Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Worley and Stutes lead the younger part of the Phillies team in 2012



  Scott Palmer interviews both Worley and Stutes for 2012


It's been said that the Phillies are getting a little bit on the older side for a baseball team. They have a mix or younger and some players now are settling into their 'middle age' of their careers. Two of the Phillies players who lead the youth of what the Phillies will look like for years to come are Michael Stutes and Vance Worley.

These two players shined on their entrance into the big leagues and haven't looked back since. What will they do this year? Worley pitched a 11-3 record last year, and Stutes who made his MLB debut on April 25th 2011, ended up with a 6-2 record coming out of the bullpen last season.

The Phillies kick off the Grapefruit League with a tuneup game against the Florida State, the Phillies won't look too much like the familiar team we are used to seeing as many of the stars will not play on Wednesday afternoon at 1:05pm. Some new additions to the team will make their debuts though. Names like Wigginton and Pierre, now playing on the Phillies? Who would have thought that just a short season ago?




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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spring is underway in Clearwater for 2012




Rev up the engine, it's time for Spring Training 2012, as the full team workouts are underway in Clearwater. 


Roy Halladay has his 1932 Ford custom, it's one of the coolest vehicles that we've seen driven to the ballpark, since Jon Lieber's huge mega-truck that he used to drive in to camp in Florida.


Camp notes so far:

Cliff Lee experiencing some soreness, but nothing major

Ryan Howard watching some of the drills down in Clearwater

Shane Victorino has his normal attitude towards Spring Training as it's seen in this recent tweet from him: (follow him on Twitter @shanevictorino ... follow this blog on twitter @fightinphillies

Rise and Shine! Bed late Early Rise...#Motivated...Let's Go





Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Wounded Knee: Utley speaks to media about bad knee




Chase Utley met with the media and talked about his work in the off season concerning the injury he had to his knee.

 Sure would be great to see Utley have a great season this coming year.


Here's Utley's numbers for his career in the regular season so far:

Chase made his MLB debut on April 3, 2003

Year G AB R H HR RBI BA Awards
2000 40 153 21 47 2 22 .307 BAT · NYPL
2001 122 467 65 120 16 59 .257 CLW · FLOR
2002 125 464 73 122 17 70 .263 SWB · IL
2003 113 431 80 139 18 77 .323 SWB · IL
2003 43 134 13 32 2 21 .239
2004 33 123 23 35 6 25 .285 SWB · IL
2004 94 267 36 71 13 57 .266
2005 147 543 93 158 28 105 .291 MVP-13
2006 160 658 131 203 32 102 .309 AS,MVP-7,SS
2007 3 10 0 1 0 0 .100 REA · EL
2007 132 530 104 176 22 103 .332 AS,MVP-8,SS
2008 159 607 113 177 33 104 .292 AS,MVP-14,SS
2009 156 571 112 161 31 93 .282 AS,MVP-8,SS
2010 4 12 1 3 0 1 .250 CLW · FLOR
2010 115 425 75 117 16 65 .275 AS
2011 9 32 4 9 1 4 .281 CLW · FLOR
2011 103 398 54 103 11 44 .259
9 Seasons 1109 4133 731 1198 188 694 .290
162 Game Avg. 162 604 107 175 27 101 .290

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/23/2012.


Chase's Playoff numbers:


Year Lg Series Opp Rslt G AB R H HR RBI BA
2007 NL NLDS COL L 3 11 0 2 0 0 .182
2008 NL NLDS MIL W 4 15 1 2 0 2 .133
2008 NL NLCS LAD W 5 17 4 6 1 3 .353
2008 NL WS TBR W 5 18 5 3 2 4 .167
2009 NL NLDS COL W 4 14 5 6 1 1 .429
2009 NL NLCS LAD W 5 19 3 4 0 1 .211
2009 NL WS NYY L 6 21 7 6 5 8 .286
2010 NL NLDS CIN W 3 11 3 3 1 4 .273
2010 NL NLCS SFG L 6 22 5 4 0 1 .182
2011 NL NLDS STL L 5 16 5 7 0 1 .438
5 Seasons (10 Series) 46 164 38 43 10 25 .262
5 NLDS 19 67 14 20 2 8 .299
3 NLCS 16 58 12 14 1 5 .241
2 WS 11 39 12 9 7 12 .231
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/23/2012.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Failure in postseason must be addressed in 2012


Phillies Postseason push needs a second look





We all love a feel good, great spring training season especially for the upcoming season. It's the fresh smell of cut grass, the sound of the crowd, and the cadence of a 'beer here' that we've all missed from the baseball season from last season.

