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Archive for July, 2006

Carlos Beltran Ties MLB Record — 3 Grand Slam Homers in a Month…

Monday, July 31st, 2006

New York Mets’ centerfielder Carlos Beltran (32 HRs, 94 RBIs, .282 BA) has put his name in the record books tying 8 others for the record of 3 grand slam homers in a month with his 3 slams during July, 2006.  The last most recent player to do this was Devon White of the Milwaukee Brewers who did this feat hitting grand slams on May 10, 15 and 20, 2001.  Interestingly, White had but 14 total homers in 2001.

              Carlos Beltran        Devon White

10 days ago, this blog wrote regarding the Mets’ 4 grand slams in 5 playing days, 2  of which Beltran clubbed.  The Mets, as a team have hit 5 grand slams in the month of July.

Phils Pull Trigger on 2 Deals Before Trade Deadline…

Monday, July 31st, 2006

On Sunday, July 30, one day before the July 31 major league trading deadline, the Phils beat the deadline by pulling the trigger on 2 deals.  They traded 2 time all star rightfielder Bobby Abreu (8 HRs, 65 RBIs, .277 BA) and starting pitcher Cory Lidle (8-7) to the NY Yankees for a Yanks relief pitcher and 3 minor leaguers.

On Friday, the Phils traded 3rd baseman David Bell (6 HRs, 34 RBIs, .275 BA) to the Milwaukee Brewers straight up for minor league reliever Wilfrido Laureano.

Of both deals consummated so far, the Bell for Laureano trade looks the most positive for the Phillies, although they now need a steady glove at the hot corner.  I’m a firm believer that you’ve gotta have a Schmidt or Rolen calibre glove at 3rd, which or the most part, Bell approached (and a similar potential approaching Schmidt or Rolen with the stick would really help too).  I still vividly recall Schmitty’s bare-handed grabs of grounders and fluid motion in nailing his man at 1st and those great baseline dives to retrieve low line drives or hard grounders down the line to rob the opponents of what always seemed to have extra bases marked all over them.  What the Phils have left at 3rd base — Abraham Nunez, and ,in a pinch, Chris Coste is very, very shakey at best.

But Wilfrido Laureano’s reliever stats, as related by Brian of Phillies Nation, seem impressive.  But is he closer material?  I wouldn’t can Tom Gordon too fast, he’s had a standout year thus far aside from some homerun problems a week or so ago.

As for the 4 former Yanks picked up for Abreu and Lidle, I fear the GM Pat Gillick is far out of his league dealing with George Steinbrenner.  These guys are really questionable.  Further, there seems to be confusion not just with Brian, but on the yahoo major league baseball site as to whether Jesus Sanchez is a pitcher or catcher.

While the Phils dropped some hefty paychecks, was this deal really fiscally worth it in the short and long haul?   Or does Schilling’s rap on club management still hold, that they are still not really committed to winning?

After the trading deadline, this blog will feature an all-time best and worst July trading deadline deals.

Hat tip to Brian of PhilliesNation.

Abreu, Lidle to Yanks in Trade Deadline Deal, Phils Sweep Doubleheader…

Monday, July 31st, 2006

On a day that the Phils beat the July 31 trade deadline by trading 2 time all star rightfielder Bobby Abreu (8 HRs, 65 RBIs, .277 BA) and starting pitcher  Cory Lidle (8-7) to the NY Yankees for a Yanks relief pitcher and 3 minor leaguers, the Phils offense continued it’s break-out of Saturday by sweeping a doubleheader from the Florida Marlins by scores of 11-5 and 9-2.  That’s 32 runs in 3 games. 

Comment about the Abreu, Lidle trade as well as the trade of 3rd baseman David Bell (6 HRs, 34 RBIs, .275 BA) to the Milwaukee Brewers will follow in a different report.

 In the first game, lefthanded starter Randy Wolf made his first start for the Phils since being out for more than a year after year after having surgery on his left arm. Wolf labored, throwing 97 pitches in 4 1-3 innings, in his first start since June, 2005.

Florida jumped out to an early 2-0 lead scoring 1 run in the first inning as leftfielder Josh Willingham (15 HRs, 53 RBIs) singled in a run and catcher Miguel Olivo (11 HRs, 38 RBIs, .286 BA) solo homered in the 4th off of Wolf. 

In the Phils 4th inning however, they lit into Florida starter and losing pitcher Anibal Sanchez (4-1) for 5 runs on centerfielder Aaron Roward’s (10 HRs, 40 RBIs) RBI double and catcher Mike Lieberthal’s (2 HRs, 18 RBIs) grand slam, his 2nd homerun of the season.

Florida got 2 more runs in the 5th inning as Willingham clubbed a 2 run homer to left.  One of the runs was charged to Wolf who gave up 3 runs in his 4 1/3 innings of work and the other run was charged to lefthanded reliever Aaron Fultz (2-0) who relieved Wolf, pitched 2 2/3s innings and was credited with the win.

