Kendrick outduels Johnson, throws World off its axis.

When Philadelphia fans woke up this morning and saw the pitching matchup for tonight’s game, many already chalked it up as a loss. Kyle Kendrick vs. Josh Johnson? There’s no chance right? Well…baseball is a funny game.

Jimmy Rollins led the game off with his 41st career lead off home run off and that’s all the scoring that was needed. Kendrick pitched seven shutout innings, scattering five hits while striking out six.  Josh Lindblom, who’s struggled since coming over in a trade for Shane Victorino, threw a 1,2,3 8th inning, while Jonathan Papelbon picked up his 26th save of the season.  The Marlins out hit the Phillies 5-4, but only had two base runners reach scoring position. With the win, the Phillies move to 54-62 for the season, but 18-11 in the 2nd half. Since the 2nd half, the team has won 7 out of 10 series.  Tomorrow, Roy Halladay goes against Mark Buerhle. In his last two starts, Halladay has gone 15 innings, allowing 1 earned run with a 13-1 K/BB ratio.

Notes and Observations: Continue reading

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Live Blogging Phillies, Pirates II

So I didn’t go to the game today so I’m going to torture myself by writing down all my thoughts during a Kyle Kendrick start.

1:07- Writing a Chad Qualls DFA post.  It’s a lot of fun to write and hopefully I get to write one about Kyle Kendrick in the near future.

1:09- First two guys get on for the Pirates. Start the circus music.

1:11- Somehow McCutchen didn’t hit a ball 500 feet.

1:12- Garrett Jones, hitting .244 I might add, singles to right.  1-0 Pirates. Goodie.

1:14- I woke up my dog screaming at the TV after Kendrick gave up a home run to McGehee.  Sorry, Charlie.

1:18- Alvarez goes back to back.   Forfeit? Please?

Continue reading

Live Blogging Phillies, Pirates

He's back!

Chase Utley is back and I haven’t posted a lot so here’s a chance for an article.

7:10- Valdes goes 1,2,3 inning. Utley makes the final out and TMac makes it awkward.

7:12- James McDonald pitching for the Pirates. He’s been incredible this year. He has the lowest ERA in baseball since April 19th.

7:15- Utley walks up to the plate and Twitter just exploded.

7:16- Juan Pierre almost gets picked off which would have been the biggest buzz kill ever.

7:18- Of course, Pierre is caught stealing.  Thanks for the Buzzkill.

7:19- Chase homers and social media just broke.

7:20- James McDonald has thrown three curveballs, two have been terrible and the other ended in the seats.

7:21- Chooch goes back to back. Steals Utley’s thunder.

7:27- End of 1, Phillies up 2-0. It’s a bullpen game for the Phillies as they didn’t call up a starter after the doubleheader on Sunday screwed up their plans. Kendrick goes tomorrow, Lee Friday, Hamels Saturday. Continue reading

State of the 2012 Phillies

            Last season the Phillies won a franchise record 102 games with an average offense and great pitching staff. Expectations were high heading into the season with Cliff Lee joining the fold and those expectations didn’t change as the season went along.  On September 17th,Philadelphia defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 9-2 and clinched their fifth consecutive NL East title.  Following the win, the team went on an eight game losing streak that scared a lot of the fan base, however others mention that they had nothing to play for as a big factor.  The Phillies finished the season on a four game winning streak, sweeping the Atlanta Braves and actually knocked them out of the playoffs on the final day.  This allowed the St. Louis Cardinals to win the NL Wildcard and set up a first round matchup against the Phillies.  The Cardinals finished up 16-5 to conclude the season en-route to passing the Braves.

The Phillies won their 5th consecutive division title

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Phillies make Nick Evans look great, lose 7-4

 Nick Evans had three hits, including a three run home run as the Mets defeated the Phillies in the getaway game 7-4. The Phillies fell behind 4-0 in the first inning and could never catch up as they left twelve men on base. Kyle Kendrick, who was spot starting for Cole Hamels, only went four innings, giving up six runs, but only two were earned.  Mike Pelfrey wasn’t great, giving up nine hits in six innings, but was good enough to pick up his seventh win of the season.  David Wright had a home run and two hits as well. The Mets are off tomorrow, but head home to face the Atlanta Braves Friday, while the Phillies continue their home stand against the Florida Marlins on Friday.

