Results tagged ‘ Pirates ’

The Phils win their first series of the season as they shutout the Cubs, 2-0.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils pitched a shutout as they win their first series of the season, defeating the Cubs, 2-0.

The Phils took the lead in the top of the first as, with two men out, Chase Utley hits a solo home run, his second home run of the season, and his second in two games, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils would increase their lead in the top of the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Dom Brown hits a RBI single, knocking in Utley, who had started the inning off with a walk, then stopped at second base on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, up to second base. That would end up being the final score as Jonathan Papelbon recorded his first save of the season, redeeming himself for his blown save on Wednesday, as he threw a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Emilio Bonifacio, swinging, for the game’s final out.

Cliff Lee (2-0, 6.00) got the win as he threw seven shutout innings, giving up ten hits, while striking out six. Jake Diekman collected his second hold of the season as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Jonathan Papelbon recorded his first save of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 1.29) took the lost as he also pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out eight. James Russell pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out two. Justin Grimm pitched one and a third scoreless innings, striking out a batter.

The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Chase Utley leading the team with three hits, a single, a double and a solo home run. Ben Revere, Ryan Howard, Don Brown (RBI) and Cliff Lee had the other four Phils’ hits, all singles. The Phils had five walks (Utley, Howard, Marlon Byrd, Brown (2)), and a stolen base (Revere (3)) in the game, while the Phils’ defense performed a doubleplay.

The Phils (3-2, 4th East) will conclude their series with the Cubs (1-4, T-4th Central) tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Wrigley Field and is to start at 2:20 pm EDT (1:20 pm CDT). A.J. Burnett (0-0, 1.50) will start the game for the Phils, as he comes off a strong start in a no-decision against the Rangers on April 1, as he went six innings, giving up a run on seven hits and two walks, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 3-2 walk-off lost. He will be going for his first win of the season, while trying to give the Phils’ pitching staff their fifth straight quality start. Carlos Villanueva (2-0, 13.50) will make the start for the Cubs, his first for the season, as he last pitched on April 2 against the Pirates in relief as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on four hits, while he struck out a batter, in the Cubs’ 4-3 extra-inning lost. Villanueva will be trying to put a stop to the Cubs’ present slide. The Phils will be trying to come back home with a series sweep under their belts.

The Phils spoil the Cubs’ celebration of the 100th home opener at Wrigley Field, as they defeat the Cubs, 7-2.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils ruin the 100th home opener at Wrigley Field as they defeat the Cubs, 7-2.

The Cubs take the lead in the bottom of the second as, with two men out, Wellington Castillo hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead. The Cubs would increase their lead in the bottom of the third as, with a man on second, and with two men out, Starlin Castro hits an RBI single, knocking in Darwin Barney, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Travis Wood’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead. The Phils would get a run back in the top of the third as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Dom Brown hits an RBI single, knocking in Marlon Byrd, who had started the inning off by reaching base on third baseman Luis Valbuena’s fielding error, then stopping at third base on Ryan Howard’s single, making it a 2-1 Cubs’ lead, while sending Howard, who had just singled, up to second base. The Phils would take the lead in the top of the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the season, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Phils would add to their lead in the top of the seventh as, with two men on, and with one man out, Utley hits an RBI single, knocking in Ben Revere, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead, while sending Ruiz, who had just walked, up to second base. The Phils would increase their lead in the top of the eighth as, with one man on, and with two men out, pinch-hitter John Mayberry, Jr. hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the year, knocking in Brown, who had lead the inning off with a single, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead. The Phils added an insurance run in the top of the ninth as, with a man on first, and with two men out, Brown hits an RBI double, knocking in Howard, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead. That would remain the final score as Mario Hollands and Jeff Manship would combine for a 1-2-3 ninth, with Manship getting pinch-hitter Mike Ott to ground out, 6-3, for the game’s final out.

Roberto Hernandez (1-0, 3.38) got the win as he pitched five and a third innings, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out five. Jake Diekman collected his first hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men whom he would face, striking out one. Justin De Fratus also collected his first hold of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Antonio Bastardo, Mario Hollands and Jeff Manship would combine for two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two batters (Bastardo (1), Hollands (1)) between them. Travis Wood (0-1, 4.26) took the lost as he went six and a third innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on six hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out eight. Hector Rondon pitched to one batter, walking him. Wesley Wright pitched an inning and a third, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out a batter. Brian Schlitter pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on a hit and a walk.

