Tag Archives: Brewers

Another Walk Off!

24 Jul

A little bit of timely hitting can go a long way.  Just ask a team like the Phillies, that hadn’t had 9th inning comeback all year.

That is, until last night when they tagged Francisco Rodriguez for four runs in the bottom of the 9th.  K-Rod had no control, and the Phillies took advantage.

They had previously been 0-42 in those situations.

Ryan Howard had a big night at the plate, going with a homer, double, and a 2-run single. Chase Utley reached base four times and scored two runs. He and Howard had back-to-back homers in the first inning.

Roy Halladay wasn’t exactly the Halladay that we’ve grown accustomed to over the last few seasons, but he thinks he’s on the right track, and insists that he feels healthy.

“I understand I haven’t had a lot of time back on the mound,” Halladay said. “But I expect more. I feel like I should be getting better results. I expect to be better than that.  As good as I feel, I believe I can compete,” he said. “Sure, there’s some rust. But ultimately, I feel I can compete.”
What does it all mean?
I’m not really sure.  Probably nothing, but if anything is going to change the Phillies fortunes, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay need to get hot.  Scorching hot  But until this team is mathematically eliminated, expect them to keep trying.
Cliff Lee takes to the mound Tuesday night as the Phillies try for a third straight win. He faces another former American League Cy Young winner in Zack Greinke.

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A Fan’s Letter to Jimmy Rollins…

15 Dec

Dear Jimmy,

First let me open up by saying that I am extremely grateful for the efforts that you have made in the past to the team that I love, and in the commumity that I live in.  Your charitable efforts have blessed so many children in the community.  From your efforts with Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania, to your involvement in the RBI program.  You have helped so many children in our area and we are forever in your debt.  Thank you.

So let’s get to the reason that I’m writing this letter to you.  Sure, I’m a sports writer, but I’m also a Phillies fan.  I follow you on Twitter, and I’m sure you’re pleased to know we’re friends on Facebook.  I’ve worn your #11 jersey on my back, and I have your bobblehead on my writing desk. You’re my Shortstop.  You’re our Shortstop, and I’d like to keep it that way.

Read the rest here…

 

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The Home Stretch

12 Sep

Technically the Phillies could win the National League East while they are in Houston.  If the Phillies sweep and the Braves are swept, then the Division is theirs on Wednesday… But that’s pretty unlikely.

Sunday’s loss is nothing more then that.  One loss after six great wins.  The Phillies swept Atlanta and took three of four from a good team in Milwaukee. These two teams are very likely going to make the it to the Postseason, and winning six of seven with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard playing very little is a huge deal.  Our pitching did what they do, and kept the game in reach.

Do I think that the Phillies will sweep in Houston?  Yes.  I do.

Do I think that the Braves will be swept in Florida?  No, I don’t.

The most likely scenario is that the Phillies will probably clinch this Thursday or Friday at home.  The Phillies are playing well, but are pretty banged up, and the bullpen looks tired.  I’d like to see them get healthy and play out their last few games tough in preparation for October.

I don’t care how many wins they rack up at the end of the season.  They will only be the best Phillies team in Phillies history if they cap it off with a title at the end of October.

 

Two Tough Losses

20 Apr

docloss.jpg

Charlie
Manual said the other night that he was worried about the Phillies offensive
power. 

 

The
Phillies have suffered back-to-back losses, and if Cliff Lee and the boys with
the bats can’t get things figured out today, than the Phillies will officially
have themselves a losing streak.  

 

You
might say that it’s April and it’s too early to panic. 

 

Really,
 Did you watch that game last night?  Where was the hustle? 

 

Joe
Blanton sure pitched well enough to win on Monday, and on Tuesday Roy Halladay
wasn’t as sharp as usual, but the Phillies offered him zero run support.
 They only managed two hits all night, but had their chances.  Give Doc a night to be human every now and then, but the other eight guys in the line up are soon going to have some explaining to do. 

 

The
Phillies have scored no more than 4 runs in any game since April 9th, and have
only one extra base hit in their last three games.  Without Chase Utley, and
hitters like Jayson Werth in the line-up people are wondering where exactly the
power is going to come from. 

