April 2011

With Phils pitching, the bullpen has become a complete surprise…

During the off-season, after the Phils had picked up Cliff Lee via free agency, everyone in the country were talking about the Phils four aces (Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels), while also thinking that the Phils would likely trade away Joe Blanton (they didn’t), although the other four would come out to support the fifth member of the starting rotation during spring training, but the pleasant surprise during the first nine games of the season has been the performance of the bullpen, who have been rather stingy with both the hits and the runs.

Starters:

Roy Halladay, the staff ace, have had two good starts, having a record of 1-0, as he has gone 13 innings, giving up only one earned run on eleven hits and one walk, while he has struck out 13, for an ERA of 0.69 and a WHIP of 0.92.

Cliff Lee, the present no. two man, has also pitched two games, a spectacular start against the Astros, and a start against the Braves where he lost his control. His record is now 1-1, as he has pitched ten and a third innings, giving up nine earned runs on fourteen hits and a walk, while he has also hit two batters, as he has struck out fourteen, for the team lead, for an ERA of 7.84 and a WHIP of 1.45.

Roy Oswalt, the no. three man, have had two good outings for a 2-0 record, making him the present team leader in wins. He has pitched twelve innings, giving up four runs, of which three were earned, on ten hits and three walks, while also hitting a batter, while he has struck out eight, for a 2.25 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.08.

The team’s no. four starter, Cole Hamels, in his two start, had a bad start against the Mets, before bouncing back against the Braves this past Sunday. His record is now 1-1, as he has gone nine and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on eleven hits and three walks, and one hit batter, while he had struck out eleven, for a 5.59 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

Joe Blanton, the team’s fifth starter, will be making his second start of the season tonight, after having been taken out of his opening start, as he allowed his pitches to come up against the Mets in the fifth inning. His record is 0-0, as he looks for his first win or lost, as he had so far gone four and one-thirds innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits and two walks, while hitting a batter, while he has struck out six, for a high ERA of 14.54 and a WHIP of 2.77, both presently highs among the starters. He hopes to bring both down during his start against the Nationals.

So far, the five starters have a combine record of 5-2, as they have pitched 49.1 innings, giving up 27 runs, of which 26 were earned, on 56 hits and 10 walks, while hitting a total of 5 batters, while striking out 52 batters. They have also given up all three of the home runs allowed by the Phils’ pitchers (Oswalt, Lee and Blanton with one each).

Relief corps:

Meantime, the bullpen has shown itself to be better than expected, as they have allowed only six runs, only five of which were earned, and one inherited runner to score, in their combine total of 30.2 innings.

Their long man, Kyle Kendrick, has appeared in three games, with a 0-0 record, as he has given up a run on four hits and three walks, while striking out a batter in five innings of work, for a 1.80 ERA.

Antonio Bastardo has been on fire as he has appeared in three games, with a 1-0 record, as he has so far given up no runs in four and two-thirds innings, giving up only two hits, while striking out nine batters, for an ERA of 0.00.

The Phils’ other lefty in their bullpen, J.C. Romero, appeared to have regain his 2008 form as he has pitched in five games, for an 0-0 record, as he has given up a run on three hits and a walk in four innings, while he has strucked out three, for a 2.25 ERA.

After having a bad year in 2010, Danys Baez seems to have recovered nicely this year, as he has appeared in five games, for a record of 1-0, as he has given up an unearned run on six hits and a walk, as he pitched a total of five innings, while striking out two, for an 0.00 ERA.

Second year man David Herndon is the only reliever who doesn’t seem to be pitching well in the early going, as he has pitched in five games, for an 0-0 record, going six innings, as he has given up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out a batter, for a 4.50 ERA.

The Phils’ eighth inning pitcher, Ryan Madson, is doing well, as he had an 0-0 record, as he has pitched in three games for a total of three innings, giving up no runs on a hit, while he has struck out four, for an 0.00 ERA.

Their present closer, Jose Contreras. has been lights out, as he has appeared in three game, for an 0-0 record while converting both of his save opportunities, as he has gone three innings, giving up no runs on two hits and a walk, while he has struck out four, for an 0.00 ERA.

The bullpen has appeared in all nine games, for an 2-0 record, as they have given up a total of 23 hits and 8 walks, while striking out 24 batters. The good work of the bullpen help give the Phils a team ERA of 3.49 while the team’s WHIP is at 1.21. If this continues, especially once the starters have hit their stride, this could become a very dangerous team, even if the offense has its mid-season slump, as the pitching should keep them within striking distant during most games.

The Phils offense is off to a good start in 2011…

Coming out of spring training, everyone pondered how the Phils offense would do without Jayson Werth (now a member of the Nationals) and Chase Utley (knee problems). Well, after nine games, they seems to be doing pretty well.