The Phils pounded out eleven hits in the game, with Ben Revere (Singles) and Dom Brown (2 Singles, Double, 2 RBIs) both leading the team with three hits, followed by Chase Utley (Single, Home Run, 3 RBIs) with two hits. Carlos Ruiz (Single), Ryan Howard (Single) and pinch-hitter John Mayberry, Jr. (Home Run, 2 RBIs), had the other three Phils’ hits. The Phils also had three walks (Ruiz (2), Howard), a hit batter (Ruiz) and a stolen base (Revere (2)) in the game, while the defense performed a doubleplay.

The Phils (2-2, 4th East) will continue their series with the Cubs (1-3, 5th Central) with a day game tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Wrigley Field, and it will start at 2:20 pm EDT (1:20 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (1-0, 14.40), who is coming off a win against the Rangers on March 31, as he went five innings, giving up eight runs on eleven hits and a walk, while striking out only one, in the Phils’ 14-10 win. He will be trying to pitched a better start, while trying to help get the Phils over the .500 mark. The Cubs will counter with Jeff Samardzija (0-0, 0.00), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on March 31, as he went seven shutout innings, giving up five hits and two walks, while striking out three, in the Cubs’ 1-0 extra-inning lost. He will be trying to even up the series for the Cubs. The Phils will once again be trying for the series win tomorrow, while hoping to see their fourth straight quality start from their starters, while the bats continue to hit.

The Phils offense is once again shutout as they are three-hit by Pirates pitching as they lose, 3-0.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils gain only three hits, all by Chase Utley, as they are shutout for the third straight game as they lose to the Pirates, 3-0, in their last spring training game as tonight’s game has been cancelled due to rain.

The Pirates broke up a 0-0 tie in the top of the sixth as, with a man on second, and with one man out, Russell Martin hits an RBI double, knocking in Andrew McCutchen, who had earlier been safe at first on a force out, 5-4, wiping out at second base Travis Snider, who had started the inning off with a walk, then moved up to second base on Phillippe Aumont’s wild pitch, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The Pirates then made it a 2-0 lead as Neil Walker hit an RBI single, scoring Martin. The Pirates then added to their lead in the eighth as, with a man on third, and with two men out, Clint Barmes hits an RBI single, knocking in Gaby Sanchez, who had earlier doubled, then moved up to third base on Jordy Mercer’s ground out, 3-unassisted, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead. That would end up being the final score as Ryan Beckman collected his first save of the spring as he threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning, getting Jimmy Rollins to fly out to right for the game’s final out.

Kyle Kendrick pitched five shutout innings, giving up three hits and two walks, while striking out two. Phillippe Aumont (0-3, 4.05) took the lost as he went a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit, a walk and a wild pitch. Antonio Bastardo pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits. B.J. Rosenberg pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Mario Hollands pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man whom he would face. Jake Diekman pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side. Charlie Morton and Jason Grilli combined for four shutout innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) between them, while striking out a batter (Morton). Tony Watson (2-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Bryan Morris collected his fourth hold of the spring as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Jeanmar Gomez received his second hold of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Jhonathan Ramos received his first hold of the spring, as he threw a 1-2-3 inning. Ryan Beckman collected his first save of the spring, as he threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Phils had only three hits in the game, all by Chase Utley, two doubles and a single. The Phils had no walks in the game while the defense committed an error (Cody Asche) in the game, along with an outfield assist (Dom Brown) and a pickoff (B.J. Rosenberg).

The Phils ended spring training on a sour note as tonight’s game was rained out. Their next game will be their season opener against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The game is to start at 2:05 pm EDT (1:05 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (0-0,  -.–) while the Rangers will counter with Tanner Scheppers (0-0, -.–). The Phils will be trying to start the 2014 season on a good note, while planning to break out of their present hitting slump.

