Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Vance Worley and the Phillies
The Phillies have high hopes for Vance Worley. Last year at the age of 22, Vance got two starts with the Phillies club. He finished with a 1-1 record, and had 12 strikeouts and gave up 8 hits, he finished last year with a 1.38 ERA over those two starts.
Worley is facing a toughened up New York Mets tonight in the first of three games with the Mets. The series culminates with a Sunday night matchup that promises to be great, Chris Young vs. Cliff Lee.
The series between the Mets and the Phillies didn’t seem like it would take off this year, but in the last 10 days or so, the Mets have played like they want to be contenders.
Vance Worley stats:
Born: September 25, 1987 (Age 23)
Drafted: 3rd round of amateur draft
Signed: June 11, 2008
Thursday, April 28, 2011
The Mets have been one of the most improved baseball teams in the last 10 days in the National League. They had a three game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in New York, and they have been playing much better.
Phils Avoid Sweep, Oswalt Leaves to be with family
The Phillies avoided a ‘sweep’ by the Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon in Phoenix, they have a well deserved day off on Thursday back at home in Philly. Roy Oswalt has left the team to deal with the terrible storms and destruction that affected his family, the storms have wrecked the south in the last few days. He’ll rejoin the club when he is able to.
Five Questions to Mets Blogger, Amazination about the Mets
Now we’ll get a feeling of how this NY Mets blogger feels about the Mets now, he’s Ian from the Mets blog, Amazination. Here’s 5 questions I asked Ian about the New York Mets this week:
1. Who has appeared the be the best pitcher so far on the Mets and why?
If you would of asked me a week or two ago, I would of said nobody in the rotation has stuck out to me. During this recent hot surge, just about every starter is coming off a good start. If you ask me though, two starters that i am most impressed with would be R.A Dickey & Dillon Gee. Dickey threw very well against the Astros at Citi Field last week. Though taking the loss, he threw 8 solid innings and flashed multiple signs of the R.A Dickey of last year, something we did not see during his previous three starts. A problem early on for R.A was walks which is something he was able to keep down all of 2010. Dickey had walked 3 or more batters in each of his first three starts which was alarming for Mets fans, Dickey went out against the Astros and only walked two over 8. Dillon Gee made several starts last year, and got his call for the bigs when Chris Young went on the DL. He sparkled in his only two starts against the Braves & D'Backs but was forced out of the rotation when Young was activated. GM Sandy Alderson had enough faith in him that they decided to send down D.J Carrasco for Young, and instead stick Gee in the bullpen. Gee is a pitcher that has nothing flashy but just goes out and throws strikes on a consistent basis. In the bullpen, Brooklyn Native and rule five draft pick Pedro Beato has been sensational in the early going. Beato has not allowed an earned run in each of the 8 appearances that he has made, and Terry Collins just continues to let him grow as he has been sticking him in bigger situations each time he takes the mound.
2. The Mets have suddenly become the hottest team in the NL, is this a fluke or are they really going to make an interesting run this year?
Do I believe this team or the hot surge is a fluke? No. Do I think their the best team in the division/NL right now? No. This team has talent and I do not believe anybody will go against that. This club has enough offensively to compete especially the way the middle of the order has been hitting as of late. Any Mets fan knew going into the season that our 1-7 in the lineup is as good as anybody's if we could stay healthy. Pitching has been a concern, though our rotation has began to go deeper in games. If the 2011 New York Mets want to win this season pitchers such as Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, and others need to step up when needed. Do i think we can win this season? Yes without a doubt. Pitching is just key, as this hot stretch is showing if we pitch, our offense will take care of the rest.
3. What is the best offensive weapon that the Mets have right now?
The Mets best offensive weapon right now is Ike Davis who currently ranks fifth in the majors in RBI's with 18 thus far. Davis has been outstanding in 2011, as his power has shown now more then ever. Ike is hitting the ball a long ways when he gets the right part of the bat on the ball, and he is even hitting for contact as through 23 games in 2011, Davis is hitting .338. Davis was on his way too an awesome sophomore season, but since Jason Bay has returned Ike is hitting the cover off the ball, and Bay just provides more protection and pushes Ike back in the order.
4. Do you think the Mets fans have lost some interest in the team when they haven't done that well in the past couple years?
Definitely. What i believe hits the fans the most is how good our team really is, and how they just haven't been able to produce when it matters the most. In past years the Mets have been predicted by numerous magazines, writers, and analysts to win the World Series, which gets the fans hopes up every season. For example in 2007 and 2008, we were made out too be the beasts of the East, and we were supposed to beat anybody. Obviously we had solid seasons but couldn't win when it counted which caused the horrific collapses. It seemed as if each season their was something missing, for instance in 07' we had trouble pitching and our offense was shaky; and then in 08' Billy Wagner went out with an injury which triggered in my mind one of the worst bullpens ever, with Luis Ayala taking over as closer. To me though, its not that we did collapse, or we did have awful seasons its how we did it and how we went about them which hurt the most. Their were also the seasons that were riddled by injury's, such as the one in 2009 when we were predicted by Sports Illustrated to be crowned the Champions. Another thing that really hurt a ton of fans were some of the strange moves off and on the field made by Omar Minaya and the Wilpons. The firing of Willie Randolph was curious as after a win in Anaheim at 3:00 in the morning, Randolph was fired by Minaya. Minaya also in 2009, was forced to let go of Tony Bernazard which propelled the scene at Citi Field when Omar Minaya accused ESPNNewYork's Adam Rubin of making false accusations about Bernazard because he wanted his job. Then with the Wilpon's the whole situation with the Madoffs is frustrating, as fans want details as to weather or not the Madoff situation will affect the way Sandy Alderson goes about his business. As a Mets fan, all of this has built up ever since 2007, and as a fan it gets tiring hearing it all and is very frustrating at the same time.