After nine games, the Phils are among the National League leaders in several offensive categories. They lead the league in team batting average (.334), team slugging percentage (.484), team total bases (155), team hits (107), stolen base percentage (80%) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.865), while they are tied for first with the Reds for most RBIs (58). They are second in on-base percentage (.380), doubles (22), runs scored (59), and team extra-base hits (31). They are fourth in total at-bats (320). They also have the third fewest strike outs (56).

As is shown by the stats, although they are not hitting as many home runs (8) as they have in the past, they are still knocking in runs, as they are getting a lot of singles, with enough doubles added, and are using them to move men around the bases to score.

All but one of the regular eight are presently batting over .300, with Shane Victorino leading the team with a .417 batting average, which puts him in fifth place among batting leaders, thanks to his recent hot series against the Braves. Victorino is also batting .611/432, as he is batting 15 for 36 with 8 runs scored and with 8 RBIs. He has four extra-base hits (2 2BS, 1 3B, 1 HR), for 22 total bases, and has stolen 2 bases, being caught once.

Ryan Howard is next with a .361/.639/.390, as he has gone 13 for 36, scoring 7 runs, while knocking in 11 runs, leading the club, as he have has 6 extra-base hits (4 2Bs, 2 HRs), for 23 total bases.

Thanks to his hot series against the Braves, Carlos Ruiz is third with a .346/.538/.414, as he has gone 9 for 26, scoring 6 runs, as he knocked in 7, with 3 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 1 HR), for 14 total bases.

Fourth among the starting eight is Placido Polanco with a .342/.447/.390, as he has batted 13 for 38, scoring 6 runs, while he had knocked in 8, with a total of 4 extra-base hits, all doubles, for 17 total bases.

Fifth is Wilson Valdez, who is playing second base as Utley recovers from his injury. Valdez has gone .333/.444/.357, hitting 9 for 27, scoring 5 times, while knocking in 5. He has 3 extra-bases hits, all doubles, for 12 total bases. He also has a stolen base.

Jimmy Rollins, in a contract year, is doing well in the third spot in the line-up, although slowing down in the Braves series, being no. six. He is batting .324/.405/.390, going 12 for 37, crossing the plate 6 times, while still waiting for his first RBI. He has 3 extra-base hits, all doubles, for 15 total bases. He has 3 stolen bases, leading the team.

Seventh is Ben Francisco, who is doing rather well as he handle the right field duties. He has gone .306/.528./375, batting 11 for 36, scoring 7 times, while knocking in 7. He has 4 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 2 HRs), for 19 total bases. He also has a stolen base, and has been caught once.

Raul Ibanez is the last of the eight, as he has also cool down in the Braves series, after being hot against the Mets. He is presently hitting .257/.400/.350, as he has gone 9 for 35, with 9 runs scored, while he has knocked in 6. He has 3 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 1 HR), for a total of 14 total bases. He has also stolen 1 base.

The rest of the team, including pitchers, have gone a collective 16 for 49, collecting one extra-base hit (1 HR), for 19 total bases. They have scored 5 times, while knocking in 6 RBIs.

Finally, unlike last year, the team has done very effectively pinch hitting, having ten hits, with 5 RBIs, with 4 of them coming on Ruiz’s pinch hit grand-slam home run last saturday afternoon.

If the Phils can continue what they are doing right now, their starting pitching will be even more effective, since the offense will be handing them leads both at home and on the road.

Cole Hamels comes back to pitch seven innings of four-hit ball on the Braves, as the Phils win, 3-0.

As Shane Victorino had a three-hit game, hitting a solo home run, Cole Hamels recovered from his bad first start by pitching seven strong innings against the Braves, as the Phils win, 3-0.

The first three innings was a pitchers’ duel between the Braves’ Derek Lowe, who gave up one hit, while striking out one, and the Phils’ Cole Hamels, who got through the first nine Braves without giving up a hit, striking out four. The Phils then took the lead in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Jimmy Rollins hits into a 6-4-3 doubleplay, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Placido Polanco’s single, while Polanco, who had just singled, would be wiped out at second base for the inning’s first out. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead in the sixth as Victorino hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the year. Cole Hamels then got out of a pair of jams. First, in the sixth, with runners on first and second, via single to Freddie Freeman, who was then moved up to second on a Lowe sacrifice bunt, and then a walk to Nate McLouth, and with two men out, Hamels got Chipper Jones to ground out, 5-3, on the first pitch, to end the threat. Then, in the seventh, after giving up singles to Jason Heyward and Alex Gonzalez, with Heyward going to third, and with two men outs again, Cole got out this jam as he got Freeman to ground out, 4-3, once again on the first pitch. The Phils then added to their lead in the ninth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and went to third on right fielder Heyward’s fielding error as he misplayed the ball, as he ran on contact, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. That would be the final score as Jose Contreras collected his second save as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Dan Uggla to end the game.