 

“We will,”
Phils shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. “I don’t question that. Jayson, that’s
not even a part of this discussion anymore. Chase is a big part of the offense
and defense. He brings energy himself. But we’ve won games without him. We’ve
done it in the past. It’s just another challenge for us again. … Lately,
we’ve been a little flat. The energy has been a little bit flat. That could be
because we haven’t been tearing the cover off the ball. We’ve got to find ways
to win those games regardless, but fortunately, it’s only 16 games into the
season. We’ll get this out of the way early.”

 

Their numbers are indeed
worrisome. 


Cliff Lee looks to be the stopper of this skid.  Cliff has faced the Brewers once in his career, on Sept. 25, 2009, giving up seven runs on nine hits in six innings, but that’s not going to be the case today…. I hope.

 

Side Notes –

 

Some good newsRoy
Oswalt
is feeling well after straining his back last week.  He will make his scheduled start on Thursday
against San Diego.  


Joe Blanton – Since I didn’t get a chance to write at all in the last few days, I did want to just say that I’m happy that Joe Blanton had such a great start on Monday.   It’s too bad he didn’t get the win, because he deserved it. 


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Breaking Down the National League

30 Jan

images.jpgStarting Tuesday, and over the next week I’m going to go through the N.L. East starting at the bottom and work my way up to my predicted winner of the Division.  You can’t ever say that anything in this game is a lock, but the National League East is probably the easiest of the three in the N.L. to project.  The Central and West are going to be a little more competitive, especially the Central which is going to have a pretty interesting three horse race. 

If I had to call it today this is where I’d go with the National League Central.

1. Cincinnati Reds
2. St. Louis Cardinals
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. Houston Astros
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Pittsburgh Pirates

Much like the Phillies of 2006-07 the Reds are a team on the rise.  They have some home brewed talent and good pitching.  I’m probably going out on a limb, but I think that Aroldis Chapman might just be the Rookie of the Year in the National League. With Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips, I think it’s likely that they will retain their Division Crown.

I don’t know how the Cardinals haven’t gone further in the last few years.  Since 2006 they have made the playoffs twice, with a World Series Championship in 2006.  They look pretty similar to last years team with the only notable addition being Lance Berkman who will probably be playing right field.  That should be interesting since Busch Stadium has a pretty large outfield, and Berkman is really a first baseman, What their GM was thinking this off-season, I don’t know.  Albert will cost them a lot if they re-sign him, but not doing anything this winter will cost them more. I think they’ll probably take the Wild Card

The Brewers made some impressive moves this winter trading for Zack Greinke, and Shaun Marcum, but with a new manager and system I think it might be another year before this team produces a playoff berth again.

The Houston Astros also did squat this off-season. They have a lot of talent on the farm that needs to grow up, because this team is getting old.  I smell a Carlos Lee/ Hunter Pence fire sale at the trade deadline. If not I’d expect to see Lee move to first base.  The Astros have not made the playoffs in years, so they need to do something too keep their fans interested because it’s getting pretty dull in Houston.

The best thing to see this year at Wrigley Field is once again, Wrigley Field.  Sure they got Matt Garza, and Zambrano is taking his meds, but this team has a new manager, and their outfield is old.  Carlos Pena should add a little pop, and Starlin Castro is great player in the making but once again Cubs fans, this isn’t your year.

PNC Park is one of the nicest Stadiums that I have visited in the Major Leagues, it’s such a shame that the Pirate‘s ownership doesn’t take the same pride in their team.  They’ve brought in Lyle Overbay as a free agent, and Clint Hurdle is their new manager, so hopefully they can make an impression on this otherwise young team.

Tomorrow I’ll look at the N.L. West. 

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Kendrick Denied Sweep

5 Sep

kendrick.jpgSunday saw another rough start for Kyle Kendrick and the Philadelphia Phillies.  Kyle surrendered a three run homer to Prince Fielder in the first inning and the Brewers would lead the game from that point on.  Kyle has really begun to struggle in his most recent starts going 2-4 in his last six and has allowed 24 runs in his last 30 2/3 innings… That’s a 7+ ERA.  As far as fifth starters go that’s not the worst it could be, but when you’re one game back in September and fighting for your playoff lives, you’re going to need a little more. 

