March 2009

Spring Training: A tale of three Phillies starters.

The Phillies lose and then win in their last two games as three different starters appear to be going in three different directions.

Starter no. 1, Kyle Kendrick, appears headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley as he has yet another bad outing on the mound, as he gives up five runs, four of which were earned, to the New York Yankees, this past Monday afternoon. He would pitch four innings in total, giving up eight hits and three walks while striking out two, as he takes the lost. Rich Dubee did say that the fifth spot in the rotation was Kendrick’s to lose, and sadly, it looks like he has, as he complies a spring training record of 1-2 with a 12.10 ERA. But, on the plus side, it might be best for Kendrick if he was sent down to Triple-A, as it should allow him to regain his composer against major league batters, as well as to develop a new pitch or two to help himself get out of jams, which he constantly gets into.

Kendrick was followed by Robert Mosebach who pitches an inning and a third, giving up four runs on five hits. Jake Woods follows Mosebach, pitching two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on four hits. Scott Eyre pitches an inning, giving up no runs on a hit as he strikes out three Yanks. Ryan Madson also pitches an inning, as he gives up an unearned run, the twelfth that the Yanks would score against the Phils, on two hits while striking out one.

Batting-wise, the Phils only got six hits in the 12-0 lost, with Eric Bruntlett, Ryan Howard, Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins, Jason Ellison and Ronny Paulino each getting a hit.

Starter no. 2, Brett Myers, pitches a strong outing yesterday afternoon against the Reds in the Phillies’ 8-1 victory, giving up no runs on five hits in five and two-thirds innings of work. He would also strike out seven Reds. Dave Borkowski would follow with a third of an inning of work, walking one batter and striking out one. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning, walking a batter. Clay Condrey would also pitch an inning, giving up one hit while striking out one. Brad Lidge, pitching in his first Grapefruit League game, would give up a meaningless run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Myers would get the win, giving him a spring training record of 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA, putting him in position to be the Opening Night starter if Cole Hamels isn’t ready to start. More on that later.

Batting-wise, the Phillies would score eight runs in a fourteen-hit attack, with six of those runs coming in the second inning. Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry, Jr. and Carlos Ruiz would lead the attack with two hits apiece, with Ruiz also knocking in a run. Pablo Ozuna, Bruntlett, Jason Donald, Howard, Stairs, Ellison, Myers and Jayson Werth would get the other hits. Ozuna, Bruntlett, Donald, and Howard would each knock in a run, along with Ruiz, while Stairs would knock in three. The Phillies had a total of six doubles, with Ibanez, Mayberry, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Stairs and Howard each hitting one. Mayberry and Donald continue to impress.

The third pitcher, Cole Hamels, have had his left elbow examined yesterday in Philadelphia. It appears that there is nothing structurally wrong with his elbow, as team physician Michael Ciccotti checked over his elbow before administering an anti-inflammatory injection into it to help it. Although good news, the Phillies will be going slow with Hamels, meaning that more likely than not that he will not be the Opening Night pitcher after all, and might actually miss his first two starts in the rotation. But, as they say, better to be safe than sorry. And with the team’s ace, better that he is pitching healthy than to have him pitching while hurt and blowing up his arm at some point during the season.

Presently, the Phillies are playing the Blue Jays, with the game tied 4 to 4 after six innings of play.

Spring Training: Jason Ellison knocks in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth with a no-out double as the Phils defeat the Cardinals, 2-1.

Yesterday afternoon at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, Jason Ellison wins the game for the Phils in the ninth by knocking in Miguel Cairo with a double, as the Phils defeated the Cardinals, 2-1.

Chan Ho Park, the Phils’ starter, who continues to battle for the fifth and final spot in the starting rotation, had a strong start as he went four and two-third innings, giving up only three hits to the redbirds while striking out six, as he used his pitches effectively to baffle the Cardinals’ batters. Clay Condrey relieves him in the fifth, pitching an inning and a third of shut out ball, although needing to pitch his way out of a jam in the sixth with a runner on second, Albert Pujols who had gotten on base with a double, with only one out, as he gives up only a hit and a walk while striking out one. Antonio Bastardo follows him with two innings of relief, allowing a run to score in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Brendan Ryan, knocking in Joe Thurston from second base, who was pinch running for Khalil Greene, who had earlier doubled, as Carlos Ruiz was unable to hold onto Raul Ibanez’s throw to the plate, which at the time tied the score at one run apiece. Bastardo would go on to give up two hits while striking out two. Joe Bisenius would pitch the ninth, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, and picking up the win when the Phils scored the winning run in the bottom half of the inning. His spring training record is now 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA.

