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Category Archives: Martin Prado

Phillis Epically Collapse In 9th

Braves 8, Phillies 7
WP – Peter Moylan (1-0, 0.00)
LP – Jonathan Papelbon (3-6, 3.02)

ATLANTA — Words still can’t describe what happened to the Phillies Sunday evening.

In a season filled with lows and late-inning collapses, the lowest point hit Sunday. The Phillies bullpen coughed up a four-run lead in the 9th inning, ultimately surrendering a game to the Braves in epic melt down fashion.

Possibly a bad idea, Jeremy Horst started the 9th after pitching an inning and a third. Holding a 7-3 lead, he gave up a one-out walk and single before being lifted for Jonathan Papelbon.

Papelbon quickly struck out Lyle Overbay for the second out, but walked Michael Bourn to load the bases.

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Series Preview: at Atlanta Braves

PHI: 45-54, 5th in NL East; ATL: 54-44, 2nd in NL East

When: July 27-29
Where: Turner Field (Atlanta, GA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Cole Hamels (11-4, 3.23) vs Ben Sheets (2-0, 0.00)
Saturday: Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.70) vs Mike Minor (5-7, 5.49)
Sunday: Roy Halladay (4-5, 4.32) vs Tim Hudson (9-4, 3.71)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:35, CSN
Saturday, 7:10, CSN
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 94.1 FM

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McCann Crush: Braves Win 4-3; Sweep Phillies

Braves 4, Phillies 3
WP – Jair Jurrjens (3-2, 4.97)
LP – Raul Valdes (2-2, 3.80)
SV – Craig Kimbrel (25)

PHILADELPHIA — Brian McCann is heating up into a career-record pace.

The Braves star catcher homered in his fourth straight game, this one proving to be the winning run in the Braves 4-3 victory over the Phillies. The win capped off a three-game sweep that will send the Phillies into the All-Star Break 12 games under .500.

With the game tied up, 3-3, McCann hit a bomb to dead center off reliever Raul Valdes in the 7th inning to give the Braves a 4-3 lead. McCann finished game 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs.

The Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning when Jason Pridie, a late addition to the lineup for Shane Victorino (more on that later), ripped a two-run homer.

The Braves tied the game up in the 4th when Dan Uggla hit a two-run homer off Phillies starter Vance Worley. But the Phillies responded right back in the bottom on Pridie’s RBI double to give them a 3-2 lead.

McCann worked his Phillie-killing magic in the 5th inning. After a pair of singles by Martin Prado and Jason Heyward, McCann singled on a line drive up the middle to tie the game back up, 3-3.

2B: Pridie (1). HR: Pridie (1).


Series Preview: vs Atlanta Braves

PHI: 37-47, 5th in NL East; ATL: 43-39, 3rd in NL East

When: July 6-8
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Kyle Kendrick (2-8, 5.35) vs Tim Hudson (6-4, 3.87)
Saturday: Joe Blanton (7-7, 4.85) vs Tommy Hanson (9-5, 3.70)
Sunday: Vance Worley (4-5, 3.46) vs Jair Jurrjens (2-2, 5.19)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, CSN
Saturday, 7:15, FOX
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 94.1 FM

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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

Series Preview: vs Atlanta Braves

PHI: 21-9, 1st in NL East; ATL: 18-15, 3rd in NL East

When: April May 6-8
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philly, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Cliff Lee (2-2, 3.66) vs. Derek Lowe (2-3, 3.72)
Saturday: Kyle Kendrick (1-2, 2.08) vs. Julio Teheran (0-0, -.–)
Sunday: Cole Hamels (4-1, 2.66) vs. Jair Jurrjens (3-0, 1.52)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, TCN
Saturday, 7:05, PHL 17
Sunday, 8:00, ESPN
All Games on 1210 AM

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Lee rocked in loss

It was Cliff Lee’s turn.

Only days after Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton were blown up in early exits, Lee got bounced in the fourth as the Atlanta Braves took the first of many meetings between the two teams, 6-3.

The wheels for Lee quickly fell off. Atlanta scored three runs in the second inning when Jason Heyward led off with a triple before being driven in my Carlos Gonzalez’s RBI double. Martin Prado then drove in Gonzalez and rookie Freddie Freeman to tie the game up at three apiece.

It got worse for the lefty two innings later when he could only manage to record one out before being yanked. Lee hit Freeman and allowed two more singles to load the bases before Chipper Jones hit a bases-clearing double to make it 6-3. Brian McCann followed up with a single and Lee was yanked.

Lee’s final line was 3 1/3 innings pitched, six runs on 10 hits with a walk and three strike outs.

But the bull pen stopped the bleeding once again to keep the Phils in the game. Kyle Kendrick pitched 1 2/3 while allowing only a hit and walk. Antonio Bastardo was absolutely filthy, allowing one hit and striking out six straight batters. J.C. Romero pitched a scoreless eighth.

Atlanta’s Jones had two hits in the game. His second hit was the 2,500th in his career. If Jones can play and be effective in two more seasons after this, he may join the very exclusive 3,000 hit club.

Jones was one of four Braves to have multi-hit games. Prado (3-for-5, Nate McLouth (2-for-5) and McCann (2-4) all contributed in big ways and Jones had three RBIs.

Ben Francisco continued his hot start, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double. Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz also had two-hit games.

The Phils play tomorrow at 1:oo PM on FOX. Roy Oswalt will face Brandon Beachy.

2B: Francisco (2).

WP: Hudson (1-1). LP: Lee (2-0). S: Kimbrel (3).


