runs scored. In his first at-bat, Brown ripped an RBI double off the top of the right field wall to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. He later scored in the inning. Werth went 3-for-4 with two doubles and Carlos Ruiz doubled twice and drove in three runs.

Brown received a loud ovation when his name was announced in the starting line up and then received a standing ovation when he stepped up to the plate in the second inning after Werth’s lead-off double. The lanky 6’5″ left-hander ran the bases well and played with a huge smile on his face. It was evident he was playing on pure adrenaline all night and was soaking in every moment.

“This is the best day of my life,” Brown said before the game. “I’ve been playing baseball since I was three years old. I’ve tried to stay humble through the years and just prepared every day by working hard. To get here to the Major Leagues, well, it’s just the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

The Phillies remained 3.5 back of the Braves with their 3-1 win over Washington. They also remain 2.5 games back of the Giants for the wild card. They go for the second straight sweep tomorrow and third in their own park. Kyle Kendrick will look to ride the momentum of his latest quality start.

2B: Werth 2 (34), D. Brown (1), Ibanez (21), Ruiz 2 (14).

WP: Halladay (12-8). LP: E. Jackson (6-10).



Surgery For Utley, Manuel Suspended

The news that everybody didn’t want to hear came true today.  Phillies second basemen Chase Utley had surgery on his injured thumb and will miss a minimum of eight weeks.  Utley will wear a splint during the first five weeks.  Utley suffered the injury sliding into second base against the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the week.  It was also learned that Placido Polanco has chronic tendinitis and will rest his elbow for two weeks.  It is likely that Polanco will be out three to four weeks.

This puts the Phillies into an interesting position with both Utley and Polanco being out for an extended period of time.  The Phillies’ current choices for replacements are Wilson Valdez, Juan Castro, and Greg Dobbs.  I believe Manuel will stick with Valdez and play him at second or third base.  That still leaves another infield spot up for grabs.  It’s hard to imagine Greg Dobbs playing third base for more than a month.  It’s possible that Ruben Amaro Jr. could seek a trade for an adequate infield replacement. 

Names that have been tossed around include Ty Wigginton, Jhonny Peralta, and Kelly Johnson.  I’d personally like to see Amaro go after Ty Wigginton.  In 72 games for the Orioles this season, Wigginton is batting .262 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs.  He could fill in at third base for Polanco then shift over to second base when Polanco returns.  He also provides some right-handed power off the bench.  Wigginton wouldn’t command neitherly as much in terms of trade value.  A lower level prospect or two could easily land Wigginton in red pinstripes.

On a less serious note, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has been suspended one game for a verbal altercation with umpire C.B. Bucknor during Wednesday’s game.  Manuel was suspended for inappropriate contact with Bucknor.  He will serve the one game ban tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates


Pitching Non-Existent in Loss

Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez, or David Herndon: take your pick on who was the goat in the Phillies 8-6 loss to Arizona, ultimately losing the series in the desert. Kendrick lasted five innings in the no-decision, allowing five runs on eight hits, four walks, and striking out four.

Kendrick started pitching very well through the first four innings, holding a 3-0 lead. But in a matter of minutes, the game quickly turned into the Diamondbacks’ favor. Pitcher Rodrigo Lopez led off with a single and Kelly Johnson, who killed the Phillies all series, ripped a two-run homer to left field. It wasn’t over yet as Stephen Drew then tripled and Justin Upton walked. Mark Reynolds then hit a three-run bomb that gave Arizona the 5-3 lead.

The Phillies answered rather quickly in the top of the sixth. With Chase Utley on third, Jayson Werth hit a no-out sacrifice fly to score him to make it a 5-4 game. Raul Ibanez followed that up with a double that put runners on second and third. After a Wilson Valdez ground out, Carlos Ruiz hit a two-run single to give the Phillies the 6-5 lead.

But then Baez surrendered the lead in the seventh thanks to John Hester’s RBI double. Arizona then took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth with two runs off of Drew Herndon.

The odd line up for the Phillies produced some offense. Ross Gload led-off and had a pair of hits. Greg Dobbs hit second and homered. Utley, Ryan Howard, Werth, and Ibanez made up the 3-through-6. Wilson Valdez got the start at short and had a pair of hits and a spectacular defensive game where he turned a double play and made a great throw at the plate. Ruiz had two hits as well.

Doubles: Ibanez (5). HR: Dobbs (1)

WP: Rosales (2-0). LP: Herndon (0-1). S: Qualls (4).


Longballs Galore!

The Phillies needed only three swings to beat the Diamondbacks on Saturday. Two of those mighty swings belonged to Jayson Werth, who’s two solo homers including his moon shot in the top of the ninth, helped lead the Phillies to a 3-2 win. Raul Ibanez also had a solo homer in the seventh that tied the game up at two-apiece.

Nelson Figueroa (1-1, 2.92) pitched wonderfully for the Phillies, lasting five innings and allowing two runs on five hits, two walks, and striking out four. The two runs came off of a two-run shot by Kelly Johnson in the fifth. Chad Durbin pitched two stellar innings, allowing only a hit and striking out two. Jose Contreras was efficient in the eighth and Ryan Madson closed out the ninth after Werth’s second homer for his fourth save of the season.

Doubles: Castro (2), Ruiz (3). HR: Werth 2 (3), Ibanez (1).

WP: Contreras (1-1). LP: Gutierrez (0-2). S: Madson (4).