5. Who is your favorite Met player of all time and why?
I have a couple favorite Mets. A few of mine would be Mike Piazza, Carlos Beltran, Endy Chavez, Cliff Floyd, and David Wright. Probably my favorite out of those would be Mike Piazza, who i felt was the last piece to the NL Pennant winning 2000 New York Mets. Piazza was the heart and sole of this team and made so many memorable plays for this franchise, as prior to Piazza this team lacked. In the 90's when Mets fans thought they would never get back to dominance, Mike brought them back which to me is special.
Thank you Ian, that’s some awesome answers to the questions we’ve posed to you about the Mets. We’ll see what happens over the weekend with the Mets/Phillies matchup.
Get your oil changed and meet Luzinski in Willow Grove, PA on Friday
Want to meet former Phillies player Greg Luzinski ? He’ll be at an event for the Mobil Super ChangeUp Day here’s the details:
Greg "The Bull" Luzinski will be at an event on Friday, April 29 at the R and J Express Lube, featuring Mobil 1 Lube Express on 1 Park Avenue in Willow Grove and we'd love for you to come out. He will be there as part of a national Mobil Super “Changeup Day” program, which gives baseball fans the opportunity to meet legendary players, get autographs, win baseball tickets, gift certificates for car maintenance services and more.
April 29, 2011
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
R and J Express Lube, featuring Mobil 1 Lube Express
1 Park Avenue
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Phillies started off last night’s game like they were going to rip the roof off of the place. Shane Victorino tripled and then scored and the Phils had a lot of base activity going on despite only getting the one run in the 1st inning.
Don’t tell the Diamondbacks that Roy Oswalt was undefeated though, they put up 3 runs in the first two innings and pummeled Oswalt for 6 H and 5 ER before he was lifted in the 3rd inning.
Raul Ibanez had another 0-4 night, his batting average is so low at .171 that I think he should be replaced by a bench player. He isn’t adding much to the offense at all. Ibanez is in the last year of a three year deal that brought him to Philly.
The Phillies were 3-11 with runners in scoring position last night. They had plenty of opportunities to turn this game around, but couldn’t convert on the ones that they needed to. They put this one in the loss column with a 7-5 score.
The attendance last night in Arizona, 19,037. Wow, all those Dback fans were missing the two game win streak now put together against the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s a 3:40 PM ET start for the Phils today in Phoenix at Chase Field.
The Phillies don’t really want to be swept by the Diamondbacks, this isn’t a team you would expect would sweep the Phils. That is the crazy thing about baseball though, you just don’t know what’s going to happen on any given day or night.
Kirk Gibson is the manager of the Arizona Dbacks, he was one of my favorite players growing up. He’s got a young team there in AZ, right now they look as though they have turned things around since being swept by one of the hottest teams in the NL in the past week or so, the New York Mets. Did I mention the Phillies have a weekend series coming up with those Mets at home in Philly for the weekend?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Watch out for the rough, I mean mountain there!
All good things eventually come to an end, and last night the Phillies win streak came to an end. It wasn’t due to the lack of good pitching, Cliff Lee looked marvelous and so did Ian Kennedy for the Diamondbacks. The difference was that the DBacks scored 4 runs and the Phillies got shut out. Lee struck out 12 as the Phillies offense puttered out and couldn’t get it going.
This game was a classic ‘pitcher’s duel’ which was scoreless into the bottom of the 3rd inning, when Cliff Lee gave up a long center field homerun to Chris Young. Lee then gave up an opposite field homerun to Gerardo Parra in the bottom of the 5th. Lee didn’t pitch that bad at all, he just gave up two long balls and the Phillies couldn’t answer with much in return.
The Phillies record falls to 15-7 on the season and Roy Oswalt is the pitcher for tonight’s 9:40 PM ET start. Oswalt is still the only Phillies starter without a loss on the season, and I don’t think he gets a loss tonight.
As a side note to my post from yesterday, both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres came into the Monday night games with 4 game losing streaks and both teams ended up winning last night.
Monday, April 25, 2011
The Phillies did something they hadn't accomplished since the 70's. The feat was sweeping the Padres in 4 straight games in San Diego.
The Philies winning train is rolling onto the next stop in what is shaping up to be quite a magical season.
It's Arizona now in the crosshairs. The Dbacks are just above the Padres, who now occupy the bottom of the NL West.
It is interesting both the Dbacks and the Padres are coming off of 4 game losing streaks. The Diamondbacks were just swept in 3 straight over the weekend by the New York Mets in New York.
