In a not so anticipated return from the minors, Brett Myers pitched decently. He pitched 5 innings giving up 3 earned runs on 3 hits. His main problem was that he couldn’t find the strike zone. He issued 5 walks on the day.
When Myers left the game it was tied 3-3. After Ryan Madson gave up a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 6th, it was 6-3. The game would end that way. The Phillies were not able to muster much offense with only 6 hits on the day. Both Shane Victorino and Geoff Jenkins hit solo homeruns. The Mets had Billy Wagner back for the game, and he actually was able to get the save. I was hoping for another romp of the Mets bullpen.
After squeaking out 2 runs over 8 innings against Johan Santana, the Phillies demolished a Billy Wagner-less Mets bullpen. Entering the 9th down 5-2, the Phillies tallied 6 runs to take the lead 8-5. Brad Lidge gave up 1 run on his way to his 22nd save in as many tries. Joe Blanton got a “No Decision” in his first start for the Phillies giving up 5 runs over 6 innings. Blanton pitched well except for spots in the 3rd and 6th innings in which he gave up a 2-run homerun in each. Sadly his nerves won’t be completely gone since he still has to start a game at home. Hopefully fans will realize that he is a better option than Adam Eaton, and Brett Myers and welcome him.
The only optimistic looking thing going into the top of the 9th was the fact that when the bullpen doors opened Duaner Sanchez came out instead of Billy Wagner. Jayson Werth lead off the inning with a single to center. Greg “pinch hit” Dobbs then came up to the plate for Pedro Feliz. He hit his league leading 19th pinch hit of the season. Shane Victorino hit yet another single to load up the bases. After that, the Mets decided to bring in submariner Joe Smith.
It was the next play that basically turned the tide of the game in the Phillies direction. Carlos Ruiz grounded to short where Jose Reyes (the Mets’ wunderkind) who aptly made a horrendous play. Reyes bobbled for a second before trying to start a double play at 2nd himself. Well in his hurry to touch before the Flyin’ Hawaiian (Shane Victorino) got there, he actually got his cleat stuck inches from the bag. The ump was right on the play and made the correct call of safe at 2nd. In Reyes’ shock and argument, he forgot to throw the ball to first to at least get one out on the play. Jayson Werth scored, and the bases were still loaded with nobody out.
After throwing 5 pitches, Joe Smith was pulled for Pedro Feliciano. The Phillies countered by pinch hitting So Taguchi for pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins who was going to bat for the pitcher Chad Durbin. Taguchi had not had a hit in a while, so it was a tough call to make, but boy did it pay off. Taguchi doubled over the head of the right fielder scoring both Dobbs and Victorino. Jimmy Rollins then also doubled in Ruiz and Taguchi. Rollins would score later in the inning on a ground ball by Ryan Howard.
Joe Smith actually shouldered the loss while only throwing 5 pitches with Feliciano taking a blown save (I’m not sure how that works). The bullpen effort by Rudy Seanez, JC Romero, and Chad Durbin was what kept the Phillies in the game. Durbin received the win by pitching a scoreless 8th.
The Phillies lost game 3 of a three game series against the Marlins today in the 11th inning 3-2. Clay Condrey came in to pitch the 11th. He loaded the bases up then gave up a walk of hit. Cole Hamels got the start, and once again pitched a wonderful game in which he was not awarded with the win. Hamels pitched 8 innings giving up only 4 hits while striking up 7. The thing that got Hamels was that two of the four hits he gave up were solo homeruns.
The second came at a costly price. The Phillies were up 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th inning when Hamels gave up a long ball to Cody Ross. The Phillies were not able to generate much offense after that, and had to rely on the bullpen to get the job done inning by inning. Ryan Madson, JC Romero, and Chad Durbin all comined for 2 scoreless innings, but Clay Condrey couldn’t keep it up allowing three hits and a walk leading to the loss.
The loss comes on the heals of a 9-5 loss on Saturday. Kyle Kendrick took the brunt of the beating. In 4 1/3 innings, Kendrick gave up 10 hits, 3 homeruns, and 7 earned runs. Pat Burrell was the star Phillie of the game going 3-5 with 2 homeruns in the game.
After the two losses, and the still somewhat hot Mets, there is now a tie amongst the top of the NL East between the two heading into their series on Tuesday. If the Marlins win tomorrow, there will be a three way tie for #1.
In case you’ve been nosing around the trade rumors still after we got Joe Blanton, who is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Mets, you might have seen some people say that we are in the running for a huge blockbuster deal to get both Matt Holliday and closer Brian Fuentes for something like Shane Victorino, Carlos Carrasco, JA Happ, and Lou Marson. Although both of those Rockies players are good, I don’t think it’s worth it to give up what’s left of our farm system just to bring in two guys. Also, with Geoff Jenkins getting hurt, it would move Jayson Werth to center, and Holliday would have to move to right. I just don’t see this deal getting done now that we already made one decent sized move.