The Phils end their Grapefruit League season on a sour note as they are shutout for the second straight game as they lose to the Blue Jays, 3-0.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils end their Grapefruit League portion of spring training on a low note as they end up being shutout for the second straight game as they lose to the Blue Jays, 3-0.

The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Dioner Navarro hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Emilio Guerrero, who was pinch running for Jose Bautista, who had started the inning off with a single, stole second base as Adam Lind struck out, swinging, then went to third on catcher Carlos Ruiz’s throwing error as he tried to throw Guerrero out, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The Blue Jays added insurance runs in the top of the eighth as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Gabe Jacobo hits a two-run single, knocking in Josh Thole, who had started the inning off with a walk, moved up to second base on Guerrero’s single, then went to third base on Jonathan Diaz’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, and Guerrero, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Diaz’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead, before moving up to second base on left fielder Leandro Castro’s throwing error to the plate. That would end up being the final score as Wil Browning collected the save as he ended a Phils’ threat as they loaded up the bases with Reid Brignac being hit by a pitch, before stealing second base, a walk to Edgar Duran, and a walk to Clete Thomas, and with two men out, as he struck out Koyie Hill, looking, for the game’s final out.

A.J. Burnett (1-3, 6.05) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up a run on three hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out six. Jonathan Pettibone pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Mario Hollands pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Justin De Fratus pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out two. Jonathan Papelbon threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Drew Hutchinson (1-1, 1.80) got the win as he threw five and a third scoreless innings, giving up a hit and three walks, while striking out three. Brett Cecil collected his third hold of the spring as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter, as he retired both batters that he would faced. Casey Janssen received his first hold of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Marcus Walden also received his first hold of the spring as he also threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Wil Browning received his first save of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up two walks and a hit batter, while striking out the side.

The Phils had only one hit in the game, a fourth inning single by Jimmy Rollins. The Phils also had five walks (Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd, John Mayberry, Jr. Edgar Duran, Clete Thomas), a hit batter (Reid Brignac) and two stolen bases (Rollins (3), Brignac (1)) in the game, while the defense committed two errors (Carlos Ruiz, Leandro Castro).

The next Phils (9-17-3) game will be the first of two against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the On-Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park. The game is to start at 7:05 pm EDT tomorrow night. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (1-0, 4.09) while the Pirates will counter with Charlie Morton (1-1, 1.13). The Phils hope to do well in these last two spring training games.

The Phils three-game winning streak come to an end as they are two-hit by the Tigers, losing 1-0

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils’ winning streak ends at three games as they get two-hit by the Tigers, losing 1-0.

The Tigers take the lead in the top of the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Miguel Cabrera hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Ian Kinsler, who had just tripled, as the Tigers take a 1-0 lead. That would hold up as the final score as Cliff Lee and the Phils’ bullpen would only give up nine more hits and a walk in the game, while the Tigers’ pitching staff would keep the Phils’ offense grounded, giving up only two hits, both singles, and three walks in the game.

Cliff Lee (1-2, 2.55) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Phillippe Aumont, Antonio Bastardo, B.J. Rosenberg and Jake Diekman would combine for four scoreless innings, giving up four hits (Aumont (1), Bastardo (1), Rosenberg (2)) between them, while striking out 4 (Aumont (1), Bastardo (1), Diekman (2)). Justin Verlander (2-0, 0.00) got the win as he threw six and a third shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out seven. Phil Coke collected his fourth hold of the spring as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Al Alburquerque received his second hold of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Blaine Hardy collected his first save of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

The Phils had only two hits in the game, both singles, a two-out single in the first by Chase Utley and a two-out single in the eighth by Wil Nieves. The Phils also had three walks in the game (Ryan Howard, Reid Brignac (2)), while the defense committed two errors (Howard, Cesar Hernandez), had an outfield assist (Clete Thomas), and performed three double plays, while Cliff Lee picked off a runner.

The Phils (9-16-3) will play their last Grapefruit League game tomorrow afternoon against the Blue Jays (13-13). The game will be played at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, and is to start at 1:05 PM EDT. The Phils will send to the mound A.J. Burnett (1-2, 7.53) while the Blue Jays will counter with Drew Hutchison (0-1, 2.79). The Phils will be trying to end their Grapefruit League season on a good note, before heading north for their final two spring training games at Citizens Bank Park with the Pirates.

