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Archive for March, 2009

Happ Goes Quality 5 Innings, Phillies Pound Yankees

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Rookie lefthander J.A. Happ went 5 innings giving up 2 runs and 5 hits to stay in the hunt for the 5th spot in the rotation as the Phillies pounded starter Chien-Ming Wang and 2 other Yankee relievers for an 8-3 win on Monday. 

Non-rostered invitee Brett Tomko, originally slated to start, was the only Yankee reliever to escape unscathed pitching a scoreless 8th inning while giving up a single.

Infielder Eric Bruntlett and leftfielder Raul Ibanez led the Phillies hitting with 3 hits apiece, each driving in a run.  Rightfielder Matt Stairs socked a 2 run homer in the 6th inning and 2nd baseman Miguel Cairo added a 2 run shot in the 7th inning as the Phils mounted an 8-2 lead.

Reliever Clay Condrey, who pitched a scoreless 6th inning allowing a hit, was credited with the win. Closer Brad Lidge and Scott Eyre pitched scoreless 7th and 8th innings while Mike Koplove gave up a run on 2 hits in the 9th inning.

Wang, who gave up a run in the 2nd inning before getting pounded for 3 runs in the 6th while retiring no one, was charged with the loss,

For all of the results of spring training play on Monday, as well as World Baseball classic championship game results, click here.

AP reports that:   

The Phillies have optioned pitcher Kyle Kendrick to their minor league camp, cutting the candidates for the final spot in the rotation to three.

He was competing for the fifth-starter spot with veteran Chan Ho Park, rookie J.A. Happ and top prospect Carlos Carrasco. The move was announced Monday.

Top catching prospect Lou Marson and infielder Brad Harman were also sent to minor league camp.

In other MLB news, AP cites a report on Curt Schilling’s 38pitches.com blog for Yahoo sports that Schilling, who formerly pitched for the Phillies (including leading the 1993 team which went to the World Series losing to the Toronto Blue Jays) and won 3 World Series titles, 1 with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 and 2 (2004 and 2007) with the Boston Red Sox, will retire after 23 seasons with a career 216-146 record and a 3.46 ERA.

Veteran Chan Ho Park, contesting for the 5th spot in the starting rotation, starts for the Phils who host the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday while ace lefthander Cole Hamels throws in a minor league game in another part of the Carpenter complex in Clearwater.

For all of Tuesday’s scheduled exhibition games, click here.

Red Sox Shut Out Phillies, Offense Continues Cold String

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Righthander Brett Myers was rocked early on 3rd baseman Mike Lowell’s 2 run 1st inning homer but settled down to pitch scoreless ball over the next 4 innings giving up only 3 more hits.  Meanwhile, the Phillies could solve neither starter Josh Beckett nor the Red Sox bullpen as Boston shut out the Phils by a 3-0 score on Monday.

Beckett, who was credited with the win, spread 4 hits over his 5 innings and Boston’s bullpen held the Phils to 2 hits over the final 4 innings while the Red Sox added an 8th inning insurance run on leftfielder Chris Carter’s solo homer off of reliever Ryan Madson.  Myers was charged with the loss.

The Phils could manage only 6 hits for the game as their offense, once again for the 3rd straight game, couldn’t get untracked despite doubles by catcher Carlos Ruiz and leftfielder Raul Ibanez.   The time is ticking down to the beginning of the regular season so the Phils offense better find their hitting shoes quickly.

For all of the results of spring training play on Sunday, as well as World Baseball classic results, click here.

Ageless veteran lefthander Jamie Moyer gets the starting nod on Monday as the Phils entertain the Yankees at Clearwater and try to wipe away the 12-0 rout which occured when the teams last met.  The Yankees starting nod goes to non-rostered invitee Brett Tomko who hopes to latch-on with the Yanks.

For all of Monday’s scheduled exhibition games and the World Baseball Classic game as well, click here.

Phillies Tie, Lose in Pitcher’s Duels Vs Cards, Twins

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Young starters Carlos Carrasco and Kyle Kendrick both gave their chances a boost in the starting rotation 5th spot competition while Phillies hitters had problems with Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright and the Cards bullpen in a 10 inning 2-2 tie on Friday as well as with knuckleballing Minnesota starter R.A. Dickey and the Twins bullpen in a 2-1 loss on Saturday.