Cole Hamels (1-1, 5.59) got the win, as he bounced back from his bad start against the Mets, as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up four hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Ryan Madson received his second hold of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he struck out a batter. Jose Contreras collected his second save of the season, striking out a batter. Derek Lowe (1-2, 1.45) took the lost, as he went seven innings as well, giving up two runs on seven hits, while he struck out two. Jonny Venters pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Craig Kimbrel pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk, striking out a batter. Hamels came back in his second start, after his disastrous first start, while the bullpen continues to be lights out.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, two singles and a solo home run, as he scored two of the Phils’ run, while knocking in one, as he raised his average to .417, after a slow start during opening weekend. Carlos Ruiz followed with two hits, both singles, raising his average to .346, putting all of the Phils’ regular, except for Raul Ibanez, who is now batting .257, at .300 or above. Placido Polanco (Single), Rollins (Double) and Ibanez (Single) had the other three Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard had the other Phil RBI, as he hit an RBI ground out, while Rollins knocked in the other run on a doubleplay, getting no RBI. The Phils’ offense have so far been able to beat the Astros, the Mets and now the Braves’ pitching, although kept under control in three of their first nine games, but winning one of those games, and losing one of the others because one of their starters let the lead get away.

The Phils (7-2, 1st) have tomorrow off, before they go to Washington to meet the Nationals (4-5, 5th) for three games, starting on Tuesday night.

A late inning surge gives the Phils the win, as they defeat the Braves, 10-2.

Seven runs scored in the seventh and eighth innings, including a career first grand-slam home run by pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz, gives the Phils a 10-2 win over the Braves.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, scoring Shane Victorino who had started the game off with a double, then went to third on Jimmy Rollins’ ground out, 3-1, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Braves tied the game up at one-all in the third as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Freddie Freeman hits an RBI single, knocking in Alex Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled. Two batters later, after Brandon Beachy had moved Freeman up to second base with a sacrifice bunt, 1-4, the Braves took the lead as Martin Prado hits a single to right, which Francisco misfielded for an error, allowing Freeman to score, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead. The Phils retook the lead in the fourth as, with a man on, and with two man out, Brian Schneider hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the season, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Braves then tried to regain the lead in the sixth, as they loaded the bases, via a single by Chipper Jones, and walks to Brian McCann and Dan Uggla, with two men out. But Roy Oswalt got out of the inning by getting Jason Heyward to pop up to the third baseman for the inning’s final out. The Phils then broke the game wide open in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Ibanez, a pinch hit single by pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. sending Ibanez over to third base, and a walk to Wilson Valdez, moving Mayberry, Jr. up to second base, and with nobody out, pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz hits a pinch hit grand-slam home run, his first home run of the season, and his first career grand-slam, knocking in Ibanez, Mayberry, Jr. and Vadez, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead. Three batters later, with a man on second, and with two men out, the Phils made it an 8-2 lead as Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Victorino, who had earlier singled, then stole second base. The Phils then made it a 9-2 lead in the eighth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI double, scoring pinch hitter Michael Martinez, who had earlier singled. The Phils then took a 10-2 lead as Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Ruiz. That would be the final score, as J.C. Romero and Danys Baez would pitch a pair of scoreless innings.

Roy Oswalt (2-0, 2.25) got the win as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five runs and two walks, while he struck out only two batters. David Herndon, J.C. Romero and Danys Baez combined for three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit (Baez), while striking out one (Baez). Brandon Beachy (0-1, 3.75) took the lost as he pitched six innings plus one batter, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out two batters. George Sherrill pitched to two batters, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Scott Linebrink pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits, while striking out two. Cristhian Martinez pitched two innings, giving up two runs on four hits,while also striking out two.

The Phils had fifteen hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with four hits, three singles and a double, knocking in a run, while scoring two, lifting his average to .375. Jimmy Rollins (Single, Double) and Carlos Ruiz (Grand-Slam Home Run, Double, 5 RBIs) followed with two hits each. Ryan Howard (Double, RBI), Ben Francisco (Single, RBI), Raul Ibanez (Double), Brian Schneider (Home Run, 2 RBIs), Roy Oswalt (Single), pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. (Single) and pinch hitter Michael Martinez (Single) had the other seven Phils’ hits. The Phils offense went back to where they had left off on Thursday, while their pinch hitters went three for three, knocking in four runs, all on Carlos Ruiz’s first career grand-slam home run.