Things got off to an ugly start for the Phillies in the first inning.  Angel Pagan led off the game with a single. Michael Martinez’s fielding error allowed the next batter, Ruben Tejada, to reach base.  David Wright followed with a single to load the bases with no outs.  After a Lucas Duda RBI fielders’ choice and Jason Bay strikeout (shocking), Nick Evans (whooooo?) hit a three run home run to left. All four runs in the inning were unearned.  Considering Mike Pelfrey stinks, a 4-0 deficit was very manageable. The Phillies chipped away in the third inning. A two run single by Shane Victorino (creeping his way into the NL MVP conversation) cut the deficit in half. Two batters later, one of Chase Utley’s three hits would score Victorino to make it 4-3.  David Wright would push the Mets’ lead back up to two with a solo home run in the top half of the third inning. All of the sudden, an hour and half had rolled by and just three innings were in the books.  (Joe West would be proud) The Mets would tack on two more in the fourth and fifth innings on a David Wright sac fly and Nick Evans (Whoooooo?) RBI double.  Hunter Pence made it 7-4 in the seventh inning on a RBI infield single to second. The Phillies had a chance to get even closer in the eight inning.  Ross Gload doubled with one out.  Shane Victorino would then hit a ground ball that both Lucas Duda and Justin Turner went after.  Duda, the first baseman, tried to get back to the first base bag but missed it, setting up first and third with one out for Placido Polanco.  Polanco hit ground ball that seemed destined to reach center field, but Mets second baseman Justin Turner made a fantastic dive, starting a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.  The Phillies would bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but Carlos Ruiz grounded out to short to end the game.

Notes:

-This game moved at a snail’s pace.

-Jason Bay stinks

– So does Michael Martinez.

-Not sure why the Phillies insist on having Martinez on the roster when a guy like Jamey Carroll could be  probably be acquired through waivers.

-Nick Evans was probably a great Binghamton Met, not sure if he’s ever going to amount to anything as a New York Met.

-Two out of three ain’t bad.

-Mike Pelfrey is a loser and he still stinks.

Couldn't pick this clown out of a lineup.

Zimmerman plays hero, hits walk-off Grand Slam

 Every little kid dreams of it…3-2 count, 2 out, down a run, game on the line. Ryan Zimmerman lived it and came through in a big way.  Zimmerman hit a walk-off grand slam with two out in the ninth inning to complete a furious comeback win 8-4.  Ryan Madson reaaaaaaaally struggled, going 2/3s of an inning, giving up five hits, and six runs to take the loss. Todd Coffey pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the win.  The game had a 2 hour and 22 minute rain delay in the first inning.  Roy Oswalt was suppose to start the game, but Kyle Kendrick took his place because the Phillies didn’t want to risk injury with Oswalt’s back. He  will start Saturday’s game now against John Lannan of the Nationals in a rematch of last Saturday’s game at Citizens Bank Park. The Braves defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier tonight which pushed the Phillies’ NL East lead back down to 7.5 games.

 With it raining cats and dogs in the Philadelphia region, many wondered if tonight’s game in Washington would start on time. It did start on time, but didn’t last very long.  Four batters into the game it began to rain, starting a long delay. An interesting situation started when the grounds crew started to take the tarp off. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel came on the field and walked towards right field, checking the grass. It seemed as if the Phillies were trying to postpone the game, but the umpires made the game start after the 2 hour and 22 minute delay. Livan Hernandez, the Nationals’ original starter, remained in the game.  The Phillies did all their scoring in the third inning. Jimmy Rollins started it with a one out double.  John Mayberry followed with a triple that was misplayed by Nationals’ left fielder Johnny Gomes that allowed Rollins to score. The next batter, Chase Utley would double home Mayberry.  A Ryan Howard RBI single would come next.  Three batters later, Carlos Ruiz would hit an opposite field single to score Howard with two out.  Even Wilson Valdez got in to the mix with a single, but Raul Ibanez was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.  Ian Desmond got the Nationals on the board with an RBI double in the bottom of the third.  Wilson Ramos would make it a 4-2 game in the 5th inning on a solo home run.  A Carlos Ruiz double in the sixth inning  would be the only Phillies hit besides the third inning. The next batter, Wilson Valdez hit a line drive to Desmond who doubled off Ruiz at second base.  I’m not going to go over the entire ninth inning…just watch this. That sums up what happened to Ryan Madson. He got unlucky, but ultimately gave up the walk off to Zimmerman.

