Sunday, October 31, 2010

Texas Wins At Home in Game 3

Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton is congratulated by teammate Vladimir Guerrero after hitting a solo homerun during the 5th inning against the San Francisco Giants in game 3 of the World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on October 20, 2010. The Rangers defeated the Giants 4-2 and the Giants lead the series 2-1. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton is congratulated by teammate Vladimir Guerrero after hitting a solo homerun during the 5th inning against the San Francisco Giants in game 3 of the World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on October 20, 2010. The Rangers defeated the Giants 4-2 and the Giants lead the series 2-1. UPI/Kevin Dietsch



  The Texas Rangers have found their swagger at home in Game 3 of the World Series last evening in Arlington. The Rangers looked as if they had caught the same case of the sleepies that the Phillies had against the Giants in the NLCS.
  The Giants on the other hand couldn’t get started in Game 3, they had a chance to put this series in a serious advantage for them with a win in this game. It was not to be.

Game 3 is on tonight at 8PM Eastern, from Texas again. The Rangers can really make a series of it tonight if they can win again. It's Halloween so who know's what lies in store for the Giants who by the way wear the 'orange and black' - Halloween colors!




Phillies News:

Gone for 2011 (for now): J.C. Romero, Greg Dobbs, Jamie Moyer, Jayson Werth

I say 'for now' because of the ongoing negotiations with Werth's agent and the mentioning that J.C. Romero could be brought back at a reduced rate, but for now these players appear likely to not return to the team in 2011.

Friday, October 29, 2010

High Scoring Giants Win Game 2 of World Series

San Francisco Giants Cody Ross is congratulated at the dugout after scoring against the Texas Rangers in the eighth inning of game two of the World Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco on October 28, 2010. The Giants obliterated the Rangers 9-0. UPI/Terry Schmitt
San Francisco Giants Cody Ross is congratulated at the dugout after scoring against the Texas Rangers in the eighth inning of game two of the World Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco on October 28, 2010. The Giants obliterated the Rangers 9-0. UPI/Terry Schmitt







The Giants are a team on a roll. Since the World Series started, they have rolled out two high scoring games and have snared a 2-0 lead in the World Series.

The combined run totals of the first two games have landed this Giants team into 7th place all-time on the highest run totals of the first two games in the World Series.

The Giants blanked the Rangers 9-0 in Game 2, the Rangers rusty performances is not what most people expected from them, the team was off a long time waiting to see who they would play in the World Series. The long off time may be the reason that we've seen a different Rangers team than we did in the ALCS.

New heroes are emerging from this World Series. Edgar Renteria is one of them. Freddie Sanchez is another. It's kind of refreshing to see some new names getting some of the glory, if the Phillies can't be in this of course.

The World Series picks back up on Saturday night at 6:30 PM Eastern from Texas for Game 3. Game 4 is scheduled for an 8pm start Eastern on Sunday. The World Series is of Fox on TV.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Giants Beat Cliff Lee In Game 1 of World Series

Texas Rangers' pitcher Cliff Lee pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of game one of the World Series in San Francisco on October 27, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Texas Rangers' pitcher Cliff Lee pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of game one of the World Series in San Francisco on October 27, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch





We learned a couple of things when the Phillies played the Giants in the NLCS. This is a tough Giants team, and they don't appear to be backing down to the Rangers now that they are in the World Series.

The Giants won Game 1 of the World Series last night in convincing fashion 11-7. The mystic that Cliff Lee is invincible is starting to erode just a bit as he got hit around last night.

Maybe it was Lee's hat that had him off kilter last night. It was one of the dirtiest hats I've ever seen a ballplayer wear. I am surprised he gets away with that, it's almost a disrespect to the colors of the team with some much dust and dirt built up, you can't even see the real color of the hat.

I thought about the Phillies during Game 1 of the World Series. I remembered the terrible offensive funk that the whole team fell into during the NLCS, when they could practically not get on base, and when they did they could not score any runners. Yes, Phillies pitchers did keep those games close, but it was a lasting memory for me how the offense just was deflated on every level.

Days after the NLCS loss we learned of the horror of the Phillies plane when it returned from San Francisco and was involved in a 'near miss' upon landing in Philadelphia. That story in itself was scary, baseball aside. In case you missed it, read about the story here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Werth: I may be a Phillie next year

 

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      Jayson Werth is a top talent in this offseason

Call it what you will. Jayson Werth announced that he may again be a Phillies player next year. Ruben Amaro is quoted in the press as saying that the Phillies can afford Werth who is at the end of a four year contract with the Phillies and is currently soliciting offers from other teams.

