Results tagged ‘ Derek Lowe ’

As Phillies continue contract talks with Jamie Moyer, they sign Chan Ho Park to a one-year deal.

The Phillies continue contract talks with 22 years veteran Jamie Moyer, trying to nail him in with a two-year, about $15 Million dollars deal, partly explaining why the Phillies were still in Las Vegas, beside getting ready to sign Raul Ibanez. Talks between the Phils and Moyer has in fact increased since their signing of former Seattle Mariners outfielder Ibanez has all but ended the possibility of the Phillies resigning their free agent left fielder, Pat Burrell. If Moyer does resign with the team, it would mean a starting roster consisting of Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Joe Blanton and Moyer, with the fifth spot to be fought over between Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, minor leaguer Carlos Carrasco, and Adam Eaton.

Correction, the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation has increased by one as former Dodgers Chan Ho Park has agreed to a one-year contract with the Phillies for $2.5 Million dollars, with bonuses that could push it up to $5 Million. With Park’s signing, the Phillies have added depth to the bullpen, while also adding another possible starter in the fight for the fifth and final spot in the rotation, if Moyer resigns with the ballclub. The 15 years veteran last year went 4-4 wiith a 3.40 ERA in 54 games with the Dodgers.

Hopefully this latest move will help the Phillies as they continue to see if they can get either Moyer or free agent Derek Lowe.

Raul Ibanez has signed a three-year, $30 Million contract with Phillies.

Raul Ibanez, a left-handed free agent outfielder, has just signed a three-year, $30 Million contract with the Phillies, pending on him passing a physical. His signing, once he has passed the physical, will more than likely mean that the Phillies will no longer be persuing right-handed free agent outfielder Pat Burrell, while adding another potent left-handed bat to their lineup. Ibanez, who had spent the last five years playing for the Seattle Mariners of the American League, ended 2008 with a .293 Batting Average, 23 homers, 110 RBIs, a .358 On-Base Percentage and a .472 Slugging Percentage, would be replacing Pat Burrell’s 30 homers plus bat.

I will say this, I was not expecting Ruben Amaro Junior to actually pull off something like this, especially as he has been saying for the past month or so that pitching was the team’s number one priority, and that he works for a bunch of cheap skate owners. I don’t know, maybe the owners have decided to spend some money after all. If so, I hope this will turn out to be a good move for the team, although they should’ve gone after a rightie, to take some of the pressure off of their other lefties in the lineup, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. I’m going to give this signing the benefit of the doubt, for now. But, if it goes south in ’09, I’m going to be having a hard time not being a Phillies boo bird.

Oh, Ruben, by the way, about the pitching, are you still going after Jamie, or is Derek Lowe the one who is now in your sights? Or, is it both pitchers that you’re after now? Just checking, is all.

More Trade Rumors: DeRosa might come to Phillies in exchange for J.A. Happ and another prospect to Cubs as part of Peavy deal.

DeRosa may move to Phillies

Infielder could be instrumental in Cubs obtaining Peavy from Pads

The newspaper said the Phillies were working on a complex trade that would import DeRosa, who would provide insurance for Utley at second base and fill, at least partially, the club’s vacancy in left field.

DeRosa, the one-time quarterback for Penn, would move from the Cubs to the Phillies, who would send pitcher J.A. Happ to the Cubs, possibly with another prospect. The Cubs would then move Happ, the second prospect and more to the Padres in a package for pitcher Peavy, the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner.

The Inquirer reported that the Orioles might be involved in the multiclub deal. “Three teams, possible,” the paper quoted a Phillies source as having said Monday night. “Four, doubtful.”

Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phils’ new general manager, declined to comment about the possibility of being involved in a Peavy trade, although a source said there have been talks. Pat Gillick, the outgoing GM who is now a consultant with the club, said on Tuesday morning that he has no detailed knowledge of the talks.

Utley, the All-Star second baseman, underwent surgery on his hip and is expected to miss at least two months of the season. The void in left field is the result of Pat Burrell filing for free agency. Burrell is not expected to re-sign with the Phillies.

DeRosa, 34 in February, appears to be an ideal fit for the Phillies. He batted .285 with 21 home runs and 87 RBIs in 149 games for the Cubs last season, playing six positions including second base (96 games) and left field (27). He is signed for the 2009 season for $5.5 million.

Amaro said on Monday that there was a lot of general interest in infielder Jason Donald, who played for bronze medal-winning Team USA during the Summer Olympics in Beijing and was recently named to the Arizona Fall League’s All-Prospect team

The Padres have been attempting to move Peavy, their ace, who is owed $63 million over the next four seasons. The Cubs have been the main target since a deal with the Braves collapsed last month, but a match between the Padres and Cubs hasn’t been found, so San Diego GM Kevin Towers has said a third or fourth team might be needed to get a deal done.

Towers said Monday that a deal with the Cubs will most likely need to take place this week at the Winter Meetings or he expects to halt the process of trying to move Peavy, the 27-year-old who won the National League Cy Young Award and that league’s pitching Triple Crown just one year ago.