Notes:

-Tough loss, it happens. Easy to get over when you’re 80-43.

-Ryan Zimmerman is an incredible player, but why does he throw like a weirdo?

-Again, solid outing out of Kendrick

-Very selfishly happy that I get to Oswalt and not Kendrick.

– I was kind of hoping that I’d get to see a doubleheader tomorrow.

-I’m happy they got to Livan, but two base runners after the third inning is awful.

– If you rip Ryan Madson after this game, you’re an idiot. He’s been incredible the entire year, it’s just one bad game in otherwise a great season for him.

The 9th inning tonight

Phillies continue home stand with trip to Washington

 

Since the last time we saw the Nationals, they took two out of three from the Reds in Cincinnati. The Nationals are actually one game worse record wise than the Reds which is crazy considering the Reds were a few defensive mishaps from being tied at 1 in the 2010 NLDS against the Phillies.  The Phillies are coming off taking two out of three from Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dbacks came in on a six game winning streak and have the third best record in the National League since the All-Star break.  Since DC fans only believe in the Capitals at the given moment, Nationals Park often becomes CBP South for Phillies fans.  (Thus explaining the headline) Two great memories took place for Phillies fans in CBP South which were 2010 Opening Day when 40,000 Phillies fans booed the Nationals on their own field and the 2010 NL East was clinched on a rainy night last September.

Game 1- Livan Hernandez (7-11, 4.21ERA) vs. Roy Oswalt (5-7, 3.84 ERA). Livan was fantastic last Friday vs. the Phillies. He pitched into the seventh inning and allowed one unearned run. He even knocked in two runs on his own. Hernandez is either really good or gets bombed. He doesn’t throw very hard, topping out around 85 MPH, but throws up slow, slower, and even slower off-speed pitches. At times, he befuddles hitters, other times,  hitters make him look very AAAish.  The Phillies are hitting .300 against Livan as a team with Ryan Howard, Hunter Pence, Raul Ibanez, and John Mayberry posting an OPS north of .900 against him. Roy Oswalt was much more efficient in his second start since coming off the DL. Last Saturday, Oswalt pitched seven innings, giving up three runs, six hits on 96 pitches. It was Oswalt’s first win since June 12th against the Cubs. His career record against the Nationals is 6-4. Laynce Nix is 11 for 23 against Roy while Ryan Zimmerman is 7 fo 20 lifetime against Oswalt.  

Game 2-John Lannan (8-8, 3.55 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.25 ERA)  Lannan made one of the plays of the year when he flipped a ball to force out Ryan Howard at home in his last start. That was about all that went right for him that night.  Lannan gave up seven runs in  three innings, but only one of them was earned.  His career record dropped to 1-11 against the Phillies. As one would expect with a 1-11 lifetime record, the Phillies have five players that post an OPS over .900 against John Lannan. Kyle Kendrick makes the start instead of Cole Hamels. Hamels complained of shoulder stiffness in his last start and will be skipped once. His MRI came back with no significant damage. Kendrick’s last relief appearance came on Friday when he pitched three innings after Hamels struggled in his outing. Kendrick’s ERA is 6.36 against the Nationals.

Game 3- Chien-Ming Wang (2-2, 4.22 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (15-4, 2.51 ERA) This will be Wang’s fifth start since recovering from his shoulder surgery.  Wang has only struck out three hitters in 21 1/3 innings of work which makes Kyle Kendrick look like Nolan Ryan. Safe to safe, his hard sinker is a thing of the past. Halladay was scheduled to start against the Nationals in the last series before Mother Nature said no.  On Tuesday, Doc was incredible for eight innings against the Diamondbacks before giving up his first lead in the ninth inning since  2007. He finished with fourteen strikeouts and his third complete game loss of the season. He’s 11-1 in his career vs. the Nationals.

 

Happens a lot at Nationals Park