Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Starlin Castro

Series Preview: at Chicago Cubs

PHI: 18-19, 5th in NL East; CHC: 15-21, 5th in NL Central

When: May 16-17
Where: Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL)

Probable Pitchers
Wednesday: Kyle Kendrick (0-3, 7.32) vs Matt Garza (2-1, 2.36)
Thursday: Roy Halladay (3-3, 3.20) vs Chris Volstad (0-5, 6.92)

Broadcast Info
Wednesday, 8:05, CSN
Thursday, 8:05, PHL 17
All Games on 94.1 FM

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Garza Stymies Phillies

Matt Garza was darn-near unhittable for the Cubs.

One hit, one walk and 10 strike outs; that was the final line for Garza through seven scoreless innings, shutting down the Philles in the Cubs 5-1 win Sunday afternoon.

Philadelphia got 1-2-3 inning out of Kyle Kendrick to start the game and a lead-off single from Jimmy Rollins. But it all went downhill after Juan Pierre reached on a fielder’s choice and was thrown out trying to take second.

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Bats Go Back In Hiding As Phils Lose to Cubs

Phillies SP Roy Halladay walks back to the mound after Cubs CF Tony Campana scores on a Starlin Castro single in the 4th inning. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

Whatever the Phillies did on their day off yesterday they left their bats at home.

They came back and dropped the first game of the series to the Cubs, 5-1. You could put some blame on home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, who called a terrible game like usual but in the end the bats didn’t show up when it counted most.

Starting in the 1st inning, the Phils squandered a prime scoring chance off Cubs starter Paul Maholm.

Juan Pierre led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and got to third on a Placido Polanco single. But back-to-back pop-ups by Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence and a ground out by Shane Victorino ended the early scoring threat, setting the tone for the offense.

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Series Preview: vs Chicago Cubs

PHI: 9-10, 4th in NL East; CHC: 6-13, 6th in NL Central

When: April 27-30
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Roy Halladay (3-1, 1.50) vs Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36)
Saturday: Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34) vs Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60)
Sunday: Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 9.39) vs Matt Garza (0-1, 3.38)
Monday: Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16) vs Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 4.13)

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

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Welcome to the Mini Mart

The Phils Chase Utley is gunned down at home in the 8th inning by Starlin Castro. Cubs catcher Geovany Soto blocked the plate. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Michael Martinez is turning into the 2011 version of Wilson Valdez.

Martinez’s two-out, two-run double in the top of the 9th gave the Phils a 4-2 lead and come-from-behind win over the Cubs Tuesday night. It was the second clutch hit for Martinez in the past week, slowly turning the groans to cheers in the Philadelphia crowd.

With two outs, Ben Francisco and Jimmy Rollins hit back-to-back singles before Martinez’s blooping double down the first base line. The ball got caught up in the Phillies bull pen, allowing Rollins to score from first base and add an extra run to the already go-ahead hit.

Before the 8th inning, it was Chicago’s game. They were hitting the cover off the ball all game but could only muster two runs in the 1st and none after. Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena all had multi-hit games for the Cubs.

But, despite Utley and Martinez’s heroics, the night belonged to a certain young short stop for the Cubs.

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Heat gets to Halladay as Phils lose

Phils starter Roy Halladay left the game in the 5th inning with heat exhaustion. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

With the temperature at 91 degrees by first pitch, Roy Halladay was still donning his signature 3/4-sleeved shirt.

Common sense kicked in and the heat forced the right-hander to remove that shirt. But then, fatigue and heat exhaustion also settled in and Halladay’s day was done in the 5th inning, leading to a poor outing by the Phillies ace.

Chicago took advantage of a weary Doc and weak Phillies bull pen as they went on to win, 6-1, and take the first game of the series against the hardest pitcher they would face.

Halladay allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk in four-plus innings of work while managing only one strike out. He left the game after allowing a lead-off single to Starlin Castro in the 5th.

The 3rd inning took the most of Halladay. The Cubs, already up 1-0, scored two runs and forced Halladay to throw a grueling 31 pitches. Rodrigo Lopez singled, Kosuke Fukudome walked and Castro singled to start the inning. Aramis Ramirez followed up with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 and Carlos Pena singled home Fukudome to make it 3-0.

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Oswalt, Phils recover from rough first

Roy Oswalt struck out five in seven innings Sunday afternoon in Philly. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Roy Oswalt has become very hittable this season. But after a 1st inning that looked like it would lead to very a long day for the 33-year-old righty, Oswalt settled in beautifully.