On Friday, Carrasco gave up 2 runs, both on a 3rd inning homer by centerfelder Rick Ankiel, on 3 hits while walking 2 for the only Cardinals scoring.  Cards starter Wainwright was stung by a 2nd inning leadoff homer by 1st baseman Ryan Howard, his 6th homer of the exhibition season.  Howard went 2 for 3 for the game.

2nd baseman Chase Utley, on the mend from off-season hip surgery, also went 2 for 3 on Friday with a run scored in the 6th inning off of Wainwright.

Aside from shortstop Eric Bruntlett and rightfielder Geoff Jenkins who both also collected 2 hits apiece, Phillies bats were silent throughout against both Wainwright and the St. Louis bullpen. 

Relievers Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, Mike Koplove and Jake Woods looked solid shutting the door on the Cards over the final 5 1/3 innings on 3 hits. 

Kendrick was particularly impressive in his best start of the spring going 5 innings giving up 2 runs, both in the 1st inning, on 5 hits while striking out 4 and walking only 1.  But the Phils couldn’t solve Dickey’s knuckler and had trouble with the Twins bullpen.

Outfielder John Mayberry was the only Phillie with 2 hits and the Phils’ only run came on utlility man Eric Bruntlett’s 2 out, 9th inning solo homer which averted a Twins shutout.

Relievers Clay Condrey, Brad Lidge and Scott Eyre followed Kendrick, each doing a great job shutting down the Twins.

Dickey was credited with the win while Kendrick, despite a fine performance, was charged with the loss.

For all of the results of spring training play on Friday and Saturday, as well as World Baseball classic results, click here and here.

Ace lefthander Cole Hamels, having been temporarily sidelined over elbow concerns, is back throwing both long-throw and sessions.  MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports on Hamels’ progress:

Hamels… took an important step forward Saturday morning at Bright House Field.

Hamels threw his first bullpen session since he received an anti-inflammatory injection into his left elbow Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hamels said he felt no tightness and had no swelling in the elbow during or after he threw.

“The only soreness I have is from the injection, and that actually has been fading day by day,” Hamels said. “Other than that, all the spots that were kind of causing me soreness didn’t cause me any discomfort at all, so I think that’s a good thing.”

“We still have time,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Hamels’ chances to pitch Opening Night. “There’s no sense rushing. No sense in talking a whole lot. We’ll wait until we get to the point where we see what we have to do. That day is coming, but it ain’t quite here yet.”

The Phillies have not said who would take Hamels’ place Opening Night, although Hamels endorsed right-hander Brett Myers.

Righthander Myers gets the starting call  as the Phils play the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

For all of Sunday’s scheduled exhibition games and the World Baseball Classic game as well, click here.

Blanton 1-Hits Marlins in Phillies Win

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Righthander Joe Blanton appears as easily the most effective starter in Clearwater thus far.  On Thursday, he extended his string of shutout innings to 8 in 1-hitting the Florida Marlins through 6 innings as the   Phillies beat the Floridians by a 5-1 score.

Blanton, who has given up but 4 runs in 15 2/3 innings of pitching thus far was nothing short of brilliant.   MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports:

Blanton, making his fourth appearance of the spring, was sharp… striking out three and throwing just 56 pitches — 44 for strikes. 

The AP recap for Yahoo sports notes:

“He threw strikes,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “(Pitching coach Rich) Dubee said he threw 19 first-pitch strikes out of 20. That’s unreal. That’s super.”

Blanton, the Phillies’ No. 4 starter, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter, lowering his ERA to 2.30. But he still wasn’t completely satisfied.

“My location for the most part I was a little better today than I have been with it earlier in the spring,” the right-hander said. “I don’t know if the slider is as good as it was the last game I felt like my changeup stepped up a little bit.”

Marlins starter Chris Volstad matched Blanton by shutting down the Phils and giving up only 1 hit himself through 4 innings.  Volstad threw threw 37 of his 54 pitches for strikes.   Lefthanded reliever Tim Tankersley followed Volstad with a scoreless 5th in his 1 inning of work while giving up the Phillies 2nd hit.