Towers wouldn’t comment on the Phillies being a possible go-between to get Peavy to the Cubs, saying only on Monday that “there’s a package there that would please us.”

Meanwhile, Amaro said he continues to talk with myriad clubs and agents about filling his club’s holes, which also includes one that could be created by the possible departure of veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer via free agency.

According to an SI.com report, the Phillies are believed to have offered Moyer a two-year deal for about $14 million. Moyer is said to be looking for $18 million over two years. At the same time, the Phillies are said to be one of several teams to make an offer to free-agent right-hander Derek Lowe.

Amaro declined to talk about players on other teams he might be talking with, but said that obtaining a starting pitcher would not necessarily preclude the re-signing of Moyer.

“You can never have enough pitching,” Amaro said.

“We’ve spent the day trying to crystallize some of the things we want to do,” Amaro said. “We’ve had some sort of discussions with each of the 29 other clubs. Our desire is trying to improve this team.”

As far as Burrell goes, Amaro said he’s had no substantive talks about bringing back the right-handed slugger, who had three homers and eight RBIs in 14 postseason games.

The Inquirer also reported that the Phillies retain interest in left-handed-hitting, free-agent outfielder Raul Ibanez to play left. However, Ibanez would make the Phillies’ batting order unbalanced once Utley returns. Utley and Ryan Howard also bat left-handed, and without Burrell, the club would lack a right-handed power presence in a ballpark tailored for right-handed hitters.

Ibanez, 36, batted .305 in 187 at-bats against left-handed pitching with the Mariners last season. He batted .293 with 23 homers and 110 RBIs overall, playing in all 162 games.

But opponents would be more likely to throw left-handed pitching at the Phillies whenever possible, and that seemingly would serve to defuse Howard’s potent home run bat.

Ibanez is considered a favorite of Gillick, a one-time Mariners GM, the paper said. Gillick is in Las Vegas for the Winter Meetings.

If the Phils don’t get DeRosa or Ibanez, they may pursue free agent Juan Rivera, a right-handed hitter who played for the Angels in 2008. He could become part of a left-field platoon with left-handed-hitting Greg Dobbs.

The Phillies also have spoken with the Twins regarding outfielder Delmon Young. (H/T Phillies.com)

Even after reading this, my brain still hurts. Okay, a local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting this and not the Boston Globe. Anyway, if this does happen, I hope the Phils know what they’re doing and that DeRosa will still help the team once Utley comes back, since Utley is the regular second baseman. I just hate to see Happ go, though, after what he did for the team this year. I’m just hoping that they aren’t going to send along another player who would have helped the team in the future. Or next year for that matter. As for them and Moyer, if they’re that close, money wise, to settling the deal, then just meet half way and get it done. It isn’t rocket science, you know. Now on Lowe, if they are able to outbid the Yanks, I’ll be really surprised. Lastly, guys, either re-sign Burrell or go after another right handed power bat. I think we already have enough left handed power in Howard and Utley.

Phillies might be third party in a trade to move Jake Peavy to the Cubs.

Phils may be third party in Peavy talks

World Series champions could facilitate ace’s trade to Cubs

According to a Major League source, the Phillies are exploring “every option” to try to improve their pitching staff and fill a hole in left field which could be created by the possible departure of free agent Pat Burrell.

The Padres like some of the Phillies’ young Minor League pitchers. Who the Cubs might send to the Phillies is up to question at the moment, with the name of veteran right-hander Jason Marquis consistently being floated.

Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phils’ new general manager, declined to comment about the possibility of being involved in a Peavy trade, although a source said there have been talks.

The Padres have been attempting to move their ace, who is owed $63 million over the next four seasons. The Cubs have been the main target since a deal with the Braves collapsed last month, but a match between the Padres and Cubs hasn’t been found, so San Diego GM Kevin Towers has said a third or fourth team might be needed to get a deal done.

Towers said Monday that a deal with the Cubs will most likely need to take place this week at the Winter Meetings or he expects to halt the process of trying to move Peavy, the 27-year-old ace who won the National League Cy Young Award and that league’s pitching Triple Crown just one year ago.

Towers wouldn’t comment on the Phillies being a possible go-between to get Peavy to the Cubs, saying only on Monday that “there’s a package there that would please us.”

Meanwhile, Amaro said he continues to talk with a myriad of clubs and agents about filling his club’s holes, which also includes the possible departure of veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer via free agency.

“We’ve spent the day trying to crystallize some of the things we want to do,” Amaro said. “We’ve had some sort of discussions with each of the 29 other clubs. Our desire is trying to improve this team.”

Amaro, who replaced Pat Gillick just days after the Phillies defeated the Rays in a ran-delayed five-game World Series, is in his first months as a GM after a decade with the club as an assistant.

He declined to talk about players on other teams he might be talking with, but said that obtaining a starting pitcher would not necessarily prelude the re-signing of Moyer.

“You can never have enough pitching,” Amaro said.