It's Cliff Lee on the mound for the Phils tonight. Lee is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA. He will face Ian Kennedy for the Dbacks, he is 2-1 with a 5.64 ERA.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Ryan Howard has a hot of luck on his side lately. His performance in the San Diego series hasn’t been one that you would write home about. He had 8 strikeouts going into his final at bat in last night’s extra innings game with the Padres.
howard has back to back game winning hits
Yes, Howard’s triple two nights before scored two runs and gave the Phillies the runs they needed to win. Howard did it again last night in San Diego as Bud Black, manager of the Padres, elected to intentionally walk Jimmy Rolllins to pitch to Ryan Howard and Howard made the Padres pay.
Pitching to howard is not that good of an idea
Ryan is not one player that manager’s usually like to get to pitch to, especially if they walk someone in front of him to get to him. The move backfired on Bud Black, and Howard sailed a deep fly ball into the left field warning track area. The ball looked as if it would be caught, Ryan Ludwick chased after it and seemed to be in position to make a play on it, but the ball dinked off the wall out there in left and Howard cruised into second base while scoring two runs in the top of the 11th.
Joe Blanton pitched into the 7th inning last night, as he usually does. He gave up 8 hits and 2 runs to bring his ERA to 5.92 so far on the season.
Phillies bullpen is stellar in San Diego
Antonio Bastardo looked awesome as he struck out the side in the bottom of the 9th to get the game into extra innings. Kyle Kendrick pitched 1 inning of scoreless baseball and got the win and Ryan Madson earned the save for the second night in a row.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Cole Hamels, World Series MVP in 2008, heard boos this year from fans
Nothing made me more upset last week to hear the home town fans boo Cole Hamels at home. Yes, he didn’t do all that well at home that night but to hear boos in your own park from your own fans just isn’t right.
Hamels did his part last night in another win out in San Diego for the Phillies. He pitched 8 scoreless innings. The Phillies offense didn’t go overboard to score runs in this game though, in fact they only scored two runs in the 3rd inning, but that was enough to win 2-0.
The Padres pitcher, Clayton Richard, came into last night’s game with a 1-0 record and a 4.50 ERA. Batters were only batting .234 against him so far this year. The Phillies didn’t get much going against him, but the runs came in courtesy of a Ryan Howard 2 run triple in the 3rd inning.
Howard’s triple came in the top of the third after he was facing a 1-2 count. The runners reached base on two walks by Clayton Richard. Howard swung and got every bit of the baseball as he drove it out to right center and it rolled off the fence. He dove head first into third and beat the throw in. Victorino scored from third, and Polonco from first base.
The Padres threated in their home half of the 2nd inning with the bases loaded. They couldn’t score though, and Cole Hamels got the Padre’s Clayton Richard to fly out to Jimmy Rollins to end the inning.
Hamels got his 2nd win of the year last night in San Diego. Here is the line from his pitching last night. Ryan Madson came into the game in the 9th to earn the save, and the Phillies are now 13-6, the game time for Saturday night is 8:35 PM tonight in the Philly area.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Roy Oswalt is the first Phillies pitcher to win 3 games. He didn’t seem to have any discomfort in San Diego. Oswalt had a ‘no hitter’ going into the bottom of the 5th inning.
The game in San Diego last night looked as if the Phillies were playing a minor league team. The fielding and offense of the Padres was not up to par, as the Phillies cruised to victory. The Phils only needed 3 runs to win this one, 3-0.
A few misplayed balls in the outfield by San Diego really started them off badly, even though the Phillies had a little luck. Placido Polonco was clearly out at third base after a misplayed ball was finally relayed into third base. The umpire saw the play differently and called Polonco safe.
The offense of the Phillies consisted of two home runs, one from Ben Francisco (3) and another from Brian Schneider (2) both coming in the 2nd inning. The Phillies scored another run on a sacrifice fly by Ben Francisco that scored Placido Polonco. The ball Francisco hit was dropped by right fielder, Chris Denorfia, one of many gaffs by Padres fielders last night.
Jose Contreras picked up his 5th Save to close this one out, and Antonio Bastardo looked strong with 2 strikeouts.
Game 2 against the Padres tonight at 10:05 PM local time. It’s Good Friday!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Beautiful San Diego is where the Phillies are now
The Phillies will be on television, radio, and online late tonight in the Philadelphia area at 10:05 PM local time. It’s the first road trip out to the West coast for the Phils for 2011. First stop on the brief road journey is San Diego. The Padres have an 8-10 record and just returned home from a series in Chicago against the Cubs. The last day of the road trip for the Padres was a day/night doubleheader that they played in Chicago. I kind of expect them to be a bit tired still.
San Diego has sunk straight to the bottom in the NL West, but their pitching has been surprisingly solid. The overall ERA for the Padres staff is better than the Phillies in fact.
The Padres are victimized this year mainly by a poor bullpen, the starters may hold a lead but when the bullpen is called upon, the team usually ends up with a loss. The Padres added Aaron Harang in the offseason. Harang used to pitch with the Reds and this year, Aaron already has four wins, and a 1.88 ERA . Harang is a local to San Diego, he was born there and went to college there as well. Maybe the Padres should have picked him up years ago.
For the Phillies tonight it will be Roy Oswalt, who is 2-0 with 2.50 ERA. Oswalt has taken out of the ballgame in his last start due to back spasms or pain in his lower back. Roy gets the first start of four games with San Diego. His opponent for the Padres will be Mat Latos. Latos hasn’t been sharp for the Padres yet, he is 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA.