The Phils (6-2, 1st) will conclude their three-games series with the Braves (4-5, 3rd) tomorrow with an afternoon game at Turner Field. The game will start at 1:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (0-1, 20.25), who is coming off a horrible start against the Mets on April 5, as he went only two and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out only three batters, in the Phils’ 7-1 lost. He will be trying to bounce back from that lost. Derek Lowe (1-1, 0.77), who is coming off a lost against the Brewers on April 5, as he pitched six innings, giving a run on five hits and three walks, while he struck out seven, in the Braves’ 6-1 lost. He will be trying to give the Braves the series win. The Phils will be going for their third series win, while looking to see if Hamels will bounce back from his previous start.

Cliff Lee allows a lead to get away, as the Phils lose to the Braves, 6-3.

Cliff Lee blew a three-run lead, before losing the game, as the Phils dropped their road opener to the Braves, 6-3.

The Phils took a 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base on Placido Polanco’s single, then went to third when Jimmy Rollins hits into a 3-6 force out, wiping out Polanco at second base, after Rollins had stolen second base. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead as, with one man on, and now with two men out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins. The Phils then made it a 3-0 lead as, with two men on, and with one man out, Victorino hits into an RBI forced out, 4-6, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base on Wilson Valdez’s ground out, 6-3, then went to third on shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s fielding error of Cliff Lee’s grounder, while Lee, who had earlier been safe on first on Gonzalez’s error, was wiped out at second base, while Victorino was safe on first base. The Braves then came back in their half of the second, as they cut the Phils’ lead down to 3-1 as, with a runner on third, and with no one out, Gonzalez hits an RBI double, scoring Jason Heyward, who had earler tripled. Three batters later, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Martin Prado hits a ground-rule double, scoring Gonzalez, who had moved up to third on Freddie Freeman’s single, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, while Freeman, who had earlier singled, stopped at third base. The Braves then tied the game up at three-all as Nate McLouth hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, scoring Freeman, while sending Prado to third base. The Braves then took the lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via Freeman being hit by a pitch, a single by Prado, moving Freeman up to second base, and a single by McLouth, with both runners moving up a base, and with one man out, Chipper Jones hits a three-run double, that Victorino had missplayed, giving the Braves a 6-3 lead. The Braves then turned the Phils away in the fifth as, with the bases loaded via a single by Kyle Kendrick, a single by Victorino, sending Kendrick to second base, who then moved to third as Polanco hits into a force out, 4-unassisted, as Dan Uggla tagged Victorino in the base path, allowing Polanco to be safe at first, who, in turned would move up to second as Tim Hudson committed a fielding error as he tried to field Rollins’ grounder, and with one man out, Howard check swinged into a 1-2-3 doubleplay, as Kendrick is out at the plate. That would be the final score as the Phils are unable to mount up much of an offense after that miss opportunity.

Cliff Lee (1-1, 7.84) took the lost as he lasted only three and a third innings, giving up six runs on ten hits, one walk, and one hit batter, while he struck out only three. Kyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo and J.C. Romero then followed, together pitching four and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Kendrick (1), Bastardo (1)) and two walks (Kendrick (1), Romero (1)), while striking out eighth batters between them (Bastardo (6), Romero (1)). Tim Hudson (2-0, 1.84) got the win, as he pitched seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits, while he struck out two. Jonny Venters received his third hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face. Craig Kimbrel recorded his third save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. The Phils’ bullpen once again did an excellent job after a starter was knocked out early.

The Phils offense had only eight hits, with Shane Victorino (Singles, RBI), Ben Francisco (Single, Double, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Singles) each leading the team with two hits. Placido Polanco and Kyle Kendrick had the other two Phils’ hits, both singles, while Ryan Howard knocked in the other Phil run, via a sac fly. The Phils took an early lead, but they missed an opportunity to get back in the ballgame in a bases loaded, one out, situation in the fifth, as Howard hits into a double play.

The Phils (5-2, 1st) continue their three-games road trip with the Braves (4-4, 3rd) at Turner Field. The game will start at 1:10 pm EDT, and it will be nationally televised on Fox-TV. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (1-0, 3.00), who is coming off a win against the Astros on April 3, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while he struck out six, in the Phils’ 7-3 win. He will be trying to even up the series. The Braves will counter with Brandon Beachy (0-0, 1.50), as he is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on April 4, as he went six innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while he struck out seven, in the Braves’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to handle the Phils’ offense. The Phils will be trying to recover from last night’s lost to even up the series.

The Phils offense give Roy Halladay plenty of runs support as they shut out the Mets, 11-0.

The bats pounded the Mets, giving Roy Halladay plenty of runs support as the Phils shut out the Mets, 11-0.