Since my last post….

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils officially started spring training on Thursday, February 13, as pitchers and catchers arrived at Clearwater, followed this week by the rest of the squad, although a large number of players had been at Clearwater during the off-season, getting ready for the 2014 season, especially first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been trying to get back into playing shape.

On Friday, February 14, former ballplayer and ex-Phil manager Jim Fregosi passed away at age 71 from multiple strokes. Fregosi, who broke into major league baseball as a shortstop in September 1961, had an 18-year career playing for the Los Angeles/California Angels, the New York Mets, the Texas Ranger and the Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star and a gold glove winner (1967), he would play in 1902 games, having a .265 career batting average (1726 for 6523) as he hit 264 2Bs, 78 3Bs and 151 HRs, knocking in 706 RBIs, while scoring 844 times. He would also walk 715 times. After retiring from baseball during the 1978 season, he would be hired as the manager of the team that he had begun his playing career, the Angels, starting a career that would end in 2000, during which he would be the manager of the Angels (1978-1981), the Chicago White Sox (1986-1988), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1996) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1999-2000), compiling a managerial record of 1028-1094 .484, as he managed a total of 2122 games. He would lead the Angels into the playoffs in 1979 as they won the American League West, but losing the AL Championship Series, 3-1, to the Orioles, and he would lead the Phils in 1993 to the World Series, before losing the series, 4-2, to the Blue Jays.

On the 16, the Phils finalized their one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, in which they would give the veteran pitcher $15 million dollars plus a $1 million buyout on a mutual option for 2015. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if he exercises his option. With the buyout options and other incentives, Burnett could end up receiving a two-year contract worth $ 33.5 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause, in which he would have to sign off on any possible trade involving nine other teams. In order to make room for Burnett on their roster, the Phils placed left-handed reliever Joe Savery on waviers, awaiting reassignment. On Monday the 17, the A’s picked Savery off of waivers. Selected by the Phils in the first round of the draft back in 2007, Savery has pitched for the Phils for parts of three seasons (2011-2013), appearing in 41 games, with a 3-2 record and a 3.15 ERA, as he pitched in 47.2 innings, giving up 42 hits and 28 runs, 22 of which were earned, as he struck out 32 batters, while walking 19.

As spring training continues, former Phil Roy Holladay has come to camp as a special pitching instructor, offering advice to the team’s younger players. Hopefully they’ll listen to the future Hall of Famer.

A few things had occurred since my last post…

Philadelphia_PhilliesFirst. yesterday, former Phil Roy Oswalt announced that he was officially retiring, as he signed a one-day contract with the Astros so that he could officially retire as an Astros. Oswalt, who is an fourteen-year veteran, ten of which was spent as an Astros, was a member of the Phils for part of the 2010 season and part of the 2011 season, during which he complied a winning record of 16-11. Oswalt would also play for the Rangers and the Rockies. Oswalt, during his career, would be the NL leader for ERA in 2006 with a 2.98 ERA, wins in 2004 with 20, games started with 35 games in both 2004 and 2005 and in WHIP in 2010 with a 1.03 WHIP. He was also a member of the 2005 Astros team that would win the NL pennant before losing to the White Sox in that year’s World Series, being swept by Chicago, 4-0. Overall, Oswalt had a career record of 163-102 with a 3.36 ERA as he pitched in 365 games, 341 of which were starts, as he completed 20 games, including 8 shutouts. He would pitch in 2245.1 innings, giving up 2199 hits and 897 runs, 838 of which were earned, as he struck out 1852 batters, while walking only 520. I wish you luck in your retirement, Roy.

Then, the Phils announced that Comcast plans to hire both Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs to replace Chris Wheeler and Garry Matthews inside the TV broadcast booth, starting this season during Spring Training. Congratulations, guys. Hope you both do well in the broadcast booth.