The Phillies will throw: Hamels, Blanton, and Halladay at the Padres for this trip. The series will wrap up on Sunday in San Diego, and the Phillies travel on to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks.
Last year’s record against Padres: 5-2. Lifetime record for Phillies at Petco Park in San Diego 18-4.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The Phillies lacked an offensive drive last night and ended up on the short end of a 9-0 rout in front of a sold out crowd in South Philly last night.
The Brewers were coming off a sweep by the Nationals in the previous series they were in with the Nats, and that always gives a team a big motivation to do well against their next opponent.
Roy Halladay suffered his first loss of the season after looking extremely sharp in his first couple games. The Phils will face Chris Narveson and the Brew Crew this afternoon.
It was a great show last night with Paul Kurtz, if the name sounds familiar it is because Paul can be heard on KYW 1060 news radio! His new Phillies book is a winner and I can't seem to put this gem down. The stories you'll read in the book that he wrote brings back memories for those who lived through certain games that the Phillies played over the years and is just like opening a time capsule and unveiling some stories that you've never heard of before.
The book is "162-0 Imagine a Phillies Perfect Season" put out by Triumph Books. You can find it on yesterday's post on FightinPhillies.com and buy it right from the link for the best price. Also, you can find it everywhere books are sold be it at Borders or your favorite bookseller.
The Phillies have dropped two games in a row, no need to panic though. It's Cliff Lee in for the 1:05 PM businessperson's special today at the ballpark.
Hope you like the interview with Paul, it was a fun time for us to do the show. Thanks to Bill at Triumph for arranging the interview.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Phillies Bookshelf: ‘162-0: Imagine a Phillies Perfect Season’ by Paul Kurtz and on ‘Phillies Talk’ tonight at 6:30 PM EDT
The title of this new book about the Phillies is compelling. “162-0: Imagine A Phillies Perfect Season” is the new Phillies book written by Paul Kurtz.
Every time I tell someone about the new book that I am reading and reviewing here at FightinPhillies.com, their eyes become wide open and they really get excited just at the title.
The author of the book will be on tonight’s Phillies Talk webcast at 6:35 PM EDT, right here on the website. How can you listen just open your browser to the FightinPhillies.com site at 6:35 PM, with your computer speakers turned on. Communicate with us when we go live! just click on the audio player that you see on the top of this post, when the player says “Live Now” – that should be at 6:35 PM Eastern tonight. With your computer speakers connected, you should be able to hear the show and even communicate with us live.
The book is a time capsule of Phillies wins throughout the baseball season. It’s a season that the Phillies never lose. Isn’t that what most Phillies fans think is supposed to happen?
Paul Kurtz, who if the name sounds familiar is because he has worked for KYW 1060 news radio for over 32 years, has chronicled the most memorable victories for everyday on the baseball calendar.
In the book, you will read a lot about things that you may have forgotten about as you have watched Phillies baseball over the years. You’ll also read some things that have happened over the course of Phillies history that you are reading and learning about for the first time.
Buy Paul's book right here on FightinPhillies for the best price! Just click the link below:
Just some of the interesting day to day chronicles of the 162-0 season. Stories in the book include actual press accounts and box scores of what happened along with photos:
April 17th 1976
|Mike Schmidt’s 4 HR and 8 RBI erase double digit deficit as Phils beat Cubs|
May 17th 1979
|Phils beat the Cubs 23-22 in 10 innings|
June 13th 2008
|It’s beatdown time at the Phillies beat the Cards 20-2|
July 4th 1938 (Game 2)
|Phillies win in their new home, “Shibe Park” on the 4th|
August 9th 2008
|Myers loses cool with Manager Charlie Manuel, Rollins goes 4-4 for 2 triples in win|
September 1st 1997
|Schilling strikes out 16 in big win over Yankees|
These were just a few of the fun stories that I randomly selected to list here, there are a whole lot more. If fact, I think you won’t want to put this book down for too long. It’s a very great chronicle of Phillies wins from the early days until now.
Join us live as we’re going to take a few questions from the listeners to the live webcast tonight on Phillies Talk, you can call in or talk to us over your computer with the Talkshoe.com program called ‘TalkShoe Pro’ – it’s free but you should install in before we start the show tonight!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Blanton Looks for Win Tonight vs. Brew Crew
Ever since the Phillies traded for Joe Blanton in 2008, we’ve kind of like him as a pitcher. He has been a guy that has a reputation to pitch well and eat a lot of innings in the process. He’s been a guy that you didn’t have to worry that much about.
Blanton was supposedly shopped heavily in the offseason, the Phillies stocked themselves with aces and then management looked at Blanton and decided he may be part of some package to deal off to never never land.
The fact is though that Blanton has been a solid pitcher for the Phils since he has arrived here from Oakland in July of 2008. Blanton was welcomed to the Phillies in ‘08 and had a 4-0 record to finish off the magical season when the Phillies won it all a couple years ago.
In 2009, Blanton proved he wasn’t a fluke. His season was comprised of 31 starts and he finished with a 12-8 record. Last year, Blanton again had 28 starts and produced a 9-6 record. It’s not a 20 game winning season, and he didn’t pitch a perfect game, but Blanton has been steady for the Phils and shouldn’t be judged on a couple bad outings as he has had already this season.