The Phillies batters had nine hits in the game. Jayson Werth would get the Phils’ first hit as he hits a solo home run in the first inning, his second home run in two straight games, giving the Phils a quick 1-0 lead. Werth would have two hits in the game, as would Greg Dobbs and Cairo. Ibanez, Geoff Jenkins and Ellison, who would knock in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, all had one hit each. Also, Chase Utley would start the game for the Phils at second base, going 0 for 2 as he stayed in the game for four innings, while Pedro Feliz would play at third, also going 0 for 2.

In other Phillies’ new, Cole Hamels will go back to Philadelphia tonight to have his elbow checked tomorrow morning for tightness. No serious problem is expected, but the Phils are just being cautious with their ace.

The Phillies are presently playing the New York Yankees in Grapefruit League play.

Lastly, I’d just discovered that I am actually 26th, not 27th in the latest fan leader ranking, as one of the blogs originally listed among the first 26 was removed.

Spring Training: The Phillies end losing streak as they defeat the Astros, 5-2.

In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phils finally end their losing streak as they defeat the Astros, 5-2. Pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco started the game for the Phillies and recaptured his poise as he pitched three strong innings, giving up only a run on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Dave Borkowski followed, pitching an inning, giving up no runs on no hits as he walked two batters and struck out one. Andrew Carpenter went to the mound next, giving up a run, a Mark Saccomanno solo home run, on three hits and four strike outs as he pitched four innings. Mike Koplove pitched the final inning, giving up no runs on one hit while recording one strike out. Koplove records a save while Carrasco gets the victory, with his spring training record rising to 2-1 as his ERA lowers to 6.30.

Meanwhile, the Phillies batters recorded eleven hits with Pablo Ozuna leading the attack with three hits as he goes 3 for 4 with an RBI, followed by both Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs, who both had two hits, with Dobbs knocking in two runs and scoring one. Jason Donald, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr. and Eric Bruntlett had the other Phillies’ hits, with Werth’s hit being a solo home run as he knocked in two runs. The Phils also had three stolen bases, with Ozuna, Donald and Bruntlett each swiping a base. Mayberry and Donald continues to impress the powers that be with their hitting.

In other Phils news, Chase Utley played in a minor league game yesterday, going 2 for 4 as he played second base for four innings, showing that he hasn’t lost a step. If he can show this in regular spring training games, he should be ready to start at second base on opening night.

The Phillies next spring training game is this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 pm.

Spring Training: The Phillies lose another close one, as Blaine Neal is unable to hold the lead in the ninth.

The Phillies loses another close game in Spring Training, this time in spite of taking the lead with a five-run sixth inning, thanks to Blaine Neal being unable to hold off the Pirates in the ninth, as the Phils lose 6-5. Joe Blanton starts the game off for the Phils, going four and two-thirds innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and a balk while he struck out two. Robert Mosebach follows for an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Ryan Madson and Scott Nestor follows with both men pitching an inning in relief, with each giving up a hit apiece as Madson strikes out three batters and Nestor two. Blaine Neal pitches an inning, losing the game as he gives up three runs on three hits, with the big blow being Jeff Salazar’s three-run home run, and a walk while striking out one. Blaine’s spring training record is now 0-2 with a 23.63 ERA, as he is also credited with a blown save. So far this spring, the Phils first four starters are pitching well, while both J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park are both pitching well to claim the fifth and final spot in the rotation. If this keeps up, the starting rotation might become the strength of the Phillies arsenal this season like the bullpen was last season.

Among the batters, the Phils were quiet for most of the game, but had a five-run explosion in the sixth. The batters had nine hits, with Jason Donald leading the way with two hits, as he went 2 for 5 with a run scored, as he now has a .361 spring training batting average. Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr., Miguel Cairo and Carlos Ruiz got the other Phils hits. Howard got two more RBIs with a two-run blast, his fifth home run of the spring, while Ibanez, Cairo and Ruiz knock in the other three runs. Donald is impressing the brass with his batting, as is Mayberry. Also, Pedro Feliz was in the lineup, playing third base for several innings, although going 0 for 2.

The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play by facing the Houston Astros this afternoon, while the Astros will also be involved in a split squad game with the New York Mets.

In other Phillies news, it has been announced that Chase Utley might be ready to participate in some games next week, putting him on schedule for actually playing on Opening Night next month with the Atlanta Braves. If so, that would be very good news for the Phils. And ex-Phil and now Tampa Bay Ray, Pat Burrell, took out a pair of big ads which appeared in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, thanking the fans for their support during his nine seasons as a Phil. A real nice move by Pat the Bat.

Spring Training: Phillies lose a close one to the Rays yesterday, 3-2.

In Grapefruit League play, the Phillies would end up losing a close one to the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday afternoon, 3-2.

Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phillies, pitching his typical kind of game, as he would go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk while making some of the Rays batters look silly. J.A. Happ, who is still impressing in the race for the final spot in the starting rotation, would pitch the final three innings, giving up what would turn out to be the game winner, a solo home run to Gabe Kapler in the sixth, on four hits and a walk while striking out a batter. His excellent performances are presently putting him in the driver seat for the fifth starter spot in the rotation. Moyer would take the lost, with his Spring Training record falling to 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA.

Batting-wise, Rays’ pitching would silence the Phillies’ bat, giving up only three hits while striking out seven batters. Miguel Cairo would get two of the Phillies’ three hits, going 2 for 3 in the game and scoring a run. Andy Tracy would get the other hit, a two-out solo home run in the ninth inning. Ryan Howard would knock in the Phils other run, as he hits a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the seventh.

The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play with a home game in Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida with the Pittsburgh Pirates, that is presently in progress.

The newest Blog leader lists are up and…

Phillies Red Pinstripes is now listed as no. 27 among the top 50 fan blogs. Once again thanks to everyone who has been following my blog.

Anyway, here’s the most recent fan list, courtesy of MLBlogs.com:

FANS

1. Confessions of a She-Fan
2. Red State Blue State
3. Julia’s Rants
4. Rockpile Rant
5. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
6. FutureAngels.com
7. Rays Renegade
8. Plunking Gomez
9. King of Cali
10. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
11. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
12. Eat, Sleep, Baseball
13. A Diatribe from a Law Student: Baseball Edition
14. Phillies Phollowers
15. Redbird Chatter
16. A lesson in Suttle-ty
17. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
18. The ‘Burgh Blues
19. Life and Indians Baseball through the Eyes of a Clemson Girl
20. Rocky Mountain Way…Outside Coors looking in
21. Braves World
22. Unfinished Business
23. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
24. Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential
25. The Closer
26. A Misplaced Astros Fan
27. Phillies Red Pinstripes
28. Cubs Chatter
29. The Yankees Baseball Whisperer
30. Baseball Canadiana
31. Statistician Magician
32. Baseball Bats
33. The 1 Constant…Baseball
34. All Baseball All The Time
35. crzblue’s World
36. Flair For The Dramatic
37. Bringing Diamond Back(s)
38. Bjarkman’s Latino and Cuban League Baseball History Page
39. Between The Chalk
40. District Boy
41. King Yankees
42. I Live for This
43. Up in Section 360
44. We’re talkin Homer, Blue Jays and MLB
45. Baby Paul’s Baseball Blog
46. MLB in the eyes of a 13 year old
47. LA NACION MEDIAS ROJAS
48. Mets’ Main Man
49. Totally Tribe
50. The Season Experience

Please visit all of them.

Spring Training: Phillies almost come from behind but lose to the Braves, 12-10.

The Phillies came close, but end up losing to the Braves at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, 12-10. The Phils’ starter, Kyle Kendrick, had his second straight bad start as he gets rough up by the Braves in two of his three innings plus four batters worth of work, as he gives up eight runs on ten hits, with two of them being a pair of two-run home runs to Clint Sammons, a walk and a balk as he strikes out two batters. Gary Majewski, who is fighting for a spot in the bullpen, follows, pitching one inning where he gives up two runs, only one of which was earned, thanks to a Ryan Howard error, on three hits. Scott Eyre then follows with a scorless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while stricking out one batter. Ryan Madson then works an inning, giving up a run on three hits as he strikes out two batters. Jake Woods then pitches one inning, also giving up a run on two hit while striking out a batter. Dave Borkowski and Joe Bisenius then pitches an inning each, with both pitchers giving up a hit while Bisenius also walks a batter. Kendrick takes the lost, as his Grapefruit League record drops to 1-1 while his ERA rises to 14.29.

In a losing effort the Phillies get fifteen hits, with Jason Donald leading the way as he goes 3 for 4 with a double, scoring two runs, followed by Raul Ibanez, Greg Dobbs, and John Mayberry, Jr, who would each get two hits in the game. Mayberry’s two hits were a double and a solo home run, as he knocks in two runs, continuing to impress with his .290 spring batting average. Ibanez would also knock in two runs and score a run, while Dobbs would knock in a run. Jorge Velandia, Howard, Jason Ellison, Paul Hoover, a triple, Matt Stairs and Miguel Cairo, a solo home run, would get the other Phillies hits. Howard would knock in two runs, increasing his total to 10 RBIs, as his hit .292 this spring. Valendia, Jayson Werth and Cairo would knock in the other runs. 

The Phillies, after falling behind 10-1 after three and a half innings, would slowly chip away at Atlanta’s lead before finally losing the game in the ninth inning, showing that they are still able to comeback against their opponents, as they have done during the two previous seasons. Meanwhile, with this outing, Kendrick appears to be pitching himself out of the fifth starter position in the starting rotation, leaving it as a two man race between Chan Ho Park and J.A. Happ.