The Phils came back in their 5th inning with 4 more runs as 3rd baseman Abraham Nunez singled in 2 runs, Lieberthal singled driving in a run and shortstop Danny Sandoval, spelling Jimmy Rollins (12 HRs, 36 RBIs), got his 1st major league hit and first major league RBI.   9-4 Phillies after 5 innings.

In the Florida 8th inning, Willingham hit a solo homer off of Fultz who retired no one in the 8th and was relieved by Geoff Geary (6-0, 3.45 ERA) who got the side out with no further damage.

In the bottom of the 8th, Rowand’s RBI double scored 2 more insurance runs to end the scoring.

Phils 1st baseman Ryan Howard (35 HRs, 87 RBIs, .287 BA) tied a major league mark with five walks.  He scored 2 runs in the game without a scorer’s at bat.  

In the nightcap, the Phils and Ryan Madison (9-7) spotted the Marlins a 2-1 lead and then exploded on starter and losing pitcher Brian Moeller (5-8) and 2 other relievers for 6 in the 6th inning.

Phils leftfielder Pat Burrell (22 HRs, 68 RBIs) put the Phils up 1-0 early with a first inning solo blast.  In the 5th, Florida’s Willingham hit a solo blast, his 3rd homer of the doubleheader and 2nd baseman Dan Uggla (15 HRs, 59 RBIs, .296 BA) singled in the Marlin’s other run in the 6th inning.

In the Phils 6th inning, Phils 2nd baseman Jimmy Rollins solo homered, 2nd baseman Chase Utley (21 HRs, 69 RBIs, .327 BA) singled in a run, 1st baseman Ryan Howard drove in Utley with a 2 run shot to right center field and pinch hitter Shane Victorino (4 HRs, 19 RBIs. .266 BA) singled in 2 runs.  After 6 innings, Phils led 7-2.

Utley’s 6th inning single, along with his 2 hits in game one extended his hitting streak to 31 straight games.

In the 7th inning the Phils got 2 more insurance runs as Utley solo homered and Pat Burrell singled in a tun to close out the scoring.

Ryan Madison pitched one of his better games of the year giving up but 2 runs in 6 innings to earn the win.  The Phils bullpen was nearly perfect over the last 3 innings giving up but 2 hits and 1 walk.

For a full recap including box scores and play-by-plays on Sunday’s doubleheader, click here and here.

On Monday, the Phils hope to end this homestand on a winning note and to take four out of the five game series with the Marlins who have often in recent years been their nemesis.  Jon Lieber (4-7) heads for the mound for the Phils to be opposed by Josh Johnson (8-5, 2.60 ERA) for the Marlins.

For full coverage of Monday’s games in both leagues; previews, recaps, box scores and play-by-play coverage click here.

Phils Offense Breaks-out vs. Florida…

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

The Phillies and the Florida Marlins were tied 1-1 as the Phils came to bat in the 3rd inning and broke the game open in the 3rd and then breezed to a 12-3 victory behind rookie lefthander starter and winner Cole Hamels’(3-5) 7 1/3 innings of work and shutout relief pitching by Ryan Franklin (1-5) and Fabio Castro (0-0, 2.70 ERA).

The Phils broke out on top as leftfielder Pat Burrell (21 HRs, 66 RBIs) solo homered in the 2nd inning.  Florida tied the game in the 3rd on a sacrifice fly.   In the Phils 3rd, they battered Marlins ace lefthander and losing pitcher  Dontelle Willis (6-8) for 7 runs featuring a 2 run single by 2nd baseman Chase Utley (20 HRs, 67 RBIs, .324 BA) and a 3 run homer by 1st baseman  Ryan Howard (34 HRs, 85 RBIs, .282 BA).  2 other runs scored, one on a  fielder’s choice and the other on a sacrifice fly.  Willis gave up 8 runs all told in 2 1/3 innings.  Utley’s 3rd inning single extended his hitting streak to 29 games.

The Phils scored 1 in the 4th inning as Utley solo homered and 3 more in the 6th inning, all off of lefthanded Florida reliever Jason Vargas (1-2) as centerfielder Aaron Rowand (10 HRs, 37 RBIs) solo homered and catcher  Chris Coste (2 HRs, .339 BA) clubbed a 2 run double to close the scoring for the Phils.   Miami reliever Chris Resop (0-0, 2.25 ERA) held the Phils soreless in the 8th and 9th innings.

Miami leftfielder Josh Willingham clubbed a 2 run homer (12 HRs, 48 RBIs) in the 6th inning to finish Miami’s scoring.

For a full recap including box score and play-by-play on Saturday’s game, click here.

