TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Tag Archives: Ben Francisco

Phillies send Francisco to Toronto

The Phillies recent moves in the outfield squashed Ben Francisco further and further down the totem poll.

With it still understood the Phillies aren’t done signing position players, the Phillies have traded Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for reliever Frank Gailey.

Gailey was born in Philadelphia and drafted by the Blue Jays in the 23rd round of the 2007 amateur draft.

The 26-year-old has never made it to the big leagues, making it as high as Double-A ball last season. Last season he was 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA and 61 strike outs in 74 innings.

In two and a half major league seasons with the Phillies, Francisco batted .259 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs. He was the opening day starter in right field last season for the Phillies but the emergence of John Mayberry, Jr and the trade for Hunter Pence immediately made Francisco’s value seem replaceable to the Phils.

Francisco’s biggest shining moment in red pinstripes came during Game 3 of the NLDS last October. His three-run pinch-hit homer off Jaime Garcia gave the Phils a 3-0 lead en route to a 3-2 win and 2-1 series lead against the eventual champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Advertisements

2011 Phillies Moments: #6 An unlikely hero

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Jaime Garcia had the Phillis foiled, and it seemed they couldn’t do a single thing against the Cardinals left-hander.

That is, until they pinch-hit Ben Francisco in the 7th inning in hopes of sparking something for the offense. Francisco provided more than just a spark; he single-handedly won the game for the Phillies.

Though the post season was short lived, it didn’t lack in the memory department. Francisco’s blast is one of two moments that made this Top 10 list.

Garcia was cruising through the first six innings, allowing only a trio of singles. If the Phils couldn’t strike, who knew how long Cole Hamels and their bull pen could contain the eventual World Champion Cardinals powerful line up.

Shane Victorino led off the inning with a single, only his team’s fourth hit of the evening. With John Mayberry at the plate, sure-gloved catcher Yadier Molina let a pitch get past him and Victorino scampered safely to second. Mayberry and Placido Polanco proceeded to record outs, causing fans to worry Victorino was going to be stranded at second with no outs.

Read more of this post

Francisco’s heroics put Cardinals on brink of elimination

Phils pinch-hitter Ben Francisco hits a three-run home run in the 7th inning. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Phillies put their right-handed outfielder into tonight’s line up in hopes to solve Jaime Garcia.

Except, that right-handed outfield wasn’t John Mayberry Jr., who was 0-for-3 through the first seven innings. Instead, it was little used Ben Francisco that came through in a big way against the Cardinals soft-throwing lefty.

Prior to the 7th, Garcia had allowed only three hits and a walk in six shut out innings. Things looked glum for the Phillies offense, who were giving Garcia short at-bats and preserving his chances at an eight or nine-inning outing.

Cole Hamels bought the Phillies as much time as possible. Though he lasted only six innings, throwing a grueling 118 pitches, not a single runner crossed the plate as Hamels surrendered only fives hits and three walks while striking out eight.

Unfortunately for Garcia, that bought time caught up to him.

After Garcia walked Carlos Ruiz to take his chances on the pinch-hitter, he was forced to pay dearly for the mistake. An 89-MPH fastball was left over the plate for Francisco, who blasted the pitch into the left field bull pen to give the Phils a 3-0 lead.

Read more of this post

Worley man-handles Mets

Phils starter Vance Worley throws with intensity. It allowed him to throw another gem, allowing a run on five hits in seven innings while striking out a career-high nine. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

It was a very relaxed night for Vance Worley and the Phils.

After getting himself in a couple jams in the 1st and 2nd innings, Worley settled down tremendously, both on the hill and at the plate. Another good game for him was put in the books and the Phils cruised to a 9-4 pounding to the lowly Mets.

Worley pitched seven fantastic innings, allowing only a run on five hits and a walk while striking out a season and career-best nine. He also had a nice day at the dish, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

He left the game with a 9-0 lead, thanks to big days by Shane Victorino, John Mayberry and Ben Francisco. Victorino homered and tripled while driving in three runs. Mayberry had a three-run homer in the 3rd inning.