After Roy Halladay pitched himself out of a bases loaded, one out, jam in the top of the third, the Phils took the lead in their half of the inning as, with one man on, and with one man out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Wilson Valdez, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Halladay’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, before Victorino would go to second base on center fielder Angel Pagan’s throwing error. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead as Placido Polanco hits an RBI double, scoring Victorino. The Phils then increased their lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, knocking in Ben Francisco, who had earlier singled, then went to second when Raul Ibanez was hit by the pitch, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead, while sending Ibanez, who had been hit by the pitch, to second base. The Phils then made it a 4-0 lead as Valdez hits an RBI double, knocking in Ibanez, while sending Ruiz on to third base. Three batters later, with still two men on, and now with two men out, Polanco hits a two-run single, scoring both Ruiz and Valdez, giving the Phils a 6-0 lead. The Phils then took an 8-0 lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Valdez hits a two-run double, his second double of the game, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier singled, then reached second on Ike Davis’ throwing error on an Ibanez ground ball, as he tried to force out Howard at second base, and Ibanez, who had been safe at first on Davis’ throwing error, before he is thrown out at third base trying to stretch it into a triple, 8-6-5, to end the inning. The Phils then took a 10-0 lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ibanez hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the season, knocking in Howard, who had been safe on a force out, 3-6, as Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, was wiped out at second base thanks to the shift. The Phils would score once more in the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Polanco hits into an RBI force out, 6-4, knocking in Valdez, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base on pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr’s single, then went to third on Victorino’s fly out, giving the Phils’ an 11-0 lead, while Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier singled, is wiped out at second base, while Polanco would beat the throw back to first. That would be the final score as David Herndon threw a scoreless ninth.

Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.69) got the win as he pitched seven innings, giving up six scattered hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Danys Baez and David Herndon combined for two shut out innings, giving up a hit (Baez) and a walk (Herndon) between them. Jon Niese (0-1, 6.55) took the lost as he pitched only four innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and a walk, while he struck out seven Phils. Pedro Beato pitched two innings, giving up two unearned runs on three hits. Tim Byrdak pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. D.J. Carrasco pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Despite not throwing his best stuff, Halladay stayed in there until the offense started to score runs. Then he started to get control of the Mets, before handing it over to the bullpen for two scoreless final innings.

The Phils had their second straight sixteen hits game, with all of the starters, including Roy Halladay, having at least one hit. Wilson Valdez lead the team with four hits, two singles and two doubles, as he knocked in three runs, as he increased his batting average to .429. Shane Victorino (Singles, RBI), Placido Polanco (Single, Double, 4 RBIs) and Jimmy Rollins (Singles), all followed with two hits each. Ryan Howard (Single), Raul Ibanez (HR, 2 RBIs), Ben Francisco (Single), Carlos Ruiz (Single, RBI), Roy Halladay (Single) and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), had the other six Phils’ hits. After scoring only one run on seven hits in the opener of the three games set, the Phils have come back to score 21 runs, while getting thirty-two hits. Meanwhile, the Phils’ pinch hitter have gone 7 for 12 with a walk, during the first six games, knocking in two runs.

The Phils (5-1, 1st) will go on the road for the first time this season, to face the Braves (3-4, 4th) in Atlanta for three games, starting tomorrow night. The game will be played at Turner Field, and will start at 7:35 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.86), who won his first start against the Astros on April 2, as he pitched seven inning, giving up three runs on four hits, while he struck out eleven in the Phils’ 9-4 win. He will be going for his second win of the season, while trying to add to the Braves present woes. The Braves will counter with Tim Hudson (1-0, 1.29), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on April 3, as he went seven innings, giving up a run on three hits and a walk, while he struck out five, in the Braves’ 11-2 rout of the Nats. He will be trying to end the Braves present three-game losing streak. The Phils will hit the road for the first time this season, for three games in Atlanta and three more in Washington, D.C.

In spite of Joe Blanton’s implosion on the mound, the Phils go on to defeat the Mets, 10-7.