As far as Burrell goes, Amaro said he’s had no substantive talks about bringing back the right-handed slugger who had three homers and eight RBIs in 14 postseason games. (H/T Phillies.com)

I know that rumors are fun guys, but remember, they are just that, rumors. Unless there are any real meat behind them, they are nothing. I won’t believe that the Phils are an actual party in getting Peavy to the Cubs (who are own by an organizaton that has just declared bankruptcy, by the way), until it happens. And if it does, I just hope the Phils have not outsmarted themselves as management have done a lot of in this team’s history. 

Sources claim that the Phillies have made an offer to the Dodgers’ Derek Lowe.

Phillies make play for veteran Lowe

With Moyer talks hitting snag, club reportedly makes offer to righty

Derek Lowe’s name surfaced in a Boston Globe report, which indicated the Phillies have made an offer to the right-hander, who is represented by Scott Boras. Citing a source familiar with the club’s intentions, the report said that the Phillies have discussed the matter “pretty extensively.”

The newspaper reported another unidentified team — not the Yankees or the Red Sox, though both teams are expected to meet with Boras this week — has also submitted an offer.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn’t confirm or deny that an offer had been made, but said, “I will tell you that I’ve talked to Derek Lowe’s representatives. He’s not the only free agent that we’ve had discussions with. There have been plenty of them.”

The Phillies have also spoken with Darek Braunecker, the agent for A.J. Burnett, though it seems unlikely they’ll meet Burnett’s request for a five-year deal, though Amaro didn’t rule that out.

Philadelphia’s interest in broadening its horizons beyond Moyer has been spurred by a snag in talks with the 46-year-old, who earned $8.5 million in 2008 — $5.5 million in base salary and another $3 million in incentives. The lefty went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 196 1/3 innings in the regular season, and he won Game 3 of the World Series.

Despite his age, Moyer is an attractive middle-of-the-rotation name in a market that includes fellow southpaws Oliver Perez, Andy Pettitte, Randy Wolf and Randy Johnson.

Lowe, 35, would command more dollars than Moyer, prompting some creative contract structuring — and may shift the focus toward a more fiscally responsible replacement for free-agent left fielder Pat Burrell.

The Phillies also must prepare for 10 potential arbitration cases, all of which will result in salary increases, and that could limit the team’s spending. Philadelphia didn’t offer salary arbitration to Moyer, preferring to remaining flexible in its offseason spending, so the club will not receive two Draft picks should Moyer land elsewhere as a free agent.

Hot Stove

The Phillies would lose one if they signed Lowe or Burnett. Moyer remains the priority.

“We haven’t put any deadlines on [Moyer making a decision],” Amaro said. “He clearly wants to pitch beyond [2009]. The challenge is to try and to add pitching. With or without Jamie, we’ll try to do it.”

As for Burrell, Amaro declined to say that his time in Philadelphia has ended, despite the belief that the team has little interest in bringing him back.

“I couldn’t really put a percentage on it,” Amaro said. “We haven’t had a whole lot of substantive discussions, but that doesn’t preclude us from bringing him back. This is a slow-moving process.” (H/T Phillies.com)

My take, I think this is all just a ploy on the Phillies part to get Moyer back to the negotiating table. I mean, remember who’s Lowe’s agent is, Scott Boras. I do not trust that guy, and not just because of the J.D. Drew fiasco. This guy just yells slime to me. If the Phillies have made an offer to Lowe, I’m sure Boras is going to have him asking the Phils for a lot more than they can afford to give out. Hey, Junior, get off your lazy butt, talk with Moyer, quit being cheap and seal the blasted deal already. Sheesh!!! Oh, and if you are going for Lowe, Junior, you better freaking deliver, dude!!!

National League Championship Series: Game 4: Two eighth inning home runs by Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers, giving them a three games to one lead in the NLCS.