Charlie Manuel couldn’t really offer much on Kyle’s performance post game.  “Today he made some bad pitches…It’s command.  The sinker is his best pitch, and that;s the ball he has to be agressive with around the plate… It all comes back to his command” Manuel said.

Kendrick’s fatal pitch to Prince Fielder came with first base open.  Chooch set up outside, but the ball flew right into the wheelhouse of Prince and he blasted it.  Hours after the game Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee was still steaming over the pitch. 

Elementary, Watson,” Dubee told CSNPhilly.com. “Chooch knew. You saw where he was setting up.”  It was a “Bad miss”  Dubee continuted. 

Being agressive is one thing, but with Prince in the box it was really the situation where you don’t want to give him anything that he can get the fat part of the bat onto. 

“It’s all my fault,” Kendrick said. “I was just trying to stay aggressive and minimize the damage. It’s my fault. You learn.”  Only September is not the time for him to be trying to figure things out. 

vanceworley.jpgKyle Kendrick is not soley to blame for the Phillies 6-2 loss to the Brewers as the offense did very little after the second inning. 

The Phillies failed to capitolize on the Braves loss to the Marlins which would have given them a share of the Division lead.  The one bright spot is that they didn’t lose any ground.  Taking the doubleheader tomorrow will bring them one small step closer.  Game one is still rumored to have call up Vance Worley as the Phillies starter.  It seems like a done deal to me. 

 Side Notes –

Baez – Should rehab in Triple A Lehigh Valley tomorrow.  Do you care?

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Phils Win as Halladay Scuffles

5 Sep

sept112.jpgThe Phillies are once again the comeback kids. 

The Brewers never held the lead for more then a few outs as the Phillies answered each of the Brew Crew’s offensive outbursts.  On a night were Roy Halladay didn’t pitch his best, and battled with a tough strike zone, the Phillies backed their Ace with a couple bombs and some really heads up base running. 

Home plate umpire Mike Estabrook wasn’t going to give Halladay any sort of edge if he was going to bring down the power of Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Cory Hart.  Halladay was visibly upset that Estabrook was calling things so tight.  Roy appeared to have Braun rung up twice but Estabrook wasn’t feeling Roy’s fastballs along the paint.  In the end it didn’t really matter as Roy Halladay earned his 17th win of the season which ties him for a share of the National League lead.  Roy was glad his team backed his efforts.

“I’m fortunate the home runs that I gave up were solo homers, and we
were able to score some runs, especially those two in the seventh on
heads-up baseball,” Halladay said.

Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth went back-to-back for the second time this week with home runs, but it was the sac fly from Placido Polanco that was probably the most exciting play from the batters box.  With the bases loaded in the 7th Polly hit a fly ball to left field that Ryan Braun caught and threw home.  With Carlos Ruiz charging to the plate, catcher Jonathan Lucroy misread the throw and the ball bounded to the back stop.  Wilson Valdez, who was on second read it perfectly and raced to the plate and beat Lucroy’s tag and gave the Phillies the 5-4 lead which stood for the night. 

Valdez has been pretty invaluable to a team that has been plagued with injuries to it’s biggest stars.  Wilson has filled in for Jimmy and Chase very nicely and despite his offensive woes and many GDP’s he’s really provided the Phillies with a great bit of positivity, great fielding, energy on the bench, .

Romero, Madson and Lidge closed the door on the power hitting Crew and sealed the victory for Halladay. 

The Phillies are now at a season high 20 games over .500 and still are just one small game back behind the Atlanta Braves who also won on Saturday night.

Side Notes –

Wild Card – Giants won, so no gain tonight.

Call Ups – Add pitcher Scott Mathieson to the list of names that will be available out of the bullpen on Sunday.  Pitchers Vance Worley and Nate Robertson will be getting the call, but they won’t be activated until Monday.  It’s been speculated that Vance Worley will be the Phillies other starter during Monday’s doubleheader.  Roy Oswalt will be the other.  Oswalt will likely be able to choose whither he would like to start game 1 or game 2, and Worley, if he is indeed the other starter will go in the other game.  My guess is that Oswalt will prefer the night cap.

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