But most surprisingly, Francisco went 3-for-3 with a double and a walk. It was his first start in 31 games and he pretty much proved to Charlie Manuel that he can still contribute on this team.

Mayberry was playing first base today to give Ryan Howard another rest day. Francisco was in left field for the injured Raul Ibanez, who received a shot to his strained groin today.

The Mets got their final three runs in the 8th and 9th inning off Michael Stutes. Stutes wasn’t that sharp in his outing, allowing three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer to Lucas Duda in the 8th.

2B: Valdez (11), Francisco (10). 3B: Victorino (14). HR: Victorino (14), Mayberry (12).

WP: Worley (9-1). LP: Niese (11-11).

Boxscore.

Chased: Oswalt gets bounced in Phils loss

One streak ended tonight while another hopefully isn’t starting.

The Phils finally topped the four-run mark but lost their second straight on Tuesday night in Arizona.

Roy Oswalt got roughed up in the 7-5 loss to the D’Backs, making it through three innings before being lifted for Kyle Kendrick. Charlie Manuel didn’t say Oswalt left due to back issues but Oswalt had left before talking to reporters said Matt Gelb on Twitter.

Oswalt allowed five runs on six hits and a walk through three. He failed to strike anyone out. Much like his last start in San Diego, Oswalt’s velocity and movement in his fastball were down, forcing him to go deep in counts and not get Arizona to swing at bad pitches.

Arizona third baseman Ryan Roberts drove in a pair of runs and had a two-hit game. Pitcher Daniel Hudson had a two-run double to go with his quality start of three runs on 10 hits in six innings.

The Phillies trailed four heading into the ninth but cut the lead in half with a two-out, two-run home run by struggling outfielder Ben Francisco.

Ryan Howard had a three-hit day with a double and RBI. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Francisco also had two-hit games apiece.

Victorino led off the game with a triple and was driven in by Placido Polanco. But Arizona’s three-run 2nd gave them the lead and they never looked back.

Raul Ibanez went 0-for-4, extending his hitless streak to 25 at-bats and dropping his batting average to .171. He did walk, his first time on base since April 21.

After sweeping the lowly Padres in four games, the Phillies will turn to Joe Blanton tomorrow to avoid a sweep of an equally pathetic team in Arizona.

2B: Howard (7). 3B: Victorino (2). HR: Francisco (4).

WP: Hudson (1-4). LP: Oswalt (3-1).

Boxscore.

How long will the slump last?

22 games into the season, the Phils (15-7) have already hit their first offensive slump.

This leaves the fans wondering: is this just an early season funk or is this going to be something to worry about all season.

In the team’s last 14 games, they have failed to score more than four runs despite holding a 9-5 record in that span – thanks to their great starting pitching and playing terrible teams.

Placido Polanco has been the lone bright spot in the Phillies line up. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The struggling offense is all over the place right now. Outside of a scorching hot Placido Polanco, who is hitting .372 while driving in 15 runs (2nd on the team), the Phillies bats have gone silent.

Let’s attack the bottom of the order first. In the past week of games, the combination of Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Valdez are a combined 2-for-63 with both hits coming from Valdez on infield singles. Those slumps have them hitting .179, .230 and .254 respectively. Read more of this post

Oswalt, pen blank Padres

Roy Oswalt had a no-no going through the first 4 2/3 inning. But he also had a high pitch count running.

But despite the battling Padres, they could barely solve the right-hander, let alone score as he and the bull pen combined for a 3-0 shut out win to open the series against San Diego.

Right fielder Ben Francisco makes a catch in the fifth. He homered in the win, his third of the season. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

It was the first time the Phillies won the series opener in five series.

Oswalt allowed only one hit and two walks in his six innings of work, striking out seven. His fastball was full of life despite San Diego hitters fouling off a lot of his pitches.

One of the problems the Phils had was leaving runners on. They went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 20 on in this game, six from Ryan Howard.

Howard’s day was especially rough, going 0-for-5 with four strike outs.