Jayson contracted the services of the most controversial but successful agents in baseball, Scott Boras. He is known as a tough negotiator and a guy that gets the most for his player, even if it’s not in his best own interest to go to a team.

A lot of mixed stories appeared in the press just after the Phillies run in the playoffs was over. One of them is the one mentioned above, that Jayson Werth may actually return to the Phils.

He will make a lot more than he did the last two years if he does. When Jayson originally signed with the Phillies, he was a journeyman in search of a home. A kind of ‘Cody Ross’ type player who’s name was known but hadn’t yet achieved that superstar status of coveted ‘free agent’. That has all changed for Werth now, as he has strung together a couple of nice seasons to be measured by.

Werth may be eyeing the kind of contract that Boras got for Matt Holiday, a really huge $120 million for seven years in St. Louis. I don’t think Werth is going to garner that attention. He has said himself, he ‘wants to take things slow.’ Read that as meaning that he wants to consider all comers and then sit back and see what benefits him most. The Phillies could cast out an offer, but that offer won’t last forever. If such an offer is rebuked, the Phillies want to know who they are putting out in right field as soon as possible for 2011.

This story about Werth will be told again and again in the press, and rumor central. The only time we really will know if Werth is coming back to Philly will be the day that such a contract is announced. Until then, it’s Werth Mania taking over in the free agency market. Will some big players approach Boras with some cash? Will Werth be as successful when he goes away from the Phillies? We can only sit back and see what happens.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Images of the NLCS Loss By Phillies

The images will play back over and over in our minds, but if we forget them a little, here's some of the photos from Game 6 of the NLCS, heartbreaking loss by the Phillies.

Thanks to MyPHL17 for the photos!


It had to be Ryan Howard to make the last out for 2010, but it wasn't just him that couldn't win this series.



Howard stood at the plate after the called third strike for a long time,

Victorino looked like he had the perfect catch until, it bobbled out of his glove and onto the ground





The HR by Uribe, did that fan reach over the rail for that ball?


The awesome catch in foul ground by Werth who slid right into the fenced gate 


Manuel believed his team was going to Game 7, they would have if they had only hit and scored more


Yes, these images will be in the minds of Phillies fans all winter. There is a team that is going to win and a team that is going to lose though. This year, the Phillies peaked in September. October was another story for them. Next season is feeling like it's years away, but it isn't. Come Spring of 2011, we'll be back to see them, the Phillies faithful, another run, another season. It's memories like these you don't forget, the happy, and the sad. There's no crying in baseball, there's no crying in baseball.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Painful Loss In Game 6 of NLCS Ends 2010 Season for Phillies




San Francisco advances to the World Series, with a 3-2 win in Game 6 of the NLCS




The season is finally over for the Phillies. They went out and looked like they were going to win this game straight out of the gate tonight. That is not what happened.

Despite scoring 2 runs in the first inning, the Phillies just couldn't get the job done as the bats could do no more in this pivotal game that the Phillies just couldn't get out of the collective funk that this team played through the whole series.

The team left 20 runners on base tonight, (as did the Giants) the Phillies had so many opportunities but couldn't cash in on enough of them to beat the Giants to force a Game 7. The Phils had 2-11 with RISP on the night.

Cole Hamels would have faced the Giants in the Game 7, but it is all moot now that the series is over and the hungrier and opportunistic Giant baseball team won their first NL Pennant since 2002.

The loss also means the end of the line for Jayson Werth in a Phillies uniform, who has elected to test the free agency market and who also hired one of the greediest guys in baseball in my opinion, Scott Boras.

A lot of other questions with this loss have popped up as well. Some of the questions have to be what happened to all of the Phillies batters who just couldn't get anything happening in this series.

Charlie Manuel's managerial tactics are also in question after this series. He did nothing to help stop Cody Ross, who just went out there are almost single handily went out there and beat this Phillies team by himself.

Ryan Howard's strikeout with 2 strikes on him in the bottom of the 9th is painful as any strikeout we've ever seen him have. No home runs for Howard, though he sprinkled a few hits in the series, he didn't carry this team at all when he was needed the most. Howard had 3 strikeouts in this game tonight, and 12 strikeouts in 22 AB's in the series. Not only did Howard have no home runs, he didn't even have an RBI in this series. That is more than painful, and is just unacceptable from a guy earning what he does.