Series Preview: Atlanta Braves

PHI: 5-1; ATL: 3-4
When: April 8-10
Where: Turner Field (Atlanta, GA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.86) vs. Tim Hudson (1-0, 1.29)

Saturday: Roy Oswalt (1-0, 3.00) vs. Brandon Beachy (1-0, 1.50)
Sunday: Cole Hamels (0-1, 20.25) vs. Derek Lowe (1-1, 0.77)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, PHL 17

Saturday, 1:10, FOX
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

Player to Watch – RF Jason Heyward:

In two straight seasons, Jason Heyward homered on Opening Day. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Heyward had a great rookie campaign last year, proving to the majors he was ready to take on this level of pitching.

But now with a year under his belt, Heyward has the pressure of avoiding that sophomore slump, cutting down the strike out numbers and turning into a dangerous and patient hitter the Braves hope he is for the next decade.

The 21-year-old New Jersey native is batting .250 with two homers and five RBIs from the six-spot to start the season with the Braves. But last season, Heyward struggled in his 13 games against the Phils, batting .163 (7-for-43) with a homer and two RBIs (the homer was a game-winner off Ryan Madson early in the season).

Philly will look to continue their success against Heyward as he will look to get his season underway against a division rival.

Overview: The Braves are the team to beat in the NL East… if you’re an idiot like Buster Olney. With the Braves off to a slow start and the Phils offense on fire, it should be interesting to see how the first match up of these two NL East front-runners goes.

The Phillies offensive surge could have come thanks to playing in their band box of a park at CBP. Turner Field is spacious and balls get lost in the outfield if hit over the fielder’s heads. But the Phils have played some serious small ball, homering only five times to start the season while leading the league with 56 singles and second in the NL with 43 runs.

Wilson Valdez (.429 avg, 3 2B, 5 RBI) and Ben Francisco (.320, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI) have silenced the critics on whether they could fill the holes left by the injured Chase Utley and the departed Jayson Werth. Ryan Howard is also off to a freakishly hot start, batting .480 with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs.

Catcher Brian McCann is off to a great start for the Braves, hitting .423 with five RBIs and newly acquired second baseman Dan Uggla has homered twice. Atlanta also has Chipper Jones playing solid to start. They just need All-Star Martin Prado and Heyward to turn it on.

Cole Hamels will be in need of a desperate bounce-back game on Sunday. He was shelled in Tuesday’s loss to the Mets and will hope to feast on a struggling Braves offense to get him in line with the rest of the aces.

This series will be the first test for the Phils. They can either keep up the hot start and gain some early distance on Atlanta or they could fall back to earth against a strong pitching team. The action starts tonight at 7:05 with Cliff Lee on the hill.

And for some bonus stuff, here is a little stroll down memory lane:

Hamels is Electric

By John Russo

PHILADELPHIA — Perhaps the playoffs already started for the Phillies.

With rally towels waving and the crowd excited like it’s October, the Phils took the first of their critical three-game series with the Atlanta Braves, 3-1, on Monday night behind eight strong innings from starting pitcher Cole Hamels.

The win expanded the Phillies’ lead in the NL East to four games over Atlanta. Their magic number is now eight games to wrap up a fourth straight National League East title, a feat which remarkably could come as early as this weekend.

“For us it’s just another game, another stepping stone,” said Hamels, who hasn’t lost since August 19. “I think if we’re able to go out there and play one game at a time and go after them and try and try to get the job done then we’re able to play the baseball we expect ourselves to and come away with wins.”

Hamels was efficient for the Phils, allowing only one run on six hits and a walk and striking out six. Brad Lidge struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 24th save on the season.

“Hamels has been really good,” said manager Charlie Manuel. “But in order to win a lot of games these days that’s what pitchers got to be like.”

In his last five starts, Hamels has allowed only two runs in 36 2/3 innings pitched, an ERA of 0.49.

Hamels also got three double plays from his defense, the first coming with a runner on first and third with one out in the second. That double play was key because Atlanta already had a run on the board and was set to do more damage.

“I felt like he had good command,” said Manuel. “They turned three double plays and those ground balls were big for him.”

The Phillies only needed five more hits – and some help from the Braves defense – to give Hamels the support he would need. Carlos Ruiz knocked in a run with a double in the second and Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez plated a pair of runs on groundouts in the fifth.

Brandon Beachy, making an emergency start in place of injured pitcher Jair Jurrjens, did well enough to keep the Braves in the game. Making his major-league debut, he lasted 4 1/3 innings while allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits, three walks, and a strikeout.

Shane Victorino wound up on third on a ball that Braves right fielder Jason Heyward misplayed to start the fifth and scored on a groundout by Polanco to make it a 2-1 game. Ibanez drove in Chase Utley with a fielder’s choice grounder to make it a 3-1 game later in the inning, more than enough for Hamels.

Martin Prado almost tied up the game in the sixth inning. With a man on and one out and the Phillies up 3-1, Prado’s laser went just left of the foul pole in left.

It would have been the first home run allowed by Cole Hamels since August 24, but like most everything else on this night, the flight of the ball went the Phillies’ way.

Hamels, the ace of the 2008 World Series champions, admitted  having two pitchers like Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt pitching in the same staff as him has taken a lot of weight off his shoulders this year.

“I think it puts you where you’re not as stressed, you know you don’t have to be, ‘that guy,’ you know, you don’t have to carry the whole team on your back,” Hamels said. “I think when you have one big-time pitcher on a team, guys kind of look at him to be that guy that’s always going to win, always get them out of the rut, always have that huge game and that puts a little bit more pressure on guys.”