Two two-run home runs by Shane Victorino and pinch hitter Matt Stairs in the eighth inning would help lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers as the Phillies take a commanding three games to one lead over the Bums in the National League Championship Series. The Phillies jumped quickly on Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe in the first inning, as, with runners on first and second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled and has moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Werth on to third. Ryan Howard, as he would make the inning’s first out, would make it 2-0 Phillies, as he would hit a RBI ground out to the right side, 4-3, scoring Werth, while sending Utley over to third. Pat Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting runners on the corners. Lowe would finally get out of the inning as he would get Shane Victorino to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Burrell at second. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, as, with runners on first and second and two men out, James Loney would hit a RBI double, scoring Rafael Furcal, who has earlier singled, and has moved on to second on Andre Ethier’s ground out, 4-3, to make it 2-1 Phils, while sending Manny Ramirez, who has earlier been intentionally walked by Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton, to third. Blanton would then get out of the inning as Blake DeWitt would line out to Howard. That would remain the score until the bottom of the fifth as Lowe would calm down, while Blanton would constantly pitch himself out of jams. In the Dodgers’ fifth, the Dodgers would tie the game as, with two men on and no one out, Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Furcal, who has earlier walked and has gone on to second on an Ethier’s single, while Ethier’s would reach third on Burrell’s late throw to the plate as Furcal is able to push his way through catcher’s Carlos Ruiz’s right leg. Ramirez would meanwhile move up to second on the throw, putting two men in scoring position. Blanton would then get Russell Martin to ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, scoring Ethier on the play, to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, while Ramirez would go back to second base. Blanton would then intentionally walk Loney to put runners on first and second with still one out. The strategy behind the move would work for the Phils, as the next batter, DeWitt, would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, ending the inning. After Lowe is taken out of the game by the Dodgers, the Phillies would then tie up the game in the sixth, as, with men on second and third, and with two men out, Howard, who has earlier walked, moved on to second on Burrell’s single and would move over to third on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, would score on a Chan Ho Park’s wild pitch, while Burrell would move up to third. Park would then walk Ruiz to put runners on the corners. Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would then come out of the Dodgers’ dugout and replace Park with Joe Beimel, after Geoff Jenkins is sent out as a pitch hitter. Jenkins is then replaced by So Taguchi, who would promptly end the inning by flying out to right. The Dodgers would retake the lead in their half of the sixth as Casey Blake would hit a lead-off home run off of Phillies’ reliever Chad Durbin, making it 4-3 Dodgers. Juan Pierre would then follow with a double. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Matt Kemp, putting two men on base, still with no one out. Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel would then replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Furcal would then attempt a sacrifice bunt. Howard would get the ball but would then commit a throwing error, throwing it past Utley, allowing Pierre to score, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead, while allowing Kent to go to third and Furcal to move up to second, with still no body out. Ethier would then line out to first for the inning’s first out. Then, on the key turning point of the game, Ramirez is then intentionally walked to load up the bases. After Eyre is replaced on the mound by Ryan Madson, he would help get the Phils out of the inning with no more damage as Martin would hit a line drive that is caught by Utley, who would then quickly tag second base with his glove, beating Furcal back to the bag, for an unassisted double play, leaving the score still 5-3 Dodgers. After turning back the Dodgers in the seventh, the Phillies would go to work on the Dodgers’ bullpen in the eighth, finally scoring some runs. Howard would start the inning off with a single. After Burrell pops up to second for the inning’s first out, Victorino would follow with a two-run bomb to right, scoring Howard, and tying the game up at five all. After Pedro Feliz would line out to left for the inning’s second out, Ruiz would get on base with a single. Torre would then come out and replace Cory Wade, who had given up the two-run shot to Victorino, with Joe Broxton, to face pitch hitter Matt Stairs. Stairs would work the count to 3-1 before he would hit a monster two-run home run of his own to right field, scoring Ruiz, and giving the Phillies a 7-5 lead. Rollins would then walk and steal second with Werth batting, before Werth would end the inning by striking out. In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would send out J.C. Romero. After giving up a walk to Furcal, Romero would get Ethier to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Furcal at second. Romero would then be replaced with Brad Lidge for a four-out save. It didn’t start out that way as Ramirez would get on base with a double. Martin would then follow with a strike out, which should’ve ended the inning, but didn’t, as it would get away from Ruiz, allowing Martin to reach first base while sending Ramirez over to third, putting runners on the corners. But Lidge would finally get out of the inning by getting Loney to fly out to left. In the ninth, Lidge would pitch an easy 1-2-3 inning, as he would first get pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra to fly out to center for the first out, get Blake to strike out swinging for the second out and then end the game by getting Jeff Kent to fly out to Feliz for the final out, as he records his fifth save of the post-season.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four. Chad Durbin would face only three batters, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Ryan Madson would get the win as he would pitch an inning and two-thirds, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out one. His record in the series is now 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on one hit, while striking out two, as he would records his forty-sixth straight save in forty-six tries. Derek Lowe would also get a no-decision as he also goes only five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Clayton Kershaw would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Chan Ho Park would get a blown save as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs on a walk and a wild pitch. Joe Beimel would also go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would go an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on a hit, while striking out two. Cory Wade would get a blown save and the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jonathan Broxton would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one.

The victory places the Phillies just one game away from getting into the World Series, as the offense is finally able to torch the Dodgers’ bullpen, getting five runs off of it thanks to a wild pitch and two two-run home runs. The bats would end up getting twelve hits over all, with all of the regulars getting at least one hit, with Chase Utley being the team leader, as he went three for five, knocking in a run on a double and two singles. Next was Carlos Ruiz, who went two for three, with two singles and a walk, scoring a run. Meanwhile, Joe Blanton would pitch five good innings, getting out of trouble constantly before finally being taken out for a pinch hitter. Although giving up two runs, the Phillies’ bullpen would hold firm for four innings, helped along by two double plays with Utley’s unassisted gem in the seventh being the more important of the two as it would get the Phillies out of a bases-loaded, one out jam. The Phillies now need just one more win to get into the World Series, with three chances within which to do it.