Blanton had this to say to the press in response to his first two starts of the year. "I'm giving up a lot of hits with runners on, which is never good," Blanton said. "So, I have to make an adjustment there. It's not mindset or anything like that."
Phillies Off To Blazing start in 2011
Did I mention how well the Phillies have started off this season? The Phils are 10-4 so far, and an impressing 6-2 at home as we welcome in the Brewers tonight.
Believe it or not, Cleveland has a better overall record than the Phillies at 11-4 throughout the MLB, and Colorado has been incredibly hot as they are 12-3 so far in this early part of the season.
The head scratcher for many is Boston at 4-10 so far, and in the NL, Atlanta seems to have issues at 7-9.
Brewers here for three games
It’s the Brew Crew in town for three games tonight at 7:05 PM, Tuesday at 7:05 PM, and the first ‘real’ businessman’s special on Wednesday at 1:05 PM for afternoon baseball in Philly.
I hope Charlie Manuel starts respecting some good hitters. He needs to adjust sometimes against Prince Fielder, and pitch around him. Let’s see what happens in this series.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
His name is ‘Bill The Beerman’ #142 and he’s been a beerman at the Phillies games for years now, and recently he has come up with a novel way to serve his customers at the ballpark.
If you have a smartphone like an iPhone, or Android phone or device- you can use Twitter, which is a communications program, to order a nice cold beer or water to cool you down this season.
Here is the interview that “Phillies Talk” podcast did with Bill just this week. I always like to see the vendors at the ballpark and the beermen and other vendors do a great job and work hard to get the fans the items they need to enjoy the game.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
TV viewing data from Thursday, April 14
|Phillies Game 4/14 vs Washington Nationals||TV Rating: 9.0||273,000 households|
|Flyers Game 1 vs Buffalo||TV Rating: 6.7||203,000 households|
I had to take a double look at the press release that I just read. It’s playoff season for NHL hockey and the Flyers have made it to the playoffs this year which is great for them. It was Game 1 of the playoffs on Thursday night between the Flyers and the Buffalo Sabres.
The Phillies were wrapping up a three game series with Washington on Thursday night, yes the Washington Nationals. This wasn’t a particularly key game for the Phillies but the Phillies audience on television managed to grab a higher rating than the playoff hockey game for the Flyers.
It’s just a testament to how strong the Phillies franchise has bolstered it’s image and the fan’s that have really been following them on every pitch this season especially. During certain time frames in the 70’s – 80’s and 1990’s, the team was more like the Pirates are now, fielding teams that went out and played baseball, but couldn’t be contenders with the players they have on the field.
What a great time for fans now both in the Philly area, and around the country to enjoy the Phillies team as they are this season and the past few years!
Here’s the lineup in the Philly area for local viewing this weekend, Comcast has a full lineup of sports for us today on it’s “Super Saturday”.
Saturday, April 16’s lineup is as follows:
3 p.m. Sixers Pregame Live
4:30 p.m. Flyers Pregame Live from the AT&T Pavilion
5 p.m. Flyers vs. Sabres Game 2
7:45 p.m. Flyers Postgame Live
8:30 p.m. Sixers Postgame Live replay
10 p.m. SportsNite
10:30 p.m. Sixers Postgame Live replay
1 a.m. SportsRise
The Comcast Network
3:30 p.m. Union Pregame Live
4 p.m. Union vs. Seattle Sounders
6:15 p.m. Sixers Postgame Live (simulcast on CSNPhilly.com)
6:30 p.m. Phillies Pregame Live
7 p.m. Phillies vs. Marlins
10 p.m. Phillies Postgame Live
Friday, April 15, 2011
The Phillies are home for the weekend series against the Marlins. The Phils are home for a short 6 game stand with the Marlins and then the Brewers. Cliff Lee was masterful last night against the Nationals as the Phillies again took 2 out of 3 in a series. Lee struck out 12 in this one, and it was one of the finest displays of pitching we've seen so far in this early season.
Lee looked like he found his groove against the Nats and the made them pay in the awesome display of pitching against them. Ryan Howard is now day to day, thanks to a pitch from John Lannan that sailed right at Howard. Howard didn't react to the pitch and made no attempt to get away from it, and the pitch landed solidly on his wrist in Game 2 of the series with Washington.
It's Oswalt tonight for the Phils as he looks to be the first 3 game winner on the staff.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
ESPN has the Phillies near the top in 'Power Rankings'
The big story in the offseason and the start of the season has been pitching. We were all in awe of the potential of the starting 5 for the Phillies and couldn’t wait to see them in action.
So far we haven’t been too disappointed.
The pitching staff has been somewhat solid, but the real story so far this season is the Phillies offense. We are now a full two weeks into the 2011 season and the Phillies are 1st in batting average, and on base percentage so far in this early season.
The Phil’s offense is also 3rd in total runs on the season as they added 3 more to the total in the 3-2 win last night in Washington DC. Placido Polonco is batting .370 and Shane Victorino is at .364. When batters turn into runners on base, that’s usually a good sign for a team, and the Phillies have been scoring runners.
Ryan Howard has 13 RBI so far in the season, he could have a lot more as he’s come up with the bases loaded a few times already in the season and walked away without anything to add to his total. Howard currently holds the record though for any Phillie in the Grand Slams category. Howard has 9 total Grand Slams in his career so far.