Buster Olney reported that the Phillies traded for Oakland A’s starter Joe Blanton yesterday. It was a well known fact that the Phillies were going to make a move to bring in another starter, it was just a matter of finding the right team and players. Without having many top notch prospects in the farm system it was tough for the Phillies to bring in a big name starter like CC Sabathia or Rich Harden. Though the Phillies don’t have too much in the minors, they were still rather unwilling to trade the likes of Carlos Carrasco, Luke Donald, and Greg Golson.
The Phillies did give up one of their top prospects in 20 year old 2B Adrian Cardenas. Cardenas has been playing very well in Clearwater, but is at a position where he will not move up quickly in our organization. Left-handed pitcher Josh Outman (what a great last name for a pitcher) and outfielder Matthew Spencer were the other two included in the trade. Outman was converted into a reliever earlier in the season in hopes that he could move up quickly and join the big league bullpen. He pitched well, but not well enough to warrant a call-up. Spencer has been doing OK in Clearwater. He is more than likely one of the names that nobody will ever hear of again unless he’s included on the tail end of another trade somewhere down the line.
Although Blanton’s numbers don’t look very good this season (he is 5-12 with an ERA of 4.96), he is an innings eater, gets very little run support, and is under contract through 2010. That last part is a big reason why he was highly touted in the trade market. Often-times you will see a big name get traded for the second half of the season only to become a free agent at the end of the year and go elsewhere. Unless the Brewers make a splash in the playoffs I expect that to be the case with CC.
At any rate, Blanton is a much better option than Adam Eaton. It is presumed that Eaton will move to the bullpen. Brett Myers should be making his way back to the bigs sometime within the next 2 weeks. If he can get his stuff together and pitch decently, not even well, then the Phillies look to be in very good shape in the NL East. Right now, the Phillies are tied with the Mets who have been unreal on a current 10-game winning streak. Their run will stop, however, and they should drift back down a little bit.
The Phillies take on the Marlins and THE WORST ALL-STAR OF ALL TIMES tonight in Dan Uggla. Uggla was 0-4 with 3 Ks and grounded into a double play. As if that wasn’t enough destruction for him, he had 3 errors in the field! For all of you at thesouthfloridafan, HE IS NOT NOW, NOR WILL HE EVER BE BETTER THAN CHASE UTLEY. They will argue that Brad Lidge picked up the loss in the All-Star game, which is true. But, Lidge was called on to loosen up 6 different times in the game, and threw an estimated 100 pitches in the bullpen before finally coming in in the 15th inning. Hopefully he is rested by tonight in case we only have a 3 run lead in the 9th and it is a save situation.
The Phillies are in the mix in the NL East but with the All Star break over with, the Phillies face a tough second half of the month with practially every game on the road. They play just one series at home and that’s against the Braves. I’m hoping to see one of those games but with the Phillies success, it’s tough getting tickets. I liked my choices a lot better when I checked out some baseball ticket brokers because the selection at the Phillies box office were pretty poor.
The Phillies enter All-Star Weekend with a .5 game lead for first place in the NL East. Somehow the Mets picked up there season and have actually been playing well. I guess Willie Randolph really was the problem for them. For us, it’s our starting pitching. The Phillies won 2 out of three against the Diamondbacks to lead into the break but the one loss was when Adam Eaton got blasted for 8 runs in 3 2/3 innings. The Dbacks scored 8 runs in the 4th. That’s tough to come back from. I fully expect the Phillies to add another starter to the rotation before the trace deadline of July 31st. They have made an initial offer for AJ Burnett from the Blue Jays, and Erik Bedard has been a hot topic ever since that Philly radio show he did.
A .5 game lead in the divisios bodes well for a team that normally plays it’s best ball in the second half of the season. I have said all along that the Marlins won’t last because they are too young. The Mets are talented but I don’t think they have the ability to stay strong mentally to compete. All of them have to be playing well to win, whereas the Phillies hardly ever have everyone playing well at the same time. We need to get rid of Adam Eaton, and keep Myers in the minors to stay strong into the playoffs. Our bullpen has fantastic with Brad Lidge being arguably the best closer this season. The rest of those guys (Tom Gordon excluded) have also been very good.
Enjoy All-Star Weekend (even though it’s during the week). I won’t be able to because I am on vacation in northern Michigan with no TV. Luckily there is a bar and a place that has wireless so I can find out what’s going on eventually!