Game Five of the National League Championship Series will be played tomorrow night. It will be played in Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a good start against the Dodgers in game one of the NLCS on October 9, where he would go six innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to pitch the Phillies into their first World Series appearance since 1993 with a victory. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (0-1, 27.00), who is coming off a very awful start in game two of the NLCS against the Phillies on October 10, as he would last only two and one third innings, giving up eight runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 8-5 lost. He will be trying to pitch a better game tomorrow night while trying to keep the Dodgers in the playoff.

National League Championship Series: Game 3: Dodgers knock out Jamie Moyer early on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Phillies. Phillies now own a two games to one lead in the series.

The Dodgers came out smoking against Jamie Moyer, batting around in the first inning and scoring six runs off of him before he is finally removed in the second, as the Dodgers defeated the Fightins’, 7-2.

The Phillies lead in the National League Championship Series is now two games to one. The Dodgers attack Moyer early in the bottom of the first as Rafael Furcal would get on base with a single. Andre Ethier would follow with a single, moving Furcal to second base. Manny Ramirez would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Furcal and giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Ethier and Ramirez would both move up to third and second respectively on Pat Burrell’s throw to home, which would get past Phillies’ catcher Carlos Ruiz, which was a mistake as Burrell should’ve thrown to third, keeping the runners at second and third. Moyer, after getting ahead in the count, would hit Russell Martin on the right knee, loading the bases, with still nobody out. Nomar Garciaparra would strike out looking for the first out of the inning. Casey Blake would then follow with a single, scoring Ethier to make it 2-0 Dodgers, while Ramirez and Martin would both move up a base, leaving the bases loaded. Moyer would then strike out Matt Kemp looking, for the inning’s second out. He would then get ahead of Blake DeWitt with two quick strikes, before the count evens out at 2-2. DeWitt would then hit the ball down the right field foul line for a three-run triple, knocking in Ramirez, Russell and Blake, giving the Dodgers a 5-0 lead. Moyer would finally get out of the inning by getting Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda to ground out, 5-3. The Phillies would get a run back in the top of the second as, with a runner on third and two outs, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier doubled and would move to third on Jayson Werth’s fly out to center, making it 5-1 Dodgers. The Dodgers would get that run back as Furcal would hit a lead-off home run off of Moyer, giving the Dodgers a 6-1 lead. In the top of the third inning, with no one on and two men out, Kuroda would throw the first pitch behind Shane Victorino’s head for ball one. This would lead to an exchange between first Victorino and Martin and then Victorino and Kuroda, with Victorino constantly pointing at his head and ribs, indictating that if he was going to hit him, Kuroda should be aiming for his ribs and not his head, while the home plate umpire would give Kuroda (and every pitcher who would later enter the game) a warning that if he believes that he was intentionally aiming at a batter, he would be thrown out of the game. Two pitches later, Victorino would ground out to the first baseman, Garciaparra, with Kuroda covering. Victorino would continue the argument about the ball being thrown at his head while both benches would clear out. Thankfully no blows were thrown, although Ramirez ended up being restrained by several of his teammates as he still believes that Brett Myers had tried to hit him with a pitch in game two although Myers has denied it. In the fourth, the Dodgers would make it 7-1 as, with two men on, and two outs, Garciaparra would hit an RBI single, scoring Ramirez, who has earlier walked and has moved to second on Martin’s walk. But the inning would end as Burrell would throw to third, catching Martin in front of third base, who is then caught in a run down, before being tagged out by Jimmy Rollins, 7-5-6. The Phillies would get a run back in the seventh, as, with runners on the corners and no outs, Pat Burrell would get a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has earlier doubled, and would move to third on Howard’s single, making the score 7-2 Dodgers, while moving Howard up to second. But, that would be the best that the Phillies would be able to do as the Dodgers’ bullpen would then shut them down for the last three innings, with Jonathan Broxton ending the game with a Feliz’s pop up to second, with Werth on first base, and two men out.

Jamie Moyer took the lost, his second straight bad start in the post-season, as he is only able to go one and a third innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits and a hit batter, while striking out two. His series record is presently 0-1 with a rather high 40.50 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and walking one. J.A. Happ would pitch three innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits and a two walks, while striking out two. Steve Eyre, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would each pitch an inning of scoreless ball, giving up between them no hits, two walks (Durbin (1), Romero (1)), and a hit batter (Durbin) and four strikeouts (Durbin (2), Romero (2)). Hiroki Kuroda would get the win as he would pitch six strongs innings plus three batters, as he gave up only two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Cory Wade would pitch two shut out innings, giving up only one hit, while striking out two. Jonathan Broxton would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit, while striking out one.