The AP recap continues:

Marlins left-hander Dan Meyer opened the sixth inning with two walks, and both runners scored.  Pablo Ozuna [playing 2nd base] scored on Ryan Howard’s double and Jason Donald scored on Jayson Werth’s sacrifice fly.

The Phils got 3 more insurance runs off of Marlins reliever unrostered invitee Tim Wood, who walked 2 and gave up in the 8th inning.

Closer Brad Lidge worked a scoreless 7th inning giving up 2 hits and striking out 1.   Clay Condrey, unrostered invitee Bobby Mosebach worked the 8th and 9th innings with Condrey being touched for the only Marlins run, on 2 hits in the 8th.

Blanton posted the win for his excellent 6 inning stint while Meyer took the loss in relief.

For all of the results of spring training play for Thursday, as well as World Baseball classic results, click here.

Phillies lefthanded reliever J.C. Romero returned to Phillies camp after his WBC stint with Puerto Rico.

The Phillies take on the St. Louis Cards on Friday as young Carlos Carrasco is assigned the starting mound chores.  Carrasco is still contesting for the rotation 5th spot and will be trying to hold off the Cards and to bring down his 6.30 ERA.

For all of Friday’s and Saturday’s scheduled exhibition games and Saturday’s World Baseball Classic game as well, click here and here.

Phillies, Blue Jays End in Tie

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Young lefthander J.A. Happ, one of two forerunners for the Phillies starting rotation 5th spot, was solved for 3 runs on 3 hits, 2 of them homers, in 4 innings of pitching on Wednesday.  Outfielder Jayson Werth, hitting .357 since recuperating from an early spring injury, broke a 4-4 tie in the 5th inning with a 3 run homer after earlier doubling and scoring on a sacrifice fly.  But reliever Joe Bisenius coughed up 3 runs in the ninth inning as the Phils had to settle for a 7-7 tie with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Werth was definitely the hitting star in this one.  He doubled off of Toronto starter Jesse Litsch and scored on 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz’s sacrifice in the 2nd inning as the Phils took a short-lived 1-0 lead.  2nd baseman  Chase Utley got his first hit of spring training going 1 for 2 with a walk.  

Unrostered reliever Gary Majewski coughed up the 4th Toronto run in the 5th inning while pitching 2 innings.  The Phils roared back to tie in their half of the 5th with 3 runs, including Greg Dobbs sacrifice fly RBI.

Relievers Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson each threw a scoreless inning as Werth’s 3 run blast to leftfield in the 7th put the Phils up 7-4.  With the 3 runs given up by Bisenius in the 9th inning, his ERA mushroomed to 12.60 and he was charged with a blown save leaving his status on the roster very much in doubt.

For all of the results of spring training play for Wednesday, as well as World Baseball classic results, click here.

The Phillies travel to Jupiter, Fla. on Thursday to play the Florida Marlins as righthander Joe Blanton gets the start.  Relievers Clay Condrey, unrostered invitee Bobby Mosebach and Brad Lidge also are scheduled to pitch.

For all of Thursday’s scheduled exhibition games and World Baseball Classic games as well, click here.

Pat Burrell Home Run Photo at onlinesports.com

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Click here for a super deal on an officially licensed Pat Burrell home run photo as shown in the picture on the right, below.

      Pat Burrell      Pat Burrell

These photos are being marketed by onlinesports.com

The photo depicts a great Phillies moment: Pat “The Bat” Burrell capping a 3 run sixth inning with a 1 out solo homer in game 1 of the 2008 NLCS against the L.A. Dodgers.  The Phillies, down after 5 1/2 innings by 2-0, came back to win the game by a 3-2 score with Burrell’s blast proving the winning margin.  The Phils went on to defeat the Dodgers by 4 games to 1 in the NLCS, and to win the World Series.

Note that onlinesports.com warrants that this is an officially licensed, but unautographed photo and that the brand name, “Photo File” is an authorized licensee for this photo. Buyers should be aware that onlinesports.com is very meticulous in noting an item’s authenticity and licensure.  Such authentication can be found on the left side of the product page under brand as well as directly beneath the item pictured.

Although Burrell is no longer a Phillie, his bond with Phillies fans lingers and this photo of his NLCS game 1 winning homer is sure to be a classic Phillies and MLB collector’s item for years to come.

                Pat Burrell

Buy it here, Now:  The Pat Burrell Home Run Photo.