Lastly, the Phils announced that they have just signed starter A.J. Burnett, who they have been pursuing during the off-season, to a one-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Burnett, who had pitched for the Pirates last year and in 2012, is coming off a 10-11 season, with a 3.30 ERA, as he pitched in 30 games, all starts, with a complete game, as he threw in 191 innings, giving up 165 hits and 79 runs, 70 of which were earned, as he struck out 209 batters, while walking only 67. Burnett, who has also pitched for the Marlins, the Blue Jays and the Yankees, being a member of the 2009 World Championship team, has a 147-132 record with a 3.99 ERA, as he appeared in 375 games, starting 370 of them, as he threw 23 complete games, 10 of which were shutouts. He threw a total of 2353.2 innings, giving up 2140 hits and 1142 runs, 1043 of which were earned, as he struck out 2180 batters, while walking only 955. Welcome to the team, A.J.

Burnett’ll more than likely be the number three man in the starting rotation, after Cole Hamels starts pitching after the start of the season, as the Phils announced that Cole will miss opening day as he has developed tendinitis in his left bicep, which will keep him from throwing the ball for the next eight to ten days, and slow down his participation in spring training, although Cole has said that he should be ready to pitch at some point in April. I’m just hoping that it is only a minor setback, as the Phils will need Cole to back up Cliff Lee, if they expect to get anywhere this season.

Moves the Phils have made during the past off-season…

Philadelphia_PhilliesAs the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.

The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.

Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.

The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.

Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.

The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altheer and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.

On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.

Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.

On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.

Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.

In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.

With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.

Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. :-)

The Phils take the series from the Bucos as they defeat the Pirates, 6-4.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils’ offense give Cole Hamels his third win of the season as they defeat the NL Central leading Pirates, 6-4.

The Pirates took the lead in the bottom of the third as, with runners on second and third, and with two men out, Andrew McCutchen hits a two-run single, knocking in Starling Marte, who had earlier singled, reached second base on Jose Tabata infield single, before reaching third on second baseman Chase Utley’s missed catch error, and Tabata, who had just singled, then moved up to second base on Utley’s error, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. The Phils cut the Pirates’ lead in half in the top of the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Ben Revere hits an RBI single, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Cole Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, 1-4, making it a 2-1 Pirates’ lead, before he moved up to third base on center fielder McCurchen’s throwing error to the plate. The Phils then tied the game up at two-all in the top of the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk by Ryan Howard, a single by Dom Brown, with Howard stopping at second base, and a single by Delmon Young, with both Howard and Brown moving up a base, and with one man out, Kevin Frandsen hits an RBI single, knocking in Howard, and moving both Brown and D. Young up a base, leaving the bases loaded. The Phils then took the lead as Ruiz hits a two-run single, knocking in Brown and D. Young, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead, while sending Frandsen up to third base. The Phils then made it a 5-2 lead two batters later, after reloading the bases as Hamels is hit by the pitch, moving Ruiz up to second base, as Revere hits into an RBI force out, 6-unassisted, as Frandsen scores while Ruiz is tagged out by shortstop Clint Barmes, for the inning’s second out, while Hamels reaches second base, and Revere is safe at first. The Phils added to their lead in the top of the eighth as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, pinch-hitter Michael Young hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in D. Young, who had started the inning off with a single, moved up to second base as Frandsen is hit by a pitch, then moved up to third on Ruiz’s sacrifice bunt, 2-3, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. The Pirates got a run back in the bottom of the eighth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, pinch-hitter Garrett Jones hits an RBI single, knocking in Jordy Mercer, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Marte’s single, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead, while sending Marte, who had just singled, on to third base. The Pirates then made it a 6-4 Phils’ lead as McCutchen hits into a 5-4-3 double play, wiping out Jones at second base for the inning’s second out, as Marte scored. That would end up being the final score as Jonathan Papelbon collected his seventeenth save of the season as he threw a scoreless ninth.

Cole Hamel (3-11, 4.38) got the win as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits, as he struck out eight. Justin De Fratus pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits. Jonathan Papelbon collected his seventeenth save of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.94) took the lost as he went five and a third innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out five. Vin Mazzaro committed his second blown save of the season as he faced four batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up two runs on three hits and a hit batter. Tony Watson pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Ryan Reid pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, a hit batter and a walk, striking out one.