The lost would cut the Phillies’ lead in the series to 2-1 as the Dodgers went to work early on Jamie Moyer, batting around in the first as they scored five runs, with DeWitt’s three-run triple being the major blow. But the Phillies’ bullpen, after Moyer’s removal in the second after giving up a solo home run to Rafael Furcal, would shut down the Dodgers, only giving up one more run in six and two-thirds innings of work. Meantime, the Phillies’ batters would be once again unable to do anything against Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda before the seventh inning, when three straight hits by Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell would finally chase him out of the game. Sadly, it would a case of too little, too late. If there is any silver lining in all this, it is that it looks like Howard is finally coming out of his post-season slump, as he had a double and a single, scoring a run, and helping to set up the other Phils’ run. Now, if Jimmy Rollins’ bat would finally wake up, and if Shane Victorino would use last night’s incident as a motivator for the rest of the series, the Dodgers will be in a lot of trouble.

The National League Championship Series will continue tonight with Game 4. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton, who is coming off an excellent start against the Brewers on October 5, as he pitched the Phils into the championship series by pitching six innings of strong ball, giving up only an earned run on five scattered hits, while striking out seven, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. During the regular season, his record was 9-12 (4-0 as a Phil) with a 4.69 ERA (4.20 as a Phil) in 197 and two-thirds innings, striking out 111 batters while walking only 66. He has faced the Dodgers twice already this year, getting a no-decision in both starts, as he pitched a combined total of eleven innings, giving up just five earned runs on fifteen hits and six walks, while striking out ten. He will be trying for his fourth straight win and his second win in the post-season, while trying to give the Phillies their first win this year in Los Angeles as well as a three games to one lead in the series. He will be opposed by first game starter Derek Lowe, who lost game one as the Phillies ended up knocking him out of the game in the sixth inning, after having them under control for the first five, as he gave up two home runs to Chase Utley and Pat Burrell after Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal’s two-base error on Shane Victorino’s ground ball shifted the game’s momentum over to the Phillies. In five and a third innings of work, Lowe would give up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Dodgers 2-1 lost. His series record is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He will be trying to rebound from the lost, as he tries to tie the series up at two games apiece.

National League Championship Series: Game 1: Two bombs in the sixth propel the Phillies past the Dodgers, 3-2. Phils take 1-0 Series lead.

Two home runs by Chase Utley and Pat Burrell in the sixth inning would propel the Phillies past the Dodgers to take a one game to none lead in the National League Championship Series, 3-2. The Dodgers would score first, taking a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, as, with a runner on second and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has earlier doubled. The Dodgers would make it 2-0 in the fourth, as, with a runner on third, and one out, Blake DeWitt would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier hit a ground-rule double and has gone to third on Casey Blake’s ground out, 6-3. By the bottom of the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe was in complete control of the Phillies, making most of the Phillies’ batters hit into ground outs, although a fly out by Jimmy Rollins would end a two on, two out, Phillies’ threat in the fifth, while Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels was keeping the Dodgers under control, dispite giving up two runs thanks to three doubles and a sac fly. But things would suddenly change in the Phillies’ half of the sixth. Shane Victorino would start the inning off by hitting a grounder to Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would make a quick, high throw, to Dodgers’ first baseman James Loney, which would tip off the end of his glove and rolled into foul territory behind first base. After slowing down to make sure that he has touched first base, Victorino would move on to second base on Furcal’s throwing error. The next batter, Chase Utley, would then follow by guessing correctly on a first pitch fastball, sending it into the right field seats for a two-run home run, scoring Victorino before him, to tie the game up at 2-2. After Ryan Howard would ground out to Loney, for the inning’s first out, Pat Burrell would get the count up to 3-1 before he would hit a fastball into the left field seats for a solo home run, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. That would be the game for Lowe as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would come out and replace him with Chan Ho Park, who would then proceed to end the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out to center and Pedro Feliz to ground out, 6-3. Hamels, in the seventh, would have a 1-2-3 inning, as he would get first DeWitt and then Jeff Kent to strike out swinging, and then end the inning by getting Furcal to ground out, 1-6-3, as the ball glance off of Hamels right to Rollins, before he would easily throw Furcal out at first. In the eighth, Ryan Madson would replace Hamels on the mound. Madson would begin the inning off by getting Ethier to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout to tell Madson how he was to pitch to Ramirez. I have no idea if Madson actually followed Manuel’s orders or not, as Ramirez would swing at the first pitch thrown to him, a changeup, which he would line directly to third baseman Feliz for the second out. The next batter, Russell Martin, would get on base on a hard ground ball that would glance off of Feliz’s shin, which would slow it down enough for Burrell to get to it and throw it quickly to second base, holding Martin to a single. Loney would follow by hitting into a ground out, 4-3, ending the inning. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge in the ninth to close out the game. Lidge would start the inning by getting Kemp to fly out to right center, which was caught by Victorino for out number one. Blake would follow by flying out to deep center field for the inning’s second out. Lidge would then end the game by getting DeWitt to strike out swinging, getting his third save of the post-season.

Cole Hamel would get the win, his second win of the post-season, as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording his first save of the series and his forty-fourth save in forty-four tries. Derek Lowe would take the lost, as he went five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out only two. His series’ record is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Greg Maddux would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no runs.