In the pitching department, I don’t think we’ve seen the best parts of what it has to offer yet. The Phils pitching so far as compared to the other teams hasn’t been what you would call spectacular. The season is early yet though, and towards the end of April and early May when the weather starts warming up, I think we’ll start to see a big improvement.
The Nationals tried to sneak a couple runs past the Phillies last night, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th, but they were shut down before what could have been a disaster. Roy Halladay pitched a game that he shouldn’t have had to hold on for dear life to. Charlie Manuel didn’t want to take him out, but if Halladay had been beat because of this, then Manuel would have faced criticism as he would have taken anyone out if it wasn’t Roy Halladay on the mound. Cito Gaston used to do this too when Roy was on the Toronto Blue Jays, and I am not too sure that it’s in the best interest of the team to let a guy stay in when he’s in trouble even if it is Roy Halladay.
It’s the final game of the series tonight with Washington. The Nationals have proved to be somewhat resilient so far. They have added some offensive might in the offseason and look quite revamped so far. They probably won’t contend for first place, but they can play the Phillies really tough and try to upset their course to better things as the 2011 season unfolds.
It’s Cliff Lee tonight for the Phils, I think he cruises in this one, and has an easy victory. Lee is looking to recover from the rough outing he had on his last start and I suspect he will take it out on the Nationals and bring his nasty stuff tonight in DC.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Here is our talk with Zack on how he does what he does and all about this fascinating hobby he has. Check Zack's blog out at MLBlogs here.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Phillies will be playing the Washington Nationals tonight for the first time this season in DC. Jayson Werth, who left the Phils for the Nationals and a $126M and a brand new contract, will be reunited with his old teammates tonight.
The press had gotten hold of a few quotes in the offseason that Werth had supposedly made towards his old team. One of which went something to the effect of, "I can't wait to beat the Phillies this year." This was probably more hype than anything, but I suspect Werth would love to had his old team a loss, and he'll be playing as hard as ever tonight and during all the games this year against them.
Tonight will be a valuable start for Joe Blanton. He really needs to start pitching better. He had long been considered the 'go to' guy on the pitching staff that got the job done and went the distance. Blanton probably feels a bit jaded, having reportedly been offered around in the offseason. He can only help himself by doing well though.
The pitcher that the Phillies are facing tonight has more baseball lives than a cat. It's Livan Hernandez. He didn't seem like he would remain as a big league pitcher after he left the Mets in 2009. He has done well with Washington though. He won 10 games last year. Hernandez has had some really good seasons and below par seasons as well. Overall he is 166-164 lifetime. This is Livan's 16th year in the big leagues.Hernandez has an even 156-156 National League record overall.
Monday, April 11, 2011
If you’re in the Philadelphia tri-state area, you’re gonna be in the right place at the right time to possibly win your way to see the Phillies this season! That’s right, it’s WMGK Classic Rock 102.9 FM, and the big Phillies ticket giveaway.
The giveaway is from 9 AM to 5 PM (or 6 PM) every weekday starting today and running all the way to Friday. That’s a lot of chances to win tickets.
The station is even partnering up with FightinPhillies.com to give a couple of the Opening Day Bandwagon t-shirts. The only size we have is XL, so if you are another size you’ll just have to give this one away to someone you know can wear an XL.
The contest is simple… Find the big “Facebook Fan Page” button on our site here: and click on it, you have to sign in and “Like” our page… That’s all you have to do to enter the drawing for a free t-shirt! Winners will be announced by next weekend, so “Like” us on Facebook to get your chance at a cool red “OPENING DAY” WMGK 102.9 BANDWAGON SHIRT! Again, we only have XL as the size for the giveaway…
The red t-shirts have “John DeBella’s Blessing of the Balls” and WMGK logos on the back along with McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon at Citizen’s Bank Park logo’s on the shirt, very cool.
What you don't do Facebook? No problem, you can enter by just Tweeting this post at the bottom of the post. Just click the 'Twitter' logo and retweet this blog post for a chance to win. Of course you have to have a Twitter account, which is free and really fun.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
The series has been a fast one. It seems like it just started a day ago for me, but the first three game series with Atlanta wraps up today down in Coca Cola Park. The baton has been passed from Bobby Cox, who managed the Braves for 25 years, to Freddi Gonzalez, who used to manage the Florida Marlins.
It’s been a rock’em and sock’em series so far. The Phillies have pounded out 23 hits and the Braves 18 so far in the first two games. The Phils have scored 13 combined runs and the Braves 8.
The unsung heroes for the Phillies are perhaps the biggest story of the year for the Phils outside of the Phillies starting rotation. Already, the combination of Ben Francisco, Wilson Valdez, and yesterday’s star Carlos Ruiz, have made their presence known on this ballclub.
It really seems like the Braves series may be one of the better series that the Phillies will have over the year. The Braves will probably be the team that the Phillies have the hardest time against. The Braves are cultivating a mix of younger players who have a lot of promise along with some veterans that are already superstars.
Chipper Jones has started off with a tremendous year so far. He has set the pace on the team for others to follow. If he can stay healthy, he may be on the way to one of his best seasons with the Braves ever. We’re still only 10 days into the season though. It’s a long and grueling season for some, and usually the older a player is, the sooner those nagging injuries return. Chipper just went over 2,500 hits in this series, and he seems assured for the Hall of Fame in the first ballot.