Oswalt pitched seven innings and struck out five, snapping a six-game streak of four or less strike outsas the Phils overcame a three-run 1st by the Cubs to win, 4-3.

The three runs were the only runs Oswalt allowed in the game. He allowed only one hit and two walks in the remaining six innings to keep the team in it.

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Series Preview: vs Chicago Cubs

PHI: 37-25, 1st in NL East; CHI (N): 24-36, 5th in NL Central

When: June 9-12
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philly, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Thursday: Kyle Kendrick (3-4, 3.78) vs Randy Wells (1-1, 5.74)
Friday: Roy Halladay (8-3, 2.56) vs Carlos Zambrano (5-2, 3.98)
Saturday: Cliff Lee (5-5, 3.92) vs Matt Garza (2-5, 4.07)
Sunday: Roy Oswalt (3-4, 3.05) vs Doug Davis (0-5, 6.38)

Broadcast Info
Thursday, 7:05, CSN
Friday, 7:05, CSN
Saturday, 4:05, FOX
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

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Wild Ninth Inning Results In Victory

Down to their last out, the Phillies looked destined  for another frustrating defeat.  But Placido Polanco came through with the game-tying RBI single.  Polanco was just activated off the disabled list before this afternoon’s game.  The Phillies were able to get to Cubs closer Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning to rack up four runs on their way to a 4-1 victory.

Marmol was very wild in this game.  He walked five Phillies batters in the ninth inning, which allowed the Phillies many chances to take the lead.  After Polanco’s RBI game-tying single, Ross Gload scored on a Marmol wild pitch to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.  They added two more insurance runs courtesy of an RBI infield single by Raul Ibanez and a bases loaded walk by Jayson Werth.

Cole Hamels turned in yet another phenomial outing.  Hamels threw seven innings surrendering one run on eight hits with three walks and six strikeouts.  The earned run came on a suicide squeeze by Ryan Theriot that allowed Starlin Castro to score from third base.  It’s really remarkable how well Hamels has pitched this season and still doesn’t have the support of the fanbase.  Once again, he received no offensive support in his seven innings and ended up with a no decision.  Hamels was able to lower his earned-run average to 3.63.

Sure the Phillies came back and got a much needed victory this afternoon.  But there is one statistic that is simply troubling.  The Phillies struck out eight times today, three of them looking.  That is simply inexcusable.  When you’re struggling like the Phillies offense has been, you have to lift the bat off your shoulders and swing away.  One player that has been frustrating to watch recently is Werth.  Werth struck out twice again today and his RBI walk was meaningless.  He goes down looking on strikes more than anybody I’ve seen this season.  He currently leads the TTB Backwards K fine list with $25,000 owed so far this season.  Since he’s in a contract year, he really should be swinging for the fences and not settling for taking pitches.  Werth really needs to step it up in the second half if he wants that big payday.

Pitching? What Pitching?

Phillies pitcher jamie Moyer holds his head low after allowing a solo home run to Cubs' Alfonso Soriano in the third inning Thursday. Moyer allowed six runs in three innings in the 12-6 loss. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Well the Phillies were still on the All-Star break when they traveled to Chicago for a four-game set. Jamie Moyer and the pen got beat like a bunch of red-headed step-children by the Cubs’ bats as they lost 12-6 Thursday night in the Windy City.

Ryan Howard got things going for the Phillies early with his two-run bomb onto Sheffield Avenue in the first inning. That blast gave the Phillies a quick 2-0 lead that was quickly erased in the bottom half by Aramis Ramirez’s two-run double. Moyer’s day did not get better as he was tacked for six runs total in only three innings on five hits and two hit-batters while striking out one. Jose Contreras allowed five runs in his 2/3’s of an inning.

Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano had three hits and Ramirez drove in four runs as they led the Cubs line up, that seemed to be hitting the ball at will. In fact, only Marlon Byrd, the player I deemed to watch for the series, went hitless among position players yet being drilled twice by Moyer and Contreras and walked once.

The Phillies scored four runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. After RBI singles by Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez, Howard hit a two-run blast for his 19th of the season. It was also the second multi-homer game of the season for him. But like all rallies ended by him, Jayson Werth popped up to end the game.

HR: Howard 2 (19).

WP: Dempster. LP: Moyer (9-9).