The Phils had fourteen hits in the game, with Ben Revere (2 RBIs) leading the team with three hits, all singles, as he raised his batting average to .290, followed by Chase Utley (Double, Triple .382), Jimmy Rollins (Singles), Delmon Young (Singles, .273) and Carlos Ruiz (Singles, 2 RBIs, .278) with two hits each. Ryan Howard (Single), Dom Brown (Single) and Kevin Frandsen (Single, RBI, .286) had the other three Phils’ hits. Pinch-hitter Michael Young knocked in the final Phil run with a sacrifice fly. The Phils also had two walks (Howard, Brown), two hit batters (Cole Hamels, Ruiz), and two sacrifice bunts (Hamels, Ruiz) in the game.

The Phils (41-45, 3rd) will start a three-game series with the Braves (49-36, 1st), starting with a ball game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (9-2, 2.59), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on June 29, as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out ten, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will for the third straight start be trying for his tenth win. The Braves will counter with Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.69), who is coming off a win against the D-backs on June 30, as he threw six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out three, in the Braves’ 6-2 win. He will also be going for his tenth win. The Phils will be trying to make up some ground against the Braves.

The Phils defeat the best team in baseball with a three-run outburst in the sixth, as they defeat the Pirates, 3-1.

Philadelphia_PhilliesA three-run outburst in the top of the sixth inning holds up as the Phils defeat the Pirates, 3-1.

The Pirates tried to take the lead in the bottom of the third as they load up the bases, via Brandon Cumpton reaching first base on a one-out fielding error by right fielder Delmon Young, before he is forced out at second base, for the inning’s second out, on Starling Marte’s grounder, 6-4, a steal of second base by Marte, a walk by Russell Martin, and an infield single by Andrew McCutchen, moving both Marte and Martin up a base, and with two men out, before Phils’ starter Jonathan Pettibone finally got out of the inning by getting Garrett Jones to strike out, swinging. The Phils finally took the lead in the top of the sixth, ending a 0-0 tie, as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier hit into a force out, 6-4, wiping out at second base Michael Young, who had started the inning off with a single, for the inning’s first out, before moving up to second base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Rollins, who had just singled, over to third base. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead as Dom Brown hits a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Rollins. The Phils then increased their lead as D. Young hits an RBI double, scoring Howard, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead, while D. Young went to third base on shortstop Jordy Mercer’s throwing error to home plate. The Pirates got a run back in their half of the sixth as, with two men out, Jones hits a solo home run, his eighth home run of the year, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead. That would end up being the final score as Jonathan Papelbon collected his sixteenth save of the season by throwing a 1-2-3 ninth.

Jonathan Pettibone (4-3, 3.99) got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on three hits and three walks, while he struck out six. Jake Diekman collected his third hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Phillipe Aumont collected his first hold of the year as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. J.C. Ramirez also received his first hold of the season as he went a third of an inning, walking a batter. Antonio Bastardo received his eleventh hold of the year as he went a third of an inning, giving up a single and a walk, as he struck out a batter. Justin De Fratus received his fourth hold of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man whom he would face. Jonathan Papelbon collected his eleventh save of the season by pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Brandon Cumpton (0-1, 4.02) took the lost as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on six hits, a walk and a hit batter, as he struck out three. Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris combine for three and a third scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Morris) between them, while striking out three (Wilson (1). Morris (2)).

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Michael Young (Singles) and Ryan Howard (Singles, RBI) both leading the team with two hits. Jimmy Rollins (Single), Dom Brown (Single, RBI), Delmon Young (Double, RBI), Carlos Ruiz (Single) and John Mayberry, Jr. (Double), had the other five Phils’ hits. The Phils also had a walk (Chase Utley) and a hit batter (Ruiz) in the game.

The Phils (40-44, 3rd East) will continue their series with the Pirates (51-31, 1st Central) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at PNC Park, and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound John Lannan (1-2, 4.83), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on June 28, as he went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 16-1 rout. He will be looking for his second straight win. The Pirates will counter with Jeff Locke (7-1, 2.06), who is coming off a win against the Mariners on June 25, as he pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out four, in the Pirates’ 9-4 win. He will be searching for win no. 8. The Phils will be out to win their second straight game from the Pirates.

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