Looking back at the past two seasons, we've enjoyed quite a run with 2 more first place NL East finishes. We've have seen some of the most talented players in baseball on the Phillies for the past couple of seasons, and even seen the Phillies get the most wins of any season just last year.

All of that feel good, sounds good stuff aside, the past two seasons haven't been that great when it comes to making it through the playoffs to the World Series. The Phillies have not met their goal of getting into and possibly winning another World Series since the '09 season, which they lost to the Yankees.

The lack of great play in the playoffs is a cause for concern though. Just last year, it was a total collapse of the offense when the team needed it most. Talented players that just didn't have anything left to contribute to the team to take them all to the next level.

 Ryan Howard is coming off of a horrible injury. He had such a horrible contribution to the offense in the NL Division series in 2011, that it can't be ignored. Howard is getting paid megabucks to produce and he failed the team last year when it needed him to do what he is paid to do.

Placido Polanco is another player who didn't produce in the playoffs last year. He batted the same BA as Ryan Howard, which was .105 - that is 2 for 19. The Phillies shipped World Series champion, Pedro Feliz off in an instant after the 2009 season for a 'perceived' lack of offense in the playoffs and World Series. Feliz batted .267 in the NLDS for 2009, .118 in the NLCS that year, and .174 with 2 RBI in the 2009 World Series.

 The Phillies dropped a pivotal Game 2 of the NLDS to the Cardinals at home last season in the NLDS. After winning the first game in Philadelphia by a score of 11-6, the Phillies could have really put St. Louis on the defensive by winning the second game, but it wasn't to be. Losing the 2nd game of the series at home essentially rendered the Phillies home field advantage useless.

Here is what the lose looked like on the batting boxscore:

Batting AB R H RBI BB SO
Jimmy Rollins SS 4 2 3 0 0 0 2·2B,SB,CS
Chase Utley 2B 1 1 0 0 2 1 HBP
Hunter Pence RF 3 1 1 1 1 1
Ryan Howard 1B 4 0 1 2 0 1
Shane Victorino CF 4 0 0 0 0 0
Raul Ibanez LF 4 0 1 1 0 2
Placido Polanco 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 GDP
Carlos Ruiz C 4 0 0 0 0 1
Cliff Lee P 2 0 0 0 0 1
   Brad Lidge P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Ross Gload PH 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Ben Francisco PH 1 0 0 0 0 0
   Antonio Bastardo P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Vance Worley P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Ryan Madson P 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 31 4 6 4 3 8
Generated 2/21/2012.


The Phillies dropped this game by a score of 5-4. They did face a tough Chris Carpenter in this game. Tony LaRussa was probably very happy to win this game 2 as the Phillies went with Cliff Lee. Lee was batted around for 12 hits and 5 runs, 5 of which were ER in the game. Lee did strike out 9 though, and the Phillies just couldn't find a way to win this.


The Phillies rallied to win a Game 3 in St. Louis. Cole Hamels battled the Cardinals and came away with a win by the score of 3-2. Ryan Howard, Hunter Pence, and John Mayberry all went 0-10 combined in this game, and Placido Polanco finally got a hit, bringing his average to .083 in the series. The hot player on the Phillies was Jimmy Rollins who at the end of game 3 had a .583 BA, and an OPS at 1.449 as well.


