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Category Archives: NLDS

Howard may have torn Achilles

Phils slugger Ryan Howard is helped off the field after injuring his left Achilles on the final at-bat of the 2011 season. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

In mere seconds, a lot went completely wrong for Ryan Howard.

His ground ball ended the Phillies season in a completely painful way, and more than just heart break. Howard stumbled out of the box after his grounder to Cards second baseman Nick Punto and fell halfway down the baseline in pain.

It’s his left Achilles. And in Howard’s mind, it may have been torn on the play. He will know for sure tomorrow when he gets an MRI on the heel.

“I was trying to run and I just felt this pop,” Howard said. “The whole thing went numb, like it was on fire.”

As many know, Howard had been playing the better part of the second half of the season with bursitis in his foot. Bothering the Big Piece all season, he could barely run the bases. His over-exertion on the final at-bat may have been what caused the injury.

A torn Achilles can be very serious. If it is in fact that, Howard will require surgery and could be shelved for nearly a year.

Imagine a season without Ryan Howard and the complaints will finally subside.


Disappointing End: Carpenter, Cards bounce Phillies from postseason

Phils slugger Ryan Howard writhes in pain after injurying his foot on the last out of the game. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

For the second straight season, the Phillies season came down to Ryan Howard and, for the second straight season, Howard was retired for the final out of the Phillies season.

A season, which was record setting, and just flat out thrilling to watch, ended in a flash at the hands of Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals as the Phillies fell 1-0 at Citizens Bank Park.

Here’s how it went down:

The crowd came out in drones and the Phillies looked to make it back to their 4th straight National League Championship series. Roy Halladay was on the mound opposing Carpenter in the biggest game of the season for both teams.

As has been well noted, Halladay struggles in the first inning of starts and Rafael Furcal took note of that fact and led off the game with a triple. Skip Schumaker followed with an RBI double and the Cardinals were in business early with a 1-0 lead. Doc settled down and wiggled his way out of trouble thanks to a heads-up play from Chase Utley and the Phillies kept the damage to a minimum.

Unfortunately, that was all Carpenter would need. He set the Phillies down in order during 3 of the first 5 innings. The Phillies threatened in the 2nd with a 1-out double from Shane Victorino and then again in the 4th before Raul Ibanez flew out to the warning track with runners on the corners. From the 6th inning on, the Phillies only managed two base runners; an Utley single and pinch hitter Ross Gload reaching on a strikeout with a wild pitch.

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Philly: “I Think You Can”

Visit Philly, known for their amazing billboards plastered all around the cit of Philadelphia as well as their pictures posted on their site and Twitter, hit another home run.

Just like the rest of the fans, Visit Philly summed up in four words what the rest of us are thinking…

Game 5 Mayhem

The Texas Rangers, fresh off an elimination of the Rays, can sit at home while six teams fight to move onto the League Championship Series.

The Yanks forced a fifth game on Tuesday while the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, with their backs seemingly on the ropes, punched back at the Phillies and Brewers respectively. The NLDS Game 5’s will be tomorrow.

So, who will move on and who will go home? Detroit’s Doug Fister and Yankee rookie Ivan Nova have the weight of their seasons lying firmly on their shoulders. Tonight, those two will duel at 8:07 ET.

For the Diamondbacks, their ace Ian Kennedy will face Brewers #2 Yovani Gollardo at 5:07 ET. Kennedy was lit up in his Game 1 start and Gollardo cruised to a Game 2 win. Arizona won both Games 3 and 4 at home, forcing the series to return to Milwaukee.

The Phils and Cards traded blows. Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter will match up once again. If you remember, Halladay gave up a three-run homer to Lance Berkman in Game 1 before settling down. Carpenter proceeded to implode in the 4th inning and his night ended drastically.

Tune in to TBS (shameless plug for an awful sports broadcasting station) for the games

LaRussa’s criticism of umpires lands him a fine from MLB

MLB had to do something about Tony LaRussa’s comments during a Game 2 in-dugout interview.

The comment: “I would add — which could get me in trouble, but I’m going to add anyway — is that we are pitching to two different strike zones.”

You’re right, Tony. You did get in trouble.

LaRussa was fined an undisclosed amount by the Commissioner’s Office, a slap on the wrist to remind LaRussa not to cry about Jerry Meals’ rather awful strike zone on National TV.

First pitch for Game 3 is tonight at 5:07. Cole Hamels will take the hill for the Phils against Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia in a battle of the lefties. John Mayberry will get the start in left field over Raul Ibanez.

MLB Playoff Watch

After a weekend of baseball heading into the Phils Game 2 vs St. Louis, we have a handful of great series’ brewing.

The Yankees, Brewers and Rays each took the first games of their series, with the Brewers being the only team to manage a 2-0 lead after the first couple of days

Yesterday, the Rays were out-hit by the Rangers in an 8-6 loss after blowing out Texas in Game 1.

Earlier today, the Tigers shut down the Yanks 5-3 in Game 2. Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the 1st inning and tacked on another RBI in the 6th. Tigers starter Maz Scherzer allowed only two hits in six shut out innings.

In the National League, the Brewers were able to hold off Arizona for a second straight game, sending the series out west with the D’Backs needing to rattle off three straight wins. After the D’Backs tied the game at four, the Brewers exploded for five runs in the 6th en route to a 9-4 win.

The Phillies host the Cardinals at 8:37 in Philadelphia. Cliff Lee will face Chris Carpenter.