After watching Joe Blanton allow the Mets to come back from a seven-run deficit, the Phils retook the lead before defeating the Mets, 10-7, evening the series, and regaining first place.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Phils then took a 3-0 lead in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Victorino hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Pete Orr, who had earlier singled, then went to third as Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey threw away Joe Blanton’s sacrifice bunt attempt for a throwing error, while Blanton, who had gone to second base on Pelfrey’s throwing error of his sac bunt, stayed at second. The Phils would increase their lead in the third as Howard hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the season, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead. Then five batters later, with the bases loaded, via a single by Ibanez, a walk by Ben Francisco, moving Ibanez up to second base, and a single by Orr, moving both man up a base, and with one man out, Blanton hits a two-run single, knocking in both Ibanez and Francisco, giving the Phils a 6-0 lead, while sending Orr to third. The Phils then took a 7-0 lead two batters later as, with runners on the corners, and now with two men out, Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Orr, while sending Blanton up to second base. The Mets got two runs back in the fourth as, with one man on, and with no one out, Angel Pagan hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the year, knocking in Carlos Beltran, who had been hit by the pitch, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 7-2. The Mets then got to Blanton in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, David Wright hits an RBI single, scoring Jose Reyes, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phils’ lead to 7-3, while sending Willie Harris, who had just walked, up to second base. The Mets then cut the Phils’ lead down to 7-4 as Beltron hits an RBI single, scoring Harris, while sending Wright to second base. Two batters latter, with the bases now loaded, after Pagan hits a single, moving both Harris and Wright up a base, and with still one man out, Ike Davis hits a two-run double, knocking in both Harris and Wright, making it a 7-6 Phils’ lead, while Pagan would stop at third. Three batters later, the Mets tied the game up at seven-all as, after Brad Emaus walked to reload the bases, and with now two men out, pinch hitter Daniel Murphy hits an RBI single, knocking in Pagan, while sending Davis to third, and Emaus to second base. The Phils regain the lead in their half of the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had just doubled, giving the Phils an 8-7 lead. The Phils then made it a 9-7 lead two batters later, after Jimmy Rollins had walked, moving Polanco up to second base, as Howard hits an RBI infield single, as third base coach Juan Samuel aggressively sent Polanco home, while Rollins would stop at second base. The Phils then made it a 10-7 lead in the sixth as Francisco hits a solo home run, his second home run of the year. That would be the final score as the Phils’ bullpen would shut down the Mets for the final four innings, with Jose Contreras picking up his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he pitched four and one-third innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits, two walks and a hit batter, while he struck out six. Antonio Bastardo (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched one and two-thirds inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. J.C. Romero received his first hold of the season as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Ryan Madson also received his first hold of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Jose Contreras recorded his first save of the season, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, as he struck out a batter. Mike Pelfrey also got a no-decision as he pitched only two innings plus four batters, as he gave up seven runs, six of which were earned, on eight hits and a walk, while he struck out a batter. Taylor Buchholz pitched two scorless innings, giving up three hits, while he struck out five. Blaine Boyer (0-1, 9.82) took the lost as he pitched two inning, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Pedro Beato and Francisco Rodriguez combined for two scoreless innings, as they walked one batter (Rodriguez), while striking out two (Rodriguez). The Phils’ bullpen came on to stop the Mets, after another Phils’ starter is knocked out of the game, this time pitching four and two-thirds innings, allowing only one inherited runner to score.

The Phils had sixteen hits in the game,  with Ryan Howard leading the team with four hits, an infield single, two doubles and a home run, as he knocked in two runs, while also scoring two, as he raised his average to .524. He would also walk. Placido Polanco followed with three hits, all singles, as he knocked in three runs. Shane Victorino (Double, Triple, RBI), Raul Ibanez (Singles, RBI) and Pete Orr (Singles) came next with two hits apiece. Ben Francisco (Home Run, RBI), Joe Blanton (Single, 2 RBIs) and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), had the other three Phils’ hits.

The Phils (4-1, 1st) will conclude their three games series with the Mets (3-2, T-2nd) tomorrow with an afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 3:05 pm. The Phils will send to the mound their ace, Doc Halladay (0-0, 1.50), as he received a no-decision on opening day against the Astros on April 1, as he pitched six innings, giving up a run on five hits, while he struck out six, in the Phils’ 5-4 walk-off win. He will be trying for a series win, while trying to increase his record over the Mets to 5-0. The Mets will counter with Jon Niese (0-0, 2.57), who also received a no-decision, his being against the Marlins on April 2, as he pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while he struck out three, in the Mets’ 6-4, extra-innings win. He will be looking to give the Mets the series win. The Phils will be trying to head to Atlanta with a 5-1 record.

I see that the Latest Leaders list is out and…

I see that I’m back on the fan blogs list at 50. Well, better to be on the list than not be there. Thanks to everyone who’d looked at my blog during the spring training period, as I tried to regain my form.