Until the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe had everything going his way, having the Phillies’ bats under his control as he got most of his first fifteen outs on ground balls, including one that would lead into a double play. But, everything would change thanks to a lead-off two-base error by Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal on a Shane Victorino ground ball. After that, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell would guess right on a couple of Lowe’s fastballs, sending them into the right and left field seats, respectively, to give the Phillies the lead, a lead that they would never surrender. Meanwhile, Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels, although giving up runs in the first and fourth innings, was only in trouble once, and that was after giving up the RBI double to Manny Ramirez in the first, as he would, after striking out Russell Martin for the inning’s second out, walk James Loney, then watch Carlos Ruiz allow an 1-0 pitch to Matt Kemp to get pass him for a pass ball, which would allow Ramirez to move up to third and Loney to second. But he would finally end the threat by getting Kemp to fly out to right. The Dodgers would not put together another major threat against Hamels, outside of scoring another run off of him in the fourth, over the next six innings, before he would hand the ball over to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.

The National League Championship Series will continue in Philadelphia this afternoon, with the second game being played at Citizens Bank Park, starting at 4:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers, who is coming off a good start against the Brewers on October 2, where he pitched seven inning, giving up just two earned runs on just two hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. His record in the National League Divisional Series was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. His regular season record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA in 190 innings of work, as he struck out 163 batters, while walking only 65. But, his record after coming back from a minor league assignment to help clear his head is 7-4, with two no-decisions, in thirteen starts. In two starts this year against the Dodgers, he is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, as he went a combined total of fourteen innings, giving up only three earned runs on fourteen hits and five walks, while striking out sixteen batters. He hopes to do as well against the Dodgers this afternoon as he did against the Brewers. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley, who is coming off his brilliant start against the Cubs on October 2, where he went six and one third innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Dodgers’ 10-3 win. During the regular season, his record was 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA in 200 and two-thirds innings of work, as he struck out 201 batters, while walking just 80. In one start against the Phillies, back on August 25, he is 0-1, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out only three, in the Dodgers’ 5-0 lost. He will be seeing if he can improve on his Divisional Series start and avoid being hit as he was in his previous start against the Phillies. The Phillies will be trying to take a two games to none lead into Los Angeles while the Dodgers will be trying to leave Philadelphia with a spilt.

National League Championship Series: Game 1: Cole Hamels gets the call as the Phillies try to get into the World Series.

The first game of the National League Championship Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers will start tonight at 8:22 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter for this first game of a possible seven games series will be their ace, Cole Hamels. Hamels is coming off a brillant performance against the Milwaukee Brewers on October 1 in the first game of the National League Divisional Series, where he pitched eight shut out innings against the Brewers, giving up only two hits and striking out nine batters, in the Phillies’ 3-1 win. During the regular season, Hamels went 14-10 with an ERA of 3.09, while striking out a total of 196 batters in 227 and a third innings. Against the Dodgers, he would pitch two games, going 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA, as he went a combined total of fourteen innings, giving up four earned runs on ten hits, while striking out twelve Dodgers. He will be trying to improve upon his previous outstanding performance against the Brewers, while trying to start the Phillies off on a good note in the series. The Dodgers will counter with Derek Lowe, who is coming off a good performance of his own against the Chicago Cubs on October 1 in the first game of their National League Divisional Series, where he pitched six innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, while striking out six, in the Dodgers’ 7-2 win. During the regular season, Lowe went 14-11 with an ERA of 3.24, as he struck out 147 batters in 211 innings of work. He has met the Phillies only once this year, getting the victory on August 11, as he pitched six and a third innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Dodgers’ 8-6 win. Career wise, he is 4-1 with 2 saves against the Phillies with an ERA of 3.02. He will be trying to pitch the Dodgers into an early lead in the series.

The Phillies will be expecting Cole Hamels to be as dominant in this game, as he was in his start against the Brewers, trying to keep the Dodgers’ bats, especially the bat of Manny Ramirez, quiet during the ballgame. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ bats will have to start out being a little patient with Derek Lowe, waiting for their chances before striking at him, while at the same time trying to make sure that he doesn’t get as comfortable in Citizens Bank Park as he has in the past, as he is sporting a 2-0 record with a 2.25 ERA in three starts. They will have to combine the correct balance of patient and aggressiveness against the veteran Lowe, else it is going to be a long night.

Kendrick unable to escape the Dodgers’ offense as the Phillies lose the series opener, 8-6.