Carlos Ruiz has done something that Ryan Howard has struggled with over the first 8 games so far. That is clean the bases when they are loaded. Ruiz went deep for a Grand Slam yesterday on the first appearance for the team on Fox Saturday afternoon baseball. The last Phillies player to hit a Grand Slam by a pinch hitter was Matt Stairs who did it in 2009.
It’s Cole Hamels again for the Phillies today. He’ll get a chance to erase that tough start he had against the Mets at home. Roy Oswalt is the first Phillies pitcher to reach 2 wins. Here’s how the Phillies starters and relievers stack up so far in this early season, click to go to Baseball-Reference.
Friday, April 08, 2011
It’s been quite some time since the Atlanta Braves have had something really good start to happen to their baseball team. Last year was the tearful goodbye to Bobby Cox. Cox was a mainstay with the Braves and skippered them for an incredible 25 years. The Braves owned the NL East in the mid-90’s but that’s been forgotten about now, and certainly with the advent of all the younger fans you now really go wild for the Phillies in their early 20’s, their memories of this only really exist when they read about the glory years of the Braves.
The Braves used to have a rotation similar to the one that the Phillies have now. They boasted six seasons that Cox managed the Braves that produced a season win total of over 100 games. The highest win total this powerhouse Braves era of the team produced was in 1998, when the Braves won an unbelievable 106 games. They didn’t get too far that year after winning that amount of games though. The Braves in 1998 ended up losing the NLCS to the Padres and that knocked them out of a chance to get to the World Series.
The Braves only won 1 World Series championship in the 25 years that Cox was their manager. The activity that the team had though was like a million bees surrounding a beehive though. The Braves made it to the World Series an incredible 5 times during the time that Cox managed the team. They ended up losing the WS the following years: 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1999. You can see the team was very successful nonetheless, and their streak of winning 11 NL East title in a row may never be broken. That streak would have been 15 in the Braves didn’t end up finishing second in the NL East in 1994.
The ‘new’ look Braves are a team that is young and anchored by the now ready to retire at the end of the season, Chipper Jones. Jones has had many injuries over the course of the past couple seasons. His hardnosed play and time has caught up with him. He was once that young phenom that the Braves seem to have a couple of now. Those young stars are Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward.
The Braves open up a brand new season at home tonight in Atlanta. Cliff Lee hopes to spoil the fans excitement with this team that has a lot of people talking about it.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
The Mets have shown some early muscle and this afternoon's game will be the getaway game for the Mets as they head off to New York, against the Washington Nationals for a series with the Nationals after today's game with the Phillies. The Mets home opener is not sold out!
Forget what the Mets have been through over the past few years. This is a new team, and it’s a team that is starting to show some spunk early in the season. The Mets handed the Phillies their first loss of the year two nights ago, but the weather conditions were more like November with a brisk cold wind blowing through the ballpark.
The season is a long one, the 162 game season is one of the most grueling in sports, no other major sports dare to go that long with so many games.
Another reason not to panic, is that the Phillies are not really at full strength. The team is lacking one of it’s spark plugs and that can make you have a serious misfire now and again.
The Phillies and Mets battled back and forth last night, with the Phillies taking the upper hand and winning the game by a 10-7 score. The Mets have looked pretty strong so far, and I am not so sure that this just isn’t ‘beer muscles’ at this point. We’ll know better in a couple weeks, when May arrives and the warmer weather sets in.
The first businessperson’s special is on tap today, take me out to the ballpark! It’s a 3:05 PM Eastern start today.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
The Phils have started off hot, it's only been one series though and it's a long season.
The Mets are in a serious rebuilding stage. That doesn't mean that they still aren't a dangerous baseball team.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Here’s an audio podcast I did with Mets blogger, Kerel Cooper, from OnTheBlack.com. We talk baseball and previewed the teams that will meet on the field in Philly on Tuesday. Click the player right in this post to hear the show, or you can always download it from iTunes or Android podcasts.
The sweep yesterday was awesome. I really was impressed with the way the Phillies sort of effortlessly completed the sweep with the offense really coming to life yesterday. It was the 2nd largest crowd ever at CBP, and a lot of fans never left their seat for most of the game. I’ve never seen the level of interest at a game that I’ve been at, there was big crowds even at BP to watch the teams practice on the field.
Here’s a quick look at the new scoreboard that really has amazing HD style clarity. I felt like I was watching one of the biggest HDTV set’s in the world. It just pulls you in and grabs you with the clarity and the ease of viewing. The only thing I didn’t like was the ‘birthdays section’ that is when your loved one puts your name on the scoreboard and age sometimes for all to see, well the print was so small you could barely see that, but maybe that’s something they can work on.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
He’ll probably have a tough time realizing that the team he is pitching against today was the only team he has been on in baseball his whole career. Roy Oswalt will take the mound for the Phillies this afternoon in the first Sunday game of the 2011 season. As I’ve said for Cliff Lee, Roy ‘O’ would probably be an ace on any team this year. He’ll go out on the mound this afternoon to prove that point to his old Astros team.
Oswalt has been nothing short of spectacular since he’s joined the Phillies. There was a bit of indecision with him actually leaving the Astros, but it was the best thing he could have done for himself. The Astros have some talented players, but they don’t appear to have all of the pieces of the puzzle needed to get to great places in the MLB.