The two teams are scheduled to play a day/night doubleheader with lefthander Randy Wolf making his first mound appearance of the season against Florida’s Anibal Sanchez (4-0, 3.00 ERA) in the day game and Ryan Madison (8-7) scheduled for the nightcap vs Brian Moeller (5-7) going for the Marlins.

For full coverage of Sunday’s games in both leagues; previews, recaps, box scores and play-by-play coverage click here.

Classic Pitching Duel Ends As Phils Come Up Short…

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

For 8 innings on Friday, Phils starter Brett Myers (6-5) and Marlins’ rookie starter Ricky Nolasco (9-6), who was relieved in the 8th innng with one out by rookie reliever Taylor Tankersly (1-1, ERA 1.65), were embroiled in classic pitching dual in which Florida led 1-0 going into the 9th inning and won the game 4-1.

             Brett Myers         Ricky Nolasco

Myers gave up 5 hits in his 8 innings of work and held the Marlins scoreless on 3 hits through 6 innings.  Although in a losing cause, this was one Myers’ best games of the year.  He has been impressive in his last 3 starts, although 2 of them have been losses. Nolasco did even better holding the Phils hitless until Abraham Nunez (1 HR) singled in the 7th.  But while holding the Phils hitless through the 6th inning, he did walk 5 and hit 2nd baseman Chase Utley (19 HRs, 64 RBIs, .323 BA) with a pitch in the 4th inning.

                    Chase Utley

Speaking of Utley, he did single in the 8th inning to extend his season high hitting streak to 28 games. However, he was rubbed out on a fielder’s choice grounder by rightfielder Bobby Abreu (8 HRs, 65 RBIs, .277 BA) who then made the final out of the inning by being picked off of 1st base by Marlin’s reliever Tankersly.

                 Miguel Cabrera            Mike Jacobs

Florida scored it’s 1st run in the 7th on back-to-back doubles by 3rd baseman Miguel Cabrera (15 HRs, 63 RBIs, .324 BA) and 1st baseman Mike Jacobs (14 HRs, 54 RBIs, .285 BA) with Jacobs getting the RBI.

                Jeremy Hermida         Miguel Olivo

In the 9th, Florida scored 3 runs, 1 on an RBI singles by rightfielder Jeremy Hermida (4 HRs, .299 BA) and 2 more on a single by catcher Miguel Olivo (10 HRs, 37 RBIs, .287 BA).

                       Ryan Howard

The Phils got a solo homer from 1st baseman Ryan Howard (33 HRs, 82 RBIs, .282 BA) in the bottom of the 9th inning, but it was not enough.

For a full recap including box score and play-by-play on Friday’s game, click here.

The Phils send rookie lefthander Cole Hamels (2-5) up against Florida’s Dontrelle Willis (6-7) in the second game of this series.

For full coverage of Saturday’s games in both leagues; previews, recaps, box scores and play-by-play coverage click here.

Lidle Pitches 4 Hitter, Phils Take Series From Arizona…

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Cory Lidle (8-7) had on of his best outings of the season, giving up but 2 runs on 4 hits in pitching 8 innings for the second straight game as the Phillies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks by a 5-2 score taking their series 2 out of 3 games.

          Cory Lidle            Luis Gonzalez           Conor Jackson          

The Phils spotted Arizona single runs in the 1st and 2nd inning on solo homers by Luis Gonzalez (10 HRs, 48 RBIs, .286 BA) and 1st baseman 
Conor Jackson (9 HRs, 52 RBIs) before tying the game in the 4th inning on Mike Lieberthal’s 2 run homer, his 1st homerun of the season and his 1st since last September.

         Mike Lieberthal        Chase Utley      Aaron Rowand

In the 5th inning, the Phils took a 3-2 lead as 1st baseman Ryan Howard (32 HRs, 81 RBIs, .281 BA) doubled scoring 2nd baseman Chase Utley (19 HRs, 64 RBIs, .322 BA) who had singled and then stole 2nd.  In the 7th inning, the Phils scored 2 insurance runs as centerfielder Aaron Rowand’s (9HRs, 34 RBIs) single drove in Utley and leftfielder David Dellucci (7 HRs, .320 BA).  Utley 6th inning single extended his season high hitting streak to 27 games.

Arizona’s starter Claudio Vargas (8-7) who went 6 innings giving up 4 runs was charged with the loss as 3 relievers got Arizona through the last innings of the game.

                            Tom Gordon

Phils closer Tom Gordon (3-3, 2.68 ERA, S25) pitched a perfect 9th inning to rack up his 25th save of the season.

For a full recap including box score and play-by-play on Thursday’s game,  click here.

                 Brett Myers         Ricky Nolasco

The Phils begin a weekend with the Florida Marlins as Brett Myers (6-4) is opposed by the Marlins’ rookie Ricky Nolasco (8-6).

For full coverage of Friday’s games in both leagues; previews, recaps, box scores and play-by-play coverage click here.