Chase Utley finished the series with a .182 average. It was his glove that surprised many though. He was below average and not his typical self on defense. It just didn't seem like this was the Chase Utley that we all know. Utley had only 1 RBI in the NLCS for the Phillies.

Raul Ibanez was as bad as he has ever been. He finished with a .211 BA in the series. Raul also had 0 HR's and 0 RBI's. You can't expect to win like this.

It was pitching that kept this Phillies team in this series at all. They deserve an A+ in this series. The offense deserves an F- , one of the worst collective efforts by a team on offense that any Phillies playoff team to date.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Live Blogging Game 6 NLCS

Destiny Awaits Tonight In Philadelphia

The headline was attractive. "Destiny Awaits Tonight In Philadelphia" but for who? Will it be the Phillies who must win again to stay alive in this NLCS and force an even more important and rare Game 7 for the Fightins?

Will this be destiny for the Giants? A team that has been a bit under the radar in the last few seasons, but if you've been reading this blog for some time, you would have read that they were one of my top picks of the previous two seasons and this season.

If the Phillies are going to win tonight, they are going to have to pull together and get some offense going. Several key players on this team have underperformed. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Shane Victorino are the players who must start playing better tonight in the clutch.

Here is the Phillies offense through the first five games:

Playoff Series Stats
G AB ▾ R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
Shane Victorino 5 20 3 3 1 0 0 2 2 6 .150
Chase Utley 5 19 4 3 0 0 0 0 3 2 .158
Jimmy Rollins 5 19 0 5 1 0 0 4 1 6 .263
Placido Polanco 5 17 2 5 2 0 0 5 1 1 .294
Ryan Howard 5 17 1 5 3 0 0 0 3 9 .294
Jayson Werth 5 16 3 4 1 0 2 4 3 6 .250
Carlos Ruiz 5 15 2 3 0 0 1 1 1 6 .200
Raul Ibanez 4 15 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 6 .133
Ben Francisco 2 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .200
Ross Gload 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
Roy Oswalt 2 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
Roy Halladay 2 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .333
Cole Hamels 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Domonic Brown 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Joe Blanton 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Wilson Valdez 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J.C. Romero 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ryan Madson 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brad Lidge 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chad Durbin 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jose Contreras 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Antonio Bastardo 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 67 158 18 33 8 0 3 16 16 49 .209
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/23/2010.



On the Giants, they have evened out their offensive production. Most of the players have done about the same on the Giants, except for Cody Ross, who has been short of spectacular in this series. The Phillies would love to have him in right field next year perhaps when Jason Werth moves on. Here is the Giant offense throughout the NLCS so far:

Playoff Series Stats
G AB ▾ R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
Freddy Sanchez 5 21 1 6 0 0 0 1 0 2 .286
Aubrey Huff 5 20 2 5 0 0 0 2 0 1 .250
Buster Posey 5 19 1 5 2 0 0 3 2 6 .263
Cody Ross 5 16 4 6 2 0 3 5 2 5 .375
Pat Burrell 5 15 3 3 2 0 0 1 3 6 .200
Andres Torres 5 15 2 4 0 0 0 0 2 6 .267
Edgar Renteria 3 12 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .083
Juan Uribe 4 11 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 2 .091
Pablo Sandoval 3 8 0 2 1 0 0 2 1 0 .250
Mike Fontenot 3 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .143
Aaron Rowand 2 5 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 .200
Tim Lincecum 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000
Travis Ishikawa 4 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .333
Jonathan Sanchez 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Nate Schierholtz 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Matt Cain 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Madison Bumgarner 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Sergio Romo 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ramon Ramirez 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Javier Lopez 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jeremy Affeldt 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Santiago Casilla 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brian Wilson 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 73 164 16 36 8 0 3 16 12 46 .220
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/23/2010.


Looking at the Phillies offensive production in this NLCS, it is apparent that the 'funk' is back. This funk is happening to the Phillies at the worst possible time. It is time to shake off the bad games and have a break out game tonight. Victorino, Utley, and Ibanez need to have better at bats and come through in the clutch for this team. Ryan Howard has been on base a few times in the series, but he hasn't produced runs when he has needed to. It's not because these players don't want to produce, it's just that 'stuff happens'. Call it Murphy's Law or call it what you will.