And, now, for the list itself…

FANS
1. Rays Renegade
2. The Baseball Collector
3. Rockpile Rant
4. The Three Bs
5. Unfinished Business
6. Red State Blue State
7. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
8. Hands off my Pirates Booty
9. Yankee Yapping
10. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
11. Cook & Son Bats’ Blog
12. Phillies Phollowers
13. Dodgerfilms
14. The Closer
15. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
16. The Pittsburgh Peas
17. The 1 Constant
18. The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived
19. Pinstripe Birthdays
20. Yankees Chick
21. Counting Baseballs
22. The Happy Youngster…Brew Town’s Ballhawk
23. White Elephant Parade
24. Crzblue’s Dodger Blue World
25. Observing Baseball
26. FutureAngels.com
27. The Phanatic Addict
28. Underneath the Halo
29. Amazine
30. Red Sox Nation Daily
31. Strictly Cubs Baseball
32. Justine’s Baseball Journey
33. Art of the Pale Hose
34. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
35. The Yankee Dinosaur
36. Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts
37. Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees
38. A Misplaced Astros Fan
39. This is a very simple game…
40. El Designado
41. 2131 and Beyond
42. The Cub Den
43. Baseball, Apple Pie, and Lobster
44. More Splash Hits
45. Prose and Ivy
46. Minoring In Baseball
47. The Wizard of Ozzie
48. Cardinal Girl
49. Phillies Red Pinstripes
50. (:> Bird Brained 
As can be seen, there are presently three other Phillies fan blogs on the list, beside myself: Phillies Phollowers at 12, The Phanatic Addict at 27 and Rant, Raves, and Random Thoughts at 36. Congrats, guys, and congrats to everyone else who’d made the list this month.

Please take a look at all of the blogs, won’t you, folks?

Update: Seems that I ended up as being no. 49, not 50.

The Phils lose their first game of the season as Cole Hamels’ problem with the Mets continue, as the Phils lose, 7-1.

Cole Hamels troubles with the Mets continue as he is knocked out of the box by the Mets starting pitcher in a six-run third inning, as the Phils drop one to the Mets, 7-1.

The Mets, after blowing a two on, no out, situation in the first, took a 2-0 lead in the third as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Chirs Young, a bunt single by Jose Reyes, that was not fielded cleanly by Cole Hamels, allowing Young to get to second base, and a walk to Angel Pagan, moving both runners up a base, and with noone out, David Wright hits a two-run single, knocking in both Young and Reyes, and sending Pagan to third. Two batters later, with runners now on second and third, after Wright had stolen second base, and with one man out, Pagan scored on a passed ball, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead, while Wright would move up to third base. The Mets then made it a 4-0 lead as, with two men on, after Scott Hairston had walked, and with still only one man out, Wright scored on Ike Davis’ RBI single, while Hairston would stop at second base. The Mets then took a 5-0 lead as Brad Emaus hits an RBI single, scoring Hairston, while sending Davis up to second base. Two batters later, with two men on, and now with two men out, the Mets made it a 6-0 lead as Young hits an RBI single, scoring Davis, while sending Emaus to second base, while knocking Hamels out of the ball game, as he was unable to get past the third inning. The Phils would get a run back in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI double, knocking in Wilson Valdez, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, making it a 6-1 Mets’ lead, while sending pinch hitter Michael Martinez, who had earlier walked, to third base. The Mets would get the run back in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Hairston hits an RBI single, knocking in Wright, who had earlier doubled, making it a 7-1 Mets’ lead, while Hairston would move up to second on the late throw to home plate. That would be the final score, as the Phils would be unable to mount a rally, thanks in part to the wind denying Ben Francisco a chance for a pair of home runs and three RBIs, as it knocked down a couple of deep hit fly balls to left.

Cole Hamels (0-1, 20.25) took the lost as he pitched only two and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and two walks, while he struck out three. Kyle Kendrick pitched two and a third scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out one. David Herndon followed with an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. J.C. Romero, Danys Baez and Antonio Bastardo combined for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Romero (1), Baez (1)), while striking out two (Romero (1), Bastardo (1)) between them. Chris Young (1-0, 1.69) got the win as he pitched five and a third innings, giving up a run on five hits and four walks, while striking out seven, as he effectively pitched himself out of a couple of jams. D.J. Carrasco pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Tim Byrdak and Bobby Parnell combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Parnell), while striking out one (Byrdak) between them. The Phils’ bullpen did a very admirable job the first time one of the team’s starters did not go deep into a ballgame, as they gave up only one run (Herndon) to the Mets after Hamels got knocked out of the box in the third inning.

The Phils had just seven hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez leading the team with two hits, both singles, as he raised his batting average to .267. Placido Polanco (Double, RBI), Jimmy Rollins (Single), Wilson Valdez (Single), pinch hitter Pete Orr (Single) and pinch hitter Ross Gload (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits, while Ben Francisco was robbed of a pair of home runs as the wind knocked down both of his hard shots to left field.