Roy’s 7-1 and 1.74 era season in the short time he was with the Phillies was amazing and he looks to build on that Phillies career total today in Philly.
I’ll be up at the game and taking it all in to tell you first hand what’s going on, there’s nothing like the smell of Spring and baseball is in the air.
Planning a trip to the new ballparks in New York this season? Or Fenway Park.. Or maybe you just might be travelling into the Phillies ballpark from out of town? Check out Ballpark E-Guides, they will email you a cool guide to the park you want to know about. It's like having a local tour guide to the ballpark! They mailed me one, and I really enjoy it.
Saturday, April 02, 2011
The 2011 season got off to a great start yesterday afternoon for the Phillies. Roy Halladay pitched a great game, but not enough to get the win as he came out of the ballgame when it was still 1-0.
The Phillies had to win this one in dramatic style, they came from behind like champions and it was some of the newer Phillies on this 2011 team to really come through for them. I can't think of a better way to start off the season than the victory we saw yesterday.
For Opening Night, it is Cliff Lee taking his spot in the rotation and pitching under the lights at Citizens Bank Park tonight. Lee would be the ace on any major league baseball team, when he was with the Phillies for the brief time that he was Lee was unstoppable. I really love his work ethic, and the way he charges out to the mound to pitch each inning.
We saw the first edition of the “new Phillies”, they are not the ones that we expected when the season started. Who would have thought the Phillies would have released the Luis Castillo, but I applaud their confidence in Wilson Valdez to get the job done. Valadez just needs time to play, as does the Phillies new right fielder Ben Francisco.
These two guys have been with the Phillies for some time now, they know what it takes to get a victory. They've been around winners, and have learned from them. Now they appear to be winners themselves. Together with John Mayberry Jr., all three new Phillies regulars were responsible in winning Game 1 of the season.
The area is fully engulfed in Phillies fever, it's all you hear about on the news and in the newspapers, and online. It's one of the hottest tickets in town, and tonight will be Cliff Lee's turn to show us yet another ace in the deck.
Tomorrow, it's another ace out of the deck, as the Phillies look to keep shuffling this stacked deck all season long.
Another refreshing comment from Cliff Lee: "It's good to be here Opening Day" - now that's why we love this guy. Happy to be in Philadelphia, when a lot of people never regarded the city all that much especially in the press. Gotta love it.
Friday, April 01, 2011
The Phillies won game 1 in dramatic fashion today with the walk-off hit from John Mayberry Jr. - what a way to start off the season.
I'll be talking with Kerel Cooper from 'On The Black' the NY Mets blog tomorrow, at 10 AM live here on the 'Phillies Talk' podcast, we'd like to join us for the Mets preview against the Phillies which starts on Tuesday.
Phillies News and Notes:
Chase Utley will unveil his brand new PETA print ad on Monday in Philadelphia. He's gonna be talking about 'Always adopt and Never Buy" when it comes to as a way to help save homeless dogs and cats.
Utley's dog, 'Jack', is also in the commercial and he'll be there as well. Utley adopted Jack, whose parents were resuced from a dogfighting ring, and Utley has been a champion of the cause for a long time. PETA says there are more than 8 million dogs and cats put in shelters every year in the US, and roughly half of them have to be euthanized.
Much has been said about the 4 Aces, no I am not talking about the singing group from the area that had the Philly legend Al Alberts in it, of course we’re talking about the Phillies starting rotation. Perhaps on paper, the best Phillies rotation ever assembled.
The season opens in a few hours, though Mother Nature is not cooperating all that much with the plans. Cy Young Award winner (x2), Roy Halladay takes the mound today if the weather gods permit. He faces the Phillies ace from a few years ago, Brett Myers. Myers is still a tough, gnarling pitcher who knows how to get the job done.
The Astros should be holding a ‘straight’ in this series. They probably will be heading straight down to the bottom of the NL Central when they finish up this Opening Day Weekend series with the Phillies.
There is so much media coverage for this event, I really think baseball has replaced the Eagles as Philly’s team. There is just too much going on with the Phillies that is right, and it seems a little bit opposite with the Eagles.
The long road of the 2011 season is upon us. No, I am not saying the Phillies have a ticket straight into the World Series. To say anything like that is pure speculation. It’s part of being a fan though and I don’t blame people for thinking it. It’s part of the Opening Day hype, “My team is going all the way.” We’ll see what happens as the season unfolds.
Great pitching goes a long way, it wins ballgames. The Phillies offense has had a strange tendency to ‘stall’ at times. We’ve seen that last year especially, when Ruben Amaro Jr. publicly acknowledged that he was quite concerned about the abilities of this ballclub around the time just before the trade deadline. Even Jimmy Rollins took umbridge with Amaro’s remarks, but you know Amaro had a few good points in saying what he did.
It’s a team effort reaching a common goal, all of the parts of the team must be functioning properly to achieve it.
FightinPhillies Picks for the NL East finish in 2011:
1. Phillies- 97 wins
2. Braves- 95 wins
3. Mets– 86 wins
4. Nationals – 83 wins
5. Marlins – 78 wins
My picks above indicate a back and forth battle for first by the Braves and the Phillies as you can see by the above win totals. We’ll see what happens as the season unfolds.