The next Phillies Spring Training game will be tomorrow afternoon against the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. The game will start at 1:05 pm.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Stolen Base Champions.

During the past 123 seasons, starting in 1886, when the National League have been able to record stolen bases, eight Phils have eleven times stolen more bases than anyone else in the NL, including one time when a Phil was tied with another National Leaguer.

The first Phil, when the team was then called the Quakers, to win the stolen base title, Ed Andrews, is also the first National Leaguer to win the title, winning it in 1886 with 56 stolen bases. The next Phillie player to win the title was Jim Fogarty, who won it with 99 steals in 1889. Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton was the third Phil to lead the league in steals, doing it four times in  a six-year period, with 102 steals in 1890, 111 steals in 1891 (which is still the team’s franchise record, although Juan Samuel is listed as the modern single season steal leader with his 72 steals in 1984), 98 in 1894 and 97 in 1895. Fellow Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty became the fourth Phillie player to lead the league in steals, stealing 58 bases in 1898. No Phil would win the title for the next thirty-four seasons. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein then became the fifth Phil to win the stolen base crown with his 20 steals during his MVP season of 1932. Danny Murtaugh becomes the next Phil to win the title, swiping just 18 bases in 1941. Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn was the seventh Phil to win the title as he steals 32 bases during his rookie season of 1948. It would then be another fifty-three seasons before another Phil would win the title. In 2001, Jimmy Rollins would win the title, tying with Juan Pierre of the Colorado Rockies, with both men stealing 46 bases.

Of the eight Phils to lead the league in stolen bases, four of them (Billy Hamilton, Ed Delahanty, Chuck Klein and Richie Ashburn) are now in the Hall of Famers, responsible for a total of seven titles. Hamilton has the highest total among the champs, with 111 steal in 1891, setting the franchise’s overall stolen base record, while Danny Murtaugh has the lowest with his 18 steals in 1941. The Phils have won seven stolen base titles in the 19th Century, three in the 20th Century, and one, so far, in the 21st Century.

Who would be the next Phillie player to lead the National League in stolen bases? Jimmy Rollins is the most likely Phil to win it, but history is not on his side.

And the answer is….

I know that I’d said I would give the answer on Wednesday but since Sue of Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts has already gotten the correct answer yesterday, I’d decided that I might as well give the answer out now.

First, the original question: Name the Phillies’ player who is the team leader in career batting average?

And the answer is, Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton. Hamilton spent six years playing for the Phillies from 1890 to 1895. During those six years, he complied a batting average of .361, which is thirteen points higher than fellow Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, as he got 1079 hits in 2993 at-bats in 729 games played, mainly as an outfielder. During those six seasons as a Phil, he would win two batting titles (1891 and 1893) as well as four stolen base titles (1890-1891, 1894-1895).

So, Congratulations Sue. Next trivia question will be asked next Monday.

Spring Training: Phillies have lost two in a row as they fall to the Reds, 8-4.

The Phillies have lost their second straight game in Grapefruit League play as they lose this afternoon to the Cincinnati Reds at Bright House Field, 8-4.

Cole Hamels was the Phils starter and he had not as solid an outing as he did when he pitched against Team Canada last week. Hamels pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, on a two-run home run to Ryan Hanigan in the third, on only two hits as he struck out three. Andrew Carpenter pitched next, going two and a third innings, giving up only a run, on a solo home run to Yonder Alonso in the fourth, on just two hits while striking out two. Antonio Bastardo followed him with an inning of work, giving up a run, on a solo home run to Daryle Ward, on only one hit as he struck out two. Justin Lehr would take the mound next, and give up four runs on four hits, including a grand slam home run to Chris Valaika, and a walk as he struck out just one batter. Robert Mosebach and Sergio Escalona would each pitch an inning, each throwing a scoreless frame, with neither pitcher giving up a hit while striking out 3 (Mosebach 2, Escalona 1). Lehr is the losing pitcher, with his Grapefruit League record being 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA.

The Phillies had nine hits in today’s game, with Jason Donald leading the team as he went 3 for 4, all singles. Ryan Howard followed with two hits, including a solo home run in the fourth inning. Jayson Werth, Geoff Jenkins, Miguel Cairo and Lou Marson would each contribute a hit, with Jenkins’ hit being a solo home run in the second. Raul Ibanez got the Phils other RBI.

The Phillies’ record is now 4-6 in Grapefruit League play.

The Phillies are off tomorrow. Their next game will be played on Wednesday as they face the Atlanta Braves at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida at 1:05 pm.

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Today’s trivia question is: Name the Phillies’ player who is the team leader in career batting average? You know where to look for the answer. I will post the correct answer on Wednesday.

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