NLDS Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs Arizona Cardinals

Arizona: 94-68; 1st in NL West
Milwaukee:96-66; 1st in NL Central

Game 1: Oct. 1, 2:07 PM – Yovani Gallardo (17-10 3.52) vs. Ian Kennedy (21-4 2.88)
Game 2: Oct. 2, 4:37 PM – Shaun Marcum (13-7 3.54) / Zack Greinke (16-6 3.83) vs. Daniel Hudson (16-12 3.49)
Game 3: Oct. 4 – Joe Saunders (12-13 3.69) vs. Shaun Marcum (13-7 3.54) / Zack Greinke (16-6 3.83)
Game 4*: Oct. 5 – Josh Collmenter (10-10 3.38) vs. Randy Wolf (13-10 3.69)
Game 5*: Oct. 7 – (TBD vs TBD)

Road to the Playoffs
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Rookies, post season roster and contracts discussed today

A lot was discussed this past hour about the post season roster and beyond.

This includes the fate of the Phillies September call-ups, the size of the post season roster and a few off season moves.

Relivers Joe Savery and Justin De Fratus will go to Clearwater when playoffs begin to keep throwing just in case. They will be joined by Domonic Brown, who will not be an option for the post season roster.

Reliever Michael Schwimer and outfield Brandon Moss will be sent home at the end of the regular season.

In regards to the post season roster, the Phils ar flirting with the idea of carrying 11 pitchers. That will include the four starters, Ryan Madson, Antonio Bastardo, Brad Lidge, Michael Stutes and Vance Worley. Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton and David Herndon will battle for the 10th and optional 11th pitching spot.

By carrying 14 hitters, they will have eight starters, a back-up catcher and five bench players for hitting, running and fielding.

And in some future news, the Phillies have extended contract offers to every single coaching position for next season. A 99-win season would do that.

2010 Moment: #7 Hot as Cole

With the fist pump, Cole Hamels celebrates his five-hit shut out of the Reds to seal the NLDS. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter in game one of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds. Roy Oswalt followed up with a less-than-stellar performance in which the Phillies bull pen out-pitched Cincy’s in game two.

With the Phillies holding a 2-0 series lead, it was up to Cole Hamels to shut the door on Cincinnati in their home park.

Hamels kept loose that day. He went to the bar and watched some football that Sunday. In fact, a couple of Reds fans sent over two shots of tequila to try and throw the left-hander off his game. But the attempt was intercepted by two Phillies fans, who downed the shots and let Hamels stay focused.

If only Hamels had taken those shots. Hamels allowed five hits and struck out nine in a complete game shut out of the Reds, 2-0, lifting the Phillies to their third straight NLCS.

It was one of the Hamels’ finest starts in his career. He blew through the Reds line up, which put together the best offensive season in the National League. In the series, the Phillies pitchers held the Reds to only 11 hits, a division series record held by the New York Yankees in 1998.

The Phillies got another unearned run in the first inning. After singles by Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard to put runners on the corners, Jayson Werth hit a ground ball that was fielded by Orlando Cabrera and thrown wide to let Polanco score. Chase Utley then hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to give the Phils a 2-0 lead and all they would need for Hamels.

The ninth inning was a test for Hamels. And he aced it (pun intended). Brandon Phillips led-off with a single but Joey Votto, who hit 37 homers and drove in 113 runs in the regular season, hit into a double play. And in fitting fashion, Scott Rolen, who couldn’t hit the ball all series, struck out to end the game.

*moment submitted by @MattyTets on Twitter.
Top 10
10. Chooch’s walk-off HR against St. Louis
9. Taser bro
8. Moyer’s CG/SHO

A Halladay In Doc-tober

There was something special in the air Wednesday night. Roy Halladay, making his post season debut, no-hit the best offense in the National League as the Phils took game one, 4-0.

It was the second no-hitter in post season history with the first being a perfect game by the Yankees’ Don Larson in the 1956 World Series.

Phillies ace Roy Oswalt and catcher Carlos Ruiz after Doc threw the second no-hitter in post season history. The Phils won 4-0 and took a 1-0 lead in the NLDS. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Eight strike outs and a walk were all Doc registered in his 104 pitches thrown. The walk came in the fifth inning in an at-bat that should have resulted in a strike out.

The Phils got the scoring going early for Halladay, chasing Reds starter Edinson Volquez in the second inning. Chase Utley drove in Shane Victorino after the centerfielder’s one out double.

The Phils struck Volquez with two outs in the next inning. With two outs, Carlos Ruiz walked and Wilson Valdez, making the start in place of Placido Polanco, reached on an infield hit.

Doc followed up with an RBI liner to left field to make it a 2-0 game, his first post season hit in his first post season at-bat, giving him more hits on the game than the Reds combined.

Victorino then followed up with a two-run single to center to cap-off an eight-hit at-bat, chasing Volquez and ending the game’s scoring.

Cincy brought out Travis Wood to stifle the Phils offense and the Reds bull pen held the Phillies to one hit in the last 7 1/3 innings. But that didn’t matter as their offense got completely shut down by Halladay, who threw a perfect game back in May against the Marlins.

It was truly a special night for Halladay and all Phillies fans as the Phils took a 1-0 series lead over the Reds. Roy Oswalt will take the mound on Friday in game two.

2B: Victorino (1)

WP: Halladay. LP: Volquez.