Here's how the offense looked after game 3 in St. Louis:


Batting AB R H RBI SO BA OPS
Jimmy Rollins SS 4 0 2 0 0 .583 1.449 2B,SB
Chase Utley 2B 4 0 1 0 0 .400 1.138
Hunter Pence RF 3 0 0 0 0 .273 .657 IW
Ryan Howard 1B 4 0 0 0 2 .182 .685
Shane Victorino CF 4 1 1 0 0 .333 .667
John Mayberry LF 4 0 0 0 1 .000 .000
Placido Polanco 3B 4 0 1 0 0 .083 .167
Carlos Ruiz C 3 1 1 0 0 .091 .258 IW
Cole Hamels P 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
   Ben Francisco PH 1 1 1 3 0 .500 2.500 HR
   Vance Worley P 0 0 0 0 0
   Antonio Bastardo P 0 0 0 0 0
   Brad Lidge P 0 0 0 0 0
   Ryan Madson P 1 0 0 0 1 .000 .000
Team Totals 34 3 7 3 4 .206 .574
Generated 2/21/2012.



The Cards again battled back, they won Game 4 in St. Louis and forced a Game 5 in Philadelphia. The Cards won by a score of 5-3 in Game 4 and hit Roy Oswalt around. Oswalt surrendered 5 R on 6 H and struck out 5. In the loss here, all of these players combined for an 0-15: Howard, Victorino, Ibanez, and Ruiz. Placido Polanco got a hit in this game, raising his batting average to .125 and Carlos Ruiz, who had been a really great player in the playoffs prior to 2011 for the Phillies, only had a BA of .071 for the series through 4 games.Ruiz finished up after the Phillies loss in Game 5 at Philadelphia with a 1-17 effort or a BA of .059, which is not what he is capable of doing. 


Game 4 batting by the Phillies in St. Louis, a win could have advanced the team to the NLCS:


Batting AB H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Jimmy Rollins SS 4 2 0 0 0 .563 1.401 2B
Chase Utley 2B 3 2 1 1 0 .462 1.357 3B
Hunter Pence RF 4 1 1 0 0 .267 .620 CS
Ryan Howard 1B 4 0 0 0 3 .133 .510
Shane Victorino CF 4 0 0 0 0 .250 .500
Raul Ibanez LF 4 0 0 0 3 .250 .750
Placido Polanco 3B 4 1 0 0 0 .125 .250
Carlos Ruiz C 3 0 0 0 1 .071 .205
Roy Oswalt P 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 SH
   Joe Blanton P 0 0 0 0 0
   Ross Gload PH 1 1 0 0 0 1.000 2.000
   Michael Martinez PR 0 0 0 0 0
   Brad Lidge P 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 32 7 2 1 7 .219 .555
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/21/2012.




When you add all of the missed opportunities by certain players on the offense, it's easy to see how the Phillies did not advance further in the playoffs. Where they out of gas, turning in an awesome season with the highest win total by any Phillies team in the regular season ever? Perhaps. 




Game 5 was like a one game playoff, with the winner taking all. The Phillies again had the home field advantage and their best pitcher, Roy Halladay, facing the Cardinals best, Chris Carpenter. It was classic baseball. The game was won with a lone run, scored in the first inning by the Cardinals. The Phillies couldn't answer back, and the rest is history. Nearly the whole Phillies lineup was held hitless in this game, the whole team only managed to get 3 hits on the night.


Here is how the Game 5 looked on the batting boxscore for the Phillies:


Batting AB H RBI SO BA OPS
Jimmy Rollins SS 4 0 0 0 .450 1.126
Chase Utley 2B 3 1 0 1 .438 1.259 CS,HBP
Hunter Pence RF 4 0 0 0 .211 .496
Ryan Howard 1B 4 0 0 0 .105 .406
Shane Victorino CF 3 2 0 0 .316 .684 2B
Raul Ibanez LF 3 0 0 0 .200 .600
Placido Polanco 3B 3 0 0 0 .105 .211
Carlos Ruiz C 3 0 0 0 .059 .170
Roy Halladay P 2 0 0 1 .167 .333
   Ross Gload PH 1 0 0 1 .500 1.000
   Michael Martinez PR 0 0 0 0
   Ryan Madson P 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Team Totals 30 3 0 3 .100 .262
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/21/2012.



So it ended, one of the best Phillies seasons ever in the regular season was reduced to a final game in Philadelphia which they couldn't even draw a walk or steal for a base. These are the things that need to be looked at so they aren't repeated, and the same result is obtained. 2012 is a new season, a time for fresh starts, but not without a lingering look back at the lack of offense late in the season last year.