But despite the offensive struggles, Mat Latos had the most frustrating game of the night. Despite sitting down Howard three times, Latos couldn’t get any short at-bats, being lifted after 107 pitches in 4 1/3 innings of work. He allowed three runs, two off solo homers, on four hits and five walks while striking out seven.

The Phils got a pair of solo home runs in the second inning. Ben Francisco hit a ball to dead center. Center fielder Cameron Maybin appeared to have a play on the ball but crashed back-first into the wall as the ball just made it over to give the Phils a 1-o lead.

Two batters later, catch Brian Schneider ripped a shot deep to right center to make it a 2-0 game.

The Phils added one more on a sacrifice fly, fielding error by Padres outfielder Chris Denorfia.

Placido Polanco had a two-hit game for the Phils. Francisco drove in a pair of runs as well.

The pitching overall was tremendous. After Oswalt’s six, David Herndon and Antonio Bastardo combined for the next two innings. Jose Contreras then earned his fifth save of the season in a rough ninth.

HR: Francisco (3), Schneider (2).

WP: Oswalt (3-0). LP: Latos (0-3). S: Contreras (5).

Boxscore.

Phillies Breakout the Big Bats; Down the Mets 10-7 After Blowing Big Lead

After last night’s downer of loss, which featured the complete shellacking of Cole Hamels by the Mets, the Phillies looked to put last night behind them. Well it wasn’t pretty but the Phillies got the job done. Heavy B, Joe Blanton the fifth starter, got the nod for the Phillies. Look at it this way: if you were expecting a pitchers duel, you thought wrong. One starter never got out of the second, the other was pulled after recording the first out in fourth.

It started out good for the first four innings for the Phillies. They knocked Mets Ace, Mike Pelfrey around the diamond and out of the game in the second inning. Pelfrey lasting only 2+ innings compared to Hamels’ 2.2 IP last night. The line on Pelfrey: 2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, (6 R), 1 BB, 1 K. The Phillies got to Pelfrey early and often. Ryan Howard blasted his second home run of the year off of Pelfrey, which capped a 4 run third inning by the Phils offense, which sent Pelfrey to the showers early.

Phillies starter, Joe Blanton was on cruise control until the fifth inning, when the wheels came off. Blanton could not get out of the fifth, going only 4.1 IP. The Mets later tied the game later in the inning when Antonio Bastardo, who relieved Blanton surrendered a single to Daniel Murphy, which scored a runner inherited from Blanton. That inherited runner scoring would mark the end of the line on Blanton’s night altogether. The line on Blanton:  4.1 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. At that point the Phillies had blown a 7 run lead.

It wasn’t looking real good at this point, but the Phillies “sleeping dragon” of an offense awoke with a roar in the bottom half of the fifth inning. With a monstrous two-run home run from Ben Francisco off of Mets reliever Blaine Boyer, gave the Fightin’ Phils the lead for good. In the bottom of the sixth, the Phillies tacked on an insurance run and never looked back. The bullpen, was lights out, surrendering two measly hits, while striking out four. Ad hoc closer, Jose Contreras, shut the door in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.

Final thoughts: I guess, the term “Runs At A Premium” doesn’t apply here. If you were either starter, it wasn’t exactly a start to write home about. Both teams surrendering double digit hit totals. It was an ugly, ugly, UGLY win… but a win is a win for the Fightin’ Phils and I will take it. Tomorrow is a Halladay.

Phillies 10 Mets 7. Final.

WP: A. Bastardo (1-0) LP: B. Boyer (0-1) SV: J. Contreras (1)

HR: (PHI) R. Howard (2), B. Francisco (2); (NYM) A. Pagan (1)

Box Score:

Mets 7 R, 12 H, 1 E

Phillies 10 R, 16 H, 1 E

Tonight’s attendance at Citizens Bank Park: 45,061. 128th consecutive sellout at CBP.

Tomorrow’s Probables:
NYM: J. Niese (0-0, 2.57 ERA) PHI: R. Halladay (0-0, 1.50 ERA). Start time: 3:05 pm