OK. I give Ryan Howard a lot of crap for hitting around .200. But the fact of the matter is that when he hits the ball it’s going someplace hard, and usually far away!
Wednesday he hit the go ahead solo homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning to propel us to an eventual 4-2 win. Pedro Feliz followed soon after Howard with a solo shot of his own for insurance. Then last night Howard took sole possession of the home run lead with 2 homeruns in the game. He now has 27 homeruns, 83 RBIs, and is only batting .234! He could have 100 RBIs already if he was batting .290. That is simply unbelievable.
The Phillies won 4-1 over the Cardinals with Old Man Moyer pitching yet another gem. He went 7 innings while giving up the 1 run on 7 hits. Ryan Madson pitched a shutout 8th, and a little into the 9th before JC Romero came in to get his first save of the season. Lidge has been used quite a bit lately, and it’s good to know that somebody else can handle the pressure of the situation.
Sadly Pat Burrell was not named the final player for the NL All-Star team. The Phillies will, however, be well represented with Chase Utley getting the start at 2nd base, and hopefully having the game be saved by Brad Lidge. Utley is penciled in to take part in the Homerun Derby as well. Hopefully he won’t go Bobby Abreu on us!
The Cardinals were able to completely dismantle the Phillies offense last night as they shut them out for the win. Cole Hamels picked up the loss but pitched wonderfully. He only gave up 3 hits in 7 innings. 2 of those hits were solo homeruns giving the Cardinals a 2-0 victory.
Joel Pineiro got the win in what is the Phillies 4th straight loss. Hopefully they can pick things up and end the first half strong before the All-Star break. The Phillies got just 6 hits in the whole game. That does not lead to success.
On the trade rumor note; Erik Bedard has had his name thrown around a lot here in Philly. He even did a radio interview with a local station. Check out the interview here. Wouldn’t mind getting him as our #2 and getting rid of Myers or Eaton all together.
So I come back from a nice holiday weekend vacation to watch the Phillies come up just short of the Mets 10-9 yesterday after Adam Eaton did all he could to hand the Mets the game. I tuned into the game at the beginning of the 4th inning to see a highlight reel of the Mets getting hit after hit after hit. When all was said and done Eaton had given up 8 runs on 10 hits in just 2 2/3 innings.
After spotting the Mets an 8-0 lead, I turned away from the game. I checked back in to see two homeruns. One by Chase Utley to bring the score a little closer…now 8-1. The next one I saw was David Wright’s welcome to the Majors shot off of debuting pitcher RJ Swindle.
The Phillies were able to get to the Mets’ pen for 7 runs in the final three innings, but fell just short when Jayson Werth flew out to center to end the game. Pedro Feliz drove in two just before that and was on 2nd, but Werth couldn’t pull out a hit.
Tom Gordon is now on the DL (finally). Myers is still at Lehigh Valley (where he might be for a while seeing as how he won’t close for us again with the extension of Brad Lidge), and Adam Eaton is bad (to put it nicely. Bottom line: THE PHILLIES NEED TO GET SOME PITCHING BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE!!!!
Oh yeah. Vote for Pat Burrell to be the last man in on the NL All-Star team.
Now that we are done with the latest stretch of interleague play, it is time to reload. The Phillies started their new look yesterday by demoting Brett Myers to AAA. Myers has been struggling all year except for 2 starts. I have been saying for a while that they needed to do something with him. I wasn’t expecting to see him go to the minors, but that might actually be the best thing for everybody. The Phillies purchased the contract of RJ Swindle for the time being. It is unknown how many starts Myers will make for the Iron Pigs, but it should be somewhere close to 4.
The second part of reloading took place last night against the Atlanta Braves as the Phillies won 8-3. Kyle Kendrick got the win to go to 8-3 by pitching a quality start (6 innings, 3 runs). The Phillies bullpen got it going again with JC Romero, Tom Gordon, and Brad Lidge each pitching a shutout inning respectively. Pat Burrell hit his 20th homerun of the year. Shane Victorino also went yard.
The top 6 men in the lineup (Rollins, Vic, Utley, Howard, Burrell, and Jenkins) each had 2 hits, with Jayson Werth also going 1-1 after he pinch ran for Pat Burrell. Greg Dobbs did his job by getting a pinch hit for Tom Gordon in the 9th. Besides the 2 homeruns, and a double by Jenkins, the rest of the Phillies 14 hits were singles. Paired with 6 walks and a couple throwing errors by the Braves, we had a lot of men on base to get those runs.
The series against the Braves continues right now actually. In the bottom of the 8th, we are up a couple runs 5-3 after both Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard hit their 21st homeruns of the season. Hopefully they can add a couple more or just hold off the Braves and get it to Lidge to close it out.
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