Kyle Kendrick’s Houdini act gets panned in  L.A. as the Dodgers would score seven runs off of him before they are able to hold off a Phillies’ offensive revival as the Phillies drop the series’ opener, 8-6. The Dodgers would erupt for six runs in the third off of Kendrick, who was no longer in command of his pitches. After Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe would lead off the inning with a ground out, short to first, Matt Kemp would get on base with an infield single that almost took out Jimmy Rollins. After Kemp steals second, Andre Ethier would get on base with a walk. Kendrick would then hit Jeff Kent, loading the bases for Manny Ramirez. Ramirez would hit a two-run double, scoring Kemp and Ethier, and putting Kent on third, giving the Dodgers a quick 2-0 lead. James Loney would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Kent and Ramirez, making it 4-0 Dodgers, while Loney would go to second on the throw to the plate. Russell Martin would follow him with a single to right, but Jayson Werth would then proceed to cut down Loney at home, tagged out by Carlos Ruiz, as he successfully blocks the plate, for the inning’s second out. Casey Blake would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, scoring Martin, increasing the Dodgers’ lead to 6-0. The inning would finally end with Angela Berroa flying out to center. The Phillies would make the score 6-1 in the fourth as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI ground out, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, and got to third on Chase Utley’s double. The Dodgers would get the run back in their half of the fourth, making it 7-1, when, with two men on, and one out, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Kemp, who has earlier singled, ran to second base as Ethier was being walked for the second time by Kendrick, and then went to third on Ruiz’s needless throwing error to second. After Kendrick walks Ramirez, Charlie Manuel would replace him with Les Walrond, who would then Houdini his way out of the inning by striking out both Loney and Martin. The Phils would make it 7-2 in the sixth as Howard would hit his second RBI ground out, this time scoring Rollins, who has singled, moved to second on Victorino’s walk and went to third on Utley’s ground out, second to first. After Walrond Houdini’s his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the six by striking out Blake and getting Berroa to hit into a force out, short to second, the Phillies would get closer in the top of the seventh. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, who has earlier doubled and stole third, to make it 7-3 Dodgers. Rollins would then follow with a RBI triple, on a ball that right fielder Ethier would somehow missed in the lights, scoring Jenkins, to make it a 7-4 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers would increase their lead to 8-4 in the eighth, as, with two men on, and no one out, Loney would hit a RBI double off of Rollins’ glove, scoring Pablo Ozuna, who has singled, and sending Ramirez to third. Then Clay Condrey would perform his own Houdini stunt after intentionally walking Martin. He would get Blake to hit the ball to Rollins, who would throw home for the force out, as Ruiz would tag the plate to force out Ramirez for the inning’s first out. Condrey would then get Berroa to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with no further damage. The Phillies would then try to attempt a rally in the ninth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Utley would hit a two-runs single on a pop up that drops behind the shortstop Berroa, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has singled, and Ruiz, who has walked, and moving Victorino, who has also singled off of Berroa’s glove, to second, making it 8-6 Dodgers. But Howard would then end the game with a ground out, his fifth ground out of the game, second to first.

Kyle Kendrick would get the lost, as he did not have good command of his pitches in either the third or fourth innings, as he pitched three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, three walks and a hit batman. His record is now 10-6 with a ERA of 4.74. Les Walrond would pitch two and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits and three strike outs, as he pitched his way out of jams in both the fourth and sixth innings. Clay Condrey would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on fifth hits. Derek Lowe would get the win as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. His record is now 9-10 with a 4.74 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would also pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jonathan Broxton would get his sixth save of the year as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on three hits.

The Phillies’ offense, although rallying late in the game, would be the main contributor to Kyle Kendrick’s lost, as it would not give him any runs support early on, forcing him to try to be almost perfect in his approach, which he would proceed to lose in the third inning as the Dodgers would then proceed to hit his bad pitches, ending up with six runs in the third and a seventh run in the fourth before he would finally be mercifully taken out by Charlie Manuel. It would seems that the Phillies’ batter are starting to realize that they are not producing at the plate as they should be. But, instead of trying to relax and take the pressure off themselves, they are now trying to do too much and thereby pressing themselves to produce. Fellows, do yourselves a favor. Now that you know that things are not working out the way they should be, try to relax and not make things even worst by trying to force things to happen. The remedy that you guys need is already there, but you just won’t use it. Play some small ball for a while. Maybe just trying to make contact and moving runners along might help to get the pressure off of all of you for a while. At least I hope it will. It can’t make things any worst than it is now.

The Phillies (64-54) will continue their four games visit with their old rivals the Dodgers (59-59, 2nd National League West) with another night game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35), who is still looking for his tenth win. He is coming off a lost to the Marlins on August 7, where he went six and a third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 lost. This will be his first start against the Dodgers. He will be hoping that the Phillies will finally give him some runs support, something they have not been doing for him lately. The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.71), who is coming off a win against the Cardinals on August 7, where he pitched seven innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-1 win. He has never faced the Phillies. He will be trying to even his record while hoping that the Phillies’ offense isn’t preparing for a big outburst.

The Phillies are still leading the Mets by two games as they’d lost a make-up game to the Pirates, and two and a half games over the Marlins as the fish lost to the Cardinals, as the Phils failed to take advantage of both teams’ loses. They now lead the Braves by nine games as the Braves had yesterday off. As the Phils continue their series with the Dodgers, the Mets will start a three games series with the Nationals in Washington, while the Cardinals will continue their three games series with the Redbirds in Miami and the Braves will start a three games series with the Cubs in Atlanta. The Phillies will be trying to regroup and try to win the series while once again hoping to either gain or hold their ground against their nearest opponents in the Eastern Division.

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