The Phils (3-1, T-1st) will continue their three games series with the Mets (3-1, T-1st) with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. Game time is 7:05 EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a 9-6 2010, with a 4.82 ERA, finishing the season strong. He will be trying to get the Phils back on the winning track, while evening the series. The Mets will counter with Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 10.38), who is coming off a bad opening day start against the Marlins on April 1, as he pitched four and a third innings, giving up five runs on four hits and four walks, while he struck out two Marlins, in the Mets’ 6-2 lost. He will be trying to even his record, and give the Mets early control of first place. The Phils will be trying to regroup after last night’s lost, to regain sole possession of first place in the East.

In other news, Chase Utley did a little jogging before yesterday’s game to test the progress of his right leg. He is progressing, but he is still going to be out for a while. Shane Victorino went back into the lineup yesterday, but sadly went 0 for 5, with three strikeouts. During the weekend, Kyle Kendrick’s home in Washington state was broken into, with a number of items, including both his 2008 World Series and his 2009 NL rings, being stolen. Hopefully, the culprits will be found quickly and brought to justice.

The Phils sweep the home stand, as the offense and Roy Oswalt defeat the Astros, 7-3.

A strong outing by both Roy Oswalt and the offense led to a sweep of the Astros, the first time the Phils open the season with three wins at home since 1970, as they defeat the Astros, 7-3.

The Phils took a quick 3-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the season, and the first this year for the Phils, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier walked and stopped at second base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, and Rollins, who had just singled. The Phils then made it 4-0 as, with two men out, Ben Francisco hits a solo home run, his first home run of the year. The Phils then took a 5-0 lead in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Howard hits an RBI double, scoring Polanco, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Rollins’ single, while sending Rollins, who had earlier singled, would stop at third. The Astros got a run back in the fourth as Hunter Pence hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season, cutting the Phils’ lead to 5-1. The Astros then made it a 5-2 Phils’ lead as, with one man on, and with one man out, Brett Wallace hits an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, scoring Carlos Lee, who had been safe at first on a force out, 6-4, wiping out Pence, who had earlier singled, at second base, then stopped at third base on Bill Hall’s double, while sending Hall, who had just doubled, on to third base. The Phils made it a 6-2 lead as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, pinch hitter Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Francisco, who had earlier singled, went to second base on Carlos Ruiz’s walk, then moved up to third on Wilson Valdez’s sacrifice bunt, 6-4, while sending Ruiz, who had earlier walked, and then moved up to second base on Valdez’s sac bunt, up to third base. One batter later, the Phils took a 7-2 lead as rookie Michael Martinez hits an RBI single, his first career hit and his first career RBI, knocking in Ruiz, while sending Victorino on to second base. The Astros would make it a 7-3 Phils’ lead in the ninth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Humberto Quintero hits into a 6-3 double play, wiping out Chris Johnson, who had just singled, while Wallace, who had earlier walked, and then went to third on Johnson’s single, scored. But that would be the final score as Kyle Kendrick would get Jason Michaels to fly out to right for the final out.

Roy Oswalt (1-0, 3.00) gets the win as he pitched six strong innings, giving up just two runs on five hits and a walk, while he struck out six. He is now 10-0 at Citizens Bank Park. David Herndon pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit. Kyle Kendrick pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Bud Norris (0-1,11.25) took the lost as he gave up five runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Fernando Abad pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Aneury Rodriguez pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Enerio Del Rosario pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits and a walk. Mark Melancon and Jeff Fulchino combine for two scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Melancon (2), Fulchino (1)) and two walks (Fulchino), while striking out one (Fulchino), between them.

The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Ryan Howard (Single, Double, Home Run, 4 RBIs) and Ben Francisco (2 Singles, Home Run, 1 RBI) lead the team with three hits each. Placido Polanco (Single, Double) and Jimmy Rollins (Singles) followed with two hits each. Michaels Martinez (Single, RBI), Wilson Valdez (Single) and pinch hitter Shane Victorino (Single, RBI) had the other two Phils’ hits. The offense, in the first three games, have had a total of thirty-seven hits, only eight of which were extra-base hits (6 2Bs, 2 HRs), as they scored a total of twenty-one runs, mostly through singles.

Shane Victorino, after being taken out of the game, pinch hit for Roy Oswalt in the sixth, before playing center field for the last three innings. Hopefully this will mean that things are not as bad with his legs as it sounded last night. We shall see.

The Phils (3-0, 1st) will continue their home stand with three games against the New York Mets (2-1, T-2nd), starting Tuesday night at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (0-0, 0.00), who is coming off a 12-11 2010, with a 3.06 ERA. He will be trying to give the Phils a 4-0 start. The Mets will counter with Chris Young (0-0, 0.00), who is coming off a 2-0, 0.90 ERA 2010 season with the Padres.

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